Almost 7 years ago, while going through some personal issues, I made a terrible mistake and ended up being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in the State of California. It was a dark period in my life, but I have moved on and learned my lesson. This spring, however, my intoxicated driving conviction […]
Some species like oak and beech keep their leaves longer over winter in order to provide nutrients and trap water
There is conflict between conservationists and hunters and trappers over how to protect this population in Ontario.
Scientists can predict who your friends are by scanning your brain
Could lasers be the solution to all the junk cluttering up space
Beetles are shrinking because of climate change
It’s been a nightmarish year for Washington State’s only active Atlantic salmon farming company — Canada’s Cooke Aquaculture Inc.
On Tuesday, a Cooke subsidiary was found responsible for an August 2017 fish farm mishap that released up to 263,000 Atlantic Salmon into Washington’s Puget Sound — in addition to misleading the public and regulators about the cause, and lowballing the number of fish that escaped.
Those were the key findings of an investigation led by Washington’s Department of Ecology, Department of Fish and Wildlife and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) — which started last fall after a net pen near Cypress Island in Puget Sound (about 50 km east of Victoria) broke up on August 19.
“The collapse was not the result of natural causes,” said Hilary Franz, commissioner of public lands at a press conference Tuesday. “Cooke’s disregard caused this disaster and recklessly put our state’s aquatic ecosystem at risk.”
Happy February! Whew, I am SO glad January is behind us. We’re one month closer to spring (which, if you’re Canadian, often doesn’t start until MAY…lol…no big deal). Thanks for all of your questions and comments this past week. Many of your questions inspire me to test things out in my own kitchen (yielding delicious […]
This:[In “Play It Again, Sam”], Allan is sometimes visited by the specter of Humphrey Bogart, in trench coat and fedora. He has hard-boiled advice about “dames” and other matters. I had only the vaguest idea of who this apparition was supposed to be, but before long what Bogey was to Allan Felix, Woody Allen was […]
Here are two quick stories to remind us of two important things. First of all, the Earth imaging industry is in the midst of splitting off from its space based spy-satellite origins to become a large and profitable, commercial industry in its own right. Secondly, real innovation and commercialization efforts are being pushed in Canada by a variety of innovative “apps contests” and challenges, not just private sector venture capital markets, although government funds and contracts remain important to bolster private sector confidence.
To begin with, and as outlined in the January 31st, 2018 UrtheCast press release, “UrtheCast Provides Update on UrtheDaily Financing Efforts,” Vancouver, BC based geospatial company UrtheCast, “is continuing to work” with unnamed institutional investors “to close the previously announced financing for the UrtheDaily Constellation.“
UrtheCast investors have been closely watching the fundraising for the planned $175Mln CDN constellation.
As outlined in the December 29th, 2017 UrtheCast press release, “UrtheCast Provides Corporate Update,” the company was “working closely” with an institutional investor “to finalize closing documentation as soon as practicable, with a target completion date for the financing extended to the end of January 2018.”
The UrtheDaily Constellation, currently scheduled for launch in 2020 is a planned “global coverage constellation aiming to acquire high-quality, multispectral imagery, at 5-m GSD, taken at the same time, from the same altitude every day” according to the UrtheDaily website.
According to Gunter’s Space Page, the UrtheDaily spacecraft “are based on the SSTL-250 platform and will be built by SSTL at its facilities in Guildford UK. The contract was signed in November 2017. The spacecraft will deliver high-resolution imagery using spectral bands, which have been specifically selected to match Landsat-8, Sentinel-2, RapidEye and Deimos-1 bands to ease cross-calibration with trusted references and to minimize the effects of atmospheric variations.”
Initial funding for the constellation was announced in March 2017 through the Federal Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s (ISED) Industrial Technologies Office, which granted the UrtheCast approximately $17.6Mln CDN under the Strategic Aerospace & Defense Initiative (SADI) program.
Since then, the company has attempted to complete the package with private sector funding.
UrtheCast has traditionally raised capital using a variety of techniques common in the Canadian telecom and mining sectors. As outlined in the June 10th, 2013 post, “UrtheCast Proceeds with Takeover and Funding for ISS Camera’s,” the company initially went public as part of a reverse takeover of publicly traded Longford Energy Inc., a methodology well understood in the mining industry.
But at least one other company has managed to put together private sector funding.
As outlined in the February 1st, 2018 Skywatch Space Applications press release, “SkyWatch Raises Seed Financing of $4M CAD [$3.2M USD] to Bring Satellite Data to the Mass Market,” the Waterloo, ON based start-up has raised $4Mln CDN in seed funding to continue the development of its EarthCache platform for the aggregation and distribution of open sourced Earth image satellite data.
The financing was led by Sinai Ventures and Space Angels, with participation from Golden Venture Partners, Techstars Ventures, SK Ventures, Globalive Capital, and ARC Angel Fund.
According to the press release, “The fundraising proceeds will be used to add strategic hires, accelerate product development, and build partnerships. SkyWatch is currently negotiating distribution rights with more than 30 satellite operators to service customers across agriculture, energy, finance, infrastructure, market intelligence, and many other industries.”
As outlined in the May 19th, 2014 post, “CDN “SkyWatch” wins “Best Use of Data” at Int’l Space Apps Challenge,” Skywatch first gained attention at the 2014 International Space Apps Challenge.
Henry Stewart is the pseudonym of a Toronto based aerospace writer.
By Stephen Quirke
For the fourth time since July 2013, Washington state is requiring an analysis of the full climate impacts of a major fossil fuel project proposed within its borders.
Most recently, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency announced on January 24 it would hire a consultant to undertake a full life-cycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions associated with Puget Sound Energy’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) project at the Port of Tacoma.
More than seven years have passed since an Enbridge oil pipeline ruptured and spilled more than a million gallons of tar sands oil, also known as diluted bitumen, near a tributary leading to Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. Once in the water, the oil — which spill responders initially did not know was tar sands oil — ended up sinking to the sediment on the river bottom and causing major environmental impacts for wildlife and plants.
Yet even today, the oil industry still claims that tar sands oil floats.
The US program has been around since 1982 and currently requires the 11 federal agencies involved, all of which possess external research and development budgets of more than $100Mln US ($1.23Mln CDN), to allocate a substantially heftier 2.8 percent of their budgets to grants or contracts with small businesses undertaking projects.
Of course, the SBIR based program is also and more specifically targeted at solving innovation focused problems for the government, and when it comes to this, the Canadian program still has a ways to go when compared to its US parent.
The current list of open opportunities as per December 19th, 2017 listing on the Innovative Solutions Canada website (the most recent posted) lists only six problems requiring innovative technologies to solve. They include:
Funding per project generally hovers around $100 – $150K for phase one funding and $500K – $1Mln for phase two funding.
According to the post, SBIR grants:
…mitigate these market failures by providing small business owners with a source of capital that does not depend on private-market allocation.
Analysis by both academics and policymakers shows that the scheme works.
Numerous studies show that the SBIR programs make possible innovations that would not have been developed in the absence of government intercession.
Joe Bob Briggs writes:…the 1956 multigenerational epic starring Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor that was based on a book written by an old-maid liberal feminist Jew from New York and brought to the screen by a self-righteous martinet from California who started his career working on Laurel and Hardy short films and then became “the […]
FEBRUARY 1, 2018, 2 AM ET. Like others who hang out at the counterweights.ca office in the old streetcar suburbs of the provincial capital city, tomorrow I am off on a brief respite from the snows of perfidious Ontario in the exotic Caribbean. (We are back the week of February 12.) Like still others again, […]
Make this sweet Cherry Pie for Valentine’s Day, or for your love any time of year! The easy to create crust is made with mini heart cookie cutters! It’s February…the month of love! This is where I take down my winter decor, and add splashes of Valentine’s Day colour everywhere you look…with wreaths, garlands and pretty in pink pillows! It’s a nice and welcome change this time of year. Once February arrives, I also like to countdown to Valentine’s day with my family through simple and delicious treats. Chocolate chip cookies get decorated with pink and red smarties, pizzas are topped […]
The Iowa Senate has advanced a bill which critics say could lead to the criminalization of pipeline protests, which are being cast as “terrorist activities.” Dakota Access pipeline owner Energy Transfer Partners and other companies have lobbied for the bill, Senate Study Bill 3062, which opens up the possibility of prison time and a hefty fine for those who commit “sabotage” of critical infrastructure, such as oil and gas pipelines.
This bill, carrying a criminal punishment of up to 25 years in prison and $100,000 in fines, resembles the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, a “model” bill recently passed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). That ALEC bill, intended as a template for state and federal legislation, was based on Oklahoma’s HB 1123, which calls for citizens to receive a felony sentencing, $100,000 fine, and/or 10 years in prison if their actions “willfully damage, destroy, vandalize, deface, or tamper with equipment in a critical infrastructure facility.”
According to disclosure records, corporations lobbying for the Iowa bill include not only Energy Transfer Partners, but also Koch Industries, the American Petroleum Institute, Valero Energy, Magellan Midstream, and others. The Iowa State Police Association has also come out in support of the bill, while the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Iowa is against it. The bill has passed out of subcommittee and next goes in front of the state Senate Judiciary Committee.
Ottawa, ON – Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, will deliver remarks at a Laurier Club donor appreciation reception in Edmonton on February 1, 2018. The Liberal Party of Canada has committed to the strongest standards in federal politics for openness and transparency, and is challenging other parties to do the same. […]
Mark Derian writes:Chinese has more than 50,000 pictures, each representing a concept. A picture of a flower means “flower,” a picture of a house means “house,” and a picture of a middle-aged man means “dad.” It’s the kind of language you would come up with if you were an uncreative third grader. It’s limited as […]
Less than a week after construction began on the controversial Bayou Bridge pipeline in Louisiana, a coalition of crawfishers and environmental groups took legal steps to immediately shut down the project. As a result, on February 8 a federal judge will review a request filed this morning from Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm, which seeks to halt construction of the pipeline through the Atchafalaya Basin while the court considers the firm’s earlier case challenging the pipeline’s permitting.
When a Canadian federal-provincial environmental review panel ruled in 2007 that a proposed quarry would go against community core values and would threaten right whales and other marine life in the Bay of Fundy, groups that had fought against the project believed that was the end of the story.
But, that is not how the system works under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has dispute settlement provisions allowing corporations to sue governments for compensation when they feel the local environmental approvals process has interfered with expected profits.
HEALTHY COMFORT FOOD FOR THE WIN! Whohoo. No matter who you’re cheering for, if you’re looking for a tasty game day appetizer, this is the recipe for you. It could even double as a cozy Valentine’s Day meal in or I’m-so-sick-of-winter family pick-me-up. Not that you really need a reason anyway because, seriously, look at […]
David Cole writes:…this video of a “genocidally racist” high school girl should have been the lead story on MSNBC for five nights running. There should have been a minimum of thirty stories about it on Salon, and Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte should have been locking arms and marching through town singing “We Shall Overcome.”The […]
Bunky Mortimer III writes:It is a debit against the health of the body that credits to the health of the mind. As such, in its own small way, it is a reminder of the afterlife. It is also part of a civilized terrestrial life, and European life in particular. This makes it—along with humor, culture, […]
It’s worth noting that, at least when he isn’t encouraging the staff at his Richmond BC based MDA subsidiary to continue insisting that it’s still “all Canadian eh!,” San Francisco, CA based Maxar Technologies CEO Howard Lance is a decent enough writer with useful things to say.
|Is he smiling? Maxar CEO Lance in his “happy place,” while contemplating the future. Photo c/o Maxar Technologies.|
And, as outlined the January 23rd, 2018 Lance written GeoSpatial World post, “Machine learning and AI will drive the next generation of capabilities in data analytics,” his take on geospatial derived data is useful and informative.
According to Lance, geospatial data is:
… an increasingly essential element of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, not just because of the demand for analytics rather than just pixels, but because of the power it brings to applications that facilitate the Internet of Things and the ability to track consumer, government and business behaviors…
According to the January 14th, 2016 World Economic Forum post on “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond,” the fourth industrial revolution is:
…building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.
There are three reasons why today’s transformations represent not merely a prolongation of the Third Industrial Revolution but rather the arrival of a Fourth and distinct one: velocity, scope, and systems impact.
The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.
For everything from satellite systems through to multi-source data collection, enrichment, and analytic capabilities that reveal unique geospatial information and insights, we are ready to meet industry demand where and when it matters the most. Our goal is to help national security and commercial organizations understand and navigate the changing planet and to integrate geospatial intelligence into the next generation of automation applications.
No other company has such strong roots in geospatial intelligence with our level of scale and commercial mindset. Our combined team of aerospace engineers, geospatial analysts, weather and ocean experts, software developers, data scientists, and DevOps engineers apply disruptive technology and our unique intellectual property to solve both national security and commercial problems.
This is an industry that is rapidly evolving and Maxar is extremely well poised to advance the state of the art and to meet the demand for critical answers when they matter the most.
Of course, Lance is wrong, if only because he discounts the individual and their contributions. Most of the real scientific advances over the last 400 years started out as the ideas of individuals or of a small minority of advocates which over time grew to become conventional wisdom:
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with AI or even with Mr. Lance and his colleague’s at Maxar. It’s just that this blog would prefer not to discount the contributions of real people in Canada and around the world.
Besides, sometimes he has useful things to say.
On January 29, Washington Governor Jay Inslee rejected a permit required for Tesoro-Savage to build the Vancouver Energy oil-by-rail facility, the largest such project in the nation, at the Port of Vancouver, along the Washington-Oregon border. The governor explained the basis of his decision, which followed a several year long process, in a letter to the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council:
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has unanimously ruled that the C-Series airliners which Montreal, PQ based Bombardier Aerospace intends to sell to Atlanta, GA based Delta Air Lines do not “injure US industry,” despite accusations of “price-dumping” from rival Chicago, IL based Boeing Company.
While Bombardier executives, Quebec politicians, aerospace industry officials and unions are declaring victory, other signs point to it being a pyrrhic one for Canadian aerospace workers.
As outlined in the January 29th, 2018 Aviation Week post, “C Series US Assembly Line Still Planned Despite Trade Victory,” the original complaint by Boeing to the US Department of Commerce had been made in April 2017. Boeing had argued that the Canadian and British governments had unfairly subsidized the C-series’ development, allowing Bombardier to sell it at far below cost.
In response, the Department of Commerce imposed a 292% per cent tariff on U.S. imports of C-Series aircraft.
The ruling triggered political shock waves in both Canada and the United Kingdom, both home to large Bombardier facilities and thousands of its employees. Bombardier and the Quebec government vehemently protested the decision and the Trudeau government threatened to retaliate by cancelling its planned purchase of 18 Boeing FA-18E/F Super Hornet fighters.
While many industry watchers considered the ruling Bombardier’s death knell, the company struck back by allying with European aerospace powerhouse Toulouse, France based Airbus SE, a European multinational aerospace powerhouse.
As outlined in the October 16th, 2017 post, “A Game Changer for Canada: Airbus Takes a Majority Stake in Bombardier’s C Series Program,” in exchange for Airbus acquiring a virtual majority (50%) stake in the company, Bombardier would gain access to Airbus’ global procurement, sales, marketing and customer support networks. Airbus, in turn, would greatly expand its Canadian presence, gaining greater access to civilian and government contracts.
Bombardier then, in an attempt to circumvent the tariffs, set about to establish a US assembly line for the CS-100 in Mobile, Alabama. Delta Airlines had stated that it would not take delivery of CS100s from the Canadian line in Mirabel, QC but instead wait for aircraft assembled on the US line, expected to be operational by 2019.
Although the threat of the import tariff has now been lifted, Bombardier says it is moving forward with plans to deliver US-assembled aircraft to US airlines “as soon as possible, following regulatory approvals and the completion of the Alabama final assembly line.”
Delta Airlines has welcomed the ITC decision, but has not indicated whether it will take delivery of CS100s from the Canadian line beginning in April as originally planned.
In addition, and as outlined in the January 15th, 2018 Skies magazine post, “Bombardier considering Downsview sale,” Bombardier has announced that it is considering selling its massive aircraft manufacturing facility in Downsview, Toronto as part of its five-year turnaround plan, threatening some 3,500 jobs.
The Downsview facility is dedicated to manufacturing the Q400 turboprop and Global business jets.
Given the expected shedding of even more Canadian jobs to come, and uncertainty over Bombardier’s rival’s next moves, celebrations may be premature.
So while Bombardier’s reprieve may be a good thing for Bombardier, but is it good for Canada?
GANATSEKWYAGON, ON. MONDAY, JANUARY 29, 2018. 5 PM ET. It may still be, as some wise observers have suggested, that the Ontario Progressive Conservatives — now disentangled from the wobbly leadership of Patrick Brown — will go on to handily win a majority government in the June 7 provincial election. (As some opinion polls have […]
At the end of 2017, Shell ran slightly afoul of Pennsylvania state regulators after filing a pipeline permit application to the state and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that failed to show sensitive environmental areas in the path of its proposed Falcon ethane pipeline. Now, a concerned nonprofit has pieced together the details Shell should have included (and more), revealing hundreds of homes, schools, streams, and wetlands in the path of the fracking products pipeline.
The 97-mile Falcon Ethane project will carry more than 107,000 barrels a day of a flammable plastics precursor to a small town in Pennsylvania where Shell is building an ethane “cracker” facility. In a region poised to be transformed by petrochemical development, this huge plastics plant will superheat the ethane and “crack” it as it manufactures over a million tons per year of tiny plastic beads of ethylene or polyethylene.
Timothy Hsiao writes:In other words, freedom isn’t just the bare ability to do something; it is the ability to act under the influence of properly functioning cognitive faculties. This point is pivotal in making sense of the legal concepts of consent, coercion, and competence. Young children are unable to enter into legally binding contracts because […]
“Authenticity” (particularly in music) and “received wisdom” being two of my typically middlebrow, overgrown-adolescent hobbyhorses, may I present Ivan Kreilkamp…Her song “Woodstock” is now remembered as one of the most iconic musical artifacts of the late 1960s American counterculture, but it’s worth remembering that it was written by a Canadian artist who did not perform […]
Many years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Beef’s Fred Morin when we were on a panel together at the Trottier Symposium. Since then we’ve managed to keep in touch. If you don’t know Fred, he’s a wonderful, ribald (don’t say I didn’t warn you), irreverent, French Canadian who is passionate about food and cooking, whose restaurants are ranked among the world’s best. Last week Fred contacted me last week wanting to write about home economics and of course, I said yes.
Lunch is a chore and dinner barely squeezed in between school, homework and whichever sport or instrument you practice vicariously thru your offspring. For much of us the saving grace is the anonymous, and all to easy drive thru. Pardon the pornographic and graphic reference but the drive thru is no different than the glory hole, the source and recipient remain nameless in this rapid exchange of sin.
You see, meals went rapidly from something you made to something you buy, quickly ingested this brilliantly engineered modern days ration pack even comes wrapped in easily discardable containers, because, why would you be reminded of your sins beyond your health and/or weight!
Cooking, like football is played by a few skilled professionals on weekly tv shows, but like football, played by less and less of us. A quest for complicated taste and showy presentations has led many to head the way of the drive thru, paralyzed at the very idea of cooking a dinner that wouldn’t live up to Gordon Ramsay’s standards.
It may sound as a betrayal to my craft to preach simple meals but it actually very well may be the gateway to actual and beneficial cooking. a routine menu simplifies the arduous chore of shopping and your time in the kitchen. Don’t fret; simplicity is not the antagonist to diversity, you can season and twist a dish as you wish!
Cooking was, un-rightfully so a gender specific chore, in school, the boys would have shop class and the girls, home economics, only my generation was fortunate enough to experience both, Between the time schools became co-ed, and the day they removed the stoves and sewing machines to make place for room fulls of Coco 3 computers.
The secrets of braising, the skills of chopping, peeling and searing are all but lost!
We may project our own likes and professions, and pretend our kids need more coding, chess, nutrition, and organic farming classes, perhaps as a trained chef and cookbook author I’m am a little guilty of that.
Not overloading their ever morphing frontal cortex with page loads of facts on nutrition is crucial. I may be sounding like I’m metaphorically wiping my boots on my gracious host’s best Persian rug by denying the need for nutritional education in schools, while a guest on his nutrition blog (ed note: I agree with Fred), it’s unnecessary to provide tools for obsessive calorie counting, more label reading and macro nutrients deciphering to a generation who already has a very conflicted relationship with the simple act of eating, in fact, most ingredients you would want to cook do not even have a nutritional label!
I don’t want my kids to learn how to blowtorch meringue or to make spherical ice for mocktails, not yet, instead I want them, their friends and class mates to grow up with a comprehension of cooking that will set them up for life, with the ability to perform daily culinary tasks, whether they choose grass fed pasture raised hormone free Angus steak or certified authentic Kobe massaged beef, it’s up to them to decide, later!
Fred (all in his words) co-owns Joe Beef, Liverpool House, Mon Lapin, and Vin Papillion restaurants in Montreal, and is the co-author of The Art of Living According to Joe Beef. He fathered three offspring that currently prevent him from living a second youth behind the stoves. He also wishes he had gone to College. He divides his time between being fat, becoming slim, being slim and becoming fat. He lives close enough to Montreal, to call it Montreal. And you can follow him on Twitter
President Donald Trump loves to accuse his detractors of producing “fake news” as a way to deflect from his own distortions and misrepresentations.
But in an interview screened in the UK in recent hours, Trump’s tired attack on climate science — itself a demonstrable twisting of the truth — was the epitome of the actual fakery pushed by climate science denial groups and conservative media outlets.
And Trump’s continued disregard for the authoritative positions of climate scientists and scientific institutions and academies across the globe echoed the platforms of groups supported by one of his key financial backers — the Mercer family.
THE RAUNCHY SIDE OF U.S. POLITICSThe National Post reminded us with a page on Lyndon Johnson on Jan. 27 of just how foul mouthed and oozing of sexual shenanigans the White House was decades before Donald Trump brought his coarse preening, lies an…
Michaelleen Doucleff, in NPR, on the possibility of an Arctic ticking climate time bomb.
Michaelleen Doucleff, in NPR, on the possibility of Arctic zombie viruses.
Ed Yong, in The Atlantic, on the newest, oldest, human jawbone.
According to a new study, it’s not just coughing and sneezing. Sick people can spread the flu virus just by breathing as tiny particles containing flu virus are expelled from the lungs.
Scientists have discovered that our eardrums move slightly within our head in response to signals from the visual system.
A new book by Canadian science writer Alana Mitchell called “Spinning Magnets” looks at the science of the Earth’s magnetic field, and the disaster that could strike when the magnetic field spontaneously and naturally flips upside down.
On the African savannah, Cheetahs chase impala and lions chase zebra, and researchers have been breaking down these chases to understand just what kind of athletic demands are being made in this race for life.