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Science

Can we have infinite, exponential growth with finite resources? Andrew Leach says Yes.

The thing about economics is that it’s a real scientific discipline. Like many sciences, there’s some more theoretical branches and also some more applied branches. And the application of economic modeling to real life society …

Grappling with climate change, politics and the Alberta floods

It’s no small chore trying to understand climate change. We live in a society that is lacking in scientific literacy. Even those of us that have some, have little time to read and understand so many complex issues of our day, including climate change…

My first bottle rocket!

I never had a bottle rocket growing up. At least, not that I remember. And a couple of weeks ago, a few friends and I put Mentos in a bottle of diet coke and that was really exciting and it got me…

Five historical misconceptions, demisconceptualized

I grew up in a subtly, vaguely, self identifying Norwegian household. We ate lefse and told stories about lutefisk and had a Norwegian version of the lord’s prayer installed in our kitchen. But, most poignantly, we believed Vikings had horns on their helmets. Turns out that’s probably bullshit. We were also pretty much wrong about…

What was right about “See the veil for what it is”

This post is part of a series of reflections on Dan Gardner’s Ottawa Citizen editorial, “See the veil for what it is.” There are some things that Dan Gardner got right and I thought it would be good to make note of them, before examining his many errors.

The odds of picking of 1st, 2nd and 3rd

I was recently watching a television show, The Mentalist, in which the protagonist, Patrick Jane, pulled a slick trick of picking the first, second and third place horses at a race track. He told a guy he would do it. Of course it was a trick. I love math!

Twelve eggs every day

I knew this guy in Nelson. He ate twelve eggs every day. He said that everything we had ever heard about eggs being bad for us, was published by the meat and dairy…

Can humans echolocate?

A few years ago I was at a dinner party at a cabin on Vancouver Island. The host, and my good friend, Dalton, told a story. He told us a story about riding his bike home on a tar black night on Vancouver Island. As the story goes, it was too dark to see the […]

90,000 barrels is roughly one third of the Exxon Valdez

If the rate of flow in the gulf of Mexico is 90,000 barrels a day, then we’ve had ourselves an Exxon Valdez every three days. Recent estimates, put the rate of flow between 50,000 and 150,000 barrels a day (BPD). In EVUs (Exxon Valdez Units), this is between .2 and .6 EVUs per day. That […]

Dispersant is a cover up and a toxic pollutant?

Turns out the Gulf of Mexico is the breeding ground for North Atlantic Tuna. Carl Safina has argues that the dispersant that BP is using to disperse the oil is part of the problem. The dispersant they’re using is actually banned in Europe. He argues that the dispersant is part of a pattern of cover […]

Remembering what not to do

With a variety of global environmental crises upon us, this old newscast casts doubt on our ability to deal with messes effectively. Often, our attempt to manage a scenario results in another, more dangerous, scenario. I appreciate the reporter’s final remarks that, roughly, “should this happen again, the authorities will remember what to do… and […]

The meanings of ‘animal’

Years ago I heard David Suzuki speak in Halifax. He was on book tour for his, then recent publication, The Sacred Balance. He told many stories that night and he spoke for several hours about the fundamental connectedness of life. Meeting and listening to Dr. Suzuki had a lasting impact on me. I recall feeling […]