Hans Rosling, one of the most enlightening science communicators, passed away last week. It was his first Ted talk that thrust renowned Swedish academic Hans Rosling into the international spotlight in 2006, billed as the man in whose hands data sings. Since then, the statistician more likely to illustrate an idea with a few multi-coloured... Continue Reading →
The greatest story ever told ended today: Stuart McLean, the host of CBC Radio's The Vinyl Café and an award-winning humorist, has died at age 68 after a battle with melanoma. McLean's trademark blend of storytelling — part nostalgia, part pithy observations about everyday life — and folksy, familiar delivery made him a hit with... Continue Reading →
I have a tumour; the good news is that the doctors believe it is benign. The bad news is that while it may be non-malignant it definitely isn’t benign (at least not by any reasonable definition of benign). I have a facial nerve schwannoma. It is a slow-growing, rarely malignant tumour growing around my left... Continue Reading →
This is exceedingly good news! Yes these elder statesmen Republicans aren't elected members of the government, and yes it will be difficult to convince elected Republicans of the importance of climate change, but this is what a first step looks like. In fact once you get past the knee jerk reactions, a revenue-neutral carbon tax... Continue Reading →
After the horrific events at the Mosque in Quebec it is worth remembering that hatred doesn't stop at the border. The suspect in the deadly attack on a Quebec City mosque was known in the city’s activist circles as an online troll who was inspired by extreme right-wing French nationalists, stood up for U.S. President... Continue Reading →
Trump Bars Refugees and Citizens of 7 Muslim Countries WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday closed the nation’s borders to refugees from around the world, ordering that families fleeing the slaughter in Syria be indefinitely blocked from entering the United States, and temporarily suspending immigration from several predominantly Muslim countries. In an executive order that... Continue Reading →
For a while now, those who deny climate change (like the majority of elected Republican officials) have complained that climate science has been politicized and therefore cannot be trusted. The evidence for this has always fallen apart under the most superficial of scrutiny. Yet less than a week into the Trump presidency we have a... Continue Reading →
The opponents of the Keystone XL and other pipelines have to keep on winning, forever, while those trying to build pipelines, or similar projects, only have to win once I said those words 4 years ago, and sadly it looks like I was right: President Trump signed an executive action today to push forward the... Continue Reading →
Fidel Castro was the best Dictator the Cubans ever had, But Cubans deserve better than a dictatorship.
This isn’t a 2ºC or bust fight. It’s a fight to limit consequences. It’s a fight for every 1/10 of a degree. If we fail to hold to 2ºC, we have to fight for 2.1º; failing that, we battle on for 2.2º. With millennia of impacts at stake, we never get to give up, even... Continue Reading →
The Trump victory in the US presidential election is a victory for incoherence (also racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and denialism). During the campaign Trump never once articulated a coherent set of policies, he never explained how he was going to “Make America Great Again” in any way that passed even the most basic scrutiny. His most... Continue Reading →
RIP Leonard Cohen Everybody knows the war is over Everybody knows the good guys lost Everybody knows the fight was fixed The poor stay poor, the rich get rich Words that feel especially poignant right now.
Notice the change at the bottom of the graph? Anyway you look at it that sudden change is alarming. It is worth noting that, nothing presented here is new, but XKCD author Randall Munroe is a master in making complex topics and difficult to grasp issues of scale easily approachable.
John Oliver explains it nicely, the instead of the imaginary TODD conference, I recommend the very real Bad ad Hoc Hypotheses Festival BAHfest! Or If you prefer the news cycle in comic format PhD Comics has you covered:
20 Years ago John Perry Barlow published the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace: Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among... Continue Reading →
Now it is just more of the same, regardless of who ultimately wins: Lessig quits presidency bid, blames political system he wanted to change See this for a good, succinct, explanation of the problem Lessig is trying to solve
If we are going to survive this century, we need to move away from decision-based evidence-making and truly make evidence-based decisions. Public access to publicly funded science would help ensure that the government relies on the facts, not on ideology. Science is too important to democracy to be kept in a government vault. -Elizabeth May... Continue Reading →
Originally published by John Dupuis Apr 2006. One Tonne Challenge funding stopped Apr 2006. Tories muzzle environmental scientist Mark Tushingham, told not to appear to promote his novel about climate change (More info: 1.) May 2006. Environmental Groups Call on Ambrose to Resign as Chair of International Kyoto Negotiations Oct 2006. Circumpolar ambassador job axed Oct 2006. Canadian Ambassador for the Environment... Continue Reading →
Physicists who want to protect traditional Christmas realize that the only way to keep from changing Christmas is not to observe it. (via xkcd) That is all.
Our last full day in the Galapagos ended with a swim with 4 curious young sea lions. It was all fun and games until the beachmaster showed up.
Unsurprisingly XKCD nails it, but head on over there to read the mouseover text, I am sure it perfectly describes more than a few Planet3.0 readers (and writers!). And we wouldn't want it any other way.
Way #256: Becoming Arapaima food These carnivorous arapaima were 2.5 meters long and very hungry Thankfully they don't have any teeth so all their food has to fit down their throats, so we were relatively safe. Way #512: This No one in their right mind would ever get on a rickety rope swing 70 meters... Continue Reading →
Almost chickened out... glad I didn't.