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Friday, July 29, 2011

The Disaffected Lib: How Screwed Up Are the Republicans? This Screwed Up

The Disaffected Lib (aka The Mound of Sound) quoting from The Center for American Progress .

Two articles in the Toronto Star both relating to Internet anonymity.

Hacker sends SWAT team to B.C. family’s home.

"Chester Wisniewski, senior security adviser with the IT security company Sophos, said this 911 hoax exploits a security shortcoming with voice-over-Internet (VoIP) phone services that let people mask their true location."

Heather Mallick: What to do when a monster likes your work.

"... the cloud that hovers over the Internet, the rage of damaged people, especially those who comment anonymously and egg each other on. This is why Mark Zuckerberg’s sister, Randi, who helps run Facebook, has called for an end to online anonymity and why Jimmy Wales has set up a rating system to try to take the hate out of Wikipedia."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Paper your house with energy (in the Toronto Star)

"Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have come up with a new process that allows photovoltaic cells, which convert light into electricity, to be printed in ultrathin layers on ordinary paper or plastic."

Paper your house with energy.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Miracle grain": alpiste (in tenersalud.com)

"Alpiste is a plant of the family of grasses, herbaceous. It is native to the Mediterranean, but is grown commercially in various parts of the world to use the seed in the diet of pet birds. ...

"The enzymes provided by alpiste have immense power to disinflame our organs, particularly the liver, kidneys and pancreas, which makes alpiste a huge pancreatic regenerator, i.e. with diabetes just a few weeks also eliminates cirrhosis by increasing the count of hepatocytes in the liver and by the way, of course, which disinflames, reloading kidney enzyme, promoting a healthy diuresis to remove excess fluid in the body, so alpiste is a tireless fighter against hypertension ... alpiste is a marvel, because it contains the enzyme lipase which removes body fat quickly..." (apologies for the over-the-top style...!)

Full article in Spanish on the benefits of alpiste (phalaris canariensis), also known as "canary seed": ALPISTE Y SUS BENEFICIOS.

Here is another web page: Iron Rye.

Another grain which should be attracting more attention as our climate changes is teff. "Eragrostis tef has an attractive nutrition profile, being high in dietary fiber and iron and providing protein and calcium... [It] is adapted to environments ranging from drought stress to waterlogged soil conditions..." (Wikipedia)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Suzuki warns Tory scheme to cancel green energy plans is ‘absolute insanity’ (in the Toronto Star)

"In an exclusive interview with the Star, Suzuki made a rare foray into partisan politics, warning it is “absolute insanity” for Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak to want to scrap wind and solar power initiatives that the Tories claim are too expensive.

"“I don’t get it, because it’s a job creator — I would have thought that the Conservatives would be banging away at the need to create jobs,” the host of CBC’s The Nature of Things said during a stroll with [Ontario Premier Dalton] McGuinty in Stanley Park on Wednesday.

"“Ontario right now is a leader in North America. Why would anybody come in and throw that out the window? It doesn’t make any sense.”"

Full article: Suzuki warns Tory scheme to cancel green energy plans is ‘absolute insanity’.

Jason Tetro: Goodbye, antibiotics (in the Toronto Star)

Jason Tetro, also known as the “Germ Guy,” is coordinator for the Emerging Pathogen Research Centre and the Centre for Research on Environmental Microbiology at the University of Ottawa.

Goodbye, antibiotics.

Friday, July 15, 2011

David Olive: America’s tyranny of yokels (in the Toronto Star)

But then again...

Full article: Olive: America’s tyranny of yokels.

Tyler Hamilton: New U.S. rules will help Ontario breathe easier (in the Toronto Star)

However... now for some good news for a change!

Full article: Hamilton: New U.S. rules will help Ontario breathe easier.

Southwestern U.S. headed for a ‘perpetual drought’ (in the Toronto Star)

"Unlike the Dirty Thirties drought, which lasted seven years, the decade-long drought in the 1950s or even the “megadroughts” of the 13th and 16th centuries — all of them La NiƱa phenomena — this one is triggered by man-made gases.

"“As long as the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere stays where it is, we have a new equilibrium,” said Seager [Dr. Richard Seager of the Earth Institute at Columbia University].

"Even if all CO² emissions dropped to zero overnight “significant drying would still occur.”"

Full article: Southwestern U.S. headed for a ‘perpetual drought’.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New weapon to fight malaria in Africa: Smelly socks (in the Toronto Star)

Full article: New weapon to fight malaria in Africa: Smelly socks - Healthzone.ca.

A low-tech solution based on the latest cutting edge science - wonderful! See also http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100203131358.htm, describing how a team at Yale used mutant fruit flies that were missing an odor receptor to zero in on specific genes of mosquito odour receptors.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Stunning finding turns embryonic stem cell research on its head (in the Toronto Star)

"Embryonic stem cells are not the chameleon organ creators they were assumed to be, a major new study out of Hamilton’s McMaster University shows.

"In a finding destined to significantly shift the field, researchers discovered that the so-called mother cells are not all alike and that each is preprogrammed to produce specific tissues, like blood or neurons."

Full article: Stunning finding turns embryonic stem cell research on its head - Healthzone.ca.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Toronto team first to isolate blood stem cells (in the Toronto Star)

"“We’re transplanting a whole (mishmash) of cells and relying on the rare stem cells (in the mix) to actually do the job,” Dick [John Dick, a senior scientist at the Ontario Cancer Institute] says.

"These non-stem cell components, he says, increase the risk of a rejection condition known as graft-versus-host disease, where immune cells lingering in the donated marrow begins to attack the recipient.

"“By now going in and fishing out stem cells, we’ll be able to transplant pure populations of cells for transplantation,” Dick says."

Full article: Toronto team first to isolate blood stem cells - Healthzone.ca.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thomas Walkom: Assessing the brutal, pointless Afghan war (in the Toronto Star)

"war ... is not a game. Nor is it simply diplomacy by other means. It is a dangerous, murderous business with a habit of backfiring.

"During the Afghan War, too many Canadian politicians forgot that. So did media that, for too long, were dominated by jingoes."

Full article: Walkom: Assessing the brutal, pointless Afghan war.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Merran Smith: When oil goes out of fashion (in the Toronto Star)

Merran Smith directs the New Energy Vision for Canada project at Tides Canada, a national charitable foundation

"“We must plan for the eventuality that oilsands production will almost certainly be displaced at some point in the future by lower-cost and/or lower-emission alternatives,” the panel [a panel convened by Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach to come up with a vision for the future of Canada’s oil-rich province] states. “We may have heavy oil to sell, but few or no profitable markets wishing to buy.”

"These aren’t the words of environmentalists looking through green-tinted glasses. They come from former international trade minister David Emerson, chair of the Shaping Alberta’s Future panel, which included GE Canada CEO Elyse Allan, former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge, and former Stelco CEO Courtney Pratt, among others. ...

"... we can — and must — create a national energy vision that positions Canada to prosper and lead through this revolution. It is a national mission — our national imperative — that should unite us all."

Full article: When oil goes out of fashion.

Colin Kenny on Canada’s shrinking stature on the international stage (in the Toronto Star)

Colin Kenny is former chair of the Canadian Senate committee on national security and defence.

Full article: Canada’s shrinking stature on the international stage.

There are so many good quotes in this article...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Heather Mallick: If Black gets a failing grade in Kipling (in the Toronto Star)

Full article: Mallick: If Black gets a failing grade in Kipling.

If is the famous Kipling poem, which Black obviously does not understand. Let's hope he is never allowed back in the country he publicly repudiated when the Brits unaccountably gave him a lordship... Oh and by the way, Black has never had "the common touch"... and he definitely "talks too wise"!

Thomas Walkom: AECL saga shows Conservatives have no business being in government (in the Toronto Star)

"As the only bidder, Lavalin [the private firm SNC-Lavalin Inc.] was in the driver’s seat. It took full advantage of its position. Who can blame it?

"Blame instead the government. Conservatives insist that government has no business being in business. The hapless AECL saga suggests rather that Conservatives have no business being in government.

"Ontarians have seen this movie before — most notably when Tory premier Mike Harris authorized the fire-sale privatization of Highway 407. Like Harris, Harper preaches frugality while squandering public assets. In the case of AECL, he has given away the store but kept the dross."

Full article: Walkom: AECL saga shows Conservatives have no business being in government.