The Conflicted Environmentalist

Theodor Seuss Geisel who wrote under the pen-name Dr. Suess, created many memorable characters including the environmental campaigner, The Lorax. The book has continued to influence the battle between environmentalists and commercial interests since its publication in 1971.

But what happens if the Lorax wins and logging companies focus their efforts on re-planting and sustainable silviculture? The unexpected, that’s what. Continue reading

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Swedish voters elect uneducated politicians too.

We complain about our politicians who ignore science and legislate based upon nonsensical ideas. The Americans, British, and Australians have their share as well. Here’s an example from Sweden, where one Swedish MP launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails.

Persistent contrails – Wikipedia

“I can’t speak for other MPs, but I’ve had many, many calls over the past eight years about chemtrails. And these questions are not so easy to answer,” Jan Lindholm, Green Party MP, told The Local.
The queries came from Swedes who were “worried and afraid” about the white trails behind aeroplanes. Many callers were concerned, he said, that the planes were leaving poisonous gases./blockquote>
He didn’t know the answer, so he spent some money to find out.
Continue reading

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A fight to the death

The Macedonian island of Golem Grad, also known as Snake Island was the site of a struggle between a juvenile female nose-horned viper (Vipera ammodytes) and a Megarian banded centipede (Scolopendra cingulata). This was a true battle to the death: at the end, neither survived.

S cingulata grows to be approximately 10 cm, only a third of the size of its cousin S. gigantea but is an aggressive creature attacking animals much larger than itself. An adult V. ammodytes often reaches almost a metre in length, and is an extremely venomous snake. This particular struggle, described in the journal Ecologica Montenegrina, involved a juvenile snake, not much longer than the centipede. Continue reading

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UFO? No it’s something better

Yesterday, an odd shape appeared in the sky over Leamington Spa near Warwick, England.

Weather experts have been baffled by a black ring which appeared in the sky above Leamington Spa on Friday evening.
Schoolgirl Georgina Heap was playing tennis with her mother Jo Heap when she looked up at the sky near Warwick castle and saw a mysterious black ring.
She photographed the circle on her iPhone but so far, no one can explain the origin of the strange black mark.

This story being in the Daily Mail, after the weather office couldn’t help, the next call was to UFO expert, Nick Pope.

It’s a truly bizarre image. It looks like a smoke ring, but I can’t see where it could have come from.

‘Other alternatives would include some sort of unusual meteorological phenomenon.

‘One other possibility is that the shape is made up of millions of bees or other insects, but I’ve never heard of insects behaving in this way before, so if this is the explanation, it’s a real-life X-File.’

As it turns out, the explanation is actually a lot cooler than any of those. The circle was the result of fireworks shot from a trebuchet.

Warwick Castle has been occupied since the days of William the

Conqueror, although its days as a military base are long over. It was converted to a country home in 1604, and since 1978 it has been a major tourist attraction owned by the The Tussauds Group. Every day there are live shows demonstrating various demonstrations such as sword fighting techniques, hunting with birds, and firing a trebuchet.


It was the folks at Warwick Castle who provided the solution to the mystery.

The eventual answer came in the middle of Tuesday afternoon when a statement from Warwick Castle confirmed that they had been testing fireworks.

A Warwick Castle spokesman said they had been testing “fire effects” to go with the daily firing of the Trebuchet Fireball – a giant catapult.

“We’ve seen a number of different effects, including the vortex images that have been reported,” the spokesman said. “As yet we don’t know what causes the phenomenon but it’s certainly a spooky spectacle.”

I do admit, that even though I’ve been to Warwick and seen the trebuchet, I never would have thought about them shooting fireworks.

Warwick is only a ½ hour drive from Stratford-on-Avon, and it’s a great excuse to spend some extra time in the area.

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Colorado takes a step forward in reproductive rights

The past 50 years or more have seen a constant struggle for reproductive rights for women. It has been a battle that has been constant with some progress made and attempts to remove those rights sometimes winning. Recently, it seems that all the news from the US has been negative with conservatives passing bill after bill to limit access.  Here in Canada, access varies considerably across jurisdictions and is especially poor in rural areas.

With all the obstacles that politicians are putting in the paths of women who require reproductive care, care that sometimes includes abortion, it is refreshing to see a jurisdiction making a positive move. There is a bill before the Colorado senate that, if passed, would ensure both a women’s right to all aspects of reproductive care and respect the privacy of decisions made in a physician’s office. Continue reading

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Homoeopaths are not Medical Experts – Post at Skeptic North

Bryce Wylde is a well known Canadian promoter of homoeopathy and other forms of Naturopathic medicine. However, despite how CBC legitimizes him and his unfounded beliefs, he is not a medical expert.

On Skeptic North, I have re-posted an open letter from Timothy Caulfield to Peter Mansbridge.



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Chemical Free and Organic

For people who never paid any attention in chemistry class, if indeed they ever attended any.


It’s all fucking chemicals, and organic has a real meaning, perhaps just not just the one you think.

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Eliminating certain foods can improve medical conditions – or not

It must be so easy being a naturopath writing a column in a newspaper. You are under no constrictions to source any material or provide useful medical advice. If only responses could be so easy.

Important note, I am not a physician so do not confuse my writing with medical advice. That is with two important caveats: if you have a question about your health, see a MD and remember naturopaths are not MDs. Should you really trust anyone who sells what they recommend and promotes homoeopathy? Continue reading

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Philippines make a move forward on Reproductive Rights – RC Church Displeased

The Philippines recently passed legislation to provide free contraception to poor Filipinos and, as you would expect, the Catholic Church fought it tooth and nail. Over 80% of Filipinos are members of the Roman Catholic Church, but that doesn’t stop overwhelming support for this initiative.

After the bill was passed, the RC Church took the government to court claiming that the law was unconstitutional. The results were not in the church’s favour. Continue reading

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Australian Report – Homoeopathy doesn’t Work

In a report that should surprise no one, a draft paper by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) concluded that homoeopathy is useless. The committee, composed of physicians, pharmacists, and academics, worked under the following guidelines: Continue reading

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