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March-April 2011

Boom year for B.C. salmon belies deeper troubles with Pacific fishery

Brad Badelt

There had been talk that 2010 might be a good year for sockeye salmon, maybe even a great one. But nobody expected what was to come. It started in early August, when the Pacific Salmon Commission, a government-appointed body of Canadian and U.S. scientists, forecast 10 million sockeye would reach the mouth of B.C.’s Fraser River […] More »
March-April 2011

How Canada is being left behind in the global race for geothermal energy

Jason Brown

In the world of green power, enhanced geothermal systems technology has big potential. How big? Like enough potential to provide 2,000 times the United States’ annual energy consumption kind of big. The premise of EGS is simple: use recently developed drilling technology to bore a hole four to six kilometres deep into the earth. Pump […] More »
March-April 2011

Why Canada’s drug-approval process isn’t as safe as you think

Elizabeth Wright

On March 18, 2000, Terence Young was at home catching up on the weekend paper when his 15-year-old daughter, Vanessa, came to ask his permission to go out with some friends that evening. Exhausted and not relishing the idea of another conversation about Vanessa’s curfew time, Young asked her to wait until after dinner. There […] More »
November-December 2010

After decades of research, why is there still no contraceptive pill for men?

Kelli KorduckiWebsite

The birth control pill has been a major game changer in the arena of women’s reproductive rights, opening up new doors in society and the workplace. But, in the wake of the birth control pill’s 50th anniversary on the market in the United States and its 40th in Canada, a major question remains: will there […] More »
January-February 2011

Is flushable, biodegradable kitty litter really environmentally friendly?

Jenn HardyWebsite

The Claim All-natural wood- and corn-based cat litter is a better, greener alternative to traditional clay cat litter. Not only is it biodegradable, but pet owners can flush kitty’s mess down the toilet without getting the guilty conscience that comes with adding a plastic bag per day to already overflowing landfills. But could cat poop […] More »

Your complete guide to the fight over chemicals in your tap water

dylan c. robertson

Yesterday Canadian economics blogger Mike Moffatt posted his thoughts about the costs of reducing the murder rate by 30 percent through water treatment. The post was based on a Big Think article that studied correlations between higher lithium amounts in public drinking water and drops in suicides and violent crime rates. Lithium, a mood-booster, is […] More »
September-October 2010

How the web blurs the line between truth and falsehood

Navneet AlangWebsite

Though you might reasonably condemn the modern internet for a variety of reasons—ruining attention spans, turning all public discourse into a shouting match, or insulting your sexual prowess with badly punctuated mass emails—one thing the medium could always reasonably claim was its potential for spreading truth. Decentralized and egalitarian, the web seemed to herald the […] More »
September-October 2010

Technology, ethics, and the real meaning of the “Rapture of the Nerds”

Keith NorburyWebsite

Aging sucks, says Michael Roy Ames. At 45, he sees signs of his own mortality every time he looks in a mirror—the greying and thinning hair, the creases in his face. Ames doesn’t despair, though. He expects to see the day when scientific advances will reverse his aging process, replace his body parts as they […] More »
September-October 2010

Out of the media glare, the honeybee die-off still threatens the food chain

Claudia CalabroWebsite

Stories of Colony Collapse Disorder swarmed the mainstream media in 2006. Report after report claimed pollinating bees were dying en masse, abandoning their hives, and putting our entire modern food system at risk. Today we rarely hear about CCD, even though the number of bee colonies that survive each winter continue to drop at abnormal rates. […] More »
September-October 2010

NASA’s mad-scientist plan to drill into the Earth for water

James JacksonWebsite

The billions of dollars and years of research that NASA has spent studying Mars may have finally yielded some results here on Earth. Earlier this year, NASA scientists told the UN water conference in Egypt that they could use radar technology originally developed to search for water beneath Mars’ surface to find H2O buried up […] More »
September-October 2010

Why Canada is at risk of a BP-style deepwater drilling oil disaster

Robert McCandless

Public anxiety about allowing offshore drilling has been around for a long time, rising to panic levels during accidents and spills, and for good reason. The continuing environmental disaster off the Gulf coast was the result of poor regulation and should prompt Canadians to question our own regulatory regime for offshore exploration. More specifically, we […] More »