Science

Whenever the many problems with nuclear power are raised, there are people who suggest that everything could be fixed with a substantial technical change: moving to generation IV reactors, for instance, or the ever-elusive fusion possibility. Another common suggestion is that using thorium for reactor fuel could limit concerns about proliferation, as well as (modest) […]

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Anyone can now watch the formal presentation of the Toronto350.org divestment brief to President Gertler. Shortly, we will be sharing this link with all the university officials who we invited to the event but who were unable to attend.

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The category ‘Geek stuff‘ doesn’t begin to cover this one. At the same time, I am grateful when ‘Bombs and rockets‘ isn’t about killing real people. I used to take breaks from academic work by playing Starcraft II, but I haven’t loaded that game once since I got the demo and eventually the full version […]

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A recent article in The Economist discussed the likely impacts of technological development on jobs, with an emphasis on which jobs are especially vulnerable to being replaced with hardware or software automation. The article included a chart listing some of the jobs projected to be most and least vulnerable, respectively: Some bad news for both […]

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Yesterday, a friend and I visited Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, a new privately-run aquarium located beside the CN Tower in Toronto. I have uploaded some of the photos already, with more to come. It’s certainly a spectacle, both in terms of the species on display and the layout of the facility. A big portion consists […]

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Tomorrow, Toronto350.org will elect its fifth executive at the termly general meeting. The group is also likely to create its first formal committees: with divestment committees focused respectively on building student engagement and interacting with the school administration, and an institutional innovation committee focused on how the group should grow and develop its governance structure. […]

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Unfortunately, the climate-change-induced melting of the north polar icecap is making it easier to drill for oil and gas in the arctic. Large amounts of fossil fuels are expected to be found in the region, adding to the world’s already dangerously large supplies. The enthusiasm of companies and governments to exploit unconventional sources of fossil […]

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I have written a number of times before about the unsustainable nature of global fisheries and the sorts of policies that might help combat that. Marine protected areas have an important role to play in that effort. They constitute sanctuaries in which fish are protected from the hugely destructive fishing technology that is now deployed. […]

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As he headed upstairs for lunch in the private dining room at Massey College today, I was able to hand a short letter about climate change to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He accepted it very graciously and suggested we pose for a photo. I also gave a copy of the letter to Master Fraser, who […]

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Recent work by Gunther and Schmitt (2004) on the hostile media effect offers a partial clarification of our findings. These authors conducted an experiment in which a purposefully crafted neutral text was presented to experts involved in the ongoing controversy over genetically modified organisms. For one randomized group of experts, this text was presented as […]

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