Science

Biotech Dreams

Biotech Dreams

April 14, 2021 at 12:51 pm

Ever since reading Linda McQuaig on Connaught Labs — the “public” lab that McQuaig argues, convincingly, could have helped Canada fight the COVID-19 pandemic had it not been privatized by the Mulroney government in the ’80s — I’ve been thinking about the value of publicly owned businesses and looking atRead More

Students testing soil fertility, circa 1816. (Source: By OSU Special Collections & Archives : Commons [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons)

Gardening Tips: Elementary, My Dear Gardeners

April 7, 2021 at 12:17 pm

Editor’s Note: We’re dipping into Michelle Smith’s archives to provide timely tips for gardeners.   What to do this week This week, we continue with the soil nutrients I introduced last week. We are left with N, P and K. I would like to give you an idea of whatRead More

Shining a Light on the Dark Aftermath of Nuclear War

Shining a Light on the Dark Aftermath of Nuclear War

March 3, 2021 at 12:21 pm

“We now send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life…” — From Greetings to the Natural World, the ThanksgivingRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

February 19, 2021 at 10:30 am

Old Don Cameron Donald Cameron became premier of Nova Scotia in 1991 the same way Iain Rankin is poised to become premier next Tuesday: by winning the leadership of his party (the Tories) after the elected premier (John Buchanan) stepped down. When Cameron did lead the party to the polls,Read More

Quebec's "Running Electrically" symbol

Time for Electrifying Ideas

February 3, 2021 at 11:15 am

Most people who live in a ‘free country’ like Canada believe they have the right to a healthy environment. We feel we are entitled to all that is imbedded in that philosophy — clean water, fresh air, healthy food, etc. Those of us who live in a rural setting (18%Read More

Night sky viewed from the hills surrounding O'Leary Peak. A bright meteor streaks across the center of the scene.
Photo taken September 17, 2017 by Deborah Lee Soltesz. Credit U.S. Forest Service Coconino National Forest.

Look! Up In the Sky!

January 13, 2021 at 12:19 pm

Back in November, Spectator contributor Tera Camus pitched me a story about local UFO sightings which sounded like fun and so I said yes and then she wrote it and then I sat on it for a few weeks, intending to add some additional information, and then Christmas came andRead More

The Fish that Stopped the Ship?

The Fish that Stopped the Ship?

December 2, 2020 at 1:06 pm

Author’s Note: As this year unlike any other grinds to a bleak close, I offer – in the spirit not of prophecy, but satiric thought-experiment – ‘alternate universe’ visions of the near future. And bear with me, dear reader, as I first appear to lose my mind…   “The extremelyRead More

Regenerative Farming Practices v. Pesticides

Regenerative Farming Practices v. Pesticides

December 2, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Millions of people from around the globe have been expressing their well-founded views about the need for substantial changes because they realize in order to survive as a species we have to change what is in our heads. As an example, we collectively know the core scientific factors regarding climateRead More

The Case of the Designer Baby

The Case of the Designer Baby

November 11, 2020 at 10:19 am

I have recently been working on a bioethics textbook. Bioethics is a discipline largely driven by case studies – short narratives intended to make the ethical issues under discussion clear, real and urgent. Consequently, many bioethics textbooks include case studies. I want to do something different in this month’s column,Read More

Flooded farmland after Tropical Storm Lee, Campbell Hall, NY (Photo by Daniel Case [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Bean There: Weathering Climate Change

November 4, 2020 at 10:15 am

Editor’s Note: We’re reaching into Michelle’s Smith’s archives for posts as useful now as when they were first published and this week, we’re revisiting one of her lovely long-form essays, first published in November 2019.   The cat and I huddled under the blankets in the dark as the windRead More