- Firefighters spend weekend battling wildfire near Drayton Valley
“Firefighters spent the weekend trying to a contain a wildfire burning near the Lodgepole community located southwest of Drayton Valley. The wildfire prompted evacuation warnings by RCMP. Residents in the area of Lodgepole were placed on standby for short notice of evacuation Saturday night.”
Scary. Especially given that it’s not the only one burning out of control in the province. And according to the province, all fires this year have been caused by humans!
- E-book: How Could a Whole Town Burn?
“The Journal begins a new era today with the launch of our first electronic book, How Could a Whole Town Burn? Slave Lake One Year After the Fire.”
Always impressed by The Journal’s innovation.
- Canadian farmers have never been older: census data
“Canadian farmers have never been older, raising questions over who will produce the country’s food in the coming decades. For the first time on record, farmers in the 55-and-over age category comprise the highest percentage of total operators, Canada’s 2011 census of agriculture shows. An aging work force in Canada’s farming community has long been a source of concern as the profession struggles to attract young people to the sector.”
Well that’s not good!
- Debt-ridden and unemployed: We are the class of 2012
“Nearly 60 per cent of us will graduate with student debt, which now totals $20-billion in Canada and continues to grow.”
Awful. I am really lucky I’ve paid off my loans!!!
- 49 bodies left on Mexico highway
“Forty-nine decapitated and mutilated bodies were found Sunday dumped on a highway connecting the northern Mexican metropolis of Monterrey to the U.S. border in what appears to be the latest blow in an escalating war of intimidation among drug gangs.”
- Last-ditch coalition talks fail in Greece
“Last-ditch attempts to form a coalition government in Greece have failed once again, bringing the country one step closer to new elections, as well as potential removal from the eurozone.”
Just a mess over there.
- Earliest Mayan calendar shows no hint of ‘world end’
“The earliest known Mayan calendar has been found in an ancient house in Guatemala and it offers no hint that the world’s end is imminent, researchers said Thursday. Rather, the painted room in the residential complex at Xultun was likely the place where the town scribe kept records, scrawling computations on the walls in an effort to find “harmony between sky events and sacred rituals,” said the study in the journal Science. The hieroglyphs date back to the ninth century, making them hundreds of years older than the calendars in the Maya Codices, which were recorded in bark-paper books from 1300 to 1521.”
Oh we’ll see…
- Indian men arrested for trying to bury baby girl alive
“Police in northern India have arrested a baby girl’s father and uncle for allegedly trying to bury her alive. The two-month-old baby’s father said he had been advised by a spiritual guru to bury her to help secure the good health of his next child, police allege.”
I am disgusted.
- Stem cell shield ‘could protect cancer patients’
“It may be possible to use “stem cell shielding” to protect the body from the damaging effects of chemotherapy, early results from a US trial suggest. Chemotherapy drugs try to kill rapidly dividing cancer cells, but they can also affect other healthy tissues such as bone marrow. A study, in Science Translational Medicine, used genetically modified stem cells to protect the bone marrow. Cancer Research UK said it was a “completely new approach”.”
- 1 of 6 cancer deaths worldwide caused by preventable infections
“One in every six cancer deaths worldwide is caused by preventable infections, a total of 1.5 million deaths yearly that could be halted by widespread vaccination programs, researchers reported Wednesday. Since 1990, that number has grown by about half a million, suggesting that vaccination programs are losing ground in the battle rather than gaining it.”
- Time magazine cover suggests attachment parenting has gone too far
“Time magazine’s latest cover photo has created quite a buzz: A super-trim, blonde 26-year-old mother standing in skinny jeans and a tank top, hand on hip, chest thrust out with an exposed breast — affixed to which is the mouth of her 3-year-old son, who’s standing on a stool to reach it. The magazine is marking the 20-year anniversary of “attachment parenting”, a phrase coined by Dr. Bill Sears and his wife Martha in The Baby Book, a best-seller that came out in 1992. Attachment parenting advocates for keeping your baby as close to your body as possible — at pretty much all times. Parents are supposed to wear their babies in slings, instead of pushing them in strollers. Mothers breastfeed their toddlers, some through nursery school. And parents co-sleep with their kids in the same room, with babies in attached bassinets and older kids in the bed.”
Bizarre. I feel like I would be a very protective, coddling type of mother but I would not be practising “attachment” parenting techniques. That’s a bit too much.
- Psychopaths’ brains display abnormalities
“Scientists who scanned the brains of men convicted of murder, rape and violent assaults have found the strongest evidence yet that psychopaths have structural abnormalities in their brains. The researchers, based at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, said the differences in psychopaths’ brains mark them out even from other violent criminals with anti-social personality disorders (ASPD), and from healthy non-offenders.”
- Kids’ TV time tied to unhealthy food choices: study
“Children and teens who watch a lot of television are less likely to get their fruits and vegetables and more likely to snack on candy or drink soda every day, according to a survey of close to 13,000 U.S. students. The link to poor eating habits remained even after the researchers, whose findings appeared in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, took into account how much exercise kids typically got as well as how often they snacked while in front of the television.”
- [Infographic]: In 80 years, we lost 93% of variety in our food seeds
“In 1903, we had almost 500 varieties of lettuce. By 1983, we had just 36. Radishes, peas, and beets have fared no better. In fact, the most steadfast of the crops has been the tomato, which, probably due to the popularity of strange and tasty heirloom varieties, only lost about 80% of its seed diversity. It’s a shame to lose so many intricacies of nature’s tastiest gifts. But more worryingly, monocultures strip the land of nutrients: Where you once had self-sustaining harvest cycles, you get farm land denuded of nutrients that then needs copious chemical fertilizers to grow more food. And the crops themselves become vulnerable to plant diseases.”
- The secret of happiness? Take the time to appreciate it, researchers say
“Though happiness can sometimes feel like the Holy Grail, researchers say it’s not as elusive as many presume. The real challenge, it appears, is maintaining the emotion once we find it. In a process known as “hedonic adaptation,” we gradually adjust to positive changes — say, a new romance or job promotion — over time, with the emotional high abating as our new circumstances become the norm. We then seek out new and improved sources of fulfilment, and in doing so, fail to get the most out of the original event, researchers say.”
Milk it for as long as you can!
- What your Klout score really means
“The interviewer pulled up the web page for Klout.com—a service that purports to measure users’ online influence on a scale from 1 to 100—and angled the monitor so that Fiorella could see the humbling result for himself: His score was 34. “He cut the interview short pretty soon after that,” Fiorella says. Later he learned that he’d been eliminated as a candidate specifically because his Klout score was too low. “They hired a guy whose score was 67.” Partly intrigued, partly scared, Fiorella spent the next six months working feverishly to boost his Klout score, eventually hitting 72. As his score rose, so did the number of job offers and speaking invitations he received. “Fifteen years of accomplishments weren’t as important as that score,” he says.”
Crazy. I feel like we have been hearing a lot of about Klout lately and probably will continue to hear about it. I’d like to break the 60 mark. :)
- Tweeting to E.T.: Project will use Twitter to send messages to space
“Twitter’s bringing the world together in 140 characters or less. But can it bind together life forms from across the universe? A project that aims to send tweets to a distant planet capable of sustaining life is in the process of being funded, and your tweets could potentially be picked up by extraterrestrial life forms.”
- The Floppy Disk means Save, and 14 other old people Icons that don’t make sense anymore
“What happens when all the things we based our icons on don’t exist anymore? Do they just become, ahem, iconic glyphs whose origins are shrouded in mystery?”
So interesting. :)
- Zuckerberg says mobile first priority
“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose limited role in promoting the No. 1 social network’s market debut has drawn criticism, laid out its growth strategy to investors on Friday, saying that transforming its mobile and advertising experience are top priorities in 2012. Integrating online apps more strongly into Facebook is also a major goal, he told hundreds of investors at an event that capped the first week of Facebook’s cross-country “roadshow” to pitch its highly anticipated initial public offering. Facebook aims to raise about $10.6 billion, dwarfing the coming-out parties of tech companies like Google Inc and valuing it at up to $96 billion – rivaling Amazon.com Inc’s.”
Mobile is a pretty big deal.
- On Facebook, deleting an app doesn’t delete your data from their system
“In the revised data use policy… Facebook also clarifies that “if you’ve removed an application and want them to delete the information you’ve already shared with them, you should contact the application and ask them to delete it.” This implies that, even if you change Facebook’s privacy settings since beginning to use a third-party service, or no longer user the service at all, the service may keep your data on hand unless directly asked to delete it. That is, Facebook won’t be your middle man in data cleanup; however, Facebook does note in the policy that apps are contractually obligated to delete data if asked.”
- Microsoft redesigns Bing
“Microsoft Corp unveiled a new design on Thursday for its second-ranked Bing search engine, introducing elements from Facebook and other social networks, as it tries to claw market share from leader Google Inc.”
Lol. Oh Bing. Does anyone else find it hilarious whenever someone on TV says “Let’s Bing it.” LOL.
- Groupon expands beyond deals with rewards program
“Groupon wants to be known for more than just deals. It is launching a free loyalty program called Groupon Reward for U.S. consumers and merchants, part of a bigger effort to become the “operating system for local commerce,” as Groupon CEO Andrew Mason put it earlier this week. Groupon Rewards, which builds off an earlier trial in Philadelphia, will give merchants a way to track and recognize loyalty without employing old punch cards.”
- Globe to charge readers for online content
“The Globe and Mail is moving to charge readers for its online content, following a trend established by the New York Times and other major publications. Publisher and chief executive officer Phillip Crawley told an all-staff meeting Thursday that the paper will implement a metered paywall system this fall, asking readers to pay if they read more than a certain number of articles each month. The number of free articles per month hasn’t yet been announced, nor has pricing.”
I loathe paywalls.
- For the first time, researchers track manta rays with satellites
“For the first time, an international team of researchers has used satellites to track the movements of manta rays, providing valuable new information about the massive rays, which are considered “vulnerable” to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The preliminary findings for the Atlantic mantas showed that they traveled as far as 680 miles over a one- to two-month period searching for food, sticking close to the coastline. They also spent considerable time in shipping lanes, which rendered them vulnerable to being hit by freighters.”
I hope we can save them :'(
- Science casts a new eye on dino history
“Much of what we thought we knew about dinosaurs is changing as fresh science creates new pictures of these ancient creatures and how they lived. New discoveries of smaller dinosaurs from China have revealed many were covered in feathers. Paleontologists now believe many dinosaurs were warmblooded and some even lived in areas that saw snow.”
- Could humans hibernate?
“While these are incredible breakthroughs and promising starts, we’re still a long way from making human hibernation simple, safe, and reliable. Other experiments failed to induce hibernation in sheep and pigs with hydrogen sulfide, so it might not work on larger animals, including us. Testing the Massachusetts method on humans, meanwhile, would be a bit tricky, ethically speaking. It’s a start, though, and sooner or later we might move beyond mere sleep and hibernate our way through surgery, or a flight to Jupiter.”
Weird News, Other News & Fluff
- [Video]: Nintendo dominoes
- Mother’s Day: Eight cats and dogs who’ve adopetd babies from another species
“Mother’s Day is all about celebrating the greatness of maternal love. But because there are enough paeans to human moms and their incredible acts of kindness and sacrifice, this year, we’re celebrating moms from the animal kingdom. Not just any animal moms, though, these are cats and dogs who’ve adopted babies from a different species and treated them like their own.”
- [Video]: Kitten scares puppies away
LOL! What a great kitten! Bad puppies for teaming up against it!
- [Video]: Kitten drinks milk with his paw
What a hoity toity kitten. :)
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