A view into the mind of Jason

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Sunday, May 24 2015 @ 09:06 MDT

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Is Harper spooked?

Canadian Politics

It hit the news today that Stephen Harper has decided that he will not participate in a nationally televised debate but only in a few select debates with what can be described as "Conservative friendly" media outlets. Given the timing of this announcement one wonders if the recent election of the NDP in what has generally been an overwhelmingly Conservative province of Alberta has spooked Dear Leader.

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What happened in Alberta?

Alberta PoliticsSo at the end of Tuesday's provincial general election we have ended up with a majority NDP government. This is in line with what the polls had been saying for a week though still a shock in a province that hasn't voted for a non conservative party for 82 years. This has left progressives in a state of exuberance and conservatives in a state of panicked shock.
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Food Babe Vani Hari – Scientifically Ignorant or Con Artist?

Chemistry

A few months ago I became aware of a blogger known as Food Babe. This is the nom de plume of one Vani Hari, a self-styled "food activist". Now the way I came to know of her is through an article she wrote for her followers on the "dangers" of air travel (more on this later). After some further research it is apparent that Hari is either very ignorant of science or is a con artist who's able to parley fear into having people hand money over to her for her "advice".

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The wonder of science.

Science!

I often use this Brian Cox video to show that yes, objects of different masses fall at different rates. This is in of itself a cool thing to watch and worth looking at the video for. As an aside, Apollo 15 did the same experiment with less explanation but being way higher on the coolness factor because they did the experiment on the Moon!

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What a shock, anti-Islamic rhetoric causes radicalization…

Canadian Politics

It would seem that CSIS thinks that ramping up the anti-islamic rhetoric plays into the hands of the terrorists. CSIS also suggests that there's a larger domestic terror threat from far-right racist groups than from the Islamic population. This makes one wonder why all the anti-Islamic rhetoric from Stephen Harper and his government and practically nothing on the larger threat.

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Contrarians

Science!

We all know someone that would be considered a contrarian, someone who goes against the norms of one’s social or work circle or society in general. Normally these people are seen as quirky at best or cantankerous curmudgeons at worst. There is nothing wrong with them, unless their contrarianism swings into the criminal, so why am I writing about them? Well in the field of science there are also contrarians. Again this is usually not an issue as they often provide a devils advocate for ideas and force the mainstream theories to be viewed with the scepticism that all ideas in science need to be seen with. That being said their existence is a problem for the public as one can usually find a contrarian scientist to “prove” whatever pseudo-scientific claptrap one can come up with causing the proponent of the claptrap to claim that the “science isn’t settled”.

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The Windows Saga Continues

Technology

So the continuing tribulations of getting my imager to work with our tablet.

So the tablet has now reverted itself back to Windows 8. The process to use the astroimager is now:

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When Windows makes Linux look easy...

Technology

Easy minimum 28 step – two hour process to install an astroimager driver on @Windows 8.1…

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Science - why we do it

Science!

Why do we do science? By this question I don't mean why does humanity do science, but why do individuals such as myself who call ourselves scientists do science? Generally we all mumble something about curiosity and wanting to know about the natural world, but as always Carl Sagan puts it much more eloquently that most of us. The following is from chapter 19 of Sagan's Demon Haunted World and gives the essence of why most scientists do what we do:

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That didn’t take long.

Alberta Politics

Back here I opined about the fact that Danielle Smith was basically done as Wildrose Party Leader. I figured that there would be a leadership review, the far right of her party would revolt and demand a far right leader and Smith would end up riding off into the sunset. Well things happened much faster than I thought and despite no leadership review it would seem that Smith and 8 of her fellow Wildrose MLA’s will head their own party off at the pass and head on over to the government benches.

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