Some thoughts about Friday (and beyond)

I have lived in the USA twice in my life and, like many Canadians, I have many friends and relatives there. Like many Canadians, I appreciate Americans and, despite obvious setbacks and flaws, I have a great respect for the values of freedom and justice that America and its allies have represented in our world. And so I am, along with many American friends and many others in many countries around the world, worried about…

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Edges of the Williston

Four of us, three spare tires two Jerry cans just in case make our way up the Finlay road down the Davis road hanging on to ragged edges above a submerged forest Alien Kokanee surged up past slimy sculpins and mayflies in September — past stones and stoneflies to their deaths in mistaken cemeteries Another truck in the bush bullet holes smashed windows rust south of Tsay Keh: “My dad flipped his truck last night.”…

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The magpies and the boy

The boy had spent the previous late-evening – when he was supposed to be sleep-dreaming – clandestine-reading Field & Stream cloaked in quilt. Instructions for the next-day project: two balsa wood rectangles, one inch by two inches by one-half inch, pen-knife-notched one-quarter inch deep by three-quarter inch wide in the middle of each; wrap a fat rubber band around one; place notches together; tighten band just so; blow. An injured rabbit screams. Now evening again,…

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Sleep

You know that moment just before you sleep? A moment you never remember when it ends in sleep, but that you feel deeply when it doesn’t. A moment on the edge, tipping. Which way? The day just passed compresses all into that one instance that seems like all instances since the world began. Since earth dust was mixed with Mars and Jupiter dust, motes breezing in the centrifugal vacuum. Since the blazing heat of coalescence.…

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Live, work, be passionate

While eating my morning toast (with saskatoon jam!) and tea I ran into what seems to be a perennial conversation on science Twitter. Specifically: how much time should a student put into their research and related studies and how much into the rest of their lives? This is a good question, and there are at least as many answers are there are practitioners, so the best I can do is present my own answer as…

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An ode to the muskox in the lab building basement

  Imagine for a moment that you’re a muskox and it’s damned cold and even more damned windy. You scrape your hoof over a rock to get at a veneer of moss under a drift of snow which incidentally is blowing around you and your herd in diagonal-horizontal mini-tornadoes. A threat appears out of the snow gusts and like you have so many times before and like your ancestors have done for eons eons eons…

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Vast. Silent.

Around 1.3 billion years ago, a vast distance from where you are sitting, two massive black holes completed their eons-long spiral tango and merged into a blacker (is that possible?) hole. A massive event; a collision of pure darkness. But one that no one could have heard in the vacuum of space, were anyone actually there to witness the cataclysm. Outward streamed light-speed, invisible waves, on an interminable journey through the cosmos. Ripples in spacetime,…

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A tiger in your back yard?

When we think of endangered animals, among the first things to come to mind may be creatures like rhinoceroses, tigers, or condors. Large animals, lots of press, and pressing concerns. There are an estimated 799 eastern black rhinos, ~400 Siberian tigers, and 237 California condors left in the wild. In some cases, as with these animals, their numbers have been reduced by human assaults of various sorts. In most cases there are plenty of ongoing issues, often related to…

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Rezoning of Prince George parks – my letter

This evening the Prince George City Council will be discussing the rezoning of park-designated land for development. The planning philosophy of selling park land to presumably pay for maintenance of other park land seems to be something of a growing and unfortunate trend in our city. In response, I wrote the following letter to Council. —– To whom it may concern, I am writing to express my concern with the proposed rezoning – and presumably…

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