Retro Shows on Science from the CBC, and more!

By Paula JohansonSummer is here, and a lot of people are out of school for months. Though it's time to be outdoors doing fun things like gardening and kayaking, nobody wants to turn their brains off for an entire summer. There's plenty of science to learn -- but where?One of the things that works for science learning in the summer is finding free videos and audio recordings and podcasts to play when needed. Quiet evenings…

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City of Toronto now sending out sewage bypass alerts

Sewage piles up near the mouth of the Humber River. July, 2013. Photo by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. In July of 2014, Waterkeeper filed a request to the province to bring sewage bypass alerts to Toronto. The city notifies the Ministry of Environment every time a wastewater treatment plant bypasses, but those alerts are not made public.Fast forward three years later and Toronto, as of this month, is finally sending out public notifications for bypasses. The city…

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Wolfe Island Lit Fest Cancelled

The Lit Fest, scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 24 at Brophy's Point on Wolfe Island, has been cancelled due to weather and unforeseen circumstances.Tonight's Music Showcase is carrying on as planned.The Lit Fest is part of the Kingston & Wolfe Island Culture Festival, which begins June 23 and carries right through to August 12. Please visit the Kingston & Wolfe Island Culture Festival page for a list of all scheduled events. 

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Weekend reads

New reading material for the weekend or for those of you that are blessed with some better weather perhaps for Monday morning back at work. Identifying Bird Remains Using Ancient DNA BarcodingBird remains that are difficult to identify taxonomically using morphological methods, are common in the palaeontological record. Other types of challenging avian material include artefacts and food items from endangered taxa, as well as remains from aircraft strikes. We here present a DNA-based method that…

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Preparing for your Teaching Demo

Academic jobs are scarce. Candidates who make the short-list and get an in-person interview have a lot to prepare. You travel to the place, go to a lot of meetings with Department Heads, Deans, the Search Committee, have any number of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, give a research talk if you’re looking for a position with a research component, and do a “teaching demo.” Someone I’ve been helping just landed an awesome, tenure-track teaching position.…

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A quiet night

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night I’m not sure all these people understand It’s not like years ago The fear of getting caught The recklessness in water They cannot see me naked These things they go away “Nightswimming”, R.E.M. Full confession: I am not a particularly audacious person.  I invariably choose Truth over Dare, and I’m probably one of the few people over the age of 18 who can play Never Have I Ever and be…

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If You’re Going to Take a Break From Sitting, Make it Count

As you begin to read this blog post, consider how long you have been sitting for. When was the last time you got up to talk to a colleague or use the washroom? It’s now commonly understood that sedentary lifestyles tethered to desks and chairs do not align with our evolutionary history and do not preserve our health. We are advised to take breaks—stand, stretch, and go for walks—but does the type of activity break…

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Gord Edgar Downie Pier: Just Perfect

Last night the City of Kingston unanimously approved a resolution to honour Gord Downie by naming the deep water swimming pier in the new Breakwater Park redevelopment The Gord Edgar Downie Pier.Most know Gord as a musician and member of The Tragically Hip, the Kingston band that created the quintessential Canadian soundtrack. However, Gord has also been a tireless champion and dedicated steward of Lake Ontario as a supporter and Board member of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. Gord…

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Solstice But Not Summer

It’s summer solstice today, but apparently not summer, at least not in Nova Scotia. The most hours of daylight of the year doesn’t actually help if the sun’s not shining. It’s been cool and rainy for weeks and let’s just say I’d trade this for the heat wave in Arizona any day. Wearing a sweater and slippers – indoors – on the first day of summer just plain feels wrong to me. But my rhododendrons…

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2017 GBIF Ebbe Nielsen Challenge

For the third year GBIF is running its Ebbe Nielsen Challenge. Developers and data scientists have three months to create and submit tools capable of liberating species records from open data repositories for scientific discovery and reuse. Here some more details:BackgroundThis year's Challenge will seek to leverage the growth of open data policies among scientific journals and research funders, which require researchers to make the data underlying their findings publicly available. Adoption of these policies represents an…

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