March 2017 CommNatural Newsletter: Making connections between art & other disciplines

Happy spring, dear readers! The spring equinox was just a few days ago, and my tulips noticed. While they’re not in full bloom yet, they are several inches tall! Although it’s hard to believe it today, as snow falls and the wind rattles the trees outside. My thesis is due at the end of this … Continue reading March 2017 CommNatural Newsletter: Making connections between art & other disciplines

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Books I’d like to read: Ebola, Vaccines, AirBnB, Democracies and more

For your reading and collection development pleasure… It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, kind of seeing what’s on my mind a little in the science-y and tech-y book world and kind of a way to help me remember what I want to pick up. It’s also been a while since I’ve actually reviewed a book, but I do think I’ll be getting to some of the backlog fairly soon in…

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Friday Fun: We all believed in science at some point…or did we?

The world is going to hell in a hand basket. But at least we can laugh as we’re sucked relentlessly into the Hellmouth. Maybe if we all collectively understood science and evidence better, the path to Hell wouldn’t be quite so straight and narrow. So maybe that’s what’s making me think of these particular funny bits today. And by funny I mean so funny in hurts. First up, we have retired basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal,…

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#414 Perpetual Now

Most of us probably think about memories as being about the past. But when memories are gone, it becomes clear just how much they are also about the future. This week we are in search of lost memories. We'll speak with Michael McCloskey about how memories are formed and how you test for memory in people with amnesia. We'll also talk with Michael Lemonick about his new book, The Perpetual Now: A Story of Memory,…

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How Beneficial is IV Vitamin Therapy?

I did a quick TV spot for City News in Toronto about the growing trend of IV vitamin therapy. You can watch the video here: http://www.citynews.ca/video/2017/03/13/video-how-beneficial-is-iv-vitam... The interview was based on an article I had written for the Montreal Gazette about 2 years ago.  You can read the original article here: http://montrealgazette.com/health/diet-fitness/opinion-intravenous-vitam... *********************************************************************************************************** There is a new fad that has wormed its way into Canada from south of the border. The intravenous vitamin industry has found its…

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Should the wealthy be allowed to buy their way to faster health care at private clinics?

I had a small role in a Toronto Star story looking into the "executive physicals" provided by some private clinics. With a high price tage, little benefit, and potential risks, these clinics may do more harm than good. You can read the story here: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/03/18/should-the-wealthy-be-all... ************************************************************************************************************ A growing number of boutique medical clinics is establishing a second tier of health services that critics say encroaches on Ontario’s public health system by charging as much as $4,500…

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Weekend Warriors

For a long time, it was thought that weekend warriors were putting strain on their heart by going all out once a week. But new research suggests the opposite may be true. You can read my latest piece for the gazette here: http://montrealgazette.com/opinion/opinion-on-exercise-its-ok-to-be-a-we... ******************************************************************************************************* There should not be much doubt that exercise is good for you. When it comes to food, the medical literature is all over the place. In 2013, John Ioannidis published a paper showing that…

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#413 Concrete

This week is all about that most ubiquitous of building materials: concrete. Historian Robert Courland joins us to talk about his book "Concrete Planet: The Strange and Fascinating Story of the World's Most Common Man-Made Material", our long history using concrete, and what modern engineers could learn from the Romans. We'll speak with Christina Zanotti, Assistant Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at the University of British Columbia, about building better -- and more sustainable…

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2017 Boys Town commemorative silver dollar

Obverse, 2017 Boys Town commemorative silver dollar • Copyright United States Mint The United States Mint has recently begun selling the Boys Town coins that I wrote about earlier. There are two different versions available; proof (pictured in this post) and uncirculated. You can find them here. The engraver for both the obverse and reverse is Joseph Menna, who did a superb job translating my 2D drawings into relief. Reverse, 2017 Boys Town commemorative silver…

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