is important to good health:


more cat pictures

Especially if you’re going to get up and do something active tomorrow.

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Geovandals target archean bacterial mats

Chris Rowan at Highly Allochthonous writes about archean bacterial mats that are important evidence of life 2.9 billion years ago. Unfortunately, someone is trespassing onto the site, which is private property, and stealing samples, presumably for sale: “Archean bacterial mats under the hammer.”

STC Toronto: The Power of Podcasts, May 13

Aaron Davis, Scott Nesbitt, podcast expertsPodcasts are seen as a platform for reviews, opinions, and polemic. But they can do much more. This presentation helps you discover how valuable podcasts can be.

Podcasts are the next step beyond blogging. But they are also a powerful platform for training and user assistance. They are useful whether you’re a technical writer explaining how an application works or a marketer expounding on product benefits.

Aaron Davis and Scott Nesbitt will examine how you can tap into the power of podcasts. First, they’ll explain what podcasts are and how to create one.

You’ll learn how podcasts

  • Can help maintain an ongoing dialogue about a domain or topic
  • Are a great way to disseminate new developments
  • Serve the users’s convenience by being available anytime, and anywhere
  • ake supplementary material more interesting

Aaron and Scott will

  • Outline the mechanics of podcasting
  • Point out some of the popular training and educational podcasts on the Web
  • Analyze why these podcasts are successful
  • Tell how you can use the same techniques with your audio materials

About the presenters: Aaron Davis and Scott Nesbitt are partners in DMN Communications, a technical communications consultancy in Toronto. Since 2006, their podcast, Communications from DMN, has been entertaining, informing, and occasionally annoying a diverse global audience.

The meeting will be held in the Burgundy Room at the North York Memorial Hall, 5110 Yonge Street, concourse level, at 7:00 p.m. General Admission is $5; STC Members attend for free.
For directions, visit STC Toronto and click on “Meetings.”

map of STC Toronto meeting location

U.S. passes Genetic Non-discrimination Act

segment of DNA molecule, double helix, in chromosomeThe U.S. Senate has passed a law which should prevent companies from using people’s personal genetic information to deny them insurance coverage, employment, or other benefits. It’s called GeNA. It need only be signed into law.

I wonder what President Bush will do? In Canada, laws are signed by the Queen’s representative, the Governor General. In theory, the Governor General could refuse to sign a law, but there is a long-standing precedent that he or she will sign any law passed by the House of Commons and Senate, whether or not he, she, or the Queen approves or disapproves of it.

Once and for all, Hitler was a Christian!

Hat tip to PZ Myers at Pharyngula. Here’s the text of Hitler’s “New Order” speech:

“The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life” (‘My New Order’, Adolf Hitler, Proclamation of the German Nation at Berlin, February 1, 1933)


Kilkenny cats

Recent headlines about the U.S. campaign to become the Democratic candidate for President:

  • North Carolina win boosts Obama’s presidential bid. May 7, 2008 (AFP) – Barack Obama declared himself within touching distance of the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday after trouncing Hillary Clinton in North Carolina, while she eked out a razor-thin win in Indiana. Well after midnight, hours after the North Carolina result, the former first lady held on to take Indiana by a victory margin of 51 percent to 49 percent. In North Carolina, Obama romped home by 56 percent to 42, and used his victory speech here to cast himself as the Democrats’ heir apparent presumptive for the November election against Republican John McCain.
  • Hilary Clinton fights on as focus turns to superdelegates. Neither Sen. Barack Obama nor Clinton is expected to win the 2,025 delegates needed to capture the nomination during the remaining contests. That means the superdelegates — party and elected officials who are allowed to vote during the national convention — will probably decide who becomes the nominee. Obama is ahead of Clinton in total delegates: 1,842 to 1,686.”Tonight we stand less than 200 delegates away from securing the Democratic nomination for president of the United States,” said Obama , 46, bidding to be America’s first black commander-in-chief. Obama was a clear winner Tuesday, besting Clinton by more than 200,000 votes between the two primaries and picking up a net gain of 13 delegates to the party’s August convention where 2,025 are needed for the nomination.He also boosted his case among the nearly 800 “superdelegates,” party grandees who are free to vote for either candidate and hold the key to the tightest nomination race in a generation.With Obama holding an estimated 1,842-1,692 edge in elected delegates, Clinton is running out of road. Only six primaries, with a total of 217 delegates at stake, remain between now and June 3. Exit polls from Tuesday’s votes said Obama, buffeted by weeks of controversy over racially tinged remarks by his former pastor, had won over more than one-third of white voters in North Carolina. He also scored well with voters in terms of his identifying with their values, suggesting he had deflected Clinton’s accusation that he is an “elitist” out of touch with blue-collar voters.Clinton’s camp admits she cannot overtake Obama in the count of pledged delegates who will formally anoint the nominee at the party’s convention in Denver, Colorado. So she is trying to persuade the superdelegates that her inexperienced rival would go down in flames against McCain.
  • Clinton gives herself a loan and vows to fight on. By John Whitesides, Political CorrespondentWASHINGTON (Reuters) – Barack Obama took a commanding lead in the Democratic presidential race on Wednesday, but Hillary Clinton vowed to fight on after loaning her campaign $6.4 million.Obama’s big win in North Carolina and Clinton’s slim victory in Indiana widened his advantage in their battle for the right to face Republican John McCain in the November presidential election with just six contests remaining.The results left the cash-strapped Clinton campaign with little chance to halt Obama’s march to the nomination. But the New York senator brushed off calls to drop out of the race.”I’m staying in this race until there is a nominee,” Clinton told reporters after a campaign rally in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, which holds a primary on Tuesday.Clinton dipped into her personal fortune again to try to keep pace with Obama, putting $5 million into her campaign in April and $1.4 million over the past week, aides said.
  • Hilary Clinton touts support from ‘white Americans’. In what appear to be the New York senator’s most blunt comments to date regarding a racial division in the Democratic presidential race, Hillary Clinton suggested Wednesday that “White Americans” are increasingly turning away from Barack Obama’s candidacy.

What is all this doing to the respect people have for the Democratic party?

Kilkenny cats

There once were two cats of Kilkenny;
Each thought there was one cat too many:
So they fought and they fit and they scratched and they bit
Til, excepting their nails and the tips of their tails,
Instead of two cats, there weren’t any!

Squid dissection recordings

colossal squid being caught

You can go to the Web site of the Te Papa Museum for recordings of their lectures and webcasts about the recently dissected squids. The colossal squid is Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni and the giant squid is Architeuthis.

Lectures recordings

The audio recording of Science Express is available:

The other lectures have been filmed. The videos will be available later. Some copyright issues need to be sorted too, so this might take a little longer than expected.

Webcast retransmission

A retransmission of the last hours of the webcast are available here:

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