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  • cqwww 6:13 pm on June 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: astronomy, hertzberg, NRC, physics, science   

    Centre of the Universe is quietly being closed? 

    It is being alleged on social media that the Astronomy interpretive centre known in Victoria at the Centre of the Universe is being closed at the centre of the universe. What is more troubling, is apparently there is a gag order for all staff from discussing it. From social media:

    For those who don’t know, the Centre of the Universe (the Astronomy/science outreach facility in Victoria) is being closed by the NRC at the end of the summer. Now, I know that in these hard, economic times, sacrifices must be made. Nevertheless, I am disappointed with this decision. I think public outreach, particularly with children, is very important for science. But the closure is not the reason for my rant. I am ranting because NRC has mandated that the CU cannot speak to any media outlet about the closure! As such, the good people of Victoria will not know of the impending closure and won’t be able to visit before the CU’s time is up. Plus, by announcing the closure there is a chance that other sources of funding (private or otherwise) could be found. But no. This government has mandated that a public outreach facility cannot talk to the media about how it is being shut down! There are other places in this world that impose these kinds of media blackouts, and I am appalled that Canada has become one of these places. So I am ranting to all of you. Hopefully you all rant too. Because if we all make these kind of actions and restrictions known, perhaps something can be done.

     

     
    • Mark Johnson 11:36 pm on June 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I will spread the word. Maybe we can all use our voices or thumbs to make a difference.

  • cqwww 11:50 am on January 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: belief, care, fundamentalism, , prayer, , science   

    Banning religious fundamentalists from health care 

    There seems to be a growing group of religious fundamentalists who insist that prayer is the ultimate path to healing. I find this a mind boggling belief system, considering the scientific advances over the last 100 years. Don't get me wrong, the power of suggestion is a powerful force, but it doesn't make miracles happen. As atheists love to proclaim, "prayer never brought back a missing limb". So if your belief system seriously wants to help the health and longevity of others, should it not be better spent on funding and supporting scientific research and the health care system? The people who have removed polio as an issue, and are aggressively working towards cures for cancer and aids?

    Imagine that health care workers got sick of the lack of respect from the religious for their chosen career path, and outright banned the fundamental religious from health care? I mean, you're outwardly going to protest science in the name of religion, why on earth do you feel the right to use the health care system, or even take that next ibuprofen? Isn't that a bit hypocritical?

    If you as a fundamentalist truly believed your position, stop going to the doctors, hospitals or even going to the drug store, and see how far you get on prayer alone. But if you realize and want to benefit from these scientific advances, perhaps we can think about how we can support them even more, to help even more people.

    Lucky for the fundamental religious, and all of us, the health care industry have the Hippocratic oath requiring medicinal professionals to practice their profession ethically; not dependant on personal beliefs or history, so that no person, even the religious, are to be left behind.

    If only the religious were so tolerant with science.

     

     
    • cqwww 1:23 pm on December 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
      Tags: advance, , , science, space,   

      Put a man in space? pfffht! 

      My friend Nick Farr and team have recently started Copenhagen Suborbitals which plan on launching a human into space.

      I’m lucky to know a lot of really talented people. If you’re one of them, this post is for you. What can we do to either compete, or one up these guys? It’s time we got off our butts and made the future!

      Update Jan4, 2012: At tonight’s Ideas Victoria meeting we starting a list of big projects

       
      • michael stephen 2:47 pm on January 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I believe they are too late. It has already been done, repeatedly! For a private enterprise they are going to have to catch up fast with Branson and paypal dude. Also, is “suborbital” really space? (compare last flight of Arrow).
        Just askin’.

    • cqwww 7:45 pm on February 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
      Tags: , hacking, hardware, lab, , maker faire, science,   

      File -> Print -> Laser 

      Turns out that is one of the options you have when participating in Victoria’s Makerspace. I drove out today to the AGM, where it was also an open house and demonstration day. As I drove up, I knew I was at the right place:

      my favourite tool of the day was the laser cutter:

      which seems to be able to print most vector image files. In software, you simply choose File -> Print -> Laser and away it goes!

      You can use this to etch or cut just about any material you can think of. Embed an image into your smartphone, or even marble. Cut glass, make a wooden business card, the options are endless! I even had a lesson on how to stick weld, and after several tries, I got the hang of it!

      If you’re into tinkering, learning or hacking hardware, you definitely want to check out http://www.makerspace.ca

       
      • Rebecca - TEDxUVic 9:12 am on March 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Hello! I’m hosting TEDxUVic and Makerspace is representing themselves at my event. By chance may I use the first picture (the one with the lightbulb on the sign) in a powerpoint presentation? Credit will be given as credit is obviously due!

        Thanks and have a great day

        Rebecca

        • Derekja 7:05 am on March 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply

          hi Rebecca, you bet! I owe you a mail confirming that I’ll still be there, btw. I’ll send that momentarily. Thanks!

          –Derek

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