Medical News Roundup

March 8, 2009 at 9:06 am | Posted in Medical | Leave a comment
  • Vancouver Island man can’t access court-ordered medical treatment

    In order to access court-ordered mental health treatment, Chemainus resident Kevin Edwards “has to travel 20 km to Duncan every day but can’t afford the monthly bus pass.” Edwards is looking at possible jail time if he does not complete his program.

  • Mayor Gives Free Viagra to Mexico City Poor Elderly

    This is just the latest innovative idea from Mayor Marcelo Ebrard

    “With midterm elections looming in July, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard has been rather creative in his attempts to make life more livable for the people of this sprawling metropolis, which finds itself clogged with traffic, overwhelmed by smog, prowled by criminals and reeling from the global financial crisis.

    The mayor dumps sand at public pools to create artificial beaches. He bans cars from major roadways on Sundays and turns them into sprawling bike paths. The largest skating rink in the world, one that makes Rockefeller Center’s patch of ice look puny, went up in the Zócalo, Mexico City’s central square, for the second straight year over the Christmas holidays.
    This weekend, for Valentine’s Day, the government is sponsoring a mass kiss-in, in an attempt to break the world record and raise awareness about domestic violence.”

  • Bionic Eye Restores Sight
    The Daily Mail
    ‘I can actually sort out white socks, grey socks and black socks.’
    Thanks for the tip-off, Bitch

  • New head of CSA Providing Homeless Patients with Other People’s Unused Prescriptions
    Canadian Medicine
    Another on of Dr. Turnbull’s controversial projects, a “wet shelter” dispenses one drink per hour to homeless alcoholics to help them manage their drinking.

  • HIV/AIDS in Vancouver: A growing epidemic
    Harm Reduction Journal
    “results suggest that HIV infection is having a relatively large impact in Vancouver and that evidence-based prevention and harm reduction strategies should be expanded.”

  • Obama To Loosen Stem Cell Funding Stem Cell News – thumbs up Obama!
    The Washington Post
    “President Obama’s decision to lift restrictions on federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, scheduled to be announced Monday, is expected to provide a major boost to one of the most promising but controversial fields of biomedical research in generations.”

  • U.S. Stand Jeopardizes Global Anti-HIV Push – thumbs down Obama!
    The Washington Independent
    “The Obama administration’s opposition to controversial drug treatment programs has helped kill a prominent global effort to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases among drug users.”

  • Howard Dean Might be the next Surgeon General of the US

    Thank you Crooks and Liars for the tip-off.

    Who is Howard Dean? You may think that the name is familiar, but aren’t quite sure who he is.

    Howard Dean is a doctor (duh), and was also the Governor of Vermont. In 2004, he was an early front-runner in the Democratic Presidential nomination.

    However, his campaign was effectively over after the Dean Scream incident at the Iowa Caucus. In my opinion, Dean is the perfect example of how a politician can do everything right, but then lose any chance at success because of one unlucky break.

    Dean retained respect in the Democratic Party though and in February 2005 was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee. As chairman, Dean created the “50 State Strategy”, which brought the Democrats success in the 2006 midterm elections. Barack Obama used “The 50 state strategy” as the backbone of his presidential candidacy. I think you know how that turned out.

    In conclusion, Howard Dean: one smart cookie.

    Previous Medical News:


Bottled Water, Bioenergy, Enabling Technology, Anti-Coal Protests, Futuristic Artwork

March 7, 2009 at 7:10 pm | Posted in environment | 1 Comment
  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities asks members to ban bottled water:

    : The move carries no legal weight and aims simply to encourage municipalities to speak out against bottled water and avoid distributing it when possible.

  • BC Hydro announces bioenergy call, industry waits for details:

    The Tyee: BC Hydro has announced phase two of its bioenergy call for power, ten months late and with an unenthusiastic reaction from potential bidders.

  • Peptides-on-demand: Radical New Green Chemistry Makes The Impossible Possible:

    Science Daily McGill chemists giving away fast and simple “enabling technology”:

    “McGill University chemistry professor Chao-Jun (C.J.) Li is known as one of the world leading pioneers in green chemistry, an entirely new approach to the science which eschews the use of toxic, petrochemical-based solvents in favour of basic substances like water and new ways of making molecules.”

    I was tipped off to this article by The Galloping Beaver

  • Scientists map U.S. rocks that soak up CO2: from Scientific American:

    “scientists are looking to natural rock outcroppings, which they hope can be forced to absorb CO2 faster than happens naturally. One method could involve boring into rock and injecting it with hot water and pressurized carbon dioxide.

    More research needs to be done to determine whether this is feasible. But if it works, it could reduce the need for an emerging sequestration industry that aims to capture carbon dioxide from such facilities as coal-fired power plants for injection deep underground for permanent storage.”

    Read more scientific details at Science Daily.

  • Anti-Coal Day on Capitol Hill: thanks to simplefulllife for the tip-off. He and I both wish that Canadians would get this “fired up” about coal.

    The Real News: This weekend, twelve thousand students converged on Washington demanding innovative energy policy.

  • Human Nature: a visual art review

    The Stranger: Jed Dunkerley’s new paintings at Vermillion look like they’re taken from future instruction manuals for the world.

This post has been brought to you by your friends at the Greenwash Corporations: painting a greener tomorrow.

Previous Environmental News:

Filibuster Cartoons

March 6, 2009 at 5:04 pm | Posted in Politics, Raves | Leave a comment

I was lucky enough to attend Douglas College at the same time as the talented J.J. McCullough, which meant that I got to read his weekly columns in The Other Press, Douglas College’s student newspaper. Even though he described himself as right-leaning, I always found his commentary to be fair and balanced, and not in a Fox News Kind of Way.

Moreover, not only is he very readable, he’s also a talented political cartoonist. His style is very clean, and a little bit goofy. His work helps keep me up to date on what is happening in Canada and around the world.

Now even though he’s living in Japan, I can still enjoy his work at .

Even though I was an occasional contributor to The Other Press I never got a chance to meet J.J.(should I put another period here?) But if I ever manage to get to Japan perhaps I’ll track him down and shake his hand, or bow, or something.

Previous Recommendations:

Avatar Lurve

March 6, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Posted in Interweb, Raves | Leave a comment

Previous Series of Tubes Stuff:

Look What I Did; I made an LOLshark

March 6, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Posted in LOL | Leave a comment

Previous LOLs:

A Robot in Every Home witin only Six Years (In Japan of Course)

March 6, 2009 at 9:59 am | Posted in Tech Talk | Leave a comment

From The Telegraph in the UK: “School pupils are to be taught by the world’s first robot teacher in one of the most radical uses so far of android technology”.

“The humanoid was originally developed to replace a variety of workers, including secretaries, in a bid to allow firms to cut costs while still retaining some kind of human interaction.

Her creator, science professor Hiroshi Kobayashi at the University of Tokyo, had been working on a robot for 15 years. She is the latest example of robots spreading to every aspect of life in Japan. They already guide traffic, attempt to lure university graduates to sign up to courses and one is even being developed to provide company to Alzheimer’s sufferers.”

Man, I can’t wait to visit Japan.

EDIT: another interesting thing just happened. I got the photo from the newspaper links above. When I uploaded it to, the description information and tags were automatically filled in. So apparently, the image file had that information attached to it.


Previous Tech Talk:

Look What I Did! I made an LOL Punk!

March 5, 2009 at 7:44 pm | Posted in LOL | 1 Comment

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Is It Crazay?

March 5, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Posted in Tech Talk | Leave a comment

Adapter for sticking fingers into electrical sockets: The

Vilcus dactyloadapter was developed specially for people who enjoy closing electrical circuits with their own fingers.”

Does it sound crazy to you that anyone would want to use such a product, because I know some people who would. From BDSM Glossary of Terms:

Using electricity in BDSM play seems a scary notion to most people, but it can easily be made safe provided two simple rules are followed: a) only use devices powered by low-voltage batteries, and certainly no main-powered appliances; and b) avoid placing any contacts above the waist (including hands or arms), as even small currents to the heart or brain can disrupt those organs’ delicate electrical activity with serious consequences. Popular devices include “TENS” units designed for the relief of muscle and back pain; and “Violet Wands” which use a radio frequency discharge, and can be used above the waist provided the face is avoided. Any form of this play can be dangerous .

Tiny Houses:, via :

Michael Jantzen of Tiny House Design has been using Google SketchUp to design a nine square foot house. The house includes a lavatory, sink, heater, bed, chair, fold-down table, and storage. The sleeping area is a loft inside the peaked roof.

Does it sound crazy to you that anyone would want to use such a tiny house? Because I would. I wouldn’t want to live in one full time, but I could see myself renting one for a week if I was traveling from out of town, or renting one for a night if I was from Surrey and had missed the last Skytrain. I think that there are lots of cases where a tiny private secure space would be practical.

This post has been brought to you by The Green-Stim 8000, another quality product from GreenWash Incorporated: we’ll stimulate real environmental change or our name isn’t GrainWish!

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One of these things is not like the other. One of these things is not quite the same:

March 5, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

From the DC Madame of my online heart Wonkette:

“Here’s your charming racist Obama-related stunt of the day: Some jackass cleverly put a book about monkeys in a window display of Obama books, at a Barnes & Noble in Florida. Ha ha so funny!”

In other Obama vs Moron news:

The Orange County Register – “LOS ALAMITOS – Mayor Dean Grose stepped down from the City Council on Monday after enduring widespread public scrutiny revolving around an e-mail he sent that contained an image of the White House with a watermelon patch“.

What’s worse, that former mayor Grose found this image to be funny, or that he thought that it would be a good idea to email it to duh-illion people.

Previous Politics:

HIV News & Comment from Andrew Sullivan

March 5, 2009 at 10:38 am | Posted in LGBT, Medical | Leave a comment

news and comment from Andrew Sullivan about common chemical found in food and cosmetics has been shown to protect monkeys against HIV infection, raising hopes that a similar treatment can be developed for humans.

“Progress in making a gel to prevent HIV transmission. It is applied to the vagina. They never bothered to do this for gay men when it could have mattered. Because gay sex is to be discouraged and stigmatized rather than made less dangerous. And barebacking, while scandalous for sero-concordant gays, is mandatory Catholic doctrine for straights.

Speaking of HIV, One-quarter of Vancouver’s female sex trade workers infected with HIV.

Previous Medical News:

Thursday ScratchTastic Intertubuals Roundup

March 5, 2009 at 6:17 am | Posted in environment, Medical, Politics, Tech Talk | 1 Comment
  • New Pro-Medicare President for the Canadian Medical Association

    Dr Jeffrey Turnbull’s election points to what may be a major change to come in the CMA’s influential political lobbying“.

  • World Water Day

    March 22 is World Water Day, and to mark this day, Council of Canadians chapters and allies are organizing activities across the country to promote water as a public resource and a human right“.

  • E-books are suddenly everywhere

    sync: “After a few years of being a very niche product for the early-adopter, e-books and their corresponding gadgets – the e-book readers – are set to explode onto the market.“.

  • AMPS ON ELEVEN !! – um, that is if we were using amps, which we’re not.

    Spinal Tap Unplugged coming to Vancouver

  • City hall lawn gets dug up for community garden

    “By converting part of the City Hall lawn into a community garden, Vancouver is walking the talk when it comes to producing local food.” Read the rest of the Press Release over at State of Vancouver.

  • Harper is a Fauxbama

    So says Jane Taber in The Globe and Mail. Thanks to Impolitical for the tip off.

  • Federal Court Judge orders Ottawa to help Canadians facing the death penalty abroad.

    Also from Impolitical, “The Harper government acted arbitrarily here and the judge called them on it. A good day for the rule of law“.

  • Vancouver losing fight with gangs, mayor says

    From the Globe and Mail:

    “Crime agency estimates say there are more than 120 criminal organizations at work in B.C. The number and the sophistication of the groups involved makes Vancouver the centre of organized crime in Canada, Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan said last month.”

    Also from The Globe and Mail:

    “This week, the RCMP publicly described a series of B.C. gang murders as a Canadian echo of the bloody feuds among the Mexican drug cartels, notorious for beheading their enemies and bribing corrupt local officials.

    President Felipe Calderon’s aggressive offensive against these criminal syndicates has unleashed the worst violence the country has ever seen as the cartels battle one another for turf and power. More than 6,000 people were killed in drug-related violence last year.

    Canada’s interest in the drug war also reflects, in part, intensifying U.S. concern, as the Drug Enforcement Administration steps up to assist Mexican authorities, and Washington acknowledges for the first time the U.S.’s role in the illicit transnational trade.”

This post has been sponsored by the British Columbia GreenWash Party. We’ll improve BC’s … image.

I Think I’m In Love

March 5, 2009 at 1:49 am | Posted in Rants | 1 Comment

Someone pointed me to a couple of delicious rants in the women-seeking-men section of Craigslist.

Chemotaxis! Kinase! Ciprofloxacin! Lipopolysaccharide!

“So, here’s a little bit about me: I’m 28 and currently going to school, working on a BSc in Microbiology and Immunology. Science is my passion, and I’m a huge biology and chemistry nerd. I’m looking for…

Ah, forget it. What’s the point of describing who I am and what I’m looking for when most guys clearly don’t read what I have written? I’m so frustrated and fed-up with trying to meet someone, but unfortunately, I’m heterosexual, so I must continue the search, as becoming a Crazy Cat Lady is not an attractive option. “

Re:Chemotaxis! Kinase! Ciprofloxacin! Lipopolysaccharide!

“As a fellow woman I could not agree with you more. The men in this city lack manners and dress like they rolled out of a dumpster. Hard to tell the homeless guy from the regular Vancouver guy. A majority of men do not know how to spell let alone speak proper English. Most of them speak and act like Spicoli out of Fast Times at Ridgemont High. If I have to meet another guy for a dinner date wearing a dirty ripped hoodie and Ipod stuck in his ears I’m going to scream. I’ve done Lava, POF, bars, clubs etc they are all the same. Lots of guys too busy to return messages. Unless you are the president of the US or an astronaut you are not too busy guys. Make an effort and get off your ass. Also too many screwed up from some ex girlfriend don’t want a relationship but of course they all want to have sex with you and be bed buddies with very little effort of course. They all claim they don’t like drama or play games yet, I’ve found Vancouver men to be the worst offenders of this. Most of them date these crazy women that they always complain about who treat them like crap and then pine over them saying they could never love anyone else again. They seem to be emotionally incapable of having true intimacy (and I’m not talking sex) with women. Did they all have poor relationships with their mother or watch their fathers treat their motherss like crap? What is wrong with Vancouver men? You go to any other city i.e Toronto, Montreal, any American or european city and men talk to you appropriately, show interest, engage you in conversation etc, ask you out, ask about you etc. Here the women have to do all the work and put in all the effort. It would appear Vancouver men hate women.”

I suspect that they exaggerate, but I don’t know. I’ve never been a ‘woman seeking man’ online. I’ve been on and off of craigslist personals for the past few months. I could make a rant of two myself, but I’d rather hear yours. Tell me about your rant worthy adventures in dating. Let it out; it’s cathartic!

Previous Rants:

The Hardest Part was thinking of a Title

March 4, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Posted in Moose Toons | Leave a comment

Yesterday I spend way too much time making the following comic. I wanted to see what it was like to make one. It was fun.

This is by no means an original joke, but I’ve never seen it illustrated before. I used two characters from a current television program. Can you tell which one?

Definitely need to make the text bigger next time.

Dwarfed Punk

March 3, 2009 at 10:21 pm | Posted in LOL, Videos | 4 Comments

Look what I did; I made an LOL donkey!

Previous LOLs:

Previous (mostly) Youtube Videos:

Look, a Political Blog Post, and it’s about all three levels of government

March 3, 2009 at 7:19 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment
  • “It’s Question Period, not Answer Period,”

    “B.C. Liberal government ministerial aides are under strict orders when the B.C. Legislature is in session and rule No. 1 is to not provide answers to the opposition in Question Period and spin the media, a newly released confidential government document shows.”

    Get more inside details of BC Liberal Spin Doctoring.

  • City of Vancouver to celebrate International Women’s Day, Sunday March 8th. The theme recognizes “Strong Women, Strong World”, again! This Years and last years themes are quite similar. Pieta Wooley suggests 10 Canada-specific themes. My suggestion would be “The Olympics are coming up. You want us to win gold again in Women’s Hockey? Then make with the equality already!”
  • Harper, Harper bo-barper, banana-fana fo-harper, mee-mi-mo-marper. Harper!!

    OK, I’m a couple days late with the Federal stuff, but there are two Harper Hypocracies I want to share.

    1. Harper Says Victory NOT Possible In Afghanistan! Three years ago Stephen Harper and his Conservative MP’s went after Jack Layton for arguing that the Taliban cannot be defeated by international troops and there’s no point continuing to fight an unwinnable war in Afghanistan (source Toronto Star).

      Now Harper is saying “We’re not going to win this war just by staying,” and “We are not going to ever defeat the insurgency”. Three years ago, Layton was labeled Taliban Jack, but since politician and pundits are so good about admitting when they’re wrong I’m sure that he’ll be receiving humble a big “I’m Sorry for using Bush-Era propaganda against you” wreath any day now.

      Impolitical has a good write up of the matter and some CNN video of Harper discussing Afghanistan.

    2. Ho Hum, this one isn’t nearly as interesting. Video of Harper poo poo-ing negative political advertising. And now the Conservatives are preparing to pummel key rival Michael Ignatieff with attack ads. Are you surprised? No, me neither.

Marketing Safe Sex To A Clueless Generation “Y”

March 3, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Posted in Rants | Leave a comment

From Scout Magazine

“According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two-thirds of those affected by STDs are under the age of 25. Nevermind how it happened (too busy playing Nintendo during the act to remember protection?). It’s a big problem – a crisis of prevention – that needs to be addressed more strongly than ever before. Education hasn’t worked. Statistics haven’t worked. So what’s the solution?

Speak to them in the only language they understand: marketing

Here are Scout’s picks for print ads and posters designed to work for the kiddies. Some are funny, some are sexy, and some make you never want to get undressed again…”

Some of them are pretty freaky, and they’re not safe for work.

What is Saddlebacking?

March 3, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

Saddlebacking refers the practice of Christian Teens engaging in anal sex in order to “save” their virginity for marriage. This practice is a common result of abstinence only sex education (medical news today). Normally sexual slang (well, all slang I suppose) develops organically over time. However, the word “Saddleback” being associated with evangelicals is the result of a deliberate effort to attach the name of the Saddleback Evengelical Christian MegaChurch to a sex act.

In part, it simply because “saddleback” sounds like something from Brokeback Mountain, but more importantly the new slang is a way to protest Rick Warren, Saddleback’s founder and Senior Pastor, vocal support given to California Prop 8. Gay Rights activists were further upset when Barack Obama invited Warren, who has chastised gays from the pulpit, to speak at his inauguration on Feb 20th.

Dan Savage arranged a poll through his weekly sex advice column Savage Love and after the results were in a sex slang was born. In previous years, Savage has arranged polls to add sexual meaning to the words pegging (a woman performing anal sex on a man using a strap-on dildo) and santorum (the frothy amber-hued mixture of lubricant and fecal matter that is sometimes the result of anal sex). Similar to saddlebacking, the term santorum was coined in response to a public figure making homophobic and bigoted statements.

And why am I telling you all this? Actually, this post started out as a recommendation for the webcomic Big Fat Whale and just kind of spun out of control. Oh well, it’s always good to learn new things.

Previous Politics:

I know it’s in bad taste … but I can’t resist

March 3, 2009 at 10:06 am | Posted in LOL | 2 Comments

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A dozen gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan national cricket team and its police escort in a brazen commando-style operation in the city of Lahore on Tuesday, killing six police officers and wounding six cricketers before fleeing in motorized rickshaws,

I made this:

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The Singularity

March 3, 2009 at 9:16 am | Posted in Tech Talk | Leave a comment

Let me tell you about the Singularity. If you haven’t heard of it before, it might boggle you a bit. The Singularity sounds like science fiction and, if it happens, will cause such profound changes that it really isn’t possible to predict what the world will be like after it happens. It can be difficult to wrap your head around things that are impossible to predicate.

The Human Nature thing to do is to dismiss such new information as something that will never happen or at least won’t happen for hundreds of years. That’s fine. I’m not trying to convince you that the Singularity will happen. I’m not trying to sell you on the idea that anything will or will not happen. I just want you to know that many real science type people think that this science fiction sounding thing will become science fact, just as many other things have done in the past five decades.

“The Singularity is an era in which our intelligence will become increasingly nonbiological and trillions of times more powerful than it is today—the dawning of a new civilization that will enable us to transcend our biological limitations and amplify our creativity.”

Basically, the idea is this: Everytime there is a significant advancement or “next generation” of technology, the generation after that comes quicker. For example, if it takes 20 years to achieve the “next generation” of artificial intelligence, then reaching the next step will take significantly less time, perhaps only ten years. The generation of technology after that will take less time and so on and so on. The level of technology increases exponentially.

What happens when technology becomes so advanced that it can take over designing the next generation of itself? What happens when the speed of advancement is no longer limited by the speed of human brains? That my friend, is the Singularity.

There’s a good reason that it sounds like Science Fiction. The world being profoundly changed by rapid advances in technology has been a topic of many science fiction stories. In the episode The Turk of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles John Connor describes the Singularity as the beginning of the war between humans and machines.

In my opinion, however, the Singularity is unlikely to lead to a dystopian future. Fiction such at the Terminator Series tend to anthromorphize technology for the sake of telling a good story. However, technology is not human or human-like. Humans have survival instincts; computers do not. Any technology that develops will develop from what you see around you today. As far as I’m concerned, saying that a CPU will evolve into a war machine is like saying that a chicken egg will hatch into a pteradactyl.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Singularity and deciding for yourself if it is likely to happen, there is of course the Wikipedia article. You can also consider the opinion of Ray Kurzweil.

Kurzweil is one of the world’s leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists, with a twenty-year track record of accurate predictions. Kurzweil was selected as one of the top entrepreneurs by Inc. magazine, which describe him as the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison.”

And check out They have many charts and news items that demonstrate that even though it may sound like Science Fiction, the Singularity is on track to becoming Science Fact.

Previous Tech Talk:

Tuesday ScratchTastic Intertubuals Roundup

March 3, 2009 at 8:13 am | Posted in interesting (to moose), Videos | Leave a comment

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