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Posted inDeep Dive

2022: The year in global review, Part I

Reading Time: 8 minutes All end-of-year lists are suspect. One must embrace futility when trying to summarize what happened on a planet of eight billion for one spin around the sun. So why do we do write them? At best, to break up our routines of knee-jerk outrage at the latest inane news item, and to think more systematically […]

Posted inWar and Peace

In the fog of war, UN says at least 18,000 civilian casualties in Ukraine

Reading Time: 3 minutes It happens in every conflict, every international power play: reliable real-time numbers go out the window. In China, it’s lately taken the form of local government under-counting infection and casualty rates from COVID-19, despite overwhelmed emergency and funeral services telling a different story. In recent civil war around Tigray, in Ethiopia, the sheer complexity of […]

Posted inReligious News

Cycles of extremism: NGOs suspend services after Taliban bans female staff

Reading Time: 3 minutes In a series of moves surprising no one, the Taliban government in Afghanistan this past week banned women from universities, and also locked girls out of primary school (essentially ending education to female persons across the board), before also banning women from work in any local non-government organizations (NGOs). The usual nonsense reasons pertaining to […]

Posted inThe Future

Fear corporate monopolies, not AI

Reading Time: 7 minutes It’s been 16 years since a student at Dalhousie University called for Canadians to stop using Turnitin, an online plagiarism detector, because student data could be subject to the USA Patriot Act. This was one a few major criticisms of the for-profit software when it first came to dominate school settings early in the 21st […]

Posted inEconomics

Bankman-Fried arrested—Now what’s to be done about Ponzinomics?

Reading Time: 5 minutes On December 12, Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested at his apartment complex in the Albany resort in the Bahamas, after US prosecutors sent formal notice to local officials that they had filed criminal charges against him. The founder of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which Bankman-Fried announced was filing for bankruptcy on November 11, had been scheduled […]

Posted inHealth

COVID-19 now haunts flu season: What other long term impacts can we expect?

Reading Time: 11 minutes It’s been a rough few days for anyone following flu season data. While China has eased zero-COVID restrictions in the face of protests, despite currently experiencing a surge in case count (along with Japan), North American hospitals face what the American Medical Association is openly calling a “tripledemic”: a wave of flu, Respiratory Syncytial Virus […]

Posted inEnvironment

EU takes world-first step, banning products linked to deforestation

Reading Time: 3 minutes Change comes fast and slow, as the latest green deal out of the European Union (EU) amply illustrates. On December 6, the European Commission welcomed news of an agreement reached between EU’s parliament and a specific council established for the purposes of reducing Europe’s impact on global deforestation and forest degradation. Companies will now be […]

Posted inScience

Alzheimer’s latest drug and science journalism’s memory problem

Reading Time: 6 minutes In July, the medical community was rocked by a disappointing reminder of science’s weakest link: the humans doing the work. The journal Science had shared that its six-month investigation supported the findings of whistleblower Matthew Schrag, who first noted altered images in a high-impact paper on Alzheimer’s, published in Nature in 2006. That paper is […]

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