Friday, September 30, 2022

BIG Scoop

Passiveness toward crime compromises community safety

Two different but possibly connected encounters with criminal acts have me more convinced than ever that our society is far too soft on crime. A few weeks ago, I witnessed a man stealing two large boxes of product from a Vancouver dollar store. As he escaped through the entrance door, I alerted an employee, who took about three steps toward the door, shrugged his shoulders, and returned to stocking shelves. About three minutes later, the thief...

Return to sensible energy policy – a painful but necessary transition

Many would agree that the energy world has changed dramatically over the past couple of years. In early 2020, energy commodity prices, particularly oil, plummeted as response to COVID-19 devastated demand and producers could not sell their oil. Markets recovered slowly through 2021 as the world worked its way through the pandemic – then oil, gas, coal, and electricity prices exploded in 2022 as energy shortages became apparent, followed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine...

Do you ‘believe the science’? How about starting with understanding the science?

Laurie Weston recently wrote a series of three very cogent articles in BIG Media addressing science – the scientific method (Science – there is method to the madness), the manipulation of science for various causes (Manipulating science – activism and advocacy), and moral and ethical issues around the practice of science (Science and morality – ethics and judgment). Often now when I read blogs, social media posts and even mainstream media, I think “this author...

Manipulating science – activism and advocacy

In a court of law, witnesses swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This means they promise not to knowingly lie, leave anything relevant out of the story, or embellish what they know with something they think they know or assume to be true – with or without the intent to mislead. The spirit of this oath should be adopted by scientists and those who use science as...

AI: Where are we and where are we going?

Part 1: The Basics Artificial Intelligence has people fretting. High-profile disagreements among tech gurus make us wonder, anxiously, what the future will be like for ordinary people. If geniuses like Bill Gates, Elon Musk and the late Stephen Hawking cannot agree on the usefulness and the relative benefits or dangers of AI, what hope is there for us to understand or even imagine how our lives will change? Will all of humanity live like kings...

Wicked problems are our business – and yours

BIG Media Ltd. has covered controversial issues including abortion, the decision to vaccinate or not, bioethics, the legality of drug use, misinformation, fracking, the energy transition, and climate change. Providing calm, objective news coverage to readers on these matters is a formidable challenge. In fact, readers might at times feel some of these topics are intractable. Some of these issues – climate change, for example – are so difficult that they fall into a category...

Monkeypox data indicates no reason for panic

Just as the world seems to be turning the corner on COVID, suddenly the talk on the street is all about monkeypox. What is it? How dangerous is it? Is it the next COVID? The following summary is based on information gleaned from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  World Health Organization (WHO), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and the National Health Services (NHS) of the U.K. Unlike COVID, monkeypox has been around for decades,...

Introducing a serendipitous story and tremendous talk

No one has ever accused me of being normal, so it should not surprise you that I am doing this backwards. Yesterday, I posted an article with a link to Laurie Weston’s talk titled “Beyond the Hysteria – a data-driven examination of the COVID-19 pandemic”. Today, I post my introduction to Laurie’s eye-opening presentation: (VIDEO LINK HERE) My intro should help you understand why I feel so honoured to have Laurie on our editorial team, as well...

Beyond the Hysteria – a data-driven examination of the COVID-19 pandemic

To say that COVID-19 is an important issue is, of course, an understatement. The disease has ended many lives and ruined countless more. Differing perspectives on COVID-19 and how our elected and medical officials have reacted to the pandemic have ripped apart families, friendships, and communities. Many have engaged in vitriolic debate without having anything resembling verifiable facts behind their arguments. With the video linked here, I present an opportunity to ACTUALLY understand important facts about COVID-19....

Goldilocks goes to the beach – assessing the benefits of sunlight versus the risks of skin cancer

Come summertime, plenty of people (including yours truly) love to get outdoors and enjoy fresh air and sunshine after being cooped up indoors all winter. But the rush to soak up nature seems to always be accompanied by a flood of warnings to cover up, use sunscreen, and limit how much time we spend exposing ourselves to the Sun’s rays. After all, we don’t want to get skin cancer! I was shocked to learn that...