Radio Freethinker

Vancouver's Number 1 Skeptical Podcast and Radio Show

Posts Tagged ‘budget’

RFT Ep 243 – Canadian Citizenship Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on February 18, 2014

Download the episode here! 

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Don’s Rant:

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As the Conservative party announces it latest budget, this weeks rant is about how the budget is not really a budget…where you would expect details on where and how the government is spending our tax dollars and not justification for what the government plans to do.

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America’s first First Nations

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A long running debate has been over who were the real first people of the Americas. The strongest argument holds to a migration from Asia via a ‘thawed valley’ at the end of the last ice age. However, the Clovis Culture…defined by their distinct arrow heads, points to a french origin.

Recent sequencing of DNA from a child who died around 12,400 yrs ago and thought to be a member of the Clovis people, shows a shared ancestry with the vast majority of Native Americans, thus supporting the Asian migration theory. However, DNA artifacts complicate a simple answer by showing some, as yet unknown, genetic mixing with Europeans.

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A Head of the Curve

Neurotoxisity fear-mongering

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In a paper published in The Lancet, “Neuro-behavioural effects of developmental toxicity”, we take a quick look at what the article reports, what’s wrong with the study and put out the warning that this will likely be water-cooler talk soon – better knowledge-up.

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The birth of Canadian Citizenship

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In the wake of the debate of the soon to be release reform of the Canadian Citizenship act, we take  nostalgic look back and how and when a Canadian actually became a Canadian Citizen…you would be surprised.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDCrGjH9JTs

Classic RFT

Lance Armstrong and professional doping

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Ethan give a summary of the “Lance Armstrong Scandal” and the state of doping in sports. Then we have a spirited debate about the ethics of doping and the implications it has to both amateur sport and to “sport-u-tainment”

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a classic final treat!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-ZvAVcBIrQ

and of course, how to get free beer….

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Radio Freethinker Episode 160 – Somebodies Watching Me Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on April 3, 2012

This week Internet Surveillance, anthropomorphic extinction down-under, Lucky’s neighbors Uranium gets better and Picking your skeptic battles.

Download the episode here!

Topics:

Pirate Satellite!

In its never-ending quest to avoid prosecution or have disruption in its religious services (check out Kopimism and her is Canada). Pirate Bay is exploring launching its own low earth satellites.

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Online they are always watching you

We talk about a series of stories about online surveillance and the effects technology has on our sense privacy and security. The take-way is many conspiracy “nuts” point to a series of acts/events/laws and string together some major plot; we tend to say the conspiracy is crazy while often ignoring the specific events/laws/acts, although independent, may warrant our attention for non-conspiratory reasons…such as freedom or security.

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Anthropomorphic Extinction

We talk about how resent research reveals that it seems more likely that the arrival of humans to Australia resulted in a continental climate change that lead to a major shift in the flora on the mega-island which, with the help of human predation, lead to the extinction of the megafauna down-under.

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Lucy’s Neighbors.

We talk about how resent research has uncovered yet more evidence the early human ancestors were varied and co-existed. New the site of the Lucy discovery, bones from another species of hominid have been uncovered that showed a more inter-terrainial lifestyle. Although able to walk-upright its feet were more adapted for grasping…likely for arboreal locomotion. 

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Uranium just got better!

New research has help refine the ratio of U358 to U355. Why should we care? Its one of the best way we have of determine the age of REALLLLLY old things. Science making science better..

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Picking your skeptical battles.

We begin by exposing and debunking a ‘new’ website intent of propagating the ‘illusion’ Wi-Fi is dangerous to children in schools (we can assume else were, but their rage is focused on schools).
We then explore that a large (most?) important part of skepticism is not to call these people out or to make ourselves feel superior but to focus societies attentions of ‘real’ or more pressing issues.
To exemplify this, we compare the resent row over Pink Slime and the new Harper Budget. We explore the minor health risks Pink Slime MIGHT have and how people are putting there efforts to ‘get this removed from the food chain’ while the current budget removes government regulation over ingredient labeling.  So, even if you hate Pink Slime, there will be no government agency to insure its NOT in your food…that will be your responsibility, and then you get to bring it to the attention of the corporations (who i suspect already knew but hopped you would not).
We conclude by expressing that people need to put their energies (at least the majority of their energies) into the important battles and that skepticism is another tool to help us and society pick those battles.

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Skeptical Highlights:

Video Highlight…

Every wonder why spiders don’t get stuck on their own webs?
Well check out Science Fridays Video of the week, where all is explained. Seems to be a combination of hairy feet, oil and stepping lightly.


http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/201203302

‘All About Vaccines’ Charity Event to Take Place in Okanagan, British Columbia

The event takes place on April 22nd, all the information you need is right here, and you should buy your tickets in advance (it’s free but the donations go to the IAVI).

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