Showing posts from October 1, 2014

GOCE Reveals Gravity Dip From Ice Loss

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[Antarctica has lost enough ice to cause a measurable shift in gravity. *RON*]

ESA (European Space Agency), 26 September 2014

GOCE (Gravity field and Ocean Circulation Explorer) senses changing gravity, Access the video

Although not designed to map changes in Earth’s gravity over time, ESA’s extraordinary satellite has shown that the ice lost from West Antarctica over the last few years has left its signature.

More than doubling its planned life in orbit, GOCE spent four years measuring Earth’s gravity in unprecedented detail.

Scientists are now armed with the most accurate gravity model ever produced. This is leading to a much better understanding of many facets of our planet – from the boundary between Earth’s crust and upper mantle to the density of the upper atmosphere.

The strength of gravity at Earth’s surface varies subtly from place to place owing to factors such as the planet’s rotation and the position of mountains and ocean trenches.

NDP loses vote to make Parliament more relevant, but wins battle for public opinion

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[Your democratic government in action. "...there is presently no rule to oblige members on the government side to at the very least make a nominal effort to answer questions," and Harper just made sure that this will remain so. *RON*]
By Karl Nerenberg,, 1 October 2014

On Tuesday night the House of Commons voted down an NDP motion that would have made Parliament a little more serious and relevant to the concerns of Canadians.

The motion pertained to government behaviour during the daily Question Period.

Had it passed, the motion would have given the Speaker the authority to assure that when government ministers and parliamentary secretaries answer questions they address the subject matter at hand.

It almost boggles the mind, but there is presently no rule to oblige members on the government side to at the very least make a nominal effort to answer questions. They can say whatever they want, and they often do.

The vote on Tuesday n…

Oil, war and democracy: Government by kids in short pants

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[The existence of politicians of the ilk of Paul Calandra, puppets for the PMO and oil and gas, is practically a sign of the apocalypse for meaningful democracy in Canada. *RON*]
By Ole Hendrickson,, 20 September 2014

How many words beginning with the letter "d" can be associated with "democracy"? Debate, dialogue, discussion, discourse and dissent come quickly to mind. When it comes to Parliament, words such as dignity and decorum should be added.

The recent Parliamentary exchange between Paul Calandra, Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Tom Mulcair, Leader of the Official Opposition, suggests that Canada is headed in a different direction. Mr. Calandra did not just side-step Mr. Mulcair's questions about military involvement in the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria -- he refused to answer them and went on a digression about Israel.

Canadian Armed Forces' (CAF) role i…

Coquitlam councillors have coal concerns

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[A wee bit late maybe, but "Go Coquitlam!" all the same! :-) *RON*]
by Gary McKenna - The Tri-City News, 30 September 2014
The city of Coquitlam will join New Westminster in voicing concerns over the process that led to the approval of the Fraser Surrey Docks Direct Transfer Coal Facility Project.

In August, Port Metro Vancouver announced it had approved a proposal that would see a coal transfer facility at the Fraser Surrey Docks. It would take at least four million tonnes per year of U.S. coal by train through White Rock and Surrey and send it by barge to Texada Island, where it would be reloaded onto ocean-going ships.

Coun. Chris Wilson, who brought forward the notice of motion to send the letter, said the region’s port authority did not conduct proper consultation with Lower Mainland communities and health experts. Council voted unanimously to support the notice of motion and the letter will be sent to the prime minister, the premie…

Conservatives kill measure to cut money for violent militias in Africa

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[Harper's one face contentedly rails against Putin and Hamas but, if it interferes with mining interests, with his other face he'll happily slap down legislation that could save lives by choking off the source of funding for violent militias. "Translation: Do not expect us to support any measure, however limited it may be, that might, in any way, make our friends in the 'extractive sector' uncomfortable." *RON*]
By Karl Nerenberg,, 20 September 2014

There are times when some of the most significant events in Parliament happen far from public view.

This week the chatter about politics is all about Paul Calandra's tears -- were they true remorse or chagrin at being frog-marched into the apologizer's seat?

More substantively, the chatter is about the role the Speaker should play in guiding Question Period, and what the parties in the House might do if and when they get to vote on a combat role for Canada in…