Science *Is* a Girl Thing, and Doesn’t Want (or Need) Your Pink!Lipstick!Sexyposing! Branding

The gender gap in science is the cause of much gnashing of teeth and the development of all sorts of programs and campaigns to reverse decades of insistent, persistent, and continuing “math and science = boy stuff = not girl stuff; stay away” messaging towards girls and women. Some of these efforts are great (like the day program for Grade Six girls run by the local supercomputers’ administration I volunteered at a few months ago), but some of them not only wildly miss the mark, but wind up reinforcing the notions they’re ostensibly battling against.

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101 (or so) Ways to Overhaul a Nation in One Easy Budget!

It’s budget voting time! The breath-takingly sweeping omnibus budget is currently being voted on, and the opposition parties have put forward hundreds and hundreds of amendments that all need to be voted on before the budget itself can be passed. Considering that this budget has enormous ramifications for everything from Old Age Security to environmental vetting processes, here’s a brief list of some of the most noteworthy clauses of the budget.

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Canadian Politics Haiku

There’s been so much rage-flailing going on when I read the newspaper these days, I couldn’t pick just one topic to write about. And knowing my lack of conciseness, I need some enforced brevity. Haiku format to the rescue!

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Parliament Roundly Denounces Motion to Examine When Life Begins

Private members’ bills are a bit of a mixed bag in Canadian Parliament. Most of them are sensible business from the opposition parties, like calling for a national transit strategy (which is sorely needed), but it’s also the airing ground for bills from the fringes of the governing party. Last Thursday, Conservative MP for Kitchener-Centre Stephen Woodsworth’s bill calling on Parliament to form a committee to talk to experts about when, exactly, life begins.

Faaaaaaaaantastic.

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Alberta Votes, Will Almost Certainly Elect First Elected Female Premier

I live in Eastern Canada, and I’ll admit that I read a lot more news about Eastern Canadian politics than Western Canadian politics. But Alberta is having a provincial election shortly, and with both the Progressive Conservative party and the Wildrose Party headed by women, Alberta is almost certainly going to elect a woman for the first time.

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Finally, the NDP Has a Permanent Leader and Can Get On With Things

Okay, before I talk about the outcome of the NDP leadership race, I should say that the federal budget was released last week, and it’s predictably slashing funding left, right, and centre. Notable among the cuts are the CBC, Elections Canada, and the Chief Electoral Officer (the only officer of Parliament to have funding cut). I’ve not had time to read the whole thing, but from what I’ve heard, it’s regressive and generally terrible.

Anyhoo! Let’s talk about Thomas Mulcair.

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What I Watched This Weekend: Mythbusters!

I’m possibly about to lose all street cred I have when I say I spent my Friday night at a show by Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, aka, The Mythbusters, but I had so little to begin with the loss may be imperceptible.

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Québec Tuition Protests: Things Are Getting Ugly

For the past few months, Quebec university and CEGEP students have been protesting the Quebec government’s plan to increase university tuiton by $325 a year for the next five years. For the past few weeks, there’ve been protests almost daily in Montreal and Québec City. And this week, the protests will ramp up even more, in anticipation of the provincial budget, which is expected to be released today. More than 100,000 students across the province are on strike, either with a limited or unlimited mandate, and some classes have been suspended (especially at CEGEPs, where most of the students who’re on a unlimited strike are enrolled). There’ve been confrontations with the police (a student has lost an eye from shrapnel from a flash grenade police used to disperse a crowd), and things are generally tense.

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