Food Fanaticism and Social Media

Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you who you are.—Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste (1825)

Science and Politics

Climate change isn't real?! There are Scottish people with suntans!
--Adam Hills, Characterful (2007)

As someone with a scientifically-inclined mind, climate change is an observable and measurable phenomenon. But announcing one's allegiance to the climate change theory camp these days is akin to loudly announcing one is a card-carrying terrorist in some circles. And this got me thinking: At what point did science become such a politically charged topic? Between Climategate and conservative shouting matches, scientific study seems to be a field to enter warily as a new graduate.

Urban Planning and Livability

Vancouver is proud of its efforts to balance growth, demands on services, and ecological awareness. It is not perfect, but the region has garnered kudos for its overall livability. So I was more than a bit horrified this morning to wake up to hear these livability efforts under attack during CBC Radio's South of the Fraser debate featuring Randal O'Toole, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, and Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute.* Debate itself is healthy.

Canadian Sovereignty Redux or, The Dual National Blues

Last month I wrote a piece arguing against the long arm of U.S. law and the potential consequences of the proposed SOPA/PIPA legislation. And it was mere days later when my local Member of Parliament directed my attention to the proposed U.S. legislation allowing the IRS to demand foreign financial institutions to report on any financial transactions of U.S. citizens living abroad. Ostensibly, this is the U.S. solution for catching tax cheats using foreign banks to hide assets.

The Internet and the Long Arm of U.S. Law

I've lived in Canada for over seven years now (and as a Canadian for almost a year), and I still inevitably get the question from U.S.-based friends and family: How is Canada different from America? And just as inevitably I find myself reciting a litany of all of the little things that make Canada, well, Canada. But on this day of Internet site blackouts to protest proposed U.S.

Land Use Planning and Population Growth

In my attempt to get our son interested in geography and the world around him, we started watching Andrew Marr's BBC-produced series, "Britain from Above." While my son found the program "cool" (his exact word) due to the use of helicopter, satellite, and parachuting shots, I found it to be fascinating from a socio-political standpoint. Cities as old as London have built on layer after historical layer. As pointed out in the first episode, many of London's narrow, rabbit warren-esque lanes and alleys are hold overs from Celtic and Roman occupation.

Rethinking the Map

Friend/mentor/former thesis advisor/boss Paul F. Starrs, Ph.D. recently posted a link to what can only be described as one of the finest examples of deconstructionist geography I have seen. Maps have traditionally been a means to present a layout of the land. Instead, Radical Cartography seeks to mashup, redefine, and rethink how data, space, and place are represented graphically. At times it becomes a trip into the realm of philosophy, semiotics, and art theory. Radical Cartography seeks to, as noted on the webpage manifesto, push the boundaries of "map."

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