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Radio Freethinker Episode 176 – Olympic Cyborg Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on July 31, 2012

This week:

– Olympic Cyborg Sprinter,

– Olympic Measles Pandemic?,

– Politics, Religion and Economics at the Olympics, and

– Naturopaths conquer Alberta

Download the episode here!


Olympic Cyborg Sprinter,

For the first time in Olympic history a cyborg…part human part machine…will competing at the Olympics. Or put another way, for the first time in Olympic history a disabled sprinter will compete in the regular Olympics with the aid of prosthetics legs. Good or bad?

Find out more:

Olympic Measles Pandemic?

The recent front page of the Georgia Straight warns Canadians about the imminent and probably deadly threat to our lives from the nuclear fallow from the Fukushima reactor accident arriving in the form of radioactive fish. Don takes a critical eye to this story and exposed its bias and unscientific slant.  

Find out more:

Politics, Religion and Economics at the Olympics

Saudi Arabia is sending women for the first time to the Olympics, but may pull out because the women will not be able to compete with their traditional hijab.
Lebanese athletes refuse to train in the same area as Israeli athletes because of the ‘crimes’ Israel has done to Lebanon.
London seems dressed down compared to the Queen’s jubilee thanks to the sponsorship police, who has ensured NO one but sponsors are allowed to ‘raise the rings’.

We discuss these issues and whether the Olympics should be above these topics or used as a means of global communications on issues.

Find out more:

Naturopaths conquer Alberta

We discuss the recent decision by the Alberta Ministry of Health to give the College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta the same regulator, accreditation and self-governance powers as College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta. Thus providing Naturopaths the same legitimacy as real doctors.
Find out more:

Skeptical Highlights:

SO you want to be an Astrobiologist!

The University of Edinburgh is offering a free online five week course called “Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life”

Over two thousand years ago, the ancient Greeks wondered if other worlds were habitable. In the coming years this question will be experimentally tested. This course is an introduction to astrobiology. It explores the origin and evolution of life on the Earth and its potential to exist elsewhere. Astrobiology addresses compelling questions of wide interest such as: How did life originate on the Earth? Is this an inevitable process and is life common across the Universe? Astrobiology is an interdisciplinary science that bridges fields as diverse as astrophysics, biology, geosciences and chemistry.

In this course one will explore what we know about life’s ability to live in extreme environments on the Earth…look at different hypotheses for how it originated. You will look at some of the missions to search for life in our own Solar System and on planets orbiting distant stars. Discuss some of the extreme environments on the Earth that help us understand the limits of life and how life has adapted to cope with extremes. Explore the possibility of intelligent alien life and some of the implications of its detection. The course will provide a foundation in astrobiology and introduce students to concepts in a diversity of scientific fields.

Have I got you hooked? Well, you can sign up now but you will have some time to do prep work; classes start in Jan 2013. Assuming we survive the Mayan apocalypse of course.

Google Labs

Google has set up an exhibitionist in the Science Museum in London. In true Google style it was not intent to have a ‘traditional’ display so they have combined the exhibition with Google Chrome to launch Google Web Lab. Where virtual visitors from around the world will be able to interact with the displays and perform 5 different experiments from the comfort of home. The exhibit includes: Universal Orchestra, Data Tracer, Sketchbots, Teleporter, and Lab Tag Explorer.

Google’s Web Lab website

NASA’s Curiosity rover will land on Aug. 5

Plan a landing party and enjoy what NASA is calling the most frightening 7 minutes in space exploration history.

Humanists in the Pride Parade

Join the BCHA for its third year marching in the Vancouver Pride Parade. For the past three years the BC Humanists have invited all local humanists, atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and other freethinkers to march in the Vancouver Pride Parade. This year we hope to have a bigger and more fabulous entry than ever!

DETAILS — Marchers should plan to arrive by 12:30 PM. Our staging area is designated EN4 and will be on the North side of Robson Street between Burrard and Thurlow. You can only enter the staging area from Burrard Street. Please plan on walking/biking/transiting downtown as there is very limited parking and many road closures..

Humanists in the Pride Parade

Cafe Inquiry: Limits to Growth

Café Inquiry is a monthly casual discussion group run by CFI Vancouver. Come along and enjoy morning tea and stimulating discussion with fellow freethinkers on a variety of topics. Our speaker is Patrick Walden, and will discuss are there limits to growth, and will our endless drive to continually expand hit a wall? Will our civilization collapse in the 21st century? Pat Walden is a research scientist at TRIUMF Cyclotron laboratory at UBC.
Saturday August 18th at 11am at SFU Harbour centre (room tba)


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