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Celestial Object

Tabetha Boyajian: The most mysterious star in the universe

Something massive, with roughly 1,000 times the area of Earth, is blocking the light coming from a distant star known as KIC 8462852, and nobody is quite sure what it is. As astronomer Tabetha Boyajian investigated this perplexing celestial object, a colleague suggested something unusual: Could it be an alien-built megastructure? Such an extraordinary idea would require extraordinary evidence. In this talk, Boyajian gives us a look at how scientists search for and test hypotheses when faced with the unknown.
Tabetha Boyajian is best known for her research on KIC 8462852, a puzzling celestial body that has inspired otherwise sober scientists to brainstorm outlandish hypotheses.

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Study

Invasive Species Not Best Conservation Tool

Guelph - Harnessing an invasive fish species sounded like a promising conservation tool to help reverse the destruction wreaked by zebra mussels on endangered native mollusks in the Great Lakes – except that it won’t work, says a University of Guelph ecologist.

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Chart of the Week

The World is Getting Older

by Mike Hayhoe

Kitchener - The world is getting older. We are just a few short years from a major turning point. The spot where the two lines cross indicates the moment when the percentages of elderly and under-5 populations are equal, and after that the share of older people will outnumber the share of younger children. (Chart and commentary courtesy of Elena Holodny of Business Insider)

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Cognition

Research finds that wisdom is a matter of both heart and mind

Waterloo - The fluctuations of your heartbeat may affect your wisdom, according to new research from the University of Waterloo. The study suggests that heart rate variation and thinking process work together to enable wise reasoning about complex social issues. The work by Igor Grossmann, professor of psychology at Waterloo, and colleagues based at the Australian Catholic University, appears in the online journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

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Panama Papers

Barbados asserts the economic benefits of its offshore structures

Barbados Government Embraces Transparency; Use of Barbados associated with job creation

Bridgetown, Barbados - In response to the global outcry against offshore financial jurisdictions caused by the "Panama Papers" leak, the Government of Barbados issued a statement intended to provide the public with a balanced and rational perspective. The leak has led to the propagation of two highly erroneous stereotypes – that all offshore financial jurisdictions are used to hide money and that they all erode the proper functioning of the global economy. In stark contrast to a widely held label, Barbados is an example of an ethical, fully transparent jurisdiction that enhances the functioning of the global economy.

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Stewardship

National Farmers Union-Ontario and Grain Farmers of Ontario Build an Agricultural Bridge

Saskatoon - The National Farmers Union – Ontario (NFU-O) applauds the Grain Farmers of Ontario’s (GFO) efforts to encourage their members to embrace a formal “4-R” process regarding fertilizer stewardship.

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Making an Impact

The Co-operators sets ambitious impact investing target

Guelph - The Co-operators announced it has established a target to have impact investments represent 6 to 10 per cent of its invested assets by the end of 2018.

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Waste

A new Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) depot is now open in Cambridge

Waterloo Region – A new drop-off depot to dispose of household hazardous waste (HHW) has opened at the Cambridge waste site (201 Savage Drive). Now residents can choose either the Cambridge or the Waterloo waste sites to drop off their household hazardous chemicals.

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Poll

Eight in Ten (83%) Canadians say 100th Anniversary of Battle of Vimy Ridge should be Key Celebration during Canada’s 150th Birthday in 2017 (Up 9 Points since Last Year)

Only One in Ten (12%) can Identify Vimy Memorial from a Photo

Toronto – The year 2017 marks two key milestones for Canada: the 150th anniversary of confederation, and the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. According to a new Ipsos poll conducted for the Vimy Foundation, most (83%) agree (32% strongly/51% somewhat) that “the 100th anniversary of Vimy, falling as it does in 2017, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Canada, should be one of the most important celebrations for Canada that year”. Agreement is up 9 points since last year. In contrast, two in ten (17%) disagree (4% strongly/13% somewhat) that it should be given prominence during Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations, down 9 points.

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Transportation

Four Toronto universities release findings of student transportation needs

Toronto – StudentMoveTO, a collaboration between Toronto’s four universities to address student transportation needs, found that students in the GTA are spending too much time commuting to and from classes each day.

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Energy

Hydro One Announces $20 Million Investment in the Districts of Muskoka and Parry Sound

Significant investment will improve area reliability

Huntsville - Hydro One announced it will invest $20 million this year in the Districts of Muskoka and Parry Sound to improve reliability and reduce tree-related outages for Hydro One customers. Trees represent the single largest cause of power outages in this densely wooded area. The investment includes line clearing, annual maintenance and upgrades to more than 1,000 kilometres of lines on Hydro One's electricity distribution system.

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Construction

Building permits from February 2016

Ottawa - Municipalities issued building permits worth $7.4 billion in February, up 15.5% from January. This growth followed a 9.5% decline the previous month and was largely the result of higher construction intentions for commercial buildings in Alberta, single-family dwellings in Ontario and institutional structures in Quebec.

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Water

Nevada’s rivers and streams show progress in newest list of impaired waters

San Francisco — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the State of Nevada’s list of waterways in need of protection, and proposed adding portions of two rivers in northeastern Nevada.

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Engagement

Over 450 guests to attend the City of Kitchener’s neighbourhood party!

Kitchener – In just two weeks, over 450 people have RSVP’d to attend the Neighbourhood Party on April 26 at Stanley Park Community Centre. Along with community members coming with their friends and family are representatives from neighbourhood associations, faith communities and cultural groups, plus organizations in the fields of social services, crime prevention, health and education.


EVENTS

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Joint Research

Conference to highlight advances in bone and joint research

London - Musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis, skeletal fractures, back pain, and sports or work-related injuries are debilitating and painful for millions of Canadians and billions of people worldwide. The number of people affected is steadily growing and expected to increase by approximately 8 million people in Canada by 2031. These conditions take a huge toll on a person's quality of life, as well as social and healthcare systems.


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