Sticking with the Wal-Mart theme, CBC Radio show As it Happens (2007-05-09) interviewed Dan Loney of Cloverleaf Grocery.

In recent years, Wal-Mart has tried to trademark all sorts of things. But a family-owned grocery store in tiny Emo, Ontario may be beating it at the price and the name game –by using Wal-mart’s own identity in its advertising. Dan Loney, owner of the Cloverleaf Grocery, has raised an oft-asked question: “What’s in a name?” Plenty, according to Wal-mart’s Canadian lawyers, who’ve just sent him a cease and desist order. Guest host Jane Hawtin speaks to Dan Loney.

Click on the player below to listen to the podcast.

The Washington Post will close its Canadian news bureau following the lead of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

“Frankly where they’re based is less important than what they do in the world we live in now,” David Hoffman, manager of foreign news for the Washington Post, said in an interview with CBC Radio.

In the last three months the Washington Post’s man in Canada has reported on everything from trappers in Yellowknife to separatists in Quebec.

That’s crazy… where will Americans get their Canadian trapper news from? You can listen to this CBC Radio Podcast for the story. Click on the player below to listen [2.5min].


March 21, 2007

shapetionarycropped_art-42732.gifCBC Radio interviewed Margaret Flood about her Shapetionary project. Shapetionary will be a dictionary-like book that will include illustrations for 9500 object nouns. Check out Margaret Flood’s blog for further information.

Click the player below to listen to the Editor’s Choice podcast.

Didn’t NY City recently consider a ban on crossing the street while talking on a cell phone or listening to an iPod? How ’bout filming a video podcast while driving.

Lindsay: Why do you have your blinker on?

Howard: You never know when I’m going to turn.

I reported earlier about chimpanzees using tools to hunt bushbabies. CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks interviewed Dr. Jill Pruetz about the discovery. Click the player to listen.

Quirks and Quarks segment Bugs and the Bulge discusses the possibility that gut bacteria (Bacteroidetes) and viruses (AD-36) contribute to obesity. The New York Times has a long (10 page) article named Fat Factors that discusses the same topic. Click on the player to listen to Bugs and the Bulge [22 min].

Sandblasting Saturn’s Moons

February 13, 2007


This is a photo I took of our own moon rather than one of Saturn’s moons, but it is the best I can do with a 300mm lens. CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks podcast discusses how the moon Enceladus releases ice that sandblasts some of the other moons of Saturn making them shiny. Click below to listen to the podcast.

Optical Molasses

February 10, 2007


CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks has a fantastic podcast called Stopping Light. Researcher Dr. Lene Vestergaard Hau, a professor of physics at Harvard University, discusses slowing down light to 20 km/h (yes that is correct) by sending it through an optical molasses.

The research may lead to breakthroughs in quantum computing. Very cool. Listen to the podcast by clicking the player below.

OH, my image representing an “optical molasses” is the reflection of autumn colors in water.

Locked-In Syndrome

February 7, 2007


If you are feeling locked-in because of the cold (in southern Ontario) you should listen to CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks podcast on Locked-In Syndrome for a bit of a reality check. I’m quite thankful that I’m not writing this Blog using eye blinks, but if I was, I would hope that someone would come up with a better algorithm than “blink when i say the letter”. Just remember, the glass is half full…. even if it happens to be frozen solid. Click the player below to listen.

Octopus Tool Use?

February 1, 2007


How do you define tool use? I came across the little octopus on a night dive. He was walking around carrying two halves of a shell with him. When threatened, he closed himself up inside the shell. Now many animals, like the hermit crab, adopt a shell for protection but in this case the octopus carried around two sides that he knew fit together. That comes close to tool use in my book.

An Ocean World Podcast about the Blanket Octopus provides an even better case of tool use. The Blanket Octopus is famous for sexual dimorphism, the male being much smaller (2cm) than the female (6ft). But the really cool thing, in my opinion, is the way the tiny male uses jellyfish tentacles. Apparently he gathers the living stinging tentacles from jelly fish, holds them between his suckers, and wields them when threatened.

Click the player below to listen to the podcast.

Securing a Rare Rodent

January 28, 2007

CBC Radio’s science program, Quirks and Quarks, had a segment on the discovery of a new rodent found in the cloud forests of Peru. Host Bob McDonald interviewed Dr. Bruce Patterson about the find.

DR. PATTERSON: Immediately it appeared extremely curious and nothing like it was known from the region so it was obviously a high priority item to secure for study and further description.

BOB MCDONALD: To secure? So how did you secure it?

DR. PATTERSON: With dust shot from a 20 gauge shotgun.

BOB MCDONALD: You shot it?


According to Made To Stick this is an example of “Unexpected” in their SUCCESs template.