By: David Charbonneau

David will be posting his columns every week on Thursday. He has eclectic interests ranging from social and political issues to science. He is a retired Electronics Instructor from Thompson Rivers University, former president of the Faculty Association, and curriculum writer. He now paints acrylic on canvas for Thompson Studio.

Homophobia contributes to loneliness

July 5, 2018 - 5:00am

MEN HAVEN'T ALWAYS avoided open displays of affection for each other. Rachel Giese author of Boys: What It Means To Become A Man says:

Our squeamishness about male friendship is a historical anomaly: connections between men have been idealized throughout Western history and understood as foundational to society, culture, and art. The veneration of men’s friendships can be charted as far back as ancient Greece (Walrus magazine, May 2018).”

B.C. firm extracts fuel from air

June 21, 2018 - 5:00am

IT MAY SOUND LIKE ALCHEMY but Carbon Engineering Ltd. based in Squamish captures carbon from the atmosphere and turns it back into automotive fuel.

It’s not just wishful thinking. Investors with deep pockets are putting money into the project, such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates.

Co-owner of Carbon Engineering David Keith describes the technology as “direct air capture” (DAC). They’ve been running a pilot plant since 2015 and hope to build a commercial-scale operation soon. The plant has been producing a variety of fuels, such as diesel, gasoline, and Jet-A since 2017.

Four more years of Trump?

June 14, 2018 - 5:00am

IMPROBABLE AS IT MAY SEEM, President Trump could be re-elected in 2020.

He’s been vilified by many, including those who know him personally such as former FBI director James Comey.

“He has a craving for affirmation that I’ve never seen in an adult before,” Comey told a conference in Ottawa. “It’s all, ‘What will fill this hole inside me?’ (Globe and Mail, June 5, 2018)”

Author Thomas Frank’s assessment is less psychological:

Empty pipelines spill no oil

June 7, 2018 - 5:00am

THE KINDER MORGAN pipeline should be built for the same reason as the pyramids – as a national monument.

The pyramids employed workers but served no practical purpose other than a grand burial site for the pharaohs. The humble graves of the workers would have served the pharaohs just as well.

Construction of the People’s pipeline will employ well-paid union workers. It’s supposed to carry crude oil to Asia but that market doesn’t exist. Therefore, it will serve as a wonderful monument to the “National Interest.”

Homoeopathy debate re-ignited

May 24, 2018 - 6:53am

KAMLOOPS — Questions about the practice of homoeopathy have been re-ignited by two recent events. One has to do with a homeopathic rabid-dog-saliva treatment and the other about the retrial of a couple originally found guilty of failing to provide for the necessities of life.

Homeopathy debate reignited

May 24, 2018 - 5:00am

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PRACTICE of homoeopathy have been reignited by two recent events. One has to do with a homeopathic rabid dog saliva treatment and the other about the retrial of a couple originally found guilty of failing to provide for the necessities of life.

Anonymity is not enough in apps

May 17, 2018 - 5:00am

YOU CAN SET YOUR PRIVACY SETTINGS on apps so that personal data is not shared. But even anonymous data can threaten security.

Take the case of the fitness tracking app Strava. Their website tracks exercise routes of users and plots them on a map of the world. The routes show up as bright lines; the brighter they are, the more they are used. You can’t pick out individuals on the map because they are only sharing data anonymously. They are revealing in ways that were never intended.