‘My mom wasn’t lazy, she got sick’: Orangeville woman shares story of how ODSP kept her mother ‘trapped’ in poverty (Orangeville Banner)

Ada McVean’s mother, Theresa, died on April 14, 2019 — the day before the Ontario Disability Support Program deposited her bi-monthly cheque.

McVean, a 24-year-old McGill student, thought it might help cover her 44-year-old mother’s funeral expenses but learned she’d would have to pay it back.

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) staff said they’d need the money to offset the costs of covering her funeral; they paid to ship her body from the hospital to the funeral home, cremation, and the cardboard box the ashes came in.

“I couldn’t just not give my mom a funeral,” McVean said, explaining that even the most basic service cost $8,000.

Read the entire article here: https://www.orangeville.com/news-story/10136856–my-mom-wasn-t-lazy-she-got-sick-orangeville-woman-shares-story-of-how-odsp-kept-her-mother-trapped-in-poverty/

Am I Drunk, Hungry, Or Both? Alcohol As An Appetite Stimulant (Skeptical Inquirer)

8 minute read

If you’ve never gotten fast food after leaving a bar late at night (or, more correctly, early in the morning) I’d highly recommend it. I’ve never been sure if it’s the intoxication, the tiredness, or the unusual hour that makes post-pub falafel taste like heaven, but somehow after I go out drinking with my lab mates the food always just is better. I had resigned myself to the mysterious joy of 2 a.m. poutine remaining just that, a mystery. But last Christmas my grandfather took me by the shoulders and with odd earnest asked me to write an article finding out if alcohol is an appetite stimulant. Well, Grandpa, it may have taken seven months, but here it is! Let’s take a look at the evidence for alcohol as an appetite stimulant.

Read the entire article here: https://skepticalinquirer.org/exclusive/am-i-drunk-hungry-or-both-alcohol-as-an-appetite-stimulant/

What’s the science behind Montreal’s recent vibrant sunsets? (CBC Montreal)

1 minute read

Montreal’s summer sunsets have been particularly glorious of late.

Images of bright orange and pink skies have been cropping up on social media and online, but is it really different from what we’ve seen in previous summers?

Ada McVean, a science communicator for the McGill Office for Science and Society, says yes.

Read the whole article here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/what-s-the-science-behind-montreal-s-recent-vibrant-sunsets-1.5667591?cmp=rss

The Science of Sourdough and How a Jar of Microbes Could Help Keep Your Bread Fresher Longer (McGill OSS)

7 minute read

Its catapult to popularity may have been triggered by the pandemic-induced yeast shortages, but even months later, when instant yeast is once again available at most grocery stores, sourdough’s contemporary stardom is barely starting to fade. Sure, many of us turned to making a sourdough starter to simultaneously combat yeast scarcity and our newfound fear of going to the grocery store. But lots of us have kept up with our strange new hobby of mixing water with flour and leaving it on the counter for reasons beyond just the practical.

Read the entire article here: https://mcgill.ca/oss/article/nutrition-technology/science-sourdough-and-how-jar-microbes-could-help-keep-your-bread-fresher-longer

Human-Guided Evolution Closer Than You Think (Skeptical Inquirer)

9 minute read

Evolution is often thought of as a solely long-term process. But the conception that its effects are only seen after millions of years ignores a crucial part of the evolutionary process: adaptation. Because we tend to fixate on the drastic changes caused by evolution over huge timescales, it’s easy to ignore the small variations between generations that add together over time to form the big evolutionary changes we focus on. This unintentional side-lining of small adaptations can blind us to the ways in which humans are directly affecting the evolutionary processes of nature. From tuskless elephants to fish that can’t smell, animals are developing specialized adaptations to allow them to live in ecosystems that have been disrupted and altered by mankind. These adaptations are one step in the evolutionary process that already bears the unmistakable marks of humanity’s influence.

Just as humans are changing the planet, they’re changing the fauna that inhabit it. Here are some examples of how.

You can read the entire article here: https://skepticalinquirer.org/exclusive/human-guided-evolution-closer-than-you-think/