American bumblebee is facing extinction from Canada

Photographer: Alexandr Baranets

Photographer: Alexandr Baranets

 

“A team of researchers at York University has warned that the American bumblebee is facing imminent extinction from Canada, and this could lead to “cascading impacts” throughout the country,” wrote Desmond Brown for CBC News on April 22, 2019.

Brown continued, “The imminent extinction classification is considered the highest and most at-risk classification before extinction.

About 42 of the more than 850 species of bees in Canada are bumblebees — important pollinators needed to grow crops, including apples, tomatoes, blueberries and legumes, as well as trees, shrubs and wildflowers.”

Read the full article here. 

Vaccination booster for adults

Photographer: Mali Maeder

Photographer: Mali Maeder

 

“Vaccinations are commonly considered a childhood health issue, but if adults think they’re protected, doctors say that’s not always the case. Some adults may need a vaccination booster for highly contagious infectious diseases like measles,” wrote Amina Zafar for CBC News on April 12, 2019.

Zafar continued, “Amid travel-related measles cases in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, New York City, New Jersey, California, Michigan, Washington state as well as outbreaks in Europe, Asia, and South America, some doctors are raising awareness about adults who may be inadvertently undervaccinated.

Many people are unaware that their immunity can wear off over time. People born in Canada between 1970 and 1996 may also need an extra dose of the vaccine to protect themselves — particularly if they are planning travel abroad.

This week’s news of an Ottawa cancer patient who contracted measles despite being vaccinated drew attention to the issue. In her case, she’d been vaccinated against measles, but local public health officials told her some people with weakened immune systems can still be vulnerable to the virus.”

Read the full article here. 

Warning of recession

“Has it ever been so hard to know our economic future?

Probably, yes. But in an era when economic commentators offer contradictory views, it certainly feels as if there is no one to trust on the important issue of whether the world is going to hell in a handbasket,” wrote Don Pittis for CBC News on April 1, 2019.

Pittis continued, “Perhaps it is one more reason why people are no longer satisfied with accepting the views of experts. They want to examine the evidence themselves.

That certainly seems the case with recent predictions that the world is heading for recession.”

Read the full article here. 

Canadians sinking in debt

Photographer: Michal Jarmoluk

Photographer: Michal Jarmoluk

 

“A government economist emailed a chastisement recently,” wrote Neil Macdonald for CBC News on March 19, 2019.

Macdonald continued, “In the most polite language possible, he characterized columnists — me — who worry about endless accumulation of government debt as uneducated, and in need of an introduction to basic economics. (Economists can be a sensitive bunch; they disagree profoundly with one another, but some of them go into epileptic snark if someone without a PhD ventures an opinion they don’t like).

In any case, he advised: “As the issuer of currency, the Government of Canada can never run out of money and can fund every single social requirement it faces, including free education. It is impossible for there to be a limit on the capacity of a sovereign government to pay debts denominated in its own currency.”

Well. Good to know.

Helpfully, the fellow appended a primer on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), which posits that the government, not individuals or corporations, owns the national currency, and can print unlimited amounts of it without harmful consequence, as long as it taxes enough of it back to keep spending in check and restrain inflation.”

Read the full article here. 

Monthly rent on the rise in Canada

Photographer: Breather

Photographer: Breather

 

“Nicholas Surges stood in lines with his roommate all over Toronto for five-and-a-half months,” wrote CBC Radio on February 24, 2019.

CBC Radio continued, “They weren’t there for the launch of a cool, new product or to meet a famous author. They were trying to see an apartment.

“We had everything in order. We had guarantors. We had references. We had the kind of standardized application information — chequebooks in hand,” Surges, 28, told Cross Country Checkup.

“Wherever we went … people lined up around the block looking to view a single, tiny, little apartment.”

As home prices rise, so do the costs of rental units across the country — and it’s expected to continue.”

Read the full article here. 

Canadian residents banking information shared with IRS

“The Canadian government has shared more than 1.6 million Canadian banking records with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service since the start of a controversial information-sharing agreement in 2014, CBC News has learned,” wrote Elizabeth Thompson for CBC News on January 23, 2019.

Thompson continued, “In 2016 and again in 2017, the Canada Revenue Agency provided the IRS with information on 600,000 Canadian bank accounts each year. That’s a sharp increase from the 300,000 records shared in 2015 and the 150,000 records shared in 2014, the year the sharing began.

However, that doesn’t necessarily correspond to the number of people affected. Some people may have more than one bank account, while some joint accounts could have more than one account holder — including people who don’t hold U.S. citizenship.

Among the items of Canadian bank account information being shared with the U.S. are the names and addresses of account holders, account numbers, account balances or values, and information about certain payments such as interest, dividends, other income and proceeds of disposition.”

Read the full article here. 

Could more sleep help you lose weight?

Photographer: Jay Mantri

Photographer: Jay Mantri

 

“Ian Patton has struggled with obesity his whole life. He’d lose weight, then put it on, going up and down like a yo-yo,” wrote Duncan McCue for CBC Radio on January 20, 2019.

McCue continued, “When he tries to pinpoint why, sleeplessness stands out.

“I think of times when I had significant re-gain or problems with my weight, it would often be tied to periods where I wasn’t sleeping well,” said Patton.

Patton, 35, says that as a child he was heavy but athletic, competing fiercely as a high school wrestler. Things changed in his university years. While pursuing his PhD in kinesiology, stress began to interfere with his sleep.”

Read the full article here. 

 

Misplaced commas costing companies millions

Photographer: Jeffrey Betts

Photographer: Jeffrey Betts

 

“For most people, a stray comma isn’t the end of the world. But in some cases, the exact placement of a punctuation mark can cost huge sums of money.

We’re bidding farewell to 2018 with some of BBC Capital’s greatest hits from over the last year. With these compelling stories, indispensable tips and expert insight, you’ll be ready to make 2019 the best it can be,” wrote Chris Stokel-Walker for BBC Capital on July 23, 2018.

Stokel-Walker continued, “How much can a misplaced comma cost you?

If you’re texting a loved one or dashing off an email to a colleague, the cost of misplacing a piece of punctuation will be – at worst – a red face and a minor mix-up.

But for some, contentious commas can be a path to the poor house.

A dairy company in the US city of Portland, Maine settled a court case for $5m earlier this year because of a missing comma.”

Read the full article here. 

Scientists suspect chemicals used to sanitize gym weights & machines affect microbes

Photographer: Skitter Photo

Photographer: Skitter Photo

 

“When environmental engineer Erica Hartmann hits the gym, she sees the floor where people lie down to do crunches as the perfect place to test dust for microbes,” wrote CBC News on December 12, 2018.

CBC News continued, “You may think of dust as dead. But dust actually teems with bacteria because it acts as a final resting place for everything drifting through the air.

At a gym, people are often encouraged to wipe down the weights and machines with a sanitizer. One antimicrobial ingredient called triclosan stops the growth of bacteria, fungus and mildew as well as deodorizes.”

Read the full article here. 

Do financial planners get better results?

Photographer: Rawpixel.com

Photographer: Rawpixel.com

 

“A new report from Charles Schwab shows that U.S. investors with self-directed brokerage accounts (SDBAs) who work with advisors see greater portfolio diversity and higher returns than their non-advised counterparts,” wrote Audrey Carleton for The Globe and Mail on December 10, 2018.

Carleton continued, “The SBDA Indicators report, published Nov. 27, sampled 137,000 retirement plan participants who currently have balances between $5,000 and $10-million in their Schwab Personal Choice Retirement Account in the third quarter of 2018.

According to the report, only 19 per cent of SDBA participants chose to use an advisor. But this small percentage saw far better results than non-advised participants. The former category showed an average balance of $449,552 – almost double the average balance of non-advised accounts, which came in at $234,643.”

Read the full article here. 

 

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