What is urban? Who is responsible for the urban environment? What’s the role of bees? What the heck is an IKEA Growroom? Terra Informers Shelley Jodoin and Carter Gorzitza ask these questions and more of Hayley Wasylycia, an organizer of Urban Week, which is coming to the University of Alberta March 20th to 24th.
This week on Terra Informa, we look to the archives to discuss the future of humanity and the place oil has in that future. First off we have Chris Chang-Yen Phillips with Brandon Schatz talking about science-fiction and its reflection of our current and future states. After that we talk to Jennifer Jacquet about the effectiveness of shaming in modern protest. And lastly we talk with Todd Hirsch about the future of oil in Alberta and the his view on the future economic framework of this province.
Lenses on the Future
Not everyone likes reading books about the future. Unless you already read science fiction, speculative fiction, or science-fiction as they’re collectively called, you might feel like the whole genre is just about slapstick robots and Orion slave girls. To be fair, some of it is about slapstick robots and Orion slave girls. But Sci-Fi can also teach us a lot about the way we live today. And help us imagine something different. For more on why your summer reading list should venture into the world of ansibles, hyperspace, and pigoons, Chris Chang-Yen Phillips spoke to Brandon Schatz, manager of Wizard Comics in Edmonton.
Shaming Our Way Past Petrol
For activists trying to get all of society to shift to a renewable energy future, does it work to shame those keeping us in the past? Shame is divisive and combative. But Jennifer Jacquet thinks shame is a great tool in the activist toolkit. This academic in New York University’s department of Environmental Studies published the book Is Shame Necessary? New Uses for an Old Tool.
Alberta’s Post-Oil Future
As demand for Alberta’s oil drops lower and lower in the decades to come, how will the province’s economy change? How will we move forward and learn to prosper in new ways? For some perspective on these questions, we turned to Todd Hirsch, chief economist at ATB Financial.
We all know bugs are important in the function of ecosystems but did you know about their importance in the world of forensics, or in the study of physics? This week on Terra Informa, we go to Chris Chang-Yen Phillips to discuss a murder investigation with a forensic entomologist. And after we hear about the physics of fire ants from our partners over at Science Faction.
Piecing together a crime can be a messy business. Police can run up against unreliable witnesses, or destroyed evidence. But what if the animals around a body could tell you a story about what happened? Chris Chang-Yen Phillips has this story from forensic entomologist and Simon Fraser University professor Gail Anderson in Vancouver.
In this week’s episode some average-joe Terra Informers take a walk with the stars. Find out what is so exciting about the observatory even when you can’t see the stars, learn whats up with light pollution, and hear a down-to-earth interview with a man who has been to space and back.
Many people come out to the University of Alberta observatory despite poor visibility. We wanted to find out: what would they think if they could no longer see the stars? And why would they spend a Thursday evening listening to a guy talk about hydrogen?
A big concern for astronomers—amateurs and pros alike—is light pollution. Gazing at the stars gives us important knowledge about our place in the universe. Without that, we lose perspective.
But some might say, you know, there’s so much up there that we can’t see anyway. What can’t we see? and why we can see what we can? —those are questions Trevor Chow-Fraser had. Luckily there was a world famous particle physicist at the observatory that night. Thank your lucky stars! James Pinfold is a founding member of the ATLAS experiment and the spokesman for the MoEDAL experiment, both taking place at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.
A Canadian Star Comes Back to Earth
Most of us will never know what it’s like being in space. We’ve all seen the pictures of that familiar, glowing blue and green orb out the window of a spaceship. We know what the that golden crescent we see in the sky every night really looks like. We have rich imaginations and an ages long fascination with what could be out there beyond the sky. But what does space smell like? What does it really feel like to know the vastness of it all? Our own Matt Hirji talked with Commander Chris Hadfield to try and understand questions like these.