By David Ng

David (@ng_dave) is Faculty at the Michael Smith Labs. His writing has appeared in places such as McSweeney's, The Walrus, and also as an occasional blogger at boingboing.net. If you're looking for a graphic for your next science talk, he encourages you to check out his blog, popperfont.net.

ANNOUNCING THE “VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE” TRADING CARD GAME. PLUS A CALL FOR SOME CROWDSOURCED GOODNESS!

The Phylo project is hard at work on preparing the next high quality Phylomon* deck, and this one will revolve around Charles Darwin and his wonderful 5 year voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle.   At this point in time, we’ve enlisted the help of noted Darwinian aficionado, Karen James, who has nicely narrowed down the list of cards that are needed for this endeavour (see original google doc here). In turn, I have a group of folks in the backend of the phylo website, who have produced a number of nice looking “beta” cards that can be used to test…

THE ABRAMS’ STORMTROOPER AXIOM

It (hypothetically*) goes like this: * Like all good science, this needs some testing… – – – When news hit that Disney bought the rights to Star Wars, and that J.J. Abrams would be manning the first movie of a new trilogy, my inner geek went into giddy overdrive. This was because it gave me a chance to revisited my bucket list, which had previously scratched off “be an extra in a Star Wars movie” as something that was unattainable having presumed the prequels were my last chance. But now, there is (literally), A NEW HOPE. Even better, is the…

A moment of your time: about Bill C-398 and how Canadians can contribute to global health

Dear Canadians: On wednesday, a very important piece of policy will be discussed in parliament.   It’s called Bill C-398 and it deserves our attention.  It seems that it has been challenging for some to see its merits, and so, I’d like to take moment to clarify what it’s all about.  It turns out that it’s not just important – the narrative is intriguing as well: it has a rich history of political intrigue; it is a story where viruses factor in prominently; it has a plot that involves armies of angry grandmothers; and above it all, learning about Bill…

BAD ASS POKEMON (I MEAN PHYLOMON) CARDS. LOOKING TO HIRE SOME ARTISTS

Just saying that biodiversity isn’t all about beauty and things being cute and cuddly. These cards at the Phylogame website rock! And in case, you’re new to the Phylomon idea, it’s basically a crowdsourced art, science and gaming project that revolves around the reality of children knowing WAY more about Pokemon than they do about the flora and fauna around them. This, of course, is problematic since one might suggest that it’s not a bad thing for children to also know a little more about the real environment around them (a more detailed description of the project can be found…

THE BESTEST, MOST KICK ASS, HUMAN GENOME PROJECT

– FROM THE ARCHIVE – Mondo-Genetic-Services is proud to announce its latest venture, “The Bestest, Most Kick Ass, Human Genome Project.” Hot on the tails of the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium and Celera Genomics, we present to you a novel approach in the elucidation of mankind’s blueprint of life. Rather than using the frequently studied yet boring human cell lines, or samples from a small group of ethnically diverse, anonymous, and likely dull individuals, we propose a completely different strategy – that is, we plan to use the genomes of individuals handpicked by the editorial staff of People magazine,…

SHOULD EVERYONE HAVE ACCESS TO LIFE SAVING MEDICINES?

If you’re a reader from Canada, don’t forget to check out aidsaction.ca. Here, you can look up your candidates and send off an email to support the Call to Action to reform Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime and help save lives! – – – 30 MINUTES, 70 FATES. You don’t know it, but as I write this piece, there is some serious procrastination going on. My attention span is weak and sidetracked constantly by a variety of diversions, and if you must know, it’s taken me close to half an hour to write these first two sentences. Still, one could…

SLICK CITY: THE PITCH

Alright everyone, you know it’s high time for some major spin control. We may have managed to plug that baby up, but now we’ve got to fight that public relations fight. Ha ha – who would have thought that 4.9 million barrels of crude oil spilling out would piss so many people off? But seriously, the bad press is still everywhere, and we are, quite frankly, getting hammered out there. So what can we do about this? How exactly can we turn this PR nightmare into a PR fairytale? Well, we in the spin department think that we’ve got an…

WHAT NAGOYA COP10 ISN’T

A particularly tricky wrestling move. The long anticipated installment of a popular Japanese police TV serial. An unfortunate typo for an especially niched Japanese pop music chart. An ointment used to treat especially aggressive forms of Nagoya. The first line of a haiku that was awarded the distinction of being “most boring.” Next year’s popular International CATS ON PROZAC seminar. A droid that is seen for only 2 seconds during the Return of the Jedi. Worst ever celebrity child name. * * * (Curious folks can read this if they’d like to find out more. Folks on twitter may add…