Bill Nye Inspires and Educates Rutgers’ Class of 2015

rutgersbill nye

I recently had the pleasure of traveling down to Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ to watch my brother’s graduation.

While I am extremely proud of all his accomplishments another draw was that Bill Nye was slated to be the 2015 commencement speaker. As a childhood fan I certainly wasn’t going to miss this opportunity!

Nye imparted some excellent words of wisdom on the audience, while also tying in his views on climate change and racism. He urged the graduates to take climate change seriously, and expressed his hope that they would rise to the challenge of solving this crucial issue. Along with this wish, Nye also pointed out that in order to solve the problem of climate change the class of 2015 would have to put aside preconceived notions of race. We are all members of the human species, worthy of respect, and capable of making world changing discoveries said Nye.

Nye’s speech was inspiring as well as educational, and an excellent reminder that we are all responsible for building one another up for the good of the world.

To read Nye’s remarks in full click on the link below!

What Do You Remember From Science Class?


High school might be a distant memory but you’ll be surprised by what you still remember.

Take Buzzfeed’s newest quiz and find out exactly how much you’ve retained from your high school science classes!

I got a B which is honestly better than I expected.


Women and the Google Doodle


Thanks to a SPARK study done last year you might have noticed the famous Google doodles have been featuring more women!

In 2014 SPARK studied the doodles being placed on Google’s homepage and found there was a distinct lack of diversity among the historic figures being celebrated. In fact between 2010 and 2013 only 17% of doodles featured women, and of that 17% only 4.3 % were women of colour.

History is learned in a variety of ways from a myriad of sources, including those fun images showing up on your Google home page! By leaving out women, as history so often does, Google was underrepresenting a group that makes up half the world’s population; a group that has also made significant contributions to science, technology, politics, literature and every field in between.

Since being made aware of SPARK’s study Google has made an effort to equally represent both men and women in their doodles. When SPARK went back to check Google’s progress they found the women are now being featured as often as men.  Just this past week Google featured trailblazing journalist Nellie Bly. To learn more about Bly check out the doodle, .

For more information on SPARKS study click the following link,

The Impact of Technological Change on the Surgical Profession: Past, Present, Future

You are invited to the upcoming workshop being held at the Bloomfield Lecture Hall of Lady Davis Institute – JGH on May 6th and May 7th 2015 titled: The Impact of Technological Change on the Surgical Profession: Past, Present, Future.

This issue influences the future of the surgical profession, surgical careers and training, and importantly the types of services and the quality of patient care people receive.

This opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with international speakers Roger Kneebone, David Jones, Peter Kernahan and Rachel Prentice is being organized by the Department of Social Studies of Medicine, the Department of Surgery as well as the Jewish General Hospital Foundation.

For more information, please visit the Event Page.

Apps from 2 big MOOC providers

I have been waiting for this – edX mobile is finally here.

I’ve been taking courses from the two big names in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), edX and Coursera, and making good use of Coursera’s iOS app on my iPhone (also available for Android). What I like about having the apps is that I can download course videos and view them anytime, even offline.

I can now get on with the course I’ve signed up for from MITx: Design and Development of Games for Learning. The furthest I’ve got is through their pre-course tutorial videos on Gameblox. I designed my first game (don’t judge!).

Keep your eye on offerings from McGill on McGillx. You can now follow courses on your mobile (yay).

Short course at MIT

MIT professional education is offering a short course “MODELING AND SIMULATION OF TRANSPORTATION NETWORKS” in July 27-31, 2015. The tuition fee is 3300 USD.

Please find more details here:


Take a paws from end-of-term stress!

Blue Ribbon Therapy Dogs are coming to Schulich! Come visit Brandy, Whiskey & our other four-footed friends in the library on Wednesday, April 15th, from 1-3 pm.

Want to learn more about therapy dogs, cats, horses, birds and more? Discover the world of  animal-assisted therapy, and explore the human-animal bond, with titles available at the Library. Click ‘Continue Reading,’ below.

The Power of Wagging Tails, by Dawn A. Marcus (2011) – one of several titles on animal-assisted therapy available at McGill Library.


Can’t make it on Wednesday? Blue Ribbon Therapy Dogs will also be at the Humanities and Social Sciences Library from 1-3pm on Tuesday, April 14th.

Continue reading

L’Oréal Canada For Women in Science Research Excellence Fellowships,

L’Oréal Canada For Women in Science Research Excellence Fellowships,
with the Support of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO – 2015-2016
L’Oréal Canada has announced the For Women in Science Research Excellence Fellowships, with the support of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, which will give two (2) fellowships of $20,000 CAD each to female post-doctoral researchers in the field of Engineering/Pure and Applied Sciences. This fellowship is a part of the For Women in Science Program which recognizes the importance of the contributions of women in the progress of science. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of scientists, including representatives from the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and L’Oréal Canada. Candidates must conduct their research at a Canadian host institution or organization.
Value: $20,000 CAD each.
Place of Study: Host institution/organization in Canada.
Field of Study: For the 2015-2016 competition, fellowships are being offered for research in the Engineering/Pure and Applied Sciences. The fellowships offered alternate each year between the fields of Life Sciences and Engineering/Pure and Applied Sciences.
Deadline Date: Postmarked application packages must be sent to the AUCC on or before March 26, 2015.
Guidelines and Application Forms: Visit the AUCC website:  2015 L’Oréal Canada Research Excellence Fellowships

@mymom I’m back on Twitter!

After a four year hiatus I am returning to Twitter (@tweetapril) and quickly realizing that I have really missed out. As a participant in a MOOC, Introduction to Learning Technologies, I was prompted to connect via their hashtag (#ilt_usask) on Twitter (in 140 characters or less at a time).

For anyone new to Twitter, course instructors pointed us to the very sweet and useful Mom This is How Twitter Works. It has some quick tips if you are a little rusty as well. For example, if you start a tweet with a username like @mymom it will limit who gets to see it, versus putting a period or other characters in front of it.

We were also directed to 10 Commandments of Twitter for Academics from The Chronicle for Higher Education, with some sage advice on using Twitter in your personal and professional lives. I will of course recommend that you follow McGill Library (@McGillLib) but please do not stop there. I’m following a lot of Montreal- sci-tech- library-oriented people and discovering new things everyday.

Here is one that I will leave you with: British Library’s #ShareMyThesis competition. First prize for this worldwide competition is a 15-inch MacBook pro. Take a look at how past and present PhD students have been sharing why their project is important #ShareMyThesis and consider contributing.