Browse "Science & Technology"

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UFOs in Canada

For 45 years, the Canadian government investigated unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Several of its departments and agencies collected sighting reports of UFOs in Canadian airspace from 1950 to 1995. These investigations started during the Cold War, spurred by fears of Soviet incursions. What began as a military question eventually became a scientific one. From the start, however, the government was reluctant to study this topic. It devoted few resources to it, believing UFOs to be natural phenomena or the products of “delusional” minds. By contrast, many Canadian citizens were eager for information about UFOs. Citizens started their own investigations and petitioned the government for action. In 1995, due to budget cuts, the government stopped collecting reports altogether. For their part, citizen enthusiasts have continued to investigate UFOs.

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Umiak

Until recent times, the umiak — which means “open skin boat” in Inuktitut — was the primary method of summer transport for coastal Inuit, used for moving family and possessions to seasonal hunting areas and for whaling expeditions.

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Uranium

Uranium oxide was first identified in 1789 by M.H. Klaproth in the MINERAL pitchblende, but its distinctive property of radioactivity was discovered much later (1896) by Henri Becquerel.

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Urban Design

Urban design can be applied to the whole city (as in KITIMAT), to well-defined units of the city (as in Don Mills in Toronto) and to individual streets and clusters of buildings. The earliest extant examples of urban design in Canada are designs for the whole city.

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Urban Effect on Climate

Both land surface and air are altered by urbanization. Buildings change the geometric arrangement of the land surface, creating a rigid, rough system of blocks and street "canyons," especially in the centre of cities.

Macleans

V-chip Promise

When Maxine Lawson first suspected that her two-year-old son, Caden, might be picking up nasty habits from television, she was not sure what to do about it. "If he caught a glimpse of something like wrestling, he'd start kicking and pushing," the Toronto accountant recalls.

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V-chip Technology

Tim Collings is one of those techies who uses the word "neat" as often as some Canadians use "eh." A soft-spoken engineering instructor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., the 34-year-old Collings clearly gets excited by gadgetry.

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Vaccination and Vaccine Hesitancy in Canada

Vaccination is the introduction of a vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a disease. Vaccine hesitancy is the refusal or delayed acceptance of vaccination due to fears or anxiety about vaccines. It includes a range of concerns such as uncertainty about vaccines’ contents and their safety and the belief that vaccines are responsible for causing other medical conditions (e.g., autism). Other factors include opposition to state control and infringement on individual liberty, suspicions about the pharmaceutical industry and a declining faith in science and medicine. In Canada, as in other wealthy countries, vaccine hesitancy has increased in recent years.

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Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary Medicine, the science dealing with health and disease in vertebrates, has application to 4 broad domains: domestic animals, wildlife, comparative medicine and public health.

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VIA Rail Canada Inc.

In 1981 VIA cancelled or reduced numerous routes in an attempt to make passenger service more efficient. Services in parts of the country were seriously affected and the Liberal government was widely criticized. A nonconfidence vote over the issue in October 1981 was won by the government.

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Viagra Craze

This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on May 4, 1998. Partner content is not updated.

In December, 1994, Lorne had just turned 40 and life was good. Married, he had two young children, a house near Vancouver and a job he enjoyed. Then disaster struck: as he changed a tire on his car beside a roadway, another automobile hit him.


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Viagra Hits Canada

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on March 22, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

Bill Smith, a 55-year-old heavy-machine operator from Fredericton, knows these are his salad days revisited. As one of 500 Canadian men participating in the clinical trials of the impotency drug Viagra, he has been getting samples for two years. "They're free, so why not use them?" he says.

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Virus

Virus, the smallest form of life (20-300 nanometres), is structurally and functionally unique. Their size is such that they do not contain enough genetic material to code for the proteins they require for reproduction, nor do they have ribosomes needed to synthesize these proteins.

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W.D. Lawrence

W.D. Lawrence, 2548 ton square-rigged sailing ship built in 1874 in Maitland, NS. It was designed and built by William Dawson Lawrence, who earned substantial profits from the ship until 1883, when he sold it to a Norwegian.

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Waste Disposal

Although the term SOLID WASTE refers to a wide range of discarded materials (from kitchen scraps to mine tailings), the component known as refuse has the greatest potential for environmental contamination.