By Amanda Shendruk - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 0 Comments
No dessert until you finish your dragonflies!
Eating more insects could help combat world hunger, says a new report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
In North America insects are generally considered to be more of a curse than a course, yet bugs are consumed regularly by about 30 per cent of the world’s almost 7 billion people.
The report lists a number of reasons for considering entomophagy:
- Insects are highly nutritious (with high protein, fat and mineral content).
- They are “extremely efficient” at turning feed into edible meat. For example, crickets require 12 times less feed than cattle to produce the same amount of protein (see chart on p. 60 of report).
- Insect rearing produces far less greenhouse gases and lower ammonia emissions than other livestock (see charts on p. 63 of report).
Will you be adding bugs to your next meal? If you’re willing to give it a try, check out the Florida Pest Control website—they have recipes for termite salsa, meal worm funnel cake, roasted grasshopper casserole … and more!
By Amanda Shendruk - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 1:37 PM - 0 Comments
According to a report from the Conference Board of Canada, 21 of Canada’s 46 medium-sized cities have yet to see employment return to pre-recession levels, and 29 saw negative economic growth during 2008-09.
The majority of these cities (40 of 46) saw a return to growth in 2010. However, in the following two years, 13 of them saw that growth stall.
The charts below detail the growth or decline of these mid-sized cities during 2012, both in terms of GDP and employment.
Note: On the employment chart, stars indicated whether cities have yet returned to their 2008 employment levels.
The chart below details the cities with the most significant GDP growth or decline in 2012.
By Amanda Shendruk - Friday, April 12, 2013 at 9:44 AM - 0 Comments
A BMO report released this week reminds us just how much we all love Florida. It notes that more than 500,000 Canadians own property in the state (Canadians are the largest foreign buyers of Florida real estate), that Canada is Florida’s No. 1 source of foreign tourists, and that perhaps Canadian snowbirds played a significant role in pulling the recession-hit state from its post-2008 slump.
By Amanda Shendruk - Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 5:45 AM - 0 Comments
Health Canada recently announced they will be regulating the amount of caffeine allowed in energy drinks. Now limited to 180 mg of caffeine per can, that’s significantly less stimulant than is in a small coffee from Second Cup.
In fact, you might be surprised at how much caffeine is found in some of the more commonly consumed brands of coffee: A single venti from Starbucks has 415 mg. That’s 15 mg more than Health Canada’s suggested daily limit of 400 mg.
Canadian adults get less than 10 per cent of their caffeine intake from energy drinks, but 60 per cent from coffee. So, why energy drinks in particular? Should Health Canada also start regulating the caffeine in your cup o’ joe?
Check out the chart below, which details the amount of caffeine in some of the more common coffee brands, and sound off in the comments.
By Amanda Shendruk - Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 7:03 AM - 0 Comments
How does its $480 million price tag (with the cost of surrounding infrastructure the project is expected to reach $601 million) compare with recent construction costs of other NHL arenas?
Note to readers: This is a corrected version. The previous version of the graphic was titled “Twenty Years of NHL Arenas” and incorrectly listed the Xcel Energy Center and the Scottrade Center in the top 20. The Bridgestone Arena and Rogers Arena have been added to the graphic.
By Amanda Shendruk - Friday, January 4, 2013 at 9:29 PM - 0 Comments
Visual blogger Amanda Shendruk has mapped the spread of Idle No More support.
By Amanda Shendruk - Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 8:43 AM - 0 Comments
The well-respected medical journal the Lancet published the world’s largest ever systematic study of global disease. The extremely extensive report contains a wealth of data, and the Lancet’s editor-in-chief describes it as “a critical contribution to our understanding of present and future health priorities for countries and the global community.”
Within the study, there is an extensive and fascinating section on mortality risks and causes. We all know that the world will soon end so the report won’t be relevant for long, but until then, the below list ranks the top 15 global risk factors and their change in rank since 1990.
For a more detailed look at risks closer to home, the graphic below ranks the top fifteen risk factors for high-income North America.
By Amanda Shendruk - Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:06 PM - 0 Comments
Last week, Canada was one of only nine nations to oppose the Palestinian Authority’s UN bid to be granted non-member, observer-state status. To nobody’s surprise, the United States also voted against the resolution. Canada’s hardline decision, however, left some wondering “why”?
Costanza Musu, an associate professor of international affairs at the University of Ottawa, recently told Global News: “Based on Canada’s voting history at the United Nations, the possibility that Canada would’ve been on the opposing side of an American vote is not very high. Normally, Canada would be close to the United States, or one step away.”
For how long has Canada voted in tandem with the United States on questions of Palestine? Interestingly enough, the answer is: Not that long. Check out the chart below for a historic look at what percentage of UN resolutions involving Palestine have received “no” votes, “yes” votes or abstentions from Canada and our neighbour.
By Amanda Shendruk - Friday, November 23, 2012 at 11:54 AM - 0 Comments
It’s Black Friday!
Though it has traditionally been an American “holiday,” during the past few years Canadian retailers have jumped on the discount day. And apparently we don’t mind: A recent CIBC poll conducted by Harris/Decima suggested that 9 per cent of Canadians plan to take advantage of the shopping savings.
Many Canadians will take advantage of the weekend discounts to get their Christmas shopping done—all $674 worth of gifts. That’s right, this year’s Bank of Montreal Christmas spending survey suggests we plan to drop almost $100 more than last year on presents (when each person shed $583 for their loved ones).
Despite worries about an upcoming fiscal cliff-induced recession, both Canadians and Americans plan to increase their Christmas spending. But what about the rest of the Western world?
By Amanda Shendruk - Saturday, November 10, 2012 at 8:40 AM - 0 Comments
It’s opening weekend for Skyfall, the new James Bond film starring Daniel Craig. It’s Craig’s third stint as Bond and is likely bring in millions this weekend, but we’ll have to wait until the end of its box-office run to see how its bottom line compares to other films in the franchise.
Below, a Bond history of kisses, kills and box-office earnings.
By Amanda Shendruk - Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 6:51 AM - 0 Comments
Earlier this week, I found myself in a small New York hotel as it was hammered by hurricane Sandy. During a particularly violent blast of wind, the glass from a lobby window shattered and I thought, probably for the first time in my life, that a disaster emergency kit might not be a bad idea.
In fact, it might be a very good idea.
Climate change means weather extremes are becoming the “new normal,” so now that I’m safely back in Canada, I’m making one for my home.
Creating your own natural disaster emergency kit can be easy and cheap. Check out this graphical guide to creating your own.
By Amanda Shendruk - Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 7:34 PM - 0 Comments
It’s Halloween week and the stench of zombies is in the air.
There have been zombie walks across Canada, the third season of The Walking Dead just started and Margaret Atwood is writing a zombie novel.
So … when did zombies become so popular?
By looking at the rise in frequency of zombie movies, books that mention zombies and Google searches for the undead, the answer appears to be: very recently.
Check out this Google trends chart of searches for “zombie” since 2004 and note the steady incline. Interestingly enough, a number of the search peaks are due to news events that reference zombies, and not necessarily game or movie releases.
This increase in interest is also reflected in both the book and movie industry.
Here is a chart that details the number of zombie movies released each year (according to the zombie movie list on Wikipedia). Notice that between 2003 and 2008 the number of zombie movies doubles!
Finally, if we look at the Google books Ngram viewer (an online tool that graphs the number of words or phrases as found in over 5.2 million books from 1900 to 2008 (and is normalized by books published each year) , we once again see how recent our interest in zombies really is.
By Amanda Shendruk - Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 6:43 PM - 0 Comments
Newsweek has announced that at the end of 2012 it will cease publishing its print version. From then on, it will be e-only. Is this the beginning of the end of print?
The move is notable, as it represents one of the first major publications to ditch paper and ink. They’re taking an all-or-nothing dive into digital that few have attempted—and the industry will certainly be observing. Just as we watched the pay-wall pioneers to see if readers would pitch in for online news, we will now watch Newsweek, eager to see if its full online embrace will flounder or flourish.
It’s a brave (or perhaps desperate?) action, but is it one that any of our own news publications could even consider? Canada tops most countries in Internet usage, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready for an online-only news industry.
A recent Ipsos Reid poll conducted for the Canadian Journalism Foundation can help us find the answer. What percentage of Canadians are clinging to hard copy, and which are going digital for their daily dose?
It looks like there’s still significant support for printed journalism. But haven’t we all heard the mantra that “print is dying”? Well, in Canada at least, we don’t need to write a eulogy for the newspaper just yet. By looking at the readership of five of the largest newspapers in our country, it’s not immediately clear that the industry is on its last legs. Take a look at how Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, Le Journal de Montreal, the National Post and the Toronto Star have fared during hte past decade.