Radiation and Human Health

Friday, 25 January 2019

Speaker: Don Wiles

Lecture title: Radiation and Human Health

Lecture Summary

nuclear-wasteHumans have been exposed to nuclear radiation for millions of years and seem to have survived. Illustrations will be given to show how radiation can interact with human flesh and how the effects can often be counteracted.  Some examples of extreme cases will be given.  Current evidence indicates that there is a lower limit, below which radiation is not harmful.  In fact, small animal research indicates that below the safe limit radiation is actually beneficial to human and animal health.  Finally, a summary will be given of my own exposure to radiation, including my own gamma-ray spectrum

Slides: Radiation and Human Health

Bio: Don Wiles

Don Wiles
Don Wiles

Starting in Port Hope Ontario, I became exposed to large doses of radiation, and ingested considerable quantities of radium-226.  I also got a ‘radium burn’ on two fingers.  At MIT, I was useful in helping to calibrate a device for measuring radon in human breath.  Somehow I have survived.

 

Digitally Challenged!

Friday, 30 November 2018

Speaker: Mel Turner

Lecture title: Digitally Challenged!

Lecture Summary

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Mel Turner

Mel Turner has been using, programming and dealing with computers for more than 50 years; almost as long as the mainstream use of computers in general. This lecture will describe the advances over the history of his career in both the private and public sectors. From mainframes in the 60s to iPhones and iPads today, Mel has had both a career and a hobby exploring this field that changes constantly and continues to challenge us all in our everyday lives.

 

Slides: Digitally Challenged

 

Bio: Mel Turner

Mel Turner
Mel Turner

Mel Turner graduated in Physics at the University of London (England) in 1966 and has been involved in Information Technology throughout his career. Starting with IBM as a programmer, Mel came to Canada in 1968 and worked in the public service and in the private sector before cofounding a software company in the 80s. He returned to Statistics Canada in the 90s and completed his career in 2006 managing the Informatics Branch. He continues to program as a hobby and busies himself in retirement with maintaining websites and volunteering technical support to local groups.

 

Hazardous Conditions: Histories of the Urban Horse

Friday, 26 October 2018

Speaker: Joanna Dean

Lecture title: Hazardous Conditions: Histories of the Urban Horse

Lecture Summary

horse-and-buggy-drawing-11What was it really like to share city streets with animals that weighed half a ton and did not always do as they were told? The number of horses in Canadian cities skyrocketed in the late 1800s, when they pulled buggies, hauled carts and streetcars, and powered treadmills, lifts, and brick machines. In 1891, Ottawa had one horse for every 18 people. In this lecture, I will tell stories from the archives about the mishaps, cruelty and muck of a multispecies city. I will explain what horse manure had to do with the spread of tetanus, or lockjaw, and how an ungainly little horse called Brick Top helped Canadians overcome this dread disease during the First World War.

Bio: Joanna Dean

Joanna Dean
Joanna Dean

Joanna Dean was inspired as a child by Dr. Dolittle, and has never entirely given up trying to talk to the animals. She shares her farm in rural Quebec with Wyatt, a draft horse, Paddy, a paint, and a multitude of other animals. She teaches animal history and environmental history at Carleton University, and recently co-edited Animal Metropolis: Histories of Human-Animal Relations in Urban Canada (2017).