Stuttering is a disorder causing somebody to speak with a continued involuntary repetition of words or sounds. Stuttering is a genetic disorder meaning if your one of your parents has it or has had it, the odds are high that you will develop this disorder in your early years. Stuttering is not a rare disorder and affects approximately one in 20 children, ages two to five, that is about 70 million people. Although most of these children outgrow this speaking impediment by the age of seven or eight, there are still a large amount of people who have it all through their adult life.

There are many things parents can do if they notice their child showing signs of stuttering. One way is to ask less questions to your child, these questions put a lot of pressure on them. Instead of asking questions directly to them, say something like “I wonder what you did at school today.” With these changes in questions, your child can choose whether or not to answer, and not get nervous and feel pressured into talking. This also eliminates “time pressure” put upon the child, allowing them to gather their thoughts and speak, as opposed to being put on the spot.

Another way parents can get involved and help their child is to read to them. Find five or ten minutes here and there, in the mornings, evenings or night to sit down with them and read with them. This way, your child can practice pronouncing words, as well as watch and listen to you for feedback. While giving positive feedback in any circumstance , be sure to add descriptive words. For example, instead of saying, “this is good”, try and say, “I like the way that you cleaned your room.” Descriptive words  give a child more confidence than just saying a basic compliment.

There are many famous celebrities that have speaking disorders, such as Samuel L. Jackson, Emily Blunt, Julia Roberts and Joe Biden. The great speaker Winston Churchill had a speaking disorder, but if you watch him you can’t even notice. Churchill pauses in his speeches, and his words and phrases are very carefully chosen, not only captivating his audiences, but also playing to his speaking strengths. Churchill was also rumoured to practice his speeches for hours at a time.

There many other options and “treatments” available to help children and adults overcome their speech disorder. Although people may never be 100 per cent fluent in speaking, with therapy and practice they will reach the point where they will become a good communicator. If you are able to effectively share your points of views and opinions with others, that is all that is really important.




Earthquake Preparedness

Earthquakes are caused when underground rocks called plates suddenly break along a fault. Energy is released, causing seismic waves, shaking the ground. The Juan de Fuca is the tectonic plate that is moving underneath the much larger North American plate. This puts the west coast of Canada at a great risk of an earthquake, especially because it has been nearly 70 years overdue.

To visualize tectonic plates and their energy, your hands are going to act like tectonic plates. Put your hands out in front of you with your fingers touching each other. Now add a little bit of pressure by pushing your fingers together, then slowly move one of your hands up or down. This will cause one of your hands to slip slip, resulting in one hand going over the other like an elastic band snapping.

The west coast of Canada is expected to have an earthquake of 9.0. to put that size into perspective, the last big earthquake that hit Vancouver Island back in 1946 measured a 7.3 on the Richter scale.The earthquake that hit Japan back in 2011 occurred  in the North-Western Pacific ocean and  about 72 km from the shore measured a 9.1. This caused a massive tsunami that devastated the town of Tōhoku.

There are many ways people from the west coast can begin preparing for this inevitable earthquake, which will cause an even bigger tsunami. One way is to store enough food and water to last up to 72 hours, in case of an emergency Another way is to create a “to go pack” which is filled with the necessary materials such as secondary identification and money ,incase you need to leave your home quickly.

Jonathan Gormick, Vancouver Fire Spokesman states that his department has a major emergency and disaster plan, which covers a huge range of events. The disaster plan was six months in the making and was designed by a Vancouver Fire member who has a masters degree in emergency planning. Back up electricity and water have also been established in case an emergency calls for it.

Wildfires and Prevention

Wildfires occur naturally through lightning, but in British Columbia and the rest of Canada, more and more fires are being caused by humans throwing smoking material on the ground. In 2018, there was a total of 2,920 wildfires , just in BC in British. These fires  burned more than 1 million acres of land. Nearly 55 per cent of all forest fires are caused by humans with  unattended campfires and discarded cigarettes being the main causes.

Wildfires do not only affect the forests, they also produce toxic smoke that can have a significant impact on local air quality, visibility, and human health. When this harmful smoke is inhaled into the lungs, it can can inflame your lungs and your your airway, causing them to swell and block oxygen flow. Emissions from wildfires are also able to travel large distances and produce harmful effects far away from the fires initial location. The smoke from Canadian wildfires have even been documented as far as Ireland, affecting their air quality.

The biggest way we can lower the risk of creating wildfires is to be responsible when discarding your partially lit cigarettes or other smoking  materials. The most way that fires start is that somebody throws away their lit smoking material in a bush, waits a few seconds and then walks away thinking that it is okay.

When the material is tossed, it generally doesn’t start the fire right away, it sits in the vegetation, drying out it’s surroundings. The embers smoulder and get the fuel around it warm before it ignites. By the time the fire starts, the person who initially threw the cigarette is long gone, and unable to report the fire before it is able to spread.

The best and most responsible way to dispose of a cigarette or other smoking material is to  i put it out on an ashtray or other appropriate receptacle. Not putting it out on the ground, in the vegetation and not out of your car window.

Cone Zone’s annual Campaign

The Cone Zone held it’s ninth annual campaign on May 13. This event was created to raise awareness for roadside workers in the Lower Mainland. The Cone Zone is an area that protects roadside workers from passing drivers, the zone also instructs the drivers drivers to be cautious and to leave there phones alone. Between the years of 2009 and 2018, 13 roadside workers have been killed along with 213 being injured under similar incidents. 

Due to the growing number of new drivers in the Lower-Mainland as well as phones and other electronic becoming more prominent, especially while driving, the RCMP is cracking down hard with tickets up to $368 for using an electronic device while driving. During the Campaign, the RCMP ran what is known as an enforcement blitz. This is a surge in tickets that are given out at worksites in the Lower Mainland to members of the driving public, if they break laws around these zones.

This year, The Lower Mainland RCMP have teamed up with the Work Zone Safety Alliance and WorkSafeBC in order to raise more awareness towards the risks roadside workers take. Between years 2009 and 2018, 13 roadside workers have been killed along with 213 workers being injured under similar incidents. Valder Belgrave, who is in charge of Media Relations for Road Safety at Work says that these incidents are becoming more and more frequent and that it is important to protect these workers. 

Cautious driving in cone zones is not just important for the safety of roadside workers. Road-maintenance crews, police officers, tow truck operators, first responders, municipal workers and other roadside workers all depend on cautious drivers to respect the cone zone and to keep their workplaces safe.

The Cone Zone has been operating since 2010. Traffic control persons, temporary road signs and traffic control devices still continue to remind drivers to say focused on the road, leave their phones alone, slow down and move over, all of the things that could help prevent deaths.


Let it Bee 🐝

There has been a lot of panic and confusion around the subject of bees lately. Experts have come to the conclusion that if bees were to disappear, humans would only be able to live for 4 years after. As many of you already know, bees are an essential part of the ecosystem and are responsible for cross-pollinating plants.

Cross pollination benefits 30 per cent of the worlds crops and 90 percent of wild crops, contributing to a third of the food we eat. Without bees to spread these seeds, many plants including our crops would wither and die.

But are they still endangered? Experts have come to the conclusion that there are 8 species of bees that have been placed on the endangered list, with Honey bees not being included. Although Honey bees are not on the endangered list, many people including experts are convinced that they are going to be next.

Pesticides are becoming more and more popular among farmers and hobby gardeners. Neonicotinoids are systemic agricultural insecticides which are chemicals designed to absorb into the plant and  it’s tissues. These chemicals then attack specific insects nervous system’s. Unfortunately for Honey bees which are not the intended target are becoming victims of these dangerous pesticides.

There are legitimate reasons to protect Honey bees, so how can we do that? First of all, we can reduce the amount of pesticides being used. Secondly, we can create a pollinator habitat with plants that are bee-friendly. And lastly, protecting Honey bees can be as easy as supporting local bee farmers and other farmers markets.




What is Sleep Paralysis?

Sleep paralysis is a strange and rare phenomenon in which the sufferers body is frozen in a state if sleep, but the mind remains fully conscious of it’s surroundings. A person is able to move their eyes and look around the room, but are paralyzed unable to move a muscle.

Sleep paralysis is often accompanied by extremely realistic hallucinations complete with sounds and feelings.These hallucinations can range from the sightings of demons, monsters, ghosts, the feeling of being on fire and anything else your mind can conjure up. In some instances, sleep paralysis can appear so realistic that it can have a negative physiological effect on people’s lives and in some cause harmful physical reactions.

Despite some reports of people’s sightings being pleasant, the majority of sleep paralysis experiences are terrifying. Although these occurrences are uncommon, doctors and experts have not not been able to find a cause of these occurrences.

Some believe that bad memories and past experiences seep into your dreams while you are sleeping and interfere with your Rapid Eye Movement sleep (REMS). Sleep reachers have have theories that sleep paralysis is just a sign that your body is not going through the stages of sleep smoothly enough.

Other theories state that in your darkest moments, there are entities waiting to take advantage of you in your weakest state. Incubi is a mythological demon that has been said to haunt sleepers during the night.

Whatever causes these strange occurrences, it is safe to say that the power of your mind should not be underestimated.




Jeopardy’s Secret to Success

Game Shows are all about strategy, tactics, and a little bit of luck. These shows are designed to entertain audiences, while advertising to their contestants that they too can hit the jackpot.

Many contestants on the popular game show Jeopardy have waked away with huge winnings, but none have owned the game quite like Ken Jennings. Jennings walked away with a total of $2,520,700 after being beaten by Nancy Zerg on his 75th game. It is still unclear how Ken was able to go on such a long win streak, but what we do know is that other contestants have also found ways to win big.

James Holzhauer, a 35 year old contestant on has racked up $1,061,554 over his 14 day win streak. Holzhauer is currently on track for beating Jennings’s grand total earnings. When asked about his strategy, Holzhauer replied with “select aggressively”. Holzhauer has also been known to select each category with the highest worth as quickly as possible. James does this not only do this to catch his opponents off guard with the more challenging questions, he also does this to increase his chances of obtaining one of the the daily doubles.

When James does get his daily doubles, he plays a high stakes high reward type game, betting huge amounts of money early on. These risks usually pay off which create large  gaps him and his competition early on in the game.

All of these tactics have helped James average $76,000 per episode as well as carve his name into Jeopardy history.

Why was the Black Hole Picture so Important?

Katherine Louise Bouman is an computer scientist working in the field of imaging and was  a member of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) team that captured the first image of a black hole.

First Black Hole Picture

On Wednesday April 10th the world got it’s first look at a black hole. But who cares? Despite this large accomplishment, many people are still confused and wondering why this  picture so important.

In this short article were going to be going through why this blurry picture is such a big deal, not just for the science community but for humanity.

Just for some background, The EHT has been taking data for a couple years now. The EHT is designed to capture a Black Holes image using Einstein’s Theory of Gravity. This theory was the first time Einstein hinted about the existence of black holes more than a century ago. Black Holes are literally the centre of universes, so a real life picture is kind of a big deal, blurry or not.

People are relating the picture of the black hole to The Eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings. Have we just released an ancient evil upon the world? Only time will tell. Speaking of time, according to Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, time speeds up or slows down depending on how fast you move relative to something else. The new picture will teach us how time is distorted and dilates within an object of it’s size. The average size of a Black Hole is approximately 10 to 100 solar masses, 1 solar mass being the size of our sun.