Tuesday's Word-of-the-Day, makebate, "one who foments discord," gave my heart a lift, illustrating, as it does, the disappearing word form sometimes called a tosspot, or more pedantically, an exocentric compound. These are compound nouns, often jocular and insulting, that take the form verb + object = subject....

Presumption of innocence is taking a drubbing in Cape Breton this month as social media warriors, egged on by the Chronicle Herald, campaign against the driver of a car that struck and killed 17-year-old Joneil Hanna of North Sydney following a Leitches Creek prom party both young men attended....

Stop crying wolf. Stop pretending trivial and far-fetched risks are everyday perils. If you must fear something, fear something real. Worry about texting drivers, not great white sharks. Most of all, stop wallowing in ersatz connections to distant tragedies. We live in the safest place in the world, at the safest time in history. We must resist those who would swaddle us in fear....

Facebook friends: Stop indulging those who would have us live in fear. Fear is a notorious method of social control. Stop participating in maudlin claptrap like "marking yourself safe" when no one had any rational basis for thinking you otherwise....

There’s a story going around Cape Breton that the province  is cheating the Cape Breton Regional Municipality out of hundreds of millions of dollars per year in federal equalization payments to which our island is Constitutionally entitled. The story is untrue. Among technocrats who understand how equalization works, and the much larger group with no patience for Cape Breton bellyaching, it elicits eye-rolling scorn. But the story rests on a set of facts that can be assembled, or misassembled, into an easily understood and rational-sounding complaint with enduring emotional power. At the moment, it has hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Cape Bretoners fit...

In the frigid North Atlantic, about 20 km. east of Labrador's northernmost coastline, there's a rocky island so small it can't be seen on Google Earth or Google Maps. It measures just 25 by 45 meters—about half a football field. It was first detected in 1973 by Elizabeth A. Flemming, a researcher with the Topographical Survey of Canada, who was poring over raw data from NASA's Landsat 1 satellite, looking for undiscovered geographical features. Finding an island this size off northern Labrador is harder than you might think. Clouds shroud the area most of the summer, and ice disguises its rocky...

Lest you think Spring has arrived, check out this photo, snapped yesterday by NASA's Aqua satellite. Lots of snow cover everywhere. Lots of drift ice on the west coasts of Cape Breton and PEI. Heck, you could practically walk to PEI from Mabou....

At his Turpin Labs blog, Bill Turpin says Halifax, with 43% of Nova Scotia's population, suffers most from the doctor shortage, despite having 60% of NS doctors. He leans on Health Authority stats, and blames "the rural favouritism baked into our politics." I'm skeptical, and offer a few points to consider....