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....

This is a must-have for anyone living along the Strait of Canso superport, and for 14 residents of Goldboro, soon to be the site of an LNG terminal. Denizens of HRM may also want to bone up in anticipation of warships soon to be flying off the assembly line at the Irving Shipyard. Be sure to read the reviews, especially the third one down. H/T: Sue, via Jane Kansas...

[See correction appended below.] I am amazed that Liberals and New Democrats have not been more effective at highlighting the hypocrisy of the Harper government's claw back of services and benefits to veterans—especially vets who suffered cruelly in Stephen Harper's Canada's* Afghanistan adventure. Demonstrations on Remembrance Day weekend protested the closure of Veteran's Affairs offices across the country. Recent news stories have highlighted the government's haste to drum injured vets out of service before they qualify for extended benefits. The contrast proved too much for a Halifax friend who watched the Halifax Mooseheads organization celebrate "DND Night" Friday. He writes: Two dignified octogenarians in wheelchairs...

In two posts earlier this month (here and here), I described six mistakes by which the NDP government brought itself to the brink of defeat. Darrell Dexter's government also did several big things right, in some cases defying popular sentiment to put the province on a sensible course. Here's the start of my "good things" list: 1.  A balanced budget I know, I know, they didn't balance it by much, and if you listen to the two guys hankering for Dexter's job, they didn't balance it at all. The opposition leaders base their skepticism on the fact that certain charges have been paid forward,...

Last month, University of Massachusetts scientists working with laboratory cell cultures said they had succeeded in suppressing the extra chromosome associated with Down syndrome, a technique they predicted could lead to treatments targeted at the symptoms of the condition. Halifax resident Renee Forrestall, whose 22-year-old daughter Marie Webb has Down Syndrome, condemned the research as akin to cultural genocide. We've got a genetically similar community, visible minority who are being targeted and terminated globally. People think, "Well, this is the way it is and these people just shouldn't be." A friend who knows I have identical twin grandchildren with Down Syndrome sought my...

Writing in the New Republic, Ben Crair has ripped off a screed against the current fashion for standing desks — that is, desks you work at while standing or, for extremists, walking on a treadmill. To prepare Screw Your Standing Desk! A sitter's manifesto, Crair asked writers about their sitting/standing/treadmilling work habits. Most replied they had more important things to consider, but Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Absurdistan, and Super Sad True Love Story, offered this response, dear to Contrarian's heart: I do not sit. I lie. I am in bed now, writing to you. All my writing is done...

In some ways, at least. Our old friend Hans Rosling (previous Contrarian appearances here, here, here, and here) brings us up to date, and highlights the amazing recent prograss in (parts of) Ethiopia: Rosling's Gapminder data visualization software now has some tools you can download to your own computer....