Thursday, 21 May 2015


All of the Websites/Sources Used 
(MLA format)

"Air." Government of Canada, Environment Canada. Environment Canada. Web. 21 May 2015.

"Alberta Releases New Plan for Managing Oilsands Tailings Ponds." Global News Alberta Releases New Plan for Managing Oilsands Tailings Ponds. Global News, 13 Mar. 2015. Web. 21 May 2015.

"Baker’s Percentage." Baker's Percentage. King Arthur Flour Company Inc. Web. 21 May 2015.

"CPA - What's New." CPA - What's New. Canadian Psychiatry Association. Web. 21 May 2015.

"How Many Species Are We Losing?" WWF -. World Wide Fund for Nature. Web. 21 May 2015

Hume, Mark. "Return of Industry Threatens Renewal of Howe Sound's Marine Ecosystem." The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail. Web. 21 May 2015.

"Le Conseil Des Canadiens." NEWS: Shell Promotes Its Flocculant Technology for the Tar Sands. The Council of Canadians. Web. 21 May 2015.

"Math in Daily Life -- Cooking by Numbers." Math in Daily Life -- Cooking by Numbers. Annenberg Foundation. Web. 21 May 2015.

"National Air Pollution Surveillance Program (NAPS)." Government of Canada, Environment Canada. Web. 21 May 2015.

News, CBC. "Canadian Physicians Group Blames Coal Power for Edmonton's Poor Air Quality." CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 14 Apr. 2015. Web. 21 May 2015.
Phillips, Sarah. "CraftyBaking | Formerly Baking911." CraftyBaking | Formerly Baking911. Sarah Phillips Inc. Web. 21 May 2015.

"Psychiatrist Salary & Education Information." Health Care Worker Salary and Education Information. 28 July 2013. Web. 21 May 2015.

"Road Tax in Spain." Road Tax in Spain. Web. 21 May 2015.

"Shell Opens Plant to Clean up Oil Sands." The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail. Web. 21 May 2015.

"Shell Starts up Commercial-scale Tailings Field Demonstration." Shell Canada. Shell Canada, 26 Aug. 2010. Web. 21 May 2015.

Stradley, Linda. "Basic Baking Rules, Baking Hints and Tips, Whats Cooking America." Basic Baking Rules, Baking Hints and Tips, Whats Cooking America. Web. 21 May 2015.

"Tailings Ponds." - Oil Sands Today. Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Web. 21 May 2015.

"Textbook Downloads." Textbook Downloads. Web. 21 May 2015.

"The Truth About Aspartame Side Effects." Healthline. Healthline. Web. 21 May 2015.

"What Is a Psychiatrist." What Is a Psychiatrist. American Psychiatry Association. Web. 21 May 2015.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015


A Short Lesson on the Importance of Precise Measurements in Baking
I’ve never been much of a baker. Or a cook. I am that girl in TV shows or comic books who burns water. And oh my poor, sweet, dear reader, I am not even exaggerating. Because I have done it. I have burnt water. That was really bad. I also poured it all over myself and had to go up to Shoppers Drugmart and stock up on burn supplies with my embarrassed mother. I’ve also set fire to almonds while trying to toast them for a salad. Let’s not forget the time I blew up caramel in my friend’s microwave (not even an oven people!).
My failed attempts at kitchen finesse are the main reasons for this oh-so inquisitive blog post today. I am going to take a look at why the quantities we bake with are actually important (this coming from someone who literally throws random amounts of stuff into the bowls while baking with friends, leading to lots of mess and me not being allowed to touch anything).
Here goes nothing, hopefully we all learn something?
In general, baking ingredients can be divided into two categories:
  • "tougheners / strengtheners"
  • "tenderizers / weakeners"
Some examples of the two categories…
Tougheners / Strengtheners
Tenderizers / Weakeners
whole eggs
egg whites
egg yolks
For a recipe to bake with all of the qualities we like (tenderness, fluffiness, chewiness, density, etc) there needs to be a balance between the two. If one quantity is increased, the other must be decreased (although there is slightly more to it than that). For instance, to make cookies that both look and taste like cookies, you need to make sure you use the right amount of each ingredient. Add too much flour and your cookies will be solid as rocks. Add too much salt and they'll taste terrible.
Recipes also vary by the amounts of each ingredient and the mixing techniques used to combine them. Professional bakers use baker's percentages to express their relationship to one another. They are formulas used to easily distinguish quantities within a recipe. In baker’s percentage, “each ingredient in a formula is expressed as a percentage of the flour weight, and the flour weight is always expressed as 100%” (King Arthur Flour Company). According to the KAF Company, there are many reasons why using baker’s percent is useful, such as follows:
  • First, since each ingredient is weighed, it enables us to work with precision using only one unit of measure
  • Second, it is quite easy to scale a formula up or down when we are working with baker’s percent
  • And last, it allows bakers to share a common language (kinda like moles?!)
Home bakers use recipes which are written out with ingredient amounts which are better suited to the appliances we have in our standard non-fancy shmancy kitchens.

What’s Cooking America states the following in their basic baking rules:
Measure the quantities correctly:  This is a baking must! One common cause of cooking failures is inaccurate measurement of ingredients. You can use the best ingredients in the world, but if you do not measure correctly, the recipe will not come out properly. Also always use level measurements (all measurements in a recipe are level).
But why is this? What about specific quantities in baking is so important? Why does Archie always blow up the oven in Home Ec and the lab during an experiment?
In baking and cooking, ingredient quantities have relationships in accordance to one another that simplify into ratios. It’s kind of like a math concept. For an example, “if a recipe calls for 1 egg and 2 cups of flour, the relationship of eggs to cups of flour is 1 to 2” (Annenburg Learner). If you mistakenly change the ratio, your resulting baked goods/dinner may not be very edible.

All recipes are written with a specific serving size in mind. For example, a cookie recipe looking to make 2 dozen cookies. But what if you want more or less than the recipe makes? There is a certain skill that comes with “increas[ing] or decreas[ing] the yield without spoiling the ratio of ingredients” (Annenburg Learner).
Below is an example from Annenburg Learner which demonstrates the math that is demonstrated through daily activities such as baking in accordance to ratios. Just like chemistry and using mass to mole conversion (etc.) to find specific quantities needed for an experiment to be successful, the same applies to baking:

Let's say you have a mouth-watering cookie recipe:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
This recipe will yield 3 dozen cookies. If you want to make 9 dozen cookies, you'll have to increase the amount of each ingredient listed in the recipe. You'll also need to make sure that the relationship between the ingredients stays the same. To do this, you'll need to understand proportion. A proportion exists when you have 2 equal ratios, such as 2:4 and 4:8. Two unequal ratios, such as 3:16 and 1:3, don't result in a proportion. The ratios must be equal.
Going back to the cookie recipe, how will you calculate how much more of each ingredient you'll need if you want to make 9 dozen cookies instead of 3 dozen? How many cups of flour will you need? How many eggs? You'll need to set up a proportion to make sure you get the ratios right.
Start by figuring out how much flour you will need if you want to make 9 dozen cookies. When you're done, you can calculate the other ingredients. You'll set up the proportion like this:
1 cup flour
3 dozen


X cups flour
9 dozen
You would read this proportion as "1 cup of flour is to 3 dozen as X cups of flour is to 9 dozen." To figure out what X is (or how many cups of flour you'll need in the new recipe), you'll multiply the numbers like this:
X times 3 = 1 times 9
3X = 9
Now all you have to do is find out the value of X. To do that, divide both sides of the equation by 3. The result is X = 3. To extend the recipe to make 9 dozen cookies, you will need 3 cups of flour. What if you had to make 12 dozen cookies? Four dozen? Seven-and-a-half dozen? You'd set up the proportion just as you did above, regardless of how much you wanted to increase the recipe.

So there you have it. Baking just got math-ish.

Do you think our schools should offer Home Ec. classes so that students can practice similar skills as those taught in chemistry classes for real life applications? Would you agree that baker’s have a harder job than perhaps previously thought? Are you aching to eat a cupcake as badly as I am now?!

This has been a wonderful segment on Baking with C, hopefully you found it informative and we can save the world, one oven at a time,


Sites Visited:


We’re All Agog About the Smog!

In Edmonton, a controversial topic has risen up in discussion as a group of physicians take a stand against their poor air quality. They claim it is the coal-fired electrical generating plants found in their province which have caused their air quality to be “worse than that of other larger centres such as Toronto” (CBC News).

Factory in Edmonton

After examining a decade's worth of air quality data, The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment has seen some startling trends in the air quality of Edmonton. In comparison to Toronto as well as Ontario, they saw “higher levels of fine particulate matter in the air”, which they believe is due to their “dependence on coal-fired electrical generation” Calgary-based Dr. Joe Vipond told CBC news. Inhabitants of Edmonton are worried they’re not doing enough to clean up their airways while most Canadian cities are effectively reducing their air quality.

Michael Brauer, a professor in School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, has stated that the particles found suspended in the air of Edmonton can “travel deep down into our respiratory tract…  deposit[ing themselves] and com[ing] in contact with tissue, generally lead[ing] to inflammation”.

The biggest cause of concern for inhabitants of Edmonton is the comparison between their air quality to that of Toronto. Even though Edmonton is only about one-fifth the size of greater Toronto in terms of population, Edmonton shows substantially higher levels of fine particulate matter in their air. Also, in comparison to Ontario’s fine particulate numbers which have “been dropping steadily over the last 10 years… as their coal phase-out has occurred” (CBC News) those of Edmonton have been going up.

A smoggy winter day in Edmonton, Alberta 2009

CBC states that in December, a report released by Alberta's Environment and Sustainable Resource Development showed two Edmonton regions — Edmonton Central and Edmonton East — exceeded the Canada-wide standards for the amount of fine particulate matter in the air. In signing the Canada Wide Standard for Particulate Matter (PM) and Ozone:

These Canada-Wide standards committed governments to significantly reduce PM and ground-level ozone by 2010. The standards are an important step towards the long-term goal of minimizing the risks of these pollutants to human health and the environment. They represent a balance between achieving the best health and environmental protection possible and the feasibility and costs of reducing the pollutant emissions that contribute to PM and ground-level ozone. (Environment Canada)

It’s important for Alberta’s government to realize the social benefit of cleaning up their air quality as well as some legal implications they could have if they don’t. There are many health implications involved with poor air quality. Environment Canada states that there are “extensive scientific studies [which] indicate that…  particulate matter and ozone are linked to serious health impacts including chronic bronchitis, asthma, and premature death”.  Also recall Brauer, the professor in School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, who suggests that “the particulates have been linked to a number of cardiovascular and respiratory health problems in areas that rely on coal-fired electrical plants around the world, including increased heart attacks, abnormal heart rhythms, heart failure, strokes, lung cancer and emphysema. The substance can also affect fetal health, birth weight and lung development in children” (CBC News). If Edmonton can clean up their air, they could potentially save costs in regards to their medical sector as well as create a safer environment for its inhabitants. Another strong reason to clean up air quality would be that regions in Edmonton have already surpassed Canada-wide standards for the amount of fine particulate matter in the air. If they don’t clean things up fast, they could legally have a dilemma with the Canadian government.

Smog in Edmonton

While it’s true that many inhabitants of Edmonton blame the coal-fired electrical generating plants for their air quality problems, pollution can also be attributed to forest fires, weather patterns, automobiles, home heating and the domestic sources. Perhaps Edmonton should adopt a similar law to that in Spain where vehicles must pay a road tax. While visiting in Spain, I had a conversation with my uncle who lives there about their pollution reduction efforts.We spoke about the Impuesto sobre Vehículos de Tracción Mecánica (IVTM) which is an annual tax that:
[Is] payable on all vehicles in circulation on the road. vehicles providing some types of public service and vehicles which have been registered for 25 years or more are exempt from IVTM. The rate takes into account the horsepower of the vehicle and type of vehicle. The rate is arranged so that vehicles with higher horsepower pay a higher fee. Electric or hybrid fuel vehicles receive a discount of up to 75 percent on this tax. Vehicles with eco-friendly adaptations may also receive a discount. (AngloInfo)
Alberta as a whole could also make more concentrated efforts to phase-out their coal dependency as most provinces in Canada have done over the past couple of years. If Toronto can do it, so can Alberta!
Do you think implementing the IVTM annual tax in Edmonton would work to reduce some of their emissions? What do you think about the idea of introducing this law to the whole of Canada? What other suggestions do you have for Edmonton to improve their air quality?

Thanks buds, I’m banging these blog posts out tonight while listening to the Grease soundtrack, wish me luck on this last one!


Sites Visited:

Main Article:

Additional Sources:


Psychiatry? Do You Mean Psy-COOL-atry?!

Psychiatry is an increasingly innovative and much-needed service in our modern society. With new technologies being developed daily to aid in the practice of psychiatry, we can see the continual advancement of this science and the way it positively affects our world.

Definition time!

Whut Da Heck is……..

A Psychiatrist :

A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental health and emotional problems. Because of extensive medical training, the psychiatrist understands the body’s functions and the complex relationship between emotional illness and other medical illness.  The psychiatrist is thus the mental health professional and physician best qualified to distinguish between physical and psychological causes of both mental and physical distress.  

Psychoanalysis :

Psychoanalysis is an intensive form of individual psychotherapy which requires frequent sessions over several years.  The psychiatrist, who must have additional years of training in psychoanalysis, helps the patient to recall and examine events, memories, and feelings from the past, many of them long forgotten, as a means of helping the patient understand present feelings and behavior and make.

How do You Become a Psychiatrist?

To become a psychiatrist, there are many different steps one must take. In the first two years of medical school, students must take multiple courses including chemistry, biochemistry and physiology, not to mention psychiatry, behavioural science and neuroscience. During their last two years of medical school, students are placed in clerkships, where they learn a variety of medical specialties by working closely with different physicians. Medical students interested in psychiatry will end up taking a psychiatry clerkship where they “take care of patients with mental health in the hospital and in outpatient settings. They also have an opportunity to work with medical and surgical patients who may have psychiatric problems or who have difficulty coping with their illness” (APA). Psychiatry, a medical specialty like cardiology or neurology, requires further study after obtaining a medical degree. This means that after graduating from medical school, students will need to apply to specialty psychiatry programs to extend their knowledge in that particular medical field. In Canada, “a license to practise medicine in their province is required as well as a medical degree and a specialist certification in psychiatry by either the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or a provincial college” (CPA).

Dr. Alfred Bellows from I Dream of Jeannie

What Does a Psychiatrist do?

The CPA defines psychiatrists as physicians who "enhance the person's quality of life by providing psychiatric assessment, treatment and rehabilitation care to people with psychiatric disorders in order to prevent, reduce and eliminate the symptoms and subsequent disabilities resulting from mental illness or disorder". They use a wide range of treatments to aid in the recovery of patients, including psychotherapy, medications and hospitalization (depending on the need of the patient). With advancements in psychiatry, “new technologies [have been introduced] in the diagnosis and treatment of many of these illnesses. For example, the DSM-IV diagnostic manual, brain imaging, and new pharmaceuticals have significantly improved diagnosis and treatment for these illnesses” (APA). Psychotherapy is a form of treatment in which the psychiatrist and the patient meet on a regular basis to discuss and analyse concerning emotions or problems. During the time period of a few sessions over a couple of weeks or regular sessions over several years, the psychiatrist helps the patient to understand the cause of certain problems and come to solutions. There are other forms of psychotherapies, like those which “help patients change behaviors or thought patterns, psychotherapies that help patients explore the effect of past relationships and experiences on present behaviors, psychotherapies that treat troubled couples or families together, and more treatments that are tailored to help solve other problems in specific ways” (APA). What’s more, psychiatrists can also go on to become sub-specialists by studying Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, and Psychosomatic Medicine, to name a few. Becoming a sub-specialist can give a physician the chance to develop particularly refined skills toward a certain group of people.
Where do Psychiatrists Work?

Psychiatrists work in a large variety of places due to the shortage in the field. These days, they can be found working in community mental health teams, general practices, private practices, psychiatric hospitals, university medical centers, community agencies, courts and prisons, nursing homes, industry, government, military settings, schools and universities, rehabilitation programs, emergency rooms, and hospices. In Canada, “the average psychiatrist salary is reported to be about CA$120,000 per annum” according to HealthCare Worker Salary. Psychiatrists can also choose to work independently, as a partnership or for a larger organization.

Psychiatrists in the Media

(Fictional) psychiatrists have been included in many different popular shows and movies over the years. Examples such as Dr. Alfred Bellows in I Dream of Jeannie (one of the best tv shows ever!) and Dr. Katharine Wyatt from Grey’s Anatomy. Other examples from popular media include:

Dr. Emil Skoda
Law and Order
Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel
Dr. Tobias Fünke
Arrested Development
Dr. Minerva
It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Dr. Marvin Monroe
The Simpsons
Dr. Linda Freeman
Two and a Half Men
Dr. George Huang
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
Dr. Benjamin Harmon
American Horror Story
Dr. Wick
Girl, Interrupted

Dr. Katharine Wyatt from Grey's Anatomy

All in all, psychiatrists are a pretty cool group of humans working to help improve the lives of other people. Psychiatry is an amazing branch of medicine and continues to become more important as we discover more about the effects of mental health in correlation to physical well-being. Hopefully, this has pushed you to think more about other options in medicine and generally about the awesome jobs you can discover following a career in the sciences!

Pce out loveys, will talk to you in a bit,


Sources of Reference:

Canadian Psychiatrist Association: