3 Rs

Ready

Reliable

Reasonable

Monday, December 26, 2011

Structures 3

I have taken on a new unit with Scientists in School (www.scientistsinschool.ca)called "Structures 3." It is a unit on Structures for Grade 3 students. We discuss tension and compression on structures. We look at natural and man-made structures. We look at columns used by the ancient Romans and Greeks because they support a lot of weight and we look at triangles used by the ancient Egyptians because they add strength to a structure. We talk about guy-wires, rebars, struts, suspensions, arches and keystones,buttresses and stability plus a plethora of new terms that these students, through our step-by-step workshop strategy, get. They do get it. At the end, we do a culminating activity where they have to make a bridge that must support a load and upon which a toy car can travel. I did my Trial presentation on December 21, 2011 for Structures 3 at my grandchildren's school. Scientists in School assigns you a mentor and the mentor invites you to observe her/him do the presentation three times. You get your own kit organized and you do a trial presentation at no charge to the school. Following the trial, all presentations are paid presentations. I am starting my 11th year with Scientists in School and this unit is the fifth one for which I have trained. I started with "Celestial Sleuths" (astronomy) for Grade 6 students in September, 2001; started "Air and Flight" for Grade 6 students in January, 2002; did "Fluid Power" (hydraulics and pneumatics) for Grade 8 students 2003-2009; started "May the Force Be With You" (forces and structures) for Grade 5 students in May, 2010; and now "Structures 3." I would heartedly recommend that if you have a science background and love children that you forward your resume to ecoscientistsinschool.ca and explore the possibilities of joining our team of presenters. What a great adventure I am having with Scientists in School. I am having as much fun now as when I first started.

Monday, November 21, 2011

AVRO Arrow

The Arrow was a truly Canadian product by Canadians for Canada. The Arrow and the Iroquois programmes were a pinnacle of Canadian aviation achievement, the like of which we may never see again. It was a time when the eyes of the aviation world were on Canada.


The very first Avro Arrow, RL201, rolled off the assembly line on October 4, 1957 and on March 25, 1958, the Arrow's test pilot Jan ┼╗urakowski taxied RL201 to the foot of Malton Airport runway 32, was given takeoff clearance and got that magnificent aircraft airborne for the very first time.

Jan returned to the airfield twenty five minutes later after a completely problem-free flight to the cheers of all of the AVRO employees who had been given time off to witness this wonderful event.

The design, construction and development of the Arrow and Iroquois products was the Canadian equivalent to putting a man on the Moon.


The tragedy is that although we demonstrated success, we were never able to reap the benefits.

See http://www.ahfc.org/ for more detail.
 
The Arrow, and many other vintage aircraft are to be replaced by 4 hockey rinks. Ontario doesn't need another hockey rink. See what the rinks will be replacing at http://youtu.be/obXKrx7DEJQ
 
Join the Canadian Air and Space Museum and help us to save it for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Canadian Air and Space Museum

I was deeply saddened to learn that Parc Downsview Park (PDP) had changed the locks and literally evicted the volunteers of the Canadian Air and Space Museum (CASM) from its premises. The volunteers without warning were forced to move the artefacts and materials unceremoniously into the street. The full-sized metal Avro Arrow replica was pushed into the parking lot along with other vintage aircraft.

The Toronto City Council unanimouly passed a resolution to keep the Museum opened and has appealed to the federal government to intervene.

I was at the museum just last year teaching children how to make balsawood gliders as part of the museum's outreach program. In 2009 while visiting the museum, I stood proudly underneath the AVRO Arrow and had my picture taken by one of the volunteers. I spoke with a gentleman who had flown in a Lancaster like the one being rebuilt at the museum. This man was just one of thousands who served our country during World War II and who, by his service and courage, bought us the freedom that we as citizens of Canada enjoy today.

The CASM educates thousands of children and adults alike about Canada's aircraft and aerospace industry.

I heard that PDP wants to build skating rinks. Downsview has lots of land for this purpose without closing the museum. For media coverage of the closing on September 20, 2011, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbVYh73-QOQ&feature=youtu.be

For details from CASM's perspective see http://casmuseum.org/

Please contact your MPP and MP to save the Canadian Air and Space Museum.

Friday, September 9, 2011

At a Loss for Words

I spent the morning and part of the afternoon on the first day of school at Capt. Michael  VandenBos School in Whitby, ON as a tribute to a fine, young Snowbird pilot. Capt. Michael J. VandenBos died in a training accident is Saskatchewan on December 8, 2010. The school that bears his name opened in September, 2001.
I entered the school at about 10:30 am, showed my press card to the secretary and asked her for a press kit. She referred me to the Principal, Ms. Karin Schmidlechner who said the only detailed info she had regarding a press kit was the article I wrote (Elements, June, 2010). I smiled.

Principal Schmidlechner directed me to the Staff Room and told me to look for Marc Velasco, Communications officer dressed in red. When Marc came in I introduced myself and I was amazed that he recognized my name. With Marc was Jacquie Perrin of the CBC. What a multi-talented woman she is. She shared her pilot’s log book with Mark and me and the two Snowbird Safety Officers, Capt. Dan Rossi and Capt. Robert Gagnon. Jacquie explained the different planes she has flown and also explained her flights on the Concord. Exciting stuff.

The three snowbirds left to go about their various duties and visits in the school when this woman approached me and asked who I was. I had planned to wear my Scientists in School I.D. and put my Press Card in the other side, but I had a senior moment when I left the house Tuesday morning and left it in my briefcase. The woman had a bit of a smile on her face, so I quipped: “I’m just here to fix the pipes.” She said: “You are not wearing any I.D.” I told her who I was and praised her for questioning me. One does not go about a school without first checking into the office and secondly without wearing I.D. I told her I was a retired educator and appreciated her query. She introduced herself as Vice-Principal Jane Krattiger. We both laughed.

The announcement came and the children were asked to go outside by division: Intermediate, Junior, Primary and take their positions on the pavement to form the letters CMV. “What a great idea”, I thought.

There was a assemblage of dignitaries, namely: Jasper VandenBos (Michael’s father), Chairman of the Durham District School Board, Superintendent of School Board, Director of School Board, Mayor of Whitby, and the Snowbird CBC representative.

Captain Velasco pointed over the houses stating that any second now the Snowbirds would be coming from that direction. Sure enough, nine planes in a V-formation flew over at an altitude of only 500 feet with me waving my arms and simultaneously becoming choked-up at the moment’s event. They made two more passes over the school much to the delight of excited children jumping up and down with their little Canadian flags waving. I felt such pride in being a Canadian. When I left to return to my car, I was at a loss for words when I observed the line of cars parked on both sides of the streets and the hundreds of people on the adjoining streets who came out to see the Snowbirds. What a tribute to Captain Michael VandenBos—the school and the man.

See http://2vandenbos.org/MVan.shtml  for my article on Capt. Michael J. VandenBos.





Monday, August 15, 2011

New Space Technologies

Jeff Foust examines several entrepreneurial space companies that are working on technologies that could enable or be enabled by improved access to space, rather than space tourism and low-cost launchers Check out his article at. 
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1906/1

Space X to birth with the ISS. See http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=34352

Update:
NASA's partnership with industry to develop transportation to the International Space Station reaches another milestone on Wednesday, Aug. 24.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Oh Ye of Little Faith

In my last two posts, I have been denouncing the doomers and gloomers of our world who are still bemoaning the so-called end of the space era with the last flight of the space shuttle. NASA has selected seven firms to provide near-space flight services. See http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=34303 for more information.

JUNO is on its way to Jupiter.

DAWN is still heading toward Pluto and will fly past Pluto in 2015.

Curosity is prepping for its two-year exploration of Mars.

At last check, several other spacecraft are orbiting Mars and Cassini is still orbiting Saturn.

The space agencies of China, India, Russia and Europe have plans in the works to land robotic spacecraft on our moon within the next year or two.

The Orion Multi-purpose Crew Vehicle, that I thought was cancelled by President Obama, just underwent a splash test on August 2, 2011 (see http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/home/index.html). This is a vehicle designed to carry 6 astronauts, comfortably.

This is not the end of space exploration. It is the beginning.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Space Ships

In my last post, I commented on the doomers and gloomers of this world bemoaning the end of the space era with an uncertain future now that the space shuttle era has concluded.

Please check out the following and reply if you still think I am just dreaming.

Top 10 Fantasy Spaceships Headed for Reality


http://www.space.com/2-top-10-fantasy-spaceships-headed-reality.html

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Space Shuttle

There is considerable hype about the 'end of an era' and an uncertain space future for the American Space program. Several pundits are painting their usual 'doom and gloom' scenario reporting upon the apparent 'end of the space program.'

It is time to get serious. Didn't NASA recently sign a contract with Space X where the latter will be supplying the former with heavy launch capabilities and a design to confortably lauch 6 astronauts into outer space?

If Space X doesn't step up to the plate, there are another nine American companies that I've read about who are also experimenting with heavy launch capabilities. Didn't Canada have the Silver Dart program a couple of years ago capable of launching three astronauts into orbit? And what about the European Space Agency and the Japanese Space Agency? India is launching a polar satillite in a few days. They shouldn't be ignored in their quest to conquer outer space.

We live in a very exciting time. We will see someone on Mars in nine years,not 2035 as some would have us believe, and we will see cities in space capable of housing a quarter of a million people in 50 years. Of course, some will say I am dreaming. I've been known to be a dreamer from time-to-time.

When I was 8 years old and played with what I called my Martian spacecraft (a small three-wheeled plastic toy) and read comic books like Tom Corbit Space Cadet and others about missions to Mars, I dreamt of a time when people would be orbiting our planet. I was a dreamer. Never in my wildest dreams had I ever envisioned the technological marvel that we call the International Space Station. The reality of the ISS went beyond my dreams.

So I say "Nay" to the 'doomers' and 'gloomers' of this world. Dare to dream for you ain't seen nothing yet!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mega Quarry

I did an interview about Melissa Battler, Planetary Geologist and currently working on her Ph.D. at UWO, June, 2007. I respect Melissa's opinion and when I saw her posting on Facebook about a week ago, I wondered about how I could get the word out.

Melissa said: "I recently learned about the proposed "Mega Quarry" in Melancthon, Ontario. I am concerned, because this potential massive open pit mine would be the largest open pit mine in Canada, and is scheduled to be blasted only ~120 km away from Toronto, not far from Orangeville/Shelburne area. If it is built, it will destroy prime agricultural land, and may have devastating effects on the ground water supplies to most of southern Ontario.

My very major concern is that they plan to blast 200 feet below the water table, into the aquifer that supplies the headwaters of many southern Ontario rivers, possibly including the Grand River. This will certainly have very adverse environmental effects on the immediate area around the mine, and on the drinking water of many parts of southern Ontario, and perhaps even on all ecosystems of all the rivers flowing south from that area, as contaminants from the mine will flow directly into our rivers."

See (http://www.ndact.com/NDACT/Water_Issues.html  for more information.

Replies are welcome.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Astronomy Websites Part 2

I came across this excellent website from the Canada Science and Technology Museum, entitled School Zone. It contains Virtual Programs on Astronomy (created for the International Year of Astronomy, 2009) and Classroom Resource for Teachers. It is loaded with information. There are five modules that can be downloaded free of charge by educators. Each module can be downloaded separately or all together as the website explains. Each module has links to specific astronomy websites that expand upon each module’s content. It is a great resource to assist educators from Kindergarten to Grade 12. It is not only science based — it is also cross-curricular.

The Canadian Space Resource Centre located at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute just South of the Ontario Science Centre has one of the largest collections of space information, activities and resources for teachers and students.
Steve Lang is the Executive Director. Steve has spoken at STAO’s annual conference every year for as long as I can remember. His talks are never the same for Grades 6, 9 and 12 because new developments are happening so rapidly and Steve stays on top of them as he shares his expertise with educators at STAO and talks he gives in school classrooms.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Astronomy Web Sites Part 1


Jeff Foust is the editor and publisher of The Space Review. Jeff offers his views and opinions on anything and everything relating to Space. The website states that it is "an online publication devoted to in-depth articles, commentary, and reviews regarding all aspects of space exploration: science, technology, policy, business, and more." His masthead exclaims that the site offers “essays and commentary about the final frontier.” Jeff also hosts and maintains the following websites:
 
 
If you want to keep current with the latest developments from an American perspective, check out Jeff’s website (http://www.thespacereview.com/).and his three weblogs. There are dozens of articles on the home page of the main site, and a searchable archive accessible from the home page as well. It is an invaluable research and resource tool for any classroom learning about space and astronomy.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Balloon Hovercraft

I teach a science workshop with Scientists in School called, "Air and Flight." As part of my introduction, I demonstrate Newton's 3rd Law by pushing my Balloon Hovercraft across the students' desks, much to their delight.

Yesterday, I was at the Malvern Town Plaza in Scarborough teaching children who passed by my table how to build balsawood gliders and hovercrafts.

Using the materials listed, make a hovercraft and try to make it travel as far as possible.

Materials:
1 old CD
1 wooden spool (or plastic..the type that once had thread on it)
1 12" party balloon
20 cm x 2 cm piece of duct tape
Thin card (if needed)

Construction:
1. Tear the duct tape into 4 pieces about the same length.
2. Take 1 piece of tape and attach half of it lengthwise to the base of the spool.
3. Centre the spool over the hole of the CD and tape the spool to the CD.
4. Inflate the balloon to stretch it somewhat. Let the air out. Attach it over the wooden spool.

Testing:
1. Inflate the balloon by blowing through the hole at the base of the CD.
2. Gently push the hovercraft along a smooth surface.

How far did it go in cm (m)?

Extension:
1. How can you make the balloon cover a greater distance? (Possible Answers: Use larger balloons, use smoother surfaces, cut a straw the length of the spool and put it inside to make the hole narrower and possibly increase the thrust).
2. How can you prevent the balloon from dragging behind once its air is expended? (Possible Answer: Place a thin card around the neck of the balloon to prevent it from dragging).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Osmotic Power

Alternate forms of energy have been a hot topic for the past four decades. There is a new kid on the block: Osmotic Power. Osmotic power works by putting sea water next to fresh water separated by a membrane thin enough to allow small fresh-water molecules through but not the larger sea-water molecules laden with salt. If a concentrated solution is in close proximity to a less concentrated solution the liquids will naturally mingle to reach the same level of dilution. The pressure of the fresh water driving through the membrane to dilute the sea water drives a turbine that generates electricity.

A Norwegian renewable energy company, Statkraft, has built a prototype osmotic power plant. It is located on the Oslo fiord. At first it will produce about 4 kw of power, enough to heat an electric kettle. By 2015 the target is 25 Mw.

As I read an article about osmotic power by Mark Gregory of the BBC (Nov. 24/09), Mr. Gregory states that to produce this kind of power would simply require a coastal location. See http://www.google.ca/search?q=Osmotic+power&hl=en&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&prmd=ivns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=YKa4TYbhPIShtweh2dneBA&ved=0CD4QsAQ&biw=762&bih=376 for pictures explaining this kind of power.

In a related article by Kate Galbraith of the New York Times (Nov. 24, 2009), she contends that the theory for this kind of power has been around since the 1970s. She goes on to say that studies for this type of power are currently underway at the University of Kentucky, Virginia Tech and the University of Texas. I researched the science departments of all three of these institutions and found no evidence of studies being done there.

Is osmotic power the new energy alternative for the future, or is it just a hoax?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Great Achievement

The National Geographic Society was founded in January 1888 in Washington, D.C. Among its charter members were Alexander Graham Bell and Bell's father-in-law, lawyer Gardiner Greene Hubbard. Gardiner Hubbard, a lawyer, financier, and philanthropist became the first president of the National Geographic Society. Mabel Hubbard, his daughter, became the wife of Alexander Graham Bell. Mabel had become deaf at the age of four as a result of having scarlet fever. Bell’s father taught deaf people how

to speak. He invented "Visible Speech". This was a code which showed how the tongue, lips, and throat were positioned to make speech sounds. Mabel’s father founded a school for the deaf and promoted the experiments of his son-in-law, Alexander Graham. Bell also spent most of his life devoted to helping the deaf.

When Bell invented the telephone he gave Mabel a 30% share in his new company. Mr. Hubbard was appointed as the first president of Bell Telephone and was also elected as National Geographic’s first president. Mr. Hubbard also promoted Bell’s experiments and helped to finance them.

The Aerial Experiment Association (AEA) was a Canadian aeronautical research group (with the exception of Dr. Bell; he was born in Scotland). The other members of the group were John Alexander Douglas McCurdy (a Canadian aviation pioneer and later became Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia from 1947 to 1952); Frederick Walker Baldwin also known as Casey Baldwin (an engineer and a hydrofoil and aviation pioneer who was also the first Canadian to pilot an aircraft, which he did in the USA); Glenn Hammond Curtiss, an American aviation pioneer and founder of the Curtiss Aerop

lane and Motor Company (now part of Curtiss-Wright Corporation); and Thomas Etholen Selfridge, a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. The group was formed on 30 September 1907, under the tutelage of Dr. Bell. The purpose of the group was to build a flying machine.

John McCurdy flew the Silver Dart at Baddeck Nova Scotia on February 23, 1909. Dr. Bell’s work was great achievement indeed.

For more information, see:
http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/National-Geographic-Society-Company-History.html
(http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~dav4is/people/HUBB316.htm
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/birth/nfor5at.html.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Married Priests?

Should Roman Catholic Priests be allowed to marry?
Rome says “No” because a priest can’t serve two masters. This statement is both complimentary and degrading, based upon perspective. It is complimentary in that it places the status of women equal to that of God. It is degrading because it lessens the male of the species to one of servitude to God and his wife.
Do you know that there are no theological grounds preventing priests from getting married? None. So what’s the hold up? The Catholic Church argues that it cannot afford to support a priest, his wife and his children. How do the Protestant Churches do it? They’ve been doing it for years. If a priest’s wife doesn’t mind doing the house chores and serving as the parish secretary and gets paid for it, Catholic Churches could dismiss their parish secretaries and the women that prepare the meals for the priests and clean their houses. Stop paying for these two services and give the money to the priest’s wife. After all, isn’t the Roman Catholic Church the wealthiest corporation in the world? True, each parish is a mini-corporation, but all are part of the whole.
What is the rationale behind allowing Anglican priests who are married and have families being accepted into the Catholic Church and are allowed to bring their families with them, but Roman Catholics training for the priesthood aren’t allowed to get married? How does that work?
In the Eastern Orthodox Church a few years ago, if a man was a deacon, he was allowed to marry and become a priest, but could not become a bishop. If he didn’t marry before becoming a priest, he wasn’t allowed to get married while a priest, but he could become a bishop. I don’t know if this is still the case. Perhaps this could be a first step for the Catholic Church.
What do you think?
(Note: When I use Catholic Church, I am referring to the Roman Catholic Church. Many Anglicans consider themselves to be just as Catholic as Roman Catholics).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

They Keep Me Young

Jessica, Jakob, Nickolas
Jake and Nick were born April 2, 1998 about a minute apart. They are fraternal twins. When  they were little, I’d read them a story every day. We watched Cayou, anything to do with animals for Nick and anything to do with machines for Jake on TV.  As an educator approaching retirement, I stopped looking at my students as little adults and saw them in a different light: Children. The twins afforded me this perspective.

I taught Jake how to shoot a ball using a wrist-shot with his hockey stick. I’d play goal, like I did many years before in college, and Jake would pepper me with shots. Nick and I spent many hours shooting hoops. The twins kept me young.

When the boys were 8 years of age, my daughter gave birth to a girl, Jessica.  I would do the daily book-thing and watch Tree House on TV with her. I’ve been retired from teaching for awhile now, but I am still in classrooms  doing science workshops with children. My time spent with my grandchildren allows me to keep my perspective of children in tune.

I do not really know if I would enjoy the success I now have by teaching so many children about the wonders of science if it hadn’t been for my grandchildren. There is no doubt in my mind that they keep me young.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Adventure – Old Problem

During this past week, I joined the Writers Circle of Durham Region (WCDR) and paid in advance for the monthly breakfast held this month on March 12th at the Ajax Community Centre. I looked forward to this new adventure of meeting new and talented writers. There was, however, my old problem. I have a benign essential tremor—my hands shake. I don’t usually attend meals with strangers because I never know if my tremors are going to be worse being with new people or not. I certainly wouldn’t want to have my fork slip off my plate and spread food everywhere, not to mention the danger of holding a knife in a mixed crowd.
I periodically have to go back to Toronto Western Hospital to have my stimulator adjusted to reduce the tremors. I had a deep brain implant two years ago. I really must find the time to get back to the hospital and have an adjustment done.

I chose to go to the breakfast because it was my chance to better myself as a writer. I was not disappointed.  Breakfast brought about its own challenges, as it usually does. The announcements were interesting; The award recipients were grateful; and the eight ladies sitting at my table were most gracious and supportive.

I can't wait until next month's breakfast.
To find out more about controlling tremors, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYDoHmg9ECI&feature=related
To listen to a world leader and my neurosurgeon about deep brain stimulation, log onto http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/703

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Scientists in School

Are you interested in the science field trip that comes to you? Scientists in School (SiS) may be the answer.


I commenced my 10th year at Scientists in School in October, 2010. I am still having as much fun today as when I started. Scientists in School is an award-winning organization that brings passionate scientists and technical experts, into over 20,000 elementary classrooms each year - the children become scientists in their classroom, under the guidance of passionate presenters. Teachers often call us the field trip that comes to their classroom and the impact in sparking science interest has been amazing.

Scientists in School began in 1989 in 40 Durham County (Ontario, Canada) Region classrooms as a pilot project of community scientists. Today 550,000 children and youth participate in 65 curriculum-aligned workshops across the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Guelph, Waterloo Region and Niagara Region, with outreach into rural and remote communities in other parts of Ontario. We have the largest elementary student reach of any science promotion organization or any science centre across Canada.

Scientists in School is a charitable organization. Schools pay a user fee to help cover the costs of these half-day, high-quality experiences. However, sponsorship dollars and in-kind donations have been a key success factor in our organization’s success - we are very much a partnership between community, schools and business. We subsidize every classroom workshop, thus increasing accessibility to all schools. 

Ways to support our work are as follows and I've noted a few ways below, all of which we recognize in our printed materials and on our web site:    
  • Direct financial support that helps subsidize every classroom workshop
  • Support of our fund for complimentary workshops for less affluent schools
  • In-kind donations of science materials that stock our topic kits
  • Supporting a particular topic Scientists in School brings to the classroom
I do workshops in “Air and Flight” for Grade 6 students, “Celestial Sleuths” (astronomy) for Grade 6 students, and “May the Force Be With You” (structures) For Grade 5 students.
I have been most fortunate to be associated with this organization over the past 10 years. It has opened many doors for me into other venues (see my “Joy of Flight” posted on http://30000feet.blogspot.com). During the March Break, I’ll be at OPG, Pickering  teaching children how to read Star Finders for locating constellations and I’ll be having them construct mini-pneumatically controlled Canadarms. It should be lots of fun.
Please check out our website which is www.scientistsinschool.ca for more information.

Monday, February 21, 2011

CCSVI and MS Part 2


“Over $2.4 Million Committed to Support Seven Operating Grants to Explore the Relationship of CCSVI to Multiple Sclerosis” was the headline released by the MS Society of Canada on June 27, 2010.

Please permit me to play the devil’s advocate here.  $2.4 million divided by 7 people divided by 2 = approximately $171 000 each/year. Can a team of scientists do a serious scientific study for only
$171 000/year? I would have thought that they would need at least a million per year. The MS Society of Canada spends over $8 million a year in research funding (see mssociety.ca/ccsvi). This is certainly more than the $700 000 Canadian contribution to the 2.4 million grant (The U.S.A. MS Society covered the rest).

It seems to me that with so many other countries doing the CCSVI Treatment, why is Canada doing a study to see if CCSVI and MS are linked? If I were a cynic, I would think that the doctors doing the research are not going to find a correlation between CCSVI and MS and once this is established, the Canadian medical field will have nothing to do with CCSVI. That would mean no sizeable loss of income for drug companies who supply meds to MS patients, no $450 to $900 operation that could be covered by OHIP for example from occurring, and no Canadian relief for those who seek the Liberation Treatment. Wouldn’t the time and money be better spent doing follow-up studies on the 3000 Canadians who have already had the Treatment done and also starting clinical trials at our university-teaching hospitals for those who seek the Treatment?

Read a few testimonials of satisfied patients at http://www.surgicaltourism.ca/testimonials/

The MS Society and the medical profession seem to think that MS patients have all the time in the world. They don’t.  

My friend Bill is doing well. His doctor has him hopping on one foot now. That is amazing considering that he couldn’t dress himself 10 months ago.

I wish the proponents of Dr. Zamboni’s Liberation Treatment and all researchers the best of luck in finding a cure for MS and if not a cure, perhaps to agree on an affordable treatment that will improve the lives of MS patients worldwide.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Liberation Treatment

Picture a man who is in pain every day. His pain in his feet and legs are analogous to muscle cramps. Picture this man living with this pain every hour of every day for almost two years. The man is Bill Feasby of Uxbridge, ON. Bill has MS.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex disease. While it is most often diagnosed in young adults, aged 15 to 40, we know that it also affects children. The impact is felt by family, friends and by the community. MS is unpredictable, affecting vision, hearing, memory, balance and mobility. Its effects are physical, emotional, financial, and last a lifetime. There is no cure. (see http://mssociety.ca/en/information/default.htm for more information on the debilitating effects of MS).
A promising medical procedure to stop the development of MS and possibly improve the lives of its recipients has been developed by Dr. Paulo Zamboni, a former vascular surgeon and professor at the University of Ferrara in northern Italy. Dr. Zamboni began wondering about iron deposits improperly collecting in the brain. Using Doppler ultrasound, he began to look at the veins in the necks of his MS patients. He discovered that almost 100% of his patients had blockages in the veins that are supposed to flush blood from the brain. The blood was refluxing: going back into the brain’s grey matter where it sets off a host of reactions that may explain the development of MS. Dr. Zamboni called this vein disorder Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI).  Dr. Zamboni developed a procedure for opening the veins to permit normal blood flow. Because the surgery freed the blood flow, the procedure was dubbed “The Liberation Treatment” by his medical team.
Bill heard about CCSVI from the internet but mostly from a program on W 5. He knew some of the people involved in the show and the follow-up show. He states, “Until that point there was really no hope for people with MS.”
So, why isn’t this procedure readily available in Canada? Good question! Why would Bill’s neurosurgeon say to him: “Don’t go anywhere near it. It’s just a hoax.” 
Through another medical clinic Bill sought the advice of a doctor who is not associated with MS; he’s actually an Internist.  He arranged for Bill to be tested by Dr. Chris Guest (supervised by Dr. Sandy MacDonald) in Barrie at Barrie Vascular. Bill states: “I was initially in line up there to have the procedure. He had done the procedure on six people and then got pressured into shutting down by the hospital because they didn’t want the procedures being done there anymore.
Following that he booked a flight to Poland and had a date of November 17, 2010 to have the procedure done. He states: “What I decided to do, based upon the advice of other people who had this procedure was to get as many irons in the fire as I could and take whichever one came first. There were a number of local hospitals starting to do it a little bit, but as soon as it became known that they were doing the procedure, they got shut down immediately. I received a call from India on a Tuesday, that if I wanted to be involved in a field trial and if I could be ready to go by the weekend, then they would take me.  That meant getting visas and dropping everything else. Three days isn’t a lot of time to get ready to go to India.  We managed to do it, got over there and had the procedure done.”
The procedure is quite simple. It is like angioplasty, but on your vascular side.  They do a venogram, sending a little wire around to find the blockage. They said his veins were 70% blocked. He actually had reflux blood flow. That’s where the capillary action and the iron deposits come from. You are awake when they do the procedure. It is a 15 minute process. They go into your jugular. Your jugular veins are supposed to be 13 to 17 mm wide. Both of Bill’s were only 3 mm. The surgeon opened them up.  “It’s not a blockage like normal blockages” says Bill. “It’s actually a malformation and where it comes from, no one knows.”
Everyone  tested at the clinic in Barrie has a blockage. “It’s really early in the process, but for me it’s worth taking the risk. I have a letter from a hospital stating that they do a venogram for various ailments, but not for MS.”  Again, why not? Perhaps Canadian vascular surgeons may reflect "the Canadian culture that needs to be so cautious that we need to validate everything we do.  And validation takes time—time is not a commodity among those of us with MS.”

I contacted the MS Society of Canada and a Dr. Stewart Wong (Senior Manager, Communications and Media Relations, Marketing & Development, MS Society of Canada, Toronto, ON) gave me the following two websites:
Canadian fact sheets:
The US based studies fact pages:

The US based fact pages state: “The Society shares in the public urgency to advance the understanding of CCSVI as quickly as possible. In order to pursue new and unanticipated leads in MS, the National MS Society established the Rapid Response Fund. An example of this fund in action is the global outreach and expedited review process that led to the more than $2.4 million which the US Society, in collaboration with the MS Society of Canada, is devoting to the funding of seven initial grants that focus on the role of CCSVI in the MS disease process. Work has already begun on these grants.”

According to Bill, none of the seven chosen doctors have had any previous experience with CCVSI and he wonders, “Why?”

I contacted the Federal Ministry of Health about what they were doing regarding CCVSI and informed me that such matters were decided upon at a provincial level Since. I live in Ontario, they referred me to the College of Physicians for the Province of Ontario. I contacted the College of Physicians and Catharine Clarke (Sr. Communications Coordinator, Policy and Communications, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario) replied: In circumstances where a specific form of treatment does not have sufficient clinical evidence to support its use, the College would expect physicians who wish to perform this type of procedure to consult with a teaching hospital or academic facility, and convene a research ethics board to oversee the clinical trials of the procedure.  This process allows patients access to new and developing treatments while ensuring that patient safety is not compromised in any manner.”

The treatment Bill received didn’t cost him anything because he was part of a trial group. He had to pay for travel. There are companies now that charge a set fee that includes the cost of travel, accommodation and the procedure. There are all kinds of numbers floating around as what the fee is and some of them are insane. Bill states: “The guy who arranged for me to go over is also in the business of making arrangements and he charges about $12 000. While I was in the hospital in India, I never got the feeling that I was being treated for the money. They were very concerned and very genuine people. I was the first Canadian they had ever done.
Prior to the procedure, Bill was only able to stand for only 20 minutes. Now he can stand for hours. He and his wife take their dogs for 45 minute walks. Prior to this procedure, he wasn’t able to walk his dogs at all. He used to be in a tremendous amount of pain; primarily muscle cramping. The main pains you get from MS are nothing like non-MS pains. Bill states: “Painkillers don’t work on people with MS. My pain was like a cramp in your foot and your leg. Live with it for 24 hours a day, every day for almost two years. My MS doctors prescribed for me two very potent muscle relaxants. You would be taking anywhere of 8 to 10- of them a day. The flip side of taking these meds is that you can barely move. Since having the procedure, I haven’t taken any more of these meds and the pain has stopped. My balance came back. People with MS lose their sense of balance with their eyes closed or if in a dark room. “We simply fall over,” Bill says. “Before the procedure my wife had to put my pants and socks on me. Now, I can lift my legs and put my own pants on as well as my socks.”
Bill says, that he is massively better.” I don’t want to say I’m cured,” he says.  Bill continues to spend $200 per day for a medicine that he injects for MS. Even Dr. Zamboni advises that his patients continue to take their MS medications. “If nothing else happens in my recovery,” he says, “I am happy because the pain is gone, but I hope I get back to where I was before MS took its toll on me. Some of the people with whom I’ve kept in touch and who have had the procedure say they’ve experienced considerable improvement in three to five months. For me, time will tell.”
We wish Bill continued improvement.

For more information on CCVSI see

This article was first published in the Uxbridge COSMOS, August 12, 2010.

For additional and updated information about CCSVI see:
1.      Eastern Canada CCSVI Screening
Montreal, QC that are performing screening of CCSVI are at two locations:
  • Westmount Square Medical Imaging
  • Radiologie Ville-Marie
Both of these locations are accepting patients to be screened for CCSVI Westmount Square Medical has this service prominently displayed on their web-page. 
Both locations are providing the Doppler screening procedure as defined by Dr. Zamboni.  The cost for the procedure is estimated to be around $450 CAD, however if you are covered under an insurance plan you may be able to get the cost covered by your plan.
2.      Buffalo Study
3.      Clinical Trial to be Started in Albany NY
4.      AMEDS is a new project focusing at providing a variety of advanced medical services with participation of highly respected and experienced medical professionals in Poland.
We are in the process of final formal arrangements aiming at starting the CCSVI medical examination and treatment services anytime between March 1st and April 1st.
5.      A list of doctors and locations where the procedure is being done worldwide can be found at http://liberation-treatment.com/liberation-treatment/doctors

NOTE:  The above is for information purposes only. MS patients should always contact their doctor for medical opinions and advice.

Stan Taylor

Monday, February 7, 2011

Aircraft Lift - How Planes Really Fly

In Canada and the United States of America, books on how planes fly use Bernoulli's Theorm to explain lift. There is nothing wrong with Bernoulli's Theorm. It has been incorrectly applied to lift in most published books and flight manuals for the past 72 years.

The Province of Ontario, Canada has correctly removed any mention of Bernoulli from its Revised Science Curriculum on "Flight" for Grade 6, published in 2007. The revised curriculum was to be implemented in 2008 by all schools in the Province of Ontario.

Airflow over a wing

Air passing over a wing is broken down into streamlines. Streamline 1 sticks to the upper surface of the wing due to viscosity. Streamline 2 wants to go in a straight line (Newton’s 1st Law). As the streamlines separate, it creates a vacuum between the streamlines. This vacuum causes the pressure to drop. The lower pressure increases the speed of the streamline. Since streamlines communicate with each other, streamline 2 follows the curve of the upper wing and goes off the trailing edge. The same applies to streamlines 3, 4, and all subsequent streamlines. From the pilot’s perspective where the wing is still and the air is moving (and if he could see the streamlines) the streamlines go off the trailing edge of the wing = to the angle of attack of the wing. From a person’s perspective standing on the ground where the wing is moving and the air is originally still (assuming the person could see the air) the air is coming straight down. The acceleration of the air down by the wing is called “downwash.” Air goes straight down to produce a force straight up(Presto! Newton’s 3rd Law). This is really how planes fly.

The shape of the wing only contributes to the efficiency of lift, but even a flat board  will also create significant lift.