OM’s Chatter: When Mother’s Away…

No Natural Disasters Here, Metaphorical or Otherwise

This week "mother" aka. Vennesa is away, so Karan and Nate decide to go ham. Just kidding. They discuss the continuing saga that is the calamitous situation in Venezuela, and what the changes to the constitutional assembly might mean. Next, they move on to talk about the crackdown on freedoms and dissidents in Turkey and what an increasingly aggressive Erdogan means for the country's relationships, before moving over to talk about Pakistan and recent developments of the Kashmiri variety. Then they pop over to the states for an update on the opioid crisis, and how not well that is going given the mediocre attention to health care this administration seems intent on giving the mother of all drug epidemics. Shouldn't Jared Kushner have

OM’s Chatter: The End Might Be (But Maybe Isn’t) Nigh

No Natural Disasters Here, Metaphorical or Otherwise

On this week's episode of OM's Chatter, Nate abandons Karan and Vennesa, leaving them to fend for themselves against the suspense that is the upcoming 2nd Round of the French Elections, a brief discussion about whether or not the end is nigh, and why maybe we'll at least manage to stamp out Malaria before that happens. First up, they discuss what a Marine win might mean for relations within the country, why she's decided to jump ship at the last minute, and how it might not matter anyway because Macron seems to be smoking her in the polls like a legalized marijuana cigarette. Next, they tackle Trump and the fascinating tale of his first 100 days. What has he accomplished? Why is he

Just a Little Bit of a Hot, Disordered Mess

The Round-Up Three Elections Gunman Referendum

The World in a Flash The Round-Up this week shakes its head at the hot, disordered mess that is our world at the moment. It includes two elections with issues, a forum with some global health implications, another candidate for the Conservative leadership race in Canada, some terrifyingly warm weather, and the panic of two British banks as they realize Brexit might suck.   The Trump Era Begins As trump is sworn in, there is much to unpack and likely more to come. Trump has been throwing week long cash for access parties in his ramp up to inauguration. The price tag to get into ‘fortress Washington’ on the day of the inauguration is at its cheapest a staggering $25,000, even though there is

The Invasion is Nigh: Climate Change & Disease Patterns

Invasion is Nigh Climate Change _ Ebola Zika WHO

As another year passes and another temperature record is broken and the additional data that keeps pouring in is equally stark.  A minority in the scientific community has claimed that the climate change projections are grossly underestimating its severity, but now they may feel some vindication as new data and updated modelling are increasingly supporting their position. While we are all (hopefully) at this point aware of the more obvious risks, I would like to take a moment to describe the more neglected side effects of man-made climate change; those associated with the spread of infectious disease. Not only is the public much less aware of these particular risks but the international community, and many western governments in particular, are,

A Great Debate: Doctor Assisted Dying

Though the Canadian Supreme Court has already ruled that adults in grievous, unending pain have the right to doctor assisted death (unanimously, might I add), the Liberal government has gone ahead with a largely restricted version of Bill C-14. The bill sets out safeguards to protect vulnerable Canadians, but does not include giving the right to death to ‘mature minors’ and the mentally ill. It also does not include the right to advance consent for those with degenerative disorders. It did keep the language that I believe is entirely inappropriate; it limits access to the right to death to those who are “suffering intolerably” and whose death is imminent. The bill also includes a compulsory 15-day period of reflection and

ICBM Explosions & Political Implosions

The Round-Up Three Elections Gunman Referendum

The World in a Flash This week's Round-Up covers China's ICBM testing, Brazil's continuing political soap opera, voting irregularities in New York, migrant deaths on the Mediterranean, Mike Duffy, 4/20, & More! New York Primary After campaigning hard in the Empire State, Trump and Clinton came out on top. Trump managed to secure 89 delegates, winning by over 50% in all but one congressional district. Kasich managed to rake in 4 delegates while Cruz went home empty handed. The Donald still hasn’t managed to secure the nomination. Clinton’s margin of victory over Sanders, though enough to get her the win, was not as wide as predicted. She won only 16% more of the vote than he did and taking 33 more delegates. Following the

Canada’s Doctors, America’s Candidates, & Brazil’s Corruption

Observatory Media Chatter

OM Chatter: Episode 01 On this episode of Chatter, the Observatory Media Team discuss doctor-assisted dying in Canada, what's happening in the U.S. elections, and the political circus surrounding Brazil's corruption and impeachment saga. How is Canada doing in creating a structure to oversee the recent decriminalization of doctor-assisted dying? Is there any chance left of a contested GOP Convention? Is Bernie Sanders' hope to catch Clinton pretty much gone? Is Brazil's current political crisis a true story? Find out the answers to these questions and more! [soundcloud url="" params="color=ff9900&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] Follow our weekly podcast on Soundcloud.  

Zika on Board: Disease, Sex, & Olympics in Brazil

Brazil should be worried. In Latin America, it currently has one of the highest climbing rates of Zika cases, a disease believed to cause microcephaly in the womb and resulting in babies being born with underdeveloped brains and heads. Transmitted by mosquitoes and sexual intercourse, Brazil is facing an upward battle, all while maintaining a brave face as it forges ahead with the 2016 Olympics games in August. The country is taking action to combat the outbreak, but with the added pressure of the games, there will be a much more critical spotlight directed at the country than originally anticipated. While Zika does seem to be in a work-in-progress stage as far as understanding its mutation and impact, the disease has

Lessons Learned & Actions Taken: What is the WHO up to with Zika?

Humanity continues to fight a constantly evolving two front war that appears to have heated up recently. The new millennium has sardonically blessed us with several epidemics that have made the headlines. Regarding the bacterial side of we are encountering multi-drug resistant (MDR) staphylococci, tuberculosis and gonorrhea. On the viral front we have had the SARS outbreaks , swine flu, bird flu and of course the current Zika virus outbreak. Much has been made in the media about the response of the World Health Organization (WHO) and developed nations to these threats, especially last year’s Ebola outbreak. To shed light on the steps that the WHO is taking is taking in response to the current Zika virus outbreak we must