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Computer Systems Applications

MATHEMATICS spawned the computer in the 1940s and gave it its name. Its first application was the computation of theoretical ballistic tables for traditional bombs, but calculations for the atomic bomb and then for guided missiles soon became the driving force for computer development.

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Office Automation

Office Automation is a general term that includes a wide range of applications of computer, communication and information technologies in office environments. Though automation is in a continual state of flux, the size of the market is huge, with annual investments measured in billions of dollars.

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Virus

Virus, the smallest form of life (20-300 nanometres), is structurally and functionally unique. Their size is such that they do not contain enough genetic material to code for the proteins they require for reproduction, nor do they have ribosomes needed to synthesize these proteins.

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Woodward and Evans Light Bulb

In 1874, Canadians Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans patented a design for an incandescent light bulb. Their invention preceded that of American Thomas Edison by several years. In fact, the second patent (issued in 1876 in the United States) was among those that Edison bought as he refined the technology to create a longer-lasting bulb. Woodward and Evans’s early work on the light bulb in Toronto has gone largely unrecognized. It was nevertheless an important development in the invention of electric lighting.

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Polar Vortex

The polar vortex is a wind pattern surrounding the Earth’s poles. Both the North and South pole have polar vortices spinning around them. In both cases, the rotation is generally cyclonic — counter-clockwise around the North Pole and clockwise around the South Pole. While polar vortices exist year-round, they are strongest during each pole’s winter. Canadians tend to experience the effects of the North Pole’s polar vortex toward the end of winter. At this time, the vortex begins to weaken, and cold, polar air travels further south. Polar vortices are atmospheric phenomena which occur on other planets too, such as Mars, Venus and Saturn.

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Oceanography

From descriptive beginnings as the geography of the sea, oceanography has matured into a quantitative and multidisciplinary science bringing together experts from many basic fields.

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Hydrology

Quantitative measurements of rainfall, snowfall, the rate at which water penetrates into and moves through soil, streamflow, the rise and fall of LAKE and GROUNDWATER levels, and the evapotranspiration of water into the atmosphere are vital.

Macleans

CANDU Flawed

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on August 25, 1997. Partner content is not updated.

In the belly of the nuclear beast, the massive domes of the reactors rise ominously to a height of more than 45 m, their radioactive interiors visible only through the thick windows of airlocks.

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Ferries

Although the Scandinavians claim to have pioneered the RO-RO concept, the first purpose-built RO-RO ferry was the Motor Princess, launched at Esquimalt, BC, in 1923 for Canadian Pacific. It ended its long career with British Columbia Ferry Corporation in the 1970s as the Pender Queen.

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Astronomy

Modern astronomy, however, is more concerned with the physical and chemical nature of matter beyond Earth, where conditions of temperature and pressure, and gravitational and magnetic fields allow astronomers to observe matter under extremes unattainable in terrestrial laboratories.