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January-February 2010

Three Poems by Verne Good

Verne Good

Vitreous Something One green eye followed my footsteps thru the parking lot. I caught it in a rusted hand, surprised by my blinking palm. plucked it dryly, placed it in the ashtray so I wouldn’t squish it on the steering wheel. It blinked disapproval at the music squirping from the speakers “You’re pretty, for an […]

Postcard from London: tech geeks are hacking African development

Siena AnstisWebsite

The Hub King’s Cross café in London is buzzing today with a new breed of tech geek: consumed not by robots or video games, but African development. This group, about 100-strong, are meeting at the tri-annual Africa Gathering event. And together, through what they call Information and Communication Technologies for Development, or the unwieldy acronym […]

Road scholarship: the slippery facts about road salt

Nick Taylor-VaiseyWebsite

It makes for safer driving in Canada, but the price is high Wintertime in Canada is sure to mean roads covered in snow, ice and salt. Here’s a look at the country’s de-icer of choice— how it’s good, how it’s bad, and what can be used instead. Click below to see the PDF full-screen: In […]

Could farm-friendly ‘biochar’ suck up a fifth of the world’s carbon emissions?

Brad Badelt

The Claim Proponents believe that biochar—a fine charcoal produced when biomass is burned without oxygen—could dramatically cut our carbon emissions while improving soil productivity. The Investigation Here’s how it works: When organic matter decomposes, it releases carbon back into the atmosphere. This naturally occurring breakdown contributes a whopping 220 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide to the […]

Interview: sealskin clothing designer and lawyer Aaju Peter

Paul McLaughlinWebsite

Europe’s sealskin ban threatens her runway-ready apparel—and maybe the entire Inuit way of life A majority of the 27 member states of the European Union voted to ban the trade of seal product imports such as pelts, oil, and meat last July. The ban comes into effect in August 2010. Although the EU did allow […]

Midwifery is ready for delivery, but mainstream public health lags

Chris BenjaminWebsite

In March 2009, Nova Scotia became the seventh province to incorporate midwifery into the public health care system. Instead of paying and arranging for the service privately, residents now have it covered and regulated by the provincial government. Midwifery should be seen as the progressive (yet traditional) and cost-effective method of childbirth in Canada. But […]

The Olympics reveals our priorities as a nation. The news isn’t good.

Graham F. Scott

When Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, checks into his Vancouver hotel suite a few weeks from now, he will find (as he flops, exhausted, no doubt, from the strain of private jet travel) a “video wall,” paid for by the citizens of British Columbia. The bank of televisions are a requirement of […]

Four world records Canada should be ashamed to hold

Kim Hart MacneillWebsite

Nothing brings out patriotic pride like the Olympics. But before we get busy reading about gold medals and new heights of athletic glory, let’s take a few moments to reflect on a few shameful Canadian records that you likely won’t be hearing about during any Olympic broadcasts: 1. The Alberta tar sands hold two shameful […]

For artists embedded in Afghanistan, propaganda concerns linger

Nick Taylor-VaiseyWebsite

Young-adult novelist Sharon McKay has visited some rough parts of the world in search of material for her stories. When she was writing War Brothers, a book that follows five child soldiers through war-torn Uganda, she travelled to that country to interview kids on the ground. For an upcoming book about girls in Afghanistan, titled […]

Yes, “awards season” is stupid, but it beats the alternative

Jason AndersonWebsite

If you ever want to get your hands on an Oscar, you’ll probably have to earn it the hard way. Security is tight on those things, and the resale market starts at $50,000 and heads into the seven-figure bracket if the winner was anyone you’ve heard of. (Michael Jackson once paid over $1.5 million for […]

How having the web on your phone is changing urban living

Navneet AlangWebsite

I stood there on the street, squinting into my phone, needing to double check. Could the nondescript restaurant before me really have, as the anonymous web commenter put it, “the. best. hot sauce. ever.”? It didn’t seem likely. But sure enough, after popping inside, the fiery, garlicky concoction was a revelation. Later that day, when […]