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July-August 2009

Why the CRTC must bring Al Jazeera to Canada

Adel Iskandar

In late 1996, in a tiny peninsular emirate on the Persian Gulf with a total surface area barely larger than Toronto and Montreal combined, an experiment began. At the invitation of Qatar’s head of state, a small group of former BBC Arabic journalists relocated to the capital, Doha. They had been left jobless when their […]

Creative writing courses: cash cows of the humanities

Darryl WhetterWebsite

While a degree in creative writing may not top your career counsellor’s advice for a quick professional turnaround, the formal study of writing was a North American growth industry even before the recession sent more people back to school (or kept them there longer). In an anguished and incredulous Harper’s article, American writer and professor […]

Two poems by Kathryn Mockler

Kathryn MocklerWebsite

Cross-eyed Yesterday I borrowed my sister’s make up mirror to get at an eyelash. As I pulled the mirror away from my face, I noticed something strange. “Am I cross-eyed?” I asked her. “Yes,” she said. “Since when?” I asked. “Is this a recent occurrence?” “Since forever. Since I’ve known you,” she said. “But nobody […]

Could “Wind Turbine Syndrome” be harmful to your health?

Andrea McDowellWebsite

We love it when health concerns are taken seriously… The last time you talked to your doctor about a strange set of symptoms, he or she probably didn’t write a book about it. But when Dr. Nina Pierpont of New York State got wind (pun intended) of dozens of residents living near wind turbines who […]

Listen: Tim Hecker’s sonic geography

Graham Lanktree

Quebec artist’s electronic soundscapes are rooted in our home and native land LISTEN: “200 Years Ago” from Tim Hecker’s An Imaginary Country On September 30, 2006, as part of Toronto’s interactive art celebration Nuit Blanche, Montreal musician Tim Hecker hid 10 speakers in the branches of a tree across from the Mercer Union art gallery. […]

Be an urban chicken farmer in 5 easy steps

Erica Butler

A growing number of Canadians are extolling the virtues of the urban chicken. And why not? They’re an affordable source of fresh, local, organic protein; eat lawn-destroying insects; produce nitrogen-rich fertilizer; and are fun to have around. Intrigued? Here are some key steps toward taking on your own personal flock. 1. Look before you leap. […]

How farmers are going to save civilization

Jenn Hardy

Advocates for ‘permaculture’ say it can improve our diets, heal our environment, and improve our lives. Meet a new generation of farmers with some radical ideas for untangling our food chain (and saving the world in the process) Trent Rhode looks great in a suit. The 27-year-old resident of Peterborough, Ont., seems perfectly comfortable standing […]

Twitter and the future of democracy

Navneet AlangWebsite

Sure, the web is rife with nonsense. But real political dialogue thrives too In my more idealistic moments, I always imagine I’ll stumble upon raging intellectual debate on the subway. But based on the conversations I’ve overheard lately, here’s what I can tell you about the public mood in Canada: saving GM is both the […]