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September-October 2010

Canada is more diverse than ever—except in the halls of power

Gary PietersWebsite

Canada is no longer the Great White North—except at the boardroom table. Consider this: the population growth of racialized or non-white groups continues to outpace that of white Canadians. This has created a shift in the demographic balance of the Canadian mosaic, with our population on its way to becoming a “minority majority.” According to […]

How the web blurs the line between truth and falsehood

Navneet AlangWebsite

Though you might reasonably condemn the modern internet for a variety of reasons—ruining attention spans, turning all public discourse into a shouting match, or insulting your sexual prowess with badly punctuated mass emails—one thing the medium could always reasonably claim was its potential for spreading truth. Decentralized and egalitarian, the web seemed to herald the […]

Postcard from Damascus: Two artists, still drawing in the margins

Siena AnstisWebsite

In one room of their tiny apartment in a suburb of Damascus, Iraqi artists Bassam and Zahra have set up their studio. It has all the necessary trappings scattered around in a colourful mess: sketches, wooden easels, tubes of pigment, paint brushes soaking in plastic buckets filled with water. Some of Bassam and Zahra’s finished […]

Technology, ethics, and the real meaning of the “Rapture of the Nerds”

Keith NorburyWebsite

Aging sucks, says Michael Roy Ames. At 45, he sees signs of his own mortality every time he looks in a mirror—the greying and thinning hair, the creases in his face. Ames doesn’t despair, though. He expects to see the day when scientific advances will reverse his aging process, replace his body parts as they […]

Three Poems by Pearl Pirie

Pearl PirieWebsite

Chewing Each Other the delectable year of ear nips replacing gum. you keep the crisp crunch of sugar intact. I suction out a tug of self-esteem. rubbery, it fit inside a jelly bean that summer I spent calling every porsche funny-bum and laughing on a loop. that time when the throat sprouted spontaneous salivary glands […]

“Upcycling” turns garbage into useful products. But is it really green?

Jenn HardyWebsite

The Claim Supporters of “upcycling”— turning garbage into funky purses, photo frames, jewelry, and more—say it’s a great way to minimize what’s going into our mountainous landfills. But just how truly green is this practice? The Investigation One company that’s been making waves in the world of upcycling is TerraCycle. Partenered with such big businesses […]

Out of the media glare, the honeybee die-off still threatens the food chain

Claudia CalabroWebsite

Stories of Colony Collapse Disorder swarmed the mainstream media in 2006. Report after report claimed pollinating bees were dying en masse, abandoning their hives, and putting our entire modern food system at risk. Today we rarely hear about CCD, even though the number of bee colonies that survive each winter continue to drop at abnormal rates. […]

Vancouver photographer Eric Deis captures his city’s vanishing streetscapes

Jackie WongWebsite

Even after all its Olympic-related world-class-city posturing, Vancouver remains very much at odds with itself. At once a bedroom community, a wannabe metropolis, and the centre of a long-running real-estate boom, the city is like a teenager who keeps changing her clothes, says visual artist Eric Deis. “Kids grow up, they push boundaries, they try […]

NASA’s mad-scientist plan to drill into the Earth for water

James JacksonWebsite

The billions of dollars and years of research that NASA has spent studying Mars may have finally yielded some results here on Earth. Earlier this year, NASA scientists told the UN water conference in Egypt that they could use radar technology originally developed to search for water beneath Mars’ surface to find H2O buried up […]

Guerrilla Gardening video game sows digital seeds of change

Andrew WebsterWebsite

Can a gardening video game change the world for the better? In a medium that features an overwhelming focus on war-themed shoot-’em-ups, a video game about social change through gardening is a definite change of pace. And if the duo behind Guerrilla Gardening have their way, it will also inspire players to raise a trowel […]

Why Canada is at risk of a BP-style deepwater drilling oil disaster

Robert McCandless

Public anxiety about allowing offshore drilling has been around for a long time, rising to panic levels during accidents and spills, and for good reason. The continuing environmental disaster off the Gulf coast was the result of poor regulation and should prompt Canadians to question our own regulatory regime for offshore exploration. More specifically, we […]