Forever young: idealism is the fountain of youth

We’re all born with a purpose. By staying committed to that purpose, our lives can be full of joy and achievement

Forever young: idealism is the fountain of youthLongtime consumer rights advocate Ralph Nader recently said in a radio interview, “The only true aging is the loss of idealism.” Nader, the man who changed the auto industry in the 1960s by publishing Unsafe at Any Speed, continues to be active and inspire others. His most recent book Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think illustrates…

Curb the impulse to distort history for partisan purposes

History is not about judging the past or the people who lived it. It is about understanding how past events made us who we are today

Curb the impulse to distort history for partisan purposesEach morning, I peer out the window of my apartment at St. Paul’s Basilica, the centre of the Irish immigrant community that arrived in Toronto’s Corktown neighbourhood in the mid-1800s. Last year, I taught a course in writing about history. I used the basilica as a test case. If I were to write a history…

An Oil slick of disastrous proportions

There’s a clock ticking on the Oilers’ monopoly on Connor McDavid’s affections

An Oil slick of disastrous proportionsMaybe Edmonton NHL fans should record a song called How Do You Solve A Problem Named The Oilers? Because someone has to figure out what in the name of Bep Guidolin is going on with their hockey team. As we near the all-star break (once called the Olympic break), the hockey heroes from northern Alberta…

Fulfilling your Florida golf fantasy

The renovations at PGA Village and PGA National should please the most demanding player and the weekend hacker alike

Fulfilling your Florida golf fantasyPeople travelling south in the winter are always intent of getting plenty of sunshine and sand. Two of Florida’s premier golf facilities are just the ticket. At Port St. Lucie’s renowned PGA Village and at the iconic PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, designers have been hard at work giving golfers the…

A new wave of B.C. small-town cultural renaissance

Let's be honest, most of B.C.’s artistic community has always lived on the Gulf Islands, on Vancouver Island, up the Sunshine Coast, in Haida Gwaii rather than in Vancouver

A new wave of B.C. small-town cultural renaissanceMy grandfather arrived in Vancouver from England, via the Empress of Canada and the fledgling Canadian Pacific Railway in September 1909. At a goodbye dinner in London, he had been advised by a family friend to “Stay out of the towns – find your fortune in the countryside.” He took that advice literally and found…

The moral roadblock at the end of ethical shortcuts

The world is full of stories of people who have done the impossible, and it always begins with a goal. But is it a worthy goal and are the methods ethical?

The moral roadblock at the end of ethical shortcuts“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal,” author and radio personality Earl Nightingale tells us. The truth is that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. We really can achieve what we visualize and believe. The world is full of stories of people and groups who have done the impossible, and it…

Let 2018 be the year you show a new attitude of gratitude

Nothing good will come from whining and complaining. Put that mental energy into making the situation better

Let 2018 be the year you show a new attitude of gratitudeI have a Facebook friend who posted some insights into the challenging year she coped with in 2017. She talked about how much time had been wasted focusing on events that happened outside her physical control. At the end of a fairly long note, she concluded that being a person who refused to complain about…

Are university professors obsolete?

Students of the future won’t be limited to a local institution or faculty member. And much more learning will be less formal and structured

Are university professors obsolete?What future awaits university professors? Do you remember telephone operators, mostly women who worked at switchboards connecting and disconnecting phone calls? Operators have long been replaced by automation and the various voicemail mazes we all struggle through. Did you see that wonderful film Hidden Figures, where “coloured computers” – very smart black women – did,…

Can sports go back to spitballing on the big calls?

Video replay in football is a perfect example of the law of unintended consequences. And each sport has similar problems

Can sports go back to spitballing on the big calls?Al Michaels was nettled. The star NBC announcer had watched yet another officiating tire fire at the end of Saturday’s Los Angeles Rams/Atlanta Falcons playoff game. He asked: Why do the final two minutes of a hockey game take two minutes, but the final two minutes of a National Football League game take 20 minutes…

Finding enlightenment in the dark

Twenty years after Montreal's devastating ice storm, some life lessons remain indelibly carved in a survivor’s psyche

Finding enlightenment in the darkClose your eyes and imagine a modern city that magically exists underneath the surface of the earth. Further imagine that the surface above it is frozen and crusted over with ice. Now, picture what would happen if, through some force of nature – or the special effects of a science fiction movie – that city…

Sorry is more than just a word: show that you mean it

Contrition that’s merely on the lips changes nothing in the heart or, for that matter, around the waistline, within the workplace, inside troubled relationships

Sorry is more than just a word: show that you mean itIt’s traditional to head into a new year full of resolve fuelled by last year’s regret. Our commitment to renewed discipline, diets and dream-achieving over the coming 12 months is all too often driven by short-term overindulgence during Christmas festivities. More importantly, there’s a lingering sense of another year lost by not doing what we…

Landlord-tenant conflicts often come down to respect

Most conflicts would simply evaporate if everyone took the time to adhere to some simple and fundamental courtesies

Landlord-tenant conflicts often come down to respectWhy are tenants and their allies already protesting landlords in Vancouver as 2018 dawns? They’re outraged that a landlord would have the audacity to apply for an eviction order to remove a tenant who hasn’t paid the rent. How inconsiderate of them. And a few of those landlords are trying to make repairs to their…

Free speech: Be open to debate or become irrelevant

The danger arises when we become too attached to ideas and are no longer open to healthy discourse

Free speech: Be open to debate or become irrelevantHanna Holborn Gray, former president of the University of Chicago, said, “Universities should be expected to provide the conditions within which hard thought, and therefore strong disagreement, independent judgment, and the questioning of stubborn assumptions, can flourish in an environment of the greatest freedom.” So it’s quite ironic that issues of freedom of speech have…

Heroes and villains: how history picks the winners

The Second World War movie Darkest Hour raises questions about perspective and reality

Heroes and villains: how history picks the winnersGary Oldman’s riveting portrayal of Winston Churchill leaves no doubt as to who is the hero of the new film Darkest Hour. But apart from the off-screen Adolf Hitler, does the movie really have a villain? Thanks to the way the narrative unfolds and the carefully-chosen camera shots, casual viewers might be tempted to ascribe…

Full meal deal: sports world serves up plenty of intrigue

What does 2018 hold? Forgettable Olympics, NHL incompetence (followed by NFL incompetence), Blue Jay uncertainty and golf mysteries, for a start

Full meal deal: sports world serves up plenty of intrigueThe 2018 sports year begins with a bowl (of the college football variety) but the full table setting lies ahead. What courses are being prepared? Let’s look at some of the most challenging stories ahead. Dents in the shield In 2017, the National Football League fought Donald Trump and President Trump won. Okay, the American…
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