The Trudeau train wreck

Trudeau's National Lampoon’s Indian Vacation was an embarrassment to Canada

The Trudeau train wreckDear Justin,  You don’t mind if we call you Justin, do you? In other circumstances, we’d call you prime minister, but – to be perfectly candid – your Indian family vacation wasn’t terribly prime ministerial. The complications arising from that trip continue to be felt, too. On Wednesday morning of last week – on what…

Kate Harris’ Lands of Lost Borders a masterpiece

In Lands of Lost Borders, Kate Harris ruminates on 10 months aboard a bicycle along the Silk Road once conquered by Marco Polo

Kate Harris’ Lands of Lost Borders a masterpieceLands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road By Kate Harris Knopf Canada, 2018 Kate Harris is a Canadian Rhodes Scholar who studied the history of science at Oxford, dropped out of her microbiology PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and instead has found her métier as a modern-day explorer. Channeling…

A green city project in Russia comes alive

The project is supported by thorough research into what works best to create a green city, a large injection of funds and the participation of lots of volunteers

A green city project in Russia comes aliveBy Natalia Pryadilina, Roy Damary and Allan Bonner The green city movement has given environmentalism new energy and purpose. Large urban populations offer economies of scale and walkability, and bring businesses closer to each other, their customers and their suppliers. But all of this comes with costs: pollution and waste. Understanding the greening of cities is…

Flu pandemic of 1918 brutal, virulent killer

One hundred years ago, a flu pandemic swept across the world, killing tens of millions of people, particularly those in the prime of life

Flu pandemic of 1918 brutal, virulent killerFrom the wet and windswept northwest of Ireland to rural southwestern Ontario, the flu pandemic of 1918 to 1920 was remorseless. My mother and my wife’s father lost siblings to an illness where death might come within 24 hours of first symptoms. And sometimes it was particularly brutal. Historian John Barry has described it this…

Debunking the myth of immigrant assimilation

Language, religious laws and practices, cultural and culinary traditions all function to discourage, prevent or, at the very least, slow down assimilation

Debunking the myth of immigrant assimilationThere are approximately 260 million immigrants in the world. An immigrant is defined as someone residing in a country other than their place of birth. Of that number, roughly 50 million are “illegal immigrants” who lack official authorization to reside in their host country. In 2017, roughly 3.4 per cent of the world’s population of…

One big asteroid could ruin the mining industry

The space race is on and the payoff is an untold cache of precious metals, large enough to completely dwarf the world's biggest mining companies

One big asteroid could ruin the mining industryWhile not literally pie in the sky, asteroid mining used to be science fiction. It's getting closer to reality. Various private space companies have focused on launching satellites, with hazy side-bets on future colonization ventures. And now, technological advances make mining asteroids a legitimate prospect. There are millions of asteroids in space, many orbiting between…

America today: parallels to post-Gorbachev Russia uncanny

The parallels between Russia more than 20 years ago and the United States today are deeply disturbing

America today: parallels to post-Gorbachev Russia uncannyWhen the horrible first reports of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., began hitting my smartphone feed, I somehow involuntarily reconnected with feelings that I associate with the societal chaos I experienced working in Russia more than 20 years ago. It was the post-Mikhail Gorbachev era, when communism had…

Paradise lost: dark economic clouds gather over Spain

The world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, is betting against Spain. Investors should wonder why

Paradise lost: dark economic clouds gather over SpainSpain is one of the most popular destinations in the world for a beach holiday, but its business climate is less welcoming at the moment, thanks to a huge hedge fund bet. The world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, has bet $22 billion that the share prices of several European companies will go down. The…

China’s foreign garbage ban reveals recycling’s weakness

Recycling seems like a neat solution until we can't dump our garbage on another country and have to deal with it ourselves

China’s foreign garbage ban reveals recycling’s weaknessChina has decided that what goes around doesn’t have to come around – at least not around there. As 2017 came to an end, China stopped importing most recyclables, putting Canadian recyclers in a bind. The Chinese decision also revealed weaknesses in the basic premise of recycling. Many environmentalists regard recycling as imperative for the…

The Mueller indictments: laughing all the way to the Kremlin

The entire episode feels increasingly like a Russian intelligence operation designed to create political turmoil in the U.S. and exacerbate social tensions

The Mueller indictments: laughing all the way to the KremlinThe Kremlin’s favourite soap opera these days is the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Each new episode is followed intently. It’s unclear whether popcorn or caviar is served, and whether fans at the Kremlin consider the program a drama or a comedy. Its popularity, however, is indisputable. The investigation…