Christmas in Germany

German Christmas markets, a kaleidoscope of colors and lights, are street markets that are usually held in town squares and spill over into adjacent pedestrian zones

Christmas in GermanyGerman Christmas markets, a kaleidoscope of colors and lights, are street markets that are usually held in town squares and spill over into adjacent pedestrian zones. While there are Christmas markets all over Europe, the tradition in Germanic speaking parts of Europe seems to go back to the Middle Ages. The markets generally coincide with…

The journey of reconciliation and healing follows a shared path

Far too many of our family histories include persecution and disruption. We should never forget this common bond

The journey of reconciliation and healing follows a shared pathIt’s said that what happens to one person impacts us all. This may seem absurd but as I gain experience, it becomes ever clearer that we have a common humanity. I’ve been teaching high school students about genocide for over 10 years. In the final project of the course, students research a topic of interest…

New generation of women find their voices in politics

They have a history of grassroots social activism and community involvement, and it serves us all well

New generation of women find their voices in politicsAngela Merkel has announced that this will be her last term as German chancellor. This has created some concern, as many credit her with navigating her country, the European Union and even the global community through many stormy waters in recent years. When we look around the world, however, we see that there is no…

Buying used: 2010 Audi R8 has ‘collectible’ written all over it

The full measure of the high-end European sports car, with a symphony of mechanical noises emanating from the engine

Buying used: 2010 Audi R8 has ‘collectible’ written all over itBuilt on the Lamborghini Gallardo platform and patterned after one of Audi’s LeMans racers, the Audi R8 was introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 2006. Initially offered as a two-door hardtop, and later as a Spyder convertible, it was an instant sensation. Easily the most eye-catching production car ever put forward by the German…

Buying used: 2010 Audi R8 has ‘collectible’ written all over it

The full measure of the high-end European sports car, with a symphony of mechanical noises emanating from the engine

Buying used: 2010 Audi R8 has ‘collectible’ written all over itBuilt on the Lamborghini Gallardo platform and patterned after one of Audi’s LeMans racers, the Audi R8 was introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 2006. Initially offered as a two-door hardtop, and later as a Spyder convertible, it was an instant sensation. Easily the most eye-catching production car ever put forward by the German…

Christmas dream routes through East Germany

Erfurt, Potsdam and Rostock, in East Germany, rival many of their big city cousins, especially during the Christmas season

Christmas dream routes through East GermanyLike Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, emerging from a world of black and white, East Germany has been transformed into a Technicolor version of its former self. While relatively unknown to those outside of the country, the cities of Erfurt, Potsdam and Rostock have been transformed into vibrant tourist hot spots that rival many…

The arc of the moral universe will bend toward justice

Amidst acts of nationalism and racism, it can be difficult to see the fundamental goodness of humanity – but it’s there

The arc of the moral universe will bend toward justiceNov. 9 marked 80 years since Kristallnacht, loosely translated as “the Night of the Broken Glass.” On this horrendous night, rampaging Nazis destroyed Jewish businesses, synagogues, homes and other properties in what was then German territory. There were many deaths and arrests of innocent people in this precursor to the Holocaust. It would nice to…

Language can calibrate a nation’s moral compass

From Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King to Donald Trump, America offers examples – good and bad – of the power of language

Language can calibrate a nation’s moral compassLanguage is a powerful tool for shaping a society's values. The manner in which a leader uses language can reset the moral compass of a nation. And it can influence, for better or worse, the behaviour of its citizenry. While public discourse in Canada isn’t perfect, it’s reasonably civil. Canadian politicians, though sometimes outspoken and critical…

The unwelcome consequences of the collapse of empires

The demise of the German Hohenzollerns led to Hitler, while the collapse of the Austrian Habsburgs gave rise to malignant nationalism

The unwelcome consequences of the collapse of empires​November marks the political demise of two imperial dynasties, the German Hohenzollerns and the Austrian Habsburgs. Like the Russian Romanovs and the Turkish Ottomans, they were casualties of the First World War. The Romanovs were the first to go, upended by the war-induced 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Of course, the case can be made that what…

Cruising the Baltic, gathering perspectives

From perspectives on politics to perceptions of history, every region has a story to tell. And sometimes they're complicated

Cruising the Baltic, gathering perspectivesCruising the Baltic and the west coast of Norway doesn’t make one an expert on the region. But it does convey impressions, and here are a few of them. First, though, a brief observation about modern travel. While there are distinct inconveniences centred on crowded airports and milling throngs, currencies are no longer an issue.…

Monsanto lawsuit ruling leaves Bayer in need of more Aspirin

Monsanto, now a division of Bayer, ordered to pay $289M to a single plaintiff. Even if Monsanto’s brands no longer exist, its legacy remains

Monsanto lawsuit ruling leaves Bayer in need of more AspirinIn California, where lawsuits can be found more easily than drinking water, German chemical giant Bayer has been dealt a huge legal blow. Monsanto, now a division of Bayer, was ordered to pay a whopping US$289 million in damages to a gardener suffering from cancer, allegedly from using Monsanto products. Given that more than 5,000 such…

Private care is an essential part of an effective health system

We should stop demonizing private clinics – and the patients who need them – and recognize that they're part of the solution

Private care is an essential part of an effective health systemLast month, on the heels of a new threat from the British Columbia government to fine doctors who accept private payment for treatment already covered by the government-run health-care system, a trial – initiated more than seven years ago by a private Vancouver clinic led by Dr. Brian Day – resumed. Day, a former head…