The last children of Anglo-Saxon England

For the upper class of England, the Norman conquest was wipe out time

The last children of Anglo-Saxon EnglandHarold Godwineson, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, died on the battlefield at Hastings in October 1066. It wasn’t a pretty ending. Whether he was killed by an arrow through the eye (the traditional story), trampled underfoot, or hunted down and (literally) cut to pieces by invading Norman knights remains a matter of speculation. For…

Play shines a spotlight on a civil rights icon

Gordon Hirabayashi took a principled stand against the internment of Japanese Americans

Play shines a spotlight on a civil rights iconWhen Japanese Americans were evacuated from the West Coast and sent to internment camps during the Second World War, Gordon Hirabayashi refused to comply. Acting on the courage of moral conviction, the Quaker pacifist instead turned himself in to the FBI, prepared to challenge the unjust executive order and take the case as far as…

Why don’t Canadian broadcasters love the beautiful game?

Being a true football fan in Canada has been a pretty lonely existence

Why don’t Canadian broadcasters love the beautiful game?Thirty-six years ago last week, the Calgary Flames scored one of their most famous triumphs – a 3-2 Game 7 playoff victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers. Back then I was sports editor of the Calgary Sun, and that playoff run to the finals (Calgary lost to Montreal in five games) consumed…

Tunic is a beautiful, rare gem of a game

At its core, Tunic is an adventure game. Combat plays a role, but the meat of the game lies in its mysteries

Warning: this article contains some thematic and story spoilers for Tunic. Though such spoilers are kept to a minimum, your expectations and the discoveries you make while playing are a big part of what makes Tunic special. You may want to enter the experience with as little knowledge as possible. Tunic is an old-school adventure…

Is there power in positive thinking?

Thinking positively can give you hope

Is there power in positive thinking?If you’ve ever picked up a motivational book or attended a wealth-building seminar, you’re probably already familiar with terms like “Positive Thinking” and “Create your own destiny.” Ever since Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking hit New York Times’ Bestseller List in 1952, the idea that you can think your way to financial success…

Analytics destroying baseball’s entertainment value

Fans left with an increasingly boring game

Analytics destroying baseball’s entertainment valueI don’t hate baseball analytics or their use by crafty baseball operations folks. I look at analytics gurus like Billy Beane, Theo Epstein and Andrew Friedman as smart guys who figured out how to exploit market inefficiencies in the game. But they’ve also inadvertently damaged the game as a fan experience and entertainment product. There’s…

Will going ‘woke’ ultimately damage Disney?

Has Disney caught the wave of the future? Or will going woke harm The Mouse?

Will going ‘woke’ ultimately damage Disney?To be ‘woke’ is to have the approved left-leaning opinions about race, the ecology and all manner of social justice issues. Since 2018, the maxim “go woke, go broke” has declared that corporations that go out of their way to be ‘progressive’ suffer financially when consumers resist the message. Examples of the truth of the…

Why has Canadian citizenship become an oxymoron?

The country may be falling apart

Why has Canadian citizenship become an oxymoron?Canadian citizenship is under attack. Over the past 20 years, the public’s commitment to Canada appears to be waning. With billions of dollars in emergency pandemic assistance and promises of almost free childcare, a targeted dental program, new investments in housing and health care, and a stream of almost “free” social programs, one would think…

The overwhelming imagery of the Crucifixion

The child that was me experienced the lead-up to Easter as foreboding rather than inspiring

The overwhelming imagery of the CrucifixionI was never big on Easter. As a Catholic schoolboy in 1950s Ireland, Easter played second fiddle to Christmas. In fact, the competition wasn’t even close. Christmas had several advantages. For one thing, school holidays were longer. Whereas Easter only delivered a week and a half, Christmas tacked on a further full week. The tone,…

What the Oscar night slap says about comedy and free speech

The 'Slap Heard ’Round Tinseltown' could end up being the final nail in the coffin for televised awards ceremonies

What the Oscar night slap says about comedy and free speechThe 94th Academy Awards ceremony will always be known for one stunning incident that overshadowed the entire evening – the Slap Heard ’Round Tinseltown. Comedian Chris Rock came on stage to present the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. He’s well known for his sarcastic wit and biting humour. He briefly focused attention on actor Javier…

It’s time to put the myth of ‘white privilege’ to bed

Institutional, systemic discrimination was attacked root and branch as far back as seven decades ago

It’s time to put the myth of ‘white privilege’ to bedWhen Jordan Peterson recently tweeted out a copy of Home Depot’s ‘white privilege’ memorandum given to its staff, it rightly caused a stir: Yet another corporation’s diversity, equity and inclusion staff parroting a simplistic academic theory. The memo offered the usual assumption that one’s skin colour explains incomes and opportunities, or not. It includes the…

Maureen O’Hara, Ireland’s Queen of Technicolor

O’Hara made more than 50 films including the perennial Christmas favourite Miracle on 34th Street

Maureen O’Hara, Ireland’s Queen of TechnicolorWith St. Patrick’s Day upon us, an Irish theme seems appropriate. And a little frivolity wouldn’t go amiss in these troubled times. It’s fair to say that Ireland has generally punched above its weight on the silver screen. Back in the 1930s, Maureen O’Sullivan (from County Roscommon) played Jane in the popular Tarzan film series,…

Wandering into the world of fantasy for a mental break

Steve Skurka has written an intriguing historical legal thriller intertwined with several real-life people, places and events

Wandering into the world of fantasy for a mental breakI’m regularly inundated with requests for writing, commentary and analysis on a wide variety of topics. This includes domestic and international politics, history, philosophy, military invasions and the ongoing global pandemic. Don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoy what I do. At the same time, taking small breaks from reality and delving into fantasy helps…

How urban design helps create a more vibrant city

Diversity and culture help attract and retain the creative talent that cities thrive on

How urban design helps create a more vibrant cityWhen Richard Florida published The Rise of the Creative Class in 2002, it came as news to many that the greater the population of creative types – artists, musicians, designers and technology workers – in a given city, the stronger its economy and quality of life. Attracting and retaining creative talent was partly a question of…

Buddhist art exhibit gives students experience with museum work

The U of A’s Mactaggart Art Collection helps students contribute to a lasting historical and artistic legacy

Buddhist art exhibit gives students experience with museum workAs a child in South Korea, Sung Eun Cho spent many weekends with her Buddhist grandparents, who brought her along to the temples they visited. The youngster found herself captivated by the ornate beauty of the buildings, richly adorned with traditional images and symbols of the ancient religion. “I was mesmerized by the vivid colours…
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