Archive for March, 2006

Don’t know much about science book…

Friday, March 31st, 2006

From time to time one can wear, like a badge of honour, the criticism one receives. So it was when Naomi Lakritz panned our recent article in the Calgary Herald about the moribund state of science education in Calgary schools. In fact, she unintentionally succeeded in making many of our points. In her own words: [...]

Hit the showers

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

The news vacuum due to the empty House of Commons isn’t sitting well with the national media. This compounds the adjustment pains the media is having in arranging new communications parameters with the Harper government. Hence the stories in the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star berating the government for their communications strategy, or alleged lack [...]

Choose your poison… and your antidote

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

“…I’d like to continue by telling an antidote about my colleague Heather Forsyth.” – Pat Nelson, former Alberta Finance Minister   This remark was made at an event last week in honour of provincial Energy Minister, Greg Melchin. It’s a classic stupidism; one often used by Mr. K. but, as he would say, only “with irony”. It [...]

Sunshine Sketches of an outmoded business model

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

Time must truly heal all wounds if one considers what people get nostalgic about. One need only think of the periodic hankering for the old Soviet Union, the GDR; or the return of Disco and ABBA. Yesterday’s Global TV report about nostalgia for old banks clearly falls in that category. The thrust of the report [...]

La grande nation… il y a quelques temps

Monday, March 27th, 2006

Few countries have taken their diminished geopolitical and cultural influence as badly as the French. After some two centuries of expansionism, beginning in the mid-17th century, France saw itself eclipsed at first overseas by England and then on the continent by Germany. These latter powers have of course themselves been displaced by the United States [...]

Global Villagers

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

A stroll through the lovely Alpine city of Innsbruck demonstrated that politics in our postmodern times are oh-so similar throughout western democracies. Innsbruck is soon going to the polls to elect Austria´s answer to Dave Bronconnier. To a Calgarian, the campaign signs and slogans would be woefully familiar once translated. Take Innsbruck Will Mehr (Innsbruck [...]

Basquing in the setting sun

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

Yesterday the Basque terrorist organization, ETA, declared a “permanent ceasefire” in their struggle for independence from Spain. One of us had the opportunity last year to meet a young Basque and find out some things about current European attitudes. This thirty-something graduate student, now living in Texas, described the situation in Spain where most people [...]

Political weather: The media drives the climate change debate. Having only a few decades of weather

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

It may be getting even tougher to pick a winter holiday destination. If media reports are to be believed, we could soon add Regina and Thunder Bay to our list of winter fun spots, given the 3.9 C rise in temperature above the ostensible long-term average estimated by Environment Canada. Even if true, perhaps still [...]

Sing me some of them Merton songs

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

“Merton’s literary contemporaries included, amongst others, Tennessee Ernie Williams” – Trinity Western University Professor Lynn Szabo, on CBC Radio One’s North by Northwest The professor has just completed editing a new collection of poems by the Trappist monk and prolific author. Interesting that she would refer to his contemporary Williams, the closeted country singer cum [...]

Semper Fi-ddlesticks

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006

The disappointment was evident as media reported today about the release of Allan Abney from Marine Corps detention in the United States. Abney, now a resident of SE British Columbia, had deserted the Corps in 1968 and was taken into custody when crossing the border earlier this month. The type was already being set for [...]