Fright night?

At Halloween this year, Jim McNiven’s thoughts turned to his grandson – and a tour he took with the nine-year-old boy at a museum in the American Southwest. The Titan Missile Museum – built during the Cold War to launch nuclear-armed intercontinental

George Packer’s The Unwinding

American George Packer of The New Yorker was scorching in his take of the state of his union, talking in Vancouver at a writer’s festival. Writes Rod Mickleburgh: “He drew gasps from the nearly sold-out crowd at the university’s Frederic Wood Theatre, when

A prince, a prostitute, a ranch and a murder

The title of author and historian Brian Brennan’s latest Commentary piece is delectable – if you like your history with a frisson of salaciousness. He calls it The Prince and the Prostitute — or, “How a British Royal Hid Out in Canada While his

Five countries between us and global starvation

“Five countries stand in the way of global starvation.” That’s one stark, ugly sentence. It’s from Chris Wood’s latest Natural Security column, and it’s thought-provoking, at least. An excerpt: United Nations demographers forecast that by mid-century — in 37 years — there will be

Goldilocks and Nine Billion Bears

CHRIS WOOD: NATURAL SECURITYPublished October 29, 2013  United Nations demographers forecast1 that by mid-century — in 37 years — there will be more than nine billion humans on the planet, about two billion more than the roughly seven billion of us now. 

Bitcoin brew

The world’s first ATM capable of swapping bitcoins for any official currency started operating this week in a coffee shop in Western Canada. Bitconiacs, a storefront currency exchange owned by three 20-something entrepreneurs, claims to be first in the world to set

Defending the “black market in human decency”

This essay in the New York Times, Slaves of the Internet, Unite, is a fine defence of the value of writing, art and, yes, journalism. Tim Kreider, an American writer and cartoonist, quotes Vladamir Nabokov: “Let us not kid ourselves. Let us remember that

Manthorpe on Mozambique’s ageing rebels

Brutal politics and governance in Mozambique are worthy of a Greek tragedy or Game of Thrones-type saga, all on their own. With supporting roles played by a rotating cast of Portugal, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, South Africa and America’s puritanical Christian Taliban, the country previously descended into

With their dying breath, Mozambique’s rebels lash out

JONATHAN MANTHORPEPublished: October 25, 2013 Threats of a return to one of Africa’s most brutal civil wars came to a head this week when government troops in Mozambique overran the mountain forest base of opposition Renamo rebels. Afonso Dhlakama, 60-year-old leader of

Polio and progress

In most of the world polio is a mere bogeyman, a shadow that drifts through our awareness every October 24, the day global health agencies call World Polio Day. Few suffered, or now recall, the polio epidemics that menaced cities from the

1 2 3 5