To Protect Monarch Butterfly, A Plan to Save the Sacred Firs. By Janet Marinelli Report
Mexican scientists are striving to plant oyamel fir trees at higher altitudes in an effort to save the species, as well as its fluttering iconic winter visitor — the migrating monarch butterfly — from the devastating effects of climate change.
Migrants to Europe via sea top one million in 2015. By Sebastien Malo Report
More than one million refugees and migrants braved the seas in 2015 seeking sanctuary in Europe, nearly five times more than in the previous year. About half who made the perilous journey came from war-torn Syria, while Afghans accounted for roughly a fifth, said a United Nations agency.
Fireworks: our prettiest pollutant. By Gary Fuller Report
Fireworks are great fun. We all enjoy guessing the colours of the rockets before they ignite in the sky, hearing the explosions echo off nearby buildings, or writing our names in light with hand sparklers. But there is an environmental price to pay.
DAL RICHARDS: The bandleader who almost lived forever. By Rod Mickleburgh
How often do you get to shake hands and say ‘hello’ and ‘thanks’ to a living legend? Vancouver’s King of Swing had a gig every New Year’s Eve for 79 years, which, as the whimsical Richards never tired of pointing out, must be some kind of world record.
Auld Lang Syne changed en route to world domination. By Kirsteen McCue
Auld Lang Syne was famously written by the Scottish national bard, Robert Burns. What is less well known is that the melody was not the one he intended. The one that became famous was first attached to the song in the late 1790s and Burns, who died in 1796, knew nothing about it.
Disneyfied Star Wars an iconic kids’ flick. By Penney Kome
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: as the sun rises, the camera pans in on a droid rolling across barren dunes, burbling and tweeting to itself, on an errand to deliver a crucial message to the Resistance. Spoiler alert: in some ways, The Force Awakens is a mirror image to the very first Star Wars movie, the 1977 space opera that was so fresh and inspiring that it became the only movie I’ve ever paid money to see in a theatre three times.
The racist in the mirror, by Tom Regan, Summoning Orenda column
He’s there. Every day. Staring back at me. A white, late middle-aged man … He is, of course, me. I am the very personification of white male privilege. I am a racist.
Class war returns, this time as a global issue, by Jonathan Manthorpe, International Affairs column
Many mature democracies, previously characterised by the broad social harmony that defines equitable societies, are being sucked into a new world order. We are entering a world in which most wealth, and with it political power, is in the firm grasp of a tiny minority of people who have acquired their status either by luck, imagination, skill, or — in far too many cases — feral instincts. This is a shift in the structure of human society with very real and unappetizing implications.
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