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On the Pill

Light is Right Joe Campbell The pill – you know the one – may be better at preventing conception in fish than in people. What’s more, the fish don’t need a prescription. They get the pill’s synthetic estrogen from sewage that municipalities discharge into rivers and lakes. By feminizing males, the synthetic hormone can limit fish reproduction to the point of collapse. Now that’s performance. It vastly ... (Continue reading)

deVeber memoir delights, inspires

deVeber memoir delights, inspires

Few Canadians have been more widely revered for a lifetime of benevolent accomplishments than Dr. L.L. (Barrie) deVeber, professor emeritus in Paediatrics and Oncology at Western University. So who, exactly, is this exemplary intellectual and physician -- some kind of saint? Well, not quite. Just ask his younger brother George. In Barrie: The Memoirs of Dr. L.L. deVeber as told to S. M. Schaeken, deVeber recalls that, as a boy, ... (Continue reading)

Digital darkness

Light is Right Joe Campbell My latest laptop, the snooty MacBook Pro that distains communicating with its elders, had a nervous breakdown recently. “Well,” I said, when I took it to the Apple store for repairs, “it serves you right. You treated my beloved Macintosh SE despicably. Now it’s your turn to suffer.” I haven’t yet got over the shock of discovering that the new computer refused to ... (Continue reading)

Election guidelines

National Affairs Rory Leishman More than 70 per cent of voters in the 2015 federal election supported candidates and parties committed to unrestricted abortion on demand. What can account for such appalling disregard for the sanctity of human life? While politicians, intellectuals and journalists bear much of the blame, church leaders should also be called to account. According to Statistics Canada, 67 per cent of Canadians still list themselves ... (Continue reading)

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They don’t make Christmas movies like they used to

They don’t make Christmas movies like they used to

They still make Christmas movies, as far as I can tell, but we’re a long way from Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney singing Irving Berlin tunes for a war-weary generation. This Christmas, for instance, we have the very wry Bill Murray spoofing the holiday TV special in A Very Murray Christmas, and The Night Before, a seasonal buddy film where Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Antony Mackie binge their ... (Continue reading)

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Everybody wins

Light is Right Joe Campbell Military medals fascinate me. Not just their metallic luster and multi-coloured ribbons, but their number and variety. When I see a chest full of overlapping medals, I can’t resist counting them. So far, I’ve counted seventeen in a row, although I suspect I may have missed some. What fascinates me most is how the bearers of all that hardware can stand at ... (Continue reading)

Three movies for families

Three movies for families

Perhaps it’s a quirk of our family, but sitting down together for a movie regularly has always been as important as sitting down for a meal. I have spent 30 years, on and off, writing about movies and other entertainment, so I’ve always wanted to be there for those moments I remember so well from my own childhood, when something I saw in a theatre or on TV exploded ... (Continue reading)

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Will British courts ignore Parliament’s rejection of euthanasia?

Will British courts ignore Parliament’s  rejection of euthanasia?

Rory Leishman Following a lengthy and sometimes impassioned debate on the euthanasia issue, the British House of Commons resolved on Sept. 11 by the crushing margin of 330 to 188 to reject a private member’s bill to legalize assisted suicide for mentally competent and terminally ill adults. In a genuine democracy, such a decisive vote in Parliament should settle the matter. As it is, in Britain, as in Canada, unelected ... (Continue reading)

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The lesson of the Ashley Madison leaks

  Amusements Rick McGinnis As I write this, the media frenzy surrounding the leak of a reported 32 million user accounts from the adultery website Ashley Madison has subsided into the background hum behind Donald Trump and the U.S. elections, the Pope’s visit to Cuba and the United States, and the apparently shocking news that Volkswagen diesel motors produce exhaust emissions. For the last half of August, however, news of ... (Continue reading)

Left vs. right

Light is Right Joe Campbell When a Harvard University study found that left-handers are economically worse off than right-handers, I was dismayed. Not because I’m a left-hander. Because I’m a right-hander. If history is any guide, the media-academic complex and the judicial magisterium will blame me for the disparity. That’s what happened when feminists and champions of racial and sexual minorities pleaded their disabilities. Being male, white, and heterosexual ... (Continue reading)

Harper’s disappointing judges

Harper’s disappointing judges

But there is hope that new batch will be better While pro-life leaders are delighted by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s elevation of Justice Russell Brown from the Alberta Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, trendy proponents of judicial activism are appalled, and understandably so: Brown subscribes to the traditional judicial doctrine that judges should refrain from legislating from the bench. John Whyte, emeritus professor of law ... (Continue reading)

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The persistent myth of overpopulation

National Affairs Rory Leishman Given the dramatic drop in birth rates throughout most of the world over the past 50 years, it is amazing that so many doom-and-gloom academics still cling to the false and pernicious notion of global overpopulation. Prominent among these persistent doomsayers is Stephen Emmott, professor of computational science at Oxford University. In his recently published and widely lauded book Ten Billion, he warns: “The ... (Continue reading)

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Wandering words

Light is Right Joe Campbell He told me that when Rome fell in June 1944, his father cried Veni, vidi, vici in a crowd of revelers. “Your father had a speech impediment?” I asked. “Veni, vidi, vici is Latin for I came, I saw, I conquered,” he replied. “My father helped liberate Rome in World War II.” He noted that after winning the Battle of Zela, Julius Caesar wrote Veni, vidi, vici in a ... (Continue reading)

The fragile dew-drop

The fragile dew-drop

We live, scientists tell us, in a four-dimensional space-time continuum. In a way that is difficult to grasp, space and time are profoundly inter-related. But the imagination lives in a fifth dimension -- Dimension H -- the realm of the hypothetical. What is and what could be lie in tantalizingly close proximity to each other, separated only by our free choices. Free choice is the dramatic switch that separates ... (Continue reading)

Trainwreck an unusual rom-com

Trainwreck an unusual rom-com

It’s generally accepted that the romantic comedy went into decline at some point in the ‘90s and hasn’t quite been itself since its final heyday, with films like When Harry Met Sally and Working Girl. If the genre has any life left in it, its saviour has come in the shape of writer/director Judd Apatow, whose innovation was to scour away most of the “chick flick” conventions – sassy girlfriends, ... (Continue reading)

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