Trump’s playing to the lowest common denominator . . . the non-thinkers

We've all been watching the bizarre reality side-show runup for presidential candidates in the United States and it's getting scarier every day. I've resisted commenting on a political situation in which I have no say, but the results could have major implications for Canada. With the leading Republican candidate promoting building border walls (shades of East/West Berlin and the Iron Curtain), halting immigration (despite the fact two of his wives have been immigrants) demolishing free trade and reinstituting discrimination and racism, we have the potential for having a very nasty…

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Let’s hear it for creativity and imagination

A recent article in The New York Times entitled How to Raise a Creative Child questions the merits of over-scheduling, over-programming and over-protecting children. Citing the emergence of natural geniuses like Mozart or Einstein, author Adam Grant questions whether their talents would have seen the light of day if they'd been channeled into strict parent-directed learning pursuits. Early displays of natural talents could be overlooked or squashed by a packed schedule of math tutoring, hockey practice or in today's world, too much screen time. Einstein once said "True sign of…

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Major boo-boo called Metrolinx UP Express

Well blow me down! Who would have ever thought that the fancy, new $456 million dollar rail link between Union Station and Pearson International Airport in Toronto would be operating at ninety percent empty! (I'm allowed an exclamation mark here) or in other words, just ten percent of capacity? After all, look at its genius state-of-the-art diesel operating system; its elite-class fare structure of a mere $27.50 for a one-way ticket; its stand-alone functionality. And unless you enjoy humping your luggage up the various levels of stairs to Front Street…

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Best friends grow up in Naples, Italy

Whew! After about a month's reading, I've finally finished the fourth and final book in Elena Ferrante's Neopolitan series. I'm now feeling slightly bereft, as if I've emerged from a self-imposed exile and have to relearn how to relate to the real world again. First of all, something about the author. Elena Ferrante is notoriously secretive about her personal life; she's reclusive, allows no photographs of herself and there has even been speculation about whether the author is a man or woman. The consensus is she's a woman and a…

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Are men really born to shop?

My girlfriends and I have a strict and effective shopping protocol. We shop alone or if we do go to the mall possee-style, we immediately split up for the serious stuff and reconnoiter later for lunch. It's not a complicated system and there's no room for men in this picture. Before my honey and I were married we went into a jewelry store to pick out my Christmas present (you do things like that before you get married). He immediately started shuffling his feet, yawning and jiggling the change in…

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All you need is love

Valentine's Day is a wonderful opportunity to communicate our love to those individuals who make our lives special. It can, however, be an isolating time for singles. As someone who was single for ten years before I got married the first time and for seventeen years before marrying the second time, I have some experience in this department. This is just a reminder to remember not only your partner this weekend but all the other people in your life you love. A phone call, a hug, an e-mail, take someone…

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