I am trying to teach my two and half year old son how to pray. I tell him it's like talking on the phone to his grandparents but through a "heart phone." Five minutes is equivalent to four sentences of an email so invest that time being "unplugged" in nature. You may just plug into something profound.
American documentary filmmaker James Benning's new film about the Unabomber, Stemple Pass, is one of the few true must-sees in this year's VIFF, and plays tonight for the final time. There is more than a usual amount of urgency in recommending audiences get out to see the film while they can, since it is unlikely that it will screen theatrically elsewise: although Benning regularly has films in the VIFF, none, to my knowledge, have yet returned for an engagement in Vancouver. The film may also never see distribution on home video, which is possibly a good thing; the challenges and rewards of Benning's cinema are such that you pretty much have to see his films on the big screen, with an audience, where there is no option of pausing the film, no way to dodge the demands placed on you.
The summary of the fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has been released, and it confirms that climate change is real, dangerous, and caused by us. More than 97% of science papers that take a position on climate change support this conclusion.This unprecedented level of scientific certainty has not stopped legions of pundits from rejecting evidence, questioning scientists' motives and qualifications, and proposing ever-sillier ideas that scientists themselves are part of a vast international green conspiracy. If only that were true.
People don't like being held accountable for their actions and like to blame their problems on anyone but themselves. This is especially true when it comes to their weight and genetics. When you can blame genetics, you're no longer held accountable for your weight problems and you basically accept defeat.
After studying about three million cases, the authors of a new study found that for people who are older than 60, having a body-mass index (BMI) that ranks you as overweight may reduce your mortality risk. And while obese people had a greater mortality risk over all, those at the lowest level of obesity were not more likely to die during a given period than people of normal weight. The reception to this data has not been kind.
In essence, Hardin's "Tragedy of the Commons" thesis argues that the pursuit of self-interest in an open-access commons leads to ruin. Thus while people know that depleting a common resource can hinder societal wellbeing, without control and oversight, they will inevitably deplete it. I respectfully disagree.
Ontario's Healthy Kids Panel recently proposed a strategy to help kids get onto a path to health. Being in nature is good for all of us. The problem is that the path doesn't lead them into nature. People who get outside regularly are less stressed, have more resilient immune systems and are generally happier. And it's good for our kids.
As it turns out, countries with low GDP ranked high in the HPI and had smaller eco-footprints compared with nations with high GDP that ranked low in the HPI and had larger eco-footprints per capita. Evidently material wealth does not equate with happiness, but instead creates more waste and pollution.
Pushing our kids out the door may be the best way to save the planet. In a survey conducted for the David Suzuki Foundation, 70 per cent of Canadian youth said they spend an hour or less a day in the open air. And when they are out, it's usually to go from one place to another. In other words, it's just a consequence of trying to be somewhere else.
For our healthy enrichment, we must leave the office and the living room for that factory of senses -- Mother Nature. Sure, Google Images and HD television can provide stirring images of Niagara Falls, and yet they don't allow us the true roar of the falls and seagulls squawking over our shoulder and the touch and taste of soft mist on our lips. Treat your senses to time outdoors!
It's called the Flotilla for Friendship and for 12 years it's succeeded in building bonds between two very disparate groups: police and aboriginal youth. Distrust of police is both common and deep-rooted among many in Canadian aboriginal communities. In the flotilla, the 21 police officers and 47 aboriginal youth pile into their canoes and bond on the water, resulting in a change for the better.
I belong in the city: sidewalks to keep my shoes clean, garbage receptacles every few steps, women spraying me with concoctions on Bloor Street -- the city needs me. Algonquin Park does not need me, in fact I feel like it'd rather I not be over. But I discovered my patriotism not in fireworks or beaver tails, but in a paddle. Out in the water with trees all around me, watching my paddle slice in and out of the water, I got why people do this.
"Canadians are so nice!" Yes, yes we are. Keep thinking that world -- but that's not all we are. We are talented, and disciplined and personable, and easy-going and really, just good at life. I love Canada and it's super nice people because while non-Canadians are thinking, "Isn't that cute how she says aboot and pardon me," we are busy getting exactly what we want.