The Money Taboo

The Money Taboo

“So, how much money do you make?” It’s hard to imagine starting a conversation this way. You can ask about a person’s education and grades. You can ask what music they like. You can even ask why they still follow a certain Toronto Hockey Team even though they haven’t won a Stanley Cup in the…

The Great Frost of 2020
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The Great Frost of 2020

The winter of 1709 was a killer. In England it was called “The Great Frost.” In France it was called “Le Grand Hiver.” Over three weeks in early January, temperatures dropped across Europe to levels not seen in 500 years. The Mediterranean Sea froze. Trees exploded. Livestock died in the barns. In Switzerland, wolves prowled…

Virtue Signaling and The Cynic
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Virtue Signaling and The Cynic

In the politically charged early decades of the 21st century, there is a new term to describe the public performance of righteousness. These days, it’s called “virtue signaling.” Virtue signaling is when you share your opinion on a social or political issue simply to get praise or acknowledgment from people who share that point of view. It’s the social media equivalent of praying in public.

Story Fatigue
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Story Fatigue

There’s a reason Jesus told stories. We human beings are hardwired to see the world through the lens of stories. A couple of psychologists, Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel of Smith College in Massachusetts, proved this in 1944. They showed 36 college students a short film, which showed two triangles and a circle moving across a two-dimensional surface.

A Tale of Two Runners
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A Tale of Two Runners

You’ve probably never heard of Richard Demsick. On May 9, 2020, Richard Demsick went for a two-and-a-half mile run in his neighbourhood in Vero Beach, Florida. Demsick was running shirtless, with a ball cap on backwards and was carrying a flat-screen television under his arm. Although the neighbourhood had recently had a series of break-ins, no one stopped him to ask what he was doing. You’ve probably heard of Ahmaud Arbery.

Ahoy on the Zoom Call

Ahoy on the Zoom Call

When phones first came along, people didn’t say “hello” to start the call. In fact, Alexander Graham Bell suggested using the word “ahoy” as a greeting. In the 1920s, people in Britain were advised to skip the greeting to save time. I remember when email was first becoming a big deal back in the 1980s. In university I sent an email to a fellow student in Holland, and actually sat and watched my computer for an answer to come back. That seems silly now, of course.