Culture Archive

My Eddie Shack story

A few days ago I heard that Eddie Shack died at the age of 83. I was never a fan of the Leafs, but it was hard not to be a fan of Eddie Shack. About a decade after Shack had retired (in 1975) I was involved up to my wahzoo in minor hockey. I

What happens when your freedom conflicts with mine?

It is not uncommon these days to see people protesting the way authorities are “violating their freedom” by enforcing things like social distancing, encouraging the wearing of masks in public, or not allowing businesses like restaurants to openly conduct business. This type of protest is much more common in the United States than it is

Will online education finally start to take over?

The lockdown brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has meant kids of all ages are unable to attend school classes. This is particularly problematic for older kids – advanced high school and post secondary – because their future careers are being interrupted in a significant way. This is not so much a factor for younger

The Evolution of Modern Logo Design

The way corporate logos are designed has evolved a lot, especially since after WWII, the advent of television, the “visualization” of popular culture, and the explosion of consumerism that really took off in the 1950s and 60s. Here is a short video published in The Atlantic in August, 2018 featuring one of the firms involved

The HMCS Ojibwa impressive but needs work

We visited the submarine display in Port Burwell a few years ago, and were impressed enough to take two of our grandsons, Liam and Jack, to visit the display this week. The HMCS Ojibwa served in the Canadian navy during the Cold War from 1965 to 1998. The ship was mothballed for a few years

Nice B&B in Springford with Alpacas

We spent a couple of days this week with Liam and Jack (two of our grandsons) golfing and visiting a few interesting spots down near Tillsonburg, Ontario. The highlight was a personal tour of the Alpacas B&B in Springford. Many thanks to Roelf and Francien owners of the Alpacas B&B for taking the time to

History of the Guitar

The evolution of the modern guitar is a complicated one. Stringed instruments with some of the features of modern guitars have been used for about 4,000 years, as can be attested by archaeological evidence from digs in Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia, and elsewhere where organized human civilizations have been found. The guitar didn’t really start to

Universal Basic Income podcast

I just listened to Sam Harris interview Andrew Yang about his proposals for a Universal Basic Income in the U.S. They also touched on Yang’s campaign to become President of the U.S. in 2020! If you don’t know, a the Universal Basic Income proposal (UBI) is the idea that every adult citizen would receive an

Why is the Guitar tuned like this?

It may not make sense to you at first, and you might just never think of it. The guitar is tuned the way it is for good physical-mechanical reasons. You have four fingers on your fingering hand, so the guitar strings are tuned 5 frets apart (except for the B string). That means you can

Is There a Non-Believer Substitute for Religious Community?

Let’s pretend organized religion fell seriously out of favour and there were no churches. Would we be missing anything? I suspect there are many people who would be nostalgic for some of the things we get from religion. But it is more than nostalgia. I’m sure church provides members with practical benefits as well. What

Governor General helps launch volunteerism campaign

Governor-General David Johnston has recently kicked off the “My Giving Moment” campaign to encourage young people to volunteer. A new campaign to encourage volunteerism, especially by younger people, has been kicked off by Governor General David Johnston. The campaign consists of print, TV and radio ads as well as a website mygivingmoment.ca Recent statistics show

Hallowe’en Brings Back Fond Memories

Hallowe’en is all about kids. The special day seems to actually be growing in significance, at least in some cultures, Canada among them. It is not just the commercialization, although that is certainly a factor. For kids it is a night filled with excitement over getting dressed up and canvassing the neighbourhood for candy and

Calgary Catholic School Drops Academic Achievement Awards

Many parents are up in arms after a Calgary school decided to drop all academic achievement award ceremonies. The school board wrote in a letter to parents that awards don’t mean much to their recipients and “often hurt the self-esteem and pride of those who do not receive a certificate.” Many parents think these awards

Malcolm Gladwell Pays Tribute to Former Elmira High School English Teacher

Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author of books like “The Tipping Point”, “Blink”, and his latest “David and Goliath” has been making making the rounds in Ontario, presumably promoting his new book and renewing old ties. He went to high school for a few years in Elmira, just down the road from Conestogo. One of those old

Woody Allen’s Moose Sketch

Here’s a classic Woody Allen performance from 1965. Woody is at his quirky best. The famous “moose sketch” is in the last half… Related Posts:No Related Posts

Atheism Has a Bad Name

One of the more interesting suggestions made by one of the “new atheists” over the last 5 years or so, is that the term “atheist” should be jettisoned from the sceptic’s lexicon. Sam Harris’ contention is that “atheism” and “atheist” have received such a bad press – especially in the U.S. that non-believing people who

There’s No Substitute for Practice When it Comes to Learning the Guitar

The other day I saw a promotion for a new mobile phone app, supposedly created to help you master the guitar. I left a comment in which I said that an app won’t do you any good unless you put in your time, work at it, and practice on a regular basis. That comment immediately

Online Guitar Lessons – Part 1

There are hundreds of free guitar lessons and demonstrations on Youtube. Many of them link to websites where you can find more free lessons, and, more frequently, packages of instructional videos you have to pay to access or download. How effective are free guitar lessons like this? Can they be as good as traditional lessons

Moncton a surfing destination

On our way back from PEI this summer we drove through Moncton, N.B. In Ontario we’re used to thinking of “down east” places like Charlottetown and St. Johns as somewhat quaint backwaters that have tourist potential. New Brunswick? Well, there’s call centres and the Magnetic Hill, but that’s about it. These stereotypes are obviously outdated.

CBC Kitchener-Waterloo a welcome addition

A few years ago CBC started broadcasting to the K-W area at 89.1 FM because the Toronto frequency (99.1) had problems in this area. Then, several months ago 89.1 was elevated to a full regional station with local K-W news and events coverage and a local staff. I’ve been listening to CBC Toronto since I