Issue: 20120813

Monday, August 13, 2012
AUGUST 13,2012
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Sunday, June 5, 2016
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Articles
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MACLEAN'S
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Gillette
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Gillette
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tableOfContents
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MACLEAN'S
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From the editors
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Bread, sure, but what’s wrong with the occasional circus?
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WHAT CAN YOU expect to see every four years? A U.S. presidential election. A Canadian federal election (at least in theory). February 29. The Summer Olympics. Oh, and the inevitable barrage of Olympic-sized complaints and protests. In just the first few days of the London 2012 Olympics, we’ve already seen plenty of high-performance protesting.
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Advertisement
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masthead
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MACLEAN'S
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Letters
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Letters
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Kudos to Kate Lunau and Katie Engelhart for providing us with a readable account of the confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson particle (“Unravelling the universe,” Society, July 23). The fifth-century philosopherphysicist Democritus would be delighted to see how far we have travelled from his atomism to the Higgs boson.
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MARKET 4PLACE
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GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS
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Premiers meeting at the annual Council of the Federation in Halifax agreed on a plan to coordinate bulk purchases of commonly prescribed generic drugs, at long last taking the first step toward combining their market power. All 10 endorsed the suggestion, featured in a report on health care cost savings authored by Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall and P.E.I.’s Robert Ghiz, and competitive bidding is expected to start in autumn.
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This week
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Newsmakers
Twilight fans have their hearts broken, Justin Bieber’s neighbours complain, and Korea gets a kinder, gentler Kim
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NICHOLAS KÖHLER
ANNE KINGSTON
TAMSIN MCMAHON
The Sisters of the Precious Blood founded their monastery in Charlottetown in 1929. More than 80 years later, Sister Ilene Mary Walsh, who joined the order half a century ago—the last P.E.I. woman to do so—has returned as the order’s general superior in Canada to close it down.
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Opinion
GUN CONTROL
THE ARMS RACE NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT
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EMMA TEITEL
POLITICIANS ARE EXPERTS at ambiguity. But one of those experts—President Barack Obama (remember his ever-“evolving” position on gay marriage?)—surprised us this week when he made an entirely unambiguous statement about the controversy of the day: gun control and the right to bear arms in America.
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Interview
SLEEP
On how animals sleep the real Olympic advantage, and why men rest easy
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DAVID RANDALL
AMERICAN JOURNALIST DAVID Randall explores the little-known world of sleep in Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep. From the identification of sleep disorders, now numbering 75, to the $30-billion sleep-medication market, he examines new research into the third of our lives we know the least about.
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National
URBAN PLANNING
A DENSE IDEA
It turns out cramming more people into cities won’t help the environment or our health, and may even hurt the economy
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TAMSIN McMAHON
LAST MONTH Toronto’s deputy mayor, Doug Holyday, uttered what has become a cultural taboo in Canada’s largest city. Downtown Toronto, he said, is no place to raise a family. Holyday, who lives down the street from his grandchildren in the suburban Toronto neighbourhood of Etobicoke, was against a city plan to force condo developers to reserve 10 per cent of their buildings for three-bedroom “family friendly” units.
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National
FIRST NATIONS
An education underclass
Efforts to close the funding gap between Aboriginal students and other children are slow in coming
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ANDREW STOBO SNIDERMAN
THE TWO SCHOOLS sit a mere five kilometres apart as the crow flies, in a rural stretch of Manitoba about four hours west of Winnipeg. Their soccer teams compete every spring. Their students groan over many of the same textbooks. But as the road from Rossburn Collegiate to the Waywayseecappo reserve school runs down a hill into a lush valley, it also crosses an invisible jurisdictional line that led to an egregious gap between native and non-native students.
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National
NATIONAL UNITY
Ye olde separatists
Efforts to forge a national team to compete in medieval tournaments meet resistance in Quebec
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EMMA TEITEL
EACH SPRING FOR the past few years, approximately 200 of the world’s most dedicated enthusiasts of medieval historical re-enactment meet in a small eastern European town to represent their respective countries in the Battle of the Nations, what is essentially the Olympics of modern-day medieval combat.
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National
CAPITAL DIARY
Mitchel Raphael on power hiking in Banff and an Olympic fanatic
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For several years, Laureen Harper has been doing an annual summer hike in different parts of Canada. The hikes are planned over an entire year. This summer she and her friends, including Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose, covered 55 km and two mountain passes in Banff, Alta.
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International
CUBA
RISKY BUSINESS
There is money to be made in Havana— and the possibility of imprisonment
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NANCY MACDONALD
GABRIELA PERDOMO
UNTIL THIS SPRING, Stephen Purvis had it all. The British architect, who’d helped launch the Saratoga, Cuba’s poshest hotel, was one of the more prominent figures in Havana’s business community. As chief operating officer of Coral Capital, one of Cuba’s biggest private investors, he was overseeing a planned $500-million resort in the sleepy fishing village of Guanabo.
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International
SYRIA
WHEN ASSAD GOES
The instability that follows Assad’s fall will be felt far beyond Syria
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NANCY MACDONALD
THE BRAZEN, MID-MORNING bombing that struck Syria’s military command on July 18, taking the lives of several of Bashar al-Assad’s top advisers, may not have killed the Syrian president himself, but it is hard to believe he will survive the fallout.
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ITALY
Your very own Tuscan village
An entire 800-year-old town is looking for buyers on eBay
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MICHELLE TARNOPOLSKY
FOR YEARS, THE owners of Pratariccia, a medieval Italian village perched atop the hills above Tuscany’s Casentino valley, have been trying to sell their abandoned town. Now the religious order that reportedly owns the remote town has turned to eBay, where the 25 crumbling stone cottages and thousands of acres of farmland is on offer for US$3 million.
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International
VIETNAM
AMERICA’S NEW BFF
The former enemies are big trading partners. Could military co-operation be next?
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AARON HUTCHINS
AMERICANS USED TO burn Vietnamese shirts; now they buy them. They also buy shoes, wooden furniture, nuts and leather goods. Vietnam isn’t only a seller’s market; it also imports merchandise from the United States, everything from machinery to cotton and cars.
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Your very own Tuscan village
CHINA
Red card
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AARON HUTCHINS
THE PIPELINE FOR Africa’s top soccer talent may lead through Europe, but the end point is now China. Chelsea star Didier Drogba, an Ivory Coast native, led the British squad to a Champions League victory this spring. This summer, he is moving east to play for the Shanghai Shenhua, where he will reportedly earn $350,000 a week.
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Your very own Tuscan village
PUERTO RICO
THE 51ST STATE? NOT LIKELY.
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MIKA REKAI
ON NOV. 6, Puerto Rico is holding a referendum on the territory’s tricky political status with the United States. Puerto Rican support for formal statehood has been growing steadily in recent years, with polls showing 41 per cent want the island to become the 51st state.
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Your very own Tuscan village
NAMIBIA
Water, water everywhere
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PATRICIA TREBLE
FOR RESIDENTS of northern Namibia and southern Angola, survival can often be precarious. Eight hundred thousand people inhabit one of the driest regions in Africa and depend heavily on an old, crumbling canal to bring drinking water from an Angolan dam.
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International
PAKISTAN
A different view
Hello! Pakistan aims to show another side of the country, but don’t expect to see women in bikinis
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SCAACHI KOUL
ZAHRAA SAIFULLAH COULD be the face of a new generation of Pakistani women: powerful and wealthy, yet happy to show a sliver of bare shoulder. Saifullah wants to bring this modern perception of Pakistan to the rest of the world and, as the publisher of the new Hello!
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A different view
ITALY
STILL THE LIFE OF THE PARTY
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ERICA ALINI
WHEN SILVIO BERLUSCONI was forced from office last fall, the world was quick to write off Italy’s scandal-prone prime minister as a welcome casualty of the eurozone crisis. That post-mortem, though, may have been premature. The septuagenarian tycoon appears set to run for prime minister, for a sixth time, in elections scheduled for next spring.
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Business
TECHNOLOGY
THE SECRET INTERNET
Companies are using your private information to make sure you pay more, and see less online
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CHRIS SORENSEN
YOU MAY HAVE never heard of Choicestream, Criteo or m6d, but if you’ve ever looked at a pair of shoes on Zappos.com, odds are they know something about you. They are just three of 13 firms that are notified by the online retailer when you land on its home page.
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Business
ENERGY
OUR CHINESE OIL SANDS
Should Canadians care if Alberta’s oil patch falls under the control of China’s state-run companies?
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KATE LUNAU
IN JUNE, THE Alberta government launched a website publicly outing employers who haven’t paid their workers—an online hall of shame. Among these “deadbeat bosses,” as the media quickly dubbed them, the worst offender was a subsidiary of China Petrochemical Corp. (Sinopee), a Chinese stateowned oil giant.
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Business
WHITE-COLLAR CRIME
RIPPING OFF AMERICA
How Montreal scammers took over Champlain, N.Y., and turned it into Fraud Town, U.S.A.
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TAMSIN MCMAHON
CHAMPLAIN, N.Y., IS a quiet farming village nestled in the Adirondacks, just a stone’s throw from the Quebec border, with a reputation that far exceeds its modest circumstances. It has a population of just 1,100 people and nearly 300 companies—one for roughly every three residents—almost all of which, authorities say, are fake businesses set up by organized crime rings out of Canada.
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Business
LEGAL
Problematic poems
How Leonard Cohen’s steamy prose became part of a high-profile Silicon Valley lawsuit
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NICHOLAS KÖHLER
MACLEAN’S, IN A short review back in 2006, called Leonard Cohen’s Book of Longing, a collection of poetry and drawings, “open-heart poetry” and a “candid memoir of love, sadness, rage and wry resignation.” Ellen Pao, a junior partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the Silicon Valley venture firm whose milestone investments include early bets on Amazon and Google, calls Cohen’s book something else: grist in a much-watched sexual discrimination suit she has filed against Kleiner that describes the firm as a hotbed of locker-room-style cronyism and inappropriate flirtations.
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Business
INFRASTRUCTURE
THIRD AND LONG, IN THE TOOTH
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AARON HUTCHINS
THERE IS ANOTHER boom in Canadian real estate and it’s not in houses or condos; it’s in professional sports facilities. Several football stadiums and hockey arenas are set to sprout up across the country, and like the residential housing boom, they are largely being built on borrowed money.
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TECHNOLOGY
Apple’s soft spot
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CHRIS SORENSEN
SPECULATION ABOUT A fall release of the latest iPhone is already rampant, but there’s a new twist this year: questions about Apple’s ability to wow an increasingly competitive industry. The iPhone 4S, unveiled last October, offered only marginal improvements over the previous version, and the Siri voice assistant has yet to become a new mobile standard.
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Business
FOREIGN INVESTMENT
DON’T OFFEND THE LOCALS
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TAMSIN MCMAHON
COMPARING CANADA TO the U.S. has long been a favourite pastime north of the 49th. To help, British bank HSBC is offering an online guide for expats to help them navigate the cultural nuances of doing business in the two countries. Americans, HSBC says, might seem selfcentred, but only because they’ve been raised with a strong independent spirit.
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Business
BRIGHT IDEA
Babysitters for hire
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MIKA REKAI
A WAVE OF start-up companies is looking to tap into a lucrative market—weary parents—by creating babysitting services for the digital age. Kinderfee, a German website that operates across Europe, provides parents with a database of thousands of potential sitters who have been interviewed and screened by the company, and helps arrange meetings between parents and prospective sitters.
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LONDON OLYMPICS
CHINA
An unbelievable superpower
After Athens, China decided it cared about medals. Its $800-million-a-year investment in its athletes is paying off—and raising questions.
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Jonathon Gatehouse
THERE IS NOTHING imposing about Ye Shiwen. At five foot eight and 141 lb., she has an average build for a female swimmer. And the hands that first caught the eye of her kindergarten teacher back home in Zhejiang, China, and diverted her life’s path to the pool no longer seem quite so large on a 16-year-old.
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LONDON OLYMPICS
LETTER FROM EUROPE
WELCOME TO THE SILLY GAMES
For this Olympic host, ‘taking the piss’ is a venerated sport
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LEAH MCLAREN
LAST WEEK, JUST prior to London’s Olympic opening ceremonies, a lone volunteer sat with a megaphone outside the main stadium performing an impromptu stand-up routine that subsequently went viral on YouTube. In it, a young woman in a volunteer’s uniform mused in a thoroughly robotic monotone to the milling crowd, “I cannot contain my excitement.
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LONDON OLYMPICS
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PAIN AND GLORY
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LONDON OLYMPICS
SWIMMING
IN THE STANDS
Twenty years after her last Olympic time trials, Leanne Shapton spends a day at the pool
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Sunday, July 29,2012, day 2, Swimming 8 a.m. Wake to alarm. Check phone. Read email from my mom declaring, “Phelps dethroned!” Head to my computer to watch footage, but am diverted by an email from a friend reminding me to watch footage of the racehorse Frankel at the Queen Anne Stakes.
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LONDON OLYMPICS
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CANADIANS TAKING FLIGHT
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LONDON OLYMPICS
DIVING
HIGH ON THE COUNT
Canada’s elite diving program is one big medal factory
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CHARLIE GILLIS
BRONZE IS NOT especially easy on the teeth. Émilie Heymans might have mentioned that last Sunday before Jennifer Abel chomped down on her medal for the cameras—a tradition normally reserved for gongs made of more dental-friendly gold. She’s got two bronzes, after all, and this was one of Heymans’s last chances to impart wisdom to the 20-year-old Olympic rookie she’s been leaping and twisting alongside for the better part of two years.
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LONDON OLYMPICS
CHRISTINE GIRARD
The weight is over
Four years after disappointment in Beijing, the diminutive bundle of power hoists a medal
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KEN MACQUEEN
WHEN THE BAR, loaded with 135 kg, refused to do the bidding of Canadian weightlifter Christine Girard, she left the Olympic stage at London’s vast ExCel complex devastated, convinced she’d played out the same frustrating scenario as in Beijing: fourth place, just shy of the podium.
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MACLEAN'S BACK PAGES
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Taste
Where the wild things are
Each summer hundreds of nomadic pickers prowl Canada’s boreal forests in search of the elusive morel
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ANDREW STOBO SNIDERMAN
“FREEDOM AND ADVENTURE. Those are the main draws for people. You live in a tent in the bush, wake up when you want, work as hard as you want. Nobody is looking over your shoulder,” Eric Whitehead says. The 34-year-old picks, buys and distributes mushrooms—specifically, the prized morel mushroom, which looks like a cone-shaped sponge, delights gourmands, and retails for more than $100 per dried pound.
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TV
Too hot for television
Not everyone’s happy about the new crop of TV lesbians. Especially some lesbians.
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EMMA TEITEL
RUMOURS ABOUND THAT American singer and occasional actress Jennifer Lopez is leaving the fold of reality television—where she’s been a judge on American Idol for the past two years—to produce and potentially star in a drama on ABC Family.
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Books
WATER’S TOXIC, WISH YOU WERE HERE
One man’s whimsical tour of some of the world’s most polluted places
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Brian Bethune
IT WAS IN India, in 2003, that the idea came to Andrew Blackwell. He was invited to visit Kanpur, an industrial city of three million that finds no place in any popular guidebook. But it had received—from its own government—the title of India’s Most Polluted City, a designation that required, as Blackwell notes in an interview, overcoming “some fierce competition.”
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Web
@chef: The soup needs salt. Hello?
Restaurants have a new nemesis: real-time food criticism in 140 characters or less
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JESSICA ALLEN
FIRST CAME THE bloggers, then the Chowhounders and Yelpers. Today, restaurants must contend with a new breed of critic: the tweeters. On a recent Monday afternoon, Amy Lu, a Toronto-based food blogger, tweeted to her 650-plus followers that she was excited to have high tea at the Windsor Arms, a luxury hotel in her city.
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Books
Why Superman will never die
Plus, the wild story of the invention of the ballpoint pen, Obama’s handling of terror suspects and the history of a famous Canadian bicycle company
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JAIME J. WEINMAN
The beginning of Superman’s real-life story, as told in Tye’s history, is almost as famous as his origin on Krypton: two young Jewish men, Jerry Siegel from Cleveland and Joe Shuster from Toronto, channelled their fantasies of power and heroism into a mild-mannered nerd who was actually a super-strong “man of tomorrow.”
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Books
BALLPOINT: ATALE OF GENIUS AND GRIT, PERILOUS TIMES, AND THE INVENTION THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE WRITE György Moldova
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Brian Bethune
In terms of history-making inventions, the ballpoint pen is no electric light bulb, but its story is far wilder. László Bíró, born in 1899, was a hack journalist of inventive bent, who grew annoyed at the way fountain pens tended to splotch or go dry when most needed.
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Books
KILL OR CAPTURE: THE WAR ON TERROR AND THE SOUL OF THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY Daniel Klaidman
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MICHAEL PETROU
This book is about the clash between President Barack Obama’s pre-election idealism on matters of security and terrorism, and the more pragmatic realities of office. Early in the Obama presidency, U.S. special operations forces were tracking Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a leading member of al-Qaeda’s East Africa branch, al-Shabaab.
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Books
THE KINGS OF COOL Don Winslow
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ANDREW STOBO SNIDERMAN
Much of this book is about sex, drugs and murder, but it aspires to far more. Winslow to satiate readers who wanted to know how the young Californian marijuana dealers in his bestselling Savages got so cool in the first place (the title Kings of Cool is less ironic than one might expect, thanks to its pervasive reverence of youth).
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Books
MONEY AT WORK: ON THE JOB WITH PRIESTS, POKER PLAYERS AND HEDGE FUND TRADERS Kevin J. Delaney
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Brian Bethune
Most of us, a few saints and one-per-centers aside, work for money, but not with it in the same direct manner of most of the subjects of Delaney’s intriguing study. We don’t manipulate cash to keep score like poker players (literally) or financial traders (figuratively) or work within a rich, mixed-message tradition of seeing money as a gift from God and ripe for human abuse—the root of all evil—like most clergy.
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Books
CANADA CYCLE AND MOTOR: THE CCM STORY John A. McKenty
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There was a time when Canada Cycle & Motor Co. had one of those three-character acronyms, like CPR and NHL, that seemed to capture the history and culture of this country. In its heyday—from the 1920s through the ’50s—it seemed like every kid in Canada rode a CCM bike and skated on CCM blades.
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Books
MACLEAN’S BESTSELLERS
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1. IN ONE PERSON John Irving 6(13) 2. CAPITAL John Lanchester 9(4) 3. 13 Kelley Armstrong (1) 4. CANADA Richard Ford 1 (10) 5. A DANCE WITH DRAGONS 7(56) George R.R. Martin 6. THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY (l) Rachel Joyce 7. MISSION TO PARIS Alan Furst 4(8)
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Film
Tell us what we paid
Why are modern movie fans so obsessed with how films perform at the box office?
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JAIME J. WEINMAN
IT WAS THE least important effect of the Colorado movie-theatre shooting: it left movie journalists without anything to write about for two days. Warner Brothers announced that “out of respect for the victims and their families,” it would hold off on reporting the box-office performance of The Dark Knight Rises until Sunday, and other studios also waited to announce how badly they were beaten by Christopher Nolan’s movie.
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Help
Always on the sunny side
Research into the 'optimist gene’ shows that the rainiest brain can be retrained
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JULIA MCKINNELL
ELAINE FOX, a research professor in experimental psychology at Oxford University, remembers the day in 2010 when the phone rang and it was someone calling on behalf of Michael J. Fox. The actor (no relation to professor Fox) wanted to speak to her because her research dovetailed with his documentary, Michael J. Fox:
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MACLEAN'S BACK PAGES
Feschuk
Suddenly I’m all about horses
The Games do this. They make us care about odd things like gymnastics, or Belgians.
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SCOTT FESCHUK
IT’S EARLY-LIKE, 5:30-in-the-morning early. I’m sitting in front of TV coverage of the Summer Games, watching horses jump over fences and rails. Why am I watching horses jump over fences and rails? I’m not sure. To this point in my life, I’ve had no enthusiasm for horses and only a passing interest in poles.
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The end
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William Bradley Kuhl
He was ‘just one of those guys looking for adventure,’ and a best friend to everyone—especially his son
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AARON HUTCHINS
WILLIAM BRADLEY KUHL was born on July 12,1967, in Lethbridge, Alta. His parents called him their “centennial project.” He came 16 years after his brother George and 17 years after his sister Cindy. He grew up in a small, white bungalow close to Highway 4 in Milk River.
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