Issue: 20120820

Monday, August 20, 2012
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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

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From the editors
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It’s time for the premiers to step into the leadership void
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FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL RELATIONS in Canada often bring to mind schoolyard analogies. But which ones are most appropriate? Are the provincial premiers a bunch of unruly youngsters in need of stern discipline? Or are they more like high school grads, grown up and canny enough to show their old teacher a thing or two? Lately both seem appropriate.
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Letters
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Letters
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I find it revealing that when a nonAmerican produces a spectacular athletic performance, doping suspicions quickly arise, as in the case of Chinese swimmer, Ye Shiwen (“An unbelievable superpower,” Olympics, Aug. 13). Yet if it’s someone like sprinter Carl Lewis, or swimming phenoms Michael Phelps or Janet Evans, then it’s accolades and chest thumping.
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This week
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GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS
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Escape from Syria The death toll surpassed 20,000 and a frustrated Kofi Annan stepped down as the UN’s special envoy to Syria. But it was President Bashar al-Assad who suffered the toughest defeat last week: his prime minister, Riad Hijab, fled to Jordan to join the other side.
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Newsmakers
Snoop Dogg converts, the NFL gets a female ref, and a rare, royal hug for Britain’s biggest cheerleaders
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This week, the NFL announced that the Aug. 9 game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Diego Chargers will mark an important milestone: if all goes as planned, it will be the first game with a female official. Shannon Eastin, an Arizona native, has refereed the sport for almost two decades, and making it to the NFL was her long-held dream.
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Opinion
CULTURE
Vogue, Mrs. Assad and Joan Juliet Buck
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BARBARA AMIEL
IS A CAUTIONARY tale for those who move in the world of fashionable ideas. They speak out and raise funds for their causes. Though they tend to work under the spotlight, especially the flashbulb, their little mistakes are generally overlooked.
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Interview
MUSIC
On introverts,learning to improvise, and why people should be nicer to one another
NEIL PEART IN CONVERSATION WITH MIKE DOHERTY
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RUSH’S 20TH STUDIO release, Clockwork Angels, hit No. 1 in Canada in June—not bad for a steampunk, progressive rock concept album. Its story, about a young man who flees a land designed to function in perfect mechanical order, reflects the philosophy of drummer and lyricist Neil Peart.
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NATIONAL
POLITICS
Party on the bandwagon
As a former cop joins the election campaign with accusations of corruption, it’s hard to say which way Quebec’s reliably unpredictable electorate will stampede
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PAUL WELLS
AT THE END of June, Jacques Duchesneau, the former Montreal police chief, sat down with William Marsden, a veteran Montreal Gazette reporter. Duchesneau had just wrapped up his testimony as the star witness at the Charbonneau commission, a public inquiry into political corruption in the province’s construction industry.
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National
HISTORY
THE REAL STORY OF CANADA’S WORST MILITARY DISASTER
New evidence shows the doomed Dieppe raid had a vital mission—and a certain spy author—at its core
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ALEX BALLINGALL
DAWN HAD BROKEN by the time Ron Beal scrambled out of his landing craft to storm the beach with the Royal Regiment and attack gun positions looking west over Dieppe harbour. In the early morning sunlight, the Canadian soldiers were easy targets for the French town’s German defenders; scores lay dead and dying on the rocky beach as bullets rained mercilessly from the cliffs above.
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National
NUNAVUT
Muskox on the menu
With sky-high grocery prices and hunger rampant, the government subsidizes hunters to return to the land
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JONATHON GATEHOUSE
IN CANADA’S FAR NORTH, where two litres of milk can cost $14, a bag of flour $33, and 10 pieces of fried chicken $61.99, the government of Nunavut thinks a better future might lie in the past. So it has launched a program encouraging residents to follow the example of their ancestors and live off the land, harvesting more traditional “country food” like seal, muskox and even ground squirrel.
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National
CAPITAL DIARY
Mitchel Raphael on mementoes from Bev Oda’s political life
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Quebec NDP MP Dany Morin has been spending his summer going door to door collecting signatures for a petition he plans to present when the House resumes in the fall. He wants the government to set up customs at the Bagotville airport in his riding of Chicoutimi-Le Fjord.
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National
NATURE
A coastal whale tale
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MARINE RESEARCHERS AND whale watchers are wondering what to make of starkly different cetaceous encounters on Canada’s east and west coasts in recent weeks. A pair of humpback whales off the coast of Newfoundland made headlines last week.
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National
NEW BRUNSWICK
MCADAM, N.B. POP: CHECK THE LIST.
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THE VILLAGE OF McAdam, N.B., has a population of1,284, according to the 2011 census, but if you want more up-to-date figures, you might ask Eugene Nason. He and two friends were at a local restaurant a few months ago, chatting about how many locals have left for Fort McMurray, Alta.
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National
POLICE BLOTTER
ONE SWEET THEFT AND DRUNKEN FURY
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Newfoundland: A 52-year-old woman allegedly went on a rampage after police charged her with impaired driving. She spat on one officer and kicked out a police cruiser window. When a second vehicle arrived, she kicked out another window and set fire to the seat.
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International
UNITED STATES
Retreat of the elites
Both liberals and conservatives rail against the insularity of the one per cent
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A SHORT POLEMICAL book by a cable talkshow host doesn’t usually set off a worldwide conversation about the way society is organized, but Chris Hayes, the bespectacled policy wonk who hosts MSNBC’s Up With Chris Hayes, hopes to do just that with Twilight of the Elites: A merica After Meritocracy.
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International
IRAN
Tehran's very fowl summer
A countrywide chicken shortage sparks protests, as sanctions bite in
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THE LIST OF things Iranian media are forbidden or discouraged from depicting is long, but usually at least has the virtue of being predictable: gay sex, any other kind of sex, unveiled women, drinking parties. This summer, television stations were warned of a new taboo: eating chicken. Tehran’s police chief Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam urged networks not to show anyone consuming chicken, lest the images inflame class tensions and lead to violence.
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International
BRITAIN
THE END OF THE AFFAIR?
Two years in, relations between Britain’s coalition partners hit an all-time low
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MICHAEL PETROU
THEY SEEMED SO smitten with each other, standing side by side in the 10 Downing Street rose garden, so full of innocence and hope. David Cameron and Nick Clegg, leaders of Britain’s Conservatives and Liberal Democrats respectively, were forming a coalition government and were appearing together to announce it to the press.
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International
UNITED STATES
WHY DID THE GAY ADVOCATE CROSS THE ROAD?
To protest a chicken sandwich
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COLBY COSH
THE CONTINUING CONTROVERSY over the anti-gay beliefs of the owners of the U.S. fastfood chain Chick-Fil-A has established one thing with stark objectivity: Chick-Fil-A sandwiches are the best in the business. There wouldn’t be much of an issue, after all, if Chick-Fil-A’s chicken had ready, obvious substitutes. The website BoycottChickFilA.com comes right out and asks, “How can something so good be so evil?” One lawyer even has a scheme for offering “chicken offsets” that let gay-friendly chicken-lovers salve their consciences by donating to non-profits that support same-sex marriage.
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SOUTH KOREA
You can say that on TV
A surprising hit show features singing, dancing and a candid glimpse of the lives of North Korean defectors
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LYNDSIE BOURGON
EVERY SUNDAY NIGHT, South Koreans in to a surprising hit TV show featuring dozen women, all defectors from the North. With its mix of humour and tears, the hybrid talk and talent show, called Now On My to Meet You, is hitting all the right notes, blending music and dance performances and sip over the ideal mate along with serious discussions about life in the autocratic North. The set features a lit-up runway for formances, mostly singing and dancing.
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International
FRANCE
The buff rebuffed
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FOR THE PAST decade, Parisians have flocked each summer to Paris Plages, which transforms the banks of the Seine River to a series of urban beaches. All the necessities are there: white sand, parasols, roving ice cream vendors, even free concerts.
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International
IRAN
BUILDING A POPULATION BOMB
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LYNDSIE BOURGON
IRAN’S GOT A problem: not enough babies. So last week, the government began dismantling long-standing family planning policies. Iranian authorities are slashing the country’s birth control programs, which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad considers ungodly and a Western import.
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International
MACAU
Cashing out
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COLBY COSH
WESTERNERS SKEPTICAL of official Chinese government statistics are always on the lookout for economic indicators that are hard for even a Communist to fudge. One of them is gambling revenue in Macau, the Chinesecontrolled “special administrative region” and Asia’s casino capital.
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International
UNITED STATES
The Latino Obama
Does the rise of Julián Castro mean Democrats have given up on winning back the white middle class?
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JAIME J. WEINMAN
JULIÁN CASTRO, the 37-year-old mayor of San Antonio, Texas, is drawing comparisons to Barack Hussein Obama—and not just because they both share a name with a former dictator. When Castro was announced as the keynote speaker at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, stories focused on his background: a Harvard-educated pragmatist who is less left-wing than his mother, Rosie Castro, who heads the Mexican-American civil rights group La Raza Unida.
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International
AUSTRALIA
EVEN FISH AREN’T SAFE
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NICHOLAS KÖHLER
CAPTAIN COOK DISCOVERED Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in 1770, when his ship smashed into it “and stuck fast,” as he put it in his journal. The seven-week layover that followed gave Cook’s men glimpses of a strange menagerie. Mostly, it was the reef’s teeming fish they came to know.
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BUSINESS
RETAIL
The Lowe down on Rona
As Quebec prepares to block a takeover of Rona, shareholders wonder whose side the company is on
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TAMSIN MCMAHON
RONA CEO ROBERT DUTTON could be forgiven for being testy with investors at the hardware retailer’s annual general meeting in May. There had been incessant gossiping over whether the company was ripe for a takeover by American rival Lowe’s, and Dutton said it was “demoralizing.
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Business
TECHNOLOGY
Did you Yahoo! that?
The one-time star of the dot-com era tries to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up
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FOR TED MIRSKY, Yahoo! is a party trick. When his friends or co-workers are stumped by a question, the 27-year-old self-described “early adopter” from Ottawa often says: “Hold up, I’ll Yahoo! it,” and pulls out his phone. “Some people get it—and some people go, ‘Huh?! Don’t you use Google by now?’ ” says Mirsky.
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Business
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ECONOWATCH
A monthly scorecard on the state of the economy in North America and beyond
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CALIFORNIA LIKES FACEBOOK. Well, it did when it looked like the social media giant was going to flood government coffers with desperately needed cash. When the state crunched its budget earlier this year, it took for granted that the company’s IPO in May would lead to a tax windfall as Facebook insiders cashed out. The bean counters banked on US$1.9 billion in tax revenue for the state.
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Business
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
China’s McSlump
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• For years, ING Canada told Canadians to “Save your money” by stuffing it in a high-interest online savings account. But the bank’s Dutch parent now wants to do the exact opposite: withdraw some badly needed cash from its Canadian and British operations.
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LONDON OLYMPICS
HISTORY IN THE MAKING
GREATEST SHOW
With so many standardbreaking performances, these Games might claim a best-ever title.
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Jonathon Gatehouse
THE DAY STARTED with Chicken McNuggets and ended with three leggy members of the Swedish women’s handball team in his bedroom, although somewhere in between the indulgences and the excesses Usain Bolt found the time to make history. Not much time, mind you—just 9-63 seconds.
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LONDON OLYMPICS
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HEROES AND HEARTBREAK
Our most dramatic Summer Games may prove to be and Ken MacQueen
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WITH JONATHON GATEHOUSE
THE CIRCUMFERENCE OF the outer track at London’s Olympic Stadium is about 500 m, which is fine for a runner, but much longer than Derek Drouin anticipated when he snatched up a Maple Leaf flag Tuesday and set out on a victory lap. By the time he had worked his way from the high-jump pit, past the media tribunes and on to the stadium’s northwest side, where his family sat beaming, five precious minutes had slipped by.
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LONDON OLYMPICS
ROWING
THE VINDICATION OF MIKE SPRACKLEN
Will Canada’s most successful rowing coach be welcomed back?
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KEN MACQUEEN
THERE’S NO EASY path to glory in coach Mike Spracklen’s world, as Rowing Canada knows to its great discomfort. There is only toil and pain, and finding the limits of your endurance. Finding those limits and continually pushing beyond, until the ultimate breaking point becomes the last stroke of the race.
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SCANDALS
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Playing dirty
Match throwing, alleged multi-million-dollar payouts: whatever happened to Olympic sportsmanship?
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CHARLIE GILLIS
MICHELLE LI AND Alex Bruce are as modest as badminton players come. And by Olympic standards, badminton is a humble sport. Yet for three glorious days last week, Wembley Arena in northwest London was their house— a cauldron of heat and commotion where even the hometown yobs, drunk before lunch, found themselves chanting “Bruce Li!” at a couple of Canadian women playing a sport with zero profile in the British Isles.
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LONDON OLYMPICS
SWIMMING
MICHAEL THE GREAT
He was so dominant that his best races might be the ones he almost blew
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JONATHON GATEHOUSE
WHEN IT WAS all over, they made him come back out for one last bow. Minutes after Michael Phelps had ascended to the top of the Olympic podium for what he promised was the final time, there he was again on the pool deck at the London Aquatics Centre bathed in applause.
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LONDON OLYMPICS
LETTER FROM EUROPE
BIG OLYMPIC CHILL HITS LONDON
Warnings of congestion were heeded—and London is now a ghost town
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LEAH MCLAREN
WEEK ONE OF the 2012 Games in East London’s Victoria Park, just a javelin’s throw from the Olympic site, and the queue for the zipline ride pretty much says it all: there isn’t one. Nor is there a lineup for the pulled pork sandwich truck, the ice cream stand, the bungee jump or the small battalion of rented Portaloos.
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Music
Postpartum pop
Alanis Morissette has mellowed since she had her son, but she’s still railing about misguided men
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ACCORDING TO ALANIS Morissette, there are three types of men in the world. “Men that hate women and always will. Men that grew up being taught to hate women and are working on loving them and then... there are the other kind,” she says, getting comfortable on a couch in a downtown Toronto hotel room.
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Web
Nexopia is an online utopia for teens
The social network flies far under the parental radar, which is precisely its appeal
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SCAACHI KOUL
NEXOPIA IS ONE of the few social networks where a young girl still has to write, “I won’t get naked on webcam” on her profile. Girls are accustomed to inboxes full of requests to meet or swap pictures with boys and adult men. Other profiles boast come-hither urgings, like “MESSAGE ME ;).
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Dance
DANCING TO A DIFFERENT DRUMMER
Tap enjoys an unlikely resurgence, to the songs of Radiohead and Queen
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JOANNE LATIMER
SUPERTRAMP’S Breakfast in America blared from the speakers in a basement dance studio in downtown Montreal—Don’t you look at my girlfriend [tap, tap] she’s the only one I got. Fifteen dancers from the 35-strong Klaxson troupe were rehearsing for its fall show, devoted to the music of Supertramp and Queen.
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TV
Who’s watching the watchers?
A lawsuit in India alleges that the Nielsen rating system is inherently flawed
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JAIME J. WEINMAN
MANY PEOPLE HAVE accused Nielsen ratings of being inaccurate—usually people whose shows have low ratings. But last month, a TV network in India decided to do more than just complain. New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV) filed a lawsuit against a Nielsen ratings agency, alleging it put out false and manipulated ratings.
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Books
What we didn’t know about Floyd Patterson
Plus, how dictators have become more agile, Cheryl Strayed’s remarkable life advice, how the web is diminishing us, and stunning essays on Japanese history
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ANDREW STOBO SNIDERMAN
FLOYD PATTERSON: THE FIGHTING LIFE OF BOXING’S INVISIBLE CHAMPION W.W. Stratton Let’s face it: sports are more fun to watch than to read about. It's hard to appreciate the whoosh and boom of Floyd Patterson’s left hook on the page. So we read to understand the man and his time, and this we cannot glimpse on YouTube.
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THE DICTATOR’S LEARNING CURVE: INSIDE THE GLOBAL BATTLE FOR DEMOCRACY William J. Dobson
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MICHAEL PETROU
Democracy has made tremendous global advances in the past four decades. Beginning in 1974, dictatorships and military juntas fell across southern Europe, East Asia and Latin America. Then the Soviet bloc collapsed and democracy rolled through Eastern Europe. In 1974, there were 41 democracies in the world; by 1991 there were 76.
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TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS: ADVICE ON LOVE AND LIFE FROM DEAR SUGAR Cheryl Strayed
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REBECCA CALDWELL
Who exactly reads advice columns? Presumably there are readers who’ve written in with their broken hearts and ethical conundrums, and then there are readers hoping to indulge in a little schadenfreude—“at least I’m not as screwed up as those people.
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DIGITAL VERTIGO: HOW TODAY’S ONLINE SOCIAL REVOLUTION IS DIVIDING, DIMINISHING,AND DISORIENTING US Andrew Keen
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JAIME J. WEINMAN
After warning against the dangerous effects of Web 2.0 in his 2007 book The Cult of the Amateur, Keen is back with a jeremiad against “Web 3.0,” the new media world where “everything is going social.” With Facebook encouraging us to be connected with each other all the time, and new companies itching to turn the Internet from a data-based world to “a global digital brain publicly broadcasting our relationships,” Keen fears we’re in danger of losing our privacy: Mark Zuckerberg may “incarcerate us all in an absurd global prison where we are all forced to live in public.
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PENELOPE Rebecca Harrington
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SARAH WEINMAN
Penelope O’Shaunessy grew up in the less affluent part of Connecticut, hangs out with friends who claim Denny’s as their favourite meeting spot, and takes life lessons from books and from the shrill advice of her mother. Harvard, where she is about to attend as “an incoming freshman of average height and lank hair,” would seem the perfect place for reinvention, for making new friends, and for self-discovery.
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WAYS OF FORGETTING, WAYS OF REMEMBERING: JAPAN IN THE MODERN WORLD John W. Dower
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BRIAN BETHUNE
These 11 essays by an eminent American scholar of modernera Japan are dedicated to the basic historical principle that the focused gaze is simultaneously an averted gaze. Dower magisterially sifts through what Western historians have emphasized—and ignored—in their examinations of Japan’s roller-coaster ride from feudal backwater to military power to defeated nation to industrial superpower.
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BOOKS
MACLEAN'S BESTSELLERS
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Brian Bethune
FICTION 1. THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY 6 (2) Rachel Joyce 2.13 Kelley Armstrong 3(2) 3. CAPITAL John Lanchester 2(5) 4. A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING (l) Dave Eggers 5. IN ONE PERSON Jolm Irving 1 (14) 6. MISSION TO PARIS Alan Fürst 1 (9)
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Taste
Virtual wineries make some real corkers
They own no land nor vines, hut these vintners prove pedigree is not tied to property
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ANNE KINGSTON
CHARLES BAKER IS amused to be referred to as a “virtual” winemaker. “I do exist,” he says. “My wine is real.” No argument there. Baker’s eponymous award-winning Vintner Quality Alliance (VQA) Riesling crafted from Niagara grapes is served at top restaurants across the country, including Vancouver’s Vij’s, as well as Terroir wine bars in New York City.
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When your boss is almost a psychopath
Or your doctor wants to have sex or your caregiver weasels her way into your will
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JULIA MCKINNELL
FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST Ronald Schouten defines an “almost psychopath” as someone who has an unusual amount of difficulty knowing how to treat people. “Long before you get to the full-blown diagnosis (of psychopathy), there’s lots of bad stuff that goes on.
Maclean's_20120820_0125_032_0055.xml
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Feschuk
On your mark... get set... type!
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SCOTT FESCHUK
MANY WILL LONG remember watching Usain Bolt shatter the Olympic record and win gold in the 100-m dash at the London Games. I will remember watching a horse’s ass. No, not Mitt Romney—I mean a real horse and its actual rear. In New York on the afternoon of the final, we hurried back to the hotel, flipped on NBC with only a few minutes to spare and flopped on the bed to watch the highly touted and historic showdown in the can’t-miss event of... equestrian show jumping?
Maclean's_20120820_0125_032_0056.xml
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The end
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Elizabeth Ann Sovis
She loved the outdoors, even taking her boys skiing as babies. At 50, she got on a bike for the first time and found a new love.
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MIKA REKAI
ELIZABETH ANN SOVIS was born in Toronto on Feb. 25,1949, to Stephen and Judith Sovis. Her sister, Millie, who was almost 16 at the time, and had been longing for a sibling all her life, hurled her schoolbooks in the air and leapt up in celebration upon learning she had a sister.
Maclean's_20120820_0125_032_0057.xml
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Maclean's_20120820_0125_032_0058.xml
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Maclean's_20120820_0125_032_0059.xml