Living in the moment with Adolphous Greely

  Twenty-five men, 350 pounds of supplies, and a chance to change the world. by Glen Herbert “This was not simply some new Arctic expedition,” says historian Michael Robinson, “this was really an attempt at a new science of the world.” It was the international polar year, and fourteen expeditions set off to collect dataContinue reading “Living in the moment with Adolphous Greely”

Making moonshine with Roger Lee “Buck” Nance

 by Glen Herbert “Listen,” says Nance. “It sounds like rain on a roof.” And it really does. Large vats line the room, each filled with a roiling mixture of grain and yeast. The gas being released as bubbles is responsible for the sound and the smell, which is somewhere between beer and bread and turpentine.Continue reading “Making moonshine with Roger Lee “Buck” Nance”

We’re here. Get used to it.

(for CBC Kids) Steve Colbert once said that stay-at-home dads are “against nature’s laws.” Your grandmother probably thinks that, too. The world that we know today is, of course, different than that of yesteryear. People don’t smoke in hospitals, and the moon is no longer a very interesting destination; it’s illegal to strike a dog,Continue reading “We’re here. Get used to it.”

It’s personal

When it comes to alternative education, is it possible to go too far? All advances in education are emblematic of their time, arising out of a specific political context and cultural experience. The education that Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner knew as children, for example, was severe. Classrooms were institutional, teaching was rote, punishments couldContinue reading “It’s personal”

“Girl”

Winning Entry, Massey Lectures contest Margaret MacMillan’s 2015 CBC Massey Lectures were about people who have left a mark on their own time, and on ours. Inspired by the lectures, listeners were asked: Who you think will be most remembered fifty years from now? Who will have the greatest impact on our times, and on the future?  We love firsts,Continue reading ““Girl””

Ralph Waldo Emerson on living with intent

by Ralph Waldo Emerson Living with intent may prove to be the coin of the year, bumping mindfulness out of the bestseller lists. Both, of course–and indeed all the other topics under “well-being” at the bookstore–are attempts at answering a question that has long been with us: How do we live better? While popular authors suggest journaling,…

The universe in stone: An interview with Mark Wilson

(for Patriarch) This is how professor Mark Wilson describes the specimen pictured above: “The platform is the wavy outer layer of a bivalve shell. Attached to it are encrusting organisms (sclerobionts). The long, gorgeous tube is a rugose coral. At its base is a ribbed athyrid brachiopod. Also in this vignette are bryozoans, additional coralsContinue reading “The universe in stone: An interview with Mark Wilson”

House of Horrors

Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, October 2014. When we were young, cooties were the height of disgust and fear. Never seen but horrifically imagined, they were the playground equivalent to serial killers. When playing tag, “cooties” added a dimension of engagement that was hard to duplicate. You heard the word and you ran, the onlyContinue reading “House of Horrors”

Through this life, part 1

“When I left I had no idea whatsoever, no inkling at all, that anyone else would ever follow me. So when I said goodbye, it was goodbye forever.” That was 1954. Herbert Gerber was 19 years old and had inherited his father’s determination as well as his destination: Canada. It was English speaking, didn’t have a draft.Continue reading “Through this life, part 1”

Is children’s lit as good as it used to be?

(ParentsCanada; CBC) You might be forgiven for wondering what planet we’re living on when you read kids’ books today. Often it seems that excitement only comes from big things, big people and exotic places, which can make you long for the books of our youth: Harriet spying on the grocery clerks; Peter winning Dribble theContinue reading “Is children’s lit as good as it used to be?”

Bosom Buddies: How dads can bond with their babies

(for ParentsCanada) Moms and dads do a lot of things (ahem) differently, and when baby arrives, bonding and attachment are often the first two of them. And that’s a good thing. Not long after the birth of my second child, I took him to visit his great grandparents. When he got fussy, as newborns inevitably do, my grandmother said, wait for it, “Oh, he needs his mom!” Did you hear that? That tone?Continue reading “Bosom Buddies: How dads can bond with their babies”

Second Time Around

(ParentsCanada; CBC) For most people looking down the barrel of retirement, the thought of having another baby isn’t one they’re willing to entertain. Yet when Steve Heming said “I do” three years ago, he also said “I will.” For wife Tammy, having kids was always in the cards. Sure enough, nine months later, Steve welcomedContinue reading “Second Time Around”

Choosing your baby’s gender: Separating science from fiction

(ParentsCanada) In 1996, Monique and Scott Collins were among the first couples in North America to choose the gender of their child. It’s called family balancing and they took advantage of medical technologies that, to some, represent a great stride forward in family planning. In an interview some years later, Monique said “After having twoContinue reading “Choosing your baby’s gender: Separating science from fiction”

Making the most of every day

(Kruger Brothers online) Skip Vetter was a very dear friend of the Kruger Brothers, one who offered his talents to a number of their projects, including the cover art for the second volume disks of the Carolina Scrapbook. More so, he was a friend and ardent supporter. Yesterday, Skip passed away from the complications ofContinue reading “Making the most of every day”

What we talk about when we talk about life

Herbert, Richard Louis Passed away peacefully at McNally House in Grimsby, on Wednesday, September 26, after a long illness. He was in his 72nd year. A longtime resident of Fort Erie, Richard was a dear husband and best friend to Judie (nee McNally) and loving father to Peter (Nady), and Glen (Laura). He was aContinue reading “What we talk about when we talk about life”