Archives for February 2013

Hockey Night *is* Canada

By Meagan Dyer "Hockey captures the essence of Canadian experience in the New World. In a land so inescapably and inhospitably cold, hockey is the chance of life, and an affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter we are alive." — Stephen Leacock The National Hockey League entered its third work stoppage in just two decades on September 15, 2012, putting the season on hold as hockey’s doomsday clock struck midnight with no last-minute resolution. Fans would wait 113 days for … [Read more...]

Hockey Night *is* Canada (Part Two)

Hockey and geopolitics meshed differently but with just as much emotion nearly three decades later, during the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union. Canada had not won a tournament in 20 years, mostly because the rules prohibited NHL players from taking part. That left our energetic but definitely B-list national team to battle Soviet players who were were also KGB and army officers, paid by the government to train year-round. We were in danger of losing our international hockey dominance … [Read more...]

Out to Lunch

By Diane Bolt Dirk Becker’s farmhouse in the seaside village of Lantzville on Vancouver Island is warm and rustic, with weathered wooden furniture and a crackling fire in the background. It’s early November and the kitchen floor is covered in patches of squash being readied for distribution. The scene reminds me of the classic British sitcom “The Good Life,” starring Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal as Tom and Barbara Good, a suburban couple who, having paid off the mortgage on their home, … [Read more...]

Out to Lunch (Part Two)

In the recently released documentary Genetic Roulette, Jeffrey M. Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology, an organization that educates policy makers and the public about genetically modified foods, says that GM crops in the US amount to 94% of all soy, 90% of cotton, 90% of canola, 95% of sugar beets, 88% of corn, more than 50% of Hawaiian papaya, and over 24,000 acres of zucchini and yellow squash. This means that approximately 70% of the foods available in North American … [Read more...]

Home Again

By Alexandria Stuart Nanaimo was in the middle of a heat wave as my boyfriend Sean and I set out on our "nearcation" to northern Vancouver Island, A/C on high. The familiar landscape of coastal British Columbia flew by: Moss-draped forests alternated with scabs of clear-cut, blanketed in pink fireweed as the land tried to heal itself. It was the same scenery I’d been looking at my whole life. A "nearcation" is a variation on the "staycation"; we would travel  farther north on the Island … [Read more...]

Home Again (Part Two)

The village of Sointula, Malcolm Island’s main port, looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. Brightly coloured sea shacks dotted the waterfront and the homes lining the main street, sitting on small, tidy fenced lots, were gaily painted. Sointula, meaning “place of harmony," was settled in the early 1900s by Finnish immigrants fleeing the harsh conditions in Nanaimo’s coal mines. They envisioned a utopian socialist society with communal property and equal participation/equal voice for … [Read more...]

Nothing Phony About Bronies

By Drew McLachlan In 2010, an epic war of good vs. evil was waged. You may have missed it. The battle was fought in the land of Equestria, where its denizens -- ponies, unicorns, and pegasuses with names like Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie -- managed to stop the evil alicorn Nightmare Moon from casting their homeland into everlasting night. Their weapon: Friendship. And though the looming threat of eternal darkness has come and gone and been forgotten, the young unicorn and … [Read more...]

Seizure Salad

By Katelyn Ross Looking at the calendar, I’m reminded it’s been a stressful month. Many of the days when I should have been at school are marked with a yellow highlighter. The semester is ending and I’m under pressure and scrambling to catch up. I’ve missed my Creative Writing class almost every week. Today I don’t need my highlighter because it has been seizure free. The First One I was 8 years old, playing, laughing and showing off. I was attempting a backflip off the monkey bars … [Read more...]

Gottacon plays on

By Michael Calvert An assembly of nations is coming to BC’s capital, Victoria, February 1st through 3rd. Five fervid subcultures will gather in the Pearkes Recreation Centre, each with its own jargon and essential accoutrements. They will come to fraternize, to glean new strategies, to prove their skills in tournaments, and, of course, to play. They are coming to GottaCon 2013, one of the largest gaming conventions in Canada. Now in its fifth year, GottaCon has steadily grown from its … [Read more...]