Deadly cocktail

By Benjamin Everett Over 40 fentanyl-related overdoses have been reported in Victoria and Nanaimo since December 20, 2015, 12 of them fatal. The victims have come from all walks of life, but Paul Hasselback, Medical Health Officer for Central Vancouver Island, says that “it’s the younger ones that are the most tragic.” Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate analgesic, most often compared to morphine, though its effects are over 50 times more potent. Typically used to treat severe pain, or to … [Read more...]

Starboard spectacles

By Ben Chessor The ocean has always been an important part of Vancouver Islanders' livelihoods. It fuels local tourism — including the whale watching industry — and gives flavour to our best restaurants. An orca even appears on the logo of the province’s most popular sports franchise, the Vancouver Canucks. Because the ocean plays such a large part in the lives of Island residents, whenever some of the Salish Sea's most majestic inhabitants make an appearance, their neighbours are bound to … [Read more...]

Gaming Goes Indie

By Drew McLachlan Thirty years ago, if you wanted to create a video game, you started by clearing space in your garage. You had to make some room — for a couple Apple II's, a BBC Microcomputer (if you were lucky), or a Tandy TRS-80 (if you weren’t). You also needed a guy who could turn a six-colour, 280x192 resolution sprite into a convincing minotaur, another guy who could force the occasional beep-bip-beep out of a one-bit audio digitizer, and a 30-pound textbook on 6502, the programming … [Read more...]

Prettynormal Activity

By Drew McLachlan “I could feel . . . something — like I was being watched.” Willow Friday opened Iron Oxide, an arts supply store in Nanaimo, on January 6th. It wasn’t her first business -- she has operated the House of Indigo Boutique since 2002 -- but she was nonetheless excited to see a second dream come true. So when she first received the keys to the building last May, she invited a group of friends to come see it and help her make plans. “One of my friends instantly had this untoward … [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...]