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Revenge of the Earthworms

Revenge of the Earthworms

In August 2021, Michael McTavish received an unexpected Facebook message: in some Toronto and Hamilton neighbourhoods, gardeners were reporting an unusual presence in the soil. McTavish is an expert in earthworms and conducts postdoctoral research at the University of Toronto. Soon, he found himself standing in one of those gardeners’ yard with an unusually energetic worm in his hand and a sinking feeling in his heart. Though McTavish had previously seen this specimen only in videos and pictures, it was immediately clear what it was: a jumping worm, so named because of their startling...

Jun 13
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How an Unstable US Threatens Canada's National Security

How an Unstable US Threatens Canada's National Security

In her 1972 novel, Surfacing, Margaret Atwood imagines the US takeover of Canada. “The Yank pigs will send in the Marines” to secure our freshwater, having terminally polluted their own, one character predicts. The Canadian government would instantly capitulate to American demands, giving rise to an armed Canadian Nationalist Movement that would respond with riots and kidnappings. Thus begins the full-on invasion: “They’ll hit the big cities and knock out communications and take over, maybe shoot a few kids, and then the [Canadian Nationalist] Movement guerillas will go into the bush and...

Jul 20
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How Big Tobacco Set the Stage for Fake News | The Walrus

How Big Tobacco Set the Stage for Fake News | The Walrus

In the Mid-1970s, I would hop on my bike and ride to a nearby store to buy my mom’s cigarettes. I was around ten then. My mom knew the store owner and had made this standing arrangement for when she couldn’t make it over. I also ran errands for things like bread and milk, but I barely remember those trips. Cigarettes were different. I still remember my mom’s brand—large king-sized du Maurier—and the deep-red look of those packs. I recall, too, the sense of responsibility I felt ferrying those cigarettes home, likely because most of the adults in my extended working-class family smoked,...

May 31, 2021
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Why the Voting Age Needs to be Lowered to Sixteen

Why the Voting Age Needs to be Lowered to Sixteen

Adults love to tell children that they’re going to change the world. We are often the ones tasked with achieving our parents’ dreams, solving existential problems, and being a source of hope. Young people, we’re told again and again, will not only lead the world but will save it. Yet, if we get angry about climate change or inequality and try to bring about any kind of real change, if we dare to venture out of the enclosed bubbles that have been created for us, we are dismissed and ignored. Nowhere is this hypocrisy clearer than when young people demand the right to vote. Consider...

Jul 22
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Don't Have a Cow, Man: Why Young People Should Embrace a Future of Lab-Grown Meat

Don't Have a Cow, Man: Why Young People Should Embrace a Future of Lab-Grown Meat

It's been said that, out of all the senses, smell evokes the most powerful memories. My most potent memories are triggered by the smell of onions lightly sweating in a pan. A pinch of salt, a dash of ground coriander, chili, and turmeric. What follows is the vision of bright yellow droplets of oil gathering on white china and ratty linen placemats covered in autumn leaves, the sound of a whirring fan and the tail end of a Malayalam folk song, the touch of the smooth dining room table and cold silverware. What comes last, and is most anticipated, is the taste. The elastic bite of chicken...

Jul 22
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How the Pandemic Messed Up My Education

How the Pandemic Messed Up My Education

In 2020, schools in Canada faced the unforeseen obstacle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they shuttered in-person learning. No matter where they were living, students had their lives disrupted. Later in the year, online learning was blended with new forms of in-person learning. As case numbers began to rise again in Ontario in September 2021, I started grade nine and entered a social experiment known as the “quadmester.” Each day, I was forced to sit for two and a half hours in class for one subject, then repeat the process for a second subject. Those two courses lasted only eight weeks, but...

Jul 22
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The Joy, and Science, of Cold-Water Swimming | The Walrus

The Joy, and Science, of Cold-Water Swimming | The Walrus

I've lived most of my life looking younger than my age. I love the shock on people’s faces when I tell them how old I am (“No! You can’t be!”), and I’m proud of the many times I’ve stumped the guy at the guess-your-age booth at the Canadian National Exhibition. I credit this, in part, to a secret formula. It’s not quite the fountain of youth, but it’s the greatest anti-aging potion ever discovered: swimming in cold water. I get asked on a near-daily basis, “What could possess a person to go into freezing-cold water voluntarily?” Or, put more simply: “Are you crazy?” My love affair with...

Jun 30
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Why Are We So Bad at Supporting Women in Power? | The Walrus

Why Are We So Bad at Supporting Women in Power? | The Walrus

The Walrus/Unsplash/iStocka lot on workplace and economic equality, often making it the yardstick with which we measure women’s progress more generally. For women to be equal, they have to earn as much as men, own as much as men, be in the same decision-making rooms as men; the women’s rights movement has fought hard—is fighting hard—for these things. And so, when we take the measure of how far women have come, we know there is still a long way to go.We know this because, while women represented an average of almost 38 percent of students in North America and Europe in 2018, they held just...

February 24, 2020
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Why Canada Won't Go Broke

Why Canada Won't Go Broke

Liberals may have won the 2015 election in part because of their willingness to run deficits, but they surely never imagined the one they’re currently carrying. According to the most recent numbers, the deficit for the 2020/21 fiscal year could reach $343 billion—a figure nearly seven times as large as the deficit Canada racked up during the 2008/09 financial crisis. We are likely heading toward the largest deficit since the Second World War.The money is being spent on everything from direct supports for Canadians, like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and Canada Emergency Wage...

October 5, 2020
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How to Build an Antifascist Movement

How to Build an Antifascist Movement

City of Toronto Archives, Globe and Mail fonds, Fonds 1266, Item 52460were prepared for anything on the evening of July 4, 1938. The city had been buzzing for weeks about a controversial upcoming rally at Massey Hall, where three leaders of Canadian fascist organizations planned to celebrate their merger into the National Unity Party. Police had already prevented two separate riots in June, when antifascists tried to disrupt fascist meetings through obstruction, insults, and hurled rotten tomatoes. The Massey Hall event promised to be just as disruptive: antifascists had already postered...

June 3, 2020
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Moira Donovan

Moira Donovan

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Avery Parkinson

Avery Parkinson

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Aymaan Abid

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Daniel J. Robinson

Daniel J. Robinson

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Daniel Panneton

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Ira Wells

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Kathleen McDonnell

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Lauren McKeon

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Max Fawcett

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Pacinthe Mattar

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Trudeau Gulati

Trudeau Gulati

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