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Writer & Historian

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Seeing Past the Mushroom Cloud – A Book Review

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December 1, 2020
Seeing Past the Mushroom Cloud – A Book Review

John O’Brian, The Bomb in the Wilderness: Photography and the Nuclear Era in Canada (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2020), 244 pages, 124 illustrations, $32.95 (paper). Years ago on a visit to China, an old man taught me that I needed to look more deeply into the water below if I wanted to see the fish. Now John...
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You Forgot Canada – A Commentary

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November 26, 2020
You Forgot Canada – A Commentary

The last straw came following the 2020 Emmys. When a Canadian TV comedy called Schitt’s Creek swept the annual American TV awards, the PBS NewsHour didn’t even mention it. They covered the awards, but only the American winners were named. Okay, before you tuck into your private corner to ask what a Canadian has to complain...
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Halloween Visitors – A Photo Memory

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November 2, 2020
Halloween Visitors – A Photo Memory

Halloween is usually a quiet affair in our suburban neighborhood. Last year we had a dozen kids. This year we had four, but two of them were Batman and Robin. It was great granddaughter Calliope and her mother Mickel. We were thrilled to see them in such great costumes. Here they are now.
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Early Kootenay Doukhobors -– A Historical Note

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October 22, 2020
Early Kootenay Doukhobors -– A Historical Note

New evidence has surfaced of the early migration of Doukobors to the Kootenays at Rossland, B.C. Kootenay historian Greg Nesteroff and Saskatchewan Doukhobor scholar Jon Kalmakoff (www.doukhobor.org) to offer a detailed account of the migration. It was previously thought that the sect came to B.C. in 1908-1909. Rcent research on the Rossland Evening World, Western...
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Western Canada’s First Labour Daily – A RadioLabour Interview

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October 17, 2020
Western Canada’s First Labour Daily – A RadioLabour Interview

The Rossland Evening World in British Columbia was the first daily labour newspaper in Western Canada and possibly the whole country. Labour historian Ron Verzuh discusses the World and the lessons it has for modern labour journalism.  Duration: 8’04”.  Posted: October 16, 2020. Also available at rabble.ca/podcasts. Read the interview text here: Hear the interview...
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Radishes and Gooseberries – A Book Review

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October 7, 2020
Radishes and Gooseberries – A Book Review

Scott P. Stephen, Masters and Servants: The Hudson’s Bay Company and Its North American Workforce, 1668-1786(Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2019), 440 pages, $44.99 (paper). “Radishes and Gooseberries!” Our high school social studies teacher would drill the names into us so we would better remember them for next week’s quiz. Who were they and who...
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Flying Union High – A Book Review

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September 19, 2020
Flying Union High – A Book Review

Christine Hayvice, Arrivals and Departures (Toronto: Unifor Local 2002, 2020), 489 pages, $35 (paper). I love flying and I’ve done my share of it. Now I’m grounded like most of the world, thanks to Covid, so reading a title like this had me longing for a chance to hop on a plane again. Alas, despite its...
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Consp acy Theory – A Soc al Commentary

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August 8, 2020
Consp acy Theory – A Soc al Commentary

No confirmation as yet. No certainty that someone, some offshore invader of my privacy, has paid me a midnight digital visit recently. But I have no doubt that he/she/they/it was/were here. How do I know? Sounds like I’ve turned to conspiracy theories to explain human behaviour, doesn’t it? All I know is that my...
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Winning $7K – A Social Commentary

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August 1, 2020
Winning $7K – A Social Commentary

I’m pretty sure I just won $7,000 a week for the rest of my life. Don’t believe me. Envious of my good fortune? Well, Deborah Holland, executive vice-president of Publishers Clearing House says right here that I “could definitely become the winning number.” I can’t see how I can lose. If Deb says I’m...
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My Covid-19 Heroine – An Appreciation

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May 15, 2020
My Covid-19 Heroine – An Appreciation

“At long last , we have finally made a truly game-changing scientific breakthrough in preventing the spread of COVID-19. We have found a disease-control tool that, when used properly, can reduced transmission by somewhere between 50% and 85%. The tool is cheap and remarkably low-tech. You can even make one at home.” From “The...
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