My mom and I taking a selfie outside at her nursing home.

Why Does the CBC Hate my Mom?

I rarely comment on how other families deal with aging parents and nursing homes. I know, from personal experience, that even good visits to these places can have grim moments. So it’s with some misgiving that I’m criticizing Katherine Hammond, the daughter of Margot Bentley, the 83 year-old former nurse currently living in a facility […]

Maria Konnikova

Maria Konnikova’s Confidence Game

New Yorker columnist Maria Konnikova’s The Confidence Game is a quick and enjoyable read about con-artistry. She’s following in the footsteps of Malcolm Gladwell, exploring a human-interest issue by combining colourful narratives with expert analysis. Although the book will not make it on to the bibliographies of serious scholars, the fantastical aspect of the tales […]


Competing for Jian Ghomeshi, and Other Dumb Things Women Do

It’s hard to avoid stories of emotional survivors these days, especially when it comes to domestic violence and sexual abuse. These narratives are familiar: they’re about hardship endured, transformation achieved and virtue rewarded. They’re tales as old as Cinderella. However, while seeing virtue rewarded is satisfying, in real life these stories may conceal an unpleasant […]


Earth to Emma Healey

I no longer expect much from the Toronto Star, but the Ghomeshi-themed op-ed by Emma Healey is inane clickbait. Healey conflates “complexity” with dishonesty when she says we aren’t allowing  Ghomeshi’s accusers to be less than perfect victims. She’s referring to the raft of electronic and paper evidence put forth by Marie Henein, Ghomeshi’s lawyer. That […]