Christmas in Germany

German Christmas markets, a kaleidoscope of colors and lights, are street markets that are usually held in town squares and spill over into adjacent pedestrian zones

Christmas in GermanyGerman Christmas markets, a kaleidoscope of colors and lights, are street markets that are usually held in town squares and spill over into adjacent pedestrian zones. While there are Christmas markets all over Europe, the tradition in Germanic speaking parts of Europe seems to go back to the Middle Ages. The markets generally coincide with…

Buying used: 2010 Audi R8 has ‘collectible’ written all over it

The full measure of the high-end European sports car, with a symphony of mechanical noises emanating from the engine

Buying used: 2010 Audi R8 has ‘collectible’ written all over itBuilt on the Lamborghini Gallardo platform and patterned after one of Audi’s LeMans racers, the Audi R8 was introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 2006. Initially offered as a two-door hardtop, and later as a Spyder convertible, it was an instant sensation. Easily the most eye-catching production car ever put forward by the German…

Christmas dream routes through East Germany

Erfurt, Potsdam and Rostock, in East Germany, rival many of their big city cousins, especially during the Christmas season

Christmas dream routes through East GermanyLike Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, emerging from a world of black and white, East Germany has been transformed into a Technicolor version of its former self. While relatively unknown to those outside of the country, the cities of Erfurt, Potsdam and Rostock have been transformed into vibrant tourist hot spots that rival many…

Language can calibrate a nation’s moral compass

From Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King to Donald Trump, America offers examples – good and bad – of the power of language

Language can calibrate a nation’s moral compassLanguage is a powerful tool for shaping a society's values. The manner in which a leader uses language can reset the moral compass of a nation. And it can influence, for better or worse, the behaviour of its citizenry. While public discourse in Canada isn’t perfect, it’s reasonably civil. Canadian politicians, though sometimes outspoken and critical…

Cruising the Baltic, gathering perspectives

From perspectives on politics to perceptions of history, every region has a story to tell. And sometimes they're complicated

Cruising the Baltic, gathering perspectives[smartslider3 slider=51] Cruising the Baltic and the west coast of Norway doesn’t make one an expert on the region. But it does convey impressions, and here are a few of them. First, though, a brief observation about modern travel. While there are distinct inconveniences centred on crowded airports and milling throngs, currencies are no longer…

Monsanto lawsuit ruling leaves Bayer in need of more Aspirin

Monsanto, now a division of Bayer, ordered to pay $289M to a single plaintiff. Even if Monsanto’s brands no longer exist, its legacy remains

Monsanto lawsuit ruling leaves Bayer in need of more AspirinIn California, where lawsuits can be found more easily than drinking water, German chemical giant Bayer has been dealt a huge legal blow. Monsanto, now a division of Bayer, was ordered to pay a whopping US$289 million in damages to a gardener suffering from cancer, allegedly from using Monsanto products. Given that more than 5,000 such…

Dissent can cross a dangerous line, even when Trump is the target

Raised voices in opposition are an expected and acceptable part of any political fight – raised fists are not

Dissent can cross a dangerous line, even when Trump is the targetNot even a year and a half since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, observers in the U.S. and abroad have begun to worry that the man could change America forever. But to believe that one man could inflict permanent and lasting damage on a country that fought…

Private care is an essential part of an effective health system

We should stop demonizing private clinics – and the patients who need them – and recognize that they're part of the solution

Private care is an essential part of an effective health systemLast month, on the heels of a new threat from the British Columbia government to fine doctors who accept private payment for treatment already covered by the government-run health-care system, a trial – initiated more than seven years ago by a private Vancouver clinic led by Dr. Brian Day – resumed. Day, a former head…

The towns along Germany’s Romantic Road

The Romantic Road is a 400-kilometre prescription to treat stress and anxiety

The towns along Germany’s Romantic RoadGermany’s ‘Die Romantische Strasse’, the Romantic Road, will not only rise up to meet you, it will seduce you, charm you, and make you fall in love – with fairy tale visions, historic architecture and pastoral beauty – not just a physical journey through nearly 400 kilometres of sublime German countryside, but a magical passage…

Berlin’s House of One celebrates our common spirituality

Christians, Muslims and Jews come together to celebrate our common spirituality

Berlin’s House of One celebrates our common spiritualityReligion, intended to guide humans on the road to spiritual enlightenment, has instead often been a source of division and even a justification for violence. In recent years, however, there has been a significant shift, with religious leaders and their followers coming together to celebrate commonalities. Nowhere is this more evident than in Berlin, once…