Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown

Queen Elizabeth must juggle her duties with her family responsibilities. But in her case, the stakes are higher and the scrutiny is intense

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crownThe House of Windsor is making headlines around the world for all the wrong reasons. “The Firm,” as Prince Philip is fond of calling the British Royal Family, doesn’t look kindly on bad publicity. Ringing in my ears is a line from William Shakespeare’s play Henry IV: “uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”…

A worldwide celebration of two centuries of Greek independence

Effective this year, the Greek government will give Greeks living abroad the right to vote in national elections

A worldwide celebration of two centuries of Greek independenceOn March 25, 2021, Greece will commemorate the 200th anniversary of its national day. This bicentenary will be marked with great pomp and ceremony in Greece and in Greek communities of the diaspora around the world. Most countries celebrate their national day at the end of a revolution or the termination of hostilities after a…

Are owls wise, all-seeing and good luck – or harbingers of calamity?

One superstition about owls had it that making a potion from the ash of owl eggs improved vision

Are owls wise, all-seeing and good luck – or harbingers of calamity?Folklore abounds with superstition related to owls. I thought it might be fun to share some superstitions I’ve gleaned about owls, since this is the best time of year to see them. These nocturnal creatures often appear in horror films since tufts of feathers on the top of some owls’ heads give them the appearance…

Baseball showed how racism can be overcome

Racism is pointless and will inevitably fail, as it did in baseball. But it is part of our history

Baseball showed how racism can be overcomeMy earliest memories of baseball revolve around the 1969 Chicago Cubs. Enthusiasm just resonated off Wrigley Field as the great Ernie Banks chimed, “Let’s play two!” Regardless of the disastrous finish to that season for the Cubbies, a love for the game was planted in my soul as a seven-year-old. These heroes were larger than…

Silent Witness of a Holocaust Suitcase

A Canadian family helped solve the mystery of a teenage girl’s life and death at Auschwitz

Silent Witness of a Holocaust SuitcaseHana Brady could be another Anne Frank except she did not leave a diary. But the suitcase that 13-year-old left behind when she died in a gas chamber at Auschwitz concentration camp continues to teach millions of children around the world the importance of respect, empathy and compassion. It bears silent witness to the agony…

Understated George Shultz left a lasting legacy

As Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, he played a key role in bringing about the end of the Cold War

Understated George Shultz left a lasting legacyGeorge Shultz, who died on Feb. 6 at the age of 100, was an important 20th-century figure. He was one of the good guys. An economist by profession, Shultz was born in New York in 1920. He graduated from Princeton in 1942, served in the Marine Corps during the Second World War and subsequently earned…

Strange weather and the words we use to describe it

Some arise from folklore, some carry historical inferences and others are the result of superstition

Strange weather and the words we use to describe itThe media has created some of its own climate words and sometimes uses superlatives somewhat carelessly – worst storm ever, highest rainfall ever, greatest flood ever. And what the heck is a polar vortex? A Washington Post readers’ poll coined the word snowmageddon but it has no meaning in meteorological terms. Yet it’s used by…

If you like medieval drama, The Last Kingdom fits the bill

While not scrupulously accurate, it is still quite engrossing

If you like medieval drama, The Last Kingdom fits the billAn electrician in to do some wiring work a couple of months ago ran his eye over the media shelf, noticed the Vikings DVD set and announced that The Last Kingdom was better. So in the midst of a pandemic winter, we tracked down the extant four seasons and gave it a whirl. The series…

Integrity and accountability are key to democracy

Failure to accept responsibility, especially by those in government, will create polarization and resentment

Integrity and accountability are key to democracyWhile most people agree that those who attacked the American Capitol buildings on Jan. 6 should be arrested and charged for their crimes, some say the politicians who may have been behind the attack shouldn’t even be investigated. Their argument is that there’s already enough polarization in the United States and this would make the…

What Marx and Jesus have in common

Movements always endure if they embrace equality, justice, pursuit of truth, and a deep respect for each person with no exceptions

What Marx and Jesus have in commonMy favourite textbook in university was entitled Marxism, an American Christian Perspective. Other students would hear me talk about it and ask, “Aren’t those two perspectives diametrically opposed? Didn’t Marx call religion ‘the opiate of the people’? Aren’t the Christian churches opposed to Marxism?” The most fundamental disagreement between the two schools of thought is…