The Letter

There is nothing quite like getting a letter in the mail. Do you remember about twenty years ago when you would receive a letter from overseas? It would arrive in a light almost weightless envelope, covered with Par Avion/Airmail stickers. Depending on the sender and their familiarity with North American address conventions, it inevitably contained…

Mindfulness and a Tree

I glanced out the window today and finally noticed buds on the trees. When did that happen? Would I even have noticed them last Tuesday when it was snowing so hard and I was so desperate for any sign of spring. Spring has been a topic that arises in many of my discussions with youth…

Book Review – Craeft

Everyone who knows me would tell you that I love the various BBC programs about historical farms:  Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm, etc. One of the two archeologists in these series, Dr. Alex Langlands, has written a book, Craeft: How Traditional Crafts Are About More Than Just Making. What is important about this book for me…

Gambling: Some Facts and Resources

Last week, Dr. Scott Wooder, a family physician from Stoney Creek, reported the story of someone who had lost much of their family’s money through problem gambling. In a question to me, he noted that we don’t spend enough time talking about the impact of gambling on people’s and families’ health. I agree with him,…

Book Review – Robot-Proof

This is the second book I have read in the last two months concerning the fear that robots and other machines powered by artificial intelligence will take over many professions in the next twenty years. Jay Richards’ book, The Human Advantage: The Future of American Work in an Age of Smart Machines, the author reminded…

“Sludge”

I have found a great new meaning for the word “sludge”. The usual meaning is a noun referring to an oozy, viscous substance, sometimes a kind of thick, dirty oil. Well, economist and Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler has taken to referring to all the paperwork and administrative tasks we must complete in life as “sludge”…

Book Review – Just Sit

Meditation is an excellent practice for health and mental health, but it can be challenging to learn. Just Sit: A Meditation Guidebook for People Who Know They Should But Don’t is a book for anyone familiar with the challenge, but who wants to learn to meditate. The book is exactly what the title says. It…