A century after a critical turning point in Irish history

1920's Ireland is a fascinating study of competing perspectives

A century after a critical turning point in Irish historyDecember 1921 was a critical turning point in Irish history. The Dec. 6 Anglo-Irish Treaty aimed to end the War of Independence by “establishing the Irish Free State as a self-governing dominion within the British Commonwealth.” But it actually did more. It effectively launched the fledgling entity on a glide path toward full independence without…

How do we behave when no one is looking?

Integrity, compassion and courage are more enduring and powerful than greed

How do we behave when no one is looking?Renowned American writer Maya Angelou advised, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” In other words, before we put anyone into a position of trust in our lives, we need to examine their track record. How do they treat the most vulnerable people in our society? How do they respond…

Luis Ángel Firpo was boxing’s Wild Bull of the Pampas

Subtlety wasn’t his style. He was all about aggression and clubbing his opponents into submission

Luis Ángel Firpo was boxing’s Wild Bull of the PampasExtending over 14 acres, La Recoleta is a famous cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A 2013 CNN travel piece called it one of the world’s 10 most beautiful. Today’s layout dates from the early 19th century and is said to resemble “a city more than a burial ground with its impressive neo-classical gates opening up…

The making of the West

Rome’s influence continues to cast a light over Western life and culture

The making of the WestWestern civilization is constantly under fire these days, accused of causing many of the ills that affect modern society. Many blame aggressive Western capitalism for generating a culture of greed and destroying the environment. Certainly, the most hurtful criticism of the West relates to imperialism. Admittedly, the West has been expansive over the past few…

Canadians fighting behind enemy lines – Remembrance Day

Secret agents Raymond LaBrosse and Lucien Dumais rescued hundreds of downed airmen from German-occupied France

Canadians fighting behind enemy lines – Remembrance DayIt was a moonless night on January 29, 1944. It was drizzling. Sixteen airmen and two M.I.9 secret agents cautiously descended the steep cliffs near the village of Plouha on the Brittany Coast of France in fear of being caught, executed, or worse, tortured. The enemy patrolled the beach below. Thanks to Canadian M.I.9 agents…

The messy transition to a ‘new world disorder’

Multiple nations are jockeying for power

The messy transition to a ‘new world disorder’International politics expert Andy Knight is working on a new book about the changing face of global governance and the transition to a new world order. Tentatively titled International Organization Today, the book will examine how the world has evolved from a simple system of international governance, driven mainly by the United Nations, to its current state of multilateral…

Guidelines help prevent unnecessary destruction of ancient remains

Human remains are considered sacred by many around the world and deserve respect and protection

Guidelines help prevent unnecessary destruction of ancient remainsWhen Elizabeth Sawchuk started getting involved in ancient DNA research as part of her archeological research in Africa, she turned to colleagues for advice on sampling DNA from ancient human remains. As a post-doctoral fellow at Stony Brook University, she felt it was crucial to get it right. “They’re extremely precious,” said Sawchuk, now a Banting post-doctoral…

100-million-year-old crab trapped in amber helps fill evolutionary gap

Oldest non-marine crab ever – and most complete crab fossil known – identified

100-million-year-old crab trapped in amber helps fill evolutionary gapA young crustacean locked in amber 100 million years ago is filling a crucial gap in the puzzle of crab evolution, according to a University of Alberta PhD graduate whose work adds to growing evidence that the crab form is an evolutionary darling. “This crab is telling us a very interesting story about the tree…

When Reagan fired the air traffic controllers

It was assumed that Reagan would cave to the aggressive labour action. He didn't

When Reagan fired the air traffic controllersSomething unusual happened in August 1981. Ronald Reagan, then president of the United States, fired the country’s illegally-striking air traffic controllers. Most observers were astonished. This wasn’t part of the normal political playbook. Increasing union militancy had become a prevalent feature of the economic landscape since the 1960s. And when faced with aggressive labour action…

Massive ancient lake emptied quickly enough to set off an ice age

U of A-led international team estimates the flood from Glacial Lake Agassiz may be largest known in Earth’s history

Massive ancient lake emptied quickly enough to set off an ice ageA flood of epic proportions drained at a rate of more than 800 Olympic swimming pools a second from a glacial lake that spanned the Prairie provinces more than 12,000 years ago, according to a University of Alberta-led study. The finding bolsters a theory that the event may have propelled the warming Earth back into…
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