Gasp. Pant. Brr.

“Go on, get ‘em!” is what I could have sworn he said to his dog. And get us he did. I don’t remember what kind of dog it was, but the key factor here is that the dog was heavy. I was on assignment, the second year in my job for Up Here magazine, and I […]

The Last Word: October 27 – 31, 2014

In the beginning: The week started with Part IV of guest Colin Norman’s every-Monday series on undergoing heart surgery. (Spoiler alert: He lives to write another day.) Next: Craig went looking for a creature from an extinct species—and saw one, sort of. Then: Christie got her gun and went looking for creatures from non-extinct species—and saw them, for real. And: Jessa […]

La Vie Souterraine

At Lisgar Collegiate, my old public high school in Ottawa, whenever I had gym class, band or strings, law or – as I vaguely recall – accounting class, I had two choices. I could either pack my books away, pin my sleeves over my hands and charge out the door, through 15 seconds of -20C […]

Redux: A Dead World at Sunset

This was first published in March of 2011. As winter descends upon the sub-Arctic once more, I revisit these moments of awe on a frozen lake. “It may not strike you as a marvel; it would not, perhaps, unless you were standing in the middle of a dead world at sunset, but that was where […]

The Berger Inquiry

The normal course of action would have been to collect reports from biologists, anthropologists and sociologists – all hired by the gas company – to assess the environmental, economic and social impacts of the pipeline. But this was to be the largest project ever undertaken anywhere by private enterprise, in the history of the world. […]

The Last Word

August 4 – 8, 2014 Richard and Ann disagree informatively about the nature of a science writer’s duty toward truth and its embellishments. There is a glimmer of hope when Richard strikes on the thought that science writers share subjective truths, whereas scientists have a duty to be objective. Ann disagrees. The debate rages on in […]

Give Me a Heroine Who Invents

It’s been a while since we had a roundup of children’s books. So long, in fact, that the last time we had one, I wasn’t yet interested in children’s books. Now, it’s situation critical. My town has one little bookstore, and our library is accessed through several flights of dingy staircase at the back of a […]

Astronaut, Heal Thyself

The manned craft negotiates entry into the thin Martian atmosphere and lands in some sort of ingenious fashion in the three-eighths gravity. This is it. My generation’s very own “One small step for a human” moment. Real live people are inside, ready to hop out and get to work. The fifteen-minutes-delayed camera feed zooms in […]