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My husband is a liar. When I complain about the wrinkles on my neck, he says, “What wrinkles?” Then I laugh because I don’t want to press the point. Would it be a good idea to have him examine, truly, the decay that is my neck skin? Think wattle. Think chicken with pinfeathers that spring […]

The author on Douglas Channel, near Hartley Bay | photo by Julian MacQueen

Bearing Witness

Let’s say you’ve never heard of the Great Bear Rainforest. I never had. Let’s say it’s a theory, a conjecture, a proper noun three words long and as real to you as fabled El Dorado or the moons of Jupiter. There it is in the subject line of a Facebook message: “invite to the great […]



Ever since he had settled in Manila, Cedric Ramanathan’s greatest pleasure had been golf. There was nothing he liked better than to whack a ball down the fairway and then stroll after it with no thought in his head except whether to use a seven-iron or a six for the next shot—the occasional plonk in […]


Dream States

In the nineteen-eighties I started having recurring nightmares. The nightmare part wasn’t so unusual: like many people, I’d had my fair share of dreams about being swept away by rogue waves, or driving cars that couldn’t make it up steep hills, or flying in airplanes that couldn’t seem to climb any higher than the treetops. […]

John England on Ellesmere Island, 1975

Radical Emptiness

John England has been visiting and studying the Arctic for close to four decades. He is a professor at the University of Alberta and the Northern Chair for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. This notebook was filled by Dr. England on Ellesmere Island in July of 1975. John England on Ellesmere […]

City of Edmonton Archives

The Belle Auroras

In September, 1914, the sister-trio-harmony vaudeville act The Belle Auroras are playing Edmonton as Les Très Belles Aurores de Nouvelle France at the direction of their manager, Fitzjohn Mayhew, a producer of dubious morals who has married Aurora, the eldest sister. Mayhew took Aurora, Clover, Bella and their mother Flora with him the year before […]

Caulfield / Body Plan #2

Breaking Through

C.P. Snow stated in his 1959 Cambridge University Rede lecture, “The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution,” that society was increasingly divided by the humanities and the sciences, the expertise of scientists and “literary intellectuals” so unlike one another as to be almost wholly incompatible. F.R. Leavis’ spirited 1962 rebuttal, “Two Cultures? The Significance of […]

Wilson / Logos, 2006-2009

The Books of Life

One of the ways genetic science has captured the public’s attention is in the way it allows us to believe that understanding one’s DNA leads to understanding deeper truths about people. The fully mapped and sequenced human genome has been called the book of life, since it contains all the genetic information necessary to construct […]


Fellow Traveller

A few days before the Easter weekend in the spring of 1992, Ron Murdock woke up in a ditch on the side of the highway. Heavy snowflakes landing on his nose jarred him awake at five in the morning. Snow was drifting around his sleeping bag. He was in the middle of a spring blizzard, […]