Affairs

Smartphones and the cult of the new.

New. Improved. Throw in free and you’ve got the three most powerful words in the English language. A lesson Silicon Valley learned very early.

Requiem for the double-double.

It wasn’t the service. Or the ambience. And let’s be honest with ourselves—it wasn’t the coffee or the doughnuts either. No, it was a feeling that turned Tim Hortons into our national coffee shop. Call­­ it a sense of humble comfort: a small-town, aw-shucks goodness its customers liked to see in themselves.

Well-intentioned.

It all begins with water, and the act of giving with no expectations of receiving in return. It was a poignant lesson, delivered by Obakki founder Treana Peake to an audience of 2,500 in Vancouver last month for TEDxVancouver.

Photographing history.

Beneath the farm houses in the tranquil French countryside exists a forgotten city—rooms and passages of narrow and twisting quarries where the stone is soft enough to carve with basic tools. These spaces were battlefield refuge for First World War soldiers and became home to countless sculptures, carvings, and artifacts as well.

Cool intelligence.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation promotes dialogue between outstanding scholars in the social sciences and humanities, and creative individuals with an interest in issues of public policy in government, the professions, business, the arts, and the voluntary sector.

Capitalism comes to the final frontier.

Sometime next year, if you look up—way up—at just the right time, you might see something in the sky that wasn’t there before. That’d be the Dragon V2, the next generation of space “taxi” shuttling astronauts, cosmonauts, and the occasional space tourist across the cosmos.

Paradigm shift.

“Your first obligation as a student is to fill your eyes with wonder.” Dr. Wade Davis—professor of anthropology, former explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, author of 17 books and counting—has the full attention of an auditorium of students at the University of British Columbia.

Solitude in the age of screens.

There were then two glowing screens atop my desk; three, if you count my yappy little phone. I was a magazine editor at the time—or, as we now say, a “content creator.” Yet I spent my days not so much creating content as reacting to it.