FROM THE ARCHIVE:Urbanites do odd things; one of them is eat brunch. Brunch itself is a portmanteau word, jamming two fine and noble concerns, breakfast and lunch, into one Frankenstein event.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Ross William Ulbricht is in jail. And if the FBI has its way, he’ll be there for quite some time. The charges: drug trafficking, money laundering, computer hacking, and ordering a hit on a resident of White Rock, B.C., who had piqued his ire.

Social media is a wonderful thing. Whether it’s toppling governments in the Middle East or helping you to keep up with your aunt’s holiday snaps, there’s no denying that it’s changed the way we live our lives forever.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: I look out from behind the chrome-coloured bars of my goalie mask. The play unfolds in the opposing end of McCormick Arena in downtown Toronto, affording me a brief opportunity to observe the odd, albeit cherished, drama that is Thursday night pickup hockey.

Whoever thought up the “war is good for business” thing might want to check out the action on the Moscow Exchange this year. As the crisis in Ukraine came to a boil at the end of February, investor appetite for Russian equities went into a deep freeze, and the country’s benchmark Russian Trading System (RTS) stock-market index lost 19 per cent in a matter of weeks.

Call it an epidemic. With the rise in airport muddles, and travel travails, it’s become the customary thing, I’ve noticed, to kvetch—at length, and often to mere acquaintances—about one’s aisle-or-window woes.

Take everything you know about energy—burning oil, falling water, spinning windmills, splitting atoms—and forget it. All of it. Now, what does the world look like? Given what scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have just managed to do, you may want to mull it over.

Even the name sounds sketchy: “shadow bank”. An apt moniker for a business that lends like a bank, earns interest like a bank, has a pleasant and confidence-inspiring name like a bank, yet isn’t exactly a bank—particularly when it comes to regulations, transparency, and risk control.

The history of dinner seating, like the history of art, yo-yoes between moments of brilliance and periods of stagnation, and the politics of place cards is a tricky business.

Remember the meltdown of 2008? You know—the one where America’s housing market fell down a deep, dark hole, the world’s banks teetered on the edge of insolvency, stock markets did a face plant, and stockbrokers from here to Timbuktu considered (however briefly) defenestration as their next career move? Sure you do.

There have been times when Meredith “Deep Fried Diva” Boxberger is shovelling down a monstrous 72-ounce steak and she thinks, “How’d I ever get to be doing this?” It’s a question often asked of the athletic, 28-year-old competitive eater from Barrie, Ontario.

In normal times, the business of fertilizer is only slightly more interesting than the soil one spreads it on: one of those super-simple, steady-Eddie, boring-but-profitable businesses every investor loves.

Lower than the used-car salesman. Or the telemarketer. The repo man, too. Maybe one notch above that guy from Nigeria who’s always sending you e-mail. That’s a good approximation of the esteem with which the patent troll is held within the pantheon of the world’s professions.

“Run, run. Run, Dick, run. Run and see.” From such humble beginnings many of us were introduced to the wonders of the written word. By studiously following the adventures of the sprightly Dick and his spunky sister Jane, we were taught not only the building blocks of grammar, but the basics of plot, character, and point-of-view.

The sand underfoot is white enough to seem like a deliberate cliché. The granules are so fine that each footstep squeaks. The shallows are (of course) a tropical blue-green—enough to make us forget we’re in British Columbia. White foam tops the big rollers coming in off the open ocean. There is nothing between us and Japan.

Who goes to heaven? Will Freckles the spaniel get in? How about the Goldies, our six consecutive dead goldfish? If flies get in, will it still be heaven? Where does God draw the line?