Articles

Halloween: The Rise of the Chocolate Mafia

Ah, Halloween. When I was a kid, it meant three things: 1) Trying to come up with a costume that would fit OVER my parka, because it’s cold in southern Alberta after dark at the end of October. One year, my mom got free boxes from the grocery store, cut arm and neck holes, and painted them – my brother was a die and I was a domino. We were the hit of the neighbourhood. 2) Losing most of my haul to said mother, because that was before peanut-free factories, and half of what was in my pillowcase would...

Earl Bakken: The Man Who Changed Our Hearts

Earl Bakken passed away last week at the age of 94. Not many people have heard of Bakken, but he saved millions of lives all around the world. In 1949, Bakken founded Medtronic, a garage-based medical equipment repair shop that made $8 in its first month of operation. In 1957, an infant with a heart condition died after a blackout disabled her plug-in pacemaker. At her surgeon’s request, Bakken invented the world’s first portable model, powered by an external battery taped to the chest. A few years later, he and his partners licensed designs for the first implantable pacemaker....

Witchcraft: Only Illegal If You Fake It

The phrase “witch hunt” has been tossed around pretty casually lately, but here’s a case where it might actually apply: an Ontario psychic has just been charged with practicing witchcraft. Or, more accurately, with pretending to practice witchcraft. Fun fact: the actual practice of witchcraft is legal in Canada. Faking it for profit, not so much. That’s what our psychic is accused of – telling customers she will lift the curse upon them, provided they are willing to pay. According to The National Post, many people were willing to pay, and pay well. The psychic is believed to have...