Christmas Carols, But Not the Usual

As we come down to the wire, with Christmas peeking over the horizon, radio stations have switched to seasonal music. They never seem to know when to do this. Some stations start with weekends in December, reverting to their usual playlist during the week, then go all out for the last week. Others slowly transition,Continue reading “Christmas Carols, But Not the Usual”

Racially Biased IQ Tests and the Death of Billy

When I was in college a Sociology teacher was explaining some of the many biases with IQ tests. Regional, economic, linguistic and racial. The teacher, an African-American himself, tried out some of the cultural questions from an IQ test designed for an African-American person. Well, I’m as pasty white skinned as they come (as the lateContinue reading “Racially Biased IQ Tests and the Death of Billy”

Papal Visits Past and Present

An interesting combination of the time of year coupled with a papal visit is making me nostalgic. As Pope Francis currently visits Cuba and the U.S. I find myself thinking back 32 years to September 1984 when then Pope John Paul II visited Canada. Upon finishing grad school I had done a few jobs whileContinue reading “Papal Visits Past and Present”

Rerun: Montreal’s History of Anglo/Irish Pubs

They say that one of the signs you’re getting old is that you find yourself, more and more often, using phrases such as: When I was a boy/girl, Back when I was young, In my day, When I was a kid. Well, you get the idea. Rather than fight this tendency I’ve decided to embraceContinue reading “Rerun: Montreal’s History of Anglo/Irish Pubs”

Montreal’s Reemerging Streetcar Tracks

It’s the end of pothole season. That’s not to say they have all been filled, just that with seasonal change freezing then thawing then freezing shenanigans over, there will be no new potholes. But don’t assume your car is safe! At one time Montreal, like many other cities, had a network of streetcars as itsContinue reading “Montreal’s Reemerging Streetcar Tracks”

Imposing Your Music On Others: Then and Now

It was not all that long ago that a ride on a public bus was likely to include at least one, as we called them back then, ghetto blaster. Of course boom box soon replaced the original derogatory term. It never ceased to amaze me that the louder the music, the lousier it was. IContinue reading “Imposing Your Music On Others: Then and Now”

Hospital Movers Can Learn From Montreal Canadiens

After years of construction, some scandals and much second guessing, Montreal’s Royal Victoria Hospital’s move to the new McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) super hospital site is now mere days away. I hope those who are charged with overseeing things don’t make the same mistake that the Montreal Canadiens made when they moved. Yes, I’mContinue reading “Hospital Movers Can Learn From Montreal Canadiens”

Helicopter Parents Return

And they’re back. Just as the swallows return to Capistrano each spring, the soccer helicopter parents have returned to the park up the street from my humble abode. Aside from hogging all the legal  parking spots on streets in the immediate vicinity of the park, causing locals returning home from work much annoyance as weContinue reading “Helicopter Parents Return”

Bruno Mars, James Brown, Beatboxing and Train Whistles

Most of the music I listen to these days I find on various online applications that allow me to select songs and artists from the past. Accuradio and Tunein Radio chief among them. A bit of nostalgia no doubt, but frankly my ability to appreciate and enjoy music has been severely altered over the lastContinue reading “Bruno Mars, James Brown, Beatboxing and Train Whistles”

Christmas Commercials: Some Classic, Some Not So Much

Only one week to go; hit that shopping panic button! Lamentably when we think of Christmas it is usually in a non-religious aspect. You know, the commercial greed-driven exercise in consumerism. If there is a good side to this, it’s that the season of peace on earth and goodwill toward humans has spawned numerous fineContinue reading “Christmas Commercials: Some Classic, Some Not So Much”