fall colours

It’s Not Fall Everywhere In Canada

On Fogo Island, off the north coast of Newfoundland, there are seven seasons in the year, not four. Late October marks the end of Berry Season, when Fogoers spend their days “scooping up handfuls of blueberries, raspberries, marsh berries, and partridgeberries.” But fear not, winter does come – and with a vengeance.

Meanwhile, back here in Ontario, here are some ways to while away your autumn days.……

1. Slow-moving treason. Those words are cascading to describe Donald Trump’s hijacking of the Republican party. They came from Bill Maher who believes Trump is a shark who’s not gone; he’s just gone out to sea.

2. Make your own tunes to relax. Just play a few notes, and it takes them from there.

3. The power of placebos. We all know the placebo effect is powerful. But selling placebo pills over the counter? Pills that do nothing?

4. Martha Henry was 83. This summer, she commanded the Stratford stage in Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women. Read Lynn Slotkin’s wonderful review of Canada’s most commanding actor and “a master manipulator.” Slotkin’s critiques of Canadian theater are always frank, precise and engaging. It costs nothing to subscribe.

Martha Henry died on Thursday, 12 days after giving her final performance.

5. The climate change disaster isn’t coming. It’s here. The Guardian has produced a fearful global warning dashboard about global warming. Be sure to scroll down to how large parts of Ontario could be consumed by wildfires.

6. How Mozart’s music treats epilepsy. We’re not talking about the Mozart Effect, the discredited theory that listening to Mozart as a child makes you smarter as a grownup. No, this is about people who suffer from the neurological condition of epilepsy reducing the degree and number of their seizures by listening to a particular piece written by Mozart: K488, his Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major.

7. Guess who’s speaking at the Authors’ Festival? Me. I’ll be discussing my memoir, Love or Die Trying,  with CAMH psychiatrist Dr. Araba Chintoh, this coming Monday, October 25th from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.  It too is free, and I hope you are as well.

8. What is White Privilege? Here’s a fascinating definition of it by a Black woman writing to a white friend, who, like so many, don’t yet understand.

9. How big is big? How small is small? Here’s a handy slide-rule to help you when you’re struck with chest-beating pride at us human beings, or by just how tiny and insignificant we are. A funnier version of the same idea is the final scene of the original Men in Black.

10. See the best scientists in the world. Next week is Gairdner Science Week, when some of the world’s top researchers discuss their discoveries – and the issues around them. One in four Gairdner Awardees goes on to win the Nobel Prize.

11. The Beatles are back. On Nov. 26, 27 and 28, Disney+ is showing a documentary series directed by Peter Jackson about the band’s 1969 recording sessions where they had to write 14 new songs for their first live concert in over two years – and their last live performance as a group. Here’s the trailer for The Beatles Get Back.

Forbidden Words: This week’s word we may no longer use, or in this case, should use properly, is performative.


To order a copy of my book Love or Die Tryingclick here for Canadian orders, click here for US orders, or visit your favourite bookstore.

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