8 Q essays to hold you over until September

"Well, hi there." If you're missing your daily dose of thoughtful reflection, this one's for you.

There's still one month of Q the summer left before we embark on an all-new season of Q -- and if you're feeling an empty space where Jian's opening essays used to be, we have a treat for you!

As Canadian listeners know, Jian starts almost every single show during the regular season with an opening essay -- a reflection on the day's headlines, a personal passion or perhaps something more unusual

These short introductions are not typically included in the podcast and U.S. versions of the show, so some fans of Q may not be as familiar with them.

So, as an introduction for those who have never heard a Q essay, and a retrospective for those who have, Q intern Farah Quraishi has compiled some of the most popular essays from this past season. 

1) In defense of "inefficient" reading 

Jian talks about Spritz, an app that promises to supercharge your reading rate. He highlights what we might be losing by putting the act of reading on a timer -- particularly in a society where everything is about speed. 

2) An ode to the National Film Board of Canada 

Jian dedicates his essay to the National Film Board of Canada on the occasion of its 75th anniversary and argues that it's an institution worth protecting for future generations.  

3) Remembering Pete Seeger (1919 - 2014) 

Jian pays tribute to Pete Seegar - a singer and activist who brought people together with his music and fought for human rights and fairness in the world. Jian also shares his memory of performing with Seegar in 1997. 

4) Dispelling the 'cold' Russian stereotype 

From the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Jian takes on stereotypes that cast the Russian people in a harsh light. Much of the conversation and coverage of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, he says, seems informed by spy novel caricatures of a stoic and militant people. 

5) Hadfield's Space Oddity was a shooting star 

This may seem like an essay about Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield having to take his cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" off YouTube -- and to an extent it is; however, Jian zooms out to reflect on society's constant need to access things instantaneously and on demand. Perhaps people are getting too used to owning the moment instead of enjoying it.

6) So this is Earth Day, and what have we done? 

On Earth Day, Jian dedicates his essay to the small ways we can take care of the Earth, and avoid feeling overwhelmed or tempted to ignore the date altogether. He encourages people to focus on the difference they can make as individuals and as a collective. 

7) A salute to the 'I, too, am Oxford' campaign 

Jian congratulates the group behind the "I, too, am Oxford" campaign, which shares photos of students holding signs debunking stereotypes they face on daily basis. Damaging presumptions are common even at institutions like Oxford University - a university that has students of all races and background. 

8) It's time to defend public broadcasting 

Following news of a $130 million cut to CBC/Radio Canada's budget, and layoffs of 657 staff members, Jian underscores the value of public broadcasting and the importance of the CBC - an organization connecting our vast country, its people, and its many voices.

What's your favourite Q essay? Let us know in the comments section below!

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