Sparkwith Nora Young


Shifting consumer habits during the pandemic may change the future of retail in Canada

Retail experts say the industry could be changed for good with in-store experiences adapted to prevent virus transmission and consumer habits permanently shifted to favour e-commerce.

The future as fiction: how speculative novels teach us about the present

Five top fiction novelists offer their thoughts on what we can learn from speculative fiction

Join this video conference so you can read silently with others

Njeri Damali Sojourner Campbell has a YouTube channel and a Facebook group where she focuses on Afrofuturist fiction. But when the pandemic hit and so many of us were suddenly alone in our homes, she decided to start Quarantined Pages, a daily silent reading group.

COVID-19 has ushered in return of a more 'positive' internet culture, says digital expert

With all this time we’re spending online during social isolation, The Walrus’ digital director Angela Misri argues that we’re experiencing a sort of return to the golden age of the internet, when the web was open, collaborative and altruistic.

From access to Zoom: measuring internet health during the pandemic

The pandemic has underscored the importance of internet connectivity in an unprecedented way. Most of us are now using it as our primary means of communicating with friends, family, colleagues, even healthcare providers. Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation, explains what this means for privacy and internet traffic generally.

How artists are turning to the internet in creative ways amid COVID-19 isolation

Artists and cultural institutions have been upended by the isolation measures of COVID-19, but they are also using their creative juices to find novel ways to make and show their work in a digital space — from online concerts to collaborative virtual museums. 

What wayfinding teaches us about history, memory and our brain

From our early ancestors leaving Africa to spread across the globe, to today's GPS directions, finding our way is an essential human skill. Our spatial sense is also crucial to our psychology, and even our ability to remember things. Science journalist Michael Bond explores the history and neuroscience of navigation in his new book, From Here to There.

Montreal AI lab develops 'privacy-first' contact tracing app to track COVID-19 cases

Canadian researchers are using Bluetooth technology to develop an app to trace, and even predict, the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. McGill law professor Richard Janda explains how the app would work.

This 3D printing company is solving Kenya's PPE shortage by producing face shields

A Nairobi-based 3D printing company Ultra Red Technologies is one of many businesses stepping up to produce personal protective equipment as Kenya faces a PPE shortage. Industrial resilience expert Mukesh Kumar explains the role local industry plays in addressing global supply chain disruptions.

'Idiocy of our current urban systems': Inequality, not high-density cities, to blame for COVID-19's spread

Urban planner Patrick Condon says inequalities in metropolitan areas, such as the kinds of jobs worked by less affluent people and their reliance on public transit, are the real issues when it comes to containing the spread of COVID-19.

How to stay in touch with our basic senses in isolation

Working and studying from home mean much more time spent in front of screens, which we counterbalance with hands-on activities. Dr. Christine Law offers tips for managing eye strain from extra screen time; and neuroscientist Victoria Abraira explains why touch is so important to us as social beings.

Online communication is a lifeline during pandemic, but lacks non-verbal cues: behavioural scientist

The way we communicate with people online versus in real life has always been very different in both positive and negative ways, but what does that mean for us now that nearly all of our socializing has become virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic?

4 ways we connected with each other before the internet

We explore the early moments in Western culture that hinted at our internet future.

How the telegraph and the lightbulb can teach us to think critically about future inventions

In her new book, The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another, materials scientist and author Ainissa Ramirez chronicles eight life-changing inventions, and the inventors behind them.

'My webcam is like my front door': What COVID-19 means for digital etiquette and consent

As physical distancing forces us to embrace new technologies, so we can stay connected while remaining apart, journalist Hannah Sung is asking what it means for our understanding of privacy and consent.

Digital security expert shares tips on how to protect your data while working remotely

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are spending more time online now than ever before - and according to Citizen Lab's John Scott-Railton, this makes us vulnerable to privacy and security threats.

Working from home data surge a 'balancing act' for ISPs: tech expert

A technology expert says he is impressed at how well Canada’s internet is holding up given the massive data-load its infrastructure is under amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

'Internet is the only lifeline they have': Canada needs to confront 'digital divide' amid COVID-19 crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing Canada to confront many of its hidden social inequalities, one of these being unequal access to the internet, an internet freedom advocate says. 

The internet can bring us together, but only if we have the resources: professor

Working or learning from home isn’t so easy if you lack private space, software, hardware or even a strong internet connection, professor Aimeé Morrison says.

Working from home? Trust is key, says CEO of company with completely remote workforce

Employees at Wildbit have been working remotely for 20 years. Natalie Nagele, the software company's CEO and co-founder, shared some of the keys to remote working success for those who are just starting out.

You probably worked from home this week. We did, too

Observing the recommended social distancing practices in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Spark team produced the show about remote work, from home.

Tech distractions may harm your concentration, but you can reverse it, says psychologist

Technology isn't permanently harming our ability to concentrate, despite the widely held belief that our devices and the internet are making us worse at focusing, according to a cognitive psychology expert.

Aging brains have more trouble concentrating — and that may be a good thing

Tarek Amer, a psychology postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University, says that although our ability to focus our attention on specific things worsens as we age, older adults are able to retain broad swaths of information better than younger people.

What happens when you give up headphones for a week?

When lawyer Michael Shammas experimented with not wearing headphones, he found himself reconnecting with his inner monologue.

Generation of songwriters being lost due to streaming struggle, Juno nominee says

A Juno-nominated musician says a generation of songwriters is being lost due to the intense struggle artists face trying to survive financially in an industry dominated by music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.