Tapestry with Mary Hynes
'Why are we here?' and other questions for an astrophysicist-folklorist
With a double-major from Harvard in astrophysics and folklore, Moiya McTier bills herself as the 'folklorist to the stars' and the 'astrophysicist for the folks'. And she believes being an expert in both disciplines serves the perfect one-two punch for her job as a science communicator.
Stories and the stars: Part two
With a double-major from Harvard in astrophysics and folklore, Moiya McTier bills herself as the 'folklorist to the stars' and the 'astrophysicist for the folks'. Later, Chief Fred Sangris, an elder of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, reflects on traditional Dene wayfinding – navigating by way of the stars.
How this astronomer learned to 'embrace the void' through cosmic horror
When thinking about the universe or delving into dark fantasy, astronomer Leo Alcorn believes the prime directive should be to “embrace the void” and “love what you don’t understand.”
Stories and the stars: Part one
Leo Alcorn approaches her work as astronomer in the same way she tackles the cosmic horror of HP Lovecraft. Hilding Neilson likes to say that every star tells a story.
Inshallah, good things are coming
Abdullah Shihipar discusses the implicit balance between faith and agency in the Arabic word “inshallah.” And we hear from those celebrating Ramadan this year about words that matter most to them.
Finding the line between faith and agency
Abdullah Shihipar discusses the implicit balance between faith and agency in the Arabic word “inshallah.” The word means “god willing” and he’s encouraging everyone — including non-Muslims — to use it. Also, biochemist Beronda Montgomery thinks we have a lot to learn from the natural world about slowing down.
A 'good enough' life can be better than striving for the impossible, says author
Kate Bowler is an author and Duke University professor, who after a sudden crisis had to reassess what it means to live a good life.
Christianity may not have all the answers, but it may offer meaning, says professor
In his latest book, Can I Believe?: Christianity for the Hesitant, John G. Stackhouse admits his faith offers plenty of fuel for skeptics. But he also argues there’s something to Christianity worth considering.
Finding faith in creative acts
Reverend Paula Hollingsworth outlines the evolution of faith in Jane Austen’s novels and her personal life. And writer Amy Shearn, is on a quest to better understand why we take on long-term projects and what keeps us going through the process.
How technology may be robbing you of more than just your attention
Technology is designed to grab your attention — but that's not all you end up paying, according to philosopher James Williams. And for the French philosopher Simone Weil, the act of paying attention was a moral imperative — so much so that some argue it cost her her life.
500 years ago: Pope gives permission to conquer Indigenous people
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz explains how papal bull edicts from the fifteenth-century gave permission for Europeans to conquer the world's Indigenous peoples.
Stranger things: what we can learn from people we don't know
Strangers can change our lives every day in sometimes small ways, and in other times, ways that leave a legacy. Colleen Kinder is the editor of Letter to a Stranger: Essays to the Ones Who Haunt us, a collection of letters to those strangers who are hard to forget.
Feeling overwhelmed with the non-stop news? You're not alone.
Cynthia Wallace asks what today is a pretty universal question: how can you follow the news cycle while protecting your own mental health? She’s an English professor at the University of Saskatchewan.
The fulfilling but sometimes weird world of funeral music
Amy Boyes' first gig as a funeral pianist was maybe one of her strangest, with a song selection she definitely wasn't expecting. But a family's choice of music for their lost loved one can reveal a lot about the person they lost, and the reason they're all together.
Are we living in a simulation? Look to Free Guy, not The Matrix, for answers, says David Chalmers
Pop culture, and especially science fiction, has played host to several of philosophy’s biggest questions that can trace their origins back thousands of years, according to David Chalmers, philosopher and author of Reality+.
Confronting the 'realness' of our reality
David Chalmers is a professor of philosophy and neural science at New York University. He argues that there’s nothing ‘virtual’ about virtual reality. Later we hear from the co-screenwriter of the hit video game movie Free Guy.
From dad to Dadbot: one man's attempt to capture human essence in AI
James Vlahos built a chatbot that responds like his dead father. Now he wants everyone else to have what he has — a lasting interactive memento of a dead loved one. But can software truly capture a human spirit?
How to turn old age into the prime of your life
A geriatric psychiatrist says that if we celebrated as people enter older stages of life, there would be a really profound shift in the way society thinks about aging. Instead of dreading it, we should look forward to it.
Aging better, Dadbot
A geriatric psychiatrist says that if we celebrated as people enter older stages of life, there would be a really profound shift in the way society thinks about aging. Meanwhile a man turns his father into an AI, and he wants you to be able to do the same.
Connecting to our roots: the spirituality of trees
Nalini Nadkarni is a canopy biologist who has always found sanctuary in trees. Beyond her scientific studies, she’s extolled the spiritual benefits of being around our flora friends – a feeling that’s prevailed across many religions.
Can you belong to a place you've never been before?
Pamela Petro has visited Wales 27 times in the past 36 years. She explains her unexpected connection to the place through the Welsh notion of hiraeth — an untranslatable Welsh word.
Stressed parents hopeful for a return to normal as restrictions, hospitalizations subside
Parents in and around two Toronto neighbourhoods are cautiously optimistic that a return to normal is just around the corner, as restrictions throughout Canada begin to lessen and COVID-19 hospitalizations drop.
Be the Refuge author asks why is North American Buddhism so white?
Chenxing Han is the author of Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists. The book delves into the question, why is North American Buddhism so white? Han calls out the erasure of young Asian American Buddhists while giving voice to their stories.
Reclaiming Buddhism, and parenting when it feels like the world is ending
Chenxing Han is the author of Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists. Later, we visit a couple Toronto moms to see how they're faring two years into the pandemic with producer Arman Aghabli’s documentary Being Everything.
When can we give up self-improvement?
Productivity expert Oliver Burkeman changed the way he looked at time management and believes you should too. Faith Hill asks the question, if we can’t stop frantic self-improvement two years into a pandemic… when can we?