Tapestrywith Mary Hynes

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Can psychedelic drugs help ease the fear of death?

Anthony Bossis, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at New York University, has been researching whether psychedelic drugs can help relieve the anxiety of patients with life-threatening illnesses. And the results so far are remarkable.

How this anthropologist found inspiration and quarantine comfort in a 700-year-old book

Inspired by Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron – a book of stories on fear, grief and humour amid the Black Death of the 14th century – anthropologist Iza Kavedžija’s story collection transports readers “into other worlds without leaving your own house.”

'Heaven's like West Edmonton Mall': Collecting stories from elders

Author Richard Van Camp knew he wanted to dedicate his life to telling stories after an Elder shared her experience with the afterlife. Van Camp says stories are the “soul fire” we need right now – in the pandemic and onward.

Stories are "Soul-Fire"

Inspired by Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron, a book of stories written about the Black Death of the 14th century, anthropologist Iza Kavedžija curated a collection of stories during the 2020 pandemic called: Decameron Relived. Author Richard Van Camp knew he wanted to dedicate his life to telling stories after an Elder shared her experience with the afterlife. “I think that storytelling is medicine. I think it reminds us of what it means to be human.”

Who gets to be a part of Canadian history, asks Arab-Canadian writer

When writer Christine Estima explored her family’s history, she discovered her great-grandfather helped build Montreal’s Arab community. Yet, despite his accomplishments, Estima found that Canada’s immigrants don’t often get the credit they’re deserved.

'It makes the world worse': Why grandstanding is better ignored and avoided

Philosopher Brandon Warmke is getting on a podium in hopes you might step off yours. Warmke believes that grandstanding is a moral issue, one that makes conversations worse and can tear people apart.

Grandstanding

Philosopher Brandon Warkme says there is a very fine line between showing up and showing off. He’s studied the ethics of grandstanding and says, if your number-one goal is showing that your heart is in the right place — then your heart isn’t in the right place! Writer Christine Estima felt her blood boil when Coach's Corner co-host Don Cherry complained that he thought immigrants don't wear poppies on Remembrance Day. Her grandfather fought for Canada in the Second World War. She looks into how the lives of Arab immigrants seem to vanish from the pages of Canadian history.

This busker wants you to take the money he makes (if you need it)

New York Busker, Will Boyajian, didn’t let COVID-19 stop him from playing music to raise money for people-in-need. He just moved his charity online.

QAnon conspiracy theory has taken a 'religious tone' says sociologist

Edwin Hodge is a sociologist who studies conspiracy theories and the rise of alt movements. He says new religions tend to take hold during times of chaos - and says it can be helpful to think of the QAnon conspiracy theory as a kind of religion.

How this Indigenous architect designs buildings with Indigenous history and spirituality in mind

When Alfred Waugh attended university to study architecture, he never imagined he would one day design buildings on those same campuses. His facilities mean to help integrate Indigeous peoples, traditions and histories into Canada’s universities.

QAnon and busking for hope

Edwin Hodge is a sociologist who studies conspiracy theories and alt-right movements. He says it is possible to think of QAnon as a kind of religion. Busker Will Boyajian invites you to toss some money into that guitar case if you like. Or, if you need it, take a few bucks out. He is the creator Hopeful Cases, which is now raising money for those in need online.

"The most important moment of a person's life is the moment of death," says chaplain and Buddhist monk

Jeff Braff, a hospital chaplain in Toronto, is both a former infectious disease epidemiologist and a Buddhist monk, in the Tibetan tradition. He went from working in public health to seeing the very real outcomes of health policy — all from a Buddhist lens.

Sexual Healing: finding holiness in sexuality

Can sex and religion co-exist peacefully? Elyse Ambrose thinks so. She’s working to bring healing to those who have been alienated by their faith’s views on LGBTQ issues.

Creating Indigenous architecture on campuses, Pandemic wisdom from a health specialist and Buddhist monk

Architect Alfred Waugh is designing Indigenous spaces on campuses, to help establish a sense of identity for Indigenous people on Canada’s universities. As a hospital chaplain, Jeff Braff, used his knowledge as a former infectious disease epidemiologist and a Buddhist monk, with which to comfort patients.

Humans are 'a species in a very rare planet': cosmologist makes the case against existential dread

While some might respond to the vastness of the universe with a sense of existential dread, physicist and cosmologist Marcelo Gleiser takes a different approach, offering up something he calls “human centrism.”
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A screen with a view: Window Swap website offers relief from pandemic cabin fever

Window Swap transforms your computer screen into a window overlooking another part of the world. The website's creators say they made it to help with pandemic cabin fever and wanderlust, but it’s had a profound effect on some users.

NBA TV Canada host sees 2020 season of basketball as 'rising of human consciousness'

It’s been an unusual NBA season, not just because of the coronavirus, but because of the pushes players have made towards acknowledging racism and criminal justice issues on the court.

'We need places like this': LGBTQ refugees find support at Toronto church

Over the years, thousands of refugees persecuted in their home country because of their sexual identity have found a sponsor — and acceptance — with the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto.

Social justice in the NBA, curing pandemic cabin fever with WindowSwap

Toronto Raptor personality Akil Augustine weighs in on players’ unprecedented social justice action in the NBA. And a couple in Singapore created WindowSwap, a website that allows users to open a virtual window into the homes and lives of other people around the world.

This woman says being blind has helped and hindered her life during the pandemic

Shermeen Khan says many pandemic safety precautions - like arrows marked on the floor - have impeded her ability to navigate the world independently. But over a lifetime being blind, she has developed skills that give her an advantage during COVID-19.
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How an Ontario man is combatting pandemic chaos with life-like model railroad

Jason Shron has been obsessed with Via Rail trains since he was five years old. He has long found building model railroads to be a more spiritual practice than mere hobby. These days, he says it offers even more: a perfect antidote to COVID-19 angst.

LGBT refugees welcomed by Toronto church; being blind in the pandemic

The documentary “No Going Back” tells the story of three LGBT refugees who fled persecution in their home countries and found support and acceptance at the Metropolitan Community Church in downtown Toronto. And lawyer Shermeen Khan describes how her experience of the pandemic has been helped and hindered by her blindness.

Should I stay or should I go?: one man's decision to leave the priesthood

In Boston, Father Brian Bachand worked alongside the new Archbishop, supporting victims of the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. Bachand was passionate about the work but he began to have thoughts about a life beyond the priesthood, one where he could live freely as a gay man.

After growing up on hymns and J.Lo, musician Daniela Andrade carves out her own Latina identity

The Honduran-Canadian singer-songwriter grew up steeped in opposing visions of what it meant to be Latina and none of them felt right. After challenging herself during flamenco lessons and an unforgettable trip to Mexico, Daniela Andrade arrived at her own definition of womanhood.

Should I stay or should I go?

Jason Shron won’t finish building the model railroad in his basement - a scaled down replica of the Toronto-Montreal route circa 1980 - until he is 95 years old. But that’s OK: for him, model railroading is a kind of spiritual practice. Brian Bachand was passionate about his work as a Catholic priest in Boston, but he made the decision to leave. Lena Felton shares expert advice on when and how to quit a book, a relationship, or a dream.

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