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You have more influence than you think

Have you ever felt uncomfortable asking a stranger for directions because you don’t want to bother them? Social psychologist Vanessa Bohns says we might want to think again, because according to her research, we have far more influence over others than we think.

Under the sea of influence

Have you ever felt uncomfortable asking a stranger for directions because you don’t want to bother them? Social psychologist Vanessa Bohns says we might want to think again because we have far more influence over others than we think. Peter Marra saw Disney’s The Little Mermaid in theatres many times as a child. But it was only as an adult with a PhD in film studies that he truly recognized the influence the movie had on his queer identity.

Discovering my queer identity through The Little Mermaid

Peter Marra saw Disney’s The Little Mermaid in theatres many times as a child. But it was only until he was in his 30s with a PhD in film studies that he truly recognized the influence the movie had on his queer identity.

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.

How Canada's Drag Race helped this Black, queer choreographer make his mark

Toronto choreographer Hollywood Jade says LGBTQ performers, including himself, are finding more opportunities to be celebrated in mainstream media through series like RuPaul’s Drag Race, and its Canadian counterpart Canada’s Drag Race where he serves as resident choreographer.

Marvel and Disney films are not just popcorn movies — they're about life's greatest mysteries

The Marvel Cinematic Universe and stories of Disney princesses deal with the fundamental themes of being human. A.G. Holdier, a graduate student of philosophy at the University of Arkansas, thinks superheroes and princesses can serve a serious function in the real world.

'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.

'Release your anger': 30 years later, this film critic learned new lessons from Star Wars

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...they had a lot of resilience. For Chris Knight, the chief film critic for the National Post newspaper, the life lessons found in Star Wars are now hitting pretty close to home. Knight believes that Star Wars has forced him to find a little patience in the pandemic.

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.

Philosophy in film

The Marvel movies, Disney princesses and Star Wars are much deeper than you might first think. Tapestry talks to people for whom these massive media properties feel larger than life and offer real lessons.

Building a utopia that wasn't

Thad Russell grew up in suburban Boston, but his parents felt disconnected from the wealthy neighbourhood they lived in. In 1990, they built a small, off-the-grid solar powered home in rural Vermont. But their plan to live a more modest life wasn’t as simple as they had hoped.

What if the world stopped shopping?

From the Kalahari Desert to an island in Japan, writer J.B. MacKinnon has travelled the world to try and discover what may be inconceivable to many – what if, one day, the world stops shopping?

Beyond consumerism

J.B. MacKinnon has travelled the world to try and discover what might be inconceivable to many – what if, one day, the world stops shopping? Thad Russell’s parents built an off grid home, but their plan to live a more modest life wasn’t as nearly simple as they hoped.

'You are in a church that is still learning how to love you,' Jesuit priest tells LGBTQ Catholics

Father James Martin is a noted advocate for the LGBTQ community. He says there is much the Catholic church can do now to offer its support, even without changing church doctrine. Martin explains the difference between sadness and despair, and what The Lord of the Rings can teach us about morality.

Alcohol helped shape civilization and ferment innovation, says author

Given the enormous costs of intoxication, why has the consumption of alcohol remained at the heart of social life? Author Edward Slingerland says it was essential to human evolution.

Sound Medicine: Bringing nature to Australian Indigenous women in prison

Indigenous people in Australia’s prison system experience a profound loss of connection to culture while incarcerated and isolated from the familiar sounds of home. A team of researchers worked with a group of incarcerated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to reconnect them to a sense of place — through sound.

My grandfather, the saint

Andrew Faiz is the grandson of a Presbyterian Pakistani saint - Vazir Chand. Most Presbyterians don't honour saints, yet for this specific Pakistani community, Andrew's grandfather has been given special reverence.

This queer choreographer felt locked out of his own industry. Here's how he persevered

Hollywood Jade grew up in Toronto wanting to be a dancer. He found success at an early age, appearing in films such as Hairspray, music videos and awards shows. But as a queer man, he felt that being his authentic self was not always welcome.

Finding oneself through sound, dance and family

A documentary brings the sounds of nature into an Australian prison, a queer dancer tries to make space for other LGBTQ performers, and what it’s like when your grandfather is revered as a saint by his church.

Party like it's 1656: The end of the pandemic should be a moment to celebrate says historian

Studying music and culture from the 17th and 18th centuries gave historian Keith Johnston a vision for how we could mark the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Johnston says we can draw inspiration from a 10-day festival hosted in Naples at the end of the 1656 epidemic.

When the pandemic hit this researcher turned to a 2,000 year old story — the Mahabharata

The Mahabharata is a 2,000 year old sacred text whose central message is “everyone dies.” And yet professor Arti Dhand has found it a place of solace through the pandemic.

Turning to the past for comfort in the present

Studying the culture of the 17th and 18th centuries gave historian Keith Johnston a vision for how we could mark the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Johnston says we can draw inspiration from a 10-day festival hosted in Naples at the end of the 1656 epidemic. The Mahabharata is a 2,000 year old sacred text from India whose central message is “everyone dies.” And yet University of Toronto associate professor Arti Dhand has found it a place of solace through the horrors of the pandemic.

Face hunger: Craving connection during Covid-19

As a portrait artist, Riva Lehrer says faces are her whole life. She’s also someone with spina bifida - and that means people give all kinds of unwelcome attention to her body. When that happens, her face has always been her ally. With our faces necessarily hidden under masks - she is navigating a new way of connecting with the world.

When is it okay to feel schadenfreude? It depends.

John Portmann, author of When Bad Things Happen to Other People, has long mulled over the implications of schadenfreude, and how the word has been perceived over the centuries. It’s a common feeling, but not always a morally clear one.

Is the pandemic killing gossip? Why humans need to spill the tea

Writer Ian Leslie believes we’re missing out on a very human need when we can’t gossip. The murmured stories we’d normally share as we meet at a pub after work, or when we pass by neighbours, are the most informative, says Leslie. Without those conversations -- which we can’t have during a pandemic -- we risk living in a world that’s “a lot less human.”

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