Revisiting the TV shows of my youth

Bringing back wonderful memories of laughing, learning and engaging with TV shows that people have gradually forgotten

Revisiting the TV shows of my youthMost of us have been busy during COVID-19 with work and family. Fortunately, I recently found some spare time to revisit a few TV shows of my youth. The inspiration came from three social media posts crafted by Ed Conroy. He’s a cultural historian who founded Retrontario in 2006 to “celebrate the neglected corners of…

Is alien life floating in the clouds of Venus?

There’s a good chance the global shift from skepticism to possibility about extraterrestrial life is about to extend even further

Is alien life floating in the clouds of Venus?Is there life on other planets? That question has intrigued man for generations. Most people used to scoff at the suggestion of the existence of UFOs and tales of little green men from Mars (or worse). Societal attitudes have shifted due to our increased fascination with Roswell/UFO sightings, Phoenix Lights, Lubbock Lights, and depictions of…

The dangers of uncritical media consumption

Do we really believe that deception, dishonesty, manipulation and lack of accountability lead to peace, happiness and meaning in life?

The dangers of uncritical media consumptionIf we look honestly at the media that much of the world consumes, we shouldn’t be surprised that we’re living in a time of crisis. One of the goals of education is to develop the capacity for critical thinking in young people. This doesn’t mean we condemn anyone else, but it does mean we learn…

Fake news? Every era had its perpetrators

Early newspapers were often more interested in expressing the opinions of the owners than the facts

Fake news? Every era had its perpetratorsFake news is a popular term these days. It’s hard to imagine why. Much more inflammatory and even manufactured ‘news’ has been with us all through history. Pamphleteers of the French and American revolutions may be the most famous. Among the best was Thomas Paine. But the average person with an axe to grind and…

CRTC lacks perspective on vital telecom industry

When making daunting decisions, having people who have experience in industries under discussion is invaluable

CRTC lacks perspective on vital telecom industryNothing has been more vital to the functioning of Canada’s economy during the COVID-19 pandemic than the Internet. Yet recent appointments to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) reveal a government oblivious to its necessity. Nirmala Naidoo, for Alberta and the Northwest Territories, and Ellen Desmond, for the Atlantic and Nunavut, were added to…

Racist cop shows, biased news fuel public fears of crime

Portrayals of violent crime in pop culture and media are skewing people's perception of how likely it is to happen to them, says U of A expert

Racist cop shows, biased news fuel public fears of crimeU.S. President Donald Trump tweeted recently that defunding the police would “be good for Robbers & Rapists.” Last week, after signing his tepid executive order on policing, he proffered that “without police, there is chaos.” The reality, however, is that violent crime – the kind that people often think of when rationalizing the need for a…

Resisting the chaos in search of peace

Just as in his reality show, Trump’s need to crush opponents and win at all costs leads to chaos. History shows us how to defeat him

Resisting the chaos in search of peaceI admit Donald Trump is a lot smarter than I thought he was. In fact, he’s quite cunning. I also once thought that the U.S. president was very unpredictable. I just couldn’t make sense of what he was doing. The guile of Trump came into clear focus in a statement by Michael Nutter, the former…

Chernobyl disaster’s legacy still resonates

New interest in Chernobyl as the result of an HBO miniseries prompts U of A historian to reflect on 1986 nuclear disaster

Chernobyl disaster’s legacy still resonatesIt’s synonymous with nuclear disaster. It’s inspiring new scrutiny from historians. And it’s the subject of an award-winning HBO miniseries. When Chernobyl first made global headlines in April 1986, reporters trying to make sense of the accident looked to a young University of Alberta researcher. “Every single major news outlet was phoning up Edmonton,” said David…

The legend of Davy Crockett

Disney’s 1950s version of the life of King of the Wild Frontier was, well, mostly historically correct

The legend of Davy CrockettIf you were a child in the 1950s, the chances are that Davy Crockett was briefly a part of your life. On December 15, 1954, the ABC television network broadcast the first episode of a new Disney mini-series loosely based on his exploits, two more episodes followed in January and February 1955, and a concluding…

Could BBC subscription reform work at CBC?

Once a subscription model is implemented, BBC will only survive if it produces content people actually want to watch

Could BBC subscription reform work at CBC?In February, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said the government had “no intention” of imposing licensing requirements on news organisations and will not “try to regulate new content.” The clarification came after Guilbeault told CTV’s Evan Solomon precisely the opposite. During an episode of Question Period, he explained how Canadian news media organisations should be…
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