Can our economy grow indefinitely given the limits of the global ecosystem? And is there some way for progress to continue without endless growth?
On September 28, 1791, France became the first country to emancipate Jews fully in the modern world. What took so long? And why is Antisemitism so pervasive and persistent.
Can you tell me what is going on at the Rebel? Can I in all conscience support it?”
On September 21 of 1937, a small and whimsical children’s book by an apparently dry Oxford professor appeared. The Hobbit has its failings, to the point that the movies are actually better than the book, very much unlike the film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings. But it already contained the germ of the powerful moral vision that was to blossom into Tolkien’s unforgettable and transformative trilogy.
What should we do about North Korea?
Why do buildings keep getting uglier, more ungainly and decadent? Why can’t we today match the artful simplicity of ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern monumental architecture?
Making the first solo crossing of the Atlantic in a gas balloon in 1984 rather missed the golden age of ballooning, and it’s an achievement with a few asterisks attached. But it’s still a heck of an achievement by Joe Kittinger, and reminds us there are so many ways there are to excel in so many areas.
In The Origins of the Second World War, British historian A.J.P. Taylor argues that Hitler, far from having a grand strategic plan for world conquest, had a moderate foreign policy similar to most German politicians at the time and did not intend to start a major European war. Is that a reasonable view?
Is it OK to punch a Nazi?
Two naval battles that began on August 30 remind us of the outsized geopolitical importance of the West.
What do Canadians need to know about the disasters socialism has caused around the world through history, and its deceptive appeal even today?
Stepped down as chairman of the committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. It was something of a hapless performance. And in one sense, Gorbachev can and should be seen as a bumbler. But the most important thing about him was a fundamental decency that meant the end of communism was remarkably bloodless.
If the planet stopped using fossil fuels, right now...by how much would the planet cool?
How can a society ensure that its legal code respects natural law?
A recent weather network article made outlandish claims about man-made climate change, including that average summer temperatures in Ottawa would rise from 20 to 27 degrees Centigrade by 2200 unless by giving up fossil fuels we limited it to 24 degrees. How does one counter such outlandish claims?
With the new website I seem to have a better view of the "studio" in which you record your replies to Ask the Professor. While watching the latest I noticed that on the bookshelf over your left shoulder is a copy of an anthology of Mickey Spillane novels. Mickey Spillane? Not what I expected to find on John Robson's bookshelf.
A sesquicentennial question: How did we progress from the Tory Family Compact to the Liberal Laurentian elite in 150 years, if that’s progress?
What makes a building beautiful? Is it the "golden ratio" in its proportions, its ornamentation, something else or a combination of these and other factors?