Brian Ward, managing editor of the Halifax Chronicle Herald, has asked me to correct two statements about reporter Andrew Rankin in my August 2 post about the fatal prom night car accident in Leitches Creek. Here are his complaints, my response, and responses from the Laffin Family,...

Last week, the union that represents striking Halifax Herald journalists posted an unflattering photo of Mike Savage on its Facebook page, together with a paragraph condemning the mayor for breezing past the strikers' picket line. Can this be true? I thought. Did Savage really cross the picket line and enter the Herald Building? It was not true. The line Savage crossed was nowhere near the strikers' workplace. It was a secondary picket of a downtown hotel where the Greater Halifax Partnership, a business promotion organization of which Savage is a director, was holding an awards ceremony. The newspaper was a co-sponsor of the event, and CEO Mark Lever had been scheduled to present...

To make sport of bad English translations by non-English speakers is to flirt with, nay dive headfirst into, unbecoming condescension. But sometimes, it's irresistible. "Please use it referring to as equipped," has been an all-purpose mantra in my house ever since those words arrived on the wrapper of a Honda Civic air filter sometime in the 1980s. Last weekend, my son Silas received a set of Chinese-made Edifier speakers he had ordered on line. Among the packaging, he found this poetic brand testimonial: I believe this can only be fully appreciated as blank verse: Big surprise, astonishment, and enjoyment. Ever from the sparkles of ideas...

See if this sounds familiar: (1)  A teenage girl becomes involved in sexual activity that most grownups, regardless of their own sexual behaviour as teens, find shocking and horrific. (2)  The girl’s parent or parents learn of the activity and are utterly devastated. (3)  A family crisis ensues, with outcomes that can range from good to horrendous. (4)  In their struggle to process shocking new information about the child they love, the distraught parent or parents construct a frame to explain and cope with this cognitive dissonance. (5)  The frame invariably posits the existence of a large but hitherto unacknowledged social problem that explains how...

Lisa reigned through the '60s, Jennifer in the 70's and early 80s, before yielding to Jessica. Jezebel assembled the map gif from data published annually by the US Social Security Administration (which issues social security cards at birth). At the SSA website, you can look at data for the last 100 years, wherein you will find that Mary held sway from 1911 through 1946, when Linda took the lead before yielding to Mary again from 1953 through 1961. Anyone got data from Canada?...

I like to think my home town of Kempt Head  (pop. 21) is the smallest place on earth to boast both a heavyweight champion of the world and a Nobel Prize winner. The champ, who was also a war hero, died in 1942. We lost the Nobel laureate this week. The heavyweight champ was of the unofficial variety. Jack Munroe was born June 21, 1877, at Munroe's Hill, Kempt Head. In December, 1902, he was working at a mining camp in Montana when the heavyweight champion of the day, Jim Jeffries, passed through Butte on a barnstorming tour. In each city, Jeffries...

Last month, University of Massachusetts scientists working with laboratory cell cultures said they had succeeded in suppressing the extra chromosome associated with Down syndrome, a technique they predicted could lead to treatments targeted at the symptoms of the condition. Halifax resident Renee Forrestall, whose 22-year-old daughter Marie Webb has Down Syndrome, condemned the research as akin to cultural genocide. We've got a genetically similar community, visible minority who are being targeted and terminated globally. People think, "Well, this is the way it is and these people just shouldn't be." A friend who knows I have identical twin grandchildren with Down Syndrome sought my...

Huffington Post's Canadian edition yesterday published an investigative report by a team of student journalists from the University of King's College detailing the housing crisis facing Nova Scotians with intelectual disabilities. There is not enough room in the system for all of the people who need a place to live. They languish on waiting lists that are hundreds of names long. Their families, in turn, must support them with scant financial, caregiving or community programming resources. Eventually the families get too old or sick to do it, making the situation for their relatives in rehab even worse. With so little room, placements...

When Dan Falvey, teaching assistant and journeyman Halifax bar server, died far too young last June, an exceptional outpouring of grief and affection marked the event. I never saw Dan in a school setting, but he served me many times. He was simply superb at a job that is too often under-appreciated for both difficulty and impact. Writing in the Coast, Tim Bousquet described him as "hands-down the most energetic server imaginable." Dan carried out all the basics with exemplary grace, and he was also wickedly funny. You looked forward to his visits to your table, because his dry, dead-pan humor, coupled with...