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,...

Presumption of innocence is taking a drubbing in Cape Breton this month as social media warriors, egged on by the Chronicle Herald, campaign against the driver of a car that struck and killed 17-year-old Joneil Hanna of North Sydney following a Leitches Creek prom party both young men attended....

Kendra Eash published a funny poem in McSweeney's about how big companies use stock video and portentous but vague voice-overs to create feel-good ads about their corporate brands. Then a stock footage company with a sense of humour set the poem to, well, stock footage. Explained the company, "The minute we saw Kendra Eash’s brilliant 'This Is a Generic Brand Video' on McSweeney’s, we knew it was our moral imperative to make that generic brand video so. No surprise, we had all the footage." Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is a case of commerce imitating art imitating commerce imitating emotion. H/T:...

Scientific American calls bullshit on wind chill: [I]f the air temperature is, say, 15 degrees F, and a 20–mile per hour wind makes the wind chill –2 degrees F, would the temperature of your exposed skin drop to that temperature? No. Your skin temperature cannot drop below the actual air temperature. The coldest your uncovered face could get would be 15 degrees F whether the wind is calm or howling at 40 mph...

Two years ago, I pointed to an admiring account of Nova Scotia's unorthodox online business and politics journal, AllNovaScotia.com, on the website of Harvard's prestigious Nieman Foundation for Journalism. Halifax freelancer Tim Currie described how a "tightly paywalled, social-media-ignoring, anti-copy-paste, gossipy news site became a dominant force in Nova Scotia." Last month, Kelly Toughill, director of the King's Journalism School in Halifax, fleshed out the story in an 18-page "case study" submitted to the equally prestigious Columbia University School of Journalism. From the abstract: This case tells the story of a small, online publication in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which has confounded the...

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...

That's not my headline. It's the hed on the New York Times' hilarious obituary of the founder of Screw magazine. Long before the internet brought newspapers to their knees, the industry suffered plenty of self-inflicted damage. Among the unnecessary wounds I would place the decision by big newspaper chains to turn obituaries into paid advertisements. The result has been a stream of unctuous prose authored by funeral directors and family members rendered inarticulate by grief. One of the glories of the New York Times is the standard it continues to uphold in this magnificent genre. Witness today's delicious piece on Goldstein: Mr. Goldstein did...

I see by the CBC that Nova Scotia Power wind turbines have laid waste to a Digby Neck emu farm, decimating a family's livelihood in the process. Twenty of Debi and Davey VanTassel's 27 emus succumbed to the lethal noise produced by NS Power's murderous machines in the three years since they began slicing the salt air over Digby. Or maybe it was 30 of their 38 birds—the CBC story gives both sets of figures. In any case, the emus were as hapless as they were flightless, no match for the death-dealing, green-power monsters. How do we know this? Because Debi Van Tassel, voice choked...