Contrarian's aviation guru, Adrian Noskwith, thinks the Porter Airlines 50%-off sale may have played a role in the weird pricing I encountered flying from Toronto to Sydney (as Joe MacKay argued), but it's not the whole story. Airline pricing is a weird science at the best of times. When Porter is whipping Air Canada's ass out of Toronto Island, as they are at the moment, this drives airline pricing executives to do even weirder things. But why is it consistently cheaper to fly from Sydney to St. Johns (via Halifax) than from Sydney to Halifax? To check this claim, I priced one-way Air Canada...

Lightning flashes around the ash plume rising from the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano Entrelagos, Chile, on Sunday (Reuters photo by Carlos Gutierrez). Dormant for half a century, the volcano erupted in south-central Chile Saturday, throwing ash more than 10 km into the sky, as winds propelled to toward Argentina, prompting the evacuation of several thousand residents. José Pujol, graphics editor of the Spanish website público.es has assembled a stunning selection of photos of the eruption. Here’s one more, by Ian Salas of the Spanish news agency EFE. H/T: Adrian Noskwith...

Scott Logan, who formerly served as Nova Scotia's Assistant Deputy Minister of Health Promotions, responds to our observation that John F. Kennedy would seem skinny today: This piece and the previous on "Your Lying Pants" speak so graphically to socialized norms. When the majority of people smoked it was "cool." When—for various reasons—the tipping point was reached where the majority were non-smokers, the efforts to reduce tobacco's harmful impact on society gained great momentum.  In tobacco, the strategy was based on "re-normalizing" society's previous normal view of smoking. In other words the "new cool" was re-cast in a non-smoking image. The health...

Whenever business kept him overnight in Halifax, Irving Schwartz liked to stay at the Lord Nelson Hotel, as does his son-in-law and protégé, Adrian Noskwith. Late Monday night, Adrian checked into the Lord Nelson for the first time since Irving's death. On the desk in his suite he found a sympathy card signed by the hotel manager and 30 hotel staff. [W.R. MacAskill photo.]...