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23 Apr
Casual conversation has been all but eliminated in the pandemic. Whether you love small talk or hate it, science shows that the lack of it has an impact on your mood and energy—and can contribute to burnout. More here:… 1/5 #COVID19
What is “small talk”? Well, it’s all those lighthearted, superficial, polite, and predictable conversations, writes @ahannahseo. It’s rote, it’s a bit boring, but the data show it’s terribly important. Read the full story here:… 2/5 #Pandemic #Science
In the world of social distancing, one where public life has largely disappeared, most conversation has been replaced by emails, texts, and an endless queue of scheduled calls. Is the lack of small talk a reason why so many people feel disoriented?… 3/5
Read 5 tweets
23 Apr
Stay tuned for a Twitter takeover by @ktoughill talking about her cover story on immigration for the May edition of @thewalrus:… 1/14
Hi everyone! I’m @ktoughill, here to tell you the story behind my article on how immigration really works. Meet Yiyun, who lived with my family as an international student. She was the inspiration for this piece. 2/14
Yiyun graduated summa cum laude from a top Canadian university but then couldn’t figure out how to realize her dream of making Canada her permanent home. The official info was just too complicated. #intled #cdnimm 3/14
Read 14 tweets
9 Apr
British Columbia’s old-growth forest battle is heating up. @hmrustad, a features editor at The Walrus, will take over @thewalrus account to explain more. For a backgrounder, here’s his story from 2016:… 1/9
Hi everyone, this is @hmrustad. My 2016 article was about a single Vancouver Island tree that was saved by a logger. Big Lonely Doug is a twenty-storey-tall Douglas fir and is estimated to be 1,000 years old.… 2/9
It’s been thirty years since activists blockaded roads near Clayoquot Sound and Carmanah Valley, both on Vancouver Island, in protest of logging old-growth forests. In Clayoquot, nearly a thousand protestors were arrested.… 3/9
Read 9 tweets
9 Apr
Stay tuned for a Twitter takeover by @intothemelwoods talking about her pandemic love letter to karaoke:… 1/14
Hi everyone! I’m @intothemelwoods, here to tell you the story behind my article about what we all lost when the pandemic shut karaoke down. 2/14
First of all, I LOVE karaoke. In the “before times,” every few weeks, you could find me at Funky Winker Beans, in Vancouver, doing my very best Alanis Morissette impression on the main stage. 3/14
Read 14 tweets
8 Apr
Early in the pandemic, @anne_theriault scrolled across some plush toys being sold online. But they weren’t teddy bears; they were plague doctors, and they're popular. Are these kinds of toys helping people navigate discomfort around death and disease?… 1/6
“After admitting to myself that I wanted one,” writes @anne_theriault, “my main misgiving was that the producers of the toy, a US-based company called Squishable, might be trying to profit off of the mounting COVID-19 death toll.” Read the story here:… 2/6
The plushies are created by @squishable, a company known for its quirky designs. Squishable typically releases a few limited-edition designs a year. In the case of the Mysterious Doctor Plague, it has already been restocked several times. More here:… 3/6
Read 6 tweets
7 Apr
Today is #WorldHealthDay. Over the past year, health care has been top of mind for everyone around the world. And it has been no different for the team at @thewalrus. Here are some stories, talks, and podcasts that we’re thinking about (thread ahead!)
Early in the pandemic, The Walrus team started Record of a Pandemic, which includes stories of what everyone is going through during this unusual time. Check out the series here: #WorldHealthDay
In the #SlaightPrize–nominated article “Your Brain on COVID-19,” science writer Carolyn Abraham explains why our minds are not designed to process threats like the coronavirus pandemic. #WorldHealthDay…
Read 11 tweets
7 Apr
The term “fake news” entered the public lexicon circa 2016, during the US presidential election, when the internet was flooded with inaccurate information. Now, as @vivianefairbank explains, fact-checking is on the rise. More here:… 1/7
In 2014, there were fewer than sixty initiatives around the world focused exclusively on checking others’ claims. Today, there are more than 300. Read about the rise of fact-checking here:… 2/7
The growing instinct to fact-check isn’t particular to journalists either: it’s part of a growing cultural movement of revision and debunking. Podcasts like @revhistpodcast and @yourewrongabout get listeners to think of well-known stories differently.… 3/7
Read 7 tweets
6 Apr
When the first-wave lockdowns happened in March 2020, writer @KBabstock was kept afloat by financial assistance from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Then, suddenly, the government demanded the money back. More here:… 1/5
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) wanted proof that @KBabstock’s 2019 income had been more than $5,000 to confirm eligibility for CERB. But it refused to count the arts grant he had received that year as income and asked him to repay $10,000. More here:… 2/5
Like many writers, @KBabstock was already financially precarious. Then, COVID-19. His University of Toronto course was cancelled. Three residency/fellowship opportunities: cancelled. His next book: bumped from spring to fall. Prospects looked grim.… 3/5
Read 6 tweets
5 Apr
From the shared microphones to the passed-around laminated song lists caked in stale beer, a karaoke bar is a hotspot for viral transmission. Many jurisdictions have banned most karaoke-like activities. So when will karaoke be back? More here:… 1/6 #COVID19
Before the pandemic, @intothemelwoods would rarely go two weeks without a trip to a karaoke bar. Belting out songs can be both “a stimulant and an antidepressant” for some, or a means of self-discovery.… 2/6
But multiple studies have shown exactly how bad of an idea public singing is in this moment: when a person projects their voice, they also project those pesky respiratory droplets that can carry the coronavirus. Read @intothemelwoods’s article here:… 3/6
Read 6 tweets
1 Mar
In the US, nearly one in 100 people have OCD, with about half of those cases being severe. In Canada, 1 percent will experience an episode. And @nerdygirly is one of them. But, in media portrayals, the disorder often seems like a benign quirk.… 1/5
When she was thirteen, @nerdygirly started to notice she was acting in ways that resembled obsessive-compulsive disorder. These behaviours started to become part of her daily routine. More here:… 2/5
“I lose hours of every day to various checking rituals—making sure my bathtub tap isn’t dripping, or my hair straightener is off, or my apartment door is locked,” writes @nerdygirly. Read her full essay about living with OCD here:… 3/5 #Mentalhealth
Read 5 tweets
17 Feb
Thousands of migrants cross the southern US border every month. Since 2017, a new eye-scanning system has been used to verify their identities. But how regulated are these biometric technologies? More here:… 1/7
Canada has been researching and piloting facial recognition at its borders for a few years. Based on publicly available information, we haven’t yet implemented biometric identification on as large a scale as the US has.… 2/7
@HilaryBeaumont examines how quickly the use of these technologies is increasing at the southern US border, which is perhaps our best way of getting a glimpse of what may be in our own future.… 3/7
Read 7 tweets
16 Feb
Many of us have been living in lockdown, in some way or another, over the past year—from lockdown remote working to lockdown co-living to lockdown dating to lockdown parenting. But what does “lockdown” even mean? Copy editor @jonahbrunet finds out:… 1/5
In the well-worn copy of the second-edition Canadian Oxford Dictionary that is used at @thewalrus, “lockdown” is defined as “the confining of prisoners to their cells, esp. to gain control during a riot etc.”… 2/5
Online, the Oxford English Dictionary is more expansive, defining it as: “a state of isolation, containment, or restricted access” or “the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction, and access to public spaces.”… 3/5
Read 5 tweets
4 Dec 20
Stay tuned for a Twitter takeover by @NoLore talking about her latest book, Take Back the Fight. Read an excerpt from it here:… 1/13
Hi everyone! I’m @NoLore, here to tell you the story behind my latest book, on how feminism can confront government in the digital age.… 2/13
When Justin Trudeau said “because it’s 2015,” his attempt at a feminist mic drop resonated with many people who had long awaited a government leader to put feminism front and centre. 3/13
Read 13 tweets
3 Dec 20
When the Canada–US border was closed to help control the spread of COVID-19, it did nothing to stop the newest American export from travelling northward. QAnon surged into the country with the rise of data usage among the anxious housebound. More here:… 1/5
@Concordia Public Scholar @_MAArgentino estimates that, at their height this summer, Canadian QAnon Facebook groups boasted more than 100,000 members. Read @matthewremski’s article here:… 2/5
At this point, security analysts generally agree that QAnon in Canada is disorganized but that it may bolster existing extremist groups and could inspire lone-wolf attacks. Find out more here:… 3/5
Read 5 tweets
2 Dec 20
Most people are now priced out of middle class life. To afford it, we’re working longer and harder—and taking on more debt—than ever before. We’re also more alienated and more nervous about our futures. Read @maxfawcett’s article here:… 1/5 #housing
As part of the Living Rooms series, @maxfawcett questions whether the middle class, at least as we’ve come to understand it, will go extinct. Can we redefine a middle class that aligns with the current technological, social, and financial realities?… 2/5
Due to the pandemic, over 1 million Canadians have suddenly lost their incomes, making the middle class even more precarious. According to a recent @Ipsos poll, almost a third of Canadians can’t pay their bills without sinking deeper into debt.… 3/5
Read 5 tweets
1 Dec 20
The pandemic has been hard on parents, and many have been forced to choose between going back to work and caring for their children. Setting up high-quality universal child care would benefit children, families, and the country’s economy. More here:… 1/5
Just how much does child care set families back? In Vancouver, the average cost of infant daycare is $1,400 a month. The annual cost of child care for a one-year-old can be more than twice that of undergrad tuition. Read @AnneCasselman's article here:… 2/5
It may seem expensive to roll out a national child care program. But, as an investment, universal child care has higher rates of return than those of dollars invested in primary, secondary, or postsecondary education. Full article here:… 3/5 #COVID19
Read 5 tweets
26 Nov 20
Joe Biden will be the next president of the US, but the rot at the heart of American democracy will not go away. In the years ahead, the US will have to grapple with three bleak truths. Want to know what they are? Read on:… 1/5
First, Trump—and Trumpism—is here to stay. Biden received more votes than any candidate in US history. Trump, despite four years of chaos, received the second most. The election was supposed to be an unambiguous repudiation of his politics. It wasn’t.… 2/5
If Trump doesn’t run again in 2024, his supporters—like Mike Pence—will compete to inherit his mantle. Or could there even be a Trump dynasty? Could we see Don Jr. or Ivanka try to run? More here:… 3/5
Read 5 tweets
25 Nov 20
More than just a design trend, tiny living has become a social movement. As a lifestyle, its features are appealing: a lower cost of living, more environmentally conscious habits, and most importantly, the promise of living mortgage and debt free.… 1/6
As part of the digital series Living Rooms, @CristinaMDAmico explains that the tiny house isn't a full-blown solution to our housing problems because the crisis is far too complex to be solved by individual consumer choices. More here:… 2/6
The tiny-house fantasy imagines that the solution to a nation’s housing crisis lies with the individual as opposed to with collective action and broad-based social change. Read @CristinaMDAmico’s full article here:… 3/6
Read 6 tweets
20 Nov 20
With shorter days and colder temperatures on the horizon, psychologists warn that a locked-down winter will only heighten anxiety when "supports and strategies we’ve previously turned to for relief are no longer accessible," writes @gabrielledrolet.… 1/6
This winter will pose many new challenges: subzero temperatures will make it hard to gather outdoors, early sunsets will make for gloomier days in quarantine, and many holiday visits will be cancelled. Full article here:… 2/6
The #MentalHealth toll of the pandemic has already been well documented: financial loss, conflicting gov't messaging, and the threat of infection have all increased daily stress levels. How much worse will it be during winter? Read on:… 3/6
Read 6 tweets
11 Nov 20
Home ownership for many millennials will never be a reality. Even if you’re lucky enough to get help from your parents, so many in this generation have had to work harder, earn less, and have their adulthood shaped by precarity, writes @kelkord.… 1/6
In the first part of a new digital series on housing and home by The Walrus, @kelkord looks at the rise of the roommate. In the US, the 2008 recession propelled an adult-roommate boom that never ended. More here:… 2/6
It’s a trend in Canada too, where urban co-living startups, like Roost and SoulRooms, have adopted the broader turn toward “adult dorm” housing setups seen in cities from Dublin to New York.… 3/6
Read 7 tweets
10 Nov 20
Stories of Mi’kmaw fishers’ boats being burned and sunk have made headlines on the East Coast for years. But recent clashes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishers have catapulted into national and international media. Read @zoehtennant's story… 1/6
For this investigation, @zoehtennant obtained hundreds of pages of confidential documents and interviewed Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishers, leaders, and legal experts. Read about Canada's new lobster wars:… 2/6
Fisheries officers have been known to go undercover, to slip out onto the water in the middle of the night to microchip lobsters in Mi’kmaw fishers’ pots in order to try to trace the shellfish. And they’ve been known for more overt operations too.… 3/6
Read 6 tweets