September 27, 2010

Solving the universe 1617
National

Solving the universe

NOT EVEN THE Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ont., is immune to the rhythms of the seasons. Summer there this year was quiet and casual, with several regular faces away on vacation. And yet there were plenty of signs that the little think tank is heading into an ambitious new era.
DESTINATION MARS 5253
Society

DESTINATION MARS

VIEWED THROUGH A telescope on a clear night, the planet Mars glows a soft, dullish red. It seems foreign and strange, but familiar, too: like Earth, Mars has polar ice caps, clouds drifting in its thin atmosphere (even snow), and changing seasons.
THE RIGHT TRACK? 3233
International

THE RIGHT TRACK?

IN THE SPRING of 2001, an aspiring politician scheduled a visit at the Witney and District Museum in England’s Oxfordshire County to drum up support among local residents for an election expected later that year. Stanley Jenkins, a curatorial adviser at the museum and a Labour Party supporter, made a brief note in the daybook: “Tory twit coming.”
What’s wrong with public schools (including the huge textbooks), and why bad teachers have to go 89
Interview

What’s wrong with public schools (including the huge textbooks), and why bad teachers have to go

BILL GATES, the co-founder of Microsoft and one of the world’s richest men, is also one of the world’s leading philanthropists. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is perhaps best known for fighting poverty and disease in the developing world, but its main domestic focus is on education.
Motherhood: the third act 6667
Society

Motherhood: the third act

WHEN MY FIRST book, The Mother Zone, came out in 1992, parenting was still a non-subject. Yes, I know, this is hard to believe, now that we are awash in “mother lit” and, most recently, a lot of hand-wringing about whether helicopter parents are undermining their grown kids’ independence.
The method man 6061
Society

The method man

SOMETIMES DANIEL LANOIS feels like he’s being held hostage by the ghosts in his head. The brittle hi-hat in Arthur Alexander’s Anna—a soul ballad that peaked at No. 68 on the pop charts in 1962, and is mostly remembered for the cover version the Beatles did the following year.
SCANDAL-RIDDEN BUT SUCH GOOD FUN 6263
Society

SCANDAL-RIDDEN BUT SUCH GOOD FUN

KINGS ARE NOT born: they are made by artificial hallucination, the playwright George Bernard Shaw once said. Well, on the face of it, the illusion is over for Europe’s monarchies, as scandals buffet the continent’s thrones. It’s been a rough patch.
Newsmakers 1213
This week

Newsmakers

Painting the town white François Croteau, the mayor of RosemontLa Petite-Patrie, Que., hopes to cool his corner of Earth one white roof at a time. He’s proposed a bylaw making white roofs mandatory on all new buildings in the Montreal borough so they generate less heat.
Ice-capades 4445
Business

Ice-capades

THE POPULAR CANADIAN view of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is not positive. He’s thought of as a bumbler, a shyster—and, perhaps above all, as a feeble imitation of his mentor, NBA commissioner David Stern. Sports commissioners are rarely beloved, but Stern may come as close as anyone since baseball’s Judge Landis; he has, unlike Bettman, succeeded in being perceived as an avuncular genius, a tribune of the fan.
A house made entirely of Lego 7071
MACLEAN'S BACK PAGES

A house made entirely of Lego

OPINIONS MAY DIFFER on what it takes to think of constructing a full-sized Lego house. On a spectrum running from “genius” to “arrested childhood,” observers might reasonably locate the idea just about anywhere. But as British TV host James May—a man who inspires the same gamut of responses from viewers—demonstrates in his new book, James May’s Lego House, it takes real ingenuity to actually build one.
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