EVERY DAY, SOME 20,000 tourists are corralled like cattle through the hallowed halls of the Vatican palace. Most breeze past artifacts that collectively form what is the most impressive collection of Western art in the world to reach the main attraction: the Sistine Chapel, whose 40-m-long vaulted ceiling Michelangelo, along with five assistants, toiled from 1508 to 1512 to paint.By JESSICA ALLEN
AS IF CANADA POST didn’t have enough problems. In the thick of a $2-billion modernization—with the Internet swallowing an ever-greater share of its lunch—came word that counterfeit stamps have been costing the 156-year-old institution an estimated $10 million in revenue each year.By CHARLIE GILLIS
Barack Obama’s decision to beef up anti-missile defences along America’s West Coast will be costly—more than $1 billion—but worth every penny if the message gets through to North Korea. In recent months, the regime of Kim Jong Un has started behaving as badly, and erratically, as his late father’s, with rocket launches, nuclear tests and increasingly bellicose declarations.
THESE ARE HARD times for the New Democratic Party in Saskatchewan—its ancestral wellspring, the mecca it faces at prayer. Not so long ago, the NDP’s provincial leader was typically, by virtue of his office, the second-most prominent figure in the movement nationwide.By COLBY COSH
RECENTLY, NEATORAMA, a popular blog, caused a big stir when it published a photograph taken at housewares emporium Bed Bath & Beyond. The snapshot was hardly scandalous: it revealed that the rows and rows of colourful towels stacked to the ceiling that greet shoppers in the chain’s stores are in fact a mirage—they’re actually a handful of towels draped over undulating foam-rubber backing to appear like stacks of towels.By ANNE KINGSTON
WITH ITS FIVE-INCH screen, 13-megapixel camera and software that senses whether you’re looking at it, Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 is “an almost theatrically overblown phone, stuffed to the plastic casing with hardware and features,” according to PC Magazine.By CHRIS SORENSEN
ON MARCH 28, Maclean’s hosts “Health Care in Canada: What Makes Us Sick?,” a town-hall discussion at the Mack Theatre, Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown. The free event—focusing on the social conditions that impact the health and longevity of Canadians—is held in conjunction with the Canadian Medical Association (CMA).By KEN MACQUEEN
QUEBECERS AND ARGENTINES share deep Catholic roots, a hot-blooded Latin temperament and a general wariness of the Church’s place in their respective societies. Catholicism is on the wane in both, to the benefit of evangelical Christianity in Argentina and secularism in Quebec.By MARTIN PATRIQUIN
JODY COLERO PAUSED, dropped the phone, and asked a composer in his Toronto studio to play with the guitar line in the track they were writing: “Can you take anything of any interest out of this please?” He was kidding, but only partly. Colero runs Silent Joe, a company that finds and writes music to make—or break—an advertisement.By ROSEMARY WESTWOOD
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