After a year of pain, depression and even suicidal thoughts following a traumatic concussion, Jane McGonigal decided to use her skills as a California-based digital game designer to aid her recovery. Her game of “power-ups,” quests and bad guys proved so effective, she created the digital version, SuperBetter, a therapeutic and research tool played by almost 500,000 people.By KEN MACQUEEN
FROM THE MOMENT China’s economy lifted off last decade, the world was spellbound by its transformation from poverty-stricken backwater to economic superpower, the entire country at times resembling one massive construction site. And so we marvelled at reports that China was building 12 to 24 megacities a year, a full-size replica of Manhattan, a full-size replica of the Titanic (yes, the Titanic), at least one world-scale power plant each week, and even a plan, unveiled two years ago, to erect the world’s tallest skyscraper in under three months.
FOR MANY SYRIANS, the hand gesture many know as the peace sign instead serves to symbolize victory. It’s an unexpected sentiment for some child refugees, who share blankets at nighttime with two other people, who work picking olives or peas instead of going to school, and who have fathers in jail or mothers killed by bombs in a fouryear-old civil war.By MEAGAN CAMPBELL
I was pleased to note that, out of the eight Canadian astronauts who travelled in space (“The other side of the sky,” The Space Issue, Sept. 7), six made reference to Earth, which Robert Thirsk called “a tiny fragile oasis of life” whose preservation is most important to human survival.
TO HEAR ELIZABETH May describe it, you’d think the Green party was caught urinating in the NDP’s coffee mugs. That’s how nasty the battle between the Greens and the NDP is shaping up on Vancouver Island. “Every Green volunteer knows that whenever another campaign is mean to you, it’s always the NDP,” the Green party leader told me recently, sounding vaguely as though we were having a recess conversation in junior high.By EVAN SOLOMON
CRITICS SLAMMING WHAT they say has been limited—and slow—assistance from the Canadian government to Syrians and Iraqis displaced by civil war and Islamic State violence have forced the Conservatives onto the defensive since the migrant crisis exploded in 2012.
THERE’S ONE MEMORY Kaya Oren can’t seem to shake. It haunts him every time he opens the shutters of his bar overlooking the patio at the Can Hotel. So much so that he finds himself looking away, focusing his gaze on something other than the miniature children’s pool attached to its full-sized adult counterpart.By Adnan R. Khan, Jonathon Gatehouse, Nancy Macdonald
For anyone who would rather have anything other than a Conservative government—witness the Burford, Ont., farmer who has plowed “Anybody but Harper” into his field—the math must seem tantalizing. In 2011, 60.4 per cent of voters cast a ballot for someone other than a Conservative candidate.By AARON WHERRY
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