jrcoggins

Why Is It So Hard to Give a Clear Answer?

University professors are like gods. Not in the sense of being wise and all-knowing. Nor in the sense of being good and benevolent. They are godlike in the sense of being powerful beings. Especially when it comes to graduate students. The success of undergraduate students, those enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program, is determined by […]

Black Holes and Other Investments

Let me ask you a question. As an investor, would you invest in BlackBerry Limited? This is a company whose sales dropped from almost $20 billion a year in 2011 to less than 1 billion in 2018. This is a company that racked up losses of over $10 billion between 2013 and 2017. Its work […]

Stephen Harper’s Other Book: The Politics of Hockey

Stephen Harper’s Other Book: The Politics of Hockey

Stephen Harper’s new book, Right Here Right Now, is receiving widespread attention and stirring considerable debate. Even those who disagree with his political observations have to agree that it is a formidable book that cannot be ignored. That is far different from the response to his previous book. Reviewers never quite knew what to do […]

The Harsh Winds of Winter

People in Eastern and Central Canada have no idea how greatly we suffer when winter strikes here in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. Take Sunday, for instance. We had a whole inch of blowing snow. This reduced visibility and created slippery conditions, causing a ten-car pileup and shutting down the Trans-Canada Highway. Here in this part […]

Merry

People often listen to and even sing songs without understanding what they are singing. A case in point is “God rest ye merry gentlemen.” Why would the composer of this Christmas carol wish God to give rest to “merry gentlemen”? Is it that they were partying too much and are in need of rest? No. […]

Of Mice and Men

Abbotsford writer Jerry Raaf’s new novel is all about mice. The Mice in Sophie’s Mattress— Giuseppe, Patrizio,Angelo, and dozens of others—are living a happy existence in an old mattress in an old farmhouse. The house is safe and warm, and there is an abundance of food. All goes well until the farmer’s wife, Sophie Brunzhoffa, […]

Manufactured Authoritativeness and Contrived Objectivity

I have noticed a disturbing trend in modern news media, particularly television news. It is a tendency to engage in something I would call “manufactured authoritativeness” or “contrived objectivity.” What I mean is the increasing use of statements such as the following in news stories. Many news reports start with a statement such as “There […]