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Change is on the Horizon 2

Photo by James D. Schwartz, Algonquin Park Sunrise, 2008 You might have noticed some changes that have been happening on The Urban Country over the last couple months. This is no accident. I’m expanding the site to offer a much a wider variety of topics from a more diverse group of people. I’ve already recruited ...

Sketch It: Mountain of Coffee Cups

Sketch it! is a fun new section on The Urban Country where we feature random napkin sketches from our resident sketch artist and writer, George Pechtol (Against his will). This week’s sketch symbolizes the 1 million coffee cups that are trashed each day in Toronto that end up in landfills in a “Mountain of Coffee ...

Can’t Be Indifferent about Dead Ducks

(Photo Courtesy of ViaMoi on Flickr) Last spring, a large flock of ducks landed on a toxic basin of bitumen residue and other byproducts of oil sands extraction before drowning. Early estimates placed the size of the flock at 500, and the story made headlines around the globe, severely undercutting the Alberta government’s frantic efforts ...

Human-Powered Hydrofoil Kayak 2

The 4-man Olympic-style K4 boat gets off to a good start against the 1-man Hydrofoil “Flyak”. It doesn’t take long however for the Flyak to burst ahead of the 4-man boat at a speed of 27 KM/hour to win the 200M race. The Flyak starts out like a regular kayak, but once the paddler reaches ...

Sketch It: Urban Food Chain 1

Sketch it! is a fun new section on The Urban Country where we feature random napkin sketches from our resident sketch artist and writer, George Pechtol (Against his will).   “Urban Food Chain”, by George Pechtol

Who Controls Your Media? 1

  (Photo courtesy of fxgeek on Flickr) “Mediterranean becomes sea of death for hundreds” – CNN, March 31st “Chinese ‘Kill Weapon’ Gives U.S. Cause for Concern” – FOX News, March 31st “Two Killed Execution-Style in NFL Player’s Condo” – FOX News, March 31st “SHARE MORE PAIN” – Toronto Sun – March 31st For a period ...

What’s this about PETA? 2

(“Puppy Love” is courtesy of pietroizzo’s photostream on Flickr) I haven’t made up my mind on PETA yet (People for the ethical treatment of animals). I’ve heard a lot of things about them; I’ve heard a lot of badgering that they do to prove their point (which reminds me of the Greenpeace folks as well), ...

PIPP, PIPP, POORAY? Not so fast. 1

The (PIPP) Public, Private Investment Plan – Will it work? If successful, PIPP will be remembered and studied by future generations as one of the defining moments of American perseverance and ingenuity. Though still in its infancy, in all likelihood the Obama presidency will be singularly defined by its handling of the current crisis. Unveiled ...

At the Precipice of Credibility 5

On the inquiry investigating the death of Robert Dziekanski, an unsettling trend is apparent: as testimony grows, the RCMP’s credibility contracts. In a pattern that has become unsettlingly routine, each officer involved in Dziekanski’s death has seen his credibility diminish as his statements, provided to investigators shortly after the event, are read against the video ...

Trash Talk: Dry Cleaner Plastic Waste 2

Trash Talk is a special section where we expose the unnecessary waste that is generated by companies so that the urban country staff and readers can speak out to make a difference. I typically pay a visit to the Dry Cleaners about once a month to launder certain shirts (Let’s save the discussion about the ...