Paddling Newfoundland

Stand-up paddleboarding is usually associated with places defined by warm waters. Like, say, Belize. Newfoundland, where the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast soars to a summer average of about 12°C (and a balmy 15°C or so off the west coast), is not one of these places. My trip to the island a couple weeks ago…

Two days, two walks, one with fire

I had an interesting weekend…. On Saturday, Innu surgeon Dr. Stanley Vollant (that’s him on the left with Justin Trudeau and Liberal aboriginal affairs critic Carolyn Bennett) came to Ottawa on the latest leg of his Innu Meshkenu walking project, a five-year 6,000-kilometre series of walks between every First Nations community in eastern and central…

Walking with robots

Last week, I went to Carleton University’s Human Computer Interaction building to interview Richard Beranek, the CEO and co-founder of Ottawa-based rehabilitation robotics company GaitTronics, a two-year-old spin-off from the university’s Advanced Biomechatronics and Locomotion Laboratory. With industrial design support from local consultancy The Federal, Beranek and his colleagues have created SoloWalk, which is essentially a robot that can…

Boots on the street

In light of what’s happening in Ferguson, Missouri, this week, here’s a look at an American police department that’s taking positive steps to improve relations with citizens in an impoverished neighbourhood — an article I wrote last year for The Economist about Philadelphia’s innovative foot patrol program.

Now that’s urban renewal

When a freeway becomes a river, this is what happens. The Cheonggyecheon Freeway used to carry nearly 170,000 vehicles through the heart of Seoul, South Korea, every day. A decade ago, in the face of angry protests, a crusading mayor torn down the elevated 16-lane highway, replacing it with an urban boulevard and park, and “daylighting”…

New Year’s revolution

An oldie but a goodie, Dr. Mike Evans’ smash-hit video (3.7 million views and counting) on the single most constructive thing you can do for your health. It came to mind, yet again, because of Doc Evans’ advice in today’s Globe and Mail, a new-year list of things to do to be more healthy this…