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University of Toronto


  • Originally published 06/08/2013

    How Did Rob Ford Get Elected Mayor of Toronto, Anyway?

    Credit: Wiki CommonsNow that allegations that Toronto mayor Rob Ford was videoed smoked crack in his drug dealer’s apartment have propelled him into headlines around the globe (though sadly the video, which was being offered to the highest bidder by his dealer, has for the moment disappeared), it seems an apropos moment to take a look back at Ford's storied career.

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    Mark Kingwell: The Barbed Gift of Leisure

    Mark Kingwell is a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto. His most recent book is Unruly Voices: Essays on Democracy, Civility, and the Human Imagination (Biblioasis, 2012).A magazine ad campaign running in my hometown quotes a youngster who wants to study computer science, he says, so he can "invent a robot that will make his bed for him." I admire the focus of this future genius. I, too, remember how the enforced daily reconstruction of my bed—an order destined only for destruction later that very day—somehow combined the worst aspects of futility, drudgery, and boredom that attended all household chores. By comparison, doing the dishes or raking the yard stood out as tasks that glimmered with teleological energy, activities that, if not exactly creative, at least smacked of purpose.

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