Hamilton: city of vice

When Johnny “Pops” Papalia, Godfather of the Hamilton Mafia, was shot on May 31, 1997, he left behind a power vacuum in organized crime in Ontario that would eventually become a revolution. As the head of the Hamilton Mafia, Johnny Pops had just one rule: his people could not deal[Read More…]

Dissecting art

Nicholas Ruddock’s debut novel, The Parabolist, is told through interlacing narratives that pivot around a group of University of Toronto medical students in 1975, taught by Roberto Moreno. Moreno is a recently immigrated Mexican poet and member of the (fictional) parabolist movement, a group which “arranges words and ideas in such a way that the energy input burns.

Can-Lit chronicle picks the best

Part anthology of summaries and essays, part intro to Can-Lit survey, and part ode to reading, T.F. Rigelhof’s Hooked on Canadian Books is a tribute to English-language Canadian fiction writing since 1984. At first, the introduction and much of the tone of the book seems self-indulgent and self-important.

Something in the Air

In this age of greenhouse gasses and smog advisories, air pollution has gotten a pretty bad name, and rightly so. But it still looks pretty trippy. Air pollution is divided into four categories: criteria air contaminates (which create smog and acid rain), persistent organic pollutants (which travel well and bioaccumulate in body tissues), heavy metals (which enter the food and water supply) and toxins (which will, in one way or another, kill you).

The Canadian War on Queers tells personal accounts of prejudice

Gary Kinsman and Patrizia Gentile’s The Canadian War on Queers: National Security as Sexual Regulation discusses the under-the-radar – and sometimes officially sanctioned – targeting of gays and lesbians as security threats from the 1950s to the 1990s. Written from – and told through – a series of first-hand accounts combined with documents obtained under the Access to Information Act, Kinsman and Gentile discuss the history of queer Canadians in a way that is passionate and personal.

Three-ingredient peanut butter cookies

My peanut butter cookie repertoire used to consist of delicious, crispy cookies made from a recipe handed down from my grandmother. But they had nine ingredients in them, and who has that kind of time? These cookies have only three ingredients in them, and while they come with a little less childhood nostalgia, they are unbelievably delicious.

Custom cold-brewed coffee

There are two ways to make cold coffee: normal coffee that’s been cooled, and cold-brewed coffee. The second is far more delicious and satisfying. There is a notable difference between letting hot coffee cool off and cold brewing it specifically. Cold-brewed coffee is less acidic and bitter, and a lot more flavourful-particularly if you’ve been using ice cubes to cool down regular coffee instead.

Sex, violence, and more violence

Joy Fielding’s The Wild Zone begins when a personal trainer, a dishonourably discharged Afghanistan war veteran, and a Princeton philosophy Ph.D. walk into a bar and make a bet over who can sleep with the pretty, quiet girl alone with her martini. Suzy Bigelow, naturally, has secrets and an agenda of her own, and she leads them all on a wild and deadly ride which, though two-dimensional, is remarkably compelling.

Tofu vegetable stir-fry at the drop of a hat

Stir-frying random ingredients is a simple way to cook an impressive meal without culinary skill or expertise. I lack all three, but I can still make a passable tofu stir-fry without setting something on fire. The following recipe takes 10-30 minutes to prepare, depending on how many vegetables you use, and about 10 minutes to actually cook.

CD REVIEWS: Holly Miranda: The Magician’s Private Library

Holly Miranda is better known as the frontwoman for The Jealous Girlfriends, a Brooklyn-based rock band. Now flying solo, the indie-pop newcomer’s full-length debut, The Magician’s Private Library, shows that she’s got a flavour of her own. Produced by Dave Siteck of TV on the Radio, the album was reportedly recorded primarily between 7 p.

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