Tag Archive for science

Review of The 40s: The Story of A Decade (New Yorker)

Monuments Men, a new movie directed by George Clooney and starring Clooney and an impressive roster of A-list actors, tells the story of the special Allied unit tasked with rescuing artistic treasures looted by the Nazis from European museums and galleries during World War Two. The film is based loosely on Robert Edsel’s 2009 book…

Review: “The Juggler’s Children,” by Carolyn Abraham

The late eminent American genealogist Rabbi Malcolm Stern once observed that there is nothing so fascinating to a person as his own genealogical research, and often, nothing so boring as being stuck at a dinner table with a family-tree enthusiast who insists upon endlessly discussing their latest research. With her recent book The Juggler’s Children:…

Story of Toronto’s First Telephones (1922)

They Were Used for Amusement by Dr. A. M. Rosebrugh, Who Secured Instruments from Dr. Bell, Inventor Wires Ran on Poles of Fire Alarm System Dr. Rosebrugh Tested a Line to Hamilton and Started the First Telephone Company in Ontario From the Toronto Star Weekly, September 9, 1922 By Knight N. Day Toronto has had…

Geological History of North Toronto

From Tales of North Toronto II, ca 1950 by Lyman B. Jackes North Toronto is, geologically speaking, very different from the remainder of the city. Some eight or nine thousand years ago, what is now North Toronto was the beach land of a great lake. The level of the water is clearly marked today in…

The Bible and modern cosmology in perfect harmony

The Biblical account of the creation of the universe is in “complete and remarkable agreement” with the latest findings of modern cosmology, notes a leading Israeli physicist who has written a book on the subject. “At least regarding the first chapter of Genesis, the era of contradiction between Torah and science is over,” says Professor…

Obit: A. Douglas Tushingham, ROM archaeologist (1914-2002)

A. Douglas Tushingham, the Royal Ontario Museum’s chief archaeologist for 27 years, participated in many major international digs, including several in Jerusalem and Jericho with the eminent British archaeologist Dame Kathleen Kenyon, yet his greatest moment of glory may have come as a result of a spectacular project that had nothing to do with archaeology:…

Obit: J. Murray Speirs (2001)

J. Murray Speirs was six when he spotted the colourful ruby-crowned kinglet that sparked his lifelong interest in birds, and when at 15 he turned in earnest to the study of nature and especially birds, he began to fill a little black notebook with meticulous notes of every bird he saw. He kept up the…

Travel: Edison Museum & the sleepy hamlet of Vienna

Six kilometers above the northeastern shore of Lake Erie, the sleepy hamlet of Vienna, Ont. boasts a strong but little-known connection with the family of Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), the legendary American inventor, who might have been born on Canadian soil but for a quirk of history and fate. Four generations of Edisons lived in…

Kohelet is a knotty and naughty book

“Futility of futilities! All is futile!” I heard someone mutter recently while glancing up with darkened brow from the pages of Kohelet, the Biblical book also known as Ecclesiastes. The utterance was understandable, since most commentators, if they agree on anything at all about Kohelet, seem in accordance that it is a most vexing and…

Film: A Treasure in Auschwitz

The Polish town of Auschwitz is known primarily as the site of horrific Nazi death camps, and its previous history as a town with a once-thriving Jewish community comes as a surprise. Stirred by an old storekeeper’s eyewitness account and his precisely-drawn map, Israeli Yariv Nornberg mounts an archeological expedition in search of some Torah…