Author and husband meeting daughter in Changsha, China

Hopes On Hold: Is this the end of Chinese Adoption. A reflection from 2007

The matching room was cramped and dingy, documents heaped in every corner and the matching done by hand But with fees paid by thousands of adopting parents, it was moved into a glass building where files are stored in gleaming metal cabinets and computers handle the matching. In 2007, before the Chinese adoption slow down I was allowed a rare visit to this room. My visit foretold, the end of Chinese adoption as I, an adoptive mother, had experienced it.

The Inheritance: When I met Karen Knapp she was on a quest to determine what was killing generations of women in her family.

As virtually every woman in her family has fallen ill from breast cancer, she has wondered, not so much if she'd get sick and die, but when it would happen; whether, in fact, she has the breast cancer gene. Yet, the technology that promised a window into Karen's future and a chance, perhaps, to save her life, has brought unprecedented loneliness. Her relatives — mother, aunts, cousins — fear she is unearthing dangerous information, and perhaps black-listing the entire family from future insurance and employment. Even her doctor-husband doesn't understand why she needs to know if she carries a mutant gene that very probably will make her sick. She feels utterly alone and wonders if she tempting fate.

Deception and Conflict: The Rise of the Other ‘Fake News’ at Canada’s Pubcaster and Beyond

The launch of CBC Tandem raised numerous questions about advertiser-sponsored content, both at the public broadcaster and other Canadian news organizations. Sponsored content is increasingly hidden on news platforms such as The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and across the Postmedia chain, all of which established in-house content-studios over the last decade to supplement declining revenue. Sponsored content “exploits loopholes in human digital literacy,” making it almost indistinguishable from regular editorial content. Does this latest advertising strategy will harm journalism, as CBC staffers passionately claim? If so; whose responsibility it is to stand up for journalism: current or former journalists, advertisers or regulators?

A serving of self-loathing, with a dollop of death wish

If we’re going to get all psychological about it, being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease is like having the mutant spawn of Hannibal Lecter, the self-cannibal of all illnesses. We sufferers allegedly have an acute case of self-loathing with a side order of death wish. There’s an enduring preference for psychological explanations of disease, especially when we don’t understand something at a molecular level. And particularly, when there is no effective treatment or cure.

Our Father: Frannie Sheridan's play, The Waltonsteins, forced her family to confront the demons of its secret past

Dr. Bernie Sheridan slowly makes his way through the streets of Vienna, the city of his childhood, the city of a million secrets. An old man now, shrunken to five feet tall, Dr. Sheridan is weighted to Earth by a gigantic briefcase that holds a fragile piece of paper from his past: his baptism certificate from the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Regina, Canada, dated Nov. 24, 1952. He climbs the steps of the old city hall, pulls out the certificate, and says in quiet German to a clerk, ``I would like this invalidated.'' He says in the same whisper, ``I would like to redeclare myself as a Jew.'' Dr. Bernie Sheridan, once a prominent eye surgeon in Ottawa, now 84 years old, is filled with fear.

The secret identity of Alvin Schwartz: The man behind the Man of Steel and Batman Comics

It is a long way from Metropolis to this snowbound bungalow in rural Ontario. And the man sitting in its cozy centre, he is no superhero, assuming we know what superheroes really look like. He is the tiniest of men: monk-like, small-chested, grey-haired, weak on one side of his body. And he is long past the age where he can leap even a fence. Still, if most of us weren't closed to the mysteries of this world, we very well might look at this man (his name is Alvin Schwartz and he is 81) and notice a shadowy presence leaning over his shoulder -- an aura, if you will -- that looks very much like Superman. The Man of Steel. The alter ego of Alvin Schwartz. The alter ego of us all. This is the strangest of stories.