Thursday, April 10, 2008

Recently wrote....

Got my copy of The Beaver for April-May '08. Ken McGoogan's essay on the Northwest Passage highlights historical voyages, but the emphasis of his story is what global warming is doing to the passage, namely, making a real passage where before there was mostly a notional one.

Canada has tended to be defensive on this one: worrying that other country's vessels might meanly use "our" passage. But if it becomes an international waterway, does Canada really need to put a gate across the entrance. Surely we can assert enough sovereignty to control pollution risks and other dangers without claiming a right to exclude non-Canadians. On The Beaver's website: a podcast interview with Ken about the passage. Read. Listen. Subscribe.

My own column in that issue of The Beaver is on the television programs Ancestors in the Attic and Who Do You Think You Are?, lead-ins to some reflections on the genealogy boom, the new "deep ancestry" possibilities of DNA matching, and the meaning of ancestry in a transient world where it's said a quarter of all Canadians do not know their grandmother's maiden names.

And speaking of linkage, Law Times, including my monthly columns on legal history, is now even more available online at
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