In fact, there’s one activity that is almost tailor-made to work [at helping you distance yourself from a problem you’re working on]. And it is a simple one indeed: walking (the very thing that Holmes was doing when he had his insight in “The Lion’s Mane”). Walks have been shown repeatedly to stimulate creative thought […]


In Brockworth, Gloucestershire people roll a cheese down a steep hill and chase it. 1982: 2019:

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780 km of exercise walks since August have brought me much into contact with people on the sidewalks and pathways of Toronto. Particularly in the last couple of months, I have had the sense that people in general are stressed, frayed, and emotionally on-edge. I see this in their egocentrism: their determination to do as […]


On an exercise walk tonight in the Bridle Path area I listened to Alie Ward’s recent podcast on happiness research: Awesomeology (GRATITUDE FOR LITTLE THINGS) with Neil Pasricha. It reinforced how the smartphone and the media in general is “the slot machine in your pocket“, with intermittent variable rewards that habituate you into scrolling through […]


Doubtless for those of us who have been following the public health advice to avoid contact with others for nine months or so there have been many disappointments and frustrations. At the same time, perhaps we have each discovered a thing or two from pandemic living which we will stick with beyond. Some of mine: […]


Can world famous track cyclist Robert Förstemann power a 700 watt toaster with an electrical generator connected to a bike?


I find it’s good practice to approach literally anybody, from a municipal worker who I am passing on the sidewalk while they’re performing official duties to clerks in shops with an immediate attempt at a substantive conversation, not just a rote exchange of greetings or well-wishes. By that means the other morning I got the […]


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One of the cleverest and most philosophical limericks is: There once was a man who said, “Damn, It has borne in upon me I am But a creature that moves In predestinate grooves; I’m not even a bus, I’m a tram!” It’s strange that living in Canada’s largest city I nonetheless overwhelmingly see the parts […]


A small but indicative example of how the University of Toronto doesn’t prioritize the welfare of its students is the way in which the gym access included in student fees during the fall and winter terms is cut off in the summer, requiring students to pay a per-facility fee to keep using it. This is […]

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