The Truth About Wanting to Die

“Personal experience has made me more invested in addressing the gross inequities depression exacerbates, in hammering home the human, societal, economic costs. The depth of depression’s debilitation and our reprehensible failure to address it consume me because I’m there, spending days paralyzed and nights wracked because my meds aren’t good enough.”

Source: The Walrus
Published: Aug 7, 2019
Length: 19 minutes (4,913 words)

The Charmed Life of Esther the Wonder Pig

In 2012, Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter adopted a twenty-centimeter, six-month-old ‘mini pig’ that they named Esther. However, it turned out that their new pet was, in fact, a commercial pig that reached a sturdy 650 pounds. This did not stop her proud new parents from letting Esther share their home and documenting her adventures on social media. Close to a million and a half people now follow the pampered life of Esther on Facebook, about half a million on Instragram, and 50,000 on Twitter. Esther becoming a social media phenomenon has meant millions of people have started to care about the welfare of pigs, and by extension, all animals, in a way that was previously impossible.

Source: The Walrus
Published: Jul 6, 2019
Length: 21 minutes (5,441 words)

The Loneliness of Infertility

“[I]n framing infertile women as problematic consumers of technology that they despise, many contemporary feminists ignore the actual experience, the meat and pain, of infertility. They ignore the grief.”

Source: The Walrus
Published: Apr 8, 2019
Length: 17 minutes (4,318 words)

Where Not to Travel in 2019, or Ever

Who’s really footing the bill for your amazing vacation to an untouched destination? You’re buying the plane tickets, but locals are paying the price.

Source: The Walrus
Published: Feb 12, 2019
Length: 7 minutes (1,755 words)

Learning to Forgive My Distant Father

In an excerpt from his book, The Organist: Fugues, Fatherhood, and a Fragile Mind, Mark Abley deconstructs the pipe organ, examining its components, appearance in history and popular culture, and its powerful capacity for meaning via sound as he recounts his distant father Harry’s obsession with the instrument and with musical composition and arrangement — often at a cost to his personal relationships.

Author: Mark Abley
Source: The Walrus
Published: Jan 18, 2019
Length: 13 minutes (3,383 words)

Love Letters From the Battlefield

Separated by thousands of miles and the Second World War, author Harley Rustad’s grandparents maintained a correspondence spanning hundreds of letters over four years. As he traveled through Europe and North Africa commanding a tank troop in the 11th Canadian ­Armoured Regiment, Harry Mac­donald kept one of Jacquelyn Ruth Robinson’s letters — the one that kept him going, the one in which she said “yes.”

Source: The Walrus
Published: Nov 9, 2018

How I Learned to Love Bonsai

Unsatisfied with his own efforts at growing Ficus religiosa, bonsai enthusiast Harley Rustad totes his too-tall tree to Ontario to seek advice from Canadian bonsai expert Nigel Saunders. Saunders tends over 180 bonsais and has attracted a cult following for his instructive YouTube videos — his miniature lemon tree alone has earned 1.5 million views.

Source: The Walrus
Published: Oct 5, 2018
Length: 16 minutes (4,146 words)

Canadian History Isn’t Boring

Podcasts and strong storytelling with diverse voices can show the world how fascinating Canadian history is.

Source: The Walrus
Published: Sep 3, 2018
Length: 6 minutes (1,597 words)

The New Old Age

When FDR signed the Social Security Act in the 1930s, the average male life expectancy was 61. Today, it’s nearly 80. Is society ready for more people living longer than ever?

Source: The Walrus
Published: Aug 27, 2018
Length: 20 minutes (5,200 words)

The Other Side of Fentanyl

Teva Harrison, who has terminal cancer, reflects on how fentanyl is helping her make the most of the time she has left.

Source: The Walrus
Published: Aug 23, 2018
Length: 9 minutes (2,414 words)