Ian on Sunday

Adventures in reading

As I get older, the attractions of foreign travel and the lures of encountering new places and fresh faces are rapidly fading. 

The scientist as poet

It is said that science and poetry do not mix. It is said that science is down to earth and poetry is up in the clouds.

The Groupthink Risk

It happens all the time in small, closely-knit groups – Cabinets, party executives, boards of directors, Church congregations or club committees.


In a vibrant democracy elections should be a cause for celebration, an ever welcome occasion regularly marking the successful outcome of what in any country’s history has always been a long struggle to overcome authoritarian, and often brutal, rule.

The positives of life

Samuel Johnson, the great 18th Century English man of letters, is the shrewdest teacher on the human condition I know.


Toronto is a calm, clean, well-ordered, cosmopolitan, peaceful city.  If one long weekend in this city of two and a half million people there are a couple of murders it is an alarming law and order crisis.  

Disunity grows

One of the most serious aspects of life today is the widening gap between talk and action.

The non-stop busyness of the world

The world yearns for more and more speed – speed of exchanged communications, immediate access to information, concept instantly converted into conception – is destroying an important part of our lives.

Poetry In A Mutilated World

In my column today I simply give two poems which I love and especially recall at a time when the world is awry – the pandemic unrelenting and tenacious and climate change unstoppably undermining all foundations – without those in authority seeming to know what to do or take decisive action as they interminably squabble.

The Precious Pearl of Learning

I wrote this column long ago. I do not think I would want to change much, if any, of it now for it to be relevant – but I am anxious to learn if the Ministry of Education or educational experts can tell how things may have changed for the better.

Hope is a solemn duty

Intermittently, and especially during memorable times up the immense and soul-redeeming Essequibo, I like to read Shelley – as we all should do from time to time since he is pre-eminently the poet of hope.

What Newspapers Do

Some years ago the London Times, on an exceptionally dull day for news, carried a story which it headlined “Small earthquake in Chile: no damage, no injuries.”

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