Happy Earth Day, and welcome to the weekend.
Grab your cup of coffee or tea and sit down with a selection of this week’s great reads from The Globe and Mail. In this issue, Nancy Macdonald reports on Lolita, the killer whale held in captivity, and the unexpected challenges that come with returning whales home that are no longer adjusted to providing for themselves. Writing this story was more heartbreaking than Macdonald expected, she said, but it also gave her hope. Based on photos taken at the time of its capture and the way that Lolita vocalizes, scientists believe they may have located the whale’s mother, and that Lolita’s pod – including her mother, a whale in her 80s or 90s believed to be named Ocean-Sun – are all still alive.
Mellissa Fung, a Canadian journalist who was kidnapped by the Taliban while reporting in Afghanistan in 2008, discusses the profound bond she felt when she met survivors of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram.
And John Poulos, CEO of Dominion Voting Systems, tells us why the truth still matters.
If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for Great Reads and more than 20 other Globe newsletters on our newsletter sign-up page. If you have questions or feedback, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Lolita, the last southern resident killer whale in captivity, has seen trainers and audiences at the Miami Seaquarium come and go. For years, animal-rights activists have been demanding Lolita’s release, arguing that we owe a moral debt to these magnificent beings, and in particular to Lolita, who has been spy hopping and breaching for gawking tourists for the past 53 years. Now, she may get the chance to go home, but scientists are learning that returning an old whale back to the ocean is not as easy as it seems.
Ever since Mellissa Fung was kidnapped in Afghanistan by the Taliban in 2008 while reporting on the plight of refugees on the outskirts of Kabul, she sensed that friends, family and reporters wanted to ask her difficult questions about her time in captivity. But no one did – at least, not directly. Almost a decade after #BringBackOurGirls and almost two decades after Fung’s escape, the world has turned away from Nigeria’s captives – and those who have returned now face a lonely journey. In her own words, Fung writes about an unexpected kinship found when she told survivors about her own kidnapping.
Does anyone care about the truth anymore? That is the question that the chief executive officer of Dominion Voting Systems asks in this opinion piece he wrote just three days after his company reached a historic US$787.5-million settlement in a defamation lawsuit against Fox News. For John Poulos, going against the U.S. media giant was as much about defending his company, its employees and their families, as it was about proving that yes, the truth still matters.
It’s no wonder that the Forest Green Rovers have been recognized as the greenest sports team on the planet by the United Nations and FIFA. With its vegan menu, organic playing field and toilets that turn urine into fertilizer, the team has been ranked first among 72 clubs in the English Football League for environmental sustainability by British environmental organization Sport Positive. Paul Waldie reports from a recent game to get the thoughts of fans and the owner, former hippie and green-power pioneer Dale Vince.
Envision a School of Cosmic Future, an idea created with the goal of bringing experts together across a broad range of scientific disciplines to help solve “the greatest predicaments and puzzles that face our species.” Ivan Semeniuk speaks to the cosmologists and scientists championing this idea, who are applying their skills and long-term perspective to help solve civilization-threatening environmental problems on Earth.
The events that led to Wendy Jocko, an Algonquin member of the Canadian Armed Forces, serving with a United Nations peacekeeping force in Croatia, began when she was four years old and spotted a soldier on the streets of Petawawa, Ont. By the age of 19, she had joined the Canadian Forces and served for 23 years. Her son was in the military, as well. Decades later, her portrait, painted by Canadian war artist Elaine Goble, has finally been unveiled, honouring her service as a peacekeeper in Croatia in the 1990s, and marking the 30th anniversary of Canada and Croatia’s establishment of diplomatic relations.
At 85, celebrated author Judy Blume is having a moment: A feature film adaptation of her seminal and most famous book, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, will be in theatres on April 28, more than 50 years after the novel was published. Also this month, a documentary about Blume and her influence, Judy Blume Forever, begins streaming on Prime Video, with fan-girl testimonials from the likes of Lena Dunham and Molly Ringwald. Marsha Lederman profiles Blume, who she credits with inspiring her to want to read, read, read. And write.
Drawn from the headlines
How the PSAC strike will affect Canadians – CBC News, April 19, as drawn by David Collier