Tag Archives: book recommendations

Inside the Mind of Miyazaki


Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese animator, filmmaker, and manga artist, and co-founder of Studio Ghibli, which produces some of the most beautifully animated films of our time. Miyazaki himself is considered one of the most accomplished filmmakers in the history of animation.

Ahead of the December 8th release of the latest Ghibli film The Boy and the Heron, I thought a little dive into Miyazaki and Ghibli would be apt.

My first Miyazaki-Ghibli film (to distinguish from Ghibli films by other directors and/or screenwriters) was Spirited Away. My uncle brought it for me on DVD when I was somewhere between 10 and 13 years old, and said it was his favourite and that he thought I might like it. I remember being a little scared by all the monsters, horrified by Chihiro’s parents turning into pigs, and ultimately entranced by everything else. I was already hugely into fantasy, and there was nothing more designed to hook me at that age than a dragon-boy, a grumpy girl, and their relationship with each other.

Since then, I’ve been an avid Ghibli fan, though there are a few I haven’t watched, and one I refuse to watch simply because it’s too sad and will make me cry inconsolably.

Continue reading

Moon, Stars, Sun

A picture of the full moon through the branches of a tree

September is promising to give us a plethora of spectacular cosmic events.

The month was ushered in by a Super Blue Moon, while on the 17th of September, Venus will be at its brightest. The 19th will have Neptune at opposition (meaning the planet will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long via telescope). On the 22nd, Mercury will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise!

This year’s Autumnal Equinox will also fall on September 23rd, meaning there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. Finally, the last Super Moon of the year—the Harvest Moon—is set to rise in all its glory on the 29th. Meanwhile, Illuminarium at the Distillery District is offering an all-ages immersive event titled Space: A Journey to the Moon and Beyond!

In honour of these and other cosmic events, here are some lovely books all about the heavens above.

Continue reading

Confessions of a Toxic Tech Company

Image of Twitter and Elon Musk's account with the new X logo
image via CNN

You’ve probably heard the news about Twitter—I’m sorry, the recently rebranded ‘X’—and everything Elon Musk is doing with the social media giant to, it seems, drive the company right into the ground. (For fun? For profit? In a fit of megalomaniacal spite? Who knows, but as someone without a Twitter account and zero stake in the game, it sure is fun to watch.)

Which got me thinking about the movie The Social Network and the toxic histories (to match the largely toxic climates) of so many social media companies.

On the one hand, it’s horrifying, considering how much of our information these companies have and the control they can exert on our lived reality (see: fake news, as just one example). On the other hand, it’s definitely entertaining to dive deep into the dramas surrounding all these companies.

In the spirit of that, here are some stories of toxic tech companies, the wild egos behind them, and what affect they have on our society, our minds, and our future.

Continue reading