The Butterfly

by Iris G. “If you have health, you have mental health.” Sophie’s words struck me when I was listening to her speech. Having mental health issues may hold a child back from attending school and alter her way of interacting with others. When facing anxiety and self-doubt, some people try to disregard their feelings, pretending to be fine. Stigmatization of behavioral differences, pressure from peers or from family family, and other societal factors can punish and cause greater harm to individuals suffering from mental illnesses. Nearly one in five children have a diagnosable psychiatric concern, making mental health the single…

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We may be evolved, but down deep, we’re still animals: Unpacking Life of Pi and the High Mountains of Portugal with Yann Martel

As part of our partnership with WordFest, Parallel met Yann Martel on March 15 for a discussion about theism, the profound nature of human relationships with other animals, and Martel’s books The High Mountains of Portugal and Life of Pi. What emerged? His enumerations on what it means to start a writing career, biblical anecdotes, and a sense of humour that sneaks up on you, smoothly. Here we have a play by play podcast style commentary of the audio! You can enjoy Yann Martel’s talk here! Julia: Tonight featuring Yann Martel! Keyi: That was a really good talk, honestly. Look! It us/It’s…

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Metamorphosis and Mental Health

Stopping the Stigma Associated with Mental Health This article was written in conjunction with the Youth Council at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Stigmatization of the issues surrounding mental health remains pervasive in society, such as when people who suffer PTSD, or anxiety, are seen to be mentally insane. In the past, people who suffered mental…

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In an Instant

A string is nailed at each end to the light green wall of your bedroom. On it hang paperclips, bulldog clips and clothes-pegs. They hold up moments captured for eternity, all with the iconic white borders and scrawled with little dates and notes underneath. It’s your life hanging up there on the string. At least,…

This I Believe: Words are Stronger than Weapons

This I believe: that words are more powerful than weapons in bringing about positive change which lasts in the face of endless societal shifts. After a week spent debating media freedoms in New York City, I feel a tremendous sense of hope for the power of collaboration and of peaceful discussion. Every year, over 4000 youth from all corners of the globe come together at National High School Model United Nations, the largest conference of its kind in the world. Opening with inspirational words from American Ambassador Samantha Powers, the conference progressed with remarkable efficiency into intense debate in 31…

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Silencing Gutenberg

The very individuals who fund the system propelling scientific research are left in the dark when it comes to access, and the government does little to prevent it. In fact, the government plays a much more active role in the plot than what seems rational.

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A Portrait of the Family Dog as a Young Puppy

It may be noted that the cute puppy your family got at the pet store looked rather innocent and cheerful, if such anthropomorphisms could be excused. Wouldn’t it be splendid if the dog’s beginnings had been as sweet as the expression on its furry face? While such is sometimes true, it remains an unfortunate reality…

Debatable, you say?

“The trick is to keep your identity separate from your opinions – they are objects in a box that you carry with you and should be easily replaceable if it turns out they’re no good. ”

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History on the Holiday of Love

Love is in the air.  It’s that time of the year again, when all the couples you seem to suddenly see just about everywhere get even more irritating.  Or is it adorable?  I’m not sure. Regardless of whether you eagerly await this annual holiday or dread this season of affection, the significance of February 14th…

A SWAT robot, a remote-controlled small tank-like vehicle with a shield for officers, is demonstrated for the media in Sanford, Maine on Thursday, April 18, 2013. Howe & Howe Technologies, a Waterboro, Maine company, says their device keeps SWAT teams and other first responders safe in standoffs and while confronting armed suspects. Police now typically use hand-held shields when storming a building. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

The Watchmen

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who watches the watchmen? On October 20, 2014, Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shot Laquan McDonald, a black teenager armed with a 3-inch-long knife, 16 times.  It not only took the Chicago police department an entire year to release the dash cam footage that captures McDonald’s final moments, but Van Dyke’s dashboard…

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Chille Tid

“Many of us claim we want flawed, complex characters in our media, but when we get them, we balk. Too often, we become callous or annoyed at other people’s weaknesses in real life–and this goes double for the mentally disabled. I think much of the disgust and bigotry abled people show toward mentally and physically disabled people stems from how we remind you of human vulnerability and imperfection.”