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The Historical Blindness podcast is a discussion of interesting and largely forgotten stories from our past, with a specific focus on demonstrating the inscrutability, the ineffability, and the unknowability of the past. By examining cases of outrageous hoaxes, mass delusion, baffling mysteries and unreliable historiography, we raise the question, “Can we trust history as we have received it?”
 
In this first collection of stories following the characters from the "Anne of Green Gables" series, we see 12 vignettes into the lives of the other inhabitants of Avonlea. The case of Ludovic Speed as mentioned in "Anne of the Island" is finally detailed, along with another appearance by Anne Shirley herself in "The Courting of Prissy Strong". We meet some old friends and many new ones from "The Island", in stories both sweet and poignant. An old lady finds happiness in being a "fairy godmo ...
 
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show series
 
With renewed optimism that the United States will now be a stronger partner than ever before in meeting the challenge of climate change, Saikat Chakrabarti joins Nate to discuss what comes next for the Green New Deal and more progressive politics in America. Saikat is former campaign manager and chief of staff to Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cort…
 
I'm running late on the next full-length episode, so here's a patron exclusive I did in January last year when I was running behind for other reasons. After talking about what's going on with me know (and what was going on with me back then), enjoy an episode about the mysteries surrounding Cleopatra and her son, which ties in a bit with the cold o…
 
Dr. Samir Sinha joins Nate to talk about how we've failed to protect our seniors, and the changes we need to make going forward, including targeted vaccine roll-out to seniors at risk, national standards for long-term care, and action to help seniors stay in their homes. Dr. Sinha is a geriatrician, co-chair and policy director of the National Inst…
 
Dr. David Naylor is a physician, medical researcher, and former president of U of T. He's also uniquely placed to discuss pandemic response, as the co-chair of the federal COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, and as past chair of the National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health in 2003. On this episode, Dr. Naylor and Nate discuss vaccine roll-ou…
 
In this volume of my Encyclopedia Grimoria, I continue to seek the origin of magic in history, having followed the trail in my previous exploration from ancient Persia to ancient Egypt, where I now find the enigmatic figure of Hermes Trismegistus and his Emerald Tablet. If you are thinking of starting a podcast or want some help with the podcast yo…
 
In the third annual holiday special, I look at the legendarium of the Three Wise Men and the Star of Bethlehem. Were they and their visit to the Christ Child real? If a myth, what was the reason for the inclusion of the brief passage in Matthew that originated their legend? If you are thinking of starting a podcast or want some help with the podcas…
 
Dr. Joeri Rogelj is an expert in climate science. He is currently Director of Research at Imperial College London, he's been a long-time lead author of the UN Emissions Gap annual reports, and he's also a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, including its 1.5 degree report and its upcoming 6th assessment report. Dr. Rogelj…
 
In this episode, Nate is joined by professor Miles Corak to discuss how to strengthen our social safety net and, more specifically, what an EI system for the 21st century should look like. Miles is currently an economics professor at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and senior scholar at the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Cen…
 
This episode is simultaneously political and holiday-themed. With the Presidential power of pardoning under scrutiny, I look at the history of its use and misuse as I speculate about how our current lame duck may abuse it and consider whether it should be reformed. Donate at paypal.me/NathanLeviLloyd or support the show by signing up for a 2-week t…
 
Brett House is vice-president and deputy chief economist at ScotiaBank. Among a long list of past roles, he's served as principal advisor in the office of the UN Secretary-General and as an economist at the International Monetary Fund. In this episode Nate and Brett discuss Canada's fiscal response to the pandemic, whether the significant size of n…
 
Now chair of the World Refugee Council, Lloyd Axworthy held a number of cabinet roles over the course of a 27 year parliamentary career. As Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, he led efforts towards a global landmines ban (which earned him a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize), and he's one of 56 notable signatories on an open letter calling on…
 
I've got a little holiday treat for you this Thanksgiving! Listen to this Blind Spot minisode that I released last year to patrons on Patreon all about the myths and misconceptions surrounding the history of Thanksgiving. Then go lecture your families about it (perhaps on a video chat this year)! Meanwhile, I'll be giving thanks for all my listener…
 
Hi patrons! This episode is yet another political topic. With the topic of Supreme Court expansion in the public discourse after the controversial confirmations of justices nominated by Donald Trump, I look at the history and structure of the Supreme Court, the changing size of its bench, and the historical basis of arguments for judicial reform. P…
 
Eric Duncan represents the rural Ontario riding of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, he was first elected to the House in October 2019, he’s only in his early 30s but has already somehow served over a decade in municipal office, and he’s also our country’s first openly gay Conservative Member of Parliament. On this episode, Eric and Nate discuss Con…
 
Justin Ling is a journalist, author, and one of the most prolific users of Canada's access to information system. He has also been critical of how broken the system now is. In this episode, Justin explains why access to information matters for accountability and transparency, what makes the system so broken, and how the government has failed to ful…
 
Chelsea Rochman is a marine ecologist whose research focuses on plastic pollution in freshwater and marine ecosystems. She is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a scientific advisor to the Ocean Conservancy. In this episode Nate and Chelsea discuss Canada's zero waste strate…
 
In this post-election episode, written a week before the American presidential election, I look to contested elections in American history for some insight into what is happening today, with especial focus on the outmoded institution of the Electoral College of the United States and the elections of 1824 and 1876. Pledge on Patreon at patreon.com/h…
 
David Morley is the President and CEO of UNICEF Canada. With millions of kids around the world still out of school, and with vaccine efforts central to our recovery, UNICEF has a unique role to play. David has long been dedicated to issues of global justice, with over thirty years of experience advancing children’s rights and sustainable developmen…
 
In part two of my series on the early modern witch craze and the myths, misconceptions, and theories about witches spread by academics, I am again joined by Sarah Handley-Cousins of Dig: A History Podcast to discuss the founding of Wicca, the emergence of the midwife-witch myth, and folk healers as targets of witchcraft accusations. If you're an Am…
 
Carla Qualtrough is the Liberal MP for Delta BC, and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion. She will lead efforts in this parliament to strengthen Canada's social safety net, through EI reform and a new disability benefit. On this episode, Minister Qualtrough discusses the work that lies ahead, the challenges o…
 
Victor Madrigal-Borloz is a Costa Rican lawyer and the UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Earlier this year, he published a report that called for a global ban on conversion therapy. Our federal government here in Canada is moving forward with amendments to the Cr…
 
It's been two years since Canada legalized cannabis and, while there is much to celebrate, we haven't done enough to right the historical wrongs of cannabis prohibition. Annamaria Enenajor joins Nate to discuss why this matters and what should be done about it. Annamaria is a criminal and constitutional lawyer, a powerful advocate, and the founder …
 
The federal government has introduced Bill C-7 to fix our assisted dying laws and address the unconstitutionality of its past legislative effort. But there remain problems with the law as drafted, and Professor Jocelyn Downie joins Nate to discuss those problems and how to fix them. Professor Downie is an expert in the law of assisted dying in Cana…
 
Isha Datar is a food pioneer. She's the CEO of New Harvest, a research institute that funds and conducts public research on cellular agriculture, and she's co-founder of companies making milk without cows, and eggs with chickens. Nate and Isha discuss the potential for cell ag, how close we are to a reality of animal products without animals, and w…
 
In the first of a two part series, I'm joined by Sarah Handley-Cousins of Dig: A History Podcast to talk about the early modern witch craze and the historical myths and misconceptions surrounding it. If you're an American, PLEASE VOTE! Support the podcast by signing up for a free 30-day trial of Audible at audibletrial.com/historicalblindness Some …
 
Senator Ratna Omidvar has dedicated her life to strengthening migration, diversity, and inclusion, through roles as president of the Maytree Foundation, the head of Ryerson's Global Diversity Exchange, and her continued work with the World Refugee Council. On this episode, Ratna and Nate discuss what was missing in the throne speech, reasons to bet…
 
Professor Joe Stiglitz is a Nobel Prize winning economist, former chief economist at the World Bank, and former chairman of the US president's Council of Economic Advisers. He's also a profilic author. He's recently co-written a report that makes the case for a green recovery, he's a leading voice for both measuring success differently and addressi…
 
Shoshana Zuboff is a Harvard professor, philosopher, and author of the book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. Nate and Shoshana discuss the mass collection of personal information and data in our digital world, its consequences for individual autonomy and democracy, and what we can and should do about it.…
 
In the extra-long conclusion of my series on Illuminati conspiracy theories, I talk about how conspiracy theories about the Illuminati played a large role in the presidential election of 1800 as well as how they have remained ubiquitous in American political discourse since then. Visit https://howto.vote/ to find information on registering to vote …
 
In this patron exclusive minisode released in April of 2019, I delved into the mystery of a day with no light, when darkness fell over New England and many feared that God's judgment was at hand. But was the Dark Day really a mysterious phenomenon as it is unceasingly portrayed? I'm releasing this patron exclusive on the free, ad-supported feed now…
 
Leah Gazan is the NDP MP for Winnipeg Centre, and she is the sponsor of Motion 46 calling for a guaranteed livable basic income. Leah joins Nate to discuss her motion and to call for action to end poverty as a matter of human rights and dignity. Read the full text of Motion 46 here.By Nathaniel Erskine-Smith / Leah Gazan
 
Jim Balsillie is a philanthropist, businessman (former co-CEO of Blackberry's RIM), and he has led efforts in calling for a new innovation agenda in Canada. On this episode, Jim joins Nate to discuss a report from the Council of Canadian Innovators, how Canada lags our peer countries on innovation, why Canada needs national IP and data strategies, …
 
A contemplation of the modern conservative conspiracy theory of a "deep state" leads me back to the dawn of modern conspiracy theory, the Enlightenment, when the ultimate conservative conspiracy theory was born as an explanation of the French Revolution: the Illuminati! Get a 30-day free trial of Audible with a free audiobook AND support this show …
 
From our food supply, to frontline healthcare, migrant workers are often essential workers. Yet they are both undervalued and subject to systemic exploitation through our temporary immigration work programs. That migrant workers are predominantly racialized raises additional concerns about the exploitative nature of these work programs, as our fede…
 
Dr. Jane Goodall is a world famous primatologist and anthropologist best known for her work with chimpanzees, 60 years ago in Tanzania. Her life's work is focused on conservation and animal welfare issues. In 1977, she founded the Jane Goodall Institute which does important work in nearly 100 countries around the world, including engaging young peo…
 
In the aftermath of an explosion that killed a king and upset the foundations of power in Scotland, various suspects in the murder vie for control of the country. What evidence exists to prove who was behind the regicide, and can it be trusted? This episode is sponsored by Sudio. While as patrons you won't hear their ad, you can still support the s…
 
Irwin Cotler is a giant in the field of human rights, most recently as founder and chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. He's also a former McGill professor, parliamentarian, Minister of Justice, and he has dedicated a great deal of his life to defending political prisoners, including as Canadian counsel for Nelson Mandela. In this…
 
Parents and educators are rightly concerned about a safe September in our schools and for our kids. More, a failure to open schools safely has the potential to increase community transmission and affect us all. On this episode, Nate is joined by expert epidemiologists and professors Ashleigh Tuite and Amy Greer to discuss provincial plans, the frus…
 
In 1567, the King of Scotland is murdered, and even today, mystery surrounds the crime. In part one, we look at the life and reign of Mary, Queen of Scots, from birth to her consort's demise to learn what led up to the murder and better understand the questions that remain. This episode is sponsored by Sudio. While as patrons you won't hear their a…
 
In July, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police published a report calling on governments to treat drug use as a health issue, including action to decriminalize all drugs and create options for a safer drug supply. In this episode, Waterloo Police Chief Bryan Larkin joins Nate to talk about why police in Canada want to decriminalize all drugs…
 
Senator Murray Sinclair has accomplished much in his career, including as a judge in Manitoba and as the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Nate is joined by Senator Sinclair to discuss the government's reconciliation efforts to date, the slow pace of change, and how we can improve efforts going forward.…
 
China has arbitrarily detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, weaponized tariffs and trade, violated international law and human rights in Hong Kong, and continues to commit mass atrocities against the Uyghurs. In this episode, Nate is joined by national security expert and professor Stephanie Carvin to discuss Canada’s relationship w…
 
In 2019, Jaime Battiste was elected as the MP for Sydney—Victoria, and he's the first Mi'kmaw MP in Canada. He's been a professor at Cape Breton University, a senior advisor to Eskasoni Band Council, a citizenship coordinator for KMKNO and Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief. In addition to his MP role, Jaime is also the Chair of the Liberal I…
 
In the conclusion to this series about an age of miracles in the midst of the Enlightenment, we look at the strange development of convulsionism among the adherents of François de Pâris. Along the way, we see the emergence of egalitarianism and democratic ideals in pre-Revolutionary France as well as signs of disorder between the powers of the thro…
 
While we've recognized the criminal law's failure in our approach to assisted dying and cannabis, we continue to undermine the human rights of sex workers and people who use drugs. Seven years ago in Bedford, the Supreme Court struck down criminal laws against prostitution because they prevented sex workers from taking measures to increase their sa…
 
Jenica Atwin is the MP for Fredericton and the first Green MP in New Brunswick. In this episode, Nate is joined by Jenica to talk about life as a first-time MP in these difficult times. They discuss making mental health a priority, the importance of measuring well-being, why she's definitely not running for leader, independence in the House, and th…
 
Despite public statements in support of a strong minimum wage, CEOs of our national grocers communicated directly with each other about the prospect of ending pandemic pay for essential workers. On this episode, Nate is joined by Unifor president Jerry Dias to discuss the Industry committee hearings, the growth of precarious work in our country, th…
 
In the center of the High Enlightenment, as Western culture moved toward rational worldview, a series of miracles deepens a religious schism and contributes to a lack of faith in the royal government, laying the groundwork for a future revolution. But what really happened at the tomb of François de Pâris in the cemetery of Saint-Médard? Part one of…
 
With Black Lives Matter protesters focusing on toppling Confederate monuments, and talking heads on the right calling efforts to legislate the removal of these monuments to slavery an attempt to "destroy history," and Trump making executive orders to protect them, this episode from 2017 is especially relevant again. Thanks Diane for suggesting I re…
 
The Prime Minister kneeled at an anti-racism protest, and then declared in the House of Commons that "we will do everything we can to eradicate" racism. The Parliamentary Black Caucus has published a roadmap to that goal, signed by 160 parliamentarians, including many cabinet ministers. Nate speaks about the letter and its calls to action with Greg…
 
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