20 Jul 2021

Favourite Cartoon Theme Songs

Q. What are your favourite cartoon theme songs? Which cartoon melodies – from your childhood, from last week – stay pleasantly lodged in your head? . A. The world of streaming puts our cartoon show theme love to the test. Do you ‘skip intro’ or do you nod and bop your

28 Jun 2021

Hot Lump In The City

Q. 39° Celsius might be no big deal in your neck of the woods, but in air-conditionless Vancouver, 39°C is record-breaking woe. Ice and shade, please. What are some famous paintings that capture the feeling of being Too Darn Hot? And how about some that capture what we dream about doing

03 Jun 2021

Dogs In Art

Q. ‘Paint, write, sculpt what you know’. So, after more than a year locked in our homes, people are turning an artistic eye to their pets. Who are some of the more famous dogs in art? . A. We’ll start with the Brussels Griffon featured in our lead photo. Viewers

19 May 2021

Favourite Sounds

Q. Are you a ceraunophile? That is: are you deeply fond of thunder and lightning? On Monday evening, while the B.C. South Coast was absorbing 232 lightning strikes – 232! – over a 12 hour period, many were plugging their ears under a mound of blankets. Some, however, were ears

24 Apr 2021

Puzzling Out Pen Names

Q. Happy Canadian Independent Bookstore Day! In honour of this shop local occasion: who are some well-known authors who have or continue to write under pseudonyms? . A. For a litany of reasons – some personal, some driven by brutal societal biases –  authors have long tossed their birth names

10 Apr 2021


Q. Quiet. With all of the covid chatter – inside crowded apartments, chart-stuffed newscasts, teeming brains – many are looking for a little peace and quiet. How have artists captured this idea of ‘quiet’? . A. The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘quiet’ as: • ‘Absence of noise or bustle; silence; calm.

10 Mar 2021

That Scream

Q. The Scream. It’s one of the world’s most recognizable paintings, much replicated from art textbooks to extreme memes. What led artist Edvard Munch to create such a tortured painting? . A. ‘I inherited two of mankind’s most frightful enemies—the heritage of consumption and insanity,’  Edvard Munch wrote in his

20 Feb 2021

Jazz Greats In Action

Q. Where can we see great photos of jazz legends in action? . A. One fantastic resource is The National Jazz Museum of Harlem, founded in 1997. An affiliate of the Smithsonian, NJMH now boasts two remarkably gifted musicians as Co-Artistic Directors: pianist, composer, and Late Night with Stephen Colbert

22 Jan 2021


Q. What are some paintings specifically focused on the idea of hope? . A. Over centuries, artists have used the word ‘hope’ in titling their artworks. As you’ll see below, some of the works are more unabashedly hopeful than others. . . Piero del Pollaioio. Hope. 1470 . George Frederic

04 Jan 2021

Most Borrowed Books

Q. What were the most borrowed library books in 2020? . A. Open or closed, the Vancouver Public Library was busy during Pandemic 2020. CBC News reports that digital book borrowing went up 50% over the year. Which were the most borrowed books? . Adult Fiction Print books The Testaments by