Docs at the Vancouver International Film Festival

by Robert Alstead

• If the events of Cold War documentary Command and Control hadn’t actually happened, you might think it was made up. On September 18, 1980, a PTS (Propellant Transfer System) team working on a nuclear missile in Damascus, Arkansas, accidentally dropped a metal socket in the silo. It punctured the fuel tank and set off a potentially catastrophic chain of events: the 9Mt thermonuclear warhead on the Titan II missile was capable of annihilating 10 million people.

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Playing for Change

One world, one voice, one day

MUSIC RISING by Bruce Mason

• Without fail, the Playing For Change website makes me feel good. Most often it gives me goose bumps, but it’s always (in all ways) a joyful, uplifting experience. There’s no better time to feel this yourself than on September 24 when a global community gathers and unites – through the power of music to affect positive change – on stages, street corners, in schools, yoga studios, cafes and living rooms. More than 300 events in 50 countries are listed at

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Core beliefs about a plant-based diet

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina

•  I recently took out – from our wonderful public library system – a set of CDs entitled This I Believe. They are based on a popular NPR (National Public Radio) series that invited people to write a 500-word essay on a core belief that guided their daily life and to then read their essay on the air. (See website at the end of the article). After listening to a selection and wondering, “What is a core belief for me?” I recognized that mine centres on a shift towards a plant-based diet.

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STAR WISE: September 2016

by Mac McLaughlin

We’ll be riding out a couple of eclipses this month. In olden times, an eclipse would strike fear into the hearts of those for whom the eclipse was visible. I don’t think we have much to fear, though. The September eclipses are not visible in our region. What is of importance is that the Sun and Moon are in hard aspect with Mars and Saturn at the time of the solar eclipse on September 1. Saturn has a tendency to slow things down and bind things up while Mars stirs things up. Interpreted, it indicates a possible slow-down with the economy and business in general. As we head into the Labour Day weekend, we may experience all kinds of traffic snarls along with accidents and incidents. The remedy: keep your cool and don’t get sucked into hot-headed, knee-jerk reactions, as they could prove costly. Patience and more patience – minus alcohol and drugs – will help the situation.

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Common Ground writers join the conversation

Common Ground magazine and I have been friends for 34 years! I was present at its 1982 birth and launch party in a Vancouver back yard. I like long-term friendships and this has been a good one. The articles throughout the magazine are lively and thought provoking. Common Ground has long been a leader regarding environmental concerns and health and human rights issues. I have appreciated the opportunity to write on a vast range of topics related to plant-based nutrition and have welcomed the tremendous interest in this topic on the part of readers.

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