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Author: Paul Byrne

Paul’s Voice: The 2/1000ths of 1%

The Earth’s total land mass is 148,939,063 sq-km which is roughly 29%. Canada claims 9,984,670 sq-km of that or 7%. The regions Okanagan Life serves amount to 30,000 sq-km or a miniscule 2/1000ths of 1% of the planet. On that tiny note, I’d like to congratulate and thank all the cities, regional districts and towns for the people that create and design our communities with dedication, excellence and beauty. Just as important are the local land developers, engineers and designers that imagine, dream and create cool neighbourhoods for our sliver of the world. We dedicate this issue to your...

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Paul’s Voice: Let the rainbows shine

I try to be a more tolerant, loving and empathic person in spite of my human neurological deficits, irrational beliefs, memory failures, optical illusions and knew-it-all-along bias. However, I know I cannot succeed if my brain dwells on the negative—even when the negative is overwhelming me. While truth has never been compulsory for politicians or multinational CEOs, most Canadians err on the side of caution and tend to apologize (many times over) for their exaggerations. It is a Canadian thing. Meanwhile, Americans chortle with glee after telling citizens (and civilization) orange-faced lie after lie. But even more lies proliferate...

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Paul’s Voice: Dear Donald

Dear Donald, My Father refused to call Americans, Americans. Rightfully so, he would argue, everybody living in the North, South and Central Americas—were in fact Americans—so he called them USers. I did not understand why my father had a problem with USers. He was born in Roseau, Minnesota so he was a USer himself. Growing up, it seemed that many people didn’t like USers and they seemed to realize this because they would pretend to be Canadians when travelling abroad—kinda like pretending to be your own PR agent. US leaders have always been under scrutiny from the rest of...

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Predictably Irrational: frank talk with author and researcher Dan Ariely

Okanagan Life Editor Paul Byrne spoke with Dan Ariely about his book, Predictably Irrational, his TED talks and his seminal research that shines much needed light on the hidden forces that shape human decisions, behaviors and also answers the questions about why humans cheat—especially when it comes to money. (Editor's Note: I bought five copies of Predictably Irrational to give to my children years ago. It is one of my favourite books that I believe should be required reading by Politicians of all nations.) The (Dis)Honesty Project is also available online. OL: You attended the Decepticon Conference with UBCO’s...

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Okanagan Lie Detectors

The brave truth is this UBC Okanagan team of lie busters is attaining worldwide acclaim by seeking greater understanding in the fields of malfeasance, untruth and secrecy Sarah (not her real name) sits in an interview room. Thirty minutes tick past. “What can you tell me about the incident,” asks the interviewer. “I don’t remember,” says Sarah. The questioner, well trained in police interview tactics, reassures her. “Most people are able to retrieve lost memories if they try hard enough.” It takes just three sessions for Sarah to admit her guilt. Prompted only by the small facts of her...

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