Overcoming arachnophobia

It’s Valentine’s Day, so let’s show a little love for a creature that most people hate – spiders! Today in The Conversation Canada, Gerhard Gries and Andreas Fischer from Simon Fraser University write about our illogical fear of spiders – officially known as arachnophobia. And once you get beyond the fear, they write, you will discover that “spiders are among the most fascinating and diverse creatures on Earth.”

If you’ve been shovelling snow lately, you may be suffering from a back ache. If so, get some physio. But Brenna Bath and Catherine Trask of the University of Saskatchewan have published new research which shows that many Canadians – including those living in rural and remote areas – are unable to access physio and other non-physician options.

The federal government’s failed Phoenix payroll system is a problem that seems to have no solution. Andrew Graham of Queen’s University has analyzed why governments have such difficulty implementing public policy – a phenomenon that happens not just in Canada, but around the world.

And finally….If you can’t find it in your heart to love spiders, at least give your dog a hug today. But let’s also take a moment to thank the frontline workers who are watching out for animals every day of the year. Kendra Coulter of Brock University has studied workers who investigate animal cruelty – a profession that presents significant physical and emotional risks.


Scott White


Today's Featured Articles

Steatoda grossa, also known as the false black widow spider, poses little threat to humans. True black widows only bite when they are disturbed. Mike Hrabar

Get ‘inspidered’ – from fear of spiders to fascination

Gerhard J. Gries, Simon Fraser University; Andreas Fischer, Simon Fraser University

Our fear of spiders is driven by a lack of information, but these fascinating creatures are often more harmless than harmful.

Around the world, government officials fail often at implementing policy and public sector projects. Here’s why. (Shutterstock)

Why governments are so bad at implementing public policy

Andrew Graham, Queen's University, Ontario

Research around the world shows a consistent pattern of failures in public sector policy and project implementation. Yet we continue to embark upon implementation built on bias and faulty logic.

Many cases of lower back pain are best managed through education, exercise and manual treatment. (Shutterstock)

Back pain? A physiotherapist may offer the most effective treatment, if you can afford it

Brenna Bath, University of Saskatchewan; Catherine Trask, University of Saskatchewan

The over-medicalization of back pain is a global concern. New research in Canada shows that people with lower income as well as rural and remote dwellers are less likely to access physiotherapy care.

Animal cruelty investigators are doing unappreciated work for low pay and without union benefits or protections. (Shutterstock)

Preventing animal cruelty is physically, emotionally risky for front-line workers

Kendra Coulter, Brock University

Animal cruelty investigators do challenging and unappreciated work for very low pay, and normally without union benefits or protections.

La Conversation Canada

Le perfectionnisme apparaît souvent dès l’enfance sous l’influence parentale et peut mener à des problèmes de santé mentale plus tard dans la vie. Shutterstock

Une épidémie de perfectionnisme s'abat sur les jeunes

Simon Sherry, Dalhousie University; Martin M. Smith, York St John University

De nouvelles recherches montrent que le perfectionnisme a considérablement augmenté au cours des 25 dernières années et que les perfectionnistes deviennent de plus en plus névrosés au fil du temps.

Health + Medicine