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[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • In this unseasonably warm September, Toronto tenants need more air conditioning than some landlords provide. The Toronto Star reports.

  • NOW Toronto notes the launch of a new Kent Monkman canvas, this one depicting a Dutch-Iroquois treaty signing.

  • The bizarre story of an ISIS supporter who tried to attack people at a Canadian Tire store is getting more bizarre. The Toronto Star reports.

  • There is a possibility the Ontario minimum wage increase could hurt employment outside of well-off Toronto. The Globe and Mail reports.

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[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • If the separatists of Catalonia are triggering a confrontation with the Spanish government to create a majority ... Open Democracy reports.

  • Speaking as someone who could be classified as a settler himself, positioning myself and my arguments is key. MacLean's notes the importance of sensitivity to First Nations issues.

  • The United Kingdom does seem likely to get the selective access to the EU's markets post-Brexit some want. Bloomberg reports.

  • Expensive avocado exports are but some of the complications that could hit North America if NAFTA gets changed. Bloomberg reports.

  • Iceland, again, is displaying particular caution towards potentially overwhelming Chinese investment projects. Bloomberg reports.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

Sep. 21st, 2017 01:10 pm
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • Centauri Dreams considers the idea of dispatching a fleet of sail-equipped probes to map the asteroid belt.

  • Crux considers the importance of the invention of zero for mathematics.

  • D-Brief notes that Scotland's oldest snow patch is set to melt imminently.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper looking at the stability of multiplanetary systems in star clusters.

  • Imageo notes the modest recovery of icecaps in the Arctic this summer.

  • Language Log notes the importance of Kazakhstan's shift to using the Latin script for the Kazakh language.

  • The LRB Blog reports on a writer's visit to Helsinki.

  • The Map Room Blog notes a giant relief map of Guatemala, built to reinforce claims to what is now Belize.

  • The NYR Daily considers the continued salience of race in the fragile liberal-democratic world, in America and Europe.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer wonders if the heavy-handed Spanish government is trying to trigger Catalonian independence.

  • Roads and Kingdoms considers the palm wine of Senegal, and its vendors.

  • Understanding Society considers the Holocaust, as an experience sociological and otherwise.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy makes a libertarian case for open borders.

  • Whatever's John Scalzi celebrates his meeting mutual fan Alison Moyet.

  • Window on Eurasia notes how Belarus' cautious Belarusianization is met by Russia's pro-Soviet nostalgia.

rfmcdonald: (photo)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald
The Cavendish Cemetery, on the southwest corner of the intersection of routes 6 and 13, is famous around the world as the place where Lucy Maud Montgomery rests in eternal peace. Alongside her are buried many of her relatives, including her mother and her maternal grandparents, MacNeills all. A sign at the entrance asks visits not to leave artificial flowers.

Approaching Cavendish Cemetery #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #cavendishcemetery #latergram


Graves of MacNeills #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #cavendishcemetery #lmmontgomery #macneill #grave #latergram


Entrance #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #cavendishcemetery #lmmontgomery #latergram
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald
The newly-opened Trillium Park and William G. David Trail, part of the ongoing redevelopment of Ontario Place, is superb. Though the landscaping is still raw, just three months after the parks opening, the bones are good ones. Walking along the trail on a beautiful warm evening, seeing the park full of people enjoying the grass or the concert or the views of the lake and the Toronto Islands, I knew this park is a success.

Entering Trillium Park

Looking east

Path ahead

Two routes

Trail tree

Gathered for the concert (1)

Gathered for the concert (2)

Looking at Hanlan's Point

Looking at Billy Bishop

Overlooking

Hough's Glade

Evening in the park

Walking by boats on the lake
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[personal profile] sovay
Erev Rosh Hashanah: I misplace the keys to my parents' house and cannot help with the cooking as early in the afternoon as planned, but my brother and his family turn out to have been laid low by some opportunistic bug (the preschool year has started) and don't make it for dinner after all; my father drives their roast chicken and their challah and their honeycake out to them in the evening. We eat ours after I light orange taper candles that technically belong to Halloween because that's what's in the house. The chicken is brined and stuffed with lemon halves and fresh rosemary; the huge round challah with honey drizzled lightly over its egg-washed crust is from Mamaleh's; the honeycakes are homemade and the twice-baked potatoes were introduced by [personal profile] spatch and me. I know it is not precisely the customary use of the Shechecheyanu, but I find it useful to have a prayer thank you, God, that we've made it this far. The year starts anyway, ready or not. I'd rather recognize it as it goes by. L'shanah tovah, all.
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald
I've a brief post noting the devastation of the Caribbean this hurricane season. What will come next? And how can the peoples of the Caribbean survive in an area of the world facing such regular devastation?

Big Screen Lupin III

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:40 pm
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[personal profile] lovelyangel
Jigen and Lupin
Jigen and Lupin
Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro

Last night I saw Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro at Century Theatres. I never tire of this masterpiece! Before the movie, a short and wonderful interview with Pixar’s John Lasseter was presented. He gushed about the art and craftsmanship of the movie – and the movie’s influence on his own career. After the movie another interview short was shown – this one featuring Monkey Punch (the original manga artist/writer) and two of the movie’s animators.

Inbetween was the movie itself – always fun, always amazing – and gorgeous on the big screen. I may never get to see this movie in a theater again. I’m so glad I have it on Blu-ray at home.

A fabulous two hours passed quickly, and I left the theater with a big smile on my face. (And tonight I’m treating myself to revisiting the soundtrack in my iTunes library.)

Hail to the traveler!

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:08 pm
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • io9 has an interesting article looking at how the success of Disney's film Moana is driving Maori pride in New Zealand.

  • New Now Next lists eight of the top LGBTQ bookstores of North America and Europe, including Toronto's Glad Day.

  • 24 hours on an artificial beach, sheltered under a hanger deep in east Germany, turns out to be quite fulfilling. VICE
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • Climate change is making the famous tea of Darjeeling much more difficult to come by. VICE reports.

  • Wired notes Fitbits are useful tracking devices for scientists engaged in studies, too. (I always wear mine.)

  • I entirely approve of this new Niagara College program. Why not legalize and professionalize cannabis agriculture?

  • This VICE interview with bringing the Truvada needed for inexpensive PrEP across the border into Canada is of note.

  • A new study suggests that Planet Nine, if it exists, was likely not captured by the young sun but formed here. Universe Today reports.

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[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • While I get why the TTC would promote its top ranking on its vehicles, the optics of significant cost for this promotion are terrible.

  • Bay and Bloor, Avenue Road and Bloor, Bay and King--these are the top intersections for condo resellers.

  • I get why Bombardier workers would want to support their employer versus Bombardier with a brief strike, and be justified in doing so. Just--well, optics.

  • Can the Centreville carousel be kept in Toronto? I suppose it would be nice if they could get the funding.

This Week in Nazi-Punching

Sep. 20th, 2017 04:15 pm
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[personal profile] jimhines

A video of a Nazi in Seattle getting punched and knocked out has been making the rounds. Responses range from satisfaction and celebration to the predictable cries of “So much for the tolerant left” and the related “Violence makes us as bad as them and plays right into their hands.”

A few things to consider…

1. According to one witness, the punch happened after the Nazi called a man an “ape” and threw a banana at him. With the disclaimer that I’m not a lawyer, that sounds like assault to me. I’m guessing Assault in the Fourth Degree. In other words, the punching was a response to an assault by the Nazi.

The witness who talks about the banana-throwing also says he was high on THC. I haven’t seen anyone disputing his account, but I haven’t seen corroboration, either.

2.Remember when George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, and people like Geraldo Rivera said it was because Martin was wearing a hoodie, and that made Martin a potentially dangerous “suspicious character”? Utter bullshit, I know. But if our legal system let Zimmerman plead self-defense, saying he was afraid because Martin was wearing a hoodie, doesn’t that same argument apply against someone wearing a fucking swastika?

We’re talking about a symbol that announces, “I support genocide of those who aren’t white, aren’t straight, aren’t able-bodied…”

3. Buzzfeed presents this as anti-fascists tracking a Neo-Nazi to beat him up. While antifa Twitter appears to have been talking about this guy, there’s no evidence that the punch was thrown by someone who’s part of that movement. And even if he was, the guy didn’t throw a punch until after the Nazi committed assault (see point #1).

Those Tweets quoted on Buzzfeed also suggest the Nazi was armed, which could add to the self-defense argument in point #2.

Is Nazi-punching right? Is it legal? As any role-player will tell you, there’s a difference between whether something is lawful and whether it’s good.

The “victim” has every right to press charges. But for some reason, he didn’t want to talk to police about the incident.

Was punching this guy a good thing? I mean, there’s a difference between comic books and real life. The Nazi was standing in front of some sort of tile wall. He could have struck his head on the corner after being punched, or when he fell to the ground. In other words, there’s a chance–albeit probably a slim one–that this could have killed him.

My country and culture glorify violence. I’d much rather avoid violence when possible. I think most rational people would. But there are times it’s necessary to fight, to choose to defend yourself and others. I think it’s important to understand the potential consequences of that choice.

Multiple accounts agree this man was harassing people on the bus, and later on the street. He was a self-proclaimed Nazi. Police say they received calls that he was instigating fights, and it sounds like he escalated from verbal harassment to physical assault … at which point another man put him down, halting any further escalation.

I don’t know exactly what I would have done in that situation, but I see nothing to make me condemn or second-guess this man’s choice in the face of a dangerous Nazi.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:29 pm
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait notes the continuing maps and naming of the Pluto system.

  • Centauri Dreams considers one method to detect photosynthesis on Earth-like worlds of red dwarf stars.

  • D-Brief notes the discovery of Octlantis, a permanent community of octopi located off the coast of Australia.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes Earth-like world can co-exist with a Jovian in a circumstellar habitable zone.

  • Hornet Stories notes that Morrissey is now in Twitter. (This will not go well.

  • Language Log notes the kanji tattoo of one American neo-Nazi.

  • The LRB Blog notes how the English town of Tewksbury is still recovering from massive flooding a decade later.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the improbable life of Barry Sadler, he of "The Ballad of the Green Berets".

  • The Map Room Blog shares this terrifying map examining the rain footprint of Hurricane Irma.

  • Spacing reviews a fascinating dual biography of architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson.

  • Window on Eurasia notes an call to restore to maps the old Chinese name for former Chinese Tuva, Uryankhai.

rfmcdonald: (photo)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald
The Haunted Woods Trail is one of the major trails extending from the Green Gables house. This one extends east, into a patch of second-growth forest that has grown up on farmland abandoned since the National Park's creation in the early 20th century, on lands that--we are told, by signposts--are marked by the historic presence of Montgomery.

Haunted Woods Trail (1) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables


Haunted Woods Trail (2) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables


Haunted Woods Trail (3) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables


Haunted Woods Trail (4) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables


Haunted Woods Trail (5) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables


Haunted Woods Trail (6) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables


Haunted Woods Trail (7) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables


Haunted Woods Trail (8) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables


Haunted Woods Trail (9) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald
On my Sunday visit to Fort York, I was struck by how this fort is now a green space engulfed in city, towers nearby in South Core to the east and further away in Liberty Village to the west, girdled by the Gardiner Expressway to the south and by the rail tracks to the north. It's an anachronistic island, of sorts.

At Fort York underneath the city (1) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (2) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (3) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (4) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (5) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (6) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (7) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (8) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (9) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (10) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (11) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (12) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway
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[personal profile] moon_custafer

 “Bill,” from the musical Showboat, is kind of a gender-swapped “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun,” describing the beloved entirely in negatives; that works if you’re Shakespeare and the cliché you’re deconstructing is the Petrachan sonnet. I’m not sure what “Bill” is the opposite of – a beautiful man in a Leyendecker illustration, probably (there may be some kind of working-class pride intended in the list of sports he does not excel at being golf, tennis, polo, and rowing.)

 

The problem with this kind of thing is that you’re always left wondering just what the beloved *does* have going for them. Sex, maybe. That’s probably what Shakespeare was implying, and the lyrics to “Bill” date from the early twentieth century and would have to be even more covert. “It’s surely not his brain that makes me thrill.”

 

Given that within the context of the musical, the character is performing the song, but is really thinking about her husband who’s just run out on her because he can no longer deal with the fact she’s mixed-race, I can’t feel too optimistic about “Bill’s” negative virtues, but the song’s been stuck in my head for days and deconstructing the lyrics doesn’t help.

 

My brain, gentlefolk.

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