A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for November 2010

[PHOTO] Tree, illuminated

Tree, illuminated
Originally uploaded by randyfmcdonald

Interesting results can be had if you photograph a sapling in a nice alley in the night using the right sort of flash. (The tree, if you’re curious, is located on the east side of Kaolin Designs, at 477 Dupont Street).

Written by Randy McDonald

November 30, 2010 at 7:47 am

Posted in Assorted

Tagged with , , ,

[H&F] The final bit of Kaarlo Kurko’s experiences, and, more on baseball and history

Two of my co-bloggers have made posts to History and Futility today.

  • Jussi Jalonen, in his Kaarlo Kurko; the victory, the downfall and the aftermath”, describes how Kurko became disaffected with Belarusian nationalists, came to embrace Poland, left Finland after he was kept from the ranks of the Finnish officer corps to join the French Foreign legion, and eventually became a popular writer, dying in 1989 just as communism was ending. It’s an interesting end to the story of a creative and bloody-minded man.
  • The Oberamtmann, meanwhile, in his “Baseball and History: Narratives, Part Three”, writes about how baseball plays a central role in American culture, a source of clichés and a bellweather for major social changes (Jackie Robinson’s joining the major leagues indicating the decline of racial segregation, for instance). This last point leads to one interesting question: can the great players of the segregation-era major leagues, by virtue of not having played against African-American players, really be said to have been great? Another interesting question: why haven’t the Negro Leagues gained more recognition?
  • Go, read.

    Written by Randy McDonald

    November 29, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    [DM] “‘Pure’ north, ‘impure’ south: Cause for conflict in Korea?

    I’ve a post up at Demography Matters that speculates on a possible if secondary reason for the North’s hostility towards South Korea. North Korea’s leadership is so concerned with ethnic purity that it’s policy for its security guard to kick North Korean women pregnant by Chinese fathers into miscarriages; South Korea’s government, in contrast, is actively encouraging the integration of immigrants and children born to foreign-born mothers into an increasingly cosmopolitan population. Might the North be unhappy with this?

    Go, read.

    Written by Randy McDonald

    November 29, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    [BLOG] Some Monday links

    • At Beyond the Beyond, Bruce Sterling is impressed by outgoing Brazilian president Lula’s interviews with leading Brazilian bloggers.
    • James Bow mourns the passing of George Robitaille, the TTC employee photographed sleeping on the job. Making note of his medical conditions, Bow wonders about the Internet’s ability to mobilize people for anything.
    • Centauri Dreams examines how a team of Italian researchers have come up with a deep-space navigation system that makes use of the radio signals of pulsars to guide the craft.
    • Daniel Drezner isn’t happy with the increasingly untenable situation re: North Korea. What to do with that? Separate issue.
    • At Halfway Down the Danube, Douglas Muir notes how Zambia was so much less marked by the massive Shaka-era population movements in southern Africa, and how the colonial-era concentration of the Zambian population has the salutary effect of giving most people direct access to markets and transportation.
    • Language Log’s Mark Liberman reports on the controversy surrounding the Royal Spanish Academy’s language reforms, apparently including the abolition of two letters. (Hispanophones?)
    • “Are video games art?” Matt Warren wonders. “Not yet,” he concludes.
    • Gideon Rachman is unimpressed by the contents of the latest revealed Wikileaks cables, noting that they mainly confirm established wisdom. Daniel Drezner is of much the same opinion.
    • At The Zeds, Michael Steeleworthy defends Google Scholar as a valid research tool, as a good first step if nothing else.

    Written by Randy McDonald

    November 29, 2010 at 9:32 am

    [PHOTO] Standing out in a crowd

    Standing out in a crowd
    Originally uploaded by randyfmcdonald

    The “candle” mode of my camera, something geared for low-light settings like Nuit Blanche, did a decent enough job of capturing the static streetscape and the blurred figures of passersby. Just on the left side of the photo, there’s a group of five people captured clearly. I wonder what they were talking about.

    Written by Randy McDonald

    November 29, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Posted in Assorted

    [FORUM] What size community do you prefer: small, or large?

    That’s the question I’d like to put to you tonight. Do you feel most at home in small communities (rural, small-town) or in large ones?

    (My opinion is likely evident from the content of my posts.)


    Written by Randy McDonald

    November 28, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Posted in Assorted

    Tagged with , ,

    [PHOTO] Elgin and Winter Garden, Nuit Blanche 2010

    The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres are “a pair of stacked theatres in Toronto, Ontario, Canada[,] the last surviving Edwardian stacked theatres in the world. The pair were originally built as the centrepiece of Marcus Loew’s theatre chain in 1913. The building was designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb, who also built The Canon Theatre. The ornate lower theatre, then named Loew’s Yonge Street Theatre, was home to plays and vaudeville productions that attracted some of the world’s top talent. The upper level Winter Garden, which is decorated to resemble a forest, also housed vaudeville productions.”

    I walked around a bit Yonge Street and environs on the night of this year’s Nuit Blanche. Playing with camera modes, I got some interesting photos, at least.

    Elgin and Winter Garden (1)

    Elgin and Winter Garden (2)

    Elgin and Winter Garden (3)

    Written by Randy McDonald

    November 28, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Posted in Assorted

    Tagged with , , ,