A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for June 2017

[NEWS] Four links about global warming and changing shorelines

  • Ars Technica recommends five sights on the British coast to see before they are erased by global warming.
  • This Syracuse.com report about the upstate New York town of Sandy Creek, beset by Lake Ontario flooding, is alarming.
  • VICE‘s Kate Lunau notes the serious threat posed by sea level rise to coastal Canadian centres, from Halifax to Vancouver.
  • Robinson Meyer in The Atlantic notes that the US South, already badly off, will be hit hard by global warming.
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Written by Randy McDonald

June 30, 2017 at 6:15 pm

[URBAN NOTE] Four notes about change, architectural and waterfront and demographic, in Toronto

  • blogTO notes a pretty significant expansion of the University of Toronto’s Robarts Library.
  • Spacing Toronto’s John Lorinc argues that the plan for waterfront revitalization could be a gamechanger for Toronto as a city.
  • The Toronto Star‘s Laurie Monsebraaten notes that the number of young children in downtown Toronto is spiking.
  • VICE notes that Toronto housing has become as unaffordable as it ever has been.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait talks about some new observations of the dusty ring of Fomalhaut.
  • Centauri Dreams reports on a new theory about the magnetic fields of Uranus.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reports on a new Lin-Manuel Miranda mixtape referencing immigration, including the refugee crisis.
  • The LRB Blog reports on the terrible psychological toll of Grenfell Tower for the survivors, including the very young.
  • Neuroskeptic wonders if psychology papers might give criminals ideas.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy reports on a Canadian court ruling ordering Google to remove search results worldwide.
  • Window on Eurasia argues Russia must take care not to undermine protection for non-Russian languages in the republics, and describes a new total mobilization policy in Belarus possibly aimed against Russia.

[META] On the latest two blogs on the blogroll

  • I’ve added Sean CW Korsgaard’s Korsgaard’s Commentary, a blog focusing on cultural reviews. In one interesting recent post, Korsgaard makes the case for the excellence of the 1999 film The Mummy.
  • Toronto writer and critic Drew Rowsome also has his own blog. He has recently shared his shortlist of picks for the Toronto Fringe festival.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 30, 2017 at 8:45 am

[PHOTO] Ten photos of the Humber River, from Étienne Brûlé Park through to Magwood Park

Early Wednesday evening, I had a lovely stroll north up the Humber River from Bloor, passing through first Étienne Brûlé Park then Magwood Park on the eastern shore of the Humber. These parks were well-populated, by people taking in the warmth of the sun and by Canada geese basking by the shore.

Paddling down the muddy Humber

Slipping down to Étienne Brûlé Park

Old Mill Bridge from the north

Canada geese by the shore (1)

Canada geese by the shore (2)

Thundering Humber

South-flowing Humber by the mud

Thundering

Towards Home Smith Park

Flow

Written by Randy McDonald

June 30, 2017 at 6:00 am

[MUSIC] Bruce Cockburn, “Lovers In A Dangerous Time”

Possibly Canadian folksinger Bruce Cockburn‘s signature song, his 1984 single “Lovers In A Dangerous Time” amply deserves its fame. It’s a strong song, deserving its top ranking on any number of lists of top Canadian love songs, the poetry of Cockburn’s lyrics carried by the urgency of his vocals.

This song arguably achieved greater fame outside of Canada by virtue of the Barenaked Ladies’ later cover. That cover is decent, I grant, but it lacks Cockburn’s signature urgency. Cockburn wrote this song, like other songs at this time, in the context of the Cold War, in his concern for refugees from Latin America. (I read somewhere that he was thinking of couples caught up in Argentina’s then recently-concluded dirty war.) Other critics linked this song to the emergence HIV/AIDS crisis. The Barenaked Ladies’ cover is light, too light–their Scarborough might have been boring, but it was not that bad. Cockburn understood perfectly that love matters, even especially when times were difficult, and his performance gets this across wonderfully.

These fragile bodies of touch and taste
This vibrant skin, this hair like lace
Spirits open to the thrust of grace
Never a breath you can afford to waste

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Sometimes you’re made to feel as if your love’s a crime
But nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
Got to kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight

Written by Randy McDonald

June 29, 2017 at 11:59 pm

[MUSIC] Four pop music links

  • Vice‘s Noisey celebrates the life and music of Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, whose medley of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” outlived him.
  • The AP describes how Britain’s pop music charts have changed to stop future bouts of Ed Sheeran-style domination.
  • Hannah Ellis-Peterson reports for The Guardian about how (and why) Sony has opened a new vinyl pressing plant in Japan.
  • Carla Gillis reported in May for NOW Toronto about David McPherson’s forthcoming book on the famed Horseshoe Tavern.