A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for July 2018

[NEWS] Six links about guaranteed minimum income in Ontario (#onpoli)

  • This article at Vice’s Motherboard took a look at how an Ontarian provincial experiment with guaranteed minimum income has been helping people in Hamilton.
  • Laurie Monsebraaten reported back in February how guaranteed minimum income was making a hugely positive difference for its recipients, over at the Toronto Star.
  • Global News considered if guaranteed minimum income might make a big difference in British Columbia.
  • Looking at the post-industrial town of Lindsay, Brian Bergstein at Technology Review suggested minimum income could have a hugely transformative effect if implemented elsewhere as it was here.
  • Jordan Pearson warned at Motherboard that, compared to Mincome in the 1970s, the experiments being run in Ontario and Finland involved too few people receiving too little money to be necessarily informative. Were they being run to fail?
  • Besides halving a planned 3% increase in welfare payments, to keep pace with inflation, the new Ontario government of Doug Ford has scrapped the guaranteed minimum income experiment. The Toronto Star reports.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 31, 2018 at 11:45 pm

[NEWS] Five links on China’s economic rise: Belt and Road, insecurity, Sri Lanka, Montenegro

  • This explainer from The Guardian explaining what, exactly, is the famed Belt and Road policy of China is informative.
  • This article at The Conversation considers whether or not China actually has the edge needed to lead the world. More likely, perhaps, is fragmentation in the face of the different weaknesses of China and the United States.
  • This article in The Atlantic by David Frum suggesting that the huge surge of Chinese investment overseas is driven not so much by strength as insecurity–why so many second homes away from China?–makes a compelling argument.
  • This Maria Abi-Habib article from The New York Times takes a look at how China was able to secure the port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka. Critically, the fecklessness of the Sri Lankan goverment, dominated by Sinhalese nationalists, was key.
  • This Reuters article looks at how the government of Montenegro has gone badly into debt to finance a Chinese-planned highway of dubious economic sense.

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Markham, Gimli, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Sydney

  • York Region reports on an anti-refugee protest in Markham that, reportedly, was dominated by Chinese-Canadian protesters.
  • Gimli’s 18th annual film festival has been a roaring success. Global News reports.
  • What has become of downtown Winnipeg after the city’s hockey team, the beloved Jets, finished their playoff run? Global News reports.
  • The voice of Seth Rogan will be the voice of Vancouver’s mass transit service, announcing stops and the like. CBC reports.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reports on how problems of growth surround–literally–Astrolabe Park, in Sydney.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: Doug Ford, elections, Garrison Crossing, TCH smoke free, streets

  • The City Council of Toronto, out of all the cities councils in all of the cities in Ontario, was the only one targeted for such a sharp reduction in councilors. The Toronto Star reports.
  • Alexandra Flynn at Spacing reports on some legal strategies that could be brought to bear by the City of Toronto against the Doug Ford actions.
  • blogTO notes a new pedestrian crossing, the Garrison Crossing, bridging the rail lines west of Fort York.
  • The new smoke-free policy of Toronto Community Housing will also apply to marijuana smoke. The Toronto Star reports.
  • Christopher Hume considers, in an era where cars and their drivers compete with other users of our major streets, just what does make a street successful. The Toronto Star has it.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes how the recently-charted orbit of S2 around Sagittarius A* in the heart of our galaxy proves Einstein’s theory of relativity right.
  • D-Brief notes a recent NASA study of Mars concluding that, because of the planet’s shortfalls in conceivably extractable carbon dioxide, terraforming Mars is impossible with current technology.
  • Dead Things suggests that one key to the rise of Homo sapiens may be the fact that we are such good generalists, capable of adapting to different environments and challenges with speed even if we are not optimized for them. (Poor Neanderthals.)
  • At the Everyday Sociology Blog, Karen Sternheimer examines how individuals’ identities shift as they engage, encountering new problems.
  • Hornet Stories notes that Thailand may well beat Taiwan in creating civil unions for same-sex couples.
  • JSTOR Daily examines the famed, nay iconic, baobab tree of Africa.
  • Erik Loomis at Lawyers, Guns and Money wonders about how, as the centennial of the introduction of women’s suffrage approaches, the white racism of many suffragettes will be dealt with.
  • The Map Room Blog reports on Michael Plichta’s very impressed hand-crafted globe of the Moon.
  • Russell Darnley at Maximos’ Blog reports on the massive forest fires in Indonesia’s Jambi Province.

[PHOTO] Five photography links: Distracted Boyfriend, anthropology, Edward Curtis, fake news

  • Did you know that the famous Distracted Boyfriend meme is actually part of a long melodramatic storyline, involving broken marriages, dead babies, and murder? Imgur has it all.
  • Dick Powis, writing at Anthro{dendum} in the #Ror2018 series, examines the theory and the power behind visual ethnography.
  • JSTOR Daily considers how some of the portraits of Edward Curtis depicting indigenous cultures underplayed their members’ engagement with the modern world, and why.
  • Lazia Kretzel, writing at the Guardian’s Comment is Free, looks at how Nigel Farage’s uncritical sharing of a crudely morphed photo of a Canadian supporter of refugees that she herself took is dangerous.
  • Mark Gollom takes a look at the uncontested power of a contested photo taken to illustrate the Trump Administration’s separation of children from parents at the United States’ border. What can a photo be taken to mean?

[WRITING] Five writing links: Wangersky, Kelly, Wrede, Harris, McKean

  • This Russell Wangersky column, published (among other places) at the Charlottetown Guardian, makes the perfectly valid point that journalism is much more than stringing together some tweets. It’s a craft.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about her experience enjoying the camaraderie of journalism, faced with shared challenges and menaces.
  • Patricia Wrede writes about how perfectionism can be the enemy of good writing.
  • Malcolm Harris writes at his Medium blog about the history of changing pay rates for writers.
  • Literary agent Kate McKean writes at The Outline about how a good story is, by itself, not nearly enough for a book. More is required.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 30, 2018 at 8:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: Jennifer Keesmaat, David Miller, Presto, Toronto Sun, Chick-Fil-A

  • The entry of Jennifer Keesmaat into the Toronto mayoral race, Matt Elliott notes at CBC Toronto, is already disrupting the contest in ways of interest to progressives. CBC reports.
  • I certainly agree with the suggestion of former mayor David Miller that Toronto should take Ford to court on the city council issue, not only because this is an important issue but because a line needs to be drawn. The Toronto Star reports.
  • If, as Ben Spurr notes at the Toronto Star, malfunctioning Presto cards and readers enabled 1.4 million free riders, all I can say is that I am surprised there were not more. I, for one, am going to keep buying the Metropass for as long as I can.
  • Jamie Bradburn has reposted an old 2009 Torontoist column of his looking at the role played by the Toronto Sun and its media personalities in city politics.
  • Natalia Manzocco at NOW Toronto reports on how institutionally homophobic American chicken sandwich chain Chick-Fil-A is hoping to set up a restaurant in Canada.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Raytheon has been awarded a contract to deliver a 100 kilowatt laser weapon system.
  • Hornet Stories offers a guide to LGBTQ sites in Manila.
  • JSTOR Daily explores the writing career of mid-20th century SF writer “James Tiptree Jr”, the pseudonym of Alice Bradley Sheldon.
  • Dan Nexon at Lawyers, Guns and Money explores the idea of a liberal world order, particularly as a manifestation of American policy post-1945.
  • Ben Yagoda at Lingua Franca takes a look at how Big Data–specifically, large archives of the written word–can illuminate lots about patterns of language usage, noting some examples.
  • The Map Room Blog looks at the way that maps of population density are being used in the United States to legitimate or delegitimate specific groups of voters.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen considers the concept of “reciprocity anxiety”, of owing people.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer reports on some swear words in Argentine Spanish as well as a case of government expropriation of Mapuche lands.
  • Drew Rowsome takes an extended look at Scotty and the Secret Life of Hollywood, an extended documentary looking at the life of scotty Bowers in closeted 20th century Hollywood.

[PHOTO] Three photos of back vistas and one selfie

Backyard tiger lilies by fence #toronto #dovercourtvillage #flowers #backyard #flowers #orange #tigerlily #lilies

Looking out a back window #toronto #churchandwellesley #churchstreet #themensroom #window #tower

Behind Garage #toronto #churchandwellesley #churchstreet #garage #alley #laneway

Knowing post-haircut selfie #toronto #me #selfie #churchandwellesley #churchstreet #starbucks #mirror

Written by Randy McDonald

July 30, 2018 at 12:15 pm