A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

[NEWS] Three links on Ontario transit: GO Transit. Kitchener-Waterloo, intercity buses, Northlander

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  • Making a much stronger commitment to GO Transit links connecting Kitchener-Waterloo with Toronto is essential. The GTA hardly stops at Hamilton, after all. CBC has it.
  • The weakness of intercity bus transit in Ontario, at least outside of the GTA, is a real problem. It magnifies the effect of distance in the vast stretches of this province. TVO reports.
  • The case for the return of the Northlander, the passenger rail service northern Ontario had until recently, seems strong to me. TVO looks at the issue.
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Written by Randy McDonald

December 15, 2017 at 9:00 pm

[PHOTO] Four photography links: Sharbat Gula, Christine Estima, Stephen Wilkes, Saskatchewan

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  • Sharbat Gula, the Afghan refugee made famous as a girl by a Steve McCurry photo for National Geographic three decades ago, now has a home in her homeland. National Geographic reports.
  • These photos by Christine Estima, taken with a disposable camera while swimming among the cenotes of Yucat√°n, are beautiful.
  • Photographer Stephen Wilkes’ remarkable photo of Parliament Hill on 1 July 2017, blending multiple photos taken over a decade, is eye-catching. CBC has it.
  • I personally think that organizing a photography club for at-risk youth in northern Saskatchewan is a great idea. Global News reports.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 15, 2017 at 5:30 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Architetuul considers the architectural potential offered by temporary constructions.
  • Centauri Dreams examines how the latest artificial intelligence routines were used to pick up the faint signal of Kepler-90i.
  • JSTOR Daily examines the sign language used by the deaf servants popular at the Ottoman imperial court.
  • Gizmodo notes that preliminary studies of ‘Oumuamua suggest that body is not a technological artifact.
  • Hornet Stories notes the bizarre friendship of Floyd Mayweather with Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the negative effects of NAFTA and globalization on the food eaten by Mexicans.
  • Geoffrey Pullum at Lingua Franca notes the fine line between dialectal differences and language errors.
  • The LRB Blog takes a quick look at corruption in the Russian bid for the World Cup in 2018.
  • The NYR Daily looks at Russian influence behind the Brexit referendum, noting the long-term need of the American and British democracies to adapt.
  • Jake Shears talks with Towleroad about the role that the city of New Orleans has been playing in his life and his creative work.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: Doug Ford, Parkdale development, TTC cell, Kaboom Chicken, 7/11

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  • Aaron Hutchins reports on the potential of the upcoming Doug Ford campaign in Toronto to reveal the strength, or not, of populism in Canada.
  • Jesse Winter reports at The Globe and Mail on how the redevelopment of a warehouse at Queen and Dufferin, in Parkdale, is set to displace the artists and creators now based there.
  • Ben Spurr notes that, although the entire TTC now has cell service, only Freedom Mobile–not any of the big three–has signed a contract to let users take advantage of this, over at the Toronto Star.
  • blogTO notes that the decision of restaurant Kaboom Chicken to blame price increases on the minimum wage increase has met with a negative reaction.
  • Narcity notes that some east-end 7/11 stores have shut down suddenly, apparently because of minimum wage increases.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares beautiful images of nebula Sharpless 2-29, brilliant and beautiful from the heart of our galaxy.
  • Centauri Dreams notes how New Horizons is maneuvering for its rendezvous with KBO MU69 on 1 January 2019.
  • Daily JSTOR notes how Indian schools were at once vehicles for the assimilation of American indigenous peoples and also sites for potential resistance.
  • Dangerous Minds shares the vintage Vampirella art of Enrique Torres-Prat.
  • From Tumblr, Explain It Like I’m Not From Lawrence looks at a very unusual tower in the downtown of that Kansas community.
  • Hornet Stories notes that PrEP is becoming available in Brazil, but only for a small subset of potential users.
  • Imageo notes a recent American study observing that the degree of Arctic heating is in at least two millennia.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Bermuda has repealed marriage equality. I can’t help but think this will not help the island’s tourism.
  • Language Hat links to a new encyclopedia article examining the origins of the Japanese language. I’m surprised the article suggests there are no verifiable links to Korean, Paekche aside.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money has an after-action report on the Alabama senate election. I agree with most of the conclusions–certainly it shows a need to contest every election!
  • Allan Metcalf at Lingua Franca quite likes the term “fake news” for its specific power, claiming it as his word of 2017.
  • The NYR Daily reflects on an exhibition of the powerful works of Modigliani.
  • The Planetary Society Blog reports on some infrared images taken by Juno of Jupiter and volcanic Io.
  • Roads and Kingdoms shares 21 pieces of advice for people interested in visiting Iran as tourists.
  • Towleroad’s list of the Top 10 albums of 2017 is worth paying attention to.
  • If this Window on Eurasia report is correct and HIV seroprevalence in Russia is twice the proportion officially claimed, 1.5% of the population …

[NEWS] Five LGBTQ links: molly houses, trans in Germany, being femme, changing sexuality

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  • Atlas Obscura takes a look at the history and culture of the “molly houses”, gay bars of 18th century England.
  • Atlas Obscura notes how pioneering German sexologist Marcus Hirschfeld managed to acquire limited recognition of the chosen identities of trans people in pre-Nazi Germany.
  • These interviews at VICE with five queer people, talking about what “femme” means to them, are interesting.
  • VICE’s unpacking of the concept of guys who identify as “mostly straight”, through an interview with researcher Ritch C. Savin-Williams, is fascinating. This future for traditional concepts of heterosexuality, one of many, seems both new and noteworthy.
  • The argument of Jeff Leavell at VICE, that stereotypes of gender should not be used to justify restrictive labels for humans’ sexuality, makes perfect sense to me.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 13, 2017 at 11:47 pm

[NEWS] Four sci-tech links: new non-Western star names, anti-pollution bacteria, Fitbit, ‘Oumuamua

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  • Universe Today notes that the IAU has just assigned new names to 86 stars, drawing from Chinese, Indian, Arabic, Mayan and Aborigine traditions. Delta Velorum is Alsephina, for instance.
  • Genetically engineered superbacteria from China may be set to consuming the waste from that country’s fashion industry. Bloomberg reports.
  • Erin Griffith at Wired notes how Fitbit is slowly edging from a fitness device to something like a medical monitor.
  • This article in The Atlantic looking at the upcoming efforts to see if extrasolar visitor ‘Oumuamua is a technological artifact is fascinating.