A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘books

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • blogTO looks at eleven recent Toronto-themed books, from fiction to children’s literature.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the idea of using waste heat to detect extraterrestrial civilizations.
  • Far Outliers reports on how German East Africa substituted for foreign imports during the blockade of the First World War.
  • Marginal Revolution suggests that the fall of Rome may have been due to the failure to reconquer North Africa.
  • The NYRB Daily looks at the exuberant art of Jazz Age Florence Stettheimer.
  • The Planetary Society Blog shares a stunning portrait of Jupiter from the New Horizons probe.
  • Window on Eurasia considers the idea of containment in the post-Cold War world.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at the British election.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • blogTO profiles Robert Burley’s lovely new photo book, An Enduring Wilderness: Toronto’s Natural Parklands.
  • Border Thinking’s Laura Agustín looks at the New Orleans sex trade in the fiction of James Lee Burke.
  • Crooked Timber argues that philosophy majors are uniquely well-suited to being good citizens.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money makes the point that American conservative voters are not monocausal.
  • Steve Munro notes that the TTC can count on delivering unreliable service, thanks in part to its concentration on terminals
  • The NYRB Daily looks at the fables of Syrian writer Osama Alomar.
  • Savage Minds looks at the very serious anthropology of Bronislaw Malinowski.
  • Whatever’s John Scalzi announces his upcoming participation in the Robots vs. Fairies anthology.
  • Window on Eurasia argues a Russian annexation of the Donbas would be doable only in the aftermath of a wider Russian war against Ukraine.

[PHOTO] Ten photos from TCAF 2017 (#tcaf)

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This morning, I headed over to Yonge and Bloor in order to take part in this year’s latest incarnation of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival.

Cover #toronto #tcaf #comics

TCAF is a big event, spilling over from the Toronto Reference Library into the conference rooms of the Marriott Bloor Yorkville hotel to the east and north into the Masonic Temple.

Welcome to TCAF! #toronto #tcaf #comics

(We actually got to see the fifth-floor conference room in the Masonic Temple, a chamber that looked uncanilly like the Canadian Senate.)

Entering fifth floor, Masonic Temple #toronto #tcaf #masonictemple

Whiteboard #toronto #tcaf #masonictemple #whiteboard

The Reference Library was packed. By mid-afternoon, the temperature was still comfortable, but the milling crowds will surely change that.

Crowded #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary

Ascending #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary #elevator

Looking down #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary

From the fourth floor #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary

Bram and Bluma Appel Salon #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary #bramandblumaappelsalon

I ended up coming away lightly, buying only Toronto Comics Mini #1. This, one of the latest entries in the successful Toronto Comics Line, is a must-have.

Toronto Comics Mini #1, acquired #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary #torontocomics #books

Written by Randy McDonald

May 13, 2017 at 8:02 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Centauri Dreams looks at evidence that Ceres’ Occator Crater, an apparent cryovolcano, may have been recently active.
  • Crooked Timber’s John Quiggin wonders what would have happened had Kerensky accepted the German Reichstag’s proposal in 1917.
  • Dangerous Minds looks at some fun that employees at a bookstore in France got up to with book covers.
  • Cody Delistraty describes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s utter failure to fit into Hollywood.
  • A Fistful of Euros hosts Alex Harrowell’s blog post taking a look at recent history from a perspective of rising populism.
  • io9 reports on a proposal from the Chinese city of Lanzhou to set up a water pipeline connecting it to Siberia’s Lake Baikal.
  • Imageo notes a recent expedition by Norwegian scientists aiming at examining the winter ice.
  • Strange Maps links to an amazing graphic mapping the lexical distances between Europe’s languages.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that Russia is on the verge of a new era of population decline, and shares a perhaps alarming perspective on the growth of Muslim populations in Russia.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • James Bow calls for an end to the US-Canada Safe Third Country agreement prohibiting people coming from American soil from claiming refugee status in Canada.
  • D-Brief reports on the vast array of man-made minerals appearing in what is now being called the Anthropocene Era of Earth.
  • Dangerous Minds notes the efforts of the Disco Preservation Society to preserve DJ mixes from 1980s San Francisco.
  • Language Log takes issue with Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s argument that cryptographers, not linguists, would be needed in Arrival.
  • The LRB Blog notes impunity for murderers of civil society activists in Honduras.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen talks about Joyce Gladwell’s autobiography Brown Face, Big Master.
  • The NYRB Daily celebrates the work of Hercules Segers.
  • The Planetary Society Blog is skeptical of the Space X plan to send tourists past the Moon by 2018.
  • Supernova Condensate lists 8 things we know about Proxima Centauri b.
  • Towleroad reports on new walking tours being offered of gay London.
  • Arnold Zwicky engages with a California exhibition comparing paintings with movies.

[URBAN NOTE] “How six undergrads saved U of T’s rare books”

The Toronto Star‘s Ellen Brait reports on how first-year engineering students at the University of Toronto came up with a solution to save the books of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

When 750,000 volumes of rare books are imperiled by condensation, it’s time to think outside the building.

Since at least 2004, the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library – which houses books including all four of Shakespeare’s folios and a papyrus from the time of Christ – has had a condensation problem. The insulation inside the library has been slowly degrading and condensation has been building up, according to Loryl MacDonald, interim director of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. This also resulted in fluctuations in the temperature, something that can be detrimental to books that need climate controlled environments.

“Over time with those types of conditions mould can grow and affect some of the rare books,” said MacDonald.

The library consulted numerous architecture firms and was told the same thing again and again: construction had to be done in the interior. This would require the books, some of which are in fragile condition, to be moved and the library to be temporarily closed.

Desperate for a different solution, John Toyonaga, manager of the Bindery for the library, saw an ad for a first year problem-solving engineering class and decided to throw the library’s problem into the mix.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 18, 2017 at 7:00 pm

[CAT] Shakespeare and Caitians

Shakespeare, and Caitians #toronto #shakespeare #cats #catsofinstagram #caturday startrek #caitians #worldsofthefederation

Shakespeare, here, is photographed in front of my copy of the venerable 1989 Star Trek reference book Worlds of the Federation, in front of the entry describing the felinoid species of Caitians introduced in the 1970s animated series.

A guy can dream, after all: Why not cats?

Written by Randy McDonald

February 11, 2017 at 1:03 pm