A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘glbt issues

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • blogTO notes that Yorkville’s Lettieri is shutting down.
  • Crooked Timber starts a debate as to who won the latest Greece/Eurozone confrontation.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting a new way to analyze carbon-rich exoplanet atmospheres.
  • The Dragon’s Tales observes that India is hoping to build its next aircraft carrier quickly.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Perelstvaig announces that people can now apply for her online Stanford course.
  • Marginal Revolution argues that antibiotics are of underestimated value.
  • Spacing reviews an interesting-sounding book, The Language of Space.
  • Towleroad notes an anonymous college lacrosse player who has just published a book of love poems to his boyfriend.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that Russia wants to weaken Baltic faith in NATO and suggests that everyone, detractors and supporters alike, overestimate Putin.
  • The Financial Times‘ World blog notes that apparently Russia was unhappy with being ignored, so explaining in part why it went into Ukraine.

[BRIEF NOTE] On the selection of Wade MacLauchlan as premier of Prince Edward Island

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Wade MacLauchlan, former president of the University of Prince Edward Island, is now the 32nd premier of Prince Edward Island.

Newly confirmed P.E.I. Liberal Leader Wade MacLauchlan turned to the words of Island songwriter Stompin’ Tom Connors to inspire his party for a campaign expected this spring.

“As Stompin’ Tom has taught us, ‘If ya don’t get at it when ya get to it, you won’t get to it to get at it again,'” said MacLauchlan.

MacLauchlan was the only candidate for the leadership, and the convention Saturday afternoon was a formality. He will be sworn in as premier on Monday morning, along with a new cabinet. He replaces Robert Ghiz, who announced in November he would resign pending the election of a new leader.

MacLauchlan, the former president of the University of Prince Edward Island, has been criticized for not laying out more details of his agenda as he moves into government. He was short on specifics Saturday as well, but did present the pillars of a strategy for a provincial election campaign expected in the spring: economic growth, demographic change, and open government.

His election symbolizes the extent to which the Island has become cosmopolitan. (The Chinese vote may be noteworthy.)

On demographic change, MacLauchlan said the province must continue in its recent successes in attracting immigrants. The province has to do better at retaining its own talented and most mobile people, and encouraging expatriate Islanders to return.

“We cannot prosper without an effective population strategy,” he said.

MacLauchlan directly addressed the growing Chinese population on P.E.I., speaking in Mandarin wishing them a happy new year.

The Chinese population could be a significant factor in the coming election, especially in Charlottetown. There is the potential for thousands of new Chinese Canadians voting for the first time in the capital city.

Perhaps more notably, MacLauchlan himself is gay: out, partnered, all of it.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 25, 2015 at 3:38 am

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • blogTO notes that loads of new streetcars should arrive this year for the TTC.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper examining the impact of colliding stellar winds in a close binary on habitable planets, links to another examining how habitable planets gets their water, and wonders about the insights provided by the HR 8799 planetary system into water delivery.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper arguing that Enceladus’ subsurface ocean is made of alkaline soda water.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a claim by some British scientists that it may be possible, with foreseeable genetic engineering, to create children with two same-sex parents.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Perelstvaig looks into what Broca’s area of the brain actually means for human language.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that the woman-dominated area of health care is a growth area for middle-class employment in the United States.
  • Otto Pohl notes that yesterday was the 71st anniversary of the deportation of the Chechens and the Ingush.
  • pollotenchegg maps industrial production in Ukraine.
  • Will Baird argues at The Power and the Money that the Minsk Accord is crumbling and examines the reasons for Chinese support of Russia.
  • Spacing Toronto’s John Lorinc worries about corporate sponsorship of ice rinks.
  • Torontoist notes that Massey Hall has begun its renovations.
  • Towleroad notes a Texan legislator who wants to make it illegal for trans people to use public washrooms.
  • Transit Toronto observes that the Union-Pearson Express is undergoing test runs.
  • Window on Eurasia worries about the potential for a minority of Russians in Latvia’s eastern Latgale province to start trouble.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • blogTO notes that the cash-strapped CBC may be forced to sell its iconic downtown Toronto headquarters.
  • James Bow reflects on winter in Kitchener-Waterloo.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper studying the relationship between exoplanets and circumstellar dust discs.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a simulation of the polar atmosphere of Venus and notes concerns that India’s Hindustan Aeronautics might not be able to manufacture French Rafale fighters under contract.
  • Far Outliers notes Madeleine Albright’s incomprehension of Cambodia’s late 1990s struggles and looks at the way the country lags its neighbours.
  • The Frailest Thing notes how human traffic errors reveal we’re not quite up to some of the tasks we’d like.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Finland’s president has signed a marriage bill into existence.
  • Languages of the World notes the problem of where the homeland of the Indo-Europeans was located.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the often-ignored pattern of lynching Mexicans in the United States.
  • Marginal Revolution notes (1, 2) the problems of human beings with algorithmic, computer-driven planning.
  • Otto Pohl notes how Germans in Kyrgyzstan were forced into labour battalions.
  • pollotenchegg looks at demographic indicators in Ukraine over the past year, noting a collapse in the east.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at deep history, looking at the involvement of war in state-building in Africa and noting the historically recent rise of inequality in Latin America.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at one Russian’s proposal to give a Ukrainian church self-government, notes Russia’s inability to serve as a mentor to China, and looks at rural depopulation in the North Caucasus and South Russia.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • blogTO notes the expansion of condo development south of Yonge and Eglinton.
  • Centauri Dreams blogs about the exciting continuing approach of Dawn to Ceres.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze looks at the system of HD 69830, with three Neptune-mass planets and a dense asteroid belt.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper looking at French government surveillance of global communications networks.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers whether globalization is making the world subjectively smaller or larger.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the refusal of a Michigan doctor to treat the child of a lesbian couple.
  • Language Hat and Languages of the World react to a recent study claiming DNA evidence suggests the spread of Indo-European languages is connected to mass migrations.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the problems of Greece with and in the Eurozone.
  • The Planetary Society Blog describes an amateur’s ingenious new map of Europa.
  • The Power and the Money links to a paper suggesting that male advantage in Africa as a result of colonialism, at least judging by Uganda, was brief.
  • Spacing Toronto shows some supposed houses that are actually disguised electricity transformers.
  • Torontoist shares a list of some of this year’s visitors at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival.
  • Window on Eurasia speculates about the influence of Admiral Kolchak’s proto-fascism on modern Russia and argues that Russia does not want a Transdniestria-style enclave in Ukraine’s Donbas.

[LINK] “54 Bombed in 1998. Now It’s Been Resurrected as a Cult Gay Classic.”

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Louis Jordan’s Vulture article about how the 1998 movie 54 was gutted by edits and retakes ordered by the studio, and how a restoration of the film has restored its original critically-acclaimed story, is a frustrating tale. Why did Miramax go out of its way to undermine a film that worked well originally? I take from Jordan’s account the lesson that homophobia, of one kind or another, was just that strong.

In the summer of 1998, writer-director Mark Christopher’s 54, a clumsy cinematic paean to New York’s legendary disco club Studio 54, was released to dismal reviews, a lukewarm box office, and then promptly forgotten — at least by most of us. But just last week a director’s cut of the film, which starred Ryan Phillippe, Mike Myers, Salma Hayek, Breckin Meyer, and Neve Campbell, was shown at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival. That’s the sort of honor usually afforded classics like Apocalypse Now or Once Upon a Time in America, not a film with a 13 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. So how did this movie wind up getting that honor?

When it was released 17 years ago, 54 died quickly, but not exactly of natural causes. The film Christopher originally wrote and shot was a gritty, queer exploration of pre-AIDS hedonism. However, the studio that released the film, Miramax, then run by Bob and Harvey Weinstein and owned by Disney, ordered 40 minutes removed from the 106-minute film as well as 30 minutes of new scenes. The two cuts are so drastically different that one of 54’s producers, Dolly Hall, nicknamed the studio cut “55.” Christopher’s film had been sanitized nearly beyond recognition.

“I’ve never seen this kind of editing and reshooting on another film I’ve done,” says Phillippe, who played Shane, a Jersey boy seduced by the club’s sex-drugs-disco allure. “The characters were fundamentally changed in a way that wasn’t true to the original script. Not even close.”

In the years since the film came out, bootleg versions of Christopher’s original cut have circulated widely, earning 54 a kind of cult status as a lost classic of gay cinema — a status affirmed with the Berlin screening. A digital release is planned for later in the year as well.

“This kind of resurrection does not happen,” says Phillippe, “especially for a film that didn’t perform particularly well and was picked apart by the critics. What was hard for us was that initially we thought we were making something along the lines of Boogie Nights, you know? Something that was wild and represented the time period.”

Written by Randy McDonald

February 19, 2015 at 10:47 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about the good and the bad of freelancing.
  • Centauri Dreams wonders about the technical issues associated with the Encyclopedia Galactica.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper speculating on how Jupiter would appear if it was an exoplanet.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes a paper examining the tumultuous planetological history of Venus.
  • A Fistful of Euros argues that Cyprus’ engagement with the Euro has been marked by the government’s willingness to hide shady behaviour at all costs.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the death of out 60s pop icon Lesley Gore.
  • Language Hat deservedly celebrates its author’s return to health and blogging.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Perelstvaig notes that sdhe has an online course on languages available.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the lessons of Uruguay’s José Mujica for the left, and suggests that putting populists on pedestals is a losing strategy.
  • The Map Room’s Jonathan Crowe approves of the recent book Unruly Places.
  • Marginal Revolution shares a revisionist take on the 1943 Bengal famine.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw considers the role of community gardens in modern-day Australia.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders if Grexit will be triggered over so little.
  • Savage Minds shares tips on better writing for students of the social sciences (and all people, really).
  • Window on Eurasia notes the shattering of the post-Soviet space, suggests further advances into Ukraine are unlikely, argues that Lithuania would be much more likely to face conventional aggression than Estonia or Latvia, and notes Russia’s outlook to the European far left as well as the far right.

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