A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘holidays

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • blogTO notes underground constructions, from subways to roads, which never took off.
  • Centauri Dreams suggests that an analysis of KIC 8462852 which claimed the star had dimmed sharply over the previous century is incorrect.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze looks at the greenhouse effect of water vapour in exoplanets and wonders if carbon monoxide detection precludes life.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the economic radicalism of early Marvel.
  • Marginal Revolution argues China’s financial system should remain disconnected from the wider world’s so as to avoid capital flight.
  • The Numerati reacts to the recent snowstorm.
  • Personal Reflections examines Australia Day.
  • The Planetary Society Blog depicts an astronomer tracking a comet.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes that Ukraine now hosts one million refugees.
  • Towleroad notes that gay refugees are now getting separate housing in Germany.
  • Window on Eurasia talks about the worrying popularity of Chechnya’s Kadyrov and suggests that when the money runs out Russia’s regions will go their separate ways.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Anthropology.net notes the study of ice man Otzi’s gut flora.
  • blogTO shares photos of different Toronto intersections a century ago.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly considers the virtues of rest.
  • Centauri Dreams considers how we date stars.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze considers the fates of exoplanets in untable circumbinary orbits.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes China’s construction of a second, indigenous, aircraft carrier.
  • Geocurrents maps real estate prices in California.
  • Kieran Healy notes an odd checkerboard of land ownership in Nevada.
  • Languages of the World notes a study suggesting that one never truly completely forgets one’s first language.
  • Language Log notes the snark directed at the Oregon militiamen.
  • The Map Room maps thawing in the global Arctic.
  • Marginal Revolution suggests one way in which religion is good for the poor.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes an exciting proposal for a Europa lander.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer does not think the 2016 American presidential election will necessarily change much, not compared to 2012.
  • Peter Rukavina shares the results of his family’s use of a water metre.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog maps the distribution of Germans in Soviet Ukraine circa 1926.
  • Towleroad looks at syphilis in the male gay/bi community.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the alienation of Donbas, looks at the decline of Russia-linked churches in Ukraine and a proposal to shift the date of Christmas, and wonders about Tatarstan.

[BRIEF NOTE] On thinking about Doris Lessing and prisons on New Year’s Day

I’ve been thinking of Doris Lessing, particularly of her 1985 book of essays, Prisons We Choose to Live Inside. The book version of the CBC’s Massey Lectures from that year, available for listeners at the website of the CBC, , this very good book is Lessing’s attempt to explain why people are willing to behave in ways others would think irrational. What is going on? How can we save ourselves from making these mistakes?

This year I want to extricate myself from my prisons. I’m not sure what there are, where they are, even the extent to which they can be escaped, but I do know that I have allowed myself to be terribly circumscribed. Some of these limits have justifiable reasons, some do not, but–I hope!–most can be escaped. Here’s to doing just that.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 1, 2016 at 11:58 pm

[FORUM] How will you be celebrating the end of 2015?

For the first time in a long time, I’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve quietly at home. No party with friends, no sightseeing on the streets, just a quiet evening at home.

And you?

Written by Randy McDonald

December 31, 2015 at 10:18 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly asks what readers are reading.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at the miraculous way gravitational lensing can refract supernovas.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the compplex HD 100546 system.
  • The Dragon’s Tales looks at the dinosaurs of ancient South Africa.
  • Geocurrents looks back on the past year.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer considers which Republican presidential candidates might be good drinking partners.
  • Torontoist suggests things to do this New Year’s Eve.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russia is even alienating Armenia and notes Russian upset over Turkish support for the Crimean Tatars.

[URBAN NOTE] “Free rides, later service, New Year’s Eve, December 31”

Transit Toronto reports about New Year’s Eve public transit options. Full and detailed schedules are provided.

You may never get that free lunch that you’ve been waiting for, but you can ride your favourite train, subway, bus or streetcar free of fare New Year’s Eve and early New Year’s Day. Many Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton and Golden Horseshoe transit agencies are offering passengers free rides and later service to help everyone get home safely after celebrating the start of 2015.

Most local transit agencies absorb the cost of the free rides in their budgets. However, a major distillery is sponsoring free TTC service until about 4 a.m.— in 2010, the TTC estimated this cost at about $85,000. In Durham Region, two major employers are paying the bills to offer residents free and later DRT service. In Guelph, the downtown business association is footing the bill for free and later Guelph Transit service, while down in St. Catharines, the union representing area paramedics and other emergency medical service personnel and several businesses are grabbing the cheque for the free and later rides.

Ride safely, guys.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 31, 2015 at 12:31 pm

[FORUM] What do you think about the bizarrely warm Christmas weather?

Earlier this evening, I shared some photos from the bizarrely warm weather we’ve been having. Whether it’s freakish or the new normal, it’s the reality I’ve been experiencing. I don’t think I like it: It reminds me that we humans have broken our planet.

What do you think? Discuss.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 26, 2015 at 11:56 pm


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