A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘oddities

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • blogTO shares some secrets about the TTC.
  • Centauri Dreams notes how exoplanet HAT-P-2b somehow induces pulsations in its parent star.
  • Citizen Science Salon looks at a new crowdsourcing effort to find Planet Nine from old WISE images.
  • Dangerous Minds reports on a marijuana bouquet delivery service.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze reports on the detection of the atmosphere of super-Earth Gliese 1132b./li>
  • Language Hat examines the different source languages for neologisms in Russian.
  • Language Log reports on an obscene Valentine’s Day ad from Sichuan.
  • The LRB Blog reports on the search of Syrians in Istanbul for health care.
  • Marginal Revolution reports on the fascist experimentations of economist Franco Modigliani.
  • The NYRB Daily reports on the stunning war art of Paul Nash.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that non-Russian republics tend to have better health indicators than the average, and warns of the potential instability that could be triggered by the failure of Putin’s vision for Trump.

[PHOTO] 3869, Avenue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville

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3869, Avenue de l'Hôtel-de-Ville

The signs on this family’s door, warning that the dinosaur on their porch is theirs but that the cat waiting at their door is not, among other things, made me laugh when I saw them.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 7, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Posted in Canada, Photo

Tagged with , , ,

[URBAN NOTE] “The day that Toronto floated above Lake Ontario in Buffalo”

The Toronto Star‘s Ellen Brait describes an unusual mirage, an manifestation of Toronto in the skies above Buffalo one hot summer day in August 1894.

Buffalo residents were treated to an unusual sight on Aug. 16, 1894: a detailed image of Toronto hovering over Lake Ontario.

Or rather, “a city in the air,” according to a November 1894 Arizona Republic newspaper article.

For about an hour during the mid-morning, Toronto, its harbor, and the Island to the south of the city were visible to those on the ground in Buffalo. Normally Toronto is only visible to those high up over Buffalo.

“A close examination of the map showed that the mirage did not cause the slightest distortion, the gradual rise of the city from the water being rendered perfectly,” said an August 1894 edition of Scientific American magazine.

Despite being approximately 93 km away, witnesses on that fateful day could see a few ships, and for the first 10 minutes, even count downtown church spires.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 25, 2017 at 8:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “A guide to the hidden spaces of the TTC”

blogTO’s Derek Flack takes a look at some hidden spaces on the TTC network, starting with infamous Lower Bay station.

Lower Bay Station (or, as the TTC refers to it, Bay Lower) is surely the best known of Toronto’s hidden underground spaces. The ghost subway station was in service briefly in 1966 when the TTC tried its interlining system, which turned the city’s two subway routes into three.

One platform serviced the Bloor-Danforth Route, while the other was a stop on the Danforth-University-Yonge Route. The experiment failed for a number of reasons, and the lower platform was promptly decommissioned.

It now serves as an area for training exercises and film shoots, though it has also been opened to the public for events like Nuit Blanche in the past.

Lower Bay isn’t the only ghost station on the TTC, though. Underneath Queen Station, there’s the shell of a streetcar subway station that would likely have taken the name City Hall, but is now typically referred to as Lower Queen or Queen Lower.

It was partially built in anticipation of Queen Street transit line that was never built.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 11, 2017 at 4:30 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Centauri Dreams considers the potentially habitability of planets made mostly of garnet.
  • D-Brief notes a new technique that can use stem cells to regenerate teeth.
  • Dangerous Minds shares photos of a man who makes sweaters of place and takes photos of himself wearing the sweater at these places.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers the hookup culture of universities.
  • Language Hat looks at how different languages name different colours over time.
  • Language Log looks at teachers of Cantonese who teach it using Mandarin grammar rules.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money examines the fake news of Muslims destroying an old church in Germany.
  • The NYRB Daily makes the case for the importance of Black Mirror.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw shares a photo and a story from his holiday trip to Denmark.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog charts birth and fertility rates in the United States over the past hundred years.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy takes issue with the idea that Chicago’s rate is record-setting.
  • Window on Eurasia warns of potential instability in Russia’s Caucasian republic of Dagestan.

[URBAN NOTE] On the anti-Christmas squirrels of Mel Lastman Square

CBC News’ Greg Ross and Laura Fraser cover this light news item from North York.

A pack of furry, pint-sized grinches have stolen the Christmas spirit from Mel Lastman Square.

The trees and the skaters are still there, but they’re no longer bathed in the glow of the season — something Coun. John Filion blames on some particularly crafty squirrels.

The squirrels have been chewing through the wires holding up lights that normally decorate the North York park’s trees, he says.

“I believe it totally has to do with one or more squirrels who perhaps don’t like Christmas.

It first started two years ago. At first just a few strands went dark, but it soon turned into a virtual blackout. Last season, the city brought in a cherry picker to replace the extinguished lights.

But Filion says it proved no match for the wee scrooges.

“Less than two days, and they were not working.”

Written by Randy McDonald

December 13, 2016 at 5:30 pm

[CAT] Lion with glasses, Fairmont Royal York

Lion with glasses, Fairmont Royal York #toronto #fairmontroyalyork #lion #cats #catsofinstagram #glasses

While giving two new friends a quick tour of Toronto yesterday, we passed by this lion statue at the Fairmont Royal York. Some wit had thoughtfully provided this big cat with a pair of glasses–poor vision, it must have had.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 26, 2016 at 10:30 am