A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘sports

[PHOTO] Night game in Dovercourt Park

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Night game #toronto #dovercourtvillage #dovercourtpark #night #baseball #sports

I do not play sports of any kind. When I passed by this baseball field Wednesday night in Dovercourt Park, the grass lit a brilliant neon by the lights, I did–just for a moment–get some understanding of what would make people play.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 26, 2016 at 11:00 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Norway’s sailor king: Why Harald V has been sleeping on a yacht moored on Toronto’s waterfront”

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Joe O’Connor of the National Post reveals that the Norwegian king is spending his time in Toronto, on the Lake Ontario shorefront.

His Majesty King Harald V of Norway was sitting at the back of his sailboat, munching on a green apple, reflecting upon the day of sailing that had just been. A day that was not “good,” according to the king. It was not good because the king, a sailor since age two, a three-time Olympian and the skipper of the Sira, a classic eight-metre sloop that his father, King Olav V, had built in 1938, thrives on competition.

Even today, the 79-year-old King Harald wants to win. But on a breezy Wednesday afternoon on Lake Ontario the King and his crew of Norwegians, whom he has been racing with since 1987, did not win. They came ninth out of 12 boats. The dismal showing dropped them to second place overall in the race for the Sira Cup — a coveted international prize that the king’s father donated to the international sailing community in 1983 — that concludes here Saturday.

“I’ve raced all my life,” says the king, who last won the Cup in 2008. “You can’t stop playing, you know? The first time I was on this boat I was two years old. For me, with sailing, it’s about the competition. The wind — the weather — it doesn’t make any difference who you are, before the wind.”

Norway’s sailor king doesn’t look or act like one might imagine a monarch would. On his green-hulled boat with the wooden deck, with his crew sitting in a nearby boat enjoying a post-race beer at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club on the Toronto Islands, the king cut the figure of a kindly grandfather (he has six grandchildren).

He was dressed casually: sneakers, white socks, shorts and a matching T-shirt. He crunched happily on his apple, consuming every morsel, including the core, before politely removing his sunglasses to reveal light blue eyes that crinkled at the corners when he smiled.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 26, 2016 at 5:30 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • News of Proxima Centauri b spread across the blogosphere yesterday, to Discover‘s D-Brief and Crux, to Joe. My. God., to the Planetary Society Blog, and to Centauri Dreams and The Dragon’s Gaze.
  • blogTO notes the impending opening of Toronto’s first Uniqlo and suggests TTC buses may soon have a new colour scheme.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze discusses detecting exo-Titans and looks at the Kepler-539 system.
  • Marginal Revolution notes Poland’s pension obligations.
  • The Map Room Blog looks at how empty maps are of use to colonialists.
  • Steve Munro examines traffic on King Street.
  • The NYR Daily looks at what an attic of ephemera reveals about early Islam.
  • Otto Pohl announces his arrival in Kurdistan.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog and Window on Eurasia note that more than half of Russia’s medal-winners at the Olympics were not ethnically Russian, at least not wholly.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at Ukraine’s balance sheet 25 years after independence and considers if Belarus is on the way to becoming the next Ukraine.

[NEWS] Some Wednesday links

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  • Bloomberg talks about Poland’s problems with economic growth, notes that McMansions are poor investments, considers what to do about the Olympics post-Rio, looks at new Japanese tax incentives for working women, looks at a French war museum that put its stock up for sale, examines the power of the New Zealand dairy, looks at the Yasukuni controversies, and notes Huawei’s progress in China.
  • Bloomberg View is hopeful for Brazil, argues demographics are dooming Abenomics, suggests ways for the US to pit Russia versus Iran, looks at Chinese fisheries and the survival of the ocean, notes that high American population growth makes the post-2008 economic recovery relatively less notable, looks at Emperor Akihito’s opposition to Japanese remilitarization, and argues that Europe’s soft response to terrorism is not a weakness.
  • CBC notes that Russian doping whistleblowers fear for their lives, looks at how New Brunswick farmers are adapting to climate change, and looks at how Neanderthals’ lack of facility with tools may have doomed them.
  • The Globe and Mail argues Ontario should imitate Michigan instead of Québec, notes the new Anne of Green Gables series on Netflix, and predicts good things for Tim Horton’s in the Philippines.
  • The Guardian notes that Canada’s impending deal with the European Union is not any model for the United Kingdom.
  • The Inter Press Service looks at child executions in Iran.
  • MacLean’s notes that Great Lakes mayors have joined to challenge a diversion of water from their shared basin.
  • National Geographic looks at the elephant ivory trade, considers the abstract intelligence of birds, considers the Mayan calendar’s complexities, and looks at how the young generation treats Pluto’s dwarf planet status.
  • The National Post notes that VIA Rail is interested in offering a low-cost bus route along the Highway of Tears in northern British Columbia.
  • Open Democracy notes that the last Russian prisoner in Guantanamo does not want to go home, and wonders why the West ignores the Rwandan dictatorship.
  • TVO considers how rural communities can attract immigrants.
  • Universe Today suggests sending our digital selves to the stars, looks at how cirrus clouds kept early Mars warm and wet, and notes the discovery of an early-forming direct-collapse black hole.
  • Variance Explained looks at how Donald Trump’s tweets clearly show two authors at work.
  • The Washignton Post considers what happens when a gay bar becomes a bar with more general appeal.
  • Wired notes that the World Wide Web still is far from achieving its founders’ dreams, looks at how news apps are dying off, and reports on the Univision purchase of Gawker.

[URBAN NOTE] “Beach residents eagerly await Penny Oleksiak’s homecoming”

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The Toronto Star‘s Verity Stevenson reports on how the Beach will celebrate the return of Olympic medallist Penny Oleksiak to her home.

It’s hard to tell whether Penny Oleksiak’s neighbours in the Beach cheered harder during her races than they will for her return.

Both are causes for fanfare.

“There’s a buzz on,” says Johanna Carlo, a board member of the Beach Village BIA, which is organizing a homecoming parade for Beach-area athletes on Sunday.

Oleksiak’s big return could be Tuesday at 5: 30 a.m., when Air Canada flights with athletes from several Canadian Olympic teams will land at Toronto Pearson.

The swimming team is one of them. The 16-year-old four-time Olympic medalist’s performance stunned us all watching at home, set the pace for Canada’s own performance in Rio and swept Toronto’s east end, where she’s from.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 23, 2016 at 8:19 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Return of road hockey to Toronto’s streets brings echoes of childhood”

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The Toronto Star‘s Jim Coyle describes street hockey as a rite of childhood in Toronto.

In the winters of our childhood, and late autumns and early springs as well, every day after school and all through weekends, our little street in Toronto’s east end might as well have been Maple Leaf Gardens or the Montreal Forum.

We were part of the ball-hockey legions who turned the cry “Car!” into as Canadian an icon as the call of a loon. Looking back, how innocent we were of all that we were learning while simply having fun.

What delightful news, then, to learn that Toronto city council decided Friday to alter rules that had threatened road hockey and, in contemporary times, basketball as well.

Play will be allowed on roads with speed limits of 40 km/h or less during daylight hours between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Nets will now be allowed on the road as long as they don’t block driveways or impede sightlines for cars and pedestrians. They must be removed when play is done.

None but the dullest of bureaucrats could ever have imagined that all that was going on in those games was play.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 22, 2016 at 8:59 pm

[URBAN NOTE] On a possible case for Calgary to host the 2026 Winter Olympics

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CBC News’ David Common reports why Calgary, with its extensive investments in the 1988 Olympics still good, might make a good host for 2026’s games.

[T]he Olympic money problem [. . .] presents an opportunity, particularly for cities that have hosted in the past and might like to do so again, and whose existing infrastructure could help control costs.

Calgary is in that group and is believed to have a good shot at the 2026 Winter Games — should it decide to officially join the race.

[. . .]

The Canadian Olympic Committee asked [John Furlong, the former CEO of the Vancouver 2010 Games] to help a Canadian city develop a bid for the 2026 Games. Calgary, host of the 1988 Games, is the only city that still has its hand up.

Most of the facilities used in 1988 are still up and running. The Olympic Oval, Canada Olympic Park and the Canmore Nordic Centre could use a renovation, but they don’t need to be built from the ground up. The ski jump and bobsled track would likely need to be completely replaced.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is in Rio for the Olympics. His office says it’s a personal vacation, but he’s been spotted at Canada Olympic House chatting with officials and athletes while his city considers whether to launch a formal bid.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 18, 2016 at 5:31 pm


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