A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘writing

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • The Big Picture shares shocking photos of the Portuguese forest fires.
  • blogTO notes that, happily, Seaton Village’s Fiesta Farms is apparently not at risk of being turned into a condo development site.
  • Centauri Dreams notes a new starship discussion group in Delft. Shades of the British Interplanetary Society and the Daedalus?
  • D-Brief considers a new theory explaining why different birds’ eggs have different shapes.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas commits himself to a new regimen of blogging about technology and its imports. (There is a Patreon.)
  • Language Hat notes the current Turkish government’s interest in purging Turkish of Western loanwords.
  • Language Log’s Victor Mair sums up the evidence for the diffusion of Indo-European languages, and their speakers, into India.
  • The LRB Blog notes the Theresa May government’s inability post-Grenfell to communicate with any sense of emotion.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen wonders if the alt-right more prominent in the Anglophone world because it is more prone to the appeal of the new.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw wonders if Brexit will result in a stronger European Union and a weaker United Kingdom.
  • Seriously Science reports a study suggesting that shiny new headphones are not better than less flashy brands.
  • Torontoist reports on the anti-Muslim hate groups set to march in Toronto Pride.
  • Understanding Society considers the subject of critical realism in sociological analyses.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Russia’s call to promote Cyrillic across the former Soviet Union has gone badly in Armenia, with its own script.

[URBAN NOTE] On the West End Phoenix and #localjournalism

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My attention was piqued at the end of May by Lauren Pelley’s CBC report about the West End Phoenix, a new community newspaper in Toronto imagined by Dave Bidini. The Phoenix, a monthly broadsheet slated to concern itself with west-end Toronto “from the Junction Triangle to Parkdale, Christie Pits to Baby Point”, will be sustained by annual subscriptions and gifts from donors.

The non-profit publication is the brainchild of Toronto writer, publisher and musician Dave Bidini, and sparked, in part, by his 2015 writing trip to the Northwest Territories, where he spent the summer working at The Yellowknifer.

“I was reinvigorated by that experience,” he told CBC Toronto.

Bidini — who’s beloved in Canada for his years with the Rheostatics — wondered if a hyper-local newspaper could flourish in Toronto’s west end, where he’s been living for 23 years in the house he bought from his grandmother.

“I’ve seen the west end evolve as a social organism, I suppose. It’s a pretty interesting time here. You blink, and there’s something new and different,” he mused. “I wondered about the ability of a newspaper to sustain here, and to illuminate that evolution.”

[. . .]

Bidini’s vision for the newspaper is a visual and literary representation of “that feeling you get when you’re wandering home one night and you find yourself up an alley you haven’t traveled through before.”

Already, he’s joined by deputy editor Melanie Morassutti and senior editor Susan Grimbly, both formerly of The Globe and Mail, and has an advisory council assembled with notable names from the city’s arts and culture scene, including Grid founder Laas Turnbull and J-Source managing editor H.G. Watson.

I am fascinated by this project. Consider this post a placeholder of sorts.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 11, 2017 at 11:59 pm

[WRITING] On losing things, and finding new things

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Back one day in March, I accidentally and irretrievably deleted the private entry on Dreamwidth that had contained links to URLs and details on sources that I had been saving for future posts for perhaps a couple of years. I was a bit upset by this, but, I soon realized, I was more upset by my accidental deletion of the entry than by the loss. This private document, full of links pointing to possible future writings, had become baggage, something to be periodically updated and then consistently forgotten.

This realization prompted me to a rethinking of what I am doing, as a writer and a blogger and a person active on social media. What, exactly, am I doing? Why am I doing this? What should I be doing?

I am still thinking. Suffice it to say that something different will be coming. If I don’t decide to make sure this difference will arrive thanks to my effort, well, who will do that?

Written by Randy McDonald

June 9, 2017 at 11:30 pm

Posted in Meta, Non Blog, Writing

Tagged with , , ,

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Crooked Timber responds to The Intercept’s release of data regarding Russian interference with American elections.
  • Dangerous Minds reports on how Melanie Gaydos overcame a rare genetic disorder to become a model.
  • Dead Things seems unduly happy that it does seem as if Tyrannosaurus rex had feathers. (I like the idea.)
  • The Dragon’s Gaze reports on our ability to detect the effects of a planet-shattering Nicoll-Dyson beam.
  • The Frailest Thing considers being a parent in the digital age.
  • Language Hat notes the African writing systems of nsibidi and bamum.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that Trump-supporting states are moving to green energy quite quickly.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Russian guarantees of traditional rights to the peoples of the Russian North do not take their current identities into account.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • Centauri Dreams remembers Ben Finney, this time from the angle of a man with an interest in space colonization.
  • Crooked Timber wonders what will happen to the Anglo-American tradition of liberalism.
  • Dangerous Minds imagines the VHS tapes of Logan and Stranger Things.
  • Far Outliers notes the Soviet twist on Siberian exile.
  • Inkfish notes that Detroit is unique among cities in being a good place for bumblebees. Is it the vacant lots?
  • Marginal Revolution wonders if modern Germany really is a laboratory for innovative politics.
  • The NYRB Daily looks at 19th century writer José Maria de Eça de Queirós, the “Proust of Portugal”.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw updates his readers on his writing projects.
  • Torontoist reports on how Avi Lewis and Cheri DiNovo have advocated for the NDP’s Leap Manifesto.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • blogTO notes the recent municipal vote clearing the way for the construction of the Downtown Relief Line.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly wonders, in the context of growing inequality and poverty, how workers in the United States can be free.
  • Centauri Dreams examines exoplanet TRAPPIST-1h.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the upset of Taiwanese homophobes with the idea of marriage equality and reports on the possibility of a million people dying on account of Trump cuts to HIV/AIDS programs internationally.
  • Language Log considers the use of the emoji in the Sinosphere.
  • The LRB Blog looks at terrorism and the ways it interacts malignly with the news cycle.
  • The NYRB Daily examines the anonymous “Berlin Painter” of ancient Athens.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer argues that the particular structure of health care locks it into certain plausible paths for reform.
  • Torontoist argues that indigenous writers’ concerns about inclusion need to be addressed.
  • Towleroad looks at how some parents of gay children were pushed out of Shanghai’s “marriage market”.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the relative strengths of Ukraine’s two churches and looks at Russia’s trade with North Korea.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell examines the post-war economic structures of the United Kingdom in the context of struggles between multilateralists and unilateralists.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Beyond the Beyond notes an image of a wooden model of Babbage’s difference engine.
  • James Bow talks about the soundtrack he has made for his new book.
  • Centauri Dreams considers ways astronomers can detect photosynthesis on exoplanets and shares images of Fomalhaut’s debris disk.
  • Crooked Timber looks at fidget spinners in the context of discrimination against people with disabilities.
  • D-Brief notes that Boyajian’s Star began dimming over the weekend.
  • Far Outliers reports on a 1917 trip by zeppelin to German East Africa.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money argues that there is good reason to be concerned about health issues for older presidential candidates.
  • The NYRB Daily reports on Hungary’s official war against Central European University.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the origins of modern immigration to Russia in internal Soviet migration.
  • Savage Minds shares an ethnographer’s account of what it is like to look to see her people (the Sherpas of Nepal) described.
  • Strange Maps shares a map speculating as to what the world will look like when it is 4 degrees warmer.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy argues that the US Congress does not have authority over immigration.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russia’s population will be concentrated around Moscow, compares Chechnya’s position vis-à-vis Russia to Puerto Rico’s versus the United States, and looks at new Ukrainian legislation against Russian churches and Russian social networks.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes how Evelyn Waugh’s writings on the Horn of Africa anticipate the “Friedman unit”, the “a measurement of time defined as how long it will take until things are OK in Iraq”.