rfmcdonald: (Default)
2017-06-25 11:30 am

[BLOG] Some Pride Day blog links


  • Joe. My. God. has reposted a famous, fantastic contemporary New York Daily News article about the Stonewall Riots.

  • James Leahy's clips of Toronto Pride parades from 1988 through 1995 are great. h/t to Leahy and to Shawn Micallef of Spacing for sharing them.

  • Arnold Zwicky has collated some photos of Pride rainbows on Chicago and Dublin transit buses and on some boots.

rfmcdonald: (photo)
2017-06-25 01:07 am

[PHOTO] Looking northeast, Church and Wellesley

Looking northeast, Church and Wellesley


Pride Toronto was still going strong at Church and Wellesley when I was there just a quarter-hour before midnight. I do not doubt it is going strong even now.
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2017-06-24 09:07 pm

[URBAN NOTE] Five links about cities, from failing subways to changing neighbourhoods to borders


  • The Globe and Mail's Joanna Slater talks about how the subway system of New York City is staggering from catastrophe to catastrophe.

  • The Globe and Mail's Stephen Quinn argues it is much too late to save Vancouver's Chinatown from radical redevelopment.

  • The Toronto Star's Tess Kalinowski writes about how young buyers are driving a push for laneway housing in Toronto.
  • Bryan Tucker, also in the Toronto Star, also makes the case for laneway housing.

  • The National Post shares a story about an affordable 18th century house on the Québec-Vermont border.

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2017-06-24 01:56 pm

[BLOG] Some Saturday links


  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly photoblogs about her trip to Berlin.

  • Dead Things reports on a recent study that unraveled the evolutionary history of the domestic cat.

  • James Nicoll notes that his niece and nephew will each be performing theatre in Toronto.

  • Language Hat has an interesting link to interviews of coders as if they were translators.

  • Marginal Revolution looks at Chinese video game competitions and Chinese tours to Soviet revolutionary sites.

  • Steve Munro shares photos of the old Kitchener trolleybus.

  • Roads and Kingdoms shares the story of the Ramadan drummer of Coney Island.

  • Savage Minds shares an essay arguing that photographers should get their subjects' consent and receive renumeration.

  • Torontoist shares photos of the Trans March.

  • Towleroad
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2017-06-24 01:23 pm

[META] On the latest blogroll expansion

Consider this post a consequence of a consolidation of my blogroll, with three posts from older blogs I've added previously and two new posts from new blogs.


  • Missing persons blog Charley Ross shares the strange story of five people who went missing in a winter wilderness in 1978.
  • Roads and Kingdom shares an anecdote by Alessio Perrone about a chat over a drink with a Cornishman, in a Cornwall ever more dependent on tourism.

  • Strange Company shares the story of Kiltie, a Scottish cat who immigrated to the United States in the First World War.

  • Starts With a Bang, a science blog by Ethan Siegel, argues that there is in fact no evidence for periodic mass extinctions caused by bodies external to the Earth.

  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, a group blog by Canadian economists, considers the value placed on Aboriginal language television programming.

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2017-06-24 10:36 am

[PHOTO] Fourteen photos from Church Street during Pride Toronto (#pridetoronto)

I spent yesterday evening down with a friend taking in Pride Toronto down at Church and Wellesley, wandering up and down the streets dense with people and vendors and venturing over into
Barbara Hall Park and the AIDS Memorial. It was a lovely evening, made all the more so by a late evening sky coloured in rainbow pastels.

Walking down Church


Toward the Wellesley stage


The new Glad Day Bookshop sign


Towards Maple Leaf Gardens


By the roses


Behind the DJ


Roses in pink and red


Friends


Rainbow lights and sky


Pastels above


Seven flags over the 519


As evening falls


South on Church


West on Wellesley
rfmcdonald: (Default)
2017-06-23 05:37 pm

[URBAN NOTE] Four links on Toronto transit, from buses and streetcars to Union Station and Niagara


  • Steve Munro reports on the many problems associated with implementing new express buses, in Toronto and elsewhere.

  • Global News was one of many sources reporting on the high rate of failure of the new Bombardier streetcars.

  • Ben Spurr notes the astounding failure of the City of Toronto to do basic things at Union Station, like collect rent.

  • Transit Toronto notes that GO Transit's seasonal routes to Niagara have started today and will go until 4 September.

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2017-06-23 03:36 pm

[LINK] Four links on First Nations and their issues in Canada

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2017-06-23 12:43 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links


  • 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.

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2017-06-23 08:24 am

[PHOTO] Five photos from the rooftop patio of the Yonge Eglinton Centre

Yesterday morning before work, I ventured over to the rooftop patio of the Yonge Eglinton Centre. The views that it offers of midtown Toronto from three stories up are lovely, but I like the park itself, a green space surrounded by the towers of the YEC.

Greenery on the roof (1)


Greenery on the roof (2)


Looking north


Looking up


Greenery on the roof (3)
rfmcdonald: (Default)
2017-06-22 11:29 pm

[MUSIC] Pet Shop Boys, "Single-Bilingual"



The Pet Shop Boys' 1996 song "Single-Bilingual" was not as big a hit as their iconic global singles of the 1980s. Perhaps it was because this song, like the rest of their album Bilingual, was a shift from their previous European-styled electronica, incorporating Latin rhythms. This is a shame, because this song and others are among the group's slyest.

The songs of the Pet Shop Boys, like those of all great songwriters, can say many things. See "Single-Bilingual". Listening to the peppy song, Neil Tennant singing in the voice of a self-styled cosmopolitan businessman who claims to be the master of his world, there is humour. As Wayne Studer points out, this man is not all he thinks he is. He's just a cog in the machine.

They call this a community
I like to think of it as home
Arriving at the airport
I am going it alone
Ordering a boarding pass
Travelling in business class
This is the name of the game
I'm single, bilingual
Single, bilingual


I find myself wondering, too, if this song fits on the soundtrack for Brexit. From a pretended cosmopolitanism down to an actual solitude?
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2017-06-22 09:22 pm

[NEWS] Five links about science, from libraries to smartphone sociology to spaceflight

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2017-06-22 07:57 pm

[URBAN NOTE] Three notes about Muslims, their haters and my neighbourhood and cats, in Toronto


  • Daily Xtra's Arshy Mann and Evan Balgord report on how the Jewish Defense League plans on marching in Toronto Pride. Grand.

  • Spacing's Shazlin Rahman reports on the Jane's Walk she organized around sites of significance to Muslims around Bloor and Dufferin.

  • The Toronto Star's Nicholas Keung and Raju Mudhar reported earlier this month on the happy reunification of a Syrian couple with their cat.

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2017-06-22 03:39 pm

[LINK] Three notes on refugees, from Toronto to Vietnam to Ethiopia


  • Craig S. Smith notes the profound cynicism of Kellie Leitch in using one Syrian refugee's abuse of his wife to criticize the entire program.

  • CBC's Carolyn Dunn notes that the story of the Trinh family, boat people from Vietnam who came to Canada, will be made into a Heritage Minute.
  • James Jeffrey describes for the Inter Press Service how refugees from Eritrea generally receive warm welcome in rival Ethiopia.

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2017-06-22 12:49 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links


  • Apostrophen's 'Nathan Smith points to his blog post about the strengths of the chosen families of queer people, in life and in his fiction.

  • Beyond the Beyond's Bruce Sterling revisits the politics behind France's Minitel network, archaic yet pioneering.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly blogs about meeting her online friends in real life. Frankly, it would never occur to me not to do that.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at how Kepler's exoplanets fall neatly into separate classes, super-Earths and mini-Neptunes.
  • The LRB Blog has a terrible report from Grenfell Tower, surrounded by betrayed survivors and apocalypse.
  • The Map Room Blog notes the inclusion of Canada's First Nations communities on Google Maps.

  • The NYRB Daily's Robert Cottrell explores the banalities revealed by Oliver Stone's interviews of Putin.
  • The Planetary Society Blog's Jason Davis considers the likely gains and challenges associated with missions to the ice giants of Uranus and Neptune.
  • Towleroad notes the new Alan Cumming film After Louie, dealing with a romance between an ACT-UP survivor and a younger man
  • The Volokh Conspiracy's Ilya Somin does not find much good coming from Trump's announced Cuba policy.
  • Window on Eurasia warns about the threat posed by Orthodox Christian fundamentalists in Russia.

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2017-06-21 10:24 pm

[LINK] Three links on the new phenomenon of the Drag Queen Story Hour

I am rather surprised that the phenomenon of the drag queen story hour, where children are ready stories by people in full drag, seems to be becoming mainstream. While I can see how it has become big, given the performativity of the best drag performances and the humour of these and the nature RuPaul's second ascent to mainstream celebrity, I am still surprised.

  • NOW Toronto's Kelly Boutsalis writes about the spread of the Drag Queen Story Hour from Church and Wellesley to Toronto at large, from Yorkville to Leslieville.
  • In MacLean's, Katy MacKinnon explores how the Drag Queen Story Hour has taken off in Winnipeg.

  • Erin McCormack writes for The Guardian about how this is becoming a worldwide thing, even.
  • rfmcdonald: (Default)
    2017-06-21 08:00 pm

    [NEWS] Seven Toronto links, from queer and Irish history to new infrastructure to a serial killer


    • Lisa Coxon of Toronto Life shares eleven photos tracking Toronto's queer history back more than a century.

    • Michelle McQuigge reports for the Toronto Star that the Luminous Veil does save lives. I would add that it is also beautiful.

    • In The Globe and Mail, Marcus Gee thinks it makes perfect sense for there to be a dedicated streetcar corridor on King Street.

    • Ben Spurr describes a new plan for a new GO Transit bus station across from Union Station.

    • Emily Mathieu reported in the Toronto Star on how some Kensington Market tenants seem to have been pushed out for an Airbnb hostel.

    • In The Globe and Mail, Irish-born John Doyle explores the new Robert Grassett Park, built in honour of the doctor who died trying to save Irish refugees in 1847.

    • Justin Ling in VICE tells the story of three gay men who went missing without a trace in Toronto just a few years ago. What happened?
    rfmcdonald: (Default)
    2017-06-21 02:26 pm

    [URBAN NOTE] Four Toronto links, from Toronto Island students to Ontario Place park to the TTC


    • Caroline Alphonso reports in The Globe and Mail about how Toronto Islands students have been displaced to school on the mainland, in Regent Park.
    • Robert Benzie and Victoria Gibson describe in the Toronto Star a new waterfront park in a revitalized part of Ontario Place.
    • Torontoist's Keiran Delamont notes how Metrolinx's sharing of data with the police fits into the broader concept of the modern surveillance state.
    • Steve Munro tracks the evolution, or perhaps more properly devolution, of streetcar service from 1980 to 2016.