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  • blogTO notes that the Toronto Reference Library will be holding a huge sale again next week.

  • Inside Toronto profiles Sephora Hussein, new collection head of the Merril Collection.

  • Michael Lyons writes about the importance of the newly-reopened Hanlan's beach on the Toronto Islands.

  • Jake Tobin Garrett argues at Torontoist for the importance of the proposed Rail Deck Park.

  • Emily Macrae argues at Torontoist there is much Toronto can learn from the green--literally--laneways of Montréal.

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  • Charley Ross reports on an unexpected personal involvement in the disappearance of Kori Gossett. Did an informant know?

  • Citizen Science Salon reports, in the time of #sharkweek, on the sevengill sharks.

  • The Dragon's Tales links to an article on the Chinese base in Sudan.

  • Inkfish has a fascinating article describing how New Zealand's giant black swans went extinct, and were replaced.

  • Language Hat notes two obscure words of Senegalese French, "laptot" and "signare". What do they mean? Go see.

  • Language Log argues that the influx of English loanwords in Chinese is remarkable. Does it signal future changes in language?

  • Lawyers, Guns Money notes how Los Angeles and southern California were, during the American Civil War, a stronghold of secessionist sentiment, and runs down some of the problems of Mexico, including the militarization of crime.
  • Marginal Revolution reports on what books by which authors tend to get stolen from British bookstores.
  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer suggests that Donald Trump is not likely to be able to substantially reshape NAFTA.

  • Roads and Kingdoms reports from the recent protests in Poland against changes to the Supreme Court.

  • Understanding Society takes a look at the structure of the cities of medieval Europe, which apparently were dynamic and flexible.

  • Unicorn Booty shares some classic gay board games.

  • Window on Eurasia argues that Russia is going to try to wage a repeat of the Winter War on Ukraine.

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  • CBC Montreal notes how Andrée Archambault has been leaving books on the Montréal Metro for commuters to find.

  • CBC's Jonathan Ore notes the (perhaps surprisingly) innovative Transformers comics put out by IDW.

  • At The Conversation, Una McCormack writes about how the 13th Doctor being played by Jodie Whittaker fulfills her childhood dreams.

  • At The Globe and Mail, Russell Smith examines why the alt-right hates cultural experimentation and innovation so much.

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  • As VICE notes, it is terribly frustrating that we still have to fight to make sure others do not lie about our queer lives.

  • Julia Carpenter at the Washington Post
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  • Centauri Dreams considers the challenges and the prospects of laser SETI.

  • Citizen Science Salon reports on a couple who have done their best to keep their bee numbers up.

  • Joe. My. God. notes that Milo's book, contrary to Milo's claims, has performed very badly indeed in the UK, among other places.

  • Language Log features a poetic digression by Victor Mair on Chinese characters for words like "plum" and "wine."

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money suggests that moderate Republicans in Congress might not be all that.

  • The LRB Blog considers Nice at, and after, the time of last year's terrorist attacks.

  • Marginal Revolution features Tyler Cowen's description of his writing processes.

  • Drew Rowsome interviews Toronto gay photographer Dylan Rosser.

  • Unicorn Booty looks back at the history of the queercore movement--gay punk, as a first approximation.

  • Vintage Space links to an article explaining why there was neither an Apollo 2 nor an Apollo 3.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests the Russian state is undermining various once-allied Russian nationalist movements.

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  • James Bow shares his story of how he met famed Canadian kid's author Gordon Korman.

  • Paul Drye has sales on this month for his two books, space race WI book False Steps and his first, Passing Strangeness.

  • Far Outliers' Joel notes two overlooked episodes of migration in Canada, of Hawaiians in British Columbia and Canadian exiles in Australia.

  • The Great Grey Bridge's Philip Turner shared, again, his personal photo essay about his links to and love of Canada.

  • Language Hat looks at the potentially Australian slang phrase "good on you" (pronounced "good onya", apparently).

  • Language Hat looks at claims that translation and grammar complicate the meaning of the text authorizing the handover of Hong Kong to China.

  • The LRB Blog announces that their #readeverywhere photo contest is up and running for July!

  • Cheri Lucas Rowlands shares a gorgeous photo essay of her trip to Chania, on Crete.

  • Unicorn Booty has an interesting essay looking at the barriers to membership imposed by gay culture on newly-out members of the community.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at the cost of the Russian war in Ukraine and argues that the consequences of a crash now would be worse than in 1998.
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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait is skeptical that the Trump-era EPA will deal well with global warming.

  • Discover's The Crux considers the challenge of developing safer explosives for fireworkers.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper considering the (real) possibility of Earth-like worlds orbiting neutron stars.

  • Language Log notes an odd use of katakana in Australia.

  • The LRB Blog considers the possibly overrated import of George Osborne's move into the newspaper business.

  • Marginal Revolution notes one observer's suggestion that China could sustain high-speed growth much longer than Japan.

  • The NYR Daily shares Eleanor Davis' cartoon journal of her bike trip across America.

  • Peter Rukavina does not like the odd way Prince Edward Island made its library card into a museum pass.

  • Starts with a Bang's Ethan Siegel notes the odd galaxy MACS2129-1, young yet apparently no longer star-forming.

  • Strange Company explores the strange death of 17th century New England woman Rebecca Cornell.

  • Unicorn Booty looks at how early Playgirl tried to handle, quietly, its substantially gay readership.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at one Russian proclaiming Russia needs to stop an imminent takeover by Muslims.

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  • blogTO looks at eleven recent Toronto-themed books, from fiction to children's literature.

  • Centauri Dreams considers the idea of using waste heat to detect extraterrestrial civilizations.

  • Far Outliers reports on how German East Africa substituted for foreign imports during the blockade of the First World War.

  • Marginal Revolution suggests that the fall of Rome may have been due to the failure to reconquer North Africa.

  • The NYRB Daily looks at the exuberant art of Jazz Age Florence Stettheimer.

  • The Planetary Society Blog shares a stunning portrait of Jupiter from the New Horizons probe.

  • Window on Eurasia considers the idea of containment in the post-Cold War world.

  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at the British election.

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This morning, I headed over to Yonge and Bloor in order to take part in this year's latest incarnation of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival.

Cover #toronto #tcaf #comics


TCAF is a big event, spilling over from the Toronto Reference Library into the conference rooms of the Marriott Bloor Yorkville hotel to the east and north into the Masonic Temple.

Welcome to TCAF! #toronto #tcaf #comics


(We actually got to see the fifth-floor conference room in the Masonic Temple, a chamber that looked uncanilly like the Canadian Senate.)

Entering fifth floor, Masonic Temple #toronto #tcaf #masonictemple


Whiteboard #toronto #tcaf #masonictemple #whiteboard


The Reference Library was packed. By mid-afternoon, the temperature was still comfortable, but the milling crowds will surely change that.

Crowded #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary


Ascending #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary #elevator


Looking down #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary


From the fourth floor #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary


Bram and Bluma Appel Salon #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary #bramandblumaappelsalon


I ended up coming away lightly, buying only Toronto Comics Mini #1. This, one of the latest entries in the successful Toronto Comics Line, is a must-have.

Toronto Comics Mini #1, acquired #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary #torontocomics #books
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  • Centauri Dreams looks at evidence that Ceres' Occator Crater, an apparent cryovolcano, may have been recently active.

  • Crooked Timber's John Quiggin wonders what would have happened had Kerensky accepted the German Reichstag's proposal in 1917.

  • Dangerous Minds looks at some fun that employees at a bookstore in France got up to with book covers.

  • Cody Delistraty describes F. Scott Fitzgerald's utter failure to fit into Hollywood.

  • A Fistful of Euros hosts Alex Harrowell's blog post taking a look at recent history from a perspective of rising populism.

  • io9 reports on a proposal from the Chinese city of Lanzhou to set up a water pipeline connecting it to Siberia's Lake Baikal.

  • Imageo notes a recent expedition by Norwegian scientists aiming at examining the winter ice.

  • Strange Maps links to an amazing graphic mapping the lexical distances between Europe's languages.

  • Window on Eurasia argues that Russia is on the verge of a new era of population decline, and shares a perhaps alarming perspective on the growth of Muslim populations in Russia.

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  • James Bow calls for an end to the US-Canada Safe Third Country agreement prohibiting people coming from American soil from claiming refugee status in Canada.

  • D-Brief reports on the vast array of man-made minerals appearing in what is now being called the Anthropocene Era of Earth.

  • Dangerous Minds notes the efforts of the Disco Preservation Society to preserve DJ mixes from 1980s San Francisco.

  • Language Log takes issue with Neil DeGrasse Tyson's argument that cryptographers, not linguists, would be needed in Arrival.

  • The LRB Blog notes impunity for murderers of civil society activists in Honduras.

  • Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen talks about Joyce Gladwell's autobiography Brown Face, Big Master.

  • The NYRB Daily celebrates the work of Hercules Segers.

  • The Planetary Society Blog is skeptical of the Space X plan to send tourists past the Moon by 2018.

  • Supernova Condensate lists 8 things we know about Proxima Centauri b.

  • Towleroad reports on new walking tours being offered of gay London.

  • Arnold Zwicky engages with a California exhibition comparing paintings with movies.

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The Toronto Star's Ellen Brait reports on how first-year engineering students at the University of Toronto came up with a solution to save the books of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

When 750,000 volumes of rare books are imperiled by condensation, it’s time to think outside the building.

Since at least 2004, the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library – which houses books including all four of Shakespeare’s folios and a papyrus from the time of Christ – has had a condensation problem. The insulation inside the library has been slowly degrading and condensation has been building up, according to Loryl MacDonald, interim director of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. This also resulted in fluctuations in the temperature, something that can be detrimental to books that need climate controlled environments.

“Over time with those types of conditions mould can grow and affect some of the rare books,” said MacDonald.

The library consulted numerous architecture firms and was told the same thing again and again: construction had to be done in the interior. This would require the books, some of which are in fragile condition, to be moved and the library to be temporarily closed.

Desperate for a different solution, John Toyonaga, manager of the Bindery for the library, saw an ad for a first year problem-solving engineering class and decided to throw the library’s problem into the mix.
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Shakespeare, and Caitians #toronto #shakespeare #cats #catsofinstagram #caturday startrek #caitians #worldsofthefederation


Shakespeare, here, is photographed in front of my copy of the venerable 1989 Star Trek reference book Worlds of the Federation, in front of the entry describing the felinoid species of Caitians introduced in the 1970s animated series.

A guy can dream, after all: Why not cats?
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CBC News' Ali Chiasson reports on Toronto's trade in stolen books.

Japanese author Haruki Murakami may be known worldwide for novels that straddle the border between the dreamworld and reality.

But in Toronto he's better known as the most popular author among literary thieves, at least according to the city's bookstore owners.

An entire shelf dedicated to Murakami books disappeared in December at the Roncesvalles store A Good Read.

"I lost $800 the last two times this guy hit me," owner Gary Kir told CBC Toronto. "They're very easily converted into cash, because they're very high in demand and they don't turn up that often used."

[. . .]

Derek McCormack has worked at bookstores in Toronto for 25 years and says the most shoplifted names come and go in waves.

"It used to be all the beats," said McCormack, of Type Books on Queen Street West. "Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Then it became [Vladimir] Nabokov by far — you couldn't keep Lolita on the shelf."
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  • Apostrophen's 'Nathan Smith writes about what he has learned from his huskie.

  • Bad Astronomy shares some gorgeous Cassini images of Saturn's polar hexagon.

  • Centauri Dreams looks at L2 Puppis, a red giant star that our own sun will come to resemble.

  • D-Brief notes climate change is starting to hit eastern Antarctica, the more stable region of the continent.

  • Dangerous Minds looks at some of the cool pins put out by supporters of LGBT rights over the decades.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at Susan Faludi's account of her life with her newly trans father.

  • Far Outliers examines the War of American Independence as one of the many Anglo-French global wars.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money wonders why the Los Angeles Times allowed the publication of letters defend the deportation of the Japanese-Americans.

  • Marginal Revolution's Alex Tabarrok argues that we are now moving beyond meat production.

  • The NYRB Daily looks at Mexico as a seedbed of modernism.

  • Savage Minds shares an article arguing for a decentering of the position of human beings at the interface of anthropology and science.

  • Understanding Society has more on the strange and fundamentally alien nature of the cephalopod mind.

  • Window on Eurasia notes that the North Caucasus is set to go through austerity.

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Author Hayden Trenholm's proposed 49th Parallels anthology dealing with Canada-relevant alternate histories with points of divergence after 1867, sounds fascinating. Metro News's Haley Ritchie had an enlightening interview with Trenholm on the subject.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier said the 20th century would belong to Canada – to be fair, it didn’t quite turn out that way, but what if it had?

In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, Bundoran Press Publishing House is planning a science fiction anthology exploring alternative histories and futures – what would have happened if the country took a very different turn.

[. . .]

Trenholm’s anthology, titled 49th Parallels, will be filled with short stories by authors across Canada exploring unexpected twists in the country’s history and future.

Trenholm is crowdfunding on IndieGoGo to raise some extra money to better pay writers. So far he’s raised around $1200 for the project, which will be published in fall 2017.

The writers submitting to the anthology will have 150 years to choose from to warp history – including the invention of penicillin, the first radio transmission across the ocean or even confederation.

“The real purpose of doing that is of course to turn a mirror on the society we now have,” said Trenholm. “People tend to think that the way things are is the way things had to be – but of course that’s not true.”
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  • blogTO notes that York University is slated to have an architecturally interesting student centre.

  • Centauri Dreams reports on new imaging of various protoplanetary disks.

  • The Dragon's Gaze reports on observations finetuning what is known about HD 209458b.

  • Joe. My. God. notes the happiness of at least one white supremacist leader with the Trump victory.

  • Language Hat reports on medieval prejudices about collectors of books.

  • Language Log explains its silence over the Trump election.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money celebrates Doctor Strange.

  • Marginal Revolution suggests anxiety over technological change gave Trump an advantage over Clinton.

  • The NYRB Daily considers when it is proper to put a work through a new translation.

  • The Planetary Society Blog reports on the week's activities in the solar system.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer is alarmed by the description of the nascent California separatist movement in an article, as the mechanisms are described.

  • Peter Rukavina shares of a map about Internet accessibility on Prince Edward Island.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy praises Obama's recent statements.

  • Window on Eurasia argues Trump's policies might hurt Russia and notes Ukrainians who hope his government will not be hostile to Ukraine.

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  • blogTO notes a photo series celebrating the corner stores of Toronto and reports on massive condo towers planned for Yonge and College.

  • Centauri Dreams notes the antimatter sail as a potential future propulsion technology.

  • D-Brief notes the beginning of a search for an Earth-like planet orbiting Alpha Centauri A or B.

  • Joe. My. God. notes that it is Ecuador that disrupted Assange's Internet connection.

  • Language Hat looks at distinctions between fiction and non-fiction in different literatures.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes how Republicans are concerned for the future of the US Supreme Court and links to Matt Taibbi's article suggesting that Trump might reinforce the existing American system.

  • Maximos62 links to his new audiobook of tales from Asia and the Pacific.

  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at the relationship between rapidly rotating regular satellite and their tides.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests that language shift among the Kalmyks to Russia has not weakened their ethnic identity, and shares arguments that Tatarstan and Bashkortostan must be brought back into line in with Russia's national government.

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  • blogTO notes Mississauga's new waterfront park.

  • Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly talks about the glamour and otherwise of the writer's life.

  • The Dragon's Gaze reports on a study of Epsilon Eridani.

  • Language Hat describes a fascinating-sounding book untranslated into English, "Oğuz Atay’s experimental, linguistically complex novel of ideas Tutunamayanlar (The Disconnected)".

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money describes the sheer numbers of books banned by Texan prisons.

  • Marginal Revolution describes the question of whether the United Kingdom will have a hard Brexit.

  • James Nicoll links to his review of the classic book of space colonization, Heppenheimer's 1977 Colonies in Space.

  • At the NYR Daily, Garry Wills reviews a recent performance in Chicago of Henry VI, Part Two.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at the polarization of media in the different parts of Donbas and notes worrying precedents for Putin's rationalization of Russia's government.

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  • blogTO notes that Muji is opening up a second location.

  • James Bow writes about how voicing complaints can make things better for transit riders.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes the detection of ice in the disk of HD 142527.

  • The Dragon's Tales links to a paper speculating on the origins of rings like Saturn's in the disruption of dwarf planets.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes Rich Lowry's low bar for Donald Trump.

  • The LRB Blog notes that refugees are not going to get into the European Union.

  • Marginal Revolution is rightly appalled by a journalist who argues against research in longevity.

  • Understanding Society's Daniel Little announces his new book, New Directions in the Philosophy of Social Science.

  • Window on Eurasia argues that Huntington's description of Ukraine's divisions is incorrect, and warns about the strength of Putin.

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