- 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.
- Centauri Dreams reports on asteroid P/2016 G1, a world that, after splitting, is now showing signs of a cometary tail.
- The Everyday Sociology Blog considers outrage as a sociological phenomenon. What, exactly, does it do? What does it change?
- Joe. My. God. reports on a new push for same-sex marriage in Germany, coming from the SPD.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money examines the Alabama government's disinterest in commemorating the Selma march for freedom.
- Marginal Revolution looks at Oxford University's attempt to recruit white British male students.
- At the NYRB Daily, Masha Gessen warns against falling too readily into the trap of identifying conspiracies in dealing with Trump.
- pollotenchegg maps the distribution of Muslims in Crimea according to the 1897 Russian census.
- Savage Minds takes a brief look at ayahuasca, a ritual beverage of Andean indigenous peoples, and looks at how its legality in the United States remains complicated.
- Elf Sternberg considers the problems of straight men with sex, and argues they might be especially trapped by a culture that makes it difficult for straight men to consider sex as anything but a birthright and an obligation.
- The Volokh Conspiracy considers how the complexities of eminent domain might complicate the US-Mexican border wall.
- Window on Eurasia reports on protests in Russia and argues Belarus is on the verge of something.
- Antipope's Charlie Stross wonders if the politics of Trump might mean an end to the British nuclear deterrent.
- Centauri Dreams shares Andrew LePage's evaluation of the TRAPPIST-1 system, where he concludes that there are in fact three plausible candidates for habitable status there.
- Dangerous Minds shares the gender-bending photographs of Norwegian photographers Marie Høeg and Bolette Berg.
- The Everyday Sociology Blog takes a look at the 1980s HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.
- The Extremo Files looks at the human microbiome.
- Language Hat links to an article on Dakhani, a south Indian Urdu dialect.
- The LRB Blog looks at policing in London.
- The Map Room Blog notes that 90% of the hundred thousand lakes of Manitoba are officially unnamed.
- Marginal Revolution looks at the remarkable Akshardham Temple of New Delhi.
- The Planetary Society Blog notes how citizen scientists detected changes in Rosetta's comet.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer provides a visual guide for New Yorkers at the size of the proposed border wall.
- The Russian Demographics Blog links to a paper taking a look at the history of abortion in 20th century France.
- Torontoist looks at the 1840s influx of Irish refugees to Toronto.
- Understanding Society takes a look at the research that went into the discovery of the nucleus of the atom.
- Window on Eurasia reports on Belarus.
- Arnold Zwicky shares photos and commentary on the stars and plot of Oscar-winning film Midnight.
- Centauri Dreams looks at the SPECULOOS red dwarf observation program.
- The Crux examines VX nerve agent, the chemical apparently used to assassinate the half-brother of North Korea's ruler.
- Dangerous Minds shares photos of the inhabitants of the Tokyo night, like gangsters and prostitutes and drag queens.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money examines Donald Trump's tepid and belated denunciation of anti-Semitism.
- Language Log looks at the story of the Wenzhounese, a Chinese group notable for its diaspora in Italy.
- The LRB Blog looks at the by-elections in the British ridings of Stoke and Copeland and notes the problems of labour.
- The Map Room Blog shares a post-Brexit map of the European Union with an independent Scotland.
- Marginal Revolution reports that a border tax would be a poor idea for the United States and Mexico.
- The NYRB Daily looks at the art of the medieval Tibetan kingdom of Guge.
- Otto Pohl notes the 73rd anniversary of Stalin's deportation of the Chechens and the Ingush.
- Supernova Condensate points out that Venus is actually the most Earth-like planet we know of. Why do we not explore it more?
- Towleroad notes Depeche Mode's denunciation of the alt-right and Richard Spencer.
- Whatever's John Scalzi considers the question of feeling empathy for horrible people.
- Window on Eurasia notes the thousands of Russian citizens involved with ISIS and examines the militarization of Kaliningrad.
The Globe and Mail's Steven Chase emphasizes that although Canada is a major trading partner of the United States, the United States as a whole is much less dependent on Canadian trade than vice versa. Only two American states, Vermont and Michigan, reach the levels of the Canadian provinces least dependent on American trade, and the rest are much less dependent.
The Canadian government is fond of repeating that Canada is the most important foreign market for 35 U.S. states, in an effort to head off rising American protectionism, and this statistic came up several times during a crucial first meeting Monday between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump in Washington. But this calculation of the benefit Canada provides to its southern neighbour glosses over the fact that the United States, with ten times the population, is far less reliant on foreign trade in general.
According to Trevor Tombe, a University of Calgary economist, there are in fact only two American states out of 50 – Michigan and Vermont – where trade with Canada exceeds 10 per cent of their annual economic output.
By comparison, Canada’s provinces are in large part overwhelmingly dependent on keeping the borders open with the U.S. Forty-nine per cent of Ontario’s gross domestic product depends on trade with the United States. For Quebec, that number is 23 per cent. For Alberta, it’s 31 per cent.
[. . .]
A Nanos Research survey, conducted between Jan. 26 and Feb. 1, found that 58 per cent of Canadians surveyed would “support” or “somewhat support … Canada having a trade war with the U.S.” if the Trump administration slapped new tariffs on goods from Canada.
Only 35 per cent were opposed or somewhat opposed. Veteran Canadian trade consultant Peter Clark said he believes Canadians who talk tough to pollsters may be overestimating Canada’s bargaining power with their neighbour.
“The Americans just have to increase their own production 10 to 15 per cent to replace what we provide them, generally.” He said fights over softwood or shingles or wheat in decades past are mere skirmishes compared with the much bigger conflict that could arise if Canada and the United States get into a tit-for-tat war over border taxes.
I share in the relief of Canadians generally that, as reported by CBC News, Trudeau's meeting with Trump apparently went without incident, with no warnings of threats to Canadian economic interests. (Yet?)
The much-anticipated meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday did much to assuage fears of Canadian businesses wary of the prospect of a trade war.
After a formal greeting between the two leaders followed by meetings, the White House and the Prime Minister's Office issued a joint statement on Monday reaffirming the strong bonds between Canada and the U.S.
"No two countries share deeper or broader relations than Canada and the United States," the statement read, making note of the two countries' "shared economic interests," including the $2 billion in trade that flows between the two every day.
That's a much different tone than the one witnessed on the campaign trail, when Trump repeatedly attacked the North American Free Trade Agreement that governs commerce between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Mexico has been the frequent target of Trump's ire, but Canadian businesses and commentators in Canada had concerns that the new president would also seek to tighten the trading border to the north. Much is written about how key the U.S. is to Canada's economy, but 32 states claim Canada as their largest export market, shipping $267 billion worth of goods and services north, BMO economist Michael Gregory said.
- blogTO reports on the history of Toronto's Wellington Street.
- Dangerous Minds introduces me to the grim American gothic that is Wisconsin Death Trip. What happened to Black River Falls in the 1890s?
- The Dragon's Gaze links to hypotheses about KIC 8462852, one suggesting KIC 8462852 has four exoplanets, another talking about a planet's disintegration.
- The Dragon's Tales links to a paper modeling the mantles of icy moons.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at small city NIMBYism in the Oregon city of Eugene.
- The LRB Blog reports on toxically racist misogyny directed towards Labour's Diane Abbott by Tory minister David Davis, "misogynoir" as it is called.
- Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw reports on the elections in Indonesia, a country increasingly important to Australia.
- Peter Rukavina describes how the builders of his various indie phones, promising in their own rights, keep dropping them.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer is optimistic that NAFTA will survive mostly as is.
- The Volokh Conspiracy examines the ruling against Trump's immigration order on the grounds that its planners explicitly designed it as an anti-Muslim ban.
- Window on Eurasia suggests that the treaty-based federalism of Tatarstan within Russia is increasingly unpopular with many wanting a more centralized country.
- blogTO reports on how a trespasser at track level disrupted subway service today.
- Crooked Timber argues Trump's migration ban is best under stood as an elaboration of existing Western immigration policies, taking them to their logical conclusion.
- Dangerous Minds looks at 1980s New York City industrial rockers Missing Foundation.
- The Dragon's Gaze examines the orbit of Proxima Centauri around the A-B pair.
- The Everyday Sociology Blog profiles four millennial students to attack the idea of their generation as lazy.
- Language Log and Strange Maps look at how the list of countries whose citizens are banned from the US does not map onto the list of countries which have provided terrorists who have attacked the United States.
- The LRB BLog looks at the first ten days of the Trump Administration.
- The NYRB Daily looks at the scale of the popular mobilization against Trump.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer looks at how modest immigration controls in Argentina are overshadowed by the US.
- Transit Toronto reports on streetcar line repair on Queen Street.
- Window on Eurasia wonders if Trump will allow Russia to do as it will in most of the former Soviet Union, and <a href="http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.ca/2017/01/moscow-now-taking-seriously-that-russia.html'><U>looks</u></a> at the prospect Russia might lose out in international sporting events.</li> </ul>
The Globe and Mail's Tom Kiladze reports on an initiative by Canadian tech startup companies that, besides being humanitarian, may also work out to be something really advantageous for Canada in the long run.
A collection of Canada’s top technology leaders is asking Ottawa to provide “immediate and targeted” assistance, including temporary residency, to those displaced by President Donald Trump’s executive order that bans entry to the United States for citizens of seven countries.
In a statement, the leaders, who include Wattpad chief executive officer Allen Lau, Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke, TechGirls Canada founder Saadia Muzaffar and Wealthsimple CEO Michael Katchen, ask the federal government to provide visas to people displaced by the executive order.
“This visa would allow these residents to live and work in Canada with access to benefits until such time as they can complete the application process for permanent residency if they so choose,” the group wrote. More than 200 people have signed the open letter to show their support.
The Canadian tech community has long stressed that diversity is one of its strengths – as well as one of Canada’s – but the decision to boldly ask the federal government to take action in the face of the new U.S. order is a sign of its evolution.
Until recently, the country’s tech community was thought of as a collection of small startups likely to be acquired by larger American tech companies. Lately, though, it has grown up, and in the last few months there is additional buzz about its potential – particularly around artificial intelligence. Former Facebook executive Steve Irvine recently left the Silicon Valley giant to start a Toronto-based AI company.
CBC News reports on the continuing confusion in American entry procedures for Canadians.
Canadian citizens can travel freely to the United States despite U.S. President Donald Trump's sweeping immigration order that bans visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, the Prime Minister's Office says.
Saturday's news came hours after the U.S. State Department told CBC News the 90-day travel ban covers all people who have a nationality or dual nationality with Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen — which would include tens of thousands of Canadians.
"We have been assured that Canadian citizens travelling on Canadian passport will be dealt with in the usual process," Kate Purchase, spokeswoman for the Prime Minister's Office, said in a statement.
[. . .]
Trump's executive order on Friday curbs travel to the U.S. for people coming from the seven Muslim-majority countries. In an email to CBC News earlier on Saturday, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said: "Beginning January 27, 2017, travellers who have nationality or dual nationality of one of these countries will not be permitted for 90 days to enter the United States or be issued an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa."
"Those nationals or dual nationals holding valid immigrant or nonimmigrant visas will not be permitted to enter the United States during this period."
It's not clear at this point whether the ban affects dual nationals who have citizenship with one of the banned countries and another country outside of Canada.
- blogTO notes the rapid expansion of A&Ws across Toronto's neighbourhoods.
- Centauri Dreams reports that none of the exoplanets of nearby Wolf 1061 are likely to support Earth-like environments, owing to their eccentric and occasionally overclose orbits.
- The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper looking at high-temperature condensate clouds in hot Jupiter atmospheres.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money reports on Trump's unsecured Android phone.
- Language Log reports on Caucasian words relating to tea.
- The LRB Blog notes the emerging close links connecting May's United Kingdom with Trump's United States and Netanyahu's Israel.
- Marginal Revolution shares an interview with chef and researcher Mark Miller and reports on the massive scale of Chinese investment in Cambodia.
- The Planetary Society Blog looks at the idea of choosing between the Moon and Mars as particular targets of manned space exploration.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer looks at the mechanics of imposing a 20% tax in the United States on Mexican imports. (It is doable.)
- The Russian Demographics Blog reports Russian shortfalls in funding HIV/AIDS medication programs.
- Supernova Condensate warns that Trump's hostility to the very idea of climate change threatens the world.
- Towleroad shares the first gay kiss of (an) Iceman in Marvel's comics.
- The Volokh Conspiracy notes the constitutional problems with Trump's executive order against sanctuary cities.
- Window on Eurasia argues Ukraine is willing to fight if need be, even if sold out by Trump.
The Los Angeles Times' Don Lee is one of the many, many sources to note the potential for a complete implosion of the Mexican-American economic relationship. What else can be said but that this risks the long-term economic future of North America?
"I think it's very dangerous -- dangerous economically and dangerous politically," said Timothy Wise, a globalization and Mexico-economy expert at Tufts University, referring the possible pullout.
Under NAFTA, which also includes Canada, any of the three countries can exit from the agreement after giving six months' notice. Trump had threatened during the campaign to walk away from NAFTA and to impose tariffs of 35% on Mexican goods coming into the U.S.
On Thursday, the White House proposed a complicated 20% tax on sales by U.S. companies of imported goods from Mexico and other nations to help pay for the wall.
Since his election, Trump and top economic officials have spoken frequently about their desire to renegotiate the 23-year-old pact, which many across the political spectrum believe needs to be revised and updated.
But Trump's early actions as president to crack down on illegal immigration and his insistence that Mexico pay for a wall across the southern border were met with tough responses from Peña Nieto and other Mexican officials, some of whom indicated that Mexico was prepared to leave NAFTA if there weren't clear benefits for their nation.
The Guardian's Helena Smith reports on the prospects for peace and eventual reunification in Cyprus. I only hope that the negotiating parties will not decide to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
After 18 months of intensive negotiations to settle inter-ethnic divisions, Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akıncı will attempt to finesse the details of a peace deal in Geneva this week by poring over maps and discussing territorial trade-offs before tackling the potentially explosive issue of security.
Asked if he was optimistic as he arrived at the UN’s European headquarters on Monday morning, Anastasiades, the Greek Cypriot leader, said: “Ask me when we are finished.”
For an island the finer skills of peacemakers has long eluded, the talks are seen as a defining moment in the arduous process of resolving what has long been regarded as the Rubik’s cube of diplomacy.
On Sunday, the new UN secretary general, António Guterres, described the talks as a historic opportunity. In Nicosia officials on both sides of the buffer zone spoke of “the best and last chance” for a settlement. Other experts described the talks as the endgame.
“This is the final phase of the final phase,” said Hubert Faustmann, a professor of history and political science at the University of Nicosia. “It will be the first time since 1974 that Turkey and the Greek Cypriots will hold direct talks at the negotiating table.”
A week of fierce horse-trading lies ahead before Greece, Turkey and former colonial power Britain – the island’s three guarantors under its post-independence constitution – convene on 12 January to address the issues of troop presence and security in an envisioned federation. Both are seen as crucial to ensuring 1974 is never repeated.
- blogTO notes that TTC tunnels will get WiFi in 2018.
- Border Thinking's Laura Augustín shares some of Edvard Munch's brothel paintings.
- Centauri Dreams looks at the latest science on fast radio bursts.
- Dangerous Minds shares some of the sexy covers of Yugoslavian computer magazine Računari.
- Dead Things looks at the latest research into dinosaur eggs.
- The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper suggesting that a high surface magnetic field in a red giant star indicates a recent swallowing of a planet.
- Language Log shares an ad for a portable smog mask from China.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money takes issue with the idea of NAFTA being of general benefit to Mexico.
- Torontoist looks at the history of Toronto General Hospital.
- Window on Eurasia is skeptical about an American proposal for Ukraine, and suggests Ossetian reunification within Russia is the next annexation likely to be made by Russia.
- Anthropology.net looks at the genetics of how the Inuit have adapted to cold weather.
- 'Nathan Smith's Apostrophen shares the author's plans for the coming year.
- Beyond the Beyond's Bruce Sterling shares Margaret Atwood's commitment to fighting for freedom of expression.
- Crooked Timber asks its readers for recommendations in Anglophone science fiction.
- D-Brief notes the discovery of the human mesentery.
- The Dragon's Gaze looks at the protoplanetary disk of LkCa 15 disk.
- Far Outliers looks at some lobsters imported to Japan from (a) Christmas Island.
- Joe. My. God. notes Janet Jackson has given birth.
- Language Hat examines the contrast often made between indigenous and immigrant languages.
- Language Log looks at the names of the stations of the Haifa subway.
- Steve Munro notes Bathurst Station's goodbye to Honest Ed's.
- The Planetary Society Blog examines the Dawn probe's discoveries at Ceres in the past year.
- Window on Eurasia looks at how the permafrost of the Russian far north is melting and endangering entire cities, and contrasts the prosperity of the Estonian city of Narva relative to the decay of adjacent Ivangorod.
- blogTO notes that the Toronto real estate market is now the most unaffordable of any in Canada.
- The Big Picture shares photos of melting Antarctica.
- Crooked Timber considers the economic benefits of open borders, and the costs.
- Dangerous Minds shares photos of posters from Paris in 1968.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the problems of legal education in California.
- The New APPS Blog thinks poorly of South Carolina's Republicans.
- Marginal Revolution wonders if China will do better than the United States at dealing with air pollution.
- The NYRB Daily considers the collection of Neapolitan Christmas crèches.
- Palun looks at seasonal affective disorder in northern Estonia.
- Peter Watts wishes his readers happy holidays.
- The Russian Demographics Blog notes the distribution of the populations of the US, Canada and Europe by latitude.
- The Volokh Conspiracy compares concerns over Muslim immigration to opposition to Turkish membership in the EU.
- Window on Eurasia argues populism will not lead to structural change and suggests Putin's policies are a consequence of his fatigue.
- blogTO recommends five neighbourhoods for people looking for apartments.
- False Steps' Paul Drye describes a failed European-Russian project for a manned capsule.
- Language Log looks at the oddity of English pronunciations of words in foreign languages, like placenames, with no connection to how these words are pronounced in English.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money is critical of the coverage given to Trump and Clinton, finding it biased against the latter.
- Marginal Revolution suggests that seasteading has a future.
- The NYRB Daily suggests Israeli colonization will mean the end of the traditional lifestyle of Palestinian Bedouin.
- Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw reports on the spread of the red fire ant in Australia.
- Peter Rukavina describes the unusual round boundaries of the Island village of Crapaud.
- Savage Minds shares a lovely timeline of the history of anthropology.
- Torontoist looks at the origins of human rights law in Ontario.
- Window on Eurasia argues Russia's position as the Soviet successor state hampers its ability to engage with Communism, and reports on Belarus' concern at the dominance of local television by Russian imports.
MacLean's shares this Canadian Press report talking about the chilly relations between Québec City and St. John's.
They are arguably the least friendly neighbours in Confederation.
Newfoundland and Labrador has been feuding with Quebec since before the Atlantic province joined Canada, with a barely hidden animosity driven by border disputes and hydroelectric power feuds that have wound through courts for decades.
Which is why headlines were made last month when Quebec began talking about possibly “burying the hatchet” on an epic scrap over the lopsided Churchill Falls hydro deal. Premier Philippe Couillard told reporters that it’s not just energy issues — the two provinces can collaborate on other things and need to build more neighbourly ties.
But there is deep skepticism in Newfoundland and Labrador, which has a population smaller than metropolitan Quebec City and a collective wariness borne of distrust.
Premier Dwight Ball says he’s open to talks with Quebec, if they help his province. But any real rapprochement sounds far off.
- The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly writes about the importance of truth in journalism.
- Crooked Timber looks at the example of Trump and wonders why that kind of charismatic authoritarianism is popular.
- The Dragon's Gaze links to a model of the inner debris disk of HR 8799.
- Far Outliers looks at the cultural divergences between North and South Koreans.
- Language Hat looks at the complexities of translating the obscenities of the Marquis de Sade.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the collapse of unions and makes a limited defense of Castro.
- Marginal Revolution links to a plan in the United States to make social science research more productive.
- The NYRB Daily shares Masha Gessen's article talking about the hard choices she had to make in Putin's Russia and their relevance to the United States.
- Window on Eurasia argues that Russia's Ukrainian policy may be self-destructive.
This news item from Global News highlights how the US-Canadian border, a thin line even on the map, is in reality wholly imaginary. Counting on the border alone as a defense is a poor idea.
Toronto police have launched an investigation after residents in the city’s east-end found “ultra right wing” posters that urged white people “tired of political correctness” and “questioning when immigration will stop” to join an online movement they suspect arose out of Donald Trump’s election win.
The signs have a bold headline that reads “Hey, WHITE PERSON” and ask, “wondering why only white countries have to become ‘multicultural’?” and “figuring out that diversity only means less white people’?”
They also called for those with similar thinking to join the “alt-right” political movement on several conservative Canadian and American websites.
“I found the posters very disturbing, residents in my ward sent it this morning. I think the sentiments expressed in the poster are totally unacceptable in this city and it’s very worrisome,” Coun. Janet Davis told Global News Monday, after the signs turned up in Ward 31 Beaches-East York.
“I’m quite worried that the Donald Trump election has legitimized this kind of ultra right wing viewpoint and encouraged these kinds of expressions of hate.”