- 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.
- Tristan Hopper describes for the National Post how, after the Second World War, Britain tried to blow up the German island of Heligoland. http://news.nationalpost.com/news/
world/blow-the-bloody-place-up-why-70- years-ago-britain-blew-up-an-entire- german-island.
- CNN's Jennifer Grey describes how (pro-Trump) Tangier Island, in Virginia, is sinking through sea level rise and erosion.
- National Geographic's Clare Fieseler has a gorgeous photo essay looking at how planning made once-barren Ascension Island green, and its implications for space colonization.
- blogTO reported that York University plans on opening a satellite campus in York Region's Markham. This is a first.
- Dangerous Minds notes a new, posthumous release from Suidide's Alan Vega.
- The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper considering the detectability of Niven ringworlds around pulsars. (Maybe.)
- The Everyday Sociology Blog considers burnout among sociology students, and suggests that engagement with issues is key to overcoming it.
- The Great Grey Bridge's Philip Turner photoblogs his recent Rhode Island vacation.
- Joe. My. God. reports on the arrest of a Christian activist protesting outside of the Pulse memorial in Orlando.
- The LRB Blog shares considerable concern that the Democratic Unionists of Northern Ireland are now national powermakers.
- Spacing Toronto shares the ambitious plan of Buenos Aires to make the city better for cyclists, pedestrians, and mass transit
- Transit Toronto notes that starting Friday, Metrolinx will co-sponsor $C25 return tickets to Niagara from Toronto.
- The Independent notes a denial that Scotland's Conservatives will split from the national party. I wonder, thought, if Scotland's political spectrum is going to shift, like Québec's, from a left-right split to a separatist-unionist one?
- Owen Jones argues in The Guardian that the rampant prejudices of the DUP, including its homophobia, make it an unsuitable coalition partner.
- Andray Domise argues in MacLean's that a perceived need to fit in means that immigrants can be too ready to dismiss local racisms.
- Fast Company lets us know that the minimum wage increases in Seattle have not led to higher retail prices.
- CBC notes the death of Sam Panopoulous, the Canadian man who invented Hawaiian pizza.
- Adam West, the first man to play Batman on the screen, has died. We all, not just the fandom, are the poorer for his passing.
- Are the robots not poised to take over our world? What does their absence demonstrate about our underachieving economy? The Atlantic wonders.
- D-Brief considers if gas giant exoplanet Kelt-9b is actually evaporating.
- The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper that considers where to find signs of prior indigenous civilizations in our solar system. (The Moon, Mars, and outer solar system look good.
- Joe. My. God. reveals the Israeli nuclear option in the 1967 war.
- Language Log shares a clip of a Nova Scotia Gaelic folktale about a man named Donald.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the ongoing deportations of Hispanic undocumented migrants from the United States.
- The LRB Blog notes the brittle rhetoric of May and the Conservatives.
- The NYRB Daily mourns the Trump Administration's plans for American education.
- Savage Minds considers the world now in the context of the reign of the dangerous nonsense of Neil Postman.
- Strange Maps shares a map documenting the spread of chess from India to Ireland in a millennium.
- Window on Eurasia argues that the Russian government needs to do more to protect minority languages.
- Language Log reports on the transliterations of "Trump" into Chinese and Chinese social networks.
- Marginal Revolution shares Jill Lepore's argument that modern dystopian fiction deals with submission to the worst, not resistance.
- At the NYRB Daily, Tim Flannery notes how Trump's withdrawal from Paris is bad for the environment and for the American economy.
- Peter Rukavina's photo of stormclouds over Charlottetown is eye-catching. (I have not heard of "dark off" myself.)
- Savage Minds announces a MOOC ANTH 101 course starting tomorrow.
- Window on Eurasia argues that Putin can afford to be aggressive because he is not constrained by Communist ideology.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the surprisingly exciting British elections. What will come of them?
- The LRB Blog considers the question of the underlying motivations of pollsters.
- Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen reshares an old column noting the destabilizing effects of Trump on American alliances.
- The Planetary Society Blog looks at India's new heavy-lift rocket, the GSLV-MK3.
- Torontoist looks at the City of Toronto's response to the overdose crisis.
- Towleroad notes that the Japanese city of Sapporo has recognized same-sex relationships.
- The Volokh Conspiracy argues that the constitutionality of Trump's edicts should not be defined by their being issued by Trump.
- Window on Eurasia argues that Russian policy towards Ukraine since 1991 has been marked by consistent disinterest in Ukraine going its own way.
- 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.
- Marginal Revolution wonders if modern Germany really is a laboratory for innovative politics.
- The NYRB Daily looks at 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.
- Centauri Dreams describes a new type of planet, the molten hot rubble cloud "synestia".
- Far Outliers describes the Polish rebels exiled to Siberia in the 19th century.
- Language Hat looks at words for porridge in Bantuphone Africa.
- Language Log examines whistling as a precursor to human language.
- The LRB considers the new normal of the terrorist state of emergency.
- Marginal Revolution notes the weakness of the Indian labour market.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer tries to explain to Uruguayans how Donald Trump made his mistake on the budget.
- Savage Minds remembers the late anthropologist of Polynesia and space colonization, Ben Finney.
- Towleroad examines the rather depressing idea of a porn-dominated sexuality.
- Understanding Society examines Hindu/Muslim tensions in India.
- Window on Eurasia reports on the weakness of Belarus' opposition.
- Arnold Zwicky talks about Arthur Laurents.
- 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".
- 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.
- D-Brief shares rare video of beaked whales on the move.
- Dangerous Minds notes that someone has actually begun selling unauthorized action figures of Trump Administration figures like Bannon and Spencer.
- Language Log looks at a linguistic feature of Emma Watson's quote, her ending it with a preposition.
- Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen considers, originally for Bloomberg View, if Trump could be seen as a placebo for what ails America.
- The New APPS Blog takes a Marxist angle on the issue of big data, from the perspective of (among other things) primitive accumulation.
- The Search reports on the phenomenon of the Women's History Month Wikipedia edit-a-thon, aiming to literally increase the representation of notable women on Wikipedia.
- Towleroad notes the six men who will be stars of a new Fire Island reality television show.
- The Volokh Conspiracy finds some merit in Ben Carson's description of American slaves as immigrants.
- Window on Eurasia argues that Belarusians are beginning to mobilize against their government and suggests they are already making headway.
- 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.
In a great Wired article, Charley Locke describes how a photo taken on the New York City subway system by Instagram user subwaycreatures ended up going hilariously viral.
Samuel Themer never planned to be a symbol of everything that’s right or wrong with America. He just wanted to go to work. But when he hopped on the subway to head into Manhattan on February 19, the Queens resident was in full drag—he performs as Gilda Wabbit. He also ended up sitting next to a woman in a niqab, a fact he initially didn’t even notice. “I was just sitting on the train, existing,” he says. “It didn’t seem out of the ordinary that a woman in full modesty garb would sit next to me.”
Someone on that W car with them, though, thought otherwise. Boubah Barry, a Guinean immigrant and real estate student, wanted to document what he saw as a testament to tolerance, so he took a photo of the pair and posted it to Instagram. “It’s diversity,” says Barry, who says he doesn’t identify as liberal or conservative but does oppose President Trump’s refugee ban. “They sit next to each other, and no one cares.”
But someone did care. After the post was shared by Instagram account subwaycreatures, the photo drifted across the internet until /pol/ News Network attached it to a tweet on Wednesday with the message “This is the future that liberals want.”
/pol/ News Network, which also recently declared Get Out to be anti-white propaganda, probably intended the post to be a warning about the impending liberal dystopia. But as soon as actual liberals saw it, they flipped the message on its head—and began touting the message as exactly the future they wanted. They filled /pol/ News Network’s mentions with messages endorsing the photo and adding their own visions of a bright future. By Thursday, it was a full-blown meme. Soon images of a future filled with interspecies companionship, gay space communism, and Garfield flooded onto social media.
- blogTO notes a threat to some of Liberty Village's historic buildings through development.
- Centauri Dreams looks at planetary formation around close binary SDSS 1557, which includes a white dwarf.
- False Steps' Paul Drye announces a new book project, They Played the Game, which looks at how different baseball players overlooked in our history might have become stars had things gone differently.
- Language Hat looks at the linguistic differences between the two Koreas.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the exploitation of Syrian refugees by Turkish garment manufacturers.
- The LRB Blog examines the phenomenon of myth-making regarding Sweden.
- The Map Room Blog links to a website sharing the stories of cartographers.
- The NYRB Daily notes the chaos that Trump will be bringing to American immigration law.
- Peter Rukavina talks about his experience as a library hacker.
- Supernova Condensate is optimistic about the potential of Space X to actually inaugurate an era of space tourism.
In this weekend's Historicist feature, David Wencer describes for Torontoist an early protest in Toronto against Nazi anti-Semitism and fascism.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, July 11, 1933, people began gathering in the park at Wellington and Bathurst Streets. Most of the men and women in attendance were labourers, and many were there to represent Toronto’s predominantly Jewish garment industry unions. Some were there to represent various left-wing Toronto political organizations, which were ideologically opposed to Adolf Hitler’s fascist policies and treatment of German workers. Others were motivated to protest by local newspaper reports of pogroms in Hitler’s Germany. Carrying signs and banners reflecting a variety of interests and causes, the crowd paraded up Spadina to Dundas, then east to University Avenue, and finally up University to Queen’s Park, where thousands of others joined. The protest brought together Torontonians of many affiliations, united in their determined opposition to “Hitlerism” and the events unfolding in Germany.
In the early months of 1933, the Toronto press reported regularly on the developments which were taking place in Germany following Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. These articles ran not just in the Yiddish-language Der Yiddisher Zhurnal and in radical leftist newspapers, such as Young Worker, but also in the four mainstream Toronto dailies. They described the increasingly restrictive conditions in Germany, and included reports of concentration camps and attacks on Jews in the streets. In their book Riot at Christie Pits, Cyril H. Levitt and William Shaffir write that Toronto’s newspapers “carried horrifying front-page reports of the atrocities against Jews during the first months of Hitler’s rule…In fact, because of the censorship of the media by the Hitler regime, Torontonians probably knew more about what was occurring to Jews in Germany during those fateful months than did most Berliners.”
A Jewish market on Kensington Avenue, January 14, 1932. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 26172.
A Jewish market on Kensington Avenue, January 14, 1932. City of Toronto Archives, fonds 1266, item 26172.
April of 1933 saw the formation of a new Toronto group, the League for the Defence of Jewish Rights (not to be confused with today’s Jewish Defence League), whose leaders included Rabbi Samuel Sachs and Shmuel Meir Shapiro, editor of Der Yiddisher Zhurnal. The League soon emerged as Toronto’s leading Jewish protest group, and co-organized a massive meeting at Massey Hall on April 2. This meeting, which drew the support of numerous non-Jewish politicians and organizations, included the development of a strategy for countering local antisemitic sentiment, and the organization of a local boycott of German goods. The League was also instrumental in the formation of a new incarnation of a national-level Jewish organization, the Canadian Jewish Congress.
In 1933, Toronto’s Jewish population numbered around 46,000, and was heavily concentrated downtown, near the city’s many clothing factories. In her 1992 book Sweatshop Strife: Class, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Jewish Labour Movement of Toronto 1900–1939, Ruth A. Frager writes that, by 1931, approximately one-third of Toronto’s gainfully employed Jewish population worked in the needle trades, and that “Jews constituted roughly 46 per cent of the people employed in this sector in this city.”
Marie-Danielle Smith's Canadian Press report carried in the National Post is subtly alarming. That some people who claim about "religious freedom" are not concerned with that concept in general so much as with maximizing their favourite religion's standing is sad.
Canada’s former ambassador for religious freedom is warning conservatives about the pitfalls of “Canadian values” talk.
At the annual Manning Centre Conference in Ottawa Saturday, Andrew Bennett said “values” language — like that cropping up in the Conservative party leadership race — must be debunked.
“When people bandy about an expression like ‘Canadian values,’ they will ascribe all kinds of different things to that, things that can be contested,” he said.
Elaborating on that idea in an interview, Bennett told the National Post Canadians should focus on universal concepts: rule of law, human rights and freedoms. “When you get into the ‘values’ language, it’s fraught with a lot of pitfalls,” he said, and specific “values” beyond those all Canadians can accept shouldn’t be prescribed.
Bennett said his views aren’t political and he hasn’t followed the Conservative leadership race closely, but the “values” debate has permeated the contest.
Kellie Leitch’s opponents have largely rejected her rhetoric around immigration interviews, and the idea all immigrants should be tested for “Canadian values,” with some accusing her of sowing division and inciting hatred.
Kady O'Malley at MacLean's talks about her experience of the Manning Conference, an assembly of people on the Canadian right that did not seem overly invested in American-style populism.
This year, however, we may want to take a slightly more cautious approach in drawing sweeping conclusions based on what unfolded over the course of the now-concluded confab – or, at least, from the official programme.
While the speakers’ list and topics seemed to have been designed specifically to appeal to the Canadian wing of the alt-right movement that helped to sweep Donald Trump into the White House – there was even a keynote speech on whether “Trumpism” could be brought to Canada – there was scant evidence of a simmering populist rage amongst attendees. (Or, at least, any more of one than usual.)
There were, of course, exceptions: the two young men who so proudly showed off their matching Make America Great Again hats as they made the rounds in the atrium and posed for the TV cameras, for instance, or an overheard mention to “social justice warriors” in casual conversation.
They also had no trouble filling the main hall with a few hundred attendees already primed to gasp in collective horror during the discussion on “leading the response to Islamic extremism” or enthusiastically jeer at the idea of “trigger warnings” at the mini-symposium on campus censorship.
But after spending a few hours on the floor, it became clear that a sizeable number of attendees were primarily interested in the Conservative leadership debate, although they also appreciated the opportunity to socialize with like-minded souls from across the country.
- At Antipope, Charlie Stross wonders--among other things--what the Trump Administration is getting done behind its public scandals.
- blogTO notes a protest in Toronto aiming to get the HBC to drop Ivanka Trump's line of fashion.
- Dangerous Minds reflects on a Talking Heads video compilation from the 1980s.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money reflects on a murderous attack against Indian immigrants in Kansas.
- The LRB Blog looks at "post-Internet art".
- Lovesick Cyborg notes an attack by a suicide robot against a Saudi warship.
- Strange Maps links to a map of corruption reports in France.
- Torontoist reports on Winter Stations.
- Understanding Society engages in a sociological examination of American polarization, tracing it to divides in race and income.
- The Volokh Conspiracy notes the many good reasons behind the reluctance of cities around the world to host the Olympics.
- Window on Eurasia notes that where the Ingush have mourned their deportation under Stalin the unfree Chechens have not, reports that Latvians report their willingness to fight for their country, looks at what the spouses of the presidents of post-Soviet states are doing, and notes the widespread opposition in Belarus to paying a tax on "vagrancy."
- Arnold Zwicky looks at the linguistic markers of the British class system.
- blogTO notes that the redevelopment of Toronto's Port Lands is continuing.
- Crooked Timber argues that climate denialism exposes the socially constructed nature of property rights.
- D-Brief notes the reburial of Kennewick Man.
- The Dragon's Gaze notes there is no sign of a second planet around Proxima Centauri.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at life in Texas.
- The LRB Blog analyzes Milo's stumble.
- Marginal Revolution considers the levels of disorderliness different societies, like Sweden, can tolerate.
- The NYRB Daily reports on the poisoning of a Russian dissident.
- The Planetary Society Blog suggests Voyager 1 picked up Enceladus' plumes.
- Peter Rukavina writes of his mapping of someone's passage on the Camino Francés.
- Supernova Condensate looks at the United Arab Emirates' plan to build a city on Mars in a century.
- Towleroad describes the plight of Mr. Gay Syria in Istanbul and reports on the progress of same-sex marriage in Finland.
- Understanding Society considers the complexity of managing large technological projects.
- Window on Eurasia links to one Russian writer arguing Putin should copy Trump and links to anotehr suggesting the Russian Orthodox Church is overreaching.