- 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.
- blogTO describes the changing designs of TTC maps over the past generations.
- Cody Delistraty links to an article of his contrasting and comparing Donald Trump to Louis XIV.
- Marginal Revolution shares facts about Qatar in this time of its issues.
- Peter Rukavina describes the latest innovations in his homebrew blogging.
- Towleroad notes the sad anniversary of the Pulse massacre in Orlando.
- Window on Eurasia argues that there is still potent for Idel-Ural, a coalition of non-Russian minorities by the Volga.
- Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell examines how Labour and the Tories made use of Big Data, and how Labour did much better.
- Antipope shares a guest essay by an author pointing out how duelling was a social plague.
- 'Nathan Smith's Apostrophen shares an essay noting that being a Donald Trump supporter who reads gay romance is a contradiction.
- Beyond the Beyond notes new European Union interest in defense integration.
- blogTO reports that a Torontonian designed the new Starbucks holiday cup.
- The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly wonders how much our parents shape us.
- D-Brief looks at Semantic Scholar, an AI tool for scholars.
- The Dragon's Tales reports on methane humidity near Titan's surface and an active drainage system.
- Joe. My. God. notes the interest of Florida attorney-general Pam Bondi at the interest of serving in the administration of Donald Trump.
- Language Hat shares a lovely poem translated from the Russian.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the upsurge in hate crimes post-election in the United States.
- The LRB Blog shares one man's memories of Leonard Cohen.
- Marginal Revolution notes the problems of Saudi Arabia.
- The NYRB Daily notes the largely negative effect of the Internet, and social media, on the election.
- Savage Minds notes how anthropology teachers can teach the Trump election.
- Towleroad shares RuPaul's horror at the election.
- The Volokh Conspiracy argues the Gary Johnson candidacy helped Hillary, though by not enough.
- Window on Eurasia argues that a state ideology would make Russia totalitarian.
- Astrobeat U>notes the vulnerability of Florida's Space Coast to Hurricane Matthews.
- D-Brief notes that the Voyager probes are the most distant US government-owned computers still in service.
- Dangerous Minds shares high-heeled tentacle shoes.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that a President Trump would enable anything the Congressional Republicans wanted.
- The LRB Blog notes Vancouver's fentanyl crisis.
- The NYR Daily reports on the lives of dissidents harassed by extralegal detentions.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer maps the recent Columbian referendum and finds that areas beset by FARC actually voted for the peace plan.
- Gay porn star and sometime political radical Colby Kelly, Towleroad noted, is going to vote for Trump in order to push forward the revolution.
- Window on Eurasia looks at religious developments in the former Soviet Union.
- blogTO notes that Green Day will be headlining a festival in the Distillery District.
- Centauri Dreams looks at research into an interstellar solar sail.
- The Dragon's Gaze notes a study of brown dwarf populations.
- The Dragon's Tales looks at ancient Martian rivers and flood plains.
- The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at the protest of Colin Kaepernick.
- The Map Room Blog reports on a map exhibition at the Library of Congress.
- Marginal Revolution notes low murder rates among Haitian-Americans in Florida.
- The Planetary Society Blog examines the Dawn probe's low orbit scans of Ceres.
- Otto Pohl announces the beginning of his first semester in Kurdistan.
- The Volokh Conspiracy notes that it is a crime to talk about the Nazi-Soviet alliance versus Poland in Russia.
- Window on Eurasia looks at how North Caucasians in Moscow identify quickly as Muscovites.
- ABC reports on the Sudanese-Australian basketball players who are transforming the game in Australia.
- Bloomberg reports on the potentially transformative scope of China's New Silk Road project.
- Bloomberg View likes the new Star Trek movie's shift beyond speciesism.
- CBC reports on the strength of pro-Trump support among non-voting Amish in Pennsylvania, and looks at a VIA Rail proposal to set up a commuter run in Halifax.
- Gizmodo reports on Florida's disastrous coastal algal infestations.
- The Globe and Mail notes a proposal for Ontario-Michigan cooperation and recounts the story of the construction of the Rideau Canal.
- The Guardian reports on Catalonia's swift progress towards a declaration of independence.
- MacLean's describes Manitoba's falling crime rate.
- Open Democracy wonders about Italy's Five Star Movement and looks at the newest African-American hashtag movements.
- blogTO looks at 1970s representations of Toronto on television and in film.
- Centauri Dreams looks at the genesis of antimatter propulsion.
- The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper asking if we might be one of the first intelligent civilizations to arise.
- Joe. My. God. notes the questioned future of Orlando's Pulse nightclub.
- Language Log reports on a fascinating-sounding concert of the Turkic world's music.
- Understanding Society's Daniel Little considers ethnographic studies of far-right movements and their memberships.
The banner was still up when I went to The Beaver Saturday night. The Canadian Press' Laura La Rose tells the story in the Toronto Star.
A Toronto bar is paying tribute to victims of the Orlando gay nightclub shooting by featuring a replica of the venue’s logo in its window.
The idea came from Rob Shostak, a Toronto-based designer who works for an architectural firm.
The 34-year-old is regular at The Beaver on Queen Street West in Toronto.
Shostak posted a photo of the exterior of the venue on his Instagram page on Wednesday. The replica of the Pulse nightclub logo is visible in the front window.
The caption accompanying Shostak’s photo reads: “This is Pulse. Every queer space is Pulse. When one of our safe spaces is attacked, all of our safe spaces are attacked.”
Shostak said he messaged The Beaver’s manager about the idea of putting up the sign and his suggestion was well received.
His Instagram photo is here.
- Bloomberg notes that the first Brexit poll since the murder of Jo Cox shows Remain in the lead, and notes the possibility that the ANC might lose control of Pretoria.
- CBC notes that the last Tragically Hip concert will be televised.
- The Inter Press Service notes that most vulnerable refugees will not be resettled.
- The National Post notes the devastation inflicted on wild fish populations by the pet trade.
- The Toronto Star notes what seems likely to be the extended separation of a Mexican family, split between their country of birth and country of residence.
- Wired looks at the Siemens plant where Florida light rail vehicles are being manufactured.
- Beyond the Beyond references Vincent Cerf's concern about the fragility of new media.
- Crooked Timber considers the politics inherent in monetary unions.
- The Dragon's Gaze notes a paper suggesting Alpha Centauri A is quite evolved.
- Discover's Dead Things wonders if Georgia is the birthplace of wine.
- Joe. My. God. notes the claim of a Florida public employee that the rainbow flag creates a hostile work environment.
- Language Hat looks at records of ancient Greek music.
- The LRB Blog considers the politics of hate in the United Kingdom.
- Marginal Revolution wonders which European financial centres would win at the expense of London.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer suggests the United Kingdom should merge with Canada.
- Registan notes domestic terrorism in Kazakhstan.
- Torontoist looks at queer people who opt not to celebrate Pride with the crowds.
- Towleroad looks at a Thai gym for trans men.
- The Volokh Conspiracy makes the case for sports boycotts.
- Window on Eurasia notes the fragility of the post-Soviet order, in Ukraine and in Russia.
- Bloomberg notes Venezuela's hopes for an oil price at $US 50, looks at Labour keeping the current London mayor's seat, observes the vulnerability of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, and warns of a possible drought in the US Corn Belt.
- Bloomberg View notes the continuing fragmentation of the Orthodox Church, and suggests Putin might accept a partial ban on Russian athletes at the Olympics.
- CBC looks at Russia's state-supported soccer hooliganism.
- MacLean's notes Florida theme parks' concerns re: alligator attacks, and notes how homophobia complicates the grieving process for survivors of the Orlando shooting victims.
- National Geographic looks at the logic chopping behind South Korea's whale hunt, and observes that some coral reefs have coped.
- The National Post notes Russia's professed interest in improved relations with Canada.
- Open Democracy frames the Orlando shooting in the context of an international campaign by ISIS.
- The Toronto Star suggests Portugal's decriminalization of drugs is a model for Canada.
- Bloomberg notes UEFA's opening of a disciplinary case against Russia for fans' violence, and looks how an anti-corruption drive has not been hurting China's Hainan.
- Bloomberg View notes the flaws in Gawker's shock approach.
- CBC looks at tributes to the dead of Orlando, and reports on Microsoft's purchase of LinkedIn.
- The Calgary Herald describes the story of Alberta's Stephan family, pushed by the tragedy of psychiatric illness into alternative medicine and eventual neglect of a meningitis-infected toddler.
- MacLean's shares an Orlando victim's texts to his mother.
- National Geographic imagines what happened sixty-five million years ago after the Chixculub impact.
- The National Post notes that the father of the Orlando mass killer supported the Taliban on his television show.
- Open Democracy notes the astonishingly weak British constitution.
- The Toronto Star looks at the first gay pride rally in Kyiv.
- Wired looks at Apple's contributions to smartphone technology and examines how the Islamic State outsources terror.
- blogTO notes planned additions to the Eaton Centre.
- Centauri Dreams explores protocols for contact between our spacecraft and those of aliens.
- Discover's Dead Things notes the discovery of an archeological site almost 15 thousand years old off the coast of Florida.
- The Dragon's Gaze notes the roughness of Neptune's migration to its current orbit.
- The Dragon's Tales tries to explain the odd orbits of Kuiper Belt objects.
- Language Hat notes name changes in the early Soviet Union.
- Marginal Revolution reports on an abortive Soviet Internet.
- Towleroad notes new anti-gay legislation in Kyrgzystan.
- Understanding Society looks at a report on racism and riots from the 1960s.
- Window on Eurasia looks at a Russia strategist's defense of Russia's tactics versus NATO.
- Bloomberg View notes the strong case against Brexit and looks at how austerity will complicate the vote.
- CBC notes the impact of Expo 86 on the architecture of Vancouver.
- Discovery notes that the universe is likely filled with extinct civilizations.
- The Inter Press Service reports on the African-Caribbean-Pacific group summit in Papua New Guinea.
- MacLean's examines the fall of the Parti Québécois' Peladeau.
- National Geographic reports on how ocean acidification is killing reefs off Florida.
- Reuters notes how democracy is complicating Kuwait's economic reforms.
- The Toronto Star looks at the link between air rage and class divisions.
- Universe Today describes the TRAPPIST-1 system.
- The Washington Post notes how race is complicating the housing recovery in the United States.
- Wired suggests that TTIP may end the European Union's hard lines on privacy and the environment.
Bloomberg View's Leonid Bershidsky looks at a Russian-Cuban entrepreneur making his fortune in Florida. May Cuba be as lucky as Zakharov.
At a rally on Wednesday in Hialeah, Florida, which has the biggest share of Cubans of any U.S. city, Senator Marco Rubio told his audience that they embodied the American dream. "As I walk the streets here, it's small business after small business," he said with a fellow Cuban's pride.
One of these 44,000 businesses in Hialeah -- 80 percent of them Hispanic-owned -- belongs to Fabian Zakharov. It also provides evidence that Rubio's view of his community and its relationship with Cuba is increasingly out of touch.
Zakharov Auto Parts sells the rarest of commodities in the U.S.: components for Soviet-built Lada cars. In the Miami area, where Ferraris outnumber Ladas, nobody except perhaps Zakharov himself, who owns several of the Russian clunkers, needs the parts. But the store, its owner says, does $1 million worth of business per year, and Zakharov keeps expanding his retail space.
His customers are mostly locals, but the parts ultimately go to Cuba, where, he says, up to 50,000 Russian cars still roam the potholed roads. Besides, much of Cuba's signature fleet of U.S. vehicles from the 1950s is equipped with Lada engines and other parts: That's how the stately sedans survived the Communist era. Zakharov has no competition: Since he founded the business in 2011, he has obtained deep discounts from suppliers in Russia and brought delivery times down to three days or less, a steep entry barrier to anyone who doesn't speak Russian and doesn't know the ropes.
Zakharov was born in Moscow to a Russian mother and a Cuban father, not an infrequent intermarriage thanks to active student and professional exchanges between the Soviet Union and Cuba. The family moved to the island, where Zakharov grew up and trained as an electrical engineer. But he dreamed of making a fortune, an impossibility under Fidel Castro, so he went back to President Vladimir Putin's Russia in the early 2000s, when that country still looked like a land of opportunity. It didn't work out as he planned.
- Bad Astronomy notes Ceres' unusually large mountain, Ahuna Mons.
- Crooked Timber wonders if there are too many callbacks to history in the current American presidential campaign.
- The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper comparing the makeup of T Tauri stars in Taurus and Orion.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money wishes Obama could run again.
- Marginal Revolution notes the unpopularity of Trump among Mormons.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer explains why tactical voting is not much of a thing, looking to Kasich and Rubio.
- Torontoist again reports from spring training for the Toronto Blue Jays in Florida.
- Transit Toronto notes the spread of WiFi throughout the subway network, Dufferin remaining an anomaly.
- Arnold Zwicky notes the comics of the Maya, prized artifacts.
At Torontoist, Stacey May Fowles writes about her experience trekking down to Florida to join the Toronto Blue Jays as they engage in spring training.
The anthropology of being a sports fan is starting to interest me.
There’s something about your first annual spring training game that feels a bit like a long-awaited romantic date. There’s a hell of a lot of build up and anticipation, a lot of wondering what the day will look and feel like, a lot of nervous yet optimistic energy buzzing around as you take to the Florida interstate to finally be reunited. In fact, I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t carefully pick out an outfit the night before.
For diehards, it’s more than a little emotional to finally come back to the ballpark—any ballpark—after a long, dark, wintery four-month hiatus. If it happens in Florida, there’s a good chance that the weather will be beautiful and the mood congenial, making it hard not to get a little teary behind your sunglasses. All of that emotion is only heightened when the last time you saw your beloved he was gunning hard for a World Series championship. Spring Training may be, as they say, meaningless, but after what we all endured last October, it’s hard not to carry our lofty expectations with us as we push through that turnstile for the first time.
This year’s reunion between me and the Toronto Blue Jays didn’t happen at the team’s springtime home in Dunedin, but instead at Tampa’s George M. Steinbrenner Field, one of the Grapefruit League’s more majestic ballpark offerings. Steinbrenner is like a tiny Yankee Stadium substitute, still steeped deep in heritage and holiness, though its capacity is about one fifth its parent’s size. (It is, however, the largest Spring Training ballpark in Florida.) From the $10 open field parking lot, staffed primarily by polite retirees, the park is a quick walk across the bridge over Route 92. The stadium itself is tastefully decorated with a collection of pennant flags, each marking a year the storied Yankees have won a World Series—27 if you’re masochistic and counting.
In my day-to-day life, I’m egregiously early to pretty much everything (it’s annoying for everyone involved), and baseball games are no exception. Game time in Tampa is 1:07 p.m., and I’m already through the gate by 11, ready to take in every last drop before the first pitch is thrown. As I walk the concourse at Steinbrenner, down the aisles toward the field, dozens of yellow-shirted staffers, most of which are seniors, say hello and tell me that they hope I enjoy the game. It’s such a pleasant environment it almost feels suspect, as if it’s impossible for all of these people to be this nice in quick succession. I watch as a guy in a Jays jersey has a warm, friendly chat with a guy in a Yankees jersey, reminding me that in Spring Training there are no real pressing rivalries. The clock is set back to zero, and the slate is wiped clean.
The anthropology of being a sports fan is starting to interest me.
- blogTO lets us know about planned subway closures and reports about Sam the Record Man's sign.
- The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly talks bravely about her recent failures.
- Centauri Dreams speculates about the future.
- Crooked Timber examines the strength of the labor movement within the Democratic Party even if it wanes in the United States at large.
- D-Brief notes a Chinese mechanical chameleon.
- Language Hat shares Winnie the Pooh in multiple languages of the North Caucasus.
- Steve Munro notes the collapse in Union-Pearson Express ridership.
- The Planetary Society Blog updates us on Curiosity.
- Progressive Download's John Farrell notes a simulation suggesting black holes could be gateways after all.
- Torontoist uses a photo of mine to illustrate an article on the LCBO.
- Towleroad recommends Key West.
- The Volokh Conspiracy notes Amazon Web Services' support in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
CBC notes the continued decline of BlackBerry.
BlackBerry has confirmed it is laying off 200 employees, in Waterloo, Ont., where the company is headquartered, and at a manufacturing facility in Sunrise, Fla.
The company filed a worker adjustment and retraining notification with the state of Florida on Thursday to lay off 75 manufacturing workers between Feb. 4 and Feb. 26. The other 125 jobs, part of the 200 overall, would be cut from Waterloo.
BlackBerry denied reports in the tech blog Mobile Syrup, which suggested the number of layoffs at BlackBerry's Waterloo headquarters could be as high as 1,000 people, or 35 per cent of the company's estimated workforce.
[. . .]
The company has also parted ways with Gary Klassen, creator of BlackBerry Messenger.
"We can confirm that Gary Klassen has left BlackBerry. The company is grateful for his many contributions during his tenure and we wish him the best in his future endeavours," said BlackBerry in a statement.
Via the National Post, I learned about a cute story from Florida. So much coffee ...
Chris Sybo stepped out of the Doubletree Hotel for a quick early morning walk along the beach when he spotted a coffee lover's dream: hundreds of sealed, yellow cans of coffee dotting the sand and seaweed for at least a mile.
"It was just filled with it," said Sybo, visiting the area from Pittsburgh to attend his daughter's graduation at Florida Institute of Technology.
"I came out early this morning and saw it. I went back and told a worker and said you ought to see the beach. It's like Christmas coffee," he said as more than a dozen beachcombers for about a mile scooped up the sand-covered cans and stuffed them into bags.
The coffee — possibly from a missing load of containers that fell overboard from a barge over the weekend — washed up along the shore in Indialantic overnight, dotting the beaches sandwiching either side of the Doubletree Hotel, 1665 State Road A1A.