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  • Scott Wheeler writes about past eminences of Toronto, people like Conn Smythe and Raymond Massey.
  • Joanna Slater writes in The Globe and Mail about the symbolism of Confederate--and other--statuary in Richmond, former capital of the South.

  • Reuters reports on a Vietnamese businessman abducted by his country from the streets of Berlin. Germany is unhappy.

  • Jeremiah Ross argues at VICE that very high levels of tourism in New York City are displacing native-born residents.

  • Looking to protests most recently in Barcelona, Elle Hunt in The Guardian looks at ways to make mass tourism more affordable for destinations.

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  • Dangerous Minds points readers to Cindy Sherman's Instagram account. ("_cindysherman_", if you are interested.)

  • Language Hat takes note of a rare early 20th century Judaeo-Urdu manuscript.

  • Language Log lists some of the many, many words and phrases banned from Internet usage in China.

  • The argument made at Lawyers, Guns and Money about Trump's many cognitive defects is frightening. How can he be president?

  • The LRB Blog <"a href="https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2017/08/03/lynsey-hanley/labour-and-traditional-voters/">notes that many traditional Labour voters, contra fears, are in fact willing to vote for non-ethnocratic policies.

  • The NYR Daily describes a book of photos with companion essays by Teju Cole that I like.

  • Of course, as Roads and Kingdom notes, there is such a thing as pho craft beer in Vietnam.

  • Peter Rukavina notes
  • Towleroad notes a love duet between Kele Okereke and Olly Alexander.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy seems unconvinced by the charges against Kronos programmer Marcus Hutchins.

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  • In The New York Times, Michael Kimmelman reports on the Crossrail mass transit line in London. It sounds promising, even in the era of Brexit.

  • Emily Nonko at Curbed argues that the underfunding of mass transit in NYC by Robert Moses is the cause of the current crisis.

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One New York City poster of three


Two New York City posters of three


I bought these posters, neatly framed behind glass, from a now-defunct store in downtown Charlottetown--Zellers?--when I was 10 or so. These posters have remained on my bedroom wall ever since, even after I moved. From skyscraper skylines on my walls to skyscraper skylines outside my walls, I've gone.
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  • I have limits as to what I will do to get a great photo. The limits of others may be more elastic, too much so even. VICE warns against this excessive dangerous.

  • Lifehacker shares some quick tips to people looking for obvious signs of a photograph being doctored.

  • These obviously NSFW photos from pre-AIDS New York City by Alvin Baltrop capture the ephemeral scene beautifully.

  • Niko Kallianiotis' photos of small-town Rust Belt Pennsylvania are evocative. I recognize this kind of landscape.

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  • Apostrophen's 'Nathan Smith updates his readers about the progress of his various writing projects.

  • The Big Picture shares photos from the Battle of Mosul waged against ISIS.

  • Centauri Dreams notes the discovery of rogue binary planet 2MASS J11193254–1137466, two super-Jupiters by themselves.

  • Dangerous Minds notes the raw photography of early 20th century New York City's Weegee.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money is rightly unimpressed by the reflexive Russophilia of The Nation. Imperialism is still imperialism ...

  • Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen strongly recommends Dali, in the Chinese province of Yunnan, for tourists.

  • The NYR Daily features Masha Gessen, looking at the truth underneath the lies of Trump.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer makes a case that Macron's use of "civilizational" to describe Africa's issues might be the subject of over-quick outrage.

  • Peter Rukavina describes his two weeks with a Nokia N95, without a modern smartphone. There was good and bad to this.

  • Speed River Journal's Van Waffle explains, with photos, what hoverflies are and why they are so important.

  • Understanding Society considers a fraught question: what paths to modernization were open for China in the 1930s, before the People's Republic?

  • Window on Eurasia suggests that, in 30 years, Moscow will be a megacity with a large population of (substantially immigrant) Muslim origin.

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  • CBC reports on how the Hudson Bay port of Churchill could profit from global warming opening up sea lanes but suffer from heaving land wrecking infrastructure.

  • Brett Bundale reports on how Halifax, Nova Scotia, is booming, unlike the rest of the Maritimes.

  • This article describing how the London police remain vague about the number of dead in Grenfell Tower is horrifying.

  • Global News reports on how many in Harlem dislike the idea of renaming their neighbourhood's south "SoHa".

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  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly considers the various challenges of being an independent person.

  • Centauri Dreams considers the possibility of a Mars-mass planet in the Kuiper belt.

  • Dangerous Minds notes how the 5Pointz warehouse of NYC, once a graffiti hotspot, has been turned into a condo complex that at best evokes that artistic past.

  • Language Log explores the etymology of "sang", a descriptor of a Chinese subculture of dispirited youths.

  • The LRB Blog reports on a Border Patrol raid on the No More Deaths encampment in Arizona, a camp that helps save migrant lives in the desert.

  • The Strange Company blogs about the mysterious 1829 disappearance of Judge John Ten Eyck Lansing from New York City.

  • Unicorn Booty describes three gay Muslim immigrants terrified of the implications of President Trump.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy considers pros and cons to the idea of religious arbitration.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests that the Qatar crisis is worsening Sunni/Shia tensions among the Muslims of Russia.

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  • The National Park Service's LGBTQ Heritage Theme Study is an amazingly thorough survey of sites and stories of note.

  • In The Globe and Mail, Stephanie Chambers explores how the history of homophobia recorded in her newspaper's old articles.

  • Back2Stonewall shares rare archival footage of the 1970 Christopher Street Liberation Day parade, ancestor of Pride.

  • The New Yorker's Daniel Penny tells the story of Joseph Touchette, at 93 the oldest drag queen in Greenwich Village.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Steve Munro shares photos of the old Kitchener trolleybus.

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

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

  • Torontoist shares photos of the Trans March.

  • Towleroad
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  • The New York Times' Michael Wilson tells the sad story of how a woman murdered in Harlem was only identified 47 years later.

  • In NOW Toronto, Gelek Badheytsang writes about the complexities surrounding the visit of the 17th Karmapa to Tibetan-heavy Parkdale.

  • Novak Jankovic writes in MacLean's that there are real declines in the Toronto real estate market, but not enough to set a trend.

  • The Toronto Star's Jackie Hong reports that protecting Bluffer's Park from the waves of Lake Ontario could also wreck an east-end surfing haunt.

  • The National Post reports on how the Ontario NDP claims, probably correctly, that the Wynne Liberals are stealing their ideas. Good for them, I say.

  • Universe Today's Matt Williams notes a study reporting that life on Mars' surface is a much greater risk factor for cancer than previously thought.

  • Seth Miller argues that efficient electric cars will push Big Oil through the trauma of Big Coal in the 2020s.

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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.
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  • 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>
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  • Bad Astronomy shares a photo of the Earth and Moon taken by a Mars probe.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money responds to a baffling claim by a New York City policeman that stranger rape is more of a concern than acquaintance rape.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw, returned from Denmark, wonders
    about the extent to which social happiness is maximized by stability and security.

  • Progressive Download's John Farrell argues that scientists should approach the theory of evolution in a less mechanistic light.

  • Window on Eurasia reports on the transformation of United Russia into a parallel structure of government akin to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and engages with the possibility of a pro-Russian Ukrainian government-in-exile.

  • Alex Harrowell of Yorkshire Ranter looks at the problems of an independent central bank, finding that failings attributed to these are actually faults of government.

  • Arnold Zwicky looks at the highly evolved fashion sense of faggots, in the context of Italy's divides and celebrities.

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Unicorn Booty associate editor Alexander Kacala has a nice interview with the real-life gay couples whose image was used in a mural in a station in New York City's new Second Avenue subway.

After taking nearly a century to build, the Second Avenue subway extension in Manhattan opened on Sunday with lots of pomp and circumstance. Three new stations opened at 72nd, 86th and 96th Streets. It’s not really a whole new line, just an extension of the Q line, which now runs from the Upper East Side to Coney Island.

The 96th Street Station is especially bougie. One of the things making it extra fabulous is a captivating mural by Vik Muniz. “Over three dozen mosaic portraits depicting everyday New Yorkers waiting for a train adorn the walls of the new line,” Buzzfeed writes.

One of those portraits is of married couple Thor Stockman and Patrick Kellogg.

The couple is particularly proud of their participation in the project because they don’t feel represented in popular culture. “Our friends were happy that this is gay representation on the walls of New York City, but our friends were even happier that this is gay representation that is not incredibly beautiful and skinny,” Kellogg tells The New York Post.

We reached out to Stockman and Kellogg ourselves to find out some answers to our own questions. Here is what they told us about the whole experience of being immortalized on the walls of New York’s subway—including the haters, why they haven’t seen it yet and what they hope is next.
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The Toronto Star carries Jake Pearson's Associated Press article noting how New York City's Second Avenue subway line is nearing a deadline. Will it meet it? We'll see.

New Yorkers have become accustomed to waiting on the subway. But nearly 45 years?

That’s how long it’s been since construction began on a much-needed subway line beneath the east side of Manhattan. And if history is any guide, it’s anybody’s guess whether a Dec. 31 deadline to open it will actually be met.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been pushing the end-of-the-year deadline set by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) hard in recent days, saying it’s become about more than the long-delayed Second Avenue subway — it’s about the faith people have in government.

“Nobody believes it’s going to be done on time, nobody,” the Democratic governor said in a radio interview this week. But, he added, “If we can get it done on time … if we can open that thing up at the beginning of the year, maybe people will start to say once again, “Wow. Maybe we can do something.”

The Second Avenue subway, seen as crucial to alleviating traffic on one of the world’s busiest transit systems, has been star-crossed since it was first envisioned by the city’s transportation board in 1929. Those plans were derailed by the stock market crash a few months later.
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I thought I'll tonight repost my post of the 11th of June, 2012, resharing the photos I took that day of the Strawberry Fields memorial to John Lennon in New York City's Central Park.

* * *

I certainly wasn't the only person visiting Strawberry Fields earlier this afternoon, a section of Central Park adjacent to West 72nd Street that was landscaped as a memorial to John Lennon. The central focus of the area is a circular mosaic, inlaid with the word "Imagine" at the centre and surrounded by offerings and people genuflecting, like the woman wearing a Doctor Who T-shirt in the first photo below, or--unphotographed--like me.

Strawberry Fields (1)

Strawberry Fields (2)

Strawberry Fields (3)

Strawberry Fields (4)
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  • blogTO shares photos of Toronto streets in the 1960s, cluttered by signage.

  • Crooked Timber and the LRB Blog respond to the death of Fidel Castro.

  • Far Outliers looks at the exploitative but functional British treatment of servants.

  • Language Hat notes the insensitivity of machine translation and examines the evolution of the Spanish language.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money advocates for an energized public response to racist displays in Trump's America.

  • The Map Room Blog looks at a controversial Brexit art exhibition.

  • Marginal Revolution notes a pay by the minute coffee shop in Brooklyn.

  • The NYRB Daily shares images of Hokusai.

  • The Planetary Society Blog shares beautiful space photos.

  • Window on Eurasia notes how terror famines were used to russify peripheral areas of the Soviet Union, reports on strengthening religion among younger Daghestanis, and suggests there will be larger Russian deployments in Belarus.

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