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  • Torontoist takes on Galen Weston and the $15 minimum wage and poverty in Toronto (and Loblaw's contribution to said).

  • At the Toronto Star, Shawn Micallef describes how high property values in Toronto discourage open-air parking lots.

  • Noor Javed looks, in Toronto Star, at the question of who authorized the cathedral elevated cow statue in Cathedraltown, in Markham.

  • The Star's Fatima Syed shares some old memories of Torontonians of the Centreville carousel, soon to be sold off.

  • At The Globe and Mail, Dakshana Bascaramurty takes a look at Jamaican patois, Toronto black English, and the many complex ways in which this language is received.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Unicorn Booty shares some classic gay board games.

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

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A meeting for Toronto's missing 2LGBTQA*, 1 August 2017


I saw this placard advertising a meeting, to be held tomorrow the 1st of August at 5:30 pm at the 519 Community Centre, on Toronto's missing queer men on a building at Church and Wellesley. The community is paying attention to this alarming mystery.
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  • Centauri Dreams looks at the potentially deadly effect of the stellar flares of red dwarfs on potentially habitable exoplanets.

  • Charley Ross notes the strange 1957 disappearance of William ad Margaret Patterson from their Texas home.

  • D-Brief notes the evidence for a second planet at Proxima Centauri, a super-Earth Proxima C with a 215 day orbit.

  • Tom Yulsman of ImaGeo shares shares photos of the active Sun.

  • The argument made by Scott Lemieux of Lawyers, Guns and Money that Americans were learning to love Obamacare and Republicans wanted to take it away before they got used to it ... well.

  • Marginal Revolution notes that, and why, restaurant servers in Maine wanted their minimum wage lowered. (Tips.)

  • Roads and Kingdoms shares the story of Na De Fo, a rare Korean restaurant in Mexico City.

  • The NYR Daily looks at how Macron might try to "California-ize" France, and whether he could pull this off.

  • Unicorn Booty notes studies noting bisexuals have a lower quality of life than gays, and wonders why. (Stigma is an issue.)

  • Window on Eurasia notes that global warming, by leading to permafrost melt, is literally undermining the infrastructure of Russia.

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  • With news that Toronto police is now treating the disappearance of Andrew Kinsman from his Cabbagetown a week ago as suspicious, the search for Kinsman is taking on new importance. Please, if you can help in any way, let Toronto police or his friends--anybody--know.

  • The Toronto Star's Hina Alam reports on the huge crush over the Canada Day weekend to see the World's Largest Rubber Duck.

  • The Parkdale Villager's Hilary Caton reports on the push to make West Queen West a protected district.

  • The National Post shares the Canadian Press' poll reporting on general anxiety, including among the well-off, on affordable housing in Canada.

  • The Globe and Mail's Kenny Sharpe writes about controversy at Ryerson University over the legacy of founder Egerton Ryerson.

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait is skeptical that the Trump-era EPA will deal well with global warming.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • 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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Consider this post a consequence of a consolidation of my blogroll, with three posts from older blogs I've added previously and two new posts from new blogs.


  • Missing persons blog Charley Ross shares the strange story of five people who went missing in a winter wilderness in 1978.
  • Roads and Kingdom shares an anecdote by Alessio Perrone about a chat over a drink with a Cornishman, in a Cornwall ever more dependent on tourism.

  • Strange Company shares the story of Kiltie, a Scottish cat who immigrated to the United States in the First World War.

  • Starts With a Bang, a science blog by Ethan Siegel, argues that there is in fact no evidence for periodic mass extinctions caused by bodies external to the Earth.

  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, a group blog by Canadian economists, considers the value placed on Aboriginal language television programming.

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  • Crooked Timber responds to The Intercept's release of data regarding Russian interference with American elections.
  • Dangerous Minds reports on how Melanie Gaydos overcame a rare genetic disorder to become a model.

  • Dead Things seems unduly happy that it does see as if Tyrannosaurus rex had feathers. (I like the idea.)

  • The Dragon's Gaze reports on our ability to detect the effects of a planet-shattering Nicoll-Dyson beam.

  • The Frailest Thing considers being a parent in the digital age.

  • Language Hat notes the African writing systems of nsibidi and bamum.

  • Marginal Revolution notes that Trump-supporting states are moving to green energy quite quickly.

  • Window on Eurasia notes how Russian guarantees of traditional rights to the peoples of the Russian North do not take their current identities into account.

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  • 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.

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Two links are being added.


  • To the news section, I'm adding the Canadian news website National Observer, which has interesting longer articles analyzing Canadian events. Of their recent articles, I would recommend Lorimer Shenher's "LGBTQ officers need to pick the right target", which argues that LGBTQ police officers should step back and consider the import of the police, as an organization, to many queer people.

  • To the blog section, I'm adding Strange Company, a great blog that assembles links of interesting and odd things around the world, in the past and present, and takes the occasional longer look at particular events. This link, examining the history of one Reverend Griffiths who was something of a ghostbuster in 19th century Wales, is a good example of the latter category of post.

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3869, Avenue de l'Hôtel-de-Ville


The signs on this family's door, warning that the dinosaur on their porch is theirs but that the cat waiting at their door is not, among other things, made me laugh when I saw them.
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The Toronto Star's Ellen Brait describes an unusual mirage, an manifestation of Toronto in the skies above Buffalo one hot summer day in August 1894.

Buffalo residents were treated to an unusual sight on Aug. 16, 1894: a detailed image of Toronto hovering over Lake Ontario.

Or rather, “a city in the air,” according to a November 1894 Arizona Republic newspaper article.

For about an hour during the mid-morning, Toronto, its harbor, and the Island to the south of the city were visible to those on the ground in Buffalo. Normally Toronto is only visible to those high up over Buffalo.

“A close examination of the map showed that the mirage did not cause the slightest distortion, the gradual rise of the city from the water being rendered perfectly,” said an August 1894 edition of Scientific American magazine.

Despite being approximately 93 km away, witnesses on that fateful day could see a few ships, and for the first 10 minutes, even count downtown church spires.
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blogTO's Derek Flack takes a look at some hidden spaces on the TTC network, starting with infamous Lower Bay station.

Lower Bay Station (or, as the TTC refers to it, Bay Lower) is surely the best known of Toronto's hidden underground spaces. The ghost subway station was in service briefly in 1966 when the TTC tried its interlining system, which turned the city's two subway routes into three.

One platform serviced the Bloor-Danforth Route, while the other was a stop on the Danforth-University-Yonge Route. The experiment failed for a number of reasons, and the lower platform was promptly decommissioned.

It now serves as an area for training exercises and film shoots, though it has also been opened to the public for events like Nuit Blanche in the past.

Lower Bay isn't the only ghost station on the TTC, though. Underneath Queen Station, there's the shell of a streetcar subway station that would likely have taken the name City Hall, but is now typically referred to as Lower Queen or Queen Lower.

It was partially built in anticipation of Queen Street transit line that was never built.
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CBC News' Greg Ross and Laura Fraser cover this light news item from North York.

A pack of furry, pint-sized grinches have stolen the Christmas spirit from Mel Lastman Square.

The trees and the skaters are still there, but they're no longer bathed in the glow of the season — something Coun. John Filion blames on some particularly crafty squirrels.

The squirrels have been chewing through the wires holding up lights that normally decorate the North York park's trees, he says.

"I believe it totally has to do with one or more squirrels who perhaps don't like Christmas.

It first started two years ago. At first just a few strands went dark, but it soon turned into a virtual blackout. Last season, the city brought in a cherry picker to replace the extinguished lights.

But Filion says it proved no match for the wee scrooges.

"Less than two days, and they were not working."
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Lion with glasses, Fairmont Royal York #toronto #fairmontroyalyork #lion #cats #catsofinstagram #glasses


While giving two new friends a quick tour of Toronto yesterday, we passed by this lion statue at the Fairmont Royal York. Some wit had thoughtfully provided this big cat with a pair of glasses--poor vision, it must have had.
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  • blogTO shares some photos of Toronto in colour from the 1950s.

  • Centauri Dreams talks about SETI in the light of the Anthropocene era.

  • Dangerous Minds notes that there is now a hipster nativity scene available for purchase.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper suggesting that tidal heating could explain the difference between super-Earths and mini-Neptunes.

  • Joe. My. God. notes that protecting Trump in New York City costs that municipality a million dollars a day, and notes a parade of Spanish fascists in support of Trump.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that politics is identity politics.
  • The LRB Blog notes the end of Sarkozy's campaign and revisits Goldwater.

  • The Russian Demographics Blog reports on the latest about the population of Ukraine.

  • Towleroad notes the hateful mail received by an out mayor in Massachusetts.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy looks at Trump's apparently anti-constitutional entanglement of business and politics.

  • Window on Eurasia reports on how Russia's promotion of the Russian language in neighbouring countries is backfiring, and looks at the hard nationalist line of Patriarch Kirill against Ukrainian autocephaly and multiculturalism in Russia.

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  • Beyond the Beyond notes an upcoming exhibition of photos of Vaclav Havel.

  • blogTO notes a local controversy over the demolition of a community-built skate park.

  • Centauri Dreams considers how advanced starfaring civilizations might deal with existential threats.

  • Crooked Timber looks at how presidential debates could be used to teach logic.

  • Language Hat examines the origins of the evocative Slavic phrase "they perished like Avars."

  • Language Log notes how "Molotov cocktail" was confused by a Trump manager with "Mazel tov cocktail".

  • The LRB Blog notes Brexit-related insecurity over the rule of law in the United Kingdom.

  • The Map Room Blog notes an exhibition in Maine of Acadian-related maps.

  • Marginal Revolution looks at how the Hong Kong press has been influenced by advertisers.

  • The NYRB Daily looks an exhibition of abstract expressionism.

  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at what we can learn from Rosetta.

  • Savage Minds considers the place of archeology in anthropology.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at Belarus' commemoration of the Bolshevik Revolution and considers the dispute in Kazakhstan as to whether the country should be known as Qazaqstan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • blogTO notes that beer cans have been banned at Rogers Centre for the duration of the Toronto Blue Jays' playoff run.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes that the atmospheres of many white dwarfs are polluted with what may be the remains of their old planets.

  • Joe. My. God. notes the warning of Ben Carson that gay marriage will bring mass killings.

  • Language Log parses the recent order to Republican Party workers to no longer work for Trump.

  • Marginal Revolution links to a photo essay about 21st century agriculture.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer liveblogged the debate.

  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to a study on HIV's impact on the world.

  • Strange Maps links to an amazing clickable map of pop music from 1880 on.

  • Window on Eurasia notes how the descendants of the peoples punished by Stalin are commemorating their sufferings under Putin.

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