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  • Anthrodendum's Alex Golub talks about anthropologists of the 20th century who resisted fascism.

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes a study suggesting the TRAPPIST-1 system might be substantially older than our own solar system.

  • Centauri Dreams considers tidal locking as a factor relevant to Earth-like planetary environments.

  • The Crux shows efforts to help the piping plover in its home on the dunes of the Great Lakes coast of Pennsylvania.

  • Dead Things considers the evidence for the presence of modern humans in Sumatra 73 thousand years ago.

  • Bruce Dorminey makes the case for placing a lunar base not on the poles, but rather in the material-rich nearside highlands.

  • Far Outliers shares some evocative placenames from Japan, like Togakushi (‘door-hiding’) from ninja training spaces.

  • Language Hat notes the exceptionally stylistically uneven Spanish translation of the Harry Potter series.

  • Language Log thinks, among other things, modern technologies make language learning easier than ever before.

  • The LRB Blog notes how claims to trace modern Greece directly to the Mycenaean era are used to justify ultranationalism.

  • Marginal Revolution considers which countries are surrounded by enemies. (India rates poorly by this metric.)

  • The Numerati's Stephen Baker considers how Confederate statues are products of recycling, like so much in our lives.

  • The NYR Daily considers the unique importance of Thomas Jefferson, a man at once statesman and slaver.

  • The Planetary Society Blog celebrated the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 2 Sunday.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer notes that, for a country fighting a drug war, Mexico spends astonishingly little on its police force.

  • Drew Rowsome takes a look at classic John Wayne Western, The Train Robbers.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel considers the critical role of NASA's Planetary Protection Officer.

  • Strange Company notes the many legends surrounding the early 19th century US' Theodosia Burr.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy hosts Ilya Somin' argument against world government, as something limiting of freedom. Thoughts?

  • Window on Eurasia notes how Ukrainians are turning from Russia, becoming more foreign to their one-time partner.

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Teddy bear with deerstalker and pipe #toronto #torontoreferencelibrary #teddybear #deerstalkerhat #arthurconandoylecollection

I like a friend's suggestion that this teddy bear, on display in the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection at the Toronto Reference Library, should bear the name of Bearlock Holmes.

Looking down from the fifth floor #toronto #torontoreferencelibrary #architecture


Two by two, looking down #toronto #torontoreferencelibrary #architecture


Stepping outside the collection, on the fifth floor of the Reference Library, and looking down to the ground floor in the vast interior, the impressive scale of the edifice becomes clear.
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  • Torontoist takes issue with the positive take CBC provided of Blue Jays beer-thrower Ken Pagan, softpeddling racism.

  • Councillor Shelley Carroll does a great job deconstructing "Stepgate". (You get what you pay for, to start.)

  • House of Lords, a hairdressing shop a half-century old on Yonge below Bloor, is set to close. The Toronto Star's Jaren Kerr reports.

  • Mayor John Tory would like to freeze TTC fare increases for 2018. Can his government pull it off? The Toronto Star's Ben Spurr reports.

  • Rents in Toronto are near the level of Brooklyn, two thousand per one bedroom, and tenants are desperate.

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  • This U>long-form CBC article looking at Ken Pagan, the man who became infamous through his beer can toss, has insight.

  • I like Christopher Hume's article describing changes of zoning around apartment highrises, to allow shops.

  • John Lorinc's suggestion that taxes collected from foreign buyers be put towards social housing is provocative.

  • Robert Zunke is the man, sometime construction worker, assembling shrines on the Leslie Street spit.

  • Torontoist describes Blockobana, the queer black space at this year's Toronto Caribbean Festival.

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  • I liked this Vice article on a study of the prevalence of ambivalence on the Internet. How will we learn to care?

  • Global News reports that the National Museum of Chinese Writing is willing to pay people who can decipher oracle bones three thousand years old.

  • CBC reports on an organization of LGBTQ farmers in Québec, Fierté Agricole.

  • Alex Needham writes at The Guardian about the life and work of Touko Laaksonen, "Tom of Finland."

  • VICE's take on Cecilia Aldonrondo's documentary about the life of her dead gay uncle is touching.

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  • Alejandro Puyana at NPR describes how the arepa of Venezuela thrives internationally but dies at home.

  • Erik Loomis at Lawyers, Guns and Money makes the point that people on the left clinging to Venezuela as it descends into dictatorship are not helping anyone.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer notes that the 1999 constitution of Venezuela seems designed to have allowed for a shift towards dictatorship.

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  • Crooked Timber's John Quiggin considers imaginable ways to get carbon dioxide in the atmosphere down to 350 ppm by 2100.

  • Karen Sternheimer at the Everyday Sociology Blog considers the tenuous nature of the upper-middle class in America. How is downwards mobility to be avoided, even here?

  • Imageo shows the growth of a sunspot larger than the Earth.

  • Language Hat shares the story of how Manchu script came to be.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the working poor need protection from arbitrary and always-changing work schedules.

  • The LRB Blog notes the geopolitical scramble at the Horn of Africa, starting with bases in Djibouti.

  • The NYR Daily engages with an intriguing exhibition about the relationship between Henry James and paintings, and painting.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw engages with the classic 1937 Australian film, Lovers and Luggers.

  • Noel Maurer at The Power and the Money notes that one benefit of the trend towards greater informality in fashion is that time has been freed up, especially for women.

  • Peter Rukavina writes about his new Instagram account, hosting his various sketches.

  • Unicorn Booty notes the continuing problems with Germany's adoption laws for same-sex couples.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy looks at how the Polish president saved the independence of Poland's courts with his veto.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russia is trying to mobilize the ethnic Russians of Lithuania, finally.

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  • Anthrodendum takes a look at how surfing has been commodified.

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the stellar occultation that has revealed information about MU69, the next New Horizons target.

  • Crooked Timber's Corey Robin takes issue with Mélenchon's take on anti-Semitism and the French role in the Holocaust.

  • D-Brief notes that we really are not good at detecting faked photos.

  • Dangerous Minds shares some vintage photos of strippers from the 1960s.

  • Michael Sacasas of The Frailest Things looks, again, at the technologically enchanted world.

  • Language Log takes issue with the dismissive treatment of "... in a woodpile." The expression is poison.

  • The LRB Blog looks at the dual position of the camel among the Sahrawi, as wild and tame at once.

  • Neuroskeptic looks at the problems of neuroscience, statistically.

  • The NYR Daily considers the hacking of the American vote. Who did it? Who gained?

  • Science Sushi notes that climate change threats African wild dogs' survival.

  • Window on Eurasia notes an Armenian argument that Russia lacks the soft power that the Soviet Union once enjoyed.

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  • Johann Hari writes for Open Democracy about what may be the beginning of the end of the drug war in Germany.

  • I am not in agreement with Joseph Couture's argument in NOW Toronto that the Internet has ended gay communities. (Convince me.)

  • Samantha Edwards reports in NOW Toronto controversy regarding the Parkdale feminist street art event. Was it really intersectional?

  • James Cooray Smith wonders--or "wonders"--why some Doctor Who fans are so upset with a woman portraying the Doctor.

  • In MacLean's, chief Perry Bellegarde argues that more Canadians should be concerned with the too-many deaths of young First Nations people in Thunder Bay.

  • The National Post tells the story of how Australian senator Larissa Walters had to unexpectedly resign her position on account of her Canadian birth.

  • Via James Nicoll, a paper claiming evidence of human presence in northern Australia, in Madjedbebe, 65k years ago.

  • National Geographic tells of the peculiar way some Gulf of Mexico dolphins prepare their catfish. Is it cultural, culinary even?

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  • CBC Montreal notes how Andrée Archambault has been leaving books on the Montréal Metro for commuters to find.

  • CBC's Jonathan Ore notes the (perhaps surprisingly) innovative Transformers comics put out by IDW.

  • At The Conversation, Una McCormack writes about how the 13th Doctor being played by Jodie Whittaker fulfills her childhood dreams.

  • At The Globe and Mail, Russell Smith examines why the alt-right hates cultural experimentation and innovation so much.

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  • As VICE notes, it is terribly frustrating that we still have to fight to make sure others do not lie about our queer lives.

  • Julia Carpenter at the Washington Post
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  • Centauri Dreams considers the challenges and the prospects of laser SETI.

  • Citizen Science Salon reports on a couple who have done their best to keep their bee numbers up.

  • Joe. My. God. notes that Milo's book, contrary to Milo's claims, has performed very badly indeed in the UK, among other places.

  • Language Log features a poetic digression by Victor Mair on Chinese characters for words like "plum" and "wine."

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money suggests that moderate Republicans in Congress might not be all that.

  • The LRB Blog considers Nice at, and after, the time of last year's terrorist attacks.

  • Marginal Revolution features Tyler Cowen's description of his writing processes.

  • Drew Rowsome interviews Toronto gay photographer Dylan Rosser.

  • Unicorn Booty looks back at the history of the queercore movement--gay punk, as a first approximation.

  • Vintage Space links to an article explaining why there was neither an Apollo 2 nor an Apollo 3.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests the Russian state is undermining various once-allied Russian nationalist movements.

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  • What will happen to the legal records of those convicted of marijuana-related charges once legalization comes? The Toronto Star considers.

  • NOW Toronto reviews a new exhibit of First Nations-oriented work at the AGO.

  • NOW Toronto features an article showing how Toronto startup Wattpad is making celebrity fanfic (among other things) economically lucrative for writers.

  • Torontoist considers the idea of laneway suites as a way to deal with the city's housing crisis.

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  • Centauri Dreams notes evidence that pitted terrain, as found on Ceres and Vesta, indicates subsurface ice.

  • Dead Things links to evidence suggesting insomnia and poor sleep are not disorders, but rather evolutionary inheritances that were useful in the past.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the critical human role in the ongoing sixth extinction.

  • Language Hat links to speculation that the Afroasiatic language family has its origins in the Natufian Levant.

  • The LRB Blog reports on a fascinating French show about espionage, Le Bureau des légendes.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw reports on an important speech by Malcolm Turnbull on politics and Australia's Liberal Party.

  • The Planetary Society Blog shares Marc Rayman's report on the latest discoveries of Dawn at Ceres.

  • Spacing' Sean Ruthven has a review of a beautiful book on the Sea Ranch, a northern California estate.

  • Back in May, Septembre Anderson argued at Torontoist that rather than embracing diversity, Canadian media was more willing to wither.

  • Window on Eurasia shares an argument suggesting Baltic Russians would not follow the Donbas into revolt because the Baltics are much better off economically.

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  • Sandy Garossino considers the furor over Omar Khadr. What if the 15 year old was actually not guilty of the crimes of which he was accused?

  • The Globe and Mail's Tabatha Southey points out, after the Proud Boys incident in Halifax, how the alt-right's claims to be joking reveals their intent. Hannah Arendt knew these kinds of people.

  • The CBC's Haydn Watters describes how one Ottawa couple is planning to visit in 2018 every location involved in every one of the 87 Heritage Minutes.

  • Ben Paynter at Fast Company writes about the system of funding and other support that keeps Canadian pop music thriving.

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  • blogTO observes that a former ferry from Halifax is coming to Lake Ontario, to connect mainland Toronto to Centre Island.

  • Shawn Micallef notes in the Toronto Star how Toronto fell for the World's Largest Rubber Duck.

  • Alex Bozikovic notes in The Globe and Mail how Toronto(and other cities) can prepare for climate change by trying to adapt to flooding, not prevent it altogether.

  • CBC notes that the more sunshine Greenland gets, the faster its ice cap melts.

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait investigates a mysterious streak on a photo of Messier 77. Asteroid, satellite, something else?

  • Centauri Dreams reports on the latest attempt at a census estimate of brown dwarfs in the Milky Way Galaxy.

  • Crooked Timber's John Quiggin considers the diminishing role of the pundit, displaced by the expert.

  • D-Brief is one of many sources to note the deadly, ubiquitous perchlorates of Mars. Mars is dead for good reasons.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money links to a tweetstorm by one Kate Antonova arguing that the ideological labels of the long 19th century no longer speak to our issues.

  • Language Hat notes how early Tsarist mappers were confused by confusing, often shared, placenames.

  • The LRB Blog reports on the recovery of a Bloomsbury Wedgwood service features the images of notable women.

  • Marginal Revolution shares opinions that Macron is overrated, not least in terms of the distinctiveness of some of his policies from those of Trump.

  • Window on Eurasia argues that projected shrinkage of the workforce of Russia means either economic decline or controversial immigration.

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This year, I happily again had the chance to review plays in the Toronto Fringe Festival for venerable local theatre website Mooney on Theatre. The six plays below are the ones I reviewed.

  • Good Morning Apocalypse's 13 Ways The World Ends is amusing apocalypse sketch comedy. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/06/13-ways-the-world-ends-flash-dazzle-productions-2017-fringe-review/

  • "Not Enough", featuring Megan Phillips, is amazing theatre: Innovative, brave, thought-provoking. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/06/not-enough-megatron-productions-2017-fringe-review/

  • "Alone In This Together", by Not Oasis, is smart, inventive and hilarious Toronto-centric sketch comedy, not to be missed. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/07/alone-in-this-together-not-oasis-productions-2017-fringe-review/

  • Post No Bills is a provocative show revealing the forgotten stories of our city, starting from The Ward. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/06/23/post-no-bills-then-speak-2017-fringe-review/

  • "You Are Perfect" is chilling, compelling theatre examining Manson Family's Susan Atkins. Why did she do what she did? This show answers. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/07/you-are-perfect-white-horse-theater-company-2017-fringe-review/

  • "Motherland" is a play of vivid characters, illustrating the eternal conflict between the local and the global. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/07/motherland-amber-heart-productions-2017-fringe-review/


    My favourite is "Not Enough." I cannot emphasize the way in which this one-person show is not just brilliant theatre but authentically thought-provoking. We all would do well to take lessons from this show.
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    • I've added Sean CW Korsgaard's Korsgaard's Commentary, a blog focusing on cultural reviews. In one interesting recent post, Korsgaard makes the case for the excellence of the 1999 film The Mummy.

    • Toronto writer and critic Drew Rowsome also has his own blog. He has recently shared his shortlist of picks for the Toronto Fringe festival.

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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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