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  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper suggesting exoplanet transits could start a galactic communications network.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at the connections between eating and identity.

  • The Frailest Thing's Michael Sacasas looks at the need for a critical study of the relationship between technology and democracy.

  • Language Hat notes how nationalism split Hindustani into separate Hindi and Urdu languages.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reflects on the grim outlook in Somalia after the terrible recent Mogadishu bombing.

  • Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen thinks Trump's decertification of the Iran deal is a bad idea.

  • The Map Room Blog links to an article imagining a counter-mapping of the Amazon by indigenous peoples.

  • Neuroskeptic considers the possibility of Parkinson's being a prion disease, somewhat like mad cow disease.

  • The NYR Daily notes that a Brexit driven by a perceived need to take back control will not meet that need, at all.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw looks at the problem Sydney faces as it booms.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer looks at the extent to which an independent Catalonia would be ravaged economically by a non-negotiated secession.

  • Peter Watts tells the sad story of an encounter between Toronto police and a homeless man he knows.

  • Window on Eurasia notes a Sakhalin bridge, like a Crimea bridge, may not come off because of Russian weakness.

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  • There will be huge changes at Bloor and Dufferin, including one proposed tower a few dozen stories high. blogTO reports.

  • The St. Regis, the former Trump Tower, is set to offer very high-end luxury condos in the Financial District. The Toronto Star reports.

  • In the aftermath of a string of pedestrian deaths, Shawn Micallef notes the design failures of Toronto leading to loss of life.

  • Spacing talks about what the North Market of Toronto can learn from the historic El Born of Barcelona.

  • blogTO notes that an abortive scandal over the placement of a Little Free Library came to nothing in the end.

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  • Universe Today reports on the potential game-changing nature of a hyperloop connecting Toronto and Montréal.

  • Hacking of the brain is an obvious risk of two-way brain/Internet interfaces. From VICE.

  • Puerto Rico's ongoing economic crisis has only been worsened by Hurricane Maria. Bloomberg reports.

  • The problem with the German economy, strong as it may be now, is that not enough has been invested in the future. Bloomberg warns.

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  • Naomi Klein argues that this summer, of wildfires and disasters, marks an environmental turning point.

  • National Geographic shares stunning video of defrosting Tibetan soil flowing.

  • This dumping of illegally harvested lobsters as garbage on land in Nova Scotia is a terrible waste. CBC reports.

  • Can we limit urban flooding only if we force landowners to contribute to the costs of stormwater infrastructure? MacLean's makes the case.

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  • Hamilton's Christ Church is striving for continued viability, in part through selling off vacant land for condos. Global News reports.

  • Edmonton's Accidental Beach, a byproduct of construction berms on the North Saskatchewan River, has gone viral. Global News reports.

  • Meagan Campbell of MacLean's looks at how the refugee crisis did, and did not, effect the garlic festival of border city Cornwall.

  • The successful integration of a Syrian refugee family of chocolatiers in the Nova Scotia town of Antigonish is nice. The Toronto Star carries the story.

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  • Visits to food banks in Toronto have returned to Great Recession levels, Global News notes.

  • Torontoist notes that the reluctance to build sidewalks in lower-density areas has serious negative consequences.

  • The photos blogTO shares of some Toronto intersections a century ago are remarkable. (There was nothing at many.)

  • Jennifer Pagliaro states the obvious in the Toronto Star: mass transit planning is driven by short-term political convenience, not long-term planning.

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  • Tory Senator Lynn Beyak's latest ignorant statements about First Nations have to disqualify her from public office. Global News reports.

  • Is the rebirth of Congo's palm oil exports sign of a return to normality? Can it occur? Will it last? Bloomberg examines.

  • Oli Mould is critical of the idea promoting the arts and public culture will do much for poorer urbanites, over at Open Democracy.

  • Tom Rowley profiles a book, drawn from a VKontakte group, examining the experiences of the former USSR in the 1990s, also at Open Democracy.

  • This VICE discussion about what "queer" means is fascinating.

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  • Canadian cities could host Amazon's HQ2, but at considerable cost. Affordable housing, say, would be an issue.

  • Conor Sen argues that Amazon's HQ2 augurs an age of corporate diffusion beyond the largest centres.
  • Amazon Prime, Kaleigh Rogers notes, is hugely important for remote communities like those in the North. If it goes ...

  • Stacy Mitchell notes how, after Whole Foods, Amazon seems set to monopolize the whole infrastructure of commerce.

  • Is Jessica Bruder's story of CamperForce, Amazon's RV-living army of elderly workers, a cheering story of triumph over adversity or a scary take on the future of work? I'm not sure.

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  • Building two thousand affordable housing units in Toronto is a nice step forward. Will there be more steps? The Toronto Star reports.

  • This charming bit of improvised art down at Humber Bay Park reminds me that I really need to head down there. From the Toronto Star.

  • Montréal has stopped representing genocidal General Amherst on its flag, replacing it with a native pine tree. The National Post reports.

  • Emily Macrae at Torontoist suggests co-housing, drawn from a Québec model, is something Toronto might want to look into.

  • Richard Longley at NOW Toronto explores the Toronto Islands. Do they have a future? What will they need?

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  • A Hamilton church is digging up hundreds of dead for an old cemetery turned parking lot to make room for condos.

  • A RV fire that left an elderly couple in Victoria homeless highlights the affordable housing crisis there.

  • MacLean's notes how the Royal Canadian Legion is starting to make a new fortune, in eateries and real estate even.

  • Why is the St. Lawrence BIA using security guards to kick homeless people out of a park? (Rhetorical, I know.) NOW Toronto looks.

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  • CBC's Pete Evans notes that Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Halifax and Ottawa are all interested in landing Amazon's HQ2.

  • David Rider in the Toronto Star notes that John Tory is pushing forward Toronto as home to Amazon's HQ2, with its 50 thousand jobs.

  • Bloomberg View's Conor Sen notes that Toronto is a strong candidate for Amazon's HQ2, alongside cities like Atlanta and Boston.

  • Also in the Star, David Rider notes that ex-Amazon exec James Thomson is skeptical a crowded Toronto will land HQ2.

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  • Singapore, with ultra-low fertility and immigration controversies, is set to face rapid population aging.

  • Shenzhen, the city on the Chinese border with Hong Kong explicitly made after its neighbour, is surpassing its model.

  • Well-to-do Chinese immigrants in Hong Kong are worsening that city-state's real estate crunch.

  • Is China set to shift its model of economic growth to one favouring productivity and consumption in its megacities? Livemint looks at the data.

  • Susan Crawford writes for Wired about how the city government of Seoul is trying to use big data to make things better.

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  • At Torontoist, Sean Marshall praises the Keesmaat legacy.

  • At Spacing, John Lorinc notes how the new downtown core of Toronto is arguably the landmark legacy of Jennifer Keesmaat.

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  • Edward Keenan observes that Toronto is a city that, rather than plan, prefers to make deals.

  • Jennifer Pagliaro notes how recently departed planner Jennifer Keesmaat tried to stop the ill-judged Scarborough subway extension.

  • Steve Munro updates his readers on the slow progress on streetcar service on the Queensway.

  • blogTO has a photo essay looking at past demolition practice in Toronto. Who does it, and how?

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  • Centauri Dreams shares, from JPL, the schedule for Cassini in its last days of existence. Goodbye, dear probe.

  • Dangerous Minds shares some classic illustrations from a Persian book called Lights of Canopus.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper suggesting that gas giants can stabilize debris disks.

  • Far Outliers shares excerpts from the diary of a Japanese soldier fighting in New Guinea in the Second World War.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the real suffering that high rents impose on the poor in American cities.

  • The Map Room Blog shares some nice X-ray maps of New York City subway stations.

  • The Planetary Society Blog shares more vintage Voyager photos of the outer solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune ...

  • Roads and Kingdoms tells of the marvelous cookies made on the dying Venetian island of Burano.

  • Drew Rowsome considers, at length and with personal references, the differences between "art" and "porn". NSFW.

  • Understanding Society considers the latest thinking on causal mechanisms in modern sociology.

  • Window on Eurasia wonders if non-Russian languages in Russia are attacked out of anxiety over Russian's own decline, and speculates that if integration of mostly Muslim immigrants goes poorly in Moscow, the city could get locked in sectarian conflict.

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  • blogTO notes that the former location of Pages on Queen Street West finally has a new tenant, a housewares store.

  • Margaret Atwood's opposition to a Davenport Road condo development made headlines.
  • Christopher Hume in the Toronto Star makes the point that Toronto needs more midrise housing.

  • Global News reports the sad news that Toronto chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat has resigned.

  • Toronto Life describes how a lucky young couple in their 20s found an affordable apartment downtown, on Yonge, even!

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  • At Torontoist, a Scarborough transit group notes locals don't know of the negative implications of the one-stop subway extension.

  • Did Metrolinx succumb to political pressure in deciding to locate two new GO stations? The Toronto Star reports.

  • CBC describes how Bombardier lost a contract with New York City to sell cars on the basis of its terrible performance in Toronto.

  • The New York Times describes how legislators in New York State outside of New York City control the metropolis' mass transit system, evoking for me Ontario and Metrolinx.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw notes how light rail development in Greater Sydney is driving a property boom.

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  • Wired features an article talking about what Burning Man, and Black Rock City, teaches us about how cities work.

  • At The New Republic, Colin Kinniburgh talks about some strategies to fight gentrification, some potentially useful and others not.

  • Bloomberg View observes that China's Pearl River Delta--briefly, most of urban Guangzhou from Hong Kong up--is set to have a huge property boom.
  • Bloomberg describes how Algeria, hostile to taking on debt, is going through a period of deep austerity.

  • Open Democracy looks at how the Belarusian language, despite improvements, is shut out of the country's education system.
  • This Toronto Star article describing the detritus left by refugees fleeing New York just before they get to Canada is very sad.

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  • Charley Ross reflects on the story of Carla Vicentini, a Brazilian apparently abducted from New Jersey a decade ago.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog reflects on the concept of anomie.

  • Far Outliers looks at the southwest Pacific campaigns of 1942, and reflects on Australian-American tensions in New Guinea in the Second World War.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reflects briefly on the disaster in Houston.

  • The Map Room Blog links to two interesting longform takes on maps in fantasy.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer considers the extent to which urban policy has contributed to Houston's issues.

  • Roads and Kingdoms tells the story of a Shabbat celebration in Zimbabwe, and of the country's Jewish community.

  • Strange Company tells the story of the mysterious disappearance of Lieutenant Paul Byron Whipkey. What was done to him?

  • Unicorn Booty reports on how the Supreme Court of India has found people have a legal right to their orientation.

  • Window on Eurasia reports on the growing number of Russian citizens with Chinese connections.

  • Arnold Zwicky talks about Tom Bianchi's vintage Fire Island photos.

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  • Kingston is apparently debating whether the name of local statesman John A. MacDonald should still be honoured.

  • Halifax is set to erect monuments marking the Halifax Explosion on the centenary, for next year.

  • Pride in Moncton is apparently advancing by leaps and bounds. Good for them.

  • A centenarian veteran crossed the PEI's Confederation Bridge for the first time, working on his bucket list.

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