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  • Centauri Dreams considers the oceans of Pluto and Enceladus.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes a disintegrating exoplanet.

  • The Dragon's Tales notes that the American military can't afford Iron Man suits.

  • Language Hat notes a study of fragmented language.

  • Language Log looks at multilingual signage in Manhattan.

  • The Map Room Blog shares a typographic map of San Francisco.

  • Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen reports from the Belgian neighbourhood of Molenbeek.

  • Steve Munro looks at SmartTrack.

  • The New APPS Blog considers Brexit in the context of regulations and austerity.

  • Torontoist notes the importance of Pride for people just coming out.

  • Understanding Society looks at how organizations deal with their errors.

  • Window on Eurasia argues Georgia is sacrificing its relations with the North Caucasus.

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Birch tree tricked out for Pride #toronto #theannex #rainbow #pride #birch #trees

This birch tree, anchoring the patio of the Annex location of Aroma, was so amusingly tricked out for Pride that I had to photograph it.
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  • 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.

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Wonkman blogs about why it matters that Toronto's mayor Rob Ford has refused, for a third year, to attend Toronto Pride. A decade ago, when GLBT rights were that much less mainstream, suburban conservative Mel Lastman went.

Mel went because he was a tremendous baby-kisser. Mel was never happier than when he was shaking hands and meeting new people and mixing with his constituents. Parades and street festivals were incredible fun.

But more importantly, Mel went because Mel recognized that he was mayor of the entire city.

Not just the parts which voted for him, and not just the parts which he found appealing.

One of Mel’s main goals as mayor was to bring the city together: to promote inclusiveness and mutual understanding, to promote and protect minority cultures, to foster an environment where people from all over the world can feel at home.

And if occasionally he had to something he found distasteful or uncomfortable to reach that goal? Mel would pull on his big-boy pants and get it over with.

[. . .]

This was one of the pivotal moments in Mel’s career as mayor. It set the tone for the rest of his term in office. It was a moment when he proved something important to his constituents: all that talk about “inclusiveness” and “mayor of the whole city” was more than just idle political chatter. He was going to put himself out there, he was going to make a good-faith effort to engage with minority cultures on their own terms, and he was going to use his power as mayor to encourage the values he espoused, rather than cynically ditching them after election night.

Mel was not a perfect mayor—but he got this part right. No matter what you thought about his politics and his policies, we all knew that he genuinely loved this city and its people. It’s part of why he absolutely roared to victory in the 2000 mayoral election.

Mel started with a city split nearly in two along ideological and geographic lines, and he turned it into a unified, cohesive and coherent metropolis. He healed the rifts which he himself had inadvertently created. And he left the city more united, more even and more inclusive than he’d found it.

Would that Ford was a tenth of Lastman.
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What the subject line says.

The OPSEU building at Pride
Originally uploaded by rfmcdpei

Local 555 of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (31 Wellesley Street East) is decked out in the appropriate colours.

"You spin me round"
Originally uploaded by rfmcdpei

What dance party--a party that brought me to, incidentally--would be complete without a disco ball?

Random Partiers
Originally uploaded by rfmcdpei

I have no idea who these people are or why they wanted me to take a photo of them, but whatever.
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Following links throughout the blogosphere last night, I came upon Joe My God's reposted essay "Watching The Defectives". A spirited defense of Pride Parades in their full outrageousness, the author makes the point that, in their uncensored forms, they're a necessary rite for a traumatized community still in the process of recovery.

Joe makes some good points--I agree with him, honestly, that homophobes can easily be more terrified of seemingly conventional non-straights ("They're everywhere!") than of people they can pick out on sight. That said, there may well be a generation gap or a lack of shared experience between him and me; I still feel, as I wrote last year, that the main function of Pride is to function as a carnival. There were a lot of straight couples this year.
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Pride Toronto finished yesterday for 2006 with the Pride Parade. I watched it with J. and [livejournal.com profile] finfin from a convenient position on Yonge above Wellesley for a couple of hours, leaving before the parade finished fully for beer but after I'd managed to acquire a deep tan on my face and forearms. Chatting over the issue with [livejournal.com profile] finfin, we came to the conclusion that there were fewer community groups in the parade than last year, perhaps because the new fees and corporate advertising put some people off participation. (See this picture for an instance of an in-parade protest.)

Afterwards, I went with J. for a nice stroll up and down Church Street. Between that, and the previous night's dinner at an excellent Indian restaurant near Spadina (name? I forget) with [livejournal.com profile] vorpal, [livejournal.com profile] zuptd, and others, I'd have to say that Pride weekend was very successful.
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I'm rather glad that [livejournal.com profile] of_evangeline insisted I join her and select others at the Pride Prom last night, hosted at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre on Alexander. More shall be said of this later, and hopefully, pictures provided. (Hint, hint.)
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