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I've a brief post noting the devastation of the Caribbean this hurricane season. What will come next? And how can the peoples of the Caribbean survive in an area of the world facing such regular devastation?
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  • io9 has an interesting article looking at how the success of Disney's film Moana is driving Maori pride in New Zealand.

  • New Now Next lists eight of the top LGBTQ bookstores of North America and Europe, including Toronto's Glad Day.

  • 24 hours on an artificial beach, sheltered under a hanger deep in east Germany, turns out to be quite fulfilling. VICE
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  • Climate change is making the famous tea of Darjeeling much more difficult to come by. VICE reports.

  • Wired notes Fitbits are useful tracking devices for scientists engaged in studies, too. (I always wear mine.)

  • I entirely approve of this new Niagara College program. Why not legalize and professionalize cannabis agriculture?

  • This VICE interview with bringing the Truvada needed for inexpensive PrEP across the border into Canada is of note.

  • A new study suggests that Planet Nine, if it exists, was likely not captured by the young sun but formed here. Universe Today reports.

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  • While I get why the TTC would promote its top ranking on its vehicles, the optics of significant cost for this promotion are terrible.

  • Bay and Bloor, Avenue Road and Bloor, Bay and King--these are the top intersections for condo resellers.

  • I get why Bombardier workers would want to support their employer versus Bombardier with a brief strike, and be justified in doing so. Just--well, optics.

  • Can the Centreville carousel be kept in Toronto? I suppose it would be nice if they could get the funding.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:29 pm
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  • Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait notes the continuing maps and naming of the Pluto system.

  • Centauri Dreams considers one method to detect photosynthesis on Earth-like worlds of red dwarf stars.

  • D-Brief notes the discovery of Octlantis, a permanent community of octopi located off the coast of Australia.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes Earth-like world can co-exist with a Jovian in a circumstellar habitable zone.

  • Hornet Stories notes that Morrissey is now in Twitter. (This will not go well.

  • Language Log notes the kanji tattoo of one American neo-Nazi.

  • The LRB Blog notes how the English town of Tewksbury is still recovering from massive flooding a decade later.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the improbable life of Barry Sadler, he of "The Ballad of the Green Berets".

  • The Map Room Blog shares this terrifying map examining the rain footprint of Hurricane Irma.

  • Spacing reviews a fascinating dual biography of architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson.

  • Window on Eurasia notes an call to restore to maps the old Chinese name for former Chinese Tuva, Uryankhai.

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The Haunted Woods Trail is one of the major trails extending from the Green Gables house. This one extends east, into a patch of second-growth forest that has grown up on farmland abandoned since the National Park's creation in the early 20th century, on lands that--we are told, by signposts--are marked by the historic presence of Montgomery.

Haunted Woods Trail (1) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables


Haunted Woods Trail (2) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables


Haunted Woods Trail (3) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables


Haunted Woods Trail (4) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables


Haunted Woods Trail (5) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables


Haunted Woods Trail (6) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables


Haunted Woods Trail (7) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables


Haunted Woods Trail (8) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables


Haunted Woods Trail (9) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #hauntedwoodstrail #greengables
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On my Sunday visit to Fort York, I was struck by how this fort is now a green space engulfed in city, towers nearby in South Core to the east and further away in Liberty Village to the west, girdled by the Gardiner Expressway to the south and by the rail tracks to the north. It's an anachronistic island, of sorts.

At Fort York underneath the city (1) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (2) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (3) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (4) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (5) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (6) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (7) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (8) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (9) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (10) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (11) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway


At Fort York underneath the city (12) #toronto #fortyork #skyline #tower #gardinerexpressway

More on the iOS 11 update

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:26 am
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I learned last night that apparently my iPad can take the update, so apparently it is an iPad Mini 2. So that's cool. And I may go ahead and risk upgrading my phone. I'm pushing my departure back to Thursday from Wednesday: I didn't get everything done that I needed to do, including reviewing five long boxes of comics in case there's anything that I want to keep (possible but not very likely), and the difficulty of loading my car since I recovered four banker boxes of comics from my storage unit yesterday afternoon. I'm not sure if it's all of my comics, I know there's three or more long boxes at my parent's that I'll deal with when I get there, but that'll be a vast bulk of them and a lot of space recovered.

On top of that, only 3 hours of sleep last night. AND one of the nose pads fell out of my reading glasses. Found the nose pad, fortunately I have a spare screw from a previous broken set of reading glasses.

I forgot to mention a new feature of iOS 11 that should be interesting: you have a Do Not Disturb mode for driving: anyone texting you receives an autoreply saying that you're driving and will get back to them later. I like that. Definitely appealing when you're about to set out on a 500 mile drive. I'm doing a different outbound route that a friend says is much more picturesque, so we'll see. It's also rather cellular dead, which causes me a slight amount of apprehension. Just need to fuel up and hit the restroom before hitting that 200 mile stretch.
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Maybe that was midnight Cupertino time, I don't know. Regardless, both of our iPads are too old, as is my wife's iPhone 4S. That leaves my iPhone 6 as the only device that can run it, and since I'm about to head for Phoenix and I won't have my iMac with me for a system restore should something glitch, I think I'll hold off a bit. For that matter, the new MacOS is supposed to drop in a couple of days, and I won't be upgrading to that until I get back from Phoenix, so I'll probably just do a device upgrade frenzy when I get back.

Some of the features in iOS 11 are pretty cool. I like the 'press the power key 5 times to disable the fingerprint reader', definitely cool. It doesn't materially affect me as I don't use the fingerprint reader to unlock my phone, but that's OK. And they've apparently made the reverse video mode more intelligent for not reversing images, which is good. I really wish they had an override for web pages and such so you could force white letters on black background, for example. That's what I love about Ars Technica and hate about most others, I find white on black to be much easier on my eyes.

But I DO NOT like updating my phone apps over WiFi (as I wrote about last week), I thought loading apps through iTunes was easy and one-stop syncing. They've just increased the hassle and it's likely to increase the time between me doing updates from daily to weekly or monthly or whenever. Which increases potential security vulnerabilities, which ticks me off. iTunes should be a framework that supports plug-ins, then all they'd have to do is write a plug-in that reads the app store for just iPhone/iPad/Watch apps, and re-casts them in to the iTunes framework. It's still just one app store, it just looks like two.

Twits.

GET OFF MY LAWN! Kids these days.

(In a totally unrelated incident, I got "Sir'd" last week! I was sitting in a barber shop waiting for my guy to finish with his current client, and the other guys started talking about horror movies. I'm not a big horror movie fan, so I didn't participate until later. Now, this barber shop is an actual barber shop, not a hair salon, run by 30-somethings with tattoos up to their necks and possibly beyond, smoking their e-cigs and playing that reissued Nintendo Classic that came out last year when they're slow. I don't really care. So what if they're young. I piped up about some movie, I don't remember what, throwing in my $0.002 worth, and this one barber later comes over and apologizes, saying that he didn't know that he had an older gentleman in the shop and they wouldn't have been talking like that if they'd known! Yes, dude, I'm 55, and some day you'll be there, too, if you're lucky. Maybe I'm moving towards the far side of middle-age, but trust me, though I am growing older I definitely have not remotely grown up. In my headspace I'm still a 30-something, though my body constantly reminds me that I am not. I laughed at him, reassured him that I was not offended, then told them a pretty grizzly story about a quietly spectacular suicide that happened while I was working for the police department. The crime lab was in the basement as was computer services, and the car that this guy offed himself in was so pungent that finally I told my boss that I'm taking off for the day. The fire department later used that car as burn practice.

I'll go in to no further details, unless people want it, in which case I'll put it in a new post under a cut.)

Using only the Brat Pack

Sep. 20th, 2017 01:07 am
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Cast a 1980s New Teen Titans film....
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It occurs to me I haven't looked at the Heavy Gear rules in a long time....
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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.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

Sep. 19th, 2017 02:31 pm
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  • Anthrodendum offers resources for understanding race in the US post-Charlottesville.

  • D-Brief notes that exoplanet WASP-12b is a hot Jupiter that is both super-hot and pitch-black.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper examining various models of ice-covered worlds and their oceans' habitability.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog takes a look at the value placed by society on different methods of transport.

  • Far Outliers looks at how Chinese migrants were recruited in the 19th century.

  • Hornet Stories notes that the authorship of famously bad fanfic, "My Immortal", has been claimed, by one Rose Christo.

  • Marginal Revolution notes one explanation for why men are not earning more. (Bad beginnings matter.)

  • Peter Watts has it with facile (and statistically ill-grounded) rhetoric about punching Nazis.

  • At the NYR Daily, Masha Gessen is worried by signs of degeneration in the American body politic.

  • Livejournal's pollotenchegg maps the strength of Ukrainian political divisions in 2006 and 2010.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer is afraid what AI-enabled propaganda might do to American democracy in the foreseeable future.

  • Roads and Kingdoms notes an enjoyable bagel breakfast at PondichĂ©ry's Auroville CafĂ©.

  • Drew Rowsome celebrates the introduction of ultra-low-cost carriers for flyers in Canada.

  • Strange Company notes the 19th century haunting of an English mill.

  • Window on Eurasia notes that Crimean Tatars, and Muslims in Crimea, are facing more repression.

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Green Gables #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #greengableshouse #greengables #anneofgreengables


Notwithstanding this summer's drought, the lines to see Green Gables House are eternal.
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Sunday saw Open Streets Toronto come into play for the second time, closing off huge chunks of Yonge Street (and Bloor to the west and east of Yonge, too). Sunday afternoon was bright and blue, a perfect day for people to promenade down from Bloor to College, looking at the streetscape and taking in the day's activities.

Open Streets (1) #toronto #yongeandbloor #yongestreet #openstreetsto


Open Streets (2) #toronto #yongeandbloor #yongestreet #openstreetsto


Open Streets (3) #toronto #yongeandbloor #yongestreet #openstreetsto


Open Streets (4) #toronto #yongeandbloor #yongestreet #openstreetsto #brassrail


Open Streets (5) #toronto #yongeandbloor #yongestreet #openstreetsto


Open Streets (6) #toronto #yongeandbloor #yongestreet #openstreetsto


Open Streets (7) #toronto #yongeandbloor #yongestreet #openstreetsto


Open Streets (8) #toronto #yongeandbloor #yongestreet #openstreetsto


Open Streets (9) #toronto #yongeandbloor #yongestreet #openstreetsto


Open Streets (10) #toronto #yongeandwellesley #yongestreet #openstreetsto


Open Streets (11) #toronto #yongeandwellesley #yongestreet #openstreetsto


Open Streets (12) #toronto #yongeandwellesley #yongestreet #openstreetsto


Open Streets (13) #toronto #yongeandwellesley #yongestreet #openstreetsto


Open Streets (14) #toronto #yongeandwellesley #yongestreet #openstreetsto


Open Streets (15) #toronto #yongeandwellesley #yongestreet #openstreetsto


Open Streets (16) #toronto #yongeandwellesley #yongestreet #openstreetsto


Open Streets (17) #toronto #yongeandwellesley #yongestreet #openstreetsto

Open Streets (18) #toronto #yongeandwellesley #yongestreet #openstreetsto


Open Streets (19) #toronto #yongeandcollege #yongestreet #openstreetsto #latergram


Open Streets (20) #toronto #yongeandcollege #yongestreet #openstreetsto #latergram

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