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Selected Blogs
3 Quarks Daily
80 Beats (Andrew Moseman, Brett Israel)
A BCer in Toronto (Jeff Jedras)
Acts of Minor Treason (Andrew Barton)
Andart (Anders Sandberg)
Alpha Sources (Claus Vistesen)
Apostrophen ('Nathan Smith)
Arnold Zwicky's Blog
Aufbau Ost (Melanie K.)
Bad Astronomy (Phil Plait)
Beyond the Beyond (Bruce Sterling)
Bonoboland (Edward Hugh)
Bow. James Bow.
Broadside Blog (Caitlin Kelly)
A (Budding) Sociologist's Commonplace Book (Dan Hirschman)
Gerry Canavan's blog
Castrovalva (Richard R.)
Centauri Dreams (Paul Gilster)
Charlie's Diary (Charlie Stross)
City of Brass (Aziz Poonawalla)
Crooked Timber
The Dragon's Gaze (William Baird)
The Dragon's Tales (William Baird)
Dangerous Minds
Everyday Sociology Blog
False Positives (Ian Irving)
Far Outliers (Joel)
The Fifteenth (Steve Roby)
A Fistful of Euros
GeoCurrents (Martin Lewis)
Global Sociology
The Great Grey Bridge, Honourary Canadian (Philip Turner)
Halfway Down the Danube (Douglas Muir et al.)
Hunting Monsters and inuit bikini scarlet carwash
In Media Res (Russell Arben Fox)
Inkless Wells (Paul Wells)
Intuitionistically Uncertain (Michel)
Itching for Eestimaa (Guistino)
Ivor Tossell on the Web
Jim's Occasional Journal of Sorts (Jim Rittenhouse)
Joe.My.God (Joe)
Johnny Pez's blog
Karl Schroeder's blog
Kieran Healy's Weblog
Language Hat
Language Log (Mark Liberman et al.)
Languages of the World (Asya Pereltsvaig)
Lawyers, Guns, and Money
LRB Blog (London Review of Books)
The Map Room (Jonathan Crowe)
Marginal Revolution (Tyler Cowen)
Marginalia (Peteris Cedrins)
Mark Simpson
Maximos' Blog (Russell Darnley)
More Words, Deeper Hole (James Nicoll)
The Naked Anthropologist (Laura Agustín)
New APPS blog (group blog)
No Moods, Ads or Cutesy Fucking Icons (Re-reloaded) (Peter Watts)
The Numerati (Stephen Baker)
NYRB Daily (New York Review of Books)
Open the Future (Jamais Cascio)
Otto's Random Thoughts (J. Otto Pohl)
The Pagan Prattle (Feòrag)
Passing Strangeness (Paul Drye)
patrickcain.ca (Patrick Cain)
Personal Reflections (Jim Belshaw)
Photosapience Daily (Jerrold)
Pollotencheg (Ukrainian demography blog)
The Power and the Money (Noel Maurer)
Progressive Download (John Farrell)
Registan (group blog)
Rev Rachel Rambles (Rachel Kessler)
The Rose and Phoenix Inn (Victoria Goddard)
Russian Demographic Live Journal (Ba-ldei Aga)
A Rusty Little Box (Rebecca)
Savage Minds
The Search (Douglas Todd)
Shadow, Light and Colour (Elizabeth Beattie)
Sharp Blue (Richard Baker)
The Signal
Some Ramblings from Mr. Gueguen
Steve Munro
Strange Maps
Sublime Oblivion (Anatoly Karlin)
Supernova Condensate
Tall Penguin
Technosociology (Zeynep Tufekci)
Towleroad (Andy Towle)
Understanding Society (Daniel Little)
Volokh Conspiracy
Wasatch Economics (Scott Peterson)
Wave Without A Shore (C.J. Cherryh)
The Way the Future Blogs (Frederik Pohl)
Whatever (John Scalzi)
Window on Eurasia (Paul Goble)
The Yorkshire Ranter (Alex Harrowell)
Zero Geography (Mark Graham)

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Thursday, May 26th, 2016
11:55 pm - [MUSIC] The Tragically Hip, "Ahead by a Century"
The 1996 song "Ahead by a Century" is the song I most closely associate with the Tragically Hip, perhaps because its video was released soon after I began my career as a watcher of MuchMusic.

Rain falls in real time
And rain fell through the night
No dress rehearsal, this is our life

What can I say but that the band, perhaps for me particularly with its cerebral lyrics, is iconically Canadian for good reason?

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2:21 pm - [PHOTO] 85 Harbord Street, in 2008 and 2016
Passing along Harbord Street with a visiting friend on Monday, I snapped this photo of 85 Harbord Street.

85 Harbord Street, Morgentaler"s address #toronto #harbordstreet #abortion #henrymorgentaler #morgentaler #harbordvillage

I'd also taken a photo of this address--not a separate building, just a door in a larger building--in 2008, from across the street.

85 Harbord

Why so much attention to a non-descript address? 85 Harbord Street is the address of Henry Morgentaler's first abortion clinic in Toronto, as I noted back in August 2008 when I posted the second photo. The Globe and Mail provided a potted history of the building.

The story of this old Annex Victorian semi, among the storefronts on the south of Harbord, really begins on June 15, 1983, when Henry Morgentaler opened an abortion clinic. It was subjected to protests and pickets, and victories and defeats – for both sides of the debate. The drama might have ended in 1988, when the Supreme Court ruled that freestanding clinics were legal, but the rallies continued, reaching 3,000 strong. Harbord Street Cafe, at No. 87, closed shop, its windows papered over. A sign for The Way Inn took its place. The Toronto Women’s Bookstore moved down the street. Then on Victoria Day weekend in 1992, an explosion by arsonists blew the wall out at No. 85. No one was ever charged. A small apartment is there now, next to Ms. Emma Designs at No. 87.

Jamie Bradburn at The Grid also wrote about this in 2013. Without Morgentaler's clinics, which provided abortions in violation of restrictive regulations in public hospitals, abortion policies in Canada might have ended up being very different. There should be a plaque at 85 Harbord: What happened here really did shape the lives of Canadians.

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Wednesday, May 25th, 2016
8:23 pm - [URBAN NOTE] On the escaped capybara of High Park Zoo (#capybaraTO)
Yesterday, blogTO noted that two capybara escaped from their enclosure in the High Park Zoo.

(The above photo comes from the Friends of the High Park Zoo Facebook group.)

Today, I've found that they have gone viral. And what not? They are so incredibly cute.

What seems to have described by the CBC, the two female capybara escaped while being introduced to a new male.

City parks department workers were trying to introduce a new male capybara and female capybara to the enclosure to mate, and remove Chewy, when things suddenly went south.

In their attempts to make the swap, staff lost control of the new couple, hereby dubbed Bonnie and Clyde, according to Megan Price of the Toronto parks department.

The pair of bandits then made their escape, while Chewy was happy to hang out at home in his pen.

So did Bonnie and Clyde have a plan in the works for awhile? Did Chewy scare them off in an effort to keep his home? Or was it maybe just a spur-of-the-moment dash for freedom from a pair of young lovers?

As the National Post notes, the zoo staff are currently searching for the capybara on the assumption that they are currently hiding in the underbrush. I wish them well, and a quick recovery.

I just almost find myself wishing that a breeding pair had escaped: Could an indigenized capybara population be that bad?

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5:26 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "LRT rollout delayed, Bombardier blamed" -- in Waterloo Region
Via James Nicoll, I found out about Paige Desmond's article in Kitchener-Waterloo's The Record describing how Bombardier has extended production delays for that city's mass transit, the Ion light rail route. It's good to know Toronto's not being singled out, I suppose.

The Region of Waterloo's light rail transit project won't launch until early 2018 due to a lengthy delay in train delivery from Bombardier.

Officials announced the late start on Tuesday.

"What's of particular concern to me and I suspect to the rest of council as well — is another shoe going to drop?" Coun. Tom Galloway said.

Bombardier and a senior regional official told The Record last week there would no further delay in the region's order, after the company announced it would transfer its Metrolinx contract to a Kingston plant in October in an effort to speed up delayed streetcars for the Toronto Transit Commission.

A staff report said the first train would be delayed three months longer than officials were told earlier this year. They were informed May 19.

The first train will now arrive in December instead of August. The 14th train, the final one, will be delivered in October 2017.

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5:23 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "Same-sex, gender talk leads Halton Catholic trustees to vote down policy"
Again: Why do we fund separate school systems, with public money even, if they want to retain the right to hurt students? From the Toronto Star:

Halton Catholic trustees have rejected an update to the school board’s discipline and anti-bullying policy after one raised concerns that mentioning sexual orientation or gender identity could violate religious teachings.

The changes had previously been approved, unanimously, by a trustee committee and at last week’s full board meeting it was explained that the updates are in line with what’s required under the provincial Education Act and Ontario’s Human Rights Code, said Chair Jane Michael.

“It was a shock to all of us, I believe,” said Michael, who expected the amendments — which she considered part of a routine update — to easily pass. Instead, they failed on a 4-3 vote.

And because the board is “already so far behind” in making the required changes that were ready back in February, Ontario’s Ministry of Education “was waiting for an affirmative answer (last) Wednesday morning” after the board meeting, Michael said.

The policy, which covers discipline and safety in schools, will now go back to the same committee, and she’s hoping it will reappear, as is, on the board’s June meeting agenda.

(1 comment | comment on this)

5:19 pm - [URBAN NOTE


The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, May 24, 2016 7:25PM EDT

Last updated Tuesday, May 24, 2016 8:59PM EDT





Print /

Those who want Toronto to host World Expo 2025 sure have awful timing. The same morning that they held a press conference to urge the city to make a bid for the exposition, Toronto’s top civil servant was warning that city hall is heading for a fiscal cliff.

City manager Peter Wallace told Mayor John Tory and the executive committee on Tuesday morning that the “tricks” the city has been using to balance its books won’t work forever. “The process of kicking the can down the road will inevitably come to an end,” he said.

Toronto already has trouble paying for keeping the potholes filled and the streetcars rumbling, not to mention all the “unmet capital needs,” such as public housing repairs and transit maintenance. What a fine time, then, to spend a bundle on a flashy international fair.

No one seems to know for sure yet what it would cost to host the expo, but you can be certain that it wouldn’t be cheap. A 2013 Ernst & Young study said it could range from $1-billion to $3-billion, depending on the breaks.

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5:19 pm - [URBAN NOTE


The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, May 24, 2016 7:25PM EDT

Last updated Tuesday, May 24, 2016 8:59PM EDT





Print /

Those who want Toronto to host World Expo 2025 sure have awful timing. The same morning that they held a press conference to urge the city to make a bid for the exposition, Toronto’s top civil servant was warning that city hall is heading for a fiscal cliff.

City manager Peter Wallace told Mayor John Tory and the executive committee on Tuesday morning that the “tricks” the city has been using to balance its books won’t work forever. “The process of kicking the can down the road will inevitably come to an end,” he said.

Toronto already has trouble paying for keeping the potholes filled and the streetcars rumbling, not to mention all the “unmet capital needs,” such as public housing repairs and transit maintenance. What a fine time, then, to spend a bundle on a flashy international fair.

No one seems to know for sure yet what it would cost to host the expo, but you can be certain that it wouldn’t be cheap. A 2013 Ernst & Young study said it could range from $1-billion to $3-billion, depending on the breaks.

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5:16 pm - [URBAN NOTE] How one man’s obsession could help solve the mystery of Toronto’s missing sakura
The National Post's Joe O'Connor and Graham Runciman report, with video, on a fan of High Park's cherry blossoms who wants to find out what happened this year.

Steve (Sakura Steve) Joniak moves with weary-purpose, camera at the ready.

Treading slowly, pausing, peering up through a large zoom lens, while hoping that he might zero in on a telling bit of evidence that could unlock a baffling springtime mystery that has taken root in High Park. The park is a Toronto icon, an idyllic, 161-acre hub for community sports teams, skating and pool parties, picnicking families, joggers, dog walkers, fishermen and those who simply want to spread a blanket beneath a shady tree and while away the afternoon.

It is the trees that Sakura Steve is most interested in. Chiefly: the sakura (cherry) blossom trees. For many Torontonians — and for many others from parts nearby and from places as far away as Japan — the sakura blossoms are the Beatles of the park’s ecosystem. Each spring they bloom, transforming a slope at the southern end of the park into a sea of pink and white. This fleeting, flowery paradise lasts but for a handful of days, attracting blossom lovers and the curious by the tens of thousands to wander in their midst.

The sakuras were a gift from a Japan, an arboreal thank you note to the citizens of Toronto for welcoming thousands of Japanese refugees after the Second World War. They are a treasure and, alas, in 2016, they are not blooming — (neither are the crowds) — and Sakura Steve is determined to find out why.

“It is disheartening,” he says, of the blossoms mysterious absence. “The blossoms, they sort of become a part of you.”

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5:09 pm - [URBAN NOTE] On the Indigo at Sherway Gardens and the return of the bookstore
In "The bookstore makes a comeback", the Toronto Star's Francine Kopun looks at Indigo, Canada's dominant bookstore. With growing sales of books among young people and an apparently successful reorientation as a cultural department store, Indigo's future seems assured.

After years spent battling a declining book market and defying prophecies of doom, Indigo is back in growth mode, said founder and CEO Heather Reisman, leading a guided tour of a new store at Sherway Gardens on Tuesday.

It’s the first store the chain has opened in more than five years, and follows a series of high-profile Indigo closures that included the Runnymede Theatre store, the World’s Biggest Bookstore and the location at John St. and Richmond St. W. in downtown Toronto.

“So many people were writing Indigo off,” said Reisman. “The key is to reinvent, to create a new vision and to go to that vision with real conviction.”

Reisman said sales of physical books grew eight per cent last year, which is creating a cautious optimism among Canadian booksellers.

In 2015, the number of books sold nationally increased to 52.6 million, up from 52 million in 2014 and 2013, according to data from Booknet Canada.

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1:40 pm - [NEWS] Some Wednesday links

  • Al Jazeera looks at the rejection of political Islam by Tunisia's Ennahda party.

  • The Australian Broadcasting Corporation notes the ambition of Zambia to become a major food-exporting country.

  • Bloomberg notes the negative impact of booming immigration on the New Zealand economy, observes Ireland's efforts to attract financial jobs from London-based companies worried by Brxit, reports on the elimination of Brazil's sovereign wealth fund, and notes a lawsuit lodged by Huawei against Samsung over royalties.

  • Bloomberg View notes that Russia can at least find domestic investors, and worries about the politicization of the Israeli military.

  • CBC reports on the Syrian refugee who has become a popular barber in Newfoundland's Corner Brooks, notes the sad news of Gord Downie's cancer, and wonders what will happen to Venezuela.

  • Daily Xtra writes about the need for explicit protection of trans rights in Canadian human rights codes.

  • MacLean's notes Uber's struggles to remain in Québec.

  • National Geographic notes Brazilian efforts to protect an Amazonian tribe.

  • The National Post reports about Trudeau's taking a day off on his Japan trip to spend time with his wife there.

  • Open Democracy wonders what will become of the SNP in a changing Scotland.

  • The Toronto Star looks at payday lenders.

  • Wired examines Twitter's recent changes.

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1:27 pm - [BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Centauri Dreams continues the debate over whether KIC 8462582 has been dimming.

  • Joe. My. God. notes the collection, organized by the Romanian Orthodox Church, of three million signatures against same-sex marriage.

  • The LRB Blog considers racism in old works of fiction.

  • The NYRB writes on the handles of Wittgenstein.

  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes a migration of Chinese prostitutes to Africa.

  • Towleroad notes the defense by an Arkansas television station of a gay reporter who works there.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy reports on a poll suggesting Native Americans do not care much about the name of the Washington Redskins.

  • Window on Eurasia warns that Mongolia's dams of rivers feeding into Lake Baikal might kill the lake, and notes the Russian economic crisis is making the military more attractive to job-seekers.

  • Arnold Zwicky shares photos of three native flowering plants of California.

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12:20 pm - [PHOTO] Three photos from the Skypod of the CN Tower
This morning's video post</u> featured nearly a minute of me filming Toronto from high above, from the CN Tower's </a>SkyPod 447 metres above the ground.

I also took still photos. Everything looks smaller, but everything is visible from such unusual angles. The Rogers Centre, the waterfront, even the CN Tower itself--all is transformed.

CN Tower from above #toronto #cntower #skypod

Rogers Centre from above #toronto #cntower #rogerscentre

Porthole #toronto #cntower #harbourfront #lakeontario #porthole

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9:39 am - [VIDEO] Tour of Toronto from the CN Tower's Skypod

Monday, I filmed Toronto from above, from the CN TowerSkyPod. From nearly a half-kilometre above ground level, Toronto looks so small, so explicable.

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Tuesday, May 24th, 2016
8:21 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "New plan would add 525 km of bike routes to create a true Toronto network"
The Toronto Star's Ben Spurr reports. All I can say is that this is a great plan. Will it be enacted? This remains to be seen.

Bike lanes could be coming to eight of Toronto’s busiest streets if the city’s new 10-year cycling plan pans out.

The plan, released in a city report Monday, identifies 525 km of new bike lanes, cycle tracks, trails and other routes that, if built, would create the kind of connected network Toronto’s bike advocates have long pushed for.

The majority of that infrastructure, some 280 km, would be in the form of painted or physically separated bike lanes on busy streets, while 190 km of it would be cycling routes on quieter roads. The remaining 55 km would be “sidewalk-level boulevard trails” running alongside major thoroughfares. The plan would cost an estimated $153.5 million over the next decade.

“Over a 10-year period we would roughly look at doubling the amount of cycling routes in the city,” said Stephen Buckley, the city’s general manager of transportation services. He said that to date the city’s planning of its bike network has been disjointed, and his goal was to “develop a full network that we could get behind.”

The guiding principles are connecting existing cycling routes, expanding the network, and improving infrastructure already in place, Buckley said.

Perhaps the most striking feature is a proposal to study bike infrastructure on eight major corridors, including Bloor St./Dupont St. from Dundas St. to Sherbourne St.; Danforth Ave. from Broadview Ave. to Kingston Rd.; and Yonge St. all the way from Steeles to Front St., almost the full length of the city.

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8:19 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "A Trip Advisor for rental apartments?"
Spacing Toronto's John Lorinc describes the push for a landlord registry and licensing system.

When the members of the Municipal Licensing and Standards committee meet tomorrow at City Hall, they’ll be considering the latest attempt to license the apartment sector, with a motion to create a public consultation process around how such a system might function, and how the city should rate multi-unit buildings, which provide homes for hundreds of thousands of Torontonians.

For those with long memories, the lobbying and caterwauling that will begin to escape from the powerful landlord industry in the wake of this meeting will likely rival the complaints from Toronto’s restaurant sector circa 2000, when Mel Lastman’s famous “rat shit” quote ushered in a new era of public health ratings for eateries (now known as DineSafe).

Times have changed, and the licensing debate that begins after Thursday’s session will be informed and shaped by the open-data movement.

Firing the first volley, ACORN Canada, a tenants group, and a New York civic tech firm, RentLogic, have teamed up to create something called Toronto Landlord Watchlist, which is modeled on New York City’s Landlord Watchlist, a project of the NYC’s Public Advocate (currently, Letita James). The site, which went live this morning, contains information drawn from inspections triggered by tenant complaints. That data has been used to compile a list of what the organizers call Toronto’s 100 worst apartment buildings. (The data sets are available here.) Let the searching begin…

In New York, RentLogic has set up a beta site for a Big Apple apartment rankings service, which draws on all sorts of granular information from open-data releases, including reports on rodents, electrical problems and hot water interruptions.</blcokquote>

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8:17 pm - [URBAN NOTE] NOW Toronto on niche real estate agents
This is fascinating. From NOW Toronto's Miles Kenyon:

The Toronto Real Estate Board estimates there are roughly 42,000 realtors working in the GTA. This means competition between rival agents is fierce. But with market trends and finances beyond the control of your housing representative, how are they able to set themselves apart?

Some have taken to moving beyond the noise of numbers and appealing instead to their clients’ sexual orientations, specialized needs and even spiritual beliefs.

For instance:

The Christian

What would Jesus do? Given today’s economy, he might sell condos. Scott Benson isn’t really sure but he does think he’s trying his best to blend his religious beliefs with Toronto’s housing market.

“I have the willingness to try and do real estate in a way that is true to the Christian principles,” the 35-year-old agent says. He thinks that clients seek him out because they’re looking for someone who will handle the biggest purchase of their lives while adhering to particular values. However, sometimes these guiding principles clash with traditional businesses practices.

Benson offers this recent example: in one transaction, he represented both the buyer and seller of a property. Appliances were supposed to be included in the sale, but when the buyer went to move in, they discovered the washer and dryer were missing. After double-checking the paperwork and finding that the seller was in the wrong, he attempted to mediate the situation instead of getting lawyers involved. But an agreement couldn’t be met, so he simply purchased new appliances to settle the disagreement himself.

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8:15 pm - [URBAN NOTE] NOW Toronto on the last video stores of the city
In NOW Toronto, Aidan Johnston looks at how the last video rental stores are doing.

In stark contrast to the superfluous openings of weed dispensaries in Toronto, when a video store disappears from the streetscape, it’s deeply mourned. Of course, as sad as we sometimes get, it doesn’t come as a surprise. Despite overcoming the big-box boom of the 2000s, independent video stores now face history’s largest shift in the home movie market, and the most-embraced home entertainment feature since the television: on-demand streaming.

“There were at one time 75,000 video stores in North America; we’re down to about 1200 left,” Howard Levman informs me, just three weeks after his flagship location of Queen Video at Spadina closed. “Queen reached that threshold where there’s just not enough business.”

Levman first opened his venerable store 35 years ago, with two more locations following suit. A College location closed in 2014, but the Bloor location in the Annex remains just a few blocks away from the equally beloved Suspect Video (which will sadly shutter at the end of this year). So what’s still working at the remaining store?

“Well, the Bloor store was busier,” he says. “It had a lower break-even point, so it was able to last longer in a shrinking industry. Our customers that are left, most of them aren't internet savvy and they don't download anything.”

But at a time when you can rent new releases on your iPad or start an entire series of television with one indifferent click, aren't people drawn to the back catalogue of classics on offer at local video stores that services like Netflix and Shomi are sorely lacking? The answer is no.

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8:13 pm - [URBAN NOTE] DiManno on the life and death of Rodney Whitefish
The Toronto Star's Rosie DiManno tells the story of a man recently murdered in Toronto, a First Nations man battling homelessness and poverty for decades.

It was the misfortune of Ramsey Whitefish to become Toronto’s 30th homicide a mere three days after the murder of a five-month pregnant woman whose premature baby was saved by emergency caesarean section.

How does a victim compete with that kind of shocking narrative? Because it apparently requires exceptional circumstances for a city to sit up and take notice as the bodies pile up this year at a record pace. It feels numbingly like the new normal, a reprise of the Year of the Gun in 2005.

Candace Rochelle Bobb was homicide No. 29, slain as she sat in the back seat of a vehicle that was fired upon repeatedly alongside the Jamestown public housing complex. Her murder was front-page news, avidly followed by an appalled public.

Whitefish’s life wasn’t extinguished by gunfire, so he doesn’t even fall within the arc of bang-bang melodrama; what lies not beneath but very much in the open, brazen. The 42-year-old aboriginal man died of blunt force trauma to the head, possibly inflicted by a rock found near his body where it was discovered in a pool of blood on Gloucester St., just before midnight Wednesday. The Star ran an online story, first reporting his death, then later an update saying an arrest had been made within hours.

Yet the murder of Whitefish is just as much a vital tale of this city, of how people live in our midst and how they die in our midst.

For some two decades, since arriving in Toronto from a reserve in the Turtle Island area — Whitefish was part Sioux, part Ojibway — he had been among the chronically homeless, with its drastic over-representation of aboriginals: 16 per cent of the homeless, despite accounting for only one per cent of the local population, according to the 2013 Street Needs Assessment survey; one-third of those found to be sleeping rough, that is outside, in parks, on benches, inside doorways.

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6:45 pm - [NEWS] Some Tuesday links

  • The Atlantic notes the import of the assassination of the head of the Taliban.

  • The BBC observes Spotify has more revenues, but is still not making money.

  • Bloomberg suggests Brexit would embolden central European populists and slow down growth, and looks at Coca Cola's end of production in Venezuela.

  • Bloomberg View suggests a new class of educated Chinese professionals will hurt middle-class wages.

  • The CBC notes the lifting of the mandatory evacuation order for northern Alberta oil sands camps.

  • Daily Xtra looks at the importance of Facebook in spreading knowledge to PrEP.

  • Gizmodo notes the proliferation of cephalopods in the world's oceans.

  • The Miami Herald describes how desperate Venezuelans are turning to urban gardening.

  • The National Post looks at Kevin O'Leary's interest in Canadian politics.

  • The Toronto Star reports on the lifting of the American arms sales embargo against Vietnam.

  • Wired notes Grindr can still be hacked to identify users' locations.

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1:32 pm - [BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Centauri Dreams considers agriculture in space.

  • Crooked Timber examines the tribalisms which benefit Donald Trump.

  • Dangerous Minds notes an angry New York City television editorial criticizing the Sex Pistols.

  • The Dragon's Tales notes the cycles of Mars' north polar gap.

  • Language Log talks about Chinese script, starting with Ted Chiang's criticisms.

  • The LRB Blog speculates about the future of a Labour Party that has lost its working-class support.

  • Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen likes the Chinese city of Qingdao.

  • The Planetary Society Blog notes the dispatch of the OSIRIS-REx probe to the launch pad.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer wonders what solution Bernie Sanders is proposing for Puerto Rico.

  • Understanding Society describes sociological frameworks for writing biographies.

  • Window on Eurasia speculates the doping scandal may cost Russia not only the Olympics but FIFA in 2018, and is unsurprised by Gorbachev's support of the annexation of Crimea.

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