rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • 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.

rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • The mixture of high- and low-end real estate on High Park Avenue might be a model for Toronto. Tess Kalinowski reports.

  • There are quite a few different proposals for replacements of the streetcar linking Union Station to Queens Quay.

  • Edward Keenan argues that, however Union Station or Queens Quay are linked, the link should be funded adequately.

  • The Globe and Mail reports on how the arrival of rent control is leading to the early conversion of rental units to condos.

On Reports and Discovery

Sep. 25th, 2017 07:24 pm
dewline: (canadian media)
[personal profile] dewline
I was going to explore my reactions to Star Trek: Discovery(AKA "DSC") in greater depth, and you may expect that later in this entry. For the moment, a surprising bit of news from closer to home arrived this morning: Rick Mercer's announcement that the Mercer Report will be closing up shop at the end of what will be its fifteenth season CBC Television.

Allow me to share his announcement via his own recording...



I admit that I see this as another sign of something akin to a Canadian Apocalypse. Some of you who've been watching this weblog for a while will be making informed deductions and/or guesses as to what some of the other signs are.

I'm not happy. But it's Rick's choice to make. Not mine. Not CBC's.

Okay, on to DSC.

What we ended up getting on Sunday night, after delays thanks to CBS' contractual obligations to the NFL impacting on BellMedia's obligations to CBS, was the first two episodes of DSC. Aired back to back, with "The Vulcan Hello" followed immediately by "Battle at the Binary Stars". Together they form what you might call either a prologue or a full Act One of the first season's larger story.

Without giving away too much, it's a good setup for whatever else we're about to get this year.

I'm still getting over my bout of design history dissonance considering this is supposed to be happening about a year after the events of "The Cage" and ten years before "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The uniforms, the user interface designs, the starship architecture...all seem a bit out of place with those two episodes of the original series. We're being promised explanations and evolution over time, to be sure. How fast the production team delivers is up to them. Our reactions to that speed - or the lack of it - are up to us.

Just about everything else: the scripts, the performances of the live actors, the visual effects work...all meet my hopes.

That visual dissonance remains. For now, anyway.

One bit of advice to CBS and its production partners: please show the episode titles in the episode itself.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • Having visited Friday, I liked the blogTO report on the early days of Toronto's love affair with Niagara Falls.

  • blogTO shares photos of Kensington Market in the raw 1970s.

  • The exterior of 450 Pape Avenue was used for the movie It, and the place is seeing Stephen King pilgrims already.

  • The Toronto Book Garden, a lovely mini-park at Harbourfront keyed to literary Toronto, opened yesterday.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

Sep. 25th, 2017 01:15 pm
rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • Centauri Dreams links to archival video painstakingly collected from the Voyager missions.

  • Citizen Science Salon notes ways ordinary people can use satellite imagery for archaeological purposes.

  • Good news: Asian carp can't find a fin-hold in Lake Michigan. Bad news: The lake is so food-deprived nothing lives there. The Crux reports.

  • D-Brief notes that, once every second, a fast radio burst occurs somewhere in the universe.

  • Dangerous Minds looks at the psychedelic retro-futurism of Swedish artist Kilian Eng.

  • Dead Things notes the recovery of ancient human DNA from some African sites, and what this could mean for study.

  • Cody Delistraty reconsiders the idea of the "coming of age" narrative. Does this make sense now that we have abandoned the idea of a unitary self?

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper examining the evolution of icy bodies around different post-main sequence stars.

  • The Great Grey Bridge's Philip Turner notes anti-Putin dissident Alexei Navalny.

  • Hornet Stories notes reports of anti-gay persecution in Azerbaijan.

  • Language Log takes a look at the dialectal variations of southern Ohio.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money starts a discussion about what effective disaster relief for Puerto Rico would look like.

  • The LRB Blog looks at the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Mexico, and the story of the buried girl who was not there.

  • Marginal Revolution notes that Toronto real estate companies, in light of rent control, are switching rental units over to condos.

  • Naked Anthropologist Laura Agustín takes a look at the origins and stories of migrant sex workers.

  • The NYR Daily talks about the supposedly unthinkable idea of nuclear war in the age of Trump.

  • Drew Rowsome gives a strongly positive--and deserved review to the Minmar Gaslight show The Seat Next to the King, a Fringe triumph now playing at the Theatre Centre.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel explains how so many outer-system icy worlds have liquid water.

  • Towleroad features Jim Parsons' exploration of how important is for him, as a gay man, to be married.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russian language policy limiting minority languages in education could backfire, and wonders if Islamization one way people in an urbanizing North Caucasus are trying to remain connected to community.

rfmcdonald: (photo)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald
Looking west on Route 6 at 13 #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #route6
>

Prince Edward Island's Route 6 is seen here in Cavendish, looking west just west of 6's intersection with Route 13 at Cavendish Cemetery. Green Gables House lies just a few minutes' walk in this direction, among the craggy pines.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald
Yesterday, in a most unseasonably hot day that felt like summer, I decided to go to Hanlan's Point for the late afternoon. The beach has changed so much from last year as to be almost unrecognizable, so much of its sand washed into the water, but it works in its new incarnation. The line of poplar trees that is so much closer to the water feels like a privacy screen of sorts, intensifying the experience of distance. The water and the sand, happily, remain the same, if perhaps a bit more pebbly than before.

Sun setting at Hanlan's Point (1) #toronto #torontoislands #hanlanspointbeach #beach #evening


Sun setting at Hanlan's Point (2) #toronto #torontoislands #hanlanspointbeach #beach #evening


Sun setting at Hanlan's Point (3) #toronto #torontoislands #hanlanspointbeach #beach #evening


Sun setting at Hanlan's Point (4) #toronto #torontoislands #hanlanspointbeach #beach #evening


Sun setting at Hanlan's Point (5) #toronto #torontoislands #hanlanspointbeach #beach #evening


Google Photos, meanwhile, put together this panorama shot, combining photos 4 and 5 in this series.

Panorama, Hanlan's Point Beach #toronto #hanlanspointbeach #torontoislands #beach #evening

I would have thought lawful

Sep. 24th, 2017 11:59 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I Am A: Chaotic Good Human Paladin/Sorcerer (4th/3rd Level)


Ability Scores:

Strength-13

Dexterity-8

Constitution-16

Intelligence-10

Wisdom-8

Charisma-7


Alignment:
Chaotic Good A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he's kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society. Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit. However, chaotic good can be a dangerous alignment when it disrupts the order of society and punishes those who do well for themselves.


Race:
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.


Primary Class:
Paladins take their adventures seriously, and even a mundane mission is, in the heart of the paladin, a personal test an opportunity to demonstrate bravery, to learn tactics, and to find ways to do good. Divine power protects these warriors of virtue, warding off harm, protecting from disease, healing, and guarding against fear. The paladin can also direct this power to help others, healing wounds or curing diseases, and also use it to destroy evil. Experienced paladins can smite evil foes and turn away undead. A paladin's Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that they can cast. Many of the paladin's special abilities also benefit from a high Charisma score.


Secondary Class:
Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.


Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

A leaf

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:57 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Taken from a couple of angles over about a minute.

Read more... )

I am taking care of someone's cats

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:45 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
As one does, I keep a log of my visits.

The cats expressed their appreciation for my record-keeping.

Read more... )

Bracing for Discovery

Sep. 24th, 2017 12:25 pm
dewline: (Default)
[personal profile] dewline
"Hotumn" continues in Ottawa-Gatineau. Sweat from scalp to soles is normal-abnormal right now. Sleep continues to be a luxury item by virtue of being a medical necessity.

The Invictus Games are underway in Toronto, as are the German elections, the continuing weather/climate turmoil in the Caribbean Islands, the post-quake trauma in several regions of Mexico...and on it goes. This world continues to be a busy place, defying anyone's ability to fully understand it at any one moment. I can still live with that.

The Big Event for me as a science fiction fan tonight is Star Trek: Discovery's opening episode, "The Vulcan Hello". I can't say that I'm pleased with the idea of the series being available by subscription-streaming over the Net everywhere else on the planet, but at least Canada's managed to avoid that for now via Space Channel.

Also, I'm still getting used to this being the first Trek branch-series filmed on soundstages outside the USA. In Toronto, of all places. Just over four hours away from me by passenger train. This wasn't a thing I'd ever really expected to happen. Sure, I'd imagined branch series created for every language in which Trek is watched these days in the places where those languages were most presently in use. Which was probably less than practical, even nowadays.

Not sure yet about the design aesthetics of the series, but we'll see how it goes. Looking forward to those maps they've been talking about in Lorca's ready room...

I thought it was September

Sep. 23rd, 2017 07:14 pm
chickenfeet: (canada)
[personal profile] chickenfeet
So the Humidex is heading towards 40 tomorrow. It was almost as hot today. After a week of Scottish 10C and on and off rain this is a bit hard to take but better than an early winter I guess.

The Hardest Lesson

Sep. 23rd, 2017 03:54 pm
stoutfellow: My summer look (Summer)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
Someone on Facebook posted a quote from Stephen Hawking on the nature of intelligence, and it brought to mind something I tell my math students, prior to the first test in each class. I tell them that I test for three things: factual knowledge (in this context, the statements of definitions and theorems - and I tell them which they need to know), skills (and I tell them which skills I expect them to display), and understanding. Then I tell them that I can't tell them what I expect them to understand, because to display understanding is to deal with situations you haven't seen before. That generally involves word problems (at lower levels) and proofs (at higher).

Understanding is the hardest thing to teach. It may not be teachable at all.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • Neanderthals, like contemporary humans, had the sort of prolonged childhoods which lend themselves to intelligence. National Geographic reports.

  • The cool chill water of oceans is starting to be used to cool data centres. VICE reports.

  • Brazil is set to embark on a substantial process to restore Amazonian rainforest. VICE reports.

  • The Dawn probe found evidence of subsurface ice on rocky asteroid-belt protoplanet Vesta. Universe Today reports.

rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • A Canadian proposal at the NAFTA negotiations to liberalize migration across borders got shot down by the US.

  • Latin American governments have recently called for a radical liberalization of migration law worldwide.

  • Canada is in a potential position to take advantage of the DREAMers, if they are forced to leave.

  • Québec premier Philippe Couillard wants to encourage Anglos to move back to the province. Global News reports.

  • The resettlement of LGBTQ refugees is especially complicated. VICE reports.

Profile

jsburbidge: (Default)
jsburbidge

August 2017

S M T W T F S
   12 345
6789101112
13 141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 01:49 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios