Preserved Stories Blog

Bill Browder’s testimony; significance of Magnitsky Act; Mikhail Lesin’s death

Magnitsky Act

A July 25, 2017 Atlantic article is entitled: “Bill Browder’s Testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee: “I hope that my story will help you understand the methods of Russian operatives in Washington and how they use U.S. enablers to achieve major foreign policy goals without disclosing those interests,” Browder writes.”

A July 27, 2017 Atlantic article is entitled: “Why Does the Kremlin Care So Much About the Magnitsky Act? What Russian officials mean when they talk about ‘adoptions'”.

Click here for previous posts related to Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (2015) >

Click here for posts concerned with work, based on oral history, by Svetlana Alexievich >

Updates

A July 28, 2017 Buzzfeed article is entitled: “‘Everyone thinks he was whacked’: The US government ruled Mikhail Lesin’s death an accident, but multiple intelligence and law enforcement officials suspect it was a Russian hit. The government is withholding information so today BuzzFeed News has filed a lawsuit to pry the records loose.”

An October 2015 Journal of Democracy article is entitled: “Authoritarianism Goes Global (II).”

An Aug. 3, 2017 Dallas News article is entitled: “Tangled web connects Russian oligarch money to GOP campaigns.”

 

Share this:

Posted in Newsletter, Story management | Leave a comment

Parking situation at Fortieth St. and Lake Shore Blvd. West appears to be improving

No Parking sign on west side of Fortieth St. near Lake Shore Blvd. West. I've added this subsequent to writing the text at the post you are now reading. Jaan Pill photo

No Parking sign on west side of Fortieth St. near Lake Shore Blvd. West. I’ve added this subsequent to writing the text at the post you are now reading. Jaan Pill photo

No Parking sign on west side of Fortieth St. near Lake Shore Blvd. West. I've added this subsequent to writing the text at the post you are now reading. Jaan Pill photo

No Parking sign on west side of Fortieth St. near Lake Shore Blvd. West. I’ve added this subsequent to writing the text at the post you are now reading. Jaan Pill photo

No Parking signs on East side of Fortieth St. near Lake Shore Blvd. West. I've added this subsequent to writing the text at the post you are now reading. Jaan Pill photo

No Parking signs on East side of Fortieth St. near Lake Shore Blvd. West. I’ve added this subsequent to writing the text at the post you are now reading. Jaan Pill photo

No Parking signs on East side of Fortieth St. near Lake Shore Blvd. West. I've added this subsequent to writing the text at the post you are now reading. Jaan Pill photo

No Parking signs on East side of Fortieth St. near Lake Shore Blvd. West. I’ve added this subsequent to writing the text at the post you are now reading. Jaan Pill photo

No Parking signs on East side of Fortieth St. near Lake Shore Blvd. West. I've added this subsequent to writing the text at the post you are now reading. Jaan Pill photo

No Parking signs on East side of Fortieth St. near Lake Shore Blvd. West. I’ve added this subsequent to writing the text at the post you are now reading. Jaan Pill photo

Typical parking scene at Fortieth St. and Lake Shore Blvd. West. I've added this subsequent to writing the text at the post you are now reading. Jaan Pill photo

Typical parking scene at Fortieth St. and Lake Shore Blvd. West. I’ve added this subsequent to writing the text at the post you are now reading. Jaan Pill photo

For a long time, I’ve been planning to post an update, with photos, regarding the parking situation at Fortieth St. and Lake Shore Blvd. West in Long Branch.

When I find some photos, taken in the past, I will post them.

In the meantime, I will describe the scene. On the west side of Fortieth St. at Lake Shore Blvd. West, the two or three car lengths going south from Lake Shore Blvd. West are actually in a No Parking zone.

There is a No Parking sign posted, but it is not easy to notice. I guess when a person observes a ticket on her of his windshield, in the event a car has been parked in the No Parking zone, then she or he will also observe that there is, indeed, a No Parking sign in evidence.

On the east side of Fortieth St., there is also a No Parking sign in place, as well as a Do Not Block Driveway sign. The No Parking sign points toward Lake Shore Blvd. West to the north; it also points south along Fortieth St.

On a walk around July 31, 2017 by the corner of Fortieth St. and Lake Shore Blvd. West, I noticed a phenomenon quite distinct from the issue of parking at the corner. I noticed a jet flying to Pearson Airport. The jets were fling quite low. I became interested in getting as much of a jet into the picture frame of my iPhone, as i could, as the jets proceeded to fly overhead.

On a walk around July 31, 2017 by the corner of Fortieth St. and Lake Shore Blvd. West, I noticed a phenomenon quite distinct from the issue of parking. I noticed a jet flying to Pearson Airport. The jets were fling quite low. I became interested in getting as much of a jet into the picture frame of my iPhone, as I could, as the jets proceeded to fly overhead. Jaan Pill photo

A year or two ago, I observed a car parked along the east side of Fortieth St. It was, as I recall, blocking part of my travel as I was driving north toward Lake Shore Blvd. West. There were cars parked along the west side of Fortieth St. near Lake Shore Blvd. West. As I was travelling, I honked my horn, to let whoever was in the vicinity know that I was going to make an effort to wend my way through this minefield of cars, without in the process running into a collision.

A woman was walking north along the roadway, on the west side of Fortieth St., as I beeped my horn. She took major offence at the fact that somebody was honking their horn. She stopped to share sundry rhetorical questions regarding the propriety – that is, the state or quality of conforming to conventionally accepted standards of behaviour – of a driver honking a horn, on such an occasion. I did not stop to engage in banter with her, as I had a concern that if I were to stop, some car travelling north behind me would smash into my car.

Collision

I have observed the aftermath of one collision at Fortieth St. and Lake Shore Blvd. West. On that occasion, I was walking south from Lake Shore Blvd. West along the sidewalk on the west side of Fortieth St. As I was walking, I was lost in thought – thinking about something – when I heard the collision. The combination of circumstances – here I was, lost in thought, when the loud report of a collision reached my ears – meant that the sound of the collision stayed with me for a long time.

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

I’ve written about this at a previous post. In the past, I would have found the post and provided a link to it. But like many people, I prefer to spend a limited amount of time online, and then I want to get off and go on to something more interesting.

To continue my story: One of the cars, leaking oil or transmission fluids, ended up being driven to the driveway south of the Fair Grounds coffee shop. The fluids left a readily evident trail from Lake Shore Blvd. West to the driveway. Over the following weeks and months, this trace of the collision gradually faded away. I documented the process, and the resulting jpeg files are scattered across a wide range of files, possibly never to be seen again.

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

 

I believe that one factor that mitigates against collisions, at this corner, is that fact that as soon as you see cars blocking the way, you as a car driver are inclined to slow down. That need to slow down, and determine how best to get out of the situation, without a dent, means (so far as I can see, and my observations are subject to error) that drivers tend to be quite careful, in this area.

Parking enforcement

According to a reliable source (the reliability of sources being a matter of interest to me, based on well over a half-century of writing and documenting), parking enforcement at Fortieth St. and Lake Shore Blvd. West has been steady in recent times. I mention that, in the event that such information may reach car drivers who like to park in the No Parking zones in this area.

How many drivers will find their way to this website, and take heed of this bit of information, I do not know. Who knows, who reads this stuff?

I also have information, from a reliable source, that the option of a One Way Street being set up for Fortieth St. is a remote possibility. However, any such decision, which would entail involvement of the Ward 6 Councillor’s Office, would require, as I understand, a high level of agreement among such area residents as would care to make their views known.

 

Share this:

Posted in Long Branch, Newsletter, Story management, Toronto | 2 Comments

Court dismisses company’s libel lawsuit against teacher over Facebook postings – July 26, 2017 Toronto Star / July 28, 2017 CBC articles

The photo is from the Toronto Star article featured at the post you are now reading. Caption reads: “I’m just relieved that it’s over,” Katie Mohammed said Wednesday, after a libel lawsuit against her was dismissed. “It’s like a weight’s been lifted off my shoulders.” (RICHARD LAUTENS / TORONTO STAR)

The photo is from the July 26, 2017 Toronto Star article featured at the post you are now reading. Caption reads: “I’m just relieved that it’s over,” Katie Mohammed said Wednesday, after a libel lawsuit against her was dismissed. “It’s like a weight’s been lifted off my shoulders.” (RICHARD LAUTENS / TORONTO STAR)

A July 26, 2017 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Court dismisses company’s libel lawsuit against teacher over Facebook postings.”

The subhead reads: “When Katie Mohammed turned to Facebook to air concerns about her community — as millions of people do every day — she didn’t think she’d ever be sued for libel, and become the centre of a precedent-setting case in Ontario’s laws protecting speech in the public interest.”

An excerpt from the article reads:

In addition to being used as a precedent in future anti-SLAPP cases in Ontario, De Luca said that the decision in Mohammed’s case may attract the attention of other jurisdictions considering similar legislation.

“Other jurisdictions are watching Ontario to see our case law developments on this,” he said. “These kinds of decisions will have a wider influence than simply in Ontario.”

The photo is from the July 28, 2017 CBC article for which a link is included at the post you are now reading. Caption reads: Katie Mohammed has been awarded $7,500 in damages under Ontario's anti-SLAPP laws. (Katie Mohammed)

The photo is from the July 28, 2017 CBC article for which a link is included at the post you are now reading. Caption reads: Katie Mohammed has been awarded $7,500 in damages under Ontario’s anti-SLAPP laws. (Katie Mohammed)

Mohammed said that she hopes that her case encourages other Canadians that their rights to free speech will be protected in court.

“I just hope that Canadians realize that it’s important for people to speak up on matters of public interest and that there’s a law to protect them now,” she said.

[End of excerpt]

July 28, 2017 CBC article

A July 28, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “How an Ontario mom fended off a $120K libel lawsuit over her Facebook posts.”

Comment

The articles – concerned with the concept of protection of speech in the public interest – are strongly of relevance, in particular in the context of lawsuits or threats of lawsuits in Toronto (among other jurisdictions) in years past.

 

Share this:

Posted in Long Branch, Newsletter, Story management, Toronto | Leave a comment

Developers learning heritage buildings can be money-makers – July 25, 2017 Toronto Star

The photo is from the Toronto Star link at the page you are now reading. Cation reads: The restored Great Hall includes design details and materials rarely seen these days, such as Crown mouldings, oak floors and hand-painted walls. (DOMINIQUE VAN OLM)

The photo is from the Toronto Star link at the page you are now reading. Caption reads: The restored Great Hall includes design details and materials rarely seen these days, such as Crown mouldings, oak floors and hand-painted walls. (DOMINIQUE VAN OLM)

A July 25, 2017 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Developers learning heritage buildings can be money-makers: Hume: The Great Hall at Queen and Dovercourt was a mess until someone recognized its architectural, cultural, social and economic value.”

I learned of the article from a tweet by Ken Greenberg @KGreenbergTO

Previous posts, at the Preserved Stories website, featuring Ken Greenberg include:

Transcript featuring Ken Greenberg from recent hearing about Bill 20, regarding OMB

Ken Greenberg speaks of lessons from pioneering global cities

Ken Greenberg (2011) talks about early urban planning in Chicago

Small Arms Building in Mississauga

The story brings to mind the repurposing of the Small Arms Building in Mississauga.

The latter project underlines what a great achievement it is, when historic buildings are repurposed for new uses. A tremendous amount of human capital, social capital, and investment is requited to achieve success in such a project. When such a project achieves success, our entire society benefits. What an inspiring achievement that is!

 

Share this:

Posted in Committee of Adjustment & Local Appeal Board, Jane's Walk, Long Branch, Long Branch Urban Design Guidelines, Mississauga, Newsletter, Story management, Toronto | Leave a comment

Superior Court orders ‘Big Blue Monster’ home in Brampton demolished – July 26, 2017 CityNews

The photo is from the link posted at the page you are now treading. Caption reads: A half-built monster home on Centre Street in Brampton in an undated file photo. CITYNEWS

The photo is from the link posted at the page you are now reading. Caption reads: A half-built monster home on Centre Street in Brampton in an undated file photo. CITYNEWS

A July 26, 2017 CityNews article is entitled: “Superior Court orders ‘Big Blue Monster’ home in Brampton demolished.”

The opening paragraphs read:

Ontario’s Superior Court has ordered a 6,600-square-foot Brampton monster home at the centre of a four-year dispute to be demolished.

Two city councillors confirmed the half-finished house at 443 Centre St. N. – which has become known as the “Big Blue Monster” – must be taken down by the end of November.

“Yesterday, the Superior Court issued a demolition order for the house,” councillors Grant Gibson and Elaine Moore said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

“The court has ordered that the unfinished house must be demolished in its entirety within 120 days, which means that it will be removed before the end of November.”

The councillors said the city has been designated the area a “Mature Neighbourhood,” which means any new development must maintain and preserve its character.

[End of excerpt]

 

Share this:

Posted in Committee of Adjustment & Local Appeal Board, Newsletter, Story management | Leave a comment

Invite to Sept. 18, 2017 final presentation by NAV CAN consultant on the Toronto Airspace Review: Register via Eventbrite

The image is from the Eventbrite link featured at this page.

The image is from the Eventbrite link featured at this page.

On July 22, 2917 a Long Branch resident has posted the following message at the Long Branch Neighbourhood Watch Facebook Group.

I am sharing it with anyone who may be interested:

Invite to presentation by NAV CAN consultant on the Toronto Airspace Review:

Helios – Independent Toronto Airspace Review – Final Presentation

From: Toronto Airspace Review <TorontoAirspaceReview@askhelios.com>

Date: Saturday – July 22, 2017 3:36 PM

Subject: Helios – Independent Toronto Airspace Review – Final Presentation

Dear All

I am pleased, at last, to be able to invite you to the final presentation of the Independent Toronto Airspace Review – Monday September 18th 2017.

Full details of the venue and timings for the event are available on Event Brite and the link below will take you straight to our event page. The event is open to everyone and attendance is free but I would strongly urge you to register so that Helios and the venue can ensure the event runs smoothly.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/independent-toronto-airspace-review-final-presentation-tickets-36459889511

You are welcome to forward this email to friends and neighbours.

I look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.

Best regards

Nick Boud
Principal Consultant
Helios
T? +44 1252 451 651
www.askhelios.com
Helios is an Egis company
www.eventbrite.co.uk

 

Share this:

Posted in Long Branch, Mississauga, Newsletter, Toronto | 1 Comment

Parallel lines work well to represent halftones – in comic-book and illustration art

In the history of graphic design, parallel lines figure prominently – in comic-book art and in illustration in general – as a means to represent halftones.

general judenits081

General Judenits [Nikolai Yudenich, a leader of the anti-communist White movement in Northwestern Russia during the Russian Civil War after the Russian Revolution. The image source is noted in the text on the left. Click on the image to enlarge it; click again to enlarge it further.

I open the current post with a drawing of General Judenits of the Russian Army of the Northwest – in English he’s known as Nikolai Yudenich (1862-1933).

Nikolai Yudenich was a leader of the anti-communist White movement in Northwestern Russia during the Russian Civil War after the Russian Revolution.

I have read widely about Europe and Canada in the 1930s, and about the Second World War. These  topics bring to mind the First World War and the Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia.

General Judenits (Nikolai Yudenich)

Click here for an Alpha History overview related to Nikolai Yudenich >

I start the post with the pen-and-ink portrait of General Judenits. The style of artwork, with its skillful application of parallel lines to represent gradations of halftones, brings to mind the history of the graphic novel, as a genre of literature. The illustration is not directly connected to comic-book-style illustrations. However, any fan of comic-book art will, I believe, tune into the power and vitality of the portrait of General Judenits.

The image is from a book, Eesti Iseseisvuse Sünd [The Birth of Estonian Independence] by Eduard Laaman (1888-1941).

Eduard Laaman was an Estonian journalist and historian who was executed at a Russian prison by the Soviet NKVD (secret police organization) in 1941.

Laaman’s wife and two daughters fled to Sweden in 1944, at the onset of the second Soviet occupation of Estonia – which was preceded by the German occupation of this Baltic country – during the Second World War.

The book, that I refer to, was published in 1964 but the original text was written much earlier. The photos in the book are indistinct, given the nature of the printing process used in its publication. The black and white line drawings in the book, however, such as the illustration featured at this post, give rise to clear and distinct reproductions.

A person learns a style or genre of blogging

Over time, I have learned about styles of blogging that work for me.

One style of blogging features topics that I have been exploring for many years.

The latter style differs from a style that features news reports built around an evidence-based approach to information dissemination. News reports are of value, and many site visitors seek out such posts.

However, I also have an interest in exploring the conceptual framework – indeed, the conceptual infrastructure, in which the logistics of words and figures figure prominently – by means of which news reports are presented.

A “meditation upon”

I like to write posts set in a genre of writing that is often spoken of as a “meditation on,” or “meditation upon,” some general topic.

Such posts may or may not be of interest to very many people. My guess is that more people are interested in straight news reports, than in ruminations.

I check site statistics from time to time, meaning that I have some interest in what topics are of interest to site visitors.

However, how many people read a given post is not a primary concern. I am also writing posts as a means whereby I can refine my thinking. If I can think more clearly, about a variety of matters related to evidence and framing, I can be that much more capable, in writing posts (and book chapters) that will attract a decent number of readers.

HTML formatting (e.g. involving links)

What also works well for me are essays or articles in which I do not create a lot of links to previous posts or biographical sources.

Whatever links are connected with the current post, for example, can easily be found using the internal search engine at this website.

Or a person can point a browser to other sources, more widely available online.

There’s an element of drudgery involved in the setting up of links, and I prefer to avoid such a feature of blogging, when I can.

I don’t mind writing HTML formatting for headings, however, as it’s a straightforward procedure, and is fun to do. For example, when I work in Text Mode in WordPress, a heading is preceded by <h2> and is terminated by </h2>. Similarly, bolding a word means starting with <strong> and concluding with </strong>.

Length of text

In “meditations-upon” posts, I have no need for concern about the length that a post will take. Whether a given site visitor wants to slog through a post, from start to finish, or not, is not in this case a primary consideration.

I am really pleased that a previous post, at 10,000-words plus, has been widely read, despite the length of it. I refer to an article entitled “A History of Long Branch.” I would be very leery about doing any copy editing on that particular text. I may do some fine-tuning of it in future, but with great care to ensure the additional work improves, and does no detract.

The latter article  just happened to work out well. I spent at least six weeks of daily work upon it. Usually, I do not work at that level of intensity. The article brings home to me that a 10,000-word piece, if it’s going to be any good, requires a lot of thought and research. The length of the piece is just one aspect of it. It’s just one feature of the total package. So many other things come into play. As with many things, one learns by doing, and by reflecting upon work that a person has done in the past.

Posts about Erving Goffman

Posts that I’ve written about Erving Goffman, for this website, are in the category of an exploration in some depth of some subject area that I am especially well-versed in.

These posts are a combination of news reports (based on online resources) and “meditations upon.”

Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

I have studied “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life” very closely, from the time it was published. I have made notes, and written out passages, chapter by chapter. I have also affirmed, and made use of, Goffman’s concepts in a wide range of contexts.

I mention Goffman, because I had originally thought that it would not be worthwhile to write about his work, at this website. Given that Goffman is of a previous era, who would care less about him now?

The original thought was challenged, however, by my encounters with citations of Goffman in material I was reading in recent years. Such material includes a variety of studies related to the world history of warfare.

I was surprised to note, that in studies I was reading in recent years, work by Goffman was still being cited frequently. Thus it made sense for me to proceed with speaking about his work, at this website, rather than avoiding discussion of it.

Frame Analysis: An Essay in the Organization of Experience

Some time back, I bought a copy of Goffman’s “Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience.” I have not, as yet, read the book closely, but I have in recent times begun to read the Foreword to the book. The Foreword, by Bennett M. Berger, speaks of Goffman’s relationship to symbolic interactionism.

Until I began to read the Foreword, I had assumed that Goffman was a symbolic interactionist, period. However, Berger notes that Goffman’s relationship to symbolic interactionism is more nuanced than I have until recently assumed. I have been pleased to encounter Berger’s overview, as it gives me a better sense of how best to “frame” Goffman in the wider scheme of things.

I like above all to read Goffman’s original texts, and I prefer not to spend a lot of time reading secondary sources offering summaries of his work; I much prefer to read the original texts. However, a Foreword, to a book of original material from Goffman, certainly can be helpful, and is worth a close read.

Thinking Fast and Slow, and Talking Politics

Two additional resources, of relevance with regard to a study of Goffman’s work, are “Talking Politics” by William A. Gamson and “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman.

The books I refer to, with the exception of “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life,” are ones that I have bought over the years.

One can think of much else to write about. This will do for now, however.

 

Share this:

Posted in Newsletter, Story management, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Natural forms at Six Points Interchange Reconfiguration; setbacks between images at Dead Man’s Curve

Detail from Six Points Interchange Reconfiguration site, July 15, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

Image 1. Detail from Six Points Interchange Reconfiguration site, July 15, 2017. Jaan Pill photo. Click on each photo to enlarge it; click again to enlarge it further.

This post is written as a digression, a digression from topics that actually interest site visitors.

Sometimes, digressions motivate me to write a post.

Photo book based on July 15, 2017 visit to Six Points Reconfiguration site

I have created a non-utilitarian photo book, based on my visit to the Six Points Reconfiguration site. This photo book has no commercial value. It does not seek to sell you anything. It does not seek to influence your view of the world.

Image 1: Water leaves traces of its passage

Image 1 depicts traces of the flow of water. Was the water going left to right, or right to left? I have not studied the evidence. I am not an expert on fluid mechanics in the analogic (non-digital) world of water and soil. Nor am I an expert in the mathematics of fluid mechanics.

I do note that when the mud has dried, a crack on the surface has appeared. The crack has made its presence known. One is reminded of the expression, “the crack of dawn.” One is reminded of the aural phenomenon of “the crack of gunfire.”

One of reminded of The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard. That is one of the books that made sense to me, in the 1960s. What Bachelard said then, in parts at least, rings true for me now, as it did then.

Image 2. We see more clearly the bird tracks that were evident (but not as clearly framed) in Image 1. Jaan Pill photo

Image 2. We see more clearly the bird tracks that were evident (but not as clearly framed) in Image 1. Jaan Pill photo

As, by way of example, and this is from the link in the previous paragraph: “A house that has been experienced is not an inert box. Inhabited space transcends geometrical space.”

The first paragraph in the above-noted link, from Harvard Design Magazine, aptly relates to Bachelard’s meditation on oneiric space – that is, the space relating to dreams or dreaming.

What is true of the poetics of space, as they relate to the poetics of the interior of a house is also true of the poetics of the world outside, as Bachelard notes in his philosophical analysis.

Once we get outside a house, we enter into the public realm – such as the open spaces of a community, and, indeed, the setbacks between houses, a topic of much interest to many of us, in our role as residents of cities, as you will note in the event you feel inclined (or impelled by curiosity) to do a search for “setback” at this website.

In the public realm, we also deal with the poetics of space, to use Bachelard’s apt expression.

Image 3. Sign that says "You'd betrayer stay on the right of the roadway divider." Jaan Pill photo

Image 3. Sign that says “You’d better stay on the right of the roadway divider.” Jaan Pill photo

When we are outside of the house, where we sit, and pace, eat, and have our repose, we may be in the public realm.

If we go a little further, which in Canada it is possible for almost any person who lives in a town, village, or city to do, assuming she or he has access to a means of transportation, or a means of sustenance in the event she or he wishes to walk or ride a bike, our exploration of the poetics of space continues apace.

In Canada, one can enter into what remains of the wilds, of the wilderness. In my childhood growing up in Montreal, what we knew as the nearby wilderness was called The Bush.

I am speaking, in this context, of existence in nature.

A person can make of a forest a hiding place, a place of repose, a place to pace, a place to eat, in the same way as a person can find a place to do these things – perform these activities – inside of a house.

Within a forest, or at the edge of it, one can experience all of the poetics that are associated with a house.

I mention that, because I have experienced the poetics of the forest, in my case on Haida Gwaii by camping in the roots of a hemlock tree, at the edge of a rain forest at the outskirts of Queen Charlotte City in the early 1970s. I lived in said roots for six weeks.

The experience of living in the roots of a giant hemlock tree, at the edge of a Haida Gwaii rainforest, has been among the most blissful and healthiest times that I have experienced. My time on Haida Gwaii is among the formative experiences of my life.

On one of my visits in the early 1970s, before I went back to complete a degree at Simon Fraser University, I walked for some distance along the east coast of Haida Gwaii near Queen Charlotte City. I realized I would be able to walk kilometre after kilometre, if so inclined, and see pretty well no trace of Western civilization, as it is called. Among other things, said civilization has been characterized – that is, described, as one would describe a character in a story – as a massive pyramid scheme. For example, Ronald Wright, author of A Short History of Progress (2004), has thusly characterized it.

That being said, Western civilization is not without its merits.

To return to my Haida Gwaii story: The natural splendour – the mountains, the sea, the clouds – was of a nature that was spectacular beyond words. The concept that, not all that far back in human history, such a scene – the scene of natural splendour, as yet untouched by Western civilization – as I witnessed on that day, was available to be witnessed by any person across the face of the Earth, took hold of me. It took hold of me as an overwhelming realization. It’s a powerful concept. A visualization of times past, based on a brief sampling of a spectacular, large-scale natural scene, serves as a starting point for thought – a starting point of the journey of one’s imagination.

I am pleased I did not run into any grizzly bears. That’s always a consideration. I mention that in passing.

The poetics of space extends beyond the homes associated with the Settler culture that in the Americas (“officially”) dates back to 1492. From the perspective of the Indigenous citizen, according to one apt tweet that I have read, if you want to imagine what would have occurred had the Nazis won the Second World War, you do not have far to look. I say this, on the understanding that I have no means of speaking on behalf of the Indigenous citizen.

As part of my self-education, I follow many First Nations individuals and organizations on Twitter.

Image 2: Bird tracks

So much for image 1; I have discussed that Six points photo earlier. I have not yet posted image 2, as I write this text. I am thinking that the second image, in this digressive post, will perhaps involve a closer look at water flow in the analogical (that is, non-digital) reality.

In the case of Image 2, the water flow appears to have been from top to bottom, with ridges appearing in the irregular forms that were created in the soil, in response to the water flow.

The word “irregular” brings to mind the concept of “irregular warfare,” which I have written about in recent posts. I do believe that all of warfare is irregular, and always has been. Now, in recent times, the inherent irregularity of warfare – of organized violence – has been recognized, through use of terms such as “hybrid warfare.” But – I digress!

I’m pleased to see evidence that a bird had walked along the mud, in Image 2, before the mud had dried, and thereby left its signature.

Image 4. Speed sign. Jaan Pill photo

Image 4. Speed sign. Jaan Pill photo

Image 3: Divided roadway

In a previous post, I have referred to the Brown’s Line Dead Man’s Curve. If you would like to read that post, you will have to do a search for it using this site’s internal search engine.

The latter post does not include a lot of photos. That’s because the process of searching out photos tends to be consuming of time and energy, especially given that my photos exist in files devoid of tags.

Image 3 is a shot, that indicates what a driver sees, when approaching Dead Man’s Curve at the southern terminus of Brown’s Line, as you bomb out of Alderwood and approach Long Branch.

I refer to bombing as in “going faster than prudence dictates.” What the driver sees is the first of four signs that will appear.

Image 4: Speed sign

Image 4 is the speed sign, the second sign that you see as you speed toward Dead Man’s Curve.

The second sign says, “30 kph,” for which the subtext is, “Are you kidding?”

In speaking of a subtext, I refer to what a July 20, 2017 New York Times article describes as “bracketed stage directions.” The Times article, about current news from the White House, is entitled, “Like a ‘Soap Opera,’ Only Not as Fun.” The article, which I read in the print version, refers to choices with reference to genres, when a person is following the narrative arc of a story.

No question, any story related to the Dead Man’s Curve involves choices from a range of options, according to which a narrative arc, related to vehicular flow heading south on Brown’s Line, is constructed.

Image 5: Not a great idea to stop to park

Image 5: No Parking sign at Dead Man's Curve. Jaan Pill photo

Image 5: No Parking sign at Dead Man’s Curve. Jaan Pill photo

The third sign (Image 5) says, “No Parking,” for which the subtext is, “Just so you know.”

The fourth sign says, “Sharp turn right,” the subtext for which reads, “Sorry, too late.”

Setback between first and second signs

Now, signs, like houses, usually do not exist in isolation.

In a house, to refer to the poetics of space, the interior space has meaning because people inhabit said space. By itself, a house does not offer a lot of meaning. You need people in the space, to establish meaning.

In the wilderness, the meaning is inherent in the space. Under ideal circumstances (in my opinion), the human adds little or nothing, by way of meaning.

That meaning a human may add, in some circumstances, may be a meaning that is, indeed, in harmony with the space.

In the case of Settler history, however, the inherent meaning in the space tends to lose meaning, because Settler society – of which I am, indeed a member – in its history has established a narrative that says, “This space has no meaning. The only meaning that inheres in this space is the meaning that we as Settlers establish through the Logistics of Words and Figures.”

That’s a preamble, a foreshadowing, to my conclusion of this digression, this digressive exercise.

Signs on a roadway do not have meaning, except in the context of the meaning that is assigned to them, if any meaning is assigned to the signs at all, by the driver (and passengers) who are travelling, at whatever rate of speed, on a given roadway.

Image 6: Sharp turn right. Jaan Pill photo

Image 6: Sharp turn right. Jaan Pill photo

The first and second signs, that you see as you get close to Dead Man’s Curve, are very close together.

Image 6: Sharp turn right

The setback between them is very tight. Imagine two houses very close to each other. The setback between them is very tight. That may or may not be read as comfortable, depending on many things.

Because of the tight setback between the two signs, the second – and critical – 30 kph sign – is apt to not be read closely, if it is read at all.

Thereby ends a story.

Update

A July 20, 2017 Longdon School of Economics article is entitled: “Book Review: The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh.”

The opening paragraph reads:

In The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable [2016], acclaimed novelist Amitav Ghosh offers a new non-fiction work that aims to confront this urgent issue by reflecting on our ‘deranged’ modes of political and socio-economic organisation via three themes: literature, history and politics. This is an admirable book that both examines and manifests the limits of human thought when it comes to the spectre of environmental catastrophe, writes Alexandre Leskanich.

End

 

Share this:

Posted in Newsletter, Story management, Toronto | Leave a comment

Does the 25-gram World Health Organization suggested limit on sugar intake include sugar from fruit juices? Answer: It does.

I recently was thirsty, on a hot day in July, and bought a fruit juice smoothie at a Shopper’s Drug Mart. On rare occasions, I buy such a drink.

I noticed the bottle referred to 57 grams of sugar. The label said, and said it prominently: “No Sugar Added.” I was wondering, at that point, whether the sugar referred to was the same as the sugar that the World Organization (WHO) refers to, when it says that it’s a good idea to keep sugar concentration below 25 grams per day.

I did a web search regarding this topic. I found a March 4, 2015 news release from WHO, the opening paragraphs of which read:

4 MARCH 2015 ¦ GENEVA – A new WHO guideline recommends adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5% or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits.

Free sugars refer to monosaccharides (such as glucose, fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) added to foods and drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates.

[End]

Clearly, I did not manage to stay below 25 grams of sugar today, because WHO refers to “free sugars” which includes sugars in fruit juices.

Equally clearly, I have learned something that is useful to know.

I also read related link of interest from WHO: Sugars intake for adults and children: Guideline.

I was interested to note that the above-mentioned link refers to a “natural experiment” during the Second World War, when a particular population sample experienced a marked reduction in free sugars. One of the outcomes of the experiment was that dental cavities were markedly reduced. Or that, at any rate, is what I recall from briefly scanning through the article.

Click here for previous posts about sugar >

It may be noted that advertisements related to sugary drinks of any kind discretely avoid reference to research related to sugar. A person has to find such research on her of his own.

I have included this post in the category that I call “story management.” That’s because the marketing of sugar products (including fruit juices) entails the application of instrumental reason to the task of ensuring that as few people as possible maintain a sugar intake under the 25-gram limit that WHO recommends.

 

Share this:

Posted in Newsletter, Story management | Leave a comment

Photo from Mississauga Ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey regarding Farmer’s Market in Port Credit

Photo is from a July 15, 2017 tweet from Mississauga ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey

Photo is from a July 15, 2017 tweet from Mississauga ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey

In a July 15, 2017 tweet, which the Town of Port Credit retweeted (that being how I came across it, just now), a message from @JimTovey noted:

Fiddling 4. The Farmers Market in @Portcreditbia. Beautiful music, beautiful day, great produce #shoplocal

 

Share this:

Posted in Mississauga, Newsletter, Toronto, Uncategorized | Leave a comment