Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

Hot Enough for You?

It’s an ill wind that blows no good and all that.  The warming trend will allow for longer growing seasons in some locations, reduced snow removal budgets elsewhere, and the sale of parkas will go down, one assumes.  But there will also be ill effects and that’s my specialty. We forget some of the accommodations […]

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December 31, 2016

What to Wear

  In 1967 Singer/Songwriter Scott MacKenzie (Philip Wallach Blondheim) gave some advice that may still hold.  “If you’re going to San Francisco/Be sure to wear/Some flowers in your hair.”  I did go, several times.  I dined at the Cliff House, Fisherman’s Wharf, and put a quarter in the human jukebox.  The human jukebox occupied a […]

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Conscription if Necessary, but not Necessarily Conscription

An equivocating Canadian politician, Prime Minister William Lyon MacKenzie King, was asked about the divisive issue of conscription.  French and English Canadians didn’t see eye to eye on the issue, leading up to World War II. Kind famously said “Conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription” or words to that effect to reassure French Canadians […]

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Sketch Comedy

There is an unresolved debate about how much of urban planning or architecture is sociology and how much is science. What’s lost in this debate is that both may contain a little more sketch comedy and Vaudeville than imagined. In the UK, it’s more Music Hall traditions. Here’s an example. Edinburgh’s tram is hundreds of […]

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April 12, 2016

The 60’s Then and Now

There were a lot of divides in the 1960s. In fact, the 1960s probably didn’t really begin in 1960. Eisenhower was president until January 20, 1961 and he brought the 50s with him. In Canada Prime Ministers Diefenbaker and Pearson both looked like they were from a bygone era. Dief was a prairie populist, distrusting […]

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Power Point

The headline in the New York Times Magazine is eye-catching and funny–“Power Point Makes you Dumb.” But when you read that Clive Thompson’s, article from 2003 is about the report of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board that looked into the crash of the space shuttle, it’s not so funny. When NASA engineers assessed possible wing […]

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Gordon Lightfoot

I blame Gordon Lightfoot for delaying the urbanization of Canada.  While he wrote about the city in “Home from the Forest” most of his iconic songs glorified small towns and rural settings.  In “Did She Mention My Name” the young man calls back to the small town to see whether his old flame remembers him.  […]

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