Angry Robot

‘Fox & Friends,’ stuck with Donald Trump for all eternity

Courage is not about the absence of fear or anger or extreme emotion. The definition of courage is, when experiencing those emotions, refusing to let them govern your behaviour. Staying true to yourself and your values, doing what you know is right, and necessary, despite the heightened emotion. Courage is finding it in yourself to rise to an occasion rather than being diminished by it.

The truths Canada needs to remember

We have our flaws but there’s a lot to like in how Toronto, Canada reacted to this attack. I’m still really moved by the cop who didn’t shoot the guy.

Why Hollywood Won’t Cast Cary Elwes Anymore

Just read the whole thing if you like good writing. Trust me.

Japanese engineer builds giant robot to realize ‘Gundam’ dream

In robot news…. (watch the video)

Wind turbines are getting taller, bigger, and more powerful

If I’m reading it right, one of the new big ones (height of Eiffel Tower) could power 1 million homes.

The Meadoway: 16 km stretch of urban park will connect downtown to Scarborough 

They are going to build a mixed-use path the length of this hydro corridor.

Why the F.B.I. Raid Is Perilous for Michael Cohen — and Trump

Damian Lewis to Play Controversial Ex-Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in Thriller

‘The Simpsons’ To ‘The Problem With Apu’: Drop Dead

David Reich: ‘Neanderthals were perhaps capable of many modern human behaviours’

Reich’s work as a leader of prehistoric population studies includes the discovery that all people of non-African descent carry small amounts of Neanderthal DNA, showing that Homo sapiens – at one stage – must have interbred with this long-dead species of ancient humans.

Also, hobbits were real.

The Rise in Self-Proclaimed Time Travelers

They’ve come from the future for two reasons: 1) To save us from ourselves; and 2) to make YouTube confessionals

Scalding Hot Takes: Ready Player One

Nathan Rabin:

Yes, Ready Player One spent 140 minutes jerking me off but instead of pleasure or release, all I experienced was rawness, bleeding and painful chafing. 

Mueller Tells Guy Who Legally Can’t Be a Target That He’s Not a Target, Perhaps in a Bid to Make Him Legally Targetable

Marcy Wheeler:

All of which is to say we may be looking at a public report saying that Trump should be impeached just as Republicans attempt to keep Congress… Effectively, I think Mueller is giving the GOP Congress a choice. They impeach Trump on the less inflammatory stuff,which will remove all threat of firing and/or pardons to threaten the investigation, not to mention make Trump eligible to be a target for the actual election conspiracy he tried to cover up. Or after they fail to hold the House while explaining why they’re covering up for Trump’s cover up, they will face a more serious inquiry relating to Trump’s involvement in the election conspiracy.

Nasim Aghdam’s Massacre Is Part of the Crisis of Big Tech

For the Compton Cowboys, Horseback Riding Is a Legacy, and Protection

Really good short doc series profiling a collection of indie developers. Episode 2 is all Montreal devs. It seems this series is funded by Microsoft and I’m guessing all the games are available on PC, but by no means exclusively. If this is advertising this is the best possible version of it.

Bike lanes help, not hurt, suburbs, Keesmaat says

She makes a good point.

This is really about the kind of city we’re creating. It’s about much, much more than bike lanes… It’s also about the revitalization of our suburbs. Are we going to reinforce this idea that they are just places that you get through on your way to somewhere else, or are we going to start creating a critical mass of activity and animation and economic activity, so you don’t need to go downtown to be in a great environment?

Mobile gaming is having a moment

Disc Spinning

Confession: I’m a vinyl person now. I bought a music-platter-spinning machine, and am spending actual dollars on music printed onto archaic physical discs. I am fussing with cartridges and alignment and dust and suchlike.

You’ll recall my enthusiasm for streaming, and perhaps you are familiar with my general love of technology, especially in its newest forms. What happened?

Deep background: I have quite a few vinyl-type friends. Some collectors, some DJs, some miscellaneous. My wife and I have in fact never gotten rid of our records – we have been holding onto them with no means of playing them until a few months ago. The collection includes some passed down from parents or siblings who divested themselves of their music-circle collections. Some I bought during the last time I had a record player, during college, at fire sale prices when music was actually expensive and paying for it was not optional.

There is certainly a nostalgic angle to all this. At my parents’ cottage when I was a child, the rotating music device was in the garage, and when the weather was bad I could spend whole days out there, playing Elvis, the Beatles, Wings, Fleetwood Mac, Dylan. I have many fond childhood memories of experiencing music, and this is one of my fondest.

I also have always loved the record-playing experience. The large art. The focus on albums as opposed to songs or mixes. The way the listening must happen in the foreground. I think there are limits to the value of convenience, as well captured in this article, and that physical constraints can focus the mind in important ways.

The crackle and scratch are familiar and almost comforting to me, but I don’t actually believe vinyl sounds better. I am uncommitted on this issue.

Because my daughter is old enough to be forming musical preferences, and with the birth of a brand new kid, I have been thinking a lot about the value of a personal music canon. I want to transmit to these kids my favourite music, but more importantly I want to pass down the value of treasuring music. Streaming has been great to me, especially for finding new music. But with easy access to almost all music, I find myself rarely listening to the same thing twice. I look through my “library” in Spotify and I can’t remember what half of it is. I have become skittish, manic in my listening; easily distracted by new and shiny things. Do I want to pass down a collection of 10,000 virtual albums I’ve barely listened to? Where is the value in that? Perhaps we only really value things we have spent money on, or more accurately things that do not come easily.

So I’m buying fucking records.

There’s a lot to be said about this world – the lure of crate-digging, the characters inhabiting record shops, the rare finds, the bizarre character of a marketplace where sales of a century-old medium are spiking while CD sales are tanking. I’m doing a mix of buying cheap shit at thrift stores for kicks, and gradually amassing a collection of 100 or so personally cherished albums. It’s ludicrous perhaps, or maybe it makes sense.

Whatever it is, I love it.

There is a Canadian hip-hop history exhibit going down at the McMichael; pictured: Michie Mee. (Thanks Ed)

How bike lanes could get Toronto’s suburbs moving

Interesting stuff about cargo trikes.

The Toronto Public Library’s Ebook Jazz

I have been really digging the Libby app that works with OverDrive, which is the ebook system that the TPL uses (as do many libraries). It’s a well done app that works great on phone and iPad reading-wise. On the down side, the system is founded on the artificial scarcity of electronic items, meaning it replicates the “hold” system of physical books – as usual, this is so someone can monetize it. On the plus side, free books! You just have to wait a little, or a lot, depending on what you want. But really, there are always some great, obscure books to be found that have no wait at all. The app also handles audiobooks and I’ve made use of that during this pat leave, taking long walks with the baby in the frigid Canadian winter listening to the icy tales of a doomed arctic expedition. As one does.

There is also a magazine service that uses an app called RBDigital which is not good. It works though, and it means you get pretty much any magazine you want, for free. Furthermore with your TPL card you also get free streaming access to the Criterion Collection, along with many other things I haven’t tried yet – see all of them here. If you live in Toronto you should check it out.

How A Player In The Trump-Russia Scandal Led A Double Life As An American Spy

Trump-Russia enthusiasts will recognize Felix Sater, and he’s talking!