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Friday, January 31, 2014

Rick Salutin: Medium for Pete Seeger's message was the singalong (in The Toronto Star)

"[Pete Seeger]  was essentially a figure in the Oral Tradition, versus most musicians who belong to the Written Tradition in the sense that their music is edited, perfected and sent one-way to audiences. They’re part of a print approach although they use recorded sounds instead of words on pages. Even on his recordings, Seeger strove to capture the ambience of interaction.

"This is especially subversive in the concert context because it breaks down the cash nexus. You pay to go but you perform....

"“I’ve never sung anywhere without giving the people listening to me a chance to join in,” said Seeger: “as a kid, as a lefty, as a man touring the U.S.A. and the world, as an oldster. I guess it’s kind of a religion with me. Participation. That’s what’s going to save the human race.” You could say the singalong was a metaphor for all that, though you could also say the singalong came first in his life (as son of a musicologist) which extended outward and took in politics."

Medium for Pete Seeger's message was the singalong: Salutin | Toronto Star

Friday, January 24, 2014

Rick Salutin: Harper's fawning over Israel was unseemly (in The Toronto Star)

"... it didn’t embarrass me as a Jew, which I’d thought it might; it embarrassed me as a Canadian. It was so unrestrained and disproportionate. It’s unseemly to go so gaga for another country.

"I don’t think at the height of the Cold War, Canada ever put on such a show of adoration for the U.S.; I doubt it did for Britain in Empire days....

"Canadians would never do stuff this garish at home (think of Chris Hadfield’s dignified “O Canada” at the last Leafs-Canadiens game) but they go to a foreign place and let it hang out like cheerleaders at a Texas high school football game."

Harper's fawning over Israel was unseemly: Salutin | Toronto Star

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Stephen Harper should take economics lesson from Henry Ford (in The Toronto Star)

Toby Sanger:

"A century ago, the trail-blazing automaker proved the benefits of paying a fair wage. It’s a lesson our prime minister ought to learn."

Stephen Harper should take economics lesson from Henry Ford | Toronto Star

Toby Sanger is the economist for the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Twitter: @toby_sanger.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Canadian would-be astronauts in line to colonize Mars (in The Toronto Star)

"[Stephen] Fenech, who has travelled to Antarctica and the middle of the Sahara desert, is no stranger to isolation and extreme climates. He says he’s not going into this blinded.

"“I know there is risk involved but I’m willing to take that chance because I figure I can leave my own mark on society,” he said."

Canadian would-be astronauts in line to colonize Mars

It's a lot more important than "leaving his mark" on society - this may be the only hope for the species... if they can lick the cosmic ray protection problem...

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Aquaponics brings fish-fuelled vegetables to Toronto (in The Toronto Star)

"Aquaponics operates as a complete ecosystem: Farmer feeds fish, fish poop in water, effluent-rich water is pumped to vegetable roots....

"The do-it-yourself farm — built from an aquarium, a garden trough, a pump and grow lights — only cost her about $300. ...

"Toronto only has two aquaponics farms aside from hobby farms. They are set up in two high schools to teach students about farming.

"But Toronto’s first large-scale commercial aquaponics farm is now in the works, and it is expected to bring fresh, fish-fuelled vegetables to Toronto markets in the new year."

Aquaponics brings fish-fuelled vegetables to Toronto

The way of the future?