Monday June 27, 2016
Speedball was never a prominent character, I think, but he was around. He was a cheery hero of the 1980s, an energetic teenager whose superpower--an ability to harness and transmit kinetic energy--lent itself to cheeriness. He literally bounced around, he and his cat Niels. They were light-hearted fun personified.
Civil War did poorly by him. Baldwin was the only survivor of the initial trigger of Civil War, a fight between Speedball's team of heroes and a team of villains for a reality television show that went wrong one when of the villains blew up a good-sized chunk of a New England town. Cheery no more, Baldwin went on to become a grimdark hero, one who tapped his energies through pain, commissioning the construction of a suit of armor lined with pins that would release this pain whenever he bumped into these prickly spikes. He was now known as Penance, determined to pay for his sins.
It's at this interval that Doreen Green, the mutant known as Squirrel Girl encountered him. A nigh-invincible breaker of the fourth wall who has in 2016 now sustains her own popular book, Squirrel Girl happened to have a crush on Speedball. She was crushed to learn, via Deadpool, what had happened to the jaunty young man she wanted. She rushed to try to save him, to try to convince him that he had made a mistake. What happened next was described by Brian Cronin at Comic Book Resources back in 2011 with the help of two pages.
There is, as Cronin noted, a meta-message behind this. We the readers can be pretty secure in believing that Dan Slott, author of these pages, found the shift from Speedball to Penance ludicrous. Why is the grim and dark Penance a more appealing version of Robbie Baldwin than Speedball, however chastened by the terrible events of his recent past? How can something so (Is the Penance suit even survivable for the wearer?) Why did Marvel's editors OK this over-the-top version of a character who, frankly, couldn't stand this sort of transformation? It just did not make sense. Indeed, after Slott's story got published, Marvel drew back significantly from Penance and restored a version of Robbie Baldwin that was not nonsensically melodramatic.
In comics, so as in life. Should we not all be wary of people who insist that only the grim and the dark, only hopelessness and despair, have any meaning or have the most meaning? Why not light? We could all do well to learn from Squirrel Girl's pragmatism.
Purple is the predominent colour but lupins but comes in several colours and shades.
The closed road meant we had to turn off Route 360. The detour took us through Scottsburg, which seemed less a town and more a random collection of rather dispersed but also rather nice houses. No people were out and about, unsurprisingly. We turned down another road, navigating our way around felled branches and trees, when we saw the only sign of the election thus far this trip:
We got back on Route 360, which took us to our destination: South Boston, Virginia. How could we not stop in Southie? Well, South Boston turns out to be a surprisingly pleasant town. In fact, it seemed almost near perfect for a small town.
I say surprisingly, because most of the small towns that I have visited in further south, in Alabama and Georgia, have been dumps. They might have been cute once, but the automobile sucked the life out of their centers, quite literally demolishing many of the buildings to make way for parking. In some the outskirts are relatively prosperous, if generic sprawl; but in many the outskirts are also suffering. The strip malls are often filled with a collection of check-cashing places and consignment stores, interspersed with churches and (in South Carolina) adult stores. They are, in general, sobering places to visit.
South Boston is not one of these towns. There's more, including photos.
Austin Clarke, the acclaimed Toronto-based novelist of books such as the 2002 Giller Prize-winning The Polished Hoe, died early Sunday morning after a long illness. He was 81.
Clarke’s passing was confirmed by Patrick Crean, his long-time friend and former publisher. He is survived by four daughters, a son and his former wife, Betty.
Clarke, who was born in Barbados, moved to Toronto in 1955 to study at the University of Toronto. A handful of brief digressions aside, he never left, evolving here into a frank and forthright literary voice and a champion of black rights.
But he was leery of taking Canadian citizenship, acquiring it only in 1981, explaining later that “I was not keen on becoming a citizen of a society that regarded me as less than a human being.”
Indeed, Clarke’s observations of the splintering of Canadian society in the ’50s and ’60s gave voice to a new version of a country in its earliest stages of becoming.
The popular “Toronto” sign will light up Nathan Phillips Square until at least autumn, but hopes for a smaller mobile “T.O.” sign have gone dim.
The city’s economic development committee voted Wednesday to have city staff take another look at the request for $150,000 to maintain the illuminated 3-D sign, improve the lighting and study the idea of the smaller, two-letter sign that would move to special events around the city.
But, while telling staff to “fine-tune” the request and report back Oct. 24, the councillors said to forget about the proposed mobile sign that might have cost about $200,000.
Councillor Norm Kelly compared the TORONTO sign, installed as a temporary Pan Am Games celebration feature, and left in place after it became a hit with photo-snapping visitors, to the CN Tower as an “iconic statement.”
“I think that we would be penny-wise, pound-foolish if we did not appreciate the importance of that sign in marketing the Toronto brand in the 21st century,” he said. “The mobile sign — nice to have, but it's not an imperative.”
Every day, I spend nearly four hours on the TTC. I’m from the east end and I work in west end, and travel is about two hours one way. Being underground for such a long time complicates a lot of my everyday functioning. I can’t eat, drink, or nap on the subway without a high level of anxiety. It’s grim and gloomy down there. Sometimes, I feel like I’m being buried alive in a mobile cemetery because I’m exhausted from the confinement.
Public transit has always been a hot topic for debate among politicians, media pundits, advocates, and commuters like me. But left out of most conversations has been the impact the TTC has on the mental health of Torontonians—especially those from low-income neighbourhoods with long commutes.
Long commutes are unfortunately a commonality that many people who live in the suburbs have learned to accept and endure. A poll conducted by Forum Research in 2013 found residents of Scarborough have an average commute length of 49 minutes. By comparison, those who live in the City have an average commute of 39 minutes. Six out of 10 surveyed in this poll of more than 1,500 residents said their quality of life—that is, time spent with family, going to the gym, and relaxing—was reduced as a result of their commute.
Wendy Le, a first-year university student who lives in the western part of North York, has a commute of up to two hours as she often travels downtown and to Scarborough for school. As a result of her commute and school schedule, Wendy doesn’t participate in extracurricular activities.
“The exhaustion I feel after some morning commutes affects me because there are a lot of things to tackle during the day, and that requires energy and concentration…[with my] commute, the quality of [my school work] gets compromised,” she explains.
Toronto’s Hot Docs film festival is becoming the master of its own domain, announcing on Thursday morning that a large charitable gift had enabled it to buy the Annex neighbourhood cinema it has long called home.
The $4-million donation from the Rogers Foundation will see the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema renamed the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.
The former repertory cinema had been the festival’s on-and-off home base for many years until 2012, when Blue Ice Group, a Toronto-based film and TV production and distribution outfit, purchased, renovated and then leased it to Hot Docs on what were described as generous terms.
At a press conference on Thursday, Hot Docs president Chris McDonald praised Blue Ice co-founder Neil Tabatznik for his stewardship. “Developers had their eyes on this property for years, and Neil saved it from becoming a big-box store,” he said. “The Tabatzniks and the Rogers are the Medicis of the documentary renaissance in Canada.”
In a later interview with The Globe, McDonald explained that the purchase “gives us a permanent home, and further guarantees that this will remain a) a cinema; and b) a documentary cinema long past all of our lives. We are now in control of our fate and our future.”
“Meet me under the clock”—for several decades, it was the slogan of the St. Charles Tavern. While it began in the early 1950s as a cocktail lounge owned by a prominent local horse breeder, the St. Charles gradually became one of the city’s most prominent gay bars, thanks to a combination of location and unintended consequences of Ontario’s liquor laws.
The clock tower above 484-488 Yonge was built as part of Fire Hall Number Three, which operated from the early 1870s until a new hall was erected on Grosvenor Street during the 1920s. Many tenants filled the space over the next three decades, including a bicycle shop, and a succession of car dealers who sold North American (GM, Kaiser, Hudson) and British (Austin, Morris) vehicles.
Among the most newsworthy incidents during this period was a fire which struck the second floor Metropolitan Gallery of Fine Arts in January 1940. The blaze damaged several paintings which, ironically, were brought from Europe to prevent damage during the Second World War. Among the major losses was 17th century Dutch painter Ferdinand Bol’s “Handwriting on the Wall.”
The site soon caught the eye of Charles Hemstead. From a childhood stint as a newsboy at Bathurst and King, Hemstead built a fortune on real estate investments, including several downtown hotels and taverns. Horses were his passion, as he operated several breeding farms which produced prize-winning stallions at several country fairs. Hemstead’s most notable horse was Paolita, who beat the longest odds in two decades to win the 1943 King’s Plate (currently the Queen’s Plate). Paolita was such a long shot that $2 bets paid out $76.50.
I’ve been on something of a notebook-marking tear this week. Every once in a while I remind myself that it’s possible to actually make your own notebooks – it comes as a surprise to me every time!
This time around it’s all by way of beta-testing perfect-binding approach for my book of klischees: I’m experimenting with glue and covers and using ribbons and string as bound-in bookmarks.
For today’s project I took 20 sheets of letter-sized paper and cut them in half, and then folded each each into a signature for the notebook; I stacked the signatures together into a text block, added some end papers, clamped the result in a book press, and glued the spine with white glue (three coats).
For the cover I used an old issue of Volume magazine: I cut off its back cover, sized it to the book, and glued it – and a string for the bookmark — to the text block.
- A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
- Acts of Volition
- Aiken House & Gardens
- An Island Walk
- Aquilium Group Inc.
- Brackley Drive-in Theatre
- Casa Mia Daily Specials
- CEO Blues
- Changing Trains
- Charlottetown Police News Releases
- Charlottetown Police Police Reports
- Charlottetown Police Public Announcements
- City of Charlottetown
- Doc Grimes Clinic
- E.T. Concentrators Car Club (Pex MacKay)
- EdTechTalk (Dave Cormier)
- Environment Canada Weather Alert
- Food Matters (Ian Petrie)
- Gail and Greta's Adventures
- Gen X at 40
- Goats' Notes
- Government of Prince Edward top news stories
- greenspree.ca (Andy Collier)
- I Do Cake Toppers
- I Used to be on TV (Jeff Hutcheson)
- In Other Words...
- Island Girl's Ink
- Island Musings
- Island Tweethearts
- Jobo Designs
- John Cairns Blog
- Journal-Pioneer Arts
- Journal-Pioneer Business
- Journal-Pioneer Living
- Journal-Pioneer Local
- Journal-Pioneer Opinion
- Journal-Pioneer Sports
- Journal-Pioneer Travel
- kuhlschrank.com (Andrea Vail)
- Life a la jen mac
- Life on a Canadian Island
- Living in the Shadows in Prince Edward Island
- Lot 65
- Matt Campbell
- Misfortune Cookie
- Modern Jane
- Moving from Toronto to PEI
- Mussel Beach
- My Island Bistro Kitchen
- My Island Farmhouse
- My Way
- nathan rochford:blog
- New Glasgow Lobster Suppers
- NJN Network
- Ooka Island
- Pedaling PEI
- PEI Beer Guy
- PEI Curmudgeon's Blog
- PEI History Guy
- PEI Poet Laureate
- PEI Renewable Energy - 100% Renewable Island is possible - Blog
- PEI Rink Fries - Who has the best?
- PEIBlog.ca - Need peace? Go East!
- PEIinfo.ca | New Topics
- Positive Change Nutrition (Rachelle Wood)
- Riki's Misadventures At Life
- Robert Paterson's Weblog
- Rose Chintz Cottage
- ruk.ca from peter rukavina
- ScrapBooking & WireWrapping SeaGlass
- ScreenScape Official News
- Sean Casey
- Shizamo FEED
- Simplify & Save - Blog Save & Simplify
- Socialwrite (Jevon MacDonald)
- Tachyon City (Nathan Shumate)
- The Annekenstein Monster
- The Dominee Huisvrouw
- The Guardian - Arts
- The Guardian - Between the lines -- Ryan Ross
- The Guardian - Between the lines -- Teresa Wright
- The Guardian - Business
- The Guardian - Living
- The Guardian - Local News
- The Guardian - Opinion
- The Guardian - Sports
- The Guardian - Travel
- The Monkey Rodeo
- The Witch's Island
- The Writing On The Wall
- tomato transplants
- Tonight at City Cinema
- Weather for Charlottetown from the Weather Network
- Welcome PEI!
- Will Pate's blog
- Women's Equality PEI
- ~ Denise of Ingleside ~