October 30, 2015

Diversions: October

A selection of essays, articles, and blog posts that inspired me this month.

Trickle Up Economics
I’m not completely convinced that the notion of trickle-up economics would actually work, but I like the concept, and most importantly, I like that people who control large parts of the economy are starting to think about new ways to structure society to help the less privileged.

If The Government Shuts Down, Food Stamps Go With It
One of the things that’s easy to ignore when talking about debates in Congress and the potential shutdown of government because of politicians’ inability to talk to each other in a civil manner is that these actions have a huge impact on everyday people.

A real nation would not let this happen
Our election is over (more thoughts on that here), but it’s still work reading some of the excellent pre-election writing, especially this heartbreaking piece on how Canada treats its aboriginal communities.

London’s subway is recycling power from the wasted energy of braking trains
Fascinating experiment being done by TfL; Would be great to see the TTC here in Toronto doing similar experiments on how to be more energy efficient.

Notes from the Inside of a National Disgrace
The Syrian refugee crisis has been a dominating part of national discourse in Canada recently. (I wrote a little bit about it here, in September.) As a member of a community that was part of a large refugee/migrant influx to Canada, I feel that the discourse around acceptance and welcoming is an important one to be having.

A Matter of Perspective
What happens if you take the shoreline of a lake, cut it, and unfurl it? Beautiful things, as is evident by this map and the methodology behind its creation.

Scurvy Dogs
L has to remind me to make sure I eat fruits and vegetables while she is away so I don’t get scurvy (note: I probably won’t get scurvy), so this comic all about the history of scurvy made me smile and think of her.

How to make Parliament work again
They were written prior to the election, but these thoughts on what can make Canadian government work again, after years of dysfunction, are worth reading now, even though the election is over.

Save for Later
My Instapaper queue (and Medium bookmarks queue) are ever-growing and never-ending. I’m usually not a hoarder, but I wonder what my online saving for later” habits say about my digital personality.

Awesome Places (Arguably) Ruined By Popular Books
When we visited Bali last year, we ended up visiting places that weren’t really captured in the novels and travelogues that glorify the country. (Well, maybe a few places.) It wasn’t a conscious decision, but we ended up choosing to visit places that were quieter, but perfectly to our speed.

Financial Fridays: It’s Financial Suicide To Own A House
For various reasons (which I will get into later), I’ve been thinking a lot about renting versus home ownership lately. I’ve always told myself that home ownership wasn’t for me, but life has a way of making you re-evaluate your long-held beliefs and questioning them and their origins.

Does breaking up with a friend hurt as much as ending a romantic relationship?
I’ve had a few very hard friend breakups in my life, and I’m convinced that the emotional and physical impact of a friendship breakup can be just as bad as a romantic breakup.

Pixar’s Next Short Film Tells the Story of an Indian-American Child
To be honest, I teared up a little watching the short clip from the film; not everyday I see someone with my skin color as the protagonist of an animated film. Representation matters.

Oslo moves to ban cars from city centre within four years
Planning a city around the individual citizen (and the many ways people get around) rather than around an inefficient, polluting machine is a smart move for any urban planner. Waiting for a North American city to start thinking in this way.

Bidding Farewell to the 2015 Blue Jays
Stacey May Fowles captures the wonder of baseball in one succinct sentence: All of a sudden I realized that the real reason I love baseball is because it lets me see people be good to each other.” (The rest of the piece is quite excellent too. What a wonderful baseball season we have had.)

I Am Groomzilla
One week until our wedding day, and while I won’t call myself groomzilla, I have been making a more decisions and doing more work than most people jokingly tell me a groom should do. Maybe I’m a control freak? Most likely I’m just so super excited to be getting married to L that I want to enjoy every minute of the planning.