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Weekend Reading and Entertainment: 10/18/09

Here are some good stories I’ve come across in the past week.

– The great Barbara Ehrenreich writes about Americans’ eternal optimism.

– A great photo essay by Peter Van Agtmael about his time with a Marine unit in Afghanistan, titled ‘Two Weeks in Forever‘.

– More photos: A Corbis Images gallery to mark the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall falling.

– In the Globe & Mail, Lawrence Martin writes about Canadian foreign policy in his piece ‘Canada Used to Be the One with the Global Conscience‘.

– Roger Martin’s cover story in the new issue of The Walrus, ‘Who Killed Canada’s Education Advantage?‘, is a must read.

– The new blog ED-Vocate, by Edmonton educator and activist Susan O’Neil, has some interesting stuff about education and budget cuts.

– I’m excited for the release of ‘SuperFreakonomics‘ on Tuesday, though this piece points to some problems in their section on global warming. Ezra Klein has more criticism here.
(Update: Stephen Dubner responds to criticisms)

– Recommended to me, and on my to-do list today is to read Lawrence Lessig’s essay “Against Transparency, the Perils of Openness in Governmentt”.

Enjoy your Sunday.


Weekend Reading and Entertainment: 10/12/09

So I’m a little late with this, but I’ve been busy watching baseball playoffs and preparing a turkey dinner (while watching baseball playoffs) instead of scouring the internet for interesting stories. But, it’s Thanksgiving in Canada, so the holiday extends the weekend into today. If you have some time, here are a few things to take a look at.

To Watch:
ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary series launched last week. The first episode, titled “Kings Ransom”, is about the trade that sent Wayne Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings. For the time being at least, it’s available to watch on the Kings’ website. It’s about 50 minutes long; I watched it this morning and it’s a fascinating, well-done piece. I cannot recommend it enough.

To Read:
– An interesting piece about Michigan’s efforts to build a green manufacturing base.

Chris LaBossiere proposes a new model for journalism, the accountability trust.

Kevin Kuchinski takes on several of the myths surrounding the benefits of local food.

– This story makes a compelling case for working less (but also working smarter). There’s some merit to it. Speaking from personal experience, my best ideas rarely come to me when I’m sitting at my desk.

– David Jacobson, the United States’ Ambassador to Canada, has started a blog. So far, it’s pretty interesting to read.

– Alberta Health Services is looking into the effects of sprawl on health.

– A few of my friends are involved in a club at the University of Alberta called Students Against Global Apathy (SAGA). There’s a great writeup about the group in today’s Edmonton Journal.

Happy thanksgiving. Regular blogging to resume tonight or tomorrow.

Weekend Reading and Entertainment: 09/18/09

Some things to read/watch/listen to this weekend:

To Read:
– Busy week on the blog. I wrote about the Wildrose Alliance Party leadership forum, as well as their by-election win. I also wrote a post marking the 25th anniversary of Brian Mulroney becoming Prime Minister.
– From the blog Intempestif, a great piece about the problems with negative campaigning. (note: it’s in French)
– From rabble.ca, a good piece arguing in favour of an immediate election in Canada.
– Also making an argument for an election now is Danielle Takacs. She made arguments both for the election and for why it makes sense for the NDP right now.
– If you missed Paula Simons’ piece in the Edmonton Journal about the idea of a downtown arena, make sure you give it a read.
– The latest issue of The Walrus is out. My issue arrived late last week, but I haven’t had time to read it yet. I will be reading Chris Turner’s cover story for sure.
– Also arriving in the mail and on my to-read list this weekend: Maisonneuve magazine. Check it out online or get the full thing on newsstands.
– Dr. Eric Hoskins won the by-election in the Ontario provincial riding of St. Paul. As the co-founder of War Child Canada, he has a fascinating life story, and is worth reading about. As Calgary Grit said, we need more people like him involved in politics.

To Watch:
– I enjoy a self-depricating Jack Layton than I do most of the other Jack Laytons I’ve seen.

To Listen To:
– I’m really liking the Pete Yorn/Scarlet Johansson album ‘Break-Up’, which was released on Tuesday.
– Julian Casablancas of The Strokes has an upcoming solo album. From that album, you can listen to his song “11th Dimension“.
– My friend Sarah is gearing up to release her debut album. You can listen to a few tracks at Sarah Cole Music.

Enjoy the weekend.

Weekend Reading and Entertainment: 08/29/09

While I work on a few upcoming blog posts, here is a collection of stories I’ve come across over the past little while:

– I wrote about the Pete Yorn show I saw in Seattle last week.
– Richard Florida always tweets interesting stuff. This week he posted stories about the vision of former New York City Mayor John Lindsay, a list of proposed high-speed rail projects in the US, and a 100 year old walkable, transit-oriented community.
– In the province of Alberta, where I live, we’ve gone from record surpluses to a record deficit. Daveberta has a good take on the situation.
– Third Eye Blind, one of my favourite bands from my teen years, is riding another crest of popularity.
– My friend Andy Grabia is blogging again, both on his own site and on The Battle of Alberta. On the former he has a great story about changes at the University of Alberta, and on the latter he’s asking tough questions about the proposed new hockey arena in Edmonton.
– Sort of funny, and more than a little awkward. Deadspin covers the issue of groupies at the Little League World Series.

Finally, like many I was saddened to hear about Senator Ted Kennedy’s passing. I haven’t read a lot of the coverage yet, but there are two pieces I have been told are must-reads: the Boston Globe 7-part series, and Michael Kelly’s 1990 GQ piece. I also enjoyed this New York Times piece about his relationship with his second wife, Victoria.

Enjoy your weekend.

Weekend Reading and Entertainment: 08/07/09

Here is a collection of links to interesting items I’ve seen over the past week, many of which I tweeted about.

– My four part blog series covering the Global Youth Assembly, along with my Flickr set.
– A new report produced by Accenture called Web 2.0 Collaboration Tools for the Next Generation of Public Service.
– A great interview from the Financial Times with Rory Stewart, Director of the Carr Centre for Human Rights at Harvard. Also, for any readers fluent in French, his interview in the current edition of L’actualitĂ© is a must read.
– The Canwest Papers ran a five-part series titled ‘The Next Spike’, about the prospects of high-speed rail in Canada.
– It’s Edmonton Folk Fest this weekend! I’ll be there Saturday afternoon to see Joel Plaskett, and might be around for part of Friday night as well. Sandra Sperounes has a good review of Wednesday’s show with Sarah McLachlan and Tracy Chapman. Hopefully she’ll have more coverage as the week goes along. If we’re really lucky, maybe Andy Grabia will resurrect his Folk Fest blog.
– Video of Mos Def covering Billie Jean. He even moonwalks at the end!
– Finally, in memory of John Hughes, if you haven’t watched the video montage set to “Baba O’Riley”, here it is. I love his movies; especially Christmas Vacation. My dad and I (and often other family members as well) still watch it every Christmas.

Enjoy the weekend; I’ll have a new posts in the next few days about my trip to the Glenbow and Edmonton Folk Fest.