Talking about history

If you check out the Events page (or the sidebar) you'll see a new event has been scheduled for the Guelph Public Library (Main Branch) on April 16. You'll find more information here.

I had the opportunity to speak at the University of Toronto on Wednesday. Thanks to all who came out - the post-talk discussion was excellent. Special thanks to the UTSU Sustainability Commissioner, Riley McCullough, for taking the lead in organizing this event.

The First Green Wave 2015 Book Tour

If you take a look at the Events section  - or the sidebar - you'll see the first few dates have been confirmed for the upcoming First Green Wave book tour. Fittingly, given the subject matter, the tour begins with an event at the University of Toronto, and ends on Earth Day with a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session. Events have been confirmed for Toronto and London, and I'm working to add dates in Ottawa, Peterborough, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, and Hamilton. 

Any suggestions for additional venues/towns that I should add to the schedule? Send me an email with your suggestions and I'll look into it.

That's What He Read (Sunday Links)

Every Sunday (or thereabouts) I share some of my favorite stories that I came across in the preceding week. There's no common theme (at least not that I can discern) beyond the fact that I found them all to be interesting.

Jeff Ruby, "What About Bob?" Chicago, 22 January 2015.

  • Bob Odenkirk is wonderful. Is the world finally getting around to realizing this? (It appears the answer is "yes.")

Christopher D. Lewis, "The Thin Blue Line, Then and Now." The Walrus, 29 January 2015.

  • A former OPP Commissioner shares his perspective on "mission creep" within Canadian police forces.

Coral Davenport and Marjorie Connelly, "Most Republicans Say They Back Climate Action, Poll Finds." New York Times, 30 January 2015.

  • "In a finding that could have implications for the 2016 presidential campaign, the poll also found that two-thirds of Americans said they were more likely to vote for political candidates who campaign on fighting climate change."

Joe Pinsker, "Why Can't Public Transit Be Free?" The Atlantic, 29 January 2015.

  • "Perhaps the cost of public transportation shouldn't be looked at from an angle of reducing traffic and emissions .... Maybe free public transit should be thought of not as a behavioral instrument, but as a right; poorer citizens have just as much of a privilege to get around conveniently as wealthier ones."

Review of The First Green Wave in Blacklock's Reporter

Blacklock's Reporter, an electronic daily covering bills and regulations on Parliament Hill, has published a review of The First Green Wave. You can read the review here.

For those of you who may not have heard of Blacklock's Reporter, it is a prime example of the new media at work in Canada. It eschews advertisements in favour of a subscription model, catering to those that want in-depth coverage of the the mechanics of government. (Their motto is "Minding Ottawa's Business.") For more information, you can check out Jesse Brown's interview with managing Tom Korski here.

PLEASE feed the bears!

Do you like black bears? If the answer is "yes" and you've figured out a way to bend time and space, go check out Jasper National Park in Alberta. According to a 1938 booklet published by the Department of Mines and Resources, it was a great place to get up close and take photographs of wild creatures. As was noted,

the most energetic camera enthusiast will never tire of photographing the more domesticated animals which frequent the haunts of man in Jasper Park -- particularly the black bear, which are so tame that they almost seem to understand the business of having their picture taken and strike awkward and amusing poses when encountered.

The bears weren't the only animals that tourists were promised close and ready access to.

Almost equally willing to oblige camera men are the deer which may be found around Jasper town, on camp site and golf course, while other smaller animals, also tamed by the constant association with unarmed humans, make splendid camera studies.
black bear, Jasper National Park 1938 booklet.jpg

And yes, this picture from the same booklet features a small child feeding a young black bear.

Needless to say, such behaviour is no longer considered acceptable in Canada's National Parks. That said, I'm not sure when the change in policy took effect. Do you happen to know anything about this? If so, please feel free to leave a note in the comments section below. (Thanks!)