Category Archives: International

FDT

Aside from their political analysis, I really enjoy FiveThirtyEight’s other coverage.  Their roots are in statistical analysis of sports and they tend to cover a lot of obscure topics from a statistical perspective.  This article by Allison McCann is a great example of a side project, looking at the relationship between hip-hop and politics from a data perspective.

She includes some cool interactive graphics as well as a searchable database for political references in rap and hip-hop lyrics.  Plus the article showcases a pretty cool video which is easily my favourite political song of the 2016 campaign thus far.

Seth Meyers

As a follow-up to: The Atlantic’s Endorsement of Clinton, I thought I’d share the article that drew me to The Atlantic’s website in the first place about the remarkable rise of Seth Meyers to become the foremost progressive comic satirizing this year’s presidential election.

I’ve not been a huge fan of Meyers until now, he’s certainly a good performer but I’ve not been an avid SNL watcher for a long time so I missed most of his heydey.  But this year he has really done an incredibly job mocking Trump in his own unique style.

The Atlantic: Why Seth Meyers Can’t Get Enough of Trump — The Late Night host discusses the pleasures of satirizing the presumptive GOP nominee and the rise of topical humor on his show.


Frontline: Policing the Police

I just finished watching this excellent Frontline doc by Jelani Cobb called Policing the Police. I think it’s one of the most interesting and even handed overview of race and policing in the United States that I’ve ever seen.  It’s got a very strong thesis, but I think it provides a very evenhanded view of the situation from all sides.

Cobb goes on the streets in Newark with the police and with activists and you get to see through the camera what the situation looks like for many parties.

It’s one of the best episodes of Frontline I’ve seen in a while and definitely worth watching.  Best of all it’s not geofenced in Canada!

The End of the Arctic

It’s a somewhat breathless title, but I understand why the producers chose it since we are all unwitting witnesses to the end of a lot of cultural practices and the quite sudden destruction of an ecosystem that humans have been living on for thousands of years.

I’m not going to opine on the particulars since this is a set of issues that I’m just learning more about myself.  I think it would be a good thing if a lot more Canadians in the South watched this video.  It’s put together by the guys who run the AsapSCIENCE channel, though they’ve chosen to keep this video separate from their primary content which is a general science education channel and doesn’t usually delve into political issues.

It’s essentially about climate change and how it’s already beginning to seriously impact Inuit people, which most Canadians should already be aware are one of the most marginalized and most poorly served communities in the entire country.  It has been produced in collaboration with Greenpeace, but don’t let that scare you off, if they did have a say in the production it was a very light touch and regardless of the conclusions or the call to action, the video itself helps to build more knowledge on the topic.

The short documentary is a deep background to a video featuring Bill Nye on as part of their normal science topics discussing Arctic ice melting as it relates to climate change and changes in the Arctic Ocean basin.  It’s also a good watch.

If you’re interested in signing the petition mentioned in the documentary it can be found on the Greenpeace website here.

NHK World On Demand Sumo

Starting with this month’s tournament in Nagoya there is now an English language official web broadcast courtesy of NHK.  This seems to be an experiment, so I’m hoping that they decide it’s successful.  The quality of the programme is fantastic and as much as I’d like to see a bit more of the ring entering ceremonies and so on, I’m pretty impressed nonetheless.

You can check it out here, and if you’re a sumo fan who speaks English I really encourage you to!

Also, if you’re interested in more coverage, I suggest you to check out Jason’s All-Sumo channel on YouTube.  He’s got great coverage of the domestic broadcasts in Japan and is just doing it because he loves the sport not to mention he seems like a nice guy!

Couple Things…

Thus far the visit to NY for AES has been way busier than I expected, which is nice in a way since I always find business trips a bit weird when I have too much free time. They’re sort of like a break but you’re on the clock so you don’t ever really relax and away from all your normal break time activities.

The panels for AES basically go from 09:00-18:00 or so non-stop, so by the time I’m done it’s been a long day and it’s too dark this time of year to take a lot of photos with the gear I brought for the trip.

But I had a very curious experience, I decided to grab some take out for dinner on my way back to the hotel since I skipped lunch.  When I went to pay, the sweet young woman at the counter apologized quite profusely to me because she didn’t have any singles for change. I thought she was going to give me a fist full of quarters, but instead she handed me four of these mythical Sacagawea coins that Americans seem to loathe so much! I almost felt the need to explain to her why $1 coins are better than bills and that it was no problem, but I decided it wasn’t the time or place in the end.

Coming from the land of the Loonie it was one of those weird little cultural reminders that even though the US is almost Canada in many ways, it’s also strangely different.

Then I walked out of the store and the bag my food was in broke and landed on the sidewalk. But that’s a different story and far less entertaining…

Margot Wallström is Heroic for Speaking the Truth

I came across this article tonight on Reddit.  It’s worth a read, I was unaware of the story.

The Spectator: Sweden’s feminist foreign minister has dared to tell the truth about Saudi Arabia. What happens now concerns us all

It’s a long headline but it certainly doesn’t bury the lede.  I only wish that Canada’s Foreign Minister was of Margot Wallström’s calibre.

Writeup on the Dangers of a Nuclear Meltdown in Japan

I just came across a long writeup regarding the probability of a serious nuclear catastrophe in Japan that might be worth a read.  In my opinion we’re spending a lot of “news” cycles speculating about a situation which poses a small risk instead of focusing on the actual tragedy that has already happened.

If you want to make a donation via the Canadian Red Cross follow this link.