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Toronto's The Weather Station gets a nod on NPR's World Cafe

Rising Toronto singer-songwriter, Tamara Lindeman (aka The Weather Station) has caught the attention of one of the most widely syndicated public radio music programmes in the US, NPR's World Cafe. 

As the popular programme notes:

The Weather Station is the work of Tamara Lindeman, a Toronto-based singer-songwriter and actress in TV and film. Her third album, Loyalty, examines the many meanings behind its title; it was recorded in a decaying 19th-century mansion in France, where Lindeman played guitar, banjo, keys and vibes.

Hear a bit of The Weather Station's music here
Source: NPR


Ebola research breakthrough at U of T

Groundbreaking work at the University of Toronto on fighting Ebola caught CNN's eye this week.

Research presented this week shows that a combination of three different HIV drugs "does a remarkably good job of fighting Ebola in the laboratory." 

"If it works out, we'll be doing somersaults -- if I knew how to do one -- down the hallways," Dr. Donald Branch, one of the researchers, told the news network.

Researchers elsewhere, including the World Health Organization, were quick to point out that the results were very preliminary, and since the U of T team used a strain of Ebola that doesn't infect humans, their results might not pan out in the real world. However, the team is hoping to get access to samples of live Ebola - kept under high security, for obvious reasons - to pursue their research.

Read the full story here
Source: CNN

"Surveillance" exhibition gives late photographer his due

On the eve of a vote on Bill C51, privacy and surveillance are among the moment's top domestic preoccupations. It'a fitting then that an exhibition at Toronto's Stephen Bulger Gallery with the title, "Surveillance," should be making headlines in the New York Times' "Lens" blog. Though, in this context, the breach of privacy was in service of art rather than data collection. 

The exhibition focuses on the work of Hungarian photographer Andre Kertesz, whose postwar photographs often framed vignettes of rooftops and windows – the views from above that are often overlooked. 

The Times reports:

“Surveillance is a technique he used,” said Robert Gurbo, curator of the Estate of Andre Kertesz, who worked with Mr. Bulger on the exhibit. “While the pictures are somewhat voyeuristic, they are really about observing intimacy.”

Read the full article here. 
Source: New York Times. 

Toronto is the world's epicentre for luxury real estate

Toronto is the world's top paradise for real estate-savvy billionaires. 

A report released by Christie's international real estate group shows that the city experienced a 37 percent increase in the sale of luxury penthouses, apartments and houses in the 12 months to the end of December 2014, leaving markets like San Francisco, Dubai and Hong Kong in the dust. 

Dan Conn of Christie's told the Telegraph:

“This was Toronto’s second best year on record, but it wasn’t just a function of supply and demand. This is one of the most stable financial and governmental systems in the world. It’s the major economic hub in Canada, with a net influx of people and an incredible rate of growth. The perception is it’s a safe place to invest, still relatively cheap, with an attractive rate of return.”

Read the full story here
Source: The Telegraph. 

Men in heels are coming to town

Who ever said men shouldn't wear heels?

A forthcoming exhibition at the Bata Shoe Museum, "Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels,"  looks at men's footwear from 1800s to now, and will include shoes worn by the likes of both John Lennon and Elton John. 

Read the full story here
Source: Washington Post


TIFF to premiere television roster

This year, the Toronto International Film Festival will be combatting diminishing crowds with a "Primetime" section that will premiere up to six television programs, to coincide with fall network television premieres. The Los Angeles Times reports: 

The festival didn’t say what kind of shows it would make available -- but it did note that they would be the best in international television. Given how many filmmakers work in television, it’s certainly a natural fit from a creator standpoint, as artistic director Cameron Bailey noted in a statement.

Read the full story here
Source: Los Angeles Times

Blackberry to offer security features to a variety of Internet of Things devices

BlackBerry Ltd announced this week that it will be launching a new certificate service to bring its smartphone security calibre to a whole slew of devices.

Reuters reports that the company has already won a contract in Britain to issue certificates for a smart meter initiative that boasts more than 104 smart metres and home energy devices. Reuters continues: "The service will make it much easier for companies rolling out such devices to authenticate and secure them, the company said." 

Read the full story here
Source: The New York Times. 

Toronto's Sim Bhullar becomes first NBA draft of Indian descent

Earlier this month, Toronto's Sim Bhullar became the first NBA player of Indian descent when he was signed for a ten-day contract with the Sacramento Kings. The history-making moment might overshadow Bhullar's chops on the court, but as NBA India writer Karan Madhok noted: “Bhullar's most important mission at first is to make the most of the present moment, to make the most for himself as a lover of basketball, adn for the diaspora of basketball-loving Indians worldwide who'll proudly celebrate every moment with him.”

Read the full article here.
Source: The Diplomat.  

University of Toronto's Citizen Lab identifies Chinese cyberattackers

Last month, a website called Github that programmers around the world rely on to store their source code - the raw ingredient of all software - came under attack from an unknown assailant. For developers who make programs and website that people use every day, the effect was crippling: Without source code, nothing could be done. Now, a University of Toronto-led team finally put a name - and a moniker - to the assailants: Researchers from the Citizen Lab pointed towards a Chinese tool called the “Great Cannon.” 

“The position of the Chinese government is that efforts to serve what it views as hostile content inside China’s borders is a hostile and provocative act that is a threat to its regime stability and ultimately its national security,” Sarah McKune, a senior legal advisor at the Lab, and one of the report’s co-authors, told the New York Times. This is hardly the first time the Citizen Lab has made international news: The lab is already world-famous for tracking down other acts of cyber-espionage, including an attempt to infiltrate government computers belonging to the Dalai Lama.

Read the full story here. 
Source: New York Times

Toronto's underground PATH system is a model for booming cities

At the Guardian, Paul French takes a look at Toronto’s PATH system, which now sprawls under 30 km of downtown streets.

"The explosive growth of Canada’s largest metropolis, evident from a nest of cranes toiling on a skyline where more high-rise towers are under construction than any other North American city, is fuelling expansion of the PATH system in lockstep,” he notes.

However, as much as the system is an engineering wonder, it’s not without its detractors, including residents who ask if it’s sucking street life off the streets, and architects like Jack Diamond who wish it could be a grander, more cohesive affair. Still, change is coming: the newest phases of the PATH are coming out from underground and into airy skywalks, as Toronto’s office core crosses the Gardiner and the railway lands.

Read the whole story here
Source: The Guardian.

Rubicon Project acquires Chango for a cool $122 million


A Toronto advertising technology firm has made a big exit. Chango has been bought by Rubicon Project for $122 million, a deal that’s caught the attention of Wall Street, and signals growing consolidation in the online-advertising space. 

Read the full story here.
Source: New York Times

"Gay sweater" catches worldwide attention for challenging derogatory use of word

A sweater made entirely of hair from gay donors garnered international attention this week.

The “Gay Sweater,” dubbed “the world’s first and only gay object,” was created by the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity ahead of Canadian Fashion Week, in a bid to make people reconsider their use of the word. 

Read the full article here. 
Source: The Daily Mail 

When Toronto made Jenga Famous

Historical fun: The Guardian recounts how an inventor turned the wodden block tower game, Jenga, into a global phenomenon by accidentally getting noticed in a Toronto mall, and becoming a hit in the city’s toy expo in the mid-1980s.

Read more here.
Source: The Guardian.  

Smiley the eyeless service dog warms hearts across the globe

Smiley, a golden retriever born with dwarfism and no eyes, was rescued from a puppy mill by Joanne George nearly a decade ago. Now, he's the star service dog at Training the K9 Way in Stouffville, and making headlines around the world.

His main gig is as a therapy dog in nursing homes and special education classrooms. BuzzFeed reports that, over the course of his life, Smiley has helped hundreds of people. 

What a good, good boy.

Read the full story here. 
Source: BuzzFeed. 

Economist deems Scarborough the "dining capital of the world"

A short article on an American economist's blog has become the talk of the town after asking "Is Scarborough, Ontario the dining capital of the world?"

Wednesday night I was taken on a restaurant tour of Scarborough — four different places — plus rolls from a Sri Lankan locale, consumed in the office of the Dean of UT Scarborough and with the assistance of Peter Loewen.
After that eating, and lots of driving around and looking, I concluded Scarborough is the best ethnic food suburb I have seen in my life, ever, and by an order of magnitude.  I hope you all have the chance to visit Scarborough, Ontario.
If you are wondering where I went, that is beside the point.

Of course, local news outlets had a field day with the attention. But it also gave downtowners a moment of pause, and a double-take at a nearby culinary treasure. 

Read the full article here
Source: Marginal Revolution

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