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The Backing Bookworm

These Still Black Waters


After reading and enjoying the prequel The Stranger at Black Lake in the Jess Lambert series, I was eager to jump into this series and requested that my public library buy a copy of this first book.
This story (with its beautifully chilling cover) was a combination of a thriller, characters' dark pasts and unexpected paranormal aspect as two women are forced to confront the pasts that haunt them. 
Neve and her daughter arrive in Black Lake after experiencing a brutal home invasion and they stay in Neve's family's lakeside home where she spent summers as a child. But Black Lake still holds Neve's secrets, and her past comes back to haunt her. Likewise, Detective Jess Lambert has demons of her own she's fighting and when she's put in charge of a murder investigation of Neve's neighbour, the two women's lives collide.
The story is told by the POVs of an unknown narrator, Jess and Neve in alternating chapters which created some repetitiveness in the storytelling. Jess and Neve are flawed main characters and sometimes hard to like. Their life experiences added to the dark feel of the story, but I felt that their voices weren't distinct and often blended together. There is a creepy vibe and a stronger paranormal focus than expected, but I enjoyed the underlying theme of mothers' love for their children and their need to protect them at all costs.  
McDonald has created a mildly sinister small-town feel where secrets have been left to languish and revenge has smoldered. It's a slow burn thriller that took me a bit to get into but if readers are patient, McDonald creates a creepy story of regret, revenge, and consequences that ends with a last minute twist and a culprit I didn't see coming. 

My Rating: 4 starsAuthor: Christina McDonaldGenre: SuspenseSeries: 1st in Jess Lambert seriesType and Source: Trade paperback from public libraryPublisher: Thomas and MercerFirst Published: October 1, 2023

Book Description from GoodReads: Two women struggle toward a dark truth as a killer avenges the sins of the past in a twisting novel of suspense by the USA Today bestselling author of Do No Harm, Behind Every Lie, and The Night Olivia Fell.
After a violent home invasion, Neve Maguire returns with her daughter to Black Lake, her childhood summer home, hoping for a fresh start. But when the body of a woman is found floating among the reeds in the lake behind her house, she fears she has made a horrible mistake.

Neve is hiding secrets, though. Detective Jess Lambert can tell. Recently back after her own personal tragedy, Jess knows what it’s like to live with skeletons in your closet, and she’s sure Neve has a few of her own.

When another woman’s body is found, Jess and Neve are forced to confront a horrible truth. Because one thing is clear: the darkness of the past is waiting. And the secrets of Black Lake are only just beginning to surface.

Elmira Advocate

CANCER TAKES YET ANOTHER VICTIM

 Luekemia this time. Was there an environmental component? Possibly to probably but it may have been more work related than the usual "Air we breathe, water we drink and food we eat" scenario. Maybe. That's the great excuse for our professional polluters and all their enablers. Most of those enablers are politicians but it includes client driven, well credentialed consultants throwing around junk science and worse, not to put food on the table but to buy cottages, toys and send their kids to prestigious universities etc. Their rallying cry is "science can't prove that!" Kind of similar to the bad old days when we all called cigarettes "cancer sticks" despite science at the time having reservations.

So if we get cancer from work exposures does anyone think that the exposures to toxic air, pesticide laden food and alleged treated water that is barely tested for only a tiny fraction of now ubiquitous chemical contaminants is helpful to our recovery? Or are our environmentally weakened immune systems and health easy pickings  for other health issues that arise? 

Here in Elmira, Ontario, likely similar to the rest of the province/country, our governance is not based upon the public interest but solely upon the interests of those in power at the moment and their financial supporters. Their financial supporters are not you and I but those who are already financially blessed merely looking for more regularly at the expense of the public interest. It's often referred to as externalizing of costs. Uniroyal Chemical is a prime example. They moved to rural Elmira during the Second World War and appropriated the Creek (Canagagigue) running through their property as their personal chemical sewer.  At the same time they indulged in toxic waste disposal in open, unlined pits and ponds on their property which were drained by the groundwater beneath them to the town's two wellfields. The company saved millions and millions of dollars in chemical treatment costs and that resulted in slow poisoning of the entire population thank you very much. 

Our authorities of course have always refused any kind of local health study that could apportion blame onto Uniroyal and corporate successors. Poisoning people is illegal only if you don't have governmental agreement either before, during or afterwards. Then it's O.K. obviously.

 


James Davis Nicoll

Re-Birth / The Chrysalids By John Wyndham

John Wyndham’s 1955 The Chrysalids is a stand-alone post-apocalyptic coming of age novel. The Chrysalids was also published under the title Re-Birth.

David Strorm lives in Waknuk, a thriving backwoods community in Labrador. The Tribulation that erased the Old People and their semi-mythical civilization left much of the world an uninhabitable desolation. Labrador and nearby Newf are exceptions, but even here the Tribulation left a legacy that has shaped the local culture.

Beware spoilers.


Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner starred lemurheavy/coveralls-ruby

♦ brentlintner starred lemurheavy/coveralls-ruby · May 18, 2024 21:02 lemurheavy/coveralls-ruby

Coveralls for Ruby

Ruby 130 Updated Aug 24, 2022


Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner pushed to master in brentlintner/vim-settings

♦ brentlintner pushed to master in brentlintner/vim-settings · May 18, 2024 19:13 1 commit to master
  • 2420d76
    Run ale less

Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner starred i18next/i18next

♦ brentlintner starred i18next/i18next · May 18, 2024 17:34 i18next/i18next

i18next: learn once - translate everywhere

JavaScript 7.4k 3 issues need help Updated May 16


Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner starred jolie/jolie

♦ brentlintner starred jolie/jolie · May 18, 2024 16:56 jolie/jolie

The Jolie programming language

Java 515 Updated May 19


Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner starred pop-os/cosmic-epoch

♦ brentlintner starred pop-os/cosmic-epoch · May 18, 2024 16:55 pop-os/cosmic-epoch

Next generation Cosmic desktop environment

Just 1.5k Updated May 17


Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner starred pop-os/pop

♦ brentlintner starred pop-os/pop · May 18, 2024 16:55 pop-os/pop

A project for managing all Pop!_OS sources

Rust 2.3k 1 issue needs help Updated May 7


Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner starred edfloreshz/cosmic-app-template

♦ brentlintner starred edfloreshz/cosmic-app-template · May 18, 2024 16:54 edfloreshz/cosmic-app-template

A template for COSMIC applications.

Rust 42 Updated May 19


Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner starred elevenhsoft/WebApps

♦ brentlintner starred elevenhsoft/WebApps · May 18, 2024 16:54 elevenhsoft/WebApps

Web applications at your fingertips.

Rust 56 Updated May 19

The Backing Bookworm

If Something Happens To Me


Alex Finlay (author of What Have We Done) is back with a new, twisty thriller!
The Gist - a five-year-old missing person case is reopened when the bodies of two men are found in the car of a missing teen girl at the bottom of a lake. When police find a note from the teen victim saying 'If something happens to me ..' featuring a cipher, new Deputy Sheriff Poppy McGee (great name) investigates.
My Feelings - This slow burn thriller is told using multiple POVs, multiple cities and several subplots. It's an intriguing premise with a lot going on (perhaps a bit too much), making me feel like I was being pulled in every direction.  
There's a large cast of characters from various walks of life (teens, lawyers, police, mobsters, FBI ...) so there's a lot of people to keep track of (see tip below). But if readers are patient, the tension increases, and the pieces come together for a suspenseful read that will take readers on a globetrotting hunt for a murderer.
The addition of a cipher was a cool idea, but I was surprised it didn't play a bigger role. With this puzzle and the multiple locales, I had expected a Dan Brown-ish kind of adventure. There is some adventure, but readers will have to suspend disbelief in this over-the-top and twisty thriller that has a lot going on. I'd recommend reading it just a few sittings to keep all the plot points and characters clear in your mind. 
If you enjoy popcorn thrillers with short chapters that will keep you intrigued, grab If Something Happens To Me when it hits stores May 28, 2024.
Tip for kindle users: when there's a large number of characters, highlight the names of each character as they're introduced so you can go back through your highlights and read the initial descriptions of them
Disclaimer: Thanks to Minotaur Books for the advanced digital copy which was provided in exchange for my honest review.


My Rating: 4 starsAuthor: Alex FinlayGenre: SuspenseType and Source: ebook from publisher via NetGalleyPublisher: Minotaur Books (St Martin's Press)First Published: May 28, 2024

Book Description from GoodReads: For the past five years, Ryan Richardson has relived that terrible night. The car door ripping open. The crushing blow to the head. The hands yanking him from the vehicle. His girlfriend Ali’s piercing scream as she is taken.
With no trace of Ali or the car, a cloud of suspicion hangs over Ryan. But with no proof and a good lawyer, he’s never charged, though that doesn’t matter to the podcasters and internet trolls. Now, Ryan has changed his last name, and entered law school. He's put his past behind him.

Until, on a summer trip abroad to Italy with his law-school classmates, Ryan gets a call from his father: Ali's car has finally been found, submerged in a lake in his hometown. Inside are two dead men and a cryptic note with five words written on the envelope in Ali’s handwriting: If something happens to me…

Then, halfway around the world, the unthinkable happens: Ryan sees the man who has haunted his dreams since that night.

As Ryan races from the rolling hills of Tuscany, to a rural village in the UK, to the glittering streets of Paris in search of the truth, he has no idea that his salvation may lie with a young sheriff’s deputy in Kansas working her first case, and a mobster in Philadelphia who’s experienced tragedy of his own.

In classic Alex Finlay form, If Something Happens to Me is told from several distinct, compelling characters whose paths intersect, detonating into a story of twist after pulse-pounding twist. The story cements Finlay as one of the leading thriller writers today.

Eyedro

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Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner starred awalsh128/cache-apt-pkgs-action

♦ brentlintner starred awalsh128/cache-apt-pkgs-action · May 17, 2024 19:37 awalsh128/cache-apt-pkgs-action

Cache APT packages in GitHub Actions

Shell 175 1 issue needs help Updated Mar 9


Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner starred daaku/gh-action-apt-install

♦ brentlintner starred daaku/gh-action-apt-install · May 17, 2024 19:36 daaku/gh-action-apt-install

Cache apt install in GitHub Actions.

Shell 1 Updated Jan 18


Carrie Snyder: Obscure Canlit Mama

Spring burst

As much as I long to find just a little more rhythm to my writing life, damn but it’s taken the pressure off to work in a school library. Childhood is bursting with magic. To be with kids is to be in the presence of pure creativity. When I was a child, we would visit the Nashville public library for their puppet shows. I remember being utterly entranced by the puppets. How were they speaking? Who was making them move? They seemed real — in some fundamental way, they were real to my imagination.

Now, on a very small scale, I get to participate in magic-making with the children who come into my library — it’s homemade, it’s improvised, it’s nothing fancy, but even the smallest surprise is sufficient to spark delight, curiosity, questions. Children are not fussy; the youngest of them pay the closest attention to the tiniest details. If you’ve ever read a picture book to a group of kindergarteners, you’ve been blessed by the deepest attention you’ll ever hope to receive. “Oh, those aren’t raindrops, those are tadpoles!” “How did Curious George jump higher?” “Why did he let go of the balloons?”

On my story time bulletin board, I add characters or objects from books we’ve read. The seasons change. Nothing is static — things move around. Somehow, it’s more magical because it’s tactile. It isn’t digital. It isn’t online, or on a screen. It’s present with us, to be experienced and observed by all, as we gather in the same moment and place in time and space. We experience it collectively, from our different positions around the room, our different heights and ages. Like the magic of the puppet theatre, I don’t think this is repeatable, really, online. We don’t live solely in our minds; we live in our bodies, as sensory creatures.

In truth, however, my main job in the library is to maintain the collection — a tactile mode of interacting with this most beloved of mediums (beloved to me!): text and illustration bound up in pages. The sensation of handling books affects me similarly to doing a puzzle; it’s soothing and peaceful to create order.

As for the other hours in my days and weeks, I’m currently on a “spring burst.” I’m going to gym regularly to spin, sweat, lift weights, stretch, and take good care of this deep-into-midlife body (and mind). The X Page is entering its final month of preparation (!!): mark your calendars if you’re local. We’ll be performing this season’s stories on Sunday, June 16th at the Registry theatre in downtown Kitchener (more info coming soon). And my writing life is bursting with beautiful blooms too: seeing a dear friend’s book project come to fruition, editing stories, dreaming up a new novel, and more that I’ll share when the time is right.

Come summer, I’ll have a two-month break from the library — writing sabbatical??? And time to repair, restore, relax, too. It’s been very non-stop. I keep thinking I’ll catch up, but there’s no up to be caught. The routine swings round and round.

My instinct is to maximize efficiency on tasks. But more and more, I’m focused on making space to maximize enjoyment, no matter the tasks. What do I love doing? Mostly, really simple things that are easy to call forth, that don’t require a lot of extra planning or resources. I love sweating and the rush of endorphins. I love meeting new people and diving in deep. I love collaborating, learning new skills, appreciating the strengths and techniques and wisdom that others bring. I love grappling with text, creating narrative sequences on both the macro and micro scale that maximize pleasure for an audience. I love eating supper with my family and hearing about their days. I love stopping to smell blossoms on trees. I love blasting songs on the radio when I’m driving alone. I love making magic — out-of-time experiences, opportunities for surprise — through the simplest means possible: a drawing, a story, a group exercise. I love taking care of people. I love cooking (but only when I’m not rushing). I love being outdoors, walking, biking, running. I love creating order out of chaos. I love living in my imagination, in my many imaginary worlds. I love to dream.

Nothing is ideal. I love that too, the reassurance of it. I mutter this phrase to myself a lot — “This is not ideal!” —- and not negatively, but encouragingly. I mean it as a form of freedom. Nothing about this is ideal. (And it does not need to be.) This thing you’re doing, this thing you’re creating, this solution, this story, this hard conversation — whatever it may be — you’re doing it to the best of your abilities; be reassured. There are many possibilities, many directions, many discoveries, of which you will try one and then another and another, testing things out forever and ever, amen.

xo, Carrie


Grand River Rocks Climbing Gym

May Sale

The post May Sale appeared first on Grand River Rocks Climbing Gym.


Grand River Rocks Climbing Gym

May Sale

The post May Sale appeared first on Grand River Rocks Climbing Gym.


Code Like a Girl

Find Humanity, and Other Actions for Allies

Each week, Karen Catlin shares five simple actions to create a more inclusive workplace and be a better ally.♦1. Find humanity in others

I’ve been nearly silent about Palestine and Israel, and I know many of you are looking for more. When I have written about it, I’ve received feedback of incredible support (“thank you for addressing this”) and deep disappointment (“you’re not doing nearly enough”). Frankly, I’m struggling with how to be helpful to all of you who subscribe to this newsletter because of our shared goal: to create more inclusive workplaces through everyday acts of allyship.

Yet, I haven’t been ignoring the topic.

One of the seven ally archetypes that I cover in my books is the Scholar. This is someone who does the research to understand issues and challenges. They also share what they’ve learned.

And I’ve been doing research. Having conversations. Reading books and articles. Listening to podcasts. And learning about the rise in antisemitic incidents and anti-Muslim incidents in the US.

One emerging theme in my research is the importance of finding humanity in others. To promote mutual understanding. To find common ground. To respect and learn from each other. At times, to heal together.

An example is what’s happening at the Parents Circle — Families Forum (PCFF), a joint Israeli-Palestinian organization made up of more than 700 families who have lost immediate family members due to the conflict. I learned about it from Brené Brown’s Unlocking Us podcast where she interviewed Ali Abu Awwad and Robi Damelin from PCFF.

The respect they have for each other in their shared hope for long-lasting peace is what we need more of.

When summarizing some of what she heard during the episode, Brown urged listeners “to find not humanity in yourself, but humanity in the people that you were taught, trained … to hate.”

Similarly, in a commencement speech last weekend at Loyola Marymount University, John Legend said, “Class of 2024, how do we engage with complexity? We do it by listening with more humility, listening with more curiosity, listening with more intentionality, listening with more empathy.”

My friends, I encourage you to consider how your workplace could benefit from finding more humanity in colleagues who are Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish, Muslim, and their supporters. Would employees feel a stronger sense of belonging? Would they be in a better situation to do their best work? Would it advance your organization’s mission and values?

If so, there’s work to do. One thing I’m currently doing is taking free courses about bridging as a way to engage with people who are different from us at the Othering & Belonging Institute (OBI) at UC Berkeley.

Do you have other ideas for how allies can find more humanity and listen with more humility and empathy in the workplace? I’d love to learn from you.

Share this action on LinkedIn or on Instagram.

(Many thanks to my friend Julie Kratz who recommended I listen to this Unlocking Us episode and to check out OBI’s courses.)

2. Unpack your privilege

“I can’t give away my privilege. I’ve got it whether I want it or not. What I can do is use my privilege to create change.” — Debbie Irving, in Waking Up White

At its core, privilege is a set of unearned benefits given to people who fit into a specific social group. Due to our race, gender, sexual orientation and identity, financial situation, age, abilities, religion, and more, we have greater or lesser access to resources and social power.

Yet here’s the thing: Privilege is often invisible to those who have it. This means that people can get defensive when someone mentions their privilege.

Having one’s privilege pointed out might feel like the equivalent of being told that one is lazy or lucky — or that one’s life has been easy. Many people (myself included) are quick to respond that they’ve worked hard or had their fair share of difficulties in getting where they are today.

I recently explored privilege in a new season of the Call In podcast focused on allyship.

Take a listen to this first episode, Building Business Excellence: Unpacking “Privilege”, and discover how acknowledging and leveraging privilege can lead to more meaningful allyship and stronger, more inclusive organizations. (It’s less than 6 minutes long.) If you’d like to review the transcript, you can find it below the episode’s show notes.

p.s. In the episode, I reference my list of 50 ways you might have privilege in the workplace. You can download a free one-page version or a large-print version). As you review this list, please note any items that surprise you. Then, consider how not having those privileges might impact how someone experiences the workplace.

3. Create inclusive social media posts

In honor of Global Accessibility Awareness Day that took place on May 16th, let’s review four simple things we can do to promote digital access and inclusion of our social media posts:

  • Avoid excessive emojis. As shared by Accessibility Awareness @A11yAwareness, “On screen readers, emoji descriptors are read aloud. This means that if you use the “Face with tears of joy” emoji 13 times in a row, some people will hear “Face with tears of joy” read aloud 13 times in a row. A good rule is to limit yourself to three emojis per tweet, max.”
  • Don’t use emojis as a replacement for text. In Do emojis and accessibility work together, I learned, “Using just an emoji (and no text) increases the cognitive load for people using assistive technology — because they’re only relying on the alt text that’s being read to them, for their interpretation. Misunderstandings can also lead to people feeling excluded, instead of included, which is contrary to what accessibility aims to achieve.”
  • Describe your photos and images for people using screen readers. I regularly reference this guide on writing meaningful descriptions from the New York City’s Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.
  • Don’t use alternative characters to create bold, italics, or other text treatments for emphasis. Check out this article of examples and the pitfalls of alternative characters from Accessible Social.
4. Send a personalized welcome message

After attending a “Future-proofing Your Workforce” event held by Paradigm IQ, DEI leader Audrey Galo shared some ideas for leveraging the employee onboarding process to foster belonging and inclusion.

One recommendation is to send a personalized welcome message to new hires.

Galo wrote, “Personalized welcome messages from multiple levels across an org ensure a new hire feels valued and visible from the moment they accept an offer.” She also underscored the importance of using the correct pronouns and spelling of someone’s name.

If this isn’t something you’re already doing, consider it as your group onboards the next new employee.

5. Community spotlight: Check your adjectives for bias

This week’s spotlight on an ally action from the Better Allies community comes from a subscriber who is applying allyship to their personal life. They wrote,

“We live in a condo with a pool. One of our neighbors has a son who is Black. He’s the same age as my daughter, and we’d all frequently end up at the pool on hot summer days. I once caught myself describing him as ‘aggressive.’ This is ridiculous as he was a preschooler, and when I realized it, immediately replaced the word with ‘outgoing’ and ‘friendly,’ which is a more accurate description of his countenance. I doubt I would have rethought my language without your newsletter.”

If you’ve taken action to be a better ally, please reply to this email and tell me about it. (I love hearing your stories!) And let me know if I can quote you by name or credit you anonymously in an upcoming newsletter.

That’s all for this week. I wish you strength and safety as we all move forward.

— Karen Catlin (she/her), author of the Better Allies® book series

Copyright © 2024 Karen Catlin. All rights reserved.

Being an ally is a journey. Want to join us?

😍 Follow @BetterAllies on Instagram, Threads, Medium, or X/Twitter. Or follow Karen Catlin on LinkedIn

✉️ This content originally appeared in our newsletter. Subscribe to “5 Ally Actions” to get it delivered to your inbox every Friday

📖 Read the Better Allies books

🔖 Form a Better Allies book club

👕 Get your Better Allies gear

📣 Tell someone about these resources

Together, we can — and will — make a difference with the Better Allies® approach.

♦♦

Find Humanity, and Other Actions for Allies was originally published in Code Like A Girl on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Blog

Waterloo Region Luxury Market Report | May 2024

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The post Waterloo Region Luxury Market Report | May 2024 first appeared on Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Agent - The Deutschmann Team.

The post Waterloo Region Luxury Market Report | May 2024 appeared first on Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Agent - The Deutschmann Team.


Elmira Advocate

WOOLWICH OBSERVER DOES THEIR TINY THING

 O.K. not to be ungrateful but our local newspaper, the Observer, did report, sort of, on my Delegation to Council last Tuesday evening. Now it possibly could be a timing and deadline matter in that I did not send a copy of my written Delegation to them until very early (9 am.?) Wednesday morning and of course their newspaper comes out on Thursdays.

Regardless on page six (Opinion) at the top of the page under  "Verbatim" they have printed the following:


"Woolwich Township's "public consultation" has been shameful for almost nine years now." 

Underneath that sentence they then printed the following:


"Elmira environmentalist  activist Alan Marshall calls on council to improve watchdog efforts, push for heartier cleanup of aquifers."

That's it right there in a nutshell. Now of course I did publish my entire Delegation contents Wednesday here in the Elmira Advocate.  One little reminder that way back in the summer of 2015 when mayor Shantz was trying to sell her idea of bouncing CPAC members, one of her councillors  (Pat Merlihan) publicly referred to her plan of expanding both bureaucratic and politicians involvement versus citizens as being "cringeworthy". 




Code Like a Girl

Speak last. Listen more.

Why Great Leaders Choose to Speak Last

Continue reading on Code Like A Girl »


James Davis Nicoll

Face The Truth / The Truth of the Aleke (Forever Desert, volume 2) By Moses Ose Utomi

The Truth of the Aleke is the second and apparently final volume of Moses Ose Utomi’s secondary-universe fantasy series, Forever Desert.

Thanks to its Peacekeepers and Truthseekers, The City of Truth has withstood the Cult of Tutu’s relentless attacks for centuries. Now, it falls to resolute teenage Junior Peacekeeper Osi to end the conflict.


Elmira Advocate

MY WRITTEN COUNCIL DELEGATION HAS BEEN PASSED ON TO TRAC

Big deal. That's the equivalent of sending a complaint about Donald Trump's admitted behaviour towards women on to "The Donald" himself. Or even better sending it to the local chapter of INCEL's ANONYMOUS who advocate for most things not in womens' interests. 

I was advised by a polite and nice Woolwich employee that she was sorry to hear that I held either Council or TRAC (totally rotten and corrupt) in low esteem. My response was that she would too if she had thirty-five years of dealing with Lanxess, Woolwich , RAC & TAG etc. rather than only five minutes as she is brand new on the file.

I have watched the Woolwich Council video from their website and been impressed with its' sound and quality. If I had a complaint however it is that on camera I appear old hence I'm complaining that the video is just too damn accurate. Briefly I had been advised that part of the video of my Delegation had been omitted when one went directly to You Tube.  I was outraged until I went to check and dang everything was there as in 100%. It turned out to be that the individual who had watched it was briefy interrupted  when she was watching it and that was the issue. 

Now on-line I read that Rogers Broadcasting supposedly either has shown Tuesday night's Woolwich Council meeting or that they will be. I checked my TV Guide for Tuesday night and it states that Rogers were broadcasting Brantford City Council that evening. Hmm maybe then at a future date my Delegation will be shown on Rogers Cable (Stn. #20).

Overall my Tuesday night Delegation is merely another warning shot across the bows of the entrenched political and otherwise groups who have been convinced that lying to the public is just dandy because there are some jobs and some business taxes involved and the unwashed masses have no rights at all except once every four years when they get to choose between bad and worse at the polls.

I know that Public Inquirys are not the end all and the be all but something along those lines is desperately needed here in Elmira, Ontario. People are literally getting sick and dying decades prematurely due to the toxic compounds in the air, water, and soils including NDMA, Dioxins and DDT. 


Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner starred sergey-alekseev/bundler-licensed

♦ brentlintner starred sergey-alekseev/bundler-licensed · May 16, 2024 20:54 sergey-alekseev/bundler-licensed

A bundler hook for github.com/github/licensed

Ruby 11 Updated Jan 4


Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner starred github/setup-licensed

♦ brentlintner starred github/setup-licensed · May 16, 2024 20:54 github/setup-licensed

Set up your GitHub Actions workflow with a specific version of github/licensed

JavaScript 17 1 issue needs help Updated May 13


Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner starred github/licensed-ci

♦ brentlintner starred github/licensed-ci · May 16, 2024 20:54 github/licensed-ci

Update and check cached licenses in a GitHub Actions workflow

JavaScript 35 Updated May 20


Check It Out WPL

Neighbourhood Watch

I just finished Nosy Neighbors by Freya Sampson and it was such a satisfying read. Don’t you love it when that happens? This book hit all the right notes: intriguing plot, engaging characters and an absolute page-turner. It is a crime story mixed with a charming intergenerational friendship.  It echos one of my favourite shows, Only Murders in the Building, so if you are fan of that you might love this book too! 

Dorothy is a feisty 77-year-old woman who has been living at Shelley House, an 1891 apartment building in a small English town, for the past 34 years. She holds down the fort there, doing daily inspections and constantly informing the landlord of all the problems with the building. The apartment is certainly showing its age at this point–in one of Sampson’s amusing details, the sign out front now reads “Hell House,” having lost a few letters…much to Dorothy’s chagrin! Dorothy stands guard at Shelley House and she knows all of the comings and goings of her neighbours but she is definitely not friends with them. No neighbourly chit-chat occurs here unless she has to nag someone about leaving their garbage in the hallway or partying too loud late at night. 

Dorothy’s daily routine of building inspections, neighbour watching and tea drinking had been going along just fine until a new, young (pink haired…again much to Dorothy’s chagrin) woman, named Kat, moves into the building. Kat is also prickly and distant; she keeps to herself and only intends to be at Shelley House for a short time. However, these two crochety apartment dwellers are forced to join forces when a crime occurs in the building and it comes to light that the landlord wants to tear down this heritage home to construct a new condo. Dorothy and Kat must therefore work together to try and save it. 

Sampson writes in such an appealing way, her characters are fully fleshed out and the plot is intriguing, giving us just enough detail and description but never weighing the reader down. It is a fast-paced read, and as Sampson starts to unveil the backstories of the main characters, as well as some of the other neighbours living in the building, you won’t want to put the book down. This book is a mystery of sorts, but also the tale of unlikely friendships and contemporary drama as it tackles issues such as corporate greed and affordable housing. I couldn’t wait to solve the mystery — but more so, I just wanted the chance to sit with these characters longer, especially Dorothy, as she is such a rich, layered and wryly humorous character…in other words a very cool septuagenarian! 

If you enjoy this one, you may want to go back and read Sampson’s first novel, The Last Chance Library. It also takes place in the quaint fictional town of Chalcot and has a lot of the same charm as Nosy Neighbors. 


Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner starred github/licensed

♦ brentlintner starred github/licensed · May 16, 2024 19:59 github/licensed

A Ruby gem to cache and verify the licenses of dependencies

Ruby 972 1 issue needs help Updated May 16


Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner starred aquasecurity/trivy

♦ brentlintner starred aquasecurity/trivy · May 16, 2024 19:36 aquasecurity/trivy

Find vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, secrets, SBOM in containers, Kubernetes, code repositories, clouds and more

Go 21.6k 17 issues need help Updated May 20


Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner starred aquasecurity/trivy

♦ brentlintner starred aquasecurity/trivy · May 16, 2024 18:57 aquasecurity/trivy

Find vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, secrets, SBOM in containers, Kubernetes, code repositories, clouds and more

Go 21.6k 17 issues need help Updated May 20


Github: Brent Litner

brentlintner starred bengadbois/pewpew

♦ brentlintner starred bengadbois/pewpew · May 16, 2024 18:50 bengadbois/pewpew

Flexible HTTP command line stress tester for websites and web services

Go 410 Updated May 18, 2022


Concept UWaterloo

The balancing act: Two graduate students run clean energy startup Swish

Co-founder Miswar Syed reflects how a challenging first winter in Canada reveals a business opportunity 

Student Founder Feature

Miswar Syed was exposed to the promise of clean energy technology early on in his life. Now he is building a career and company out of it. 

“I came across the problem of dust accumulation on solar panels during my time in Saudi Arabia and became interested in how it contributes to loss in efficiency and revenue.”  

Now, Miswar and his co-founder amirhossein boreiri, both graduate students, are making solar panel cleaning methods more affordable and sustainable. 

Swish is building a cost-effective product to clean solar panels without the use of freshwater and expensive cleaning robots. As a student researcher in renewable energy Miswar was able to gain experience early by publishing in research journals and interning at Fortune 500 companies and startups in the energy space. 

He came across Velocity on social media which was the catalyst for building his own company and ultimately inspiring him to pursue his graduate degree at the University of Waterloo. 

“Building a startup is already a daunting endeavour,” Miswar says. “But doing it just two months after arriving in a new country was particularly challenging.”  

His first winter in Canada in 2023 led to a revelation about how Swish’s technology could clean other natural substances off solar panels: snow. Its accumulation on solar panels is a major problem in colder countries such as Canada and now Swish’s product addresses both the dust and snow problem. 
 
Validating their startup idea amidst the rigors of graduate studies and the technical challenges of deep tech entrepreneurship is no small feat. However, with the guidance of Velocity advisors and the complementary skill sets of the co-founders, they remain steadfast in navigating these hurdles. 

Reflecting on the lessons he has learned so far, Miswar says it is important to adapt and network, and build a robust support network beyond professional advisors. 

“Swish would have remained just a dream without the amazing support from Velocity. The advisory and access to necessary equipment is just the beginning. We have also received grant money, access to a vibrant workspace, and invaluable connections to key people in the industry. The insightful sessions and roundtable discussions they host play a crucial role as well. Truly, Velocity is giving us every tool needed to bring our startup to life.” 

Miswar Syed, co-founder Swish

Swish aims to develop the world’s first dust- and snow-proof solar panels, with promising traction from users and beta prototypes and paid pilots in the works, all while balancing the various duties of graduate studies. 

♦ Working on an idea of startup? Velocity helps University of Waterloo Students make a real-world impact.

The post The balancing act: Two graduate students run clean energy startup Swish appeared first on Velocity.


AutoScreenCapture

Gavin Kendall posted a comment on a blog post

Make sure the port number is 21 for FTP. If the hostname (the domain) isn't working then try its IP address. Alternatively, if FileZilla has a command line way of uploading files, then you can add FileZilla as an Editor in Auto Screen Capture and provide the command line arguments there then add a Trigger to run the Editor whenever a screenshot is taken (as opposed to running a Trigger that's specifically for performing the FTP operation). If you're still having issues and want to share more detailed...

Capacity Canada

Habitat For Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin

♦ Join our Board of Directors Make a difference in your community, be a part of the solution to Ontario’s housing affordability crisis. About us

Everyone deserves the security and warmth of a home. It’s a core value at Habitat for Humanity Halton–Mississauga–Dufferin (Habitat HMD) and an integral part of the Canadian fabric – the belief that through hard work, everyone should have a home that fulfills their needs and allows them to lead a good life.

In Canada, one in five households struggles to find an affordable place to live. Regrettably, securing a home continues to be out of reach for many households, especially for lower-income working families. We are passionately working towards being the affordable housing provider our communities urgently require, striving to be a part of the solution to Ontario’s housing affordability crisis.

Since our inception in 1999, Habitat HMD has created a total of 83 affordable housing units through volunteer builds and local partnerships. On average, in Canada, Habitat homes generate $175,000 of benefits to society per home. These benefits come in the form of reduced reliance on community housing and food banks, better educational and employment outcomes and improved health.

Candidate Experience, Location & Qualifications

Habitat HMD is currently recruiting up to four (4) new Board members to help us champion our Strategic Plan. The ideal Board candidate is a creative, collaborative and strategic thinker, with a commitment to governance leadership and passion for affordable housing. Prior non-profit board experience is preferred, but not necessary. To complement the existing Board of Directors’ background, we are particularly interested in hearing from community leaders who possess any of the following areas of expertise:

  • Human Resources Management
  • Social Services and/or Non-Profit Management
  • Mortgage Lending
  • Real Estate Law

To be eligible for a board appointment, applicants must reside and/or work in our catchment area of Halton Region, City of Mississauga or Dufferin County. While we encourage applicants from throughout our catchment area, at this time, we strongly welcome applicants from individuals who live in the Dufferin County and Halton Hills.

Habitat HMD’s Board is also committed to fostering and supporting equity, diversity and inclusion. This includes a commitment to achieving a membership that reflects the broadest range of qualifications, skills, experiences, perspectives and the myriad of human identities essential to advancing our mission.

Expectations of Board Members

Board member expectations are as follows:

  • Use their skills, expertise and networks to assist in the advancement of our mission, programs, and services
  • Have the financial acumen to understand Habitat HMD’s financial statements and mortgage models, and to otherwise help the Board fulfill its fiduciary
  • Attend six board meetings per year and serve on at least one committee. Members are expected to read board materials in advance of board meetings and come prepared to ask questions and actively participate in discussions.
  • Leverage personal and professional networks to help the CEO identify and solicit development opportunities and donors
  • Directly support Habitat HMD’s work by making an annual personal financial contribution

Board terms last for two years and board members can serve for up to three consecutive terms.

How to Apply

Interested candidates are encouraged to submit a completed Cover Letter and CV by Friday, May 31, 2024 to boardrecruitment@habitathm.ca.

The post Habitat For Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin appeared first on Capacity Canada.


Concept UWaterloo

The future is now for sustainable packaging 

Nanotech startup raises $6.5 million USD seed funding to produce its novel coating for biodegradable materials at scale

May 16, 2024

Nfinite Nanotech has raised $6.5 million USD in seed funding to scale its nanomaterial product: a coating for sustainable and biodegradable food packaging that will help divert plastic waste from landfills.  The University of Waterloo startup is developing an ultrathin and high-performance material for consumer-packaged goods, like granola bar wraps and potato chip bags, that keeps them fresh longer without the use of excessive non-biodegradable plastic packaging.  

With Nfinite’s nanocoating, which is applied during the packaging production process, companies can now use more sustainable packaging materials without freshness and product shelf life being compromised. This helps reduce the dependency on plastic food packaging which is adding to the more than nearly 400 million tonnes of plastic waste produced every year, according to the World Economic Forum. 

Backing by global clean tech investors and sustainable packaging materials producers signals the massive impact the startup can have on the pervasive plastic problem of the modern world.

“Plastic is everywhere. It touches almost everything we use nowadays and that has created a big problem. There are millions of tons of plastic waste produced a year. To make it worse, less than 10 per cent of that is being recycled and the remaining either goes into landfills or the ocean.”   

Chee Hau Teoh, Nfinite Nanotech co-founder and CEO.

Teoh along with his co-founders Dr. Kevin Musselman, scientific advisor and professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering and, Jhi Yong Loke (MASc ’21), chief technology officer, developed the research into a market-ready product at Waterloo with support from Velocity — Waterloo’s flagship incubator. Since 2008, Velocity has fostered more than 400 companies, cumulatively creating $26 billion USD in enterprise value.

♦Velocity panel discussion about bringing research to market. Chee Hau Teoh (centre, right) with (L-R) engineering professor Karim Karim, UWaterloo’s associate vice president of commercialization and entrepreneurship, and chief technology officer of KA Imaging, Evelyn Allen, CEO and co-founder of Evercloak, and John Dick, director of Velocity campus. Read the full article on Waterloo News

The post The future is now for sustainable packaging  appeared first on Velocity.


Code Like a Girl

Who Made You the Scope Police?

Everyone On a Project is Responsible For Managing Scope Creep

Continue reading on Code Like A Girl »


AutoScreenCapture

John Keely posted a comment on a blog post

Hello Gavin, I'm really sorry to bother you, however I've tried everything and for the life of me I cannot get the application to upload the screenshots via FTP. I have no trouble connecting using Filezilla (using regular ftp protocol NOT sftp) to the web host and I'm able to upload/download files at will. So the ftp server is up and running. However when I try to do a test upload within the screen capture application - I get a general "can't connect to server" error message.I'm probably doing something...

James Davis Nicoll

Every Single Game / Harriet the Invincible (Hamster Princess, volume 1) By Ursula Vernon

2015’s Harriet the Invincible is the first volume in Ursula Vernon’s Hamster Princess secondary-universe fantasy middle-grade series.

Harriet is a hamster who is also a princess. Her parents, in particular her mother, have Expectations regarding proper behavior for Harriet, Expectations that are at odds with Harriet’s preferences.

When Harriet is ten, Harriet’s parents reveal delightful news: Harriet is cursed and most certainly doomed.


The Backing Bookworm

Canadian Boyfriend



As a Canadian, this book caught my attention. While I'm not a hockey lover (sacrilege!), I enjoy how hockey was incorporated into this story and seeing many Canadianisms too. 
This was a cute, mild story that, for me, was less romance and more of a contemporary fiction with its focus on grief, toxic parenting, eating disorders, anxiety, imbalance in emotional labour in marriage and its awesome positive therapy representation. 
The story started off strong with Canadian references sprinkled throughout and dual POV story about a sweet romance between two characters who have a lot of healing to do. I found the first half stronger with the second half feeling a bit longer than it had to be. 
What I enjoyed: 
  • Canadian hockey player MMC, single father who adores his daughter
  • positive therapy representation
  • sensitively handled themes: eating disorders, grief, toxic parenting, anxiety, imbalance in emotional labour in relationships
  • Tropes: found family, forced proximity
  • Canadian references
  • Seeing growth in both characters

What I didn't quite love:
  • the third act conflict that had been initiated back in their teen years was blown way out of proportion
  • I wanted the romantic journey to be more organic, giving readers time to see their bond
  • the romantic tension was a mixed bag - a combo of closed door (their first kiss - wha?) and open door moderately spiced scenes later on
  • Rory consistently calling Mike by his full name throughout the story
This was a good read that handled poignant topics well but was less RomCom-y than I had expected. While not my favourite book by Jenny Holiday (that goes to Duke, Actually which was a hoot), I look forward to reading more from this Canadian author.

My Rating: 3 starsAuthor: Jenny HolidayGenre: Romance, Contemporary Fiction, CanadianType and Source: Trade Paperback from public libraryPublisher: Forever (Grand Central Pub)First Published: January 30, 2024

Book Description from GoodReads: A charming and heartfelt romance about a woman who comes face to face with the fake Canadian boyfriend she made up as a teenager.
The fake Canadian boyfriend. It's a thing. The get out of jail free card for all kinds of sticky social situations. “I can't go to prom; I'm going to be out of town visiting my boyfriend in Canada.” It's all over pop culture. But Aurora Evans did it first. Once upon a time she met a teenage hockey player at the Mall of America. He was from Canada. He was a boy. She may have fudged the “friend” part a little, but it wasn't like she was ever going to see him again. It wasn't like she hurt anyone. Until she did—years later—on both counts.
  
When pro hockey player and recent widower Mike Martin walks into the dance studio where Aurora Evans teaches, he's feeling overwhelmed with the fact that his wife may not have been exactly who he thought she was and the logistics of going back to work. As one of the few people his angry, heartbroken daughter connects with, Aurora agrees to be a pseudo nanny to help him navigate the upcoming school year and hockey season. To his surprise, she turns out to be the perfect balm for him as well. Aurora gets him. The real him underneath his pro jersey. And yet, he still finds himself holding back, unable to fully trust again—especially when he finds out the secret Aurora’s been hiding from him.

Catherine Fife MPP

“Repeated incompetence”: NDP’s Fife slams Ford for mismanaging budget

QUEEN'S PARK—NDP MPP Catherine Fife (Waterloo), the Official Opposition Finance critic, responded to the latest Financial Accountability Office (FAO) budget outlook report which exposes the Ford government's chronic mismanagement and indifference to the financial crises they have created in Ontario:

"The FAO report paints a bleak picture of a government that not only mismanages the province's budget but also refuses to acknowledge the financial crises they've created," said Fife. "Despite Doug Ford's claims of building a better Ontario, the reality is that we're seeing huge shortfalls in almost every sector, leaving Ontarians struggling to access basic public services.”

"The Conservative government's incompetence and ineffectiveness are laid bare for all to see in this report. Doug Ford's vision of a better Ontario seems reserved only for his wealthy insiders, not everyday people." 


Capacity Canada

Guelph Independent Living

♦ ♦Board Recruitment

Join the Guelph Independent Living Board and make a difference!

Are you passionate about making an impact in your community? Do you want to contribute your skills and expertise to a worthy cause? Look no further! Guelph Independent Living is seeking dedicated individuals to join our Board of Directors. As a Board member, you will play a crucial role in shaping our organization’s mission and strategy.

Why join our Board:
  • Meaningful Impact: Be part of positive change in our community
  • Networking: Connect with like-minded professionals and community leaders
  • Skill Development: Enhance your leadership, governance and decision-making skills
  • Advocacy: Champion causes you care about
  • Collaboration: Work alongside passionate individuals committed to our mission
Responsibilities:
  • Attend regular board meetings (approximately 1 per month)
  • Serve on a sub-committee (e.g. finance, property )
  • Provide strategic guidance and oversight
  • Actively engage in discussions and provide valuable insights
  • Promote our organization in the community
Qualifications:
  • Passion for our cause
  • Experience in governance, property management, legal, HR or government
  • Commitment to attend meetings and actively contribute
  • Integrity and ethical conduct

How to Apply: Interested candidates should send their resume and a brief statement of interest to Rowena Calame at r.calame@guelphil.org by Friday May 31, 2024. We welcome diverse backgrounds and perspectives!

We look forward to hearing from you! Together, we can create positive change.

The post Guelph Independent Living appeared first on Capacity Canada.


Children and Youth Planning Table of Waterloo Region

2023 Youth Impact Survey Immigrant Snapshot

The 2023 Youth Impact Survey Immigrant Snapshot is here! This is the third of eight disaggregated data snapshots from the 2023 Youth Impact Survey data. This snapshot report compares the experiences of children and youth not born in Canada vs. those born in Canada in order to showcase the well-being trends between these two groups.

 

The CYPT Backbone Team is working with the FamilyPsycle Lab at the University of Waterloo on Snapshots 4 and 5, which are focused on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation. Keep an eye on your inbox for a message about it in June. Thank you again to everyone for your efforts with the 2023 Youth Impact Survey.

The post 2023 Youth Impact Survey Immigrant Snapshot appeared first on Children and Youth Planning Table.


Catherine Fife MPP

Fife: “Survivors didn’t get their day in court – now they lost their day in legislature”

QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Catherine Fife (Waterloo) vowed to keep fighting for Lydia’s Law, a bill designed to help the survivors of sexual assault seek justice, after Conservatives quashed debate on a day when hundreds of advocates and survivors were expected to appear at Queen’s Park. 

“Survivors deserve justice and they deserve to be heard,” said Marit Stiles, Leader of the Official Opposition NDP. “It’s shameful that the Conservatives silenced debate on this incredibly important piece of legislation.”  

Lydia’s Law was scheduled for debate on May 15. Without warning on May 14, the government used its majority to prevent the bill from being debated or voted on. It’s a highly unusual move – one the Conservatives seem to take on bills they don’t want publicized.  

“Many survivors lose their day in court – now they lost their day in legislature”, said Fife. “Ford likes to say that he’s tough on crime, but he has created a system where the perpetrators of violent sexual assaults continuously walk free. We can’t let this continue. For anyone who is the survivor of an assault, I hear your story and I stand with you. We won’t rest until our justice system really does bring justice for all.” 

Lydia’s Law would increase transparency and accountability in the handling of sexual assault cases in Ontario by adopting key measures, which include: 

  • Ensuring the Attorney General monitors criminal cases pending for 8+ months, and documents the reasons for these delays 

  • Making the Independent Legal Advice Program more accessible to survivors 

  • Launching a review of the Victim Quick Response Program to ensure it is meeting the needs of survivors 

Lydia’s Law was inspired by a young girl who brought her harrowing experience of navigating the court system in the wake of an assault to MPP Fife. It was brought forward with co-sponsors MPPs Peggy Sattler (London West) and Kristyn Wong-Tam (Toronto Centre). 


Elmira Advocate

LAST NIGHT'S DELEGATION TO WOOLWICH COUNCIL WENT VERY WELL

Everybody behaved including the Chair and there were even some very good questions from two councillors afterwards . Yes I did give Lanxess, Ministry of Environment and Woolwich Council some serious  #$*&^% but Council at least took it like pros. Following is the text of my Delegation. Also the video of the meeting and my Delegation is on the Woolwich Township website under Council & Mayor and then under Calendar of Events. You have to adjust the dates to include May 14/24 and my Delegation is within 5-10 minutes of the start of the Council meeting.




                                                                                                                 May 14, 2024


                                                                  THE LONG CON (3)


    Joe Ricker's TRAC presentation on April 25/24 spoke to the impossibility of NDMA and chlorobenzene concentrations ever reaching zero, allegedly based upon “asymptotic behaviour”. So what? The goal is to reach drinking water standards namely 9 parts per trillion for NDMA and 80 parts per billion for chlorobenzene, not zero. Joe's entire premise is wrong.


    Joe advises that in 2023 the average concentration for NDMA was 91 ppt. in the Municipal Upper (MU) and 1,600 ppt. in the Municipal Lower (ML). That is between ten and 160 times higher than the drinking water standard of 9 ppt.. The average concentration in 2023 of chlorobenzene was 123 ppb. (MU) and 173 ppb. (ML) versus a drinking water standard of 80 ppb. These concentrations under current conditions are decades away from reaching drinking water standards. Lanxess please stop blustering and bafflegabbing and keep on pumping until you are at least close to the drinking water standards. Then, not now, come to the public, cap in hand, begging for relief.


    Citizens, including myself, over the decades have suggested numerous other accepted remediation methods all of which were rejected by Uniroyal and successors.


Lanxess do your job. Pump & Treat has been described as the cheapest, least effective method which is at least partially why it is so popular among polluters. So get back to pumping. Literally you have had decades of never ending excuses as to why both on and off -site wells aren't meeting the TARGET PUMPING RATES that your consultants have set.

I now better understand why Uniroyal and successors desperately covered up the DNAPL situation. Free phase and residual DNAPLS (Dense Non Aqueous Phase Liquids) inhibit the likelihood of Pump & Treat being successful. DNAPLS have been found both on and off the Uniroyal site and explain the admitted excess hundreds of kilograms of chlorobenzene found in the Elmira Aquifers.

    Woolwich Township's “public consultation” has been shameful for almost nine years now. One of your own TRAC members (Sebastian) has already told you and the public this in writing.


Having the polluter, his client driven consultants and his “captured” regulator (MECP) in total control of the cleanup is a gross conflict of interest that apparently Woolwich Council are not willing or capable of recognizing.


In conclusion this latest initiative is but one more in a long history of self-serving behaviour by Uniroyal/Lanxess fueled by fancy words and junk science in order to save themselves millions of dollars in cleanup costs.

The lack of pumping described earlier and the paragraph on DNAPLS can be proven factually but neither here nor at TRAC are the appropriate locations.



Alan Marshall Elmira Environmental Hazards Team



Code Like a Girl

How to be Direct Without Being Rude

‘Telling it like it is’ can make you a jerk if you focus only on stating the truth without caring about the pain it can cause others…

Continue reading on Code Like A Girl »


Code Like a Girl

Mastering The Most Important Apache Airflow Views

Apache Airflow is an indispensable tool for data engineers tasked with orchestrating complex workflows. Understanding and utilizing its…

Continue reading on Code Like A Girl »


James Davis Nicoll

Imposter Syndrome / Usotoki Rhetoric, volume 5 By Ritsu Miyako

2015’s Usotoki Rhetoric Volume Five is the fifth tankōbon in Ritsu Miyako’s historical mystery manga series. Usotoki Rhetoric was published in Bessatsu Hana to Yume from June 26, 2012, to March 26, 2018. The English translation of Volume Five was published in 2024.

Kanako Urabe, a young woman who can tell when other people consciously lying, has partnered with private detective Iwai, a young man with a knack for solving mysteries. It’s a precarious life, but one that allows them to use their uncommon gifts.

Like Volume Four, Volume Five is episodic.



KWLUG

2024-05: Intro to Linux, SQLPage

Jason Paul presents a brief overview of Linux (followed by a robust discussion). Anton Avramov presents examples from the SQL-oriented web development framework SQLpage, with an introduction from project founder Ophir Lojkine. See kwlug.org/node/1374 for additional information, slides and other auxiliary materials. Note that this audio has had silences clipped.

Check It Out WPL

Highlighting the Power of Community and Caring in 40 Days and 40 Hikes

True to its Loops and Lattes forebears, Nicola Ross’ latest book, 40 Days and 40 Hikes continues what has become a trademark form: historical guide meets purveyor of anecdotal finery. It is a story of landscapes: inner, historical, geographic, ecologically sensitive, endangered, and contested landscapes. It is a must-read addition to the Loops and Lattes library, and is for trail lovers and local historians of all stripes. 

It is an atypical soul-searching adventure in that there is no inner battle wrought from the fires of self-discovery that sparks the journey. The battle is extant and seems distant from the comfortable space one might read it: developers, climate change, highway 413’s looming effects on Caledon’s landscape, invasive species, and the need for more green space amidst seemingly unstoppable sprawl. Where nature’s abundance flows freely, for many of us concerned with Ontario’s green spaces and Greenbelted Niagara Escarpment, the somber news of aggregate mining and development can punctuate our enjoyment of it. Rather than stick to grim axioms of “enjoy it while it’s still here,” Ross’ writing is defiantly, albeit cautiously optimistic of the future of the Niagara Escarpment.

I’ve heard of songwriting, that a song title is good only if you can say it after every line in a chorus such that the song makes even more sense. Similarly, Ross asks a question that nestles into the start of each chapter as its guiding question: Did I love the Niagara Escarpment enough? She seeks an answer to this question on the trails, and readers are treated to stories from her life, and hikes along the way. 

Ross’ book also brings to life the best sense of community that I was fortunate enough to find solace in during the worst of the pandemic. Much like the infamous “Jeep Wave” of Jeep drivers, the Bruce Trail and Escarpment trail-goers have a “Trail Wave,” accompanied by a short greeting, quip about the weather and, if you’re lucky, a tip about the terrain or wildlife spotting ahead. The kindness of strangers was a steady feature of Ross’ journey along the trail and though a memoir of her experience alone, the cast of characters turn a very long walk into wonderful storytelling. Our environmental future is uncertain but what Ross makes clear is the fact that we can be certain of the power of one another in caring, which is more than enough to create ripples turned waves to protect the Escarpment.

I related profoundly to her thoughts on hiking in Caledon that, “Being here is like snuggling in bed on a rainy morning. I know the trails, the hills, the trees, its smells and sounds. I fit into this landscape. It’s a connection that has taken decades to develop.” It’s what made the book so special as I read more of it: Nicola Ross writes a story about her journey on the trail that is as much her story, as we find ourselves in it too. Born and raised in the Region of Peel, then living in Halton Hills, Wellington and now Kitchener-Waterloo, the Escarpment has been a main fixture of my life. I read part of the book as a memoir, a handbook on how to do a similar end-to-end hike, and a clarion call to protect the lands that developers are slowly encroaching on in policy and politics.

Ross’ reflexivity also encourages reflection on what it means to be “from” the Escarpment lands. She relates her deep ties to the landscape while considering the intergenerational effects of displaced Indigenous communities from varying parts of the Escarpment: “What would it feel like have Caledon that deeply ingrained in me? What would it feel like to be forced to leave?” It is something all trail-goers ought to consider when heading for the sanctuary of blue and white blazes on the Bruce. 

The book was as much about the scenery as it was the wisdom in Ross’ initial question: Did I love the Escarpment enough? I’m reading and reviewing from the edges of what is effectively Millennial midlife, given decreased life expectancy, and scientifically anticipated climate change induced threats to my generation’s lifespan. Sloughing away the saccharine coating of positive thinking helps me appreciate the wisdom in Ross’ writing. As more and more of us hold our raison d’être to the light of “what did I really do and make of my time here?” (perhaps part of the Millennial-driven “great resignation”) books like 40 Days and 40 Hikes remind me that there is power in loving what you love, and sharing it with others as foundational to building a good life. It doesn’t have to be about the massive pursuit of a goal, but the massive action of caring that ripples outwards. It’s what makes Ross’ book so inspiring. Big goals and hopes are okay, but Ross’ book contains no death-defying feats (though she does write about being stuck in the May 2022 derecho) that would hold similar journeys out of reach for many. Her book and writing make it very clear: just about anyone can do this! 

My hope is that the generations of caring Ross has inspired with her Loops and Lattes books, work with the Bruce Trail, and more echo back to her: you loved it so much that we couldn’t help but care too. Where the end-to-end Bruce trail draws comparisons between the Camino de Santiago and the Camino de Costa Rica, Ross’ offering is a reminder that there is magic right where we are when we care about the nature in our “backyard.” The plaque she spots on Day 34 of her hikes sums up how it felt to read about her end-to-end journey: “Be Present. Connect. Protect this place of healing. Because when we are in nature, We are home” by Alex Reid, 2019. Another reason to read? For the Loops & Lattes devotees, and nature lovers of all kinds, Ross rewards readers towards the end of the book with information about a new project she is working on (no spoilers here!). You can pick up a copy of her book and read for yourself, or join us at the Eastside Branch on May 21 to ask about it in person.