Pluralistic: 31 Oct 2020

Today's links

The Americans (permalink)

The West End Phoenix is home-delivered Toronto print newspaper published by Canadian music legend Dave Bidini (cofounder of The Rheostatics). The current issue is called "The Americans" and it tells the story of Americans who emigrated to Canada.

It's a series of beautifully told stories about people whose love of the land of their birth was overshadowed by the terror and precarity of US racial and economic and gender warfare against its own people.

They're love letters to the people these ex-Americans left behind, the family and friends they fear for, amid guns and conspiracies, health care gouging and unlimited economic cruelty. Their testimonials describe how much easier it is to live the American dream in Canada.

"Having lived on both sides of the border, Canada simply offers a lot more support for regular people and as a result a lot more opportunity." -Tim Ellis, US military veteran

"Nobody asks me why I don’t wish to live in America anymore." -Brad Wheeler

"If Trump gets four more years, I’ll be among those who will aid American citizens crossing the border and making Canada home, just as they did in the ’60s when the draft dodgers came." -Joanne Smale

"I wonder, if Trump gets elected, how many more people will die, and whether they will be the people I love." -Valerie Hunter

"I miss the U.S. itself: a nation that put a man on the moon not two months after I was born now rejects science. I am ashamed for myself, and afraid for us all." -Andrew Sullivan

"People expected Trump to be maybe a rodeo clown or game show host, not a despot. A matinee grifter. Trump sucks the good life out of us." -Bill King, Vietnam draft-dodger

"In each family meeting, there’s a lot of talking over one another, saying how much we love each other, then about how angry we are at the president and the evil motherfuckers enabling the traitor." -Maureen Honore

D2020 (permalink)

The D2020 is 2020-themed 20-sided die from Storm Crow. It's up for pre-order now, at (what else?) $20.20, for early December shipping (you can get 20 for $320).

Here are the 20 values of the D2020:

  • Locust Swarm
  • Online Education
  • Zoom Happy Hour
  • Meth Gators
  • Market Crash
  • Bleach Injection
  • Lockdown Hair
  • Donald Trump
  • Quarantine
  • Australian Bushfires
  • Riots
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Murder Hornets
  • Autonomous Zone
  • Recession
  • World War 3
  • Brexit
  • X Æ A-12
  • Tiger King
  • Covid-19

I'd clean forgotten about the meth gators.

Boy howdy, it's been a year.

Shanghai's walking building (permalink)

Shanghai's Lagena Primary School is a 5-story, 76 kiloton 85-year-old T-shaped structure that was rotated 21' and relocated 62m down the road over 18 days by means of "walking machines."

These are 198 sensor-studded, actuating mobile supports that alternately raised and lowered in two groups, allowing the building to slowly shuffle around and manoeuvrer into its new position.

The legs were installed by workers who excavated around and beneath the structure, relying on its existing support pillars to support it; when the legs were in place, the pillars were sawn through.

The success of the walking machines is heralded as a reprieve for China's older buildings, which have been razed in vast numbers to clear the way for high-density urban expansions, ending the post-Mao vogue for architectural preservation.

The novel I'm working on now, "The Lost Cause," is a post-GND utopian story about truth and reconciliation with white nationalist militias who lost the war on the planet and its life.;=typed_query&f;=live

It turns on all kinds of urbanist stuff like this, as people roll up their sleeves and embark on hugely ambitious climate remediation and adaptation projects, like relocating every coastal city ~20km inland.

This kind of stuff absolutely skewers me: whole buildings on the move. It gives me hope that our historic structures may survive as more than future marine habitats.

This day in history (permalink)

#15yrsago Hollywood after the Anal. Hole again

#5yrsago Inkjet Samhain: awesome, printable Hallowe’en masks

#5yrsago Hallowe’en with NYC’s super-rich

Colophon (permalink)

Today's top sources: JWZ (, Naked Capitalism (

Currently writing: My next novel, "The Lost Cause," a post-GND novel about truth and reconciliation. Friday's progress: 525 words (79380 total).

Currently reading: Harrow the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir

Latest podcast: Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (part 20)

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When life gives you SARS, you make sarsaparilla -Joey "Accordion Guy" DeVilla