Thursday, March 20, 2014


This winter has felt like being trapped in Charles Stankievech's The Soniferous Aether, watch the trailer here. Image via

This has been a lousy winter. This is a statement of fact. Even by the numbers this really has been a lousy season.

To date:
  • 36 Extreme Cold Weather Alerts in Toronto FN1
  • The Great Lakes are approaching an unheard of 95% ice concentration which hasn’t been seen since 1979 and may actually cause a cooler summer
  • Toronto has set a record (for the city) of 88 consecutive days of snow cover
Siberian air mass (I blame Putin)? Arctic air mass? Misaligned jet stream? Questionably misused meteorological terms aside (what is a Polar Vortex exactly?), this has been Toronto’s coldest winter in 20 years. Strangely, my memory of other harsh winters is surprisingly accurate. I recall 2000 being cold (the first winter I lived in Toronto had a really mild Christmas followed by a freezing winter replete with thunder snowstorms), then 2004, which was our first winter living on Fern Avenue. 2006 was another cold year (I recall many a trek to physio due to my broken collar bone and Angela being out on a frigid picket line) and 2008 was another cold year which I remember because I worked near a very draughty window at Indigo - one morning a fine mist of snow blew through the crack in the window frame and pelted my face and the desk became wet as the crystalline dusting melted. No, I am not exaggerating. Now 2013-2014 has been a cracker. There does seem like a vague pattern of every three to five years being a colder one. Sort of like every seventh wave being the largest. The cold hasn’t just manifested in numbers either. The cold has caused strange phenomena such as frost quakes. The ice formations at the shoreline look like waves frozen in mid lap. The TTC has had to run special street cars overnight to keep the rails warm enough to avoid switches freezing. Which is my point I guess about the data – it doesn’t always tell the story which is why someone invented a misery index. Telling in its name isn’t it?
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Thursday, March 06, 2014

It's Cold Outside, so I Watched These Movies 

Marcello Mastroianni wooing his new bride via Alt Film Guide

It’s been a strange couple of months. Too many things happening to keep up a media diary, certainly. In two months, I went to see three films. I’m sure I would’ve see more if the city hadn’t been in a freezer-mode lockdown. Over 30 extreme cold weather alerts (and now over 86 days with snow on the ground - a new record for Toronto - which seems odd but there you go). Several times I thought about seeing a movie, only to give up when I thought of riding there and back in sub 20 C temperatures (plus the windchill on a bike is excruciating). What did I do in February? Clearly I didn’t watch a lot of movies or TV. But I seem to recall being glued to the television. Ah that’s right, the Sochi Olympics. I was glued to the set right up until we won both men’s and women’s hockey golds. In fact, I watched both of those games more than once. Despite all of that here’s what I did see. Here’s a strange thing, the first film I saw was an Italian film and the last film I saw was an Italian film. Così sia. Read more »

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