Shocking that people keep asking me Emma Who? Emma GOLDMAN (1869 – 1940) was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing, and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century.

“There are, however, some potentates I would kill by any and all means at my disposal. They are Ignorance, Superstition, and Bigotry — the most sinister and tyrannical rulers on earth.”
Emma Goldman, responding to audience questions during a speech in Detroit (1898); as recounted in Living My Life (1931), p. 207; quoted by Annie Laurie Gaylor in Women Without Superstition, p. 382

Perhaps one of my top five humans ever. She lived near Queen and Spadina, and her body was laid in state at the building which today is that big Dim Sum restaurant at St Andrews and Spadina, which was in 1940 a Labour Lyceum. Toronto has been cool (culturally/politically influential) for a pretty long time….

346 Spadina Avenue


Although she only lived in Toronto on three occasions over a 14-year period, and never for more than a year and a half at a time, Emma Goldman had an outsized cultural impact on the city. The well-known anarchist and feminist whom J. Edgar Hoover dubbed “the most dangerous woman in America” filled local lecture halls for talks on topics ranging from birth control and women’s rights to literature, communism, and anarchism. After her death in Toronto in 1940, she become a feature of the Toronto literary landscape, appearing as a character in John Miller’s A Sharp Intake of Breath (2006) and Steven Hayward’s The Secret Mitzah of Lucio Burke (2005). But she spent much her time in Toronto trying to leave it, desperate to return to the United States.

Born in Kovno, Russia (now Kaunas, Lithuania) in 1869, Goldman immigrated to upstate New York with her family in 1885. There she became interested in political activism, particularly in the aftermath of the Haymarket Bombing in Chicago in 1886. She moved to New York City and became a well-known orator and spokeswoman of the anarchist movement. By the age of 24, in the words of Sheldon Kirshner in the Canadian Jewish News (May 28, 2004), Goldman was “widely regarded by friends and enemies alike as a compelling professional agitator and public speaker.” A collection of her essays was published as Anarchism And Other Essays (1910).  Continue reading this article…


Emma Goldman: Marriage and Love


“Housed in retrofitted shipping containers, Market 707 is Toronto’s most unique street food and retail market. This space brings together local entrepreneurs serving up more than 10 types of delicious international street food, along with unique goods and services to create an urban food and shopping environment unlike any other.”

Market 707 on Facebook

Market 707 official website


I’ve always been fascinated with Ireland. It has such an intriguing, tragic and unjust history, much of  which continues to echo to this day, throughout the world, whether in international politics, culture, immigration patterns and much more. 

This documentary series is quite informative to grasp exactly all the many issues throughout the past which lead to this fascinating history.


The Story Of Ireland is a major new landmark series from BBC Northern Ireland examining the history of Ireland and its impact on the wider world, from the earliest times right up to the present day. This compelling five-part series is written and presented by BBC correspondentFergal Keane.

Over the course of the programmes Fergal travels across three continents, tracing the events, the people and the influences that shaped modern Ireland.

The Story Of Ireland, beginning on BBC One Northern Ireland on Sunday 20 February at 8pm, takes an outward-looking approach to key developments in Ireland down through the centuries mirrored against events and changes in Europe and the rest of the world and challenges long held myths.

The first programme examines the origins of the idea of the emergence of a ‘Celtic’ race, the impact of early Christianity and monasticism in Ireland; and the birth of Ireland’s potent literary culture.

The Vikings are treated not simply as barbarous marauders, but resourceful settlers, as the Celts were before them, who established Ireland’s major towns and placed them at the centre of a vast trading network. Brian Boru is revealed as a man of his time, above all else motivated by the will to power. Far from driving the Vikings out of Ireland he relied on their military skills to achieve his ambitions.

The remaining four programmes span history from the Anglo-Norman invasion, to Cromwell, the Boyne, penal laws and resettlements; on to the economic, intellectual, architectural and cultural rise of Dublin in the 18th century; examining the story of Wolfe Tone and the United Irishmen.

Further afield the series also looks at Ireland’s role in the British Empire and closer to home examines the Great Famine and its enormous impact, the role of Daniel O’Connell and then the founding of the IRB and rise of Home Rule; the role of Irishmen in the Boer War; the Easter Rising; the War of Independence and the Civil War and the outbreak of the Troubles.

Finally Ireland’s economic boom comes under the spotlight, asking how the country’s history, as perceived by the rest of the world, has become big business and questions whether this excludes contrary views with a theme very much placed on an ‘old’ version of Irish history.

Fergal Keane, writer and presenter, said: “The Story Of Ireland is vivid, exciting and immensely varied. It is far more than the sum of old cliches and myths which set the Irish as a people who were prisoners and victims of history.

“This series sees Ireland as an international island which is both changed by and helps to change the world beyond her shores.

“As a foreign correspondent who has travelled on every continent I have tried to bring my experience of the wider world to this story of Ireland and I have tried to see our past with a clear eye and an open heart.”

Mike Connolly, Series Producer, added: “It’s both a privilege and a challenge to produce the first comprehensive television history of Ireland since Robert Kee’s acclaimed series of 1981.

“Ireland has opened out in dramatic ways in the intervening 30 years and has achieved a profile on the international stage that could hardly have been imagined back then. It is this changed perception of Ireland, both in the minds of the Irish themselves and in the eyes of the rest of the world, that we address in The Story Of Ireland.”

The Story Of Ireland is a BBC Northern Ireland series with co-funding from RTE




What Canadian cities can learn from the German federal ministry of transport, building and urban development

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April 17, 2012

This paper evaluates the German National Public Transit Policy from a Canadian perspective. While Germany possesses a decades-long record of federal regulatory and fiscal support for public transit, Canada remains lacking in any such federal policy, and for this reason there may be much to learn from the German experience. Today, Canadian urban areas continue to suffer from vehicular congestion, high levels of GHG emissions, inadequate public transit options, dislocated urban life and woefully underfunded public transit agencies. Congestion in the Toronto area alone has been calculated to be costing the Canadian economy over $6 billion dollars every year (Toronto Board of Trade, 2010). Canada is overdue in finally developing a strong, long-term, well-funded national pubic transit strategy in order to reconstruct its urban areas as well as the way in which residents travel within them.

Canada and Germany are both democracies with federal systems of government, in which the interaction of national, state/provincial and local levels shapes transportation policy (Buehler, 2011a). Germany is comprised of 16 states and has a population of 82.1 million people. Canada is comprised of 10 provinces and 3 territories, with a population of 34.6 million people. Both nations are highly urbanized, with 80% of Canadians and 74% of Germans living in cities (Statscan, Worldbank).

The subject of public transit necessarily focuses on urban populations. Germany’s urban centres are more densely populated than Canada’s, as would be expected from most Western European municipalities. Nevertheless, it must be noted that in World War II many urban centres in Germany suffered enough damage to require the construction of vast areas anew. Such developments however, although not as dense as preserved historic centres, are still not as sparsely populated as post-war Canadian suburbs. Figure 1 displays the population densities of the top five most populous urban centres in both countries. Continue reading

Clovis people not 1st to arrive in North America

A Western Stemmed spear point found at the Paisley Caves in Oregon. Archeologists from the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and the University of Copenhagen found spearheads at the caves dating from 12,960 to 13,230 years ago, and human DNA going back even further. (Cheng Lily Li)

Spearheads, DNA found in Oregon’s Paisley Caves suggest continent colonized by multiple cultures


July 12, 2012

Spearheads and DNA found at the Paisley Caves in Oregon suggest that a separate group of people using different hunting tools arrived in North America several hundred years prior to the Clovis, long thought to be the first to migrate to North America from Asia.

Archeologists at the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and the University of Copenhagen used radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis to examine fossilized excrement, obsidian projectile points and the stratified sediment inside a series of caves located in the Summer Lake basin in south-central Oregon.

The caves are part of a unique archeological site that is part of the Great Basin watershed and thanks to its arid climate has been able to preserve some of the oldest human remains in the Western Hemisphere.

The researchers concluded that the human DNA they found in the Paisley Caves excrement was as old as 14,000 years, and the spear points dated from about 13,230 to 12,960 years ago and did not resemble the spearheads used by the Clovis people, who are believed to have settled in North America between 13,400 and 12,800 years ago.

The find suggests North America was colonized by multiple cultures, some of whom arrived possibly earlier than the Clovis.

“Our investigations constitute the final blow to the Clovis First theory,” said Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen’s Centre for GeoGenetics, which did the DNA analysis, in a news release. “Culturally, biologically and chronologically, the theory is no longer viable.

“The dissimilar stone artifacts, as well as the DNA-profiling of the human excrement, show that humans were present before Clovis and that another culture in North America was at least as old as the Clovis culture itself.” Continue reading