Category Archives: History in the News

Is Wikipedia Worth the Trouble?

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Formally launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in 2001, Wikipedia — the “free encyclopedia that anyone can edit” — has become the first (and often only) stop in Internet fact-finding. With well over ten million articles to date, Wikipedia has evaded overt corporate influence through a non-profit structure and currently ranks among the top ten most visited sites on… Read more »

Reflection: 9/11

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Today I write this on 12 September 2010, one day after 11 September 2010, and 9 years after 11 September 2001. In the midst of my first year of living in New York City, this date has caused me special occasion to pause and to take note of the nine year anniversary as I get to know the neighbourhoods and… Read more »

2010 is Year of the British Home Child in Canada but Some Descendants Want More from Ottawa

The Government of Canada has declared 2010 to be the Year of the British Home Child.  Earlier this month, Canada Post released a commemorative stamp to honour this recognition. The stamp, designed by Debbie Adams of Adams+Associates Design Consultants, contains three images: the SS Sardinian, on which home children migrated from Britain to Canada; a photograph of a home child… Read more »

Can We Redeem File-Sharing After the Download Decade?

The term “download decade” is an effective description of the first ten years of this infant century and the first rising chapter of the so-called Information Age. It accurately distills the blind conspiracy between the exponential availability of high-speed Internet, the gradual decrease in the cost of personal computers, the rise of peer-to-peer file-sharing networks and websites like Napster and… Read more »

In Search of the Franklin Expedition

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In 1845 the Franklin Expedition disembarked from coastal England in search of the Northwest Passage, but instead of achieving this goal, the voyage became the source of one of history’s most enduring stories that would continue to spark interest over 150 years later. This summer Parks Canada has announced its intention to continue its search for the wrecks of the… Read more »

Contextualizing G20 Policing in Toronto

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A brief trip through Toronto’s 20th century past can show us two things: firstly, that police violence and arbitrary use of power has a long history in Toronto. More importantly, however, we see that citizen action can spur meaningful regulatory change. We can do something.

The Moral Economy of the 2010 Toronto G20 Crowd?

A brief discussion of the G20 peaceful protests largely overlooked in the mainstream media, and the relevance of historian E.P. Thompson’s work to our times.

Waving the Flag in Distress

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Today is the one-hundred and forty-third anniversary of Canada’s Confederation and the formal birth of the country’s federal political system. And instead of waving the flag in a perfunctory fashion (yes, I know the Queen is visiting), I’d like to wave it in distress over the present dysfunction in our federal politics by briefly singling out four serious issues in… Read more »

How Useful is the Library of Congress’ Twitter Archive?

On Wednesday 14 April, the United States of America’s Library of Congress (LOC) announced a deal with the popular social networking service, Twitter, to archive all public messages on the site right down to the first “tweet” from @jack (Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder) on 21 March 2006, at 3:50 PM. Response to the news can generally be described as positive… Read more »

How far have we come? From Yellow Peril to the “Colour of Canada”

by Laura Madokoro CBC radio recently announced that “the face of Canada is changing colour.” With all the news about global warming and melting ice cap, such a headline might make you think that something horrific had happened to the Canadian environment. You would be mistaken. Au contraire, the news was about the latest Canadian census results that reveal a… Read more »