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Gilgamesh is great as an e-book - from Toronto Public Library

In Praise of Rereading: The Epic of Gilgamesh

At various times in my life I’ve been a big reader (surprise). At one point, I got a bit obsessed with trying to understand All The Great Works Of World Literature courtesy of The New Lifetime Reading Plan, published in 1999. My home was full of books (actual print books), read and unread, especially inexpensive …

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Ed McCabe and silly Sarah, Thunder Bay, Ontario (photo courtesy Kirstin Davidson)

Edmund J. McCabe 1932-2019

My beloved father, Edmund McCabe, has died. Here is his obituary from the Toronto Star. Here are the words I spoke at his funeral. I’m not sure what happens next, but I know this is the way of things, and we’ll figure it out.* At the moment I’m heartbroken … and I’m very grateful for …

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1930s golden evening shoes (French or Belgian). Yes, please.

Bata Shoe Museum

I love a niche museum. It’s marvellous how one seemingly narrow subject (like brands or fans or clocks) can lead to insights on a greater whole. Bata Shoe Museum is a perfect example. As the museum’s “About Us” page says: The current exhibit, Want: Desire, Design, and Depression Era Footwear, is a feast for the …

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Canadian Rapper Maestro Fresh-Wes, Let Your Backbone Slide, 12" vinyl single, 1989. From current exhibition, For the Record.

TD Gallery at Toronto Reference Library

The TD Gallery at Toronto Reference Library is small but mighty. This free gallery’s mandate is to showcase art, artifacts, manuscripts and more from Toronto Public Library’s extensive Special Collections. If you happen to be in the Yonge & Bloor area, it’s worth stopping by to see what wonderful stuff is on display. I could …

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Toronto's Campbell House Museum, on an icy February afternoon

Campbell House Museum

In 1972, the Campbell House (Museum), built in 1822, was moved to University & Queen from its original location 1.5 km southeast at Adelaide & Jarvis. Yesterday, during my visit, I happened to meet a woman who said she’d witnessed this extraordinary event. What a sight it must have been! The Toronto Public Library catalogue’s caption of …

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In the auditorium at The Ontario Science Centre for "The Energy Show," demonstrating wind energy with a leaf blower and wall art that turns out to be fans

The Ontario Science Centre

Have you ever seen people with their hair made to stand on end by touching a Van de Graaff generator? During my visit to The Ontario Science Centre yesterday, I learned that over two million people have had that experience with static electricity in Toronto, including one lucky girl during yesterday’s “The Energy Show” (similar to the …

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Talons of the Thunderbird in Norval Morrisseau's Man Changing into Thunderbird (1977)

The Art Gallery of Ontario

On one of the coldest nights of the year, and the day after the most snow Toronto’s seen in a decade, I spent some time warming up by walking through The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), reacquainting myself with the collections. I wasn’t familiar with the Indigenous galleries (I think they were under renovation for some time?) …

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Man meets Green Sawfish, on the moving walkway through the underwater gallery called Dangerous Lagoon (where the sharks live)

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

My previous visit to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada (a Fish Museum, so it qualifies for my #100museums challenge) had been on a Friday Night Jazz evening, with alcohol. This time, with six billion children running around, was just as fun, and I could pay even more attention to the captions. Plus, with no glass in hand, …

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CNIB Guide Dogs Promotional Items: "Guide Dog Etiquette 101"

Archives of Ontario Helen McClung Exhibit Area

ANIMALIA: Animals in the Archives, an onsite exhibit at the Archives of Ontario at York University, is outstanding. When I first learned from Alison Little, Senior Coordinator, Educational Programming and Exhibitions at the Archives of Ontario, that the Archives would be mounting an animal-themed exhibit, I envisioned something similar to their (and her) 2017 Family Focus exhibition …

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Rabbit Tureen, England, London, Chelsea, c. 1755-56, glassy (frit) soft-paste porcelain, with overglaze enamels

Gardiner Museum

I’m reminded of an episode of the Twilight Zone starring Burgess Meredith, in which he finds himself alone after a nuclear war, in the remains of the public library with all the time in the world to read, at last. The twist is he then accidentally drops and breaks his glasses. Despair! My visit to …

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