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Glenn Gould

The first session of my "The Imagination of Glenn Gould" class will take place this afternoon, Thursday, February 9, 2017. I remember seeing Glenn Gould play with the Cleveland Orchestra when I was in high school. And his recordings of Bach's Goldberg Variations have remained among my favorites. I had already offered several music classes. Offering a class on Glenn Gould made sense. The challenge is to find ways to translate my enthusiasm for his work into a meaningful LIFE course.

The String Quartet

This semester I will be offering a 6 session course on "The String Quartet" at Ryerson's LIFE Institute. This being a course offered by a senior (me), for seniors (LIFE Institute Members), the focus is on improved understanding and appreciation. Theory will play only a minor role - LIFE members are not there for theory, and I'm not competent to present it. But there is a basic question of "Why has the string quartet been so popular?"

The OMB, II

In retirement, I was confronted by an urban planning challenge in downtown Toronto - a developer proposed to put twin 58 storey towers just a few meters from my study window. Early in my urban planning learning experience, I had to face the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) challenge. The OMB exercises something that is all too close to the divine right of kings. They, in their infinite wisdom, can make or unmake any land use decisions made by the city of Toronto, or by any other local body anywhere in Ontario.

Living Yonge

Yonge Street runs immediately west of our condo. "Our" stretch of Yonge Street - between College & Bloor - is under threat of major developments. Land is expensive, but tall glass condo monoliths seem to sell well. The city with the active help of the neighbourhoods either side of Yonge has developed a planning framework, and it has been translated into an Official Plan Amendment. That has been challenged before the Ontario Municipal Board, which has the power to overrule any municipal land use decisions.

LIFE Courses

Note: My LIFE courses have a website: http://LIFEcourses.ca. See that site for information about my courses.

Linux Desktop

For years, the operating system on my desktop was some version of Microsoft Windows. Then Microsoft decided to change its focus. Windows was to be the universal operating system for smartphones, for tablets, for personal computers and for servers. That led to abandoning Window XP and attempting to move everyone to Windows 8. The market did not react positively to this version of Windows, nor did I.

Urban Planning

“It's hard to make accurate predictions, especially about the future.”

Information Systems Prolog

The simple process of predicting the future is difficult enough. Predicting the impact of a significant planned change is even more difficult. There is a kind of Uncertainty Principle at work. We plan a change with a view to establishing, post change, certain desirable or required characteristics. Problem is, the process of installing the change can and often does alter what we would see as desirable or required.

Site Plans

My old site still exists (link), albeit in a static form. Rather than migrate material from the old site to this new site, my plan is to gradually populate this site with material that is relevant to my current interests. Eventually, I may drop all reference to my old site, but that's a number of years in the future.

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