We Lost The North Pole!

December 2, 2019

The Magnetic North Pole is a moveable object; it travels around the globe.  In a previous post, I mentioned that millennia ago it was positioned far south of where we usually suppose it to be.  Now, it has emigrated away from Canada!

According to an article in Forbes magazine,

“What we’ve seen in the past hundred years is that the location of the magnetic North Pole has moved northward. That migration of the magnetic North Pole was switched into overdrive in the past few years, causing the pole to rapidly move … In the recent past, the magnetic North Pole has moved 34 miles a year toward Russia. Just a half-century ago, the magnetic North Pole was wandering about 7 miles each year.”



Apart from Canada losing this natural asset, the movement of the pole affects a lot in our technological world:

“The [North Pole] model update ensures the accuracy of work in governmental agencies around the world. Specifically, NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the U.S. Forest Service use the magnetic poles in their daily operations from mapping to air traffic control. On a more individual level, smartphones use the magnetic north for GPS location and compass apps.”

I’m sure if the Pole moves rapidly over to China, much of Canada’s media will blame Trudeau for it.

Night Music: Gambia

December 2, 2019

Most Important Art of the 2010s

December 2, 2019

ArtNews has published its list of the 20 most important pieces of art created this decade. Like many such lists, this one is sure to create both debate and controversy.

The types of art included are interesting to me: Only 4 are paintings, while 8 are either sculptures or installations; another 6 are videos, and 2 others are pieces of performance art.

Other than the Michele Obama portrait, I was not aware of any of them before today (which no doubt says more about me than about the works). Not having seen any of the videos or the performance pieces, I cannot judge them. Of the others, my particular favourite would be this, both for its immense presence and for the depths of allusion to which it attaches:

A Subtelty, or The Marvelous Sugar Baby, by Kara Walker


A quick note: the incredibly facile and over-priced hanging chandelier under the Granville Street Bridge did not make it to the list.

Poem: Mayor’s Siesta

December 2, 2019


He snored.

And threads of thoughts of windy days

Rushed by like the rivers of Sierra de Ronda.


He turned.

And the heft and touch of the silken duvet

Slipped across his body like the soft waves of Estepona.


He slept.

And into his reverie the ringing telephone

Floated like a minor chord from a flamenco guitar.


He yawned.

And the dreamy grin of the old pepper merchant

Dissolved like tapas in the mouth of a hungry eater.


He answered.

And the sound of his hoarsely whispered “Ola?”

Crept across his chin like a shovel scraping tar.


He awoke.

And the everyday cares of the little village

Wrapped up his dreams like garbage and threw them afar.