So what’s in it for you? Well, mainly just national bragging rights. Despite our shared link with Britain, it’s not often that we get to take on Australia. While we clash in rugby, they play a different kind of football and we don’t need to discuss Australian hockey or curling.
And, yes, I’ll admit that our blackflies are a terrible annoyance in the spring. But they’re nothing compared with cane toads.
Don’t tell the Aussies but the longer-lived Canada Letter has about 70,000 subscribers to Damien’s 25,000. He’s aiming to add 10,000. Our head start should allow Canada to make his goal seem feeble. What do you say to 20,000?
At The Times’s headquarters on Eighth Avenue in Manhattan the editors will post a chart tracking the battle for everyone there to see while making their way to the washroom or the coffee pantry. (I’ll also create one for my office but its audience will be pretty much limited to me and my family’s one-eyed cat, Picnic.) The newsletter will feature a running scoreboard until the end of the year.
There will also be an individual prize. Unfortunately, there’s no practical way for me to figure out who has signed up the largest number of new subscribers. But I do have a copy of “The Faraway Nearby,” the beautifully produced catalog of the Ryerson Image Centre’s exhibition of photos of Canada and Canadians from The Times’s archive. It, along with a surprise pack of things bearing the Times logos, will go to the person who sends the most amusing, heroic or otherwise interesting story about signing up others to [email protected].
So get out there and give’er. And please accept my apologies for imposing on you.
The word the Inuit in Labrador use to describe what’s going on with their environment is uggianaqtuq, roughly “to behave strangely.” When Livia Albeck-Ripka went to Rigolet, a Labrador community that depends on ice roads that have grown increasingly unstable because of climate change, she found the effects of that strangeness. “With less time spent outside, people said they felt ‘stuck’ and ‘isolated’ and some reported increased drug and alcohol use, and domestic violence,” she wrote.
A side note: in addition to photography, the article features evocative illustrations by Heather Campbell, an Inuit artist originally from Rigolet.
The Times has extensively reported on the work of Geoffrey Everest Hinton, a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto who is affiliated with Google and also largely responsible for making Toronto a global center for work on artificial intelligence.
As we all know A.I. has become the tech industry’s next big thing. The voice inside your smartphone uses it to answer your questions. But it has largely been based on neural networks, a concept that’s been around for decades and which has limitations.
Mr. Hinton has now come up with a new approach to A.I. He used a puzzle to demonstrate it to my colleague Cade Metz, who reports on emerging technologies for The Times. While it only has two blocks and initially appears to present little or no challenge, the puzzle’s solution defied Mr. Metz as well as, he reported, some leading academics.
By the way, Sara Sabour, Mr. Hinton’s co-researcher, is an Iranian who lives and works in Canada because the United States once denied her a visa to study there.
Along with news and analysis, The Times offers advice on matters big and small, much of which can be found in its Guides offering.
On the specific side of things, Deb Amlen, a columnist and editor of Wordplay, the crossword column of The Times, has produced a handbook on solving The New York Times Crossword. On a broader theme, Tara Parker-Pope, the founding editor of Well, The Times’s consumer health site, offers guidance on finding happiness. (From it I learned that Canada is the seventh-happiest country on earth. Our rival Australia squeaks into the top 10 at No. 9 and the United States is down at 14th.)
Regardless of their subject, however, the articles in Guides aren’t listicles. They’re serious, detailed and worth checking out.
Canada Letter has often highlighted videos from the Op-Docs group, which is on the Opinion side of The Times. Now Op-Docs is coming to a big screen near you, if you live in the Toronto area. Six Op-Docs films will form a special presentation at the Ted Rogers Cinema, which is home to the Hot Docs Festival and its regular film series.
Two of the films were directed by Torontonians, Kelly O’Brien and Ann Shin, who will join me in a discussion.
We have 10 pairs of tickets to give away to Canada Letter readers. You can enter the raffle here.
Many Canadians were among the 200 people took up a request from The Times’s Reader Center and submitted questions about how The Times covers the news for an international audience. Ms. Rudoren, the editorial director of NYT Global and the person who set the challenge against Australia that we must win, has answered.
—Today the Toronto Maple Leafs are controlled by Canada’s largest cable company and Canada’s largest telephone company, both entities that don’t immediately prompt affection in the hearts of Canadians. A century ago when the National Hockey League was forming, Toronto’s team was controlled by an owner who was disliked by almost everyone else in hockey. The result, as this article shows, was that Toronto came close to not being part of the league.
—Is she related? Taylor Crosby, a third-year student at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota and the goalie of the Huskies women’s hockey team is indeed Sidney Crosby’s sister. That can be challenging.
—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized on Tuesday to people who were harassed and forced out of the public service, the military and the Mounties because of their sexual orientation. His government also settled a class-action lawsuit in time for the emotional apology in Parliament.
—The airport in Edmonton, Alberta is testing a robobird that resembles a falcon to reduce bird strikes on aircraft.
—For the Times Insider, I offered some thoughts about the vast difference between Canada and the United States when it comes to the media profile of indigenous people and their issues.