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Extra, Extra: States of Emergency, Mayoral Inspirations, and Brain-to-Brain Rat Communication

Every weekday’s end, we collect just about everything you ought to care about or ought not to miss.

Ice Storm 2013 Media Update. Photo by HiMY SYeD, from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

  • Should Mayor Rob Ford have declared a state of emergency? And would it have made a difference if he had? Now Magazine looks at some of the questions Ice Storm 2013 has raised about preparedness, political accountability, the lessons that have been learned—and whether lessons have, in fact, been learned.
  • “Things happened, and some of it was even good,” writes Shawn Micallef in his year-end column for the Star, before reminding us that in Toronto over the course of 2013, promising holes were dug, bike-sharing programs were saved, and parks were beautified and improved.
  • Sometimes, mayors exchange ideas and study one another’s policy positions and civic philosophies. And sometimes, those same mayors then explain their policy inspirations in order to interest a larger audience in such things. As part of its “Ask a Mayor” series, the Atlantic Cities asked a few U.S. mayors about what they’ve learned and stolen from their political counterparts, and about how keeping an eye on developments in other cities can help improve your own.
  • Io9 has published a list called “The 18 Most Futuristic Predictions That Came True in 2013,” which is how we know that this year, rats located thousands of miles away from each other were able to help each other solve problems with the aid of brain-to-brain interfaces, and that scientists also came up with a different kind of interface that allowed humans to move the tails of rats using only the power of (human) thought. We’re unsure whether 2013 represented a good year in human scientific development from the point of view of rats. We’re entirely sure that a network of invisibly connected problem-solving rats could lead to future problems for humans.

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  • DavidPylyp

    There is no winning side here, no matter how you paint this picture.
    If Rob had given up control would there have been anymore warming centres or police stations receiving people? Would there have been any more personnel available to climb poles and effect hydro repairs?

    What could I have done better in my condo building that went dark? Thank goodness for People sharing in Toronto and that there was no looting or violence.

    Thank god there were few injuries. I am personally proud of Toronto in hearing how we helped each other.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      It’s not likely there would’ve been more warming centers. There would, however been a clear delineation of command. What we got, at a time of crisis was more bickering, finger pointing and playing of the blame-game. This has been part and parcel of Toronto politics since Ford was elected Mayor. Even when his powers have been reduced, he manages to find a way to divide and polarize by asserting his authority during an emergency(whether official or not). Hopefully this “double Mayor” situation will be looked into in any post-mortem on the Great Ice Storm of 2013.

      • dsmithhfx

        The province needs to give council a way to say ‘when you’re done, you’re done.’

    • cv

      We won’t know of the injuries until later on after a complete door to door canvas has been done.