Weekend Newsstand: August 27, 2011
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Weekend Newsstand: August 27, 2011

Oh hey there weekend—why, didn't you pop out of nowhere, you creepy little garden gnome! Sarah Thomson's magazine features Sarah Thomson's feelings, an award-winning Regent Park nursery school shuts down, Toronto's dour black Bixis get a temporary dash of colour, and the fact that you're sad about Jack Layton's death can be explained be evolutionary psychology, so don't think this is special or anything.

Toronto mayoral Ontario Liberal candidate Sarah Thomson is under fire for mailing campaign material to the houses of voters under the auspices of her magazine, Women’s Post. The latest issue of the publication for which Thomson is the sole shareholder features an expository essay from the MPP candidate about what she did on her summer vacation, which was apparently go sailing. No, wait, ‘It was all a dream…’ Or something. The article is so insipid and heavy-handed, it’s really hard to say why it’s a cover story. The current MPP for Trinity-Spadina, NDP Rosario Marchese, criticizes Thomson’s use of her subscriber’s list to spread propaganda. Fortunately for Marchese, if anyone actually reads the article, the odds of their voting for Thomson can only go down (unless they’re really into terrible boating metaphors). Unfortunately, people are probably more likely to read the covers of magazines than what’s inside them. Bummer.

You might have heard that Rob Ford’s efforts to sniff out the City’s gravy has put greasy, gravy-ish things like daycare on the chopping block. If the children are being watched by strangers, where must the mothers be? Working? That’s excessive. Send them back to the kitchens and the playrooms. The city’s oldest nursery school, an award-winning facility called Bond Child and Family Development in Regent Park, is closing its doors after 75 years due to a shortage of subsidies available to low-income families.

Until September 1, Bixi users could chance upon something a little more colourful in their search for some wheels, compliments of loans from a host of cities around the US and Canada. At the moment, the current Bixi fleet is not Toronto pure: there are 12 bikes in our midst from Montreal, Melbourne, London, Washington D.C, Minneapolis and Ottawa-Gatineau. The good news is that they’re brightly coloured and colour is cool. The bad news is that they’re a slightly older model than Toronto’s own.

If you’ve been choking up every time you open the newspaper this week (or check newsstand right here—however it is you get your newsy jollies) and see the name Jack Layton, don’t think your spell of emotion is anything special. The outpouring of feeling at the death of a public figure is normal, say grief experts and psychologists solicited for their opinion by the CBC. A University of Toronto psychology prof says that this kind of grieving can be traced to our caveman impulse to designate certain people as “high status primates.” So if you’re going down to Roy Thomson Hall today, know that you aren’t just shedding a tear for a great man and leader—that is one high-status primate you’re mourning.