Arachnews: November 2019

In this month’s Arachnews:

  • the usual stunning photos of divers arachnids
  • lots of research on ecology, pest control of mites (often with mites), venom, and tick-borne disease
  • spiders in the age of the dinosaurs
  • intriguing endosymbiont discoveries
  • rhino ticks! elephant ticks!
  • a bunch of Brachypelma tarantulas have been moved to a new genus, Tliltocatl
  • some very cool new finds, like new liphistiid species and ancient troglobitic harvies

Check it out over at Arachnofiles on Medium.

Arachnews: October 2019

Whoops, forgot to post this after it came out! Anyway, the October edition of Arachnews has lots of stuff:

  • award-winning spider portraits
  • cute mite faces
  • #Arachtober art
  • how to extract spider venom
  • jumping spiders on caffeine
  • EXTREME! 🛹 sexual size dimorphism

Do go check it out, clap, etc.

Arachnews: September 2019

My regular roundup of arachnid-related art, news, and science is up at Arachnofiles! In this month’s Arachnews:

  • new ZeFrank!
  • quality photos, memes, and merch
  • educational articles about spider silk, Spider Season, and more
  • arachnid relationships with parasitic wasps, ants, and fungus
  • new Portia personality paper
  • new trade protections—and expanded range—for Poecilotheria, the popular tarantula genus also known as “pokies”

And lots more! Go, read, “clap”, etc.

Arachnews: August 2019

This past month was very busy, as I have been making up for all the work I missed recovering from surgery. So this Arachnews is rather late. But, tons of great stuff! In this month’s edition: rainbow-faced spiders, the results of the Great Black Widow Race, the goods on that “climate change making spiders more aggressive” story, a scorpion-inspired pressure sensor, a new Portia paper, and more.

I’ve also changed the formatting up a bit. Links to the original papers are now posted at the end of each item, accompanied by Sci-Hub links unless they’re open access (marked with a 🔓️).

Just a Quick Announcement

I’m moving on from Torontoist.

I’m incredibly grateful I had the opportunity to contribute to a great publication. Torontoist’s editors (and I mean copy editors too! ilu guise) have improved my writing immensely. And a shout-out to the many Torontoist Flickr pool photographers whose work has enriched my articles.

However, I deserve to be paid fairly. And Torontoist doesn’t have the budget for that.1

I’ll be reaching out to other publications that may be a good home for my municipal politics coverage. In the meanwhile, my City Council previews (and everything else) will appear here.


  1. As you know from Who Pays Writers, Torontoist pays freelancers $15 per article. I believe a fair amount would be about $150-300 per article (depending on length and work involved) and $20 per hour of liveblogging. 

Toronto City Council Agenda Preview: March 2017

Photo by Jae Yang from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

City Council convenes this week for yet another Scarborough transit debate. But there’s much more on the agenda, including energy drinks, the Great Lakes, landlord licensing, the inexorable spread of Shoppers Drug Mart, and more. Read on for our picks.


Read more at Torontoist.

Toronto City Council Preview: December 2016

From road tolls to water rates, we read Council’s agenda so you don’t have to.

The rate-supported budget—water, waste, and parking—will be passed this meeting. But it’s a regular Council meeting, too! Try to contain your excitement! The Big Ticket The water, waste, and Parking Authority budgets get passed today. (These are separate from the tax-supported budget, which comes to Council in mid-February.) Read our discussion of the rate-supported budget. […]


The post Toronto City Council Preview: December 2016 appeared first on Torontoist.

What You Need to Know About Toronto’s 2017 Water, Waste, and Parking Budget

Toronto actually has multiple City budgets! Think of this as the secret one that no one talks about.

When people talk about the City budget or the budget process, they usually mean the tax-supported budget. But there’s another budget—or, rather, there are three. The water, waste, and parking budgets are funded by people paying fees for the services they use (and only the services they use). They make up the rate-supported budget, which […]


The post What You Need to Know About Toronto’s 2017 Water, Waste, and Parking Budget appeared first on Torontoist.

Toronto City Council Preview: November 2016 (SmartTrack, Ward Boundaries, and Flood Protection)

Every month, Torontoist reads the Toronto City Council agenda details so you don’t have to.

On this month’s busy agenda: SmartTrack, redrawing Toronto’s wards, service animals, skate parks, and more. The Big Ticket The people want SmartTrack. SmartTrack, SmartTrack, SmartTrack. A major transit report on the City’s commitment to a development process and funding for SmartTrack comes to Council this month. There are many unknowns, untruths, and potential snags. Read […]


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