- CBC notes how 17 Inuit have been hired by Parks Canada to guard the site of the wrecks of Franklin's ships.
- That the Inuit who pointed the world to Franklin's ships also knows of Franklin's burial cairn does not surprise me.
- Nunavut's communities are set to have much faster Internet through new satellite connections.
- Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait notes how the media made a simulation of a third planet at Gliese 832 a discovery of a new Earth-like world.
- The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly calls on a consideration of why schoolchildren are labelled troublemakers.
- The Dragon's Gaze notes that 51 Eridani b has been discovered to be a cloudy world, and how.
- Far Outliers notes how the decline of Temasek (the future Singapore) was followed by the rise of Melaka.
- Hornet Stories tells of an Orthodox Christian priest in Australia, who, at the funeral of a lesbian, called for gays to be shot.
- Joe. My. God. notes that Catalonia's parliament approved a referendum on secession.
- The LRB Blog considers the import of Monte Testaccio, a man-made hill of rubble and waste dating from Roman times.
- The NYR Daily considers the engaging and engaged pop art of Grayson Perry.
- Roads and Kingdoms tells of a lazy afternoon spent drinking New Zealand beer in a Moscow pub.
- Towleroad notes an upcoming revealing documentary about Grace Jones.
- Window on Eurasia notes how, in the Donbas wars, mercenaries are becoming a major, potentially destabilizing force.
- Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at the conflict between quantitative data and qualitative stories in politics.
- At Anthrodendum, P. Kerim Friedman talks about the technologies he uses to help him navigate Chinese-speaking Taiwan.
- Dead Things notes new dating showing the Neanderthals of Vindija cave, in Croatia, were much older than thought.
- Far Outliers takes a brief look at the history of Temasek, the Malay polity that once thrived in Singapore.
- Hornet Stories shares photos from New York City's Afropunk festival.
- Imageo shows the scale of the devastating wildfires in the western United States, with satellite photos.
- Language Hat looks at the sort of mistakes characteristic of medieval manuscripts written in Latin and Greek.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at Trump's revocation of DACA and the harm that will face the Dreamers. I am so sorry.
- Maximos62 looks at a new book examining how biologists, including Darwin and Wallace, came to draw a borer between Asia and Australia.
- Peter Rukavina blogs about his visit to Wheatley River's Island Honey Wine Company. (Mead, it seems.)
- Strange Company takes a look at the life of violent war-mongering British eccentric Alfred Wintle.
- Window on Eurasia notes the very poor state of sex education in Russia's education system.
- Antipope Charlie Stross takes a look at the parlous state of the world, and imagines what if the US and UK went differently.
- Bad Astronomer Phil Plait takes a look at Sirius, including white dwarf Sirius B.
- Centauri Dreams considers Cassini's final function, as a probe of Saturn's atmosphere.
- D-Brief notes the discovery that diamonds rain deep in Neptune (and Uranus).
- Bruce Dorminey reports on a NASA scientist's argument that we need new interstellar probes, not unlike Voyager 1.
- The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at the way a course syllabus is like a Van Halen contract rider.
- Language Hat takes a look at the palimpsests of St. Catherine's Monastery, deep in the Sinai.
- Language Log looks at the etymology, and the history, of chow mein.
- The LRB Blog recounts a visit to Mount Rushmore in the era of Trump.
- Marginal Revolution takes a look at the question of why Mexico isn't enjoying higher rates of economic growth.
- Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw considers the extent to which politics these days is just sound and fury, meaning nothing.
- Mark Simpson links to an essay of his explaining why we should be glad the Smiths broke up in 1987.
- Speed River Journal's Van Waffle considers the import, to him and the environment, of a spring near his cottage.
- Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel looks at the abundance of black holes in our galaxy, more than one hundred million.
- Unicorn Booty notes that smoking marijuana might--might--have sexual benefits.
- Window on Eurasia shares an argument that ethnic Russians in Russia share issue in common with whites in America, and reports on an argument made by one man that ethnic Russians in republics need not learn local languages.
- I liked this Vice article on a study of the prevalence of ambivalence on the Internet. How will we learn to care?
- Global News reports that the National Museum of Chinese Writing is willing to pay people who can decipher oracle bones three thousand years old.
- CBC reports on an organization of LGBTQ farmers in Québec, Fierté Agricole.
- Alex Needham writes at The Guardian about the life and work of Touko Laaksonen, "Tom of Finland."
- VICE's take on Cecilia Aldonrondo's documentary about the life of her dead gay uncle is touching.
- The Globe and Mail describes a salvage archaeology operation in Cape Breton, on the receding shores of Louisbourg at Rochefort Point.
- Katie Ingram at MacLean's notes
- The National Observer reports on how Québec has effectively banned the oil and gas industry from operating on Anticosti Island.
- This La Presse article talks about letting, or not, the distant Iles-de-la-Madeleine keep their own Québec electoral riding notwithstanding their small population.
- Will the Bloc Québécois go the way of the Créditistes and other Québec regional protest movements? Éric Grenier considers at CBC.
- The National Post describes the remarkable improvement of the Québec economy in recent years, in absolute and relative terms. Québec a have?
- Francine Pelletier argues Québec fears for the future have to do with a sense of particular vulnerability.
- The New York Times is but one news source to observe the findings of archeologists and geneticists that the Canaanites were not slaughtered. Was the claimed Biblical genocide a matter of thwarted wish-fulfillment?
- At Wired, David Pierce mourns the standalone iPod, an innovative music-changing technology in its time now being phased out.
- Catherine McIntyre at MacLean's describes how birding is becoming hip among young urbanites, in Toronto and across Canada.
- Open Democracy looks at how Estonia is pioneering e-residency and virtual citizenship schemes.
- James Bow considers the idea of Christian privilege.
- Centauri Dreams reports on the oddities of Ross 128.
- D-Brief shares Matthew Buckley's proposal that it is possible to make planets out of dark matter.
- Dead Things reports on the discoveries at Madjedbebe, in northern Australia, suggesting humans arrived 65 thousand years ago.
- Bruce Dorminey reports on the idea that advanced civilizations may use sunshades to protect their worlds from overheating. (For terraforming purposes, too.)
- Language Hat notes the struggles of some Scots in coming up with a rationalized spelling for Scots. What of "hert"?
- The LRB Blog considers the way in which the unlimited power of Henry VIII will be recapitulated post-Brexit by the UK government.
- Drew Rowsome quite likes the High Park production of King Lear.
- Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel considers the idea that Pluto's moons, including Charon, might be legacies of a giant impact.
- Unicorn Booty notes the terrible anti-trans "Civil Rights Uniformity Act." Americans, please act.
- The Volokh Conspiracy considers/u> the perhaps-unique way a sitting American president might be charged with obstruction of justice.
- Johann Hari writes for Open Democracy about what may be the beginning of the end of the drug war in Germany.
- I am not in agreement with Joseph Couture's argument in NOW Toronto that the Internet has ended gay communities. (Convince me.)
- Samantha Edwards reports in NOW Toronto controversy regarding the Parkdale feminist street art event. Was it really intersectional?
- James Cooray Smith wonders--or "wonders"--why some Doctor Who fans are so upset with a woman portraying the Doctor.
- In MacLean's, chief Perry Bellegarde argues that more Canadians should be concerned with the too-many deaths of young First Nations people in Thunder Bay.
- The National Post tells the story of how Australian senator Larissa Walters had to unexpectedly resign her position on account of her Canadian birth.
- Via James Nicoll, a paper claiming evidence of human presence in northern Australia, in Madjedbebe, 65k years ago.
- National Geographic tells of the peculiar way some Gulf of Mexico dolphins prepare their catfish. Is it cultural, culinary even?
- D-Brief considers if gas giant exoplanet Kelt-9b is actually evaporating.
- The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper that considers where to find signs of prior indigenous civilizations in our solar system. (The Moon, Mars, and outer solar system look good.
- Joe. My. God. reveals the Israeli nuclear option in the 1967 war.
- Language Log shares a clip of a Nova Scotia Gaelic folktale about a man named Donald.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the ongoing deportations of Hispanic undocumented migrants from the United States.
- The LRB Blog notes the brittle rhetoric of May and the Conservatives.
- The NYRB Daily mourns the Trump Administration's plans for American education.
- Savage Minds considers the world now in the context of the reign of the dangerous nonsense of Neil Postman.
- Strange Maps shares a map documenting the spread of chess from India to Ireland in a millennium.
- Window on Eurasia argues that the Russian government needs to do more to protect minority languages.
- Anthropology.net reports on new evidence that Homo naledi may have used tools, buried their dead, and lived alongside Homo sapiens.
- Centauri Dreams remembers an abortive solar sail mission to Halley's Comet.
- Dangerous Minds shares photos of the "Apache" dancers of France.
- Cody Delistraty writes about Swedish futurist Anders Sandberg and his efforts to plan for humanity's future.
- At the Everyday Sociology Blog, Karen Sternheimer talks about her day as a sociologist.
- Joe. My. God. notes the good news that normal young HIV patients can now expect near-normal life expectancies.
- Language Hat looks at a recent surge of interest in Italian dialects.
- Language Log looks at the phenomenon of East Asians taking English-language names.
- The LRB Blog considers the dynamics of the United Kingdom's own UDI.
- Marginal Revolution looks at the existential issues of a growing Kinshasa still disconnected from the wider world.
- Steve Munro notes that Metrolinx will now buy vehicles from France's Alstom.
- The New APPS Blog uses Foucault to look at the "thanatopolitics" of the Republicans.
- The NYRB Daily looks at Trump's constitutional crisis.
- Out There considers the issues surrounding the detection of an alien civilization less advanced than ours.
- The Planetary Society Blog looks at the United States' planetary science exploration budget.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer looks at Argentina's underrated reputation as a destination for foreign investment.
- Progressive Download shares some thinking about sexual orientation in the context of evolution.
- Peter Rukavina looks at the success of wind energy generation on the Island.
- Understanding Society takes a look at the dynamics of Rome.
- Window on Eurasia shares a lunatic Russian scheme for a partition of eastern Europe between Russia and Germany.
The most recent building to occupy the place, and the role, of St. Lawrence Market North was torn down a bit more than a year ago, in preparation for new construction. (The building most recently on this site was, somewhat amazingly, intended to be a temporary construction when it was put up a half-century ago.) Local news sources have carried reports describing how archaeologists have been busily turning up all manner of artifacts going back two centuries from this site, heavily trafficked since almost the start of Toronto's history. For now, all that there is to this space is a block of grey mu exposed to the sky at Front and Jarvis.
In The Globe and Mail, Marcus Gee writes about the import of the St. Lawrence Market, present on its current location for two centuries and hopefully here for a long while to come.
St. Lawrence Market is one of the two sites in Toronto (the other is nearby St. James Cathedral) that has been used for the same purpose since the city’s earliest days.
Generations of farmers, butchers and vegetable mongers have come down to lay out their wares. Generations of shoppers have come to fill their grocery bags. In a constantly changing city, that kind of continuity is rare and precious.
So when city hall decided to tear down and rebuild the newish market building on the north side of Front Street and replace it with something better, archeologists got a twinkle in their eyes. Here was a chance to explore the buried remnants of Toronto’s past, layer upon layer. At least five market structures have stood on the site. What traces would remain of all those years of busy commerce?
By luck, the site had never suffered a huge excavation. The ground was covered only by a layer of concrete, the floor of the modern, 1968 market building. After that structure was torn down last fall, crews got digging.
They haven’t found any priceless artifacts. They didn’t expect to. This was a market, not a pharaoh’s tomb. Instead, they found butchered bones, iron meat hooks, painted ceramics, a soda bottle and an 1852 Bank of Upper Canada half-penny token. More important, they found the remains of the various buildings of evolving style and size that stood there, each a marker of the city’s growth.
- The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly describes a week in her life as a freelance writer.
- The Dragon's Tales notes how the Indus Valley Civilization did, and did not, adapt to climate change.
- Language Log reshares Benjamin Franklin's writings against German immigration.
- The NYRB Daily follows one family's quest for justice after the shooting by police of one Ramarley Graham.
- The Russian Demographics Blog looks at the Pale of Settlement.
- Torontoist looks at Ontario's food and nutrition strategy.
- Transit Toronto reports on how PRESTO officials will be making appearances across the TTC in coming weeks to introduce users to the new system.
- Window on Eurasia looks at how ethnic minorities form a growing share of Russian emigration, looks at the manipulation of statistics by the Russian state, and suggests Putin's actions have killed off the concept of a triune nation of East Slavs.
At The Conversation, Ben Edwards writes about the discovery of the lost medieval Welsh city of Trellech, and the import of its recent rediscovery by an amateur archaeologist.
The tale of how an amateur archaeologist’s hunch led him to uncover a lost medieval town and spend £32,000 of his own money to buy the land, would stand to be the archaeological discovery of any year. On the border between England and Wales, the site of the medieval town of Trellech reveals much about a tumultuous period of history – and how the town came to be lost.
The story begins in 2004, when archaeology graduate Stuart Wilson began his search for this lost medieval town in Monmouthshire, south-east Wales, near where now only a small village bears the name. In the face of scepticism from academic archaeologists, Wilson’s years of work have been vindicated with the discovery of a moated manor house, a round stone tower, ancillary buildings, and a wealth of smaller finds including pottery from the 1200s.
The town could turn out to be one of the largest in medieval Wales, and while there is more work to be done, the evidence is building. The large number of finds – including metalwork, cooking vessels and decorated pottery – point to a large settlement, and are essential in helping archaeologists date the site. What they suggest is a short-lived but intensive period of occupation between the 12th and early 15th centuries, during which the town was founded by the De Clare family as an industrial centre and later destroyed during the Owain Glyndwr rebellion in 1400. This was a period of instability on the Welsh border, with conflict between rival Welsh princes and the English throne. Settlements like Trellech would become the focus of such clashes, culminating in Glyndwr’s rebellion.
What makes the lost city of Trellech so important is its rarity and the quality of its preservation. Most large medieval settlements in England and Wales are still towns and cities to this day. This means archaeological investigations of medieval London or York for example are difficult and expensive, and can only occur piecemeal as urban redevelopment allows excavation of small areas. If Trellech turns out to be an extensive town, it will be a unique and important site. As archaeology is key to understanding the lives of everyday people who are ignored by the histories of the great and the good, sites like Trellech are the only way we gain these insights.
In the Toronto Star, John Lorinc describes fascinating archeology being performed at Front and Jarvis Streets beneath the North Market, close to the heart of the early city.
In a muddy trench where the North Market once stood, archeologists Peter Popkin and David Robertson scan for clues about a long-buried structure: shards of ceramic and brick mingled with stone remnants give a hint of an elaborate network of drains built in the early 1830s to serve the butchers who once sold meat on this spot.
This pit — and the rest of this extensive dig at Front and Jarvis Sts., across from St. Lawrence Market — is providing a rare glimpse back in time to the earliest origins of Toronto’s foodie industry, which has grown over two centuries to become the $17-billion-a-year behemoth it is today, encompassing everything from artisanal butcher shops to grocery giants.
The North Market remains the only piece of property in the entire city that has been used continually for a single function — food retailing — since its inception in 1803, notes Robertson, a partner with ASI.
At the beginning of the 19th century, Toronto was a colonial outpost, scarcely more than a garrison, a small commercial district around what today is Parliament and King Sts., with a population of fewer than 9,000 people. The colonial administrators needed a market zone and chose a spot on the harbour.
Since then, “at least” five separate market buildings — constructed successively in 1820, 1831, 1851, 1904 and 1968 — have occupied the property, once abutting the Lake Ontario shoreline before landfill stretched the city farther south.
- The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly considers the quiet power of the candle.
- The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper examining horseshoe patterns in protoplanetary disks.
- The Dragon's Tales looks at the impact of human civilization on the Amazonian rain forest and looks at the negative impact of a 6th century volcanic eruption on the Maya.
- Language Log notes that "dumpster fire" is the American Dialect Society's word of the year for 2016.
- Towleroad notes Kiesza's new single.
- Transit Toronto notes service changes for the TTC.
- Understanding Society looks at the Black Panther movement.
- Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell examines the irresistible force of negative campaigning.
NPR's Tegan Wendland reports on how rising sea levels, arguably felt more in low-lying Louisiana than elsewhere, are contributing to the literal erosion of the state's history.
Louisiana is losing its coast at a rapid rate because of rising sea levels, development and sinking marshland. Officials are trying to rebuild those marshes and the wetlands, but much of the coast can't be saved. This makes Louisiana's history an unwitting victim. As land disappears and the water creeps inland, ancient archaeology sites are washing away, too.
Richie Blink was born and raised in Plaquemines Parish, La. — way down south of New Orleans along the Mississippi River. Now he works for the National Wildlife Federation.
[. . .]
What's locally known as the "Lemon Trees" is a stand of weathered old trees on a grassy tuft of land. It's a well-known landmark for fishermen, but Blink says they would rarely stop there to hunt or fish because it's a sacred Native American site.
"The legend goes that you were always to bring some kind of sacrifice, so somebody left some lemons for the ancestors," Blink says.
And those grew into big trees with grapefruit-sized lemons. But as land was lost to the Gulf of Mexico, saltwater made its way into the freshwater marsh, killing off the trees and other plants.
The trees stand like skeletons on the edge of this scrappy, wind-beaten island. Waves beat against the dirt, washing it away, exposing shards of ancient pottery.
Anthropology.net's Kambiz Kamrani reports on an exciting archeological finding from the Aegean, suggesting that Neanderthals or a different hominid population managed to reach the Greek islands.
Mousterian spearheads, a classic Neanderthal tool type, were excavated from the Stelida archeological site on the Greek island of Naxos by from McMaster University. There has been a long time belief that the first people to colonize this particular region were early farmers who arrived by boat approximately 9,000 years ago. These artifacts imply something much much different as they could be 250,000 years old. Archaeologist, Tristan Carter, co-director, comments on the these artifacts,
““The stone tools they were finding on the site looked nothing like the stone tools that had ever been found before on prehistoric sites in the Cycladic Islands.””
The Mousterian culture is Paleolithic. And these spear heads furnish evidence that humans reached the islands of the Aegean Sea a quarter million years ago and maybe earlier. If confirmed, it means the first people on Naxos were Neanderthals, or their probable ancestors, Homo heidelbergensis or maybe even Homo erectus. But how did they get there -Could these archaic hominins have travelled by boat?
The Globe and Mail shares Geordon Omand's Canadian Press article looking at the exciting research into ancient wildlife engineering for food production in British Columbia, with the design of marshes optimized for the yield of a tuber known as the wapato.
An ancient wetland-gardening site unearthed during a road-building project in British Columbia is as culturally important as any other wonder of the world, says a member of the indigenous group who directed the excavation project.
A study published Wednesday found that as early as 1,800 BC, ancestors of the Katzie First Nation in B.C.’s Lower Mainland were engineering the wetland environment to increase the yield of a valuable, semi-aquatic plant known as a wapato. The report describes the finding as the first direct archeological evidence of the cultivation of wild plants in the Pacific Northwest.
“This is as important to us as the Egyptian pyramids, or the temples in Thailand, or Machu Picchu,” said Debbie Miller, who works with an archeological consulting firm owned by the Katzie Nation.
Road-building crews uncovered a rock platform measuring about 12-square metres made up of flat stones that would have rested several feet underwater four millenniums ago. The distribution of the stones into a pattern of single and double layers, as well as their closely packed arrangement, suggests they were placed deliberately, the study published online in ScienceAdvances found.
The stone “pavement” would have prevented the wapato from penetrating deep into the sludgy, wetland sediment, making it easier for gatherers to use long, sharpened digging tools to locate the buried plant and cut it free.