- Apostrophen's 'Nathan Smith talks about "cis", "trans", and the non-obvious meaning of this classification.
- The Big Picture shares photos of a recent sailing festival in Boston.
- blogTO reports on the trendy charcoal-black ice cream of a store across from Trinity Bellwoods.
- Centauri Dreams considers the idea of a "runaway fusion" drive.Crooked Timber wonders how a bad Brexit agreement could possibly be worse than no Brexit agreement for the United Kingdom.
- D-Brief warns of the possibility of sustained life-threatening heat waves in the tropics with global warming.
- The Everyday Sociology Blog considers how sociology majors are prepared, or not, for the workforce.
- Language Hat links to a wonderful examination of the textual complexities of James Joyce's Ulysses.
- The LRB Blog looks at how British big business is indebted to the Conservatives.
- Marginal Revolution reports on China's emergent pop music machine.
- Steve Munro reports on the latest on noise from the 514 Cherry streetcar.
- The NYRB Daily has a fascinating exchange on consciousness and free will and where it all lies.
- The Planetary Society Blog reports on a successful expedition to Argentina to examine Kuiper Belt object MU69 via occultation.
- Peter Rukavina celebrates Charlottetown school crossing guard Dana Doyle.
- Tristan Hopper describes for the National Post how, after the Second World War, Britain tried to blow up the German island of Heligoland. http://news.nationalpost.com/news/
world/blow-the-bloody-place-up-why-70- years-ago-britain-blew-up-an-entire- german-island.
- CNN's Jennifer Grey describes how (pro-Trump) Tangier Island, in Virginia, is sinking through sea level rise and erosion.
- National Geographic's Clare Fieseler has a gorgeous photo essay looking at how planning made once-barren Ascension Island green, and its implications for space colonization.
- Centauri Dreams notes new studies suggesting the flares of red dwarf stars damage potentially habitable planets.
- The Crux notes that the wild apple is going extinct.
- D-Brief notes that recent high winds in Europe helped push energy prices there to negative territory.
- The Frailest Thing considers Neil Postman's thoughts on the intersection of mass media and childhood.
- Inkfish argues in favour of accidental wetlands in urban areas.
- Language Log looks at the trope of the repeated character in some recent Chinese advertising.
- The LRB Blog considers the costs, environmental and otherwise, to the United States' leaving the Paris climate agreement.
- Marginal Revolution wonders what assumptions about deep history the news of Homo sapiens' longer history overturn.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer notes that, in the area of energy costs, mid-20th century Uruguay was worse off than New Zealand.
- The Russian Demographics Blog looks at polling on Russian opinions about the Russian Far East and its future.
- Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell is skeptical about Jeremy Paxman's claims about privacy in modern journalism.
- Language Log reports on the transliterations of "Trump" into Chinese and Chinese social networks.
- Marginal Revolution shares Jill Lepore's argument that modern dystopian fiction deals with submission to the worst, not resistance.
- At the NYRB Daily, Tim Flannery notes how Trump's withdrawal from Paris is bad for the environment and for the American economy.
- Peter Rukavina's photo of stormclouds over Charlottetown is eye-catching. (I have not heard of "dark off" myself.)
- Savage Minds announces a MOOC ANTH 101 course starting tomorrow.
- Window on Eurasia argues that Putin can afford to be aggressive because he is not constrained by Communist ideology.
- The Atlantic notes the chance that China might manage to supplant the United States under Trump as a guarantor of the world order.
- In an older article, The Atlantic noted Mexico's potential to be a spoiler for the United States. Being less wealthy and powerful than the US is not the same as not being wealthy and powerful.
- DW notes that there is the possibility of an entente between China and the EU, to sustain the multilateral order.
- Spiegel Online notes that the Turkey of Erdogan these days is starting to fall out with its NATO partners.
- Open Democracy argues the alienation of Europeans of Turkish background from liberal democracy has roots in Europe.
- Also at Open Democracy, Nick Mullens argues that negatively stereotyping Appalachians leads only to their doubling-down on coal.
- USA Today provides an American perspective on the increased risk of flooding from Lake Ontario, in upstate New York.
- Global News notes that the Toronto Islands are now effectively off-limits to visitors until the end of July.
- Toronto Life shared Daniel Williams' stunning photos of the flooded Toronto Islands.
- Inside Toronto notes that many people are still going far too close to the unstable Scarborough Bluffs.
- The Toronto Star noted that the marina at Bluffers' Park is facing flooding.
- Centauri Dreams remembers Ben Finney, this time from the angle of a man with an interest in space colonization.
- Crooked Timber wonders what will happen to the Anglo-American tradition of liberalism.
- Dangerous Minds imagines the VHS tapes of Logan and Stranger Things.
- Far Outliers notes the Soviet twist on Siberian exile.
- Inkfish notes that Detroit is unique among cities in being a good place for bumblebees.
- Marginal Revolution wonders if modern Germany really is a laboratory for innovative politics.
- The NYRB Daily looks at José Maria de Eça de Queirós, the "Proust of Portugal".
- Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw updates his readers on his writing projects.
- Torontoist reports on how Avi Lewis and Cheri DiNovo have advocated for the NDP's Leap Manifesto.
Yesterday afternoon, I had the good fortune to take a stroll through Toronto's Trinity Bellwoods Park on what was arguably the first day of the year. In that park, adjacent to Queen Street, are a couple dozen cherry trees. Much younger than the ones in High Park and by Robarts Library, these were in full glorious bloom when I saw them.
- Centauri Dreams looks at evidence that Ceres' Occator Crater, an apparent cryovolcano, may have been recently active.
- Crooked Timber's John Quiggin wonders what would have happened had Kerensky accepted the German Reichstag's proposal in 1917.
- Dangerous Minds looks at some fun that employees at a bookstore in France got up to with book covers.
- Cody Delistraty describes F. Scott Fitzgerald's utter failure to fit into Hollywood.
- A Fistful of Euros hosts Alex Harrowell's blog post taking a look at recent history from a perspective of rising populism.
- io9 reports on a proposal from the Chinese city of Lanzhou to set up a water pipeline connecting it to Siberia's Lake Baikal.
- Imageo notes a recent expedition by Norwegian scientists aiming at examining the winter ice.
- Strange Maps links to an amazing graphic mapping the lexical distances between Europe's languages.
- Window on Eurasia argues that Russia is on the verge of a new era of population decline, and shares a perhaps alarming perspective on the growth of Muslim populations in Russia.
Desmond Brown writes for the Inter Press Service about the complications of Guyana's newly-discovered offshore oil, both economic and environmental. What will happen to Guyana's low-carbon economic strategy if it drills?
The recent discovery of large volumes of oil offshore of Guyana could prove to be a major headache for the country, as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and other Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) members press for keeping global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels as provided for in the historic Paris Climate Agreement.
Exxon Mobil recently announced the successful drilling of a deep-water exploration well that may soon confirm that the seafloor beneath Guyana’s coastal waters contains one of the richest oil and natural gas discoveries in decades.
Experts now estimate that one of its offshore fields alone, known as Liza, could contain 1.4 billion barrels of oil and mixed natural gas.
But in the face of a changing climate fueled by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Dr. Al Binger, interim executive director of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREE), said Guyana should not get too excited about the discovery.
“Guyana finds themselves inside AOSIS, the group that is fighting to keep temperatures under 1.5 degrees C, and now they are going to want to sell carbon which is going to get burned. I think they are going to have a lot of head-scratching to figure out ‘is this a blessing or is this a curse?’” Binger told IPS.
- James Bow calls for an end to the US-Canada Safe Third Country agreement prohibiting people coming from American soil from claiming refugee status in Canada.
- D-Brief reports on the vast array of man-made minerals appearing in what is now being called the Anthropocene Era of Earth.
- Dangerous Minds notes the efforts of the Disco Preservation Society to preserve DJ mixes from 1980s San Francisco.
- Language Log takes issue with Neil DeGrasse Tyson's argument that cryptographers, not linguists, would be needed in Arrival.
- The LRB Blog notes impunity for murderers of civil society activists in Honduras.
- Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen talks about Joyce Gladwell's autobiography Brown Face, Big Master.
- The NYRB Daily celebrates the work of Hercules Segers.
- The Planetary Society Blog is skeptical of the Space X plan to send tourists past the Moon by 2018.
- Supernova Condensate lists 8 things we know about Proxima Centauri b.
- Towleroad reports on new walking tours being offered of gay London.
- Arnold Zwicky engages with a California exhibition comparing paintings with movies.
Digital Journal's Karen Graham reports on how the collapse of the permafrost in the Arctic North of Canada threatens further climate catastrophe.
hawing Arctic permafrost are slumping and disintegrating, sending rivers of carbon-rich mud and silt into waterways. This will lead to a climate-driven geomorphic transformation of our ecosystem.
A study published in February 2017, in the journal Geology, titled "Climate-driven thaw of permafrost-preserved glacial landscapes, northwestern Canada," describes the research efforts and findings made by scientists with the Northwest Territories Geological Survey in assessing the increasing intensity of permafrost collapse in the Arctic regions of Canada.
Many readers may remember the July 2015 collapse of a small, unnamed lake in the NWT, documented with a remote camera that showed it falling off a cliff and breaking through a melting earthen rampart.
Thawing permafrost has already caused noticeable changes in the landscape in some Arctic regions and scientists have been tracking temperature changes and thawing of the permafrost for years. When permafrost thaws, large thaw slumps develop, some of them impacting over 30 hectares (74 acres) in area. This can dramatically alter slopes and impact downstream environments.
In 2015, Steve Kokelj of the NWT Geological Survey told the Canadian Press the thaw slumps were getting bigger and more numerous with the increase in temperatures and rainfall. At that time, Kokelj estimated the land affected by slumping had almost doubled in the last 30 to 40 years.
Reuters reports that just under two years ago, Argentina's Esperanza Base on the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula recorded a record temperature akin to that of a warm spring day.
An Argentine research base near the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula has set a heat record at a balmy 63.5° Fahrenheit (17.5 degrees Celsius), the U.N. weather agency said on Wednesday.
The Experanza base set the high on March 24, 2015, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said after reviewing data around Antarctica to set benchmarks to help track future global warming and natural variations.
"Verification of maximum and minimum temperatures help us to build up a picture of the weather and climate in one of Earth’s final frontiers," said Michael Sparrow, a polar expert with the WMO co-sponsored World Climate Research Programme.
Antarctica locks up 90 percent of the world's fresh water as ice and would raise sea levels by about 60 meters (200 ft) if it were all to melt, meaning scientists are concerned to know even about extremes around the fringes.
CBC News' Kate McGillivray reports that this February just past is the warmest Toronto has been ever recorded as experiencing.
It's official — Toronto just lived through the warmest February in at least 80 years, says Dave Phillips, senior climatologist at Environment Canada.
"It also had the warmest February temperature ever, up to 17.7 C on the 23rd," which broke records going back to the 1840s, he told CBC Radio's Metro Morning.
The month didn't start off this way.
"We had temperatures at -12 C," said Phillips. "We had a month's worth of snow in the first ten days."
After that, the jet stream, a narrow band of strong wind, moved "almost into a summer position, well north of us in Northern Ontario. It allowed the warm air to just flood into Southern Ontario," he said.
All that warm air led to 12 days in a row with melting record temperatures. "So clearly, the look and the feel of winter disappeared in February," Phillips said.
The Toronto Star's Evelyn Kwong reported early this morning bout yesterday's record-breaking temperatures. Today was cooler, as predicted. Walking by Lake Ontario down at Woodbine Beach this afternoon, this late February day felt like a cool spring day.
Torontonians enjoyed an especially balmy day Thursday, but it wasn’t just a record high for Feb. 23; it was the warmest February day on record.
Spring temperatures soared to 17.7 C by early afternoon, before cooling down to 12 C closer to the evening.
The previous record for the warmest day ever in February was set last year on Feb. 3 with a high of 16 C. Weather records for Toronto started in 1938. The temperatures also shattered a 33-year-old record high of 14.9 C for Feb. 23, set in 1984.
On Friday, temperatures are expected to dip down back down to a high of 6 C, which is still over the average temperature for February. There will be a 30-per-cent chance of rain and drizzle, and possible thunderstorms.
- blogTO notes that the redevelopment of Toronto's Port Lands is continuing.
- Crooked Timber argues that climate denialism exposes the socially constructed nature of property rights.
- D-Brief notes the reburial of Kennewick Man.
- The Dragon's Gaze notes there is no sign of a second planet around Proxima Centauri.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at life in Texas.
- The LRB Blog analyzes Milo's stumble.
- Marginal Revolution considers the levels of disorderliness different societies, like Sweden, can tolerate.
- The NYRB Daily reports on the poisoning of a Russian dissident.
- The Planetary Society Blog suggests Voyager 1 picked up Enceladus' plumes.
- Peter Rukavina writes of his mapping of someone's passage on the Camino Francés.
- Supernova Condensate looks at the United Arab Emirates' plan to build a city on Mars in a century.
- Towleroad describes the plight of Mr. Gay Syria in Istanbul and reports on the progress of same-sex marriage in Finland.
- Understanding Society considers the complexity of managing large technological projects.
- Window on Eurasia links to one Russian writer arguing Putin should copy Trump and links to anotehr suggesting the Russian Orthodox Church is overreaching.
- blogTO notes that yesterday was a temperature record here in Toronto, reaching 12 degrees Celsius in the middle of February.
- The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly writes about the pleasure of using old things.
- Joe. My. God. notes the death of Roe v Wade plaintiff Norma McCorvey.
- Language Hat notes that, apparently, dictionaries are hot again because their definitions are truthful.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money considers if the Trump Administration is but a mechanism for delivering Pence into power following an impeachment.
- Steve Munro notes that Exhibition Loop has reopened for streetcars.
- The NYRB Daily considers painter Elliott Green.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer notes that North Carolina's slippage towards one-party state status is at least accompanied by less violence than the similar slippage following Reconstruction.
- Window on Eurasia warns that Belarus is a prime candidate for Russian invasion if Lukashenko fails to keep control and notes the potential of the GUAM alliance to counter Russia.
- blogTO looks at deserted Mirvish Village.
- Crooked Timber reenages with the Rachel Carson and DDT myth.
- The Crux looks at the Mandela Effect, exploring false memories.
- Dangerous Minds makes the case for the musical genius of Bobbie Gentry.
- From the Heart of Europe's Nicholas Whyte recounts his visit to Albania's bunker museum.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money notes Brazil's retirement of its only aircraft carrier.
- The LRB Blog looks at the extent and speed of events in the Trump Administration.
- Marginal Revolution engages with a book examining France's carving out a "cultural exception" in international trade agreements.
- Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw reports on the passing of rulership of the Australian micronation of Hutt River.
- Peter Rukavina shares good advice for visiting museums: visit only what you can take in.
- Window on Eurasia looks at Russian Orthodox Church opposition to a certain kind of Russian civic nationality, and argues Russia is losing even its regional superpower status.
- Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell reports on how local councils in the United Kingdom are speculating on commercial property.
- blogTO notes an Instagram user from Toronto, @brxson, who takes stunning photos of the city from on high.
- The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper examining the limits of exoplanet J1407b's massive ring system.
- The Dragon's Tales notes evidence that the primordial Martian atmosphere apparently did not have carbon dioxide.
- Imageo notes that the California rivers swollen by flooding can be seen from space.
- Joe. My. God. notes that American intelligence agencies are withholding sensitive information from a White House seen as compromised by Russian intelligence.
- Language Hat talks about the best ways to learn Latin.
- Marginal Revolution links to a paper observing a decline in inter-state migration in the United States.
- The NYRB Daily looks at the interesting failure of a public sculpture program in the United Kingdom in the 1970s.
- Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw notes the remarkable heat that has hit Australia in recent days.
- The Planetary Society Blog reports on the intersection between space technology and high-tech fashion.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer looks at how Argentina gave the Falkland Islands tariff-free access to Mercosur.
- The Russian Demographics Blog looks at the countries likely to be vulnerable to rapid aging.
- Transit Toronto notes the Bombardier lawsuit against Metrolinx.
- Window on Eurasia argues that poor Russian statistical data is leading directly to bad policy.
- Centauri Dreams notes the sad news that, because of the destructive way in which the stellar activity of young red dwarfs interacts with oxygen molecules in exoplanet atmospheres, Proxima Centauri b is likely not Earth-like.
- Crooked Timber takes issue with the idea of Haidt that conservatives are uniquely interested in the idea of purity.
- D-Brief notes the discovery of an intermediate-mass black hole in the heart of 47 Tucanae.
- The Dragon's Tales reports on the search for Planet Nine.Far Outliers reports on the politics in 1868 of the first US Indian Bureau.
- Imageo maps the depletion of sea ice in the Arctic.
- Language Hat remembers the life of linguist Patricia Crampton.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money notes some of the potential pitfalls involved with Buy American campaigns (and like political programs in other countries), including broad-based xenophobia.
- The LRB Blog looks at nationalism and identity in their intersections with anti-Muslim sentiment in Québec.
- The Map Room Blog links to an essay on the last unmapped places.
- Torontoist notes the 2017 Toronto budget is not going to support affordable housing.
- Transit Toronto reports on TTC revisions to its schedules owing to shortfalls in equipment, like buses.
- Window on Eurasia claims that Putin needs a successful war in Ukraine to legitimize his rule, just as Nicholas II needed a victory to save Tsarism.