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  • Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait notes the continuing maps and naming of the Pluto system.

  • Centauri Dreams considers one method to detect photosynthesis on Earth-like worlds of red dwarf stars.

  • D-Brief notes the discovery of Octlantis, a permanent community of octopi located off the coast of Australia.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes Earth-like world can co-exist with a Jovian in a circumstellar habitable zone.

  • Hornet Stories notes that Morrissey is now in Twitter. (This will not go well.

  • Language Log notes the kanji tattoo of one American neo-Nazi.

  • The LRB Blog notes how the English town of Tewksbury is still recovering from massive flooding a decade later.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the improbable life of Barry Sadler, he of "The Ballad of the Green Berets".

  • The Map Room Blog shares this terrifying map examining the rain footprint of Hurricane Irma.

  • Spacing reviews a fascinating dual biography of architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson.

  • Window on Eurasia notes an call to restore to maps the old Chinese name for former Chinese Tuva, Uryankhai.

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  • Centauri Dreams celebrates the science behind Cassini.

  • Crooked Timber's Henry Farrell is breaking from Harvard's Kennedy Centre over its revocation of an invitation to Chelsea Manning.

  • The Crux points to the ways in which the legacy of Cassini will still be active.

  • D-Brief notes that some tool-using macaques of Thailand are overfishing their environment.

  • Hornet Stories notes the eulogy given by Hillary Clinton at the funeral of Edie Windsor.

  • Inkfish notes one way to define separate bird species: ask the birds what they think. (Literally.)

  • The LRB Blog notes the recent passing of Margot Hielscher, veteran German star and one-time crush of Goebbels.

  • The NYR Daily notes the chilling effects on discourse in India of a string of murders of Indian journalists and writers.

  • At the Planetary Science Blog, Emily Lakdawalla bids farewell to the noble Cassini probe.

  • Roads and Kingdoms notes a breakfast in Bangladesh complicated by child marriage.

  • Towleroad notes an Australian church cancelled an opposite-sex couple's wedding because the bride supports equality.

  • Arnold Zwicky notes the marmots of, among other places, cosmopolitan and multilingual Swiss canton of Graubünden.

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares stunning deep-field pictures of intergalactic space.

  • Centauri Dreams shares the second part of Larry Klaes' analysis of Forbidden Planet.

  • D-Brief suggests that controlled kangaroo hunting may be necessary for the ecological health of Australia.

  • Bruce Dorminey notes a new radio telescope in British Columbia that may help solve the mystery of fast radio burst.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes that quasars can irradiate a noteworthy fraction of potentially Earth-like planets.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money comes out against the idea of giving Amazon massive tax breaks for HQ2.

  • The LRB Blog bids a fond farewell to Saturn probe Cassini.

  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper suggesting new ideas--hence, new sources of economic growth--are harder to come by.

  • Maximos62 recounts a quietly chilling trip to East Timor where he discovers a landscape marked by genocide.

  • The New APPS Blog is quite unsurprised by news that Russians may have used Facebook to manipulate the US election.

  • At Out of Ambit, Diane Duane bids a fond farewell to colleague Len Wein.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw does not think Australia is committed enough to affordable housing to solve homelessness Finland-style.

  • Roads and Kingdoms reports from the Suwalki Gap, the thin corridor joining the Baltic States to Poland.

  • Peter Rukavina looks at how a storied land rover was recovered from St. Helena.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel lists the top six discoveries of Cassini at Saturn.

  • Towleroad notes fundamentally misaimed criticism of new AI that determines sexual orientation from facepics.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at contemporary Russian fears about the power of rising China in Russia's Asian territories.

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  • At Antipope, Charlie Stross considers the ways in which Big Data could enable an updated version of 1984.

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at all the ways in which this photo of galaxy NGC 5559 is cool, with a supernova and more.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly shares a week of her life as a professional writer.

  • Crooked Timber looks at the potentially dominant role of racism as a political marker in the US.

  • Far Outliers notes that the Confederacy's military options circa 1864 were grim and limited.

  • Language Log shares an example of a Starbucks coffee cup with biscriptal writing from Shenyang.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the Rohingya are being subjected to genocide. What next?

  • Marginal Revolution notes the introduction of a new chocolate, ruby chocolate".

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw has it with ideological divisions of left and right.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer looks at the remarkably intemperate Spanish court decision that kicked off modern separatism in Catalonia.

  • Charley Ross looks at the sad story of missing teenager Brittanee Drexel.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel notes that now is an excellent time to start highlighting the politics of climate change.

  • Towleroad mourns New York City theatre star Michael Friedman.

  • Window on Eurasia notes the ways in which Russia is, and is not, likely to use the military.

  • Arnold Zwicky shares a map of the regional languages of France.

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  • Anthrodendum considers what, exactly, anthropology majors can do job-wise with their degrees. Interesting ideas.

  • Centauri Dreams considers the possible origins of cometary organics in deep space.

  • Hornet Stories talks of anti-immigrant Americans with immigrant ancestors who skirted relevant laws themselves, like Donald Trump.

  • Language Hat considers byssus, an exotic ancient textile and a word with a complex history.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at how the potential for disaster in Florida is worsened by poor planning.

  • The LRB Blog looks at the sad intersection of war, xenophobia, and rising rates of polio in Pakistan (and elsewhere).

  • The Map Room Blog notes an interactive map-related play still showing at the Halifax Fringe, Cartography.

  • The NYR Daily notes a high-profile corruption trial of a former government minister in Moscow.

  • The Planetary Society Blog shares Paul Schenk's story about how he interned at JPL in 1979 for the Voyager 2 flyby.

  • Roads and Kingdoms looks at the search by a Brazilian man for caves in the south of that country.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy asks some interesting questions about the mechanics of Settlers of Catan.

  • At Whatever, John Scalzi remembers Jerry Pournelle.

  • Window on Eurasia notes how Russia is strongly opposed to any Circassian return to their ancestral homeland.

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  • NOW Toronto notes the huge impact of the departure of Jennifer Keesmaat on the city of Toronto. Who will be next?

  • At Spacing, John Lorinc notes that Lilie Zendel, head of Street ART Toronto, is leaving her successful public art job behind.

  • Julien Gignac writes about Andrew O'Connor's pirate radio broadcasting, based from Parkdale.

  • On how St. James Cathedral preserves in its archives a guest book signed by Diana, Charles, and their children.

  • Why, as Canadaland reports, would The Globe and Mail get rid of Tabatha Southey and Leah McLaren? (And keep Margaret Wente?)

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes how data mining of stellar surveys led to the discovery of a new star type, the BLAP.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly tells about her enjoyable recent stay at Fire Island.

  • Centauri Dreams notes the latest maneuvers of asteroid probe OSIRIS-REx.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper considering oxygen in exoplanet atmospheres as a biomarker.

  • Joe. My. God. notes how racist Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio is upset at being called a racist.

  • Language Log notes how China censored images of the Tibetan-language tattoo of MMA fighter Dan Hardy.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes how deportees to Mexico are beset by that country's crime syndicates.

  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper considering how many sellers a market needs to be competitive.

  • The New APPS Blog considers the racism of Donald Trump in the light of Agamben's concept of the homo sacer.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw considers the issue of monuments in Australia in the context of Aborigines' sufferings by the subjects memorialized.

  • The Planetary Society Blog shows the Jupiter approach videos taken by the Voyager probes.

  • Towleroad explains why Diana, with her embrace of (among other things) fashion and AIDS victims, is a gay icon.

  • Arnold Zwicky notes the official registration in Scotland of a tartan for LGBT people.

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  • blogTO notes the new name of Toronto's Regent Park, "DuEast", after Dundas Street East.

  • In the Toronto Star, Shawn Micallef argues a recent festival shows the potential of east-end high-rise neighbourhood Main Square.

  • Also in the Star, Francine Kopun looks at the half-billion dollars put into renovating Sherway Gardens.

  • Ainslie Cruickshank reports on how the many who care for late councilor Pam McConnell are mourning her.

  • In The Globe and Mail, Miriam Katawazi reports on finds from remarkable, long-delayed inventory of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

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  • As VICE notes, it is terribly frustrating that we still have to fight to make sure others do not lie about our queer lives.

  • Julia Carpenter at the Washington Post
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  • Torontoist remembers Pam McConnell, former deputy mayor and a person committed for a long time to the health of Toronto.

  • The Toronto Star's Jesse Winters notes the controversial planned addition of two condo towers, somewhat modified, to the Distillery District.

  • The Toronto Star reports on the rescue of two photo-taiking tourists stranded midway the Scarborough Bluffs. I'm not saying I've climbed these very same inclines, just that I empathize with their position.

  • The Star's Emma McIntosh confirms what we suspected: The flooding of the Toronto Islands is such that large portions will remain closed off all summer.

  • The Globe and Mail's Stephen Wickens notes that there is not a large commerical real estate boom along the new Eglinton Avenue LRT.

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  • Vice's Noisey celebrates the life and music of Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, whose medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" outlived him.

  • The AP describes how Britain's pop music charts have changed to stop future bouts of Ed Sheeran-style domination.
  • Hannah Ellis-Peterson reports for The Guardian about how (and why) Sony has opened a new vinyl pressing plant in Japan.

  • Carla Gillis reported for NOW Toronto about David McPherson's forthcoming book on the famed Horseshoe Tavern.

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  • The Independent notes a denial that Scotland's Conservatives will split from the national party. I wonder, thought, if Scotland's political spectrum is going to shift, like Québec's, from a left-right split to a separatist-unionist one?
  • Owen Jones argues in The Guardian that the rampant prejudices of the DUP, including its homophobia, make it an unsuitable coalition partner.

  • Andray Domise argues in MacLean's that a perceived need to fit in means that immigrants can be too ready to dismiss local racisms.

  • Fast Company lets us know that the minimum wage increases in Seattle have not led to higher retail prices.

  • CBC notes the death of Sam Panopoulous, the Canadian man who invented Hawaiian pizza.

  • Adam West, the first man to play Batman on the screen, has died. We all, not just the fandom, are the poorer for his passing.

  • Are the robots not poised to take over our world? What does their absence demonstrate about our underachieving economy? The Atlantic wonders.

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  • The New York Times' Michael Wilson tells the sad story of how a woman murdered in Harlem was only identified 47 years later.

  • In NOW Toronto, Gelek Badheytsang writes about the complexities surrounding the visit of the 17th Karmapa to Tibetan-heavy Parkdale.

  • Novak Jankovic writes in MacLean's that there are real declines in the Toronto real estate market, but not enough to set a trend.

  • The Toronto Star's Jackie Hong reports that protecting Bluffer's Park from the waves of Lake Ontario could also wreck an east-end surfing haunt.

  • The National Post reports on how the Ontario NDP claims, probably correctly, that the Wynne Liberals are stealing their ideas. Good for them, I say.

  • Universe Today's Matt Williams notes a study reporting that life on Mars' surface is a much greater risk factor for cancer than previously thought.

  • Seth Miller argues that efficient electric cars will push Big Oil through the trauma of Big Coal in the 2020s.

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  • 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.

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  • Centauri Dreams describes a new type of planet, the molten hot rubble cloud "synestia".

  • Far Outliers describes the Polish rebels exiled to Siberia in the 19th century.
  • Language Hat looks at words for porridge in Bantuphone Africa.

  • Language Log examines whistling as a precursor to human language.

  • The LRB considers the new normal of the terrorist state of emergency.

  • Marginal Revolution notes the weakness of the Indian labour market.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer tries to explain to Uruguayans how Donald Trump made his mistake on the budget.

  • Savage Minds remembers the late anthropologist of Polynesia and space colonization, Ben Finney.

  • Towleroad examines the rather depressing idea of a porn-dominated sexuality.

  • Understanding Society examines Hindu/Muslim tensions in India.

  • Window on Eurasia reports on the weakness of Belarus' opposition.

  • Arnold Zwicky talks about Arthur Laurents.

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"For Monty"


This touching Croft Street mural and poem remembers neighbourhood cat Monty.
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The CD single of Robert Miles' "Children" is one of the first singles I had ever bought, on (I think) one of my family's shopping daytrips to the mainland, to Moncton. There we could buy canned pop, or French-language books, or CD singles.
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  • 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.

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At Demography Matters, I have a brief note noting the sad death earlier this week of Gapminder's Hans Rosling. 68 was too young for anyone, certainly too young for someone so dedicated to helping the world know itself through the truth. Scott Gilmore's article in MacLean's is one I recommend.




What can I say but that I wish that his vision be continued?
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  • 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.

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