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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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  • 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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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the emergent evidence for exomoon Kepler-1625b-I.

  • Centauri Dreams looks at the future of technological civilizations: what if they do not always ascend, but stagnate?

  • D-Brief takes issue with the idea of the "digital native." Everyone needs to adopt new technology at some point.

  • Are Elon Musk and Space-X backing away from the Mars colony plans? The Dragon's Tales notes.

  • The Map Room Blog links to a map of massacres of Aborigines on the Australian frontiers.

  • Marginal Revolution wonders if widespread roboticization really will increase productivity much.

  • Roads and Kingdoms reports on the traditional rum of Newfoundland.

  • Drew Rowsome likes a new Toronto show, Permanence, in part for its take on male sexuality and sexual presence.

  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes that Russia leads the world in cat ownership.

  • Strange Company reports on coin-collecting 1920 cat Peter Pan Wass.

  • Understanding Society takes a look at the potential conflicts between "contingency" and "explanation."

  • The Volokh Conspiracy looks at how a Nassau County legislator wants to block a Roger Waters conconcert because of his support for an Israel boycott.

  • Window on Eurasia notes that Chinese outnumber Jews in the Far East's Jewish Autonomous Oblast. (Not many of both, mind.)

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  • Anthropology.net notes on how a fossil tooth led eventually to the identification of the fourth Denisovan individual known.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly writes about reasons for people to travel solo.

  • The Dragon's Tales' Will Baird notes that the INF Treaty is on the verge of collapse.

  • Mathew Ingram uses a recent GIF of Trump with the Polish president's wife to show how these lie and mislead.

  • Joe. My. God. notes a sharp collapse in London's LGBT venues--more than half in the past decade!

  • Marginal Revolution reports on British actors who take up tutoring as a second job to support their careers.

  • The NYR Daily takes a look at the latest concerns of South Koreans regarding their northern neighbour.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw takes issue with proposed Australian government surveillance of the local Internet.

  • Progressive Download's John Farrell dissects the origins of the false claim that Copernicus was a Catholic priest.

  • Unicorn Booty has a fantastic interview with a scholar, Jamie Bernthal, who makes a case for queer content in Agatha Christie.

  • Window on Eurasia notes that methane bubble explosions in Siberia could wreck Russian pipelines.

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  • Centauri Dreams looks at the potentially deadly effect of the stellar flares of red dwarfs on potentially habitable exoplanets.

  • Charley Ross notes the strange 1957 disappearance of William ad Margaret Patterson from their Texas home.

  • D-Brief notes the evidence for a second planet at Proxima Centauri, a super-Earth Proxima C with a 215 day orbit.

  • Tom Yulsman of ImaGeo shares shares photos of the active Sun.

  • The argument made by Scott Lemieux of Lawyers, Guns and Money that Americans were learning to love Obamacare and Republicans wanted to take it away before they got used to it ... well.

  • Marginal Revolution notes that, and why, restaurant servers in Maine wanted their minimum wage lowered. (Tips.)

  • Roads and Kingdoms shares the story of Na De Fo, a rare Korean restaurant in Mexico City.

  • The NYR Daily looks at how Macron might try to "California-ize" France, and whether he could pull this off.

  • Unicorn Booty notes studies noting bisexuals have a lower quality of life than gays, and wonders why. (Stigma is an issue.)

  • Window on Eurasia notes that global warming, by leading to permafrost melt, is literally undermining the infrastructure of Russia.

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  • 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.

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  • Crooked Timber responds to The Intercept's release of data regarding Russian interference with American elections.
  • Dangerous Minds reports on how Melanie Gaydos overcame a rare genetic disorder to become a model.

  • Dead Things seems unduly happy that it does see as if Tyrannosaurus rex had feathers. (I like the idea.)

  • The Dragon's Gaze reports on our ability to detect the effects of a planet-shattering Nicoll-Dyson beam.

  • The Frailest Thing considers being a parent in the digital age.

  • Language Hat notes the African writing systems of nsibidi and bamum.

  • Marginal Revolution notes that Trump-supporting states are moving to green energy quite quickly.

  • Window on Eurasia notes how Russian guarantees of traditional rights to the peoples of the Russian North do not take their current identities into account.

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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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  • 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.

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  • Centauri Dreams looks at ongoing research into the sizes of Alpha Centauri A and B.

  • Dangerous Minds notes Finland's introduction of a new Tom of Finland emoji.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper speculating as to the fate of icy dwarf exoplanets in white dwarf systems.

  • The Dragon's Tales reports on the intensification of the war in Ukraine's Donbas.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog asks readers how they study.

  • Language Log looks at the structure of yes-no questions in Chinese.

  • The NYRB Daily looks at the consequences of the Trump travel ban.

  • The Planetary Society Blog considers impact craters as potential abodes for life.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer does not quite understand renters' fears about new developments in their neighbourhoods.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy considers the court ruling against Trump's refugee order.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests prospects for long-term economic growth in Russia have collapsed, and notes the sharp fall in real incomes in Asian Russia.

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Popular Science's Sarah Fecht was one of many people last month noting a proposal to restore tigers to Central Asia by importing Siberian tigers to suitable habitats in Kazakhstan. I have to admit this particular rewilding plan appeals to me: Siberian tigers are so close by, after all.

Caspian tigers once roamed all over Central Asia, ranging from modern day Turkey to northwestern China. The huge cats stalked through tall reeds and shrubbery, hunting boar and deer. But in the first half of the 1900s, hunting and poisoning decimated the subspecies, and the Soviet Union's agriculture projects drained the tiger's swampy terrain to grow cotton and other crops. Disappearing habitats and food sources had wiped the Caspian tiger off the map by the 1950s.

But Central Asia may yet get its tigers back. Scientists at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) want to reintroduce tigers to a remote area of Kazakhstan.

It's too late to save the Caspian tiger (unless we de-extinct them using genetic engineering), but the Siberian tiger, a close relative, might be able to fill the ecological hole it left behind.

"We think it's a good idea to restore this legendary animal to the habitats where it lived only 50 or 60 years ago," says Mikhail Paltsyn, a doctoral candidate at the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Paltsyn is a member of the WWF and IUCN, and he was recently commissioned to study the restoration program.

Two factors bolster the case for the tiger's reintroduction. First, the collapse of the Soviet Union saw some of its agricultural programs abandoned, and natural habitats restored. Second, in 2009, scientists discovered that the Siberian tiger is a close relative of the extinct Caspian. A good portion of the Caspian tiger's DNA lives on in the Siberian subspecies, which might make it a suitable replacement for the extinct cat.
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  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly calls on journalists to stand up to Trump.

  • Centauri Dreams looks at exocomets.

  • Language Log shares an ad from the 1920s using the most vintage language imaginable.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money talks about globalization as a mechanism for concentrating wealth at the top of the elite.

  • The LRB Blog talks about the ghosts of the Cold War in the contemporary world.

  • Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen argues that Germany has its own responsibility in transatlantic relations.

  • The New APPS Blog looks at the importance of administrative law.

  • The NYRB Daily celebrates John Berger.

  • Savage Minds proposes a read-in of Michel Foucault in protest of Trump's inauguration on the 20th.

  • Towleroad reports on the latest statistics on the proportions of LGBT people in the United States.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at the continuing depopulation of the Russian Far East and examines the shift to indigenous naming practices in Kyrgyzstan.

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  • Anthropology.net looks at the genetics of how the Inuit have adapted to cold weather.

  • 'Nathan Smith's Apostrophen shares the author's plans for the coming year.

  • Beyond the Beyond's Bruce Sterling shares Margaret Atwood's commitment to fighting for freedom of expression.

  • Crooked Timber asks its readers for recommendations in Anglophone science fiction.

  • D-Brief notes the discovery of the human mesentery.

  • The Dragon's Gaze looks at the protoplanetary disk of LkCa 15 disk.

  • Far Outliers looks at some lobsters imported to Japan from (a) Christmas Island.

  • Joe. My. God. notes Janet Jackson has given birth.

  • Language Hat examines the contrast often made between indigenous and immigrant languages.

  • Language Log looks at the names of the stations of the Haifa subway.

  • Steve Munro notes Bathurst Station's goodbye to Honest Ed's.

  • The Planetary Society Blog examines the Dawn probe's discoveries at Ceres in the past year.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at how the permafrost of the Russian far north is melting and endangering entire cities, and contrasts the prosperity of the Estonian city of Narva relative to the decay of adjacent Ivangorod.

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  • Bad Astronomy notes that a NASA probe has photographed the site on Mars where the ESA's Schiaparelli lander crashed.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly writes about being an immigrant, of sorts, in the United States.

  • C.J. Cherry announces that work on her history of the Alliance-Union universe is continuing.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper looking at the ionization of protoplanetary disks by cosmic radiations.

  • The Dragon's Tales finds evidence for Planet Nine in the orbits of Kuiper Belt objects and the inner Oort cloud.

  • Far Outliers looks at the culture of addiction in Appalachia.

  • Joe. My. God. notes how a Russian embassy has mocked the European Union for defending GLBT rights.

  • Language Log looks at the sounds made by speakers of English, native and Chinese-language mother tongue both.

  • The Map Room Blog links to a map of the river basins of the United States.

  • Torontoist looks at the history of clowns in Toronto.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at how Central Asia is non-Muslim, reports a call for a historical reorientation of Azerbaijan, reports on a Tatar dramatist's fear that Russia is trying to assimilate non-Russians, and looks at how a court in Sakha has defended the constitutional rights of the republic and its titular people.

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Wired's Alec Luhn reports from Siberia, where global warming is wreaking havoc on cities' infrastructure. If there is going to be, as some predict, a population boom in the Arctic as global warming continues, there are going to be major infrastructure issues around.

At first, Yury Scherbakov thought the cracks appearing in a wall he had installed in his two-room flat were caused by shoddy workmanship. But then other walls started cracking, and then the floor started to incline. “We sat on the couch and could feel it tilt,” says his wife, Nadezhda, as they carry furniture out of the flat.

Yury wasn’t a poor craftsman, and Nadezhda wasn’t crazy: One corner of their five-story building at 59 Talnakhskaya Street in the northern Russian city of Norilsk was sinking as the permafrost underneath it thawed and the foundation slowly disintegrated. In March 2015, local authorities posted notices in the stairwells that the building was condemned.

Cracking and collapsing structures are a growing problem in cities like Norilsk—a nickel-producing centre of 177,000 people located 180 miles above the Arctic Circle—as climate change thaws the perennially frozen soil and increases precipitation. Valery Tereshkov, deputy head of the emergencies ministry in the Krasnoyarsk region, wrote in an article this year that almost 60 percent of all buildings in Norilsk have been deformed as a result of climate change shrinking the permafrost zone. Local engineers said more than 100 residential buildings, or one-tenth of the housing fund, have been vacated here due to damage from thawing permafrost.

In most cases, these are slow-motion wrecks that can be patched up or prevented by engineering solutions. But if a foundation shifts suddenly it can put lives at risk: cement slabs broke a doctor’s legs when the front steps and overhanging roof of a Norilsk blood bank collapsed in June 2015. Building and maintenance costs will have to be ramped up to keep cities in Russia’s resource-rich north running.

Engineers and geologists are careful to note that “technogenic factors” like sewer and building heat and chemical pollution are also warming the permafrost in places like Norilsk, the most polluted city in Russia. But climate change is deepening the thaw and speeding up the destruction, at the very same time that Russia is establishing new military bases and oil-drilling infrastructure across the Arctic. Greenpeace has warned that permafrost thawing has caused thousands of oil and gas pipeline breaks.
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  • Bad Astronomy notes a new census of galaxies finding that there are two trillion in the universe.

  • blogTO reports on a new twin condo tower proposed for downtown Toronto.

  • The Dragon's Tales reports on findings suggesting Earth barely escaped a third snowball period.

  • Joe. My. God. notes that no one wants to stay in Trump's new Washington D.C. hotel.

  • Language Hat notes the effort to revive the language of the Miami.

  • Language Log notes pervasive censorship in China.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money dissects the idea of "locker room talk".

  • Marginal Revolution looks at Thailand.

  • The NYRB Daily considers the Bob Dylan Nobel prize.

  • The Planetary Society Blog's Jason Davis interviews the makers of the revamped Antares cargo robot.

  • Towleroad features a guest essay by Hillary Clinton's honorary gay nephew.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy's Orin Kerr looks at the future directions of computer crime law in the United States.

  • Whatever's John Scalzi notes that the GOP doomed itself.

  • Window on Eurasia considers the problem of melting permafrost in the Russian North.

  • Arnold Zwicky engages with an article on gay/straight friendships.

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  • blogTO looks at Toronto's old neon signs and its still-visible ghost signs.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly looks at Donald Trump as a bully.

  • Dangerous Minds shares vintage photos from the set of Labyrinth.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes a not-unexpected non-detection of Proxima Centauri b.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at the presidential debates through the perspective of Pierre Bourdieu.

  • Joe. My. God. notes Glenn Beck's endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

  • Language Log looks at how foreigners pronounce "ni hao".

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that Donald Trump has been using material from Russian disinformation campaigns directly.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer reports on very odd fiscal legislation in Brazil that seems unlikely to end in controlling spending.

  • Window on Eurasia reports on the marginalized Ainu of Kamchatka and suggests Sufism in central Asia is doomed.

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  • blogTO notes that a half-million dollars does not buy one much of a house in Toronto.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly celebrates the fifth anniversary of her marriage on the Toronto Islands.

  • The Dragon's Gaze considers exoplanet fatigue in the news, suggesting Proxima b is about as excited as the media will get.

  • Far Outliers looks at the foreign safety zone set up in Nanjing in 1937 as the Japanese approached.

  • Language Hat considers the globalization of Latin American writers.

  • Language Log examines the linguistics behind "hikikomori".

  • The LRB Blog looks at the British political spectrum.

  • The Map Room Blog reports on some beautiful letterpress maps.

  • Marginal Revolution notes that in Africa, urbanization is not accompanied by economic growth.

  • The NYRB Daily shares vintage photographs of Syria's Palmyra.

  • Spacing looks at the examples of the Netherlands.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at a call to create a unified Russian diaspora lobby in the United States and examines ethnic Russian migration from Tuva.

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  • Beyond the Beyond notes some anti-drone activists' efforts to get drones controlled.

  • blogTO reports on the history of the strip mall in Toronto, looks at the abandoned Whitney Block Tower by Queen's Park, and reports from the attic of Queen's Park.

  • Discover's Body Horrors notes the possibility that global warming might lead to the reemergence of anthrax from the Siberian wastes.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes the discovery of exocometary gas in the debris ring of HD 181327.

  • Far Outliers notes the brutality in the Japanese naval academy and reassesses Admiral Yamamoto.

  • Noel Power at The Power and the Money looks at inequality in American history, after Piketty's arguments.

  • Peter Rukavina reports on an interesting art installation in Charlottetown, of floating tents.

  • Savage Minds describes the "silo effect" besetting organizations.

  • Torontoist reports on the first game of cricket in Toronto.

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