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  • 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.

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  • blogTO reports on the history of Toronto's Wellington Street.

  • Dangerous Minds introduces me to the grim American gothic that is Wisconsin Death Trip. What happened to Black River Falls in the 1890s?

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to hypotheses about KIC 8462852, one suggesting KIC 8462852 has four exoplanets, another talking about a planet's disintegration.

  • The Dragon's Tales links to a paper modeling the mantles of icy moons.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at small city NIMBYism in the Oregon city of Eugene.

  • The LRB Blog reports on toxically racist misogyny directed towards Labour's Diane Abbott by Tory minister David Davis, "misogynoir" as it is called.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw reports on the elections in Indonesia, a country increasingly important to Australia.

  • Peter Rukavina describes how the builders of his various indie phones, promising in their own rights, keep dropping them.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer is optimistic that NAFTA will survive mostly as is.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy examines the ruling against Trump's immigration order on the grounds that its planners explicitly designed it as an anti-Muslim ban.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests that the treaty-based federalism of Tatarstan within Russia is increasingly unpopular with many wanting a more centralized country.

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  • 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.

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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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The Atlantic's David Brown wonders why NASA is neglecting the study of Venus, arguably the most Earth-like world known to us.

A generation has now gone by since the agency set a course for the second planet from the Sun, and with this latest mission opportunity lost, the earliest an expedition there might launch (from some future selection process) would be 2027—nearly 40 years since our last visit.

For centuries, it would have been inconceivable that Venus would be in such a predicament. In the 18th century, Venus was the organizing force in international science. When humanity was finally able to stretch its arms toward the solar system, the first place it reached for was Venus. It was our first successful planetary encounter beyond Earth, and was the first planet on which humans crashed. It would later would host our first graceful landing.

Venus and Earth are practically twins. They’re alike in size, density, gravity, and physical makeup. They are both in our star’s habitable zone. Scientists have discovered no other adjacent planets in the entire galaxy that share such similarities. And yet somewhere along the way, Earth became a cosmic paradise for life as we know it, and Venus became a blistering hellscape. Beneath its sienna clouds of sulfuric acid is the greenhouse effect gone apocalyptic. At 850 degrees Fahrenheit, its surface is hotter than Mercury, though the planet itself is much farther from the Sun. A block of lead would melt on the surface of Venus the way a block of ice melts on Earth.

In recent years, the Kepler space telescope has discovered more than 3,000 planets around other stars, many of which are orbiting in habitable zones where water could be stable on a planet’s surface. These “Earth 2.0’s” are but pixels of light many light years away and are difficult to study. Conveniently, there is an Earth 2.0 next door to our own. Venus was an ocean world for much of its history. By understanding that history, how it compares to Earth, and how it lost its habitability, we might better understand potentially habitable exo-worlds.

Moreover, as scientists and lawmakers grapple with climate change, they can look to Venus. “I don't want to say that Earth can turn into Venus from global warming,” says Bob Grimm, the director of the Department of Space Studies at the Southwest Research Institute and chair of the Venus Exploration Analysis Group. “That is not going to happen. It takes a lot of carbon dioxide to make Venus's atmosphere as hellish as it is. But that lies on a continuum, on a spectrum, of how CO2 in atmospheres affect planetary climates. Earth is not going to turn into Venus, but Venus has lessons on climate evolution for Earth that we should pay attention to.”
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MacLean's' Mike Doherty has an interview with two authors, Amanda R. Hendrix and Charles Wohlforth, who argue that if humankind is ever to embark in on an expensive program of colonization in space (something much more expensive than fixing our world, they argue), Titan not Mars should be the target.

Q: Why is humanity so fixated on travelling to Mars?

AH: It’s always been fascinating because back in the earliest observations, it looked like there were canals on Mars and some sort of greenery, [as if] there could be aliens. It remains a good option for looking for past life, and more accessible than some of the places in the outer solar system that might have current life. So it’s interesting as a target scientifically, but for long-term human settlement, it’s not the place to go.

CW: We’re a very long way from being able to put humans safely on Mars. The issues with [brain damage from] galactic cosmic rays, or GCRs, are serious, and in the past year, NASA has really come to recognize them: an internal document says you only have 150 days of safe travel unprotected—which won’t get you anywhere near a Mars-and-back mission with current technology. It’s probably time to level with the American people, and setting a farther-out human habitation goal is a better way to start solving those problems, rather than thinking about a short-term trip to Mars that’s probably not going to happen.

[. . .]

Q: Why specifically is Titan the place to go, and can we realistically get people as excited about Titan as we have been about Mars?

AH: Titan is a much more interesting place just visually; in terms of the landscape and the opportunities there, Titan offers so much more. It’s really Earth-like: it’s the only other place in the solar system that has any liquid on the surface. It’s not water, but it’s ethane and methane, and there’s a nice atmosphere. It’s one-and-a-half* the [atmospheric] pressure that we feel here on Earth, so it’s not too much and not too little. The main benefit, of course, is that people will be shielded from a lot of the the GCRs that are so damaging. It takes a long time to get there, and it’s cold, but there are ways around that.
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  • blogTO praises the food court of Village by the Grange.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly talks about the importance of self-care in times of stress.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes that KIC 8462852 does seem to have faded throughout the Kepler mission.

  • The Dragon's Tales notes that Planet Nine may be especially faint in the infrared and looks at the challenges mapping polar regions on Titan.

  • Imageo notes how melting of the ice cap continues in the Arctic Ocean.

  • Language Hat reports on a new script for the Fulani language.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that people who blame identity politics for the victory of Trump were not exactly non-supporters of the main.

  • Marginal Revolution considers the consequences of bribing the American president.

  • The NYRB Daily shares Charles Simic's deep concerns for the future of the United States.

  • Jim Belshaw's Personal Reflections discusses Australia as a target for immigration and calls for honesty in discussions on migration.

  • Peter Rukavina reports on the visit of then-Princess Elizabeth and her husband 65 years ago.

  • Whatever's John Scalzi makes the fair point that he can hardly be expected to know what his Trump-era novels will be like.

  • Window on Eurasia compares Russia's happiness with Trump's election to its elation over Obama's in 2008, and looks at how Russia is facing decline on a lot of fronts.

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  • Beyond the Beyond shares an early 17th century Catholic Church communication doubting the Earth went around the sun.

  • blogTO notes the sympathy cards placed outside the American consulate in Toronto.

  • Crooked Timber argues that liberal progressivism hasn't been tried in recent years and so can't have failed.

  • The Dragon's Tales shares one model explaining the contradictions between the faint young sun and a warm early Mars.

  • Far Outliers reports on the roles of different types of British servants in India.

  • Language Hat shares a history of Canadian English.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes Richard Rorty's prediction of a Trump-like catastrophe and argues that economics do matter.

  • On the anniversary of the Bataclan, the LRB Blog reflects on the music of France.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer notes the grim predictions of Hans-Joachim Voth as to the degeneration of American life likely under Trump.

  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the relatively low population growth of France in the 19th century.

  • Towleroad notes Trump's statement that gay marriage is settled.

  • Window on Eurasia notes that Belarus will have less maneuvering room under Trump.

  • Arnold Zwicky considers the colours of the pride rainbow.

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  • blogTO notes that York University is slated to have an architecturally interesting student centre.

  • Centauri Dreams reports on new imaging of various protoplanetary disks.

  • The Dragon's Gaze reports on observations finetuning what is known about HD 209458b.

  • Joe. My. God. notes the happiness of at least one white supremacist leader with the Trump victory.

  • Language Hat reports on medieval prejudices about collectors of books.

  • Language Log explains its silence over the Trump election.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money celebrates Doctor Strange.

  • Marginal Revolution suggests anxiety over technological change gave Trump an advantage over Clinton.

  • The NYRB Daily considers when it is proper to put a work through a new translation.

  • The Planetary Society Blog reports on the week's activities in the solar system.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer is alarmed by the description of the nascent California separatist movement in an article, as the mechanisms are described.

  • Peter Rukavina shares of a map about Internet accessibility on Prince Edward Island.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy praises Obama's recent statements.

  • Window on Eurasia argues Trump's policies might hurt Russia and notes Ukrainians who hope his government will not be hostile to Ukraine.

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  • Bad Astronomy notes the discovery of water vapour clouds in the atmosphere of nearby brown dwarf WISE 0855.

  • blogTO notes the imminent arrival of winter weather.

  • Centauri Dreams reports on a new theory of the Moon's origins suggesting the impact collision which create it was much more violent than we thought.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes how snowlines migrate across a system in the course of a star's life.

  • The LRB Blog reports on the mind-numbing legal complexities of Brexit.

  • The Map Room Blog reports on a new book of maps of New York City.

  • The NYRB Daily explores the making of a documentary in 1970 on Thomas Bernhard.

  • Seriously Science notes that kittens recognize the sounds of their mother.

  • Towleroad reports on a South African imam promoting gay rights at a Cape Town mosque.

  • Window on Eurasia argues Putin's annexation of Crimea made reform in Ukraine essential, and reports on budget cuts and their threat in the North Caucasus.

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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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  • The Boston Globe's Big Picture shares photos of Massachusetts' Mattapan trolley.

  • Centauri Dreams looks at Planet Nine's effects and examines the weather of Titan.

  • Both The Dragon's Tales and the Planetary Society Weblog react to the loss of the Schiaparelli lander.

  • The Dragon's Gaze looks for brown dwarf exoplanets.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw reports on the sheer scale of the Australian real estate boom.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the beginning of an antiwar movement among Russian Orthodox faithful.

  • Arnold Zwicky shares a photo of a flowering tree in a Kyoto garden.

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The Guardian's Hannah Devlin reports on new models of Venus' environment which suggest this world was very broadly Earth-like well into the history of solar system. This is tantalizing, not least because of the prospects for life.

Its surface is hot enough to melt lead and its skies are darkened by toxic clouds of sulphuric acid. Venus is often referred to as Earth’s evil twin, but conditions on the planet were not always so hellish, according to research that suggests it may have been the first place in the solar system to have become habitable.

The study, due to be presented this week at the at the American Astronomical Society Meeting in Pasadena, concludes that at a time when primitive bacteria were emerging on Earth, Venus may have had a balmy climate and vast oceans up to 2,000 metres (6,562 feet) deep.

Michael Way, who led the work at the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, said: “If you lived three billion years ago at a low latitude and low elevation the surface temperatures would not have been that different from that of a place in the tropics on Earth,” he said.

The Venusian skies would have been cloudy with almost continual rain lashing down in some regions, however. “So while you might get nice sunsets you would have mostly overcast skies during the day and precipitation,” Way added.

[. . .]

Way and colleagues simulated the Venusian climate at various time points between 2.9bn and 715m years ago, employing similar models to those used to predict future climate change on Earth. The scientists fed some basic assumptions into the model, including the presence of water, the intensity of the sunlight and how fast Venus was rotating. In this virtual version, 2.9bn years ago Venus had an average surface temperature of 11C (52F) and this only increased to an average of 15C (59F) by 715m years ago, as the sun became more powerful.
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  • A BCer in Toronto mourns the declining standards behind the Tim Horton's apple fritter.

  • blogTO notes that the Toronto vs everybody T-shirt has been redone in the original Iroquoian.

  • Centauri Dreams considers Project Orion.

  • Dangerous Minds shares vintage North Korean anti-American art.

  • The Dragon's Tales links to a paper suggesting that Mars' climate may have been cold but for impacts and volcanism.

  • Far Outliers examines the booming Nanjing of the 1930s.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the Long Island Universiy strike.

  • The NYRB Daily examines Hillary Clinton's troubles.

  • Personal Reflections uses a bus fire to examine the fragility of modern systems.

  • Towleroad shares news, and footage, of a Tom of Finland biopic.

  • Window on Eurasia links to a report sharing the costs of Russian aggression in Ukraine, including at least ten thousand people reported dead.

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There were a lot of interesting posts made around the web from Sunday evening on.


  • blogTO takes issue with the poor design of the buildings on Bloor Street West east of Dundas West.

  • Crooked Timber notes the tragedy inherent in the life of Phyllis Schlafly.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes that two of the worlds in the TRAPPIST-1 system may have Venus-like environments.

  • The Dragon's Tales looks at the fate of Planet Nine at the end of the sun's life.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at good music from the past.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer has two questions about the SpaceX explosion.

  • Savage Minds has its own blog roundup.

  • Strange Maps considers the Icelandic letter that reached its destination with a map of its destination.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy wonders if people of recent immigrant stock are less nativist.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at school crowding in Dagestan, notes the popularity of Arabic in the highlands, worries about changes to Russian census-taking methodology, and suggests the number of Jews in Russia has been underestimated.

  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at the demographics of the Brexit referendum.

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  • blogTO notes that Green Day will be headlining a festival in the Distillery District.

  • Centauri Dreams looks at research into an interstellar solar sail.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes a study of brown dwarf populations.

  • The Dragon's Tales looks at ancient Martian rivers and flood plains.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at the protest of Colin Kaepernick.

  • The Map Room Blog reports on a map exhibition at the Library of Congress.

  • Marginal Revolution notes low murder rates among Haitian-Americans in Florida.

  • The Planetary Society Blog examines the Dawn probe's low orbit scans of Ceres.

  • Otto Pohl announces the beginning of his first semester in Kurdistan.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that it is a crime to talk about the Nazi-Soviet alliance versus Poland in Russia.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at how North Caucasians in Moscow identify quickly as Muscovites.

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  • Bloomberg talks about Poland's problems with economic growth, notes that McMansions are poor investments, considers what to do about the Olympics post-Rio, looks at new Japanese tax incentives for working women, looks at a French war museum that put its stock up for sale, examines the power of the New Zealand dairy, looks at the Yasukuni controversies, and notes Huawei's progress in China.

  • Bloomberg View is hopeful for Brazil, argues demographics are dooming Abenomics, suggests ways for the US to pit Russia versus Iran, looks at Chinese fisheries and the survival of the ocean, notes that high American population growth makes the post-2008 economic recovery relatively less notable, looks at Emperor Akihito's opposition to Japanese remilitarization, and argues that Europe's soft response to terrorism is not a weakness.

  • CBC notes that Russian doping whistleblowers fear for their lives, looks at how New Brunswick farmers are adapting to climate change, and looks at how Neanderthals' lack of facility with tools may have doomed them.

  • The Globe and Mail argues Ontario should imitate Michigan instead of Québec, notes the new Anne of Green Gables series on Netflix, and predicts good things for Tim Horton's in the Philippines.

  • The Guardian notes that Canada's impending deal with the European Union is not any model for the United Kingdom.

  • The Inter Press Service looks at child executions in Iran.

  • MacLean's notes that Great Lakes mayors have joined to challenge a diversion of water from their shared basin.

  • National Geographic looks at the elephant ivory trade, considers the abstract intelligence of birds, considers the Mayan calendar's complexities, and looks at how the young generation treats Pluto's dwarf planet status.

  • The National Post notes that VIA Rail is interested in offering a low-cost bus route along the Highway of Tears in northern British Columbia.

  • Open Democracy notes that the last Russian prisoner in Guantanamo does not want to go home, and wonders why the West ignores the Rwandan dictatorship.

  • TVO considers how rural communities can attract immigrants.

  • Universe Today suggests sending our digital selves to the stars, looks at how cirrus clouds kept early Mars warm and wet, and notes the discovery of an early-forming direct-collapse black hole.

  • Variance Explained looks at how Donald Trump's tweets clearly show two authors at work.

  • The Washignton Post considers what happens when a gay bar becomes a bar with more general appeal.

  • Wired notes that the World Wide Web still is far from achieving its founders' dreams, looks at how news apps are dying off, and reports on the Univision purchase of Gawker.

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In astronomer and writer Chris Impey's 2010 Talking About Life, an anthology of his interviews with leading experts in astronomy and related fields about extraterrestrial life, there was a passage in his interview with Debra Fischer that caught my attention for its alternate history potential. Solar systems, including our own, are apparently as densely packed with planets as possible.

DF: The amazing thing I learned when we discovered the Upsilon Andromedae system is that our Solar System s actually dynamically full of planets. When people who model the Solar System try to drop in an extra planet, the whole system goes into chaos--some planets are lost, some fall into the star, some are ejected, and then everything finally settles down. Each planet has its own gravitational domain and those domains are pushed up next to each other. Our Solar System resides on the verge of instability it's stable, but only just.

CI: Is this related to the numerical coincidence of their nearly geometric spacing?

DF: Bode's law? Yes. They clear out disks; many lines of evidence suggest that core accretion is the correct model. Then they begin to migrate in until they come into a zone; again, if they get any closer. they're ejected. When I noted this back in 2000, Hal Levinson raised his hand and said, "No, no, that's not true--there a place between Mars and Jupiter where a Venus-sized planet will survive." And I think, "How many simulations did you have to run to find that tiny little window? That doesn't count!" [Laughs](269-270).


The WI question is obvious. What if there was a planet the mass of Venus orbiting in our solar system between Mars and Jupiter?

This planet--call it *Ceres, after the largest dwarf planet orbiting between Mars and Jupiter--would be a big one. Venus is more than 80% as massive as the Earth. Such a massive planet would be able to hold onto its volatiles--its atmosphere, its water--in a way that a nearer Mars could not. This planet might even be massive enough to be geologically active. *Ceres might provide a relatively hospitable environment, more hospitable than Venus or even Mars.

It's important to not overstate this potential habitability. Whatever the precise nature of its orbit, *Ceres would also be very cold, orbiting outside of the orbit of Mars and likely even an elastic definition of our sun's circumstellar habitable zone. A sufficiently dense heat-retaining atmosphere might change things, but would it warm *Ceres enough?

Given *Ceres' location near the frost line of the solar system, and its high gravity, it's likely to have attracted and kept quite a lot of ice. Perhaps it will be an ocean world; perhaps it will be a world with a frozen surface on top of a planet-wide ocean, a super-Europa even. As seen in the night sky from Earth, its atmosphere and icy surface may make it very bright indeed.

Thoughts?
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  • blogTO describes how Parkdale's Harry's diner is going to be revamped.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly describes the joys of making friends through the blogosphere.

  • Centauri Dreams looks at Kuiper Belt object Niku and its strange orbit.

  • The Map Room Blog looks at the controversy over Google's map of Palestine.

  • Marginal Revolution notes how Faroese women leave their home islands at a disproportionately high rate.

  • Peter Rukavina describes time spent with his son kayaking Charlottetown harbour.

  • Strange Maps depicts</> the shift of the global economic centre of the world.

  • Window on Eurasia describes the decay of provincial Karelia.

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  • Bloomberg notes the closure of Poland's frontier with Kaliningrad, looks at how Google is beating out Facebook in helping India get connected to the Internet, notes British arms makers' efforts to diversify beyond Europe and examines the United Kingdom's difficult negotiations to get out of the European Union, looks at the problems of investing in Argentina, looks at the complications of Germany's clean energy policy, observes that the Israeli government gave the schools of ultra-Orthodox Jews the right not to teach math and English, examines the consequences of terrorism on French politics, and examines at length the plight of South Asian migrant workers in the Gulf dependent on their employers.

  • Bloomberg View notes Donald Trump's bromance with Putin's Russia, examines Melania Trump's potential immigrant problems, and is critical of Thailand's new anti-democratic constitution.

  • CBC looks at how some video stores in Canada are hanging on.

  • The Inter Press Service notes that the Olympic Games marks the end of a decade of megaprojects in Brazil.

  • MacLean's approves of the eighth and final book in the Harry Potter series.

  • The National Post reports on a Ukrainian proposal to transform Chernobyl into a solar farm, and examines an abandoned plan to use nuclear weapons to unleash Alberta's oil sands.

  • Open Democracy looks at the relationship between wealth and femicide in India, fears a possible coup in Ukraine, looks at the new relationship between China and Africa, examines the outsized importance of Corbyn to Britain's Labour Party, and looks how Armenia's defeat of Azerbaijan has given its veterans outsized power.

  • Universe Today notes proposals for colonizing Mercury, looks at strong support in Hawaii for a new telescope, and examines the progenitor star of SN 1987A.

  • Wired emphasizes the importance of nuclear weapons and deterrence for Donald Trump, and looks at how many cities around the world have transformed their rivers.

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