- The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly re-introduces herself to her readers.
- Bruce Dorminey shares one man's theory about how extraterrestrials could use exoplanet sightings to build up a galactic communications network.
- Far Outliers shares some unusual Japanese words, starting with "amepotu" for American potato.
- Language Hat takes
- Did the spokeswoman of the NRA threaten to "fisk" the New York Times or threaten something else? Language Log reports.
- Drew Rowsome notes that, compared to San Francisco, Toronto does not have much of a public kink scene.
- Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel examines the quantum reasons behind the explosion produced by sodium metal and water.
- Understanding Society takes rightful issue with The Guardian's shoddy coverage of Dearborn, Michigan, and that city's Muslims and/or Arabs.
- Unicorn Booty notes that Canada is, at last, starting to take in queer refugees from Chechnya.
- Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes the embarrassing support for Jean-Luc Mélenchon for Venezuela. Was opposing the US all he wanted?
- Centauri Dreams notes the exobiological potential of Titamn after the detection of acrylonitrile. Cryogenic life?
- This guest essay at Lawyers, Guns and Money on the existential problems of Brazil, with politics depending on people not institutions, is a must-read.
- The LRB Blog considers, in the context of Brexit, what exactly might count for some as a marker of dictatorship.
- Did the 15th century construction of the Grand Canal in China lead the Ming away from oceanic travel? Marginal Revolution speculates.
- The NYR Daily considers
- Out There explores the reasons why the most massive planets all have the same size.
- The Planetary Society Blog notes the 5th anniversary of the arrival of Curiosity on Mars.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer notes that, with regards to Venezuela, the United States has no good options.
- Roads and Kingdoms considers the febrile political mood of Kenya.
- Window on Eurasia argues that Putin is making the mistake of seeing the United States through the prism of Russia.
- Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes a proposal for British mayors to have representation at Brexit talks makes no sense.
- Alejandro Puyana at NPR describes how the arepa of Venezuela thrives internationally but dies at home.
- Erik Loomis at Lawyers, Guns and Money makes the point that people on the left clinging to Venezuela as it descends into dictatorship are not helping anyone.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer notes that the 1999 constitution of Venezuela seems designed to have allowed for a shift towards dictatorship.
- Nikhil Sharma at Torontoist looks at the latest City of Toronto TransformTO report on adapting to climate change.
- The Toronto Star Fatima Syed looks at how community organizations in Toronto are getting involved in running local parks.
- Politico.eu notes how Malta, despite having plenty of sun, is having difficulty getting solar energy (and other alternative energy) up and running.
- The Inter Press Service examines the potential complexities involved in China's involvement in Argentina's nuclear energy program.
- VICE reports on the desperate need to get Ojibwa consent before building a nuclear waste disposal site on their traditional lands.
- Citizen Science Salon links to some ongoing crowdsourced experiments that non-scientists can take part in.
- The LRB Blog reports on the return of Newt Gingrich to the American political scene.
- The NYR Daily compares Donald Trump to a 19th century counterpart, Andrew Jackson.
- Roads and Kingdoms reports on the now rather different cocaine problem of Medellín, Colombia.
- Starts with a Bang's Ethan Siegel reports on a paper suggesting potential problems with gravitational observatory LIGO.
- Towleroad notes a recent sharp drop in new HIV diagnoses in the United Kingdom, thanks to treatment and PrEP.
- Window on Eurasia reports on projected long-run economic decline in Russia, argues about the potential for instability in Tatarstan, and reports on Belarusianization.
- Arnold Zwicky describes Silver Age Rainbow Batman and his later pride appearances.
- blogTO notes that the old HMV store in the Dufferin Mall is now a fidget spinner store. This has gone viral.
- The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly talks about her week in Paris.
- Centauri Dreams notes one paper examining the complex formation of the dense TRAPPIST-1 system.
- Far Outliers reports from early 20th century Albania, about how tribal and language and ethnic identities overlap, and not.
- Language Log notes efforts to promote Cantonese in the face of Mandarin.
- The LRB Blog wonders if May's electoral defeat might lead to the United Kingdom changing its Brexit trajectory.
- Marginal Revolution notes that cars have more complex computer programming these days than fighter jets.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer notes that the counter-cyclical Brazilian fiscal cap still makes no sense.
- Window on Eurasia argues that Russia is edging towards an acknowledgement of its involvement in the Ukrainian war.
- 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.
- The Atlantic's Ed Yong notes the discovery of dated Homo sapiens fossils 300k years old in Morocco. (!)
- The Atlantic reports on Twitter-driven science that has highlighted the remarkable visual acuity of the spider.
- The Economist notes that multilingual societies can encounter more difficulties prospering than unilingual ones.
- Torontoist notes a Thunder Bay park devoted to the idea of First Nations reconciliation.
- The Inter Press Service reports on how gardens grown under solar tents in Bolivia can improve nutrition in poor highland villages.
- The Toronto Star's Christopher Hume trolls Rob Ford's supporters over the new, well-designed, Etobicoke Civic Centre.Metro Toronto calculates just how many avocado toasts would go into a mortgage in the GTA.
- MacLean's hosts a collection of twenty photos from gritty Niagara Falls, New York.
- The National Post shows remarkable, heartbreaking photos from the flooded Toronto Islands.
- Edward Keenan argues that the Toronto Islands' flooding should help prompt a local discussion on climate change.
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.
- 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.
The Inter Press Service's Fabiana Frayssinet reports on the popularity in Argentina of agroecology, a variant on organic agriculture.
Organic agriculture is rapidly expanding in Argentina, the leading agroecological producer in Latin America and second in the world after Australia, as part of a backlash against a model that has disappointed producers and is starting to worry consumers.
According to the intergovernmental Inter American Commission on Organic Agriculture (ICOA), in the Americas there are 9.9 million hectares of certified organic crops, which is 22 per cent of the total global land devoted to these crops. Of this total, 6.8 million of hectares are in Latin America and the Caribbean, and three million in Argentina alone.
The Argentine National Agrifood Health and Quality Service (SENASA) reported that between 2014 and 2015, the land area under organic production grew 10 per cent, including herbs, vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals and oilseeds.
Legumes and vegetables experienced the largest increase (200 percent). In Argentina there are 1,074 organic producers, mainly small and medium-size farms and cooperatives.
“The organic market is starting to boom. We have been producing since 20 years ago, when this market did not exist in Argentina and we exported everything. Now we sell abroad, but about 50 percent remains here,” said Jorge Pierrestegui, manager of San Nicolás Olive Groves and Vineyards, an agroecology company that produces olives and olive oil on some 1,000 hectares in the Argentine province of Córdoba.
“Opting for organic was a company policy, mainly due to a long-term ecological vision of not spraying the fields with poisonous chemicals,” Pierrestegui said.
Open Democracy hosts Yessika Gonzalez's article looking at the queering of the Argentine tango.
With the internationalization of tango, its slum origins were forgotten and a strictly codified dance was exported with clearly defined roles between man and woman. In the traditional milongas—the venues where people in Argentina go to tango—women generally sit on one side of the dance floor to show their potential dance partners that they are available. The man invites the woman to dance with a head motion and the women either accepts or rejects the proposal. So begins a dance in which the man leads and the woman follows the marked steps, embellishing the dance with several adornments.
In recent years, however, people have begun to champion the so-called Queer Tango - queer meaning “strange”, “different”, or even “eccentric”. But since the word was traditionally used pejoratively against people on particular gender and sexual grounds, it was eventually appropriated by the LGBTQ community. The Queer Tango therefore does not aim only to create spaces for the gay community to express itself through tango, but it allows all people, regardless of their sexuality, to explore themselves and go beyond social gender norms. As the Buenos Aires Queer Tango blog explains:
“Queer Tango is a space for tango open to everyone. A space for meeting, socializing, learning, and practicing that seeks to explore different forms of communication between those who dance. The queer tango does not presuppose the sexual orientation of its dancers, nor their taste for occupying one role or another when dancing.”
[El Tango Queer] es un espacio de tango abierto a todas las personas. Un lugar de encuentro, sociabilización, aprendizaje y práctica en el que se busca explorar distintas formas de comunicación entre quienes bailan. El tango queer no presupone la orientación sexual de los bailarines ni su gusto por ocupar un rol u otro a la hora de bailar.
Although, at its inception, only men danced the tango, in the traditional milongas of today, same-sex partners have been victims of discrimination and have even been thrown out of the dance floor. In fact, the birth of many “queer” milongas came as a response to these attacks.
The story told by the Inter Press Service's Mario Osava, describing how the Ecuadorian capital of Quito will be transformed through gentrification following subway construction, sounds sadly familiar.
Success can kill, when it comes to cities. Spain’s Barcelona is facing problems due to the number of tourists that it attracts. And the historic centre of Ecuador’s capital city, Quito, a specially preserved architectural jewel, is losing its local residents as it gentrifies.
This paradox was pointed out by Fernando Carrión, president of the Latin American and Caribbean Organisation of Historic Centres (OLACCHI) and a professor at the Latin American Social Sciences Institute (FLACSO) in Ecuador.
“Quito’s historic centre lost 42 per cent of its population over the last 15 years, a period in which it gained better monuments and lighting, and became cleaner,” he said. According to official census figures, the population of the old city dropped from 58,300 in 1990 to 50,982 in 2001 and 40,587 in 2010.
The effort to revitalise the historic centre was based on a “monumentalist policy,” on the restoration of churches and large buildings, which led to a process of gentrification, driving up housing prices and the conversion of residential into commercial property and pushing out low-income residents, he told IPS.
“I fear that the subway will drive away more people,” exacerbating the tendency, he added.
- At Apostrophen, 'Nathan Smith talks about how he made a tradition out of Christmas tree ornamentation over the past twenty years.
- blogTO notes that Toronto's waterfront has major E Coli issues.
- Crooked Timber notes the potential for the recent by-election in London, fought on Brexit and lost by the Tories, to mean something.
- The Dragon's Gaze reports on a search for radio flares from brown dwarfs.
- The Dragon's Tales notes that China has been installing ecologies on its artificial South China Sea islands.
- The Everyday Sociology Blog considers what it means to be an ally.
- The LRB Blog looks at the complex peace negotiations in Colombia.
- The Map Room Blog shares a map of American infrastructure.
- Marginal Revolution notes a one-terabyte drive passed from person to person that serves as a sort of Internet in Cuba.
- Towleroad notes a film project by one Leo Herrera that aims to imagine what prominent AIDS victims would have done and been like had their not been killed by the epidemic.
- The Volokh Conspiracy notes the complexities surrounding Brexit.
- Arnold Zwicky has had enough with linguistic prescriptivism.
- Beyond the Beyond links to an interview with Darran Anderson, a writer of cartographic fiction.
- Centauri Dreams notes that 2028 will be a time when microlensing can b used to study the area of Alpha Centauri A.
- The Crux engages with the question of whether or not an astronaut's corpse could seed life on another planet.
- The Dragon's Gaze links to a study that gathers together signals for planetary companions orbiting nearby stars.
- Joe. My. God. notes that the only gay bar in Portland, Maine, is set to close.
- Language Log notes the proliferation of Chinese characters and notes that a parrot could not be called to the stand in Kuwait.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the last time the Chicago Cubs won, Germany was an empire.
- The Map Room Blog notes the discovery of an ancient stone map on the Danish island of Bornholm.
- The Planetary Society Blog examines some of the New Horizons findings of Pluto.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer argues that Venezuela is now a dictatorship.
- Towleroad notes
- Window on Eurasia notes a Russian cleric's call for the children of ethnically mixed marriages in Tatarstan to be legally identified as Russians.
- Antipope's Charlie Stross worries about the literal survival of Britons in the post-Brexit United Kingdom.
- D-Brief notes the discovery of an ancient corpse in China shrouded in cannabis.
- Dangerous Minds reports on a 1971 BBC documentary about New York City starring a pre-stardom Patti Smith.
- The Dragon's Gaze links to a study mapping the changing clouds of the twin brown dwarfs of Luhman 16.
- The Dragon's Tales reports on drops in atmospheric oxygen over the past hundred thousand years.
- Language Hat reports on Italy's many dialects and their uses.
- Language Log engages with Trump's non-apology.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at Ted Cruz's despair.
- The LRB Blog looks at the classic architecture of Eritrea's capital, Asmara.
- The Map Room Blog looks at Karen Margolis' art maps.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer continues to look at the Colombian referendum and notes on the difficulties of enabling the rule of law in Mexico.
- Peter Rukavina remembers Prince Edward Island's Teachernet.
- Window on Eurasia reports on a provocative argument about Russia's demographic past and its lop-sided urbanization.
- Astrobeat U>notes the vulnerability of Florida's Space Coast to Hurricane Matthews.
- D-Brief notes that the Voyager probes are the most distant US government-owned computers still in service.
- Dangerous Minds shares high-heeled tentacle shoes.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that a President Trump would enable anything the Congressional Republicans wanted.
- The LRB Blog notes Vancouver's fentanyl crisis.
- The NYR Daily reports on the lives of dissidents harassed by extralegal detentions.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer maps the recent Columbian referendum and finds that areas beset by FARC actually voted for the peace plan.
- Gay porn star and sometime political radical Colby Kelly, Towleroad noted, is going to vote for Trump in order to push forward the revolution.
- Window on Eurasia looks at religious developments in the former Soviet Union.
- Bloomberg notes a raid of Amazon's Japan office by that country's competition agency.
- Bloomberg View looks at paranoia about Pokémon Go and suggests China is not trying to overturn the world order.
- CBC reports on the popular music and dance of Brazil's slums, and reports on the diet of ancient humans.
- The Inter Press Service notes that African farmers could feed the world, but first they need to work on their infrastructure.
- MacLean's shares the images of 25 Canadian websites of note in the days of the early Internet.
- Open Democracy calls for reform of British agricultural funding and reports on Venezuela's hard landing.
Bloomberg's Noris Soto reports on how Venezuela's Margarita Island is trying to cope with the wider country's economic collapse.
Life for fishermen on Venezuela’s Margarita Island used to be easy, with the sparkling waters of the Caribbean yielding rich catches of grouper, red snapper and octopus for sale to wealthy tourists. Now the island has fallen into poverty and attempts to sell on neighboring islands can lead to a run in with one of the region’s oldest industries -- pirates.
Many fishermen near the El Tirano fish market in the east of the island say costs are so high and prices so low that it isn’t worth taking their boats out. Even the tourists that used to pack local hotels are staying away, forcing some restaurants to close.
“Fishing isn’t profitable anymore in Venezuela,” Jose Diaz, a 40-year-old fisherman, said in an interview. “We have to leave for work at 3 a.m., we risk robbers and we have to sell at low prices, because in Venezuela no one can pay what things really cost.”
The economic slump is reaching every corner of the once oil-rich nation, including the so-called Pearl of the Caribbean that boasts palm-lined beaches backed by tropical jungles. Even as people on the island go hungry and thousands form long lines outside supermarkets and bakeries for the most basic items, fishermen can’t sell their produce.
- Bloomberg notes concerns over Northern Ireland's frontiers, looks at how Japanese retailers are hoping to take advantage of Vietnam's young consumers, examines the desperation of Venezuelans shopping in Colombia, looks at Sri Lankan interest in Chinese investment, suggests oil prices need to stay below 40 dollars US a barrel for Russia to reform, observes that Chinese companies are increasingly reluctant to invest, and suggests Frankfurt will gain after Brexit.
- Bloomberg View gives advice for the post-Brexit British economy, looks at how Chinese patterns in migration are harming young Chinese, suggests Hillary should follow Russian-Americans in not making much of Putin's interference, and looks at the Israeli culture wars.
- CBC considers the decolonization of placenames in the Northwest Territories, notes Canada's deployment to Latvia was prompted by French domestic security concerns, and looks at an ad promoting the Albertan oil sands that went badly wrong in trying to be anti-homophobic.
- The Inter Press Service considers the future of Turkey and looks at domestic slavery in Oman.
- MacLean's looks at China's nail house owners, resisting development.
- The National Post reports from the Colombia-Venezuela border.
- Open Democracy considers the nature of work culture in the austerity-era United Kingdom, looks at traditions of migration and slavery in northern Ghana, examines European bigotry against eastern Europeans, and examines the plight of sub-Saharan migrants stuck in Morocco.
- Universe Today notes two nearby potentially habitable rocky worlds, reports that the Moon's Mare Imbrium may have been result of a hit by a dwarf planet, and reports on Ceres' lack of large craters.