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  • The Big Picture shares shocking photos of the Portuguese forest fires.

  • blogTO notes that, happily, Seaton Village's Fiesta Farms is apparently not at risk of being turned into a condo development site.

  • Centauri Dreams notes a new starship discussion group in Delft. Shades of the British Interplanetary Society and the Daedalus?

  • D-Brief considers a new theory explaining why different birds' eggs have different shapes.

  • The Frailest Thing's Michael Sacasas commits himself to a new regimen of blogging about technology and its imports. (There is a Patreon.)

  • Language Hat notes the current Turkish government's interest in purging Turkish of Western loanwords.

  • Language Log's Victor Mair sums up the evidence for the diffusion of Indo-European languages, and their speakers, into India.

  • The LRB Blog notes the Theresa May government's inability post-Grenfell to communicate with any sense of emotion.

  • Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen wonders if the alt-right more prominent in the Anglophone world because it is more prone to the appeal of the new.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw wonders if Brexit will result in a stronger European Union and a weaker United Kingdom.

  • Seriously Science reports a study suggesting that shiny new headphones are not better than less flashy brands.

  • Torontoist reports on the anti-Muslim hate groups set to march in Toronto Pride.

  • Understanding Society considers the subject of critical realism in sociological analyses.

  • Window on Eurasia notes how Russia's call to promote Cyrillic across the former Soviet Union has gone badly in Armenia, with its own script.

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  • The Atlantic notes the chance that China might manage to supplant the United States under Trump as a guarantor of the world order.

  • In an older article, The Atlantic noted Mexico's potential to be a spoiler for the United States. Being less wealthy and powerful than the US is not the same as not being wealthy and powerful.

  • DW notes that there is the possibility of an entente between China and the EU, to sustain the multilateral order.

  • Spiegel Online notes that the Turkey of Erdogan these days is starting to fall out with its NATO partners.

  • Open Democracy argues the alienation of Europeans of Turkish background from liberal democracy has roots in Europe.

  • Also at Open Democracy, Nick Mullens argues that negatively stereotyping Appalachians leads only to their doubling-down on coal.

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CBC News' Nil Köksal reports on the continuing, sad, and politically necessary search in Cyprus for the graves of the many Cypriots killed in that island's recent history of ethnic war.

There were 84 skeletons, all in one place.

It wasn't the first, or the last, mass grave Ceren Ceraloglu would search, but the feeling of standing over that particular pit, with its staggering number of victims, has stayed with her.

A field archaeologist with the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in Cyprus, Ceraloglu has been sifting through the most painful parts of her island's past.

It's not the kind of work this mother of triplets imagined she'd be doing when she was studying archaeology in university. But it's become a calling.

Not just because the excavations aim to return the remains of those killed in the conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots to their families, but because scientists from both communities work side by side, every day.

There is no room for conflict here.
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  • blogTO notes a threat to some of Liberty Village's historic buildings through development.

  • Centauri Dreams looks at planetary formation around close binary SDSS 1557, which includes a white dwarf.

  • False Steps' Paul Drye announces a new book project, They Played the Game, which looks at how different baseball players overlooked in our history might have become stars had things gone differently.

  • Language Hat looks at the linguistic differences between the two Koreas.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the exploitation of Syrian refugees by Turkish garment manufacturers.

  • The LRB Blog examines the phenomenon of myth-making regarding Sweden.
  • The Map Room Blog links to a website sharing the stories of cartographers.

  • The NYRB Daily notes the chaos that Trump will be bringing to American immigration law.

  • Peter Rukavina talks about his experience as a library hacker.

  • Supernova Condensate is optimistic about the potential of Space X to actually inaugurate an era of space tourism.

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  • blogTO notes that the redevelopment of Toronto's Port Lands is continuing.

  • Crooked Timber argues that climate denialism exposes the socially constructed nature of property rights.

  • D-Brief notes the reburial of Kennewick Man.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes there is no sign of a second planet around Proxima Centauri.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at life in Texas.

  • The LRB Blog analyzes Milo's stumble.

  • Marginal Revolution considers the levels of disorderliness different societies, like Sweden, can tolerate.

  • The NYRB Daily reports on the poisoning of a Russian dissident.

  • The Planetary Society Blog suggests Voyager 1 picked up Enceladus' plumes.

  • Peter Rukavina writes of his mapping of someone's passage on the Camino Francés.

  • Supernova Condensate looks at the United Arab Emirates' plan to build a city on Mars in a century.

  • Torontoist reported on a protest demanding action on the overdose crisis.
  • Towleroad describes the plight of Mr. Gay Syria in Istanbul and reports on the progress of same-sex marriage in Finland.

  • Understanding Society considers the complexity of managing large technological projects.

  • Window on Eurasia links to one Russian writer arguing Putin should copy Trump and links to anotehr suggesting the Russian Orthodox Church is overreaching.

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Rebecca Tucker's review in The Globe and Mail of Kedi, a new film looking at the cats of Istanbul, has me hooked. Where is it playing locally, I wonder?

Read almost any piece of travel journalism about Istanbul, and there will be mention of the cats. The city is literally crawling with them: unquantifiable felines, prowling the streets at all hours, climbing through windows uninvited and stealing fish from street vendors. But unlike other major cities that might consider the enormous feline presence a plague or pestilence, in Istanbul, the cats are an integral part of daily life. “Being a cat in Istanbul,” a Turkish musician told The Wall Street Journal in 2015,” is like being a cow in India.”

Kedi, the Oscilloscope Laboratories-produced documentary getting a limited release this week, is a gentle meditation on the strange symbiosis that exists between humans and cats throughout the Turkish city. Over the course of 80 minutes, the film – through a combination of interviews with locals, quiet shots of city life and scenes of cats in action (climbing to the top of local churches, say, or protecting a brood of kittens) – comes close to painting a complete picture of a city in which animals known for their autonomy and independent spirit have basically persuaded an entire population of people to take care of them, to gradual mutual benefit. Cats, despite what any dog people reading may suggest, do make great friends, especially if you give them a whole city’s worth of space.

There are seven cats who get almost exactly 15 minutes of fame in Kedi, and each has a name, but if you blink, you’ll miss it. They’re not always front and centre – whenever the film pulls out for a great panorama of Istanbul, or focuses specifically on its human inhabitants’ daily activities, it becomes increasingly tempting to seek out the cat in the frame (and when there’s not one immediately visible, to wonder how many must be hidden from view). It’s part of Kedi’s charm that it pulls back from anthropomorphizing its feline leads too much; their individual personalities are observed, rather than prescribed, and any attempt on the part of humans to quantify and articulate their preferred cat’s charms falls sweetly short.
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  • The Crux makes the case that, for too long, modern homo sapiens have underestimated the genius of the Neanderthals.

  • D-Brief looks at the efforts of some scientists to develop brewing standards for the Moon.

  • Language Hat examines different languages' writing standards--Turkish, Greek, Armenian--in the late Ottoman Empire.

  • Language Log deconstructs claims that Japanese has no language for curses.

  • Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen looks at the standards of truth by which Trump's supporters are judging him.

  • The NYRB Daily looks at the hollow Styrofoam aesthetics of the Trump Administration.

  • Savage Minds considers the idea of personhood.

  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell considers key mechanics of populism.

  • Arnold Zwicky meditates, somewhat pornographically, on a porn star of the last decade and public sexuality.

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The Guardian's Helena Smith reports on the prospects for peace and eventual reunification in Cyprus. I only hope that the negotiating parties will not decide to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

After 18 months of intensive negotiations to settle inter-ethnic divisions, Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akıncı will attempt to finesse the details of a peace deal in Geneva this week by poring over maps and discussing territorial trade-offs before tackling the potentially explosive issue of security.

Asked if he was optimistic as he arrived at the UN’s European headquarters on Monday morning, Anastasiades, the Greek Cypriot leader, said: “Ask me when we are finished.”

For an island the finer skills of peacemakers has long eluded, the talks are seen as a defining moment in the arduous process of resolving what has long been regarded as the Rubik’s cube of diplomacy.

On Sunday, the new UN secretary general, António Guterres, described the talks as a historic opportunity. In Nicosia officials on both sides of the buffer zone spoke of “the best and last chance” for a settlement. Other experts described the talks as the endgame.

“This is the final phase of the final phase,” said Hubert Faustmann, a professor of history and political science at the University of Nicosia. “It will be the first time since 1974 that Turkey and the Greek Cypriots will hold direct talks at the negotiating table.”

A week of fierce horse-trading lies ahead before Greece, Turkey and former colonial power Britain – the island’s three guarantors under its post-independence constitution – convene on 12 January to address the issues of troop presence and security in an envisioned federation. Both are seen as crucial to ensuring 1974 is never repeated.
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  • blogTO notes that the Toronto real estate market is now the most unaffordable of any in Canada.

  • The Big Picture shares photos of melting Antarctica.

  • Crooked Timber considers the economic benefits of open borders, and the costs.

  • Dangerous Minds shares photos of posters from Paris in 1968.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the problems of legal education in California.

  • The New APPS Blog thinks poorly of South Carolina's Republicans.

  • Marginal Revolution wonders if China will do better than the United States at dealing with air pollution.

  • The NYRB Daily considers the collection of Neapolitan Christmas crèches.

  • Palun looks at seasonal affective disorder in northern Estonia.

  • Peter Watts wishes his readers happy holidays.

  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the distribution of the populations of the US, Canada and Europe by latitude.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy compares concerns over Muslim immigration to opposition to Turkish membership in the EU.

  • Window on Eurasia argues populism will not lead to structural change and suggests Putin's policies are a consequence of his fatigue.

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  • Bad Astronomy notes the weird polar hexagonal wind systems of Saturn.

  • blogTO notes that Presto is now in fifty TTC stations.

  • The Broadside Blog talks about ways to be a good guest.

  • Centauri Dreams notes efforts to image planets orbiting Alpha Centauri A and/or B.

  • Crooked Timber takes a first look at the origins of Trumpism.

  • Dangerous Minds notes that the Jesus and Mary Chain are set to release a new studio album.

  • The Dragon's Gaze looks at the testing of the James Webb Space Telescope mirror.

  • Joe. My. God. notes that HIV is now recognized in the US as a carcinogen.

  • Language Hat looks at principles for naming in different languages.

  • Language Log notes that Trumps' granddaughter did a good job of reading Tang China poems.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the TPP is dead.

  • The LRB Blog looks at the continued threat of tuberculosis.

  • Steve Munro looks at 504 King travel times.

  • The NYRB Daily notes the likely future degeneration of Turkey.

  • Seriously Science notes that the most one posts comments on Reddit (and other forums?) the worse they become.

  • Transit Toronto looks at TTC bus route changes planned in light of subway expansion.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at ethnic conflict in Archangelsk, in multi-ethnic Stavropol and among Circassians in Krasnodar, even with Belarusian activists in Smolensk.

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  • blogTO notes Mississauga's new waterfront park.

  • Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly talks about the glamour and otherwise of the writer's life.

  • The Dragon's Gaze reports on a study of Epsilon Eridani.

  • Language Hat describes a fascinating-sounding book untranslated into English, "Oğuz Atay’s experimental, linguistically complex novel of ideas Tutunamayanlar (The Disconnected)".

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money describes the sheer numbers of books banned by Texan prisons.

  • Marginal Revolution describes the question of whether the United Kingdom will have a hard Brexit.

  • James Nicoll links to his review of the classic book of space colonization, Heppenheimer's 1977 Colonies in Space.

  • At the NYR Daily, Garry Wills reviews a recent performance in Chicago of Henry VI, Part Two.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at the polarization of media in the different parts of Donbas and notes worrying precedents for Putin's rationalization of Russia's government.

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  • Bloomberg notes the recent challenge to one-family rule in Gabon, looks at Russia's new Internet firewall, examines the Syrian Kurds' withdrawal beyond the Euphrates, and reports on near-record migration into the United Kingdom.

  • Bloomberg View talks about inequality in China, looks at continuing disputes over Second World War history in Poland and Ukraine, and examines the things Texas and California have in common.

  • CBC reports on the impending release of a report on foreign workers, looks at the integration problems of Syrian refugees re: housing, and reports on Canada's interest in more immigration from China.

  • The Inter Press Service notes how drought is hurting cocoa farmers in Cameroon.

  • MacLean's looks at how some in the Conservative Party have not moved past same-sex marriage, describes how the new British Columbia tax on foreign buyers of real estate is deterring Chinese, and reports on the catastrophic potential of carbon release from melting permafrost.

  • National Geographic notes how the young generation sees Pluto and its classification history.

  • The National Post describes how design fans want the CBC to release its 1974 standards manual, and looks at controversy over a study claiming extensive support in mosques for extremist literature.

  • Wired has photos from the uninhabited cities of China, and describes the new prominence of the alt right.

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  • blogTO notes that Yonge and Dundas will soon be hosting a Zimbabwean meat pie restaurant.

  • Beyond the Beyond links to a report regretful of past optimisim about geopolitics.

  • Centauri Dreams considers extraterrestrial life and red dwarfs.

  • Marginal Revolution looks at rent in Puerto Rico's public housing system.

  • pollotenchegg maps economic change in Ukraine.

  • Savage Minds calls for a decolonization of anthropology.

  • Towleroad notes that the roommates of a gay Syrian refugee murdered in Istanbul are also receiving threats.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy wonders what liberals will think of American Jews' religious freedom when the majority of practising Jews are Orthodox.

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  • The Big Picture shares photos from Rio in advance of the Olympics.

  • James Bow remembers Mel Hurtig, the recently dead Canadian nationalist.

  • Centauri Dreams considers space-based collection of antimatter.

  • Crooked Timber examines the tyranny of the ideal.

  • Dangerous Minds looks at a charming early 1980s board game, Gay Monopoly.

  • The Dragon's Gaze predicts future transits of Beta Pictoris b.

  • The Dragon's Tales examines dwarf planet candidate 2015 RR245.

  • Far Outliers shares some odd placenames found in the western United States.

  • Language Hat reports on a new English/Yiddish dictionary.

  • Language Log looks at how speakers of Slavic and Turkic communicate with each other across Eurasia.

  • The Map Room Blog reports on an interesting-sounding exhibition on maps here in Toronto.

  • Marginal Revolution considers a link between slow population growth and slow economic growth, and suggests land use policy in Tokyo is ideal for a large city.

  • Steve Munro shares exchanges on GO Transit services in the Weston corridor.

  • North's Justin Petrone shares his progress towards
  • The NYRB Daily looks at how Russia and China in particular make extensive use of doping at the Olympics, and international sports generally.

  • Savage Minds considers how writing can help anthropologists who have witnessed violence heal.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy engages with the bloody legacy of Mao.

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  • blogTO looks at 1970s representations of Toronto on television and in film.

  • Centauri Dreams looks at the genesis of antimatter propulsion.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper asking if we might be one of the first intelligent civilizations to arise.

  • Joe. My. God. notes the questioned future of Orlando's Pulse nightclub.

  • Language Log reports on a fascinating-sounding concert of the Turkic world's music.

  • Understanding Society's Daniel Little considers ethnographic studies of far-right movements and their memberships.

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  • Bloomberg notes that Brexit might drive British migration to Australia, suggests Russia's recession might be coming to an end, looks at carbon emissions from dead trees, and reports on Guiliani's liking for Blackberry.

  • Bloomberg View notes Israel's tightening restrictions on conversions and looks at how Putin has become a US election issue.

  • CBC notes the construction in Turkey for a cemetery for participants in the recent coup.

  • Gizmodo reports on flickering AR Scorpii, an unusual binary.

  • The Inter Press Service reports on urban land tenure for migrants and describes Malawi's recent translocation of elephants.

  • MacLean's describes the Chinese labourers of the First World War.

  • The National Post notes the marginalization of conservative white men in the Democratic Party.

  • Open Democracy looks at politics for the United Kingdom's Remain minority, looks at Scotland's European options, and suggests Hillary needs to learn from the lessons of Britain's Remain campaign to win.

  • The Toronto Star notes the plans of Tim Horton's to expand to Southeast Asia, starting with the Philippines.

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  • Bloomberg notes the advance of Catalonian separatism, looks at the economic catastrophes hitting Mozambique, and looks at how Africa is getting more people online by devising apps for non-smartphones.

  • Bloomberg View examines at length the implications of Donald Trump's not quite criminal call to have Russia hack more E-mails.

  • The CBC notes young British Leave voters defending their choices and observes the implications of the shutdown of the Manitoba port of Churchill.

  • The Inter Press Service notes that the Rio Olympics will be a mess.

  • MacLean's notes the dominance of the Canadian economy by the housing bubble.

  • The National Post reports on a team of Turkish commandos sent to kill the president found hiding in a cave.

  • Open Democracy looks at the negative results of the European Union's incoherent policies in Azerbaijan.

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  • 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.

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  • Beyond the Beyond's notes the imminent end of Moore's law.

  • Centauri Dreams imagines what a stellified gas giant might look like.

  • D-Brief notes Ceres' lack of large craters and looks at how New Zealand is declaring war on invasive fauna.

  • The Dragon's Gaze looks at Venus analog Gliese 832d.

  • Joe. My. God. notes intensifying scrutiny of Trump's Russian links.

  • Language Log looks at the portmanteaux used in the Japanese language.

  • The LRB Blog notes Erdogan's many voices.

  • Marginal Revolution argues that slow economic growth will not undermine the Chinese system.

  • Steve Munro looks at the effects of construction on the 501 Queen.

  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at the final landing site of the Rosetta probe.

  • pollotenchegg maps wages across Ukraine.

  • Savage Minds reports how war can fragment families, looking to Ukraine.

  • Transit Toroto notes GO Transit's adding of new double-decker buses.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy considers the thesis that Trump is a consequence of the breakdown of traditional political parties.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at Daghestan's restriction of movement of "potential" criminals.

  • The Yorkshire Ranter searches for a statistical link between austerity and Brexit.

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  • Kieran Healy notes the role of social media in undermining the Turkish coup.

  • Joe. My. God. notes US Army Secretary Eric Fanning's ride as Grand Marshal in the San Diego pride parade.

  • The LRB Blog notes the aftermath of the Orange Order's fires in Northern Ireland.

  • Marginal Revolution looks at what might be a veto in Scotland and Northern Ireland on Brexit, and notes the continuing economic fallout.

  • The NYRB Daily looks at how ISIS thrives on chaos.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer reflects on the Turkish coup and notes Trump's odd Russophilia.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy considers if it is ever justifiable to overthrow a democratic government.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at instability in the Donbas, suggests Turkey is distracting people from Russia, looks at low levels of Russophone assimilation in Estonia, considers ideological struggles in Belarus, and looks at immigration restrictionism in Russia versus Central Asia.

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