- Catrine Jarman notes how Easter Island's history has been badly misread. The island was sustainably run, after all.
- Dead Things notes how DNA studies of ancient Rapa Nui suggest there was no South American immigration. No contact?
- Will the new airport at St. Helena open up new potential for tourism for the South Atlantic island? Global News reports.
- Iceland is enthusiastically trying to restore its ancient forests, downed by Vikings, so far with not much success. The New York Times reports.
- Ottawa has been urged to give farm workers from Dominica, ravaged by hurricanes, extended work permits. The Toronto Star reports.
- The island of Vieques, already hit by American military testing, has been prostrated by Maria. VICE reports.
- Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the discovery of rings around Kuiper belt dwarf planet Haumea, as does the Planetary Society Blog's Jason Davis.
- The Big Picture, from the Boston Globe, shares photos of the devastation of Puerto Rico by Maria.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the strong support of many--most?--on the American right for apartheid.
- The LRB Blog shares an article by Mike Davis looking at the vulnerability of California, especially Napa, to wildfires.
- The Map Room Blog links to a beautiful detailed map of the French railway network.
- The NYR Daily reports from Catalonia on the edge of a meltdown.
- North's Justin Petrone writes about going hunting for mushroooms in Estonia.
- Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel shares five especially noteworthy photos provided by NASA. (What, no Pale Blue Dot?)
- Window on Eurasia suggests Russians in Tatarstan, unlike other groups, are unique in not wanting to learn Tatar.
I've a brief post up looking at the history of emigration and, more recently, population decline in Puerto Rico, something due to only by hugely accelerated by the catastrophe of Hurricane Maria. What will happen next?
- Universe Today reports on the potential game-changing nature of a hyperloop connecting Toronto and Montréal.
- Hacking of the brain is an obvious risk of two-way brain/Internet interfaces. From VICE.
- Puerto Rico's ongoing economic crisis has only been worsened by Hurricane Maria. Bloomberg reports.
- The problem with the German economy, strong as it may be now, is that not enough has been invested in the future. Bloomberg warns.
- Centauri Dreams links to archival video painstakingly collected from the Voyager missions.
- Citizen Science Salon notes ways ordinary people can use satellite imagery for archaeological purposes.
- Good news: Asian carp can't find a fin-hold in Lake Michigan. Bad news: The lake is so food-deprived nothing lives there. The Crux reports.
- D-Brief notes that, once every second, a fast radio burst occurs somewhere in the universe.
- Dangerous Minds looks at the psychedelic retro-futurism of Swedish artist Kilian Eng.
- Dead Things notes the recovery of ancient human DNA from some African sites, and what this could mean for study.
- Cody Delistraty reconsiders the idea of the "coming of age" narrative. Does this make sense now that we have abandoned the idea of a unitary self?
- The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper examining the evolution of icy bodies around different post-main sequence stars.
- The Great Grey Bridge's Philip Turner notes anti-Putin dissident Alexei Navalny.
- Hornet Stories notes reports of anti-gay persecution in Azerbaijan.
- Language Log takes a look at the dialectal variations of southern Ohio.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money starts a discussion about what effective disaster relief for Puerto Rico would look like.
- The LRB Blog looks at the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Mexico, and the story of the buried girl who was not there.
- Marginal Revolution notes that Toronto real estate companies, in light of rent control, are switching rental units over to condos.
- Naked Anthropologist Laura Agustín takes a look at the origins and stories of migrant sex workers.
- The NYR Daily talks about the supposedly unthinkable idea of nuclear war in the age of Trump.
- Drew Rowsome gives a strongly positive--and deserved review to the Minmar Gaslight show The Seat Next to the King, a Fringe triumph now playing at the Theatre Centre.
- Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel explains how so many outer-system icy worlds have liquid water.
- Towleroad features Jim Parsons' exploration of how important is for him, as a gay man, to be married.
- Window on Eurasia suggests Russian language policy limiting minority languages in education could backfire, and wonders if Islamization one way people in an urbanizing North Caucasus are trying to remain connected to community.
- 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.
- The Verge notes the Japanese cat island of Ainoshima has a music video in a bid to bring Ed Sheeran to its shores.
- ABC notes new findings that Tasmanian Aborigines have used fire to manage their island's forests for 41k years.
- The Independent notes the devastation of Barbuda by Hurricane Irma.
- CBC looks at the causes of Salt Spring Island's divisions over the issue of becoming a municipality. (The antis won.)
- Bloomberg notes that the Chinese habit of wrapping farmers' fields in plastic has long-term negative consequences.
- It's difficult not to trace the ability of a man in Vancouver to raise bananas at home to climate change. CBC reports.
- The Caribbean island of Dominica is set to start to turn to geothermal power for its energy needs. The Inter Press Service reports.
- Universe Today notes the astrometric data provided by GAIA lets us track stars set for close encounters.
- The possible discovery of an intermediate-mass black hole very near the Galactic Centre is big in a lot of ways.
- Canada and Mexico, it turns out, will remain members of NAFTA even if the United States leaves. (So it seems.)
- Texas and the United States, Snopes confirms, have accepted the offer of post-Harvey aid made by Mexico.
- The question of how Houston will rebuild post-Harvey--perhaps on more resilient lines?--is an interesting one.
- It's perhaps unsurprising that Puerto Rico is trying to make China a major economic partner. There could be synergy.
- Peter Geoghegan writes at Open Democracy about the mess that Brexit has made of Ireland, two decades after the Troubles' end.
- Anthrodendum's Alex Golub notes that a North Korean attack on Guam, among other things, would threaten the Chamorro natives of the island.
- The Toronto Star carries an excerpt from a book by Mark Dowie looking at how the Haida, of Haida Gwaii, managed to win government recognition of their existence.
- CBC's Sameer Chhabra explores how Canadian students at Caribbean medical schools find it very difficult to get jobs back home.
- Torontoist takes on Galen Weston and the $15 minimum wage and poverty in Toronto (and Loblaw's contribution to said).
- At the Toronto Star, Shawn Micallef describes how high property values in Toronto discourage open-air parking lots.
- Noor Javed looks, in Toronto Star, at the question of who authorized the cathedral elevated cow statue in Cathedraltown, in Markham.
- The Star's Fatima Syed shares some old memories of Torontonians of the Centreville carousel, soon to be sold off.
- At The Globe and Mail, Dakshana Bascaramurty takes a look at Jamaican patois, Toronto black English, and the many complex ways in which this language is received.
- Worrying about the relationship of Toronto and nuclear weapons seems very 1980s. What's old is new again, as noted at NOW Toronto.
- Steve Munro points out that talk of a fare freeze on the TTC ignores the underlying economics. Who, and what, will pay for this?
- It's nice that the Little Free Pantry is being supported, as Global News observes, but what does it say about our city that this is a thing?
- Clifton Joseph notes the Toronto Caribbean Festival has never achieved its goals of emancipation. Cue Bakhtin ...
- Global News notes the new Drake music video promoting his OVO Fest store at Yorkdale. I should go.
- Spacing hosts Cheryl Thompson's article examining Toronto's Caribbean festival as a Bakhtinian organized chaos.
- VICE examines how social housing in Canada will be hard-hit by climate change, including rising temperatures.
- Torontoist shares a sponsored guide to attractions in the Ontario Greenbelt.
- Laura Howells at the Toronto Star notes that if garlic mustard has to be an invasive plant in the forests of Ontario, at least it helps that it is a tasty invader.
- Julien Gignac reports on the mystery of who the artist building shrines at Leslie Spit actually is.
- The Inter Press Service observes the quest of the Maldives for a seat on the United Nations Security Council in this time of sea level rise.
- The NYR Daily reports on a new take on the revolutionary hope and failure of early 1980s Grenada.
- Bloomberg notes how Singapore is becoming a major destination for Indian tourists, in its own right and as a regional centre.
- MacLean's Joe Castaldo notes the case for Sears Canada giving executives retention bonuses even as it shorts lesser workers.
- CBC notes another, potentially more successful, search for Avro Arrow models in the depths of Lake Ontario.
- VICE notes the history of white supremacism in Canada, extending to the point of a failed coup by some in Dominica.
- Spacing reports on the Indigenous Place Making Council, intended to secure a place for increasingly urban First Nations in Canada.
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.
Frances Robles' front page article in The New York Times noting how Muslims from Trinidad and Tobago are being recruited in large numbers for ISIS and like organizations is alarming.
Law enforcement officials in Trinidad and Tobago, a small Caribbean island nation off the coast of Venezuela, are scrambling to close a pipeline that has sent a steady stream of young Muslims to Syria, where they have taken up arms for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
American officials worry about having a breeding ground for extremists so close to the United States, fearing that Trinidadian fighters could return from the Middle East and attack American diplomatic and oil installations in Trinidad, or even take a three-and-a-half-hour flight to Miami.
President Trump spoke by telephone over the weekend with Prime Minister Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago about terrorism and other security challenges, including foreign fighters, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, said.
Trinidad has a history of Islamist extremism — a radical Muslim group was responsible for a failed coup in 1990 that lasted six days, and in 2012 a Trinidadian man was sentenced to life in prison for his role in a plot to blow up Kennedy International Airport. Muslims make up only about 6 percent of the population, and the combatants often come from the margins of society, some of them on the run from criminal charges.
They saw few opportunities in an oil-rich nation whose economy has declined with the price of petroleum, experts say. Some were gang members who either converted or were radicalized in prison, while others have been swayed by local imams who studied in the Middle East, according to Muslim leaders and American officials.
The Toronto Star's Curtis Rush writes about the Cayman Islands' hockey team, staffed heavily by Canadian expats.
After trading long Canadian winters for the perpetual summer of this luxurious Caribbean tax haven, Bill Messer was content to enjoy the soft sands and warm waters of island living. The only thing he really missed was hockey.
So in 2003, when he saw a television report about the nascent World Pond Hockey Championship, he began plotting a strategy to get a team from his adopted home ready to play in his native country, Canada.
The initial response to his inquiry, however, felt like a cold slap in the face.
The tournament organizer, Danny Braun, warned Messer in an email that it was frigid up in Canada and that hockey was a very fast, very rough game.
As he read the email, Messer said, he realized that he had not made it clear to Braun that he was Canadian.
Michael Robinson of MacLean's describes how Holland College, the chief non-academic institution of higher education on Prince Edward Island, is involved with teleeducation in the Bahamas.
Despite thousands of kilometres of ocean separating Prince Edward Island and the Bahamas, the allure of a marine education and a shared nautical ancestry has built a bridge between the two island communities.
P.E.I.’s Holland College first began angling for Bahamian students in 2004 as part of a joint effort with the Bahamas Maritime Authority. The object? To train Bahamian youth so they could work on vessels like tugboats and bulk carriers anywhere in the world.
Michael O’Grady, the college’s vice-president of innovation, enterprise and strategic development, says the size and feel of Canada’s smallest province evokes a sense of familiarity with Bahamian recruits.
“We like to say we are more alike than we are different, culturally,” he says. “There is a basic understanding among islanders of the challenges and opportunities of living on a island. You appreciate the importance of your surroundings and sea-faring traditions.”
The National Post carried Gordon Rayner's article in The Telegraph looking at Robert De Niro's controversial development plans for the Caribbean island of Barbuda.
Once it was a favourite holiday destination of Diana, Princess of Wales, where she would take the young Princes William and Harry for carefree winter breaks.
Today, passing cruise ships swing by so that passengers can take pictures of Princess Diana Beach.
But since the Princess’s death, the K Club on the Caribbean island of Barbuda has suffered a reversal of fortunes, closing 12 years ago. Now the once luxurious resort is at the centre of an extraordinary legal battle involving Hollywood legend Robert De Niro and some of the island’s tiny population.
De Niro, together with his business partner James Packer, has bought the remainder of the lease on the land from its previous owner and has been granted planning permission to revamp, re-open and extend the K Club.
However, more than 300 of the island’s 1,500 residents have signed a petition objecting to the development, which they say is excessive and illegal.