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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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Bad Astronomer Phil Plait talks about the discovery that the early Moon had a notable atmosphere. http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/air-de-lune

The Big Picture, from the Boston Globe, shares terrifying pictures from the California wildfires. https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/bigpicture/2017/10/10/raging-wildfires-california/GtkTUeIILcZeqp5jlsLTMI/story.html

The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly talks about how writers need editing, and editors. https://broadsideblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/14/why-editors-matter-more-than-ever/

D-Brief notes that forming coal beds sucked so much carbon dioxide out of the air that it triggered an ice age.
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2017/10/10/coal-earth-ice/

Dangerous Minds looks at Michael's Thing, a vintage guide to gay New York dating from the 1970s. http://dangerousminds.net/comments/michaels_thing_new_york_citys_once_essential_queer_city_guide

Cody Delistraty looks at a new Paris exhibition of the works of Paul Gauguin that tries to deal with his moral sketchiness, inspiration of much his work. https://delistraty.com/2017/10/09/paul-gauguins-insurmountable-immorality/

Hornet Stories notes that same same-sex-attracted guys opt to be called not gay but androphiles. (Less baggage, they say.) https://hornetapp.com/stories/men-who-love-men-androphile/

Language Hat notes a claim that the Spanish of Christopher Columbus was marked by Catalan. http://languagehat.com/columbuss-catalan/

Language Log notes that the languages of southern China like Cantonese are actually fully-fledged languages. http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=34933

Lawyers, Guns and Money notes an argument that Chinese companies do not abide by the terms of tech transfer agreements.
http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/10/tech-transfer

The LRB Blog notes an old Mike Davis article noting how California, at a time of climate change, risks catastrophic wildfires. https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2017/10/10/the-editors/california-burning/

The Map Room Blog is unimpressed by the new book, A History of Canada in Ten Maps. (It needs more maps. Seriously.) https://buff.ly/2gcdLKG

The NYR Daily takes another look at the nature of consciousness.
http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/10/09/consciousness-an-object-lesson/

The Planetary Society Blog shares a scientist's story about how he stitched together the last mosaic photo of Saturn by Cassini. http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/2017/cassinis-last-dance-with-saturn-farewell-mosaic.html

The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer notes that an unnegotiated secession of Catalonia from Spain would be a catastrophe for the new country. http://noelmaurer.typepad.com/aab/2017/10/la-econom%C3%ADa-de-la-secesi%C3%B3n-en-la-madre-patria.html

Roads and Kingdoms considers what is next for Kurdistan after its independence referendum. http://roadsandkingdoms.com/2017/whats-next-for-kurdistan/

Science Sushi considers the sketchy science of studying cetacean sex. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/science-sushi/2017/10/10/dolphin-penis-vagina-simulated-marine-mammal-sex/

Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel notes that exceptionally strong evidence that we do, in fact, exist in a real multiverse. https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/10/12/the-multiverse-is-inevitable-and-were-living-in-it/

Strange Maps looks at rates of reported corruption across Latin America, finding that Mexico fares badly. http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/half-of-all-mexicans-paid-a-bribe-in-the-previous-12-months

Window on Eurasia notes new inflows of migrants to Russia include fewer Europeans and many more Central Asians. http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.ca/2017/10/gastarbeiters-in-russia-from-central.html
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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes a team of students who caught footage of the August solar eclipse from a high-altitude balloon.

  • D-Brief notes the discovery that the early Moon apparently had a very thin atmosphere for tens of millions of years.

  • The Dragon's Tales links to Elon Musk's descriptions of his space ambitions.

  • Hornet Stories notes that many on the alt-right are upset that game Wolfenstein is all about shooting Nazis.

  • The LRB Blog notes the almost ridiculous irony of Conservative Theresa May wearing a bracelet with the image of radical leftist Frida Kahlo.

  • Russell Darnley looks at efforts to get Singapore restaurants to shift away from using environmentally damaging palm oil.

  • The NYR Daily looks at the overwhelming power of the NRA in the modern United States.

  • The Planetary Society Blog considers ways we can do SETI better by having a less Eurocentric understanding of our own history.

  • Window on Eurasia wonders if Uzbekistan and Kyrgzystan could solve border issues through swapping enclaves.

  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at the corrosive effect of Bannon, and journalistic culture generally, on politics.

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  • Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait notes that the most plausible explanation for Tabitha's Star, KIC 8462852, exists in partial eclipses of the star by dust clouds.

  • D-Brief notes that the giant stick insects of Lord Howe Island did survive in their forced diaspora.

  • The Dragon's Gaze takes a look at Kelt-9b, a planet so close to its star that it is literally melting away.

  • Language Hat looks at a website set up by inhabitants of the Faroe Islands to translate Faroese.

  • The LRB Blog shares some of the past appearances of Nobel-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro in the pages of the LRB.

  • Neal Ascherson at the NYR Daily looks at the mechanism of the referendum, in Scotland and Catalonia and elsewhere.

  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at the import of Mike Pence's promise to send Americans to the Moon again.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel looks at how the cosmic phenomenon of inflation explains the entire modern universe.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests Chechnya's Ramzan Kadyrov is trying to establish himself as a Russian political figure.

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  • Lake Erie, National Geographic notes, is experiencing regular massive algae blooms.

  • Adria Vasil talks about her experience taking part in the recent Great Lakes Water Walk, over at NOW Toronto.

  • Atlas Obscura has more about that drone-harvested field of barley in England.

  • The early Earth got much less carbon than it might have been expected to from the early solar system. Universe Today reports.

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  • At The Big Picture, the Boston Globe shares some of its best photos from September.

  • Drone 360 notes that drones are being used to track polar bear populations.

  • The Frailest Thing's Michael Sacasas notes how people too often abandon moral responsibility to the machines which administer algorithms with real-world consequences.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the remarkable story of hockey star Jaromir Jagr.

  • The Map Room Blog shares an official guide to map-making from Austria-Hungary.

  • The NYR Daily notes how official Myanmar has invented Rohingya violent extremism out of practically nothing.

  • Roads and Kingdoms shows readers where you can eat kosher in Mexico City.

  • Whatever's John Scalzi shares a tweetstorm of his talking about the problems with daily word totals for writers.

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  • A new report suggests that, in Toronto, you need to learn at least twice minimum wage in order to thrive. The Toronto Star reports.

  • GO Transit users will apparently get half-price TTC fares. The Toronto Star reports.

  • From the former Stollery's, at 1 Bloor Street West, will rise Toronto's tallest condo tower. The Globe and Mail reports.

  • Torontoist shares an opinion piece looking at the infrastructure of environmental protection in the GTHA.

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  • Politics in a small Newfoundland community seem to literally be a family matter, of Crockers and Blakes. The National Post reports.

  • Goldfish are taking over the water systems of the Alberta city of St. Albert's. The National Post reports.

  • This BBC feature looks at the lives of the inhabitants, survivors and not, of the 21st floor of Grenfell.

  • This Guardian feature looks at ways cities can protect themselves against disaster, especially with water.

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  • GW170814, detected by VIRGO and LIGO, marks the collision of two black holes, 31 and 25 solar masses, 1.8 billion light-years away. Ars Technica reports.

  • The American Museum of Natural History in New York has a new exhibition linking birds and dinosaurs. National Geographic notes.

  • This new asteroid belt model suggesting it began empty, then filled from the inner and outer system, is interesting. Universe Today goes into more detail.

  • New studies are suggesting that the oceans are starting to warm up. The Guardian reports.

  • Offshore wind farms are apparently serving as platforms for flourishing marine ecologies, starting with mussels. Technology Review examines preliminary findings here.

  • Hydroelectric development in the highlands of Georgia is disrupting already fragile human communities there. Open Democracy reports.

  • Australian scientists may have found the genes causing the small wings of emus. Could they get bigger wings now? The Herald-Sun describes the finding and its import.

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  • A new TD report suggests the introduction of a $15 minimum wage could cost up to 90 thousand jobs by 2020, especially if the shift is too quick. Global News reports.

  • Torontoist notes the ongoing debate over what to do with the land suggested for Rail Deck Park. (I prefer the park.)

  • blogTO notes the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough is set to expand and move to a new location.

  • Opposition--ill-grounded opposition, I would say--to a new wind energy project in Prince Edward County is growing. Global News reports.

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  • 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.

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  • Neanderthals, like contemporary humans, had the sort of prolonged childhoods which lend themselves to intelligence. National Geographic reports.

  • The cool chill water of oceans is starting to be used to cool data centres. VICE reports.

  • Brazil is set to embark on a substantial process to restore Amazonian rainforest. VICE reports.

  • The Dawn probe found evidence of subsurface ice on rocky asteroid-belt protoplanet Vesta. Universe Today reports.

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  • Naomi Klein argues that this summer, of wildfires and disasters, marks an environmental turning point.

  • National Geographic shares stunning video of defrosting Tibetan soil flowing.

  • This dumping of illegally harvested lobsters as garbage on land in Nova Scotia is a terrible waste. CBC reports.

  • Can we limit urban flooding only if we force landowners to contribute to the costs of stormwater infrastructure? MacLean's makes the case.

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  • Centauri Dreams celebrates the science behind Cassini.

  • Crooked Timber's Henry Farrell is breaking from Harvard's Kennedy Centre over its revocation of an invitation to Chelsea Manning.

  • The Crux points to the ways in which the legacy of Cassini will still be active.

  • D-Brief notes that some tool-using macaques of Thailand are overfishing their environment.

  • Hornet Stories notes the eulogy given by Hillary Clinton at the funeral of Edie Windsor.

  • Inkfish notes one way to define separate bird species: ask the birds what they think. (Literally.)

  • The LRB Blog notes the recent passing of Margot Hielscher, veteran German star and one-time crush of Goebbels.

  • The NYR Daily notes the chilling effects on discourse in India of a string of murders of Indian journalists and writers.

  • At the Planetary Science Blog, Emily Lakdawalla bids farewell to the noble Cassini probe.

  • Roads and Kingdoms notes a breakfast in Bangladesh complicated by child marriage.

  • Towleroad notes an Australian church cancelled an opposite-sex couple's wedding because the bride supports equality.

  • Arnold Zwicky notes the marmots of, among other places, cosmopolitan and multilingual Swiss canton of Graubünden.

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  • NOW Toronto notes how Gibraltar Point marks the Toronto Islands' point most vulnerable to erosion.

  • It seems, as Fatima Syed notes, that the Centreville carousel will not be bought by its intended buyer.

  • VICE reports on a young Toronto architect who suggests condos could be more affordable if they were more modular.

  • A highly disproportionate number of Toronto's innovative post-war architects were Estonian refugees. Stunning works. The Globe and Mail reports.

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  • Building two thousand affordable housing units in Toronto is a nice step forward. Will there be more steps? The Toronto Star reports.

  • This charming bit of improvised art down at Humber Bay Park reminds me that I really need to head down there. From the Toronto Star.

  • Montréal has stopped representing genocidal General Amherst on its flag, replacing it with a native pine tree. The National Post reports.

  • Emily Macrae at Torontoist suggests co-housing, drawn from a Québec model, is something Toronto might want to look into.

  • Richard Longley at NOW Toronto explores the Toronto Islands. Do they have a future? What will they need?

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  • Centauri Dreams considers the idea of uploading a digital "Golden Record" into the memory of New Horizons.

  • Crooked Timber takes a look at American legal writer (and judge) Richard Posner's embrace of pragmatism. What does it mean?

  • D-Brief notes the rapid melting of the glaciers that feed the major rivers of Asia.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper considering ways to detect planets in orbit of red giants.

  • The LRB Blog considers the potential for political tumult in Saudi Arabia, in the wake of arrests and rumours.

  • The Map Room Blog links to a new gravity map of Mars, revealing the crust of that world to be less dense and more variable than thought.

  • The NYR Daily looks at the South China Sea dispute in the wake of Indonesia's newly restated claims.

  • Roads and Kingdoms looks at Philadelphia's seasonal cookie--spiced wafer--wars.

  • Drew Rowsome is a big fan of the movie adaptation of It.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests that, for want of better options, the Donbas republics' people might return to Ukraine.

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares stunning deep-field pictures of intergalactic space.

  • Centauri Dreams shares the second part of Larry Klaes' analysis of Forbidden Planet.

  • D-Brief suggests that controlled kangaroo hunting may be necessary for the ecological health of Australia.

  • Bruce Dorminey notes a new radio telescope in British Columbia that may help solve the mystery of fast radio burst.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes that quasars can irradiate a noteworthy fraction of potentially Earth-like planets.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money comes out against the idea of giving Amazon massive tax breaks for HQ2.

  • The LRB Blog bids a fond farewell to Saturn probe Cassini.

  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper suggesting new ideas--hence, new sources of economic growth--are harder to come by.

  • Maximos62 recounts a quietly chilling trip to East Timor where he discovers a landscape marked by genocide.

  • The New APPS Blog is quite unsurprised by news that Russians may have used Facebook to manipulate the US election.

  • At Out of Ambit, Diane Duane bids a fond farewell to colleague Len Wein.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw does not think Australia is committed enough to affordable housing to solve homelessness Finland-style.

  • Roads and Kingdoms reports from the Suwalki Gap, the thin corridor joining the Baltic States to Poland.

  • Peter Rukavina looks at how a storied land rover was recovered from St. Helena.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel lists the top six discoveries of Cassini at Saturn.

  • Towleroad notes fundamentally misaimed criticism of new AI that determines sexual orientation from facepics.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at contemporary Russian fears about the power of rising China in Russia's Asian territories.

rfmcdonald: (photo)
Red soil #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #avonleavillage #red #soil #latergram


The red soil of Prince Edward Island, pale when dry as in this drought-ridden summer and a vibrant red when wet, is still baseline normal for me despite so long away.

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