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  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper suggesting exoplanet transits could start a galactic communications network.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at the connections between eating and identity.

  • The Frailest Thing's Michael Sacasas looks at the need for a critical study of the relationship between technology and democracy.

  • Language Hat notes how nationalism split Hindustani into separate Hindi and Urdu languages.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reflects on the grim outlook in Somalia after the terrible recent Mogadishu bombing.

  • Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen thinks Trump's decertification of the Iran deal is a bad idea.

  • The Map Room Blog links to an article imagining a counter-mapping of the Amazon by indigenous peoples.

  • Neuroskeptic considers the possibility of Parkinson's being a prion disease, somewhat like mad cow disease.

  • The NYR Daily notes that a Brexit driven by a perceived need to take back control will not meet that need, at all.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw looks at the problem Sydney faces as it booms.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer looks at the extent to which an independent Catalonia would be ravaged economically by a non-negotiated secession.

  • Peter Watts tells the sad story of an encounter between Toronto police and a homeless man he knows.

  • Window on Eurasia notes a Sakhalin bridge, like a Crimea bridge, may not come off because of Russian weakness.

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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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  • Anthropology.net notes that the analysis of a Neanderthal skeleton from Croatia reveals much common ancestry.

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares some stunning photos of Jupiter taken by the Juno probe.

  • Crooked Timber considers the differences--such as they are--between science fiction and fantasy literature.

  • After a conversation with Adam Gopnik, Cody Delistraty makes a case for the importance of high-brow culture.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes a paper arguing that Earth-like planets can exist even without active plate tectonics.

  • The Frailest Thing's Michael Sacasas argues that operating systems relying on instinct hurt human thought.

  • Language Log considers Twitter post limits for East Asian languages.

  • The LRB Blog considers trench fever and the future of nursing in the United Kingdom.

  • Marginal Revolution links to a study suggesting people actively look out for bad and threatening news items.

  • The NYR Daily examines the reasons why Uber ended up getting banned by the city of London.

  • Drew Rowsome reports on an exciting new staging at the Paramount Theatre of Salt-Water Moon.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel looks at the very low proportion of planets in studied exosystems actually detected by Kepler.

  • Strange Company tells the story of John Banvard, a 19th century American who lost everything in mounting panorama exhibitions.

  • Towleroad reports on how PREP contributed to an 80% fall in new HIV diagnoses in London and wider England.

  • Window on Eurasia notes the worsening of HIV/AIDS in Russia, aided by terrible government policy and bad statistics.

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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 Astronomer Phil Plait notes the discovery of activity on distant comet
    C/2017 K2.

  • Centauri Dreams notes a new proposal for an orbital telescope that could detect Earth-like worlds at Alpha Centauri A and B.

  • D-Brief notes a new research finding that chimpanzees can learn to use tools on their own, without teaching.

  • Dangerous Minds notes the interesting Detroit character of Gundella, the Green Witch of Detroit.

  • Language Log tries to decipher some garbled Hebrew at an American wedding.

  • The LRB Blog looks at the continued aftershocks, social and otherwise, from the recent earthquake in Mexico.

  • Marginal Revolution argues that North Korea is set to become more China's problem than the United States'.

  • Roads and Kingdoms notes the simple pleasures of soy milk in China.

  • Seriously Science notes a study looking at the different factors in the personalities of cats.

  • Towleroad notes the recent discovery of an antibody effective against 99% or so variants of HIV.

  • Window on Eurasia argues Russian politics play a central role in getting Russophones in Ukraine to become Ukrainian.

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  • At Antipope, Charlie Stross bets that barring catastrophe, the US under Trump will dispatch crewed circumlunar flights.

  • D-Brief takes a look at the evolution of birds, through speculation on how the beak formed.

  • Language Log looks at the ways Trump is represented, and mocked, in the languages of East Asia.

  • Noting the death toll in a Mexico City sweatshop, Lawyers, Guns and Money reiterates that sweatshops are dangerous places to work.

  • The NYR Daily notes the many structural issues likely to prevent foreign-imposed fixes in Afghanistan.

  • Roads and Kingdoms reports from a seemingly unlikely date festival held in the depths of the Saudi desert.

  • Rocky Planet reports that Mount Agung, a volcano in Indonesia, is at risk of imminent eruption.

  • Drew Rowsome notes a new stage adaptation in Toronto of the Hitchcock classic, North by Northwest.

  • Strange Company reports on how the Lonergans disappeared in 1998 in a dive off the Great Barrier Reef. What happened to them?

  • Towleroad notes how Chelsea Manning was just banned from entering Canada.

  • Window on Eurasia claims that the Russian language is disappearing from Armenia.

  • Arnold Zwicky maps the usage of "faggot" as an obscenity in the United States.

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  • Centauri Dreams considers the idea of dispatching a fleet of sail-equipped probes to map the asteroid belt.

  • Crux considers the importance of the invention of zero for mathematics.

  • D-Brief notes that Scotland's oldest snow patch is set to melt imminently.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper looking at the stability of multiplanetary systems in star clusters.

  • Imageo notes the modest recovery of icecaps in the Arctic this summer.

  • Language Log notes the importance of Kazakhstan's shift to using the Latin script for the Kazakh language.

  • The LRB Blog reports on a writer's visit to Helsinki.

  • The Map Room Blog notes a giant relief map of Guatemala, built to reinforce claims to what is now Belize.

  • The NYR Daily considers the continued salience of race in the fragile liberal-democratic world, in America and Europe.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer wonders if the heavy-handed Spanish government is trying to trigger Catalonian independence.

  • Roads and Kingdoms considers the palm wine of Senegal, and its vendors.

  • Understanding Society considers the Holocaust, as an experience sociological and otherwise.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy makes a libertarian case for open borders.

  • Whatever's John Scalzi celebrates his meeting mutual fan Alison Moyet.

  • Window on Eurasia notes how Belarus' cautious Belarusianization is met by Russia's pro-Soviet nostalgia.

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  • Far Outliers notes how the new Suez Canal helped create a network of coal-using port cities across Eurasia.

  • Hornet Stories notes that Serbia's out lesbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic, marched in Belgrade's pride parade.

  • Joe. My. God. notes a statement by the Pentagon that transgender troops can still re-enlist for the next few months.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes a fundamentally ill-thought defense of colonialism by Bruce Gilley.

  • Marginal Revolutions notes that Swedish support for the far right is linked to perceptions of foreign threats to employment.

  • Out There looks at the last days of Cassini at Saturn.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw notes real estate shenanigans in greater Sydney.

  • Drew Rowsome has a critical, but positive, review of closeted gay author Frank M. Robinson's autobiography.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy sums up the outcome of the controversial monkey selfie copyright case.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Russian challenges to language legislation in Tatarstan hint at future challenges.

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  • Tory Senator Lynn Beyak's latest ignorant statements about First Nations have to disqualify her from public office. Global News reports.

  • Is the rebirth of Congo's palm oil exports sign of a return to normality? Can it occur? Will it last? Bloomberg examines.

  • Oli Mould is critical of the idea promoting the arts and public culture will do much for poorer urbanites, over at Open Democracy.

  • Tom Rowley profiles a book, drawn from a VKontakte group, examining the experiences of the former USSR in the 1990s, also at Open Democracy.

  • This VICE discussion about what "queer" means is fascinating.

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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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  • Anthrodendum considers the difficulties of the anthropologist in the context of a world where their knowledges are monetized.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly talks about two days she spent in Montréal, with photos.

  • Crooked Timber starts a discussion about the justice, or lack thereof, in Harvard denying convicted murderer Michelle Jones entry into their doctoral program now that her sentence is over.

  • D-Brief looks at the changing nature of the global disease burden, and its economic consequences.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that Equifax's terribly lax data protection should mark the endgame for them.

  • The Map Room Blog considers the use of earth-observer satellites to predict future disease outbreaks (malaria, here, in Peru).

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel notes how quantum mechanics helps explain nuclear fusion in our sun.

  • Window on Eurasia notes a report that Muscovites live on average 12 years longer than non-Muscovite Russians.

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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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  • Bulgaria and Macedonia have at last signed a treaty trying to put their contentious past behind them. Greece next?

  • The legacies of Stalinist deportations in Moldova continue to trouble this poor country.

  • The plight of the ethnic Georgians apparently permanently displaced from Georgia has been only muted by time.

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  • At Antipope, Charlie Stross considers the ways in which Big Data could enable an updated version of 1984.

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at all the ways in which this photo of galaxy NGC 5559 is cool, with a supernova and more.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly shares a week of her life as a professional writer.

  • Crooked Timber looks at the potentially dominant role of racism as a political marker in the US.

  • Far Outliers notes that the Confederacy's military options circa 1864 were grim and limited.

  • Language Log shares an example of a Starbucks coffee cup with biscriptal writing from Shenyang.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the Rohingya are being subjected to genocide. What next?

  • Marginal Revolution notes the introduction of a new chocolate, ruby chocolate".

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw has it with ideological divisions of left and right.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer looks at the remarkably intemperate Spanish court decision that kicked off modern separatism in Catalonia.

  • Charley Ross looks at the sad story of missing teenager Brittanee Drexel.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel notes that now is an excellent time to start highlighting the politics of climate change.

  • Towleroad mourns New York City theatre star Michael Friedman.

  • Window on Eurasia notes the ways in which Russia is, and is not, likely to use the military.

  • Arnold Zwicky shares a map of the regional languages of France.

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  • Anthrodendum features a guest author talking about the need for artificial intelligence's introduction into our civilization to be managed.

  • Dangerous Minds tells the story of how John Lennon and Yoko Ono met Marshall McLuhan.

  • Cody Delistraty suggests Freud still matters, as a founder and as a pioneer of a new kind of thinking.

  • The Dragon's Gaze reports on cloud circulation patterns of exoplanet HD 80606b.

  • Far Outliers examines just how Chinese immigration to Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore, became so big.

  • Hornet Stories interviews Moises Serrano, one of the many undocumented queer people victims of the repeal of DACA.

  • Marginal Revolution notes a study suggesting some Indian students have math skills which do not translate into the classroom.

  • The NYR Daily looks at the crackdown on free media in Cambodia.

  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at a new set of recommendations for Canada's space future by the Space Advisory Board.

  • Roads and Kingdoms reports from Burma, noting the prominence of social media in anti-Rohingya hate.

  • Cheri Lucas Rowlands shares beautiful photos from the Sicilian community of Taormina.

  • Ethan Siegel at Starts With A Bang talks about the mystery of some stars which appear to be older than the universe.

  • Window on Eurasia is critical of a Russian proposal for UN peacekeepers in the Donbas making no mention of Russia.

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  • Malcolm Campbell reports for CBC on how the Island's organic agriculture sector is dealing with ineffective provincial regulation.

  • At the Toronto Star, Ainslie Cruickshank describes new measures to reserve GTA farmland in the Greenbelt for agricultural uses only.

  • Leonid Bershidsky reports for Bloomberg View on how climate change is making Russia--and Ukraine, and Kazakhstan--a major agricultural force.

  • At the Toronto Star, Alex McKeen reports on a North York warehouse that hosts a highly productive vertical farm.

  • Frank Viviano's National Geographic article looking at the enormously productivity of high-tech agriculture in the Netherlands shows the future.

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  • blogTO lists some interesting things to do and see in Toronto's American neighbour, Buffalo.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly strongly defends contemporary journalism as essential for understanding the world.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money rightly takes issue with the claim identity politics hinders the US left. Remember New Deal coalitions?

  • Marginal Revolution notes just how expensive it is to run Harvard.

  • Otto Pohl notes the upcoming 76th anniversary of the Soviet deportation of the Volga Germans.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer reports on the remarkably fluent code-switching between English and French of some Washington D.C. subway riders.

  • Strange Maps notes rival food and fabric maps of India and Pakistan.

  • Tricia Wood at Torontoist argues that, for environmental and economic reasons, Ontario needs high-speed rail.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests Tatarstan has done a poor job of defending its sovereignty from the Russian government.

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte, loneliest galaxy in the Local Group.

  • Centauri Dreams examines the recent detailed view of the star Antares, and notes Antares' mysteries.

  • False Steps' Paul Drye notes Project Adam, a Sputnik-era proposal for a manned American suborbital flight.

  • Far Outliers recounts a 1945 encounter between an American general and the Sultan of Sulu, impoverished by the war.

  • Language Log notes the Sino-Indian propaganda video war over their border dispute in the Himalayas.

  • The LRB Blog looks at the messy process of the demobilization of FARC in Colombia.

  • Marginal Revolution looks at how Virginia has managed to become a multicultural success story.

  • The NYR Daily looks at the photos of India taken by Cartier-Bresson.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer wonders how, despite the drug war, Mexico City continues to feel (even be) so peaceful. Can it last?

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel goes through the many reasons why it makes no sense to fear first contact with aliens.

  • Strange Company tells of Bunkie Dodge, pool-playing cat of early 20th century New England.

  • Unicorn Booty notes that the new Taylor Swift song is inspired by Right Said Fred's "I'm So Sexy."

  • Window on Eurasia shares an argument that an essentially post-colonial Russophone cultural community cannot coexist with a Russian empire.

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  • Anthrodendum's Alex Golub talks about anthropologists of the 20th century who resisted fascism.

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes a study suggesting the TRAPPIST-1 system might be substantially older than our own solar system.

  • Centauri Dreams considers tidal locking as a factor relevant to Earth-like planetary environments.

  • The Crux shows efforts to help the piping plover in its home on the dunes of the Great Lakes coast of Pennsylvania.

  • Dead Things considers the evidence for the presence of modern humans in Sumatra 73 thousand years ago.

  • Bruce Dorminey makes the case for placing a lunar base not on the poles, but rather in the material-rich nearside highlands.

  • Far Outliers shares some evocative placenames from Japan, like Togakushi (‘door-hiding’) from ninja training spaces.

  • Language Hat notes the exceptionally stylistically uneven Spanish translation of the Harry Potter series.

  • Language Log thinks, among other things, modern technologies make language learning easier than ever before.

  • The LRB Blog notes how claims to trace modern Greece directly to the Mycenaean era are used to justify ultranationalism.

  • Marginal Revolution considers which countries are surrounded by enemies. (India rates poorly by this metric.)

  • The Numerati's Stephen Baker considers how Confederate statues are products of recycling, like so much in our lives.

  • The NYR Daily considers the unique importance of Thomas Jefferson, a man at once statesman and slaver.

  • The Planetary Society Blog celebrated the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 2 Sunday.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer notes that, for a country fighting a drug war, Mexico spends astonishingly little on its police force.

  • Drew Rowsome takes a look at classic John Wayne Western, The Train Robbers.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel considers the critical role of NASA's Planetary Protection Officer.

  • Strange Company notes the many legends surrounding the early 19th century US' Theodosia Burr.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy hosts Ilya Somin' argument against world government, as something limiting of freedom. Thoughts?

  • Window on Eurasia notes how Ukrainians are turning from Russia, becoming more foreign to their one-time partner.

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