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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at enormous, explosive Wolf-Rayet stars, and at WR 124 in particular.
  • The Big Picture shares heart-rending photos of Rohingya refugees fleeing Burma.

  • Centauri Dreams considers the potential of near-future robotic asteroid mining.

  • D-Brief notes the discovery of vast cave systems on the Moon, potential homes for settlers.

  • Hornet Stories exposes young children to Madonna's hit songs and videos of the 1980s. She still has it.

  • Inkfish notes that a beluga raised in captivity among dolphins has picked up elements of their speech.

  • Language Hat notes a dubious claim that a stelae containing Luwian hieroglyphic script, from ancient Anatolia, has been translated.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the question of preserving brutalist buildings.

  • The LRB Blog considers how Brexit, intended to enhance British sovereignty and power, will weaken both.

  • The Map Room Blog notes that the moons and planets of the solar system have been added to Google Maps.

  • The NYR Daily considers how the Burmese government is carefully creating a case for Rohingya genocide.

  • The Power and Money's Noel Maurer concludes, regretfully, that the market for suborbital travel is just not there.

  • Visiting a shrimp festival in Louisiana, Roads and Kingdoms considers how the fisheries work with the oil industry (or not).

  • Towleroad reports on the apparent abduction in Chechnya of singer Zelimkhan Bakayev, part of the anti-gay pogrom there.

  • Window on Eurasia notes that rebuilding Kaliningrad as a Russian military outpost will be expensive.

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  • VICE suggests that drag in Brooklyn is having a big creative moment.

  • This interview with the director of the Tom of Finland biopic sounds like he has grasped the issues.

  • LiveScience tells of a formal study suggesting heterosexual guys prefer bromances to straight relationships ... huh.

  • Does online dating have the ability to transform society, by making all kinds of unexpected links across boundaries? Technology Review reports.

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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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  • Hornet Stories looks at the long history of the explicitly LGBTQ-friendly Metropolitan Community Church.

  • Jeff Rock will be the new pastor of Toronto's Metropolitan Community Church congregation, after Brent Hawkes. The Toronto Star reports.

  • Quartz reports on a PFLAG China cruise, featuring queer people and their parents.

  • Little India reports on the emerging field of gay literature in India, prose and poetry, fiction and non-fiction.

  • The Satanic Temple of Seattle is commissioning anti-gay bakers to bake them pro-Satanism cakes. Religious freedom, right? Bustle tells the story.

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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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  • This article looks at the amazing queer parties that were major nightlife features in the 1930s US. The Guardian reports.


  • City News looks at how drag queens are becoming high-demand performers in RuPaul-era Toronto.

  • Ruth La Ferla shares a stunning contemporary photo exhibit by Michael Sharkey of the fashion of out queer youths. The New York Times reports.

  • A new gay-themed novel by Matt Cain is going to get crowdfunded after being rejected by traditional publisher as "too gay". The Guardian reports.

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  • Anthrodendum takes a look at the way community knowledge is now being subject to a privatization.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlyn Kelly starts a discussion about what makes home.

  • Bruce Dorminey suggests a pre-Theia, Moon-sized impactor gave the Earth its metal crust.

  • The Dragon's Gaze looks at the current state of knowledge about Proxima b.

  • The Dragon's Tales notes that Russia is apparently testing advanced nuclear weapons.

  • The Frailest Thing's Michael Sacasas considers the religious impulse in so many technophiles' view of the world.

  • Language Hat considers the dynamics associated with learning minority languages in Europe.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money shares a classic traffic safety clip from 1913.

  • The LRB Blog mourns the loss of Glen Newey, long-time contributor.

  • Lovesick Cyborg notes a NASA study into the economics of a viable space-based solar power project.

  • Roads and Kingdoms takes a look at the açorda of Portugal, a bread-based broth that was a long-time food of the poor.

  • Cheri Lucas Rowlands celebrates the passage of summer into fall through photos of her vegetable garden.

  • Drew Rowsome takes a look at the representation of LGBTQ people on television, and sees much reason for cheer.

  • Science Sushi notes that different dolphin groups seem to have different dialects.

  • Understanding Society takes a look at Robert Merton's refinement of social functionalism.

  • Window on Eurasia notes that many ethnic Russians in Belarus, as in Ukraine, have shifted identity to that of the titular nation.

  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes one mistake made about artificial intelligence: it is not automatically more accurate.

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io9 looks at the surprising things we are continuing to learn from Tycho's supernova, SN 1572. https://gizmodo.com/a-famous-supernovas-mysteries-are-still-unraveling-hund-1818816208

Anthrodendum has a thoughtful interview between two anthropologists about their experiences as ethnographers. https://savageminds.org/2017/09/25/explaining-ethnography-in-the-field-a-conversation-between-pasang-yangjee-sherpa-and-carole-mcgranahan/

Centauri Dreams reports on the LIGO/VIRGO detection of gravitational wave #GW170814 https://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=38557
D-Brief also notes the detection of #GW170814 http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2017/09/27/gravitational-wave-virgo/
as does Starts With A Bang https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/09/27/ligo-virgo-detects-the-first-three-detector-gravitational-wave/

The Crux notes how ancient rocks on the Québec-Labrador frontier have preserved traces of very early life. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2017/09/27/earth-oldest-rocks-life/

D-Brief notes the potential discovery of a biomarker for CTE, something that may well help professional athletes. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2017/09/27/cte-biomarker/

Dangerous Minds looks at the time the Pet Shop Boys and Liza Minelli collaborated on an album. http://dangerousminds.net/comments/results_when_the_pet_shop_boys_met_liza_minnelli

The Dragon's Gaze looks at evidence that a sub-Saturn gas giant is forming around T Tauri star TW Hydrae. http://thedragonsgaze.blogspot.ca/2017/09/tw-hydrae-is-forming-subsaturn-gas-giant.html

Hornet Stories looks at the four lessons a professor took from gay porn, about sexuality and its representation. https://hornetapp.com/stories/gay-porn-professor/

Language Log looks at how Joseon Korea once used the wrong Chinese dialect to talk officially to China. http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=34693

Lawyers, Guns and Money notes an odd defense of Hugh Hefner by a conservative. http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/09/hugh-hefner-good-now

The LRB Blog notes the oddly convention nature of Hugh Hefner. https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2017/09/28/august-kleinzahler/the-conventional-mr-hefner/

The Map Room Blog argues that faults found with fantasy maps actually reflect deeper issues with fantasy literature. http://www.maproomblog.com/2017/09/the-territory-is-not-the-map/

Marginal Revolution notes that IBM employs more people In India than in the United States.
http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2017/09/india-fact-day-3.html

The NYR Daily notes a new art exhibition of work by Peter Saul dealing with Trump. http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/09/27/a-carnival-of-desecration-peter-saul-trump/

The Planetary Society Blog notes the Earth pictures taken by the OSIRIS-REx probe. http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2017/0928-earth-flyby-osiris-rex.html

The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer notes a worrying new analysis justifying an American strike on North Korea, despite Seoul. http://noelmaurer.typepad.com/aab/2017/09/the-hawks-make-their-case-to-fight-north-korea.html

Drew Rowsome notes an amusing-sounding mystery, Undercover, playing at the Tarragon. http://drewrowsome.blogspot.ca/2017/09/undercover-case-of-comic-mystery.html

Towleroad links to fascinating ethnographic work of LGBT members of American street gangs. How do they do it? http://www.towleroad.com/2017/09/gay-gang/
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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 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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  • CBC notes that the Yonge and Dundas street artist scene is closing down under city regulations, including permits.

  • Emily Mathieu talks about how she conducts her journalism with some of Toronto's most marginalized as subjects.

  • The Globe and Mail notes the local controversy over having police officers permanently stationed in schools.

  • The idea that police who actively undermine the Special Investigations Unit should be seriously punished seems obvious.
  • Veteran NDP politican and LGBTQ rights advocate Cheri DiNovo is leaving politics to become a minister in church.

  • Finally, the Dundas West TTC station will be connected to the GO Transit hub less than 300 metres away!

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.

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  • At least nine exoplanets now known to us could detect the Earth if inhabited by civilizations with our tech levels. Motherboard reports.

  • Ernie Smith examines how the CD-ROM, that ephemeral media preceding the Internet, killed off the classical encyclopedia of our youth.

  • Are robots, and roboticization, practical solutions to falling working-age populations? Joseph Chamie is unconvinced, at the Inter Press Service.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy looks at the remarkable new algorithms which can distinguish between straights and LGBTQ people via facepics.

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  • Acts of Minor Treason's Andrew Barton reacts to the series premiere of Orville, finding it oddly retrograde and unoriginal.

  • Centauri Dreams shares Larry Klaes' article considering the impact of the 1956 classic Forbidden Planet on science and science fiction alike.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper wondering if it is by chance that Earth orbits a yellow dwarf, not a dimmer star.

  • Drone360 shares a stunning video of a drone flying into Hurricane Irma.

  • Hornet Stories celebrates the 10th anniversary of Chris Crocker's "Leave Britney Alone!" video. (It was important.)

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money wonders if 16 years are long enough to let people move beyond taboo images, like those of the jumpers.

  • The LRB Blog takes a look at the young Dreamers, students, who have been left scrambling by the repeal of DACA.

  • The Map Room Blog notes how a Québec plan to name islands in the north created by hydro flooding after literature got complicated by issues of ethnicity and language.

  • Marginal Revolution notes the rise of internal tourism in China, and soon, of Chinese tourists in the wider world.

  • The NYR Daily has an interview arguing that the tendency to make consciousness aphysical or inexplicable is harmful to proper study.

  • Roads and Kingdoms has a brief account of a good experience with Indonesian wine.

  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell links to five reports about Syria. They are grim reading.

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  • I am impressed by the scope, if nothing else, of this plan to archive everything on Instagram. VICE reports.

  • I really hope that Instagram's The AIDS Memorial Account remains active. It's a vital online archive of who we lost. Hornet Stories reports on this account's problems.

  • Hornet Stories reports on how gay NYC comedian Matt Grote decided to play with the tropes of the Instagram hunk. Intriuging..

  • Wired notes a powerful, high-speed Google algorithm that does photo retouching very quickly. Not sure how I feel.

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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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