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  • Elisabeth de Mariaffi argues that Gord Downie's spirit is tied deeply to exotic rural Ontario.

  • MacLean's looks at Gord Downie's deep connections to a Kingston personally familiar to me.

  • Patrick Finn writes about Gord Downie's contributions to an ever-evolving Canadian culture.

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  • Cetacean intelligence evolved under the same pressures as primate intelligence, and in the same ways. We are peers. The Globe and Mail reports.

  • Raccoons recently tested highly on a controlled test of their ingenuity and intelligence. A York study, of course. National Geographic reports.

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  • There are, happily, new breeds of coffee plants being bred to cope with climate change. The Toronto Star reports.

  • High labour and infrastructure costs means that Ethiopia is the only African power likely to challenge China in manufactures. Quartz reports.

  • Wired's Kevin Kelly is perhaps on a limb in suggesting the lifestyle of Mongolian nomads is a viable world model.

  • The flowing waters of icy Mars were icy, as Universe Today reports.

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait reports on the naming of the features of the surface of Ceres.

  • D-Brief notes that small-scale robotic manufacturing is now a thing.

  • The Dragon's Gaze reports on a new study of exoplanets and their stars.

  • The Dragon's Tales has a nice round-up of news on hominin research and primates generally.

  • Hornet Stories notes that there is apparently a debate about women as drag queens. I don't see why they should not, frankly.

  • Joe. My. God links to a Rolling Stone article celebrating Erotica and Sex, by Madonna, on their 25th anniversary.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the way Dollar General caters to a permanent underclass. Like Dollarama in Canada?

  • Language Hat notes that Xibe, related to Manchu, is receiving protection from China.

  • The NYR Daily reports on the mass killings, approaching genocide, in Indonesia in 1965.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel reports on the proofs we have for the current age of the universe.

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  • Bloomberg notes that the people and businesses leaving London for the EU-27 will enjoy lower rents.

  • DW reports on potential British interest in joining NAFTA, if Brexit talks with the EU collapse entirely.

  • The remarkable Bombardier deal with Airbus may yet save the Canadian company from American tariffs. Global News reports.

  • Global News takes a look at the provinces and economic sectors in Canada to be hit hardest by the end of NAFTA.

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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 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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  • 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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  • The Muse song "Neutron Star Collision" went through my head when I heard the news.

  • This Guardian article went into great detail about th
  • You can tell that Bad Astronomer Phil Plait really enjoyed writing about the neutron star collision in NGC 4993.

  • D-Brief notes that Einstein doubted the existence of gravitational waves, ever mind their detectability, and looks at the way GW170817 helped nail down the Hubble constant, measuring the rate the universe expands.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel provides a nice overview of GW170817.

  • Sophia Chen's Wired article takes an interesting look at the culture of gravitational wave astronomy, traditionally secretive for fear of criticism.

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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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  • The failure to repair the railway linking Churchill to the rest of Canada is going to have huge consequences. CBC reports.

  • With relatively green hydro energy, Hydro-Quebec is set to become a major exporter of power to the US. The Globe and Mail reports.

  • The old lands of Mr. Christie to Mimico, in south Etobicoke, is set to become a new condo-heavy Liberty Village. Torontoist reports.

  • Christopher Hume does not at all like the idea of just giving a bit chunk of the Port Lands to the movie industry. He writes in the Toronto Star.

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  • I bet that, as numerous reports have indicated, LIGO picked up a neutron star collision, with EM traces. D-Brief reports.

  • Neanderthal genes seem to have had a big influence on modern human health. I would be surprised not to have some. National Geographic describes.

  • Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go may evoke crises of bioethics, but I'm not sure it relates to genetic engineering. VICE reports.

  • These apocalyptic visions of technophiles who want to create an artificial intelligence to become god are notable. The Guardian takes a look.

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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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  • DNA tests of Beothuk remains reveal that the extinct group was related to neither Mi'kmaq nor Inuit. The Globe and Mail reports.

  • Some Newfoundland outports are seeing many young professionals move in, to make homes and businesses. CBC reports.

  • Marginal Revolution claims a group wanting to mount a seasteading effort off French Polynesia are getting close to their goals.

  • Politico.eu notes that, in the Shetlands, while fishers hope Brexit will lead to the revival of the fisheries others fear a labour shortage without EU-27 migrants.

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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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  • The way art helped build a stronger community in Parkdale is the subject of this NOW Toronto article.

  • The AGO has just landed a new curator of indigenous art, Anishinabe-kwe artist Wanda Nanibush.

  • Transitions Online notes how, under Communism, different Balkan peoples kept looking to a different west for entertainment.

  • MacLean's looks at the history of Canadian Thanksgiving.

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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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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?
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  • Wired mourns AIM, AOL Instant Messenger. For me as with others, it really was a life-changing technology.

  • The Ring of Fire, a mineral-rich region of northern Ontario set for development, is getting high-speed Internet. The Toronto Star reports.
  • \
  • VICE notes that someone programmed an Arduino robot with a simulation of a worm's brain. This is very interesting.

  • The Crux considers the potential import of an orbital Moon station for future interplanetary travel.

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