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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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  • 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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  • 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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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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  • Having visited Friday, I liked the blogTO report on the early days of Toronto's love affair with Niagara Falls.

  • blogTO shares photos of Kensington Market in the raw 1970s.

  • The exterior of 450 Pape Avenue was used for the movie It, and the place is seeing Stephen King pilgrims already.

  • The Toronto Book Garden, a lovely mini-park at Harbourfront keyed to literary Toronto, opened yesterday.

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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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  • 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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  • An unethical Victoria psychologist and his vulnerable patient helped spark the Satanic panic of the 1980s.

  • There seems to be a romance to the life of the lighthouse keepers of Nootka Island.

  • The Icelanders are watching very carefully for signs of the next big volcanic eruption. (Tourists are a concern.)

  • Who can forget all the different Norton anthologies of literature? I still have mine. The National Post remembers in a brief piece.

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  • Centauri Dreams notes the latest on fast radio burst FRB 121102.

  • D-Brief makes a good case for the human diet to expand to include insects. I'd like to try an insect burger myself.

  • Dangerous Minds shares some wonderful photos of Joy Division's Ian Curtis.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper suggesting up to 1% of stars could capture, at least temporarily, rogue planets.

  • Hornet Stories--the new name for Unicorn Booty--notes the latest shake-up in German-language LGBTQ media.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money shares a thoughtful essay by Christa Blackmon, drawing from her experiences as a survivor of Hurricane Andrew. How do you best take care of child survivors?

  • The Map Room Blog links to a fascinating-sounding book, Alastair Bonnett's new Beyond the Map.

  • The NYR Daily reviews a documentary about the Venerable W, a Buddhist monk in Burma who has led anti-Muslim violence.

  • The Planetary Society Blog considers the way forward for NASA's Mars Exploration Program.

  • Roads and Kingdoms reports on the search for Texas barbecue in Mexico City.

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  • Centauri Dreams shares, from JPL, the schedule for Cassini in its last days of existence. Goodbye, dear probe.

  • Dangerous Minds shares some classic illustrations from a Persian book called Lights of Canopus.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper suggesting that gas giants can stabilize debris disks.

  • Far Outliers shares excerpts from the diary of a Japanese soldier fighting in New Guinea in the Second World War.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the real suffering that high rents impose on the poor in American cities.

  • The Map Room Blog shares some nice X-ray maps of New York City subway stations.

  • The Planetary Society Blog shares more vintage Voyager photos of the outer solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune ...

  • Roads and Kingdoms tells of the marvelous cookies made on the dying Venetian island of Burano.

  • Drew Rowsome considers, at length and with personal references, the differences between "art" and "porn". NSFW.

  • Understanding Society considers the latest thinking on causal mechanisms in modern sociology.

  • Window on Eurasia wonders if non-Russian languages in Russia are attacked out of anxiety over Russian's own decline, and speculates that if integration of mostly Muslim immigrants goes poorly in Moscow, the city could get locked in sectarian conflict.

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  • Charley Ross reflects on the story of Carla Vicentini, a Brazilian apparently abducted from New Jersey a decade ago.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog reflects on the concept of anomie.

  • Far Outliers looks at the southwest Pacific campaigns of 1942, and reflects on Australian-American tensions in New Guinea in the Second World War.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reflects briefly on the disaster in Houston.

  • The Map Room Blog links to two interesting longform takes on maps in fantasy.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer considers the extent to which urban policy has contributed to Houston's issues.

  • Roads and Kingdoms tells the story of a Shabbat celebration in Zimbabwe, and of the country's Jewish community.

  • Strange Company tells the story of the mysterious disappearance of Lieutenant Paul Byron Whipkey. What was done to him?

  • Unicorn Booty reports on how the Supreme Court of India has found people have a legal right to their orientation.

  • Window on Eurasia reports on the growing number of Russian citizens with Chinese connections.

  • Arnold Zwicky talks about Tom Bianchi's vintage Fire Island photos.

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  • Antipope Charlie Stross takes a look at the parlous state of the world, and imagines what if the US and UK went differently.

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait takes a look at Sirius, including white dwarf Sirius B.

  • Centauri Dreams considers Cassini's final function, as a probe of Saturn's atmosphere.

  • D-Brief notes the discovery that diamonds rain deep in Neptune (and Uranus).

  • Bruce Dorminey reports on a NASA scientist's argument that we need new interstellar probes, not unlike Voyager 1.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at the way a course syllabus is like a Van Halen contract rider.

  • Language Hat takes a look at the palimpsests of St. Catherine's Monastery, deep in the Sinai.

  • Language Log looks at the etymology, and the history, of chow mein.

  • The LRB Blog recounts a visit to Mount Rushmore in the era of Trump.

  • Marginal Revolution takes a look at the question of why Mexico isn't enjoying higher rates of economic growth.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw considers the extent to which politics these days is just sound and fury, meaning nothing.

  • Mark Simpson links to an essay of his explaining why we should be glad the Smiths broke up in 1987.

  • Speed River Journal's Van Waffle considers the import, to him and the environment, of a spring near his cottage.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel looks at the abundance of black holes in our galaxy, more than one hundred million.

  • Unicorn Booty notes that smoking marijuana might--might--have sexual benefits.

  • Window on Eurasia shares an argument that ethnic Russians in Russia share issue in common with whites in America, and reports on an argument made by one man that ethnic Russians in republics need not learn local languages.

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  • blogTO notes that the Toronto Reference Library will be holding a huge sale again next week.

  • Inside Toronto profiles Sephora Hussein, new collection head of the Merril Collection.

  • Michael Lyons writes about the importance of the newly-reopened Hanlan's beach on the Toronto Islands.

  • Jake Tobin Garrett argues at Torontoist for the importance of the proposed Rail Deck Park.

  • Emily Macrae argues at Torontoist there is much Toronto can learn from the green--literally--laneways of Montréal.

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  • Charley Ross reports on an unexpected personal involvement in the disappearance of Kori Gossett. Did an informant know?

  • Citizen Science Salon reports, in the time of #sharkweek, on the sevengill sharks.

  • The Dragon's Tales links to an article on the Chinese base in Sudan.

  • Inkfish has a fascinating article describing how New Zealand's giant black swans went extinct, and were replaced.

  • Language Hat notes two obscure words of Senegalese French, "laptot" and "signare". What do they mean? Go see.

  • Language Log argues that the influx of English loanwords in Chinese is remarkable. Does it signal future changes in language?

  • Lawyers, Guns Money notes how Los Angeles and southern California were, during the American Civil War, a stronghold of secessionist sentiment, and runs down some of the problems of Mexico, including the militarization of crime.
  • Marginal Revolution reports on what books by which authors tend to get stolen from British bookstores.
  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer suggests that Donald Trump is not likely to be able to substantially reshape NAFTA.

  • Roads and Kingdoms reports from the recent protests in Poland against changes to the Supreme Court.

  • Understanding Society takes a look at the structure of the cities of medieval Europe, which apparently were dynamic and flexible.

  • Unicorn Booty shares some classic gay board games.

  • Window on Eurasia argues that Russia is going to try to wage a repeat of the Winter War on Ukraine.

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  • Crooked Timber's John Quiggin considers imaginable ways to get carbon dioxide in the atmosphere down to 350 ppm by 2100.

  • Karen Sternheimer at the Everyday Sociology Blog considers the tenuous nature of the upper-middle class in America. How is downwards mobility to be avoided, even here?

  • Imageo shows the growth of a sunspot larger than the Earth.

  • Language Hat shares the story of how Manchu script came to be.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the working poor need protection from arbitrary and always-changing work schedules.

  • The LRB Blog notes the geopolitical scramble at the Horn of Africa, starting with bases in Djibouti.

  • The NYR Daily engages with an intriguing exhibition about the relationship between Henry James and paintings, and painting.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw engages with the classic 1937 Australian film, Lovers and Luggers.

  • Noel Maurer at The Power and the Money notes that one benefit of the trend towards greater informality in fashion is that time has been freed up, especially for women.

  • Peter Rukavina writes about his new Instagram account, hosting his various sketches.

  • Unicorn Booty notes the continuing problems with Germany's adoption laws for same-sex couples.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy looks at how the Polish president saved the independence of Poland's courts with his veto.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russia is trying to mobilize the ethnic Russians of Lithuania, finally.

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  • CBC Montreal notes how Andrée Archambault has been leaving books on the Montréal Metro for commuters to find.

  • CBC's Jonathan Ore notes the (perhaps surprisingly) innovative Transformers comics put out by IDW.

  • At The Conversation, Una McCormack writes about how the 13th Doctor being played by Jodie Whittaker fulfills her childhood dreams.

  • At The Globe and Mail, Russell Smith examines why the alt-right hates cultural experimentation and innovation so much.

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