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  • James Bow writes about the latest computer purchase he has made.

  • Far Outliers notes the scarily minimalist goals of the American occupation in early post-war Japan.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that The Nation is not exactly covering itself in glory with its pro-Putin coverage of late.

  • Drew Rowsome quite likes the new musical endeavours of Adore Delano.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel notes how stars--and which stars--make elements heavier than iron.

  • Transit Toronto notes the impending partial resumption of streetcar service on Queen Street.

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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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  • 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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  • CBC reports on a straight Summerside couple who are painting rainbows around the Island's second city against hate.

  • Maureen Coulter writes in The Guardian about Pride week in Charlottetown, the start coinciding with my visit. I can scarcely imagine.

  • Katerina Georgieva notes the coming one-year anniversary of the arrival of the Abdulhey family from Syria on PEI.

  • Was a U-Boat sunk off the Island coast, by Tignish, in 1943? Millicent McKay reports on the latest search.

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  • Anthrodendum takes a look at how surfing has been commodified.

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the stellar occultation that has revealed information about MU69, the next New Horizons target.

  • Crooked Timber's Corey Robin takes issue with Mélenchon's take on anti-Semitism and the French role in the Holocaust.

  • D-Brief notes that we really are not good at detecting faked photos.

  • Dangerous Minds shares some vintage photos of strippers from the 1960s.

  • Michael Sacasas of The Frailest Things looks, again, at the technologically enchanted world.

  • Language Log takes issue with the dismissive treatment of "... in a woodpile." The expression is poison.

  • The LRB Blog looks at the dual position of the camel among the Sahrawi, as wild and tame at once.

  • Neuroskeptic looks at the problems of neuroscience, statistically.

  • The NYR Daily considers the hacking of the American vote. Who did it? Who gained?

  • Science Sushi notes that climate change threats African wild dogs' survival.

  • Window on Eurasia notes an Armenian argument that Russia lacks the soft power that the Soviet Union once enjoyed.

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  • Anthony Easton at MacLean's writes in defense of Nickelback, one of Canada's most popular bands if not a critical darling.

  • Also in MacLean's, Stephanie Carvin notes that the new foreign and military policies announced by the Canadian government could still fall short.

  • Bloomberg View's Stephen L. Carter considers the idea of the just war through the lens of Wonder Woman.

  • Nuclear energy, it seems, will be India's answer to global warming in the era of Trump.

  • Qataris, Bloomberg notes, are trying to deal with their island country's state of siege.

  • Airbus may pull its production plants from the United Kingdom unless the country keeps single market access.

  • Refugees, Lynne Olson notes at National Geographic, helped save the United Kingdom during the Second World War.

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  • blgoTO notes how the Guild Inn was once a popular resort.

  • Centauri Dreams notes the import of real scientists in Arrival.

  • Crooked Timber notes that anti-Trump Republicans did not seem to matter in the election.

  • The Dragon's Gaze looks at cutting-edge options for studying exoplanets.

  • False Steps notes a proposed American spacecraft that would have landed on water.

  • Far Outliers notes the pointless internment of foreign domestics in Second World War Britain.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the potential impact of a Michael Bloomberg presidential run.

  • Marginal Revolution looks at the development of apps which aim to find out the preferred songs of birds.

  • Steve Munro and Transit Toronto look at ongoing controversy over the 514 Cherry streetcar line's noise, including upcoming public meetings.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer suggests the election of Trump could lead to the election of a similar populist to the presidency of Mexico.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy deals with the odd and seemingly meaningless distinction made by Americans between "republic" and "democracy".

  • Window on Eurasia wonders if Trump's negotiating style might lead to worse Russian-American relations and looks at his business history in Russia.
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Russia Beyond the Headlines' Gleb Fedorov notes that Russia remains strongly opposed to any talk of shared sovereignty with Japan over any of the Kuril islands.

Valery Kistanov, Japan expert from the Institute for Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Science, believes that the Nikkei article “was a deliberate leak” to test Russia’s reaction to this idea.

”Nikkei, a mouthpiece of Japan's business lobby, would not publish an article based on rumors,” Kistanov said. “I do not rule out the fact that this idea may have been discussed behind closed doors."

Dmitry Streltsov, an expert in Japan studies from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), says the leak “may be aimed at publicly creating an illusion of the possibility of ‘jointly governed territories,’ which could be seen as a step forward for Japan.”

Former Russian Ambassador to Japan Alexander Panov, who is believed to have a certain degree of influence on Russia's foreign policy towards Japan told RBTH, that Moscow and Tokyo seem to have agreed to resolve the dispute in a step-by-step manner.

"Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga claimed that this (joint administration) was not part of a plan that Tokyo conveyed to Moscow,” Panov told RBTH. “What exactly was conveyed is not known.”
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  • A BCer in Toronto mourns the declining standards behind the Tim Horton's apple fritter.

  • blogTO notes that the Toronto vs everybody T-shirt has been redone in the original Iroquoian.

  • Centauri Dreams considers Project Orion.

  • Dangerous Minds shares vintage North Korean anti-American art.

  • The Dragon's Tales links to a paper suggesting that Mars' climate may have been cold but for impacts and volcanism.

  • Far Outliers examines the booming Nanjing of the 1930s.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the Long Island Universiy strike.

  • The NYRB Daily examines Hillary Clinton's troubles.

  • Personal Reflections uses a bus fire to examine the fragility of modern systems.

  • Towleroad shares news, and footage, of a Tom of Finland biopic.

  • Window on Eurasia links to a report sharing the costs of Russian aggression in Ukraine, including at least ten thousand people reported dead.

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  • At Apostrophen, 'Nathan Smith describes his experience at the CAN•CON conference in Ottawa.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper speculating about the consequences of observing a large extraterrestrial civilization.

  • Far Outliers notes how Chinese soldiers in 1937 Shanghai did not want to take prisoners.

  • The Frailest Thing's Michael Sacasas considers the idea of distraction in relationship to high technology.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the overlooked food workers who were victims of 9/11.

  • Savage Minds links to a variety of anthropologically-themed links.

  • Seriously Science notes that houses in rich neighbourhoods contain more diverse insect populations than houses in poor neighbourhoods.

  • Strange Maps looks at Proxima Centauri b and considers the idea of an "eyeball Earth".

  • Transit Toronto notes plans for construction at Queen and Dufferin.

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CBC News' Sima Sahar Zerehi has a photo-heavy feature describing how the decay of an American military base from the Second World War in Greenland threatens catastrophe.

It's an image that requires a double-take: a pristine Arctic landscape in Greenland, dotted with rusted debris from an abandoned World War II military base.

Bluie East II was a U.S. military base built in eastern Greenland in 1942. It was used to bring in supplies, refuel planes and manage flights in need of an emergency landing pad.

When the site, which housed 200 to 300 soldiers, was abandoned in 1947, everything was left behind to rust and break down.

"I was really just shocked at it, it was beyond belief," says Ken Bower, a graphic designer from New York City who stumbled across the site for the first time in 2012.

"You have this absolute pristine, picture-perfect landscape and then sitting in that landscape is all the hazardous materials."
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  • Centauri Dreams considers Juno's photos of Jupiter's poles.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes the discovery of another star that behaves much like mysterious Tabby's Star.

  • Far Outliers reports on the good reputation of the Chinese forces at Shanghai in 1937.

  • Joe. My. God. notes a Christian site that claims gay sex is not sex.

  • Language Hat reports on the problems of translating Elena Ferrante.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money and Noel Maurer are unimpressed by Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

  • The New APPS Blog writes against faculty lock-outs.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw describes the Parers, a Catalan-Australian family.

  • Window on Eurasia notes Ukraine's recognition of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, reports on how Russians resent Ukrainian refugees, and suggests the Russian economic crisis is finally hitting Moscow and St. Petersburg.

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  • blogTO notes that Green Day will be headlining a festival in the Distillery District.

  • Centauri Dreams looks at research into an interstellar solar sail.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes a study of brown dwarf populations.

  • The Dragon's Tales looks at ancient Martian rivers and flood plains.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at the protest of Colin Kaepernick.

  • The Map Room Blog reports on a map exhibition at the Library of Congress.

  • Marginal Revolution notes low murder rates among Haitian-Americans in Florida.

  • The Planetary Society Blog examines the Dawn probe's low orbit scans of Ceres.

  • Otto Pohl announces the beginning of his first semester in Kurdistan.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that it is a crime to talk about the Nazi-Soviet alliance versus Poland in Russia.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at how North Caucasians in Moscow identify quickly as Muscovites.

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Bloomberg's article suggests a compromise such as desired by the Japanese, with a transfer of sovereignty over one or more of the islands, is not in the offing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin struck a conciliatory tone before talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a territorial dispute that’s prevented the countries from signing a World War II peace treaty.

Resolving the conflict over four islands occupied by the Soviet Union in the final days of the war should be part of “setting the stage for the development of inter-governmental relations for the long term,” Putin said in an interview on Thursday as he prepared to meet with Abe at the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s Pacific port city of Vladivostok on Friday.

“We’re not talking about some exchange or some sale,” Putin said. “We are talking about finding a solution where neither of the parties would feel defeated or a loser.”

The two leaders, especially Abe, seem keen to show that momentum is building toward a settlement on the island spat. Abe said after the talks that he and Putin had a deep discussion about a peace treaty and that he has a good feeling about making progress with a new approach, according to the Kyodo news service. They’ll meet at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru in November and will continue talks when Putin visits Abe’s home prefecture of Yamaguchi in southern Japan on Dec. 15, Kyodo reported.
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  • Bloomberg notes the recent challenge to one-family rule in Gabon, looks at Russia's new Internet firewall, examines the Syrian Kurds' withdrawal beyond the Euphrates, and reports on near-record migration into the United Kingdom.

  • Bloomberg View talks about inequality in China, looks at continuing disputes over Second World War history in Poland and Ukraine, and examines the things Texas and California have in common.

  • CBC reports on the impending release of a report on foreign workers, looks at the integration problems of Syrian refugees re: housing, and reports on Canada's interest in more immigration from China.

  • The Inter Press Service notes how drought is hurting cocoa farmers in Cameroon.

  • MacLean's looks at how some in the Conservative Party have not moved past same-sex marriage, describes how the new British Columbia tax on foreign buyers of real estate is deterring Chinese, and reports on the catastrophic potential of carbon release from melting permafrost.

  • National Geographic notes how the young generation sees Pluto and its classification history.

  • The National Post describes how design fans want the CBC to release its 1974 standards manual, and looks at controversy over a study claiming extensive support in mosques for extremist literature.

  • Wired has photos from the uninhabited cities of China, and describes the new prominence of the alt right.

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  • blogTO notes the all-gender washrooms of the CNE.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly looks at ways people can preserve themselves.

  • Dangerous Minds shares photos of homeless people, by themselves and dressed in their childhood dreams.

  • False Steps looks at a proposed Soviet orbital tug.

  • Far Outliers looks at the Navajo, at their pastoralist lifestyle, at their adaptiveness, and at their 1864-1865 deportation east and their 1868 return.

  • Marginal Revolution notes the extreme dependence of Australia on China.

  • The Planetary Society Blog considers the question of scale in a Mars photo.

  • Towleroad notes the impending success of Frank Ocean's album.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russia is undercounting Ukrainians, despairs for the future of Russia-Ukraine relations, and notes the Hitler-Stalin alliance's legacies.

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  • The Big Picture shares photos from a Newfoundland where the cod fisheries are recovering.

  • blogTO notes the bars which will be screening the final concert of The Tragically Hip.

  • Centauri Dreams notes a paper finding that KIC 8462852 has been fading noticeably in recent years.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes the detection of circumpulsar disks.

  • Language Hat looks at the International Phonetic Alphabet.

  • The Map Room Blog notes Australia's updating of its GPS maps.

  • Otto Pohl notes the 75th anniversary of the Volga German deportation.

  • Torontoist has a lovely map of High Park.

  • Window on Eurasia argues Russia is likely to heat up the war in Ukraine by posing as a peacekeeper.

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Spacing Ottawa's Dwight Williams notes an odd, and reparable, lacuna in the list of figures commemorated on Ottawa's streets.

If you’ll permit some historical stage-setting: around the time frame of 1990-‘91, the former city of Gloucester began the process of building City Park Drive, a side street looping southwards off of Ogilvie Road near the Gloucester Centre Mall. There would eventually be side streets branching off within that loop for condominiums to be built and called home by hundreds of our neighbours.

Around the same time frame, construction began on the north side of Ogilvie on the current headquarters of the first of its best-known – and perhaps least understood – neighbours: the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service. A decade or so later, their military-affiliated counterparts, the Communications Security Establishment, would set up their own shop right next door. Both buildings are striking in terms of design for different reasons, and not the kind of design that one might expect or prefer for the headquarters of intelligence services. That matter of architectural taste can be argued another time in other venues.

To the point: however misunderstood the work of those organizations may be, it can nonetheless be argued that their work – and those of their forebears in the structure of the Canadian government – has at times been vital to Canada…and particularly when it comes to discussing World War II. One Canadian citizen in particular has been honoured with some justification for his work in that field. I’ve checked and discovered that his name has yet to be commemorated anywhere within the current city limits, and perhaps it is time that was now remedied.

That person is Sir William Stephenson, better known even now in some circles as “the Man Called Intrepid” thanks to his autobiography of the same name.

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