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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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  • 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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  • At The Big Picture, the Boston Globe shares some of its best photos from September.

  • Drone 360 notes that drones are being used to track polar bear populations.

  • The Frailest Thing's Michael Sacasas notes how people too often abandon moral responsibility to the machines which administer algorithms with real-world consequences.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the remarkable story of hockey star Jaromir Jagr.

  • The Map Room Blog shares an official guide to map-making from Austria-Hungary.

  • The NYR Daily notes how official Myanmar has invented Rohingya violent extremism out of practically nothing.

  • Roads and Kingdoms shows readers where you can eat kosher in Mexico City.

  • Whatever's John Scalzi shares a tweetstorm of his talking about the problems with daily word totals for writers.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • At Anthrodendum, P. Kerim Friedman talks about the technologies he uses to help him navigate Chinese-speaking Taiwan.

  • Dead Things notes new dating showing the Neanderthals of Vindija cave, in Croatia, were much older than thought.

  • Far Outliers takes a brief look at the history of Temasek, the Malay polity that once thrived in Singapore.

  • Hornet Stories shares photos from New York City's Afropunk festival.

  • Imageo shows the scale of the devastating wildfires in the western United States, with satellite photos.

  • Language Hat looks at the sort of mistakes characteristic of medieval manuscripts written in Latin and Greek.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at Trump's revocation of DACA and the harm that will face the Dreamers. I am so sorry.

  • Maximos62 looks at a new book examining how biologists, including Darwin and Wallace, came to draw a borer between Asia and Australia.

  • Peter Rukavina blogs about his visit to Wheatley River's Island Honey Wine Company. (Mead, it seems.)

  • Strange Company takes a look at the life of violent war-mongering British eccentric Alfred Wintle.

  • Window on Eurasia notes the very poor state of sex education in Russia's education system.

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  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly re-introduces herself to her readers.

  • Bruce Dorminey shares one man's theory about how extraterrestrials could use exoplanet sightings to build up a galactic communications network.

  • Far Outliers shares some unusual Japanese words, starting with "amepotu" for American potato.

  • Language Hat takes
  • Did the spokeswoman of the NRA threaten to "fisk" the New York Times or threaten something else? Language Log reports.

  • Drew Rowsome notes that, compared to San Francisco, Toronto does not have much of a public kink scene.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel examines the quantum reasons behind the explosion produced by sodium metal and water.

  • Understanding Society takes rightful issue with The Guardian's shoddy coverage of Dearborn, Michigan, and that city's Muslims and/or Arabs.

  • Unicorn Booty notes that Canada is, at last, starting to take in queer refugees from Chechnya.

  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes the embarrassing support for Jean-Luc Mélenchon for Venezuela. Was opposing the US all he wanted?

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  • Dangerous Minds points readers to Cindy Sherman's Instagram account. ("_cindysherman_", if you are interested.)

  • Language Hat takes note of a rare early 20th century Judaeo-Urdu manuscript.

  • Language Log lists some of the many, many words and phrases banned from Internet usage in China.

  • The argument made at Lawyers, Guns and Money about Trump's many cognitive defects is frightening. How can he be president?

  • The LRB Blog <"a href="https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2017/08/03/lynsey-hanley/labour-and-traditional-voters/">notes that many traditional Labour voters, contra fears, are in fact willing to vote for non-ethnocratic policies.

  • The NYR Daily describes a book of photos with companion essays by Teju Cole that I like.

  • Of course, as Roads and Kingdom notes, there is such a thing as pho craft beer in Vietnam.

  • Peter Rukavina notes
  • Towleroad notes a love duet between Kele Okereke and Olly Alexander.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy seems unconvinced by the charges against Kronos programmer Marcus Hutchins.

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  • James Bow talks about how Ontario aiming for experimental hydrogen-powered trains, not electric ones, is a mistake.

  • Marginal Revolution reports on the community that WalMart took to a West Virginia county it is now leaving.

  • Diane Duane shows an old novel proposal from 1999 that she found again, and is now dusting off.

  • Transit Toronto notes that the time-based transfer program on the St. Clair route is ending, after 12 years.

  • Unicorn Booty reports on the lavender scare of the 1950s in the United States.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the strong use of repetition, as a literary device, in the Hebrew version particularly of Genesis.

  • Window on Eurasia wonders how the Russian-American relationship, one Russia has depended on in the past, will evolve.

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  • Centauri Dreams considers the challenges and the prospects of laser SETI.

  • Citizen Science Salon reports on a couple who have done their best to keep their bee numbers up.

  • Joe. My. God. notes that Milo's book, contrary to Milo's claims, has performed very badly indeed in the UK, among other places.

  • Language Log features a poetic digression by Victor Mair on Chinese characters for words like "plum" and "wine."

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money suggests that moderate Republicans in Congress might not be all that.

  • The LRB Blog considers Nice at, and after, the time of last year's terrorist attacks.

  • Marginal Revolution features Tyler Cowen's description of his writing processes.

  • Drew Rowsome interviews Toronto gay photographer Dylan Rosser.

  • Unicorn Booty looks back at the history of the queercore movement--gay punk, as a first approximation.

  • Vintage Space links to an article explaining why there was neither an Apollo 2 nor an Apollo 3.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests the Russian state is undermining various once-allied Russian nationalist movements.

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  • Apostrophen's 'Nathan Smith updates his readers about the progress of his various writing projects.

  • The Big Picture shares photos from the Battle of Mosul waged against ISIS.

  • Centauri Dreams notes the discovery of rogue binary planet 2MASS J11193254–1137466, two super-Jupiters by themselves.

  • Dangerous Minds notes the raw photography of early 20th century New York City's Weegee.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money is rightly unimpressed by the reflexive Russophilia of The Nation. Imperialism is still imperialism ...

  • Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen strongly recommends Dali, in the Chinese province of Yunnan, for tourists.

  • The NYR Daily features Masha Gessen, looking at the truth underneath the lies of Trump.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer makes a case that Macron's use of "civilizational" to describe Africa's issues might be the subject of over-quick outrage.

  • Peter Rukavina describes his two weeks with a Nokia N95, without a modern smartphone. There was good and bad to this.

  • Speed River Journal's Van Waffle explains, with photos, what hoverflies are and why they are so important.

  • Understanding Society considers a fraught question: what paths to modernization were open for China in the 1930s, before the People's Republic?

  • Window on Eurasia suggests that, in 30 years, Moscow will be a megacity with a large population of (substantially immigrant) Muslim origin.

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  • What will happen to the legal records of those convicted of marijuana-related charges once legalization comes? The Toronto Star considers.

  • NOW Toronto reviews a new exhibit of First Nations-oriented work at the AGO.

  • NOW Toronto features an article showing how Toronto startup Wattpad is making celebrity fanfic (among other things) economically lucrative for writers.

  • Torontoist considers the idea of laneway suites as a way to deal with the city's housing crisis.

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  • The anthropology group blog Savage Minds now has a new name, Anthrodendum.

  • Anthropology.net reports on the first major study of ancient African human DNA. New history is revealed.

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait reports on how gravitational lensing led to the identification of a single star nine billion light-years away. (This is a record.)

  • Centauri Dreams reports the possible detection of a debris disk around pulsar Geminga, augury of future planets perhaps?

  • Dangerous Minds reports on Seoul's Haesindang Park, a park literally full of penises--phallic symbols, at least.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes one analysis arguing for the plausibility of unmanned probes using imaginable technology reaching the ten nearest stars in a century.

  • Imageo shares photos from space of the southern California wildfires.

  • Language Hat shares some stirring poetry in Scots.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reports on the scale of child labour in North Carolina's farm sector.

  • Marginal Revolution thinks that American observers of Putin think, far too much, that he actually has a plan. The degree of chaos in Russia's affairs is apparently being underestimated.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw notes the unsettling rural Americana of photographer Gregory Crewdson.

  • Window on Eurasia notes Zhirinovsky's plan for a sweeping Russian annexation of Ukraine, leaving only the northwest independent.

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  • I've added Sean CW Korsgaard's Korsgaard's Commentary, a blog focusing on cultural reviews. In one interesting recent post, Korsgaard makes the case for the excellence of the 1999 film The Mummy.

  • Toronto writer and critic Drew Rowsome also has his own blog. He has recently shared his shortlist of picks for the Toronto Fringe festival.

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  • The Big Picture shares shocking photos of the Portuguese forest fires.

  • blogTO notes that, happily, Seaton Village's Fiesta Farms is apparently not at risk of being turned into a condo development site.

  • Centauri Dreams notes a new starship discussion group in Delft. Shades of the British Interplanetary Society and the Daedalus?

  • D-Brief considers a new theory explaining why different birds' eggs have different shapes.

  • The Frailest Thing's Michael Sacasas commits himself to a new regimen of blogging about technology and its imports. (There is a Patreon.)

  • Language Hat notes the current Turkish government's interest in purging Turkish of Western loanwords.

  • Language Log's Victor Mair sums up the evidence for the diffusion of Indo-European languages, and their speakers, into India.

  • The LRB Blog notes the Theresa May government's inability post-Grenfell to communicate with any sense of emotion.

  • Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen wonders if the alt-right more prominent in the Anglophone world because it is more prone to the appeal of the new.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw wonders if Brexit will result in a stronger European Union and a weaker United Kingdom.

  • Seriously Science reports a study suggesting that shiny new headphones are not better than less flashy brands.

  • Torontoist reports on the anti-Muslim hate groups set to march in Toronto Pride.

  • Understanding Society considers the subject of critical realism in sociological analyses.

  • Window on Eurasia notes how Russia's call to promote Cyrillic across the former Soviet Union has gone badly in Armenia, with its own script.

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My attention was piqued at the end of May by Lauren Pelley's CBC report about the West End Phoenix, a new community newspaper in Toronto imagined by Dave Bidini. The Phoenix, a monthly broadsheet slated to concern itself with west-end Toronto "from the Junction Triangle to Parkdale, Christie Pits to Baby Point", will be sustained by annual subscriptions and gifts from donors.

The non-profit publication is the brainchild of Toronto writer, publisher and musician Dave Bidini, and sparked, in part, by his 2015 writing trip to the Northwest Territories, where he spent the summer working at The Yellowknifer.

"I was reinvigorated by that experience," he told CBC Toronto.

Bidini — who's beloved in Canada for his years with the Rheostatics — wondered if a hyper-local newspaper could flourish in Toronto's west end, where he's been living for 23 years in the house he bought from his grandmother.

"I've seen the west end evolve as a social organism, I suppose. It's a pretty interesting time here. You blink, and there's something new and different," he mused. "I wondered about the ability of a newspaper to sustain here, and to illuminate that evolution."

[. . .]

Bidini's vision for the newspaper is a visual and literary representation of "that feeling you get when you're wandering home one night and you find yourself up an alley you haven't traveled through before."

Already, he's joined by deputy editor Melanie Morassutti and senior editor Susan Grimbly, both formerly of The Globe and Mail, and has an advisory council assembled with notable names from the city's arts and culture scene, including Grid founder Laas Turnbull and J-Source managing editor H.G. Watson.


I am fascinated by this project. Consider this post a placeholder of sorts.
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Back one day in March, I accidentally and irretrievably deleted the private entry on Dreamwidth that had contained links to URLs and details on sources that I had been saving for future posts for perhaps a couple of years. I was a bit upset by this, but, I soon realized, I was more upset by my accidental deletion of the entry than by the loss. This private document, full of links pointing to possible future writings, had become baggage, something to be periodically updated and then consistently forgotten.

This realization prompted me to a rethinking of what I am doing, as a writer and a blogger and a person active on social media. What, exactly, am I doing? Why am I doing this? What should I be doing?

I am still thinking. Suffice it to say that something different will be coming. If I don't decide to make sure this difference will arrive thanks to my effort, well, who will do that?
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  • Crooked Timber responds to The Intercept's release of data regarding Russian interference with American elections.
  • Dangerous Minds reports on how Melanie Gaydos overcame a rare genetic disorder to become a model.

  • Dead Things seems unduly happy that it does see as if Tyrannosaurus rex had feathers. (I like the idea.)

  • The Dragon's Gaze reports on our ability to detect the effects of a planet-shattering Nicoll-Dyson beam.

  • The Frailest Thing considers being a parent in the digital age.

  • Language Hat notes the African writing systems of nsibidi and bamum.

  • Marginal Revolution notes that Trump-supporting states are moving to green energy quite quickly.

  • Window on Eurasia notes how Russian guarantees of traditional rights to the peoples of the Russian North do not take their current identities into account.

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  • Centauri Dreams remembers Ben Finney, this time from the angle of a man with an interest in space colonization.

  • Crooked Timber wonders what will happen to the Anglo-American tradition of liberalism.

  • Dangerous Minds imagines the VHS tapes of Logan and Stranger Things.

  • Far Outliers notes the Soviet twist on Siberian exile.

  • Inkfish notes that Detroit is unique among cities in being a good place for bumblebees.

  • Marginal Revolution wonders if modern Germany really is a laboratory for innovative politics.

  • The NYRB Daily looks at José Maria de Eça de Queirós, the "Proust of Portugal".

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw updates his readers on his writing projects.

  • Torontoist reports on how Avi Lewis and Cheri DiNovo have advocated for the NDP's Leap Manifesto.

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