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[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Centauri Dreams notes that the Milky Way Galaxy, though vast, is actually quite dim. People positioned outside of it wouldn’t see much.
  • D-Brief notes the discovery of a planet orbiting one of two stars in a reasonably close binary system at an Earth-like distance. Good news for Alpha Centauri?
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper on the exoplanet systems of subdwarf B stars.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper examining the methane reservoirs on Titan.
  • Far Outliers notes recent commentary suggesting that Russia would prefer Ukraine not develop a capable modern state, since that could weaken Russian influence.
  • Language Hat shares a list of 55 peculiarities of Canadian English.
  • Language Log disproves the argument that Canadians are more apologetic than others.
  • Marginal Revolution notes controversies over fracking in Australia.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the interesting results of a lawsuit lodged against a bar by a former employee claiming sexual and religious harassment.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how modernization in Russia is threatening minority ethnic groups, and looks at Russian Orthodox-tinged militias in Ukraine.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Discover‘s Collideascape notes that, even as agricultural land is falling worldwide, the productivity of this land is increasing even more sharply.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper examining the extent to which saline water might make cooler planets better for live, and to another paper suggesting that planetary magnetic fields are so importance for life (and oxygen levels) that brief reversals in the history of Earth have led to mass extinctions.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes a Ukrainian report that the country’s military has captured a Russian tank.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that vehemently anti-gay Minnesota archbishop John Nienstadt is being investigated for allegedly having sexual relationships with men.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that, despite economic collapse, there are some jobs (like low-paying fieldwork) that Portuguese just won’t do.
  • The New APPS Blog’s Gordon Hull notes the gender inequity involved in the recent Hobby Lobby ruling in the United States.
  • pollotenchegg maps the slow decline of Ukraine’s Jewish population in the post-1945 era.
  • Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle writes eloquently about his connections to and love of Lake Erie.
  • Strange Maps’ Frank Jacobs links to a cartographic examination of the time spent by French television news examining different areas of the world.
  • Towleroad notes a faux apology made by the Israeli education minister after attacking gay families.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Jonathan Adler notes the future of contraception coverage under Obamacare.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on fears that Crimean Tatar organizations will soon suffer a Russian crackdown, and suggests that the West should reconsider its policies on Belarus to encourage that country to diversify beyond Russia.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Andart’s Anders Sandberg links to a paper of his examining the ethics of brain emulations. How ethical is it do make very life-like simulations of minds?
  • blogTO notes a public art movement tracing the former path of the Don River.
  • The Burgh Diaspora’s Jim Russell notes that population change in the US is a consequence of migration and natural change.
  • Centauri Dreams considers intergalactic travel. Given the huge travel times involved, travelling on a hypervelocity star ejected from a solar system may be more secure.
  • The Cranky Sociologists’ SocProf notes that not caring about a particular social issue until it affects you actually isn’t good for society as a whole.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper suggesting between 5.3 and 10% of Sun-like star ssupport Earth-sized planets in their circumstellar habitable zones, and another identifying HIP 114328 as a solar twin.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the latest developments in marriage equality in Finland.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen notes that Scottish devolution hasn’t changed much policy, perhaps passing over the possibility that perhaps devolution has prevented change.
  • Patrick Cain maps the 2014 Ontario election.
  • Torontoist notes that the Toronto Star has given the Toronto Public Library more than a million of its vintage photographs.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that, according to a recent court ruling, smartphones in the US are safe from arbitrary search.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine is steadily losing its position there.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes that the Global Village Backpackers building on the northeast corner of King and Spadina is up for sale.
  • Centauri Dreams and the Planetary Society Blog both comment on the almost last-minute search by the Hubble space telescope for Kuiper belt objects to be targets for the New Horizons probe after it passes Pluto.
  • Crooked Timber’s Corey Robin speculates that the alleged boredom of Obama in office might be taken as a marker for imminent revolutionary sentiment.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that the protoplanetary disk of protostar IRAS 16293-2422 is composed of two segments, both rotating in opposite directions.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money approves of Mattherw Yglesias’ argument that some wars, like a proposed intervention in Iraq, are unwinnable.
  • Marginal Revolution has more on the court decision against Argentina for the benefit of its creditors.
  • Registan describes what the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is doing in Pakistan. (Putting down roots.)
  • Savage Minds features a post by a pair of anthropologists advocating that the discipline take part in a boycott of Israel.
  • Torontoist profiles the #parkdalelove Twitter campaign mounted after Mammoliti’s ridiculous statements.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy reports on a lawsuit by a convert to the church that converted him, alleging that because they publicized his conversion from Islam contrary to his request his life was threatened in Syria.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Russia annexed Crimea because it thought alternative separatist movements in Ukraine were budding.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO notes that the supersonic Concorde actually paid visits to Toronto.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining planetary migration in stellar binaries.
  • Eastern Approaches is critical of the referenda in eastern Ukraine.
  • The Financial Times‘s World blog notes a French dilemma: does it sell warships to Russia now in this time of economic austerty? Does it dare not to?
  • Joe. My. God. notes the victory of Conchita Wurst in Eurovision, and Towleroad comments on Russian displeasure.
  • The Language Log’s Geoffrey Pullum links to, and comments upon the recent Economist map showing how ludicrous it is to establish language areas as countries.
  • The New APPS Blog notes how problematic it is to suggest that genetic differences explain everything.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer warns that, at the current rate, Ukraine’s violence will reach a level of civil war in December.
  • Savage Minds investigates the branding of anthropology.
  • Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle describes the rose-breasted grosbeak.
  • Towleroad notes that religious freedom is reserved only for conservative Christians.
  • Torontoist provides a biography of John Bayne Maclean, a man who in the late 19th century lay the foundation for a publishing empire including MacLean’s.
  • Window on Eurasia links to an argument that federalization in eastern Ukraine would lead to disintegration.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell discusses Colorado River water politics on the US-Mexico border.

[URBAN NOTE] “Air Rights Sale Helps Rebuild Crumbling French Church”

Back in February, DNA Info New York’s Matthew Katz had an interesting piece about how Manhattan’s French Evangelical Church, a vintage but decaying church catering to Francophone Protestants, was going to experience a much-needed renovation thanks to fund from developers.

The situation reminds me a bit of reports of St. Vincent de Paul, a Roman Catholic church with a traditionally Francophone congregation that was also facing closure. I’ve not found any reports as to the church’s current status, with the Catholic Church apparently wanting to close the building down while parishoners wanted to keep it open.

The church sold its neighboring building at 124 W. 16th St. to Einhorn Development Group for $4 million in 2012, and later sold the air rights above the church for an undisclosed amount, allowing the developer to build an 11-story, 14-unit condo next-door.

Dan Nicolas, a member of the board of trustees, said the much-needed repairs — which will cost about $2 million in all — will be entirely funded by the cash from Einhorn, helping the unique French-language church survive.

Neighbors on the street have complained the sale will allow Einhorn to build a tall structure that’s out of place on the low-rise block, but church supporters and Einhorn say the deal will help save the church itself.

“The timing is excellent,” Nicolas said. “The supporting walls, the core structure, it could’ve collapsed at any time because they were in such bad shape.”

The church’s congregation, about 100 strong, is made up of French speakers from Haiti and several African countries. It’s one of the few French-speaking places of worship left in Manhattan.

The renovation, which is being planned by architect Rodney Leon, will add heating and air conditioning, reinforce walls, repair archways and ceilings, remove asbestos and renovate rear living quarters for the church’s caretaker and pastor.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 24, 2014 at 7:38 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait evaluates a video of a skydiver almost hit by a meteroroid and finds it plausible.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that we don’t know which processes lead to stars and which to brown dwarfs.
  • Language Log’s Mark Liberman notes interesting gendered pronoun usage in a new science fiction novel.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money is not sympathetic towards Brandon Eich and argues that multicultural accomodation isn’t inherently irrational.
  • Marginal Revolution seems to have grudging respect for Michael Lewis’ new book Flash Boys.
  • Towleroad notes the recent statement of Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England, that embracing same-sex marriage could inadvertently lead to the persecution and murder of Christians around in the world, particularly in Africa. (One finds one’s allies where one can.
  • At Window on Eurasia, note is made of various arguments: one argues that Russian national identity is synthetic and assimilatory; another argues that, given Ukrainian public opinion, Russia’s only prospects for further expansion lie in force; still another takes note of Eurasianist threats against Azerbaijan.

[NEWS] Some Friday links

  • Al Ahram notes that, as Ukraine is starting to turn towards the European Union, Russia is doubling down on its Eurasian Union project.
  • Al Jazeera notes that the Russian Orthodox Church is more skeptical of the costs of Crimea’s annexation than the Russian state, for fear of losing followers in Ukraine.
  • The Atlantic Cities commemorated the brief return of Major League Baseball to Montréal a decade after the Expos’ death with a Toronto Blue Jays away game, shares pictures of London’s first cat cafe, and maps imbalances in supply and demand in New York City’s popular but troubled bike share program.
  • Bloomberg notes how IKEA’s dreams for expansion in Ukraine were undermined by corruption.
  • Bloomberg BusinessWeek chronicles falling Japanese stock prices, warns that Russia is becoming a junior partner of China, and notes the threats facing Ukrainian agriculture.
  • CNET examines the story behind the iconic Windows XP photo “Bliss”.
  • Global Voices Online hints, by way of a recent quitting, that Ukrainians might be disenchanted with Russian-owned Livejournal.
  • The Guardian notes that the Australian city of Darwin is a military garrison par excellence, and observes that Bulgaria has derived some benefit from the Greek economic collapse as businesses have migrated north.
  • MacLean’s suggests that Ukraine can be anchored ittno the West if it can experience Polish-style prosperity.
  • National Geographic News takes another look at the proposed Nicaragua Canal project.
  • Radio Free Europe notes that a Russian plan to institute fast-tract citizenship procedures for professionals has sparked fears of brain drain in Central Asia, observes the effects that currency devaluation has had on immigrants in Kazakhstan, and comments that Afghanistan’s support for Russia’s annexation of Crimea has much to do with Afghanistan’s long-standing irredentism aimed at Pakistan.

[LINK] Some Monday links

  • Crooked Timber’s Henry Farrell is skeptical of Josh Marshall’s new journalism site featuring paid advertisements from Big Pharma.
  • The Dragon’s Tales’ Will Baird provides another update about Ukrainian events.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that World Vision Canada, unlike its American counterpart, is legally required not to discriminate against non-heterosexuals.
  • Language Hat links to a study on the formerly Russophone Alaskan community of Ninilchik.
  • Language Log suggests that handwriting is a dying art in East Asia, too.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a book on maritime conflicts in the South China Sea.
  • The Signal features a guest post from two librarians working for the Library of Congress explaining how they do their work.
  • Savage Minds explains the myth of the sexy librarian.
  • Torontoist has two photos memorializing recently-closed stores, one from the World’s Biggest Bookstore and the other from Sears in the Eaton Centre.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

(A few minutes late, yes, I know.)

  • Centauri Dreams notes that the imaging of exoplanet Beta Pictoris b means great things for the future of exoplanet searches.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that now, we have the technology to search for true Earth analogues at Alpha Centauri.
  • The Dragon’s Tales observes that Scotland’s offshore islands–the Shetlands, the Orkneys, the Western Isles–are now starting to examine their options for self-governance.
  • Gideon Rachman at the Financial Times‘s The World Blog notes that the shocking mass death sentences issued to more than five hundred people in Egypt augurs nothing good about justice in that country.
  • Geocurrents notes that all kinds of separatisms, among Russophone populations in the former Soviet Union and among Russian autonomous republics, have been galvanized by Crimea.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that an anti-gay coalition is no longer holding its conference in Russia, on account of Crimea.
  • Language Hat links to the Calvery Journal, an online journal of Russian-language culture.
  • The New APPS Blog’s Jason Reed writes about how highly uninspired budget cutting at the University of Southern Maine reflects a “particular hollowness” in the heart of the university.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would begin no later than mid-May, notes the prominence of evangelical Christians in the Ukrainian government, and worries about Crimean Tatar prospects inside Russia.
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