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Posts Tagged ‘finland

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • 3 Quarks Daily examines an effort to set up an arts and culture centre in Karachi.
  • Alpha Sources’ Claus Vistesen wonders if another Eurozone crisis is looming in the near future.
  • blogTO reports on Olivia Chow’s call for an apartment building rating system akin to that of restaurant ratings.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper speculating on reasons for the very odd surface of Uranus’ moon Miranda.
  • Far Outliers looks at the issues facing early baseball radio broadcasting.
  • Joe. My. God. and Towleroad both note a Russian lawmaker’s call to ban the entry of mail carrying Finland’s popular Tom of Finland-themed stamps.
  • Language Hat considers the origins of the term “prehistory”.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes discrimination against pregnant workers.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer considers grounds to believe that a continued British North America including the United States would not have been a success. The survival of intercolonial trade barriers would be an issue.
  • The Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle photoblogs his close encounter with a red fox.
  • Window on Eurasia notes speculation about a partition of Crimea, considers the need for more surveys of Russian territory to look for natural resources, and observes that Ukrainian refugees resettled in the autonomous republics of Russia aren’t required to learn local languages.

[LINK] Three classics Geocurrent posts at Languages of the World: Birobidzhan, Karelia, Crimea

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Over at Languages of the World, Asya Perelstvaig has been reposting some of her old Geocurrents posts. Three I particularly like involve Birobidzhan, the attempted Jewish homeland in Soviet Siberia, the Russian-Finnish borderlands including Karelia, and the history of the Crimean Tatars.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 9, 2014 at 8:29 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO shares pictures and photos of Toronto overhead from 1879 on, noting the ever-rising skyline.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the fascinating results of an in-depth study of the emerging planetary system of HD100546.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper looking at causes for orbital eccentricty of planets in trinary systems.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the current state of eastern Ukraine and notes that Australia’s Lynch Crater apparently conserves records of forty-five thousand years of human influence on the global environment.
  • Joe. My. God. observes that Finland’s Tom of Finland-themed stamps are a huge hit.
  • The Planetary Society Blog charts patterns of growth of planetary exploration by probe over 1959-1989.
  • pollotenchegg examines ethnically-driven patterns of support in Belarus’ last free elections.
  • Spacing Toronto reviews the 2014 State of the World.
  • Supernova Condensate shares pictures of the Space Cats.
  • Towleorad notes that Toronto school trustee Sam Sotiropoulous shuts down when asked on television about his transphobic and homophobic statements.
  • Why I Love Toronto notes that Toronto’s new streetcars are great.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that on economic issues Putin is not Marxist but rather statist, and observes the long-term consequences of the utter breakdown in Russian-Ukrainian relations.

[NEWS] Some Tuesday links

  • Al Jazeera notes the breakdown of the Libyan state.
  • Bloomberg mentions Finland’s new interest in NATO, notes European Union plans to strengthen sanctions against Russia, takes note of China’s vetoing of democracy in Hong Kong and looks at China’s strengthening of its South China Sea holdings, and in West Africa notes the unburied bodies in the street in countries hit by Ebola and observes the apparent spread of the epidemic to Senegal.
  • Bloomberg View observes how the crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong is alienating Taiwan, notes that Scotland may secure its future in the European Union by leaving a United Kingdom hoping to leave, looks at the frightening military theories of Russia, considers whether taxation may spur corporate consumption in Korea, wonders if France’s Hollande can pull off Mitterand’s turn to the right, examines secular stagnation, considers the issues of Macau, and warns Israel about economic issues ahead.
  • CBC looks at how walking bichir fish may explain how vertebrates moved onto the land, notes that Canadian federal government roundtables on the sex trade aren’t inviting sex workers, and notes that convicted serial killer Russell Williams has settled lawsuits made by some victims and their families.
  • Defense One notes that the Islamic State controls mainly areas around roads (but then, the roads are usually the areas that are controlled).
  • The Inter Press Service examines the settlement of Somalian refugees in Istanbul, considers the future of Ukrainian agriculture, looks at the spread of jihadi sentiments in Tajikistan, points out that the United States and Brazil will soon improve genetically engineered trees, examines anti-gay persecution in Lebanon, and looks at the legacies of the balsero migration from Cuba 20 years later.
  • National Geographic examines the positions of Yazidis in northern Iraq versus the Islamic State, notes the mobilizatin of Assyrian Christian refugees in the same region, and notes that more trees in the mountains of California means less run-off.
  • Open Democracy notes the precedents for Russian policy in Ukraine two decades earlier in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and provides a critical tourist’s perspective on Belarus.
  • Universe Today notes an ancient star that preserves legacies of the first generation of stars to form, and observes the preparation for the landing of the Philae probe on the surface of its comet.
  • Wired examines sriracha and maps where future roads should be placed.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • blogTO ranks the five busiest subway stations in Toronto.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the idea of using charged particle beams to propel sails.
  • Crooked Timber’s John Quiggin notes how some American conservatives blame Ebola on DDT bans.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that exoplanet Kepler 91b, detected by its eclipses of the sun, has been confirmed through radial velocity measurements.
  • The Dragon’s Tale suggests that a mysterious event reported in 775 CE around Eurasia may have been a cometary impact.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas considers if future shock, once a generational thing, may now be coming more quickly than that.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the decline of the American bathhouse, reports on a Spanish legislator who blames the national debt on same-sex marriage, and observes an anti-HIV organization’s campaign against PReP.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Perelstvaig examines the origins of Yiddish.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money approves of Bulgarians repainting Soviet war monuments in superheros.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper suggesting that the Unied States’ economic problems began long before 2008.
  • Otto Pohl reports from Ghana, in the middle of economic and currency collapse.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla notes that the Rosetta spacecraft is current scouting a landing site for its Philae landing on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
  • Torontoist describes how Arnold Palmer got his start at the Canadian Open.
  • Towleroad argues that out actor John Barrowman is a gay icon, and suggests that an anti-gay pogrom in Uganda may not have happened.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that today is the 75th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that divided northeastern Europe up between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Russia’s moves in Ukraine have harmed its Asian interests vis-a-vis China and argues that recent events have consolidated support for Ukrainian statehood.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • 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.

[LINK] “For Atom-Friendly Asia, a Nuclear Power Boom—in the West, Stagnation”

Katherine Tweed’s Scientific American article contrasting the ongoing boom in nuclear reactors in Asia with stagnation in the West makes a convincing contrast. (South Korea isn’t mentioned in the article–it should be.) I do wonder if China’s state-directed push will continue without consequences, and whether or not the current West lull might yet be temporary. Non-oil energy may be useful.

More than a decade ago a contract was signed to build the world’s first third-generation European pressurized reactor (EPR) in Finland. The cutting-edge, 1,600-megawatt nuclear power plant, Olkiluoto 3, which its French maker Areva boasted as the most advanced safety design of the time, is still under construction today. There have been various setbacks as well as endless finger-pointing between Areva and the Finnish utility TVO, which are locked in court battle over expanding costs. Now the reactor might not be completed until at least 2017, if at all, with a price tag of $11 billion, more than double its original estimate.

The Olkiluoto 3 situation is not unique. Another Areva EPR in Flamanville, France, is also behind schedule and over budget. A recent government deal for two new EPRs in the U.K. has also come under fire.

The prospects for a nuclear power revival are no better in the U.S. Although the technology has never been cheap, cost overruns and delays are plaguing the handful of next-generation pressurized water reactors currently being built, the first since Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. Even before that event, a study from Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that the cost of new nuclear plants, globally, doubled from 2002 to 2009. The third-generation reactors have safety features that should prevent a meltdown similar to Fukushima’s but political controversy, along with the high price tag means that new nuclear complexes in the U.S. and Europe could be in the single digits instead of dozens originally planned less than a decade ago.

Ironically, the experience has been markedly different in Asia. Two of Areva’s EPRs are expected to come online in China next year. China and South Korea are building the third-generation reactors with fewer construction delays and cost overruns than their Western counterparts. “They’ve been single minded about it,” says Tony Roulstone, course director for nuclear energy at the University of Cambridge. “And that single-mindedness has its advantages.” China and other Asian countries have been building nonstop for the last 30 years whereas the multiyear gap in the U.S. has resulted in a loss of construction knowledge. China also seems to have the advantage of endless manpower, and the state owns the country’s largest nuclear firm.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 21, 2014 at 8:11 pm

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