blogTO shares an array of pictures from Toronto in the 1980s.
D-Brief notes the recent finding that star HR 5171A is one of the largest stars discovered, a massive yellow hypergiant visible to the naked eye despite being twenty thousand light-years away.
The Dragon’s Gaze notes recent studies suggesting that M-class red dwarfs are almost guaranteed to have planets.
Eastern Approaches argues that the lawsuits of Serbia and Croatia posed against each other on charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice will do little but cause harm.
Far Outliers explores how Australian colonists in the late 19th century feared German ambitions in New Guinea.
The Financial Times World blog suggests that, in its mendacity, Russia is behaving in Crimea much as the Soviet Union did in Lithuania in 1990.
Geocurrents notes that the Belarusian language seems to be nearing extinction, displaced by Russian in Belarus (and Polish to some extent, too).
Joe. My. God. notes the protests of tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews in New York City against mandatory conscription laws in Israel that would see their co-sectarians do service.
Marginal Revolution notes that, in pre-Israeli Palestine, local Arabs wanted to be part of a greater Syria.</li?
Otto Pohl notes the connections of Crimean Tatars to a wider Turkic world and their fear that a Russian Crimea might see their persecution.
The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that Venezuela has attacked Panama in retaliation for a vote against it by confiscating the assets of its companies there. In turn, Panama has promised to reveal the banking accounts of Venezuelan officials in Panama.
John Scalzi of Whatever is unimpressed with the cultic adoration of Robert Heinlein’s novels by some science fiction fans.
io9′s link to the eye-catching pictures of spaceships pictured on British science fiction paperback novels remains appreciated.
The Globe and Mailnotes the growing Iranian community in the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill.
BusinessWeekobserves that video chain Blockbuster, defunct in most of North America, is doing fine in Mexico and on the Mexican border.
Bloombergnotes that Japan outside of Tokyo is hoping to attract foreign investors to property outside the Japanese capital.
Der Spiegelpoints to a new study suggesting that Bavaria’s famed mad King Ludwig II wasn’t clinically insane at all, and notes evidence of truly massive campaigns of state-sponsored torture and massacre in Syria.
An older link from the New Zealand Herald: is the large emigration from New Zealand to Australia, driven by the search for a higher standard of living, about to run down?
The Village Voicecritiques the urban myth that sex traficking peaks at the time of major sporting events like the Superbowl.
National Geographictracks down the magazine photo that inspired Lorde’s hit song “Royals” and observes the ways in which Mexicans of indigenous background immigrate to the United States.
Writing for the Postmedia syndicate, Andrew Coyne argues from a conservative perspective that the current situation in Canada, where moral and legal standards are defined by evidence of harm or not, is better than the traditional treatment.
CBC notes that migration from Quebec is up substantially.
Mini-Neptunes might be the most common form of planet, Universe Today suggests, or at least more common than imagined. These worlds would have the mass of super-Earths but have substantially hydrogen-helium atmospheres.
The National Postreports that some Canadians argue that the lobster should become a national symbol. I’m up with that.
Pacific Standardargues suburban sprawl may aid innovation.
Acts of Minor Treason’s Andrew Barton photographs a small-town Ontario vestige of the now-defunct Zellers retail chain.
Crooked Timber’s Ingrid Robeyns writes about the new kings of the Netherlands and Belgium.
Will Baird at The Dragon’s Tales has a few links to interesting papers up: one describes circumstellar habitable zones for subsurface biospheres like those images on Mars; one argues that Earth-like planets orbiting small, dim red dwarfs might see their water slowly migrate to the night side; another suggests that on these same red dwarf-orbiting Earth-like worlds, the redder frequency of light will mean that ice will absorb rather than reflect radiation and so prevent runaway glaciation.
Eastern Approaches reflected on the Second World War-era massacres of Poles by Ukrainians in the Volyn region.
Geocurrents examined the boom in export agriculture in coastal Peru and the growing popularity of the xenophobic right in modern Europe for a variety of reasons.
GNXP argues that language is useful as a market of identity and that the term “Caucasian” as used to refer to human populations is meaningless.
Itching in Eestimaa’s Palun argues that, given Soviet-era relocations of population into the Baltic States, much emigration might just be a matter of the population falling to levels that local economies can support.
The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer argues that not only is the United States not trying to prolong the Syrian civil war, but that the United States should not arm them for the States’ own good. (Agreed.)
Registan’s Matthew Kupfer approves of the selection of Dzhohar Tsarnaev’s photo on the front page of Rolling Stone as being useful in deconstructing myths that he, and terrorism, are foreign.
Savage Minds considers how classic Star Trek seems out of date for its faith in an attractive and liveable high modernity.
Strange Maps’ Frank Jacobs examines the concept of the eruv, the fictive boundary used by Orthodox Jews to justify activity on the sabbath.
Window on Eurasia quotes writers who wonder if Central Asian states might continue to break up and suggest that Tatarstan might have been set for statehood in 1991 and should continue to prepare for future events.
Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell argues that human bias as expressed in opinion polls is, depressingly, not just a matter of easily-remedied ignorance.
Bag News Notes features multiple interesting brief photo essays: one about the downloadable gun; one about the woman miraculously rescued from the wreckage of the factory in Bangladesh; one about how modernism, done right, can be quite beautiful.
At Beyond the Beyond, Bruce Sterling links to a critique of the English words and terms used by European Union officials and to a description of the post-democratic “info-state”.
Crooked Timber commemorates the conviction of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Mott by noting that Ronald Reagan spoke highly of him.
At A Fistful of Euros, Edward Hugh introduces the work of a blogger who suggests that, between emigration and the consequences of a low birth rate, Portugal’s economy is set to crater.
At Lawyers, Guns and Money, Robert Farley considers Edward Hugh’s suggestion that some countries might face state failure as depopulation proceeds.
Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen seems to like Feedly as an alternative to Google Reader.
Naked Anthropologist Laura Agustín blogs about the way in people transgressed identities–national, occupational, and so on–can be quite commonsensical while others who don’t get this can be stuck.
Savage Minds interviews journalist and anthropologist Sarah Kendzior about experience in her two professions.
Strange Maps links to a map of chimpanzee and bonobo populations in central Africa, divided not only by their behaviour (the first violent, the second sexual) but by the Congo River.
Une heure de peine’s Denis Colombi tackles the idea that French emigrants are refugees fleeing a hostile environment at home, as opposed to being mobile professionals in a global workplace.
The Volokh Conspiracy’s Ilya Somin argues that judicial rulings legalizing same-sex marriage have not harmed same-sex marriage at the ballot box.
Window on Eurasia touches on the ethnic divisions among Russian Buddhists–Kalmyks, Tuvans, Buryats–that is preventing the establishment of a Buddhist sanctuary in Moscow.
Crooked Timber’s Tedra Osell gives a very positive review of a monograph by Ari Kelman describing the long, complicated process of memorializing the United States’ Sand Creek Massacre of Cheyenne and Arapaho in 1864.
Daniel Drezner thinks that arguments the liberal world order hasn’t been working well post-2008 are wrong, not least because they rest on the assumption that things were going well before then.
Eastern Approaches notes that political cohabitation in Georgia between President Mikheil Saakashvili and new Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and the Georgian Dream opposition isn’t working because the two sides are so divided on, well, everything.
GNXP’s Razib Khan argues that lifting China’s one-child policy wouldn’t change fertility rates, which a) were declining before the policy’s imposition and b) are now as low as elsewhere in East Asia.
The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer writes about the Chavez-era changes to the Venezuelan military. His take? In general, these reforms, which include the entrenchment of a popular militia with links to Chavez’s revolutionary institutions and efforts at conscription, are confused.
Torontoist’s Chris Riddell notes the multiple failed plans before the final, successful, 2006 plan to transform the Don Valley Brick Works into something.
The Volokh Conspiracy’s Orin Kerr, who on the Aaron Swartz case has generally been critical of the arguments made by his supporters, recommends to his readers the long articles he thinks provide the best overviews on the case. Controversy ensues in the comments and on Twitter.
Window on Eurasia reports on the resurgence of Buddhism in Russia, especially in the traditionally Buddhist republics of Kalmykia and Buryatia, and its implications on links with Mongolia.
At Geocurrents, Asya Pereltsvaig takes on the provocative, if apparently ill-founded, thesis that Ashkenazic Jews trace their ancestry to the medieval Khazars of the Russian steppe by taking a look at the structure of the Yiddish language.
Language Hat claims that, with the advent of electronic communications which make them difficult to insert into text, diacritical marks are endangered in the Polish language. A campaign has been launched.
At Lawyers, Guns and Money, Erik Loomis links to an essay by feminist and historian Ruth Rosen wherein she states–basically–that early feminists didn’t think about campaigning against violence against women in the 1970s because violence against women was taken for granted as inevitable.
British journalist Mark Simpson unearths a vintage article about Napster and the Internet and free culture from 2001 that’s still relevant today.
Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen links approvingly to a book, Cuisine, Colonialism and Cold War: Food in Twentieth Century Korea by Katarzyna J. Cwiertka, that examines “Korean-Japanese relations, the early history of Korean industrialization, and the rise of industrial food, as well as the evolution of Korean food in recent times”. It does look interesting.
Naked Anthropologist Laura Agustín takes a look at the ways in which the sex industry of New York City’s Times Square was an integral part of the neighbourhood, in photos and posters.
Torontoist notes that City Council has just declared Toronto a sanctuary city, guaranteeing undocumented residents access to municipal services. More on this later.
Eugene Volokh in a couple of posts (1, 2) starts speculating whether or not indigenous peoples in the New World would have seen European migrants as illegal immigrants and starts to head in problematic directions. Again, more later.
John Scalzi at Whatever shares his love of libraries.
Window on Eurasia’s Paul Goble notes, via various sources, that Chechen refugees in the European Union are facing forced returns to their ever-problematic homeland.