A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘germany

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • blogTO identifies the ten most important buildings in Toronto.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at evidence for plate tectonics in Europa’s ice crust.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the discovery of methane, carbon monoxide and ammonia in the atmospheres of some brown dwarfs and looks at implications of variability in brown dwarf atmospheres.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes China’s plans to launch a second space station into orbit.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ notes how Germany’s Left Party is continuing its strong support from Russia.
  • Joe. My. God. observes how Ted Cruz’ support for Israel was unpopular at an event for Middle Eastern Christians, including many Palestinian Christians.
  • Language Hat notes some signs of cultural cosmopolitanism in the Stalinist Soviet literacy scene.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that global warming will devastate forests in the western United States.
  • Otto Pohl notes the arbitrariness of race and geography in bounding Africa.
  • Discover‘s Out There and the Planetary Society Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla both note Rosetta’s views of its target comet.
  • The Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle chronicles with photos the story of the vole he found eating his potatoes.
  • Towleroad notes a mother in Alabama who is trying to cut her dead son’s husband out of his estate.
  • Why I Love Toronto celebrates Queen Street West.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that diasporas of Russian minorities should also be recognized as Russian, argues that Putin is cornered, and notes the significant differences between Estonians and Russophones in Estonia in beliefs about religious and the supernatural.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World notes controversy over whether Ukraine should try to cut a deal with Russia.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • Antipope Charlie Stross u>makes his case for Scottish independence.
  • blogTO visits the new HMV Underground venue.
  • The Cranky Sociologists examine the militarization of the American university campus.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper analyzing the temperature of chilly nearby brown dwarf WISE 0855-0714.
  • The Dragon’s Tales looks at the very confusing KIC 2856960 system.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog applies sociological theory to on-campus sexual assaults.
  • The Frailest Thing looks at some rather remarkable upcoming technologies.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money as well as The Dragon’s Tales notes that the population of blue whales off of the California coast has recovered to its previous level of 2200 individuals, a small population as the first blog notes.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at the run against Scottish stocks and the like in the week before the referendum.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer would still bet against Scottish independence.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the amusing mistake made by mappers who gave Sakhalin island to Japan.
  • The Search features a post made by a web archivist.
  • Strange Maps looks at the changing geographical concentrations of genius in Europe.
  • Towleroad shares some of the Provincetown photographs of Emil Cohen.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy considers the ethics and the legal practicalities of Scottish separatism.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the emergent Iranian-Russian alliance, observes that the Dalai Lama’s attack on Putin has placed his followers in Russia’s Kalmykia in a different place, and wonders if Tuva provides precedents for Russia’s satellites.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World notes how very different is public opinion and public policy in France and Germany.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait notes a new study suggesting that the star Betelgeuse will go supernova not imminently, but rather in a hundred thousand years.
  • blogTO profiles midtown Toronto’s Merton Street.
  • Discover‘s Crux examines the most suitable potential locations for offworld colonies (Venus, the Moon, Mars).
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper suggesting that binary star systems might actually be better-suited to Earth-like worlds that solitary star systems like our our and links to another speculating about the patterns of light emitted by Earth-like worlds.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes an archeological study suggesting that chocolate was eaten in the Mississippian civilization of Cahokia, and looks at an ongoing dispute over rocket development between France and Germany in the European Space Agency.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Pereltsvaig looks at the ongoing disappearance of the Belarusian language.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the exceptional vulnerability of Scotland’s economy to its banking sector.
  • Personal Reflection’s Jim Belshaw reflects on the movement for statehood in the Australian region of New England in the light of the imminent Scottish referendum.
  • Torontoist notes a survey examining the issues of LGBT people in the Ontario police services.
  • Towleroad notes the lesbian couple married in Iowa after seventy years together.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that the Northern Marianas are the only jurisdiction with a total handgun ban.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the progress of fascism in Russia, considers the consequences of the war for both Ukraine and Russia, and looks at growing concern elsewhere in the former Soviet space about Russia.

[NEWS] Some Monday links

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  • Al Jazeera notes controversy over a proposed women-only beach in Turkey, suggests that Iraqi Sunnis are ready to fight against the Islamic State while observing Germany’s arming of the Kurds, notes the decision of France to halt its delivery of warships to Russia, warns of general concern in the Netherlands about Islamic State activism, notes the existential issues of a relatively declining American evangelical Christianity, and notes African immigration to Brazil.
  • Bloomberg suggests Russia wants to prevent Ukraine from integrating with the West, notes the strengthening of European Union sanctions against Russia, observes that Berlin has outstripped Rome as a tourist destination, examines Filipino insecurity vis-a-vis China, and looks at the booming Tokyo property market.
  • Bloomberg View, meanwhile argues that there is a job shortage not a “stagnation vacation” in developed countries, warns that right now closer links with NATO would harm Ukraine, and favours the strengthening of the European Union’s eastern perimeter.
  • MacLean’s notes NATO’s reorientation away from Afghanistan towards containing Russia.
  • National Geographic and Universe Today about both skeptical about reports of a meteorite impact in Nicaragua.
  • PBS notes a very unusual triple–possibly quadruple–star system.
  • Reuters notes Thailand’s efforts to encourage Chinese tourism.
  • Universe Today notes that planets in binary systems are more common than once thought and looks at the difficulties of landing Philae on its target comet.

[URBAN NOTE] “It’s the End of Berlin’s ‘Sexy’ Era”

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Bloomberg View’s Leonid Bershidsky celebrates outgoing–and out–Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit, who in his tenure has helped boost Berlin and its reputation internationally.

To the world at large, Wowereit is known for his 2003 description of Berlin as "poor but sexy," a rare example of a mayor coining an unofficial motto that was both truthful and appealing (more recently, Wowereit has been downplaying the "poor" bit as tourists and new residents have driven up prices and rents). In Germany, he will also be remembered as the politician who outed himself during his first run for mayor in 2001 by declaring, "I'm gay, and it's good that way." It takes more than that, however, to be re-elected twice in a city as complicated as Berlin, and for a Social Democrat to run it in coalition first with the former East German communists of the extreme Left Party and then, for the last three years, with Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democrats.

Thirteen years in office is too long for any politician, and Wowereit's party is now behind the Christian Democrats in the polls, a reversal of their positions during the 2011 election, when Wowereit triumphed for the last time. This, however, is Wowereit's city, one he has shaped. The German capital had just been moved to Berlin from Bonn when he was first elected, and the city was not just poor — it was still painfully split between the post-communist east, with its ugly concrete blocks, pitted pavements and grim-faced residents, and the bourgeois west with its pretty tree-lined streets, art squats and addiction to Cold War-era subsidies. It wasn't so much a city then as an uneasy collection of wildly divergent neighborhoods without a common culture or purpose. People didn't particularly want to live here: Berlin's population had gone down slightly between 1990 and 2000.

By the end of Wowereit's tenure, the seams between east and west are still there, but it's definitely one city. Moreover, it is Germany's one shot at a metropolis: culturally sophisticated, cosmopolitan, English-speaking, proudly multiethnic and tolerant, perennially partying. The population has increased to 3.52 million at the end of last year from 3.38 million in 2000. Many new Berliners are foreigners, but then, the year after Social Democratic politician Thilo Sarrazin published the best-selling anti-immigration book, "Germany Does Away With Itself," Wowereit answered with a pro-diversity book of his own.

Anybody coming to the German capital after a long absence will be struck by the increased number of people cycling to work. Although it has an 11 percent unemployment rate more typical of France than Germany, Berlin feels safer and more welcoming than most big European cities. Wowereit, who has never been one for modesty, should get his share of points for that good-time feeling.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 4, 2014 at 8:03 pm

[NEWS] Some Saturday links

  • Al Jazeera America argues that depending on cars will hurt Newark’s urban renaissance, notes the emerging Indian-Israeli alliance and the import of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in sectarian communities in Northern Ireland, looks at the slowly reviving film industry of Côte d’Ivoire, chronicles the human rights issues of LGB Ukrainians and of Christian sects in the Caucasus, examines the legacies of German immigration in Brazil, and looks at the shantytowns of Mongolia.
  • Al Jazeera examines Russia’s Eurasianism, notes emergent water shortages in Syria, looks at the reaction of Sephardic Jews to a new Spanish citizenship law that would give them access to Spain, and chronicles the persecution of the Ahmadiyya in Pakistan.
  • Bloomberg notes that sanctions on Russia may hurt the Greek economy, notes the collapse in wages for young people in southern Europe, and looks at Germany’s serious impending demographic issues.
  • BusinessWeek looks at Tinder’s shabby treatment of a female co-founder, examines the stagnant economy of Thailand, looks at hospitals which mine credit card data to predict their future patients.
  • CBC notes with disappearance of anonymous public WiFi in Russia, takes a look at the consequences of the shutdown of the McCain potato processing plant in Borden-Carleton, points out the ongoing collapse of a caribou herd on the Québec-Labrador border, shows the sad toll of the Air Algérie plane crash in Québec, and notes that Vancouver’s aquarium can no longer breed cetaceans.
  • Global News looks at the impact of Air Algérie’s disaster in Montreal.
  • MacLean’s suggests Canada is not immune to an American-style housing crash, argues that the Canadian job market is weaker than it appears, and reports on the claims that restrictive American immigration policies could work to the benefit of Canada.
  • National Geographic notes some surprisingly social cephalopod populations and looks at naming ceremonies for some gorillas in Rwanda.
  • NPR reports that some big data firms claim Snowden’s data release has given terrorists ideas as to how they can be quieter, and notes some Ivoirien cacao farmers who taste
  • The New York Times notes the closure of an Upper East Side restaurant priced out by rising rents.
  • Reuters observes the worsening demographics of Italy.
  • Transitions Online takes a small-scale look on the effects of emigration in Uzbekistan.
  • Universe Today looks at how some Martian canyons were formed by different water releases.
  • Xinhua notes how emigration from Portugal has become mainstream.

[BLOG] Some culture-related links

  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas takes a look at the role of the Church in fostering technological and other innovation.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that ex-ex-gays are skeptical about claims of sexual orientation conversion, notes a study suggesting that Truvada does protect against HIV infection, and shares the news with Language Hat that the oldest ancient erotic graffiti has been found and turns out to be gay.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Perelstvaig notes how ridiculous it is to talk about “simple” languages.
  • Language Hat notes a study comparing the intelligibility of Maltese with different nearby Arabic varieties and examines the origins of the shtetl.
  • Language Log disapproves of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘ depiction of emergent ape language.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the internal passports of whites living in the Confederacy and notes that farmworkers in California are suffering from the drought.
  • Marginal Revolution suggests that the languages of the world are more resilient to globalization than suspected, comments on immigration in Germany, and notes the study suggesting same-sex parents do a better than average job of raising their children.
  • The New APPS Blog traces the moral depravity of some pro-Israeli commentators and wonders if underfunding of infrastructure is bringing us to the days of the end of Rome.
  • The Numerati’s Stephen Baker notes that some drivers in Los Angeles appear to really dislike his ode to jaywalking.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw draws from memories of old horse-drawn Gypsy carts in Australia to talk about the importance of animal power in history.
  • Livejournal’s pollotenchegg maps the distribution of ethnic Russians in Ukraine.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that China’s sex imbalances seem to echo historical Australian patterns.
  • The Search interviews online cuture scholar danah boyd.
  • Towleroad links to an Iranian government study of young people’s sexuality suggesting, among other things, that 17% of surveyed students are gay.
  • Whatever’s John Scalzi talks about the existence of transfolk in his Old Man’s War universe.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell examines the political consequences of spam.

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