A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘military

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • The Cranky Sociologists notes the dynamics and statistics of global aging.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the effect of tides on Mercury, Jupiter’s moon Io, and exoplanet Kepler 10c.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the deployment of Russian nuclear-armed missiles within range of China and questions the possibility of an astronomical event in the 9th century.
  • The Financial Times‘s The World notes that Germany and Italy are disputing the governance of the Eurozone.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the United Nations is now recognizing the legal same-sex marriages of its workers.
  • Language Log looks at the new Chinese tradition of water calligraphy.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the risk of cruise missile proliferation in Southeast Asia versus China.
  • Window on Eurasia notes concern among some Russians that China might want to take over parts of Siberia Crimea-style.

[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 Wednesday links

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  • Crooked Timber comments on Amanda Lepore’s essay in The New Yorker criticizing the idea of “disruption”.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the discovery of Gliese 832c, a super-terrestrial planet orbiting a red dwarf 16 light years away that is either a super-Earth or a super-Venus.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that one consequence of Scottish independence could be the United Kingdom’s nuclear disarmament.
  • The Financial Times‘s The World blog notes speculation that Russia could be behind the bugging of the Polish foreign minister.
  • Joe. My. God. observes that some American reactionaries see Russia as a refuge from liberalism.
  • Language Hat notes the ongoing controversy over the origins of the Yiddish language.
  • The Planetary Science Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla provides updates on Mercury’s Messenger probe and the Venus Express as well.
  • Savage Minds makes the argument that it’s better to engage with people not abstractions.
  • Steve Munro notes extensive construction around Spadina and Dundas this summer.
  • Towleroad links to an article about once-prominent ex-gay John Paulk.
  • Window on Eurasia notes high mortality in Russia.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell wonders how Andy Coulson got his security clearance.

[NEWS] Some Monday links

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  • Al Jazeera notes the inequitable terms of a trade agreement between the European Union and West Africa, observes that so far north Kazakhstan isn’t vulnerable to Russian irredentism in the same way as east Ukraine, explores the Northern Gateway pipeline controversy, detects Kurdish-Turkmen tension in the city of Kirkuk, and looks at the Japanese-Brazilian community.
  • The Atlantic explains why poor American women increasingly don’t wait for marriage or even relationships to become parents (what else do they have to do?) and notes the successful treatment of a mentally ill bonobo.
  • BusinessWeek notes that authors of best-sellers tend to be successful American presidential candidates, comments on potential problems of Russia’s South Stream pipeline project in Serbia, and notes that more airlines are cutting service to a Venezuela that doesn’t want to pay their costs in scarce American dollars.
  • CBC notes that Scottish independence could cause change in the flag of the United Kingdom, observes the beginning of peace talks in eastern Ukraine, notes the contamination of a salmon river in eastern Quebec by a municipal dump.
  • MacLean’s examines the collapse of the Iraqi military, looks at the psychology of online abusers, and explains the import of some archeological discoveries in Yukon.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • James Bow mourns the loss of the Northlander train route connecting northern Ontario with the south.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes a Saudi Arabian announcement that it will be boosting military spending by 20%.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World blog notes growing Brazilian confidence in the outcome of the World Cup.
  • At A Fistful of Euros, Alex Harrowell notes the complexities of governance and procedure in the European Parliament.
  • Language Hat notes the long and changing history of ethnic identity in the Crimean peninsula.
  • Language Log’s Victor Mair notes from first-hand experience the complex language and script situation in Macau and Hong Kong.
  • The New APPS Blog features suggestions for institutional reform in the European Union.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that, to ingratiate itself with the European Union, Albania won’t accept transit fees for the impending Trans-Adriatic pipeline.
  • Spacing Toronto remembers the time when Toronto’s subway network was the best in North America.
  • Strange Maps’ Frank Jacobs notes how a steamship disaster helped erase the Manhattan neighbourhood of Little Germany from the map of New York City.
  • Torontoist fact-checks an Olivia Chow speech, finding it boringly accurate and unambitious.
  • Towleroad notes how a Dutch town proposed setting up a gay ghetto to call out local homophobia.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Ukrainian Orthodox Christian leaders are rejecting the Russian church’s authority, and observes that the Ukrainian government is now demanding that ethnic Ukrainians in Russia receive good treatment as an ethnic minority.

[LINK] “F-35’s single-engine design too dangerous for Canadian air force, report says”

Josh Visser‘s National Post article takes a look at the continuing controversy in Canada over the proposed purchase of F-35 fighters. (a href=”http://thedragonstales.blogspot.com”>Will, this is for you.)

A new report is urging the federal government to forego the purchase of the F-35 fighter to replace Canada’s aging CF-18 fleet because its single-engine design is ill-suited to Canada’s north and dangerous to pilots.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’s report, called “One Dead Pilot” and written by UBC political science Michael Byers, says the “decision to purchase a single-engine fighter would almost inevitably result in the needless loss of Canadian pilots,” according to a news release.

In the report, Byers compares the F-35 to the Lockheed Corporation-made CF-104 Starfighter, which Canada operated from 1961 to 1987. Byers writes that while the CF-104 never saw combat, “39 Canadian pilots lost their lives while flying these planes.” Some 110 of the 239 planes were involved in a crash, giving the plane the ominous nickname “Widow Maker.”

Byers notes that 25% of the crashes were due to bird strikes and there not being a second engine to keep the plane in the air. He suggests that little has changed despite technological improvements.

“Engine failures will still occur, and when they do so away from an airport, a second engine is the only thing that can prevent a crash. The issue is especially important for Canada, which has the longest coastline in the world and vast Arctic territories,” Byers writes.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 10, 2014 at 7:51 pm

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Caitlin Kelly at the Broadside Blog lists five reasons to become a free-lancer and five reasons not to do so.
  • Centauri Dreams’ Paul Gilster looks at the oddly misaligned planetary system of Kepler-56, possessing three known planets orbiting at different inclinations to their aging and expanding star’s equator, two of which will fall into their star shortly.
  • The Cranky Sociologists’ SocProf quite likes sociologist Saskia Sassen’s new book Expulsions, which examines the way people and regions and things are and aren’t included in a globalizing economy.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper on planetary formation in binary systems that seems to suggest it might be easier for planets to form in some binaries, owing to lower impact velocities of planetesimals.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Canada is set to purchase 65 F-35 fighters, notwithstanding political controversy.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas wonders about the potential anxieties associated with having a smart, on-line, home.
  • Language Log shares an interesting study suggesting that the phenomenon of “vocal fry” doesn’t hurt the credibility of speakers, so long as the speakers aren’t trying to hide it.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Jason Davis explores the so-far promising crowdsourced attempt to reactivate the decades-silent ISEE-3 probe.
  • Registan’s Casey Michel argues that the new Eurasian Economic Union isn’t that significant, given the reluctance of its member-states to accept transferring sovereignty to the centre and the growing influence of external powers including China.
  • Towleroad notes the late great gay icon Freddie Mercury.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Stewart Baker suggests that France and Belgium may well have direct wiretap access to telecommunications.
  • Window on Eurasia links to a Russian writer who argues that the net effect of Russian policies has been to shrink the Russian sphere of influence, by alienating first Georgians then Ukrainians.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • The Big Picture shares photos of Iran 25 years after the death of Ayatollah Khomeini.
  • Crooked Timber continues its seminar on the ethics of open borders.</li
  • D-Brief notes the discovery of two new classes of planets not found in our solar system, Earth-mass gas dwarfs and rocky super-Earths.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that red dwarfs’ solar wind would significantly heat exoplanets in their circumstellar habitable zones and links to another paper concluded that Kepler-10c is a giant rocky world.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes drama in Canada regarding the possibility or not of a F-35 purchase.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World blog wonders about the future of the monarchy in a securely democratic Spain.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis concludes that poverty isn’t clearly the cause of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, notwithstanding the relative poverty of the Muslim north.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money is rightly upset that Confederate general and defender of slavery Robert E. Lee is positioned in a new book as an American patriot.
  • The New APPS Blog considers the issues associated with democracy in the European Union after the recent elections.
  • Savage Minds’ P. Kerim Friedman considers the shooting ratio of ethnography. How much raw material do anthropologists need to collect to come up with something compelling?
  • Window on Eurasia traces the genealogy of Eurasianism in the Soviet era.

[LINK] “Ukraine: A military-industrial complex to die for”

Writing at Asia Times, Gregory J. Moore suggests that the well-developed Ukrainian military-industrial complex–developed in the Soviet era, and something modern Russia still depends upon–is something Russia cares about quite a bit. What happens to the Russian military if the Ukrainians suspend cooperation?

Readers may remember the apocalyptic Hollywood thriller, 2012, and the Russian tycoon who owned an enormous jet loaded with exotic sports cars, boasting of the plane, “It’s Russian”. Well, the truth is, it wasn’t Russian. It was Ukrainian. It was an Antonov AN225, the world’s largest airplane. Antonov, based near Kiev, also designed and manufactures a medium-size transport plane, the AN70, a series of gliders like the AN15, a regional jet (the AN148), and a series of advanced jet engines. In fact, the Russian president’s office owns two AN148-100Es.

Ukraine is also home to Motor-Sich, a firm that designs and manufactures aircraft and helicopter engines, as well as turbine engines for pumps for gas, oil and other applications including power-generation. Basically all of Russia’s military helicopters use engines made by Motor-Sich. The firm also makes the engines for Russia’s Yak 160 fighter/trainer. Russian military analyst Vladimir Voronov says Russia has an ambitious plan to add 1,000 attack helicopters to its armed forces, but this would be almost impossible without Motor Sich’s provision of engines.

Ukraine also boasts an advanced space rocket and missile design and production industry, one of the few nations in the world that has a mature space rocket production complex. Located in south-eastern Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk, it produced many of the rockets in the early Soviet space program, as well as parts for many missiles and rockets such as Russia’s famous Soyuz, and components for the International Space Station. It also designed, manufactured and today still services Russia’s main intercontinental ballistic missile, the deadly SS18.

Ukraine is also home to what at its high tide accounted for 30% of the Soviet Union’s shipbuilding industry (Global Security), and it continues to provide shipbuilding services for many nations, including China for whom it provided the Varyag, which the Chinese finished and turned into their first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which recently entered service.

Voronov has reported on a recent Russian military campaign to expand ship production, but that Russia’s own shipyards are failing to meet capacity so Russia has increasingly sought Ukrainian help. Ukraine is also a major producer of ships’ engines. Voronov concludes that of the 54 surface warships acquisitions the Russian navy has currently planned, 31 would have Ukrainian engines in them, though of course all of this is in question with the recent decision by Ukraine’s government to halt all arms deals with Russia because of Russia’s aggression in Crimea, etc.

Ukraine is also a major producer of armored personnel carriers and tanks (its Kharkiv facilities designed and manufactured the T34, T54, T64, and T80 tanks, and its T84 is as good or better than Russia’s best tanks presently, some experts argue), air to air missiles for fighter planes (Kiev’s Razumov Center says Russia gets half of these from Ukraine), surface-to-air missiles, cruise missiles, and is home to a vibrant parts and systems design and manufacturing industry that services many sectors of Russia’s military, including Russia’s newest Su50 PAK/FA fighter aircraft.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 28, 2014 at 7:56 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • The Dragon’s Gaze has a new analysis of the signal data from the Gliese 876 system, suggesting it may host six planets, of which the first four are in a 1:2:4:8 resonance.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to an analysis of the Russian military suggesting that the Crimean operation says little about combat-readiness.
  • Eastern Approaches observes that there are some prominent Slovakian candidates for international leadership.
  • The Financial TimesThe World notes that the far right did much worse in Ukraine than it did in the French European Union elections.
  • Joe. My. God. has a perplexing quote from Edmund White implying gay couples can’t get married and have kids without reverting to type and Grindr-usage.
  • Language Log links to a Chinese news article identifying ten difficult to understand Chinese language forms.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen suggests that slavery hurt white American incomes, too, in connection with reparations talk.
  • The New APPS Blog suggests that Facebook can be understand as a mechanism for accumulating social capital, in a Marxist fashion.
  • Torontoist links to a documentary on police carding in Toronto.
  • Une heure de peine’s Denis Colombi examines, in French, mass murderer Elliot Rodger as an extreme example of male thinking about women.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy describes a court ruling against a police captain who rejected a mosque outreach effort.
  • Window on Eurasia notes an analysis suggesting that much depends on the national evolution of Russophone Slavs in eastern Ukraine. Are they Ukrainian, or not?
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