A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘military

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • blogTO shares photos of the Eaton Centre immediately after its opening in the 1970s.
  • Crooked Timber’s Chris Bertram comes out in favour of a federal United Kingdom.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Australia is set to buy ten submarines from Japan.
  • Eastern Approaches picks up on the travails of the Crimean Tatars.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes how Slovakia is a bad model for Scotland, not least because a large majority of Czechoslovaks wanted the country to survive.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to a study that has a frankly optimistic projection for Iraq’s Christian community over the next half-century or so.
  • Spacing Toronto’s John Lorinc describes Rob Ford’s trajectory as a Greek tragedy. I’m inclined to agree.
  • Torontoist and blogTO share reports of how Torontonians and others react to Rob Ford’s cancer diagnosis.
  • Towleroad notes European Union pressure on Serbia to improve its gay rights record.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the issues of Crimean Tatars as well and suggests that the Russian government maintains bad population statistics.

[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.

[LINK] “Who’ll Win the Fight Between Russia and Ukraine? Maybe China”

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Vice‘s Ryan Faith argues that one beneficiary of the emergent Russo-Ukrainian war will be China. The disruption of the Soviet-era military industries shared by Russia and Ukraine will leave China, inheritor of much Soviet technology, in a great position to expand its market share in the arms trade.

The once-mighty Soviet Union has fallen on hard times, and has fragmented into a motley collection of countries, enclaves, vassal states, and fiefdoms. As a result, the vast network of factories, technical expertise, and supply chains that once powered the Soviet military machine has disintegrated. Previously intertwined industries are now divorced, living in different countries. Entire supply chains vital to one national military are in countries completely out of the control of that military.

In some cases, old armament factories operated as if little had changed except for the drop in production volume. Russia was, until this year, the biggest single export market for Ukrainian defense manufacturers, just as Ukrainian imports were the single biggest share of Russian defense imports. For example, most of Russia’s helicopters are powered by engines made by the Ukrainian company Motor Sich. Conversely, the biggest use of Motor Sich’s engines has been in Russian helicopters.

But once fighting broke out between Ukraine and Russia — or more accurately, a few months after fighting broke out — the defense trade between the countries ground to a halt.

Although China has grown in technological sophistication, a lot of the old standards and technologies have left their mark. Much of the equipment and parts still in production are compatible with Soviet-era standards, and China has close relationships with the defense industries of both Russia and Ukraine. But the rupture between the two countries — the engines powering the remnants of the Soviet military-industrial machine — has, as Jane’s points out, put China in a very advantageous position.

First, Ukrainian and Russian manufacturers alike are eager to replace revenue lost from the end of their relationships with one another, and will be looking to sell to China instead. In fact, Ukrainian and Russian companies could find themselves in competition for business while their governments compete on the battlefield and in the international political arena. This competition means it’s a buyer’s market for China, and may give Beijing access to a lot more technology and design expertise at lower cost than was previously possible.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 2, 2014 at 7:24 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • blogTO notes the continuing problems of Toronto’s food truck project.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the differences between transit and radial velocity detection methods for planets and the relative advantages for detecting planets in stellar habitable zones, and links to a paper describing how hot Jupiters can become super-Earths.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the changing strategic situation of Australia.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that most of IKEA’s photo shoots are actually computer-assembled from stock imagery.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the impending retirement of Berlin’s gay mayor Klaus Wowereit.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that anti-Obamacare red states are hurting their poor citizens.
  • New APPS Blog considers the question of what makes happy children.
  • Towleroad notes anti-gay persecution by Lebanese police and quotes the mayor of Kazakhstan’s capital city talking badly about non-heterosexuals.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the emigration of Kazakhs and even Uighurs from Xinjiang to Kazakhstan, touches upon Western disillusionment with Russia, notes the possible impending defection of most of the Ukrainian churches of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and reports on the relocation of a Ukrainian factory to Russia.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • blogTO lists five classic Toronto signs at risk of disappearing.
  • Centauri Dreams discusses plans for really, really big telescope arrays.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that young star HD 169142 appears to be forming both a brown dwarf and its own planetary system.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on the use of a laser by the US Navy to accelerate a projectile to speeds of one thousand kilometres a second.
  • Far Outliers’ Joel reports on the last major uprising of the Ainu against the Japanese, in 1789.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a report from some American homophobes claiming that lesbians, owing to their left-wing ideological commitments, are a big threat than gay men.
  • Language Log examines a sign blending Mandarin and Cantonese.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a news report suggesting readers absorb less from online reading than they do from paper.
  • Peter Rukavina maps his travels over the summer.
  • Spacing Toronto notes concerns over the cost of the high-speed rail connection to Pearson airport.
  • Torontoist notes Rob Ford’s newest conflict of interest allegations.
  • Towleroad talks about Luxembourg’s openly gay prime minister, set to marry his partner.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes problems regarding the protection of eagles and religious freedom issues regarding holding eagle feathers for religious reasons.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on claims by activists that Russia must federalize or disintegrate.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO shares a new transit map that combines streetcar and subway routes.
  • Crooked Timber’s Chris Bertram notes, in light of the ongoing massacres of Iraq and the desperate plight of a party of Afghanistani Sikhs smuggled into the United Kingdom, that persecution combines with general bars on refugees to force people-smuggling.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining how planetesimals form.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ Edward Hugh writes about the imminent debt catastrophe facing the Italian economy, and Marginal Revolution picks up on it.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas wonders how some people get the sense that the world is technophobic.
  • Language Log examines how Muslims around the world learn to read the Qu’ran in Arabic. Fascinating comments.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes Russia’s new problems in the Pacific Rim and notes the unseemly pro-Russian propaganda of The Nation.
  • More Words, Deeper Hole’s James Nicoll reviews the Niven/Pournelle collaboration Lucifer’s Hammer and notes it a competent distillation of the fears of the mid-1970s.
  • The New APPS Blog looks at a study examining alloparenting, the raising of a child in part or in whole by a non-parent, and notes that the most successful of these societies don’t teach their children fear of the outside world.
  • Peter Rukavina shares an old Prince Edward Island news article commenting on how celebrations of Confederation were postponed by the outbreak of the First World War.
  • Torontoist tells the story of Toronto astronomer and popularizer Dr. Helen Sawyer Hogg.
  • Towleroad celebrates the recent birthday of gay icon Madonna.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy looks at the controversies of Michael Brown and Steven Salaita.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that the Putin who annexed Crimea can be foudn in the Putin who tried to cover up the Kursk submarine disaster in 2000, and notes the desire of Chechnya’s dictator to have North Caucasians serve in the Russian military as conscripts.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait suggests that the ESA’s Rosetta probe may have found evidence for a calving event in its target comet.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at Jupiter’s extraordinarily volcanic moon of Io.
  • The Dragon’s Tales’ Will Baird notes a report that Russia plans on opening a new air force base in Belarus.
  • Far Outliers’ Joel describes how Hakodate, the first city of Japan’s Hokkaido island, hosted multiple consulates.
  • Joe. My. God. and Towleroad note how parishoners at a Roman Catholic church in Illinois are rallying behind their church’s music director, fired for announcing his impending marriage.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Perelstvaig describes, with maps, the issues of Christians in the Middle East.
  • Language Log explores the complexities of newly popular Sanskrit language programs in education.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money explores the survival of the old South and Confederate ideals in the modern Tea Party (1, 2).
  • Marginal Revolution started a discussion as to what the European Central Bank should do.
  • The Planetary Society Blog hosts a post from Jason Davis describing the innovative online interface for data from the crowd-controlled ISEE-3 probe.
  • The Russian Demographics blog notes the confused population policy of Belarus.
  • Spacing Toronto notes how Logan Avenue in the east end has become an unofficial slow street.
  • Torontoist discusses doorings suffered by cyclists.
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