A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘poland

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Centauri Dreams looks at the exocomets of Beta Pictoris.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper on the luminosity of cold brown dwarfs.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to one paper suggesting that Polynesian migration up to the 14th century depended on a pleasant global climate and links to another describing the discovery of a Polynesian canoe from 1400 CE in New Zealand.
  • Eastern Approaches notes that coal is facing serious pressure in central Europe, even in Poland.
  • Far Outliers notes how the Chinese northeast is once again a promised land for North Koreans.
  • Inkfish notes that at least one species of fish plays.
  • Marginal Revolution suggests that Jewish sects see such fierce leadership because they have become so consolidated.
  • Language Log reports that apparently it is harder to learn to read Arabic than it is to read Hebrew.
  • Language Log comments on the decent nature of Mark Zuckerberg’s Chinese.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes China’s test of a moon mission.
  • pollotenchegg maps the divisions of Luhansk in the east of Ukraine.
  • Spacing Toronto’s John Lorinc suggests we Torontonians can learn much from Calgary and its mayor Naheed Nenshi.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • blogTO notes that a party celebrating the end of Rob Ford’s term as mayor is being planned for election night at City Hall.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the discovery of secondary targets for New Horizons after it passes Pluto.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper that looks to examine the oblateness or otherwise of some exoplanets discovered by Kepler.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to one paper examining underwater archeology and links to a series debating the question of whether or not there was a human presence 30 thousand years ago at a site in Uruguay.
  • Eastern Approaches reports on the aftermath of a failed claim by Radek Sikorski that Russia made a 2008 proposal on partitioning Ukraine.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a Costa Rican survey suggesting that up to a fifth of Costa Rican police think that harassing GLBT people is OK.
  • Language Hat notes the etymology of the Egyptian title of “khedive”, apparently obscure for a reason.
  • Language Log notes a contentious issue in Chinese translation: “rule of law” or “rule by law”?
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at the aftermath of a stunt at a Serbian-Albanian football game.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog considers estimates for Russian losses in Ukrainian fighing.
  • Towleroad notes that Argentina has granted asylum to a Russian GLBT claimant.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Ukrainian events have awakened Belarusian nationalism.

[LINK] “With Robust Economy, Poland Navigates Around Eastern Europe’s Strains”

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Rick Lyman’s article in The New York Times points out that Poland’s solid economic growth has continued despite adverse external conditions, and that it’s starting to translate into serious heft.

To the east, Russian aggression has paralyzed Ukraine’s hope for faster economic development. To the south, Hungary flirts with authoritarianism and still struggles to climb out of the last recession. To the north, Lithuania and the other Baltic States are being squeezed by the cycle of escalating trade sanctions between Moscow and the European Union.

Poland, meanwhile, has managed to navigate safely around the latest strains on Eastern Europe, just as it managed to sail through the 2008 financial crisis with barely a bruise, maintaining solid growth rates, attracting considerable new investment and industry and using its relative economic strength to build clout within the European Union.

By dint of its size, enthusiasm for embracing the West and stable governance, Poland, a member of NATO and the European Union, has long been the most important model of post-Soviet transformation. But now, with Russia again seeking to exert its influence and much of Europe struggling to recover fully from the deep downturn of recent years, Poland has taken on an even more important role as the leading symbol of regional stability and resolve.

Construction cranes stretch across the Warsaw skyline. Huge malls and gleaming stores open almost daily. Attracted by wage rates considerably lower than those in Western Europe, many multinational companies continue to invest in Poland as a manufacturing and distribution base.

Virtually everything that Ikea, the Swedish housewares behemoth, sells in Europe, for instance, is manufactured in Poland. Many Volkswagen components are made in Poland. General Motors has facilities here, as do 3M, Procter & Gamble and other American brands.

Amazon is opening giant new distribution centers. Google Campus Warsaw, mirrored on similar projects in London and Tel Aviv, will nurture homegrown high-tech start-ups.

Intent on ensuring that it is not vulnerable to Russian pressure, Poland is pressing the European Union to do more to break its reliance on Russian energy supplies. The recent rounds of sanctions and countersanctions over Russia’s aggression in neighboring Ukraine have had relatively little impact on Poland’s economy, beyond inspiring a patriotic campaign to persuade Poles to eat more homegrown apples in reaction to Moscow’s banning of them.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 7, 2014 at 11:26 pm

[LINK] “Why no one wants to host the 2022 Olympics”

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Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel writes about how the escalating costs and ephemeral benefits associated with hosting the Olympics, along with the high-handed nature of the International Olympic Committee, has left only two cities in the running. Norway’s Oslo and Poland’s Krakow are among the world cities that aborted their bids owing to popular opposition. What are the cities?

There’s Beijing, China, which doesn’t actually sit within 120 miles of a usable ski mountain, and there’s Almaty, Kazakhstan, which in its bid touted itself as “the world’s largest landlocked nation.”

It’s down to these two cities not because the IOC narrowed the field, but because every other city in the entire world said no.

Seriously, every other city said no.

That even includes cities that previously said yes and made it deep into the bidding process only to stare directly into the corrupt, humiliating voting system, not to mention eventual unnecessary construction costs, environmental effects, blown resources and white elephants built to opulent IOC code. They promptly high-tailed it the other way.

Russia said it spent $51 billion hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics. What, no one else is interested in footing that bill?

Certainly not Oslo, Norway, not even at the bargain rate of an estimated $5.4 billion in a nation of just five million people. It once wanted desperately to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and its bid was so perfect that it was considered the favorite to win. Then the country held a vote earlier this year and 55.9 percent of Norwegians opposed.

Wednesday the Norwegian government effectively pulled the bid. Norwegians are known for the ability to cross country ski really fast and being so friendly they beg visitors to come experience their picturesque nation. Since this involved the IOC however, they decided against having visitors come experience their picturesque nation to watch them cross country ski really fast.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 2, 2014 at 10:47 pm

[NEWS] Some Sunday links

  • Al Jazeera notes the quilombos of Brazil founded by escaped slaves and looks at the strength of the separatist vote in Scotland’s largest city of Glasgow.
  • Bloomberg notes continuing tensions between North Korea and Japan over Japanese abductees, looks at Russian state subsidies to sanctions-hit companies, suggests a softening of Polish foreign policy versus Russia, and notes how Johannesburg is flourishing as gateway to Africa despite high crime and inequality.
  • The Bloomberg View notes separatist concerns depressing yields of Catalonian and Spanish bonds, and wonders if Gujarat’s industrial economy might serve as an example for all India.
  • CBC notes that national newspapers are no longer being sold in Yellowknife, looks at the case of an Iroquois girl refusing chemotherapy, and notes that the Angelina Jolie effect boosting breast cancer screening endures.
  • Open Democracy examines Catalonian separatism, looks at India’s changing Palestinian policy, considers trends in ideology in Hungary, wonders if Jordan will be next to succumb to the Islamic state, and examines anti-Syrian sentiment in Lebanon.
  • Wired examines teletext and notes the strength of China’s Alibaba.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • blogTO notes an interesting play being put on at Buddies in Bad Times about a same-sex couple’s divorce.
  • Centauri Dreams features a guest post from Andrew Lepage examining habitable exomoons.
  • Crooked Timber notes the exceptionally high voter turn-out in Scotland.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes China’s attempts to construct a new security architecture in Asia.
  • Eastern Approaches notes that Poland’s Radek Sikorski is now foreign minister.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ Edward Hugh notes that the Eurozone is set to become Japan-like economically.
  • Far Outliers has a whole slew of posts on Romanian history, noting early Romanian history, the autonomy of the Danubian principalities from Ottoman rule, and the complex relationships in Transylvania and with central Europe.
  • Geocurrents notes that one Islamic State map was made from a computer game.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the final segment of New York City’s High Line park is complete.
  • Language Hat notes the Scots dialect of Yiddish.
  • Marginal Revolution looks forward to the complexities of Catalonian separatism.
  • Registan notes Kazakhstan’s concerns with Russia.
  • The Search examines methodologies for preserving E-mails.
  • Towleroad notes that a Grindr poll in Scotland accurately predicted the outcome of the Scottish referendum and also notes Grindr’s concern with Egyptian police use of the app.
  • Understanding Society considers the idea of turning points in history. Do they exist, or not?
  • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Ilya Somin comes out in favour of allowing informed teenagers–16 years and older–to vote.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Russification in the Gagauz leadership and observes Russophilia among Ukrainian evangelical Protestants.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell imagines likely issues with devolution in the near future in the United Kingdom.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Claus Vistesen at Alpha Sources notes that the Italian economy has slipped back into recession.
  • blogTO identifies ten secret things in Toronto.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at gas giants with very unusual, even misaligned, orbits around their local suns.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one study on the internal geology of silicon-carbon worlds and to another on the moderating impact of oceans on planetary climates.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the Indian military buildup in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and links to a study suggesting that even the very early Earth might have been hospitable towards life.
  • Geocurrents features a guest post from Will Rayner pointing out ways in which statistics can lie (Luxembourg looks very wealthy, but this is an artifact of a huge day-commuter workforce coming from outside of its frontiers).
  • Joe. My. God. reports that the Egyptian police seem to be using Grindr to hunt down gay men for arrests.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the ethnographic justification for the Soviet invasion and partition of Poland.
  • Spacing Toronto points to an upcoming photo exhibit showcasing Toronto’s tower neighbourhoods.
  • Torontoist reports on the success of urban agriculture as an experiment in New York City.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the deteriorating situation of Crimean Tatars and suggests Russia is preparing to move into the Baltic States.
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