I’ve accumulated more than a few links in the past couple of weeks. I wanted to share them, in two posts, before I left Toronto on a week-long vacation in Prince Edward Island.
Acts of Minor Treason’s Andrew Barton shares a vintage photo of Toronto’s Union Station from 2010, before the massive construction on Front Street that transformed the scene.
Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait notes that the very large majority of stars in the night sky are quite likely to still be alive, not having died in the mere tens of thousands of years (at most) it has taken for their light to reach us.
The Burgh Diaspora’s Jim Russell notes that German attitudes which force women to choose between motherhood and employment aren’t going to work in the long run.
Centauri Dreams suggests that landing sites on icy Europa’s chaos regions are likely to give probes access to its biologically interesting water oceans, and notes the serious problems associated with focusing lasers for interstellar solar sails across light years of space.
Crooked Timber’s Chris Bertram notes the hardening of British attitudes towards migrants, while John Quiggin notes the role of nepotism in the centres of globalization.
The Dragon’s Tales has plenty of interesting links: one suggesting that known exoplanet systems seem to follow Kepler’s law, another suggesting that habitable exomoons are likely to orbit at least part of the time outside of the local stellar habitable zone if they’re to avoid overheating, and a third one mapping the genetic legacies of different ancient migrations to the Western Hemisphere.
Eastern Approaches notes the new cosmopolitanism and experimenting of Polish cuisine and chronicles the destructiveness of the continued alienation and even oppression of the Roma of Hungary.
Far Outlier’s Joel notes the growing popularity of baseball in the late 19th century Kingdom of Hawai’i and chronicles the origins of smallpox inoculation among the beauty practices of Circassian female slaves.
A Fistful of Euros’ Alex Harrowell makes an argument that independent satellite surveillance played a role in the decisions of France and Germany not to involve themselves in Iraq. Commenters dissent, suggesting that an Italy equally plugged into Franco-German networks didn’t care about the intelligence.
Joe. My. God. notes that a bare majority of Taiwanese now support same-sex marriage, and comments approvingly about American gay conservative Jamie Kirchick’s calling out of Russian homophobia on Russia Today at the expense of his career with that station.
Centauri Dreams’ Paul Gilster describes, after Timothy Ferris and Greg Egan, the idea of a “galactic Internet” that we just have to find a way to plug into.
Will Baird at The Dragon’s Tales describes one theory for identifying life-supporting worlds on super-Earths orbiting red dwarfs from their spectrographic signatures, and another suggesting that gravitational resonances from Jupiter and Saturn prevented the formation of more, and more massive, planets in the area of Mars.
Daniel Drezner notes that austerity is controversial in Poland.
Eastern Approaches touches upon illegal–that is to say, unregulated–adoption in Poland.
Language Log considers the phonemic–vowel-like, even–qualities of the “Mc” in McDonald’s. I’m amused.
The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that the United States is no longer supporting Argentina’s international legal issues with the foreigners claiming its debt.
Is Towleroad essayist RJ Aguiar correct in claiming that the gay rights movement has neglected sexual freedom for more conservative marriage-type issues?
A coupleof posts at the Volokh Conspiracy suggest that the fall of Detroit can be connected to the use of eminent domain to confiscate property for development. (I suspect causality is reversed.)
Window on Eurasia points to some interesting articles: one claims that Ukraine for all of its issues is more pluralistic and thus more hopeful than Russia; another talking about the unlikelihood that South Ossetia, once Georgian, will be reunited with North Ossetia inside Russia; and, a final one suggesting that anti-GLBT attitudes are rife throughout the South Caucasus.
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.
Language Log takes a look at the failure of artificial intelligence as evidenced by the nonsensical conversations of a pair of Siri bots.
The Planetary Society Blog has a guest writer suggesting that even under NASA’s budget strictures, a Uranus probe could be possible.
Noel Maurer at The Power and they Money makes the case that arming the Syrian rebels shouldn’t be done, in that the outcomes produced by non-supply–a weakened regime or a weakened transition–are less threatening to American interests.
Towleroad links to a paper suggesting that homophobia is associated with fear of unwanted sexual advances.
Window on Eurasia quotes a Russian writer who argues that, if the Soviet Union had survived, immigration to Russia would have been substantially heavier and more politically controversial.
Budding Sociologist Dan Hirschman notes that competing estimates over the size of the Chinese economy means that no one knows whether China’s economy, or the United States’, is the largest in the world.
Crooked Timber’s John Quiggin notes the predicament case of James Cartwright, a retired American general under investigation for leaking information about Stuxnet to the press. Quiggin argues that Cartwright stands out from others in that he has many enemies.
Far Outliers’ Joel observes that tension between African-American settlers in Liberia and Africans living in the future republic was rife from the beginning.
Geocurrents’ Asya Pereltsvaig writes about how the Serbo-Croatian language community has been subdivided into national language communities largely, but not only, because of the collapse of Yugoslavia.
GNXP’s Razib Khan blogs about a DNA study suggesting to him that, in the 6th century, Bengal assimilated a substantial agricultural population with links and ancestry in Southeast Asia.
Language Hat notes that at one point, the Persian language was a lingua franca as far away as South Asia.
Underlining that the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 could have succeeded only if the Soviets–and Stalin–went along with its, Lawyers, Guns and Money’s Robert Farley observes that it just wasn’t possible to supply the Polish partisans by air.
Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen quotes from Tarek Osman who argues that the Islamization of the new regimes in the Middle East isn’t inevitable.
The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer celebrates the 4th of July and also shares pictures of his young son Seretse.
Window on Eurasia notes that two million Buddhists living in Russia–Buryats, Tuvans, Kalmyks, and others–pay allegiance to the Dalai Lama, who hasn’t visited Russia perhaps because of Chinese pressure.
Bag News Notes’ Michael Shaw takes a look at NSA Edward Snowden, as good as look as can be taken.
Centauri Dreams’ Paul Gilster reflects on Iain M. Banks as a designer of megascale structures.
The Dragon’s Tales’ Will Baird reports on Chinese interest in paying for the reconstruction of a Nicaragua canal.
Eastern Approaches notes that the iconic Gdansk shipyards, which fostered the growth of solidarity, are at risk of closing.
Geocurrents’ Asya Perelstvaig writes about the coverage of the news of the last speaker of the Baltic Finnic language of Livonian, in all of its flaws.
Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen likes a book describing why some East Asian economies hit the First World and others didn’t, while Alex Tabarrok advocates for a new regime in the United States for the approval of medications.
New Apps Blog’s Lisa Guenther uses a documentary on the fate of the long-term incarcerated to start a discussion on what we grow to tolerate.
Normblog’s Norman Geras interviews Daniel Libeskind.
The Signal’s Bill LeFurgy writes about word processing, the killer app that jumpstarted the computer revolution.
Window on Eurasia argues that Ukrainians generally haven’t assimilated the Crimean Tatar history of deportation into their own and quotes from a Kazakhstani writer who argues that real, broad-based Russian influence is much more threatening to Kazakh identity than anything the Chinese have done or are likely to do.
Bag News Notes profiles a now-vanished New York Times photo essay, one detailing children residing as restaveks with Haitian families who are–or are not?–servants.
Centauri Dreams considers how the New Horizons probe might detect subsurface oceans on Pluto.
Daniel Drezner thinks that applying bad analogies to contemporary international relationships can unduly prejudice the contemporary world, and wonders if the impending construction of the world’s tallest building in China signals the end of the Chinese boom.
Eastern Approaches notes the continued political strike in Poland over in-vitro fertilization.
Geocurrents’ Asya Pereltsvaig profiles the deportation of Soviet Koreans from their Pacific homeland to Central Asia in the late 1930s, and notes echoes of this deportation in the music of Soviet Korean singer-songwriters.
Acts of Minor Treason’s Andrew Barton has a photo of the Danforth subway tunnel, looking east from Chester at a point where Pape is barely visible.
Beyond the Beyond’s Bruce Sterling writes about a Montréal exhibition of the history of computing.
Crooked Timber’s John Quiggin starts an insightful discussion, inspired by the controversies about same-sex marriage, about the ideological cleavages in France.
The Dragon’s Tales Will Baird discusses exoplanets: briefly, dim orange and red dwarfs frequently have Earth- and Neptune-sized planets but not larger giants, while there are fewer Earth-sized planets than one would expect from the distribution of discovered ones.
Eastern Approaches notes that clerical sex abuse scandals are starting to break in Poland.
Far Outliers’ Joel quotes Chinua Achebe on the anti-Ibo pogroms of Nigeria in 1966.
Language Hat links to a site examining documentary evidence of the presence of the French language in pre-revolutionary Russia.
Erik Loomis at Lawyers, Guns and Money writes about the collapsing infrastructure of the United States.
Peter Rukavina describes how he used a 3-D printer to print replacement parts for his desk. The replicator cometh.
Torontoist examines the origins of the name of Toronto and points to Andrew Cash’s interest in bolstering the position of precarious urban workers.
Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell is rightfully unimpressed by the incompetence of British Tory Iain Duncan Smith.