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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

[URBAN NOTE] Five cities links: Plattsburgh, Montréal, Cincinnati, Palm Springs, Almaty

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  • The New York city of Plattsburgh is trying to limit Bitcoin mining locally, to avoid overusing its low electricity prices. VICE reports.
  • The LA Review of Books shares a story of a visitor’s engagement with the Montréal of Saul Bellow, here.
  • Lyman Stone suggests that Cincinnati, even more than Pittsburgh, is in the middle of a noteworthy renaissance, over at In A State of Migration.
  • Palm Springs, in the California desert, apparently is in the middle of an eye-catching renewal. The Globe and Mail reports.
  • Open Democracy looks at this new effort to preserve the Soviet-era architectural heritage of Almaty, Kazakhstan’s old capital city, here.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • At Anthropology.net, Kamzib Kamrani looks at the Yamnaya horse culture of far eastern Europe and their connection to the spread of the Indo-Europeans.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the predicted collision of China’s Tiangong-1 space station. Where will it fall?
  • James Bow notes a Kickstarter funding effort to revive classic Canadian science fiction magazine Amazing Stories.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the impending retirement of the pioneering Kepler telescope, and what’s being done in the time before this retirement.
  • D-Brief notes how nanowires made of gold and titanium were used to restore the sight of blind mice.
  • Russell Darnley takes a look at the indigenous people of Riau province, the Siak, who have been marginalized by (among other things) the Indonesian policy of transmigration.
  • Dead Things reports on more evidence of Denisovan ancestry in East Asian populations, with the suggestion that the trace of Denisovan ancestry in East Asia came from a different Denisovan population than the stronger traces in Melanesia.
  • Hornet Stories paints a compelling portrait of the West Texas oasis-like community of Marfa.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how indigenous mythology about illness was used to solve a hantavirus outbreak in New Mexico in the 1990s.
  • Language Log praises the technical style of a Google Translate translation of a text from German to English.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that, under the Shah, Iran was interested in building nuclear plants. Iranian nuclear aspirations go back a long way.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the unsettling elements of the literary, and other, popularity of Jordan Peterson.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the continuing existence of a glass ceiling even in relatively egalitarian Iceland.
  • The NYR Daily looks at the unsettling elements behind the rise of Xi Jinping to unchecked power. Transitions from an oligarchy to one-man rule are never good for a country, never mind one as big as China.
  • Drew Rowsome writes about Love, Cecil, a new film biography of photographer Cecil Beaton.
  • Peter Rukavina celebrates the 25th anniversary of his move to Prince Edward Island. That province, my native one, is much the better for his having moved there. Congratulations!
  • Window on Eurasia looks at a strange story of Russian speculation about Kazakh pan-Turkic irredentism for Orenburg that can be traced back to one of its own posts.
  • At Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, Frances Woolley takes the time to determine that Canadian university professors tend to be more left-wing than the general Canadian population, and to ask why this is the case.

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Markham, Hamilton, London, Detroit and Windsor, Vancouver

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  • Toronto Life takes a look at the new Aaniin community centre in Markham.
  • The Tower, an anarchist centre in Hamilton, got vandalized in turn after a spate of pointless anarchist vandalism on Locke Street. CBC reports.
  • Will the city of London get plugged into a high-speed rail route? One only hopes, and in the interim, one plans. Global News reports.
  • Making the border crossing between Detroit and Windsor a model for Ireland post-Brexit is a terrible idea. CBC reports.
  • Can Vancouver help solve the problem of housing for the young, including students, by having them rent rooms from compatible older folks? Global News examines the proposal.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: budgets, mass transit, Google, public space, cherry blossoms

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  • Steve Munro at Torontoist notes the serious medium-term budget problems likely to face the city of Toronto.
  • Oliver Moore notes the new federal/provincial partnership that will make $C 9 billion available for mass transit in Toronto, including a priority for funding the Downtown Relief Line. The Globe and Mail has it.
  • There are risks that come with inviting Google to become part of the infrastructure of Toronto. The Toronto Star reports.
  • Gilbert Ngapo notes that people have until the end of the month to send proposals to the Public Space Initiative. More places like the Bentway would be lovely. Metro Toronto has it.
  • I will, of course, be there in High Park to watch the cherry blossoms. blogTO reports.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares some stunning photos of the polar regions of Jupiter, from Juno.
  • Centauri Dreams notes speculation on how antimatter could be harnessed for space propulsion.
  • D-Brief notes how nanotechnological design is used to create tools capable of extracting water from the air above the Atacama.
  • Russell Darnley notes the continuing peat fires in Sumatra’s Riau Province.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes evidence of an ancient cultural diffusion, from Copper Age Iberia, apparently not accompanied by gene flows.
  • Mark Graham links to a paper he co-authored looking at the viability of online work as an option, or not, in the Global South.
  • Hornet Stories notes an upcoming documentary about Harlem fashion figure Dapper Dan.
  • JSTOR Daily notes the surprising controversy around the practice of keeping crickets as pets, for entertainments including music and bloodsports.
  • Language Log looks at the extent to which Xi Jinping actually has been identified as a Tibetan bodhisattva.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the extent to which Mexican society has also experienced negative effects from NAFTA, in ways perhaps not unfamiliar to Americans.
  • Lingua Franca considers the usage of the term “blockbuster”.
  • Neuroskeptic notes a new paper suggesting there is no neurogenesis in adult humans.
  • The NYR Daily features an eyewitness description of a botched execution in Alabama. This one does indeed seem to be particularly barbaric.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes the rise of dictatorship worldwide.
  • Roads and Kingdoms <U?considers the simple joys of chilaquiles sandwiches in Guadalajara.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes the vast bumber of starless planets, rogue planets, out there in the universe.
  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative notes the fact, and the political import of the fact, that public-sector wages in Ontario are higher than private-sector ones.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the continuing decline of the Russian village, not helped by recent changes in policy under Putin.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes the difference, in business, between pre- and post-funding investments.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: Yonge-Dundas Square, mass transit, book sales

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  • Some criticism of Yonge-Dundas Square may be merited, but I think it might be a bit too harsh. What we need is more seating on the square itself. Metronews carries it.
  • Humber Bay Shores is a lovely booming neighbourhood, but it really does need much better public transit options. For starters. The Toronto Star examines the neighbourhood.
  • Steve Munro has some more questions about Metrolinx planning in the GTA.
  • The Smarttrack solution proposed by Mayor John Tory may not be popular among some people in Scarborough. The Toronto Star reports.
  • The upcoming massive book sale at the Toronto Reference Library is one I will be paying attention to. blogTO reports.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • At Anthropology.net, Kambiz Kamrani notes the Qesem caves of Israel, where four hundred thousand years ago hominids learned to make tools.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes that star S2 is about to plunge to its closest approach to Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the heart of our galaxy, and what this means for science.
  • Centauri Dreams takes a look at research done on Earth about the atmospheres of super-Earths.
  • D-Brief takes a look at the recent research done on the regions on the edges of supermassive black holes.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes that the Juno science team thinks that Jupiter probe has exceeded expectations.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the evidence for a massive migration from the steppes into Europe circa 3300 BCE.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas makes the argument that the idea of humane technology is something of an oxymoron.
  • Imageo notes evidence that permafrost will melt more quickly than previous predicted under the impact of global warming.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at explanations for the unusually strong activism among high school students in East Los Angeles in the 1960s.
  • Language Hat looks at evidence for the close relationship, in vocabulary and even in grammar, between the Turkish and Western Armenian languages now separated by bad blood.
  • Lingua Franca notes how easy it is to change conventions on language use–like pronouns, say–at a well-functioning institution.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at the economic progress made, after a recent lull, by Ghana.
  • The NYR Daily looks at the growing involvement of the United States in small wars in Africa, starting with Niger and Cameroon.
  • Justin Petrone at north! reports on a family visit to his ancestral home of Bari, seeing what little remains of the past there.
  • Peter Rukavina wonders, apropos of a very successful experience shopping online at Amazon, how anyone else will be able to compete.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel considers the difference between mathematics and physics. Where is the line to be drawn?
  • Strange Maps’ Frank Jacobs maps obesity in the United States and in Europe.
  • Towleroad reports on the apparent interest of actor Cynthia Nixon in becoming governor of New York.
  • John Scalzi at Whatever is a big fan of A Wrinkle in Time, a movie that is not perfect but is still quite good. I’m curious to see it myself.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on food riots in isolated Turkmenistan.