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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Antipope Charlie Stross takes a look at the parlous state of the world, and imagines what if the US and UK went differently.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait takes a look at Sirius, including white dwarf Sirius B.
  • Centauri Dreams considers Cassini’s final function, as a probe of Saturn’s atmosphere.
  • D-Brief notes the discovery that diamonds rain deep in Neptune (and Uranus).
  • Bruce Dorminey reports on a NASA scientist’s argument that we need new interstellar probes, not unlike Voyager 1.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at the way a course syllabus is like a Van Halen contract rider.
  • Language Hat takes a look at the palimpsests of St. Catherine’s Monastery, deep in the Sinai.
  • Language Log looks at the etymology, and the history, of chow mein.
  • The LRB Blog recounts a visit to Mount Rushmore in the era of Trump.
  • Marginal Revolution takes a look at the question of why Mexico isn’t enjoying higher rates of economic growth.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw considers the extent to which politics these days is just sound and fury, meaning nothing.
  • Mark Simpson links to an essay of his explaining why we should be glad the Smiths broke up in 1987.
  • Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle considers the import, to him and the environment, of a spring near his cottage.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel looks at the abundance of black holes in our galaxy, more than one hundred million.
  • Unicorn Booty notes that smoking marijuana might–might–have sexual benefits.
  • Window on Eurasia shares an argument that ethnic Russians in Russia share issue in common with whites in America, and reports on an argument made by one man that ethnic Russians in republics need not learn local languages.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • Anthrodendum’s Alex Golub talks about anthropologists of the 20th century who resisted fascism.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes a study suggesting the TRAPPIST-1 system might be substantially older than our own solar system.
  • Centauri Dreams considers tidal locking as a factor relevant to Earth-like planetary environments.
  • The Crux shows efforts to help the piping plover in its home on the dunes of the Great Lakes coast of Pennsylvania.
  • Dead Things considers the evidence for the presence of modern humans in Sumatra 73 thousand years ago.
  • Bruce Dorminey makes the case for placing a lunar base not on the poles, but rather in the material-rich nearside highlands.
  • Far Outliers shares some evocative placenames from Japan, like Togakushi (‘door-hiding’) from ninja training spaces.
  • Language Hat notes the exceptionally stylistically uneven Spanish translation of the Harry Potter series.
  • Language Log thinks, among other things, modern technologies make language learning easier than ever before.
  • The LRB Blog notes how claims to trace modern Greece directly to the Mycenaean era are used to justify ultranationalism.
  • Marginal Revolution considers which countries are surrounded by enemies. (India rates poorly by this metric.)
  • The Numerati’s Stephen Baker considers how Confederate statues are products of recycling, like so much in our lives.
  • The NYR Daily considers the unique importance of Thomas Jefferson, a man at once statesman and slaver.
  • The Planetary Society Blog celebrated the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 2 Sunday.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that, for a country fighting a drug war, Mexico spends astonishingly little on its police force.
  • Drew Rowsome takes a look at classic John Wayne Western, The Train Robbers.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel considers the critical role of NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer.
  • Strange Company notes the many legends surrounding the early 19th century US’ Theodosia Burr.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy hosts Ilya Somin’ argument against world government, as something limiting of freedom. Thoughts?
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Ukrainians are turning from Russia, becoming more foreign to their one-time partner.

[ISL] Four links from islands, from dividing Ireland, to the Chamorro and Haida, to the Caribbean

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  • Peter Geoghegan writes at Open Democracy about the mess that Brexit has made of Ireland, two decades after the Troubles’ end.
  • Anthrodendum’s Alex Golub notes that a North Korean attack on Guam, among other things, would threaten the Chamorro natives of the island.
  • The Toronto Star carries an excerpt from a book by Mark Dowie looking at how the Haida, of Haida Gwaii, managed to win government recognition of their existence.
  • CBC’s Sameer Chhabra explores how Canadian students at Caribbean medical schools find it very difficult to get jobs back home.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: the Toronto Public Library, Hanlan’s, parks, and Montréal laneways

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  • blogTO notes that the Toronto Reference Library will be holding a huge sale again next week.
  • Inside Toronto profiles Sephora Hussein, new collection head of the Merril Collection.
  • Michael Lyons writes about the importance of the newly-reopened Hanlan’s beach on the Toronto Islands.
  • Jake Tobin Garrett argues at Torontoist for the importance of the proposed Rail Deck Park.
  • Emily Macrae argues at Torontoist there is much Toronto can learn from the green–literally–laneways of Montréal.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

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  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly re-introduces herself to her readers.
  • Bruce Dorminey shares one man’s theory about how extraterrestrials could use exoplanet sightings to build up a galactic communications network.
  • Far Outliers shares some unusual Japanese words, starting with “amepotu” for American potato.
  • Language Hat takes</a. note of an effort to preserve the Kiowa language.
  • Did the spokeswoman of the NRA threaten to “fisk” the New York Times or threaten something else? Language Log reports.
  • Drew Rowsome notes that, compared to San Francisco, Toronto does not have much of a public kink scene.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel examines the quantum reasons behind the explosion produced by sodium metal and water.
  • Understanding Society takes rightful issue with The Guardian’s shoddy coverage of Dearborn, Michigan, and that city’s Muslims and/or Arabs.
  • Unicorn Booty notes that Canada is, at last, starting to take in queer refugees from Chechnya.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes the embarrassing support for Jean-Luc Mélenchon for Venezuela. Was opposing the US all he wanted?

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • Centauri Dreams notes the exobiological potential of Titamn after the detection of acrylonitrile. Cryogenic life?
  • This guest essay at Lawyers, Guns and Money on the existential problems of Brazil, with politics depending on people not institutions, is a must-read.
  • The LRB Blog considers, in the context of Brexit, what exactly might count for some as a marker of dictatorship.
  • Did the 15th century construction of the Grand Canal in China lead the Ming away from oceanic travel? Marginal Revolution speculates.
  • The NYR Daily considers</a. the disconcertingly thorough and apparently effective of Kagame's Rwanda.
  • Out There explores the reasons why the most massive planets all have the same size.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes the 5th anniversary of the arrival of Curiosity on Mars.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that, with regards to Venezuela, the United States has no good options.
  • Roads and Kingdoms considers the febrile political mood of Kenya.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that Putin is making the mistake of seeing the United States through the prism of Russia.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes a proposal for British mayors to have representation at Brexit talks makes no sense.

[URBAN NOTE] Four notes about cities, communities: Smiths Falls, Oshawa, Halifax, same-sex couples

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  • I am glad that Smiths Falls survived–it was lovely when I visited in 2003. If it is marijuana that saved it, good. From Global News.
  • That Oshawa–the ‘Shwa, to GTAers–has managed to evolve past dependence on cars is a very good thing indeed. The Toronto Star reports.
  • Can Halifax support the proposed light rail network? This sounds like a good idea, but I would say that, then. Global News describes the proposal.
  • Patrick Cain does a great job analyzing the 2016 Census data on same-sex couples in Canada: distribution, ages, etc. His analysis is at Global News.