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[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.

[URBAN NOTE] Five links on cities, from Vancouverites in Port Moody to swimming in Lake Ontario

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  • I really liked this Kerry Gold article in the Globe and Mail showing how the young, priced out of Vancouver, simply went on to remake Port Moody.
  • In the Toronto Star, Edward Keenan describes how the West End Phoenix, a new model of newspaper, is set to develop.
  • Also in the Star, Scott Wheeler describes how Torontonian John Vyga ended up helping take the Berlin Wall down in 1989.
  • Steve Munro takes a look at what the metrics for TTC station cleanliness actually mean. We’re doing better than we think.
  • Shawn Micallef wonders why so few Torontonians make a habit of swimming in Lake Ontario.

[PHOTO] Three photos from the inside of the Toronto Reference Library

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Teddy bear with deerstalker and pipe #toronto #torontoreferencelibrary #teddybear #deerstalkerhat #arthurconandoylecollection

I like a friend’s suggestion that this teddy bear, on display in the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection at the Toronto Reference Library, should bear the name of Bearlock Holmes.

Looking down from the fifth floor #toronto #torontoreferencelibrary #architecture

Two by two, looking down #toronto #torontoreferencelibrary #architecture

Stepping outside the collection, on the fifth floor of the Reference Library, and looking down to the ground floor in the vast interior, the impressive scale of the edifice becomes clear.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 18, 2017 at 11:00 pm

[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.

[NEWS] Five science links: Uganda coffee, the cetenophore, the Rapanui, Proxima b, Przybylski’s star

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  • National Geographic reports on how, unchecked, global warming may wreck the coffee industry of Uganda.
  • Aeon notes the nervous system of the ctenophore, product of a separate evolutionary process from our own.
  • Phys.org describes a recent study suggesting Easter Island was not wrecked by ecocide. (The Rapanui were devastated by others, I would add.)
  • Even with an active magnetic field, an Earth-like atmosphere of Proxima Centauri b might be eroded away by flares. Universe Today reports on the climate model making this prediction.
  • Does bizarre Przybylski’s star, HD 101065, contain exotic superheavy elements in its atmosphere? New Scientist wonders.