A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

leave a comment »

  • D-Brief notes that the opioid epidemic seems to be hitting baby boomers and millennials worst, of all major American demographics.
  • Hornet Stories shares one timetable for new DC films following Justice League.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a case brought by a Romanian before the European Court of Justice regarding citizenship rights for his American spouse. This could have broad implications for the recognition of same-sex couples across the EU, not just its member-states.
  • Language Hat reports on a journalist’s search for a village in India where Sanskrit, ancient liturgical language of Hinduism, remains the vernacular.
  • The Map Room Blog links to a review of an intriuging new book, Nowherelands, looking at ephemeral countries in the 1840-1975 era.
  • The NYR Daily looks at the textile art of Anni Albers.
  • The Planetary Society Blog explores the navigational skills of the Polynesians, and their reflection in Moana.
  • Roads and Kingdoms reports on the widespread jubilation in Zimbabwe following the overthrow of Mugabe.
  • Rocky Planet notes that Öræfajökull, the largest volcano in Iceland if a hidden one, has been showing worrying signs of potential eruption.
  • Drew Rowsome reports on House Guests, an art installation that has taken over an entire house at Dundas and Ossington.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel looks at the story of how the quantum property of spin was discovered.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests new Russian policies largely excluding non-Russian languages from education are causing significant problems, even ethnic conflict.
  • Arnold Zwicky considers music as a trigger of emotional memory, generally and in his own life.
Advertisements

[NEWS] Five links on science, culture: blue whales, Hedy Lamarr, telecom, infrastructure, misogyny

leave a comment »

  • Apparently 80% of blue whales are left-handed. National Geographic reports.
  • The FCC has just stopped support for a program that subsidizes vital telecommunications for, among other groups, Native Americans. VICE reports.
  • Between political challenges and problems with construction, major infrastructure projects are failing to meet their goals at a noteworthy rate. National Geographic reports.
  • VICE recounts the story of Hedy Lamarr, noteworthy actor and brilliant scientist, from the perspective of a documentary noting how misogyny kept her from employing her talents to the fullest.
  • This Claire Dederer article in The Paris Review, talking about the works of monstrous men can (or should?) be salvaged from the legacies of their creators, is tremendously important.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

leave a comment »

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the bizarre extrasolar visitor ‘Oumuamua, as does Centauri Dreams, as does Bruce Dorminey. Yes, this long cylindrical extrasolar visitor swinging around the sun on a hyperbolic orbit does evoke classic SF.
  • The Boston Globe’s The Big Picture shares some photos of autumn from around the world.
  • D-Brief examines how artificial intelligences are making their own videos, albeit strange and unsettling ones.
  • Dangerous Minds shares some Alfred Stieglitz photos of Georgia O’Keefe.
  • Daily JSTOR takes a look at the mulberry tree craze in the United States.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining at water delivery to terrestrial planets in other solar systems. Worlds with as little water as Earth are apparently difficult to produce in this model.
  • Hornet Stories profiles the gay destination of Puerto Vallarta, in Mexico.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the new vulnerability of Haitian migrants in the United States.
  • The LRB Blog notes the end of the Mugabe era in Zimbabwe.
  • The NYR Daily features a stellar Elaine Showalter review of a Sylvia Plath exhibition at the Smithsonian National Picture Gallery.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reports on how the production of New England Cheese reflects the modernization of Australian agriculture.
  • Roads and Kingdoms reports on the awkward position of Rohingya refugees in India, in Jammu, at a time when they are facing existential pressures from all sides.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel shares twenty beautiful photos of Mars.
  • Towleroad shares a fun video from Pink, “Beautiful Trauma”, featuring Channing Tatum.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that a Trump executive order threatening sanctuary cities has been overturned in court.
  • Window on Eurasia notes one study claiming that the children of immigrant workers in Russia tend to do better than children of native-born Russians.

[PHOTO] Emu, looking back, High Park Zoo

leave a comment »

Emu, looking back #toronto #highpark #highparkzoo #birds #emu #latergram

I love visiting the High Park Zoo to see its resident emus, I have lately realized, because emus provide visual proof that dinosaurs have continued to the present day. Dinosaurs are not, as the consensus of a few decades’ ago would have had it, a vast grouping of life that went extinct. Dinosaurs have, rather, continued, evolving after the Cretaceous into a plethora of new and highly capable species. Some of these species look at a first glance less like their distant fossil ancestors than others, but others–the emu and other flightless birds–like so like the dinosaurs of old that it is surprising it was ever thought birds were not dinosaurs.

Things hang around–it’s just a matter of looking for them.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 21, 2017 at 8:06 pm

[NEWS] Five assorted links: turkey, Mojave phone booth, LGBT apology, Anne Murray, Morrissey

leave a comment »

  • National Geographic takes a look at the natural history of the surprisingly stunning turkey, dispersed across North America and with an underrated beauty.
  • Urban Ghosts Media tells the strange story of a working phone booth stranded in the Mojave Desert, and the tissue of myths and culture that grew up around it.
  • CBC notes that Justin Trudeau is set to issue an official apology to the LGBTQ people purged from government service by past generations’ homophobia.
  • Anne Murray just made a massive donation of archival material from her long life and career to the University of Toronto’s library system. Respect.
  • Morrissey’s statements for sexual abusers and against multiculturalism and etnic minorities are almost more upsetting for the fact that they were so freely offered. However good the man’s music is, should we music fans still support it, and him?

[NEWS] Three notes about genetics and history and the future: Georgia, Beothuk, Amish

leave a comment »

  • Archeological work has revealed evidence of vineyards in the Republic of Georgia dating back eight thousand years. National Geographic reports.
  • This extended article looks at the ways in which modern genetics are revealing the ancient history of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, using the Beothuk as an example. The Guardian has it.
  • Joe O’Connor describes how an obscure mutation among the Amish governing blood clotting may offer guides for people interested in extending human longevity, over at the National Post.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

leave a comment »

  • James Bow notes, by way of explaining new fiction he is writing, why a Mercury colony makes sense.
  • JSTOR Daily notes the life of Anita Brenner, a Mexican-born American Jewish writer who helped connect the two North American neighbours.
  • Far Outliers’ Joel notes the cautious approach of the United States towards famine relief in the young Soviet Union in 1922.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas shares a brief Lewis Mumford quote, talking about how men became mechanical in spirit before they invented complex machines.
  • Hornet Stories celebrates the many ways in which the movie Addams Family Values is queer.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the idea of what “thoughtfulness” means in relation to Senator Al Franken.
  • The Map Room Blog shares a few more fantasy map generators.
  • The NYR Daily considers the thoughtful stamp art of Vincent Sardon.
  • Progressive Download’s John Farrell recommends Adam Rutherford’s new book, A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, on genomics and history.
  • Towleroad notes that Demi Levato took trans Virginian politician Danica Roem her to the American Music Awards.
  • Window on Eurasia shares a Tatar cleric’s speculation that Russia’s undermining of the Tatar language in education might push Tatars away from Russia.