A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘africa

[NEWS] Four science links, from water on the frontier to climate change to Tau Ceti exoplanets

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  • At Wired, Matt Simon explores the remarkably wrong-headed theory of the 19th century US that “rain follows the plough.”
  • These National Geographic photos of the unexplored lakes in Angola that feed the Okavango are remarkable.
  • Rachel Brown examines billy burr, the Colorado hermit whose collection of decades of climate data is invaluable.
  • Universe Today notes a new study confirming the existence of Tau Ceti e and f, potentially habitable rocky exoplanets just 12 light years away.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 9, 2017 at 10:59 pm

[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.

[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.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • Charley Ross reports on an unexpected personal involvement in the disappearance of Kori Gossett. Did an informant know?
  • Citizen Science Salon reports, in the time of #sharkweek, on the sevengill sharks.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to an article on the Chinese base in Sudan.
  • Inkfish has a fascinating article describing how New Zealand’s giant black swans went extinct, and were replaced.
  • Language Hat notes two obscure words of Senegalese French, “laptot” and “signare”. What do they mean? Go see.
  • Language Log argues that the influx of English loanwords in Chinese is remarkable. Does it signal future changes in language?
  • Lawyers, Guns Money notes how Los Angeles and southern California were, during the American Civil War, a stronghold of secessionist sentiment, and runs down some of the problems of Mexico, including the militarization of crime.
  • Marginal Revolution reports on what books by which authors tend to get stolen from British bookstores.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer suggests that Donald Trump is not likely to be able to substantially reshape NAFTA.
  • Roads and Kingdoms reports from the recent protests in Poland against changes to the Supreme Court.
  • Understanding Society takes a look at the structure of the cities of medieval Europe, which apparently were dynamic and flexible.
  • Unicorn Booty shares some classic gay board games.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that Russia is going to try to wage a repeat of the Winter War on Ukraine.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Crooked Timber’s John Quiggin considers imaginable ways to get carbon dioxide in the atmosphere down to 350 ppm by 2100.
  • Karen Sternheimer at the Everyday Sociology Blog considers the tenuous nature of the upper-middle class in America. How is downwards mobility to be avoided, even here?
  • Imageo shows the growth of a sunspot larger than the Earth.
  • Language Hat shares the story of how Manchu script came to be.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the working poor need protection from arbitrary and always-changing work schedules.
  • The LRB Blog notes the geopolitical scramble at the Horn of Africa, starting with bases in Djibouti.
  • The NYR Daily engages with an intriguing exhibition about the relationship between Henry James and paintings, and painting.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw engages with the classic 1937 Australian film, Lovers and Luggers.
  • Noel Maurer at The Power and the Money notes that one benefit of the trend towards greater informality in fashion is that time has been freed up, especially for women.
  • Peter Rukavina writes about his new Instagram account, hosting his various sketches.
  • Unicorn Booty notes the continuing problems with Germany’s adoption laws for same-sex couples.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy looks at how the Polish president saved the independence of Poland’s courts with his veto.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russia is trying to mobilize the ethnic Russians of Lithuania, finally.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Anthrodendum takes a look at how surfing has been commodified.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the stellar occultation that has revealed information about MU69, the next New Horizons target.
  • Crooked Timber’s Corey Robin takes issue with Mélenchon’s take on anti-Semitism and the French role in the Holocaust.
  • D-Brief notes that we really are not good at detecting faked photos.
  • Dangerous Minds shares some vintage photos of strippers from the 1960s.
  • Michael Sacasas of The Frailest Things looks, again, at the technologically enchanted world.
  • Language Log takes issue with the dismissive treatment of “… in a woodpile.” The expression is poison.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the dual position of the camel among the Sahrawi, as wild and tame at once.
  • Neuroskeptic looks at the problems of neuroscience, statistically.
  • The NYR Daily considers the hacking of the American vote. Who did it? Who gained?
  • Science Sushi notes that climate change threats African wild dogs’ survival.
  • Window on Eurasia notes an Armenian argument that Russia lacks the soft power that the Soviet Union once enjoyed.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Apostrophen’s ‘Nathan Smith updates his readers about the progress of his various writing projects.
  • The Big Picture shares photos from the Battle of Mosul waged against ISIS.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the discovery of rogue binary planet 2MASS J11193254–1137466, two super-Jupiters by themselves.
  • Dangerous Minds notes the raw photography of early 20th century New York City’s Weegee.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money is rightly unimpressed by the reflexive Russophilia of The Nation. Imperialism is still imperialism …
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen strongly recommends Dali, in the Chinese province of Yunnan, for tourists.
  • The NYR Daily features Masha Gessen, looking at the truth underneath the lies of Trump.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer makes a case that Macron’s use of “civilizational” to describe Africa’s issues might be the subject of over-quick outrage.
  • Peter Rukavina describes his two weeks with a Nokia N95, without a modern smartphone. There was good and bad to this.
  • Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle explains, with photos, what hoverflies are and why they are so important.
  • Understanding Society considers a fraught question: what paths to modernization were open for China in the 1930s, before the People’s Republic?
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that, in 30 years, Moscow will be a megacity with a large population of (substantially immigrant) Muslim origin.