A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘agriculture

[NEWS] Four science links: Venus and Earth, Greenland shark, maple syrup, black hole J1342+0928

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  • Does Venus have a much weaker magnetic field than the Earth because Venus, unlike the Earth, did not suffer a massive Moon-creating impact? Universe Today reports.
  • M.R. O’Connor tells the story of how scientists managed to figure out how amazingly long the Greenland shark can live. The New Yorker has it.
  • Climate Central notes how, thanks to global warming, maple syrup season is starting earlier every year and the heartland of production is moving ever more to the north.
  • At Wired, Joshua Sokol reports on the distant and mysteriously massive black hole J1342+0928. How did it become so incredibly massive–780 million solar masses–when the universe was less than a billion years old?
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Written by Randy McDonald

December 9, 2017 at 11:59 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • At Antipope, Charlie Stross examines the connections between bitcoin production and the alt-right. Could cryptocurrency have seriously bad political linkages?
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes GW170680, a recent gravitational wave detection that is both immense in its effect and surprising for its detection being normal.
  • Centauri Dreams reports on a new study suggesting hot Jupiters are so large because they are heated by their local star.
  • Crooked Timber counsels against an easy condemnation of baby boomers as uniquely politically malign.
  • Daily JSTOR notes one paper that takes a look at how the surprisingly late introduction of the bed, as a piece of household technology, changed the way we sleep.
  • Dangerous Minds shares a 1968 newspaper interview with Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, talking about Charlie Manson and his family and their influence on him.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog takes a look at the opioid epidemic and the way that it is perceived.
  • At A Fistful of Euros, Alex Harrowell suggests that the unsolvable complexities of Northern Ireland may be enough to avoid a hard Brexit after all.
  • The LRB Blog describes a visit to a seaside village in Costa Rica where locals and visitors try to save sea turtles.
  • Lingua Franca reflects on the beauty of the Icelandic language.
  • The Map Room Blog shares an awesome map depicting the locations of the stars around which we have detected exoplanets.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the ill health of North Korean defectors, infected with parasites now unseen in South Korea.
  • Roads and Kingdoms reports on the revival of fonio, a West African grain that is now starting to see successful marketing in Senegal.
  • Spacing reviews a fascinating book examining the functioning of urban villages embedded in the metropoli of south China.
  • Strange Company reports on the mysterious 1920 murder of famous bridge player Joseph Bowne Elwell.
  • Towleroad reports on Larnelle Foster, a gay black man who was a close friend of Meghan Markle in their college years.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that, although Ukraine suffered the largest number of premature dead in the Stalinist famines of the 1930s, Kazakhstan suffered the greatest proportion of dead.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell has a photo essay looking at the Berlin Brandenburg Airport, still years away from completion and beset by many complex failures of its advanced systems. What does the failure of this complex system say about others we may wish to build?

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • 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.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

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  • blogTO shares a raft of photos from Toronto in the 1910s.
  • Daily JSTOR notes the profound democratic symbolism of the doughnut. Seriously.
  • D-Brief notes a contentious argument that organic agriculture could, if well-managed, be productive enough to feed the population of the world.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a study of the complex environment of dust and debris around young protostar L1527.
  • Far Outliers notes the central role of Hitler in avoiding the crushing of the BEF at Dunkirk. Apparently the British Empire and the Catholic Church were the two world forces he did not wish to crush.
  • Hornet Stories makes the perfectly obvious point that websites which collect photos of attractive guys taken without their consent are actually sketchy, legally and ethically. Why it has to be made, I don’t know.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money takes time from providing political coverage to share a recipe for a delicious-sounding slow-cooker corn/salmon/bacon chowder.
  • The Map Room Blog notes the updated looks of Google Maps.
  • The NYR Daily examines the ad hoc and DIY nature of disaster relief on Puerto Rico post-Maria.
  • Seriously Science notes a paper suggesting that bearded men tend to be more sexist than non-bearded men.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel cautions against a tendency to pick up on astronomical mysteries as proof of dark matter’s existence.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that wealthy Russians are quietly shifting their wealth and investing in property in Europe.
  • Arnold Zwicky notes a new effort to employ the principles of Basic English, conveying as much meaning as possible with as few worlds as imaginable.

[PHOTO] Potato fields stretching from Point Prim Road down to Long Creek, PEI

This vista, of fields dense with white potato blossoms flowing south to the blue Long Creek and the Northumberland Strait beyond, past farms and isolated houses and Camp Buchan, struck me when I saw it from the car. Happily, my parents were more than willing to stop to let me photograph this.

Potato fields stretching from Point Prim Road down to Long Creek (1) #pei #princeedwardisland #belfast #longcreek #potato #potatoes #fields #northumberlandstrait #pointprimroad #latergram

Potato fields stretching from Point Prim Road down to Long Creek (2) #pei #princeedwardisland #belfast #longcreek #potato #potatoes #fields #northumberlandstrait #pointprimroad #latergram

Potato fields stretching from Point Prim Road down to Long Creek (3) #pei #princeedwardisland #belfast #longcreek #potato #potatoes #blossoms #fields #northumberlandstrait #pointprimroad #latergram

Potato fields stretching from Point Prim Road down to Long Creek (4) #pei #princeedwardisland #belfast #longcreek #potato #potatoes #blossoms #fields #northumberlandstrait #pointprimroad #latergram

Potato fields stretching from Point Prim Road down to Long Creek (5) #pei #princeedwardisland #belfast #longcreek #potato #potatoes #blossoms #fields #northumberlandstrait #pointprimroad #latergram

Potato fields stretching from Point Prim Road down to Long Creek (6) #pei #princeedwardisland #belfast #longcreek #potato #potatoes #blossoms #fields #northumberlandstrait #pointprimroad #latergram

Written by Randy McDonald

November 15, 2017 at 8:00 am

[ISL] Three PEI links: economic growth, employment insurance zones, gleaners in the fields

  • Prince Edward Island is apparently again leading the Maritimes in economic growth. This is something of an unexpected reversal. The Guardian reports.
  • The division of PEI into two zones for employment insurance purposes, one around Charlottetown and the other including the rest of the island, does–among other things–reflect growing regional economic divides. CBC reports.
  • Gleaners, people combing the fields of the Island looking for edible food left after the harvest, is apparently a thing. CBC reports.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 13, 2017 at 10:30 pm

[NEWS] Six notes about science: birds, Julie Payette, agriculture, wood in space, Enceladus, minds

  • Can parrots, capable of speech, be witnesses in criminal cases? Maybe. Atlas Obscura reports.
  • Julie Payette’s speech in defense of science, regarding climate change and the like, might well have been a bit more politic. (Maybe.) MacLean’s looks at the controversy.
  • Was sedentary agricultural civilization a mistake, as some suggest? The New Republic reports on the state of the debate.
  • Scientific American reports on the United States’ 1960s probes Ranger 3 through 5, built partly of wood.
  • Universe Today notes a new model suggesting that a porous rocky core could help Enceladus keep a liquid water ocean for billions of years.
  • The Walrus reports on how two conjoined twins, who seem to have access to each other’s consciousness, are proving very interesting theories of mind.