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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘alternate history

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte, loneliest galaxy in the Local Group.
  • Centauri Dreams examines the recent detailed view of the star Antares, and notes Antares’ mysteries.
  • False Steps’ Paul Drye notes Project Adam, a Sputnik-era proposal for a manned American suborbital flight.
  • Far Outliers recounts a 1945 encounter between an American general and the Sultan of Sulu, impoverished by the war.
  • Language Log notes the Sino-Indian propaganda video war over their border dispute in the Himalayas.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the messy process of the demobilization of FARC in Colombia.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at how Virginia has managed to become a multicultural success story.
  • The NYR Daily looks at the photos of India taken by Cartier-Bresson.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders how, despite the drug war, Mexico City continues to feel (even be) so peaceful. Can it last?
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel goes through the many reasons why it makes no sense to fear first contact with aliens.
  • Strange Company tells of Bunkie Dodge, pool-playing cat of early 20th century New England.
  • Unicorn Booty notes that the new Taylor Swift song is inspired by Right Said Fred’s “I’m So Sexy.”
  • Window on Eurasia shares an argument that an essentially post-colonial Russophone cultural community cannot coexist with a Russian empire.
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[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • 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 Wednesday links

  • Centauri Dreams reports on the apparent rarity of exomoons of close-orbiting planets.
  • The collapse of the nuclear renaissance is touched on at Crooked Timber. Is it all down to renewables now?
  • Language Hat shares</a. a lovely passage taking a look at writing and memory from an ethnography of central Africa.
  • The outlawing of the Uygur language from the schools of Xinjiang was mentioned at Language Log. This is terrible.</li?
  • The anti-Semitism barely veiled in a Texas campaign against the Democratic Party, noted by Lawyers, Guns and Money, frightens me.
  • The LRB Blog notes that Sylvia Plath stayed in the United Kingdom, far from home, substantially because of the NHS.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at the extent to which the economy and the wealth of the South depends on slavery.
  • Had Mexican-American relations gone only trivially differently, Noel Maurer suggests, Mexico could either have been much larger or substantially smaller.

[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.

[AH] WI Walter Jenkins not arrested in 1964?

It’s Toronto Fringe Festival time, and I’ve been spending much of the past week attending high-quality indie theatre. Last night, I went with a friend to catch a new show that deserves the high ratings it has gotten from critics and audiences, The Seat Next To The King by local playwright Steven Elliott Jackson. The Seat Next To The King imagines an encounter, initially sexual but later more complex, in a Washington D.C. restroom in 1963 between African-American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin and long-time LBJ advisor Walter Jenkins.

In coming years, the two men’s lives would take rather different trajectories, Rustin becoming one of the first out national political figures, and Jenkins’ political career being destroyed in October 1964 when he was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge in a Washington D.C. washroom. Jenkins later returned to Texas and relative anonymity as a chartered accountant.

The arrest of a high-ranking advisor to LBJ for alleged homosexual behaviour could have had national political import. Indeed, some Republicans seem to have tried to publicize this arrest as much as possible, in the hope that the scandal would have an effect on that year’s election. Somewhat to the surprise of many observers at the time, the Jenkins arrest did not have a significant effect on the election, LBJ’s lead over Goldwater and Goldwater’s reluctance to make the arrest a campaign issue. That said, the disappearance of Jenkins from LBJ’s administration might well have had subtler longer-run consequences on American policy, some people suggesting that American policy in Vietnam might have been different (or not) had Jenkins been present to give advice.

Let’s say that Jenkins does not get arrested, not in October of 1964 and not later. What happens next? How is the United States changed with Jenkins still providing advice to LBJ?

(Crossposted to alternatehistory.com.)

Written by Randy McDonald

July 11, 2017 at 11:59 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • James Bow shares his story of how he met famed Canadian kid’s author Gordon Korman.
  • Paul Drye has sales on this month for his two books, space race WI book False Steps and his first, Passing Strangeness.
  • Far Outliers’ Joel notes two overlooked episodes of migration in Canada, of Hawaiians in British Columbia and Canadian exiles in Australia.
  • The Great Grey Bridge’s Philip Turner shared, again, his personal photo essay about his links to and love of Canada.
  • Language Hat looks at the potentially Australian slang phrase “good on you” (pronounced “good onya”, apparently).
  • Language Hat looks at claims that translation and grammar complicate the meaning of the text authorizing the handover of Hong Kong to China.
  • The LRB Blog announces that their #readeverywhere photo contest is up and running for July!
  • Cheri Lucas Rowlands shares a gorgeous photo essay of her trip to Chania, on Crete.
  • Unicorn Booty has an interesting essay looking at the barriers to membership imposed by gay culture on newly-out members of the community.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the cost of the Russian war in Ukraine and argues that the consequences of a crash now would be worse than in 1998.

[NEWS] Five Fourth of July links, from holiday fireworks mayhem to alternate history to Trump

  • Strange Company shares some vintage stories of mayhem, mostly fireworks-related, from 4th of July celebrations a century ago.
  • In The Atlantic, Uri Friedman interviews Harry Turtledove about alternate history, starting with the possibility of a failed War of American Independence.
  • Tristin Hopper of the National Post shares a decidedly contrarian–Loyalist, even–take on the War of American Independence.
  • Jeff Stein of Vox argues that American liberals should not reject American independence, with its real radicalism and egalitarianism.
  • At VICE, Harry Cheadle interviews Mike Jakeman about the implications of the Trump disinterest in global leadership.