A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘balkans

[AH] Seven #alternatehistory r/imaginarymaps maps: Vinland, Mali, Korea, Poland, Balkans …

  • This r/imaginarymaps map traces a slow diffusion of Christianity westwards from a Vinland colony.
  • This r/imaginarymaps map imagines a transatlantic empire based in Africa, with the late 15th century Mali Empire extending its rule to Brazil and elsewhere.
  • This r/imaginarymaps map imagines a Joseon Korea that becomes the seat of a transpacific empire.
  • What if, this r/imaginarymaps map imagines, instead of turning east to Lithuania Poland turned west towards Czechia?
  • What if, this r/imaginarymaps map imagines, the Balkans retained a substantially larger Muslim population?
  • This r/imaginarymaps map imagines a Greater Denmark, expanding east and south.
  • Could Scotland ever have become, as this r/imaginarymaps map imagines, a maritime mercantile power?

[AH] Five #alternatehistory maps from r/imaginarymaps: Balkans, Ethiopia, Europe, Australia, Bengal

  • This r/imaginarymaps map imagines a Balkans where Muslims remain in larger numbers throughout the peninsula, leading to border changes in the south, particularly.
  • An Ethiopia that has conquered most of the Horn of Africa by the mid-19th century, even going into Yemen, is the subject of this r/imaginarymaps map. Could this ever have happened?
  • This r/imaginarymaps map imagines, here, a unified European Confederation descending from a conquest of Europe by Napoleon. Would this have been stable, I wonder?
  • Was the unification of Australia inevitable, or, as this r/imaginarymaps post suggests, was a failure to unify or even a later split imaginable?
  • Was a unified and independent Bengal possible, something like what this r/imaginarymaps post depicts?

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • D-Brief considers the possibility that human food when eaten by bears, by shortening their hibernation periods, might contribute to their premature aging.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers the political power of sports and of music.
  • Far Outliers notes the rising bourgeoisie of Calcutta in the 1990s.
  • Steve Roby at The Fifteenth makes the case for Discovery as worthy of being considered Star Trek, not least because it is doing something new.
  • L.M. Sacasas at The Frailest Thing notes how our tendency to track our lives through data can become dystopian.
  • JSTOR Daily notes that Illinois is starting to become home to resident populations of bald eagles.
  • Language Log takes a look at Ubykh.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes a Trumpist Canadian border guard.
  • The New APPS Blog notes how helicopter parenting is linked to rising levels of inequality.
  • The NYR Daily considers Jasper Johns.
  • At Out of Ambit, Diane Duane considers the rhythms and cycles of life generally and of being a writer specifically.
  • Otto Pohl looks at how people from the different German communities of southeast Europe were, at the end of the Second World War, taken to the Soviet Union as forced labourers.
  • Steve Maynard writes at Spacing, in the aftermath of the death of Jackie Shane, about the erasure and recovery of non-white queer history in Toronto.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel explains what would happen if someone fell into a blackhole.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that the number of immigrants to Russia are falling, with Ukrainians diminishing particularly in number while Central Asian numbers remain more resistant to the trend.
  • Arnold Zwicky notes the telling omission of sexual orientation as a protected category re: hate crimes.

[NEWS] Five language links: Macedonian, Inuktitut, Afrikaans, Slavic languages, Catalan

  • The Conversation takes a look at the fierce repression faced by the Macedonian language in early 20th century Greece.
  • Creating an Inuktitut word for marijuana is a surprisingly controversial task. The Toronto Star reports.
  • The representation of non-whites in the Afrikaans language community–the majority population of Afrikaans speakers, actually, despite racism–is a continuing issue. The Christian Science Monitor reports.
  • Far Outliers considers the question of just how many different Slavic languages there actually are. Where are boundaries drawn?
  • The Catalan language remains widely spoken by ten million people in Europe, but outside of Catalonia proper–especially in French Roussillon–usage is declining.

[NEWS] Five notes about migration: Albania, Venezuela, Latvia, Namibia and East Germany, Yunnan

  • This report from the Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso noting the sheer scale of emigration in parts of rural Albania, proceeding to the point of depopulating entire territories, tells a remarkable story.
  • This opinion suggesting that, due to the breakdown of the economy of Venezuela, we will soon see a refugee crisis rivaling Syria’s seems frighteningly plausible.
  • Politico Europe notes that, in the case of Latvia, where emigration has helped bring the country’s population down below two million, there are serious concerns.
  • OZY tells the unexpected story of hundreds of young Namibian children who, during apartheid, were raised in safety in Communist East Germany.
  • Many Chinese are fleeing the pollution of Beijing and other major cities for new lives in the cleaner environments in the southern province of Yunnan. The Guardian reports.

[NEWS] Four LGBTQ links: Chechnya, Albania, families

  • CBC shares the story of Maxim Lapunov, a surviving victim of Chechnya’s gay pogroms who escaped to Canada.
  • Kristi Penderi writes about his LGBT activism in Albania made a difference, even though he had to eventually leave.
  • Jessie Randall writes about her struggles to become an aspiring young mother as a coupled lesbian.
  • Naveen Kumar at VICE shares stories of gay men who donated sperm to lesbians and helped create new families.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 21, 2017 at 3:30 pm

[NEWS] Four pop culture links: art in Parkdale, Wanda Nanibush, Balkan media, Canadian Thanksgiving

  • The way art helped build a stronger community in Parkdale is the subject of this NOW Toronto article.
  • The AGO has just landed a new curator of indigenous art, Anishinabe-kwe artist Wanda Nanibush.
  • Transitions Online notes how, under Communism, different Balkan peoples kept looking to a different west for entertainment.
  • MacLean’s looks at the history of Canadian Thanksgiving.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 13, 2017 at 4:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • blogTO looks at deserted Mirvish Village.
  • Crooked Timber reenages with the Rachel Carson and DDT myth.
  • The Crux looks at the Mandela Effect, exploring false memories.
  • Dangerous Minds makes the case for the musical genius of Bobbie Gentry.
  • From the Heart of Europe’s Nicholas Whyte recounts his visit to Albania’s bunker museum.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes Brazil’s retirement of its only aircraft carrier.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the extent and speed of events in the Trump Administration.
  • Marginal Revolution engages with a book examining France’s carving out a “cultural exception” in international trade agreements.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reports on the passing of rulership of the Australian micronation of Hutt River.
  • Peter Rukavina shares good advice for visiting museums: visit only what you can take in.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at Russian Orthodox Church opposition to a certain kind of Russian civic nationality, and argues Russia is losing even its regional superpower status.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell reports on how local councils in the United Kingdom are speculating on commercial property.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • blogTO wonders, in the aftermath of companies confiscating bicycles parked on city property, if Toronto should clearly mark off public and private space on its streets.
  • Centauri Dreams studies news that the Stardust probe may have captured bits of the interstellar medium.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze reports that sun-like Alpha Centauri A and B can both support planets in stable Earth-like orbits.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the impact of changing patterns of snowfall on Arctic ice.
  • Eastern Approaches studies Balkan volunteers in wars abroad, both that of Albanians in the Middle East and of Serbs for Russia in Ukraine.
  • Far Outliers looks at Japan’s farmer-soldiers on the late 19th century Hokkaido frontier.
  • Spacing Toronto favourably reviews the new psychogeography-themed book Unruly Places.
  • Understanding Society points to the massive success of a comparative statistical analysis of historical Eurasian populations.
  • Window on Eurasia links to a photo essay of an empty post-Olympics Sochi.
  • Writing Through the Fog’s Cheri Lucas Rowlands argues that modern social media hinders memoir writing, by making it too easy to publish quickly.
  • Wonkman points out that the problem with subtle homoeroticism in modern popular culture is that, well, it doesn’t need to be subtle any more. What needs to be hidden?

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Beyond the Beyond’s Bruce Sterling is impressed by The Atlantic‘s prediction of disruptive change coming in consumer technology.
  • Centauri Dreams highlights a recent study suggesting that, so long as they don’t have too much water, super-Earths could have habitable land surfaces. (The study was promoted on social media as noting that Superman’s Krypton could exist.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that mini-Neptunes may be very common planets than their absence in our neck of the woods suggests, and studies the circumstellar habitable zones of binary star systems.
  • Eastern Approaches takes a look at what will happen in the Balkans this year. The anniversary of the start of the First World War will feature prominently.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis is critical of the recent suggestion to divide California into six states, on various grounds of plausibility.
  • Joe. My. God notes the news that something like a hundred firefightiers and police in New York City have been arrested on charges for falsely claiming injuries from 9/11.
  • At the Planetary Society, Van Kane argues that an inexpensive but effective mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa is quite possible.
  • Peter Rukavina celebrates his house’s reproduction on an album cover.
  • Steve Munro won’t take undue criticism of streetcars based on their response to bad weather this past week.
  • Supernova Condensate shares a photographer image of exoplanet Beta Pictoris b.
  • Towleroad celebrates Lily Tomlin’s marriage and notes that Russian actor and homophobe Ivan Okhlobystin, fresh for calling for the extermination of GLBT people in furnaces, wants gay sex to be re-illegalized in Russia.