A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘biology

[NEWS] Five science links: ancient humans, animal minds, green Asia, generation starships, SN1987A

  • Quanta Magazine notes that the deep learning offered by new artificial intelligences can help pick out traces of non-homo sapiens ancestry in our current gene pool.
  • This sensitive article in The Atlantic examines the extent to which consciousness and emotion are ubiquitous in the world of animals.
  • NASA notes evidence of the great greening of China and India, associated not only with agriculture in both countries but with the commitment of China to reforestation projects.
  • Mashable examines the fundamental brittleness of closed systems that will likely limit the classical generation starship.
  • SciTechDaily notes new observations of SN 1987A revealing a much greater prediction of dust than previously believed.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • The Big Picture shares some of the Boston Globe’s most noteworthy photos from January.
  • Centauri Dreams hosts Larry Klaes’ review of the 1972 sci-fi film Silent Running.
  • Dangerous Minds reports on a 1988 documentary of a spontaneous street Superbowl party, Show Us Your Belly.
  • D-Brief notes evidence that the dependence of pandas on bamboo as a major foodstuff is actually recent, perhaps a consequence of a recent contraction in the territory of the panda.
  • Bruce Dorminey reports on one NASA scientist’s examination of what we need to do to progress more rapidly in space travel.
  • Gizmodo notes that the Parker Solar Probe is heading for another close rendezvous with the Sun.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how, in cities, environments like gardens and hotel patios can be used to provide shelter for bees.
  • Language Hat looks at some of the unusual names given by Puritan parents to their children in 17th century England.
  • The LRB Blog looks at how, in its ongoing state of emergency, France is repressing peaceful protest.
  • The Map Room Blog notes how climate zones are shifting as the world climate changes.
  • Marginal Revolution notes how population growth is so much more rapid in the modern developing world than in 19th century Europe, simply because of the lower mortality rates of our era.
  • Rocky Planet looks at primordial bodies in our solar system, like asteroids and Kuiper belt objects.
  • Mark Simpson looks at how a 1970s BBC comedy show, It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum, played with norms of sexuality and gender.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel looks at the potentially revolutionary implications if dark energy turns out to not be a constant.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that, if nuclear weapons were not involved, Japan could win a naval war with Russia over the Kurils.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Architectuul looks at the divided cities of the divided island of Cyprus.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares an image of a galaxy that actually has a tail.
  • Maria Farrell at Crooked Timber talks about her pain as an immigrant in the United Kingdom in the era of Brexit, her pain being but one of many different types created by this move.
  • The Crux talks about the rejected American proposal to detonate a nuclear bomb on the Moon, and the several times the United States did arrange for lesser noteworthy events there (collisions, for the record).
  • D-Brief notes how the innovative use of Curiosity instruments has explained more about the watery past of Gale Crater.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes one astronomer’s theory that Venus tipped early into a greenhouse effect because of a surfeit of carbon relative to Earth.
  • Far Outliers looks at missionaries in China, and their Yangtze explorations, in the late 19th century.
  • Gizmodo notes evidence that Neanderthals and Denisovans cohabited in a cave for millennia.
  • At In Media Res, Russell Arben Fox writes about his exploration of the solo music of Paul McCartney.
  • io9 looks at what is happening with Namor in the Marvel universe, with interesting echoes of recent Aquaman storylines.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at the Beothuk of Newfoundland and their sad fate.
  • Language Hat explores Patagonian Afrikaans.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reports on how mindboggling it is to want to be a billionaire. What would you do with that wealth?
  • The Map Room Blog shares a visualization of the polar vortex.
  • Marginal Revolution reports on the career of a writer who writes stories intended to help people fall asleep.
  • The New APPS Blog reports on the power of biometric data and the threat of its misuse.
  • Neuroskeptic takes a look at neurogenesis in human beings.
  • Out There notes the import, in understanding our solar system, of the New Horizons photos of Ultima Thule.
  • Jason Davis at the Planetary Society Blog notes that OSIRIS-REx is in orbit of Bennu and preparing to take samples.
  • Roads and Kingdoms shares a list of 21 things that visitors to Kolkata should know.
  • Mark Simpson takes a critical look at the idea of toxic masculinity. Who benefits?
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel explains why global warming is responsible for the descent of the polar vortex.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how the pro-Russian Gagauz of Moldova are moving towards a break if the country at large becomes pro-Western.
  • Arnold Zwicky looks at the art of Finnish painter Hugo Simberg.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Centauri Dreams considers the possible roles and threats posed by artificial intelligence for interstellar missions.
  • John Quiggin at Crooked Timber makes the point that blaming Facebook for the propagation of fake news misses entirely the motives of the people who spread these rumours, online or otherwise.
  • The Crux looks at the factors which led to the human species’ diversity of skin colours.
  • Dangerous Minds reports on a new collection of early North American electronica.
  • Far Outliers reports on the salt extraction industry of Sichuan.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how inbreeding can be a threat to endangered populations, like gorillas.
  • Language Log examines the connection of the Thai word for soul with Old Sinitic.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at divisions on the American left, including pro-Trump left radicals.
  • Caitlin Chandler at the NYR Daily reports on the plight of undocumented immigrants in Rome, forced from their squats under the pressure of the new populist government of Italy.
  • Spacing takes a look at the work of Acton Ostry Architects.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel looks at the ten largest non-planetary bodies in the solar system.
  • Strange Company looks at the very strange 1997 disappearance of Judy Smith from Philadelphia and her latest discovery in the North Carolina wilderness. What happened to her?
  • Strange Maps looks at the worrisome polarization globally between supporters and opponents of the current government in Venezuela. Is this a 1914 moment?
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Russia and Venezuela share a common oil-fueled authoritarian fragility.
  • Arnold Zwicky looks at the camelids of Peru, stuffed toys and llamas and more.

[NEWS] Six JSTOR Daily links: silkwomen, dissection, Lewis, Byrd and Antarctica, sex, warp drive

  • JSTOR looks at the silkwomen of medieval London.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at the public spectacle of dissections in the medieval and early modern worlds.
  • JSTOR Daily explores the mysteries surrounding the death of American explorer Meriwether Lewis.
  • JSTOR Daily explores the motivations behind Byrd’s south polar expedition of 1928-1930.
  • JSTOR Daily cautions against fearing a “sex recession”.
  • JSTOR Daily explores the concept of warp drive, a technology that might actually be doable.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait explains the potential discovery of an ancient rock from Earth among the Moon rocks collected by Apollo.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at what will be coming next from the New Horizons probe after its Ultima Thule flyby.
  • The Crux looks at the genetic library of threatened animals preserved cryogenically in a San Diego zoo.
  • Far Outliers looks at the drastic, even catastrophic, population changes of Sichuan over the past centuries.
  • Language Hat looks at translations made in the medieval Kingdom of Jerusalem.
  • Language Log tries to translate a possibly Indo-European sentence preserved in an ancient Chinese text.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the complexity of the crisis in Venezuela.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the Mexican-American border in this era of crisis.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a spike in unsolved shootings in Baltimore following protests against police racism.
  • Noah Smith reviews the new Tyler Cowen book, Stubborn Attachments.
  • Adam Shatz at the NYR Daily reviews what sounds like a fantastic album of anti-colonial Francophone music inspired by Frantz Fanon and assembled by French rapper Rocé.
  • The Planetary Society Blog takes a look what is next for China as it continues its program to explore the Moon.
  • Roads and Kingdoms interviews Monique Jaques about her new photo book looking at the lives of girls growing up in Gaza.
  • Rocky Planets takes a look at how rocks can form political boundaries.
  • Drew Rowsome interviews choreographer Christopher House about his career and the next shows at the Toronto Dance Theatre.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel takes a look at the seeming featurelessness of Uranus.
  • Frank Jacobs at Strange Maps looks at a controversial swap of land proposed between Serbia and Kosovo.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the controversial possibility of China contracting Russia to divert Siberian rivers as a water supply.
  • Arnold Zwicky looks at the origins of Uri and Avi, a photo of apparently showing two men, one Palestinian and one Israeli, kissing.

[NEWS] Five D-Brief links: atomic clocks and dark matter, Chang’e-4, Phoebe, health, exoplanets

  • D-Brief notes that upcoming generations of atomic clocks can be so accurate that they might be able to detect dark matter.
  • China’s Chang’e-4 moon lander is en route to our nearest partner world, D-Brief reports.
  • D-Brief notes that the ratio of hydrogen to deuterium in the water of the Saturn moon of Phoebe differs not only from that on Earth but that of the icy worlds in the Saturn system, suggesting Phoebe formed elsewhere.
  • The stresses of living in space makes organisms like mice and human beings prone to infections, D-Brief notes.
  • A study of nascent exoplanets in a starforming region of Taurus, some 450 light-years away, provides invaluable information about how planets form, D-Brief observes.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 11, 2018 at 10:40 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Architectuul interviews Vladimir Kulić, curator of the MoMA exhibition Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980, about the history of innovative architecture in Yugoslavia.
  • The Crux takes a look at the long search for hidden planets in the solar system, starting with Neptune and continuing to Tyche.
  • D-Brief notes that ISRO, the space agency of India, is planning on launching a mission to Venus, and is soliciting outside contributions.
  • Drew Ex Machina’s Andrew LePage writes about his efforts to photograph, from space, clouds over California’s Mount Whitney.
  • Earther notes that geoengineering is being considered as one strategy to help save the coral reefs.
  • Gizmodo takes a look at the limits, legal and otherwise, facing the Internet Archive in its preservation of humanity’s online history.
  • JSTOR Daily explains why the Loch Ness monster has the scientific binominal Nessiteras rhombopteryx.
  • Language Hat links to “The Poor Man of Nippur”, a short film by Cambridge academic Martin Worthington that may be the first film in the Babylonian language.
  • The LRB Blog notes the conflict between West Bank settlers and Airbnb. Am I churlish to wish that neither side wins?
  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper noting how quickly, after Poland regained its independence, human capital differences between the different parts of the once-divided country faded.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel takes a look at what it takes, in terms of element abundance and galactic structure, for life-bearing planets to form in the early universe, and when they can form.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Henry Farrell at Crooked Timber considers democracy as an information system.
  • The Crux shares what we have learned from our studies of the tusks of the mammoths.
  • D-Brief notes another landmark of the InSight mission: It brought two CubeSats with it to Mars.
  • JSTOR Daily takes a look at the odaliques of Matisse, paintings of North African women in intimate positions, in the contexts of colonialism and #metoo. What untold stories are there with these images?
  • Anakana Schofield writes at the LRB Blog about her problems finding CBD oil post-marijuana legalization in greater Vancouver.
  • The Map Room Blog notes the support of Popular Mechanics for paper maps, even in the digital age.
  • Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution praises Toby Green’s new history of West Africa, A Fistful of Shells, a book that emphasizes the influence of West Africa in the Americas and the wider Atlantic world.
  • The NYR Daily carries a Tim Parks essay questioning whether it is worthwhile for an author to consciously seek out literary glory.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel reports on the possibility that rocky planets might get large moons only if they suffer large impacts.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on the insulting remarks of Russian liberal Oleg Kashin towards Ukrainians, and Tatars too, suggesting even liberal Russians might well be inclined to be anti-Ukrainian.
  • Arnold Zwicky notes a remarkable word error in noting the 40th anniversary of the deaths of George Moscone and Harvey Milk, changing “assassination” into “assignation”.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • The Crux considers the anthropic principle. To what degree are the natural laws of the universe naturally suited to supporting life?
  • D-Brief notes the detection of an ultra-hot magnetosphere about white dwarf GALEXJ014636.8+323615, 1200 light-years away.
  • Far Outliers notes how how Japan’s civil wars in the 1860s were not a straightforward matter of conflicts between supporters of the shogun and supporters of the emperor.
  • Amanda Woytus at JSTOR Daily notes how the ever-popular Baby-Sitters Club series of children’s novels reflected a now-gone sense of an American life that could be safe.
  • Language Log looks at the use of Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary in a Vietnamese patriotic slogan.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the manufactured scandal around the supposed idea that Hillary Clinton wants to run for the American presidency in 2020.
  • Lorna Finlayson writes at the LRB Blog, using the example of her great-uncle killed at the Somme, about how representing the dead of the First World War as willing sacrificers of their lives against tyranny misrepresents them.
  • Rachelle Krygier writes at Roads and Kingdoms about how finding enough food to eat can be a day-long challenge if you happen to live in Venezuela.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel explores the question of who, exactly, determined that the universe was expanding.
  • Window on Eurasia quotes a Russian analyst who makes the point that, given many of the other Soviet successor states are going in directions away from Russia, it makes no sense to talk about a “post-Soviet space”.