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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘cetaceans

[NEWS] Five links on science, culture: blue whales, Hedy Lamarr, telecom, infrastructure, misogyny

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  • Apparently 80% of blue whales are left-handed. National Geographic reports.
  • The FCC has just stopped support for a program that subsidizes vital telecommunications for, among other groups, Native Americans. VICE reports.
  • Between political challenges and problems with construction, major infrastructure projects are failing to meet their goals at a noteworthy rate. National Geographic reports.
  • VICE recounts the story of Hedy Lamarr, noteworthy actor and brilliant scientist, from the perspective of a documentary noting how misogyny kept her from employing her talents to the fullest.
  • This Claire Dederer article in The Paris Review, talking about the works of monstrous men can (or should?) be salvaged from the legacies of their creators, is tremendously important.
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[NEWS] Three links about smart animals: elephants as legal persons, cetacean footage, bonobo empathy

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  • Three elephants in Connecticut are the latest animals subject to a bid by activists to grant them status as “legal persons”. The Washington Post reports.
  • Gary Chabonneau has won a court battle versus the Vancouver Aquarium to secure rights to footage he took of their captive cetaceans. CBC reports.
  • Bonobos have been proven in a recent experiment to have the capacity to be empathetic towards strangers. National Geographic reports.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 18, 2017 at 8:30 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • Centauri Dreams takes a look at the exciting early news on potentially habitable nearby exoplanet Ross 128 b.
  • The Crux notes that evidence has been found of Alzheimer-like illness in dolphins. Is this, as the scientists argue, a symptom of a syndrome shared between us, big-brained social species with long post-fertility lifespans?
  • D-Brief takes a look at the idea of contemporary life on Mars hiding away in the icy regolith near the surface.
  • Far Outliers notes one argument that Germany lost the Second World War because of the poor quality of its leaders.
  • Gizmodo notes the incredibly bright event PS1-10adi, two and a half billion light-years away. What is it? No one knows …
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money celebrates the end of the Mugabe dictatorship in Zimbabwe.
  • The Map Room Blog links to some fascinating detailed maps of the outcome of the Australian mail-in vote on marriage equality.
  • Roads and Kingdoms visits rural Mexico after the recent quake.
  • Cheri Lucas Rowlands shares some beautiful photos of fantastical Barcelona.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes the insights provided by Pluto’s mysterious cool atmosphere, with its cooling haze, has implications for Earth at a time of global warming.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Russia is not going to allow even Tatarstan to include the Tatar language as a mandatory school subject.

[NEWS] Two animal intelligence links: cetaceans, raccoons

  • Cetacean intelligence evolved under the same pressures as primate intelligence, and in the same ways. We are peers. The Globe and Mail reports.
  • Raccoons recently tested highly on a controlled test of their ingenuity and intelligence. A York study, of course. National Geographic reports.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at enormous, explosive Wolf-Rayet stars, and at WR 124 in particular.
  • The Big Picture shares heart-rending photos of Rohingya refugees fleeing Burma.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the potential of near-future robotic asteroid mining.
  • D-Brief notes the discovery of vast cave systems on the Moon, potential homes for settlers.
  • Hornet Stories exposes young children to Madonna’s hit songs and videos of the 1980s. She still has it.
  • Inkfish notes that a beluga raised in captivity among dolphins has picked up elements of their speech.
  • Language Hat notes a dubious claim that a stelae containing Luwian hieroglyphic script, from ancient Anatolia, has been translated.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the question of preserving brutalist buildings.
  • The LRB Blog considers how Brexit, intended to enhance British sovereignty and power, will weaken both.
  • The Map Room Blog notes that the moons and planets of the solar system have been added to Google Maps.
  • The NYR Daily considers how the Burmese government is carefully creating a case for Rohingya genocide.
  • The Power and Money’s Noel Maurer concludes, regretfully, that the market for suborbital travel is just not there.
  • Visiting a shrimp festival in Louisiana, Roads and Kingdoms considers how the fisheries work with the oil industry (or not).
  • Towleroad reports on the apparent abduction in Chechnya of singer Zelimkhan Bakayev, part of the anti-gay pogrom there.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that rebuilding Kaliningrad as a Russian military outpost will be expensive.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

Bad Astronomer Phil Plait talks about the discovery that the early Moon had a notable atmosphere. http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/air-de-lune

The Big Picture, from the Boston Globe, shares terrifying pictures from the California wildfires. https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/bigpicture/2017/10/10/raging-wildfires-california/GtkTUeIILcZeqp5jlsLTMI/story.html

The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about how writers need editing, and editors. https://broadsideblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/14/why-editors-matter-more-than-ever/

D-Brief notes that forming coal beds sucked so much carbon dioxide out of the air that it triggered an ice age.
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2017/10/10/coal-earth-ice/

Dangerous Minds looks at Michael’s Thing, a vintage guide to gay New York dating from the 1970s. http://dangerousminds.net/comments/michaels_thing_new_york_citys_once_essential_queer_city_guide

Cody Delistraty looks at a new Paris exhibition of the works of Paul Gauguin that tries to deal with his moral sketchiness, inspiration of much his work. https://delistraty.com/2017/10/09/paul-gauguins-insurmountable-immorality/

Hornet Stories notes that same same-sex-attracted guys opt to be called not gay but androphiles. (Less baggage, they say.) https://hornetapp.com/stories/men-who-love-men-androphile/

Language Hat notes a claim that the Spanish of Christopher Columbus was marked by Catalan. http://languagehat.com/columbuss-catalan/

Language Log notes that the languages of southern China like Cantonese are actually fully-fledged languages. http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=34933

Lawyers, Guns and Money notes an argument that Chinese companies do not abide by the terms of tech transfer agreements.
http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/10/tech-transfer

The LRB Blog notes an old Mike Davis article noting how California, at a time of climate change, risks catastrophic wildfires. https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2017/10/10/the-editors/california-burning/

The Map Room Blog is unimpressed by the new book, A History of Canada in Ten Maps. (It needs more maps. Seriously.) https://buff.ly/2gcdLKG

The NYR Daily takes another look at the nature of consciousness.
http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/10/09/consciousness-an-object-lesson/

The Planetary Society Blog shares a scientist’s story about how he stitched together the last mosaic photo of Saturn by Cassini. http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/2017/cassinis-last-dance-with-saturn-farewell-mosaic.html

The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that an unnegotiated secession of Catalonia from Spain would be a catastrophe for the new country. http://noelmaurer.typepad.com/aab/2017/10/la-econom%C3%ADa-de-la-secesi%C3%B3n-en-la-madre-patria.html

Roads and Kingdoms considers what is next for Kurdistan after its independence referendum. http://roadsandkingdoms.com/2017/whats-next-for-kurdistan/

Science Sushi considers the sketchy science of studying cetacean sex. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/science-sushi/2017/10/10/dolphin-penis-vagina-simulated-marine-mammal-sex/

Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that exceptionally strong evidence that we do, in fact, exist in a real multiverse. https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/10/12/the-multiverse-is-inevitable-and-were-living-in-it/

Strange Maps looks at rates of reported corruption across Latin America, finding that Mexico fares badly. http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/half-of-all-mexicans-paid-a-bribe-in-the-previous-12-months

Window on Eurasia notes new inflows of migrants to Russia include fewer Europeans and many more Central Asians. http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.ca/2017/10/gastarbeiters-in-russia-from-central.html

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Anthrodendum takes a look at the way community knowledge is now being subject to a privatization.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlyn Kelly starts a discussion about what makes home.
  • Bruce Dorminey suggests a pre-Theia, Moon-sized impactor gave the Earth its metal crust.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze looks at the current state of knowledge about Proxima b.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Russia is apparently testing advanced nuclear weapons.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas considers the religious impulse in so many technophiles’ view of the world.
  • Language Hat considers the dynamics associated with learning minority languages in Europe.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money shares a classic traffic safety clip from 1913.
  • The LRB Blog mourns the loss of Glen Newey, long-time contributor.
  • Lovesick Cyborg notes a NASA study into the economics of a viable space-based solar power project.
  • Roads and Kingdoms takes a look at the a├žorda of Portugal, a bread-based broth that was a long-time food of the poor.
  • Cheri Lucas Rowlands celebrates the passage of summer into fall through photos of her vegetable garden.
  • Drew Rowsome takes a look at the representation of LGBTQ people on television, and sees much reason for cheer.
  • Science Sushi notes that different dolphin groups seem to have different dialects.
  • Understanding Society takes a look at Robert Merton’s refinement of social functionalism.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that many ethnic Russians in Belarus, as in Ukraine, have shifted identity to that of the titular nation.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes one mistake made about artificial intelligence: it is not automatically more accurate.