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[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • blogTO reports on the mysterious alleged new neighbourhood of Bricketowne.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly wonders whether things or fun are ultimately preferable.
  • The Dragon’s Tales provides updates on the war in the Donbas.
  • Commenters at Joe. My. God. have fun with the Catholic priest who compares gay sex to trying to eat a bagel with your ears.
  • Language Hat links to the story of a woman who learned Uzbek.
  • Marginal Revolution notes slow economic growth in the European Union.
  • Peter Rukavina suggests that this year, the southeastern Prince Edward Island communities of Murray Harbour and Murray River are where it’s at.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog looks at historical waves of emigration from Russia.
  • Torontoist looks at the efforts of the city government in the 1940s to regulate traffic.
  • Towleroad notes how British rugby player Keegan Hirst has had a good time of it since coming out.
  • Window on Eurasia notes some Central Asian migrants returning from Russia bring HIV infections with them, suggests Russians are not innate fans of authoritarianism, notes the dim demographic prospects for Russia, and looks at Russian women marrying Chinese men.

[LINK] “United Church votes to sell off its fossil fuel assets”

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CBC reports on the decision of the United Church of Canada.

The United Church of Canada, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, has voted to sell its fossil fuel assets and commit financially to funding an economy based on renewable energy.

The United Church General Council, which is meeting in Corner Brook, N.L., voted 67 per cent in favour of the move on Tuesday.

“Given the lack of political and industrial leadership to address climate concerns in a way that matches the scale of the problem, we wanted to signal that we are so serious about averting climate crisis that we are willing to put our money where our mouth is,” said Christine Boyle, general council commissioner and a longtime climate advocate.

The move will mean selling off about $5.9 million in holdings, or 4.7 per cent of the United Church of Canada treasury.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 13, 2015 at 7:31 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • blogTO notes that Toronto has been ranked as the most liveable city in the world by the Economist.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about the allure of learning something difficult.
  • Centauri Dreams describes circumbinary planet Kepler-453b.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to an attempt to date the Gliese 504 system, reports on a new definition for planets, and suggests that the abundances of biologically necessary material on planetary surfaces and atmospheres is quite variable.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the latest on the war in the Donbas.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas is trying to crowdfund the last four courses he needs for his doctoral degree.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that it has moved to www.joemygod.com.
  • Language Hat considers the third wave of Russian emigration to the United States.
  • Language Log displays a decorative Japanese dialogue written in romaji, Roman script.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes who Tea Partiers think should benefit from bankruptcy.
  • Marginal Revolution notes Singapore spends little on education as a proportion of its GDP, a consequence of its very low birth rate.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that Uber does work better than traditional taxis in the outer boroughs of New York City.
  • Strange Maps considers fire maps of old.
  • Torontoist looks at the story of Toronto’s first parks commissioner, John Chambers.
  • Towleroad quotes George Takei’s explanation why Star Trek did not feature gay characters and looks at a Swiss Catholic bishop facing jail time for inciting anti-gay violence.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy considers if the lessons of ancient Greek democracy are relevant for us post-moderns.
  • Window on Eurasia notes divisions on the Russian left over Crimea, suggests China is benefitting from Russia’s new dependence, notes that the United States did not recognize the Donbas in the Cold War, and quotes a Ukrainian writer who suggests that the Serb republics in the former Yugoslavia show the likely future of the Donbas states.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • blogTO notes chain Second Cup’s reboot of its Toronto cafes.
  • Centauri Dreams notes that the Rosetta probe’s comet is approaching perihelion.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper connecting stellar metallicity to a galactic habitable zone.
  • The Dragon’s Tales updates us on the Donbass war.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a Swiss Catholic bishop’s approval of murderous homophobia.
  • Language Log notes that the Spanish of Jeb Bush is actually pretty decent.
  • Languages of the World looks at the complex grammar of the Mohawk language.
  • Towleroad notes the fight for same-sex marriage in the Philippines.
  • Window on Eurasia is critical of Russia’s claims to a unique position in Crimea.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes that ferry tickets for the Toronto Islands can now be bought online.
  • Discover‘s Crux considers SETI.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper considering habitable exoplanets around nearby red dwarf stars, defends the potential existence of exoplanets at Kapteyn’s Star, and looks at the Epsilon Eridani system.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that a second Scottish referendum on independence is possible, according to Alex Salmond.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Mormons are unhappy with the Scouts’ gay-friendly shift.
  • Language Hat considers the history of family name usage in Russia.
  • Languages of the World examines in two posts the argument that primitive peoples have simple languages.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the strategies of Spanish populist group Podemos.
  • Peter Watts considers the peculiar thing of people lacking large chunks of the brain who nonetheless seem normal.
  • Diane Duane, at Out of Ambit, is quite unhappy with an impending forced upgrade to Windows 10.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes how labour-saving technologies improved the lives of women.
  • The Planetary Society Blog considers proposals to explore small solar system bodies.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer considers what would happen if Bernie Sanders won the nomination of the Democratic Party.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to statistics on the population of Abu Dhabi.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the depopulation of South Ossetia and looks at the Russian Orthodox Church’s hostility to Ukraine’s Uniate Catholics.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes that although Labour apparently did a good job of convincing potential voters it was right, it did a worse job of getting them to vote.

[LINK] “Increasing tension over some Amish beliefs as communities grow”

Al Jazeera America’s Kevin Williams notes growing conflicts between Amish and their non-Amish neighbours in the United States.

In this rural outpost near the border with Tennessee, Amish women park their horse-drawn buggies at the edge of town and walk in dragging wooden wagons behind them, returning with goods stacked high. Some avoid town altogether. They fear ending up like Amos Mast and Dan Mast, an Amish father and son who face the possibility of jail for refusing to pay fines for not attaching a bag behind their horse to catch manure. The Masts say the bags spook the horses and that paying the town’s fines would set an unwelcome precedent.

“I used to have a lot of Amish customers, but I haven’t had an Amish customer in the past three to four months. They used to come in every day. I don’t know how many dollars’ worth of belts I bought just for them that are now just sitting there. They power everything with gasoline engines, and they need belts for them to run,” said Glen Sears, the owner of Glen’s Hardware. He said many Amish now go to the town of Franklin, 13 miles away, for supplies.

Soon they may not even be going there. Most of the Amish around Auburn, according to Margie Reed, a friend and neighbor to many of the local Amish, are preparing to pack up and move to Pennsylvania, which has historically been very accommodating to the Amish.

Auburn, Kentucky is one of many towns where locals appear to be increasingly clashing with the Amish over traditional practices. Diane Umble, the dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, has studied Amish culture extensively. She attributes many of these conflicts to the combination of a growing Amish population and a small group of Amish who are resistant to compromising on their traditions and balk at government rules.

[. . .]

With a historically high birthrate for the Amish and less and less available farmland, these issues will continue to grow, Umble said, as they keep moving to new areas. Most estimates say the Amish population in the USA doubles every generation. So with currently about 200,000 church members, more and more rural space is needed to accommodate the groups.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 24, 2015 at 9:44 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • blogTO suggests that the Pan Am Games are not turning out to be a disaster.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at innovative designs for fast small space probes.
  • City of Brass celebrates the end of Ramadan.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the discovery of Jupiter analogue HIP 11915, and links to a paper arguing that hot Jupiters could evolve into hot Neptunes.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that there are no more large impact craters expected to be found on Earth.
  • A Fistful of Euros notes the latest on surveillance in Germany.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the gay hints in late 1970s Wonder Woman.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that the Yemeni capital of Sanaa is running out of water, looks at the hard time of immigrants on the Canadian job market, and notes Singapore’s public campaigns for manners.
  • Russell Darnely of Maximos62 makes the case for a return of the Elgin Marbles to the Parthenon.
  • Progressive Download’s John Farrell notes a new book on the historical Adam.
  • Torontoist reviews the Stratford Festival.
  • Towleroad notes how Scott Walker tried, pathetically, to backtrack from his anti-gay comments on Scouts.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Dagestani discontent with pollution allegedly produced by the Russian navy in the Caspian, looks at the awkward approach of the Russian Orthodox Church to Orthodox churches in South Ossetia, and argues Kazakhstan is a role model for Russia.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at the political economy of the BBC.

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