A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘czech republic

[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?

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • In an extended meditation, Antipope’s Charlie Stross considers what the domestic architecture of the future will look like. What different technologies, with different uses of space, will come into play?
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the new SPECULOOS exoplanet hunting telescope, specializing in the search for planets around the coolest stars.
  • The Crux looks at the evolutionary origins of hominins and chimpanzees in an upright walking ape several million years ago.
  • D-Brief notes the multiple detections of gravitational waves made by LIGO.
  • The Dragon’s Tales looks at the development of laser weapons by China.
  • Karen Sternheimer at the Everyday Sociology Blog looks at the gap between social theory and field research.
  • Gizmodo shares an interesting discussion with paleontologists and other dinosaur experts: What would the dinosaurs have become if not for the Chixculub impact?
  • Hornet Stories notes the ways in which the policies of the Satanic Temple would be good for queer students.
  • io9 notes how the Deep Space 9 documentary What We Leave Behind imagines what a Season 8 would have looked like.
  • Joe. My. God. reports that activist Jacob Wohl is apparently behind allegations of a sexual assault by Pete Buttigieg against a subordinate.
  • JSTOR Daily takes a look at the uses of the yellow ribbon in American popular culture.
  • Language Hat shares an account of the life experiences of an Israeli taxi driver, spread across languages and borders.
  • Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money makes deserved fun of Bret Easton Ellis for his claims to having been marginalized.
  • Marginal Revolution considers, briefly, the idea that artificial intelligence might not be harmful to humans. (Why would it necessarily have to be?)
  • The NYR Daily considers a British exhibition of artworks by artists from the former Czechoslovakia.
  • Peter Rukavina looks at gender representation in party caucuses in PEI from the early 1990s on, noting the huge surge in female representation in the Greens now.
  • The Signal looks at how the Library of Congress is preserving Latin American monographs.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel explains how Einstein knew that gravity must bend light.
  • Window on Eurasia explains the sharp drop in the ethnic Russian population of Tuva in the 1990s.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares photos of a dust storm over Greenland.
  • The Crux looks at the hypervelocity stars of the Milky Way Galaxy, stars flung out towards intergalactic space by close encounters with the galactic core.
  • D-Brief notes a study suggesting that the gut bacteria of immigrants to the United States tends to Americanize over time, becoming less diverse.
  • Joe. My. God. notes yet another homophobe–this time, an ex-gay “therapist”–who has been outed as actively seeking gay sex.
  • JSTOR Daily notes that bears preparing to build up their fat stores for hibernation really have to work hard at this task.
  • Language Hat notes, after Elias Canetti, a benefit of being multilingual: You can find out if people near you are planning to kill you.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money recounts an anecdote from the 1980s revealing the great racism on the part of Donald Trump.
  • Sadakat Kadri at the LRB Blog notes a gloomy celebration in Prague of the centenary of the 1918 foundation of Czechoslovakia, gloomy not just because of the weather but because of the rhetoric of Czechia’s president.
  • The Map Room Blog notes a new book examining the political and military import of mapmaking in Scotland.
  • Cheryl Thompson at Spacing writes about the long history of blackface in Canadian popular culture, looking at the representations it made and the tensions that it hid.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel looks at how new technologies are allowing astronomers to overcome the distorting effects of the atmosphere.
  • Frances Woolley at Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, looking at female employment in Canada, finds the greatest potential for further growth in older women. (Issues, including the question of how to include these women and how to fight discrimination, need to be dealt with first.)

[NEWS] Five links about ethnic conflict: language in Canada, wilderness, Catalonia, Czechs on Tibet

  • CBC notes that major First Nations languages in Canada like Cree and Ojibwe may soon be supported by translators in the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa.
  • Julian Brave NoiseCat at VICE argues against an imagining of wilderness that imagines territories without indigenous peoples. Such too readily can enable abuse of the natural world.
  • Bloomberg notes how the Spanish authorities in Catalonia have overriden local governments and populations by transferring dispute art objects to a different Spanish region. This won’t end well.
  • Transitions Online notes how traditionally strong Czech support for Tibet and Tibetan exiles has been fading in recent years, with China becoming a bigger player.
  • Paul Wells at MacLean’s takes a look at what might be the latest round of the language debate in Montréal. How important are greetings? (I think, for the record, they might be more important than Wells argues.)

[LINK] “The Dalai Lama Test”

At Transitions Online, Martin Ehl writes about how central European disinterest in the Dalai Lama maps onto an increasingly pragmatic pursuit of Chinese investment.

In this way, the October visit of the Dalai Lama – who was the main star of the 20th edition of the Forum 2000 conference, founded by late President Vaclav Havel – was also a test of Havel’s legacy in the former Czechoslovakia. That humanitarian approach is today confined to almost hidden corners of the local political scene, only revived from time to time by small groups, usually consisting of NGO activists, and lately by Kiska. In mainstream politics, it gets almost completely forgotten.

Lastly, the episode illustrates in broader strokes the emerging relationship between Central Europe and China. For the last couple of years, China has crafted its policy toward Europe, and the weak and often Eurosceptic Central European governments have seemed an ideal gateway for Chinese money and political influence. China could thereby reach the wider European Union, which, due to the refugee crisis and Brexit, looks weaker than ever in the last 20 years.

The job, however, isn’t easy for Chinese diplomats in Prague, Bratislava, or Warsaw (the Dalai Lama also briefly visited Wroclaw, without meeting any government official there). They have to exert maximum effort, show off their supposed powers to influence investment, and gain leverage over local politicians. But the real work in leaning on the locals is done by the businessmen who have cultivated business and political ties in China as relations have warmed. That’s not so tough when the United States, a traditional ally, seems so far off, the EU looks to be in disarray, and Russia plays old, familiar Soviet power games.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 12, 2016 at 9:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Beyond the Beyond notes an upcoming exhibition of photos of Vaclav Havel.
  • blogTO notes a local controversy over the demolition of a community-built skate park.
  • Centauri Dreams considers how advanced starfaring civilizations might deal with existential threats.
  • Crooked Timber looks at how presidential debates could be used to teach logic.
  • Language Hat examines the origins of the evocative Slavic phrase “they perished like Avars.”
  • Language Log notes how “Molotov cocktail” was confused by a Trump manager with “Mazel tov cocktail”.
  • The LRB Blog notes Brexit-related insecurity over the rule of law in the United Kingdom.
  • The Map Room Blog notes an exhibition in Maine of Acadian-related maps.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at how the Hong Kong press has been influenced by advertisers.
  • The NYRB Daily looks an exhibition of abstract expressionism.
  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at what we can learn from Rosetta.
  • Savage Minds considers the place of archeology in anthropology.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at Belarus’ commemoration of the Bolshevik Revolution and considers the dispute in Kazakhstan as to whether the country should be known as Qazaqstan.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • At Antipope, Charlie Stross writes about how colonizing even a nearby and Earth-like Proxima Centauri b would be far beyond our abilities.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly responds to Canada’s mourning of the Tragically Hip.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the life that may exist in the oceans of Europa.
  • D-Brief notes an Alaskan village that is being evacuated because of climate change-related erosion.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that Gliese 1132b is likely a Venus analog.
  • The Dragon’s Tales wonders about Titan’s polar regions.
  • False Steps considers the Soviet plans for a substantial lunar settlement.
  • Far Outliers reports on the Czech and Slovak secret agents active in the United States during the First World War.
  • Gizmodo notes the steady spread of lakes on the surface of East Antarctica.
  • Language Hat examines the birth of the modern Uzbeks.
  • Language Log shares bilingual Spanish-Chinese signage from Argentina.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the arrival of tourists in Belgium seeking euthanasia.
  • Maximos62 shares footage from Singapore’s Festival of the Hungry Ghost.
  • Steve Munro notes the little publicity given to the 514 streetcar.
  • Justin Petrone reflects on Estonian stereotypes of Latvia.
  • pollotenchegg looks at the regional demographics of Ukraine.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the inclusion of Cossacks in the Russian census.
  • Strange Maps shares a map of the actually-existing Middle East.
  • Understanding Society examines the interwar ideology of Austrofascism.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at what the Soviet coup attempt in 1991 did and did not do.