A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘elephants

[BLOG] Five D-Brief links: microbiome, genetic engineering, elephant ivory, Moon, O’Neill colonies

  • D-Brief examines the importance of the microbiome in human beings.
  • D-Brief observes that the genetic engineering of two twins in China to make them resistant to HIV might also shorten their lifespans.
  • The poaching of elephants, happily, is decreasing as demand for ivory goes down worldwide. D-Brief reports.
  • D-Brief takes a look at the history of imagined landings on the Moon.
  • D-Brief looks at the long history of O’Neill colonies in popular culture, as imagined settlements in space itself.

[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”.

[NEWS] Five links about smart animals: elephants, octopuses, gorillas, primates, termites

  • D-Brief notes that elephants seem to count the same way humans do.
  • JSTOR Daily takes a look at the reasons why octopus mothers maintain such long, silent vigils over their eggs.
  • Happily, the mountain gorilla is now no longer a “critically endangered” species. CBC reports.
  • The Crux looks at how studies of communication among other primates can help solve the question of how language developed among humans.
  • D-Brief notes the determination that a collection of termite mounds dates back four thousand years, product of a sophisticated hive insect society.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 19, 2018 at 9:15 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes the frequency with which young red dwarf stars flare, massively, with negative implications for potential life on these stars’ planets.
  • Centauri Dreams shares a proposal for probe expeditions to Pluto and Charon, and to the wider Kuiper belt beyond.
  • D-Brief explains just how elephants manage to eat with their trunks.
  • JSTOR Daily answers the question of just why so many American states–other subnational polities too, I bet–have straight-line borders.
  • Language Hat links to a recent blog post examining the very specific forms of language used by the Roman emperor Justinian.
  • At Lawyers, Guns and Money, Paul Campos looks at where the whole concept of “political correctness” came from, and why. (Hint: It was not anti-racists who did this.)
  • Geoffrey K. Pullum at Lingua Franca describes the circumstances behind his new book, _Linguistics: Why It Matters.
  • At the LRB Blog, Caroline Eden writes about the shipwrecks of the Black Sea, preserved for centuries or even millennia by the sea’s oxygen-poor waters.
  • Gabrielle Bellot writes at the NYR Daily about how she refuses to be made into an invisible trans woman.
  • At the Speed River Journal, Van Waffle describes–with photos!–how he was lucky enough to find a wild growth of chicken of the woods, an edible bracket mushroom of the Ontario forests.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that the loss of Ukraine by the Russian Orthodox Church will contribute to that church being increasingly seen as a national one, limited by borders.

[NEWS] Five links on non-humans: gorillas, orcas, elephants, crows, parrots

  • JSTOR Daily reported on the legacy of Koko the gorilla, on the insights she opened up into non-human minds.
  • The mourning demonstrated by this orca mother with her calf, and the grief that is implied, remains moving. CBC reports.
  • Julian Benoit at The Conversation writes about the import of DNA analyses on our understanding of the evolution of elephants.
  • French theme park Puy de Dome has recruited six crows to collect garbage from its grounds. Smithsonian Magazine reports.
  • D-Brief reports on findings that Native Americans in New Mexico may have been breeding parrots.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • At Anthrodendum, Elizabeth Marino takes issue with what she identifies as the naively and fiercely neoliberal elements of Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now.
  • Anthropology.net’s Kambiz Kamrani takes a look at an innovative study of the Surinamese creole of Sranan Tongo that uncovers that language’s linguistic origins in remarkably fine detail.
  • Architectuul examines the architecture of Communist-era Hungarian architect István Szábo
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes the nearly naked black hole at the heart of galaxy ZwCl 8193, 2.2 billion light-years away.
  • The Big Picture shares photos from the 2018 Paralympics in South Korea.
  • Gerry Canavan has an interesting critical take on Star Trek: Discovery. Is it really doing new things, or is its newness just superficial?
  • Centauri Dreams considers the impact the spectra of red dwarfs would have on biosignatures from their worlds.
  • Russell Darnley takes a look at Australia’s Darling River, a critical watercourse threatened by extensive water withdrawals.
  • Inkfish notes that patterns of wear on the tusks of elephants indicate most are right-handed.
  • Joe. My. God. links to a study suggesting a relationship between Trump rallies and violent assaults.
  • JSTOR Daily links to a paper examining why people drink Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Language Hat takes a look at the use of Xhosa as the language of Wakanda.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money mourns Alfred Crosby, the historian whose work examined the epidemiological and ecological changes wrought by contact with the Americas.
  • The Map Room Blog links to a map showing indigenous placenames in Canada.
  • In the aftermath of the death of Stephen Hawking, Out There had a lovely idea: what nearby major stars emitted life than arrive at the moment of his birth? Hawking’s star is Regulus, and mine was (nearly) Arcturus.
  • Marginal Revolution suggests AI will never be able to centrally plan an economy because the complexity of the economy will always escape it.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel examines Stephen Hawking’s contribution to the study of black holes.
  • Supernova Condensate shares a list of moons, fictional and otherwise, from Endor on down.

[PHOTO] Seven extinct mammals from the AMNH (@amnh)

The AMNH has a grand collection of fossils of extinct mammalian megafauna, particularly of Pleistocene megafauna. Our Earth was indeed filled with wonders.

Mammoth #newyorkcity #newyork #manhattan #amnh #fossil #mammoth #mammal #extinct #americanmuseumofnaturalhistory #latergram//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Stenomylus #newyorkcity #newyork #manhattan #amnh #fossil #stenomylus #camel #mammal #extinct #americanmuseumofnaturalhistory #latergram

Megaloceros #newyorkcity #newyork #manhattan #amnh #fossil #megaloceros #deer #antlers #mammal #extinct #americanmuseumofnaturalhistory #latergram

Cats #newyorkcity #newyork #manhattan #amnh #fossil #cats #catsofinstagram #mammal #extinct #americanmuseumofnaturalhistory #latergram

Lestodon #newyorkcity #newyork #manhattan #amnh #fossil #lestodon #sloth #mammal #extinct #americanmuseumofnaturalhistory #latergram

Glyptotherium #newyorkcity #newyork #manhattan #amnh #fossil #glyptotherium #mammal #extinct #americanmuseumofnaturalhistory #latergram

Gomphotherium #newyorkcity #newyork #manhattan #amnh #fossil #gomphotherium #mammal #extinct #americanmuseumofnaturalhistory #latergram

Written by Randy McDonald

February 12, 2018 at 12:55 pm