A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘english language

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Architectuul writes about the exciting possibility of using living organisms, like fungi, as custom-designed construction materials.
  • Bad Astronomy looks at first-generation stars, the first stars in the universe which exploded and scattered heavy elements into the wider universe.
  • Caitlin Kelly writes at the Broadside Blog, as an outsider and an observer, about the American fascination with guns.
  • The Toronto Public Library’s Buzz lists some top memoirs.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the vexed issue of oxygen in the oceans of Europa. There may well not be enough oxygen to sustain complex life, though perhaps life imported from Earth might be able to thrive with suitable preparation.
  • The Crux looks at the well-established practice, not only among humans but other animals, of using natural substances as medicines.
  • D-Brief looks at the NASA Dart mission, which will try to deflect the tiny moon of asteroid Didymos in an effort to test asteroid-diversion techniques.
  • io9 reports George R.R. Martin’s belief that Gandalf could beat Dumbledore. I can buy that, actually.
  • JSTOR Daily takes a look at the local reactions to Woodstock.
  • Language Hat looks at the language in a 19th century short story by Nikolai Leskov, concerned with the difficulties of religious conversion for a people whose language does not encompass the concepts of Christianity.
  • Robert Farley at Lawyers, Guns and Money links to a book review of his examining the Marshall mission to Nationalist China after the Second World War.
  • Marginal Revolution links to survey results suggesting that, contrary to the Brexit narratives, Britons have actually been getting happier over the past two decades.
  • The NYR Daily reports on an exhibition of the universe of transgressive writer Kathy Acker in London.
  • Drew Rowsome reviews the innovative new staging of the queer Canadian classic Lilies at Buddies in Bad Times.
  • Towleroad reports on the progress of Pete Buttigieg.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Russia and Ukraine are becoming increasingly separated by their very different approaches to their shared Soviet past.
  • Arnold Zwicky looks at the latest evolutions of English.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Bad Astronomy reports on the possibility of a relatively nearby kilonova that seeded the solar nebula with heavy elements, including gold, as does Centauri Dreams.
  • The Buzz at the Toronto Public Library takes a look at books which later received video game adaptations.
  • D-Brief notes the happy news that, despite having relatively little genetic diversity, narwhals are doing well enough.
  • Imageo notes a recent shift in the centuries-long patterns of El Nino that might hint at some climate change disturbance.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the New York Times has retrieved Trump’s tax records for 1985-1994, and notes that he lost more than a billion dollars in that time frame.
  • JSTOR considers the question of why holography and holograms have not become accepted as high art.
  • Language Log shares, from Hong Kong, an advertisement with phonetic annotation of Cantonese.
  • Daniel Nexon at Lawyers, Guns and Money considers if, as a Charlie Stross novel from 2008 imagined, we are now in a “post-attribution” era in which motives are effectively unfindable.
  • James Butler at the LRB Blog considers the sheer scale of the defeat of not just the Conservatives but Labour in British local government elections.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a paper suggesting that cooperativeness is more closely linked to intelligence than to conscientiousness.
  • The NYR Daily looks at the particular plight of women in the American prison system.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw takes a look at egging as an act of political protest.
  • The Planetary Society Blog considers the mysteries surrounding the early atmosphere of Mars. What was it made of that it retained enough heat to keep water liquid during the faint young Sun period?
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes the strength of the models of contemporary cosmology, despite occasional challenges.
  • Window on Eurasia considers the extent to which pan-Turkic sentiment is relevant to the Turkic nations of Russia.
  • Arnold Zwicky considers arches, in his life and in language.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Architectuul takes a look at “infrastructural scars”, at geopolitically-inspired constructions like border fences and fortifications.
  • Centauri Dreams notes what we can learn from 99942 Apophis during its 2029 close approach to Earth, just tens of thousands of kilometres away.
  • D-Brief reports on the reactions of space artists to the photograph of the black hole at the heart of M87.
  • Dangerous Minds shares the first recording of Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Germany has begun work on drafting laws to cover space mining.
  • Gizmodo reports on what scientists have learned from the imaging of a very recent impact of an asteroid on the near side of the Moon.
  • io9 makes the case that Star Trek: Discovery should try to tackle climate change.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Verizon is seeking a buyer for Tumblr. (Wouldn’t it be funny if it was bought, as other reports suggest might be possible, by Pornhub?)
  • JSTOR Daily reports on a 1910 examination of medical schools that, among other things, shut down all but two African-American medical schools with lasting consequences for African-American health.
  • Language Log asks why “Beijing” is commonly pronounced as “Beizhing”.
  • Simon Balto asks at Lawyers, Guns and Money why the murder of Justine Ruszczyk by a Minneapolis policeman is treated more seriously than other police killings, just because she was white and the cop was black. All victims deserve the same attention.
  • Russell Darnley at Maximos62 shares a video of the frieze of the Parthenon.
  • The NYR Daily responds to the 1979 television adaptation of the Primo Levi novel Christ Stopped at Eboli, an examination of (among other things) the problems of development.
  • Peter Rukavina is entirely right about the practical uselessness of QR codes.
  • Daniel Little at Understanding Society points readers towards the study of organizations, concentrating on Charles Perrow.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the argument of one Russian commentator that Russia should offer to extend citizenship en masse not only to Ukrainians but to Belarusians, the better to undermine independent Belarus.
  • Arnold Zwicky shares photos of some of his flourishing flowers, as his home of Palo Alto enters a California summer.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait notes how the warp in space-time made by the black hole in V404 Cygni has been detected.
  • The Crux reports on the discovery of the remains of a chicha brewery in pre-Columbian Peru.
  • D-Brief notes a new model for the creation of the Moon by impact with primordial Earth that would explain oddities with the Earth still being molten, having a magma ocean.
  • Bruce Dorminey shares the idea that extraterrestrial civilizations might share messages with posterity through DNA encoded in bacteria set adrift in space.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on progress in drones and UAVs made worldwide.
  • Gizmodo notes some of the privacy issues involved with Alexa.
  • JSTOR Daily explains how some non-mammals, including birds and fish, nurse their young.
  • Language Hat reports on the latest studies in the ancient linguistic history of East Asia, with suggestions that Old Japanese has connections to the languages of the early Korean states of Silla and Paekche but not to that of Koguryo.
  • Language Log considers the issues involved with the digitization of specialized dictionaries.
  • Paul Campos at Lawyers, Guns and Money remembers the start of the Spanish Civil War.
  • Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution points towards his recent interview with Margaret Atwood.
  • The NYR Daily reports on a remarkable new play, Heidi Schreck’s What The Constitution Means To Me.
  • Towleroad reports on what Hunter Kelly, one of the men who operatives tried to recruit to spread slander against Pete Buttigieg, has to say about the affair.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that a Russian annexation of Belarus would not be an easy affair.
  • Arnold Zwicky reports on the latest signs of language change, this time in the New Yorker.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Centauri Dreams notes the discovery of rocky debris indicative of destroyed planets in orbit of the white dwarf SDSS J122859.93+104032.9, 400 light-years away.
  • JSTOR Daily shows how the Columbine massacre led to a resurgence of evangelical Christianity in the US.
  • Language Log notes an example of digraphia, two scripts, in use in Taiwan.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money identifies the presidential run of Howard Schultz in ways unflattering to him yet accurate.
  • The LRB Blog takes a look at the current, unsettling, stage of artificial intelligence research.
  • At the NYR Daily, Boyd Tonkin writes about an exhibition of the works of Van Gogh at the Tate Britain highlighting his ties with England and with his Europeanness.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel reports on the ultimate fate of the Earth, a cinder orbiting a black dwarf.
  • Strange Company tells the strange, sad story of 19th century California writer Yda Hillis Addis.
  • At Vintage Space, Amy Shira Teitel explains why the Apollo missions made use of a dangerous pure-oxygen environment.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how, 41 years ago, protests in Georgia forced the Soviet Union to let the Georgian republic keep Georgian as its official language.
  • Arnold Zwicky starts with peeps and goes on to look at dragons.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Bad Astronomy notes a push by astronomers to enlist help for giving trans-Neptunian object 2007-OR10 a name.
  • Centauri Dreams reflects on M87*, the supermassive black hole at the heart of M87 recently imaged, with its implications for galactic habitability.
  • Crooked Timber is right to note that Kirstjen Nielsen, architect of the cruel border policies of Trump, should not be allowed to resume a normal professional life.
  • The Crux looks at the Event Horizon Telescope Project that imaged M87*.
  • D-Brief notes that one-quarter of Japanese in their 20s and 30s have remained virgins, and explains why this might be the case.
  • Far Outliers notes the process of the writing of U.S. Grant’s acclaimed memoirs.
  • Mark Graham highlights a BBC documentary, one he contributed to, asking if artificial intelligence will kill global development.
  • Gizmodo explains why the image of black hole M87* does not look exactly like the fictional one from the scientifically-grounded Interstellar.
  • Hornet Stories explains the joys of Hawai’i in fall.
  • io9 notes that the new Deep Space Nine anniversary documentary is scheduled for a one-day theatrical release. (Will it be in Toronto?)
  • JSTOR Daily makes the point that mass enfranchisement is the best way to ensure security for all.
  • Language Hat looks at the kitabs, the books written in Afrikaans using its original Arabic script kept by Cape Malays.
  • Language Log notes, with examples, some of the uses of the words “black” and “evil” in contemporary China.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money makes the point that having a non-octogenarian president is a good idea.
  • Marginal Revolution shares the thoughts of Samir Varma on the new technologies–better computers, faster travel, artificial life–that may change the world in the near future.
  • The NYR Daily explores the subversive fairy tales of 19th century Frenchman Édouard Laboulaye.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes the sad crash of the Beresheet probe on the surface of the Moon.
  • Drew Rowsome engages with the body of work of out horror writer John Saul.
  • Peter Rukavina maps out where Islanders will be voting, and the distances they will travel, in this month’s election.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel engages with the possibility that we might be alone. What next? (Myself, I think the idea of humanity as an elder race is fascinating.)
  • Arnold Zwicky looks at the sort of humour that involves ambiguous adverbs.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait reports on the massive cloud of material detected around the active galaxy Cygnus A.
  • The Crux suggests our contemporary problems with wisdom teeth represent not a failure of evolution but rather a failure on our post-Neolithic parts to eat hard foods which stimulate the jaw growth capable of supporting wisdom teeth.
  • D-Brief notes how the astronomers involved in a planetary effort to image a black hole are preparing to make an announcement next week.
  • Gizmodo notes how the debris field created in orbit by India testing an anti-satellite weapon threatens the ISS.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that at least some hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei are deleting their social media profiles following protests over Brunei’s violent anti-gay laws.
  • JSTOR Daily considers if, between the drop in fertility that developing China was likely to undergo anyway and the continuing resentments of the Chinese, the one-child policy was worth it.
  • Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money uses a recent New York Times profile to note the sheer influence of Rupert Murdoch worldwide.
  • The Map Room Blog notes a new exhibition, at the shop of a Manhattan rare book dealer, of a collection of vintage maps of New York City from its foundation, sharing some photos, even.
  • Marginal Revolution remarks on the rapid growth of Native American numbers in the United States over the past century.
  • The NYR Daily shares a report from Debbie Bookchin in North Syria arguing that the West needs to help Rojava.
  • Roads and Kingdoms provides some tips for first-time visitors to the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the continuing growth in numbers of dead from HIV infection in Russia, with Siberia being a new hotspot.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel explains how the Event Horizon Telescope project will image a black hole’s event horizon, and what questions exist around the project.
  • Frank Jacobs at Strange Maps shares an Anish Kapoor map demonstrating the Brexit divides in the United Kingdom.
  • Daniel Little at Understanding Society considers the study of ethical disasters in capitalism, looking at OxyContin as an example.
  • Window on Eurasia notes continued threats, and continued protests to these threats, surrounding Lake Baikal in Siberia.
  • Arnold Zwicky has fun with a cartoon that plays on a pun between the words chants and chance.