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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘espionage

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Centauri Dreams notes evidence that pitted terrain, as found on Ceres and Vesta, indicates subsurface ice.
  • Dead Things links to evidence suggesting insomnia and poor sleep are not disorders, but rather evolutionary inheritances that were useful in the past.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the critical human role in the ongoing sixth extinction.
  • Language Hat links to speculation that the Afroasiatic language family has its origins in the Natufian Levant.
  • The LRB Blog reports on a fascinating French show about espionage, Le Bureau des légendes.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reports on an important speech by Malcolm Turnbull on politics and Australia’s Liberal Party.
  • The Planetary Society Blog shares Marc Rayman’s report on the latest discoveries of Dawn at Ceres.
  • Spacing’ Sean Ruthven has a review of a beautiful book on the Sea Ranch, a northern California estate.
  • Back in May, Septembre Anderson argued at Torontoist that rather than embracing diversity, Canadian media was more willing to wither.
  • Window on Eurasia shares an argument suggesting Baltic Russians would not follow the Donbas into revolt because the Baltics are much better off economically.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Crooked Timber responds to The Intercept’s release of data regarding Russian interference with American elections.
  • Dangerous Minds reports on how Melanie Gaydos overcame a rare genetic disorder to become a model.
  • Dead Things seems unduly happy that it does seem as if Tyrannosaurus rex had feathers. (I like the idea.)
  • The Dragon’s Gaze reports on our ability to detect the effects of a planet-shattering Nicoll-Dyson beam.
  • The Frailest Thing considers being a parent in the digital age.
  • Language Hat notes the African writing systems of nsibidi and bamum.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that Trump-supporting states are moving to green energy quite quickly.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Russian guarantees of traditional rights to the peoples of the Russian North do not take their current identities into account.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes that a Toronto family known for its Christmas lights display may be forced to ratchet back by city inspectors.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the apparent discovery of Kuiper Belt objects around white dwarf WD 1425+540.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper examining the possible orbital inclination of Proxima Centauri b, and points to another one speculating about upper limits to the masses of other exoplanets orbiting P_roxima Centauri.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money links to interviews with different historians noting how close the United States is to a scenario from 1930s Germany.
  • The LRB Blog notes that the actions of the American deep state to undermine elements of the Trump Administration seen as potentially threatening will certainly also undermine American democracy.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw looks at reasons for the continuing gap in life outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer links to a paper looking at the effect of Huey Long’s populism on Louisiana’s economy, noting that he had little effect on the markets. This suggests that counting on the markets to reign in populists before the crash may be a mistake.
  • Strange Maps links to a map and history of the Gagauz of Moldova.
  • Torontoist looks at the continuing decline of live music venues in Toronto.
  • Towleroad notes the origins of Der Spiegel‘s cover art showing Trump with the severed head of lady liberty in a Cuban exile’s work.
  • Window on Eurasia notes differences between how Russians and Americans think about ethnicity and citizenship in their diverse societies.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO notes an Instagram user from Toronto, @brxson, who takes stunning photos of the city from on high.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining the limits of exoplanet J1407b’s massive ring system.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes evidence that the primordial Martian atmosphere apparently did not have carbon dioxide.
  • Imageo notes that the California rivers swollen by flooding can be seen from space.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that American intelligence agencies are withholding sensitive information from a White House seen as compromised by Russian intelligence.
  • Language Hat talks about the best ways to learn Latin.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper observing a decline in inter-state migration in the United States.
  • The NYRB Daily looks at the interesting failure of a public sculpture program in the United Kingdom in the 1970s.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes the remarkable heat that has hit Australia in recent days.
  • The Planetary Society Blog reports on the intersection between space technology and high-tech fashion.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at how Argentina gave the Falkland Islands tariff-free access to Mercosur.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog looks at the countries likely to be vulnerable to rapid aging.
  • Transit Toronto notes the Bombardier lawsuit against Metrolinx.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that poor Russian statistical data is leading directly to bad policy.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait mourns the death of Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan and calls for a return to the Moon.
  • Beyond the Beyond’s Bruce Sterling wonders what future historiography will look like when it’s automatically assumed that British imperialism in South Asia was a bad thing.
  • blogTO highlights an impressive new condo tower planned for Mississauga.
  • D-Brief looks at how a literal heartbeat can transform the perception of an individual by race.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining the potential for exoplanets orbiting red dwarfs to be habitable, finding that there seem to be no deal-breakers.
  • Language Hat shares the reflections of Russian-born author Boris Fishman who reads his novel, written in English, translated into the Russian.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money links to a paper looking at the potential for industrial espionage to actually pay off.
  • The LRB Blog considers what will happen to Cuban migration now that Cuban migrants to the United States have no special status.
  • The NYRB Daily looks at post-revolutionary Cairo through film.
  • Savage Minds considers the grounds for potentially treating artificial intelligences as people.
  • Torontoist looks at two rival schools of medicine in 19th century Toronto.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that Washington D.C.’s Freedom Plaza can be cleared of protests.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the potential financial catastrophe of Russia’s declining villages, and looks at Belarus’ national identity.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • ‘Apostrophen’s ‘Nathan Smith describes his writing projects for this year.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining exomoon formation.
  • The LRB Blog worries about Trump’s hold on the button.
  • The NYRB Daily looks at Rex Tillerson, an oil company diplomat to autocrats.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw shares the rediscovered mid-19th century painting by Legros, L’Angelus.
  • Towleroad looks at the Russian tradition of kompromat, the gathering of compromising information for blackmail.
  • Transit Toronto notes that TTC surveying in Scarborough is beginning.
  • Understanding Society looks at path dependency in the formation of academic disciplines.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at Russian tensions regarding gastarbeiter migration and suggests Russia is set to actively sponsor separatism across the former Soviet Union.

[URBAN NOTE] Spacing Ottawa on commemorating William Stephenson

Spacing Ottawa’s Dwight Williams notes an odd, and reparable, lacuna in the list of figures commemorated on Ottawa’s streets.

If you’ll permit some historical stage-setting: around the time frame of 1990-‘91, the former city of Gloucester began the process of building City Park Drive, a side street looping southwards off of Ogilvie Road near the Gloucester Centre Mall. There would eventually be side streets branching off within that loop for condominiums to be built and called home by hundreds of our neighbours.

Around the same time frame, construction began on the north side of Ogilvie on the current headquarters of the first of its best-known – and perhaps least understood – neighbours: the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service. A decade or so later, their military-affiliated counterparts, the Communications Security Establishment, would set up their own shop right next door. Both buildings are striking in terms of design for different reasons, and not the kind of design that one might expect or prefer for the headquarters of intelligence services. That matter of architectural taste can be argued another time in other venues.

To the point: however misunderstood the work of those organizations may be, it can nonetheless be argued that their work – and those of their forebears in the structure of the Canadian government – has at times been vital to Canada…and particularly when it comes to discussing World War II. One Canadian citizen in particular has been honoured with some justification for his work in that field. I’ve checked and discovered that his name has yet to be commemorated anywhere within the current city limits, and perhaps it is time that was now remedied.

That person is Sir William Stephenson, better known even now in some circles as “the Man Called Intrepid” thanks to his autobiography of the same name.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 10, 2016 at 4:46 pm