A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘europe

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Ryan Anderson at anthro{dendum} looks at the unnatural history of the beach in California, here.
  • Architectuul looks at the architectural imaginings of Iraqi Shero Bahradar, here.
  • Bad Astronomy looks at gas-rich galaxy NGC 3242.
  • James Bow announces his new novel The Night Girl, an urban fantasy set in an alternate Toronto with an author panel discussion scheduled for the Lillian H. Smith Library on the 28th.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at the indirect evidence for an exomoon orbiting WASP-49b, a possible Io analogue detected through its ejected sodium.
  • Crooked Timber considers the plight of holders of foreign passports in the UK after Brexit.
  • The Crux notes that astronomers are still debating the nature of galaxy GC1052-DF2, oddly lacking in dark matter.
  • D-Brief notes how, in different scientific fields, the deaths of prominent scientists can help progress.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes how NASA and the ESA are considering sample-return missions to Ceres.
  • Andrew LePage at Drew Ex Machina looks at the first test flights of the NASA Mercury program.
  • The Dragon’s Tales looks at how Japan is considering building ASAT weapons.
  • Andrew LePage at Drew Ex Machina looks at the first test flights of the NASA Mercury program.
  • Far Outliers looks how the anti-malarial drug quinine played a key role in allowing Europeans to survive Africa.
  • At In Media Res, Russell Arben Fox considers grace and climate change.
  • io9 reports on how Jonathan Frakes had anxiety attacks over his return as Riker on Star Trek: Picard.
  • JSTOR Daily reports on the threatened banana.
  • Language Log looks at the language of Hong Kong protesters.
  • Erik Loomis at Lawyers, Guns and Money notes how a new version of The Last of the Mohicans perpetuates Native American erasure.
  • Marginal Revolution notes how East Germany remains alienated.
  • Neuroskeptic looks at the participant-observer effect in fMRI subjects.
  • The NYR Daily reports on a documentary looking at the India of Modi.
  • Corey S. Powell writes at Out There about Neptune.
  • The Planetary Society Blog examines the atmosphere of Venus, something almost literally oceanic in its nature.
  • Noel Maurer at The Power and the Money considers how Greenland might be incorporated into the United States.
  • Rocky Planet notes how Earth is unique down to the level of its component minerals.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog considers biopolitical conservatism in Poland and Russia.
  • Starts With a Bang’s Ethan Siegel considers if LIGO has made a detection that might reveal the nonexistence of the theorized mass gap between neutron stars and black holes.
  • Frank Jacobs at Strange Maps looks at Marchetti’s constant: People in cities, it seems, simply do not want to commute for a time longer than half an hour.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little looks at how the US Chemical Safety Board works.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on how Muslims in the Russian Far North fare.
  • Arnold Zwicky looks at cannons and canons.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait looks at Abell 30, a star that has been reborn in the long process of dying.
  • Centauri Dreams uses the impending launch of LightSail 2 to discuss solar sails in science fiction.
  • John Quiggin at Crooked Timber, as part of a series of the fragility of globalization, considers if migration flows can be reversed. (He concludes it unlikely.)
  • The Crux considers if the record rain in the Midwest (Ontario, too, I would add) is a consequence of climate change.
  • D-Brief notes that the failure of people around the world to eat enough fruits and vegetables may be responsible for millions of premature dead.
  • Dangerous Minds introduces readers to gender-bending Italian music superstar Renato Zero.
  • Dead Things notes how genetic examinations have revealed the antiquity of many grapevines still used for wine.
  • Gizmodo notes that the ocean beneath the icy crust of Europa may contain simple salt.
  • io9 tries to determine the nature of the many twisted timelines of the X-Men movie universe of Fox.
  • JSTOR Daily observes that the Stonewall Riots were hardly the beginning of the gay rights movement in the US.
  • Language Log looks at the mixed scripts on a bookstore sign in Beijing.
  • Dave Brockington at Lawyers, Guns, and Money argues that Jeremy Corbyn has a very strong hold on his loyal followers, perhaps even to the point of irrationality.
  • Marginal Revolution observes that people who create public genetic profiles for themselves also undo privacy for their entire biological family.
  • Sean Marshall at Marshall’s Musings shares a photo of a very high-numbered street address, 986039 Oxford-Perth Road in Punkeydoodle’s Corners.
  • The NYR Daily examines the origins of the wealth of Lehman Brothers in the exploitation of slavery.
  • The Planetary Society Blog shares a panorama-style photo of the Apollo 11 Little West Crater on the Moon.
  • Drew Rowsome notes that classic documentary Paris Is Burning has gotten a makeover and is now playing at TIFF.
  • Peter Rukavina, writing from a trip to Halifax, notes the convenience of the Eduroam procedures allowing users of one Maritime university computer network to log onto another member university’s network.
  • Dylan Reid at Spacing considers how municipal self-government might be best embedded in the constitution of Canada.
  • The Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle pays tribute to the wildflower Speedwell, a name he remembers from Watership Down.
  • Strange Maps shares a crowdsourced map depicting which areas of Europe are best (and worst) for hitchhikers.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the distribution of native speakers of Russian, with Israel emerging as more Russophone than some post-Soviet states.

[AH] Five #alternatehistory maps from r/imaginarymaps: Balkans, Ethiopia, Europe, Australia, Bengal

  • This r/imaginarymaps map imagines a Balkans where Muslims remain in larger numbers throughout the peninsula, leading to border changes in the south, particularly.
  • An Ethiopia that has conquered most of the Horn of Africa by the mid-19th century, even going into Yemen, is the subject of this r/imaginarymaps map. Could this ever have happened?
  • This r/imaginarymaps map imagines, here, a unified European Confederation descending from a conquest of Europe by Napoleon. Would this have been stable, I wonder?
  • Was the unification of Australia inevitable, or, as this r/imaginarymaps post suggests, was a failure to unify or even a later split imaginable?
  • Was a unified and independent Bengal possible, something like what this r/imaginarymaps post depicts?

[AH] What if a united Europe in the early 20th century? (#alternatehistory)

The first sentence of a recent tweet made me wonder about Donald Trump as a source of alternate histories–real alternate histories, of course, uchronias.

The idea of a European Military didn’t work out too well in W.W. I or 2. But the U.S. was there for you, and always will be. All we ask is that you pay your fair share of NATO. Germany is paying 1% while the U.S. pays 4.3% of a much larger GDP – to protect Europe. Fairness!

The problem with this first sentence is that there was no “European Military” in the First or Second World Wars for the simple reason that the two world wars were fought between different European Great Powers. There was nothing at all like the contemporary European Union, certainly no Franco-German alliance like the one that exists now. Had there been such a supranational union of European states before the First World War, these two world wars would never have come about at all.

All that said, what if there was? The prehistory of the modern European Union and European integration generally extends far before 1945, with many liberals and radicals in 19th century Europe seeing a reorganization of the European continent into a federation of free nation-states the only way for the continent to move forward. I can just barely imagine someone like Napoleon III, acting in a somewhat different international environment (supporting liberal German nationalism against Prussia and Austria, perhaps?), favouring something like this.

Was an earlier European integration possible, perhaps organized around a Franco-German core as OTL? Could there have been, by a 1914, something like a European military? It goes without saying that the consequences of this would be enormous, for Europe and for non-Europe both. Was the non-European world was lucky to have Europe not united but tearing itself apart, for instance, to not have a Europe internally united and presented a single face to the outside world? Could an integrated Europe have kept pace with the emerging United States across the Atlantic, not falling prey to economic divisions which surely hindered European growth?

What do you think?

Written by Randy McDonald

December 11, 2018 at 11:59 pm

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Antipope’s Charlie Stross considers the question of how to build durable space colonies.
  • blogTO notes that the musical Hamilton might be coming to Toronto.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that European populations are descended from Anatolian farmers, not local hunter0-gatherers.
  • Far Outliers notes the plight of Czech and Slovak migrants in Russia following the outbreak of the First World War.
  • Language Log looks at new programs to promote the learning of Cantonese, outside of China proper.
  • Towleroad notes the sad story of a Belgian man who wants euthanasia because he’s ashamed of being gay.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World worries about the possible spread of illiberal democracy to Croatia.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • blogTO notes that the Canadian government has prevented Conrad Black from selling his Forest Hill mansion on account of taxes.
  • Dangerous Minds shares a beautiful 1981 live performance by The Church.
  • Language Log notes the inclusion of Singaporean and Hong Kong English words into the OED.
  • The Map Room Blog notes the four Italian nuns who helped the Vatican map prt of the sky.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the increasing concentration of the Quakers in Kenya, and by extension other Christian denominations in Africa.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at the success of solar energy in Mexico.
  • Strange Maps notes the history of Middle Eastern migration into Europe.
  • Torontoist looks at a Kensington Market project displaying graffiti from around the world.
  • Towleroad notes Donald Trump’s refusal to reveal his tax returns.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the role played by Vladimir Zhirinovsky in Russian politics.
  • Zero Geography links to a paper co-authored by the blogger looking at the online representation of Jerusalem.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Dangerous Minds notes a Brazilian artist who has gotten some controversy over turning religious figurines into superheroes.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that in the last five years, Japan’s population has shrunk by one million.
  • Joe. My. God. notes an Indonesian parliamentarian who has called for homosexuals to be put to death.
  • Language Hat looks at the multilingualism of medieval Europe.
  • Language Log notes tablets which have problems displaying Chinese documents.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes Donald Trump as a con artist.
  • The Map Room Blog considers if transit maps are too complicated for users.
  • Marginal Revolution notes declining labour force participation among middle-aged maps.
  • pollotenchegg looks at demographic changes in 2015 over Ukraine.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders if Trump would wreck the relationship with Mexico and looks at the relatively moderate nature of his claims on his website, suggesting mockery is the best response to Trump.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Ukrainian claims that Russia is creating military units staffed by Ukrainian citizens, and notes reports on an ethnic clash between members of a military unit in Chechnya.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World notes the awkward position of Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo, the first wanting to join Serbia and the second wanting access to the European Union.