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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘european union

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Matt Thompson at anthro{dendum} writes about the complex, often anthropological, satire in the comics of Charles Addams.
  • Architectuul looks at the photography of Roberto Conte.
  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait notes a new computer model suggesting a supernova can be triggered by throwing a white dwarf into close orbit of a black hole.
  • D-Brief notes how ammonia on the surface of Pluto hints at the existence of a subsurface ocean.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes how the bombardment of Earth by debris from a nearby supernova might have prompted early hominids to become bipedal.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that NASA has awarded its first contract for its plans in lunar space.
  • Far Outliers notes the reactions, within and without the Soviet Union, to the 1991 Soviet coup attempt.
  • Matt Novak at Gizmodo’s Paleofuture notes how, in 1995, Terry Pratchett predicted the rise of online Nazis.
  • io9 notes the impending physical release this summer of DVDs of the Deep Space Nine documentary What We Left Behind.
  • JSTOR Daily suggests some ways to start gardening in your apartment.
  • Victor Mair at Language Log claims that learning Literary Chinese is a uniquely difficult experience. Thoughts?
  • The NYR Daily features a wide-ranging interview with EU official Michel Barnier focused particularly, but not exclusively, on Brexit.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes that an Internet vote has produced a majority in favour of naming outer system body 2007 OR10 Gonggang.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer considers the possibility that foreign investors in Mexico might be at risk, at least feel themselves at risk, from the government of AMLO.
  • The Signal looks at how the Library of Congress archives spreadsheets.
  • Van Waffle at the Speed River Journal looks at magenta spreen, a colourful green that he grows in his garden.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes how we on Earth are carelessly wasting irreplaceable helium.
  • Window on Eurasia refers to reports claiming that a third of the population of Turkmenistan has fled that Central Asian state. Could this be accurate?

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Innisfil, Montréal, Yellowknife, Miami Beach, Plovdiv

  • CityLab notes how the effort of exurban Innisfil to use Uber as a substitute for mass transit did not work as expected.
  • HuffPost Québec looks at how the Québec government is prioritizing the REM suburban light rails over the proposed Pink Line.
  • Yellowknife may see the construction of a decidedly green four-story building. CBC North reports.
  • CityLab looks at the experience of Miami Beach in using public art to put itself on the map.
  • Guardian Cities looks at how the city of Plovdiv, second-largest city in Bulgaria, is trying to attract past emigrants from the country.

[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.

[DM] Some links: immigration, cities, small towns, French Canada, Eurasia, China, Brexit, music

Another links post is up over at Demography Matters!

  • Skepticism about immigration in many traditional receiving countries appeared. Frances Woolley at the Worthwhile Canadian Initiative took issue with the argument of Andray Domise after an EKOS poll, that Canadians would not know much about the nature of migration flows. The Conversation observed how the rise of Vox in Spain means that country’s language on immigration is set to change towards greater skepticism. Elsewhere, the SCMP called on South Korea, facing pronounced population aging and workforce shrinkages, to become more open to immigrants and minorities.
  • Cities facing challenges were a recurring theme. This Irish Examiner article, part of a series, considers how the Republic of Ireland’s second city of Cork can best break free from the dominance of Dublin to develop its own potential. Also on Ireland, the NYR Daily looked at how Brexit and a hardened border will hit the Northern Ireland city of Derry, with its Catholic majority and its location neighbouring the Republic. CityLab reported on black migration patterns in different American cities, noting gains in the South, is fascinating. As for the threat of Donald Trump to send undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities in the United States has widely noted., at least one observer noted that sending undocumented immigrants to cities where they could connect with fellow diasporids and build secure lives might actually be a good solution.
  • Declining rural settlements featured, too. The Guardian reported from the Castilian town of Sayatón, a disappearing town that has become a symbol of depopulating rural Spain. Global News, similarly, noted that the loss by the small Nova Scotia community of Blacks Harbour of its only grocery store presaged perhaps a future of decline. VICE, meanwhile, reported on the very relevant story about how resettled refugees helped revive the Italian town of Sutera, on the island of Sicily. (The Guardian, to its credit, mentioned how immigration played a role in keeping up numbers in Sayatón, though the second generation did not stay.)
  • The position of Francophone minorities in Canada, meanwhile, also popped up at me.
  • This TVO article about the forces facing the École secondaire Confédération in the southern Ontario city of Welland is a fascinating study of minority dynamics. A brief article touches on efforts in the Franco-Manitoban community of Winnipeg to provide temporary shelter for new Francophone immigrants. CBC reported, meanwhile, that Francophones in New Brunswick continue to face pressure, with their numbers despite overall population growth and with Francophones being much more likely to be bilingual than Anglophones. This last fact is a particularly notable issue inasmuch as New Brunswick’s Francophones constitute the second-largest Francophone community outside of Québec, and have traditionally been more resistant to language shift and assimilation than the more numerous Franco-Ontarians.
  • The Eurasia-focused links blog Window on Eurasia pointed to some issues. It considered if the new Russian policy of handing out passports to residents of the Donbas republics is related to a policy of trying to bolster the population of Russia, whether fictively or actually. (I’m skeptical there will be much change, myself: There has already been quite a lot of emigration from the Donbas republics to various destinations, and I suspect that more would see the sort of wholesale migration of entire families, even communities, that would add to Russian numbers but not necessarily alter population pyramids.) Migration within Russia was also touched upon, whether on in an attempt to explain the sharp drop in the ethnic Russian population of Tuva in the 1990s or in the argument of one Muslim community leader in the northern boomtown of Norilsk that a quarter of that city’s population is of Muslim background.
  • Eurasian concerns also featured. The Russian Demographics Blog observed, correctly, that one reason why Ukrainians are more prone to emigration to Europe and points beyond than Russians is that Ukraine has long been included, in whole or in part, in various European states. As well, Marginal Revolution linked to a paper that examines the positions of Jews in the economies of eastern Europe as a “rural service minority”, and observed the substantial demographic shifts occurring in Kazakhstan since independence, with Kazakh majorities appearing throughout the country.
  • JSTOR Daily considered 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. I’m inclined to say no, based not least on the evidence of the rapid fall in East Asian fertility outside of China.
  • What will Britons living in the EU-27 do, faced with Brexit? Bloomberg noted the challenge of British immigrant workers in Luxembourg faced with Brexit, as Politico Europe did their counterparts living in Brussels.
  • Finally, at the Inter Press Service, A.D. Mackenzie wrote about an interesting exhibit at the Musée de l’histoire de l’immigration in Paris on the contributions made by immigrants to popular music in Britain and France from the 1960s to the 1980s.

[AH] Five #alternatehistory maps from r/imaginarymaps: UK-Dutch, Patagonias, Virginia, Japan, Europe

  • This r/imaginarymaps map imagines a united Anglo-Dutch state. Could such have ever have occurred?
  • This r/imaginarymaps map, one in a series, imagines a Patagonia divided between multiple rival powers perhaps after the Guyanas. Could Patagonia, only recently incorporated into Argentina and Chile, have seen something like this?
  • This is a perhaps-optimistic depiction of the territory that a #Virginia independent of the United States might have held. In a no-US timeline, how far could it have gotten?
  • This r/imaginarymaps map sees the Empire of Japan as a bulwark against Communism in Asia, even taking Australia and New Zealand under its aegis. Too, see its protectorate over the Russian Far East.
  • This r/imaginarymaps map, imagining a European Federation circa 2004, makes an important point: The earlier that Europe unifies, the more geographically restricted its membership will be.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait considers the possibility that interstellar objects like ‘Oumuamua might help planets consdense in young systems.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly explains the genesis of news stories.
  • Centauri Dreams explores a remarkable thesis of somehow intelligent, living even, mobile stars.
  • Citizen Science Blog reports on an ingenious effort by scientists to make use of crowdsourcing to identify venerable trees in a forest.
  • The Crux takes a look at the idea of rewilding.
  • D-Brief takes a look at how active auroras can lead to satellite orbits decaying prematurely.
  • Bruce Dorminey reports on a new finding suggesting that the suspected exomoon given the name Kepler-162b I does not exist.
  • JSTOR Daily takes a look at the incident that led to the concept of Stockholm syndrome.
  • Language Log takes a look at the idea of someone having more than one native language. Is it even possible?
  • Robert Farley at Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at how trade war with the EU is hurting the bourbon industry of the United States.
  • The LRB Blog reports on the aftermath in Peru of the startling suicide of former president Alan Garcia.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper suggesting that rising health care costs have hurt the American savings rate and the wider American economy.
  • Russell Darnley takes a look at the innovative fish weirs of the Aborigines on Australia’s Darling River.
  • The NYR Daily takes a look at Russian Doll and the new era of television.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes the formal end of the Mars rover expeditions. Spirit and Opportunity can rest easy.
  • Drew Rowsome praises Out, a one-man show at Buddies in Bad Times exploring what it was like to be out in the late 1970s.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that a search for dark matter has revealed evidence of the radioactive decay of pretty but not perfectly stable isotope xenon-124.
  • Window on Eurasia considers the likely impact of new Ukrainian president Volodymir Zelensky on Ukrainian autocephaly.
  • Arnold Zwicky celebrated the penguin drawings of Sandra Boynton, starting from her World Penguin Day image from the 25th of April.

[NEWS] Five politics links: alt-right in Canada, Spain, South Korea, England

  • NOW Toronto notes the growth of the far right and of anti-Muslim extremism in Canada.
  • The Conversation notes how depriving online trolls of platforms is not going to stop their message from spreading.
  • The Conversation notes how, particularly, the rise of Vox in Spain means that country’s language on immigration is set to change.
  • The SCMP calls on South Korea, facing pronounced population aging and workforce shrinkages, to become more open to immigrants and minorities.
  • Alan Crawford at Bloomberg argues that Brexit can be traced to the lack of representation of England, specifically, in a federalizing United Kingdom. Who are the English? What do they want?