A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘evolution

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes that the galaxy’s stores of star-forming gas are running low, here.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the next generation of gravitational wave detectors could detect exoplanets, massive worlds orbiting binary white dwarfs.
  • The Crux reports on what is known about Homo naledi.
  • Karen Sternheimer at the Everyday Sociology Blog takes a look at the risks of social isolation.
  • Far Outliers reports on three enclaves of Arab culture encountered by early Western explorers in 19th century East Africa.
  • Gizmodo notes the steady progress made by LightSail 2 in its travel around the world.
  • The Island Review shares the Phillip Miller poem “Biennale”, inspired by Venice.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at how the Norwegian Arctic island of Svalbard works without border controls.
  • The NYR Daily notes that while America is not Rome, it thinks it is.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel explains some oddities of Higgs bosons.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little looks at how the Kyshtym nuclear disaster occurred.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that 5% of Russian Orthodox parishes in Ukraine have defected so far to the Ukrainian church.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell applies information and management theory to Brexit.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Architectuul looks at some architecturally innovative pools.
  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait looks at Wolf 359, a star made famous in Star Trek for the Starfleet battle there against the Borg but also a noteworthy red dwarf star in its own right.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at how the NASA Deep Space Atomic Clock will play a vital role in interplanetary navigation.
  • The Crux considers the “drunken monkey” thesis, the idea that drinking alcohol might have been an evolutionary asset for early hominids.
  • D-Brief reports on what may be the next step for genetic engineering beyond CRISPR.
  • Bruce Dorminey looks at how artificial intelligence may play a key role in searching for threat asteroids.
  • The Island Review shares some poetry from Roseanne Watt, inspired by the Shetlands and using its dialect.
  • Livia Gershon writes at JSTOR Daily about how YouTube, by promising to make work fun, actually also makes fun work in psychologically problematic ways.
  • Marginal Revolution notes how the relatively small Taiwan has become a financial superpower.
  • Janine di Giovanni at the NYR Daily looks back at the 2000 intervention in Sierra Leone. Why did it work?
  • Jamais Cascio at Open the Future looks back at a 2004 futurological exercise, the rather accurate Participatory Panopticon. What did he anticipate correctly? How? What does it suggest for us now to our world?
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes that LightSail 2 will launch before the end of June.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel looks at how the discovery of gas between galaxies helps solve a dark matter question.
  • Strange Company shares a broad collection of links.
  • Window on Eurasia makes the obvious observation that the West prefers a North Caucasus controlled by Russia to one controlled by Islamists.
  • Arnold Zwicky takes a look at American diner culture, including American Chinese food.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait takes a look at an evocative corner of the Pelican Nebula.
  • Centauri Dreams considers if a supernova might have kickstarted hominid evolution by triggering wildfires.
  • D-Brief looks at how scientists examined binary asteroid 1999 KW4 during its flyby on May 25th.
  • JSTOR Daily reports on the development of the radical abolitionism of William Blake.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at centrism as not neutrality but rather as an ideology of its own.
  • Marginal Revolution suggests that legal emigration is more common from right-wing dictatorships than from left-wing ones. Is this actually the case?
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that an image passed off as a hole in the universe a billion light-years wide is actually a photo of nebula Barnard 68.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Ukraine, rather than trying to position itself as a bridge between West and East, should simply try to join the West without equivocations.
  • Arnold Zwicky takes a Zippy cartoon and moves on to explore the wider world from it.

[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?

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Architectuul looks at the history of brutalism in late 20th century Turkey.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the evidence for the Milky Way Galaxy having seen a great period of starburst two billion years ago, and notes how crowded the Milky Way Galaxy is in the direction of Sagittarius.
  • Centauri Dreams considers if astrometry might start to become useful as a method for detecting planets, and considers what the New Horizons data, to Pluto and to Ultima Thule, will be known for.
  • Belle Waring at Crooked Timber considers if talk of forgiveness is, among other things, sound.
  • D-Brief considers the possibility that the differing natures of the faces of the Moon can be explained by an ancient dwarf planet impact, and shares images of dust-ringed galaxy NGC 4485.
  • Dead Things notes the discovery of fossil fungi one billion years old in Nunavut.
  • Far Outliers looks at how, over 1990, Russia became increasingly independent from the Soviet Union, and looks at the final day in office of Gorbachev.
  • Gizmodo notes the discovery of literally frozen oceans of water beneath the north polar region of Mars, and looks at an unusual supernova, J005311 ten thousand light-years away in Cassiopeia, product of a collision between two white dwarfs.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how the colour of navy blue is a direct consequence of slavery and militarism, and observes the historical influence, or lack thereof, of Chinese peasant agriculture on organic farming in the US.
  • Language Log considers a Chinese-language text from San Francisco combining elements of Mandarin and Cantonese.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the terrible environmental consequences of the Vietnam War in Southeast Asia, and Shakezula at Lawyers, Guns and Money takes a look at how, and perhaps why, Sam Harris identifies milkshake-throwing at far-right people as a form of “mock assassination”.
  • The Map Room Blog shares a personal take on mapmaking on the Moon during the Apollo era.
  • Marginal Revolution observes a paper suggesting members of the Chinese communist party are more liberal than the general Chinese population. The blog also notes how Soviet quotas led to a senseless and useless mass slaughter of whales.
  • Russell Darnley writes about the complex and tense relationship between Indonesia and Australia, each with their own preoccupations.
  • Martin Filler writes at the NYR Daily about I.M. Pei as an architect specializing in an “establishment modernism”. The site also takes a look at Orientalism, as a phenomenon, as it exists in the post-9/11 era.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reflects on the meaning of Australia’s New England.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes how Hayabusa 2 is having problems recovering a marker from asteroid Ryugu.
  • Peter Rukavina reports on an outstanding Jane Siberry concert on the Island.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog shares a map of homophobia in Europe.
  • The Signal looks at how the Library of Congress makes use of wikidata.
  • The Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle reports, with photos, from his latest walks this spring.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel considers what the Earth looked like when hominids emerged, and explains how amateur astronomers can capture remarkable images.
  • Frank Jacobs at Strange Maps shares a controversial map depicting the shift away from CNN towards Fox News across the United States.
  • Daniel Little at Understanding Society examines the Boeing 737 MAX disaster as an organizational failure.
  • Window on Eurasia looks why Turkey is backing away from supporting the Circassians, and suggests that the use of the Russian Orthodox Church by the Russian state as a tool of its rule might hurt the church badly.
  • Arnold Zwicky takes apart, linguistically and otherwise, a comic playing on the trope of Lassie warning about something happening to Timmy. He also
    reports on a far-removed branch of the Zwicky family hailing from Belarus, as the Tsvikis.

[NEWS] Five sci-tech links: dinosaurs, phages, algae, space development, interstellar travel

  • MacLean’s notes the controversy surrounding claims of a remarkable find of fossils dating from the very moment, nearly, of the Chixculub impact 66 million years ago.
  • Wired looks at how genetically manipulated phages can be used to treat infectious diseases untreatable by antibiotics.
  • Universe Today notes the usefulness of algae in life-support systems for long-duration crewed missions.
  • Evan Gough at Universe Today notes the need to come up with a system capable of ensuring the sustainable development of space.
  • Corey S Powell writes at Discover about new technologies that could conceivably be used for rapid interstellar flight, and about stepping-stone targets worth noting as we work up to the stars.

[URBAN NOTE] Five notes about smart animals: bees, wolves/dogs, cetaceans, Denisovans, Neanderthals

  • The Conversation notes how urban beekeepers can play a key role in saving bees from extinction.
  • Motherboard looks at the comparative intelligence, and generosity, of wolves versus their domesticated dog counterparts.
  • National Geographic looks at how marine mammals, particularly cetaceans, have been used in different militaries.
  • Smithsonian Magazine looks at how recent studies have demonstrated the diversity among Denisovan populations.
  • Smithsonian Magazine looks at the new consensus about the remarkable capabilities of Neanderthals.