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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘extraterrestrial life

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • Bad Astronomer reports on Kepler-90, now known to have eight planets.
  • Centauri Dreams notes a model suggesting low-mass worlds like Mars do not stay very habitable for long at all around red dwarf stars.
  • Citizen Science Salon notes how Puerto Ricans are monitoring water quality on their own after Hurricane Maria.
  • The Crux notes how climate change played a role in the fall of Rome. We know more about our environment than the Romans did, but we are not much less vulnerable.
  • D-Brief notes a feature film that has just been made about Ötzi, the man who body was famously found frozen in the Tyrolean Alps five thousand years ago.
  • Daily JSTOR notes how a postage stamp featuring an erupting volcano may have kept Nicaragua from hosting an inter-oceanic canal of its own.
  • Hornet Stories reports on some exciting queer musicians.
  • Language Hat links to an online dictionary of French slang from the 19th century.
  • Language Hat has a post dealing with some controversy created on its author’s perspective on “they” as a singular pronoun. (Language changes, that’s all I have to say on that.)
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes a pretty wrong-headed take from a right-wing news source on sexuality and dating and flirting. Gack.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes how the recent Kepler-90 press release shows how Kepler has reached the limit of the exoplanet science it can do. We need to put better technology at work.
  • At Whatever, John Scalzi has some interesting non-spoiler thoughts about the direction of The Last Jedi. I must see this, soon.
  • Window on Eurasia features a blithe dismissal by Putin of the idea that there is language or ethnic conflict at work. Tatars just need to learn Russian, apparently, though they can also keep Tatar as an extra.
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[NEWS] Three science links: bitcoin and the environment, Halszkaraptor escuillei, ocean worlds

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  • GRIST points out that the massive growth in electricity consumption in bitcoin mining is starting to have an impact on the overall global environment.
  • CBC reports on the analysis of the fossil of Halszkaraptor escuilliei, a dinosaur that evokes a contemporary heron more than anything else.
  • Universe Today reports on a study suggesting that worlds like Europa and Enceladus, with habitable oceans located beneath icy surfaces, are far more common than Earth-like worlds in conventional circumstellar habitable zones.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 8, 2017 at 11:59 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Architectuul considers the humanizing potential of brutalism in the context of a London filled with impersonal skyscrapers.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the ways the habitable-zone super-Earths of K2-18 reveal our solar system to be exceptional.
  • Centauri Dreams notes evidence for active plate tectonics in the ice crust of Europa, suggesting an ocean being replenished with nutrients and possibly suitable for life.
  • D-Brief notes the sourcing of the iron in the artifacts of the Bronze Act in meteorites.
  • Daily JSTOR reports on how Hollywood coped during the Red Scare of the 1950s.
  • Dangerous Minds notes the exciting discovery of tapes recording Devo jamming with David Bowie and Brian Eno.
  • Cody Delistraty considers if the restitution of artworks looted from once-colonized territories might not be a cheap substitute for deeper changes.
  • Language Hat shares a student essay comparing, during the First World War, the United States’ campaign against German and the German campaign against French.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money argues against a British nostalgia for monarchy and empire that overlooks the real injustices perpetrated at Britain’s imperial peak.
  • Lingua Franca notes the remarkable power of the #metoo movement.
  • The LRB Blog notes the exceptional complexity of the issue of Jerusalem, especially after Trump’s actions.
  • The Map Room Blog shares links to a variety of maps of the Halifax Explosion and its effects.
  • The NYR Daily looks at some of the legacies of the Salvadoran civil war.
  • Peter Watts makes an argument in favour of the dystopia in contemporary science fiction.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla reports that South Korea is planning its first Moon expedition for 2020.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that Argentina, at its peak, offered as good or even better chances for social mobility for immigrants than the United States.
  • Peter Rukavina shares a photograph showing the electronic system used by defunct Charlottetown nightclub Myron’s for dispensing drinks.
  • Towleroad reports on one consequence of Australia’s acceptance of gay marriage: Will Calvin Harris remix the Spice Girls song “2 Become 1”, as he promised?
  • Window on Eurasia shares a list of eight reasons explaining why Finland was unique in the former Russian Empire in maintaining its independence from Moscow.

[NEWS] Five sci-tech links: Mount Agung, rural Internet, Wacom, space mining school, seeding life

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  • Global News considers if the Mount Agung eruption in Bali could, through the injection of dust into the atmosphere, lead to global cooling.
  • VICE examines how rural electric cooperatives in the United States are adding broadband Internet to the list of services they provide.
  • VICE profiles Wacom, the Japanese company with decades of investment in touchscreen technology now finally paying off.
  • Wired notes that the Colorado School of Mines is now offering a program for space miners.
  • Universe Today shares a speculative plan for using self-replicating robots to seed life on potentially suitable exoplanets across the galaxy, focusing on ones with natural oxygen atmospheres.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

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  • Centauri Dreams takes a look at how stellar winds from red dwarfs complicate the habitability of planets in their circumstellar habitable zones.
  • The Crux, noting the 75th anniversary of the atomic age, notes some non-nuclear weapons achievements of this era.
  • D-Brief notes the exceptional strength of prehistoric women farmers.
  • Daily JSTOR takes a look at the instantaneity and power–frightening power, even–of celebrity culture in an era where technology gives us access to the intimate details of their lives.
  • Far Outliers notes that Pearl Buck, American author and missionary in China, actually was egalitarian and feminist.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas considers all those texts created in the past, of importance then and relevant even now, which have been forgotten. How can the canon be restored?
  • Imageo shares photos of the eruption of Mount Agung, in Bali.
  • Language Hat notes the intense interest of Roman Italy in all things Egyptian, including hieroglyphics. Where, exactly, was the like European interest in the cultures it colonized more recently?
  • Language Log tries to find people who can identify the source language of a particular text. It seems Turkic …
  • Lingua France talks about Robert Luis Stevenson and his opinions (and the blogger’s) about the weather of Edinburgh.
  • Lovesick Cyborg notes the seriously destabilizing potential of roboticization on human employment. To what extent can improving education systems help?
  • Tariq Ali at the LRB Blog talks about the latest religious-political crisis in Pakistan.
  • The Map Room Blog links to an article describing a Vietnamese historian’s search for cartographic proof of his country’s claims in the South China Sea.
  • The NYR Daily considers an interesting question: how, exactly, do you get an actor to act naturally for film? What strategies do filmmakers use?
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes a new genetic study hinting at a much greater survival of indigenous populations–women, at least–in Argentina than was previously suspected.
  • Roads and Kingdoms notes an interesting effort to try to preserve and restore the older districts of Kabul.
  • Seriously Science notes the exploration of the microbial life populating the coffee machine sludge of some inquisitive scientists.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that substantially Russian-populated northern Kazakhstan is at risk of becoming a new Russian target, especially after Nazarbayev goes.
  • Arnold Zwicky shares some thoughts on people of colour and the LGBTQ rainbow flag.

[NEWS] Four science links: neutrinos and Antarctica, ‘Oumuamua, Ceres and Pluto, panspermia

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  • This feature explaining how neutrino telescopes in Antarctica are being used to study the Earth’s core is fascinating. The Globe and Mail has it.
  • Universe Today shares “Project Lyra”, a proposal for an unmanned probe to interstellar asteroid ‘Oumuamua.
  • Dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto, Nora Redd suggests at Discover, may have much more in common than we might think. Is Ceres a KBO transported into the warm asteroid belt?
  • Universe Today reports on one paper that takes a look at some mechanisms behind galactic panspermia.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 24, 2017 at 4:45 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Centauri Dreams takes a look at the exciting early news on potentially habitable nearby exoplanet Ross 128 b.
  • The Crux notes that evidence has been found of Alzheimer-like illness in dolphins. Is this, as the scientists argue, a symptom of a syndrome shared between us, big-brained social species with long post-fertility lifespans?
  • D-Brief takes a look at the idea of contemporary life on Mars hiding away in the icy regolith near the surface.
  • Far Outliers notes one argument that Germany lost the Second World War because of the poor quality of its leaders.
  • Gizmodo notes the incredibly bright event PS1-10adi, two and a half billion light-years away. What is it? No one knows …
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money celebrates the end of the Mugabe dictatorship in Zimbabwe.
  • The Map Room Blog links to some fascinating detailed maps of the outcome of the Australian mail-in vote on marriage equality.
  • Roads and Kingdoms visits rural Mexico after the recent quake.
  • Cheri Lucas Rowlands shares some beautiful photos of fantastical Barcelona.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes the insights provided by Pluto’s mysterious cool atmosphere, with its cooling haze, has implications for Earth at a time of global warming.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Russia is not going to allow even Tatarstan to include the Tatar language as a mandatory school subject.