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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘extraterrestrial life

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Anthrodendum recommends design researcher Jan Chipchase’s Field Study Handbook for anthropologists interested in field practice.
  • Architectuul investigates strange similarities between buildings built in far-removed parts of the world.
  • Centauri Dreams takes a look at TESS, the next generation of exoplanet-hunting satellite.
  • Crooked Timber investigates the connections between the spiritualism of the 19th century and the fiction of the uncanny.
  • D-Brief notes the many names, often delightful, that newly-discovered locations on Mercury and Charon have received.
  • Cody Delistraty investigates two exhibitions of French satirists, including Charlie Hedo’s Georges Wolinski, to examine the nature of satire.
  • The Dragon’s Tales considers the possibility of cryomagna leaving marks on the surface of Europa.
  • Drew Ex Machina takes a look at the strangely alien skies of TRAPPIST-1e. What would its sun look like? How would the other planets appear?
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog takes a look at the new prominence of multigenerational households in the United States. While a response to economic strains, it also looks back to past traditions.
  • Hornet Stories notes how, on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Monet X Change gave a decent explanation behind the surprisingly recent birth of the modern British accent.
  • Imageo notes how a massive blob of warm water is rising to the surface of the Pacific.
  • At In A State of Migration, Lyman Stone explores the unique population history of Maine, to my eyes easily the most Atlantic Canadian of the fifty American states.
  • JSTOR Daily links to a paper exploring why modern video games can produce such rewarding experiences for players. (We can get meaning from many places.)
  • Language Log takes a look at the complexity of Chinese language classifications with a song by Yishi Band. What exactly is Yibin Sichuanese?
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money takes a look at an interesting question: When did Jews in the United States become white?
  • The LRB Blog takes a look at the baffling reasons behind the poisoning of the Skribins with Novichok, and the science behind it.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that this year, GDP per capita measured at PPP in Spain is higher than in Italy. (This probably says more about the disarray in Italy.)
  • The NYR Daily shares an interesting interview with cartoonist Art Spiegelman.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw tells of his experiences on a trip to the small Australian city of Armidale, in the region of New England.
  • Justin Petrone reflects on the tidy and clean, minimalist even, rural landscape of Estonia.
  • Progressive Download’s John Farrell notes brain scans that provide evidence of consciousness even in very young infants.
  • Drew Rowsome praises the Toronto production of the musical Fun Home, based on the Alison Bechdel graphic novel. I, for one, can’t wait to see it.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that, although Proxima Centauri is far too active a star for Proxima Centauri b to be Earth-like, that world could still plausibly host life-supporting environments.
  • Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy suggests a recent deal at the federal level in the US between Trump and Cory Gardner has created space for states to legalize marijuana without fear of federal intervention.
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[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • ‘Nathan Burgoine at Apostrophen links to a giveaway of paranormal LGBT fiction.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares some stunning photos of Jupiter provided by Juno.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly looks at the desperate, multi-state strike of teachers in the United States. American education deserves to have its needs, and its practitioners’ needs, met.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at PROCSIMA, a strategy for improving beamed propulsion techniques.
  • Crooked Timber looks at the history of the concept of the uncanny valley. How did the concept get translated in the 1970s from Japan to the wider world?
  • Dangerous Minds shares a 1980s BBC interview with William Burroughs.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper tracing the origin of the Dravidian language family to a point in time 4500 years ago.
  • JSTOR Daily notes Phyllis Wheatley, a freed slave who became the first African-American author in the 18th century but who died in poverty.
  • Language Hat notes the exceptional importance of the Persian language in early modern South Asia.
  • Language Log looks at the forms used by Chinese to express the concepts of NIMBY and NIMBYism.
  • Language Hat notes the exceptional importance of the Persian language in early modern South Asia.
  • The NYR Daily notes that, if the United States junks the nuclear deal with Iran, nothing external to Iran could realistically prevent the country’s nuclearization.
  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at the latest findings from the Jupiter system, from that planet’s planet-sized moons.
  • Roads and Kingdoms notes that many Rohingya, driven from their homeland, have been forced to work as mules in the illegal drug trade.
  • Starts With A Bang considers how early, based on elemental abundances, life could have arisen after the Big Bang. A date only 1 to 1.5 billion years after the formation of the universe is surprisingly early.
  • Strange Maps’ Frank Jacobs notes how the centre of population of different tree populations in the United States has been shifting west as the climate has changed.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little takes a look at mechanisms and causal explanations.
  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative’s Frances Woolley takes a look at an ECON 1000 test from the 1950s. What biases, what gaps in knowledge, are revealed by it?

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait suggests that strange markings in the upper atmosphere of Venus might well be evidence of life in that relatively Earth-like environment.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly raves over Babylon Berlin.
  • Centauri Dreams considers, fifty years after its publication, Clarke’s 2001.
  • Crooked Timber considers Kevin Williamson in the context of conservative intellectual representation more generally.
  • D-Brief considers “digisexuality”, the fusion of the digital world with sexuality. (I think we’re quite some way off, myself.)
  • The Dragon’s Tales considers evidence suggesting that the agricultural revolution in ancient Anatolia was achieved without population replacement from the Fertile Crescent.
  • Drew Ex Machina takes a look at the flight of Apollo 6, a flight that helped iron out problem with the Saturn V.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas is not impressed by the idea of the trolley problem, as something that allows for the displacement of responsibility.
  • Gizmodo explains why the faces of Neanderthals were so different from the faces of modern humans.
  • JSTOR Daily considers if volcano-driven climate change helped the rise of Christianity.
  • Language Log considers, after Spinoza, the idea that vowels are the souls of consonants.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money engages in a bit of speculation: What would have happened had Clinton won? (Ideological gridlock, perhaps.)
  • Lovesick Cyborg explores how the advent of the cheap USB memory stick allowed North Koreans to start to enjoy K-Pop.
  • Russell Darnley considers the transformation of the forests of Indonesia’s Riau forest from closed canopy forest to plantations.
  • The Map Room Blog shares some praise of inset maps.
  • Neuroskeptic considers how ketamine may work as an anti-depressant.
  • The NYR Daily considers student of death, Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross.
  • Justin Petrone of north! shares an anecdote from the Long Island coastal community of Greenport.
  • Personal Reflection’s Jim Belshaw considers the iconic Benjamin Wolfe painting The Death of General Wolfe.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Casey Dreier notes cost overruns for the James Webb Space Telescope.
  • pollotenchegg maps recent trends in natural increase and decrease in Ukraine.
  • Roads and Kingdoms talks about a special Hverabrau├░ in Iceland, baked in hot springs.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel shares his own proposal for a new Drake Equation, revised to take account of recent discoveries.
  • Vintage Space considers how the American government would have responded if John Glenn had died in the course of his 1962 voyage into space.
  • Window on Eurasia considers the belief among many Russians that had Beria, not Khrushchev, succeeded Stalin, the Soviet Union might have been more successful.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Kambiz Kamrani at Anthropology.net notes new research suggesting that all modern Australian Aborigine languages descend from a single ancestor more than ten thousands years ago.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly considers the search for one’s spiritual home.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the planned ESA ARIEL mission, intended to study exoplanet formation and atmospheres.
  • Crooked Timber considers the prospects for the university in the United Kingdom, post-strike.
  • D-Brief notes a study suggesting the worlds of TRAPPIST-1 might be too wet, too water-rich, to sustain life.
  • Cody Delistraty shares an interview with Nancy Jo Sales on everything from childhood to Facebook.
  • Dead Things notes the discovery of human footprints on the seafloor off of British Columbia, predating the Ice Age.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes the possibility that ocean worlds in the “ice cap zone” could manage to support life
  • Drew Ex Machina takes a look at the observations to date of near-Jovian analogue world Epsilon Indi Ab.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes ambitious plans by one private space development company to set up a functioning cislunar economy.
  • Hornet Stories notes the upcoming re-release of Garbage’s second album, Version 2.0.
  • In A State of Migration’s Lyman Stone takes a look at the regional origins of German immigrants to the US in the mid-19th century.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Grindr shares private user data with third parties that, among other things, would allow them to determine the HIV status of different individuals.
  • JSTOR Daily notes the struggle for equal civil rights in Alaska, as indigenous people fought for equality.
  • The NYR Daily reports on an interesting exhibit of post-Second World War modern art from Germany.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • At Anthropology.net, Kambiz Kamrani notes evidence that Australopithecus africanus suffered the same sorts of dental issues as modern humans.
  • Architectuul considers, in the specific context of Portugal, a project by architects seeking to create new vehicles and new designs to enable protest.
  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait looks at HD 34445, a Sun-like star somewhat older than our own that has two gas giants within its circumstellar habitable zone. Could these worlds have moons which could support life?
  • James Bow celebrates Osgoode as Gold, the next installment in the Toronto Comics anthology of local stories.
  • At Crooked Timber, Henry Farrell in the wake of Italian elections revisits the idea of post-democratic politics, of elections which cannot change things.
  • D-Brief notes that monkeys given ayahuasca seem to have been thereby cured of their depression. Are there implications for humans, here?
  • Dangerous Minds notes the facekini, apparently a popular accessory for Chinese beach-goers.
  • Imageo notes the shocking scale of snowpack decline in the western United States, something with long-term consequences for water supplies.
  • JSTOR Daily notes a paper suggesting that the cultivation of coffee does not harm–perhaps more accurately, need not harm–biodiversity.
  • Robert Farley at Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the potential of the United States to start to extricate itself from the ongoing catastrophe in Yemen.
  • The NYR Daily features an interview with photographer Dominique Nabokov about her photos of living rooms.
  • Drew Rowsome writes a mostly-positive review of the new drama Rise, set around a high school performance of Spring Awakening. If only the lead, the drama teacher behind the production, was not straight-washed.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel makes the case that there are only three major types of planets, Terran and Neptunian and Jovian.
  • Towleroad notes the awkward coming out of actor Lee Pace.
  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative suggests one way to try to limit the proliferation of guns would be to engineer in planned obsolescence, at least ensuring turnover.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell U>notes that one of his suggestions, ensuring that different national governments should have access to independent surveillance satellites allowing them to accurately evaluate situations on the ground, is in fact being taken up.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Centauri Dreams notes how the presence of methane in the subsurface oceans of Enceladus helps create a plausible dynamic for life there.
  • Crooked Timber notes another risk facing the UK in the era of Brexit, that of the United Kingdom’s already questionable data protection. How likely is it the EU will authorize data sharing with a business in an insecure third party?
  • D-Brief notes the conundrum posed by the profoundly corrosive dust of the Moon. How will future probes, never mind outposts, deal with it?
  • Cody Delistraty notes the profoundly problematic nature of the ethnographic museum in the post-imperial era. How can they adapt?
  • The LRB Blog notes the power of Stravinsky’s recently discovered Chant funebre.
  • Marginal Revolution notes how much Trump’s proposed steel tariffs now evoke Bush Jr’s like tariffs proposed a decade and a half ago.
  • Justin Petrone at north! writes about his visit to a strangely familiar southern Italy.
  • The NYR Daily takes a look at international brands careful to cater to the nationalist sympathies of China, in their advertising and elsewhere.
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Jason Davis explains NASA’s detailed plan for returning people to the Moon.
  • Roads and Kingdoms tells the story of a burning-hot street hotpot in Chongqing.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel considers the idea of dark matter not being a particle.
  • Daniel Little at Understanding Society takes a look at the factors complicating the idea of consensus in a group.
  • John Scalzi celebrates the twentieth anniversary of his ownership of his scalzi com website.
  • Window on Eurasia wonders if Putin, with his boasting of advanced nuclear weapons, might start a 1980s-style arms race with the United States.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes that a recent massive flare at Proxima Centauri, one that made the star become a thousand times brighter, not only makes Proxima b unlikely to be habitable but makes it unlikely Proxima has (as some suggested) a big planetary system.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that South Korea, contrary to earlier reports, is not going to ban cryptocurrency.
  • Hornet Stories notes that six American states–Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, and Oklahoma–have seen the introduction of legislation replacing marriage with a marriage contract, on account of marriage equality.
  • JSTOR Daily reports on the deep similarities and differences between serfdom in Russia and slavery in the United States, both formally abolished in the 1860s.
  • Language Hat links to a Telegraph article reporting on the efforts of different people to translate different ancient languages.
  • The New APPS Blog notes that, after Delta dropped its discount for NRA members, the pro-NRA governor of Georgia dropped tax breaks for the airline.
  • This call for the world to respond to the horrors in Syria, shared at the NYR Daily, is likely to fall on deaf ears.
  • At Strange Maps, Frank Jacobs shares some maps showing areas where the United States is truly exceptional.
  • Supernova Condensate notes how nested planetary orbits can be used to trace beautiful spirograph patterns.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how no one in the Soviet Union in 1991 was prepared to do anything to save the Soviet Union.