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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘extraterrestrial life

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • Centauri Dreams notes the exobiological potential of Titamn after the detection of acrylonitrile. Cryogenic life?
  • This guest essay at Lawyers, Guns and Money on the existential problems of Brazil, with politics depending on people not institutions, is a must-read.
  • The LRB Blog considers, in the context of Brexit, what exactly might count for some as a marker of dictatorship.
  • Did the 15th century construction of the Grand Canal in China lead the Ming away from oceanic travel? Marginal Revolution speculates.
  • The NYR Daily considers</a. the disconcertingly thorough and apparently effective of Kagame's Rwanda.
  • Out There explores the reasons why the most massive planets all have the same size.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes the 5th anniversary of the arrival of Curiosity on Mars.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that, with regards to Venezuela, the United States has no good options.
  • Roads and Kingdoms considers the febrile political mood of Kenya.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that Putin is making the mistake of seeing the United States through the prism of Russia.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes a proposal for British mayors to have representation at Brexit talks makes no sense.

[NEWS] Four links on life in the solar system, past and present

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  • When the sun becomes a red giant, Europa and Enceladus will become superheated greenhouses without Earth-like phases.
  • A new model of early Venus suggests it could have had oceans and Earthly temperatures less than a billion years ago.
  • Past activity around the volcanoes of Mars means that these areas could have been refuges for life.
  • On the discovery of acrylonitrile on Titan, a membrane-forming chemical that could permit life in the super-cold.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 4, 2017 at 2:30 pm

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • Anthrodendum considers the question of what, exactly, is the genre of ethnographic film.
  • Centauri Dreams features authors’ calls for a debate on METI, on sending messages to extraterrestrial intelligences.
  • The Crux reports on the continuing damage caused by the continuing eruptions of Indonesia’s mud volcano, Sidoarjo.
  • Imageo shares a cute time-lapse video from Hubble showing the motion of Phobos around Mars.
  • Language Hat responds to a newly-translated mid-19th century Russian novella, Nadezhda Khvoshchinskaya‘s 1861 novella Пансионерка (The Boarding School Girl).
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money has a depressing extended examination of Trump as reflecting structural crisis in the United States.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the genesis and continuing success of Nicaraguan Sign Language.
  • The Map Room Blog shares a satirical map of Washington D.C., defined by the names that its metro stations should have.
  • Ethan Siegel at Starts With A Bang lists the various worlds in our Solar System possibly hosting life, and notes how you could get an Earth-like world with wildly erratic seasons as in Game of Thrones.
  • Unicorn Booty notes that the German president has signed marriage equality into law. (Also, the country has good LGBT protections.)
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Putin is fine with an asymmetrical bilingualism in Russia’s republics, aimed against non-Russian languages.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes a new study suggesting some hypervelocity stars were ejected from the Large Magellanic Cloud.
  • Crooked Timber’s John Holbo wonders how else Trump can transgress the norms of the presidency.
  • The Crux notes the exceptional hardiness of the tardigrade. These forms of life might well outlive the sun.
  • Gizmodo notes the evidence for a recently frozen subsurface ocean on Pluto’s Charon.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the Israeli government’s effective, if confused, opposition to same-sex adoption.
  • Unicorn Booty looks at the significant impact RuPaul’s Drag Race has on music sales.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Putin’s political allies have been having trouble coming up with a positive future.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about her vacation in Croatia’s Istria.
  • Centauri Dreams highlights the work of citizen scientists who are producing stunning images of Jupiter through Juno data.
  • Cody Delistraty examines the unique history of Paris’ Maison de Verre, a house made entirely of glass.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes a recent study suggesting red dwarfs tend to produce stellar winds stripping exo-Earths of their atmospheres.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the mechanics of press censorship in a changing Burma.
  • Language Log’s Geoff Nunberg points out that the phrase “… in the woodpile” is indelibly marked with racism.
  • The NYR Daily remembers the life and notes the death of Xiu Liaobo.
  • Pamela MacNaughtan at Roads and Kingdoms tells the story of how she found the perfect lobster roll on the Iles-de-la-Madeleine.
  • The Signal shares a provocative discussion on the potential role and future decipherability of the emoji in language.
  • Towleroad shares a comforting legal analysis suggesting that marriage equality is not yet threatened in the United States.
  • Transit Toronto notes another weekend subway shutdown, this time on the Bloor line west from Ossington.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that this year will be critical for Russia’s future relationship with Tatarstan.
  • Unicorn Booty largely approves, as do I, of the controversial recent Teen Vogue guide to anal sex. Safe sex is informed sex.
  • Arnold Zwicky shares photos of the purple-heavy gardens of his neighbourhood in California.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait investigates a mysterious streak on a photo of Messier 77. Asteroid, satellite, something else?
  • Centauri Dreams reports on the latest attempt at a census estimate of brown dwarfs in the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • Crooked Timber’s John Quiggin considers the diminishing role of the pundit, displaced by the expert.
  • D-Brief is one of many sources to note the deadly, ubiquitous perchlorates of Mars. Mars is dead for good reasons.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money links to a tweetstorm by one Kate Antonova arguing that the ideological labels of the long 19th century no longer speak to our issues.
  • Language Hat notes how early Tsarist mappers were confused by confusing, often shared, placenames.
  • The LRB Blog reports on the recovery of a Bloomsbury Wedgwood service features the images of notable women.
  • Marginal Revolution shares opinions that Macron is overrated, not least in terms of the distinctiveness of some of his policies from those of Trump.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that projected shrinkage of the workforce of Russia means either economic decline or controversial immigration.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Centauri Dreams looks at the potentially deadly effect of the stellar flares of red dwarfs on potentially habitable exoplanets.
  • Charley Ross notes the strange 1957 disappearance of William ad Margaret Patterson from their Texas home.
  • D-Brief notes the evidence for a second planet at Proxima Centauri, a super-Earth Proxima C with a 215 day orbit.
  • Tom Yulsman of ImaGeo shares shares photos of the active Sun.
  • The argument made by Scott Lemieux of Lawyers, Guns and Money that Americans were learning to love Obamacare and Republicans wanted to take it away before they got used to it … well.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that, and why, restaurant servers in Maine wanted their minimum wage lowered. (Tips.)
  • Roads and Kingdoms shares the story of Na De Fo, a rare Korean restaurant in Mexico City.
  • The NYR Daily looks at how Macron might try to “California-ize” France, and whether he could pull this off.
  • Unicorn Booty notes studies noting bisexuals have a lower quality of life than gays, and wonders why. (Stigma is an issue.)
  • Window on Eurasia notes that global warming, by leading to permafrost melt, is literally undermining the infrastructure of Russia.