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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘finland

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • Alpha Sources’ Claus Vistesen argues that as a result of various factors including shrinking populations, economic bubbles are going to be quite likely.
  • blogTO argues that Toronto’s strip clubs are in trouble.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly wonders who is going to pay for journalism in the future.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at ringed Centaur objects.
  • Crooked Timber’s Daniel Davies describes his family’s recent experience in New Zealand. Want to find out how the Maori are like the Welsh?
  • D-Brief notes the return of wood bison to the United States.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting Alpha Centauri Bb is a superdense world.
  • The Dragon’s Tales note Indonesia’s upset with Chinese claims to the South China Sea.
  • Far Outliers reports on how NGOs feed corruption in Cambodia.
  • Language Hat links to a gazetteer of placenames in Jamaica.
  • Language Log’s Victor Mair looks at some Sino-English constructions.
  • Marginal Revolution points to its collection of Singapore-related posts.
  • The Planetary Society Blog considers Cassini‘s footage of Saturn’s F ring.
  • The Power and the Money hosts Will Baird’s argument that the Ukrainian east will soon see an explosion of violence.
  • Spacing Toronto and Torontoist look at the architectural competition for the Toronto Islands ferry terminal.
  • Torontoist reports on Martin Luther King’s 1962 visit to Toronto.
  • Towleroad notes a raging syphillis epidemic among gay men in New York City’s Chelsea neighbourhood.
  • Window on Eurasia notes changes in the Islam of Tatarstan, notes Russia’s transition towards totalitarianism, observes Russian claims of Finnish meddling in Karelia, and looks at polls suggesting Ukrainians fear Russia but do not trust the European Union.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell describes what seems to have been a shambolic attempt to co-opt the English Defense League somehow. (I don’t understand it. All I can figure out is that.

[LINK] “Russian Karelia looks to the past and future”

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In the South China Morning Post, Daniel Allen has a long and thoughtful essay on the now largely Russian-controlled borderland of Karelia. I’m left very much with the impression of a Finnic past and a Russian future for this territory.

Below his snow-dusted shapka hat, Anatoliy Vasiljev’s rheumy eyes peer through a pair of fogged-up spectacles.

In Rubchoila village, about 80km west of Petrozavodsk, capital of the Russian Republic of Karelia, the sun’s faint orb hangs low in the December sky. Stepping out into the biting cold, the septuagenarian pulls his hat a little lower, buttons up a red tunic and begins tramping down the lane of packed snow that forms Rubchoila’s main street.

Vasiljev is Russian, Karelian and passionate about the preservation of the region’s traditional culture.

“This soil on which you are walking has been fought over for centuries,” he says, stopping beside an ornate wooden cottage. “Karelia is often described as a battlefield lying between East and West. And, for some people, the struggle over Karelia still goes on.”

Straddling 700 km of the border between Russia and Finland, Karelia covers more than 260,000 square kilometres. With its myriad lakes (Ladoga and Onega are the two largest lakes in Europe), roaring cascades and huge swathes of birch, pine and spruce forest, this is a beautiful land. It is also home to a Finno-Ugric people whose history is among the most tumultuous in Europe.

“With Karelia continually criss-crossed by shifting borders, the Karelians have never really enjoyed a unified homeland,” says Marina Tsherbak, head of public relations at the Karelian State Museum of Local History, in Petrozavodsk. “Rich in resources [such as iron ore and diamonds], their territory has been fought over for centuries, by Russians, Swedes and Finns. Living on the crossroads between Europe and Russia has brought the Karelians much strife and suffering.”

Written by Randy McDonald

March 7, 2015 at 12:38 am

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO notes that the cash-strapped CBC may be forced to sell its iconic downtown Toronto headquarters.
  • James Bow reflects on winter in Kitchener-Waterloo.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper studying the relationship between exoplanets and circumstellar dust discs.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a simulation of the polar atmosphere of Venus and notes concerns that India’s Hindustan Aeronautics might not be able to manufacture French Rafale fighters under contract.
  • Far Outliers notes Madeleine Albright’s incomprehension of Cambodia’s late 1990s struggles and looks at the way the country lags its neighbours.
  • The Frailest Thing notes how human traffic errors reveal we’re not quite up to some of the tasks we’d like.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Finland’s president has signed a marriage bill into existence.
  • Languages of the World notes the problem of where the homeland of the Indo-Europeans was located.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the often-ignored pattern of lynching Mexicans in the United States.
  • Marginal Revolution notes (1, 2) the problems of human beings with algorithmic, computer-driven planning.
  • Otto Pohl notes how Germans in Kyrgyzstan were forced into labour battalions.
  • pollotenchegg looks at demographic indicators in Ukraine over the past year, noting a collapse in the east.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at deep history, looking at the involvement of war in state-building in Africa and noting the historically recent rise of inequality in Latin America.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at one Russian’s proposal to give a Ukrainian church self-government, notes Russia’s inability to serve as a mentor to China, and looks at rural depopulation in the North Caucasus and South Russia.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes that Stollery’s at Yonge and Bloor could be demolished soon.
  • Centauri Dreams notes</a that gyrochronology–using a star’s spin rate to calculate its age–works.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze looks at the spacing of planets in exosystems.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that dogs crossed into the Americas only ten thousand years ago.
  • Joe. My. God. notes how Europeans overestimate the size of their Muslim populations.
  • Lanugage Hat considers the question of Timur’s languages.
  • The Planetary Society Blog explores the ESA’s upcoming JUICE probe to Europa.
  • Otto Pohl finds links between Soviet mistreatment of ethnic Germans and South African apartheid.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes that Chinese are moving en masse to Africa, not Siberia.
  • Towleroad shares video of a crowd bursting into singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” at the recent Paris march.
  • Transit Toronto notes the toll of extreme cold on streetcars.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that Pride and Prejudice recently got cited in the US Supreme Court.
  • Whatever’s John Scalzi reflects on a cat and his box.
  • Window on Eurasia reflects on the vissicitudes of Karelian identity, ethnic and political, in Russia.
  • The Financial Times‘ World blog notes that reconciliation is still far off in the former Yugoslavia.

[LINK] “Finland legalises gay marriage”

The Guardian shares the good news.

The Finnish parliament has narrowly approved a citizen’s initiative to legalise same-sex marriage.

Gay couples in Finland have been able to enter into registered partnerships since 2002, but until now the country was the only in the Nordic region not to allow same-sex marriage. Finland is now the 12th European state to do so.

In the vote, 105 members of parliament supported the legal amendment while 92 opposed it.

The measure will end the distinction in Finland between same-sex unions and heterosexual marriages and give such couples equal rights to adopt children and share a surname.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 29, 2014 at 12:32 am

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • 3 Quarks Daily examines an effort to set up an arts and culture centre in Karachi.
  • Alpha Sources’ Claus Vistesen wonders if another Eurozone crisis is looming in the near future.
  • blogTO reports on Olivia Chow’s call for an apartment building rating system akin to that of restaurant ratings.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper speculating on reasons for the very odd surface of Uranus’ moon Miranda.
  • Far Outliers looks at the issues facing early baseball radio broadcasting.
  • Joe. My. God. and Towleroad both note a Russian lawmaker’s call to ban the entry of mail carrying Finland’s popular Tom of Finland-themed stamps.
  • Language Hat considers the origins of the term “prehistory”.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes discrimination against pregnant workers.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer considers grounds to believe that a continued British North America including the United States would not have been a success. The survival of intercolonial trade barriers would be an issue.
  • The Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle photoblogs his close encounter with a red fox.
  • Window on Eurasia notes speculation about a partition of Crimea, considers the need for more surveys of Russian territory to look for natural resources, and observes that Ukrainian refugees resettled in the autonomous republics of Russia aren’t required to learn local languages.

[LINK] Three classics Geocurrent posts at Languages of the World: Birobidzhan, Karelia, Crimea

Over at Languages of the World, Asya Perelstvaig has been reposting some of her old Geocurrents posts. Three I particularly like involve Birobidzhan, the attempted Jewish homeland in Soviet Siberia, the Russian-Finnish borderlands including Karelia, and the history of the Crimean Tatars.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 9, 2014 at 8:29 pm

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