A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘globalization

[NEWS] Some Saturday links

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  • Bloomberg notes Chinese interest in Australian housing is starting to drop, observes that Miami’s condo boom is likewise slowing down, observes rising migration to the United Kingdom, notes a stated European Union refusal to compromise the deal with Turkey, and reports about Russia’s search for export markets for its chicken.
  • Bloomberg View notes China’s problems with launching itself as a pop culture exporter, and looks at the fragmentation of the European Union’s digital markets.
  • CBC notes that apparently Mars is emerging from an ice age, and reports from the Conservative party’s national polic convention.
  • The National Post notes that, after photos of Chinese students in a mountain village climbing almost a kilometre on a ladder to get to school, this village might get stairs.
  • Open Democracy hosts an unconvincing argument that universal basic income will make recipients lonelier.
  • Urban Ghosts Media shares photos of abandoned radar stations in North America along the Arctic.
  • Universe Today wonders if there could be life on Kepler-62f.

[URBAN NOTE] “John Tory is right to be skeptical about a Toronto bid for World Expo 2025”

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In The Globe and Mail, Marcus Gee is rightly skeptical about the good sense in Toronto hosting the World Expo in 2025. What good ever comes from these? (The Toronto Star reports on the mayor’s caution.)

Those who want Toronto to host World Expo 2025 sure have awful timing. The same morning that they held a press conference to urge the city to make a bid for the exposition, Toronto’s top civil servant was warning that city hall is heading for a fiscal cliff.

City manager Peter Wallace told Mayor John Tory and the executive committee on Tuesday morning that the “tricks” the city has been using to balance its books won’t work forever. “The process of kicking the can down the road will inevitably come to an end,” he said.

Toronto already has trouble paying for keeping the potholes filled and the streetcars rumbling, not to mention all the “unmet capital needs,” such as public housing repairs and transit maintenance. What a fine time, then, to spend a bundle on a flashy international fair.

No one seems to know for sure yet what it would cost to host the expo, but you can be certain that it wouldn’t be cheap. A 2013 Ernst & Young study said it could range from $1-billion to $3-billion, depending on the breaks.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 25, 2016 at 8:00 pm

[NEWS] Some Tuesday links

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  • The Atlantic notes the import of the assassination of the head of the Taliban.
  • The BBC observes Spotify has more revenues, but is still not making money.
  • Bloomberg suggests Brexit would embolden central European populists and slow down growth, and looks at Coca Cola’s end of production in Venezuela.
  • Bloomberg View suggests a new class of educated Chinese professionals will hurt middle-class wages.
  • The CBC notes the lifting of the mandatory evacuation order for northern Alberta oil sands camps.
  • Daily Xtra looks at the importance of Facebook in spreading knowledge to PrEP.
  • Gizmodo notes the proliferation of cephalopods in the world’s oceans.
  • The Miami Herald describes how desperate Venezuelans are turning to urban gardening.
  • The National Post looks at Kevin O’Leary’s interest in Canadian politics.
  • The Toronto Star reports on the lifting of the American arms sales embargo against Vietnam.
  • Wired notes Grindr can still be hacked to identify users’ locations.

[NEWS] Some Monday links

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  • Bloomberg notes that Brexit proponents are now saying leaving the European Union will create more jobs in the financial sector, and describes the continued rise of fertility rates in Japan to German levels.
  • CBC reports on how a Croatian vintner helped California wines gain international recognition in 1976, notes that Fort McMurray evacuees outside Alberta can’t access that government’s relief funds, and looks at how an Iqaluit man is using Amazon’s free shipping to feed people in smaller Nunavut communities.
  • The National Post reports that Egyptair flight 804 appears to have been destroyed by an internal explosion on the right side of the aircraft.
  • Open Democracy reports on the appalling practice of a British property company that has assigned red doors to asylum seekers who are then attacks.

[NEWS] Some Saturday links

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  • Bloomberg notes the difficulties Syrian refugees have with liberal Europe, reports on warnings of dropping property values, and examines Russia’s search for partners in Southeast Asia.
  • Bloomberg View reports on a Russian oligarch who warns of the dangers of oil dependence.
  • CBC warns of a resurgence of sexism if Hillary Clinton gets elected.
  • The Inter Press Service notes the positive things refugees can bring to the cities where they are resettled.
  • The National Post reports a claim that an Argentine lawyer who was investigating a terrorist bombing in Buenos Aires was forced to kill himself.
  • Reuters notes Oklahoma legislators who want to impeach Obama over trans rights.
  • The Toronto Star notes the imminent installation of a tidal power turbine on the Bay of Fundy.
  • Wired looks at IKEA’s indoor farming kit and defends Los Angeles’ new metro line.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • blogTO notes this weekend is going to be warm.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at moons of the dwarf planets in the Kuiper belt.
  • Dangerous Minds looks at some photos of American malls taken in the late 1980s.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes a white dwarf that stole so much matter from its stellar partner to make it a brown dwarf.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes Greenland may not have been particularly warm when the Vikings came.
  • Language Hat tells the story of one solitary person who decided to learn Korean.
  • Language Log writes about Sinitic languages written in phonetic scripts.
  • The Map Room Blog shares a map showing how New Orleans is sinking.
  • Marginal Revolution suggests Brexit is not a good strategy, even in the hypothetical case of a collapsing EU. Why not just wait for the collapse?
  • The New APPS Blog notes with concern the expansion of Elsevier.
  • The NYRB Daily notes the perennial divisions among the Kurds.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders what’s wrong with Bernie Sanders.
  • Towleroad looks at the impending decriminalization of gay sex in the Seychelles.
  • Understanding Society looks at the work of Brankovich in understanding global inequality.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Crimean Tatars are no longer alone in remembering 1944, and looks at the unhappiness of Tuva’s shrinking Russophone minority.

[WRITING] “How Italy Improved My English”

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Tim Parks’ essay at the New York Review of Books describes how, for him, living in a decidedly non-Anglophone Italy helped him perfect his command of the English language.

I left London in 1981 at twenty-five, in part because my wife, who was Italian and whom I had met in the States, wasn’t happy with England, and again because, having failed to secure a publisher for any of my first four novels, I needed to get away from friends and family who were pressing me to settle on a decent career before it was too late. I knew no Italian. I had no desire to leave England. Indeed, I was extremely anxious about losing touch with English. Two years previously, I had abandoned a Ph.D. at Harvard because I wanted to be in England to write about the English, not the Americans. So this new move felt a little like a failure. My hope was that I’d be back in a couple of years bringing a publishable novel with me. What changed my mind was learning Italian.

[. . .]

We had chosen to live in Verona because my wife’s brother was studying there. There was not a large English community in the city at the time, and anyway we did our best to avoid it so that I could learn Italian. For four or five years, aside from the language lessons I taught to make ends meet, I spoke little English and read even less, concentrating entirely on Italian fiction, Italian newspapers, Italian history books, checking every word I didn’t know in the dictionary. It was exhausting. There was no radio in English, no satellite TV, no Internet. I was immersed in Italian in a way that I think has become difficult today.

I say I was learning Italian, but in fact I was learning English too. Relearning it. Nothing makes you more aware of your own language, its structure and strategies, than the differences of a new one. And very soon I had my first major pay-off from all this effort. I had been reading the work of Natalia Ginzburg—È stato così; La strada che va in città; Caro Michele. I had chosen Ginzburg merely because friends advised that she was the easiest Italian writer for foreigners. But something in the laconic colloquial voice meshed with my own writing. Trying to imagine how that voice and downbeat storytelling style might work in English I wrote two short novels, Tongues of Flame and Loving Roger, in rapid succession. Oddly, though I had taken both voice and, to an extent, structure from Ginzburg, these would be the most English of all my novels, acts of pure memory of places and people: my family in the first book, an office where I had once worked in the second. Though both books were rejected dozens of times, I felt confident that I had got it right. Five years later both were published and won prizes.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 18, 2016 at 9:59 pm


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