A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘history

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

leave a comment »

  • Kambiz Kamrani at Anthropology.net notes new findings suggesting that the creation of cave art by early humans is product of the same skills that let early humans use language.
  • Davide Marchetti at Architectuul looks at some overlooked and neglected buildings in and around Rome.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait explains how Sirius was able to hide the brilliant Gaia 1 star cluster behind it.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at new procedures for streamlining the verification of new exoplanet detections.
  • Crooked Timber notes the remarkably successful and once-controversial eroticization of plant reproduction in the poems of Erasmus Darwin.
  • Dangerous Minds notes how an errant Confederate flag on a single nearly derailed the career of Otis Redding.
  • Detecting biosignatures from exoplanets, Bruce Dorminey notes, may require “fleets” of sensitive space-based telescopes.
  • Far Outliers looks at persecution of non-Shi’ite Muslims in Safavid Iran.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at the history of the enslavement of Native Americans in early colonial America, something often overlooked by later generations.
  • This video shared by Language Log, featuring two Amazon Echos repeating texts to each other and showing how these iterations change over time, is oddly fascinating.
  • At Lawyers, Guns and Money, Erik Loomis is quite clear about the good sense of Will Wilkinson’s point that controversy over “illegal” immigration is actually deeply connected to an exclusivist racism that imagines Hispanics to not be Americans.
  • Lingua Franca, at the Chronicle of Higher Education, looks at the uses of the word “redemption”, particularly in the context of the Olympics.
  • The LRB Blog suggests Russiagate is becoming a matter of hysteria. I’m unconvinced, frankly.
  • The Map Room Blog shares a map showing global sea level rise over the past decades.
  • Marginal Revolution makes a case for Americans to learn foreign languages on principle. As a Canadian who recently visited a decidedly Hispanic New York, I would add that Spanish, at least, is one language quite potentially useful to Americans in their own country.
  • Drew Rowsome writes about the striking photographs of Olivier Valsecchi.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that, in the 2030s, gravitational wave observatories will be so sensitive that they will be able to detect black holes about to collide years in advance.
  • Towleroad lists festival highlights for New Orleans all over the year.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how recent changes to the Russian education system harming minority languages have inspired some Muslim populations to link their language to their religion.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell makes the case that Jeremy Corbyn, through his strength in the British House of Commons, is really the only potential Remainder who is in a position of power.
Advertisements

[PHOTO] The Old Swimming Hole, John Kuna, 2009

leave a comment »

Artist John Kuna‘s 2009 mural “The Old Swimming Hole”, located at 5126 Dundas Street West remembers an old mill pond on Mimico Creek once used by locals as a swimming hole. Back in the early 20th century, so much of Etobicoke was fundamentally rural. Toronto Plaques reproduces an image of the plaque in better days.

The Old Swimming Hole, John Kuna (1) #toronto #etobicoke #islingtoncitycentrewest #mural #dundasstreetwest #johnkuna #latergram

The Old Swimming Hole, John Kuna (2) #toronto #etobicoke #islingtoncitycentrewest #mural #dundasstreetwest #johnkuna #latergram

The Old Swimming Hole, John Kuna (3) #toronto #etobicoke #islingtoncitycentrewest #mural #dundasstreetwest #johnkuna #plaque #latergram

Written by Randy McDonald

February 24, 2018 at 11:00 am

[URBAN NOTE] Seven Toronto links: TTC, Sonja Bata, St. Lawrence Market, Yorkville, Bloor Street West

leave a comment »

  • blogTO shares, from r/Toronto, a fantastic map imagining a Toronto densely covered with all sorts of mass transit routes, from subways and streetcars down to ferries. Beautiful.
  • This city ombudsman’s inquiry as to why TTC fare inspectors seemingly assaulted a black teen is certainly needed. CBC reports.
  • The recent death of Sonja Bata, among other things founder of the excellent Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, has been noted locally. Global News reports.
  • Delayed by archeological work, the North Building at St. Lawrence Market is projected to cost in excess of 100 million dollars. The Toronto Star reports.
  • A proposed new condo tower on Yorkville’s Prince Arthur Avenue, projected to rise nearly two dozen stories in a definitely avant-garde style, is unpopular among future neighbours. CBC reports.
  • At Toronto Storeys, Christopher Hume considers facadism. When does it work? Where has it worked in Toronto?
  • At NOW Toronto, Samantha Edwards takes a look at six new housing developments along Bloor Street West, stretching from Jane through High Park North all the way to Dufferin.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

leave a comment »

  • Kambiz Kamrani at Anthropology.net notes that lidar scanning has revealed that the pre-Columbian city of Angamuco, in western Mexico, is much bigger than previously thought.
  • James Bow makes an excellent case for the revitalization of VIA Rail as a passenger service for longer-haul trips around Ontario.
  • D-Brief notes neurological evidence suggesting why people react so badly to perceived injustices.
  • The Dragon’s Tales takes a look at the list of countries embracing thorough roboticization.
  • Andrew LePage at Drew Ex Machina takes a look at the most powerful launch vehicles, both Soviet and American, to date.
  • Far Outliers considers Safavid Iran as an imperfect gunpowder empire.
  • Despite the explanation, I fail to see how LGBTQ people could benefit from a cryptocurrency all our own. What would be the point, especially in homophobic environments where spending it would involve outing ourselves? Hornet Stories shares the idea.
  • Imageo notes that sea ice off Alaska has actually begun contracting this winter, not started growing.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how the production and consumption of lace, and lace products, was highly politicized for the Victorians.
  • Language Hat makes a case for the importance of translation as a political act, bridging boundaries.
  • Language Log takes a look at the pronunciation and mispronunciation of city names, starting with PyeongChang.
  • This critical Erik Loomis obituary of Billy Graham, noting the preacher’s many faults, is what Graham deserves. From Lawyers, Guns and Money, here.
  • Bernard Porter at the LRB Blog is critical of the easy claims that Corbyn was a knowing agent of Communist Czechoslovakia.
  • The Map Room Blog shares this map from r/mapporn, imagining a United States organized into states as proportionally imbalanced in population as the provinces of Canada?
  • Marginal Revolution rightly fears a possible restart to the civil war in Congo.
  • Neuroskeptic reports on a controversial psychological study in Ghana that saw the investigation of “prayer camps”, where mentally ill are kept chain, as a form of treatment.
  • The NYR Daily makes the case that the Congolese should be allowed to enjoy some measure of peace from foreign interference, whether from the West or from African neighbous (Rwanda, particularly).
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Emily Lakdawalla looks at the many things that can go wrong with sample return missions.
  • Rocky Planet notes that the eruption of Indonesian volcano Sinabung can be easily seen from space.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes how the New Horizons Pluto photos show a world marked by its subsurface oceans.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that, although fertility rates among non-Russians have generally fallen to the level of Russians, demographic momentum and Russian emigration drive continue demographic shifts.
  • Livio Di Matteo at Worthwhile Canadian Initiative charts the balance of federal versus provincial government expenditure in Canada, finding a notable shift towards the provinces in recent decades.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell makes the case, through the example of the fire standards that led to Grenfell Tower, that John Major was more radical than Margaret Thatcher in allowing core functions of the state to be privatized.
  • Arnold Zwicky takes a look at some alcoholic drinks with outrĂ© names.

[NEWS] Five links on artificial intelligence (#artificialintelligence, #ai)

leave a comment »

  • Jessica Riskin at the Public Domain Review explores the automata, the pre-Babbage mechanical creations that were humanity’s first effort at artificial intelligence.
  • Katrina Onstad at Toronto Life profiles Gregory Hinton, the Toronto AI researcher who pushed the idea of neural networks–ancestor to modern-day deep learning–into the mainstream of AI research.
  • Reverse-engineering the workings of the human brain would be a good way to learn how to build durable AIs. Wired makes the case.
  • The Economist notes one central problem with modern AI is its inscrutability to outside scrutiny. How can the workings of an AI be shown, made visible?
  • Gizmodo notes a report on AI warning that, without adequate regulation and preparation, artificial intelligence could have a destabilizing, even strongly negative, impact on the world of the imaginable future.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

leave a comment »

  • James Bow makes the case for inexpensive regional bus transit in southern Ontario, beyond and between the major cities.
  • D-Brief explains why Pluto’s Gate, a poisonous cave of classical Anatolia believed to be a portal to the netherworld, is the way it is.
  • The Dragon’s Tales takes a look at the plethora of initiatives for self-driving cars and the consequences of these for the world.
  • Far Outliers takes a look at how Persia, despite enormous devastation, managed to eventual thrive under the Mongols, even assimilating them.
  • JSTOR Daily notes the connections between North American nuclear tests and the rise of modern environmentalism.
  • Language Hat looks at Linda Watson, a woman on the Isle of Man who has became the hub of a global network of researchers devoted to deciphering unreadable handwriting.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money makes the argument that the Russian hacks were only as effective as they were because of terrible journalism in the United States.
  • The NYR Daily takes a look at an often-overlooked collaboration in the 1960s between New York poet Frank O’Hara and Italian artist Mario Schifano.
  • Towleroad takes a look at out gay pop music star Troye Sivan.
  • Window on Eurasia makes the believable contention that Putin believes in his propaganda, or at least acts as if he does, in Ukraine for instance.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

leave a comment »

  • Caitlin Kelly at the Broadside Blog offers some advice as to how to cope with rejection.
  • Centauri Dreams shares Robert Zubrin’s take on the Drake Equation, and on ways it is lacking and could be improved.
  • Crooked Timber looks at a book examining (among other things) the interactions of libertarian economists with racism and racist polities.
  • D-Brief notes a study suggesting that, actually, people would react positively and with a minimum of panic to the discovery of extraterrestrial life.
  • Dangerous Minds takes a look at Chandra Oppenheim, an artist who at the age of 12 in 1980 released an amazing post-punk album.
  • Gizmodo responds to the news that the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are roughly the same mass.
  • JSTOR Daily reports on the effects of the dingo fence in Australia on native wildlife there.
  • Language Hat notes a new statistical analysis of literature that has found one of the sources of Shakespeare’s language.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes how Trump’s many affairs make him eminently blackmailable.
  • The LRB Blog reports on why academic workers in the United Kingdom are getting ready to strike on behalf of their pension rights, starting next week.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the sharp ongoing decline in the population of Bulgaria, and wonders what can be done. What need be done, in fact, if Bulgarians as individuals are happy?
  • Anastasia Edel writes about the Russian-American community, and what it is like being Russian-American in the era of Trump, over at the NYR Daily.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that there seems to be no periodicity in extinction events, that there is no evidence of a cycle.