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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘italy

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • blogTO shares some secrets about the TTC.
  • Centauri Dreams notes how exoplanet HAT-P-2b somehow induces pulsations in its parent star.
  • Citizen Science Salon looks at a new crowdsourcing effort to find Planet Nine from old WISE images.
  • Dangerous Minds reports on a marijuana bouquet delivery service.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze reports on the detection of the atmosphere of super-Earth Gliese 1132b./li>
  • Language Hat examines the different source languages for neologisms in Russian.
  • Language Log reports on an obscene Valentine’s Day ad from Sichuan.
  • The LRB Blog reports on the search of Syrians in Istanbul for health care.
  • Marginal Revolution reports on the fascist experimentations of economist Franco Modigliani.
  • The NYRB Daily reports on the stunning war art of Paul Nash.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that non-Russian republics tend to have better health indicators than the average, and warns of the potential instability that could be triggered by the failure of Putin’s vision for Trump.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Bad Astronomy shares a photo of the Earth and Moon taken by a Mars probe.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money responds to a baffling claim by a New York City policeman that stranger rape is more of a concern than acquaintance rape.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw, returned from Denmark, wonders
    about the extent to which social happiness is maximized by stability and security.
  • Progressive Download’s John Farrell argues that scientists should approach the theory of evolution in a less mechanistic light.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on the transformation of United Russia into a parallel structure of government akin to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and engages with the possibility of a pro-Russian Ukrainian government-in-exile.
  • Alex Harrowell of Yorkshire Ranter looks at the problems of an independent central bank, finding that failings attributed to these are actually faults of government.
  • Arnold Zwicky looks at the highly evolved fashion sense of faggots, in the context of Italy’s divides and celebrities.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • blogTO notes that the Toronto real estate market is now the most unaffordable of any in Canada.
  • The Big Picture shares photos of melting Antarctica.
  • Crooked Timber considers the economic benefits of open borders, and the costs.
  • Dangerous Minds shares photos of posters from Paris in 1968.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the problems of legal education in California.
  • The New APPS Blog thinks poorly of South Carolina’s Republicans.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders if China will do better than the United States at dealing with air pollution.
  • The NYRB Daily considers the collection of Neapolitan Christmas crèches.
  • Palun looks at seasonal affective disorder in northern Estonia.
  • Peter Watts wishes his readers happy holidays.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the distribution of the populations of the US, Canada and Europe by latitude.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy compares concerns over Muslim immigration to opposition to Turkish membership in the EU.
  • Window on Eurasia argues populism will not lead to structural change and suggests Putin’s policies are a consequence of his fatigue.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO reports on the Union Station Holiday Market.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly writes about how she has fled toxic environments.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the next generation of observational astronomy with Alpha Centauri in mind.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze looks at how foreseeeable advances may mean that Proxima Centauri b’s atmosphere could soon by studied for indirect signs of life.
  • Far Outliers notes how, in the dying ways of the War of American Independence, British forces were setting slaves free.
  • Language Log shares Chinese science fiction writer Ken Liu’s thoughts about the Chinese language and Chinese literature.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money warns about the potential threat posed to indigenous peoples in the United States by the Trump Administration.
  • The LRB Blog considers the likely fates of Italy after Renzi.
  • The Planetary Society Blog describes the impending launch of a solar sail craft into orbit.
  • Savage Minds considers ways in which the different subfields of anthropology can more profitably interact, looking at scholarship and politics both.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy argues that the American left should make the Trump Administration cause to advocate for a renewed federalism.
  • Arnold Zwicky writes about the art of being camp and its selective deployments.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • blogTO notes that Toronto finally got its first test LRT from Bombardier, after many delays.
  • Centauri Dreams considers some of the problems with drafting a message to extraterrestrial civilizations.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that an upcoming Japanese telescope could detect oxygen on, among other planets, K2-3d.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Ivanka Trump’s shoe factory is moving from China to Ethiopia in pursuit of lower wages.
  • Language Hat links to a report on Alghero, the city that is the heart of a fading enclave of Catalan on the Italian island of Sardinia.
  • The LRB Blog notes the ascent of François Filion in France.
  • Otto Pohl describes the position of Soviet Kurds.
  • pollotenchegg reports on ethnic diversity in the different raions of Ukraine.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer links to a 2013 study suggesting Cuba under Communism underperformed significantly.
  • Towleroad looks at Donald Trump’s claim of voter fraud.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that deniers of the Holodomor should be shamed.

[URBAN NOTE] “Tourists Could Destroy Venice—If Floods Don’t First”

Simon Worrell’s National Geographic interview with author Salvatore Settis, author of a book arguing that much of the current touristification of Venice both threatens its future as a living city and augurs ill for other metropolis, is thought provoking.

Most of us who have seen Venice have gone there as tourists. According to you, we are part of a “plague” that is destroying the city. Should we stay away?

The fact that many tourists are willing to go to Venice is in itself a good thing. I am against any system whereby the number of entry tickets to the city is limited. The minute you would have to pay to enter the city if you are not a citizen, Venice would already have been turned into a theme park. That is precisely what I don’t want to happen.

But Venice cannot be a city that lives only from tourism. The reason Venice had its glory is because the city and Venetians were able to develop over centuries a number of productive activities. Why can’t we promote the same thing in Venice today? Approximately 2.6 citizens abandon the city every day. Venice now has 54,000 inhabitants, which represents a loss of 120,000 people in the last 50 years.

Meanwhile, the cost of living in Venice is increasing every day. Young people cannot afford to buy or rent an apartment in Venice, so they are moving to neighboring places. In Switzerland, where I taught for some years, federal law mandates that in every city, even the smallest village, you cannot have more than 20 percent of [houses owned as] second homes. The reason why the Swiss government decided to do this is precisely not to encourage this loss of local identity. If the citizens abandon Venice and it becomes only a tourist location, it will lose its soul.

You describe several ways in which cities can die. Give us a brief summary and explain how Venice is threatened by what you call “self-oblivion.”

First, when an enemy destroys them, like Carthage, or when foreign invaders colonize violently, as happened with the conquistadores in Mexico or Peru. But the most dreadful danger for a city now is loss of memory. By loss of memory, I mean not forgetting that we exist, but who we are.

Long before Venice, an example is Athens, the most glorious city in classical Greece. It completely lost its memory and even its name. In the Middle Ages nobody knew where Athens was because the name of the city got totally lost. It was called Setines, or Satine, which was a barbarized form of the name. In Athens, there was no culture or memory of the city’s past glories. Sometimes visitors from Byzantium would travel to Athens and ask, “Where is the place where Socrates used to teach? Where is the place where Aristotle used to teach?” Nobody could answer them.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 17, 2016 at 3:15 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Italy suspends Rome’s bid for the 2024 Olympic Games”

The Globe and Mail shares the article by the Associated Press’ Andrew Dampf about how Rome is not in the running for the 2024 Olympic Games, and Romans, at least, are happy.

Italy suspended Rome’s bid for the 2024 Olympics on Tuesday, forced to pull the plug because of the staunch opposition of the city’s mayor.

Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago said that he had written to the IOC announcing the decision to “interrupt the candidacy.”

While the letter left open a small possibility for a revival of the bid if there is a change in city government, Malago didn’t hold out much hope.

“Today the game is over. But if someone decides that the game isn’t over it’s not up to us. But today we’re ending the game,” Malago told The Associated Press after his announcement at a news conference. “That’s it.”

The move comes after Rome’s city council voted last month to withdraw support of the bid on the recommendation of Mayor Virginia Raggi.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm