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Posts Tagged ‘middle east

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • 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 outré names.
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[BLOG] Some Sunday links

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  • 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 Wednesday links

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  • Yesterday, James Bow celebrated the 16th anniversary of his blog.
  • Centauri Dreams shares some of the latest probe imagery from the Kuiper Belt.
  • D-Brief notes the amount of energy used in bitcoin mining in Iceland is set to surpass the energy used by Iceland’s human population. This cannot be a viable trajectory.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the steady expansion of China’s nascent space industry, with Wenchang on the southern island of Hainan being a particular focus.
  • Drone360 notes that, in certain conditions, drones can make parcel deliveries at a lower environmental cost than traditional courier methods.
  • io9 notes Wesley Snipes’ observations as to why Blade is not more generally recognized as the first big superhero film.
  • JSTOR Daily notes the various influences, from those of formal portraiture to African-American folk culture, in the recent Amy Sherald painting of Michelle Obama and her dress.
  • Language Hat notes the publication of a new collection of the poems of Juan Latino, an African slave in 16th century Spain who went on to become a free man and leading poet.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the appalling treatment that many national parks in the US are going to experience, deprived of professional management and opened to development.
  • Lingua Franca, at the Chronicle of Higher Education, notes how on Valentine’s Day there is such a close and visible link between hearts and ashes.
  • The LRB Blog notes outbursts of racism and fascism in Italy following a murder of an Italian by an immigrant.
  • Leon Aron at the NYR Daily looks at the past century of millennarianism in the politics of countries on the edge, from Lenin to ISIS.
  • Towleroad notes how Burberry has introduced the colours of the LGBTQ rainbow to its plaid in its February 2018 collection, as a fundraiser for charity.
  • Window on Eurasia notes a demographer who predicts, on the basis of reliable demographic trends, a sharp uptick in the Muslim proportion of the Russian population in coming decades.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

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  • The Buzz, over at the Toronto Public Library, recommends some audiobooks, here.
  • Centauri Dreams features an essay, by Kostas Konstantindis, exploring how near-future technology could be used to explore the oceans of Europa and Enceladus for life.
  • Far Outliers takes a look at the many languages used in Persia circa 500 BCE.
  • Hornet Stories notes that Fox News has retracted a bizarrely homophobic op-ed on the Olympics by one of its executives.
  • JSTOR Daily explores what is really involved in the rumours of J. Edgar Hoover and cross-dressing.
  • Language Hat, in exploring Zadie Smith, happens upon the lovely word “cernuous”.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money links to an article, and starts a discussion, regarding the possibility of a North Korean victory early in the Korean War. What would have happened next?
  • The NYR Daily notes that Donald Trump is helping golf get a horrible reputation.
  • Supernova Condensate examines the science-fiction trope of artificial intelligence being dangerous, and does not find much substance behind the myth. If anything, the direction of the fear should lie in the other direction.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little looks at two books which consider the origins of the Cold War from an international relations perspective. What were the actors trying to achieve?
  • Window on Eurasia makes the argument that the powerful clan structures of post-Soviet Dagestan are not primordial in origin, but rather represent attempts to cope with state failure in that Russian republic.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at the existential problems facing Capita from a Coasian perspective. How is its business model fundamentally broken?
  • Arnold Zwicky, in taking apart an overcorrection, explains the differences between “prone” and “supine.”

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • Larisa Kurtović writes at anthro{dendum} about her experiences, as an anthropologist studying Bosnia and a native Sarajevan, at the time of the trial of Ratko Mladić. Representation in this circumstance was fraught.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the remarkable claim that extragalactic planets have been discovered 3.5 billion light-years away through gravitational lensing and does not find it intrinsically implausible. Centauri Dreams also looks at the background behind the claimed detection of two thousand rogue planets, ranging in mass from the Moon to Jupiter, in a distant galaxy.
  • Dangerous Minds reviews a fantastic-sounding book reviewing girl gangs and bikers in the pulp fiction of mid-20th century English-language literature.
  • Hornet Stories links to the Mattachine Podcast, a new podcast looking at pre-Stonwall LGBTQ history including that relating to the pioneering Mattachine Society.
  • JSTOR Daily notes the substantial evidence that fish can actually be quite smart, certainly smarter than popular stereotypes have them being.
  • Language Hat reports on the existence of a thriving population of speakers of Aramaic now in existence in New Jersey.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the many ways in which the privatization of state businesses have gone astray in the United Kingdom, and suggests that there is conflict between short-term capitalist desires and long-term needs. Renationalization a solution?
  • At Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen argues that the prospect of the future financial insolvency of Chicago helps limit the large-scale settlement of wealthy people there, keeping the metropolis relatively affordable.
  • Stephen Baker of The Numerati reflected, on the eve of the Superbowl, on the origins of his fandom with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1963 just before the assassination of JFK.
  • The NYR Daily shares a rational proposal for an Israeli-Palestinian confederation that, alas, will never fly given irrational reality.
  • Seriously Science notes a paper suggesting that Norway rats do, in fact, the reciprocal trade of goods and services.
  • Strange Company notes an unfortunate picnic in Indiana in 1931, where the Simmons family was unexpectedly poisoned by strychnine capsules? Who did it?
  • Window on Eurasia notes a demographers’ observation that, given the age structure and fertility of the Russian population, even with plausible numbers of immigrants the country’s population may never again grow.

[PHOTO] Eight photos of the Kurdish march on Yonge, Toronto, against Turkey in Afrin (#defendafrin)

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The ongoing Turkish invasion of Afrin, westernmost of the three cantons of the autonomous Kurdish area in Syria commonly known as Rojava, just produced visible results in Toronto. As I got out at Wellesley station a bit before 6 o’clock, I heard a crowd marching down Yonge. I crossed the street, and prepared to photograph.

I was given a handout with the letterhead of the Democratic Kurdish Federation of Canada denouncing the inaction of outside powers–the West and Russia, specifically–in doing nothing to undermine the Turkish invasion of a self-governing Kurdish area. I accepted the handout, and kept it. I agree almost entirely with the sentiment, sharing the anger of people frustrated with yet another Turkish invasion of a self-governing Kurdish area outside its frontiers, feeling frustrated that a Turkish-Kurdish alliance once might think the most natural one possible in the MIddle East is being thwarted by Turkey run by people who betrayed their government’s liberal promise at the century’s beginning. I stood, and watched, because there was nothing else I could do but witness justified anger and share it.

(Certainly this group has links with radical Kurdish groups internationally. The last photo in this series shows a yellow flag flapped into a blur by the wind. When unfurled, the flag had on it a clear portrait of Abdullah Öcalan above a slogan demanding his release.)

Protest against Turkey in Syria (1) #toronto #protest #march #kurdish #kurd #turkey #syria #rojava #afrin #night

Protest against Turkey in Syria (2) #toronto #protest #march #kurdish #kurd #turkey #syria #rojava #afrin #night

Protest against Turkey in Syria (4) #toronto #protest #march #kurdish #flyer #pamphlet #kurd #turkey #syria #rojava #afrin #night #yongeandwellesley

Protest against Turkey in Syria (5) #toronto #protest #march #kurdish #flyer #pamphlet #kurd #turkey #syria #rojava #afrin #night #yongeandwellesley

Protest against Turkey in Syria (6) #toronto #protest #march #kurdish #pamphlet #kurd #turkey #syria #rojava #afrin #night #yongeandwellesley

Protest against Turkey in Syria (7) #toronto #protest #march #kurdish #flags #kurd #turkey #syria #rojava #afrin #night #yongeandwellesley

Protest against Turkey in Syria (8) #toronto #protest #march #kurdish #flags #kurd #turkey #syria #rojava #afrin #night #yongeandwellesley

Protest against Turkey in Syria (9) #toronto #protest #march #kurdish #flags #kurd #turkey #syria #rojava #afrin #night #yongeandwellesley

Written by Randy McDonald

January 27, 2018 at 8:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • Anthropology.net notes that the discovery of an ancient Homo sapiens jawbone in Israel pushes back the history of our species by quite a bit.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares stunning photos of spiral galaxy NGC 1398.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the ways in which the highly reflective surface of Europa might be misleading to probes seeking to land on its surface.
  • The Dragon’s Tales rounds up more information about extrasolar visitor ‘Oumuamua.
  • Far Outliers considers the staggering losses, human and territorial and strategic, of Finland in the Winter War.
  • Hornet Stories notes preliminary plans to set up an original sequel to Call Me Be Your Name later in the 1980s, in the era of AIDS.
  • Russell Arben Fox at In Media Res considers if Wichita will be able to elect a Wichitan as governor of Kansas, for the first time in a while.
  • io9 takes a look at the interesting ways in which Star Wars and Star Trek have been subverting traditional audience assumptions about these franchises.
  • JSTOR Daily links to a paper examining what decision-makers in North Vietnam were thinking on the eve of the Tet offensive, fifty years ago.
  • The LRB Blog takes a look at a new book examining the 1984 IRA assassination attempt against Margaret Thatcher.
  • The Map Room Blog links to an article examining how school districts, not just electoral districts, can be products of gerrymandering.
  • Marginal Revolution seeks suggestions for good books to explain Canada to non-Canadians, and comes up with a shortlist of its own.
  • Kenan Malik at the NYR Daily takes a look at contemporary efforts to justify the British Empire as good for its subjects. Who is doing this, and why?