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Posts Tagged ‘military

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Antipope’s Charlie Stross and Whatever’s John Scalzi react to the Sad Puppies’ shut-out at the Hugos.
  • blogTO notes a poll suggesting that 85% of Torontonians think taxis are safer than Uber.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the potential role comet impacts may have had on the development of life.
  • Crooked Timber’s Corey Robin engages with Ta-Nehisi Coates.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze considers ways to detect life on worlds inhabited by extremophiles and examines the impact of ultraviolet radiation on hypothetical Earth-like exoplanets.
  • The Dragon’s Tales is upset that the United States suggested Ukraine should not immediately respond to the intrusion of Little Green Men.
  • Far Outliers notes the extreme casualty projections for an invasion of Japan in the Second World War.
  • Language Hat notes the controversy over the question of who the Indo-Europeans were.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the life of a Brazilian leader of a famous naval rebellion.
  • Marginal Revolution tries to start a debate on what the United States would look like if it had open borders.
  • The Planetary Society Blog features a report by Marc Rayman noting the ongoing mapping of Ceres.
  • Savage Minds carries an interview with anthropologist Christian Zloniski regarding export agriculture in Baja California.
  • Torontoist describes the controversial visit of a Toronto journalist to the Soviet Union in 1932.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Crimea is removing Ukrainian from its education system and wonders if Belarus is moving away from Russia.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Crooked Timber’s John Holbo wonders about people who are foxes and hedgehogs, following Isaiah Berlin.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one examination of carbon and oxygen in exoplanet atmospheres and links to another noting how white dwarfs eat their compact asteroid and other debris belts.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that the dinosaurs disappeared in the Pyrenees amidst environmental catastrophe.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Liberty University is liable for helping a woman hide her child away from her lesbian partner’s custody.
  • Language Hat notes an apparent mistake in prose.
  • Language Log examines new frontiers in negative negation.
  • Languages of the World notes the role of Dante in establishing an Italian literary language.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders what books contain the most wisdom per page.
  • The Search notes one librarian’s experience with web archiving.
  • Torontoist shares photos of the Pan Am Games.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy argues that genetic engineering of babies for IQ will occur as soon as the technology becomes possible.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that support is growing for an enquiry into the Malaysian Airlines shootdown, notes military reform’s stagnation in Russia, and looks at a Crimean Tatar meeting in Turkey.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World notes that Spain has come out weaker of this round of Eurozone negotiations.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Centauri Dreams argues that humans have a deep-seated instinct to explore.
  • Crooked Timber looks at how Greek debt is a political problem.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes an unsuccessful search for gas giant exoplanets around a white dwarf and looks at a new system for classifying exoplanets by mass.
  • The Dragon’s Tales looks at a report that a Patriot missile battery in Turkey got hacked.
  • Geocurrents notes how the eastern Yemeni region of Al Mahrah is seeking autonomy.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the failure of the United States’ Cuban embargo.
  • Marginal Revolution speculates as to the peculiar dynamics of political leadership in China.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reflects on Greece.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes that Pluto can now be explored via Google Earth.
  • Registan looks at the decline of Tajikistan’s Islamic Renaissance Party.
  • Strange Maps shares a map that charts out the City of London and its threats.
  • Towleroad notes an upcoming vote over a civil partnership bill in Cyprus.
  • Window on Eurasia reports that most books published in Russia have small print runs.

[URBAN NOTE] “Blood & Fog: The Military’s Germ Warfare Tests in San Francisco”

At Discover‘s Body Horrors, Rebecca Kreston notes how the American military tested biological weapons in 1951.

The Nuremberg Code was drafted in 1947 following the appalling revelations of human experimentation committed in Nazi concentration camps. The overarching goal of the Code was to establish a set of rules for the ethical conduct of research using human subjects, guaranteeing that the rights and welfare of such participants would be protected. Two important principles guide and define this Code: the concept of voluntary, informed consent and that no experiment shall be conducted in which “there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur.”

Just four short years later, the government of the United States would violate the Code as it undertook one of the largest human experiments in history, spraying the city of San Francisco with a microbe, Serratia marcescens, in a simulated germ warfare attack.

The genus Serratia are a group of soil and water-dwelling microbes with one very neat party trick: the manufacture of a red pigment known as “prodigiosin,” derived from the Latin prodigiosus for its marvelous and seemingly supernatural coloring; this color ranges from a lurid vermillion to a washed-out pink depending upon the microbe’s age. This unique property has been regularly exploited in microbiology as a biological marker, tracking metabolic behavior and transmission of bacteria in various environments. For this reason, the microbe is an ideal tool for such work, a showy microbe that naturally flies a very noticeable red flag.

The origins of Serratia are, despite the microbe’s technical laboratory applications, often quite prosaic. The bacteria thrives in wet environments and may be seen forming pink streaks on the insides of shower curtains and along toilet bowls in the homes (surely not mine or yours) of the sanitationally challenged.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 30, 2015 at 10:33 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly wonders who we should trust.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the discovery of Kepler-138b, a Mars-sized exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star.
  • Cody Delistraty considers whether language influences morality.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis shares different scenarios for the breakup of Nigeria.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the oppression of women workers.
  • Marginal Revolution argues that there is a skills shortage in the American economy and is in favour of the TPP trade agreement.
  • Steve Munro shares plans for TTC improvement.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes how Russia’s neighbours see it as a greater or lesser threat.
  • Torontoist and Transit Toronto react to the extension of cell service into the subways.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Ukrainian Baptists in the Donbas resist Russian influence and argues that Russian militarization will ultimately hurt Russians.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Centauri Dreams anticipates Ceres.
  • Crooked Timber notes Big Oil is turning against Big Coal.
  • Geocurrents shares Martin Lewis’ slides on Nigeria.
  • Language Hat, reflecting on Irish and Hebrew, considers language change and shift.
  • Language Log examines the historical American broadcast r-less accent.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money wants a good history of the Occupy movement.
  • The New APPS Blog wonders what philosophical work might look like as technology and modes of scholarship evolve.
  • The Power and Money’s Noel Maurer looks at Mexico’s political parties.
  • Towleroad notes controversy in Houston over elderly LGBT housing and relations with police.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy argues against the policies that led to Orange Telecom’s withdrawal from the Israeli occupied territories.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at Russification, notes how Russia’s satellite program depends on American imports, and looks at the military incapacity of Tajikistan versus foreign threats like ISIS.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining how volatiles like water get transported to nascent rocky planets in circumstellar habitable zones.
  • The Dragon’s Tales looks at 4th and 5th generation fighter aircraft of Japan, India, and Turkey.
  • Imageo shares photos of the breaking ice on the Arctic Ocean.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Russia’s anti-gay Vitaly Milonov is castigating Russia’s Eurovision contestant for being polite to Conchita Wurst.
  • Language Hat links to a report of a gathering of poloyglots in Berlin.
  • The Numerati’s Stephen Baker describes why and how he got his Wikipedia biography edited.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw writes about his profound interest in stories of all kinds.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that there are still no good economic explanations for the scramble for Africa.
  • Spacing maps Canada’s various land types.
  • The Transit Toronto blog shares the TTC’s explanation for yesterday’s transit outage.
  • Window on Eurasia shares a Tatar academic’s argument that Russians are fundamentally not Europeans, much like Tatars.
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