A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘military

[ISL] Five islands links: Qatar, Boracay, Vanuatu, Shetlands, CocoCay

  • Saudi Arabia is planning to dig a canal the length of its border with Qatar, making that peninsular polity and island one. That is … intense. Gulf News reports.
  • The Filipino resort island of Boracay has been declared off-limits by President Duterte, at least until its environment is rehabilitated. The National Post reports.
  • The establishment of a Chinese base in Melanesian Vanuatu would upset geopolitical calculations in Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
  • The Map Room Blog notes that some supporters of Scotland’s Shetland Islands are opposed to the idea of putting the archipelago, so far from the mainland, in inset maps.
  • Royal Caribbean is making an island in the Bahamas, CocoCay, into a custom-designed resort at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. Bloomberg reports.
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[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Halifax, Hamilton, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Damascus

  • Matthew McClearn describes the exceptional vulnerability of Halifax to sea level rise, and the apparent lack of significant preparation for this event, over at The Globe and Mail.
  • In the wake of a Black Bloc-style attack on businesses in Hamilton’s Locke Street, business owners say this isn’t the first time this has happened in recent months. CBC reports.
  • VICE reports on the nostalgia pervading the few surviving video stores of Los Angeles.
  • Mini Montgomery at Washingtonian notes how conservatives in Washington D.C. are finding dating more difficult these days, what with liberals and Democrats turning them down.
  • The highly selective devastation being visited on parts of Damascus is going to leave irremediable scars. The National Post reports.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Centauri Dreams notes how the presence of methane in the subsurface oceans of Enceladus helps create a plausible dynamic for life there.
  • Crooked Timber notes another risk facing the UK in the era of Brexit, that of the United Kingdom’s already questionable data protection. How likely is it the EU will authorize data sharing with a business in an insecure third party?
  • D-Brief notes the conundrum posed by the profoundly corrosive dust of the Moon. How will future probes, never mind outposts, deal with it?
  • Cody Delistraty notes the profoundly problematic nature of the ethnographic museum in the post-imperial era. How can they adapt?
  • The LRB Blog notes the power of Stravinsky’s recently discovered Chant funebre.
  • Marginal Revolution notes how much Trump’s proposed steel tariffs now evoke Bush Jr’s like tariffs proposed a decade and a half ago.
  • Justin Petrone at north! writes about his visit to a strangely familiar southern Italy.
  • The NYR Daily takes a look at international brands careful to cater to the nationalist sympathies of China, in their advertising and elsewhere.
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Jason Davis explains NASA’s detailed plan for returning people to the Moon.
  • Roads and Kingdoms tells the story of a burning-hot street hotpot in Chongqing.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel considers the idea of dark matter not being a particle.
  • Daniel Little at Understanding Society takes a look at the factors complicating the idea of consensus in a group.
  • John Scalzi celebrates the twentieth anniversary of his ownership of his scalzi com website.
  • Window on Eurasia wonders if Putin, with his boasting of advanced nuclear weapons, might start a 1980s-style arms race with the United States.

[NEWS] Five links about space travel: cheap rockets, robots, and war

  • Small, inexpensive rockets like the sort we are now starting to see could have a transformative effect on space travel and the global economy. Bloomberg View reports.
  • The roboticization of space would leave less to do for astronauts, but potentially more fun stuff. Bloomberg View reports.
  • Gizmodo notes that the American military wants more money for a potential armed conflict in space, as does VICE.
  • Universe Today notes that, likewise, Russia and China are developing space-based military capabilities.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 28, 2018 at 9:30 pm

[ISL] Five notes about islands: Greenland, South China Sea, Bangladesh, Caribbean, Puerto Rico

  • The slow melt of the Greenland icecap will eventually release a Cold War American military base into the open air. VICE reports.
  • Robert Farley suggests at The National Interest that China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea would not be of much use in an actual conflict.
  • Reuters notes that a mud island in the Bay of Bengal lucky not to be overwhelmed by high tides is being expanded into a compound to hold Rohingya refugees.
  • A new study suggests that there was some genetic continuing between pre- and post-Columbian populations in the Caribbean, that as family and local histories suggest at least some Taino did survive the catastrophes of colonialism. National Geographic reports.
  • This account from NACLA of Puerto Rico’s perennial problems with the American mainland and the history of migration, culminating in an ongoing disastrous mass emigration after Maria, is pro-independence. Might this viewpoint become more common among Puerto Ricans?

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • 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.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares photos of rings around a distant galaxy’s central black hole.
  • Inspired by Finland’s Olympic team, the Toronto Public Library’s The Buzz shares some interesting books on knitting and for knitters.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the surprising news that the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies actually have the same mass. This changes everything about what was thought about the future of the Local Group. D-Brief also reports on this news.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how the conversion of tobacco fields into solar farms is not just potentially life-saving but economically viable, too.
  • Language Hat rounds up links relevant to the discovery, by field linguists, of the Malaysian language of Jedek.
  • Lingua Franca, at the Chronicle of Higher Education, shares a story from Lucy Ferris of Paris of old and the bookstore Shakespeare and Company.
  • The LRB Blog notes that the privatization of military officers’ housing in the United Kingdom was another disaster.
  • Marginal Revolution considers if Los Angeles is the most right-wing major American city, and what that actually means.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that, even in the face of subsidence in Groningen around gas fields and cheap wind energy, even the Netherlands is not moving away from oil and gas.
  • Drew Rowsome reports on porn star/actor Chris Harder and his new show, Porn To Be A Star. (NSFW.)
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel examines the factors which distinguish a good scientific theory from a bad one.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy makes a decent argument that the politicized pop culture fandom around supreme court judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg is not good for the future of jurisprudence.
  • John Scalzi, at Whatever, reviews the new Pixel Buds from Google.