A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘news

[NEWS] Four links on Antarctica: ancient Godwanaland forests, mantle plume, American infrastructure

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  • Elaina Zachos reports on the discovery of a remarkable intact petrified forest in Antarctica more than a quarter-billion years old, legacy of ancient Godwanaland, over at National Geographic.
  • D-Brief reports on the remarkable adaptations of the forests of Godwanaland, now Antarctica, to six months without light.
  • Universe Today reports that a hitherto unsupected plume from the mantle underneath Antarctica may be partially responsible for the ready melting of that continent’s ice sheets.
  • Justin Gillis and Jonathan Corum report on how the infrastructure of the American presence in Antarctica, including McMurdo station, is in desperate need for investment to compensate for decades of neglect, over at the New York Times.
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Written by Randy McDonald

November 18, 2017 at 10:30 pm

[NEWS] Three links about smart animals: elephants as legal persons, cetacean footage, bonobo empathy

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  • Three elephants in Connecticut are the latest animals subject to a bid by activists to grant them status as “legal persons”. The Washington Post reports.
  • Gary Chabonneau has won a court battle versus the Vancouver Aquarium to secure rights to footage he took of their captive cetaceans. CBC reports.
  • Bonobos have been proven in a recent experiment to have the capacity to be empathetic towards strangers. National Geographic reports.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 18, 2017 at 8:30 pm

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  • The Arecibo radio observatory of Puerto Rico, famous for (among other things) the first effort at communicating with extraterrestrial civilizations, has been saved from demolition. National Geographic reports.
  • Wired looks at how the Sonar music festival got music to be transmitted and eventually decoded by a hypothetical civilization at Luyten’s Star, on GJ 273b.
  • George Dvorsky at io9 shares convincing arguments that the Luyten’s Star transmission is not likely to cause harm–among other things, advanced extraterrestrial civilizations are likely to know we are here. And, hey, if they like our techno, maybe good things can come of this.

[NEWS] Three links on Canada, Trump, trade, and politics

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  • Canada is redoubling its lobbying efforts in the United States, to try to gain some security versus Trump. Global News reports.
  • Kevin Carmichael looks at how the Trump Administration is triggering Canada’s own internal divisions, on things as various as milk and lumber and Bombardier, perhaps to the United States’ own benefit. MacLean’s has it.
  • John Geddes looks at the subtle differences in the videos of Conservative Andrew Scheer and Liberal Justin Trudeau, Scheer’s video being in the suburbs and Trudeau’s being among the crowds. MacLean’s carries the article.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 16, 2017 at 7:30 pm

[NEWS] Five links: American gun owners, Japanese inequality, Polish politics, Lexit, #elsagate

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  • The small minority of American gun owners who own huge numbers of guns, more than they could seemingly use, is the subject of this study at The Guardian.
  • The Japanese economy may be growing, but so is inequality, Bloomberg reports.
  • This Open Democracy examination of the sharpening political divides in Poland, particularly outside of Warsaw, is gripping. It starts with the self-immolation of Upper Silesian Piotr SzczÄ™sny in his country’s capital.
  • Julian Savarer takes a look at the many problems with “Lexit”, the idea of a left-wing argument for Brexit.
  • James Bridle looks at the complex human and artificial mechanisms behind the production of so much wrong children’s video content. #elsagate is only the tip of it all. Medium hosts the article.

[NEWS] Three link about transnational economic integration: Eurozone, TPP, NAFTA

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  • Paul Taylor at politico.eu describes the sort of integration that the Eurozone needs to function better, integration that may actually now come about after the French election.
  • Bloomberg View’s editors wish the Trans-Pacific Partnership continued success, even after Trump’s United States withdrew.
  • Aaron Hutchins at MacLean’s explores the huge, and largely negative, consequences for Canada if Trump ends NAFTA (and US-Canada free trade, too).

Written by Randy McDonald

November 15, 2017 at 11:59 pm

[NEWS] Four science links: Florida Keys, life on Mars, Triton vs Neptune, Ross 128 b

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  • Vulnerable ecologies and organisms in the Florida Keys are still recovering from Hurricane Irma (among other disasters). National Geographic reports.
  • Simulations suggest life could exist in the Martian soil not too far removed from the surface. Universe Today reports.
  • New simulations suggest that the Neptunian satellite system disrupted by the arrival of Triton was most like Uranus’. Universe Today reports.
  • News of the existence of Ross 128 b, a potentially Earth-like world orbiting a stable red dwarf star a mere 11 light years away, is exciting. The Guardian reports.