A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘panama

[PHOTO] Panama on my screen in Toronto

Panama on my screen #toronto #panama #satelliteimage #googleearth #googlehome #television

Written by Randy McDonald

May 8, 2020 at 8:15 pm

[AH] Five r/imaginarymaps maps: Panama, Greece, South Africa, US, Europe

  • This map at r/imaginarymaps imagines what might have been had the unlikely Scottish colonial project in Panama, the Darien Scheme, had succeeded.
  • This r/imaginarymaps map imagines an Islamic Greece.
  • This r/imaginarymaps map imagines a revisionist Afrikaner state in eastern South Africa.
  • What organized crime networks might have sprung up in an independent Confederacy? This r/imaginarymaps post considers.
  • The organization of a Europe unified under Napoleonic hegemony in 1820 is laid out in this r/imaginarymaps map.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 19, 2019 at 11:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Anthro{dendum} links to a roundup of anthropology-relevant posts and news items.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shows how the impending collision of galaxies NGC 4490 and NGC 4485 has created spectacular scenes of starbirth.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the upcoming stream of new observatories and satellites that will enable better charting of exoplanets.
  • Kieran Healy shares a cool infographic depicting the scope of the British baby boom.
  • Hornet Stories shares the amazing video for the fantastic new song by Janelle Monáe, “Pynk.”
  • JSTOR Daily notes what happens when you send Frog and Toad to a philosophy class.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money makes the obvious point that abandoning civil rights of minorities is a foolish strategy for American liberals.
  • The LRB Blog shares a reflection on Winnie Mandela, and the forces she led and represents.
  • The Map Room Blog links to detailed maps of the Rohingya refugee camps.
  • Marginal Revolution takes issue with a proposal by Zeynep Tufekci for a thorough regulation of Facebook.
  • The NYR Daily notes how Israel is making full use of the law to enable its colonization of the West Bank.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla reports from inside a NASA clean room where the new InSight Mars rover is being prepared.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer talks about what is really wrong with a Trump Organization letter to the president of Panama regarding a real estate development there.
  • Strange Company looks at the life of 19th century fraudster and murdering John Birchall.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Bad Astronomer reports on Kepler-90, now known to have eight planets.
  • Centauri Dreams notes a model suggesting low-mass worlds like Mars do not stay very habitable for long at all around red dwarf stars.
  • Citizen Science Salon notes how Puerto Ricans are monitoring water quality on their own after Hurricane Maria.
  • The Crux notes how climate change played a role in the fall of Rome. We know more about our environment than the Romans did, but we are not much less vulnerable.
  • D-Brief notes a feature film that has just been made about Ötzi, the man who body was famously found frozen in the Tyrolean Alps five thousand years ago.
  • Daily JSTOR notes how a postage stamp featuring an erupting volcano may have kept Nicaragua from hosting an inter-oceanic canal of its own.
  • Hornet Stories reports on some exciting queer musicians.
  • Language Hat links to an online dictionary of French slang from the 19th century.
  • Language Hat has a post dealing with some controversy created on its author’s perspective on “they” as a singular pronoun. (Language changes, that’s all I have to say on that.)
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes a pretty wrong-headed take from a right-wing news source on sexuality and dating and flirting. Gack.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes how the recent Kepler-90 press release shows how Kepler has reached the limit of the exoplanet science it can do. We need to put better technology at work.
  • At Whatever, John Scalzi has some interesting non-spoiler thoughts about the direction of The Last Jedi. I must see this, soon.
  • Window on Eurasia features a blithe dismissal by Putin of the idea that there is language or ethnic conflict at work. Tatars just need to learn Russian, apparently, though they can also keep Tatar as an extra.

[NEWS] Some Monday links

  • Bloomberg notes that Brexit could give Scotland a chance to take some of London’s finance industry, looks at the Canadian-born governor of the Bank of England, looks at a quiet crisis in the Russian economy re: investment, and notes the awkwardness of the British diaspora in the European Union.
  • Bloomberg View notes the United Kingdom’s upcoming challenges with India.
  • The CBC notes that Iceland has gotten a Canadian-born first lady and looks at the new Panama Canal expansion.
  • Daily Xtra quotes the Canadian prime minister as arguing Canada must make amends for past wrongs to LGBT people.
  • MacLean’s looks at the indecisive results of the latest Spanish election.
  • The National Post notes that Scotland is already preparing for a second vote.
  • Open Democracy looks at the strange new dynamics in Northern Ireland, where Unionists are applying for Irish passports.
  • Universe Today examines experiments in agriculture using simulated Martian soil, and looks at a star set to rotate around the Milky Way Galaxy’s central black hole at 2.5% of the speed of light.

[NEWS] Some Tuesday links

  • Bloomberg notes Petrobras’ dismissal of rumours it is threatened by the impeachment, observes that many Europeans expect a chain reaction of departures if the United Kingdom leaves, notes that a return to high economic growth in Israel will require including the Palestinian minority, and
    looks at Panamanian efforts to convince the world that the country is not a tax haven.
  • The Globe and Mail remembers Mi’kMaq teacher Elsie Basque, and looks at how Mongolia is trying to adapt to the new economy.
  • Bloomberg View states the obvious, noting that an expected event is not a wild swan.
  • CBC notes Rachel Notley’s tour of Fort McMurray.
  • The Inter Press Service notes the denial of everything about the Rohingya.
  • MacLean’s looks at further confusion in Brazil.
  • Open Democracy notes a push for land reform in Paraguay and looks at the devastation of Scotland’s Labour Party.
  • Wired notes the dependence of intelligence agencies on Twitter, proved by Twitter shutting an intermediary down.

[LINK] Bloomberg on the relative strength of the economies of Central America

Bloomberg’s Michael McDonald reports on the relatively strong growth of Central America, although the “relative” has to be underlined in the context of what is, at best, a stagnant Latin American economy.

The slump in raw materials prices that has hurt Brazil, Chile, Peru and Colombia is leaving Central America unscathed.

The region is bucking a trend of sluggish growth in the rest of Latin America as cheaper crude prices cut its fuel bills and faster growth in the U.S. boosts remittances and tourist spending. The region will grow 4.2 percent this year, led by Panama’s 6.3 percent expansion, according to forecasts from the International Monetary Fund. That compares to a forecast of a 0.3 percent contraction for Latin America and the Caribbean as a whole while Brazil, the region’s biggest economy, is set to shrink 3.5 percent.

All seven Central American nations count the U.S. as their biggest trading partner, while Brazil, Peru and Chile all do more business with China. Cooling demand in the Asian giant has contributed to falling prices for South America’s oil, iron ore, copper and soy. As a net importer of oil and most other raw materials, Central America is a net winner from falling commodities prices.

“Their fortunes are really tied more to the U.S. than to China,” JPMorgan Chase & Co emerging market analyst Franco Uccelli said in a phone interview. “They aren’t seeing some of the perils of being an oil exporter with oil trading as low as it is today.”

Remittances sent home to Guatemala by workers living in the U.S. and elsewhere rose 18 percent in January from the year earlier. The country, which has the largest economy is Central America, had received a record $6.3 billion in remittances last year, equivalent to about 10 percent of gross domestic product.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 5, 2016 at 3:01 pm

[LINK] “Panama’s Expanded Canal Faces a Challenging Scenario”

The Inter Press Service’s Iralís Fragiel notes the various external factors that have the potential to complicate the expansion of the Panama Canal.

When the new locks of the expanded Panama Canal begin operations, they will do so amidst numerous challenges, because of the storm clouds hanging over the global economy, especially China. But local authorities and experts are not worried about the possible impact on the expanded canal.

The slowdown in the Chinese economy, the second largest client of the Panama Canal, transporting 48.42 million tons in 2015, is one of the factors causing concern regarding this motor of the Panamanian economy, which last grew six percent, the highest rate in Latin America.

But the start of operations of the expanded canal, due in May or June, does not worry Luis Ferreira, spokesman for the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), an autonomous government agency.

“When there were economic problems in the past, we would lose basically two to three percent of the cargo; the same thing might happen this time, but we don’t expect a substantial decrease, unless there is an all-out recession in China,” he said in an interview with IPS.

[. . .]

The expansion of the 80-km canal, which turned 100 years old in 2014 and which handles approximately five percent of global trade, involved an investment of 5.25 billion dollars. Work began on Sep. 3, 2007.

With this megaproject, carried out by Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), the consortium led by Spanish construction firm Sacyr, Panama hopes to increase daily ship traffic from 35- 40 to 48-51.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 5, 2016 at 2:59 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Apostrophen’s ‘Nathan Smith updates readers on his writing projects and points them to anthologies looking for new submissions.
  • blogTO talks about the origins of Bay Street.
  • Centauri Dreams notes new discoveries about the origins of mysterious “fast radio bursts”.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes how a genetic study of Panama’s population showed the impact of colonization.
  • Joe. My. God. notes Germany’s opening of a centre for LGBT refugees.
  • Language Log notes controversy over simplified characters in Hong Kong and poor fluency in kanji in Japan.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the controversies surrounding the commemoration of the death of Scalia at Georgetown University.
  • Steve Munro looks at various routes for a relief line in the east of the city.
  • North’s Justin Petrone talks about teaching his daughter who ran Estonia during the Soviet era.
  • Strange Maps maps Europe divided into city-states.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Kazakhstan’s plan to shift to Latin script for Kazakh and looks at ethnic Russian converts to Islam.

[LINK] “Panama’s Prosperity Has a Dark Side”

Bloomberg View’a Mac Margolis reports about hidden corruption and crime in Panama.

Last year was one most of Latin America would rather forget. The region trailed the world in economic growth, led on inflation, and posted the highest fiscal deficit after the Middle East and North Africa, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence.

So two cheers for Panama. The fastest-growing economy in the Americas expanded by almost 6 percent in 2015, compared with a nearly 1 percent drop for Latin America as a whole, and it will likely repeat that performance this year, according to the World Bank.

Cue the applause for the expanded Panama Canal, which — by the time the overhaul is finished, expected to be later this year — will double shipping capacity and allow for much larger container ships to traverse the waterway, consolidating the country’s historical role as an entrepot for the global economy. The anticipated knock-on effects already have studded this slender country of 4 million people with skyscrapers and grand public-works projects.

The breakneck pace of the project, which began in 2007, has come at a price. Bribery, graft and dirty politics are all too common in Latin America, but a noxious combination of the three has dogged the Central American dynamo in what ought to be its finest hour. And unless Panama can shake the curse, its glory may prove fleeting.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 12, 2016 at 6:10 pm