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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘poland

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly writes about the need for opponents of Trump to fight, not just the man but the root causes.
  • Centauri Dreams notes a study suggesting Proxima Centauri is gravitationally bound to Alpha Centauri A and B.
  • Dangerous Minds shares photos depicting the devastation of Gatlinburg by fire.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that stars with close-orbiting rocky worlds seem to have above-solar metallicity, and considers the albedos of exoplanets.
  • Far Outliers looks at how Poland’s Communist government tried to undermine Pope John Paul II in 1979.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a lawsuit lodged against the American government demanding the release of information regarding the Russian information hack.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes poor working conditions in Bangladesh.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a Yoruba tongue twister.
  • The Planetary Society Blog links to China’s planned program of space exploration.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO notes that a Vancouver nerd bar is opening up shop in Toronto.
  • Dangerous Minds provides its readers with a take on an upcoming Tom of Finland biopic.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Enceladus seems altogether too hot and notes that dwarf planet Makemake seems to have a surprisingly uniform surface.
  • Far Outliers looks at Afghanistan and Poland at the end of the 1970s.
  • Joe. My. God. and Towleroad each respond to the untimely death of George Michael.

  • Language Log explores the evolution of the term “dongle”.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders if Donald Trump is guided by his thinking in the 1980s about a Soviet-American condominium.
  • Torontoist looks at the Toronto’s century house plaques come to be.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russian media outside of Russia are gaining in influence and talks about modern Russia as a new sort of “evil empire”.

[LINK] “The Dalai Lama Test”

At Transitions Online, Martin Ehl writes about how central European disinterest in the Dalai Lama maps onto an increasingly pragmatic pursuit of Chinese investment.

In this way, the October visit of the Dalai Lama – who was the main star of the 20th edition of the Forum 2000 conference, founded by late President Vaclav Havel – was also a test of Havel’s legacy in the former Czechoslovakia. That humanitarian approach is today confined to almost hidden corners of the local political scene, only revived from time to time by small groups, usually consisting of NGO activists, and lately by Kiska. In mainstream politics, it gets almost completely forgotten.

Lastly, the episode illustrates in broader strokes the emerging relationship between Central Europe and China. For the last couple of years, China has crafted its policy toward Europe, and the weak and often Eurosceptic Central European governments have seemed an ideal gateway for Chinese money and political influence. China could thereby reach the wider European Union, which, due to the refugee crisis and Brexit, looks weaker than ever in the last 20 years.

The job, however, isn’t easy for Chinese diplomats in Prague, Bratislava, or Warsaw (the Dalai Lama also briefly visited Wroclaw, without meeting any government official there). They have to exert maximum effort, show off their supposed powers to influence investment, and gain leverage over local politicians. But the real work in leaning on the locals is done by the businessmen who have cultivated business and political ties in China as relations have warmed. That’s not so tough when the United States, a traditional ally, seems so far off, the EU looks to be in disarray, and Russia plays old, familiar Soviet power games.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 12, 2016 at 9:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Beyond the Beyond’s Bruce Sterling looks at the art scene in Istanbul.
  • Crooked Timber takes issue with Tyler Cowen’s support for school vouchers.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes signs that the ephemeral Martian lakes were temporary creations of methane outbursts, and considers how to use WISE to hunt for Planet Nine.
  • Far Outliers looks at Britain’s contracts with petty German states for soldiers.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas looks at Trump in the context of the conflict between orality and literacy.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes Donald Trump’s complication of the United States’ China policy and reports that Seattle’s new minimum wage has apparently not led to job loss.
  • The LRB Blog reports on The Gambia on the eve of the elections.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that truth is essential for liberty and freedom.
  • From the Heart of Europe’s Nicholas Whyte looks at the strange history of an enclave on the border of Belfast.
  • pollotenchegg maps language in Ukraine.
  • Savage Minds announces that the blog will seek a new name, and that they are looking for suggestions.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Russia’s fertility uptick will not alter the dynamics of population loss, and reports on a Russian radical’s astonishing suggestion that Russia is now in the same position versus Ukraine as Nazi Germany was versus Poland.

[NEWS] Some Friday links

  • Bloomberg notes the recent challenge to one-family rule in Gabon, looks at Russia’s new Internet firewall, examines the Syrian Kurds’ withdrawal beyond the Euphrates, and reports on near-record migration into the United Kingdom.
  • Bloomberg View talks about inequality in China, looks at continuing disputes over Second World War history in Poland and Ukraine, and examines the things Texas and California have in common.
  • CBC reports on the impending release of a report on foreign workers, looks at the integration problems of Syrian refugees re: housing, and reports on Canada’s interest in more immigration from China.
  • The Inter Press Service notes how drought is hurting cocoa farmers in Cameroon.
  • MacLean’s looks at how some in the Conservative Party have not moved past same-sex marriage, describes how the new British Columbia tax on foreign buyers of real estate is deterring Chinese, and reports on the catastrophic potential of carbon release from melting permafrost.
  • National Geographic notes how the young generation sees Pluto and its classification history.
  • The National Post describes how design fans want the CBC to release its 1974 standards manual, and looks at controversy over a study claiming extensive support in mosques for extremist literature.
  • Wired has photos from the uninhabited cities of China, and describes the new prominence of the alt right.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • News of Proxima Centauri b spread across the blogosphere yesterday, to Discover‘s D-Brief and Crux, to Joe. My. God., to the Planetary Society Blog, and to Centauri Dreams and The Dragon’s Gaze.
  • blogTO notes the impending opening of Toronto’s first Uniqlo and suggests TTC buses may soon have a new colour scheme.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze discusses detecting exo-Titans and looks at the Kepler-539 system.
  • Marginal Revolution notes Poland’s pension obligations.
  • The Map Room Blog looks at how empty maps are of use to colonialists.
  • Steve Munro examines traffic on King Street.
  • The NYR Daily looks at what an attic of ephemera reveals about early Islam.
  • Otto Pohl announces his arrival in Kurdistan.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog and Window on Eurasia note that more than half of Russia’s medal-winners at the Olympics were not ethnically Russian, at least not wholly.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at Ukraine’s balance sheet 25 years after independence and considers if Belarus is on the way to becoming the next Ukraine.

[NEWS] Some Wednesday links

  • Bloomberg talks about Poland’s problems with economic growth, notes that McMansions are poor investments, considers what to do about the Olympics post-Rio, looks at new Japanese tax incentives for working women, looks at a French war museum that put its stock up for sale, examines the power of the New Zealand dairy, looks at the Yasukuni controversies, and notes Huawei’s progress in China.
  • Bloomberg View is hopeful for Brazil, argues demographics are dooming Abenomics, suggests ways for the US to pit Russia versus Iran, looks at Chinese fisheries and the survival of the ocean, notes that high American population growth makes the post-2008 economic recovery relatively less notable, looks at Emperor Akihito’s opposition to Japanese remilitarization, and argues that Europe’s soft response to terrorism is not a weakness.
  • CBC notes that Russian doping whistleblowers fear for their lives, looks at how New Brunswick farmers are adapting to climate change, and looks at how Neanderthals’ lack of facility with tools may have doomed them.
  • The Globe and Mail argues Ontario should imitate Michigan instead of Québec, notes the new Anne of Green Gables series on Netflix, and predicts good things for Tim Horton’s in the Philippines.
  • The Guardian notes that Canada’s impending deal with the European Union is not any model for the United Kingdom.
  • The Inter Press Service looks at child executions in Iran.
  • MacLean’s notes that Great Lakes mayors have joined to challenge a diversion of water from their shared basin.
  • National Geographic looks at the elephant ivory trade, considers the abstract intelligence of birds, considers the Mayan calendar’s complexities, and looks at how the young generation treats Pluto’s dwarf planet status.
  • The National Post notes that VIA Rail is interested in offering a low-cost bus route along the Highway of Tears in northern British Columbia.
  • Open Democracy notes that the last Russian prisoner in Guantanamo does not want to go home, and wonders why the West ignores the Rwandan dictatorship.
  • TVO considers how rural communities can attract immigrants.
  • Universe Today suggests sending our digital selves to the stars, looks at how cirrus clouds kept early Mars warm and wet, and notes the discovery of an early-forming direct-collapse black hole.
  • Variance Explained looks at how Donald Trump’s tweets clearly show two authors at work.
  • The Washignton Post considers what happens when a gay bar becomes a bar with more general appeal.
  • Wired notes that the World Wide Web still is far from achieving its founders’ dreams, looks at how news apps are dying off, and reports on the Univision purchase of Gawker.