A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘saturn

[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.
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[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • The Buzz, over at the Toronto Public Library, recommends some audiobooks, here.
  • Centauri Dreams features an essay, by Kostas Konstantindis, exploring how near-future technology could be used to explore the oceans of Europa and Enceladus for life.
  • Far Outliers takes a look at the many languages used in Persia circa 500 BCE.
  • Hornet Stories notes that Fox News has retracted a bizarrely homophobic op-ed on the Olympics by one of its executives.
  • JSTOR Daily explores what is really involved in the rumours of J. Edgar Hoover and cross-dressing.
  • Language Hat, in exploring Zadie Smith, happens upon the lovely word “cernuous”.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money links to an article, and starts a discussion, regarding the possibility of a North Korean victory early in the Korean War. What would have happened next?
  • The NYR Daily notes that Donald Trump is helping golf get a horrible reputation.
  • Supernova Condensate examines the science-fiction trope of artificial intelligence being dangerous, and does not find much substance behind the myth. If anything, the direction of the fear should lie in the other direction.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little looks at two books which consider the origins of the Cold War from an international relations perspective. What were the actors trying to achieve?
  • Window on Eurasia makes the argument that the powerful clan structures of post-Soviet Dagestan are not primordial in origin, but rather represent attempts to cope with state failure in that Russian republic.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at the existential problems facing Capita from a Coasian perspective. How is its business model fundamentally broken?
  • Arnold Zwicky, in taking apart an overcorrection, explains the differences between “prone” and “supine.”

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait takes a look at how contemporary lunar probes are prospecting for ice deposits on the dry Moon.
  • Centauri Dreams notes new models for the evolution of the orbit of the early Moon, and how this could well have influence the environment of the young Earth.
  • Crooked Timber takes issue with the idea that sponsoring women’s entrepreneurship, rooted in the belief that women are limited by their income, is enough to deal with deeper gender inequity.
  • D-Brief notes that a brain implant–specifically, one making use of deep brain stimulation–actually can significantly improve memory in implantees.
  • Gizmodo notes that extrasolar objects like ‘Oumuamua may well have played a significant role in interstellar panspermia, introducing life from one system to another.
  • At In A State of Migration, Lyman Stone does the work and finds out that the Amish are not, in fact, destined to eventually repopulate the US, that despite high fertility rates Amish fertility rates have consistently fell over time, influenced by external issues like the economy.
  • JSTOR Daily has a thought-provoking essay taking a look at the feedback loops between envy and social media. Does social media encourage too narrow a realm of human achievements to be valued?
  • Language Hat notes a new book, Giorgio Van Straten’s In Search of Lost Books, noting all those texts which once existed but have since gone missing.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money, noting the strongly negative reaction to Katie Roiphe’s essay in Harper’s against feminism, takes care to note that “disagreement” is not at all the same thing as “silencing”.
  • The NYR Daily looks at the many ways in which Sweden has been taken as a symbol for progressivism, and the reasons why some on the right look so obsessively for signs that it is failing.
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Casey Dreier writes about the ways in which the Falcon Heavy, if it proves to be as inexpensive as promised, could revolutionize the exploration of (for instance) outer system ocean worlds like Europa and Enceladus.
  • Drew Rowsome quite likes Rumours, a performance of the famous Fleetwood Mac album of that name, at Toronto’s Coal Mine Theatre.

[NEWS] Some sci-tech links: DNA tests, stars, Europa and Enceladus, driverless trucks, Voynich

  • Bloomberg notes the impending commercial introduction of DNA tests that can be used to recommend particular diets for customers.
  • The Gaia satellite found a vast cluster of stars hidden by our bright neighbour Sirius. Universe Today reports.
  • Icy worlds like Europa and Enceladus, famous for their subsurface water oceans, might have surfaces too fluffy for probes to land safely. Universe Today reports.
  • The introduction of driverless trucks at the Suncor tar sands developments in Alberta will save on wear and tear, but will also cost 400 jobs. The Toronto Star reports.
  • This claim that University of Alberta researchers have decrypted the Voynich manuscript and found it written in a variant of Hebrew seems, perhaps, optimistic. The National Post reports.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • ‘Nathan Smith at Apostrophen points out the profound wrongness of a same-sex romance novel that has (for starters) protagonists involved in LGBT conversion camps described sympathetically.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the exciting new detailed surface map of Titan. Among other things, that world has a sea level common to all its liquid bodies, and they have sharp shores.
  • The Crux notes a new effort to understand Antarctica underneath the ice. What happened the last time its ice melted?
  • Bruce Dorminey notes that Venus is actually really important for astronomers who are interested in extraterrestrial life.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog explains why it is important to learn about social theory if you’re a sociologist. Discourse matters.
  • Far Outliers notes the many translations of Hawaii’s “TheBus” into the Asian languages spoken there.
  • Hornet Stories notes research suggesting that product ads targeting LGBTQ markets can have good knock-on effects for these products’ general market share.
  • At In Media Res, Russell Arben Fox has started a series looking back at some of the best songs of 1978.
  • JSTOR Daily notes two education papers suggesting ways art education can improve empathy among students.
  • Language Hat notes a genetic study of populations in the Chachapoyas region of coastal Peru suggesting people there were not displaced by Incan expansion.
  • Language Log reports on a study that examines connections between a person’s lexical diversity and the progress of degenerative brain health issues.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reports on the possibility that Russian money may have been funneled through the NRA.
  • The NYR Daily reports on the intensely personal performance art of Patty Chang.
  • The Planetary Society Blog reports on the latest discoveries and events surrounding the Dawn probe in its permanent Ceres orbit.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes evidence that extrasolar visitor ‘Oumuamua has been deeply shaped by its encounters with cosmic particles.
  • Transit Toronto shares detailed depictions of some of the new public art installations to be housed in six stations on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the growing presence of Central Asian migrants in the smaller communities of Russia. (Chinese, unsurprisingly, have not made it there.)

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

‘Nathan Smith at Apostrophen points out that claiming to disagree with homosexuality while respecting gay people is nonsensical. https://apostrophen.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/queer-isnt-an-opinion/

Centauri Dreams notes the innovative cheap PicSat satellite, currently monitoring Beta Pictoris with its known exoplanet. https://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=39109

Corey Robin at Crooked Timber argues that Trump is shaky, weaker than American democracy. (Not that that is going that well, mind.) http://crookedtimber.org/2018/01/13/trumps-power-is-shakier-than-american-democracy/

The Crux points out the sentient, including emotions, of any number of animal species. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2018/01/11/animals-feelings-sentient/

Far Outliers notes some German commanders in western Europe who quickly surrendered to the Allies in the Second World War, and why they did that. http://faroutliers.blogspot.com/2018/01/quick-german-surrenders-in-west.html

Hornet Stories notes how a court decision dealing with a Romanian man and his American husband could lead to European Union-wide recognition of same-sex marriage. https://hornetapp.com/stories/european-union-gay-marriage/

JSTOR Daily notes how air pollution is a human rights issue. https://daily.jstor.org/why-air-pollution-is-a-socioeconomic-issue/

Language Hat notes how the use of the apostrophe in the newly Latin script-using Kazakh language is controversial. http://languagehat.com/apostrophe-catastrophe-in-kazakhstan/

Geoffrey Pullim at Lingua Franca shares a passage from Muriel Spark’s fiction depicting students’ reactions to learning foreign languages. https://www.chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2018/01/11/a-foreign-way-which-never-really-caught-on

The LRB Blog tells the story of Omid, an Iranian who managed to smuggle himself from his home country to a precarious life in the United Kingdom. https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2018/01/15/behzad-yaghmaian/omids-journey/

The Map Room Blog shares a newly-updated map of “Trumpworld” the world as seen by Donald Trump. http://www.maproomblog.com/2018/01/trumpworld/

Marginal Revolution notes research indicating that dolphins have a grasp on economics, and what this indicates about their sentience. http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2018/01/dolphin-capital-theory.html

The Planetary Society Blog notes how the upcoming Europa Clipper probe will be able to analyze Europa’s oceans without encountering plumes of water. http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2018/20180111-no-plumes-no-problem.html

The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer suggests that, with the declining import of informal rules in American politics, a future Democratic-majority Congress might be able to sneak through statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. http://noelmaurer.typepad.com/aab/2018/01/breaking-norms-by-adding-states.html

Rocky Planet reports on the disastrous mudflows that have hit southern California after the fires. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/rockyplanet/2018/01/12/mudflows-devastate-parts-of-southern-california/

Drew Rowsome praises new horror from Matt Ruff. http://drewrowsome.blogspot.com/2018/01/lovecraft-country-matt-ruffs-multi.html

Peter Rukavina talks about his positive experiences with a walk-in mental health clinic on the Island. https://ruk.ca/content/i-went-mental-health-walk-clinic-and-so-can-you

Strange Company talks about the bizarre 1982 disappearance of one Donald Kemp. Did he even die? http://strangeco.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-strange-exit-of-donald-kemp.html

Towleroad notes that Peter Thiel is trying to buy Gawker, perhaps to destroy its archives. http://www.towleroad.com/2018/01/gawker-peter-thiel/

[NEWS] Seven science links: Bitcoin, China in space, Saturn rings, Atacama, Southern Cone energy

  • The Chinese decision to forbid further bitcoin mining within its frontiers makes sense, actually. VICE reports.
  • Matt Williams at Universe Today notes that China is planning more than forty space launches in 2018.
  • The upcoming Chang’e 4 lunar lander will carry live plants and animals to the surface of the far side of the Moon. Universe Today’s Matt Williams reports.
  • Nadia Drake at National Geographic points to research suggesting that the rings of Saturn, far from being primordial, may well have formed as recently as less than a hundred million years ago. Catastrophes can still happen, it seems, in the mature solar system.
  • Paul M. Sutter at Universe Today talks about the preternaturally clear night sky above the Atacama Desert in Chile. I would love to see this.
  • The Inter Press Service notes that clean energy, including renewable sources like solar and wind, have contributed to a sharp fall in electricity prices in Chile.
  • Argentina, the Inter Press Service notes, is set to become a major exporter of lithium from its northwestern Jujuy province, perhaps the leading exporter in the world.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 11, 2018 at 10:30 pm