A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘scandinavia

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait looks at the strange galaxy NGC 5866.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly looks at some of her prep work when she covers a news story.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the idea of using the Earth itself for gravitational lensing.
  • D-Brief notes a newly-discovered fossil parrot from New Zealand, a bird nearly one metre in size.
  • Far Outliers looks at the values of cowrie shells in 19th century central Africa. What could they buy?
  • Gizmodo notes the limited circumstances in which IMDb will allow transgender people to remove their birth names from their records.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at the abortive American state of Franklin.
  • Language Hat notes a 19th century Russian exile’s experience with the differences between Norwegian and Swedish.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes, after Epstein, the incompetence that too often characterizes American prisons.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the importance of slavery in the history of Venice.
  • The NYR Daily notes how W.H. Auden was decidedly unimpressed by the Apollo moon landing, and why.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes the import of astronomers’ discovery of an ancient early black hole.
  • Strange Maps’ Frank Jacobs shares a vertical world map from China.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little considers how competent the Nuclear Regulatory Commission actually is.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the internal divides of Russia.

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Hamilton, Halifax, Sydney, Kiruna, Kigali

  • CBC Hamilton reports on patterns of misconduct by members of armed forces units in the Hamilton, Ontario, area.
  • That the Cape Breton Post, main newspaper of that island, may now be printed in Halifax says much about that city’s growing dominance of Nova Scotia (and, too, of Cape Breton’s decline). CBC reports.
  • Building a new library on the waterfront of Sydney, in Cape Breton, might well anchor a wider revitalization of that city. CBC reports.
  • Guardian Cities shares the story of how the Swedish iron ore-mining town of Kiruna, facing subsidence, is literally moving kilometres away.
  • The Inter Press Services notes that the Rwandan capital of Kigali will have a downtown ecotourism park.

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: New York City, Vancouver, Ribe, Hiroshima, Hong Kong

  • CityLab links to a documentary about the quest of a man to walk every street in each of the five boroughs of New York City.
  • The National Observer notes that the federal government is funding an affordable housing project in Vancouver, with rents for a studio apartment starting at $C 1150.
  • Guardian Cities takes a look at archeological excavations in Denmark revealing the complexity of the Vikings’ urban life in the trading centre of Ribe.
  • CityLab tells the story of how the Carps, the baseball team of Hiroshima, took off after the Second World War, and how this rise inspired the city’s people.
  • Guardian Cities shares the works of a photographer concentrating on the images of the skyscrapers of Hong Kong wrapped in bamboo.

[PHOTO] Twenty photos of Vikings: The Exphibition (#vikingsto)

Vikings: The Exhibition, currently at the Royal Ontario Museum, provides a great overview of the civilization of the Norse. The Vikings’ military history is deemphasized in favour of a perspective focused on their material artifacts and their experiences as a trading civilization. I strongly recommend it.

Vikings! #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #vikings #latergram

Crowd #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #vikings #latergram

"Where did the Vikings live?" #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #vikings #maps #europe #canada #vinland #latergram

Trade goods #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #vikings #sweden #tradegoods #blacksea #redsea #ireland #coptic #latergram

Irish cross #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #vikings #sweden #ireland #cross #latergram

Buddha in miniature #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #vikings #sweden #buddha #buddhism #statue #latergram

Pendant, Thor's hammer #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #vikings #sweden #scania #thor #hammer #pendant #jewelry #latergram

Showing signs of hard living #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #vikings #skeleton #latergram

Drinking horn #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #vikings #drinkinghorn #latergram

Replica boat #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #vikings #boats #latergram

Beads #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #beads #jewelry #bronze #glass #gold #latergram

Beads #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #beads #jewelry #bronze #glass #gold #latergram

Pendant, Thor's hammer with crosses #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #pendant #jewelry #thor #hammer #cross #latergram

Valkyrie pendants #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #sweden #vikings #pendant #jewelry #valkyrie #latergram

Ghost ship, with nails (3) #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #sweden #vikings #boats #nails #latergram

Assorted jewelry #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #vikings #scandinavia #jewelry #latergram

In glass #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #vikings #glass #latergram

Coinage #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #vikings #coins #coinage #money #latergram

Rune stone, copy #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #vikings #rune #runestone #sweden #latergram

Reconstructed Viking sail pattern #toronto #royalontariomuseum #vikingsto #vikings #boats #sail #latergram

Written by Randy McDonald

December 15, 2017 at 12:45 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Far Outliers notes how the new Suez Canal helped create a network of coal-using port cities across Eurasia.
  • Hornet Stories notes that Serbia’s out lesbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic, marched in Belgrade’s pride parade.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a statement by the Pentagon that transgender troops can still re-enlist for the next few months.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes a fundamentally ill-thought defense of colonialism by Bruce Gilley.
  • Marginal Revolutions notes that Swedish support for the far right is linked to perceptions of foreign threats to employment.
  • Out There looks at the last days of Cassini at Saturn.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes real estate shenanigans in greater Sydney.
  • Drew Rowsome has a critical, but positive, review of closeted gay author Frank M. Robinson’s autobiography.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy sums up the outcome of the controversial monkey selfie copyright case.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Russian challenges to language legislation in Tatarstan hint at future challenges.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Beyond the Beyond links to an interview with Darran Anderson, a writer of cartographic fiction.
  • Centauri Dreams notes that 2028 will be a time when microlensing can b used to study the area of Alpha Centauri A.
  • The Crux engages with the question of whether or not an astronaut’s corpse could seed life on another planet.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a study that gathers together signals for planetary companions orbiting nearby stars.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the only gay bar in Portland, Maine, is set to close.
  • Language Log notes the proliferation of Chinese characters and notes that a parrot could not be called to the stand in Kuwait.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the last time the Chicago Cubs won, Germany was an empire.
  • The Map Room Blog notes the discovery of an ancient stone map on the Danish island of Bornholm.
  • The Planetary Society Blog examines some of the New Horizons findings of Pluto.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer argues that Venezuela is now a dictatorship.
  • Towleroad notes</a. controversy over a gay Utahn senator's visit to Iran.
  • Window on Eurasia notes a Russian cleric’s call for the children of ethnically mixed marriages in Tatarstan to be legally identified as Russians.

[LINK] “An Atlantic Canadian speech pattern, explained”

CBC News’ Lindsay Bird reports on an odd Viking inheritance.

Say it on your inhale: “yeeeeeeeah.”

If that felt like second nature, chances are you’re from Atlantic Canada, where this peculiar speech pattern prevails. And this habit of inhaling a ‘yes’, ‘no,’ or ‘hmmm’ even, has a name: ingressive pulmonic speech.

“It’s really interesting. It’s a phenomenon you don’t find in too many of the world’s languages, but [in] a big geographical zone,” said retired Memorial University professor Sandra Clarke, an expert on the special inhale.

Ingressive pulmonic speech is widespread throughout Atlantic Canada, down into Maine, and then stretches across the North Atlantic to encompass Scotland, Ireland, Iceland and Scandinavia, and as far east as Estonia.

[. . .]

“Where it seems to have come from originally, is probably what we now call Scandinavia. The Vikings were the ones who probably brought it to Scotland and Ireland,” she said, adding the large influx of Scottish and Irish likely transported it to Canada’s East Coast.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 17, 2016 at 5:15 pm

[LINK] “The Bridge That United Copenhagen and Malmo Is Now Dividing Them”

Feargus O’Sullivan’s CityLab article explaining how the close integration of Denmark with Sweden, exemplified by the Oresund bridge connecting the two countries, is being challenged by migration issues, is sad.

When the Oresund Bridge (that’s Öresund in Swedish and Øresund in Danish) opened in 2000, it was taken as a harbinger of a bright, borderless future for Europe.

Linking Danish Copenhagen with the Swedish city of Malmo across five miles of the Oresund Strait, the bridge was an unquestionably bold feat of engineering, featuring a two-mile tunnel connecting to it via an artificial island. The bridge’s role in reshaping Scandinavia’s geography was more impressive still. It joined two countries previously linked only by sea and air and helped to bind Denmark’s first and Sweden’s third cities into a new international metro area.

[. . .]

This year, more than 120,000 refugees sought asylum in Sweden between January and November. The source of their exodus is the ongoing war in Syria, creating levels of violence and disorder so intense that hundred of thousands have risked the dangerous journey across sea and over land to reach safety. Of the 800,000 refugees who have arrived by sea this year, one in seven has ended up in Sweden.

This is substantially thanks to Swedish generosity in setting high quotas. (It also helps that conditions the country offers refugees on arrival are relatively better than elsewhere.) Other European states have notably failed to be so generous. The U.K., with more than 6.5 times the population of Sweden, has agreed to take just 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next parliamentary term.

Neighboring Denmark has taken a far tougher line. The country’s government has taken out anti-refugee advertisements in Lebanese newspapers, announcing recent 50 percent cuts to refugee benefits and emphasizing how quickly Denmark would be able to deport them. The contrast could hardly be greater with Sweden, where people crossing by train from Denmark are greeted in Malmo Station with notices reading “Welcome Refugees” in Swedish, English, and Arabic.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 23, 2015 at 2:17 pm

[LINK] “Migrants find a new route to Norway, through the Arctic on bicycles”

The Arctic route described last month by the Associated Press’ Matti Huuhtanen is more of a novelty than a common route.

As Europe grapples with record-breaking numbers of migrants, a trickle of asylum seekers from Syria and the Mediterranean region have found an unlikely route: Through Russia to a remote Arctic border post in Norway, partly on bicycles.

Police Chief Inspector Goeran Stenseth said Monday that 151 people have crossed the border this year near the northeastern Norwegian town of Kirkenes, 2,500 kilometres (1,550 miles) northeast of Oslo.

He said that most of the migrants are from Syria, with some from Turkey and Ukraine, and that they mainly cross in motor vehicles although some have resorted to arriving on bicycles because the Storskog border post is not open to pedestrians, in line with a Norwegian-Russian border agreement.

“There have been about 100 during the past two months, at least 50 in July and looks like August will be much the same,” he told The Associated Press. “But the conditions will be bad soon. It’s getting colder by the day … Soon no one will be able to bike, that’s for sure.”

Written by Randy McDonald

September 30, 2015 at 9:56 pm

[LINK] “EU law puts a dent in Scandinavian labor organizing”

Al Jazeera America’s Ned Resnikoff reports on the tension between the EU institution of posted workers–workers sent from one, low-wage, country to work in a high-wage country at the wages of the native countries–and the Nordic welfare state.

“The question is under what circumstances the services offered by a Latvian, Polish or German firm should be sold in Denmark and Sweden,” Jacob Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told Al Jazeera. “There’s an ongoing struggle over whether they should be able to offer those services paying Polish or Latvian wages.”

The struggle concerns a particular category of workers, defined as “posted workers” under EU law. A posted worker is “sent by his employer on a temporary basis to carry out his work in another Member State” according to a fact sheet on the European Commission website.

Under the Posting of Workers Directive, approved by the European Parliament in 1996, workers who are posted to a particular member state get to enjoy that state’s labor protections. A Polish worker posted to Denmark must be paid Denmark’s minimum wage or more.

The problem is that Denmark doesn’t have a minimum wage, at least not legally speaking — nor does Sweden. (Norway, the third of three Scandinavian countries also does not have a legal minimum wage but it is not a member of the European Union.)

Instead of legislating their minimum wages, the Scandinavian countries have their unions bargain for them. Sweden and Denmark may not have minimum wage laws, but they do have effective wage minimums, defined by the collective bargaining agreements their unions negotiate.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 9, 2015 at 5:27 pm