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Posts Tagged ‘science

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • 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.
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[NEWS] Four sci-tech links: new non-Western star names, anti-pollution bacteria, Fitbit, ‘Oumuamua

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  • Universe Today notes that the IAU has just assigned new names to 86 stars, drawing from Chinese, Indian, Arabic, Mayan and Aborigine traditions. Delta Velorum is Alsephina, for instance.
  • Genetically engineered superbacteria from China may be set to consuming the waste from that country’s fashion industry. Bloomberg reports.
  • Erin Griffith at Wired notes how Fitbit is slowly edging from a fitness device to something like a medical monitor.
  • This article in The Atlantic looking at the upcoming efforts to see if extrasolar visitor ‘Oumuamua is a technological artifact is fascinating.

[NEWS] Four links on animals: Beluga DNA, the dolphin of Tiji, the language of crows, pandas

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  • The DNA of the beluga whale has been sequenced for the first time, using the DNA of belugas recently dead at the Vancouver Aquarium. Global News reports.
  • Japanese fishers responsible for the brutal slaughter of dolphins in a cove in Taiji, so red that it makes the water red, claim they do not feel guilty. (Why try to hide the slaughter, then?) The Guardian reports.
  • Vanessa Hrvatin, at the National Post, notes an effort by researchers at the University of Washington Bothnell to try to decipher the language of crows. What are they saying?
  • MacLean’s wonders if there is cause to be concerned for the welfare of Canada’s pandas, now in residence in the Toronto Zoo and scheduled for a move next year to the Calgary Zoo. Is that place safe?

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait answers the question of why asteroids tend to explode high in atmosphere.
  • Centauri Dreams carries Keith Cooper’s suggestion that METI activists should wait until the first generation of detailed exoplanet investigations give an idea as to what is out there before they begin transmitting.
  • The Crux notes how indigenous peoples in Guyana use drones to defend their land claims.
  • JSTOR Daily summarizes an article on the sexually radical and politically progressive Kansas freethinkers, subject even to death threats.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers the question of who benefits from automotion in early 21st century society.
  • Far Outliers notes how, in the Second World War, American missionaries also became interrogators thanks to their knowledge.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas, linking to an article on #elsagate, notes how many video creators were making content not for human audiences but rather to please YouTube algorithms.
  • Language Log deals with one manifestation of the controversy over the use of “they” as a gender-neutral first-person singular pronoun.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the terribly suspicious denial of anti-Semitism from Roy Moore’s wife. Alabamans, vote against this man.
  • The LRB Blog shares Gill Partington’s examination of some modern art exhibits dealing with the mechanics of reading.
  • Russell Darnley of maximos62 examines how Human Rights Day, celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed on 10 December 1948, is not the only important date in international human rights history.
  • The NYR Daily notes how Donald Trump’s actions have only worsened the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Cheri Lucas Rowlands shares beautiful photos from a visit to England.
  • Spacing shares an article by Sean Ruthen examining the dynamic difference of the different cities of Italy, based on the author’s recent trip there.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel looks at how young massive black hole J1342+0928 poses a challenge.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how the main demographic challenges for the Baltic States these days are not so much ethnic conflicts but rather population aging and emigration.
  • Arnold Zwicky takes a look at timeless similarities between classics of homoerotic art and modern-day gay photography. NSFW, obviously.

[NEWS] Four science links: Venus and Earth, Greenland shark, maple syrup, black hole J1342+0928

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  • Does Venus have a much weaker magnetic field than the Earth because Venus, unlike the Earth, did not suffer a massive Moon-creating impact? Universe Today reports.
  • M.R. O’Connor tells the story of how scientists managed to figure out how amazingly long the Greenland shark can live. The New Yorker has it.
  • Climate Central notes how, thanks to global warming, maple syrup season is starting earlier every year and the heartland of production is moving ever more to the north.
  • At Wired, Joshua Sokol reports on the distant and mysteriously massive black hole J1342+0928. How did it become so incredibly massive–780 million solar masses–when the universe was less than a billion years old?

Written by Randy McDonald

December 9, 2017 at 11:59 pm

[NEWS] Five sci-tech links: Mount Agung, rural Internet, Wacom, space mining school, seeding life

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  • Global News considers if the Mount Agung eruption in Bali could, through the injection of dust into the atmosphere, lead to global cooling.
  • VICE examines how rural electric cooperatives in the United States are adding broadband Internet to the list of services they provide.
  • VICE profiles Wacom, the Japanese company with decades of investment in touchscreen technology now finally paying off.
  • Wired notes that the Colorado School of Mines is now offering a program for space miners.
  • Universe Today shares a speculative plan for using self-replicating robots to seed life on potentially suitable exoplanets across the galaxy, focusing on ones with natural oxygen atmospheres.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

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  • Centauri Dreams takes a look at how stellar winds from red dwarfs complicate the habitability of planets in their circumstellar habitable zones.
  • The Crux, noting the 75th anniversary of the atomic age, notes some non-nuclear weapons achievements of this era.
  • D-Brief notes the exceptional strength of prehistoric women farmers.
  • Daily JSTOR takes a look at the instantaneity and power–frightening power, even–of celebrity culture in an era where technology gives us access to the intimate details of their lives.
  • Far Outliers notes that Pearl Buck, American author and missionary in China, actually was egalitarian and feminist.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas considers all those texts created in the past, of importance then and relevant even now, which have been forgotten. How can the canon be restored?
  • Imageo shares photos of the eruption of Mount Agung, in Bali.
  • Language Hat notes the intense interest of Roman Italy in all things Egyptian, including hieroglyphics. Where, exactly, was the like European interest in the cultures it colonized more recently?
  • Language Log tries to find people who can identify the source language of a particular text. It seems Turkic …
  • Lingua France talks about Robert Luis Stevenson and his opinions (and the blogger’s) about the weather of Edinburgh.
  • Lovesick Cyborg notes the seriously destabilizing potential of roboticization on human employment. To what extent can improving education systems help?
  • Tariq Ali at the LRB Blog talks about the latest religious-political crisis in Pakistan.
  • The Map Room Blog links to an article describing a Vietnamese historian’s search for cartographic proof of his country’s claims in the South China Sea.
  • The NYR Daily considers an interesting question: how, exactly, do you get an actor to act naturally for film? What strategies do filmmakers use?
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes a new genetic study hinting at a much greater survival of indigenous populations–women, at least–in Argentina than was previously suspected.
  • Roads and Kingdoms notes an interesting effort to try to preserve and restore the older districts of Kabul.
  • Seriously Science notes the exploration of the microbial life populating the coffee machine sludge of some inquisitive scientists.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that substantially Russian-populated northern Kazakhstan is at risk of becoming a new Russian target, especially after Nazarbayev goes.
  • Arnold Zwicky shares some thoughts on people of colour and the LGBTQ rainbow flag.