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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘science

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Centauri Dreams shares a proposal for unmanned probe missions to future incoming extrasolar asteroids like ‘Oumuamua.
  • The Crux considers, in the context of recent (perhaps surprising) context, how scientists will one day record dreams.
  • Hornet Stories shares the report on a poll of younger gay people about the idea of monogamous relations versus open ones, suggesting there are signs a strong preference for monogamy isn’t well thought out.
  • Imageo notes that global warming, by leading to the breakup of icecaps, will worsen the sea ice hazard to maritime shipping.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how social workers are called to support serious social reform.
  • Language Hat notes a monument to the Cyrillic alphabet erected in Antarctica by Bulgarians.
  • In the era of Trump, Lingua Franca takes a look at the origin of the phrase “useful idiots”.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a recent article observing the decline of German cuisine in the United States. Who, or what, will save it?
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Emily Lakdawalla talks about the latest exciting discoveries from Titan, including the odd distribution of nitrogen in its atmosphere and surface.
  • Towleroad notes how the discomfort of Ben Carson with transgender people leads him to consider the needs of homeless transgender people as secondary to this discomfort.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Cossacks in Russia are close to gaining recognition as a separate people.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell suggests–jokes?–that intellectual history from 1900 can be explained substantially in terms of the uncritical adoption of a nomad science, starting from race science and continuing to today with Harry Potter.
  • Arnold Zwicky shares a post reporting on a PhD student’s thesis, studying features of Chicano English.
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[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • At Anthropology.net, Kamzib Kamrani looks at the Yamnaya horse culture of far eastern Europe and their connection to the spread of the Indo-Europeans.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the predicted collision of China’s Tiangong-1 space station. Where will it fall?
  • James Bow notes a Kickstarter funding effort to revive classic Canadian science fiction magazine Amazing Stories.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the impending retirement of the pioneering Kepler telescope, and what’s being done in the time before this retirement.
  • D-Brief notes how nanowires made of gold and titanium were used to restore the sight of blind mice.
  • Russell Darnley takes a look at the indigenous people of Riau province, the Siak, who have been marginalized by (among other things) the Indonesian policy of transmigration.
  • Dead Things reports on more evidence of Denisovan ancestry in East Asian populations, with the suggestion that the trace of Denisovan ancestry in East Asia came from a different Denisovan population than the stronger traces in Melanesia.
  • Hornet Stories paints a compelling portrait of the West Texas oasis-like community of Marfa.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how indigenous mythology about illness was used to solve a hantavirus outbreak in New Mexico in the 1990s.
  • Language Log praises the technical style of a Google Translate translation of a text from German to English.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that, under the Shah, Iran was interested in building nuclear plants. Iranian nuclear aspirations go back a long way.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the unsettling elements of the literary, and other, popularity of Jordan Peterson.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the continuing existence of a glass ceiling even in relatively egalitarian Iceland.
  • The NYR Daily looks at the unsettling elements behind the rise of Xi Jinping to unchecked power. Transitions from an oligarchy to one-man rule are never good for a country, never mind one as big as China.
  • Drew Rowsome writes about Love, Cecil, a new film biography of photographer Cecil Beaton.
  • Peter Rukavina celebrates the 25th anniversary of his move to Prince Edward Island. That province, my native one, is much the better for his having moved there. Congratulations!
  • Window on Eurasia looks at a strange story of Russian speculation about Kazakh pan-Turkic irredentism for Orenburg that can be traced back to one of its own posts.
  • At Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, Frances Woolley takes the time to determine that Canadian university professors tend to be more left-wing than the general Canadian population, and to ask why this is the case.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares some stunning photos of the polar regions of Jupiter, from Juno.
  • Centauri Dreams notes speculation on how antimatter could be harnessed for space propulsion.
  • D-Brief notes how nanotechnological design is used to create tools capable of extracting water from the air above the Atacama.
  • Russell Darnley notes the continuing peat fires in Sumatra’s Riau Province.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes evidence of an ancient cultural diffusion, from Copper Age Iberia, apparently not accompanied by gene flows.
  • Mark Graham links to a paper he co-authored looking at the viability of online work as an option, or not, in the Global South.
  • Hornet Stories notes an upcoming documentary about Harlem fashion figure Dapper Dan.
  • JSTOR Daily notes the surprising controversy around the practice of keeping crickets as pets, for entertainments including music and bloodsports.
  • Language Log looks at the extent to which Xi Jinping actually has been identified as a Tibetan bodhisattva.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the extent to which Mexican society has also experienced negative effects from NAFTA, in ways perhaps not unfamiliar to Americans.
  • Lingua Franca considers the usage of the term “blockbuster”.
  • Neuroskeptic notes a new paper suggesting there is no neurogenesis in adult humans.
  • The NYR Daily features an eyewitness description of a botched execution in Alabama. This one does indeed seem to be particularly barbaric.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes the rise of dictatorship worldwide.
  • Roads and Kingdoms <U?considers the simple joys of chilaquiles sandwiches in Guadalajara.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes the vast bumber of starless planets, rogue planets, out there in the universe.
  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative notes the fact, and the political import of the fact, that public-sector wages in Ontario are higher than private-sector ones.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the continuing decline of the Russian village, not helped by recent changes in policy under Putin.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes the difference, in business, between pre- and post-funding investments.

[NEWS] Five sci-fi links: Annihilation, Blade Runner, The Telling, Sandman, Deep Space Nine

  • If Annihilation is the start of a wave of interesting new sci-fi films, looking at the genre from new angles, this is good. I just hope distribution can be solved. Rolling Stone has it.
  • This essay on the role of memory in the Blade Runner series, as a marker of identity and more, is superb.
  • The Telling, last of Le Guin’s Hainish novels, is set for a movie release. io9 reports.
  • That Neil Gaiman has authorized DC Comics to release four comics set in the Sandman part of their universe is amazing. io9 reports.
  • This extended take on how Deep Space Nine revolutionized the Trek format, looking at the universe from new and very creative angles, says what needs to be said. This is the reason it is my favourite Trek series. io9 has it.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes the unusual exoplanet HIP 65426 b, orbiting its parent star in a very distant orbit. Why is that?
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly shares some photos from an evening spent at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
  • Centauri Dreams imagines what could have been if Voyager 1 had, as some hoped, gone on to Pluto. What discoveries would have been made, decades before New Horizons by a probe with less capable instrumentation?
  • Dangerous Minds takes a look at David Bowie’s mid-1970s nadir, caught up in an oddly vegetarianism-driven panic over psychic espionage.
  • At In A State of Migration, Lyman Stone uses a variety of demographic, cultural, and economic markers to define the Rust Belt of the United States.
  • JSTOR Daily notes that, at one point, American funerals included swag, nice gifts to mourners like sets of gloves.
  • Language Hat notes a language of the Pakistani Himalayas, Badeshi, that turns out not to be quite completely extinct.
  • Justin Petrone, at north!, celebrates his discovery of a familiar type, an Italian coffeeshop owner, in his adopted Estonia.
  • Out There considers the remarkable potential of exploration and telescopic study at the edge of our solar system.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla notes that the Japanese Hayabusa 2 probe has detected its target, asteroid Ryugu.
  • Roads and Kingdoms reports on tuyo, a Filipino comfort food combining dried fish with chocolate-flavoured rice porridge.
  • Peter Rukavina reports on an entertaining-sounding club meeting in Charlottetown, of Island subscribers to The New Yorker.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes how the new Great Magellan telescope will not have artificial spikes marring its field of vision.
  • Towleroad notes< that CNN's Don Lemon is aware of Trump's nickname for him, "Sour Lemon".
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Russia’s working-age population is set to decline regardless of recent demographic initiatives.

[NEWS] Five links about space travel: cheap rockets, robots, and war

  • Small, inexpensive rockets like the sort we are now starting to see could have a transformative effect on space travel and the global economy. Bloomberg View reports.
  • The roboticization of space would leave less to do for astronauts, but potentially more fun stuff. Bloomberg View reports.
  • Gizmodo notes that the American military wants more money for a potential armed conflict in space, as does VICE.
  • Universe Today notes that, likewise, Russia and China are developing space-based military capabilities.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 28, 2018 at 9:30 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes that the measured rate of the expansion of the universe depends on the method used to track this rate, and that this is a problem.
  • On Sunday, Caitlin Kelly celebrated receiving her annual cheque from Canada’s Public Lending Program, which gives authors royalties based on how often their book has been borrowed in our public libraries.
  • In The Buzz, the Toronto Public Library identified five books in its collection particularly prone to be challenged by would-be censors.
  • D-Brief suggests that, if bacteria managed to survive and adapt in the Atacama desert as it became hostile to life, like life might have done the same on Mars.
  • Far Outliers notes the crushing defeat, and extensive looting of, the MOghul empire by the Persia of Nader Shah.
  • Hornet Stories looks at the medal hauls of out Olympic athletes this year in Pyeongchang.
  • Imageo notes satellite imagery indicating that fisheries occupy four times the footprint of agriculture. Aquaculture is starting to look like a necessary idea, I think.

  • At In Media Res, Russell Arben Fox praises Porch Fires, a new biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser, for its insights on Wilder and on the moment of the settlement of the American West.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how, in the 19th century after the development of anesthesia, the ability to relieve people of pain was a political controversy. Shouldn’t it be felt, wasn’t it natural?
  • Language Hat links to an article taking a look behind the scenes at the Oxford English Dictionary. How does it work? What are its challenges?
  • At Lingua Franca, Roger Shuy distinguishes between different kinds of speech events and explains why they are so important in the context of bribery trials.
  • The LRB Blog shares some advice on ethics in statecraft from the 2nd century CE Chinese writer Liu An.
  • J. Hoberman at the NYR Daily reviews an exhibit of the work of Bauhaus artist Jozef Albers at the Guggenheim.
  • Roads and Kingdoms shares an anecdote of travellers drinking homemade wine in Montenegro.
  • Drew Rowsome interviews Native American drag queen and up-and-coming music star Vizin.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel explains how star S0-2, orbiting so close to the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way Galaxy, will help prove Einsteinian relativity.
  • Vintage Space explains, for the record, how rockets can work in a vacuum. (This did baffle some people this time last century.)
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that, on its 100th anniversary, Estonia has succeeded in integrating most of its Russophones.