A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘shetlands

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Architectuul looks at some architecturally innovative pools.
  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait looks at Wolf 359, a star made famous in Star Trek for the Starfleet battle there against the Borg but also a noteworthy red dwarf star in its own right.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at how the NASA Deep Space Atomic Clock will play a vital role in interplanetary navigation.
  • The Crux considers the “drunken monkey” thesis, the idea that drinking alcohol might have been an evolutionary asset for early hominids.
  • D-Brief reports on what may be the next step for genetic engineering beyond CRISPR.
  • Bruce Dorminey looks at how artificial intelligence may play a key role in searching for threat asteroids.
  • The Island Review shares some poetry from Roseanne Watt, inspired by the Shetlands and using its dialect.
  • Livia Gershon writes at JSTOR Daily about how YouTube, by promising to make work fun, actually also makes fun work in psychologically problematic ways.
  • Marginal Revolution notes how the relatively small Taiwan has become a financial superpower.
  • Janine di Giovanni at the NYR Daily looks back at the 2000 intervention in Sierra Leone. Why did it work?
  • Jamais Cascio at Open the Future looks back at a 2004 futurological exercise, the rather accurate Participatory Panopticon. What did he anticipate correctly? How? What does it suggest for us now to our world?
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes that LightSail 2 will launch before the end of June.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel looks at how the discovery of gas between galaxies helps solve a dark matter question.
  • Strange Company shares a broad collection of links.
  • Window on Eurasia makes the obvious observation that the West prefers a North Caucasus controlled by Russia to one controlled by Islamists.
  • Arnold Zwicky takes a look at American diner culture, including American Chinese food.

[ISL] Five islands links: Shetlands, Isle-aux-Grues, Puerto Rico, Caribbean, Hong Kong

  • The BBC notes new legislation in Scotland that would prevent mapmakers from displaying the distant Shetland Islands in a box on maps, despite their great distance from the Scottish mainland.
  • Ecologically sensitive Isle-aux-Grues, in the lower Saint Lawrence east of Québec City, has received protected status. CBC reports.
  • Bloomberg View notes the obvious fact that Puerto Rico needs a better debt deal if it is to begin to recover.
  • Chinese immigrants are coming to the islands in the Caribbean in large numbers, providing vital resources for island economies, Ozy reports.
  • Vice’s Motherboard reports that Hong Kong wants to deal with its housing crisis by building new homes for more than a million people on yet-to-be-built artificial islands off of the city-state’s south coast.

[ISL] Five islands links: Qatar, Boracay, Vanuatu, Shetlands, CocoCay

  • Saudi Arabia is planning to dig a canal the length of its border with Qatar, making that peninsular polity and island one. That is … intense. Gulf News reports.
  • The Filipino resort island of Boracay has been declared off-limits by President Duterte, at least until its environment is rehabilitated. The National Post reports.
  • The establishment of a Chinese base in Melanesian Vanuatu would upset geopolitical calculations in Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
  • The Map Room Blog notes that some supporters of Scotland’s Shetland Islands are opposed to the idea of putting the archipelago, so far from the mainland, in inset maps.
  • Royal Caribbean is making an island in the Bahamas, CocoCay, into a custom-designed resort at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. Bloomberg reports.

[ISL] Six islands links: Singapore, Amherst Island, Newfoundland, James Island, Sardinia, Shetlands

  • For well-off Chinese, Singapore has overtaken Hong Kong as their preferred offshore destination. Bloomberg reports.
  • Residents on Amherst Island, near Kingston, complain about the effects of windfarm construction. Global News reports.
  • This depressing Vice opinion piece argues that Newfoundland is on the verge of complete economic collapse and radical depopulation.
  • The private island of James Island, off Vancouver Island in British Columbia, is subject to a First Nations land claim. Global News reports.
  • An Italian island community, desperate to avert depopulation, is offering houses for sale at ridiculously low prices. Will there be takers? (And will they stay?) The National Post reports.
  • Towleroad reports on the plight of a young gay man in a Shetlands community who finds himself the only out person there.

[ISL] Four islands links: Beothuk, Newfoundland outports, seasteading, Shetlands

  • DNA tests of Beothuk remains reveal that the extinct group was related to neither Mi’kmaq nor Inuit. The Globe and Mail reports.
  • Some Newfoundland outports are seeing many young professionals move in, to make homes and businesses. CBC reports.
  • Marginal Revolution claims a group wanting to mount a seasteading effort off French Polynesia are getting close to their goals.
  • Politico.eu notes that, in the Shetlands, while fishers hope Brexit will lead to the revival of the fisheries others fear a labour shortage without EU-27 migrants.

[ISL] “Shetland Islands toy with idea of post-Brexit independence”

Euractiv carries an AFP report looking into the possibility that Scotland’s Shetland Islands might, in the case of the United Kingdom falling apart, try to separate from Scotland to form a sort of West Nordic microstate thanks to the oil in the archipelago’s waters.

Of all the consequences of the Brexit vote, the fate of the Shetland Islands in the North Atlantic and their oil fields and fisheries may not top the list for negotiators in Westminster and Brussels. But it soon might.

But the prospect of a new bid for Scottish independence as Britain leaves the EU is making some residents of these rugged islands think again about whether they would be better off alone.

“It would be wonderful,” Andrea Manson, a Shetland councillor and a leading figure in the Wir Shetland movement for greater autonomy, told AFP.

The movement’s name means “Our Shetland” in the local Scots dialect, a derivation of Middle English which has replaced the islands’ original Germanic language, Norn.

The remote archipelago, already fiercely independent in spirit, is geographically and culturally closer to Scandinavia than to Edinburgh, and politically more aligned with London and Brussels.

In the past 1,300 years, Shetland has been overrun by Scandinavian Vikings, pawned to Scotland as a wedding dowry by Denmark, subsumed into the United Kingdom in 1707, and dragged into the European Economic Community against its will in 1973.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm

[LINK] “Remote, oil-rich Shetland elbows way into Scotland’s independence vote”

Reuters’ Sarah Young writes about how Scotland’s Shetland Islands–a small archipelago northeast of the Scottish mainland–are trying to take advantage of Scottish constitutional jockeying.

The three major Scottish archipelagoes in question–the Shetlands and the Orkneys to the northeast, the Western Isles to the west–are, to my limited knowledge, somewhat culturally distinct from the Scottish mainland. The Shetlands and the Orkneys have their Nordic links, while the Western Isles are the strongest redoubt of Scots Gaelic in the world.

Watching this.

Twelve hours by ferry from the Scottish mainland, hundreds of miles from Edinburgh and closer to Oslo than London, the windswept Shetland islands have their own aspirations about Scottish independence.

Some of the 23,000 inhabitants even want their own.

Many Shetlanders see the September 18 vote on whether Scotland should end the 307-year-old union with England as an opportunity to gain control over local services and a share of revenues from the oil pumped from the North Sea.

“The oil belongs to us. We don’t have to argue about that. It is ours,” said Shetlander Hazel Mackenzie, 43, who works in the livestock auction house in Shetland’s main town of Lerwick.

“If we could have all the revenue from all the oil then we could probably be very self-sufficient.”

[. . .]

As the Scottish independence vote nears, Shetland’s council has joined forces with two other island councils, Orkney and the Western Isles, to ask for greater control of local services and new fiscal arrangements to enable them to benefit from the oil, fisheries and renewable energy resources surrounding them.

At stake for the Scottish government could be its share of the 7 billion pounds or so of annual oil production taxes which Edinburgh wants in the event of a “Yes” vote for independence.

For many on Shetland, where the blue and white Nordic-style flag flutters from masts amongst the peat hills and isolated coves, a sense of being a Shetlander comes ahead of any Scottish, British or, given history, even Norwegian identity.

In Lerwick, where seals wait in the harbour to greet the arrival of the next fishing boat, some islanders see the result of the Scottish referendum as irrelevant.

“Why would we believe in independence if all it means is that powers move from London to Edinburgh? No, we want to move an awful lot further than that,” said Tavish Scott, a Liberal Democrat who is Shetland representative in the devolved Scottish parliament in Edinburgh, dominated by the Scottish National Party.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 23, 2014 at 7:22 pm