A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘sicily

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Bad Astronomer notes the latest news on interstellar comet 2/Borisov.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly emphasizes how every writer does need an editor.
  • Centauri Dreams notes how the gas giant GJ 3512 b, half the mass of Jupiter orbiting a red dwarf star closely, is an oddly massive exoplanet.
  • Gina Schouten at Crooked Timber looks at inter-generational clashes on parenting styles.
  • D-Brief looks at the methods of agriculture that could conceivably sustain a populous human colony on Mars.
  • Bruce Dorminey argues that we on Earth need something like Starfleet Academy, to help us advance into space.
  • Colby King at the Everyday Sociology Blog looks at how the socio-spatial perspective helps us understand the development of cities.
  • Russell Arben Fox at In Media Res listens to the Paul McCartney album Flaming Pie.
  • io9 looks at Proxima, a contemporary spaceflight film starring Eva Green.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at how the intense relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia began in, and reflected, the era of Jim Crow.
  • Language Hat notes a report suggesting that multilingualism helps ward off dementia.
  • Language Log takes issue with the names of the mascots of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the emergence of a ninth woman complaining about being harassed by Al Franken.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a new paper arguing that the Washington Consensus worked.
  • The NYR Daily shares an Aubrey Nolan cartoon illustrating the evacuation of war children in the United Kingdom during the Second World War.
  • At Out of Ambit, Diane Duane shares a nice collection of links for digital mapmakers.
  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at how the European Space Agency supports the cause of planetary defense.
  • Roads and Kingdoms interviews Kenyan writer Kevin Mwachiro at length.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel reports on how a mysterious fast radio burst helped illuminate an equally mysterious galactic halo.
  • Strange Company reports on the mysterious and unsolved death in 1936 of Canadian student Thomas Moss in an Oxfordshire hayrick.
  • Frank Jacobs at Strange Maps notes how Mount Etna is a surpassingly rare decipoint.
  • Understanding Society considers the thought of Kojève, after Hegel, on freedom.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the falling numbers of Russians, and of state support for Russian language and culture, in independent Central Asia.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at how individual consumer responses are much less effective than concerted collective action in triggering change.
  • Arnold Zwicky reports on some transgender fashion models.

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Québec City, Fort Lee, Vancouver, Paris and Saint-Denis, Sutera

  • Le Devoir wonders if excessive tourism will make Vieux-Québec unlivable for locals.
  • Sam Sklar at CityLab, native of the New Jersey community of Fort Lee, wonders when it will burst out from the shadow of New York City.
  • The question of how Vancouver in the era of legalization will celebrate 4/20 remains actively contested. The National Post reports.
  • CityLab reports on how the 2024 Paris Olympics may help regenerate Saint-Denis.
  • The story about how resettled refugees helepd revive the Italian town of Sutera, on the island of Sicily, needs to be better-known. VICE reports.

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Montréal, New York City, Vancouver, Fukushima, Palermo

  • CBC reports on the new book of unofficial Montréal mascot Ponto.
  • This CityLab article looks at Co-op City, an affordable housing complex in the Bronx, and what it has to offer.
  • This proposal from Vancouver to give kids free transit and subsidies to low-income adults makes perfect sense to me.
  • Scientific American notes how many refugees from Fukushima, facing economic pressures, have been forced to return to communities they feel unsafe in.
  • This SCMP feature looks at how Asian immigrant shopkeepers in Palermo have been successfully resisting the mafia.

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Montréal, Atlanta, Greenville, Sutera, Hong Kong

  • Québec premier François Legault might well be convinced to support the Pink Line subway route favoured by Montréal mayor Valérie Plante. Global News reports.
  • Guardian Cities reports on the popularity of the new soccer team of Atlanta in this perhaps unlikely locale.
  • The North Carolina city of Greenville is trying to work towards settling its racist past with a new park, CityLab reports.
  • Lorenzo Tondo at The Guardian reports on how new immigrants might save his father’s native village of Sutera in Sicily, but only if they are allowed to.
  • Bloomberg View notes that a bridge alone will not be enough to bind Hong Kong to the emergent Pearl River megalopolis.

[ISL] Five islands links: Toronto Islands, Ireland, Sicily, Japan, Halligen Islands

  • blogTO notes that the Electric Island festival is slated to return to the Toronto Islands, after their wet 2017.
  • Politico.eu notes that the European Union is making the maintenance of integration on the island of Ireland a requirement for the UK if it wants a deal.
  • Jacobin Magazine shares a perfectly sensible article noting that the mafia of Sicily is intensely conservative, even reactionary, hardly deserving the romance with which it is too often represented.
  • The depopulation of Japan, often particularly intense in its smaller islands, is creating serious dilemmas. What is to be done with these remote, emptying-out, territories? The Japan Times reports.
  • The Halligen Islands of Germany’s Frisian coast, facing the North Sea and almost effaced every tide, sound like a charming place to visit. The Guardian reports.

[ISL] Five Islands links: English in Colombia, Haida, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Sicily

  • Can a new film help preserve the English Creole spoken on the Colombian Caribbean islands of San Andres and Old Providence? The Guardian reports.
  • Using film to help preserve an indigenous language is also a strategy being used by the Haida of Haida Gwaii, in British Columbia. CBC reports.
  • Fredreka Schouten’s account of visiting her native Virgin Islands to see the continued devastation is heart-rending, featured in USA Today.
  • The recovery of agriculture in Puerto Rico is a hopeful sign, but will it be enough? National Geographic reports.
  • Things do not look very good in Sicily. Spiegel reports.

[LINK] “The Mediterranean town where houses are on sale for less than $2”

The Washington Post‘s Rick Noack writes about an effort to kickstart life in the Sicilian municipality of Gangi by offering houses for ridiculously low amounts. I would note that even if this works for Gangi, this will not work for Sicily as a whole, in much the same way that Fogo Island’s strategy of positioning itself as a hub for artists can’t be adopted across Newfoundland.

With nearly 50 million visitors last year, Italy is among the world’s top tourist destinations. Those interested in staying longer than just a few days could be interested in the special offer of a town on the island of Sicily: The town’s council is selling about 20 houses for less than $2.

Since this summer, about 150 potential buyers have come to Gangi from as far as Brazil and Australia, according to European news site The Local. At least 50 people have formally applied for the properties, and the application process is now closed and the future Gangi house owners are expected to be announced later this week, real estate consultant Marie Wester told The Washington Post. According to estimates, the buyers would need to invest about $50,000 to renovate the houses.

To outside observers, the extraordinarily cheap offer might seem confusing, but the town council thinks the sales will benefit Gangi and its 7,000 inhabitants in the long term. Sicily is known for its beauty, but it’s economy lags far behind other regions of Italy. The inexpensive properties are supposed to revitalize Gangi and prevent the town’s population from declining further.

Unable to find jobs on the island, located to the south of mainland Italy, many people have decided to move toward the north, where unemployment rates are much lower. Hence, Gangi’s population has dwindled and the amount of empty houses has increased, reflecting a broader Sicilian problem.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 29, 2014 at 3:05 am