A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘southeast asia

[DM] “On how the relative youth of India will not ensure future prosperity”

leave a comment »

At Demography Matters, I note approvingly a Bloomberg article noting that the youth of India’s population relative to China’s, or the rest of the world’s, is not by itself capable of ensuring future prosperity.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 12, 2015 at 4:56 am

[BLOG] Some Friday links

leave a comment »

  • blogTO compares the contours of the Toronto Harbour in 1919 and now, and notes the huge amount of infill.
  • Centauri Dreams notes a three-dimensional study of GJ 1214b.
  • D-Brief describes how the primordial dense atmosphere of Mars was eroded by the solar wind.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes a SETI check of KIC 8462852 gives no results.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on Russia’s Syrian war.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog examines perceptions of racial inequality in the United States.
  • Geocurrents maps the eaters of the sago palm, in Southeast Asia.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the myth of California as a land forever being lost.
  • Marginal Revolution considers the Amazon bookstore.
  • The Planetary Society Blog provides updates on various ESA missions.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes an article on foreign fighters in the Ukrainian war who returned home.
  • Savage Minds shares an article by an anthropologist explaining why he signed onto the Israel boycott.
  • Torontoist and blogTO note John Tory’s request that the TTC consider opening earlier on Sundays.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the perils facing the Russian elite, wonders about the fate of Crimean Tatars, and speculates about the formation of a broad alliance in central and eastern Europe aimed against Russia.

[LINK] The Wire on a graphic novel depicting the history of India with Indonesia

leave a comment »

Pallavi Aiyar’s article in The Wire, “A Graphic Reminder of an Intertwined History”, looks at a new graphic novel recently put out depicting the long relationship between India and Indonesia, Travels Through Time: The Story of India and Indonesia.

For an Indian, visiting Indonesia can feel like looking into a distorting mirror. Much looks and feels familiar, albeit in an off-kilter manner. On the island of Java, home to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, references to the Hindu epics of the Ramayana and Mahabharata are embedded in the language, on street signs, in political commentary and even on bus advertisements. An enormous statue of Krishna leading Arjuna into battle dominates the roundabout in front of Monas, Jakarta’s main nationalist monument. Billboards for an energy drink, Kuku Bima, promise imbibers Bhima-like strength.

Amongst the country’s favourite forms of mass entertainment is wayang kulit, a form of shadow puppet theatre that features tales from the Hindu epics. Only the way in which characters are spelled differs: Bhima becomes Bima, Sita is Sinta, and Hanuman morphs into Hanoman. The physical form of wayang puppets is also highly stylised and distinctive of Java.

But the resonance is loud. That India and Indonesia are civilisational cousins is not a fact that is gently suggested by the environment. Rather, it whacks you on the head like a sledgehammer. Indonesians pepper ordinary conversation with words like manushya (man) and karena (because). When I was unable to find a taxi driver who knew where the national museum in Jakarta was, a local friend advised me to ask for “Museum Gajah” instead. The national museum has a statue of an elephant in the garden and it is by its nickname, elephant or gajah museum, that most citizens know the building. A large percentage of the vocabulary of Bahasa Indonesia, a standardized form of Malay, derives from Indian languages like Sanskrit, Tamil and Urdu. Indonesian has 750 loan words from Sanskrit alone.

[. . .]

Given this relationship to History, it is unsurprising that mythology has a significant place in both Indian and Indonesian societies. I was therefore immediately intrigued when I heard about a new Amar Chitra Katha comic book that detailed the India-Indonesia relationship through the ages. Amar Chitra Katha’s luridly illustrated comics featuring an assorted cast of demons, gods and cursing sages had been an integral part of my childhood in Delhi. By the age of eight I’d been able, thanks to them, to use “verily” in daily conversation. To have one of these comic books step out of the realm of the Gods and into that of Asian history was somehow apposite, given how much the Gods had shaped this history.

Titled, Travels Through Time: The Story of India and Indonesia, the comic is an initiative of the entrepreneurial Indian ambassador in Jakarta, Gurjit Singh. Put together by him, with the assistance of Indonesian historian and Indophile Tamalia Alisjahbana, the comic was released in Jakarta as part of a 6-month long festival of India in Indonesia, earlier this year.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 4, 2015 at 2:00 am

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

leave a comment »

  • blogTO notes an upcoming Instagram meetup here in Toronto.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the latest Voyager 1 findings on interstellar space.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes exoplanets orbiting red dwarfs are more likely to exhibit high abiotic levels of atmospheric oxygen.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on the news Chinese C919 jet plane, meant to compete with Airbus and Boeing.
  • Geocurrents maps religion in insular Southeast Asia.
  • Joe. My. God. and Towleroad both look at how Yusuf Mack, an American boxer who claimed he was drugged into participating in a gay porn film, has actually come out via a convincing apology.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders why short-term interest rates are negative.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla shares her updated chart showing the round worlds of the solar system.
  • Spacing argues for the importance of urban forestry.
  • Towleroad notes same-sex couples in the United States who, having made use of adoption to create a legal relationship, are now unable to marry.
  • Transit Toronto notes ongoing streetcar diversions on Queen Street East.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the harm done to Ukrainians so far by Russia and the dim prospects of this being stopped any time soon.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

leave a comment »

  • At Alpha Sources, although Claus Vistesen is rightly gloomy about the prospects for the Italian economy, he thinks there may be a cyclical upturn coming.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the warping of the protoplanetary disk of AA Tauri.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes exciting ancient archeological finds in Indonesia possibly belonging to Homo floresiensis.
  • Geocurrents notes the controversy over an India-Africa summit.
  • Language Log notes an instance of tardy students being forced to draw a Chinese character.
  • Languages of the World examines the genetics of Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the history wars of South Korea.
  • Marginal Revolution notes an East German village whose inhabitants will soon be far outnumbered by Syrian refugees.
  • Personal Reflections reacts to the Turkish election and Chinese demographics.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes the vast data gathered from Ceres.
  • Registan suggests Russia’s elites are operating according to frightening theories of geopolitics.
  • Cheri Lucas Rowlands shares photos of a trip to the Southwest.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog looks at the demographics of the Donbas in 1926.
  • Whatever’s John Scalzi thinks the 50 dollar Amazon Fire tablet is worth it.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russian nationalists will be a lasting threat to Ukraine and suggests non-Donbas Ukrainians will soon be deported from Russia.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes a remarkable sort of organizational artifact.

[CAT] “As Tiger Numbers Dwindle, Will Smugglers Target a Different Cat?”

leave a comment »

National Geographic‘s Rachael Bale tells a depressingly plausible story.

Among wild cats, clouded leopards are increasingly coveted—and bred in captivity—for commercial purposes, according to a new study from University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. They’re being sold into the pet trade, to tourist attractions offering cat encounters, and to other such profit-driven businesses.

Researchers Neil D’Cruze and David Macdonald reviewed import and export records filed with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), the body that regulates international wildlife trade, and found a 42 percent increase in the commercial trade of live clouded leopards from 1975 to 2013.

Clouded leopards are native to Southeast Asia and named for their distinctive spotted coats. They’re one of the smallest big cats, weighing up to 50 pounds and growing up to three feet long. They belong to an entirely separate taxonomic group from snow leopards and “regular” leopards, such as African and Indian leopards.

The reason for their new popularity has much to do with the decline of tigers, now estimated to number no more than 3,200, whose bones, feet and other body parts are highly prized in traditional medicine and for warding off evil.

Some 10,000 clouded leopards remain in the wild, with no single population larger than 1,000 individuals, spread from Indonesia to the foothills of the Himalayas and into China. They face a high risk of extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, a widely accepted international list of the conservation status of species.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 31, 2015 at 8:19 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

leave a comment »

  • blogTO notes that graffiti artists around the world, including in Toronto, are promoting Justin Bieber’s new album.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly likes pilot Mark Vanhoenacker’s book about flight.
  • Centauri Dreams notes one possibility for a Europa sample mission.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes simulations which suggest spiral arms in circumstellar disks point towards new planets.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the critical endangerment of mangrove forests, looks at the irregularly shaped core of Enceladus, and wonders about Russia’s military shipyards.
  • Geocurrents maps the exceptionally complicated religious mixture of northeastern South Asia.
  • Language Hat notes the complex use of language by Julien Green and his writing.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at China’s one-child policy.
  • Supernova Condensate shares most photos of Pluto.
  • Why I Love Toronto shares a list of haunted places in Toronto.
  • Window on Eurasia worries about the West stopping its support of Ukraine, and notes the ISIS war against Russia.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World blog notes the importance of turmoil in Moldova.

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 487 other followers