A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘southeast asia

[ISL] Five notes about islands: Greenland, South China Sea, Bangladesh, Caribbean, Puerto Rico

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  • The slow melt of the Greenland icecap will eventually release a Cold War American military base into the open air. VICE reports.
  • Robert Farley suggests at The National Interest that China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea would not be of much use in an actual conflict.
  • Reuters notes that a mud island in the Bay of Bengal lucky not to be overwhelmed by high tides is being expanded into a compound to hold Rohingya refugees.
  • A new study suggests that there was some genetic continuing between pre- and post-Columbian populations in the Caribbean, that as family and local histories suggest at least some Taino did survive the catastrophes of colonialism. National Geographic reports.
  • This account from NACLA of Puerto Rico’s perennial problems with the American mainland and the history of migration, culminating in an ongoing disastrous mass emigration after Maria, is pro-independence. Might this viewpoint become more common among Puerto Ricans?
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[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • Kambiz Kamrani at Anthropology.net notes that lidar scanning has revealed that the pre-Columbian city of Angamuco, in western Mexico, is much bigger than previously thought.
  • James Bow makes an excellent case for the revitalization of VIA Rail as a passenger service for longer-haul trips around Ontario.
  • D-Brief notes neurological evidence suggesting why people react so badly to perceived injustices.
  • The Dragon’s Tales takes a look at the list of countries embracing thorough roboticization.
  • Andrew LePage at Drew Ex Machina takes a look at the most powerful launch vehicles, both Soviet and American, to date.
  • Far Outliers considers Safavid Iran as an imperfect gunpowder empire.
  • Despite the explanation, I fail to see how LGBTQ people could benefit from a cryptocurrency all our own. What would be the point, especially in homophobic environments where spending it would involve outing ourselves? Hornet Stories shares the idea.
  • Imageo notes that sea ice off Alaska has actually begun contracting this winter, not started growing.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how the production and consumption of lace, and lace products, was highly politicized for the Victorians.
  • Language Hat makes a case for the importance of translation as a political act, bridging boundaries.
  • Language Log takes a look at the pronunciation and mispronunciation of city names, starting with PyeongChang.
  • This critical Erik Loomis obituary of Billy Graham, noting the preacher’s many faults, is what Graham deserves. From Lawyers, Guns and Money, here.
  • Bernard Porter at the LRB Blog is critical of the easy claims that Corbyn was a knowing agent of Communist Czechoslovakia.
  • The Map Room Blog shares this map from r/mapporn, imagining a United States organized into states as proportionally imbalanced in population as the provinces of Canada?
  • Marginal Revolution rightly fears a possible restart to the civil war in Congo.
  • Neuroskeptic reports on a controversial psychological study in Ghana that saw the investigation of “prayer camps”, where mentally ill are kept chain, as a form of treatment.
  • The NYR Daily makes the case that the Congolese should be allowed to enjoy some measure of peace from foreign interference, whether from the West or from African neighbous (Rwanda, particularly).
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Emily Lakdawalla looks at the many things that can go wrong with sample return missions.
  • Rocky Planet notes that the eruption of Indonesian volcano Sinabung can be easily seen from space.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes how the New Horizons Pluto photos show a world marked by its subsurface oceans.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that, although fertility rates among non-Russians have generally fallen to the level of Russians, demographic momentum and Russian emigration drive continue demographic shifts.
  • Livio Di Matteo at Worthwhile Canadian Initiative charts the balance of federal versus provincial government expenditure in Canada, finding a notable shift towards the provinces in recent decades.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell makes the case, through the example of the fire standards that led to Grenfell Tower, that John Major was more radical than Margaret Thatcher in allowing core functions of the state to be privatized.
  • Arnold Zwicky takes a look at some alcoholic drinks with outrĂ© names.

[NEWS] Five links on life and intelligence both near and far: ‘Oumuamua, ET, blue whales, orangutans

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  • Craig Welch at National Geographic notes how scientists, by carefully decoding the songs of blue whales, are figuring out how they are leading their lives.
  • Sarah Gibbens at National Geographic notes a new study suggesting that, since 1999, hunting and environmental devastation has reduced the orangutan population of Borneo by almost half, by 150 thousand individuals. This sounds almost like genocide.
  • Universe Today notes evidence that ‘Oumuamua had a very violent past.
  • Nadia Drake at National Geographic explores the recent study suggesting that, unless there were signs of menace, most people actually would react well to news of extraterrestrial life.
  • Vikram Zutshi at Open Democracy recently suggested that contact with extraterrestrial intelligence could be good for the Earth, might even help us save it. Certainly this civilization would have survived the Great Filter; certainly it’s a corrective to lazy assumptions of automatic menace.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares photos of rings around a distant galaxy’s central black hole.
  • Inspired by Finland’s Olympic team, the Toronto Public Library’s The Buzz shares some interesting books on knitting and for knitters.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the surprising news that the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies actually have the same mass. This changes everything about what was thought about the future of the Local Group. D-Brief also reports on this news.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how the conversion of tobacco fields into solar farms is not just potentially life-saving but economically viable, too.
  • Language Hat rounds up links relevant to the discovery, by field linguists, of the Malaysian language of Jedek.
  • Lingua Franca, at the Chronicle of Higher Education, shares a story from Lucy Ferris of Paris of old and the bookstore Shakespeare and Company.
  • The LRB Blog notes that the privatization of military officers’ housing in the United Kingdom was another disaster.
  • Marginal Revolution considers if Los Angeles is the most right-wing major American city, and what that actually means.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that, even in the face of subsidence in Groningen around gas fields and cheap wind energy, even the Netherlands is not moving away from oil and gas.
  • Drew Rowsome reports on porn star/actor Chris Harder and his new show, Porn To Be A Star. (NSFW.)
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel examines the factors which distinguish a good scientific theory from a bad one.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy makes a decent argument that the politicized pop culture fandom around supreme court judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg is not good for the future of jurisprudence.
  • John Scalzi, at Whatever, reviews the new Pixel Buds from Google.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • The Buzz recommends twenty-four different novels for Valentine’s Day, drawing on the recommendations of employees of the Toronto Public Library.
  • Centauri Dreams links to a new paper suggesting there are thousands of objects of extrasolar origin, some tens of kilometres in size, in our planetary system right now.
  • D-Brief notes that cryptocurrency is hindering the search for extraterrestrial life, as miners buy up the graphics cards SETI researchers need.
  • Lyman Stone at In A State of Migration notes how unbalanced the marriage market can be for professional women in the United States interested in similar partners, especially for African-American women.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how deeply the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. for racial equality in the United States were driven by anti-colonial nationalism in Africa.
  • The LRB Blog notes how the life and writing of Penelope Fitzgerald was influenced by two decades of living on the English coast, suspended between land and water.
  • At the NYR Daily, Melissa Chadburn tells of what she learned from counting, and queueing, and perservering in routines.
  • At The Numerati, Stephen Baker shares an excerpt from his new book, Dark Site, describing a teenager’s attempts to control a cognitive implant.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer takes issue with elements of the timing of Lyman Stone’s schedule for immigration controls imposed in the United Kingdom on Caribbean migrants.
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Emily Lakdawalla explains how scientists are keeping the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in good stead despite its age.
  • At Roads and Kingdoms, Timi Siytangco explains the history of the Philippines through nine Filipino foods.
  • Drew Rowsome is impressed by the power of The Assassination of Gianni Versace.
  • Ethan Siegel at Starts With A Bang explains why black holes have to contain singularities, not merely superdense normal matter.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the rather misogynistic essay of ideologue Vladimir Surkin about women and power, timed for Valentine’s Day.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • At Anthropology.net, Kambiz Kamrani notes the very recent discovery in Malaysia of the hitherto unsuspected Jedek language by anthropologists doing fieldwork.
  • Hornet Stories interviews the five stars of the new Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
  • Joe. My. God. notes Trump plans to privatize the International Space Station.
  • JSTOR Daily links to some of the papers reflecting on the furor around Murphy Brown and that show’s depiction of single motherhood as a defensible choice.
  • Language Hat notes a contention that the more popular a language the more simplified its grammar will be. Is this correct?
  • Language Log notes how hockey terminology differs between the two Koreas, South Korea importing foreign words and the North creating neologisms.
  • Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money does not think a governmental shutdown in the US would have protected DREAMers.
  • Lingua Franca considers the different colloquial uses in English of “baked”.
  • The NYR Daily praises Suburra, a new crime drama set in contemporary Rome.
  • At Starts With A Bang, Ethan Siegel explains how scientists know that the universe is expanding.
  • Supernova Condensate explores the possibility that artificial intelligences might be readily locked into patterns of behaviours not taking human concerns into account and finds it not likely, barring huge design faults.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Khrushchev, not content with transferring Crimea from Russia to Ukraine, also considered border changes in Central Asia.

[NEWS] Five notes on migration: Asians in the US, Ghana to Libya, Indian women, Brazil, Canada

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  • Noah Smith notes at Bloomberg View that Trump’s bizarre opposition to chain migration would hit (for instance) Asian immigrant communities in the United States quite badly.
  • The Inter Press Service shares one man’s nearly fatal attempt to migrate from his native Ghana through Libya.
  • The Inter Press Service notes a hugely underestimated system of migration within India, that of women moving to their new husbands’ homes.
  • In an extended piece, the Inter Press Service examines how wars and disasters are driving much immigration to Brazil, looking particularly at Haiti and Venezuela as new notable sources.
  • Canada is a noteworthy destination for many immigrants who move here to take part in Canadian sports, including the Olympics. The Mational Post reports.