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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘southeast asia

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • blogTO depicts a new Toronto condo tower that will also be a vertical forest.
  • D-Brief notes the latest German success with nuclear fusion.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the discovery of Jupiter analog HD 32963b.
  • The Dragon’s Tales provides updates about the Russian wars in Syria and Ukraine.
  • Geocurrents examines the demographic history of the Philippines.
  • Language Log notes odd sound borrowings into Taiwanese.
  • Une heure de peine’s Denis Colombi notes that sociology by its nature is political but not normative.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Russian fears that Belarus is drifting westwards and argues Kaliningraders are shifting towards a Europe-oriented identity.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • BCer in Toronto Jeff Jedras foodblogs from different Ottawa junkets.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly lists 20 ways to enjoy winter. (If it comes.)
  • Centauri Dreams shares the latest Pluto imagery and examines the ancient impact that created the Moon.
  • Crooked Timber notes that volunteers who help refugees arriving in Greece might be criminalized.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that some Earth-like worlds at different points in their history might be difficult to identify, and notes a SETI search looking for flashes from KIC 8462852 has turned up nothing.
  • Geocurrents maps development in the Philippines.
  • Marginal Revolution shares Alex Tabarrok’s opinion that home ownership is overrated.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Marc Rayman notes how important light is for Dawn“s imaging of Ceres.
  • pollotenchegg notes the historical patterns of ethnic change in southeast Ukraine, the Donbas standing out as especially Russian in population in language.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes demographic changes in Chechnya.
  • Transit Toronto notes that Toronto has gotten its 14th and 15th streetcars from Bombardier.
  • Window on Eurasia examines possible outcomes from Tatarstan’s confrontation with the Russian federal government, notes the influence of Central Asian migrants on Russian Islam, suggests Russia is over-centralized, and notes one proposal to abolish Russia’s ethnic units.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • blogTO answers the question of why Toronto has “Lower” streets.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes how exoplanets can lose their exomoons if they orbit too closely.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes differences in American and Chinese rhetoric about nuclear weapons.</li
  • Geocurrents looks at Chavacano, a rare Spanish-based creole language in the Philippines.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the problems of unionization in the South, concentrating on non-white minorities in a region where state governments are dominated by white supremacists of one kind or another.
  • Personal Reflections considers visual language.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders what, if the Democratic Party candidate loses the 2016 American president election, the postmortem would look like.
  • Spacing Toronto examines the downtown Toronto micronation known as the Republic of Rathnelly, created in the centennial year of 1967.
  • Torontoist notes Glad Day’s donation of hundreds of books to Toronto’s new LGBTQ youth shelter, while Towleroad notes how the hom of an anti-gay church in New York City’s Harlem can be made into a similar one.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russia will be found culpable in The Hague for ethnic cleansing of Georgians in 2008, and notes Putin’s misrepresentation of historic demographics in Ukraine.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Centauri Dreams looks at the earliest mentions of Proxima Centauri in science fiction.
  • D-Brief notes that early oceans could moderate chemical reactions that could lead to life.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that most super-Earths around red dwarfs may not be close enough to burn off their excess hydrogen/helium envelopes.
  • The Dragon’s Tales looks at the continuing Russian war in Syria.
  • Geocurrents notes, using the Philippines as an example, that sea can unite language communities more readily than otherwise.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer is wondering why Bloomberg would run for president.
  • Torontoist enlists Steve Munro to see if John Tory’s new mass transit plan would work for Scarborough.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that Melissa Click, an American university professor who called–on video!–for some muscle to chase away student journalists from a protest, has been charged with assault.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World notes that Russia’s economic troubles are, indirectly, promoting radical Islam in Central Asian countries dépendent on migrant workers.

[LINK] “Coffee Harvest in Indonesia to Tumble From Record on El Nino”

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Bloomberg’s Yoga Rusmana and Eko Listiyorini note that El Nino is set to hurt Indonesia’s coffee crop.

Coffee production in Indonesia will probably drop 20 percent next year from a record as the strongest El Nino in almost two decades hurts crops in the world’s third-largest producer of robusta beans.

The harvest may slide to 560,000 metric tons in the year starting April 1 from 700,000 tons this year, according to the median of estimates from six traders and analysts compiled by Bloomberg. That would be the steepest decline since the 2006-07 season, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

A smaller Indonesian crop will potentially widen a global deficit of the beans used by companies including used by Nestle SA, and support prices that slumped 20 percent last year. El Nino is largely responsible for the dryness in the fourth quarter of 2015 in Indonesia, according to Rabobank International. The weather event has hampered cocoa crops in Ivory Coast, curbed the monsoon in India and forced the Philippines to import more rice.

“Dryness in Indonesia is textbook El Nino,” Carlos Mera Arzeno, commodities analyst at Rabobank in London, said by e-mail Jan. 13. “We expect robusta prices to go up to above $1,580 a ton by mid 2016, as a double-whammy of a lower robusta crop in Brazil and in Indonesia hits the market from April onward,” he said.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 22, 2016 at 3:48 pm

[LINK] On maps of China with dreams of empire

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In his Strange Maps post “China Sets Its Sights on Taiwan”, Frank Jacobs wrote about Chinese irredentism, past and present.

By building islands and stationing soldiers where before there were only reefs and sea turtles, China has literally cemented its territorial claims in the South China Sea. The Middle Kingdom seems confident that its sheer economic size and growing military might will defeat the overlapping claims of other countries. Should Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia eventually accept China’s takeover of the area as a fait accompli, that would also be a defeat for the U.S.

Since its much-vaunted “pivot to Asia” a few years back, Washington’s undeclared policy has been to counterbalance Beijing’s growing geopolitical ambitions in the region. However, if Beijing manages to take possession of the Spratlys, Paracels, and other disputed islands, banks, and reefs without a fight, it will have successfully called Washington’s bluff. America’s allies in the region will wonder if the U.S. will do anything to come to their defense. It will make the next item on China’s wish list that much easier to acquire.

[. . .] As daunting as it is now, China throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries was the “Sick Man of Asia,” and outside powers abused the Empire’s weakness to obtain concessions, be they territorial or commercial. Nothing fans the flames of nationalism like the sense of historical wrongs as yet un-righted, so these ‘unequal treaties’ feature prominently in Chinese school curriculums.

This is not a recent development, nor is the present Communist regime the first to exploit these injustices for its own purposes. The map shown is one of several that populated the textbooks of elementary schools in 1930s nationalist China, usually titled “A Map of National Shame” (國恥地圖) or something like it. It shows the territorial expanse of the Chinese Empire in all its former glory. This mega-China runs as far west as the Aral Sea and as far east as Sakhalin Island; it incorporates both Afghanistan and Singapore, and virtually all lands and territories in between.

The pink bit in the middle shows the extent of China’s borders in the republican period. This already was an exercise in wish-fulfillment, as Japan was occupying a large part of coastal China, and much of the interior was ruled by warlords. Nevertheless, “pink” China also comprised the now independent state of Mongolia and (by the look of it) also Tuva, now a part of Russia (and home of the famous throat singers). A wide belt of green and red indicates territories unjustly detached from the Chinese motherland.

Among the more notable territories assigned to China by this map are Korea, Japan’s Ryukyu Islands, all of mainland Southeast Asia, and most of Central Asia and the Himalayas. This map, as Jacobs goes on to note, misrepresents the limits of China’s historical sphere of influence with China’s actual borders. I would note that, whatever legitimate reason there is for unhappiness with China’s current claims in the South China Sea and elsewhere, at least it is much more moderate than this!

Written by Randy McDonald

January 22, 2016 at 12:59 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • blogTO identifies five fast-changing neighbourhoods.
  • Crooked Timber praises Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze examines the formation of supermassive stars.
  • A Fistful of Euros reflects on global income inequality.
  • Geocurrents examines Russia’s demographic issues.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the head of the Russian Orthodox Church has blamed ISIS on gay pride parades.
  • Language Log looks at how language issues influenced the outcome of Taiwan’s election.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money argues that First Worlders are responsible for poor conditions in Bangladeshi factories.
  • The Map Room examines “persuasive cartography”.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that discrimination hurts economies.
  • Livejournal’s pollotenchegg notes Ukraine’s rapid shifts in natural gas consumption by source country.
  • The Power and the Money considers if the United States might be governed by people who think it a good idea to provoke a war with China.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to sources on the Circassian genocide.
  • Strange Maps notes Chinese cartographic propaganda.
  • Transit Toronto favours a partial pedestrianization of King Street.
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