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[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Anthropology.net’s Kambiz Kamrani looks at the classical Mayan trade in pets, dogs and cats particularly.
  • Dangerous Minds shares some vintage cheesecake ads for video and arcade games from 1980s Japan.
  • Dead Things considers an examination of the thesis that the fabulous horns of some dinosaurs were used as sexual signals.
  • Hornet Stories nominates some queer people to get stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • JSTOR Daily tells the story of Bobbi Gibb, the woman who in 1966 crashed the Boston Marathon.
  • Language Hattells of Toty Samed, an Angolan musician who writes songs not in the now-dominant Portuguese but in his ancestral Kimbundu.
  • Steven Attewell at Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the ways in which the metaphor of mutants has been used by Marvel Comics to explore themes of racism and marginalization.
  • At the LRB Blog, Matthew Porges notes how European Union opposition to the annexation of Western Sahara by Morocco is counterbalanced by the need to keep Morocco as a partner.
  • r/mapporn shared a beautiful map of the Great Lakes, Nayanno-Nibiimaang Gichigamiin or “The Five Freshwater Seas”, from the Ojibwe perspective.
  • The Map Room Blog shares Christian Tate’s transit-style map of Middle Earth.
  • Marginal Revolution links to an essay arguing against the United States’ dropping the penny and the nickel, on the grounds that these expensive coins are loss-leaders for currency generally.
  • The NYR Daily takes a look at early 20th century Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyan, a man whose influence is visible in the Putin era.
  • Drew Rowsome takes a look at the eye-catching male photography of Ekaterina Zakharova.
  • David Post’s analysis at the Volokh Conspiracy of the contract between Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump is a must-read.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how the Russian government has failed to cultivate soft power, or wider influence, in the West.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • At Anthrodendum, Elizabeth Marino takes issue with what she identifies as the naively and fiercely neoliberal elements of Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now.
  • Anthropology.net’s Kambiz Kamrani takes a look at an innovative study of the Surinamese creole of Sranan Tongo that uncovers that language’s linguistic origins in remarkably fine detail.
  • Architectuul examines the architecture of Communist-era Hungarian architect István Szábo
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes the nearly naked black hole at the heart of galaxy ZwCl 8193, 2.2 billion light-years away.
  • The Big Picture shares photos from the 2018 Paralympics in South Korea.
  • Gerry Canavan has an interesting critical take on Star Trek: Discovery. Is it really doing new things, or is its newness just superficial?
  • Centauri Dreams considers the impact the spectra of red dwarfs would have on biosignatures from their worlds.
  • Russell Darnley takes a look at Australia’s Darling River, a critical watercourse threatened by extensive water withdrawals.
  • Inkfish notes that patterns of wear on the tusks of elephants indicate most are right-handed.
  • Joe. My. God. links to a study suggesting a relationship between Trump rallies and violent assaults.
  • JSTOR Daily links to a paper examining why people drink Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Language Hat takes a look at the use of Xhosa as the language of Wakanda.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money mourns Alfred Crosby, the historian whose work examined the epidemiological and ecological changes wrought by contact with the Americas.
  • The Map Room Blog links to a map showing indigenous placenames in Canada.
  • In the aftermath of the death of Stephen Hawking, Out There had a lovely idea: what nearby major stars emitted life than arrive at the moment of his birth? Hawking’s star is Regulus, and mine was (nearly) Arcturus.
  • Marginal Revolution suggests AI will never be able to centrally plan an economy because the complexity of the economy will always escape it.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel examines Stephen Hawking’s contribution to the study of black holes.
  • Supernova Condensate shares a list of moons, fictional and otherwise, from Endor on down.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Canada city links: Saint John, Montréal, Hamilton, Calgary

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  • The rest of Saint John, New Brunswick, to have the provincial government authorize a study on municipal amalgamation has been turned down. Global News reports.
  • Some old cars from the Montréal Métro are going on display as part of two exhibits. Global News reports.
  • Montréal ranks second in a ranking of the top cities for millennials, all things considered. (Toronto is in the top 10.) Global News reports.
  • A crackdown on payday loan establishments in Hamilton has been followed by a request that banks and other traditional lenders please consider their payday clients. Global News reports.
  • Quite honestly, the argument made here that Calgary is destined to host the 2026 Olympics is actually convincing. Global News reports.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes that the measured rate of the expansion of the universe depends on the method used to track this rate, and that this is a problem.
  • On Sunday, Caitlin Kelly celebrated receiving her annual cheque from Canada’s Public Lending Program, which gives authors royalties based on how often their book has been borrowed in our public libraries.
  • In The Buzz, the Toronto Public Library identified five books in its collection particularly prone to be challenged by would-be censors.
  • D-Brief suggests that, if bacteria managed to survive and adapt in the Atacama desert as it became hostile to life, like life might have done the same on Mars.
  • Far Outliers notes the crushing defeat, and extensive looting of, the MOghul empire by the Persia of Nader Shah.
  • Hornet Stories looks at the medal hauls of out Olympic athletes this year in Pyeongchang.
  • Imageo notes satellite imagery indicating that fisheries occupy four times the footprint of agriculture. Aquaculture is starting to look like a necessary idea, I think.

  • At In Media Res, Russell Arben Fox praises Porch Fires, a new biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser, for its insights on Wilder and on the moment of the settlement of the American West.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how, in the 19th century after the development of anesthesia, the ability to relieve people of pain was a political controversy. Shouldn’t it be felt, wasn’t it natural?
  • Language Hat links to an article taking a look behind the scenes at the Oxford English Dictionary. How does it work? What are its challenges?
  • At Lingua Franca, Roger Shuy distinguishes between different kinds of speech events and explains why they are so important in the context of bribery trials.
  • The LRB Blog shares some advice on ethics in statecraft from the 2nd century CE Chinese writer Liu An.
  • J. Hoberman at the NYR Daily reviews an exhibit of the work of Bauhaus artist Jozef Albers at the Guggenheim.
  • Roads and Kingdoms shares an anecdote of travellers drinking homemade wine in Montenegro.
  • Drew Rowsome interviews Native American drag queen and up-and-coming music star Vizin.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel explains how star S0-2, orbiting so close to the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way Galaxy, will help prove Einsteinian relativity.
  • Vintage Space explains, for the record, how rockets can work in a vacuum. (This did baffle some people this time last century.)
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that, on its 100th anniversary, Estonia has succeeded in integrating most of its Russophones.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • Kambiz Kamrani at Anthropology.net notes new findings suggesting that the creation of cave art by early humans is product of the same skills that let early humans use language.
  • Davide Marchetti at Architectuul looks at some overlooked and neglected buildings in and around Rome.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait explains how Sirius was able to hide the brilliant Gaia 1 star cluster behind it.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at new procedures for streamlining the verification of new exoplanet detections.
  • Crooked Timber notes the remarkably successful and once-controversial eroticization of plant reproduction in the poems of Erasmus Darwin.
  • Dangerous Minds notes how an errant Confederate flag on a single nearly derailed the career of Otis Redding.
  • Detecting biosignatures from exoplanets, Bruce Dorminey notes, may require “fleets” of sensitive space-based telescopes.
  • Far Outliers looks at persecution of non-Shi’ite Muslims in Safavid Iran.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at the history of the enslavement of Native Americans in early colonial America, something often overlooked by later generations.
  • This video shared by Language Log, featuring two Amazon Echos repeating texts to each other and showing how these iterations change over time, is oddly fascinating.
  • At Lawyers, Guns and Money, Erik Loomis is quite clear about the good sense of Will Wilkinson’s point that controversy over “illegal” immigration is actually deeply connected to an exclusivist racism that imagines Hispanics to not be Americans.
  • Lingua Franca, at the Chronicle of Higher Education, looks at the uses of the word “redemption”, particularly in the context of the Olympics.
  • The LRB Blog suggests Russiagate is becoming a matter of hysteria. I’m unconvinced, frankly.
  • The Map Room Blog shares a map showing global sea level rise over the past decades.
  • Marginal Revolution makes a case for Americans to learn foreign languages on principle. As a Canadian who recently visited a decidedly Hispanic New York, I would add that Spanish, at least, is one language quite potentially useful to Americans in their own country.
  • Drew Rowsome writes about the striking photographs of Olivier Valsecchi.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that, in the 2030s, gravitational wave observatories will be so sensitive that they will be able to detect black holes about to collide years in advance.
  • Towleroad lists festival highlights for New Orleans all over the year.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how recent changes to the Russian education system harming minority languages have inspired some Muslim populations to link their language to their religion.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell makes the case that Jeremy Corbyn, through his strength in the British House of Commons, is really the only potential Remainder who is in a position of power.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Canada links: Ontario golf and sales tax, Goderich, Winnipeg, Vancouver

  • TVO notes that municipally-operated gold courses are apparently commonplace in Ontario. Should cities divest of these, freeing up land and cost for other better uses?
  • The idea of municipal sales taxes seems like something that should get implemented in Ontario cities, yet few seem willing to move on this. The Toronto Star examines the issue.
  • CBC reports on how the small southern Ontario town of Goderich managed to accumulate 18 family doctors, thanks to a concerted and planned effort to recruit new physicians.
  • Global News takes a look at some of the ghost signs of Winnipeg, legacies of an early commercial era.
  • Terry Glavin at MacLean’s suggests that the government of British Columbia might finally be taking steps to ensure affordable real estate options in Metro Vancouver.

[NEWS] Five LGBT links: Eric Radford, politics, Buddies in Bad Times, Pride House, app racism

  • The story of how Eric Radford overcame a childhood in small-town Ontario to become an out winner of Olympic gold is inspiring. The Toronto Star has it.
  • CBC looks at how some LGBTQ people interested in political office have gone through training sessions, to prepare.
  • NOW Toronto reports on Buddies in Bad Times’ program for emerging queer theatre creators.
  • Global News reports from Pyeongchang, where Canada is maintaining a Pride House for LGBTQ athletes.
  • VICE considers the issue of racial discrimination on dating apps. Is enough being done by the makers to deal with this?