A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘syria

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Halifax, Hamilton, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Damascus

  • Matthew McClearn describes the exceptional vulnerability of Halifax to sea level rise, and the apparent lack of significant preparation for this event, over at The Globe and Mail.
  • In the wake of a Black Bloc-style attack on businesses in Hamilton’s Locke Street, business owners say this isn’t the first time this has happened in recent months. CBC reports.
  • VICE reports on the nostalgia pervading the few surviving video stores of Los Angeles.
  • Mini Montgomery at Washingtonian notes how conservatives in Washington D.C. are finding dating more difficult these days, what with liberals and Democrats turning them down.
  • The highly selective devastation being visited on parts of Damascus is going to leave irremediable scars. The National Post reports.
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[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes that a recent massive flare at Proxima Centauri, one that made the star become a thousand times brighter, not only makes Proxima b unlikely to be habitable but makes it unlikely Proxima has (as some suggested) a big planetary system.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that South Korea, contrary to earlier reports, is not going to ban cryptocurrency.
  • Hornet Stories notes that six American states–Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, and Oklahoma–have seen the introduction of legislation replacing marriage with a marriage contract, on account of marriage equality.
  • JSTOR Daily reports on the deep similarities and differences between serfdom in Russia and slavery in the United States, both formally abolished in the 1860s.
  • Language Hat links to a Telegraph article reporting on the efforts of different people to translate different ancient languages.
  • The New APPS Blog notes that, after Delta dropped its discount for NRA members, the pro-NRA governor of Georgia dropped tax breaks for the airline.
  • This call for the world to respond to the horrors in Syria, shared at the NYR Daily, is likely to fall on deaf ears.
  • At Strange Maps, Frank Jacobs shares some maps showing areas where the United States is truly exceptional.
  • Supernova Condensate notes how nested planetary orbits can be used to trace beautiful spirograph patterns.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how no one in the Soviet Union in 1991 was prepared to do anything to save the Soviet Union.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Yesterday, James Bow celebrated the 16th anniversary of his blog.
  • Centauri Dreams shares some of the latest probe imagery from the Kuiper Belt.
  • D-Brief notes the amount of energy used in bitcoin mining in Iceland is set to surpass the energy used by Iceland’s human population. This cannot be a viable trajectory.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the steady expansion of China’s nascent space industry, with Wenchang on the southern island of Hainan being a particular focus.
  • Drone360 notes that, in certain conditions, drones can make parcel deliveries at a lower environmental cost than traditional courier methods.
  • io9 notes Wesley Snipes’ observations as to why Blade is not more generally recognized as the first big superhero film.
  • JSTOR Daily notes the various influences, from those of formal portraiture to African-American folk culture, in the recent Amy Sherald painting of Michelle Obama and her dress.
  • Language Hat notes the publication of a new collection of the poems of Juan Latino, an African slave in 16th century Spain who went on to become a free man and leading poet.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the appalling treatment that many national parks in the US are going to experience, deprived of professional management and opened to development.
  • Lingua Franca, at the Chronicle of Higher Education, notes how on Valentine’s Day there is such a close and visible link between hearts and ashes.
  • The LRB Blog notes outbursts of racism and fascism in Italy following a murder of an Italian by an immigrant.
  • Leon Aron at the NYR Daily looks at the past century of millennarianism in the politics of countries on the edge, from Lenin to ISIS.
  • Towleroad notes how Burberry has introduced the colours of the LGBTQ rainbow to its plaid in its February 2018 collection, as a fundraiser for charity.
  • Window on Eurasia notes a demographer who predicts, on the basis of reliable demographic trends, a sharp uptick in the Muslim proportion of the Russian population in coming decades.

[PHOTO] Eight photos of the Kurdish march on Yonge, Toronto, against Turkey in Afrin (#defendafrin)

The ongoing Turkish invasion of Afrin, westernmost of the three cantons of the autonomous Kurdish area in Syria commonly known as Rojava, just produced visible results in Toronto. As I got out at Wellesley station a bit before 6 o’clock, I heard a crowd marching down Yonge. I crossed the street, and prepared to photograph.

I was given a handout with the letterhead of the Democratic Kurdish Federation of Canada denouncing the inaction of outside powers–the West and Russia, specifically–in doing nothing to undermine the Turkish invasion of a self-governing Kurdish area. I accepted the handout, and kept it. I agree almost entirely with the sentiment, sharing the anger of people frustrated with yet another Turkish invasion of a self-governing Kurdish area outside its frontiers, feeling frustrated that a Turkish-Kurdish alliance once might think the most natural one possible in the MIddle East is being thwarted by Turkey run by people who betrayed their government’s liberal promise at the century’s beginning. I stood, and watched, because there was nothing else I could do but witness justified anger and share it.

(Certainly this group has links with radical Kurdish groups internationally. The last photo in this series shows a yellow flag flapped into a blur by the wind. When unfurled, the flag had on it a clear portrait of Abdullah Ă–calan above a slogan demanding his release.)

Protest against Turkey in Syria (1) #toronto #protest #march #kurdish #kurd #turkey #syria #rojava #afrin #night

Protest against Turkey in Syria (2) #toronto #protest #march #kurdish #kurd #turkey #syria #rojava #afrin #night

Protest against Turkey in Syria (4) #toronto #protest #march #kurdish #flyer #pamphlet #kurd #turkey #syria #rojava #afrin #night #yongeandwellesley

Protest against Turkey in Syria (5) #toronto #protest #march #kurdish #flyer #pamphlet #kurd #turkey #syria #rojava #afrin #night #yongeandwellesley

Protest against Turkey in Syria (6) #toronto #protest #march #kurdish #pamphlet #kurd #turkey #syria #rojava #afrin #night #yongeandwellesley

Protest against Turkey in Syria (7) #toronto #protest #march #kurdish #flags #kurd #turkey #syria #rojava #afrin #night #yongeandwellesley

Protest against Turkey in Syria (8) #toronto #protest #march #kurdish #flags #kurd #turkey #syria #rojava #afrin #night #yongeandwellesley

Protest against Turkey in Syria (9) #toronto #protest #march #kurdish #flags #kurd #turkey #syria #rojava #afrin #night #yongeandwellesley

Written by Randy McDonald

January 27, 2018 at 8:00 pm

[URBAN NOTE] Six cities: Saint John, New York City. Brooklyn, Cape Town, Kingston, Istanbul, Dubai

  • The metropolitan area of Saint John, in New Brunswick, is investigating the possibility of a general municipal amalgamation. Myself, I suspect cost savings would be limited. Global News reports.
  • Having been in Brooklyn–having, in fact, been in Williamsburg–I can only imagine the catastrophe that the extended shutdown of the L subway line will have on local nightlife. I hope they can adapt. VICE reports.
  • A Cape Town that faces a possible water shortage–perhaps a probable water shortage, given weather patterns–is going to feel a lot of pain. MacLean’s reports.
  • If Kingston is moving away from honouring Canada’s first prime minister and hometown son, John A. MacDonald, on account of his governments’ policies towards indigenous peoples, this indicates a sea change. Global News reports.
  • Ezgi Tuncer examines how Syrians displaced to Istanbul have integrated into their new home through, among other things, selling their traditional foods to Syrians and Turks alike, over at Open Democracy.
  • Is Dubai truly a good example of a modernized Middle Eastern economy? I wonder. Bloomberg makes the argument.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait considers the real possibility that extrasolar visitor ‘Oumuamua may have been ejected from the system of a dying star.
  • Centauri Dreams notes new efforts to determine brown dwarf demographics.
  • Crooked Timber shares some research on the rise and fall of Keynesianism after the financial crisis.
  • Hornet Stories shares a decidedly NSFW article about gay sex in Berlin.
  • JSTOR Daily notes the surprisingly high frequency of interspecies sex in the wild.
  • Language Hat notes new efforts to promote the status of the Luxembourgish language in the grand duchy.
  • The LRB Blog notes how a chess tournament hosted in Saudi Arabia has failed badly from the PR perspective.
  • What role does the novelist have in a world where the television serial is moving in on the territory of literature? The NYR Daily considers.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reflects on John Lyons’ book Balcony over Jerusalem, the controversy over the book, and the Middle East generally.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes the ominous import of the decent drone attack in Syria against Russian forces.
  • Drew Rowsome praises the 2016 play Mustard, currently playing again at the Tarragon, as a modern-day classic.
  • Spacing features a review of a fantastic-sounding book about the architecture of Las Vegas.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel considers the impact of the very rapid rotation of pulsars about their very shape.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares one picture of a vast galaxy cluster to underline how small our place in the universe is.
  • The Boston Globe’s The Big Picture shares some photos of Syrian refugee families as they settle into the United States.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at the Dragonfly proposal for a Titan lander.
  • The Crux notes the exceptional vulnerability of the cultivated banana to an otherwise obscure fungus.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes NASA’s preparation of the Clipper mission to investigate Europa.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas takes a look at the role of surveillance in the life of the modern student.
  • Hornet Stories has a nice interview of Sina Grace, author of Marvel’s Iceman book.
  • Joe. My. God. reshared this holiday season a lovely anecdote, “Dance of the Sugar Plum Lesbians.”
  • JSTOR Daily took a look at why Americans like dieting so much.
  • The LRB Blog considers the Thames Barrier, the meager protection of London against tides in a time of climate change.
  • The Map Room Blog notes the digitization of radar maps of Antarctica going back to the 1960s.
  • Marginal Revolution seems cautiously optimistic about the prospects of Morocco.
  • Russell Darnley at maximos62 is skeptical about the prospects of the forests of Indonesia’s Riau province.
  • Stephanie Land at the NYR Daily talks about how she managed to combine becoming a writer with being a single mother of two young children.
  • Out There argues a lunar fuel depot could help support crewed interplanetary exploration.
  • Science Sushi notes genetic evidence the lionfish invasion of the North Atlantic off Florida began not with a single escape but with many.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel makes the argument an unmanned probe to Alpha Centauri could have significant technological spinoffs.
  • Supernova Condensate makes the point, apropos of nothing at all, that spaceship collisions can in fact unleash vast amounts of energy.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that, while Kazakhs see practical advantages to cooperation with Russia, they also see some problems.