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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘united kingdom

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Architetuul considers the architectural potential offered by temporary constructions.
  • Centauri Dreams examines how the latest artificial intelligence routines were used to pick up the faint signal of Kepler-90i.
  • JSTOR Daily examines the sign language used by the deaf servants popular at the Ottoman imperial court.
  • Gizmodo notes that preliminary studies of ‘Oumuamua suggest that body is not a technological artifact.
  • Hornet Stories notes the bizarre friendship of Floyd Mayweather with Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the negative effects of NAFTA and globalization on the food eaten by Mexicans.
  • Geoffrey Pullum at Lingua Franca notes the fine line between dialectal differences and language errors.
  • The LRB Blog takes a quick look at corruption in the Russian bid for the World Cup in 2018.
  • The NYR Daily looks at Russian influence behind the Brexit referendum, noting the long-term need of the American and British democracies to adapt.
  • Jake Shears talks with Towleroad about the role that the city of New Orleans has been playing in his life and his creative work.
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[NEWS] Five LGBTQ links: molly houses, trans in Germany, being femme, changing sexuality

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  • Atlas Obscura takes a look at the history and culture of the “molly houses”, gay bars of 18th century England.
  • Atlas Obscura notes how pioneering German sexologist Marcus Hirschfeld managed to acquire limited recognition of the chosen identities of trans people in pre-Nazi Germany.
  • These interviews at VICE with five queer people, talking about what “femme” means to them, are interesting.
  • VICE’s unpacking of the concept of guys who identify as “mostly straight”, through an interview with researcher Ritch C. Savin-Williams, is fascinating. This future for traditional concepts of heterosexuality, one of many, seems both new and noteworthy.
  • The argument of Jeff Leavell at VICE, that stereotypes of gender should not be used to justify restrictive labels for humans’ sexuality, makes perfect sense to me.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 13, 2017 at 11:47 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait answers the question of why asteroids tend to explode high in atmosphere.
  • Centauri Dreams carries Keith Cooper’s suggestion that METI activists should wait until the first generation of detailed exoplanet investigations give an idea as to what is out there before they begin transmitting.
  • The Crux notes how indigenous peoples in Guyana use drones to defend their land claims.
  • JSTOR Daily summarizes an article on the sexually radical and politically progressive Kansas freethinkers, subject even to death threats.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers the question of who benefits from automotion in early 21st century society.
  • Far Outliers notes how, in the Second World War, American missionaries also became interrogators thanks to their knowledge.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas, linking to an article on #elsagate, notes how many video creators were making content not for human audiences but rather to please YouTube algorithms.
  • Language Log deals with one manifestation of the controversy over the use of “they” as a gender-neutral first-person singular pronoun.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the terribly suspicious denial of anti-Semitism from Roy Moore’s wife. Alabamans, vote against this man.
  • The LRB Blog shares Gill Partington’s examination of some modern art exhibits dealing with the mechanics of reading.
  • Russell Darnley of maximos62 examines how Human Rights Day, celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed on 10 December 1948, is not the only important date in international human rights history.
  • The NYR Daily notes how Donald Trump’s actions have only worsened the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Cheri Lucas Rowlands shares beautiful photos from a visit to England.
  • Spacing shares an article by Sean Ruthen examining the dynamic difference of the different cities of Italy, based on the author’s recent trip there.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel looks at how young massive black hole J1342+0928 poses a challenge.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how the main demographic challenges for the Baltic States these days are not so much ethnic conflicts but rather population aging and emigration.
  • Arnold Zwicky takes a look at timeless similarities between classics of homoerotic art and modern-day gay photography. NSFW, obviously.

[NEWS] Seven population links: Germany, climate, Brexit, overpopulation, Amazon, whales, parrots

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  • DW reports on the profound and apparently irreversible depopulation of rural areas of the former East Germany.
  • Stephen Leahy at VICE’s Motherboard notes that pronounced global cooling may be responsible for the emigration of Donald Trump’s grandfather to the United States, that he was a climate refugee.
  • Christian Odendahl at politico.eu suggests that Brexit, by encouraging skilled immigrants (and others) to leave the United Kingdom, might work to the benefit of a Germany experiencing labour shortages.
  • David Roberts at Vox talks about the many reasons why, as an environmental journalist, he does not talk about overpopulation as a problem.
  • National Geographic reports on another massacre of indigenous peoples in the Brazilian Amazon by goldminers.
  • Phys.org warns that, at the current rate of deaths, the right whales of the North Atlantic might face extinction. Gack. (Sometimes I think we deserve a visit from the whale probe.)
  • This heartbreaking story co-authored by Ted Chiang takes the Arecibo radio telescope and the Puerto Rican parrot, the iguaca, and does something terribly beautiful and sad with the confluence of the two. Go, read.

[ISL] Four islands links: Puerto Rico, Ireland, Prince Edward Island, Okinoshima

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  • The New York Times suggests that the proper death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico alone may be more than a thousand, not the official toll of 62.
  • Mary Fitzgerald at Open Democracy looks at how Ireland, North and South, may have fatally undermined the May government and the Brexit project.
  • Tamara Khandaker at VICE reports the predictable news that Prince Edward Island plans to permit the legal sale of marijuana through stores run by the monopolistic liquor corporation, like the larger Ontario.
  • Jonathan Kaiman reports on Okinoshima, a sacred island in Japan whose keepers fear increased attention will threaten the location’s very nature.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Architectuul considers the humanizing potential of brutalism in the context of a London filled with impersonal skyscrapers.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the ways the habitable-zone super-Earths of K2-18 reveal our solar system to be exceptional.
  • Centauri Dreams notes evidence for active plate tectonics in the ice crust of Europa, suggesting an ocean being replenished with nutrients and possibly suitable for life.
  • D-Brief notes the sourcing of the iron in the artifacts of the Bronze Act in meteorites.
  • Daily JSTOR reports on how Hollywood coped during the Red Scare of the 1950s.
  • Dangerous Minds notes the exciting discovery of tapes recording Devo jamming with David Bowie and Brian Eno.
  • Cody Delistraty considers if the restitution of artworks looted from once-colonized territories might not be a cheap substitute for deeper changes.
  • Language Hat shares a student essay comparing, during the First World War, the United States’ campaign against German and the German campaign against French.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money argues against a British nostalgia for monarchy and empire that overlooks the real injustices perpetrated at Britain’s imperial peak.
  • Lingua Franca notes the remarkable power of the #metoo movement.
  • The LRB Blog notes the exceptional complexity of the issue of Jerusalem, especially after Trump’s actions.
  • The Map Room Blog shares links to a variety of maps of the Halifax Explosion and its effects.
  • The NYR Daily looks at some of the legacies of the Salvadoran civil war.
  • Peter Watts makes an argument in favour of the dystopia in contemporary science fiction.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla reports that South Korea is planning its first Moon expedition for 2020.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that Argentina, at its peak, offered as good or even better chances for social mobility for immigrants than the United States.
  • Peter Rukavina shares a photograph showing the electronic system used by defunct Charlottetown nightclub Myron’s for dispensing drinks.
  • Towleroad reports on one consequence of Australia’s acceptance of gay marriage: Will Calvin Harris remix the Spice Girls song “2 Become 1”, as he promised?
  • Window on Eurasia shares a list of eight reasons explaining why Finland was unique in the former Russian Empire in maintaining its independence from Moscow.

[NEWS] Four notes from distant corners: Corsica, Dominica, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Montenegro

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  • Nationalists, though not separatists, have done quite well in recent elections in Corsica. Bloomberg reports.
  • Dominica, ravaged by recent hurricanes, is preparing for an environmentally tumultuous future. The Inter Press Service reports.
  • Scotland, for one, is looking to Northern Ireland as a possible precedent for its relationship with the European Union. Bloomberg reports.
  • Balkanist takes a look at the potential impact the breakdown of relations between Russia and Montenegro might have on the small state, dependent on Russian tourism.