A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘united kingdom

[BLOG] Some Monday links

leave a comment »

  • James Bow describes his recent visit to California.
  • City of Brass’ Aziz Poonawalla argues that orthodox Muslims in the United States should celebrate nation-wide same-sex marriage out of their own enlightened self-interest.
  • Centauri Dreams features a guest post from J.M. Nielsen looking at the “zoo hypothesis”.
  • Cody Delistraty examines, with photos, Audrey Hepburn’s lifelong love of Paris.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper noting that very young star MWC 758 seems to be forming planetesimals.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on a woman with a cyborg arm, and examines the history of Mars’ atmosphere loss.
  • Geocurrents maps the relationship between Turkey’s HDP and the Kurds.
  • Kieran Healy looks for sleeping beauty papers in philosophy.
  • Imageo examines the New Horizons‘ photos of Pluto and Charon.
  • Language Hat notes a comparative dictionary of Siouan languages and notes the dynamics of swearing in Québec French.
  • Language Log notes the contribution of an American missionary to the development of Korea’s hangul script.
  • Marginal Revolution suggests that low rates of poverty amogn Scandinavians and descendants in the United States has to do with culture not policy, and is scathing about Greece.
  • Peter Rukavina looks inside a hard drive.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog maps Kazakhstan by ethnicity.
  • Torontoist looks at the 1899 Canadian National Exhibition.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World looks at the shared interests of Britain and Australia in Asia.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Russians are moving away from identifying Ukrainians as part of their nation, looks at the collapse of the Russian world, and looks at disasters in Sochi.

[URBAN NOTE] “The Canadian stop on the London Underground”

leave a comment »

Spacing Torontos’ Adam Bunch has a lovely photo essay looking at the neighbourhood around London’s Canada Water Station.

The subway station is pretty new: it opened in 1999. But this exact spot has been a transportation hub for centuries. For about 300 years, it was home to the Surrey Docks: some of the busiest docks in London. As the British Empire boomed, ships from all over the world came here to unload their cargo. The first docks were built on this spot in the 1600s, long before the British ruled Canada and founded the city of Toronto. It all started with whalers — at what they called Greenland Dock. Then, there was timber from Scandinavia and the Baltics — so they built Russia Dock and Norway Dock and Finland Quay and Swedish Quay.

But by the end of the 1800s, trade with Canada was booming too. We were sending a huge number of goods across the Atlantic into the heart of London — including, for a while, enormous old white pines from the Rouge Valley. They were needed as masts for British ships. So, in the 1870s, they built Canada Dock. There was a Quebec Pond, too.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 10, 2015 at 10:37 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

leave a comment »

  • blogTO reports on the campaign to tear down the east Gardiner Expressway.
  • Centauri Dreams considers what the universe would look like outside of a galaxy. (Dim, mainly.)
  • Crooked Timber’s Corey Robin links to his Salon article about corporate influence in politics.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze reports on a periodic nova that may be a white dwarf drawing matter from a substellar brown dwarf.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper suggesting that Titan’s karst terrain is quite young, geologically speaking.
  • Far Outliers reports on the importance of horses to the Comanche.
  • Language Log describes the genesis of some supposed Chinese proverbs in 18th century Europe.
  • Savage Minds looks at how you can be an anthropologist in the aftermath of a disaster like the Nepal earthquake.
  • Spacing Toronto considers the Gardiner Expressway.
  • Torontoist argues that John Tory just isn’t as good as we’d have liked him to be.
  • Towleroad notes how the Russian Orthodox Church has cut off links with Protestant churches in Scotland and France for being insufficiently homophobic.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the continuing heavy out-migration of ethnic Russians from the North Caucasus and looks at changing patterns of ethnic intermarriage among non-Russians.

[BLOG] Some politics and economic links

  • 3 Quarks Daily had a roundup of reactions to the PEN/Charlie Hebdo controversy.
  • City of Brass notes the role of the Nation of Islam in keeping the peace in Baltimore.
  • Crooked Timber considers if the British Labour Party might gain by creating a separate Scottish Party, and wonders what British Euroskepticism means for Ireland.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the new importance of immigration from China and India for the United States, looks at China’s negotiating of a naval base with Djibouti, wonders if Russia while buy Chinese naval vessels, and notes the Ukrainian capture of two Russian soldiers.
  • A Fistful of Euros argues that Greece, for all of its faults, is facing doom in order to consolidate the Eurozone.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis examines the Latin American political spectrum.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money wonders what a Korean war might look like, examines the risks faced by Indonesian migrants, and looks at the India-Bangladesh border.
  • The Map Room’s Jonathan Crowe shares an unduly controversial map of shrinking sea ice in the Canadian Arctic.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that immigration does not undermine institutions, wonders about the need for Scottish separatism, examines the myth of abandoned British austerity, wonders how to fix Ukraine, and suggests urbanization can boost economic growth.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reflected on the Indonesian executions.
  • Registan predicts political crisis in Kyrgyzstan.
  • Towleroad notes</a that a European court has ordered the compensation of LGBT activists attacked in Georgia in 2012.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy considers Iranian attacks on a ship registered to the American protectorate of the Marshall Islands and Libyan attacks on a ship registered to New Zealand’s Cook Islanders.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that the European Union’s Eastern Partnership has failed, looks at Ukrainian hostility to Russians fighting in the Donbas, argues Russian cannot hold the Baltic States, looks at Russian Muslim demographic boosterism, notes the decline of Russian in southern Kazakhstan, looks at Armenia’s alignment of its Muslim institutions with Iran, notes the plight of Ukrainian refugees and returning Donbas fighters in Russia, and notes Russia’s loss of influence in Ukraine.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World notes Polish concern over the Night Wolves, a Russian motorocycle gang.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell argues that British Labour should rebuild by opposing things and not working on the more difficult task of finding new policies.
  • </ul?

[BLOG} Some social science links

  • The Cranky Sociologists consider a series of controversial videos examining issues of racism and discrimination in Auckland.
  • Crooked Timber’s Chris Bertram argues that European countries are responsible for migrant deaths in the Mediterranean.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers the international market in surrogate mothers.
  • The Frailest Thing considers desire in the world of things, and examines the connections between machine work and the value of people.
  • Kieran Healy notes the often wild guesses made by Americans at the population size of the United States.
  • Language Hat notes the dislike of Russian aristocrats for the Russian language, and maps London’s different languages.
  • Language Log takes issue with a map of the languages of the world in regards to China, and looks at Cantonese usage in Hong Kong.
  • Languages of the World considers Google Translate.
  • Marginal Revolution examines China’s ideological spectrum and notes a New Zealand database that can predict outcomes for young people.
  • The New APPS Blog argues in favour of citing unpublished papers and praises the bravery of migrants.
  • pollotenchegg maps the distribution of refugees in the Ukrainian government-controlled Donbas.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at recent fertility increases in post-graduate American women.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog examined the changing nature of migration to and from Russia, looks at the demographic experiences over Belarus, considers the Russian HIV epidemic, and examines the link between fertility and economic shocks in the United States.
  • Savage Minds examines a new book on the Bougainville conflict, looks at racism in Baltimore, and reacts to the earthquake in Nepal.
  • Towleroad and the Volokh Conspiracy note that, properly analyzed, the data of Regnerus actually contradicts his claims about same-sex parents.
  • Zero Geography looks at the hidden biases of geodata.

[BLOG] Some history links

  • Anthropology.net looked at the impact of megafloods on the downfal of pre-Columbian Cahokia.
  • The Big Picture contrasted pictures of Berlin in 1945 with photos of the same scenes now.
  • Patrick Cain mapped geology onto politics, drawing inspiration from one map showing Labour strength in old coal-mining areas in the United Kingdom to display another map showing how cotton-growing areas with their large black populations are pro-Democratic.
  • Crooked Timber hosted Chris Bertram’s memories of left-wing Paris in the 1970s and John Holbo’s exploration of how Nazis were conservative revolutionaries.
  • The Dragon’s Tales wondered if there could be remnants of Theia in asteroidal debris, looks at human evolution, and notes the distinctive Neanderthal inner ear.
  • Far Outliers examined at great length Comanche empire-building.
  • Language Hat considers the imperial culture common to Romans, looks at conflicts over characters in written Japanese, considers Korean etymology starting with Arirang, and looks at the relationship between ethnogenesis and language.
  • Languages of the World examined the dialects of northern England, claimed that Moroccan Arabic had a Roman heritage, and looked at the old Israeli-Iranian alliance.
  • The Map Room’s Jonathan Crowe linked to historical highway maps of Manitoba.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog examined natural population change in England over a vast stretch of time.
  • Spacing Toronto looked at the great Toronto fire of 1904 and examined the city’s role in the birth of personal computers.

  • Torontoist examined how Toronto comemmorated the Armenian genocide.
  • Understanding Society looked at philosophy in the French left after 1945.

[LINK] “The transformative visions of William Blake”

Christopher Rowland has a stirring essay at Open Democracy about the importance of William Blake, as a philosopher of politics and as a literary figure (if, admittedly, after his death). I wish I engaged more with him; I wish I was more like him.

William Blake (1757-1827) lived most of his life in London, with a short spell on the Sussex coast, during which he was charged with sedition because of what he said to a soldier and for which he was put on trial. His life spanned the turbulent years that saw the independence of the American colonies and the French Revolution, both of which inform his prophetic understanding of history.

Blake’s two prophecies, America and Europe, were ‘prophetic’ not because Blake sought to predict what was going on—indeed they were written following these events. Rather, he sought to plumb the depths of the historical and social dynamics which were at work in them. He was part of a tradition of radical non-conformity in English religion, with different ways of reading the Bible.

In many ways Blake is an obvious choice of someone whose life’s work was to link ‘the personal and the political,’ but his work for justice and equality in the world was less through political activism or a practice which seeks to bring about societal transformation, and more about the intellectual task of changing hearts and minds. His Descriptive Catalogue of 1809 indicates that he wanted to make a pitch for a role as a public artist. But his exhibition met with the derision of the only reviewer of the exhibition (Robert Hunt), who disdainfully dismissed it as a “farrago of nonsense … the wild effusions of a distempered brain,” and Blake as “an unfortunate lunatic.”

This initiative on Blake’s part not only shows his sense of vocation but also the difficulties which attended the reception of his work. His illuminated books are as challenging today for the reader or viewer as they were when they were first published, and there will be many who continue to react like Hunt. But this complexity only underlines the difficulty of the interpretative tasks Blake undertook as he explored relationships to the past, and the cul-de-sacs which can so easily attend the journey of personal and political transformation.

Throughout his work he remained committed to the following task as expressed in the Marriage of Heaven and Hell: “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is: infinite.” Arguably, all of Blake’s works are designed to facilitate the process of change in the individual and in society. Transformation is key to everything he undertook.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 27, 2015 at 10:54 pm

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 450 other followers