A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘united kingdom

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • The Big Picture shares shocking photos of the Portuguese forest fires.
  • blogTO notes that, happily, Seaton Village’s Fiesta Farms is apparently not at risk of being turned into a condo development site.
  • Centauri Dreams notes a new starship discussion group in Delft. Shades of the British Interplanetary Society and the Daedalus?
  • D-Brief considers a new theory explaining why different birds’ eggs have different shapes.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas commits himself to a new regimen of blogging about technology and its imports. (There is a Patreon.)
  • Language Hat notes the current Turkish government’s interest in purging Turkish of Western loanwords.
  • Language Log’s Victor Mair sums up the evidence for the diffusion of Indo-European languages, and their speakers, into India.
  • The LRB Blog notes the Theresa May government’s inability post-Grenfell to communicate with any sense of emotion.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen wonders if the alt-right more prominent in the Anglophone world because it is more prone to the appeal of the new.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw wonders if Brexit will result in a stronger European Union and a weaker United Kingdom.
  • Seriously Science reports a study suggesting that shiny new headphones are not better than less flashy brands.
  • Torontoist reports on the anti-Muslim hate groups set to march in Toronto Pride.
  • Understanding Society considers the subject of critical realism in sociological analyses.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Russia’s call to promote Cyrillic across the former Soviet Union has gone badly in Armenia, with its own script.

[MUSIC] Pet Shop Boys, “Single-Bilingual”

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The Pet Shop Boys’ 1996 song “Single-Bilingual” was not as big a hit as their iconic global singles of the 1980s. Perhaps it was because this song, like the rest of their album Bilingual, was a shift from their previous European-styled electronica, incorporating Latin rhythms. This is a shame, because this song and others are among the group’s slyest.

The songs of the Pet Shop Boys, like those of all great songwriters, can say many things. See “Single-Bilingual”. Listening to the peppy song, Neil Tennant singing in the voice of a self-styled cosmopolitan businessman who claims to be the master of his world, there is humour. As Wayne Studer points out, this man is not all he thinks he is. He’s just a cog in the machine.

They call this a community
I like to think of it as home
Arriving at the airport
I am going it alone
Ordering a boarding pass
Travelling in business class
This is the name of the game
I’m single, bilingual
Single, bilingual

I find myself wondering, too, if this song fits on the soundtrack for Brexit. From a pretended cosmopolitanism down to an actual solitude?

Written by Randy McDonald

June 22, 2017 at 11:59 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • Apostrophen’s ‘Nathan Smith points to his blog post about the strengths of the chosen families of queer people, in life and in his fiction.
  • Beyond the Beyond’s Bruce Sterling revisits the politics behind France’s Minitel network, archaic yet pioneering.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly blogs about meeting her online friends in real life. Frankly, it would never occur to me not to do that.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at how Kepler’s exoplanets fall neatly into separate classes, super-Earths and mini-Neptunes.
  • The LRB Blog has a terrible report from Grenfell Tower, surrounded by betrayed survivors and apocalypse.
  • The Map Room Blog notes the inclusion of Canada’s First Nations communities on Google Maps.
  • The NYRB Daily’s Robert Cottrell explores the banalities revealed by Oliver Stone’s interviews of Putin.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Jason Davis considers the likely gains and challenges associated with missions to the ice giants of Uranus and Neptune.
  • Towleroad notes the new Alan Cumming film After Louie, dealing with a romance between an ACT-UP survivor and a younger man
  • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Ilya Somin does not find much good coming from Trump’s announced Cuba policy.
  • Window on Eurasia warns about the threat posed by Orthodox Christian fundamentalists in Russia.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Apostrophen’s ‘Nathan Smith talks about “cis”, “trans”, and the non-obvious meaning of this classification.
  • The Big Picture shares photos of a recent sailing festival in Boston.
  • blogTO reports on the trendy charcoal-black ice cream of a store across from Trinity Bellwoods.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the idea of a “runaway fusion” drive.</li.
  • Crooked Timber wonders how a bad Brexit agreement could possibly be worse than no Brexit agreement for the United Kingdom.
  • D-Brief warns of the possibility of sustained life-threatening heat waves in the tropics with global warming.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers how sociology majors are prepared, or not, for the workforce.
  • Language Hat links to a wonderful examination of the textual complexities of James Joyce’s Ulysses.
  • The LRB Blog looks at how British big business is indebted to the Conservatives.
  • Marginal Revolution reports on China’s emergent pop music machine.
  • Steve Munro reports on the latest on noise from the 514 Cherry streetcar.
  • The NYRB Daily has a fascinating exchange on consciousness and free will and where it all lies.
  • The Planetary Society Blog reports on a successful expedition to Argentina to examine Kuiper Belt object MU69 via occultation.
  • Peter Rukavina celebrates Charlottetown school crossing guard Dana Doyle.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Crooked Timber links the near-criminal destruction of Grenfell Tower with Thatcherism’s deregulations and catastrophes.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that TRAPPIST-1e is slated to be among the first observational targets of the James Webb Space Telescope.
  • Far Outliers shares Edith Durham’s account of an exciting St. John’s Day in Albania in 1908.
  • Language Hat looks at a passage from Turgenev.
  • What, the LRB wonders, will Emmanuel Macron do with his crushing victory after the parliamentary elections, too?
  • Marginal Revolution wonders to what extent is Germany’s support for Nord Stream consistent with Germany’s concerns over NATO and Russia.
  • Ed Jackson’s Spacing Toronto article about the need to preserve queer public history in Toronto is a must-read.
  • Torontoist’s Alex Yerman notes the new activity of the Jewish left against a conservative establishment.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that modern Russia is repeating the Soviet Union’s overmilitarization mistakes, only this time with fewer resources.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Centauri Dreams looks at two brown dwarf pairs, nearby Luhman 16 and eclipsing binary WD1202-024.
  • D-Brief notes a study suggesting panspermia would be easy in the compact TRAPPIST-1 system.
  • Far Outliers notes the shouted and remarkably long-range vocal telegraph of early 20th century Albania.
  • Language Hat links to a fascinating blog post noting the survival of African Latin in late medieval Tunisia.
  • The LRB Blog notes the observations of an Englishman in Northern Ireland that, after the DUP’s rise, locals are glad other Britons are paying attention.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a study suggesting that refugees in the US end up paying more in taxes than they receive in benefits.
  • Spacing reviews a fascinating-sounding new book on the politics and architecture of new libraries.
  • Understanding Society examines the mechanisms through which organizations can learn.
  • Window on Eurasia talks about the progressive detachment of the east of the North Caucasus, at least, from wider Russia.

[ISL] Three notes about islands and the humans who try to save them, destroy them, or just stand by

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