A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘west africa

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • Charley Ross reports on an unexpected personal involvement in the disappearance of Kori Gossett. Did an informant know?
  • Citizen Science Salon reports, in the time of #sharkweek, on the sevengill sharks.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to an article on the Chinese base in Sudan.
  • Inkfish has a fascinating article describing how New Zealand’s giant black swans went extinct, and were replaced.
  • Language Hat notes two obscure words of Senegalese French, “laptot” and “signare”. What do they mean? Go see.
  • Language Log argues that the influx of English loanwords in Chinese is remarkable. Does it signal future changes in language?
  • Lawyers, Guns Money notes how Los Angeles and southern California were, during the American Civil War, a stronghold of secessionist sentiment, and runs down some of the problems of Mexico, including the militarization of crime.
  • Marginal Revolution reports on what books by which authors tend to get stolen from British bookstores.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer suggests that Donald Trump is not likely to be able to substantially reshape NAFTA.
  • Roads and Kingdoms reports from the recent protests in Poland against changes to the Supreme Court.
  • Understanding Society takes a look at the structure of the cities of medieval Europe, which apparently were dynamic and flexible.
  • Unicorn Booty shares some classic gay board games.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that Russia is going to try to wage a repeat of the Winter War on Ukraine.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • D-Brief notes the first-ever use of Einsteinian gravitational bending to examine the mass of a star.
  • Language Log announces the start of an investigation into the evolving rhetoric of Donald Trump. Something is up.
  • The LRB Blog reports from Tuareg Agadez in Niger, about rebellions and migrant-smuggling.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders what is the rationale for the extreme cut-off imposed on Qatar.
  • Maximos62 wonders about the impact of Indonesia’s fires on not just wildlife but indigenous peoples.
  • Personal Reflections notes the irrelevance of the United States’ withdrawal from Paris, at least from an Australian position.
  • Savage Minds points to a new anthropology podcast.
  • Window on Eurasia notes anti-immigrant sentiment in Moscow and reports on the use of Russia’s anti-extremism laws against Protestants.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • The Big Picture shares photos of the South Sudanese refugee exodus into Uganda.
  • blogTO shares an ad for a condo rental on Dovercourt Road near me, only $1800 a month.
  • Centauri Dreams reports on the idea of using waste heat to detect extraterrestrial civilizations.
  • Crooked Timber uses the paradigm of Jane Jacobs’ challenge to expert in the context of Brexit.
  • The LRB Blog reports on the fishers of Senegal and their involvement in that country’s history of emigration.
  • The Planetary Society Blog shares an image comparing Saturn’s smaller moons.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy comes out in support of taking down Confederate monuments.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Chechens are coming out ahead of Daghestanis in the North Caucasus’ religious hierarchies, and argues that Putin cannot risk letting Ukraine become a model for Russia.
  • Arnold Zwicky looks at various bowdlerizations of Philip Larkin’s famous quote about what parents do to their children.

[URBAN NOTE] “I’m a Tourist in Lagos. You Have a Problem With That?”

I quite liked the energy of Tyler Cowen’s Bloomberg View column describing why he went to Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city and commercial capital, for a visit.

People seemed surprised to see me and I did not encounter many other evident tourists. The Nigerian clerk at my (upscale) hotel expressed shock that a white person had arrived. Perhaps she thought I was a sex tourist, as she continued in full enthusiasm: “The room is solo? Don’t worry, Nigerian women just love men like you!” I believe she meant this as local hospitality, though under another reading it is a veiled critique. The truth, I admit, is indeed pretty strange. I like to go around and look at gross domestic product, and that simple fact explains much of my unusual behavior abroad.

Nigeria is now the country with the highest GDP in Africa, having surpassed South Africa, and it ranks globally at number 26. If Lagos state were a country, it would have the fifth largest GDP on the continent.

As an economist, I feel a moral pull, not to mention a personal curiosity, to see goods and services being produced. That means visiting Lagos’s renowned computer market and fabrics market as well as its fast-food shops, shopping malls, street food and ice cream parlors. I sought out its bridges, canals and electric generators, though not the oil areas — there are too many kidnappings there.

Making large-scale structures and trading goods and services are among the most human and noble of activities, so is it actually so strange to visit them, as one might enter a cathedral or make a pilgrimage to Gettysburg? For all the talk about human interactions being the key to a wonderful trip, those interactions usually require some sort of scaffolding and structure to one’s daily activities, and on that score a quest for GDP can help out. I’ve yet to go on a safari.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly writes about the need for opponents of Trump to fight, not just the man but the root causes.
  • Centauri Dreams notes a study suggesting Proxima Centauri is gravitationally bound to Alpha Centauri A and B.
  • Dangerous Minds shares photos depicting the devastation of Gatlinburg by fire.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that stars with close-orbiting rocky worlds seem to have above-solar metallicity, and considers the albedos of exoplanets.
  • Far Outliers looks at how Poland’s Communist government tried to undermine Pope John Paul II in 1979.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a lawsuit lodged against the American government demanding the release of information regarding the Russian information hack.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes poor working conditions in Bangladesh.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a Yoruba tongue twister.
  • The Planetary Society Blog links to China’s planned program of space exploration.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Beyond the Beyond’s Bruce Sterling looks at the art scene in Istanbul.
  • Crooked Timber takes issue with Tyler Cowen’s support for school vouchers.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes signs that the ephemeral Martian lakes were temporary creations of methane outbursts, and considers how to use WISE to hunt for Planet Nine.
  • Far Outliers looks at Britain’s contracts with petty German states for soldiers.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas looks at Trump in the context of the conflict between orality and literacy.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes Donald Trump’s complication of the United States’ China policy and reports that Seattle’s new minimum wage has apparently not led to job loss.
  • The LRB Blog reports on The Gambia on the eve of the elections.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that truth is essential for liberty and freedom.
  • From the Heart of Europe’s Nicholas Whyte looks at the strange history of an enclave on the border of Belfast.
  • pollotenchegg maps language in Ukraine.
  • Savage Minds announces that the blog will seek a new name, and that they are looking for suggestions.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Russia’s fertility uptick will not alter the dynamics of population loss, and reports on a Russian radical’s astonishing suggestion that Russia is now in the same position versus Ukraine as Nazi Germany was versus Poland.

[LINK] “Long, winding road from Senegal to Canada and back home for accused terrorist”

The Toronto Star‘s Allan Woods reports on a Senegalese accused terrorist with Canadian connections and his personal history.

As the child of a Senegalese diplomat, Assane Kamara was accustomed to finding his place in unfamiliar lands. In his 24 years, he had lived in Ivory Coast, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Madagascar.

But his privileged upbringing veered off course in 2014, prompting his worried mother to launch a search for her son, and leading her from the family home in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, to Friday prayers in an Edmonton mosque.

As she forced him to return home, a member of the Kamara family said that the questions swirled. What had become of the young man sent for an education at Quebec’s Université de Sherbrooke? Why had he cut contact with his family and moved to western Canada? And who were the devout Canadian Muslims he now counted as his closest friends?

In the months following the intervention, three of those friends — Samir Halilovic, Zakria Habibi and Youssef Sakhir — would flee Canada to try and join Daesh, the Islamic terror group in Syria and Iraq.

Today, Kamara sits in a Dakar jail facing terrorism charges that were laid in February 2016, based on allegations he had planned to join a jihadist group, Henry Boumy Ciss, a spokesperson for Senegal’s National Police, told the Star.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 30, 2016 at 3:03 pm