A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘west africa

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • Centauri Dreams considers the idea of dispatching a fleet of sail-equipped probes to map the asteroid belt.
  • Crux considers the importance of the invention of zero for mathematics.
  • D-Brief notes that Scotland’s oldest snow patch is set to melt imminently.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper looking at the stability of multiplanetary systems in star clusters.
  • Imageo notes the modest recovery of icecaps in the Arctic this summer.
  • Language Log notes the importance of Kazakhstan’s shift to using the Latin script for the Kazakh language.
  • The LRB Blog reports on a writer’s visit to Helsinki.
  • The Map Room Blog notes a giant relief map of Guatemala, built to reinforce claims to what is now Belize.
  • The NYR Daily considers the continued salience of race in the fragile liberal-democratic world, in America and Europe.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders if the heavy-handed Spanish government is trying to trigger Catalonian independence.
  • Roads and Kingdoms considers the palm wine of Senegal, and its vendors.
  • Understanding Society considers the Holocaust, as an experience sociological and otherwise.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy makes a libertarian case for open borders.
  • Whatever’s John Scalzi celebrates his meeting mutual fan Alison Moyet.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Belarus’ cautious Belarusianization is met by Russia’s pro-Soviet nostalgia.
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[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Centauri Dreams analyzes the latest suggestive findings about water on potentially habitable exoplanets of TRAPPIST-1.
  • A Game of Thrones-themed cat bed, as described by Dangerous Minds, is almost tempting. (Almost.)
  • Hornet Stories takes a brief look at what the Nazis were like for, and did to, queers.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Texas’ secretary of state turned down an aid offer from Québec, asking only for prayers.
  • Language Hat looks at the ways in which different African writers have glossed Africa in their works.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper looking at the effect that serious floods have on cities’ long-run economic growth.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes the discovery of sunken garum-exporting Neapolis off of the coast of Tunisia.
  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at the latest ventures of the Opportunity rover as winter approaches on Mars.
  • Roads and Kingdoms notes the Café Touba coffee of Senegal, sign of resistance to colonialism and globalization.
  • Window on Eurasia notes a proposal in Russia to memorialize Muslims who resisted changing traditional value systems.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • 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.