A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘writing

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • ‘Nathan Burgoine at Apostrophen links to a giveaway of paranormal LGBT fiction.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares some stunning photos of Jupiter provided by Juno.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly looks at the desperate, multi-state strike of teachers in the United States. American education deserves to have its needs, and its practitioners’ needs, met.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at PROCSIMA, a strategy for improving beamed propulsion techniques.
  • Crooked Timber looks at the history of the concept of the uncanny valley. How did the concept get translated in the 1970s from Japan to the wider world?
  • Dangerous Minds shares a 1980s BBC interview with William Burroughs.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper tracing the origin of the Dravidian language family to a point in time 4500 years ago.
  • JSTOR Daily notes Phyllis Wheatley, a freed slave who became the first African-American author in the 18th century but who died in poverty.
  • Language Hat notes the exceptional importance of the Persian language in early modern South Asia.
  • Language Log looks at the forms used by Chinese to express the concepts of NIMBY and NIMBYism.
  • Language Hat notes the exceptional importance of the Persian language in early modern South Asia.
  • The NYR Daily notes that, if the United States junks the nuclear deal with Iran, nothing external to Iran could realistically prevent the country’s nuclearization.
  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at the latest findings from the Jupiter system, from that planet’s planet-sized moons.
  • Roads and Kingdoms notes that many Rohingya, driven from their homeland, have been forced to work as mules in the illegal drug trade.
  • Starts With A Bang considers how early, based on elemental abundances, life could have arisen after the Big Bang. A date only 1 to 1.5 billion years after the formation of the universe is surprisingly early.
  • Strange Maps’ Frank Jacobs notes how the centre of population of different tree populations in the United States has been shifting west as the climate has changed.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little takes a look at mechanisms and causal explanations.
  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative’s Frances Woolley takes a look at an ECON 1000 test from the 1950s. What biases, what gaps in knowledge, are revealed by it?
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[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Centauri Dreams shares a proposal for unmanned probe missions to future incoming extrasolar asteroids like ‘Oumuamua.
  • The Crux considers, in the context of recent (perhaps surprising) context, how scientists will one day record dreams.
  • Hornet Stories shares the report on a poll of younger gay people about the idea of monogamous relations versus open ones, suggesting there are signs a strong preference for monogamy isn’t well thought out.
  • Imageo notes that global warming, by leading to the breakup of icecaps, will worsen the sea ice hazard to maritime shipping.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how social workers are called to support serious social reform.
  • Language Hat notes a monument to the Cyrillic alphabet erected in Antarctica by Bulgarians.
  • In the era of Trump, Lingua Franca takes a look at the origin of the phrase “useful idiots”.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a recent article observing the decline of German cuisine in the United States. Who, or what, will save it?
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Emily Lakdawalla talks about the latest exciting discoveries from Titan, including the odd distribution of nitrogen in its atmosphere and surface.
  • Towleroad notes how the discomfort of Ben Carson with transgender people leads him to consider the needs of homeless transgender people as secondary to this discomfort.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Cossacks in Russia are close to gaining recognition as a separate people.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell suggests–jokes?–that intellectual history from 1900 can be explained substantially in terms of the uncritical adoption of a nomad science, starting from race science and continuing to today with Harry Potter.
  • Arnold Zwicky shares a post reporting on a PhD student’s thesis, studying features of Chicano English.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • At Anthropology.net, Kamzib Kamrani looks at the Yamnaya horse culture of far eastern Europe and their connection to the spread of the Indo-Europeans.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the predicted collision of China’s Tiangong-1 space station. Where will it fall?
  • James Bow notes a Kickstarter funding effort to revive classic Canadian science fiction magazine Amazing Stories.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the impending retirement of the pioneering Kepler telescope, and what’s being done in the time before this retirement.
  • D-Brief notes how nanowires made of gold and titanium were used to restore the sight of blind mice.
  • Russell Darnley takes a look at the indigenous people of Riau province, the Siak, who have been marginalized by (among other things) the Indonesian policy of transmigration.
  • Dead Things reports on more evidence of Denisovan ancestry in East Asian populations, with the suggestion that the trace of Denisovan ancestry in East Asia came from a different Denisovan population than the stronger traces in Melanesia.
  • Hornet Stories paints a compelling portrait of the West Texas oasis-like community of Marfa.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how indigenous mythology about illness was used to solve a hantavirus outbreak in New Mexico in the 1990s.
  • Language Log praises the technical style of a Google Translate translation of a text from German to English.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that, under the Shah, Iran was interested in building nuclear plants. Iranian nuclear aspirations go back a long way.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the unsettling elements of the literary, and other, popularity of Jordan Peterson.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the continuing existence of a glass ceiling even in relatively egalitarian Iceland.
  • The NYR Daily looks at the unsettling elements behind the rise of Xi Jinping to unchecked power. Transitions from an oligarchy to one-man rule are never good for a country, never mind one as big as China.
  • Drew Rowsome writes about Love, Cecil, a new film biography of photographer Cecil Beaton.
  • Peter Rukavina celebrates the 25th anniversary of his move to Prince Edward Island. That province, my native one, is much the better for his having moved there. Congratulations!
  • Window on Eurasia looks at a strange story of Russian speculation about Kazakh pan-Turkic irredentism for Orenburg that can be traced back to one of its own posts.
  • At Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, Frances Woolley takes the time to determine that Canadian university professors tend to be more left-wing than the general Canadian population, and to ask why this is the case.

[WRITING] Five notes about writing in the social networking era

  • This older JSTOR Daily link suggests that, used properly, Facebook can actually be good for its users, helping them maintain vital social connections.
  • Alexandra Samuel’s suggestion, at JSTOR Daily, that Facebook revived the classical epistolary friendship has some sense to it. I would be inclined to place an emphasis on E-mail over more modern social messaging systems.
  • Drew Rowsome wrote a couple of months ago about how Facebook can make it difficult to post certain kinds of content without risking getting his ability to share this content limited.
  • Farah Mohammed wrote at JSTOR Daily about the rise and fall of the blog, now in 2017 scarcely as important as it was a decade ago. Social media just does not support the sorts of long extended posts I like, it seems.
  • Josephine Livingstone at The New Republic bids farewell to The Awl, an interesting online magazine that now looks as if it represented an earlier, failed model of writing. (What is the working one? Ha.)

Written by Randy McDonald

March 13, 2018 at 10:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Centauri Dreams notes how the presence of methane in the subsurface oceans of Enceladus helps create a plausible dynamic for life there.
  • Crooked Timber notes another risk facing the UK in the era of Brexit, that of the United Kingdom’s already questionable data protection. How likely is it the EU will authorize data sharing with a business in an insecure third party?
  • D-Brief notes the conundrum posed by the profoundly corrosive dust of the Moon. How will future probes, never mind outposts, deal with it?
  • Cody Delistraty notes the profoundly problematic nature of the ethnographic museum in the post-imperial era. How can they adapt?
  • The LRB Blog notes the power of Stravinsky’s recently discovered Chant funebre.
  • Marginal Revolution notes how much Trump’s proposed steel tariffs now evoke Bush Jr’s like tariffs proposed a decade and a half ago.
  • Justin Petrone at north! writes about his visit to a strangely familiar southern Italy.
  • The NYR Daily takes a look at international brands careful to cater to the nationalist sympathies of China, in their advertising and elsewhere.
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Jason Davis explains NASA’s detailed plan for returning people to the Moon.
  • Roads and Kingdoms tells the story of a burning-hot street hotpot in Chongqing.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel considers the idea of dark matter not being a particle.
  • Daniel Little at Understanding Society takes a look at the factors complicating the idea of consensus in a group.
  • John Scalzi celebrates the twentieth anniversary of his ownership of his scalzi com website.
  • Window on Eurasia wonders if Putin, with his boasting of advanced nuclear weapons, might start a 1980s-style arms race with the United States.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes that the measured rate of the expansion of the universe depends on the method used to track this rate, and that this is a problem.
  • On Sunday, Caitlin Kelly celebrated receiving her annual cheque from Canada’s Public Lending Program, which gives authors royalties based on how often their book has been borrowed in our public libraries.
  • In The Buzz, the Toronto Public Library identified five books in its collection particularly prone to be challenged by would-be censors.
  • D-Brief suggests that, if bacteria managed to survive and adapt in the Atacama desert as it became hostile to life, like life might have done the same on Mars.
  • Far Outliers notes the crushing defeat, and extensive looting of, the MOghul empire by the Persia of Nader Shah.
  • Hornet Stories looks at the medal hauls of out Olympic athletes this year in Pyeongchang.
  • Imageo notes satellite imagery indicating that fisheries occupy four times the footprint of agriculture. Aquaculture is starting to look like a necessary idea, I think.

  • At In Media Res, Russell Arben Fox praises Porch Fires, a new biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser, for its insights on Wilder and on the moment of the settlement of the American West.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how, in the 19th century after the development of anesthesia, the ability to relieve people of pain was a political controversy. Shouldn’t it be felt, wasn’t it natural?
  • Language Hat links to an article taking a look behind the scenes at the Oxford English Dictionary. How does it work? What are its challenges?
  • At Lingua Franca, Roger Shuy distinguishes between different kinds of speech events and explains why they are so important in the context of bribery trials.
  • The LRB Blog shares some advice on ethics in statecraft from the 2nd century CE Chinese writer Liu An.
  • J. Hoberman at the NYR Daily reviews an exhibit of the work of Bauhaus artist Jozef Albers at the Guggenheim.
  • Roads and Kingdoms shares an anecdote of travellers drinking homemade wine in Montenegro.
  • Drew Rowsome interviews Native American drag queen and up-and-coming music star Vizin.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel explains how star S0-2, orbiting so close to the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way Galaxy, will help prove Einsteinian relativity.
  • Vintage Space explains, for the record, how rockets can work in a vacuum. (This did baffle some people this time last century.)
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that, on its 100th anniversary, Estonia has succeeded in integrating most of its Russophones.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Centauri Dreams considers methods for detecting early life telescopically on exoplanets.
  • Crooked Timber considers how legislators bear personal responsibility, morally at least, for consequences of the legislations that they pass.
  • Bruce Dorminey reports that the new TESS telescope may well be capable of spotting dense clouds of satellites in geosynchronous orbit of exoplanets as distant as 100 light years.
  • Far Outliers considers how in Iran, the veil worn by a woman was a status symbol, for her husband and family as much as for the woman.
  • Language Hat reports on the strange survival of the classical manuscript Alexandra.
  • Language Log suggests that the Confucius Institute network set up by China does not seem to spread Chinese language so much as Chinese culture.
  • As the Mueller investigation continues, Lawyers, Guns and Money suggests many of the players in the Trump Administration are facing a real-life version of the prisoner’s dilemma.
  • The Map Room Blog notes how maps of London’s Chiswick have been compiled into a public mural.
  • The NYR Daily has an amusing sketched review of the Michaelangelo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum. (My pictures will be coming!)
  • Drew Rowsome takes a look at some of the fashion unveiled by Gucci in their recent Milan show.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel explains how cosmic inflation means that, despite the speed of light and the universe’s age of 13.8 billion years, we can see things now 46 billion light years away.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little looks at some of the social factors going into nuclear accidents.
  • Window on Eurasia reports a familiar sort of pattern, of Central Asian migrants held in Russian prisons spreading Islam among their fellow detainees.