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California's Endemic: Yellow-billed Magpie on the West Campus, Back from the Brink, Maybe? (from Geotripper's CA Birds)

Note: Occasionally the subject matter of posts that I put on Geotripper's California Birds spills over into areas that may be of interest to those interested in the geology I cover at Geotripper. This is one of them, so I've re-posted it here: California has precious few endemic species of birds. Show More Summary

Gigantic Whoopper Propagated by Two UK Policemen and a Metal Detectorist

Heritage Action talk this weekend about the state-supported myths surrounding artfact hunting in the UK "More myth peddling! Two policemen and a detectorist" (HJ 05/09/2015) Pc Andy Long, Heritage Crime Officer for Essex, recently tweeted:...Show More Summary

The Antiquities Trade in Motivational Quotes (2)

It should never feel wrong to do something right, nor should it feel right to do something wrong. Jay Mullings

The Rubble of Palmyra and The Russians

Leon Wieseltier (Sep 4, 2015) claims in The Atlantic that "The rubble of Palmyra is a melancholy emblem of the rubble of American foreign policy". Meanwhile "Russian Moves in Syria Pose Concerns for U.S." (only?) [Michael R. Gordon, Eric Schmitt, New York Times September 4th 2015]. Show More Summary

Civil War Trust: ‘Don’t Erase History’

The country’s largest battlefield preservation organization is asking its 55,000 members to help protect war memorials and monuments by signing a petition urging congressional leaders to safeguard them and not allow them to be “discarded in the passion of the moment.” In its September newsletter, the Civil War Trust wrote in support of Union and […]

Kathy and Carol Fata

From ages Fou to seven we lived in Fall River, Massachusetts.  A few houses up the block lived Kathy and Carol Fata, who were a year or two older than I was.  They were nonetheless friends with my sister and me.  In fact they were probably the first real friends I ever had.  They were […]

Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

To make Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora make sense, I had to imagine a metafictional frame for it.The novel tells the story of a generation starship sent in the year 2545 from the Solar System to Tau Ceti. It begins toward the end of the journey, as the ship approaches its destination and eventually sends a landing party to a planet they name Aurora. Show More Summary

8/23-24/15 I Still Couldn't Find That Whale

Sunday, August 23rd...the whales came down from the north and by mid afternoon were passing by Lime Kiln Pt. State Park...they were spread for miles - north to south and east to west......Crewser L-92 has a unique fin shape and since...Show More Summary

Why Going to the Zoo Makes Me Sad

Earlier in the summer, my family and I took a trip to Seattle, Washington. The first full day that we were there we went to the zoo. We spent almost the whole day there, and I took a lot of pictures (some better than others). I realized while I was there that being at the zoo makes me kind of sad. Show More Summary

Stealth Saga #4: Program Problems and the Bomber Question

Russia's V. M. Myasishchev Experimental Design Bureau has come out with the concept stealthy MALE UAV called "Overview-1." (see above pic)Some are claiming a variant of the J-20 is going to be China's next bomber.The Indian Air Force's problems with fighter acquisition are detailed.Two F-22s arrived in Estonia. Show More Summary

Ocean Acidification: Trying to Get the Science Right

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen Preview: In this essay I will discuss the efforts of various scientific bodies and individual scientists to regularize, to bring into line with correct scientific procedures, the budding field of science investigating the effects of increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 on the oceans, its chemical make-up including pH, the atmosphere/ocean…

Rainer Kirsch (1934-2015)

(East) German poet Rainer Kirsch has passed away; see, for example, the (German) report at DeutscheWelle. Not as well-known in English translation as Sarah, to whom he was married for about a decade, -- amazingly, there doesn't seemShow More Summary

Palanca Awards

They've announced the winners of the 65th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards in the Philippines -- selected from 895 entries in 22 categories. The English-language novel grand prize went to All My Lonely Islands by Victorette Joy Z. Campilan, while the Filipino nobela grand prize went to Toto O. by Charmaine Mercader Lasar.

The Best Intentions

This year marks two somber anniversaries: Seventy years ago, the United States became the first and only country ever to use atomic weapons in war, incinerating the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the last days of World War II. Two...Show More Summary

IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action. Adapted from   In a revealing and moving interview, two researchers describe their research into the lives of Americans living on $2/day. They find multitudes outside the social safety net, including … Continue reading ? The post IPA’s weekly links appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Sunstein Criticizes Lessig and Warren on Whether the System is “Rigged”

Cass Sunstein: It is unquestionably true that money often distorts political outcomes, because it plays an intolerably large role in the political system. Warren, Sanders and Lessig are right to emphasize that moneyed interests sometimes block desirable action. As Nobel … Continue reading ?

Has a Window Closed and the BRICS Bounced off?

Never gloat. Triumphantlism never ends well.I have to wonder though. What-if China's growth is really only 6%?Could we see China growing at 3% in 2019? link.

“Florida Supreme Court allows for another redistricting session, but orders trial court to take charge”

Miami Herald: The Florida Supreme Court on Friday ordered the trial court to return to the redistricting drawing board, allowing it to review the rival maps submitted by the House and Senate and choose between them. The court rejected a … Continue reading ?

“Voter ID Battle: Texas Seeks Rehearing, DOJ Seeks Injunction”

Texas Lawyer: Texas has asked the full bench of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to rehear civil rights plaintiffs’ case against the state’s voter ID law after a three-judge panel from the same court ruled that … Continue reading ?

Spelling Reform for Wayward Words.

Chi Luu (see this post) has a JSTOR Daily piece about a much-discussed topic, the English spelling system and the many attempts to reform it. It begins with Gerard Nolst Trenité’s “The Chaos,” a poem showcasing the absurdities of English orthography which I posted about almost a decade ago; continues with Patrick Groff’s 1976 paper […]

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