Sounding the Conch

A petitition is circulating to save Pacific Studies at the Australian National University from erosion through underinvestment. I signed it with the following comment:

I was a PhD student at ANU precisely because of the Pacific expertise concentrated in RSPacS/RSPAS, and benefitted enormously from spending time with staff who had studied the region for decades. In the early 1990s there was already concern that Australia’s attention was turning away from its Pacific neighbours, but at least ANU remained a crucial repository of knowledge about them. Climate change promises to bring Pacific concerns back to the forefront for Australia, and arguably already is. It would be incredibly short-sighted of ANU to lose its position in Pacific studies at that very moment—not to mention disheartening to those who have devoted much of their lives to maintaining it, and younger scholars who were hoping to.

31 May 2016 · Journal

Ghost Towns

Brazil’s coup.

The dangerous acceptance of Donald Trump. Ten things every politician who endorses Trump should be forced to defend. Trump on climate: even worse than you thought. Trump’s Twitter stormtroopers. Just what were Trump’s ties to the Mob?

Aw, jeez.

Mongolia’s new national addressing system.

Floating solar farms.

Neanderthal cave structures from 175,000 years ago.

Australia scrubbed from UN climate change report after government intervention.

Every schoolkid in Britain should hear this. Not to mention every undergrad engineer.

Ashgabat: the city of the living and the city of the dead.

30 May 2016 · Weblog


More links filched from MetaFilter and Twitter.

Read More · 22 May 2016 · Weblog

I promised my father-in-law my never-fail sourdough recipe, which is even easier than the one I was using a few months ago because it needs no kneading and actually works better than if you do. Here it is, with the earlier recipe after it.

Read More · 22 May 2016 · 1 Comment · Food

Achilles and the Tortoise

A paradox noted by Zeno \ Declares that there really can be no \ Winning races we run \ Against those who've begun \ Far ahead of us. Still, what did he know.

The trouble with this time of year is that the closer I seem to get to a time when I can catch up on non-work stuff, the more the moment edges away. So I’m just going to throw a few things out there in an effort to pass the tortoise.

The limerick is a throwaway written for a forum comment at the OEDILF, by the way, which I won’t be able to submit to its main database for fifty to a hundred years, depending on paradoxical chelonians, so here it is.

22 May 2016 · Whatever

A Low-Flying Panic Attack

Just my luck that Radiohead release a glorious new album right in the middle of marking season. Makes a change from posthumous discography binges, at least. I’m past first reactions now and up to about ninth, but it still feels a little premature to post a review. In the meantime, some earth-shaped links.

148 lost notebooks.

The other budget. The Arctic death spiral. Humans have caused all warming since 1950. Fort McMurray’s fire. Cambodia’s drought. How climate scientists feel about climate change.

Mass surveillance breeds meekness, fear and self-censorship. The fog near a cliff. Whistleblowing is an act of political resistance.

Working-class actors are disappearing in Britain.

Concrete madeleines for former ACT residents.

9 May 2016 · Weblog

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