Friday, May 13, 2022

Links 13 May 2022

Tamara de Lempicka, Portrait of Dr. Boucarda, 1928

A chance sighting of a Renaissance cipher at an antiquarian book fair inspires a short article about Lady Mary Wroth, England's first female author of fiction.

Sinn Fein wins the most seats of any party in Northern Ireland elections. They are not the majority but at this rate they soon will be. Anybody know why the leaders of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland are all women?

Smithsonian article on Ann Axtell Morris, pioneering female archaeologist in the US Southwest.

Using fracking technology for green power, in the form of deep geothermal wells and deep underground pumped water electricity storage. A MIT report of 2006 said that the only obstacle to economically viable geothermal power was better drilling technology, and thanks to the fracking boom that technology now exists.

How Jamaican slaves supplemented their clothing, and their dignity, with lacebark.

Victo Ngai's fantastic illustrations.

Was it cotton (and slavery) that generated US economic growth in the 19th century? This study finds that "slavery and the shift of the slave-owning South to cotton production early in the century had relatively little effect on growth for the nation as a whole." 

Some cool finds in the necropolis of a farming settlement in Normandy, 560-240 BC.

First photograph of the glowing dust cloud surround the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

Using soldiers' graffiti to study early modern ships in East Africa.

Th pandemic was a disaster for college students: less learning, less engagement, more cheating, more dropping out. This is partly because many professors relaxed requirements or lowered standards. So we now face the question: can we bring standards up to where they were? Or are students unwilling to do it? (NY Times

Ukraine Links

Above, one of history's strangest press conferences, featuring Charles Michel of the EU, Oleksiy Reznikov (Ukraine’s defense minister), and Denys Shmygal (Ukraine’s PM). The veteran Ukrainian reporter who posted this says he can't even tell who is who.

Russian Victory Day salads.

The religious split within Orthodox Christians that parallels the political conflict between Ukraine and Russia. (Washington Post)

Social media offensive from Ukraine, featuring a very amusing video.

A telegram channel associated with the Wagner Group says Russia must declare a mass mobilization or they will lose the war; hundreds of thousands of additional troops are needed.

The US supplies Ukraine with something called the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System.

Ukraine's drone force Aerorozvidka is destroying Russian tanks with obsolete Soviet anti-tank grenades. More on drone-dropped weapons here.

Interview with Andrei Soldatov, a journalist with lots of contacts within Russian security services, about the "blame game" in Russia. Soldatov says the Russian army's line is that they need many more resources because they are really fighting a war against NATO, and some officers are frustrated that they can't inflict losses on NATO in return.

Many European leftists have take a pacifist line on the war in Ukraine, but not British Labour leader Jeremy Corbin. His main beef with UK policy toward Ukraine is that the UK is not taking in more refugees.

And what did Justin Trudeau do in Ukraine? Help Zelenskiy give a medal to Patron the impossibly cute bomb-sniffing dog.

Twitter thread describing an interview with a Finnish volunteer in Ukraine. He says they are more comfortable in Ukraine than NATO soldiers because in NATO they assume they will have air superiority and are freaked out by aerial attacks, whereas Finns have always assumed the Russians would rule the skies and train accordingly.

Interview with urban warfare expert John Spencer. He says there is no radical change in warfare, and tanks are still essential. He also says the current Russian offensive will "culminate" within weeks without reaching their goals.

The Donetsk Peoples Republic announced the loss of 1,536 killed since February 24, along with 6,217 wounded. Officially the DNR military only had 20,840 members when the invasion began.

Men in war: "I talked to a Ukrainian soldier on the front lines near Kharkiv today on the @walter_report. I asked Roman how morale in his unit was. He said it was great because his commander had told them they would all get a chance to kill Russians—and now they all had."


Shadow said...

Dr Boucarda's coat/jacket is awesome. Is it a combination trench coat/lab coat? How spiffy. Where does one get one? I've always wanted to look snazzy and sinister at the same time.

Shadow said...

"Th pandemic was a disaster for college students: less learning, less engagement, more cheating, more dropping out. This is partly because many professors relaxed requirements or lowered standards. "

Same thing happened during Vietnam War. Of course some of those students were only there because of the war.

David said...

Covid definitely made things worse, but I and my colleagues have seen for years a lot of what that essay about college students talks about.

G. Verloren said...

"Anybody know why the leaders of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland are all women?"

My gut instinct is that it's related to their moving away from the IRA, and the general abandonment of reliance on violence in Irish politics. Whether it's those trends that led to more women in leadership, or vice versa, is not clear to me, but I strongly suspect a direct connection somewhere.

John said...

@G- one of my friends said, "pinkwashing," that is, all the men of that generation might be suspected of prior involvement in violence, so they put women forward as less threatening and less controversial.

G. Verloren said...


Plausible from an optics standpoint, although the reality is that plenty of Irish women over the past century have been just as guilty of violence and bloodshed. But no one ever said public perception has to reflect reality...