Friday, September 16, 2022

Links 16 September 2022

Bowl from the Nazca area, Peru, depicting a horde of mice

After decades of discussion, New Jersey has purchased nine miles of old train line from Jersey City to Montclair, intending to make it a green corridor through a very densely populated part of America. (NY Times, web site of a private organization backing the project.) The project gets bonus points for crossing the Hackensack River, a name I have always loved.

Another "Native American" university professor resigns after being outed as white. She claimed that her art was based on dreams that came to her from her Anishinaabeg ancestors, but she turned out to be from an thoroughly Anglo Connecticut family. Her web site has a whole series of works she calls "Broken Treaty Quilts," which are not bad but just go on and on – one for each tear that fell on the Trail of Tears, I guess.

Is plastic making us fat? One of the weird ideas that hangs out there in the medical world, unproven and unrefuted.

Drone photograph of the year winners. And the minimalist photography awards.

Unique proteins help tardigrades survive being dried out.

Strange political musings on George Orwell's roses.

Ben Pentreath at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, lots of old steam tractors and WW I and II gear. And Brits at a country fair, a side of English life I saw none of in my time there.

The sick story of a crazy kid who was shot by a cop for refusing to get out of his car.

The discovery of 249 hieroglyphs painted on the stone walls of the Yerkap─▒ Tunnel in the ancient Hittite capital of Hattusa near modern-day Bo─čazkale, Turkey; that tunnel is just amazing.

A claim that this 31,000-year-old skeleton represents the oldest known surgical amputation.

European archaeologists keep excavating the large Neolithic structures known as "roundels" or "circular ditched enclosures." Nobody ever finds any evidence of what they were used for, but archaeologists keep arguing that "more research" will one day tell us. 

The ancient oracle at Claros in modern Turkey continued to be used into the 7th century AD, that is, for at least 250 years after the Roman empire became officially Christian. The archaeologists are not surprised since, as they point out, people still come to Claros in search of sacred space.

Kevin Drum wants to know if the Biden administration really brokered a last-minute compromise to avert a rail strike, or if maybe the union staged the whole thing to help their old pal Joe.

After a Covid pause and a lot of criticism from feminists, young Zulu women will once again perform the reed dance in front of their king this month.

Ukraine Links

In the south, a war of bridges: "A pontoon bridge takes about three hours to build and on average in this spot lasts about 24 hours, Ukrainian officers in Colonel Kostenko’s unit said." (NY Times)

Insane video showing a Russian tank commander thrown high into the air when his tank was struck.

History matters in war: after the defeats at Kupiansk and Izium, an argument broke out on Russian Telegram over whether this would be another Mukden (a battle that led to Russian defeat) or another Narva (a battle from which Russia recovered to win the war).

Good thread on why Russian combat air support has been ineffective.

Jokes on Chinese social media about the Russian collapse at Izium, merciless and amusing. And the government tolerates them.

Several sources are saying that both sides are getting better at anti-drone elecronic warfare, and in some zones, such as the Kherson front, it is very difficult to fly the commercial drones both sides use for scouting. 

Translation of a crazy video which purpots to show mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin of Wagner recruiting prisoners to fight in Ukraine. Video here.

Thread on the problem of false reporting in the Russian military, which seems to be very serious.

The German general who heads their effort to support Ukraine gives his view of the strategic situation.  He must have a frustrating job, given his superiors' tergivizations over what aid to give.

The recently discovered mass grave in Izium seems, according to this thread, to contain mainly victims of the war; there are even records listing many of their names.


szopeno said...

Not surprised about the lies in the reports thing. I've heard numerous jokes about false reports being built-in in Russian system (and communist system). Potemkin villages and all..

David said...

I found this article on the rail strike issues very interesting:

I found it entirely characteristic (and not a sign that the whole thing is a fake-out) that the companies were willing to trade wage increases for almost no give on their chosen management strategy. My impression is that companies are more stubborn about workplace command and control than almost anything else.

G. Verloren said...

Kevin Drum wants to know if the Biden administration really brokered a last-minute compromise to avert a rail strike, or if maybe the union staged the whole thing to help their old pal Joe

Maybe Kevin Drum should talk to some actual railroad workers, instead of bloviating from an armchair. A friend of mine is the daughter of a Union-Pacific worker, and we've chatted quite a bit about the working conditions that are at the heart of the recent conflict. His ignorance is understandable, but not his incuriosity - it would have been trivial for Mr. Drum to reach out and ask some questions before opening his mouth to spout absurdities which serve no purpose except to fuel conservative conspiracy theories.

Shadow said...

If the kid called a towing company instead of the police he'd be alive and probably driving his car today. Of course he'd be a bit lighter in the pocket. The police should have said, "You haven't broken any laws, and you aren't in danger." So if you won't get out of the car, we're leaving. Call a Towing company. What's so sad is doing that would probably have gotten the officers suspended, certainly a note in their files. So they followed stupid procedure. Everyone can see it escalating, but no one will back down.

pootrsox said...

Re Ms Adams: her "statement" on her website offers convincing evidence that she *believes* her grandfather was Ojibwe; obviously there is no way to verify her stories of learning Ojibwe lore and language from him.

Re her quilts: *yawn*!! I say that as a quilter! in fact, the backs are far more interesting than the fronts, as the fronts are merely repetitive letter-shape applique, while the backs are what normally are quilt fronts: pieced and appliqued traditional blocks, assembled in traditional ways. The amusing part of the quilts, to me, are that so far as I know, quilt-making is not part of Ojibwe culture :)