Sunlit Water

February 22, 2011

Perverse Incentives In The Fur Trade

Filed under: Culture — by teofilo @ 11:32 pm

I’m pleased to see that Matt Yglesias seems to be reading Alan Taylor’s American Colonies.  The specific part he quotes is typical of Taylor’s accessible style and interesting approach.  I’ve recommended this book before as a good introduction to the subject, and I’ll reiterate that recommendation here.  Also good: American Slavery, American Freedom.

February 14, 2011

Dinosaur Sex!

Filed under: Blogs,Nature,Sex — by teofilo @ 11:56 am

In honor of Valentine’s Day, Brian Switek has an interesting article on what we know (and don’t know) about the sex lives of dinosaurs, as well as a blog post looking at the possible role of the crests on hadrosaurs such as Parasaurolophus in all this.  Interesting stuff, although I for one would like to hear more about the role of chai tea and Scrabble.

February 4, 2011

Egypt Is Huge

Filed under: Culture,Language,Politics — by teofilo @ 2:49 pm

Egypt is not only the largest Arab country by far (and one of the largest in the world), it is also the center of Arabic-language radio, television, and movies.  Entertainment programs and films produced in Egypt are distributed widely throughout the Arab world, and as a result most Arabs can understand the Egyptian dialect as well as their own local dialect and, if they are educated, Modern Standard Arabic, which is a semi-artificial literary language used for writing and formal speeches but spoken as a native language by no one.  As a result, the upheaval going on in Egypt right now has enormous implications for the Arab world as a whole.  Tunisia was one thing, but Egypt is something else entirely.

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