Peru and Chile argue over maritime borders | FP Passport

from Foreign Policy‘s Passport blog:

The border between Peru and Chile became increasingly fraught Wednesday — with France stepping into the fray by (inadvertently?) publishing a map that seems to side with Peru.

Changing the Sound of Chinatown –

via Mandarin Eclipses Cantonese, Changing the Sound of Chinatown –

Cantonese, a dialect from southern China that has dominated the Chinatowns of North America for decades, is being rapidly swept aside by Mandarin, the national language of China and the lingua franca of most of the latest Chinese immigrants.

Op-Ed Columnist – The New Untouchables –

via the NYTimes, Robert Friedman gives me an even harder job:

In a world in which more and more average work can be done by a computer, robot or talented foreigner faster, cheaper “and just as well,” vanilla doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s all about what chocolate sauce, whipped cream and cherry you can put on top.

Mapping Natural Population Increases

As with other advanced capitalist societies, the US population is aging. About 30 percent of US counties experienced natural decrease – more deaths than births – in the 2000-2007 period.

But many places recorded increases.  An interesting article from New Geography about the demographic trends in the US.

Held by the Taliban – A Times Reporter’s Account. A Five-Part Series by David Rohde

Living side by side with the Haqqanis’ followers, I learned that the goal of the hard-line Taliban was far more ambitious. Contact with foreign militants in the tribal areas appeared to have deeply affected many young Taliban fighters. They wanted to create a fundamentalist Islamic emirate with Al Qaeda that spanned the Muslim world.

Very scary account of a journalist’s 10 months in captivity in Waziristan, from the NY Times.

When America showed up on a map

Waldseemuller Map 1507

via A world redrawn: When America showed up on a map, it was the universe that got transformed – The Boston Globe.

When he published his theory, in “On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres” (1543), Copernicus provided a wealth of data on the movements of celestial bodies in support of his case. But what’s often overlooked is that he began his argument from the ground up, by focusing not on the heavens but the earth. In particular, he began with a geographical revelation, prompted by something he had recently come across on a new map.

The Waldseemüller map of 1507 gave America it’s name, and inspired Copernicus to rethink Aristotle’s theory of the cosmic spheres.

What American Wind Needs

via Matthew Yglesias » What American Wind Needs.

… extremely bullish on the US as a market. He thinks it’s completely feasible to bring large-scale commercially viable wind power to the United States on the basis of large wind farms based in the “wind corridor” running through the middle of the country…

The main problem, as Vestas sees it, is developing the grid needed to get the energy from the heartland to the coasts where most people live.

Rio wins 2016 Olympics

via Rio wins 2016 Olympics: Samba and joyous spontaneity hint at what’s in store |

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – The tens of thousands of people who turned out to see Rio win the right to host the 2016 Olympics were present at what could well be a prophetic microcosm of the actual event.

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