December 2013

Given when it was written, many people have interpreted J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series as an allegory about the first or second world war. In one introduction to the books, he addresses this matter directly, denying that they are in any way allegorical. He goes on to say: The real war does not […]

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I didn’t know this about flash memory: Flash memory is really cheap. So cheap, in fact, that it’s too good to be true. In reality, all flash memory is riddled with defects — without exception. The illusion of a contiguous, reliable storage media is crafted through sophisticated error correction and bad block management functions. This […]

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Green ivy

2013-12-29

in Photo of the day

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Commenting on federal-provincial conflict, Richard Simeon provides a quote from Anthony Downs that I suspect applies at least as much to academics as to politicians: A second effect of territorial sensitivity is that bureaus consume a great deal of time and energy in territorial struggles that create no socially useful products. Simeon, Richard. Federal-Provincial Diplomacy. […]

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Unfortunately, the climate-change-induced melting of the north polar icecap is making it easier to drill for oil and gas in the arctic. Large amounts of fossil fuels are expected to be found in the region, adding to the world’s already dangerously large supplies. The enthusiasm of companies and governments to exploit unconventional sources of fossil […]

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