Link roundup for 8 February 2012

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Today's links are:

--- This National Geographic article on Astana, the new capital of Kazakhstan. While I assume I would still prefer Almaty for its larger size and better climate, if this happens then I would consider living in Astana for a time:

With the core of the capital near completion, Nazarbayev has ordered his architects to explore the possibility of building another huge tent that would shelter a climate-controlled "indoor city" of 15,000 people.
I've always thought controlling a city's climate makes sense, and doing so would not necessarily require a perfect 20C temperature every day. Massive forestation for windy cities is one easy example of how a climate can be moderated, and simply connecting more areas through underground tunnels is an easy way to 'paraterraform' parts of them. There are quite a few examples of subway stations that are connected by underground malls, for example.

--- If you speak Portuguese and want to test your knowledge of Spanish false cognates, see here: http://noticias.terra.com.br/educacao/quiz/teste-seus-conhecimentos-sobre-falsos-cognatos-em-espanhol

--- The Bulgarian Wikipedia is having a "one new article a day" campaign from 1 to 15 March:
„1 нова статия“ — между 1 и 15 март 2012 г. ще се проведе инициативата „1 нова статия“. Целта на проекта е с общи усилия, в рамките на две седмици, Българската Уикипедия да се разшири значително. Начинът, по който това ще стане, е като всеки, който посети БГ Уикипедията между 1 и 15 март, напише по една нова статия. За повече информация и все още липсващи статии в Българската Уикипедия, посетете страницата на инициативата.
The gist of the campaign is this: if you visit the Bulgarian Wikipedia between those dates, please write a new page. The current number of articles is 126,000+, and shouldn't be too different in three weeks.

--- Barack Obama is returning $200,000 of campaign donations, a practice that, while well-intentioned, I wish politicians of all stripes would do away with. Passively receiving donations and soliciting donations are two different things, and a politician who campaigns on Position A should not be made to feel that they have to return donations from anyone who believes in Position B, has committed a crime, or anything else. Once money has switched hands it is the person who receives the donation who may now use it as he or she sees fit. If a politician does not believe in the views of someone they have received a donation from, why give it back so that they can make use of it again? Keep it and use it for good.

--- Vladimir Putin wrote an editorial for the Washington Post today about democracy.

--- Quebec solidaire sees French as a central priority, but not their primary one.

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