At Beyond the Beyond, Bruce Sterling considers the grim future of e-book readers. Why a dedicated reader when a generalist tablet would do just as well?
Paul Gilster at Centauri Dreams summarizes a paper by one Duncan Horgan examining the efficiencies of different propulsion methods for interstellar probes.
Far Outliers' Joel compares early modern English and Spanish expansion, arguing that each imperial power began by colonizing an adjacent area (Ireland in the case of England, al-Andalus and the Canaries in the case of Spain).
The Global Sociology Blog argues that the political concept of "traditional family" should die a quick death in the face of the diversity of real families.
Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen suggests that German hostility to American-style immigration policies favouring low-skilled workers explains why robotic mowers are more successful on the German market--capital substitutes for labour.
At The Power and the Money, Doug Muir makes predictions about the future of Syria. He expects Assad's defeat after a long drawn-out battle, and bad things happening thereafter.
Registan's Nathan Hamm is unimpressed by the quality of the PR consultants hired by the fame-seeking daughter of Uzbekistan's dictator, Gulmara Karimova.
Torontoist describes how, in 1993, a lawyer on the 24th story of a Bay Street tower ran into a window panel and fell out, to his death. True story.
Understanding Society examines what assumptions underlying talking about the "social sciences" as the "human sciences". (Emphasizing the importance of history and the interpretive nature of human sciences as contrasted to the empiricism of natural sciences is key.)
At the Volokh Conspiracy, Eugene Kontorovich contrasts and compares Israel settlement policies on the West Bank with Turkish settlement policies in North Cyprus, making a case that Turkish settlement is a more substantial effort.