Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Thursday Night Links

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* This may shock you, but Thomas Friedman loves MOOCs. An Ad Hominem Attack Against Thomas Friedman. MOOCs R Us. MOOCs or BOOKs?

* Public higher education is about to cross a historic threshold, in which students pay a higher percentage than do states of the operating costs of colleges.

Mother who stole son’s education gets 12 years in prison.

* Two bad tastes that taste good together: Rand Paul filibusters drones.

* Apocalypse now: The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the air jumped dramatically in 2012, making it very unlikely that global warming can be limited to another 2 degrees as many global leaders have hoped, new federal figures show.

Planning for the Post-Income Economy. Fracking is starting to devour the US economy.

Elephant Poaching Pushes Species To Brink Of Extinction.

* The case for open borders.

The entrapment defense rarely succeeds, both in terrorism cases and more quotidian (usually drug-related) prosecutions, largely because “entrapment” means something very different in a courtroom than it does in ordinary usage. For nearly a century, the federal courts have allowed a criminal defendant to dodge criminal liability by showing that the governmentinduced her to commit an unlawful act. Once the accused makes such a showing, however, the government still has the opportunity to prove that she was predisposed to commit the crime, even before government agents entered the picture. If a jury accepts the government’s characterization, other factors—the nature or size of the “bait,” the complexity of the government artifice, or the independent wherewithal of the defendant to commit the crime—basically don’t matter: the defendant is still guilty. This means that when entrapment is at issue, the personality, reputation, criminal history, and political or religious beliefs of the accused become the centerpiece of the trial. Post-9/11 juries have had little trouble concluding that the disaffected Muslims (and occasional anarchists) ensnared by the FBI have been sufficiently “predisposed” to engage in terrorism.

* On writing fan fiction.

Recovering Lolita. My students have been pouring over this collection of Lolita book covers thanks to @sselisker.

* #slatepitches: What SimCity Teaches Us About Real Cities of the Future.

Ephemeral third ring of radiation makes appearance around Earth. If we lived in a comic book, I bet this story would be fifteen times as awesome.

Detailed Floor Plan Drawings of Popular TV and Film Homes.

See Stephen Colbert school James Franco on Tolkien mythology.

* A first look at The Grand Budapest Hotel.

FBI Investigating Drone Near Miss with Jet at JFK.

* TPM’s papal contenders cheatsheet.

* Smile Time: Community is doing an all-puppet episode, with actual puppets.

First Trailer for Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing.

Consequences of Repeated Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption in Football Players.

* And the latest issue of The New Inquiry posits time is the fire in which we burn.

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