Archive for the ‘Look at what I found on the Internet’ Category
* In the 1960s, while the United States and the Soviet Union were playing out their battle of who would make it to the moon first and so dominate the galactic skies, a former high school teacher in Zambia decided his country needed a space program. Edward Festus Makuka Nkoloso founded the unofficial Zambia National Academy of Science, Space Research and Philosophy in 1960, and over the course of the next few years, attempted to launch the first Afronaut — his term —into space.
* Here are Marquette English’s course offerings for the fall. Tell your friends!
* The final victory over the Soviet Union did not lead to the domination of the market, but, in fact, cemented the dominance of conservative managerial elites, corporate bureaucrats who use the pretext of short-term, competitive, bottom-line thinking to squelch anything likely to have revolutionary implications of any kind.”
* BP confirms oil spill into Lake Michigan from Whiting refinery. Ohio Pipeline Spill Twice As Large As Original Estimate. Ship Traffic Reopens For The Oil Industry Three Days After Texas’ 170,000 Gallon Oil Spill.
* Paying journalists by the click: what could possibly go wrong?
* Department of can’t-win: Christian School Tells Eight-Year-Old Girl She Looks Too Much Like A Boy. Middle School Girls Protest Sexist Dress Code: ‘Are My Pants Lowering Your Test Scores?’ School Bans 9-year-old Who Shaved Her Head for a Friend With Cancer.
* Meanwhile: Are Obamacare subsidies now in jeopardy?
* That’s why I’m preparing for the worst: The Walking Disney.
* The U.S. Cities Where the Poor Are Most Segregated From Everyone Else. Milwaukee, alas, is #1.
* Yet the Senate House files show a university elite admitting that outsourcing has actually pushed up costs and made services worse. Despite that, the executives vow to press on with an even grander privatisation scheme.
* BREAKING: The TSA is useless.
* There is a large body of evidence now looking at AA success rate, and the success rate of AA is between 5 and 10 percent.
* The Atlantic profiles Duke’s Own™ Zach Blas and his Facial Weaponization Suite.
* The College Board and ACT are being sued for stealing student information.
* In a civilized country, it wouldn’t be possible: Detroit water department preparing mass utility shutoffs.
* The law, in its majestic equality… Arkansas Judge Ruled for Corporation Just Days After PAC Contributions.
* Annals of Star Trek continuity. That explains it!
* Sometimes muckraking is the worst: What the Heidelberg Project doesn’t want you to know.
* Yale Daily News, 1971: Educated Unemployables.
* Great moments in checks and balances: Obama will ask Congress to put an end to the NSA bulk data collection program the executive branch personally, secretly, and extralegally inaugurated.
* And BREAKING: The Qatar World Cup Is a Total Disaster.
* Someone put Istvan Csicsery-Ronay’s keynote from ICFA this weekend on YouTube. The “Empire” ad Istvan plays from Computer Associates is amazing.
* No! No! I won’t believe it! It’s impossible! Bottom line shows humanities really do make money.
* Police officers in Hawaii are lobbying lawmakers not to repeal a statute that allows them to …. wait for it … have sex with prostitutes during the course of legitimate investigations. Repeating my joke from Twitter, “legitimate” in that sentence is working so far it should be allowed to have sex with prostitutes while on duty…
* Autopsy shows Texas cop fired fatal shot from close range into sarcastic student’s back. The officer is currently on administrative leave.
* It should be no surprise that when law enforcement agencies investigate themselves, they find no wrongdoing—especially since a study of the FBI’s internal investigations found that they cleared themselves of wrongdoing in 150 out of 150 fatal shootings. With that track record, the public can’t be confident in the integrity of an investigation with this predictable outcome.
* HBO In Talks with Lisa Kudrow to Bring ‘The Comeback’ Back for Season Two. I want to see that.
* Ideology at its purest? Why not just believe the things bisexuals say about themselves?
The specters of mass incarceration, segregation and deindustrialization linger here. Locked up and locked out of mainstream employment, young men employ violence to enforce an economy of self-medication in these historically African American neighborhoods. Imprisonment and homicide continue to annihilate the nuclear family much like slavery did, dooming children for an insatiable cycle. Will this Durham actually be revitalized in an integrated way, or will it be bulldozed and gentrified or further marginalized?
* The schedule for the final third of my Cultural Preservation course. This has been one of the best teaching experiences I’ve ever had; I’m hoping things go as well next spring when I do it all again.
* Starting out with two strikes with this guy and he hasn’t even found out where I work yet.
* Nietzsche was right: it turns out without forgetting it is quite impossible to live at all.
* Elsewhere in the American nihilism files: NASA study concludes it’s not just you, we really are doomed.
* Meanwhile, we can’t even agree on the incredible, undeniable, world-historical usefulness of vaccines. One map sums up the damage caused by the anti-vaccination movement.
* Surely we’ll start the school day later, when every bit of science backs this up… Oh.
* Don’t be evil: Google’s anti-copyright stance is just a way to devalue content.
* No one could have predicted a completely unregulated peer-to-peer hotel network would lead to bad outcomes. Next up: Hey, Uber, your unregulated taxi was just some random creep’s unsafe car!
* For the true believers: A Brief History of the Quidditch World Cup.
* If we make the world a paradise where everyone is immortal, will we still be able to have all these awesome jails? Aeon Magazine reports.
* As of 2010-2011, the most recent year with available data, recent humanities and liberal arts majors had 9 percent unemployment. That’s right about on par with students in computer and math fields (9.1 percent), psychology and social work (8.8 percent), and the social sciences (10.3 percent). And it’s just a bit above the average across all majors of 7.9 percent. The larger problem, as always, is that there’s still not enough work for young people post-recession.
* Promisingly specific: Projecting ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ in Theaters Requires Special Instructions.
* Game of the Weekend: 2048, an addictive simplification of Threes!, in your browser.
* The Department of Education’s scoring system for ranking the financial health of universities makes no sense.
* Graduate Students at Cornell Push for Workers’ Compensation. The only question is: why don’t they already have this?
* Jacob Remes introduces the CLASSE Manifesto.
* Patrick Iber on life as a long-term adjunct.
* There’s ideology at its purest, and then there’s Barack Obama being interviewed by Zach Galifianakis on Between Two Ferns.
* During the first month of recreational marijuana sales, Colorado’s licensed dispensaries generated a total of more than $14 million, putting about $2 million of tax revenue into state coffers in the process.
* Vulture profiles Benjamin Kunkel.
* What’s making you so fat today: antibiotics.
* Next year on SyFy: Man Calls 911 After “Hostile” 22-Pound Cat Traps Family in Bedroom.
* Study: Nuclear Reactors Are Toxic to Surrounding Areas, Especially With Age. No one could have predicted!
* Now human activity makes it rain on the weekends. God, we’re the worst.
* The Supreme Court: as always, why we can’t have nice things.
* And they say there’s never any good news, but Sbarro’s has filed for bankruptcy.
I’ll try not to be too aggressive about self-promotional spam, but I’m very excited to formally announce that the edited collection I put together with Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction, comes out next month from Wesleyan University Press in paperback, hardback, and on Kindle. I just got my advance copy yesterday; we’re very proud of the book and couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.
Here’s a table of contents:
Preface by Gerry Canavan
Introduction: “If This Goes On” also by Gerry Canavan
Part 1 Arcadias and New Jerusalems
1 ► “Extinction, Extermination, and the Ecological Optimism
of H. G. Wells” by Christina Alt
2 ► “Evolution and Apocalypse in the Golden Age” by Michael Page
3 ► “Daoism, Ecology, and World Reduction in Le Guin’s Utopian Fictions” by Gib Prettyman
4 ► “Biotic Invasions: Ecological Imperialism in New Wave Science Fiction” by Rob Latham
Part 2 Brave New Worlds and Lands of the Flies
5 ► “‘The Real Problem of a Spaceship Is Its People’: Spaceship Earth as Ecological Science Fiction” by Sabine Höhler
6 ► “The Sea and Eternal Summer: An Australian Apocalypse” by Andrew Milner
7 ► “Care, Gender, and the Climate-Changed Future: Maggie Gee’s The Ice People“ by Adeline Johns-Putra
8 ► “Future Ecologies, Current Crisis: Ecological Concern in South African Speculative Fiction” by Elzette Steenkamp
9 ► “Ordinary Catastrophes: Paradoxes and Problems in Some Recent Post-Apocalypse Fictions” by Christopher Palmer
Part 3 Quiet Earths, Junk Cities, and the Cultures of the Afternoon
10 ► “‘The Rain Feels New’: Ecotopian Strategies in the Short Fiction of Paolo Bacigalupi” by Eric C. Oto
11 ► “Life after People: Science Faction and Ecological Futures” by Brent Bellamy and Imre Szeman
12 ► “Pandora’s Box: Avatar, Ecology, Thought” by Timothy Morton
13 ► “Churning Up the Depths: Nonhuman Ecologies of Metaphor in Solaris and ‘Oceanic’” by Melody Jue
Afterword: “Still, I’m Reluctant to Call This Pessimism” by Gerry Canavan and Kim Stanley Robinson
There’s also a lengthy “Of Further Interest” appendix that’s an annotated list of some key texts in the subgenre of ecological science fiction.
Thanks to all the contributors, and to everyone at Wesleyan, for all their hard work. I hope you’ll check it out.
* Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney. What a story. I bawled.
* Women run just a quarter of the biggest art museums in the United States and Canada, and they earn about a third less than their male counterparts, according to a report released on Friday by the Association of Art Museum Directors, a professional organization.
* The greatest secret of American manhood is: We are afraid of other men. Masculinity as Homophobia.
* At best, job creation is merely an inadequate palliative for years of deep recession. At worst, it’s an active strategy for redirecting wealth upwards and further immiserating the working class. Quantify that.
* A theory of neoliberalism: Wages versus Assets.
* Democrats are really starting in with the surrender-to-hopelessness blitz EARLY this cycle. Meanwhile.
* A rare sociological analysis of Federal Reserve policy confirms what many economists already knew: top central bank officials missed the oncoming crisis because they failed to make the connection between housing, the banking industry and the economy. I don’t know; my rule is never attribute to incompetence what can be adequately explained by soulless millionaires cynically cashing out.
* If you pirate a digital copy of The Triple Package, use the find and replace function. Find “successful cultural group” replace with “bourgeoisie” and then the book will become a coherent and honest provocation, rather than the triple package of neurosis, projection, and obfuscation that it really is.
* Do I read this right? An off-duty cop shot somebody and the other guy got charged with assault?
* de Blasio vs charters in NYC. How charter schools get students they want. In the great efforts they are expending to exclude the students that are the most difficult to educate, charter schools are lending more credence to my argument about the arrow of causation in our perception of school quality than I could ever generate.
* Mother Canada? Is that a thing? Displays of Canadian nationalism always seem off to me. Letting down the side, Canada.
* I had no idea just disintegrating in midair was something that could just happen to planes. I wish I didn’t know it now.
* Wages for Sea World animals: Yes, California Can Really Ban Shamu, Legal Experts Say. Can’t they just argue exploiting whales and making their lives miserable is free speech? That’s how it works with humans.
* I was saying this weekend (1, 2, 3) that voting for Rand Paul is not as irrational as it might seem at first glance, given the unilateral powers the executive branch has in the U.S. and his stated opposition to the war on drugs and the war on terror. What’s interesting is that Rand Paul himself absolutely does not want me to hold this opinion.
* Great walls to end tornadoes in our time? What could possibly go wrong?
In 2007, Gary Younge (he is an ally) suggested that what we all needed is a White History Month. Gary reminded us: “So much of Black History Month takes place in the passive voice. Leaders ‘get assassinated,’ patrons ‘are refused’ service, women ‘are ejected’ from public transport. So the objects of racism are many but the subjects few. In removing the instigators, the historians remove the agency and, in the final reckoning, the historical responsibility … There is no month when we get to talk about [James] Blake [the white busdriver challenged by Rosa Parks]; no opportunity to learn the fates of J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant, who murdered Emmett Till; no time set aside to keep track of Victoria Price and Ruby Bates, whose false accusations of rape against the Scottsboro Boys sent five innocent young black men to jail. Wouldn’t everyone–particularly white people–benefit from becoming better acquainted with these histories?”
* We know enough to state unequivocally that the “targeted killing” program is both wrong and wrongheaded. Morality and a demand for genuine security — not legality — should drive opposition.
* A New Study Shows How Fossil Fuel Pollution Damages The Heart. U.S. Geological Survey confirms: Human activity caused 5.7 quake in Oklahoma. Climatologist Who Predicted California Drought 10 Years Ago Says It May Soon Be ‘Even More Dire.’
* A deep cut, but I think this New 52 Booster Gold series would have been pretty good.
* 2016! Bernie’s threatening to run. As always, you should take every drop of energy you’d put into a quixotic 3rd-party run for president and put it towards a new Constitution instead.
* Duke Energy Must Immediately Stop Polluting Groundwater In North Carolina, Judge Rules. The arc of history is long but oops everything is already polluted, bye.
* Huge Coal Company To Pay Largest-Ever Fine After 6,000 Clean Water Violations In 7 Years. In terms of the company’s valuation and the damage done the fine might as well have been $1.
* As Mary Sue Coleman, the university’s president, called for increased enrollment of students “paying the full freight,” enrollment from outside Michigan reached 46 percent last fall. The result is that the university not only reflects the race and class inequities inherent in our society, it actually reinforces and aggravates them.
* After three years in which private college and university administrators led their public counterparts in salary gains, the publics are on top in 2013-14. I can’t wait for next year!
* Psychiatry, all along, knew that the evidence wasn’t really there to support the chemical imbalance notion, that it was a hypothesis that hadn’t panned out, and yet psychiatry failed to inform the public of that crucial fact.
* And the headline reads: “Your porn is not Canadian enough, CRTC warns erotica channels.” I wrote a little one-act.
* Sing to me, Muse, of Fredric Jameson. I’ve never understood the “worst writer” slam against Fred; alongside all the other good things I’d have to say about his work I think he’s actually very clear and precise.
* Once upon a time in America this was called advocating for justice. But in today’s America, it’s deemed a miscarriage of justice.
* The “trigger warning” has spread from blogs to college classes. Can it be stopped? Content Warnings and College Classes. The Trigger Warned Syllabus. We’ve gone too far with ‘trigger warnings.’ I think this kind of “trigger warning” — and even offering alternative assignments when circumstances warrant — is very often good pedagogy on the level of the individual classroom; I did so this semester when teaching Lolita, somewhat reluctantly, but I’d come to feel it was necessary. I’m very skeptical it would ever be a good idea at the level of administration or policy.
* Tendrils of the invisible web: the undersea cables wiring the Earth.
* “Wearing Google Glass automatically means that all social interaction you have must be not just on yours, but Google’s terms,” Adrian Chen wrote at Gawker almost a year ago, when we all first cringed in fear.
* You know every cop is a criminal: David Cameron’s porn-filter advisor arrested for possession of images of sexual abuse of children.
* The Civ V files: Never Move Your Settler?
* Sea Level Rise Threatens The Statue Of Liberty And Hundreds Of Other Cultural Heritage Sites. Chipotle Warns It Might Stop Serving Guacamole If Climate Change Gets Worse. But don’t worry! President Obama’s New Budget Is Peppered With Efforts To Tackle Climate Change. Peppered!
* Milwaukee shuts down Little Caesars for day over rodent droppings. A whole day! That’ll show ‘em.
* Cheerleader Sues Parents for Refusing to Pay College Tuition. Gambler sues, says he lost $500,000 playing drunk. Having not heard any of the evidence or consulted any of the relevant laws, Canavan Court rules in favor of both plaintiffs!
* How did DC manage to cast anyone but Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor — much less Jesse Eisenberg? It’s a crime.
* Pretty mediocre hoax. Everyone knows Mattel has had working hoverboards since the 80s anyway.
* And I try not to get sucked into the wingnut-said-something-crazy! scene anymore, but every once in a while: my god.
* CFP reminder: “SF/F Now” and “Irradiating the Object” at the University of Warwick, August 2014. Proposals due March 31.
* Legendary science fiction editor Gardner Dozois once said that the job of a science fiction writer was to notice the car and the movie theater and anticipate the drive-in – and then go on to predict the sexual revolution. I love that quote, because it highlights the key role of SF in examining the social consequences of technology – and because it shows how limited our social imaginations are.
* We need to update our nightmares: Zeynep Tufekci on the Internet.
* Curators at the new art museum at Kennesaw State University had some last-minute work to do before its grand opening Saturday night. They had to quickly pack up an installation — one the art museum had commissioned — after university administrators ordered it killed for being insufficiently “celebratory” for the event.
* …one of the gravest threats the FBI saw in the Black Panther movement was their Free Children’s Breakfast Program.
* But at least one university says it has already begun denying admission to “risky” applicants — those who don’t meet the institution’s typical minimum standards for SAT scores and GPA — over fears of how it would be rated under the Obama ratings proposal.
* “That hurt.” On being Chevy Chase.
* Hitting rock bottom: they’re rebooting Santa Claus.
* And just one Oscar link is all you need: Lupita Nyong’o.
Are we seriously supposed to be talking about invading THE UKRAINE now? Can’t you horrible fantasists just play Risk or something?—
Gerry Canavan (@gerrycanavan) March 01, 2014
“Breaking news tonight, another country exists. How should we invade it? Our team of deranged nihilists reports.” -American media—
Gerry Canavan (@gerrycanavan) March 01, 2014
* By allying us with its protagonist, Gravity universalizes its image of exploited female labor, sells it back to its entire audience, men and women alike. Gravity shows a contemporary ideal of femininity still more sinister than the pinup. It presents woman as an intricate machine, strapped to dozens of wires, working her ass off with the goal of appearing weightless.
* “While the entire U.S. population has increased about one-third over the last 30 years, the Federal prison population has increased at a staggering rate of 800 percent, currently totaling nearly 216,000 inmates and currently operates at a 33 percent overcapacity. One-half of those Federal prison populations are drug offenses. While some of them are truly dangerous persons, as Deputy Attorney General Cole said, many of them are first-timers, and by possession only, wound up under Federal laws, the crack cocaine laws, in the Federal system”, she said.
* The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from: Wachowskis prepping new Matrix prequel trilogy.
BREAKING: Climate change has just invaded class struggle! This could be make-it or break-it time for President NightmareOfHistory!—
Gerry Canavan (@gerrycanavan) March 01, 2014