Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Sunday Links!

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* “Are your parents upset by your liberal-arts degree? Show them this chart.”

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* Weird, wild coincidence: Darren Wilson’s first job was on a troubled police force disbanded by authorities.

* Exactly the headline you want to wake up to when you’ve got a transatlantic flight in a few hours: Eruption under ice-cap sparks red alert. Luckily I seem to have snuck out of Europe in time…

* If they don’t shape up soon they could have a blue-ribbon commission on their hands: Jolted by images of protesters clashing with heavily armed police officers in Missouri, President Obama has ordered a comprehensive review of the government’s decade-old strategy of outfitting local police departmentswith military-grade body armor, mine-resistant trucks, silencers and automatic rifles, senior officials say.

* Ferguson’s Schools Are Just as Troubling as Its Police Force. Of course the wealth transfer dreams behind “school choice” politics miraculously get “waived” when it comes time to apply it to nonwhite and urban poor populations:

Michael Brown graduated from Normandy High School, which was located, until recently, in the Normandy School District. The facts here are a bit complex, but note that I said “until recently.”  That is because the Normandy School district lost its accreditation in 2012 due to dismal standardized test scores. (Normandy was one of only three out of 500 school districts in Missouri to lose its accreditation.) The state school board took over the Normandy School District and renamed it the “Normandy School Collaborative.” By 2013, though, the new district also had lost its accreditation. Missouri law allows students of failed districts to transfer to higher-performing schools in surrounding suburbs, but the failing school district has to pay tuition and transportation costs to get the kids to their new schools. The 1,000 transfer students of Normandy obviously had no desire to remain in the “new” failed district, but the cost was high, so, incredibly, the state board voted to waive accreditation of the Collaborative rather than classify the new district as unaccredited. Ferguson’s teenagers were therefore trapped in a failed school because state politicians didn’t want to pay for them to transfer out.

* ‘Normal birth’ and ‘breast is best’: the neoliberalisation of reproduction.

* Mugabe and the hedge funds.

* Pay It Forward is dead in Oregon.

* ‘Sex Box,’ a reality show where people have sex in a box on TV, is a real thing for 2015.

How Do We Get Our Students to Become Cops?, asks the Chronicle. How? How?

* Cornel West vs. Obama.

* This Soviet spy created the US-led global economic system.

* Where were the people who live in your state born?

* And Massachusetts man fears his horns, ’666′ forehead tattoo will make a fair trial impossible.

Green Planets in Hardcover, Only $12 Today

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I can’t imagine that it’s all that great news for sales, but the hardcover of Green Planets is only $12 today. Buy it! Paul Di Fillippo says it’s good!

UPDATE: As of early Sunday morning the hardcover is back to its usual price. Unannounced sale? Algorithm glitch? Perhaps it will always be a mystery.

In any event the huge Sales Rank swing tells me we sold a bunch of copies yesterday, so big thanks to everyone who bought one! The Kindle version is still $13 and the paperback still $20, if you missed it…

Written by gerrycanavan

August 23, 2014 at 9:13 am

Saturday Links!

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* There’s only one important story in the world right now, but you won’t hear anything about it in your mainstream media: Ant mega-colony takes over world.

* Found poetry: Below you’ll find a haiku extracted from a random Supreme Court opinion.

The contract therefore

survives scrutiny under

the Rule of Reason.

“Where have all the thoughtful and original mainstream movies gone?” The answer is “They’ve long been obscured, left to rot and die on one screen in New York for six days before disappearing into VOD obscurity.” On the banal tyranny of blockbuster film.

* The cosmic tragedy of the technocratic fix: Nail polish developed at N.C. State alerts wearers to date rape drugs.

* Lawmakers Who Cut Funds For ALS Research Take Ice Bucket Challenge For ALS Research. Who Invented the Ice Bucket Challenge?

* Where Are the National Democrats on Ferguson? What could explain it?

12. She dove into the ocean, the blue waves enveloping her tapioca skin.

13. She was transfixed by the gleam of his uncooked chicken breast skin. So raw, so lumpy.

* Totally unrelatedly: More white people believe in ghosts than in racial discrimination.

* On an entirely different subject: Overall, the social networks of whites are a remarkable 93 percent white. White American social networks are only one percent black, one percent Hispanic, one percent Asian or Pacific Islander, one percent mixed race, and one percent other race. In fact, fully three-quarters (75 percent) of whites have entirely white social networks without any minority presence.

* Shorter Nate Silver: By legalizing corruption, we’ve essentially eliminated illegal corruption in the U.S.

* An online fund created to raise money for the Ferguson, Mo., police officer who killed Michael Brown has amassed more than $150,000, outpacing a similar account for the slain man’s family.

Videotaped Police Shooting Shocked The Nation, But These Experts Say It Was Justified. BREAKING: Experts Know Which Side of Bread Is Buttered.

* Rortybomb: Ferguson and Libertarianism.

California DMV says Google’s self-driving car must have a steering wheel.

Self-driving cars have the potential to change the way automobiles are made, and Google’s prototype car was just the first step toward that future. Cars today are built to crash, with tons of metal reinforcement, crumple zones, seat belts, and a million air bags. When everything is self-driving, and cars never (or at least rarely) crash, most of that safety equipment can be ripped out, resulting in a much lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicle.

Listen, I just don’t think you’re a great salesman.

* If White Characters Were Described Like People Of Color In Literature.

* Something to try? 4 Surprising Ways to Support a Child’s Self-Regulation & Avoid Melt Down.

* Poll: most Americans want to make it a crime for children to play without supervision. We don’t want a nanny state, apparently, just a state where every family has a nanny.

* How to solve a Fermi problem.

* And Russia Wants Bulgarians to Stop Vandalizing Soviet Monuments To Look Like American Superheroes. If I can’t dance…

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Annus Horribilis

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Thursday Night Links

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* Qapla’ we can believe in: Klingon-Speaking Candidate Could Complicate NC Senate Race.

* Milwaukee’s really taking me on a roller coaster ride this week.

10 Unhappiest Metropolitan Areas With a Population Greater Than 1 Million1. New York, NY
2. Pittsburgh, PA
3. Louisville, KY
4. Milwaukee, WI

* Wisconsin police given $28 million in surplus military gear.

* Elementary teacher suspended for asking white student ‘cops’ to shoot black ‘Michael Browns.’

* “Persistent inequality”: America’s Racial Divide, Charted.

Convicting Darren Wilson Will Be Basically Impossible.

Ferguson and the Modern Debtor’s Prison.

You don’t get $321 in fines and fees and 3 warrants per household from an about-average crime rate. You get numbers like this from bullshit arrests for jaywalking and constant “low level harassment involving traffic stops, court appearances, high fines, and the threat of jail for failure to pay.”

* The view from the far left: Love Me, Ferguson, I’m a Liberal. In Defense of Looting.

* Could you be seated on a jury? I was bounced because I was perceived as too sympathetic to the defense, which is… weird.

* And at last some real talk: Why academics really use Twitter.

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Thursday Links

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Oklahoma Gets Hit With 20 Earthquakes In One Day. I suppose it’ll always be a mystery.

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California Has Given Out Rights To Five Times More Water Than It Actually Has.

* Point: Milwaukee said to be one of the top ten most dangerous cities in the country. Counterpoint: Milwaukee is the new Portland.

* Gasp! Higher education consultants tend to project savings beyond what colleges can achieve, sometimes don’t understand the complexities of the institutions they advise, and fail to appreciate the politics around the changes they propose, according to a new study by the Education Advisory Board.

Florida police say the “dehumanizing stares” a 14-year-old boy directed at officers together with his body language presented a threat, prompting an arrest and a brutal take down by cops — that was caught on video by the teen’s mother.

* Overall, the DOJ found the conduct of staff constitutes a “pattern and practice of constitutional violations” against inmates — most of them charged with crimes and not even yet convicted. But a bill quietly passed by the New York State legislature and awaiting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) signature would take away the power of prosecutors in that county to file charges against staff for violations of the law.

* Cop to Ferguson protesters: “I will fucking kill you… Go fuck yourself.” The officer has been reassigned, so, you know, it’s all good.

* …the next time you hear someone say that power should be devolved as far as possible to the state and local level, remember that those lower levels of government are often where the worst problems are.

* Henry A. Giroux: The Militarization of Racism and Neoliberal Violence.

* College students and sleep deprivation.

* The Sexist Facebook Movement The Marine Corps Can’t Stop.

* For instance, the Post and Courier interviewed state House Minority Leader J. Todd Rutherford, a Democrat, about his refusal to support any bills increasing the maximum penalty for a first-time domestic violence offense, which is currently 30 days in jail. (The maximum penalty for beating a dog, the Post and Courier notes, is five years.)

* If Michael Bay directed Up.

* And I don’t care how fake it is, damnit: This Is The Most Passive-Aggressive Office Battle We’ve Ever Seen.

I Guess That’s Why They Call It Jet Lag Links

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* “Fantastic Breasts and Where To Find Them.” NSFW, and probably deserves a trigger warning for imagery of sexual violence too.

Academics, Public Work, And Labor.

Kids Returned To Honduras, Killed.

* California drought: 17 communities could run out of water within 60 to 120 days, state says. More at MetaFilter.

* Recent Glacial Melt Mostly Caused By Man-Made Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Study Finds.

Mr. Holder and top Justice Department officials were weighing whether to open a broader civil rights investigation to look at Ferguson’s police practices at large, according to law enforcement officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal talks. The issue came up after news reports revealed a 2009 case in which a man said that four police officers beat him, then charged him with damaging government property — by getting blood on their uniforms.

Half of black men in the US have been arrested by age 23.

Who is an “Outside Agitator”? Unethical journalism can make Ferguson more dangerous. Police in Ferguson Are Firing Tear Gas Canisters Manufactured During the Cold War Era. Tear Gas Is an Abortifacient. Why Won’t the Anti-Abortion Movement Oppose It? Why hasn’t Darren Wilson been arrested yet? Police are operating with total impunity in Ferguson. A local public defender on the deeply dysfunctional Ferguson court system.

Nobody Knows How Many Americans The Police Kill Each Year.

* Saying the quiet part loud: Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you.

* Another edition of Aaron Bady Movie Corner.

* I thought this @nerdist interview with Matthew Weiner was great.

* Trustees agree! Trustees need more power.

* Islamic militants execute journalist, MU grad James Foley. His letter to the alumni magazine from 2011.

* The Pressure to Breast-Feed Is Hurting New Moms With Postpartum Depression.

* It’s not all bad news: This Oxford professor thinks artificial intelligence will destroy us all.

* And the Democratic candidate for governor of Wisconsin says we should prioritize road work based on what would create the most jobs. My gosh. It’s like an Adam Kotsko rant come to life.

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