Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Special! Bonus! Weekend! Links!

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* io9 buries the lede: Batgirl is going to grad school.

* “We use the atmosphere as an open sewer, and don’t charge anyone for dumping stuff into it.” Free-market fundamentalism and climate change. Meanwhile, Miami drowns.

* On innocent civilians. On collective punishment. On the Gaza Border.

* Wall Street as cause and beneficiary of skyrocketing university tuition.

* A “nationwide gentrification effect” is segregating us by education. Just say “class!” It’s not that hard!

* God Loves Cleveland. What Cleveland Would Look Like With LeBron James And Kevin Love.

* The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice: Man Who Said He Was Fired Over Buying Pot Gets His Job Back.

Big Data hopes to liberate us from the work of self-construction—and justify mass surveillance in the process. Also at TNI: Plantation Neoliberalism.

* Adam Kotsko for inflation and against prequelism.

* Duke’s Own Ainehi Edoro interviews Angela Davis.

* Lance Armstrong in Purgatory.

* Separation of powers! The system works! Meanwhile!

* Timothy Zahn Says We Shouldn’t Assume That All Star Wars Expanded Universe Books Are Non-Canon.

Ted Cruz Launches Senate Fight To Auction Off America’s Public Lands. The Grand Canyon Faces Gravest Threat in the Park’s 95-Year History.

* Gasp.

* Director/cinematographer Ernest Dickerson is shopping an adaptation of Octavia Butler’s Clay’s Ark.

* That “Side Scroller” web comic I posted earlier in the week that everyone loved.

Northern New Mexico College shorts its adjuncts.

* A Government Computer Glitch Reminded 121-Year-Olds to Register for the Draft. Lousy moochers! Don’t they know freedom isn’t free!

* The true story of the Seinfeld episode the cast refused to shoot.

* Probably the worst news I’ve ever received: Fraction’s award-winning Hawkeye comic apparently coming to an end.

* Mesmerizing Photos of People Lying in a Week’s Worth of Their Trash.

* And your twelve-year-old self just hacked Time Magazine: Scientists Say Smelling Farts Might Prevent Cancer.

Weekend Links!

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610temp.new_7.gif.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge.new_7* Nice treat: my LARoB piece got namechecked in an Unexpected Stories review at NPR.

* If you want a vision of the future, imagine the polar vortex making it unseasonably cold, forever.

New Data Says Huge West Virginia Chemical Spill May Have Been More Toxic Than Reported. But don’t worry: Freedom Industries has been fined a whopping $11,000.

* The OECD says the party’s over.

These are that growth will slow to around two-thirds its current rate; that inequality will increase massively; and that there is a big risk that climate change will make things worse.

* Here’s what the world would look like if we took global warming seriously.

A Brief History of the Humanities Postdoc.

* On the huge screwed-uppedness of “studies show.”

* An oral history of LucasArts.

* A feature of oligarchy is the dynastic ascension of new leaders, children who rise to positions of power and wealth simply by the luck of birth. We welcome Chelsea Clinton to the club.

* What disapproving friends don’t understand about cesarean births.

If A Man Takes Paternity Leave, His Coworkers Will Probably Take It Too.

* For years we’ve been telling kids to sit still and pay attention. That’s all wrong.

Analysis: Over Half of All Statements Made on Fox News Are False. I sincerely hope they included statements like “I’m Bill O’Reilly” and “You’re watching Fox.”

* Five Thirty Eight and screwing up predictions.

The measurement error in the World Cup case was simple: FiveThirtyEight and other sites had marked Brazil as having a strong defense, and a solid offense anchored by its star, Neymar, as measured by a statistical amalgamation called Soccer Power Index. In reality, Brazil had been aggressively fouling its way as a means of defense, elbowing and kicking its way, and not getting called for it by referees. I’m not just making this up as a day-after-big-loss armchair analysis: pretty much most punditry on soccer had been clear on this before the game.

In other words, the statistics were overestimating how good a team Brazil really was, and the expert punditry was fairly unified on this point.

In other words, this time, the hedgehogs knew something the fox didn’t. But this fox is often too committed to methodological singularity and fighting pundits, sometimes for the sake of fighting them, so it often doesn’t like to listen to non-statistical data. In reality, methodological triangulation is almost always stronger, though harder to pull-offs.

* What happened to the super-rich of yesteryear?

If today’s corporate kvetchers are more concerned with the state of their egos than with the state of the nation, it’s in part because their own fortunes aren’t tied to those of the nation the way they once were. In the postwar years, American companies depended largely on American consumers. Globalization has changed that—foreign sales account for almost half the revenue of the S&P 500—as has the rise of financial services (where the most important clients are the wealthy and other corporations). The well-being of the American middle class just doesn’t matter as much to companies’ bottom lines. And there’s another change. Early in the past century, there was a true socialist movement in the United States, and in the postwar years the Soviet Union seemed to offer the possibility of a meaningful alternative to capitalism. Small wonder that the tycoons of those days were so eager to channel populist agitation into reform. Today, by contrast, corporate chieftains have little to fear, other than mildly higher taxes and the complaints of people who have read Thomas Piketty. Moguls complain about their feelings because that’s all anyone can really threaten.

Let this AskMe post from an academic spouse ruin your morning!

* College Graduates and the Great Recession by The Numbers.

* Over Duke U.’s Protests, Estate of ‘the Duke’ Asks Court to Approve Use of ‘Duke.’

* The next-generation F-35, the most expensive plane ever built, may be too dangerous to fly. Why is Congress keeping it alive? What could possibly explain it!

* “Superhero stories are really about immigrants.”

* Who Does Your College Think Its Peers Are?

* Change.org petition inviting Department of Labor investigation into adjunct labor. I’m very skeptical there’s anything actionable here, unfortunately.

* Having Your Sleep Interrupted May Be As Bad As Not Getting Any at All.

Losing to Germany Wasn’t Actually the Worst Thing to Happen to Brazil This World Cup.

* Colorado’s legal pot market is bigger than anyone anticipated. First person to legally purchase pot in WA fired after being seen on local news buying it.

* DEA Officials Responsible For Nearly Killing College Student, DOJ Watchdog Finds. Daniel Chong is the entirely predictable result of dehumanizing drug offenders.

In ‘sexting’ case Manassas City police want to photograph teen in sexually explicit manner, lawyers say. You’ll be glad to know police have withdrawn the request.

Two hundred years into the social experiment of modern imprisonment, and 40 years into the expansion of what is frequently called “mass incarceration,” America’s system of jails and prisons arguably constitutes the most prodigious system of torture the world has ever seen.

* …while Swartz’s death was a mistake, destroying him as a lesson to all of us wasn’t a mistake. It was policy.

* Tough Louisiana Catholic Church case goes to the heart of mandatory reporting law.

* The Atlantic has a challenging piece on helping intersex children, albeit with an absolutely terrible headline.

* What the Potato Salad Kickstarter Campaign Says About Tech, Silicon Valley, and Modern Life.

* On giving Title IX teeth. It does surprise me that no school has ever received a Title IX sanction for its approach sexual violence.

* SMBC on kind aliens. XKCD on a wraith called Timeghost. The adventures of Process Man.

* Predicting the end of Game of Thrones from George R. R. Martin’s repeated requests for a big-budget epic finale.

* Ideology at its purest is ripe for disruption: “Inside tech’s latest management craze.” Meanwhile: Silicon Valley wage fixing: Disney, Lucas, Dreamworks and Pixar implicated.

* Westerners are so convinced China is a dystopian hellscape they’ll share anything that confirms it.

16-Year-Old’s Rape Goes Viral Because Human Beings Are Terrible. Awful story.

* Close magnet schools?

* Syfy orders a pilot for its adaptation of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians.

* The wisdom of markets: Social Network With No Revenue or Assets Somehow Worth $4.75 Billion.

When asked whether it was possible to think too much upon the Holocaust, Sebald said, “No serious person thinks of anything else.” On still trying to come to terms with the Holocaust.

* Trigger warning: breakfast. A confessional comic about the night after the artist’s rape.

A Webcomic About A Time Traveler Trying To Comprehend Terminal Illness.

A Field Guide To Unusual (And Hilarious) Harry Potter Patronuses.

The Emmys Don’t Matter But Hypothetically If They Mattered They Should Not Have Snubbed Orphan Black.

* Mail-Order Mysteries: Exploring the Outlandish Gizmos Advertised in the Back of Comic Books During the 1960s-1970s.

* And Ian McKellan just won’t leave any franchise un-awesomed. He simply won’t!

Written by gerrycanavan

July 11, 2014 at 9:42 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links!

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*  I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career…

* The first episode of Kumail Nanjani, Jonah Ray, and Emily Gordon’s new show The Meltdown is available for free on Amazon. Watch it for the last comic alone.

The Most Shocking Result in World Cup History. A note on Brazil’s loss and David Luiz’s tears. How Does Germany’s Blowout of Brazil Compare to Those in Other Sports?

World Cup Soccer Stats Erase The Sport’s Most Dominant Players: Women.

* World Cup scandal, 1990.

* Dialectics of the Trigger Warning Wars.

* In a MOOC Mystery, a Course Suddenly Vanishes.

* The inertia of the suburbs.

* Jury nullification in The Nation.

* It’s Official: No One Wants to Host the Winter Olympics.

* BREAKING: There aren’t actually any moderates. In no small part this is because the band of acceptable political opinions in the US is already extremely narrow to begin with.

* Science Daily reported that researchers have discovered a means of predicting whether an individual will become a binge drinker by 16 years of age by imaging their 14-year-old brains.

* It’s a glimpse of what Britain’s chief medical officer Sally Davies calls the “apocalyptic scenario” of a post-antibiotic era, which the World Health Organisation says will be upon us this century unless something drastic is done.

* Smallpox discovered sitting in Maryland storage room.

* Kirkus has a long writeup on the life and career of Octavia Butler. I get a namecheck in the final paragraph as the premier scholarly authority on the size of the finding aid.

* Marvel Comics: The Secret History. Oh, what might have been!

17. Michael Jackson looked into buying Marvel Comics in the late ’90s because he wanted to play Spider-Man in a movie.

* Harry Potter at 34.

* Science fiction as R&D lab.

* And if you want to drive to South America, here are your options for crossing the Darien Gap. Good luck! You will not be ransomed.

Monday Links!

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* CFP: SFRA 2015.

* From the archives: the inaugural issue of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor. Ephemera 11.4: “Work, Play, and Boredom.” And in the mail: Science Fiction Film and Television 7.2, all about Doctor Who.

Pro-Sports Moochers and the True Cost of “Student Athletes.”

* Existential Comics recaps France vs. Germany.

* Today in things that won’t get a policeman thrown in jail, much less fired: Video Catches Highway Cop Punching Woman On The Side Of The Road.

* What If America Had Lost the Revolutionary War? U.S. Flag Recalled After Causing 143 Million Deaths.

* The past is another country: Black people were denied vanilla ice cream in the Jim Crow south – except on Independence Day.

* Today in the surveillance state. If you read Boing Boing, the NSA considers you a target for deep surveillance.

* Jedediah Purdy at Politco: 238 years after its first birthday, America is in deep denial.

* The Democratic Party is an inside job.

* “There’s $300 billion worth of gold in the basement, but the real money is on the ninth floor.”

* Here’s the Lawless Hellscape Colorado Has Become Six Months After Legalizing Weed.

* TSA Now Mandating That All Phones Be Turned On Before You Fly. Up is down! Black is white!

* Let’s redesign parking signs.

Children left to play alone achieve more. So that’s my secret!

* 10 Words Every Girl Should Learn.

* Jaws Is Ridiculous, Say Kids Who Owe Everything to Jaws.

* This Typeface’s Letters Are the Average of the World’s Handwriting.

Researchers Discover the Meaning of Over 60 Words Used by Wild Chimps.

* Even International Quidditch Has a Concussion Problem.

* Presenting the absolute worst people in the world: the coal-rollers.

* Introducing TV’s Best Female Monster Yet.

* Batman v. Superman only seems terrible because they got Kevin Smith to write a fake script to fool everyone. Well it certainly accounts for all the known facts.

* On Maleficent, Disney’s first rape-revenge film.

* And the new rules for Dungeons & Dragons are free; you’ll note for historical purposes that race is still real, but sex and gender aren’t.

All the July 4th Links You Wanted — And More!

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* The Declaration of Independence has a typo; America is abolished. Happy Fourth of July.

* America at 238, by the numbers.

* Hobby Lobby as Pandora’s Box. The icing on the cake.

* Like the Founders intended, an investigation into Blackwater was squashed after a top manager threatened to murder a State department official. Checks and balances. The system works.

Remarks of Thurgood Marshall at the Annual Seminar of the San Francisco Patent and Trademark Law Association in Maui, Hawaii, May 6, 1987.

I cannot accept this invitation, for I do not believe that the meaning of the Constitution was forever “fixed” at the Philadelphia Convention. Nor do I find the wisdom, foresight, and sense of justice exhibited by the Framers particularly profound. To the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today. When contemporary Americans cite “The Constitution,” they invoke a concept that is vastly different from what the Framers barely began to construct two centuries ago.

As a Canadian I rather like the idea of the American Revolution being aborted and our Yankee cousins staying within the Empire. Among other things it would have meant that slavery would have ended in America a generation earlier and without violence (the British outlawed the slave trade in 1807 and abolished slavery in 1834).

* Meanwhile, a great moment in American democracy.

* Great new web comic from Jason Shiga, whose Fleep and Meanwhile I’ve praised here before.

* Some Dawn of the Planet of the Apes prequels.

* A new China Miéville short story.

* Zoo Animals Are Depressed.

* Gynofuturism: Zoe Saldana says the best roles for women are in space.

* Here’s a List of What Junot Díaz Wants You to Read.

* Judy Clarke defends the indefensible.

* Maria Bamford’s new web series wants to put you in The Program.

* Philosophy Job Placement 2011-2014: Departments with Relatively High Placement Rates.

* “Neuroeconomics.”

* “The Princess Effect: How women’s magazines demean powerful women—even when they’re trying to celebrate them.”

Lionel Messi Is Impossible. More.

* How Belgium built one of the top contenders for the 2014 World Cup, and what the team means to this fractious nation. How Tourette’s-afflicted Tim Howard went from international ridicule to World Cup history. Really, All Hail Tim Howard. How Spain Succumbed to the Innovator’s Dilemma. Why the last group stage game is played simultaneously. Who Won the World Cup of Arm-Folding?

* Zwarte Piets were once openly characterized as Santa’s slaves. Man, Santa’s legacy is complicated.

Cop Keeps Job After Violently Shoving Paraplegic Man From Wheelchair. The search continues for something a cop can do that will actually cost them their job.

* At time of austerity, 8 universities spent top dollar on Hillary Rodham Clinton speeches.

* The European Court of Human Rights has upheld the basic human right we all know about to see other people’s faces in public.

* A radical reply to Hobby Lobby: Take Away the Entire Welfare State From Employers. And another: Hobby Lobby, Student Loans, and Sincere Belief.

* The rules underpinning Porky Pig’s stutter.

* Shirley Jackson reads “The Lottery.”

Have We Been Interpreting Quantum Mechanics Wrong This Whole Time?

* Lies Your Doctor Told You.

* Oklahoma is now the earthquake capital of the country, thanks to tracking.

* Membership has its privileges: African leaders vote to give themselves immunity from war crimes.

* A Brief History of the Smithsonian.

* A People’s History of the Peeing Calvin Decal.

* In 1990 this nation faced a horrifying outbreak of Richard Nixon rap parodies. This is that story. (via @sarahkendzior)

Facebook Could Decide an Election Without Anyone Ever Finding Out.

* The arc of history is long &c: Oakland Raiders Will Pay Cheerleaders Minimum Wage This Season.

* American Gods is alive! It’s on Starz, but it’s alive!

* “Exclamation points have played a distinguished role in the history of Marxism.” Why We’re Marxists.

* SMBC on fire: If God is omniscient and omnipotent, how could he let this happen? Telepathy machines were created. Check Your Bat-Privilege. I’m the superfluous female protagonist.

* Scenes from the next Paolo Bacigalupi novel: An abandoned mall in Bangkok has been overtaken by fish.

* The UNC fake-classes scandal has gotten so outrageous even the NCAA has been forced to pay attention.

* Should “free college” be framed as a right or a privilege?

When two good guys with guns confront one another.

* The Hard Data on UFO Sightings: It’s Mostly Drunk People in the West.

* Let’s colonize ourselves by 3D printing ourselves on other planets.

* Catfish and American Loneliness.

* The Hooded Utilitarian has been running an Octavia Butler Roundtable.

* Another Pixar conspiracy theory: the truth about Andy’s Dad.

* All about the miraculous Community revival. And more. Yay!

* Introducing the Critical Inquiry Review of Books.

* And some more good news! Bear rescued after head gets stuck in cookie jar. Happy Fourth of July!

Written by gerrycanavan

July 4, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Links for the Sunday Reader

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* This president delivers compassion with a kind face and from a decorous and understated height. And that seems to be the role he prefers to play in the world too. It was doubtless the posture from which he would have liked to address the Arab Spring, and for that matter the civil war in Syria, if only Assad had obeyed when Obama said he must go. Obama has a larger-spirited wish to help people than any of his predecessors since Jimmy Carter; though caution bordering on timidity has kept him from speaking with Carter even once in the last five years. Obama roots for the good cause but often ends up endorsing the acceptable evil on which the political class or the satisfied classes in society have agreed. He watches the world as its most important spectator.

* Meanwhile: Obama Steps Up Efforts To Deport Unaccompanied Children Crossing The Border. And all at the low, low cost of just $2 billion!

* Local news:  Wisconsin second only to Alabama in cuts to education funding, study shows.

* On college debate, race, and the very idea of rules.

* You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.

* …the only definitive statement I can make about Game of Thrones has less to do with what was happening on screen, and more with the popular and critical reaction to it, the fact that the fourth season was the one in which a critical mass of people suddenly noticed just how rapey this show is.

The point is that Godzilla is not an external menace. Godzilla is built into the system. Godzilla is our way of life.

* Whoa if true.

* The secret world of oil.

* Academia and disability: Why Are Huge Numbers of Disabled Students Dropping Out of College?

* The New York Times has a followup Q&A on its controversial piece about student debt from last week.

* “Far from being complacent about higher education, America is the site of a perpetual crisis narrative about our colleges.”

* In November 2012, when Kamel’s lawyers showed the video evidence to the assistant district attorney handling his case, the prosecutor dropped the charges immediately, motioning for a dismissal. The case was built on police testimony that was clearly false. But though Perez’s untrue statement had forced Kamel to endure months of anxiety and trial preparation, and sent prosecutors most of the way towards trying him, the officer suffered no consequence for his actions. On police perjury.

* Arizona State Universities takes the side of a cop abusing one of its own professors on video. Arizona Professor Body Slammed By Police During Jaywalking Stop, Now Charged With Assaulting Officer.

* Today, the UCPD is, as the university told me in a statement, “a highly professional police force,” and one of the largest private security forces in the country. Hyde Park “remains one of the safest neighborhoods in the city,” according to the statement sent to me by the University, and, “All of the neighborhoods patrolled by the University of Chicago benefit from the extra service.”

* Three Ways (Two Good, One Bad) to Fight Campus Rape.

* It Took Studying 25,782,500 Kids To Begin To Undo The Damage Caused By 1 Doctor.

* An illustrated history of Westeros.

* Independent Weekly catches Counting Crows phoning it in in Raleigh.

* Poor whites and the left.

* Advocacy in the Age of Colorblindness.

* This is a land of peace, love, justice, and no mercy: Hate Crimes Against The Homeless Jumped 24 Percent Last Year.

U.S. Pledges To Stop Producing New Landmines. The dream of the 1990s is alive.

* Mexico tried giving poor people cash instead of food. It worked.

* How Sci Fi Visionary Octavia Butler Influenced This Detroit Revolutionary.

* Britain’s Nuke-Proof Underground City.

* When the Amish get rich.

* “Can anyone say no to this?”

* The Golden Gate Bridge will get suicide nets.

* Against the Fermi Paradox.

Psychologists Find that Nice People Are More Likely to Hurt You. I knew those dicks were hiding something.

* On Facebook science: The real scandal, then, is what’s considered “ethical.”

* Why Are All the Cartoon Mothers Dead?

* Ripped from the pages of the Colbert Report: NC General Assembly Allows Possum Drop Exception.

* And Martin Freeman says no more new Sherlock until December 2015.

Weekend Links!

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* Call for applications: 2014—15 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship.

* So Paul Di Filippo really liked Green Planets.

* Receive this petition in nomination of three candidates for MLA Executive Council and one for 2nd Vice President.

* Explaining Tuition Hikes at the University of Michigan. Construction Not Instruction: Bonds and Buildings at the Public University. 5 Links Between Higher Education and the Prison Industry.

And this is the pattern with austerity. The measures introduced under the rubric of an emergency, the supposed need to consolidate debt and appease “the market,” ultimately do little for the debt, and only consolidate the market’s tyrannical reach.

* On trigger warnings and who gets to count.

Journey to the Centre of Google Earth.

* I was born too early.

The Lion King: A short history of Disney-fascism.

But the emotional trauma that Disney tries its damnedest to induce in young children is only the spadework for the ugly principles it feels it must implant in each new generation. Although the film takes place in an imaginary jungle, THE LION KING really expounds the Law of the Schoolyard: only the strong and the beautiful triumph, and the powerless survive only by serving the strong. As Disney sees it, children must not only acknowledge the supremacy of those born privileged and violent, the children must love them. The young must gaze in hushed veneration at the princely predators who stand ready to harvest the labor and flesh of their subjects. They must learn to giggle at the hopeless scampering of weak and stubby creatures as they dodge the jaws of their overlords. They must accept that true friendship means flattering those who would otherwise feast on their entrails.

DaysOver95-MJ* Climate denialism and the Outer Banks. These time-lapse maps show how much hotter the USA will be when you’re old.

Why Did Borges Hate Soccer?

Was the U.S. Robbed Against Portugal? It Depends on What Time Means.

* You got your class-based analysis in my intersectionality NO you got your intersectionality in my class-based analysis

* Another exciting week of Good SCOTUS, Bad SCOTUS.

* Kunkel reviews Piketty. The circle is complete.

* Title Now Everybody Sue Everybody: expulsion and sexual assault at IHE.

Democrats are the worst, Daily Show edition.

Hillary Clinton 2016 and the Folly of the Left-Flank Push.

If you or any other speculator on my body and rights, wish to know how I regard my rights, they need but come here and lay their hands on me to enslave me. Did you think to terrify me by presenting the alternative to give my money to you, or give my body to Slavery? Then let me say to you, that I meet the proposition with unutterable scorn and contempt.

* The Star Wars museum is coming to Chicago.

* Konczal v. student debt.

* Obamaism v. teacher tenure.

* People aren’t worried about robots, they’re worried about who owns the robots.

* A New Bike Lane That Could Save Lives and Make Cycling More Popular.

*  “You express amazement at my statement that ‘civilized’ men try to justify their looting, butchering and plundering by claiming that these things are done in the interests of art, progress and culture. That this simple statement of fact should cause surprise, amazes me in return.”

* What could go wrong? Missouri School Districts Start Training Teachers To Carry Concealed Weapons In Classroom.

Former College Basketball Player Sues NCAA Over Concussions.

* ‘Think They Got Killed?’ 1964, L.B.J. and Three Civil Rights Icons.

* When Rambo was going to fight werewolves.

* In praise of Janelle Monáe.

* On phone horror.

* Another Fermi Paradox post.

* Here comes Pacific Rim 2. Plus a cartoon! But we still live in a vale of tears.

* Humanity Surprised It Still Hasn’t Figured Out Better Alternative To Letting Power-Hungry Assholes Decide Everything.

​The 20 Most WTF Magical Items in Dungeons & Dragons.

* Free at last: Oakland to decriminalize pinball.

* Kill Bill as an 8-bit video game.

* Episode 7 is already ruined.

* But the kids are all right.

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