Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Battlestar Galactica

All the Thursday Links

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* 2048: Academia Edition.

Shocking police overreach haunts Southern city: Racial profiling, quotas and secret “conviction bonuses.” Yes, of course it’s Durham.

* Nazis! Me no like those guys. Neo-Nazis Are Using Cookie Monster to Recruit German Children.

* The charter school scam in action.

* Congratulations, University of Connecticut.

* The prestige premium.

* BREAKING: Governing boards don’t care about adjuncts.

* Let Them Eat Code.

All of which is just to say that it’s a handy thing, should you ever get elected to anything, to think a little about who’ll replace you when your term is done.  Because you should leave.  It’s good for your brain, and it’s good for the university. It’s also good for the soul to know that you’re not irreplaceable.

Voices from the Student Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement.

* Rethinking carceral feminism.

* Now the head women’s basketball coach is out at Marquette. Second-highest-paid employee on campus.

* New Analysis Shows Problematic Boom In Higher Ed Administrators.

* Northwestern University fights back against NCAA football unionization.

* Drone art: Drone Operators Now Have a “Bug Splat” Staring Them in The Face.

* Former Taco Bell interns claim they invented Doritos tacos in 1995.

161* The art of Kurt Vonnegut.

The Legend of Vera Nabokov. The old days, guys, am I right?

* Meanwhile, everything old is new again: Adam Terry, McAllister’s chief of staff, said Peacock was taken off of the payroll during the past 24 hours.

* “Duke Collective” now Internet-famous for wage-sharing idea that if you knew the institutional context you’d realize isn’t really oh forget it.

I’d like to tell you what was wrong with the tests my students took last week, but I can’t. Pearson’s $32 million contract with New York State to design the exams prohibits the state from making the tests public and imposes a gag order on educators who administer them. So teachers watched hundreds of thousands of children in grades 3 to 8 sit for between 70 and 180 minutes per day for three days taking a state English Language Arts exam that does a poor job of testing reading comprehension, and yet we’re not allowed to point out what the problems were.

* St. Michael’s in Vermont plans to survive by shrinking.

* Student Social Network Use Declines as Social Apps Move to Take Their Place.

The geology of Westeros.

* More Khaleesis were born in 2012 than Betsys or Nadines.

* Superficially plausible readings of fuzzy demographic signifiers: The Muppets and Generation X.

* The Vermont solution: single-payer. I don’t have a ton of hope in the American system, but I think this plan could actually work.

* Battlestar Galactica Is Getting Rebooted As A ZZZZZzzzzzzZZZzzzzzzzz

Jon Stewart cursed me out: I dared question a “Daily Show” warm-up comic’s racist jokes.

* The birth of Thanaticism. As neologisms to describe our era go, I prefer necrocapitalism.

Milwaukee Art Museum unveils design for building addition.

* Who mourns for jai alai?

* What has been seen can never be unseen.

* Tolkien, Martin, and politics.

Carbon Dioxide Levels Just Hit Their Highest Point In 800,000 Years.

* And I still think this is more a heat map of imperial ideology (don’t kill people in Europe!) than of “knowledge” per se. I think you’d see the opposite effect about a country in the Global South.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 10, 2014 at 9:27 am

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More Friday!

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This teen is suing the state of Alaska because climate change threatens his home.

For-Profit Fiasco: California Public Colleges Turn to Web Courses.

Replying to the doubters, one Coursera “financier” told the Times that “monetization is not the most important objective for this business at this point.” What is important, he said, is that “Coursera is rapidly accumulating a body of high-quality content that could be very attractive to universities that want to license it for their own use.” Potential investors should therefore “invest with a very long mind-set.”

The MOOCs were invented by man. They evolved. They rebelled. There are many copies. And they have a plan…

More than 40 of the world’s 100 most reputable universities and colleges are American, according to the Times Higher Education’s 2013 world reputation ranking of colleges and universities. Just because it’s the envy of the world doesn’t mean we shouldn’t melt it down and sell it for scrap.

* What’s happening at UW-Eau Claire?

The anti-circumvention section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act threatens to make archivists criminals if they try to preserve our society’s artifacts for future generations.

* Maryland to repeal the death penalty.

Pot-Hating New York Politician Cited for Having Pot.

* In praise of Pam Grier.

What happens when Game of Thrones runs out of books to adapt?

* And Star Wars as a John Hughes movie.

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Tuesday!

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* Great research opportunity for any PhD student studying science fiction, fantasy, horror, and/or utopia: the R.D. Mullen Fellowship. I loved the time I spent in that archive.

* CFP: The cultural impact of Dr. Who, at DePaul University. Saturday, May 4.

* Sarah Jaffe on emotional labor and gendered employment.

On Getting a Ph.D. This is stirring, but all the same my unhappy advice hasn’t really changed since the last time a rebuttal to the just-don’t-go doomsayers was making the rounds.

* Now CUNY is pushing for a five-year Ph.D. I still feel the same way about this, too!

* “Skilled, Cheap, and Desperate”: Non-tenure-track Faculty and the Delusion of Meritocracy.

* …But the most unfortunate part is that not one of the expert-amateurs seems to have given much thought to what MOOCs imply: that teachers are unnecessary. MOOCs don’t use teachers; they have curriculum designers and they have video presenters. Actors are the best for that latter role, seriously.

The latest on Pat McCrory’s war with UNC.

“If you want to take gender studies that’s fine. Go to a private school, and take it,” McCrory said. “But I don’t want to subsidize that if that’s not going to get someone a job.”

Again, I’d personally be very surprised if those gender studies classes weren’t paying for themselves and more.

College majors, median earnings, and unemployment.

Yale Suing Former Students Shows Crisis in Loans to Poor.

* Where Girls Do Better Than Boys in Science.

girls-lead-in-science-exam-but-not-in-the-united-states

* The wisdom of the market, in all its glorious efficiency: Confessions of a corporate spy.

* On corporate apology.

* We’re a tour group from the future.

* California’s coming war over fracking.

* Over the last three months wind farms produced more electricity than any other power source in Spain for the first time ever, an industry group has said. To steal a line from Twitter: oh, if only we had wind!

Six media giants control 90% of popular culture.

* Veterans, Ron D. Moore, and Battlestar Galactica: 1, 2. A representative, evocative question:

ES: There’s a particular quote that I’ve seen as signatures in military forums or quoted, and for some reason military members identify it. That’s Tigh’s New Caprica silioquoy: “Which side are we on? We’re on the side of the demons, chief. We’re evil men in the gardens of paradise, sent by the forces of death to spread devastation and destruction wherever we go. I’m surprised you didn’t know that.” Why do you think that quote resonates with veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq in particular?

Parts 3 and 4 coming soon.

* The latest from Randall Munroe’s “What If?”: Will the Internet ever surpass FedEx’s bandwidth? What would happen if you tried to fly a normal Earth airplane above different Solar System bodies? What if I took a swim in a typical spent nuclear fuel pool?

“Attached hereto is a copy of Mr. Trump’s birth certificate, demonstrating that he is the son of Fred Trump, not an orangutan,” Balber wrote in the letter.

* Personal saint Woody Guthrie’s previously unpublished novel House of Earth is available for purchase.

* Special pleading watch: nearly all of the 600 recess appointments since the Reagan presidency would have been nullified if the hyperformalist interpretation applied to Barack Obama were applied universally.

* We should only work 25 hours a week, argues professor. Sold!

* Some local pride! Milwaukee in top ten list for best urban forests.

* And congrats to our friend Allison Seay for a great review of her new collection To See the Queen. Some excerpts.

All the Midweek Links There Are

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* My media empire: I have a piece on climate change and science fiction in the new New Inquiry issue on weather, which has gone out to subscribers but isn’t online yet. I’ll let you know when you can read it, though for a mere $2 you could read it this very minute.

* “It’s one of those situations where everybody says it’s an issue but the people who have the most influence and the most ability to do something about it are not acting on it,” said Gary Rhoades, professor of higher education at the University of Arizona’s Center for the Study of Higher Education and director of the Center for the Future of Higher Education, a virtual think tank supported by faculty and labor groups. He called the adjunct issue a “widely acknowledged challenge” with deep, interwoven roots – many of which pit administrative prerogatives against labor concerns and educational outcomes.

IRS Says Colleges Must Be ‘Reasonable’ When Calculating Adjuncts’ Work Hours. What if the adjuncts shrugged?

* Yesterday marked the 202th anniversary of the largest slave revolt in US history.

* Game of the day: run from Michel Foucault. Do not become enamored of power.

* Another great rundown of science fiction in China. Via io9.

* zunguzungu is gathering notes towards a canon of post-9/11 literature. I contributed Wells Tower’s “Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned,” as well as the inevitable science fictional treatments: Battlestar Galactica, District 9, Nolan’s Batman…

* Warmest Year On Record Received Cool Climate Coverage. It’s so hot in Australia they’ve had to add a new color to the weather map.

* This paper uses annual variation in temperature and precipitation over the past 50 years to examine the impact of climatic changes on economic activity throughout the world. We find three primary results. First, higher temperatures substantially reduce economic growth in poor countries but have little effect in rich countries. Second, higher temperatures appear to reduce growth rates in poor countries, rather than just the level of output. Third, higher temperatures have wide-ranging effects in poor nations, reducing agricultural output, industrial output, and aggregate investment, and increasing political instability. Analysis of decade or longer climate shifts also shows substantial negative effects on growth in poor countries. Should future impacts of climate change mirror these historical effects, the negative impact on poor countries may be substantial.

* The Seven Lady Godivas: Dr. Seuss’s Little-Known “Adult” Book of Nudes.

* io9 celebrates the classic tabletop role-playing game Paranoia.

* The American Prospect considers the legal hyperformalism the GOP has embraced in the face of longterm demographic crisis and declining real power.

What all these efforts have in common is that they are all perfectly legal,  and yet they all violate the norms of how American politics had been practiced for decades or even for centuries. All of them exploit some loophole in the law or the Constitution to give Republicans some immediate advantage in the basic ground rules of how political issues are contested.

* National Geographic’s photographs of 2012.

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* The great moral question of our time: On heckling.

* The Superhero Delusion: How Superhero Movies created the Sad Perfect Badass Messiah, and what that says about America.

* Television as narcissism.

* Installing the blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History.

* Science catches up to what the poets always knew: Our perception of time changes with age, but it also depends on our emotional state. Research is steadily improving our understanding of the brain circuits that control this sense, opening the way for new forms of treatment, particularly for Parkinson’s disease.

* Debating that rape viral infrographic.

* Great moments in advertising: the UC spends $4.3 million to attract a single student.

* The forever war on women: Under Obama, a Skew Toward Male Appointees.

* And Mitch Hurwitz teases the new Arrested Development. I am…optimistic?

Post *All* the Links

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A big post, catching up from most of last week:

* With the success of 2009’s “District 9″ still fresh in their minds, producers are cherry-picking South African sci-fi properties, making it one of hottest genres this side of Swedish crime fiction.

* Science fiction on the BBC: A brief history of all-women societies.

Top Five Most Destroyed Canadian Cities in the Marvel Universe.

* News from MLA! Dissing the Dissertation. Anguish Trumps Activism at the MLA.

* News from my childhood: Another new version of Dungeons & Dragons is on the way. MetaFilter agonizes.

* News from the Montana Supreme Court: “Corporations are not persons. Human beings are persons, and it is an affront to the inviolable dignity of our species that courts have created a legal fiction which forces people — human beings — to share fundamental, natural rights with soulless creatures of government…”

* News from the future right now: Record Heat Floods America With Temperatures 40 Degrees Above Normal.

How College Football Bowls Earn Millions In Profits But Pay Almost Nothing In Taxes.

* Colbert vs. Colbert.

* Matt Taibbi vs. Iowa.

And what ends up happening there is that the candidate with the big stack of donor money always somehow manages to survive the inevitable scandals and tawdry revelations, while the one who’s depending on checks from grandma and $25 internet donations from college students always winds up mysteriously wiped out.

* Learning From The Masters: Level Design In The Legend Of Zelda.

How The Cave of Time taught us to love interactive entertainment.

* Inside the Shel Silverstein archive.

* While genomic research on the super-old is in its very early stages, what’s fascinating is what the researchers are not finding. These people’s genomes are fundamentally the same as other people’s. They are clearly very special, but not in ways that are obvious.

* What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2012? Under the law that existed until 1978 . . . Works from 1955.

* The headline reads, “Quadriplegic Undocumented Immigrant Dies In Mexico After Being Deported From His Hospital Bed.”

Dallas teen missing since 2010 was mistakenly deported.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Arkham Asylum.

Pepsi Says Mountain Dew Can Dissolve Mouse Carcasses. Keep in mind: that’s their defense.

“Out of the crooked timber of humanity,” Kant wrote, “no straight thing was ever made.” Not even an iPad.

Obama Openly Asks Nation Why On Earth He Would Want To Serve For Another Term.

* Romney: Elected office is for the rich.

* What if Obama loses?

* How banks and debt collectors are bringing dead debt back to life.

People who stop paying bills earn lousy credit ratings but eventually are freed of old debt under statutes of limitations that vary by state and range from three years to 10 years from the last loan payment.

But if a debtor agrees to make even a single payment on an expired debt, the clock starts anew on some part of the old obligation, a process called “re-aging.”

So if borrowers again fall behind on their payments, debt collectors can turn to their usual tools: letters, phone calls and lawsuits. By restarting a debt’s statute of limitations, the collectors have years to retrieve payments.

* A Q&A with Louis C.K.

* Wells Tower: In Gold We Trust.

* Epic Doctor Who Timeline. More here.

* Battlestar Galactica: Totally planned. See also.

* How to Get a Nuclear Bomb.

The cast of Community plays pop culture trivia.

* “White House Denies CIA Teleported Obama to Mars.”

Classified docs reveal why Tolkien failed to win ’61 Nobel Prize!

* Solve the Fermi Paradox the Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal way.

* And you probably already saw Paypal’s latest outrage, but man, it’s a doozy.

Quick Links

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* 4th laziest state looks a lot better than 37th in child welfare.

* Receipts are coated with BPA and your box spring is conspiring to kill you. Nothing’s going right.

* For the first time in forty years, Congress has repealed a mandatory minimum sentence.

* A federal judge has blocked much of Arizona’s documentation law from taking effect.

The law will still take effect Thursday, but without many of the provisions that angered opponents — including sections that required officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws. The judge also put on hold a part of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places.

* Bill O’Reilly: America-hating hippie.

* How Glenn Beck cons his viewers (Goldline edition). Via MeFi.

* There is no good reason on Earth to oppose the DREAM Act.

* There is no good reason on Earth to continue making Battlestar Galactica spinoffs.

* There is every reason in the world to make a Quantum Leap film. Please do this.

* Conservatives may be willing to shrug off the possibility of rising sea levels, desertification and mass extinctions, but can they live with the risk of more Mexicans crossing the border to breathe their precious American air?

* Hopefully not while we’re there next week: “Liverpool Disappears for a Billionth of a Second.”

* I bet the $45 was well-spent.

* Oil spills, oil spills.

* To avenge Paul the psychic octopus, we must invade Iran.

* And Wookieleaks is your best source for anti-Imperial news.

Spoiler Alert: Susan Doesn’t Get to Go to Narnia

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* With rock-bottom expectations, I apparently thought the Lost finale was better than the entire rest of the Internet—which is to say “Across the Sea” has already trashed my hopes that we’d get an actually decent ending. But even counting the offensively pointless flashes-sideways and a genuinely silly fistfight-with-the-Devil climax, what we got still beat BSG.

* Here’s your obligatory Lost nostalgia. Spoiler alert: I make the same Narnia joke in the thread. If you need more, there’s always Television without Pity.

* Mark Twain wrote an autobiography that he asked not be published for 100 years, and they actually listened. It’s due out this November.

* Oil spill booming 101. Very informative, but watch out for the F-bombs. Via MeFi. Related: DOJ considering criminal prosecution of BP.

* The oil spill will be with us for decades.

* Copy machines store all your copies on an internal hard drive, for no apparent reason whatsoever. Also via MeFi.

* David Simon hates New York.

* And my beloved home state of New Jersey is apparently seeking to require state employees to live inside the state, which seems to this non-lawyer to be unconstitutional on its face.

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