Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘cancer

Friday Links!

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* On the docket in Cultural Preservation today: David Graeber, “The Sadness of Post-Workerism, or, ‘Art and Immaterial Labour’ Conference: A Sort of Review” (main reading); Michael Bérubé, “American Studies without Exceptions” and Graeber, “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs” (optional).

* A great postdoc, if you’re looking: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for 21st Century Studies Provost Postdoc Fellow, “Humanities Futures.”

“Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.”

* To reform higher ed, we need a federal job guarantee.

* 2013 Is the Fourth Hottest Year on Record. 37 years straight of above-average temperatures. Soon, Sochi Won’t Be Cold Enough To Reliably Host The Winter Olympics.

* BREAKING: Rich people are ludicrously rich, everyone else totally broke. It’s fantastic.

* I had no idea cheerleaders were so radically underpaid. I’d always thought it was waged, full-time work — like being a mascot is.

There Has Been An Average Of One School Shooting Every Other School Day So Far This Year.

* Woman Takes Short Half-Hour Break From Being Feminist To Enjoy TV Show. Nation Back On Board With SeaWorld Following Awesome Orca Trick.

* Officials looking for info on second chemical in WV spill. Behind West Virginia’s Massive Chemical Spill, A History Of Poverty And Pollution. ‘We live in a human sacrifice zone.’

The FBI Just Busted the King of Revenge Porn.

Obama Promises Governmentwide Scrutiny of Campus Rape.

Booz Allen Hamilton Looking To Hire Snowden Catchers. I bet Edward Snowden would be great at this job.

* The allure of the map.

* Durham police practices under microscope by Human Relations Commission.

* Low-Wage Federal Workers Walk Off Job.

The Academic Job Cover Letter I Wanted to Write.

* These 11 Popular Sodas Tested Positive for a Potential Carcinogen. Pepsi One Won’t Give You Cancer as Long as You Don’t Drink a Whole Can.

* CNN is now officially the worst.

* New Hampshire is considering institutionalizing jury nullification. I’m strongly in favor of all good uses of jury nullification and strongly opposed to all bad uses of it, so I’m pretty torn here.

* Obummer Watch: Southern leg of Keystone XL opens in U.S.

* My friend Jennifer Whitaker reviews my friend Allison Seay’s poetry collection, To See the Queen.

Bob Dylan is either the most public private man in the world or the most private public one.

* The duties of professors at college and universities.

Adjunct Unionization.

Chicken Soup for the Neoliberal Soul.

* Why breaking is funny, and when it isn’t.

Researchers predict Facebook will die out “like a disease.”

* Breaking the Facts of Life.

* Canavan’s Razor comes to Superman comics.

* Revolution: A Guide.

“Yale College seeks smart students from poor families. They’re out there—but hard to find.” More here.

As part of a settlement between the Archdiocese of Chicago and the victims of 30 pedophile priests, a cache of 6000 documents has been made public, detailing the Catholic Church’s efforts over many years to cover up sexual abuse and protect accused priests.

* If there must be a surveillance state, at least let it be steampunk.

* Chessmate-in-one puzzles on the iPad.

* And the last place on Earth without human noise.

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It’s Always Mischief Night Somewhere Links

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* You can now order the special Paradoxa issue on “Africa SF.” The testimonials indicate that Samuel Delany has at least heard of something I’ve written, so there’s that…

* Those who do not study history will have their wise decision ratified by bean-counting administrators: One of the 17 University of North Carolina campuses could stop offering degrees in physics, history and political science. If you read that sentence and thought to yourself, “gee, I bet that’s a historically black college,” give yourself a prize!

MLA Reports Modest Decline in Job Ads Posted in 2012-13. The State of the Academic Job Market, by Discipline.

‘I Wish I Were Black,’ and Other Tales of Privilege.

* The Logic of Stupid Poor People.

What The U.S. Would Look Like If It Mirrored The Main Characters On Prime-Time Network Television.

-Half the population would be white men.
-Five percent of the population would be black men.
-Just 1.9 percent of the world would be Asian or Latino men.
-Overall, 57 percent of the population would be men.
-34 percent of the world would be white women
-3.8 percent would be African-American women
-And 3.8 percent would be Latino or Asian women
-31.8 percent of the population would work for the police or some sort of federal law enforcement agency.
-9.7 percent of us would be doctors.
-2.6 percent of us would be criminals.
-1.9 percent would be supernatural creatures or robots.

What they are defending is a system in which wealth is passed off as merit, in which credentials are not earned but bought. Aptitude is a quality measured by how much money you can spend on its continual reassessment.

Students whose parents pay tens of thousands for SAT tutors to help their child take the test over and over compete against students who struggle to pay the fee to take the test once. Students who spend afternoons on “enrichment” activities compete against students working service jobs to pay bills – jobs which don’t “count” in the admissions process. Students who shell out for exotic volunteer trips abroad compete with students of what C Z Nnaemeka termed “the un-exotic underclass” - the poor who have “the misfortune of being insufficiently interesting”, the poor who make up most of the US today.

* …a recent Twitter thread started by a popular feminist blogger examines a dark side of that cliché in real-life academe, one in which professors’ advances – intellectual and otherwise – feed a need for validation and flattery, and at times cross the line into sexual harassment.

By the numbers: Sex crimes on campus.

Get Ready for Big Ed.

* The New York Times spends 36 hours in Milwaukee.

A collective narrative of trying to make it on $17,000 a year: bargaining testimony from a UCSC student-worker.

Colorado Counties Ban Sale of Marijuana, Want Share of Proposed State Sales Tax Anyway.

* Obama’s going to be super-mad when he finds out about the nonsensical security state procedures his administration has been using in lieu of actual oversight. And breaking into Yahoo! and Google? Why didn’t anyone tell him!

* Ripped from the pages of Philip K. Dick! Pentagon weighs future of its inscrutable nonagenarian futurist.

Pennsylvania law protects pregnant women from unwanted belly rubbing.

* The Chronicle follows up on last year’s PhD-on-food-stamps, who is now in a TT position at Martin Methodist College.

How Not To Take The GRE With a Non-Standard-English Name.

* The richest country in history: The Number Of Homeless Students In The United States Hits A Record.

“Riots always begin typically the same way”: Food stamp shutdown looms Friday.

* Perry Anderson accidentally writes a whole issue of New Left Review.

* 20th Century Headlines, Rewritten to Get More Clicks.

How the Koch Brothers laundered illegal campaign contributions.

* They’re marketing the Veronica Mars movie as a love triangle. This is my skeptical face.

* Sesame Street parodies Homeland.

* The chart that explains the world.

Change-in-real-income-between-1988-and-2008-at-various-percentiles-of-global-income-distribution-calculated-in-2005-international-dollars-Branko-Milanovic

* What’s W.R.O.N.G. with ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’? A.L.M.O.S.T. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

* No accidents, comrade: The New Inquiry considers Cold War nostalgia and Twilight Struggle.

People Who Live Downwind Of Alberta’s Oil And Tar Sands Operations Are Getting Blood Cancer.

* BREAKING: Student Debt Is Making All Your Life Choices Worse.

Matt Zoller Seitz completes his series on video essays on Wes Anderson films. Bring on The Grand Budapest Hotel!

PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 27: Princeton’s freshmen again have chosen Adolf Hitler as “the greatest living person” in the annual poll of their class conducted by The Daily Princetonian.

* Pope Francis, PR Wizard.

* The coming Terry McAuliffe landslide as proof the GOP brand is in serious disrepair.

* And it looks like they’ve finally (almost) proved that Darth Vader wasn’t always going to be Luke Skywalker’s father. Gotcha Lucas! You can run but you can’t hide.

Monday’s Links Has Learned to Tie Its Bootlace

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* Wes Anderson’s The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders.

A billion-year storage medium that could outlive the human race.

New drugs could extend cancer patients’ lives—by days. At a cost of thousands and thousands of dollars. Prompting some doctors to refuse to use them.

* Friendship Is Magic: Malcolm Harris on branding the left.

Maryville, Missouri Is a Lawless Hellhole, And Other Things You Can’t Say About Small Towns.

* The rich are different: Filthy Lucre.

* The wisdom of markets: Pinterest is now valued at $3.8 billion after its most recent round of fundraising generated $225 million. It’s an impressive feat for a company without any revenue. Note: that’s not no profit. That’s no revenue whatsoever.

Milwaukee police use-of-force reports more than double.

A City Or A Swamp? One Year Later, Hoboken Still Struggling With Sandy.

With a $100 million endowment and annual revenues approaching $300 million, TFA is flush with cash and ambition. Its clout on Capitol Hill was demonstrated last week when a bipartisan group of lawmakers made time during the frenzied budget negotiations to secure the nonprofit its top legislative priority — the renewal of a controversial provision defining teachers still in training, including TFA recruits, as “highly qualified” to take charge of classrooms.

* Abolition never happened: There could be slaves in the supply chain of your chocolate, smartphone and sushi.

* Decadence watch: Mixed Martial Arts for kids.

Malcolm Gladwell’s New Book Asks Us To Pity the Rich.

* Editorial: F**k Jared Diamond.

* Douglas Hofstadter, The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think. The Rapid Advance of Artificial Intelligence. Why We Should Think About the Threat of Artificial Intelligence.

More Than 15 Million Americans Now Live Within One Mile Of A Fracking Well. Nearly 300 Oil Spills Went Unreported In North Dakota In Less Than Two Years.

* Someone should put this guy in charge of a hypertrophic, paranoid security state. He’d do great.

* A California woman who received a life sentence for killing her abusive pimp at age 17 will be released after a mere 19 years in prison.

How to Turn Robert’s Rules Into a Force for Good.

* And RIP, Lou Reed. The Neil Gaiman interview.

Sunday Afternoon Links

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A Symposium on the Gender Gap in Academia.

* How the University Gets Laid Off: The University of Texas at Austin plans to drastically downsize its workforce, according to a draft of a plan obtained by the Texas State Employees Union that was confirmed by the university Friday afternoon.

The House GOP’s Little Rule Change That Guaranteed A Shutdown. Why did Obama force Boehner to change the rules to guarantee a shutdown? The man’s a monster.

National Cancer Institute director warns staff of increasingly dire effects of shutdown on science. Cancer research, classic big government bloat; I don’t even have cancer.

* Sobering reminder: What Democrats call victory.

* When Ditka shrugged.

Those who urge us to “think different,” in other words, almost never do so themselves. 

* Breaking Bad: The Text Adventure.

* Stay safe Durham: What Is This Photo Of The Duke Basketball Team Handling Assault Rifles?

Family Gets Driven Out of Missouri Town After Daughter Gets Raped.

What Happens When a 13-Year-Old 4Chan Cam Girl Grows Up?

* The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath.

The arsenal of medicines in the Hayeses’ kitchen helps explain why. Pulmicort, a steroid inhaler, generally retails for over $175 in the United States, while pharmacists in Britain buy the identical product for about $20 and dispense it free of charge to asthma patients. Albuterol, one of the oldest asthma medicines, typically costs $50 to $100 per inhaler in the United States, but it was less than $15 a decade ago, before it was repatented.“The one that really blew my mind was the nasal spray,” said Robin Levi, Hannah and Abby’s mother, referring to her $80 co-payment for Rhinocort Aqua, a prescription drug that was selling for more than $250 a month in Oakland pharmacies last year but costs under $7 in Europe, where it is available over the counter.

Wait. Repatented? That’s a thing?

* It begins: Tennessee, North Carolina Football Players Sue NCAA Over Concussions.

* Yet another take at getting to the bottom of Pale Fire: this one’s all about the gulags.

* Scenes from the abandoned Mark Twain Branch of the Detroit Public Library.

* And Alfonso Cuarón talks Gravity. Still haven’t seen it, alas…

Wednesday! Night! Links!

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* Jonathan Senchyne on Breaking Bad, cancer, and Indian Country. I like the way he teased this on Facebook: “Walter White has lung cancer, but doesn’t smoke…”

You know that newfound Van Gogh painting has the TARDIS in it, right?

* From the archives, just in time for application season: Should I Go to Grad School in the Humanities? I wrote that a year ago. If I wrote it today I think I’d write basically the same thing, just be more emphatic about every part. In particular — with all the necessary caveats about the falseness of meritocracy fantasy — going to a highly ranked program with strong recent placement rate is absolutely crucial. If you don’t hit that, and you want to go, work on your writing sample for a year and apply again. Your grad school’s reputation becomes instant proxy for your reputation. It’s not something you should plan to make up for by working hard.

* Also with all the usual anti-meritocracy caveats: On selling yourself on the academic job market.

* From the Washington Post archives: This amazing George Will there-are-too-many-states-nowdays rant against denim crossed my stream today.

The Inside Story Of How A Fake PhD Hijacked The Syria Debate.

Go Play This 8-Bit Version of Game of Thrones Immediately.

* Thinking through The World’s End: Part One, Part Two.

* Rich people are freaked out about Bill de Blasio. Sounds like a good start.

Nate Silver vs. Public Policy Polling. I’m amazed anyone is taking PPP’s side on this. If you don’t like a poll, run it again and release both; otherwise you’re introducing a massive bias into your process and destroying the credibility of your brand.

Medical Examiner In Zimmerman Trial Sues For $100M, Claims Prosecution Threw Case.

Long Lives Made Humans Human.

* An oral history of The Shield.

The New Yorker on Truman Show Delusion. Subscription required, alas.

* Years later, everyone remembered the Cheese Winter: The city’s Department of Public Works will go ahead this winter with a pilot program to determine whether cheese brine — a liquid waste product left over from cheesemaking — can be added to rock salt and applied directly to the street.

* Life imitates the Onion, as always in the worst possible way.

* And Salon interviews the great Margaret Atwood.

Tuesday!

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* Gasp! “Sociologists have found that whites refer to ‘qualifications’ and a meritocratic distribution of opportunities and rewards, and the purported failure of blacks to live up to this meritocratic standard, to bolster the belief that racial inequality in the United States has some legitimacy,” Samson writes in the paper. “However, the results here suggest that the importance of meritocratic criteria for whites varies depending upon certain circumstances. To wit, white Californians do not hold a principled commitment to a fixed standard of merit.”

* “Zombies in the Academy.”

Moore: There is no hiding from this. We are both isolated and co-experiencing zombification, but that also means there is resistance and complication everywhere you want to look. Most often it in the corridors and the grumbled shuffling between committee meetings, the universal language of bureaucratization. We are not alone and so we are going to take what we do best and invert it to examine the conditions of our own existence…. The zombie is not a monster; it is the horror of our own selves dropping round for a quick snack.

* A California law school is claiming that it has a First Amendment right not to help students find out how many of its graduates are passing the state’s bar exam.

* “One can make a legitimate, state-sanctioned choice not to vaccinate,” the bioethicist Arthur L. Caplan and his co-authors write, “but that does not protect the person making that choice against the consequences of that choice for others.” Since epidemiologists today can reliably determine the source of a viral infection, the authors argue, a parent who decides not to vaccinate his kid and thus endangers another child is clearly at fault and could be charged with criminally negligent homicide or sued for damages.

* Obama announces plan to reform national intelligence by putting the guy who lied to Congress about national intelligence in charge of the investigation.

* Today in biopower: Dying Teen Is Being Denied A Heart Transplant Because He’s Had Trouble With The Law. How 26 Cents Nearly Cost This Man His Health Coverage For Life-Saving Cancer Treatment.

* Reverse Big Bang Theory coming this fall.

Deadline reports that it’s just snapped up Gorgeous Morons, a show that turns sitcom convention on its ear by concerning “two stunningly handsome but dumb brothers, a model and a personal trainer, who find their lives rocked by their new roommate, a female literature PhD. who is merely very attractive”—i.e. she’s gorgeous by most reasonable standards, but likely wears glasses, and maybe sometimes a cardigan.

* Alex Pareene says don’t vote for Cory Booker today. I’m advising Alex not to read the newspaper tomorrow.

* And Gavin Mueller watches Elysium so you don’t have to.

The Clan of the One-Breasted Women

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I believe the first time I found my voice was when I crossed the line at the Nevada Test Site in 1988. It was one year after my mother died. It was one year before my grandmother would die, and I found myself the matriarch of my family at thirty. With the death of my mother, grandmothers, and aunts—nine women in my family have all had mastectomies, seven are dead—you reach a point when you think, “What do I have to lose?” and you become fearless. When I crossed that line at the Nevada Test Site as an act of protest because the United States government was still testing nuclear bombs in the desert—it was a gesture on behalf of the Clan of the One-Breasted Women—my mother, my grandmothers, my aunts. And I didn’t do it alone. I was with hundreds of other women who had suffered losses in Utah as a result of atomic testing, as a result of our nuclear legacy in the West. I crossed that line with Jesuit priests, with Shoshone elders, with native people who had also lost lives because of the radiation fallout in the Shivwits’ lands.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Five or Six for Friday

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* Games that combine both compelling narrative and dissonance are a rare find, and to our great fortune, one of the most respected publishers in the field is about to release a new, revised edition of interactive literature’s lost masterpiece. A game that offers profound storytelling, and a tension of opposing narrative and gameplay that threatens to tear the entire game asunder. It shows us greed, fear and familial neglect, and studies the horror of capitalism taken to logical extreme. I speak, of course, of Capcom’s tour-de-force: DuckTales. A footnote, perhaps, to Dorfman and Mattelart’s classic How to Read Donald Duck.

Chimes of Freedom: How Springsteen Helped Tear Down the Wall.

* IRS scandal, still bogus.

* We Coke drinkers have known it for years: Pepsi causes cancer.

* Jet stream sure acting funning. Eh, it’s probably nothing.

* And TPM has your Sainthood Update.

A Quick Five for Tuesday

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* Angelina Jolie writes in the New York Times about her preventive double mastectomy.

* DC cancels everything, including China Miéville’s Dial H for Hero.

Justice Department Responds To Freedom Of Information Act Request On Online Snooping With 100% Blacked-Out Document. That is just straight trolling.

* Adam Kotsko on the Mad Men backlash. With special guest appearance!

* And a good piece for understanding the IRS scandal. Not that it will make a lick of difference in how this thing plays out.

Thursday Links

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* North Carolina update: holy smokes. I mean really. I mean really.

This is quite incredible. Even if a college uses all of its extra tuition revenue to increase the financial aid it awards, that money is not, on average, being used for low-income students. Instead, it’s used to attract other students the college wants.

Between 2004 and 2012, NYU added 25 more administrators than faculty. Amateurs.

Sweating the Details of a MOOC in Progress.

* MOOC learning styles.

* Alas, LucasArts.

* Alas, Iain Banks. Just terrible. A tribute at Salon. And another at the Guardian.

Exxon’s Duck-Killing Pipeline Won’t Pay Taxes To Oil Spill Cleanup Fund.

A first-time narcotics offender, father to three, sold pain pills to a friend. His punishment: 25 years in prison. It’s just the latest evidence that U.S. drug policy is madness.

* In New York City, nearly 90 percent of the people arrested for marijuana possession are blacks and Latinos. In Chicago in recent years, only five percent of the people arrested for possession were whites. In many cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, police have arrested blacks for marijuana possession at seven times the rate of whites, and Latinos at three to four times the rate of whites. In Ocean Hill-Brownsville in Brooklyn, where 90 percent of the residents are blacks and Latinos, the marijuana arrest rate is 150 times higher than on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where Mayor Bloomberg lives where the 90 percent of residents are white.

* Presenting the absolute worst person in the world.

* What could possibly go wrong? Nonprofit that ‘Empowers Neighborhoods’ By Handing Out Free Guns is Coming to Dallas.

* Good news everyone! The LAPD is researching precrime.

May 26th shall forever be known as Arrested Development Day.

* Robot finds accidental haiku in the New York TImes.

* And your historic grassroots insurgency successfully managed to keep Hillary Clinton from becoming president…for eight years. Mission accomplished.

‘Thank You, Thank You, I Have Cancer, Thank You, I Have Cancer, Really, Thank You’

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The great Tig Notaro has had a bad year.

But she didn’t just have cancer. She went on to explain that in some manic twist of fate, while her career is at an all-time high — she is moving to New York to work on Amy Schumer’s new television show, she was on This American Life — concurrently, all these terrible circumstances have befallen her over the past 3 months: pneumonia made way for a debilitating bacterial infection in her digestive tract for which she was hospitalized and lost 30 pounds off of her already small frame, days after being released from the hospital, her young mother died suddenly and tragically (fell, hit her head, died), then she and her girlfriend broke up, and then, now, cancer. In both breasts. (“You have a lump.” “No, doctor, that’s my breast.” — one of her most renowned bits is about someone remarking upon her small breasts)

Written by gerrycanavan

August 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm

‘The Long, Fake Life of J.S. Dirr’

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To whom I have hurt:

I am deeply sorry for all the pain I have caused everyone. It was never my intention to do so. This all started 11 years ago when I was a bored 11-year-old kid looking for an escape from the pain and heartache I saw in my own family…

Inside an eleven-year online cancer hoax.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 7, 2012 at 8:21 am

Weekend Links

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It used to be that families first signed up for education loans when their child enrolled in college, but a growing number of parents are seeking tuition assistance as soon as kindergarten. Though data is scarce, private school experts and the small number of lenders who provide loans for kindergarten through 12th grade say pre-college loans are becoming more popular.

As for what may have driven her to do it, the prosecutor argued in her opening statement that whatever horrors Harris had endured at the hands of her father should have little bearing on the crime itself. A Daughter’s Revenge. Not for the faint of heart.

* More nightmares: Aleksander Hemon records the death of his young daughter.

* To conclude, a projection from 1981 for rising temperatures in a major science journal, at a time that the temperature rise was not yet obvious in the observations, has been found to agree well with the observations since then, underestimating the observed trend by about 30%, and easily beating naive predictions of no-change or a linear continuation of trends.

* A study concludes the recent earthquake spike in the U.S. is almost certainly manmade.

* Corporations Hoard Cash Overseas In Anticipation Of Congress Giving Them A Huge Tax Break. It’s like they can see the future!

* Olson noted that the IRS relied on computers to audit all but the highest-income brackets. “We’re getting to a situation where the only people who will get face-to-face audits are the 1 Percent,” she said. “For the majority of taxpayers, the IRS has become faceless, nameless, with no accountability and no liability.”

* Moorhead, MN, police steal $12,000 tip from waitress.

* Learning literally nothing from history: The Obama Administration has approved the expansion of a pilot program that allows poultry producers to hire their own regulators. Via LGM.

* And I may have done this one before, but why not again? The Collective Snapshot.

Saturday Night Links

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* Breaking: Right-wing Supreme Court Justices don’t take their jobs seriously. Supreme Court May Be Most Conservative in Modern History. Antonin Scalia, semi-retired crank.

* Jonathan Cohn, Scott Lemieux, and Richard Hansen and ponder the legitimacy of a Supreme Court that has actually gone the full monty and overturned the ACA.

* Of course they say the same thing about us. Judge Strikes Down Key Parts Of Walker’s Anti-Public Employee Union Law.

* Don’t check the date, just believe it: Google Maps QuestView for the NES.

* This collection of more-accurate Dr. Seuss titles is one of my favorite things on the entire Internet.

* James Cameron teases the Avatar sequels.

“The best inspiration I got for ‘Avatar’ 2 and 3 was dealing with the master navigator culture in Micronesia,” Cameron said by phone from Tokyo on Friday, where he attended the Japanese premiere of “Titanic 3D.”

The Micronesians, a seafaring culture who navigated the Pacific for centuries without the aid of compasses or charts, already have a lot in common with the blue Na’vi residents of Pandora — they’re an indigenous, matrilineal culture, colonized by outsiders. And the cerulean and aquamarine tones of “Avatar” and its inhabitants seem drawn from postcards from the watery Micronesian region.

* The New York Times has some fun with towards a quantum theory of Mitt Romney.

* 21st Century as Intergenerational War. More here and here.

* Why are colleges acting as volunteer loan collection agents for the banks?

In 2011, California spent $9.6 billion on prisons, versus $5.7 billion on higher education. Since 1980, California has built one college campus; it’s built 21 prisons. The state spends $8,667 per student per year. It spends about $50,000 per inmate per year.

* The lottery lie: The educational “bonus” appears to be nonexistent. Miller and Pierce (1997) studied the short- and long-term effect of education lotteries. They found that lottery states did indeed increase per-capita spending on education during the lottery’s early years. However, after some time these states actually decreased their overall spending on education. In contrast, states without lotteries increased education spending over time. In fact, nonlottery states spend, on average, 10 percent more of their budgets on education than lottery states (Gearey 1997).

* The education reform lie: it’s impossible to talk about primary and secondary education in America in any meaningful way if you won’t allow yourself to discuss class.

* Hunger Games commentary watch: Understanding Katniss.

If you and your board are now determined to show that you in fact have wisdom and maturity when you exercise your powers over the eduction of your young, then you should acknowledge that it was a rotten lesson you taught young people in a free society when you denounced and then burned books–books you hadn’t even read. You should also resolve to expose your children to all sorts of opinions and information, in order that they will be better equipped to make decisions and to survive. Yours sincerely, Kurt Vonnegut.

* Too Smart to Fail: Notes on an Age of Folly.

But the problem goes far beyond politics. We have become a society that can’t self-correct, that can’t address its obvious problems, that can’t pull out of its nosedive. And so to our list of disasters let us add this fourth entry: we have entered an age of folly that—for all our Facebooking and the twittling tweedle-dee-tweets of the twitterati—we can’t wake up from.

* Slate continues to pioneer bold new horizons in fantasy capitalism.

* 3 New Studies Link Bee Decline to Bayer Pesticide. No one could have predicted the widespread implementation of insecticides would kill so many insects!

The government has put the chances of a magnitude 7.3 quake centered in the north of Tokyo Bay at 70 percent over the next three decades, and has estimated there would be about 11,000 casualties and 850,000 buildings destroyed.

* Cancer research: it’s worse than you think.

* “Military surplus a bonanza for law enforcement.”

* Orwell and March Madness.

* And Canada will stop issuing pennies. Honestly, they’re decades ahead of us. Could be centuries.

All the Wednesday Links

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* The headline reads, “Student Loan Debt Delinquency Is Much Worse Than We Thought.”

We find that 27 percent of the borrowers have past due balances, while the adjusted proportion of outstanding student loan balances that is delinquent is 21 percent-much higher than the unadjusted rates of 14.4 percent and 10 percent, respectively

Meanwhile, college costs have sextupled since 1985.

* The Supreme Court looks prepared to rule that international law doesn’t apply internationally. Well done, sirs.

* Attorney General Eric Holder concludes no due process is a kind of due process. This whole “rule of law” thing is going great.

* Paul Pillar: We can live with a nuclear Iran. Of course we can.

The simple argument is that Iranian leaders supposedly don’t think like the rest of us: they are religious fanatics who value martyrdom more than life, cannot be counted on to act rationally, and therefore cannot be deterred. On the campaign trail Rick Santorum has been among the most vocal in propounding this notion, asserting that Iran is ruled by the “equivalent of al-Qaeda,” that its “theology teaches” that its objective is to “create a calamity,” that it believes “the afterlife is better than this life,” and that its “principal virtue” is martyrdom. Newt Gingrich speaks in a similar vein about how Iranian leaders are suicidal jihadists, and says “it’s impossible to deter them.”

The trouble with this image of Iran is that it does not reflect actual Iranian behavior. More than three decades of history demonstrate that the Islamic Republic’s rulers, like most rulers elsewhere, are overwhelmingly concerned with preserving their regime and their power—in this life, not some future one. They are no more likely to let theological imperatives lead them into self-destructive behavior than other leaders whose religious faiths envision an afterlife. Iranian rulers may have a history of valorizing martyrdom—as they did when sending young militiamen to their deaths in near-hopeless attacks during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s—but they have never given any indication of wanting to become martyrs themselves. In fact, the Islamic Republic’s conduct beyond its borders has been characterized by caution. Even the most seemingly ruthless Iranian behavior has been motivated by specific, immediate concerns of regime survival. The government assassinated exiled Iranian dissidents in Europe in the 1980s and ’90s, for example, because it saw them as a counterrevolutionary threat. The assassinations ended when they started inflicting too much damage on Iran’s relations with European governments. Iran’s rulers are constantly balancing a very worldly set of strategic interests. The principles of deterrence are not invalid just because the party to be deterred wears a turban and a beard.

On the other side, of course, we have the not-at-all-fascistic-sounding slogan “peace through strength.” Occupy Everywhere? What could possibly go wrong?

* Football: It’s worse than you think! Via MetaFilter, with more from Ta-Nehisi Coates.

* Matt Zoller Seitz on what makes Mad Men great.

When Gabriel García Márquez interviewed Akira Kurosawa.

Marquez: Thank you very much. All things considered, I think that if I were Japanese I would be as unyielding as you on [the subject of the bomb]. And at any rate I understand you. No war is good for anybody.

Kurosawa: That is so. The trouble is that when the shooting starts, even Christ and the angels turn into military chiefs of staff.

* How Goldman Sachs does it: they’re on every side of every deal.

* Archie Comics continues to insist on its own relevance: now they’re giving Cheryl Blossom breast cancer.

* I give Colbert the edge over Stewart re: Rush.

* And exactly how long ago was a long time ago in a galaxy far away? io9 is there.

Great Unknown, Han and Chewbacca are forced to make a jump to hyperspace to flee Imperial attackers. (OK yes, we know it’s non-canonical, but this is a thought experiment so just bear with us.) The Millennium Falcon crash lands on Earth, where Han and Chewbacca are attacked by Native Americans. Han receives several arrow wounds in the process, and Chewbacca holds his partner as the last bit of life flees from him. The second half of the story leaps 126 years into the future, with Indiana Jones and Short Round searching for Sasquatch in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, only to find Chewbacca and the bones of Han Solo.

Blaspheme!

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