Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘comedy

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

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday, Tuesday

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poverty segregation index* The U.S. Cities Where the Poor Are Most Segregated From Everyone Else. Milwaukee, alas, is #1.

* “Dr. Kissinger’s visit to campus will not be publicized, so we appreciate your confidentiality…”

* Dronespeak.

* Yet the Senate House files show a university elite admitting that outsourcing has actually pushed up costs and made services worse. Despite that, the executives vow to press on with an even grander privatisation scheme.

* How to Talk to Prospective Grad Students.

* “The Ivory Ceiling of Service Work.”

* BREAKING: Raising the minimum wage doesn’t actually crash the economy.

* BREAKING: The TSA is useless.

* Vignettes from the Modern Workplace.

* Whispers and rumors of Shaka Smart.

* Race, privilege, and paying college athletes. Meet the Press’s Epic NCAA Fail.

* Everyone hates Nate Silver now, and/but/because his model says Republicans will take the Senate. More at Slate.

* There is a large body of evidence now looking at AA success rate, and the success rate of AA is between 5 and 10 percent.

* The Atlantic profiles Duke’s Own™ Zach Blas and his Facial Weaponization Suite.

* Pointless cruelty in the British prison system.

* The College Board and ACT are being sued for stealing student information.

* In a civilized country, it wouldn’t be possible: Detroit water department preparing mass utility shutoffs.

* Then again, apparently we can’t even recognize the equal humanity of our own future selves.

* The law, in its majestic equality… Arkansas Judge Ruled for Corporation Just Days After PAC Contributions.

* Annals of Star Trek continuity. That explains it!

* Sometimes muckraking is the worst: What the Heidelberg Project doesn’t want you to know.

* To whom is George Zimmerman a hero?

* Scott Walker endorses Obamacare.

* Yale Daily News, 1971: Educated Unemployables.

* Life after prison in Baltimore.

* All this happened, more or less.

* Great moments in checks and balances: Obama will ask Congress to put an end to the NSA bulk data collection program the executive branch personally, secretly, and extralegally inaugurated.

* Precrime watch: LAPD says every car in Los Angeles is part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

* The Onion is founding a new comedy festival in Chicago.

* Polio eradicated in India.

* And BREAKING: The Qatar World Cup Is a Total Disaster.

Tuesday Links!

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This is not a glitch in the system. It is the system. Readers are gullible, the media is feckless, garbage is circulated around, and everyone goes to bed happy and fed. The Year We Broke the Internet.

* A lengthy think-piece on the place of rhetoric and composition in the modern university.

But who gets to write in The New York Times – and to whom is The New York Times accessible? If we’re talking about accessibility and insularity, it’s worth looking at The New York Times’s own content generation cycle and the relationship between press junkets and patronage.

Lately, some people have suggested that doctoral programs should take somemodest steps in order to keep track of what happens to their Ph.D.s after graduation. It’s a good idea, and these suggestions are made with the best of intentions, even if they’re coming about 50 years too late. They are, unfortunately, looking in the wrong place as far as you are concerned. You can’t just count up how many of a program’s graduates end up as professors—otherwise, the best qualification you could get in grad school is marrying a professor of engineering or accountancy who can swing a spousal hire for you. Instead, there is just one thing you should be looking at: What percentage of a program’s graduates are hired for tenure-track jobs through competitive searches?

Rutgers Boosts Athletic Subsidies to Nearly $50 Million.

Rutgers University, already the most prolific subsidizer of sports of all Division I public institutions, gave its athletics department nearly $47 million in 2012-13, USA Today reported, a 67.9 percent increase over the 2011-12 subsidy of $27.9 million. Rutgers athletics is $79 million in the red, but officials say that the university’s move to the Big Ten Conference will generate close to $200 million over its first 12 years as a member. The most recent subsidies make up 59.9 percent of the athletics department’s total allocations, and total more than the entire operating revenues at all but 53 of Division I’s 228 public sports programs.

* Sell your book, go broke.

* State-by-state misery index. Wisconsin’s doing pretty all right, and that’s counting the existence of Wiscsonin winters…

* Meanwhile, Arizona is once again officially the absolute worst.

* The latest on adjuncts and the ACA.

A New York and Chicago Mom Discover What Standardized Rigor Really Means for Their Children.

RIP Harold Ramis. A New Yorker profile from 2004.

American Aqueduct: The Great California Water Saga.

How Slavery Made the Modern World.

 

* Down an unremarkable side street in Southwark, London, is a fenced lot filled with broken concrete slabs, patches of overgrown grass and the odd piece of abandoned construction equipment. Its dark history and iron gates separate this sad little patch from the outside world. Lengths of ribbon, handwritten messages and tokens weave a tight pattern through the bars of the rusty gates … all tributes to the 15,000 Outcast Dead of London. Thanks, Liz!

2014 Graduate Scholarships and Fellowships That Do Not Require Proof of US Citizenship or Legal Permanent Residency.

* Geronrockandrolltocracy: On average, the Rolling Stones are older than the Supreme Court.

* Ghostbusters and Reaganism.

* The Digital Comics Museum.

* Is Venezula burning? Everything you know about Ukraine is wrong.

The Long, Slow Surrender of American Liberals. What the hell is Barack Obama’s presidency for?

Having a Gun in the House Doesn’t Make a Woman Safer.

The financially strapped University of California system is losing about $6 million each year due to risky bets on interest rates under deals pushed by Wall Street banks.

Here’s why you shouldn’t buy a US-to-Europe flight more than two months in advance.

@Millicentsomer announces her plan to be supremely disappointed in House of Cards season three.

* Suburban soccer club has so much money no one notices two separate officers embezzling over $80,000.

* Antimonies of e-cigarettes.

* Another Day, Another Oil Spill Shuts Down 65 Miles Of The Mississippi River.

* Department of Mixed Feelings: Marquette likely to get its own police force.

* BREAKING: Bitcoin is a huge scam. Charlie Stross schadenfreudes.

Gawker Can’t Stop Watching This Live Feed of Porn Site Searches.

* New state of matter discovered in chicken’s eye gunk.

* Your one-stop-shop for Harry Potter overthinking.

* And Ralph Nader still thinks only the super-rich can save us now.

 

Thursday Links

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* Research shows that if a child discloses sexual abuse, chances are very, very good that no matter how young he or she is, how angry his or her parent is at the accused, how numb or stiff he or she seems discussing it, how willing she or he is to back off from the claim at any one point, how little physical evidence there is, that child is probably telling the truth. Six Reasons Why Dylan Farrow Is Highly Credible.

* A Brief History of the Graduate Student Organizing Committee at NYU.

Wildly popular accounts like @HistoryInPics are bad for history, bad for Twitter, and bad for you.

* On Saying the Same Thing a Thousand Times.

* We have not in modern high-income, public-education, open-access societies actually managed to increase the rate of social mobility above what it was in preindustrial society.

Male, Mad and Muddleheaded: Academics in Children’s Picture Books.

* “Oppressed Majority”: Life as a Woman.

* Also at Buzzfeed (sorry): What Arbitrary Thing Are You?

* The latest in terrible education reform ideas: the “parent trigger.”

* The latest in weird weather: “frost quakes.”

* Train Spills 12,000 Gallons Of Oil In Minnesota, No Major Cleanup Effort Planned.

* Jerry Seinfeld, philosopher.

“You’re funny, I’m interested. You’re not funny, I’m not interested. I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that.”

* True facts that sound false.

* Stolen Stradivarius violin recovered, sources say.

* Marbles Anne Frank gave a playmate when her family went into hiding from World War II Nazis are on exhibit in the Netherlands after 70 years in a cupboard.

* Marriage equality in Scotland.

* The tactical brilliance of BDS becomes clearer with every passing month.

* Iran Is Apparently Adopting Universal Health Care.

* ‘Shy’ male sues Women’s Studies teacher for failing him after he refused to attend class.

* What happens when two chatbots try to seduce each other.

* Finally, a Bachelor Contestant Exposes the Show’s Weird Sex Issues.

At some point we jumped the tracks and wound up in a really polemic 1980s dystopia.

Latinos overwhelmingly want action on climate change.

* Bill Watterson wins the Nobel Prize of Comics.

* So much for my doomsday prepping: The Great Lakes May Be Drying Up.

Single Mother Fired For Staying Home With Her Son When Schools Closed For Subzero Weather.

XStat Rapid Hemostasis System for Gunshot Wounds Works in 15 Seconds.

Wisconsin’s law on police accountability in custody deaths goes unused.

“That is as bad as anything I’ve ever heard,” he said of the decision to let Weston work with cleaning products. “Not only did they know he was suicidal, they know how he did it, and they gave him the very agent that he’s used to try to commit suicide. That sounds criminal.”

Your iPhone Has a Secret Undo Button.

* There’s a new TNI out, on H8.

* They’re making a movie out of High Rise, which is great news.

* The first fear is always the fear of the doppelgänger.

* And LifeHack has some important Beard Facts.

Mashable-Beard-Facts-Comic

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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Wednesday Night!

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alkebu-lan-1260* Kinsey gaffe from the Times re: CUNY: Mr. Milliken, 56, the president of the University of Nebraska since 2004, will take over a school system that has undergone a spate of recent expansion but is still troubled by large pockets of impoverished and academically lagging students, the overwhelming majority of whom come from the city’s public schools. Still troubled by existence of the students the school was established to serve. Must be a real nightmare over there.

* Women Destroy Science Fiction!

* First as tragedy… Žižek’s Jokes contains every joke cited, paraphrased, or narrated in Žižek’s work in English (including some in unpublished manuscripts), including different versions of the same joke that make different points in different contexts.

* Oliva Pope fixes Chris Christie.

Stutzer and Frey found that a person with a one-hour commute has to earn 40% more money to be as satisfied with life as someone who walks to the office. On the other hand, for a single person, exchanging a long commute for a short walk to work has the same effect on happiness as finding a new love.

* Disband West Virginia. I’m From West Virginia and I’ve Got Something to Say About the Chemical Spill. Why So Many West Virginians Relied on Water from the Elk River: Industry Already Polluted the Others.

Do You Really Want to Use a Commercial Learning-Management System?

The colonization counterfactual. “What if Africa had never been colonized but was still re-formed into the kinds of political bodies which colonialism sought to create.”

The university is dead. The question to ask now is not, how do we bring it back. That’s impossible and quite undesirable. The question is what new forms of genuinely democratic self-organization might rise from its ashes? To even begin to ask this question we must first of all get rid of the police.

* Cultural Preservation: Preserving Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. This is where Dylan hitchhiked to see Woody Guthrie, right at the border of my hometown.

* BREAKING: Fox Only Talks About Climate Change When It’s Cold.

* RT @wewatchwatchers: In whiteness news: Man found with pipe bomb at Edmonton airport allowed to fly.

* Bruce v. Christie: I’ll allow it.

* Schweitzer tacks against Obama: The inside story of how Obamacare became an insurance-industry bailout.

* NLRB finds that Wal-Mart illegally intimidated and retaliated against organizers. I assume that means the corporation is dissolved and becomes a worker’s collective.

Studies Confirm: Kids Ruin Your Life. Now they tell me?

* And three years ago it cost me $1000 to sequence one gene. Now that’s what it costs to sequence an entire genome.

Christmas Hangover Links

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* I knew there was a loophole! Pope says atheists are OK with Jesus, so long as they “do good.”

Why bother? On family obligation. On institutional breakdown.

* Folks, we need to talk: The Creepy Surveillance of Elf on a Shelf.

* Canada issues Santa Claus a passport.

Chinese State Media: China’s Air is Too Polluted for Santa to Fly.

* Why NORAD tracks Santa.

The Work of Christmas in the Age of TBS’ “24 Hours of A Christmas Story.

* Christmas and the socialist objective.

* Was Scrooge a neoliberal?

The FBI considered “It’s a Wonderful Life” to be Communist propaganda.

* That Christmas Spirit: US emergency food providers brace as $5bn food stamp cuts set in.

A Map That Reveals the Most Popular TV Show Set in Your Home State.

* We are creating Walmarts of higher education—convenient, cheap, and second-rate.

We’re Constantly in Fear: The life of a part-time professor.

* Bullying in Academia More Prevalent Than Thought.

* College watchdog groups sharpening their teeth.

* Adjunct Nate Silver has been studying the academic job market in German since 2007: who posts jobs, and who gets jobs. Part 1.

* The Year of the Crush: How the Radically Unfair Candy Crush Saga Took Over Our Lives.

* Why we’re doomed: what Obama reads.

Obama does reserve a certain respect for opinion writers such as Tom Friedman and David Brooks of The New York Times, Jerry Seib of The Wall Street Journal, E. J. Dionne of The Washington Post, and Joe Klein of Time. “My impression is that he reads a lot of columnists,” says Brooks, “and therefore he sort of cares about what they say.”

* And then Amazon ate everything, Someday it might even make a profit!

* The Tumblr of forever: sffworthy.tumblr.com.

* Gasp! Judge: Detroit’s Debt Deal Too Generous To Wall Street.

North Carolina’s bad plan to take lawyers away from poor people.

* Trying to learn Arabic is now officially probable cause.

* …even though the Obama administration has called on Western buyers to use their purchasing power to push for improved industry working conditions after several workplace disasters over the last 14 months, the American government has done little to adjust its own shopping habits.

“Choice” is the illusion of power.  Vouchers were not dreamed up to provide choice, but to deny it. We need to avoid confusing a justification with an explanation.

eBay removes anti-Zimmerman artwork the same day Zimmerman’s painting sells for $100k.

Book bannings on the rise in US schools, says anti-censorship group.

More proof that America’s prison epidemic is a complete disaster.

* Why MLB Hitters Can’t Hit Jennie Finch and the Science of Reaction Time.

* Carbon Footprint Of Best Conserving Americans Is Still Double Global Average. Inevitable Milwaukee-based “wait, maybe this isn’t so bad” joke.

* Inevitable “well, there’s always Mars” joke.

The selective disappearance of large animals marks this period out from other extinction episodes, and was the start of what Estes and his fellow authors suggested “is arguably humankind’s most pervasive influence on the natural world”. For Estes, it was the beginning of the sixth mass extinction.

Does the ASA Boycott Violate Academic Freedom? A Roundtable. The ASA, scholarly responsibility and the call for academic boycott of Israel. Why I changed my mind about the ASA boycott.

Billionaire’s role in hiring decisions at Florida State University raises questions.

* Nightmare watch: Teen Girl Shot, Killed by Stepdad While Trying to Sneak Back Into House. Texas School Retaliated Against Student For ‘Public Lewdness’ After She Reported Rape.

* An Oral History of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s ‘Baby Got Back’ Video.

* Merry Paul F. Tompkins.

* Democrats are over (if you want it): Democrats desperately want war with Iran.

* And the BBC has a Sherlock season three minisode. God bless us, every one!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Monday Links

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19 Regional Words All Americans Should Adopt Immediately.

* Take the New York Times‘s dialect quiz.

* CFP: Graphic Treatment: Zombies, Medicine, and Comics.

The point is truth and beauty, without which our lives will lack grace and meaning and our civilization will be spiritually hollowed out and the historical bottom line will be that future epochs will remember us as a coarse and philistine people who squandered our bottomlessly rich cultural inheritance for short-term and meaningless financial advantage. And that is why you should major in English.

* Wisconsin ranks #1 in the country for our rate of incarcerating African Americans.  The state’s incarceration rate is 12.8%, meaning that one in eight black men are currently in state prison.  In Milwaukee, the numbers are even more stark.  More than half of the black men in Milwaukee have been incarcerated at one point or another, leaving them virtually unemployable as more and more employers run routine background checks.  2/3s of them are in the cities 6 poorest zip codes.

* Rebecca Schuman v. Riverside.

* Remember Black Mountain SOLE, the big MOOC U experiment? No one could have predicted it would turn out to be a complete sham.

Our research confirms that there is a direct correlation between institutional prestige and candidate placement. If we consider the highest ranked programs, the three tied at #1, we find that Harvard University has successfully placed 239 political scientists at 75 institutions—including twelve at Harvard. Princeton has successfully placed 108 political scientists at 62 institutions—including five at Princeton. Stanford has successfully placed 128 political scientists at 51 institutions—including three at Stanford. The highest ranked public university, The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (ranked number four overall), has successfully placed 141 political scientists in 61 institutions—including seven at Michigan. These four schools contribute 616 political scientists; roughly twenty percent of the total tenure-track lines in the discipline at research-intensive programs. The median institutional ranking for the 116 institutions covered is eleven, which implies that eleven schools contribute 50 percent of the political science academics to research-intensive universities in the United States. Over 100 political science PhD programs are graduating students that will contest the remaining 50 percent of openings. More links below the chart.

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On the ASA Boycott and Its Backlash.

The Ivory Ceiling of Service Work.

Peer review or smear review? Reflections on a rigged system.

* George Zimmerman discovers secret loophole to becoming a successful artist.

* Oh, New Jersey.

* Interactive graphic: median income across the US.

These 2 Cities Are Now Exclusively For Rich People.

Write A House Is Giving Writers Free Homes In Detroit.

The bedroom tax was designed not just to reduce the welfare bill, but to make an example of those whose benefits were cut. Britain has a housing shortage and a costly welfare state, due to high unemployment, chronic low wages, and an unresolved global economic crisis for which British banks are partly to blame. The bedroom tax sharpens a structural economic problem into a attack on the poor and sick, who are now to be considered lazy, luxuriating in more space than they need in some of the most crowded cities on earth. It’s not just about the money. It’s about making sure people with disabilities and mental health problems no longer get the basic space to live.

Across the country, public schools employ about 250,000 fewer people than before the recession, according to figures from the Labor Department. Enrollment in public schools, meanwhile, has increased by more than 800,000 students. To maintain prerecession staffing ratios, public school employment should have actually grown by about 132,000 jobs in the past four years, in addition to replacing those that were lost, said Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington.

FBI agent tries to copyright super-secret torture manual, inadvertently makes it public.

Elf advocates are successfully delaying Icelandic road projects due to concerns over the possibility of elf nesting habitats in rural lava fields. Concerns over the “hidden folk” are central to Icelandic culture — according to a 2007 poll, 62 percent of Icelandic residents think it’s at least possible that elves exist.

* Bloomberg, Dasani, and the undeserving poor at Christmas.

* Compulsory monogamy in The Hunger Games.

Why The Desolation of Smaug Is Peter Jackson’s Phantom Menace.

* How the New Yorker covered the Moon landing.

* Comedians and depression.

More simply, as they say in the article, “the Republican Party has engaged in strategic demobilization efforts in response to changing demographics, shifting electoral fortunes, and an internal rightward ideological drift among the party faithful.” Those demobilization efforts are targeted towards black voters in particular, minority voters in general, as well as the poor, all of whom tend to vote Democratic, while they seek to avoid impacting elderly (white) voters who tend to vote Republican. It’s also worth noting that both the efforts and the research is not limited to voter ID laws, but includes proof of citizenship requirements, registration restrictions, and absentee and early voting restrictions. There is a tendency, even among liberals, to dismiss such efforts as simply a legitimate effort to ensure that people have ids. Leaving aside that this still can be a barrier to exercising a fundamental right, such arguments obviously don’t apply to all these restrictions. While they found a small influence for accusations of “voter fraud” this is dwarfed by these other considerations. Targeting the Right To Vote.

* Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal runs an op-ed just straight out calling for a return to white male rule. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday Night Reading™

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* On September 27, TNI co-sponsored the one-day conference “Said is dead. Long live Said!” at City College that marked a decade since Edward Said’s passing. Collected here are some of the talks, graciously provided by the speakers and organizers.

* ‘Wounds of Waziristan’: The Story of Drones As Told By the People Who Live Under Them.

* The Logic of Settler Accumulation in a Landscape of Perpetual Vanishing.

* Jacobin on the Grambling State football players’ strike and the BART strike.

* “Invention requires a long-term willingness to be misunderstood”: contemplating the sacred mysteries of Amazon.com.

Mr. Horton was only named CEO on November 29, 2011, the same day AMR Corp. entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. So for a mere sixteen months of toil, the entirety of which have been spent in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the board wants to pay him $20 million.

* Support For Marijuana Legalization Reaches Historic High Of 58 Percent. Since we live in a responsive representative democracy, we’ll obviously see marijuana legalization any day now.

* Vladimir Nabokov: The Playboy Interview.

26 Slogans That Frankly Make More Sense Than the Real Ones.

* And Aziz Ansari explains marriage.

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Every Thursday Brings Us Closer to the End of Thursdays Links

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* 92-Year-Old Who Once Faced Literacy Tests Sues North Carolina Over New Wave Of Voter Suppression.

* The Emergent Academic Proletariat and its Shortchanged Students.

* AAUP is looking to change the way it organizes professors.

* More Than Half Of Teachers Report Buying Hungry Students Food With Their Own Money.

* John Liu has a new pet issue in this mayoral race: Just ahead of Tuesday’s mayoral debate, the city comptroller proposed changing the city’s marijuana laws to make the drug legal for recreational use, then taxing it and using the revenue to help pay for the City University of New York. A study Liu commissioned on marijuana economics in New York found that legalizing the possession of one ounce of weed could increase city revenue by $400 million.

* Forbes lists its ranking of the most and least financially fit schools in America.

* A brief history of “hello.”

The Oxford English Dictionary says the first published use of “hello” goes back only to 1827. And it wasn’t mainly a greeting back then. Ammon says people in the 1830′s said hello to attract attention (“Hello, what do you think you’re doing?”), or to express surprise (“Hello, what have we here?”). Hello didn’t become “hi” until the telephone arrived.

* Impressionist Sings ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ As 19 Different Divas.

* U2′s Bono: Capitalism is only way to end poverty. Well, I guess that settles it.

* TNI considers the fine print.

Fine print has a habit of eliciting just such a moralizing tone. If somebody is caught out by terms contained in a section of fine print, our first thought is usually that it’s the person’s own fault for being so inattentive, reckless, or even downright lazy. “Always read the fine print.” With its definite article serving at once to distance and to universalize the practice, the old adage is deemed fair warning. And yet fine print asks specifically not to be read. It is a deliberately non-communicative speech act, erasing itself by miniaturization, accumulation, and esotericism.

* And some grade-A crazy from Orson Scott “Please, Boycott Ender’s Game, I’m Begging You” Card.

Colbertmania

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Friday Night Links

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* Thickness of the ice sheets at various locations 21,000 years ago compared with modern skylines.

* Ian Bogost has a great piece on MOOCs in an otherwise totally skippable LARoB feature on the subject.

MOOCs are a financial policy for higher education. They exemplify what Naomi Klein has called “disaster capitalism”: policy guilefully initiated in the wake of upheaval.  The need to teach more students with fewer resources is a complex situation. It’s partly caused by hubris, especially the blind search for higher institutional status through research programs, and it’s exacerbated by the tax base crises of the ongoing and seemingly permanent Great Recession. MOOCs offer the next logical step in this process of “cost containment.” But those who would call current funding models “unviable” and offer MOOCs as a convenient alternative fail to admit that the very need for an alternative presumes that we want to abandon public education in favor of a corporate-owned infrastructure in the first place.

MOOCs are an academic labor policy. As a consequence of the financial policy just described, MOOCs are amplifying the precarity long experienced by adjuncts and graduate student assistants, and helping to extend that precarity to the professoriate. MOOCs encourage an ad-hoc “freelancing” work regime among tenured faculty, many of whom will find the financial incentives for MOOC creation and deployment difficult to resist. This is particularly true of public institution faculty who have gone years without raises. Many institutions offer tens of thousands of dollars of direct compensation for MOOC development and teaching. And, in some cases, MOOCs offer direct access to student tuition and direct competition among faculty for those new resources, extending the “entrepreneurial” institutional politics of professional schools (and corporate life more generally) to all disciplines.

MOOCs are speculative financial instruments. The purpose of an educational institution is to educate, but the purpose of a startup is to convert itself into a financial instrument.The two major MOOC providers, Udacity and Coursera, are venture capital-funded startups, and therefore they are beholden to high leverage, rapid growth with an interest in a fast flip to a larger technology company or the financial market. The concepts of “disruption” and “innovation,” so commonly applied to MOOCs, come from the world of business. As for EdX, the MOOC consortium started by Harvard and MIT, it’s a non-profit operating under the logic of speculation rather than as a public service. If anything, it will help the for-profits succeed even more by evangelizing their vision as compatible with elite non-profit educational ideals.

It is telling that elite professors and universities who design MOOCs aren’t using them for their own students. Those of us who value education and its role in fostering both literacy and democracy should pass on them too.

* Patton Oswalt: A Closed Letter to Myself about Thievery, Heckling, and Rape Jokes.

* Sarah Kendzior vs. the prestige economy. Good interview.

* Obama wants you to believe he’s really truly going to get serious about the climate next month. Really! Meanwhile, they’ve found another methane time bomb in the permafrost.

There are nearly six times as many showings of Man Of Steel alone as there are of all the films about women put together.

The Seinfeld theme slowed down by 1,200 percent is horrifying.

* High-ranking SS commander found living in Minnesota.

* John Oliver really is a much better host of the Daily Show than Stewart’s been since the Bush years.

The investigation was ongoing, but Undersheriff James Szczesniak said there was no evidence yet that Martino “had any ill intent.” There could be a dozen perfectly legitimate reasons why he’d have 30 to 40 pipe bombs in his apartment.

 Transgender People Can Now Change Their Social Security Record’s Gender Identity.

What’s more important: a college degree or being born rich? The answer will totally not surprise you!

* And the time has come at last to raid Detroit’s pensions in the name of bankers’ profits.

Tuesday Links

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* “A higher education system worth defending or reclaiming has never existed”: Education’s “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” Moment.

* This piece is admirably forthright about what’s at stake with MOOCs.

How can this lead to cost reductions? The savings can accrue rapidly if the course is massively enrolled and subsections are taught by less well-paid individuals; or if the course lasts several years and the designers and lead professor may be paid over time.

* For the love of the game: The other day, Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz decried the spreading influence of money in college athletics. This is funny for several reasons, but you don’t really need to go past the fact that Ferentz is paid $3.8 million a year to coach Iowa’s football team, and does so while providing a comically small return on investment. In situations like this, schools would normally cut bait and fire the coach, but Ferentz is protected by a buyout that makes his contract look downright reasonable. … If Iowa were to fire Ferentz today, the school would have to pay a buyout of $17,531,360.

‘Achievement gap’ between older, younger kindergarten students persists into high school.

Wisconsin City Fines Parents If Their Kids Are Bullies.

I’m sure that academics will have ­objections, although Whedon has stood up to far worse than the Shakespeare (or Earl of Oxford) mob. He has been to Comic-Con. When Shakespeare’s done right, you can’t ­imagine him ever being done wrong. The clarity is blinding.

Hedge fund manager suggests just firing all the teachers and just buying kids iPads. That’ll solve it.

Third graders will now officially assess NYC teachers. Foolproof! What could go wrong?

Billions of Dollars Wasted on Racially Biased Marijuana Arrests. No! It can’t be! That’s impossible!

Marijuana usage rates are comparable among Blacks and whites, yet Blacks are over 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.

If Comedy Has No Lady Problem, Why Am I Getting So Many Rape Threats?

And Astronomers Find First Evidence Of Other Universes. Let’s go.

Weekend Links!

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* Big fair use decision: specific commentary on the original work is not required for a fair use defense.

* Finding common ground with Senator Coburn: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude major professional sports leagues from qualifying as tax-exempt organizations.

* Gasp! Many students stay away from online courses in subjects they deem especially difficult or interesting, according to a study released this month by the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College. The finding comes just as many highly selective colleges are embracing online learning and as massive open online courses are gaining popularity and standing.

“What we’re saying is that bargain-basement (clothing) is automatically leading towards these types of disasters,” John Hilary, executive director at British charity War on Want, told Reuters.

* Bad Robot will adapt 11/22/63.

* Canada gets it right: “The legal test for a true volunteer arrangement looks at several factors, but merely agreeing to work without pay does not in itself make you a volunteer,” Ministry of Labour spokesperson Jonathon Rose wrote in an email. See also Natalia Cecire:

Like the hypothetical minimum-wage high schooler whose income serves as pocket money, non-essential and destined for “fun,” the youthful volunteer, who may very well intrinsically enjoy the work, authorizes a category of labor exploitation that is not only okay but also okay to take as the norm for the labor of cultural preservation. “I can get you a twenty-year-old!” is, in that sense, not a labor solution but its opposite: a commitment to the norm that this work will be unpaid.

* Whitewashing and manwashing cinema.

* Mother Jones profiles the great Tig Notaro.

What BP Doesn’t Want You to Know About the 2010 Gulf Spill.

* And 66 behind-the-scenes photos from the filming of The Empire Strikes Back.

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Thursday Already?

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List of children killed by drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen.

* Adam Kotsko calls for more specificity and rigor in discussing the student loan crisis.

It is hard for me to avoid the conclusion that the sensationalism surrounding the “student loan bubble” stems from the fact that the majority of writers for progressive publications are either relatively recent college graduates or people with vivid memories of their own student debt. Hence they jump on the issue, making themselves and people like them the center of attention — while ignoring the vast wave of proletarianization that is beginning to make the United States a major competitor in the global sweepstakes to attract capital with low wages (and in fact, many self-styled progressive writers seem to buy into Obama’s incoherent view that greater access to college will in itself somehow help with inequality and wage stagntation).

A comprehensive new Harvard University report on Americans under 30, the so-called Millennials, shows that the economy is having a crushing impact, with just 62 percent working, and of those, half are toiling at part-time jobs.

* Malcolm Harris reviews Haneke’s Amour, in the new TNI.

* This Tumblr post does a good job explaining what’s appealing about the Harmontown podcast while unhappily bracketing the racism and misogyny that can sometimes make the show a challenging listen.

* Also in Community news: Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs hype the new season of Community, starting tonight. Gillian Jacobs on Comedy Bang Bang. Yvette Nicole Brown on the Nerdist podcast, where she reveals her secret past as a member of the East Coast Family.

* Walter Bishop as the villain in Star Wars 7? Oh, all right.

* Airline mergers seem hard, y’all.

* Stephen King points out a Shining prequel is a really dumb idea. Alas, his Shining sequel doesn’t sound great, either.

* Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal vs. Valentine’s Day.

* Of course you had me at time travel web comic: Paola-4.

* And spotted on Facebook: Postcolonial Space Explorer.

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