Posts Tagged ‘community’
* “All the ingredients are there for a near-record or historic cold outbreak,” he said. “If you’re under 40 (years old), you’ve not seen this stuff before.” The Polar Vortex Is Coming.
* Like Sendak and Gaiman, Tolkien insists that fairy tales aren’t inherently “for” children but that we, as adults, simply decide that they are, based on a series of misconceptions about both the nature of this literature and the nature of children.
* Our brains don’t work: Lavishing Kids With Praise Can Make Them Feel Worse About Themselves.
* And the Internet is a massive time-travel killjoy. Why didn’t someone come back and warn us this would happen?
- Attack the tenured and those on the tenure track.
* The tyranny of data: Neflix’s 76,897 genres. No more, no less!
Given this it makes the most sense, and would in some sense be most accurate, to understand both Aragorn and Arwen as half-Elvish who chose the fate of Men, though even then few citizens of Gondor would think of Aragorn as anything but a Man. (Indeed Aragorn, descended from Elros, who chose mortality, is not even given the choice of identifying as an Elf, in the sense that his bloodline does not give him access to Aman.) What none would do is think of Arwen as “3/16 human.” Attempting to force this kind of “scientific” racialism, obsessed with fractional bloodline, on to Middle-earth and Arda is a sort of cultural imperialism: It’s just not how Elves or Men (or Valar) understand race.
* What could possibly go wrong? The United States Is Now the Most Unequal of All Advanced Economies.
* But there’s good news too! Lightning strikes killed fewer Americans than ever in 2013.
* It’s not just your imagination: mass shootings are increasing.
* 10 Films That Passed the Bechdel Test in 2013. There were ten?
* And Walmart Recalls Tainted Donkey Meat from Chinese Stores. ”It’s actually fox meat, regulators say.”
* It is no place for children. Yet Dasani is among 280 children at the shelter. Beyond its walls, she belongs to a vast and invisible tribe of more than 22,000 homeless children in New York, the highest number since the Great Depression, in the most unequal metropolis in America.
* So, to recap, nationalization of the health insurance industry in 2009 would have cost no more (and almost certainly a lot less) than $240 billion. The savings in waste resulting from replacing the health insurance racket with an extension of Medicare would have resulted in no less than $158 billion a year. That’s an annualized return on investment of 66 percent. The entire operation would have paid for itself in less than 18 months, and after that, an eternity of administrative efficiency for free. And, of course, happy shareholders.
* Seven in 10 college seniors (71%) who graduated last year had student loan debt, with an average of $29,400 per borrower. From 2008 to 2012, debt at graduation (federal and private loans combined) increased an average of six percent each year.
* Academia as horror show: The Chronicle‘s 2013 “Influence” List.
* BREAKING: MOOCs don’t work.
* Brad DeLong says save Berkeley by “(partially) transforming it into a finishing school for the superrich of Asia.” What could go wrong?
* A vote being held tomorrow and Wednesday could secure union recognition for New York University graduate students, which the administration withdrew and then withheld from them — with help from congressional Republicans and Obama’s now-Treasury Secretary — for the past eight years. If the United Auto Workers emerges victorious in the vote, NYU will become only private sector U.S. university to bargain collectively with graduate student teachers and researchers — though such workers will remain excluded from U.S. labor law.
* “This comic is shaping up to be, in many ways, a departure from the sometimes light-hearted series.” He’s taking, impossibly, about the Serenity comic followup Leaves on the Wind.
* Good news! FBI can secretly turn on laptop cameras without the indicator light. 1984 as instruction manual.
* Novelist Kim Stanley Robinson (Red Mars, 2312, and Shaman) debates the merits of utopian thinking with Aeon Magazine’s Marina Benjamin and political theorist Alex Callinicos.
* Nice work if you can get it: Fox News Paid Fired Executive $8 Million to Keep Quiet.
* And Disney can now ruin Indiana Jones, too. This is the darkest timeline.
* ‘Fallen’ Disney Princesses. The Ariel, Belle, and Jasmine ones are the best, I think.
* Scientific Paper of the Night: Could we blow up the sun?
I’d like to suggest that given the significance of bureaucracy as an administrative stronghold, the arena of bureaucracy is worth intervening in if and only if the legitimacy of governance by upper administration is negated by the intervention. A professor who agrees to be on a committee thinking that from that position she’ll be able to limit damage and fearing that if she is not on it things will be even worse is not negating the legitimacy of the administration, so that should not be done.
But a resolution introduced in the Academic Senate, or issued by an individual department, stating that the Regents should not be allowed to set the salaries of upper administrators would reject their legitimacy and would be worth doing, not least because it would be news…
* When Nada Al-Ahdal discovered that her parents had sold her she ran away. She is 11 years old, and this is her message. Wow.
* A study finds the odds of rising to another income level are notably low in certain cities, like Atlanta and Charlotte, and much higher in New York and Boston. 5.6% in Milwaukee. According to this map, without the Dakota oil boom America would have essentially no class mobility at all.
* American children raised at the top, and at the bottom, are more likely to land on the same rung of the income ladder as their fathers than their Canadian counterparts. More than one-quarter of sons raised by fathers in the top 10 percent stay in the top 10 percent as adults, and another quarter fall no further than the top third. Meanwhile, half of those raised by fathers in the bottom 10 percent remain at the bottom or rise no further than the bottom third. In Canada there is less stickiness at the top, and children raised in the bottom are more likely to rise to the top half in earnings.
* Occupy nowhere: Obama signs anti-protest Trespass Bill.
* Faint praise watch: “The Newsroom,” Season 2: Not an Unpardonable Train Wreck Like Season 1.
Hundreds of convicts, including senior members of al Qaeda, broke out of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib jail as comrades launched a military-style assault to free them, authorities said on Monday.
The deadly raid on the high-security jail happened as Sunni Muslim militants are gaining momentum in their insurgency against the Shi’ite-led government that came to power after the U.S. invasion to oust Saddam Hussein.
* First we must understand that though the humanities in general and literary studies in particular are poor and struggling, we are not naturally poor and struggling. We are not on a permanent austerity budget because we don’t have the intrinsic earning power of the science and engineering fields and aren’t fit enough to survive in the modern university. I suggest, on the basis of a case study, that the humanities fields are poor and struggling because they are being milked like cash cows by their university administrations. The money that departments generate through teaching enrollments that the humanists do not spend on their almost completely unfunded research is routinely skimmed and sent elsewhere in the university. As the current university funding model continues to unravel, the humanities’ survival as national fields will depend on changing it. Via MLA.
* No one could have predicted: Citing disappointing student outcomes, San Jose State pauses work with Udacity.
* Tomrorow’s outrageous acquittals today: Here’s Florida’s Next Trayvon Martin Case.
* Possible Homeland Security pick tainted by racial profiling accusations. It would be terrible if racial politics were somehow allowed to corrupt the mission of Homeland Security.
* As western water leaders converged on Las Vegas in December 2001, Southern California’s inability to contain its voracious appetite seemed finally to be bumping up against reality – there is only so much water in the Colorado River.
* My friend Fran McDonald has a piece in the Atlantic about laughter without humor.
The glitch aesthetic of the GIF emphasizes the uncanny quality of laughter. At each moment of re-looping, Portman performs a miniature convulsion that registers as an inhuman twitch. If humor makes us human — an assumed correlation that is so deeply written into our culture that the two share a basic etymological root — then laughter without humor appears to render us mechanical, terrifying, monstrous. It is not a coincidence that laughter without humor has become the great cinematic signifier of madness: think of Colin Clive’s maniacal “it’s alive!” hysterics in the famous 1931 film version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the crazed cackle of The Joker in the Batman comics.
* Today, surrogacies in the U.S. are managed by profitable “voluntary” clinic-agencies speaking the language of the “gift.” The labor (no pun intended) that commercial surrogates perform in the U.S. is not legally recognized as work but as volunteerism, though surrogacies cost at least four times the 1986 sum—whether they be traditional, in which the surrogate is impregnated with a client’s sperm, or, as is increasingly the case, gestational, in which an in-vitro-fertilized embryo is transferred to the surrogate’s womb. Strict means-testing is used to assess a surrogate’s independent wealth, purporting to check for authentic “voluntariness.” This effectively bars working-class American women from entering surrogacy agreements. The U.S. surrogacy industry prefers to cast surrogacy as akin to basket-weaving or amateur pottery, not assembly-line factory work.
In India, the reverse is true. There are upwards of 3,500 so-called womb farms in the country, in which conscripted women offer the vital force of black flesh considered untouchable at home to incubate white children destined to be shipped back to Denmark, Israel, or the U.S. It’s a “purely economic arrangement” with a “mere vessel,” explains Dominic and Octavia Orchard of Oxfordshire, UK, a commissioning couple featured in the Daily Mail in 2012. To couples like these, surrogates are presented as transnational reproductive-service workers, their job description posted online and accompanied by detailed terms of service.
* And a Dan Harmon profile with more information on his firing and rehiring and plans for season five, for anyone who still hasn’t lost patience with either the series or him personally…
* The headline reads, “37 Million Bees Found Dead In Ontario.”
* Also in that’s-the-whole-point news: Undocumented Worker Alleges Wage Theft, Ends Up In Deportation Proceedings.
* Living nightmares: I Got Raped, Then My Problems Started.
* Insurers Refuse To Cover Kansas Schools Where Teachers Carry Guns Because It’s Too Risky. Maybe my plan to force gun owners to carry liability insurance would have worked after all.
* The cause of the crash landing of a Boeing 777 in San Francisco is still unclear. But pilots say they had been worried about conditions at the West Coast airport for a while. An important flight control system had been out of service for weeks. No One’s Talking About the Flight Attendant Heroes in the SFO Crash.
* Great moments in neoliberalism: Chris Christie’s Boondoggle.
1. It is not pragmatic. The two most difficult challenges it raises are how to fund its initiation and how to collect on the money loaned. Nowhere do its proponents explain where Oregon will get the estimated $9 billion needed to start the program, or how the state will ensure that graduates repay.
Meeting first in their dreams, Laura and Carmilla are bound together in the original female vampire romance. What can Laura make of an ancestral portrait that resembles her mysterious new friend or the strange dreams she experiences as she is drawn ever closer to this beauty of the night?
* Holy @#$%, Michael Jackson almost starred in a Doctor Who movie. Second choice (the legend goes) was a little-known stand-up you may have heard of, Bill Cosby.
* Other Doctor Who ideas that seemingly make no sense at all: We almost got a live Doctor Who episode.
* A Detroit area school district has erupted in protest over the discarding of a historic book collection that is said to contain more than 10,000 black history volumes, included films, videos, and other artifacts. The blame, according to residents of Highland Park, a small city surrounded on nearly all sides by Detroit, belongs to Emergency Manager Donald Weatherspoon, who claims the collection was thrown out by mistake but that the district cannot afford to preserve it.
* And an important link for my particular demographic: Twelve Colorful Words That Start with Z.
* Steven Chu waves the white flag on the tar sands. This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal… If only Obama had won!
* Colorado to split into two states over gun control? America has become a bad fan fiction of itself.
* The Constitutional Amnesia of the NSA Snooping Scandal: John Judis remembers the 60s and 70s.
* And Dan Harmon says he won’t retcon season four. Of course, he hasn’t seen it yet…
* We’re all to blame for MOOCs. (Hey! Speak for yourself. I just got here.) A second chance to do the right thing. Online college course experiment reveals hidden costs.
“I get this call from San Jose State: ‘Uh, we have a problem,’” recalled Mark Ryan, superintendent of the Oakland Military Institute, a public school set up on a military model.
It turned out some of the low-income teens didn’t have computers and high-speed Internet connections at home that the online course required. Many needed personal attention to make it through. The final results aren’t in yet, but the experiment exposed some challenges to the promise of a low-cost online education. And it showed there is still a divide between technology-driven educators and the low-income, first-generation college hopefuls they are trying to reach.
To make it work, the institute had to issue laptops to students, set aside class time for them to focus on the online course, and assign teachers to make sure they stayed on task.
* In disaster after disaster, the fear returns that people — under stress, freed by circumstance from the bonds of authority — will turn on one another. The clear consensus is that this has no basis in reality.
* Where do greenhouse gases come from? Links continue below the graph.
* Facts as ideology: women’s fertility edition.
* …this wealthiest of all wealthy nations has been steadily falling behind many other nations of the world. Consider just a few wake-up-call facts from a long and dreary list: The United States now ranks lowest or close to lowest among advanced “affluent” nations in connection with inequality (21st out of 21), poverty (21st out of 21), life expectancy (21st out of 21), infant mortality (21st out of 21), mental health (18th out of 20), obesity (18th out of 18), public spending on social programs as a percentage of GDP (19th out of 21), maternity leave (21st out of 21), paid annual leave (20th out of 20), the “material well-being of children” (19th out of 21), and overall environmental performance (21st out of 21).
Perhaps the most intriguing news: “Sony said they’re very interested in recording me watching it as a commentary track” for the Season 4 DVD set, he said. His co-host for the evening, Rob Schrab, asked if the DVD commentary could also include a visual in the corner of the screen of Harmon’s facial expressions as he watches the season he was aced out of.
* The Today Show has confirmed that the “disabled guide” Disneyland thing is actually happening.
* And a headline that seems like it must have been generated by a fake headline generator, and yet: Update: Was Pablo Neruda Murdered By a CIA Double Agent Working for Pinochet?
* Aaron’s latest Sunday Reading has a special section devoted to what’s going on in Turkey, if like me you haven’t been following as closely as you’d like. There’s lots of other good links too, of course.
* It also reminds me that I never got around to linking to this massive map of Arrested Development running gags.
* It really seems to me that Detroit will declare bankruptcy either way. The role of the emergency manager is to facilitate bankers’ looting the city first.
* Ten Year Chicago Hotel Strike Ends in ‘Unconditional’ Defeat. Orbitz booked me at this hotel a few years ago and I was furious. I’d had no idea about the strike.
* Arrested Development Season 4 Timeline. We’re still working our way through, but I’m significantly more bullish on the season than most reviewers, to the point where I feel as though I literally don’t know what some of these people are talking about. I’m talking about this on Twitter now; maybe a post of some sort later. Subtle jokes of season 4. And more.
* A new study from Emory Sports Marketing Analytics concludes that Marquette University has the 9th best fan base in the country among collegiate basketball programs.
* An internal faculty report generated by professors in the College of Computing says there were “significant internal disagreements,” despite Georgia Tech’s portrayal of the deal as heavily supported by faculty.
* “You are all going to die”: Joss Whedon’s 2013 Wesleyan Commencement Speech.
* It is the one moment of genuine interest in Frank Marshall’s hilarious 1995 adaptation of Michael Crichton’s laughable 1980 novel. Marshall’s decision to replace Crichton’s white mercenary with a black character is the only time either book or film acknowledges the problem of working in a genre — the colonial adventure narrative — fundamentally constituted around imperialist-racist ideology. Admittedly, Marshall does nothing more, but even this very little sets his film apart from such epic racefails as the Indiana Jonesfilms and Peter Jackson’s inept attempt to not make a racist King Kong. But can such pulp fictions be redeemed? Or when revived are they destined merely to be, in Lavie Tidhar’s infamous description of steampunk, “fascism for nice people”? Mark Bould reviews Black Pulp.
* During the decade 2000-10 in the USA, for the first time the number of poor people in major metropolitan suburbs surpassed the number in cities. Between 2000 and 2011, the poor population in suburbs grew by 64% — more than twice the rate of growth in cities (29%). By 2011, almost 16.4 million residents in suburbia lived below the poverty line, outstripping the poor population in cities by almost 3 million people. Confronting Suburban Poverty in America.