Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘crime

Wednesday Links!

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* After long neglect I’ve updated the “online articles” page on my Professional Website, if you’re interested.

* Studies show kindergarteners do better on standardized tests when chained to their desks in windowless white rooms for fifteen hours at a time, so.

* Jacobin‘s brief history of neoliberalism is quite good, though the claim that the Tea Party is irrelevant or that the GOP is on the ropes seems especially odd after last night’s wonderfully improbable defeat of Eric Cantor.

* You’d think at the “legacy project” point of his presidency Obama might want to avoid phrases like “misspent years” and “talking your way  through” things.

* Pizzeria Boss Fined $334K Because You Can’t Pay Workers In Pizza And Soda. Why not let the free market decide if pizza is currency?

* The Mental-Health Consequences of Unemployment. The jobs with the highest incidence of depression. Both cases seem like prime candidates for the left critique of the medicalization of depression, which is that sometimes you’re depressed because your circumstances are bad, not because your brain is misfiring.

* Headlines you don’t want to read about your new city: “Getting Milwaukee’s rivers to meet state water quality standards won’t be easy.”

* Peru Approves Genocide for Uncontacted Tribes.

* Why I’m sending 200 copies of Little Brother to a high-school in Pensacola, FL.

Temp Nation: How Corporations Are Evading Accountability, at Workers’ Expense.

* Why a California judge just ruled that teacher tenure is bad for students.

* Another study confirms Fox News viewers are unusually misinformed even by American standards.

* Feedly and Evernote Go Down As Attackers Demand Ransom.

* Climate Change: SVU.

* Map: All the Countries John McCain Has Wanted to Attack. I have to believe this is a significant undercount.

* My “but it could actually be good” fantasy script for Batman vs. Superman get less and less likely by the day. Alas.

* And could we finally see another Star Trek TV series courtesy of Netflix? Only if you promise it’s not Captain Worf.

Day-Old Weekend Reading, Still Perfectly Good

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* Deadline getting very close: CFP: Foundation, special issue on Science Fiction and Videogames (30 Apr 2014).

* CFP on Iain M. Banks. CFP for the Journal of Ghosthumanities.

“It Continues Not To End”: Time, Poetry, and the ICC Witness Project.

* The work of torture in video games. Is it immoral to kill video game characters? Video games as ideological training.

* Rare Indian Burial Ground Quietly Destroyed for Million Dollar Houses.

* Chris Newfield goes inside Georgia Tech’s financials to figure out if MOOCs really save any money. You’ll never believe what happened next!

* Is a key piece of Faulkner scholarship a hoax?

* In what English departments is Baldwin falling out of favor? They should lose their accreditation!

“The reason for eliminating the Kindergarten show is simple. We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills.”

* Driver Who Fatally Injured Teen Now Suing Dead Teen’s Family.

It was recently brought to public attention that of the UK’s 18,510 university professors, only 85 are of black origin.

*Amateur sports is a relation that has existed for so long, with the general public’s acquiescence if not outright approval, that it’s hard to imagine an alternative. Even the most rational commentators struggle for another way to do business, not just cartoonish right-wingers like Alexander — a man who’s clearly happy to keep making less than the football coach, but not so enamored with the idea of a Tennessee running back being able to feed himself.

* Neoliberalism and the rise of the sports management movie.

* Tuesday, five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders filed suit against their own team, alleging that the Buffalo Jills were required to perform unpaid work for the team for about 20 hours a week. Unpaid activities included: submitting to a weekly “jiggle test” (where cheer coaches “scrutinized the women’s stomach, arms, legs, hips, and butt while she does jumping jacks”); parading around casinos in bikinis “for the gratification of the predominantly male crowd”; and offering themselves up as prizes at a golf tournament, where they were required to sit on men’s laps on the golf carts, submerge themselves in a dunk tank, and perform backflips for tips (which they did not receive). The Buffalo Jills cheerleaders take home just $105 to $1,800 for an entire season on the job.

* Alyssa Rosenberg continues her exploration of how the Game of Thrones show differ from the novels, including reference to the improved script for last week’s Jaime-Cersei scene.

* How the Military Collects Data on Millions of High School Students. How Big Data Hurts the Poor.

* 21 Things You Didn’t Know About Rushmore. I must confess I knew nearly all of these.

* Jedediah Purdy reviews Capital in the Twenty-First Century at LARoB.

* Rape culture horror at Brown. At Swarthmore. College Campuses Are Treating Rape Like A Crime Without Criminals.

* Meanwhile, at the Supreme Court.

* As Atwood said: Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.

* Scenes from the class struggle at Disney World.

* Studies the charter school scam collapsing in record time.

* The special exemption preventing unionization at religious universities appears to be a thing of the past. The Fight To Unionize College Athletes Could Also Expand Union Rights For Graduate Students. A specter is haunting precarity. End College Legacy Preferences. We Refuse to Accept That Violence Against Us Is Necessary to the Sustenance of Our EducationGive the Customers What They Want.

* The workplace: prison or sanctuary?

* Lawrence & Wishart & the Marxists Internet Archive.

* For North Dakota, drones a possible growth market. But in possible upside news: Kenya’s new drone program could put a virtual end to poaching. How We Read a NYTimes Story on Drone Strikes in Yemen.

* Everybody knows the college debt regime is insane–but is it insane enough? Vox reports.

* Peak Voxplaining: “The real world is marred by terrible killing, including death by drone-fired missile. But it’s much, much better than the world of Game of Thrones.”

* EXPLAINER: Is China a communist country?

* It’s official: Justice League will be a terrible film. Elsewhere in nerd mourning: the Star Wars Expanded Universe is officially dead.

How America’s Leading Science Fiction Authors Are Shaping Your Future.

* Great progressive hope Elizabeth Warren on why she used to be a Republican until ugh just forget it.

* Bring on the mass pardons.

* Fineable Offenses for Naughty 18th-Century Students at Harvard.

* The bleaching of San Francisco.

* “Life: It’s literally all we have. But is it any good?” Spring’s best new comedy is free on YouTube.

* Fascinating. The devices appear to stimulate the reward centers of their tiny brains.

* Google goes back to its core competencies.

* And the Internet is doomed. Enjoy your BUFFERING BUFFERING BUFFERING HAVE YOU TRIED THE NEW KFC DOUBLE DOWN? DOUBLE DOWN ON FUN! BUFFERING week.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 28, 2014 at 9:54 am

Monday Morning Links

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* There’s always money in the banana stand: After closing 50 schools, Chicago Public Schools has proposals for 31 new Charter Schools. This is how much your kid’s school’s budget has been cut (state-by-state averages). “The United States is one of few advanced nations where schools serving better-off children usually have more educational resources than those serving poor students.”

* Fiduciary duty: Shareholder sues IBM for spying on China, wiping $12.9B off its market cap.

* Can Science Fiction Survive in Saudi Arabia?

Incarceration rate per 100,000 Black males in South Africa under apartheid (1993) 610: 851. Incarceration rate per 100,000 African-American males in the United States under George W. Bush (2001) 611: 4,848. The Bush tag is such a redding herring there. This is a bipartisan consensus.

What crimes did prisoners commit?

Almost two-thirds of court admissions to state prison are for property and drug offenses, including drug possession (16 percent), drug sales (15 percent), burglary (9 percent), and auto theft (6 percent).

Christmas in Prison.

Then, she says, the prosecutor began rattling off names and showing photographs of people, asking about their social contacts and political opinions. Olejnik guesses he asked “at least 50 questions” in that vein, compared to the four about May Day. That’s when she shut down, refused to answer, was found in contempt of court, and was sent to SeaTac FDC.

Texas Judge Who Resigned After Allegedly Colluding With Prosecutor Now Running For Prosecutor.

* If a Drone Strike Hit an American Wedding, We’d Ground Our Fleet. How NY Times Covers Yemen Drone Strikes.

A Tale of Two Cities: America’s Bipolar Climate Future. New York City and New Bern, North Carolina both face the same projected rise in sea levels, but while one is preparing for the worst, the other is doing nothing on principle.

Scientists Turn Their Gaze Toward Tiny Threats to Great Lakes.

* Iowa Republican’s 2-year investigation finds no statistically significant evidence of voter fraud.

* There’s always money in the banana stand, part two: Highest paid college presidents.

Two House Democrats Lead Effort to Protect For-Profit Colleges, Betraying Students and Vets.

* Son of a: A New Study Suggests That People Who Don’t Drink Alcohol Are More Likely To Die Young.

The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder.

* Postscript on the Societies of Control, life insurance edition.

* I’ve been saying this for years: Online advertising has a fraud problem. Millions of ad impressions are being served to bots and non-human traffic, and ad tech companies are doing little to stop it.

The Kellers are caught up in a little-known horror of the U.S. housing bust: the zombie title. Six years in, thousands of homeowners are finding themselves legally liable for houses they didn’t know they still owned after banks decided it wasn’t worth their while to complete foreclosures on them.

* True crime: 100 cited in Wisconsin probe of illegal ginseng harvesting.

* The Walker miracle: The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that 4,420 people in Wisconsin filed initial unemployment claims during the last week of November. That is more claims than the next two highest states combined: Ohio with 2,597 and Kentucky with 1,538.

* Israel, BDS, and delegitimization. ASA Members Vote To Endorse Academic Boycott of Israel.

* The Pope: Not a Marxist!

What does it mean to be privileged? It means not having to think about any of this, ever.

Public Influence: The Immortalization of an Anonymous Death.

* And how Arthur C. Clarke responded to crackpots.

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Weekend Links

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* Annals of so totally completely missing the point: Hunger Games’ producers working on ‘potential theme park opportunities.”

The Public Option for Higher Education.

Instructed at 4 p.m. Thursday to cut $55,000 — or 20 classes — by 5 p.m.

* How to Write a Lifeboater Manifesto.

‘You Can Sleep Here All Night’: Video Games and Labor.

* Socialize Social Media! A Manifesto.

* Postal Service Insolvent Since 2006 Law Requiring It to Be Insolvent. Better privatize it!

Humanities degrees at Marquette remain steady despite national statistics.

* Colorized historical photos. Secluded Cultures on the Brink of Extinction. Michael Galinsky’s Retro Photos of 1980s Shopping Malls Are, Like, Totally Rad.

* Senate passes ENDA 64-32, now the House will completely ignore it. Obama Backs $10 Minimum Wage Secure in the Knowledge It Will Never Be Passed.

* The Chris Christie Hegemony. I Can’t Believe Terry McAuliffe Is Going to Be Governor of Virginia. Here comes 2016.

No, Crime Is Not Going to Start Soaring Under Bill de Blasio.

Terrible Columnist Richard Cohen Shocked To Learn That Slavery Was Really, Really Bad.

upinarms-map* “A Very Dangerous Boy”: the ten-year-old boy who killed his neo-Nazi father.

Secret ‘Bay Bridge Troll’ Guarded the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge for 24 Years.

* Advanced Readings in D&D.

* The eleven nations of North America.

School Named For Former KKK Leader Reconsiders Its Legacy. Christ, Florida, why the rush? Let’s be sure we really think this thing through.

* Declaring a war on warrior culture in the wake of the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal. “The NFL’s Bully Problem”: Sports Columnist Dave Zirin Connects Violence in Sports to Rape Culture. Tony Dorsett Has CTE. More Living Football Players Show Signs Of CTE. Why It Matters That Tony Dorsett Is Showing Signs Of CTE. Why a Denver Broncos player suddenly walked away from the NFL and more than $1M.

* You can tell the human body was poorly designed by evolution. I mean, who puts sanitation next to recreation?

* Happens all the time: Super typhoon Haiyan just broke all scientific intensity scales.

Since 1890 every Wisconsin officer who took a life was cleared of any wrongdoing. Every single one.

Black students scored lower this year in every category of the nation’s benchmark reading and math test, which also showed that for all the dynamism in Wisconsin’s education scene, student achievement remains stagnant.

* Sweden formalizes the Bechdel Test.

* Pablo Neruda: Not Poisoned.

* The new normal: Black woman shot in head seeking help in white neighborhood.

This Is How Much Money Twitter Owes You.

* And at last some good news: That Saul Goodman Breaking Bad spinoff may be both prequel and sequel.

Wednesday Links!

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* Who accredits the accreditors? The U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday notified the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges that it is out of compliance in several areas related to its sanctioning of City College. The commission must take “immediate steps” to avert the suspension or termination of its federal recognition as an accrediting body, according to a letter from the department.

* Where is all that extra tuition revenue going?

During this time, he finds that both gross and net tuition revenue rose by nearly 40% in real, inflation-adjusted terms. How did university administrators decide to spend this money? If you guessed “on hiring lots more underlings, and giving enormous raises to themselves,” you have just won an authentic Gordon Gee bow tie. Gale finds that University president salaries rose by 50%, and total employee compensation went up by 22%, yet full-time instructor salaries (this includes both tenure-track and non-tenure track people) barely rose at all. Indeed the latter category may well have declined if non-full time adjunct faculty had been included.

Relax, The United States Isn’t Actually Having A Fertility Crisis.

* How could this BE:  Just two and a half months after a historic vote to close 50 schools, Chicago is laying the groundwork to bring more charter schools to the city.

screen-capture* Google argues that Gmail users have no reasonable expectation of privacy. I bet Gmail users would differ on that.

* Olympics committee says you can’t let a little thing like virulent anti-gay laws get in the way of a good show.

* What the media never says.

* And what kind of Dungeons and Dragons character would you be? As an academic, of course I came out True Neutral Human Wizard (I mean, I’ve already got the robes). I’d tell you my stats but that would reveal what is apparently a dangerously high opinion of myself.

Thursday Night Links

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* Thank a Boomer: the North Pole is now a lake.

Three-Quarters Of Young, Independent Voters Describe Deniers As ‘Ignorant, Out Of Touch Or Crazy.’

* Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought.

* MOOCs enter the “Sure, they’re a complete disaster, but what if they weren’t?” phase of the hype cycle.

* College enrollment fell 2 percent in 2012-13, the first significant decline since the 1990s, but nearly all of that drop hit for-profit and community colleges; now, signs point to 2013-14 being the year when traditional four-year, nonprofit colleges begin a contraction that will last for several years. Better hire some new assistant under-deans to tackle this problem.

* Why would CPS throw more money into recruiting recent college graduates with five weeks of training and no teaching certificates into the district when it lets go of highly-qualified, certified, veteran teachers? What’s the Difference Between Teach For America, and a Scab Temp Agency?

* What’s the Matter With North Carolina? Meanwhile, Eric Holder tries to reignite the preclearance provision of the VRA under Section 3.

* Scientists believe they have successfully implanted a false memory into a mouse.

* Sleep is a standing affront to capitalism.

* There’s no such thing as black-on-black crime.

* Ally-phobia: On the Trayvon Martin Ruling, White Feminism, and the Worst of Best Intentions. White People Fatigue Syndrome.

* “Summer Vacation Is Evil”: the ultimate #slatepitch.

* Today in coffee-is-good-for-you news: Coffee drinking tied to lower risk of suicide.

* A unique defense: Lance Armstrong says it doesn’t count if everyone should have known you were lying.

* And tonight’s poem: “Rape Joke,” by Patricia Lockwood.

Friday!

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* When writer AD Harvey invented an 1862 meeting between Dickens and Dostoevsky, it was for years accepted as fact. So why did he do it – and why did he also create a series of fake academic identities? Following up on this classic from the Times Literary Supplement.

* Academia’s Pink-Collar Workforce.

Accreditor Approves Competency-Based Degree at U. of Wisconsin.

* Aaron Carroll draws our attention today to a new study in JAMA that compares American health outcomes with those in other rich countries. Overall, we’re now in 28th place, sandwiched in between Chile and Poland. The massive chart below shows how we do on treating specific diseases. We’re 31st on diabetes, 16th on breast cancer, 32nd on COPD, and (in our best showing) 8th on colon cancer.

The country has cheaper medical care, smarter children, happier moms, better working conditions, less-anxious unemployed people, and lower student loan rates than we do. And that probably will never change. Finland vs. the U.S., in the Atlantic.

* Fracking: basically comically evil.

* Google: basically comically evil.

Google, which prides itself on building a “better web that is better for the environment,” is hosting a fundraiser for the most notorious climate change denier in Congress, it has emerged.

* Unpopular opinion: I’m a sex-negative feminist.

T_GenreBar* Visualizing the Bechdel test.

* Drones in Niger. Prison hunger-strikers in California. Food stamps in New Jersey. Violent crime in Milwaukee this year is highest since ’08. Unemployment Rate For Black Women Higher Now Than Four Years Ago.

* If jobs mean maturity, not everyone gets to grow up.

Saitō ventured a count: There were 1 million people in a state of withdrawal or hikikomori, about one percent of the Japanese population. Eighty percent of them were men; 90 percent were over 18. “Social withdrawal is not some sort of ‘fad’ that will just fade away,” Saitō wrote. It is “a symptom, not the name of an illness,” and “there has been no sign that the number of cases will decrease.” His book became a best seller in weeks. Hikikomori joined otaku (a person with obsessive interests) and karoshi (death from overwork) as a loan word in English to describe a new social phenomenon that at first appeared uniquely Japanese.

* North Colorado, Whitetopia?

* And the thin get everything.

Academics who interview graduate school applicants systematically favor thinner candidates, according to a study.

Poor bastards.

Tuesday Links

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* In case you missed it last night: “Some Preliminary Theses on MOOCs.”

* New York Times editorial: The Trouble with Online College.

A five-year study, issued in 2011, tracked 51,000 students enrolled in Washington State community and technical colleges. It found that those who took higher proportions of online courses were less likely to earn degrees or transfer to four-year colleges. The reasons for such failures are well known. Many students, for example, show up at college (or junior college) unprepared to learn, unable to manage time and having failed to master basics like math and English.

* “Yale is Elitist in Its Basic Design.”

* The problem isn’t the idea of a postdoc, Stephan said, but the way that position has evolved as so many more people end up in the role. “Ostensibly the postdoctoral scholar is to train someone to be a researcher, and an independent researcher,” Stephan said. “Putting people into postdoctoral positions is great training if they are going to go on and use that training,” she said. But increasingly a postdoc doesn’t lead (certainly not quickly) to an independent, tenure-track position, Stephan said. And postdocs are being used, not trained, she said. “Postdocs have become cheap staff scientists,” she said.

* A people’s history of Pulp Fiction. Catching up with Marvin.

* Oxford blocks access to Google Docs over security concerns.

* Does childhood TV viewing lead to criminal behavior?

* How much would the sea level fall if every ship were removed all at once from the Earth’s waters?

* Los Angeles Review of Books considers the pope.

JT: The pope simply felt that he didn’t have the physical strength to carry out the duties of the papacy in the modern age. He has clearly grown frailer in recent months, but I think Benedict probably had this in mind from the beginning of his pontificate. He, along with others in the church, watched Pope John Paul II struggle with illness right up until the end, and I’m sure he felt that was a great witness to the value of suffering. But I’m also sure Pope Benedict saw the dangers of a moribund pope who might linger in office for years. He wanted to break the taboo against resignation, and I think it sets a precedent that will alter the way the church looks at the papacy. For one thing, the cardinals who come together to elect his successor may well look to someone younger, knowing that resignation is an option.

Is there another developed nation that has a standing monument to a dictator, built by the forced labor of the defeated? Letter from Madrid.

* And Mississippi bans slavery a mere 148 years late. At that point, my impulse really would have been to pretend I sent the email. Oh, you didn’t get our ratification of the 13th Amendment? Oh no! Let me send it again…

A Whole Lot of Sunday Night Links

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20130217* SNL wins a game: Djesus Uncrossed.

* Batman should never have revealed his secret identity.

* Dan Harmon explains his Joseph-Campbell-influenced theory of the “story circle,” in a few posts: 1 2 3 4 5 6

For the first time in its 120 year history the board of the Sierra Club has authorized the use of civil disobedience, to protest the proposed construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The politics of the Papal Conclave are fascinating.

Pope Benedict XVI’s leaked documents show fractured Vatican full of rivalries. Pope blesses thousands at Vatican as details of ailments emerge.

* Speechless:

As early as this April, Yale plans to welcome a training center for interrogators to its campus.

The center’s primary goal would be to coach U.S. Special Forces on interviewing tactics designed to detect lies. Charles Morgan III, a professor of psychiatry who will head the project, calls these tactics “people skills.” These techniques would be honed using New Haven’s immigrant community as subjects.

* Cooper Union will probably not be free anymore.

Roopika Risam on breaking the silence of the job search.

* Freddie deBoer: I’ve been making the case (again and again and again) that the constantly-expressed notion that we’ll have full employment if people are just smart and go into STEM fields is empirically indefensible. Adam Kotsko: What is education actually for?

* Margaret Atwood teases Maddaddam:

“Maddaddam begins where The Year of the Flood finishes and goes on from there,” she says. “It explores what happens when the conventional humans and the new creations find themselves in the same space. You can see that there might be some cultural misunderstandings.”

* Comics explained: the backstory of Rachel Summers. It couldn’t be simpler!

* Aaron Bady on Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s In the House of the Interpreter.

* The New York Times profiles flood management technology in the Netherlands.

Could our universe be located within the interior of a wormhole which itself is part of a black hole that lies within a much larger universe? And that universe is on the back of an even larger turtle…

Forest Whitaker Accused of Shoplifting, Frisked at Upper West Side Deli.

* Obama says kill the penny. He would say that. He hates capitalism.

* Senator Warren, not bad.

Equal Opportunity, Our National Myth.

* Kidding on the square: another National Review blogger calls for the repeal of the 19th Amendment.

* Gasp! Deregulation May Not Have Lowered Air Fares After All.

* The phenomenology of solitary confinement.

* Surveying self-confessed rapists.

How to be a Person in the Age of Autoimmunity.

* Data-crunching the Internet Adult Film Database.

* Data-crunching the Lord of the Rings.

* The Internet has finally developed impermanence technology.

* And Iceland might ban Internet porn.

Halla Gunnarsdóttir, an adviser to the interior minister, explains the country’s anti-smut rationale to The Guardian:

“We are a progressive, liberal society when it comes to nudity, to sexual relations, so our approach is not anti-sex but anti-violence. This is about children and gender equality, not about limiting free speech…”

This is Iceland, after all. Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir is the first openly lesbian government head in the world. It’s already illegal to print and distribute porn within the country, and since 2010, strip clubs have been prohibited as well…

Lead in the Water and Self-Evident Calvinball Lunacy

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 4, 2013 at 10:30 am

Finally Back in Milwaukee Links

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The fact that animals were for a long period of European history tried and punished as criminals is, to the extent that this is known at all, generally bracketed or dismissed as amere curiosity, a cultural quirk.

Arrested Development Season 4 episode titles revealed.

H.P. Lovecraft’s Advice to Young Writers.

* January 1, 1946: two Marine divisions faced off in the so-called Atom Bowl, played on a killing field in Nagasaki that had been cleared of debris.

The future is bright at Monsters University. I agree wholeheartedly with my Marquette colleague who hopes there’s a ton of confusion about MU in the future.

* Traxus and Kotsko on Django Unchained. Bonus Kotsko New Year’s Resolution! Stop paying attention to non-stories.

What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2013?

* Women’s gangs of India.

* The Death of the American Shopping Mall.

* The Penn State shitshow continues: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett will announce a federal lawsuit against the NCAA tied to the historic sanctions levied against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Corbett will hold a press conference on Wednesday morning in State College, Pa., to announce the suit, which will be filed by the state.

* “I don’t think I would do a terrible job at a Han Solo backstory. I could do that pretty well. But maybe that would be better as a short.” An interview with Wes Anderson.

The Macroeconomics of Middle Earth.

Could going to Mars give future astronauts Alzheimer’s disease?

Can being overweight actually make you live longer?

* A Pickpocket’s Tale.

A few years ago, at a Las Vegas convention for magicians, Penn Jillette, of the act Penn and Teller, was introduced to a soft-spoken young man named Apollo Robbins, who has a reputation as a pickpocket of almost supernatural ability. Jillette, who ranks pickpockets, he says, “a few notches below hypnotists on the show-biz totem pole,” was holding court at a table of colleagues, and he asked Robbins for a demonstration, ready to be unimpressed. Robbins demurred, claiming that he felt uncomfortable working in front of other magicians. He pointed out that, since Jillette was wearing only shorts and a sports shirt, he wouldn’t have much to work with.“Come on,” Jillette said. “Steal something from me.”

Again, Robbins begged off, but he offered to do a trick instead. He instructed Jillette to place a ring that he was wearing on a piece of paper and trace its outline with a pen. By now, a small crowd had gathered. Jillette removed his ring, put it down on the paper, unclipped a pen from his shirt, and leaned forward, preparing to draw. After a moment, he froze and looked up. His face was pale.

“Fuck. You,” he said, and slumped into a chair.

Robbins held up a thin, cylindrical object: the cartridge from Jillette’s pen.

A moment of dreaming about higher education.

* And Jaimee has some new poems up (with rare audio!) at Unsplendid.

Gun Violence In America Just Since Friday’s Massacre Of Children And Schoolteachers In Newtown

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 17, 2012 at 10:32 am

Seriously, Like, 10,000 Sunday Links

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Backed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the SUNY20/20 Act sounds the death knell of universal, affordable education.

In May, President Obama visited SUNY’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) for a bro-hug with Governor Andrew Cuomo and a speechpraising Albany’s silicon-driven economic agenda. The president’s stamp on Cuomo’s development plan, which calls for public-private research partnerships centered at New York’s university hubs, earned the governor early points for a potential 2016 White House run. In exchange, Obama could tout New York as a state-level version of his ideal economic agenda while jabbing Congress for moving more slowly than Cuomo.

“I want what’s happening at Albany to happen all across the country,” he said, “places like Cleveland, and Pittsburgh, and Raleigh.”

The Crisis in Higher Education. Spoiler: it’s MOOCs.

* Get pepper-sprayed by campus cops, get not all that much money at all considering.

* Quitting an Adjunct Career.

* Great moments in neoliberalism: Under Germany’s welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job – including in the sex industry – or lose her unemployment benefit. Last month German unemployment rose for the 11th consecutive month to 4.5 million, taking the number out of work to its highest since reunification in 1990. Too good to check! Damn you, Snopes!

* Great moments in neoliberalism, part 2: Camden is going to solve its crime problem by firing its entire police force. But don’t get too excited; it’s just a union-busting thing.

* While we’re on the subject: I just figured out a way to cut crime by 5% overnight.

* Kaplan Post balance sheet suffering as the for-profit scam university sector takes a haircut.

* What I caught up on while I was traveling: Evan Calder Williams on Cop Comedies.  The Prison-Educational Complex. Anti-Anti-Parasitism. Chris Hayes’s Twilight of the Elites.

A graduate of Brown University, Hayes’s path was essentially paved by sixth grade when he passed the entrance exam to attend New York’s Hunter High School—one of the best public schools in the country, and one in which only a standardized test determined admission. But as he points out, one test score hides much—including an entire test-preparation industry that only the wealthy can access. Hayes quotes at length the remarkable 2010 commencement address by 18-year-old Justin Hudson, who laid bare the lie of merit that Hunter perpetuated: “I feel guilty because I don’t deserve any of this. And neither do any of you. We received an outstanding education at no charge based solely on our performance on a test we took when we were eleven-year-olds.”

* BREAKING: Poll Averages Have No History of Consistent Partisan Bias.

* Here it is, mere days after everyone’s already stopped being annoyed about it: Rebecca Solnit’s “Stop Leftsplaining!”

* Freddie de Boer: I don’t know how else it say it, considering I’ve said it a thousand times. I want my country to stop killing innocent people. Our Bipartisan Apathy Toward Civilian Drone Deaths. Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama. Is It Moral for Lefties to Vote for Obama? The Thing about Drones.

* The weird thing about the you-stupid-lefties craze is Obama is decisively winning, Were they just afraid they wouldn’t have a chance to punch any hippies this year? Don’t they know it never goes out of season, no matter what happens?

* On the other side: Romney Aides “Pretty Resigned” to Losing. Is the GOP still a national party? And, of course, poll denialism.

* As if Obama needed the help, the economy turns out to be not quite as bad as reported. Still awful though.

* Americans growing tired of the glories of gridlock. It’s too bad our institutions are designed to essentially guarantee it.

* On undecided voters.

* Wheelchair citizenship.

The absence of pity of any sort from Kim E. Nielsen’s new book A Disability History of the United States, published by Beacon Press, is hardly the most provocative thing about it. Nielsen, a professor of disability studies at the University of Toledo, indicates that it is the first book “to create a wide-ranging chronological American history narrative told through the lives of people with disabilities.” By displacing the able-bodied, self-subsisting individual citizen as the basic unit (and implied beneficiary) of the American experience, she compels the reader to reconsider how we understand personal dignity, public life, and the common good.

Take the “ugly laws,” for instance. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, major American cities made it illegal for (in the words of the San Francisco ordinance from 1867) “any person who is diseased, maimed, mutilated, or in any way deformed so as to be an unsightly or disgusting object” to appear in “streets, highways, thoroughfares, or public places.”

Enterprising Dog Becomes the Ranking Police Officer in a Small New Mexican Town. Nikka 2016?

* If all men were Republicans, would you let your daughter marry one?

* I might have done this one before, but it’s so visually striking: The True Size of Africa.

* All the secrets from Joss Whedon’s Avengers commentary.

25 facts about Star Trek: The Next Generation you might not know.

* xkcd vs. fantasy metallurgy.

* In which Curiosity finds a river bed on Mars.

* My homeland: New Jersey bans smiling in driver’s license photographs. Now, if we could just ban smiling in photographs altogether…

* American tragedies: Man Shoots, Kills Suspected Burglar at Sister’s House Only to Find Out It Was His Teen Son. Pertussis epidemic in Washington.

* This story has everything! “Buddhist ‘Iron Man’ found by Nazis is from space.”

* Film Genre Over Time.

* How to Buy a Daughter. Fascinating that upper middle class Americans prefer daughters.

* Here come the Definite Harry Potter Uncut Final Director’s Cut Special Editions.

* William Gibson: The Complete io9 inteview.

* An oral history of Cheers.

* On being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Meet Leland Chee, the Star Wars Franchise Continuity Cop.

* The end of growth?

* And they solved global warming; they’ll just make the snow for ski slopes out of “100 percent sewage effluent.” You’re welcome, future.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 30, 2012 at 8:41 am

Last Night Wednesday

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* David Simon unjukes a stat.

* We move more earth and stone than all the world’s rivers. We are changing the chemistry of the atmosphere all life breathes. We are on pace to eat to death half of the other life currently sharing the planet with us. There is nothing on Earth untouched by man — whether it be the soot from fossil fuels darkening polar snows or the very molecules incorporated into a tree trunk. Humanity has become a global force whose exploits will be written in rock for millennia. Welcome to the Anthropocene.

* Via @zunguzungu, who has been all over the UVA story: Wendy Brown on online education.

High quality liberal arts on-line education is not cheap: where it has been modestly successful in providing a decent education, as at the UK’s Open University, it does not break even–far from it. Why? Open University courses are built by teams of researchers, are annually refreshed, and are intensively staffed by high-level academics. OU is an expensive tax-supported operation, designed from the beginning for workers and other students unable to leave homes or jobs to obtain a college education.

* “Julian Assange” is a bit, right? It’s got to be a bit. He wouldn’t be the first person to live for decades in an embassy.

* Why is spam so terrible? A new paper argues it’s a way of weeding out people too smart to fall for spam.

* Poll: Former Supreme Court clerks think the mandate is done for.

* LEGO anatomy. Via Kottke.

* Infinite Jest! Live! On Stage! One Entire Day Only!

* And I must admit, I’m a little verklempt: Life in Hell has finished.

Some More Wednesday Links

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* Science proves men are stupid around women.

* 10 “Occupy” Candidates Running for Congress. Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin is singled out for praise as the likely new senator from our upcoming new home.

* Personally, of course, I belong to the Optimism! party.

* Salon on “the new oil reality.”

* Apple Is Now Larger Than The Entire American Retail Sector.

* One in Seven Americans Thinks the Affordable Care Act Has Already Been Overturned. I mean really.

* “This desperation starts once you realize how much you’ve lost, and then you feel like you can’t stop because you’ve got to win it back,” she told me. “Sometimes I’d start feeling jumpy, like I couldn’t think straight, and I’d know that if I pretended I might take another trip soon, it would calm me down. Then they would call and I’d say yes because it was so easy to give in. I really believed I might win it back. I’d won before. If you couldn’t win, then gambling wouldn’t be legal, right?

* Barack Obama is currently leading Mitt Romney in the polls by anything between 12 and -2. Can’t argue with facts.

* And from New York Magazine, dateline 1970: “Mugging as a Way of Life.”

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