Posts Tagged ‘Don't mention the war’
My son is being born today, so the posting will probably be sporadic even by summer standards. Sorry! And hooray!
* NASA: ‘Our plan is to colonize Mars.’ Well, then, let’s go!
* Breaking: The Constitution is a shell game.
* This fantasy has survived the 1980s, of course, even as the action genre that spawned RoboCop has faded. Meanwhile, the market fundamentalism and “tough-on-crime” rhetoric that the film makes fun of, still relatively novel in 1987, have today become normalized. The idea of redemptive violence—mass incarceration, a heavily armed police force—is now so deeply embedded in our political culture that we may no longer be able to see it well enough to mock it. RoboCop is thus both more dated and more current than ever. Its critical edge comes from a pessimistic vision of the future that is getting closer all the time.
* Sherlock Holmes is officially out of copyright. Start your slashes!
* Podcast of the week: Rachel and Miles x-Plain the X-Men.
* Danger Close: The Iraq War in American Fiction. Almost certainly a factor in the prevalence of Iraq War stories being (1) science fictional (2) set in narrative situations that recast us as the victims of our own invasion.
* In Landmark Decision, U.S. Patent Office Cancels Trademark For Redskins Football Team. So the Redskins will be forced by lost revenue and unrestrained anti-Redskins bootlegs to change their name — at which time bitter Redskins dead-enders will be able to sell each other Redskins-branded merchandise in protest…
* That plan goes something like this: maximize constrained educational choices that are a function of labor market changes; commodify inequality by organizing for the highest need students; extract guaranteed funds from public coffers; call it access; wash and repeat.
* BREAKING: The U.S. Has the Most Expensive, Least Effective Health Care System. BREAKING: Guns kill children. BREAKING: The American prison system is a nightmare. BREAKING: Capitalism is insanely corrupt. BREAKING: Uber is a scam.
* When innocent people are exonerated after wrongfully spending time in prison, some states pay money to the accused for their trouble. As data from NPR and the Innocence Project show, those payouts are often despicably low.
* The logic on display here shows the toxic self-justifying nature of American military adventures. If a war accomplishes its stated objectives, that goes to show that war is great. If a war fails to accomplish its stated objectives — as the Bush-era surge miserably failed to produce a durable political settlement in Iraq — then that simply proves that more war was called for.
* It seems that when you want to make a woman into a hero, you hurt her first. When you want to make a man into a hero, you hurt… also a woman first.
* Walker said it was important to have a smooth-running highway system to avoid gridlock “that would choke off the ability of businesses to come in and out of Milwaukee.” “I think the last thing you want to do is have employers look to go bypass the city of Milwaukee when they’re talking about jobs and commerce here,” he said. “So you’ve got to make sure there’s a good transportation system.” And just wait until he finds out human beings use roads too!
* The results are readily apparent. The overwhelming number of retractions due to flawed methodology, flawed approach, and general misconduct over the last decade is staggering. Stories in almost every field have seen a rash of inaccuracies. The percentage of scientific articles retracted because of fraud has increased tenfold since 1975.
* But the biggest fundamental problem with the administration’s proposed ratings system is that it presents market principles as the cure for an illness that is itself caused by the indiscriminate application of market-mad nostrums to a context (education) where they don’t belong.
* Norfolk, Virginia could be the first city we lose to climate change. Vox voxplains and revoxplains why we’re doomed, but never gets around to considering that flogging away uselessly in the same failed institutions might not be the answer.
* The coming grim death future has given us one gift, though: Darren Aronofsky Adapting Futuristic ‘MaddAddam’ Book Trilogy As HBO Series.
* In other words, Louie is sketching out the psychology of an abuser by making us recognize abuse in someone we love. Someone thoughtful and shy, raising daughters of his own, doing his best. Someone totally cognizant of the issues that make him susceptible to the misogyny monster. Someone who thinks hard about women and men and still gets it badly wrong.
* Obama won’t take simple anti-corporate tax reform action he could institute unilaterally today. I suppose it’ll probably always be a mystery.
* Today in the rule of law: Attorney for teen set up by FBI in terror sting kicked out of courtroom while secret evidence is discussed. Judge Threatens, Allegedly Attacks Public Defender During Hearing. The public defender is very happy that cops are being sent to harass people who request public defenders.
* LAPD’s new air drone program will respect privacy. Well , that’s a relief!
* Prosecutors say two 12-year-old southeastern Wisconsin girls stabbed their 12-year-old friend nearly to death in the woods to please a mythological creature they learned about online. The two girls will be tried as adults because they’re making such mature, clear-headed decisions.
* My beloved alma mater in the news! Judge Orders Case Western to Grant Diploma to Medical Student.
* The Secret Service wants to build a computer that can detect sarcasm. Maybe the computer could then explain it to Twitter users?
* This seems so nutty to me. I think I probably spent half my childhood wandering around in the woods without supervision and the other half in the back seat of a locked car.
* “Ann B. Davis stood, walked over to the trash can, and emptied her tray. She walked out of the cafeteria and into a small, gray town near Pittsburgh. I wanted her to *be* Alice. I wanted her to smile as if she loved me. I wanted her to say, ‘Buck up, kiddo, everything’s going to be all right.’ And what I’m trying to tell you now is this: I grew up in a split-level ranch-style house outside a town that could have been anywhere. I grew up in front of a television. I would have believed her.” RIP, Ann B. Davis.
* What is even the payoff for shining a laser at a plane? That’s bananas.
* On Sept. 13, 1848, at around 4:30 p.m., the time of day when the mind might start wandering, a railroad foreman named Phineas Gage filled a drill hole with gunpowder and turned his head to check on his men. It was the last normal moment of his life.
* I can’t imagine how colleges could do mandatory mental health screenings right, but less how badly they’d screw it up by trying to do it on the cheap.
* There are dozens of us! The AV Club rediscovers The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
* Sex! Now that I’ve got your attention, why not apply for a postdoc at the Penn Humanities Forum this year?
* Clearly, our colleges and universities are no longer places where the primary focus is on instruction. Instead, they are places where the primary goal is to entrench and to expand administrative bureaucracies.
* “Is there racism against drones?” On no, is there? IS THERE?
* If millionaires were a political party, that party would make up just three percent of the country, but it would have a majority in the House of Representatives, a filibuster-proof super-majority in the Senate, a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court, and a man in the White House. If!
* And a bonafide miracle. The Comcast/Time Warner merger will spin off Milwaukee customers to a completely third company. People say this new company is even worse than either of the other two, but I feel confident this is impossible.
* Deadline getting very close: CFP: Foundation, special issue on Science Fiction and Videogames (30 Apr 2014).
* Chris Newfield goes inside Georgia Tech’s financials to figure out if MOOCs really save any money. You’ll never believe what happened next!
* In what English departments is Baldwin falling out of favor? They should lose their accreditation!
*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.
* …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.
* 21 Things You Didn’t Know About Rushmore. I must confess I knew nearly all of these.
* 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 Education. Give the Customers What They Want.
* 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.
* “Life: It’s literally all we have. But is it any good?” Spring’s best new comedy is free on YouTube.
* And the Internet is doomed. Enjoy your BUFFERING BUFFERING BUFFERING HAVE YOU TRIED THE NEW KFC DOUBLE DOWN? DOUBLE DOWN ON FUN! BUFFERING week.
* Turns out academic freedom isn’t free: Michigan State University could risk losing $500,000 if it does not stop offering courses that allegedly promote unionization.
* “They call us professors, but they’re paying us at poverty levels,” she said. “I just want to make a living from a skill I’ve spent 30 years developing.”
* In Silicon Valley there really is a class war going on, a wage-fixing cartel that’s pitting the one percent against everyone else.
* LAX Baggage Handlers Took Whatever They Wanted From Bags for Months. I’m actually pretty sure they stole our camera, which we haven’t seen since we left California.
* The typographical sublime: Switching from Times New Roman to Garamond could save the government almost half a billion dollars.
* End of an Internet Era: Television Without Pity Gets Shuttered. It’s Hard To Imagine The Internet Without Television Without Pity. Raised on Television without Pity. MetaFilter mourns. The real tragedy here is the absolutely unnecessary closing of the forums; there’s a valuable decade of Internet TV writing and fan commentary, lost overnight.
* Dialectics of Stephen Colbert: We Want To #CancelColbert. What We Can Learn From the Embarrassing #CancelColbert Shitstorm. A profile of Suey Park.
* Rebecca Schuman on The Most Important University in St Louis. More from the new, Serious™ Schuman: Save Fulbright!
* Free speech having a tough time tonight: Arrest Climate-Change Deniers.
* Unpaid Interns In New York City Are Now Protected From Sexual Harassment. Well, obviously, of course they would be, what could be more obvious — wait, now?
* Oh, America empire, you’re incorrigible! As our troops pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan, we’re abandoning fixers and translators to the dangerous countrymen who view them as traitors. Asylum in the U.S. could be their last hope. If only we’d let them in.
* Wisconsin also having a tough time tonight: BP Admits To Spilling Even More Oil In Lake Michigan.
* Come back here, we’re not done getting bummed out yet: The Pacific Ocean Is Turning Sour Much Faster Than Expected, Study Shows. Texas Oil Spill Is Killing Birds, Threatening Fishing Industry.
* How The Justice System Is Rigged Against These Cheerleaders Suing The Raiders For Wage Theft. Federal Judge Tells Women Lawyers Not To Dress Like ‘An Ignorant Slut.’ Virtually the entire judiciary is made up of former prosecutors and corporate lawyers.
* Tumblr of the weekend: Shit Settlers Said.
* The ASA is now asking for $100,000 in donations to defend itself from attacks resulting in its decision about how to spend a few hundred. Well done, everyone!
* So old I can remember when teaching was a career. Standing Up to Testing. New York Schools Are the Nation’s Most Racially Segregated. And if you only count the best-performing schools, charter schools are doing great!
* This is a land of peace, love, justice, and no mercy: Shanesha Taylor, Homeless Single Mom, Arrested After Leaving Kids In Car While On Job Interview.
* And at least it’s almost all over for humanity: Crazy Stone computer Go program defeats Ishida Yoshio 9 dan with 4 stones.
* The U.S. Cities Where the Poor Are Most Segregated From Everyone Else. Milwaukee, alas, is #1.
* 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.
* BREAKING: The TSA is useless.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* Yale Daily News, 1971: Educated Unemployables.
* 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.
* And BREAKING: The Qatar World Cup Is a Total Disaster.
* CFPs for MLA 2015 from the discussion group for science fiction, fantasy, horror, and utopian literature: Science Fiction, Fantasy and the Concept of Culture (guaranteed session) and From Siberia to the Planet Mars (fingers crossed).
* America’s fraternities, and the lawyers who serve them. Great piece.
When pilgrims were landing on Plymouth Rock, you could already visit what is now Santa Fe, New Mexico to stay at a hotel, eat at a restaurant and buy Native American silver.
The first wagon train of the Oregon Trail heads out the same year the fax machine is invented.
Nintendo was founded in 1888. Jack the Ripper was on the loose in 1888.
1971: The year in which America drove a lunar buggy on the moon and Switzerland gave women the vote.
NASA’s Gemini program was winding down at the same time as plate tectonics, as we know it today, was becoming refined and accepted by the scientific community.
When the pyramids were being built, there were still woolly mammoths.
The last use of the guillotine was in France the same year Star Wars came out.
Oxford University was over 300 years old when the Aztec Empire was founded.
* President Obama Pens Personal Apology to an Art Historian. Spoiler: it’s a pretty lousy apology!
* The film ‘Back to the Future’ provides the OED’s earliest recorded example of a colloquial sense of ‘hello’, used to imply (sometimes disbelievingly or sarcastically) that the person addressed is not paying attention, has not understood something, or has said something nonsensical or foolish. – See more at: http://oupacademic.tumblr.com/post/52859022183/the-film-back-to-the-future-provides-the-oeds#sthash.3jb8w2Nr.EuYbel9A.dpuf
* Making the rounds again: Kurt Vonnegut Diagrams the Shape of All Stories in a Master’s Thesis Rejected by U. Chicago.
* In Louisiana, which offers some of the most lucrative tax giveaways to Hollywood, the Legislative Auditor’s Office reported that the subsidies cost the state $170 million in lost tax revenue in a single year. By one estimate, the state is handing $70,000 per episode to the cast of Duck Dynasty – all while pleading poverty to justify deep cuts to public health care programs and to retirement benefits for police officers, firefighters and teachers.
* About a dozen faculty members and 30 students at St. Mary’s College, a public school in Maryland, have proposed a plan to limit the salary of the highest-paid employee to 10 times that of the lowest-paid employee.
* [grabs popcorn] Emails Suggest Scott Walker Knew Of Illegal Campaign Coordination.
* Wednesday’s proposed reforms efforts — reached in negotiations between the civil liberties group and the state DOCCS — entail an end to the solitary confinement of prisoners under 18-years-old, pregnant women and prisoners with developmental disabilities. You mean to tell me they were using solitary confinement on — what? What?
* Missouri Likely To Drop Its Lifetime Food Stamps Ban For Drug Convicts. You mean to tell me they were — really?
* Cop Allegedly Shot And Killed Teenage Boy After Mistaking His Wii Controller For A Gun. “Allegedly” doing a whole lot of work in that sentence given that plain facts of the matter on which everyone agrees.
* Twitter lost $645 million last year, almost as much as its total revenue.
* The Pentagon’s whitewashed history of the Vietnam War provokes troubling questions about how the invasion of Iraq will one day be remembered.
* What would Lovelock do now, I ask, if he were me? He smiles and says: “Enjoy life while you can. Because if you’re lucky it’s going to be 20 years before it hits the fan.” Have a good weekend, everyone!
* We are ruled by fools: The amount of airtime granted to climate change on both the Sunday shows and the nightly news was up, too — to a total of 27 minutes, and an hour and 42 minutes, respectively, for the entire year.
* So long and thanks for all the fish: Freedom Industries has declared bankruptcy.
* Remember that most of the “steps” any insurance company or pharmacy makes you go through are pretty much nothing but hoops, in the purest sense of the word. These are obstacles being placed in your path in hopes that you will become discouraged and give up—and they won’t have to pay for your medication or treatment. Show them that you are not going away.
* The headline reads, “Six Years After Chemical Ban, Fewer Female Snails Are Growing Penises.”
* BREAKING MUST CREDIT CANAVAN’S RAZOR: The point of the STEM push is to lower STEM wages, not help people get jobs that don’t exist.
* BREAKING: Comedians are
psychopaths psychotics. See comments.
* Wisconsin may eliminate ban on 7-day work weeks. Workers will be allowed to “volunteer” for extra work.
* 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.”
* 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.
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).
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.
* 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.
* There’s always money in the banana stand, part two: Highest paid college presidents.
* 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.
* 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.
* The Pope: Not a Marxist!
The image of 4- and 5-year-olds struggling to figure out how to take a multiple-choice test is heartbreaking enough, but the image that stuck with me was that of the children trying to help one another with the test and being told that they’re not allowed to do so.
* The Handmaid’s Tale debuts as ballet in Winnipeg. Judging from the picture attached to the article I have some questions about the accuracy of this adaptation.
* How can anyone say this is anything but an utter debacle? Delaware health officials celebrate first health exchange enrollee.
* And a new study claims the Iraq war claimed half a million lives. Down the memory hole, you!
* An oral history of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado about Nothing.
* “Stand Your Ground” is funny. It’s legal to murder your wife’s lover, but not to fire warning shot at your abuser.
* And all you people are saying “syrup” wrong. 22 Maps That Show How Americans Speak English Totally Differently From Each Other.