Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘HIV and AIDS

Thank God It’s Thanksgiving Week Links – 3

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* After years of leaning on tuition increases to make up for declining state support, about four in 10 public universities now report tuition revenue is not keeping pace with inflation, according to a new report by Moody’s Investors Service. Probably should cut funding some more and see if that helps.

“MOOCs are over,” she said. “Administrators haven’t figured it out yet, but everyone else knows.”

Initially, the university’s consultants claimed that AST would render a savings of $17 million. Over time that figure shrunk to $5 million, and by some accounts now is reputed to be as low as $2 million. Yet the university has already reportedly spent at least $3 million on this effort with even more spending on the horizon.

What should be happening is the immediate cancellation of all “Third World” debt, just as the US government forgave far larger sums and bailed out its own banks after the 2008 financial crash. Moreover, developed nations actually have to add money for climate change induced “loss and damage” to the balance sheets of developing countries, rather than subtract it. Understanding Warsaw: Capitalism, Climate Change and Neocolonialism.

The impact of recession is clear in countries with the most severe economic problems. In Greece, for example, suicides rose by 17 per cent and murder rates more than doubled between 2007 and 2011. Half of new HIV infections between 2009 and 2011 are estimated to have been self-inflicted to secure monthly benefits of €700. That second stat seems very hard for me to accept.

Superintendent and three school employees indicted in Steubenville rape case.

Teen Jailed At Rikers For 3 Years Without Conviction Or Trial.

Techbros for Bronarchy: Rise of the Neobroactionaries.

Silicon Valley Isn’t a Meritocracy — And It’s Dangerous to Hero-Worship Entrepreneurs.

* And Democrats say sanctions forever. Forever, damnit!

All the Monday Links (A Ton)

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* You can read my review of Dan Hassler-Forest’s Capitalist Superheroes (“No Dads: Cuckolds, Dead Fathers, and Capitalist Superheroes“) as the free preview for the Los Angeles Review of Books Digital Edition on Science Fiction.

“We have been dismayed by news reports of a handful of colleges and universities that have threatened to cut the courseloads of part-time faculty members specifically in order to evade this provision of the law,” a statement from the American Association of University Professors reads. “Such actions are reprehensible, penalizing part-time faculty members both by depriving them access to affordable health care as intended by law and by reducing their income.” More at the Chronicle.

18th-Century Connecticutian or Muppet?

Film School Thesis Statement Generator. This is uncannily good.

Mad Men calls into question the post-war crisis of masculinity through its strategic use of narrative ellipses.

* The people vs. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Cathy Davidson explains why she’s teaching a MOOC. Since I know Cathy (a little) and feel bad about disagreeing so absolutely completely with her, I’ll just leave it there.

Socialism, not capitalism, will get kids out of the mines and away from the drive-through window. And we can’t create that future until we stop the present. Gavin Mueller vs. the machines, in Jacobin‘s special issue on work and automation.

It is insufficient to respond by pointing to productivity gains to justify automation — that’s a management trick. Automation’s prime function is to destroy the ability of workers to control the pace of work. The results are bloody. As Dan Georgakas and Marvin Surkin document in Detroit, I Do Mind Dying, while management attributed productivity gains in the auto industry to automation, black workers credited “niggermation”: the practice of forcing them to work at high speeds on dangerous machinery.

Such shocking terminology underscores a crucial truth. Robots weren’t responsible for those cars; rather, it was brutalized black bodies. A 1973 study estimated that sixty-five auto workers died per day from work-related injuries, a higher casualty rate than that of American soldiers in Vietnam. Those who survived often suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. This bloodbath is directly attributable to the disempowering effects of automation. Had workers retained control, they wouldn’t have worked at such a deadly pace.

Life on Mars to become a reality in 2023, Dutch firm claims.

AIDS ‘Patient Zero’ was a publicity strategy, scholar writes.

* How damaged are NFL players’ brains?

* Violence, mournability, and West, Texas.

* Movies in Color, The Color Palettes of Stills from Famous Films. More links below Stevesie.

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Can slaughterhouses be humane?

* Bad news, everyone.

* Four college coeds dream of trading their rote lecture halls and cinderblock dorms—is this a for-profit university?—for the debauchery of Florida spring break. Standing between them and their escape is a shortage of ready cash. Lacking alternatives like Mastercards, they solve their liquidity crisis by knocking over a local fried chicken joint. Most jarring in these opening moments is not the violence of the robbery, but the obviously incredible possibility that four college students in the United States lack access to easy credit. After all, what is a student today without the potential for indebtedness? “High as Finance,” from The New Inquiry‘s critical supplement on Spring Breakers.

Gunfire Erupts at Denver Pro-Marijuana 4/20 Celebrations, Injuring Three. Gunman Sought After Shootout at Nuclear Power Plant in Tennessee.

* Spoiler alert: They’re going to overfish the Arctic till it dies.

* Graeber vs. austerity.

* The headline reads, “China Wants to Ban Superstition, Mandate Science.”

* Disney said no to Iron Man 3: Demon in a Bottle. The fools.

Despite allegations that he knew about a rape and tried to protect his players who committed it, despite widespread criticism that he didn’t punish his team enough and that he should be fired, and despite a grand jury that could charge him looming next week, the powerful Steubenville High football coach Reno Saccocia has been approved for a two-year administrative contract, the city superintendent confirmed to The Atlantic Wire Monday afternoon.

* Presenting the Calvin and Hobbes app.

* And “university professor” is only the 14th best job in the country. Damn you, actuaries!

Friday!

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15 Geeky College Courses You Won’t Believe Actually Exist. The Tolkien class I’m inheriting is #8. Fall 2014!

“The rich get education and the poor get training,” Carnevale said. “It’s a way of reproducing class. The higher education system is now in cahoots with the economy to reproduce class.” Already, he added, “there are a lot of kids who are not getting a real education any more. They’re getting training.”

Double Majors Produce Dynamic Thinkers, Study Finds. That’s why I majored in both English and Philosophy.

When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened 30 years ago this month, something unexpected happened: People started leaving things at the wall. One veteran has spent decades cataloging the letters, mementos, and other artifacts of loss—all 400,000 of them.

The NYPD will arrest you for carrying condoms, but that depends entirely on who you are.

* More in NYPD-related travesties: Women who report domestic violence are exposing themselves to arrest under a new NYPD directive that orders cops to run criminal checks on the accused and the accuser, The Post has learned.

* The Washington Post is shocked, shocked to find money driving decisions in the NCAA.

* Now fourteen adults have been “functionally cured” of HIV.

* Well, there you have it: The Vatican lashed out at what it called a “defamatory” and “anti-clerical left-wing” campaign to discredit Pope Francis over his actions during Argentina’s 1976-1983 military junta, saying no credible accusation had ever stuck against the new pope.

Rob Thomas: I did get an email from Bryan Fuller earlier today saying, ‘Hey, can you jump on the phone with me at some point? I know you’re busy, but I would love to talk to you about how this thing works.’ And I know it was specifically for “Pushing Daisies.”

“Jesus, Grampa, what did you read me this thing for?”

* And in local news: A Wisconsin court has banned a local man from all the libraries on the planet after he was caught openly masturbating inside the Racine Public Library.

Monday Morning Links

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* Apocalypse now: University of Colorado research scientist Gabrielle Petron, who also works in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s global monitoring division, said the rate of increasing atmospheric methane concentrations has accelerated tenfold since 2007. She said it will take a few more years to determine whether the natural gas boom helps explain the change. Well thank goodness we’re putting a hold on natural gas extraction until we figure it out.

* On liberal hawks: Virtually all of the danger-to-the-nation warnings we’ve received in modern history prove to have been false, or overblown and hyped.

* But once something becomes a TED Talk, it becomes oddly unassailable. The video, the speech, the idea, the applause — there too often stops our critical faculties. We don’t interrupt. We don’t jeer. We don’t ask any follow-up questions. They lecture. We listen.

* Miracles and wonders: Doctors believe they have cured a baby of HIV for the first time.

Limited edition of Fahrenheit 451 bound in asbestos so it wouldn’t burn.

Looking back forty years after the Brooklyn acid attack.

* And Nate Silver finally weighs in: What Betting Markets Are Saying About the Next Pope.

Sunday Night Links

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Still Wednesday!

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* Troy Davis’s former warden has signed a letter asking corrections officers not to participate in his execution. Twitter has confirmed for me that Obama cannot intervene—not that I believe he would—which makes the situation look pretty hopeless. (UPDATE: Still getting conflicting information on this; apparently DoJ could intervene on a civil rights basis.UPDATE: The Georgia Supreme Court has just rejected Davis’s request for a stay.

* Noam Chomsky: The Responsibility of Intellectuals, Redux.

* The headline reads, “How the US Planned to Destroy Britain Just a Few Years Before World War II.” Via Bitter Laughter.

* Ten Historic Female Scientists You Should Know.

* Making the worst day of someone’s life just a little worse: Miscarriage No Longer Considered “Emergency” For Medicaid Patients In Washington State. If you plan to miscarry, please, make an appointment.

* A news story scientifically calibrated to give you the most mixed feelings possible: Highland Park, Il.-based nonprofit software testing company Aspiritech is pioneering a new business model in the United States that champions the unique concentration and detail-oriented strengths of its 15 employees, all of whom have been diagnosed with disorders on the autism spectrum.

* AIDS Puzzle Solved By Computer Gamers.

* And an Elizabeth Warren video on class warfare has gone viral. Warren ’16?

These Are the Days of Miracle and Wonder

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Written by gerrycanavan

September 14, 2011 at 10:25 am

Wednesday Links: Breaking Bad, Divine Justice, Fake Vaccines, and More

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* Just got an email alert from CNN: there appear to have been another set of terror attacks in Mumbai. Very sad news.

* Drug trials in Africa show two AIDS prevention drugs are apparently successful in preventing the spread of the disease.

* And the inevitable dark reflection of the previous link: The headline reads, “CIA used a fake vaccination campaign in hunt for Bin Laden.”

* Justice is sweet: News Corp. has lost $7B in the last four days, shareholders are furious, and Lautenberg is joining the call for DOJ and SEC investigations into Murdoch’s empire.

* ThinkProgress: Meet The Indonesian Workers Who Make Your Nikes.

* Reduce the deficit by stopping building pointless superweapons we can never use.

* Premature victory lap watch: Obama for America raked in $86 million for the last quarter, crushing the GOP. The bulk of the money came from small donors.

* Chuck Klosterman: Why AMC’s Breaking Bad beats Mad MenThe Sopranos, and The Wire.

* And RSA Animate explains why there’s no empathy in Heaven, or in Utopia:

Incredible

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Timothy Ray Brown has been cured of HIV. The treatment can’t be scaled to the general population, but this at least shows it’s possible.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 14, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Appeal

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a stay against the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell injunction after an earlier judge refused to do so. This is a case where the Obama administration’s betrayal of its base seems simply brazen: according to Clinton administration Solicitor General Walter Dellinger, backed up by Newsweek, the White House is in fact under no obligation to defend Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell if it doesn’t want to. Indeed, the Clinton administration refused to appeal a similar court decision that invalidated a law requiring the military to discharge HIV+ service members, and it was only just last month that a court ruled that California was not required to appeal the decision overturning Prop 8. Why then are they bothering with appeals at all, much less aggressively seeking to reinstate a policy they claim not to like? Obama’s rhetoric on this point is completely at odds with his administration’s actions, and unlike other issues there is no one on whom he can deflect the blame.

UPDATE: Ted Olson: ‘It Would Be Appropriate’ For Administration Not To Appeal DADT Injunction.

“It happens every once in awhile at the federal level when the solicitor general, on behalf of the U.S., will confess error or decline to defend a law,” said former George W. Bush administration solicitor general Ted Olson, who is leading the legal challenge of California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state attorney general have both declined to defend the law in court.

“I don’t know what is going through the [Obama] administration’s thought process on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’” Olson said. “It would be appropriate for them to say ‘the law has been deemed unconstitutional, we are not going to seek further review of that.’

A Cure for HIV?

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Amazing if true: A team of researchers from the Hebrew University has developed a treatment that completely destroys HIV-infected human cells in laboratory cultures, according to an article published last month in the scientific journal AIDS Research and Therapy.

The therapy, developed by scientists from the university’s Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences and the Institute of Chemistry, destroys cells infected with HIV without damaging adjacent healthy cells. Via MeFi.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 3, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Courageous Underdogs Fighting a Corrupt Elite Engaged in a Conspiracy to Suppress the Truth or Foist a Malicious Lie on Ordinary People

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Behold, the Mother of All Saturday Linkdumps!

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* Polish President Lech Kaczynski has apparently been killed in a plane crash in western Russia, alongside much of the leadership of the country. Updates at MeFi.

* Yesterday Stevens made it official. The timeline. A shortlist. The politics of shortlists. An offbeat shortlist. How about Cory Booker? Why Obama shouldn’t shy away from a confirmation fight. Why Glenn Greenwald is lukewarm on frontrunner Elena Kagan. Why the GOP may use the SCOTUS hearings as another excuse to freak out about health care. Or maybe just another excuse to flip out period. Still more at MeFi.

* Totally independent of anything anyone anywhere has said or done, threats against members of Congress have increased threefold in recent months. It’s a funny coincidence that means absolutely nothing.

* George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror, according to a new document obtained by The Times.

* Everything old is new again: Gingrich says Republicans will shut down the government if they take over.

* Tony Judt on crisis, neoliberalism, greed, the end of history, and the need for a new New Left.

For thirty years students have been complaining to me that “it was easy for you”: your generation had ideals and ideas, you believed in something, you were able to change things. “We” (the children of the Eighties, the Nineties, the “Aughts”) have nothing. In many respects my students are right. It was easy for us—just as it was easy, at least in this sense, for the generations who came before us. The last time a cohort of young people expressed comparable frustration at the emptiness of their lives and the dispiriting purposelessness of their world was in the 1920s: it is not by chance that historians speak of a “lost generation.”

If young people today are at a loss, it is not for want of targets. Any conversation with students or schoolchildren will produce a startling checklist of anxieties. Indeed, the rising generation is acutely worried about the world it is to inherit. But accompanying these fears there is a general sentiment of frustration: “we” know something is wrong and there are many things we don’t like. But what can we believe in? What should we do?

* Full with polls: The IRS is more popular than the tea partiers.

* “Kind of a Glenn Beck approach”: On male studies. More at Salon.

* Another great segment from the Daily Show about blatant Fox News dishonesty, this one on the lies they’re telling about the START treaty. But the quote of the day on this comes from who else but Michele Bachmann, who calls for the U.S. to commit to nuclear retaliation in the event of a devastating cyber attack.

* Matt Yglesias on Treme‘s battle between realism and sentimentality.

* Comic book cartography. Their link to the principles of Kirbytech from my friends at Satisfactory Comics is pretty great too.

* 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? I’m surprised there’s even debate about something that is so trivially true.

Negative Twenty Questions, John Wheeler’s analogy for quantum mechanics.

* Of all the people in human history who ever reached the age of 65, half are alive now. Welcome to the elderly age.

* Multicellular life found that can live entirely without oxygen.

* xkcd’s version of hell is now fully playable.

* Chris Christie working overtime to destroy public universities in New Jersey.

Outsourcing TAs?

* In Washington, D.C., you’re not a rape victim unless police say so. Via Feministe.

* HIV-positive Michigan man to be tried as bioweapon.

* Are we still waiting for the other shoe to drop on Greece?

* The Texas miracle? Wind power in an oil state.

* Two from Krugman: Building a Green Economy and Al Gore Derangement Syndrome.

* Somewhat related: Tim Morton on hyperobjects.

Hyperobjects are phenomena such as radioactive materials and global warming. Hyperobjects stretch our ideas of time and space, since they far outlast most human time scales, or they’re massively distributed in terrestrial space and so are unavailable to immediate experience. In this sense, hyperobjects are like those tubes of toothpaste that say they contain 10% extra: there’s more to hyperobjects than ordinary objects.

* The Illinois Poison Control Center has a blog. MetaFilter has highlights.

* And Gizmodo has your periodic table of imaginary elements.

Select Links While I’m Away (Part 1)

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Lots of Black Friday Links

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* You can listen to a segment of the Slavoj Žižek essay on contemporary apocalypticism that will appear in our upcoming issue of Polygraph here. (via Verso)

* The headline reads, Cigar-Shaped “Mothership” Plunges Argentinian Town Into A Blackout.

* 15 Toys Not to Buy Your Child This Christmas. Of course, science proves you shouldn’t buy anyone gifts at all. (Both links via Neil.)

* Is the public option now too watered-down to fight for? Matt Yglesias and Steve Benen join Josh Marshall in thinking this over. I feel exactly how I did on Monday: the point is to pass anything so it can be improved without a filibuster.

* North Carolina in the news! Kay Hagan is the Senate’s 17th wealthiest senator (via), while Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina has gotten itself in big trouble for improper issue advocacy against the public option.

* Other politics quick hits: HIV travel ban finally lifted. The national GOP has money problems. They’re talking about a war tax. Despite what you may hear in the press, Obama is pretty good at this whole international diplomacy thing. And Dubai is collapsing; couldn’t have happened to a nicer country.

* The New York Times “100 Notable Books of 2009″ list is already out.

* ‘Are Fake Academic Conferences the New Nigerian Prince Scam?’

* Little-used geek measurements.

Sheppey (distance)
I have to include Douglas Adams’ co-creation (with John Lloyd) here — It’s from The Meaning of Liff, their dictionary of things there aren’t any words for yet. All the words in the dictionary are British place names (the Isle of Sheppey is off the Kent coast). One sheppey is the closest distance at which sheep are still picturesque, and is about seven-eighths of a mile.

* Thor, a Marvel comics character I’m still pretty sure has to be an elaborate joke, will redefine what a superhero movie can be.

* Black Friday LEGO nostalgia.

* Ah, that explains it: that badly timed Dollhouse ARG turns out to be the work of overzealous fans.

* Paging George Michael Bluth. (via)

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