Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘horror

Wednesday Links!

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* America’s Lawless, Unaccountable Shadow Government: Opinions Differ.

Q. and A. on the Disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The latest.

* Ghostbusters and the New York Public Library.

* Huge, interactive map of objects police have mistaken for guns.

The Civil Rights Act Was Not as Important as You Think.

* The greatest trick the devil ever pulled.

How a seemingly simple message 
to students brought digital-age disaster for a Wisconsin professor.

Why Cosmos Can’t Save Public Support for Science.

* The Department of Education’s scoring system for ranking the financial health of universities makes no sense.

* College admissions as socio-economic sorting.

* The Great Cost Shift.

* MOOCtastic: Harvard students told: No questions, please, we’re filming.

Should you lose your job for failing to raise 80 percent of your salary in outside grants?

* Graduate Students at Cornell Push for Workers’ Compensation. The only question is: why don’t they already have this?

* Jacob Remes introduces the CLASSE Manifesto.

* Patrick Iber on life as a long-term adjunct.

* Dialectics of whether you should let your students call you by your first name.

* If the Founding Fathers were alive today, what do you think they would say?

* There’s ideology at its purest, and then there’s Barack Obama being interviewed by Zach Galifianakis on Between Two Ferns.

Guantánamo forever, I guess.

* During the first month of recreational marijuana sales, Colorado’s licensed dispensaries generated a total of more than $14 million, putting about $2 million of tax revenue into state coffers in the process.

* Vulture profiles Benjamin Kunkel.

* Two sentence horror stories.

Public Transit Use In U.S. Is At a 57-Year High, Report Finds. Spraying Toxic Coal Ash Is A Cheap And Popular Way To De-Ice Roads. Bitcoin is Not a Currency.

* What’s making you so fat today: antibiotics.

“You can’t mourn for the little boy he once was. You can’t fool yourself.”

* Dan Harmon: The Rolling Stone Interview. Mystery project!

* A Game Is Being Beaten.

* Ten Years of Deadwood.

* Next year on SyFy: Man Calls 911 After “Hostile” 22-Pound Cat Traps Family in Bedroom.

* Space Opera on the TV.

BBC America gathers HUGE all-star cast for history of sci-fi documentary.

* That’s cheery: Drones will cause an upheaval of society like we haven’t seen in 700 years.

* Study: Nuclear Reactors Are Toxic to Surrounding Areas, Especially With Age. No one could have predicted!

* Now human activity makes it rain on the weekends. God, we’re the worst.

* Gasp! Center For American Progress Takes Direction From Obama White House.

* The Supreme Court: as always, why we can’t have nice things.

Milwaukee homicides rose 15% last year.

The Almighty Star Trek Lit-verse Reading Order Flowchart.

The Exquisite Wistfulness of 19th-Century Vegetarian Personal Ads.

* And they say there’s never any good news, but Sbarro’s has filed for bankruptcy.

All The Links

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* CFP reminder: “SF/F Now” and “Irradiating the Object” at the University of Warwick, August 2014. Proposals due March 31.

* Legendary science fiction editor Gardner Dozois once said that the job of a science fiction writer was to notice the car and the movie theater and anticipate the drive-in – and then go on to predict the sexual revolution. I love that quote, because it highlights the key role of SF in examining the social consequences of technology – and because it shows how limited our social imaginations are.

Median Salaries of Senior College Administrators, 2013-14.

Where and When You Can See The Grand Budapest Hotel.

* The New Yorker covers fusion power.

* We need to update our nightmares: Zeynep Tufekci on the Internet.

* Unreal: Dartmouth Student Says She Was Sexually Assaulted After Website ‘Rape Guide’ Named Her. Campus Rape and the Rise of the Academic Industrial Complex.

800-year-old castle torn down in Ireland.

* $60 million high school football stadium, built in 2012, torn down.

* Curators at the new art museum at Kennesaw State University had some last-minute work to do before its grand opening Saturday night. They had to quickly pack up an installation — one the art museum had commissioned — after university administrators ordered it killed for being insufficiently “celebratory” for the event.

* The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics. Man.

* Amazon and super-Taylorism.

* #fullcommunism.

* …one of the gravest threats the FBI saw in the Black Panther movement was their Free Children’s Breakfast Program.

* Agamben, horror, and the 90s.

* The Cold War never ended.

* A 2008 research study found that each additional $100 per capita in FEMA relief was correlated with a 102 percent increase in corruption in a state.

Universities being used as proxy border police, say UK academics.

*  But at least one university says it has already begun denying admission to “risky” applicants — those who don’t meet the institution’s typical minimum standards for SAT scores and GPA — over fears of how it would be rated under the Obama ratings proposal.

How the global banana industry is killing the world’s favorite fruit.

* “That hurt.” On being Chevy Chase.

* Hitting rock bottom: they’re rebooting Santa Claus.

* And just one Oscar link is all you need: Lupita Nyong’o.

Wednesday Morning!

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021814-nu-union-150* Man tragically unable to remember saying Barack Obama would make a great president says Hillary Clinton will make a great president. Meanwhile, the rest of us are reduced to talking about Obama’s secret achievements.

* Faculty on Strike at UIC.

Solitary Confinement May Dramatically Alter Brain Shape In Just Days, Neuroscientist Says.

* Last Night on Jeopardy No One Wanted to Answer Qs About Black History.

Noose Found Around The Neck Of Statue Honoring Civil Rights Icon At Ole Miss.

* On Teaching While Black.

What Does it Mean that Most Children’s Books Are Still About White Boys?

The J.R.R. Tolkien Manuscripts: Public Showings in 2014.

* Here are the hoops a college football team has to jump through to be allowed to form a union.

* 84-Year Old Nun Sentenced To Prison For Weapons Plant Break-In.

Academic freedom with violence.

Has humanity produced enough paint to cover the entire land area of the Earth? The dream remains alive.

* Whistle-blower fired from Hanford nuclear site.

“We do not agree with her assertions that she suffered retaliation or was otherwise treated unfairly,” URS said, adding Busche was fired for reasons unrelated to the safety concerns. “Ms. Busche’s allegations will not withstand scrutiny.”

Busche is the second Hanford whistle-blower to be fired by URS in recent months. Walter Tamosaitis, who also raised safety concerns about the plant, was fired in October after 44 years of employment.

* A new China Miéville short story collection, scheduled for November 2014.

* A world of horrors: There is no such thing as a child prostitute.

In the same way that certain styles of dance simulate sex, the Winter Olympics simulates scraping one’s February-chapped nostrils against the surface of a Kleenex whose aloe content is useless and reaching out for the warm escape of death. It’s an art of failed suicide attempts.

* A preliminary sketch of the data reveals, of course, that by 2050 films will be reviewing us.

* “First, why would we even think about letting it go through?”

“This whole thing is totally and completely bonkers.”

Grace Kerr sometimes jokes with her family that “Amanda was not that great. Zach is awesome.” What she means is that her son is finally happy, and is helping others.

* Diseased and unsound meat: Hot Pockets®!

In Act Of Protest, Ai Weiwei Vase Is Destroyed At Miami Museum.

* News You Can Use: Why It’s Nearly Impossible to Castrate a Hippo.

A portrait of Steve Jobs made entirely out of e-waste.

* The Ice Caves of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

Candy Crush: Addictive Game, Incredible Business, Horrible Investment.

How the north ended up on top of the map.

* Inside Kappa Beta Phi, the Wall Street Fraternity.

* And our long national nightmare is over: Obama apologizes for disparaging art historians.

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Monday’s Links Has Learned to Tie Its Bootlace

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* Wes Anderson’s The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders.

A billion-year storage medium that could outlive the human race.

New drugs could extend cancer patients’ lives—by days. At a cost of thousands and thousands of dollars. Prompting some doctors to refuse to use them.

* Friendship Is Magic: Malcolm Harris on branding the left.

Maryville, Missouri Is a Lawless Hellhole, And Other Things You Can’t Say About Small Towns.

* The rich are different: Filthy Lucre.

* The wisdom of markets: Pinterest is now valued at $3.8 billion after its most recent round of fundraising generated $225 million. It’s an impressive feat for a company without any revenue. Note: that’s not no profit. That’s no revenue whatsoever.

Milwaukee police use-of-force reports more than double.

A City Or A Swamp? One Year Later, Hoboken Still Struggling With Sandy.

With a $100 million endowment and annual revenues approaching $300 million, TFA is flush with cash and ambition. Its clout on Capitol Hill was demonstrated last week when a bipartisan group of lawmakers made time during the frenzied budget negotiations to secure the nonprofit its top legislative priority — the renewal of a controversial provision defining teachers still in training, including TFA recruits, as “highly qualified” to take charge of classrooms.

* Abolition never happened: There could be slaves in the supply chain of your chocolate, smartphone and sushi.

* Decadence watch: Mixed Martial Arts for kids.

Malcolm Gladwell’s New Book Asks Us To Pity the Rich.

* Editorial: F**k Jared Diamond.

* Douglas Hofstadter, The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think. The Rapid Advance of Artificial Intelligence. Why We Should Think About the Threat of Artificial Intelligence.

More Than 15 Million Americans Now Live Within One Mile Of A Fracking Well. Nearly 300 Oil Spills Went Unreported In North Dakota In Less Than Two Years.

* Someone should put this guy in charge of a hypertrophic, paranoid security state. He’d do great.

* A California woman who received a life sentence for killing her abusive pimp at age 17 will be released after a mere 19 years in prison.

How to Turn Robert’s Rules Into a Force for Good.

* And RIP, Lou Reed. The Neil Gaiman interview.

Monday Links!

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* “It’s an active shooter drill. We do this every now and then. If you warn too many people, then the simulation is not effective.”

* From Sherryl Vint, in LARoB: “Men Behaving Badly: White Masculinity in Science Fiction Television.”

The report reveals a sense of ideological, demographic and cultural siege, on the American right, from which there is no obvious escape. Unable to comprehend or process last year’s election defeat, they feel the nation has become unmoored from its founding principles and is on a full-scale, unrelenting descent into chaos.

* That’ll solve it! White House Orders “Tech Surge” to Fix Obamacare Website. Weeks to fix, just in time for the insurance to not take effect on January 1.

* Nothing beside remains: With U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, American military gear sold as scrap.

* Degrees of Debt: Student Borrowing and Loan Repayment of Bachelor’s Degree Recipients 1 Year After Graduating: 1994, 2001, and 2009.

* George Washington University “admitted publicly for the first time Friday that it puts hundreds of undergraduate applicants on its waitlist each year because they cannot pay GW’s tuition.” Many Colleges Bend Rules To Admit Rich Applicants. Harvard’s Committee on University Resources.

* Science isn’t exactly an exact science.

With this in mind, consider 1,000 hypotheses being tested of which just 100 are true (see chart). Studies with a power of 0.8 will find 80 of them, missing 20 because of false negatives. Of the 900 hypotheses that are wrong, 5%—that is, 45 of them—will look right because of type I errors. Add the false positives to the 80 true positives and you have 125 positive results, fully a third of which are specious. If you dropped the statistical power from 0.8 to 0.4, which would seem realistic for many fields, you would still have 45 false positives but only 40 true positives. More than half your positive results would be wrong.

* Fur­ther­more, even to its most prac­ti­cal and well-meaning crit­ics, the actual rela­tion­ship between gen­der and cap­i­tal­ist social rela­tions remains an enigma. This is not sim­ply because, as Marx­ists, we are reluc­tant to reproach the old man, but rather as a con­se­quence of the fact that repro­duc­tive work – still per­formed pri­mar­ily by those assigned the fate “woman” – is extremely dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend in the terms pro­vided by the cri­tique of polit­i­cal econ­omy. Of course, gen­der is fun­da­men­tally defined by cap­i­tal­ism, and it should not be con­cluded that Marx’s cri­tique was “wrong”; buthe left women out of the story, and we need to find where he is hid­ing them. The Gendered Circuit: Reading The Arcane of Reproduction.

* The conspiracy goes deeper than you ever imagined: Author claims Robert Kennedy stole John F. Kennedy’s brain from National Archives.

* Meanwhile, another longstanding conspiracy theory gets validation: Fox really was using paid shills to manipulate comment threads.

* Seven Things You Might Not Know about Calvin & Hobbes.

* The homeless population of New York City is higher than it’s been in decades. Nobody seems to notice.

Traumatic Life Events, Not Genetics or Chemical Imbalance Cause Depression and Anxiety.

To Fix Climate Change, Scientists Turn To Hacking The Earth.

How I Teach Game Design.

* City College closed the Guillermo Morales-Assata Shakur Community and Student Center, an educational and organizing space founded on 1989 by leftist student groups, on Sunday morning without alerting the students and activists who work inside.

* Gasp! Jeb Bush ed reform group accused of abusing non-profit status to help corporations.

* American Horror Story and Abjection.

* Thus it has happened that, in the name of preventing invaders, the NSA has itself invaded.

* It begins: 870,000 Toyotas Recalled Due to “Spider-Related Problem.”

* And five points for Slytherin: Christie withdraws challenge to same-sex marriage ruling in New Jersey, which means it’s the law for good.

Friday Links

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* Oh, JK: Harry Potter Spin-Off Movie Coming, JK Rowling Writing Screenplay.

* The “Merit Aid” Fiasco.

* “500 year flood” in Colorado. We get those every year now.

When you can pause for a moment between waves of stomach-churning heebie-jeebies, you realize that not only are these women sympathetic characters, but they’re all the more terrifying because they have every bit of anger that makes living women sources of fear, but none of the societal restriction. The Feminist Power of Female Ghosts.

* The President and the Pipeline.

There’s Something Wrong With America’s Premier Liberal Pollster.

What Isaac Asimov Thought 2014 Would Look Like. Of course, he wasn’t always so optimistic.

U-Va. should break some ties with state, panel says in preliminary report. I’m very conflicted about this — I’m not interested in UVA’s ability to “more easily increase tuition” but I would like to see it preserve its independence, and I like the idea of legislatures facing some potential political cost for destroying state university systems.

* Vladimir Putin, the most successful troll of all time.

* Shocked, shocked! Allegations of sex, pay and grade changes trouble Oklahoma State University football fans.

* Massive fire last night at the Seaside Heights boardwalk. Just terrible.

* And all that is solid melts into air: RIP, Marshall Berman. I feel like I begin half the things I write with a quote from All That Is Solid.

Tuesday!

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* Great research opportunity for any PhD student studying science fiction, fantasy, horror, and/or utopia: the R.D. Mullen Fellowship. I loved the time I spent in that archive.

* CFP: The cultural impact of Dr. Who, at DePaul University. Saturday, May 4.

* Sarah Jaffe on emotional labor and gendered employment.

On Getting a Ph.D. This is stirring, but all the same my unhappy advice hasn’t really changed since the last time a rebuttal to the just-don’t-go doomsayers was making the rounds.

* Now CUNY is pushing for a five-year Ph.D. I still feel the same way about this, too!

* “Skilled, Cheap, and Desperate”: Non-tenure-track Faculty and the Delusion of Meritocracy.

* …But the most unfortunate part is that not one of the expert-amateurs seems to have given much thought to what MOOCs imply: that teachers are unnecessary. MOOCs don’t use teachers; they have curriculum designers and they have video presenters. Actors are the best for that latter role, seriously.

The latest on Pat McCrory’s war with UNC.

“If you want to take gender studies that’s fine. Go to a private school, and take it,” McCrory said. “But I don’t want to subsidize that if that’s not going to get someone a job.”

Again, I’d personally be very surprised if those gender studies classes weren’t paying for themselves and more.

College majors, median earnings, and unemployment.

Yale Suing Former Students Shows Crisis in Loans to Poor.

* Where Girls Do Better Than Boys in Science.

girls-lead-in-science-exam-but-not-in-the-united-states

* The wisdom of the market, in all its glorious efficiency: Confessions of a corporate spy.

* On corporate apology.

* We’re a tour group from the future.

* California’s coming war over fracking.

* Over the last three months wind farms produced more electricity than any other power source in Spain for the first time ever, an industry group has said. To steal a line from Twitter: oh, if only we had wind!

Six media giants control 90% of popular culture.

* Veterans, Ron D. Moore, and Battlestar Galactica: 1, 2. A representative, evocative question:

ES: There’s a particular quote that I’ve seen as signatures in military forums or quoted, and for some reason military members identify it. That’s Tigh’s New Caprica silioquoy: “Which side are we on? We’re on the side of the demons, chief. We’re evil men in the gardens of paradise, sent by the forces of death to spread devastation and destruction wherever we go. I’m surprised you didn’t know that.” Why do you think that quote resonates with veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq in particular?

Parts 3 and 4 coming soon.

* The latest from Randall Munroe’s “What If?”: Will the Internet ever surpass FedEx’s bandwidth? What would happen if you tried to fly a normal Earth airplane above different Solar System bodies? What if I took a swim in a typical spent nuclear fuel pool?

“Attached hereto is a copy of Mr. Trump’s birth certificate, demonstrating that he is the son of Fred Trump, not an orangutan,” Balber wrote in the letter.

* Personal saint Woody Guthrie’s previously unpublished novel House of Earth is available for purchase.

* Special pleading watch: nearly all of the 600 recess appointments since the Reagan presidency would have been nullified if the hyperformalist interpretation applied to Barack Obama were applied universally.

* We should only work 25 hours a week, argues professor. Sold!

* Some local pride! Milwaukee in top ten list for best urban forests.

* And congrats to our friend Allison Seay for a great review of her new collection To See the Queen. Some excerpts.

Monday!

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* ‘Democrats Gleeful at Prospect of Running Against Gingrich.’ That’s the first bit of Gingrich-related news that’s made me nervous.

* io9 has the trailer for Joss Whedon’s long-delayed The Cabin in the Woods.

Duke University trustee Bruce Karsh and his wife Martha have donated $50 million to Duke for a permanent endowment to support need-based financial aid for undergraduate students from the United States and other countries, President Richard H. Brodhead announced Monday.

* Randy Balko vs. paramilitary creep.

* Aaron Bady on the Oakland Commune.

* How Doctors Die.

* Henry Aaron: So… here is my prediction. The Supreme Court will sustain the individual mandate, and it will do so not by the narrow 5 to 4 split that has become so familiar, but by a vote of 7 to 2. Or 8 to 1. Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Sottamayor, and Kagan are virtually certain to find the mandate constitutional. But also voting to sustain it, I believe, will be Justices Scalia and Kennedy, based on reasoning similar to that of Silberman and Sutton. Justices Roberts and Kennedy are in play and I am assuming that either or both will vote to affirm the mandate. Justice Thomas, who has staked out a far-reaching opposition to federal regulation in many currently accepted forms, will say that the mandate exceeds Congress’s constitutional authority.

* Apocalypse now: Radioactive water from Fukushima might have found its way into the Pacific ocean and experts believe it could contain strontium.

* Apocalypse tomorrow: In fact, according to the latest science, says Anderson, “a 4 degrees C future is incompatible with an organized global community, is likely to be beyond ‘adaptation’, is devastating to the majority of ecosystems, and has a high probability of not being stable.”

* “If you have got a population of 9 billion by 2050 and you hit 4 degrees, 5 degrees or 6 degrees, you might have half a billion people surviving.”

* And today from America’s finest news source: Global Warming May Be Irreversible by 2006.

* But it’s okay that we’ve ruined this planet; after all, there’s always Keppler 22b.

Friday!

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* In an anonymous industrial park in Virginia, in an unassuming brick building, the CIA is following tweets — up to 5 million a day. At the agency’s Open Source Center, a team known affectionately as the ‘vengeful librarians’ also pores over Facebook, newspapers, TV news channels, local radio stations, Internet chat rooms — anything overseas that anyone can access and contribute to openly.

* It was linked in the Adam Kotsko post from earlier, but it’s worth promoting on its own merits: Nobody Cares about Property Damage.

In both cases, the liberal position is based around a belief that we can control how we are perceived, and how the state (and its ideological apparatuses like the media) will respond to us. Or actually this could be put more strongly: the criticism reveals the liberal’s desperate need to be in control. The fact that protestors have very limited ability to prevent state crackdowns, and certainly individual protestors can do almost nothing, is scary, and it conflicts with deeply held liberal beliefs about how the state works, and how protesting can change it.

* Occupy Oakland contrarian watch: WSWS.

* The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project has devised a bizarre plan for deploying its new XO-3 tablet. The organization plans to drop the touchscreen computers from helicopters near remote villages in developing countries. The devices will then be abandoned and left for the villagers to find, distribute, support, and use on their own.

* From Facebook: the fifty states of paranormal horror.

* And the chart of the day: American oligarchy.

Friday!

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* Rubber is yet another movie about a tire that kills humans using telepathic powers after witnessing his family and friends burn in a tire fire at the hands of a human. Via (who else?) Vu.

* Kottke links to audio of David Foster Wallace’s memorable “This Is Water” commencement speech.

* Forgive the unhappy juxtaposition: Seed considers whether intelligent people are more likely to commit suicide.

* And the Big Picture returns to the Gulf with more devastating photographs.

America Loves Tuesdays (And So Do I)

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* The Obama method: One way to deal with that kind of bad-faith opposition is to draw the person in, treat them as if they were operating in good faith, and draw them into a conversation about how they actually would solve the problem. If they have nothing, it shows. And that’s not a tactic of bipartisan Washington idealists—it’s a hard-nosed tactic of community organizers, who are acutely aware of power and conflict. It’s how you deal with people with intractable demands—put ‘em on a committee. More on the summit idea from Benen. I’m willing to be proven wrong, but I must say that I am deeply skeptical that this method, however effective on the local scale, can work on the national stage. In fact I have come to think that Obama’s (frankly naïve) belief that bipartisanship is possible, much less good or necessary, will stand as the first cause of most of his presidency’s eventual failures. After 2009, he still thinks this. When the mortal enemy who has proven himself beyond redemption time and time again is finally on the ground, don’t help him up! Finish the job.

* The headline reads, ‘Pentagon Looks to Breed Immortal “Synthetic Organisms,” Molecular Kill-Switch Included.’ What could possibly go wrong?

* You really can’t please everyone: ‘Is Barack Obama killing too many bad guys before the U.S. can interrogate them?’ As Matt explains, the problem here seems to be that the Foreign Policy author believes torture is not only a regrettable necessity but is, in fact, an affirmative moral good.

* Can the EPA actually regulate carbon effectively? It’s looking more and more like they’ll have to, so hopefully the answer turns out to be yes. Related: all about cap-and-dividend, the carbon-control system no one talks about.

* DC giving Superman to Chris Nolan? If they won’t give him to me, I guess that makes as much sense as anything else. Nolan, take note: The Death of Superman, Red Son, All-Star Superman, and any number of other perfectly good stories are just sitting there waiting to be adapted for the screen. Please, don’t use the Lex Luthor, Evil Real Estate Agent thing again.

* GOP extremism from A to Z.

* Today in horror clichés: the mirror scare.

* And our long national nightmare is finally over: Shelby has called off the shakedown.

What I’m Looking At This Morning

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* While I’m certain that the neoliberal project will resume soon, I have to agree with Think Progress that what we’ve seen in Haiti thus far is not properly described as an “invasion.” Like it or not, the U.S. military is the (only) organization that has the resources to administer aid on this scale; we should be vigilant about mission creep and work hard for things like debt forgiveness, but (it seems to me) the U.S. military presence really is on the side of the angels, at least so far.

* Philip Kennicott on why the media doesn’t censor the images coming out of Haiti. Kennicott is right to raise the issue, but his explanation is pretty clearly incomplete; the article doesn’t manage to use either the word “race” or “racism” even once.

* What Bush did to Haiti. Of course, we should remember that U.S. imperialism in Haiti has a much longer history than just Bush, Clinton, and Bush.

* I’m not sure “brave” is quite the word I’d use to describe the Royal Caribbean cruiseships that are now resuming their trips to Haiti.

“I just can’t see myself sunning on the beach, playing in the water, eating a barbecue, and enjoying a cocktail while [in Port-au-Prince] there are tens of thousands of dead people being piled up on the streets, with the survivors stunned and looking for food and water,” one passenger wrote on the Cruise Critic internet forum. 

“It was hard enough to sit and eat a picnic lunch at Labadee before the quake, knowing how many Haitians were starving,” said another. “I can’t imagine having to choke down a burger there now.”

Some booked on ships scheduled to stop at Labadee are afraid that desperate people might breach the resort’s 12ft high fences to get food and drink, but others seemed determined to enjoy their holiday.”I’ll be there on Tuesday and I plan on enjoying my zip line excursion as well as the time on the beach,” said one.

* Obama approval still closely tracking Reagan’s.

* Nate continues to model the MA-SEN race. As the link says, assumptions are everything right now, from the polling screen on down; nobody really knows anything about how this race will turn out. I still think Coakley’s party-ID and GOTV advantages will help her squeak out the win, but she’s been a pretty terrible candidate, and Brown an unusually strong one, in a moment that (sadly, wrongly, terribly) favors the GOP.

* Science proves blondes are less fun.

* And important reporting at Harper’s: An army sergeant blows the whistle on Guantánamo “suicides.” Via Spencer Ackerman.

What Women Want

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Megan Fox is also not the main character; and she’s not the boy hero’s plucky sidekick (there are no boy heroes in this movie). Instead, she’s the toothy, gory, puke-soaked object of repulsion and disgust. In short, she is the monster.

And she’s a very specific kind of monster, too. She embodies one of the scariest demons who haunts girls’ dreams: The popular, pretty girl who pretends to be your friend while secretly trying to steal your boyfriend, your pride, and your life. Written and directed by women, Jennifer’s Body is a film made in a women’s genre about women’s problems. It’s a movie about why women want to stab Megan Fox in the tit with scissors.

An otherwise fairly illuminating io9 post linking the box office failure of Jennifer’s Body to misguided, male-centric marketing contains this surprising (for me) statistic: the built-in audience for horror is predominantly female. In this context using hot Megan Fox pictures* to market a film about dysfunctional female friendships written and produced by the writer of Juno is even more misguided than you’d otherwise expect.

I, too, might have seen the film if it hadn’t been marketed as porn.

* not Google search bait

Written by gerrycanavan

October 7, 2009 at 8:09 pm

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Saturday Links

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Saturday links.

* Fox News caught stage-managing 9/12 protestors.

* Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, speaking to fellow members of his Conservative Party: “Fifty years from today, Americans will revere the name, ‘Obama.’ Because like his Canadian predecessors, he chose the tough responsibilities of national leadership over the meaningless nostrums of sterile partisanship that we see too much of in Canada and around the world.”

* Also at TPM: new polling data suggests that resistance to health care reform peaked at the emergence of the town hall disruptions, suggesting this strategy may have backfired for the Republicans.

* Also backfiring on the Republicans: everything. More here and here.

* Game of the weekend: MagnetiZR.

* Cynical-C catches Kids in the Hall parodying Glenn Beck over a decade in advance.

* Collapse IV, “Concept Horror,” is a free download.

* Between 2010 and 2050 each $7 spent on basic family planning can reduce emissions more than a ton; to achieve that same level of reduction using low-carbon tech would on average cost $32 per ton. Via Donkeylicious.

* Great find: Virginia Woolf’s fan letter to Olaf Stapledon. Via Kim Stanley Robinson’s New Scientist piece on British SF.

‘The Walking Dead’ on the TeeVee

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The thing that makes “The Walking Dead” unique and interesting is that it’s a zombie movie that never ends—that’s the log line or whatever. To do a zombie movie that’s based on that? Kinda dumb. The whole idea behind the book is that it’s a long-term exploration on the characters and their situation and how they’re dealing with these problems over a long period of time, the different things that happen to the characters and how it affects and changes the characters. You can do that in a series of movies, but it’s not ideal. It’s not really common for people to go, “Oh, I’ll buy this thing and commit to making 10 movies based on it!” So, the TV show makes way more sense to me for all of those reasons. Robert Kirkman talks The Walking Dead at Comic Book Resources. Via io9.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 8, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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