Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘James Franco

Thursday Night Links

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* This may shock you, but Thomas Friedman loves MOOCs. An Ad Hominem Attack Against Thomas Friedman. MOOCs R Us. MOOCs or BOOKs?

* Public higher education is about to cross a historic threshold, in which students pay a higher percentage than do states of the operating costs of colleges.

Mother who stole son’s education gets 12 years in prison.

* Two bad tastes that taste good together: Rand Paul filibusters drones.

* Apocalypse now: The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the air jumped dramatically in 2012, making it very unlikely that global warming can be limited to another 2 degrees as many global leaders have hoped, new federal figures show.

Planning for the Post-Income Economy. Fracking is starting to devour the US economy.

Elephant Poaching Pushes Species To Brink Of Extinction.

* The case for open borders.

The entrapment defense rarely succeeds, both in terrorism cases and more quotidian (usually drug-related) prosecutions, largely because “entrapment” means something very different in a courtroom than it does in ordinary usage. For nearly a century, the federal courts have allowed a criminal defendant to dodge criminal liability by showing that the governmentinduced her to commit an unlawful act. Once the accused makes such a showing, however, the government still has the opportunity to prove that she was predisposed to commit the crime, even before government agents entered the picture. If a jury accepts the government’s characterization, other factors—the nature or size of the “bait,” the complexity of the government artifice, or the independent wherewithal of the defendant to commit the crime—basically don’t matter: the defendant is still guilty. This means that when entrapment is at issue, the personality, reputation, criminal history, and political or religious beliefs of the accused become the centerpiece of the trial. Post-9/11 juries have had little trouble concluding that the disaffected Muslims (and occasional anarchists) ensnared by the FBI have been sufficiently “predisposed” to engage in terrorism.

* On writing fan fiction.

Recovering Lolita. My students have been pouring over this collection of Lolita book covers thanks to @sselisker.

* #slatepitches: What SimCity Teaches Us About Real Cities of the Future.

Ephemeral third ring of radiation makes appearance around Earth. If we lived in a comic book, I bet this story would be fifteen times as awesome.

Detailed Floor Plan Drawings of Popular TV and Film Homes.

See Stephen Colbert school James Franco on Tolkien mythology.

* A first look at The Grand Budapest Hotel.

FBI Investigating Drone Near Miss with Jet at JFK.

* TPM’s papal contenders cheatsheet.

* Smile Time: Community is doing an all-puppet episode, with actual puppets.

First Trailer for Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing.

Consequences of Repeated Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption in Football Players.

* And the latest issue of The New Inquiry posits time is the fire in which we burn.

‘So While a Lot of Actors Turn to Knitting, James Franco Is Becoming a Scholar, and I Suggest We Take Him Seriously’

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After visiting Detroit, the thing I found myself wondering was not “How does James do it?” but rather “Why aren’t more Hollywood actors earning Ph.Ds?”  James Franco’s advisor at Yale speaks.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 21, 2011 at 2:04 am

Monday Morning

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* Nemesis watch: Professor claims NYU fired him after he gave James Franco a ‘D.’

José Angel Santana said he slapped the “127 Hours’’ star with the bad grade because he missed 12 of his 14 “Directing the Actor II” classes while pursuing a master’s in fine arts.

Santana said he then suffered all kinds of drama — first from Franco, who publicly ridiculed him, then from his department, which axed him over the “D.”

“The school has bent over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment, that’s for sure,” Santana, 58, told The Post. “The university has done everything in its power to curry favor with James Franco.”

It’s almost enough to make you doubt a person can be a successful professional actor while simultaneously attending four separate graduate programs and succeeding at all of them.

* Via Facebook: College bowl system loots universities. Today’s case study: the University of Minnesota.

The bloodbath began the moment the contract was signed. Minnesota was obligated to write a check for 10,000 tickets, which were supposed to be resold to fans. Never mind that even the best of teams struggle to unload such sums. For middling squads like the Gophers, it was nothing more than a way for the men in funny yellow blazers who ran the Insight to grab piles of money from a public university.

Minnesota managed to sell just 901 seats. After kicking another 900 to the band, administrators, and cherished hangers-on, the school was forced to eat $476,000 worth of useless tickets.

The contract also required the team to show up a week early, if only to burn as much school money as possible at the restaurants and retailers of greater Phoenix.

One would think school administrators would protest such gall. But one would be wrong. They were quick to see the advantages of a luxury vacation on the school’s dime. So they happily signed off.

The school’s traveling party was larded up with 722 people, including players, band members, and faculty. Airfare alone ran $542,000. Toss in hotels and meals, and the school had blown $1.3 million before the opening kickoff.

The ballsiest part of all: None of it was necessary. Minnesota and Iowa State sit less than 200 miles apart. Their teams were providing the game. Their bands supplied the halftime entertainment. In fact, the Insight offered nothing—save for warm weather—that the schools couldn’t have done better themselves.

Had the game been played in Minneapolis, the teams could have sold more tickets and put on a profitable game, since Big 10 matches typically generate $1 to $2 million—not knee-bending losses.

* Kim Jong-Un Privately Doubting He’s Crazy Enough To Run North Korea. At America’s Finest News Source.

* From the New Yorker archives: two letters from North Korea.

* Gerry Canavan Privately Doubting Iowa Republicans Are Really Crazy Enough to Take Ron Paul Seriously.

* And Akim Reinhardt asks: How will we know what Occupy meant once it’s over?

Lots of Friday Night Links

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* PopMatters launches their five-week-long Joss Whedon spotlight today. I’m supposed to have something on zombies in Firefly and Dollhouse towards the end of this, so watch for that…

* Should Gov. Walker accomplish his goal, he will have stoked a level of union anger that I very much suspect will become a key driver in an Obama victory in 2012. He will also have prompted the nation’s unions to work together for a common objective– a feat that would have seemed impossible just one month ago. The column begins with the new Rasmussen (!) poll showing how bad things are getting for Walker in Wisconsin.

* ‘Ongoing Reports on the Republican Massacre of Parody and Common Decency’: eliminating money for poison control centers.

* Have we reached Peak Beck?

* Unsolving the city: BLDGBLOG’s interview with China Miéville.

* The wages of sin: A man accused of being a large-scale meth dealer may lose his beloved collection of nearly 19,000 comic books.

Blunt Assessment: The Need for Legal Weed in Philadelphia.

* Best job report in three years, but. Could the jobs report be understating progress? Chris Hayes: Why Washington doesn’t care about jobs. Charting the collapse of male earnings.

* Who’s afraid of the Tea Party?

* Eight GOP Senators Reignite Filibuster War With Blanket Threat To Block All Bills They Don’t Like.

* You had me at one of the fathers of nuclear weapons wrote science fiction about super-intelligent dolphins helping to overcome the Cold War.

* Same sex marriage in the Free State. Great news!

* Nemesis watch: James Franco Straddles Two Roles at Yale.

* How Facebook works:

The biggest usage categories are men looking at women they don’t know, followed by men looking at women they do know. Women look at other women they know. Overall, women receive two-thirds of all page views.

There’s more there on gender and Twitter, too:

According to the research, there are more women on Twitter than men, women tweet about the same rate as men, but men’s tweets are followed by both sexes much more than expected by chance.

* And 1 in 3 Art Students Can’t Tell Famous Paintings from Paintings by Monkeys.

#twittermeme

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The Chronicle has compiled all your James Franco facts.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 28, 2011 at 10:55 am

Friday Night!

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* Biocapital vs. cultural capital: Proceeds from The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks are going to a foundation dedicated to helping Lacks’ family, which has received none of the biotechnology profits derived from the HeLa stem cell line.

Reading ACA tea leaves at the Supreme Court. I think Scott mostly has this right; overturning the mandate would be an incorrect decision, I think, but a relatively inconsequential one; overturning ACA altogether would be radicalism on the level of Bush v. Gore, if not worse. I just don’t think Kennedy will do it.

* Nemesis watch: Questions for James Franco.

* Gynomite! has an interesting post about the dreams Emily experienced while she was in a medically induced coma several years ago.

* And Vizzini, socialist.

Tuesday Night Links

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* The way the whole durned human comedy keeps perpetuatin’ itself, down through the generations: Tara Reid Says She’s Going To Be Filming The Big Lebowski 2 Later This Year.

* It is snowing everywhere and it will never stop. PS: Tell your winger relatives extreme winter storms are perfectly consistent with rising global temperatures. Trust me; they don’t already know.

* Building a tunnel under the Hudson just can’t be done, and honoring contractual obligations to public-sector workers would of course be socialism, but at least New Jersey still has plenty of cash to blow on casinos.

* waxy.org has a huge list of metagames, proceeding from the abusive to the downright bizarre.

* These days Superman wouldn’t even qualify for in-state tuition.

* Great Recession watch: 11% of American homes are vacant.

* Nemesis watch: James Franco will be teaching a course about James Franco.

* When hippies ruined all the books. Why, hippies, why?

* And clowns are getting women pregnant. Stay safe out there ladies.

You Win This Round, Franco

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 29, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Three for Tuesday

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* New York Magazine profiles my nemesis, James Franco. I’m sorry, but the idea that one could be meaningfully enrolled in four graduate programs simultaneously is just… Forget it. Via MetaFilter.

* Black holes may contain mini-universes, and our own universe may reside inside a black hole somewhere. But I still think we’re all just shadow-like projections on the walls of Leonardo DiCaprio’s dreams.

* What should medicine do when it can’t save your life? From the New Yorker, with more at MetaFilter. I firmly hope suicide pills are legal and freely available on that far off day I need them; as with so many things, I can’t fathom why there isn’t already universal agreement on this point.

Late Night Links With Very Little Context

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