Posts Tagged ‘mad science’
* I saw this movie: Brains of rats connected allowing them to share information via internet.
* Beyond the MOOC: While other universities move quickly to offer courses online for free, Carnegie Mellon University is instead starting for-profit efforts designed to capture segments of the education market. I’ll promote this a bit more as the date gets closer, but I’ll be speaking at a “What’s the Matter with MOOCs?” event at UWM in mid-March.
* Justice, American style: The city’s complaint in federal court claims that if Ms. Truong is entitled to damages for the nearly three years she spent in jail awaiting trial, then Mr. Ryan is as much to blame as the city because he took too long to get the coerced confession tossed out of court by the judge.
* Will a Republican friend-of-the-court brief tip the Supreme Court in favor of gay marriage? I’m pretty sure it’ll have more luck than Obama’s.
* These numbers are unprecedented: by 2014 President Obama will have deported over 2 million people – more in six years than all people deported before 1997. That “before 1997″ actually means since 1892.
“We need union jobs today, not tomorrow,” said Rich Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. “The resolution balances our desire to protect the fragile ecosystem of the earth, while acknowledging the economic benefits of a high-road strategy to develop the doomsday technologies of the future.”
* Never forget: The entire staff of the West Wing died on Voyager.
The social events of the 1948 holiday season had to be canceled. And with good reason: Experts called the third floor of the White House “an outstanding example of a firetrap.” The result of a federally commissioned report found the mansion’s plumbing “makeshift and unsanitary,” while “the structural deterioration [was] in ‘appalling degree,’ and threatening complete collapse.” The congressional commission on the matter was considering the option of abandoning the structure altogether in favor of a built-from-scratch mansion, but President Truman lobbied for the restoration.
* And American history, Breitbart style: Journalists on the campaign trail saw Johnson drunkenly board a plane armed with nuclear weapons and then accidentally drop them on the United States. We all saw it!
* I may have done this one before, but what the hell: the RAW rejection letter.
* The NCAA drops the hammer on Penn State.
The tune, thick with horns and vocal harmonies, elides into “My City of Ruins,” one of the elegiac, gospel-tinged songs on the 9/11 album, “The Rising.” The voices sing “Rise up! Rise up!” and there comes a string of horn solos: trombone, trumpet, sax. Then back to the voices. Springsteen quickly introduces the E Street horns and the singing collective. Then he says, “Roll call!” And, with the music rising bit by churchly bit, he introduces the core of the band: “Professor Roy Bittan is in the house. . . . Charlie Giordano is in the house. . . .”
When he finishes the roll call, there is a long ellipsis. The band keeps vamping.
“Are we missing anybody?”
Two spotlights are now trained on the organ, where Federici once sat, and at the mike where Clemons once stood.
“Are we missing anybody?”
Then again: “Are we missing anybody? . . . That’s right. That’s right. We’re missing some. But the only thing I can guarantee tonight is that if you’re here and we’re here, then they’re here!” He repeats this over and over, the volume of the piano and the bass rising, the drums hastening, the voices rising, until finally the song overwhelms him, and, if Springsteen has calculated correctly, there will not be an unmoved soul in the house.
* Dibs on the novelization: Zhang and Li write that the the Milky Way will be torn apart 32.9 million years before the big rip. The Earth will be ripped away from the Sun two months before the end, and we’ll lose our moon with five days left. The Sun itself will be destroyed 28 minutes before the end of time, and the Earth will explode a mere 12 minutes later.
* Radiolab says the Greeks didn’t know about blue.
* New from the Library of America: classic 1950s SF.
* Academic shock doctrine watch: Wayne State administrators propose the elimination of tenure.
* The new normal: Confirmed heat deaths rise to 10 in Wisconsin.
* In the time it took me to write this post, Mitt Romney made $2,163.40.
Led by the enigmatic Dr. Shiro Ishii, Unit 731 committed thousands of macabre experiments and infected hundreds of thousands with the plague in China. Most of the scientists involved with Unit 731 escaped trial and entered mainstream society at the end of the war due to an agreement with Allied commanders, but a few are speaking of the horrors they committed in their old age.
I’m seeing at least a three-picture deal.
* The Non Sports Fan’s Guide to Maybe Enjoying the Super Bowl. A List of Things to Say to Sound as if You Understand the Super Bowl, Dummy. Go… Giants? I think I have that right.
* The set list from last night’s fantastic Mountain Goats show in Saxapahaw. And from Vu, an interesting New York Magazine read on Mountain Goats superfandom from 2009.
* The headline reads, “No kidney transplant for dying East Bay dad who is illegal immigrant.”
There were 2900 temperature records set in the United States in January. Exxon Mobil reported yesterday that its quarterly profits had increased to $9.6 billion on revenues of over $70 billion. It’s 60 degrees on February 1 in New York City. These facts are connected. I continue to think that one reason Bloomberg evicted OWS was that he lost patience with waiting for it to get cold enough to drive the Occupiers out.
I have proposed that “debt is death.” It sounds a bit melodramatic. You can in fact map connections between the debt-financed globalized industries, direct violence caused by their expansion, and the indirect but nonetheless deadly violences of climate change.
The headline reads, “Breakthrough: The First Sound Recordings Based on Reading People’s Minds.” You may remember they’ve already done sight.
* Convinced that the son they know and love is still “in there,” Chris’s parents have spent the past three years searching for a way to bring him back out. So far, their best hope has come from an unlikely source: Ambien. A growing body of case reports suggests that the popular sleep aid can have a profound — and paradoxical — effect on patients like Chris. Rather than put them to sleep, both Ambien and its generic twin, zolpidem, appear to awaken at least some of them. The early reports were so pronounced that until recently, doctors had a hard time believing them. Only now, more than a decade after the initial discovery, are they taking a closer look.
* The bill authorizing indefinite detention without trial was co-sponsored by one of the two main 2008 presidential candidates. It will soon be signed by the other main candidate from that election. No matter which of them you supported in 2008, this is what you got.
* As I mentioned on Twitter earlier: If it weren’t for this, I’d say Mitt Romney had a better-than-even chance of being elected president next year. The Obama administration just seems hopelessly lost; every failure of their triangulation strategy is only proof they need to triangulate harder.
* The Obama for America fundraiser I spoke with tonight seemed totally unsurprised by my “I’m not giving you any money. I’ll vote for the guy but that’s it” stance. Judging from her response, as well as what people are saying to me on Twitter and Facebook, it’s a line she’s heard before.
* Guestbloggers doing great work during Glenn Greenwald’s vacation: Income inequality is bad for rich people too. Austerity and the roots of Britain’s turmoil. Why “business needs certainty” is destructive.
“Everyone watching these horrific actions will be struck by how they were organized via social media,” Cameron said in an emergency session of Parliament on Thursday, during which he announced that officials were working with the intelligence services and police to look at how and whether to “stop people communicating via these Web sites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.”
Cameron said: “Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence, we need to stop them.”
Since mid-2008, unemployment in the 16-to-24 age group has been 13% and higher, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last month, it stood at 17.4%.
Dim job prospects have taken some of the sheen off advanced degrees.
The job situation could haunt young people for years, said Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston.
More than half of earnings growth over a lifetime happens in the first decade of a career, meaning that early unemployment can depress future wages for life, he said.
But older workers are staying longer in their jobs, forcing twentysomethings to fill up retail, fast-food and other part-time spaces that traditionally give teens their first paycheck. Without work experience, young job seekers will need to scramble for options, he said.
* Seven Creepy Experiments That Could Teach Us So Much (If They Weren’t So Wrong)—and the forbidden experiment doesn’t even make the list.
* And “urban renewal,” c. 1850: 19th-c. African-American village unearthed in what is now NYC’s Central Park.
‘The U.S. Military Often Replaces a Working Dog’s Teeth with Titanium Fangs, Capable of Ripping through Enemy Protective Armor’
2015: Cyborg dogs augmented with body armor and titanium fangs stalk the world. This is nightmare-quality monstrous, and I’m not just talking about that “ruff justice” pun.
* A judge has suspended Wisconsin’s anti-union law pending on process grounds. The state attorney general has already appealed.
* Yet the president, with this brief set of remarks, has crafted something of an Obama Doctrine for military intervention: The United States will join in a multilateral fight for democracy and humanitarian aims when it is in the nation’s interest and when the locals are involved and desire US participation. But perhaps we can shorten this: The United States will join in a multilateral fight for democracy and humanitarian aims when it is in the nation’s interest and when the locals are involved and desire US participation. How Obama turned on a dime toward war. But hold the phone! Congressional Republicans, fastidious prisoners to moral and procedural consistency, say Obama will need an official declaration of war.
* How close is your home to a nuclear power plant? Durham, you’re just 24 miles from Shearon Harris, whose spent fuel pools continue to raise alarms. But don’t worry; Dr. Coulter says radiation is good for you.
* A preposterous waste of time: Slate wants your ideas on what can be done to contain radiation at the damaged plant. We realize that this isn’t the sort of question that naturally calls out for wisdom-of-the-crowds treatment. But for every hour thatactual nuclear engineers are unable to put an end to the crisis—or at least keep it from getting worse—creative and unconventional solutions look more attractive. At the end of this Hive Mind project, we’ll consult nuclear experts on the viability of the most popular ideas.
I think the tendencies are clear. If you are teaching/doing research in a field/discipline that can not easily show (quantitatively, please!) to policy makers & bureaucrats that you will make a significant positive contribute to economic growth, your very existence is at stake. Never mind that you’re opening up minds, teaching logic or the arts, passing on history to the next generations. Either someone on the market should be willing to pay for what you’re doing, or else you are at mercy of the benevolence of your government.
* And from the MetaFilter archives: “…the first occasion I’ve ever discovered where someone discovered something and immediately decided to blow it up.”
* The U.S. government apologized today for deliberately infecting hundreds of Guatemalans with gonorrhea and syphilis without their consent during the 1940s.
* The Zionist media has fired Rick Sanchez for speaking truth to Jon Stewart.
* How to catch up on Fringe, quickly becoming the best SF on TV.
* The Ally McBeal of the 2010s: David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman?
* And Ph.D. Comics captures the tragic tale of my last week.