Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘magic

Weekend Links!

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* Call for applications: 2014—15 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship.

* So Paul Di Filippo really liked Green Planets.

* Receive this petition in nomination of three candidates for MLA Executive Council and one for 2nd Vice President.

* Explaining Tuition Hikes at the University of Michigan. Construction Not Instruction: Bonds and Buildings at the Public University. 5 Links Between Higher Education and the Prison Industry.

And this is the pattern with austerity. The measures introduced under the rubric of an emergency, the supposed need to consolidate debt and appease “the market,” ultimately do little for the debt, and only consolidate the market’s tyrannical reach.

* On trigger warnings and who gets to count.

Journey to the Centre of Google Earth.

* I was born too early.

The Lion King: A short history of Disney-fascism.

But the emotional trauma that Disney tries its damnedest to induce in young children is only the spadework for the ugly principles it feels it must implant in each new generation. Although the film takes place in an imaginary jungle, THE LION KING really expounds the Law of the Schoolyard: only the strong and the beautiful triumph, and the powerless survive only by serving the strong. As Disney sees it, children must not only acknowledge the supremacy of those born privileged and violent, the children must love them. The young must gaze in hushed veneration at the princely predators who stand ready to harvest the labor and flesh of their subjects. They must learn to giggle at the hopeless scampering of weak and stubby creatures as they dodge the jaws of their overlords. They must accept that true friendship means flattering those who would otherwise feast on their entrails.

DaysOver95-MJ* Climate denialism and the Outer Banks. These time-lapse maps show how much hotter the USA will be when you’re old.

Why Did Borges Hate Soccer?

Was the U.S. Robbed Against Portugal? It Depends on What Time Means.

* You got your class-based analysis in my intersectionality NO you got your intersectionality in my class-based analysis

* Another exciting week of Good SCOTUS, Bad SCOTUS.

* Kunkel reviews Piketty. The circle is complete.

* Title Now Everybody Sue Everybody: expulsion and sexual assault at IHE.

Democrats are the worst, Daily Show edition.

Hillary Clinton 2016 and the Folly of the Left-Flank Push.

If you or any other speculator on my body and rights, wish to know how I regard my rights, they need but come here and lay their hands on me to enslave me. Did you think to terrify me by presenting the alternative to give my money to you, or give my body to Slavery? Then let me say to you, that I meet the proposition with unutterable scorn and contempt.

* The Star Wars museum is coming to Chicago.

* Konczal v. student debt.

* Obamaism v. teacher tenure.

* People aren’t worried about robots, they’re worried about who owns the robots.

* A New Bike Lane That Could Save Lives and Make Cycling More Popular.

*  “You express amazement at my statement that ‘civilized’ men try to justify their looting, butchering and plundering by claiming that these things are done in the interests of art, progress and culture. That this simple statement of fact should cause surprise, amazes me in return.”

* What could go wrong? Missouri School Districts Start Training Teachers To Carry Concealed Weapons In Classroom.

Former College Basketball Player Sues NCAA Over Concussions.

* ‘Think They Got Killed?’ 1964, L.B.J. and Three Civil Rights Icons.

* When Rambo was going to fight werewolves.

* In praise of Janelle Monáe.

* On phone horror.

* Another Fermi Paradox post.

* Here comes Pacific Rim 2. Plus a cartoon! But we still live in a vale of tears.

* Humanity Surprised It Still Hasn’t Figured Out Better Alternative To Letting Power-Hungry Assholes Decide Everything.

​The 20 Most WTF Magical Items in Dungeons & Dragons.

* Free at last: Oakland to decriminalize pinball.

* Kill Bill as an 8-bit video game.

* Episode 7 is already ruined.

* But the kids are all right.

Some Weekend Links

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In this future, if MOOCs are the route to a credential, they may initially retain some of the popularity that traditional higher education currently holds. But as people realize that the real opportunities continue to accrue to those who are able to attend whatever traditional colleges and universities that remain, they will go to even greater lengths than today to secure those spots. Meanwhile, those for whom access to this opportunity is impossible will be left even further behind.

* Tampering with powers mankind was never meant to know: The U.S. military has developed a pizza that stays edible for years.

Socialism is not a flight from the human condition; it’s a direct and unsentimental confrontation with that condition.

* Anyway, the point is this: maybe the exhaust port wasn’t the problem.

Faculty on Strike.

* Reclamations Special Issue: Securitization and the University.

Can The Government Stop The Comcast/TWC Monstrosity? Comcast must be stopped. Preach.

A Florida town is attempting to repeal its ban on homeless people using blankets and other means of shelter and comfort. That’s good, I gue–wait, you banned what?

* Not only does the state’s proposed law allow private businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples; it permits state employees to deny them basic services. WHAT?

* Another NFL cheerleader files suit against her team. This one details the copious amounts of clothing and body discipling for a job that pays $90 a game.

* Noam Chomsky, stealing my bit.

* Now playable! Sesame Street Fighter.

* Ellen Page comes out.

Is the AA system of addiction recovery too unscientific to work?

The Blum Center Takeover Manifesto.

Why not cast Chiwetel Ejiofor as Doctor Strange? I’m on board.

* Because somebody had to: Debunking Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld.

The problem with the thesis is that in setting out their claim, the authors ignore the more obvious explanation for differences in group success: history. To be specific, in their quest to make it all about culture, the authors either ignore or strongly discount the particular circumstances of a group’s first arrival, and the advantages enjoyed by that first wave.

Then he said I want you to develop a plan to invade Ir[aq]. Do it outside the normal channels. Do it creatively so we don’t have to take so much cover [?]

But Truman’s famously crisp sentence did encapsulate a recurrent American attitude toward the fearsome weapons the United States developed: they came to us almost accidentally, inadvertently, “found” in that cornucopia which modern science and technology provided.

Leaks benefit the government, the author argues, in many ways. They are a safety valve, a covert messaging system, a perception management tool, and more.  Even when a particular disclosure is unwelcome or damaging, it serves to validate the system as a whole.

The Word You Are Searching for Is Rape.

Wendy Davis Is Pretty Much Fine With the Abortion Ban She Filibustered.

* Another Day, Another Train Derails In Pennsylvania, Spilling Up To 4,000 Gallons Of Oil.

A recent analysis found that rail cars spilled more than 1.15 million gallons of oil in 2013, more than was spilled in the previous four decades combined. Still, some companies are looking to expand their oil-by-rail transport: expansion plans for oil-by-rail projects on the West Coast could mean that as many as 11 fully loaded oil trains would travel each day through Spokane, Washington. A Senate subcommittee was scheduled to hold a hearing Thursday on rail safety, but it had to be rescheduled due to bad weather that forced the closure of the federal government.

* STAMOS! Remembering The LEGO Movie Directors’ Wonderful TV Show, Clone High.

The (almost) entire run of Gargoyles is streaming legally on YouTube.

* Say I’m the Only Bee in Your Bonnet: A People’s History of “Birdhouse in Your Soul.”

* Facebook has added fifty alternative gender options.

Texas Appeals Court: State Must Recognize Transgender Identities In Marriage.

* And in breaking news: Internet trolls are seriously bad news. The more you know…

Finally Back in Milwaukee Links

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The fact that animals were for a long period of European history tried and punished as criminals is, to the extent that this is known at all, generally bracketed or dismissed as amere curiosity, a cultural quirk.

Arrested Development Season 4 episode titles revealed.

H.P. Lovecraft’s Advice to Young Writers.

* January 1, 1946: two Marine divisions faced off in the so-called Atom Bowl, played on a killing field in Nagasaki that had been cleared of debris.

The future is bright at Monsters University. I agree wholeheartedly with my Marquette colleague who hopes there’s a ton of confusion about MU in the future.

* Traxus and Kotsko on Django Unchained. Bonus Kotsko New Year’s Resolution! Stop paying attention to non-stories.

What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2013?

* Women’s gangs of India.

* The Death of the American Shopping Mall.

* The Penn State shitshow continues: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett will announce a federal lawsuit against the NCAA tied to the historic sanctions levied against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Corbett will hold a press conference on Wednesday morning in State College, Pa., to announce the suit, which will be filed by the state.

* “I don’t think I would do a terrible job at a Han Solo backstory. I could do that pretty well. But maybe that would be better as a short.” An interview with Wes Anderson.

The Macroeconomics of Middle Earth.

Could going to Mars give future astronauts Alzheimer’s disease?

Can being overweight actually make you live longer?

* A Pickpocket’s Tale.

A few years ago, at a Las Vegas convention for magicians, Penn Jillette, of the act Penn and Teller, was introduced to a soft-spoken young man named Apollo Robbins, who has a reputation as a pickpocket of almost supernatural ability. Jillette, who ranks pickpockets, he says, “a few notches below hypnotists on the show-biz totem pole,” was holding court at a table of colleagues, and he asked Robbins for a demonstration, ready to be unimpressed. Robbins demurred, claiming that he felt uncomfortable working in front of other magicians. He pointed out that, since Jillette was wearing only shorts and a sports shirt, he wouldn’t have much to work with.“Come on,” Jillette said. “Steal something from me.”

Again, Robbins begged off, but he offered to do a trick instead. He instructed Jillette to place a ring that he was wearing on a piece of paper and trace its outline with a pen. By now, a small crowd had gathered. Jillette removed his ring, put it down on the paper, unclipped a pen from his shirt, and leaned forward, preparing to draw. After a moment, he froze and looked up. His face was pale.

“Fuck. You,” he said, and slumped into a chair.

Robbins held up a thin, cylindrical object: the cartridge from Jillette’s pen.

A moment of dreaming about higher education.

* And Jaimee has some new poems up (with rare audio!) at Unsplendid.

Friday Night

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* Higher Ed as Cheesecake Factory. Reply from Beatrice Marovich. Reply from Ian Bogost.

The five year metric is, like so much in education today, an accounting reform posing as educational reform.

* Scenes from the class struggle at Cooper Union.

* Harvard as hedge fund.

Meanwhile, during most of these years, Harvard’s own endowment has annually grown by five or ten or even twenty times that figure, rendering net tuition from those thousands of students a mere financial bagatelle, having almost no impact on the university’s cash-flow or balance-sheet position. If all the students disappeared tomorrow—or were forced to pay double their current tuition—the impact would be negligible compared to the crucial fluctuations in the mortgage-derivatives market or the international cost-of-funds index.

“Fox News Op-Ed Says Women’s Nature Is To Be Dominated By Men.” GO HOME FOX NEWS YOU ARE DRUNK

* If you’re gay, your basic civil rights now depend on what mood Anthony Kennedy is in when he wakes up in the morning. Like the Founders intended!

* The FAA will maybe possibly consider letting you use your iPad or Kindle during takeoff on the grounds that it couldn’t possibly hurt anything.

Vice President Joe Biden is quietly working with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to try to pass an inclusive version of the Violence Against Women Act in the lame-duck Congress. And so far, sources tell HuffPost, Cantor is on board as long as one thing is stripped from the bill: a key protection for Native American women.

What Are the Near-Term Climate Pearl Harbors? What a weird analogy, especially with “climate change fiscal cliff” just sitting there.

* This is the kind of obscene administrative blight you normally only see on a college campus: 

Denver Public Schools plans to buy a 13-story building at 1860 Lincoln St. downtown to house its administration offices and the Emily Griffith Technical College.

According to a memo Superintendent Tom Boasberg emailed late Thursday to DPS staff and the board of directors, DPS is buying the 330,000-square-foot building with $24 million in bond money approved by Denver voters on Nov. 6.

* Why the NCAA Doesn’t Care about Concussions.

What happened to Whitmer wasn’t a mistake in NCAA concussion protocol for the simple reason that there isn’t an NCAA concussion protocol. The ambiguity is by design—in order to remain legally blameless, the association can’t involve itself too closely in the health of the athletes. That’s why the job of devising a response to head injuries is left to the schools themselves. As a consequence, when football programs obfuscate what exactly happened to a woozy-looking quarterback, there’s no one—not the local beat writer, and most certainly not an NCAA investigator—to hold them to account. In both the pros and in college football, the risk of legal liability is dictating the response to a medical crisis.

* The War on Superman’s Underpants.

* Your sleight of hand of the day.

* Pennsylvania still wants to rig the electoral college.

Arrested Development NES Games.

* Moon flights for a mere $750 million. Back to the Future With 1970s Space Colonies.

* And you won’t have Kevin Smith to kick around anymore. Didn’t he do this same thing a few years ago?

Tuesday Morning

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* Yeah, so it’s fair to say Mitt Romney’s been having a pretty bad week.

Stealing magic has become a commonplace crime. Teller, a man of infinite delicacy and deceit, decided to do something about it.

* Don’t say it unless you mean it: NASA developing a real warp drive.

Kenya uses a science fiction book to teach children ethnic tolerance.

* By 2020, two-thirds of U.S. jobs will require a college degree. It’s almost as if all the recent hooplah about not going to college was totally ignorant of the actual economic realities in the U.S.

* And in sad news: Newborn Loses Faith In Humanity After Record 6 Days.

“This shatters all previous records,” University of Chicago psychologist Douglas McAllister said Monday. “In all of documented medical history, there is no case of a newborn taking less than four months to develop the mental faculties required to grasp the full extent of this existential nightmare we call life on earth.”

 

Five for Sunday

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* Teller explains it all. Via MeFi, which has some video links too.

* Star Wars Uncut: the last great surrealist masterpiece. I think a friend on Facebook really nailed the appeal of this when he pointed out the importance of this sort of “careful reenactment” in childhood consumption of media. In a sense Star Wars Uncut is what we were doing all along.

* Did climate change crash the Mayans?

* Despite their important implications for interpersonal behaviors and relations, cognitive abilities have been largely ignored as explanations of prejudice. We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups. In an analysis of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N = 15,874), we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology. A secondary analysis of a U.S. data set confirmed a predictive effect of poor abstract-reasoning skills on antihomosexual prejudice, a relation partially mediated by both authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact. All analyses controlled for education and socioeconomic status. Our results suggest that cognitive abilities play a critical, albeit underappreciated, role in prejudice. Consequently, we recommend a heightened focus on cognitive ability in research on prejudice and a better integration of cognitive ability into prejudice models.

* And I think someone in Parliament has been watching Dark Angel.

On the possibility of a nuclear missile being fired into space and exploded, he said: “I personally believe that it’s quite likely to happen. It’s a comparatively easy way of using a small number of nuclear weapons to cause devastating damage.

“The consequences if it did happen would be so devastating that we really ought to start protecting against it now, and our vulnerabilities are huge.”

Friday Night Links

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* In case you missed it, I was on WUNC’s The State of Things today talking about science fiction and the end of the world. I’m in the second segment, about twelve minutes in. Here’s an MP3.

* Which undergraduate colleges are producing the most PhDs? You might be surprised.

* Game of the night: 3 Slices.

* Ferris Bueller’s Second Day Off? Not so fast, says everyone.

* At the end of Contact, Ellie Arroway discovers a secret message encoded in the digits of pi, presumably from the creator of the universe. With that in mind, check this out.

* The headline reads, “North Korea makes using a cellphone a war crime during 100 day mourning period.”

* The headline reads, “Nicolas Cage used real magic to prepare to be Ghost Rider.”

* The United States now spends some $200 billion on the correctional system each year, a sum that exceeds the gross domestic product of twenty-five US states and 140 foreign countries. An ever-increasing share of domestic discretionary spending, it would seem, is devoted to building and staffing earthly hells filled with able-bodied young men who have been removed from the labor force. If we added up all the money federal, state, and local governments invest in the poorest zip codes through credits and transfer payments—food stamps, Medicaid, teacher salaries, et cetera—and balanced that against all the value the government extracts from those zip codes through sin taxes, lotteries, and the incarceration complex, we might well conclude that the disinvestment outweighs the investment. Any apparent gains made in the last thirty years in narrowing the employment and education gap between African Americans and whites vanishes once you include the incarcerated population. Before asking the government to spend a fortune improving student-to-teacher ratios, it may be prudent to first ask the government to stop devoting public resources to ripping the heart out of inner-city economies. n+1: Raise the Crime Rate.

The earth is alive, asserts a revolutionary scientific theory of life emerging from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The trans-disciplinary theory demonstrates that purportedly inanimate, non-living objects—for example, planets, water, proteins, and DNA—are animate, that is, alive. With its broad explanatory power, applicable to all areas of science and medicine, this novel paradigm aims to catalyze a veritable renaissance.

* n+1 revists the bad 2000s: Did these bands suck? Was there something that Pitchfork had missed? Although Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, M.I.A., and Animal Collective all produced sophisticated, intelligent music, it’s also true that they focused their sophistication and intelligence on those areas where the stakes were lowest. Instead of striking out in pursuit of new musical forms, they tweaked or remixed the sounds of earlier music, secure in the knowledge that pedantic blog writers would magnify these changes and make them seem daring. Instead of producing music that challenged and responded to that of other bands, they complimented one another in interviews, each group “doing its own thing” and appreciating the efforts of others. So long as they practiced effective management of the hype cycle, they were given a free pass by their listeners to lionize childhood, imitate their predecessors, and respond to the Iraq war with dancing. The general mood was a mostly benign form of cultural decadence.

* And Twitter announces new micro-censorship policy. “Micro-censorship” is an amazing euphemism, isn’t it? Well-coined. It almost doesn’t even sound bad! It’s only micro-censorship…

Friday Night!

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The gravity in this place is different. I’ve spoken to others who’ve traveled out here, too, and returned home safely. When you become one of them, you learn quickly that you share a language others can’t understand. Xeni Jardin, on diagnosis.

* On a less life-changing note, I’m devastated that I can’t attend this panel on Brecht and the Muppets.

* Nate Silver: No, this time there might really be a brokered convention. Ezra Klein: Newt Gingrich will not be the Republican nominee — even if it means a brokered convention. 21 reasons Newt Gingrich won’t be the Republican nominee for president. Romney goes after Newt’s sci-fi plans for moon colonies and space mirrors. (Meanwhile, Steve Benen goes after Romney’s apparent belief in cold fusion.) Desperate Romney PAC panics, unloads on Newt:

But what I found truly remarkable was the message Romney’s allies put together. Consider the areas of attack: foreclosures, flip-flops, immigration “amnesty,” climate change, and finally, “Newt supported a health care mandate … the centerpiece of ‘Obamacare.’” The spot then relies on a George Will column.

This is just astounding. Does Mitt Romney’s Super PAC know anything about Mitt Romney? He supports foreclosures; he’s the most shameless flip-flopper in a generation; he’s too big a coward to take a stand on immigration; he used to believe in climate change and supported cap and trade; and George Will thinks Romney is “a recidivist reviser of his principles,” who seems to “lack the courage of his absence of convictions.”

More at Gawker’s Brief Guide to Conservatives Freaking Out over Newt Gingrich.

NYU to offer classes on Occupy Wall Street.

* Another David Graeber interview.

* Bookstores are becoming mere showrooms for Amazon.com. More at MetaFilter, including some commentary on tomorrow’s “Price Check” Day.

Dan Frommer explain the new Twitter.

* Tor brings to my attention Nick “Simulation Argument” Bostrom’s Letter from Utopia (2006-2010).

* The headline reads, “World Watches as Norway Runs Out of Butter.”

Norwegians have eaten up the country’s entire stockpile of butter, partly as the result of a “low-carb” diet sweeping the Nordic nation which emphasizes a higher intake of fats. “Sales all of a sudden just soared, 20 per cent in October then 30 per cent in November,” said Lars Galtung, the head of communications at TINE, the country’s biggest farmer-owned cooperative.

* And io9 has a exhaustive list of the rules of magic. Study hard. You never know.

‘Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality’

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The only fan fiction I’ve ever recommended, and perhaps even read at all: “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality,” loosely organized around an alternate universe version of the J.K. Rowling novels in which (among other things) Harry’s adoptive parents were not the repulsive Dursleys but instead an rationalist Oxford scientist. The piece is written in accordance with the author’s self-established principles of fan fiction:

The First Law of Fanfiction states that every change which strengthens the protagonists requires a corresponding worsening of their challenges. Or in plainer language: You can’t make Frodo a Jedi without giving Sauron the Death Star. Read any book on writing ever and it will tell you that stories are about conflict; a hero too strong for their conflict is no longer in tense, heart-pounding difficulty. For example, Dark!Dumbledore and Dark!Harry both permit a Harry strengthened over canon – the first by turning one of Harry’s canon!allies against him, and the second by turning Harry against his canon!allies. The most spectacular application of this principle that I’ve seen is Harry Potter and the Wastelands of Time, in which Harry has gained all the knowledge of ancient Atlantis and has been through literally hundreds of Peggy Sue cycles in which he learns every possible twist of fate… and Voldemort, who unfortunately got to Atlantis first, has still won every time. The Mary Sue is not defined by her power, but by her lack of an even more powerful opponent. I mention this (1) so that you know I know it and (2) because the First Law of Fanfiction ought to be in a giant banner on every fanfiction site. The most fatal temptation of fanfiction writing is to think of how much easier some character’s life would be if they were a ninja. We are naturally inclined to think up ways to solve our characters’ problems for them, but must learn instead to make their lives more difficult.

The Rule of Rationalist Fiction states that rationality is not magic; being rational does not require magical potential or royal bloodlines or even amazing gadgets, and the principles of rationality work for understandable reasons.A rationalist!hero should excel by thinking – moreover, thinking in understandable patterns that readers can, in principle, adopt for themselves. As opposed to the hero just being a born “genius” who comes up with amazing gadgets through an opaque discovery process, or who pulls off incredibly complicated gambits that would fail miserably if the reader tried something similar in real life.

I found this strange and slightly wonderful mess (where else?) at TV Tropes, which points out that it’s a self-conscious Author Tract for self-educated AI researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky, who seems to take Bayes’s theorem as something like religion.

Of course “HPatMoR” is definitely not for everyone—I can only imagine what Alex will say if he takes the bait and clicks the link—but it displays that precise nerdly obsessiveness I find I just can’t resist. When a fan-fic writers imagines his souped-up Voldemort turning the outbound Pioneer 11 spacecraft into one of his many Horcuxes—well, look, I’m not made of stone.

I should also say this link is roughly the complete opposite of “breaking news”—the ongoing project is nearly a year old.

Spoiler Alert: Susan Doesn’t Get to Go to Narnia

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* With rock-bottom expectations, I apparently thought the Lost finale was better than the entire rest of the Internet—which is to say “Across the Sea” has already trashed my hopes that we’d get an actually decent ending. But even counting the offensively pointless flashes-sideways and a genuinely silly fistfight-with-the-Devil climax, what we got still beat BSG.

* Here’s your obligatory Lost nostalgia. Spoiler alert: I make the same Narnia joke in the thread. If you need more, there’s always Television without Pity.

* Mark Twain wrote an autobiography that he asked not be published for 100 years, and they actually listened. It’s due out this November.

* Oil spill booming 101. Very informative, but watch out for the F-bombs. Via MeFi. Related: DOJ considering criminal prosecution of BP.

* The oil spill will be with us for decades.

* Copy machines store all your copies on an internal hard drive, for no apparent reason whatsoever. Also via MeFi.

* David Simon hates New York.

* And my beloved home state of New Jersey is apparently seeking to require state employees to live inside the state, which seems to this non-lawyer to be unconstitutional on its face.

We Have to Magic the Magic Before the Magic or the Magic will Magic

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* I’m planning on using this week’s bizarre Lost/West Wing crossover as my litmus test for how seriously to take people’s opinions on science fiction. That was painful, and enshrines what is more or less total garbage at the center of the show’s mythology. (We have to magic the magic before the magic or the magic will magic…) Despite those really good time travel bits in season five, season six has presented a strong challenge to the wisdom of our decision to start watching this show again. The showrunners still don’t have any idea what they’re on about; they never have. I’m hoping the last few episodes can avoid Battlestar Galactica levels of total series failure; I’ll be glad if they can just bring this thing in for a landing…

* Oliver Stone previews Wall Street 2 and 3.

* Climate change watch: no more lizards.

* The Great Unwinding: Detroit to begin its demolishing of 10,000 homes.

* And Boing Boing has a helpful graphic about Virgin’s SpaceShip Two. Booking my ticket now.

Tuesday Miscellany

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* Lots of talk today about Arizona and its new “papers, please” immigration law, which James Doty, Andrew Napolitano, Erwin Chemerinsky and Karl Manheim all agree is almost certainly unconstitutional. Even Tom Tancredo and Joe Scarborough thinks this goes too far—though douchebag of liberty Bill Kristol thinks it’s fine. The city of San Francisco will join a national boycott. Perhaps Major League Baseball will too. There’s more commentary on this from Eugene Robinson, Rachel Maddow, Seth Meyer, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert.

* Colbert’s segment on Sue Lowden’s chickens-for-medical-care scheme was pretty great too.

* Alas, poor Durham: not one of America’s highest cities.

* Britain and China have your videos of the day.

* You can stop laughing, lawyers—now your degree is worthless too.

The Louisiana oil spill, as seen from space.

* And some breaking news: Ben Nelson is still really terrible.

Brain Science Thursday!

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Brain science Thursday!

* The neurological roots of genius.

* How magicians control your mind, as explained by Penn and Teller.

* Scientists acknowledge another kind of synaesthesia: a perception of sound caused by flickering images.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 7, 2008 at 1:19 pm

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The science of magic, belief, and illusive causality, at the New York Times. Via Austin Kleon, who has a really good post on this besides just the link.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 22, 2007 at 3:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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