Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Mars

Happening Now: Thursday Links!

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* CFP: Resistance and Dissent in America.

* Another piece on Octavia Butler’s Unexpected Stories at LARoB: Noah Berlatsky on Octavia Butler’s “Unexpected Stories” and Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind.”

Like a delinquent sibling, Mars is all we’ve got.

* An oral history of Galaxy Quest.

* Comedians in Cars Getting Cocaine.

* Rutgers Athletics: Robbing Academics to Fund Big Sports.  Libraries Receive Shrinking Share of University Expenditures. Historically Black Colleges and Universities Face Uncertain Future. Predictors of depression, stress, and anxiety among non-tenure track faculty.

The Tech Utopia Nobody Wants. The Banality of Dystopia. Soak the Rich: An exchange on capital, debt, and the future. Ancient Apocalypse films use the past to project a reactionary present into the future.

* ThinkProgress on the latest bad-faith nonsense ruling against Obamacare. Don’t worry, the ruling against heath care subsidies is going to be reversed. What the D.C. Circuit Got Wrong About Obamacare.

* BREAKING: Pay It Forward Plans Make Everything Worse.

* BREAKING: The death penalty is an obscene horror show.

Mass incarceration, perhaps the greatest social crisis in modern American history, is without parallel on a global scale.

* The way we live now: One out of every 21 New Yorkers is a millionaire.

* We turned the border into a war zone. Arizona’s Checkpoint Rebellion.

* Change we can believe in: The World Health Organization Wants to Legalize Sex Work and Drugs.

Three Out of Four Newark Police Stops Are Unconstitutional. Prosecutors Are Reading Emails From Inmates to Lawyers.

* Emotional labor and the third machine age.

* Water is a human right, but who is considered a human being?

* What could possibly go wrong? DARPA Wants Wants to Fund Research into “Predatory” Bacteria.

* Parker Lewis Can’t Lose: Women And People Of Color Get Punished For Hiring To Increase Diversity, White Men Get Rewarded.

The Borowitz Problem.

* They say time is the fire in which we burn: The Queen aging over time on bank-notes.

* The time the United States blew up a passenger plane—and tried to cover it up.

* ‘I withdraw’: A talk with climate defeatist Paul Kingsnorth. And it’s not all downside: Climate Change Could Threaten The Future Of Hockey.

* Fracking comes to Durham.

* Wrapping up all the loose ends: Aliens Will Go To Hell So Let’s Stop Looking For Them.

* And someone in Congress edited the ‘Lizard People’ Wikipedia article. I knew. I always knew.

Sunday Links!

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* With the newborn and the consequent sleep deprivation I’ve been in sort of a weird place mentally, but if you find yourself in a similar state of consciousness I can recommend Andy Weir’s The Martian, April Richardson’s Go Bayside! podcast, and Rachel and Miles X-plain the X-Men as just the thing. I’ve also been going through the Comedy Bang! Bang! DVD Season 1 and 2 extras, which are truly prodigious — essentially a few bonus weeks of the podcast hidden as episode commentaries.  The Martian will be a movie in 2016 and I suspect it’ll be a good one.

* Marquette team heads to RoboCup — the World Cup for robots.

* Kacy Catanzaro winning American Ninja Warrior is the best thing I’ve seen in weeks.

* For years, Ukrainian science fiction writers have been producing novels about a Russian takeover of Ukraine.

* The Sawyer Seminar at UCR: “Alternative Futurisms,” which will launch in September 2015, will bring together African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian American scholars, artists and writers to examine the colonial roots and legacies of science fiction and the power of speculative fiction as a tool for social change.

* Cli-Fi watch: Mother Jones reviews Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway’s The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future.

* Superpower as disability: Fantastic Four could be either really great or really, really awful.

* …a black superhero who just does the superhero thing of fighting criminals or anti-American spies or traditional bad guys can seem like a capitulation. Fighting against crime in the U.S. means, way too often, putting black men behind bars. Will a black Captain America serve as a kind of “post-racial” justification for that law-and-order logic? Or will he, instead, open up a space to question whether law, order, and superheroics are always, and for everyone, a good?

Black Internationalism as a Critique of U.S. Foreign Policy.

* Today in police brutality: Man Dies After Being Put In Choke-Hold By NYPD.

* Federal Judge Blasts ATF For Luring Man With No Criminal Record Into Trafficking Cocaine.

The United States Sentencing Commission just voted to let 46,290 federal prisoners apply to get out of prison sooner.

* The tanks, which serve as the heart of the assault force, received an order to open fire at anything that moved.  “Self-genocide” is not a thing. Unanimous consent. What if Iron Dome is a bluff?

* Twenty-five years ago today, a plane went down in Sioux City. Nobody was expected to survive. Somehow, 184 people did.

Stanford anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann found that voice-hearing experiences of people with serious psychotic disorders are shaped by local culture – in the United States, the voices are harsh and threatening; in Africa and India, they are more benign and playful. 

“People need to understand,” he says, “that there’s tons of money in nonprofits, first of all. Second, nonprofits can kind of become containers for for-profit organizations . . . and a lot of that is tax money going into rich people’s pockets.” Pushed into the marketplace, higher education managers pay themselves vast sums for wrecking one of the UK’s few globally respected sectors.

* Hollywood Will Not Stop Being Ludicrously Sexist Even If It Means the Entire Film Industry Is Destroyed.

* Terminator: An Oral History.

* Dystopia is here.

* Yes. We. Ugh.

* Presenting Cthulhubucks.

Results from a study published in the latest issue of Cognitive Science suggest that 5- and 6-year-old kids from religious backgrounds judge fact from fiction differently than those with non-religious upbringings.

* And is it possible that man was not meant to ingest infinite quantities of mozzarella sticks? Of course, Andy Daly was there first.

Thursday Links!

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* Working Mom Arrested for Letting Her 9-Year-Old Play Alone at Park. Dad Charged With Child Endangerment After Son Skips Church To Go Play. This Widow’s 4 Kids Were Taken After She Left Them Home Alone. The 90s weren’t THAT long ago, people.

* Afrofuturism, Science Fiction, and the History of the Future.

* The NEH lives! The U.S. House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday reversed a Republican proposal to cut funding to the National Endowment for the Humanities by more than 5 percent in the coming fiscal year.

* The Darker Side of University Endowments.

* Towards the slow university.

* What Happened at City College of San Francisco?

* University of Miami: Let the planet eat Walmarts.

“An unfinished degree barely increases your earnings while costing money and time,” economist Allison Schrager found in a review of the 2013 Current Population Survey. “Dropping out of college,” she said, is “the biggest risk of going to college.”

* The new American exceptionalism: An imperial state unable to impose its will.

* How many people alive today have ever lived part of their conscious lives in a United States of America at peace with the rest of the world? Would someone even older than I am have any meaningful memory of what such a state of peace was like? How many Americans are even capable of imagining such a state? I can remember only two periods, bracketing World War II, when I believed I lived in a nation at peace. And even these were arguably just childish illusions.

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Karen Lewis, the president of the Chicago Teachers Union, could challenge Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel this fall. Lewis is reportedly looking into an exploratory committee and plans to put a campaign staffer in each of the city’s 77 community areas. A poll has Lewis leading the mayor, 45 percent to 36 percent, with 18 percent of voters undecided. The Democratic Party education wars continue to heat up. The Coming Democratic Schism.

* Sweden’s School Choice Disaster.

* Meanwhile: How long can the GOP last as the cranky oldster party?

* More Americans are aging in place. Can towns and cities adapt?

Why I’m Not a Liberal.

* As Google’s top hacker, Parisa Tabriz thinks like a criminal—and manages the brilliant, wonky guys on her team with the courage and calm of a hostage negotiator.

No, LeBron James Won’t Bring $500 Million A Year To Cleveland’s Economy.

* How To Talk To Babies About Marxist Theory.

* Pulitzer prize-winner, immigrant advocate detained at McAllen airport.

* Rhode Island accidentally decriminalized prostitution, and good things happened.

* Market Research Says 46.67% of Comic Fans are Female. That’s amazing given how misogynistic so much of the product is. Maybe scratch and sniff comics can drive just a few more away.

* Marvel trolls freaked-out white dudes, day two.

Bsh-pwDIcAEdpST* Firefly: The New Lame Drawing.

* The curious grammar of police shootings.

Federal judge rules California death penalty is unconstitutional.

* Bananalands, transparently doomed proposal to split California into six states can’t even be bothered to come up with names for most of them.

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega is taking Activision to court over his depiction in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

* One Hundred Years of the Refrigerator.

* Fixing peer review: 1, 2.

* Will the Supreme Court buy an argument that a corporation holds a sincere religious opposition to unionization? Is PopeCo Catholic?

* Voxsplaining we can believe in: Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless.

* Then they blew it.

* Original Slip ‘N Slide patent, 1961. Even the kids in the photo have broken bones.

Could We Drink The Water On Mars?

* Swedish man and his prolific bot are responsible for 8.5% of all Wikipedia articles.

A Woman Meets 30 Alternate Versions Of Herself. And They’re All Better. Trailer for indie SF flick You, Me & Her, which looks great.

* And a YouTube quality 12 Monkeys reboot is really going to air on SyFy for some reason. Ripping off Continuum for good measure…

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Happy Birthday Connor Links!

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My son is being born today, so the posting will probably be sporadic even by summer standards. Sorry! And hooray!

* FindingEstella from @amplify285 is an awesome Octavia Butler Archives Tumblr.

* NASA: ‘Our plan is to colonize Mars.’ Well, then, let’s go!

* Alt-Ac as Symptom and Cure.

* Breaking: The Constitution is a shell game.

* Why Physicists Are Saying Consciousness Is A State Of Matter, Like a Solid, A Liquid Or A Gas.

* This fantasy has survived the 1980s, of course, even as the action genre that spawned RoboCop has faded. Meanwhile, the market fundamentalism and “tough-on-crime” rhetoric that the film makes fun of, still relatively novel in 1987, have today become normalized. The idea of redemptive violence—mass incarceration, a heavily armed police force—is now so deeply embedded in our political culture that we may no longer be able to see it well enough to mock it. RoboCop is thus both more dated and more current than ever. Its critical edge comes from a pessimistic vision of the future that is getting closer all the time.

If social and labor movements are to break out of this cycle, it will have to mean an actual break to the left of the Democratic Party. Or not?

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* Politics in Times of Anxiety.

* The Common Core leaves intact the longstanding ethos of American public education: what’s good for capital is good for the student.

* Is soccer finally becoming a mainstream TV sport in America? These charts say yes.

* Bazillionaires! They’re just like us!

* Drone crews told investigators their respective crashed planes had been “possessed” and plagued by “demons.

* Sherlock Holmes is officially out of copyright. Start your slashes!

* The end of the NCAA.

* Podcast of the week: Rachel and Miles x-Plain the X-Men.

* Danger Close: The Iraq War in American Fiction. Almost certainly a factor in the prevalence of Iraq War stories being (1) science fictional (2) set in narrative situations that recast us as the victims of our own invasion.

* US v. Portugal: It was the worst. See you Thursday.

* And Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has your improved Turing Test.

Thursday Morning Links!

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In Landmark Decision, U.S. Patent Office Cancels Trademark For Redskins Football Team. So the Redskins will be forced by lost revenue and unrestrained anti-Redskins bootlegs to change their name — at which time bitter Redskins dead-enders will be able to sell each other Redskins-branded merchandise in protest…

* In praise of Diplomacy.

* We Have No Idea If Online Ads Work.

That plan goes something like this: maximize constrained educational choices that are a function of labor market changes; commodify inequality by organizing for the highest need students; extract guaranteed funds from public coffers; call it access; wash and repeat.

* Guernica‘s special issue on class, including a report on adjuncts.

* BREAKING: The U.S. Has the Most Expensive, Least Effective Health Care System. BREAKING: Guns kill children. BREAKING: The American prison system is a nightmare. BREAKING: Capitalism is insanely corrupt. BREAKING: Uber is a scam.

* Schools and/as prisons.

* Self-plagiarism is a really weird concept to pin down.

When innocent people are exonerated after wrongfully spending time in prison, some states pay money to the accused for their trouble. As data from NPR and the Innocence Project show, those payouts are often despicably low. 

* This Is How Much More States Spend On Prisoners Than On Students.

* Does the alternatives-to-incarceration industry profit from injustice?

* The economics of nuclear war.

* When Presidents Get Bored.

* Things instructional staff aren’t paid enough to do.

The logic on display here shows the toxic self-justifying nature of American military adventures. If a war accomplishes its stated objectives, that goes to show that war is great. If a war fails to accomplish its stated objectives — as the Bush-era surge miserably failed to produce a durable political settlement in Iraq — then that simply proves that more war was called for.

* And they say America’s best years are behind it.

* How the West was stolen.

* How ISIS Games Twitter.

Münchausen syndrome by proxy, mommy blog edition.

* The horror of postpartum psychosis.

* Against the GRE.

* Against the simplicity of “born this way.”

It seems that when you want to make a woman into a hero, you hurt her first. When you want to make a man into a hero, you hurt… also a woman first.

* Louie. Louie. Lou-eeeee. Louie. Louie. Lou-iiiiiii.

* You can kill anyone with your car, as long as you don’t really mean it.

* Walker said it was important to have a smooth-running highway system to avoid gridlock “that would choke off the ability of businesses to come in and out of Milwaukee.” “I think the last thing you want to do is have employers look to go bypass the city of Milwaukee when they’re talking about jobs and commerce here,” he said. “So you’ve got to make sure there’s a good transportation system.” And just wait until he finds out human beings use roads too!

* My brilliant wife has a poem in TAB.

* How to Catch a Chess Cheater.

Elon Musk “Hopeful” First People Can Be Taken To Mars in 10-12 Years.

* And even Colbert Report writers have to form tech startups now.

Tuesday Morning Links!

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* Fear of Stigma Lingers About Use of Family-Friendly Policies. Should You Have a Baby in Grad School?

* Don’t Drink Starbucks Free College PR Stunt, Full of Bees. Some details.

* Sun Ra: jazz’s interstellar voyager.

* The trouble with trustees.

The remaining 5 percent are my greatest concern. These trustees can cause real damage to the institutions they serve by acting in dysfunctional ways. They play petty politics with almost everything; try to micromanage the institution; attempt to go around the president and lead from the shadows; they tend to be critical of faculty but not knowledgeable or curious about faculty life and offer simple solutions to complex and sticky challenges.

Over the past several years, I have talked with many presidents who believe this small group of toxic boards is growing in size and impact and migrating north towards 10 percent of all boards. We simply cannot afford this.

In my defense, though, anyone following the humanities death watch for the last 600 years would be struck both by its recurring characters and its disconnect from objective fact. Burton wrote in the age of Shakespeare, when the remarkable growth of literacy drove the first golden age of vernacular literature. Whittemore wrote while English as an academic discipline was in the midst of a meteoric rise, climbing from 17,240 BA degrees granted in 1950 to 64,342 in 1971. After a steep drop in the 1980s, English is now back to a robust 53,767 degrees granted per year, and 295,221 students per year graduate with humanities degreesmore than any field except business.

* NLRB revises Columbia College Chicago decision to the benefit of administration, by a factor of about 30X.

* Austin and segregation. Milwaukee and Scott Walker.

Over the past few decades, Walker’s home turf of metropolitan Milwaukee has developed into the most bitterly divided political ground in the country“the most polarized part of a polarized state in a polarized nation,” as a recent series by Craig Gilbert in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel put it. Thanks to a quirk of twentieth-century history, the region encompasses a heavily Democratic and African American urban center, and suburbs that are far more uniformly white and Republican than those in any other Northern city, with a moat of resentment running between the two zones. As a result, the area has given rise to some of the most worrisome trends in American political life in supercharged form: profound racial inequality, extreme political segregation, a parallel-universe news media. These trends predate Walker, but they have enabled his ascent, and his tenure in government has only served to intensify them. Anyone who believes that he is the Republican to save his partylet alone win a presidential electionneeds to understand the toxic and ruptured landscape he will leave behind.

In Milwaukee and U.S., hospitals follow money to suburbs.

* World Cup minute! Crunching the US’s chances of advancing out of its group. Meanwhile: Ghana has to ration electricity just so everyone can watch the World Cup.

* Louie, creep. Game of Thrones and the female gaze. HBO Explains Why They Failed To Make An American Gods TV Show. Read George R. R. Martin’s 1963 Letter To Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

* How Marquette brought in its first lay president.

* Totally outrageous: Indiana Punished Inmate With More Time Behind Bars For Doing What Prison Staff Told Him To Do.

California Prison’s ‘Pay-To-Stay’ Option Offers ‘Quieter’ Rooms For $155 A Day. Prison labor’s new frontier: Artisanal foods. When Brooklyn juries gentrify, defendants lose.

Father Of The Bride sequel about gay marriage reportedly in the works.

* A team of Harvard scientists believe the remnants of an ancient Earth, dating to the time another planet collided with ours to produce the moon, may still be lodged deep within the Earth’s mantle. Earth may have underground ‘ocean’ three times that on surface. Dibs on the screenplay.

* Circles within circles, rings within rings: I was told you are interested in my group’s (Codename: Lollipop) ongoing operation against the PoOs (People of Oppression). My group poses as feminists on twitter. We bait other PoOs into agreeing with us as we subtly move them more and more to the extreme. The purpose is to make moderate feminists turned off with the movement, as well as cause infighting within the group. As some of our operatives have been compromised, my commander has given me permission to make some of their conversations on twitter public. We want to let the PoOs know that we have infiltrated them so that they begin to accuse each other of being Lollipop operatives.

* Our long national nightmare &c: Duke will rename Aycock.

* Gasp! Missile defense still a giant boondoggle!

* The Lack of Major Wars May Be Hurting Economic Growth, warns New York Times. Meanwhile, Chelsea Manning has an op-ed.

* Understanding commencement speakers at SMBC.

* American meritocracy, Chelsea Clinton edition.

The Story of One Whale Who Tried to Bridge the Linguistic Divide Between Animals and Humans.

* The Grand Budapest Hotel, as it was always meant to be seen.

* The end of TV.

* We’re never going to get to Mars.

* A new report shows nuclear weapons almost detonated in North Carolina in 1961.

* And Greenpeace lost 5 million dollars gambling. FFS.

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Happy Monday

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* Secret origins of gonzo journalism: “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved,” by Hunter S. Thompson.

What’s so frustrating about really upper class kids who go on to become elite pundits and write stupid stuff about this topic is that, had they any self-awareness whatsoever, they should know all about intergenerational class entrenchment. In most cases, their parents have done everything they can to make sure social mobility remains a myth.

* When a campus building is named for a famous white supremacist. Oh, hi, Duke!

The Melancholy, Crumbling Remains Of Great Socialist Murals.

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* The failures of Title IX. How a Title IX Complaint Is Processed.

Which states have the highest levels of student debt?

How Athletic Departments (And The Media) Fudge The Cost Of Scholarships.

* Partisan politics, segregation, and Milwaukee.

* I worry a bit that giving the 1% the option to become literal vampires might not work out great.

* Samuel R. Delany reviews Star Wars.

A collision of greed, neglect, and mismanagement is endangering young people in America’s college capital while enriching some absentee investors — landlords who maximize profits by packing students into properties — and universities that admit many more students than they can house.

* Devo and Kent State.

* Mad Men and social change.

Where the show has faltered — and where it comes up against its contradictions — is when it attempts to look at those who are no longer living in the Before. So effective in detailing the quiet terrors of the old order, it has been largely unable or unwilling to present anyone who stands for this challenge in a serious way.

* Today in the rule of law: The Harris prohibition has resulted in law enforcement agencies using the stingrays without obtaining a court warrant, because the agencies have interpreted the contract to mean they cannot even tell a judge about their intent to use the devices.

* Milwaukee officer shoots man after struggle at Red Arrow Park. Drunk NYPD Officer Allegedly Shot a Stranger 6 Times.

* Meanwhile people are just straight-up setting up murder traps now in Stand Your Ground states.

The Incidental State: Coercion in the Age of Big Data.

But it turns out that if you consider the facts reported; he wasn’t a genius.  His violations of anti-trust law were obvious crimes.  Instead, his key characteristic was the one we always emphasize is critical about the most fraudulent CEOs – audacity.  Jobs had gotten away with committing so many crimes that he came to believe he was immune from prosecution.

* On crafting a nonwhite Spider-Man. Spider-Man execs kill our dreams of seeing Miles Morales on the big screen. They must really hate money.

To Remember a Lecture Better, Take Notes by Hand.

Want to Go to Mars? It’s Not That Expensive.

* Vulture: Is television art yet?

Path to student loan debt relief for adjuncts just got a little easier–but still a long way to go.

* Ross Douthat hates your loose libertine morals so much he’ll even become a communist to oppose them.

Gun That Can Only Be Fired By Owner Exists but No One Will Sell It Because of New Jersey.

How Much Source Material Does HBO’s Game of Thrones Have Left to Work With? The worst news is: it seems like it’s all Jon Snow stuff…

For ‘Game of Thrones,’ Rising Unease Over Rape’s Recurring Role.

* The secret history of White Coke.

Louis C.K. versus the Common Core.

The Ocean Floor Is Littered with Humanity’s Garbage.

“Let It Go” was inspired by Prince, who also contributed its most memorable line.

* Should we be teaching him civics at such a young age?

* The oldest man on earth lives on the Upper West Side. Take that, Okinawa!

* Fanwanking a reason why there doesn’t seem to be many women in the Star Wars universe.

* Presenting the Wes Anderson cruise.

* And Slate celebrates the world’s best statues.

Grand Byakue, Takazaki, Japan, 137 ft, built in 1936

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