Posts Tagged ‘nuclear war’
* 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.
* We need to update our nightmares: Zeynep Tufekci on the Internet.
* 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.
* …one of the gravest threats the FBI saw in the Black Panther movement was their Free Children’s Breakfast Program.
* 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.
* “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.
* Meanwhile meanwhile, Congress talks adjuncts and adjunctification. I’m sure they’ll come up with a good solution soon.
* Submitted for your approval: An OCR of the MLA JIL list, 1965-2012.
* “Income inequality” has proved a very successful framing for Democrats discussing a massive social problem, so of course the Obama White House is rolling out a much worse one.
* Demographics is destiny: Latinos overwhelmingly want action on climate change.
* The New York Times has the tragic story of a man with a million dollars in his retirement account struggling to scrape by on just $31,500 a month. Truly, there but for the grace of God go we.
* The “okay, fine, let’s abolish all marriages” response to marriage equality is so strange to me. I know things like this happened during the civil rights movement — and one might argue that precisely the same thing has been happening in slow-motion to public education over the last few decades — but it still seems like such a strange, uniquely twenty-first-century temper tantrum.
* Behold, the 90s! The Most Impressive Costumes from Star Trek: TNG’s First 3 Seasons.
According to recently declassified documents made available by the U.S. National Security Archive, the United States had a contingency plan in effect where, in the event that the President went missing or was killed during an attack on the country, the military was instructed to launch an automatic and simultaneous “full nuclear response” against both the Soviet Union and China. And it wasn’t until 1968 that the government under Lyndon Johnson repealed the directive.
I’ve said it before: every generation before mine was completely insane.
* As I discuss in my presentation for SLSA next week, Octavia Butler predicted it: Huntington’s mutation can improve learning before symptoms arrive.
* How to fight a nuclear war: Jimmy Carter had a plan.
* Stuyvesant, Harvard, people are alike all over: the psychology of cheating.
* “In Plain View”: How molesters get away with it.
* Meta poll-of-polls analysis shows the Romney campaign is in serious trouble.
What Erikson and Wlezien did is rather remarkable: They collected pretty much every publicly available poll conducted during the last 200 days of the past 15 presidential elections and then ran test after test on the data to see what we could say about the trajectory of presidential elections. Their results make Romney’s situation look very dire.
For instance: The least-stable period of the campaign isn’t early in the year or in the fall. It’s the summer. That’s because the conventions have a real and lasting effect on a campaign.
But the most surprising of Erikson and Wlezien’s results, and the most dispiriting for the Romney campaign, is that unlike the conventions, the debates don’t tend to matter. There’s “a fairly strong degree of continuity from before to after the debates,” they write. That’s true even when the trailing candidate is judged to have “won” the debates. “Voters seem to have little difficulty proclaiming one candidate the ‘winner’ of a debate and then voting for the opponent,” Erikson and Wlezien say.
* Underselling it a bit: “Potentially unsafe” rat meat is being sold illegally in London marketplaces. Remember, it’s only potentially unsafe. Who among us can really know anything for sure?
* Also at io9: George Dvorsky takes the recent rheseus monkey brain-implant study as a hook for another ride on the what-could-possibly-go-wrong merry-go-round about uplifting animals.
* And just because it’s Monday: Ben Folds vs. the Fraggles.
Rare photos from an A-Bomb test. Thanks, Lindsey!
* Wisconsin State Sen. Glenn Grothman: There’s no need for an Equal Pay Law because money is more important for men. Scott Walker’s on board. What decade is this? Honestly.
* One of my earliest political disillusionments was discovering how bad Clinton’s trumpeted “welfare reform” really was. Everything old is new again.
* And Ze is back. Hooray for everything.
A big post, catching up from most of last week:
* Science fiction on the BBC: A brief history of all-women societies.
* News from my childhood: Another new version of Dungeons & Dragons is on the way. MetaFilter agonizes.
* News from the Montana Supreme Court: “Corporations are not persons. Human beings are persons, and it is an affront to the inviolable dignity of our species that courts have created a legal fiction which forces people — human beings — to share fundamental, natural rights with soulless creatures of government…”
* News from
the future right now: Record Heat Floods America With Temperatures 40 Degrees Above Normal.
And what ends up happening there is that the candidate with the big stack of donor money always somehow manages to survive the inevitable scandals and tawdry revelations, while the one who’s depending on checks from grandma and $25 internet donations from college students always winds up mysteriously wiped out.
* While genomic research on the super-old is in its very early stages, what’s fascinating is what the researchers are not finding. These people’s genomes are fundamentally the same as other people’s. They are clearly very special, but not in ways that are obvious.
* What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2012? Under the law that existed until 1978 . . . Works from 1955.
* Pepsi Says Mountain Dew Can Dissolve Mouse Carcasses. Keep in mind: that’s their defense.
* Romney: Elected office is for the rich.
People who stop paying bills earn lousy credit ratings but eventually are freed of old debt under statutes of limitations that vary by state and range from three years to 10 years from the last loan payment.
But if a debtor agrees to make even a single payment on an expired debt, the clock starts anew on some part of the old obligation, a process called “re-aging.”
So if borrowers again fall behind on their payments, debt collectors can turn to their usual tools: letters, phone calls and lawsuits. By restarting a debt’s statute of limitations, the collectors have years to retrieve payments.
* Wells Tower: In Gold We Trust.
* And you probably already saw Paypal’s latest outrage, but man, it’s a doozy.
* With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the gradual dismantlement of American and Russian arsenals, there would seem to be little use for real-life Dr. Strangeloves. Yet far from suffering obsolescence, the 62-year-old Dearborn and his colleagues in the nation’s nuclear weapons laboratories are still busy tinkering with and coming up with new uses for our atomic weaponry.
* The math checks out: The religious scholars are from Saudi Arabia’s top institution of religious study and worked with a university professor to draft a report on the potential impact of women drivers. The group said women drivers would lead to a “surge in prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce,” and complained that, after ten years of women driving, there would be “no more virgins” in the kingdom.
* Traitor watch: In an e- mail obtained by Bloomberg News that he wrote to the former vice president, Gingrich thanked Gore “for the opportunity to participate in the Protect Climate ad campaign.” He signed the March 2008 note, “Your friend, Newt.”
Bad news, folks: Prophet proclaims nuclear war will begin next week.
The upside is that this will make my summer course on the end of the world a whole lot easier to teach.