Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘nuclear war

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.

Sunday Super Sunshine Hit Links

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“The professional backgrounds of many of the defendants is troubling,” said James T. Hayes Jr., a special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations. “We can no longer assume that the only people who would stoop to prey on children are unemployed drifters.” WHY WERE YOU ASSUMING THAT?

Adjuncts are not considered “full time” or “part time” mostly because no one still bothers to accurately keep track of hours. It’s a choice; not an impossibility.

* Breaking: Alt-Ac Isn’t the Answer.

The Unpaid Intern Economy Rides on the Backs of Young Women.

* The Art of Screenwriting: Matthew Weiner.

Boston Public Schools to Eliminate History & Social Science Departments. But there’s money for a laptop for every student and computer coding in the curriculum.

* The Case for Reparations. Reparations: What the Education Gospel Cannot Fix. On Whose Shoulders The Research Stands.

End Mass Incarceration Now.

For Hire: Dedicated Young Man with Down Syndrome. From Michael Bérubé.

I knew Jamie would not grow up to be a marine biologist. And I know that there are millions of non-disabled Americans out of work or underemployed, whose lives are less happy than Jamie’s. I don’t imagine that he has a “right” to a job that supersedes their needs. But I look sometimes at the things he writes in his ubiquitous legal pads when he is bored or trying to amuse himself — like the page festooned with the names of all 67 Pennsylvania counties, written in alphabetical order — and I think, isn’t there any place in the economy for a bright, gregarious, effervescent, diligent, conscientious and punctual young man with intellectual disabilities, a love of animals and an amazing cataloguing memory and insatiable intellectual curiosity about the world?

They proposed that we genetically engineer a species of cat that changes color in the presence of radiation, which would be released into the wild to serve as living Geiger counters. Then, we would create folklore and write songs and tell stories about these “ray cats,” the moral being that when you see these cats change colors, run far, far away.

* Pope Francis and climate change.

10 Years of Pollution, $2 Million in Penalties. As always, that’s barely noticeable on Citgo’s balance sheet.

This 9/11 Cheese Plate May Be The 9/11 Museum’s Most Tasteless Souvenir. Everyone should have a museum dedicated to the worst day of their life and be forced to attend it with a bunch of tourists from Denmark.

* Buzzfeed’s list of underrated towns includes both Milwaukee and Burlington.

“For reasons that I really don’t understand Durham is an outlier,” said Baumgartner.  “Where we found a 77 percent disparity across the state between blacks and whites and their likelihood of being searched, in Durham, it’s about 260 percent. So that is truly astounding.”

Richard Dawkins: “I am a secular Christian.” Oh, New Atheism, what have you become!

* Moral panics, chess edition.

Jessie White, a 99-year-old woman from Belfast, Maine, was finally granted her college degree from Bangor’s Beal College after the college’s president stepped up and paid the $5 transcript fee she’d not been able to afford in 1939.

* Today in free speech: This Drug Defendant Spoke Her Mind, Then A Judge Told Her She’d Stay In Jail Until She Retracted Her Statements To The Media. Meanwhile, Utah Man Facing Hate Crime Charges Says Threatening Black Child Was ‘Just My Opinion.’

* Today in the competency and wisdom of our armed forces.

Congress Reluctant To Cut Funding For Tank That Just Spins Around And Self-Destructs.

Ohio Replaces Lethal Injection With Humane New Head-Ripping-Off Machine.

* Cruel optimism watch: Could Scott Walker lose in November?

* David Wittenberg reviews a whole lot of time travel for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

* The Mystery of Go.

* A Brief History of The Shawshank Redemption.

* A Brief History of “All Good Things…”

* Amazon: Still Awful.

* Zombie properties in Milwaukee.

Quentin Tarantino wants to recutDjango Unchained as a miniseries.

* And Marvel has made its first DC-level big mistake. What a bummer.

All The Links

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* 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.

Median Salaries of Senior College Administrators, 2013-14.

Where and When You Can See The Grand Budapest Hotel.

* The New Yorker covers fusion power.

* We need to update our nightmares: Zeynep Tufekci on the Internet.

* Unreal: Dartmouth Student Says She Was Sexually Assaulted After Website ‘Rape Guide’ Named Her. Campus Rape and the Rise of the Academic Industrial Complex.

800-year-old castle torn down in Ireland.

* $60 million high school football stadium, built in 2012, torn down.

* 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.

* The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics. Man.

* Amazon and super-Taylorism.

* #fullcommunism.

* …one of the gravest threats the FBI saw in the Black Panther movement was their Free Children’s Breakfast Program.

* Agamben, horror, and the 90s.

* The Cold War never ended.

* A 2008 research study found that each additional $100 per capita in FEMA relief was correlated with a 102 percent increase in corruption in a state.

Universities being used as proxy border police, say UK academics.

*  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.

How the global banana industry is killing the world’s favorite fruit.

* “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.

Sunday Afternoon

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* ICYMI: Dr. Seuss Explains Assessment, Metrics, Administrative Blight, and Pretty Much Every Aspect of the Contemporary Education System.

* This is, I think, literally the first time I have ever heard of university budget cuts impacting administration. Meanwhile.

* Meanwhile meanwhile, Congress talks adjuncts and adjunctification. I’m sure they’ll come up with a good solution soon.

Tressie McMillan Cottom on race and adjunctification.

* Yo novel so staid and conventional, it’s taught at over 50 MFA programs.

* Submitted for your approval: An OCR of the MLA JIL list, 1965-2012.

* For some reason I’m seeing a ton of links to Bousquet’s “Tenured Bosses and Disposable Teachers” this weekend.

*  Bérubé’s last post on MLA 2014.

Harvard, MIT Online Courses Dropped by 95% of Registrants.

Inside a for-profit college nightmare.

* Inside the “longform backlash.”

How Student Activists at Duke Transformed a $6 Billion Endowment.

* “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.

* Pope Francis Is Drafting An Encyclical On The Environment.

cold* xkcd explains climate.

* Demographics is destiny: Latinos overwhelmingly want action on climate change.

* How nonviolent was the civil rights movement?

It’s 1968, and Esquire is interviewing James Baldwin.

* Chris Christie says no to dashboard cameras.

* The coming Common Core meltdown.

* The headline reads, “Chinese restaurant owner told to pull down two gigantic 50ft naked Buddhas from establishment’s roof.”

Highly Educated, Highly Indebted: The Lives of Today’s 27-Year-Olds, In Charts.

* America’s nuclear corps are a mess. Dr. Strangelove was a documentary.

A journey to the end of the world (of Minecraft).

* Science has finally proved that sex reverses cognitive decline in rats.

This World Map Shows The Enormity Of America’s Prison Problem.

* 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.

Bucking trend, Wisconsin union membership grows.

* Fox to strand reality show contestants on an island for an entire year.

Woody Guthrie’s daughter wants to preserve Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital.

* 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.

Life as a Nonviolent Psychopath.

We Didn’t Eat the Marshmallow. The Marshmallow Ate Us.

* And Stephen Hawking wants to destroy all your silly, silly dreams.

So Many Sunday Night Links

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* In 1988 the Los Angeles Times predicted we’d have robots by now.

Most low-income students who have top test scores and grades do not even apply to the nation’s best colleges, according to a new analysis of every high school student who took the SAT in a recent year. But what’s the story on the headline? “Better Colleges Failing to Lure Talented Poor.”

* The struggle of adjuncts against Obamacare.

* Meanwhile, China is spending $250 billion a year on education.

Here’s a wild fact. At a Women in Science edit-a-thon at the Smithsonian led by Stierch, new articles about women scientists were nominated for deletion even as they were being posted.

Bruno Latour wins the 2013 Holberg Prize.

* What else could the British government spend £100 billion on, if not nuclear weapons?

Half of people shot by police are mentally ill, investigation finds.

On Saturday, March 9, New York City police officers shot and killed 16-year-old Kimani Gray in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. After those seven bullets hit him, he lay on the ground and cried out, “Please don’t let me die.”

* Right to Lawyer Can Be Empty Promise for Poor.

A Brief History of How We Lost the Commons.

* Graft and graffiti abatement.

Facebook finally admits to tracking non-users.

Welcome to a world where Google knows exactly what sort of porn you all like, and more about your interests than your spouse does. Welcome to a world where your cell phone company knows exactly where you are all the time. Welcome to the end of private conversations, because increasingly your conversations are conducted by e-mail, text, or social networking sites. And welcome to a world where all of this, and everything else that you do or is done on a computer, is saved, correlated, studied, passed around from company to company without your knowledge or consent; and where the government accesses it at will without a warrant. Welcome to the Internet without privacy.

* Search engines and the law.

“Yours truly, The Colored People of Concordia Parish.”

Nearly five decades later, the Justice Department has written back — not directly to the family of Mr. Morris or to the black community of Concordia Parish, but to dozens of other families who lost loved ones during this country’s tumultuous and violent civil rights era.

Several years ago, the F.B.I. began reopening cold cases from that era — 112 at last count — raising hopes among some for justice. In all but about 20, though, the families of the long dead have received letters, often hand-delivered by F.B.I. agents, that say their cases have been closed, there is nothing more to be done — and please accept our condolences.

2 Ohio football players found guilty of rape, to be jailed at least 1 year; case roiled town. CNN Reports On The ‘Promising Future’ of the Steubenville Rapists, Who Are ‘Very Good Students.’ Same story at Raw Story. Reactions from all the worst people in the universe. What Steubenville’s Rape Trial Reminds Us About Consent.

* Why is the European Central Bank trying to cause a depression? I mean really. I mean really.

“We have found that our friend, the Republican nominee, our California friend, has been playing on the outskirts with our enemies and our friends both, he has been doing it through rather subterranean sources. Mrs Chennault is warning the South Vietnamese not to get pulled into this Johnson move.”

Famous Seattle Ceramicist Exposed as Holocaust Denier. Wow.

User-Renters in SimCity.

* The headline reads, “3,000 More Dead Pigs Won’t Make the Huangpu River Any Worse.”

* I’ve seen it a few times now, but I can’t believe any headline reads “Winnie Mandela Shocked at Possible Murder Charge.”

* Catholicism without Popes? The Pope Is Not the Church. Pope Francis sets casual style. Is Pope Francis a fraud?

The Smartest Guy in the Room.

* And just because Marquette’s a three seed: March Madness raw seedings, before the bracket. And the bracket itself.

Of Course, The Whole Point of a Doomsday Machine Is Lost If You Keep It a Secret

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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.

‘Resolve to Make 1951 the Beginning of New Security for Your Family’

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 10, 2012 at 8:09 am

Monday

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* 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.

Massachusetts looks to be reverting to the mean, too.

* 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.

* The Los Angeles Review of Books visits the comics.

* And just because it’s Monday: Ben Folds vs. the Fraggles.

‘Fallen Mannequin in House 5,500 Feet from Bomb Is Presumed Dead’

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Written by gerrycanavan

May 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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Written by gerrycanavan

May 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Monday Night Links

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Post *All* the Links

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A big post, catching up from most of last week:

* With the success of 2009’s “District 9″ still fresh in their minds, producers are cherry-picking South African sci-fi properties, making it one of hottest genres this side of Swedish crime fiction.

* Science fiction on the BBC: A brief history of all-women societies.

Top Five Most Destroyed Canadian Cities in the Marvel Universe.

* News from MLA! Dissing the Dissertation. Anguish Trumps Activism at the MLA.

* 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.

How College Football Bowls Earn Millions In Profits But Pay Almost Nothing In Taxes.

* Colbert vs. Colbert.

* Matt Taibbi vs. Iowa.

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.

* Learning From The Masters: Level Design In The Legend Of Zelda.

How The Cave of Time taught us to love interactive entertainment.

* Inside the Shel Silverstein archive.

* 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.

* The headline reads, “Quadriplegic Undocumented Immigrant Dies In Mexico After Being Deported From His Hospital Bed.”

Dallas teen missing since 2010 was mistakenly deported.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Arkham Asylum.

Pepsi Says Mountain Dew Can Dissolve Mouse Carcasses. Keep in mind: that’s their defense.

“Out of the crooked timber of humanity,” Kant wrote, “no straight thing was ever made.” Not even an iPad.

Obama Openly Asks Nation Why On Earth He Would Want To Serve For Another Term.

* Romney: Elected office is for the rich.

* What if Obama loses?

* How banks and debt collectors are bringing dead debt back to life.

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.

* A Q&A with Louis C.K.

* Wells Tower: In Gold We Trust.

* Epic Doctor Who Timeline. More here.

* Battlestar Galactica: Totally planned. See also.

* How to Get a Nuclear Bomb.

The cast of Community plays pop culture trivia.

* “White House Denies CIA Teleported Obama to Mars.”

Classified docs reveal why Tolkien failed to win ’61 Nobel Prize!

* Solve the Fermi Paradox the Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal way.

* And you probably already saw Paypal’s latest outrage, but man, it’s a doozy.

Friday!

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* Job report actually not that bad for the first time in months. UPDATE: Or not.

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.”

* Upheaval at the New York Public Library!

* Boing Boing visits a carbon sequestration site.

* And watch out: Mighty Katla might be about to erupt.

Thinking Outside the Box

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 27, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Bad News, Folks

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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.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 9, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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