Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘nuclearity

All the Monday Links!

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* Look alive, Octavia Butler scholars! 2015-16 Fellowships at the Huntington.

* Exciting crowdfunding project on disability and science fiction: Accessing the Future.

* If what we were fighting against in World War II were not just enemy nations but fascism and militarism, then did the atomic bombs that massacred the defenseless populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — coming as a grand climax to our “strategic bombing” of European and Asian cities — help bring us victory? Or defeat?

The long-standing paradox of human rights is that the declaration to observe them is a hollow scream that follows their loss.

* Is Genocide Right For You?

* The Sheep Look Up7 Things You Need To Know About The Toxin That’s Poisoned Ohio’s Drinking Water. Farming practices and climate change at root of Toledo water pollution.

* Newborns laugh in their sleep, say Japanese researchers.

* Common sense solutions to alt-pop song problems.

Problem: We all want something beautiful, man I wish I was beautiful.
Solution: Diet, exercise, and plastic surgery.

* Op-ed: Adjuncts should unionize.

* What colleges can learn from journalism schools. English departments seem particularly well-positioned to apply some of these lessons.

*  Meet The Sexual Assault Adviser Top U.S. Colleges Have On Speed Dial.

* Understanding college discounting.

The space vehicle is shoddily constructed, running dangerously low on fuel; its parachutes — though no one knows this — won’t work and the cosmonaut, Vladimir Komarov, is about to, literally, crash full speed into Earth, his body turning molten on impact. As he heads to his doom, U.S. listening posts in Turkey hear him crying in rage, “cursing the people who had put him inside a botched spaceship.”

* Emirates becomes first major international airline to suspend all flights to virus-affected region. Why you’re not going to get Ebola in the U.S.

* When Moral Panics Collide! GOP Congressman Who Warned About Unvaccinated Migrants Opposed Vaccination.

* The Golden Age of Comics Is Now.

* Just another weekend in Milwaukee.

IRS Agrees To Monitor Religious Groups For Political Campaigning.

* How an honors student became a hired killer.

A Thai surrogate mother said Sunday that she was not angry with the Australian biological parents who left behind a baby boy born with Down syndrome, and hoped that the family would take care of the boy’s twin sister they took with them. Honestly, I think I’m pretty mad at them.

* Is Howard the Duck Really Marvel’s Next Franchise? A Close Look at the Evidence.

* They say Western civilization’s best days are behind it, but Bill Murray will star as Baloo in Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book.

* Ever tried. Ever meowed. No matter. Try Again. Meow again. Meow better. Beckittens.

* Filming is apparently wrapping on Fantastic Four, but they didn’t even have a teaser trailer for Comic-Con. This film must be a complete disaster. Can’t wait!

* Why are we impeaching Obama today?

* The third Lev Grossman Magicians book ships tomorrow. Soon to be a TV show, maybe!

* Presenting the all-new, all-different Ghostbustrixes.

* Always remember: The best thesis defense is a good thesis offense.

* And it took its sweet time, but the Singularity is finally here.

Google Cardboard, virtual reality

Saturday Morning Links!

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* In case you missed it: I had a mini-reading of Snowpiercer yesterday, focusing on liberal guilt.

* Chicago’s Harold Washington College refused to hire a 66-year-old woman full-time because of her age, according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I’m stunned people aren’t talking more about this; irrespective of the merits, this has the potential to completely upend academic labor practices if EEOC wins. What long-term adjunct couldn’t present a similarly compelling case of being “passed over” for a younger, less experienced candidate?

* Government agents ‘directly involved’ in most high-profile US terror plots.

The Historic Proof Obamacare Foes Are Dead Wrong On Subsidies. Well, they’re sure to abandon this specious line of malicious bullshit now!

* 5 media mistakes in the Halbig debate.

Capitalism and Slavery: An Interview with Greg Grandin.

California Is Now Experiencing Its Most Severe Drought Ever Recorded.

* Democracy Now tackles the question of whether the Iron Dome is real.

* For 17 years, James Doyle was a nuclear policy specialist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Then he wrote an article that made the case for getting rid of nuclear weapons. After that, his computer was seized, he was accused of releasing classified information, and then he was fired. What happened?

* The so-called “Swedish model” banning the purchase but not the sale of sex is catching on in Europe. But does it work? And for whom?

A Brief History of Shakespeare Criticism.

* The Woman Behind Guardians of the Galaxy, on Writing an Unexpected Blockbuster.

There’s An Idea For A Galaxy Quest Sequel. Sold!

* And Happy 50th Birthday, Adam Duritz.

If You Want a Vision of the Future: Weekend Links

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* CFP: Literature and Social Justice Graduate Conference.

* Dan Harmon’s advice for career happiness — imagine a job you could stand doing and then invent it — is more or less exactly how I describe what I do. I’m definitely getting away with something.

* Explains a lot: Long-Term Couples Develop Interconnected Memory Systems.

* Deafness and Hawkeye #19. How Hawkeye #19 Portrays The World Of A Deaf Superhero To A Hearing Audience, For Next Year’s Eisner Awards. I’m pretty sure this seals the deal on me using Fraction’s Hawkeye run the next time I do my comics class.

* An Astrobiologist Asks a Sci-fi Novelist How to Survive the Anthropocene.

KSR: I think we can make it through this current, calamitous time period. I envision a two-part process. First, we need to learn what to do in ecological terms. That sounds tricky, but the biosphere is robust and we know a lot about it, so really it’s a matter of refining our parameters; i.e. deciding how many of us constitutes a carrying capacity given our consumption, and then figuring out the technologies and lifestyles that would allow for that carrying capacity while also allowing ecosystems to thrive. We have a rough sense of these parameters now.

The second step is the political question: It’s a matter of self-governance. We’d need to act globally, and that’s obviously problematic. But the challenge is not really one of intellect. It’s the ability to enforce a set of laws that the majority would have to agree on and live by, and those who don’t agree would have to follow.

So this isn’t a question of reconciling gravity with quantum mechanics, or perceiving the strings of string theory. Instead it involves other aspects of intelligence, like sociability, long-range planning, law, and politics. Maybe these kinds of intelligence are even more difficult to develop, but in any case, they are well within our adaptive powers.

* Everyone knows the mass extinction of Earth’s animal life is an almost unfathomable evil. What this blog post presupposes is… maybe it isn’t?

* Fiction and climate change.

* The Pre-History of Firefly.

* The Pre-History of Halbig. Senate documents and interviews undercut ‘bombshell’ lawsuit against Obamacare. Wheeeeeee!

* Same-sex marriage in the 19th century.

In 1807, Charity and Sylvia moved in together in Vermont. A historian uncovers their story.

* Show your support! Agamben and empty political gestures.

* Wisconsin Supreme Court bumming everyone out today.

* Adjuncts Would Qualify for Loan Forgiveness Under Proposed Bill.

Under the terms of the proposed legislation, whose exact language has not been made public, colleges that don’t comply with its rules could face fines of up to 1 percent of their operating budgets.

* Postdocs as glass ceiling.

The open data movement might address some of these challenges but its greatest success to date has been getting governments to release data that is mostly of economic and social utility. The thorny political data is still closely guarded. There’s no “social physics” for the likes of Goldman Sachs or HSBC: we don’t know the connections between their subsidiaries and shell companies registered in tax havens. Nobody is running RCTs to see what would happen if we had fewer lobbyists. Who will nudge the US military to spend less money on drones and donate the savings to the poor?

* God, Democrats can’t even make Republicans eat their own shit right.

The researchers concluded that there was a great advantage to having a white-sounding name, so much so that having a white-sounding name is worth about eight years of work experience.

* The Kids Who Beat Autism.

* The Long, Sad Fall of Richard Dawkins.

* John Oliver vs. America’s Nuclear Command.

* The Catholic Church Makes A Fortune In The German Porn Business.

* US’s Oldest Private Black University Is in Trouble.

* One Year of Prison Costs More Than One Year at Princeton.

* Prisoners are getting paid $2 a day to fight California wildfires.

* The youngest prisoner at Guantánamo.

* Why Bad New York Cops Can Get Away With Abuse.

* Green groups too white and too male compared to other sectors – report.

* Death threats for MedievalPOC at Tumblr because Reddit is a cesspool.

David Frum’s Apology for His Nutty Theory Links to More Nutty Theories. Of course his credibility is now shot forever and we’ll never hear anything from him again…

* CIA Pisses on Rule of Law, Separation of Powers, No One Cares.

* The Case Against Cards Against Humanity.

Scientists Have Measured 16-Foot Waves In The Arctic Ocean.

* The world risks an “insurmountable” water crisis by 2040 without an immediate and significant overhaul of energy consumption and demand, a research team reported on Wednesday.

How Much Energy Would You Need To Replicate Elsa’s Powers In Frozen?

* Marvel might be doing something with Squirrel Girl.

* South Korean Robots Stand In For Real Baseball Fans.

A Map Of The U.S., If There Had Never Been A Mexican-American War.

The six-hour miniseries just greenlit by HBO is based on the book by Lisa Belkin and will be co-scripted by writer-producer David Simon okay I’ll watch.

* Abolish the MPAA.

* Postmodernism is the only explanation for black licorice.

* Tumblr of the minute: Michelle Foucault.

* A rare bit of good news: researchers whose last names begin with A, B, or C who are listed first as authors in articles in a variety of science journals receive, on average, one to two more citations than their peers whose names start with X, Y, or Z.

Blogger fired from language school over ‘homophonia.”

* When parachutes fail.

* This kid gets it.

* And I don’t care how this goes down: I will always consider it Marnie starring as Peter Pan.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 1, 2014 at 8:00 am

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Sunday Links for the Sunday Reader

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* This president delivers compassion with a kind face and from a decorous and understated height. And that seems to be the role he prefers to play in the world too. It was doubtless the posture from which he would have liked to address the Arab Spring, and for that matter the civil war in Syria, if only Assad had obeyed when Obama said he must go. Obama has a larger-spirited wish to help people than any of his predecessors since Jimmy Carter; though caution bordering on timidity has kept him from speaking with Carter even once in the last five years. Obama roots for the good cause but often ends up endorsing the acceptable evil on which the political class or the satisfied classes in society have agreed. He watches the world as its most important spectator.

* Meanwhile: Obama Steps Up Efforts To Deport Unaccompanied Children Crossing The Border. And all at the low, low cost of just $2 billion!

* Local news:  Wisconsin second only to Alabama in cuts to education funding, study shows.

* On college debate, race, and the very idea of rules.

* You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.

* …the only definitive statement I can make about Game of Thrones has less to do with what was happening on screen, and more with the popular and critical reaction to it, the fact that the fourth season was the one in which a critical mass of people suddenly noticed just how rapey this show is.

The point is that Godzilla is not an external menace. Godzilla is built into the system. Godzilla is our way of life.

* Whoa if true.

* The secret world of oil.

* Academia and disability: Why Are Huge Numbers of Disabled Students Dropping Out of College?

* The New York Times has a followup Q&A on its controversial piece about student debt from last week.

* “Far from being complacent about higher education, America is the site of a perpetual crisis narrative about our colleges.”

* In November 2012, when Kamel’s lawyers showed the video evidence to the assistant district attorney handling his case, the prosecutor dropped the charges immediately, motioning for a dismissal. The case was built on police testimony that was clearly false. But though Perez’s untrue statement had forced Kamel to endure months of anxiety and trial preparation, and sent prosecutors most of the way towards trying him, the officer suffered no consequence for his actions. On police perjury.

* Arizona State Universities takes the side of a cop abusing one of its own professors on video. Arizona Professor Body Slammed By Police During Jaywalking Stop, Now Charged With Assaulting Officer.

* Today, the UCPD is, as the university told me in a statement, “a highly professional police force,” and one of the largest private security forces in the country. Hyde Park “remains one of the safest neighborhoods in the city,” according to the statement sent to me by the University, and, “All of the neighborhoods patrolled by the University of Chicago benefit from the extra service.”

* Three Ways (Two Good, One Bad) to Fight Campus Rape.

* It Took Studying 25,782,500 Kids To Begin To Undo The Damage Caused By 1 Doctor.

* An illustrated history of Westeros.

* Independent Weekly catches Counting Crows phoning it in in Raleigh.

* Poor whites and the left.

* Advocacy in the Age of Colorblindness.

* This is a land of peace, love, justice, and no mercy: Hate Crimes Against The Homeless Jumped 24 Percent Last Year.

U.S. Pledges To Stop Producing New Landmines. The dream of the 1990s is alive.

* Mexico tried giving poor people cash instead of food. It worked.

* How Sci Fi Visionary Octavia Butler Influenced This Detroit Revolutionary.

* Britain’s Nuke-Proof Underground City.

* When the Amish get rich.

* “Can anyone say no to this?”

* The Golden Gate Bridge will get suicide nets.

* Against the Fermi Paradox.

Psychologists Find that Nice People Are More Likely to Hurt You. I knew those dicks were hiding something.

* On Facebook science: The real scandal, then, is what’s considered “ethical.”

* Why Are All the Cartoon Mothers Dead?

* Ripped from the pages of the Colbert Report: NC General Assembly Allows Possum Drop Exception.

* And Martin Freeman says no more new Sherlock until December 2015.

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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Sunday Afternoon!

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* Gasp! Rashad McCants, the second-leading scorer on the North Carolina basketball team that won the 2004-05 national title, told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that tutors wrote his term papers, he rarely went to class for about half his time at UNC, and he remained able to play largely because he took bogus classes designed to keep athletes academically eligible.

* Meanwhile college sports continue to just burn money.

* Sarah Kendzior: On Being a Thing.

* Class Struggle: The Board Game.

* College administrators have been blaming everyone and everything but themselves for tuition increases for thirty years.

* Scenes from the class struggle at the University Chicago.

King’s College London to cut jobs to fund university buildings.

* Going on the academic job market this fall? Some prep advice from Vitae.

* Adjuncting for Dummies. Would you like to know more?

* Failing to Ford the River: “Oregon Trail”, Same-Sex Marriage Rhetoric, and the Intersections of Anti-Blackness and Settler Colonialism.

* On, Wisconsin! Federal judge strikes down Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban.

* Stanford Rape Victim’s Powerful Message Is a Wake Up Call For Colleges Everywhere. Meanwhile, the Daily Beast has a master’s class is how he said / she said journalism defaults to “he said,” even if the normal point about the unworkability of campus tribunals is one I actually tend to agree with.

Failed Nuclear Weapons Recycling Program Could Put Us All in Danger.

* Anti-homeless studs at London residential block prompt uproar.

* Elsewhere in not-even-denying-it eliminationism: Arizona Prisons Ignored Medical Needs And Let Sick Inmates Die, Major Lawsuit Claims.

* Billionaire Heir Sentenced To Four Months In Jail For Sexually Assaulting His Stepdaughter.

* Everybody’s a little scared of the Gates Foundation. Pearson Owns Education Now.

* Gentrification and racial arbitrage.

There’s an almost absurd quality to it: white supremacy is so pervasive, and its structural mechanisms so powerful, that even white anti-racist consciousness can be a mechanism for reinforcing white supremacy. It’s an important lesson that shows why anti-racism isn’t just about purifying what’s in our hearts or our heads. It’s about transforming the economic systems and property relations that continue to reproduce racist practices and ideas.

* Guillermo del Toro Says “Pacific Rim 2” Script Is In The Works.

* It’s great Watterson drew some new comics; I just wish they were a little more interesting…

* A Big Butt Is A Healthy Butt: Women With Big Butts Are Smarter And Healthier.

* On sex and soccer.

* From the too-good-to-check files: Ayer vs. Tyson.

* And Uber is a lawsuit factory. If only there were some centralized way we could approve and license drivers before they were allowed to provide taxi services…

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