Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘nuclearity

These Sunday Links Are Rated to Temperatures of -30 Below

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ku-xlarge* Baby, it’s cold outside. Behold the power of this fully operational polar vortex.

Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For. #3 and #4 seem to imply an unstated ecological agenda that is really the zeroeth reform, the precondition for all the others.

“We thought we were doing God’s work” — chasing down student debtors.

* Towards an open-ended commitment to our grad students.

* “The “Teachgreat.org” initiative would limit teacher contracts to no more than three years. It also requires “teachers to be dismissed, retained, demoted, promoted, and paid primarily using quantifiable student performance data as part of the evaluation system,” according to the summary on the group’s website.

* When Modernism Met Science Fiction: Three New Wave Classics.

* In the midst of a truly terrible piece calling for every bad higher ed reform ever proposed, Instapundit makes one suggestion we can all get behind: adjunct administration.

* Solve Hollywood sexism the Geena Davis way.

Step 2: When describing a crowd scene, write in the script, “A crowd gathers, which is half female.” That may seem weird, but I promise you, somehow or other on the set that day the crowd will turn out to be 17 percent female otherwise. Maybe first ADs think women don’t gather, I don’t know.

* American exceptionalism: The US has been voted as the most significant threat to world peace in a survey across 68 different countries.

* Is Frozen letting young girls in on the secret that men are scum too early?

* 70+ USS Ronald Reagan Crew Members, Half Suffering From Cancer, to Sue TEPCO For Fukushima Radiation Poisoning.

* Buzzkill! There’s not enough legal weed in Colorado.

* Daily Caller BANNED from MLA. Literal wailing about communofascism at the link.

In addition to The Daily Caller, all audio-taping and videotaping will also be outlawed at the 2013 MLA convention. The completely Orwellian-sounding Committee on Disability Issues in the Profession further demands that no one wear any scented products of any kind.

And I said nothing, because I did not wear perfume!

* Testimony of Langston Hughes before the McCarthy Committee.

* A local politician heroically overrode the concerns of his constituents to advance the cause of global capitalism, and the New York Times is ON IT.

Brooks’ rumination on his stoner days is kind of funny. It’s certainly elitist. But it is also an example of the two Americas we’ve fomented through legislative, cultural, and organizational boundaries that disrupt every single path for opportunity available for those not born to wealth and privilege.

* “Why Obamacare isn’t implementing beheading.”

* Thank you for your letter inviting me to join the committee of the Arts and Sciences for Eisenhower. I must decline, for secret reasons.

* Finally, Yale law professors reveal exactly which ethnicities are innately superior. A bit churlish to give themselves two of the top slots, but I guess the completely made-up facts speak for themselves.

* FREEDOM! U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson plans to file a lawsuit on Monday challenging a federal rule that allows members of Congress and their staffs to continue to receive health benefits similar to other federal employees.

Banished for Questioning the Gospel of Guns.

* Good news, everyone! You’ll work until you’re dead.

* The bad news is you’re going to hell. The good news is the decision was made before you were born!

* Heaven on Earth: A History of American Utopias.

Like a piece of equipment, the black athlete is used. The old cliché ‘You give us your athletic ability, we give you a free education’ is a bare-faced lie, concocted by the white sports establishment to hoodwink athletes, white as well as black. First of all, there is no such thing as a ‘free’ ride. A black athlete pays dearly with his blood, sweat, tears, and ultimately with some portion of his manhood, for the questionable right to represent his school on the athletic field. Second the white athletic establishments on the various college campuses frequently fail to live up to even the most rudimentary responsibilities implied in their half of the agreement.

* First dogs had magnetic poop powers; now foxes are magnetic too.

* And the Adventures of Fallacy Man!

Five for Saturday

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* Great moments in state competence: The Nuclear Launch Code Was 00000000.

* I remind you that academic freedom is a limited protection, and applies only to your research and classroom teaching, and, in the case of the latter, to discussion of materials relevant to the course subject. Otherwise, faculty can be (and have been) punished for written and oral communication that is disruptive or uncivil.

The email describes a pilot project in which faculty are asked to identify and approve UC Online courses at other campuses that meet the major requirements of their own programs. This move, of course, would serve to integrate UC Online, parasitically, into already legitimate UC programs. UC Online, in other words, would become a zombie, feeding off the legitimacy of those programs in order to bring itself back from the dead.

* If all stories were written like science fiction.

At the airport Roger presented their identification cards to a representative of the airline company, who used her own computer system to check his identity and retrieve his itinerary. She entered a confirmation number, and gave him two passes which gave them access to the boarding area. They now underwent a security inspection, which was required for all airline flights. They handed their luggage to another representative; it would be transported in a separate, unpressurized chamber on the aircraft.

“Do you think we’ll be flying on a propeller plane? Or one of the newer jets?” asked Ann.

“I’m sure it will be a jet,” said Roger. “Propeller planes are almost entirely out of date, after all. On the other hand, rocket engines are still experimental. It’s said that when they’re in general use, trips like this will take an hour at most. This one will take up to four hours.”

* And suspected arson hits Detroit’s Heidelberg Project again. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Weekend Links!

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* Afrofuturism and drones.

* Food Stamp Cut Reverberates Across Country. North Carolina Mother of 4: Food stamps cut from $500 to $16 per month. SNAP benefit cuts to affect 1 in 7 Wisconsinites.

* From the archives: Creating the Innocent Killer: Ender’s Game, Intention, and Morality. Ender and Hitler: Sympathy for the Superman.

* Stranger in a Strange Land: Ender’s Game, its controversial author, and a very personal history.

* Cabinet memos and briefing papers released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that a major war games exercise, Operation Able Art, conducted in November 1983 by the US and its Nato allies was so realistic it made the Russians believe that a nuclear strike on its territory was a real possibility.

* JM Coetzee: Universities head for extinction.

What crisis in the humanities? Interactive Historical Data on College Majors.

* Trends in Faculty Employment Status, 1975‐2011.

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* Reduce working week to 30 hours, say economists.

* College Security Guard Leaves Trail Of Racism And Hate.

* No One is Born Gay (or Straight): Here Are 5 Reasons Why.

* Germany now allows ‘indeterminate’ gender at birth.

* Why there’s no future: Just 25% of Tea Party Republicans say there is solid evidence of global warming, compared with 61%of non-Tea Party Republicans.

* Sick: Lawyers to earn higher legal aid fees for early guilty pleas.

* The Pills of Last Resort: How Dying Patients Get Access to Experimental Drugs.

* Thomas Jefferson and the Qur’an.

* “They asked me to do a couple of episodes of The Walking Dead but I didn’t want to be a part of it,” Romero told The Big Issue. “Basically it’s just a soap opera with a zombie occasionally. I always used the zombie as a character for satire or a political criticism and I find that missing in what’s happening now.”

Wednesday Links

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* College Men: Stop Getting Drunk. In response to this.

* How Young Is Too Young for Multiple-Choice Tests? (A) 5 (B) Never.

The image of 4- and 5-year-olds struggling to figure out how to take a multiple-choice test is heartbreaking enough, but the image that stuck with me was that of the children trying to help one another with the test and being told that they’re not allowed to do so.

* Paul Campos and Matt Leichter crunch some numbers on the law school bubble.

Graduate Students Urge Changes in Comprehensive Exams.

* Sold Out: Privatizing the university in the UK.

North Carolina Suspends Welfare Program Thanks To The Shutdown.

The Handmaid’s Tale debuts as ballet in Winnipeg. Judging from the picture attached to the article I have some questions about the accuracy of this adaptation.

* How can anyone say this is anything but an utter debacle? Delaware health officials celebrate first health exchange enrollee.

 

* Once-A-Decade Typhoon Threatens Already-Leaking Fukushima Nuclear Plant.

* And a new study claims the Iraq war claimed half a million lives. Down the memory hole, you!

Clean, Safe, and Too Cheap to Meter

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Sunday Morning

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* Scientific American majorly blows it after one of their writers is called an “urban whore” for declining to write for Biology Online for free. Unreal. When Does an Academic Become a Whore?

* Al-Jeddi: the BBC profiles Arab science fiction.

* The commission is expected to note that for the first time, a grandmother in her 80s can expect to enjoy higher living standards than someone in their 20s even if they are working, due to housing costs and poor wages.

The Air Force on Friday fired the general in charge of all land-based nuclear missiles, the second time in a week that a senior commander of the country’s nuclear arsenal has been let go for allegations of personal misconduct.

Markets are in the end man-made devices for utilitarian purposes, not a force of nature that we should not try to resist.

* Let Them Eat MOOCs.

Seen from this perspective, the techno-democratization of education looks like a cover story for its aristocratization. MOOCs aren’t digital keys to great classrooms’ doors. At best, they are infomercials for those classrooms. At worst, they are digital postcards from gated communities.

Thomas Friedman Writes for the International House of Pancakes Menu.

The Latest Voter Suppression Fad.

* Werner Herzog and Cormac McCarthy talk science and art with Lawrence Krauss. The only way this could be more perfect is if it were all Paul F. Tompkins impersonations.

* And the biggest comics news in years: Marvel To Republish Miracleman From January 2014, To Its Never-Before-Seen Conclusion.

Weekend Links (Now with More Twitter Nazel-Gazing!)

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* How to Survive a Graduate Career. Draws in part from Audrey Waters’s “The Real Reason I Dropped Out of a PhD Program.” I’ve just been talking a bit on Twitter this afternoon about my own experiences with a very particular kind of health scare near the end of graduate school (no symptoms, only the potential for very serious symptoms in the future) and the extent to which it completely opened my eyes about how unforgiving academic labor can be with respect to human frailty.

* I also had a long, possibly extremely tedious conversation on Twitter this afternoon with @adamkotsko, @ibogost, and @pannapacker about whether the focus of efforts to reform graduate education in the humanities should be focused on individuals or on systems. Way down at the end of it I monologue a bit both about the self-defeating nature of market-driven, consumerist approaches and about my own experience making “good” and “bad” choices with respect to the academy.

* From earlier today: Don’t miss Kotsko hulking out.

* Meanwhile in humanities education: Employers and Public Favor Graduates Who Can Communicate, Survey Finds.

* Ask Sven Lindqvist: Who is responsible if a drone kills my child?

* While earlier studies have argued that redshirted children do better both socially and academically—citing data on school evaluations, leadership positions, and test scores—more recent analyses suggest that the opposite may well be the case: the youngest kids, who barely make the age cutoff but are enrolled anyway, ultimately end up on top—not their older classmates. When a group of economists followed Norwegian children born between 1962 and 1988, until the youngest turned eighteen, in 2006, they found that, at age eighteen, children who started school a year later had I.Q. scores that were significantly lower than their younger counterparts. Their earnings also suffered: through age thirty, men who started school later earned less. A separate study, of the entire Swedish population born between 1935 and 1984, came to a similar conclusion: in the course of the life of a typical Swede, starting school later translated to reduced over-all earnings. In a 2008 study at Harvard University, researchers found that, within the U.S., increased rates of redshirting were leading to equally worrisome patterns. The delayed age of entry, the authors argued, resulted in academic stagnation: it decreased completion rates for both high-school and college students, increased the gender gap in graduation rates (men fell behind women), and intensified socioeconomic differences.

* “I get enraged when I see people hating on the kids today. You try graduating into this mess.”

* Ted Cruz Turns Obamacare Defunding Plan From Disaster to Utter Fiasco.

Step one of this far-fetched scheme was the passage of a “continuing resolution,” which keeps the government open, attached to abolishing Obamacare. Now it goes to the Senate. Once that bill comes up for a vote in the Senate, the majority can vote to strip away the provision defunding Obamacare. That vote can’t be filibustered. It’s a simple majority vote, and Democrats have the majority.What Senate Republicans can do is filibuster to prevent the bill from coming to a vote at all. That’s the only recourse the Senate defunders have. And Ted Cruz is promising to do just that: “ I hope that every Senate Republican will stand together,” he says, “and oppose cloture on the bill in order to keep the House bill intact and not let Harry Reid add Obamacare funding back in.” A “committed defunder” in the Senate likewise tells David Drucker, “Reid must not be allowed to fund Obamacare with only 51 votes.”

In other words, the new stop-Obamacare plan now entails filibustering the defunders’ own bill.

The GOP’s Suicide Squeeze.

* BREAKING: Online courses don’t live up to hype. Inside the Coursera Hype Machine.

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* Some new reporting on the hydrogen bomb that the US government dropped on North Carolina in 1961 reveals just how close it came to detonating.

Over 22,000 gallons of oil spilled so far in Colorado’s floods.

* And it is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails: 22-Year-Old Inmate Says She Is Going Blind Because Prison Won’t Treat Her Diabetes.

Saturday!

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* Two from JacobinGendered conceptions of credit and reward are written into the structures of intellectual property law. Don’t Mention the (Class) War.

* Malcolm Harris and Nathan Schneider talks Occupy Wall Street.

* Rhetmap.org maps rhet-comp jobs from the MLA Job Information List.

* How academia reproduces privilege: the case of Harvard Business School.

* Cutting through the nonsense of college ranking structures to what really matters: 2013-2014 PayScale College Salary Report.

* What rape culture? Iowa pastor and youth counselor Brent Girouex, who claimed with a straight face that he was trying to “cure” teenage boys of their “homosexual urges” by having sex with them, has had his sentence reduced from 17 years in prison to sex offender treatment and probation.

* Special Report on Oklahoma State Football: Part 4 — The Sex.

The Strangest and Most Tragic Ghost Towns from Around the World.

* And The New York Times reviews Eric Schlosser’s Command and Control, all about atomic near-misses. I don’t know how we made it through the Cold War, except that one of the universes had to.

Wednesday! Night! Links!

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* Jonathan Senchyne on Breaking Bad, cancer, and Indian Country. I like the way he teased this on Facebook: “Walter White has lung cancer, but doesn’t smoke…”

You know that newfound Van Gogh painting has the TARDIS in it, right?

* From the archives, just in time for application season: Should I Go to Grad School in the Humanities? I wrote that a year ago. If I wrote it today I think I’d write basically the same thing, just be more emphatic about every part. In particular — with all the necessary caveats about the falseness of meritocracy fantasy — going to a highly ranked program with strong recent placement rate is absolutely crucial. If you don’t hit that, and you want to go, work on your writing sample for a year and apply again. Your grad school’s reputation becomes instant proxy for your reputation. It’s not something you should plan to make up for by working hard.

* Also with all the usual anti-meritocracy caveats: On selling yourself on the academic job market.

* From the Washington Post archives: This amazing George Will there-are-too-many-states-nowdays rant against denim crossed my stream today.

The Inside Story Of How A Fake PhD Hijacked The Syria Debate.

Go Play This 8-Bit Version of Game of Thrones Immediately.

* Thinking through The World’s End: Part One, Part Two.

* Rich people are freaked out about Bill de Blasio. Sounds like a good start.

Nate Silver vs. Public Policy Polling. I’m amazed anyone is taking PPP’s side on this. If you don’t like a poll, run it again and release both; otherwise you’re introducing a massive bias into your process and destroying the credibility of your brand.

Medical Examiner In Zimmerman Trial Sues For $100M, Claims Prosecution Threw Case.

Long Lives Made Humans Human.

* An oral history of The Shield.

The New Yorker on Truman Show Delusion. Subscription required, alas.

* Years later, everyone remembered the Cheese Winter: The city’s Department of Public Works will go ahead this winter with a pilot program to determine whether cheese brine — a liquid waste product left over from cheesemaking — can be added to rock salt and applied directly to the street.

* Life imitates the Onion, as always in the worst possible way.

* And Salon interviews the great Margaret Atwood.

Wednesday Night Links!

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* Their conclusion is that while both effects are at work, Bowen effects dominate in public research universities, with $2 in increases due to administrators seizing on increased revenue for every $1 in increases due to upward pressures on faculty and staff salaries from other industries. Same for private research institutions. What’s more, they find a plausible culprit within universities. They notice that cost increases are likelier when the ratio of staff to faculty is higher. That suggests that when administrators within the university accumulate bargaining power, they’re better able to force increases in costs. The administrative staff, they suggest, is what’s really driving this. From the latest entry in Dylan Matthews’s “The Tuition Is Too Damn High” series, with some pushback from Dean Dad.

* On, Wisconsin: No one in Wisconsin delegation supporting strike on Syria yet. But it’ll be practically free!

Pope Francis To Lead Vatican In Vigil Against Syria Strikes.

* How dangerous is the radioactive water around Fukushima?

* An awesome assignment from Mark Sample’s graphic novel class. Must-steal!

* And the Up-Goer Five Text Editor: Can you explain a hard idea using only the ten hundred most-used words? It’s not very easy.

Friday! Night! Links!

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Obama’s new education policy neatly showcases the spectrum of choice we now have in our political system: to be ground down a bit at a time by technocrats who either won’t admit to or do not understand the ultimate consequences of the policy infrastructures they so busily construct or to be demolished by fundamentalists who want to dissolve the modern nation-state into a panoptic enforcer of their privileged morality, a massive security and military colossus and an enfeebled social actor that occasionally says nice things about how it would be nice if no one died from tainted food and everyone had a chance to get an education but hey, that’s why you have lawyers and businesses.

These 11 Colleges Just Hit The Jackpot In Obama’s New Education Plan.

To take a plan that is not working in K-12 and apply it to 12-16 is asinine.

* One weird trick to lose 15 pounds in 15 minutes.

In May, Duke University announced plans to adopt one of the most extreme college sexual assault policies in history, changing the recommended sanction for perpetrators from suspension to expulsion. That means that whenever a student is found guilty of committing a sexual assault, expulsion is the first punishment the Duke disciplinary committee will consider.

UConn Considering Ban On Student-Faculty Sexual Relationships. Again: Considering?

* Towards a new understanding of the Amish: Amish Hackers.

A Long List of What We Know Thanks to Private Manning.

* The tax subsidy to religion is about 83 billion dollars a year.

* Joss Whedon attacks both Twilight and Empire. He doesn’t care who he hurts.

Earnings and Job Satisfaction of Humanities Majors.

N.F.L. Pressure Said to Lead ESPN to Quit Film Project.

* Prince George enters the Veldt.

* What went wrong on Enterprise? The cast and crew fess up.

* And Fukushima continues to be a nightmare. That things were as bad as they were in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake is one thing — but it’s been years and the news only gets worse.

Tuesday Night Links!

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Saturday Roundup – 2!

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* How Dan Harmon breaks a story – 2!

* ‘Fallen’ Disney Princesses. The Ariel, Belle, and Jasmine ones are the best, I think.

* Scientific Paper of the Night: Could we blow up the sun?

* Architects for this 47-story building in Spain forgot to put in an elevator.

* Academic freedom and tenure: the case of National Louis University. Just awful.

This Is How Your Brain Becomes Addicted to Caffeine.

* And via @reclaimUC, a blast from 2011: Delegitimate UC.

I’d like to suggest that given the significance of bureaucracy as an administrative stronghold, the arena of bureaucracy is worth intervening in if and only if the legitimacy of governance by upper administration is negated by the intervention. A professor who agrees to be on a committee thinking that from that position she’ll be able to limit damage and fearing that if she is not on it things will be even worse is not negating the legitimacy of the administration, so that should not be done.

But a resolution introduced in the Academic Senate, or issued by an individual department, stating that the Regents should not be allowed to set the salaries of upper administrators would reject their legitimacy and would be worth doing, not least because it would be news…

Thursday Links!

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* Gasp! The MOOC ‘Revolution’ May Not Be as Disruptive as Some Had Imagined.

* Scenes from the class struggle in New York: CUNY and SUNY bigs get chauffeurs as tuition soars.

The job skills employers crave!!!

In other words, it may be that cheating rates are so high because too many university curriculums and courses are designed for cheating. Indeed, I’ve often felt that one of the principal skills—and it is a skill—imparted by the American educational system is the ability to bullshit your way through assessment with minimal effort.

Dolphins can recognize whistles from old tank mates from over 20 years ago, study finds.

* Man charged with stealing “entire road.”

* The faces of Manhattan Project.

Being Unemployed For Over Nine Months Is The Same As Losing Four Years Of Experience.

Most 2013 job growth is in part-time work, survey suggests.

NIH Reaches Pact With Family of Henrietta Lacks.

* Brutal review of DC’s missteps since the Nu52 debacle.

* “You think this is gonna be for kids? Stop, stop. We don’t publish comics for kids. We publish comics for 45-year olds. If you want to do comics for kids, you can do Scooby-Doo.”

* Just about the only thing that could get me excited about Man of Steel 2Bryan Cranston Tapped to Play Lex Luthor?

* Monsters are real: Louisiana parish claims incarcerated 14-year-old consented to be raped by a corrections officer.

* And I am just completely horrified every time I come across statistics on Greece’s economy. Jesus.

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The Clan of the One-Breasted Women

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I believe the first time I found my voice was when I crossed the line at the Nevada Test Site in 1988. It was one year after my mother died. It was one year before my grandmother would die, and I found myself the matriarch of my family at thirty. With the death of my mother, grandmothers, and aunts—nine women in my family have all had mastectomies, seven are dead—you reach a point when you think, “What do I have to lose?” and you become fearless. When I crossed that line at the Nevada Test Site as an act of protest because the United States government was still testing nuclear bombs in the desert—it was a gesture on behalf of the Clan of the One-Breasted Women—my mother, my grandmothers, my aunts. And I didn’t do it alone. I was with hundreds of other women who had suffered losses in Utah as a result of atomic testing, as a result of our nuclear legacy in the West. I crossed that line with Jesuit priests, with Shoshone elders, with native people who had also lost lives because of the radiation fallout in the Shivwits’ lands.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm

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