Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘places to invade next

All Your Weekend Links at No Cost to You

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* The great Gabriel García Márquez has died. The Paris Review interview. Autumn of the Patriarch, Forgetting to Live.

In journalism just one fact that is false prejudices the entire work. In contrast, in fiction one single fact that is true gives legitimacy to the entire work. That’s the only difference, and it lies in the commitment of the writer. A novelist can do anything he wants so long as he makes people believe in it.

* Earthseed as New-Age transreligion.

* I asked William Pannapacker how to responsibly advise students who want to go to graduate school in the humanities. He said you can’t.

UNC’s New Grading System Could Show What That ‘A’ Is Really Worth. Tentatively, this seems like a good improvement on the existing system, though I’m not in love with the administration’s “now we can finally catch unscrupulous faculty!” line.

* Supposedly we’re supposed to be outraged by Snowden not infiltrating the Putin government and leaking details about his massive surveillance state apparatus. Or something. I can’t make heads or tails of it to be honest.

* In defense of edited collections.

Harvard Accused Of Retaliating Against Professor Who Defended Sexual Assault Survivors.

* Rape culture and athletics at FSU.

The #AskEmmert Q&A Is Going Poorly.

* The theology of ethical consumerism.

After comparing the average achievement of children whose parents regularly engage in each form of parental involvement to that of their counterparts whose parents do not, we found that most forms of parental involvement yielded no benefit to children’s test scores or grades, regardless of racial or ethnic background or socioeconomic standing. The zero point of most liberal (as opposed to leftist) interventions in poverty is that “merit” broadly defined is structured (a little) by genetic lottery and (a lot) by class position, which means that strategies for equality that are filtered through education and achievement will always just wind up replicating existing structures of power and existing privileges rather than disrupting them. I don’t see any answer for this problem beyond deliberate redistribution of wealth.

* The failure of desegregation.

Study: People of color breathe air that is 38 percent more polluted than white people’s.

* The Nation reviews The Years of Living Dangerously.

New York Times Admits It Agreed to ‘Gag Orders’ in Israel.

* A huge part of the function of Western media is producing and distributing state propaganda. Freddie has just a short recent list.

* American politics is a cesspool, New Jersey politics doubly so.

* Q will visit the Abramsverse.

Here’s How Long That Teen Would Have to Pee in the Portland Reservoir to Make It Unsafe to Drink. But what’s 38 million gallons between friends?

* On writing disabilities in SF and fantasy. Doctor Who and the Women.

In the moments that follow, both the Doctor and his companion ask River why she didn’t just say her wrist was broken, and she explains – in this horrible, horrible moment – that the Doctor must be protected from knowing how much it hurts people to be around him; that humans must hide their weakness from him so that he will not feel upset.

* China and postcapitalism.

* Third child as status symbol.

* Grad students unionize at UConn.

* Monsters walk among us: People who think they’re attractive tend to be more comfortable with economic inequality.

The Last Golden Days of Marijuana Smuggling.

* They have come to the conclusion that God, / Requiring a heaven and a hell, didn’t need to / Plan two establishments: ‘X-Men’ Director Bryan Singer Accused of Sexually Assaulting Underage Boy. More details on the case at Boing Boing.

* I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.

* The arc of history is long, but it bends towards grandfather clauses that allow obscenities to continue for decades after they are banned.

Inmates to strike in Alabama, declare prison is “running a slave empire.”

* The New York Times profiles the great Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black.

* Actors laughing between takes.

* And let’s go ahead and put Krypton at the top of the list of places to invade next.

All the Thursday Links

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* 2048: Academia Edition.

Shocking police overreach haunts Southern city: Racial profiling, quotas and secret “conviction bonuses.” Yes, of course it’s Durham.

* Nazis! Me no like those guys. Neo-Nazis Are Using Cookie Monster to Recruit German Children.

* The charter school scam in action.

* Congratulations, University of Connecticut.

* The prestige premium.

* BREAKING: Governing boards don’t care about adjuncts.

* Let Them Eat Code.

All of which is just to say that it’s a handy thing, should you ever get elected to anything, to think a little about who’ll replace you when your term is done.  Because you should leave.  It’s good for your brain, and it’s good for the university. It’s also good for the soul to know that you’re not irreplaceable.

Voices from the Student Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement.

* Rethinking carceral feminism.

* Now the head women’s basketball coach is out at Marquette. Second-highest-paid employee on campus.

* New Analysis Shows Problematic Boom In Higher Ed Administrators.

* Northwestern University fights back against NCAA football unionization.

* Drone art: Drone Operators Now Have a “Bug Splat” Staring Them in The Face.

* Former Taco Bell interns claim they invented Doritos tacos in 1995.

161* The art of Kurt Vonnegut.

The Legend of Vera Nabokov. The old days, guys, am I right?

* Meanwhile, everything old is new again: Adam Terry, McAllister’s chief of staff, said Peacock was taken off of the payroll during the past 24 hours.

* “Duke Collective” now Internet-famous for wage-sharing idea that if you knew the institutional context you’d realize isn’t really oh forget it.

I’d like to tell you what was wrong with the tests my students took last week, but I can’t. Pearson’s $32 million contract with New York State to design the exams prohibits the state from making the tests public and imposes a gag order on educators who administer them. So teachers watched hundreds of thousands of children in grades 3 to 8 sit for between 70 and 180 minutes per day for three days taking a state English Language Arts exam that does a poor job of testing reading comprehension, and yet we’re not allowed to point out what the problems were.

* St. Michael’s in Vermont plans to survive by shrinking.

* Student Social Network Use Declines as Social Apps Move to Take Their Place.

The geology of Westeros.

* More Khaleesis were born in 2012 than Betsys or Nadines.

* Superficially plausible readings of fuzzy demographic signifiers: The Muppets and Generation X.

* The Vermont solution: single-payer. I don’t have a ton of hope in the American system, but I think this plan could actually work.

* Battlestar Galactica Is Getting Rebooted As A ZZZZZzzzzzzZZZzzzzzzzz

Jon Stewart cursed me out: I dared question a “Daily Show” warm-up comic’s racist jokes.

* The birth of Thanaticism. As neologisms to describe our era go, I prefer necrocapitalism.

Milwaukee Art Museum unveils design for building addition.

* Who mourns for jai alai?

* What has been seen can never be unseen.

* Tolkien, Martin, and politics.

Carbon Dioxide Levels Just Hit Their Highest Point In 800,000 Years.

* And I still think this is more a heat map of imperial ideology (don’t kill people in Europe!) than of “knowledge” per se. I think you’d see the opposite effect about a country in the Global South.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 10, 2014 at 9:27 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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All the Friday Night Links!

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* We are ruled by fools: The amount of airtime granted to climate change on both the Sunday shows and the nightly news was up, too — to a total of 27 minutes, and an hour and 42 minutes, respectively, for the entire year.

* So long and thanks for all the fish: Freedom Industries has declared bankruptcy.

“Why Is The Rest Of The Country Fixated On A New Jersey Traffic Jam And We Have No Clean Water?”

Fracking Chemicals In North Carolina Will Remain Secret, Industry-Funded Commission Rules.

Judge Rules Detroit Is Trying To Give Banks ‘Too Much Money.’

Remember that most of the “steps” any insurance company or pharmacy makes you go through are pretty much nothing but hoops, in the purest sense of the word. These are obstacles being placed in your path in hopes that you will become discouraged and give up—and they won’t have to pay for your medication or treatment. Show them that you are not going away.

* The headline reads, “Six Years After Chemical Ban, Fewer Female Snails Are Growing Penises.”

* TFA isn’t working.

Every Scary, Weird Thing We Know the NSA Can Do.

The Most Dangerous Sentence In U.S. History.

Total Disaster as Springsteen Tries to Sell Recordings of Live Shows.

* The rule of law still has a few bugs in it.

* Star Wars retcons we can get behind.

* Someone stop J.J. Abrams before he kills again.

* BREAKING MUST CREDIT CANAVAN’S RAZOR: The point of the STEM push is to lower STEM wages, not help people get jobs that don’t exist.

* BREAKING: Comedians are psychopaths psychotics. See comments.

* Johnson’s No More Formaldehyde Baby Shampoo.

Even half of Utah supports marriage equality.

* Turns out California wrote their don’t-use-Google-Glass-while-driving law in a way that’s seemingly impossible to enforce.

The Myth Of The Absent Black Father.

UNC Stops Professor Mary Willingham From Researching Athletes’ Low Reading Levels.

* Rob Nixon is giving a talk at UWM’s Century for 21st Century Studies next Friday.

* Wisconsin may eliminate ban on 7-day work weeks. Workers will be allowed to “volunteer” for extra work.

This medieval manuscript curses the cat who peed on it.

* This transphobic publication hounded a woman to suicide. You’ll never guess what happened next.

Pope Benedict Defrocked 400 Priests For Molesting Kids.

We Would Have Eliminated Poverty Entirely by Now if Inequality Hadn’t Skyrocketed.

They almost put Disney World in Saint Louis.

* And Lex Luthor: Hero!

The Coldest Monday Links

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* Study: You Can’t Tell If Someone Is a Good Hire from Their Facebook Profile, But It Does Help You Be More Racist.

* The definition of insanity is continued development of the American southwest.

* No one could have predicted! Water pollution from fracking confirmed in multiple states.

Against Speed Cosmopolitanism: Towards the Slow University. We are scientists. We don’t blog. We don’t twitter. We take our time.

* A new survey finds that male economics Ph.D.’s who get married early in their careers see their salaries grow 25%, while females who do the same thing see their salaries shrink by 23%.

* Here come the brain drugs.

* Baby, listen, it really is cold outside.

Scalia’s golden chance to kill unions.

FBI Drops Law Enforcement as ‘Primary’ Mission. 99 Percent Of Police Brutality Reports In Central New Jersey Never See The Light Of Day. Half Of Black Males, 40 Percent Of White Males Are Arrested By Age 23.

“They are not allowed to fail.” North Carolina’s assault on teachers is working.

* What’s Driving Chaotic Dismantling of Canada’s Science Libraries? More Details on the Franklin Co., NC Records Destruction. This last one is National Treasure III-level weird.

* Politics shadows process for UW System president finalists.

* Who’s burning money on ed-tech venture capital? Everyone, that’s who!

* Rich people and just-world bias.

Detroit Retirees Will Lose Health Insurance In 2 Months If City Manager Gets His Way.

* “Police For America” Seeks To Use Elite Graduates To Patrol Underserved Communities.

* “The difference between people who believe in the 2nd coming of Jesus and those who believe in global warming is that Jesus will return”: Winter Does Not Disprove Global Warming. How global warming can make cold snaps even worse.

If you want a vision of the future, imagine Jenna Jameson weaponizing internet forums–forever. (NSFW.)

So there’s complexity at play here: internet pornography presents an ambiguous vision of freedom that is subtended by a business apparatus that depends upon the very opposite of freedom. Porn and democracy.

* Lexical Distance Among the Languages of Europe.

* Trouble in Iraq. Why is the Nation framing this in should-we-invade terms? Because the definition of insanity is…

* Nancy Kerrigan was attacked twenty years ago. You. are. old.

* Fun’s over in Utah.

* And my daughter’s a libertarian, too.

Christmas Hangover Links

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* I knew there was a loophole! Pope says atheists are OK with Jesus, so long as they “do good.”

Why bother? On family obligation. On institutional breakdown.

* Folks, we need to talk: The Creepy Surveillance of Elf on a Shelf.

* Canada issues Santa Claus a passport.

Chinese State Media: China’s Air is Too Polluted for Santa to Fly.

* Why NORAD tracks Santa.

The Work of Christmas in the Age of TBS’ “24 Hours of A Christmas Story.

* Christmas and the socialist objective.

* Was Scrooge a neoliberal?

The FBI considered “It’s a Wonderful Life” to be Communist propaganda.

* That Christmas Spirit: US emergency food providers brace as $5bn food stamp cuts set in.

A Map That Reveals the Most Popular TV Show Set in Your Home State.

* We are creating Walmarts of higher education—convenient, cheap, and second-rate.

We’re Constantly in Fear: The life of a part-time professor.

* Bullying in Academia More Prevalent Than Thought.

* College watchdog groups sharpening their teeth.

* Adjunct Nate Silver has been studying the academic job market in German since 2007: who posts jobs, and who gets jobs. Part 1.

* The Year of the Crush: How the Radically Unfair Candy Crush Saga Took Over Our Lives.

* Why we’re doomed: what Obama reads.

Obama does reserve a certain respect for opinion writers such as Tom Friedman and David Brooks of The New York Times, Jerry Seib of The Wall Street Journal, E. J. Dionne of The Washington Post, and Joe Klein of Time. “My impression is that he reads a lot of columnists,” says Brooks, “and therefore he sort of cares about what they say.”

* And then Amazon ate everything, Someday it might even make a profit!

* The Tumblr of forever: sffworthy.tumblr.com.

* Gasp! Judge: Detroit’s Debt Deal Too Generous To Wall Street.

North Carolina’s bad plan to take lawyers away from poor people.

* Trying to learn Arabic is now officially probable cause.

* …even though the Obama administration has called on Western buyers to use their purchasing power to push for improved industry working conditions after several workplace disasters over the last 14 months, the American government has done little to adjust its own shopping habits.

“Choice” is the illusion of power.  Vouchers were not dreamed up to provide choice, but to deny it. We need to avoid confusing a justification with an explanation.

eBay removes anti-Zimmerman artwork the same day Zimmerman’s painting sells for $100k.

Book bannings on the rise in US schools, says anti-censorship group.

More proof that America’s prison epidemic is a complete disaster.

* Why MLB Hitters Can’t Hit Jennie Finch and the Science of Reaction Time.

* Carbon Footprint Of Best Conserving Americans Is Still Double Global Average. Inevitable Milwaukee-based “wait, maybe this isn’t so bad” joke.

* Inevitable “well, there’s always Mars” joke.

The selective disappearance of large animals marks this period out from other extinction episodes, and was the start of what Estes and his fellow authors suggested “is arguably humankind’s most pervasive influence on the natural world”. For Estes, it was the beginning of the sixth mass extinction.

Does the ASA Boycott Violate Academic Freedom? A Roundtable. The ASA, scholarly responsibility and the call for academic boycott of Israel. Why I changed my mind about the ASA boycott.

Billionaire’s role in hiring decisions at Florida State University raises questions.

* Nightmare watch: Teen Girl Shot, Killed by Stepdad While Trying to Sneak Back Into House. Texas School Retaliated Against Student For ‘Public Lewdness’ After She Reported Rape.

* An Oral History of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s ‘Baby Got Back’ Video.

* Merry Paul F. Tompkins.

* Democrats are over (if you want it): Democrats desperately want war with Iran.

* And the BBC has a Sherlock season three minisode. God bless us, every one!

The French Aren’t Keen Either

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From the great Teju Cole: 9 questions about Britain you were too embarrassed to ask.

Forever War

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…the truth is that whether we’re talking about a Republican administration filled with eager armchair warriors or a Democrat administration filled with peaceniks, every American president eventually scrambles the jets and orders the bomb bays loaded. Oh, so many peaceniks in the Obama administration! Almost too many maybe.

A longer, more comprehensive list — link begins in 1960.

Thursday Night

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Any guild with half an ounce of integrity would be marching in the streets if their employers made that kind of threat to open up their market to all comers. We professors, on the other hand, have to navel gaze about the implications of our own obsolescence before anyone chooses to lift a finger. If there really are only ten universities in twenty years and that Ph.D. of yours ends up as a really expensive wall hanging, don’t say you weren’t warned. The professoriate is the worst guild ever.

As with discourse about climate change policy, the persistence of on-the-one-hand, on-the-other forms of argument about the value of officially sanctioned torture represents a victory for those who would justify such abuse. Zero Dark Thirty has performed no public service by enlarging the acceptability of that form of debate. Sounds like it was good enough even-the-liberal Jon Stewart.

After complaining for weeks that the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” erroneously implies that torture yielded key information in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, a trio of senior senators now want to know whether CIA personnel deliberately misled the filmmakers on that point.

Wanted: Tenure-track professor of political science specializing in constitutional law to teach four courses per semester. Juris doctor degree highly desirable. Occasional weight-lifting required.

* Social Text forum on cruel optimism.

* Hitting Peak Topsoil.

* Obama has aged fifteen years in four.

* Via my friend @DanHF: a celebration of Tarantino’s Death Proof.

* And who had Mali in the places-to-invade-next pool? You’ve won some exciting violence.

Midweek Links

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* Erik Loomis is being targeted by prominent figures on the right in what has to be the most ludicriously unfair, bad-faith attack I have ever seen.

Walker declares state of emergency in Wisconsin due to snowstorm.

Guide to Answering Academic Job Interview Questions.

Argument Over Sandy Hook Shooting Ends in Gunfire. Why Won’t We Talk About Violence and Masculinity in America? Gun Violence In American Schools Is Nothing New. Top Conservative Publication: Shooting Occurred Because Women Ran The School. Weaponize the husky twelve-year-olds. Virginia Republican Legislator Actually Wants To Require Concealed Weapons In Schools. The Arms Race of Stupid.

I can’t help wondering if the bullets of Sandy Hook Elementary will be for Obama what the snarling dogs and high-pressure fire hoses of Birmingham, Alabama, were for John F. Kennedy in 1963: the human tragedy that will force him to take a political risk, simply because it is right.

Conservative Historian Warns Obama and Democrats are ‘Much More Radical’ than Marxists. So much more radical. So much more.

Best Astronomy Images of 2012. (Keep scrolling past the image for more links.)

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Wayne State faculty gives OK to union leadership to call strike if necessary.

* Terrible person to teach terrible class at terrible university.

* News from Nerdistan: What Frodo would have looked like as Gollum. Joss Whedon wanted the Wasp and an extra villain in The Avengers. Tolkien vs. technology. Someone at Disney is already trying to lay the groundwork for a second sequel trilogy after Star Wars 7-9. Nearby Tau Ceti may host two planets suited to life. Netflix Instant Adds a Bunch of Fake ‘Arrested Development’ Shows and MoviesLEGOs run the world now.

It’s time to start asking serious questions about the safety of lube.

Here: an exercise in choice. Your choice. One of these tales is true.

* Petraeus Scandal 2.0. Nothing about sex, so no one will care.

* Matt Yglesias has the most logical incoherent “think piece” you’ll read on Society Security today. Money doesn’t magically become not-money when it’s spent by retirees.

* Plans to avoid the fiscal cliff cut government more than the fiscal cliff. Why, it’s almost as if this whole debate is total bullshit!

Shale Oil Might Be Less Awesome Than We Think. From a personal perspective, I doubt that’s possible.

Top 20 most valuable college football programs all made at least $24 million in profit last year, according to Forbes. $200K Average Salary for Asst. Football Coaches in Major Programs. Bill Introduced for IRS to Collect Student Loan Payments.

Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said he supported the bill, arguing it could “nearly eliminate student loan default.”

But the reinvention conversation has not produced the panacea that people seem to yearn for. “The whole MOOC thing is mass psychosis,” a case of people “just throwing spaghetti against the wall” to see what sticks, says Peter J. Stokes, executive director for postsecondary innovation at Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies. His job is to study the effectiveness of ideas that are emerging or already in practice.

The Wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon is Emitting a Mysterious Substance Into the Gulf of Mexico.

Quentin Tarantino Says Drug War, Justice System Are Modern Day Slavery.

Apocalypse and Revelation Are the Same Word.

* And life’s not all an endless series of miserable atrocities: Found: Whale Thought Extinct for 2 Million Years.

Is There Life on Mercury?

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 29, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Wednesday Links

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* There’s an Earthlike planet in Alpha Centauri. This is the best news I’ve ever heard and I’m halfway to my space victory already I just have to research Fusion and Ecology.

* Compared to this the discovery of a planet with four suns and another all-diamond planet just seems boring.

* The other day they drove the Space Shuttle through Los Angeles.

* University of Phoenix to close 115 locations.

* Like Lee Bessette I’m pretty skeptical of this move towards a “teaching track.” Has establishing multiple tiers like this ever improved labor conditions?

* World’s biggest geoengineering experiment ‘violates’ UN rules. I’ve been fascinated for years that large-scale geoengineering projects are now within the reach not just of nations, but of individuals. Things are going to get interesting, in the “ancient Chinese curse” sense.

* Title suggestions for Future Die Hard Movies.

* The Problem with Presidential Precedent.

* Will California end the death penalty this year? They should.

* Firefly animated spinoff? I really think at this point I’d rather just be happy with what we got than ride a bad version of the thing I love into the ground. #geekheresy

* The Strange Death of Alfalfa.

* Debt Collector Illegally Seizes Disabled Vet’s Savings, Tells Him ‘You Should Have Died.’

* How Buffy Predicted Geek Misogyny. I’m not sure predicted is really the right tense here. What an Academic Who Wrote Her Dissertation on Trolls Thinks of Violentacrez. Michael Brutsch, ViolentAcrez, and Online Pseudonyms. On Ruining Violentacrez’ Life. I’m told r/creepshots is already back, masquerading as a “fashion police” subreddit.

* Gallup and Josh Marshall teases crisis as a real divergence seems possible between the popular and the electoral vote.

* Some debate highlights: a brutal on-the-spot fact-check that will be part of presidential debate prep for years to come. How epistemic closure hurts a candidate. The binder story that launched a thousand memes wasn’t even true. Leaked Debate Agreement Shows Both Obama and Romney are Sniveling Cowards. And whoever is elected, the planet loses. What an embarrassing spectacle for the people of the future to witness. Not that it’s anything new.

* Trove of Kafka Documents Must Be Released, Israeli Judge Rules. You can pick them up at the Castle…

Seriously, Like, 10,000 Sunday Links

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Backed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the SUNY20/20 Act sounds the death knell of universal, affordable education.

In May, President Obama visited SUNY’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) for a bro-hug with Governor Andrew Cuomo and a speechpraising Albany’s silicon-driven economic agenda. The president’s stamp on Cuomo’s development plan, which calls for public-private research partnerships centered at New York’s university hubs, earned the governor early points for a potential 2016 White House run. In exchange, Obama could tout New York as a state-level version of his ideal economic agenda while jabbing Congress for moving more slowly than Cuomo.

“I want what’s happening at Albany to happen all across the country,” he said, “places like Cleveland, and Pittsburgh, and Raleigh.”

The Crisis in Higher Education. Spoiler: it’s MOOCs.

* Get pepper-sprayed by campus cops, get not all that much money at all considering.

* Quitting an Adjunct Career.

* Great moments in neoliberalism: Under Germany’s welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job – including in the sex industry – or lose her unemployment benefit. Last month German unemployment rose for the 11th consecutive month to 4.5 million, taking the number out of work to its highest since reunification in 1990. Too good to check! Damn you, Snopes!

* Great moments in neoliberalism, part 2: Camden is going to solve its crime problem by firing its entire police force. But don’t get too excited; it’s just a union-busting thing.

* While we’re on the subject: I just figured out a way to cut crime by 5% overnight.

* Kaplan Post balance sheet suffering as the for-profit scam university sector takes a haircut.

* What I caught up on while I was traveling: Evan Calder Williams on Cop Comedies.  The Prison-Educational Complex. Anti-Anti-Parasitism. Chris Hayes’s Twilight of the Elites.

A graduate of Brown University, Hayes’s path was essentially paved by sixth grade when he passed the entrance exam to attend New York’s Hunter High School—one of the best public schools in the country, and one in which only a standardized test determined admission. But as he points out, one test score hides much—including an entire test-preparation industry that only the wealthy can access. Hayes quotes at length the remarkable 2010 commencement address by 18-year-old Justin Hudson, who laid bare the lie of merit that Hunter perpetuated: “I feel guilty because I don’t deserve any of this. And neither do any of you. We received an outstanding education at no charge based solely on our performance on a test we took when we were eleven-year-olds.”

* BREAKING: Poll Averages Have No History of Consistent Partisan Bias.

* Here it is, mere days after everyone’s already stopped being annoyed about it: Rebecca Solnit’s “Stop Leftsplaining!”

* Freddie de Boer: I don’t know how else it say it, considering I’ve said it a thousand times. I want my country to stop killing innocent people. Our Bipartisan Apathy Toward Civilian Drone Deaths. Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama. Is It Moral for Lefties to Vote for Obama? The Thing about Drones.

* The weird thing about the you-stupid-lefties craze is Obama is decisively winning, Were they just afraid they wouldn’t have a chance to punch any hippies this year? Don’t they know it never goes out of season, no matter what happens?

* On the other side: Romney Aides “Pretty Resigned” to Losing. Is the GOP still a national party? And, of course, poll denialism.

* As if Obama needed the help, the economy turns out to be not quite as bad as reported. Still awful though.

* Americans growing tired of the glories of gridlock. It’s too bad our institutions are designed to essentially guarantee it.

* On undecided voters.

* Wheelchair citizenship.

The absence of pity of any sort from Kim E. Nielsen’s new book A Disability History of the United States, published by Beacon Press, is hardly the most provocative thing about it. Nielsen, a professor of disability studies at the University of Toledo, indicates that it is the first book “to create a wide-ranging chronological American history narrative told through the lives of people with disabilities.” By displacing the able-bodied, self-subsisting individual citizen as the basic unit (and implied beneficiary) of the American experience, she compels the reader to reconsider how we understand personal dignity, public life, and the common good.

Take the “ugly laws,” for instance. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, major American cities made it illegal for (in the words of the San Francisco ordinance from 1867) “any person who is diseased, maimed, mutilated, or in any way deformed so as to be an unsightly or disgusting object” to appear in “streets, highways, thoroughfares, or public places.”

Enterprising Dog Becomes the Ranking Police Officer in a Small New Mexican Town. Nikka 2016?

* If all men were Republicans, would you let your daughter marry one?

* I might have done this one before, but it’s so visually striking: The True Size of Africa.

* All the secrets from Joss Whedon’s Avengers commentary.

25 facts about Star Trek: The Next Generation you might not know.

* xkcd vs. fantasy metallurgy.

* In which Curiosity finds a river bed on Mars.

* My homeland: New Jersey bans smiling in driver’s license photographs. Now, if we could just ban smiling in photographs altogether…

* American tragedies: Man Shoots, Kills Suspected Burglar at Sister’s House Only to Find Out It Was His Teen Son. Pertussis epidemic in Washington.

* This story has everything! “Buddhist ‘Iron Man’ found by Nazis is from space.”

* Film Genre Over Time.

* How to Buy a Daughter. Fascinating that upper middle class Americans prefer daughters.

* Here come the Definite Harry Potter Uncut Final Director’s Cut Special Editions.

* William Gibson: The Complete io9 inteview.

* An oral history of Cheers.

* On being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Meet Leland Chee, the Star Wars Franchise Continuity Cop.

* The end of growth?

* And they solved global warming; they’ll just make the snow for ski slopes out of “100 percent sewage effluent.” You’re welcome, future.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 30, 2012 at 8:41 am

Friday Night

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 10, 2012 at 9:44 pm

‘As a Species of Megalomania, This Is Hard to Top’

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But never mind the logistics. If we live long enough as a species, we might overcome them, or at least some of them: energy from fusion (which always seems to be about 50 years away) and so forth. Think about what life in a space colony would be like: a hermetically sealed, climate-controlled little nothing of a place. Refrigerated air, synthetic materials, and no exit. It would be like living in an airport. An airport in Antarctica. Forever. When I hear someone talking about space colonies, I think, that’s a person who has never studied the humanities. That’s a person who has never stopped to think about what it feels like to go through an average day—what life is about, what makes it worth living, what makes it endurable. A person blessed with a technological imagination and the absence of any other kind.

And yet: Mars!

Written by gerrycanavan

August 6, 2012 at 8:03 am

Wednesday Night

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* Those communists at the ACLU are at it again; they say the president can’t just have people murdered any time he wants. Check your Constitution, hippie!

* Only the cameraman didn’t volunteer: Five Men Agree To Stand Directly Under An Exploding Nuclear Bomb.

* Some refreshing honesty: Cheney, 71, said defense spending is “not a spigot you can turn on and turn off, that you need to keep money flowing in a predictable way so you can plan for the next war,” Graham said after the Senate Republicans’ weekly luncheon.

* Okay, points there: Director Christopher Nolan says he has a simple explanation for why he refused to shoot The Dark Knight Rises in 3D: He doesn’t know anyone who actually enjoys it.

* It’s just as good as real learningEven as traditional universities have embraced massive free courses, those institutions have drawn a line on the matter of offering credit. Some professors send a letter of recognition to students who succeed in the free, online versions of their courses, but the universities have refrained from offering those students course credits that count toward the completion of a traditional degree. So far the only way students might redeem their success in MOOCs for formal college credit is by seeking validation through prior-learning assessment apparatuses.

* When David Brin met Orson Scott Card at Comic-Con.

Bryan Fuller’s mystery Pushing Daisies project may be a musical.

* And will UNESCO protect Tranquility Base from nonexistent space tourists? Tune in tomorrow, Moon Rangers, for the exciting conclusion!

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