Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘research

Sunday Links

with 3 comments

* CFP: Far Eastern Worlds: Racial Representations of Asia in Science Fiction.

* Great research opportunity for people working in SF studies: 2014-15 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship.

* Teachers refuse to administer standardized tests.

* The despair of solitary confinement.

* The Afterlife of the Humanities.

* Transgender Children in Antebellum America.

* The Impossible Dream of Jodorowsky’s Dune.

* The Impossible Dream of a Second Season of The Comeback.

* Erotica Written By An Alien Pretending Not To Be Horrified By The Human Body.

* On the un-witness.

* Great moments in Big Data: Math proves Hollywood shouldn’t be sexist.

* ESPN profiles the cheerleader at the heart of the Raiders wage theft case.

* Scenes from the heroin crisis in Vermont.

* The end of journalism in New Jersey.

Anadarko Agrees To Record $5 Billion Fine For ’85 Years Of Poisoning The Earth.’ Anadarko’s revenues are 14 billion annually, with assets of 52 billion, so it seems clear the fine doesn’t go nearly far enough.

* Women in tech.

How Soviet Artists Imagined Communist Life in Space.

We’ve Found A Hidden Ocean On Enceladus That May Harbor Life.

* Radically unnecessary TV adaptation of perfect film goes to series.

If the first wave provided a machine for fighting misery, and the second wave a machine for fighting boredom, what we now need is a machine for fighting anxiety – and this is something we do not yet have.

* Never say die: Goonies Director Teases Sequel Featuring Original Cast.​

* Kazuo Ishiguro Readies First Novel in 10 Years.

* The world is now largely a population of scared confused people ruled by atavistic sociopaths with no sense of history, ethics, science, beauty, or truth. But then you already knew that.

* If you want a vision of the future, imagine being vaguely disappointed by one Marvel Cinematic Universe film a year, forever.

* And Marquette will send a team to the only sporting event that really matters, the Robot World Cup.

kuxzwkj89hdrb4gdykmt

vzdhd33wxocnx7smtwrn

#HaveWeekendLinksLandedYet

with one comment

New leaks show NSA spying on European regulators and charities. UNICEF, man.

NSA had secret deal on back-doored crypto with security firm RSA, Snowden docs reveal.

* Shock decision: Federal Judge Rules That Same-Sex Marriage Is Legal in Utah. I’m hoping this is finally the watershed. In Striking Down Utah’s Gay Marriage Ban, Judge Gives Scalia Big Bear Hug.

* #slatepitches we can believe in: There Are Two Americas, and One Is Better Than the Other.

* Aaron Bady deconstructs the Twitter “event” of the week, #HasJustineLandedYet.

* Another good post on education policy from Freddie de Boer: Is there such a thing as static teacher quality?

Now, these numbers are particularly stark, but this is not really a surprising result, if you been paying attention. Why did New York end its teacher performance pay program in the first place? In large part because of incoherent results: teachers would be rated as terrible in one class and excellent in another, within the same semester. Teachers that had been among the top performers one year would be among the worst performers the next. Teachers that were believed by administrators and parents to have serious performance issues would be rated highly; teachers that were believed by administrators and parents to be among a school’s best would be rated poorly. On and on.

* Six questions for Teach for America.

Conservative groups spend $1bn a year to fight action on climate change.

Oklahoma City cops charge Keystone XL protesters with “terrorism hoax” because their banner shed some glitter.

Fracking chemicals disrupt human hormone functions, study claims. FDA should be looking into this in about forty years.

* Gasp! Researchers Find Factors Tied To Voting Restriction Bills Are ‘Basically All Racial.’

Stop and Frisk Is Everywhere.

* Rogue death scene cut from Days of Future Past, it looks like.

“Where we’re losing them is at the full professor rank,” she continued. “Somehow we’re losing women.”

Pharmacists Frequently Misinform Teens About Whether They’re Allowed To Buy Plan B.

A 54-year old American woman was given increasingly invasive and fruitless cavity searches after a drug dog was instructed to “alert” in front of her by U.S. border guards. The victim, according to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU, was then ordered to consume laxatives, endure x-rays and other scans, and subjected to further medical rectal and vaginal probes—all conducted by doctors at University Medical Center El Paso over over her protests and without any form of warrant.

Wealthy Tech Investor Backs Plan To Split California Into Six States.

A court in Canada has ruled Ecuadorean farmers and fishermen can try to seize the assets of oil giant Chevron based on a 2011 decision in an Ecuadorean court found it liable for nearly three decades of soil and water pollution near oil wells, and said it had ruined the health and livelihoods of people living in nearby areas of the Amazon rainforest.

What happens if you make a mistake with a planet?

* Great moments in neocolonialism: Is It Time to Make Knowledge of English a Human Right?

* Florida is sticking with legal murder: Florida Man Who Shot Acquaintance For Threatening To Beat Him Won’t Face Charges, Judge Rules.

* Finally, the story of Harry Potter’s years of neglect and staggering abuse can be told. BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT.

* Dibs on the screenplay: Under Seattle, a Big Object Blocks Bertha. What Is It?

* Peter Singer, maximum-utility troll: “How Many Kids Died Because of Batkid?”

* New York Times to murder its last lingering shred of journalistic integrity.

* And MetaFilter has a mega-post all about the great Alice Sheldon, a.k.a. James Tiptree, Jr.

Thursday Links!

with one comment

Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito Suddenly Realize They Will Be Villains In Oscar-Winning Movie One Day.

Is it too late? The long view offers reason to hope. From Kim Stanley Robinson.

Mourning and Melancholia in the Anthropocene.

U.S. to Retire Most Chimps From Research.

The long road to marriage equality. Adam Kotsko: Marriage and Meritocracy.

In a previous post on this site I announced a plan for the creation of MOOA, or massive, open, online administrations that would supplant the thousands of separate administrations currently managing the affairs of America’s colleges. The MOOA idea was, of course, satire. However, I must report that two educational consultants contacted me to offer their services in bringing my MOOA to the market. Additionally, three separate reporters called to discuss the MOOA concept. When I explained that MOOA was a satire, one asked, “Are you sure?”

What we need instead, I think, is a study of neoliberal bias in the university, particularly since the rhetoric of neoliberalism has now become ubiquitous, the lingua franca of administrators and even many faculty. In the 1990s Bill Readings observed that the new rationale of the university was the amorphous, technocratic one of “excellence,” rather than the traditional ones of disciplinary reason or national culture. The incantation of “excellence” no longer has quite the same currency; the new neoliberal mantra includes the buzzwords “disruption,” “innovation,” and “choice.” Part of their force is that they seem self-evident goods: who would be against innovation or choice? But I think that they sidestep some of the crucial problems of higher education, especially regarding equality. According to all the statistical markers, college is subject to a steeper class divide than it was 40 years ago, and academic jobs show a sharper stratification. This violates the best hope of the American university. What good is innovation if it brings us a more inequitable world? 

* The latest update on Capturing the Friedmans.

* …given what we know from the big picture, I think it’s safe to say that ostensible reason for the long-term collapse in humanities enrollment has to do with the increasing choice of women to enter more pre-professional majors like business, communications, and social work in the aftermath of a) the opening of the workplace and b) universal coeducation suddenly making those degrees relevant. You’d have to be pretty tone-deaf to point to their ability to make that choice as a sign of cultural malaise.

* I used to maniacally play Solitaire Tic-Tac-Toe to keep myself sane in high school. If I’d known about Tic-Tac-Toe2, I might never have graduated.

* And good news everyone! The housing bubble is back!

19-late-game1-1

Thursday Links

with 2 comments

* Today is our last day discussing John Brunner’s The Sheep Look Up, and conveniently the headline at io9 right now reads “Gonorrhea is becoming untreatable.” The prophecy was true!

 In an 8-1 vote, the City Council of Greensboro, North Carolina approved a resolution opposing a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban any legal recognition of same-sex couples. Greensboro joins Raleigh and Chapel Hill all in opposition to Amendment 1, which comes to a vote on May 8. The Durham City Council opposes the measure too.

* 16 Things Super Bowl Ads Would Like You to Know About Women in 2012.

* Steve Jobs’s FBI file. Academic pro-tip: when beginning research on anyone who is deceased you should immediately request their FBI file.

* Bad news folks: Obama Has Put America On ‘The Path’ Of Executing Religious People By Decapitation.

* In an interesting piece at An und für sich, Adam Kotsko tries to dive beneath the politics and explain just why it is the Catholic hierarchy is so interested in birth control.

I propose that the answer can be found in a historic compromise set forth by one of the most influential thinkers you’ve never heard of: namely, Clement of Alexandria, a second-century Christian philosopher.

* From David Graeber—Concerning the Violent Peace-Police: An Open Letter to Chris Hedges.

Surely you must recognize, when it’s laid out in this fashion, that this is precisely the sort of language and argument that, historically, has been invoked by those encouraging one group of people to physically attack, ethnically cleanse, or exterminate another—in fact, the sort of language and argument that is almost never invoked in any other circumstance. After all, if a group is made up exclusively of violent fanatics who cannot be reasoned with, intent on our destruction, what else can we really do? This is the language of violence in its purest form. Far more than “fuck the police.” To see this kind of language employed by someone who claims to be speaking in the name of non-violence is genuinely extraordinary.

Facebook has found a way to make money from its new Timeline feature less than five months after launching it, repackaging what people “listen” to, “watch,” and “read” into ads and delivering them to their friends.

* Tomorrow’s TV Tropes today: my friend @drbluman finds another example of Sitcom Entropy, the inexorable law of nature that shows how sitcoms degrade in quality over time.

* Arizona Law SB 1467 Would Make It Illegal to Teach Law, History, or Literature, or for Teachers to Have Sex, or Pee.

* And James Fallows attempts to explain Obama.

This is the central mystery of his performance as a candidate and a president. Has Obama in office been anything like the chess master he seemed in the campaign, whose placid veneer masked an ability to think 10 moves ahead, at which point his adversaries would belatedly recognize that they had lost long ago? Or has he been revealed as just a pawn—a guy who got lucky as a campaigner but is now pushed around by political opponents who outwit him and economic trends that overwhelm him?

Stockholm Syndrome

leave a comment »

Tuesday Links

leave a comment »

* How—and why—writers’ papers end up in British and American libraries.

* The Guardian loves China Miéville and radical SF.

* Creeping cowboyism: White House Tells Media It Was Ready to Risk War with Pakistan. We can take comfort I suppose in the fact that this is 99% bluster; full-on war with Pakistan was not a likely outcome of the raid. There’s more from TPM, where Josh Marshall speculates there could actually be some meat to this.

* Obama to pick a fight on immigration reform.

* Could Democrats retake the House in 2012?

* Almost forgot to link to this amusing, time-travel-flavored Tom Tomorrow cartoon.

* And a trip inside Mike Huckabee’s brain.

Huckabee has joked that he “answers” to “two Janets.” One is his wife, Janet Huckabee. The other is Janet Porter, the onetime co-chair of Huckabee’s Faith and Values Coalition. And Porter, the former governor has said, is his “prophetic voice.” But that voice has said some weird things over the years: Porter has maintained that Obama represents an “inhumane, sick, and sinister evil,” and she has warned that Democrats want to throw Christians in jail merely for practicing their faith. She’s attributed Haiti’s high poverty rate to the fact that the country is “dedicated to Satan,” and she suggested that gay marriage caused Noah’s Flood. And there’s this: In a 2009 column for conservative news site WorldNetDaily, Porter asserted that President Barack Obama is a Soviet secret agent, groomed since birth to destroy the United States from within.

Friday Everything

leave a comment »

* Ralph Nader has found an awesome new way to troll the nation: he will campaign to kill athletic scholarships.

* Fox has renewed Fringe. This is great news—but I still haven’t forgive them for Firefly.

* Vermont’s not green, it’s red: Vermot House passes single-payer health care bill. It’s also expected to pass the state senate, too, which means things are about to get very interesting.

* I haven’t put up anything about Fukushima in a while, but suffice it to say things still sound very bad. (UPDATE: More here.) Nuclear power advocates—who I seem to recall assuring me that nothing bad could possibly happen at Fukushima because of updated, failsafe reactor designs—have now begun assuring me that what happened at Fukushima could never happen again because of updated, failsafe reactor designs. Okay, that ship turned out to be sinkable. But this one…

* Great moments in abuse of power: A deputy prosector in Johnson County, Indiana, has resigned his job after it was revealed that in February, during the large protests in Wisconsin over Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-public employee union bill, he e-mailed Walker’s office and recommended that they conduct a “false flag operation” — to fake an assault or assassination attempt on Walker in order to discredit the unions and protesters. Josh Marshall catches the most interesting angle: “the fact that he lists his 18 years of experience working in GOP politics as his experience for doing this sort of stuff.”

* Cheating scandal in the game of kings.

* Incomprehensible Shouting Named Official U.S. Language. It drives me crazy when people don’t speak it.

* And from Inside Higher Ed: Who’s in your fantasy research institute this season?

I’m Three Hours Behind You

leave a comment »

Not that the output of this blog has been particularly great lately—I’ve been very busy—but blogging will be even lighter this weekend while I attend the Eaton Conference in Riverside, California. Thereafter it will remain somewhat light (and time-shifted three hours) while I spend the next few weeks doing research in some libraries out there. (Alas, I will probably still be pretty busy as well; the last of my never-ending parade of deadlines this semester isn’t until the end of March.)

If you start to miss me, look for me on Twitter; I may be there more than I’m here…

Written by gerrycanavan

February 9, 2011 at 11:52 pm

James Tiptree, Jr.

leave a comment »

A friend just tweeted this link: “yet more evidence SF authors have the most interesting biographies (re: Alice Sheldon aka James Tiptree Jr.).” It’s as good a time as any to mention the coolest thing I found in the archives of the Isaac Asimov collection at Boston University: a gushing fan letter written to Asimov by Alice Sheldon in character as James Tiptree, Jr.:

…While I was enjoying the Guides it occurred to me that I knew of nothing I’d rather have along in the cave after the apocalypse. Then I became curious: What would Asimov take in his cave? How about it? It’s an oldie, but few could discuss it so knowledgeably, after the research you’ve done. Or put it this way—what is the indispensible nucleus of information for an educated man—or woman—now?

Which brings us back to the start—simple fannery. This time for the stories. I used to consume them in avid ignorant bliss—recently I’ve tried and sold a few myself, and now I really know how good yours are!

With many many years of well-wishing,
James Tiptree, Jr.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 13, 2010 at 1:10 am

Mad Men Season 11, Hallucinogenic Spores, and Adamantium Bones

with 3 comments

* Put This One finds a wonderful image from Mad Men, Season 11. (Thanks, Jacob!)

* The Chicago Tribune explains why doing research in the archives is so fun. The answer may surprise you! Hint: Fungus on books, they say, is a likely source of hallucinogenic spores.

* The American Family Association ups the ante on the whole “Ground Zero mosque” pseudo-scandal: No more mosques in America, period.

* The Founding Fathers never intended to separate church and state. And they were 17 feet tall and had adamantium bones.

* Rachel Maddow on the war on brains.

* And Political Wire brings the news that we’re actually going to eliminate birthright citizenship: 49% of Americans already want to, before the fools and liars in the media have even had their chance to beat the drum.

* The climate situation is just obscenely dire.

* And just in time for our triumphant return: Huge hand-drawn panorama of London, 1845.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,917 other followers