Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘UFOs

All the July 4th Links You Wanted — And More!

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* The Declaration of Independence has a typo; America is abolished. Happy Fourth of July.

* America at 238, by the numbers.

* Hobby Lobby as Pandora’s Box. The icing on the cake.

* Like the Founders intended, an investigation into Blackwater was squashed after a top manager threatened to murder a State department official. Checks and balances. The system works.

Remarks of Thurgood Marshall at the Annual Seminar of the San Francisco Patent and Trademark Law Association in Maui, Hawaii, May 6, 1987.

I cannot accept this invitation, for I do not believe that the meaning of the Constitution was forever “fixed” at the Philadelphia Convention. Nor do I find the wisdom, foresight, and sense of justice exhibited by the Framers particularly profound. To the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today. When contemporary Americans cite “The Constitution,” they invoke a concept that is vastly different from what the Framers barely began to construct two centuries ago.

As a Canadian I rather like the idea of the American Revolution being aborted and our Yankee cousins staying within the Empire. Among other things it would have meant that slavery would have ended in America a generation earlier and without violence (the British outlawed the slave trade in 1807 and abolished slavery in 1834).

* Meanwhile, a great moment in American democracy.

* Great new web comic from Jason Shiga, whose Fleep and Meanwhile I’ve praised here before.

* Some Dawn of the Planet of the Apes prequels.

* A new China Miéville short story.

* Zoo Animals Are Depressed.

* Gynofuturism: Zoe Saldana says the best roles for women are in space.

* Here’s a List of What Junot Díaz Wants You to Read.

* Judy Clarke defends the indefensible.

* Maria Bamford’s new web series wants to put you in The Program.

* Philosophy Job Placement 2011-2014: Departments with Relatively High Placement Rates.

* “Neuroeconomics.”

* “The Princess Effect: How women’s magazines demean powerful women—even when they’re trying to celebrate them.”

Lionel Messi Is Impossible. More.

* How Belgium built one of the top contenders for the 2014 World Cup, and what the team means to this fractious nation. How Tourette’s-afflicted Tim Howard went from international ridicule to World Cup history. Really, All Hail Tim Howard. How Spain Succumbed to the Innovator’s Dilemma. Why the last group stage game is played simultaneously. Who Won the World Cup of Arm-Folding?

* Zwarte Piets were once openly characterized as Santa’s slaves. Man, Santa’s legacy is complicated.

Cop Keeps Job After Violently Shoving Paraplegic Man From Wheelchair. The search continues for something a cop can do that will actually cost them their job.

* At time of austerity, 8 universities spent top dollar on Hillary Rodham Clinton speeches.

* The European Court of Human Rights has upheld the basic human right we all know about to see other people’s faces in public.

* A radical reply to Hobby Lobby: Take Away the Entire Welfare State From Employers. And another: Hobby Lobby, Student Loans, and Sincere Belief.

* The rules underpinning Porky Pig’s stutter.

* Shirley Jackson reads “The Lottery.”

Have We Been Interpreting Quantum Mechanics Wrong This Whole Time?

* Lies Your Doctor Told You.

* Oklahoma is now the earthquake capital of the country, thanks to tracking.

* Membership has its privileges: African leaders vote to give themselves immunity from war crimes.

* A Brief History of the Smithsonian.

* A People’s History of the Peeing Calvin Decal.

* In 1990 this nation faced a horrifying outbreak of Richard Nixon rap parodies. This is that story. (via @sarahkendzior)

Facebook Could Decide an Election Without Anyone Ever Finding Out.

* The arc of history is long &c: Oakland Raiders Will Pay Cheerleaders Minimum Wage This Season.

* American Gods is alive! It’s on Starz, but it’s alive!

* “Exclamation points have played a distinguished role in the history of Marxism.” Why We’re Marxists.

* SMBC on fire: If God is omniscient and omnipotent, how could he let this happen? Telepathy machines were created. Check Your Bat-Privilege. I’m the superfluous female protagonist.

* Scenes from the next Paolo Bacigalupi novel: An abandoned mall in Bangkok has been overtaken by fish.

* The UNC fake-classes scandal has gotten so outrageous even the NCAA has been forced to pay attention.

* Should “free college” be framed as a right or a privilege?

When two good guys with guns confront one another.

* The Hard Data on UFO Sightings: It’s Mostly Drunk People in the West.

* Let’s colonize ourselves by 3D printing ourselves on other planets.

* Catfish and American Loneliness.

* The Hooded Utilitarian has been running an Octavia Butler Roundtable.

* Another Pixar conspiracy theory: the truth about Andy’s Dad.

* All about the miraculous Community revival. And more. Yay!

* Introducing the Critical Inquiry Review of Books.

* And some more good news! Bear rescued after head gets stuck in cookie jar. Happy Fourth of July!

Written by gerrycanavan

July 4, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday!

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wglix3anizobjgyyidd1A bounce house flew away with three children inside. Unreal.

* Also unreal: Homeless Football Player Can’t Receive Fans’ Aid Due To Criminal Cartel’s Insane, Abusive Rules. Here are the salaries the administrative staff of Boise State athletics will be making while their unpaid employee is homeless.

* Think of the NCAA as a cheering squad, that gets all up into your personal life. Former Oklahoma center Gabe Ikard is a courtside fixture at Thunder games with his girlfriend. He stated in a radio interview with WWLS’ the Morning Animals that Oklahoma’s Compliance Dept. made his girlfriend sign an affidavit their relationship was legitimate and was not a ruse to provide extra benefits to an Oklahoma football player. Ikard was one of the players embroiled in “Pastagate,” where Oklahoma self-reported a secondary violation and ordered him to pay $3.83 to charity for excessive pasta consumption.

* I didn’t realize until I spoke to Rebecca Schuman about her Amherst-banning-frats piece how misguided it was. Without explicit exceptions for emergencies and assault-reporting this kind of blanket ban is obviously unworkable, and almost certainly not Title IX compliant.

 Hey, fellow educators! It’s your cousin, Gerry. You know that consolation you’ve been taking that at least your life’s work is meaningful? Well, listen to this!

* Vigilante feminism at Columbia.

* The Washington Post assigns five reporters to chase down a lie Karl Rove just made up on the spot.

Sandy Hook ‘Truther’ Tells Victim’s Mother Her Daughter Never Existed.

Arguing that school closures in cities across the country disproportionately affect African American students, community activists filed three federal civil rights complaints Tuesday challenging closures in Newark, New Orleans and Chicago and called on the Obama administration to halt similar efforts elsewhere.

Boosting school funding 20 percent erased the graduation gap between rich and poor students.

Cell Phone Video Shows Police Choking, Kicking 6th Graders.

* Fox greenlights “last man on Earth” premise it must know will get canceled immediately. They must know.

* io9: The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan.

* Game of Mushrooms.

“I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end. I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon, and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed for even an instant. If you seek to help, join the open source community and fight to keep the spirit of the press alive and the internet free. I have been to the darkest corners of government, and what they fear is light.

“You mention in your book that Snowden’s moral universe was first informed by video games.”

* Today in academic journals: Board Game Studies.

* Spurious Correlations. The truth is out there!

* Back to the top of the order: How artificial intelligence is about to disrupt higher education.

* And the Pope gets deep into my wheelhouse, says the Church would baptize aliens.

Speaking during the homily at his daily morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta inside Vatican City where he lives on Monday, he told his mostly clerical audience that they should keep an open mind to anyone—or anything—seeking God. “If—for example—tomorrow an expedition of Martians came, and some of them came to us, here… Martians, right? Green, with that long nose and big ears, just like children paint them… And one says, ‘But I want to be baptized!’ What would happen?” he asked parishioners. “When the Lord shows us the way, who are we to say, ‘No, Lord, it is not prudent! No, let’s do it this way…’”

Friday Friday

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This is the fourth installment of a continuing series in which American events are described using the tropes and tone normally employed by the American media to describe events in other countries: America’s Annual Pilgrimage Begins.

Massasoit was an adroit politician, but the dilemma he faced would have tested Machiavelli. About five years before, most of his subjects had fallen before a terrible calamity. Whole villages had been depopulated. It was all Massasoit could do to hold together the remnants of his people. Adding to his problems, the disaster had not touched the Wampanoag’s longtime enemies, the Narragansett alliance to the west. Soon, Massasoit feared, they would take advantage of the Wampanoag’s weakness and overrun them. And the only solution he could see was fraught with perils of its own, because it involved the foreigners—people from across the sea. The Indians who first feasted with the English colonists were far more sophisticated than you were taught in school. But that wasn’t enough to save them.

The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches, according to a top-secret NSA document.

SeaTac $15 Minimum Wage Barely Passes In Final Vote Tally, Recount May Follow.

* Marissa Alexander has been released from jail.

* Self-censorship and repressive regimes.

* The horror of scale: What scared H. P. Lovecraft.

* And okay, I’ll check it out: As presidents leave office, they also leave a letter for their successors. In Oni Press’ new comic Letter 44, the newest president is taken aback when he reads the letter from the man who preceded him — a man who seemed to tank the economy and embroil the nation in needless wars — but was actually secretly preparing America for an imminent alien invasion.

A British Teacher’s Archive of Confiscated Toys.

* K Punk watches Catching Fire.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about  the Hunger Games is the way it simply presupposes that revolution is necessary. The problems are logistical, not ethical, and the issue is simply how and when revolution can be made to happen, not if it should happen at all. Remember who the enemy is - a message, a hailing, an ethical demand that calls out through the screen to us …. that calls out to a collectivity that can only be built through class consciousness ….

* Judith Butler defends the humanities.

* And the New Yorker profiles David Graeber, “Robin Hood for the Debt Crisis.”

Wednesday Night Links

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* Obama Makes It Clear He Isn’t Willing To Fight for Action on Climate Change. Boy, I’m really looking forward to liberals holding Obama’s feet to the fire on climate now that he won the election! Poll results show “the dramatic impact 2012′s extreme weather has had across party lines, with half of Republicans, 73 percent of independents and 82 percent of Democrats saying they’re worried about the growing cost and risks of extreme weather disasters fueled by climate change.” How Would We Implement A Carbon Tax? (Almost) Everything You Need To Know. Doing The Climate Math: Action Obama Can Take Now. Germany Has Built Clean Energy Economy U.S. Rejected in 80s.

* Horrible: A miscarrying woman has died in Ireland after being denied a medically necessary abortion.

* Normally differential tuition proposals are based on the different costs of running different programs (if your major is more expensive to run you should pay more etc) or, when there is some sort of relationship to future earnings that those entering more lucrative fields can afford more (part of the rationale for higher professional school fees). But the Florida Task Force operates on the opposite assumption: that costs of programs should not matter and that those who allegedly have worse job options should pay more for their programs than those who will move into fields that make them immediately employable. Or to put it more bluntly, that philosophy students should pay more for their education than STEM students because there are more jobs available in STEM fields than jobs as philosophers. Of course, as Elizabeth Propp Berman recently pointed out this job driven logic doesn’t even make economic sense: economic opportunities for most STEM fields are not higher than for many humanities or liberal arts fields, and the sorts of skills provided in the humanities and social sciences are in great demand in the economy.

* Right-wing operatives have decided that prisons are a lot like schools: hugely expensive, inefficient, and in need of root-and-branch reform privatization.

* But the kids are all right. A majority of Americans support sanity on immigration policy, too.

* Doug Henwood is unimpressed with Rolling Jubilee.

Wisconsin GOPers back bill to arrest officials who implement Obamacare. It was your party’s own idea, you lunatics.

* The VCE exam body has been left red faced after a doctored artwork depicting a huge robot helping socialist revolutionaries during the Russian Revolution was accidentally included in this year’s year 12 history exam taken by 5700 students. Teach the controversy!

* The no-stars New York Observer restaurant review everyone’s talking about.

* Gerrymandering was probably less of a factor in the election than systematic underrepresentation of urban populations more generally. But it’s still ridiculous.

* Someone just lit $10,000 on fire for no reason.

* Even the absolutely minimal filing requirements for PACs was too much for Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS.

* Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal nails it, as always.

* And this time for real: Local News Crew Confirms Denver Man’s UFO Claims While Attempting to Debunk Them.

All the Tuesday Links

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* Mars. 

* “For Unpaid College Loans,Feds Dock Social Security.”

Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism Advisory Board member and University of Nebraska at Omaha Criminology professor Pete Simi had extensive long term contact with alleged Wisconsin mass killer Wade Michael Page when he was conducting a multi-year study of the hate rock music scene in Southern California.

* The wisdom of markets: ‘Crude-oil futures bounced up over $1 at one point Monday after a false Twitter rumor exposed the oil market’s knee-jerk fear of Mideast turmoil.’

* Romney v. Reid, part 1000: “I don’t really believe that he’s got any kind of a credible source.” They’re his tax returns; if it’s within the realm of possibility that Reid has “any kind of a credible source,” isn’t that logically a concession the claim is true? TPM explains how it could be, though I still think it probably isn’t.

Louisiana School Forces Students to Take Pregnancy Tests, Kicks Out Girls Who Refuse Or Test Positive. Naturally, the school also forces any young man suspecting of fathering a child to let’s not ruin a young man’s life over one mistake.

* The brightest timeline: New Arrested Development Season Starts Shooting Today.

* The darkest timeline: Papa John Warns: Pizza Prices Will Rise Under Obamacare.

Ohio man brings bag full of knives, guns and ammo to ‘Dark Knight’ screening – tells police it’s for self-defense.

Residents in Richmond. North Richmond and San Pablo. Are advised to shelter in place. Go inside. Close All windows and doors. Turn off all heaters. Air conditioners and fans…

* Joss Whedon will write and direct both Avengers Reaveng’d and help develop the Marvel TV series. This is reasonably promising, and yet I can’t help but agree with @HitFixDaniel: “I’d rather have Joss Whedon direct *literally* anything original than do an “Avengers” sequel. *ducks*”

* Save the arcade industry the barcade way.

* For my SF academics: UC Riverside’s Eaton Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize Ursula Le Guin, Ray Harryhausen and Stan Lee. As if you need another reason to go!

* The last alignment chart you’ll ever need: all Gary Oldman edition.

* The last missing piece of the puzzle: Witness claims there were actually two UFO crashes at Roswell in 1947.

Science Proves Luke Skywalker Should Have Died In The Tauntaun’s Belly.

* And don’t say it unless you mean it: speaking on Attack of the Show about Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary, David Tennant says he’s still got the costume.

Friday Night!

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* So Mark Zuckerberg made $20 billion dollars today. On Twitter I’ve proposed taxing this windfall at 99%, leaving him with a cool $200 million, more money than he or his children or grandchildren could ever need—but like any good liberal I’m open to negotiation. UPDATE: Man alive, the U.S. tax code is screwed up.

* Behold the glories of the free market: New Mexico gave Marvel Studios $22 million to make a movie that’s now grossed over a billion.

* Meanwhile, Curt Schilling rips off Rhode Island for a few million dollars. More.

What We Don’t Know About Student Debt. More from Slate. Why the Right Hates English. And today’s postacademic rant: The American Corp-University Complex.

* Vulture Magazine tells Wes Anderson that they made a movie out of Battleship. He is… nonplussed.

* Obama basically confirms to Jaden Pinkett Smith the aliens are real.

* Arizona Secretary of State is threatening to leave Obama’s name off the ballot on birther grounds. Meanwhile, Breitbart.com has invented afterbirthism. Six months till November.

* Where are the campaigns spending money? #1 with a bullet: Greensboro, NC.

* Engineer: Star Trek’s Enterprise ship could be built in 20 years at a cost of $1 trillion. Well, if that’s all it costs we definitely should.

Why Teaching Equality Hurts Men.

How, then, does any of this relate to the frankly incendiary notion that teaching equality hurts men?

Because of everyone, straight, white men are the least likely people to experience exclusion and inequality first-hand during their youth, and are therefore the most likely to disbelieve its existence later in life. Unless they seek out ‘feminine’ pastimes as children – and why would they, when so much of boy-culture tells them not to? – they will never be rebuked or excluded on the basis of gender. Unless someone actively takes the time to convince them otherwise, they will learn as teens that the world is an equal place – an assertion that gels absolutely with their personal experiences, such that even if women, LGBTQ individuals and/or POC  are rarely or never visible in their world, they are nonetheless unlikely to stop and question it. They will likely study white-male-dominated curricula, laugh ironically at sexist, racist and homophobic jokes, and participate actively in a popular culture saturated with successful, varied, complex and interesting versions of themselves – and this will feel right and arouse no suspicion whatever, because this is what equality should feel like. They will experience no sexual or racial discrimination when it comes to getting a job and will, on average, earn more money than the women and POC around them – and if they stop to reflect on either of these things, they’ll do so in the knowledge that, as the world is equal, any perceived hierarchical differences are simply reflective of the meritocracy at work.

They will not see how the system supports their success above that of others, because they have been told that equality stripped them of their privileges long ago. Many will therefore react with bafflement and displeasure to the idea of positive discrimination, hiring quotas or any other such deliberate attempts at encouraging diversity – because not only will it seem to genuinely disadvantage them, but it will look like an effort to undermine equality by granting new privileges to specific groups. Never having experienced inequality, therefore, the majority of straight white men will be absolutely oblivious to their own advantages – not because they must necessarily be insensitive, sexist, racist, homophobic or unaware of the principles of equality; but because they have been told, over and over again, that there is no inequality left for them – or anyone else – to experience – and everything they have experienced up to that point will only have proved them right.

* Department of Actual Justice? DoJ has issued guidelines asserting the right of citizens to film police and for preventing prison rape.

* Theorizing bathrooms. Thanks, Melody!

* Today in science: The DNA of 10-year-olds who experienced violence in their young lives has been found to show wear and tear normally associated with aging, a Duke University study has found.

Today in unintentional metaphors.

Ultimately, all we can say at this point is that Capital One appears to be flagging donations to Friends of Scott Walker as potentially fraudulent.

* A Crackdown in Crayon: Bahrain’s Children Draw Their Country’s Crisis.

* A little bit cheerier: Scenes from Brazil.

* And a primer they’ll be using in Brazil very soon: How to rig a soccer match.

Tuesday Links

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* After he had obtained the signature page from his committee, Plaintiff inserted an additional, two-page section into his thesis without the knowledge or consent of his committee members. That section, entitled “Disacknowledgements,” began: “I would like to offer special Fuck You’s to the following degenerates for of being an ever-present hindrance during my graduate career….” It then identified the Dean and staff of the UCSB graduate school, the managers of Davidson Library, former California Governor Wilson, the Regents of the University of California, and “Science” as having been particularly obstructive to Plaintiff’s progress toward his graduate degree. Plaintiff later explained that he had not revealed the section to the members of his committee because he feared that they would not approve it. Today in Landmark First Amendment Cases.

At right, your chart of the day.

* Alan Moore v. Before Watchmen: “If DC want to soil themselves in public and kill the reputations of a number of otherwise possibly halfway-decent writers and artists, then I’m certainly not going to stop them. And I shall take my fun and my pleasure however it comes.”

* Great moments in spin: Any credit for today’s stock market gains should go to the Republican President we may or may not elect several months from now.

* Fast Food Nation, ten years later.

* I don’t even need to click a link labeled “Is this a picture of UFOs shooting laser beams at an airplane?” to know that yes, that’s absolutely what it is.

* A few weeks ago, Mitt Romney stuffed his foot in his mouth after proving to the common folk at a NASCAR race that he was a fan of the sport because he has “some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.” This week, he somehow crammed the other foot in there by repeating almost literally the exact same thing about the NFL.

After 244 years, Encyclopedia Britannica will cease production of its iconic multi-volume book sets.

* And it’s that time again.

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