Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Venus

Big Thursday Links

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13 little-known punctuation marks we should be using. At right: the rhetorical question mark.

* Reddit vs. Gawker: whoever wins, we lose. Snark aside, they ought to burn reddit down if it won’t take cast out jailbait and creeper subreddits. It’s 2012.

* How to Terraform Venus.

* DNA’s 521-year half-life ruins so many awesome science fiction plots.

* Our brains work in interesting ways: What number is halfway between 1 and 9? Is it 5 — or 3?

Could the Goonies Really Keep One-Eyed Willy’s Treasure?

Walmart Workers Are Threatening To Strike On Black Friday. On a national holy day? How dare they.

You love being creative for your work. You love your job. That’s why you’ve got a Mac. Precarious labor, post-Fordism, and Apple.

Nine minutes of gameplay from the new SimCity.

* LARoB considers Homeland. It’s been next in my Netflix queue forever, so I couldn’t read too much of this.

* And you know who else flubbed their closing statement after a piss-poor debate showing? No, not him. The other one. Gasp: New Polls Suggest Democratic Freakout May Be Premature.

Monday Reading™

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* Well, that’s one way to do it: Tennessee Tea Party ‘Demands’ That References To Slavery Be Removed From History Textbooks.

* Russian scientist claims to have evidence of life on Venus.

by the 1960s, the American Mariner probes and their Soviet Venera counterparts had revealed Venus was just about the most inhospitable place imaginable, an acidic world with surface temperatures of about 900 degrees Fahrenheit and pressures nearly 92 times that of Earth.

That’s why the new paper by Russian astronomer Leonid Ksanfomaliti, due to appear in the Russian publication Solar System Research, seems to sit slightly outside the scientific consensus. He says that photos taken in 1982 – presumably either by Venera 13 or Venera 14, both of which visited Venus in March of that year – depict a “disk”, a “black flap”, and, perhaps most boldly, “a scorpion.”

Well, it checks out.

* Why a white knight won’t save the GOP from the Mitt-Newt trainwreck.

* Speaking of which: Gingrichmentum!

* Brown and Warren agree to ban third-party ads in Massachusetts. What’s the force of this, if the ads are genuinely third-party?

* Gay rights victories in New Jersey and Washington State.

* Evidence of cooperative play between dolphins and whales.

* …it is now possible to recognize that there are four discrete corridors of cisnormative resistance toward trans people’s readiness to transition.

First corridor, pre-adolescence: “You don’t know any better. You’re too young to understand”;
Second corridor, during adolescence: “It’s a confusing time. Wait until after puberty’s done”;
Third corridor, late development: “You should wait until you’re totally sure. You’ll never pass”; and
Final corridor, maturation: “You’re having a mid-life crisis. What about your kids, spouse, and career?”

* Someone on Facebook just told me Object Lessons from Duke’s Own™ Robyn Wiegman is now out.

* How fluctuations in the academic job market affect time-to-degree.

* And some recent notes on mental health and the Ph.D., via here, via Twitter.

Still OoT But With Unexpected Hotel Wifi Links

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* Ripped from the pages of Infinite Jest, a playable version of Eschaton. (via)

* Via Pete Lit, federal government to use its immense buying power to benefit society.

By altering how it awards $500 billion in contracts each year, the government would disqualify more companies with labor, environmental or other violations and give an edge to companies that offer better levels of pay, health coverage, pensions and other benefits, the officials said.

This looks to me like perhaps a first case of the end-runs Obama will have to make around our broken legislative institutions if he hopes to avoid a failed presidency. Another good sign: the final embrace of sidecar reconciliation to finish the job on health care.

* Of course, that headline in the New York Times gets it wrong, as Steve Benen has been desperately trying to explain to anyone who will listen: Democrats don’t need to pass health care via reconciliation because health care already passed through the regular order. Regardless, the Republicans are promising a full-on freakout if reconciliation is used; what might they do?

* “Pentagon fesses up to 800 pages’ worth of potentially illegal spying, including peace groups and Planned Parenthood.” Hey, thanks for admitting it! Of course we won’t prosecute you; you were just protecting the homeland!

* Eliza Dushku to ruin another Joss Whedon production.

* The pornography of infinity: China Miéville on J.G. Ballard.

* J.D. Salinger v. Raiders of the Lost Ark.

* Wikipedia’s list of landings on other planets. Did the Soviets think there was life on Venus? They certainly seem to have thought there was something there. Via Boing Boing.

* Secret origins of the cellar door line from Donnie Darko.

* FantasySCOTUS.

* Really good reading of the U.K. version of The Office that focuses on Gervais’s critique of celebrity culture to explain, among other things, how David Brent could possibly have won a promotion on a 5-2 vote of the company board or been hired by a consulting firm—as well as why the U.S. version, in dropping this thematic angle, will always be intrinsically inferior.

* If I were a Brigham Young student, here’s the process I would have to undertake to grow my beloved beard.

* Students at the University of Mississippi want Admiral Akbar as their new mascot. I wholeheartedly endorse this effort.

* Also Via MeFi: Personal pop-culture rules. “No Robin Williams” and “anything involving dinosaurs” are two I think I follow.

* And Matt Yglesias selfishly takes a stand against one of our most-beloved cultural institutions. No special rights for late-in-the-alphabet people!

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