Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Ze Frank

Saturday Night Link Fever (No Cure)

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Linkdumps from earlier in the week, Tuesday, Tuesday Night, Thursday, and Friday. There’s also one or six more worth seeing.

* More from the Reddit wars from Jezebel, Chad, Aaron, and Lili.

* Middle Earth: pretty much all dudes.

What is happening is a dramatic policy shift whereby the rights and entitlements the US working class has fought for and come to expect are now declared to be, for the foreseeable future, unreachable and unjustified. To put it in media terms, it is “the end of the American dream,” signifying the historic severance of US capital from the US working class, in the sense that US capitalism is becoming completely de-territorialized and is now refusing any commitment to the reproduction of the US workforce.

* A bit out of their jurisdiction, don’t you think? It’s True: The FBI Urged Martin Luther King to Commit Suicide.

* $134,078.44 lien for unpaid hospital bills filed against unarmed man shot by police while fleeing gunman. In a movie called America 2012, it’d be a little too on-the-nose.

ZeFrank recaps the vice-presidential debate. Bonus Get Your War On.

* Poll panickers relax: Obama is crushing it in Ohio, and Ohio is basically the whole game this year.

PPP’s newest Ohio poll finds Barack Obama leading 51-46, a 5 point lead not too different from our last poll two weeks ago when he led 49-45.

The key finding on this poll may be how the early voters are breaking out. 19% of people say they’ve already cast their ballots and they report having voted for Obama by a 76-24 margin. Romney has a 51-45 advantage with those who haven’t voted yet, but the numbers make it clear that he already has a lot of ground to make up in the final three weeks before the election.

Need more? Fluke, almost certainly incorrect poll puts Obama up in Arizona!

* Okay, go ahead and panic a little: Romney Debate Gains Show Staying Power. For what it’s worth Obama spiked a bit upward on the 538 graphs today.

* Of course there are still those who think the worse, the better.

Why Romney?  Because his transparency as a Neanderthal may, just may, bring people into the streets, while under Obama passivity and false consciousness appear almost irreversible.

Elsewhere on the Web, the affirmative case for Obama has more or less reduced to pure spite.

Do these folks really want their bigoted in-laws and racist YouTube commenters to have the satisfaction of having been right all along? Because that’s what they’ll take away from this.

‘Million Muppet March’ Planned. I’ll allow it, but know you’re on a tight leash.

Side Effects of Global Warming You’re Not Worried About Enough Yet.

Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, says “we can adapt” to global climate disruption. Let’s see him telecommute from the places hardest hit.

* Agent Coulson will return for S.H.I.E.L.D. Then why didn’t Joss use my awesome final shot for The Avengers?

* Isn’t-it-pretty-to-think-so-filter: Why near-death experiences don’t constitute proof of an afterlife.

* And just in case you’re still out there in the cold: Presenting SmartSocks+: the smartest socks in the world.

Wednesday Night

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The true gloomsters are scientists who look at climate through the lens of “dynamical systems,” a mathematics that describes things that tend to change suddenly and are difficult to predict. It is the mathematics of the tipping point—the moment at which a “system” that has been changing slowly and predictably will suddenly “flip.” The colloquial example is the straw that breaks that camel’s back. Or you can also think of it as a ship that is stable until it tips too far in one direction and then capsizes. In this view, Earth’s climate is, or could soon be, ready to capsize, causing sudden, perhaps catastrophic, changes. And once it capsizes, it could be next to impossible to right it again.

* But there’s an easy solution to all this! North Carolina considers outlawing accurate predictions of sea level rise. More from Raleigh’s Scott Huler at Scientific American.

* Like any game, the woman game stops being fun when you start playing to win, especially if you’ve got no choice: Win or be ridiculed, win or become invisible, dismissed — disturbed.

* Lessig: “There is no one in the criminal justice system who believes that system works well. There is no one in housing law who believes this is what law was meant to be. In contracts, you read about disputes involving tens, maybe a hundred dollars. The disputes of ordinary people. These disputes are not for the courts any more. Or if they are, they are for courts that are an embarrassment to the ideals of justice from our tradition. The law of real people doesn’t work, even if the law of corporations does.”

People with autism appear less likely to believe in God.

FDA rules corn syrup can’t change its name.

* And Ze goes ahead and drops some knowledge.

Friday Friday Friday

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* Somebody awesomely trolled the New York state assessment exam.

* Concluding that racial bias played a significant factor in the sentencing of a man to death here 18 years ago, a judge on Friday ordered that the convict’s sentence be reduced to life in prison without parole, the first such decision under North Carolina’s controversial Racial Justice Act.

* Why, after decades of talk about the importance of a labor–environmental alliance, can’t the blues and the greens get it together?

* Americans Elect can’t get it together either (and thank heaven for that).

* “Special Effects” is the first great Ze Frank video of the “A Show” era.

* Things Don’t Seem Wonderful If You’ve Seen Them All Your Life.

* H.P. Lovecraft Answers Your Relationship Questions.

* Brian Wood teases The Massive.

* Abigail Nussbaum says The Cabin in the Woods wasted a perfectly good plot.

Once you know The Cabin in the Woods‘s twist it’s impossible not to think of the film like this, and to have used this rich vein of story for little more than a metafictional gag seems like a criminal waste.

* Science has finally perfected the sonic screwdriver.

* Zero-hour for high-speed rail in California.

* Mike Konczal and Aaron Bady talk The Wire at bloggingheads.tv.

* And there are struggles deeper than the struggle with God: The Stages of Grading.

Monday Night Links

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Tuesday Night

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* Post-Apocalyptic Book List. Awesome.

* Slavoj Žižek: The Wire, or, the Clash of Civilisations in One Country.

* Back From Yet Another Globetrotting Adventure, Indiana Jones Checks His Mail And Discovers That His Bid For Tenure Has Been Denied.

* Final Polls Say Michigan Primary as Close as Possible. Rush Limbaugh says Romney stinks, Santorum’s dirty tricks are just fine. Romney says no brokered convention. Exit polls show Romney winning the rich. McCain on the GOP primary: “This is like watching a Greek tragedy.” How they did it to themselves.

* Which persona is real? Neither. Romney’s soul isn’t in the five minutes he spent as a pro-lifer in that interview, or in the two seconds he spent as a pro-choicer. It’s in the flux, the transition between the two roles. It’s in the editing of his record, the application of his makeup, the shuffling of his rationales. Romney will always be what he needs to be. Count on it.

* Wisconsin working hard to make us feel just a little bit more welcome when we arrive this summer.

* Meanwhile, Olympia Snowe has unexpectedly retired, dealing a serious blow to Republican hopes of retaking the Senate.

* Dow Jones Closes Above 13,000 For The First Time Since May 2008; Obama-Style Communism Responsible.

* NPR says it’s going to try to be “fair to the truth” rather than report the lies of both sides equally. Blasphemy!

* Colorado looks to legalize it. Vermont’s on board.

* I was very disappointed to have actually read none of the 10 Weird Science Fiction Novels That You’ve Never Read.

* “In 1994, the Air Force proposed a magic bomb designed to turn foes into gay vampires with bad breath.”

* The New Yorker has your secret history of Mormonism.

* Ze Frank has your insanely successful Kickstarter project. Almost $100,000 in 24 hours!

* Netflix takes another big hit.

One big difference between patents and other kinds of intellectual property, like copyrights and trademarks, is that patent-holders who want to sue someone for infringement don’t have to show that their patents or their products were actually copied by the defendant.

* This conspiracy theory is pretty byzantine, but I bet it could be more byzantine: Rep. Issa Says President Obama Wants To ‘Convert’ The Constitution ‘To Some South African Constitution.’

* And your ecology minute: Will the EPA’s new climate rules get killed in court? Scientists: Global Warming Played ‘Critical Role’ In Snowpocalypse Winters. NYRoB: Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong.

Good News Everyone!

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 27, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Thursday Night Links

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* I hadn’t heard Barry Hannah died. I never met him, but he was very much at the center of the Southern U.S. MFA scene. How sad.

* Students are striking in California again today, as anyone who is Facebook friends with my friend PJ knows very well. Good luck folks.

* Should soccer ban the paradinha?

* Actually existing media bias: As if by magic, reconciliation is suddenly “controversial.”

* Apocalypse soon: Arctic seabed methane stores destabilizing, venting. Climate Progress agrees it’s time to panic.

* A link somewhere took me back to Ze Frank’s Young Me / Now Me today, and it’s still one of the most compelling sites on the Internet.

* Obama made his health care pitch to House progressives today, apparently pledging to return to the public option in the future. Raul Grijalva, who’d previously pledged to vote against the bill from the left, said he found the pitch “pretty compelling”—which is a very good sign.

* Currently watching: Tom Dowd and the Language of Music, about a research assistant on the Manhattan Project who went on to become the sound engineer and producer behind some of the best musicians of the 20th century. It’s great stuff.

Cheat Codes Won’t Save Your Soul and Other Tuesday Night Links

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* Via Vu, Buzzflash has the 50 best protest signs of 2009.

* When I first heard about Sketchy Santas, I too was skeptical. But I think you’ll agree the results speak for themselves.

* zunguzungu on the UC crisis.

…the scandal of the administration’s conduct is not the fact that they’re cutting services while raising fees, at least not in and of itself. In bad economic times, some kind of response is necessary. The scandal is that Mark Yudof and the regents are using the crisis of the moment to push forward a plan to privatize the UC system that has long been in the works and is geared to be permanent. And they are doing it by assuming “emergency powers” which allow them to arbitrarily overturn the precedents and policy that would otherwise explicitly prevent them from doing so, everything from caps on the amount that student fees can be raised to the contracts they’ve signed with university employees to the “Master Plan” for higher education that the state of California established fifty years ago. So if we want to talk about “Sacramento,” then let’s do so. But we need, then, to talk about two things: first, how the Republicans that run California through the governor’s mansion have been trying to privatize the state’s public education for a very long time, and, second, how the regents and Mark Yudof have been using the rhetoric of “crisis” to push that agenda through, bit by bit and step by step, replacing the UC’s traditional system of shared governance with a system of top-down corporate management.

* Yet another health care compromise shot down by Senate moderates. (UPDATE: Maybe not?)

* North Carolina’s constitution is clear: politicians who deny the existence of God are barred from holding office. Via MeFi.

* Harlan Ellison v. God.

* Ze v. The War in Afghanistan.

* Fox News v. basic math. More here.

* Over the past decade, oil giant Exxon Mobil has paid millions to organizations and “think tanks” in an attempt to deceive the public about the science behind global climate change. It’s no surprise that those very same organizations are now doing everything in their power to please their benefactor by drawing attention to the so-called “Climategate” scandal involving hacked emails from the University of East Anglia in England.

* Today at the Infrastructurist: How Can the U.S. End Its Oil Dependence for Good?

* Why Republicans Stopped Believing in Climate Change: “The growing skepticism among Republicans, with no matching shift among Democrats, suggests that the changes measured in this poll may be a reaction to having a Democrat in the White House rather than a shift in underlying attitudes toward global warming,” said Keating Holland, CNN polling director.

* Ted Gayer’s testimony to Congress in favor of a carbon tax. Related: Cap and Trade Won’t Work for Climate, It’s a Scam.

* Nuclear explosions since 1945. Kind of related: Maps of Jurassic Park.

Wed. Misc.

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Wednesday miscellany!

* Startling: 50% of people think women should be legally required to take their husbands’ names. Watch out, most married woman under forty I know! They’re coming for you.

* Jonathan Lethem talks to The Jewish Daily Forward about the greatness of Philip K. Dick.

* Have we reached our civilization’s tipping point? See also: why climate change is worse than we feared.

* AMC greenlights zombie series. Sounds promising. Between this and Red Mars AMC is making a strong push for my particular demographic.

* As of tonight, Microsoft can no longer sell Word.

* Another Battlestar reboot? Already? Really?

* Lesser-known editing and proofreading marks. (via)

* ‘Gathered, Not Made: A Brief History of Appropriative Writing.’

* And Ze gets philosophical.

You partake in a medical experiment. In the experiment you are given one of two pills. You don’t know which one until after you take it. One shortens your life by 10 years, and the other lengthens your life by 10 years. You have just found out which pill you took. The question is: which pill do you think will increase the quality of your life the most? Would one make you change the way you live your life more than the other?

Tuesday Miscellany

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Tuesday Miscellany.

* Sarah Palin’s controversial proposal to create a “Department of Law” with the power to block ethics claims against the president is turning a lot of heads this morning.

* I really want to read 1Q84.

* Swine flu: now more popular than Viagra.

* Steve Zissou: scientist.

* Another That Makes Me Think Of from Ze.

* We Are Wizards, a Harry Potter fandom documentary, with appearances from Brad Neely of Wizard People Dear Reader fame. (via @austinkleon)

Sunday Night Links 2

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Even more Sunday night links.

* Ev psych on the ropes? We can only dare to hope.

* MetaFilter remembers the Stonewall protests.

* Also from MetaFilter: Are we doing enough to prevent the asteroid apocalypse?

* Pawlenty says he’ll finally let Franken be seated once the state Supreme Court issues its ruling. Aren’t we moving a little fast, Tim? It’s only been eight months.

* Katrina vanden Heuvel with Steve Benen against bipartisanship.

* 3 Quarks Daily’s top science blog posts of 2009.

* And Ze Frank plays “That Makes Me Think Of” again at Time, this week about thigns that are and aren’t black and white. Can’t we get The Show back already? We keep getting closer and closer.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 29, 2009 at 3:11 am

Hard Times (with Ze Frank)

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Written by gerrycanavan

June 23, 2009 at 1:51 am

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Friday Night Links

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Friday night links.

* 45 ways of looking at the Mario Brothers. Via Kotaku.

* McSweeney’s is hiring.

* Pizza Hut is now “The Hut.” First response: How is that any better? Second response: somebody call Mel Brooks.

* Ze Frank is playing “That Makes Me Think Of” for Time Magazine. This week the video’s about Iran.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 20, 2009 at 3:00 am

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Other Links

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Other links.

* Ze Frank wants to sell you some art. Is this The Show slowly coming back?

* The fifty most-looked-up words at The New York Times website.

* Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono unite in service of “meat-free Mondays.”

* Top ten comedian Twitterers. Top ten filmmaking Twitterers. Top ten magazines on Twitter. Via Candleblog.

* How Facebook is affecting school reunions. I was remarking just this weekend that Facebook has made the high school reunion completely obsolete. (via Neil, whom Facebook has also made obsolete)

* Fans, vampires, trolls, masters: an academic bestiary.

It’s always other people who are ‘fans’: our own attachments, we like to pretend (to ourselves; others are unlikely to be convinced) have been arrived at by a properly judicious process and are not at all excessive. There’s a peculiar shame involved in admitting that one is a fan, perhaps because it involves being caught out in a fantasy-identification. ‘Maturity’ insists that we remember with hostile distaste, gentle embarrassment or sympathetic condescenscion when we were first swept up by something – when, in the first flushes of devotion, we tried to copy the style, the tone; when, that is, we are drawn into the impossible quest of trying to become what the Other is it to us. This is the only kind of ‘love’ that has real philosophical implications, the passion capable of shaking us out of sensus communis. Smirking postmodernity images the fan as the sad geekish Trekkie, pathetically, fetishistically invested in what – all good sense knows – is embarrassing trivia. But this lofty, purportedly olympian perspective is nothing but the view of the Last Man. Which isn’t to make the fatuous relativist claim that devotees of Badiou are the same as Trekkies; it is to make the point that Graham has been tirelessly reiterating – that the critique from nowhere is nothing but trolling. Trolls pride themselves on not being fans, on not having the investments shared by those occupying whatever space they are trolling. Trolls are not limited to cyberspace, although, evidently, zones of cyberspace – comments boxes and discussion boards – are particularly congenial for them. And of course the elementary Troll gesture is the disavowal of cyberspace itself. In a typical gesture of flailing impotence that nevertheless has effects – of energy-drain and demoralisation – the Troll spends a great deal of time on the web saying how debased, how unsophisticated, the web is – by contrast, we have to conclude, with the superb work routinely being turned out by ‘professionals’ in the media and the academy.

In many ways, the academic qua academic is the Troll par excellence. Postgraduate study has a propensity to breeds trolls; in the worst cases, the mode of nitpicking critique (and autocritique) required by academic training turns people into permanent trolls, trolls who troll themselves, who transform their inability to commit to any position into a virtue, a sign of their maturity (opposed, in their minds, to the allegedly infantile attachments of The Fan). But there is nothing more adolescent – in the worst way – than this posture of alleged detachment, this sneer from nowhere. For what it disavows is its own investments; an investment in always being at the edge of projects it can neither commit to nor entirely sever itself from – the worst kind of libidinal configuration, an appalling trap, an existential toxicity which ensures debilitation for all who come into contact with it (if only that in terms of time and energy wasted – the Troll above all wants to waste time, its libido involves a banal sadism, the dull malice of snatching people’s toys away from them).

Via Larval Subjects, who adds the Minotaur:

To K-Punks bestiary, I wonder if we shouldn’t add Minotaurs and their Labyrinths. One of the most frustrating things about the trollish figure of the scholar is the manner in which they proceed as minotaurs presiding over labyrinths. For the Minotaur it is never possible for there to be a genuine philosophical difference or a genuine difference in positions among philosophers. Rather, the Minotaur converts every philosophical opposition into a misinterpretation. The text(s) guarded by the Minotaur thus become a Labyrinth from which there is no escape. The Minotaur is even willing to go so far as deny explicit textual evidence to the contrary, speculating about the motives animating the Minos-Master they defend, suggesting that the thinker was either being humble or didn’t really mean such and such or that it is just a manner of speaking.

* Atheists vs. believers: who’s funnier? The answer is George Carlin.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 15, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Friday Night Links of Variable Goofiness

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Friday night links of variable goofiness.

* Ze Frank has your optical illusion of the night.

* Lateral thinking interview questions from Microsoft.

You have two jars, 50 red marbles and 50 blue marbles. A jar will be picked at random, and then a marble will be picked from the jar. Placing all of the marbles in the jars, how can you maximize the chances of a red marble being picked? What are the exact odds of getting a red marble using your scheme?

* My friend Jay explains the story behind his possession of the world’s most badass scar.

* Who ate all the Neanderthals? Oops.

* Which of our own closely held beliefs will our own children and grandchildren by appalled by?

* Also: classic sci-fi box office adjusted for inflation.

* Jacob directs our attention to the growing threat of Transforminators.

* Bo Obama, Dog Superhero.

* Wes Anderson, the YouTube Channel.

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