Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Thnksgvn Links

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* Once again, this year as every year, we give thanks.

* CFP: SFRA 2016, in Liverpool, UK.

The first space age was about politics. The second space age was about science. The third space age is about money.

How to Read Žižek on the Refugee Crisis.

The basic dynamic here is that ostensibly left-wing parties have put the right wing in the driver’s seat and have no strategy other than to denounce the very right-wing racism that their preferred policies actually stoke. The refugee article aims to unmask a similar dynamic in more radical leftist circles. Among leftist commentators, academics, and online activists as well, there is an abdication of any responsible policy-making that takes actual-existing reality into account. In its place, we find only empty rhetoric aimed at guaranteeing the speaker’s ideological purity.

* xkcd has another supersize edition. Here’s what we know so far.

* Officially outsourcing all my political commentary to John Kasich.

* Some college activists think making the movement a nationally despised joke might be a tactical mistake, but opinions still differ.

* Meanwhile! Arrests Made After Protesters Destroy Part of City Christmas Tree.

Police killings since Ferguson, in one map.

The Statue of Liberty Was Originally a Muslim Woman.

* Teach the controversy: Life on Mars was ‘destroyed by nuclear attack’, says physicist – and we could be next.

Baba Yaga’s Guide To Feminism.

* The Fragile Framework: Can Nations Unite to Save Earth’s Climate? Spoiler alert: I have some terrible news.

* Disability and science fiction fandom.

Jessica Jones is a Primer on Gaslighting, and How to Protect Yourself Against It. How Jessica JonesAbsorbed the Anxieties of Gamergate.

Internet trolls have learned to exploit our over-militarized police. It’s a crime that’s hard to stop — and hard to prosecute.

Kinsey Was Wrong: Sexuality Isn’t Fluid.

* How Chicago Tries to Cover Up a Police Execution.

* Against Ta-Nehisi Coates?

In a Crazy Turn of Events, Viral Sensation “Phuc Dat Bich” Says It Was All a Hoax. Is nothing sacred?

* Neil Blomkamp wants to fix the biggest mistake in the Aliens franchise: the death of Newt.

* The law, in its majestic equality, permits rich and poor alike to sleep outside.

Every Hint and Clue Hidden in the Captain America: Civil War Trailer.

* And today in data visualization: The Magnificent Bears of the Glorious Nation of Finland.


Tuesday Links!

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* CLIR-DLF Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for Medieval Studies at UWM.

* By characterizing millennials as lifestyle innovators, the class that owns the media can rebrand living with less as a cool trend for the kids.

David Bowie’s New Video Is 10 Minutes of Sci-Fi Creep.

Mœbius & Jodorowsky’s Sci-Fi Masterpiece, The Incal, Brought to Life in a Tantalizing Animation.

Why science fiction matters to life in the post colony.

* MTA: kind of overdoing a bit, don’t you think?

* A people’s history of yoga. But maybe this story isn’t being reported properly.

* A brief history of suicide.

* From the Wisconsin files: Teen dressed as clown raises concerns in Waukesha.

OK, it’s out of control now. When a major-party presidential frontrunner says this kind of bone-chilling stuff, the joke is over. Friends, I have some terrible news. Trump Tweeted Fabricated Murder Stats From A Neo-Nazi And This Is How The Media Reported It. The media has no idea how to deal with Donald Trump’s constant lying. PS: Trump Built a Monument to a Fake Civil War Battle on His Golf Course. This is all burying the lede, though: Donald Trump has superpowers.

Five people shot near Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis.

Pakistanis target drones with giant posters of child victims.

* Thomas Jefferson is next. I’m amazed he’s emerged unscathed thus far.

* How to escape a dying universe.

* Seems legit: The US Government is Being Sued for Losing a Critical JFK Assassination Film.

Yet no group is more impressed with Edward Snowden than American college students. Even skeptical or indifferent students change their opinions of him when they hear him speak — by Skype — in packed college auditoriums.  

* And the new MST3K is trying really hard to be good. I agree with the commenter who suggested that she should have the Joel/Mike role — and Jonah Ray would be better off as the Mad…

Mondayish Reading

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In the past five years, public universities pumped more than $10.3 billion in mandatory student fees and other subsidies into their sports programs, according to an examination by The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Huffington Post. The review included an inflation-adjusted analysis of financial reports provided to the NCAA by 201 public universities competing in Division I, information that was obtained through public-records requests. The average athletic subsidy that these colleges and their students have paid to their athletic departments increased 16 percent during that time. Student fees, which accounted for nearly half of all subsidies, increased by 10 percent.

Gender Bias in Academe: An Annotated Bibliography of Important Recent Studies.

TV archive discovers couple who beat Kirk and Uhura to first interracial kiss.

* Marquette is hiring a sustainability coordinator.

* “Why I’m Teaching a Netflix Class.”

* What Do You Have to Make in a Year to be in the Top 1% of Your State?

* Videogames without Players.

The Death and Life of Simulated Cities.

You could call it Rahm’s revenge—the whole point of passing a more ambitious, more politically risky version of Obamacare was to get enough healthy people to buy coverage, and that’s exactly what hasn’t been happening.

Anti-proliferation advocates have accused U.S. officials of disguising the fact that they have built a new weapon, breaking President Obama’s promise not to construct new nuclear bombs.

Syracuse thought that by building a giant highway in the middle of town it could become an economic powerhouse. Instead, it got a bad bout of white flight and the worst slum problem in America. How to Decimate a City.

* On science fiction and post-scarcity economics.

20130126* I suppose I’ve always been ahead of the curve.

Junot Díaz talk discusses social activism in academia.

* To be sure, anger over Western policies is among the drivers of recruitment for groups like IS, but IS is not a purely reactive organisation: it is a millenarian movement with a distinctly apocalyptic agenda. As Elias Sanbar, a Palestinian diplomat in Paris, points out, ‘One of the most striking things about Islamic State is that it has no demands. All the movements we’ve known, from the Vietcong to the FLN to the Palestinians, had demands: if the occupation ends, if we get independence, the war ends. But Daesh’s project is to eliminate the frontiers of Sykes-Picot. It’s like the Biblical revisionism of the settlers, who invent a history that never existed.’

Penn State Cancels Recreational Class Trips To NYC & DC Due To “Safety Concerns.”

* Star Wars, before the EU. Alan Moore’s Star Wars. Hang the Jedi.

* A brief history of judicial dissent.

* On Woodrow Wilson. Wilson’s racism wasn’t the matter of a few unfortunate remarks here or there. It was a core part of his political identity, as indicated both by his anti-black policies as president and by his writings before taking office. It is completely accurate to describe him as a racist and white supremacist and condemn him accordingly.

The people in these communities who are voting Republican in larger proportions are those who are a notch or two up the economic ladder — the sheriff’s deputy, the teacher, the highway worker, the motel clerk, the gas station owner and the coal miner. And their growing allegiance to the Republicans is, in part, a reaction against what they perceive, among those below them on the economic ladder, as a growing dependency on the safety net, the most visible manifestation of downward mobility in their declining towns.

Meet the outsider who accidentally solved chronic homelessness.

What was it like to be a Nintendo game play counselor?

* Antonin Scalia, fraud, part 87.

* The rich are better.

* The struggle is real.

* They live, weesa sleep.

* The rise of “white student unions.” They’re probably fake.

Use of High-Tech Brooms Divides Low-Tech Sport of Curling.

* When administrations co-opt student movements, Duke edition. Also at Duke: debate over continuation fees.

* CNN, still the worst, forever and ever amen.

* Trump has aggressively weaponized the ability of right-wing politicians to lie with impunity. Though you always wonder if there’s still some limit after all.

* The further I get into my thirties, the more depressed I become.

* Women in Hollywood.

* Music stops, everybody switch positions on free speech.

Colbert Drops to 3rd Place Behind Kimmel as New Poll Shows CBS Host Alienating Audiences. I’ve never understood CBS’s plan here.

* English is not normal.

* The McDonaldization of Medicine.

* The Unholy Alchemy behind Cheetos.

* Come along, Susan.

* Super-excited to trust my kids to the wisdom of the public school system.

In the first majority-Muslim U.S. city, residents tense about its future.

‘Hunger Games’ Box Office: Why $101M Weekend For ‘Mockingjay 2’ May Be Cause For Despair.

A “lost” James Bond movie written by Peter Morgan, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Frost/Nixon and The Queen, would have seen Daniel Craig’s 007 forced to kill Judi Dench’s spymaster M in a shock finale, according to a new book.

* Required classes, y’all.

* The tech economy, still a bad joke.

All U.S. Lab Chimps Are Finally Going To Paradise: A Retirement Home in the South Somewhere.

* Enjoy it while it lasts: Coffee’s good for you again.

* Elsewhere in science facts that are definitely going to hold up forever and ever: Scientists Say Psychopathic People Really Like Bitter Food.

* SyFy wants a Black Mirror too. Syfy is Releasing a Film, De-Rebranding, and Becoming Super Interesting.

* What crime is the founding of a bank, compared to the founding of a police department?

* But just in case you had any ideas that this wasn’t going to be a super-depressing list: Antibiotic resistance: World on cusp of ‘post-antibiotic era.’


Written by gerrycanavan

November 23, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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No, *These* Are the Weekend Links

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Weekend Links!

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* Coming round again soon: The Marquette/UWM Graduate Student Humanities Conference.

* June 18, 1947.

NIH to Cease Use of Chimpanzees in Research. SeaWorld to end orca shows in San Diego.

Is it Ethical to Colonize Mars? And more!

* People have been claiming to own the moon for 250 years.

* The New Utopians.

Kim Stanley Robinson – Rethinking Our Relationship to the Biosphere. Our Generation Ships Will Sink.

Translating Gender: Ancillary Justice in Five Languages.

* The 7 deadly sins of world-building.

5 Must See Sci-Fi Films From Indigenous Filmmakers.

World Fantasy Award To Abandon Lovecraft Bust.

* Conor Friedersdorf close-reads the videos from Mizzou. The power of the strike. Tressie McMillan Cottam vs. David Simon.

UNC Fires Two More in Scandal Over Sham Courses.

In a major shift for California community colleges, the system’s Board of Governors voted Monday to oust the controversial accrediting commission that has overseen campus quality for half a century and is threatening to shut down City College of San Francisco.

Justice Department could do two-year review of Milwaukee police.

Many Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All but Useless.

Working with the conservative estimate that vampires only need to feed once a month, Efthimiou and Gandhi looked at population stats and concluded that vampires would eliminate humans within three years.

Explaining Your Math: Unnecessary at Best, Encumbering at Worst.

Michael Bérubé on Humans, Superheroes, Mutants, and People with Disabilities at TEDxPSU.

A Six-Figure Settlement on Campus Free Speech. What’s Salaita’s Six-Figure Settlement Really Worth? And while I don’t have a crystal ball, I’d be surprised if any university ever tried to pull this kind of stunt again. I’ll take that bet, alas.

What Open-Access Publishing Actually Costs.

White People Explain Why They Feel Oppressed.

The University of Nowhere: The False Promise of “Disruption.”

* I suppose musicalization comes for all of us in its time.

Parents Have Been Requesting Star Wars Toys for Their Daughters For Decades.

* Kierna Shipka ranks the Bobby Drapers.

* Tolkien criticism today. A reply.

Earth’s climate entering new ‘permanent reality’ as CO2 hits new high.

* Goodbye, Phobos.

* Maglev! Maglev! Maglev!

* Can the Muppet speak? Jim Henson’s Newly Discovered Journal Reveals The Muppets’ Fascinating Backstory.

* You won’t live to see the final Star Wars movie.

* Teach the controversy: Is BB-8 a boy or a girl?

An Oral History of the Nerdier Half of Freaks and Geeks.

John Malkovich and Robert Rodriguez Have Made A Movie No One Will See For 100 Years.

Now that New Jersey’s law has been signed, there are still ten states in which bestiality has not been outlawed.

Anne Frank Foundation claims father was “co-author,” extends copyright by decades.

The Last Child Soldier: “Beasts of No Nation” and the Child-Soldier Narrative.

* Ready for Hillary! The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.

Watch Elmo give Julia Louis-Dreyfus a hard time for cursing on Sesame Street.

* This is a serious political debate that actually happened: Ben Carson would not abort baby Hitler. Jeb Bush: ‘Hell Yeah, I Would’ Kill Baby Hitler.

* And some bad news for my particular demographic: Warped sense of humour ‘can be early sign of dementia.’

Written by gerrycanavan

November 19, 2015 at 8:47 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Reading® for Sunday™

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* From the archives: Vonnegut on hearing the voice of God on Armistice Day. Image from @watsdn.


Hello, I’m Mr. Null. My Name Makes Me Invisible to Computers.

Diversity Is Magic: A Roundtable on Children’s Literature and Speculative Fiction.

The Humanities Must Unite or Die. “And.”

* Gasp: High Pay for Presidents Is Not Shown to Yield Any Fund-Raising Payoff.

Novelist Marilynne Robinson warns Stanford audience against utilitarian trends in higher education.

* English departments and original sin, continued.

Campus Cops: Authority Without Accountability.

* The seasons come, the seasons go, / The earth is green or white with snow, / But time and change shall naught avail / To break the friendships formed at Yale.

Academic Journals: The Most Profitable Obsolete Technology in History.

Academic CVs: 10 irritating mistakes.

So You’re Getting a Ph.D.: Welcome to the worst job market in America.

A mind-bending, award-winning science fiction trilogy that expertly investigates the way we live now. I’m quite late, but I’ve been looking forward to reading these. Perhaps I’ll start tonight!

“My beef with Hillary is mainly that she is an enemy of the poor.”

Chile admits Pablo Neruda might have been murdered by Pinochet regime.

The life and slow death of a former Pennsylvania steel town.

* ‘I’m praying for you’: MSF posts grim details from Afghan hospital strike. U.S. Journalists Who Instantly Exonerated Their Government of the Kunduz Hospital Attack, Declaring it an “Accident.”

Kinder Without God: Kids Who Grow Up In A Religious Home Less Altruistic Than Those Without Religion. Relatedly: Atheism contain multitudes.

As it turns out, the non-profit co-op model for health insurance turns out to be unsustainable without government subsidies. More than half of the co-ops have been shut down this year, and nine of the 12 have shut down since October 1, either by HHS or by the states in which they operate.

Middle-Aged White Americans Are Dying of Despair.

* Welcome to Heaven.

Critical Algorithm Studies: A Reading List.

The man who killed the SAT essay.

* Politics is really confusing.

“We are excited to reward the Larry David with $5,000 cash for ‘standing up’ to Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live and speaking the truth about his anti-Latino racism, even though he was joking,” Deport Racism campaign director Luke Montgomery said in the statement.

* The Keystone defeat. Happy version. Unhappy version.

* Apocalypse watch: The Future of Climate Change Is Widespread Civil War.

* How did this ever get out of beta to begin with? Elon Musk Admits Humans Can’t Be Trusted with Tesla’s Autopilot Feature.

* And Sorry, Alien Hunters: No Signs of Life From KIC 8462852. I want to believe! Also this is aliens too.



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Science Fiction Film and Television invites reviews of recent SF film and television (roughly speaking, late 2014-2015). Possible available titles might include Project Almanac, Big Hero Six, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Jurassic World, Jupiter Ascending, Self/Less, Mad Max: Fury Road, Chappie, Humans, Mr. Robot, The Martian, Sense8, or The Flash.

Science Fiction Film and Television also accepts proposals for reviews of edited collections and academic monographs, as well as selected mass-market or fan-oriented material related to SF series.

Interested reviewers should contact Gerry Canavan at to request or pitch a particular title; first-time reviewers for SFFTV should also include a brief CV.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 5, 2015 at 4:35 pm


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