Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Tuesday Night!

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* This is probably the most American thing that has ever happened: A 70-year-old woman employed by the same court for more than 34 years was fired just nine months before her scheduled retirement, for helping an inmate obtain a DNA test that led to his exoneration.

The System Isn’t Broken, It Was Designed That Way: A Critical Analysis of Historical Racial Disadvantage in the Criminal Justice System.

* A people’s history of Oregon Trail.

Harlan Ellison Isn’t Dead Yet.

* North Carolina Ends Teacher Tenure.

Emissions From North Dakota Flaring (Visible from Space) Equivalent To One Million Cars Per Year.

* If McDonald’s doubled workers’ pay, your Big Mac would cost 68 cents more.

* The Sexy Lamp Test: When the Bechdel Test Is Too Much To Ask.

* Did I do this one already? Grad Students Are Ruining Everything.

Which brings me to the second intersection: Universities are saving a ton of money in this arrangement. Good jobs with health insurance and a decent salary are being replaced by grad students who are desperate to stand out in a competitive marketplace. Our own job descriptions are so vague (if they exist on paper at all) and our employment so tenuous (its common to not know if or how much you’ll get paid from semester to semester) that you can convince us to do just about anything: we’ll work 60, 80, maybe 100 hours a week on things that amount to maybe one line on a CV and another soon-to-be outdated software fluency skill. This is time that could be spent on a second job (if you’re contract lets you even do that) that might supplement your paltry living stipend. A grad student might need the money for all of the supplies and services that she’ll need to buy upfront on her credit card while she waits a few weeks or months for her reimbursement. Or maybe a grad student just needs to buy a new computer, something that every other white-collar corporate job would have waiting for you at your desk. Or $400-worth of books because your cash-strapped library hasn’t procured a recent title in your field since 2007.

* And MetaFilter perfects mansplaining as a bunch of dudes without kids hector poor moms about how to manage their diaper needs. Stay for the breastfeeding hectoring!

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