All the Weekend Links!
* The Marquette Interchange is an engineering marvel, a steel and concrete symphony of girders and flyovers at the edge of downtown Milwaukee, harmonizing traffic from three intersecting interstates with 29 bridges and 200,000 tons of asphalt. It looks like a wheat-and-blue roller coaster sculpted by a surrealist, one of those loop-de-loop highway hells where tourists are always getting lost in New Yorker cartoons. It’s basically a 21st-century vehicle distribution system the size of a city neighborhood, financed by $800 million from state and federal taxpayers.
* And speaking of Marquette: Marquette English will be hiring three tenure-track professors next year, two in rhet-comp and the third in Anglophone transnational literatures.
* Rather than claiming academic freedom, tenure and fair governance as a special perk of our unique standing, we should hold them out as the general economic and social justice virtues that they are. Faculty have models of collaborative self-governance that we now rarely bother to develop, that we have allowed to serve an ever-smaller share of our colleagues, that are not taken seriously by many administrations, but that are designed to allow both intellectual originality and decent, honorable workplaces. Faculty must now model how shared governance, if spread to other workplaces, would improve society as a whole. And we are going to have to do it soon.
* The University of Toledo is starting the nation’s first full undergraduate major in disability studies, an interdisciplinary field that already has considerable scholarly interest and graduate options.
* Radiation. Government conspiracy. Mass hysteria. There are plenty of theories as to why the residents of a tiny Kazakh mining region keep falling asleep for days at a time, but no answers. BuzzFeed News spends a week there and tries to stay awake.
* The poem of forever: “Pluto Shits on the Universe.”
* Hackers remotely kill a Jeep on the highway. Enjoy your self-driving cars, folks!
* Libertarian-leaning Republican Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a supporter of the Free-Range Kids movement, has proposed groundbreaking federal legislation to protect the rights of kids who want to walk to school on their own.
* What might have been: Michael Jackson wanted to play Jar Jar in The Phantom Menace.
* Hogan goes down. Free advice: maybe don’t sue Gawker for a bazillion dollars if you’ve got something like this in the back of your closet.
* Life on the tenure track: When to say yes, when to say no.
* Whoever was after the Sub-Mariners and All Star Comics at the Heritage Auction wasn’t a collector. Their bids were too erratic, they didn’t know the market, and chances were, they weren’t terribly smart. It was also clear that they had a lot of money on their hands — too much money, maybe — and they were eager to spend it. Through months of interviews and hundreds of pages of public documents, The Verge reconstructed what they were seeing: a multi-million-dollar embezzlement scheme that would ensnare a crooked lawyer, a multinational corporation, and some of the most sought-out comics in the world.
* Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal explains politics. That’s about all there is to it, yeah.
* I WANT TO BELIEVE: Milwaukee mountain lion sighting could be true.
* And paging William Gibson: Senators Want to “Blow ISIS Out of the Water” with “Fancy Memes.”