Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Archive for the ‘Look at what I found on the Internet’ Category

Good Morning, It’s the Weekend

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3055253-inline-batmansoundsa-z* Teach the controversy: are students cuddly little bunnies to be drowned, or shot with Glocks? This story is actually worse than even the original reporting indicated.

I’ve argued here before (I think) that probably the greatest thing for-profit colleges could do to scrub the designation “for-profit” of its negative connotation is to win a few sportsball championships. That’s how traditional not-for-profit colleges did it. There was a time when the idea of a residential college for wealthy young men was considered very strange (and also very effeminate). College sports “butched” up college and it also gave the millions who would never in a million years qualify for admission a fictive relationship with a system that is, by design, unequal. Sportsball and For-Profit Legitimacy.

The Grand Jury in the Tamir Rice Case May Not Have Taken a Vote on Charges.

* Salary cuts, layoffs at ISIS. Meanwhile, incredible if true accusations from the FBI against a Kent State professor.

* Planet Nine.

* David Bowie and the Anthropocene.

Making a Murderer’s creators have finally responded to criticisms of missing evidence.

A French Communist Utopia in Texas.

* Jesuit adjunctivitis.

* Saying “no” at Oberlin.

* Medieval robots.

* Liberalism and eugenics.

Swedish TV Accidentally Runs Kids’ Show Subtitles On A Political Debate.

The Big Search to Find Out Where Dogs Come From.

* Coates v. Sanders. Killer Mike vs. Coates. Guthrie v. Trump (Sr.). Meanwhile: Democrats in disarray!

Bloomberg wants to save everyone from Trump. But a lot of people don’t know who he is.

* Four tendencies in liberalism.

How One Man Tried to Write Women Out of CRISPR, the Biggest Biotech Innovation in Decades.

* Counterpoint: Harley Quinn is an insanely flawed character almost impossible to reconcile with feminist norms.

Forget Schrödinger’s Cat: The Latest Quantum Puzzle Is About Three Pigeons in Two Holes.

Alexander Litvinenko: the man who solved his own murder.

Chess forbidden in Islam, rules Saudi mufti, but issue not black and white. This part of the history of games I always find fascinating.

* It’s called anthroponuclear multiple worlds theory, and it’s basically my actual cosmology.

* The singular “they” is your word of the year. A chronology of early nonbinary pronouns. A little more. Bring back he’er, him’er, his’er.

* When DoD paid Duke U $335K to investigate ESP in dogs. But more research is required.

* Virtual reality porn, the god that failed.

* Concept art for Episode 8 (not really). At least it might help tide you over.

* What if not having a beard is nonhygenic? Checkmate.

Plastic to outweigh fish in oceans by 2050, study warns. Meanwhile, the same headline they run every January, just with all the numbers incremented by one.

* Twilight of De Niro. AND BEYOND.

* The end of parking.

* Sold in the room: Orphan Black Writer Making Time-Travel Movie For Netflix.

* A Brief History of Jumbo.

* Good luck, East Coast!

And it’s possible that there is a “mirror universe” where time moves backwards, say scientists. Of course the poets always knew.

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 22, 2016 at 8:30 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links!

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* Call for Papers, UWM/Marquette Graduate Student Humanities Conference: “Conflict and Liberation.”

* Call for Papers: Posthuman Futures.

* Your SF short film of the week: “Stealing Time.”

Fifty years ago today, the United States of America dropped four nuclear bombs on Spain. It was an accident.

Fail safe systems in the weapons mostly worked

Uh, mostly?

and none of the four bombs experienced a nuclear reaction upon impact, sparing the region and its hundreds of inhabitants from multiple nuclear blasts that would’ve dwarfed the explosion over Hiroshima. “Only a fortunate stroke of luck saved the Spanish population of the area from catastrophe,” a Soviet official said at the time.

well that’s good

But the conventional high explosives on two of the bombs did detonate, essentially turning those weapons into dirty bombs that blasted plutonium radiation across the countryside.

oh

Democracy, Disposability, and the Flint Water Crisis.

Local, regional, and state governments are removing the basic, infrastructural supports that are necessary for the reproduction of life. As a consequence, residents of cities like Flint and Detroit, in particular black and immigrant populations, have been subjected to increasing vulnerability in forms like declining life expectancy and appalling infant mortality. “Disposability” and “surplus population” sound like abstract concepts, but they’re a tangible, visceral reality for folks on the ground in Flint. “We’re like disposable people here,” one resident told the Toronto Star the other day. “We’re not even human here, I guess.”

Detroit’s Teachers Want You to See These Disturbing Photos of Their Toxic Schools.

The Color of Surveillance: What an infamous abuse of power teaches us about the modern spy era.

This is the exam from a class that MLK taught at Morehouse in the early 1960s.

* So you want to read Infinite Jest.

These 11 laws are what keep space from becoming the wild west.

America’s Other Original Sin.

How the shining architectural optimism of the 1960s and 70s has ultimately produced buildings such as supermarkets, open-plan offices and other spaces of control.

The rising death rates for those young white adults, ages 25 to 34, make them the first generation since the Vietnam War years of the mid-1960s to experience higher death rates in early adulthood than the generation that preceded it.

Even Insured Can Face Crushing Medical Debt, Study Finds. ‘I Am Drowning.’ The Voices of People With Medical Debt.

* The Nation: Bernie Sanders for President.

* And in anti-endorsements: Sanders and Reparations. Rejecting Bourgeois Feminism.

When I was younger, someone took a knife to my clitoris and cut out a small but significant part of me. I blamed my mother. I despised her. I loved her.

* Jay Edidin on his recent top surgery.

The University of Victoria, in Canada, has announced the establishment of what it says is the world’s first endowed chair in transgender studies.

* HBO to air the rarely seen Godfather Epic cutting Parts I and II together.

Tennis match fixing: Evidence of suspected match-fixing revealed.

“Someone in Florida had made a second-mortgage loan to O.J. Simpson, and I just about blew my top, because there was this huge judgment against him from his wife’s parents,” she recalled. Simpson had been acquitted of killing his wife Nicole and her friend but was later found liable for their deaths in a civil lawsuit; that judgment took precedence over other debts, such as if Simpson defaulted on his WaMu loan.

“When I asked how we could possibly foreclose on it, they said there was a letter in the file from O.J. Simpson saying ‘the judgment is no good, because I didn’t do it.’”

* “The One Weird Trait That Predicts Whether You’re a Trump Supporter.” Weird! Kooky! Zany!

* After Oil.

* Sick Woman Theory.

* “In Oklahoma, now the country’s earthquake capital…”

Steven Moffat reveals the BBC almost canceled Doctor Who in 2009.

z5mqhmi8jqzlpvapzgrmYoung People Used These Absurd Little Cards to Get Laid in the 19th Century.

Shocking study reveals physics teachers give girls lower grades than boys – for the exact same answers.

A major new finding about the impact of having a dad who was drafted to Vietnam.

Former Nazi Medical Orderly to Stand Trial for Deaths of 3,681 People at Auschwitz.

* Writing is hard: “Shut up, Wesley!” did irreparable damage to Wesley Crusher’s role in TNG.

* WHAT YEAR IS IT

* Unbreakable! They alive, damnit!

Why Is Sperm So Damn Expensive?

A 120,000-Piece Lego Model of the Titanic Breaking in Half.

The Illegitimacy of Aragorn’s Claim to the Throne.

Given that the Númenoreans ruined their civilization to the point that it was personally destroyed by God Himself, the Gondorrim probably shouldn’t have been so quick to crown a long-lived, pure-blooded Númenorean like Aragorn. They’d probably have been better off elevating Pippin Took to the throne. Hobbits at least dally with the good things in life: hearty food, heady ales, fireworks, and weed.

* I don’t know why I’ll watch basically anything involving Pee Wee Herman, but.

* ‘Man flu’ is real. I’m taking the month off.

Synergy killed the Fantastic Four.

The Weird Way That Standing (Not Walking) on Escalators Helps Move People More Quickly.

* Race and gifted and talented programs.

* News you can use from the Financial Post: Here’s how to crush student activists once they become your employee.

* The genetic breakthrough that could change humanity, explained.

Is it still possible to get away with a heist?

* And for real though this is aliens.

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 20, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Remember, Sunday Is Procrastination Day, Always Procrastinate Safely

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* CFP: The Science Fiction Research Association Annual Conference, June 2016, Liverpool, England. I’ll be there, talking in some way or another about the world of the great Wisconsin SF writer Clifford D. Simak.

* CFP: In More’s Footsteps: Utopia and Science Fiction.

* #altac: Seattle to pay poet to live in a bridge.

The poet cannot actually live in the bridge… the room where the “living” would take place is not well heated and there is no running water.

* The very weird Dem primary is really heating up. Face It: A Vote for Hillary Clinton Is a Vote for War. That Clinton hasn’t easily put away Sanders should be very worrying for the people assuming she can defeat anyone the Republicans put up.

* Elsewhere on the 2016 election beat.

2007 is when the human species accidentally invented telepathy (via the fusion of twitter, facebook, and other disclosure-induction social media with always-connected handheld internet devices). Telepathy, unfortunately, turns out to not be all about elevated Apollonian abstract intellectualism: it’s an emotion amplifier and taps into the most toxic wellsprings of the subconscious. As implemented, it brings out the worst in us. Twitter and Facebook et al are fine-tuned to turn us all into car-crash rubberneckers and public execution spectators. It can be used for good, but more often it drags us down into the dim-witted, outraged weltanschauung of the mob.

* Kylo Ren, undercover boss.

How These 5 Famous Billionaires Are Dismantling Black Public Schools.

NASA Has Opened a Planetary Defense Office to Protect Earth from Cosmic Collisions.

* The New Marvel Universe and Afrofuturism.

* I think I’d rather it was Hellcat, but I’ll take it.

* Springsteen covers “Rebel, Rebel.” Returning a favor, as he says in the video: The real find for that link is probably the Bowie cover of “It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City.”

* And another one I fear I may have done before: The Soviet Hobbit (1976).

hobbit-1

Weekend Links! Piping Hot!

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* Don’t forget! The deadline for the SFFTV special issue on the Mad Max franchise is February 1.

* The local beat! The day Milwaukee almost killed the NFL.

Expert says Michigan officials changed a Flint lead report to avoid federal action. Bernie calls on Snyder to resign. This is how toxic Flint’s water really is.

* A Bonus Keyword for the Age of Austerity this week: Meritocracy.

* The end of Al Jazeera America.

NYPD Demands a Mere $36,000 “Copying Fee” for Access to Cops’ Body Cam Footage.

* I don’t want to tell anyone how to do their jobs, but this seems sacrilegious to me.

What a time to be alive.

* Lotteryville, USA.

* Rickman, Bowie, and class mobility.

* David Bowie, Nazi.

* Teach the controversy: thebeatlesneverexisted.com

* The latest from KSR: What Will It Take for Humans to Colonize the Milky Way?

* The game’s afoot! Something Is Killing Off America’s Orange Supply.

The incredible tale of irresponsible chocolate milk research at the University of Maryland.

* A genetic map of the UK.

* Race and the NCAA.

Girl Suspended for 30 Days Because She Lent Her Inhaler to a Gasping Classmate.

* Throw a save against narcissistic self-regard: “Role-playing Gamers Have More Empathy Than Non-Gamers.”

Retired Art Teacher Leaves $1.7 Million to the Detroit Institute of Arts.

* Lead and crime, part 83.

* Immediately greenlit.

* 2016 pessimism watch: Democrats are in more trouble than they think. And changing demographics won’t save them.

For most of human history, the stars told us where we were in space and time. Have we forgotten how to look up?

* My people? 0.0% of Icelanders 25 years or younger believe God created the world, new poll reveals.

* Forever reTumblr.

* And “Late stage capitalism” is the new “Christ, what an asshole.”

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New Course for Spring 2016: “The Lives of Animals”

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Here’s the syllabus for my English research capstone course this semester, titled “The Lives of Animals.” As you can see from the last pages of the syllabus, this course is going to be developed collaboratively with the students, so the post-spring-break units are currently undefined. But here’s the schedule for the first half:

T Jan. 19 FIRST DAY OF CLASS
Th Jan. 21 The Book of Genesis, chapters 1-9 [online]

Post-Spring-Break Discussion

T Jan. 26 Aristotle, “The History of Animals” [AR]

Boria Sax, “Animals as Tradition” [AR]

Post-Spring-Break Discussion Continues

Th Jan. 28 Charles Darwin, The Descent or Origin of Man, Chapter 1 [online]

Jared Diamond, The Third Chimpanzee, excerpts [D2L]

Post-Spring-Break Discussion, Final Decisions

T Feb. 2 Franz Kafka, “A Report to an Academy”
Th Feb. 4 Michael Shermer, The Mind of the Market, Chapter 6 [online]

Will Wiles, “The Behavioral Sink” [online]

Personal Statement Due

T Feb. 9 Franz Kafka, “The Metamorphosis”
Th Feb. 11 Franz Kafka, “Jackals and Arabs”

Clinton R. Sanders and Arnold Arluke, “Speaking for Dogs” [AR]

T Feb. 16 Jeremy Bentham, “Principles of Morals and Legislation” [AR]

Peter Singer, “Animal Liberation or Animal Rights?” [AR]

Martha Nussbaum, “The Moral Status of Animals” [AR]

Th Feb. 18 J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals (part one)
T Feb. 23 J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals (part two)
Th Feb. 25 J.M Coetzee, The Lives of Animals (Garber, Singer, Doniger, Smuts)
T Mar. 1 Coral Lansbury, “The Brown Dog Riots of 1907” [AR]

Lynda Birke, “Into the Laboratory” [AR]

Th Mar. 3 Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Parts One and Two)
T Mar. 8 Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Part Three)
Th Mar. 10 Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Part Four)
T Mar. 15 Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (whole book)

FINAL PAPER—ELEVATOR PITCH DUE ON D2L

     

POST-SPRING-BREAK SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE

WEEKS 10-11 (MARCH 29-APRIL 7): STUDENT-DEVELOPED UNIT #1!

WEEKS 12-13 (APRIL 12-APRIL 21): STUDENT-DEVELOPED UNIT #2!

WEEKS 14-15 (APRIL 26-MAY 5): GROUP PRESENTATIONS!

THURSDAY, MAY 12: FINAL PAPER DUE VIA D2L DROPBOX BY 10 AM!

My other course is my always-very-fun “Magic as Literature” course, which has barely changed from last year except for a little bit of extra time allocated to speculating about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child…

Getting into the Real Good Procrastination Now Links

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* Bush-era flashback and general-election-2016 flashforward, courtesy of Chris Hayes: George Saunders’s The Braindead Megaphone.

* Today in stadium boondoggles: St. Louis has stadium debt, but doesn’t have a team.

* An ecological argument sure to catch fire: What we can do is learn to offer each other patience, compassion, courage, and love. We can learn to accept that just as every human life has its natural end, so too does every civilization. Contrary to what Purdy argues, we don’t need more politics. We need more hospice. We need to learn how to die.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. While neoliberal capitalism has been remarkably successful at laying claim to the future, it used to belong to the left — to the party of utopia. Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams’s Inventing the Future argues that the contemporary left must revive its historically central mission of imaginative engagement with futurity. It must refuse the all-too-easy trap of dismissing visions of technological and social progress as neoliberal fantasies. It must seize the contemporary moment of increasing technological sophistication to demand a post-scarcity future where people are no longer obliged to be workers; where production and distribution are democratically delegated to a largely automated infrastructure; where people are free to fish in the afternoon and criticize after dinner. It must combine a utopian imagination with the patient organizational work necessary to wrest the future from the clutches of hegemonic neoliberalism.

tumblr_nzx16hOyNR1qap9gno1_500* Eugene V. Debs, accelerationist.

Keep your scythe, the real green future is high-tech, democratic, and radical.

Inside the Police-Industrial Complex.

* Sesame Street has heard your gentrification jokes, and they have decided they are really into it.

* From my friend James Tate Hill: On Being a Writer Who Can’t Read.

* On the Run on trial.

* Keywords for the Age of Austerity 25: Competencies.

Before I Can Fix This Tractor, We Have to Fix Copyright Law.

* Relax, nerds: It Turns Out the Next Game of Thrones Book Isn’t Late at All.

* The Joyful, Illiterate Kindergartners of Finland. A counterpoint.

* My favorite little bit of fan fiction/overthinking from The Force Awakens, I think. Elsewhere on the Star Wars front: The 13 Most Nonsensical Theories About The Identity of Supreme Leader Snoke.

* The end of Mad Max?

MST3K is that for me. It saved my life, at least twice.

* An interview with Ahmed Best. From the archives.

* Successful squirrel cyber attacks as of January 2016.

Angry Militia Leader: Stop Mailing Us Dildos.

* Life in Wisconsin: Was it a ‘frostquake’ or an Air Force sonic boom? And then there’s the education beat.

* If left-liberal people don’t stop embarrassing themselves with this Ted Cruz eligibility stuff I might vote for Cruz in protest. Okay, no, but seriously this is embarrassing.

More Than Half of Americans Reportedly Have Less Than $1,000 to Their Name.

This Professor Fell In Love With His Grad Student — Then Fired Her For It. And you’ll never guess what Caltech did next!

* I’m considered adding a running closer to these link posts that’s just headlines from the day’s Journal-Sentinel that amuse me. Today, that’s Shorewood man pursues insanity defense in voter fraud case.

* But for now, nothing gold can stay: Mysterious Wow! Signal Came From Comets, Not Aliens, Claims Scientist.

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Tuesday Links!

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tumblr_o0srg60t1q1romv9co1_500* Jack Hamilton on “Under Pressure.” When Bowie Met Springsteen. David Bowie’s Radicalism. The International Marxist Group, “In Defense of Bowie.” A Good Looking Mugshot. David Bowie’s 100 Favorite Books. David Bowie’s Dark Past. Last Words. The Longreads. Almost Elrond. “Will Brooker is studying David Bowie by trying to live like him for a year.” We Won’t See His Like Again.

* MLA is dead; long live MLA.

* Selling the English major.

* Selling out the faculty.

Between 2009 and 2013, public universities reported increasing their annual expenditures on football to more than $1.8 billion — a 21 percent jump in inflation-adjusted dollars, according to Knight Commissiondata reviewed by International Business Times. In that same time period, public universities’ reported debt on their athletic facilities has grown to $7.7 billion — up 44 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars in that time. In all, two thirds of Division I public universities increased their spending on football or athletic facilities in that time period — when average tuition and student fees at public universities have risen more than 40 percent in the last decade. The payoff for all that investment? Nearly three quarters of all Division I football programs now run deficits, which are eventually covered by the rising tuition and student fees.

* Daisy Ridley: The Carrie Fisher Interview.

Robert Kilpatrick on The Feminine Future : Early Science Fiction by Women Writers.

* The Force, by the numbers.

Why Wisconsin city’s bid to tap Great Lakes water is a big deal.

Like Harry, though, I’ve never intended to let that happen. I have no interest in trying to tell other people what to do if they find themselves close to death, but my choice has always been clear: I don’t want to die in pain—or drugged into a stupor by pain meds—all while connected to tubes and respirators in a hospital room. When the end is near, I want to take my own life.

* Meanwhile: This Doctor Wants to Treat Your Crippling Fear of Death With Uncut Ecstasy. Okay, dammit, I’m in.

Alternatively, maybe the fact that El Chapo—who we can probably assume has someone in his employ who does, in fact, speak English—didn’t exercise his veto is as damning an indictment of such an arrangement (or, more specifically, the product of such an arrangement) as if he had and the magazine acquiesced. The 14 weirdest moments from Sean Penn’s El Chapo interview. Reality truly is a hoax.

I’ve played the Powerball simulator for 1,092 years and have lost 91% of my money.

The forgotten way African Americans stayed safe in a racist America.

* Today, of course, anti-beardism is the last acceptable prejudice.

Texas School Triples Recess Time And Sees Immediate Positive Results In Kids.

Tax Cuts Don’t Lead to Economic Growth, a New 65-Year Study Finds.

The Company Behind LA’s Methane Disaster Knew Its Well Was Leaking 24 Years Ago.

The Black Fantastic: Highlights of Pre-World War II African and African-American Speculative Fiction.

There is literally zero chance that anyone will misconstrue this, and the great news is that if someone actually does, the Supreme Court will set them straight. 

* You had me at Hello: Arrested Development Season 5 will echo Making a Murderer and Trump.

* The Colorspace Atlas.

* What could possibly go wrong?

* What could possibly go wrong?

Despite Frigid Winter Temperatures, Students Are Waking Up To Unheated Classrooms. Elsewhere in Baltimore: Women In Baltimore Public Housing Were Forced To Trade Sex For Basic Repairs.

Whitesboro’s racist town logo up for vote. Good news everyone.

Breastfeeding is overhyped, oversold, and overrated. The real story: Class Differences in Child-Rearing Are on the Rise.

Trinity Cube was created by melting these two forms of glass together into a cube, then installing the cube back into the Fukushima Exclusion Zone as part of the Don’t Follow the Wind project. The artwork will be viewable by the public when the Exclusion Zone opens again, anytime between 3 and 30,000 years from the present.

* Against Serial season two. I think there’s a lot more one could say about what’s seemed to go wrong this time around, but on the level of why the show seems so boring now this is a good start.

* And on the local beat: South Milwaukee man behind homemade fireworks launcher escapes citation.

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