Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Summer Syllabi: “Comics as Literature” and “UTOPIA in America”

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My six-week summer-session courses start today, so I thought I’d put up the syllabi:

ENGLISH 4717/5717: “Comics as Literature”: superheroes, Watchmen, All-Star Superman, Maus, Fun Home, Jimmy Corrigan, Here

ENGLISH 6700: “Utopia in America”: “Omelas,” Utopia, Jameson, “The Lucky Strike,” Star Trek, Pale Fire, Flannery O’Connor, “Recitatif,” Sula, Afrofuturism, The Man in the High Castle

I’ll certainly take any questions in the comments, if people have any about why I’m doing what I’m doing…

Written by gerrycanavan

July 5, 2016 at 2:35 pm

Blogging from the Mid-Atlantic, But the Other Way

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An awakening anatomy of the average life’s two years of boredom, 6 months of watching commercials, 67 days of heartbreak, and 14 minutes of pure joy. 14 minutes of joy seems low even for a single day. What are you people doing with yourselves?

* The Voyager records, as art.

* I’m With™ Clinton’s ‘Innovation Agenda’ for Higher Ed.

* Republicans seem pretty obviously right about this one. I don’t see how there’s any case for its propriety, but here’s a try.

The Humiliating Practice of Sex-Testing Female Athletes.

Estimate of U.S. Transgender Population Doubles to 1.4 Million Adults.

* For 20 years, the center has blocked off female-only hours to accommodate the area’s large Hasidic population. The pool has no male-only hours, and some Hasidic men swim during the hours that are open to all genders. An anonymous complaint was lodged recently with the city’s Human Rights Commission, which sent a notice to the parks department this spring saying that the policy might violate a city law barring gender discrimination in public accommodations.

Using the budget usually reserved for the committee, they created a program called Dudes Understanding Diversity and Ending Stereotypes, or DUDES.

He said he’s glad colleges have found the research useful, but he is cautious about the institutions that are taking it as an absolute. Mr. Sue said his goal had always been to educate people, not punish or shame them, if they engage in microaggressions.

* Boris Johnson and the Cuckoo Nest Plot. Now even Gove says he won’t Brexit before the end of the year. Sanders and Corbyn: The Survivors. Brexit Might Never Happen. Brexit: a disaster decades in the making. So you want to con a country. Based on a close reading of Frank Bruni’s Brexit commentary, “A Bachelor Named Britain, Looking for Love” (reproduced below the question), please describe the bearing of the New York Times op-ed staff on the collapse of serious political argument in American establishment institutions in the early 21st century.

How J.R.R. Tolkien Found Mordor on the Western Front. Bonus Tolkien! How To Tell If You Are In A J.R.R. Tolkien Book.

A wizard has roped you into a quest because one of your ancestors invented golf.

* Westeros Is Poorly Designed. A Followup: It’s Okay That Westeros Is Poorly Designed. Some more nerdery on the subject.

When asked how fast the ships in Babylon 5 travel, creator J. Michael Straczynski replied that they travel “at the speed of plot.”

How big is Westeros? “Plot-sized.” How many people live there? “Plot thousand.” How do they make their living? “Tilling the plot.”

Game of Thrones season 6 was good TV that shows why the series will never be great.

Why did the Stars Wars and Star Trek worlds turn out so differently? Please Stop Marrying Fictional Characters to People They Met as Children, It’s Creepy. I started thinking absently about Steve Rogers’ jogging route during my run today and then i couldn’t STOP thinking about it because there’s literally NO WAY it makes sense unless you accept that he is specifically fucking up his entire morning routine to get another look at the cute boy he clocked on his run.

* How to Get Tenure. Counterpoint: You Probably Won’t Get Tenure.

* How to Give a Conference Paper.

* Elsewhere on the academic beat: Study Finds First-Year Students Who Take 15 Credits Succeed. Why Can’t My New Employees Write? The New McCarthyism. Right-Wing Elites Love Your Abigail Fisher Hot Take.

* Rationalia has already garnered some powerful enemies.

* Amazing, awful: Author Gay Talese disavows his latest book amid credibility questions.

Unprecedented’: Scientists declare ‘global climate emergency’ after jet stream crosses equator. The Window for Avoiding a Dangerous Climate Change Has Closed. The Day After Tomorrow Happened 30,000 Years Ago. Geoengineering at the CIA.

Physicists just confirmed a pear-shaped nucleus, and it could ruin time travel forever. Not if I undiscover it yesterday!

* America is lying about its involvement in Africa: AFRICOM’s reports simply don’t add up.

* Secret History of the AOL Disc Campaign.

* More from the twilight of the law schools.

* “This is the single greatest panel ever published in a Transformers comic.”

* Trumpocalypse watch! Another boondoggle. And another. And another. And another. This one is probably the best yet. 4 Ways Cleveland’s Colleges Are Bracing for the Republican Convention. Who will win the presidency? Why not play along at home! And if you want a vision of the future: imagine Trump’s vice-presidential candidates stomping on a human face, forever.

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Written by gerrycanavan

July 1, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Blogging from the Mid-Atlantic!

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Modern conservatism came onto the scene of the twentieth century in order to defeat the great social movements of the left. As far as the eye can see, it has achieved its purpose. Having done so, it now can leave. Whether it will, and how much it will take with it on its way out, remains to be seen. Clinton Opens Double-Digit Lead in National Poll.

Virginia GOP Delegate Files Suit To Get Out Of Voting For Trump At Convention.

All agree that we have entered an era in which “peace” coexists uncomfortably with interminable global violence (for those non-state actors that risk committing it or those state actors powerful enough to do so and avoid condemnation). All agree that executives have pushed the boundaries of national and international legality and redefined the scope and timeline of legal violence with little apparent constraint — except, theoretically, a wayward public, which has not done much to push back yet.

* “Protestors on both sides of the fray were stabbed.”

Ferlinghetti at 97.

* I wouldn’t say this is great news, given the franchise’s recent experiments in that direction: The New Star Trek Series Can Feature All the Sex, Blood, and Profanity It Wants.

Scremain, or Scoveto? I’m sticking with my gut: Brexit May Well Never Happen. “Bracksies.” All told, quite an achievement.

How to Prep for Your PhD If You’re Poor.

Study Links 6.5 Million Deaths Each Year to Air Pollution.

This amount of rain in such a short time is likely a “one-in-a-thousand-year event,” the weather service said. A zunguzungu flashback.

Texas Gun Rights Advocates Fatally Shoots Her Two Daughters.

* Whiteness and AI.

* The Secret Life of Babies.

* They call it the seagullypse.

A New League Of ‘Barefoot Lawyers’ Will Transform Justice In The Next 15 Years.

* Strange days: The Icelandic translator of Stephen King will likely be the country’s next president.

* This tweet seems sweet but is actually ice cold. Truly chilling.

And it Looks Like Pluto Has a Liquid Water Ocean. Last one in is a rotten egg…

Brecial Brexit Brexddendum

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Saturday Morning’s All Right for Linking

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* Bryan Fuller Reveals New ‘Star Trek’ Details, Says Series Will ‘Eventually’ Revisit Characters. Interesting interview that suggests a lot of what is circulating about this series is wrong.

* On the deep, abiding, and highly dispersed influence of Gordon Lish.

* West Virginia in the Anthropocene: At least 23 people have been killed after powerful storms swamped West Virginia on Thursday night, forcing high water rescues across the state and leaving thousands of customers without power through Friday evening, officials said.

* CDC: Flint water crisis “entirely preventable.”

tumblr_o9axiw1hWA1romv9co1_500* Why Brexit Is Much Scarier Than You Think. Brexit: The Crisis Begins. The Sterling Depreciation of 2007-2008 and Its Implications for Brexit. A timeline of the coming slow-motion car-crash. “Clusterfuck.” We will never know the full extent of the lost opportunities, friendships, marriages and experiences we will be denied. Freedom of movement was taken away by our parents, uncles, and grandparents in a parting blow to a generation that was already drowning in the debts of our predecessors. David Cameron Has Secured His Place as One of the Worst Prime Ministers Ever. Boris already flinching. Article 50 as Stalemate. No Takebacks. Brexit and the university. The A-Z of Brexit. Brexit Impact Will Be Felt in Wisconsin. The United Kingdom is the fourth-largest export market for Wisconsin goods, with $824.2 million worth of products shipped from the Badger State last year, or about 3.7% of the state’s exports. Morexit?

* “Worst ‘Zombie States’ in America ‘Deteriorate Faster, Further.’

* Oil Made Venezuela Rich, And Now It’s Making It Poor.

* Against grit.

* The central problem is that employment policies that are gender-neutral on paper may not be gender-neutral in effect. After all, most women receive parental benefits only after bearing the burden of pregnancy, childbirth, nursing, and often, a larger share of parenting responsibilities. Yet fathers usually receive the same benefits without bearing anything close to the same burden. Given this asymmetry, it’s little wonder some recently instituted benefits have given men an advantage.

Six weeks before the Summer Olympics open in Rio de Janeiro, the laboratory that was set to handle drug testing at the Games has been suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency in a new escalation of the doping crisis in international sports.

* FBI Says There’s No Evidence Orlando Gunman Omar Mateen Had Messaged Men or Had Secret Gay Affairs.

* Can Daenerys Fly to Westeros on Her Dragons?

* What’s The Matter With Poetry?

* This is near my neighborhood, and I can confirm this intersection is singularly terrible.

* Theft Quadrant.

* And I know things seem bad, but here’s a preview of Civilization 6‘s gameplay. Hang in there!

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London Calling to the Faraway Links

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Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 1.20.29 AM* accessiblesyllabus.tulane.edu.

* Global Markets in Chaos After UK Votes to Leave EU. Five terrifying immediate reactions to Brexit from the markets. Results Map. All this and the vote wasn’t even legally binding. (Though the EU is saying no-takebacks.) David Cameron will go down in history now as one of the legendarily bad prime ministers. And just because you might be feeling down: “The Socialist Case for Leave.”

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign announced Thursday that he has forgiven more than $50 million in loans he made to finance his presidential bid, converting them into contributions in an effort to reassure GOP donors that he is personally invested in the effort.

* How Obama can break the SCOTUS logjam on his own.

Here’s how that would work. The president has nominated Garland and submitted his nomination to the Senate. The president should advise the Senate that he will deem its failure to act by a specified reasonable date in the future to constitute a deliberate waiver of its right to give advice and consent. What date? The historical average between nomination and confirmation is 25 days; the longest wait has been 125 days. That suggests that 90 days is a perfectly reasonable amount of time for the Senate to consider Garland’s nomination. If the Senate fails to act by the assigned date, Obama could conclude that it has waived its right to participate in the process, and he could exercise his appointment power by naming Garland to the Supreme Court.

Presumably the Senate would then bring suit challenging the appointment. This should not be viewed as a constitutional crisis but rather as a healthy dispute between the president and the Senate about the meaning of the Constitution. This kind of thing has happened before. In 1932, the Supreme Court ruled that the Senate did not have the power to rescind a confirmation vote after the nominee had already taken office. More recently, the court determined that recess appointments by the president were no longer proper because the Senate no longer took recesses.

* News you can use: The Game of Thrones Character That Embodies Each State.

New Jersey: Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger. Lurks on the outskirts of and envious of great power, and always gives off the vibe that he’s about to do something unseemly.

Got our number there.

* Actually existing media bias: CNN’s Newest Paid Commentator Legally Prohibited From Criticizing Donald Trump. Worth every penny!

“You’re not buying news when you buy The New York Times. You’re buying judgment.”

Experts says a ‘space base’ halfway between the Moon and Earth could be built in 10 years.

* Some for-profit colleges may be too big to fail.

* Emails today, emails tomorrow, emails forever.

The Crazy Plan to Clean Up a Giant Island of Trash Might Actually Happen.

* I never realized innumeracy was the major driver of economic growth.

* And Disney is still trying to figure out what Rogue One even is.

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Taking a Break from All Your Thursdays Sure Would Help a Lot

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* Building the God Machine: Google is restructuring to put machine learning at the core of all it does.

Will Robocars Kick Humans Off City Streets? Your Self-Driving Car Will Be Programmed to Kill You—Deal With It.

* More on Game of Thrones‘s plot problems: Game of Thrones’ “Battle of the Bastards” looked great, but it didn’t make any damn sense. This time the big problem is Ramsey Bolton as Republic serial villain.

There Is No Left Brexit.

How Not to Study Donald Trump.

‘Not Guilty’ Verdict in the Death of Freddie Gray. From the reporting this one sounds like it was always going to be a hard sell.

Surprise poll: Clinton leads Trump in Arizona. Should Clinton Be More Concerned About Pennsylvania?

The congressional sit-in was not just cynical political theater — it was for a deeply reactionary cause. The Democrats Are Boldly Fighting For a Bad, Stupid Bill. The Use of Error-Prone and Unfair Watchlists Is Not the Way to Regulate Guns in America.

* How Democrats mounted their guns sit-in.

* Four months as a private prison guard.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin, putting an apparent end to one of the most closely watched cases in higher education.

The Death Penalty Case Where Prosecutors Wrote the Judge’s ‘Opinion.’

How to Prepare Professors Who Thought They’d Never Teach Online.

The Clintons Have a For-Profit College Problem Of Their Own.

* Racial Literacy as a Professor’s Responsibility.

Renters Are Making More, And Landlords Get It All.

* “After being roofied twice, I realized I didn’t always know who was watching me. And how dangerous that is.”

Senate Confirms First-Ever Native American Woman As Federal Judge. I should know better than to be surprised by first-evers at this point.

The strange and conflicting world views of Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel.

Uber data suggests that drivers overall in three major U.S. markets — Denver, Detroit, and Houston — earned less than $13.25 an hour after expenses in late 2015, according to calculations based on more than a million trips.

* True facts: Why Bubba Ho-Tep May Be the Most Perfect B-Movie Ever Made.

* “You’re Not Worried Nearly Enough about China.”

* A Young Athlete’s World of Pain, and Where It Led: Kosta Karageorge, an Ohio State wrestler and football
player who hid concussion symptoms because he felt it was the manly thing to do, killed himself in 2014.

* New Star Trek Fan Film Guidelines Limit Productions To Half-Hour Concepts. Teasing the new Star Trek series: one story over thirteen episodes.

* Oh Man, Bad Plan, No Canal: Panama.

* And if you want a vision of the future.

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