Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘2012

A Few More

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All the Midweek Links

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* Both In Focus and The Big Picture visit the 2012 Paralympics.

* Michelle Obama did great last night, but the story of a sick little girl named Zoey whose ability to live was saved by the ACA hits a bit closer to home.

* Who’s going to be the lesser evil in 2012 2008 2004 2000 1996 1992 1988 1984 1980 1976 1972 1968?

* On reporting poverty. Related: Melissa Harris-Perry talks poverty on MSNBC.

Mitch Hurwitz Talks to Vulture About Reviving Arrested Development.

* The unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of “writer’s block.” These results have since been confirmed.

* The real affirmative action: Researchers with access to closely guarded college admissions data have found that, on the whole, about 15 percent of freshmen enrolled at America’s highly selective colleges are white teens who failed to meet their institutions’ minimum admissions standards.

* How many people have died because Walter White got cancer? And a Breaking Bad Fermi problem: What is a good approximation of how much money Skyler had in the storage unit when she showed Walt how she stopped counting it?

A portrait of David Foster Wallace as a midwestern author. And more. Words David Foster Wallace’s Mom Invented.

* Report: Student Debt Is Holding Back The Housing Recovery. Are you interested in student debt now, old people?

* In North Carolina, Obama’s 2008 Victory Was Ahead of Schedule.

* Getting spicy: Hacker Group Claims to Have Romney’s Tax Returns.

* BREAKING: Rachel Carson Didn’t Kill Millions of Africans.

* BREAKING: Social Security Administration to arm illegal immigrants with hollow-point bullets to murder taxpayers. Wake up, sheeple! The truth is out there.

* Erin DiMeglio is a third-string high-school quarterback.

* And for the kids: How We Got to Mars. The lives of the cosmonauts. HTML5 Map of the Firefly ‘Verse. And a lost interview with Ray Bradbury:

Blast from the Past

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An all-male troop of science fiction writers from 1987 predict 2012. Only Asimov really comes close:

Assuming we haven’t destroyed ourselves in a nuclear war, there will be 8-10 billion of us on this planet—and widespread hunger. These troubles can be traced back to President Ronald Reagan who smiled and waved too much.

Though Gregory Benford has his moment:

…the attitudes expressed in this collection of predictions will seem very outmoded and “twen-cen.”

Nailed it.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 24, 2012 at 8:20 am

Monday!

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* Police Tape is an Android app from the American Civil Liberties Union that is designed to allow citizens to covertly record the police. When activated, it hides itself from casual inspection, and it has a mode that causes it to send its recording to an ACLU-operated server, protecting against police seizure and deletion.

* Capitalism can turn anything into a miserable boondoggle: London Olympics edition.

* Share Our Future – The CLASSE Manifesto.

* “I’ll be paying this forever,” said Chelsea Grove, 24, who dropped out of Bowling Green State University and owes $70,000 in student loans. She is working three jobs to pay her $510 monthly obligation and has no intention of going back.

“For me to finish it would mean borrowing more money,” she said. “It makes me puke to think about borrowing more money.”

Everyone only wants temps.

2012 drought rivals Dust Bowl.

* Journalists really should just refuse quote approval. That’s just not how this is supposed to work.

* And Nate Silver says voter suppression efforts probably won’t determine the results of the election. But digby and Ed Kilgore say light your hair back on fire.

Fourth of July-ish Links

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* Your single chart that explains everything, academia edition:

* The student loan suicides. The graduates of 2012 are already dead. Every Article About Graduate Unemployment Ever.

* This is education in the neoliberal age: a quest not for success, but for survival. You ask what it is that will give your children ‘a better chance’. You find a dispassionately technocratic answer, based on the rigorous analysis of academic achievement data. You discount every factor that might make your children non-average, beginning with their attitudes and desires. While you’re at it, you put out of your mind the very idea of social relationships and of the social good. Remember: your children are drowning. It would be quite absurd at this time to wonder what your friends’ children, what their own friends are up to.

* Literature in the Oil Age.

* “Yesterday—only the first day of the month—was hot enough to shatter 27 records and tie 24 others for the highest ever July temperatures. Here’s the whole last week:

Back to back 105 days in my beloved Durham. Are any scientists working on this trying to figure out what’s going on? Firsthand Accounts: Parts of WV, Ohio “Apocalypse” due to the Derecho. Colorado Wildfires Shutter Climate Lab. Get used to wildfires.

* All your preconceptions confirmed: 69 Politicians As They Were In High School.

* Libertarianism and the Workplace.

* Via Bitter Laughter, Reddit explains ACA. Another great piece from Amanda Marcotte that shows how fact-free right-wing opposition to Obamacare has been allowed to be: Questions for Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney and Other Opponents of Health Care Reform: Where Are Your Facts?

As Supreme Court Affirms Patchwork U.S. Healthcare System, Vermont Pushes Ahead with Single Payer.

* The down and dirty history of secret spending, PACs gone wild, and the epic four-decade fight over the only kind of political capital that matters.

* This short story by Cory Doctorow imagines an encounter between a solitary sentient robot (Robbie the Row Boat), human meat-bodies that serve as avatars for scuba diving, and a recently uplifted-to-sentience coral reef. Sold!

* The truth is out there: U.S. government lies about the existence of mermaids.

* And sometimes Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal gets it all right. Happy Fourth of July.

Sinister Climate Scientists Continue to Lie to Everyone for Their Own Nefarious Purposes, Just Ignore Them

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 19, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Friday Links

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* Credit where it’s due: despite my fears, Obama’s contraception judo turned out to be a genuinely inspired solution that gives everyone what they want. As I and others have been saying on Twitter, this whole thing is a good reminder that for all his other faults there’s almost no one better than Obama at campaigning. I don’t know if the trap was planned or if he just played a bad hand well, but either way this now looks a rare case of actually existing eleven-dimensional chess.

* Esquire has some new maps of the United States in 2012. The tour-de-force is #4: “The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion.” Via MeFi.

* Police composite sketches of literary characters. Via Kottke. Below: Humbert Humbert.

* Disappointing Springsteen song to accompany disappointing president on the campaign trail.

* Judge rules penniless Ghost Rider creator owes Marvel Comics $17K.

* Obligatory Republican primary links: Even At CPAC, Conservatives Seem Despondent About 2012 Choices.

* And Nate Silver invades your dreams: The Bettor’s Case for Santorum.

Sunday Reading™

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* Babies born this year are the best babies. Fact.

* Gingrichmania! Republicans in disarray! How he did it. Nate Silver:

But South Carolina’s seeming rejection of Mr. Romney goes beyond cultural or demographic idiosyncrasies. Mr. Rtaxomney was resoundingly defeated by Mr. Gingrich, losing badly among his worst demographic groups and barely beating Mr. Gingrich among his best ones. Had you extrapolated the exit poll cross-tabulations from South Carolina to the other 49 states, Mr. Romney might have lost 47 of them. Moreover, the decline of Mr. Romney was almost as significant in national polls as it was in South Carolina.

Now poor Romney has to release his tax returns. Onward to Florida!

* Great moments in Fox News: Newt Gingrich’s repeated betrayals of the people closest to him suggest he’ll make a trustworthy president.

11 Lesser-Known 2012 Presidential Candidates.

* “One of the gravest threats the FBI saw in the Black Panther movement was their Free Children’s Breakfast Program.” Via zunguzungu.

* When Barack Obama joined Silicon Valley’s top luminaries for dinner in California last February, each guest was asked to come with a question for the president. But as Steven P. Jobs of Apple spoke,President Obama interrupted with an inquiry of his own: what would it take to make iPhones in the United States?

* Steve Shaviro reviews Carl Freedman’s The Age of Nixon. I actually bought this one just on the strength of the author and title.

* Another absolute must-have: Alison Bechdel’s followup to Fun Home, Are You My Mother?

* David Graeber: The Political Metaphysics of Stupidity.

* Michael Greenberg: What Future for Occupy Wall Street? Also on the OWS tip: diluting the 99% brand.

* They’re still trying to make a movie out of Jeff Smith’s Bone.

* And the Chronicle of Higher Education has an obituary for Dean Jo Rae Wright. I only knew her over email, but I was very sad to hear this. She was a very generous supporter of graduate projects at Duke.

‘This Time, Nic Cage Is in Europe, and He Pees Fire’

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 13, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Never Could Get the Hang of Thursday Links

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* Occupy Wall Street as Obamaism’s “rotten fruit”? John Hellemen speculates on 2012 as 1968.

* Frank Luntz, fearing it’s winning, explains how to fight Occupy.

Don’t Mention Capitalism: Luntz said that his polling research found that “The public…still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”
Empathize With The 99 Percent Protesters: Luntz instructed attendees to tell protesters that they “get it”: “First off, here are three words for you all: ‘I get it.’ … ‘I get that you’re. I get that you’ve seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system.”
Don’t Say Bonus: Luntz told Republicans to re-frame the concept of the bonus payment — which bailed-out Wall Street doles out to its employees during holidays — as “pay for performance” instead.
Don’t Mention The Middle Class Because Americans Don’t Trust Republicans To Defend It: “They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers,” Luntz instructed the audience. “We can say we defend the ‘middle class’ and the public will say, I’m not sure about that. But defending ‘hardworking taxpayers’ and Republicans have the advantage.”
Don’t Talk About Taxing The Rich: Luntz reminded Republicans that Americans actually do want to tax the rich, so he reccommended they instead say that the government “takes from the rich.”

* zunguzungu vs. the Regents.

* Zach Blas interviews Ricardo Dominguez, visiting Duke this January for our Marxism and New Media conference.

* I completely forgot that Ali G interviewed Newt Gingrich.

* I don’t care who is drawing it; a Watchmen sequel is still the worst idea anyone has ever had.

* 131 members of Congress are now co-sponsoring a bill that will forbid members of Congress from insider training, leaving a mere 304 who support the laughably corrupt status quo.

* And speaking of the laughably corrupt status quo… Via my brother.

Bruuuuuuuuuuuuce Watch

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Well, things are starting to heat up down on E Street.

A lot of you have been hearing that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will be on tour in 2012. That is absolutely correct. The European dates run from the middle of May until end of July and are being announced this week. Info on the US dates and the World tour dates will coming up shortly.

In addition, we want you to know that the music is almost done (but still untitled), we have almost settled on the release date (but not quite yet), and that we are all incredibly excited about everything that we’re planning for 2012. That’s all the info we have for right now, but we’ll get back to you–real soon.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm

A Nuclear Error, but I Have No Fear

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“London Calling” Repurposed as Tourism Jingle. Best/worst musical reappropriation since Reagan and “Born in the USA”…

Written by gerrycanavan

August 8, 2011 at 7:40 pm

All the Things That Happened Today

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* Sad news: Terrorist attack at Moscow’s busiest airport.

* Rumors are swirling that the Wachowskis may pull a Lucas.

* Judge Rules White Girl Will Be Tried As Black Adult.

* SOTU 2011: “How We Win the Future.” Warning: climate change may not exist in the future.

* No composting either.

* Will big-name Republicans sit out 2012?

* The problem with regarding the photography of suffering as ‘pornography.’

* Killjoys keep debunking the “twin suns in 2012” Betelgeuse supernova story. Can’t I have just this one thing?

* Soccer science! As game theory predicts, legitimate falls far outnumber fake falls, Wilson reported at the meeting. Only 6% of the 2800 falls were highly deceptive dives. Players were two to three times as likely to dive when close to the goal, where the payoff was huge: Statistics show that there is an 80% chance of scoring from penalty kicks. Almost none of the highly deceptive dives resulted in free kicks against the diver. And referees were most likely to reward dives that occurred close to the goals—perhaps because the players were farther away and the deception harder to detect, he noted.

No. Just no.

* James Kochalka is Vermont’s first cartoonist laureate.

* Headline of the day: Man admits mailing hundreds of tarantulas.

* I don’t want to alarm anyone, but it appears the Bush administration may have broken the law.

* Genghis Khan: history’s greenest conqueror?

Unlike modern day climate change, however, the Mongol invasion actually cooled the planet, effectively scrubbing around 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere.

So how exactly did Genghis Khan, one of history’s cruelest conquerors, earn such a glowing environmental report card? The reality may be a bit difficult for today’s environmentalists to stomach, but Khan did it the same way he built his empire — with a high body count.

Over the course of the century and a half run of the Mongol Empire, about 22 percent of the world’s total land area had been conquered and an estimated 40 million people were slaughtered by the horse-driven, bow-wielding hordes. Depopulation over such a large swathe of land meant that countless numbers of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests.

For certain values of “green”… Via MetaFilter.

* And also via MetaFilter: Vermont vs. corporate personhood. Republicans vs. the Internet. Rahm Emanuel gets Chicago’d. The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. The United States of Shame. Teacher salary? Damn you North Carolina!

Saturday Afternoon Fever

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* The Mayans Jawas predicted it: Two Suns? Twin Stars Could Be Visible From Earth By 2012.

* The Republican Study Committee wants to defund the arts. Entirely.

A group of conservative Republicans, called the Republican Study Committee, revealed a new plan on Thursday to cut federal funding for arts down to zero. This means the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities would be left in the cold. Not to mention the potential hit at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

* David Neiwart gets literary with Glenn Beck’s favorite poem.

But it’s really quite revealing that Beck NEVER gets Niemoller’s poem right. There are a number of different versions with slight variations, but the most common is this one:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists ,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist…

* Also in Glenn Beck news: his latest target is receiving threats. She is 78.

The sole American manufacturer of an anesthetic widely used in lethal injections said Friday that it would no longer produce the drug, a move likely to delay more executions and force states to adopt new drug combinations. Obligatory Colbert flashback.

* Standing on Zanzibar: If the world’s population lived in one city.

Some More Links

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* Smart presidents making stupid arguments:

For instance, the FDA has long considered saccharin, the artificial sweetener, safe for people to consume. Yet for years, the EPA made companies treat saccharin like other dangerous chemicals. Well, if it goes in your coffee, it is not hazardous waste.

They call it poison. We call it life.

* From the don’t-know-if-this-is-crazy-or-awesome file: Though stem cell therapies are still in the early stages of development, some families are having their children’s baby teeth extracted and saved in anticipation of treatments that could be around by the time the child reaches adulthood, the Miami Herald reports.

* When Left-Wing Editors Fight Unions.

* When Famous Directors Lose Their Minds.

* Being Roger Ailes.

* Bomb Planted Along MLK Day Parade Route In Spokane.

* David Simon v. Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III. Discussion at MeFi.

* Last Stand 4 Children is devoted to providing all children with a quality education in spite of their teachers. See also: Billionaires for Educational Reform. (Via @mrtalbot.)

* Almost none of these “literal New Yorker cartoons” are actually “literal,” though a few are amusing nonetheless.

* Uplifting Duke/Durham story of the day: The Secret Game.

The North Carolina College Eagles were coming off their most successful season ever at that time. McLendon had just led his team to a 26-1 season. Aubrey Stanley, Henry (Big Dog) Thomas, Floyd (Cootie) Brown and James (Boogie-Woogie) Hardy were the stars on a team that ran McLendon’s fast break with great discipline.

That team was not eligible for participation in the National Invitational Tournament or the NCAA tournaments simply because they were African-Americans, but many — including the Hall of Famer McLendon — felt like the Eagles could’ve beaten anyone.

Meanwhile, Burgess and others regularly attended meetings at the local Y in Durham, as students from both sides of the tracks met secretly to discuss ways to overcome racism in the local area. During one of those meetings, the conversation turned to basketball and a bold challenge was issued: What about a secret game between the Eagles and the Duke Medical School team?

* And your couch is trying to kill you. Don’t let it!