Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘2014

Closing All My Tabs Before I Flee The Country Links

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* The new issue of Extrapolation is out! This one was put together before I was an editor, but it’s still really great stuff.

* CFPs: Current Research in Speculative Fiction 2015. Tolkien at the University of Vermont. The Marquette Undergraduate Humanities Conference.

* Dear English Major: A 7-Step Guide to Your Final Semester as an English Major.

* It’s syllabus prep week at universities all across America. Here’s a provocative one from Vanderbilt: PHIL 213: Police Violence and Mass Incarceration.

* #MLA: Every Time You Fly, You Trash The Planet — And There’s No Easy Fix.

Solidarity without Affect: The MLA Subconference Enters Its Second Year. Via Freddie deBoer.

* Give me the child at 18 or so, and I will give you the man: Nine Percent of 114th U.S. Congress Are Alumni of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

Inside a Chinese Test-Prep Factory.

California colleges see surge in efforts to unionize adjunct faculty. Washington University adjunct faculty vote to form a union.

Is depression a kind of allergic reaction?

* Why we can’t have nice things, 2015 edition: The Senate’s 46 Democrats got 20 million more votes than its 54 Republicans.

Pot Tax Adds $40+ Million To Colorado’s Economy: Crime, Traffic Deaths And Unemployment Are Down.

The Economics (and Nostalgia) of Dead Malls.

* Great moments in headcanon, Guardians of the Galaxy edition.

* I say teach the controversy: “Creationist: Aliens Will Go to Hell and Not Even Jesus Can Save Them.”

* Actual Supreme Court decisions: To remain silent, one must first speak.

* Dog bites man: 2014 Was The Hottest Year On Record Globally By Far.

On the 60th anniversary of Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita,” the Los Angeles Review of Books has assembled a group of female authors, artists and performers who, dedicated to examining the faces, bodies and voices of the young girl, consider the significance of Nabokov’s pubescent protagonist as both a literary conceit and an object of patriarchal fetish.

* The process used is ridiculous and would result in termination if used.

As a growing movement of unschoolers believe, a steady diet of standardized testing and indoor inactivity is choking the creativity right out of our kids. The alternative: set ’em free.

Here’s a comic strip about children dying of preventable diseases.

* Horrible attack on a satirical magazine in Paris.

A Colorado NAACP Office Was Bombed Today. A gasoline can near the bomb, apparently intended as a firebomb, failed to ignite.

People diagnosed with serious mental illness — schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or severe depression — die 20 years early, on average, because of a combination of lousy medical care, smoking, lack of exercise, complications of medication, suicide, and accidents. They are the most discriminated-against and neglected group in the U.S., which has become probably the worst place in the developed world to be mentally ill.

In Defense of Prince Hans.

Tangled, Brave, and Frozen All Made the Same Critical Mistake.

* How doctors die.

Nestle CEO: Water Is Not A Human Right, Should Be Privatized.

The Suburbanization of the US Working Class.

Few things we criminalize because they are ‘harmful’ are anywhere close as harmful as prison.

How White Liberals Used Civil Rights to Create More Prisons.

Ferguson Grand Juror Sues Prosecutor To Lift Gag Order.

“The little girl come to my door,” 71-year-old Larry Wilkins told NBC News. “She told me that her mom and her dad were dead, and she was in a plane crash, and the plane was upside down. She asked if she could stay here.”

“I’m no longer watching television in which middle-aged men figure out how to be men. I’d rather watch shows about teenaged girls figuring out what it means to be a monster.”

* Gender, blah, blah, blah.

A team of researchers at the New York State Psychiatric Institute surveyed 43,000 Americans and found that, by some wide margin, the rich were more likely to shoplift than the poor. Another study, by a coalition of nonprofits called the Independent Sector, revealed that people with incomes below 25 grand give away, on average, 4.2 percent of their income, while those earning more than 150 grand a year give away only 2.7 percent. A UCLA neuroscientist named Keely Muscatell has published an interesting paper showing that wealth quiets the nerves in the brain associated with empathy: If you show rich people and poor people pictures of kids with cancer, the poor people’s brains exhibit a great deal more activity than the rich people’s. (An inability to empathize with others has just got to be a disadvantage for any rich person seeking political office, at least outside of New York City.) “As you move up the class ladder,” says Keltner, “you are more likely to violate the rules of the road, to lie, to cheat, to take candy from kids, to shoplift, and to be tightfisted in giving to others. Straightforward economic analyses have trouble making sense of this pattern of results.”

Our New Politics of Torture.

The Cost of US Wars Since 9/11: a mere $1.6 Trillion.

The CIA has to approve every script for spy drama The Americans.

* Here’s what’s in the new issue of The Journal of Puerile Mathematics.

* Preach! Scientists Agree Work Makes You Wake Up Too Early.

United States Passes Old Soviet Union For Largest Prison System In History.

“Police Shoot, Kill [X].”

Visibility As Violence On Social Media.

‘Bullsh*t jobs’: Guerrilla posters welcome commuters back to work.

In Preventing Trans Suicides, ‘We Have Such A Long Way To Go.’

The True Cost of Teach For America’s Impact on Urban Schools.

* I can’t believe I’d never read this before: the original script to Back to the Future is wonderfully bananas, including the “nuke the fridge” scene from Crystal Skull thrown in as a sweetener.

* Peak neoliberalism: eventheliberal Kevin Drum says an AI revolution that will be “pretty brutal for the 90 percent of the population that occupies the middle classes and below” will be a “basically positive” development.

* PS: Drum might have been overestimating the timetable here. In 10 years, your job might not exist.

The paper makes no claims about in-person classes or very large online courses, but says that the study’s findings provide “the first evidence that increasing class sizes in the online context may not degrade the quality of the class.” And the paper says that “these results could have important policy and financial implications.”

‘Philosophy is for posh, white boys with trust funds’ – why are there so few women?

What To Do When You Discover Your Co-Worker Writes Erotic Hulk Fanfic.

Anti-terror plan to spy on toddlers ‘is heavy-handed.’ Well, that’s debatable.

67 Science Fiction And Fantasy Movies To Watch Out For In 2015.

The 20 Worst Films Of 2014.

The 10 Most Insignificant Wars in History.

A Nuclear Plant Leaked Oil Into Lake Michigan For Two Months Straight.

* Our Animal Hell.

Police say at least 30 people are sleeping permanently in Madrid airport’s terminal 4 but the number goes up in winter.

In 1997 the Swedish parliament wrote into law a “Vision Zero” plan, promising to eliminate road fatalities and injuries altogether. “We simply do not accept any deaths or injuries on our roads,” says Hans Berg of the national transport agency. Swedes believe—and are now proving—that they can have mobility and safety at the same time.

* Cell Phones Don’t Seem to Cause Brain Cancer.

We lost our son to football and brain disease. This is our story.

They Might Be Giants, Again: The Adult Comeback of a Cult Band. Even Dial-a-Song is back.

* Science fiction poetry: “Sci-Fi Violence.”

Most Citizens of the Star Wars Galaxy are Probably Totally Illiterate.

* Star Trek: The Next Generation in forty hours.

* It’s good to get ahead of things: Should Martians Pay U.S. Taxes?

“Hold for release till end of the world confirmed.”

* And the winner of the Worst Thing Written in 2015 has been announced. Thank you for your interest and we hope to see you again in 2016.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 7, 2015 at 8:30 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Rise and Shine, It’s 2015! Links

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2014 Kinda Sucked: A Look at Our Slow Descent Into Dystopia. I didn’t think it was all that slow.

* That annual tradition: What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2015?

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* B^F: “Ryan North reviews George Gipe’s insane novelization of Back to the Future, published before the book was released.”

Keywords for the Age of Austerity 14.5: “Errors in Judgment.”

This City Eliminated Poverty, And Nearly Everyone Forgot About It.

* How to be politically optimistic in Wisconsin.

In an alternate universe, the New York Police might have just solved the national community-policing controversy. Routine harassment of citizens is down as much as 94%!

* I say teach the controversy: No matter what vernacular is employed, the time has come for other alternatives to the handcuffs, leg irons and waist chains routinely used on incarcerated youth in the District.

* Carcetti for President: Maryland Governor Will Commute All Remaining Death Sentences To Life Without Parole.

“DA Who Failed to Indict Killer Cop Now GOP Front Runner for Congress.” 2015 starting out great!

* “Girls from a variety of backgrounds were featured within the campaign, reflecting that anyone can embody the spirit and character of Annie.” Oh, Target.

* What was Ello?

Look, I get that the football players are angry. I even get that all the boosters who hadn’t stepped up before are now swearing that they would have donated millions of dollars to keep the program alive if only Watts had asked them. But the Faculty Senate? At a bare minimum, shouldn’t they have had the back of a president who wanted to stop draining money from academics into football, even if no one else did? Yeesh.

* “This book review by 13-year-old Eve Kosofsky (later Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, known for her brilliant work on queer theory) appeared in the January 1964 issue of Seventeen. You’re welcome.”

Researcher: Sony Hack Was Likely an Inside Job by a Woman Named “Lena.”

U.S. Solar Is 59 Percent Cheaper Than We Thought It Would Be Back In 2010.

* Salon’s charter school scam roundup for January 1.

White Flint isn’t completely dead, but the outlook is not good. The only stores still in operation are a Lord & Taylor and a P.F. Chang’s. On Jan. 4, the P.F. Chang’s will close. Why I’m Mourning The Death Of A Mall.

* And Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal rings in the New Year right with the Uncomfortable Truthasaurus.

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…Maybe Next Year

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Someday at Christmas man will not have failed
Hate will be gone and love will prevail
Someday a new world that we can start
With hope in every heart

Written by gerrycanavan

December 22, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Wednesday Everything

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* Too big to disaccredit: I should have realized the insanity at Oregon was because of college football.

Keywords for the Age of Austerity 14: Failure.

* One weird trick to actually get a cop fired for brutally assaulting someone. You’ll never guess what makes this case special!

* Meanwhile: Grand Juries Should Be Abolished.

Even if you think that IQ tests are unscientific mumbo-jumbo, it’s amazing to learn that some US police departments don’t, and furthermore, that they defended their legal right to exclude potential officers because they tested too high.

* 20 Key Findings about CIA Interrogations. The Intercept’s live blog. The Torture Apologia Chart. Obama, war criminal. But the ACLU has One Weird Trick to fix everything.

* Today’s science fiction, tomorrow’s light switch: 22 unexpected sources of power that will exist in the future.

Ultimately, the Lovecraft statue must go. He may be replaced by Butler, or Carrie Cuinn’s sea serpent wrapped around the world idea or any of the many other options, but the fantasy community cannot embrace its growing fanbase of color with one hand while deifying a writer who happily advocated for our extermination with the other.

The College Rape Overcorrection. I know this article is infuriating a lot of people, but I must admit I found it informative, and challenging despite its flaws.

*Best Way for Professors to Get Good Student Evaluations? Be Male.

* The death of cinema. The death of television.

* Scenes from the charter school scam: an exciting opportunity for administrative bloat.

The Best Children’s Books of 2014.

* You thought you had Frozen Fever before.

“I can even go back to being Ronnie Bridgeman, but I’m not,” he said. “They killed Ronnie Bridgeman. They killed his spirit. They killed everything he believed in, everything he ever wanted. I wanted to be something, too. I could have been a lawyer possibly. I could have been Barack Obama. Who knows?”

* From the McSweeney’s archives: I’m an English Professor in a Movie.

* Easily the most Harvard thing that’s ever happened.

* The Left Can Win.

 * And because you demanded it: The Superman prequel will finally tell the story of Superman’s grandfather. Decades of waiting, redeemed at last!
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Exactly One (1) Ton of Midweek Links

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Join us at the Science Fiction/Fantasy Now Conference at the University of Warwick this August!

* Go home, 2014, you’re drunk: Man Admits Eating Landlord’s Heart at End of Year-Long Chess Game.

* The richest nation in the history of the world: Three Children Died During The Polar Vortex After Their Heat Was Cut Off.

* MLA Subconference Wrap-Up (and teaser for 2015).

Contingent Mother: The Role Gender Plays in the Lives of Adjunct Faculty.

In masking the very exploitative mechanisms of labor that it fuels, DWYL is, in fact, the most perfect ideological tool of capitalism. It shunts aside the labor of others and disguises our own labor to ourselves. It hides the fact that if we acknowledged all of our work as work, we could set appropriate limits for it, demanding fair compensation and humane schedules that allow for family and leisure time.

* Matt Bruenig pushes back against framing all NTT labor as adjunct labor.

In 1998, a 20-something guy named Jesse Reklaw was doing some Dumpster diving on the campus of an Ivy League university that he’d rather not name when he came across a bunch discarded of Ph.D. applicant files from the mid-1960s through the mid-1970s. Each file included a photo of the applicant, along with assorted paperwork, including feedback from university officials.

If the system of justice in the United States were fair, and if the 38 million black Americans were as prone to crime as the average ethnic group in the world (where an ethnic group is, for example, the 61 million Italians, or the 45 million Hindu Gujarati), you would expect that black Americans would also be about 9 percent of the 2013 estimated world population of 7.135 billion people.

* Every cop is a criminal: Any arrest in New York City can trigger a civil forfeiture case if money or property is found on or near a defendant, regardless of the reasons surrounding the arrest or its final disposition. In the past ten years, the NYPD has escalated the amount of civil forfeiture actions it pursues as public defense offices have been stretched thin by the huge amount of criminal cases across the city. 

“These peace officers were doing their jobs…they did what they were trained to do.”

* What could possibly go wrong?

All these jobs are dangerous and involve carrying a deadly weapon. They entail giving a human being the power to detain another human being, and the benefit of the doubt if they should shoot one. And all the positions are unpaid.

* From the “Military & Defense” desk at Business Insider: The DEA Struck A Deal With Mexico’s Most Notorious Drug Cartel.

* Legal challenges to the death penalty.

* Pannapacker: Shared Governance, Tenure, and Academic Freedom Are Worth the Trouble.

* …when his salary depends upon his not understanding it: Speakers at MLA generally are skeptical of idea of shrinking Ph.D. programs.

Why does the man behind ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Sherlock’ still have a job?

Eighteen months after the law took effect, over three-fourths of employers reported that they were very supportive or somewhat supportive of the paid sick days law.

Man Poses as Woman on Online Dating Site; Barely Lasts Two Hours.

* Begun the Canon Wars have: Disney To Rip Out Star Wars EU Continuity “Like A Tumor.”

* Life is suffering: HBO renews ‘The Newsroom’ for third and final season.

* Legalizing murder maybe not the absolute best idea Florida ever had.

Decades-Old Underground Jet Fuel Leak In New Mexico Still Decades From Being Cleaned Up.

North Carolina Just Gave Millionaires A Tax Cut, Raised Taxes On The Poorest 900,000 Working Families.

* If the Supreme Court upholds this decision (or refuses to hear an appeal), net neutrality is dead unless the FCC or Congress decide to reclassify broadband internet as a telecom service regulated as a common carrier.

The federal judge overseeing the concussion lawsuit brought by 4,500 former players against the National Football League denied a preliminary motion to approve the proposed settlement to the case Tuesday, saying that the agreement may not include enough money to compensate all players properly.

* Friends, they may say it’s a movement: Judge Rules Oklahoma Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional.

How administrators defeat student campaigns.

* Breaking: It Is Expensive to Be Poor.

* Does sex make you smarter?

* Chloe as Edward Snowden is actually a pretty great premise for a 24 movie. It seems like it’d be better without any involvement from Kiefer at all.

* The technology, which the agency has used since at least 2008, relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers. In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target.

* And it’s even worse than we thought: TEHRAN (FNA)- Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden revealed documents providing incontrovertible proof that an alien/extraterrestrial intelligence agenda is driving US domestic and international policy, and has been doing so since at least 1945, some media reports said.

* Outrageous fraud at CUNY.

* Weather, man, I dunno.

* And we’ll finally know what Bruce Wayne was like as a twelve-year-old. Because you demanded it!

1/2 Links

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tumblr_mypo84vnXR1qz6f9yo1_500* Preach it.

All years are terrible years; the predicament of being human tends towards the negative. We read the news and are left feeling nothing more noble than “only I have escaped to tell thee.” A given year can be pronounced good only in a solipsistic sense.

* This headline seems like it was generated by some dystopian headline generator: Yakuza Gangsters Recruit Homeless Men for Fukushima Nuclear Clean Up.

* And then there’s this one: Climate Change Vastly Worse Than Previously Thought.

If you want to understand how people will remember the Obama climate legacy, a few facts tell the tale: By the time Obama leaves office, the U.S. will pass Saudi Arabia as the planet’s biggest oil producer and Russia as the world’s biggest producer of oil and gas combined. In the same years, even as we’ve begun to burn less coal at home, our coal exports have climbed to record highs. We are, despite slight declines in our domestic emissions, a global-warming machine: At the moment when physics tell us we should be jamming on the carbon brakes, America is revving the engine.

* And then there’s this: Drone Testing Sites Announced In Six States.

“Diversity is something that’s being marketed,” Pippert says. “They’re trying to sell a campus climate, they’re trying to sell a future. Campuses are trying to say, ‘If you come here, you’ll have a good time, and you’ll fit in.’ “

How the Tenured are to the Job Market as White People are to Racism. Waving The White Flag On Tenured Vs. Adjunct.

At the Ivies, It’s Still White at the Top.

History Jobs Down 7.3%.

The drop follows two years of modest gains, but even those gains hadn’t come close to returning to the level of openings before the economic downturn hit in the fall of 2008. This year, the AHA posted 686 jobs, and the pre-recession total was 1,064.

Handed up by an Orange County, N.C., grand jury, the indictment charged Nyang’oro with “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously” accepting payment “with the intent to cheat and defraud” the university in connection with the AFAM course — a virtually unheard-of legal accusation against a professor. It’s simply incomprehensible to me how the alleged behavior could have been accomplished by just one person acting alone.

* The philosopher posited chains and a key.

* Asimov predicts 2014 in 1964 (and 1997 in 1977).

“In 1969 the median salary for a male worker was $35,567 (in 2012 dollars). Today it is $33,904. So for 44 years, while wages for the top 10 percent have continued to climb, most Americans have been caught in a ”Great Stagnation,” bringing into question the whole purpose of the American capitalist economy. The notion that what benefited the establishment would benefit everyone, had been thoroughly discredited.”

Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke.

* 10 Separatist Movements to Watch in 2014.

The 124 states of America: What would the U.S. look like if all of the secession movements in U.S. history had succeeded?

* Spied On from My iPhone: NSA has “backdoor access” to iPhones.

* RIP, James “Uncle Phil” Avery.

* Ernesto: A Quick RPG.

Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower.

* And now an annual tradition: What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2014?

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Even More Friday!

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* Another Buzzfeed list pings Marquette today: Are These The 32 Best College Campus Foods In America? Real Chili at #6.

The first Jesuit pope? Well, yes, in a manner of speaking. George Weigel at NRO doesn’t care for the Jesuit order:

Bergoglio is an old-school Jesuit, formed by classic Ignatian spirituality and deeply committed to an intelligent, sophisticated appropriation and proclamation of the full symphony of Catholic truth — qualities not notable for their prevalence among members of the Society of Jesus in the early 21st century. I suspect there were not all that many champagne corks flying last night in those Jesuit residences throughout the world where the Catholic Revolution That Never Was is still regarded as the ecclesiastical holy grail. For the shrewder of the new pope’s Jesuit brothers know full well that that dream was just dealt another severe blow. And they perhaps fear that this pope, knowing the Society of Jesus and its contemporary confusions and corruptions as he does, just might take in hand the reform of the Jesuits that was one of the signal failures of the pontificate of John Paul II.

A CPAC session sponsored by Tea Party Patriots and billed as a primer on teaching activists how to court black voters devolved into a shouting match as some attendees demanded justice for white voters and others shouted down a black woman who reacted in horror. More links below the dumb gif.

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* In Record-Setting ‘Match Day,’ 1,100 Medical Students Don’t Find Residencies. More from USA Today.

* Mathowie: Thoughts on Google Reader’s Demise. With reviews of possible alternatives.

* Profiles in courage: coming out in favor of marriage equality 2 years after your son comes out and 6 months after you know you won’t be VP. The truth of this, I suspect, is that he never really cared one way or the other, but now has no more reason to lie about it. What Rob Portman Learned.

People like Portman stridently work against other people’s interests until a crucial moment, both shaming and enlightening, when it becomes their interest too. It’s good that they ultimately come around on whatever the issue is — “Programs helping the poor are good because I lost all my money.” “My teenage daughter is pregnant and in no way prepared to have a baby.” — but does it erase the fact of their larger lack of compassion? I’m not sure it does.

See also Yglesias: Rob Portman and the Politics of Narcissism. Hero Sen. Rob Portman Courageously Endorses Equal Rights For His Family Members.

* Steubenville, Ohio, rape and India gang rape show India isn’t so ‘backward.’

Indian reaction to the New Delhi gang rape is in many ways more promising than American reactions to US rapes. Take the Steubenville, Ohio, case, which hasn’t generated the same public outrage as the case in India. Indian protesters’ calls for justice are a heartening sign of progress.

* North Dakota Poised To Enact Six-Week Abortion Ban, The Most Stringent Restriction In The Nation. Many women don’t even know they’re pregnant by six weeks. This is the sort of transparently unconstitutional law Republicans love to pass to raise money and nuture a sense of embattled outrage in their constituency. It’s written to be overturned.

* It never ends: Top 10 Senate races of 2014.

* Imagine there’s no deficit crisis.

* And Appeals Court Rejects CIA Secrecy on Drones.

“It is implausible that the CIA does not possess a single document on the subject of drone strikes.”