Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘2015

The Sadness(es) of BACK TO THE FUTURE

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Longtime readers will know I have a very soft spot for Back to the Future, a series of films I have adored since I was a child and now internalized to a degree that is perhaps unwise. So it’s something of a mixed bag to have lived too long and made it to October 21, 2015, both in the obvious sense that we never got our hover cars and also in the more abstractly philosophically sense that this is the last day depicted in the series, and thus we are now definitely and irrefutably living in that weird space of sadness after the future itself.

We’re doing a small Back to the Future event tonight on campus where I plan (of course) to talk a little bit about the familiar problems posed when you start to overthink the nominally happy end of the movie: the very big problem of the briefly glimpsed Second Marty, who travels into 1955 totally unequipped to replicate the events we’d just witnessed, as well as the longer-term problem of our Marty, Marty 1, who is the last survivor of an obviated timeline and thus surrounded for the rest of his life by the uncanny duplicates of the people he once loved but with whom he now shares no memories or any genuine connection.

But I also want to talk about the original script a little bit, which I find a really fascinating document. Most people know that in the original script the time machine is a refrigerator — changed so that kids wouldn’t climb into them hoping to travel in time — and that the lightning strike is the blast from an atomic test (the two together forming an image that stuck with Spielberg long enough for him to use it to ruin Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). But there’s some other really amazing stuff in there too. The thing is shot through with fears about oil depletion and the end of progress: it’s the subject of a lecture at Marty’s high school in the beginning of the script and something he keeps trying to ask the people of the 1950s about later, to no effect. That sort of science fictional nostalgia for a future that no longer seems possible is really a major theme in the original script, which is reduced to jokes about UFOs and “all the fallout from the atomic wars” in the produced film — the sense that the zany Jetsons future of technological world-transformation we once collectively looked forward to has been lost and the only one left for us is a much more depressive vision of imminent deprivation and catastrophe. (In this sense any eventual 2000s-era “dark, gritty reboot” would actually just be a return to the themes of the original script.)

But something weird happens at the end. In the original script Marty is the co-creator of time travel when he accidentally spills some Coca-Cola on the time device; Coke’s unique chemical formula turns out to contain tremendous energy inside it, easily providing the 1.21 gigawatts necessary to power the Flux Capacitor. Marty’s trip to the past ultimately tips Doc off to Coke’s unknown energistic property, and so when Marty returns to the future at the end of the film he isn’t hopping into a very similar timeline where he just happens to have grown up rich instead of poor, but into an incredible retrofuturistic world of free energy and robot servants and flying cars — precisely the cartoonishly optimistic milieu that is relocated to 2015 for the gag at the end (and later, the sequel). (Doc’s pouring of the half-empty soda can into Mr. Fusion at the end of the film is, I think, the last remaining trace of this original idea.)

In this way “Back to the Future” was actually originally a pun: Marty goes not just back to his future but back to the future, the good future we were supposed to get, instead of the lousy one we actually did…

Written by gerrycanavan

October 21, 2015 at 11:07 am

Happy Weekend Links!

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* CFP: Octavia E. Butler Legacy and Society Call for Papers.

I want to complain to the studio execs who commissioned the current season of “21st century”; your show is broken.

* But maybe a big reboot is coming! Astronomers may have found giant alien ‘megastructures’ orbiting star near the Milky Way.

The Many, Many Times Astronomers Mistook Mundane Phenomena for Aliens. Cult of the cosmic — How space travel became the unofficial religion of the USSR.

* Another potential redirection for the series: Women who sniff this Hawaiian mushroom have spontaneous orgasms.

“To call for capitalism to pay its way is to call for the abolition of capitalism.”

* World federalism isn’t dead, it’s never even been tried!

The Alphabet of Assassination.

US intelligence knew bombed Afghan site was a hospital.

* Potentially major finding: Huntington’s disease protein controls movement of precious cargo inside cells, study finds.

Colleges Are Spending 7 Times More on Athletics Than They Are on Academics.

* Speaking my language: A strong El Niño may mean a warmer, drier winter in southern Wisconsin.

* World’s most depressing tour of LA planned for October 21, 2015. Come to Marquette English’s BTTF events instead!

Watch Doc and Marty travel to the real 2015, where everything is terrible.

* You can time travel with Marquette another way, too: here’s a sneak preview of our Spring 2016 course offerings.

* Scenes from the class struggle against that one weird Cornell ad: 1, 2.

First-year composition, in other words, is more than a course in grammar and rhetoric. Beyond these, it is a course in ethical communication, offering students opportunities to learn and practice the moral and intellectual virtues that Aristotle identified in his Nicomachean Ethics as the foundation for a good life. And that’s why America is such a paradise today.

* Good news: it’s your spouse who’s ruining your career, not your kids.

How Harvard Fights Unions.

* The dark art of curriculum review.

By the same token, I know that an emphasis under a major has the same student-learning outcomes as the parent major, so I can create a new program without expanding the number of assessment reports that I have to do. This just means that a major is basically a magical bag of holding for emphases: I can fit as many emphases as I want inside a major without becoming encumbered by more paperwork!

Famous quotes, the way a woman would have to say them during a meeting.

* A judgmental map of Milwaukee.

* When Marquette tore down a historic mansion to build the AMU.

* I’m sure the policy is being written as we speak: When May I Shoot a Student? Guns on Campus: A Terrible Idea.

* Pretty good selfie-based horror short. 

* Die Hard was the gold standard of unprequelizable films. Kudos to all involved in this important project.

* Playboy without Playboy.

Wayne Simmons, a regular Fox News commentator who claimed to have worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for almost three decades, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly fabricating his agency experience.

Through the Plexiglass: A History of Museum Dioramas.

* How the NSA broke cryptography.

Huntington Library and UC Riverside teaming up to hire humanities professors.

* Why Google Ngrams are garbage.

How The Black Dot Campaign Grew Into A Dangerous Viral Hoax.

People being shot by toddlers on a weekly basis in the US.

Artists got ‘Homeland is racist’ Arabic graffiti into the latest episode of ‘Homeland.’

CCP Adjunct Professor, Black Lives Matter Activist Suspended After Speaking at Rally.

Aunt Loses Lawsuit Against 12-Year-Old Nephew Who Allegedly Broke Her Wrist With a Hug. But there’s more! Aunt Didn’t Want to Sue Nephew, Lawyer Says, Insurance Company Left Her “No Choice.”

Žižek, social reformist: The lesson here is that the truly subversive thing is not to insist on ‘infinite’ demands we know those in power cannot fulfil. Since they know that we know it, such an ‘infinitely demanding’ attitude presents no problem for those in power: ‘So wonderful that, with your critical demands, you remind us what kind of world we would all like to live in. Unfortunately, we live in the real world, where we have to make do with what is possible.’ The thing to do is, on the contrary, to bombard those in power with strategically well-selected, precise, finite demands, which can’t be met with the same excuse.

* I’m so glad this turned out to be the case: Standing Desks Are Mostly Bullshit.

These Are the American Cities That Could Be Buried Underwater by 2200.

The Man Who Builds Luxury Bomb Shelters for Paranoid One Percenters.

* Jeb makes an almost pathetically transparent bid for my endorsement.

* Sorry!, and the Nature of Suffering.

* Just don’t tell Shia: FX is turning Y: The Last Man into a TV series.

* And teach the controversy: Your Favorite Band Sucks.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 16, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Links!

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* Events coming up at Marquette English: tomorrow’s Mad Max: Fury Road discussion and next week’s reading from visiting poet Carolyn Forché.

* SFFTV 8.3 is out! With:

Kathleen McHugh, “Seeking a film for the end of the world”
Mark Young, “Xenochrony: aural media and neoliberal time in Shane Carruth’s Primer
Lars Schmeink, “Frankenstein’s offspring: practicing science and parenthood in Natali’s Splice
J.P. Telotte, “Sex and machines: the ‘buzz’ of 1950s science fiction films”

* Great stuff coming from the UCR Sawyer Seminar on Alternative Futurisms:

October 6: Panel on Asian American Speculative Fiction

October 15: Science Fiction Studies symposium on Retrofuturism(s)

October 16-17: Revising the Past, Remaking the Future Conference

* Nightmare in Oregon. Nightmares everywhere.

Make. Good. Work. (or, On the Academic Job Market).

* And elsewhere on the academic job market watch: how long am I marketable?

The Humanities at the End of the World.

* Humanities majors’ salaries, by the numbers.

* USC has an exciting fix for contingent employment in academia: contingent employment in academia.

How pregnant women and mothers get hounded out of higher education.

* Steven Salaita: Why I Was Fired.

Marina Warner on the history of the fairy-tale.

* The Amazing Inner Lives of Animals.

* The Uses of Orphans.

The Decline of Play and Rise in Children’s Mental Disorders.

* Reading Lolita at 12.

* A Centre for Laziness Studies.

* Conversely, my research indicates you should never text your students.

* I just had to do one of these with my daughters’ preschool. The twenty-first century is awful.

* Ranking Milwaukee: The 6th Most Dangerous City in America, and the #1 Worst for Black People.

* The politics of the campaign mixtape.

DraftKings Employee With Access To Inside Info Wins $350K At FanDuel. This is an insane story.

* The return on the tontine.

MSF Response to Spurious Claims That Kunduz Hospital Was “A Taliban Base.”

* Toshi Reagon’s Parable of the Sower.

What Happens When a Super Storm Strikes New York?

* Well here’s a story I’m certainly hoping is a hoax.

* First, they came for my assault rifle.

* Nihilistic password security questions.

* The end of the Perkins loan.

* “Few forces are better positioned to fight the corporate university than graduate student workers.”

* Ta-Nehisi Coates leads diverse group of MacArthur ‘genius’ grant recipients. Academics Win MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellowships.

* On Rules, Cheating, and Deflategate.

‘Workers’ or slaves? Textbook maker backtracks after mother’s online complaint.

* The end of Moore’s Law?

* The end of UNC?

Our economy is broken. Could a universal basic income, child allowances, and worker-owned cooperatives fix it? I’m so old I can remember when “New New Deal” was Obama’s brand.

* If it’s good enough for Zappos…

* Generation Debt.

These students were ruined by predatory colleges. Now they’re getting even.

* “Whole Foods To Stop Profiting From Prison Labor.” You know, in these tough times, most companies would be happy to just break even with prison labor.

This is the official signal that a nuclear war could be about to break out.

An Environmentalism for the Left. Environmentalism as a religious idea.

The Plot Against Student Newspapers.

* Weird coincidence: Alabama, Which Requires ID to Vote, Stops Issuing New Licenses in Majority-Black Counties.

* Marquette v. Cosby.

* Noncitizens and the census. This is a really interesting problem for which the proper solution — let noncitizen permanent residents vote — is of course entirely off the table.

It’s been 4 years since Stephen Colbert created a super PAC — where did all that money go?

* Recycling may not be worth it. “Plastic Bags Are Good for You.”

Justine Siegal Becomes First Female Baseball Coach In MLB History. That’s… recent.

Breathtaking The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings illustration by Jian Guo.

This Abandoned Wasteland Was Once America’s Largest Mall.

* Hydrofracking ruins everything.

* “Bangalore’s lake of toxic foam – in pictures.”

Someone bought Google.com for $12 and owned it for a literal minute.

Research shows that in Pennsylvania’s public schools skin color, not economics, determines how much money districts get.

End zero-tolerance school discipline.

A tumor stole every memory I had. This is what happened when it all came back.

* The law, in its majestic finality…

* Masters of the Universe: An Oral History.

Tesla’s new Model X has a ‘bioweapon defense mode’ button. “This is a real button,” Musk says.

NASA Has Already Hired Someone To Make Sure We Don’t Destroy Mars, Too. Teach the controversy: does Mars even exist?

* Here comes the gender-bent Twilight. I’m actually fascinated by this project.

Ethiopian Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Film ‘Crumbs’ Is Headed To Theaters.

* Uber, but for canceling Comcast.

* Yelp, but for destroying the very concept of sociality.

* The Algorithm and the Watchtower:The form of power that Big Data employs is not so much panoptic as it is pan-analytic.”

As the American people got fatter, so did marmosets, vervet monkeys and mice. The problem may be bigger than any of us.

* If you want diabetes, pal, you’ve got to pay for it.

* What’s the most American ______ ever made?

* “We’re one step closer to a working lightsaber.”

* And I don’t want to take all the credit, but…

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 6, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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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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NYE Links!

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* Finally, my moment has arrived: Smuggling LEGO is the new smuggling diamonds.

The New Brand of Jesuit Universities.

* On Optimism: Looking Ahead to 2015.

* From climate denialism to climate cashing-in with nothing in between. Are We Approaching the End of Human History?

Thanks to energy drilling operations, northern New Mexico is now covered by “a permanent, Delaware-sized methane cloud.”

* Serial, episode thirteen: 1, 2, 3 coming today or tomorrow I think. A sort-of out-there blog post on what it could all mean: The Serial Podcast: The Possible Legal Implications of Jay’s Interview for Jay & Adnan.

UI Chancellor Responds To Salaita Report. This is actually a fairly significant walk-back of Wise’s position — I think she’s actually more progressive on academic freedom than Cary Nelson now — though since she’s still pretending Salaita wasn’t actually hired it doesn’t do much good for him.

Professors are teaching less while administrators proliferate. Let’s find out how all that tuition is being spent. Colleges Need a Business Productivity Audit. Of course the actual text of the article zeroes in on instruction first, which is not the source of the problem…

* It’s the original sin of college football, and you’ll never guess what it is. In Harbaugh hire, excessive pay would send wrong message. How one former coach perpetuated a cheating scheme that benefited hundreds of college athletes. Shut down middling college football programs and shift the money back to instruction.

* The arc of history is long, but: New Michigan Law Bars College Athletes From Unionizing.

* Another angle on the growing Title IX mess: Mothers of accused college rapists fight back.

Rise of the Simulations: Why We Play At Hard Work.

* Brent Bellamy reviews Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway’s The Collapse of Western Civilization.

* 538 profiles the best damn board game on the planet, Twilight Struggle.

* Really interesting idea from Bleeding Cool about what might be happening with Marvel’s sliding timescale. I could honestly see them doing this, or something like it, at least until they start getting some rights back.

Profit from Crisis: Why capitalists do not want recovery, and what that means for America.

Anthropology and the rise of the professional-managerial class.

Is Wisconsin destined to be a Rust Belt backwater?

Why Idris Elba Can’t Play James Bond.

* Seriously, though, sometimes you can’t just switch the skin tones and have the story turn out the same.

* Brands saying “Bae.”

Seven ‘great’ teaching methods not backed up by evidence.

.* BREAKING: Twitter Reaction to Events Often at Odds with Overall Public Opinion.

* Counterpoint: Black and African writers don’t need instructions from Ben Okri.

* To Discipline and Punish: Milwaukee Police Make Late Night Visits.

* I say teach the controversy: Kids and Jails, a Bad Combination.

High School Basketball Team Banned From Tournament Over ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Shirts.

* This Deadspin piece has really made me regret softening my anti-Vox stance in recent months.

* Sounds like the Afghanistan war has ended again. This is #3 or #4 at least, right?

* How to destroy a city: just build a highway.

* The CDC is saying we’re all going to get the flu.

* And as if the IMF wasn’t bad enough.

“Why should the legality of a sale of secrecy depend entirely upon who initiates the transaction? Why is bribery legal but blackmail not?”

* Stop Kidding Yourself: The Police Were Created to Control Working Class and Poor People.

No Charges for Police Chief Who Used Badge to Try and Intimidate Teen into Posing Nude.

* …but believe it or not it is possible for a cop to get fired over a fatal shooting.

LAPD Launches Investigation Into ‘Dead, Dead Michael Brown’ Song Sung at Retired Cop’s Party.

The labor movement should rally against police violence, whether police unions like it or not. I think we should let this whole work stoppage thing play out personally.

* Emails and Racist Chats Show How Cops and GOP Are Teaming Up to Undermine de Blasio. The headline actually undersells the severity of a story where they talk about planting drugs on his daughter.

Horrifying civil liberties predictions for 2015.

* Elsewhere in the richest city in the richest nation ever in the history of the world.

Military Turns To Prison Labor For $100 Million In Uniforms — At $2-Per-Hour Wages.

What Stalled the Gender Revolution? Child Care That Costs More Than College Tuition.

* North Dakota to eliminate taxes because fracking fracking fracking forever fracking. What could go wrong?

* Real life Alien vs. Predator: Cuomo vs. the New York State Legislature.

But Cuomo has insisted he would agree to a pay hike only if the Legislature addressed a long series of criminal and ethical charges against many of its members by passing several reforms, such as a limit on outside incomes earned by lawmakers and a system of publicly financed campaigns.

The legislative leaders, however, responded that Cuomo was making demands he knew were unacceptable in a politically motivated effort to appear as a reformer because he’s under federal investigation for dismantling his anti-corruption Moreland Commission panel.

“Before we did this study, it was certainly my view that the dark net is a good thing.”

* Streetcars, maybe not so great?

* Heartbreaking story of a trans teen’s suicide, based on a suicide note that went viral. Now go hug your kid.

* Exciting new pioneers in research:

A Few Goodmen: Surname-Sharing Economist Coauthors
ALLEN C. GOODMAN (Wayne State University)
JOSHUA GOODMAN (Harvard University)
LUCAS GOODMAN (University of Maryland)
SARENA GOODMAN (Federal Reserve Board)

We explore the phenomenon of coauthorship by economists who share a surname. Prior research has included at most three economist coauthors who share a surname. Ours is the first paper to have four economist coauthors who share a surname, as well as the first where such coauthors are unrelated by marriage, blood or current campus.

* Company selling brain poison offers free public transportation on Brain Poison Day to prevent brain-poison-related driving mishaps.

* Bat-Kierkegaard: The Dark Knight of Faith.

* Want to feel old? This Is What the Cast of Doug Looks Like Now.

* For its first Star Wars spinoff Disney has selected the impossible task of recasting Harrison Ford. They chose… poorly.

* Austerity in everything: Science proves once-in-a-lifetime moments will just make you more depressed.

* And there’s more! You’re more likely to die on your birthday.

Living at a high altitude may make people 30% more likely to commit suicide.

* “Deputies said the shooting appears accidental”: Idaho toddler shoots and kills his mother inside Walmart.

* Wake up, sheeple! Back to the Future predicted 9/11.

* From io9Physics students at the University of Leicester claim to have calculated the amount of energy required to transform water into wine.

* Speaking in front of a white supremacist organization is what I did, but it’s not who I am. Those aren’t the values in my heart.

Celebrities That Look Like Mattresses.

* And I guess I always knew I’d die on a roller coaster.

darkKnightKierkegaard2

Written by gerrycanavan

December 31, 2014 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Christmas Leftovers Links

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* Listen, when Chris Ware tells you to buy a book, you buy it.

For a small group of comedy writers, however, their yearly viewing couldn’t be further from Bedford Falls. Instead, they gather ’round a never-aired 1996 Comedy Central special: Escape From It’s A Wonderful Life.

Caganer — the strangest, most scatological part of Catalan nativity scenes — explained.

* Jacobin remembers the Christmas truce, one hundred years old yesterday.

* Let 2015 be Year One of the post-carbon future. 4 Legal Battles This Year That Were All About Climate Change. Sewage in the streets of Miami. Could flooding finally wake Americans up to the climate crisis? Irreversible But Not Unstoppable: The Ghost Of Climate Change Yet To Come.

* The crazy history of Star Wars.

The Class Struggle in the North Pole.

* The Justice Department may investigate Milwaukee PD following the no-indict of the shooter of Dontre Hamilton.

* Elsewhere on the local beat: A Milwaukee doctor says he has the answer to concussions.

* And, sadly: Milwaukee’s poet laureate passes away.

Among recent graduates ages 22 to 27, the jobless rate for blacks last year was 12.4 percent versus 4.9 percent for whites, said John Schmitt, a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

* I missed this one in August: Tobias Wolff on the heart of whiteness.

* Subway sandwiches and the halo effect.

* 90-Year-Old Vet Arrested For Feeding Homeless Will Hand Out Christmas Eve Dinner.

* I can’t believe they made a movie out of Bill, The Galactic Hero. I can’t wait to see it.

“I, Cthulhu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9’ S, Longitude 126° 43’ W)?”

* A look inside 8chan, the worst place on the Internet: “The Mods Are Always Asleep.”

* There’s magical thinking, and then there’s “Believing in Santa Claus could help your kids develop a cure for cancer.”

* Behold, the baby in the sun from Teletubbies.

* This was a nice, short, readable explanation of how all the statistical analysis in The Bell Curve was bullshit.

10 Story Decisions Scifi And Fantasy Writers Ended Up Regretting. Tough list to get down to just ten!

In the 1950s, Egypt and Britain played an old version of tit-for-tat. Egypt took the Suez Canal. The British decided to pay them back by stealing the river Nile itself. Yes, the whole Nile.

* A very J.R.R. Tolkien Christmas.

Parents Are Moving To The Same Towns Where Their Kids Go To College. When my kids go to college, I’m enrolling in their freshman classes. I don’t want to miss a moment.

Falsely Shouting Fire in a Theater: How a Forgotten Labor Struggle Became a National Obsession and Emblem of Our Constitutional Faith.

New York City Sends $30 Million a Year to School With History of Giving Kids Electric Shocks.

Pope Francis: ‘One in 50’ Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals is a paedophile.

Pious Anxiety: Flannery O’Connor’s Prayer Journal.

* On Facebook and Algorithmic Cruelty.

The Marvel Movie Universe, In Completely Chronological Order.

The melancholy of all things done” is the way Buzz once described his complete mental breakdown after returning from the moon. Booze. A couple of divorces. A psych ward. Broke. At one point he was selling cars. Buzz Aldrin and the dark side of the Moon.

* Of course you had me at “There’s a serious proposal to send astronauts to a floating cloud city in Venus’s atmosphere before heading to Mars.”

* A public service announcement: Black Mirror: White Christmas was fantastic. Find a way to watch it!

* And if you squint just right it looks like the world isn’t ending. Happy Holidays indeed!