Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘abiogenesis

First Week of School Links!

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* Harvey. Hell and High Water. Houston has been hit with a 100-year flood — a rainstorm that, going by previous records, has a 1 percent chance of happening in one year — in 2015 and in 2016. Now in 2017 it’s enduring what will probably be the worst flood in the city’s history. Hurricane Harvey Probably Isn’t a 500-Year Event Anymore. The trouble with living in a swamp: Houston floods explained. 9 Trillion Tons. ProPublica’s report on how zoning made this even worse. “No one could have predicted.” Why Houston wasn’t ready for Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Harvey Could Also Be a Major Pollution Disaster. FIRST-UG 102: Critical Disaster Studies. Here’s how to help.

* CFP: “200 Years of the Fantastic: Celebrating Frankenstein and Mary Shelley,” ICFA 39, March 14-18, 2018.

* “Teaching first-years today? Here are some things my son, starting college today, was never taught.” And from the archives: Shadow Syllabus.

Mothering While Brown in White Spaces, Or, When I Took My Son to Octavia Butler’s Exhibit.

Announcing the Brittle Paper Literary Awards: The Shortlists.

* I hope someone is optioning “That 70s Suitcase” for a film trilogy. Here’s the creator’s answer. Via MeFi.

* The university in ruins.

* William Gibson on living in the retrofuture.

* Gene Roddenberry, megalomaniac.

Alexander: Are there any subjects that you haven’t tackled on The Next Generation that you would like to?

Roddenberry: There are subjects, yes, but I will keep them secret, because you have to wait until a certain level of thinking permits these things to be thought about openly and in writing. I have many thoughts which, if I were to voice them now, would turn many people against me. People would think, “My God, behind this is such inequity!” [Laughter.]

Alexander: People would be surprised at how big a revolutionary you really are? [Laughter.]

* Fan fiction in the New Yorker.

* When you come at the young-adult-literature community, you best not miss.

* Because you demanded it: a Tolkien biopic.

Try to imagine a society with no need for confinement, with no one being locked up after a brutal act, and it is difficult not to feel one has lapsed into utopianism. Yet, try to determine what socially useful purpose prisons have fulfilled, sift through the wreckage looking for a residual ‘good’ prison system, and it is hard not to feel you’re wasting your time on a pointless abstraction. For and against abolitionism.

* Well, this barely lasted a week: Why I’m glad the generals are in control in the Trump administration.

It’s Time: Congress Needs to Open a Formal Impeachment Inquiry.

We’ve been covering Joe Arpaio for more than 20 years. Here’s a couple of things you should know about him… Another Arpaio thread. The Joe Arpaio I knew. The year I spent in Joe Arpaio’s tent jail was hell. He should never walk free. Trump has realized that he can use his pardon power to bypass the lawyers and judges and investigators he so despises. Arpaio was a test run. Now he will know it works. Trump’s Pardon of Joe Arpaio Is an Impeachable Offense. President Trump Should Be Impeached for Pardoning Joe Arpaio.

Leaked Chats Show Charlottesville Marchers Were Planning for Violence. University officials say white supremacists are recruiting their students. Brandeis U. Is Closed After Receiving Email Threats. We’re Tracking Confederate Monuments. Tell Us What’s on Your Campus.

Fearing Trump Administration Crackdown, Immigrants May Stay in Hurricane Harvey Zone. ICE Left 50 Immigrant Women And Kids Stranded At A Bus Station Before Hurricane Harvey Struck. ICE detains DACA-protected immigrant trying to post bail for someone else. ABQ woman jailed after ATF informant lured her into drug deals. Salvadoran asylum seeker with brain tumor seized from Texas hospital. After ICE arrests in Saratoga Springs, some migrant workers fear showing up for racing season. I’m a DACA Student and I’m Praying ICE Doesn’t Pick Up My Parents.

* After all this mere tax gimmicks seems almost innocent.

* Yes, Icahn.

* Trump Tower Moscow.

* The End of the Goldwater Rule.

White House Sets Rules for Military Transgender Ban. All but promising to end DACA.

* Stories that already seem a thousand years ago and a million miles away: Special Counsel Examines Possible Role Flynn Played in Seeking Clinton Emails From Hackers. How are we ever going to find time to be angry about Mnuchin misusing public funds to get a better view of the eclipse? I’d forgotten this one even happened and it was last week.

* They’re not even pretending they think he’s competent.

* A whole lot of people with absolutely nothing to hide.

Law and protest in Durham.

Trump order could give immigration agents a foothold in US schools.

* An intimate history of antifa.

Can Anyone Stop Trump From Launching Nuclear Weapons?

* In the richest country that has ever existed in human history: “She eats out of dumpsters so she can afford long-term care for her husband.”

Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck.

* Fired for unexpected periods.

* The Upper Midwest is terrible for racial inequality, and Wisconsin tops the list.

* A solid B-. Not bad.

Boomers are news-illiterate couch vegetables stuck in front of their yelling, ad-saturated TVs.

There’s a reason you won’t find many monuments in the South to one of Robert E. Lee’s most able deputies.

3,700-year-old Babylonian tablet rewrites the history of maths – and shows the Greeks did not develop trigonometry.

There is no such thing as western civilisation.

* Understanding abiogenesis.

* The Monsanto of marijuana.

* WHAT YEAR IS IT

* Instagram Africa.

Given the enormous amount of data to support these findings, and given the field in question, one might think male scientists would use these outcomes to create a more level playing field. But a recent paper showed that in fact, male STEM faculty assessed the quality of real research that demonstrated bias against women in STEM as being low; instead the male faculty favored fake research, designed for the purposes of the study in question, which purported to demonstrate that no such bias exists.

* Stories like this one were why I thought supporters of Title IX (like myself) needed to get ahead of the problem and reform it while we still could. Almost certainly too late now.

* The water you just drank was filled with self-replicating nanobots. Understanding Noah’s Ark. Be careful what you wish for.

We talk about broad-strokes when assessing the slogan “Make America Great Again,” but what if — alongside the racism and toxic nostalgia — there is a more intimate way people are hearing it: make my children love and respect me again, make my community a place where people don’t automatically want to leave and never come back again, make America a place where getting ahead in life isn’t synonymous with dissociating yourself from me. Right-wing media — and here I am thinking of Trump fundamentally as a media phenomenon, which is how our parents experience him — has exploited this situation in a despicable and probably unfixable way, but they didn’t create the underlying dynamic. In other words, ultimately Fox News isn’t what’s tearing families apart, but it’s profiting from the fact that they’re already being torn apart by the geographic concentration of wealth and opportunity.

* Why no one can say Trump lost the election. Democrats’ 2018 gerrymandering problem is really bad.

Nuclear missiles were once ready to launch from Milwaukee’s suburbs.

* Profiles in courage getting out ahead of the story.

* Your mandatory Game of Thrones wrap-ups: Why Game of Thrones has become so incoherent. Every city in the world is built on wildfire. 27 questions (about last week’s episode). Game of Thrones’ Drive to the Finish Line Is Crippling Its Ability to Tell a Story. Game of Rewrites. Maps and fantasy. I’d watch at least a few episodes of a George R.R. Martin-helmed Star Trek series. And sure to be squashed fan theories we can believe in: Is Bran Stark the Night King?

In the wake of the Game of Thrones finale, indulge in the nostalgia of Dragonlance. Are you listening, TruTV?

* And this is the only prestige TV I need.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 29, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Links!

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The Paradox of New Buildings on Campus: Even as long-neglected maintenance threatens to further escalate the price of higher education, universities continue to borrow and spend record amounts on new buildings.

The “terminal” sabbatical eases the aging academic into “retirement,” the meat grinder admins use to nourish new administrators.

Visual Proof That America’s Weather Has Gone Completely Insane.

* Our friend Nina Riggs writes of her family’s history of cancer.

* The New York Times reviews Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Game Theory Is Really Counterintuitive. And from Cracked: 20 Paradoxes Most Human Minds Can’t Wrap Themselves Around.

* Jessa “Bookslut” Crispin has a book! Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto.

Just in time for another convention, Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.”

* It’s not enough to just turn over your lunch money; you have to enjoy it.

A final response to the “Tell me why Trump is a fascist”.

* Weird science: MIT Experiment Proves Quantum Mechanics Still in Effect at Over 400-Miles.

* Twilight of the VCR. A nation remembers.

* Disability in Abramsverse Star Trek.

* UnREAL probably is going to be bad from here on out.

* Trying to understand the data on desistance in transgender kids.

* What I’ve Learned From Having A Trans Partner.

* Brain metaphors in the Age of Trump: Is Your Nervous System a Democracy or a Dictatorship?

* Elsewhere on science corner: What high heels say about the massive gap between the rich and the poor. Ancient Campfires May Have Unleashed Humanity’s Top Bacterial Killer. Proton Gradients and the Origin of Life. This map shows how many people are getting high near you. Watch language evolve as little sims wander around a grid of islands. Personality Change May Be Early Sign of Dementia, Experts Say.

* #TheWisdomofMarkets: Nintendo shares plummet after investors realize it doesn’t actually make Pokémon Go.

* Details emerge about the new Nintendo system that I will almost certainly be buying my child sight unseen.

* Interesting details about the accident that hurt Harrison Ford on the set of The Force Awakens.

* Your policy, not mine: Pokémon Go players urged not to venture into Fukushima disaster zone.

* “You are surprisingly likely to have a living doppelgänger.”

* “Mysterious green slimy foam emerges from Utah sewer.”

* And I suppose you do have to admire it.

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Make Mine Tuesday Links!

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* “Once upon a time, there was an angry guy, who hated the story he was in. All right?” Charles Yu in the New Yorker.

* Huge congratulations to my recent (last week!) student Michael Welch (ENGW ’16), winner of the 2016 Florence Kahn Memorial Award from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and the author of the poetry chapbook But Sometimes I Remember, now at Amazon!

* “Marquette reports surge in student demand for incoming class.” Well, that’s good news!

* Division of Precrime: There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks.

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 11.34.56 PMJust How Few Professors of Color Are at America’s Top Colleges?

So what can we do? The solution is very simple! Don’t date your students. Don’t stalk, harass, or overshare your feels with your students. Don’t expect them to perform emotional or sexual labor for you. Treat them like professionals, so that they can become the professionals they want to be without being humiliated or having their or your intellectual enthusiasm questioned or second-guessed.

* The number of times DoJ has invoked the state secrets privilege is a state secret.

In effect, we have two American economies. One is made up of expensive coastal zip codes where the pundits proclaiming “recovery” are surrounded by prosperity. The other is composed of heartland regions where ordinary Americans struggle without jobs. Over 50 million Americans live in what the Economic Innovation Group calls “distressed communities”—zip codes where over 55% of the population is unemployed. Of those distressed communities, over half are in the South, defined generously by the census as the region stretching from Maryland and Delaware to Oklahoma and Texas. The rest tend to live in Midwest rust belt cities that have long suffered from economic decline, like Gary, Indiana and Cleveland, Ohio. It is nearly impossible for Americans of the latter group to move to the cities of the former group—or to work in the industries that shape public perception of how the economy is going.

* This ed-reform trend is supposed to motivate students. Instead, it shames them.

* I’m actually surprised Terry McAuliffe almost made it the entire way through his first term.

“The apocalypse is never that single cataclysmic event,” remarks a resistance leader of an imaginary nation to her psychiatrist in a conversation at the heart of “In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain” (2015), the most recent film of Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour and the central piece in her solo exhibition at Sabrina Amrani Gallery. In the film, a resistance group is on a mission to produce a future history for a made-up civilization: by making underground deposits of elaborate porcelain, the group supports its claims to the existence of a people before their obliteration by a colonial power. In line with the classical sci-fi format, the digital film is set in a dystopian territory without a future, or at the very end of historical time. The master narrative of the end-of-times is not an event but a condition: Disaster becomes not sheer bad luck, but a fixed lens through which history is narrated.

* Visual cultures of indigenous futurisms.

Program’s focus on Aboriginal literature a first.

1890 Map of Indigenous Languages of the Americas.

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* Why you should respond to student requests.

* “Possible Conflict at Heart of Clinton Foundation.” Well I suppose anything’s possible.

February national polls are the best you get until August. But let’s all panic just the same.

* #welcometonightvale: For all the advances in transplant surgery in the 62 years since doctors first moved a kidney from Ronald Herrick to his identical twin, Richard, the method of transporting organs remains remarkably primitive. A harvested heart, lung, liver or kidney is iced in a plastic cooler, the kind you might take to the beach, then raced to an operating room where a critically ill patient and his surgical team are waiting. The new approach flips that idea — emphasizing warmth instead of cold and maintaining an organ’s natural processes rather than slowing them down. That may speed an individual heart or liver’s return to service, and it offers the eventual possibility of more: the potential to reduce the chronic shortage of organs for transplant by expanding the pool of usable ones.

* Inside The Looming Disaster Of The Salton Sea.

* One Hundred Years of Gender-Segregated Public Restrooms.

* Parts of New Orleans Are Sinking Fast, Study Finds.

Has the age of quantum computing arrived?

Zika is coming, but we’re far from ready.

* Nothing gold can stay: Lego sets have become more violent to keep up with the times, new study shows.

* #ready4tyrion

* #Holdthedoor (from 2014!).

* #bluelivesmatter

“Dad wrote pirate porn, ghost porn, science-fiction porn, vampire porn, historical porn, time-travel porn, secret-agent porn, thriller porn, zombie porn, and Atlantis porn.” LARoB reviews Chris Offutt’s My Father, The Pornographer.

* No more water, the fire next time: xkcd explores the weirdly specific promise of the rainbow.

* William Gibson’s first comic book project, Archangel.

* Blastr actually liked DC Rebirth.

The planet would warm by searing 10C if all fossil fuels are burned, according to a new study, leaving some regions uninhabitable and wreaking profound damage on human health, food supplies and the global economy. ^when

* And we are all star stuff.

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Christmas Eve Links!

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* My article about Battle: Los Angeles is finally up at Democratic Communiqué: “I’d Rather Be in Afghanistan”: Antinomies of Battle: Los Angeles. It’s part of a special issue on “Media, Technology, and the Culture of Militarism: Watching, Playing and Resisting the War Society.”

* John McAdams’s lawyer has made public his letter to the Marquette administration protesting his suspension.

* A horrid, horrifying story of an organized campaign to harass a random Brandeis undergraduate for her tweets.

UIUC Report Condemns Dismissal of Steven Salaita. I said this on Twitter, but “It was wrong to arbitrarily break the rules then to fire Salaita, but we should arbitrarily break the rules now to reconsider his hiring” is a bullshit conclusion. Either he was hired or he wasn’t.

* Santa’s magic, children’s wisdom, and inequality.

* Are Parents Obliged to Pay for College?

* Today’s police killing non-indictment comes to us form Houston, Texas.

Former Buffalo Police officer Cariol Horne in a battle to get her pension. She was fired for trying to stop a fellow officer she says was abusing a suspect.

* In the face of the NYPD, it’s not just that New York City’s leaders are spineless. They’re frightened, which is far more dangerous.

* When White Men Love Black Women on TV.

* Fast-Food Consumption Linked to Lower Test Score Gains in 8th Graders.

The numbers are shocking: In the United States, according to the GED Testing Service, 401,388 people earned a GED in 2012, and about 540,000 in 2013. This year, according to the latest numbers obtained by Scene, only about 55,000 have passed nationally. That is a 90-percent drop off from last year.

Creditonormativity: Asserts that participation in the credit system of finance is the norm and is therefore the only and expected financial orientation. This orientation is then used to legitimate participation in a range of otherwise exclusionary social exchanges and relations. A creditonormative society is compulsory and involves the alignment of body, mind, and wallet with the biopolitical governance of financialization.

* Against the idea of bystander intervention as a solution to rape culture.

Do #BlackLivesMatter In Academia?

* Giuliani’s claim is an outlandish distortion of what Obama actually said. We rate this Pants on Fire.

* An oral history of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

* On sneaking a lesbian relationship past the censors in an anime in 2014.

We have created a public education system designed to assess our students and teachers on measures we perpetually keep just out of reach, so that the most successful students, teachers, and schools have nothing to worry about while the least successful among us must worry constantly about whether we’re smart or not, under review or not, employed or not — worth something or not. We demand that the people we fail define self-worth as judged by us. Other kinds of literacy (or even last year’s literacy) simply need not apply.

* Seeing this part of my family always introduces me to new Christian alternative media I’ve never heard of before. This time it was Bibleman and the “Unwind Dystology,” a sort of pro-life Divergent.

* Meanwhile, from the annals of my very serious research.

Coming to Terms With My Father’s Racism.

* Panspermia in the 19th century.

* The arc of history is long, but The Interview will play in 200 theaters this Christmas after all.

* And I thought this was supposed to be Christmas: Ohio homeowner told to take down his zombie nativity scene.

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Do They Even Know It’s Wednesday Links

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* Great visit yesterday to STS at Riverside! Really enjoyed it.

For the black community in America, there has never been a “normal” baseline experience from which emergencies are exceptions: unfortunate but episodic deviations. Rather, it has been a rolling emergency, interrupted by brief windows of relative promise. And from this perspective, perhaps we can understand the enigmatic “real state of exception” that Benjamin calls for — because from the perspective of white power, those moments of promise are the true emergencies that must be shut down at all costs.

* Indicting A System Not A Man…. Indict the System, Not Just Darren Wilson. No more Missouri compromises.

* Apocalypse now: chocolate could disappear by 2020.

Wisconsin as a Frontier of School Privatization: Will Anyone Notice the Looting?

* Just a short rumination on the greatness of comics from Ta-Nehisi Coates.

* Marquette in the… sigh. Philosophy Grad Student Target of Political Smear Campaign.

The potential benefit for higher-earning graduate students is “a policy accident,” says Jason Delisle, director of the Federal Education Budget Project at the New America Foundation. “And who’s going to figure this out? Probably people with graduate degrees.”

* Ladies and gentlemen, your rising Democratic stars: Most of those prisoners now work as groundskeepers, janitors and in prison kitchens, with wages that range from 8 cents to 37 cents per hour. Lawyers for Attorney General Kamala Harris had argued in court that if forced to release these inmates early, prisons would lose an important labor pool.

New Project to Digitize 10,000 Sci-Fi Zines.

Museum on slave trade planned for Episcopal cathedral in Providence.

Tuition and Fees, 1998-99 Through 2014-15. Here’s Marquette:

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* Exciting untapped market in higher education: Colleges Encourage Graduates to Seek Second Bachelor’s Degrees.

In recognition of the evening, Ms. Stamm’s husband, Arthur Stamm, made a gift of $100,000. At the time, it was the largest gift the college had received from a single donor in its 42-year history.

Since January alone, by contrast, Duke University, which educates 14,850 students on its 8,709-acre campus, has received gifts and pledges of $1 million or more on the average of every six or seven weeks. In those gifts alone, the university has already raised about $49 million this year. And yet, according to the latest ranking, its endowment of close to $6 billion in 2012 did not earn it a place among the country’s 10 richest schools, a list led by Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

* More scenes from the class struggle at elite universities.

* Karl Stefanovic’s sexism experiment: Today presenter wears same suit for a year.

* To remember Mandela is to remember Robben Island.

Police officers in Florida surprised students, teachers and parents Thursday with an active shooter drill. And by “active shooter drill,” we mean that a Winter Haven middle school went into lockdown as two armed police officers burst into classrooms, guns drawn, leaving the unsuspecting children terrified — and their parents furious.

* Rosetta Probe Discovers Organic Molecules on Comet.

* Homelessness isn’t an accident. It’s the result of a brutal economic system and conscious state policy.

* What Shakespeare taught me about Marxism.

* No capital projects but the end of capital.

* The rich want everything. They even want to suffer most from inequality!

* To draw on Klein paraphrasing Al Gore, here’s my inconvenient truth: when you tell people what it would actually take to radically reduce carbon emissions, they turn away. They don’t want to give up air travel or air conditioning or HDTV or trips to the mall or the family car or the myriad other things that go along with consuming 5,000 or 8,000 or 12,000 watts. All the major environmental groups know this, which is why they maintain, contrary to the requirements of a 2,000-watt society, that climate change can be tackled with minimal disruption to “the American way of life.” And Klein, you have to assume, knows it too. The irony of her book is that she ends up exactly where the “warmists” do, telling a fable she hopes will do some good.

At This Rate, The World Will Have To Cease All Carbon Emissions In 2040 To Stay Under 2°C.

* Just another average November, nbd: Buffalo, N.Y., area in the midst of a truly insane lake effect snow storm.

* Mark Fisher has one of the better anti-identity-politics pieces I’ve seen on the left: Exiting the Vampires’ Castle.

If this seems like a forbidding and daunting task, it is. But we can start to engage in many prefigurative activities right now. Actually, such activities would go beyond pre-figuration – they could start a virtuous cycle, a self-fulfilling prophecy in which bourgeois modes of subjectivity are dismantled and a new universality starts to build itself. We need to learn, or re-learn, how to build comradeship and solidarity instead of doing capital’s work for it by condemning and abusing each other. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we must always agree – on the contrary, we must create conditions where disagreement can take place without fear of exclusion and excommunication. We need to think very strategically about how to use social media – always remembering that, despite the egalitarianism claimed for social media by capital’s libidinal engineers, that this is currently an enemy territory, dedicated to the reproduction of capital. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t occupy the terrain and start to use it for the purposes of producing class consciousness. We must break out of the ‘debate’ that communicative capitalism in which capital is endlessly cajoling us to participate in, and remember that we are involved in a class struggle. The goal is not to ‘be’ an activist, but to aid the working class to activate – and transform – itself. Outside the Vampires’ Castle, anything is possible.

It’s Not Your Kids Holding Your Career Back. It’s Your Husband.

Academia for women: short maternity leave, few part-time roles and lower pay.

* Marriage, y’all, I just don’t know.

I woke up this morning still black, still a woman, and still bothered by the Jezebel piece. So I’m here using my voice to encourage us all to speak up.

* Generation Pharmakon.

The Most Popular Drug in America Is an Antipsychotic and No One Really Knows How It Works.

* Necro-streaming: Notes on Watching a Dead Show.

The Biggest Lies About Science in the U.S. Government’s “Wastebook.” Just pure ressentiment.

* Actually existing government waste! White House announces push for next generation of hi-tech weapons.

* Death by deadline.

Twilight of the Indoor Mall.

Yelp Prison Review Faxbot.

* Secret Origins of the Black Panther. Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ Isn’t Just Another Black Superhero.

Five ways to pander to millennials in 2016.

* I wanted a bigger, better Bayside more than anybody: Company Halts Plan To Frack 3,000 Feet From Pennsylvania School.

Bill Cosby Is An Alleged Serial Rapist. So, Now What?

The heart of the matter is this: A defender of Bill Cosby must, effectively, conjure a vast conspiracy, created to bring down one man, seemingly just out of spite. And people will do this work of conjuration, because it is hard to accept that people we love in one arena can commit great evil in another. It is hard to believe that Bill Cosby is a serial rapist because the belief doesn’t just indict Cosby, it indicts us. It damns us for drawing intimate conclusions about people based on pudding-pop commercials and popular TV shows. It destroys our ability to lean on icons for our morality. And it forces us back into a world where seemingly good men do unspeakably evil things, and this is just the chaos of human history.

Gorbachev Tried To Get George Bush To Spoil Who Killed Laura Palmer.

* Has Uber Ubered an Uber too Uber this Uber?

What’s most troubling about “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is not the music per se but the way it insinuates itself — and “us” — into a story about “them” and yet can’t be bothered to get even the most basic facts right.

* The uncomfortable origins of “Afrofuturism.”

I have an idea for a mature, adult, fantasy roleplaying game.

In Defense of Indiana Jones, Archaeologist.

* Some days you just need http://badkidsjokes.tumblr.com.

* And, finally, MTV is ready to tell my story.

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 19, 2014 at 8:20 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Creation Myths

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 25, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Wednesday Night

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* Scientists prove life down here began up there.

The Isua region of southwest Greenland is home to a number of these mud volcanoes, which researchers at the Laboratory of Geology in Lyon, France believe erupted 3.8 billion years ago. These eruptions forced up to the surface some chemical elements crucial to the formation of biomolecules. This probably wasn’t the first or last time that that sequence of events occur, but the researchers argue that, in this particular instance, conditions were aligned perfectly for the emergence of life…and 3.8 billion years later, here we are.

* It turns out tear gas is a war crime, but still perfectly okay for local police departments.

* More on the lethality of nonlethal weapons. Still more.

* Gawker discovers the Occupy Wall Street “I’m Getting Arrested” app.

Walmart CEO Makes Average Workers Annual Salary Every Hour.

* College tuition is up 8.3% this year, while salaries for college grads are down. Obama has a new plan for student loan relief that will cap loan repayment at 10% of income (as opposed to 15%) and dissolve the debt entirely after twenty years (as opposed to after 25). The Atlantic estimates this will save the average college student… less than $10 a month.

* And totally unrelated to anything above: Young Americans Rapidly Sour on Obama.