Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Al Qaeda

Infinite Monday Links! Just Keep Scrolling!

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* Podcast report! Everyone is listening to every episode of Hello, from the Magic Tavern one after another pretty much nonstop. My favorite one so far.

* My book Octavia E. Butler has a preview page at University of Illinois Press. Get your pre-orders in now!

* From the archives! That thing I wrote about the first season of Kimmy Schmidt. I’ve been pretty unimpressed with the second season, alas, and some of the things I wrote back then seem to point to why.

* You know, after reading this I think I hate the humanities too.

* CFP: 4th edition of “Games and Literary Theory” in Krakow, Poland (Nov 18-20).

Black Holes: Afro-Pessimism, Blackness and the Discourses of Modernity.

* Star Trek 2017 Rumor Watch!

* Local news.

* And you thought you felt bad about your pedagogy already: Are Colleges Too Obsessed With Smartness?

“When the entire system of higher education gives favored status to the smartest students, even average students are denied equal opportunities,” he writes. “If colleges were instead to be judged on what they added to each student’s talents and capacities, then applicants at every level of academic preparation might be equally valued.”

* Administrators at the University of Beirut seem to have blocked an appointment for Steven Salaita.

* University maladministration can never fail, it can only be failed.

272 Slaves Were Sold to Save Georgetown. What Does It Owe Their Descendants?

* How to Build a Major in a Young Field: The University of Toledo’s new disability-studies program attracts undergradute interest.

* Cornell Continues to Receive Scrutiny Over Job Ad.

Philosophers who work outside of academia – Part 3: Transferrable skills and concrete advice.

UC Davis spent thousands to scrub pepper-spray references from Internet. The University of Public Relations.

President Obama to Forgive Nearly 400,000 Disabled Americans’ Federal Student Loans.

Vatican conference urges end to doctrine of ‘just wars.’

* The Minecraft Generation.

Behind the Scenes at the Met.

The Librarian Who Saved Timbuktu’s Cultural Treasures From al Qaeda.

* Wild Chernobyl.

* Huge, if true: Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems. Why Are Voters Angry? It’s the 1099 Economy, Stupid.

A $15 minimum wage is too high and that’s great.

Mississippi Jails Are Losing Inmates, And Local Officials Are ‘Devastated’ By The Loss Of Revenue.

* Special pleading alert! No, DC Should Not Become The 51st State. Here’s A Quick History Lesson To Remind You Why.

* A(other) New Map for America.

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This Former College President Spent 2 Years in Prison. Here’s What He Learned. The answer will shock you!

How Not to Audit the Pentagon.

You could almost forget this, as the term fizzles into a bunch of sagging 4-4 ties and improbable unanimous decisions, but if Antonin Scalia had lived until July the docket was full of poisoned pills and silent time bombs that would have exploded in President Obama’s face this summer. Until and unless we reckon with what might have been at the high court this term, it’s impossible to understand why there will be no hearings for Judge Garland. GOP senators aren’t just angry about losing Justice Scalia’s seat. They are angry because the court as the weapon of choice to screw the president has been taken from them, and they want it back.

* A Huge Portion of Greenland Started Melting This Week. This Is Why the Great Barrier Reef Is Dying. If only someone had known!

New UN report finds almost no industry profitable if environmental costs were included.

Now Keurig says it has found a solution. It is taking longer than it took for NASA to put a man on the moon, but in the coming months, the company will begin to sell K-Cups made of material that is easily recycled.

* Every Disney Song from Best to Worst. Glad we settled that!

* There never was a Bernie Sanders movement. Personally I blame Ben and Jerry.

* Why Democrats Must Embrace A Universal Child Allowance. Working moms have more successful daughters and more caring sons, Harvard Business School study says.

* The time Donald Trump’s empire took on a stubborn widow — and lost.

* I was a men’s rights activist.

* An oral history of Childrens Hospital.

* Behold, King Curry. A flashback.

* Remembering the Dungeons and Dragons Moral Panic.

* As I feared, the tide seems to have turned on Title IX. I continue to think the whole law is at risk if its supporters cannot find a way to frame and articulate the need for reform.

Male chimpanzee Chacha screams after escaping from nearby Yagiyama Zoological Park as a man tries to capture him on the power lines at a residential area in Sendai, northern Japan. The chimp was eventually caught after being shot with a tranquilizer gun and falling from the power lines, Kyodo news reported. REUTERS/Kyodo

It’s Time To Acknowledge How Important the Death Star is to Star Wars. I don’t know that I quite agree with this, but Rogue One does (seem to) point to a vision of the franchise that isn’t so heavily dependent on the Jedi.

Ben Affleck’s Solo Batman Movie Has a Huge Opportunity and One Big Problem. And while we’re at it, just one more beating up Batman v. Superman.

Male chimpanzee Chacha screams after escaping from nearby Yagiyama Zoological Park as a man tries to capture him on the power lines at a residential area in Sendai, northern Japan.

A Zookeeper Known as “The Tiger Whisperer” Was Killed by a Tiger.

Journalist wants Obama’s ‘Game of Thrones’ screeners, so files a FOIA request for them.

* Being Kumail Nanjiani.

* Being Cherie Berry.

* Being Monica Lewinsky.

* Ancient Peruvian Mystery Solved from Space.

Alien ‘Wow!’ signal could be explained after almost 40 years.

Could the Broadway smash ‘Hamilton’ help keep a woman’s face off the front of the $10 bill? Coming soon: Andrew Jackson: The Musical! PS: In 2030.

Why Fans of Hamilton Should Be Delighted It’s Finally Stirring Criticism.

New ABC show ‘Cleverman’ is about an Aboriginal superhero. Australian ABC, not US ABC, alas.

* Someone should have double-checked that math: Man Sentenced to 4 Years After Victim Says She Was Held Captive, Sexually Assaulted for a Decade.

At Tampa Bay farm-to-table restaurants, you’re being fed fiction.

Hawking’s Interstellar Starship Would Revolutionize the Search for Alien Life. What Will Make Interstellar Travel a Reality?

* And they said culture was dead!

* As a wise man once said, you don’t exist.

Controversial Illustrations By Polish Artist Reveal The Darker Side Of Modern Society.

Foreskin doesn’t make a man more “sensitive,” study finds.

Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing. The Black Radical Tragic : Performance, Aesthetics, and the Unfinished Haitian Revolution. LARoB v. Shakespeare.

Can SeaWorld Redeem Itself?

* Are Humans Definitely Smarter Than Apes?

* Have creepy professors ruined the independent study forever?

* Behold, the US alt-right.

* If you want a vision of the future.

* And I didn’t know him as well as others, but we’ll all miss Srinivas Aravamudan. Some details on the Aravamudan fund.

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Written by gerrycanavan

April 18, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Potpourri

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* Jacob Remes explains May Day.

* My Joss Whedon zombie essay from PopMatters is out in Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion today. Last night I submitted my abstract for the upcoming Politics of Adaptation conference on Cabin in the Woods, drawing me ever closer to total Joss Whedon scholarly completism.

* Roundtable on Non-Western SF, at Locus.

* A federal judge in Virginia has ruled that “liking” a Facebook post is not free speech. To repeat my own Twitter quips, yeah, because it doesn’t cost money.

* New polling shows Amendment One will likely pass after all.

* al Qaeda’s discovered our only weakness: our insatiable love of porn.

On May 16 last year, a 22-year-old Austrian named Maqsood Lodin was being questioned by police in Berlin. He had recently returned from Pakistan via Budapest, Hungary, and then traveled overland to Germany. His interrogators were surprised to find that hidden in his underpants were a digital storage device and memory cards.

Buried inside them was a pornographic video called “Kick Ass” — and a file marked “Sexy Tanja.”

Several weeks later, after laborious efforts to crack a password and software to make the file almost invisible, German investigators discovered encoded inside the actual video a treasure trove of intelligence — more than 100 al Qaeda documents that included an inside track on some of the terror group’s most audacious plots and a road map for future operations.

* Hungry for good nerd press, Netflix is teasing it might resurrect Jericho.

* Five anarchists arrested by FBI for trying to blow up Cleveland bridge with fake bombs given to them by FBI.

* Aetna, according to the report, cited exclusions and said it would not cover the claim because Scott developed breasts after she changed sexes. N.J. transgender woman wins battle with insurance company to have mammogram covered.

* …legal chicanery has reached such high levels that the SEC is toying with the idea of going after it directly.

* And somebody page Nick Bostrom: Entire Observable Universe Modeled Using French Supercomputer.

Good Friday

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* The New York State Senate just passed marriage equality 33-29, bringing the number of states allowing gay marriage to six but more than doubling the number of Americans eligible. Twitter tells me this is the first time a Republican-held legislature has passed a marriage equality provision. 44 states to go. Great news that in my own small way I’ve personally been waiting a long time to see.

* I feel so happy I can’t even get mad at news that the GOP walked away from the debt limit negotiations in order to protect tax breaks for people earning $500,000 a year. In fairness I’m pretty sure they were going to walk away from the table no matter what they were offered.

* Self-parody watch: bin Laden was looking to rebrand al Qaeda before he died.

* The streak is over: Cars 2 is the first Pixar movie to receive a “rotten” rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

* And Peter Falk has died. If I were home, I’d pop in The Princess Bride to mourn…

Links for Wednesday

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* Domestic terrorism watch: a gas line was cut at the home of Virginia Representative Tom Perriello’s brother one day after the address was posted on a Tea Party blog advising those angry about the health care decision to “drop by.” The FBI is investigating. Bart Stupak has also been receiving death threats. Ten members of Congress have received increased security protection in the wake of the health care passage.

* Of course, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are continuing to egg these nuts on.

* Fox News continues to devote its august attention to the real stories, like the possibility that terrorists could use breast implants to bring down airplanes.

* Insane GOP obstructionism brings Senate reform closer. Today they invoked the ridiculous “2 PM” rule to block a meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Supporting the troops! Because, you know, country first.

* Leading GOP Congressmen are already seeking to take credit for the health care bill they spent the last 18 months demonizing—even while other factions in the party continue to demonize it:

What House Minority Leader John A. Boehner has called the Battle of Capitol Hill is over. I expect that the Battle of the Electorate is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of a nonsocialist America. Upon it depends our own American way of life and the long continuity of our institutions and our history. The whole fury and might of the media and the Democratic party must very soon be trained on the electorate.

If they can stand up to the coming propaganda, America may be free, and the life of the wider free world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.

But if the voters succumb to those seven months of blandishments and deceptions, then free America — including all that we have known and cared for — will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

Oh, no! Not perverted science!

* Is Health Care Reform Constitutional?The paper reviews the relevant features of the legislation, Congress‟ rationale and record supporting the requirement (generally called the “individual mandate”), relevant constitutional provisions and judicial precedents, and reform opponents‟ arguments challenging the lawfulness of the mandate. The paper concludes that the mandate is lawful and clearly so – pursuant either to Congress‟ authority to “regulate commerce among the several states,” or to its authority to “lay and collect taxes to provide for the General Welfare.”1 With respect to Congress‟ interstate commerce authority, the goals that drive this legislation – including achieving universal coverage, eliminating adverse selection, eliminating pre-existing conditions as a prerequisite for coverage, facilitating broad-scale pooling of individuals not covered by group health plans, and radically reducing costly emergency room visits by uninsured individuals – are eminently lawful objects for the exercise of that power. In the context of current health insurance market circumstances and the framework of the legislation, the use of an individual mandate, structured as it is to ensure affordability for all who are subject to it, is likewise an eminently rational and well-supported (“necessary and proper” in the words of Article I, §8) means for achieving these goals. The same goals and choice of means fit the mandate snugly within precedents broadly defining Congress‟ authority to tax and spend. (via Ezra Klein)

* Why so many colleges (including Duke!) are teaching The Wire.

* 1,000 days of embargo in Gaza.

* Headlines I can believe in: “James Cameron: Glenn Beck Is A ‘Madman’ & ‘F**king A**hole.'”

* A brief history of whiteness.

* And Jim DeMint gets Waterlooed. Hasn’t happened to a nicer guy since Mr. Burns. (Sorry, German and Spanish only!)

War President

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Via Spencer Ackerman, the Washington Post has a piece today on the recent spate of Taliban arrests that praises to the Obama Administration’s new approach to cooperation with Pakistan in the Afghan war.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 19, 2010 at 10:13 am

News from Afghanistan

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I’m so old I remember how every couple months the Bush administration would announce the capture of Al Qaeda’s third-in-command. But this news from Afghanistan seems genuinely important: several days ago a joint operation by Pakistani and U.S. forces captured Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s top military commander and their second-most-important leadership figure.

Spencer Ackerman adds what I still can’t believe needs to be said at all: It’s Extremely Important We Don’t Torture Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 16, 2010 at 9:53 am

Quick Links

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* The Best of Nicolas Cage as Everyone. Don’t make me choose! Is the recent Angel comic with the same theme just a funny coincidence?

* If Obama can’t stand up to Lost, how can he stand up to al Qaeda?

* Where others may see romance, I see a douchebag with impulse control issues. Excess airport security sucks, but don’t poke hornets’ nests.

* ‘Marvel sues to keep rights to Spidey, X-Men from Jack Kirby’s heirs.’

* I’m not impressed by what I see in the leaked A-Team (2010) trailer.

* And I’ll believe the Massachusetts Senate race has become “losable” for Democrats when I see it happen.