Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘apocalypse

Thanksgiving Links!

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* It’s been a time: Health experts monitor ‘tri-demic’ as respiratory viruses spread around US. Colorado River conditions are worsening quicker than expected. Competition between respiratory viruses may hold off a ‘tripledemic’ this winter. Children’s hospitals call on Biden to declare emergency in response to ‘unprecedented’ RSV surge. How long COVID ruined my life, from crushing fatigue to brain fog. About 37% of small businesses, which between them employ almost half of all Americans working in the private sector, were unable to pay their rent in full in October. Parents are buying fewer baby clothes, a sign of deep financial distress. The world’s baby shortfall is so bad that the labor shortage will last for years, major employment firms predict. Chris Hemsworth ‘Taking Time Off,’ Discovered Genetic Predisposition for Alzheimer’s Disease: ‘I’m Going to Just Simplify.’ Et tu, Coca-Cola? Massive flock of sheep has been walking in a circle for 12 days straight in China. The Problem With Letting Therapy-Speak Invade Everything. Inside the violent, misogynistic world of TikTok’s new star, Andrew Tate. A Quarter of Americans at Risk of Winter Power Blackouts, Grid Emergencies. Stock up on bottled water and canned food, official tells Germans. What if We Cancel the Apocalypse? this comic is almost 14 years old and could have been made yesterday

* I’m giving the last “Tolkien Tuesdays” talk at the Haggerty on next Tuesday, November 28, on Tolkien and pop culture.

* A truly obscene trend in higher ed: How Colleges and Sports-Betting Companies ‘Caesarized’ Campus Life.

* ‘A Culture of Disposability’: New School Part-Time Faculty Go On Strike. Never Cross a Picket Line: A Primer for Solidarity in the Academic Workplace. The Academic Wheel of Privilege. The Cruelty of Faculty Churn. The Deadline Dilemma. The gutting of the liberal arts continues.

* Vulture had a nice Octavia Butler cluster this week: The Spectacular Life of Octavia Butler. Misreading Octavia Butler. How to Write Like Octavia E. Butler. The Butler Journal Entry I Always Return To. This one at the Times was beautiful, too, in more ways than one: The Visions of Octavia Butler. And just a few weeks away: ‘Kindred’ Trailer: Octavia Butler’s Time Travel Novel Comes to Terrifying Life.

* The new Science Fiction Film and Television is out, with articles on steampunk, cryonics, domestic violence in Tau and Upstream Color, and Marvel’s Agent Carter. I can’t tell for sure, but from where I am access to all issues of SFFTV is free right now. And so is the fall issue of SFRA Review! And Uneven Futures is almost here!

* Marxist Literary Criticism: An Introductory Reading Guide.

* One of last year’s student papers is already out in Games and Culture: “Go. Just take him.”: PTSD and the Player-Character Relationship in The Last of Us Part II.

* Marvel got trolled into losing one of its best assets to DC permanently. You hate to see it.

* I Don’t Worry About My Oeuvre: A Conversation with John Carpenter.

* I want Picardo back as the Doctor and I don’t really care how they do it. Just don’t let the Picard showrunners anywhere near it and we’re good to go.

* Online Speed Chess as Self-Soothing, Tetris, or Collaborative Troll Art.

* Middle schoolers tackle climate change in a new alternate reality game.

* The Dirt on Pig-Pen.

* The Incredibly Stupid Catastrophe Caused by Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX. Tumblr Blog Linked to Ex-Alameda CEO Explored Race Science, ‘Imperial Chinese Harem’ Polyamory. Queen Caroline. Every Shady Thing Sam Bankman-Fried Has Confessed or Pseudo-Confessed to Since FTX Collapsed. Effective altruism gave rise to Sam Bankman-Fried. Now it’s facing a moral reckoning. Crypto Bro Sam Bankman-Fried Was the Perfect Liberal Hero. Sam Bankman-Fried tries to explain himself.

* Larry David, Tom Brady, Stephen Curry, Other Celebs Sued Over FTX Crypto Exchange Collapse. Larry David was telling you not to buy, you just didn’t listen…

* Billionaires like Elon Musk want to save civilization by having tons of genetically superior kids. Inside the movement to take ‘control of human evolution.’ Jeff Bezos pledges to donate majority of his $124 billion fortune to fight climate change and unify humanity.

* In the end, Yuji Naka, creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, just couldn’t run fast enough.

* Are Trees Talking Underground? For Scientists, It’s in Dispute.

* If you’re keeping score, a guy made a homemade shotgun out of plumbing parts and iced a former PM with it in broad daylight and the Japanese govt is giving him everything he demanded because they realize he had a point. Utterly wild story.

* Federal judge strikes down Biden student debt relief program. What Went Wrong With Biden’s Student Loan Cancellation Plan— And How He Can Make It Right. Joe Biden Is Finally Moving Toward Allowing Bankruptcy to Eliminate Student Debt. Biden Administration Caves To Pressure On Student Debt Bankruptcy.

* ‘A World Cup Built on Modern Slavery’: Stadium Workers Blow the Whistle on Qatar’s ‘Coverup’ of Migrant Deaths and Suffering.

* Thousands were released from prison during covid. The results are shocking.

* The Bike Thieves of Burlington, Vermont.

* Abortion, Every Day.

* New Rules for a New Game.

* Welcome to the Infinite Conversation: an AI generated, never-ending discussion between Werner Herzog and Slavoj Žižek.

* ‘I was ecstatic to be given the opportunity to be there’: Milwaukee student’s poetry takes her to the White House.

* Elsewhere on the Milwaukee beat: The Landlord & the Tenant.

* The Race to Save Fanfiction History Before It’s Lost Forever.

* what is the crime for which the turkey was sentenced to death & the sentence nullified by the US President? & what guarantee do we have that the turkey won’t be executed anyway, as soon as the cameras are gone.

* It’s that time of year. How to avoid gender bias when writing recommendation letters.

* How ‘Andor’ Drew from… Joseph Stalin? I Can’t Fucking Believe How Good ‘Andor’ Is.

* Multiculturalism in Middle-earth: On Amazon’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.”

* Yes, but: the comic.

* ‘Doing Nothing’ course helps students build skills to unplug, think deeply.

* Indy’s going to the Moon folks.

* ‘How Did This Man Think He Had the Right to Adopt This Baby?’

* Words Added to the Scrabble Dictionary.

* Might not make my traditional Thanksgiving post this year, so here it is a few days early.

* From the archives: “Utopia, LOL?”

* And in honor of the end of Twitter: one last Twitter roundup.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 22, 2022 at 11:35 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Fall Break Links? In This Economy?

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I’ve been very busy! It might not get better anytime soon! But at least I’ve closed all my tabs...

Baldwin: The defunding of public education has accelerated all the public universities’ forays into the realm of what they call “becoming entrepreneurial,” which I described above—land grabs, leveraging tax-free real estate, public-private partnerships, capturing intellectual property, and more. This story has to begin with the Higher Education Act of 1965. That legislation failed to directly fund higher education and instead offered indirect funding in the form of “student assistance” for tuition—a few grants but mostly loans, most of them private. Only through tuition, paid by most students through loans and debt, could institutions receive federal funds. This prompted a drive toward skyrocketing tuitions, the competition for higher-paying out-of-state and international students, and the debt financing of amenities to draw those students, which has created the massive national student-debt crisis. But even more, this strategy of raising tuition, funded through debt, wasn’t enough to offset decreases in public spending. So, at the same time, colleges and universities ramped up their participation in revenue-generating, community-destroying practices.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 24, 2022 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Lost in January Links

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* Out now: Extrapolation Volume 62.3 explores the representation of cyborgs in Pat Cadigan’s Synners, care in Gen Urobuchi’s science-fiction, and the critique of Western technoscience in Welcome to Night Vale.
* CFP: Medical Humanities and the Fantastic: Neurodiversity and Disability. CFP: Push: Childbirth in Global Screen Culture.
* Is there a dominant mode of current science fiction? Notes on Squeecore. Portrait of the Author As a Component of a “Punk-Or-Core” Formulation. Science Fiction Is Never Evenly Distributed. The sci-fi genre offering radical hope for living better.

* Science Fiction is a Luddite Literature.
* Notes on the Forum of the Simulacra.

* How To Develop A Planetary Consciousness.
* How climate catastrophe has consumed popular culture. Ride or Die? Mark Bould and the Fast-and-Furiocene.
* Is Geoengineering the Only Solution?: Exploring Climate Crisis in Neal Stephenson’s “Termination Shock.” Neal Stephenson Thinks Greed Might Be the Thing That Saves Us. Coming back from a time of illness: how finance can learn from climate change fiction. Melancholy Utopianism: The Ministry of the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson. We Can’t Just Grow Our Way Out of This Climate Mess.
* Climate Realism, Capitalist and Otherwise.
* Pop culture can no longer ignore our climate reality.
* Marvel Movies Made 30% Of The Total Box Office.
* Nnedi Okorafor on SF through an African Lens.
* The Matrix Resurrections and trans life (and death). Unpacking the Hidden Meanings in The Matrix Resurrections. A Muddle instead of a Movie.

* Games Studies Studies Buddies is such a good podcast and this is an exemplary episode. Like and subscribe!
* Joss Whedon fully burns down what’s left of his career. The Joss Whedon Era: A Look Back.
* Why so much Obama-era pop culture feels so cringe now.
* Have We Forgotten How to Read Critically?
* From lynchings to the Capitol: Racism and the violence of revelry.
* California’s Forever Fire.
* California, Arizona and Nevada agree to take less water from ailing Colorado River.
* The heat stays on: Earth hits 6th warmest year on record. The Oceans Are Now Hotter Than At Any Point in Human History, Scientists Warn. Here’s how hot Earth has been since you were born. The Supreme Court Case That Could Upend Efforts to Protect the Environment. US hit by 20 separate billion-dollar climate disasters in 2021, Noaa report says.
* As Tax Credit Expires, “Huge Increase” in Child Poverty Feared Amid Omicron Wave. How Did We Go From Stimulus Checks to “Go to Work With COVID”?

* The Ticking Bomb of Crypto Fascism. Tech Startup Wants To Gamify Suing People Using Crypto Tokens.
* Family Capitalism and the Small Business Insurrection: The growing militancy of the Republican right is less about an alliance of small business against big business than it is an insurrection of one form of capitalism against another: the private, unincorporated, and family-based versus the corporate, publicly traded, and shareholder-owned.
* Ultras.
* Democrats will have to do more to save democracy from Trump. The January Sixers Have Their Own Unit at the DC Jail. Here’s What Life Is Like Inside. The January 6th Republicans (from Jonah Goldberg no less). Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes charged with seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Isn’t it pretty to think so?
* The Rise and Fall of Latinx.
* Don’t Look Up Is a Terrible Movie. Really bad. I ranted.
* The Jewish Roots of ‘Star Trek’. Why ‘Star Trek’ made San Francisco the center of the universe.
* A Grieving Family Wonders: What if They Had Known the Medical History of Sperm Donor 1558?
* Percentage that would visit the Moon as a tourist, if money were not a factor.
* On the Legacy of Hunter S. Thompson and Gonzo Journalism.
* The end of the pandemic? Study: Omicron associated with 91% reduction in risk of death compared to Delta. Hospitals Are in Serious Trouble. America’s COVID Rules Are a Dumpster Fire. We are the 3.2%.

* School Closures Led to More Sleep and Better Quality of Life for Adolescents. After last year’s learning loss, we need a plan for students with disabilities. Ideology and school closings. Who is this gentleman, Dude?

* The Mangle of Federalism.
* Book bans in schools are catching fire. Black authors say uproar isn’t about students.
* Becoming Martian.
* Last Year’s Longest Strike Just Ended in Victory.
* Yale, Georgetown, Other Top Schools Illegally Collude to Limit Student Financial Aid, Lawsuit Alleges.

* Dismissive Incomprehension: A Use of Purported Ignorance to Undermine Others.
* This Is the Way the Humanities End.
* A professor welcomed students to class by calling them ‘vectors of disease to me.’ He has been suspended.
* These Tenured Professors Were Laid Off. Here’s How They Got Their Jobs Back.
* So you want to work in academic publishing.
* As Afghanistan’s harsh winter sets in, many are forced to choose between food and warmth.
* US inflation reached 7% in December as prices rise at rates unseen in decades.
* Bernie Sanders says Democrats are failing: ‘The party has turned its back on the working class.’
* A simple plan to solve all of America’s problem.
* Sea Power, ‘Disco Elysium’, and the importance of being miserable.
* HBO’s Station Eleven Surpasses the Novel.
* Oh boy, they’re finally rebooting Quantum Leap.
* I’d never known this: Schrödinger, the Father of Quantum Physics, Was a Pedophile.
* Wes Anderson’s next sounds like another mistake.
* Haruki Murakami’s Monopoly.
* ‘Invincible’ Animated Series Sparks Profits Suit Against Robert Kirkman.
* What Elmo’s Viral Moment Tells Us About How Parents Watch Kids’ TV.
* A people’s history of the Beatles logo.
* If you want a vision of the future.
* Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park Is a Terrible Masterpiece.
* The Wire as copraganda.
* BEHOLD! MEGA-MANHATTAN!

* The Strange Literary Puzzle Only Four People Have Ever Solved. And welcome to the Wordle century.

Lost Semester Linkblogging!

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For a variety of reasons, this was an extremely busy semester, and I simply wasn’t able to keep up with my open tabs (I had several hundred open at one point!). An irrecoverable browser crash killed any possibility of ever doing even an omnibus record of what I’ve been reading and thinking about — but I do have a tiny number of highlights from the semester that I will link here just to close the book on it. I’m hopeful, if not exactly optimistic, that I can get back to a more regular update schedule in the spring…

Apologies!

The podcast will also be coming back too for the end of the Achebe season! Stay tuned.

Just Another Monday Morning, Just Another Set of Monday Morning Links

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Monday Morning Links!

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Friday Links!

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A Whole Summer’s Worth of Links Crammed into a Two-Weeks-Sized Bag

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 10, 2021 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet, Look at what I put on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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* Paradoxa 32 has a cover.

* Boys don’t read enough.

* The era of high fertility is ending. Every child on their own trampoline. Police-Free Childhoods. The Seismic Generational Shift in Worldview: Millennials Seek a Nation Without God, Bible and Churches.

* Selfies, Surgeries And Self-Loathing: Inside The Facetune Epidemic.

* The Bullshit Jobs Boom.

* The empty brain. Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer.

* My theory, Philip K. Dick style, is that we didn’t survive the Cold War. All the evidence points that way.

* We still know basically knowing about COVID policy.

* Life Under Occupation: The Misery at the Heart of the Conflict.

* An interview with Emily Wilder, recent Stanford grad fired from AP job over criticisms of Israel.

* Science Fiction and Fantasy by Palestinian Authors.

* They tried to overturn the 2020 election. Now they want to run the next one. Republicans Move to Limit a Grass-Roots Tradition of Direct Democracy. 27 possible voter fraud cases in 3 million Wisconsin ballots. What if the Renegade Arizona Audit Declares Trump Won? Republicans Want You To Forget January 6 Ever Happened.

* Some Republicans may talk the talk, but this one walks the walk.

* Linkrot and you.

* How UFO sightings went from joke to national security worry in Washington. How Washington Got Hooked on Flying Saucers.

* California climate refugees. Indigenous Land Management Is The Solution to the Wildfire Crisis. World’s largest iceberg, nearly four times size of New York City, forms in Antarctica. If these trends continue…

* Civilization Battle Royale.

* Makes a biographer’s job a bit easier when they can destroy the primary sources when they’re done with them.

* Indigenous Cinema and the Limits of Auteurism.

* How could anyone doubt it? “Generous” Billionaires Are Part of the Problem.

* Rebellion in the Faculty Lounge. For Colleges, Vaccine Mandates Often Depend on Which Party Is in Power. Why Did a University Suspend Its Mandatory Diversity Course? Conservatives Control Public Higher Education: UNC Chapel Hill Edition. What is at stake with Nikole Hannah-Jones being denied tenure. The Real Reason UNC–Chapel Hill Is Withholding Tenure From Nikole Hannah-Jones. A Statement from the UNC AAUP. Guess Who’s Coming to the Lecture?

* Right-wing media helped usher in the age of “cancel culture,” but now pretend it’s an invention of the left.

* ‘I am seeking justice’: Tulsa massacre survivor, 107, testifies to US Congress.

* Decolonizing Education: A Conversation with Linda Tuhiwai Smith.

* #ReleaseTheSteinbeckWerewolfThing.

* Has science fiction become too serious? Apocalypse movies need to imagine climate solutions, too.

* Bring on the Forgotten Realms!

* Bring on the Summer Slowdown!

* And I think I linked this one before, but we’re in the endgame now.

Ceremonial End of the Semester Tab Purge and Semi-Annual Apology for Being So Busy

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Between my research, service obligations, Zoom teaching, the kids’ virtual schooling, and getting a new puppy, I’ve been just incredibly busy. Another man might say: hey, this is the perfect opportunity to let the blog you’ve been updating continuously since 2004 die! But I am no ordinary man...

First, just a few things I’ve been doing:

And a carefully curated, deliberately and self-consciously incomplete list of some things I’ve been reading this spring:

Written by gerrycanavan

May 11, 2021 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet, Look at what I put on the Internet

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March Links!

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 6, 2021 at 9:04 am

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Emergency Tab Closure Post – 2.9.21

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As Tolkien observed in an essay of the late 1950s, even Sauron’s motive was initially to attain a form of political utopianism: “He loved order and coordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction.”46 As many characters are hopeful utopians in their political orientation, any opposition to this standard soon becomes a radical alternative: “It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope.”47 In this scheme, the utopian-political becomes the conventional, while the utopian-ontological becomes the radical; indeed, the latter’s radicality derives not from making different political choices but different personal ones. This is no clearer than in the case of Faramir who, unlike his brother Boromir and father Denethor, will not allow himself to be tempted by the Ring:

I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No, I do not wish for such triumphs.

In these positive characterisations, with their exemplary portrayal of heroic subjective values, we can identify aspects of Levitas’s argument for a utopianism of the wholeness of being and human flourishing. As Levitas suggests, many utopias do their work by advocating better ways of being rather than by illustrating better forms of social organisation.

And a Very Merry Election’s Night’s Eve To You Too

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Saturday Night Links!

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 3, 2020 at 8:42 pm

Friday Night Links!

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UPDATE: oof.

* ICYMI: Grad School Vonnegut #14: Happy Birthday, Wanda June! This one is Aaron’s “Vonnegut and Africa” episode.

* CFP: Utopia and Tabletop Games. CFP: NeMLA 2021 Creative Session, “Speculative Figures and Speculative Futures: Our Uncanny Postapocalypse.”

* Two core pieces of Watchmen criticism from my Watchmen class this week: “Panelling Parallax: The Fearful Symmetry of William Blake and Alan Moore” and “The Forgotten Story of Watchmen’s Unsung Hero.” The second one comes via my pal Jacob Brogan, who was kind enough to shoot some ideas about Watchmen, Higgins, and auteurship with me back and forth the other day.

When I ask Damon Lindelof, showrunner for the upcoming HBO series Watchmen, about John Higgins, his mind goes straight to the Beatles. “John Higgins remains one of the unsung heroes of Watchmen,” he says. “Certainly Moore and Gibbons were John and Paul, but Higgins was George and Ringo combined, and his striking colors reinvented the genre every bit as much as Alan’s words and Dave’s pencils.”

Higgins was indeed a hero of the graphic novel that Lindelof’s show riffs on, having been the man who did the coloring for the book. That makes him one of only three collaborators who created the Watchmen comic, along with writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, and he is indeed underappreciated, even by the book’s supporters. But even that bold analogy isn’t enough: It’s more as if Beatles fans assumed the band consisted only of John and Paul and didn’t even know George and Ringo existed, much less that they created music of their own.

Let’s Stop with the Realism Versus Science Fiction and Fantasy Debate.

Wisconsin’s daily COVID-19 case count breaks record again, tops 2,500. They had to rescale Marquette’s COVID Dashboard today. Outbreak Stresses Town-Gown Relations in Wisconsin. Millennials and Gen Z are spreading coronavirus—but not because of parties and bars. Laughin’ and a-runnin’, hey hey. Skippin’ and a-jumpin’.

* Huge, if true: The United States is backsliding into autocracy under Trump, scholars warn.

* Federal judge temporarily blocks USPS operational changes amid concerns about mail slowdowns, election. The U.S. Commerce Department has announced it plans to block downloads of the Chinese-owned social apps WeChat and TikTok, beginning on Sunday. “The Trump administration argued against a challenge to its 2020 census plans by saying the Constitution requires a count but does not say it must be accurate.” Bill Barr’s Titanic Lack of Self-Awareness. Independently of Trump and this presidency, William Barr, his henchmen, and his Federalist Society supporters represent a powerful threat to the fundamental values of liberal democracy. The Department of Education as Right-Wing Troll.

* Only going to get worse: NYPD Crushes Tiny Anti-ICE Protest With Overwhelming Force And Bloody Arrests.

* The U.S. Is on the Path to Destruction.

Friends And Family Members Of QAnon Believers Are Going Through A “Surreal Goddamn Nightmare.” It Makes Perfect Sense That QAnon Took Off With Women This Summer. Meet the families torn apart by toxic cable news. The Toxic Slime Will End Us.

Where Is Biden’s Ground Game?

* All roads lead to 269-269.

* Ugh, Tatiana Maslany is great casting for She-Hulk. I thought I was done with these!

* Academic freedom in action: U of T law school under fire for opting not to hire human-rights scholar after pressure from sitting judge. Search for new director of U of T law faculty’s International Human Rights Program leads to resignations, allegations of interference.

* On Quitting Academia.

* BLM and the University of Chicago English department. I had some thoughts about this (blessedly left out of the article) the other day (and again the next morning).

Big Ten announces football returning Oct. 23-24. No confidence at the University of Michigan.

The Black Community in Indianapolis has been left reeling — as shocking and disturbing details released in the last 24 hours have emerged regarding a disgraced activist exposed for posing as a Black Woman. This one has exciting estate fraud on the side.

* Restaurants need a bailout. The Big Corporate Rescue and the America That’s Too Small to Save. Inequality Robs $2.5B from American Workers Each Year.

Russia’s space agency chief declares Venus a “Russian planet.” Quick, someone wake up Rachel Maddow!

* When overwhelmed unemployment insurance systems malfunctioned during the pandemic, governments blamed the sixty-year-old programming language COBOL. But what really failed? Meanwhile, in Wisconsin: Tony Evers firing DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman over unemployment claim backlog.

The battle over dyslexia.

* Pedagogy corner! The Moment Is Primed for Asynchronous Learning.

Dallas school district apologizes for assignment describing Kenosha shooter as ‘hero.’

* Anti-maskers and whiteness.

Reprogramming a Game By Playing It: an Unbelievable Super Mario Bros 3 Speedrun.

The Boys confronts real American Nazis better than most comic-book stories.

* Songs of Love and Hate: “Layla” and Martin Scorsese’s ‘Goodfellas.’

* Patrick Blanchfield goes deep into the Call of Duty storyworld in my menchies.

What happened when I decided to bet against the Dow—and the financial services industry tried to stop me.

* And it’s not all bad news: the sequel to one of the best Metroidvania games I’ve played in years is out on the Switch. And I’ve been loving Baba Is You, too! It’s a golden age for video games. AND NOTHING ELSE.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 18, 2020 at 6:14 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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