Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘backwards universes

Good Morning, It’s the Weekend

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3055253-inline-batmansoundsa-z* Teach the controversy: are students cuddly little bunnies to be drowned, or shot with Glocks? This story is actually worse than even the original reporting indicated.

I’ve argued here before (I think) that probably the greatest thing for-profit colleges could do to scrub the designation “for-profit” of its negative connotation is to win a few sportsball championships. That’s how traditional not-for-profit colleges did it. There was a time when the idea of a residential college for wealthy young men was considered very strange (and also very effeminate). College sports “butched” up college and it also gave the millions who would never in a million years qualify for admission a fictive relationship with a system that is, by design, unequal. Sportsball and For-Profit Legitimacy.

The Grand Jury in the Tamir Rice Case May Not Have Taken a Vote on Charges.

* Salary cuts, layoffs at ISIS. Meanwhile, incredible if true accusations from the FBI against a Kent State professor.

* Planet Nine.

* David Bowie and the Anthropocene.

Making a Murderer’s creators have finally responded to criticisms of missing evidence.

A French Communist Utopia in Texas.

* Jesuit adjunctivitis.

* Saying “no” at Oberlin.

* Medieval robots.

* Liberalism and eugenics.

Swedish TV Accidentally Runs Kids’ Show Subtitles On A Political Debate.

The Big Search to Find Out Where Dogs Come From.

* Coates v. Sanders. Killer Mike vs. Coates. Guthrie v. Trump (Sr.). Meanwhile: Democrats in disarray!

Bloomberg wants to save everyone from Trump. But a lot of people don’t know who he is.

* Four tendencies in liberalism.

How One Man Tried to Write Women Out of CRISPR, the Biggest Biotech Innovation in Decades.

* Counterpoint: Harley Quinn is an insanely flawed character almost impossible to reconcile with feminist norms.

Forget Schrödinger’s Cat: The Latest Quantum Puzzle Is About Three Pigeons in Two Holes.

Alexander Litvinenko: the man who solved his own murder.

Chess forbidden in Islam, rules Saudi mufti, but issue not black and white. This part of the history of games I always find fascinating.

* It’s called anthroponuclear multiple worlds theory, and it’s basically my actual cosmology.

* The singular “they” is your word of the year. A chronology of early nonbinary pronouns. A little more. Bring back he’er, him’er, his’er.

* When DoD paid Duke U $335K to investigate ESP in dogs. But more research is required.

* Virtual reality porn, the god that failed.

* Concept art for Episode 8 (not really). At least it might help tide you over.

* What if not having a beard is nonhygenic? Checkmate.

Plastic to outweigh fish in oceans by 2050, study warns. Meanwhile, the same headline they run every January, just with all the numbers incremented by one.

* Twilight of De Niro. AND BEYOND.

* The end of parking.

* Sold in the room: Orphan Black Writer Making Time-Travel Movie For Netflix.

* A Brief History of Jumbo.

* Good luck, East Coast!

And it’s possible that there is a “mirror universe” where time moves backwards, say scientists. Of course the poets always knew.

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 22, 2016 at 8:30 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Memorial Day in the Backwards Universe

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Billy looked at the clock on the gas stove. He had an hour to kill before the saucer came. He went into the living room, swinging the bottle like a dinner bell, turned on the television. He came slightly unstuck in time, saw the late movie backwards, then forwards again. It was a movie about American bombers in the Second World War and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this: American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation.

The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new.

When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.

The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn’t in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve, he supposed.

–Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five, chapter four

Good Morning, It’s Sunday Morning Links

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* A rare correction: actually your pets will burn in hell. gerrycanavan.wordpress.com regrets the error.

* Watch out, modern-day slaves, the Pope might un-denounce your exploitation next!

* Sad update: Cheryl Abbate has been run out of Marquette.

Adding that to the explicitly military and overseas contingency funding, the real dimensions of the US military-intelligence-police-prison complex begin to come into view: a staggering $830 billion, more than 80 cents out of every dollar in the funding bill, is devoted to killing, spying on, imprisoning or otherwise oppressing the people of the world, including the American people.

* The federal government is using data gimmicks to mask the true scope of homelessness.

* Is It Bad Enough Yet?

* To end police violence, we must end policing as we know it.

* Timelapse video reveals massive size of New York City protests.

Ferguson to Increase Police Ticketing to Close City’s Budget Gap.

* Point/counterpoint: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says torture is totally legit. Ex-NFL punter Chris Kluwe says maybe not.

“I resign. Happy? Goodbye.”

* But what we do know is that the histories of slavery and of capitalism look very different if we understand them in relation to each other. The next time we walk the streets of Lower Manhattan or the grounds of Harvard University, we should think at least in passing of the millions of enslaved workers who helped make some of that grandeur possible, and to the ways that slavery’s legacy persists today.

* U.S. Schools Saying Goodbye to Foreign Languages. Horrible.

* Cruel optimism we can believe in: What if Democrats had their own Tea Party–esque rebellion? Why the Democratic Party could seriously change — for real, this time.

* Ever Say Never Again: On the History and Future of James Bond.

* Scientists think the Big Bang could’ve created a mirror universe where time flows backward.

* What are the bastards ruining now? Buffy.

* Oh, also Blade Runner.

Is Studying Buffy the Vampire Slayer More Important Than Studying Shakespeare? I say teach the controversy.

* I think I would say Freddie is probably the worst possible spokesperson for the conversation the feminist left should be having in the wake of the Rolling Stone UVA scandal. But no one else seems to want to talk about it at all.

* Meanwhile, Matt Fraction walks away from Twitter.

As recruitment dips, TFA leader says New York training site to close.

* The word you’re looking for is “racism.” Just say “racism.”

The Real Story Of Apollo 17… And Why We Never Went Back To The Moon.

* A Tolkien true believer vs. the nerds.

Hear Philip K. Dick Talk About SF And The Mainstream In 1976.

* Playboy ranks every Star Trek episodes. “Mirror, Mirror” at #3 is a deeply weird choice. And “Arena” at #6 is just insane.

They did a TV movie where the McCallisters get divorced? Pretty dark, Home Alone!

* Portuguese Street Artist Creates Stunning 3D Graffiti That Seems To Float In The Air.

* The Hobbit: A Middle-Earth Workplace.

* Now it’s the Kindle version of Green Planets that has inexplicably gone on deep discount for the weekend, if you’re in the market. And don’t forget to pre-order The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction, out in January!

* And they say our society is no longer capable of achieving great things: This scientist solved the mystery of belly button lint.

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Memorial Day

with 3 comments

It was a movie about American bombers in the Second World War and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this:

American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France a few German fighter plans flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation.

The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody good as new.

When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly so they would never hurt anybody ever again.

The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn’t in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve, he supposed.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 26, 2014 at 8:49 am

Sunday, Sunday

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Sunday, Sunday.

* The New Yorker has fiction from the late great David Foster Wallace as well as discussion of his unfinished final novel. (There’s also a profile of Rahmbo.) Discussion at MeFi.

* Even more six-word science fiction. More at MetaFilter.

* The twenty-first century: an FAQ from Charlie Stross.

* Hypothesis: Sufficiently usable read/write platforms will attract porn and activists. If there’s no porn, the tool doesn’t work. If there’s no activists, it doesn’t work well. (via)

* Maybe Dollhouse shouldn’t have been as series: io9 clues into the central problem facing American television production, open-ended perpetual serialization. Discussion at Whedonesque.

* Sebelius to HHS.

* The formula that killed Wall Street. Some talk at MetaFilter.

* Anime Peanuts. More along these lines at MeFi.

* Reverse-plot movies. Reverse-plot games.

* Aside from their nihilism and incompetence, the biggest problem facing Republicans is that their mythology has become too difficult for the average person to follow. It’s like a comic book “universe” where the writers have been straining to maintain continuity for decades — all the ever-more-fine-grained details are really satisfying for the hardcore fans, but intimidating for potential new readers, who are left asking, “Trickle-what? Chappaquid-who? What’s that about Obama’s birth certificate? Obama’s European now? I thought he was a Muslim! Darn it, I’ll never catch up!”

I suggest, therefore, that the Republicans use their current time of wandering in the wilderness to do their own version of Crisis on Infinite Earths. They wouldn’t have to ditch their favorite heroes, of course — we could also be treated to limited series like Rush Limbaugh: Year One, Newt Gingrich: Year One, etc. They can reboot all the plotlines, free the beloved characters of the chains of continuity, and then do it again, and yet again — until finally they find success in some genre other than politics, much as comic book superheroes have moved on to the movies. GOP: Year One.

* See also: the GOP’s voice and intellectual force, Rush Limbaugh.

* Forget Switzerland: Is Ireland the next Iceland? Don’t forget your recession tourism.

* Slowly but surely, here comes marijuana decriminalization/legalization. Don’t forget your revenue stream.

* Imprisoned fifteen-year-old beaten by police officer. On tape.

* And put aside that old question of “justifying” the humanities: the real problem is that for much of the past decade, the culture isn’t listening to what the humanities have to teach.

Links for the Post-Christmas Blues

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Links for your post-Christmas blues.

* In the future, all movies will have lightsabers.

* Rest in peace, Harold Pinter and Eartha Kitt.

* Barack Obama is stupendously ridiculously popular.

* Al Franken is not quite so popular, but he’s looking like Minnesota’s next senator.

* Confidential for Mac users: the weird inability to change location in Finder dialogues is easily rectified.

* In the zeitgeist: people living life backwards.

* 95 Old School Games You Can Play Online. Via MeFi.

* So you’re saying we need Batman? (Thanks, Kate!)