Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘balloons

Friday Links!

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* I didn’t find it an easy question to answer. I couldn’t deny the accuracy of their observations (other than a tendency to neglect or misunderstand the distinctiveness of the situation in Scotland). Successive British governments have enacted a series of measures that seem designed to reshape the character of universities, not least by reducing their autonomy and subordinating them to ‘the needs of the economy’. ‘Marketisation’ isn’t just a swear-word used by critics of the changes: it is official doctrine that students are to be treated as consumers and universities as businesses competing for their custom. The anticipated returns from the labour market are seen as the ultimate measure of success. Last year the government imposed a new wheeze. Universities are now being awarded Olympic-style gold, silver and bronze medals for, notionally, teaching quality. But the metrics by which teaching quality is measured are – I am not making this up – the employment record of graduates, scores on the widely derided National Student Survey, and ‘retention rates’ (i.e. how few students drop out). These are obviously not measures of teaching quality; neither are they things that universities can do much to control, whatever the quality of their teaching. Now there is a proposal to rate, and perhaps fund, individual departments on the basis of the earnings of their graduates. If a lot of your former students go on to be currency traders and property speculators, you are evidently a high-quality teaching department and deserve to be handsomely rewarded; if too many of them work for charities or become special-needs teachers, you risk being closed down. And most recently of all, there has been the proposal to dismantle the existing pension arrangements for academics and ‘academic-related’ staff, provoking a more determined and better-supported strike than British academia has ever seen.

* What the hell is happening at Michigan State? How Universities Deal With Sexual Harassment Needs Sweeping Change, Panel Says.

Nobel literature scandal deepens as Jean-Claude Arnault is charged with rape.

* ‘They just took them?’ Frantic parents separated from their kids fill courts on the border. Inside Casa Padre, the converted Walmart where the U.S. is holding nearly 1,500 immigrant children. A Twitter thread. Trump looking to erect tent cities to house unaccompanied children. Defense Contractors Cashing In On Immigrant Kids’ Detention. Administration will house migrant kids in tents in Tornillo, Texas: summertime high, 98, December low, 28. ICE Detained a 50-Year U.S. Resident Outside the Home He Owns and Now It’s Trying to Deport Him. “Zero Tolerance” Crackdown Won’t Stop Border Crossings But It Could Break the Courts. Migrant caravan mom calls for family reunification as fate of asylum claim looms. She says federal officials took her daughter while she breastfed the child in a detention center. A grandmother seeking asylum was separated from her disabled grandson at the border. It’s been 10 months. She Fled to the U.S. After Being Raped Repeatedly by Her Husband. Trump’s New Asylum Rules Would Have Kept Her Out. Trump Administration Launches Effort to Strip Citizenship From Those Suspected of Naturalization Irregularities. It’s Happening Here Because Americans Can’t Admit it’s Happening Here. It’s All Too Much, and We Still Have to Care.

* This is an entirely new angle of ICE abuse that is frighteningly authoritarian and the harbinger of very bad things to come.

The New York State attorney general’s office filed a scathingly worded lawsuit on Thursday taking aim at the Donald J. Trump Foundation, accusing the charity and the Trump family of sweeping violations of campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign.

* A rare person of integrity in this nightmare government: Senior Justice Dept. lawyer resigns after shift on Obamacare.

* In the wake of the horrors currently being done to children in America’s name, here’s one thing we can do: Recognize we’re in a linguistic emergency. We have a president whose single-minded praise for macho might is wearing down even those who refuse to overlook his incompetence. Trump, the only presidential candidate to refer to his penis size during a national debate, wants nothing more than to be seen as powerful and manly, and to align himself with those who project the characteristics he desires. And he’s gotten help—from us. If you’ve ever called Trump “tough” on immigration, note that he just called a dictator “tough” for murdering his citizens. (And “very smart” for staying in power.) That should be a wake-up call to journalists responsible for telling the story of this moment: Stop using the words he routinely chooses to describe himself. And think hard about whether you’re accidentally reinforcing the model of power he’s trying to sell.

FEMA Blamed Delays In Puerto Rico On Maria; Agency Records Tell Another Story.

Trumpism: It’s Coming From the Suburbs.

Addressing an imagined reader in the all-too-likely “hot dark world” of our all-too-near human future, William T. Vollmann begins his two-volume, twelve-hundred-plus-page Carbon Ideologies (the second volume of which was published last week) with a curious and characteristically audacious gambit. In the opening pages of Volume I: No Immediate Danger, as he sets out upon this tome concerning fossil fuels and nuclear energy, Vollmann explains: “I do my best to look as will the future upon the world in which I lived—namely, as surely, safely vanished. Nothing can be done to save it; therefore, nothing need be done. Hence this little book scrapes by without offering solutions. There were none; we had none.”

In Name of Free Speech, States Crack Down on Campus Protests.

* Never love anything, it’ll only break your heart: Star Trek: Discovery Showrunners Leave CBS All Access Series.

Sources say the decision to oust Berg and Harberts was based not on the creative but instead for leadership and operational issues. Production on Discovery‘s first five episodes of season two are near completion, with Kurtzman likely taking over for episode six and beyond. Berg and Harberts, who were longtime collaborators with original showrunner Fuller, will likely still be credited on the episodes they oversaw. Sources say the budget for the season two premiere ballooned, with the overages expected to come out of subsequent episodes from Discovery‘s sophomore run. Insiders also stress that Berg and Harberts became increasingly abusive to the Discovery writing staff, with Harberts said to have leaned across the writers room table while shouting an expletive at a member of the show’s staff. Multiple writers are said to have been uncomfortable working on the series and had threatened to file a complaint with human resources or quit the series altogether before informing Kurtzman of the issues surrounding Berg and Harberts. After hearing rumors of HR complaints, Harberts is said to have threatened the staff to keep concerns with the production an internal matter.

That they’re openly admitting their best episode came about by accident isn’t great, either.

* World Cup news! As Saudi Arabia played at the World Cup, the country launched a massive attack on Yemen.

Everyone Should Root for Peru in the World Cup. FIFA’s Rule Changes Won’t Solve Soccer’s Concussion Problem. 2026.

* Ugh, don’t ask Amy Poehler about comedy when the world sucks this fucking much.

* A Disgruntled Federal Employee’s 1980s Desk Calendar.

* Suicides by Gun Have Steadily Climbed, Federal Data Shows.

* When Cleveland tried.

* In “Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos,” Christian Davenport tells the backstories of the billionaires who are vying for control of the emerging NewSpace industry. In addition to Musk and Bezos, Davenport writes about Branson and Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft and an early investor in new spaceflight technologies. The members of the quartet are so similar in type that their biographies, as Davenport relates them, start to blur into one. As boys, they mostly read the same science fiction. (Musk has said that his favorite Robert A. Heinlein novel is “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress,” which is set on a lunar colony where young girls marry men and women are either homemakers or work at beauty shops or brothels.) The space barons were all outsiders as young men; they’re all obsessed with rockets; they all want, more than anything, to win. Their space ventures are supposedly driven by a common goal of elevating or saving humankind, but they don’t always treat others humanely. Elon Musk and the Failure of Our Imagination in Space.

* There were signs early on that the jurors deciding whether Rhines should be sentenced to life in prison or to death might have been considering more than the facts of the case before them. During deliberations, the panel sent a note out to the judge. They had a list of pointed questions about what life in prison would mean. Would Rhines have a cellmate? Would he be allowed to “create a group of followers or admirers”? Would he be allowed to “have conjugal visits”? They apologized if any of the questions were “inappropriate,” but indicated that they were important to their decision-making. The judge declined to answer, telling the jurors that all they needed to know was in the jury instructions they’d received. Eight hours later, they sentenced Rhines to death.

* Bipartisan war party panics as Kim meets Trump. The North Korea Summit Through the Looking Glass.

The Class Politics of Teeth.

* All versions of Star Wars trend towards the unfilmable/unmerchandizable truth that the Force is actually evil.

* Everything you need to know before The Good Place S3.

* DC edging dangerously close to having a good idea for once.

* Dead fandoms.

* Imagining a better boyhood.

* Antarctica and the end of the world.

According to the results, Côté shares more than a friendship with Snoopy the chihuahua; they share the exact same Indigenous ancestry.

The position of the nanny—of the family but not in the family; asked to care and love but only while on the clock—is narratively provocative. And yet unless she is Mary Poppins-level magically perfect, in books and films the nanny is mostly a threat. She is the entry point into a family’s vulnerability, she is the stranger we thought we knew. She is The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. She is a Lifetime movie about a family broken apart by a nanny’s violence toward the children or sexual advances toward the husband.

* The headline reads, “Nevada’s most notorious pimp wins Republican primary.”

The Las Vegas Union That Learned To Beat The House.

Facebook is malware.

* A thought-provoking thread on vegetarianism and colonialism, though I don’t consider it the end of the argument by any means.

The astronauts disturbed the Moon’s surface soil by walking and driving a rover on it. As a result, the Moon reflected less of the Sun’s light back out to space, which raised the lunar surface temperature by 1-2 degrees Celsius (1.8-3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) where it was disturbed. 

* I’ve never trusted Lasik.

The World’s Best Pickpocket Reviews The Ocean’s 8 Heist.

A movie ticket costs somewhere between $10 and $15 and yet MoviePass offers monthly subscription packages for $9.95 that let users can see up to one movie a day. How the hell is that supposed to work?

The epic hunt for the place on Earth where life started.

Teachers Fight To Keep Pre-Colonial World History In AP Course.

University of North Carolina Students Accuse Administration of Artwashing.

* Chloe Dykstra details years of abuse she experienced at the hands of Chris Hardwick both during and after their relationship.

* Reconsidering the cop show.

* Hugh O’Connell reviews Ian McDonald’s Luna: Wolf Moon with an eye towards post-Thatcher neoliberalism.

* No one could have seen this coming.

* This Is What a Nuclear Bomb Looks Like.

* This is relatable content: Many animals are shifting from day to night to avoid people.

Where Your Stuff Goes When You Lose It in Tokyo.

* And this is really happening: Measure to split California into three states qualifies for November ballot. I know it’s a trick, but even still, trading 2-4 Senators for a slightly harder path in the Electoral College seems like a good trade to me. But I bet it’s also illegal, so it’s probably a nonstarter either way.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 15, 2018 at 9:09 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Morning!

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* A major new report suggests serious underemployment among liberal arts majors, affecting as many as 50% of recent graduates in some majors.

* Liu Cixin has an essay on Death’s End up at Tor: Chinese Literature and Apocalyptic SF: Some Notes on Death’s End (and has a review up already as well). My review probably won’t be published for another few weeks, so I’ll just say again: just buy it!

* Once more, with feeling: Student evaluations are useless.

* CFP: The Job Market. CFP: Loanwords to Live With. I know some of the editors of the Loanwords project and I think it looks really exciting. CFC: A Marxist Game.

* Congratulations to Claudia Rankine on her MacArthur grant.

* The New Republic reviews Alice Kaplan’s new book on The Stranger.

* David Fahrenthold’s reporting on Trump’s foundation has yielded a major scoop, evidence of self-dealing in public documents that would appear to be trivially against the law. Even wilder: this is their defense.

* America: taste the rainbow.

* Instapundit has been suspended from Twitter for a tweet about the Charlotte protests. The tweet in question seems pretty indefensible to me, though Reynolds tries at the link, and regardless of its defensibility suspending him for it seems likely to have very bad consequences both for Twitter and for left academics on a pragmatic level. 9:04 AM UPDATE: He’s already back on.

“Actuaries shamelessly, although often in good faith, understate pension obligations by as much as 50 percent,” said Jeremy Gold, an actuary and economist, in a speech last year at the M.I.T. Center for Finance and Policy. “Their clients want them to.”

Seven charts that speak volumes about the opioid epidemic.

* Since the dawn of time, man has fought the rat.

From Back to the Future II to Stephen King’s saving-JFK novel 11/23/63, the lesson one learns again and again is that trying to improve the world through time travel is a fool’s game, creating far worse problems than whatever you’d hoped to fix. Most of time travel fiction these days is one way or another designed to help us swallow the bitter pill that this life is the one we’re stuck with, that trying to make things better will only backfire.

Cut-throat academia leads to ‘natural selection of bad science’, claims study.

* Something has gone wrong with our atheists.

The bear who fought in World War II.

* Stranger Things spinoff greenlit.

* Going to go ahead and greenlight this one too: Family flee home after finding spiders which can cause four-hour erection followed by death in ASDA bananas.

AI will eliminate 6 percent of jobs in five years, says report. Yes, even yours!

Greenland’s huge annual ice loss is even worse than thought.

A Massive Sinkhole Just Dumped Radioactive Waste Into Florida Water.

* In the Criminal Justice System the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups, the police and the police.

* Teaching the controversy: “Should police officers be required to provide medical aid to people they’ve shot?”

* Slate vs. Stone re: Snowden.

* The Internet and the end of porn.

* Know your white supremacy.

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* Communists are everywhere!

* Contradictions of Capital and Care.

* The end, one hopes, of Anthony Weiner.

* “Karen Gillan Promises There’s a Reason Her Jumanji Character Is Dressed Like That.”

* Been there: Child’s Loose Grasp On Balloon Only Thing Between Peace And Anarchy At Restaurant.

School lunch worker forced to throw away student’s hot meal decides to quit.

* Save the Day, from Joss Whedon.

* Take that, every authority figure in my personal history! A new study finds that fidgeting — the toe-tapping, foot-wagging and other body movements that annoy your co-workers — is in fact good for your health.

* Political correctness run amok.

These are the most lewd-sounding town names in each state.

* And now, truly, more than ever: “Tonight the Character of Death Will Be Played by Brad Pitt.”

wojtek-1-for-boing-boing

Thursday Forever

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* Thursday at C21: Christopher Newfield, “The Humanities in the Post-Capitalist University.” Then, this weekend, elsewhere at UWM: After Capitalism.

* I have a short piece on “WALL-E and Utopia,” pulled from the Green Planets intro, up today for In Media Res’s Pixar week. I also owe SF Signal a post that should go up … eventually that’s also in conversation with the Green Planets stuff (though not cribbed quite so directly).

* The humanities and citation.

* White House petition: abolish the capitalist mode of production.

More acutely, when you consider the math that McKibben, the Carbon Tracker Initiative and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) all lay out, you must confront the fact that the climate justice movement is demanding that an existing set of political and economic interests be forced to say goodbye to trillions of dollars of wealth. It is impossible to point to any precedent other than abolition. Great piece from Chris Hayes.

* College towns and income inequality.

* But, clearly, if we can afford such a massive increase in professional staff, as well as such an increase in executives whose salaries have been escalating very dramatically, the sharp decrease in the percentage of all instructional faculty who are tenured or on tenure tracks is a matter of a dramatic shift in priorities—in the conception of the university.

* Gasp! At Elite Colleges, Legacy Status May Count More Than Was Previously Thought.

* On the disinvestment/reinvestment cycle. Returns to university endowments 1980-2010. The Soul of Student Debt. Against anonymous student evaluation.

* Vice interviews Matt Taibbi on his new book The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap.

* Understanding Wonder Woman, at LARoB.

* When Spider-Man fought misleading sex education.

* Could Mystery Science Theater return?

* The public pension scam.

* How the Super-Rich Really Make Their Money.

* Companies used to borrow in the markets as a last resort finance investment in their business. Now it’s a front for shareholder giveaways.

* Capitalism and Nazism: Now It Can Be Told.

* The school, called Explore + Discover, will be available to children between the ages of 3 months and 2 years. Tuition is $2,791/month for kids who attend five days a week. You can also pay $1,990 for three days a week or $1,399 for two days but don’t you love your child?

In Tuscaloosa today, nearly one in three black students attends a school that looks as if Brown v. Board of Education never happened.

For men, having children is a career advantage. For women, it’s a career killer. University managers believe women themselves are primarily responsible for the gender imbalance in higher education, according to research published today.

There’s Even A Gender Gap In Children’s Allowances.

“Faculty ignored requests from women and minorities at a higher rate than requests from White males, particularly in higher-paying disciplines and private institutions.” Reviewers will find more spelling errors in your writing if they think you’re black.

David Foster Wallace Estate Comes Out Against the Jason Segel Biopic. Meanwhile, this insane Lifehacker piece suggests we bracket the whole “suicide” bummer and take David Foster Wallace as our lifecoach.

* Atheist lawsuit claims ‘under God’ in NJ school’s daily pledge recital harms children. I guess I’m just another survivor.

* Wired goes inside Captain Marvel fandom.

* Woman writes about something traditionally regarded as a male-orientated industry or area of interest; if she’s conveying love, she’s doing it “for attention” (so what?) or “fake” (whatever that means); if she criticizes, she’s insulting, whining, moaning, on her period; if she says anything at all, her argument or point is made invisible because her damn biology is getting in the way.

What’s it like for the first living ex-pope in 600 years to watch from up close as the successor he enabled dismantles his legacy? 

* What That Game of Thrones Scene Says About Rape Culture. George R.R. Martin doesn’t want to talk about it.

* Aaron Sorkin Wants To Apologize To Everyone About The Newsroom.

* Does world government have a future?

* Mars or die.

Texas Prisons Are Hot Enough to Kill You.

* #MyNYPD.

* The great Colbert rebranding begins.

Netflix and Mitch Hurwitz Joining Forces Again.

Nichelle Nichols Talks with Janelle Monae.

* Game of the night: solar system simulator Super Planet Crash.

* Joss Whedon’s New Film Isn’t in Theaters, But You Can Watch It Online for $5.

Gabriel García Márquez on Fidel Castro, the Soviet Union, and creating “a government which would make the poor happy.”

* Forrest Gump, as directed by Wes Anderson.

“The only thing preventing a catastrophe from a ‘city-killer’ sized asteroid is blind luck.”

* Horrific, tragic story out of Rutgers.

Risk of New York City coastal flooding has surged by factor of 20, says study.

* The latest on the big animal personhood case in New York. Dolphins as alien intelligence.

That Time Cleveland Released 1.5 Million Balloons and Chaos Ensued.

* CIA torture architect breaks silence to defend ‘enhanced interrogation.’ Facial recognition and the end of freedom. The end of net neutrality and the end of the Internet. Late capitalist subjectivity and the sharing economy.

Bullied Kids at Risk for Mental Health Problems 40 Years Later.

* And/but/so the kids are all right.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 24, 2014 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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