Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘bananas

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.”

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All The Links

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* CFP reminder: “SF/F Now” and “Irradiating the Object” at the University of Warwick, August 2014. Proposals due March 31.

* Legendary science fiction editor Gardner Dozois once said that the job of a science fiction writer was to notice the car and the movie theater and anticipate the drive-in – and then go on to predict the sexual revolution. I love that quote, because it highlights the key role of SF in examining the social consequences of technology – and because it shows how limited our social imaginations are.

Median Salaries of Senior College Administrators, 2013-14.

Where and When You Can See The Grand Budapest Hotel.

* The New Yorker covers fusion power.

* We need to update our nightmares: Zeynep Tufekci on the Internet.

* Unreal: Dartmouth Student Says She Was Sexually Assaulted After Website ‘Rape Guide’ Named Her. Campus Rape and the Rise of the Academic Industrial Complex.

800-year-old castle torn down in Ireland.

* $60 million high school football stadium, built in 2012, torn down.

* Curators at the new art museum at Kennesaw State University had some last-minute work to do before its grand opening Saturday night. They had to quickly pack up an installation — one the art museum had commissioned — after university administrators ordered it killed for being insufficiently “celebratory” for the event.

* The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics. Man.

* Amazon and super-Taylorism.

* #fullcommunism.

* …one of the gravest threats the FBI saw in the Black Panther movement was their Free Children’s Breakfast Program.

* Agamben, horror, and the 90s.

* The Cold War never ended.

* A 2008 research study found that each additional $100 per capita in FEMA relief was correlated with a 102 percent increase in corruption in a state.

Universities being used as proxy border police, say UK academics.

*  But at least one university says it has already begun denying admission to “risky” applicants — those who don’t meet the institution’s typical minimum standards for SAT scores and GPA — over fears of how it would be rated under the Obama ratings proposal.

How the global banana industry is killing the world’s favorite fruit.

* “That hurt.” On being Chevy Chase.

* Hitting rock bottom: they’re rebooting Santa Claus.

* And just one Oscar link is all you need: Lupita Nyong’o.

Lots of Monday Links

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* Thanks for the kidney, and you’re fired.

* Someone in the New York Times is stealing my ideas: How Psychedelic Drugs Can Help Patients Face Death.

* In the comments on Friday my friend b scolded me for being flip about New York’s genuinely terrible state assessment exams. Today Gawker has more.

* 53% of Recent College Grads Are Jobless or Underemployed.

* Program for the Center for 21st Century Studies’ “The Nonhuman Turn” conference in Milwaukee (next week!).

* It’s great to see Harvard pushing open-access academic publishing, but there’s something deeply absurd about them crying poverty to do it.

* I’m already deeply nostalgic for Cavendish bananas. The Goldfingers look terrible.

* Academic freedom watch: Jammie Price, a tenured professor of sociology at Appalachian State University, was suspended last month after showing a documentary about pornography in her introductory sociology class.

Price said the film, which she checked out from the university library, was graphic at times but academically relevant to that week’s topic of gender and sexuality. A Wheelock College professor who helped make the movie said it was “ludicrous” to discipline an instructor for showing the documentary, noting that interviews with gender studies scholars figure prominently in the film, which is critical of the porn industry but also includes brief explicit scenes of porn.

* Actually existing media bias: The Liberal Media has consistently given more positive coverage to likely Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney compared to President Barack Obama, according to a new survey of media coverage from the Pew Research Center’s Excellence in Journalism Project.

* Elizabeth Drew games out 2012 in the New York Review of Books.

* Alas, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Saw The Largest Decrease In Employment In The Last 12 Months.

* 33 Science Fiction and Fantasy Movies that Could Rock Your Summer. Spoiler alert: more like five.

* mightygodking: Why the Silver Age Was Better.

What better way to fulfill Brando’s legacy and promote Native American rights than with a $250 million Lone Ranger remake/reboot about mystical werewolves murdering people? I really can’t on any level believe this is actually being made.

Joss Whedon, John Hughes, and Torture Porn.

* Rich. Weird. Romney.

A brief history of the late, unlamented revenge-porn site Is Anyone Up.

* Salk wept: American Airlines to air anti-vaccination programming in-flight.

* RIP, Facts.

* The regime for the poor and those within the criminal justice system is both policed and punitive and–in accordance with behavior that exists outside natural, market ordered society–heavily regulated and ordered by the state. Welfare and aid programs become a disciplinary mechanism for the working poor, with government monitoring and sanctioning taking an increasing role in guiding behavior. According to law professor William Stuntz, the courtroom has become a factory for processing; 95 percent of criminal convictions now come from a guilty plea, avoiding a trial. Arrests have risen almost sevenfold with only 60 percent more prosecutors needed. Meanwhile, prosecutors have been able to pull off the impressive trick of increasing the number of plea bargains while also raising the average length of imprisonment during this time period. The lived experience of prisons is also more punitive. Our current prison system is characterized by severe overcrowding, inadequate medical care, infection rates for HIV, Hepatitis C, tuberculosis, and staph far higher than on the outside world, the degradation of the custodial experience, high costs of keeping social ties intact, punitive long-term isolation, and the ever-present threat of violence and rape.

The extensive government regulation of behavior extends after the prison. As UCLA law professor Sharon Dolovich argues in “Creating the Permanent Prisoner,” those leaving prison enter into a dense web of government management, simultaneously punitive and neglectful. People who leave prison face “[b]ans on entry into public housing, restrictions on public-sector employment, limits on access to federal loans for higher education, and restrictions on the receipt of public assistance… The American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section recently embarked on a project to catalogue all state and federal statutes and regulations that impose legal consequences on the fact of a felony conviction. As of May 2011, the project had catalogued over 38,000 such provisions, and project advisers estimate that the final number could reach or exceed 50,000.” Together, these create a new kind of subject, someone who exists permanently on the outside of our civilization, never meant or able to reintegrate back into our social spaces.

* American Nuns Reject Vatican’s Orders – Say They Are Not Going To Stop ‘Caring For The Least Among Us.’

* And In Focus has your pictures of Earth from above.

Peak Everything

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 8, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Banana Crisis 2008

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The New York Times had a short op-ed this weekend about the coming banana crisis.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 24, 2008 at 12:14 am

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Envirolinks

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A few more envirolinks to start your week right.

* Climate Progress opens up three big cans of whoopass on Charles Krauthammer and the climate change denialists in the right wing.

* Ryan has the second installment of his Dispatches from the American Left on anti-coal activism in Kentucky.

* Via MeFi, a new report from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program is filled with sobering news:

The report finds that climate change is already affecting U.S. water resources, agriculture, land resources, and biodiversity, and will continue to do so. Specific findings include:

* Grain and oilseed crops will mature more rapidly, but increasing temperatures will increase the risk of crop failures, particularly if precipitation decreases or becomes more variable.
* Higher temperatures will negatively affect livestock. Warmer winters will reduce mortality but this will be more than offset by greater mortality in hotter summers. Hotter temperatures will also result in reduced productivity of livestock and dairy animals.
* Forests in the interior West, the Southwest, and Alaska are already being affected by climate change with increases in the size and frequency of forest fires, insect outbreaks and tree mortality. These changes are expected to continue.
* Much of the United States has experienced higher precipitation and streamflow, with decreased drought severity and duration, over the 20th century. The West and Southwest, however, are notable exceptions, and increased drought conditions have occurred in these regions.
* Weeds grow more rapidly under elevated atmospheric CO2. Under projections reported in the assessment, weeds migrate northward and are less sensitive to herbicide applications.
* There is a trend toward reduced mountain snowpack and earlier spring snowmelt runoff in the Western United States.
* Horticultural crops (such as tomato, onion, and fruit) are more sensitive to climate change than grains and oilseed crops.
* Young forests on fertile soils will achieve higher productivity from elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Nitrogen deposition and warmer temperatures will increase productivity in other types of forests where water is available.
* Invasion by exotic grass species into arid lands will result from climate change, causing an increased fire frequency. Rivers and riparian systems in arid lands will be negatively impacted.
* A continuation of the trend toward increased water use efficiency could help mitigate the impacts of climate change on water resources.
* The growing season has increased by 10 to 14 days over the last 19 years across the temperate latitudes. Species’ distributions have also shifted.
* The rapid rates of warming in the Arctic observed in recent decades, and projected for at least the next century, are dramatically reducing the snow and ice covers that provide denning and foraging habitat for polar bears.

* And the banana is in serious trouble.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 2, 2008 at 5:40 pm

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