Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘big pictures

Wednesday Morning!

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021814-nu-union-150* Man tragically unable to remember saying Barack Obama would make a great president says Hillary Clinton will make a great president. Meanwhile, the rest of us are reduced to talking about Obama’s secret achievements.

* Faculty on Strike at UIC.

Solitary Confinement May Dramatically Alter Brain Shape In Just Days, Neuroscientist Says.

* Last Night on Jeopardy No One Wanted to Answer Qs About Black History.

Noose Found Around The Neck Of Statue Honoring Civil Rights Icon At Ole Miss.

* On Teaching While Black.

What Does it Mean that Most Children’s Books Are Still About White Boys?

The J.R.R. Tolkien Manuscripts: Public Showings in 2014.

* Here are the hoops a college football team has to jump through to be allowed to form a union.

* 84-Year Old Nun Sentenced To Prison For Weapons Plant Break-In.

Academic freedom with violence.

Has humanity produced enough paint to cover the entire land area of the Earth? The dream remains alive.

* Whistle-blower fired from Hanford nuclear site.

“We do not agree with her assertions that she suffered retaliation or was otherwise treated unfairly,” URS said, adding Busche was fired for reasons unrelated to the safety concerns. “Ms. Busche’s allegations will not withstand scrutiny.”

Busche is the second Hanford whistle-blower to be fired by URS in recent months. Walter Tamosaitis, who also raised safety concerns about the plant, was fired in October after 44 years of employment.

* A new China Miéville short story collection, scheduled for November 2014.

* A world of horrors: There is no such thing as a child prostitute.

In the same way that certain styles of dance simulate sex, the Winter Olympics simulates scraping one’s February-chapped nostrils against the surface of a Kleenex whose aloe content is useless and reaching out for the warm escape of death. It’s an art of failed suicide attempts.

* A preliminary sketch of the data reveals, of course, that by 2050 films will be reviewing us.

* “First, why would we even think about letting it go through?”

“This whole thing is totally and completely bonkers.”

Grace Kerr sometimes jokes with her family that “Amanda was not that great. Zach is awesome.” What she means is that her son is finally happy, and is helping others.

* Diseased and unsound meat: Hot Pockets®!

In Act Of Protest, Ai Weiwei Vase Is Destroyed At Miami Museum.

* News You Can Use: Why It’s Nearly Impossible to Castrate a Hippo.

A portrait of Steve Jobs made entirely out of e-waste.

* The Ice Caves of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

Candy Crush: Addictive Game, Incredible Business, Horrible Investment.

How the north ended up on top of the map.

* Inside Kappa Beta Phi, the Wall Street Fraternity.

* And our long national nightmare is over: Obama apologizes for disparaging art historians.

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These Tuesday Links Surround Hate and Force It to Surrender

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BfE0H2HCAAE4VEa* Pete Seeger before the House Un-American Activities Committee, 1955. This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender. Some recent articles and profiles. RIP.

* CFP: New Directions in Sherlock.

* Amazing moment: Northwestern University athletes have filed for union representation with the NRLB. Now, I don’t think they’ll get it — so the really interesting question is what happens when they don’t.

Rabon, a veterinarian, said he believes House Bill 930 is too weak. He said its standards for humane treatment could too easily be interpreted by a judge to apply to livestock as well as pets. “It can’t spill over to the animal husbandry in this state, which is an $80 billion industry – larger than the other top five industries in the state,” he said. “There is a LOT of money involved.”

* Freddie deBoer has a nice demonstration of how statistics don’t always tell you as much as you think.

Instead of guaranteeing that poor undergraduates can get through college debt-free, the University of Virginia decided it’s going to make low-income students borrow up to $28,000.

* More on the brokenness of the Common Core.

* The new face of food stamps.  Of the top five jobs projected to grow from 2012 to 2022, only one—registered nurse—provides an annual, full-time salary over $22,000.

The Fantasy Politics of the Libertarian Alliance.

* BREAKING: The past isn’t done with you yet.

With lethal-injection drugs in short supply and new questions looming about their effectiveness, lawmakers in some death-penalty states are considering bringing back relics of a more gruesome past: firing squads, electrocutions and gas chambers.

* Kubrick’s alternate titles for Dr. Strangelove.

Jonathan Banks is officially part of Better Call Saul.

Lawsuit Blames Uber App for Death of 6-Year-Old Girl.

* West Virginia as colonized zone.

* Five years into his presidency, Obama has finally issued an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contracts. Can solving climate change be far behind?

* “Academic freedom” is a funny phrase: New York bill to punish ASA over Israel boycott picks up 48 supporters.

Man Charged With Shooting And Killing Own Neighbors Because He Wrongly Thought They Were Trespassing.

Florida Man’s Very Own Backyard Gun Range Is Perfectly Legal.

* Marquette just got $10 million to build a new JesRes.

* An 83-year-old nun faces up to 30 years in prison for breaking into a nuclear weapons facility.

* Here’s why Ezra Klein left the Washington Post. This is my skeptical face, but good luck.

* Horrific: After Being Denied A Snow Day, University Of Illinois Students Respond With Racism And Sexism.

* The crisis is over! Colleges are rich again!

Queens Library president gets $390G salary, luxe office makeover while shedding 130 jobs.

* BREAKING: Austerity politics don’t work. No one could have predicted!

* A bit on the nose, don’t you think? Birds Attack Peace Doves Freed From Pope’s Window.

* Let kids be kids: Chaos may reign at Swanson Primary School with children climbing trees, riding skateboards and playing bullrush during playtime, but surprisingly the students don’t cause bedlam, the principal says. The school is actually seeing a drop in bullying, serious injuries and vandalism, while concentration levels in class are increasing.

* The invention of jaywalking.

* Understand academic labor the Brady Bunch way.

* Rebecca Schuman hangs up on her “calling.”

* And some linkbait I can never resist: 22 Unbelievable Places that are Hard to Believe Really Exist.

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Monday, Monday

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* In local news! @baylorstudio and @artmilwaukee win $50,000 Joyce Award to create original work of art in blighted neighborhoods.

* CFP for 2013 Wisconsin WS/LGBTQ Conference: Knowledge In the Making in Women’s, Gender, and LGBTQ Studies.

* The next Kim Stanley Robinson novel! Shaman: A Novel of the Ice Age.

* Is science fiction the future of the novel?

Student loans: The next housing bubble.

* Postdocalypse now.

* MOOC-MOOC mocks MOOC mooks.

* ‘We Ask That You Do Not Call Us Professor.’

* McSweeney’s: “I’m an English professor in a movie.”

* The University of British Columbia is striking a blow at gender inequity in professors’ pay, promising all tenure-stream female faculty a 2 per cent pay hike by the end of the month – a rare approach expected to cost the school about $2-million this year. I asked on Twitter and nobody answered — is this legal in Canada? I don’t think it would be here.

Expelled Student Activist Wins $50K Court Judgment Against University President. The president is being held personally liable for his decisions.

An environmental activist expelled from Georgia’s Validosta State University (VSU) has won a $50,000 award in a lawsuit against the university president who kicked him out of school in 2007. In a dramatic rebuke to President Ronald Zaccari, the federal jury that heard the case found Zaccari personally liable for violating Hayden Barnes’ due process rights.

* Amy Bishop, a neurobiologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, sat down at the conference table just moments before the faculty meeting began. It was three o’clock on February 12, 2010, and thirteen professors and staff members in the biology department had crowded into a windowless conference room on the third floor of the Shelby Center for Science and Technology. The department chair, a plant biologist named Gopi Podila, distributed a printed agenda. Bishop was sitting next to him, in a spot by the door. Inside her handbag was a gun.

* Scenes from the struggle for academic freedom in New York. Much more here.

* School closings are a popular method of cost-cutting for big-city districts, but critics say the savings are exaggerated. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing for up to 100 school closings this year. New York City just announced 26 planned closures.

But studies refute claims of savings. School buildings are difficult to sell. They cost money to maintain, and when vacant can become blights on their communities. Washington, D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee closed 23 schools in 2008, claiming she would save $23 million—and instead cost the district $40 million.

* The Super Bowl Is Single Largest Human Trafficking Incident In U.S. Football’s death spiral. The Rarest Play in the NFL.

* Capitalism: rise of the machines.

Being touched against your will has become a twisted rite of passage for American females. It’s a reminder that you’re never safe anywhere. That your body is not really yours—but instead public property, there to be rubbed against by an old man or pinched and videotaped by a young one.

It was a startling assertion that seemed an about-face from church doctrine: A Catholic hospital arguing in a Colorado court that twin fetuses that died in its care were not, under state law, human beings.

* Communism! S&P To Face Charges From States, U.S. Over Wrongdoing Before Financial Crisis.

* John McCain: the mask slips.

* Our individual perception of global warming is matching up with reality.

* So they found Richard III.

* Occupy Buddhism. Relatedly: growing up a Lama in exile.

* The Institute for Centrifugal Research.

We believe that even the trickiest challenges confronting mankind can be diverted via human centrifugalization. Spinning people around at a sufficiently high G-Force will solve every problem.

* Canada ends the penny. This means the U.S. will start talking seriously about ending the penny in about fifty years or so.

* And the Big Picture blog visits the sky.

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Midweek Links

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* Erik Loomis is being targeted by prominent figures on the right in what has to be the most ludicriously unfair, bad-faith attack I have ever seen.

Walker declares state of emergency in Wisconsin due to snowstorm.

Guide to Answering Academic Job Interview Questions.

Argument Over Sandy Hook Shooting Ends in Gunfire. Why Won’t We Talk About Violence and Masculinity in America? Gun Violence In American Schools Is Nothing New. Top Conservative Publication: Shooting Occurred Because Women Ran The School. Weaponize the husky twelve-year-olds. Virginia Republican Legislator Actually Wants To Require Concealed Weapons In Schools. The Arms Race of Stupid.

I can’t help wondering if the bullets of Sandy Hook Elementary will be for Obama what the snarling dogs and high-pressure fire hoses of Birmingham, Alabama, were for John F. Kennedy in 1963: the human tragedy that will force him to take a political risk, simply because it is right.

Conservative Historian Warns Obama and Democrats are ‘Much More Radical’ than Marxists. So much more radical. So much more.

Best Astronomy Images of 2012. (Keep scrolling past the image for more links.)

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Wayne State faculty gives OK to union leadership to call strike if necessary.

* Terrible person to teach terrible class at terrible university.

* News from Nerdistan: What Frodo would have looked like as Gollum. Joss Whedon wanted the Wasp and an extra villain in The Avengers. Tolkien vs. technology. Someone at Disney is already trying to lay the groundwork for a second sequel trilogy after Star Wars 7-9. Nearby Tau Ceti may host two planets suited to life. Netflix Instant Adds a Bunch of Fake ‘Arrested Development’ Shows and MoviesLEGOs run the world now.

It’s time to start asking serious questions about the safety of lube.

Here: an exercise in choice. Your choice. One of these tales is true.

* Petraeus Scandal 2.0. Nothing about sex, so no one will care.

* Matt Yglesias has the most logical incoherent “think piece” you’ll read on Society Security today. Money doesn’t magically become not-money when it’s spent by retirees.

* Plans to avoid the fiscal cliff cut government more than the fiscal cliff. Why, it’s almost as if this whole debate is total bullshit!

Shale Oil Might Be Less Awesome Than We Think. From a personal perspective, I doubt that’s possible.

Top 20 most valuable college football programs all made at least $24 million in profit last year, according to Forbes. $200K Average Salary for Asst. Football Coaches in Major Programs. Bill Introduced for IRS to Collect Student Loan Payments.

Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said he supported the bill, arguing it could “nearly eliminate student loan default.”

But the reinvention conversation has not produced the panacea that people seem to yearn for. “The whole MOOC thing is mass psychosis,” a case of people “just throwing spaghetti against the wall” to see what sticks, says Peter J. Stokes, executive director for postsecondary innovation at Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies. His job is to study the effectiveness of ideas that are emerging or already in practice.

The Wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon is Emitting a Mysterious Substance Into the Gulf of Mexico.

Quentin Tarantino Says Drug War, Justice System Are Modern Day Slavery.

Apocalypse and Revelation Are the Same Word.

* And life’s not all an endless series of miserable atrocities: Found: Whale Thought Extinct for 2 Million Years.

Letters to Tralfamadore

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Planned Cities from Space. Below: Washington, D.C.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 9, 2012 at 11:17 am

Wednesday Links

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* Tom Hanks Performing a Slam Poem About Full House is Something that Actually Happened.

* Peter Frase: Drone assassination is now the first resort of the state. Inside the CIA’s new dystopian novel. Responds to the Washington Post report on the drone program here.

* U.S. May Come Close to 2020 Greenhouse Gas Emission Target.

The antimonopolist history of the world’s most popular board game.

The game’s true origins, however, go unmentioned in the official literature. Three decades before Darrow’s patent, in 1903, a Maryland actress named Lizzie Magie created a proto-Monopoly as a tool for teaching the philosophy of Henry George, a nineteenth-century writer who had popularized the notion that no single person could claim to “own” land. In his book Progress and Poverty (1879), George called private land ownership an “erroneous and destructive principle” and argued that land should be held in common, with members of society acting collectively as “the general landlord.”

The Landlord's Game, 1906

Magie called her invention The Landlord’s Game, and when it was released in 1906 it looked remarkably similar to what we know today as Monopoly. It featured a continuous track along each side of a square board; the track was divided into blocks, each marked with the name of a property, its purchase price, and its rental value. The game was played with dice and scrip cash, and players moved pawns around the track. It had railroads and public utilities—the Soakum Lighting System, the Slambang Trolley—and a “luxury tax” of $75. It also had Chance cards with quotes attributed to Thomas Jefferson (“The earth belongs in usufruct to the living”), John Ruskin (“It begins to be asked on many sides how the possessors of the land became possessed of it”), and Andrew Carnegie (“The greatest astonishment of my life was the discovery that the man who does the work is not the man who gets rich”). The game’s most expensive properties to buy, and those most remunerative to own, were New York City’s Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and Wall Street. In place of Monopoly’s “Go!” was a box marked “Labor Upon Mother Earth Produces Wages.” The Landlord Game’s chief entertainment was the same as in Monopoly: competitors were to be saddled with debt and ultimately reduced to financial ruin, and only one person, the supermonopolist, would stand tall in the end. The players could, however, vote to do something not officially allowed in Monopoly: cooperate. Under this alternative rule set, they would pay land rent not to a property’s title holder but into a common pot—the rent effectively socialized so that, as Magie later wrote, “Prosperity is achieved.”

* In Focus celebrates the fairest of the seasons.

* And Unreality celebrates kids in awesome Halloween costumes.

Wednesday Links

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* There’s an Earthlike planet in Alpha Centauri. This is the best news I’ve ever heard and I’m halfway to my space victory already I just have to research Fusion and Ecology.

* Compared to this the discovery of a planet with four suns and another all-diamond planet just seems boring.

* The other day they drove the Space Shuttle through Los Angeles.

* University of Phoenix to close 115 locations.

* Like Lee Bessette I’m pretty skeptical of this move towards a “teaching track.” Has establishing multiple tiers like this ever improved labor conditions?

* World’s biggest geoengineering experiment ‘violates’ UN rules. I’ve been fascinated for years that large-scale geoengineering projects are now within the reach not just of nations, but of individuals. Things are going to get interesting, in the “ancient Chinese curse” sense.

* Title suggestions for Future Die Hard Movies.

* The Problem with Presidential Precedent.

* Will California end the death penalty this year? They should.

* Firefly animated spinoff? I really think at this point I’d rather just be happy with what we got than ride a bad version of the thing I love into the ground. #geekheresy

* The Strange Death of Alfalfa.

* Debt Collector Illegally Seizes Disabled Vet’s Savings, Tells Him ‘You Should Have Died.’

* How Buffy Predicted Geek Misogyny. I’m not sure predicted is really the right tense here. What an Academic Who Wrote Her Dissertation on Trolls Thinks of Violentacrez. Michael Brutsch, ViolentAcrez, and Online Pseudonyms. On Ruining Violentacrez’ Life. I’m told r/creepshots is already back, masquerading as a “fashion police” subreddit.

* Gallup and Josh Marshall teases crisis as a real divergence seems possible between the popular and the electoral vote.

* Some debate highlights: a brutal on-the-spot fact-check that will be part of presidential debate prep for years to come. How epistemic closure hurts a candidate. The binder story that launched a thousand memes wasn’t even true. Leaked Debate Agreement Shows Both Obama and Romney are Sniveling Cowards. And whoever is elected, the planet loses. What an embarrassing spectacle for the people of the future to witness. Not that it’s anything new.

* Trove of Kafka Documents Must Be Released, Israeli Judge Rules. You can pick them up at the Castle…