Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘black holes

March 1 Links! March 1 Only and Then They’re Gone!

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tumblr_om224d56iq1sqep2mo1_500Contemporary African literature as taught in today’s classrooms is pathetically 20th century. The keepers of those gates overwhelmingly think of contemporary African literature as the three A’s: Achebe, Adichie, Abani. When pressed, they add Habila. It is pathetic, really. The bulk of our literature is on the Internet and ancient professors are still photocopying what Achebe wrote in 1958.

We are possibly witnessing the implosion of American capitalism (i.e., neoliberalism) and hopefully its empire as well. Liberals, those who are protesting today, did not protest the mass incarceration and forceful expulsion of individuals who had been in this country for decades, did not protest the drone wars and illegal killings and fomenting of civil wars and mass displacement under our auspices ever since 9/11. The Obama presidency is destined to go down in history as a footnote; we are simply picking up fascist steam now from where we left off in 2003, before the Iraq War started going awry. The world war that began on 9/11 has resumed. We never left it in the intervening years, because we never sought accountability. The case for moral disengagement from politics in the age of Trump. I found this a brutal, sobering read. Obviously we have to fight in whatever ways we can fight — but I’m sorry to say the predictions laid out here seem much more likely to me than any notion of heroic #Resistance on the part of institutional Democrats or liberals more generally.

* Meanwhile, the media.

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The basic critique of Bruenig et al is right: The leadership of the Democratic Party, nationally and in most states, has resisted acknowledging the failures of the Obama years.

Now seems like a fine time to listen to Kurt Vonnegut’s sermon on nuclear annihilation.

* Keep America weird: Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge wins UFO Researcher Of The Year award.

* The Hunt for the Perfect Sugar.

Why You Can’t Ever Call an Enslaved Woman a “Mistress.”

* This actually raises a ton of questions for me about how C-3PO’s mind works, how protocol droids prioritize their storage resources, and what people in the Star Wars galaxy consider “communication.”

* Some investigative details on the horrifying wave of bomb threats targeting Jewish centers.

* If you’re really asking: yes.

* And it’s not all bad news: Black Holes Devour Stars a Lot More Frequently Than We Thought.

 

Quittin’ Time Links

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tumblr_o62a9nqZo81romv9co1_500* Canamania 2016: Just another reminder that Metamorphoses of Science Fiction (out now!) and Octavia E. Butler (out this November!) appear this year.

* And speaking of Octavia: a previously lost interview from 1995 has resurfaced.

* Call for Papers: Disability and Superheroes.

* A landmark special issue of Extrapolation (if I do say so myself) on Indigenous Futurisms, ed. by Grace Dillon, Michael Levy, and John Rieder.

The Managerial University: A Failed Experiment. 

How Janelle Monáe turned Harriet Tubman’s legacy into an Afrofuturist sci-fi epic.

“Culturally and geographically, EMU football will simply never succeed from an attendance and financial standpoint,” faculty member Howard Bunsis, who helped prepare the report, said in a presentation to the Board of Regents on Friday. “It is a losing proposition – always has been, and always will be. We hardly raise any money for football, and our attendance is the lowest in the country. Some of you believe that we are close to succeeding, if we just throw more money at the situation. This proposition is insane.

* Eleven Theses for the Bernie Sanders Generation.

* Being Melissa Click.

* Wrongthink watch: The Tools of Campus Activists Are Being Turned Against Them. When Slogans Replace Arguments.

* “Literature about medicine may be all that can save us.”

* …but marketplace feminism has simply embraced a mediagenic vision of leadership, most notoriously in the new women’s conference industry, where, Zeisler writes, attendees can “access and sell a certain kind of female power at a comfortable distance from the less individualistic and far less glamorous reality of the majority of women.” These conferences come with a hefty price tag to hear inspiring celebrities and CEOs’ tales about bootstrapping their way to the top and kicking sexism in the rear in stiletto heels. It’s a vision that, she notes, “erases the presence of anyone who isn’t empowered in the most crucial sense of the word—financially…” Feminism, Inc. is big business.

Global warming has made the weather better for most in U.S. — but don’t get used to it, study says. But it’s not all bad news: Chicago is better poised to survive climate change than New York or LA .

Living Near A Highway Is Terrible For Your Health. 1 In 10 Americans Do It.

* Too good to check: Tabloid says it has proof: Ted Cruz’s father is mystery man in Lee Harvey Oswald photo.

Suicide Rates Are Up, But the Most Obvious Explanations Are Probably All Wrong.

The Arctic Suicides: It’s Not The Dark That Kills You. Milwaukee suicide rates lower than rest of US.

Study of exceptionally healthy old people fails to trace their well-being to specific genes.

The Rise of Pirate Libraries.

A Scientific Guide to the Fantastical Predators in Game of Thrones.

* Abolish Neil deGrasse Tyson. But he’s got the right idea here.

* Is there God after Prince? The rejected Simpsons script Conan O’Brien wrote for Prince. Musician’s secret vault reportedly contains ‘thousands’ of unreleased songs. Prince and Springsteen duet, one night only. Springsteen covers “Purple Rain.”

Companies are becoming adept at identifying wealthy customers and marketing to them, creating a money-based caste system. No! It can’t be! That’s impossible!

EVE Online Could Become a Television Show. I’d watch at least a few!

How does a porn parody get made? And elsewhere on the porn beat: Child Porn Is Being Hidden in Legal Porn Sites and It Could Land You in Trouble.

* The new Doctor Who companion has been announced and I’m already annoyed because [felled by assassin’s bullet]

You Should All Be Reading These Criminally Underrated Comics Right Now.

Superman v. capitalism.

The Case Against Reality.

* Twilight of the New York Times.

* The end of literature.

* HBOnarok.

* Clean, safe, and too cheap to meter.

* Chernobyl as an Event: Thirty Years After.

* I never should have agreed to appear on the cover of American Legion Magazine.

* Will America’s Worst Wildfire Disaster Happen in New Jersey?

Kurt Vonnegut, Our Reluctant, Agnostic, Hippy Guru. I taught Galápagos for the first time in years this month and fell in love with it all over again — and I’m presenting on it at a meeting of the Vonnegut Society at ALA in May.

* I’ve been saying it for years: Oxford Scientist Confirms Starting Work, School before 10 AM is Torture.

Kids Play in Backyard While Mom Does Dishes. An Investigation Ensues.

Marijuana is kosher for Passover, leading rabbi rules.

* A recent experiment suggests dolphins may speak to one another in a type of holographic language that may be understood by humans.

* Snitchr.

* Definitely evidence of galactic civilization watch: A Dozen Black Holes Are Mysteriously Spewing Energy In the Same Direction.

Remembering Google Reader.

* But maybe everything dies someday comes back: Ecto Cooler returns.

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Written by gerrycanavan

April 25, 2016 at 5:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links!

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We have decades of research in child development and neuroscience that tell us that young children learn actively — they have to move, use their senses, get their hands on things, interact with other kids and teachers, create, invent. But in this twisted time, young children starting public pre-K at the age of 4 are expected to learn through “rigorous instruction.”

Yet in spite of these lofty commitments and goals, not everyone is impressed with the proposed solutions that are surfacing ahead of the Paris talks. This includes the leading climate scientist James Hansen, who published an editorial on Friday in which he derided an Obama-led climate initiative as “unadulterated 100% pure bullshit.”

The Wampanoag Side of the First Thanksgiving Story. What Really Happened at the First Thanksgiving? The Wampanoag Side of the Tale. The Secret History of the Pilgrims and Beer.

My Favorite African Science Fiction and Fantasy (AfroSFF) Short Fiction of 2015. I liked both “Discovering Time Travel” and “Last Wave” a lot.

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a historic and controversial election from moving forward in Hawaii.

The story of the first Black Friday.

40 maps and charts that explain sports in America.

Planetary Resources, the asteroid mining company, applauds President Obama who signed the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (H.R. 2262) into law. This law recognizes the right of U.S. citizens to own asteroid resources they obtain and encourages the commercial exploration and utilization of resources from asteroids.

How The House Of Representatives Voted To Make Refugee Resettlement Impossible.

Assassinating Terrorists Does Not Work.

* Dinosaurs in Science Fiction.

“Bad News For The Planet,” Says The World Meteorological Organization.

* Utopia in Rojava.

* The circle of life at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

As unions have declined, lawyers are suing less under the laws that govern labor-management relations and more over wages and hours, gaining familiarity with the statute as they go.

For a thousand years, the societies of the Western world transmitted and preserved much of their written cultures on and between the skins of beasts. Cows and calves, rams, ewes, and lambs, camels, deer, and fauns, goats, gazelles, and horses, seals and walruses, perhaps cats and dogs on occasion were rendered into scrolls and codices, bindings and booklets, charters and mezuzot. A large part of our written inheritance survives as a great mass of animal remains.

Scientists just caught a black hole swallowing a star — and burping a bit back out.

Jessica Jones: shattering exploration of rape, addiction and control.

* “false testimony occurred in hundreds of trials, incl. 32 death penalty.”

Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World.

How Did Doctor Who Manage To Waste a Companion Like Clara Oswald Actress Like Jenna Coleman? However they did it, they certainly did…

* What if Trump wins?

* I’ve seen this movie. Though this one is intriguing: We Still Don’t Know Why the Heck There Are So Many Blue Tarantulas.

It’s Time to Change Your Amazon Password.

My son, the mass murderer.

The case for letting children vote.

* Star Wars as its own genre. The Heartwarming Story Behind R2-KT, And How She Joined Star Wars Canon.

* A Unified Theory of the Rocky Movies.

* And now they tell me: Childless adults are generally just as happy as parents.

Thursday Links!

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* Some seriously great news for my particular demographic: Kim Stanley Robinson’s acclaimed Mars Trilogy is colonizing TV.

* Flooding risk from climate change, country by country. Meanwhile: World’s Cities All Becoming Teeming Hellscapes.

* A brief history of mana: How an Austronesian Concept Became a Video Game Mechanic.

* A History of The Lord of the Rings in Video Games.

* LARoB considers the criminally underrated Chronicles of Pyrdain and the night genre was born.

* Age discrimination and adjuncts. I still think this is a seriously underreported story considering how dramatically it would change the landscape of hiring in higher education if it were to prevail.

While surely a simple economic determinism would be distorting, it should still be clear that the epistemic and cultural divide between the “hard” sciences and the humanities cannot be easily disentangled from a noticeable financial divide.

* How For-Profit Universities Make a Killing By Exploiting College Dreams.

* Udacity has moved on to a new scam: nanodegrees.

* Angry Letters to the One Member of Congress Who Voted Against the War on Terror.

* “Reluctant Warrior Bombs Yet Another Country.”

* FSU chooses a politician as its new president despite major opposition from faculty and students. From the archives: FSU to phase out academic operations.

* Head’s up, math geeks: big discovery about prime numbers.

* Chimpanzees Raised by Humans Have Social Difficulties With Other Chimps.

* Listen, it’s about yardage: FiveThirtyEight provides the cheat sheet necessary for me to interact with other Wisconsinites.

* ESPN suspends Bill Simmons for repeating ESPN’s own reporting about the NFL and drawing the only possible conclusion.

* 15.4% growth of Harvard’s endowment brings the total to a cool $36 billion, assuring Harvard’s continued existence for another year. And thank goodness.

* I think I’ve discovered a way to precrastinate my procrastination, which means I’m always so late I never bother to get off the couch.

* Science proves no one is allowed to have any fun: Researcher shows that black holes do not exist.

* Fraternities finally look in the mirror and confront the enemy within: drunk female guests. Should we ban frats?

* What it’s like to be struck by lightning. What it’s like to lose your memory at 22.

* Please don’t ever drive and text.

* And if you want a vision of the future, imagine Mitt Romney running for president, forever.

Sunday Afternoon

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* ICYMI: Dr. Seuss Explains Assessment, Metrics, Administrative Blight, and Pretty Much Every Aspect of the Contemporary Education System.

* This is, I think, literally the first time I have ever heard of university budget cuts impacting administration. Meanwhile.

* Meanwhile meanwhile, Congress talks adjuncts and adjunctification. I’m sure they’ll come up with a good solution soon.

Tressie McMillan Cottom on race and adjunctification.

* Yo novel so staid and conventional, it’s taught at over 50 MFA programs.

* Submitted for your approval: An OCR of the MLA JIL list, 1965-2012.

* For some reason I’m seeing a ton of links to Bousquet’s “Tenured Bosses and Disposable Teachers” this weekend.

*  Bérubé’s last post on MLA 2014.

Harvard, MIT Online Courses Dropped by 95% of Registrants.

Inside a for-profit college nightmare.

* Inside the “longform backlash.”

How Student Activists at Duke Transformed a $6 Billion Endowment.

* “Income inequality” has proved a very successful framing for Democrats discussing a massive social problem, so of course the Obama White House is rolling out a much worse one.

* Pope Francis Is Drafting An Encyclical On The Environment.

cold* xkcd explains climate.

* Demographics is destiny: Latinos overwhelmingly want action on climate change.

* How nonviolent was the civil rights movement?

It’s 1968, and Esquire is interviewing James Baldwin.

* Chris Christie says no to dashboard cameras.

* The coming Common Core meltdown.

* The headline reads, “Chinese restaurant owner told to pull down two gigantic 50ft naked Buddhas from establishment’s roof.”

Highly Educated, Highly Indebted: The Lives of Today’s 27-Year-Olds, In Charts.

* America’s nuclear corps are a mess. Dr. Strangelove was a documentary.

A journey to the end of the world (of Minecraft).

* Science has finally proved that sex reverses cognitive decline in rats.

This World Map Shows The Enormity Of America’s Prison Problem.

* The New York Times has the tragic story of a man with a million dollars in his retirement account struggling to scrape by on just $31,500 a month. Truly, there but for the grace of God go we.

Bucking trend, Wisconsin union membership grows.

* Fox to strand reality show contestants on an island for an entire year.

Woody Guthrie’s daughter wants to preserve Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital.

* The “okay, fine, let’s abolish all marriages” response to marriage equality is so strange to me. I know things like this happened during the civil rights movement — and one might argue that precisely the same thing has been happening in slow-motion to public education over the last few decades — but it still seems like such a strange, uniquely twenty-first-century temper tantrum.

* Behold, the 90s! The Most Impressive Costumes from Star Trek: TNG’s First 3 Seasons.

Life as a Nonviolent Psychopath.

We Didn’t Eat the Marshmallow. The Marshmallow Ate Us.

* And Stephen Hawking wants to destroy all your silly, silly dreams.

Tuesday Night Links!

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Three for Tuesday

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* New York Magazine profiles my nemesis, James Franco. I’m sorry, but the idea that one could be meaningfully enrolled in four graduate programs simultaneously is just… Forget it. Via MetaFilter.

* Black holes may contain mini-universes, and our own universe may reside inside a black hole somewhere. But I still think we’re all just shadow-like projections on the walls of Leonardo DiCaprio’s dreams.

* What should medicine do when it can’t save your life? From the New Yorker, with more at MetaFilter. I firmly hope suicide pills are legal and freely available on that far off day I need them; as with so many things, I can’t fathom why there isn’t already universal agreement on this point.