Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘boldest predictions ever

Tuesday Mo(u)rning Links

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* Utopian for Beginners: An amateur linguist loses control of the language he invented.

* Uncomfortable metaphor watch:

The two spacecraft, Ebb and Flow, have been orbiting the Moon since their launch in September 2011 to create a gravity field map of its surface.

But, with not enough fuel to carry out further experiments, the American space agency opted for a “controlled descent” to avoid the risk of obliterating astronaut Neil Armstrong’s footsteps on the Moon.

Questions They Might Ask You at Your MLA Interview.

* Great moments in attendance policies.

* Fill-in-the-Blank Generic Gun Massacre Cartoon. Joe Scarborough, communist. Obama speaks at Sandy Hook Vigil. The formula is simple: The more batshit malevolent the gun cult gets, the more power they exert. Our Moloch. On politicizing tragedy:

What that means in practice is that in the aftermath of contemporary gun tragedies, we don’t see new gun legislation. What we do see is a spike in gun sales. After the shooting last summer in Aurora, Colorado, gun sales went up. After the Giffords shooting, there was a surge in purchases of the very Glock semiautomatic that wounded her. Certainly, the firearm industry and lobby will confront some bad P.R. in the coming weeks, but they can likely find succor in an uptick in business. Following the Newtown shooting, Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of Gun Owners for America, suggested that these massacres might be avoided in the future, if only more teachers were armed.

As Pratt’s sentiment should make clear, the United States has slipped its moorings and drifted into a realm of profound national lunacy. Ponder, for a second, the fact that I cannot walk into a C.V.S. today and purchase half-a-dozen packages of Sudafed, but I can walk into a gun dealership and purchase a .50 caliber rifle of the sort that U.S. snipers use in Afghanistan. In fact, I can buy six or ten—there is no limit imposed by law. Should the gun dealer think it fishy that I might want to acquire a weapon capable of downing a small aircraft (much less six of those weapons) he may report the purchase to the A.T.F. But in most states, he’s not required to.

You are terrible: The tragedy in Newtown, Conn., is a price that is paid for protection of the Second Amendment. You are terrible: Huckabee Blames ‘Tax-Funded Abortion Pills’ For Newtown Massacre. You are terrible: Can you imagine being in the shoes of the one who feels his power slipping away? You are terrible: If we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.

Unless I am missing a very subtle parody of libertarianism,  McArdle’s plan to teach children to launch banzai charges against mass murderers is the single worst solution to any problem I have ever seen offered in a major publication.

I mean really.

Support the creation of local organizations to act as “neighborhood watch” for schools. Had George Zimmerman been at the front door instead of some mechanical card reader those children would still be alive. Perhaps it’s time we start asking for volunteers to protect our children. It will require security checks, but isn’t that worth it? This dovetails with the union problem; the unions will fight this measure tooth-and-nail.

No, Really, Regulate the Bullets. Race, Class, Violence and Denial: Mass Murder and the Pathologies of Privilege. What makes America’s gun culture totally unique in the world, in four charts. But maybe this chart is the only one you need.

preschoolers-guns

Dreams in Infrared: The Woes of an American Drone Operator.

Leaked IPCC Draft Report: Recent Warming Is Manmade, Cloud Feedback Is Positive, Inaction Is Suicidal.

* I’m sorry to say I’ve followed Ricky Gervais pretty far down the “obnoxious asshat” rabbit hole, and even I can’t imagine how his staring in The Muppets 2 could possibly turn out good.

* When Stoker wrote Whitman.

Popular Mechanics makes 110 predictions for the next 110 years.

2012 to 2022

Drones will protect endangered species. Guarding at-risk animals from poachers with foot patrols is expensive and dangerous. This summer rangers in Nepal’s Chitwan National Park previewed a savvy solution: Hand-launched drones armed with cameras and GPS provided aerial surveillance of threatened Indian rhinos.

Digital “ants” will protect the U.S. power grid from cyber attacks.Programmed to wander networks in search of threats, the high-tech sleuths in this software, developed by Wake Forest University security expert Errin Fulp, leave behind a digital trail modeled after the scent streams of their real-life cousins. When a digital ant designed to perform a task spots a problem, others rush to the location to do their own analysis. If operators see a swarm, they know there’s trouble.

Vegetarians and carnivores will dine together on synthetic meats. We’re not talking about tofu. We’re talking about nutritious, low-cost substitutes that look and taste just like the real thing. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has already invested in Beyond Meat, which makes plant-based chicken strips so convincing they almost fooled New York Times food writer Mark Bittman.

Bridges will repair themselves with self-healing concrete. Invented by University of Michigan engineer Victor Li, the new composite is laced with microfibers that bend without breaking. Hairline fractures mend themselves within days when calcium ions in the mix react with rainwater and carbon dioxide to create a calcium carbonate patch.

* The east coast of 2057.

* Catfood forever! Catfood for everyone!

* And Republicans are still planning on rigging the Electoral College. Or you could just try being popular. You could, just once, try that…

What You’re Feeling Is Relief

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2008 felt like liberation; 2012 feels like relief.

In 2016, Republicans will have won only a single presidential election since 1992; they won’t have won as the out-party since 1980. Jonathan Chait’s 2012 or Never analysis (part 2!) remains for my money the most important takeaway from this election; the demographic coalition that has propelled the GOP since the 1960s has finally and permanently imploded. However the Republicans next manage to scrape together a winning coalition, it will necessarily look very different from the coalition that went down in flames tonight. And we should all be grateful for that.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 6, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Just One More Day of This Stuff Links

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* My electoral map prediction from two weeks ago still looks pretty good to me, though (optimist to the last!) I feel less certain about Florida now than I did then, and it looks like I was too pessimistic about IN-SEN. If it’s good enough for InTrade…

* One thing is clear: Tuesday will be huge.

* A great democracy would have elections that don’t look like this. As I was ranting on Twitter the other day, there’s simply no worse crime in a democracy than elected officials compromising the integrity of elections.

* BREAKING: only white people count. It’s what the founders intended!

If President Barack Obama wins, he will be the popular choice of Hispanics, African-Americans, single women and highly educated urban whites. That’s what the polling has consistently shown in the final days of the campaign. It looks more likely than not that he will lose independents, and it’s possible he will get a lower percentage of white voters than George W. Bush got of Hispanic voters in 2000.

A broad mandate this is not.

* And, as usual, whoever wins, we lose.

Electoral Prediction (Two Weeks Out)

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Longtime readers will know that as an inveterate optimist I pretty much always take the “over” on these things. I’m hopelessly hopeful. Still, and for what little it’s worth, my best guess at how the presidential election will turn out:

Democrats make gains in the House but don’t get a majority; retain the Senate +3. Too late for Indiana despite Mourdock’s best efforts, probably, but they’ll win Missouri, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Mercy Rule

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I suppose it’s theoretically possible Republicans could win the presidency without Virginia, but it doesn’t seem likely.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 23, 2012 at 10:02 am

Go, Newt, Go

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Longtime readers know I’m a hopeless sucker for presidential horserace coverage—it’s what I get excited about instead of professional sports—but beyond that personal weakness there’s something about the possibility of my 2009 Newt prediction coming true after all that I find completely intoxicating. I’ll have been a genius all this time! Plus, as a bonus, it opens the door for some close-enough version of my Draft Jeb prediction to come true as well. Plus it means I don’t have to feel as conflicted about not knocking on doors for Obama this time around.

Go, Newt, go!

Saturday Night Fever

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* We had a fine time at the South End Art Hop in Burlington this afternoon and bought some tiny pieces from Moe O’Hara, John Brickels, and Nicholas Heilig (the last of whom was making this great anti-Christmas print as we passed through his studio). I bought a couple of Heilig’s Live Art prints for my office at school, but alas—the Swedish Chef was all sold out.

* Scenes from the class struggle in Iowa: Mitt Romney offers Rick Perry a $10,000 bet. Now #What10KBuys is trending on Twitter, and the best is all anyone is talking about. I’m closer than I’ve ever been to being the smartest man in politics. I almost can taste it.

* Scenes from the class struggle everywhere: The Walmart Heirs Have The Same Net Worth As The Bottom 30 Percent Of Americans.

* The Boston Review had an interesting back-and-forth recently on ethical consumption.

* North Carolina is still trying to figure out what to do about its postwar eugenics program.

* On the impracticality of a cheeseburger. Via you-know-where.

* And it looks like Monday will be another big day for #Occupy.