Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘children’s books

Wednesday Lunchtime Links!

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* Sean Guynes has your deep dive into Fall 2019 university press catalogues. Kim Stanley Robinson and Joanna Russ both coming from Modern Masters of Science Fiction, which couldn’t make me happier.

* Strike at Uber and Lyft today. Call a cab instead!

* A 9-Year Quest for Carbon Neutrality Took Middlebury to Forests and a Dairy Farm.

* The psychology of inequality.

But one thing that struck me while reading the valiant efforts of journalists attempting to convey the gravity of the scale of the U.N. report (a 1,500-page document that its authors distilled into a 40-page summary, which reporters had to distill into a normal-size news story), is the sheer impossibility of that task. “Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded,” Brad Plumer’s Times story begins. Where do you even go from there?

Superheroes Starring in Children’s Books.

* Johns Hopkins Calls in the Police to Arrest Protesters, Ending Student Occupation.

Facial recognition wrongly identifies public as potential criminals 96% of time, figures reveal.

CBS Censors a ‘Good Fight’ Segment. Its Topic Was Chinese Censorship.

In the Era of Teen$ploitation.

It’s worth remembering that young people online are supposed to be shielded by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which puts limits on what can be done with the data of kids aged twelve and under. Websites directed at children, and websites that are popular with children, are required to take special precautions with children’s data—in fact, parental permission is required before that data can be collected at all. Corporations like YouTube and Facebook, however, knowingly evade these regulations by claiming that their products are meant for users aged thirteen and over.

* One imagines that, with time, the intricate web linking the movies will get more frayed and insubstantial, and the new films will seem increasingly inessential. And yet, after a certain point, following a story for a long time becomes a story in itself. After watching nearly thirty hours of Marvel adventures, Alex McLevy, the A.V. Club writer, concluded that “the experience overtakes the nature of the content.” This is true of the M.C.U. more generally. When watching any individual movie, a kind of pattern recognition—an intellectual interest in how each new story evokes or departs from the others—replaces narrative pleasure. The narrative worth caring about becomes the story of one’s own interaction with the M.C.U. Just as people ask, about historical events, “Where were you when it happened?,” so fans ask where they were when “Iron Man” came out, when the Avengers first assembled, when heroes and villains battled in Wakanda. This is the story that’s truly limitless.

* Impossibly, Far from Home really is going to try to get into the minutiae of the post-Snap MCU.

That was one of the most fun things — just talking through what the most mundane implications would be. Like, your birthday on your driver’s license or passport would say that you are five years older than you technically are. Those sorts of questions are just so fascinating to me, and I really wanted to get into the minutiae of it and really explore that.

* ecopoetics

* Could it be true? The Real Monster in “Game of Thrones” Is Its Hidden Reactionary Ideology.

In its final episodes, the series has resorted to making excuses for its own bad choices.

* Decade in the Red: Trump Tax Figures Show Over $1 Billion in Business Losses. 5 Takeaways From 10 Years of Trump Tax Figures.

* The muddled message from Pelosi—Trump is obstructing justice every day, but we’ll show him by not impeaching—is a byproduct of the corner she’s occupying: Impeach the president and risk a catastrophic backfire that secures him another term, or don’t impeach him, and allow Donald Trump to operate in a space where the credible threat of impeachment is off the table. The 2020 Election’s Approach Is No Reason to Avoid Impeachment.

* Meanwhile, Trump continues to use his pardons to send the message that if you kill for him there will be no consequences.

* Today in the richest country in the human history.

* Walt Disney and the Space Race.

* Milwaukee Noir. Read the introduction!

* Podcasts and intimacy.

Above all, podcasts make us feel less lonely. We tell ourselves offer codes in order to live. They simulate intimacy just enough to make us feel like we’re in a room with other people, or at least near the room... definitely in the same city as the room. But these people with podcasts are so much sharper than us, so at home in their corners of the world, with easy command of their respective bodies of pop-culture knowledge. The appropriate response is fandom. Coughing up $5 on Patreon feels like paying the cover at a dive for our local band, and we’re pleased to be part of something. Some podcasts even do live appearances, for which we might buy tickets. Listening to our heroes’ once intimate voices on a booming sound system, though, surrounded by a thousand fanboys, feels like a betrayal. We thought we had something special, with their voices so close to our ears. Podcasts were the first medium designed to be listened to primarily on headphones, by a single person. Hell is other listeners.

* Is Science Broken? Major New Report Outlines Problems in Research.

* Nightmare abortion ban in Georgia bans abortion after six weeks (so two weeks after a missed period) and criminalizes miscarriage, among other atrocities.

* On knotweed, the invasive plant that drives homeowners to madness.

* And the kids are all right: Tucson high school students walk out after Border Patrol detains classmate.

Midweek Links!

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* Another scene from the death of the university.

* A postscript for Fun Home.

* Someone Calculated How Many Adjunct Professors Are on Public Assistance, and the Number Is Startling.

Transforming White People Is Not the Job of Minority Students.

* Poor and at Harvard.

By substituting class relations for an arbitrary list of “privileges,” Voxis attempting to paint a picture of an immiserated America with no villain. It’s an America without a ruling class that directly and materially benefits from everyone else’s hard times. And this omission isn’t just incorrect — it robs us of any meaningful oppositional politics that could change it all.

For the Humanities, Some Good News Is Mixed With the Bad.

Hillary Clinton’s Announcement Paves Way for Progressives to Abandon Principles Very Early in 2016 Election. Hillary Clinton isn’t a champion of women’s rights. She’s the embodiment of corporate feminism. How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World. The typeface.

Why did it take the federal government so long to prosecute the Blackwater contractors who shot up a Baghdad square in 2007, killing and maiming scores of Iraqis? Because investigators were trying to wait out the Bush administration, which wanted to go easy on the killers, recently unearthed documents show.

* Gasp! New Research Shows Free Online Courses Didn’t Grow As Expected. Once-celebrated online courses still haven’t lived up to the hype.

* ‘Fuck Your Breath’ — Video Shows Cop Mocking Unarmed Man As He Dies From Police Bullet. This story is even more bizarre than you’d think. Black Men Being Killed Is The New Girls Gone Wild. Police have been setting up suspects with false testimony for decades. Is anyone going to believe them now when they tell the truth? Thousands dead, few prosecuted.

* A brief history of Marvel’s teen heroines.

* Victims of Chicago gun violence memorialized in lifelike statues.

City to Acknowledge it Operated a Slave Market for More Than 50 Years.

The New Somali Studies.

* Huge if true: Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not ‘a magician with a magic wand.’

* How Game of Thrones is diverging more and more from the books. More on that.

The “zone of sacrifice” that is Oxnard, California, where low-income workers are paying the price for pesticide use and chemical dumping.

California and the literature of water.

Turkish mayor sued over giant robot statue.

17 Years After a Spill Into the Ocean, LEGO Pieces Still Wash Ashore.

* Hate to judge it from a trailer, but Ant-Man sure seems pretty specifically not great.

* As Sinclair Lewis said, when fascism comes to America it will be wearing a Fitbit and offering you a discount on insurance.

St. Cthulu in the Anthroposcene.

Maryland ‘Free Range’ Kids Taken Into Custody Again.

* BREAKING: Your Brain Is Primed To Reach False Conclusions.

Saga Was One Of The Most Challenged Books In US Libraries Last Year. #2? Persepolis.

* Weird children’s books from the 1970s, by way of Jonathan Lethem.

Tech bubble about to burst again.

* And The Left Hand of Darkness has been adapted for BBC Radio.

Wednesday Everything

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* Too big to disaccredit: I should have realized the insanity at Oregon was because of college football.

Keywords for the Age of Austerity 14: Failure.

* One weird trick to actually get a cop fired for brutally assaulting someone. You’ll never guess what makes this case special!

* Meanwhile: Grand Juries Should Be Abolished.

Even if you think that IQ tests are unscientific mumbo-jumbo, it’s amazing to learn that some US police departments don’t, and furthermore, that they defended their legal right to exclude potential officers because they tested too high.

* 20 Key Findings about CIA Interrogations. The Intercept’s live blog. The Torture Apologia Chart. Obama, war criminal. But the ACLU has One Weird Trick to fix everything.

* Today’s science fiction, tomorrow’s light switch: 22 unexpected sources of power that will exist in the future.

Ultimately, the Lovecraft statue must go. He may be replaced by Butler, or Carrie Cuinn’s sea serpent wrapped around the world idea or any of the many other options, but the fantasy community cannot embrace its growing fanbase of color with one hand while deifying a writer who happily advocated for our extermination with the other.

The College Rape Overcorrection. I know this article is infuriating a lot of people, but I must admit I found it informative, and challenging despite its flaws.

*Best Way for Professors to Get Good Student Evaluations? Be Male.

* The death of cinema. The death of television.

* Scenes from the charter school scam: an exciting opportunity for administrative bloat.

The Best Children’s Books of 2014.

* You thought you had Frozen Fever before.

“I can even go back to being Ronnie Bridgeman, but I’m not,” he said. “They killed Ronnie Bridgeman. They killed his spirit. They killed everything he believed in, everything he ever wanted. I wanted to be something, too. I could have been a lawyer possibly. I could have been Barack Obama. Who knows?”

* From the McSweeney’s archives: I’m an English Professor in a Movie.

* Easily the most Harvard thing that’s ever happened.

* The Left Can Win.

 * And because you demanded it: The Superman prequel will finally tell the story of Superman’s grandfather. Decades of waiting, redeemed at last!
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Wed!nes!day! Links!

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* The greatest Tumblr of all time forever: Wes Anderson’s X-Men. Above: Bill Murray as sad Professor X.

* A Snowpiercer Thinkpiece, Not to Be Taken Too Seriously, But For Very Serious Reasons.

* Ours is truly an age of miracles: How to cut a bagel into two interlocking rings.

* Now we see the violence inherent in the system: Cheered by tourists, tolerated by regulars, feared by those who frown upon kicks in the face, subway dancers have unwittingly found themselves a top priority for the New York Police Department — a curious collision of a Giuliani-era policing approach, a Bloomberg-age dance craze and a new administration that has cast the mostly school-age entertainers as fresh-face avatars of urban disorder.

Visionary Vintage Children’s Book Celebrates Gender Equality, Ethnic Diversity, and Space Exploration.

* Feminist Science Fiction Is the Best Thing Ever.

* BREAKING: Law school is the absolute worst.

When and how did modern governments decide to outsource all operational aspects of geopolitical strategy to marauding gangs of robbers and murderers?

* The Ebola epidemic has reached Lagos. That’s horrifying.

* How NCAA’s Concussion Deal Affects Current, Former, and Future Athletes.

* Spending Shifts as Colleges Compete on Students’ Comfort.

The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth owes $200,000 in damages to a professor of English who says she was denied a promotion based on her race and gender, a state equal opportunity board has ruled. That’s on top of the board-ordered back pay and promotion the university has already awarded Lulu Sun.

Can World of Warcraft Save Higher Education? Can it? Can it?

* Write Your Own Irish Memoir!

* Yes we can: Sonic Cannons Are Going To Wreck US East Coast Ecology In Search Of Oil.

* There is ‘No Constitutional Right Not to Become an Informant.’

* The net affect of the ordinance is that most of Milwaukee is off-limits to sex offenders.

* Over the past few weeks the stories of child refugees fleeing unspeakable violence in Central America, as well as their uncertain fate in the hands of U.S. policymakers, has been the focus of headlines around the country. What has been more difficult to follow is what is happening to the influx of refugee mothers who have recently fled to the U.S. with their children, many just toddlers and babies. I went down to Artesia, New Mexico last week to see for myself what has become of these vulnerable families.

* On sticking to your guns: Hess’s Triangle.

* Kapitalism, With Kim Kardashian.

* And, alas, it’s not all good news: BP Oil Spill Is Much Worse Than People Think, Scientists Say.

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