Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Christmas

End of Month, End of Year, End of Decade Links

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* Holiday plans.

* Steve Shaviro has his favorite science fiction of 2019. I can definitely endorse the Chiang, Hurley, and Tchaikovsky entries, and hope to report in on some of the rest soon… Meanwhile Sean Guynes has a roundup of the best books of the decade in science fiction studies, fantasy studies, American studies, and comics studies.

* Kim Stanley Robinson: “What the Hell Do We Write Now?”

* Tolkien, Lewis, and The Enchantments of Escape.

* Abigail Nussbaum has some questions for The Rise of Skywalker. I thought the Blank Check episode was terrific, too.

* I wanted more ‘Star Wars.’ I got my wish, and ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ made me regret it. The Rise of Skywalker: Memorabilia without Memory, a Misunderstanding of Hope. Welcome to the Star Wars zoo. We Can’t See ‘Star Wars’ Anymore. Will “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” rebalance Disney’s universe? I’ve heard worse ideas. Improv. Disney produced an unprecedented 80 percent of the top box office hits this year. The Decade Disney Won. And one last time, for old time’s sake: The 10 Best Stories In the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

* Huh: They’re gonna make a movie out of “Coyote vs. ACME.”

* Ed Solomon reflects on the greatest work of science fiction he’s been associated with, the profit statement for Men in Black (1997).

The Outer Worlds isn’t quite a socialist video game. But it’s close. Class War on the Final Frontier. Coming to the Switch in 2020! Meanwhile, on the nostalgia front: Star Trek: 25th Anniversary has so much to teach modern games.

* Watchmen, season two: Americans are retiring to Vietnam, for cheap healthcare and a decent standard of living. The article even offers up a point of view character perfectly sociopathic for prestige tv:

After his military career, Rockhold worked as a defense contractor, operating mostly in Africa. He first returned to Vietnam in 1992 to work on a program to help economic refugees. He settled in Vietnam in 1995, the same year the United States and Vietnam normalized relations. He married a Vietnamese woman in 2009.

“The Vietnamese were extremely nice to me, especially compared to my own country after I came back from the war,” Rockhold said at a coffee shop recently inside a polished, air-conditioned office tower that also houses a restaurant and cinema.

* The New Yorker on Watchmen. Whitewashing ‘Watchmen.’ Who’s Watching HBO’s Watchmen? (Parts 1, 2, and 3).

* Kill Your TV.

A quirky exploration of sci-fi and masculinity. Science Fiction’s Wonderful Mistakes. And some more hot Shaviro sf content: “Defining Speculation: Speculative Fiction, Speculative Philosophy, and Speculative Finance.”

* Can you racebend Little Women? I imagine the next adaptation will, or at least will try too.

What happened to Dudley Heinsbergen?

* ‘Streaming has killed the mainstream’: the decade that broke popular culture.

* Meme formalism. Secularization and the death of the humanities. And Christopher Newfield reviews the book giving everyone who works for a college nightmares, Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education. The disgusting new campus novel. Radical academics for the status quo. Can literary studies survive?

* Arundhati Roy: India: Intimations of an Ending.

* What the Prison-Abolition Movement Wants.

* The invention of ethical AI: how Big Tech manipulates academia to avoid regulation.

One of Amazon’s first employees says the company should be broken up.

* The system works: The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still the richest families in Florence. Must be nice!

We Should Recapture the Optimism of the 1960s.

* James Harris Jackson went to New York with a Roman sword and an apocalyptic ideology. He stabbed a stranger in the back and left him to die. Iowa woman admits she hit 14-year-old with SUV because the girl ‘is Mexican.’ Senate removes phrase ‘white nationalist’ from measure intended to screen military enlistees.

Washington state lawmaker accused of “domestic terrorism” refuses to resign.

Deaths in custody. Sexual violence. Hunger strikes. What we uncovered inside ICE facilities across the US. Under secret Stephen Miller plan, ICE to use data on migrant children to expand deportation efforts. Trump’s Tent Cities Are on the Verge of Killing Immigrant Children. The Pacific Northwest vs. ICE.

More than simple racism or discrimination, the destructive premise at the core of the American settler narrative is that freedom is built upon violent elimination.

* America’s self-destructive love affair with electronic voting machines, continued.

* So you automated your coworkers out of a job.

* On pretty privilege.

* Trade war with Wakanda lol

* MetaFilter has your oral history of Y2K. The New Republic has your recap of the decade from hell. National Geographic has your top twenty scientific discoveries of the decade. The 84 Biggest Flops, Fails, and Dead Dreams of the Decade in Tech. The Guardian’s 100 Best Books of the 21st Century. The 15 most awe-inspiring space images of the decade. How Did This Get Played’s Top 10 Games of 2019.

* Crisis Looms in Antibiotics as Drug Makers Go Bankrupt.

* The geoengineering question. “The three hottest days on record in Australia are now Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week.”

* Yer cancelled, Harry.

Pete Buttigieg’s Wikipedia Page Has a Very Attentive Editor.

Democratic insiders: Bernie could win the nomination. What Would the Bernie Presidency Really Look Like?

* The Obama Years, or, A Decade of Liberal Delusion and Failure.

* Why Trump’s Second Term Will Be Worse.

Finland is winning the war on fake news. What it’s learned may be crucial to Western democracy.

* Women are filing more harassment claims in the #MeToo era. They’re also facing more retaliation.

* But there is another kind of memory that develops considerably later in human children, and never (as far as we know) in nonhuman animals. This is called autobiographical memory. What is the difference between episodic and autobiographical memory? In autobiographical memory, you appear in the frame of the memory. Not only do you remember how you felt on the first day of school, you see yourself going to school and having those feelings. It’s not just a matter of what happened, as with episodic memory; it’s a matter of what happened to me.

* The truth about PAW Patrol.

* Chaos at the Romance Writers of America. The Implosion of the RWA.

* Hallmark Movies Are Fascist Propaganda.

* Home Alone 14.

* Promise me I’ll never forget this moment as long as I live. It’s bad, Zeus. Welcome to hell. Santa. Soulmates. Superintelligence. Policy. Physics. Doom.

* Oracle, how can I live forever?

21 Gravity-Defying Sculptures That Messed With Our Heads.

* When Salvador Dalí Created Christmas Cards That Were Too Avant Garde for Hallmark (1960).

* Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Men: To Make Girl Who Is Deaf Feel At Home, Dozens Of Neighbors Learn Sign Language.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 29, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Monday Links!

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* The EdgeEffects year in review includes my interview with Kim Stanley Robinson from last spring. Check it out if you missed it then!

* Well, the reviews are in! Jaimee’s latest published poem, “The Utopologist’s Wife.”

I have covered sports in New Jersey for a decade, crisscrossing the state for as many incredible stories as I can find. But for all the tales that made their way into my notebook, one stayed elusive, even though it seemed to stand above all the others. The 1990 Montclair-Randolph game.

* Very extremely cool site: The Deep Sea.

Keynes was wrong. Gen Z will have it worse.

* CFP: Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations Beyond the Anglocentric Fantastic, 28th-29th May 2020. CFP: Special Issue of the Journal of Fandom Studies on Archives and Special Collections. CFP: Creature Features & the Environment. CFP: Hindsight is 20/20: How Popular Culture Writes, Rewrites, and Unwrites History.

Ghosts of the future. What Green Costs. Congressional Democrats’ last, long-shot attempt at climate progress this year. Greenland’s ice losses have septupled and are now in line with its highest sea-level scenario, scientists say. Last Remaining Glaciers in the Pacific Will Soon Melt Away. The Arctic didn’t used to emit carbon. Something like 14% of public housing in this country is at risk from sea level rise. Young people can’t remember how much more wildlife there used to be. Climate change and depression. Irreversible Shift. Even Greta Isn’t Radical Enough. Just ask Goldman Sachs.

* It’s 2071, and We Have Bioengineered Our Own Extinction.

Scientists Are Contemplating a 1,000-Year Space Mission to Save Humanity. Would be nice if someone look at the next 25 years, too.

* U.S. Army Worries Humanity is Biased Against Deadly Cyborg Soldiers Because of Movies Like Terminator.

* How William Gibson Keeps His Science Fiction Real.

* San Francisco’s Sci-Fi Renaissance.

* The allure of science fiction.

* Beyond Gender.

* What was one work of speculative fiction—book, game, movie, tv show, whatever—that profoundly imagined a new future during the last decade and that is likely to have a lasting impact?

This Professor Was Accused of Bullying Grad Students. Now He’s Being Banned From Teaching. Followup on ‘I Was Sick to My Stomach’: A Scholar’s Bullying Reputation Goes Under the Microscope.

Harvard Faculty Have a Rare Chance to Act in Solidarity With Striking Student Workers. ‘The Administration Is Assuming That We Are Going to Do Their Dirty Work.’

Grad school is worse for public health than STDs.

No, Humanities Degrees Don’t Mean Low Salaries. The Humanities Must Go on the Offensive.

* These Students Want to Create a Required K-12 Racial Literacy Curriculum.

* Fall Enrollments Still on the Decline.

* Against Critical Thinking.

‘Adulting’ is hard. UC Berkeley has a class for that.

* One-book classes have been some of the best I’ve taught. I love it as a model and it works so much better than the cram-it-all-in method I started out using.

* Perhaps the greatest free speech mystery of them all: Trump Targets Anti-Semitism and Israeli Boycotts on College Campuses.

* The Decade Comic Book Nerds Became Our Cultural Overlords. Why do they have to be such sore winners?

* Speaking of Disney there’s a pretty good discussion on this episode of Podcast: The Ride about Disney claiming all cinema in a way I haven’t seen discussed anywhere — literally going back and rebranding Fox properties like Miracle on 34th Street as Disney’s Miracle on 34th Street.

* What’s Up With J.J. Abrams Seemingly Shading The Last Jedi? The Last Jedi didn’t break Star Wars. It Saved It. John Boyega just having an incredible week.

* A People’s History of Lube Man. If HBO makes a second season of ‘Watchmen,’ it should be about Vietnam.

So, when thinking about “Blue Monday” in context of the genre/format New Order basically helped found (i.e., post-punk and modern rock), the sixteenth-note/machine gun trope recalls the fact of lots of bad, imperialist things the U.S. did in the 80s and early 90s. But the whole point of this trailer is to provide audiences with the image or feeling of an American-ness that is actually grounded in something like truth and justice. Setting up a not-at-all-thinly-veiled ersatz Donald Trump as the film’s villain, this trailer gives audiences a scapegoat for the nation’s present and past wrongs: then as now, the problem lies in a really dastardly bad apple, not the system itself. 

* Pete Buttigieg makes his Jacobin debut.

How consulting companies like McKinsey optimized American inequality.

Joe Biden Still Can’t Answer Basic Questions About Hunter and Burisma.

* Self-help gurus all the way down: on Elizabeth Warren.

Why Trump’s path to reelection is totally plausible. On Depoliticization. Et Tu, U.K.? I’m Crying, You’re Crying. But Our Day Will Come. No False Consolations.

Finland forms government of five parties all led by women, with youngest prime minister in world.

Trump’s children must undergo mandatory training to learn how to avoid defrauding charities.

* People in the U.S. Are Buying Fish Antibiotics Online and Taking Them Themselves. Congress can’t get its act together on lowering drug prices or eliminating surprise medical bills. Insurance companies aren’t doctors. So why do we keep letting them practice medicine? AOC compares average paid family leave in US to time dogs stay with puppies. And this is a little on the nose.

* You’d think after a story like this the adults involved would simply die of shame.

These 91 companies paid no federal taxes in 2018.

House Democrats To Rich People: We Love You.

* Always money in the banana stand.

These moderators help keep Google and YouTube free of violent extremism — and now some of them have PTSD. TikTok Admits It Suppressed Videos by Disabled, Queer, and Fat Creators. Artificial intelligence will help determine if you get your next job.

Understanding The U.S. Economy: Lots Of Rotten Jobs.

People in Japan are wearing exoskeletons to keep working as they age.

* Stealing the election in plain sight: 234,000 voter registrations get tossed in Wisconsin after Republican lawsuit, overwhelmingly in Milwaukee and Madison. Whatever shall I do with this power?

* You don’t know Bernie.

* Mario Maker is a blessing we never deserved.

Perhaps the best example of how radical and reactionary horror tropes sprout from one another is John Carpenter’s 1988 classic They Live. In the movie, John Nada (Roddy Piper), a virtuous, optimistic, working-class protagonist, discovers that cadaverous aliens are living among us, controlling us with television messages that turn us into obedient, consuming drones. The movie is widely considered a critique of Reagan-era neoliberalism, and it is that. But it’s also a story about the virtues of genocide. A white guy discovers aliens who don’t look like him living in his town, and his first impulse is to murder them. Foreign shape-shifting immigrants, like vampires, are a standard anti-Semitic stand-in for Jews, and They Live can be read as a fascist conspiracy theory, in which brave working Americans finally recognize their racial oppressors, and respond with righteous cleansing violence.

Boots Riley Critiques ‘Joker:’ “These Superhero Movies are Cop Movies.”

* Another trainwreck behind the scenes of American Gods.

* Millennials Are Leaving Religion And Not Coming Back. False Idol — Why the Christian Right Worships Donald Trump. The Evangelical Mind.

* Shocking slander of a female reporter in the Richard Jewell movie.

* Second verse same as the first.

* Second verse same as the first but in a good way.

* UNC’s self-inflicted humiliation just gets worse.

Stephen Miller is a white supremacist. I know, I was one too.

* No one could have predicted: Charter Fraud And Waste Worse Than We Thought.

* The age of Instagram face.

* Ectopic Pregnancies Are Not Viable Pregnancies, Period.

* Hardt and Negri: Empire, Twenty Years On.

What we know about you when you click on this article.

* U.S. lab chimps were dumped on Liberia’s Monkey Island and left to starve. He saved them.

52 Things Learned in 2019.

I’m Honestly Fed Up With All The Bad News, So I Illustrated 50 Of The Best Ones From 2019.

* You like doing this?

* Focus on a different kid every time you watch.

* And The Atlantic presents The Year in Volcanoes.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 16, 2019 at 2:26 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Train Ride Links!

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* I accidentally said something that went viral and now Twitter is absolutely useless to me.

Seven-year-old Guatemalan girl dies of dehydration after being arrested by US Border Patrol. ICE Arrests 170 Immigrants Trying To Save Babies From Baby Jails. Trump is pushing Vietnam to accept deportees who have lived in the US for over 20 years.

The New Authoritarians Are Waging War on Women.

Is a Green New Deal Possible Without a Revolution?

* ‘Carbon removal is now a thing’: Radical fixes get a boost at climate talks. Earth on course to match climate from 3 million years ago by 2030, UW study says. You, Too, Are in Denial of Climate Change. 40 million Americans depend on the Colorado River. It’s drying up. Harvard Quietly Amasses California Vineyards—and the Water Underneath. Urban Flooding Is Worryingly Widespread in the U.S., But Under-Studied. Welcome to the Eocene, where ice sheets turn into swamps. ”You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to your children.”

* University of California System is playing hardball with Elsevier in negotiations that could transform the way it pays to read and publish research. But does the UC system have the clout to pull it off?

* Can the liberal arts survive neoliberalism? Serving at Cross’s Purposes.

* Wall is good. Build wall!

* We can’t pull down statues of slaveowners, while out there they’re pulling down statues of Gandhi.

* Got to have some mixed feelings.

* Over the last decade or so it seems like very police forensic technology has been revealed to be complete and utter bullshit, which people believe in simply because they believe whatever cops say.

* Nice work if you can get it: insider trading is legal when you’re in Congress.

* Employers should have to bear the costs of at-will employment if they want to reap the benefits, so to the extent that this “ghosting” is actually happening that is very, very good.

* Elsewhere in hyperexploitation: Uncompensated Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (one-year term).

How The US Left Failed Brasil. You’re not going to pin this on me!

* Teach the controversy: It’s ridiculous that it’s unconstitutional for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run for president.

* Why women have better sex under socialism, according to an anthropologist.

There’s some wild shit going on in the far corners of the Game Of Thrones map.

* Totally normal.

* Fossils of the 21st century.

* Union solutions / management solutions.

* Twilight of Netflix.

* We did it!

* And it was 20 years ago (yesterday).

Train Travel Day, Which Means A Whole Trainload of Links

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* Two talks down, two to go! My Worlding SF keynote is archived at Facebook Live, but my “Superheroes vs. the Climate” talk got pulled down due to the Funny or Die video I played during my presentation and will need to be edited and reposted. You can also get some coverage from Austrian Public Radio and the Superscience Me podcast (which was there all weekend reporting on the conference). If you’re dying for more Worlding SF content, there’s always the #WorldingSF hashtag on Twitter!

* I was also briefly interviewed for GlacierHub’s latest blogpost tracing the impact of ice sheets in science fiction.

* CFP: Science Fiction and Communism Conference 2019. CFP: Call for Papers: ANGUISH graduate conference at Georgetown University. CFP: The Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference, on “Artifice.” CFP: Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations, Mapping the Mythosphere, 23rd-24th May 2019. CFP: The 2019 Academic Conference on Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy, June 7-8, 2019.

* Paradoxa 30 is out, on Latin American Science Fiction.

* Terrific short film inspired by Richard McGuire’s Here.

* Margaret Atwood is officially writing a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. All is proceeding precisely as I have foreseen.

* 2018 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar. Of course there’s many, many, many more links below the image…

* Isn’t the most important response to the question “how do we get students to value the humanities” this: how do we get the humanities to value students?

Lies About the Humanities — and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.

What We Hire in Now: English by the Grim Numbers.

“While humanists are often skeptical of measuring a major through debt, salaries, or employment after graduation, other fields that have not already seen extensive declines probably have more to fear from an honest accounting of salaries than we do.”

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has paid $424,000 to insure itself against a significant drop in tuition revenue from Chinese students.

* UNC announces exciting plan to return Silent Sam to campus for a mere $5 million up front and $800,000 every year. (Over the past ten years, taxpayers have directed at least $40 million to Confederate monuments.) They’ve got some other great ideas, too!

* UNC TAs go on strike in protest. More here.

* I mean it’s only half (up front) what they’re paying their basketball coach not to coach basketball anymore.

Louisiana School Made Headlines for Sending Black Kids to Elite Colleges. Here’s the Reality.

Graduate School Can Have Terrible Effects on People’s Mental Health.

* The Insect Apocalypse Is Here. How A Shorter Sea Ice Season Is Changing Life In The Arctic. U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy. The Nobel Prize for Climate Catastrophe. How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet. Here’s How Climate Change Is Already Impacting The US. How Climate Change Is Challenging American Health Care. Climate May Force Millions to Move and U.S. Isn’t Ready, Report Says. America’s Last-Ditch Climate Strategy of Retreat Isn’t Going So Well. Reindeer in Sweden usually migrate in November. But there’s still no snow. Huge if true. Democrats get on board with Manchin for energy committee post. When the survival of the planet is at stake, calls for moderation and compromise aren’t a mark of adult politics — they’re a threat to civilization. But Mr. Burns and the plot of Snowpiercer have a plan.

* Parable of the Sower was a documentary.

* Imagine a better world: Forests are the most powerful and efficient carbon-capture system on the planet.

* Not even Pantone is safe. More geoengineering, coral reef edition.

* 150 Minutes of Hell: Inside the Carr Fire Tornado.

* Meanwhile, Brexit, am I right?

* Welcome to Our Modern Hospital, Where If You Want to Know a Price You Can Go Fuck Yourself.

The steady erection of a system of minority rule that Republicans are implementing is not as dramatic as a populist putsch. But it’s actually happening before our eyes. And it’s led not by the rabble-rousing president or the unwashed masses who thrill to his rallies, but by the elite network of donors, operatives, and politicians who run the Republican Party and the conservative movement.

* How do they do it, every single time?

* Russians! Surprise! Trump was blackmailing everybody.

* When I was closing tabs I found this story about the Moscow Trump Tower project, which was like three unindicted crimes ago already.

* The notion that a) the constitution absolutely forbids charging the sitting president for crimes, and b) the statute of limitations for those crimes *still runs while he’s in office* so he might never face charges, shows how fatuous the constitutional analysis was to begin with.”

* Trump officially ruining books, too.

Trump Ramped Up Drone Strikes in America’s Shadow Wars. No Bush, No Trump.

* When George H.W. Trump ruined a kid’s life for a five-second TV bit. Why Do Political Journalists Think It’s Their Job to Portray George H.W. Bush as America’s Benign, Saintly Grandpa?

Samuel Oliver-Bruno, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, didn’t need to leave the Durham church where he’s been taking sanctuary for eleven months Friday morning. He knew stepping foot outside the church risked arrest and deportation, but he chose to, in good faith, get a biometric screening to comply with part of his pending asylum petition. At about 8:45 a.m., Oliver-Bruno entered the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Morrisville, where he was thrown on the ground by ICE officers and arrested, according to Viridiana Martinez of Alerta Migratoria. He was taken outside and placed in a beige van with dark tinted windows.

* Migrants Tear Gassed at US Border. Families are still being separated at the border, months after “zero tolerance” was reversed. This is what the world looks like to kids in the caravan. US nixed FBI checks for teen migrant camp staff. ICE To Release Asylum-Seeker After 2 Years In Detention. Trans woman beaten to death in ICE custody. Making President Trump’s Bed: A Housekeeper Without Papers.

Holocaust Survivors Recall Exact Day Holocaust Started Right Out Of The Blue.

* Meanwhile, the Democrats.

* Same joke but meanwhile, NJ Democrats.

What the Cult of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Got Wrong.

The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed.

The New Republican Myth of California Voter Fraud. Meanwhile, in NC-09.

* How Democracy Works.

* Coups in WI, MI, NC, and WV. The suffocation of democracy.

* The lame duck session is a deranged, obviously terrible institution.

Overall, the experiences of Central European countries suggest that when left-leaning parties turn their backs on working people, other parties will willingly step up to channel their frustration.

40 million people with diabetes will be left without insulin by 2030, study predicts. Insulin is a cheap and easy to manufacture drug invented 100 years ago, deliberately entered into the public domain by its creators to prevent precisely this situation.

* U.S. Life Expectancy Declines Again. Suicides are at the highest rate in decades, CDC report shows.

* “Is curing patients a sustainable business model?”

Billionaires Made So Much Money Last Year They Could End Extreme Poverty Seven Times.

Unemployment Is So Low Some People Have 2 or 3 Jobs.

* Sign here to lose everything.

He won Powerball’s $314 million jackpot. It ruined his life.

* Generational analysis isn’t great, and yet.

* The violent theft of land and capital is at the core of the U.S. experiment: the U.S. military got its start in the wars against Native Americans.

GM gave out $25b in dividends etc last 5 yrs; its auto biz is now worth just $14b, yet financiers want more. Financialization grinds real industry into the dirt.

* Police chief gets three years for a wide-ranging conspiracy to frame black people for crimes. When Brooklyn juries gentrify, defendants lose. How Incarcerated Parents Are Losing Their Children Forever. Now we see the violence inherent in the system.

An interview with the managing editor at one of the country’s most widely read prison newspapers.

* I’ve been collecting an archive of attempts to bolster the police state by leveraging people’s sympathies for dogs. It’s such a bizarre phenomenon but it happens over and over.

* Meet the Stuntwomen.

* Meet the 90s nonwhite character actors.

You Probably Owe Jennifer’s Body An Apology. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie marketed so catastrophically badly.

About 137 women killed by someone they knew every day in 2017. More here.

* Rape by deception apparently isn’t illegal in Indiana.

* Neil deGrasse Tyson under investigation after accusations of sexual misconduct.

* The Miami Herald has been diving deep into the Jeffrey Epstein case.

* The Socialist Memelords Radicalizing Instagram.

@ChuckWendig yo, can you help me out

* Minneapolis becomes the first American urban area to ban single family housing.

School turns students’ lunch debt over to collection agency.

* Welcome to the Good Place: China’s plan to judge each of its 1.3 billion people based on their social behavior is moving a step closer to reality, with Beijing set to adopt a lifelong points program by 2021 that assigns personalized ratings for each resident.

* What could go wrong? Chinese scientists say they’re creating CRISPR-edited babies.

Millennials in China Are Using Nudes to Secure Loans.

* In less sensationalistic, Orientalist news, approximately one million Uighurs have been put in concentration camps in China.

* Surveillance in everything.

* The Palm Oil Catastrophe.

* Some deep dives into the Sentinelese, among the most isolated people in the world. A Twitter thread.

* Tumblr’s porn bad reveals who controls what we see online.

* How an army of temps produces NPR.

* A people’s history of He-Man.

* Remembering Square One.

* CNN, Palestine, and actually existing media bias.

* Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the politics of digital intimacy.

* N.K. Jemisin:  “I’m writing about dragons as a black woman, and it’s fucking political.”

* Kim Stanley Robinson and Anthropology.

‘Oumuamua goes into stealth mode in preparation for attack.

Gods of Fiction: African writers and the fantasy of power. Ainehi Edoro’s Essay on the God Complex of African Writers Sets Off Social Media Reaction.

* Good poets borrow, great poets steal, but not like that.

* Dialectics of Fortnite: Fortnite Addiction Is Forcing Kids Into Video-Game Rehab. Fortnite as third space.

How one man’s quest to spread Christmas cheer led to a miserable four-year war with his neighborhood.

* Uber is a “bezzle,” doomed to disappoint the suckers who buy into its IPO.

If you flip every word in “manic pixie dream girl” you get “depressive demon nightmare boy” and you think “well thank goodness THAT’S not a thing at least-“ but then you…

* Millennials are brokest generation. Doing my part!

* Jigsaw puzzle mashups.

* Huge — IF true.

In East Germany, a gamer scene emerged just before the fall of communism. Teenagers met at a computer club to swap and play C64 games. The state watched with interest.

* I’ve been rereading the series with my kids at bedtime and this is definitely canon.

* Six french fries? In this economy?

Written by gerrycanavan

December 11, 2018 at 7:15 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet, Look at what I put on the Internet

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Emergency Blogpost: Board Game of This Arbitrary Amount of Time! Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle

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A new linkpost will be coming soon, but I wanted to do a special emergency blogpost just to hype a fun board game that may be old hat to many of you, but news to others: the Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle cooperative card game. I got it for my birthday and Zoey and I (and, occasionally, Jaimee) have been playing it nonstop ever since; it’s really just a perfect game, especially for a Harry Potter obsessed kid. You start off in the first book and play through all seven years, with the game evolving through the introduction of new cards, rules, and mechanics as you go.

There’s an expansion pack I haven’t tried yet but I’m certain is also terrific.

How to play video here if you want to get a sense of it before you buy, but I really recommend it (and Christmas is coming!). If it seems in any way like the sort of thing you think you’d be remotely into, you’ll love it.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 19, 2018 at 12:05 pm

Christmas Hangover Links!

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28cover* An excerpt from the conversation between Tim Morton and Jeff VanderMeer from my and Andy Hageman’s issue of Paradoxa is up at LARB. You can read our introduction too! The issue has been printed and will be on its way to subscribers (and available for purchase) soon.

acting as if nothing terrible has happened
is a failed strategy you yell and this docility
has ruined and crushed us and afraid as I am
I cannot hold your vehemence against you
at this political moment as I watch you dig
your fingers into the rubble you’re sitting on
and you say maybe it’s impossible to believe
in politeness or civilization anymore…

* Ken Liu’s “Paper Menagerie” is the first story to hit the Hugo / Nebula / World Fantasy Award trifecta. Read it!

What’s behind Santa’s bloody rise? Three leading elven labor activists offer a class analysis of the North Pole “gift economy.”

The veterans decided that on the day that had once been Christmas Day they would recall their childhood and youth by decorating a tree.

* The Christmas archives: Home Alone! Die Hard!

* Being a parent really is a second childhood: I’m even terrified of nuclear war again. “A tense new battle over nuclear arms erupts between Donald Trump and his staff.” Tweeting our way to Armageddon.

How to Be a Guy: What I Learned My First Year Living as a Guy (at Age 34).

* Carrie Fischer is apparently in stable condition, but George Michael is gone.

* Ted Chiang talks adapting Arrival.

* Blade Runner 2 (“Blade Runnest“) and the Koreanization of the future.

* #TheResistance: American Mustache Institute takes a stand against Donald Trump’s anti-facial hair bias. John Bolton Vows Not to Shave Moustache.

* Today’s purge: Donald Trump is demanding the names of federal employees working to curb violent extremism.

Trump to inherit more than 100 court vacancies, plans to reshape judiciary. Trump to dissolve Trump Foundation, having moved on to bigger grifts. And why not dissolve the UN while he’s at it?

Reading Fake News, Pakistani Minister Directs Nuclear Threat at Israel.

* Neo-Nazi March Planned for Whitefish, Montana.

The GOP Theocracy: Xmas vs Hanukkah Statements. And don’t worry: RNC: The ‘new King’ is not Trump.

* Looking back: The collapse of the Obama coalition. What could explain it? More data that couldn’t possibly explain it. Having presided over the catastrophic collapse of his party and the possible end of American democracy, Obama gives himself high marks. Why Did Planned Parenthood Supporters Vote Trump?

* 2016 wasn’t actually bad, he explained. I’ll give it one point, for this.

* We can end the war on milk in our time.

* Prime Minister Dreamboat can’t wait to Keystone XL again.

*A consummate bullshit artist, Bucky Fuller’s career was built on failure, if not outright fraud. With few of his ideas achieving commercial success, he amounted to nothing more than a hand-waving proponent of outlandish notions. Worse still, he was an aggressive manager of his own profile and patents, an authoritarian technocrat who sought not students but compliant disciples to disseminate his muddled messages. The lynchpin of this view: even the geodesic dome, Fuller’s greatest “success,” rested on a concept borrowed (to be charitable) from an aspiring student sculptor. Buckminster Fuller in the 21st Century.

John Williams Hasn’t Seen a Single Star Wars Movie.

More than 54,000 people in the southern German city of Augsburg will have to leave their homes Christmas morning while authorities defuse a giant 1.8-ton aerial bomb from World War II.

* Don’t make the joke, don’t make the joke: Sex robots will ‘come a lot sooner than you think’, scientist claims.

* Elsewhere in the rise of the machines.

A&E Cancels KKK Docuseries Following Criticism. That whole network needs a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

* BREAKING: All pro sports are bad.

* Actually, my speciality is evil ethics.

* Gasp! Colleges Respond to Racist Incidents as if Their Chief Worry Is Bad PR, Studies Find.

* They did it: They found the worst Star Wars take.

* The arc of history is long, but it can kick over its own head.

* Meanwhile, in Japan: Can the Emperor abdicate?

* And wherever we are on the political spectrum: let’s give the giant meteor a chance.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 26, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Really Almost Christmas Now Links

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15697762_10102655760711291_6336780903500857031_n46 shots that were cut from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. There Was Almost a Jedi in Rogue One. What Rogue One Teaches Us About the Rebel Alliance’s Military Chops.

How a Pen and Paper RPG Brought ‘Star Wars’ Back From the Dead.

* When George met Gene.

* The Xenofeminist Manifesto.

The Xenofeminist Manifesto, published by the feminist collective Laboria Cuboniks lays out a new framework for technology’s role in social progress. “Why is there so little explicit, organized effort to repurpose technologies for progressive gender political ends?” the authors ask. “The real emancipatory potential of technology remains unrealized… the ultimate task lies in engineering technologies to combat unequal access to reproductive and pharmacological tools, environmental cataclysm, economic instability, as well as dangerous forms of unpaid/underpaid labor.” This reframing of technology requires a politics that does not shy away from scale and complexity.

The Strange History of Talossa, a Bedroom That Was Also a Country. Milwaukee’s own!

Indeed, North Carolina does so poorly on the measures of legal framework and voter registration, that on those indicators we rank alongside Iran and Venezuela. When it comes to the integrity of the voting district boundaries no country has ever received as low a score as the 7/100 North Carolina received. North Carolina is not only the worst state in the USA for unfair districting but the worst entity in the world ever analyzed by the Electoral Integrity Project.

“Even if we darken the sky with hundreds or thousands of satellites and interceptors, there’s no way to ensure against a dedicated attack,” Montague said in an interview. “So it’s an opportunity to waste a prodigious amount of money.” This is fine. The Slim Pickins Trump Doctrine. In 1987, he set out to solve the world’s biggest problem. How World War III became possible.

* Today’s purge: feminists in the State Department. Yesterday’s, of course, was professors teaching courses on whiteness at UW.

* With less than a month to go, Obama is still pretending the presidency is a weak office without much power.

* [fingers crossed] please don’t be an academic, please don’t be an academic — aw damnit

* Must-read article from 1983: Tuition Hikes in Store at Some State Universities.

* Supercharging the school-to-prison pipeline in Missouri.

* Huge, if true: The CIA Is Not Your Friend.

* In a time without heroes, they were: The Rockettes (2021).

* The law, in its majestic equality… Appeals court vacates ‘unconscionable’ life sentence for New Orleans man over theft of $15 from ‘bait vehicle.’

* The financial system as hostile AI. What can I say? Great minds think alike!

* And friends, I’m here to tell you, it only gets worse from here.

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Christmas and/or Fascism Megapost Forever and Ever Links – Part Two!

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(here’s part one)

* The story behind the Christmas Truce of 1914, simultaneously the most and least utopian thing that’s ever happened.

* Now that’s running it like a sandwich: College Can’t Prove It Taught 16,000 Online Students.

* Shockwave: A Syllabus for the End Times.

* Addressing the myths of academic job market.

* Arrival and the end of the academy.

* This was not called execution. It was called retirement.

* Colleges should invest in career services.

The Oakland Fire Tragedy and Higher Education.

* Inside the Bob Dylan Archive.

* Afrofuturism: The Next Generation.

* Rewriting Rogue One. And more.

* Rogue One: An Engineering Ethics Story. The Death Star and poor design.

* Rogue One: The Jacobin seal of approval.

* High praise: The Man in the High Castle season 2 is the worst TV show of the year.

* Buck Up, Democrats, and Fight Like Republicans. Team Bernie: Hillary ‘F*cking Ignored’ Us in Swing States. Building a Mass Socialist Party.

* Cabinet of Deplorables: Rex Tillerson. Rick Perry. An Intellectual History. Trump and the Late Deciders. Yes, Pence is preferable to Trump. The supermanagerial reich. The Age of Anger. Frightened by Donald Trump? You don’t know the half of it. What do you do when your reporter is personally attacked by the President of the United States? Twitter, Trump’s Ring of Power. This is fine.

* tfw your research collapses and it’s too late to rewrite the book

Politics got weird because neoliberalism failed to deliver.

* Their fake news, and ours.

The trail of painkillers leads to West Virginia’s southern coalfields, to places like Kermit, population 392. There, out-of-state drug companies shipped nearly 9 million highly addictive — and potentially lethal — hydrocodone pills over two years to a single pharmacy in the Mingo County town.

* Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump.

A sense of ennui and overdetermination binds the audience of NPR podcasts together in a bloc of obnoxious explainerism.

* The End Is Always Near: The New Inquiry reviews Peter Frase’s Four Futures.

* The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.

What Was James Comey Thinking? James Comey never should have been FBI director in the first place.

* Horrors in Aleppo. What Is Aleppo?

* The Business of Institutionalization.

* Michigan search for welfare fraud has a mere 93% failure rate.

* Cover Letter to the Search Committee from My Shadow Self. Eight Excuses I Have Told My Son to Use for His Failure to Hand in English Homework, Excuses I Have Learned Are Acceptable During a Thirty-Year Career in Journalism, Books, and Film.

* Climate change, meet your apocalyptic twin: oceans poisoned by plastic. Real-time interactive map shows the pollution engulfing Earth. The Greater New York City Region Must Plan for “Permanent Flooding.”

* Google and the death of knowledge.

* There’s no safe space for kids anywhere: 368 gymnasts allege sexual exploitation.

* Hey, let’s all fight about Shakespeare again.

Living with Exploding Head Syndrome: This is what it feels like to hear gunshots in your mind.

* United Nations to Wonder Woman: Drop Dead.

We Want To See All the Scifi Movies on the 2016 Black List.

* Sold in the room: New Star Trek Comic Imagines a World Where the Romulans Made First Contact With Earth.

* Norm Macdonald: A Raw and Uncensored Interview.

* Anne Frank may not have been betrayed to Nazis, study finds: Raid that led to her arrest could have been part of investigation into illegal labor or falsified ration coupons.

* Talk to your kids about quantum mechanics — before someone else does.

* By the numbers: the technosphere now weights 30 trillion tons.

The CIA Is Celebrating Its Cartography Division’s 75th Anniversary by Sharing Declassified Maps.

Mr. Thompson confronted the officer in command of the rampaging platoon, Lt. William L. Calley, but was rebuffed. He then positioned the helicopter between the troops and the surviving villagers and faced off against another lieutenant. Mr. Thompson ordered Mr. Colburn to fire his M-60 machine gun at any soldiers who tried to inflict further harm. RIP.

My Life With the Thrill-Clit Cult.

* Billy Joel is really leaving money on the table.

* And dystopian film is never going to be able to keep up with the present.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 20, 2016 at 3:03 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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* A personal announcement: I’ll be the Vice President of the Science Fiction Research Association for the next three years. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

* CFP: “Purple Reign: An interdisciplinary conference on the life and legacy of Prince.”

* Huge, if true: Reading Literature Won’t Give You Superpowers. And meanwhile: What’s Wrong With Literary Studies? Some scholars think the field has become cynical and paranoid. Only some?

Use Data to Make a Strong Case for the Humanities.

* They did it: Army Corps of Engineers Statement Regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline. More from Vox.

* Is there any branch of literature so insecure, so uncertain of its own status, as science fiction?

Inside the world of Chinese science fiction, with “Three Body Problem” translator Ken Liu.

gerrycanavan_2016-dec-04* Marquette in the ne– oh come on.

* Dan Harmon’s story circle at YouTube.

* Trouble in the Heartland: Listening to Springsteen in Wisconsin in 1979.

* Well, that seems fine: GOP rep: Trump has ‘extra-constitutional’ view of presidency. Donald Trump risks China rift with Taiwan call. BREAKING: US President-elect Trump told Rodrigo Duterte that Philippines was conducting its drug war “the right way.” That’s bad. Trump’s education pick says reform can ‘advance God’s Kingdom.’ What the Nazis were doing was not describing what was true, but what would have to be true to justify what they planned to do next. A People’s History of the Third Reich: How Great Man theory allows us to abdicate collective responsibility. Facts are stupid things: Here’s Where Donald Trump Gets His News. Trump and the coming failed state. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Now Is The Time To Talk About What We Are Actually Talking About. Another visit from the goon squad. Trump and the Bush Legacy.

New SPLC reports reveal alarming pattern of hate incidents and bullying across country since election. Note the category just labeled “Trump —  general.”

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* Identity politics and the alt-right.

Premised on the possibilities of political struggle, here was the Douglass Option: “a party in the Southern States among the poor.”

* Seems like this guy is Trump’s very worst pick, clearing a very tough field:

During a tense gathering of senior officials at an off-site retreat, he gave the assembled group a taste of his leadership philosophy, according to one person who attended the meeting and insisted on anonymity to discuss classified matters. Mr. Flynn said that the first thing everyone needed to know was that he was always right. His staff would know they were right, he said, when their views melded to his. The room fell silent, as employees processed the lecture from their new boss.

Flynn also helped promulgate the “Pizzagate” hoax that nearly led to a mass shooting today.

Google, democracy and the truth about internet search.

* Steve Bannon, on the other hand, is winning me over.

It’s true that racism is a powerful and durable force in our politics. But it is also true that Donald Trump is an incompetent clown who ran an amateurish campaign rife with mistakes. The Democrats should have won this election in a landslide. They did not, and there is no nobility or reassurance for them in a narrow loss in the electoral college or a win in the popular vote. And continuing to insist that a Donald Trump win was either some kind of strange fluke or completely inevitable is a recipe for repeated defeat.

* When the Democrats didn’t like monopolies. On not going high when they go low.

* Can the good parts of Obamacare survive Trump?

* Stealing North Carolina.

* Italy votes no.

Friedman just got finished telling us that a black elephant is half black swan, and half elephant in the room that will inevitably become a black swan. But now that half-swan, half swan-within-an-elephant is being contrasted with a black swan: in the near future, things that are really black elephants will be misidentified as black swans.

* Understanding survivorship bias.

* Podcast idea of the week: Like Random Trek, but for Rod Serling.

Which Famous Actor Hustled Chess Games in New York City?

* Life after Seinfeld.

* Fidel without Illusions.

* What does elephant taste like?

Here’s Why You Should Be Watching Netflix’s Brazilian Sci-Fi Series 3%. And on the SF kick: Aaron Bady explains Westworld.

* there is no reason to assume Uber’s obliteration of local competition across the planet will create a sustainable business in the long term. Costs are costs, even if you’re a monopoly. As long as people have cheaper alternatives (public transport, legs), they will defect if the break-even price is higher than their inconvenience tolerance threshold.

Trump could face the ‘biggest trial of the century’ — over climate change. But really, show’s over, folks.

* The trans brain and gender dysphoria.

This is brilliant and I’m shocked it took the good guys this long to figure it out.

* Some grim news.

* America is already great.

* Kazuo Ishiguro on the coming race of super clones. Never Let Me Go 2: The Revenge.

* Every villain is the hero of their own story.

* And this is pretty much my actual teaching philosophy.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 5, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Christmas Hangover Links

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* This was fun: My Tolkien/The Force Awakens mini-essay got picked up by Salon.

* Is Star Wars setting up Poe Dameron as its first queer protagonist? Rey is not a role model for little girls. The prior texts against which this film needs to be judged are not those long-ago movies, but rather the trailers for this new movie. And bah humbug! Double humbug! Double triple bah humbug!

* And for the devotee: How Did This Get Made? covered The Star Wars Holiday Special this week — with bonus oral history.

A Christmas Carol: Dedicated to Scrooge, And His Art Collection.

* New York University is known for bestowing lavish perks on its leaders. Its new president, Andrew Hamilton, will be no exception. NYU sort of hitting it out of the park this week generally. The latest extravagances in the college sports arms race? Laser tag and mini golf.

Economists Say ‘Bah! Humbug!’ to Christmas Presents.

Phylogeny of elves finds that santa’s workers are actually dwarves.

* The death of the Wisconsin idea: Under the proposed policies, faculty members could be laid off for financial reasons or if academic programs are discontinued for education reasons, including long-term strategic planning that includes “market demand and societal needs.”

* Let this be our Christmas story. Why? Well, that requires some explaining and perhaps even a stronger rationale than I’m yet able to muster. Because it has no cheer, redemption or family bonding. It’s about power, money, greed, recklessness and what can only be termed the sort of roughshod ridiculousness and surreal unintentional comedy that comes from being powerful enough or serving people with sufficient power that the ordinary sort of fear of getting caught and having to explain yourself simply doesn’t apply.

* Call for ideas: the Museum of Capitalism.

* From Bleeding Heart Libertarians: “Universities may indeed be exploiting adjuncts, but they cannot rectify this mistake without significant moral costs.”

* What really happened in the Christmas truce of 1914? The Real Story Behind the 1914 Christmas Truce in World War I.

* The Typical American Lives Only 18 Miles From Mom.

* The strange case of Case Western Reserve University law school.

* El Niño, explained: A guide to the biggest weather story of 2015. Records smashed on East Coast’s warmest ever Christmas Eve.

African-Inspired Space Opera Yohancé Is Going To Be Our Next Obsession.

‘Unprecedented’ gas leak in California is the climate disaster version of BP’s oil spill.

* I knew cheese was a drug.

* And no. Just no. Disagree.

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Have You Heard the Good News?

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 25, 2015 at 9:00 am

If You Want It

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You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Cry

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 22, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Finals Week Links!

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CVz6SWOVEAAlsQI* ICYMI: The CFP for the 11th Annual Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference ends tomorrow.

College sports’ fastest-rising expense: Paying coaches not to work.

* Huge, if true: While university presidents earn millions, many professors struggle.

* Shakespeare, by the numbers.

* Soviet Science Fiction Christmas Cards.

* The Radicalization of Luke Skywalker: A Jedi’s Path to Jihad.

In Historic Paris Climate Deal, World Unanimously Agrees To Not Burn Most Fossil Fuels. “A long-shot chance to save the planet.” And on the neg: Grand promises of Paris climate deal undermined by squalid retrenchments.

* The climate movement as peace movement.

In a security video obtained by The New York Times, Mr. Strickland is seen in handcuffs, barely conscious and being dragged along the floor by officers, while a prison nurse standing close by does nothing. Even as he lies face down on the floor, near death, guards can be heard shouting, “Stop resisting.”

* Police restraint saves lives.

Meet the apostates of the trans rights movement.

* Divorce on the frontier.

* Unpregnant.

For Fury Road’s fluid editing, Miller called upon his wife, Margaret Sixel, who had spent most of her career editing documentaries and had never cut an action movie before. “We’ve got teenage sons, but I’m the one who goes to the action movies with them!” laughed Miller. “So when I asked her to do Mad Max, she said, ‘Well, why me?’ And I said, ‘Because then it’s not going to look like other action movies.’” And it doesn’t. Compare the smart, iterative set pieces of Fury Road to one of the incoherent car chases in Spectre, for example, and you’ll see that Sixel prizes a sense of spatial relationships that has become all too rare in action movies. “She’s a real stickler for that,” said Miller. “And it takes a lot of effort! It’s not just lining up all the best shots and stringing them together, and she’s very aware of that. She’s also looking for a thematic connection from one shot to the next. If it regressed the characters and their relationships, she’d be against that. And she has a very low boredom threshold, so there’s no repetition.”

* Roar Magazine #0: The Potential of Debtors’ Unions.

* Jacqui Shine at LARoB reviews We Believe the Children: A Moral Panic in the 1980s.

* MST3K breaks Kickstarter records, secures 14 new episodes. Let the backlash commence!

* We’re apparently getting two China Miéville novels this year, and the second one sounds incredible.

THE LAST DAYS OF NEW PARIS is an intense and gripping tale set in an alternative universe: June 1940 following Paris’ fall to the Germans, the villa of Air-Bel in Marsailles, is filled with Trotskyists, anti-fascists, exiled artists, and surrealists. One Air-Bel dissident decides the best way to fight the Nazis is to construct a surrealist bomb. When the bomb is accidentally detonated, surrealist Cataclysm sweeps Paris and transforms it according to a violent, weaponized dream logic.

He said the solar farms would suck up all the energy from the sun and businesses would not come to Woodland.

The Senate is so crazily designed it would be literally illegal for a US state to copy it.

* Dilbert minus with too much Dilbert.

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The lost Marxists: what happened to the academics made jobless by communism’s collapse?

Mockingjay Part 2: Let’s talk about that epilogue.

* The rich are different!

* Teach the controversy: The sealed mausoleum believed to be a fully-functioning time machine.

* A brief history of trying and failing to impeach Supreme Court justices.

* The Indo-European and Uralic Language Families.

* Your short of the week: “Lost Property.”

* Jessica Jones, Buffy season six, and rape.

* The Voight-Kampff Empathy Test, updated for 2015.

* And rest in peace, Benedict Anderson.

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No, *These* Are the Weekend Links

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