Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Cloud Atlas

Far Too Many Monday Morning Links, Sorry

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* The Imaginary Worlds podcast did a recent episode on the legacy of Octavia Butler.

* N.K. Jemisin has a plan for diversity in science fiction.

* The best McSweeney’s link in years, maybe ever: “A Poem about Your University’s Brand New Institute.”

* The value-added English major: Book up for a longer life: readers die later, study finds.

Cloud Atlas ‘astonishingly different’ in US and UK editions, study finds.

* Group projects in the college classroom from Ramzi Fawaz.

* Call for applications: The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award.

* China Miéville and the Politics of Surrealism.

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 1.18.29 AM* Violence Breaks Out in Milwaukee Following Officer-Involved Shooting. More details. Sheriff Clarke and Scott Walker Call in the National Guard. And from the archives: Wisconsin named worst state for black Americans. Wisconsin Prisons Incarcerate Most Black Men In U.S. Wisconsin graduation gap between white and black students largest in the country. ‘Back in time 60 years’: America’s most segregated city. Why Is Milwaukee So Bad For Black People? Milwaukee County and the Unelectable Whiteness of Scott Walker. And a message from MUPD.

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* Unprecedented flooding, again, this time in Louisiana (again).

Everything is fucked: The syllabus.

* The Republican War on Public Universities.

* Uber U.

So Your Kid’s A Medieval Studies Major? Relax.

The discovery of Hawaii Sign Language in 2013 amazed linguists. But as the number of users dwindles, can it survive the twin threats of globalisation and a rift in the community?

* One in seven U.S. households has a negative net worth.

The Average Black Family Would Need 228 Years to Build the Wealth of a White Family Today.

* Meanwhile, on the Trump beat: The Entertainment Candidate. My Crazy Year with Trump. Here’s how I’ll teach Trump to my college students this fall. A Republican intellectual explains why the Republican Party is going to die. On Decency. Inside the Failing Mission to Tame Donald Trump’s Tongue. Former supporters describe their ‘last straw’ when it came to Trump. The Ten Point Line. Even if Polling Tightens, Where Is Donald Trump’s 270th Electoral Vote? Presidential candidates leading polls at this point in the campaign have almost always won. What A Clinton Landslide Would Look Like. What would it take for the House to flip? News Organizations Ask NY State Supreme Court to Unseal Trump’s 1990 Divorce Records. Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief. I didn’t blog for a few days and the “Second Amendment People” thing already seems like a million years ago. It’s unreal.

* Twitter, or, a honeypot for assholes.

Polls suggest Iceland’s Pirate party may form next government.

* The four basic personality types, by way of the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

Why Did a University Quarter Police and Soldiers in Its Dorms? Stay for the paean to the Third Amendment. It’s making a comeback, my friends!

The drug war has enabled civilian police forces to militarize their tactics and technology up to the level of the armed forces. Police departments are now standing armies of “warrior cops” that largely crusade against Black low-level drug dealers and their Black consumers, with little regard for their non-Black suppliers. These militarized police officers are Third Amendment “soldiers” by any reasonable construction.

* New detail emerge on Star Trek: Discovery. I’m really not in love with the pre-TOS prequel angle — didn’t they already make that mistake? — but the rest seems reasonably promising. Meanwhile, in the next universe over: The Star Trek TV Shows That Never Happened.

The researchers calculated that the ship could reach five percent the speed of light (0.05 c), resulting in roughly a 90-year travel time to Alpha Centauri. The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963, which forbade nuclear explosions in the atmosphere, and the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which forbade nuclear explosive devices in space, effectively ended Orion. 

An Earth-like Planet Might Be Orbiting Proxima Centauri.

NASA unveils 6 prototypical deep space human habitats for Mars and beyond.

A mysterious object has been discovered beyond Neptune with an inexplicable orbit. I’ll be honest: I’m all in on Niku.

* All alone in No Man’s Sky, an incomprehensibly vast universe simulator.

It’s So Hot Out Cockroaches Might Start Flying in NYC.

This “proton radius puzzle” suggests there may be something fundamentally wrong with our physics models. And the researchers who discovered it have now moved on to put a muon in orbit around deuterium, a heavier isotope of hydrogen. They confirm that the problem still exists, and there’s no way of solving it with existing theories.

* Dystopia now: The latest technological innovation for data-hungry hedge funds is a fleet of five dozen shoebox-sized satellites.

* The Hidden Hawaii.

The Invisible Labor of Women’s Studies.

* Perhaps it might be time to abandon altogether the idea of childbirth as a moral experience? Resisting the application of prospective and retrospective judgment, appraisal, and categories of “good” and “bad” altogether: can we imagine birth outside of these assignations? Is there a way for us to hold on to the monstrosity of childbirth? To look directly at Winthrop’s descriptions, refuse his hateful moralizing yet cradle those monstrous lumps?

When mental health professionals systemically misdiagnose patients of color, treatment looks more like punishment.

Lawns are a soul-crushing timesuck and most of us would be better off without them.

Study Links Police Bodycams to Increase in Shooting Deaths.

* “When you realize that *all* faculty meetings follow the CIA’s Sabotage Field Manual.”

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* Homeless at college.

* Politeness and the end of democracy.

* Rethinking family leave policies in academia.

* Chernobyl in the Anthropocene.

* A place called Mebane.

* Ice and American exceptionalism.

* Olympics minute! Saluting race-walking. Why Aren’t Long Jumpers Jumping Longer? The Olympics and climate change. This Is Why There Are So Many Ties In Swimming. There’s never been a state-controlled doping system that we know of, of this size. Why does Puerto Rico have its own team? Why bronze medalists are happier than silver medalists, and other things the Olympics teaches us about human emotions.

* Prime real-estate on the Moon (and how to seize it).

But even as new insights emerge from both the physical and social sciences, a longstanding argument over whether or not addiction is a disease prevents researchers from identifying effective treatment strategies. The “disease model” remains dominant among medical researchers as well as in the treatment community. But it is not universally embraced, and some researchers think it gets in the way of fresh ideas about how to help people.

An Open Letter to My Future Daughter.

* 8/11 is 72 cents on the dollar, please cite me in all future thinkpieces.

* Teach the controversy.

Cost of Lead Poisoning in Flint Now Estimated at $458 Million. It was reported last year that the problem could have been entirely avoided with water treatments on the order of $100/month. Millions Of Americans May Be Drinking Toxic Water, Harvard Study Finds.

* I’m a notorious Jessica Jones Season Two skeptic, but this is promising.

* The future of street signs.

* A Brief History of the Traffic Stop (Or How the Car Created the Police State).

* How to be rich.

* Is God Transgender? Fascinating op-ed.

* The Ballad of Merrick Garland.

* The Ballad of Mayor McCheese.

* The Ballad of Ray Kurzweil.

* The Man Who Created Bigfoot.

The secret life of a trade union employee: “I do little but the benefits are incredible.”

Your Coffee Table Needs This Lavish Collection of Retro UFO Pulp Fiction Art.

Unsung Architecture Of 1990s Anime.

The Chimera Quandary: Is It Ethical To Create Hybrid Embryos?

* Eight low-populated U.S. states as boroughs of New York City, or, abolish the Senate.

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Some Editions Of The First Harry Potter Book Contain A Valuable Mistake. I’m a two-wand truther. This is canon and explains everything.

* Creating The Night Of.

* Making a Murderer‘s Brendan Dassey’s conviction gets tossed, pending the State requesting a new trial.

* MetaFilter vs. the PT Cruiser.

‘Hot’ Sex & Young Girls at the New York Review of Books.

Generate your own random fantasy maps. @UnchartedAtlas.

Six Proposals for the Reform of Literature in the Age of Climate Change.

The Moral Machine is a website from MIT that presents 13 traffic scenarios in which a self-driving car has no choice but to kill one set of people or another. Your job is to tell the car what to do.

* Why does DC Comics hate Lois Lane?

Why has this summer blockbuster season been so bad?

‘Suicide Squad’ suffers major drop in second weekend, still wins box office. And a perverse provocation: Suicide Squad is an artistic statement, “The DC Cinematic Universe Finding Its Voice.”

Ghostbusters sequel unlikely as studio prepares to eat $70 million loss.

This Open Letter by an Alleged Former Warner Bros. Employee Rages at Top Executives.

The Three-Body Problem Play Adaptation is a 3D Multimedia Spectacle for the Stage. More here.

I Made a Shipwreck Expert Watch The Little Mermaid And Judge Its Nautical Merits.

* Paul McCartney: The Rolling Stone Interview.

* The Thiel saga continues: Ex-Gawker Editor On The Verge Of Bankruptcy After Hulk Hogan’s Lawyers Freeze His Assets.

* Rest in peace, R2.

* Years late, this week I finally finished reading Chris Ware’s The Last Saturday, which I loved (of course).

* On Moirai, the experimental mini-game of the moment.

* Listen, man, animals have a lot of problems.

* Some people just see farther.

* And it’s all I think about now, too.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 15, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Links!

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* Inauguration Day at Marquette.

* Chess! Catch the fever!

I am novelist David Mitchell, AMA.

* Retaliation against unionizing adjuncts at Mills College?

* UC regents award 20 percent pay raises to fix executive ‘injustices.’

Heralding what the University of California regents promise will be a new era of pay increases at the public university, the governing board gave 20 percent raises Thursday to their three lowest-paid chancellors – with some regents expressing regret that they could give so little.

* Who’s Paying the Pro-War Pundits?

The Promise of Socialist Feminism.

* Jersey represent: A New Jersey borough council candidate dropped out of the race on Wednesday after reports surfaced that he mooned patrons at a local diner while yelling racial slurs, according to NJ Advance Media.

* Thomas Frank remembers Occupy.

* Also at the BafflerU2, Apple, and the Strip-Mining of Punk Rebellion.

* 75 iconic photos from the 21st century, nearly all of them keyed to violence or war.

* The Earth could have 11 billion people by 2100. Looks like the good news on overpopulation was premature.

* 30 Photos of Wisconsin That Will Make You Want To Move There. Catch the fever!

* “That first scene, where he’s in the temple and he’s replacing that statue with a bag of sand – that’s what looters do,” Canuto says, grinning. “[The temple builders] are using these amazing mechanisms of engineering and all he wants to do is steal the stupid gold statue.”

* Teacher Who Learns More From Her Students Than She Teaches Them Fired.

* The New Way Insurers Are Shifting Costs To The Sick. You incorrigible scamps!

* Harvard is better at admitting low-income students than the University of Wisconsin.

Innocent People In New York Who Can’t Afford A Lawyer Are Pretty Much Doomed.

* Texas court throws out ‘paternalistic’ ban on ‘upskirt’ photos. Ludicrous outcome.

* Elsewhere in the rule of law: Judge: Hobby Lobby Decision Means Polygamous Sect Member Can Refuse To Testify In Child Labor Case.

* SMBC: Do You Ever Fear Death?

* I too have now played all of season two of The Walking Dead and I too can confirm it’s totally great. I’m going to use it in my video game course next semester for sure.

* Student evaluations: still terrible.

* I can’t wait to find out if we’re going to send ground troops back to Iraq or if we’re very reluctantly, with all due caution and great care, going to send ground troops back to Iraq.

* What could possibly go wrong watch: arming Syrian rebels to fight ISIS, who are also Syrian rebels, but listen, this is all going to turn out great.

* I only pray we can construct the border wall across the Great Lakes in time.

* They say we don’t believe in the future enough to embark on generational projects anymore, but they’re going to try to clean the bathrooms at the Port Authority.

* The kids are a little bit frightening: A Milwaukee teen charged in a string of armed robberies last week told police he was trying to do as many crimes as he could before he turned 18 on Sept. 11.

* Scotland will stay.

What Europe Would Look Like If All the Separatist Movements Got Their Way.

* And Slate covers the exciting return of Vermont secessionism.

Tuesday Morning Links!

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On April 10th-12th, 2015, UF will be hosting its 11th annual Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, “Comics Read but Seldom Seen: Diversity and Representation in Comics and Related Media.”

The Review of Capital as Power (RECASP) announces an annual essay prize of $1,000 for the best paper on the subject of capital as power. Open to anyone who does not currently hold a Ph.D. (including current graduate students).

* Happy belated Labor Day: The True Story Of How One Man Shut Down American Commerce To Avoid Paying His Workers A Fair Wage. Labor Day against Work.

* Non-published, non-peer-reviewed study concludes that college football coaches must be worth the money because otherwise they wouldn’t be paid that much. Glad that’s sorted.

So what happened to the GOP, from the time of Nixon to the present, to turn an environmental leader into an environmental retrograde? According to a new study in the journal Social Science Research, the key change actually began around the year 1991—when the Soviet Union fell. “The conservative movement replaced the ‘Red Scare’ with a new ‘Green Scare’ and became increasingly hostile to environmental protection at that time,” argues sociologist Aaron McCright of Michigan State University and two colleagues.

* UIUC will forward Salaita’s appointment to the Board of Trustees after all. Sadly I suspect this is a CYA maneuver after realizing they were in material breach of their contract — though I suppose it’s for the lawyers to decide if they have take-backs on that issue or not.

* From the archives: How Higher Education in the US Was Destroyed in 5 Basic Steps.

* The Darren Wilson fundraiser mystery.

* Guantanamo Defense Lawyer Resigns, Says U.S. Case Is ‘Stacked.’

* The terrifying true story of the garbage that could kill the whole human race.

Man Nearly Dies In Ice Bucket Challenge After Plane Drops Water On Him.

* Are domestic airlines making money by fleecing consumers? No! That’s not true! That’s impossible!

Archaeologists Confirm That Stonehenge Was Once A Complete Circle.

* The A.V. Club reviews David Mitchell’s latest, The Bone Clocks.

* I’ll give you this: Censoring the books your kid reads does seem pretty dystopian. “Divergent” and “Hunger Games” as capitalist agitprop. Utopia and Anti-Utopia.

* How to ruin a protest.

* And Did Stan Lee Confirm a Black Panther Movie? Please?

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Sunday Links

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* I left for Thanksgiving travel in a rush and wasn’t able to post a link to my traditional Thanksgiving post.

* What happens to turkeys that are pardoned?

“The birds are then, in proverbial fashion, said to live happily ever after. In reality, however, they are usually killed within a year and stand-in turkeys are supplied. This goes on year after year. The chosen birds are killed because they have been engineered and packed with hormones to the point that they are unfit for any other purpose than their own slaughter and consumption. They are fast-forward turkeys. Presidential turkey caretakers have explained that most succumb rather quickly to joint disease—their frail joints simply cannot bear the weight of their artificially enhanced bodies. The sturdiest survivors may live a little more than a year. But the birds are always finally put out of their growing misery. Then they are buried nearby in a presidential turkey cemetery—the ritualistic significance of which remains to be explored. (May the archaeologists of the future excavate it!)”

The reason that these turkeys are so ill suited for their lives of freedom is that they are supplied by the National Turkey Federation. They are products of industrial farms, bred to grow fat quick rather than live long. Much could be said about the fact that corporate lobby’s interests trumps even the symbolism of the ceremony, making even the pardon itself a lie within a lie.

To pardon, after all, is to forgive. And, if we’re talking about a turkey, it becomes difficult to discern what criminal or immoral behavior on the bird’s part may be said to establish the necessary preconditions for its forgiveness.

What we have here is a situation where a company offered a wage in the marketplace and couldn’t get any workers to accept it. Consequently, it went out of business.

* David Mitchell on how they filmed his unfilmmable novel.

* What Would Combat in Space Be Like?

* All about Münchausen syndrome.

Farmers Told To Buy Insurance If They Don’t Want To Get Sued By Monsanto.

If Walmart were a country, its GDP (US$443.9bn) would be greater than that of South Africa’s ($422bn). Visa would be bigger than Zimbabwe, Wells Fargo dwarfs Angola, and eBay, Amazon, Costco, Proctor & Gamble would swamp Madagascar, Kenya, Sudan and Libya respectively.

* A Roundtable Discussion featuring Jacqueline Dutton, Daniel Heath Justice, Kim Stanley Robinson and Lorenzo Veracini.

I am very reluctant to speak of “climate change adaptation” in this connection, because I feel that that phrase is a seized term, like “sustainable development,” and both are coded ways of saying “business as usual” or “capitalism must endure no matter the damages.” Because of that I think we should still be insisting on “climate change mitigation” as the appropriate task for our time. Ultimately, however, the entire biosphere will be adapting to the new physical conditions we are creating by our impacts, and we are going to have to get involved with that adaptation to make the best of it, meaning keeping the number of extinctions to a minimum, and trying to steer the biosphere toward best outcomes for all the species on the planet. This is necessary, because all the species together form one single supra-organism, and the health of all together determines the health of any individual species, including ourselves. Because of that reality, inhabiting the Earth successfully in the centuries to come will necessarily be a utopian project. It’s become a case of utopia or catastrophe.

* Year-to-date Temperature Anomalies for Contiguous US.

* Outstanding achievements in bullshitting: John Podhoretz.

Chevy Chase Is Leaving Community, Effective Immediately. Bring back Dan Harmon? It’s not too late!

Alicia Keys Sings the Gummi Bears Theme Song.

* Action Philosophers has a digital exclusive issue 13 at Comixology.

* And finally: Zissou vs. the whale.

Monday Links

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* Welcome to the future: Another grandmother gives birth to her own grandchild.

* Whiteness and Breaking Bad: America isn’t flooded with pure meth, and it’s not because our chemists are too ethical. The illegal drug market simply doesn’t reward peerless expertise in the same way celebrity cooking shows do.

The white guy who enters a world supposedly beneath him where he doesn’t belong yet nonetheless triumphs over the inhabitants is older than talkies. TV Tropes calls it “Mighty Whitey,” and examples range from Tom Cruise as Samurai and Daniel Day Lewis as Mohican, to the slightly less far-fetched Julia Stiles as ghetto-fabulous. But whether it’s a 3-D marine playing alien in Avatar or Bruce Wayne slumming in a Bhutanese prison, the story is still good for a few hundred million bucks. The story changes a bit from telling to telling, but the meaning is consistent: a white person is (and by extension, white people are) best at everything.

* Paging Kim Stanley Robinson: NASA seems to have violated its own Prime Directive by failing to consult its Planetary Protection Officer on the Curiosity mission.

Teachers are striking in Chicago. Meanwhile: How Michelle Rhee Is Taking Over the Democratic Party. Thank goodness Obama’s winning, so he can finally crush the teachers’ unions once and for all!

* Solitary confinement in schools? Jesus Christ.

* Richard Posner is making sense: The notion of using the criminal law as the primary means of dealing with a problem of addiction, of misuse, of ingesting dangerous drugs — I don’t think that’s sensible at all.

* Debt Collectors Cashing In on Student Loan Roundup.

“I couldn’t believe the accumulated wealth they represent — for our industry,” the consultant, Jerry Ashton, wrote in a column for a trade publication, InsideARM.com. “It was lip-smacking.”

Meanwhile, America’s defaulted student loans total more than yearly tuition at public colleges.

* Star Trek 2 has a title: Star Trek Into Darkness. Early returns: Pretty terrible! Star Wars on Poverty. Lord of the Rings That Bell.

* James Cameron always envisioned Avatar as 19 films.

I have an idea for a fourth. I haven’t really put pen to paper on it, but basically it goes back to the early expeditions of Pandora, and kind of what went wrong with the humans and the Na’vi and what that was like to be an explorer and living in that world. Because when we drop in, even in the first film in ‘Avatar 1,’ as it will be known in the future, we’re dropping into a process that’s 35 years in to a whole colonization.

But what happened before that? And before that? And…

* The director of Looper has a metaphor for a model of time travel logic I don’t think I’ve seen before: the universe as a body with an immune system that seeks to push out foreign objects.

The problem isn’t that this is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen in my life; the problem is that it’s seven of the worst films I’ve ever seen in my life glued together haphazardly, their inexorable badness amplified by their awkward juxtaposition. Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski wanted to make a movie unlike any other, and they certainly did: Cloud Atlas is a unique and totally unparalleled disaster.

*  Study: There is enough wind on this planet to meet our entire energy needs.

* Tressie McMillan Cottom reviews the captivating documentary The Queen of Versailles, which I caught at the local independent movie house this weekend. It’s quite good—a stunning portrait of the wealthy’s perspective of the “normal” workings of the economy and of the 2008-2009 economic collapse.

* And when polls fail: Do 15% of Ohio Republicans really think Romney killed bin Laden? Probably not.

It’s a Shame This Is Unfilmable

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Written by gerrycanavan

September 3, 2012 at 8:30 pm

‘Everything Is Connected’ Is Basically a Spoiler

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Six-minute trailer for the Wachowski’s Cloud Atlas. Certain aspects of this look like they could work really well, and others look like they took a 2-by-4 to everything that was subtle and wonderful about the book.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm