Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Comic-Con

Friday Morning Links

with 4 comments

Sunday!

with 4 comments

* The rich are different: Fremont police to offer pay-to-stay jail program.

“It’s still a jail; there’s no special treatment,” Devine said. “They get the same cot, blanket and food as anybody in the county jail, except that our jail is smaller, quieter and away from the county jail population.”

More Evidence That Colleges Are Giving Money to Those Who Need It Least.

* Run it like a business watch: MSG management has paid almost a billion dollars to renovate an arena they don’t own and which the city is tearing down in ten years.

* America as world-historical blip. Not nearly enough attention to energy here.

The Charitable-Industrial Complex.

And with more business-minded folks getting into the act, business principles are trumpeted as an important element to add to the philanthropic sector. I now hear people ask, “what’s the R.O.I.?” when it comes to alleviating human suffering, as if return on investment were the only measure of success. Microlending and financial literacy (now I’m going to upset people who are wonderful folks and a few dear friends) — what is this really about? People will certainly learn how to integrate into our system of debt and repayment with interest. People will rise above making $2 a day to enter our world of goods and services so they can buy more. But doesn’t all this just feed the beast?

* The fact is that Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are all integral components of the US cyber-surveillance system. Nothing, but nothing, that is stored in their “cloud” services can be guaranteed to be safe from surveillance or from illicit downloading by employees of the consultancies employed by the NSA.

Katee Sackhoff, Maggie Q, Tatiana Maslany, Danai Gurira, and Michelle Rodriguez talk misogyny, at Comic-Con.

* Notes on the Detroit Bankruptcy.

* How derivatives helped bankrupt Detroit.

New $444 million hockey arena is still a go in Detroit. Detroit’s budget deficit is only $380 million.

So why has Detroit suffered unlike any other major city? Planning, or the lack thereof for more than a century, is why Detroit stands out. While cities like Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles (don’t laugh – Detroit and LA essentially boomed at the same time) put a premium on creating pleasant built environments for their residents, Detroit was unique in putting all its eggs in the corporate caretaker basket. Once the auto industry became established in Detroit, political and business leaders abdicated their responsibility on sound urban planning and design, and elected to let the booming economy do the work for them.

So, to sum it all up:  we have the Lords of MOOC creation, afloat for now on some misguided venture captial (and lots of sunshine blown up the skirts of university presidents), who are giving away a product that no one seems to want to pay even $89 for, probably because only 10% of users come away with much of anything.  And yet, we’re assured that this is completely”disruptive” “for good or ill” and, more importantly, “inevitable.”

 

* To minimize the risk of collision between spacecraft and space junk, the U.S. Space Surveillance Network tracks all debris larger than 10 centimeters. These images represent all man-made objects, both functioning and useful objects and debris, currently being tracked.

* Women At Merrill Lynch Were Instructed To Seduce Their Way To The Top, Lawsuit Alleges.

* Loyalty oaths at the ACLU. I mean really.

* #overlyhonestmethods.

The order of authorship was determined by  a twenty-five-game croquet series held at Imperial College Field Station during summer 1973.

* And Maria Bamford has a new web series. You’re welcome.

Wednesday Night

leave a comment »

* Those communists at the ACLU are at it again; they say the president can’t just have people murdered any time he wants. Check your Constitution, hippie!

* Only the cameraman didn’t volunteer: Five Men Agree To Stand Directly Under An Exploding Nuclear Bomb.

* Some refreshing honesty: Cheney, 71, said defense spending is “not a spigot you can turn on and turn off, that you need to keep money flowing in a predictable way so you can plan for the next war,” Graham said after the Senate Republicans’ weekly luncheon.

* Okay, points there: Director Christopher Nolan says he has a simple explanation for why he refused to shoot The Dark Knight Rises in 3D: He doesn’t know anyone who actually enjoys it.

* It’s just as good as real learningEven as traditional universities have embraced massive free courses, those institutions have drawn a line on the matter of offering credit. Some professors send a letter of recognition to students who succeed in the free, online versions of their courses, but the universities have refrained from offering those students course credits that count toward the completion of a traditional degree. So far the only way students might redeem their success in MOOCs for formal college credit is by seeking validation through prior-learning assessment apparatuses.

* When David Brin met Orson Scott Card at Comic-Con.

Bryan Fuller’s mystery Pushing Daisies project may be a musical.

* And will UNESCO protect Tranquility Base from nonexistent space tourists? Tune in tomorrow, Moon Rangers, for the exciting conclusion!

Sunday Night in Brussels

with 5 comments

* We’re in Brussels tonight, which as I mentioned on Twitter is my kind of town: obsessed with french fries, chocolate, and comic books. We’ve really been enjoying the comics murals walking tours and I’m hoping to snag all 38 by the time we leave. We should have time, because unbeknownst to the person who planned our trip the entire country of Belgium shuts down on Mondays. Somebody really Belgiumed this thing up big time.

* Stay in the same expensive hotels. Don’t live close to the people. Produce lots of stories and make money. Pull up in your rented SUV to a camp of people who lost their homes, still living under the wind and rain. Step out into the mud with your waterproof boots. Fresh notepad in hand. That ragged-looking woman is yelling at you that she needs help, not another foreigner taking her photo. Her 3-year-old boy is standing there, clinging to her leg. Her arms are raised, mouth agape, and you can’t understand her because you don’t speak Haitian Creole. How to write about Haiti, via MetaFilter.

* It’s rare to see Malthusian arithmetic drawn out so explicitly. How many of the world’s poor do we need, really?

* Somebody finally let the New York Times know that the Roberts court is ultraconservative. Via OpenLeft.

* Ph.D. Comics is visiting Comic-Con (1, 2). Part 3 will be posted tomorrow, I think.

* And thirty-forty-five years ago today, Bob Dylan betrayed us all. See also. Via Neil.