Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘cosmonauts

Weekend Links!

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* Huge congratulations to my colleague Larry Watson, three-time winner of the Wisconsin Library Association’s book of the year.

How To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse According To Margaret Atwood.

* The climate deal with China is the distraction, Keystone XL is the grift. More unhappy news: China Is More Likely to Keep Its Climate Promise Than We Are.

* But Democratic super-billionaires will save us… by suing their pollsters. Yay?

* To end global poverty, we have to end global capitalism.

* United Kingdom universities are pioneering exciting new horizons in Mafia-style university management. Now to sell derivatives based on the proposition that the unis won’t able to pay back the money… now to force a situation where those derivatives pay off…

* Finishing a Humanities Dissertation in Six Years (or Less). There’s good advice here, though as I grousing on Twitter I don’t like the framing “with working relationships, marriage, health, finances, and sanity all still in good shape at the end.” These things are in many cases prerequisites for graduate work as much as they are things graduate study puts at risk; the “still” in that sentence is really crucial.

More kids are getting hurt on playgrounds. Blame iPhones.

Having just one drink doubles your risk of going to the E.R.

* …do we really think that the Office of the President should have a budget nearly as large as an entire UC Campus?

Adjuncts at N.Y. College Are Fined $1,000 for Not Joining Weeklong Strike.

* Harvard to screw its adjuncts, just ’cause.

Rule of law watch!

Why Does a Campus Police Department Have Jurisdiction Over 65,000 Chicago Residents?

‘Ready For War’: 1,000 Police Officers Mobilized In Advance Of Grand Jury Ruling In Ferguson.

* Police Killings in the US Are at a Two-Decade High.

New Orleans Police Routinely Ignored Sex Crimes, Report Finds.

* In Alabama, a judge can override a jury that spares a murderer from the death penalty.

* Of course, it’s not just cops, every bureaucratic structure in America turns out to be toxic just beneath the surface: LA School District: Students Can Consent to Sex With Their Teachers.

Harvard students take the 1964 Louisiana Literacy Test.

Cosmonauts Used to Carry Insane Machete Guns In Space.

These days, the idea of the cyborg is less the stuff of science fiction and more a reality, as we are all, in one way or another, constantly connected, extended, wired, and dispersed in and through technology. One wonders where the individual, the person, the human, and the body are—or, alternatively, where they stop. These are the kinds of questions Hélène Mialet explores in this fascinating volume, as she focuses on a man who is permanently attached to assemblages of machines, devices, and collectivities of people: Stephen Hawking.

* The amazing sculptures of Duane Hanson. Milwaukee Art Museum has a Hanson too.

* 200,000 brave and/or insane people have supposedly signed up for a one-way mission to Mars. But the truth about Mars One, the company behind the effort, is much weirder (and far more worrying) than anyone has previously reported.

* Against disability, kind of: Able-Bodied Until It Kills Us.

* When we almost lost Bono.

* Tarantino says he’s retiring.

*  Poster for They Still Live. I’d watch it.

* Dogs Playing Dungeons & Dragons.

* And they say adults in America are infantilized: Underoos Are Back, Adult-Sized, And Better Than Ever!

A Stunning Alt-History Map Showing A Completely Uncolonized Africa.

* DC in talks to let Michelle MacLaren take the blame for direct Wonder Woman. Good luck to her!

* SMBC: Prayer and the speed of light.

* [Turns back to page one.]

* And MetaFilter celebrates Asimov’s Foundation. Bonus Golden Age SF@MF! The Great Heinlein Juveniles, Plus The Other Two.

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 15, 2014 at 7:54 am

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Friday Links!

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I’ve pointed out before that even as academic institutions are more and more distrusted, professors oddly retain a good deal of public respect. We have it because we’re free: free to say the unpopular thing, free to teach the passionate course, free to study what we think needs studying. To be free means we have to occupy the whole possibility space that waits for our explorations, and take not just our students but our publics along for the ride. We have to keep a trust as well as walk the paths we see before us.

Researcher loses job at NSF after government questions her role as 1980s activist.

* On Campus, Grenade Launchers, M-16s, and Armored Vehicles.

At least 60 institutions have acquired M-16s through the program. Arizona State University holds the most, with 70 in its arsenal, followed by Florida International University and the University of Maryland with 50 M-16s each. Central Florida received its grenade launcher in 2008; Hinds acquired its in 2006.

* In a never-before-released thesis, Reagan’s FEMA director discussed the potential internment of millions of blacks in concentration camps.

The Islamic Roots Of Science Fiction.

Here’s How Global Warming Is Already Worsening Extreme Deluges In The U.S. Trees Are Dying From ‘No Obvious Cause’ In Rocky Mountains, Report Says. A Major Accounting Firm Just Ran the Numbers on Climate Change.

* On ISIS: Where Is Obama’s Exit Strategy?

Once again our country is invited to support the “long war” described by key Pentagon officials as lasting as long as 50 to 80 years. It’s probably both unwinnable and unaffordable, but no president and few politicians have the political ability to acknowledge failure and end it.

So they escalate enough to pass it along to their successor. War on an installment plan.

Every American President in the past quarter century has now gone on television during prime time to tell the nation and the world that he has decided to bomb Iraq. Last night was Barack Obama’s turn, and it was a vexing performance.

* What Do We Save When We Save the Internet? We cannot champion Network Neutrality without admitting that the Internet is no Utopia.

* Reddit made over $100,000 off stolen celebrity nudes.

* U2, Apple and rock-and-roll as dystopian junk mail. There’s really only one cure.

Update: All Clear. The suspect has been located and the reported weapon has been identified as an umbrella.

A Brief History of Typographic Snark and the Failed Crusade for an Irony Mark.

* The kids are all right: Millennials Are Reading More Books Than You Think They Are. Why Indie Bookstores Are on the Rise Again.

Congressional Hearing Slams Feasibility Of Commercial Asteroid Mining. “The American Space Technology for Exploring Resource Opportunities in Deep Space Act.” You dicks.

Everyone Knows Hedge Funds Are a Ripoff.

* Scientists warn of faulty Wisconsin wolf estimates. Learn to count, wolves!

* “Why English Majors are the Hot New Hires.”

* What Is Hope? Alex Trebek Is Bringing Back His Mustache.

* Dutch Girl Fakes a Trip to South East Asia.

Archaeologists Have Made An Incredible Discovery At Stonehenge.

* The Cold War University is back! The Real Story Behind Canada’s Sudden Interest In Arctic Archaeology.

* The Soviets sent stray dogs to conquer space. This is what happened next.

China Is Mass-Producing Islands To Extend Its Strategic Borders.

What Happens to “Holdouts” Who Refuse to Sell Their Homes to Developers?

* Here’s What’s Becoming Of America’s Dead Shopping Malls.

* Wearable tech as triumph for bosses.

* Interview With a Time Traveler.

So, ironically, if we had done absolutely nothing in response to 9/11 aside from hold funerals and shake our heads in disbelief, we would have been no less safe than we are now after two useless wars, trillions of dollars and thousands of lives lost, and a decade of taking off our shoes for domestic flights.

* Another roundup of all the many things that are more likely to kill you than a terrorist.

* And Comedian Joe Mande remembers brands remembering 9/11. Never forget.

All the Monday Links!

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* Look alive, Octavia Butler scholars! 2015-16 Fellowships at the Huntington.

* Exciting crowdfunding project on disability and science fiction: Accessing the Future.

* If what we were fighting against in World War II were not just enemy nations but fascism and militarism, then did the atomic bombs that massacred the defenseless populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — coming as a grand climax to our “strategic bombing” of European and Asian cities — help bring us victory? Or defeat?

The long-standing paradox of human rights is that the declaration to observe them is a hollow scream that follows their loss.

* Is Genocide Right For You?

* The Sheep Look Up7 Things You Need To Know About The Toxin That’s Poisoned Ohio’s Drinking Water. Farming practices and climate change at root of Toledo water pollution.

* Newborns laugh in their sleep, say Japanese researchers.

* Common sense solutions to alt-pop song problems.

Problem: We all want something beautiful, man I wish I was beautiful.
Solution: Diet, exercise, and plastic surgery.

* Op-ed: Adjuncts should unionize.

* What colleges can learn from journalism schools. English departments seem particularly well-positioned to apply some of these lessons.

*  Meet The Sexual Assault Adviser Top U.S. Colleges Have On Speed Dial.

* Understanding college discounting.

The space vehicle is shoddily constructed, running dangerously low on fuel; its parachutes — though no one knows this — won’t work and the cosmonaut, Vladimir Komarov, is about to, literally, crash full speed into Earth, his body turning molten on impact. As he heads to his doom, U.S. listening posts in Turkey hear him crying in rage, “cursing the people who had put him inside a botched spaceship.”

* Emirates becomes first major international airline to suspend all flights to virus-affected region. Why you’re not going to get Ebola in the U.S.

* When Moral Panics Collide! GOP Congressman Who Warned About Unvaccinated Migrants Opposed Vaccination.

* The Golden Age of Comics Is Now.

* Just another weekend in Milwaukee.

IRS Agrees To Monitor Religious Groups For Political Campaigning.

* How an honors student became a hired killer.

A Thai surrogate mother said Sunday that she was not angry with the Australian biological parents who left behind a baby boy born with Down syndrome, and hoped that the family would take care of the boy’s twin sister they took with them. Honestly, I think I’m pretty mad at them.

* Is Howard the Duck Really Marvel’s Next Franchise? A Close Look at the Evidence.

* They say Western civilization’s best days are behind it, but Bill Murray will star as Baloo in Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book.

* Ever tried. Ever meowed. No matter. Try Again. Meow again. Meow better. Beckittens.

* Filming is apparently wrapping on Fantastic Four, but they didn’t even have a teaser trailer for Comic-Con. This film must be a complete disaster. Can’t wait!

* Why are we impeaching Obama today?

* The third Lev Grossman Magicians book ships tomorrow. Soon to be a TV show, maybe!

* Presenting the all-new, all-different Ghostbustrixes.

* Always remember: The best thesis defense is a good thesis offense.

* And it took its sweet time, but the Singularity is finally here.

Google Cardboard, virtual reality

All the Sunday Night Links

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tumblr_mwcdieFONm1rl1rfao1_500In the light of such an absolute and irretrievable failure, I think we need to revise the slogan about it being easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. It’s as though we collectively were given a choice of which we would choose, and we chose to end the world. See, you know, also.

Student Debt & Wall Street By The Numbers: State-By-State Factsheets. Here’s Wisconsin.

* More Wes Andersony than Wes Anderson: Cosmonaut survival kit.

Zizek, Toilets, and a Defense of the Humanities.

* Crazy story: Princeton weighs whether to offer meningitis vaccines.

* Wheeeeeee: Wisconsin GOP pushes new voting restrictions.

A Day In the Life of an Empowered Female Heroine. Male novelist jokes.

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: His alcoholism was different, because someday he was going to die.

Like Reinharz, many other college presidents across the country are negotiating huge exit packages when they step down, which critics say is emblematic of schools’ unrestrained spending on everything from administrative salaries to elaborate new buildings that drive up the cost of higher education.

MOOCs were supposed to be the device that would bring higher education to the masses. However, the masses at San Jose State don’t appear to be ready for the commodified, impersonal higher education that MOOCs offer without the guidance that living, breathing professors provide to people negotiating its rocky shores for the first time. People need people.

Game Play Has No Negative Impact on Kids, UK Study Finds. 11,000-kid, decade-long study.

* Dr. Seuss’s Stalin cartoons.

Exxon’s Fine For Massive Tar Sands Spill Is A Mere 1/3000th Of Its Third-Quarter Profits.

Judge Slashes Sentence For Alabama Man Who Raped Teen To Probation With No Jailtime.

‘Like Being in Prison with a Salary’: The Secret World of the Shipping Industry.

* Well they closed down the video store in Philly last night… Requiem for Blockbuster in the key of Springsteen.

* Laugh and cry in a single sound: San Francisco turns into Gotham City for Batkid.

* They kept a quantum computer working for 39 minutes.

* The flowchart of J. Alfred Prufrock.

* Stephen Colbert destroys Richard Cohen.

* The real ending for Breaking Bad has finally leaked.

* And communists seize Seattle! Could Portland be next?

Literally Every Weekend Link There Is

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* It’s official: J.J. Abrams will ruin Star Wars (more).

* More drone fiction, please. Tweets not bombs. Lip-syncing the poetry of empire.

Žižek vs. Zero Dark Thirty.

Imagine a documentary that depicted the Holocaust in a cool, disinterested way as a big industrial-logistic operation, focusing on the technical problems involved (transport, disposal of the bodies, preventing panic among the prisoners to be gassed). Such a film would either embody a deeply immoral fascination with its topic, or it would count on the obscene neutrality of its style to engender dismay and horror in spectators. Where is Bigelow here?

* Anti-war activism at the University of Wisconsin, c. 1940.

* Stunning read on living as a victim of child abuse from the New York TimesThe Price of a Stolen Childhood.

* David Foster Wallace and depression, in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

* Steve Benen and Maddowblog has been all over the Republican vote-rigging scheme, even going so low as to cite one of my tweets. What The 2012 Election Would Look Like Under The Republicans’ Vote-Rigging Plan. Scott Walker, of course, is rigging-curious. And a delicious little bit of schadenfreude.

It is a sin against the new world of mediocrity to be distinct or distinguished.  We are in the chain-store, neon-lighted era.  Almost every city looks the same.  The same people all dress the same – kids as Hopalong Cassidy, men with loud sportshirts and Truman suits, women in slacks.  Sometimes you can tell whether a trousered individual is a man or a woman only by the width of the buttocks.  Only a few cities have individuality.  They are the seaports, New York, New Orleans and San Francisco.  Boston reeks of decay, and is not genteel.  The rest are all Cleveland.

* Today in legal hyperformalism.

Would you believe me if I told you that President Obama is in constitutional trouble—with hundreds of decisions of the National Labor Relations Board from the last year now potentially invalid—over the meaning of the word the?

* When The Shining had an optimistic ending.

* So we’re going to destroy the world: Australian shale oil discovery could be larger than Canada’s oilsands.

* The trouble with English.

None of these past challenges compares with the one under way now. While other humanities disciplines—philosophy, linguistics, and modern languages, for example—have relied upon a range of foundational practices at the modern mass university, many English professors have depended on literature (narrowly defined), written discourse, and the printed book as the primary elements in teaching and scholarship. But hidebound faculty members who continue to assign and study only pre-computer-based media will quickly be on their way toward becoming themselves a “historical” presence at the university.

That’s why I specialized in iPad-2-era Twitter-based fan-fiction, and frankly I’ve never looked back.

* Mainstreaming MOOCs.

* Open, New, Experimental, Aspirational: Ian Bogost vs. “The Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in the Digital Age.”

* New research indicates tuition has little correlation with educational outcomes.

If markets are efficient and if markets make things better, then there is no explanation for why we have the worst media in the world rather than the best. The problem is that markets don’t really make things better or more efficient. They make things cheaper and they’re responsive. That’s why we get the news we want rather than the news we need.

Child labour uncovered in Apple’s supply chain.

* n+1 visits MLA.

* Defending freedom: A St. Paul man who recently purchased an assault rifle out of fear of an impending gun ban threatened his teenage daughter with it because she was getting two B’s in school rather than straight A’s, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday.

For The Sixth Time In One Week, Man Shot At Gun Show.

* Adam Mansbach: My fake college college syllabus.

* Copy Of The Scarlet Letter Can’t Believe The Notes High Schooler Writing In Margins.

* Debunkng the “the Soviets used a pencil” gag. The more you know!

* Occam’s Razor suggests it must be Cory Booker who is putting these people and animals in danger in the first place.

* More on the Arizona “loyalty oaths” issue, with a religious freedom focus.

* New Mexico Bill Would Criminalize Abortions After Rape As ‘Tampering With Evidence.’ Republicans, honestly, we have to talk.

* Seriously, though, I could fix the whole damn system if they’d listen to me.

* Even the Pentagon doesn’t know what the the point of the draft is supposed to be.

* Xavier and Magneto Heading to Broadway for Waiting For Godot.

* And a little something just for the Harmenians: “I wanted a memorable Harmontown show in Kansas City, and for my sins they gave me one.” Dan Harmon predicts pain.

All the Midweek Links

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* Both In Focus and The Big Picture visit the 2012 Paralympics.

* Michelle Obama did great last night, but the story of a sick little girl named Zoey whose ability to live was saved by the ACA hits a bit closer to home.

* Who’s going to be the lesser evil in 2012 2008 2004 2000 1996 1992 1988 1984 1980 1976 1972 1968?

* On reporting poverty. Related: Melissa Harris-Perry talks poverty on MSNBC.

Mitch Hurwitz Talks to Vulture About Reviving Arrested Development.

* The unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of “writer’s block.” These results have since been confirmed.

* The real affirmative action: Researchers with access to closely guarded college admissions data have found that, on the whole, about 15 percent of freshmen enrolled at America’s highly selective colleges are white teens who failed to meet their institutions’ minimum admissions standards.

* How many people have died because Walter White got cancer? And a Breaking Bad Fermi problem: What is a good approximation of how much money Skyler had in the storage unit when she showed Walt how she stopped counting it?

A portrait of David Foster Wallace as a midwestern author. And more. Words David Foster Wallace’s Mom Invented.

* Report: Student Debt Is Holding Back The Housing Recovery. Are you interested in student debt now, old people?

* In North Carolina, Obama’s 2008 Victory Was Ahead of Schedule.

* Getting spicy: Hacker Group Claims to Have Romney’s Tax Returns.

* BREAKING: Rachel Carson Didn’t Kill Millions of Africans.

* BREAKING: Social Security Administration to arm illegal immigrants with hollow-point bullets to murder taxpayers. Wake up, sheeple! The truth is out there.

* Erin DiMeglio is a third-string high-school quarterback.

* And for the kids: How We Got to Mars. The lives of the cosmonauts. HTML5 Map of the Firefly ‘Verse. And a lost interview with Ray Bradbury:

Friday Night Links

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* A judge has suspended Wisconsin’s anti-union law pending on process grounds. The state attorney general has already appealed.

Yet the president, with this brief set of remarks, has crafted something of an Obama Doctrine for military intervention: The United States will join in a multilateral fight for democracy and humanitarian aims when it is in the nation’s interest and when the locals are involved and desire US participation. But perhaps we can shorten this: The United States will join in a multilateral fight for democracy and humanitarian aims when it is in the nation’s interest and when the locals are involved and desire US participation. How Obama turned on a dime toward war. But hold the phone! Congressional Republicans, fastidious prisoners to moral and procedural consistency, say Obama will need an official declaration of war.

* How close is your home to a nuclear power plant? Durham, you’re just 24 miles from Shearon Harris, whose spent fuel pools continue to raise alarms. But don’t worry; Dr. Coulter says radiation is good for you.

* A preposterous waste of time: Slate wants your ideas on what can be done to contain radiation at the damaged plant. We realize that this isn’t the sort of question that naturally calls out for wisdom-of-the-crowds treatment. But for every hour thatactual nuclear engineers are unable to put an end to the crisis—or at least keep it from getting worse—creative and unconventional solutions look more attractive. At the end of this Hive Mind project, we’ll consult nuclear experts on the viability of the most popular ideas.

* Crooked Timber on the attempt to close the philosophy department at Keele in the U.K.

I think the tendencies are clear. If you are teaching/doing research in a field/discipline that can not easily show (quantitatively, please!) to policy makers & bureaucrats that you will make a significant positive contribute to economic growth, your very existence is at stake. Never mind that you’re opening up minds, teaching logic or the arts, passing on history to the next generations. Either someone on the market should be willing to pay for what you’re doing, or else you are at mercy of the benevolence of your government. 

* Cosmonaut Crashed Into Earth ‘Crying In Rage.’

* And from the MetaFilter archives: “…the first occasion I’ve ever discovered where someone discovered something and immediately decided to blow it up.”