Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘criticism

Sunday Links and Every Tab Is Closed, Forever and Ever Amen

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Second, and more surprising to me: Most papers simply lacked a soul—a compelling and well-articulated reason to exist.

I’ve noticed, to my bewilderment, the question circulating of whether J. K. Rowling should have agreed to this project. What could be the case against it? That the play could dilute the accomplishment of the original series? That Rowling’s readers might revolt when asked to read a script? That characters and stories best beloved by readers no longer belong to their author?

* Into the Black: Stories of People Getting Out of Debt. Via MeFi.

* Babies Before Tenure?

* The three student loan crises.

* Five years on Skid Row from University of Chicago sociologist Forrest Stuart.

* Off to a great start: Rio officials had to open Olympic Stadium with bolt cutters after losing key. These Are the Actual Costs of the Rio Olympics. The ideology of the Olympics. A blind eye to sex abuse: How USA Gymnastics failed to report cases. With just days to go until the Rio Olympics begin, the AP—which has been testing viral levels since last year—reports water conditions are worse than ever. Inside the Gloria Marina, where the sailing races take place, adenoviruses per liter have jumped more than 42 percent since they first sampled it in March, 2015.

* Burn your money the higher education way.

* Elsewhere in obviously functional organizations: Recent construction of emergency exit near chancellor’s office for security reasons symbolizes closed-off nature of Dirks’ administration.

“As an alumnus of the college, I feel that I have been lied to, patronized and basically dismissed as an old, white bigot who is insensitive to the needs and feelings of the current college community,” Mr. MacConnell, 77, wrote in a letter to the college’s alumni fund in December, when he first warned that he was reducing his support to the college to a token $5.

“We call on the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct a thorough examination into the prevailing practices of major American air carriers, including Delta Air Lines, and to develop policy guidelines on the objective factors that are to be considered when determining that a passenger may legally be removed from a flight,” CAIR-Cincinnati attorney Sana Hassan said.

* Clinton’s tuition plan and private colleges.

“Free college” is a moralistic ruse, in other words, used to smuggle in a market logic where it has no place without addressing the core question of exploitative, exorbitant college costs. It treats education like anything else you’d buy in a store, and scolds those who feel otherwise by pretending they want to get something without working for it. There ain’t so such thing as a free lunch, of course: students and the public have amply paid for it already. They’re just not eating.

* Ira Steven Behr has been working on a Deep Space Nine documentary that apparently somehow includes a “notional season eight.” And while we’re at it: Oh, That’s Where Carol Marcus Was During Star Trek Beyond. Rumor of the Day: Star Trek: Discovery to take place before The Original Series?

Roger Ailes Used Fox News Budget to Finance ‘Black Room’ Campaigns Against His Enemies. This story is just going to get more and more incredible as time goes on, I think.

* Seinfeld: “The Twin Towers.” An original spec script.

* Secrets of the Millennials Revealed: They’re Poor.

But in a consumer culture committed to prolonging adolescence at all costs, the boundaries demarcating child and adult experience have blurred to the point that it’s no longer obvious just who is imitating whom. The American state of play is terminally confused. Much of it feels grimly compulsory, and carries with it a whiff of preemptive failure to achieve the target level of revelry.

This Joke Was Off-limits at Donald Trump’s Comedy Central Roast. Who Lies More? The Answer May Surprise You. You Always Hurt the Ones You Love. On Veterans. On Unlikely Voters. The Shrinking Electoral Map. Georgia as Battleground State. Bloodthirstier than Cheney. If President Trump decided to use nukes, he could do it easily. Congressman Proposes Law To Prevent Trump From Being Able To Launch Nukes On His Own. Only in America could proposals to bomb at least three nations and indefinitely occupy another be labeled “isolationism.” Senior GOP Officials Exploring Options if Trump Drops Out. What Happens If Trump Drops Out? If Trump Drops Out, The Result Will Be A Horrible Legal Quagmire. Premediating a Loss. Just 92 More Days in the Bunker. Here’s what an 8% Clinton Lead Looks Like. Trump, or Political Emotions. A Fable, by Teju Cole. Of course there’s more links after the chart.

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Anagha Uppal, an activist at the University of Tennessee, describes the meal plan rule as “an exercise in tyranny.” Ms. Uppal has not used her plan — “I don’t purchase from Aramark,” she said between bites of chicken salad in pita (cost: $5.74) at the Golden Roast Coffeehouse. On her laptop: a Food Recovery Network sticker; she’s a campus coordinator for the network, a national student group that fights food waste. It was Ms. Uppal who prodded officials to start the Big Orange Meal Share to let students donate swipes.

* google flossing truth

* Possibilia, or, Love in the Multiverse.

* Why Amish Children Rarely Get Asthma.

* When Exhaustion Became a Status Symbol.

* Travel reimbursement voucher, trip to Moon, July 16-24, 1969.

* Like the blog, my Tumblr has been languishing the last few weeks while I’ve been teaching, but every so often I throw up some gold. I don’t know what else I was expecting. I’m with Her(zog). You have every reason to go on living. The last week of my comics class.

A Radioactive Cold War Military Base Will Soon Emerge From Greenland’s Melting Ice.

Perhaps our billboards are the civic sludge, the highway litter, of America’s ambitions and aspirations — literally writ large.

* A Brief Publishing History of Game of Thrones.

* Tolkien: The Lost Recordings.

* On La Jetée.

* Quantum Computing, Getting Closer.

Crows Continue to Be Terrifyingly Intelligent.

A new report from Zillow estimates that with a six-foot sea level rise, “almost 1.9 million homes (or roughly 2 percent of all U.S. homes) – worth a combined $882 billion – are at risk of being underwater by 2100.”

Five years after the tsunami that killed tens of thousands in Japan, a husband still searches the sea for his wife, joined by a father hoping to find his daughter.

What’s Wrong With the DC Comics Movie Franchise? Report: Warner Bros. Turned Suicide Squad Into a Mess in Its Panic Over BvS Criticism.

* …it increasingly makes less and less sense to divorce or sequester games from other forms of cultural study or to think that videogames are so unique that game studies requires its own critical modality. The function of video game criticism.

* The end of sex.

* Men, am I right. Marriage, men, and alcohol.

* The “biological mystery” of the female orgasm.

Last year, though, the National Institutes of Health banned funding of animal-human chimeras until it could figure out whether any of this work would bump against ethical boundaries. Like: Could brain scientists endow research animals with human cognitive abilities, or even consciousness, while transplanting human stem cells into the brain of a developing animal embryo? Would it be morally wrong to create animals with human feet, hands, or a face in order to study human morphology? Modern medicine thinks before it acts. SMASH CUT TO: After a nearly year-long ban…

Life in the city without cops or firefighters would be unpleasant and, inevitably, tragic. But, she notes, “if sanitation workers aren’t out there, the city becomes unlivable, fast.”

* Malcolm Harris reviews The Last Days of New Paris.

Head shots of all of the ways US intelligence thought Hitler might try to disguise himself.

In Super Mario Galaxy, whenever Mario drowns in a swamp, his hand reaches out from under the surface before being sucked in. However, since Mario’s head is so big, he cannot raise his hand above the surface without his head being still visible. To solve this, the game simply shrinks Mario’s head so it doesn’t interfere with the animation.

* How Bill Cosby Finally Landed in a Courtroom.

The Blackest Superhero Story That Marvel Comics Ever Published.

* Everything is not fine.

* And Wisconsin, once again in the news.

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 7, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Big Tuesday Links!

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* Sadly always relevant: How the Media Inspires Mass Shooters. So There’s Just Been a Mass Shooting. I bought an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in Philly in 7 minutes.

Since, in fact, we lack the ability to realise even a single one of these demands in the foreseeable future, and since all other apparent solutions are unavailing, the unwelcome thought begins to insinuate itself — we are going to live in a world with Daesh and its massacres no matter what we do.

* Presenting The Bee. Exciting new “Beyond Criticism” project from Lili Loofbourow.

* Along the way to a world of driverless cars there are many potential roadblocks: infrastructure issues, different technical standards, restrictive state licensing policies, and more. But something more problematic might be the one most likely to derail this important technology: excessive lawsuits. To avoid the chilling effect that excessive litigation might have on this life-saving innovation, Congress may need to provide a certain amount of legal immunity for creators of driverless car technologies, or at least create an alternative legal compensation system for when things go wrong. 

* There are no ifs, maybes or caveats allowed in American sports and now in American culture—you’re either a champion or you’re a loser: a nothing.

We Finally Know Why Birds Are So Freakishly Smart. The tragedy of the pit bull. Fugitive capybara captured in Toronto park 19 days after zoo escape.

* I thought Captain America: Civil War held together reasonably well until I considered the movie from Baron Zemo’s point of view.

The Ecstatic Experience: “Hamilton,” “Hair,” and “Oklahoma!” “Hamilton” and History’s Darkened Rooms.

* Keep El Centro, CA weird.

Moving as a child can change who you are as an adult.

Aldermen call for hearings on lead in water at Chicago schools.

* The Blacklist: Here are the media outlets banned by Donald Trump.

Sad! These three campaign gurus for Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have had some time to reflect on their loss to The Donald. And do they ever have stories to tell.

The case for, and the case against, Elizabeth Warren as Clinton’s VP pick. Democrats vs Democrats. Clinton running even in Utah.

* Curb returns. So does Clementine.

* The VR X-Wing experience.

* Harrison Ford is moving to one of the five or six cities I call home: Burlington, Vermont.

* Not all heroes wear capes: Traveler sues TSA for missed flight.

* Abolishing Daylight Savings Time in California.

* If you want to understand the contemporary moment. Why Trump Now? It’s the Empire, Stupid.

Mongolia will become a global pioneer next month, when its national post office starts referring to locations by a series of three-word phrases instead of house numbers and street names.

For example, the White House, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, becomes sulk.held.raves; the Tokyo Tower is located at fans.helpless.collects; and the Stade de France is at reporter.smoked.received.

Why, it couldn’t be simpler!

* Porn and the future.

* First, let’s vote out all the lawyers.

* Video is terrible, is almost certainly the future of everything.

* And the future just isn’t very stable: Carbon nanotubes have been pegged as the wonder material that could finally allow us to build a space elevator. A discouraging new study suggests these microscopic strands aren’t as resilient as we thought—and all it could take is a single misplaced atom to bring the whole thing crashing down.

 

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Monday Morning Links Has Tied the Record for Most Wins in a Single Season

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* Ecotopia 2121: Visions of Our Future Green Utopia.

Kids Can Sue Over Climate Negligence, Judge Says.

This is all to say that it would be very surprising, not to mention ill-advised, for DC/WB to go forward with the franchise without making significant adjustments. Every other studio has either scrapped a franchise or made significant changes to movies that had far higher multipliers than BvS. Also, people should be careful not to simply look at the total gross of a movie to gauge its success, particularly franchise movies. For instance, although BvS will have a similar gross to Guardians of the Galaxy and be in the ball park of Deadpool, the high multipliers for those movies indicate that fans crave sequels or are eager to watch similar movies. BvS’s low multiplier suggest that people were curious to check out the movie and/or were lured in with the heavy marketing, but ultimately decided that the movie was not for them.

Inside the New DC Fan Schism.

* Feminists of Wakanda.

The feminist critique of comics has made “not asking” a lot harder. That, in itself, is a victory. The point is not to change the thinking of the active sexist. (Highly unlikely.) The point is  to force the passive sexist to take responsibility for his own thoughts.

* Huge, if true: They Don’t Just Hide Their Money. Economist Says Most of Billionaire Wealth is Unearned.

The Coming Left-Wing Majority.

How to Place “Humanities” Next to “Future” Without the Adjective “Dire” (or, Why Entry Level Courses Matter).

Faculty Salaries Show Strong Recovery From Recession. NO COMMENT

What We’re (Really) Talking About When We Talk About “Time to Read.”

Every time MaxMind’s database has been queried about the location of an IP address in the United States it can’t identify, it has spit out the default location of a spot two hours away from the geographic center of the country. This happens a lot: 5,000 companies rely on MaxMind’s IP mapping information, and in all, there are now over 600 million IP addresses associated with that default coordinate. If any of those IP addresses are used by a scammer, or a computer thief, or a suicidal person contacting a help line, MaxMind’s database places them at the same spot: 38.0000,-97.0000. Which happens to be in the front yard of Joyce Taylor’s house.

* Rejected Princesses. The backstory.

* Unraveled: The Mystery Of The Secret Street Artist In Boston.

* Scenes from the Dem primary: Bernie Sanders, socialist mayor (1985). Past cases suggest Hillary won’t be indicted.

The U.S. Is Failing Miserably on Six of 10 Markers of Gender Equality.

* What could possibly go wrong? Gun Company Turns Real Handgun Into Clone Of The Nintendo ‘Duck Hunt’ Zapper.

For the First Time In A Century, Wild Tiger Populations Are Beginning to Rebound.

The Wire Creator Eyes Series on Spanish Civil War.

At HubSpot, the software company where I worked for almost two years, when you got fired, it was called “graduation.” We all would get a cheery email from the boss saying, “Team, just letting you know that X has graduated and we’re all excited to see how she uses her superpowers in her next big adventure.” One day this happened to a friend of mine. She was 35, had been with the company for four years, and was told without explanation by her 28-year-old manager that she had two weeks to get out. On her last day, that manager organized a farewell party for her.

* Consider this: for almost 2,000 years and counting the entirety of Western culture has been brainwashed. The fields of biology, economics, religion, and psychology are built on a lie. Even those who self-consciously reject this falsehood are subconsciously shaped by it. It’s unavoidable and all pervasive. It’s made us who we are. Indeed, it’s turning us into monsters. What is this lie exactly? It’s the assumption that humans are born bad.

I called Sweden’s new national number to talk to a random Swedish person.

* What Are The Demographics Of Heaven?

The criminal justice system encourages prosecutors to get guilty verdicts by any means necessary—and to stand by even the most questionable convictions. Can one crusading court stop the lying and cheating?

* And getting ready for Wednesday: a people’s history of the Crying Jordan meme.

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Tuesday Night Links!

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* Climate Fiction Short Story Contest judged by Kim Stanley Robinson. Fall fiction contest judged by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer.

* Whoa: Ta-Nehisi Coates to Write Black Panther Comic for Marvel.

* Whiteness, Political Economy, and the MFA.

The majority of these reasons have to do with student desire. It is obvious that people have to want the degree for universities to feel motivated to create programs. But there are many economic pressures that induce colleges and universities to expand and aggressively advertise and recruit for programs in creative writing. We do not think it is an overstatement that, prior to the 1990s and the intensifying financial pressures that brought about the corporatization of the university, English departments tended to have a studious lack of interest that bordered on disdain about the teaching of creative writing. And top-tier schools still tend to not offer graduate degrees in creative writing. Of the top 10 universities according to USNWR rankings, only Columbia has an MFA program.

The story of how these financial pressures show up in the college where we work — a small liberal arts college that admits self-identified women and people assigned female at birth who do not fit into the gender binary — might provide a useful illustration here. In 1990, the board of the college voted to go co-ed. In response, students went on a strike that they won after two weeks; the board backed down and the school did not go co-ed. Despite the outpouring of support, the college still had significant enrollment issues. Administration responded to this in the 90s by focusing on co-ed graduate programs. Between 1990 and 2013, graduate students went from 25 percent of the total enrollment at the college to 40 percent. The MFA in creative writing was targeted for growth. During the same period, the number of MFA graduates in the creative writing program more than doubled, from an average of 13 to 34 annually. This growth was not under department control. In 2005, after a long discussion, the department decided that they wanted to admit a smaller, more selective class. It was clear that “targeted for growth” meant adding more students, not more resources. But the president of the college held the acceptance letters until the department agreed to admit everyone on the fairly large wait list. This resulted in the largest class ever admitted.

* An excerpt from Claire Vaye Watkins’ upcoming novel, Gold Fame Citrus, “a sweeping, apocalyptic vision of the Southland after the water wars turn California into a roaming sand dune sea.”

Interdepartmental research shows that during that 12-month period when body cameras were in use, instances of some types of force by San Diego police officers actually rose by 10%.

* If You Live In These States You’ll Soon Need A Passport For Domestic Flights. I can’t imagine that this will actually come to pass, but I just got my driver’s license renewal and Wisconsin is treating its default ID as not-airplane-ready.

In honor of the ten years since speculative fiction author Octavia Butler’s untimely transition, the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network and the Octavia E. Butler Society are joining forces to create simultaneous West and East coast events February 25-28, 2016 in L.A. and at Spelman College in Atlanta respectively. The two organizations will also be collaborating on a special edition of the academic journal Palimpsest that highlights her written work and impact on humanity.

The majority of white people who take the implicit association test (IAT) for racial bias do demonstrate biases against dark-skinned people.

* Higher education as Veblen good.

Dispatches From the Future’s Past: How a collection of sci-fi fanzines helps us understand the prehistory of the Internet.

A Newspaper Report on Administrative Bloat: Some Remarks on the Sum of the Details and on Some of the Specific Details.

Why Is College So Expensive if Professors Are Paid So Little?

* “Canada’s oldest independent arts university has struggled financially in recent years, and currently faces a $13-million debt.” So of course the solution is to build a new campus for $25 million.

Cornell’s Pitch to Humanities and Social-Sciences Ph.D.s: All of You, Apply Here.

If 2008 taught us anything, it’s that the whole culture has followed the economic quants far enough down the complexity rabbit hole. I would argue that it might be the scholarship that neoclassical economists dismiss most forcefully that we should look to for help in questioning the self-interested models that the financial sector asserts are real. As these books help us realize, it is humanists who are best trained to pull back the curtain on what we are talking about when we talk about finance.

* Criminal charges for Volkswagen? A CEO just got 28 years in prison after nine people died from his salmonella-tainted peanuts, and VW probably killed more people than that in California alone.

* Men haven’t gotten a raise in forty years.

* Sheboyganfreude: Scott Walker suspends presidential campaign.

* Eleanor Rigby, greenlit for six seasons and a movie.

One dad’s sad, expensive, and brief encounter with Ron Weasley.

* “Hit Charade: Meet the bald Norwegians and other unknowns who actually create the songs that top the charts.”

I Confronted Donald Trump in Dubai.

* Disproving Godwin.

* Why does light have a top speed?

No, I’m Not Piercing My Daughter’s Ears.

A Glossary of Gestures for Critical Discussion.

* Gymnastics and the abusers. Incredible, incredibly disturbing read.

* “Preventing Ethnic Fraud.” Should Universities Be Policing Professors’ Ethnicity Claims?

Games connect you with the sublime infinity of the mathematical universe, but they intersect with the real world only in secret and for pretend. Only in your head.

A new scandal, though, is putting Johnson’s rise at serious risk. It involves the mayor replacing civil servants with private citizens funded by the Wal-Mart empire and tasked with the twin purposes of working to abolish public education and bring in piles of cash for Kevin Johnson. The rising star, it seems, set up a fake government—and some people are starting to notice.

The Road to a 100% Clean-Powered Planet.

The rise, and rise, of literary annotation.

Selfies Killed More People Than Sharks This Year.

* And it was certainly nice of them to name the whole generation after my kid.

Monday, Monday

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* The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests.

* The exciting return of “Is Health Care Reform Constitutional,” and friends, this one could be a doozy. Here Is What Will Happen If The Supreme Court Strikes Down Obamacare’s Subsidies. And from the archives: Halbig, King, and the Limits of Reasonable Legal Disagreement.

* George W. Bush, meritocrat.

* It’s baaaaack: A totally legal, totally shady way that Republicans could ensure Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

* The Quest for Restoration, or, Gone Girl and Interstellar Considered as the Same Film.

* As a society, we are somewhat obsessed with the risks of dying – from car crashes, cancer, terrorists, Ebola, or any of the thousands of mortal terrors that haunt our nightly newscasts. But we’re less accustomed to consider the risks of living long – of outliving our retirement savings.

* Is Serial problematic? Serial: listeners of podcast phenomenon turn detectives – with troubling results. What Is An Ending? ‘Serial’ And The Ongoing Story Of Wanting Too Much. Alas, I listened to this this weekend and got hooked despite all my critical detachment.

* Doritos-Flavored Mountain Dew Is Real, PepsiCo Confirms. This is unfathomable. There are some lines never meant to be crossed.

* Can anyone even remember postmodernism?

* World Cup Watch: North Koreans working as ‘state-sponsored slaves’ in Qatar.

* Against spoiler alerts, in the LARoB.

The rise of spoiler-free criticism seems like a move away from criticism as art — and a move toward criticism as an arm of fandom marketing. It’s fine to not want spoilers in your criticism. But there is something distasteful about the assumption that providing spoilers is some sort of lapse in ethics or etiquette. If you don’t treat art first as a consumer product, the spoiler-free doctrine seems to suggest, you’re being cruel and unfair. But critics really are not under any obligation to like what you like or to treat art with one particular kind of reverence. In the name of preserving suspense, the command to remain spoiler-free threatens to make criticism and art more blandly uniform, and less surprising.

* On artificial intelligence in board games.

* Wikipedia’s list of deleted articles with freaky or inappropriate titles.

* Tig Notaro, national treasure.

For example, research in economics has shown that the wage gap between lighter- and darker-skinned African Americans is nearly as large as the gap between African Americans and whites. In our analysis of data from theNational Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we found that the darkest-skinned African American girls were three times more likely to be suspended at school than their lighter-skinned counterparts — a disparity that is again roughly equal to the gap between blacks and whites. Alternatively put, while African American girls are three times more likely to be suspended than white girls, the darkest-skinned African American girls are several times more likely to experience suspension.

* A boy was accused of taking a backpack. The courts took the next three years of his life.

Frenzied Financialization: Shrinking the financial sector will make us all richer. Finance as a New Terrain for Progressive Urban Politics.

Former Football Player Sues UNC Over Fake Courses. A University President’s Comments on Rape. Brown University Student Tests Positive For Date-Rape Drug at Frat Party.

* Occasion #7 is all about debt.

* Cloud computing: the race to zero.

* Telepathy is now possible using current technology.

* White men as institution.

* Let me pause and say here: of course I love many literary dudes. They are not, all of them, smug and condescending. But let me say something else: I thought for a while that the really terrible ones were time limited — that they were products of the 1950s, of a particular time period, and that it really was a viable strategy to just talk about snacks until they all retired. But I have now realized this is not true; new terrible smug dudes are coming up through the ranks. Hydra-like, smug dude attitude keeps springing forth from itself.

* The corals that came back from the dead.

* Billboard ads are expensive to construct, maintain and rent, but they don’t serve any functional purposes — so Michal Polacek redesigned them to house the homeless. The next best thing to just abolishing homelessness.

In 2012, DiMaggio released the results of his own Safe Routes to School program. Child pedestrian injury rates had plummeted, falling to half their original numbers. “We showed that kids can still be kids,” says DiMaggio. “They can walk and bike to school and be safe.” The project’s federal funding expired last year, however, and no plans exist to extend the initiative to areas beyond the immediate vicinity of the selected schools.

You don’t have to be a monster or a madman to dehumanise others. You just have to be an ordinary human being.

* Obama endorses net neutrality.

* Incredibly misleading ad placement at Amazon inside the book description makes every book seem like it was an Amazon Editors’ Favorite Book of the Year.

* “But a deep look at Mars One’s plan and its finances reveals that not only is the goal a longshot, it might be a scam.” No! No! I won’t believe it!

* How Much of a Difference Did New Voting Restrictions Make in 2014’s Close Races?

* And Jacobin remembers 1917.

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Saturday Morning Links!

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* In case you missed it: I had a mini-reading of Snowpiercer yesterday, focusing on liberal guilt.

* Chicago’s Harold Washington College refused to hire a 66-year-old woman full-time because of her age, according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I’m stunned people aren’t talking more about this; irrespective of the merits, this has the potential to completely upend academic labor practices if EEOC wins. What long-term adjunct couldn’t present a similarly compelling case of being “passed over” for a younger, less experienced candidate?

* Government agents ‘directly involved’ in most high-profile US terror plots.

The Historic Proof Obamacare Foes Are Dead Wrong On Subsidies. Well, they’re sure to abandon this specious line of malicious bullshit now!

* 5 media mistakes in the Halbig debate.

Capitalism and Slavery: An Interview with Greg Grandin.

California Is Now Experiencing Its Most Severe Drought Ever Recorded.

* Democracy Now tackles the question of whether the Iron Dome is real.

* For 17 years, James Doyle was a nuclear policy specialist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Then he wrote an article that made the case for getting rid of nuclear weapons. After that, his computer was seized, he was accused of releasing classified information, and then he was fired. What happened?

* The so-called “Swedish model” banning the purchase but not the sale of sex is catching on in Europe. But does it work? And for whom?

A Brief History of Shakespeare Criticism.

* The Woman Behind Guardians of the Galaxy, on Writing an Unexpected Blockbuster.

There’s An Idea For A Galaxy Quest Sequel. Sold!

* And Happy 50th Birthday, Adam Duritz.

Fourth of July America Links USA USA

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milwaukee 2010How to Spot a Communist Using Literary Criticism: A 1955 Manual from the U.S. Military. And they say literary criticism is useless.

* DHS immediately begins implementing green cards to gay couples, without stalling or dragging its feet or needing to be sued. Amazing. I’d have never predicted it.

* Heat maps of poverty in US cities, 1980-2010. At right: Milwaukee in 2010. “Whites are in blue; blacks yellow; Hispanics green; and Asians red.”

* Today in NCAA insanity.

So far this offseason, around 450 Division I basketball players have announced they’re changing schools. This turnover has imperiled the sport, says Marshall University basketball coach Tom Herrion, who calls it a “transfer epidemic.” Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski says that “[k]ids don’t stick to the school that they pick and they want instant gratification.” South Carolina’s Frank Martin agrees: “Kids are not being taught to stay the course, be patient, to learn how to work and improve.” Adds Alabama’s Anthony Grant, “I don’t think it’s something any coach will tell you is good for the game.”

GREEDY NCAA PLAYERS DEMANDING RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHICH GROUP OF MILLIONAIRES WON’T PAY THEM FOR THEIR LABOR PLEASE CALL POLICE

India has officially recognized dolphins as non-human persons, whose rights to life and liberty must be respected. Dolphin parks that were being built across the country will instead be shut down. 

An Open Letter to New Teach for America Recruits.

Many of you no doubt believe you are joining a progressive education justice movement, that is the message TFA sells so well. But I want you to understand clearly, TFA is not progressive. The kind of limited data-driven pedagogy, the fast-track preparation, the union-busting, the forced exploitation of your labor, the deep-pocketed affiliation with corporate education reform are all very conservative, very anti-progressive ideas. Look no further than TFA’s list of supporters/donors. The largest donations are from groups like the Walton Foundation, of Walmart fortune, which has a vested interest in the status quo of inequality, breaking unions, and keeping wages low and workers oppressed. Or notice the many partnerships with JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America, the very institutions which caused the financial collapse and threw millions of Americans-including your future students’ families-into foreclosure, bankruptcy, and deeper poverty. These organizations choose to donate to TFA because TFA supports their agendas. If TFA was truly pushing back on the status quo of educational inequality, these types of donors would not only refuse financial support, they would be attacking a group which threatens their earning potential.

* Meanwhile, making the rounds again: Gates Foundation Funding Wrist Bracelets to Monitor Teaching Effectiveness. How to Write a Conservative Article about Education.

* The Humanities, Declining? Not According to the Numbers. Well, you know, you can prove anything using facts.

* “This is text from an actual email from an actual coursera professor to actual coursera students.”

* More than 260 colleges and universities in 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have students who are more likely to default on their loans than full-time freshmen are to graduate, an analysis of federal data shows.

* Bummer Watch Lightning Round: Fox News adopts George Zimmerman. Kevin Clash’s (One) Day in Court. Gitmo Detainees to Be Force-Fed at Night Out of Respect for Ramadan. The street value of black market ivory in China — up to $1,300 a pound — rivals that of cocaine or gold. And, of course, North Carolina. Oh, North Carolina.

* In New York, Blasi said, his security personnel did not have the police’s powers of arrest and don’t have the power to arrest and shoot lawbreakers, and the city police did not believe they had the power to enter this private space. During the Zuccotti crisis, Blasi said he dreamed of turning on fire hydrants, letting loose German shepherds and deploying blow torches. Ralph Blasi is a director of security for a real estate company. Fire hydrants, German shepherds, blow torches.

The marshmallow test became an important part of psychology canon. But a study in 2012 suggests that the children in the experiment did not necessarily differ in their ability to resist temptation. Instead, it was their trust in the researcher to return with the promised marshmallow that differed. 

“Now, it seems that senior (well-paid) managers are giving explicit orders to senior editorial staff to deliberately take advantage of young job-seekers in order to cut costs.” Gasp!

* And the headline reads: Human head transplants? Neurosurgeon says ‘we have the technology.’ All right, damnit, I’m in.