Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Department of State

Tuesday Morning Links!

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* CFP: Disasters, Apocalypses, and Catastrophes: PCA/ACA 2018.

* When Universities Swallow Cities.

UC Davis’ Katehi will teach one course per quarter, conduct research in $318,000 position. Ah, so the standard rate.

What appears to be still difficult, even as it gets told in ever finer detail, is the simple and immense situation that America and Nazi Germany are two instantiations of a single history of white supremacist rule.

* The Last Days of New Paris is China Miéville’s novella about a surrealist Paris magically overlapping with our realist Paris. At the back of the book, Miéville offers endnote citations of the surrealist art that inspired his writing. I corralled all the art in this post.

* SF, Down Under.

* Liking What You See will be an AMC series. Interesting!

* Khaaaaaaaaan!

This Is the Way the College ‘Bubble’ Ends.

* I don’t like this: U.C. Irvine Rescinds Acceptances for Hundreds of Applicants. If Admissions guesses wrong it seems to me the college should have to bear the burden of solving the problem.

Border Agency Set to Jumpstart Trump’s Wall in a Texas Wildlife Refuge.

* The Fifty Year Ache: The Milwaukee Housing Marches.

* We seem to be entering a terrifying new moment of Trumpism. This October, Trump Will Try to Start a War with Iran. A Few Reasons to Impeach the President, Just From Today. How the Trump Administration Broke the State Department. You think? The Presidency in Exile. Kleptocracy. Here comes the pivot.

* RNC PR BS — no more! Inside the end of the Priebus era.

* This guy is on-brand. Aaaaaaand he’s gone. It’s gone to be a record.

* A good day for bad guys getting what’s coming to them.

* Has Jeff Flake really, truly had enough? I bet it’s bluster, and perhaps defensive, but we’ll see…

* All these “ha ha loser POTUS” pre-mortems forget that Trump hasn’t faced a crisis not of his own making yet.

* I thought this Russia subplot was over.

* No exit.

Immigrant mother of three with no criminal record to be deported.

Trump’s travel ban keeps orphan kids from US foster families.

Bawitdaba da bang da bang diggy diggy diggy.

The Academic “Success Sequence” – Get Lucky at Birth, Mostly.

* Left with Rage: What Happens When Trump Is Gone.

Democrats Will Do Anything To Win…Except Change. Democrats Can Abandon the Center — Because the Center Doesn’t Exist. Guys, they’ve got this.

Dogs probably domesticated us, not the other way around.

Oakland gives pot convicts first chance to open marijuana businesses as part of reparations for war on drugs.

* And I say 137 years is too good for ’em!

* Oh, so that’s what happened.

* Amazon and anti-trust.

Why millennials cheat less than their parents.

* Class action?

* Of course you had me at pop culture detritus illustrated as abandoned, overgrown ruins.

Close roads so children can play in the street like their parents did, say public health experts.

The Ultimate Playlist Of Banned Wedding Songs.

* A brief history of speedrunning.

* All these worlds are yours, except…

* And I have just one piece of advice for you.

Fritrump Links!

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* Trump’s America Conference at University College Dublin.

* Midwest area research opportunity: Horatio Alger Fellowship for the Study of American Popular Culture, Northern Illinois University.

* See Marquette University’s $600M plan to transform its Milwaukee campus.

Teens sue Wisconsin over nightmare conditions in juvenile jails.

Like everyone, I mocked the tweet. Deep down, I never thought it could happen to me. Now I wish I had stopped to think things through, because I didn’t know how to respond. A terrorist had actually kidnapped my baby. By all indications, he had rigged the poor little tyke with a bomb set to go off in one hour. Somehow, miraculously, I had wound up in the same room with him. And now I faced a terrible choice: do I torture the terrorist, or let my baby be blown up, by the bomb that he had rigged the baby with, and then left the baby at some remote location while winding up in a situation where he could be tortured by me?

Starvation in northern Nigeria’s Borno State is so bad that a whole slice of the population — children under 5 — appears to have died, aid agencies say.

* Amazing Twitter project: @Stl_Manifest.

It is for the rest of us to add justice and peace to that list and to end the forever war and all the death, torture, pain, and hatred it has caused.

* Behold, the Trump boom!

* Behold @realRealDukat.

* Astoundingly Complex Visualization Untangles Trump’s Business Ties. Trump: the lie list. Trump’s phone as security risk. Trump and the Republicans Are on a Suicide Mission Together. The entire senior level of management officials resigned Wednesday, part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior Foreign Service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era. You’re a little late. Is Trump Morally Unfit or Are We Facing a Constitution Crisis? Pretty dick move, Germany. This one’s unreal even by Trump standards. Sad! One week down.

* Not only is Obama, at only fifty-five, set to have one of the longest post-presidential careers of any president, but now freed from the shackles of the office — which often forced him to temper his true beliefs and triangulate — Obama can become the progressive hero his most fervent supporters always wanted him to be. Or so the theory goes.

* #TheResistance.

Trump Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself: Psychometrics and the (counter)revolution in marketing that is helping bring fascism to power around the world.

* In a new book, The Blood of Emmett Till (Simon & Schuster), Timothy Tyson, a Duke University senior research scholar, reveals that Carolyn—in 2007, at age 72—confessed that she had fabricated the most sensational part of her testimony. “That part’s not true,” she told Tyson, about her claim that Till had made verbal and physical advances on her.

ND House passes eliminating reporting of small oil spills.

* Creeping Trumpism.

* Trump Has Never Been Popular.

* Was it ever?

* Mark Weston at Time pitches a tax strike until the coasts get adequate representation in government.

* Diabetes and mortality.

* What the Hell Is the Opening Crawl for The Last Jedi Going to Be?

* Why don’t we drink pigs’ milk?

* Why don’t some people get brain freeze?

Ten Ways Reading The Silmarillion Makes The Lord of the Rings Better, Part 1.

* Metallic hydrogen.

* Frightening times.

“Go on, go back home,” shouted one person as the 22-year-old Gambian, named as Pateh Sabally, bobbed up and down in the icy waters of the city’s main waterway.

I write out of disarray, from a field of compatriots in disarray. We’re drifting like astronauts, distantly tethered by emails like the one I just got from a friend: ‘i feel like he is making everyone sick, and bipolar./i feel like I am so incredibly ill-equipped to deal with any of this./i’m taking blind advice from all comers without feeling like anything is remotely adequate./ i feel nostalgic for all of life before Nov 8, 2016.’ Music helps and hurts. In a college classroom I played Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘Winter in America’, stirring up my old Nixon-era sense of abjection, and cried in front of my students. Of course, such behaviour makes us eligible for the web-scorn of alt-right triumphalists (‘Anguished by Trump, Lena Dunham Flees to Posh Arizona Resort, Asks Rocks for “Guidance”’). At these moments we’re the special snowflakes we were wishing to see in the world, the canaries in our own dystopian coal mines. But we’ll brandish our sensitivities proudly (if not our safety pins, which may be too smug and lame a gesture), since they’re what we’ve got, and are anyway better than robotic numbness, better than ‘normalisation’.

* Paging Kim Stanley Robinson: Are scientists going to march on Washington?

The starships of the future won’t look anything like the Enterprise.

* First as tragedy, then as farce, as the feller said.

* Great moments in headlines: Georgia lawmaker shot behind adult entertainment store; was carrying thousands of dollars in storm relief money.

* If you want a vision of Thanksgiving.

* And two Northwestern University professors have demonstrated it’s possible to be good at neither research nor teaching. Of course this is no news to me.

Skilled researchers and effective teachers are neither substitutes nor complements for each other — in fact, they have no relationship at all, according to a study by two Northwestern University faculty published by the Brookings Institution Thursday.

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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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Surprise Sunday Links! Watch Out!

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* The route Google Maps recommends if you’re headed to Ferrum College from the west involves what may be the loneliest and most roller-coaster-like stretch of roadway ever to earn a state route number from Virginia. It’s a narrow ribbon of pavement with no center line, a twisting trail you drive imagining that if you go over the edge, weeks could pass before anyone found the wreckage. Only at the other end do you spot a yellow sign that reads, “GPS Routing Not Advised.” Small, Rural Colleges Grapple With Their Geography.

* A friend recommended the short Cuban SF novel Super Extra Grande to me, which I liked a lot. Some profiles on the author: 1, 2.

* Horrific terror attack at historic Orlando gay night club leaves 20 dead.

* Scientists think they’ve figured out the Antikythera Mechanism.

* Being Tig Notaro.

* In search of Cervantes’s grave.

* Old and busted: AI. New hotness: IA.

* Landscaping in the Anthropocene.

As an added experiment, the researchers applied their model to the current distribution of human populations on Earth. They found that, under all the same assumptions, 12.5 percent of the global population would be forced to migrate at least 1,000 kilometers, and up to a third of the population would have to move more than 500 kilometers. 

In a paper published in the May issue of the journal Astrobiology, the astronomer Woodruff Sullivan and I show that while we do not know if any advanced extraterrestrial civilizations currently exist in our galaxy, we now have enough information to conclude that they almost certainly existed at some point in cosmic history.

…what our calculation revealed is that even if this probability is assumed to be extremely low, the odds that we are not the first technological civilization are actually high. Specifically, unless the probability for evolving a civilization on a habitable-zone planet is less than one in 10 billion trillion, then we are not the first.

Twitter must fix this. Its brand is increasingly defined by excessive harassment.

* More on The 7-1/2-Hour O.J. Simpson Doc Everyone Will Be Talking About This Summer.

Because poetry is considered so small, so irrelevant, it’s tempting for poetry critics to look for the BIG themes in poems to demonstrate that poetry matters. I continue to learn from critics who take on this labor. However, because ALL African literary criticism is assumed to matter the more it focuses on the BIG SOCIOPOLITICOECONOMICDISASTERTHATISAFRICA, I am inclined to turn to quieter moments—spaces for the intimate, the friendly, the quiet, the loving, the depressed, the depressing, grief, and melancholy. I’m drawn to the register that is not the shout, and never the headline. I linger at the quotidian to insist that the African imagination considers livability and shareability.

For everyone, he claims, is shortchanged when the guiding principle and “key driver” of the institution is no longer thought, but money (ix). Faculty are silenced, yes, by the drive to conformity and homogeneity. But students are also cheated when they are treated simply as “human capital”: “When the university is reduced to the function of preparation for jobs and not for life, life itself gets lost under the jobs” (85). Most broadly and seriously of all, society as a whole suffers as the university abandons its traditional role as “that institution that has a responsibility to counter the incipient violence of natural force” (40). The fate of the university is bound up with the fate of democracy and citizenship at large. If society is to change, and injustice and inequality challenged, we need now more than ever an institution whose role is to be “’critical’ of the existing world state of affairs, dissident with respect to it” (6).

* I sometimes wish tenure were what its enemies believe it is.

* White supremacist PACs and Trump. The stain of Trump. “A GOP senator might vote for Hillary Clinton. Here’s how rare that is.” Trump has underperformed the real estate market by a mere 57% since 1976. Alas, Mitt.

* I’m calling it: Trump will drop out of the race by July 5 at the latest. He will blame the unfair media and political correctness, allude to some wack-ass conspiracy involving Black Lives Matter and/or Hezbollah, and go to his grave telling everyone he knows that if he had stayed in the race, he would’ve beaten Clinton.

* You may be done with your quasi-legal homebrew server, but your quasi-legal homebrew server is not done with you: The FBI has been conducting a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information for months.

We narrowed Clinton’s vice-presidential possibilities to 27. Now you pick one. For a long time I’ve thought it definitely be one of the Castro brothers, probably Julian, but Elizabeth Warren has made such a push lately I’ve started to think it could actually be her. Of course you can pick Trump’s too, from such a weak field it includes his own daughter.

Let me close with a broad statement. In the news you will see some rather hysterical statements about how all bets are off this year. That is true to an extent: on the Republican side, the national party’s positions and their rank-and-file voters’ preferences are far out of whack. In a deep sense, their decision process in 2016 became broken. But that does not mean that opinion is unmeasurable. Far from it. In the aggregate, pollsters still do a good job reaching voters. And voters are still people whose opinions move at a certain speed. To my thinking, polls may be the best remaining way to assess what is happening.

* But just in case: I Spent the 90s Fighting Fascists on the Streets of Warsaw.

* According to multiple federal complaints, young black students in New York City are being forced out of school after being sexually assaulted.

* If you’re not sick of these yet: What Hamilton Forgets About Hamilton.

* The gentrification of Sesame Street.

* Review: Warcraft Is The Battlefield Earth Of The 21st Century. Warcraft, Hollywood, And The Growing Importance Of China’s Box Office.

* Because you demanded it! Kevin Smith Says That His Mallrats Sequel Will Be a 10-Part TV Series.

* Same joke but for The Passion of the Christ 2.

Sixty Million Car Bombs: Inside Takata’s Air Bag Crisis: How the company’s failures led to lethal products and the biggest auto recall in history.

* The case for Lady Stoneheart showing up in season six of Game of Thrones. Let me say I have my doubts.

* What to do if you find a goose than lays golden eggs. Machine Learning: A Flowchart. If you read Kafka’s stories backwards, they all make great kids’ movies.

* And the moral cowards at Wikipedia have moved to suppress my work again.

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Written by gerrycanavan

June 12, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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Call for Papers: “Reframing Science Fiction.”

* Chris Ware: Why I Love Comics.

* Ghosts of Marquette.

Utopias, past and present: why Thomas More remains astonishingly radical.

* I just can’t believe “crip theory” is really a brand with staying power, but it’s showing up in job titles now.

Margaret Atwood on our real-life dystopia: “What really worries me is creeping dictatorship.” Oh, if only it were “creeping!”

* All Things Must Pass: McDonald’s franchisees say the brand is in a ‘deep depression’ and ‘facing its final days.’

Who’s to Blame for Mass Incarceration?

* Teach the controversy: Is UC spending too little on teaching, too much on administration? More links below the chart.

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The Plan to Make California Wet By Bringing Back Beavers.

Monica Morrison has now let herself be named in her lawsuit against the University of Miami for its mishandling of Colin McGinn’s harassment.

Buck Rogers and the Copyright Trolls.

* Free the cheese bandits. Free all political prisoners.

* I still think Democrats are severely discounting the possibility that Clinton gets indicted.

* Vox, the website that explains the news, suggests Nordic genetic superiority might explain Denmark’s social institutions. Interesting, but not dispositive! I get that this is supposed to be a troll, but all the same…

Wealth therapy tackles woes of the rich: ‘It’s really isolating to have lots of money.’

Fukushima Looks Like An Apocalyptic Ghost Town 4 Years After The Nuclear Disaster.

A few days ago, a reddit user posted a thought-experiment about living in Las Vegas and working in San Francisco, commuting four days a week by airplane. Their back-of-the-envelope calculations have them saving about $1100/month.

* I’ll allow it: Larry David Fulfills Destiny, Plays Bernie Sanders In SNL Cold Open. Bonus David Content! Larry David’s Daughter’s Instagram Will Make You Wish She was Your Best Friend.

* Beowulf vs. Satan vs. Grendel vs. Dracula.

* I’ve seen this movie: Aer Lingus Passenger Flips Out, Bites Fellow Passenger, Dies.

* And somehow I always knew it would end like this: Japan Engineers Design Robotic Bear to aid in Assisted Suicide.

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Thursday Links, Inc.

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* University, Inc.

* Like Kirk said, don’t let them promote you: Rising to Your Level of Misery at Work.

* Best American Poetry Pseudonyms.

* All the Sensible Progressives agree: The Clinton email scandal is over, over, so over.

Big-Name Plan B’s for Democrats Concerned About Hillary Clinton. I guess I’ll get started on Plan C.

* The Hal Salive Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

* At long last, the billionaires have come for their ancient enemy, UNC’s English department.

Rutgers Faculty Union Urges Inquiry Into Football Coach.

Cooperation or Collusion? Lawsuit Accuses Duke and UNC of Faculty Non-Poaching Deal. I think they bought themselves a whole lot of legal trouble here.

* Amid all the weirdness of the U Iowa president hire, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Gotta spend money to make money. University of Iowa Faculty Senate votes ‘no confidence’ in Board of Regents. “We’re just getting started.”

* Some good news in Wisconsin: MATC announces free tuition for low-income students.

Here’s the truth: academia is an amazing sector with some of the best features of any job, even if it also has substantial problems. Folks on the way out might feel like they’re biting their thumb at something, and those still “stuck” on the inside of this troubled-but-terrific career might feel some welcome-if-temporary solidarity. But after that, it’s just more fodder for legislators, corporations, and the general public to undermine the academy. It helps nobody in the long run. No One Cares That You Quit Your Job.

* Mediocrity is the secret key that explains everything. Moving beyond the early focus on conformity, we propose that the threat of status loss may make those with middle status more wary of advancing creative solutions in fear that they will be evaluated negatively. Using different manipulations of status and measures of creativity, we found that when being evaluated, middle-status individuals were less creative than either high-status or low-status individuals (Studies 1 and 2). In addition, we found that anxiety at the prospect of status loss also caused individuals with middle status to narrow their focus of attention and to think more convergently (Study 3). We delineate the consequences of power and status both theoretically and empirically by showing that, unlike status, the relationship between power and creativity is positive and linear (Study 4). By both measuring status (Studies 2 and 3) and by manipulating it directly (Study 5), we demonstrate that the threat of status loss explains the consequences of middle status.

Researchers have discovered a better way to wait in line, and you’re going to hate it.

Half of Americans have diabetes or pre-diabetes. This is framed as good news: “…after two decades of linear growth, the prevalence of diabetes in the United States has finally started to plateau.”

Words about slavery that we should all stop using.

* “Prison gets rich looking up preschoolers.”

* “Author says parent from Tennessee is confusing ‘gynaecology with pornography’ over description of Lacks discovering a lump in her cervix.”

* The next Charles Darwin?

* Kim Davis has defeated us all. Related: Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Never Should Have Gone to Jail.

The Final Discworld Book Is Bittersweet For Many Reasons. I haven’t read one of these in decades, but I’m still sad he’s gone.

Brooklyn College’s Longtime Janitor Is Also Its Cocaine Dealer, Police Say.

* An interview with Ursula K. Le Guin.

Salman Rushdie’s Bewilderment at Snapchat Inspired Him to Write Science Fiction.

The Joy Machine: Stephen Colbert, Satire, and Faith.

The High Burden of Low Wages: How Renting Affordably in NYC is Impossible on Minimum Wage.

One lawyer’s crusade to defend extreme pornography.

#DownWithCentennialism.

Washington’s Football Team Is the Donald Trump of the NFL.

* Negging and neoliberalism.

* Wifework and the university.

* And Boots lives. I anticipate that this will make Zoey’s entire year.

Thursday Links!

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* A reminder: Marquette English has three open TT positions this year, two in rhet-comp and one in transatlantic Anglophone. The deadline is October 28.

If I were going to encourage you to take any one class simply because it’s good for the freshman soul, I would say this: Take some introductory literature class that forces you to memorize poems, heaps and gobs and mounds of poems, old poems.

* Jameson on time travel in the LRB.

* AAUP v. LSU.

* Leftist academics need to understand they are embattled both as leftists and as academics.

This afternoon at two o’clock the New York State Attorney General will announce the settlement of a lawsuit filed by the Committee to Save Cooper Union, a group of activist students, faculty, and alumni against the Cooper Union trustees. The settlement will impose various reforms to Cooper Union governance, establish an independent financial monitor for the college, and begin the slow, difficult process of re-establishing Cooper Union as a free, healthy institution. Incredible turn of events. The tragedy of Cooper Union.

* A Proposed Heuristic for Academic Budgeting Decisions.

NY Fed Study Should Redefine How We Think About Student Loans and College Costs.

“Thanks, UCF, for having lecture-capture courses so I don’t have to go to class ever.”

A former State Department staffer who worked on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private e-mail server tried this week to fend off a subpoena to testify before Congress, saying he would assert his constitutional right not to answer questions to avoid incriminating himself. I continue to think Democrats are completely in denial about how bad this story could get.

Massive hurricanes striking Miami or Houston. Earthquakes leveling Los Angeles or Seattle. Deadly epidemics. Meet the “maximums of maximums” that keep emergency planners up at night.

The Moral Panic Over Sexting. Today’s obscenity.

The Accreditation Wars: Where are the Faculty?

* Some rules for teachers.

* Films for the feminist classroom.

The proportion of people with intellectual disability who have been treated with psychotropic drugs far exceeds the proportion with recorded mental illness. Antipsychotics are often prescribed to people without recorded severe mental illness but who have a record of challenging behaviour. The findings suggest that changes are needed in the prescribing of psychotropics for people with intellectual disability.

Boom shakalaka! Read an interview with the NBA Jam voiceover artist.

* Concrete Action, the Wikileaks for architects.

* I’ll take three.

* Yahoo has added commentary tracks from Dan Harmon to its Community episodes.

* Harvard will let students select their own pronouns.

Iceland Caps Syrian Refugees at 50; More Than 10,000 People Respond With Support for Syrian Refugees.

* American Chess May Finally Emerge From The Shadow Of Bobby Fischer.

Meet the Twitter Bot Generating Unnervingly Plausible Think Pieces.

* Another Colbert profile.

California Uber Drivers Can Proceed With Their Class Action.

* Wow, finally: Octavia Butler’s Dawn is allegedly being developed for TV.

* Goonies forever.

* Piggy, Kermit, and domestic violence. Next up: why Elmer Fudd hunting animals out of season is actually no laughing matter…