Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘desertification

Make Mine Tuesday Links!

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* “Once upon a time, there was an angry guy, who hated the story he was in. All right?” Charles Yu in the New Yorker.

* Huge congratulations to my recent (last week!) student Michael Welch (ENGW ’16), winner of the 2016 Florence Kahn Memorial Award from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and the author of the poetry chapbook But Sometimes I Remember, now at Amazon!

* “Marquette reports surge in student demand for incoming class.” Well, that’s good news!

* Division of Precrime: There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks.

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 11.34.56 PMJust How Few Professors of Color Are at America’s Top Colleges?

So what can we do? The solution is very simple! Don’t date your students. Don’t stalk, harass, or overshare your feels with your students. Don’t expect them to perform emotional or sexual labor for you. Treat them like professionals, so that they can become the professionals they want to be without being humiliated or having their or your intellectual enthusiasm questioned or second-guessed.

* The number of times DoJ has invoked the state secrets privilege is a state secret.

In effect, we have two American economies. One is made up of expensive coastal zip codes where the pundits proclaiming “recovery” are surrounded by prosperity. The other is composed of heartland regions where ordinary Americans struggle without jobs. Over 50 million Americans live in what the Economic Innovation Group calls “distressed communities”—zip codes where over 55% of the population is unemployed. Of those distressed communities, over half are in the South, defined generously by the census as the region stretching from Maryland and Delaware to Oklahoma and Texas. The rest tend to live in Midwest rust belt cities that have long suffered from economic decline, like Gary, Indiana and Cleveland, Ohio. It is nearly impossible for Americans of the latter group to move to the cities of the former group—or to work in the industries that shape public perception of how the economy is going.

* This ed-reform trend is supposed to motivate students. Instead, it shames them.

* I’m actually surprised Terry McAuliffe almost made it the entire way through his first term.

“The apocalypse is never that single cataclysmic event,” remarks a resistance leader of an imaginary nation to her psychiatrist in a conversation at the heart of “In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain” (2015), the most recent film of Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour and the central piece in her solo exhibition at Sabrina Amrani Gallery. In the film, a resistance group is on a mission to produce a future history for a made-up civilization: by making underground deposits of elaborate porcelain, the group supports its claims to the existence of a people before their obliteration by a colonial power. In line with the classical sci-fi format, the digital film is set in a dystopian territory without a future, or at the very end of historical time. The master narrative of the end-of-times is not an event but a condition: Disaster becomes not sheer bad luck, but a fixed lens through which history is narrated.

* Visual cultures of indigenous futurisms.

Program’s focus on Aboriginal literature a first.

1890 Map of Indigenous Languages of the Americas.

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* Why you should respond to student requests.

* “Possible Conflict at Heart of Clinton Foundation.” Well I suppose anything’s possible.

February national polls are the best you get until August. But let’s all panic just the same.

* #welcometonightvale: For all the advances in transplant surgery in the 62 years since doctors first moved a kidney from Ronald Herrick to his identical twin, Richard, the method of transporting organs remains remarkably primitive. A harvested heart, lung, liver or kidney is iced in a plastic cooler, the kind you might take to the beach, then raced to an operating room where a critically ill patient and his surgical team are waiting. The new approach flips that idea — emphasizing warmth instead of cold and maintaining an organ’s natural processes rather than slowing them down. That may speed an individual heart or liver’s return to service, and it offers the eventual possibility of more: the potential to reduce the chronic shortage of organs for transplant by expanding the pool of usable ones.

* Inside The Looming Disaster Of The Salton Sea.

* One Hundred Years of Gender-Segregated Public Restrooms.

* Parts of New Orleans Are Sinking Fast, Study Finds.

Has the age of quantum computing arrived?

Zika is coming, but we’re far from ready.

* Nothing gold can stay: Lego sets have become more violent to keep up with the times, new study shows.

* #ready4tyrion

* #Holdthedoor (from 2014!).

* #bluelivesmatter

“Dad wrote pirate porn, ghost porn, science-fiction porn, vampire porn, historical porn, time-travel porn, secret-agent porn, thriller porn, zombie porn, and Atlantis porn.” LARoB reviews Chris Offutt’s My Father, The Pornographer.

* No more water, the fire next time: xkcd explores the weirdly specific promise of the rainbow.

* William Gibson’s first comic book project, Archangel.

* Blastr actually liked DC Rebirth.

The planet would warm by searing 10C if all fossil fuels are burned, according to a new study, leaving some regions uninhabitable and wreaking profound damage on human health, food supplies and the global economy. ^when

* And we are all star stuff.

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Friday Morning Links!

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* CFP: Anticipations: H. G. Wells, Science Fiction and Radical Visions.

* “A mysterious infection may have killed 15 people in Wisconsin, and health officials aren’t sure why.”

* The Coming Desert.

* It’s basically become a standing assignment at the Marquette Tribune to ask me about some weird thing I like once a semester. And while we’re on that subject: a preview of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Black Panther.

* Hard times at Mizzou. This new enrollment decline — seemingly on top of the demographic dip nationwide — looks like a complete disaster for the troubled campus, which the administration has effortlessly managed to weaponize in pursuit of its own goals. Meanwhile: Melissa Click Breaks Silence, Backs AAUP Inquiry.

Luxurious College Apartments, Built on Debt.

In Illinois and Pennsylvania, eight-month budget stalemates threaten the future of public higher education.

* The end of tenure in Wisconsin.

* “Are becoming.”

* March Sadness, 2016.

* AlphaGo wins again.

Fukushima: Tokyo was on the brink of nuclear catastrophe, admits former prime minister. Miami’s oceanfront nuclear power plant is leaking.

* What happens if there’s a supervolcano?

* The Wachowski sisters.

Teaching kids philosophy makes them smarter in math and English.

* Alternate title: Bernie Sanders has no path to a delegate majority. Even so, that Michigan win was pretty great.

* Even the neoliberal Matt Yglesias: How Bernie Sanders convinced me about free college.

Study suggests grad students may outperform faculty members in the classroom and may also benefit from time away from their dissertations.

In stories of classroom sexual harassment, popular teachers are often the perpetrators.

The survey found that presidents did seem to be aware of the frustrations of minority students on other presidents’ campuses.

* Dystopia now: United confirms 10-abreast seating on some of its 777s.

* …just another instance of the bipartisan “smell weakness, then mercilessly swarm” routine that everyone has apparently decided is a healthy and beneficial norm for online life.

At Secretive Meeting, Tech CEOs And Top Republicans Commiserate, Plot To Stop Trump. It’s Getting Harder For Donald Trump To Deny That His Top Aide Assaulted A Reporter. Donald Trump Encourages Violence At His Rallies. His Fans Are Listening. Legitimacy and violence. The plan.

* The arc of history is long, but Home Depot might pay up to $0.34 in compensation for each of the 53 million credit cards it leaked.

“Magic in North America”: The Harry Potter franchise veers too close to home.

Revealed: the 30-year economic betrayal dragging down Generation Y’s income. (via)

* 100% absolutely yes: Janelle Monae Will Co-Star in a Movie About the Women Behind the Space Program.

Former College Student Wins Lawsuit After Being Told Men Were ‘Turned On’ By Her Pregnancy.

* xkcd: Map of the Repositioned United States.

As a result, the complaint stated, Choudhry was disciplined with a 10 percent reduction in salary for one year and required to write a letter of apology to Sorrell. Sorrell alleged in the lawsuit that she was told by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele that he had “seriously considered terminating the Dean” but had decided not to because “it would ruin the Dean’s career.” Berkeley’s handling of sexual harassment is a disgrace.

U.N.C. Football Player Who Ended Up Homeless Had C.T.E.

Reddit Users Were Asked To Sum Up Their First Sexual Experience With A GIF.

* How many LEGO would it take to…

* A brief history of allergies.

* google lightsaber truth

* google jar jar truth

* google spiderman sounds weird truth

The Armed Campus in the Anxiety Age.

The making of Cosmic Encounter, the greatest boardgame in the galaxy.

* Being Sid Meier.

* Sleep is important, apparently. I know I miss it.

* Saturday Morning Breakfast Orpheus.

* Y’all ready for a tech crash?

* And the worst part is, now they won’t even let us complain!

* And this is very promising: Huntington’s disease gene dispensable in adult mice.

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 11, 2016 at 9:30 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Spring! Break! Forever! Links!

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* The Department of Special Collections and University Archives will host an upcoming talk by Tolkien scholar Janet Brennan Croft March 26, at 4:30 p.m. in the Raynor Memorial Libraries Beaumier Suites. Croft is the author of “Barrel Rides and She-Elves: Audience and ‘Anticipation’ in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit Trilogy,” and has written on film adaptions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works. The talk will explore Tolkien’s “Hobbit Trilogy” in regards to audience expectations, the difficulties of filming a prequel after a sequel, and issues of anticipation in relation to character development.

The death of writing – if James Joyce were alive today he’d be working for Google.

In Amsterdam, a revolt against the neoliberal university.

* Make School a Democracy.

* The persistence of inequality.

How A Traveling Consultant Helps America Hide The Homeless.

Working-Class Women at the MLA Interview.

* Checking flights now: Kim Stanley Robinson Week at Ralahine.

Using Science Fiction to Re-Envision Justice.

Arab Sci-Fi: The future is here.

‘House of Cards’ is the worst show about American politics. Ever. On the perfunctoriness of House of Cards.

* Unarmed teenager shot by police in Madison. Students march.

* Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s sheriff wants attention.

* The Unfortunate Fate of Sweet Briar’s Professors. This headline really buries the lede:

Of course, faculty members aren’t the only employees who are taking a hit. Rainville suggested that nearly a third of the college’s hourly workers are descendants of the Fletcher plantation’s original slave community. Some of the staff members have worked at Sweet Briar their entire adult lives.

* Detenuring and its discontents.

Marina Warner on the disfiguring of higher education.

What Obama’s ‘Student Aid Bill of Rights’ Will — and Won’t — Do. Student Loans Viewed Differently Than Other Debt, Study Finds.

* Fear of a Muslim Planet. From TNI #38: “Futures.”

* Did somebody say FUTURE!

Islamophobic Bus Ads In San Francisco Are Being Defaced With Kamala Khan.

* Finally, a technological solution to the problem of taking attendance!

LARPing Hamlet at Castle Elsinore.

* These Photos Beautifully Capture the Complex Relationship Between Mothers and Daughters. These are really amazing. Many more links after the photo.

Soraya and Tala, Yarze Lebanon 2014.

* The 1 percent’s white privilege con: Elites hold “conversations” about race, while resegregating our schools.

Austerity won’t collapse under its own contradictions. We’ll need a movement for that.

* Big Sugar vs. your teeth.

It’s a mistake to ask whether this is wealthy people defending their financial interests or wealthy people expressing their ideology, or which motivation is reallyin the driver’s seat. The triumph of modern conservatism is that it has collapsed the distinction. The interests of the wealthy are the ideology. Fossil fuels are the ideology. They’re bubbling in the same ethno-nationalist stew as anti-immigrant sentiment, hawkish foreign policy, hostility toward the social safety net, and fetishism of guns, suburbs, and small towns. It’s all one identity now. The Kochs (and their peers) are convinced that their unfettered freedom is in the best interests of the country. There’s no tension.

* What happens when Queen Elizabeth dies?

* Native language study at UWM.

Judge Says University Failed to Shield Professor From Colleagues’ Retaliation. Yeah, sure sounds like it.

* It is now twelve months to the day that I set myself the task of, for one full year, reading books only by straight, white, middle-class, Anglopone, cis male authors. During that time I read 144 books. The things I learned in my year of selective reading made me pretty glad to have persevered.

* NYU union does good work.

Ph.D. students will receive 4 percent more in total compensation for their work as teaching assistants, bringing the average annual compensation up to approximately $36,600. The agreement also guarantees yearly minimum wage increases of 2.25 to 2.50 percent through 2020. For graduate employees at NYU’s Polytechnic School of Engineering, some of whom currently make only $10 an hour, hourly wages will increase to $15 next fall and reach $20 by 2020. Those employees will also receive a $1,500 bonus for work done over the past three semesters.

* Diving into the weeds: Is University of Oklahoma frat’s racist chant protected by 1st Amendment? 5 Ways Fraternities Are Wielding Major Influence Over University Administrations. A decade of bad press hasn’t hurt fraternity membership numbers. A Brief and Recent History of Bigotry at Fraternities.

Where has all the money gone? The decline in faculty salaries at American colleges and universities over the past 40 years.

* Flexible online education can never fail, it can only be failed.

* Small Private College Shuts Down, Donates Campus to the University of Iowa.

* Mass Firings in History at Boise State.

* The eco-optimists.

The U.S. is being overrun by a wave of anti-science, anti-intellectual thinking. Has the most powerful nation on Earth lost its mind?

Florida Officials Ban The Term ‘Climate Change.’

Climate Change Is Altering Everything About The Way Water Is Provided In Salt Lake City.

* The Desertification of Mongolia. Still not done, more links below.

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* Introducing the Gawker Media SecureDrop.

* Buffy is old enough to go through that weird test they make Slayers go through when they turn 18.

White candidates with degrees from less-selective universities can expect to get a response every 9 résumés, while equally qualified black candidates need to submit 15.

* Is Scott Walker the most dangerous man in America?

* The troubled history of the foreskin.

* I’m honestly amazed the insurers were letting Harrison Ford fly small planes to begin with.

* In the U.S., a notary public does unglamorous legal drudge work. But in many Latin American countries, a notario is an ill-defined but powerful figure with broad legal authority, often someone with the connections needed to navigate bureaucracies that, while arcane, are also flexible. Unscrupulous notarios in the U.S. exploit these facts to con immigrants into believing that all it takes to finally get legal is the right person to file the paperwork.

* Emily Yoffe has another piece at Slate arguing against the current approach to sexual assault at colleges, this time framed around The Hunting Ground.

* English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet.

* Dystopia in our time: “Why Buzzfeed Is The Most Important News Organization in the World.”

* The end of cable: HBO is coming to Apple TV.

* I have altered the Expanded Universe. Pray I do not alter it further. But at least progress marches on.

* Gasp! Airbnb Is Making Things Worse for LA Renters.

* Meritocracy watch: Chelsea Clinton Absolutely Open to Running for Office.

How Reddit Became a Worse Black Hole of Violent Racism than Stormfront.

* “A simple design fluke and marketing are afoot here. When Gard accidentally increased her breast size by 150 percent, the creative team insisted it was maintained. The parent company’s marketing team found this to be a boon to breaking through the noise that would buoy their success.”

Porntopia: A trip to the Adult Video News Awards.

* Interview with a Torturer.

In 1923, Daylight Saving Time Was Actually Illegal In Some States. It’s time to make daylight saving time year-round. PFT speaks.

The salary you need to buy a home in 27 U.S. cities.

These maps show where the world’s youngest and oldest people live.

Ottawa doctors behind breakthrough multiple sclerosis study. This sounds amazing. I hope it’s true.

* Coming this October: Back in Time: The Back to the Future documentary.

* You know, like Ghostbusters, but Ph-balanced for a man.

* Scenes from the class struggle at NBC News.

Day-in, day-out, Calvin keeps running into evidence that the world isn’t built to his (and our) specifications. All humor is, in one way or another, about our resistance to that evidence. The Moral Philosophy of Calvin and Hobbes.

Men make their own brackets, but they do not make them as they please. Marx Madness. Via MarxFi.

* And they say our culture is no longer capable of producing great things.

MM-Bracket

Written by gerrycanavan

March 11, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links!

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* I liked this brief addendum to my academic job market as “game” piece from the other day.

One thing I might add is that the game metaphor also helps us see the job market as something that could be improved. If we view the market as a system of pure luck, then there’s nothing we can do to fix it. And if we think of it as a meritocracy, then we don’t have any reason to. But if the job market is a game, structured, as Canavan says, by “a set of rules that may not make sense, much less be desirable, rational, or fair,” then those in positions of power in the academy (including people on hiring committees) could work to change the rules. In large and small ways they could work to make it a more rational and fair game.

I agree the game framing suggests change is possible in a way that neither merit nor lottery does. I’d hoped I made that point at the end (“make alliances, change the rules, overturn the table”) but perhaps I could have put more emphasis on it.

* I’ve always been really skeptical of Rolling Jubilee, so I’m a sucker for any time Naked Capitalism dumps on it.

So while it is impressive to hear of the large amounts of debt being forgiven, the fact is that the people who are finding their debts erased more than likely won’t care much because they are either no longer under any legal obligation to pay the note and have long since forgotten about it, or never intended to pay the note in the first place, and never would! So these borrowers won’t likely be gushing with praise and thanks, and frankly won’t be helped much if at all by the repurchase of the debt. I suspect that people learning of their debt being purchased and erased were, instead of relieved and grateful, were more perplexed as to why anyone would go to the trouble of clearing up debt that they themselves had forgotten about long ago! By far, the happiest participant in these transactions, are the banks/collection companies who are thrilled to get anything for the loans!

* But the elusive nomads who wander that desert say California was once a paradise.

Courts do not give justice, because they do not try. They follow a formal procedure, at best.

* Run the university like a business, you know, have such radically lax oversight that one person can steal $700,000.

* When I was talking the other day about the similarities between my childhood plan to become a priest for the free housing and lifetime tenure and my current profession as a secular monk performing textual exegesis at a Catholic school, 1, 2, 3, 4, I guess I didn’t think you’d take it so literally.

The Pharmacy School Bubble Is About to Burst.

Cutinella is the third high school football player to die in less than a week.

* On the life of PhDs working outside the US and Europe.

* Capitalism in 2014: “Payment is on an unpaid basis.”

* At least they got to waste all that money first: MOOC fever has broken.

* A gender-neutral pronoun is taking over Sweden.

* Elsewhere in the-Scandinavian-kids-are-all-right: How Finland Keeps Kids Focused Through Free Play.

Maps Of Modern Cities Drawn In The Style Of J.R.R. Tolkien. No Milwaukee, but he did do Cleveland, Boston, and DC. Many more links below the image; you’re not getting off that easy.

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* Damn, Interstellar.

* I can’t figure out if Ascension is let’s-do-BSG-with-a-competent-showrunner or let’s-do-BSG-on-the-cheap. Mad Men in Space, though, so fine.

* Museum of Science Fiction Selects Design for Preview Museum.

We Still Don’t Know If This Tribe Discovered In The ’70s Was Real.

* An Apple Store employee has written the follow-up to I Am Legend.

* Ideology watch: “Let. Her. Go.” movie supercut.

* America was founded as a white supremacist state. You’ll never believe what happened next.

* Here’s a lawsuit that seems deliberately calibrated to freak everybody out: Black sperm incorrectly delivered to white lesbian couple.

Talking White: Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

* D.C. Attorney May Use FBI Headquarters As Leverage In Statehood Lawsuit.

* People are saying Homeland might be good again, but don’t you believe it. That’s exactly what they want us to think.

* Elsewhere in ideology at its very very purest. Mad Men: Lady Cops.

* The White Women of Empire.

* BREAKING: Startup Funding Is Given Almost Entirely To Men.

* Just imagine what England might accomplish if it ever gets a second actor.

* Right-wingers tend to be less intelligent than left-wingers, and people with low childhood intelligence tend to grow up to have racist and anti-gay views, says a controversial new study. Controversial, really? Can’t imagine why.

* Freedom’s just another word for a $1200 machine that lets anyone manufacture a gun.

* Human civilization was founded as a human supremacist state. You’ll never believe what happened next.

* Earth crosses the walrus threshold.

* Paid leave watch: Florida cop placed on leave after using taser on 62-year-old woman.

Today, former Chicago police commander Jon Burge, who was convicted of lying about torturing over 100 African-American men at stationhouses on Chicago’s South and West Sides, will walk out of the Butner Correctional Institution, having been granted an early release to a halfway house in Tampa, Florida.

* Please be advised: Jacobin 15/16 looks especially great.

* Even baseball knows baseball is dull.

* And a UF study suggests peanut allergies could soon be a thing of the past. That’d be pretty great news for a whole lot of people I know.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 3, 2014 at 7:52 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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* David Mitchell on how to write: “Neglect Everything Else.” I’m already doing it!

* Capitalism turned California into a desert. You’ll never believe what happened next.

* Will the Pacific Northwest be a Climate Refuge Under Global Warming?

The rise of bottled water here in the States shows how a public institution can be demonized and replaced by a much more expensive privatized solution.

* Mistakes Parents Make With Financial Aid.

* In between the time Shane Morris suffered what seemed to be an obvious concussion and the time he was carted off the field, Brady Hoke made him play football.

* But the broader problem with these optimistic, utopian tales is that they rationalise the pathologies of the current political and economic system, presenting them as our conscious lifestyle choices. Against the Sharing Economy.

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* BREAKING: The American health care system is the absolute worst.

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* Education Gibberish Generator.

We will triangulate innovative paradigms in data-driven schools.
We will mesh hands-on methodologies for our 21st Century learners.
We will aggregate intuitive guiding coalitions through the use of centers.

* Inside the Starbucks at Langley.

* Brooklyn Postal Worker Hoarded 40,000 Pieces of Undelivered Mail. The kicker: “Brucato admitted to hoarding the mail since 2005 and has been suspended with pay until the case is settled.”

* The Golden Age of Television Is the Golden Age of American Divorce.

* The PEN Panel on Sex and Violence in Children’s Literature.

* David Simon’s Next.

* Hobbit 419.

In view of this, I received your contact through a friend and counselor, an ingenious wizard, who noted you as a Burglar who wants a good job, plenty of Excitement and reasonable Reward. And I and my twelve companions have agreed to give you 10% of the total gold and jewels that the dragon Smaug now rests upon if you can join us on our long journey. When you have agreed please tell us the place where you dwell and send one hundred pence so that we might travel to you.

* Google Derek Jeter Truth. Wake up sheeple!

* What went wrong on Alien3.

Some thoughts on Harry Potter as a dystopia.

* And lots of smart people didn’t like this piece, but I thought it was bracing: How to abolish labor within 5 years in five simple steps. I think it helps that I read so much SF.

Weekend Links

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An Open Letter From Dylan Farrow. Please know that this link is very painful to read and will likely be especially so for survivors. What a horror.

* I’m pretty sure I read this interview with Woody Allen when it was published in 2001, as I’ve been using that exact phrase “the heart wants what it wants” as sarcastic shorthand for destructive, deluded narcissism ever since. But Farrow’s accusations, which are in there, never stuck with me, either from their initial airing in 1993 or from this article in 2001. I don’t know if I concluded from the reporters’s framing and the lack of a conviction that they’d been proven false, or what. I had no memory of any of this before what happened during the Globes. And I feel terrible about that. It’s not about me, but reading her letter and hearing her story broke my heart. “You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton.”

*  “Of course, his dark side was always hiding in plain sight.”

CU-Boulder reports pervasive sexual harassment within philosophy department. Women fleeing U of Colorado philosophy department’s rampant sex harassment. Summary of Report by the American Philosophical Association to the University of Colorado Boulder. Colorado: What We Do And Don’t Know.

* Adam Kotsko thinks this from Timothy Burke might be the best thing he’s read about academic labor, but I still think this from Timothy Burke is.

* Scenes from my Cultural Preservation class: consumerism and abandoned malls at the Haggerty Museum of Art. The American Black Holocaust Museum, once the only museum in the country to be dedicated to the memory of slavery. The Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear.

Use the fields below to search for an institution and view the numbers and percentages of tenure-track, full-time non-tenure-track, and part-time faculty members at that institution in 1995 and in 2009.

Neighbors said to fear ‘transient academics.’

* Educational pessimism and socialism.

U.S. map showing amount of snow needed to cancel school by county.

* Scarlett Johansson’s separation from Oxfam seems to have caused Netanyahu to call a meeting to discuss BDS.

Lunches seized from kids in debt at Salt Lake City elementary.

* Snow, premeditation, and The Walking Dead.

* A short Seinfeld reunion of some kind seems to be in the offing. A Super Bowl ad, surely, no matter what they’re claiming otherwise?

* How to hack Jeopardy.

Time-Travelling Amazon Reviews Of The Next Series Of Doctor Who.

* Will Michael Mann end the National Review?

‘Out-Of-Control’ Rig In The Gulf Gushing Methane Freely Into The Atmosphere. The Water Levels Of The Middle East’s Biggest Lake Have Dropped 95 Percent In Two Decades. Fracking Under Houses Could Be New Norm As U.K. Puts Environmental Concerns On Backburner.

An Open Letter to the White Woman Who Felt Bad for Me at Yoga.

J.K. Rowling regrets Ron and Hermione’s relationship. She also almost killed Ron altogether, so.

* And the Batman vs. Superman news just gets worse and worse. Perhaps it’s time I just lost hope.

Wednesday Links

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original* Apocalypse now: Nearly One In 10 U.S. Watersheds Is ‘Stressed.’

* Homeland showrunner Alex Gansa explains why the show is just going to get worse and worse and worse.

The protest took the form of three words, or three letters, scribbled onto equipment tape or actual equipment last Saturday during college football games. All Players United, or A.P.U., it read.

* Sensationalized bullshit gets around the world before nuance even has the chance to get its shoes on: Are Tenured Professors Really Worse Teachers? A Lit Review.

In 2006, however, Eric Bettinger and Bridget Terry Long published a book chapter that did address the graduation rate question by looking at student data. Analyzing the records of 43,000 undergraduates at public, four-year colleges in Ohio, they reached the “straightforward and unambiguous” result that freshman taught by adjuncts were more likely to drop out….

Of note here: The big divide wasn’t between tenured and non-tenured professors, but part-time vs. full-time.

Four years later, Bettinger and Long published a second study that added some interesting nuances to their findings. Ohio freshmen, they found, were actually more likely to take additional classes in a career-oriented field (think business, journalism, or computer science) if their first course was taught by an adjunct. In more academic departments (think English or History) students taught by adjuncts were less likely to come back for more. Once they looked beyond freshmen year, the authors found that adjuncts had a positive effect on student interest in every field, though it was still strongest in pre-professional areas of study.

Digital Craft and Humanistic Perspectives Beyond Academia.

  • We need to avoid the mentality of academic self-propagation – graduate studies should not focus on producing more academics, we should assume the norm is to form students for non-academic jobs (much as we do at the undergraduate level).
  • We need to better valorize the masters as a terminal degree – these aren’t the academic dropouts, they are super-graduates who have chosen not to further specialize.
  • We should explore an enhanced masters (or other designation) that fills an enormous gap between the short masters and the long doctorate.
  • We should, through example, encourage students to think of the value of their humanities knowledge, to be able to express it to others, and in some cases to imagine entrepreneurial opportunities for their expertise (have students feel empowered to create a job rather than searching for one).
  • We need to set a higher standard of digital literacy for humanities programs in simple recognition that graduates will be searching for employment in an information age (and more generally participating in a digital society).
  • We need to provide far more opportunities for humanities graduate students to become creators of contentbeyond text-based academic scholarship – producing such tangible works (digital or otherwise) can be valuable in a portfolio and lead to the development of differentiating skillsets on the job market.
  • We need to disrupt the dominance of the classroom-centric, multi-course per term format which seems to persist far more out of bureaucratic habit and convenience than pedagogical soundness. An alternative model is the “block plan” at Quest University, where students take intensive three-week courses. Graduate students might be expected to spend several consecutive days absorbing the more relevant and thought-provoking materials available, from published articles and monographs to blog posts and online videos. There may even be room for a MOOC-like component to provide some core concepts in highly produced and polished form (yes, as heretical as it may sound, I do believe that some aspects of knowledge in the humanities can be fairly neatly packaged, especially in a hybrid model where there are also more intensive small-scale interactions).

* Doin’ it wrong: Usually at the beginning of the semester a hand shoots up and someone asks why there aren’t any women writers in the course. I say I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth. UPDATE: An apology (kind of). UPDATE UPDATE: Hazlit has now published the full interview.

* Reforming campus rape culture and sexual assault unreporting.

* Public service announcement: Harvard is ridiculously rich. Please do not donate money to Harvard.

* Ballard, Miéville, Seinfeld, and the pornography of infinity.

Real-world Civilization game shows impact of war.

* It’s the utterly pointless prequel you’ve been dying to see, almost the ultimate crystallization of what’s wrong with this trend: Commissioner Gordon.

* 18 Products You’ve Been Using Wrong. At least one or two of these is actually helpful!

* Gawker announces plan to solve the privilege hierarchy once and for all.

* And a diver has finally captured our first photographic evidence of the creature scientists call “the Cookie Monster of the Sea.”

Stove Pipe Sponge, Aplysina archeri