Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Doctor Who

Good Morning, It’s Monday Links

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* TNG and the limits of liberalism (and, not incidentally, why I always recommend The Culture novels to Star Trek fans). And one more Trek link I missed yesterday: An oral history of “The Inner Light.”

* Your obligatory 9/11 flashback this year was all about Air Force One. And if you need more there’s always Tom Junod’s “The Falling Man.”

Sofia Samatar: Risk Is Our Business.

Who’s Afraid of AAARG?

We are, after all, rigged for gratification, conditioned to want to “feel good.” We seek pleasure, not pain; happiness, not misery; validation, not defeat. Our primary motivators are what I have previously called the “Neuro P5”: pleasure, pride, permanency, power, and profit — however these may be translated across socio-cultural contexts. Whenever technologies that enhance these motivators become available, we are likely to pursue them.

The layered geologic past of Mars is revealed in stunning detail in new color images returned by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, which is currently exploring the “Murray Buttes” region of lower Mount Sharp. The new images arguably rival photos taken in U.S. National Parks.

* “Why a forgotten 1930s critique of capitalism is back in fashion.” The Frankfurt School, forgotten?

* CFP: “Activism and the Academy.”

* Your MLA JIL Minute: Assistant Professor of Science Fiction/Fantasy Studies at Florida Atlantic University.

Rereading Stephen King’s It on Its 30th Anniversary.

* Rereading The Plot Against America in the Age of Trump.

How ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Built Modern Conservatism.

* Weird temporality in It Follows, by way of The Shining.

* States vs. localities at Slate. Wisconsin vs. Milwaukee is the example in the lede.

Donald Trump and the Fall of Atlantic City. Hillary Clinton’s health just became a real issue in the presidential campaign.

* And just in case you’re wondering: What happens if a presidential candidate dies at the last second?

* Once again: A News21 analysis four years ago of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases in 50 states found that while some fraud had occurred since 2000, the rate was infinitesimal compared with the 146 million registered voters in that 12-year span. The analysis found 10 cases of voter impersonation — the only kind of fraud that could be prevented by voter ID at the polls.

* 21st Century Headlines: “Airlines and airports are beginning to crack down on explosive Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones.”

* Rebranding watch: Lab-Grown Meat Doesn’t Want to Be Called Lab-Grown Meat.

Passing My Disability On to My Children. Facing the possibility of passing on a very different genetic condition — which, as it turned out, I wasn’t a carrier of– I was very much on the other side of this before we had our children.

* Addiction and rehabilitation, a minority report.

Why Do Tourists Visit Ancient Ruins Everywhere Except the United States?

* Oh, now he’s sorry!

* Jason Brennan (and, in the comments, Phil Magness) talk at Bleeding Heart Libertarians about their followup paper on adjunctification, “Are Adjuncts Exploited?: Some Grounds for Skepticism.”

Why Do Americans Find Cuba Sexy — but Not Puerto Rico?

* This Friday at C21: Brian Price on Remakes and Regret.

* From the archives: Some Rules for Teachers.

* And we’ll never see prices this insane again.

Don’t Look a Day Over 240 Links

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* SFRA Awards 2016. Congrats all!

* Note to all sf writers: If your future doesn’t somehow address the problem of distributed harassment networks, you’re not taking the present seriously enough.

* The Student Loan Suicides. New Jersey’s Student Loan Program is ‘State-Sanctioned Loan-Sharking.’

There is money available in the digital humanities in a way that there has never been money in English departments, ever. With very limited exceptions, the idea that one could get a six-figure grant for doing something in English is just unheard of. The only types of grants people typically got — with the exception of major career-capping grants like Guggenheims — were salary replacement for a year to write a book. That was the best we could hope for. So the idea that all of a sudden there was some part of English where someone could get $300,000 to $400,000 grants was both politically striking and disturbing. It wasn’t like the leading figures in English were saying we have to have this large pot of money for DH. It was external people, especially Mellon and the NEH — under the influence of some of the big DH people, whose animus for the rest of English was palpable and explicit — who decided to do this. This has had a tremendously deforming effect.

So the problem isn’t that we can’t win reformist victories for workers. History has shown that we can. The problem is what comes after victory, and we need a theory of socialism and social democracy that prepares our movements for that phase.

* Is it better to hope or to despair? Do you want to create better art, or do you want a better world in which to create? Are you an artist or an activist? Yes.

* Life after the end of the world: California Heat Wave Spells Doom For Avocados.

* The richest, most powerful, most prosperous nation in human history.

Guy Leaves Fake Animal Facts All Over Los Angeles Zoo.

* Guns & D&D.

* Brain-drain as social justice.

* Butler and Trump (though I should say she was really thinking of Reagan, who used the same slogan).

* The greying of the homeless.

Teen who urged boyfriend to kill himself will stand trial.

A Look at the Use of Drones During the Obama Administration.

Stereogum reports five years of hard paperwork for Apple has finally paid off, and the company has obtained a patent on technology that will disable your phone’s camera when it detects a specific infrared signal. In the time it took you to read that sentence, you probably also had the three seconds of reflection time it would take a reasonable person to think, “Oh, that sounds extremely problematic.”

* 2 weeks out, and Trump’s convention is a total mess. Sad! TPM continues to pound the Trump fundraising saga. Tracing Donald Trump’s Social Media Ties to White Supremacists. The latest example.

Hillary Clinton was the force behind a little-known breakthrough in transgender rights. So why doesn’t she talk about it?

* Still one of my favorite images on the web ever: Richmond Golf Club, Temporary Rules (1940).

* You just can’t win: Closing apps to save your battery only makes things worse.

* The things you learn from Lazy Doctor Who: the original series one did an (now lost) Dalek episode without the Doctor or Companions.

New Study Busts the Myth That Knights Couldn’t Move Well in Armor.

We can either spend our time thinking and funding tentacle porn or we can spend our time thinking and funding civilization. I know what I’d pick…

Weekend Links, Omnibus Edition (Only $19.99/Month for the First Six Months at the Canavan Pro Tier)

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* I watched The Stanford Prison Experiment (from 2015) yesterday, so of course I spent the rest of the day reading up on it. Some bonus Milgram!

* Nalo Hopkinson has created the Lemonade Award, which will be awarded to five people or groups who “perform small and large actions of kindness” in the SFF field.

Capybaras break out of Toronto zoo, on the lam for 3 weeks.

* Behold: Pigoons.

* The economics of Hamilton.

* The fuzzy math of drone war.

* PTSD and embodied consciousness, or, modern warfare destroys the brain.

* “The board of trustees voted to cut African-American studies, philosophy, religious studies and women’s studies.” Clearly Bruce Rauner wants to weaken unions. But I suspect that his ambition goes further: the mantra of “flexibility” now in play in Wisconsin would seem to be a strategy to diminish or eliminate whole fields of academic endeavor: African-American studies, art history, classical studies, cultural studies, foreign languages, literature, philosophy, queer studies, women’s studies, whatever might be deemed impractical, unprofitable, unacceptable.

Liberal-Arts Majors Have Plenty of Job Prospects, if They Have Some Specific Skills, Too.

* 25 Words Your Kindergartener Must Know Before First Grade.

Ars is excited to be hosting this online debut of Sunspring, a short science fiction film that’s not entirely what it seems. It’s about three people living in a weird future, possibly on a space station, probably in a love triangle. You know it’s the future because H (played with neurotic gravity by Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch) is wearing a shiny gold jacket, H2 (Elisabeth Gray) is playing with computers, and C (Humphrey Ker) announces that he has to “go to the skull” before sticking his face into a bunch of green lights. It sounds like your typical sci-fi B-movie, complete with an incoherent plot. Except Sunspring isn’t the product of Hollywood hacks—it was written entirely by an AI. To be specific, it was authored by a recurrent neural network called long short-term memory, or LSTM for short. At least, that’s what we’d call it. The AI named itself Benjamin.

* This paper seems like a B- at best: The authors regret that there is an error in the published version of “Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies” American Journal of Political Science 56 (1), 34–51. The interpretation of the coding of the political attitude items in the descriptive and preliminary analyses portion of the manuscript was exactly reversed. Thus, where we indicated that higher scores in Table 1 (page 40) reflect a more conservative response, they actually reflect a more liberal response. Specifically, in the original manuscript, the descriptive analyses report that those higher in Eysenck’s psychoticism are more conservative, but they are actually more liberal; and where the original manuscript reports those higher in neuroticism and social desirability are more liberal, they are, in fact, more conservative.

“Shut up and don’t talk to me again, okay?” the flight attendant says in the video. “If you talk to me again, I tell the cops, and you get arrested in Miami.”

There is a Dalek in the BBC that could actually help save your life.

* Department of precrime, parenting edition.

2 Valedictorians in Texas Declare Undocumented Status, and Outrage Ensues.

* Interesting times: Mitch McConnell Won’t Rule Out Rescinding His Endorsement of Donald Trump. Romney says Trump will change America with ‘trickle-down racism.’ #NeverTrump 2.0. Hundreds Say Donald Trump Has a Problem Paying His Bills. How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, but Still Earned Millions. The Next Two Weeks: Either Trump Or Unexpected Redemption Led by Wisconsin.

Gawker Files for Bankruptcy After Losing Hulk Hogan Privacy Case.

* On crafting a victim-impact statement.

Spomenik_01Abandoned Yugoslavian Monuments.

This sense of helplessness in the face of such entrenched segregation is what makes so alluring the notion, embraced by liberals and conservatives, that we can address school inequality not with integration but by giving poor, segregated schools more resources and demanding of them more accountability. True integration, true equality, requires a surrendering of advantage, and when it comes to our own children, that can feel almost unnatural.

Democrats Will Learn All the Wrong Lessons From Brush With Bernie.

Last year, inmates served 79,726 dead days at a cost of $143 per person per day in 2015. In other words, people spent 218 years’ worth of unnecessary time in jail at a cost of $11 million to taxpayers.

* The Future of War.

* People who value time over money are happier.

Instead of flipping through photo albums to reminisce, guest contributor Janine Hawkins loads up her late mother’s saved games.

* Headcanon watch: Han Solo was an untrained Force user. Stan Lee Is Playing the Watcher in Every Marvel Film.

What Game of Thrones Changed About Its Big Antiwar Speech, and Why It Matters.

Dan Harmon & Justin Roiland on Their Original Rick & Morty Season 2 Finale Plan, Season 3.

How to Stage a Broadway Musical With Deaf Actors.

Elon Musk and the Pentagon may be working on a real-life Iron Man suit.

* Reckoning with OJ.

Enter the Wild, Disturbing, Alien-Busting World of the Astralnauts.

Study: Most antidepressants don’t work for young patients.

* “I Was 20 Weeks Pregnant When They Told Me My Baby Might Never Be Able to Walk.” Gut-wrenching story. Serious trigger warning for miscarriage and for type-one diabetes.

As far as legal experts are aware, the Oregon court decision is the first time a court in the U.S. has ruled that nonbinary is a legal gender.

* When I later asked him whether the “Mr. Nobody” moniker ever bothered him he said “No, why should it have? There are two things about me. First, I am a very happy person, though I’ve lived an unhappy life. And sec­ond, I’m happy until I have to say my name, which carries a great deal of negativity for me. What troubles most people is that I want to be anonymous, without an identity. To them, this idea seems absolutely dangerous.”

Aphantasia: How It Feels To Be Blind In Your Mind.

Welcome to Larry Page’s Secret Flying-Car Factories.

* The end of the gas station.

* The end of non-digital film.

Bryce Masters was 17 years old when a police officer tased him for 23 seconds. His heart stopped for almost eight minutes. His life will never be the same.

What’s the most “normal” place in the US?

How the Police Identify Threats on Social Media. How Colleges Train for Active Shooters on Campus.

* Miracles and wonders: Man lives 555 days without a heart.

I am awaiting some sign from Twitter that it cares whether its platform is becoming a cesspit of hate.

* I want to believe! Sorry But Medieval Armies Probably Didn’t Use Fire Arrows.

* Understanding time travel in Game of Thrones. Distills down the leading Bran theories for your lunchtime consumption.

* I think I’ve done this one before, but: Class Struggle: The Board Game.

* It sounds like Larry David is thinking about Curb Your Enthusiasm again.

* Rolling Jubilee v. John Oliver in The Baffler.

Creative Ways To Fix Your Broken Phone Screen.

* Let William Shatner Sell You a Commodore VIC-20.

* Animal liberation now! Harry Potter play to stop using live owls.

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Written by gerrycanavan

June 11, 2016 at 10:22 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday II: The Wrath of Trump!

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Quittin’ Time Links

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tumblr_o62a9nqZo81romv9co1_500* Canamania 2016: Just another reminder that Metamorphoses of Science Fiction (out now!) and Octavia E. Butler (out this November!) appear this year.

* And speaking of Octavia: a previously lost interview from 1995 has resurfaced.

* Call for Papers: Disability and Superheroes.

* A landmark special issue of Extrapolation (if I do say so myself) on Indigenous Futurisms, ed. by Grace Dillon, Michael Levy, and John Rieder.

The Managerial University: A Failed Experiment. 

How Janelle Monáe turned Harriet Tubman’s legacy into an Afrofuturist sci-fi epic.

“Culturally and geographically, EMU football will simply never succeed from an attendance and financial standpoint,” faculty member Howard Bunsis, who helped prepare the report, said in a presentation to the Board of Regents on Friday. “It is a losing proposition – always has been, and always will be. We hardly raise any money for football, and our attendance is the lowest in the country. Some of you believe that we are close to succeeding, if we just throw more money at the situation. This proposition is insane.

* Eleven Theses for the Bernie Sanders Generation.

* Being Melissa Click.

* Wrongthink watch: The Tools of Campus Activists Are Being Turned Against Them. When Slogans Replace Arguments.

* “Literature about medicine may be all that can save us.”

* …but marketplace feminism has simply embraced a mediagenic vision of leadership, most notoriously in the new women’s conference industry, where, Zeisler writes, attendees can “access and sell a certain kind of female power at a comfortable distance from the less individualistic and far less glamorous reality of the majority of women.” These conferences come with a hefty price tag to hear inspiring celebrities and CEOs’ tales about bootstrapping their way to the top and kicking sexism in the rear in stiletto heels. It’s a vision that, she notes, “erases the presence of anyone who isn’t empowered in the most crucial sense of the word—financially…” Feminism, Inc. is big business.

Global warming has made the weather better for most in U.S. — but don’t get used to it, study says. But it’s not all bad news: Chicago is better poised to survive climate change than New York or LA .

Living Near A Highway Is Terrible For Your Health. 1 In 10 Americans Do It.

* Too good to check: Tabloid says it has proof: Ted Cruz’s father is mystery man in Lee Harvey Oswald photo.

Suicide Rates Are Up, But the Most Obvious Explanations Are Probably All Wrong.

The Arctic Suicides: It’s Not The Dark That Kills You. Milwaukee suicide rates lower than rest of US.

Study of exceptionally healthy old people fails to trace their well-being to specific genes.

The Rise of Pirate Libraries.

A Scientific Guide to the Fantastical Predators in Game of Thrones.

* Abolish Neil deGrasse Tyson. But he’s got the right idea here.

* Is there God after Prince? The rejected Simpsons script Conan O’Brien wrote for Prince. Musician’s secret vault reportedly contains ‘thousands’ of unreleased songs. Prince and Springsteen duet, one night only. Springsteen covers “Purple Rain.”

Companies are becoming adept at identifying wealthy customers and marketing to them, creating a money-based caste system. No! It can’t be! That’s impossible!

EVE Online Could Become a Television Show. I’d watch at least a few!

How does a porn parody get made? And elsewhere on the porn beat: Child Porn Is Being Hidden in Legal Porn Sites and It Could Land You in Trouble.

* The new Doctor Who companion has been announced and I’m already annoyed because [felled by assassin’s bullet]

You Should All Be Reading These Criminally Underrated Comics Right Now.

Superman v. capitalism.

The Case Against Reality.

* Twilight of the New York Times.

* The end of literature.

* HBOnarok.

* Clean, safe, and too cheap to meter.

* Chernobyl as an Event: Thirty Years After.

* I never should have agreed to appear on the cover of American Legion Magazine.

* Will America’s Worst Wildfire Disaster Happen in New Jersey?

Kurt Vonnegut, Our Reluctant, Agnostic, Hippy Guru. I taught Galápagos for the first time in years this month and fell in love with it all over again — and I’m presenting on it at a meeting of the Vonnegut Society at ALA in May.

* I’ve been saying it for years: Oxford Scientist Confirms Starting Work, School before 10 AM is Torture.

Kids Play in Backyard While Mom Does Dishes. An Investigation Ensues.

Marijuana is kosher for Passover, leading rabbi rules.

* A recent experiment suggests dolphins may speak to one another in a type of holographic language that may be understood by humans.

* Snitchr.

* Definitely evidence of galactic civilization watch: A Dozen Black Holes Are Mysteriously Spewing Energy In the Same Direction.

Remembering Google Reader.

* But maybe everything dies someday comes back: Ecto Cooler returns.

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Written by gerrycanavan

April 25, 2016 at 5:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links! Catch Them All!

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oeb-3Americans first learn about slavery as children, before adults are willing to explain finance capital or rape. By high school, young adults are ready to hear about sexual violence as an element of slavery and about how owners valued their property, but there’s no level of developmental maturity that prepares someone to grasp systemized monstrosity on this scale. Forced labor we can understand—maybe it’s even a historical constant so far. Mass murder too. But an entire economy built on imprisoning and raping children? One that enslaved near 40 percent of the population? Even for the secular, only religious words seem to carry enough weight: unholy, abomination, evil.

Plan C: The top secret Cold War plan for martial law in the USA.

* The Huntington honors Octavia Butler. And from the archives! My writeup on the Butler papers at the Huntington.

* The first issue of the MOSF Journal of Science Fiction.

Feeding English Majors in the 21st Century.

Chicago State University in danger of closing: Alumni speak out.

* CFP: Fantasies of Contemporary Culture. Paradoxa 29: “Small Screen Fictions.” MUHuCon 2016. Feminist Review: Dystopias and Utopias.

* One of the major figures in science fiction studies, Rob Latham, has issued a statement regarding his shocking firing from UC Riverside.

* Melissa Click has now been suspended, after being charged with third degree assault.

A University Softens a Plan to Cut Tenured Faculty, but Professors Remain Wary.

Prominent Medieval Scholar’s Blog on ‘Feminist Fog’ Sparks an Uproar.

How startling, unique cuts have transformed Louisiana’s universities.

* A How-To.

Is It Discriminatory to Require Peer Review?

2.5 million men ‘have no close friends.’

* After capitalism.

Sanders and the Theory of Change: Radical Politics for Grown-Ups.

* Bernie Sanders and the Liberal Imagination.

How to pair wine with your favorite Girl Scout cookies.

How Intellectuals Create a Public.

Long Before Helping Flint, Michigan Officials Were Shipping Clean Water to Their Own Workers. Flint’s Bottom Line. What went wrong in Flint. Flint Residents Told That Their Children Could Be Taken Away If They Don’t Pay For City’s Poison Water. Report: ‘Every Major US City East of the Mississippi’ Is Underreporting Heavy Metals In Its Water. It’s everywhere. “Milwaukee taking steps to prevent lead from getting in water.”

* And elsewhere on the Milwaukee beat: FBI arrests suspect who allegedly wanted to cause mass terrorism in Milwaukee. MPS as “national disgrace.” ‘Back in time 60 years’: America’s most segregated city. Milwaukee leaders speak out against deadly rise in car thefts. Have I mentioned we’re hiring?

Chicago Police Hid Mics, Destroyed Dashcams To Block Audio, Records Show.

What Happened to Jane Mayer When She Wrote About the Koch Brothers.

* The Difference a Mutant Makes.

* See? It’s good that I’m like this.

AmazonWarnings* Suggested Amazon warning labels.

* Star Wars Social Networks.

* On the SNAFU Principle.

* Richard Feynman, “Personal observations on the reliability of the Shuttle.”

Rhode Island: Children Under 10 Shall Not Be Left Home Alone, Even Briefly.

Sea level rise from ocean warming underestimated, scientists say.

* History is melting.

* In praise of blizzards.

Climate dystopia is here: Zika virus prompts calls for women to stop having babies.

Why science-fiction writers find it so hard to discuss climate tech.

Racial harmony in a Marxist utopia: how the Soviet Union capitalised on US discrimination.

Linguists Analyze Every Disney Princess Movie, to Somewhat Depressing Results.

List of animals with fraudulent diplomas.

* Everything’s fine: Hillary’s team copied intel off top-secret server to email.

Constitutional Convention 2016.

* Today in Doctor Who fandom: The Season of River Song. And then there was Chibnall.

Fictional Games From Epic Fantasy Books. A People’s History of Board Games.

Instructor explained clearly that he’d hand out the rating sheets and then sit in his car while we completed them.

Here’s why we’re attracted to people of a similar height, scientists say.

Former NFL Player Tyler Sash Had CTE When He Died At Age 27.

* A dark, gritty Hanna-Barbera reboot.

Airbnb makes half its SF money with illegal listings.

Trailer with $70,000 worth of cheese stolen in Wisconsin. And that’s only the second-largest cheese heist in the state this week.

Nearly $50,000 In Bull Semen Stolen From Turlock Truck.

The final days of Al Jazeera America.

* Twilight of the sleazy professor.

* The end of Go.

* Dailyshowgnarok.

The FBI Claims Not to Have a File on David Bowie.

According to the trades and his pitch to investors, Ryan Kavanaugh had found film business formula that couldn’t lose. It could. Unraveling a Tinseltown Ponzi scheme.

69% of the alcohol sold in the UK is sold to “harmful,” “hazardous” or “increasing risk” drinkers, accounting for more than 60% of the industry’s revenues.

* A map of every city.

* The lost age of pinball.

* It’s finally happening.

Meet the Americans Who Moved to Europe and Went AWOL on Their Student Loans.

* And there is no politics — only LEGO.

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 29, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Christmas Hangover Links

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* This was fun: My Tolkien/The Force Awakens mini-essay got picked up by Salon.

* Is Star Wars setting up Poe Dameron as its first queer protagonist? Rey is not a role model for little girls. The prior texts against which this film needs to be judged are not those long-ago movies, but rather the trailers for this new movie. And bah humbug! Double humbug! Double triple bah humbug!

* And for the devotee: How Did This Get Made? covered The Star Wars Holiday Special this week — with bonus oral history.

A Christmas Carol: Dedicated to Scrooge, And His Art Collection.

* New York University is known for bestowing lavish perks on its leaders. Its new president, Andrew Hamilton, will be no exception. NYU sort of hitting it out of the park this week generally. The latest extravagances in the college sports arms race? Laser tag and mini golf.

Economists Say ‘Bah! Humbug!’ to Christmas Presents.

Phylogeny of elves finds that santa’s workers are actually dwarves.

* The death of the Wisconsin idea: Under the proposed policies, faculty members could be laid off for financial reasons or if academic programs are discontinued for education reasons, including long-term strategic planning that includes “market demand and societal needs.”

* Let this be our Christmas story. Why? Well, that requires some explaining and perhaps even a stronger rationale than I’m yet able to muster. Because it has no cheer, redemption or family bonding. It’s about power, money, greed, recklessness and what can only be termed the sort of roughshod ridiculousness and surreal unintentional comedy that comes from being powerful enough or serving people with sufficient power that the ordinary sort of fear of getting caught and having to explain yourself simply doesn’t apply.

* Call for ideas: the Museum of Capitalism.

* From Bleeding Heart Libertarians: “Universities may indeed be exploiting adjuncts, but they cannot rectify this mistake without significant moral costs.”

* What really happened in the Christmas truce of 1914? The Real Story Behind the 1914 Christmas Truce in World War I.

* The Typical American Lives Only 18 Miles From Mom.

* The strange case of Case Western Reserve University law school.

* El Niño, explained: A guide to the biggest weather story of 2015. Records smashed on East Coast’s warmest ever Christmas Eve.

African-Inspired Space Opera Yohancé Is Going To Be Our Next Obsession.

‘Unprecedented’ gas leak in California is the climate disaster version of BP’s oil spill.

* I knew cheese was a drug.

* And no. Just no. Disagree.

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