Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Dyson spheres

Happy Weekend Links!

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* CFP: Octavia E. Butler Legacy and Society Call for Papers.

I want to complain to the studio execs who commissioned the current season of “21st century”; your show is broken.

* But maybe a big reboot is coming! Astronomers may have found giant alien ‘megastructures’ orbiting star near the Milky Way.

The Many, Many Times Astronomers Mistook Mundane Phenomena for Aliens. Cult of the cosmic — How space travel became the unofficial religion of the USSR.

* Another potential redirection for the series: Women who sniff this Hawaiian mushroom have spontaneous orgasms.

“To call for capitalism to pay its way is to call for the abolition of capitalism.”

* World federalism isn’t dead, it’s never even been tried!

The Alphabet of Assassination.

US intelligence knew bombed Afghan site was a hospital.

* Potentially major finding: Huntington’s disease protein controls movement of precious cargo inside cells, study finds.

Colleges Are Spending 7 Times More on Athletics Than They Are on Academics.

* Speaking my language: A strong El Niño may mean a warmer, drier winter in southern Wisconsin.

* World’s most depressing tour of LA planned for October 21, 2015. Come to Marquette English’s BTTF events instead!

Watch Doc and Marty travel to the real 2015, where everything is terrible.

* You can time travel with Marquette another way, too: here’s a sneak preview of our Spring 2016 course offerings.

* Scenes from the class struggle against that one weird Cornell ad: 1, 2.

First-year composition, in other words, is more than a course in grammar and rhetoric. Beyond these, it is a course in ethical communication, offering students opportunities to learn and practice the moral and intellectual virtues that Aristotle identified in his Nicomachean Ethics as the foundation for a good life. And that’s why America is such a paradise today.

* Good news: it’s your spouse who’s ruining your career, not your kids.

How Harvard Fights Unions.

* The dark art of curriculum review.

By the same token, I know that an emphasis under a major has the same student-learning outcomes as the parent major, so I can create a new program without expanding the number of assessment reports that I have to do. This just means that a major is basically a magical bag of holding for emphases: I can fit as many emphases as I want inside a major without becoming encumbered by more paperwork!

Famous quotes, the way a woman would have to say them during a meeting.

* A judgmental map of Milwaukee.

* When Marquette tore down a historic mansion to build the AMU.

* I’m sure the policy is being written as we speak: When May I Shoot a Student? Guns on Campus: A Terrible Idea.

* Pretty good selfie-based horror short. 

* Die Hard was the gold standard of unprequelizable films. Kudos to all involved in this important project.

* Playboy without Playboy.

Wayne Simmons, a regular Fox News commentator who claimed to have worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for almost three decades, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly fabricating his agency experience.

Through the Plexiglass: A History of Museum Dioramas.

* How the NSA broke cryptography.

Huntington Library and UC Riverside teaming up to hire humanities professors.

* Why Google Ngrams are garbage.

How The Black Dot Campaign Grew Into A Dangerous Viral Hoax.

People being shot by toddlers on a weekly basis in the US.

Artists got ‘Homeland is racist’ Arabic graffiti into the latest episode of ‘Homeland.’

CCP Adjunct Professor, Black Lives Matter Activist Suspended After Speaking at Rally.

Aunt Loses Lawsuit Against 12-Year-Old Nephew Who Allegedly Broke Her Wrist With a Hug. But there’s more! Aunt Didn’t Want to Sue Nephew, Lawyer Says, Insurance Company Left Her “No Choice.”

Žižek, social reformist: The lesson here is that the truly subversive thing is not to insist on ‘infinite’ demands we know those in power cannot fulfil. Since they know that we know it, such an ‘infinitely demanding’ attitude presents no problem for those in power: ‘So wonderful that, with your critical demands, you remind us what kind of world we would all like to live in. Unfortunately, we live in the real world, where we have to make do with what is possible.’ The thing to do is, on the contrary, to bombard those in power with strategically well-selected, precise, finite demands, which can’t be met with the same excuse.

* I’m so glad this turned out to be the case: Standing Desks Are Mostly Bullshit.

These Are the American Cities That Could Be Buried Underwater by 2200.

The Man Who Builds Luxury Bomb Shelters for Paranoid One Percenters.

* Jeb makes an almost pathetically transparent bid for my endorsement.

* Sorry!, and the Nature of Suffering.

* Just don’t tell Shia: FX is turning Y: The Last Man into a TV series.

* And teach the controversy: Your Favorite Band Sucks.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 16, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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People Are Alike All Over

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SETI is betting that advanced civilizations will value communicating with other civilizations a lot, or at least enough to justify huge energy expenditures. It’s also betting that such civilizations will communicate via radio waves, and that they will transmit their signals on one of the frequencies that we monitor. For us to find intelligent extraterrestrials, it’s not enough that they exist; they have to develop and use technology in predictable ways.

Compared with SETI, a search for Dyson Spheres assumes a lot less about the goals of futuristic alien civilizations. In fact, most of its assumptions proceed directly from simple biology. As Wright, the project leader, explained to me, “life, by definition, uses energy, which it must reradiate as waste heat.” The larger the civilization, the more energy it uses and the more heat it reradiates. Life also (by definition) reproduces, which introduces the possibility of exponentially increasing energy demands. If left unchecked, those increases will eventually outstrip the available energy on a planet. That would leave a growing civilization no choice but to mine energy from other planets and, eventually, their stars.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm