Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Elmo

Weekend Links!

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* Coming round again soon: The Marquette/UWM Graduate Student Humanities Conference.

* June 18, 1947.

NIH to Cease Use of Chimpanzees in Research. SeaWorld to end orca shows in San Diego.

Is it Ethical to Colonize Mars? And more!

* People have been claiming to own the moon for 250 years.

* The New Utopians.

Kim Stanley Robinson – Rethinking Our Relationship to the Biosphere. Our Generation Ships Will Sink.

Translating Gender: Ancillary Justice in Five Languages.

* The 7 deadly sins of world-building.

5 Must See Sci-Fi Films From Indigenous Filmmakers.

World Fantasy Award To Abandon Lovecraft Bust.

* Conor Friedersdorf close-reads the videos from Mizzou. The power of the strike. Tressie McMillan Cottam vs. David Simon.

UNC Fires Two More in Scandal Over Sham Courses.

In a major shift for California community colleges, the system’s Board of Governors voted Monday to oust the controversial accrediting commission that has overseen campus quality for half a century and is threatening to shut down City College of San Francisco.

Justice Department could do two-year review of Milwaukee police.

Many Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All but Useless.

Working with the conservative estimate that vampires only need to feed once a month, Efthimiou and Gandhi looked at population stats and concluded that vampires would eliminate humans within three years.

Explaining Your Math: Unnecessary at Best, Encumbering at Worst.

Michael Bérubé on Humans, Superheroes, Mutants, and People with Disabilities at TEDxPSU.

A Six-Figure Settlement on Campus Free Speech. What’s Salaita’s Six-Figure Settlement Really Worth? And while I don’t have a crystal ball, I’d be surprised if any university ever tried to pull this kind of stunt again. I’ll take that bet, alas.

What Open-Access Publishing Actually Costs.

White People Explain Why They Feel Oppressed.

The University of Nowhere: The False Promise of “Disruption.”

* I suppose musicalization comes for all of us in its time.

Parents Have Been Requesting Star Wars Toys for Their Daughters For Decades.

* Kierna Shipka ranks the Bobby Drapers.

* Tolkien criticism today. A reply.

Earth’s climate entering new ‘permanent reality’ as CO2 hits new high.

* Goodbye, Phobos.

* Maglev! Maglev! Maglev!

* Can the Muppet speak? Jim Henson’s Newly Discovered Journal Reveals The Muppets’ Fascinating Backstory.

* You won’t live to see the final Star Wars movie.

* Teach the controversy: Is BB-8 a boy or a girl?

An Oral History of the Nerdier Half of Freaks and Geeks.

John Malkovich and Robert Rodriguez Have Made A Movie No One Will See For 100 Years.

Now that New Jersey’s law has been signed, there are still ten states in which bestiality has not been outlawed.

Anne Frank Foundation claims father was “co-author,” extends copyright by decades.

The Last Child Soldier: “Beasts of No Nation” and the Child-Soldier Narrative.

* Ready for Hillary! The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.

Watch Elmo give Julia Louis-Dreyfus a hard time for cursing on Sesame Street.

* This is a serious political debate that actually happened: Ben Carson would not abort baby Hitler. Jeb Bush: ‘Hell Yeah, I Would’ Kill Baby Hitler.

* And some bad news for my particular demographic: Warped sense of humour ‘can be early sign of dementia.’

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November 19, 2015 at 8:47 am

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Thursday Links!

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Over the past decade numerous stories have come out about Soviet and American military personnel who were given orders to fire nuclear weapons between the 1960s and 1980s. Their conscience stopped them, only to learn later that it was a mistaken order. We now have another horrifying story to add to that growing list of possible post-apocalyptic futures.

Former Air Force airman John Bordne is now an elderly man. But in the early morning hours of October 28, 1962 he and his fellow airmen nearly launched their nuclear weapons during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Air Force has only now given Bordne permission to tell his story of how America nearly started World War III.

* Time travel short film of the day: “Therefore I Am.”

Kurt Vonnegut’s Electric Literature.

* Stored grain can’t melt steel beams.

* NASA is taking astronaut applications.

* The BBC will adapt His Dark Materials.

* Bullets dodged: Aaron Sorkin once pitched a Pixar movie about talking office supplies.

How We Think About Technology (Without Thinking About Politics).

The rating game: How Uber and its peers turned us into horrible bosses.

* Another McKenzie Wark piece on the Anthropocene.

Don’t believe the Democratic Party is in crisis? Then read this tweet. How badly has the Obama era damaged the Democratic party?

The book includes diary entries about the tensions between Mrs. Bush and Nancy Reagan (“Nancy does not like Barbara”) and his private comments about Michael S. Dukakis, his 1988 opponent (“midget nerd”). It reports that as defense secretary for the elder Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney commissioned a study of how many tactical nuclear weapons would be needed to take out an Iraqi Republican Guard division, if necessary. (The answer: 17.)

* Meanwhile, back at the ranch: The Most Militarized Universities in America.

* These teams earned the most from “paid patriotism.”

Prose and poetry—all art, music, dance—rise from and move with the profound rhythms of our body, our being, and the body and being of the world. Physicists read the universe as a great range of vibrations, of rhythms. Art follows and expresses those rhythms. Once we get the beat, the right beat, our ideas and our words dance to it—the round dance that everybody can join. And then I am thou, and the barriers are down. For a while. Ursula K. Le Guin, y’all.

Students suspended or expelled over allegations of sexual assault rarely succeed in lawsuits against the institutions that punished them. That’s starting to change.

* Ada #8: Gender, Globalization, and the Digital.

* “What’s your secret?” ““Oh, we just kick out the bad ones.”

* Elmo looks into the Ark of the Covenant.

 

* And Meet Dakotaraptor: the feathered dinosaur that was ‘utterly lethal.’ Cutie!

dakotaraptor

Fourth of July America Links USA USA

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

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

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

* Today in NCAA insanity.

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

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

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

An Open Letter to New Teach for America Recruits.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not Longer Being Elmo

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Kevin Clash out at Sesame Street as second accuser surfaces. What a quintessentially American, tragic fall from grace. Alongside everything else, I’m amazed they let Being Elmo go forward under these circumstances; the Children’s Television Workshop couldn’t have done more damage to their brand if they’d tried.

Mary Elizabeth Williams says this can’t kill Elmo. If the flames of the moral panic get hot enough, it definitely could.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Monday Night Links

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* The kids are all right: Last Friday night, the Harvard College Undergraduate Council announced that the student body had voted 72% in favor of Harvard University divesting its $30.7 billion endowment from fossil fuels.

* Barbarians at the Wormhole: On Anthony Burgess.

The trope of invasion is doubly brilliant, first because the invasion plot is a mainstay of SF and second because the trope captures quite neatly what it must feel like for some literary intellectuals to be forced to confront the increasing cultural cachet of SF, to face its meteoric rise over the last thirty years from lowbrow genre to literary respectability. The genre now comfortably occupies university syllabi, best-of lists, and handsome Library of America editions — though some hardened highbrows might suspect its popularity is more a function of marketing than of quality.

For all its brilliance, Clowes’s trope of invasion makes an important mistake, failing to note that the invasion is largely moving in the other direction. After all, one wouldn’t expect Asimov’s Science Fiction to run a special issue featuring “literary fiction,” but publications like the New Yorker apparently do feel the need for a science fiction issue, perhaps trying to freshen themselves up by tapping into the unruly energies of a disreputable genre. Indeed, the lure of the so-called low genres — and SF in particular — has long proven irresistible to those who otherwise fashion themselves as literary types, at least since Kingsley Amis’s classic 1960 study of the genre, New Maps of Hell.

Clowes’s New Yorker cover is, in fact, a perfect example in miniature of the subgenre Amis called the “comic inferno” — humorous dystopias such as those written by Frederick Pohl, C.M. Kornbluth, and Robert Sheckley. This subgenre, by Amis’s account, mocks ideas of progress in its humorous rendition of dystopian futures. What is dystopian about Clowes’s comic cover is very precisely that SF cannot be ignored, that it disrupts the bourgeois regularity and comfort that informs the imagination of hypothetical readers of The New Yorker. The genre — which always bears with it the threatening knowledge that the world might change inexorably, beyond human control, or at least beyond the control of those who are humanistically inclined — cannot be ignored, because the signs of our world’s deepening state of crisis (political, technological, environmental) cannot be ignored.

* Bonus: “Anthony Burgess Answers Two Questions” by Jonathan Lethem.

Not only are student loans not a burden on the federal government, they’re a good investment. In 2012 the DOW estimated its subsidy for student lending at -17 percent. In other words, the DOE “subsidies” actually represent money coming in. Including all expenses, from loses on defaults to debt collection to program administration, the DOE will pull in more than $25 billion in profit from student lending this year alone—billions more dollars than the IRS will assess in gift and estate taxes combined, and more than enough to pay NASA’s whole budget. The DOE explains the negative subsidy through a divergence between “the Government’s borrowing rate and the interest rate at which borrowers repay their loans.” After all, no one can borrow at lower rate than the U.S. Treasury, certainly not college students and their families. Bondholders aren’t the only ones who think student debtors—including defaulters—will pay back every cent they owe, with interest. The government is literally counting on it.

* The headline reads, “Charges dropped against man arrested for wearing an elaborate wristwatch.”

* Elmo accuser wants to retract his retraction. Hostess may survive after all.

Hostess Bankruptcy Has Worked Out Well for CEO Brian Driskoll.

This is not identical to the story with the American Airlines bankruptcy, but there’s something similar about it. There the CEO gets a large payday if he can avoid a merger, regardless of the value for the enterprise.

The handwriting is on the wall. Until Republican candidates figure out how to perform better among non-white voters, especially Hispanics and Asians, Republican presidential contenders will have an extraordinarily difficult time winning presidential elections from this point forward.

JSTOR provides free access to Wikipedia editors via pilot program.

* Cory Booker to live on food stamps for a week.

My name is R______. I am six years old. I think it’s not fair to only have 5 girls in Guess Who and 19 boys. It is not only boys who are important, girls are important too. If grown ups get into thinking that girls are not important they won’t give little girls much care.

* Remixed trailer of the moment: Gotham High.

* And a new game: impressions of Sean Connery as Gandalf. Oh, what might have been!

Free Elmo

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 13, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Monday Morning Links

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* Scenes from the class struggle at CUNY.

* Quiggin’s Razor: If we started any analysis of international relations with the assumption that war will end badly for all concerned, and that the threat of war will probably lead to war sooner or later, we would be right most of the time. Via Kevin Drum.

* The Real Petraeus Scandal: the compelled veneration of all things military. Via LGM. See also Spencer Ackerman: How I Was Drawn Into the Cult of David Petraeus.

* The New Yorker notices that it won’t be long before Texas will be a swing state.

“In not too many years, Texas could switch from being all Republican to all Democrat,” he said. “If that happens, no Republican will ever again win the White House. New York and California are for the foreseeable future unalterably Democrat. If Texas turns bright blue, the Electoral College math is simple. We won’t be talking about Ohio, we won’t be talking about Florida or Virginia, because it won’t matter. If Texas is bright blue, you can’t get to two-seventy electoral votes. The Republican Party would cease to exist. We would become like the Whig Party. Our kids and grandkids would study how this used to be a national political party. ‘They had Conventions, they nominated Presidential candidates. They don’t exist anymore.’ ”

The Republican Party’s electoral map problem.

But even in that silver lining for Republicans, you can see clouds. Arizona and Georgia, both of which Romney carried in 2012, gained seats in 2010 because of fast population growth, but Democratic dominance among Hispanic voters in each is expected to make them potential swing states in 2016 and 2020.

Their Southern politicians problem. The Washington Post‘s lengthy election post-mortem. Politico just can’t imagine where the GOP could be getting all its terrible journalism. Perhaps it will always be a mystery. Tom Tomorrow gets in on the action. “We Just Had a Clas War and One Side Won.” Worst class war ever.

Young voters turned the tide for Brown’s Prop 30.

Walmart Black Friday Strike Being Organized Online For Stores Across U.S. I’m staying home that day because I hate Black Friday and everything it represents in solidarity.

Hurricane Sandy and the Disaster-Preparedness Economy.

It’s all part of what you might call the Mad Max Economy, a multibillion-dollar-a-year collection of industries that thrive when things get really, really bad. Weather radios, kerosene heaters, D batteries, candles, industrial fans for drying soggy homes — all are scarce and coveted in the gloomy aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and her ilk.

* In the winter of 1955, the editors of a newly launched magazine called Sports Illustrated sent William Faulkner to watch an ice hockey game between the New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens.

* And Being Elmo makes Kevin Clash out to be a living saint. I hope his version of events turns out to be true. As someone just tweeted at me, I’m probably going to hell for even linking this story at all.