Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘elves

Christmas Hangover Links!

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28cover* An excerpt from the conversation between Tim Morton and Jeff VanderMeer from my and Andy Hageman’s issue of Paradoxa is up at LARB. You can read our introduction too! The issue has been printed and will be on its way to subscribers (and available for purchase) soon.

acting as if nothing terrible has happened
is a failed strategy you yell and this docility
has ruined and crushed us and afraid as I am
I cannot hold your vehemence against you
at this political moment as I watch you dig
your fingers into the rubble you’re sitting on
and you say maybe it’s impossible to believe
in politeness or civilization anymore…

* Ken Liu’s “Paper Menagerie” is the first story to hit the Hugo / Nebula / World Fantasy Award trifecta. Read it!

What’s behind Santa’s bloody rise? Three leading elven labor activists offer a class analysis of the North Pole “gift economy.”

The veterans decided that on the day that had once been Christmas Day they would recall their childhood and youth by decorating a tree.

* The Christmas archives: Home Alone! Die Hard!

* Being a parent really is a second childhood: I’m even terrified of nuclear war again. “A tense new battle over nuclear arms erupts between Donald Trump and his staff.” Tweeting our way to Armageddon.

How to Be a Guy: What I Learned My First Year Living as a Guy (at Age 34).

* Carrie Fischer is apparently in stable condition, but George Michael is gone.

* Ted Chiang talks adapting Arrival.

* Blade Runner 2 (“Blade Runnest“) and the Koreanization of the future.

* #TheResistance: American Mustache Institute takes a stand against Donald Trump’s anti-facial hair bias. John Bolton Vows Not to Shave Moustache.

* Today’s purge: Donald Trump is demanding the names of federal employees working to curb violent extremism.

Trump to inherit more than 100 court vacancies, plans to reshape judiciary. Trump to dissolve Trump Foundation, having moved on to bigger grifts. And why not dissolve the UN while he’s at it?

Reading Fake News, Pakistani Minister Directs Nuclear Threat at Israel.

* Neo-Nazi March Planned for Whitefish, Montana.

The GOP Theocracy: Xmas vs Hanukkah Statements. And don’t worry: RNC: The ‘new King’ is not Trump.

* Looking back: The collapse of the Obama coalition. What could explain it? More data that couldn’t possibly explain it. Having presided over the catastrophic collapse of his party and the possible end of American democracy, Obama gives himself high marks. Why Did Planned Parenthood Supporters Vote Trump?

* 2016 wasn’t actually bad, he explained. I’ll give it one point, for this.

* We can end the war on milk in our time.

* Prime Minister Dreamboat can’t wait to Keystone XL again.

*A consummate bullshit artist, Bucky Fuller’s career was built on failure, if not outright fraud. With few of his ideas achieving commercial success, he amounted to nothing more than a hand-waving proponent of outlandish notions. Worse still, he was an aggressive manager of his own profile and patents, an authoritarian technocrat who sought not students but compliant disciples to disseminate his muddled messages. The lynchpin of this view: even the geodesic dome, Fuller’s greatest “success,” rested on a concept borrowed (to be charitable) from an aspiring student sculptor. Buckminster Fuller in the 21st Century.

John Williams Hasn’t Seen a Single Star Wars Movie.

More than 54,000 people in the southern German city of Augsburg will have to leave their homes Christmas morning while authorities defuse a giant 1.8-ton aerial bomb from World War II.

* Don’t make the joke, don’t make the joke: Sex robots will ‘come a lot sooner than you think’, scientist claims.

* Elsewhere in the rise of the machines.

A&E Cancels KKK Docuseries Following Criticism. That whole network needs a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

* BREAKING: All pro sports are bad.

* Actually, my speciality is evil ethics.

* Gasp! Colleges Respond to Racist Incidents as if Their Chief Worry Is Bad PR, Studies Find.

* They did it: They found the worst Star Wars take.

* The arc of history is long, but it can kick over its own head.

* Meanwhile, in Japan: Can the Emperor abdicate?

* And wherever we are on the political spectrum: let’s give the giant meteor a chance.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 26, 2016 at 9:00 am

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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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Monday Links

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19 Regional Words All Americans Should Adopt Immediately.

* Take the New York Times‘s dialect quiz.

* CFP: Graphic Treatment: Zombies, Medicine, and Comics.

The point is truth and beauty, without which our lives will lack grace and meaning and our civilization will be spiritually hollowed out and the historical bottom line will be that future epochs will remember us as a coarse and philistine people who squandered our bottomlessly rich cultural inheritance for short-term and meaningless financial advantage. And that is why you should major in English.

* Wisconsin ranks #1 in the country for our rate of incarcerating African Americans.  The state’s incarceration rate is 12.8%, meaning that one in eight black men are currently in state prison.  In Milwaukee, the numbers are even more stark.  More than half of the black men in Milwaukee have been incarcerated at one point or another, leaving them virtually unemployable as more and more employers run routine background checks.  2/3s of them are in the cities 6 poorest zip codes.

* Rebecca Schuman v. Riverside.

* Remember Black Mountain SOLE, the big MOOC U experiment? No one could have predicted it would turn out to be a complete sham.

Our research confirms that there is a direct correlation between institutional prestige and candidate placement. If we consider the highest ranked programs, the three tied at #1, we find that Harvard University has successfully placed 239 political scientists at 75 institutions—including twelve at Harvard. Princeton has successfully placed 108 political scientists at 62 institutions—including five at Princeton. Stanford has successfully placed 128 political scientists at 51 institutions—including three at Stanford. The highest ranked public university, The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (ranked number four overall), has successfully placed 141 political scientists in 61 institutions—including seven at Michigan. These four schools contribute 616 political scientists; roughly twenty percent of the total tenure-track lines in the discipline at research-intensive programs. The median institutional ranking for the 116 institutions covered is eleven, which implies that eleven schools contribute 50 percent of the political science academics to research-intensive universities in the United States. Over 100 political science PhD programs are graduating students that will contest the remaining 50 percent of openings. More links below the chart.

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On the ASA Boycott and Its Backlash.

The Ivory Ceiling of Service Work.

Peer review or smear review? Reflections on a rigged system.

* George Zimmerman discovers secret loophole to becoming a successful artist.

* Oh, New Jersey.

* Interactive graphic: median income across the US.

These 2 Cities Are Now Exclusively For Rich People.

Write A House Is Giving Writers Free Homes In Detroit.

The bedroom tax was designed not just to reduce the welfare bill, but to make an example of those whose benefits were cut. Britain has a housing shortage and a costly welfare state, due to high unemployment, chronic low wages, and an unresolved global economic crisis for which British banks are partly to blame. The bedroom tax sharpens a structural economic problem into a attack on the poor and sick, who are now to be considered lazy, luxuriating in more space than they need in some of the most crowded cities on earth. It’s not just about the money. It’s about making sure people with disabilities and mental health problems no longer get the basic space to live.

Across the country, public schools employ about 250,000 fewer people than before the recession, according to figures from the Labor Department. Enrollment in public schools, meanwhile, has increased by more than 800,000 students. To maintain prerecession staffing ratios, public school employment should have actually grown by about 132,000 jobs in the past four years, in addition to replacing those that were lost, said Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington.

FBI agent tries to copyright super-secret torture manual, inadvertently makes it public.

Elf advocates are successfully delaying Icelandic road projects due to concerns over the possibility of elf nesting habitats in rural lava fields. Concerns over the “hidden folk” are central to Icelandic culture — according to a 2007 poll, 62 percent of Icelandic residents think it’s at least possible that elves exist.

* Bloomberg, Dasani, and the undeserving poor at Christmas.

* Compulsory monogamy in The Hunger Games.

Why The Desolation of Smaug Is Peter Jackson’s Phantom Menace.

* How the New Yorker covered the Moon landing.

* Comedians and depression.

More simply, as they say in the article, “the Republican Party has engaged in strategic demobilization efforts in response to changing demographics, shifting electoral fortunes, and an internal rightward ideological drift among the party faithful.” Those demobilization efforts are targeted towards black voters in particular, minority voters in general, as well as the poor, all of whom tend to vote Democratic, while they seek to avoid impacting elderly (white) voters who tend to vote Republican. It’s also worth noting that both the efforts and the research is not limited to voter ID laws, but includes proof of citizenship requirements, registration restrictions, and absentee and early voting restrictions. There is a tendency, even among liberals, to dismiss such efforts as simply a legitimate effort to ensure that people have ids. Leaving aside that this still can be a barrier to exercising a fundamental right, such arguments obviously don’t apply to all these restrictions. While they found a small influence for accusations of “voter fraud” this is dwarfed by these other considerations. Targeting the Right To Vote.

* Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal runs an op-ed just straight out calling for a return to white male rule. Merry Christmas, everyone!

The Happiest Place on Earth

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Iceland: the happiest place on Earth. Via MeFi.

There are plenty of other, more obvious factors. Statistics abound. It is the country with the sixth highest GDP per capita in the world; where people buy the most books; where life expectancy for men is the highest in the world, and not far behind for women; it’s the only country in Nato with no armed forces (they were banned 700 years ago); the highest ratio of mobile telephones to population; the fastest-expanding banking system in the world; rocketing export business; crystal-pure air; hot water delivered to all Icelandic households straight from the earth’s volcanic bowels; and so on and so forth.

Personally, I think it’s all about the elves.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 18, 2008 at 1:56 pm

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This script will pick your 2008 candidate for you, but if you’re like the 99% of the people who read this blog who aren’t obligatory derogatory noun Republicans, you’re likely to be as disappointed as I was when it tells you to vote for Kucinich. Via MeFi, where everyone is being told to vote for Kucinich, too.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 9, 2007 at 2:23 pm

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