Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Flight of the Conchords

Exactly the Right Number of Finely Curated, Carefully Selected Links from Around the Time My Computer Crashed Last Week to Around the Time I Got It Back This Week

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* CFP: “TechnoLogics: Power and Resistance.” CFP: Blade Runner 2049 and Philosophy.

* I have an essay in this new open-access book, Materialism and the Critique of Energy: “Peak Oil after Hydrofracking.” It’s a bit of a departure from my usual work but I thought it came out well… Check it out!

* Kim Stanley Robinson makes the left’s case for geoengineering. And from Peter Frase: Geoengineering for the People.

* The Buffy Not-a-Reboot: A Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come.

How author Nnedi Okorafor found her identity.

* Fascinating presentation on the SF writing market. Lots to think about here.

Inside the World of Racist Science Fiction. What can we learn from the utopians of the past?

* Why are there so many staircases in space?

* We were halfway through 2018 when the drugs began to take hold.

* Brexit: That Sinking Feeling. This is what a no-deal Brexit actually looks like.

Reading Your Problematic Fave: David Foster Wallace, feminism and #metoo. And a report from the 2018 David Foster Wallace Conference, partially a profile of my college classmate Ryan Edel.

Most academic books aren’t written to be read—they’re written to be “broken.” That should change.

* How to Prepare a Diversity Statement.

* When you’re the only person in your department.

* When your students (might) record you. A good thread on the subject from Angus Johnson.

* Teaching in a red county after Trump.

* Now he tells us! Mea culpa: there *is* a crisis in the humanities.

* I get it.

We now live in a country where it is seen as abnormal, or even criminal, to allow children to be away from direct adult supervision, even for a second. Motherhood in the Age of Fear.

* Nintendo announces Labo Kit #3.

* Astounding finalist images for Astronomy Photographer of the Year.

How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions.

Where the Super-Rich Go to Buy Their Second Passport.

Time to Take Sexism in Post-Secondary Education Seriously.

* So much of our culture has been shaped by predators.

* Federal judge allows emoluments case against Trump to proceed. Trump’s ‘emoluments’ battle: How a scholar’s search of 200 years of dictionaries helped win a historic ruling.

These Three Immigrant Families Were Just Reunited After Months Apart. Here Are Their Stories. A Migrant Boy Rejoins His Mother, but He’s Not the Same. A 6-Year-Old Girl Was Sexually Abused in an Immigrant-Detention Center. A child has died following her stay at an ICE Detention Center, as a result of possible negligent care and a respiratory illness she contracted from one of the other children. Immigrant Youth Shelters: “If You’re a Predator, It’s a Gold Mine.” Deportations take unique toll on blended American families. Hundreds of separated parents potentially deported. Deleted families. ICE agents pressured parents to be deported with their children — then separated them again when they refused. Suicide in ICE Custody. ‘Like I am trash’: Migrant children reveal stories of detention, separation. ICE snatches 25-year Minnesota resident from his family in harrowing video. A Father and Son Were Finally Reunited. Later that Day, the Government Ripped Them Apart Again. ‘Why Did You Leave Me?’ The Migrant Children Left Behind as Parents Are Deported. They were warned. It’s happening here. Don’t doubt it for a second. The Number Of Parents Who Were Deported Without Their Children Keeps Growing. Separated Parents Were “Totally Unaware” They Had Waived Their Right To Be Reunified With Their Children. Baby took first steps, spoke first words while in US custody: report. Florida Cops Ship 24-Year-Old Mom to ICE After She Paid Traffic Ticket. This Immigrant Returned To Her Dangerous Home Country — Where She’d Been Raped — After Having A Miscarriage In A US Detention Center. A mother and her son turned up for a domestic-violence case. Then ICE arrested them. A Philadelphia immigration judge was removed from a high-profile case and replaced with a judge who would order the man in the case immediately deported, a move that smacks of judicial interference by the Trump administration, according to a letter signed by a group of retired judges this week. From Crib To Court: Trump Administration Summons Immigrant Infants. Activist judges up to their old tricks. ICE Raids in New York. Philadelphia won’t share information with ICE in big win for activists. Pizza Delivery Man Pablo Villavicencio Freed From Immigration Detention. Protests and petitions call on universities to end their contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Swedish student stops deportation of Afghan man with protest streamed on Facebook.

The Trump administration is bullying trans kids, and it’s up to us to stop it. Transgender women say the US government is revoking their passports. Documenting the Trans Generation: Kids, Families and the Fight for Rights.

Q is a massively successful, deranged conspiracy/entertainment brand/game with roots in prior vile conspiracies like Pizza- and Gamergate. And many Trump supporters LOVE it. Flashback: What Is QAnon? The Craziest Theory of the Trump Era, Explained.

* I’m stuck in Guantanamo. The world has forgotten me.

* They still haven’t fixed the water in Flint.

* Scenes from the class war in New York City, NYDN edition.

MSNBC has done 455 Stormy Daniels segments in the last year — but none on U.S. war in Yemen.

Brett Kavanaugh’s Legal Opinions Show He’d Give Donald Trump Unprecedented New Powers. Brett Kavanaugh Thinks Undocumented Workers Aren’t Really Employees Under The Law.

The over-under on the Supreme Court’s liberal minority cohort all continuing to draw breath is about five years.

Imagine being a Democratic senator & actually telling yourself you are “playing the long game” by not doing everything you can to stop a lifetime Supreme Court appointment that will shift the entire American judicial system for the rest of everyone’s lives.

* Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?

* Undaunted Democratic Centrists Ready to Fight Trump and Bernie at Same Time.

The Expressive Function of the Russia Freakout.

* Gasp! Portugal Dared to Cast Aside Austerity. It’s Having a Major Revival.

* Gasp! A New Zealand company that tried 4-day workweeks says people were more creative, more punctual, and more energetic — and they want to keep it going.

* Quiet Skies: Air Marshals are following thousands of random Americans through airports and on planes, for no articulatable purpose.

* Unidentifiable fossils: palaeontological problematica.

* The world’s first trillionaire may be an asteroid miner.

* Science fiction design after cyberpunk.

In all these cases we see a de-saturated view of the world, no longer neon on black, just a pall gray. Gone is the “Coolness” of Cyberpunk, now replaced by the “coolness” of a color palate that ranges from a flat blue to an olive drab with only slightly less than 50 shades of gray in between.

The Architecture of Evil: Dystopian Megacorps in Speculative Fiction Films.

* Sure, 1,000,000% inflation sounds bad.

* Understanding “Kokomo.”

Why ‘Sorry to Bother You’ Is 2018’s Sharpest Political Satire. “Crazy” Anticapitalism.

* The fracking of America.

In 2016, China imported two-thirds of the world’s plastic waste. So when China stopped buying the world’s discarded plastics, it threw markets into turmoil. Meanwhile: The Dirty Truth Is Your Recycling May Actually Go to Landfills.

The Hidden Environmental Cost of Amazon Prime’s Free, Fast Shipping.

The Carr Fire Is Officially One of the 10 Worst Wildfires in California History. California is burning (again). The common thread in California’s wildfires: heat like the state has never seen. If you want a vision of the future. If you want a vision of the future. If you want a vision of the future. How Did the End of the World Become Old News? It’s a big problem.

Climate change is supercharging a hot and dangerous summer. Arctic Circle wildfires rage on as blistering heat takes hold of northern Europe. Crop failure and bankruptcy threaten farmers as drought grips Europe. Scandinavia Is on Fire. In Greece, Wildfires Kill Dozens, Driving Some Into the Sea. Dozens Dead in Japan. Climate change means bigger Arctic spiders — but don’t worry, that could be a good thing.

* I suppose there’s just no one to blame.

Cows, trees, corn, and golf – how America uses its land.

* In America, land votes. More election maps! Emails show Michigan GOP bragged about cramming ‘Dem garbage’ into gerrymandered districts. Why the argument for democracy is now working for socialists rather than against them.

* The Hacking of America.

“Cooking Them to Death”: The Lethal Toll of Hot Prisons.

We’re Living a Constitutional Crisis. And despite this, there’s no way out.

* Libertarianism and white supremacy.

“I’m No Donna Reed”: Postfeminist Rhetoric in Christian At-Home Daughterhood Texts.

It’s hard realizing that you’re the bad guy, because then you have to do something about it. That’s why the most aggressive players on the gory stage of political melodrama act in such bad faith, hanging on to their own sense of persecution, mouthing the plagiarized playbook of an oppression they don’t comprehend because they don’t care to. These people have a way of fumbling through their self-set roles till the bloody final act, but if we can flip the script, we might yet stop the show.

Uber and Lyft Are Overwhelming Urban Streets, and Cities Need to Act Fast. Pave Over the Subway? Cities Face Tough Bets on Driverless Cars. Yes, the scooters are fun, but.

Mortgage, Groupon and card debt: how the bottom half bolsters U.S. economy.

EPA staff worried about toxic chemical exposure — for Pruitt.

NJ governor bought a women’s soccer team to inspire his daughter, but ran it into the ground.

There’s a New Scholarly Take on Mizzou’s Race Crisis, and Its Former Leaders Don’t Fare Well.

A case involving professors at Plymouth State U raises questions about when it’s OK to speak up for colleagues or students accused of sexual misconduct, if ever. In this case, professors defended former student who admitted to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old. The description honestly doesn’t do it justice; these letters of support are completely eye-popping under the circumstances.

* Number of patients suing USC over sex abuse claims tops 300 as faculty push for Nikias’ exit.

* Ex-Trump staffers should not get plum jobs at elite universities.

* Is Elizabeth Warren Running for President?

* How a Swiss Army Knife is made.

* The latest in the stadium scam.

What would motivate a company to give away 52,000 tablet computers for free? Can you crack this case, gumshoe?

* Bet it’s still a bit long.

A new report finds that big companies could have given their workers thousands of dollars’ worth of raises with the money they spent on their own shares. Are Stock Buybacks Starving the Economy?

* Let the computers be the doctors, they said.

* You don’t know me, computer!

* They’re real good at memes though.

* The anarchist roots of writing.

* Today in Sheriff Clarke news.

* Truly the Devil can quote Scripture for his purposes.

She Gave Millions to Artists Without Credit. Until Now.

* The Bayeux Tapestry with knobs on: what do the tapestry’s 93 penises tell us?

Game Studio With No Bosses Pays Everyone The Same.

* WorldCon is crisis (again).

* Twilight of James Gunn.

Conservative Think Tank Says Medicare For All Would Save $2 Trillion.

* Angelo Secchi, the Jesuit father of astrophysics.

* Wariness and wonder at a conference devoted to “Ancient Aliens.”

Conversation is impossible if one side refuses to acknowledge the basic premise that facts are facts. This is why engaging deniers in such an effort means having already lost. And it is why AskHistorians, where I am one of the volunteer moderators, takes a strict stance on Holocaust denial: We ban it immediately.

Locke & Key Has Been Ordered To Series. Flight of the Conchords is coming back. Disney’s Next Heroine Will Be an African Princess. Carrie Fisher Will Appear in Star Wars: Episode IX Via Unused Footage.  Shazam looks 90s-cable-level bad, though maybe I’ve just been persuaded that the character is irredeemable. In the First Trailer for Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, the U.S.S. Enterprise Boldly Arrives. And they’re making a Parable of the Sower graphic adaptation.

Inside J.R.R. Tolkien’s Notebooks, a Glimpse of the Master Philologist at Work.

* Uneven, but finding its voice: @moviegoofs.

* A People’s History of the Greatest Music Video of All Time, Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough.

The Grim Conclusions of the Largest-Ever Study of Fake News.

* A reporter went undercover as a Facebook moderator and was trained not to delete certain racist memes and images of child abuse.

* When factchecking backfires.

* History in an Age of Fake News.

* When a stranger decides to destroy your life.

* Orwell knew.

We must not just ask what a contemporary slave rebellion would look like—we must be on its side.

* A biological intelligence, a machine intelligence, and a god intelligence walk into a bar. Ethics and the self-driving car. Heaven. Can I interest you in a happy ending? From hell’s heart I stab at thee.

* And you may ask yourself.

We’ll probably never know what really makes people happy.

Every Circle In This Image Is The Same Color And It’s Breaking Our Brains.

* Mr. Rogers was my actual neighbor. He was everything he was on TV and more.

* Behold, the thagomizer.

Dungeons & Dragons is having its best year ever, Hasbro CEO says.

* Great thread about New York City’s grid layout, with a great punchline.

Did… did a cat write this?

* The new astrology.

* And the guy who slated classic Star Trek takes was unfazed by the whole thing. It’s a living…

Written by gerrycanavan

August 1, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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All the Weekend Links (100%)

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* Jaimee has one of her phobia poems up at Drunken Boat’s “funny” issue: “Derrida Eats a Dorito.”

* CFPs: ICFA 36: The Scientific Imagination. Joss Whedon’s Comics. Assemble! The Making and Re-Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Human-Animal Boundary: Exploring the Line in Philosophy and Fiction.

* MLA Subcon is trying to raise some money for its operations at indiegogo.

* New Study Links Polar Vortex to Climate Change. Speaking for all of Wisconsin: this does not bode well.

* I have to say I really like what Freddie says about privilege and merit here.

Instead, the point should be to ask people to see the ways in which all of our lives are conditioned by vast forces we cannot control, that these forces in general work to the benefit and hindrance of certain broad groups of people in a way that conflicts with our conceptions of justice, and that we can build a more just, more equitable world if we acknowledge that no one’s life is the product only of their work ethic and intelligence.

The long-term project of those who decry the role of unearned advantage in human society should not be to try and parse who is most and least privileged. The project should be to deny the salience of “merit” as a moral arbiter of material security and comfort. The very notion of just deserts– the notion that some people have legitimate accomplishments that we must celebrate because they represent “merit,” whatever that is, distinct from their privileges– is what has to die. There is no space where privilege ends and legitimate accomplishment begins. There is, instead, a world of such multivariate complexity that we can never know whose accomplishments are earned and whose aren’t. Instead, we should recognize the folly of tying material security and comfort to our flawed perceptions of other people’s value, and instead institute an economic system based on the absolute right of all people to food, shelter, clothing, health care, and education.

* Kazuo Ishiguro to publish first novel since Never Let Me Go. I am on board. More links below the photo!

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* And on the other side of the spectrum: Margaret Atwood’s new work will remain unseen for a century.

* Shock, horror: Most college classes cost more online than on campus.

* The Classroom of the Future.

Q. How did you make the transition from professor to president? A. Maybe some of our problems in education today stem from the fact that someone like me is considered an unconventional choice. Maybe academic institutions should be run by academics, the way they used to be.

* Wisconsin inches closer to dubious obesity milestone.

* On Christopher Tolkien protecting The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales from New Line. I hadn’t realized that Peter Jackson was prohibited from making reference to those works in his films; that’s fascinating…

* If Pearson were trying to strike back against a researcher who told legislators that they were paying $100 million a year for tests that mostly measure test-taking ability, it would look an awful lot like what is happening to Walter Stroup.

* “If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put ‘u’ and ‘i’ in the same eight-person, windowless office.”

* The New York Times pans a novel for being insufficiently pro-conquistador. The Economist wrings its hands over whether maybe we’re not being fair to slaveowners.

* The Justice Department will investigate the entire Ferguson police force. How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty. Twitter Headquarters Has Painted #Ferguson On Its Office Wall.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson lied when he said he had received “many” specific requests for the videotape that allegedly shows Michael Brown robbing a convenience store, according to a new report.

* Feisal G. Mohamed and Cary Nelson debate the Salaita firing. Salaita and the Accreditors.

* This Is What It’s Like To Sit Through An Anti-Union Meeting At Work.

Gaming doesn’t have a problem; capitalism has a problem. Rather than seeing them simply as immoral assholes or deluded consumerists, we should take gaming’s advanced wing of hateful trolls seriously as representatives of the reactionary shock troops that will have to be defeated in order to build a more egalitarian society in the games industry or anywhere else.

* Five myths about California’s drought. The news is not good, friends.

* Here’s Who Really Controls California’s Water.

* Staff at an Arizona gun range reportedly told investigators that the release forms signed by the family of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed her instructor with an Uzi last week were unavailable because they had been “blown away by the wind.” I’ve head less convincing excuses, I guess.

* Biden’s warning to ISIS militants: ‘We will follow them to the gates of hell.’ 200 U.S. troops headed to Ukraine for ‘peace-keeping exercise’ as Obama condemns Russian aggression.

Brave Teen Refuses to Attend Middle School, Chooses Jail Instead.

* Today in the rule of law: Missouri May Have Lied Under Oath About What Drugs It Used To Kill People And When.

* But don’t worry: The system works. Antonin Scalia’s Favorite Murderer Is Innocent.

* Death Row Guard Has Always Had Soft Spot For The Innocent Ones.

L.A. Times Reporter Basically Let the CIA Edit His Stories on the CIA.

NYPD Pays $33K to Settle Suit After Mistaking Jolly Ranchers for Meth.

* Police telling victims to solve crimes by themselves.

In New York, a human rights lawyer has filed a lawsuit against the NYPD after she was arrested for blocking the sidewalk while waiting for her husband and kids to use the bathroom at a Times Square restaurant.

* The call to demilitarize police overlooks the longstanding link between policing and empire.

The Worst Airbnb in the Universe: 22 Beds in One Apartment. Imagine this being your home. Imagine this being your neighbor.

* The fight for the Senate is getting weird y’all.

* For Parents Of Young Black Men With Autism, Extra Fear About Police.

* A horrifying new study says one in five women have been raped.

* “After the football season ended.”

* Vox says your revolution is over, the bums lost.

* Our congresswoman was arrested today at a fast food workers’ strike.

* The killable horde.

* For the first time ever, neuroscientists have demonstrated the viability of direct — and completely non-invasive — brain-to-brain communication in humans. Remarkably, the experiment allowed subjects to exchange mentally-conjured words despite being 5,000 miles apart.

* Science fiction classics in the news: Syfy Greenlights Six-Hour Miniseries Childhood’s End.

BP May Be Fined Up to $18 Billion for Spill in Gulf. Almost 18 days revenue, less than a year’s profit…

Workers At Coal Waste Landfill Told That Coal Ash Is ‘Safe Enough To Eat,’ Lawsuit Says.

Joan Rivers Always Knew She Was Funny. Joan Rivers and today’s comediennes.

Downloaded Games Have A Larger Carbon Footprint Than Blu-Ray Discs. There’s some really questionable assumptions in here, but the argument that theres’s some point where this is true is an important one.

* A Child Helps Your Career, If You’re a Man.

Ms. Budig found that on average, men’s earnings increased more than 6 percent when they had children (if they lived with them), while women’s decreased 4 percent for each child they had. Her study was based on data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth from 1979 to 2006, which tracked people’s labor market activities over time. Childless, unmarried women earn 96 cents for every dollar a man earns, while married mothers earn 76 cents, widening the gap.

* Here’s why CVS stopped selling cigarettes.

* Here’s why Twitter shouldn’t algorithmize users’ feeds.

* This is the most detailed map yet of our place in the universe.

* Bold new directions: Shazam will differ from other DC movies by being fun.

* Every popular text eventually gets an “it was all just a hallucination” rewrite. Today it’s Harry Potter’s turn.

New Girl at School Had to Wear “Shame Suit” After Dress Code Violation.

* Werner Herzog will guest star on Parks And Recreation.

* Nothing good will happen anymore: Actually, HBO didn’t commission more Flight Of The Conchords.

* Here’s something I should probably waste all my money on.

* New Miracleman Comics Stories (Including One by Grant Morrison) Coming Soon.

* This Map Shows How Hunting Wiped Out Whales In Less Than A Century.

* And FiveThirtyEight is there with a hot take: If Tony Survived The ‘Sopranos’ Finale, He’s Probably Alive Today.

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Written by gerrycanavan

September 6, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links! Seriously a Lot!

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Like C.P. Snow’s two cultures of the humanities and the sciences, a new bimodal view of higher education is becoming increasingly important at the start of the twenty-first century: one that sees the goal of universities as developing “the whole person” and another that sees it as largely or even exclusively in terms of job training. The Two Cultures of Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century and Their Impact on Academic Freedom.

* Academic search season watch: How To Tailor a Job Letter (Without Flattering, Pandering, or Begging).

* Episode 21 of Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men (with Kurt Busiek) is a great look at how Marvel’s sausage is made. Give it a listen if you’re a fan of the comics…

* Communism for Children.

* Time for the Libya mea culpas.

* TNI Syllabus: Gaming and Feminism.

* Tainted by its misogyny and embrace of consumption as a way of life, gamer culture isn’t worth saving.

What Happened To Jennifer Lawrence Was Sexual Assault.

* The Police Tool That Pervs Use to Steal Nude Pics From Apple’s iCloud.

* Steve Shaviro: Twenty-Two Theses on Nature.

* Even the Department of Education thinks their rating system will be a mess.

* How the University Drinks.

* Yale’s tax exempt New Haven property worth $2.5 billion.

Thirty-two teens escaped from a Nashville youth detention center by crawling under a weak spot in a fence late Monday, and nine of them were still on the run Tuesday, a spokesman said.

* Change Of Habit: How Seattle Cops Fought An Addiction To Locking Up Drug Users.

* Three Myths About Police Body Cams.

* Jeff Mizanskey Is Serving Life in Prison for Marijuana.

Scientists Find ‘Alarming’ Amount Of Arsenic In Groundwater Near Texas Fracking Sites.

* Can journalistic ethics include nonhuman perspectives?

* Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female.

All The Game Of Thrones Fan Theories You Absolutely Need To Know.

* NIH finally makes good with Henrietta Lacks’ family.

Twenty Days of Harassment and Racism as an American Apparel Employee.

Durham Public Schools dumps Teach for America.

* The Four-Year-Old’s Workday.

Texas School Won’t Let Native American Attend His First Day Of Kindergarten Because Of His Long Hair.

* Rape culture and Title IX at the University of Kansas.

“Duke University seeks a talented, engaged student body that embodies the wide range of human experience; we believe that the diversity of our students makes our community stronger. If you’d like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you’ve had to help us understand you better — perhaps related to a community you belong to, your sexual orientation or gender identity, or your family or cultural background — we encourage you to do so. Real people are reading your application, and we want to do our best to understand and appreciate the real people applying to Duke.”

Students at the Barricades.

* Twitter has an algorithm that assigns gender to its users.

* Why top tech CEOs want employees with liberal arts degrees.

* In Virginia, thousands of day-care providers receive no oversight. After a child’s death, parents grapple with second guesses.

Unlike most other states, Wisconsin does not recognize prisoners’ good behavior with credits toward accelerated release.  Wisconsin had such a “good time” program for well over a century, but eliminated it as part of the policy changes in the 1980s and 1990s that collectively left the state unusually — perhaps even uniquely — inflexible in its terms of imprisonment. Why No “Good Time” in Wisconsin?

* Now we see the violence inherent in the system: Meet The Guy Who Spent Seven Months Killing Everyone In Fallout 3.

* When Disney forbade Stan Lee’s original cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy. When they cut Hawkeye’s bit from Captain America 2.

* Rule of law watch: The Dumb Line In New York’s Constitution That Could Elect A Governor Most Of The State Doesn’t Want.

* For the geeks: How Randall “xkcd” Munroe wrote What If?

* Time Travel Simulation Resolves “Grandfather Paradox.” Bah! We need to go back in time and prevent this simulation from ever being devised!

* The arc of history is long, but: HBO has commissioned some sort of new Flight Of The Conchords show.

The Most Compelling Athlete In America Right Now Is Here To Play Chess.

* And just because it’s gerrycanavan.wordpress.com: Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we’re nearing collapse.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 3, 2014 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday Links

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* A new Flight of the Conchords mini-episode is here to make everything okay.

* The Minority Report touchless interface is here, and it’s amazing.

* The Apollo 11 astronauts couldn’t obtain life insurance. Here’s what they did instead.

* The Longform Guide to the Death of Football.

* Voter suppression efforts take another hit as a federal judge restores early voting in Ohio. I caught a tiny bit of Rachel Maddow last night and she was hammering the sensible point that opposition to early voting doesn’t even have the fig leaf of supposedly preventing non-existent “voter fraud” to legitimate it; it’s just voter suppression, in the raw, plain and simple.

By my count GOP efforts to manipulate the vote have now failed in Ohio, Florida, Texas, and Wisconsin. I think Pennsylvania’s still up next.

* This story has everything: Quebec police are on the hunt for a sticky-fingered thief after millions of dollars of maple syrup vanished from a Quebec warehouse.

The theft was discovered during a routine inventory check last week at the St-Louis-de-Blandford warehouse, where the syrup is being held temporarily. The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, which is responsible for the global strategic maple syrup reserve, initially kept the news quiet, hoping it would help police solve the crime quickly.

* Now I want Doctor Who to do a whole bowling episode.

* You can now get your entire genome sequences for just $1000.

* The New Inquiry troubles Chris Hayes’s Twilight of the Elites.

We must dismantle not just the existing spheres of influence and also their reason for being. The effort is impossible but simple: dismantle all the relationships that causes us to hand out and to seek favor, erase the notion of what is owed, render farcical the very idea of acknowledgments. An idealistic notion, yes, but I am just cynical enough to point out that this book of elite-bashing contains a pages-long acknowledgments section where Hayes pays due deference to a murderer’s row of wealthy, connected elitists. With each person he thanks, I can see the invisible lattice of patronage and nepotism, so archly dissected in the main text, spiral out and off the page.

* Gross: Now comes word that Taco Bell is adding a surely horrid new drink called Mtn Dew A.M. to its breakfast menu.

* And rest in peace, Shulamith Firestone.

Firestone applied Marxist analysis to the status of women and argued that true liberation would come only when women were freed from childbearing. In Firestone’s utopian future, babies would be gestated outside the womb and raised by both sexes.

“The tyranny of the biological family would be broken,” she wrote.

Six for Monday Morning

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* The United Nations has completed the first-ever global assessment of the state of the planet’s land resources, finding in a report Monday that a quarter of all land is highly degraded and warning the trend must be reversed if the world’s growing population is to be fed.

*  A Few Unexpected Subjects of Class Struggle – Notes on Recent University Strikes.

* Greg Packer, “All the Angry People.”

* Elena Kagan profile (and bonus ACA-pregaming) from Dahlia Lithwick.

* Flight of the Conchords movie could happen. No spoilers for the uninitiated, but there’s at least one song in The Muppets that’s pretty much already big-screen Conchords.

* And Alex Callinicos on life after capitalism.

Links for Tuesday

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* Cleveland, the true birthplace of Superman. Via Boing Boing.

* In the future, Google prioritizes your email for you.

* A majority of Republicans think Obama “probably” wants to impose Sharia law. In other news, a majority of Republicans are apparently complete idiots.

* The dog that hasn’t barked (but we keep hoping): the infinitely prolonged dissolution of the GOP. Meanwhile, Gallup’s methodological problems aside, Democrats appear doomed this November. At least we have a good shot at getting rid of Richard Burr.

* America may not ever recover from the financial crisis.

* I came across this somewhere over the weekend and now can’t get it out of my head: “Girlfriends from the Past,” a highlight of the disappointing second season of Flight of the Conchords.

*And this, from Stanley Fish: In the brief period between the bombing and the emergence of McVeigh, speculation had centered on Arab terrorists and the culture of violence that was said to be woven into the fabric of the religion of Islam.

But when it turned out that a white guy (with the help of a few of his friends) had done it, talk of “culture” suddenly ceased and was replaced by the vocabulary and mantras of individualism: each of us is a single, free agent; blaming something called “culture” was just a way of off-loading responsibility for the deeds we commit; in America, individuals, not groups, act; and individuals, not groups, should be held accountable. McVeigh may have looked like a whole lot of other guys who dressed up in camouflage and carried guns and marched in the woods, but, we were told by the same people who had been mouthing off about Islam earlier, he was just a lone nut, a kook, and generalizations about some “militia” culture alive and flourishing in the heartland were entirely unwarranted.

This switch from “malign culture” talk to “individual choice” talk was instantaneous and no one felt obliged to explain it. Now, in 2010, it’s happening again around the intersection of what the right wing calls the “Ground Zero mosque” (a geographical exaggeration if there ever is one) and the attack last week on a Muslim cab driver by (it is alleged) 21-year-old knife-wielding Michael Enright.

Friday Night Infodump

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Friday night infodump of all the links I want to keep out of the papers.

* SciFiWire says the new Prisoner disappoints.
* Salon says it’s time to bring back Marx. He went somewhere?
* NASA says that explosion last month turned up quite a bit of water on the Moon.
* Jermaine Clement says Flight of the Conchords was almost completely different—but it seems clear to me he’s joking.
* And the RNC says it’s not subsidizing abortions—anymore.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 14, 2009 at 5:52 am