Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘gaffes

Wednesday Night!

leave a comment »

alkebu-lan-1260* Kinsey gaffe from the Times re: CUNY: Mr. Milliken, 56, the president of the University of Nebraska since 2004, will take over a school system that has undergone a spate of recent expansion but is still troubled by large pockets of impoverished and academically lagging students, the overwhelming majority of whom come from the city’s public schools. Still troubled by existence of the students the school was established to serve. Must be a real nightmare over there.

* Women Destroy Science Fiction!

* First as tragedy… Žižek’s Jokes contains every joke cited, paraphrased, or narrated in Žižek’s work in English (including some in unpublished manuscripts), including different versions of the same joke that make different points in different contexts.

* Oliva Pope fixes Chris Christie.

Stutzer and Frey found that a person with a one-hour commute has to earn 40% more money to be as satisfied with life as someone who walks to the office. On the other hand, for a single person, exchanging a long commute for a short walk to work has the same effect on happiness as finding a new love.

* Disband West Virginia. I’m From West Virginia and I’ve Got Something to Say About the Chemical Spill. Why So Many West Virginians Relied on Water from the Elk River: Industry Already Polluted the Others.

Do You Really Want to Use a Commercial Learning-Management System?

The colonization counterfactual. “What if Africa had never been colonized but was still re-formed into the kinds of political bodies which colonialism sought to create.”

The university is dead. The question to ask now is not, how do we bring it back. That’s impossible and quite undesirable. The question is what new forms of genuinely democratic self-organization might rise from its ashes? To even begin to ask this question we must first of all get rid of the police.

* Cultural Preservation: Preserving Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. This is where Dylan hitchhiked to see Woody Guthrie, right at the border of my hometown.

* BREAKING: Fox Only Talks About Climate Change When It’s Cold.

* RT @wewatchwatchers: In whiteness news: Man found with pipe bomb at Edmonton airport allowed to fly.

* Bruce v. Christie: I’ll allow it.

* Schweitzer tacks against Obama: The inside story of how Obamacare became an insurance-industry bailout.

* NLRB finds that Wal-Mart illegally intimidated and retaliated against organizers. I assume that means the corporation is dissolved and becomes a worker’s collective.

Studies Confirm: Kids Ruin Your Life. Now they tell me?

* And three years ago it cost me $1000 to sequence one gene. Now that’s what it costs to sequence an entire genome.

Wednesday Links

leave a comment »

* Tomorrow’s crimes today: man arrested for attempting to steal five tons of glacial ice in Chile.

* Parlor game of the day: French Toast. Via Alex, via MetaFilter.

* Major birth control pill recall. Bring on the lawsuits! Wow.

* Worst idea in comics history confirmed.

* Cary Nelson on fighting for the humanities.

We take it for granted that scientific knowledge must advance, that there is much we do not know and much that we will live out our lives without knowing. Knowledge of the physical universe beyond the solar system and the galaxy remains so limited that it is hard even to calculate its partiality. The nature of life elsewhere in the universe remains beyond our grasp, as does knowledge of the human body that would enable us to control diseases like cancer.

And yet we often—unreflectively, uncritically, and in a learned form of self-deception—assume that we largely know ourselves and our history. Through its institutions and the norms of social life, human culture immerses us in collective understanding that is often deceptive or false.

The task of the humanities is not only to show us the ways that artists and others have penetrated our illusions by creative acts both modest and grand but also to try to discover when human cultures as a whole have seen through a glass darkly.

* Somebody in Stockholm finally noticed that the commander-in-chief of the biggest military on the planet is an odd choice for a peace prize.

* A Kinseyan gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth.

* Abolish the dollar bill! For freedom!

* The headline reads, “India Factory Workers Revolt, Kill Company President.”

* Science uncovers the high cost of bad handwriting.

* Freddie deBoer on divorce rate hokum.

* And why do you have two nostrils instead of one giant hole in the middle of your face? io9 reports.

Back in Durham Links

leave a comment »

* This notice is to clarify the purpose of your visit to the Student Health Center doctor’s appointment in the process of obtaining a beard exception.

* Wisconsin Voters Launch Recall Campaign Against Eight GOP State Senators.

* Wisconsin Republicans launch recall campaign against missing Democratic state senators:

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the resolution passed by the state Senate orders the Sergeant at Arms, if the Dems don’t show up by 4 p.m., to “take any and all necessary steps, with or without force, and with or without the assistance of law enforcement officers, by warrant or other legal process, as he may deem necessary in order to bring that senator to the Senate chambers so that the Senate may convene with a quorum of no less than 20 senators.”

* Oh, Ohio: Ohio’s Radical Anti-Union Bill Also Has A Hidden Provision To Deny Equal Rights To Same-Sex Couples.

* This Kenya gaffe won’t move many votes, but it’s a nice reminder that underneath the folksy charm Huckabee is completely odious.

* Said GOP pollster Bill McInturff: “It may be hard to understand why a person might jump off a cliff, unless you understand they’re being chased by a tiger. That tiger is the Tea Party.”

* What baseball team should I root for? Question #1 may be the most important: do I have a soul?

A Few Links

with one comment

* If you’d been foolish enough to bet $5 that Joe Biden could walk into a Midwestern custard shop and not create some sort of national incident by uttering a mild profanity, well, it’s time to pay up.

* FIFA to address calls for technological replays in the stupidest manner possible.

* Following up on yesterday’s links, Robert Byrd has died.

* One reason why humans are special and unique.

* How a superhorse travels through time (and why).

* Rithmomachia: the Philosophers’ Game.

* And Conan the Barbarian: The Musical. It’s been that sort of week.

Tuesday Afternoon

leave a comment »

* Things I didn’t know were in the health care bill: menu labeling. Great policy.

* I want to be held accountable for getting it done. I will judge my first term as president based on the fact on whether we have delivered the kind of health care that every American deserves and that our system can afford. Barack Obama at a CAP/SEIU health care forum in 2007, up against Hillary Clinton and history’s greatest monster.

The health care forum in 2007 served as a kind of epiphany for Obama. Time’s Karen Tumulty, who moderated the forum, wrote that Obama “was noticeably uncomfortable when pressed for details” about his health care plan. As Ezra Klein wrote at the time, “Compared to John Edwards, who had a detailed plan, and Hillary Clinton, whose fluency with the subject is unmatched among the contenders, he seemed uncertain and adrift.” Obama himself acknowledged that the health care forum revealed, “I am not a great candidate now, but I am going to figure out how to be a great candidate.” Now, by delivering on the basic health care principles he pronounced three years ago, Obama is already earning praise as “one of America’s finest presidents.”

* Winning has its advantages. Mike Allen:

Rather than dragging down Dems, President Obama’s health plan could turn out to be a net positive for the midterms by goosing his base, re-engaging new Obama voters, giving his party something clear to promote, and providing a blunt instrument for whacking [Republicans]. Obama’s triumph has put Republicans back on the defensive, and even some of them are wondering if they peaked eight months too soon.

* Frum: “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox.”

* Related: No one cares what Republicans think about health care anymore.

* Finding common ground: I’m no Sarah Palin fan, but I fully endorse her call for Tea Party supporters to make third-party runs for office.

* Climate next? Let’s hope so.

* Project Kaisei is seeking to turn the Great Pacific Garbage Patch into fuel.

* Related: Werner Herzog narrates the emotional life of a plastic bag blowing across the American countryside in search of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

* The University of Michigan has become the 17th institution of higher learning to be implicated in the checks-for-degrees scandal rocking American campuses, representatives from the Department of Justice reported Tuesday.

* Coming to Comedy Central this fall: That’s My Biden.

* Airplanes do not “fly.” They are held aloft through the divine intervention of heavenly angels.

* Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.

* And the Big Picture has your record setters. Below: the world’s largest “Thriller” dance.

Monday Links

leave a comment »

Monday, Monday.

* The Criterion Collection Bottle Rocket is out tomorrow. Here’s the Amazon link.

* Nate Silver projects Al Franken will win by 27 votes.

* The World’s Best Colleges and Universities. Duke clocks in at #13, but more important, longtime domestic loser Case Western (#90) beats Tufts (#156) in the far more important world rankings, finally giving Neil the humiliation he deserves.

* Amanda Marcotte had the bright idea of reading Mad Men alongside some of the literary texts it makes allusions to, most notably the Frank O’Hara poem that bookends the season, “Meditations in an Emergency.”

* Longtime reader Eli Glasner has a great new film blog.

* 10 Stories Behind Dr. Seuss stories. Thanks, Lindsay!

* “Who Stole My Volcano? Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dematerialisation of Supervillain Architecture.” Via Neilalien.

* A school in New York has already been renamed for Barack Obama. Students initiated the renaming.

* The things you learn from Poli-Sci-Fi Radio: Val Kilmer is mulling a run for governor of New Mexico. Kilmer’s only the second-worst Batman, but the one I think I’d want least in elected office.

* Top 25 Comic Book Battles. #1: Batman vs. Superman from The Dark Knight Returns.

* Heroes creator Tim Kring has apologized for calling his fans dipshits. Remember, a gaffe is when you accidentally tell the truth…

A Gaffe Is When You Accidentally Speak the Truth

leave a comment »

A gaffe is when you accidentally speak the truth: Witness Luke Russert.

Matt Lauer talked about UVA being a smart school and whether or not it could be considered a microcosm of Virginia at large. I said UVA had a lot of smart kids and so the school was leaning Obama.

I MEANT to say that many of the kids who go to UVA are from affluent, highly educated households who are leaning Obama and hence their kids lean Obama.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 24, 2008 at 4:22 pm