Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Game of Thrones

Surprise! Thursday Links!

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* I’m in something of an unusual situation, uniquely poised to obsessively explore the game while I’m on medical leave, but I’ve really been enjoying Gloomhaven. Reading D&D sourcebooks to yourself because you have no friends to play with never felt so good! If it’s even remotely your thing, check it out.

* Reading Marx on Halloween. UPDATE: Forgot this one! China Miéville: Marxism and Halloween.

* Can’t believe I have to wait for April for this: Revealing The Doors of Eden, a New Novel from Adrian Tchaikovsky.

The Doors of Eden takes the evolutionary world-building I used for Children of Time and Children of Ruin and applies it to all the ‘What ifs’ of the past. It’s a book that feeds on a lot of my personal obsessions (not just spiders*). The universe-building is perhaps the broadest in scope of anything I’ve ever written. At the same time, The Doors of Eden is a book set in the here and now, and even though there’s more than one ‘here and now’ in the book, I spent most of a summer trekking around researching locations like a film producer to try and get things as right as possible. Sometimes, when you plan a journey into the very strange, it works best if you start somewhere familiar.

Writing the book turned into a very personal journey, for me. It’s the culmination of a lot of ideas that have been brewing away at the back of my mind, and a lot of obsessions that have had hold of me for decades. I have quite the trip in store for readers, I hope.”

(*Book not guaranteed to be entirely free of spiders.)

* There are six seasons, not four. Kurt Vonnegut explains.

* CFP: Society for Utopian Studies 2020: Make, Unmake, Remake. CFP: The Peter Nicholls Essay Prize 2020 at Foundation. CFP: The Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference 2020: Rendition.

* A space anthropologist warns inequality gets worse on Mars.

* Afrofuturism and solarpunk.

* I may have gotten to mention that the new issue of Science Fiction Film and Television is out, with articles on Charlton Heston’s SF films, the Anthropocene politics of outer space media, and a partial report from the franchise fiction roundtable at ICFA 40.

* After Deadspin.

it’s a real feeling, to watch people you admire – entire crews of them – get fucked again and again by parasitic industries and self-important executives whose pockets are as deep as they themselves are shallow

University of Chicago projected to be the first U.S. university to cost $100,000 a year.

The “We” in WeWork was the customers working in the offices, living in the apartment buildings, and learning in the schools—not the people determining where any of this was built, and in what quantity. If money is indeed piling up on the balance sheets of large corporations and in the coffers of the Saudi Treasury as proceeds for burning the planet—and if that money is ultimately at the disposal of a farseeing Japanese cell phone mogul—one might ask if it could be managed differently if it were in the hands of, well, “We,” instead of flooded into commercial real estate for the purpose of acclimatizing office workers to ever smaller workspaces. Getting a better grip on the capital stocks and flows that enable WeWork and its mutant cousins may require a “mission to elevate the world’s consciousness,” but there’s an older and simpler word for it, too.

* Inside the Kincade Fire: Within Feet of the Flames. California’s Wildfires Are the Doom of Our Own Making. PG&E power outage could cost the California economy more than $2 billion. The Toxic Bubble of Technical Debt Threatening America.

Explaining to my children why the world is burning.

* ‘The climate doesn’t need awards’: Greta Thunberg declines environmental prize.

* Man who has personally ordered scores of assassinations has intense appreciation for moral nuance.

* …telling graduate students to eschew public-facing writing and outreach in favor of “impressive” or “legitimate” publications is the wrong advice for the many job candidates who will end up employed outside of the select circle of wealthy institutions.

* If Virginia ratifies the ERA next year, it would go back to Congress for what would be an utter shitshow fascinating vote.

* Pete Buttigieg, unfrozen caveman Democrat.

* Game of Thrones somehow manages to choose the more boring of its two boring prequel options. That’s commitment to a bit.

Dynamic Underwater Photos Look Like Dramatic Baroque Paintings.

* I should write a piece about how my attitudes about piracy have turned around in the last 5 years. Now I feel like anybody who circulates files of classic cinema is the equivalent of people in Ray Bradbury‘s Fahrenheit 451 who keep literature alive by memorizing & reciting it.

Cops aren’t liable for destroying home of innocent people, 10th Circuit rules. They were looking for a shoplifter.

His expenses to rebuild the house and replace all its contents cost him nearly $400,000, he said. While insurance did cover structural damage initially, his son did not have renter’s insurance and so insurance did not cover replacement of the home’s contents, and he says he is still in debt today from loans he took out.

“This has ruined our lives,” he said.

“Half our customers are drunk and vaping like mo-fos, who the fuck is going to notice the quality of our pods,” the former CEO allegedly said. Juul says the lawsuit is “baseless.”

* To die well, we must talk about death before the end of life.

Why I Haven’t Gone Back to SCOTUS Since Kavanaugh. Some things are worth not getting over.

* The algorithm predicted black patients would cost less, which signaled to medical providers that their illnesses must not be that bad. But, in reality, black patients cost less because they don’t purchase healthcare services as much as white people on average. New York is investigating UnitedHealth’s use of a medical algorithm that steered black patients away from getting higher-quality care. This is like the (likely apocryphal) story about the algorithm trained to find tanks in pictures, only to identify instead which days were sunny and which days were cloudy — only here we decide to listen to the computer and redefine what a tank is.

* From the archives: David Bowie explains that the internet is an alien lifeform.

* Take the blue pill, and…

Tuesday Night Links!

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* I have another review at LARB this week, this time on Cixin Liu’s Supernova Era. Check it out!

Now, the humans in Liu’s fictions are not saints: there are always dire moments of backlash, too, moments of denial and cowardice and greed and the familiar madness of crowds refusing to face unpleasant truths. All of his major apocalyptic works thus far translated into English face this sort of ordinary and expected human failing as well. But what reads as genuinely, horrifyingly utopian for us in this moment is Liu’s insistence, across his career, that humanity does in fact want to survive — that, faced with a crisis that upends everything we know and threatens to impoverish and immiserate every human being alive and who will ever be alive, the human race will choose collective life over species death. This remains the most fantastic novum in anything Liu has written, an almost inconceivable shift in the priorities of our elites who, like the traitorous Escapers fleeing the invading Trisolarians in The Three-Body Problem, won’t even pretend to try and save the rest of us. “For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear,” a defiant, furious Greta Thunberg recently challenged the United Nations. “How dare you continue to look away, and come here saying that you’re doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight?” The adults of Supernova Era got it done in one. In a moment of intergenerational struggle defined by environmental protest groups like Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion, and by the school climate strikes sparked by Thunberg and other young people around the globe, Supernova Era offers a tantalizing glimpse into another universe with an entirely different field of ecological politics, one where parents and grandparents won’t simply let their children and grandchildren suffer and die without a fight.

* And if you thought *I* was hard on The Testaments The Booker Prize — what happened?

* Help make Milwaukee socialist again!

* Do you hear the people sing? Chile’s people have had enough.

* Are Baby Boomers A ‘Generation Of Sociopaths’? Suicide is Gen Z’s second-leading cause of death, and it’s a worse epidemic than anything millennials faced at that age. ‘OK Boomer’ Marks the End of Friendly Generational Relations.

Image and Text #33 is all about Black Panther. Wakanda, Worldbuilding and Afrofuturism for a World Without Violence.

CFP – “Reading Comics at the Threshold.”

The world’s top economists just made the case for why we still need English majors.

Are Liberal Arts Colleges Doomed?

* CUNY Contract Deal Means Big Raise for Adjuncts.

Maryland’s Giant Global Campus Is Restructuring. And Professors Were Asked to ‘Recompete’ for Jobs.

* How Swarthmore shut down the frats.

Trump Education Official to Resign and Call for Mass Student-Loan Forgiveness.

Fredric Jameson: How to adapt to cultural change.

* The rise of eco-horror.

* Every prediction that has been made about climate change has turned out to be a drastic undershoot of the true severity of the crisis. Rising Seas Will Erase More Cities by 2050, New Research Shows.

* Hundred-year wildfires two or three times every week. A ‘high-end and dangerous’ Santa Ana wind event will dramatically escalate California’s fire risk starting Tuesday night. PG&E CEO Says It Could Impose Blackouts in California for a Decade.

* Zeitgeisty!

* The return of MOOCs, this time for climate change. Or because of incredibly poor planning, whatever, the point is MOOCs.

The UN’s Devastating Climate Change Report Was Too Optimistic. Images reveal Iceland’s glacier melt. An unprecedented climate change lawsuit against American oil giant Exxon Mobil is set to go ahead in New York. Kentucky’s Leaders Are Siding With the Coal Industry, and Its Poorest Residents Are Paying a Price. Amazon rainforest ‘close to irreversible tipping point.’ Humans are rapidly turning oceans into warm, acidifying basins hostile to life. US air quality dropped during Trump presidency after years of improvement, leading to thousands of premature deaths. Climate Activism Will Have ‘Terrible Consequences,’ Warn Richest People Alive. ‘Collapse OS’ Is an Open Source Operating System for the Post-Apocalypse. A New Video Game Tests Whether You Can Survive the Climate Apocalypse. How to Halt Global Warming for $300 Billion.

* The end of the Internet. The Real Threat to Journalism Is Not Donald Trump.

* Coca-Cola, no!

* The Great Unraveling.

* No one working at Newsweek can tell me why it still exists.

* Why lowering the voting age would make for a better democracy.

* Today in the scooter scam. You Lost How Much on Scooters? The madness of WeWork. San Francisco is losing residents because it’s too expensive for nearly everyone. Life in a dayspa — with 95 roommates. admin/admin.

Disability activist sues Minneapolis, scooter companies over sidewalk access. A report from the street.

Poor kids spend nearly 2 hours more on screens each day than rich kids.

* School surveillance.

On the Origins of the Professional-Managerial Class: An Interview with Barbara Ehrenreich.

* Welcome to Coffeyville, Kansas, where the judge has no law degree, debt collectors get a cut of the bail, and Americans are watching their lives — and liberty — disappear in the pursuit of medical debt collection.

* UWM study finds over half of gun violence perpetrators and victims had elevated blood lead levels as children. The final five percent.

* How aristocrats ate prestige TV.

* “Bulletproof Emmett Till Memorial Unveiled After Repeated Vandalism.”

* CA 1, NCAA 0.

* An oral history of the Chuck E. Cheese robots.

Hollywood’s New Self-Censorship Mess in China. Quentin Tarantino Holds Firm, Won’t Recut ‘Once Upon a Time’ for China.

* Biden’s just so bad at this. So bad at this! Bartenders for Bernie. Can Elizabeth Warren win it all?

* This is fine: In court hearing, Trump lawyer argues a sitting president would be immune from prosecution even if he were to shoot someone. Impeachment is too important to leave to Congress — it’s going to take mass mobilization. John Roberts will save us!

* Being President Supervillain.

Criminal misconduct by US border officers has reached a 5-year high.

* Taking the fight to every state.

* The recession returns to Wisconsin, which it never really left in the first place. Save me, Foxconn!

HUD officials knowingly failed ‘to comply with the law,’ stalled Puerto Rico hurricane relief funds.

* In the richest country in human history.

* Life in occupied Kashmir.

The Empire of Patrolmen.

* Orcs, Britons, And The Martial Race Myth, Part I: A Species Built For Racial Terror. I have an entire day in my Tolkien class devoted to this question, around the Gorbag/Shagrat passages in TTT and ROTK, just because it’s such a threat to the pleasure of the fantasy by the end of the semester.

* Tolkien’s lessons for Trump.

* Of course Mordor would be in Florida.

* The Evolution of Dragons in Western Literature: A History.

* The Fallen Worlds of Philip Pullman.

* Fantasy literature alignment chart.

* Benioff and Weiss explain at length how they don’t know anything about making shows. Five seconds later: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss Are No Longer Making Star Wars Movies.

* The Supreme Court Doesn’t Understand Transgender People. Its ignorance could lead to a legal catastrophe.

* Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow!

* There’s a very good chance the government isn’t hiding aliens. I can’t believe they even got to Snowden.

Mass. Dem’s Bill Would Make It Illegal To Call Someone ‘Bitch.’

Hunt told the Boston Herald that he filed the bill after being asked to do so by a constituent. “Any time a constituent approaches me with something that is of concern to them, I follow through with it,” he said. “In this instance, someone asked me to file a bill that they deemed was important and I thought it was a good exercise to let that bill go through the process.”

I think I’ve found the one flaw in your legislative strategy.

* Can’t get good help these days: Hitman hires hitman who hires hitman who hires hitman who hires hitman who tells police.

Can You Really Be Addicted to Video Games?

* How YouTube radicalization works.

* We Are All Clowns: A Defense of Joker.

Disney Is Quietly Placing Classic Fox Movies Into Its Vault, and That’s Worrying.

* In honor of the return of Homestuck: How ‘Homestuck’ Defined What It Means to Be a Fan Online.

* The Evil Dead Cabin (Morristown, TN).

My Daughter and I Were Diagnosed With Autism on the Same Day.

* If we can put a man on the moon. Media and and social class: a guide. Scams. Dreams.

* One-page dungeon.

* Which words were first recorded in print the year you were born?

The 2010s Broke Our Sense Of Time.

* Ian Bogost wants that goose off his lawn.

* The origins of Kirby.

* We did it! U.S. Military Will Stop Using Floppy Disks to Operate Its Nuclear Weapons System.

* 271 Years Before Pantone, an Artist Mixed and Described Every Color Imaginable in an 800-Page Book.

* Nothing gold can stay.

* And imagine going back in time.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 29, 2019 at 4:51 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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At Long Last: Links!

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* CFP: Paradoxa 31: Climate Fiction. CFP: Technologies of Feminist Speculative Fiction. CFP: Fantasy and Myth in the Anthropocene. CFP: Radical Perspectives on Horror Cinema. CFP: New Perspectives on Contemporary German Science Fiction. CFP: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. CFP: The David Foster Wallace Society Annual Meeting. CFP: Poverty and Literature.

* Twentieth Century/Contemporary literature and culture (permanent, full-time) @ Warwick’s Dept. of English & Comparative Literary Studies.

Applications for The Roddenberry Fellowship are now open. $50,000 will be awarded to up to 20 Fellows in the areas of civil rights, immigration, environmental protection, LGBTQIA & women’s rights. Are you or someone you know a future Fellow?

University of Pittsburgh Acquires Romero Collection, To Found Horror Studies Center.

What Milwaukee Can Teach the Democrats about Socialism.

* A Union Fight at Marquette University. Spadework. Letter from a Graduate Instructor: Why We Need a Union @ Marquette University.

* Microsyllabus: Critical University Studies.

What Really Happened at Stanford University Press: An Insider’s Account.

Ex-Players Sue UCLA, Coaches, NCAA For Injuries, Abuse.

Enrollment Shortfalls Spread to More Colleges.

* Want to save the humanities? Make college free.

The Humanities Without Nostalgia.

The Party of Utopia: A Report from the 43rd Annual Society for Utopian Studies Conference.

As the Hungarian prime minister systematically undermined his own country’s education system, one institution stood defiant: a university in the heart of Budapest, founded by George Soros.

This Is What It Sounds Like Hiding In A Dark Classroom During A School Shooting.

* It’s 2059, and the Rich Kids Are Still Winning. And speaking of which: read Ted’s new book! Really!

* Profiles of young Americans who entered voluntary exile rather than paying their student loans.

* What’s Scarier Than Student Loans? Welcome to the World of Subprime Children.

* It is here that Afrofuturism offers not just significant thought and art but praxis in the development of black posthumanism – or better, exhumanism. Ditto with the call to enact innovative forms of cooperation: we need to think of who is joining whose cooperative, and for what purposes beyond liberal tenets of equality or socialist tenets of economic equity. I want to point out that the infiltration of Afrofuturism into the popular unconscious by way of black popular music, remix culture and science fiction marks but one of the sociopolitical forces of its versatile imaginary, yet perhaps its most potent: it seeds Afrofutures that destabilize the unthought aspects of whose future is at stake. When Afrofuturism, even as an “aesthetic,” enters popular discourse, its black speculative futures and revisionist histories tend to question whose worlding of the world “we” are speaking of – whose social movements, whose politics, whose “we”?

* History is a dystopia.

* A folk hero for our time.

* How golf explains Donald Trump.

The deaths of multiple Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees were preventable, according to internal agency documents obtained by The Young Turks. One ICE official told TYT the problem is “systemic.” She Stopped to Help Migrants on a Texas Highway. Moments Later, She Was Arrested. “I can tell which migrant children will become gang members by looking into their eyes.” What doctors found US officials have done to caged kids. DHS watchdog finds 900 people at border facility with maximum capacity for 125. Pretty grim.

The Deported Americans: More than 600,000 U.S.-born children of undocumented parents live in Mexico. What happens when you return to a country you’ve never known?

A review of the Facebook accounts of thousands of officers around the US — the largest database of its kind — found officers endorsing violence against Muslims, women, and criminal defendants.

‘So much land under so much water’: extreme flooding is drowning parts of the midwest. Extreme Heat Wave Forces South Carolina Bridge to Close for Several Hours. Levees Won’t Save Louisiana from a Climate “Existential Crisis.” Record-Breaking Heat in Alaska Wreaks Havoc on Communities and Ecosystems. This Town Didn’t Want to Be a Radioactive Waste Dump. The Government Is Giving Them No Choice. Flooding leaves Houston area students stranded at school. The U.S. put nuclear waste under a dome on a Pacific island. Now it’s cracking open. This map shows millions of acres of lost Amazon rainforest. Los Angeles Fire Season Is Beginning Again. And It Will Never End. What remains of Paradise. Jay Inslee promised serious climate policy and he is delivering. Ireland becomes second country to declare climate emergency. Why Carbon Credits For Forest Preservation May Be Worse Than Nothing. Humanity must save insects to save ourselves, leading scientist warns. 2050 or bust. No Happy Ending.

* Studies in the Novel 50.1: The Rising Tide of Climate Change Fiction.

* We may be witnessing the first stirrings of a climate movement that’s big enough to tackle the coming disaster — and radical enough to name the system responsible for it.

* What Would It Mean to Deeply Accept That We’re in Planetary Crisis?

* Of course you had me at hello: The Radical Plan to Save the Planet by Working Less.

One Year Off, Every Seven Years.

After 4 Years Of Not Throwing Away His Trash This Photographer Created A Powerful Photo Series.

* Why Are Americans Ignoring the Most Important Movie of Their Times, China’s The Wandering Earth?

* The average lifetime of a civilization is 336 years.

A Green New Deal Needs to Fight US Militarism.

Stalling on Climate Change Action May Cost Investors Over $1 Trillion.

After Standing Rock, protesting pipelines can get you a decade in prison and $100K in fines.

Almost 80% of the working incinerators in the United States are located in low-income communities and/or communities of color, exposing millions of already vulnerable people to pollutants.

* The end of the Grand Canyon.

* Koalas declared functionally extinct.

* Necessity defense.

The other side of climate grief is climate fury.

* Freedom gas.

* Party’s over.

* Dystopias now.

* America’s Cities Are Unlivable. Blame Wealthy Liberals.

* America’s educational system is an ‘aristocracy posing as a meritocracy.’

* Hell is a YouTube algorithm.

* Americans with diabetes are forming caravans to buy Canadian insulin at 90% off. How the U.S. health-care system puts people with diabetes in danger.

* American kids are 70 percent more likely to die before adulthood than kids in other rich countries.

* Angry Birds and the End of Privacy.

* I’d Have These Extremely Graphic Dreams’: What It’s Like To Work On Ultra-Violent Games Like Mortal Kombat 11.

5G networks could throw weather forecasting into chaos.

* Boeing Built Deadly Assumptions Into 737 Max, Blind to a Late Design Change.

Amazon’s Size Is Becoming a Problem—for Amazon. Cofounder of Facebook calls for breakup of Facebook. Facebook auto-generates videos celebrating extremist images. Worry About Facebook. Rip Your Hair Out in Screaming Terror About Fox News.

* Of course it’s even worse than all that.

* ‘I Did My Best to Stop American Foreign Policy’: Bernie Sanders on the 1980s.

* The kids won’t save us. Teenage Pricks: Trumpism’s Boy Power.

* Post-Earth capitalism.

The Birth-Tissue Profiteers.

The $3.5 billion shaving industry is secretive and litigious — and disrupting itself silly.

* Parents who raise children as vegans should be prosecuted, say Belgian doctors.

* Uber rang in its IPO with champagne and mimosas. Then the hangover began. The Ride-Hail Strike Got Just Enough Attention to Terrify Uber. Lyft’s First Results After I.P.O. Show $1.14 Billion Quarterly Loss. How Corporate Delusions of Automation Fuel the Cruelty of Uber and Lyft. Uber, Lyft account for two-thirds of traffic increase in SF over six years, study shows.

This Bird Went Extinct and Then Evolved Into Existence Again.

Weird science: Jeanette Winterson talks writing, teaching and queer visions of the future.

* There is no depression gene. Decades of early research on the genetics of depression were built on nonexistent foundations. How did that happen?

* NASA Accidentally Destroys NYC in Attempt to Save Denver.

No One Is Prepared for Hagfish Slime.

* Buffoonery, or laying the groundwork for heads-we-win-tails-you-lose impeachment proceedings? Or both? Probably both.

* Who wins from public debate? Liars, bullies and trolls.

My Cousin Was My Hero. Until the Day He Tried to Kill Me.

* Twenty-five years later, The Bell Curve’s analysis of race and intelligence refuses to die. Reckoning with its legacy may help redirect the conversation in urgently needed ways.

* David Foster Wallace’s journalism is, in many ways, inaccurate. But he’s hardly the only venerated journalist to have made stuff up.

* What I’m saying here is that the Georgia law is NOT an overturn of “Roe v. Wade.” We’re not headed back to pre-“Roe” days. We’re headed for something much worse.

Countervailing powers: the forgotten economic idea Democrats need to rediscover. Democrats need a power agenda, not just a policy agenda.

How A Black Psychiatrist Shaped ‘Sesame Street’ Into A Tool To Fight Against Racism. “Sesame Street” was a radical experiment in challenging institutional racism.

* What Would Happen to Earth If the Avengers Undid Thanos’ Snap?

* In perhaps the richest city in the richest country in human history. And again.

* The average millennial has an average net worth of $8,000. That’s far less than previous generations.

Suicide rates in girls are rising, study finds, especially in those age 10 to 14. For the past two decades, a suicide epidemic fueled by guns, poverty and isolation has swept across the West, with middle-aged men dying in record numbers. Over the past year, a spate of suicides has revealed a financial crisis in New York’s cab industry. Officials have blamed Uber, but much of the crisis can be traced to a handful of taxi tycoons. As Suicides Rise, Insurers Find Ways to Deny Mental Health Coverage.

Life, Liberty, and Advanced Placement for All.

* Susan Sontag was true author of ex-husband’s book, biography claims.

* Autoreply. Real college. Revenge. Love. Winning. Nausea. Brains. Aliens. Vegetarianism. The real climate change was the friends we made along the way.

* Of course I’d want $150,000. Please go away — I’m reading! There’s only one rule I know of. It could work.

* Some people just want to watch the world burn.

* Nice work if you can get it.

* Alternate history, 500 levels in.

The Martian Base in the Gobi Desert.

Freeing Britney Spears.

* We asked 15 experts, “What do we do now that will be considered unthinkable in 50 years?” Here’s what they told us.

* The Net Libram of Random Magical Effects version 2.00.

* Here follows my ongoing thread of Game of Thrones characters as Dril tweets.”

* Physicists Discover Our Universe Is Fictional Setting Of Cop Show Called ‘Hard Case.’

* Take the red pill, and find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.

* Trump’s hasty plan to get Americans back on the moon by 2024, explained.

* And okay FINE I’ll get excited about all these UFO reports.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 4, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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What’s Bad Is Good, Actually

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It’s been a few weeks since I’ve found the time for a linkpost, which (rest assured!) is coming soon — but in the meantime I have another short piece up at Frieze, this time about Game of Thrones and the art of the anticlimax….

Wednesday Lunchtime Links!

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* Sean Guynes has your deep dive into Fall 2019 university press catalogues. Kim Stanley Robinson and Joanna Russ both coming from Modern Masters of Science Fiction, which couldn’t make me happier.

* Strike at Uber and Lyft today. Call a cab instead!

* A 9-Year Quest for Carbon Neutrality Took Middlebury to Forests and a Dairy Farm.

* The psychology of inequality.

But one thing that struck me while reading the valiant efforts of journalists attempting to convey the gravity of the scale of the U.N. report (a 1,500-page document that its authors distilled into a 40-page summary, which reporters had to distill into a normal-size news story), is the sheer impossibility of that task. “Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded,” Brad Plumer’s Times story begins. Where do you even go from there?

Superheroes Starring in Children’s Books.

* Johns Hopkins Calls in the Police to Arrest Protesters, Ending Student Occupation.

Facial recognition wrongly identifies public as potential criminals 96% of time, figures reveal.

CBS Censors a ‘Good Fight’ Segment. Its Topic Was Chinese Censorship.

In the Era of Teen$ploitation.

It’s worth remembering that young people online are supposed to be shielded by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which puts limits on what can be done with the data of kids aged twelve and under. Websites directed at children, and websites that are popular with children, are required to take special precautions with children’s data—in fact, parental permission is required before that data can be collected at all. Corporations like YouTube and Facebook, however, knowingly evade these regulations by claiming that their products are meant for users aged thirteen and over.

* One imagines that, with time, the intricate web linking the movies will get more frayed and insubstantial, and the new films will seem increasingly inessential. And yet, after a certain point, following a story for a long time becomes a story in itself. After watching nearly thirty hours of Marvel adventures, Alex McLevy, the A.V. Club writer, concluded that “the experience overtakes the nature of the content.” This is true of the M.C.U. more generally. When watching any individual movie, a kind of pattern recognition—an intellectual interest in how each new story evokes or departs from the others—replaces narrative pleasure. The narrative worth caring about becomes the story of one’s own interaction with the M.C.U. Just as people ask, about historical events, “Where were you when it happened?,” so fans ask where they were when “Iron Man” came out, when the Avengers first assembled, when heroes and villains battled in Wakanda. This is the story that’s truly limitless.

* Impossibly, Far from Home really is going to try to get into the minutiae of the post-Snap MCU.

That was one of the most fun things — just talking through what the most mundane implications would be. Like, your birthday on your driver’s license or passport would say that you are five years older than you technically are. Those sorts of questions are just so fascinating to me, and I really wanted to get into the minutiae of it and really explore that.

* ecopoetics

* Could it be true? The Real Monster in “Game of Thrones” Is Its Hidden Reactionary Ideology.

In its final episodes, the series has resorted to making excuses for its own bad choices.

* Decade in the Red: Trump Tax Figures Show Over $1 Billion in Business Losses. 5 Takeaways From 10 Years of Trump Tax Figures.

* The muddled message from Pelosi—Trump is obstructing justice every day, but we’ll show him by not impeaching—is a byproduct of the corner she’s occupying: Impeach the president and risk a catastrophic backfire that secures him another term, or don’t impeach him, and allow Donald Trump to operate in a space where the credible threat of impeachment is off the table. The 2020 Election’s Approach Is No Reason to Avoid Impeachment.

* Meanwhile, Trump continues to use his pardons to send the message that if you kill for him there will be no consequences.

* Today in the richest country in the human history.

* Walt Disney and the Space Race.

* Milwaukee Noir. Read the introduction!

* Podcasts and intimacy.

Above all, podcasts make us feel less lonely. We tell ourselves offer codes in order to live. They simulate intimacy just enough to make us feel like we’re in a room with other people, or at least near the room... definitely in the same city as the room. But these people with podcasts are so much sharper than us, so at home in their corners of the world, with easy command of their respective bodies of pop-culture knowledge. The appropriate response is fandom. Coughing up $5 on Patreon feels like paying the cover at a dive for our local band, and we’re pleased to be part of something. Some podcasts even do live appearances, for which we might buy tickets. Listening to our heroes’ once intimate voices on a booming sound system, though, surrounded by a thousand fanboys, feels like a betrayal. We thought we had something special, with their voices so close to our ears. Podcasts were the first medium designed to be listened to primarily on headphones, by a single person. Hell is other listeners.

* Is Science Broken? Major New Report Outlines Problems in Research.

* Nightmare abortion ban in Georgia bans abortion after six weeks (so two weeks after a missed period) and criminalizes miscarriage, among other atrocities.

* On knotweed, the invasive plant that drives homeowners to madness.

* And the kids are all right: Tucson high school students walk out after Border Patrol detains classmate.

Tuesday Links, Plus a Very Canavan Podcast!

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There’s No Sheriff on This Planet: A Conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson. The latest in my irregular series of conversations with KSR. The transcript is just the highlights — for the full effect you’ll have to listen.

* Extrapolation 60.1 is out! Articles on rape motifs in contemporary fantasy, Japanese print SF, and Nihād Sharīf’s The Conqueror of Time.

* Endgame ephemera! Avengers: Endgame, or, why this is all your fault. Avengers and the Endgame of Liberalism. And the Russo brothers are on a quest to make sure you know that Endgame being good had nothing to do with them.

* The Night King? Never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened. Bonus appearance by the coffee cup! If these are the final two choices, the only way to win the Game may be not to play.

* “Like Groundhog Day — and while we’re at it, like The Good Place — Russian Doll is Kafka played on easy mode.”

* Watch The Wandering Earth on Netflix!

* Ted Chiang has a new book, why haven’t you bought it yet?

* A new climate change story from Paolo Bacigalupi at MIT Technology Review. Killer ending.

* Human society under urgent threat from loss of Earth’s natural life. One million species at risk of extinction, UN report warns. Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace. An open letter to David Wallace-Wells. We are ruled by psychopaths.

* Greta Thunberg, autism, and climate activism.

* For roughly 18 months, AirPods play music, or podcasts, or make phone calls. Then the lithium-ion batteries will stop holding much of a charge, and the AirPods will slowly become unusable. They can’t be repaired because they’re glued together. They can’t be thrown out, or else the lithium-ion battery may start a fire in the garbage compactor. They can’t be easily recycled, because there’s no safe way to separate the lithium-ion battery from the plastic shell. Instead, the AirPods sit in your drawer forever. AirPods Are a Tragedy.

It’s time to speak about batshit jobs.

Today, batshit jobs are more widespread than ever. You’re likely doing a batship job if you’re working in advertising trying to maintain mass consumption, in air traffic, industrial farming and forestry, in mining, in the car industry, and first of all if you’re working in oil drilling, fracking, coal mining.

To become dilligent batshit workers we have to be trained, and we have to be able to block out the harm that our work participates in. The beauty of the school strikes is that a generation of young people are preparing themselves to refuse batshit work.

*  It seems to me that anyone who considers this for more than ten minutes has to recognize that “student demand” is a construct: it is the product of a pervasive, cross-institutional pedagogy in social and educational value in which students are immersed from (at least) primary school onward.  If students are demanding STEM in record numbers, this is a because they have been systematically invited to embrace a number of interlocking beliefs: that

  1. STEM fields matter to the welfare and future of human societies more than other fields — that social problems respond best to technocratic solutions; 
  2. college is a course of career training; 
  3. college is an investment that ought to be maximized in order to yield the highest possible return in the form of lifelong higher income;
  4. STEM fields represent areas of continuing high-growth, recession-proof employment. 

“Student demand” is a fact insofar as it reproduces these assumptions, which are already endemic to the privatized, market-driven university.  Other forms of “student demand” (for example, demands for a more racially and ethnically diverse faculty that better reflects regional and national demographics) are routinely ignored.

* Marquette Academic Senate calls for administration neutrality on unionization.

* Measuring the tenure-track success of pre-2009 Ph.D.s is like measuring the ice stability of Greenland’s glaciers before industrialization. Researcher’s suicide reflects bleak prospects for post-Ph.D. life. Adjuncts and Freelancers: Reading Signs of Eventual Destruction.

* Turning Point USA’s dark coup on college campuses.

A lot of older academics will point to the 1970s or the 1990s to say that crisis has always been the default, and there’s truth to this. But they didn’t have the same debt loads back then.

* “Second Chance: Life without Student Debt.”

* For Colleges, Climate Change Means Making Tough Choices.

* People Are Clamoring to Buy Old Insulin Pumps.

What Happened After My 13-Year-Old Son Joined the Alt-Right. As capitalism starts to crumble, hate finds a familiar foothold.

Liberalism: the other God that failed. The Senate is a much bigger problem than the Electoral College. Here’s how many millennials get help from their parents to pay rent and other bills. Twitter users answer the question: “When did you become radicalized by the U.S. health care non-system?” 42% of Americans are at risk of retiring broke.

* America smartly sets its sights on the one flaw in the Constitution the Founders actually bothered to fix.

* If the president does it, it’s not obstruction.

* This seems heathy. This too! Things are great.

The forgotten history of how Abraham Lincoln helped rig the Senate for Republicans.

* Dialectics of Milwaukee: ‘It’s clear that the secret is out about Milwaukee,’ increased tourism spending shows. There seems to be a surge of unsettling things happening on the Milwaukee education landscape, some of them just more of the same (low student achievement, divisive politics) and some of them not so typical (corruption). Glendale would provide $37 million to help redevelop struggling Bayshore — with $57 million debt paid off.

Sandra Bland, It Turns Out, Recorded Her Own Video of Traffic Stop Confrontation. ICE provides local police a way to work around ‘sanctuary’ policies, act as immigration officers.

* On April 30, my Liberal Studies class, framed as Anthropology and Philosophy of Science, was the site of a horrific event. Two of my students were killed while four more were injured.

Study: Therapy dogs reduce children’s fear, anxiety during dentist appointments.

Aging baby boomers are about to push Alzheimer’s disease rates sky high.

The Saga Of ‘Star Citizen,’ A Video Game That Raised $300 Million—But May Never Be Ready To Play.

* Dystopia watch: Oh Good, a Subway System Is Making Riders Stare at Ads Before They Can Buy a Ticket. Amazon’s staffing up a news vertical full of crime stories designed to scare you into buying a spying, snitching “smart” doorbell. We’ve lived so long that the founding of Amazon Prime is something we can be nostalgic about now.

* Let’s just go with a daily reminder that Philip K. Dick wrote a novel where all films were just called disneys.

* Who Owns the Moon Watch: Why the Moon Is Suddenly a Hot Commodity.

* How angry pilots got the Navy to stop dismissing UFO sightings.

* And the biggest danger about an asteroid strike? Lawyers.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 7, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Just Another Saturday Night Linkdump

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CFP: Medical Humanities and the Fantastic. CFP: Edited Collection, Fan Studies: Methods, Ethics, Research. CFP: Reclaiming the Tomboy: Posthumanism, Gender Representation, and Intersectionality. CFP: Special Issue on Indigenous and Sovereign Games. CFP: The Age of the Pulps: The SF magazine, 1926–1960. CFP: Productive Futures: The Political Economy of Science Fiction, Bloomsbury, London, 12-14 September 2019.

* Awesome #altac job watch: Humanities Editor at Minnesota Press.

* The second half of the Women’s Studies issue on Octavia E. Butler, featuring my article of Parable of the Trickster, is now officially out. Check it out!

* Find out when someone started crying during Endgame, and you’ll find out who they’ve lost. (Really, though, it doesn’t make any sense.) “Avengers: Endgame” is not just the culmination of the 22-movie Marvel Cinematic Universe. It also represents the decisive defeat of “cinema” by “content.” In Praise of Poorly Built Worlds. The Avengers are the heroes of ‘Endgame,’ but Disney was the villain all along. But this time, we’re talking about a tragedy beyond what could possibly be commemorated through memorial sites. It would land somewhere closer to mass suicide and total infrastructural collapse–and where Endgame is concerned, there are no tragedies, there is only Marvel. Eco-Villains: Thanos and the Night King. To put it bluntly, and in Deleuze’s terms, superhero films are action films for people who no longer believe in action, for whom the capacity to act has been overtaken by the spectacle. It’s probably the best version of what an Avengers movie can be. And even that turns out to be silly, sloppily written, and to require massive amount of suspension of disbelief. Is it really too much to hope that Marvel stops debasing its characters and stories with events that can never live up to the MCU’s individual pieces? Interview With A Local Man Returning After Thanos’ Snap.

* MCU continuity enters its “fuck you, that’s why” period.

An analysis of both side’s tactics in the Battle of Winterfell, from a military strategist. A counterpoint.

* Hate to agree with Ross Douthat, but it really does seem to be the case that hype aside Martin is just warmed-over Tolkien, but worse in every particular. Bonus Twitter thread goodness on GoT and colonialism.

* America is a horror: on Jordan Peele’s Us.

* Vox celebrates the great James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Sheldon).

* Keeping company with my Audible app over lunch, I’ve come to see it as the buddy our tech overlords have granted me in the isolation that they help to impose. I feel this way about podcasts.

* Report Realism: Tentative Notes on Contemporary Kenyan Writing.

Genres that strain realism—the gothic and neo-gothic, fantasy, science fiction, horror, romance, and so on—are conspicuously absent in Kenyan writing, even as they are incredibly well represented in Kenyan book consumption. We are not writing what we are reading; even the very popular Christian-themed fiction about fighting demonic forces, which is really a variation of the horror novel, remains relatively sparse in terms of what we write or, perhaps more accurately, what we choose to make public of our writing. The believable and the realistic are bounded by NGO narratives and perspectives. And too many writers believe that the only writing worth anything is the believable and the realistic: to be a “committed” writer requires adhering to report realism.

Report realism believes in the power of “truth,” whether contemporary or historical, with a faith that borders on fundamentalism. In report realism, the truth will set us free. Report realism confirms objective NGO reports and affirms what Kenyans feel to be the truth of a particular condition. In report realism, for instance, the Kenyan prostitute is always a morally degraded figure looking for a way out to a respectable moral life. This realism is celebrated and supported by the NGO organizations who fund writing competitions and publish winning entries devoted to describing the real Kenya and by mainstream publishers who have the conservative mission of producing appropriately moral literature.

* ‘It drives writers mad’: why are authors still sniffy about sci-fi?

* The saddest story ever told, beating Hemingway out by one word: Esports Part-Time Online Instructor.

Yes, you will get a job with that arts degree. With that history degree, too!

Storm Clouds Over Tulsa: Inside the academic destruction of a proud private university.

6 Majors Were Spared the Ax at Stevens Point. But the Damage Might Be Done.

* Students and (not) doing the reading.

* How to Be a Better Online Teacher.

Getting a Game Studies PhD: A Guide for Aspiring Video Game Scholars. Game Boys: The “gamer” identity undermines the radical potential of play.

Sexual harassment is pervasive in US physics programmes.

The Disciplines Where No Black People Earn Ph.D.s. Being a Black Academic in America.

‘It’s an Aristocracy’: What the Admissions-Bribery Scandal Has Exposed About Class on Campus.

Swarthmore Fraternities Disband.

* Marquette faculty, students and community members rally for unionization. Unionization effort at Marquette leaves organizers, administration in a stalemate.

The University Is a Ticking Time Bomb. A Moral Stain on the Profession.

* “Student loan debt is crushing millions of families. That’s why I’m calling for something truly transformational: Universal free college and the cancellation of debt for more than 95% of Americans with student loan debt.”

Anxiety ‘epidemic’ brewing on college campuses, researchers find.

* Stanford keeps Stanford University Press alive… for one year.

Charles Koch gave $25m to our university. Has it become a rightwing mouthpiece? George Mason University’s Donor Problem and the Fight for Transparency.

Grad Students at Private Colleges Were Cleared to Unionize 3 Years Ago. Here’s What’s Changed.

* How America’s College-Closure Crisis Leaves Families Devastated.

* Meanwhile every teacher in the country is constantly confronted with the possibility that they’ll be asked to die for their students.

All Literature Is Climate Change Literature. The Green New Deal Costs Less Than Doing Nothing. Ecuador Amazon tribe win first victory against oil companies. ‘Death by a thousand cuts’: vast expanse of rainforest lost in 2018. Vietnam just observed its highest temperature ever recorded: 110 degrees, in April. ‘Decades of denial’: major report finds New Zealand’s environment is in serious trouble. Alaska’s in The Middle of a Record-Breaking Spring Melt, And It’s Killing People. The Folly of Returning to Paradise, California. Policy tweaks won’t do it, we need to throw the kitchen sink at this with a total rethink of our relationship to ownership, work and capital. Only rebellion will prevent an ecological apocalypse. “You did not act in time.” We Asked the 2020 Democrats About Climate Change (Yes, All of Them). Here Are Their Ideas. The Billionaire’s Guide to Hacking the Planet. What if air conditioners could save the planet? The collapse of the industrial economy is, in all likelihood, the only remaining way to prevent the mass destruction of life on Earth. ‘The Time To Act Is Now,’ Says Yellowing Climate Change Report Sitting In University Archive. A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Names and Locations of the Top 100 People Killing the Planet. Between the Devil and the Green New Deal. Five years. And here comes eco-fascism.

* Down and Out in the Gig Economy: Journalism’s dependence on part-time freelancers has been bad for the industry—not to mention writers like me.

But for most of us, freelance journalism is a monetized hobby, separate from whatever real income one earns. The ideal relationship for a freelance journalist to their work becomes a kind of excited amateurism. They should hope for professional success and acceptance but always keep a backup plan or three in mind. They will likely not be welcomed past the gates of full-time employment. By year five or six, they might be rebranding themselves as “editorial consultants” or “content strategists,” realizing that any genuine fiscal opportunity lies in shepherding corporate content to life.

* ‘Two-Tiered Caste System’: The World of White-Collar Contracting in Silicon Valley. The Future of Unions Is White-Collar. We Just Remembered How to Strike.

These five charts show how bad the student loan debt situation is.

* “I am a woman and I am fast.” The ongoing harassment of Caster Semenya is simply incredible.

* Ten years later, police lies about Oscar Grant come to light. And elsewhere on the police beat: We found 85,000 cops who’ve been investigated for misconduct. Now you can read their records. New York City’s DAs Keep Secret Lists Of Cops With Questionable Credibility. Virginia police sergeant fired after being linked to white supremacy.

Border Patrol Holds Hundreds of Migrants in Growing Tent City Away From Prying Eyes. Emails Show Trump Administration Had No Plan to Track and Reunite Separated Families. Militia in New Mexico Detains Asylum Seekers at Gunpoint.

TSA Agents Say They’re Not Discriminating Against Black Women, But Their Body Scanners Might Be.

* Against prison.

* France Debates How to Rebuild Notre-Dame, Weighing History and Modernity. An art historian explains the tough decisions in rebuilding Notre Dame. How Digital Scans of Notre Dame Can Help Architects Rebuild the Burned Cathedral. The billionaires’ donations will turn Notre Dame into a monument to hypocrisy.

* Researchers Made 3,900-Pound Boulders They Can Move by Hand, Giving More Insights Into Ancient Engineering.

* Mental health minute: Researchers say there’s a simple way to reduce suicides: Increase the minimum wage. The challenge of going off psychiatric drugs. The kids are not all right.

* The Rise of Useless Health Insurance. High-Deductible Health Policies Linked To Delayed Diagnosis And Treatment. American Prescription Drug Prices Are Out of Control. One Man’s Furious Quest to Get to the Bottom of It.

* Rich guys are most likely to have no idea what they’re talking about, study suggests.

Half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population.

* A new Gallup poll says that America is home to some of the most stressed people in the world, reporting extraordinary levels of anger and anxiety that could be cause for concern, say doctors.

Workers Should Be in Charge.

I Work With Suicidal Farmers. It’s Becoming Too Much to Bear.

* On crunch time in the games industry.

Instagram Memers Are Unionizing.

* How Dungeons & Dragons somehow became more popular than ever.

Fantastic Autistic: Neurodiversity, Estrangement and Playing with the Weird.

* Re-reading the Map of Middle-earth: Fan Cartography’s Engagement with Tolkien’s Legendarium.

Why Won’t Twitter Treat White Supremacy Like ISIS? Because It Would Mean Banning Some Republican Politicians Too.

* Believe them when they say they want to kill us.

* Children of the Children of Columbine.

* My parents didn’t tell me they skipped my vaccines. Then I got sick.

* How a mall dies, Milwaukee edition.

* The hunt for rocket boosters in Russia’s far north.

* Job-hunting will only get worse.

* Of course I believe in hell. I vote for Democrats.

* Biden biden biden biden

* The gamification of fascism.

* Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, fandom, and anti-fandom.

* My feckless Googling had reaped a monstrous reality that I knew was going to haunt me for the rest of my life. I asked myself: Is there something righteous in facing reality, or would it have been better to stay ignorant? A surfeit of ugly knowledge is a feature of our age, a result of the internet carrying to our doorstep, like a tomcat with a dead rat, all manner of brutal information. How many others have flippantly Googled an old friend and discovered something ghastly? This was not knowledge as power; it was knowledge as sorrow.

* “Australia Is Deadly Serious About Killing Millions of Cats.”

* The oldest known tree in Wisconsin.

* A Video Game Developed To Detect Alzheimer’s Disease Seems To Be Working.

* Decolonizing Oregon Trail.

* How “Liberal” Late-Night Talk Shows Became A Comedy Sinkhole.

Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden. Women suffer needless pain because almost everything is designed for men. What Good Dads Get Away With.

When Measles Arrives: Breaking Down the Anatomy of Containment.

* Despite being legally required to conduct audits since the early 90s and holding a staggering  2.2 trillion in assets, the Pentagon held its first-ever audit this week — which it, unsurprisingly, spectacularly failed.

* I have so little faith in the holders of the Star Trek IP I can’t greet any of this news with pleasure. Even the realization that Discovery is (finally) going to do something truly original in its third season just fills me with dread. And I don’t know how to feel about this at all: Star Trek: Picard Series May Not Reunite TNG Cast. Star Trek: Discovery’s Depiction of Captain Pike’s Disability is a Betrayal of Roddenberry’s Utopian Vision. My mini-tweetstorm on the subject.

* Sundown on Deadwood: David Milch, battling Alzheimer’s, finally finishes his TV Western.

* Professional obligation watch, god help me.

Jeopardy Wasn’t Designed for a Contestant Like James Holzhauer.

* Tolkien estate disavows forthcoming film starring Nicholas Hoult.

* John Lennon’s 15 year old report card.

* Colonizing Condiments: A (Very) Short History of Ketchup.

Women my age weren’t called ‘autistic’ growing up. We were awkward or ‘rude.’ And we missed out on services.

* “We are not interested in the reason for why the people are killed,” he wrote. “But if she is your wife or some family member, we can do it in your city as well.”

The Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence.

* Obituary corner: Gene Wolfe Was the Proust of Science Fiction. Before the Labyrinthine Lore of ‘Dark Souls,’ There Was Gene Wolfe.

Before Gamergate, before the 2016 election, they launched a campaign against Twitter trolls masquerading as women of color. If only more people had paid attention.

* Medicine is magical and magical is art / The boy in the bubble / And the baby with the baboon heart.

* Scientists Restore Some Function In The Brains Of Dead Pigs.

* The Great Pornwall of Britain Goes Up July 15.

* The United States of Conspiracy: An Interview with Anna Merlan.

* ok ok I’ll bite what’s coal

* what piece of cosmo sex advice most haunts your waking hours

* If you want a vision of the future: Netflix ‘buys 50 literary projects in last year.’

* It was in autumn that the happy face arrived. Death of a Salesman. No mathematics, no science can ever predict the human soul. Where do you want to eat tonight?

2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest.

* And only mass surveillance can save us now! Rough news day for Oxford if you ask me.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 4, 2019 at 6:42 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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