Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘girls

Thursday Noontime Links!

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* CFP for the Conference on the Global Status of Women and Girls: Intersectionality: Understanding Women’s Lives and Resistance in the Past and Present.

* Recruiting Diverse and Excellent New Faculty.

* UNC Coach: If Football Goes Down, ‘Country Will Go Down, Too.’ Obviously.

* The arc of history is long, about 250 years longer than we said, actually.

Migrants Allege They Were Subjected To Dirty Detention Facilities, Bad Food And Water. Drinking Toilet Water, Widespread Abuse: Report Details ‘Torture’ For Child Detainees. Senators remain frustrated over family reunification efforts after briefing. Cory Booker: I went to the US-Mexico border. What I saw there horrified me.

* Right on schedule: “Citizenship shouldn’t be a birthright.”

Trump Administration Rejects Study Showing Positive Impact of Refugees.

* Deported for doing journalism.

If it’s peculiar that we drink poison, as a society, then there are one of two choices: either it’s a strange and inexplicable practice, or it’s what makes us who we are. It might also, like the word peculiar itself, be a strange and particular combination of both.

* Maria Butina, NRA-linked Russian, pleads not guilty to being Kremlin foreign agent. And from April: Inside the Decade-Long Russian Campaign to Infiltrate the NRA and Help Elect Trump. From the Start, Trump Has Muddied a Clear Message: Putin Interfered. Russiagate Is Far Wider Than Trump and His Inner Circle. Don’t worry, Fox is on it.

On Monday night, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders hosted a live-streamed town hall with five low-wage workers — one each from Amazon, American Airlines, Disney, McDonald’s, and Walmart. The workers sat on one side of the stage, while on the other idled five empty chairs, each emblazoned with the name of an absent CEO. Sanders had invited the executives to participate in the discussion, but none had agreed.

Elon Musk and the Cult of the Celebrity Savior.

* The “do what you want” theory of politics: Why embracing “Abolish ICE” and Medicare-for-all won’t doom the Democrats.

America Can Never Sort Out Whether ‘Socialism’ Is Marginal or Rising.

Amazon Warehouse Strike in Spain Reportedly Results in Police Clashes, Arrests.

* Meanwhile, in the UK: Why do black male graduates earn £7,000 less per year than their white peers?

* I went to try to find some answers about Lane. I discovered that his life leading up to the killing — isolated, dependent, resentful, and ruled by the perverse incentives of internet content production — has much to tell us about the kind of man for whom the new fringes of American life are most dangerous. In his room, online, as a combatant in an endless culture war, Lane found what had eluded him everywhere else in life: a sense of purpose. And then something happened that threatened to take it all away.

* Snikt!

Watching the Best Episodes of Star Trek Makes It Feel as Dark as Black Mirror. I think this is an interesting phenomenon that might have some real explanatory power as to why Star Trek reception/fandom is so screwed up, especially when you factor in the various way(s) Trek is rewatched by its most devoted fans. It extends to other fandoms as well of course: Star Wars fandom has been roiled for decades by the question of whether Empire is paradigmatic of what Star Wars is, or an exception to it…

* Money is speech. It’s better actually.

* What Climate Change Looks Like In 2018. And in remedial science news: What’s Really Warming the World?

Narwhals Are Real, and They Could Be in Real Trouble.

But the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published a study Tuesday that helps broaden the understanding of who is potentially affected by CTE to include military personnel. And, perhaps more significantly, the study represents a step forward in developing a test for the disease in the living.

Humans Show Racial Bias Towards Robots of Different Colors: Study.

* America’s racism is (still) making basic democracy impossible.

Wisconsin Used to Be Progressive. What Happened?

Putting the “crow” in necrophilia.

At age 25, kids in the longest-running study of same-sex parenting are doing just fine.

* I’d watch it.

How Policing in the U.S. and Security in Israel Are Connected.

* To cash in on Kindle Unlimited, a cabal of authors gamed Amazon’s algorithm.

Nike Says Its $250 Running Shoes Will Make You Run Much Faster. What if That’s Actually True?

Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Want to Ban Holocaust Deniers or Sandy Hook Truthers.

* ‘Springsteen on Broadway’ Heading to Netflix.

* For the HST fans: Gonzo Socialism.

* And you really could teach a screenwriting class with this gif. Truly, there is just one story, and we tell it over and over.

Closed Some Tabs Today Links

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* Some kinda life.

* The evolving English major.

* The Humanities as Contradiction: Against the New Enclosures.

Colleges Can’t — or Won’t — Track Where Ph.D.s Land Jobs. Should Disciplinary Associations?

* A couple recent novel recommendations, just because I’ve had a bit more time to read lately, and because it’s been a while: I enjoyed both The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts and The Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee.

* I thought ranking the 5th through 20th Beatles was an especially good episode of Screw It, We’re Just Gonna Talk about the Beatles, too, while I’m in a recommendin’ mood.

Calling all folks who have a conference paper or short piece they’re not sure what to do with. You’ve got a friend in the SFRA Review!

* Foundation #130 has been published.

An Alternative to the Nobel Prize in Literature, Judged by You. And a deep dive into the ugly scandal that cancelled the Nobel prize.

* N.K. Jemisin’s first short story collection is coming this fall. And elsewhere on the Afrofuturism beat: Nnedi Okorafor will be writing Shuri.

Black AfterLives Matter.

Claremont Graduate University closed its philosophy department and laid off the program’s two main tenured professors this summer, just a year after approving a promising master’s degree-only model for the department.

* Understanding the CV vs the cover letter.

A lost Stanley Kubrick screenplay has apparently been found.

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* The secret history of Marxist alien hunters.

* Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth. Inside J.R.R. Tolkien’s Notebooks, a Glimpse of the Master Philologist at Work. “Saint Tolkien”: Why This English Don Is on the Path to Sainthood.

* From Peter Frase: On the Politics of Basic Income.

* How Should Children’s Literature Deal with the Holocaust?

* The Sci-Fi Sex Scene That Changed My Life: Before I was old enough to fully understand I was transgender, I found Asimov’s The Robots of Dawn.

Who Is Brett Kavanaugh? Inside the Right-Wing History of Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee. To Brett Kavanaugh and Donald Trump, Immigrants Have No Rights. Senators, Don’t Pretend You Don’t Know Where Kavanaugh Stands On Roe. Brett Kavanaugh’s Record on the Rule of Law Is Much Worse Than His Defenders Contend. Yes, Normal Republican Elites Are a Threat to Democracy.

As local newsrooms shrink, college journalists fill in the gaps.

White House Reviewing Plan to Relax Child Labor Laws.

Trial runs for fascism are in full flow.

Family Separations Are Still Happening Along The Border, As This Father’s Case Shows.

* I Know What Incarceration Does to Families. It Happened to Mine.

Cleaning Toilets, Following Rules: A Migrant Child’s Days in Detention.

* Immigrant mothers are staging hunger strikes to demand calls with their separated children. Army abandons legal effort to expel immigrant soldier on path to citizenship. The Army as a whole, and every individual soldier involved, should be ashamed of itself for participating in this nonsense. Judge will temporarily halt deportations of reunited families. Sexual Assault Inside ICE Detention: 2 Survivors Tell Their Stories. After an ICE raid in Postville, Iowa. Two teens wait in Boston after being separated from their father at the border. The prison-industrial complex, ICE edition. Look who’s profiteering now.

The Trump administration’s policies on family separation and abortion are driven by one view: A woman’s pain is fitting punishment.

Most Trump Voters Say MS-13 Is A Threat To The Entire U.S.

What Does It Mean to Abolish ICE?

* Trump and Putin: what we know is damning. It got worse.

* Meanwhile, House conservatives prep push to impeach Rosenstein.

* The borrowed kettle, war on poverty edition.

* Trump has said 1,340,330 words as president. They’re getting more dishonest, a Star study shows.

As the GOP increasingly comes to resemble a personality cult, is there any red line—video tapes? DNA evidence? a war with Germany—President Trump could cross and lose party support? “Very doubtful,” say a dozen GOP members of Congress stuck hard behind the MAGA eight ball.

Records obtained by the Miami Herald suggest that during the tenure of former chief Raimundo Atesiano, the command staff pressured some officers into targeting random black people to clear cases.

* With last charges against J20 protestors dropped, defendants seek accountability for prosecutors.

Nineteen tenants of 18 Kent Ave. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, contend that Kushner Cos. tried to convert the majority of the 338 apartments in the building from rent-stabilized units to luxury condos starting in June 2015. To do so, Kushner’s firm harassed the rent-stabilized tenants with major construction all over the building, the lawsuit charges. The construction at the Austin Nichols House unleashed dangerous toxins into the air and caused a litany of issues, according to the legal filing. Rent-stabilized tenants allege Kushner Cos. harassed them.

* The woman in the #PlaneBae saga breaks her silence — she says she’s been ‘shamed, insulted, and harassed’ since the story went viral and asks for her privacy. Don’t stalk random strangers for clicks!

* Don’t feed the trolls, and other hideous lies: The mantra about the best way to respond to online abuse has only made it worse.

* A farewell to Twitter.

E.U. Fines Google $5.1 Billion in Android Antitrust Case.

* The Weirdest and Most Wonderful Alternate Dimensions in the Marvel and DC Universes.

* Left Politics Can Win All Over the Country.

In about 20 years, half the population will live in eight states.

* Something is up with Elon Musk. Keep your eye on it. Really!

* All class: MGM Preemptively Sues Victims of Las Vegas Mass Shooting.

* Handmaid’s Tale season two sounds like a real mess. A roller-coaster season – and its mind-boggling conclusion – have left Hulu’s flagship drama with nowhere to go.

Mad as a Mars Hare as the first Vietnam War film.

* The Last Blockbuster.

* A new law makes it illegal to vote if you’re a Democrat. But critics say…

* Why Aren’t We Still Talking About Treasure Planet?

* Another superbug.

Pushback against immunization laws leaves some California schools vulnerable to outbreaks.

* Autism and the tech industry. The World Doesn’t Bend for Disabled Kids (or Disabled Parents).

Health Insurers Are Vacuuming Up Details About You — And It Could Raise Your Rates.

* Today in the charter school scam.

* Trump is so bad that presidency-ending scandals don’t even get any airtime.

* Bad typo.

Could Ancient Humans Have Lived as Long as We Do?

* College-level mathematics.

Wildfires In The U.S. Are Getting Bigger. Orcas of the Pacific Northwest Are Starving and Disappearing. The disturbing reason heat waves can kill people in cooler climates. How Climate Change in Bangladesh Impacts Women and Girls. Global warming could make India literally uninhabitable.

* Reality-based recycling.

Labour HQ used Facebook ads to deceive Jeremy Corbyn during election campaign.

* Stop-and-Frisk Settlement in Milwaukee Lawsuit Is a Wakeup Call for Police Nationwide.

* “Sacha Baron Cohen Tricked Me Into Saying We Should Arm Preschoolers.”

Why isn’t the liberal media focusing on the one good trip?

* Incompetence all the way down.

* Abortion is immoral, except when it comes to my mistress.

In Praise of Incivility: The Appropriate Posture in a State of Emergency.

Historical memory and moral witnessing have given way to a bankrupt nostalgia that celebrates the most regressive moments in US history.

* Nintendo Labo Contest Winners Include A Solar-Powered Accordion And A Teapot Minigame.

The Most Important Video Game on the Planet: How Fortnite became the Instagram of gaming.

* Disney will control about 40% of the annual box office if it buys Fox.

* Money is literally speech, but ‘Access to Literacy’ Is Not a Constitutional Right, Judge in Detroit Rules.

* I’m sure there’s a reason you’d set this story in the Victorian period that wasn’t about smuggling in sexist tropes under the sign of historical verisimilitude, but.

* Venmo’s “public by default” transactions reveal drug deals, breakups, more.

We’ll never know what combination of incentives and forces and genuine beliefs are at play in one person’s shifting positions. And like I said, I welcome the change that is happening today. But I would be less than honest if I didn’t say that I was sometimes unsettled by it. Particularly when it’s unacknowledged.

* In this disorienting moment of hope, despair, and opportunity, it is this vision that must continue to glow, incandescent, as our guiding light. From the archives.

Ocasio-Cortez’s Blueprint for a New Politics. More from the New Yorker. Making the right enemies.

* Raising a child in a doomed world.

* The second civil war just got interesting.

In Town With Little Water, Coca-Cola Is Everywhere. So Is Diabetes.

* An exciting opportunity to read your own kids’ memoir, today.

* Sorry guys, this one is my bad.

* And a plastic straw update: Reason investigation reveals that the coffee giant’s new cold drink lids use more plastic than the old straw/lid combo. Well done, everyone!

Written by gerrycanavan

July 18, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Links!

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Two days before she died, Nina Riggs made a request: Don’t be afraid to read my book.

Hell Is Empty And All the Hedge Fund Managers Are At The Bellagio.

* Indeed, this kind of repression is perhaps more sinister because it ropes you into participating in your own silencing. You become the policeman in your own head. When considering whether to attend a demonstration, the powerful internal suggestion is that, even if you do everything “right”—even if you are being peaceful but just happen to be in the same vicinity as someone who isn’t—you could get caught up in a costly legal battle and face serious fines, even jail time. Your entire life could be turned upside down. You might be left alone. But it’s impossible to know—and the only way to be sure is to stay home. You still have the “freedom” to choose, but fully exercising that freedom amounts to playing Russian roulette with an entity all too eager to take that freedom away if you get caught standing near a smashed window. So, really, how much freedom do you have?

The government is spying on journalists to find leakers.

* Not exactly happily, I found this AAUP unpacking of procedural issues in the recent John McAdams decision pretty persuasive.

* An oral history of “The Inner Light.” The second-best discussion of “The Inner Light” you’ll see this year!

Monopoly vs. the Nazis: How British intelligence used board games to thwart the Germans.

How Jalada Is a “Revolution Uniting African Literature.”

Five current and former U.S. officials said they are aware of classified intelligence suggesting there was some sort of private encounter between Trump and his aides and the Russian envoy, despite a heated denial from Sessions, who has already come under fire for failing to disclose two separate contacts with Kislyak. Congress investigating another possible Sessions-Kislyak meeting. Here’s why the feds are looking at Jared Kushner. More. Sorry. On Kushner, There’s No Innocent Explanation. They’re also looking into Trump’s personal attorney.

* Meanwhile.

Trump Exempts Entire Senior Staff From White House Ethics Rules.

“He now lives within himself, which is a dangerous place for Donald Trump to be,” says someone who speaks with the President. “I see him emotionally withdrawing. He’s gained weight. He doesn’t have anybody whom he trusts.” This is the most relatable Trump has ever been.

* Rise and shine, campers, ’cause it’s coooooold out there today.

* Don’t put ground wasp nest on your vagina to tighten muscles, warns gynecologist.

California Single Payer Is a No-Brainer.

* If you want a vision of every Thanksgiving for the rest of your life.

* SMBC roundup! We discovered a new form of ethical animal consumption. The older you are, the more people you have to deal with, so the number of lies to tends to go up quadratically. The anti-status-quo society. But a strange thing happened. Quantum hypocrisy. Marine biology. Ontology and the barbecue. Neoliberal magic. No funeral. You too.

* Confidence. Never corner a teacher. Flirting and coquettery. Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to ask if they should. Or, Twitter.

The visit is intended to focus attention on the estimated more than 230 military veterans deported from the U.S. and on the need for a more rigorous process to ensure legal residents recruited with promises of citizenship are naturalized.

Man Faces Deportation After Failing to Pay Fare on Minneapolis Light Rail.

* “Fearless Girl” is rapidly becoming an entire syllabus in the theory of art.

More Than One-Third of Teen Girls Have Experienced Depression, Study Finds. When you have numbers like this you have to conclude that the problem isn’t the girls.

In The Refrigerator Monologues, Catherynne M. Valente gives comics’ dead women their voices back. Buy it here!

Suffering Sappho! The Tortured History of Female Superheroes.

* If only there were an appropriate Marx quote for this.

* On taking candy from a baby.

* A vaccine for denialism? I’m skeptical.

* When a trip doesn’t end.

Buffalo launches nation’s first opiate intervention court.

* We Bought a Crack House.

White supremacists love Vikings. But they’ve got history all wrong.

* 1 in every 4 children robbed of their childhoods.

* “Uncle Julius just thought he was doing what he was supposed to do over there.”

The patent and copyright systems are clear examples of how the distribution of income is determined by the rules put in place as opposed to the intrinsic structure of the “free market.” There is nothing about the laws of the economy that says the government has to grant these monopolies, and it certainly was not a natural process through which their length and scope came to be extended in the last four decades.

* So you were buddies with a Nazi.

* The law, in its majestic equality.

* And a smart think piece from the archives: Rickrolling is sexist, racist and often transphobic in context. More relevant now than ever…

Written by gerrycanavan

June 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links!

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The Department of English invites candidates holding the rank of Associate or Full Professor to apply for the inaugural Stephen E. King Chair in Literature honoring the department’s most celebrated graduate.

* Next week at Marquette: Cuban science fiction authors Yoss and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo!

2016 James Tiptree, Jr. Symposium: A Celebration of Ursula K. Le Guin.

Inside The Octavia Butler Archives With L.A. Writer Lynell George.

I am writing to apply for the job–or rather “fellowship”–advertised on your website. As a restless member of the creative class, I agree that secure employment, renewable year-to-year, can be a suffocating hindrance. And besides, you specify “tons of snacks and beverages” as part of your benefit package. As a job-seeker motivated by a combination of desperation and snacks, I am an ideal candidate for this position.

The report finds that the cost of forgoing tuition revenue from two- and four-year public institutions could run into the billions for some states: $4.96 billion in California, $3.89 billion in Texas and $2.53 billion in Michigan.

Essentially all criminal-justice policy in the 20th century has been driven by one thing: fear of young black men.

* Pence and gaslighting. Kaine’s tactical defeat. A Con Man of Epic Proportions. Donald Trump Tax Records Show He Could Have Avoided Taxes for A Mere Two Decades. The mind-blowing scale of Trump’s billion-dollar loss, in one tweet. Trump Foundation ordered to stop fundraising by N.Y. attorney general’s office. I want to believe! This seems legitimate. If Donald Trump Published an Academic Article. If you want a vision of the future.

* Scholars for Trump!

* Bananas possible endings to the election, New Mexico edition.

mars* The Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Visions of the Future.

* All told, however, Xiberras feels Louise could have done better. “We hoped for more followers to take notice of Louise’s behavior,” he says. “There were a few people who sensed the trap—a journalist among others, of course—but in the end, the majority just saw a pretty young girl of her time and not at all a kind of lonely girl, who is actually not at all that happy and with a serious alcohol problem.” 

* Here’s a piece we can all get mad about, regardless of our pedagogical inclinations: Are We Teaching Composition All Wrong?

* The Luke Cage Syllabus. 15 Essential Luke Cage Stories.

* Teaching the controversy: The Identity of a Famous Person Is News. The outing of Elena Ferrante and the power of naming. Ars longa, vita brevis.

* Yahooooooooooo: Yahoo built email spying software for intelligence agencies, report says.

Tracing the path of one of the world’s most in-demand minerals from deadly mines in Congo to your phone. More here.

* That’s a hell of an act! What do you call it? The Mets. Relatedly: in search of the Korean bat flip.

Nostalgia for World Culture: A New History of Esperanto.

* Harvard loses a mere $2 billion from its endowment. My favorite part of these stories is always the comparison to passive management by an index fund.

* More running it like a sandwich: More than ever, college football programs are finding it difficult to draw and retain the young fans who grow up to be lifelong season-ticket holders. In many athletic departments, the reasons can practically be cited as catechism: high-definition televisions, DVRs, diffuse fan bases and higher ticket and parking costs.

* American University Student Government Launches Campaign in Support of Mandatory Trigger Warnings.

* Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School.

* Karl Marx, Yesterday and Today.

* The last days of Robin Williams, as told by his wife Susan Schneider Williams.

‘Killer Clowns’: Inside the Terrifying Hoax Sweeping America.

* A Pretty Good Day’s Work.

* Being Shirley Jackson.

No one knew then that Springsteen, like Smith, would provide a through-line for his fans as things got worse, shifted in unimaginable ways, shifted again. Springsteen has himself changed with the times, becoming more sensitive to the issues his most-adored music still raises. Born To Rundemonstrates that. The decency at the heart of his memoir is a balm. He’s not only survived a life in rock and roll; he shows how a true believer doesn’t have to get stuck within its illusions, no matter how much they also attract him. After all, to Springsteen, a worthwhile dream isn’t an illusion; it’s a form of work. 

* Unusually Murderous Mammals, Typically Murderous Primates: You know, humans.

One of the most important lessons of Ghosh’s book is that the politics of climate change must not tiptoe around the questions posed by colonial encounters. Issues of climate justice cannot be solved without first addressing questions of equitable distribution of power, historically rooted in imperialism. And therein lies Ghosh’s disagreement with those who find the source of the problem in capitalism itself (Naomi Klein, for example). For him, even if “capitalism were to be magically transformed tomorrow, the imperatives of political and military dominance would remain a significant obstacle to progress on mitigatory action.”

Wealth of people in their 30s has ‘halved in a decade.’ Probably definitely totally unrelated: Federal student loans facilitate a pernicious profit motive in higher education.

* Leftists against Apartheid.

* Girls and Their Frenemies.

* McMansions and horror.

* Patent application for a method of curing kidney stones.

The story of D.B. Cooper, a.k.a. Don Draper, a.k.a. Dick Whitman, the only unsolved hijacking in American history.

* Why Does Time Go Forward?

* I think it’s 50/50 at this point that the Purge is a real thing before I’m dead.

* All you need to know.

* So You Want to Adapt The Tempest.

No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously. Climate Change And The Astrobiology Of The Anthropocene.

* The secret lives of trees.

* The secret lives of New Jerseyans.

* On our phenomenal (recent) accomplishments in space.

* And let this be my epitaph.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 5, 2016 at 12:46 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Christmas Hangover Links

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* This was fun: My Tolkien/The Force Awakens mini-essay got picked up by Salon.

* Is Star Wars setting up Poe Dameron as its first queer protagonist? Rey is not a role model for little girls. The prior texts against which this film needs to be judged are not those long-ago movies, but rather the trailers for this new movie. And bah humbug! Double humbug! Double triple bah humbug!

* And for the devotee: How Did This Get Made? covered The Star Wars Holiday Special this week — with bonus oral history.

A Christmas Carol: Dedicated to Scrooge, And His Art Collection.

* New York University is known for bestowing lavish perks on its leaders. Its new president, Andrew Hamilton, will be no exception. NYU sort of hitting it out of the park this week generally. The latest extravagances in the college sports arms race? Laser tag and mini golf.

Economists Say ‘Bah! Humbug!’ to Christmas Presents.

Phylogeny of elves finds that santa’s workers are actually dwarves.

* The death of the Wisconsin idea: Under the proposed policies, faculty members could be laid off for financial reasons or if academic programs are discontinued for education reasons, including long-term strategic planning that includes “market demand and societal needs.”

* Let this be our Christmas story. Why? Well, that requires some explaining and perhaps even a stronger rationale than I’m yet able to muster. Because it has no cheer, redemption or family bonding. It’s about power, money, greed, recklessness and what can only be termed the sort of roughshod ridiculousness and surreal unintentional comedy that comes from being powerful enough or serving people with sufficient power that the ordinary sort of fear of getting caught and having to explain yourself simply doesn’t apply.

* Call for ideas: the Museum of Capitalism.

* From Bleeding Heart Libertarians: “Universities may indeed be exploiting adjuncts, but they cannot rectify this mistake without significant moral costs.”

* What really happened in the Christmas truce of 1914? The Real Story Behind the 1914 Christmas Truce in World War I.

* The Typical American Lives Only 18 Miles From Mom.

* The strange case of Case Western Reserve University law school.

* El Niño, explained: A guide to the biggest weather story of 2015. Records smashed on East Coast’s warmest ever Christmas Eve.

African-Inspired Space Opera Yohancé Is Going To Be Our Next Obsession.

‘Unprecedented’ gas leak in California is the climate disaster version of BP’s oil spill.

* I knew cheese was a drug.

* And no. Just no. Disagree.

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Watching THE FORCE AWAKENS as the Father of a Three-and-a-Half-Year-Old Girl (No Spoilers)

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There’s still plenty of weird plot holes in the movie to complain about — and, of course, call no trilogy happy until it is concluded — and the man simply doesn’t get Star Trek at a basic and fundamental level — but J.J. Abrams achieves something in a sequence of shots near the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens that I hope I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. My daughter is three and a half right now, and she’s still piecing together the world. We’ve raised her, somewhat accidentally, without much concept of gender; it’s only recently that she’s even come to really understand that some people are boys and other people are girls. And it’s broken my heart a bit, as this process has come into focus for her, to see her recognize that nearly all the protagonists in nearly all the stories she loves are boys. She sometimes announces, as we play, that she gets to be the boy — by which she means that she gets to be the hero, the star. I’m the boy, daddy; you’re the dragon. I’m the boy, daddy; you’re the witch.

And as I watched this one particular, truly perfect scene, at the climax of The Force Awakens, I really felt like I could see the whole thing through her eyes, and imagined the moment she watches it a few months or years from now and how it might undo a bit of the toxic lessons she’s already started to learn about boys and girls. I cried. I’m crying now, just writing about it. And however else The Force Awakens is received and whatever its reputation winds up being, however badly 8 and 9 screw it all up (or don’t), Abrams has given little girls like mine a tremendous and very special gift. That bit lives forever, as far as I’m concerned.

I’ll write a longer and more spoiler-y post once more people have seen it, I think, but for now I wanted to say just that much.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 17, 2015 at 11:12 pm

What Day Is It? Links

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* Jaimee’s book was reviewed in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel last week. We spent the weekend in DC for her book launch and reading at the Folger, which was amazing. She just absolutely killed it. Buy her book! And come to her reading in Milwaukee next week…

Part of the issue is an image problem around the impact of humanities research on the wider world. The public should know about Priscilla Wald, an English professor at Duke University, whose explanation of the “outbreak narrative” of contagion is changing the way scientists think about the spread of infectious diseases. Yeah they should! Humanities research is groundbreaking, life-changing… and ignored.

* “The Time Traveller,” a story in tweets by Alberto Chimal.

* “Nuclear War” Turns 50: A Fun Game about Human Extinction.

Slave labor either physically built the modern American university or was the wealth vehicle that conditioned its making.

* Professorial anger, then and now. A bit more here.

Every NYT Higher-Ed Thinkpiece Ever Written. How to write an essay about teaching that will not be published in the NYTChronicle, IHE, or anywhere else.

* Bousquet against alt-ac.

* The semipublic intellectual.

* What happens when you fiddle with just one knob on the infernal machine: rich people get richer.

* Billionaires and superstorms.

* Nice work if you can get it.

* Meanwhile.

Are Public Universities Going to Disappear?

* The care work of the (mostly female) academic: “I estimate that someone cries in my office at least once every three weeks.”

* Playboy‘s science fiction.

* An incredibly rare Tolkien-annotated map of Middle-Earth was just discovered in a used bookstore.

* Highly irregular: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be considered the eighth book in the Harry Potter series.

In a final speech to the synod, Pope Francis endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for President of the United States, while taking some clear swipes at conservatives who hold up church doctrine above all else, and use it to cast judgment on others.

What Happens if a Former CEO Actually Goes to Prison?

Cop Attacks High School Student In Her Classroom.

The Hoverboard Scene In Back To The Future 2 Nearly Killed A Stuntwoman. Amazing story.

* Look, I’m not made of stone.

* A Google Tour Through The Underground: How to Read a Russian Novel Set in the Moscow Metro.

* NLRB Returns to Grad Student Unions.

* Bring on the climate trials: ICN has demonstrated that as early as the late 1970s, Exxon scientists were briefing top executives that climate change was real, dangerous, and caused by their product. By the early 1980s, their own climate models were predicting—with great accuracy—the track the global temperature has taken ever since. Meanwhile.

* David Mitchell on A Wizard of Earthsea.

* College sports: still the worst.

A statue of Vladimir Lenin in the Ukrainian city of Odessa has been given a sci-fi twist – by being transformed into Darth Vader.

* Portugal has apparently smartly baked the potential for coups in its official constitutional order.

Emolument took data from both the US and UK and found that while science grads get a bit of a headstart straight out of university in terms of pay, in later life it’s people with humanities degrees who tend to get bigger pay cheques.

* How to Make a Virtuoso Violinist: One mother’s devastating study of 100 musical prodigies.

A DEA Agent Who Helped Take Down Silk Road Is Going to Prison for Unbelievable Corruption.

The Ecological Uncanny: On the “Southern Reach” Trilogy.

* Boondoggle watch: The City of Milwaukee has been awarded a $14.2 million federal grant for construction of a spur connecting the streetcar with the lakefront.

* “Many Colleges’ New Emergency Plan: Try to Account for Every Possibility.” Well, that’ll work.

Should a Cal State Fullerton math professor be forced to have his students use $180 textbook, written by his boss? Why is Cal State letting the math department chair require his own book?

The Man Behind the Dragon Tattoo: Former Internationalen editor Håkan Blomqvist on the socialist politics of his colleague Stieg Larsson.

“They didn’t hire me, they hired me minus 35 pounds,” Fisher recently quipped.

* The arc of history is long, but Subway will finally pay for calling an eleven-inch sandwich a “footlong.” Next up: they shouldn’t be allowed to call that bread.

* Miracles and wonders: Landmark Huntington’s trial starts.

* Star Wars but with philosophers.

* “Blood alcohol concentration predicts utilitarian responses in moral dilemmas.”

* Sesame Street will introduce an autistic muppet.

* I hate it when Yglesias is right, but sometimes he’s right: Democrats are in denial. Their party is actually in deep trouble. Down-ballot the Obama years have been a complete disaster in ways no one in the party seems ready or able to face.

Wesleyan University’s student assembly is considering substantial cuts to the student newspaper’s budget, in a move that is surely *completely unrelated* to a truly stupid recent uproar when the paper published an unpopular op-ed. The paper is soliciting donations to stay alive.

* My brilliant colleague C.J. Hribal on his old house.

* The secret linguistic life of girls.

* Talkin’ Trash with Brian Thill and Pinar Yoldas.

Police “disappeared” more than 7,000 people at an off-the-books interrogation warehouse in Chicago, nearly twice as many detentions as previously disclosed, the Guardian can now reveal.

* A literary history of whales.

The Deadly Legacy of HIV Truthers.

Things Men In Literature Have Died From.

Exploring ‘Cartozia Tales,’ The Crowdfunded Fantasy Anthology for Readers of All Ages.

* Nabokov v. Kafka on drawing the monster.

* “Gentlemen, I just don’t belong here”: throwing shade the Le Guin way.

* Guys, we are definitely living inside a simulation. And possibly just a few years away from either crashing it or figuring out how to hack it.

* And teach the controversy: Luke Skywalker, Sith Lord. I really think this is just an effective viral marketing ploy, but I’ll concede I’m starting to have my doubts.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 27, 2015 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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