Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘golf

Wednesday Morning Links!

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* Coming soon! Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling. I have a short piece in this one ruminating on Rogue One and the problems of multiple authorship in contemporary franchise production.

The computer simulation hypothesis reveals how the American liberal elite questions everything except the insufficiency of liberalism itself.

Seriously, what I find far more ominous is how seldom, today, we see the phrase “the 22nd century.” Almost never.

The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants, according to a document obtained by The New York Times.

Not half-light, not dimness, not relative dark: total, pitch darkness. Darkness so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face, or even be sure whether your eyes are open or closed. Lost within an ancient cave, the man and woman started off separate and alone, confronting mind-bending isolation that played tricks on their senses and produced ever-more-disorienting hallucinations. Fumbling and crawling, never sure which next step might break their necks or worse, they navigated through an alien environment marked by vermin, severe cold, tight confines, sudden drops, yawning pits, and sharp rocks. Eventually, they found each other deep below the earth, then painstakingly made their way to the surface. And the entire time, circling silently about them in the darkness, intimately near yet incredibly far away, has been a crew of producers and camera operators documenting their every move.

By the time Noura Jackson’s conviction was overturned, she had spent nine years in prison. This type of prosecutorial error is almost never punished.

After the trial, Weirich spoke to the local news media. ‘‘It’s a great verdict,’’ she said. Noura was sentenced to a prison term of 20 years and nine months. Weirich’s victory helped start her political career. In January 2011, she was appointed district attorney in Shelby County, after the elected district attorney left to join the administration of Gov. Bill Haslam. Weirich, a Republican, became the first woman to hold that post. She then won election in 2012 and 2014 with 65 percent of the vote, running on a law-­and-­order message against weak opponents. A friend said her husband, who is also a lawyer, began talking about moving the family into the Governor’s Mansion one day.

Universities and colleges struggle to stem big drops in enrollment.

* A soccer star from Gaithersburg won a college scholarship. But ICE plans to deport him.

* 18 Texas sheriffs sign up to join forces with federal immigration officers.

All U.S. Catholics are called to oppose mass deportations under Trump. Here’s why.

‘The moment when it really started to feel insane’: An oral history of the Scaramucci era.

The Rise and Fall of the “Freest Little City in Texas”: How a libertarian experiment in city government fell apart over taxes, debt and some very angry people.

Coast Guard ‘will not break faith’ with transgender members, leader says.

* The fire next time.

* The president of golf.

* The chaos, legislative fumbling, and legal jeopardy should not obscure the ways that the administration is remaking federal policy in consequential ways. Evergreen headlines: The Past Week Proves That Trump Is Destroying Our Democracy.

Trump helping his son draft a misleading statement could be witness tampering.

* Always, always: unreal that it’s still this high.

* Cory Booker gets one right.

America’s former envoy to Afghanistan says the war can’t be won. Is there even a strategic goal at this point?

* The plate tectonics of Middle-Earth.

* White Capital, Black Labor. We don’t need a TV show about the Confederacy winning. In many ways, it did.

* This has got to be illegal.

* Squishy sentience.

With one dietary change, the U.S. could almost meet greenhouse-gas emission goals.

* And happy birthday, Brittle Paper!

Don’t Look a Day Over 240 Links

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* SFRA Awards 2016. Congrats all!

* Note to all sf writers: If your future doesn’t somehow address the problem of distributed harassment networks, you’re not taking the present seriously enough.

* The Student Loan Suicides. New Jersey’s Student Loan Program is ‘State-Sanctioned Loan-Sharking.’

There is money available in the digital humanities in a way that there has never been money in English departments, ever. With very limited exceptions, the idea that one could get a six-figure grant for doing something in English is just unheard of. The only types of grants people typically got — with the exception of major career-capping grants like Guggenheims — were salary replacement for a year to write a book. That was the best we could hope for. So the idea that all of a sudden there was some part of English where someone could get $300,000 to $400,000 grants was both politically striking and disturbing. It wasn’t like the leading figures in English were saying we have to have this large pot of money for DH. It was external people, especially Mellon and the NEH — under the influence of some of the big DH people, whose animus for the rest of English was palpable and explicit — who decided to do this. This has had a tremendously deforming effect.

So the problem isn’t that we can’t win reformist victories for workers. History has shown that we can. The problem is what comes after victory, and we need a theory of socialism and social democracy that prepares our movements for that phase.

* Is it better to hope or to despair? Do you want to create better art, or do you want a better world in which to create? Are you an artist or an activist? Yes.

* Life after the end of the world: California Heat Wave Spells Doom For Avocados.

* The richest, most powerful, most prosperous nation in human history.

Guy Leaves Fake Animal Facts All Over Los Angeles Zoo.

* Guns & D&D.

* Brain-drain as social justice.

* Butler and Trump (though I should say she was really thinking of Reagan, who used the same slogan).

* The greying of the homeless.

Teen who urged boyfriend to kill himself will stand trial.

A Look at the Use of Drones During the Obama Administration.

Stereogum reports five years of hard paperwork for Apple has finally paid off, and the company has obtained a patent on technology that will disable your phone’s camera when it detects a specific infrared signal. In the time it took you to read that sentence, you probably also had the three seconds of reflection time it would take a reasonable person to think, “Oh, that sounds extremely problematic.”

* 2 weeks out, and Trump’s convention is a total mess. Sad! TPM continues to pound the Trump fundraising saga. Tracing Donald Trump’s Social Media Ties to White Supremacists. The latest example.

Hillary Clinton was the force behind a little-known breakthrough in transgender rights. So why doesn’t she talk about it?

* Still one of my favorite images on the web ever: Richmond Golf Club, Temporary Rules (1940).

* You just can’t win: Closing apps to save your battery only makes things worse.

* The things you learn from Lazy Doctor Who: the original series one did an (now lost) Dalek episode without the Doctor or Companions.

New Study Busts the Myth That Knights Couldn’t Move Well in Armor.

We can either spend our time thinking and funding tentacle porn or we can spend our time thinking and funding civilization. I know what I’d pick…

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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Something Something Nero Something Fiddle Something Something

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The optics were already pretty bad: As an estimated 40,000 plus climate activists descended on D.C. last Sunday to pressure the president to make good on his promise to address climate change, Obama was in Florida golfing privately with Tiger Woods. It appears that it gets worse: The president was not only teeing off with the famed golfer and philanderer, he was also, according to HuffPo, joined by a “pair of Texans who are key oil, gas and pipeline players.”

Written by gerrycanavan

February 20, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Sunday Night Links

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* The New World Order One World Government wants to ban golf! Wake up, sheeple!

* …if we look closely enough, we’ll have to conclude that poverty is not, after all, a cultural aberration or a character flaw. Poverty is a shortage of money.

* From Aaron’s latest Sunday Reading:The Intellectual Situation of n+1. For U.S. universities, a failing grade in economics. The Irish Begin to Wake Up to the Fact That They are Repaying Money That is Then Burned. The Hand That Feeds. Historicizing the Conservative Think Tank. A short history of the vibrator. The Inside Story of How John Carter Was Doomed by Its First Trailer.

* Longform.org flashes back to another This American Life truth panic.

* Roland Barthes’ last doctoral student describes the writing of his dissertation. Via MeFi.

* Scientists think they’ve figured out what’s causing Colony Collapse Disorder (again). Surprise! It’s pesticides. Also via.

* Crooks & Liars has some advice for Lakoff-style reframing.

1. Never say Entitlements. Instead, say Earned Benefits.
2. Never say Redistribution of Wealth. Instead, say Fair Wages For Work.
3. Never say Employer Paid Health Insurance. Instead, say Employee Earned Health Insurance.
4. Never say Government Spending. Instead, say The People Are Investing.
5. Never say Corporate America. Instead, say Unelected Corporate Government.

* And here comes the Romney shadow cabinet. It’s even worse than you think!

A Player Whose Stroke Is Affected by the Simultaneous Explosion of a Bomb May Play Another Ball under Penalty of One Stroke

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 2, 2012 at 12:06 am

The Crisis of the University Is Political, Not Economic

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For every $100,000 it receives in grants, the U.C. Santa Barbara ends up paying $25,000 for infrastructural support. Where is the University getting that $25,000? Generally not from science departments because they are spending it all. Much of it is made up via the workload budgets of departments with high undergraduate enrollments but lower research budgets—largely the humanities, arts and social sciences. (Thanks, Abdullah.)

There’s more on college budgets here, via Vu:

One thing colleges are spending more on is athletic teams, which have become a more pronounced — and costly — presence on campuses everywhere. Even volleyball teams travel extensively these days, with paid coaches and customized uniforms. Currently, 629 schools have football teams — 132 more than in 1980. And all but 14 of them lose money, including some with national names. It’s true that alumni donations sometimes increase during winning seasons, but most of those gifts go specifically to athletics or other designated uses, not toward general educational programs.

And meanwhile, the cost of sports continues to rise. The average football squad has gone from 82 to 102 players, due to sub-specialties required by esoteric coaching strategies. The number of women’s sports teams has also risen sharply. Since 1980, for example, the number of women’s soccer programs has soared from 80 to 956. And teams cost money — often lots of it. Varsity golf at Duke, open to both genders, costs an estimated $20,405 per player per year. Because there are no revenues for most sports, the deficits often have to be covered by tuition bills.

Another source of increased expense is administration. Since 1980, the number of administrators per student at colleges has about doubled; on most campuses their numbers now match the number of faculty. Here are some of their titles: senior specialist of assessment; director for learning communities; assistant dean of students for substance education; director of knowledge access services.

Needless to say, these officials claim that they offer needed services. Who can be opposed to ensuring access and assessment? But let’s not forget that tuition pays for all these deans and directors; having more of them means higher bills for students.