Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Hiroshima

Some Weekend Links

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In this future, if MOOCs are the route to a credential, they may initially retain some of the popularity that traditional higher education currently holds. But as people realize that the real opportunities continue to accrue to those who are able to attend whatever traditional colleges and universities that remain, they will go to even greater lengths than today to secure those spots. Meanwhile, those for whom access to this opportunity is impossible will be left even further behind.

* Tampering with powers mankind was never meant to know: The U.S. military has developed a pizza that stays edible for years.

Socialism is not a flight from the human condition; it’s a direct and unsentimental confrontation with that condition.

* Anyway, the point is this: maybe the exhaust port wasn’t the problem.

Faculty on Strike.

* Reclamations Special Issue: Securitization and the University.

Can The Government Stop The Comcast/TWC Monstrosity? Comcast must be stopped. Preach.

A Florida town is attempting to repeal its ban on homeless people using blankets and other means of shelter and comfort. That’s good, I gue–wait, you banned what?

* Not only does the state’s proposed law allow private businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples; it permits state employees to deny them basic services. WHAT?

* Another NFL cheerleader files suit against her team. This one details the copious amounts of clothing and body discipling for a job that pays $90 a game.

* Noam Chomsky, stealing my bit.

* Now playable! Sesame Street Fighter.

* Ellen Page comes out.

Is the AA system of addiction recovery too unscientific to work?

The Blum Center Takeover Manifesto.

Why not cast Chiwetel Ejiofor as Doctor Strange? I’m on board.

* Because somebody had to: Debunking Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld.

The problem with the thesis is that in setting out their claim, the authors ignore the more obvious explanation for differences in group success: history. To be specific, in their quest to make it all about culture, the authors either ignore or strongly discount the particular circumstances of a group’s first arrival, and the advantages enjoyed by that first wave.

Then he said I want you to develop a plan to invade Ir[aq]. Do it outside the normal channels. Do it creatively so we don’t have to take so much cover [?]

But Truman’s famously crisp sentence did encapsulate a recurrent American attitude toward the fearsome weapons the United States developed: they came to us almost accidentally, inadvertently, “found” in that cornucopia which modern science and technology provided.

Leaks benefit the government, the author argues, in many ways. They are a safety valve, a covert messaging system, a perception management tool, and more.  Even when a particular disclosure is unwelcome or damaging, it serves to validate the system as a whole.

The Word You Are Searching for Is Rape.

Wendy Davis Is Pretty Much Fine With the Abortion Ban She Filibustered.

* Another Day, Another Train Derails In Pennsylvania, Spilling Up To 4,000 Gallons Of Oil.

A recent analysis found that rail cars spilled more than 1.15 million gallons of oil in 2013, more than was spilled in the previous four decades combined. Still, some companies are looking to expand their oil-by-rail transport: expansion plans for oil-by-rail projects on the West Coast could mean that as many as 11 fully loaded oil trains would travel each day through Spokane, Washington. A Senate subcommittee was scheduled to hold a hearing Thursday on rail safety, but it had to be rescheduled due to bad weather that forced the closure of the federal government.

* STAMOS! Remembering The LEGO Movie Directors’ Wonderful TV Show, Clone High.

The (almost) entire run of Gargoyles is streaming legally on YouTube.

* Say I’m the Only Bee in Your Bonnet: A People’s History of “Birdhouse in Your Soul.”

* Facebook has added fifty alternative gender options.

Texas Appeals Court: State Must Recognize Transgender Identities In Marriage.

* And in breaking news: Internet trolls are seriously bad news. The more you know…

Joachim Radkau on the (Historical) Lack of an Anti-Nuclear Movement in Japan

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…Japan, however, lacked a great nuclear energy controversy. That’s very strange for a number of reasons: Japan is the first and so far only victim of nuclear weapons. When the Japanese fishing boat Lucky Dragon 5 was hit by the fallout from an American hydrogen bomb test in 1954, this scandal gave impetus to the international protest movement against nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere. The Japanese mainland, moreover, is far more densely populated than Germany: correspondingly, the residual risk of nuclear technology is higher. On top of that, Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. In the United States, the regional earthquake danger was the key argument of the first initiatives against a nuclear energy project at Bodega Bay in California. For yet another and more unique reason, conditions in Japan were amenable to anti-NPP protest: because the Japanese electronics industry—herein more forward-looking than the German one—from very early on concentrated not on nuclear technology but rather on electronics, nuclear power never had a “national” argument in favor of it. On the contrary: the reactors had to be imported from the United States.

How it is that Japan never experienced a large protest movement in spite all of this remains to be investigated. It concerns one of those questions upon which one first comes via international comparison. Supposedly, the main reason lies in the fact that no alternative to nuclear energy could be seen from the very start: Japan has no rich coal reserves at its disposal; the dependence on Chinese coal would have been a nightmare; the great oil resources of the world are far removed from Japan; and wind power, even in the land of typhoons, isn’t exactly a confidenceinspiring energy resource. That saving energy in the short term is by far the most effective energy resource was understood by the Japanese automobile industry, to their advantage, much earlier than in the German automobile industry (while the Japanese, since the end of the “wooden age” around 1960, preferred to have their interior heating provided by electricity—a scandal in the eyes of European energy conservation strategists!).

And Hiroshima? In Tokyo there is only a small, hidden, and seldom visited memorial for the victims of atomic weapons. The subject was, as one hears, never popular in Japan. The victims had to suffer under discrimination, and a “culture 176 The Anti-Nuclear Movement in Germanyof memory”—to use a fashionable word—never developed. As Europeans familiar with Japan relate, the Japanese prefer to display a composed cheerfulness and dislike speaking about misfortune and suffering. Whether or not this judgment is tenable in such a sweeping form is open to doubt, as one finds counter-indications in Japanese literature as well. But Arnold Toynbee, the British universal historian, was presumably right in his thesis that cultural successes indeed emerge as a response to challenge and crises. These challenges, however, can’t be too strong. In Germany’s experience, people became capable, first out of a certain temporal distance, of a creative working through of the terrible catastrophe that was Nazi rule and World War II. From Russia it was reported that the contamination of Lake Baikal, famous for its beauty, gave the environmental movement a strong impetus, but not, however, the reactor catastrophe at Chernobyl—because Chernobyl struck at the core of a Russian national pride founded on leading technologies like Sputnik. Presumably, the atomic catastrophes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were so immense that they could no longer be processed by many Japanese—only suppressed…

From the Polygraph archives: Joachim Radkau’s “The Anti-Nuclear Movement in Germany” (and Japan, and elsewhere…).

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March 16, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Letters of Note

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 14, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Links for a Thursday without Joy

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Links for a Thursday without joy.

* Don’t forget about him: John Hughes has died.

* Margaret Atwood, Twitterer.

* The Big Picture visits Hiroshima 64 years ago today.

* Long Vanity Fair profile of Mad Men and Matthew Weiner. Best show on TV. Via Kottke.

“Matt wants real,” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC. For Weiner, Collier continued, “it’s not television; it’s a world.” Perhaps the only other producer as committed to the rules of his imagined universe is George Lucas. “Perfectionism” is a word the show’s writers tossed around when I asked a group of them about working with Weiner. “Fetishism” was another. Alan Taylor, who has directed four episodes of Mad Men, labeled Weiner’s attention to detail “maniacal.” Call it what they will, it is a charge that is largely embraced. “We’re all a little bit touched with the O.C.D.,” Robin Veith, one of the writers, told me, describing how she and her colleagues have researched actual street names and businesses in Ossining, the suburb where Don and Betty live; checked old commuter-train schedules, so that they know precisely which train Don would take to the city; pored over vintage maps to learn which highways he would drive on.

* Towards a four-day work week.

* And Sonia Sotomayor has been confirmed, 68-31, making her the first Latina woman racist on the Supreme Court.

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August 6, 2009 at 11:01 pm

1945

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June 22, 2009 at 2:45 am

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Wednesday Links

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Wednesday links.

* Scandal at UConn! The Plank says the story is peanuts; this sort of corruption is endemic to the NCAA.

* Cover Stories From the Most-Requested Back Issues of The American Prognosticator (1853–1987).

* Duke University professor and civil rights icon John Hope Franklin has died.

* Upright Citizens Brigade parodies Wes Anderson. Bastards!

* A 93-year-old Japanese man has become the first person certified as a survivor of both U.S. atomic bombings at the end of the Second World War.

* The first unambiguous case of electronic voting machine fraud in the U.S.?

* Solitary confinement as torture.

* Roman engineers chipped an aqueduct through more than 100 kilometers of stone to connect water to cities in the ancient province of Syria. The monumental effort took more than a century, says the German researcher who discovered it. How could the Romans think in terms of centuries but we can’t think past a single business cycle?

* Lots of people are linking to this letter from an AIG bonus recipient. The merits of the contracts aside—I’ve said before they should be enforced unless fraudulent or predicated on fraud—but I don’t think he helps his case much when he puts a number on it. His one-time after-tax “bonus” is more than I would have made in thirty years of adjuncting.

* David Brin wants to “uplift” animals, i.e., make them sentient. This is exactly why people don’t take science fiction seriously; it’s totally crazy, pointless, and cruel and it wouldn’t even work…

Bearers of Hope

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Bearers of hope: the four Ginkgo trees that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Thanks to my #1 lady for the pointer.

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September 27, 2007 at 5:46 am

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