Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Infinity War

Saturday Morning Post-SFRA Links! All! Tabs! Closed!

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* SFRA is over, but ICFA season has only just begun! The theme for ICFA 2019 is “Politics and Conflicts” and the special guests are Mark Bould and G. Willow Wilson.

* And keep saving your pennies for SFRA 19 in Hawaii! Stay tuned for more information soon.

* Ben Robertson put up his SFRA talk on the MCU and abstraction as well as his opening statement for the Avengers vs. Jedi roundtable (which coined the already ubiquitous term “naustalgia”). My opening statement was this image, more or less…

* Other piping hot SFRA content at #SFRA18! It was a great conference.

The Economics of Science Fiction.

* A book I’m in won a Locus Award: Check out Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler! Congratulations to Alexandra and Mimi.

* Black Women and the Science Fiction Genre: an interview with Octavia E. Butler from 1986.

* CFP: TechnoLogics: Power and Resistance. CFP: Childhoods of Color.

The early career academic: learning to say no.

The Humanities as We Know Them Are Doomed. Now What? Jobs Will Save the Humanities.

* Revised Course Evaluation Questions.

Essentially total victory for John McAdams over Marquette at the WI Supreme Court. I don’t talk about “Marquette stuff” on here because of the slippery nature of my status as an agent of the university, but noted for history. More here. Marquette “agrees to comply” but doesn’t concede wrongdoing.

“The undisputed facts show that the university breached its contract with Dr. McAdams when it suspended him for engaging in activity protected by the contract’s guarantee of academic freedom,” states the ruling, written by Justice Daniel Kelly.

Things that happen in Silicon Valley and also the Soviet Union. So good.

Since it isn’t, a simple question arises: where’s all the fucking money? Piketty’s student Gabriel Zucman wrote a powerful book, The Hidden Wealth of Nations (2015), which supplies the answer: it’s hidden by rich people in tax havens. According to calculations that Zucman himself says are conservative, the missing money amounts to $8.7 trillion, a significant fraction of all planetary wealth. It is as if, when it comes to the question of paying their taxes, the rich have seceded from the rest of humanity.

* If Elon Musk can save the trapped Thai soccer team though I’ll definitely forgive him for everything else, for at least a couple weeks. In the meantime… 

* Trump’s ethnic cleansing operation is blowing past boundaries that would have been considered utterly sacrosanct only a few years ago. The Trump administration just admitted it doesn’t know how many kids are still separated from their parents. “In hundreds of cases, Customs agents deleted the initial records in which parents and children were listed together as a family with a “family identification number,” according to two officials at the Department of Homeland Security.” The teenager told police all about his gang, MS-13. In return, he was slated for deportation and marked for death. Toddlers representing themselves in court. USCIS is Starting a Denaturalization Task Force. Trump’s Travel Ban Has Torn Apart Hundreds of Families. Trump’s catch-and-detain policy snares many who have long called U.S. home. At 9 He Lost His Mom to Gang Violence. At 12 He Lost His Dad to Trump’s Immigration Policies. After being released from custody in El Paso on Sunday, the parents have now learned the whereabouts of their children, a shelter director said. But there are more hurdles before they’re reunited. Lawful permanent resident freed nearly three weeks after arrest. Sick Child Couldn’t Walk After U.S. Took Him From His Mom. Painful memories of Michigan for immigrant girl, 7, reunited with mom. The Awful Plight of Parents Deported Without Their Children. From behind bars, a father searches for one of the 2,000 kids still separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Dad, I’m Never Going to See You Again. Feds failing to put migrant parents in touch with separated kids. Former Seattle Chief Counsel sentenced to 4 years in prison for wire fraud, aggravated identity theft scheme. “At night, Andriy sometimes wakes up screaming in the bunk bed he shares with his mother and baby brother.” “My Whole Heart Is There.” “My son is not the same.” “Are You Alone Now?” There was a pilot program. Transport Fees. A Migrant Mother Had to Pay $576.20 to Be Reunited With Her 7-Year-Old Son. Letters from the Disappeared. Listen. Border Agent Threatened to Put Immigrant’s Daughter Up for Adoption, ACLU Says. A New Border Crisis. Separated Parents Are Failing Asylum Screenings Because They’re So Heartbroken. A Twitter Bot Has Joined the Immigration Battle to Fight ICE With Facts. A Twitter Bot Is Posting the Names and Locations of Immigrant Detention Centers Across the U.S. Over the course of three weeks, a major U.S. defense contractor detained dozens of immigrant children inside a vacant Phoenix office building with no kitchen and only a few toilets. The Immigrant Children’s Shelters Near You. Supreme Court just wrote a presumption of white racial innocence into the Constitution. The Trump administration is not answering basic questions about separation of migrant families. Immigration Attorney Says ICE Broke Her Foot, Locked Her Up. This is what Trump and ICE are doing to parents and their children. A practice so cruel that the United States ended it for a quarter-century. It’s only going to get worse. Torn apart. Don’t you know that we hate you people? (Only) 17 states sue Trump administration over family separations. News outlets join forces to track down children separated from their parents by the U.S. We might not even have ever known. New 1,000-Bed ICE Lockup Set to Open on Site of Notorious ‘Tent City’ in South Texas. Potemkin camps. Research suggests that the family of Anne Frank attempted to escape to the U.S., but their efforts were thwarted by America’s restrictive immigration policy. Exclusive: Trump administration plan would bar people who enter illegally from getting asylum. We’re Going to Abolish ICE. Woman Climbs Statue of Liberty to Protest Family Separations, Island Shut Down. How to Abolish ICE. And just for fun: ICE Training Officers in Military-Grade Weapons, Chemical Agents. Dogsitting.

The Central American Child Refugee Crisis: Made in U.S.A.

I’ve Been Reporting on MS-13 for a Year. Here Are the 5 Things Trump Gets Most Wrong.

* I feel pretty confident the buried story here is that Trump blackmailed Anthony Kennedy by threatening to destroy his son’s life; I suppose it’ll all come out during Truth and Reconciliation in the 2040s. Anyway this is just about the final end of America, buckle up.

* Down we go.

* All of American history fits in the life span of only three presidents.

Trump Confidant Floats Crazy RBG-For-Merrick-Garland SCOTUS Swap. I am a huge proponent of this deal but you’ll have to confirm Garland first. You understand.

* How democracy ends.

* There’s no returning to a golden age of American democracy that never existed. Donald Trump, the resistance, and the limits of normcore politics.

* What can we learn from 1968?

* Trump Inauguration Day rioting charges against 200+ people abruptly dropped by U.S.

* A major Republican leader in the House has been accused of facilitating the sexual abuse of huge numbers of children in his previous career as a wrestling coach. No, not him, this is a new guy.

* Clown car.

Farmers in America are killing themselves in staggering numbers.

Been Down So Long It Looks Like Debt to Me.

* In the richest country in all of human history.

* A country of empty storefronts.

* $117,000/year is now considered low income in San Francisco. Class and America.

* How Flint poisoned its people.

* The thing about peace.

* ‘A way of monetizing poor people’: How private equity firms make money offering loans to cash-strapped Americans. With special appearance by Obama Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner!

* Onward to Venezuela!

* Sure, why not.

* Twilight of UW.

* Rosa Parks’s Arrested Warrant.

The Beautiful, Ugly, and Possessive Hearts of Star Wars.

* Every parent’s secret suspicion confirmed: She was worried how a ‘teacher of the year’ treated her 5-year-old son. So she made a secret recording.

Lows of 80 degrees and higher, now commonplace, were once very rare. They occurred just 26 times from 1872 to 1999 or about once every five years. Since 2000, they’ve happened 37 times or twice every year on average. Probably nothing.

It’s So Hot Out, It’s Slowing Down the Speed of Stock Trades.

* Flood insurance is completely broken.

Companies buying back their own shares is the only thing keeping the stock market afloat right now.

* @jack is a collaborator.

* Facebook destroyed online publishing, then quit the business.

The US Left Has Only Four Tendencies.

Students in Detroit Are Suing the State Because They Weren’t Taught to Read.

* Doesn’t seem like a great sign, no.

* A great ideas as long as you know nothing about either writing or computers.

Turns out that’s an easy question to answer, thanks to MIT research affiliate, and longtime-critic of automated scoring, Les Perelman. He’s designed what you might think of as robo-graders’ kryptonite, to expose what he sees as the weakness and absurdity of automated scoring. Called the Babel (“Basic Automatic B.S. Essay Language”) Generator, it works like a computerized Mad Libs, creating essays that make zero sense, but earn top scores from robo-graders.

To demonstrate, he calls up a practice question for the GRE exam that’s graded with the same algorithms that actual tests are. He then enters three words related to the essay prompt into his Babel Generator, which instantly spits back a 500-word wonder, replete with a plethora of obscure multisyllabic synonyms:

“History by mimic has not, and presumably never will be precipitously but blithely ensconced. Society will always encompass imaginativeness; many of scrutinizations but a few for an amanuensis. The perjured imaginativeness lies in the area of theory of knowledge but also the field of literature. Instead of enthralling the analysis, grounds constitutes both a disparaging quip and a diligent explanation.”

“It makes absolutely no sense,” he says, shaking his head. “There is no meaning. It’s not real writing.”

But Perelman promises that won’t matter to the robo-grader. And sure enough, when he submits it to the GRE automated scoring system, it gets a perfect score: 6 out of 6, which according to the GRE, means it “presents a cogent, well-articulated analysis of the issue and conveys meaning skillfully.”

Winners of the 2018 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest.

* Pruitt 2024!

* Utter lawlessness.

In 1934, an American professor urged that Jews be civil — to the Nazis.

* California reconsiders felony murder.

* Scholarship for dark times.

William Shatner kicks off July 4th by implying that UW-Madison & Penn should consider firing 2 kid lit professors for disagreeing with him about whether it’s appropriate to note racism in Little House of the Prairie.

* Six decades after being told her mother was dead, she found her — 80 minutes away and 100 years old.

Between 1984 and the mid-1990s, before better HIV drugs effectively rendered her obsolete, Ruth Coker Burks cared for hundreds of dying people, many of them gay men who had been abandoned by their families. She buried more than three dozen of them herself, after their families refused to claim their bodies. For many of those people, she is now the only person who knows the location of their graves.

* How Universities Facilitate Far-Right Groups’ Harassment of Students and Faculty.

* Video games and fatphobia.

* A location scout’s view of California.

* Not all heroes wear capes: How an EPA worker stole $900K by pretending to be a CIA agent.

How Pixar’s Open Sexism Ruined My Dream Job (Guest Column).

* Reality Winner pleads guilty.

* When copyright goes wrong, EU edition.

* Academic minute: Geoengineering.

Anglo-Saxon Studies, Academia and White Supremacy.

* The Millennial Socialists Are Coming. How Ocasio-Cortez Beat the Machine. A Conversation with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Fights the Power. Next: Julia Salazar Is Looking to Land the Next Blow Against the New York Democratic Machine. The socialists are coming! But huge, if true.

The clearest lesson, which holds now as it did then, is that to rearrange international order in an egalitarian way, you need an egalitarian and internationally oriented domestic politics in the richest and most powerful countries. Otherwise, your best-laid plans can be scuttled by something like what happened then—the neoliberal revolt of capital, the crushing of the labor unions, the turn to the construction of the current international regime of relatively free flow of goods, services, and capital, but not people. Today’s nationalist revolts, most notably the catastrophe in the United States, are another body blow to progressive internationalist aspirations. Ironically, they are directed in part against some of the pieties of the neoliberal order—although certainly not in any constructive or progressive direction.

A Subreddit Dedicated to Thanos Is Preparing to Ban Half of Its Users at Random.

* lol

* Hard pass, thanks.

* The UK is committing national suicide to satisfy a laughably illegitimate referendum that never should have happened in the first place and no one is going to stop it.

Finally, the CEO of a brokerage house explained that he had nearly completed building his own underground bunker system and asked, “How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?” The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind.

* If there is hope, it lies with the Juggalos.

* Luke was a Boomer.

It is tragic. I’m not a method actor, but one of the techniques a method actor will use is to try and use real-life experiences to relate to whatever fictional scenario he’s involved in. The only thing I could think of, given the screenplay that I read, was that I was of the Beatles generation—‘All You Need Is Love’, ‘peace and love’.

I thought at that time, when I was a teenager: ‘By the time we get in power, there will be no more war, there will be no racial discrimination, and pot will be legal.’ So I’m one for three. When you think about it, [my generation is] a failure. The world is unquestionably worse now than it was then.

* The first superhero movie is more than 100 years old.

* Rest in peace, Harlan Ellison. Rest in peace, Steve Ditko.

* Anatomy of a superhero.

NASA’s Policies to Protect the Solar System From Contamination Are Out of Date. We’re not going to is the thing.

Space is full of dirty, toxic grease, scientists reveal.

Man suspected of killing 21 co-workers by poisoning their food.

* There could be as many as 7000 tigers living in American backyards.

“When I Was Alive”: William T. Vollmann’s Climate Letter to the Future.

* Remembering Google Reader, five years on.

* Very cool: If you use Gmail, know that “human third parties” are reading your email.

* A classic edition of “our brains don’t work”: that’s because your freaking visual system just lied to you about HOW LONG TIME IS in order to cover up the physical limitations of those chemical camera orbs you have on the front of your face.

* Sports corner! The Warriors Are Making A Mockery Of The NBA Salary Cap. A Literary Lineup for the World Cup. We Timed Every Game. World Cup Stoppage Time Is Wildly Inaccurate. Catching “the world’s most prolific criminal fixer of soccer matches.”

* Physics says that our perception of smoothly flowing time is a cosmic accident. So why do we think the future always comes after the past?

* A Dunbar number for place: At any point in life, people spend their time in 25 places.

* Some monkeys in Panama may have just stumbled into the Stone Age. Don’t do it, guys, it’s not worth the hassle.

I was basically my own editor for 25 years at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. And then the publisher decided he didn’t like what he saw.

* Life as a professional dungeon master.

* Naked Japanese hermit forced back into civilization after 29 years on deserted island.

* An Oral History of ASSSSCAT.

* Peyton Reed (director of Ant-Man and the Wasp) remembers writing Back to the Future: The Ride.

* The Roxy, West Hollywood, CA, July 7, 1978.

* Readystolen.

* Someone in the club tonight is stealing my ideas.

* The arc of history is long but seriously they really took their time with this.

* What should we read if we want to be happy?

* And Incredibles 3 looks wild. Don’t miss Old Man Incredible! I’m here for it.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 7, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Afternoon Links!

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* CFP: ASLE 2019: Paradise on Fire. CFP: Trans Futures. CFP: Superheroes and Disability: Unmasking Ableism in the Media.

* The return of the MA in SF at Liverpool.

* American Literature 90.2: “Queer about Comics.”

* ‘Mothers could not stop crying’: Lawmaker blasts Trump policy after visiting detained immigrants. Immigrant moms in SeaTac prison ‘could hear their children screaming.’ Asylum seekers are being sexually assaulted in U.S. detention. A Janitor Preserves the Seized Belongings of Migrants. Morristown, TN. Jeff Sessions is an evil man. There is no bottom. More denaturalization. More surveillance. ‘Again’ is happening right now on America’s border. What will you do?

* Meanwhile. By Trump’s own yardstick, NKorea pact falls flat.

Meet the guys who tape Trump’s papers back together.

* It’s hard to imagine a shift that better embodies a sound public health response to the opioid epidemic, and yet it’s the result—one among many—of a process initiated by Burlington’s mayor and chief of police, neither of whom have a background in health. What’s happening in Burlington suggests how a small city can begin to confront a monster epidemic and, in the process, stretch ideas about the role of a small-city police department.

* Meanwhile, in NYC.

* The World Cup of Disputed Nations.

* n+1’s patented World Cup Preview 2018.

* Nike v. Iran.

* The New York Times is bad, exhibit 657. 658.

For almost 25 years, Shane Smith’s plan for Vice was that, by the time the suckers caught on, he’d never be stuck owning the company he co-founded.

* Look what you made me do has emerged as the dominant ethos of the current White House. The Language of the Trump Administration Is the Language of Domestic Violence.

Neoliberal Fascism.

* How Unions Help Adjuncts.

* I’m Asking You For A Peer-Reviewed Study Showing That A Typical Fat Person Can Become Sustainably Non-Fat Through Deliberate Weight-Loss.

* Computer assistance for the modern novelist.

* The most famous psychology study of all time was a sham. Why can’t we escape the Stanford Prison Experiment?

* Vanity Fair revisits The Staircase.

* Researchers from Cambridge University’s Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) say the obesity gap between the rich and poor is wider than ever. An explosive U.N. report shows America’s safety net was failing before Trump’s election. Private schools’ curriculum downplays slavery, says humans and dinosaurs lived together. Being Black in America Can Be Hazardous to Your Health.

A Dakota Access Pipeline Water Protector Is Sentenced to Prison in North Dakota.

* Sadly The NRA is immune from prosecution no matter how flagrantly it broke the law here. Them’s the rules.

Moving Animals to Safe Havens Can Unexpectedly Doom Them.

* Oil companies struggling to drill in the permafrost the oil they burn is melting.

* Puerto Rico’s morgue is overflowing with unclaimed dead bodies after a storm nine months ago.

* nobodywantsthis.tv

* A Review of the ‘Hereditary’ Wikipedia Page, by Someone Who Is Too Afraid to See ‘Hereditary.’

* Of course: Bill Clinton comes to Al Franken’s defense.

* My petard — it seems to have somehow hoisted… me?

What Happens When an Adjunct Instructor Wants to Retire?

Jeff Bezos Is Already $40 Billion Richer This Year—While Because the Typical Amazon Worker Has Made Just $12,000.

New Study on Rising Suicide Rates Suggests Capitalism Is Quite Literally Killing Us.

Days Before Murder Trial, Prosecutors Reveal a Missing Confession. Dozens claim a Chicago detective beat them into confessions. A pattern of abuse or a pattern of lies?

Marine Veteran Trains White Supremacists in Military Tactics.

* The best Mario Kart character, according to data science.

* Another military-industrial nightmare stealing its branding from Tolkien.

The World Can’t Afford High-Tech Insulin.

* The age of the MSNBC Mom.

We Aren’t Teaching What Students Need to Know About Climate Science.

Job Satisfaction of Humanities Master’s Degree Recipients.

* Building the Dream: LEGO Friends and the Construction of Human Capital.

* Hamlet and science.

* What the world would be like if land and sea were inverted.

* Talk. Talk or suffer the consequences. The state of our union is typical. Quantum computers. Herman Melville. Screenwriting. Dreams of flight.

* Infinity War crosses $2B. That this set of characters has revolutions both comics and film, fifty years apart, is pretty incredible.

* Map of North America, c. 2024 (start of Trump’s third term).

On the frontlines of extinction in the Gulf of California, where the vaquita faces its final days.

* And giant African baobab trees die suddenly after thousands of years. Seems fine!

Written by gerrycanavan

June 12, 2018 at 1:07 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Saturday Night Links!

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* CFP: Religious Practices and Ideology in the Works of Octavia Butler, Edited Volume.

* CFP: Darkness.

Never Tell Them Your True Name: Remembering Ursula K. Le Guin.

The Demanding, Essential Work of Samuel Delany: The Atheist in the Attic.

* Games for a Fallen World: On the Legend of Zelda in the Anthropocene.

Why we march: a then and now look at Marquette student’s involvement in protests.

Capital’s Share of Income Is Way Higher than You Think. Amid wage stagnation, corporate leaders declare the end of annual raises triggered by increased profitability. The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy.

* A grim new angle on the intergenerational struggle: Seniors Are More Conservative Because the Poor Don’t Survive to Become Seniors.

Harvard study estimates thousands died in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria.

Is Your University Racist?

Living Homeless in California: The University of Hunger.

The Criminalization of Knowledge.

* A conservative Stanford professor plotted to dig up dirt on a liberal student. Niall Ferguson, amazingly. Niall Ferguson quits Stanford free speech role over leaked emails.

It’s Not Liberal Arts And Literature Majors Who Are Most Underemployed.

Inside the NCAA’s years-long, twisting investigation into Mississippi football.

Colleges Are No Match for American Poverty.

Here’s every Star Wars movie, ranked by female screen time. Should Donald Glover Have Played Han Solo? Disney and Star Wars: An Empire in Peril? The growing emptiness of the Star Wars universe. ‘Solo’ gets one thing right: The droids in ‘Star Wars’ are basically slaves.

* Isaac Cates on Infinity War‘s False Conclusions.

* How Tolkien created Middle-earth.

Inside the Pro-Trump Effort to Keep Black Voters From the Polls. White Americans abandoned democracy and embraced authoritarianism when they realized brown people would soon outvote them. TMZ Goes MAGA. Can the Rule of Law Survive Trump?

* Three tweets on impeachment from Corey Robin.

thread re: how NYT has now basically locked out Congressional Dems from commenting on Trump news. 

Trump’s ‘Forced Separation’ of Migrant Families Is Both Illegal and Immoral. Separated at the border: A mother’s story.

Why Dictators Write.

* After pointlessly groping countless Americans, the TSA is keeping a secret watchlist of those who fight back. Customs stole a US citizen’s life savings when he boarded a domestic flight, now he’s suing to get it back. Southwest wouldn’t let mixed-race family fly until mom “proved” parenthood. This AI Knows Who You Are by the Way You Walk.

Internal company emails obtained by The Intercept tell a different story. The September emails show that Google’s business development arm expected the military drone artificial intelligence revenue to ramp up from an initial $15 million to an eventual $250 million per year. How a Pentagon Contract Became an Identity Crisis for Google.

Symbolic Threats.

American flag-waving obfuscates these and other abuses of power; reveals the state’s protection and definition of a white, hetero socioeconomic class as the legitimate citizen class at the expense of black, brown, Muslim, trans, disabled, or immigrant lives; and is our traditional response to a sense of foreign impingement on “normal American life” (white suburban families). The message goes: Don’t think about the President’s baseless claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, don’t think about the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning and, now, Reality Winner, don’t think about the dependence of all power on a disenfranchised, exploited class. Think instead of the firefighters at ground zero, who were certain that America would endure. Think of ordinary citizens, like those depicted in the “Main Street USA” ad, and their faith in this city on a hill. Think instead, “Make America Great Again!” Don’t ask: Who suffers in this society when the state makes better security and freedom for its populace a goal? Freedom for whom? Who does a Muslim ban serve? Who do police serve? On which caskets do we lay the flag?

* In the richest country in the history of the world: Nine year old raises thousands of dollars at lemonade stand to help pay brother’s medical bills.

* Die a hero or live long enough to see yourself agreeing with David Brooks.

Bear’s Dairy Queen ice cream treat earns zoo $500 fine.

Archaeologists uncover remains of man crushed as he fled Pompeii.

* Why Isn’t Asbestos Banned in the US?

Choose-Your-Own-Security-Disclosure-Adventure.

* Tax-funded charter schools textbooks deny evolution, teach human-dinosaur cohabitation, endorse slavery and indigenous genocide.

Meet the Rising New Housing Movement That Wants to Create Homes for All. Tenant and Squatters’ Rights in Oakland.

* We compared Milwaukee police reports on Sterling Brown’s arrest with the video. They don’t match.

Jury Leaves $4 to Family of Man Killed by Sheriff’s Deputy, Along With Many Questions.

* LARB reviews Dirty Computer.

How to Tell a Realistic Fictional Language From a Terrible One. How to Build a World.

Humans will have to leave the Earth and the planet will become just a “residential” zone, according to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos. It’s not the worst idea I’ve heard, but I assume the rivers of meat blood come later.

* A weather report from an alternate universe, in which science is real and people aren’t idiots.

* Climate grief in the classroom.

* Banning straws won’t save the oceans.

* Bet this won’t either: Trump Prepares Lifeline for Money-Losing Coal Plants.

* Summah. Don’t kill your wife with work. If these trends continue. Teach the controversy. Dads & grads. When you’re almost forty.

I Am A Recently Divorced And Laid-Off Middle-Aged Man With A Lot Of Health Problems, And Everything I Say Is Incredibly Depressing. Ask Questions At Me.

* “Says he had to stage his own murder in order to capture someone, apologises to his wife.”

How #MeToo Impacts Viewers’ Decisions on What to Watch.

In 1975, Gary Gygax revealed the Tomb of Horrors module at the first Origins convention, presenting it as a campaign that would specifically challenge overpowered characters who would have to rely on their wits to outsmart incredibly lethal, subtle traps, rather than using their almighty THACOs to fell trash-mobs of orcs or other low-level monsters.

How 1960s Film Pirates Sold Movies Before the FBI Came Knocking.

* The art of the grift in 21st century Manhattan.

* Google jury nullification.

* Shockingly, ‘impossible’ EM drive doesn’t seem to work after all.

* Best travel photos 2018.

* New podcast watch: Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes. The Good Place: The Podcast.

* An oral history of the Muppets.

A research question I’ve been pondering for awhile: When, exactly, did the idea that the President — and only the President — was in charge of the decision to use nuclear weapons get turned into real policy? Answer seems to be September 1948, with NSC-30.

* We’re not prepared for the genetic revolution that’s coming.

* And you can’t argue with the facts: Wearing glasses may really mean you’re smarter, major study finds.

people and nature

Written by gerrycanavan

June 2, 2018 at 4:50 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Morning Links!

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Announcing the 2017 Nebula Awards Winners!

* Austerity is a discipline. Conform, or be disciplined.

* This is relatable content.

* Star Trek: The Next Generation: Reimagined.

The Voyager and the TOS ones are also inspired.

* Is it weird for conservatives to like Star Trek?

Janelle Monáe’s body of work is a masterpiece of modern science fiction.

The Dark Forest and Its Discontents: Cixin Liu’s “Death’s End.”

But no matter what, this happened to Gamora. A lifetime of torment and victimhood, all leading up to the horror of her final moments—her horrified realization that her tormentor is able to use her broken body as the gateway to his ultimate desire because what he feels for her is truly love. The film accepts this, never questions it, even creates its own tortured reasoning for it, and asks you to trust that reasoning. It’s Time to Talk About Marvel’s Gamora Problem.

Arrested Development’s Mitch Hurwitz addresses why Jeffrey Tambor is staying on the show. Well that should lay all questions to rest. And elsewhere in apologetics for things that probably can’t be defended: Deadpool 2 Writers Defend Treatment of Female Characters.

Michigan State Just Agreed to Pay $500 Million to Settle Sexual-Abuse Claims. Where Will It Find the Money? Meanwhile they’re using the settlements to bully survivors into silence.

The current situation of the United States is obscene, insane, and incredible. If someone had pitched it for a thriller novel or film a few years ago, they would’ve been laughed out of whatever office their proposal made it to because fiction ought to be plausible. It isn’t plausible that a solipsistic buffoon and his retinue of petty crooks made it to the White House, but they did and there they are, wreaking more havoc than anyone would have imagined possible, from environmental laws to Iran nuclear deals. It is not plausible that the party in control of the federal government is for the most part a kleptomaniac criminal syndicate. The Coup Has Already Happened.

* It’s never going to end.

Yes, Donald Trump Is Making White People More Hateful.

A bug in cell phone tracking firm’s website leaked millions of Americans’ real-time locations.

* Seems about right.

The Most Popular Board Game the Year You Were Born.

What Stories Could An Aragorn-Driven Amazon Series Tell?

* The Handmaid’s Tale was a documentary.

* Just imagine how unwatchable the Marvel Cinematic Universe would have been in the 1990s.

* Everything you ever wanted to know about Donkey Kong. Everything.

How Onscreen Sex Sounds Are Made, From Kissing to Hand Jobs.

* “The iconic scent of Play-Doh is now an officially registered trademark.”

What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer. The problem is guns. It’s the Guns. This Is School in America Now. 2018 has been deadlier for schoolchildren than service members. Siri, summarize a failed state in three sentences.

* That this executive is being charged with fraud rather than attempted murder just says so much.

The Greensboro Massacre of 1979, Explained.

* Being Frank R. Paul.

By late next year, bitcoin could be consuming more electricity than all the world’s solar panels currently produce — about 1.8 percent of global electricity, according to a simple extrapolation of the study’s predictions. That would effectively erase decades of progress on renewable energy.

* A mere 400 months in a row.

* And on the pedestal these words appear.

Tuesday Morning Links

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A new documentary will explore the life and legacy of Ursula K. Le Guin.

* Janelle Monáe on Octavia Butler and Afrofuturism at Spotify.

How copyright law hides work like Zora Neale Hurston’s new book from the public.

But now, a humanities education—designed to inculcate intellectual curiosity and humanistic empathy—serves no purpose, especially beside such plainly better-compensated and culturally respectable real-world pursuits as vocational and managerial training. In other words today’s neoliberal order is fine with revised canons, and with more inclusive, multicultural understandings of the world—but not with public money supporting something so seemingly useless as the humanities. In the age of neoliberalism, conservatives have briskly abandoned their traditionalist defense of the Western canon in favor of no canon at all. Culture warriors on both sides have been overtaken by events. A bipartisan neoliberal consensus that emphasizes job training as education’s sine qua non now dominates the landscape. The Culture Wars Are Dead! Long Live the Culture Wars.

* Among the Hottest Job Markets on Campus: Police Officer.

* Call for papers: Call for Papers: Capitalism, Social Science and the Platform University.

* Massacre in Gaza.

A mother and child fled Congo fearing death. ICE has held them separately for months, lawsuit says.

A DACA Recipient Graduates Amid Deportation Fears.

* The drug war is (still) a race war.

* Black Panther and the Black Panthers, at NYRoB.

* Sweet Briar Milkshake Ducked awfully fast.

* Social media has come under increasing scrutiny for reinforcing people’s pre-existing viewpoints which, it is argued, can create information “echo chambers.” We investigate whether social media motivates real-life action, with a focus on hate crimes in the United States. We show that the rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes since Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been concentrated in counties with high Twitter usage. Consistent with a role for social media, Trump’s Tweets on Islam-related topics are highly correlated with anti-Muslim hate crime after, but not before the start of his presidential campaign, and are uncorrelated with other types of hate crimes. These patterns stand out in historical comparison: counties with many Twitter users today did not consistently experience more anti-Muslim hate crimes during previous presidencies.

Carceral Capitalism: A Conversation with Jackie Wang.

* Indigenous Canadians sue the Canadian government over decades of secret, involuntary, inhumane medical experiments.

* If people on food stamps made Jared Kushner’s paperwork mistakes, they might starve.

* Not even 18 months in and they’ve completely dropped all pretense.

* There could be life on Europa, and they only have water cannons.

* Video games as archive.

Cobbled together in America by Americans, and inspired by contractual obligations and market demands, nothing about the Hey Jude album was “authentic.” 

Two X-Men fan letters from 1976, one who thinks Chris Claremont’s new run can only be saved by jettisoning the diverse cast, the other from a woman of color glad to see herself represented in the pages of her favorite comic. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

* Jim Starlin vs. Marvel.

* Westworld against libertarianism.

Workfare for the Private Equity Crew.

* In Praise of Alien3. I heard from a lot of these folks when I compared Infinity War to Alien3 the other week.

The misassigned voters lived in a predominantly African American precinct that heavily favored Democrats in the fall, raising the possibility that they would have delivered the district to Simonds had they voted in the proper race.

A Jury Acquitted The First Group To Stand Trial On Inauguration Rioting Charges. Prosecutors Are Trying Again.

* So inspiring: Disgraced congressman gets a second chance.

For Peterson, the purpose of our politics and books and films and TV is to protect us from the feminine, which is a crazy and destabilizing energy. Certain culture is good for the brain and certain culture is bad, making you antisocial and destructive. Peterson loves both Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, stories in which men save sleeping women with a kiss, and hates Frozen, a film in which Prince Hans turns out to be the bad guy. Frozen has “no understanding whatsoever of the underlying archetypal dynamics,” he explained in Time this year. We must tell the same ancient story over and over, Peterson says, or we will all go insane.

* Literally no one could have predicted: Arrested Development’s Season 4 “Remix” Is an Experiment Gone Horribly Wrong.

* There’s nothing the human race can’t achieve.

* Retirement policy is basically alchemy.

* Self-driving cars are human experimentation.

* Defending the indefensible: What Isle of Dogs Gets Right About Japan.

* How you’re gonna die, by the numbers.

* The past isn’t over, it isn’t even past.

* Spoiler alert.

* And nothing gold can stay: goodbye, Peppa Pig.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 15, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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All Your Sunday Reading™

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* Call for applications: Postdoctoral Scholar for Futures of Literary and Cultural Knowledge, UCSB.

* Call for Papers: “Binge-Watching and the Future of Television Research: A Workshop” Sept 13-14, 2018, at Anglia Ruskin University.

* Studying Tolkien fanzines at Marquette University.

* I make a by-the-way appearance on this massive roundup of Infinity War links.

* What is an English professor?

The Enduring Anger of Joanna Russ.

* Bonkers Wisconsin tax policy error in my favor.

Massive UC workers’ strike disrupts dining, classes and medical services. UC Workers on Strike. After 3-Day Strike, University Of California’s Service Workers Vow To Keep Fighting.

A Duke University VP Walked Into the Campus Joe Van Gogh, Heard a Rap Song, Demanded That the Employees Be Fired. The icing on the cake. Well, actually, this is.

* If you’re worried about free speech on campus, don’t fear students — fear the Koch brothers.

Why universities became big-time real estate developers.

* Stephen Kuusisto on ableism in the university.

White student calls police on black student napping in Yale dorm. When Calling the Police Is a Privilege.

Academia’s #MeToo moment: Women accuse professors of sexual misconduct. 45 Stories of Consent on Campus. The #MeToo movement hit the literary world hard this week. It’s not the first time.

* (Another) progressive case against the progressive case for the SAT.

Never-ending nightmare: why feminist dystopias must stop torturing women.

* In 2011, Minnesota got a liberal governor and Wisconsin got a conservative one. Who was better off?

What genuine, no-bullshit ambition on climate change would look like.

* Your workplace is killing you.

Intrigue and Drama on the Han Solo Set. Catch the fever!

* One of the most purely destructive things Trump has yet done. Early days though, early days. Evergreen.

* Taking parents from their children is a form of state terror. Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance. An upcoming Supreme Court ruling could force all workers into forced arbitration, deprived of the right to class lawsuits. Trump Administration Wants to Train Teens in ‘Hazardous’ Jobs. Mar-a-Lago isn’t the ‘Winter White House.’ It’s just an embarrassing cash grab. A taxonomy of Michael Cohen and potential Trump corruption. How Michael Cohen Cashed In. It’s harder to pay off foreign governments than the US one. Breaking Down Gina Haspel’s Tense Confirmation Hearing. Trumpism Is Having Its Best Week Ever. We know a lot about Trump’s misdeeds. But most of all we know there’s more to come.

* How bananas is this Schneiderman story going to get? Man.

* And isn’t it pretty to think so?

’We Can Make Him Disappear’: The Power of County Sheriffs.

In One Year, 57,375 Years of Life Were Lost to Police Violence. Plainclothes NYPD Cops Are Involved in a Staggering Number of Killings.

* How to Survive the First Hour of a Nuclear Attack. Wow, a whole hour!

The Story Behind FanCon’s Controversial Collapse.

Social media copies gambling methods ‘to create psychological cravings.’

* Democrats against the gig economy. The Politics of Full Employment.

It’s Not a Food Desert, It’s Food Apartheid.

The Brooklyn Comedian Whose Joke About ICE Got Him a Visit From Homeland Security. ICE Breaking into Home: “We’ll Show You the Warrant When We’re Done.”

The “Maddening Labyrinth” Aging NFL Players Face for Dementia Compensation.

America’s largest pork producer pledged to make its meat more humane. An investigation says it didn’t.

* England revving up for a Corbyn prime ministership.

There’s No Good Excuse For The Racist Impact Of Michigan’s Medicaid Proposal. Almost as if… there’s no excuse at all…

* From blood diamonds to blood healing crystals.

* It sounds like my dream of a Bill & Ted parody of the trend towards grimdark 80s revivals is gonna come true.

* 10 Years of Speed Racer.

* What CBS found when it bought four random used photocopiers.

How political and media elites legitimized torture.

#Comicsgate: How an Anti-Diversity Harassment Campaign in Comics Got Ugly—and Profitable.

* The Americans in Russia.

* The science of Baby Groot.

* Afrofuturist 419.

You Won’t Like The Consequences Of Making Pluto A Planet Again.

New York Court Says Chimps Aren’t People—But a Judge Is Not Happy About It.

The dream of communism is the elimination of wage labor. If AI is bound to serve society instead of private capitalists, it promises to do so by freeing an overwhelming majority from such drudgery while creating wealth to sustain all.

* This is relatable content.

Imagine that it’s 2044, and everyone is still listening to Duran Duran.

* Sometimes you just need two men.

* And in the advanced Turing test, the machine convinces you that it is conscious and you aren’t.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 13, 2018 at 9:25 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Finely Curated May Fifth Links (Aged to Perfection)

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* I’ve had a couple of short pieces of writing go up in the last few weeks: a piece on the often overlooked epilogue to The Handmaid’s Tale at LARB and a followup piece on Infinity War and franchise time at frieze.

* Maybe my favorite Infinity War take. Bady! Nussbuam! Loofburouw! Scalzi! Dreyfuss! We’re the good guys, right? Pop Culture Won’t Save UsHow one movie genre became the guiding myth of neoliberalism.

* There’s also been a couple other good pieces lately pushing on whether Handmaid’s Tale really should have had a second season.

* Two from Jaimee: “Frosted Palm” and “The Books in the Bushes.”

* The 2018 Marquette Literary Review is up. And so is SFRA Review #324!

CFP: Third Issue of The New Americanist/ Special Feature Section: “Hobgoblins of Fantasy: American Fantasy Fiction in Theory.”

* CFP: An Anthology on Carrie Fisher.

* CFP: Special Double Issue: Disability Studies and Ecocriticism.

* Wakandacon 2018.

The 2018-2019 NESFA Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Story Contest is open from Spring 2018 through July 31, 2018.

* Twitter thread: we already live in a boring dystopia.

* Most-Liked Tweets of Famous Poets.

* Welcome to Midwestworld.

* Fred Moten in the New Yorker!

* Janelle Monáe in Rolling Stone! 

* Maybe the best “there’s just one story and we tell it over and over” I’ve ever done.

Channeling the anti-Trump #Resistance, a slew of recent books seeks to reduce democracy to a defense of political “norms.” But overcoming today’s crisis will take more political imagination.

* Three Identical Strangers, a dark documentary about identical triplets who were separated-at-birth. Amazing story. I wish I’d waited for the movie before Googling it.

How a tiny protest at the U. of Nebraska turned into a proxy war for the future of campus politics.

* Sexism and academia.

* Just in time for my summer syllabi: Junot Diaz #MeToo Accusations Surface. No Nobel Prize in Literature in 2018.

* Michigan State. Michigan State. Michigan Goddamn State. SIU. Columbia. University of Illinois at Chicago. George Mason. UNC. And in some rare good news: Oregon.

* There is no campus free speech crisis: a look at the evidence.

“The root cause of the F.B.I. investigation are the N.C.A.A. rules limiting — actually, prohibiting — compensation for players,” he said. “And none of the recommendations speak to them — none of them.”

What does a non-academic job search look like for a rhet/comp PhD student? I put compiled some numbers to illustrate my experience over the last 3 months.

What Jack Kirby proposed for the plaques on the Pioneer space probes.

* Infiltration into left-wing groups is just the sharp edge of an entire armory of political policing.

Chicago’s drinking water is full of lead, report says. Newark Water Tests Show High Lead Levels, Prompting Threat of Lawsuit.

* Vaccine refusal is contagious — and there’s no cure.

What’s Wrong With Growing Blobs of Brain Tissue?

One of the most worrisome predictions about climate change may be coming true.

* The arc of history is long, but Somehow, Jaxxon the Ridiculous Green Space Rabbit Has Made It to the New Star Wars Canon.

How a Genealogy Site Led to the Front Door of the Golden State Killer Suspect.

New Documents Reveal How ICE Mines Local Police Databases Across the Country.

* ICE held an American man in custody for 1,273 days. He’s not the only one who had to prove his citizenship.

Is the US Border Patrol Committing Crimes Against Humanity?

Chisholm concluded there was “no basis to conclusively link” the death of Trammell, which occurred in May, to the officers’ actions.

LEGO crime boss busted in Portland. No jury in the world would convict him.

* Escapism and Springsteen.

* Happiness begins at 50.

* AI as alchemy.

$5,751.

Lessons From Rust-Belt Cities That Kept Their Sheen.

The Mighty Thor’s conclusion signals the end of a Marvel Comics era. What an odd comic this was. And meanwhile: This is the Dark Side of the Rainbow of our time.

Enjoy a tarantula burger in Durham, North Carolina.

Six Animal Rights Activists Charged With Felonies for Investigation and Rescue That Led to Punishment of a Utah Turkey Farm.

* In New Jersey, the top lobbying spenders are from the following industries: energy, healthcare, insurance, and… balloons.

A Lynching Memorial Is Opening. The Country Has Never Seen Anything Like It.

* eFterlife. Batmen and Robins. Natural selection. Good grief.

‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Interactive Movie in the Works at Fox.

* Two years old, but who cares: “It smelled like death”: An oral history of the Double Dare obstacle course.

* And sure, let’s make ice-nine, at this point why not.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 5, 2018 at 10:00 am

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