Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘innovation

Monday Morning Links!

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* CFP: Call for Papers: Series Books and Science Fiction (National PCA Conference). CFP: Contemporary American Fiction in the Age of Innovation. CFP: Indigenous lands, waters, and ways of knowing.

The Labor Movement’s Newest Warriors: Grad Students.

“Time and again we’ve seen university administrators accommodate neo-Nazis with pious encomia to free speech only to cosign or encourage repression when it comes to Palestine and other matters of anti-racism.”

Schools Are Deploying Massive Digital Surveillance Systems. The Results Are Alarming.

* Appeals court consider whether youth can sue the government over climate change. A Levee Fails and an Illinois Town Is Thrown Back in Time. White House blocked intelligence agency’s written testimony saying human-caused climate change could be “possibly catastrophic.” Biodiversity loss is the very real end of the world and no one is acting like it. The Democrats are climate deniers too. And some more good news: Industrial methane emissions are underreported, study finds. 130°F heat index in South Texas, 13 days from the start of summer.

* The all-too-real possibility we must confront — and which David Wallace-Wells and Bill McKibben notably refuse — is that the story we’re living is a tragedy that ends in disaster, no matter what.

* Border Patrol is confiscating migrant kids’ medicine, U.S. doctors say. Reports reveal ‘egregious’ conditions in US migrant detention facilities. US opens new mass facility in Texas for migrant children. Third undocumented migrant in 3 days dies after being apprehended at US-Mexico border. ICE is struggling to contain spread of mumps in its detention centers. “He gave them food, he gave them water, he gave them a place to stay…He did a bad thing.”

* In 2014, China released sweeping plans to establish a national social credit system by 2020. Local trials covering about 6% of the population are already rewarding good behavior and punishing bad, with Beijing due to begin its program by 2021. There are also other ways the state keeps tabs on citizens that may become part of an integrated system. Since 2015, for instance, a network that collates local- and central- government information has been used to blacklist millions of people to prevent them from booking flights and high-speed train trips.

From Whole Foods to Amazon, Invasive Technology Controlling Workers Is More Dystopian Than You Think.

* While bioethics fiddles.

* YouTube is a radicalization engine for fascists.

* Prez in 2019: Are These Teenagers Really Running a Presidential Campaign?

* The heroes are split on opposing sides, and among the key matchups was a Wolverine vs. Mr. Fantastic battle that ended with Reed Richards pinning Wolverine down, extending his hands until they’re one molecule wide, and using them as scissors to cut the mutant’s arms off. You know, for kids.

When it comes to westerns, the difference matters. Especially in the streaming era, the words “television” and “movie” have gotten disconnected from their origins; no one watched the Deadwood “movie” in movie theaters (and the old “television” show lives in the same HBO app, on the same computer, as I watched the movie). But television Westerns are all about the gap between one event and the next — and the random vagaries of life that get lived in the interval — while it’s film Westerns that tell the Big Stories about History, epics about Beginnings and Endings and Grand Historical Transitions (with plenty of capital letters), with ordinary people getting swept by the tides of modernity and progress.

* John Wick as modern fairy tale. John Wick 3 Delivers the Justice We All Crave. I’m so out of touch I haven’t seen one of these.

* John Rieder reviews Nisi Shawl’s New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color.

A more honest show, I think, would acknowledge that there isn’t that much of a difference between Serena and Commander Lawrence.  They’re both smart people who created a hell on Earth to justify their own twisted notions of superiority, and they both realize that fact, on some level, and are tortured by it (though not nearly as much as their victims are and have been).  I think episode 3 is trying to draw a distinction between them when it has Lawrence continue his mind games with June (and his casual acceptance of female fawning from the dependent members of his household) while Serena at least opens herself up to the idea of rebellion.  It might be rooting that distinction in gender, in arrogance and humility, and even in religious faith.  But I don’t buy it.  A person who did the things Serena has done (notice how her orchestrating June’s rape has simply been memory-holed?  Not just ignored for the sake of expediency, but completely forgotten) wouldn’t be as open to remorse as she is.  You don’t just wake up one morning and think “you know, maybe creating a fascist, theocratic rape-dystopia was a bad idea.”

* The New Yorker remembers How To Read Donald Duck.

The Importance of ‘Godzilla’ Cannot Be Overstated.

* A finely oiled machine.

* A Joe Biden Nomination Would Solidify All Our Worst Fears About the Democrats. I mean really.

Newly Discovered Files Suggest GOP Lawmakers Lied in Court About Racial Gerrymandering to Stop An Election.

Inside the Fight to Define Extreme Poverty in America.

Pfizer had clues its blockbuster drug could prevent Alzheimer’s. Why didn’t it tell the world? Give you one guess.

* Why aren’t states doing more to lower the cost of insulin ONE GUESS

A truly bizarre trend is having an impact on the economy — wealthy people and corporations have so much money they literally don’t know what to do with it.

Reflections of an Incarcerated Worker.

Beach Blanket Barbarism.

* Men with guns.

* Star Trek’s characters, like all of us, live in a universe full of injustice, suffering, and struggle—not a utopian vision, but an optimistic one, because they also live as if that better world is possible. We have to do that. We have to. When someone tells us that they’re in distress, in pain, in danger, or in a time loop, we have to say “I believe you. I’ll help however I can.”

Catholic Church spent $10 million on lobbyists in fight to stymie priest sex abuse suits.

* The new American religion of UFOs.

Ultimate limit of human endurance found. Me at the end of spring semester, am I wrong folks.

* 108 Women’s World Cup Players on Their Jobs, Money and Sacrificing Everything.

* Dodgeball is a tool of ‘oppression’ used to ‘dehumanize’ others, researchers argue. As an incredibly unauthentic and uncoordinated kid, I was unusually good at dodgeball — so I’ve got mixed feelings here to say the least.

* And it’s a cookbook! A cooooooookbooooooook!

Written by gerrycanavan

June 10, 2019 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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In a Dark Time, The Blog Begins to Linkpost

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* My chances have never been better.

* One of the highlights of my trip to ICFA this year was my exposure to some truly bonkers viral digital horror texts, like Doki Doki Literature Club! and Normal Porn for Normal People.

Grooming Style: A conversation on how the Alt Lit scene’s documentation of sexual violence became a style of supposed sincerity. Infinite Jest isn’t mentioned but the critique seems potentially valid here as well.

How Chinese novelists are reimagining science fiction. How Imagination Will Save Our Cities. When Science Fiction Comes True. Stacey Abrams, Star Trek Nerd, Is Traveling at Warp Speed.

* Climate Fiction: A Special Issue of Guernica.

* Sci-fi literature university seeks degree granting authority.

* Terrific video essay from Dan Golding on Hollywood franchises, nostalgia, and climate change. I’ve already been using it in presentations!

* The Pattern Podcast, from the masters of the OEB Legacy Network, Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey.

In two new books, 45 AI experts grapple with a field on the verge of something big, and possibly scary.

Galaxy Simulations Offer a New Solution to the Fermi Paradox.

* Fantasy’s Widow: The Fight Over The Legacy Of Dungeons & Dragons.

* U.S. Army Assures Public That Robot Tank System Adheres to AI Murder Policy. Phew, that’s a relief.

* Why Self-Checkout Is and Has Always Been the Worst. Robot Workers Can’t Go on Strike But They Can Go Up in Flames.

* Twilight of the elites, college admissions edition. The College Admissions Ring Tells Us How Much Schoolwork Is Worth.

* How UT-Austin’s Innovation Boondoggle Went Belly Up.

* Seemingly deeply flawed study suggests trigger warnings have little effect.

* A bigger scandal at colleges — underpaid professors.

* Colleges gave their students’ work to TurnItIn and now it’s worth $1.75B. Why a Plagiarism-Detection Company Is Now a Billion-Dollar Business.

* Academic freedom clearly protects stealing student research and defrauding the university of millions.

* I can’t wait to explore all the exciting exceptions to this free-speech proclamation.

* The costs of academic publishing are absurd. The University of California is fighting back.

A new white paper suggests that the Tolstoy rule may not apply when it comes to at-risk small colleges: they’re all basically unhappy in the same way.

* Talk to your families about the academic job market, or they’ll just find out about it on the street.

The group described training exercises in which “four teachers at a time were taken into a room, told to crouch down and were shot execution style with some sort of projectiles — resulting in injuries.”

The “terrified” teachers, ISTA added, were then instructed to not tell their colleagues what was in store for them. “Teachers waiting outside that heard the screaming were brought into the room four at a time and the shooting process was repeated.” We rehearse the coming trauma because we cannot stop it.

* Tonight, an appeal panel at Vanderbilt University found “no irregularities” in the reversal of #MeTooSTEM founder BethAnn McLaughlin’s tenure recommendations.

Rutgers faculty members authorize union to call a strike.

‘Change Is Closer Than We Think.’ Inside Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Unlikely Rise.

* Let 16-year-olds vote.

* On Star Trek: Voyager and Trumpism.

The neo-Nazi plot against America is much bigger than we realize. There’s No Such Thing as Nationalism Without Ethnic Cleansing. The Making of the Fox News White House. It’s time — high time — to take Fox News’s destructive role in America seriously. 78% of GOP Fox News Viewers Say Trump Is Best President Ever. Counties that hosted a 2016 Trump rally saw a 226 percent increase in hate crimes.

* How a black man says he ‘outsmarted’ a neo-Nazi group and became their new leader.

Why Donald Trump could win again, by Dave Eggers. I’ve gathered that some people don’t like this piece for various reasons but if you don’t think Donald Trump is a very strong threat for reelection I think you are very wrong. He has a floor of 40% and seems utterly immune to negative press, plus a ton of Republicans who sat it out or got squeamish will come home. He “looks like a president” now, and will be completely unprincipled in abusing his position. It’s not a gimme. How Trump is on track for a 2020 landslide. Or, if you prefer: Republicans resigned to Trump losing 2020 popular vote but confident about Electoral College.

* Not to mention that Democrats managed to completely break their own nomination process and no one seems to care.

* Meanwhile, he gets to poison all our water.

* In this, the best of all possible countries, in this, the best of all possible worlds.

* Among NYC Students, 1 In 8 Is Homeless Before 5th Grade: Study.

Leaked Documents Show the U.S. Government Tracking Journalists and Immigration Advocates Through a Secret Database. 4 women fined, sentenced to probation for leaving water for migrants crossing US-Mexico border. 12 detained babies have been released from ICE custody in Dilley, Texas. Immigrant Miscarriages in ICE Detention Have Nearly Doubled Under Trump. ICE Is Detaining 50,000 People, an All-Time High.Young US Citizen Detained at Border Gave ‘Inconsistent Info,’ CBP Says. US government uses several clandestine shelters to detain immigrant children. Supreme Court rules, 5-4, you can hold an immigrant indefinitely for jaywalking.

* The demobilization of the resistance is a dangerous mistake. If Trump is a national emergency, it’s time for Democrats to act like it. The Cowardice of the Cover-Your-Ass Memo. Understanding Ilhan Omar. The Obama Boys.

* Activists will never design good strategy on the basis of bad history. The reality is that the Good Sixties civil rights movement was most successful when it operated with a de facto diversity of tactics. Francis Fox Piven has noted that civil rights progress only really occurred when self-defense against white incursions escalated into black aggression against the symbols and agents of white domination—notably the white police, merchants, and landlords. 

* Activism and the Catholic tradition.

* Nihilist in chief: On Mitch McConnell.

* How to Hide an Empire.

Children of the Industrocene. Students share motivations ahead of Youth Climate Strike. The Hip New Teen Trend Is Leading the Climate Movement to Save the World. Climate Change Is This Generation’s Vietnam War. Study shows IPCC is underselling climate change. The Climate Change Paper So Depressing It’s Sending People to Therapy. The Rapid Decline Of The Natural World Is A Crisis Even Bigger Than Climate Change. Sharp rise in Arctic temperatures now inevitable. Non-survivable humid heatwaves for over 500 million people. It’s raining on Greenland’s ice sheet. That’s a big problem. Scientists aboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer watch a 25-mile-wide section of ice crumble into the sea. The Arctic’s ticking ‘carbon bomb’ could blow up the Paris Agreement. Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature.’ The Other Kind of Climate Denial. Climate Change Is Here—and It Looks Like Starvation. California’s Wildfires Burn Through America’s Climate Illusions. Nebraska floods have broken records in 17 places across the state. A Light Installation in a Scottish Coastal Town Vividly Shows Future Sea Level Rise. Coastal Flooding Is Erasing Billions in Property Value as Sea Level Rises. That’s Bad News for Cities. Climate change scientists look to Māori and other indigenous people for answers. Indigenous knowledge has been warning us about climate change for centuries. Rethink Activism in the Face of Catastrophic Biological Collapse. Here’s How Much Climate Change Could Cost the U.S. Bill To Keep Coal Plants Open Nears Finish Line.

Far-Right Climate Denial Is Scary. Far-Right Climate Acceptance Might Be Scarier.

* The WWF’s secret war: The World Wide Fund for Nature funds vicious paramilitary forces to fight poaching.

* The End of Recycling.

* Chimpanzees Are Going Through a Tragic Loss: By fragmenting forests and killing off individuals, humans are stopping the flow of ideas among our closest relatives.

What We Owe a Rabbit.

We Know How to Cut Child Poverty in Half. Will We Do It? Oh, honey.

* Against Garrett Hardin.

* Nice work if you can get it.

Life in Prison for Selling $20 of Weed.

* The rich are different! Massive study finds strong correlation between “early affluence” and “faster cognitive drop” in old age.

* Only 7 Black Students Got Into Stuyvesant, N.Y.’s Most Selective High School, Out of 895 Spots.

* Ramsey Orta filmed the killing of Eric Garner. The video traveled far, but it wouldn’t get justice for his dead friend. Instead, the NYPD would exact their revenge through targeted harassment and eventually imprisonment — Orta’s punishment for daring to show the world police brutality.

Judges Plead Guilty in Scheme to Jail Youths for Profit.

* Roughly 60 years after the abolition of slavery, anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston made an incredible connection: She located the last surviving captive of the last slave ship to bring Africans to the United States.

* Understanding privilege: a thread.

In 1998, I helped convict two men of murder. I’ve regretted it ever since.

* On Disability and on Facebook? Uncle Sam Wants to Watch What You Post.

* A new study finds a potential risk with self-driving cars: failure to detect dark-skinned pedestrians.

* A room of one’s own white colleagues.

* The Max-8 chronicles: The world pulls the Andon cord on the 737 Max. Doomed Boeing Jets Lacked 2 Safety Features That Company Sold Only as Extras. Pilot Who Hitched a Ride Saved Lion Air 737 Day Before Deadly Crash. Essentially, this plane could try to crash itself because of a single faulty sensor. Aviation Experts Have Predicted Automation Will Lead to Disasters Like the Boeing Max Crashes for 15 Years.

US citizens will need to register to visit parts of Europe starting in 2021.

* How The Very Hungry Caterpillar Became a Classic.

* Suicide contagion and the MPAA.

* More from the Michael Jackson revision beat: Is Pedophilia a Crime or an Illness?

* Netflix’s Bright Future Looks A Lot Like Television’s Dim Past.

As a professional television critic, I am living there already. Netflix is now effectively my whole field of coverage. It’s increasingly difficult for me to place coverage of non-Netflix shows; all but the biggest “event” shows on other networks are passed over for regular reviews, and those on rival streaming services are afterthoughts at best. This is true even of Amazon Prime, the TV and film branch of the mind-bogglingly lucrative corporation after which New York Governor Amazon Cuomo was named. (Don’t feel too bad for Amazon, though: “Netflix Delivers Billions of Content Globally by Running on Amazon Web Services.”)

If you write about television the way I mostly do, which is through reviews—recaps, if you insist—of individual episodes, even Netflix is difficult to write about. Netflix’s own business model ensures this. Weekly shotgun blasts of full seasons of half a dozen different shows are just how it operates, but it makes deciding what will hit and how and when to cover it absolutely maddening for every TV editor I’ve talked to. By design, Netflix shows are consumed in one or two sittings, within 72 hours of their small-hours Friday release. They are to be discussed intensely on Monday and Tuesday, and then swept aside by the next torrent of programming to come down the Netflix Original Sluice by the end of the week.

Meet the bald Norwegians and other unknowns who actually create the songs that top the charts.

White Settlers Buried the Truth About the Midwest’s Mysterious Mound Cities.

* Marvel corner! Who’s the Baddie? Captain Marvel in the Age of American Empire. You’re blowing my mind, dude. Like so many characters in the MCU, Fury’s coolness only makes sense if you limit your perspective. And the arc of history is long, but.

As a result, the movie poses questions it can’t answer. When we see her show up in the present — played by the same actor who is the same age — do we ask what Captain Marvel has been doing for the last twenty-four years? What she has done and learned? How she has grown and changed? If she approves of Nick Fury’s “Avengers Initiative,” and of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Did she watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier where an American super-soldier with the name “Captain” discovered that the good guys had been secretly infiltrated by the bad guys since the beginning? There are obvious and inescapable political allegories here, but what is her position on the two-state solution, the right of return, and does she have any thoughts on Ilhan Omar? Who, precisely, are the Skrulls and the Kree meant to be?

If these are ridiculous questions, it’s because this is a Marvel movie, whose episodes always gesture at resolutions that the big team-up movies will cannibalize. Thor: Ragnarak ended with the population of Asgard become a rootless diaspora searching for a new home — an extremely resonant image — but when Avengers: Infinity War began, five minutes later, Thanos had already killed half of them, offscreen, and the MCU seemed to have completely lost interest in that story, as comprehensively as it does when Black Panther’s triumphantly concluding Afrocentrism becomes Infinity War’s “sure, we’ll sacrifice Wakanda, why not.” The ending of Captain Marvel gives us the same feeling of closure — she has stopped being a soldier who kills civilians and become the kind of soldier who saves them — but the MCU’s narrative engine will never sustain this transition; the real amnesia of this franchise is how single-character episodes discover things about their protagonists that have to be forgotten.

* What happens once Uber and Lyft kill off public transit.

The product sheet is clear: Any claim against a dysfunctional nuclear event detector must be made within 90 days.

Hundreds of motel guests were secretly filmed and live-streamed online.

* Well, when you’re right, you’re right: “If someone is the enemy, it’s okay to kill endless numbers of them,” he continued. “Lord of the Rings is like that. If it’s the enemy, there’s killing without separation between civilians and soldiers. That falls within collateral damage. How many people are being killed in attacks in Afghanistan? The Lord of the Ringsis a movie that has no problem doing that [not separating civilians from enemies, apparently]. If you read the original work, you’ll understand, but in reality, the ones who were being killed are Asians and Africans. Those who don’t know that, yet say they love fantasy are idiots.” Hayao Miyazaki Seems To Hate Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones And Hollywood Movies.

* Counterpoint: I love playing pretend with my kids and the knowledge that someday they won’t want to do it anymore breaks my soul.

* Toxic parenting myths make life harder for people with autism. That must change.

The real “Momo Challenge” is the terror of parenting in the age of YouTube. Here’s the truth of what we know.

* Gut-wrenching story about parents using Nebraska’s short-lived safe-haven law to institutionalize their children.

* When r/DaystromInstitute just nails it.

* What we call a win-win: People in states where marijuana is legal are eating more cookies and ice cream.

* Automated reception kiosks are a security dumpster fire.

* Here are the data brokers quietly buying and selling your personal information.

Amazon and YouTube Are Making Money From the Dangerous QAnon Conspiracy Theory.

Wisconsin’s nightmare roads cost drivers $6.8 billion each year, study says.

* An oral history of the greatest episode in television comedy history.

* Duke’s gonna Duke.

J.K. Rowling was always this terrible.

* Lolita, My Love, the Musical Too Dark to Live.

* Minnesota couple Michael and Jack McConnell are now thought to be the longest-married, same-sex couple in the U.S.

* Finally, a job worth applying for.

Could Walmart Be a Model for a Socialist Future?

* Singularity watch: Harvard University uncovers DNA switch that controls genes for whole-body regeneration.

* H.I.V. Is Reported Cured in a Second Patient, a Milestone in the Global AIDS Epidemic.

Scientists Say They Can Recreate Living Dinosaurs Within the Next 5 Years. Can’t see any harm there.

* Even catching up on lost sleep is bad for you!

* On the value of education. On heartbreak. On friendship. On the value of never clicking.

* Just in time for my fall class: Netflix has acquired the rights to Gabriel García Márquez’s masterpiece “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and will adapt it into a series.

* The Suffering Game (for 3+ players).

* Race, Asia, and Dungeons and Dragons.

* And Lord, make me outgrow Quentin Tarantino, but not yet.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 22, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Traditional Followup Linkpost Scenario Where I Do One The Next Day after Promising Myself I Won’t Let It Go a Whole Month Again This Time

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(Yesterday’s post here, including a bunch of “personal news” updates about recent projects. Get your library to buy The Cambridge History of Science Fiction!)

* Your Stan Lee obituaries. Excelsior. And a tiny little bit of inspiration for a guy whose 39th birthday is this week:

* One of the most important stories on the planet right now: As Brazil’s Far Right Leader Threatens the Amazon, One Tribe Pushes Back.

* When elections are no longer legitimate. The escalation in GOP conspiracy-mongering and the decision to have party leaders trumpet these theories directly, as opposed to relying on surrogates and propaganda outlets, is indeed very worrying. How fascism works.

  1. When electoral procedures lose popular legitimacy, it is nearly impossible to get that legitimacy back. Elections are one great way of building popular legitimacy, and if by assumption they no longer do, what will?
  2. Non-electoral sources of power are particularly dangerous when elections no longer legitimately empower politicians. It now falls to the very politicians who are involved in the recount to vouch for its legitimacy. The safest way to defend that legitimacy would be for the losing candidates to rebuke the President, directly and publicly. A public endorsement would be most meaningful if it were to come from, for example, DeSantis. Let us just ponder how likely that is.
  3. The downstream consequences from the loss of electoral legitimacy are nearly impossible to predict. I suspect that one consequence will be an ever-greater tolerance for executive malfeasance, on the logic that Congressional representatives and state governments lack democratic legitimacy.

* Luckily, Chuck Schumer is up to the challenge.

* Andrew Gillum appears in a documentary about Bush v. Gore, c. 2000.

* Grad school as conversion therapy.

U.S. Colleges See Drop in Foreign Students for Second Year Running.

“It’s annoying to just sit there staring at one screen for so long,” said freshman Mitchel Storman, 14, who spends close to five hours a day on Summit classes in algebra, biology, English, world history, and physics. “You have to teach yourself.”

Enough With All the Innovation.

* It has by the fall of 2018 become commonplace to describe the 499 known victims of Larry Nassar as “breaking their silence,” though in fact they were never, as a group, particularly silent. Over the course of at least 20 years of consistent abuse, women and girls reported to every proximate authority. They told their parents. They told gymnastics coaches, running coaches, softball coaches. They told Michigan State University police and Meridian Township police. They told physicians and psychologists. They told university administrators. They told, repeatedly, USA Gymnastics. They told one another. Athletes were interviewed, reports were written up, charges recommended. The story of Larry Nassar is not a story of silence. The story of Larry Nassar is that of an edifice of trust so resilient, so impermeable to common sense, that it endured for decades against the allegations of so many women. Amazing deep read on the Larry Nassar case and how he got away with his crimes for so long.

* The NRA told doctors to “stay in your lane” on guns. I’m a doctor. This is my lane.

What Happened When a Nation Erased Birthright Citizenship.

“It is almost like a punch in the gut. Like, wow, you’ve really gone this far to affect children? And it’s just like, have we sunk this low? That’s my feeling,” said the official, who could not speak on the record about the policy. Knife Salesman Very Sad About Stabbing.

Amazon’s HQ2 Spectacle Isn’t Just Shameful—It Should Be Illegal. Congrats to these hardscrabble communities who just caught a huge break.

* The poetry and brief life of a Foxconn worker: Xu Lizhi (1990-2014). And elsewhere on the Foxconn beat: How does Tony Evers affect Foxconn?

* Two hours from here: Baraboo school district condemns a photo showing a large group of students giving Nazi salute. Maybe the UW should rethink that whole history is over thing.

* California as the surface of the moon.

* Unsafe at any concentration.

* The law, in its majestic equality.

* Twilight of Harley Davidson.

* The Indus civilisation seems to have flourished for 700 years without armour, weapons, inequality or royalty. Here’s how to build a paradise on Earth.

* How AIs cheat.

* Thanks for waiting until after the election to tell anyone! Veterans haven’t received GI Bill benefits for months due to ongoing IT issues at VA. And please, make sure you update me on that horrible caravan of rapists and murderers that is heading towards our country, when you get a moment…

* And tonight, on the most dramatic Rose Ceremony of all time, we’ll finally find out who is the Attorney General.

Monday Morning Links!

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* If you only read one Star Trek: Discovery postmortem this week, it’s got to be Abigail Nussbaum’s. But if you read too, here’s mine at LARB! No Follow-Through.

* Then this one #3: In Its First Season, Star Trek: Discovery Asked Hard Questions It Never Really Wanted the Answers to.

Original pitch for Star Trek: The Next Generation had a hologram captain. Fake Research Paper Based on Star Trek: Voyager‘s Worst Episode Was Published by a Scientific Journal.

Science Fiction Film and Television 11.1 now available! With a special section on the science fiction of Scarlett Johansson, essays on District 9 and dating simulators, and a review essay on Get Out! 

* A CFP for the “Worlding SF” event in Graz, Austria, next December, with keynotes from Mark Bould, Cheryl Morgan, and me…

* Meanwhile, the 2019 CFP for the MLA’s speculative fiction discussion group, of which I am now the immediate past chair:

Activist Speculation and Visionary Fiction

How “visionary fiction” (Walidah Imarisha’s term for stories imagining “newer, freer worlds”) contributes to speculative fiction theory, pedagogy, practice. 200-word abstract, CV by 16 March 2018 to Alexis Lothian (alothian@umd.edu).

* I got the chance to watch this documentary on Flannery O’Connor last week as part of a Marquette English event. It was great! Can’t wait for it to find a home.

* Nothing but respect for my president.

Horrified Florida students beg the adults: Please, do something about guns.

I have a thing to say about growing up after tragedy.

* On the imperative of content. No one knows.

The goal was to create “products,” which could then be monetized, but according to Leslie, who took over oversight of the institute in 2015, “There was not the foundation of a business plan” at the institute’s inception. This is perhaps not surprising, given that the “Framework for Excellence” which midwifed the Institute was literally dreamed up in two days by Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and his advisors and passed by the regents “without asking a single question.”

* We should just create “incentive” / punishment structures that force college presidents to retire at 64 1/2, just like they all did to faculty.

When the White Supremacists Come to Campus.

* When the suits killed Barnes and Noble.

* The august sport of (checks notes) curling may never be the same.

* Male privilege is having never thought about this possibility.

Ban The United States From The Olympics.

* Cleaning products as bad for lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day, scientists warn.

* How banks block people of color from homeownership.

* ICE really doubling down. Man who called 911 about suspected burglary detained by ICE. He can’t get proper HIV treatment in Venezuela. But he’s being deported anyway. ICE Arrests in the Pacific Northwest Increased 25 Percent in 2017. Washington officials gave activist’s info to ICE. Refusing an interpreter to a deaf detainee. How ICE Works to Strip Citizenship from Naturalized Americans. ICE Arrests Man at a Green Card Interview. Tearing families apart.

* Know your immigration law.

* Like Uber but for human trafficking.

Westchester School Leaves Behind Disabled Students in Fire Evacuation.

This List of Every Reason Banner Hulks Out in the Classic Hulk TV Series Is Hilarious.

  • Receiving a lethal injection, and then having the person say, “Oh. I just gave you a lethal injection. Sorry, David.”
  • Wandering around in the service ducts of a hotel (predating Bruce Willis) only to accidentally yank several of the pipes loose and get a full blast of hot steam
  • Being tied up and fed soup by an elderly Japanese woman who doesn’t
    understand words like “You’ve GOT to cut me loose!”
  • Being thrown under a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade float by a mean guy in a gorilla suit who gives David a few kicks for good measure
  • Receiving a speeding ticket
  • Wandering around inside a carnival funhouse, only to have someone turn on the machinery so that David is somehow caught in a rolling tumbler and flipped over a few times and then thrown down a convenient slide

‘Minecraft’ Data Mining Reveals Players’ Darkest Secrets.

* When Fonzie time-traveled.

* How should we talk about Trump’s brain?

The Security Clearance Situation in the White House Is Bonkers.

* The case for impeaching Clarence Thomas.

Here’s What Critics Are Saying About Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs.

New York Federal judge rules that embedding tweets can violate copyright law.

* Black Panther killed it. Black Panther and the Invention of Africa. Black Panther Is Not the Movie We Deserve. The Man Who Made Black Panther Cool.

Winners of the 2018 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest.

The Donkey Kong Timeline Is Truly Disturbing.

Debullshitifying Uber’s financial statement reveals a hemorrhaging fountain of red ink with no path to profitability.

* Let kids have a sense of control over their own lives. The research is clear, let’s ban homework. In Defense of Picky Eating.

First ship crosses Arctic in winter without an icebreaker as global warming causes ice sheets to melt. Miami could be underwater in your kid’s lifetime as sea level rise accelerates.

* A History of the United American Socialist Republics.

Here’s All 290 Star Wars Movies Officially in Production Right Now.

* I loved this read of “The Voice of the Dolphins” at LARB, but it’s odd that the piece never notes the very strong suggestion in the story that the entire dolphin project was a hoax.

* ImOscar.com.

* What was only a trial run was taken seriously.

* And in a time without heroes: Cow escapes on way to slaughterhouse, smashes through metal fence, breaks arm of man trying to catch her then swims to safety on island in lake.

Infinite Sunday Infinite Reading

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* From last week, a rare “actual content” post: White Male Critic Asks Why If Wonder Woman Is Really So Great Why Didn’t She Prevent the Holocaust.

* Princess Buttercup Became the Warrior General Who Trained Wonder Woman, All Dreams Are Now Viable. The Strange, Complicated, Feminist History of Wonder Woman’s Origin Story. Who mourns for the space kangaroos? I’m Pretty Sure Steve Trevor Lied About His Dick Size in Wonder Woman. Classic DC.

* Black Panther next! Everything We Learned From the Black Panther Teaser Trailer.

Why you should go to the Octavia Butler sci-fi conference at the Huntington. I’ll be there!

Bob Dylan Delivers His Nobel Prize Lecture, Just in Time.

* Scenes from the class struggle at Evergreen.

* Evergreen headlines: Humanities Majors Drop.

Eight reasons why universities can’t be the primary site of left organizing.

* Academics at UNC want to know what was wrong with plans for a class dealing with athletics scandals, including one at Chapel Hill.

UWSP student asks court to force poetry professor to give her an A.

The Poverty of Entrepreneurship: The Silicon Valley Theory of History.

* Fifty years of One Hundred Years of Solitude. No Magic, No Metaphor.

* Apple’s new HQ is a retrograde, literally inward-looking building with contempt for the city where it lives and cities in general.

* Corbynmania! How Labour Did It. Why Corbyn Won. Theresa May’s desperation could undo peace in Northern Ireland.

* Excerpts from James Comey’s Opening Statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee or from Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day? The Comey testimony was riveting reality TV. I asked 6 legal experts if Trump obstructed justice. Here’s what they told me. Trump Can Commit All the High Crimes He Wants. Republicans Aren’t Going to Impeach Him. How Donald Trump Shifted Kids-Cancer Charity Money into His Business. Trump’s DOJ says Trump can still get paid. Our A.I. President. A Noun, a Verb, and Vladimir Putin. All this and Trumpcare isn’t even dead. What Will Happen to Us? Four Cartoonists on A Life Without the Affordable Care Act.

Reporter Covering Inauguration Protests Now Faces 75 Years in Prison.

* I think we may have had the Russians all wrong.

* Noam Chomsky explains the twentieth century.

What if Your Cellphone Data Can Reveal Whether You Have Alzheimer’s?

* What’s really warming the world?

* Candidate opposing Steve King drops out of race citing death threats and a possible inability to get health insurance. America!

* Twilight of the comics direct market.

Before I go: A mother’s hopeful words about life in its waning moments.

The toddler survived with some scar tissue—but not everyone who gets Powassan, POW for short, is so lucky. With no treatment available, half of all people who contract the virus suffer permanent brain damage; 10 percent die. And while POW is nowhere near as prevalent as that other tick-borne summer scourge—Lyme—it is starting to show up more often.

People tend to avoid sick people, even if they don’t consciously now that they are sick, according to a new study published in PNAS.

* The addicts next door. Drug Deaths in America Are Rising Faster Than Ever. In one year, drug overdoses killed more Americans than the entire Vietnam War did. The last words of a ‘heroin junkie’: There seems to be no escape.

* Not only will this happen in your lifetime — this tweet has accelerated the process.

* Shock finding: Tax evasion is shockingly prevalent among the very rich.

* On dying alone.

On Aug. 15, 1977 at 10:16 p.m. ET Ohio State University’s Big Ear radio telescope detected a curious signal from deep space. Nearly 40 years later, we finally know what caused it and, sadly, it’s not aliens.

* Donald/Donald. Don’t stop till you find the panda. How to succeed. Now my story can be told. Should we be concerned about that? What’s the problem with Florida? Can I interest you in a war on non-transport accidents? If you want a vision of the future. The state is that human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory. Zoos.

* In tiny Townville, S.C., first-graders are haunted by what they survived — and lost — on a school playground. Gut-wrenching.

How Bostonians Defeated the Olympics.

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

* The Myth of General Lee.

* Peanuts and the Civil Rights Movement.

‘Life or death for black travelers’: How fear led to ‘The Negro Motorist Green-Book.’

* For the first time ever, a video game has qualified for an Academy Award.

* When David Fincher nearly directed a Star Wars sequel trilogy.

I always thought of Star Wars as the story of two slaves [C-3PO and R2-D2] who go from owner to owner, witnessing their masters’ folly, the ultimate folly of man…

How Wookieepedia Tackles the Insanely Difficult Task of Chronicling the Entire Star Wars Universe.

* This week in the richest society in human history.

At $75,560, housing a prisoner in California now costs more than a year at Harvard.

* Make this movie!

* Compatibilism: A Parable.

* I’ve always known this is how it will end for me.

* Everett Hamner will be recapping Orphan Black season five for LARB.

* Some economies just can’t be disrupted. Grilled cheese for instance.

* Pinball’s back, baby!

* So is — Mary Poppins? Fine, I guess.

C. L. R. James in the Age of Climate Change.

The Unexpected Afterlife of American Communism.

* Al Franken was a great guest on Marc Maron, if you missed it. Crazy to say it, I think he might actually run for president. Then again, why not him?

* RIP, My Batman.

West’s Batman/Bruce Wayne is, and will always remain, the single most important screen incarnation of the character, for better or worse: For better because it was the most surprising, at times confounding, interpretation of the Caped Crusader, feather-light and hilarious precisely because of the character’s seeming lack of self-awareness; for worse, in the eyes of some fans, because it encouraged millions of people who had never picked up a Batman comic, or any comic, to be amused by the sight of adults dressing up in wild outfits and pretending to punch each other in the face. Every subsequent, high-profile reinvention of Batman, whether in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke, Tim Burton’s alternately perverse and sincere Batman and Batman Returns, Christopher Nolan’s operatic trilogy, and Zack Snyder’s funereal Batman vs. Superman, is, first and foremost, a reaction against the Adam West–driven Batman series.

* And the bad news never stops: Sleeping In Is Deadly, Popular People Live Longer, Adolescence Lasts Forever, and So Does High School.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 11, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet, Look at what I put on the Internet

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Tuesday Morning Links!

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* The course descriptions for Marquette’s Fall 2017 English classes are up at the department website. Check them out! I’m teaching Tolkien and a grad seminar on utopia. 

* Also in Marquette news! Marquette to host ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ conference in April.

Becoming a parent forces you to think about the nature of the problem — which is, in a lot of ways, the problem of nature […] the realities of aging and sickness and mortality become suddenly inescapable. […] [My wife] said something during that time I will never forget. “If I had known how much I was going to love him,” she said, “I’m not sure I would have had him.” Mark O’Connell on transhumanism and immortality.

* From the great Ali Sperling: Reading Lovecraft in the Anthropocene. And this review of Alan Moore’s Jerusalem from the great David Higgins!

* Adam Roberts reviews New York 2140. Another review, from a climate scientist. And an interview with Stan. My review comes out in LARB this weekend…

The Most Cringeworthy Monuments to Colleges’ Innovation Jargon.

Perverse outcomes: UC Berkeley deletes 20,000 audio and visual lectures in the name of compliance with the ADA.

Speculative Fiction and Survival in Iraq.

* Is it really so hard to understand that when your students go broke just trying to graduate they aren’t exactly moved to donate later?

harcourt_fenton_mudd_2267* The liberal arts at Harvey Mudd College, whose graduates out-earn Harvard and Stanford.

* You-might-be-from-Wisconsin-if at Ask MetaFilter.

President Roosevelt signed the order on February 19, 1942, almost exactly 75 years ago. By spring, American citizens would be arriving at the Fresno and Pinedale camps: our neighbors.

* Wisconsin is apparently harassing trans state employees.

* Chaos, again. This is fine. Even James Comey. Twilight of Reince Preibus. Ten Questions for President Trump. Ten More Questions for President Trump. Remember when it was scandalous that Obama, years before he became a politician, once sold his house?

It is through the Justice Department that the administration is likely to advance its nationalist plans — to strengthen the grip of law enforcement, raise barriers to voting and significantly reduce all forms of immigration, promoting what seems to be a longstanding desire to reassert the country’s European and Christian heritage. It’s not an accident that Sessions, who presumably could have chosen from a number of plum assignments, opted for the role of attorney general. The Department of Justice is the most valuable perch from which to transform the country in the way he and Bannon have wanted. With an exaggerated threat of disorder looming, the nation’s top law-enforcement agency could become a machine for trying to fundamentally change who gets to be an American and what rights they can enjoy.

The emerging effort — dozens more rules could be eliminated in the coming weeks — is one of the most significant shifts in regulatory policy in recent decades. It is the leading edge of what Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, described late last month as “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”

* “Forever war, but too much.”

An Afghan family of five that had received approval to move to the United States based on the father’s work for the American government has been detained for more than two days after flying into Los Angeles International Airport, a legal advocacy group said in court documents filed on Saturday. Profiles of immigrant arrested in Austin. Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws. (Note this lawsuit was filed in 2014.This Stunningly Racist French Novel Is How Steve Bannon Explains The World. And if it were a book, it’d seem laughably contrived: A letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Resisting ICE. Here we go again.

* 4chan and the Great Meme War.

* Russia and the Cyber Cold War.

* And while we’re on the subject: The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation. I think this is a very good reminder of the need to stay calm and detached from the chaos of the news cycle.

Instead, a new model is proposed: the president keeps everyone in a constant state of excitement and alarm. He moves fast and breaks things. He leads by causing commotion. As energy in the political system rises he makes no effort to project calm or establish an orderly White House. And if he keeps us safe it’s not by being himself a safe, steady, self-controlled figure, but by threatening opponents and remaining brash and unpredictable— maybe a touch crazy. This too is psychological work, but of a different kind.

* Democrats keep trusting demographics to save them. It hasn’t worked yet — but maybe this time…

NASA unveils plan to give Mars an ‘Earth-like’ atmosphere.

House Republicans Unveil Bill To Repeal Obamacare. The GOP health bill doesn’t know what problem it’s trying to solve.

Austerity measures don’t actually save money. But they do disempower workers. Which is why governments pursue them in the first place.

* No! It can’t be! Researchers have found strong evidence that racism helps the GOP win.

* Losing West Virginia.

Contrary to What You Learned in Sex Ed, You Can Get Pregnant While Pregnant.

* Mid-decade gerrymander in Georgia.

* Autism and Addiction.

* What We’ve Learned from Giving Dolphins LSD.

In a world first, a teenager with sickle cell disease achieved complete remission after an experimental gene therapy at Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris, researchers say.

* Possible lynching outside Seattle, in 2017.

* The end of suburbia.

* In the richest country in human history, children have “lunch debt.”

The only way in which a game is guaranteed to end is when the player abandons their device. Everything else is game design.

“These devices don’t have emotional intelligence,” said Allison Druin, a University of Maryland professor who studies how children use technology. “They have factual intelligence.” How millions of kids are being shaped by know-it-all voice assistants.

* Finding a jury of your peers in a racially segregated society.

* A colony in a nation.

Divination hasn’t disappeared; it’s taken over the world.

But these second-order obstacles aren’t enough to explain the current collapse of poll-driven political certainty. They’re just excuses, even if they’re not untrue. Something about the whole general scheme of polling—the idea that you can predict what millions of undecided voters will do by selecting a small group and then just simply asking them—is out of whack. We need to think seriously about what the strange game of election-watching actually is, in terms of our relation to the future, our power to choose our own outcomes, the large-scale structure of the universe, and the mysteries of fate. And these questions are urgent. Because predictions of the future don’t simply exist in the future, but change the way we act in the present. Because in our future something monstrous is rampaging: it paces hungrily toward us, and we need to know if we’ll be able to spot it in time.

When I said that opinion polls are sibyls and soothsayers, it wasn’t just a figure of speech. Opinion polling has all the trappings of a science—it has its numbers and graphs, its computational models, its armies of pallid drones poring over the figures. It makes hypotheses and puts them to the test. But polls are not taken for what they are: a report on what a small number of people, fond of changing their minds, briefly pretended to think. Instead, we watch the tracking graphs as if the future were playing itself out live in front of us. The real structure of the electoral-wonk complex is more mystical than materialist: it’s augury and divination, a method handed down by Prometheus to a starving and shivering humanity at the faint dawn of time. Behind all the desktop screens and plate-glass of his office, the buzz of data and the hum of metrics, Nate Silver retreats to a quiet, dark, and holy room. He takes the knife and slits in one stroke the throat of a pure-white bull; its blood arcs and drizzles in all directions. He examines its patterns. And he knows.

There’s a never-ending fount of stories you can write about when someone is breaking away from canon or not, and create many controversies all the way through preproduction and production and even until a movie opens, about whether or not they’re breaking canon. Is it a blasphemous movie or not? At some point, you gotta stop and say, Is there this expectation that it’s like we’re doing Godfather Part I and II, only it’s going to nine movies? And we’re just gonna cut them into this kind of Berlin Alexanderplatz that never ends? We’re gonna suddenly take a moment to really savor the fact that these movies exist in an identical tone? The reality to me is that you can’t have interesting movies if you tell a filmmaker, “Get in this bed and dream, but don’t touch the pillows or move the blankets.” You will not get cinema. You will just get a platform for selling the next movie on that bed, unchanged and unmade. James Mangold on Logan.

* The making of The Silmarillion.

* And we have but one choice: the Ring must be destroyed.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 7, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Blogging from the Mid-Atlantic, But the Other Way

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An awakening anatomy of the average life’s two years of boredom, 6 months of watching commercials, 67 days of heartbreak, and 14 minutes of pure joy. 14 minutes of joy seems low even for a single day. What are you people doing with yourselves?

* The Voyager records, as art.

* I’m With™ Clinton’s ‘Innovation Agenda’ for Higher Ed.

* Republicans seem pretty obviously right about this one. I don’t see how there’s any case for its propriety, but here’s a try.

The Humiliating Practice of Sex-Testing Female Athletes.

Estimate of U.S. Transgender Population Doubles to 1.4 Million Adults.

* For 20 years, the center has blocked off female-only hours to accommodate the area’s large Hasidic population. The pool has no male-only hours, and some Hasidic men swim during the hours that are open to all genders. An anonymous complaint was lodged recently with the city’s Human Rights Commission, which sent a notice to the parks department this spring saying that the policy might violate a city law barring gender discrimination in public accommodations.

Using the budget usually reserved for the committee, they created a program called Dudes Understanding Diversity and Ending Stereotypes, or DUDES.

He said he’s glad colleges have found the research useful, but he is cautious about the institutions that are taking it as an absolute. Mr. Sue said his goal had always been to educate people, not punish or shame them, if they engage in microaggressions.

* Boris Johnson and the Cuckoo Nest Plot. Now even Gove says he won’t Brexit before the end of the year. Sanders and Corbyn: The Survivors. Brexit Might Never Happen. Brexit: a disaster decades in the making. So you want to con a country. Based on a close reading of Frank Bruni’s Brexit commentary, “A Bachelor Named Britain, Looking for Love” (reproduced below the question), please describe the bearing of the New York Times op-ed staff on the collapse of serious political argument in American establishment institutions in the early 21st century.

How J.R.R. Tolkien Found Mordor on the Western Front. Bonus Tolkien! How To Tell If You Are In A J.R.R. Tolkien Book.

A wizard has roped you into a quest because one of your ancestors invented golf.

* Westeros Is Poorly Designed. A Followup: It’s Okay That Westeros Is Poorly Designed. Some more nerdery on the subject.

When asked how fast the ships in Babylon 5 travel, creator J. Michael Straczynski replied that they travel “at the speed of plot.”

How big is Westeros? “Plot-sized.” How many people live there? “Plot thousand.” How do they make their living? “Tilling the plot.”

Game of Thrones season 6 was good TV that shows why the series will never be great.

Why did the Stars Wars and Star Trek worlds turn out so differently? Please Stop Marrying Fictional Characters to People They Met as Children, It’s Creepy. I started thinking absently about Steve Rogers’ jogging route during my run today and then i couldn’t STOP thinking about it because there’s literally NO WAY it makes sense unless you accept that he is specifically fucking up his entire morning routine to get another look at the cute boy he clocked on his run.

* How to Get Tenure. Counterpoint: You Probably Won’t Get Tenure.

* How to Give a Conference Paper.

* Elsewhere on the academic beat: Study Finds First-Year Students Who Take 15 Credits Succeed. Why Can’t My New Employees Write? The New McCarthyism. Right-Wing Elites Love Your Abigail Fisher Hot Take.

* Rationalia has already garnered some powerful enemies.

* Amazing, awful: Author Gay Talese disavows his latest book amid credibility questions.

Unprecedented’: Scientists declare ‘global climate emergency’ after jet stream crosses equator. The Window for Avoiding a Dangerous Climate Change Has Closed. The Day After Tomorrow Happened 30,000 Years Ago. Geoengineering at the CIA.

Physicists just confirmed a pear-shaped nucleus, and it could ruin time travel forever. Not if I undiscover it yesterday!

* America is lying about its involvement in Africa: AFRICOM’s reports simply don’t add up.

* Secret History of the AOL Disc Campaign.

* More from the twilight of the law schools.

* “This is the single greatest panel ever published in a Transformers comic.”

* Trumpocalypse watch! Another boondoggle. And another. And another. And another. This one is probably the best yet. 4 Ways Cleveland’s Colleges Are Bracing for the Republican Convention. Who will win the presidency? Why not play along at home! And if you want a vision of the future: imagine Trump’s vice-presidential candidates stomping on a human face, forever.

ReverendMagnett_2016-Jun-30

Written by gerrycanavan

July 1, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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