Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘insomnia


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* SFW (at least in my estimation) photography project depicting porn actresses with and without makeup. Discussion thread at MeFi, which links to a few more discussion threads at Reddit that are pretty soul-crushing.

The Scariest Jobs Chart Ever Isn’t Scary Enough.

* The science of sleeplessness.

* The truth about Vikings.

My three year old daughter and I play a lot of old games together. Her favorite is Donkey Kong. Two days ago, she asked me if she could play as the girl and save Mario… So what else am I supposed to do? Now I’m up at midnight hacking the ROM, replacing Mario with Pauline. Also via MeFi.

The Britannica Advantage was not only illusory, it also reflected the way in which the market economy always finds a way to turn things that are good in themselves into means to an end.

When the Pope Is Chosen, His Tailors Will Be Ready.

* Salaried Atlantic writer argues current Atlantic freelancing policy is just fine.

A Dangerous ‘New Normal’ in College Debt.

8 Studies That Debunk Male Gender Stereotypes.

* And some more interesting SF from Eliezer Yudkowsky: “Three Worlds Collide.”

Insomnia and Genius

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Science proves I’m not just lazy.

Researchers from the London School of Economics have found that people with high I.Q.s are more likely to be night owls, whereas folks with lower I.Q.s are more likely to wake up early and function their best during the day. Other studies have found a link between “eveningness” and getting good grades in school.

However, all is not well with those who burn the midnight oil. People who are disposed to staying up late are less reliable and more likely to suffer from depression and various addictions when compared to early risers.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 14, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Tuesday Night Links

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Tuesday night!

* The buzzword at the heart of my dissertation got a bump today.

* ‘Good Night and Tough Luck’: a short web comic about the misery of insomnia.

* Good news/bad news: the total implosion of the global economy has caused CO2 emissions to plummet 6%, to 8.5% of 2005 levels.

* Corzine takes his first polling lead over Chris Christie in the New Jersey governor’s race.

* Osama bin Laden blurbs a few of his favorite books, including Jimmy Carter’s Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid and (apparently) Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. (via)

* American debt, the Chinese economy, and mutually assured financial destruction.

* The House passed a resolution of disapproval against Congressman Joe Wilson along strict party lines? You lie!

* When will the MSM break its silence on Obama’s secret rat love?

* ‘Wealthcare’: A brief history of Ayn Rand. Some talk at MeFi.

(The anti-government activist Grover Norquist has told a similar story from childhood, in which his father would steal bites of his ice cream cone, labelling each bite “sales tax” or “income tax.” The psychological link between a certain form of childhood deprivation and extreme libertarianism awaits serious study.) 

* Conservative bloggers have truly outdone themselves in their efforts to hype the 9/12 rally; Steve Benen and Media Matters have the details on “the largest event held in Washington, D.C., ever.” It’s the greatest propaganda FAIL since they tried to pass off a picture of the Promise Keepers rally as being from last weekend.

* And this interview from one of Bush’s last speechwriters has been linked by nearly every mainstream political blog I read: Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, Steve Benen, Kevin Drum, Atrios, Ben Smith, Think Progress, MetaFilter, and Crooks and Liars, each with their own favorite moment from the piece. The Palin line is sort of inescapable:

“I’m trying to remember if I’ve met her before. I’m sure I must have.” His eyes twinkled, then he asked, “What is she, the governor of Guam?” 

Everyone in the room seemed to look at him in horror, their mouths agape. When Ed told him that conservatives were greeting the choice enthusiastically, he replied, “Look, I’m a team player, I’m on board.” He thought about it for a minute. “She’s interesting,” he said again. “You know, just wait a few days until the bloom is off the rose.” Then he made a very smart assessment.

“This woman is being put into a position she is not even remotely prepared for,” he said. “She hasn’t spent one day on the national level. Neither has her family. Let’s wait and see how she looks five days out.”

Saturday Night’s All Right for Blogging

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Saturday night’s all right for blogging. After the first few links we even get to some stuff that’s not about Watchmen.

* Walter Chaw’s Watchmen review goes to many of the same places as my own, albeit in a more thoroughgoing way:

Freeze any frame of the film and find in it the panel that inspired it. With each section separated by grabs from the covers of the comic book’s initial run, fanboys should have no quarrel with the fidelity of the piece–but the reaction to the picture will likely continue to be fairly muted, as devotees of the graphic novel didn’t exactly appreciate it for its slickness and sexiness. I’d hazard that what attracted people to the book is that Moore’s vision is one of absolute respect for the power of the image in molding human history. Snyder does seem to understand this in restaging the Kennedy assassination with one of his masked heroes as the culprit, drawing a line pure and true from Zapruder’s inauguration of film as history to the comic-book medium’s inextricable hold on the collective imagination-in-formation. The power of Moore’s work is that it takes the divine and, like Milton’s mission, explains the ways of these gods to men in terms that men can understand: they’re corrupted by their power and governed by their avarice and the essential baseness of being human. This sentiment is all but jettisoned, alas, by the time Snyder recasts the pathetic victories of sexually-reawakened schlub Night Owl (Patrick Wilson) and paramour Silk Spectre (a severely overmatched Malin Akerman) as triumphant victories. Watchmen–filthy with its director’s now-trademark ramping technique–sees itself as a superhero adaptation of a human book. The failures of these characters are just weaknesses our übermenchen must overcome, not the foibles and hubris that lead to their downfall–and ours.

Vu and kate both get at this deep in the comments to my original post as well.

* Meanwhile, Spencer Ackerman says Watchmen is a “great film” and then spends the rest of the post explaining why it isn’t.

* The headline reads, Watchmen‘s first day disappoints.” You’re telling me!

* John Scalzi argues for a statute of limitations on spoilers.

Television: One week (because it’s generally episodic, and that’s how long you have until the next episode)

Movies: One year (time enough for everyone to see it in the theaters, on DVD and on cable)

Books: Five years (because books don’t reach nearly as many people at one time)

To my mind the whole “spoiler” hysteria needs to end; suspense is an overrated aesthetic in all but the rarest cultural productions.

* Husband, Wife Unaware They Are A Comedy Team.

* I suffered from this for years without knowing there was a name for it besides “being a college student.”

* Another picture of a grown-up Calvin and Hobbes for your collection.

* The economy and literature: Will this crisis produce a Gatsby? More at MeFi.

* Does the financial crisis signal the end of neo-liberalism? David Harvey on the credit crunch and class.

* Abandoned places: a LiveJournal community. (Thanks, Eli!)

* And attention would-be humanities grad students: there are no jobs. None.


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* The headline reads, “Mystery Roar from Faraway Space Detected.”

* Probably the stupidest thing ever published in the L.A. Times: a bald anti-science assertion that deadly allergies don’t exist.

* ‘Going Under’: Doctors addicted to drugs. Via MeFi.

* Valuating Facebook in terms of Whoppers.

* I don’t know if I’m more worried that my insomnia will lead to paranoia or Exploding Head syndrome.

* News that by this point will surprise no one: Arctic melt 20 years ahead of climate models.

* Legislation has been introduced for a post-Bush truth and reconciliation commission. This is something that is sorely needed, and I hope the Democratic leadership puts its full weight behind it.

* Blago: owned. More discussion here.

* The literary world is abuzz with news of Jack Torrance’s latest, All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy.

* Cory Doctorow on writing in an age of distraction.

* Things not to do: buying a $1000 house in Detroit. Big ups to Cleveland, which is apparently turning into Detroit.

(Thanks to Bill for some of these!)

Being Batman

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What would it take to become Batman? Scientific American reports. Via MeFi.

Why such a long training time?
Batman can’t really afford to lose. Losing means death—or at least not being able to be Batman anymore. But another benchmark is having enough skill and experience to defend himself without killing anyone. Because that’s part of his credo. It would be much easier to fight somebody if you could incapacitate them with extreme force. Punching somebody in the throat could be a lethal blow. That’s pretty easy to do.

But if you’re thinking about something that doesn’t result in lethal force, that’s more tricky. It’s really hard for people to get their heads around, I think. To be that good, to not actually lethally injure anyone, requires an extremely high level of skill that would take maybe 15 to 18 years to accumulate.

On other superhero news: Danny Zabbal’s lesser-known superheroes. Below: Insomnia Man, the hero who never sleeps. Also via MeFi.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 16, 2008 at 8:50 pm

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Battlestar Galactica/Office Mashup

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This Battlestar Galactica/Office mashup pushes all my buttons on this insomniatastic Friday night. Via MeFi, which also has shocking video of Rainn Wilson as MacGyver, Paulie Walnuts, Captain Picard, and Xena the Warrior Princess.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 28, 2008 at 6:53 am