Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘irony

Friday Links!

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I’ve pointed out before that even as academic institutions are more and more distrusted, professors oddly retain a good deal of public respect. We have it because we’re free: free to say the unpopular thing, free to teach the passionate course, free to study what we think needs studying. To be free means we have to occupy the whole possibility space that waits for our explorations, and take not just our students but our publics along for the ride. We have to keep a trust as well as walk the paths we see before us.

Researcher loses job at NSF after government questions her role as 1980s activist.

* On Campus, Grenade Launchers, M-16s, and Armored Vehicles.

At least 60 institutions have acquired M-16s through the program. Arizona State University holds the most, with 70 in its arsenal, followed by Florida International University and the University of Maryland with 50 M-16s each. Central Florida received its grenade launcher in 2008; Hinds acquired its in 2006.

* In a never-before-released thesis, Reagan’s FEMA director discussed the potential internment of millions of blacks in concentration camps.

The Islamic Roots Of Science Fiction.

Here’s How Global Warming Is Already Worsening Extreme Deluges In The U.S. Trees Are Dying From ‘No Obvious Cause’ In Rocky Mountains, Report Says. A Major Accounting Firm Just Ran the Numbers on Climate Change.

* On ISIS: Where Is Obama’s Exit Strategy?

Once again our country is invited to support the “long war” described by key Pentagon officials as lasting as long as 50 to 80 years. It’s probably both unwinnable and unaffordable, but no president and few politicians have the political ability to acknowledge failure and end it.

So they escalate enough to pass it along to their successor. War on an installment plan.

Every American President in the past quarter century has now gone on television during prime time to tell the nation and the world that he has decided to bomb Iraq. Last night was Barack Obama’s turn, and it was a vexing performance.

* What Do We Save When We Save the Internet? We cannot champion Network Neutrality without admitting that the Internet is no Utopia.

* Reddit made over $100,000 off stolen celebrity nudes.

* U2, Apple and rock-and-roll as dystopian junk mail. There’s really only one cure.

Update: All Clear. The suspect has been located and the reported weapon has been identified as an umbrella.

A Brief History of Typographic Snark and the Failed Crusade for an Irony Mark.

* The kids are all right: Millennials Are Reading More Books Than You Think They Are. Why Indie Bookstores Are on the Rise Again.

Congressional Hearing Slams Feasibility Of Commercial Asteroid Mining. “The American Space Technology for Exploring Resource Opportunities in Deep Space Act.” You dicks.

Everyone Knows Hedge Funds Are a Ripoff.

* Scientists warn of faulty Wisconsin wolf estimates. Learn to count, wolves!

* “Why English Majors are the Hot New Hires.”

* What Is Hope? Alex Trebek Is Bringing Back His Mustache.

* Dutch Girl Fakes a Trip to South East Asia.

Archaeologists Have Made An Incredible Discovery At Stonehenge.

* The Cold War University is back! The Real Story Behind Canada’s Sudden Interest In Arctic Archaeology.

* The Soviets sent stray dogs to conquer space. This is what happened next.

China Is Mass-Producing Islands To Extend Its Strategic Borders.

What Happens to “Holdouts” Who Refuse to Sell Their Homes to Developers?

* Here’s What’s Becoming Of America’s Dead Shopping Malls.

* Wearable tech as triumph for bosses.

* Interview With a Time Traveler.

So, ironically, if we had done absolutely nothing in response to 9/11 aside from hold funerals and shake our heads in disbelief, we would have been no less safe than we are now after two useless wars, trillions of dollars and thousands of lives lost, and a decade of taking off our shoes for domestic flights.

* Another roundup of all the many things that are more likely to kill you than a terrorist.

* And Comedian Joe Mande remembers brands remembering 9/11. Never forget.

A Few for Friday

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* All Your Nightmares Are Real: Massive Mayfly Emergence in Wisconsin.

So, I would like to suggest the following as a starting point: we should highlight the accomplishments of “high-profile” faculty members at our institutions and then show the relatively (or very) modest impact that those accomplishments have had on their compensation; then we should offer, as a point of comparison, the compensation, including bonuses, of largely anonymous administrators whose “accomplishments” will be next to impossible to describe to a general audience. This sort of messaging will do two things at once: it will undercut the notion that faculty are over-paid while simultaneously undercutting the notion that administrators are simply being paid what “the market demands.”

* I would venture to say that back when societies were structured according to religious principles and everyone basically believed in God, a political or business leader who claimed to be a direct channel for God’s will would’ve been regarded as either insane or dangerously disingenuous. Re-label “God’s will” as “the market” or “the politically feasible,” however, and no one bats an eye.

* It’s been a decade since New Orleans’ post-Katrina charter school experiment began. The results have been devastating.

 

* My son has been suspended five times. He’s 3.

In a four part investigation, MPR News details the cover up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

In Its Death Throes, For-Profit College Chain Spent Over $100,000 A Month On Lobbying.

 

* …the Education Department has confirmed that it has since awarded two more exemptions to Title IX to Christian colleges that want to discriminate against transgender students.

Among the claims that form part of the case against Thomas Docherty is that he sighed and made “ironic” comments when interviewing job candidates.

* Beyoncé Class Is in Session.

* Burger King Is Run by Children.

* Ban College Bands.

California Man Fatally Shoots Allegedly Pregnant Home Invader. Man Shoots Teenaged Neighbor Three Times Over Argument About Lawnmower.

* David Harvey at LSE: The 17 Contradictions of Capitalism.

* The Committee to Save the World: Climate Change and the Santa Fe Institute.

Perhaps, Kabat concludes, the positivity should be economic incentives, that every new threat creates some business opportunity. To illustrate this, he shows a slide of a giant wave crashing down on a man. Then he shows another slide showing the same wave coming down, but this time it forms the shape of a hand shaking the hand of the man.

Oh, okay, so you’re saying we’re doomed.

* Google still doesn’t pay any taxes.

* Dibs on the screenplay: According to a NASA study, the Earth just missed what would have been not a civilization ending but a truly massive global catastrophe in 2012 because of a huge solar storm.

Space Junk Is Becoming a Serious Security Threat.

* An Elegy for the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

* Philip K. Dick’s cult novel ‘Man in the High Castle’ becoming an Amazon TV pilot.

* Indiana Jones and the Temple of Middle-Aged Sadness.

* A Brief Hiss tory of Autocorrect.

* The inventor of the high-five.

* Is it just me, or does 3 1/2 years in prison for stealing a basically irreplaceable Stradivarious actually seem pretty low by American standards?

* Here’s an Obamacare loophole that actually seems like it will significantly impact the viability of the law.

* Republicans want to impeach; Obama wants to be impeached. Gee, what do you think is going to happen?

* And if Republicans are really so stunningly incompetent why does American politics only move rightward? I guess some things will always be a mystery.

Human Irony Content at Dangerously High Levels

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Five-Sentence Review: ‘The Avengers’ as Lesser Whedona

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Of course I deeply enjoyed The Avengers, but my sense is it’ll be up to The Avengers 2: Avengers Reveng’d! to salvage the series from the scrapheap of Lesser Whedona. Could there be any better confirmation of the kneejerk elitist sensibilities of Internet nerddom than to have this film be Joss’s first genuine mainstream success? Though certainly funny and engaging, and on occasion very clever, The Avengers is more or less superheroes completely by-the-numbers, almost entirely lacking in the deconstructive self-awareness that characterizes more artistically ambitious Whedon creations like Buffy, Firefly, and especially Cabin in the Woods and the too-neglected Dollhouse. The film has zero critical purchase on its genre, and precious little Whedonesque irony about itself.

In short, The Avengers is what Buffy would have been, if it were only fight scenes and quips.

Friday!

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* First, the big news: Casey Affleck has admitted I’m Still Here is a hoax. Shock! Terror!

* Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will hold “competing” rallies on the Mall in Washington, D.C., to restore sanity and keep fear alive respectively. I think this is a good idea and I’m glad they’re doing it, but it’s frustrating to once again see legitimate criticism of Bush equated with totally insane criticism of Obama in the name of “balance” and “moderation.”

* Our long national nightmare is finally over: Karl Rove has surrendered to Christine O’Donnell.

* Science has proved Facebook causes flu and little kids have been mocking us this whole time.

* Understanding the Tea Party, from Glenn Greenwald. A good pullquote: Given all that, I’d really like to hear what it is about Christine O’Donnell, or Sharron Angle, or any of these other candidates that sets them apart from decades of radical right-wing elected officials who came before them?  They seem far more similar to me than different.  When was this idealized era of GOP Adult Reasonableness?

* The first Earth-like planet orbiting another star will be announced in May next year, if the discovery of extrasolar planets continues at its present rate, say researchers Samuel Arbesman from Harvard Medical School in Boston and Gregory Laughlin at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

* The U.S. poverty rate is at its highest level since 1994. Matt Yglesias:

Melissa Boteach, my colleague who focuses on poverty issues, points out that congress has the opportunity to act before things get even worse:

In just two weeks a job-creation engine known as the TANF Emergency Fund will expire, forcing states to begin shutting down successful partnerships with the private sector that have already created nearly a quarter-million jobs for low-income families. Congress must act before September 30 to extend the TANF Emergency Fund for another year and allow this innovative jobs program to continue.

Unfortunately, congress is typically more interested in the tax burden of millionaires than in the welfare of the poor and near-poor.

* Self-absorbed, self-indulged, and self-loathing, the Baby Boom generation at last has the chance to step out of the so-called Greatest Generation’s historical shadow. Boomers may not have the opportunity to save the world, as their predecessors did, but they can still redeem themselves by saving the American economy from the fiscal mess that they, and their fathers and mothers, are leaving behind. Via the latest MetaFilter post on the ongoing Third-Worldization of America.

* Making puppets with Jim Henson. Also via MetaFilter.

* And All-Star Superman will be made into animated movie. I don’t know why it hasn’t been green-lit for the next live-action Superman yet. Jon Hamm could kill it.

Tabdump #4

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* How a group of Texas conservatives is rewriting your kids’ textbooks.

* George Costanza’s Frogger Record Shattered.

* ‘Scientists say dolphins should be treated as “non-human persons.”‘

* If you missed it, more on the Californication of America from Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, and Steve Benen.

* In defense of baby selling? You couldn’t write a better parody of free market ideology if you tried.

* Today’s lesson in irony is especially schadenfreudelicious.

* Behold, chess boxing. More here.

Bernankemania!

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Time has named Ben Bernanke its person of the year—I assume ironically.

America!

Written by gerrycanavan

December 16, 2009 at 10:47 am