Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘James Lovelock

Cloudy with a Chance of Apocalypse Links

leave a comment »

* CFPs for MLA 2015 from the discussion group for science fiction, fantasy, horror, and utopian literature: Science Fiction, Fantasy and the Concept of Culture (guaranteed session) and From Siberia to the Planet Mars (fingers crossed).

* America’s fraternities, and the lawyers who serve them. Great piece.

‘Rasputin Was My Neighbor’ And Other True Tales Of Time Travel. Unlikely simultaneous historical events.

When pilgrims were landing on Plymouth Rock, you could already visit what is now Santa Fe, New Mexico to stay at a hotel, eat at a restaurant and buy Native American silver.

The first wagon train of the Oregon Trail heads out the same year the fax machine is invented.

Nintendo was founded in 1888. Jack the Ripper was on the loose in 1888.

1971: The year in which America drove a lunar buggy on the moon and Switzerland gave women the vote.

NASA’s Gemini program was winding down at the same time as plate tectonics, as we know it today, was becoming refined and accepted by the scientific community.

When the pyramids were being built, there were still woolly mammoths.

The last use of the guillotine was in France the same year Star Wars came out.

Oxford University was over 300 years old when the Aztec Empire was founded.

* A new genre had been born: the apocalypsticle.

* President Obama Pens Personal Apology to an Art Historian. Spoiler: it’s a pretty lousy apology!

* Football workers of the world unite. The cult of amateurism plaguing the sports world.

* This North Dakota Oil Town Has The Highest Rent In The Country.

* The film ‘Back to the Future’ provides the OED’s earliest recorded example of a colloquial sense of ‘hello’, used to imply (sometimes disbelievingly or sarcastically) that the person addressed is not paying attention, has not understood something, or has said something nonsensical or foolish. – See more at: http://oupacademic.tumblr.com/post/52859022183/the-film-back-to-the-future-provides-the-oeds#sthash.3jb8w2Nr.EuYbel9A.dpuf

* Making the rounds again: Kurt Vonnegut Diagrams the Shape of All Stories in a Master’s Thesis Rejected by U. Chicago.

* In Louisiana, which offers some of the most lucrative tax giveaways to Hollywood, the Legislative Auditor’s Office reported that the subsidies cost the state $170 million in lost tax revenue in a single year. By one estimate, the state is handing $70,000 per episode to the cast of Duck Dynasty – all while pleading poverty to justify deep cuts to public health care programs and to retirement benefits for police officers, firefighters and teachers.

* UNC Greensboro Students Walkout Against Budget Cuts.

About a dozen faculty members and 30 students at St. Mary’s College, a public school in Maryland, have proposed a plan to limit the salary of the highest-paid employee to 10 times that of the lowest-paid employee.

What Does it Mean that Most Children’s Books Are Still About White Boys?

Basically, @BarackObama Is a Parody Twitter Account.

* [grabs popcorn] Emails Suggest Scott Walker Knew Of Illegal Campaign Coordination.

Wednesday’s proposed reforms efforts — reached in negotiations between the civil liberties group and the state DOCCS — entail an end to the solitary confinement of prisoners under 18-years-old, pregnant women and prisoners with developmental disabilities. You mean to tell me they were using solitary confinement on — what? What?

Missouri Likely To Drop Its Lifetime Food Stamps Ban For Drug Convicts. You mean to tell me they were — really?

* Another day, another coal waste spill.

Cop Allegedly Shot And Killed Teenage Boy After Mistaking His Wii Controller For A Gun. “Allegedly” doing a whole lot of work in that sentence given that plain facts of the matter on which everyone agrees.

* What it’s like living in your 90s.

* Twitter lost $645 million last year, almost as much as its total revenue.

* The death of pool.

The Pentagon’s whitewashed history of the Vietnam War provokes troubling questions about how the invasion of Iraq will one day be remembered.

Frank despises most everybody—why should we be an exception?

* What would Lovelock do now, I ask, if he were me? He smiles and says: “Enjoy life while you can. Because if you’re lucky it’s going to be 20 years before it hits the fan.” Have a good weekend, everyone!

Bgyn_R3CMAADZrQ

Late Night Wednesday

leave a comment »

* Obama’s terrible offshore drilling announcement has inaugurated another round of opaque speculation about whether he is a inverterate weakling, a cynical pragmatist, or a master strategist. Maybe the pop-up book told him to do it.

* Relatedly, from James Lovelock: Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change.

* Benen and Kos separately debunk assertions that there is no racism in the Tea Party movement.

* Just ask Richard Burr: Health care will not be repealed.

* The University of Washington tried to organize a debate on whether the health-care reform bill is constitutional. But it couldn’t find a law professor to argue that it isn’t, reports the Seattle Times.

* And, in GQ, all about Shatner.

Links!

leave a comment »

Links!

* November 18th is International Science Fiction Reshelving Day.

Join us this November in a new and unique celebration of science fiction and fantasy literature. Many books from our fine genre are regularly placed in the wrong section of bookstores. This not only hides the books from us, but it prevents readers of those books from discovering the rich tradition to which they belong.

On November 18th that changes. We will go to bookstores around the world and move science fiction and fantasy books from wherever they might be to their proper place in the “Science Fiction” section. We hope that this quiet act of protest will raise awareness of this problem and inspire new readers to explore our thought-provoking genre.

Shouldn’t the protest go the other way, moving SF and fantasy books to “Literature”? Also, isn’t it weird to direct a “protest” like this so directly at Margaret Atwood of all people?

* What is causing our apocalypses? io9 reports.

* More on the irony that New York City may be America’s most ecologically friendly place to live.

* NYRoB considers prison reform and publishes a rather fawning love letter to James Lovelock.

* Cheating referees in the NBA? I’m shocked, shocked!

* How to cheat in the New York City marathon.

* House didn’t significantly improve on Dollhouse, and when DVR numbers are included may have actually underperformed it—but that’s still not a good outcome for Dollhouse fans. House reruns are, after all, from Fox’s perspective essentially free programming.

* American musicians want to know whose music was used as part of the torture regime at Guantánamo Bay. Colbert responds with some love for the Boss. It’s probably too much to hope for, but I’d sort of love for a copyright infringement lawsuit to be the engame in all this.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 1, 2009 at 3:29 pm

‘Enjoy life while you can. Because if you’re lucky it’s going to be 20 years before it hits the fan.’

leave a comment »

“It’s just too late for it,” he says. “Perhaps if we’d gone along routes like that in 1967, it might have helped. But we don’t have time. All these standard green things, like sustainable development, I think these are just words that mean nothing. I get an awful lot of people coming to me saying you can’t say that, because it gives us nothing to do. I say on the contrary, it gives us an immense amount to do. Just not the kinds of things you want to do.”

He dismisses eco ideas briskly, one by one. “Carbon offsetting? I wouldn’t dream of it. It’s just a joke. To pay money to plant trees, to think you’re offsetting the carbon? You’re probably making matters worse. You’re far better off giving to the charity Cool Earth, which gives the money to the native peoples to not take down their forests.”

Do he and his wife try to limit the number of flights they take? “No we don’t. Because we can’t.” And recycling, he adds, is “almost certainly a waste of time and energy”, while having a “green lifestyle” amounts to little more than “ostentatious grand gestures”. He distrusts the notion of ethical consumption. “Because always, in the end, it turns out to be a scam … or if it wasn’t one in the beginning, it becomes one.”

James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia hypothesis, says we’re all screwed. MeFi continues its never-ending discussion about the extent to which the sky is really falling. There’s something of Olaf Stapledon’s wonderful Star Maker, which I think I should have more to say about soon, in the way this article ends:

“There have been seven disasters since humans came on the earth, very similar to the one that’s just about to happen. I think these events keep separating the wheat from the chaff. And eventually we’ll have a human on the planet that really does understand it and can live with it properly. That’s the source of my optimism.”

And of course, something of No Future as well:

What would Lovelock do now, I ask, if he were me? He smiles and says: “Enjoy life while you can. Because if you’re lucky it’s going to be 20 years before it hits the fan.”

Written by gerrycanavan

March 3, 2008 at 9:55 pm