Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Jim Henson

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* Once more, with feeling: Should You Go to Graduate School?

* CFP: Not Reading: University of Chicago English Graduate Conference.

* What are Muppets, anyway? Monsters from an evolutionary perspective.

* No.

* The Fictions and Futures of Transformative Justice: A conversation with the authors of Octavia’s Brood.

* The Elements of Bureaucratic Style.

Yikes! New Behind-the-Scenes Book Brutalizes the Clinton Campaign. More. More.

* Dungeons and Dragons and the class system.

* Bruno Latour: The New Climate.

* Which country shall we bomb today?

* Notes on Walls.

* Against “Fearless Girl”: 1, 2, 3. And a counterpoint.

* The Secret at the Heart of A.I.: No one really understands how it works.

Movie written by algorithm turns out to be hilarious and intense.

* How artificial intelligence learns to be racist.

* The new Star Wars theme park seems like a place my kids will completely love.

The Nightmare Scenario for Florida’s Coastal Homeowners.

* The Retail Apocalypse Is Suburban.

California State University cannot justify administrative growth, manager raises, audit says.

The coming British bloodbath.

* The fake news long con: The Anne Frank Center.

The United States of Work.

* Inside Every Utopia Is a Dystopia.

* “I always have SO MANY QUESTIONS about the economies of post-collapse fictional societies.”

* The Ugly Duckling.

* Every Sci-Fi Star Map. Keep scrolling, we’re not done yet!

* Why the FBI Kept a 1,400-Page File on Einstein.

American energy use, in one diagram. 410. There hasn’t been a cool month in 628 months. A closer look at how rich countries “outsource” their CO2 emissions to poorer ones. Countries Need to Move to Zero-Carbon Energy Now–Here’s Why.

* Are zoo animals happy?

* Who Speaks for the Trees?

Ancient stone carvings confirm how comet struck Earth in 10,950BC, sparking the rise of civilizations.

“Somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25 million books and nobody is allowed to read them.”

* Why are doctors giving anti-psychotic drugs to toddlers? Kids Who Use Touchscreen Devices Sleep Less at Night. Let the children play.

* A New Study Confirms What You’ve Long Suspected: Facebook Is Making People Crazy.

* History as a never-ending struggle to delay the Nazi takeover of the world.

* Star Trek: Discovery delayed again, again. Ian McShane says a Deadwood movie script’s made its way to HBO. Every New (and Returning!) Development Thrawn Brings to the Star Wars Universe. ‘Locke and Key’ Pilot From Carlton Cuse Set at Hulu. Can Batman Beyond save the DCEU? And because you demanded it!

Mystery of why shoelaces come undone unravelled by science.

* What’s the most American movie ever made?

NASA announces one of Saturn’s moons could support alien life in our solar system. NASA Considers Magnetic Shield to Help Mars Grow Its Atmosphere. Space Leaves Astronauts Partially Blind, and We May Finally Know Why. Simulation suggests 68 percent of the universe may not actually exist.

* Recycling is in trouble — and it might be your fault.

* Why United Was Legally Wrong to Deplane David Dao. How Much Money Will David Dao Make From United Airlines?

* Moderate drinking is good for you, if you don’t control for wealth.

* Nintendo doesn’t want you to be happy.

* Jeff VanderMeer amends the apocalypse.

* It might be easier to make a list of who isn’t working for Putin.

The Landmark Sexual Assault Case You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.

* Put a rainbow on it.

* There’s just one story and we tell it over and over.

Editing the Constitution: Wisconsin conservatives are pushing for a constitutional convention. What are their motives? Oh, I bet it’s fine.

* Fifteen Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Film and TV Projects with Black Talent to Get Excited About.

* First protected DREAMer is deported under Trump.

* Was Tamerlan Tsarnaev a federal informant?

Trustees of the Whittier Law School said on Wednesday that it would close down, making it the first fully accredited law school in the country to shut at a time when many law schools are struggling amid steep declines in enrollment and tuition income.

* If you want a vision of the future. The thing is though. The hero’s journey.

* And just in case you haven’t heard: Capitalism is violence.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 24, 2017 at 9:00 am

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Weekend Links!

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* Coming round again soon: The Marquette/UWM Graduate Student Humanities Conference.

* June 18, 1947.

NIH to Cease Use of Chimpanzees in Research. SeaWorld to end orca shows in San Diego.

Is it Ethical to Colonize Mars? And more!

* People have been claiming to own the moon for 250 years.

* The New Utopians.

Kim Stanley Robinson – Rethinking Our Relationship to the Biosphere. Our Generation Ships Will Sink.

Translating Gender: Ancillary Justice in Five Languages.

* The 7 deadly sins of world-building.

5 Must See Sci-Fi Films From Indigenous Filmmakers.

World Fantasy Award To Abandon Lovecraft Bust.

* Conor Friedersdorf close-reads the videos from Mizzou. The power of the strike. Tressie McMillan Cottam vs. David Simon.

UNC Fires Two More in Scandal Over Sham Courses.

In a major shift for California community colleges, the system’s Board of Governors voted Monday to oust the controversial accrediting commission that has overseen campus quality for half a century and is threatening to shut down City College of San Francisco.

Justice Department could do two-year review of Milwaukee police.

Many Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All but Useless.

Working with the conservative estimate that vampires only need to feed once a month, Efthimiou and Gandhi looked at population stats and concluded that vampires would eliminate humans within three years.

Explaining Your Math: Unnecessary at Best, Encumbering at Worst.

Michael Bérubé on Humans, Superheroes, Mutants, and People with Disabilities at TEDxPSU.

A Six-Figure Settlement on Campus Free Speech. What’s Salaita’s Six-Figure Settlement Really Worth? And while I don’t have a crystal ball, I’d be surprised if any university ever tried to pull this kind of stunt again. I’ll take that bet, alas.

What Open-Access Publishing Actually Costs.

White People Explain Why They Feel Oppressed.

The University of Nowhere: The False Promise of “Disruption.”

* I suppose musicalization comes for all of us in its time.

Parents Have Been Requesting Star Wars Toys for Their Daughters For Decades.

* Kierna Shipka ranks the Bobby Drapers.

* Tolkien criticism today. A reply.

Earth’s climate entering new ‘permanent reality’ as CO2 hits new high.

* Goodbye, Phobos.

* Maglev! Maglev! Maglev!

* Can the Muppet speak? Jim Henson’s Newly Discovered Journal Reveals The Muppets’ Fascinating Backstory.

* You won’t live to see the final Star Wars movie.

* Teach the controversy: Is BB-8 a boy or a girl?

An Oral History of the Nerdier Half of Freaks and Geeks.

John Malkovich and Robert Rodriguez Have Made A Movie No One Will See For 100 Years.

Now that New Jersey’s law has been signed, there are still ten states in which bestiality has not been outlawed.

Anne Frank Foundation claims father was “co-author,” extends copyright by decades.

The Last Child Soldier: “Beasts of No Nation” and the Child-Soldier Narrative.

* Ready for Hillary! The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.

Watch Elmo give Julia Louis-Dreyfus a hard time for cursing on Sesame Street.

* This is a serious political debate that actually happened: Ben Carson would not abort baby Hitler. Jeb Bush: ‘Hell Yeah, I Would’ Kill Baby Hitler.

* And some bad news for my particular demographic: Warped sense of humour ‘can be early sign of dementia.’

Written by gerrycanavan

November 19, 2015 at 8:47 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Night Links!

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* Did you know Jaimee Hills’s incredible How to Avoid Speaking has started to ship? Buy it today! Hear her on Lake Effect!

* Presenting the MOSF Journal of Science Fiction.

The Founders misread history and established a dysfunctional system of government. A case for a little less reverence. Will “decoherence” be the doom of American democracy?

The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration. Race Is Always the Issue.

The False Science of Cryonics: What the nervous system of the roundworm tells us about freezing brains and reanimating human minds. A Dying Young Woman’s Hope.

* The Caine Prize after “emergence.”

* The Nine Dumbest Things in the Rutgers Report on Kyle Flood.

* The Internet after Ad Blocking. Welcome to hell: Apple vs. Google vs. Facebook and the slow death of the web.

Inside the Brains of Happily Married Couples.

* Friends don’t let friends write clickbait confessionals.

The feminist think piece industrial complex.

* Twilight of the Elites and the rise of a global left. Even Yglesias is on board!

We enter into something of a contract as a faculty member: we trade income for autonomy and security. If we do not use the latter, we enter a fool’s bargain. This is why I stay, and why being ready to quit is an important part of staying.

Inside the Battle for Cooper Union.

* Doing the Lord’s work at GOG.com.

Every Single Movie That Jimmy Carter Watched at the White House.

* 30 Questions to Ask Your Kid Instead of “How Was Your Day?”

These 25 schools are responsible for the greatest advances in science. Go Spartans! #11.

If you like Return Of The Jedi but hate the Ewoks, you understand feminist criticism.

* Tased at the Harris Teeter. After an often torturous tenure at the helm of the Durham Police Department—including, most recently, last week’s controversial Tasering of an unarmed black man at a Durham Harris Teeter—Chief Jose Lopez Sr. is out.

* How Languages Die.

* Fraternities are pretty bad.

* The Opposite of Hoarding.

“I don’t expect them to understand everything I do,” Dr. Xi, 57, said in a telephone interview. “But the fact that they don’t consult with experts and then charge me? Put my family through all this? Damage my reputation? They shouldn’t do this. This is not a joke. This is not a game.”

The NFL and the military: a love affair as strange and cynical as ever.

* God save Title IX from its champions.

Memo to Clinton-world: It might be time to start panicking.

Ahmed Mohamed and the “Freedom to Tinker.”

* How to screw up the Muppets in one easy step.

A spoiler-free example: The Miss Piggy-Kermit relationship has always worked because of how unfathomable it is, both in terms of species and temperament. These people don’t belong together, but somehow they’ve formed a decadeslong pairing, one that always felt buoyed by Miss Piggy’s stronger affections and a submissive aspect to Kermit. But discovering that Kermit is dating another pig now, perhaps a slightly more docile pig, inverts the whole dynamic of the relationship. Now Kermit just has a fetish, so has he always been playing hard-to-get with Piggy as part of some role-playing that we haven’t previously established? Once you open the window a crack, you’re gonna have to throw open the doors eventually. And within the same dynamic, Miss Piggy’s affections for Kermit, even affections tempered by occasional abuse, have always been a key softening factor for Miss Piggy. We tolerate her awfulness because of her love for Kermit and the love we believe Kermit has for her. Without that core, the risk of Miss Piggy spiraling into an untenable sty of callus words and consistent mistreatment of subordinates is all too real.

* What’s it like to take Jim Henson’s place?

Don’t Have Sex With Robots, Say Ethicists.

* Nemo iudex in causa sua, but, you know, the opposite.

* How to D&D.

* Against Lolita.

* Utilitarianism, y’all. Also: the Singularity.

What Happens When A Parent’s Grief Goes Viral?

At WeWork, an Idealistic Start-Up Clashes With Its Cleaners.

Banksy and the Problem With Sarcastic Art.

“The Long Emancipation” offers a useful reminder that abolition was not the charitable work of respectable white people, or not mainly that. Instead, the demise of slavery was made possible by the constant discomfort inflicted on middle-class white society by black activists.

Students’ Requests for Trigger Warnings Grow More Varied. Higher Education’s Internet Outrage Machine. How Salaita Was Fired: One Year Later. Gaps in Earnings Stand Out in Release of College Data. Enrollment in Humanities Ph.D. Programs Declines as More Graduate Schools Slim Down. Colleges Flush With Cash Saddle Poorest Students With Debt. No Child Left Behind Goes to College. Is College Tuition Really Too High? The Uberification of the University. The Rise and Coming Demise of the Corporate University. Tacit knowledge and graduate education. Can’t afford to eat at a college sitting on over $9 billion? There’s an app for that. The Whistleblower Effect. The entire Japanese public university system attempts a massive queen sacrifice. There Is No Excuse for How Universities Treat Adjuncts. Are College Lectures Unfair? Microaggressions and good manners. The coming human capital contract nightmare.

In 1997, the ETS announced that the SAT could not properly be labeled a scholastic assessment test, either; the initials now stand for nothing.

* Maybe the best description of what it is I think I’m doing I’ve ever seen: He said that his best professors “took texts that seemed complicated, made them look simple, and then made them complex again.”

“We couldn’t imagine Oregonians’ turning their backs on higher education, but they did.”

Some have called Harvard a Hedge Fund with a school attached, because it has over $36 billion in its endowment, but the UC holds over $100 billion in its retirement funds, endowments, and working capital funds.  This large amount of money can be used for good, or it can be used for darker purposes, but one thing for sure, it makes the university an important global finance player.  Of course, we should all ask what it means when a public university enters global finance.

Jerry Brown’s University of California Perma-Temp Problem.

Keywords for the Age of Austerity 22: Collaboration (part 2 of 2).

* The rise of the woman comic book buyer.

* Studies in Cruel Optimism, Bernie Sanders campaign edition.

* Yes. Yes. Embrace your hate.

* This week, the site enabled hosts of events to determine who has actually seen the Facebook invites they’ve sent out but not replied, making the simple act of viewing of your notifications a horrifying social contract you can’t escape.

* Nice work if you can get it: How I Felt After 70 Days of Lying in Bed for Science.

If We Burn All the World’s Fossil Fuels, We’ll Melt Antarctica & Flood the Earth. Right, that’s the plan. Climate Apocalypse and/or Democracy. PS: Almost Half of the World’s Ocean Life Has Died Off Since 1970.

* Markets in everything! Refugees bring in big business in Europe.

* The arc of history is long, but.

* And some news you can use: The IRS Will Refuse Checks Greater Than $100 Million Beginning In 2016.

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Written by gerrycanavan

September 17, 2015 at 6:47 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Night Links!

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* [Deletes blog, deletes Twitter, unplugs phone, burns everything]

* A little bit on the nose, don’t you think? Scott Walker Strikes ‘Truth,’ ‘Human Condition’ from Wisconsin Idea. The Walker administration has now backed off the plan. The Power of the Wisconsin Idea.

Top 11 things to know about the proposed budget.

* Meet the Regents, Wisconsin, or Welcome to Our New University System Overlords.

* Ursula Heise on what happens when dystopia becomes routine.

* The FCC clears the deck on net neutrality, possibly for good.

* Questions for Harper Lee’s editor. Be suspicious.

From Ph.D. to the professorship, the market moves downward. Of the graduates who get tenure-track jobs, most end up at universities ranked lower than the ones they attended. Virtually no one moves up. Even moving from a fourth-tier Ph.D. program to a tenure-track professorship at a third-tier one is nearly unheard of.

3 Things Academic Leaders Believe About Online Education.

To portray Samus’ sudden refusal to carry out her genocide mission, the game has the player nurture and nourish life instead of ending it. The fundamental nature of Metroid’s game-design ethos is subtly changed to reflect the altered tone. Paths are no longer opened with destructive weapons; instead, progress can only be made when the player provides life-giving nourishment to a newborn whose entire family they’ve just killed. The significance is that the player cannot stand idly by while the metroid child eats; they must lead the child to the food and take part in feeding them. Understanding Metroid II.

* Frozen vs. the patriarchy.

* Trains and safety.

The FRA gave the site of Tuesday’s crash a probability of 3.1 percent — or, all things being equal, about one crash every 32 years. (Ironically, the last crash at the intersection was just over 30 years ago.)

But in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, there’s a New Jersey Transit crossingwith a predicted-collision probability of 49.6 percent — a coin flip, more or less. In total, 31 crossings in the New York area have probabilities above 10 percent, plus another 31 in Chicago.

* Ursula K. Le Guin on the future of the left. Ursula K. Le Guin on men.

* Presenting the original pitch for Game of Thrones, with unspeakably gross Arya-Jon incest plot.

* The original pitch for The Muppet Show. More links after the clip!

Why Transparent Has Lost The Trust Of The Trans Community.

* It’s time to stop letting sports team owners blackmail taxpayers for new stadiums.

* “Let’s talk about sex in English class.” Okay but let me get tenure first.

* “What Roman slave owners knew about managing staff.” Um.

As Parents Get More Choice, S.F. Schools Resegregate. But only artisanal segregation is good enough for my kids. Meanwhile, in Mississippi: A School District That Was Never Desegregated.

NYPD Has a Plan to Magically Turn Anyone It Wants Into a Felon.

* Strange Maps takes up The Man in the High Castle.

The Truth About What Went Wrong With The Third Season Of Star Trek. Roddenberry himself takes most of the blame in this telling.

The Amazing Village in The Netherlands Just for People with Dementia.

* Singlism and married privilege.

* Two takes on language and activism at Ravishly and Student Activism.

* Jonathan Chait and the Overton Window.

Yung found that, during the government audits, the number of sexual assaults reported by those schools increased by about 44 percent. But after the audits were over, the number of reports dropped back down to their previous levels. The study also found that the vast majority of participating schools frequently reported zero cases of annual off-campus sexual assaults, even though the Clery Act requires officials to make a “good faith” effort to work with local police to get that data.

* The arc of history is long, but Harvard professors are now barred from having sex with undergraduates.

* Twitter CEO admits Twitter is terrible.

* What Happens When a Prominent Male Feminist Is Accused of Rape?

* Former Teacher At Elite L.A. Girls School Arrested For Sex Crimes.

* Twilight of the fraternities.

* You had me at “sci-fi alterations of 19th century portraits.”

Believing that life is fair might make you a terrible person.

* Oculus Rex.

* “My dad, the pornographer.”

* And the kids aren’t all right.

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Late Night Monday Links

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* Government shutting down because everything is terrible that’s why. Federal workers who check their e-mail during a shutdown will be breaking the law.

* Shock at Berkeley: Campus officials declare emergency following explosion around California Hall.

What kind of society emerges when it is governed by the market-driven assumption that the only value that matters is exchange value, when the common good is denigrated to the status of a mall, and the social order is composed only of individuals free to pursue their own interests?

Instead place of high-stakes testing, Bard is letting its students hand in a high-stakes homework assignment. The system sounds like it’s just begging to be gamed by wealthy students. 

Towards a History of the Professional: On the Class Composition of the Research University.

* Vince Gilligan talks Breaking Bad alternate endings. This Is What Everyone Is Writing About Breaking Bad Today. And even more links.

Adjuncts Should Do As Little Work As Possible.

Memo: CUNY is Moving David Petraeus Seminar to Avoid Protestors.

“Warning! The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.”

Before the Muppets, Jim Henson Tried to Build a Futuristic Nightclub.

* Color, Chromophobia, and Colonialism: Some Historical Thoughts.

* The Fantastic Four (1961-88) was  The Great American Novel. (via)

NASA’s abandoned plan for a re-usable, nuclear powered moon shuttle. (also via)

* And it turns out 2-to-1 of the people in this city are totally insane. Oh man.

A Few Sunday Night Links

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* Another great Muppet thing that never was: Douglas Adams and Jim Henson tried to develop a TV special about the Muppet Institute of Technology.

* Given Politco’s track record, I think we can expect Mitt to make a comeback in the next few days.

* I’ve been fascinated all week by the stories about Sean Smith, one of the U.S. foreign service workers killed in the consulate attacks this week, and his virtual life in EVE Online as “Vile Rat.”

* The Boy Scouts have a pedophile blacklist dating back to 1919. Of course, they never actually involved the cops, or, you know, did anything about it. Heavens no.

* Will Self, “The Trouble with My Blood.”

* Eugenics at Yale.

* When Roberts flipped.

* Unpaid internships in the New York Times.

* And just for laughs: A spokesman for Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) is facing criticism after advocating violence against female Democratic senators in a Facebook post.

My question today… when is Tommy boy going to weigh in on all the Lilly Ledbetter hypocrites who claim to be fighting the War on Women? Let’s hurl some acid at those female democratic Senators who won’t abide the mandates they want to impose on the private sector.

“Acid in Female Senators’ Faces: Opinions Differ.”

Tuesday Night Links

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* How to Draw Comics the New 52 Way.

* Today Occupy Wall Street occupied foreclosed homes nationwide.

* Fox News vs. the Muppets. At least we got a great new hashtag out of it.

It’s long been surmised that the Mayan empire fell largely because of a 200-year drought that struck the region in 800 AD, but now it appears that the drought may have been amplified by Mayan agricultural practices.

* Weird ecology: The Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant in southeastern Florida has been so good to the American crocodile that the reptile was recently taken off the endangered species list. But the croc’s newly thriving condition has nothing to do with nuclear power itself; rather the species has cottoned to the 168 miles of manmade cooling canals that surround the plant, adopting the system as a new natural breeding ground. (Thanks, Lindsey!)

* Tennessee firefighters let another house burn down for failure to pay subscription fee.

* And via Kottke, a profile of Nigel Richards, perhaps the best Scrabble player in the world.

In the tight, little world of Scrabble, Nigel Richards stories are legendary. Nigel read the 1,953-page Chambers Dictionary five times and memorized all the words. Nigel bicycled fourteen hours overnight to a weekend tournament, won it, then biked home and straight to work on Monday morning. With a rack of CDHLNR?, Nigel played CHLORODyNE# through three disconnected tiles (the two O’s and the E). Nigel played SAPROZOIC through ZO#. Nigel played GOOSEFISH$. Nigel averaged 584 points per games in a tournament. Nigel’s word knowledge was so deep, his point-scoring ability so profound, his manner so unflappable, that a competitor once made a T-shirt reading: I BEAT NIGEL RICHARDS.