Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Kim Stanley Robinson

Weekend Links! Catch Them All!

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oeb-3Americans first learn about slavery as children, before adults are willing to explain finance capital or rape. By high school, young adults are ready to hear about sexual violence as an element of slavery and about how owners valued their property, but there’s no level of developmental maturity that prepares someone to grasp systemized monstrosity on this scale. Forced labor we can understand—maybe it’s even a historical constant so far. Mass murder too. But an entire economy built on imprisoning and raping children? One that enslaved near 40 percent of the population? Even for the secular, only religious words seem to carry enough weight: unholy, abomination, evil.

Plan C: The top secret Cold War plan for martial law in the USA.

* The Huntington honors Octavia Butler. And from the archives! My writeup on the Butler papers at the Huntington.

* The first issue of the MOSF Journal of Science Fiction.

Feeding English Majors in the 21st Century.

Chicago State University in danger of closing: Alumni speak out.

* CFP: Fantasies of Contemporary Culture. Paradoxa 29: “Small Screen Fictions.” MUHuCon 2016. Feminist Review: Dystopias and Utopias.

* One of the major figures in science fiction studies, Rob Latham, has issued a statement regarding his shocking firing from UC Riverside.

* Melissa Click has now been suspended, after being charged with third degree assault.

A University Softens a Plan to Cut Tenured Faculty, but Professors Remain Wary.

Prominent Medieval Scholar’s Blog on ‘Feminist Fog’ Sparks an Uproar.

How startling, unique cuts have transformed Louisiana’s universities.

* A How-To.

Is It Discriminatory to Require Peer Review?

2.5 million men ‘have no close friends.’

* After capitalism.

Sanders and the Theory of Change: Radical Politics for Grown-Ups.

* Bernie Sanders and the Liberal Imagination.

How to pair wine with your favorite Girl Scout cookies.

How Intellectuals Create a Public.

Long Before Helping Flint, Michigan Officials Were Shipping Clean Water to Their Own Workers. Flint’s Bottom Line. What went wrong in Flint. Flint Residents Told That Their Children Could Be Taken Away If They Don’t Pay For City’s Poison Water. Report: ‘Every Major US City East of the Mississippi’ Is Underreporting Heavy Metals In Its Water. It’s everywhere. “Milwaukee taking steps to prevent lead from getting in water.”

* And elsewhere on the Milwaukee beat: FBI arrests suspect who allegedly wanted to cause mass terrorism in Milwaukee. MPS as “national disgrace.” ‘Back in time 60 years’: America’s most segregated city. Milwaukee leaders speak out against deadly rise in car thefts. Have I mentioned we’re hiring?

Chicago Police Hid Mics, Destroyed Dashcams To Block Audio, Records Show.

What Happened to Jane Mayer When She Wrote About the Koch Brothers.

* The Difference a Mutant Makes.

* See? It’s good that I’m like this.

AmazonWarnings* Suggested Amazon warning labels.

* Star Wars Social Networks.

* On the SNAFU Principle.

* Richard Feynman, “Personal observations on the reliability of the Shuttle.”

Rhode Island: Children Under 10 Shall Not Be Left Home Alone, Even Briefly.

Sea level rise from ocean warming underestimated, scientists say.

* History is melting.

* In praise of blizzards.

Climate dystopia is here: Zika virus prompts calls for women to stop having babies.

Why science-fiction writers find it so hard to discuss climate tech.

Racial harmony in a Marxist utopia: how the Soviet Union capitalised on US discrimination.

Linguists Analyze Every Disney Princess Movie, to Somewhat Depressing Results.

List of animals with fraudulent diplomas.

* Everything’s fine: Hillary’s team copied intel off top-secret server to email.

Constitutional Convention 2016.

* Today in Doctor Who fandom: The Season of River Song. And then there was Chibnall.

Fictional Games From Epic Fantasy Books. A People’s History of Board Games.

Instructor explained clearly that he’d hand out the rating sheets and then sit in his car while we completed them.

Here’s why we’re attracted to people of a similar height, scientists say.

Former NFL Player Tyler Sash Had CTE When He Died At Age 27.

* A dark, gritty Hanna-Barbera reboot.

Airbnb makes half its SF money with illegal listings.

Trailer with $70,000 worth of cheese stolen in Wisconsin. And that’s only the second-largest cheese heist in the state this week.

Nearly $50,000 In Bull Semen Stolen From Turlock Truck.

The final days of Al Jazeera America.

* Twilight of the sleazy professor.

* The end of Go.

* Dailyshowgnarok.

The FBI Claims Not to Have a File on David Bowie.

According to the trades and his pitch to investors, Ryan Kavanaugh had found film business formula that couldn’t lose. It could. Unraveling a Tinseltown Ponzi scheme.

69% of the alcohol sold in the UK is sold to “harmful,” “hazardous” or “increasing risk” drinkers, accounting for more than 60% of the industry’s revenues.

* A map of every city.

* The lost age of pinball.

* It’s finally happening.

Meet the Americans Who Moved to Europe and Went AWOL on Their Student Loans.

* And there is no politics — only LEGO.

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 29, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links! Piping Hot!

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* Don’t forget! The deadline for the SFFTV special issue on the Mad Max franchise is February 1.

* The local beat! The day Milwaukee almost killed the NFL.

Expert says Michigan officials changed a Flint lead report to avoid federal action. Bernie calls on Snyder to resign. This is how toxic Flint’s water really is.

* A Bonus Keyword for the Age of Austerity this week: Meritocracy.

* The end of Al Jazeera America.

NYPD Demands a Mere $36,000 “Copying Fee” for Access to Cops’ Body Cam Footage.

* I don’t want to tell anyone how to do their jobs, but this seems sacrilegious to me.

What a time to be alive.

* Lotteryville, USA.

* Rickman, Bowie, and class mobility.

* David Bowie, Nazi.

* Teach the controversy: thebeatlesneverexisted.com

* The latest from KSR: What Will It Take for Humans to Colonize the Milky Way?

* The game’s afoot! Something Is Killing Off America’s Orange Supply.

The incredible tale of irresponsible chocolate milk research at the University of Maryland.

* A genetic map of the UK.

* Race and the NCAA.

Girl Suspended for 30 Days Because She Lent Her Inhaler to a Gasping Classmate.

* Throw a save against narcissistic self-regard: “Role-playing Gamers Have More Empathy Than Non-Gamers.”

Retired Art Teacher Leaves $1.7 Million to the Detroit Institute of Arts.

* Lead and crime, part 83.

* Immediately greenlit.

* 2016 pessimism watch: Democrats are in more trouble than they think. And changing demographics won’t save them.

For most of human history, the stars told us where we were in space and time. Have we forgotten how to look up?

* My people? 0.0% of Icelanders 25 years or younger believe God created the world, new poll reveals.

* Forever reTumblr.

* And “Late stage capitalism” is the new “Christ, what an asshole.”

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Off to MLA Links!

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1918771_947287975363698_5838100863611694581_n* CFP: Powering the Future: Energy Resources in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

* “Man who changed name to Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybop-bop-bop faces 5 years in prison on drug charges.”

Kim Stanley Robinson Receives 2016 Robert A. Heinlein Award.

* Your daily dose of pop culture art.

GOP lawmakers call for firing of Mizzou professor who called for ‘muscle.’ Wheaton College seeks to fire Christian professor over view of Islam. Florida Atlantic Fires Sandy Hook Denier. Professor Removed From Course Over Vulgarity Waiver.

Oregon and the Injustice of Mandatory Minimums. Libertarian Fairy-Tales: The Bundy Militia’s Revisionist History in Oregon.

How Michigan literally poisoned an entire city to save a few bucks.

“This is the United States of America and we have private property here. This is not a communist country. We own land, and land use is an attribute of property ownership,” he says. “Food doesn’t stay on the farm it was grown on. We share our food, we share our energy, we share our oil and gas. I can sell land to anybody. Why would I treat water any differently?”

* Shelters near capacity in Milwaukee County.

* Wisconsin schools earn a B-, over the nation’s gentleman’s C.

* As it happens, these new Star Wars comics are good comics precisely because they are restricted by the Star Wars franchise. Rather than engage in the default marketing narratives of mainstream superhero comics — killing off a character, or staging a world-changing event, or redesigning costumes, all ways of fooling readers who know better into thinking that things will actually change in significant ways — these comics tell serial stories aimed at no specific resolution. They promise nothing but play. Sure, okay, but where is your God now? More LARB Star Wars: Making Things Right: “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

The Secret Origin of The Force Awakens’ Adorably Angriest Stormtrooper. (It’s canon.What the Seven Star Wars Films Reveal about George Lucas. All the Backstory You Desperately Want to Know About The Force Awakens.

* Jacob Brogan reviews The Census-Taker.

* Elsewhere on the Brogan beat: What’s the Deal With Geoengineering? Your Geoengineering Cheat Sheet.

judgment_day* Existential riddles.

* Skynet watch.

* SF for social change.

“The system isn’t broken. It’s fixed.”

* Really, though, how did this happen? We are all complicit.

* Social Justice Warrior (level 2).

* Presenting the sperm switch.

Gene Editing Cures Animal Of Genetic Disease For The First Time.

* Today in unholy abominations.

* Today in the 2016 election: Former U.S. attorney: Clinton could face criminal indictment. Why this social feminist is not voting for Hillary. A warlock in Mexico has predicted that Donald Trump will not be the 45th president of America.

* What not to wear to your MLA interview.

* Grading abolition watch: Better-Looking Female Students Get Better Grades.

* Student evaluation abolition watch: Student Evaluations of Teaching (Mostly) Do Not Measure Teaching Effectiveness.

When Your Curriculum Has Been Tumblrized.

The CEO of your company has probably already earned your 2016 salary this year.

* …according to the state of California, ten-year-olds should also know enough to “voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently” waive their right to remain silent before they are interrogated by police, so the statements that they make are admissible, should there be further criminal proceedings, in a court of law.

* Get this traffic camera a Pulitzer.

* Twitter announces plan to ruin the whole point of Twitter.

* WSJ covers one of my favorite sites on the net.

* That Dragon, Cancer: A Father, a Dying Son, and the Quest to Make the Most Profound Videogame Ever.

* Education metrics, y’all.

The Death Penalty’s Last Stand.

* A people’s history of Blossom.

* Annotating Harvard.

* I’m about to have seen things you people won’t have believed.

* The sad core of the gun debate.

Deadwood Reunion Movie ‘Is Going to Happen,’ Promises HBO President. THAT’S LEGALLY BINDING.

* Rest in peace, Schneider.

* And of course you had me at Gruesome and Surreal Surgical Illustrations from the 15th–19th Centuries.

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End of the Semester Fire Sale: Every Link Must Go

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* Another galaxy is possible: Toshiro Mifune turned down Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader roles.

* CFP: Current Research in Speculative Fiction 2016.

The Secret History of One Hundred Years of Solitude.

* Huntington’s disease and engineered humanity.

* A little on-the-nose, don’t you think? USS Milwaukee breaks down at sea.

* Elsewhere on the Milwaukee beat: Millennials: They’re Just Like Us!

College Football Coaches Are Making Millions Off A Useless Metric.

* AAUP calls UI search a ‘crude exercise in naked power.’

Report Highlights Faculty Conditions at Jesuit Colleges.

We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to publish internationally bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson’s first stand-alone short story in twenty-five years.

* The Marquette Tribune did a short followup on my magic and literature class, returning this spring.

* 95,000 Words, Many of Them Ominous, From Donald Trump’s Tongue. How Will the Professors Act When Fascism Comes to America? I asked 5 fascism experts whether Donald Trump is a fascist. Here’s what they said. Understanding Trumpism the Scott Adams Way. And here’s where things get wild: GOP preparing for contested convention. Trumpism would be the perfect ideology for a third party.

When Popular Fiction Isn’t Popular: Genre, Literary, and the Myths of Popularity.

* On English studies and ennui. Gee, I wonder why a cohort of people who have discovered too late that they have committed themselves to an imploding profession might feel a little bit depressed.

* On the plus side: More Useless Liberal Arts Majors Could Destroy ISIS.

* The College of Saint Rose has laid off a number of tenured faculty, among them Scott Lemieux.

* Another mass shooting was over. The country had moved on. But inside one house in Oregon, a family was discovering the unending extent of a wound.

* Every year, roughly 40,000 people die in Minnesota. For some, it’s weeks or months before anyone finds them. Meet the crew who comes in to clean up the mess.

Amazing Graphics Show How Much Fruits Have Changed Since Humans Started Growing Them.

* At least five police officers present during a shooting that was captured on a video that has created a firestorm of protest in this city supported a discredited version of events told by the officer who fired the fatal shots, newly released records show. Laquan McDonald and police perjury: a way forward. The U.S. Department of Justice unit that investigates civil rights violations by police departments has only about 18 employees who work on such investigations full-time. According to a former head of the unit, a forthcoming probe into the Chicago PD could overwhelm its “ridiculously small” staff. Good luck to them! Meanwhile, Rahm tries to hold on to power despite a clear need to resign.

* Here’s how Las Vegas police halted a trend in excessive force.

* In the 1950s, a group of scientists spoke out against the dangers of nuclear weapons. Should cryptographers take on the surveillance state. 

* How the Democrats flubbed San Bernardino. The worst part is most them seem not to have noticed.

* Nice work if you can get it: Top 20 billionaires worth as much as half of America.

* An Isochronic Map of the World from London, c. 1914. More links after the map!

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* The geography of student debt.

* UBI in Finland — though it looks a bit like stealth social safety net cuts to me.

* On Jane Vonnegut.

Does America Deserve Malala?

* @Batman66labels.

* Obama scandal watch: This one does seem pretty corrupt, actually.

* Abandoned America: the Hershey Chocolate Factory.

* God save Title IX from its champions: ‘Hunting Ground’ Filmmakers to Harvard Law Profs: Criticizing Our Film Could Create a ‘Hostile Climate.’ When the core belief is that accusers never lie, if any one accuser has lied, it brings into question the stability of the entire thought system, rendering uncertain all allegations of sexual assault. But this is neither sensible nor necessary: that a few claims turn out to be false does not mean that all, most, or even many claims are wrongful. The imperative to act as though every accusation must be true—when we all know some number will not be—harms the over-all credibility of sexual assault claims. Relatedly, Newsweek has an article covering “the other side” of campus rape investigations.

* Telltale will make a Batman game.

* Two strikes against the next Wes Anderson movie: “…it’s a Japanese story and I’m playing a dog.”

* The Last Dalai Lama?

Servicemen Contradict Military’s Account Of Attack On MSF Hospital In Afghanistan.

* The arc of history is long, but Red Mars is finally going to series.

* Last year carbon emissions dropped while the economy grew for the first time in history.

* On anorexia.

* Public history at UNC: tracing the history of building names.

Reading Flannery O’Connor in the Age of Islamophobia.

* ACA collapse watch: The lone health insurance cooperative to make money last year on the Affordable Care Act’s public insurance exchanges is now losing millions and suspending individual enrollment for 2016.

* The Sports Bubble Is About to Pop. Don’t Let Kids Play Football. It’s Time To Take The Warriors’ Chances Of Going 73-9 Seriously. Golden State Warriors: best team in NBA history? The last team to start 20-0 like the Warriors was so good that its league folded.

* Being A Girl: A Brief Personal History of Violence.

All The Items Of Clothing Women Have Been Told Not To Wear In 2015.

This Supercut of All the Non-Leia Female Dialogue in the Original Star Wars Trilogy Will Astound You.

* The Founders and Islam.

* These People Took DDT Pills In the 1970s to Prove it Was Safe.

Being a good looking man could hinder your career, study finds. Happiness Doesn’t Bring Good Health, Study Finds. Stonehenge may have been first erected in Wales, evidence suggests.

* Why didn’t anyone stop Doctor Hardy?

* Latinx.

* Vice got the Rachel Dolezal profile.

Fractal Problems in Comparative Domestic Policy.

* How D.C. spent $200 million over a decade on a streetcar you still can’t ride.

* Kill Bill 3, please.

* Serial‘s back y’all. UPDATE: And it’s already super irritating!

UFO truthers want to make Roswell an issue for 2016. Meet their lobbyist.

Ron Howard says Arrested Development season 5 is in the writing stage.

* Teach the controversy: Building the Death Star Was an Economic Catastrophe.

* Pretty grim America: Gun Rights Groups to Hold Fake Mass Shooting at UT This Weekend.

* Just another here’s-what-happens-when-you-adopt-a-chimp story.

FDA Approves Device That Can Plug Gunshot Wounds in 15 Seconds.

The Definitive Guide to Sci-Fi Drugs Was Produced by the Government in the 1970s.

Why are so many toddlers being put on heavy psychiatric drugs?

* All right, I’m in: Margaret Atwood Is Writing A Part-Cat, Part-Owl, Part-Human Superhero Comic.

* xkcd explains the Three Laws of Robotics.

* Well, at least now we know.

* I’ve had dreams like this.

* And in an age without heroes, there was Matt Haughey.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 12, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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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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Thank God It’s Monday Links

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* I have a pair of appearances in the new Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction: one the transcript of the archival research panel at the last ICFA, and the other a writeup of the Octavia E. Butler papers at the Huntington. Boing Boing liked it, so should you!

Islam and Science Fiction: An Interview with Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad.

* Deadline extended: “In More’s Footsteps: Utopia and Science Fiction.”

* There’s only 37 stories, and we tell them over and over.

* The reason for the season: China Miéville: Marxism and Halloween – Socialism 2013.

* African American Review has a special issue devoted to Samuel R. Delany.

The layoffs and program reductions will save Rider close to $2 million annually once the changes take effect next school year, the university said. The university has a $216 million operating budget and faces a current deficit of $7.6 million, a school spokesman said.

In the Midst of Union Battle, Duquesne University Just Laid Off All but One of Its English Adjuncts.

* O Adjunct! My Adjunct!

The Philosophy of Adjuncting: A Syllabus.

“This is going to be like a combination of fantasy football and which body part can you live without.”

* There is no college bubble.

Study on online charter schools: ‘It is literally as if the kid did not go to school for an entire year.’

* A Florida college will force job applicants to bid salary.

* What I Learned From Cutting 300 Pages Out Of My Epic Trilogy.

* The Secret Lives of ‘Star Wars’ Extras.

School and prison, school as prison, yes. But the most troubling possibility, I think, is school or prison. By using this locution, I don’t intend to invoke the uplift narrative that posits education as a means of avoiding criminality or, really, criminalization—a narrative that the “school-to-prison pipeline” concept has already undone. The or of my “school or prison” marks not a choice between alternatives but an identity produced through the indifferent interchangeability of functions.

* Arbitration is terrible.

The more unequal your society is, the more your laws will favor the rich.

* Haruki Murakami’s Monopoly. And why not: Selections from H.P. Lovecraft’s Brief Tenure as a Whitman’s Sampler Copywriter.

How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Revived Modern Myth-Telling. The Catholic Fantasies of Chesterton and Tolkien.

“It Follows”: Contemporary Horror and the Feminization of Labor.

53 years after his firing, college professor gets apology.

Penny booksellers are exactly the sort of weedy company that springs up in the cracks of the waste that the Internet has laid to creative industries. They aren’t a cause; they’re a small, understandable result. Penny booksellers expose the deep downside to efficiency capitalism, which is that everything, even literal garbage and rare high art, is now as easy to find and roughly as personal as a spare iPhone charging cable.

The Winner of the Latest GOP Debate Was, Hands Down, Patton Oswalt.

We must resist the market forces destroying our universities.

George Romero digs up a lost scene from Night Of The Living Dead.

* Teach the controversy: “The destruction of Alderaan was completely justified.”

* And while we’re at it: Jar Jar Binks was a trained Force user, knowing Sith collaborator, and will play a central role in The Force Awakens.

This Chart Shows How The US Military Is Responsible For Almost All The Technology In Your iPhone.

* Chimera watch: A Man is His Son’s Uncle, Thanks to a Vanished Twin.

* Crisis in the ACC.

Google, Tesla, others wait for DMV’s self-driving rules.

Bikini islanders seek US refuge as sea levels threaten homes. But it’s not all bad news! No, Climate Change Won’t Make the Persian Gulf “Uninhabitable.”

* It really depends what the meaning of “interdisciplinary” is.

* I’ll allow it, but listen, you’re on very thin ice: Wes Anderson would like to make a horror movie.

Things My Newborn Has Done That Remind Me of the Existential Horror of the Human Experience.

After 40 Years, Dungeons & Dragons Still Brings Players To The Table.

* Really now, don’t say it unless you mean it.

* Huge if true: Milwaukee County Sheriff Predicts Black Lives Matter Will Soon Join Forces with ISIS.

* Ethics 102.

* And there’s nothing sweet in life.

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 2, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Night Links!

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* Climate Fiction Short Story Contest judged by Kim Stanley Robinson. Fall fiction contest judged by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer.

* Whoa: Ta-Nehisi Coates to Write Black Panther Comic for Marvel.

* Whiteness, Political Economy, and the MFA.

The majority of these reasons have to do with student desire. It is obvious that people have to want the degree for universities to feel motivated to create programs. But there are many economic pressures that induce colleges and universities to expand and aggressively advertise and recruit for programs in creative writing. We do not think it is an overstatement that, prior to the 1990s and the intensifying financial pressures that brought about the corporatization of the university, English departments tended to have a studious lack of interest that bordered on disdain about the teaching of creative writing. And top-tier schools still tend to not offer graduate degrees in creative writing. Of the top 10 universities according to USNWR rankings, only Columbia has an MFA program.

The story of how these financial pressures show up in the college where we work — a small liberal arts college that admits self-identified women and people assigned female at birth who do not fit into the gender binary — might provide a useful illustration here. In 1990, the board of the college voted to go co-ed. In response, students went on a strike that they won after two weeks; the board backed down and the school did not go co-ed. Despite the outpouring of support, the college still had significant enrollment issues. Administration responded to this in the 90s by focusing on co-ed graduate programs. Between 1990 and 2013, graduate students went from 25 percent of the total enrollment at the college to 40 percent. The MFA in creative writing was targeted for growth. During the same period, the number of MFA graduates in the creative writing program more than doubled, from an average of 13 to 34 annually. This growth was not under department control. In 2005, after a long discussion, the department decided that they wanted to admit a smaller, more selective class. It was clear that “targeted for growth” meant adding more students, not more resources. But the president of the college held the acceptance letters until the department agreed to admit everyone on the fairly large wait list. This resulted in the largest class ever admitted.

* An excerpt from Claire Vaye Watkins’ upcoming novel, Gold Fame Citrus, “a sweeping, apocalyptic vision of the Southland after the water wars turn California into a roaming sand dune sea.”

Interdepartmental research shows that during that 12-month period when body cameras were in use, instances of some types of force by San Diego police officers actually rose by 10%.

* If You Live In These States You’ll Soon Need A Passport For Domestic Flights. I can’t imagine that this will actually come to pass, but I just got my driver’s license renewal and Wisconsin is treating its default ID as not-airplane-ready.

In honor of the ten years since speculative fiction author Octavia Butler’s untimely transition, the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network and the Octavia E. Butler Society are joining forces to create simultaneous West and East coast events February 25-28, 2016 in L.A. and at Spelman College in Atlanta respectively. The two organizations will also be collaborating on a special edition of the academic journal Palimpsest that highlights her written work and impact on humanity.

The majority of white people who take the implicit association test (IAT) for racial bias do demonstrate biases against dark-skinned people.

* Higher education as Veblen good.

Dispatches From the Future’s Past: How a collection of sci-fi fanzines helps us understand the prehistory of the Internet.

A Newspaper Report on Administrative Bloat: Some Remarks on the Sum of the Details and on Some of the Specific Details.

Why Is College So Expensive if Professors Are Paid So Little?

* “Canada’s oldest independent arts university has struggled financially in recent years, and currently faces a $13-million debt.” So of course the solution is to build a new campus for $25 million.

Cornell’s Pitch to Humanities and Social-Sciences Ph.D.s: All of You, Apply Here.

If 2008 taught us anything, it’s that the whole culture has followed the economic quants far enough down the complexity rabbit hole. I would argue that it might be the scholarship that neoclassical economists dismiss most forcefully that we should look to for help in questioning the self-interested models that the financial sector asserts are real. As these books help us realize, it is humanists who are best trained to pull back the curtain on what we are talking about when we talk about finance.

* Criminal charges for Volkswagen? A CEO just got 28 years in prison after nine people died from his salmonella-tainted peanuts, and VW probably killed more people than that in California alone.

* Men haven’t gotten a raise in forty years.

* Sheboyganfreude: Scott Walker suspends presidential campaign.

* Eleanor Rigby, greenlit for six seasons and a movie.

One dad’s sad, expensive, and brief encounter with Ron Weasley.

* “Hit Charade: Meet the bald Norwegians and other unknowns who actually create the songs that top the charts.”

I Confronted Donald Trump in Dubai.

* Disproving Godwin.

* Why does light have a top speed?

No, I’m Not Piercing My Daughter’s Ears.

A Glossary of Gestures for Critical Discussion.

* Gymnastics and the abusers. Incredible, incredibly disturbing read.

* “Preventing Ethnic Fraud.” Should Universities Be Policing Professors’ Ethnicity Claims?

Games connect you with the sublime infinity of the mathematical universe, but they intersect with the real world only in secret and for pretend. Only in your head.

A new scandal, though, is putting Johnson’s rise at serious risk. It involves the mayor replacing civil servants with private citizens funded by the Wal-Mart empire and tasked with the twin purposes of working to abolish public education and bring in piles of cash for Kevin Johnson. The rising star, it seems, set up a fake government—and some people are starting to notice.

The Road to a 100% Clean-Powered Planet.

The rise, and rise, of literary annotation.

Selfies Killed More People Than Sharks This Year.

* And it was certainly nice of them to name the whole generation after my kid.

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