Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘laughter

Monday Morning Links!

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* Noah Berlatsky isn’t done talking about the Oankali.

Is Tony Stark the Real Villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming? I think Marvel owes China Miéville a writing credits.

The Short, Unhappy Life of a Libertarian Paradise.

* Medievalism and white supremacy.

* Ban noncompetes.

By June 2011, only 49 of the 3,000 long-term seats had been sold. By December, the school said that they were $113 million short of their goal. Kansas tried a similar long-term seat plan and they abandoned it after it failed spectacularly. Cal tried to pivot away from the seat selling plan by 2013, but by that point, a gaping budget shortfall was staring them in the face, and that was just from paying off the debt. The Bears now owe at least $18 million per year in interest-only payments on the stadium debt, and that number will balloon to at least$26 million per year in 2032 when Berkeley starts paying off the principal stadium cost. Payments will increase until they peak at $37 million per year in 2039, then subside again in 2051 before Berkeley will owe $81 million in 2053. After that, the school is on the hook for $75 million more and will have six decades to pay it off. The stadium might not get paid off until 2113, by which time, who knows, an earthquake could send the stadium back into the earth or football as we know it might be dead.

* Easily one of the worst academic job ads I’ve ever seen, which is saying something.

* Teens Discover The Boston Garden Has Ignored Law For Decades, May Owe State Millions.

Here are the hidden horrors in the Senate GOP’s new Obamacare repeal bill. The Cruz amendment. One vote away.

* Team Trump Excuses for the Don Jr. Meeting Go From Bad to Worse. The Bob Mueller century. Was it a setup? Everything old is new again.

* Trump’s wall vs. the drug trebuchet.

After a Harrowing Flight From U.S., Refugees Find Asylum in Canada. Foreign-born recruits, promised citizenship by the Pentagon, flee the country to avoid deportation. Trump administration weighs expanding the expedited deportation powers of DHS. The corporation that deports immigrants has a major stake in Trump’s presidency.

* US approves oil drilling in Alaska waters, prompting fears for marine life.

* President Trump’s Air War Kills 12 Civilians Per Day.

* FBI spent decades searching for mobster wanted in cop killing. Then they found his secret room.

* When Is Speech Violence?

* When the White House doxxes its critics. And a novel counterstrategy.

* Rest in peace, George Romero, and no jokes.

All 192 characters who’ve died on “Game of Thrones,” in alphabetical order. Interesting interview with Martin on the process of adaptation.

* A New Yorker profile of Dr. Seuss from 1960.

* Like Star Wars, but too much.

* Linguistic drift and Facebook bots.

* Where are they? They’re aestivating.

* We’re still not sure if it’s legal to laugh at Jeff Sessions.

* Alaska Cops Defend Their ‘Right’ to Sexual Contact With Sex Workers Before Arresting Them.

* Dialetics of universal basic income.

* Juking the stats, Nielsens edition.

* Cheek by jowl with nanotechnology is science fiction’s notion of cyberspace as an abstract space, a giant planetary storehouse for information. (The idea comes from William Gibson’s 1984 novel, Neuromancer.) Is it possible that some part of the Web might become so complicated that it comes to life? Might it be hostile to us? Suppose it’s clever enough to take over machines and build Terminator-like creatures to do us battle? Personally I don’t think that’s very likely, but I do think the problem of the 21st century is going to be the problem of misinformation. And we’d better solve it by the 22nd century, or we will have another reason not to entertain much hope for cities—or, indeed, any kind of civilization a millennium hence. Samuel Delany, 1999.

* Cory Doctorow on technological immortality, the transporter problem, and fast-moving futures.

* What Is Your Mother’s Maiden Name? A Feminist History of Online Security Questions.

* I’d listen to every episode: Welcome to My Podcast, In Which I Do a Feminist Analysis of Thundercats and Sob Quietly.

* Kids and trampolines.

* Might as well go ahead and put this on our nation’s tombstone: America’s Lust for Bacon Is Pushing Pork Belly Prices to Records.

* Imagine being so toxic that even a brand doesn’t feel like it has to pretend to like you.

* And Jodie Whittaker Is Doctor Who‘s Next Doctor, meaning this CFP for a special issue of SFFTV is all the more relevant! Don’t be the last to submit your 9000-word exegesis of the one-minute teaser trailer…

Written by gerrycanavan

July 17, 2017 at 9:12 am

Tuesday Links! Too Many of Them! Send Help!

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* Don’t forget! Just two weeks until the “Global Weirding” deadline!

* And tomorrow night in Missouri! Marquette Professor to Present ‘After Humanity: Science Fiction After Extinction.’

* CFP: Radical Future and Accelerationism.

* Evergreen headlines: The Shrinking Ph.D. Job Market.

* Last year’s Pioneer Award winner: “Improbability Drives: The Energy of SF.”

The Anthropological Unconscious, or How Not to Talk About African Fiction.

* AfroSF Now: A Snapshot, Seven Novels and a Film.

* Africa Has Always Been Sci-Fi.

Cost Control Is a Progressive Value.

Grade Inflation, Forever and Ever Amen.

* Dueling letters: President Lovell. Professor McAdams.

Cheating Incidents Blemish NCAA’s Marquee Event.

Honors Colleges Promise Prestige, But They Don’t All Deliver.

* The Humanities in the Anthropocene.

Extinction: A Radical History.

Art in the Age of Economic Inequality.

* Manifesto of a Future University.

30 Cities Where America’s Poor Are Concentrated. You know where this is going.

It’s Probably First Ballot Or Bust For Donald Trump At The GOP Convention. And a bit on the nose, don’t you think? Jeffrey Dahmer’s House Is Up for Rent During the Republican National Convention.

* More politics watch! The Democrats Are Flawlessly Executing a 10-Point Plan to Lose the 2016 Presidential Election. Sanders +2.6! Trump -4.1! Go vote Wisconsin!

It’s Really Hard To Get Bernie Sanders 988 More Delegates.

My analysis of the latest federal data shows that, on average, these families’ income — including tax credits and all sources of welfare — is about $9,000 below the poverty line. That means ensuring no children grow up in poor households would cost $57 billion a year. (To put that in perspective, that’s how much money we’d get if Apple brought back the $200 billion it has stashed overseas, and paid just 29 percent tax on it – it’s a big problem, but it’s small compared to the wealth of our society.)

Students begin sit-in at Allen Building, demand resignation of Executive Vice President Tallman Trask.

Unionizing Pays Big Dividend for Professors at Regional Public Universities. What Tenured and Tenure-Track Professors at 4-Year Colleges Made in 2015-16.

The villain gap: Why Soviet movies rarely had American bad guys. Risk time in the gulag by reading about Soviet-era underground media. Cold War board games explore the conflict’s history, spycraft, and humor. Soviet sci-fi: The future that never came.

This Genius Twitter Feed Is Turning Classic Kids’ Books Into Nightmares.

Superman And The Damage Done: A requiem for an American icon. An oral history of Superman. A Brief History of Dick: Unpacking the gay subtext of Robin, the Boy Wonder. Death to All Superheroes. Yes, chum, there’s more links below the picture.

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* The Antonin Scalia School of Law, or…

Retirees Are Handing Wall Street Billions For No Good Reason.

* All politics is local: I grew up being compared to my overachieving cousin. Now he’s a Supreme Court nominee.

* Laughter doesn’t scale.

Imagine living in a cell that’s smaller than a parking space — with a homicidal roommate.

Up to half of people killed by US police are disabled.

“Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

The Panama Papers: how the world’s rich and famous hide their money offshore.

Study Confirms World’s Coastal Cities Unsavable If We Don’t Slash Carbon Pollution. But I say that’s not thinking big enough! 12 Ways Humanity Could Destroy The Entire Solar System.

This Is How We Could Hide Our Planet From Bloodthirsty Aliens.

* Dibs on the screenplay: Japan’s Lost Black Hole Satellite Just Reappeared and Nobody Knows What Happened to It. 

Researchers Just Discovered a New State of Matter.

* Hot take watch: Aaron Burr, Not So Bad? I wish I knew the Hamilton soundtrack well enough to make a proper joke here.

Statistical Analysis Has Revealed Game of Thrones‘ True ‘Main’ Character.

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* Data suggests a mere 94% of Tor data is malicious.

It is now 100 years since the war on drugs began in the United States and was then gradually imposed on the rest of the world.

* Indigenous video games you should download.

* Scientists bemoan SeaWorld decision to stop breeding orcas.

Researchers who have recently ventured into this region say the once-vibrant ecosystem is now a ghastly tableau, filled with pale-white corals that are at risk of dying off.

* Dark, gritty ad absurdum: The Tick in 2016.

* Durham and gentrification.

* Trumpism in everything, Wal-Mart edition.

NFL Sends Threatening Letter To New York Times, Demands Retraction Of Concussion Investigation.

The Ultimate List of Weapons Astronauts Have Carried Into Orbit.

Climate Model Predicts West Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Melt Rapidly. The end of Florida. These Maps Show What Washington Will Look Like When Antarctica Melts.

* Ambiguous utopias: In Pod-Based Community Living, Rent Is Cheap, But Sex Is Banned.

* Can an outsider become Amish?

* The strange case of Jennifer Null.

Whatever happened to utopian architecture?

* Miracles and wonders: Treating Huntington’s With Gene Knockout Might Be Safe For Adults.

* Terry Gilliam tempts fate, again.

* The best Star Wars character you’ve never heard of.

* And the arc of history is long, but the MLA has changed its style guide again.

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Written by gerrycanavan

April 5, 2016 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday!

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* First we must understand that though the humanities in general and literary studies in particular are poor and struggling, we are not naturally poor and struggling. We are not on a permanent austerity budget because we don’t have the intrinsic earning power of the science and engineering fields and aren’t fit enough to survive in the modern university. I suggest, on the basis of a case study, that the humanities fields are poor and struggling because they are being milked like cash cows by their university administrations. The money that departments generate through teaching enrollments that the humanists do not spend on their almost completely unfunded research is routinely skimmed and sent elsewhere in the university. As the current university funding model continues to unravel, the humanities’ survival as national fields will depend on changing it. Via MLA.

* No one could have predicted: Citing disappointing student outcomes, San Jose State pauses work with Udacity.

* Tomrorow’s outrageous acquittals today: Here’s Florida’s Next Trayvon Martin Case.

* Possible Homeland Security pick tainted by racial profiling accusations. It would be terrible if racial politics were somehow allowed to corrupt the mission of Homeland Security.

* Eric Holder: I Had To Tell My Son How To Protect Himself From The Police Because He Is Black.

* Wyoming is a place with two escalators; it probably shouldn’t get two senators.

* As western water leaders converged on Las Vegas in December 2001, Southern California’s inability to contain its voracious appetite seemed finally to be bumping up against reality – there is only so much water in the Colorado River.

* My friend Fran McDonald has a piece in the Atlantic about laughter without humor.

The glitch aesthetic of the GIF emphasizes the uncanny quality of laughter. At each moment of re-looping, Portman performs a miniature convulsion that registers as an inhuman twitch. If humor makes us human — an assumed correlation that is so deeply written into our culture that the two share a basic etymological root — then laughter without humor appears to render us mechanical, terrifying, monstrous. It is not a coincidence that laughter without humor has become the great cinematic signifier of madness: think of Colin Clive’s maniacal “it’s alive!” hysterics in the famous 1931 film version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the crazed cackle of The Joker in the Batman comics.

* Today, surrogacies in the U.S. are managed by profitable “voluntary” clinic-agencies speaking the language of the “gift.” The labor (no pun intended) that commercial surrogates perform in the U.S. is not legally recognized as work but as volunteerism, though surrogacies cost at least four times the 1986 sum—whether they be traditional, in which the surrogate is impregnated with a client’s sperm, or, as is increasingly the case, gestational, in which an in-vitro-­fertilized embryo is transferred to the surrogate’s womb. Strict means-testing is used to assess a surrogate’s independent wealth, purporting to check for authentic “voluntariness.” This effectively bars working-class American women from entering surrogacy agreements. The U.S. surrogacy industry prefers to cast surrogacy as akin to basket-weaving or amateur pottery, not ­assembly-line factory work.

In India, the reverse is true. There are upwards of 3,500 so-called womb farms in the country, in which conscripted women offer the vital force of black flesh considered untouchable at home to incubate white children destined to be shipped back to Denmark, Israel, or the U.S. It’s a “purely economic arrangement” with a “mere vessel,” explains Dominic and Octavia Orchard of Oxfordshire, UK, a commissioning couple featured in the Daily Mail in 2012. To couples like these, surrogates are presented as transnational reproductive-service workers, their job description posted online and accompanied by detailed terms of service.

* And a Dan Harmon profile with more information on his firing and rehiring and plans for season five, for anyone who still hasn’t lost patience with either the series or him personally…