Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘lobotomies

Weekend! Links!

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*  Program for the 2014 MLA Subconference, January 8-9 at Columbia College Chicago.

* CFP for “Joss Whedon: A Celebration” at DePaul University this May.

* The New Yorker considers Kim Stanley Robinson: Our Greatest Political Novelist?

Depending on your own politics, this may sound like millennia-overdue common sense or a bong-fuelled 3 A.M. wish list, but there’s no arguing that to implement it in the real world circa 2013 would be, literally, revolutionary. My own bet would be that either your grandchildren are going to be living by some of these precepts, or else they won’t be living at all.

It is an open question as to whether academics today, in their heart of hearts, still realize that the choice between the employability agenda or the death of universities actually means the death of universities through the employability agenda.

Our football team here at Purdue went 1-11, losing the final ten games in a row by an average of almost 25 points and going 0-8 in Big Ten play, including a 20 point blowout to arch-rival Indiana. The lone victory on the season came through a nail-biting 20-14 performance against Indiana State… an FCS school… who themselves went 1-11. If beating the doormat team of the Missouri Valley Conference is the highlight of your season, it’s perhaps time for a reevaluation of priorities. After ranking 122nd in points scored a game and 114th in points against a game, making a legitimate case for being the worst team in FBS football, the campus is buzzing about how long a rebuild will require and whether first-year coach Darrell Hazzell is the man to lead it. With the season’s “One Brick Higher” slogan now seeming like a sad joke, my message to the Purdue community is simple: don’t rebuild. Retreat. The best path forward for Purdue University is to dismantle its football program altogether. 

* I also liked Freddie’s piece on how the permanent squabble between tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty plays directly into the hands of administrators.

* This Thousand-Year Institution Could Really Learn Something from These Fly-By-Night Scams: Forget Academia. Startups Are the Future of Knowledge.

Invisible Rituals: Pre-Graduate School Programs and Developing Diversity.

Rise of the Lady Adjuncts.

* “If you haven’t been in a hen plant, you don’t know what hell is”: Animal rights activists vs. the agribusiness industry in Rolling Stone.

Liberalism is a game the rich play with themselves. They Pretend to Think, We Pretend to Listen: Liberalism in the tank.

Aaron Bady considers Mandela, all of him.

If you’re a president, it probably feels good to think about this, about how a revolutionary came to defend the stability of the society he once threatened to overturn. It probably also feels good to think of him as historical, as past: like Nkrumah or Lumumba, he is no longer our problem, no longer our responsibility. Instead of a defiant refusal to stop short of victory and a refusal to compromise or negotiate on principles, he can represent the passing away of that very thing.

Want the best person for the job? Don’t interview.

Why Don’t Supreme Court Justices Ever Change Their Minds in Favor of the Death Penalty?

Jackson’s Hobbit II so little resembles the book, it may as well be called Some Further Adventures in Middle-earth. The Hobbit 2 Is Bad Fan Fiction.

Here’s Every Time Paul Rudd Has Shown the Same Movie Clip on Conan.

* Jaws retold as Peanuts comic.

* Everything in the oceans is dying.

The Economy Looks Good Because The Data Has Been So Bad For So Long.

No Civilian Leadership for NSA After All.

Ph.D.s With and Without Jobs.

* Please excuse Davontaye, he suffers from povertenza.

Belgium took a big step on Thursday to becoming the first country to allow euthanasia for incurably ill children, after the upper house of Parliament voted by a large majority to extend to minors a 2002 law legalizing the practice for adults.

A national study being released today in book form found that those who are attractive in high school are more likely than those with just average or below average looks to go on to earn a four-year college degree.

* Take that, conventional wisdom! Study: Long Distance Relationships Can Work.

* Whether you agree with the ASA’s boycott of Israeli state institutions or not, I think we can all agree that to boycott Larry Summers.

The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans—and likely hundreds more—during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal.

* America, 2013: No charges after man pulls gun on ‘b*tch’ with disabled kid over Walmart parking delay.

Your odds of winning the jackpot used to be 1 in 176 million. As of Oct. 22, those odds changed to 1 in 259 million. The Lottery Is a Predator and You Are Its Math-Illiterate Prey.

* Space Race back on! China lands on the Moon!

* Hollywood finally goes too far.

* And Physicists To Test If Universe Is A Computer Simulation. Overflow Error: Abort, Retry, Fail….

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And we’re back. A number of people asked me if my bosses at TIP made me take the blog down for the month I was teaching, and the answer is no—it was my own call, based upon the near-certainty of my teenage students reading my blog and bad things happening as a result. (Discretion is the better part of valor, etc. etc.)

In any event, we’re back, and I have nearly a month’s worth of backed-up links to upload in a single hugely massive and largely incoherent posting. So here goes nothing:

* Jaimee’s teacher and friend (and former BCR contributor) Isaac Cates has a new blog, Satisfactory Comics, as do my good friends Eric the Red and Jason Haserodt, currently about a third of the way through their 3000-mile bike trip across America.

* While I was gone Tim had a thought-provoking post up about the 9/11 generation that I wanted to gesture towards as well.

* I don’t care what sort of reviews it gets, I’m going to see The Darjeeling Limited as soon as I possibly can. The first trailer’s out.

* On the subject of Harry Potter, I feel like I regrettably missed the moment to comment on it, so I’ll just point to a slightly spoilery sentence from the Salon review that basically says it all:

As for the ending, and the strange, widespread and literarily autistic obsession with who does and doesn’t die in it, suffice to say that some sympathetic characters are killed and that everything — the configuration of the horcruxes, the true colors of Severus Snape, the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort — turns out in the only way it possibly could if you thought about it for more than two seconds.

If you’re feeling especially literarily autistic, however, J.K. has even more unnecessary epilogue for you to chew on.

* There’s also something to Megan McArdle’s take on the economics of Harry Potter, in which she argues that it’s J.K. Rowling’s failure to ever really think through the world she’s created that keeps the franchise from ever reaching the heights achieved by J.R.R. Tolkien or even C.S. Lewis.

* The State is finally coming to DVD. Toothbrush! You came back to me! And you’ve started a family.

* Joyce Carol Oates reviews Austerlitz, among other things, in the New York Review of Books, while Geoffrey O’Brien takes on the conclusion to The Sopranos.

* Here’s the full text of Alan Moore’s awesome proposal for the ultimate D.C. Comics miniseries, Twilight of the Superheroes.

* Famous Poems Rewritten as Limericks.

* The American Canon of the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, Vol. II.

* They solved checkers.

* Douglas Adams, “Is There An Artifical God?”

* The Murakami Dictionary.

* Post-mortem photography, the absolute creepiest thing the Victorians were up to.

* Awesome maps (as always) from Strange Maps: China’s alleged 1418 world map and Inverted World.

* A Brief History of the Lobotomy.

* Say a prayer for Bat Boy, wherever he is: The Weekly World News has shut down.

* Carl “Tinker” West: the most influential New Jerseyan you never heard of.

* Conventional wisdom has it that people who commit suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge travel from around the globe to end their lives in San Francisco Bay, but a new study of death leaps shows that the average jumper is a 41-year-old white man from the Bay Area.

* And, last but not least, some games to waste time by, especially now that you can’t play checkers anymore: The Four Color Problem and Gravity Pods.

If you’ve actually read this far, the only suitable reward is this photo of my Phantom Fiction class, the TIPiest bunch of TIPsters who ever TIPed. You’ll note the devil horns; I taught them that.