Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Lucy and the football

Tuesday II: The Wrath of Trump!

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Elite Saturday Links Enter CANAVAN at Checkout for 20% Off

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toasts

* A version of this xkcd has been running continually in my brain for two years.

* February 26-27 at Duke University: Pleasure and Suspicion: An Interdisciplinary Conference.

* Open access SFFTV! A special issue on The X-Files from 2013.

Louisiana universities are facing the largest midyear cut in state history, Governor John Bel Edwards said in a televised speech last Thursday. Even if the Legislature can find additional revenue, higher education will need to cut $42 million this year. Louisiana’s total higher education budget is $769 million, and if the Legislature cannot raise more revenue, higher education could face a $200 million cut.

* RIP, Umberto Eco. What Is Harper Lee’s Legacy After Go Set a Watchman?

* The New Inquiry reviews The Witness.

The Slow Violence of Climate Change.

* At LARoB: How should we periodize comics?

* I’d been talking just yesterday to a student from my Lives of Animals class about the urban legends involving pigs and pig corpses and the war on terror. I said something like “No politician who wanted a national reputation would talk this way, though. Well, maybe Trump.” And lo, it came to pass.

* Steve Martin Performed Stand-Up Last Night for the First Time in 35 Years.

Chinese travel blogger likes Chicago but loves Milwaukee. Endorsed!

‘Black Sludge’ Pours Out Of Texas Town’s Faucets Days After FBI Arrests Nearly Every City Official.

The Shocking Truth of the Notorious Milgram Obedience Experiments.

The trouble was that this zombie-like, slavish obedience that Milgram described wasn’t what he’d observed.

Hero K is the Highly Anticipated New Novel by Don DeLillo. I’m in.

Half The World Will Be Short-Sighted By 2050? Half of America will be freelancers by 2020?

In an email to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shortly after the U.N. Security Council in March 2011 authorized military intervention in Libya, a former senior State Department official praised her achievement in “turning POTUS around on this.” Meanwhile, America Is Now Fighting a Proxy War with Itself in Syria. So that means we can’t lose, right?

* And elsewhere in smart battles wisely chosen: St. Louis Archbishop Urges Priests To Cut Ties With The Girl Scouts.

In her new book, Elaine Frantz Parsons re-traces the origins of the 19th-century KKK, which began as a social club before swiftly moving to murder.

* Proposals for new chess pieces.

Reds in Space: Socialist Science Fiction.

Beloved: The Best Horror Novel the Horror Genre Has Never Claimed. That’s something I talk about a lot when I teach the novel.

* Seems like a lowball: Husbands create 7 hours of extra housework a week.

The weirdest, best photos I found in an old Bernie Sanders archive. Arrest photo of young activist Bernie Sanders emerges from Tribune archives. Footage Shows 21-Year-Old Bad Boy Bernie Sanders Being Arrested at a Protest.

Clay Shirky: social media turned Dems, GOP into host organisms for third party candidates.

* Bloomberg yes! Bloomberg no!

* Also at Boing Boing: Forced arbitration clauses are a form of wealth transfer to the rich.

The Guardian reports on an accusation by a former Muskegon County, Michigan health official claiming that a Catholic healthcare provider forced five women between August 2009 and December 2010 to undergo dangerous miscarriages by giving them no other option.

* The Singularity’s all right: A 19-year-old made a free robot lawyer that has appealed $3 million in parking tickets.

* We already knew Doc Brown was a monster, but how deep does the rabbit hole go?

* Financialization and the end of journalism.

* “on a scale of luke skywalker to jaime lannister…”

* Just this once.

The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.

* Elsewhere on the deep time beat: What sparked the Cambrian explosion?

The Warriors’ Odds Of Going 73-9. Written before last night’s loss.

* This one misses me, but it may help some of you feel better: Coffee May Reduce The Damage Alcohol Does To Your Liver.

* This one’s a real emotional roller coaster: Chimp Abandoned On Island Welcomes Rescuers With Open Arms.

* From the SMBC archives: Lucy, the football, and existential dread.

* And they said my work was useless.

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 20, 2016 at 12:32 pm

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Happy Birthday Connor Links!

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My son is being born today, so the posting will probably be sporadic even by summer standards. Sorry! And hooray!

* FindingEstella from @amplify285 is an awesome Octavia Butler Archives Tumblr.

* NASA: ‘Our plan is to colonize Mars.’ Well, then, let’s go!

* Alt-Ac as Symptom and Cure.

* Breaking: The Constitution is a shell game.

* Why Physicists Are Saying Consciousness Is A State Of Matter, Like a Solid, A Liquid Or A Gas.

* This fantasy has survived the 1980s, of course, even as the action genre that spawned RoboCop has faded. Meanwhile, the market fundamentalism and “tough-on-crime” rhetoric that the film makes fun of, still relatively novel in 1987, have today become normalized. The idea of redemptive violence—mass incarceration, a heavily armed police force—is now so deeply embedded in our political culture that we may no longer be able to see it well enough to mock it. RoboCop is thus both more dated and more current than ever. Its critical edge comes from a pessimistic vision of the future that is getting closer all the time.

If social and labor movements are to break out of this cycle, it will have to mean an actual break to the left of the Democratic Party. Or not?

charlie-brown-lucy-football

* Politics in Times of Anxiety.

* The Common Core leaves intact the longstanding ethos of American public education: what’s good for capital is good for the student.

* Is soccer finally becoming a mainstream TV sport in America? These charts say yes.

* Bazillionaires! They’re just like us!

* Drone crews told investigators their respective crashed planes had been “possessed” and plagued by “demons.

* Sherlock Holmes is officially out of copyright. Start your slashes!

* The end of the NCAA.

* Podcast of the week: Rachel and Miles x-Plain the X-Men.

* Danger Close: The Iraq War in American Fiction. Almost certainly a factor in the prevalence of Iraq War stories being (1) science fictional (2) set in narrative situations that recast us as the victims of our own invasion.

* US v. Portugal: It was the worst. See you Thursday.

* And Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has your improved Turing Test.

No One Could Have Predicted

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Saturday Links!

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* Krugman: “This is actually a fairly familiar thing from my years as a pundit: the surest way to get branded as not Serious is to figure things out too soon.” Of course this morning he couldn’t resist the opportunity to remind us all he was right about Obama, too.

* Ezra Klein and Steve Benen capture well just how infuriatingly irrational the Republicans are being. Of course, it was obvious from the start that this is what they were planning, so Obama really has no one to blame but himself.

* Good Obama news now: The Department of Justice has filed a brief arguing that DOMA is unconstitutional.

* The Nation reports (shock of shocks) John Lennon was not a closet Republican when he died.

* And io9 has a piece on Robert Kirkman’s next comic project, which focuses on time-travel. These desperate bids for my attention have to stop…

Sunday Night Links

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* I’ve really been enjoying the Guardian‘s World Cup Daily podcast. I’m listening to them let England have it as we speak.

* Google, still fresh from its Buzz triumph, may release a doomed “Facebook killer” later this month.

* Steve Benen has a truly fantastic post about why you can’t negotiate with the GOP.

* Now that everyone is a valedictorian, I can only wax nostalgic about the great GPA wars of yore. Team Jeremy ’97! Team Shankar ’98!

* Sad news from West Virginia: Robert Byrd is reportedly seriously ill. FiveThirtyEight answers your macabre questions about West Virginia’s replacement rules.

* And I’ll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I recognize Missourah W as a vowel.

Wednesday Is The Day When I Get Nothing Done

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* Urban geography: where do locals (blue) and tourists (red) take their photographs? At right: New York. Via Alex.

* Cutting against its usual strategy of keeping its students completely isolated from the larger Durham community, Duke had contributed funding towards free bus service connecting the campus and downtown.

* Lindsey Graham, pathetic liar. More here from Ezra Klein, who denounces for the millionth time the inevitable failure of legislative outreach to Republicans, and Steve Benen, who denounces for the millionth-and-first time the inevitable failure of legislative outreach to Republicans.

* The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Via Kottke.

* And more fun from Nevada: Harry Reid’s opponent is strongly dedicated to the preservation of our precious bodily fluids.

Annihilation of All Life on Earth Links

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* In 1989 we were six hours away from the annihilation of all life on earth.

* Humans think we run the place, but we haven’t even built the most awesome dam in the world. That honor belongs to the beavers.

* At the Early Warnings blog: There is a horrible paper in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences … which looks at how the limits of human physiology interact with upper-range global warming scenarios.  The bottom line conclusion is that there is a small—of order 5%—risk of global warming creating a situation in which a large fraction of the planet was uninhabitable (in the sense that if you were outside for an extended period during the hottest days of the year, even in the shade with wet clothing, you would die). Five percent, of course, is five times higher than the Cheney threshold that gives us the right to invade any country in the world at any time for any reason. Via MeFi.

* Nonetheless we can’t pass any climate legislation this year, not even weak-tea no-auction cap-and-trade, because Lindsey Graham is still sulking over God knows what. Obama was wise to hitch his wagon to this star.

It Is a Far, Far Better Thing That I Do Than I Have Ever Done

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Earlier today, Reid appeared to reverse course, saying climate/energy would be the next logical issue to address, followed only afterward by immigration reform. So everything’s groovy, right?

Far from it. Tonight, Graham told me that he will filibuster his own climate change bill, unless Reid drops all plans to turn to immigration this Congress.

I hope all the people who’ve been so eager to defend Lindsey Graham’s reasonableness these last few days take the time to weigh in on this. Can’t we all agree this is obviously a transparent attempt to take a losing issue off the table for the GOP? Now, that’s fine—I wish the Democrats would play this sort of hardball more often—but his tantrum is not some noble gesture, and we don’t have to give the guy cover while he throws it.

And this doesn’t even get into the near certainty that in the end he’ll find some reason to vote against his own bill anyway. How many times have we already seen this exact scenario play out?

UPDATE: Or, via Brad DeLongwhat Greg Sargent said.

But we’ve been here before: Earlier this spring, Graham issued the same threat, saying that if Dem leaders moved forward on health reform it would kill the chance of compromise on immigration.

“The first casualty of the Democratic health care bill will be immigration reform,” Graham said in March, adding that movement on health reform would “kill any chance of immigration reform passing the Senate this year.” Time to wise up to Graham’s game?

And Schumer?

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Chuck Schumer’s signing of the public option letter has turned a lot of heads today. Cantwell has only said maybe, but Feingold is on board too. as are Lautenberg, Mikulski, and Shaheen. Even Reid is so far noncommital, which I take as a good sign.

Even hard-nosed realist Ezra Klein says there could be something here:

Adding the public option into the legislation would give [disaffected, demoralized liberals and progressives] something to fight for, and something to be excited about. If you believe, as most people do, that midterm elections are largely about base mobilization, and that Scott Brown’s victory was in part assured by demoralized Democrats who didn’t feel much affection for either Martha Coakley or the Democrats in Washington, this may be the party’s last, best hope to give its passionate supporters the win that would reinvigorate them for 2010. “I don’t think that was the original strategy behind signing this letter,” one Senate aide told me. “But that may be the strategy we fall backwards into.”

For all that, I’d still bet against the public option. For one thing, there’s sharp resistance to this idea in the White House. The administration has just spent weeks rebranding itself as a bipartisan outpost in a sea of bickering hacks. Resuscitating the most controversial element of the bill and running it through reconciliation looks less like reaching out and more like delivering a hard left cross to the opposition.

One way or another, however, Senate Democrats and the White House need to choose their path and communicate it clearly. If Democrats want to use the public option to reinvigorate their base and attack the insurers and push this bill over the finish line in a final blaze of populist fury, more power to them. If they decide that the process is fragile and Americans want bipartisanship and this is a bad time to introduce uncertainty into chaos, that makes sense, too.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 18, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Links

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Links for Wednesday.

* First-gen Sierra adventure games in your browser. Your childhood says come back home, all is forgiven.

* The setup for this Flash Forward show seems pretty good, but man do I wish Brannon Braga weren’t involved.

* McSweeney’s has the syllabus for “ENG 371WR: Writing for Nonreaders in the Postprint Era.”

* Long-time Republican strategist declares defeat in NY-20, while Norm Coleman presses on in the courts with his unique metaphysical argument that he is the only logically possible winner in the Minnesota Senate race.

* David Simon on Bill Moyers.

* Roberto Bolaño, 2666, and the Ciudad Juárez murders.

* What happens when you “run government like a business.”

* I don’t agree with everything Amanda Marcotte has to say about prostitution here, but she’s certainly right about Eliot Spitzer; it’s completely insane to me that some people actually seem willing to give the guy another chance.

* The best article about the “sexting” crisis you’re likely to read.

He then told the parents and teens to line up if they wanted to view the photos, which were printed out onto index cards. As the 17-year-old who took semi-nude self-portraits waited in line, she realized that Mr. Skumanick and other investigators had viewed the pictures. When the adults began to crowd around Mr. Skumanick, the 17-year-old worried they could see her photo and recalls she said, “I think the worst punishment is knowing that all you old guys saw me naked. I just think you guys are all just perverts.”

If your laws allow people to be charged with distributing child pornography for sending other people naked pictures of themselves, you need some new laws.

* Nate Silver thinks the libertarians are taking over the Republican Party. That would certainly be a huge improvement, as long as we’re not just talking about glibertarians.

* The headline reads, “Obama keeps prosecutions on the table.”

Energizing

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Will progressives finally get their Cabinet pick in the form of Steven Chu at Energy? More at DKos. If we’re only going to get one Cabinet pick, I guess I’m glad it’s Energy…

Written by gerrycanavan

December 10, 2008 at 9:13 pm

The Polls

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Above is a chart from Chris Bowers by way of Matt Yglesias charting the comparative advantages of Barack Obama, John Kerry, and Al Gore over the course of the campaign season. This is an important charts for Democrats who are about to be confronted with something that has long seemed impossible: not just a victory but what looks to be a blowout. For the last fifty days of election 2004, we were never ahead, according to the polls—we just thought we were, having mystified the polls and made faulty assumptions about turnout and the undecided break.

Obama’s situation is quite different, with a nine-point lead in the final NBC/WSJ poll and between nine and eleven points in Gallup. Those numbers would have McCain underperforming Dukakis, and if you believe in Nate Silver’s cellphone effect, the margin could be even larger. This same movement is reflected in the tracking polls—despite persistent claims that “the polls are narrowing,” there’s no real evidence of this.

And Obama has already locked down good margins in the early vote, to all appearances: over 2.5 million people have already voted in North Carolina, including almost half of the state’s African-American population and 44% of registered Democrats. In Colorado and New Mexico in particular, the margins may already be too great to overcome.

What I’m saying is, though there’s still work to be done, this time I really think we actually win.