Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘methane

Tuesday Links!

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tumblr_o0srg60t1q1romv9co1_500* Jack Hamilton on “Under Pressure.” When Bowie Met Springsteen. David Bowie’s Radicalism. The International Marxist Group, “In Defense of Bowie.” A Good Looking Mugshot. David Bowie’s 100 Favorite Books. David Bowie’s Dark Past. Last Words. The Longreads. Almost Elrond. “Will Brooker is studying David Bowie by trying to live like him for a year.” We Won’t See His Like Again.

* MLA is dead; long live MLA.

* Selling the English major.

* Selling out the faculty.

Between 2009 and 2013, public universities reported increasing their annual expenditures on football to more than $1.8 billion — a 21 percent jump in inflation-adjusted dollars, according to Knight Commissiondata reviewed by International Business Times. In that same time period, public universities’ reported debt on their athletic facilities has grown to $7.7 billion — up 44 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars in that time. In all, two thirds of Division I public universities increased their spending on football or athletic facilities in that time period — when average tuition and student fees at public universities have risen more than 40 percent in the last decade. The payoff for all that investment? Nearly three quarters of all Division I football programs now run deficits, which are eventually covered by the rising tuition and student fees.

* Daisy Ridley: The Carrie Fisher Interview.

Robert Kilpatrick on The Feminine Future : Early Science Fiction by Women Writers.

* The Force, by the numbers.

Why Wisconsin city’s bid to tap Great Lakes water is a big deal.

Like Harry, though, I’ve never intended to let that happen. I have no interest in trying to tell other people what to do if they find themselves close to death, but my choice has always been clear: I don’t want to die in pain—or drugged into a stupor by pain meds—all while connected to tubes and respirators in a hospital room. When the end is near, I want to take my own life.

* Meanwhile: This Doctor Wants to Treat Your Crippling Fear of Death With Uncut Ecstasy. Okay, dammit, I’m in.

Alternatively, maybe the fact that El Chapo—who we can probably assume has someone in his employ who does, in fact, speak English—didn’t exercise his veto is as damning an indictment of such an arrangement (or, more specifically, the product of such an arrangement) as if he had and the magazine acquiesced. The 14 weirdest moments from Sean Penn’s El Chapo interview. Reality truly is a hoax.

I’ve played the Powerball simulator for 1,092 years and have lost 91% of my money.

The forgotten way African Americans stayed safe in a racist America.

* Today, of course, anti-beardism is the last acceptable prejudice.

Texas School Triples Recess Time And Sees Immediate Positive Results In Kids.

Tax Cuts Don’t Lead to Economic Growth, a New 65-Year Study Finds.

The Company Behind LA’s Methane Disaster Knew Its Well Was Leaking 24 Years Ago.

The Black Fantastic: Highlights of Pre-World War II African and African-American Speculative Fiction.

There is literally zero chance that anyone will misconstrue this, and the great news is that if someone actually does, the Supreme Court will set them straight. 

* You had me at Hello: Arrested Development Season 5 will echo Making a Murderer and Trump.

* The Colorspace Atlas.

* What could possibly go wrong?

* What could possibly go wrong?

Despite Frigid Winter Temperatures, Students Are Waking Up To Unheated Classrooms. Elsewhere in Baltimore: Women In Baltimore Public Housing Were Forced To Trade Sex For Basic Repairs.

Whitesboro’s racist town logo up for vote. Good news everyone.

Breastfeeding is overhyped, oversold, and overrated. The real story: Class Differences in Child-Rearing Are on the Rise.

Trinity Cube was created by melting these two forms of glass together into a cube, then installing the cube back into the Fukushima Exclusion Zone as part of the Don’t Follow the Wind project. The artwork will be viewable by the public when the Exclusion Zone opens again, anytime between 3 and 30,000 years from the present.

* Against Serial season two. I think there’s a lot more one could say about what’s seemed to go wrong this time around, but on the level of why the show seems so boring now this is a good start.

* And on the local beat: South Milwaukee man behind homemade fireworks launcher escapes citation.

NYEE Links! A Whole Lot of Them!

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* What happened when slaves and free men were shipwrecked together. Amazing read.

* Schedule for the MLA Subconference.

The MLA’s annual report on its Job Information List has found that in 2014-15, it had 1,015 jobs in English, 3 percent fewer than the previous year. The list had 949 jobs in foreign languages, 7.6 percent fewer than 2013-14. The full report.

“These young T.A.s believed they were being asked to prostitute themselves in order to increase enrollment in the Spanish Department.”

33fede02e91b49a340ebc73e372b33f9* A gallery of interesting gravestones.

* Reading Everything Aaron Swartz Wrote.

* “Obscure law lets Prince of Wales set off nuclear bombs.”

* “The hidden legacy of 70 years of atomic weaponry: at least 33,480 Americans dead.”

* Your weekly must-read: N.K. Jemisin has a new SF/F column in the The New York Times Sunday Book Review.

Gender, Sex, and Sexuality in SF: A Conversation.

Adjuncts at Loyola University Chicago Want a Union. Will the Jesuit University Respect Their Demands?

* The Absolute Disruption blog has some thoughts on spoilerphobia and The Force Awakens, with a digression through my Tolkien/TFA piece. That piece has had some interesting patterns of circulation, incidentally; the Salon piece did well on Facebook and Twitter while the WordPress version has had a second life in the conservative blogosphere by way of Ross Douthat and Tyler Cowen….

* George Lucas, genius. Another oral history of the Star Wars Holiday Special. Star Wars and the death of culture. What was cut from The Force Awakens. 13 Story Ideas That Were Dropped from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What is a Mary Sue, and does Star Wars: The Force Awakens have one? I have not seen the new Star Wars but ambient levels of Star Wars have reached such a peak that I feel eminently qualified to review it without actually seeing the film or even reading a plot synopsis. Anakin Skywalker and the Methods of Rationality.

Given that the term Mary Sue will always carry gendered connotations and that it is highly likely to be disproportionately applied to female protagonists—who, in big budget epics, are already vastly outnumbered by their male counterparts—I see very little benefit to its continued use.

* “This iconic picture will live in history. When a women escaped ISIS territory and was able to wear color again.” More links after the photo.

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A suggestion for search committees, and some questions.

The Irresistible Psychology of Fairy Tales.

* From the archives: The Really Big One.

When the next very big earthquake hits, the northwest edge of the continent, from California to Canada and the continental shelf to the Cascades, will drop by as much as six feet and rebound thirty to a hundred feet to the west—losing, within minutes, all the elevation and compression it has gained over centuries. Some of that shift will take place beneath the ocean, displacing a colossal quantity of seawater. (Watch what your fingertips do when you flatten your hand.) The water will surge upward into a huge hill, then promptly collapse. One side will rush west, toward Japan. The other side will rush east, in a seven-hundred-mile liquid wall that will reach the Northwest coast, on average, fifteen minutes after the earthquake begins. By the time the shaking has ceased and the tsunami has receded, the region will be unrecognizable. Kenneth Murphy, who directs FEMA’s Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, says, “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.”

In the Pacific Northwest, the area of impact will cover* some hundred and forty thousand square miles, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, Salem (the capital city of Oregon), Olympia (the capital of Washington), and some seven million people.

* ESPN is such a money pit it’s even dragging Star Wars down.

* My life as a job creator.

Guy Beats Fallout 4 Without Killing Anyone, Nearly Breaks The Game.

It’s a brute-force method, yes. Like I said earlier, Fallout 4 really doesn’t want you to play the game this way, and all of its mechanics ensure that, at some point during a normal playthrough, you’ll have to lodge bullets into someone’s noggin. Even if you take the so-called peaceful perks.

Cleveland Officer Will Not Face Charges in Tamir Rice Shooting Death. How Can No One Be to Blame for Tamir Rice’s Death? How Philadelphia prosecutors protect police misconduct: Cops get caught lying — and then get off the hook. Police Rarely Criminally Charged for On-Duty Shootings. When is it legal for a cop to kill you?

Why we turned off comments on Tamir Rice news stories.

* ASU’s Global Freshman Academy Is a Complete Bust.

* Being Véra Nabokov.

* Today in loopholes: consumptive demand.

* Loophole watch, part two: Pope Francis: atheists who follow their consciences will be welcome in Heaven.

* Why not cubic centimeters, or raw tonnage? Among other issues, the report said, Princeton had allotted “only 1,500 square feet” for student incubator and accelerator programs, “whereas Cornell has 364,000; Penn 200,000; Berkeley 108,000; Harvard 30,000; Stanford 12,000; Yale 7,700; N.Y.U. 6,000; and Columbia 5,000.” 

* Great moments in political campaigning.

* This story has everything.

* Like Goodfellas but for embezzling from a fruitcake company.

For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions.

* Africa and the Looting Machine.

* The House That Marx Built. Marxism for Tomorrow.

How Esurance Lost Its Mascot to the Internet.

* NSFW, obviously, but: These Real Women Want to Show You How to Give Them an Orgasm.

* Everything is totally normal, don’t even sweat it.

* We’ve been talking about climate change for a long time. Why Engineers Can’t Stop Los Angeles’ Enormous Methane Leak.

The Opium Wars, Neoliberalism, and the Anthropocene.

The Radical History of 1960s Adult Coloring Books.

The DMCA poisoned the Internet of Things in its cradle.

* More than one-third of wells in dairy farm-intensive Kewaunee County were found to be unsafe because they failed to meet health standards for drinking water, according to a new study.

William Gibson: how I wrote Neuromancer.

This Man Just Guessed How Much the Movies Have Spent “Rescuing” Matt Damon.

* For the poor in the Deep South’s cities, simply applying for a job exposes the barriers of a particularly pervasive and isolating form of poverty.

* Your 2016 TV Preview.

Why Do Employers Still Routinely Drug-Test Workers?

When Gun Violence Felt Like a Disease, a City in Delaware Turned to the C.D.C.

Reports of rapes of college-age women in localities of big-time teams go up significantly on game days, national study finds.

After difficult summer, UW-Madison fighting off efforts to poach top professors. The view from the provinces.

The Coolest Images From National Geographic’s 2015 Photo Contest. This Is Your Brain on Nature.

Star Wars Lego Sets Exploding at 3,000 Frames per Second Is the Best Guilty Pleasure.

* When Bobby Shrugged.

The science myths that will not die.

* Because you demanded it! The DeBoerist Manifesto.

* And Here’s More Evidence That Galactic Super-Civilizations Don’t Exist. But don’t you believe it! Bring on 2016!

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 30, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Christmas Hangover Links

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* This was fun: My Tolkien/The Force Awakens mini-essay got picked up by Salon.

* Is Star Wars setting up Poe Dameron as its first queer protagonist? Rey is not a role model for little girls. The prior texts against which this film needs to be judged are not those long-ago movies, but rather the trailers for this new movie. And bah humbug! Double humbug! Double triple bah humbug!

* And for the devotee: How Did This Get Made? covered The Star Wars Holiday Special this week — with bonus oral history.

A Christmas Carol: Dedicated to Scrooge, And His Art Collection.

* New York University is known for bestowing lavish perks on its leaders. Its new president, Andrew Hamilton, will be no exception. NYU sort of hitting it out of the park this week generally. The latest extravagances in the college sports arms race? Laser tag and mini golf.

Economists Say ‘Bah! Humbug!’ to Christmas Presents.

Phylogeny of elves finds that santa’s workers are actually dwarves.

* The death of the Wisconsin idea: Under the proposed policies, faculty members could be laid off for financial reasons or if academic programs are discontinued for education reasons, including long-term strategic planning that includes “market demand and societal needs.”

* Let this be our Christmas story. Why? Well, that requires some explaining and perhaps even a stronger rationale than I’m yet able to muster. Because it has no cheer, redemption or family bonding. It’s about power, money, greed, recklessness and what can only be termed the sort of roughshod ridiculousness and surreal unintentional comedy that comes from being powerful enough or serving people with sufficient power that the ordinary sort of fear of getting caught and having to explain yourself simply doesn’t apply.

* Call for ideas: the Museum of Capitalism.

* From Bleeding Heart Libertarians: “Universities may indeed be exploiting adjuncts, but they cannot rectify this mistake without significant moral costs.”

* What really happened in the Christmas truce of 1914? The Real Story Behind the 1914 Christmas Truce in World War I.

* The Typical American Lives Only 18 Miles From Mom.

* The strange case of Case Western Reserve University law school.

* El Niño, explained: A guide to the biggest weather story of 2015. Records smashed on East Coast’s warmest ever Christmas Eve.

African-Inspired Space Opera Yohancé Is Going To Be Our Next Obsession.

‘Unprecedented’ gas leak in California is the climate disaster version of BP’s oil spill.

* I knew cheese was a drug.

* And no. Just no. Disagree.

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NYE Links!

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* Finally, my moment has arrived: Smuggling LEGO is the new smuggling diamonds.

The New Brand of Jesuit Universities.

* On Optimism: Looking Ahead to 2015.

* From climate denialism to climate cashing-in with nothing in between. Are We Approaching the End of Human History?

Thanks to energy drilling operations, northern New Mexico is now covered by “a permanent, Delaware-sized methane cloud.”

* Serial, episode thirteen: 1, 2, 3 coming today or tomorrow I think. A sort-of out-there blog post on what it could all mean: The Serial Podcast: The Possible Legal Implications of Jay’s Interview for Jay & Adnan.

UI Chancellor Responds To Salaita Report. This is actually a fairly significant walk-back of Wise’s position — I think she’s actually more progressive on academic freedom than Cary Nelson now — though since she’s still pretending Salaita wasn’t actually hired it doesn’t do much good for him.

Professors are teaching less while administrators proliferate. Let’s find out how all that tuition is being spent. Colleges Need a Business Productivity Audit. Of course the actual text of the article zeroes in on instruction first, which is not the source of the problem…

* It’s the original sin of college football, and you’ll never guess what it is. In Harbaugh hire, excessive pay would send wrong message. How one former coach perpetuated a cheating scheme that benefited hundreds of college athletes. Shut down middling college football programs and shift the money back to instruction.

* The arc of history is long, but: New Michigan Law Bars College Athletes From Unionizing.

* Another angle on the growing Title IX mess: Mothers of accused college rapists fight back.

Rise of the Simulations: Why We Play At Hard Work.

* Brent Bellamy reviews Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway’s The Collapse of Western Civilization.

* 538 profiles the best damn board game on the planet, Twilight Struggle.

* Really interesting idea from Bleeding Cool about what might be happening with Marvel’s sliding timescale. I could honestly see them doing this, or something like it, at least until they start getting some rights back.

Profit from Crisis: Why capitalists do not want recovery, and what that means for America.

Anthropology and the rise of the professional-managerial class.

Is Wisconsin destined to be a Rust Belt backwater?

Why Idris Elba Can’t Play James Bond.

* Seriously, though, sometimes you can’t just switch the skin tones and have the story turn out the same.

* Brands saying “Bae.”

Seven ‘great’ teaching methods not backed up by evidence.

.* BREAKING: Twitter Reaction to Events Often at Odds with Overall Public Opinion.

* Counterpoint: Black and African writers don’t need instructions from Ben Okri.

* To Discipline and Punish: Milwaukee Police Make Late Night Visits.

* I say teach the controversy: Kids and Jails, a Bad Combination.

High School Basketball Team Banned From Tournament Over ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Shirts.

* This Deadspin piece has really made me regret softening my anti-Vox stance in recent months.

* Sounds like the Afghanistan war has ended again. This is #3 or #4 at least, right?

* How to destroy a city: just build a highway.

* The CDC is saying we’re all going to get the flu.

* And as if the IMF wasn’t bad enough.

“Why should the legality of a sale of secrecy depend entirely upon who initiates the transaction? Why is bribery legal but blackmail not?”

* Stop Kidding Yourself: The Police Were Created to Control Working Class and Poor People.

No Charges for Police Chief Who Used Badge to Try and Intimidate Teen into Posing Nude.

* …but believe it or not it is possible for a cop to get fired over a fatal shooting.

LAPD Launches Investigation Into ‘Dead, Dead Michael Brown’ Song Sung at Retired Cop’s Party.

The labor movement should rally against police violence, whether police unions like it or not. I think we should let this whole work stoppage thing play out personally.

* Emails and Racist Chats Show How Cops and GOP Are Teaming Up to Undermine de Blasio. The headline actually undersells the severity of a story where they talk about planting drugs on his daughter.

Horrifying civil liberties predictions for 2015.

* Elsewhere in the richest city in the richest nation ever in the history of the world.

Military Turns To Prison Labor For $100 Million In Uniforms — At $2-Per-Hour Wages.

What Stalled the Gender Revolution? Child Care That Costs More Than College Tuition.

* North Dakota to eliminate taxes because fracking fracking fracking forever fracking. What could go wrong?

* Real life Alien vs. Predator: Cuomo vs. the New York State Legislature.

But Cuomo has insisted he would agree to a pay hike only if the Legislature addressed a long series of criminal and ethical charges against many of its members by passing several reforms, such as a limit on outside incomes earned by lawmakers and a system of publicly financed campaigns.

The legislative leaders, however, responded that Cuomo was making demands he knew were unacceptable in a politically motivated effort to appear as a reformer because he’s under federal investigation for dismantling his anti-corruption Moreland Commission panel.

“Before we did this study, it was certainly my view that the dark net is a good thing.”

* Streetcars, maybe not so great?

* Heartbreaking story of a trans teen’s suicide, based on a suicide note that went viral. Now go hug your kid.

* Exciting new pioneers in research:

A Few Goodmen: Surname-Sharing Economist Coauthors
ALLEN C. GOODMAN (Wayne State University)
JOSHUA GOODMAN (Harvard University)
LUCAS GOODMAN (University of Maryland)
SARENA GOODMAN (Federal Reserve Board)

We explore the phenomenon of coauthorship by economists who share a surname. Prior research has included at most three economist coauthors who share a surname. Ours is the first paper to have four economist coauthors who share a surname, as well as the first where such coauthors are unrelated by marriage, blood or current campus.

* Company selling brain poison offers free public transportation on Brain Poison Day to prevent brain-poison-related driving mishaps.

* Bat-Kierkegaard: The Dark Knight of Faith.

* Want to feel old? This Is What the Cast of Doug Looks Like Now.

* For its first Star Wars spinoff Disney has selected the impossible task of recasting Harrison Ford. They chose… poorly.

* Austerity in everything: Science proves once-in-a-lifetime moments will just make you more depressed.

* And there’s more! You’re more likely to die on your birthday.

Living at a high altitude may make people 30% more likely to commit suicide.

* “Deputies said the shooting appears accidental”: Idaho toddler shoots and kills his mother inside Walmart.

* Wake up, sheeple! Back to the Future predicted 9/11.

* From io9Physics students at the University of Leicester claim to have calculated the amount of energy required to transform water into wine.

* Speaking in front of a white supremacist organization is what I did, but it’s not who I am. Those aren’t the values in my heart.

Celebrities That Look Like Mattresses.

* And I guess I always knew I’d die on a roller coaster.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 31, 2014 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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All the Weekend Links You’ll Ever Need

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Key Findings in Chapel Hill’s Academic-Fraud Investigation. I find the scale of this thing totally amazing; that the NCAA is still claiming it has no jurisdiction here is also amazing. It’ll be interesting to see UNC’s next accreditation report.

* Another sportsball-related disaster that the NCAA, alas, just can’t do anything about: Many Athletes Receive Little Education on Concussion.

Lawsuit Alleges College Athletes Should Be Paid at Least Minimum Wage. The NCAA wishes it could act.

S’More Inequality: The Neoliberal Marshmallow and the Corporate Reform of Education.

* Miami University gave George Will four adjuncts’ yearly salary for this nonsense. But presidents of higher ed nonprofits say that’s chump change.

* Study: we should probably just abolish men.

* Law Will Allow Employers to Fire Women for Using Birth Control. So old I can remember when giving employers direct veto power over health care was the reductio ad absurdum of the Hobby Lobby case.

* Surfers of the nightmare Internet: The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed.

The Anti-Socialist Origins of Big Data.

* African Writers in a New World. The interviews in this series will lead up to the Symposium of African Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. The event, which will take place December 2-3, 2014, will feature conversations with Laila Lalami, Maaza Mengiste, Nnedi Okorafor, Sofia Samatar, and Taiye Selasi. “African Writers in a New World” will conclude with a conference report from the Symposium. 

* It became necessary to destroy Detroit in order to save it. And Chicago. And pretty much everywhere.

* Rio has used mega-events like the World Cup and the Olympics as a “state of exception” to push through private development projects and neoliberal reforms. The Jock Doctrine.

* America’s perpetual state of emergency.

* I said on Twitter that this “13th grade” pilot program in Oregon seems like an example of Goodhart’s Law, though I think I could probably be convinced otherwise.

* Republicans increasingly saying the quiet part loud.

* And that’s not even a link to this utterly bizarre video from AEI about roofies.

* Infidels defile the sacrament: I suspect some of the irrationality around voter ID laws might be linked to Stephen Keating’s notion of voting as religious ritual.

* Speaking of saying the quiet part loud: Seattle Cops Bring Lawsuit Claiming They Have A Constitutional Right To Use Excessive Force.

* At about 4 a.m., officers were dispatched to 3779 W. 5300 South to check on a man who had called a suicide hotline, according to Detective Matt Gwynn, the public information officer for Roy Police Department. A negotiator from the SWAT team was then brought in, and Gwynn says a 6- to 6 ½-hour standoff ensued. “At some point those negotiations failed and unfortunately the SWAT team was involved in a shooting, and the subject is now deceased,” Gwynn said.

Cops Use Action-Movie Arsenal to Catch Teen Who Stole Cigarettes. I just thank god they caught the guy.

* CHP officer says stealing nude photos from female arrestees ‘game’ for cops.

* Cash damages for woman duped into having undercover spy’s child.

Climate Change Is Causing Mountain Goats To Shrink. Will you act now, America?

Methane Leaks Wipe Out Any Climate Benefit Of Fracking, Satellite Observations Confirm.

* By pretending climate change isn’t real we develop the tax base to deal with climate change. With a plan this solid, what could go wrong?

* I’m sure Miami seceding from the rest of Florida would solve it. Of course Republicans have a better idea.

* No one trusts Buzzfeed.

* The United States of Reddit.

* It’s nearly impossible to fire a tech millionaire.

* I mean really, we need to figure out how to fire some of these guys.

* On the Internet, Men Are Called Names. Women Are Stalked and Sexually Harassed. Cassandra among the creeps.

Matt Yglesias Entirely Misunderstands Why [Anything] Exists.

* Your daily running total.

* Peter Jackson vows Battle of the Fire Armies will be literally unwatchable.

* J.K. Rowling releasing new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge.

* If you call slipstream “transrealism” it sounds like a new thing.

* You’re finally getting (another) dark, gritty Archie reboot.

* What’s my risk of catching Ebola? But that’s no reason not to panic.

* Kim Stanley Robinson on “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

* Science proves I listen to Counting Crows because I’m just that smart. So it’s not my fault and no one can blame me. I’m as much a victim as anyone.

* And io9 has your Top 100 Science Fiction-Themed Songs Of All Time. That they left off “Nothing But Flowers” is a crime against all time and space.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 25, 2014 at 8:21 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links

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An Open Letter From Dylan Farrow. Please know that this link is very painful to read and will likely be especially so for survivors. What a horror.

* I’m pretty sure I read this interview with Woody Allen when it was published in 2001, as I’ve been using that exact phrase “the heart wants what it wants” as sarcastic shorthand for destructive, deluded narcissism ever since. But Farrow’s accusations, which are in there, never stuck with me, either from their initial airing in 1993 or from this article in 2001. I don’t know if I concluded from the reporters’s framing and the lack of a conviction that they’d been proven false, or what. I had no memory of any of this before what happened during the Globes. And I feel terrible about that. It’s not about me, but reading her letter and hearing her story broke my heart. “You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton.”

*  “Of course, his dark side was always hiding in plain sight.”

CU-Boulder reports pervasive sexual harassment within philosophy department. Women fleeing U of Colorado philosophy department’s rampant sex harassment. Summary of Report by the American Philosophical Association to the University of Colorado Boulder. Colorado: What We Do And Don’t Know.

* Adam Kotsko thinks this from Timothy Burke might be the best thing he’s read about academic labor, but I still think this from Timothy Burke is.

* Scenes from my Cultural Preservation class: consumerism and abandoned malls at the Haggerty Museum of Art. The American Black Holocaust Museum, once the only museum in the country to be dedicated to the memory of slavery. The Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear.

Use the fields below to search for an institution and view the numbers and percentages of tenure-track, full-time non-tenure-track, and part-time faculty members at that institution in 1995 and in 2009.

Neighbors said to fear ‘transient academics.’

* Educational pessimism and socialism.

U.S. map showing amount of snow needed to cancel school by county.

* Scarlett Johansson’s separation from Oxfam seems to have caused Netanyahu to call a meeting to discuss BDS.

Lunches seized from kids in debt at Salt Lake City elementary.

* Snow, premeditation, and The Walking Dead.

* A short Seinfeld reunion of some kind seems to be in the offing. A Super Bowl ad, surely, no matter what they’re claiming otherwise?

* How to hack Jeopardy.

Time-Travelling Amazon Reviews Of The Next Series Of Doctor Who.

* Will Michael Mann end the National Review?

‘Out-Of-Control’ Rig In The Gulf Gushing Methane Freely Into The Atmosphere. The Water Levels Of The Middle East’s Biggest Lake Have Dropped 95 Percent In Two Decades. Fracking Under Houses Could Be New Norm As U.K. Puts Environmental Concerns On Backburner.

An Open Letter to the White Woman Who Felt Bad for Me at Yoga.

J.K. Rowling regrets Ron and Hermione’s relationship. She also almost killed Ron altogether, so.

* And the Batman vs. Superman news just gets worse and worse. Perhaps it’s time I just lost hope.

Friday Night Links

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* Thickness of the ice sheets at various locations 21,000 years ago compared with modern skylines.

* Ian Bogost has a great piece on MOOCs in an otherwise totally skippable LARoB feature on the subject.

MOOCs are a financial policy for higher education. They exemplify what Naomi Klein has called “disaster capitalism”: policy guilefully initiated in the wake of upheaval.  The need to teach more students with fewer resources is a complex situation. It’s partly caused by hubris, especially the blind search for higher institutional status through research programs, and it’s exacerbated by the tax base crises of the ongoing and seemingly permanent Great Recession. MOOCs offer the next logical step in this process of “cost containment.” But those who would call current funding models “unviable” and offer MOOCs as a convenient alternative fail to admit that the very need for an alternative presumes that we want to abandon public education in favor of a corporate-owned infrastructure in the first place.

MOOCs are an academic labor policy. As a consequence of the financial policy just described, MOOCs are amplifying the precarity long experienced by adjuncts and graduate student assistants, and helping to extend that precarity to the professoriate. MOOCs encourage an ad-hoc “freelancing” work regime among tenured faculty, many of whom will find the financial incentives for MOOC creation and deployment difficult to resist. This is particularly true of public institution faculty who have gone years without raises. Many institutions offer tens of thousands of dollars of direct compensation for MOOC development and teaching. And, in some cases, MOOCs offer direct access to student tuition and direct competition among faculty for those new resources, extending the “entrepreneurial” institutional politics of professional schools (and corporate life more generally) to all disciplines.

MOOCs are speculative financial instruments. The purpose of an educational institution is to educate, but the purpose of a startup is to convert itself into a financial instrument.The two major MOOC providers, Udacity and Coursera, are venture capital-funded startups, and therefore they are beholden to high leverage, rapid growth with an interest in a fast flip to a larger technology company or the financial market. The concepts of “disruption” and “innovation,” so commonly applied to MOOCs, come from the world of business. As for EdX, the MOOC consortium started by Harvard and MIT, it’s a non-profit operating under the logic of speculation rather than as a public service. If anything, it will help the for-profits succeed even more by evangelizing their vision as compatible with elite non-profit educational ideals.

It is telling that elite professors and universities who design MOOCs aren’t using them for their own students. Those of us who value education and its role in fostering both literacy and democracy should pass on them too.

* Patton Oswalt: A Closed Letter to Myself about Thievery, Heckling, and Rape Jokes.

* Sarah Kendzior vs. the prestige economy. Good interview.

* Obama wants you to believe he’s really truly going to get serious about the climate next month. Really! Meanwhile, they’ve found another methane time bomb in the permafrost.

There are nearly six times as many showings of Man Of Steel alone as there are of all the films about women put together.

The Seinfeld theme slowed down by 1,200 percent is horrifying.

* High-ranking SS commander found living in Minnesota.

* John Oliver really is a much better host of the Daily Show than Stewart’s been since the Bush years.

The investigation was ongoing, but Undersheriff James Szczesniak said there was no evidence yet that Martino “had any ill intent.” There could be a dozen perfectly legitimate reasons why he’d have 30 to 40 pipe bombs in his apartment.

 Transgender People Can Now Change Their Social Security Record’s Gender Identity.

What’s more important: a college degree or being born rich? The answer will totally not surprise you!

* And the time has come at last to raid Detroit’s pensions in the name of bankers’ profits.