Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘misogyny

Take a Long Lunch on Me with these Monday Afternoon Links

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* CFP: Paradoxa 32, Comics and/or Graphic Novels.

* CFP: Energy Pasts and Futures in American Studies.

* The Museum of the Moving Image Announces a Series on Latin American Science Fiction Cinema of the 21st Century.

* A City on Mars Could Descend Into Cabin Fever and Nationalism. Just because that’s what happened on Earth doesn’t mean it would happen on Mars!

Philip K. Dick’s Unfinished Novel Was a Faustian Fever Dream.

* Some timely content for my games class: can colonialism and slavery ever be game mechanics?

* Reading ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ in Baghdad: What Vonnegut taught me about what comes after war.

One of his legacies is a famous passage in “Slaughterhouse-Five.” It’s about planes flying in reverse, where shrapnel flies out of people, back into the bombs and the planes take off backward from their runways, and so on, until everyone is just a baby again.

Vonnegut is saying it would be nice if the wisdom learned from a war could be used to reverse engineer the entire thing and keep it from happening at all. That is a nice thought.

* The bargaining phase of climate crisis: why don’t you just move to Duluth?

This Is How Human Extinction Could Play Out.

* Matthew Dean Hindman is reporting from the neoliberal gutting of the University of Tulsa.

* Faculty, students and community members rally for unionization at Marquette. More from Wisconsin Public Radio.

* How College Professors Turned Into Uber Drivers.

* Low-Income Students Told Brown U. That Textbook Prices Limited Their Choices. Here’s What the University Is Doing About It.

* A new study confirms that fraternity men and athletes are committing more sexual assaults than are those in the general student population — and that repeat offenders are a major problem.

I have a hunch, which is that professors are considerably less good at teaching than they think they are. And the hunch is based on the fact that we don’t train teaching assistants to teach, that we select and hire professors without any regard to their ability or potential as teachers, and that we don’t then give them further training or professional development. A hunch you say.

* Georgetown Students Agree to Create Reparations Fund.

* Faced with an unprecedented moral emergency in the Trump presidency, the Democrats have wisely decided to… play chicken with their base.

* Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile.

* ‘Fox News brain’: meet the families torn apart by toxic cable news.

* Yemeni bodegas boycott New York Post over attacks on Ilhan Omar.

* Inside One Woman’s Fight to Rewrite the Law on Marital Rape.

* David Perry talks about antidepressant withdrawal.

* In Grand Rapids, Michigan, an unidentified man, age 40 is suing his parents for $87,000 for dumping his porn collection.

* Anti-beardism: the last acceptable prejudice?

* LARB considers Born in the USA.

* Can we build non-sexist and non-racist cities?

Bird scooters last less then a month and each one costs the company an average of $300.

* Played as anything but a goof, Quidditch is incredibly dangerous.

* The Dunbar number is probably wrong.

He Helped Wrongfully Convict a Vegas Man. Two Decades Later, His Daughter Worked on a Law to Make Amends.

* Today in dialectics: Are Plastic Bag Bans Garbage?

* Today in 21st century news: How to Scan Your Airbnb for Hidden Cameras.

* How Do Hospitals Stop the Spread of Drug-Resistant Superbugs Like C. Auris?
By ripping out floor tiles, reconfiguring pipes, and maybe deploying a hydrogen peroxide–spraying robot. Plus, a lot of bleach.

* I have a little scoop today: Pepsi says it wants to monetize the night sky by using satellites to project an artificial constellation that’ll advertise an energy drink.”

* Online trolls are harassing a scientist who helped take the first picture of a black hole. And you’ll never guess why!

* YouTube and racism, part a million.

* Hmm, weird, but I’m sure it’s fine.

* “Fewer clearer examples of Mark Fisher’s assertion that capitalism now only exists to block the emergence of common wealth than the fact that Google have apparently digitised every book in the world, and made them accessible to everyone, only with half the pages missing.”

* How ‘Game of Thrones’ linguist David J. Peterson became Hollywood’s go-to language guy.

* Now that’s commitment to a bit.

* And I have a bad feeling about this.

(and so on)

Written by gerrycanavan

April 15, 2019 at 11:03 am

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Just Another Monday Morning Linkpost

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* I asked “If you were going to do a NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF THEORY AND CRITICISM lit crit class where the gimmick was that you always returned to a foundational text for application, what would you choose?” and got some really good ideas. Right now, if I do it rather than a multiple-choice or wheel-of-fortune variant, it looks like it’s going to be Frankenstein.

* CFP for SFRA 2019, at Chaminade University, Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Her Eyes Weren’t Watching God: The Empathetic Secular Vision of Octavia Butler.

N.K. Jemisin – Building a World.

Nicholas Hoult as J.R.R. Tolkien in first look at ‘Lord Of The Rings’ author’s biopic. Deadwood Movie Confirmed for Spring 2019 Premiere. And the new Aladdin movie looks worse than I ever could have possibly imagined.

* This week I went on a journey into the madness of The Phantom Podcast, which reviews the Star Wars prequel trilogy as if the series began with Episode 1, and I regret nothing. Scroll all the way down.

Active-Shooter Drills Are Tragically Misguided: There’s scant evidence that they’re effective. They can, however, be psychologically damaging—and they reflect a dismaying view of childhood.

* america.jpg

Students and Faculty Plan Walkout Over Johns Hopkins’ ICE Contract.

* How to Make Grad School More Humane.

Should You Allow Laptops in Class? Here’s What the Latest Study Adds to That Debate.

International Graduate-Student Enrollments and Applications Drop for 2nd Year in a Row.

* WTF Is Going on at Wright State? Seriously. Seriously. Seriously. Seriously.

* “Student Loan Relief or Paid Vacation? These Workers Get a Choice.” Here’s Why So Many Americans Feel Cheated By Their Student Loans.

* The real political correctness on campus is the feckless submission to anyone remotely rich and powerful, no matter how they behave.

* Every tweet in this thread is enraging. Every one.

* Plan S and the humanities.

Julian Glander’s Art Sqool is about Froshmin, a small, round person who is going to an art school run by an artificial intelligence that is going to help Froshmin become a great artist. Or at least some kind of artist. Actually, thinking about it, the weird little robot who evaluates all of your art doesn’t make any promises about ability or skill or fame or recognition as a product of the time that Froshmin spends at Art Sqool. Wait, shit, is this a scam?

When Jamaica Led the Postcolonial Fight Against Exploitation.

When the Camera Was a Weapon of Imperialism. (And When It Still Is.)

How Flight Attendants Grounded Trump’s Shutdown.

The battle for the future of Stonehenge.

* The Museum at Auschwitz.

* 250 dead, $91 billion in damages: 2018 was a catastrophic year for U.S. weather; 4th-warmest for globe. A hole opens up under Antarctic glacier — big enough to fit two-thirds of Manhattan. Melting glaciers reveal ancient landscapes, thawing mummies, and long-dead diseases. Rising Temperatures Could Melt Most Himalayan Glaciers by 2100. Tasmania is burning. The climate disaster future has arrived while those in power laugh at us. Global warming could exceed 1.5C within five years. Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’. The end of the Colorado. Polar thinking.

A Huge Climate Change Movement Led By Teenage Girls Is Sweeping Europe. And It’s Coming To The US Next.

Latinos, blacks breathe 40 percent more pollution than whites in California, study says.

Liberal Democrats Formally Call for a ‘Green New Deal,’ Giving Substance to a Rallying Cry. More here.

* Day care for all.

* Ugh. Gotta preserve this flawless system.

Please Stop Writing Nancy Pelosi Fan Fiction.

Tax the Hell Out of the Rich, When They’re Alive and When They’re Dead.

* Meanwhile, it sounds like things going great in Britain.

Brett Kavanaugh Just Declared War on Roe v. Wade.

* Parable of the Talents watch: Missing Migrant Children Being Funneled Through Christian Adoption Agency.

“I made mistakes”: Jill Abramson responds to plagiarism charges around her new book.

* On the NPC meme.

* Sesame Workshop has finally given up on Bert and Ernie.

* On the end of The Good Place.

* Patreon planning to completely betray its user base, of course.

* Google is already way down that road. As is everyone else.

* Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is preparing for New York’s establishment Dems to eliminate her district.

* Headlines from the end of the world: “Ketamine Could Be the Key to Reversing America’s Rising Suicide Rate.”

Sexual Abuse of Nuns: Longstanding Church Scandal Emerges From Shadows. 20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms.

Customs And Border Protection Apologized After An Agent Questioned A BuzzFeed News Reporter About Trump Coverage.

* “Hackers using black-market Israeli ICE-breakers to extort a billionaire who’s replacing his employees with robots, at the behest of a shadowy tabloid/petromonarchy alliance, is actually the cyberpunk future we were promised, and yet.” But for real.

* On Jaws 4. On a legally distinct Harry Potter.

* Young engineer upgraded the LEGO bionic arm he built for himself.

* I’m amazed it’s even legal to sell these paintings in Germany.

* Where do the lines cross?

Fun fact, if you want to go from one side of Maui to the other you have to take this weird, 30-mile, up-and-back-down detour UNLESS you are Oprah Winfrey, who owns a private 4-mile road that she has paved and everything, connecting the narrowest part of the route.

* Finland gave people free money. It didn’t help them get jobs — but does that matter?

* The meat industry vs. lab-grown meat.

* On autism in women.

* Neoliberalism evolves.

* An antibiotic-style treatment for cancer? Let’s hope.

* Maybe she’s born with it.

* And not all heroes wear capes.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 11, 2019 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Morning Links!

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I see this kind of entrapment everywhere in the neoliberal order. In my own field of academia, I think of how we tell students that college is the only path to a liveable life, leading them to ‘freely choose’ to take on impossible debt loads that they can never escape. We recognize that an injustice has happened here, but a lot of people find it hard to resist saying, essentially, ‘Well, you should have thought of that before you took out the loans….’ They chose it, therefore they should bear the consequences.

And that is one of the least sinister cases – for instance, think about how blacks are entrapped into criminality and then punished disproportionately. Again, we recognize an injustice, but in the mainstream discourse the instinctive reaction is: ‘Well, they had a choice.’ Under neoliberalism, our free choice doesn’t exist to give us room for creativity and exploration – we can seemingly only ever choose wrongly. Free will is a means to generate blameworthiness, to tell us that we deserve what we get.

* The Future of Work, at Wired.

Common Good, Not Common Despair.

We don’t often talk of the formative nature of debt in the same way we do in regard to other educational experiences. But just as education is about more than funneling information into students’ brains, indebtedness is about more than the transfer of money. Universities rarely address the aspect of higher education that may most powerfully shape students’ futures: the debt they take on to finance it. A Debt to Education: Universities can shape their students for life – in more ways than one.

But we can do better. As educators, we need to lead the way and design our pedagogical approaches for the students we have, not the students we wish we had. This requires approaches that are responsive, inclusive, adaptive, challenging, and compassionate. And it requires that institutions find more creative ways to support teachers and prepare them for the work of teaching. This is not a theoretical exercise — it is a practical one.

* Universities watchdog threatens fines over grade inflation.

Professor hired mercenaries to rescue student from ISIS in Iraq after he said he wouldn’t finish his thesis.

Citizenship v. The Surveillance State.

I now conceptualize the society I came from and the war to which I went as part of the same grotesque amusement park ride. If I have discovered anything since my homecoming, it is not that I never came home. It is not that my soul resides in Afghanistan. It is that my home has lost its peaceful veneer, stripped bare, like Twentynine Palms. An American who leaves for war never leaves America. The war that is America, rather, comes to the American. The war is the society and the society is the war, and one who sees that war sees America.

Star Wars is Really a Cautionary Tale About Devoting All Technological Advancements to Death.

* What I Learned from Reading 1,182 Emergency Room Bills.

A Father’s Version Of A Guatemalan Girl’s Trip To The US Raises Questions About The Border Patrol’s Account. Guatemalan girl likely died of ‘sepsis shock’ after crossing border, hospital officials said. Medical Help Was Hours Away for Migrant Girl Who Died in U.S. Custody. “I just left the tent city at Tornillo. It is a child prison camp. They refused our request to speak with the children who are held there.”

* “You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children.”

Mounting legal threats surround Trump as nearly every organization he has led is under investigation. Trump agrees to shut down his charity amid allegations that he used it for personal and political benefit. How Donald Trump Got Caught in a Legal Vise. Quick thread on the only recorded criminal arrest of a sitting U.S. president—made by a D.C. Police offering for speeding, a century and a half ago.

* The Future of Ultrahigh-End Space Travel.

* The UNC shitshow continues.

How Scandal and Severance Enrich Private-College Presidents.

The New York Times Just Published an Unqualified Recommendation for an Insanely Anti-Semitic Book. A Brief, Depressing Compendium of Alice Walker’s Apparent Conspiratorial Beliefs.

* On Tolkien and race.

* The Brexit Breaking Point. Government gives Britain’s 6 million businesses 101 days to prepare for a No Deal Brexit.

* After Kavanaugh.

* Here’s the list of workout clothes you should buy if you don’t want to be complicit in global slavery.

* Everything old is new again! Forever and ever amen.

A Texas Elementary School Speech Pathologist Refused to Sign a Pro-Israel Oath, Now Mandatory in Many States — so She Lost Her Job.

* I’ve polled Twitter and it’s officially okay to take pleasure in the suffering of these Trump voters whose property is going to wind up on the wrong side of the wall.

* Some superstitious divination rituals may have spread because they functioned as adaptive randomization devices in contexts where people otherwise would have used decision procedures worse than chance.

The rapper who allegedly received Dorsey’s facial hair, I’m very excited to share, was Azealia Banks. She tweeted about this exchange in 2016, writing that Dorsey “sent me his hair in an envelope because i was supposed to make him an amulet for protection.”

* The PewDiePie century.

* Facebook has abused your data and your trust in literally every way it is possible for them to do so.

The Cities Where The Cops See No Hate.

* Basically every actress you liked in the early 2000s who disappeared by 2010 was blackballed for speaking out against powerful abusive men.

* A method for creating extremely convincing fake faces.

Trans Teenager Claims Teacher Demanded He ‘Prove’ He Was a Boy In Bathroom.

As an intellectual historian, I’ve found it puzzling that no one has scanned Ross Douthat’s writings from the Harvard Salient, 1998-2002. So I checked out as much of it as I could and there’s some pretty good stuff.

“We have six people on board,” one pilot said a few minutes later, according to an audio recording available via LiveATC.net. “Airplane is completely uncontrollable.”

Metroid’s Samus Aran is a Transgender Woman. Deal With It.

* Are we living with the Chickenocene?

* When you fit the description.

* Ambient cruelty.

* Well you tell me how you’d make baby powder without asbestos.

* Well you tell me how they’re supposed to attract top-flight talent to a company that no longer exists.

* Wild story from the animal beat: An Officer Placed a Retired Police Dog in a Shelter. Now He’s Been Demoted.

An Atlas of American Gun Violence.

* Today in the best $____ I ever spent: top surgery.

* What’s the greenest way to travel? We built a sim of world’s climate battle – here’s what happened when delegates played it at COP24. Inside the most destructive fire in American history—and why the West’s cities and towns will keep on burning. Weather 2050.

* Starting to think Woody Allen might be a bad guy.

* Springsteen on Broadway on Netflix: The Interview.

* Being Chris Hayes.

Why We Still Don’t Know How Many NFL Players Have CTE.

The Artful Propaganda of Soviet Children’s Literature.

How To Make Beer With Only What You Can Grow On A Generation Ship.

* Malls of the 21st Century.

* The ‘Weird Events’ That Make Machines Hallucinate.

* Tech and the supernatural.

* Journey of an American Bomb.

* DC must have heard about my Graz talk: they’re making a Swamp Thing show. Meanwhile, another followup from Graz: Aquaman, From Super Friend To Surfer Dude: The Bro-Ification Of A Hero.

* And I know it’s my fault for seeing the double entendre in everything, but sometimes I really think they’re doing it on purpose.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 19, 2018 at 9:09 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Train Ride Links!

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* I accidentally said something that went viral and now Twitter is absolutely useless to me.

Seven-year-old Guatemalan girl dies of dehydration after being arrested by US Border Patrol. ICE Arrests 170 Immigrants Trying To Save Babies From Baby Jails. Trump is pushing Vietnam to accept deportees who have lived in the US for over 20 years.

The New Authoritarians Are Waging War on Women.

Is a Green New Deal Possible Without a Revolution?

* ‘Carbon removal is now a thing’: Radical fixes get a boost at climate talks. Earth on course to match climate from 3 million years ago by 2030, UW study says. You, Too, Are in Denial of Climate Change. 40 million Americans depend on the Colorado River. It’s drying up. Harvard Quietly Amasses California Vineyards—and the Water Underneath. Urban Flooding Is Worryingly Widespread in the U.S., But Under-Studied. Welcome to the Eocene, where ice sheets turn into swamps. ”You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to your children.”

* University of California System is playing hardball with Elsevier in negotiations that could transform the way it pays to read and publish research. But does the UC system have the clout to pull it off?

* Can the liberal arts survive neoliberalism? Serving at Cross’s Purposes.

* Wall is good. Build wall!

* We can’t pull down statues of slaveowners, while out there they’re pulling down statues of Gandhi.

* Got to have some mixed feelings.

* Over the last decade or so it seems like very police forensic technology has been revealed to be complete and utter bullshit, which people believe in simply because they believe whatever cops say.

* Nice work if you can get it: insider trading is legal when you’re in Congress.

* Employers should have to bear the costs of at-will employment if they want to reap the benefits, so to the extent that this “ghosting” is actually happening that is very, very good.

* Elsewhere in hyperexploitation: Uncompensated Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (one-year term).

How The US Left Failed Brasil. You’re not going to pin this on me!

* Teach the controversy: It’s ridiculous that it’s unconstitutional for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run for president.

* Why women have better sex under socialism, according to an anthropologist.

There’s some wild shit going on in the far corners of the Game Of Thrones map.

* Totally normal.

* Fossils of the 21st century.

* Union solutions / management solutions.

* Twilight of Netflix.

* We did it!

* And it was 20 years ago (yesterday).

Just a Few Links for Thursday (Really!)

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* Essay prize for graduate students and early-career, pre-TT science fiction studies scholars: The Foundation Essay Prize 2019.

* The call for papers for the 2019 conference at Chaminade University, Honolulu, Hawaii (Friday, June 21 – Monday, June 24, 2019) is available. Should be a great time!

* Among other terrible things, Brazil’s rising fascist has vowed to destroy the rainforests.

* Cheating to win, part 102: Supreme Court Makes It Harder for Tribal North Dakotans to Vote. Brian Kemp Is Blocking 53K Applicants From Registering To Vote, Most Of Them Black.

* Kavanaugh backs Trump administration on jailing and deporting immigrants for crimes committed years earlier.

Figures provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection detail the separation of 6,022 “family units” from April 19, 2018 to August 15, 2018, according to a report published by Amnesty International on Thursday. Noting that the term “family unit” has varying applications in the U.S. immigration enforcement world — sometimes referring to individuals in a family, and other times referring to family groups containing multiple people — Amnesty observes that even on the low end, the figure reflects the largest total ever disclosed by the border enforcement agency in the context of the family separation crisis.

* This description of an afternoon with Trump is really something else.

It’s Time To Go To War With The Supreme Court. Here’s How.

Trump Administration Seeks to Stifle Protests Near White House and on National Mall.

* Corruption all the way down.

* It seems like the thousand-year storms come faster and faster every year. UN Says Climate Genocide Is Coming. It’s Actually Worse Than That. What Is Eco-Socialism?

In effect, Amazon’s system taught itself that male candidates were preferable. It penalized resumes that included the word “women’s,” as in “women’s chess club captain.” And it downgraded graduates of two all-women’s colleges, according to people familiar with the matter. They did not specify the names of the schools.

* Elsewhere in Amazon’s total surveillance nightmare.

The Silence of Sexual Assault in Literature.

* How We Roasted Donald Duck.

Moons can have moons and they are called moonmoons. Yeah, if I were a scientist I’d probably be phoning it in right now too…

Thursday Morning Links!

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* CFP: Speculative Fiction, Pedagogy, and Social Change. CFP: Teaching 9/11 and Its Aftermaths. CFP: Crafting the Long Tomorrow: New Conversations & Productive Catalysts Across Science and Humanities Boundaries as the Global Emergency Worsens. CFP: Episodes VII, VIII, IX.

* Boots Riley on communism, Sorry to Bother You, and what kind of political action the present moment demands.

The ‘feel-good’ horror of late-stage capitalism.

* Unreal.

* Twilight of the omniversity.

* All about QAnon, if you’re just catching up to the latest nonsense.

Alex Jones, Pursued Over Infowars Falsehoods, Faces a Legal Crossroads. Man, I hope he loses everything.

Plymouth State University said Wednesday that a retired professor who defended a convicted child rapist in a letter to the court will not be rehired as an adjunct instructor or “in any other capacity.” Two other faculty members who defended the Plymouth State graduate and high school guidance counselor convicted of sexually assaulting a student will complete sexual harassment training prior to their return to campus and will work closely with other professors upon their return, the university also said.

“The UNC Board of Governors respects each of the varying opinions within the university community concerning this matter. However, after consulting with legal counsel, neither UNC Chapel Hill nor the UNC System have the legal authority to unilaterally relocate the Silent Sam statue,” the board wrote in a statement. “Thus, the board has no plans to take any action regarding the monument at this time, and we will await any guidance that the North Carolina Historical Commission may offer.”

But in order to turn a story about the U.S. politics of climate change into a story about the entirety of the human species, Rich has to make a strange argument. He has to dispatch with the two most powerful and prominent enemies of a climate policy in the United States: the fossil-fuel industry and the Republican Party.

* A reminder: Just 90 companies are accountable for more than 60 percent of greenhouse gases.

* How the Carr Fire became one of the most destructive fires in California history.

Europe facing its hottest day ever.

Here’s a different question one could ask: Could it be that reporters like Chait, who are obsessed with finding the next Watergate and tend to err on the side of military intervention, aren’t exercising enough skepticism?

* Snowflake students have become the target of a new rightwing crusade. But exaggerated claims of censorship reveal a deeper anxiety at the core of modern conservatism.

Months later I not only considered my own future, but the far-reaching political implications of these cases: Why did the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia find it appropriate to hang virtual life sentences over the heads of 214 people after an indiscriminate mass arrest? How could they have so shamelessly gleaned evidence from far-right groups like Project Veritas, a discredited organization known for making deceptive gotcha videos, as well as the paramilitary group the Oath Keepers, and still felt they had a legitimate case? Where was the motivation—the conspiracy—to pursue these cases coming from?

Immigration crackdown: U.S. soldier honored for service could be heading for ICE custody.

* Everything a grift: Kris Kobach went around helping towns pass anti-immigration ordinances, & then got himself hired to defend them in court. Towns then spent millions on legal fees, faced financial crisis, & usually lost— while Kobach earned $800K.

‘Like a kidnapping’: ICE snatches 25-year Minnesota resident from his family in harrowing video.

* Another migrant child molested at a DHS facility. And a WaPo story about the migrant child who died shortly after their release from an unsafe, unhygienic detention center.

* Source close to Ivanka Trump confirms no one so beautiful could be evil.

* From the archives: What Is Socialist Feminism?

* Can’t anyone in Congress have a normal hobby?

* Inside the first database that tracks America’s criminal cops.

* Breaking: leftist politics are very popular. Still / again / always.

* The art of the murder mystery.

* Meet the Anarchists Making Their Own Medicine.

* Maybe it’s possible to have too much money.

* Nobody powerful ever makes a mistake, MCU edition.

* Something is happening in America.

At some point in the process, all four of these nominees—Haynsworth, Carswell, Bork, and Ginsburg—seemed like shoo-ins for confirmation, much as Kavanaugh does today. And yet they were all defeated. And the Justices who took their places were closer to the judicial and political mainstream.

* Running for office again is probably the single most destructive Al Franken could possibly do at this point, so I’m sure he will.

Parents Are Paying Fortnite Coaches So Their Gamer Kids Can Level Up.

Pope declares death penalty inadmissible, changing Church’s stance.

…in the U.S., water park rides are not tightly regulated. Although the federal government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission has the authority to set safety standards for such products as baby cribs and bicycles, it has no authority to regulate water parks. That responsibility lies entirely with the states. Some states have agencies that inspect water parks; others rely on the parks’ own insurance companies to do inspections. Texas law, for instance, says that a park must obtain a $1 million liability policy for each of its rides and must have all rides inspected once a year by an inspector hired by the insurance company. But there is nothing in the law that requires the inspector to have any particular certifications. Nor does the law require an inspector to evaluate the safety of such factors as the ride’s speed or the geometric angle of its slide path. According to Texas Department of Insurance spokesman Jerry Hagins, the inspector is charged only with making sure that the ride is in sound condition and meets the “manufacturer’s specifications.” In other words, a water park is allowed to police itself.

* Can Mars even be terraformed?

* Yikes.

The Songs We Banned From Our Weddings. The answer to a wedding soundtrack is always just all Motown, I think.

* Film Crit Hulk considers Nanette.

Once upon a time, the house on Red Bark Lane wasn’t just another address in a sprawling suburban development: It was originally built as a nearly exact three-dimensional replica of 742 Evergreen Terrace, the Springfield residence of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie Simpson. Working on a short schedule, architects and builders de-fictionalized the home featured in The Simpsons for a 1997 giveaway that was intended to leave one lucky fan with the ultimate in cartoon memorabilia. No detailwas spared, from a food dish for their cat, Snowball II, to Duff beer cans in the fridge.

But controversy soon erupted in this faux-Springfield mock-up. The homeowner’s association wasn’t keen on having a cartoon house that broke conformity requirements by being painted solar yellow. The sweepstakes winner rejected it outright. And the current owner had to learn to live with the property being a source of perpetual curiosity for fans of the show who brazenly turn her doorknobs and peer through her windows at all hours of the day and night. As it turns out, the reality of living in a fantasy can get a little complicated.