Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘NASA

Sunday Links!

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* Don’t miss my flash review of The Avengers: Age of Ultron! As I say in the update, thanks to my friend Ryan Vu for priming the pump (and look for his brilliant review of Captain America 2 in a few months in SFFTV).

Why Avengers: Age of Ultron Fills This Buffy Fan With Despair. Nerd Plus Ultron: There Has to Be More to ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Than Printing More Money.

* Notes on the coming DC disaster: In the early going, some in Hollywood are questioning whether Warners has acted too much in haste without having fleshed out the world on which so much hinges.

These Imaginative Worlds and Parallel Universes Will Forever Change How You Think About Africa.

2030 is set largely in the titular year, 100 kilometers south of Ho Chi Minh City. The initial title card establishes that 80% of the population has been evacuated due to the rising sea level as an effect of global warming.

* Great university boondoggle reporting from Freddie deBoer.

Late last week, using the hashtag #talkpay, people began tweeting about how much money they make—a radical thing to do in a culture that treats disclosing your salary as the ultimate taboo.

Dear Superprofessors: The experiment is over.

I’ve been buried in final book manuscript revisions, and have been noticing that I’m increasingly using the term “management” rather than “administration” in my analyses of university governance.  Part of the reason is that my employer, the University of California, uses Senior Management Group as a formal employment classification. But it’s also because the friendlier aspects of the term “administration” seem decreasingly part of everyday academic life. Friendliness was administration as support structure, as collaborator, as partner, as the entity that did not take orders from obnoxious egocentric faculty prima donnas the way that frontline staff often had to do, but that accepted balanced power relations  and a certain mutual respect that could make decisions move relatively quickly and equitably. It would avoid command and control of the kind that prevailed in the army and in most corporations, where executive authority consisted of direct rule over subordinates.

Pay hike at McMaster University for female faculty.

Lawmakers back away from increased course loads for UNC professors.

Fewer professors, more managers work on Cal State campuses.

* …Carey has produced a sloppy polemic, a revenge fantasy that tries to turn personal resentment and cynicism into public policy.

* Horrifying, literally unbelievable story of peer review gone awry. More here.

* Well, I guess that settles it: In 50-49 vote, US Senate says climate change not caused by humans.

Study: Climate Change Threatens One in Six Species With Extinction.

Babies born 3 miles apart in New York have a 9-year life expectancy gap. 15 Baltimore neighborhoods have lower life expectancies than North Korea.

The Forgotten Power of the Vietnam Protest, 1965-1975.

Rikers Island meatloaf did have rat poison.

An Empty Stadium in Baltimore. A Brief History of Pro Sports Played in Empty Stadiums.

Keywords for the Age of Austerity 18: Descending into Violence.

‘Rough Rides’ and the Challenges of Improving Police Culture.

New ACLU Cellphone App Automatically Preserves Video of Police Encounters.

The particularity of white supremacy.

* It’s hard out there for a gifted kid.

* “No one has walked on the moon in my lifetime,” I told them. “Yet you try to tell me that it’s my generation who has lost their wonder?  That it’s the young people of today who have let everything slip and fall into ruin? You don’t understand. You had the dream and the potential and the opportunities, and you messed it all up. You got hope and moon landings and that bright, glorious future. I got only the disasters.”

In some ways Ex Machina may be considered a feminist film by sheer dint of our low standards, the scarcity of stories that explore female desire beyond the realm of sex and romance.

Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Cat’s Cradle’ to Be Developed as TV Series By IM Global.

The Secret Mountain Our Spies Will Hide In When Washington Is Destroyed.

A 7-Year-Old Girl Got A New 3D-Printed Left Hand For The Wonderful Price Of $50.

This 5-year-old girl knows a lot more about presidents than you do. At this point I say put her in charge.

If you’re 33 or older, you will never listen to new music again—at least, that’s more or less what a new online study says. The study, which is based mainly on data from U.S. Spotify users, concludes that age 33 is when, on average, people stop discovering new music and begin the official march to the grave.

How Old Is Old? Centenarians Say It Starts in Your 80s; Kids Say Your 40s.

“How Does a Stand-Up Comedian Work?”

* Whiteness and the Apple Watch.

* The arc of history is long, but Cheez-Its is finally going to sell a box of just the burned ones.

* The same joke but with this Iceland law allowing anyone to murder any Basque on sight.

* “NASA has trialled an engine that would take us to Mars in 10 weeks.”

* The most racist places in America.

* Daddy, there’s a monster under the bed.

* If you want a vision of the future, imagine James Cameron directing Avatar sequels, forever.

* And the same joke but with 21 Jump Street sequels.

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Written by gerrycanavan

May 3, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Easter Links! Find Them All!

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* The 2015 Hugo nominees have been announced, and they’re a mess. The Hugo Awards Were Always Political. But Now They’re Only Political. A Note About the Hugo Nominations This Year. The Puppy-Free Hugo Award Voter’s Guide. The Biggest Little SF Publisher you never heard of declares war. “Why I Declined a Hugo Award Nomination.”

* And in response to the question “Well, what should have been nominated for a Hugo?”: “Andromache and the Dragon,” by my brilliant Marquette colleague Brittany Pladek!

* “The Many Faces of Tatiana Maslany”: In portraying a horde of clones on ‘Orphan Black,’ the actress has created TV’s strangest — and most sophisticated — meditation on femininity. And a special bonus companion piece: Meet The Woman (Besides Tatiana Maslany) Who Plays Every Single “Orphan Black” Clone.

Reddit’s Bizarre, Surreal, Maddening, Hypnotic, Divisive, and Possibly Evil April Fools’ Joke. I’ve become obsessed with this.

* CFP: Ephemeral Television. CFP: Into the Pensieve: The Harry Potter Generation in Retrospect.

* Watching them turn off the Rothkos.

Somali Militants Kill 147 at Kenyan University.

Iran’s Been Two Years Away From a Nuclear Weapon for Three Decades. The Iran deal. What if the Iranians are people too?

So how much money is the NCAA making? In 2010, CBS and Turner Broadcasting gave the NCAA $10.8 billion for a fourteen-year broadcast monopoly on March Madness games. Estimated ad revenue for the 2013 tournament reached $1.15 billion, while ticket revenue brought in another $71.7 million. Last year no less than thirty-five coaches pulled down salaries higher than $1 million before bonuses; Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski topped the list with an income of more than $9.6 million.

Guarding against the errant, suicidal murderous pilot belongs to a category called “wicked problems” — the complexity of the system and the conflicting incentives mean that every solution introduces another set of problems, so the only way forward is always going to be an imperfect one. Second, and perhaps more importantly, is that this once again reveals how, as humans, we are lousy at risk assessment, and also lousy of accepting this weakness. The problem is wicked, but its occurrence is so rare that it is almost unheard of — partly why it terrifies us so. Our imagination, biases and fears are terrible guides to what should actually be done to keep us safer, and this has significant consequences in a whole host of fields, ranging from terrorism to childcare to health-care.

So you see, people like Tim Cook are selective in their moral universalism; morality, it turns out, is universal only insofar as extends to the particular desires of a Western bourgeoisie; deny a gay couple a wedding bouquet that they could get at the florist down the street anyway, and that is a cause for outrage and concern; extract minerals using indentured Congolese servants, well, look, we’ve got marginal cost to consider! The moral argument, it turns out, curdles when exposed to the profit motive, and the universality of justice actually does end at certain borders, one way or another.

How the Slave Trade Built America.

* But unlike its predecessor, the show has no obvious narrative progression. Nacho’s important, or he’s not; the Kettlemans are half the show, or maybe we should care about Sandpiper. There are flashbacks to Jimmy’s past where Bob Odenkirk is playing either 25 or 57—a savvy criminal or a neophyte screw-up. In the lead-up to Better Call Saul, there were theories that the show would be funnier than Breaking Bad (maybe a sitcom?) or more procedural than Breaking Bad (maybe The Good Wife for bad boys?) or more episodic (like X-Files with lawyers!). None of that is true, and all of that is true. It’s interesting, but not the way great TV is interesting. Better Call Saul reminds me more of Treme or John From Cincinnati: post-masterpiece meanders. 

* In TV’s Silver Age, a logjam of shows that are ‘pretty good,’ but not great.

Here’s A Map That Shows All The Future Megacities From Science Fiction.

* Can science fiction be a form of social activism? Walidah Imarisha thinks so, and she’s recruited everyone from LeVar Burton to Mumia Abu-Jamal to help her prove it.

* Johns Hopkins Faces $1-Billion Lawsuit Over U.S. Experiments in Guatemala.

* sirens.io, blogging from seven years in the future.

* Are Aliens Behind Mysterious Radio Bursts? Scientists Weigh In.

* Calif. Governor Orders Mandatory Water Restrictions For 1st Time In History. It’s up to us to singlehandedly save california from drought by turning off the tap when we brush our teeth! California is pumping water that fell to Earth 20,000 years ago. California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth. R.I.P. California (1850-2016): What We’ll Lose And Learn From The World’s First Major Water Collapse. Children of the Drought.

Starting this week, 25,000 households in Baltimore will suddenly lose their access to water for owing bills of $250 or more, with very little notice given and no public hearings.

* Oceans might take 1,000 years to recover from climate change, study suggests.

Drug field tests used by cops are so bad they react positively to air, soap, candy.

* Trolley Problem: The Game. Advanced Trolley Problems.

* Scott Walker’s budget cuts $5.7 million from pollution control efforts.

The Most Popular Antidepressants Are Based On A Theory We Know Is Wrong. Most antidepressant users have never had depression.

* 12 New Science Fiction Comics You Absolutely Need to be Reading.

* From Shaman to Equinox: The Challenges and Failures of Indigenous Representation in Superhero Comics Read More: Indigenous Representation in Superhero Comics.

* Hero Price Is Right model begins the revolution by just giving away a car.

* First as an unexpectedly great show, then as I don’t know it doesn’t sound like a very good idea to me.

All told, the “Detroit Industry” frescoes are probably as close as this country gets to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

* The happiness spigot.

New report says manned Mars mission could reach orbit by 2033, land by 2039.

Clarke makes her point not with stirring courtroom rhetoric or devastating legal arguments but by a process of relentless accretion, case by case, win by win. This is her cause. Because if the state cannot put these defendants to death, then how can it put anyone to death? Thirty-five executions took place in the United States in 2014 for crimes that form an inventory of human cruelty—and yet few were as willful and egregious as those committed by Judy Clarke’s clients.

Here is an example of the priorities in New York state’s budget: There is no increase in the minimum wage, but purchasers of yachts that cost more than $230,000 are exempt from the sales tax.

* U.S. Court Officially Rules that Friendship Is Worthless.

Tales from the Trenches: I was SWATed.

Texas Just Does Not Care How Hot Its Prisons Get.

* Duke tries throwing polio at cancer, as you do.

* Interesting article on design: The Secret History of the Apple Watch.

Senate Republicans say the current system is unfair because rural residents are effectively supporting urban counties’ schools and services when they shop there. Yes, that’s literally how the system is intended to function.

The dystopian lake filled by the world’s tech lust.

* So you want to resurrect a college.

These Slow-Motion Videos of Fluids Vibrating on Speakers Are Wonderful.

* Now Full House, and the Muppets too.

These Photos Of Melanie Griffith And Her Pet Lion In The 1970s Are Everything. (UPDATE: Here’s the article that seems to be the original source, plus a little bit on Roar’s rerelease. Noteworthy lines from Wikipedia: “Over 70 of the cast and crew were injured during the production of this film.”)

* Being Andre.

Landlord Sends Man $1,200 Bill To Cleanup His Roommate’s Blood, Who Was Shot Dead By Police.

Stan VHS, A Tumblr Blog Featuring 1980s-Style VHS Cover Art for Modern Television Shows and Movies.

A Linguistic Comparison of Letters of Recommendation for Male and Female Chemistry and Biochemistry Job Applicants.

* SF Short of the Weekend: “Burnt Grass.”

* …and your short short of the weekend: “No One Is Thirsty.”

* I finally found enough time to be annoyed by Obama interviewing David Simon about The Wire.

* This Easter, we remember.

* And because you demanded it: An oral history of Max Headroom.

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Written by gerrycanavan

April 5, 2015 at 9:29 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links!

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tumblr_nirowmOALX1qmyzbvo1_r1_1280* This is the only movie franchise Disney should produce from now on.

* On indigenous futurism.

* It’s not time to degree, it’s time from degree.

* Horrifying, tragic triple murder in Chapel Hill.

Professors and other university employees wouldn’t be able to criticize or praise lawmakers, the governor or other elected officials in letters to the editor if they use their official titles, under a bill introduced in the Legislature. Having solved every other problem in existence, the Legislature now turns its eyes towards…

* The University of Wisconsin cuts as queen sacrifice.

* What University Administrators Gain from $300 Million in Cuts. Notes from the conspiracy against UW.

 * How our paths have diverged from that August afternoon in 1986. True story: it was freshman orientation just outside Memorial Union. We were two of a couple thousand new Marquette University freshman wistful about what our futures held. Four years later, I graduated from Marquette and later became Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year. You never graduated, and you became the Governor of the State of Wisconsin bent on dismantling public education. Ironic, isn’t it? Situational irony at its best. I’d laugh if its ramifications weren’t so utterly destructive for the state of Wisconsin.

* First Louisiana, then Wisconsin, now South Carolina ups the ante. Now they want to shut it down for two years. Would it shock you if I told you this was a historically black college? Would it completely blow your mind?

What Even is African Literature Anyway.

SOFIA SAMATAR: Lately I have been thinking about African literature as the literature that becomes nothing.“African subjectivity…is constituted by a perennial lack: lacking souls, lacking civilization, lacking writing, lacking responsibility, lacking development, lacking human rights and lacking democracy. It is an unending discourse that invents particular ‘lacks’ suitable for particular historical epochs so as to justify perpetuation of asymmetrical power relations and to authorize various forms of external interventions into Africa.” (Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Empire, Global Coloniality And African Subjectivity)This was kicked off when I read Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni on lack. We know that all literary works are copies, but Africanliterature is a copy in a way that obliterates it (Ouologuem, Camara Laye, whatever, choose your plagiarism scandal). All literature is political, but African literature is political in a way that makes it cease to be literature (it’s “too political,” “didactic,” etc.). All literature is produced to suit a market, but African literature is produced to suit an illegitimate, inauthentic, outside market (it’s always in the wrong language). Its market also makes it nothing…

Crumbs is a new feature-length film project from award-winning Addis Ababa-based Spanish director Miguel Llansó boldly touting itself as “the first ever Ethiopian post-apocalyptic, surreal, sci-fi feature length film.” Its cryptic official trailer, which we first spotted over on Shadow and Act, takes us deep into a bizarre universe inhabited by the beautiful Candy (played by Ethiopian actress Selam Tesfaye) and her diminutive scrap collecting partner Birdy (played by Ethiopian actor Daniel Tadesse Gagano), who sets out on a journey to uncover strange happenings in their otherwise desolate surroundings.

In the high-stakes world of American education, Pearson makes money even when its results don’t measure up.

* Jon Stewart quits. Brian Williams suspended. Tough times in fake news.

* Another preview of Graeber’s The Utopia of Rules.

* To all the young journalists asking for advice.

I asked Mr. Trachtenberg if it was morally defensible to let students borrow tens of thousands of dollars for a service that he himself had compared to a luxury good. He is not, by nature, one for apologies and second-guessing. “I’m not embarrassed by what we did,” he said. “It’s not as if it’s some kind of a bait and switch here. It’s not as if the faculty weren’t good. It’s not as if the opportunities to get a good degree weren’t there. There’s no misrepresentation here.” He seemed unbowed but also aware that his legacy was bound up in the larger dramas and crises of American higher education.

Whatever happened to the teenage entrepreneurs whom Peter Thiel paid to forgo college?

* Jesus Christ: The University of Oregon illegally pried through the medical records of a female student who was expected to file a sexual assault-related lawsuit against the school, a staff therapist claims.

* The salary gap at Berkeley.

For centuries we the taxpayers have paid to maintain the nation’s treasures and institutions. It would be madness to hand over our archives now.

I’m Autistic, And Believe Me, It’s A Lot Better Than Measles.

Rosa Parks — because of her arrest, because of her activism — loses her job at the Montgomery Fair department store, where she was an assistant tailor. She wasn’t fired, they just let her go. And Raymond Parks also loses his job as well. And neither one of them is able to find sustainable employment in Montgomery after that — because of their activism, absolutely. They are basically boycotted. …

This is a 1955 tax return, and of course her arrest is in December of that year, and their combined income is $3,749. So they’re, you know, the working poor, but they’re holding their head above water. And here is their tax return in 1959 when they’re living in Detroit. Their combined income is $661. They have descended into deep, deep poverty.

On June 30th, 1974, Alberta Williams King was gunned down while she played the organ for the “Lord’s Prayer” at Ebenezer Baptist Church. As a Christian civil rights activist, she was assassinated…just like her son, Martin Luther King, Jr.

* BREAKING: People with Stronger Writing Skills Are Better at Their Jobs, Get Paid More, Better Looking, Less B.O., Just Better Period.

* Five Dials has a special issue devoted to Richard McGuire’s amazing comic Here.

Review: Jupiter Ascending Is The Worst Movie Ever Go See It Immediately.

* So what would have made Jupiter Ascending work?

* NASA’s latest budget calls for a mission to Europa. OK I think as long as we attempt no landings there.

* Milwaukee streetcar boondoggle project approved.

Secret Teacher: exams have left my students incapable of thinking. “Incapable” is a bit strong, but elites have certainly turned education into a nightmare.

* TOS for Samsung’s exciting new 4o-inch telescreen.

What appears to happen during this time—the years I look at are 1994 to 2008, just based on the data that’s available—is that the probability that a district attorneys file a felony charge against an arrestee goes from about 1 in 3, to 2 in 3. So over the course of the ’90s and 2000s, district attorneys just got much more aggressive in how they filed charges. Defendants who they would not have filed felony charges against before, they now are charging with felonies. I can’t tell you why they’re doing that. No one’s really got an answer to that yet. But it does seem that the number of felony cases filed shoots up very strongly, even as the number of arrests goes down.

2013 record heatwave ‘virtually impossible’ without climate change, Climate Council of Australia report says.

* Text adventure micro-game of the day: 9:05.

* Fantasy short of the day: “The Two of Us.”

Sharing companies use their advertising to build a sort of anti-brand-community brand community.  Both sharing companies and brand communities mediate social relations and make them seem less risky. Actual community is full of friction and unresolvable competing agendas; sharing apps’ main function is to eradicate friction and render all parties’ agenda uniform: let’s make a deal. They are popular because they do what brand communities do: They allow people to extract value from strangers without the hassle of having to dealing with them as more than amiable robots.

38 Percent Of Women Earn More Than Their Husbands.

The Worst Commutes In America.

* “I was keenly aware of my Jewishness when I enrolled at Hogwarts in that faraway fall of 1949.”

* The-price-is-too-high watch: Study says smelling farts may be good for your health.

Black girls are suspended from school 6 times more often than white girls.

* From the archives: The New Yorker‘s 2013 profile of American Sniper Chris Kyle.

* Human sociality and the problem of trust: there’s an app for that.

* Adnan Syed is getting an appeal.

Detroit needs Sun Ra more than ever.

But Manson, 80, does not want to marry Burton and has no interest in spending eternity displayed in a glass coffin, Simone told The Post. “He’s finally realized that he’s been played for a fool,” Simone said. Poor guy.

“This AI can create poetry indistinguishable from real poets.” Finally, we can get rid of all these poets!

* Peace in our time: Marvel and Sony have concluded a deal that will allow Spider-Man to appear in Avengers movies.

Zoo Security Drills: When Animals Escape.

Ming the clam, the world’s oldest animal, killed at 507 years old by scientists trying to tell how old it was. RIP.

* Jonathan Blow says The Witness, his followup to Braid, is finally almost done.

* The other Apollo speeches.

* The news gets worse, academics: Your lifetime earnings are probably determined in your 20s.

* And presenting the world’s most delicious diamond.

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 11, 2015 at 8:55 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Christmas Leftovers Links

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* Listen, when Chris Ware tells you to buy a book, you buy it.

For a small group of comedy writers, however, their yearly viewing couldn’t be further from Bedford Falls. Instead, they gather ’round a never-aired 1996 Comedy Central special: Escape From It’s A Wonderful Life.

Caganer — the strangest, most scatological part of Catalan nativity scenes — explained.

* Jacobin remembers the Christmas truce, one hundred years old yesterday.

* Let 2015 be Year One of the post-carbon future. 4 Legal Battles This Year That Were All About Climate Change. Sewage in the streets of Miami. Could flooding finally wake Americans up to the climate crisis? Irreversible But Not Unstoppable: The Ghost Of Climate Change Yet To Come.

* The crazy history of Star Wars.

The Class Struggle in the North Pole.

* The Justice Department may investigate Milwaukee PD following the no-indict of the shooter of Dontre Hamilton.

* Elsewhere on the local beat: A Milwaukee doctor says he has the answer to concussions.

* And, sadly: Milwaukee’s poet laureate passes away.

Among recent graduates ages 22 to 27, the jobless rate for blacks last year was 12.4 percent versus 4.9 percent for whites, said John Schmitt, a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

* I missed this one in August: Tobias Wolff on the heart of whiteness.

* Subway sandwiches and the halo effect.

* 90-Year-Old Vet Arrested For Feeding Homeless Will Hand Out Christmas Eve Dinner.

* I can’t believe they made a movie out of Bill, The Galactic Hero. I can’t wait to see it.

“I, Cthulhu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9’ S, Longitude 126° 43’ W)?”

* A look inside 8chan, the worst place on the Internet: “The Mods Are Always Asleep.”

* There’s magical thinking, and then there’s “Believing in Santa Claus could help your kids develop a cure for cancer.”

* Behold, the baby in the sun from Teletubbies.

* This was a nice, short, readable explanation of how all the statistical analysis in The Bell Curve was bullshit.

10 Story Decisions Scifi And Fantasy Writers Ended Up Regretting. Tough list to get down to just ten!

In the 1950s, Egypt and Britain played an old version of tit-for-tat. Egypt took the Suez Canal. The British decided to pay them back by stealing the river Nile itself. Yes, the whole Nile.

* A very J.R.R. Tolkien Christmas.

Parents Are Moving To The Same Towns Where Their Kids Go To College. When my kids go to college, I’m enrolling in their freshman classes. I don’t want to miss a moment.

Falsely Shouting Fire in a Theater: How a Forgotten Labor Struggle Became a National Obsession and Emblem of Our Constitutional Faith.

New York City Sends $30 Million a Year to School With History of Giving Kids Electric Shocks.

Pope Francis: ‘One in 50’ Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals is a paedophile.

Pious Anxiety: Flannery O’Connor’s Prayer Journal.

* On Facebook and Algorithmic Cruelty.

The Marvel Movie Universe, In Completely Chronological Order.

The melancholy of all things done” is the way Buzz once described his complete mental breakdown after returning from the moon. Booze. A couple of divorces. A psych ward. Broke. At one point he was selling cars. Buzz Aldrin and the dark side of the Moon.

* Of course you had me at “There’s a serious proposal to send astronauts to a floating cloud city in Venus’s atmosphere before heading to Mars.”

* A public service announcement: Black Mirror: White Christmas was fantastic. Find a way to watch it!

* And if you squint just right it looks like the world isn’t ending. Happy Holidays indeed!

Good Morning, It’s Sunday Morning Links

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* A rare correction: actually your pets will burn in hell. gerrycanavan.wordpress.com regrets the error.

* Watch out, modern-day slaves, the Pope might un-denounce your exploitation next!

* Sad update: Cheryl Abbate has been run out of Marquette.

Adding that to the explicitly military and overseas contingency funding, the real dimensions of the US military-intelligence-police-prison complex begin to come into view: a staggering $830 billion, more than 80 cents out of every dollar in the funding bill, is devoted to killing, spying on, imprisoning or otherwise oppressing the people of the world, including the American people.

* The federal government is using data gimmicks to mask the true scope of homelessness.

* Is It Bad Enough Yet?

* To end police violence, we must end policing as we know it.

* Timelapse video reveals massive size of New York City protests.

Ferguson to Increase Police Ticketing to Close City’s Budget Gap.

* Point/counterpoint: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says torture is totally legit. Ex-NFL punter Chris Kluwe says maybe not.

“I resign. Happy? Goodbye.”

* But what we do know is that the histories of slavery and of capitalism look very different if we understand them in relation to each other. The next time we walk the streets of Lower Manhattan or the grounds of Harvard University, we should think at least in passing of the millions of enslaved workers who helped make some of that grandeur possible, and to the ways that slavery’s legacy persists today.

* U.S. Schools Saying Goodbye to Foreign Languages. Horrible.

* Cruel optimism we can believe in: What if Democrats had their own Tea Party–esque rebellion? Why the Democratic Party could seriously change — for real, this time.

* Ever Say Never Again: On the History and Future of James Bond.

* Scientists think the Big Bang could’ve created a mirror universe where time flows backward.

* What are the bastards ruining now? Buffy.

* Oh, also Blade Runner.

Is Studying Buffy the Vampire Slayer More Important Than Studying Shakespeare? I say teach the controversy.

* I think I would say Freddie is probably the worst possible spokesperson for the conversation the feminist left should be having in the wake of the Rolling Stone UVA scandal. But no one else seems to want to talk about it at all.

* Meanwhile, Matt Fraction walks away from Twitter.

As recruitment dips, TFA leader says New York training site to close.

* The word you’re looking for is “racism.” Just say “racism.”

The Real Story Of Apollo 17… And Why We Never Went Back To The Moon.

* A Tolkien true believer vs. the nerds.

Hear Philip K. Dick Talk About SF And The Mainstream In 1976.

* Playboy ranks every Star Trek episodes. “Mirror, Mirror” at #3 is a deeply weird choice. And “Arena” at #6 is just insane.

They did a TV movie where the McCallisters get divorced? Pretty dark, Home Alone!

* Portuguese Street Artist Creates Stunning 3D Graffiti That Seems To Float In The Air.

* The Hobbit: A Middle-Earth Workplace.

* Now it’s the Kindle version of Green Planets that has inexplicably gone on deep discount for the weekend, if you’re in the market. And don’t forget to pre-order The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction, out in January!

* And they say our society is no longer capable of achieving great things: This scientist solved the mystery of belly button lint.

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Friday Morning Links!

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The S. T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship, for research relating to H.P. Lovecraft, his associates, and literary heirs.

* Candyland and the nature of the absurd. #academicjobmarket

Why some studies make campus rape look like an epidemic while others say it’s rare. ‘1 in 5′: how a study of 2 colleges became the most cited campus sexual assault statistic. Study Challenges Notion That Risk of Sexual Assault Is Greater at College. Justice Dept.: 20% of Campus Rapes Reported to Police.

University Of Missouri-St. Louis Says Ferguson Shooting Caused Enrollment Drop.

* Greenpeace sorry for Nazca lines stunt in Peru. Oh, okay then.

* Yes we can! The measure, championed by Senate Democrats, would cut Pell Grants in order to free up money to pay companies that collect student loans on behalf of the Department of Education.

* Down and Out: The Democratic Party’s losses at the state level are almost unprecedented, and could cripple it for a long time to come.

* 21st-Century Postdocs: (Still) Underpaid and Overworked.

* We asked a legal evidence expert if Serial’s Adnan Syed has a chance to get out of prison. Meanwhile, allow Matt Thompson to tell you how Serial is going to end a week in advance.

* Good news from Rome: “All Animals Go to Heaven.” I’m really glad we settled this.

* My new sabbatical plan: NASA Will Pay You $170 Per Day To Lie In Bed.

* UC Berkeley Lecturer Threatened For Offering Injured Student Protesters Extra Time On Papers. On university administrations and the surveillance state.

CIA defenders are out in force now that a historic report has exposed a decade of horrific American shame. Torture didn’t work, but why aren’t the architects of torture in jail? Every discussion of this question begins from the false premise that the torturers were well-intentioned truth-seekers who “went too far.” The CIA knew, like everybody knows, that the point of torture is to extract confessions regardless of their truth. That’s why they did it.

* First, do no harm: Medical profession aided CIA torture.

* The Supreme Court Just Rejected A Wage Theft Suit Against Amazon. What Does It Mean For Other Workers?

* Capitalism’s gravediggers.

* “Late in life, Michel Foucault developed a curious sympathy for neoliberalism.” A response from Peter Frase: Beyond the Welfare State.

* Also at Jacobin: Interstellar and reactionaries in space.

* Behold the nightmare Manhattan would become if everyone commuted by car.

* Why James Cameron’s Aliens is the best movie about technology.

* Why we can’t have nice things: Marvel Wanted Spider-Man For Captain America 3, But Sony Said No. But the next 21 Jump Street movie can cross over with Men in Black because life is suffering.

* 7 Terrible Lightsaber Designs From the Star Wars Expanded Universe. I love the guy who is just covered in lightsabers from head to toe.

* Elderly man nailed for clever identity theft scheme: prosecutors say he changed victim’s name to his own.

* Censorship (Pasadena, California).

* The nation’s millionaires are #Ready4Hillary.

Student athletes at public universities in Michigan would be prohibited from joining labor unions to negotiate for compensation and benefits under legislation the state House approved Tuesday.

* Meet The Oldest Living Things in the World.

* And this used to be a free country: One of two concealed gun permit holders involved in a rolling shootout down Milwaukee streets and freeways last year was turned down Thursday when he asked a judge to order the return of the gun seized after the incident.

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Wednesday Links! Some Especially Good Ones!

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* Paradoxa 26, “SF Now,” is on its way, and has my essay on Snowpiercer and necrofuturism in it. Mark Bould and Rhys Williams’s introduction to the issue is online.

* Extrapolation‘s current call for reviewers.

* UCR is hiring: Jay Kay and Doris Klein Science Fiction Librarian.

* African SF: Presenting Omenana 1.1. Of particular note: “The Unbearable Solitude of Being an African Fan Girl.”

* Nnedi Okorafor, Ytasha Womack, Isiah Lavender, and Sigal Samuel discussion #BlackStormTrooper.

NASA Officially Announce Plans To Put Humans On Mars With Orion Space Capsule.

* UAB shuts down its football program. Of course, the reason is austerity:

“The fiscal realities we face — both from an operating and a capital investment standpoint — are starker than ever and demand that we take decisive action for the greater good of the athletic department and UAB,” Watts said in a statement released by the university. “As we look at the evolving landscape of NCAA football, we see expenses only continuing to increase. When considering a model that best protects the financial future and prominence of the athletic department, football is simply not sustainable.”

We just can’t afford to throw bricks at students’ heads any more — not in these tough times.

* Teaching fellows strike at the University of Oregon.

* “Hypereducated and On Welfare”: The adjunct crisis hits Elle.

* Stefan Grimm and academic precarity: 1, 2.

* Meanwhile: College Hilariously Defends Buying $219,000 Table.

* Work, the welfare state, and what counts as “dignity.”

* It really pains me to say it, because I think the consequences for anti-rape activism will be dire, but significant questions have been raised about Rolling Stone‘s UVA story that neither the journalist nor the magazine have good answers to. It’s a good day to think carefully about what Freddie deBoer says here: “…it’s an inevitable result of associating the work of progressive politics with having a hair trigger, with demonizing those who ask us to be careful and restrained, and of treating overwhelming digital character assassination as a useful political tool.”

Imagine a World Without Prisons: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Superheroes, and Prison Abolition.

* Against New Atheism: The “New Atheists” have gained traction because they give intellectual cover to Western imperialism.

* The mass transit system Milwaukee didn’t know it needed. Now, if you could just snake another couple lines up the lake side… More links below the map.

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* The Ferguson PD victory lap continues: Ferguson Police investigating whether Michael Brown’s stepfather intended to incite a riot.

How Police Unions and Arbitrators Keep Abusive Cops on the Street.

How One Woman Could Hit The Reset Button In The Case Against Darren Wilson.

Utah’s Insanely Expensive Plan To Seize Public Lands. “…a price tag that could only be paid if the state were able to increase drilling and mining.” Oh, so not insane, then, just evil.

* There are boondoggles and there are boondoggles: Federal prosecutors subpoenaed dozens of records and documents relating to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s iPad program, including emails, proposals and score sheets dealing with the bids that led to a multi-million Apple contract with the district.

* For $5 I promise not to orchestrate this situation, and for $25…

* Why I Am Not Coming In To Work Today.

* Keeping Kayfabe.

* And the market for Girl Scout cookies is about to be disrupted. I gained ten pounds just reading this story.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 3, 2014 at 10:54 am

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