Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘nature

Sunday Night Links!

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* CFP: Afrofuturism in Time and Space.

* I was supposed to be at a conference this weekend, but the United flight left so amazingly late that it would have actually arrived after my panel (despite planning an ample buffer). I can’t remember the last flight I took that wasn’t at least partially a disaster. How much worse can air travel get? The Reason Air Travel Is Terrible and So Few Airlines Are Profitable. The airlines have maximized profits by making travel as miserable as possible. The Airline Fee to Sit With Your Family. And of course: Waiting in Line for the Illusion of Security.

* I’m 36, and I’ve never felt more “halfway there” than I have since my birthday last November.

* This is mostly anecdata, but all the same Milwaukee really does have the absolute worst drivers in the world.

* What happened to CUNY? The Relentless Shabbiness of CUNY: What Is To Be Done?

Students should study what they love, work hard, learn a lot, and they will find employment success.  We have become so vocationalized in our thinking about higher education that we have come to believe that a major is a career.  It is not.

* Climate Change: Views from the Humanities.

Student evaluations of teaching are not only unreliable, they are significantly biased against female instructors.

* Western universities are opening campuses in some odd places where they really don’t need to be.

Students With Nowhere to Stay: Homelessness on College Campuses.

For First Time in Modern Era, Living With Parents Edges Out Other Living Arrangements for 18- to 34-Year-Olds.

* Why Sci-Hub Will Win.

“Without provocation or warning, a large swarm of bees descended on both of them as they continued on the trail,” the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

We’ve separated the work of medicine and the work of the humanities for too long. After all, the creation of meaning is most important during our inevitable periods of suffering — whether the suffering is a patient’s physical illness or a physician’s emotional anguish.

Here’s the data: The National Health Interview Survey from 2011–12 found that children between the ages of six and 17 from families under the poverty line were significantly more likely to be prescribed psychiatric medication than any other economic group. The same study found that children on Medicaid were 50 percent more likely to get a prescription than those with private insurance. An analysis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnoses among kids between the ages of five and 17 between 1998 and 2009 found rates rose twice as fast for working-class and poor kids. A measurable class gap has emerged among children when it comes to mental health. And elsewhere from Malcolm Harris: why the dreaded term ‘millennial’ is actually worth saving.

We, the undersigned graduate students from the UCSD Literature Department and their allies, are writing to publicly voice our concerns about the building where the Literature program is currently housed.  In the past twenty-six years, many members of our departmental community have been diagnosed with cancer, forming an as-yet unexplained cancer cluster centered on the Literature Building.

How one California university faked students’ scores, skated by immigration authorities — and made a fortune in the process.

* Ole Miss Admits Former Assistant Football Coach Helped Falsify ACT Scores.

America’s atomic vets: ‘We were used as guinea pigs – every one of us.’

It’s time to acknowledge the genocide of California’s Indians.

Who paid for a professional oppo-research team to mock an environmental activist? The answer is secret. One could argue that the campaign isn’t substantially different from that of a corporate lobbyist, but, unlike registered lobbyists, America Rising Squared doesn’t have to file public disclosures or pay taxes, because it purports to be a social-welfare organization.

* For the first time, researchers have found a person in the United States carrying bacteria resistant to antibiotics of last resort, an alarming development that the top U.S. public health official says could mean “the end of the road” for antibiotics. That New Superbug Was Found in a UTI and That’s Key.

* The Ethics of Hodor.

* Ecotopia 2121.

The Player Kings: On Shakespeare’s Henriad.

Huge Marvel Comics twist changes Captain America forever*, and you might not like it.

* six months tops

* I get the anger, but I just don’t think Steve will be Hydra long enough to be outraged about. It really might not last past the next issue. Needless to say, on the question of outrage, others disagree. Jacobin weighs in: Captain America Doesn’t Have to Be a Fascist.

What’s it Like for Peter Parker Growing Up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

* Where is Wakanda?

* Super-antics.

“Unprecedented” discovery of mysterious structures created by Neanderthals.

Archaeologists discover Aristotle’s 2,400-year-old tomb in Macedonia.

A ‘Devastating Account’ of Diversity at Yale.

The Obama Administration Is Using Racist Court Rulings to Deny Citizenship to 55,000 People.

Hillary Clinton’s email problems just got much worse. More. What the new inspector general report on Hillary Clinton’s emails actually says.

* Hard not to feel like Democrats are really bad at this. Really bad.

Bernie Might Be Helping, Not Hurting Hillary Right Now.

* The Independent didn’t think this pair of glasses left on the floor of a museum was art.

* Geraldine Largay’s Wrong Turn: Death on the Appalachian Trail.

Peter Thiel just gave other billionaires a dangerous blueprint for perverting philanthropy. Peter Thiel, Tech Billionaire, Reveals Secret War With Gawker.

The iron-clad rule of all punditry and freelance social media opinionating: everything that happens must be construed such that it helps Trump.

* Pure class.

How to Get Trump Elected When He’s Wrecking Everything You Built.

12 Fringe Conspiracy Theories Embraced By A Man Who Might Be The Next President.

* The Gingrich Century.

Inside A White Nationalist Conference Energized By Trump’s Rise.

* A coup in Brazil, not that anyone seems to care.

How to Plug In Your Brain.

Research reveals huge scale of social media misogyny.

* Algorithmic injustice.

Teaching Veronica Mars in a season of campus sex crimes.

The turn to whetted appetites is supposed to be a compliment, but it just goes to show that there is no non-sinister defense for the “American male birthright” as a conceptual category.

* Gay Essentialism in a Eugenic Age.

“Frivolous” Humanities Helped Prisoners Survive in Communist Romania.

* Sad story: Gorilla shot dead after 3-year-old falls into enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo. A lot of people seem to be blaming the parents for neglectful watching, but having any way for a child to gain access to an enclosure is a catastrophic failure of design.

* Elsewhere in animal news: A Dutch Company Is Training ‘Low-Tech’ Eagles to Fight Drones.

In winter breeding grounds like Hawai‘i and Mexico, migrating humpback whales arrived later, left earlier, and showed up in fewer numbers than normal.

* There are a lot of pieces of this argument that I don’t agree with, but this part seems right to me: What its steadfast defenders fail to grasp is that, by promoting the PhD as a sort of generalist’s degree that should be used to do all sorts of things by as many people as possible, they are damning the humanities to continued irrelevance.

* 50 Years of Joan of Arc at Marquette.

* The end of Salon.

New Evidence Suggests a Fifth Fundamental Force of Nature.

Cell Phones and Brain Cancer: A Mother Jones Symposium.

Every Single Pinky and the Brain Plan to Take Over the World, Ranked.

* Do you think humans really have feelings, or are they just programmed to act like they do?

I try to remember the day I stopped believing in the Loch Ness Monster, the day I realized heaven and earth provided more than enough to think about. I cannot, which seems strange. I have never regretted my obsession with the Loch Ness Monster. A strong belief in UFOs, say, is somehow contaminating, so many of its paths leading into the intellectual urinal of conspiracy and cover-up. Belief in the hard-core paranormal is not something one grows out of but something one is reduced to. Accepting the Loch Ness Monster’s existence, on the other hand, did not mean signing on to any particular pathology, except possibly that of optimism. The Loch Ness Monster made the world a little stranger, a little more wonderful.

Welcome to Disturbia: Why midcentury Americans believed the suburbs were making them sick.

* Reproductive futurity watch: Congress member goes on bizarre anti-LGBTQ rant about sending gay people to space.

* Huge, if true: J.K. Rowling Confirms Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Will Be Sad.

The Sad State of Game of Thrones’ Direwolves.

* Game of Thrones: This is canon now.

* Winter is going: The Arctic Heat Wave Is Literally Off the Charts Right Now.

* But there’s a Plan B: The Time To Nuke Mars Is Now.


Written by gerrycanavan

May 29, 2016 at 5:13 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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No, *These* Are the Weekend Links

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Wednesday Night Links!

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* How Bad Was It? Mitch McConnell Triumphant. Losers, not unlucky. And they probably managed to pre-lose the Senate in 2016 in the bargain. If you want a vision of the future. Decision 2014: The Higher-Ed Outlook. The biggest loser in this election is climate (as always). President Obama Has Earned Our Disapproval.

* Amazon wants to give you ten dollars: Spend $45 or More on Select Amazon Gift Cards, Get a $10 Promotional Credit for Yourself.

* I’ve seen some really polarizing opinions on this piece today: Confessions of a Young, Prolific Academic. I understand why people aren’t on board, but all the same I’m attracted to pieces that present the joyful side of academic work.

* Ecotopia today: Esteemed evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson believes the only way we can avoid a catastrophic mass extinction is to set aside half of the planet in permanently protected areas for the 10 million other species who live on Earth.

* 21 Photos Of Nature Winning The Battle Against Civilization.


Writing the future: A timeline of science fiction literature.

It seems like every 30-something couple has an embarrassing financial secret: their boomer parents are covering their mortgages, child-care costs and other expenses. The Bank of Mom and Dad: confessions of a propped up generation.

New Bill Watterson Comic Is A Simple But Perfect Celebration Of Comics.


* Alone as a queer, young, black sci-fi nerd: then I discovered Samuel Delany.

* Why Banksy Is (Probably) a Woman.

* Uber defends price surge that charged Durham man $455 on Halloween.

* Prequelism infects David Chase. There is still no cure. Won’t you give what you can today?

* Why Isn’t Hogwarts Using All That Magic To Explore Space? It’s a Kind of Magic. Like Methods of Rationality minus the cult (and one page instead of ten thousand).

And Dartmouth Professors Vote to Abolish Greek System. Nonbinding, purely symbolic, but points for trying…


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.


Written by gerrycanavan

October 25, 2014 at 8:21 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links! Seriously a Lot!

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Like C.P. Snow’s two cultures of the humanities and the sciences, a new bimodal view of higher education is becoming increasingly important at the start of the twenty-first century: one that sees the goal of universities as developing “the whole person” and another that sees it as largely or even exclusively in terms of job training. The Two Cultures of Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century and Their Impact on Academic Freedom.

* Academic search season watch: How To Tailor a Job Letter (Without Flattering, Pandering, or Begging).

* Episode 21 of Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men (with Kurt Busiek) is a great look at how Marvel’s sausage is made. Give it a listen if you’re a fan of the comics…

* Communism for Children.

* Time for the Libya mea culpas.

* TNI Syllabus: Gaming and Feminism.

* Tainted by its misogyny and embrace of consumption as a way of life, gamer culture isn’t worth saving.

What Happened To Jennifer Lawrence Was Sexual Assault.

* The Police Tool That Pervs Use to Steal Nude Pics From Apple’s iCloud.

* Steve Shaviro: Twenty-Two Theses on Nature.

* Even the Department of Education thinks their rating system will be a mess.

* How the University Drinks.

* Yale’s tax exempt New Haven property worth $2.5 billion.

Thirty-two teens escaped from a Nashville youth detention center by crawling under a weak spot in a fence late Monday, and nine of them were still on the run Tuesday, a spokesman said.

* Change Of Habit: How Seattle Cops Fought An Addiction To Locking Up Drug Users.

* Three Myths About Police Body Cams.

* Jeff Mizanskey Is Serving Life in Prison for Marijuana.

Scientists Find ‘Alarming’ Amount Of Arsenic In Groundwater Near Texas Fracking Sites.

* Can journalistic ethics include nonhuman perspectives?

* Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female.

All The Game Of Thrones Fan Theories You Absolutely Need To Know.

* NIH finally makes good with Henrietta Lacks’ family.

Twenty Days of Harassment and Racism as an American Apparel Employee.

Durham Public Schools dumps Teach for America.

* The Four-Year-Old’s Workday.

Texas School Won’t Let Native American Attend His First Day Of Kindergarten Because Of His Long Hair.

* Rape culture and Title IX at the University of Kansas.

“Duke University seeks a talented, engaged student body that embodies the wide range of human experience; we believe that the diversity of our students makes our community stronger. If you’d like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you’ve had to help us understand you better — perhaps related to a community you belong to, your sexual orientation or gender identity, or your family or cultural background — we encourage you to do so. Real people are reading your application, and we want to do our best to understand and appreciate the real people applying to Duke.”

Students at the Barricades.

* Twitter has an algorithm that assigns gender to its users.

* Why top tech CEOs want employees with liberal arts degrees.

* In Virginia, thousands of day-care providers receive no oversight. After a child’s death, parents grapple with second guesses.

Unlike most other states, Wisconsin does not recognize prisoners’ good behavior with credits toward accelerated release.  Wisconsin had such a “good time” program for well over a century, but eliminated it as part of the policy changes in the 1980s and 1990s that collectively left the state unusually — perhaps even uniquely — inflexible in its terms of imprisonment. Why No “Good Time” in Wisconsin?

* Now we see the violence inherent in the system: Meet The Guy Who Spent Seven Months Killing Everyone In Fallout 3.

* When Disney forbade Stan Lee’s original cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy. When they cut Hawkeye’s bit from Captain America 2.

* Rule of law watch: The Dumb Line In New York’s Constitution That Could Elect A Governor Most Of The State Doesn’t Want.

* For the geeks: How Randall “xkcd” Munroe wrote What If?

* Time Travel Simulation Resolves “Grandfather Paradox.” Bah! We need to go back in time and prevent this simulation from ever being devised!

* The arc of history is long, but: HBO has commissioned some sort of new Flight Of The Conchords show.

The Most Compelling Athlete In America Right Now Is Here To Play Chess.

* And just because it’s Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we’re nearing collapse.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 3, 2014 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Clarke’s Fourth Law?

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“Any sufficiently advanced civilization is indistinguishable from nature.” Explains everything from Avatar to the Fermi Paradox. Via MeFi.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm

They’re Paving Paradise

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