Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans

Sunday Night Links

leave a comment »

* The Founder of Mother’s Day Later Fought to Have It Abolished.

* Science fiction for economists. Even more science fiction for economists.

* Local news: U.S. officials in Milwaukee have arrested a cancer researcher from China, Huajun Zhao, 42, on charges of “economic espionage” after a colleague at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCOW) reported that vials of a research compound were missing.

* A secret history of the Doritos Locos taco.

* What if people told European history like they told Native American history?

* Sarah Kendzior sings the song of St. Louis.

* Nightmares ever-ending: 12 Hurt at New Orleans Mother’s Day Parade Shooting.

* And a data visualization of Game of Thrones. Spoilers through the most recent book, naturally!

Tuesday Night Wrapup

with 14 comments

* From the too-good-to-check file: Samuel Beckett Used to Drive André the Giant to School, All They Talked About Was Cricket.

* This scandal has everything! Jeb Bush caught up in LEGO-related corporate corruption.

* The new UC logo may be done with Aaron Bady, but Aaron Bady is not yet done with the UC logo.

* Today in how we are doomed.

* Today in Kirk/Spock slash: On “The Footnote.”

* Louis C.K. vs. Vanity Fair.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Not ever having to fill out this questionnaire.

Increasingly extreme weather is worsening food insecurity, displacement and other problems for rural families in Bangladesh, effectively robbing them of basic human rights, argues a report released on Monday.

Chicago Sets Record For Consecutive DaysWithout Snow.

* Study finds half of those shot by police are mentally ill.

To be a philistine, before we dismiss the possibility of major public support for the humanities, we need to picture ourselves with money.  Humanities faculty, I suggested in Austin, should then come together to design the proper infrastructure–staff research support, research-learning undergraduate courses, the copy writing, editing, and printing facilities, the relationships with institutional advancement, the distribution channels, travel and meetings, conference circulation and return invitations, the whole ensemble of people and activities that define healthy, modern, and socially valuable research divisions. We need to cost it out at each of our institutions. Then we need to enlist chairs, deans, and administrations to develop a multi-year plan to make this redevelopment happen.

Every day, offenders are sent out to perform high-risk police operations with few legal protections. Some are juveniles, occasionally as young as fourteen or fifteen. Some operate through the haze of addiction; others, like Hoffman, are enrolled in state-mandated treatment programs that prohibit their association with illegal drugs of any kind. Many have been given false assurances by the police, used without regard for their safety, and treated as disposable pawns of the criminal-justice system.

* Michigan is your next flashpoint for the war on labor.

* Things From Thomas More’s Utopia That Have Come True Today.

It’s not that I think liberals support torture. No, I think liberals want to be forced to support torture. What liberals want is ultimately to do what conservative hawks want to do, but only after experts and leaders assure them that they have no choice. They want extreme events to make the choice for them.

image-of-the-day-know-you* Hobbit Dwarves Cheat Sheet.

* Do we live in a computer simulation? UW researchers say idea can be tested.

* ‘The despair that I felt was overwhelming’: on teaching in a New Orleans charter school.

* SEK: Against (the late) Springsteen.

“A lot of us are campaign officials — or campaign professionals — and we want to do everything we can to help our side. Sometimes we think that’s voter ID, sometimes we think that’s longer lines — whatever it may be,” Tranter said with a laugh.

Is an education crisis good for business? As the Ed Week reporter cited above pointed out, “There are market trends that support that theory. The commercial education market grew significantly in the past four years, but no segment grew faster than instruction and services. Companies like the virtual learning providers K12 Inc. and Connections Academy, or the publishers-turned-service-providers Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, fit that bill.”

* Calvin v. Santa.

* Oh, there it is.

* Bill Clinton concedes the drug war hasn’t worked. Gasp!

* “Jedi” is the most popular alternative faith in England.

* And Man of Steel trailer releaZZZZzzzzzz…

Great Moments in Supreme Court Questioning

leave a comment »

Justice Kagan said she could not understand why the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office persisted in defending its conduct. “Did your office ever consider just confessing error in this case?” she asked.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 10, 2011 at 8:54 am

Sunday Links

with 9 comments

* Two articles I read on the plane: “The Brain on Trial” and Aleksander Hemon’s account of his young daughter’s illness. The latter is only available offline, which (trust me) is for the best. By the end I was nearly bawling. For your own happiness do not read this article.

* Inside AOL’s content farm.

* The growing controversy over President Obama’s illegal waging of war in Libya got much bigger last night with Charlie Savage’s New York Times scoop. He reveals that top administration lawyers — Attorney General Eric Holder, OLC Chief Caroline Krass, and DoD General Counsel Jeh Johnson — all told Obama that his latest, widely panned excuse for waging war without Congressional approval (that it does not rise to the level of “hostilities” under the War Powers Resolution (WPR)) was invalid and that such authorization was legally required after 60 days: itself a generous intepretation of the President’s war powers. But Obama rejected those views and (with the support of administration lawyers in lesser positions: his White House counsel and long-time political operative Robert Bauer and State Department “legal adviser” Harold Koh) publicly claimed that the WPR does not apply to Libya.

* Rick Perry vetoes no-texting-while-driving bill because of freedom.

“I support measures that make our roads safer for everyone, but House Bill 242 is a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults,” Perry wrote in his explanation of one of his vetoes.

Perry said in his veto statement that the key to stopping people from texting while driving is “information and education.”

Freedom!

* Mightygodking highlights ethical interpretation with twenty-five movies distilled to a one-sentence moral.

* And Love These Pics takes us on another trip to the New Orleans Six Flags Theme Park abandoned after Hurricane Katrina.

Friday!

with 5 comments

Look Upon My Works, Ye Mighty, And Despair

leave a comment »

Inside Six Flags New Orleans, which closed in anticipation of Hurricane Katrina and never reopened. The park will be demolished in January. Via MetaFilter.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 5, 2010 at 2:39 pm

What’s Wrong with ‘Treme’

with one comment

Underneath its culturally celebratory surface, Treme succeeds at conveying, with patience and humanity, quite a lot of the grinding cruelty of life in post-Katrina New Orleans: the unpardonable privation and death during the first few days, the uprootedness and uncertainty of every single ordinary life in the city, the relentless difficulty that even the bravest and most determined people had to face in rebuilding their flooded houses, the pain of the slow realization that things were not going to be the same as before, at least anytime soon. As good as it is at effects, Treme isn’t so good at causes—of the immediate disaster, and of its seemingly never-ending aftermath. To explain that, Simon will have to move outside the appealing and tight cultural frame in which the action thus far has taken place. Maybe next season? Sadly, I still haven’t watched an episode. But soon! Soon! Via @shaviro.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 19, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Behold, the Mother of All Saturday Linkdumps!

leave a comment »

* Polish President Lech Kaczynski has apparently been killed in a plane crash in western Russia, alongside much of the leadership of the country. Updates at MeFi.

* Yesterday Stevens made it official. The timeline. A shortlist. The politics of shortlists. An offbeat shortlist. How about Cory Booker? Why Obama shouldn’t shy away from a confirmation fight. Why Glenn Greenwald is lukewarm on frontrunner Elena Kagan. Why the GOP may use the SCOTUS hearings as another excuse to freak out about health care. Or maybe just another excuse to flip out period. Still more at MeFi.

* Totally independent of anything anyone anywhere has said or done, threats against members of Congress have increased threefold in recent months. It’s a funny coincidence that means absolutely nothing.

* George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror, according to a new document obtained by The Times.

* Everything old is new again: Gingrich says Republicans will shut down the government if they take over.

* Tony Judt on crisis, neoliberalism, greed, the end of history, and the need for a new New Left.

For thirty years students have been complaining to me that “it was easy for you”: your generation had ideals and ideas, you believed in something, you were able to change things. “We” (the children of the Eighties, the Nineties, the “Aughts”) have nothing. In many respects my students are right. It was easy for us—just as it was easy, at least in this sense, for the generations who came before us. The last time a cohort of young people expressed comparable frustration at the emptiness of their lives and the dispiriting purposelessness of their world was in the 1920s: it is not by chance that historians speak of a “lost generation.”

If young people today are at a loss, it is not for want of targets. Any conversation with students or schoolchildren will produce a startling checklist of anxieties. Indeed, the rising generation is acutely worried about the world it is to inherit. But accompanying these fears there is a general sentiment of frustration: “we” know something is wrong and there are many things we don’t like. But what can we believe in? What should we do?

* Full with polls: The IRS is more popular than the tea partiers.

* “Kind of a Glenn Beck approach”: On male studies. More at Salon.

* Another great segment from the Daily Show about blatant Fox News dishonesty, this one on the lies they’re telling about the START treaty. But the quote of the day on this comes from who else but Michele Bachmann, who calls for the U.S. to commit to nuclear retaliation in the event of a devastating cyber attack.

* Matt Yglesias on Treme‘s battle between realism and sentimentality.

* Comic book cartography. Their link to the principles of Kirbytech from my friends at Satisfactory Comics is pretty great too.

* Could our universe be located within the interior of a wormhole which itself is part of a black hole that lies within a much larger universe? I’m surprised there’s even debate about something that is so trivially true.

Negative Twenty Questions, John Wheeler’s analogy for quantum mechanics.

* Of all the people in human history who ever reached the age of 65, half are alive now. Welcome to the elderly age.

* Multicellular life found that can live entirely without oxygen.

* xkcd’s version of hell is now fully playable.

* Chris Christie working overtime to destroy public universities in New Jersey.

Outsourcing TAs?

* In Washington, D.C., you’re not a rape victim unless police say so. Via Feministe.

* HIV-positive Michigan man to be tried as bioweapon.

* Are we still waiting for the other shoe to drop on Greece?

* The Texas miracle? Wind power in an oil state.

* Two from Krugman: Building a Green Economy and Al Gore Derangement Syndrome.

* Somewhat related: Tim Morton on hyperobjects.

Hyperobjects are phenomena such as radioactive materials and global warming. Hyperobjects stretch our ideas of time and space, since they far outlast most human time scales, or they’re massively distributed in terrestrial space and so are unavailable to immediate experience. In this sense, hyperobjects are like those tubes of toothpaste that say they contain 10% extra: there’s more to hyperobjects than ordinary objects.

* The Illinois Poison Control Center has a blog. MetaFilter has highlights.

* And Gizmodo has your periodic table of imaginary elements.

Too Many Linkdumps Lately, Sorry

with one comment

* Everybody’s favorite television writer, David Simon, was on Colbert last night. Jon Stewart’s interview with Michael Steele was pretty tremendous as well.

* July in April? 1116 record highs have been set nationwide in the past week. (via Alex G.)

* Video games attack NYC. The Tetris bit is awesome.

* Pope Vows To Get Church Pedophilia Down To Acceptable Levels.

* And another from the Onion (why not?): Republicans, Leukemia Team Up To Repeal Health Care Law. Leukemia has always been a disease that veers to the right.

Mostly Non-Health-Care Links

leave a comment »

* ACORN will disband as a result of the O’Keefe hoax.

* Via Twitter I see NBC News is reporting (no link yet) that the Senate parliamentarian has rejected the GOP challenge to the health care sidecar. Tough luck guys.

* Arundhati Roy: When a country that calls itself a democracy openly declares war within its borders, what does that war look like? Does the resistance stand a chance? Should it? Who are the Maoists? Are they just violent nihilists foisting an outdated ideology on tribal people, goading them into a hopeless insurrection? What lessons have they learned from their past experience? Is armed struggle intrinsically undemocratic? Is the Sandwich Theory—of ‘ordinary’ tribals being caught in the crossfire between the State and the Maoists—an accurate one? Are ‘Maoists’ and ‘Tribals’ two entirely discrete categories as is being made out? Do their interests converge? Have they learned anything from each other? Have they changed each other? Can’t let a link to Roy without a link to her fantastic piece on dams, “The Greater Common Good.”

* “I am chaotic and lazy”: an interview with Magnus Carlsen, the #1 chess player in the world and youngest-ever chess grandmaster. Via Kottke.

* Climate change may be killing the scent of flowers. Two thousand scientists sign letter to Senate demanding climate change action.

* Long profile of David Simon and Treme in The New York Times. Via Occasional Fish, a dissenting view.

* New College Graduates To Be Cryogenically Frozen Until Job Market Improves. It was a good idea when Philip K. Dick thought of it and it’s a good idea now!

* And at 81 years old, James Randi has come out of the closet.

Spring Break, You Lived Too Fast and Died Too Soon

with 5 comments

* Trailer for David Simon’s Treme.

* Original pitch for Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek. Really interesting document, especially for anyone who studies this stuff. Via MetaFilter.

* The study that launched 1,000 Internet arguments: The February issue of Personality and Social Psychology Review has published a meta-analysis of 55 independent studies conducted in the United States which considers surveys of over 20,000 mostly Christian participants. Religious congregations generally express more prejudiced views towards other races. Furthermore, the more devout the community, the greater the racism. From the abstract: “Only religious agnostics were racially tolerant.” And… fight!

* And Murray Hill, Inc., is running for Congress.

William Klein, a “hired gun” who has been enlisted as Murray Hill’s campaign manager, said the firm appears to be the first “corporate person” to run for office and is promising a spirited campaign that “puts people second, or even third.”

Written by gerrycanavan

March 14, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Thursday Night

leave a comment »

* 10 words you need to stop misspelling.

* Why you can’t discuss health care with the GOP. Related: “A guide to debunking Republican talking points at the health care summit.”

* David Simon on the mythos behind his new show, Treme: What is it about Americans that makes us Americans? The one thing we have unarguably given the world is African-American music. If you walk into a shebeen in South Africa, or whatever version of a bar they have in Kathmandu, if they have a jukebox, you’re going to find some Michael Jackson, some Otis Redding, some John Coltrane. It has gone around the world. That is the essential American contribution to worldwide culture. The combination of African rhythms and the pentatonic scale and European instrumentation and arrangement. That collision of the two happened in a 12-square block area of a city called New Orleans that had a near-death experience in 2005. Via Alyssa Rosenberg.

* Yet another reason I need an iPhone: they now play Final Fantasy I & II.

* Two from Gawker’s “Science Fact Is Stranger Than Science Fiction” round-up: cities that will likely be destroyed by earthquake in the next century and genetic link discovered between misery and death.

To confirm the biochemical link between misery and death, and the genetic variation that breaks it, the researchers turned to epidemiological studies to prove that carriers of that specific genetic variation were less susceptible to death due to inflammation-related mortality causes under adverse social-environmental conditions.
They found that people with the most common type of the IL6 gene showed an increased risk of death for approximately 11 years after they had been exposed to adverse life events that were strong enough to trigger depression. However, people with the rarer variant of the IL6 gene appeared to be immune to those effects and showed no increase in mortality risk in the aftermath of significant life adversity.

* And rest in peace, Boner Stabone.

Sunday Afternoon

with one comment

* New York Times: At UNC, every night is ladies’ night. Via BloggEd, who adds: At my college, the U. of Delaware, the numbers are almost identical: 58 percent female for years, and 60 percent in the largest college, Arts and Sciences. It’s that way most everywhere, other than super-elite colleges and ones that emphasize engineering and the like. Some time back, I posted on how the gender imbalance may play out in admissions offices: affirmative action for boys—the suspicion of which has led to an ongoing investigation of 19 schools by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

* The New York Review of Books has a brief history of Facebook.

* The Onion‘s A.V. Club has a feature on Bill Murray and philosophy.

* The San Francisco Gate reports the “open secret” that the judge in the highly contentious Prop 8 trial is gay, though the response from the right demonstrates that this was actually a somewhat guarded secret.

* And, via @socratic, the Raw Story has today’s first paragraph FAIL:

New Orleans has elected its first white mayor in 32 years, ushering in hopes of a new era in a city still trying to rebuild five years after Hurricane Katrina.

Perhaps you should consider rephrasing that…

Assorted Late Night Links That Have (Almost) Nothing to Do with Massachusetts

with 4 comments

* Conventional wisdom already says Obama is now president of Haiti. At least these people waited a whole week before unilaterally declaring Haiti a U.S. colony.

* Mediocre director contracted to ruin Spider-Man franchise. More here.

* Fox News, in a desperate bid for my attention, openly advocated on behalf of Scott Brown today. But even this behavior pales in comparison to O’Reilly’s bizarre nostalgia last Friday for those halcyon days when it was okay to make fun of Arabs.

* FiveThirtyEight on the branding of Scott Brown. What they predict, of course, has already happened.

* Why Massachusetts doesn’t matter. An hour or so ago I tweeted: “Bright side of Coakley loss: Democrats will finally have to face the fact that nothing good will ever get through the Senate.” It sounds like Biden at least has already figured this out.

* Timo at Bitter Laughter has carefully crafted a post perfectly calibrated to pull me in. The Duck Tales reference just seals it.

* U.S. military rifle scopes have Bible verses inscribed on them. Oddly, this is not a joke.

* But Obama’s not looking backwards: “FBI broke law for years in phone record searches.”

* Absurdity watch: New Orleans prosecutors are charging prostitutes as sex offenders. Via MeFi.

* Passport photos of famous artists. Also via MeFi.

* And the NBC late-night feud has been digitally recreated by Taiwanese newspaper Apple Daily. I think this should clear everything up.

David Simon Is Your President Now

leave a comment »

Don’t miss this long David Simon interview with Vice about The Wire and his new New Orleans-centered series, Tremé. (Warning: Big, terrible spoilers if you still haven’t finished The Wire yet.) Nothing escapes his ire, not even our beloved Joe Lieberman:

Why does reform seem so impossible?
We live in an oligarchy. The mother’s milk of American politics is money, and the reason they can’t reform financing, the reason that we can’t have public funding of elections rather than private donations, the reason that K Street is K Street in Washington, is to make sure that no popular sentiment survives. You’re witnessing it now with health care, with the marginalization of any effort to rationally incorporate all Americans under a national banner that says, “We’re in this together.”But then the critics of a system like that immediately cry socialism.
And of course it’s socialism. These ignorant motherfuckers. What do they think group insurance is, other than socialism? Just the idea of buying group insurance! If socialism is a taint that you cannot abide by, then, goddamn it, you shouldn’t be in any group insurance policy. You should just go out and pay the fucking doctors because when you get 100,000 people together as part of anything, from a union to the AARP, and you say, “Because we have this group actuarially, more of us are going to be healthier than not and therefore we’ll be able to carry forward the idea of group insurance and everybody will have an affordable plan…” That’s fuckin’ socialism. That’s nothing but socialism.

It is, literally.
So the whole idea of group insurance, which of course everyone believes in, like that fellow on YouTube, “Don’t let the government take away my Medicare…” You look at that and you think there’s only one thing that can make people this stupid, and that’s money. When you pay people to change their votes on the basis of money, the wrong shit gets voted for. That’s American democracy at this point. And you get to the Senate and you’re looking at 100 votes, which don’t represent anything in terms of popular representation. When 40 percent of the population controls 60 percent of the votes in the higher house of a bicameral legislature, it’s an oligarchy.

I’m getting depressed.
Now you’re listening to Joe Lieberman say that he will filibuster anything with a public option. Let me understand this: One guy from a small state in New England is going to decide on a singular basis what’s good for the health care of 300 million people? That’s our form of government, and I don’t get it.

It’s not good.
Well, it is what it is and it has been for years, and it’s why we’re able to marginalize larger and larger percentages of our population. Fuck ’em where they stand. Five percent, 10 percent, 15 percent. How many people are you going to keep out of the gated community? How many guards are you going hire?

The guards will be the only working-class people in the gated communities, I guess.
Right. You’re going to hire people to guard your shit, but you’re not going to give them health care.

So much more at the link. Via /Film.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 17, 2009 at 9:12 pm