Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘North Korea

Tuesday Links!

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Happy Happy Monday Monday Links

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I just draw it for myself. I guess I have a gift for expressing pedestrian tastes. In a way, it’s kind of depressing. TCJ: The Bill Watterson Interview (1989).

* “Nada”: The comic adaptation of the short story that inspired They Live!

ScreenShot2013-10-10at4.58.38PM* The PhD Deluge.

Jared Diamond: We Could Be Living in a New Stone Age by 2114. Taking the “over” on whether there’ll still be human beings alive in a hundred years, I guess…

* Anthropocene or Capitalocene?

It was the final night of Uncivilization, an outdoor festival run by the Dark Mountain Project, a loose network of ecologically minded artists and writers, and he was standing with several dozen others waiting for the festival’s midnight ritual to begin.

* Terrible New York Times article on a fascinating topic: the “year zero” project of cultural destruction in Mali.

* Aboriginal rights a threat to Canada’s resource agenda, documents reveal.

After Holding Mentally Disabled Man Hostage for 34 Years, Texas Rules He Conspired to Keep Himself in Jail.

In order to pay for his son Cole’s life-saving surgery, he transported meth. But he got caught. Eighteen years later, his family, and the man who prosecuted him, are still working to set him free.

* Women prisoners sterilized to cut welfare costs in California. Of course it was illegal.

Half of New York City Teens Behind Bars Have A Brain Injury, Study Finds.

* Every once in a while Matt Yglesias still writes something good: The case for confiscatory taxation.

* Carceral leftism: jail time for wage theft?

* Piketty reviews from James K. Galbraith and Doug Henwood.

Synanon’s Sober Utopia: How a Drug Rehab Program Became a Violent Cult.

* Inside the “certified miracle” that will make Pope John Paul II a saint.

The Case for Drawing and Doodling in Class. Can’t we just medicate this impulse away?

* The liberal version of unskewing the polls is declaring victory in election cycles that are years away. We’ve got them right where we want them!

* College is probably cheaper than you think, though that’s not saying much.

I Ran the Pyongyang Marathon.

* Powdered alcohol: what could possibly go wrong?

* Your personal information is worth just $0.16.

* Coming out as a porn star. From Vox, the site dedicated to explaining the news with clarity and specificity traditional news outlets can’t afford.

* Meanwhile, at a traditional news outlet: Can the Klan rebrand? They’ve tried before. Kudos, CNN, you remain the absolute worst.

* Hugo nominees 2014. If you know who Vox Day is, you know how messed up things are about to get.

Criminal Cab Driver Mastermind (Allegedly) Evaded 3,000 Tolls.

* Antonin Scalia, Patriot.

* Abandon all hope watch: “The Democrats have a mega-donor problem.” Why can’t these naive billionaires see that Democrats who won’t support good policy are better than Republicans who oppose good policy!

On a crisp morning in late March, an elite group of 100 young philanthropists and heirs to billionaire family fortunes filed into a cozy auditorium at the White House, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

There’s A Hidden Timebomb In The Senate Rules That Will Go Off If A Supreme Court Justice Retires. But don’t you dare suggest anyone retire now to avoid disaster.

* Life is not a game. Neither is Candy Crush.

* Tumblr of the week: They Get It.

* This was the story of the Hurricane. Hurricane Carter’s dying wish. 

* Marek Edelman: Last surviving leader of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the Nazis.

I told that student they are much better off being a B student in computer science than an A+ student in English because it signals a rigor in your thinking and a more challenging course load. If you can’t tell that an A+ student in anything is doing singularly impressive work I don’t think “rigor” is your strong suit.

* Beyond the quantum computer: temporal computing.

Nebraska School Gives Most Idiotic Advice Ever to Deal with Bullies. Don’t defend yourself, don’t ask for help…

* Paging Margaret Atwood: Drug that wipes out vultures may cause an EU eco-disaster.

* The Farscape movie is happening.

* Why did the TV version of Game of Thrones change Jaime Lannster into a rapist? More here. I’d gotten the impression that Jaime’s arc in the novels goes from “does the worst possible thing imaginable in very first appearance” to “kind of heroic?”’; last night’s episode makes that reading seem impossible.

All of which is build-up to pointing out that in the book, the reunion between Cersei and Jaime is seen from Jaime’s point of view. And once we consider that, those moments when Cersei has questions of propriety in the middle of their love making can take on a more sinister tone. What if we’re being kept from the true horror of what Jaime’s doing because we’re inside his head? 

The inventor of the American suburban shopping mall was a socialist. Could his creation have been saved?

* The politics of the liberal arts nanny.

* And the 26 Best Cities In The World To See Street Art. Below: Philadelpia.

o-ART-900

Written by gerrycanavan

April 21, 2014 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Saturday!

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A study released last week by researchers at Harvard and Stanford quantified what everyone in my hometown already knew: even the most talented rural poor kids don’t go to the nation’s best colleges. The vast majority, the study found, do not even try. For deans of admissions brainstorming what they can do to remedy this, might I suggest: anything.

The cost of a four-year university degree for a child born in 2013 could rise to more than $140,000 due to tuition inflation, a new study says.

* On majoring in English.

Diversity in my high school and college English literature courses is too often reduced to a month, week, or day where the author of the book is seen as the narrator of the novel. The multiplicity of U.S. minority voices is palatably packaged into a singular representation for our consumption. I read Junot Díaz and now I understand not only the Dominican-American experience, but what it means to be Latina/o in America. Jhumpa Lahiri inspired me to study abroad in India. Sherman Alexie calls himself an Indian, so now it’s ok for me to call all Indians that, too. We will read Toni Morrison’s Beloved to understand the horrors of slavery, but we won’t watch her takedowns on white supremacy.

Why You Should Be More Concerned About War With North Korea This Time.

Why Marvel’s making 2 different versions of Iron Man 3. 

What Kansas Basketball Star Ben McLemore Can Teach America About Poverty.

McLemore is months from being able to fully leave that past behind, a from-the-gutters-to-greatness success story that is so often repeated in sports.

Of course, as LGM notes, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be being paid now.

* The Big Picture visits the 70s.

You didn’t make the Harlem Shake go viral—corporations did.

* And some more great anamorphic street art from Felice Varini.

"Dix-sept cercles oranges excentriques"

Friday Night Links

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* In case you missed it, I was on WUNC’s The State of Things today talking about science fiction and the end of the world. I’m in the second segment, about twelve minutes in. Here’s an MP3.

* Which undergraduate colleges are producing the most PhDs? You might be surprised.

* Game of the night: 3 Slices.

* Ferris Bueller’s Second Day Off? Not so fast, says everyone.

* At the end of Contact, Ellie Arroway discovers a secret message encoded in the digits of pi, presumably from the creator of the universe. With that in mind, check this out.

* The headline reads, “North Korea makes using a cellphone a war crime during 100 day mourning period.”

* The headline reads, “Nicolas Cage used real magic to prepare to be Ghost Rider.”

* The United States now spends some $200 billion on the correctional system each year, a sum that exceeds the gross domestic product of twenty-five US states and 140 foreign countries. An ever-increasing share of domestic discretionary spending, it would seem, is devoted to building and staffing earthly hells filled with able-bodied young men who have been removed from the labor force. If we added up all the money federal, state, and local governments invest in the poorest zip codes through credits and transfer payments—food stamps, Medicaid, teacher salaries, et cetera—and balanced that against all the value the government extracts from those zip codes through sin taxes, lotteries, and the incarceration complex, we might well conclude that the disinvestment outweighs the investment. Any apparent gains made in the last thirty years in narrowing the employment and education gap between African Americans and whites vanishes once you include the incarcerated population. Before asking the government to spend a fortune improving student-to-teacher ratios, it may be prudent to first ask the government to stop devoting public resources to ripping the heart out of inner-city economies. n+1: Raise the Crime Rate.

The earth is alive, asserts a revolutionary scientific theory of life emerging from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The trans-disciplinary theory demonstrates that purportedly inanimate, non-living objects—for example, planets, water, proteins, and DNA—are animate, that is, alive. With its broad explanatory power, applicable to all areas of science and medicine, this novel paradigm aims to catalyze a veritable renaissance.

* n+1 revists the bad 2000s: Did these bands suck? Was there something that Pitchfork had missed? Although Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, M.I.A., and Animal Collective all produced sophisticated, intelligent music, it’s also true that they focused their sophistication and intelligence on those areas where the stakes were lowest. Instead of striking out in pursuit of new musical forms, they tweaked or remixed the sounds of earlier music, secure in the knowledge that pedantic blog writers would magnify these changes and make them seem daring. Instead of producing music that challenged and responded to that of other bands, they complimented one another in interviews, each group “doing its own thing” and appreciating the efforts of others. So long as they practiced effective management of the hype cycle, they were given a free pass by their listeners to lionize childhood, imitate their predecessors, and respond to the Iraq war with dancing. The general mood was a mostly benign form of cultural decadence.

* And Twitter announces new micro-censorship policy. “Micro-censorship” is an amazing euphemism, isn’t it? Well-coined. It almost doesn’t even sound bad! It’s only micro-censorship…

Monday Morning

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* Nemesis watch: Professor claims NYU fired him after he gave James Franco a ‘D.’

José Angel Santana said he slapped the “127 Hours’’ star with the bad grade because he missed 12 of his 14 “Directing the Actor II” classes while pursuing a master’s in fine arts.

Santana said he then suffered all kinds of drama — first from Franco, who publicly ridiculed him, then from his department, which axed him over the “D.”

“The school has bent over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment, that’s for sure,” Santana, 58, told The Post. “The university has done everything in its power to curry favor with James Franco.”

It’s almost enough to make you doubt a person can be a successful professional actor while simultaneously attending four separate graduate programs and succeeding at all of them.

* Via Facebook: College bowl system loots universities. Today’s case study: the University of Minnesota.

The bloodbath began the moment the contract was signed. Minnesota was obligated to write a check for 10,000 tickets, which were supposed to be resold to fans. Never mind that even the best of teams struggle to unload such sums. For middling squads like the Gophers, it was nothing more than a way for the men in funny yellow blazers who ran the Insight to grab piles of money from a public university.

Minnesota managed to sell just 901 seats. After kicking another 900 to the band, administrators, and cherished hangers-on, the school was forced to eat $476,000 worth of useless tickets.

The contract also required the team to show up a week early, if only to burn as much school money as possible at the restaurants and retailers of greater Phoenix.

One would think school administrators would protest such gall. But one would be wrong. They were quick to see the advantages of a luxury vacation on the school’s dime. So they happily signed off.

The school’s traveling party was larded up with 722 people, including players, band members, and faculty. Airfare alone ran $542,000. Toss in hotels and meals, and the school had blown $1.3 million before the opening kickoff.

The ballsiest part of all: None of it was necessary. Minnesota and Iowa State sit less than 200 miles apart. Their teams were providing the game. Their bands supplied the halftime entertainment. In fact, the Insight offered nothing—save for warm weather—that the schools couldn’t have done better themselves.

Had the game been played in Minneapolis, the teams could have sold more tickets and put on a profitable game, since Big 10 matches typically generate $1 to $2 million—not knee-bending losses.

* Kim Jong-Un Privately Doubting He’s Crazy Enough To Run North Korea. At America’s Finest News Source.

* From the New Yorker archives: two letters from North Korea.

* Gerry Canavan Privately Doubting Iowa Republicans Are Really Crazy Enough to Take Ron Paul Seriously.

* And Akim Reinhardt asks: How will we know what Occupy meant once it’s over?

The Daily Show Vacation Curse Strikes Again

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Everyone on Twitter is saying Kim Jong Il has died.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm

The Hermit Kingdom

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 3, 2011 at 6:53 pm

After Turkey

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* Apes Unwilling to Gamble When Odds Are Uncertain.

* TSA outrage of the week: Documented “revenge screenings” in Phoenix.

* America now has two distinct literary cultures. Which one will last? MFA vs. NYC. Via John.

The most recent example is an announcement by two scientists at Johns Hopkins University that they may have discovered a way to erase traumatic memories from the mind by removing certain proteins from the amygdala, the brain structure that processes memory and emotional reactions.

The procedure is still theoretical, and primitive, but Richard Huganir, a professor and chair of the neuroscience department at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, told the Baltimore Sun on Monday that the discovery “raises the possibility of manipulating those mechanisms with drugs to enhance behavioral therapy for such conditions as post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Let’s trim our hair in accordance with the socialist lifestyle.

* And Americans are not as foolish as the media would sometimes have us believe.

Satnight

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* We now have Howard Zinn’s FBI file.

When the FBI again took an interest in Zinn in the 1960s, documents show the bureau evidently tried to have the historian fired from his job as professor at Boston University.In a document from the Boston FBI office (see PDF file here), an FBI “source,” whose name was redacted from the publicly released documents, was quoted as being outraged over Zinn’s comment at a protest that the US had become a “police state” and that prosecutions of Black Panther Party members were creating “political prisoners.”

The bureau’s Boston office then indicated it wanted to help the source in his or her campaign to unseat Zinn. “[The] Boston proposes under captioned program with Bureau permission to furnish [name redacted] with public source data regarding Zinn’s numerous anti-war activities … in an effort to back [redacted] efforts for his removal.”

* Surprising no one, North Korea is doing the World Cup wrong.

* In the wake of strong U.S. government statements condemning WikiLeaks’ recent publishing of 77,000 Afghan War documents, the secret-spilling site has posted a mysterious encrypted file labeled “insurance.” The MetaFilter thread is rife with speculation about what might be in the file; about whether the government has been given the key, or indeed if Assange knows there really is an NSA-backdoor in AES256 after all; about who is and isn’t incentivized to murder Assange as a result of this upload; and about which classic cyberpunk writer this whole storyline was stolen from.

* The latest in the $45/$200,000,000 Ansel Adams negatives saga: the interesting copyright issues involved have been short-circuited by the revelation that the negatives are probably the work of someone’s Uncle Earl.

* Science—well, Nature—says we wouldn’t miss mosquitoes.

* And RSA Animate animates Slavoj Žižek on charity and consumerism. Charity degrades and demoralizes. It is immoral to use private property in order to alleviate the horrible evils that result from the institution of private property… Via MeFi.

Friday Night!

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* This year’s answers to Infinite Summer are here: Insurgent Summer on the one hand and Ulysses Summer on the other. If I weren’t traveling then I’d do at least one.

Rachel Maddow has been doing very good work on location at the oil spill. There’s more at her site.

* Will oil from Deepwater Horizon hit North Carolina beaches? Check back this July.

* Controversy at the Spelling Bee!

* And the World Cup reminds us why you should never take your eyes off the North Koreans, not even for a second.

Uh-Oh

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A five-year investigation by DVB has uncovered evidence that Burma is embarking on a programme to develop nuclear weaponry. Apparently the purpose of such weapons would be deterrence not of other nations but of internal enemies of the state. Via MetaFilter.

Bad News Saturday

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* The top kill has officially failed.

* Rest in peace, Dennis Hopper.

* Most Likely to Kill is a blog that posts famous people’s yearbook pictures and juvenilia. It is officially the blog I least want to ever wind up on.

* The American military on Saturday released a scathing report on the deaths of 23 Afghan civilians, saying that “inaccurate and unprofessional” reporting by a team of Predator drone operators helped lead to an airstrike this year on a group of innocent men, women and children…. “The strike occurred because the ground force commander lacked a clear understanding of who was in the vehicles, the location, direction of travel, and the likely course of action of the vehicles,” General McHale wrote. Oh, is that all?

* Art from the Hermit Kingdom in Vienna.

* A recent study has found a link between the autism spectrum and non-teleological thinking.

* Good news Saturday: Moving video of an eight-month-old deaf baby hearing sound for the first time after receiving a cochlear implant. Via MeFi, where an interesting discussion about opposition in deaf communities to cochlear implants ensues.

* For my fellow Kindle users: Top 250 Public Domain Kindle Books.

* And the Garden State goes green: medicinal marijuana is legal in New Jersey on July 1.

5 Things You Don’t Know About North Korean Soccer

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 8, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Wednesday Night Whoa!

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Early morning Wednesday.

* We finally saw Up! tonight. All I can say is if the first ten minutes don’t break your heart you have no soul.

* Blackwater founder Erik Prince has apparently been implicated in a huge swath of crimes by a former employee and a Marine working with the company, ranging from tax evasion and money laundering to weapons smuggling to obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence to crimes of war and even to the murder of federal informants. (See MetaFilter for more.) My now-incredibly-timely review of Master of War is getting bumped up accordingly and will probably be online (updated) at Independent Weekly in a day or so. This is all pretty shocking, even by Blackwater standards.

* In not-completely-frakked-up news, Bill Clinton did a good thing today, a win for just about everybody but infamous douchebag of liberty John Bolton.

* More on the Olbermann/O’Reilly saga from Glenn Greenwald, Jane Hamsher, and David Sirota. While I appreciate that he finds himself in a tough spot here, Olbermann is not doing himself any favors with his behavior; making one type of statement on-the-air and another off makes it very clear what is going on, and makes him look like a fool.

* The 100 Greatest Sci-Fi Movies. Outraged to see Galaxy Quest only squeaking by at #95. And 12 Monkeys quietly buried in the 80s? Nonsense.

* “In Which I Ruin Rashomon For Everyone, Forever.”

* And your short pictorial history of robots.

North Korea and Reinsurance Fraud

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Mitch sends along this fascinating article about North Korea and reinsurance fraud.

“The exact scale of the fraud is hard to determine . . . because the insurance industry has been so gullible,” Asher said. North Korean insurance fraud “was absolutely something I should have been looking into more when I was running the [State Department’s] illicit activities initiative,” he added.

Some details emerged in London last year when lawyers for German insurance giant Allianz Global Investors, Lloyd’s of London and several other reinsurers disputed a North Korean reinsurance claim for the 2005 crash of a helicopter into a government-owned warehouse in Pyongyang. According to court documents, the companies alleged that the helicopter crash had been staged, that a North Korean court’s decision to uphold the claim had been rigged and that the North Korean government routinely used insurance fraud to raise money for the personal use of Kim Jong Il.

A British appeals court allowed the case to go forward, but as it went to trial in December, the insurance companies agreed to a settlement that amounted to a nearly complete victory for the North Koreans: The insurers retracted all allegations of fraud against Korea National Insurance Corp. (KNIC) and paid out about $58 million, or 95 percent of the North Korean claim for the crash.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 18, 2009 at 7:19 pm

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