Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘orcs

Tuesday Night Links!

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* I have another review at LARB this week, this time on Cixin Liu’s Supernova Era. Check it out!

Now, the humans in Liu’s fictions are not saints: there are always dire moments of backlash, too, moments of denial and cowardice and greed and the familiar madness of crowds refusing to face unpleasant truths. All of his major apocalyptic works thus far translated into English face this sort of ordinary and expected human failing as well. But what reads as genuinely, horrifyingly utopian for us in this moment is Liu’s insistence, across his career, that humanity does in fact want to survive — that, faced with a crisis that upends everything we know and threatens to impoverish and immiserate every human being alive and who will ever be alive, the human race will choose collective life over species death. This remains the most fantastic novum in anything Liu has written, an almost inconceivable shift in the priorities of our elites who, like the traitorous Escapers fleeing the invading Trisolarians in The Three-Body Problem, won’t even pretend to try and save the rest of us. “For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear,” a defiant, furious Greta Thunberg recently challenged the United Nations. “How dare you continue to look away, and come here saying that you’re doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight?” The adults of Supernova Era got it done in one. In a moment of intergenerational struggle defined by environmental protest groups like Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion, and by the school climate strikes sparked by Thunberg and other young people around the globe, Supernova Era offers a tantalizing glimpse into another universe with an entirely different field of ecological politics, one where parents and grandparents won’t simply let their children and grandchildren suffer and die without a fight.

* And if you thought *I* was hard on The Testaments The Booker Prize — what happened?

* Help make Milwaukee socialist again!

* Do you hear the people sing? Chile’s people have had enough.

* Are Baby Boomers A ‘Generation Of Sociopaths’? Suicide is Gen Z’s second-leading cause of death, and it’s a worse epidemic than anything millennials faced at that age. ‘OK Boomer’ Marks the End of Friendly Generational Relations.

Image and Text #33 is all about Black Panther. Wakanda, Worldbuilding and Afrofuturism for a World Without Violence.

CFP – “Reading Comics at the Threshold.”

The world’s top economists just made the case for why we still need English majors.

Are Liberal Arts Colleges Doomed?

* CUNY Contract Deal Means Big Raise for Adjuncts.

Maryland’s Giant Global Campus Is Restructuring. And Professors Were Asked to ‘Recompete’ for Jobs.

* How Swarthmore shut down the frats.

Trump Education Official to Resign and Call for Mass Student-Loan Forgiveness.

Fredric Jameson: How to adapt to cultural change.

* The rise of eco-horror.

* Every prediction that has been made about climate change has turned out to be a drastic undershoot of the true severity of the crisis. Rising Seas Will Erase More Cities by 2050, New Research Shows.

* Hundred-year wildfires two or three times every week. A ‘high-end and dangerous’ Santa Ana wind event will dramatically escalate California’s fire risk starting Tuesday night. PG&E CEO Says It Could Impose Blackouts in California for a Decade.

* Zeitgeisty!

* The return of MOOCs, this time for climate change. Or because of incredibly poor planning, whatever, the point is MOOCs.

The UN’s Devastating Climate Change Report Was Too Optimistic. Images reveal Iceland’s glacier melt. An unprecedented climate change lawsuit against American oil giant Exxon Mobil is set to go ahead in New York. Kentucky’s Leaders Are Siding With the Coal Industry, and Its Poorest Residents Are Paying a Price. Amazon rainforest ‘close to irreversible tipping point.’ Humans are rapidly turning oceans into warm, acidifying basins hostile to life. US air quality dropped during Trump presidency after years of improvement, leading to thousands of premature deaths. Climate Activism Will Have ‘Terrible Consequences,’ Warn Richest People Alive. ‘Collapse OS’ Is an Open Source Operating System for the Post-Apocalypse. A New Video Game Tests Whether You Can Survive the Climate Apocalypse. How to Halt Global Warming for $300 Billion.

* The end of the Internet. The Real Threat to Journalism Is Not Donald Trump.

* Coca-Cola, no!

* The Great Unraveling.

* No one working at Newsweek can tell me why it still exists.

* Why lowering the voting age would make for a better democracy.

* Today in the scooter scam. You Lost How Much on Scooters? The madness of WeWork. San Francisco is losing residents because it’s too expensive for nearly everyone. Life in a dayspa — with 95 roommates. admin/admin.

Disability activist sues Minneapolis, scooter companies over sidewalk access. A report from the street.

Poor kids spend nearly 2 hours more on screens each day than rich kids.

* School surveillance.

On the Origins of the Professional-Managerial Class: An Interview with Barbara Ehrenreich.

* Welcome to Coffeyville, Kansas, where the judge has no law degree, debt collectors get a cut of the bail, and Americans are watching their lives — and liberty — disappear in the pursuit of medical debt collection.

* UWM study finds over half of gun violence perpetrators and victims had elevated blood lead levels as children. The final five percent.

* How aristocrats ate prestige TV.

* “Bulletproof Emmett Till Memorial Unveiled After Repeated Vandalism.”

* CA 1, NCAA 0.

* An oral history of the Chuck E. Cheese robots.

Hollywood’s New Self-Censorship Mess in China. Quentin Tarantino Holds Firm, Won’t Recut ‘Once Upon a Time’ for China.

* Biden’s just so bad at this. So bad at this! Bartenders for Bernie. Can Elizabeth Warren win it all?

* This is fine: In court hearing, Trump lawyer argues a sitting president would be immune from prosecution even if he were to shoot someone. Impeachment is too important to leave to Congress — it’s going to take mass mobilization. John Roberts will save us!

* Being President Supervillain.

Criminal misconduct by US border officers has reached a 5-year high.

* Taking the fight to every state.

* The recession returns to Wisconsin, which it never really left in the first place. Save me, Foxconn!

HUD officials knowingly failed ‘to comply with the law,’ stalled Puerto Rico hurricane relief funds.

* In the richest country in human history.

* Life in occupied Kashmir.

The Empire of Patrolmen.

* Orcs, Britons, And The Martial Race Myth, Part I: A Species Built For Racial Terror. I have an entire day in my Tolkien class devoted to this question, around the Gorbag/Shagrat passages in TTT and ROTK, just because it’s such a threat to the pleasure of the fantasy by the end of the semester.

* Tolkien’s lessons for Trump.

* Of course Mordor would be in Florida.

* The Evolution of Dragons in Western Literature: A History.

* The Fallen Worlds of Philip Pullman.

* Fantasy literature alignment chart.

* Benioff and Weiss explain at length how they don’t know anything about making shows. Five seconds later: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss Are No Longer Making Star Wars Movies.

* The Supreme Court Doesn’t Understand Transgender People. Its ignorance could lead to a legal catastrophe.

* Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow!

* There’s a very good chance the government isn’t hiding aliens. I can’t believe they even got to Snowden.

Mass. Dem’s Bill Would Make It Illegal To Call Someone ‘Bitch.’

Hunt told the Boston Herald that he filed the bill after being asked to do so by a constituent. “Any time a constituent approaches me with something that is of concern to them, I follow through with it,” he said. “In this instance, someone asked me to file a bill that they deemed was important and I thought it was a good exercise to let that bill go through the process.”

I think I’ve found the one flaw in your legislative strategy.

* Can’t get good help these days: Hitman hires hitman who hires hitman who hires hitman who hires hitman who tells police.

Can You Really Be Addicted to Video Games?

* How YouTube radicalization works.

* We Are All Clowns: A Defense of Joker.

Disney Is Quietly Placing Classic Fox Movies Into Its Vault, and That’s Worrying.

* In honor of the return of Homestuck: How ‘Homestuck’ Defined What It Means to Be a Fan Online.

* The Evil Dead Cabin (Morristown, TN).

My Daughter and I Were Diagnosed With Autism on the Same Day.

* If we can put a man on the moon. Media and and social class: a guide. Scams. Dreams.

* One-page dungeon.

* Which words were first recorded in print the year you were born?

The 2010s Broke Our Sense Of Time.

* Ian Bogost wants that goose off his lawn.

* The origins of Kirby.

* We did it! U.S. Military Will Stop Using Floppy Disks to Operate Its Nuclear Weapons System.

* 271 Years Before Pantone, an Artist Mixed and Described Every Color Imaginable in an 800-Page Book.

* Nothing gold can stay.

* And imagine going back in time.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 29, 2019 at 4:51 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Fall Break Links! Every Tab I Had Open Is Closed!

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* New open-access scholarship: Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling. My contribution is on Rogue One and the crisis of authority that seems to have plagued all the post-Lucas Star Wars productions. Check it out!

* Science Fiction Film and Television 10.3 is also available, a special issue all about Mad Max and guest-edited by Dan Hassler-Forest, including a great piece by one of my former graduate students, Dr. Bonnie McLean!

* My book was reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement! That’s wild. There’s a really nice review coming in the next issue of Science Fiction Studies, too, though I don’t think its online yet…

* By far the absolute best thing I’ve found on the Internet in years: Decision Problem: Paperclips.

* Call for Papers: Critical Disaster Studies.

* It’s been so long since I’ve posted that it’s still news Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize. With all due apologies to Margaret Atwood.

* Tom Petty was still alive then. Puerto Rico wasn’t in ruins, then. The worst mass shooting in American history perpetrated by a single individual hadn’t happened then. California wasn’t on fire quite to the apocalyptic extent that it is now then. I still had hope for The Last Jedi. And the GOP wasn’t all-in for Roy Moore.

* There are no natural disasters. The Left Needs Its Own Shock Doctrine for Puerto Rico. Disaster socialism. Many Trump voters who got hurricane relief in Texas aren’t sure Puerto Ricans should. After the Hurricane. Someday we’ll look back on the storms from this year’s horrific hurricane season with nostalgia.

* Page of a Calvin and Hobbes comic found in the wreckage of Santa Rosa, California.

This is the horror of mass shootings. Not just death that comes from nowhere, intruding upon the status quo—but a death that doesn’t change that status quo, that continues to sail on unchanged by it. You may be a toddler in a preschool in one of the richest zip codes in the country; a congressman playing baseball in Alexandria, Virginia; a white-collar office worker in a business park; a college student or professor on some leafy campus; a doctor making your rounds in a ward in the Bronx; a country music fan enjoying a concert in a city built as a mecca for relaxation and pleasure: the bullet that comes for you will not discriminate. It knows no racial bias, imposes no political litmus test, checks no credit score, heeds no common wisdom of whose life should or shouldn’t matter. It will pierce your skin, perforate your organs, shatter your bones, and blow apart the gray matter inside your skull faster than your brain tissue can tear. And then, after the token thoughts and prayers, nothing. No revolutionary legislation or sudden sea change in cultural attitudes will mark your passing. The bloody cruelty of your murder will be matched only by the sanguine absence of any substantive national response. Our democracy is riven by inequality in so many ways, but in this domain, and perhaps in this domain alone, all American lives are treated as equally disposable.

Having achieved so many conservative goals — a labor movement in terminal decline, curtailed abortion rights, the deregulation of multiple industries, economic inequality reminiscent of the Gilded Age, and racial resegregation — the right can now afford the luxury of irresponsibility. Or so it believes. As we have seen in the opening months of the Trump presidency, the conservative regime, despite its command of all three elected branches of the national government and a majority of state governments, is extraordinarily unstable and even weak, thanks to a number of self-inflicted wounds. That weakness, however, is a symptom not of its failures, but of its success.

* Freedom of speech means professors get fired for their tweets while universities rent their facilities to open Nazis for $600,000 below cost. Meanwhile, college administrations continue to look to Trump to save them from their graduate students.

The science of spying: how the CIA secretly recruits academics.

Death at a Penn State Fraternity.

* UPenn humiliates itself.

* Octavia Butler: The Brutalities of the Past Are All Around Us.

* African Science Fiction, at LARB.

* The new issue of Slayage has a “Twenty Years of Buffy” roundtable.

Image Journal Exclusively Publishes Flannery O’Connor’s College Journal.

* Honestly, I prefer it when the NCAA doesn’t even bother to pretend.

* One of the classic signs of a failing state is the manipulation of data, including its suppression.

* Internal emails show ICE agents struggling to substantiate Trump’s lies about immigrants.

* ICE Detainee Sent to Solitary Confinement for Encouraging Protest of “Voluntary” Low Wage Labor.

This Is What It Looks Like When the President Asks People to Snitch on Their Neighbors.

A 2-year-old’s kidney transplant was put on hold — after his donor father’s probation violation.

* The arc of history is long, but Federal Judge Rules Handcuffing Little Kids Above Their Elbows Is Unconstitutional.

Body cameras and more training aren’t enough. We need to divert funding for police into funding for human needs.

“Childhood trauma is a huge factor within the criminal justice system,” said Christopher Wildeman, a sociologist at Cornell University and co-director of the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. “It is among the most important things that shapes addictive and criminal behavior in adulthood.”

They thought they were going to rehab. They ended up in chicken plants.

When Colleges Use Their Own Students to Catch Drug Dealers.

* The Democratic district attorney of Manhattan openly takes bribes, and he’s running unopposed.

Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream.

How We Found Tom Price’s Private Jets.

What DNA Testing Companies’ Terrifying Privacy Policies Actually Mean.

Rigged: How Voter Suppression Threw Wisconsin to Trump. Counterpoint: The case that voter ID laws won Wisconsin for Trump is weaker than it looks.

* Conflict in literature.

‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia. Close that barn door, boys!

Mass Shootings Are A Bad Way To Understand Gun Violence. The stats are clear: the gun debate should be one mostly about how to prevent gun suicides. 1,516 mass shootings in 1,735 days.

* The secretive family making billions from the opioid crisis.

* University of Hawaii’s creepy email subject line to students: “In the event of a nuclear attack.”

* Marvel’s movie timeline is incoherent nonsense, too.

We have a pretty good idea of when humans will go extinct. No spoilers!

* Tokyo Is Preparing for Floods ‘Beyond Anything We’ve Seen.’

* Cape Coral, Florida, was built on total lies. One big storm could wipe it off the map. Oh, and it’s also the fastest-growing city in the United States.

An Oral History of Batman: The Animated Series.

* Why is Blade Runner called Blade Runner?

* How free porn enriched the tech industry — and ruined the lives of actors.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Is the Bleakest Lord of the Rings Fan Fic I’ve Ever Seen.The best way to beat Shadow Of War’s final act is not to play it. Are Orcs People Too? And a trip down memory lane: How ‘Hobbit Camps’ Rebirthed Italian Fascism.

* The Digital Humanities Bust.

We can’t eliminate the profit motive in health care without eliminating copays.

* Twitter as hate machine.

* They’re good dogs, Brent.

* Burn the Constitution.

* Violence. Threats. Begging. Harvey Weinstein’s 30-year pattern of abuse in Hollywood. Study finds 75 percent of workplace harassment victims experienced retaliation when they spoke up. Collective action is the best avenue to fight sexual harassers like Harvey Weinstein. Will Fury Over Harvey Weinstein Allegations Change Academe’s Handling of Harassment?

* A tough thread on ethical compromise under conditions of precarity and hyperexploitation. I think many academics will relate.

* Major study confirms the clinical definition of death is wildly inadequate.

Death just became even more scary: scientists say people are aware they’re dead because their consciousness continues to work after the body has stopped showing signs of life.

That means that, theoretically, someone may even hear their own death being announced by medics.

Dolphins recorded having a conversation ‘just like two people’ for first time.

Here Are the Best Wildlife Photos of 2017.

Meat eaters are destroying the planet, says report.

The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason.

In A Post-Weinstein World, Louis CK’s Movie Is a Total Disaster.

Let this battle herald a return to our roots: tax the rich so much that they aren’t rich anymore — only then can the rest of us live in a decent world.

* Civil-Rights Protests Have Never Been Popular.

Every Rick and Morty Universe So Far.

* Ready for #Vexit.

The world’s first “negative emissions” plant has begun operation—turning carbon dioxide into stone.

I Have Been Raped by Far Nicer Men Than You.

* They’re bound and determined to ruin Go.

I think I’m on my way. I’ve deposited my first check in a savings account and, as and if I sell more, will continue to do so until I have the equivalent of one year’s pay at GE. Four more stories will do it nicely, with cash to spare (something we never had before). I will then quit this goddamn nightmare job, and never take another one so long as I live, so help me God. On Vonnegut’s “Complete Stories.”

An Anatomy of the Worst Game in ‘Jeopardy!’ History.

* Is your D&D character rare?

* Tolkien’s Map and the Perplexing River Systems of Middle-earth.

The Worst Loss In The History Of U.S. Men’s Soccer.

The Rise And Rise Of America’s Best-Kept Secret: Milwaukee!

* Galaxy brain.

* And RIP, John Couture. A tremendous loss for Marquette English.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 21, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Christmas Eve Eve Links

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* I was on On Point on NPR last week to talk about Star Wars. How to tell if someone read the EU novels. What We Talk About When We Talk about Star Wars. Medieval Star Wars. Smash the Force. Humorless Marxist Reviews: The Force Awakens. Starkiller Base: The Contractor Memos. Star Wars as Pastiche. “We now have something like proof that life for the average citizen in the Star Wars universe would have been better off if the rebellion had failed.” The Force Awakens as Jedi rewrite. Star Wars and the monomyth of Silicon Valley. George Lucas’s Secret Weapon. The only element that actually got me excited about what another galaxy might look and feel like was Rey’s instant bread. We Need to Make Room For This Gingerbread Darth Vader in the Smithsonian. This Lifesize BB-8 Cake Is Almost Too Beautiful To Eat. ‘Star Wars,’ if it were directed by Ken Burns. #WheresRey. An inversion of stakes so monstrous that it makes the film actually despicable. Please Stop Spreading This Nonsense that Rey From Star Wars Is a “Mary Sue.” Anyway, it did okay. And from the archives: “Hobbits in Space,” 1977.

* Another classic 1980s property gets a dark, gritty reboot.

* MLA Watch: 10 Years Gone But Change Goes On: Octavia E. Butler’s Public Legacy.

* A nine-month, non-tenure position teaching “What Is The Good Life?” to up to six hundred students. I’m not sure I know what the good life is but I think I can rule out at least one thing.

Here’s Why the SpaceX Rocket Landing Is Such a Big Deal.

What It’s Like to Be Noam Chomsky’s Assistant.

The case for determinism has two basic parts, material affordances and ideological construction (also called social construction).

In short, Orcs aren’t monsters. We are.

Better Management Through Belles Lettres.

* Pete Seeger’s FBI File.

Simon Pegg ‘Didn’t Love’ the ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Trailer, Asks Fans to ‘Hang in There.’

The Environmental Toll of a Netflix Binge: The data centers that support the Internet use a huge amount of energy.

* “yes Virginia, there is a left-wing reform movement.”

* World’s largest Star Wars cosplay association says new Star Wars villains are not evil enough.

* Marquette falls behind its peer institutions.

As part of their early schooling, Indonesians in the Soeharto era were deliberately traumatized by the state.

That’s right. The same educational policies that are pushing academic goals down to ever earlier levels seem to be contributing to—while at the same time obscuring—the fact that young children are gaining fewer skills, not more.

* Against The Hateful Eight.

Would you support or oppose bombing Agrabah?

* Racebending Hermione, now canon.

Historians often undermine the hopes that activists live on.

* SNL: Meet Your Second Wife.

The Star Wars Holiday Special Was The Worst Thing on Television Ever. Look for it on How Did This Get Made? this week.

* Immediately greenlit: Quentin Tarantino Almost Made A Luke Cage Movie And Wants To Create His Own Superhero.

* And I say teach the controversy: ‘Bleeding’ Communion Wafer Caused By Mold, Not A Miracle.

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So Many Weekend Links!

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* I’ve seen this movie: Marquette working with firm to humanely manage seagulls.

* Best game I’ve played in a really long time: Rymdkapsel.

* The Milwaukee Experiment: What can one prosecutor do about the mass incarceration of African-Americans?

* The academic community has talked itself into a very strange corner with regards to adjunctification. “Respect” is just not a good rallying point: unquantifiable, unsatisfiable, turns political struggle into emotional one. The focus should stay on the system that produces adjunct jobs instead of full-time permanent ones.

* This report that administration and construction are not significant factors in rising tuition seems totally off to me. You’re dividing by different denominators in 2001 and 2011; that masks the magnitude of the change, but also hides new spending in real terms. The last student you add should be your cheapest student: all the infrastructure is in place, you’re just adding one more. But these numbers show the opposite trend: spending at colleges is increasing even given efficiencies gained by adding more students.

* CFP: The Superhero Project.

‘The Game Done Changed’: Reconsidering ‘The Wire’ Amidst the Baltimore Uprising.

* If you, like us, lusted after the art deco tiling and rose-colored lighting of the Grand Budapest Hotel lobby, or drooled over the yellow Parisian hotel room in Hotel Chevalier, here’s some enchanting news: Wes Anderson has designed a bar.

Bardolatry as Idolatry.

NSA mass phone surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden ruled illegal.

* Andrew Cuomo, pretty corrupt.

* So are the Patriots.

An Atlas of Upward Mobility Shows Paths Out of Poverty.

The Poverty Capitalism Creates.

As investigation enters fifth month, Tamir Rice’s mother has moved into a homeless shelter. Online activists raised $60K for Tamir Rice’s family — so where did all that money go?

* The End of LSU.

* If you want a vision of the future.

Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.

The Secret Lives of Homeless Students.

Ten percent of you were meant to be police officers. You have it in your blood and bones and you will excel in this profession. For 80% of you, this is a job. It’s a job you will do well and honorably for your career with the NYPD. Ten percent of you should never have made it this far. You are too dumb, too damaged, or too criminal to be police officers and you very well will be hurt, killed, or arrested in the years to come.

The Hater’s Guide To Avengers: Age of Ultron. Are you Over the Avengers Yet? Ultron Has Always Been a Dumb Character, and That’s Okay. Even Whedon isn’t into it.

Leaked Email From Marvel CEO Is A Listicle About Why Women Can’t Be Superheroes.

* Reading the Black Captain America (both of them).

Joss Whedon Didn’t Quit Twitter Because of All the Mean Feminists.

In defense of the Mommy Track.

Urban fiction, or street lit, has been snubbed by the publishing industry and scorned by black intellectuals. Yet these authors may just be the most successful literary couple in America.

‘Comedy Bang-Bang’s’ Scott Aukerman: From ‘Screwing Around’ to a Podcast Empire.

Parents call cops on teen for giving away banned book; it backfires predictably.

The Pink and Blue Projects: Exploring the Genderization of Color.

* I really liked TNI’s “Trash” issue, though it gets Oscar the Grouch all wrong.

* Did a study find men’s beards are filled with poop?

We Accidentally Turned The Entire Statue Of Liberty Into A Battery.

Halo Players Spent Five Years Trying To Get Into An Empty Room.

* I’m glad that Facebook is choosing to publish such findings, but I cannot but shake my head about how the real findings are buried, and irrelevant comparisons take up the conclusion.

* A comics Kickstarter some of you might be interested in: Bizarre New World.

Lawmakers drop Walker’s plan to spin off UW governance.

Art Institute of Wisconsin to stop enrolling new students.

Remember when Gerber tried to market “baby food for teens?”

* What Was the Venus de Milo Doing With Her Arms?

Joan Would Have Lost Her Sexual Harassment Suit Against McCann Erickson. Assholes of Mad Men’s McCann pay dividends for real-life McCann.

Q: What do the US, Somalia, and South Sudan have in common? A: It’s totally cool to put kids in jail forever.

Academic Freedom and Tenure: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Health Insurance Companies Are Illegally Charging for Birth Control.

Report: Most College Football Concussions Happen in Practice.

* Nothing gold can stay be allowed to just be a good thing that happened one time.

Essential Reading: “I Am Error” Brings New Insight to the History of the NES.

From graduation to garbage job (literally): One twentysomething’s struggle.

The source of strange radio signals that have left astronomers at Australia’s most famous radio telescope scratching their heads for 17 years has finally been discovered. It turns out that it was a microwave oven.

“My father felt the U.S.S.R. treated him better than America,” said Tynes-Mensah, a former university chemistry instructor who was born in the Russian town of Krasnodar and now lives mainly in the United States, spending summers in Russia. “He was happy here.”

* How to lie with statistics, Nicholas Kristof edition.

* Portrait of a suicide at UPenn.

* You Oughta Know Dave Coulier Will Be On Fuller House.

Woman Who Tweeted ‘2 Drunk 2 Care’ Before Fatal Crash Gets 24 Years.

Galadriel, Witch-Queen of Lórien.

In “Let Us Now Praise Famous Orcs,” I suggested that the basic humanity of Tolkien’s inhuman creatures proved them to be more worthy of our sympathy than the elves, “whose near-perfection marks them with a profound otherness.” As immortals, elves are always playing a long game in which we finite beings cannot ever hope to be much more than pawns. The characters who seem most aware of this fact in The Lord of the Rings are, in fact, the orcs, as is tellingly revealed in the dialogue between Gorbag and Shagrat. They lament having to work for “Big Bosses,” remember the “bad old times” when elves besieged them, and make hopeful plans for a postwar future in which there are “no big bosses.” In their fear and loathing of aristocrats and high powers, these orcs express thoroughly modern, even vaguely democratic sentiments. The Witch-Queen of Lórien, much like the dark Lord of Mordor, champions a different social order entirely. I am not entirely sure that Galadriel’s vision for how the world system should be organized is necessarily the better one. For those of us who are in favor of changing the world, Galadriel and her coterie of hereditary aristocrats represent the enemy, a power to be overcome, and her “long defeat” cannot come soon enough.

* The Magicians is coming to SyFy.

Sheriffs Threaten Retaliation If The Price Of Prisoner Phone Calls Is Regulated.

* Starving the beast: The UNC system in 2015.

* There are no tough choices.

Meet the outsider who accidentally solved chronic homelessness.

* Meet the original patent troll.

* The vanishing of Molly Norris.

* Empty, Lonely Nothingness. Forever: Understanding the Fermi Paradox.

A Cancer Survivor Designs the Cards She Wishes She’d Received From Friends and Family.

* Get my checkbook! Original drawings depicting iconic Martians from HG Wells’s sci-fi masterpiece The War of the Worlds are on sale for £350,000.

Edit of the Day: Footloose Without the Music Turns Kevin Bacon Into a Maniac.

* Deleted Scenes of Women in Disaster Movies Written by Men.

* Get me Thomas Pynchon: Aide to Kamala Harris arrested for pretending to run 3,000-year-old rogue police force.

* Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot.

Fracking Chemicals Detected in Pennsylvania Drinking Water. More North Carolina Residents Warned Of Contaminated Drinking Water. Horribly bleak study sees ‘empty landscape’ as large herbivores vanish at startling rate. A future without chocolate.

* Only the super-rich can save us now.

McDonald’s to reverse declining sales with more attractive Hamburglar.

These Suburban Preppers Are Ready for Anything.

* Bill Clinton has an exciting new greatest regret of his presidency.

Someone made Game of Thrones into a Google map, and it’s amazing.

Native Americans Say This Man Enslaved Them. Pope Francis Wants To Call Him A Saint.

Which President Greenlit A Trip To The Center Of The Earth?

* The LEGO sublime.

* And a dark, gritty Sliders I wish had gone to series: Parallels. By one of the creators of The Lost Room, which I also wish had gone to series!

Written by gerrycanavan

May 8, 2015 at 8:08 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Night Links!

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* Call for applications: The Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship.

* Happy birthday, OEB.

* Coming soon at Marquette: “Barrel Rides and She-Elves: Audience and “Anticipation” in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit Trilogy.” And this Thursday: Marquette English alum Adam Plantinga reads from his book 400 Things Cops Know.

* Great syllabus at Temple: Cli-fi: Science fiction, climate change, and apocalypse. The students’ blog is really good too, though I’m embarrassed that between the time I found this link and the time I posted it they added a post about me to the front page.

* “These are the best college majors if you actually want a job after graduation.” That “actually” is a great example of the kind of ludicrous framing that plagues these discussions; it’s talking about the difference between 90 and 95% employment.

* On the job market while pregnant, or, maybe the worst abuse of the famously abusive academic job market.

None of my new colleagues spoke to me as if I were a junior professional working my way through the tough lean days of youth. Most of them spoke to me, if at all, like I was a dog. Carrie Shanafelt on adjunctification in/and/as the profession.

* Peter Railton’s Dewey Lecture.

* International Adjunct Walkout Day is tomorrow. More links below the map.

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So Your Fic is Required Reading.

* The Grand Wes Anderson Playlist.

* Paging Dr. Crake: “Why Genghis Khan was good for the planet.” A friend on Facebook who works on climate and energy told me that there’s even a theory that first contact with the Americas and the resulting mass death may have led to global cooling in the 16th and 17th centuries due to reforestation.

Officials Urge Americans To Sort Plastics, Glass Into Separate Oceans.

* The law, in its majestic equality: People who have been stripped of benefits could be charged by the government for trying to appeal against the decision to an independent judge.

Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden ‘black site. This is insane.

* UW, Morality, and the Public Authority.

The High Price of a Public Authority in Wisconsin.

If the public authority is actually an idea worth pursuing, then UW leadership should push to get it off the fast track. And it must give some substance to its so far empty defense of Chapter 36.

* Letter from an adjunct at UW.

Legislative staffers report that total UC spending from all sources of revenue went up 40 percent from 2007-08 to the present fiscal year — far greater growth than seen in other large state institutions. This undercuts Napolitano’s claims of poverty and shores up critics who say UC has slack, unfocused management. Amazingly, officials struggle to detail exactly where much of UC’s current $26.9 billion budget goes. They can’t say how many faculty members primarily engage in research and how many primarily teach students — which is supposed to be UC’s core function.

Institutions Adrift: Dealing with Declining State Appropriations at Kentucky’s Regional Comprehensive Universities.

* UNC moves to crush its poverty center.

Idaho financial aid officer arrested for offering students scholarships in exchange for sex. Whenever I see a story like this I think about how many signatures they make me get to be reimbursed for things they told me to buy.

SUNY grad says school made her prosecute her own sex attacker.

Marquette economist says there’s no economic reason to argue for right to work in Wisconsin. Hahahahahahaha.

* Privilege and the madness of chance.

Supermarket shoppers are more likely to buy French wine when French music is playing, and to buy German wine when they hear German music. That’s true even though only 14 percent of shoppers say they noticed the music, a study finds.

Researchers discovered that candidates for medical school interviewed on sunny days received much higher ratings than those interviewed on rainy days. Being interviewed on a rainy day was a setback equivalent to having an MCAT score 10 percent lower, according to a new book called “Everyday Bias,” by Howard J. Ross.

Those studies are a reminder that we humans are perhaps less rational than we would like to think, and more prone to the buffeting of unconscious influences. That’s something for those of us who are white men to reflect on when we’re accused of “privilege.”

* Why Just Filling the Pipeline Won’t Diversify STEM Fields.

These dream guns indicate the depth of white America’s fear of black resistance. But black people are allowed to take part “safely” in gun culture if we agree to become the avatars of respectable, state-sanctioned violence, with military recruiters in our high schools and colleges, and police recruiters outside subway stations and unemployment offices.

The Silk Road might have started as a libertarian experiment, but it was doomed to end as a fiefdom run by pirate kings.

* The most important legal scholar you’ve likely never heard of.

At New York Private Schools, Challenging White Privilege From the Inside. I think Freddie’s comments on this were pretty smart.

These people become invulnerable, their commodification impregnable: there is no critique from within privilege theory that they cannot turn around on others, and no critique from outside of it that they cannot dismiss as itself the hand of privilege.

* Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is up for reelection tomorrow, promising to continue his campaign against public education in the city.

America Has Been At War 93% of the Time – 222 Out of 239 Years – Since 1776.

* “Let’s stop pretending going to Mars is for mankind.”

Much scientific discovery is for the betterment, amusement and curiosity of a lucky few in this world. Those without water, meanwhile, are temporarily forgotten

The sad part is we’re rich enough to do both and we choose to do neither.

* Rortyblog: Everyone should take it easy on the robot stuff for a while.

Steven Spielberg Has Been Thanked More Than God in Oscar Acceptance Speeches. God actually only clocks in at #6.

Dead for 48 minutes, Catholic Priest claims God is female. Oh, that must be why.

Archaeologists Discover a Cheese That’s Almost 2,000 Years Older Than Jesus.

* When Instagram brings down your congressman.

Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher. GASP.

Jeb Bush Conveniently Started Promoting Fracking After Investing In It. GAAAAAAASP.

Žižek on Syriza. He’s also being interviewed at LARoB this week.

* Meanwhile, in Jacobin: The strategy of Syriza’s leadership has failed miserably. But it’s not too late to avert total defeat.

Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People.

* Starbucks to consider maybe possibly abolishing the “clopening” unless employees want to “step up.”

* The 2014 Nebula Award nominees have been announced.

How did Twitter become the hate speech wing of the free speech party?

* Sexism and the tech industry: Women are leaving the tech industry in droves.

* The other other side of sperm donation: Sperm Donors Are Winning Visitation Rights.

* Comedy Bang! Bang! and WTF remember Harris Wittels. I thought Scott’s opening to Harris’s last CBB was especially good.

* Another big outlet takes a trip inside the men’s rights movement.

Algorithmic States of Exception.

Holy Hell This Power Rangers Reboot Is Dark As F*ck. Vimeo has taken down the NSFW version but you can still get it in the embed at Joseph Kahn’s Twitter for some reason.

* On a less disturbing note, I watched The Ecstasy of Order for my games class on Tetris today, and it was great.

blog_work_family_conflict* Men Complain Far More Than Women About Work-Family Conflicts.

*‘Two and a Half Men’: TV’s Worst Sitcom Ends As Terribly As It Lived, and I Watched Every Episode.

Two and Half Men hit a new low every season and then continued to sink even further underground.

* Birdman is your best movie of all time apparently. It’s already paying dividends. OR IS IT.

* “Alejandro González Iñárritu is a pretentious fraud, but it’s taken some time to understand the precise nature of his fraudulence.” Oh, come on, it wasn’t Grand Budapest but it was fine.

* I really needed to see this again today.

* Glenn Reynolds goes full Heinlein. Never go full Heinlein.

* Now we see the violence inherent in the system: Over Five And A Half Billion Uruks Have Been Slain In Shadow of Mordor.

“Mass Incarceration, Deportation, Stop and Frisk: The Urban Ecology of the Prison-Industrial Complex.”

* And Britons would rather be an academic than a Hollywood star. Me too, but maybe I’ll hear Spielberg out.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 24, 2015 at 7:35 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Night Links!

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* Kenya sci-fi series imagines European immigrants fleeing to Africa. A very different premise, but it reminds me a bit of some of what happens in Abdourahman A. Waberi’s excellent short novel The United States of Africa.

* Map of the week: 57% of languages do not have gendered pronouns.

* How comics portray psychological illness.

* New Analysis Shows Problematic Boom In Higher Ed Administrators. With searchable database so you can see how your school has changed since the 80s.

UCLA spends 2% of its budget on sports, while UO spends 13%. 13%!

The Council of UC Faculty Associations did the math, and showed to get tuition back down to 2000-01 levels $5300 in today’s dollars), and state funding back up to spend 20001 amounts per student, would cost to the median individual California taxpayer, each year, a total of $50.  Restoring full quality and affordability for the state’s 1.6 million public college and university students would cost the state median taxpayer about the same as a holiday bottle of single malt scotch.  That would get us halfway back to a Free UC

Grad school’s mental health problem. When education brings depression.

* “Teachers can’t strike, so we’ll strike for them.”

* Functioning democracy watch: The rise of the blank-slate candidate.

* Lawrence Lessig: Only the super-rich can save us now.

But when it comes to the narcissism of war, as the example of Christopher Hitchens reminds us, no one has quite the self-deluding capacity of the intellectual.

* Friends, it gets worse: California aquifers contaminated with billions of gallons of fracking wastewater.

U.S. Emergency Rooms Are Bracing For An Ebola Panic. The nightmare Ebola scenario that keeps scientists up at night. ‘Breach of Protocol’ Led to 2nd Ebola Infection. Cuba leads fight against Ebola in Africa as west frets about border security. But don’t worry, we’re tweaking all our incentives: US government offers $1m for best hazmat suit design as demand surges.

* Prison to Table: The Other Side of the Whole Foods Experience. Pennsylvania’s addiction to prison-building a moral, economic disaster.

* BREAKING: White people are radically misinformed about just about every salient question in American politics.

Yes, they are killing young black males. Documents Show NYPD Has Paid $428 Million in Settlements Since 2009. Asset seizures fuel police spending.

* Why is the recovery so weak? It’s the austerity, stupid.

They did, however, find the case significant enough to notify their sergeant — “due to the fact that it was an F.S.U. football player,” the report said. The sergeant, a Florida State University sports fan, signed off on it and the complaint was filed away as “unfounded.” It was hardly the first time that the towering presence of Florida State football had cast a shadow over justice in Tallahassee.

* Cultural preservation watch: There Is A Nine-Foot Tall Statue Of Edward Snowden In New York City.

“When the story broke about Edward Snowden, I was thinking a lot about surveillance and monumentality and how we remember things,” Dessicino told BuzzFeed News on Friday. “How public space is used and how people in history are remembered.

“And I got the idea that maybe people who are major actants upon history aren’t always represented properly, and those people could be written out of history by not having something more permanent made of them.”

* Elsewhere in Snowdenmania: news that he has apparently inspired a second leaker, still at the agency, as well as a nice button on the love story that dominated so much of the early coverage.

* I’ve been a Moffat-skeptic and didn’t like Twelve’s introduction or first few episodes at all, but I have to admit the new Doctor Who is probably as good as it’s ever been. Each of the last few episodes has been better than the last. Sid & Nancy on the TARDIS.

* Nielsen: still the absolute worst.

* The oldest struggle: Hawk v. drone.

Yet, there is something incomprehensible and inconsistent about this brand of “evil.” Mordor presents these characters in incredibly high fidelity—and I mean that both aesthetically and narratively. Some of the Orcs wear visible jewelry. One dev pointed out during a video preview that “some of them are poets.” But we’re told again and again that these Orcs want to destroy beautiful things. It just doesn’t hold up, and this tension extends to every element of their narrative and systemic characterizations. These Orcs have fears, interests, values, rivalry and friendships. Some Orcs are lovingly protective of their bosses or underlings. But they are “savage creatures” that “hate beauty,” so go ahead and enslave them.

* Matt Yglesias is making sense: The real problem with Nate Silver’s model is the hazy metaphysics of probability.

* The LEGO Batman Movie is the moment reboot culture begins to learn at an algorithmic rate. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

* “He soon resigned.” A chess column had run in the New York Times since 1855, until today.

* Here come the self-driving cars.

* Tech jobs: Minorities have degrees, but don’t get hired.

* This Is How Judges Humiliate Pregnant Teens Who Want Abortions.

* Marissa Alexander will have a new trial.

* Unpopular opinion watch: This is not a perfect article, but the proposition that universities are not equipped to be courts and shouldn’t try to be seems basically right to me. I can’t imagine how people are looking at the last few decades of Title IX implementation and saying the answer is to give schools a larger role in this.

* Dystopian road signs.

* Understanding Homestuck.

* Understanding the Great Zucchini, DC’s most in-demand clown.

* Well, that explains it. Hitler was ‘a regular user of crystal meth’, American Military Intelligence dossier reveals.

* The age of miracles: cure for type-one diabetes imminent.

* And I’m so old I can remember when “full of bees” seemed like the worst possible thing.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 12, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Election Links, One Last Time

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