Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Pittsburgh

So Here’s Everything You Missed While You Were Paying Attention to the Election Links

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* It was an absolutely crazy month trying to get the final proofs locked down, but The Cambridge History of Science Fiction has an Amazon page and a publication date: November 30, 2018. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this massive undertaking! Obviously $175 is a hefty price tag, so talk to your public and university library about science fiction today…

* SFRA Review #326 is up with my last vice president’s note (sniff).

* I think I forgot to hype my review essay in the latest Science Fiction Film and Television on Arrival and parenting. Consider it hyped!

* I was also lucky enough to participate in the symposium for the new issue of Science Fiction Studies on climate crisis. (The end of my contribution for those who can’t get past the preview.)

* Wired has a profile of KSR in honor of Red Moon, which I’m meant to be reviewing for LARB one of these days…

* Ted Chiang’s second collection, Exhalation, is finally coming out in May 2019. An absolute must-buy.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Final Posthumous Book Is Published.

* It’s been too long since I last posted and this CFP is out of date now, but it looks like a great event at Madison next year: CFP: Childhoods of Color.

* At least the Post45 CFP is still active! And this one! Transgressions: McGill University’s 25th Annual English Graduate Conference.

* CFP: The Sanzed Empire on Fire: A Panel on N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth Trilogy.

* Call for Papers: Insecurity Conference (Spring 2019). At UWM’s Center for 21st Century Studies.

* Another thing I missed in a month of not posting: Jaimee’s first review for the Rumpus. It’s a good one!

* Monsters vs. Empire: Mark Bould vs. the Space Force.

* Nine sci-fi subgenres for understanding what’s to come.

* Race and Halloween in Milwaukee.

* A special issue of the Canadian Journal of Canadian Studies: Black Lives, Black Politics, Black Futures—An Introduction.

Why I’m Fighting To Get Rid Of The “Baby Graveyard” At Marquette University.

* Jesuits to release names of accused priests in the west. This is going to hit Catholic higher education like a sledgehammer.

* Superstar-professor-industrial complex. Academia as cult.

* How to read Infinite Jest.

* Let the children sue.

* Monsters of climate change.

Architectural history in an era of capitalist ruin.

What if I told you one of the largest ever undertakings in American historic preservation was happening not through the graces of any large institution, but through the autonomous participation of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of individuals across the country, who are collectively stitching together their own narrative of architectural history?

The “Kmart” group on the photo-sharing website Flickr has amassed a staggering twenty-five thousand photos of its subject, a struggling American discount store. It hardly matters that, against the grain of the high-architectural image factory, many of these photos could not be called artistic—a number of them appear to have been taken with shaky cell phones, or from the wrong side of a speeding car. The production of high-gloss photography is not the purpose of this group. It’s purpose is to document a slow extinction.

* “I’m about to hit the ground but the bottom of my shoes were melting. I … prayed to God, ‘Please, don’t let me die like this,'” said nurse Nichole Jolly. Nurses fleeing fast-moving Camp Fire scramble to save patients — and themselves.

Microplastics found in 90 percent of table salt. Insect collapse study ‘one of the most disturbing articles I have ever read,’ expert warns. Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, report finds. Entire cities evacuate as hellish wildfires whip through California. Here’s Where the Post-Apocalyptic Water Wars Will Be Fought. As the Antarctic Peninsula heats up, the rules of life there are being ripped apart. Alarmed scientists aren’t sure what all the change means for the future. Geoengineering as a weapon of war. Left-wing climate realism and the Trump climate change memo. Weather 2050: See how your city’s weather will be different in just one generation. Capitalism torched the world, fascism rose from the ashes. No Empires, No Dust Bowls Ecological Disasters and the Lessons of History. Best prepare for social collapse, and soon. Climate Change Is Already Damaging American Democracy. Climate Change is Already Drastically Altering the World’s Climate Zones. High Tide Socialism in Low Tide Times. Disaster socialism. Billionaires Are the Leading Cause of Climate Change. The end of the world is over. Now the real work begins.

The Wandering Earth could be China’s breakout sci-fi blockbuster film.

How Marvel and Corporate Comics Are Failing the ‘Vulnerable’ Creators Behind Their Superheroes. The case of Chuck Wendig.

* Citation as gratitude. Should Scholars Avoid Citing the Work of Awful People? Over time all cultural work asymptotically approaches the condition of Twitter.

* The NCAA is gaslighting you. The secret betrayal that sealed Nike’s special influence over the University of Oregon. Scandal at Maryland. Nearly 100 More Women Accuse USC Gynecologist George Tyndall of Abuse.

Going Hungry at the Most Prestigious MFA in America.

* Secretive Campus Cops Patrol Already Overpoliced Neighborhoods.

Meet the UW professor who just killed the death penalty.

* When you wake up this morning from unsettling dreams, you find yourself changed in your bed into a monstrous vermin. You Are Jeff Bezos.

Politics corner!

* It’s been so long since I posted that this caravan of bloodthirsty women and children isn’t even attacking the US anymore.

* Years too late, the end of Scott Walker. Wisconsin’s $4.1B Foxconn Boondoggle.

* Back to this. No asylum. These Companies Are Helping Trump Wage ‘Technological Warfare’ Against Immigrants. Amazon is helping ICE track, detain and deport immigrants, report say. Migrant Children in Search of Justice: A 2-Year-Old’s Day in Immigration Court. The Five-Year-Old Who Was Detained at the Border and Persuaded to Sign Away Her Rights. The war inside 7-11. How A Massive ICE Raid Changed Life In One Small American Town. ICE Is Imprisoning a Record 44,000 People. ICE Is Sending Separated Children Home With No One To Pick Them Up.

Swedish student who stopped deportation flight of Afghan asylum seeker to be prosecuted.

* The President personally and directly violating election law is like a page 6 story. And this one. And this one!

I know the vast amount of focus is on the immediate future of the Mueller probe, but it’s also wild that Whitaker, with this resume, is now the chief law enforcement officer in the country. ‘He’s a F*cking Fool.’

* The political theology of Trump.

* Florida. Why is it always Florida?

The Gerontocracy is Driving America into the Ditch. The rigging of American politics.

* What would you say about abolishing the Supreme Court? It’s a start. Resisting the Justocracy.

* Rule of law watch: Promise not to kill anyone? After losing election, TX judge wholesale releases juvenile defendants.

* Elsewhere in Texas: Now we see the violence inherent in the system.

* Periodic unhappy reminder that stochastic terrorism is a term you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with.

Pittsburgh Shooting Was Straight Out of White Power Movement. Law enforcement can’t and won’t fight them. More on that won’t.

Fascism Is Not an Idea to Be Debated, It’s a Set of Actions to Fight.

* Brazil. One key lesson from Brazil’s lapse into fascism: Don’t trust liberals. This Is How We Radicalized The World.

* Classic Obama move to punish a bank for its crimes and make sure not to tell anyone.

* There are so many constitutional crises going on right now that it’s hard to remember where they all are. This from West Virginia was less than a month ago.

Three Months Inside Alt-Right New York.

Five Principles for Left Foreign Policy.

* Why are we in the Middle East?

* The Senate is a huge problem for Democrats. America needs a bigger House. The Democrats’ Existential Battle: Achieving Real Democracy.

* And Wisconsin’s even worse.

* Trans rights are human rights.

Victims of School Shootings From 1946–2018, in Their Own Words.

Death or Debt? National Estimates of Financial Toxicity in Persons with Newly-Diagnosed Cancer.

* Oops! Our bad!

But Neel makes the unifying, underlying dynamics hard to deny — dynamics of dwindling state resources, growing demands stemming from unfolding climate catastrophe and rising superfluity, and deepening threats to government capacity and legitimacy. This is stark terrain that too few scholars glimpse with any clarity. Its implications are massive.

A pandemic killing tens of millions of people is a real possibility — and we are not prepared for it.

Tell Me It’s Going to be OK.

What is the evolutionary advantage of death?

* Training our self-driving cars to be fascists.

* If #Bitcoin were to cease trading tomorrow, 0.5% of the world’s electricity demand would simply disappear – which would cover one year’s worth of the carbon emission cuts required to limit temperature rises this century to 2C.

Miscarrying at Work: The Physical Toll of Pregnancy Discrimination.

A $21,634 bill? How a homeless woman fought her way out of tow-company hell.

* I want to believe! Welcome ‘Oumuamua.

* How to revise Lovecraft.

How Jennifer’s Body went from a flop in 2009 to a feminist cult classic today.

Maryse Condé Wins an Alternative to the Literature Nobel in a Scandal-Plagued Year.

* The cruelest optimism: Large-scale humanities Ph.D. tracking effort finds most would do it all over again, if given the choice, and that these Ph.D.s believe their programs prepared them for diverse career paths, especially after the first few years following graduation.

* The Singularity. Rebelling. By the time he realizes he’s agreed to teach high school English, it’ll be too late. Kafkaesque. The Literary Turning Test. What I ought to want, what I actually want, what I behave like I want. Fermi problems. Fun facts. Autocomplete. Lifecycle of the academic. Mental health. Amalekites.

* Fuck yeah.

“Do you want to turn your notifications off?” Twitter asked.

Is There Such A Thing As Ballet That Doesn’t Hurt Women?

* The story of a serial SWATter.

The idea that the ancients disdained bright color is the most common misconception about Western aesthetics in the history of Western art. “He started poking around the depots and was astonished to find that many statues had flecks of color: red pigment on lips, black pigment on coils of hair, mirrorlike gilding on limbs. For centuries, archeologists and museum curators had been scrubbing away these traces of color before presenting statues and architectural reliefs to the public.”

* So many people have had their DNA sequenced that they’ve put other people’s privacy in jeopardy.

The Strand, New York City’s largest independent bookstore, is owned by a millionaire — and the booksellers who work there are all broke.

* In defense of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

* The Making of The Empire Strikes Back.

* Twilight of Apu.

Ross MacDonald is a creator of fake period paper props – books, documents, packaging etc – for use in movies and television.

* The Sears catalog and Jim Crow. How vulture capitalists ate Sears. Eddie Lampert not only ran the company; he was also its largest creditor and the guy who sold major Sears assets to … Eddie Lampert.

* I’m sorry my parrot is so racist.

* Friction-free racism: Surveillance capitalism turns a profit by making people more comfortable with discrimination. An AI lie detector will interrogate travellers at some EU borders. Twilight of the Racist Uncles. We Are All Research Subjects Now.

* Losing Laura.

* This seems fine.

* Looking for the helpers: Turning the reassuring line for children into a meme for adults should make everyone uncomfortable.

The Possessed: Dispatches from the Third Trimester.

A British baby who was born at exactly 11 a.m. on the great day was christened Pax. At the age of twenty-one, he would be killed in the next war. The obligatory Vonnegut.

* 2018 in headlines: Man run over by lawn mower while trying to kill son with a chainsaw, police say. Loggers Accidentally Cut Down World’s Oldest Tree in Amazon Forest. Was Tony The Tiger Driven Off Twitter By Unbelievably Horny Furries?

* Nothing gold can stay: Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch puppeteer Caroll Spinney announces retirement.

* And if you want a vision of the future, imagine increasingly unnecessary sequels to any cultural production that strikes any sort of chord in anyone, forever. I don’t know how I’m managing to maintain a good attitude about the Picard show given that every piece of available evidence demonstrates it’ll be just another cynical cash grab.

* Same exact joke but about people trying to adapt Foundation.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 12, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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#OEBStudies for All Your #OEBStudies Needs

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* I’m at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, presenting as part of the Octavia Butler studies conference here. Here’s a great writeup from the organizers, Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey. Hashtag #OEBStudies!

* Lumenscent Threads: Knowing Octavia Butler through a Community That Loved Her.

* I also got in a big Twitter to-do with Noah Berlatsky about the Oankali, if you want some extra bonus OEB content.

* Then next week I’m back in California for the Science Fiction Research Association conference at Riverside, giving a talk called “No, Speed Limit: Hyperspace in the Anthropocene” (and doing a bunch of SFRA executive committee stuff too I guess).

* “Rakka,” a nightmarish SF film from Neill Blomkamp, narrated by Sigourney Weaver. Seems almost like proof of concept for the Alien sequel they won’t let him do…

* And why not? Here’s an Irish one.

* The Han Solo prequel film, like every other Star Wars followup Disney has attempted, has encountered problems that have crashed production. This time they’ve fired the directors and brought in Ron Howard to attempt to salvage the project.

Jon Ossoff’s Georgia special election loss shows Democrats could use a substantive agenda. Nonsense! They’re doing great. Why Jon Ossoff’s loss is bad news for Democrats’ 2018 hopes. Keep hope alive.

* Memo shows what major donors like Goldman Sachs want from the Democratic Party. Class struggle in America doesn’t look exactly like you think.

* Who Is Getting Rich Off the Secret Health-Care Overhaul?

Senate Health Bill Gives Huge Tax Cuts to Businesses, High-Income Households. G.O.P. Health Plan Is Really a Rollback of Medicaid. A helpful chart of the differences between the Senate and House bills and the status quo. The Senate health bill is a recipe for a death spiral. Wheelchairs and zip ties. The littlest lobbyist: a 6-year-old, whose life depends on ACA, heads to Capitol Hill. There will be deaths.

Going on Fox News cost me my job, professor claims.

Don’t Trust a Republican Just Because He Hates Trump.

* Corey Robin on China Miéville’s October.

* The Pittsburgh Fairy Tale: Pittsburgh’s much-touted revival has remade the region for the wealthy while leaving workers and the poor behind.

* Twilight of the CEOs. Uber doesn’t even currently have a CEO, COO, CFO, or CMO, “in addition to other open positions.”

* What if the Watchmen adaptation that shouldn’t have happened in the first place happened again, but more so?

* Ted Chiang was right! Attractive Students Get Higher Grades.

* “The Castile case reminds me of a weird pattern we always see in the inevitable defenses of police who’ve shot innocent people.”

* Probably the only good thing that has ever happened on Twitter.

Hunting for Antibiotics in the World’s Dirtiest Places.

* To even begin to defend Kipnis’s actions requires some serious leaps of logic, but Kipnis gamely tries.

* The New Free Speech is a right-wing grift, part 29.

“North Carolina is the only state in U.S. where no doesn’t mean no.”

* “Bill Cosby to Teach Young People How to Avoid Sexual Assault Charges.”

* But it’s not ALL deranged misogyny! N.H. Republicans Accidentally Approved a Bill Allowing Pregnant Women to Commit Murder.

* Looks like the marketing team have had a word.

* This seems fine: Elections officials outgunned in Russia’s cyberwar against America.

* #TheResistance.

* Sega!

Monday Morning Links!

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In Milwaukee, I lived two lives. On the East Side was the liberal Catholic school I attended for nine years; on the North Side was everything else. Dateline Milwaukee: Affluent and Black, and Still Trapped by Segregation. Some Lesser Known Justice Facts about Milwaukee and Wisconsin. And a more positive Milwaukee profile: How Milwaukee Shook Off the Rust: The Midwestern hub reclaimed some of its industrial glory by doing a surprising thing. It cleaned up.

Google’s response to inquiries was chilling: “Google News Archive no longer has permission to display this content.” Entire Google archive of more than a century of stories is gone. Why?

A narrow street dead-ends at the Detroit River, where a black-and-white boat bobs in the water, emblazoned with a Postal Service eagle. This is the mail boat J.W. Westcott II, the only floating ZIP code in the United States.

Hugo Awards Celebrate Women in Sci-Fi, Send Rabid Puppies to Doghouse. Special congratulations to N.K. Jemisin, whose The Fifth Season I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and to Nnedi Okorafar, whose “Binti” I have read already and is fantastic. Relatedly, Abigail Nussbaum asks: Do the Hugos actually need saving?

In Conversation With Colson Whitehead.

* This seems like a pretty big deal: Justice Department Says Poor Can’t Be Held When They Can’t Afford Bail.

U.S. Army only fudged its accounts by mere trillions of dollars, auditor finds.

An Indiana City Is Poised To Become The Next Flint.

* Trump’s Empire.

* Another late-summer syllabus: Problems in Posthumanism. #WelfareReformSyllabus. And a study guide for a world without police.

* “It’s ridiculous—we are talking about the biggest retailer in the world. I may have half my squad there for hours.”

Ranking the Most (and Least) Diverse Colleges in America. Marquette sneaks in at #86, while my alma mater Case Western is a surprisingly high #40 and Duke gets #32.

Top100_HD

* The strangeness of deep time.

* How to make an R2-D2.

“The jobs that the robots will leave for humans will be those that require thought and knowledge. In other words, only the best-educated humans will compete with machines,” Howard Rheingold, an internet sociologist, told Pew. “And education systems in the US and much of the rest of the world are still sitting students in rows and columns, teaching them to keep quiet and memorize what is told to them, preparing them for life in a 20th century factory.” Nothing can stop Judgment Day, but with the liberal arts you just might have a chance of surviving it…

98 personal data points that Facebook uses to target ads to you.

* Hot.
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Only about a hundred groups of isolated indigenous people are believed to still exist, with more than half of them living in the wilderness that straddles Peru’s border with Brazil. Fiona Watson, the field director of the tribal-people’s-rights group Survival International, told me that the situation was dire for the region’saislados, as isolated people are called in Spanish. In a cramped London office, Watson laid out satellite maps to show me their territory, small patches in a geography overtaken by commerce: arcs of slash-and-burn farmland; huge expanses where agribusinesses raise cattle and grow soy; mining camps that send minerals to China; migrant boomtowns. Some of the indigenous groups were hemmed in on all sides by mining and logging concessions, both legal and illegal. One tribe in Brazil, the Akuntsu, had been reduced to four members. Near them, a man known to anthropologists only as the Man of the Hole lives in a hollow dug in the forest floor, warding off intruders by firing arrows. He is believed to be the last of his tribe.

The poet and activist June Jordan once wrote that “poetry means taking control of the language of your life.” Solmaz Sharif does just that in her excellent debut collection, “Look,” pushing readers to acknowledge a lexicon of war she has drawn from the Defense Department’s Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. Language, in this collection, is called upon as victim, executioner and witness.

Mr. Robot and Why TV Twists Don’t Work Anymore.

* Pittsburgh and the birth of the self-driving car.

* Iceland and revolution.

While people around the world will no doubt continue to project various fantasies onto the tiny island republic, the fact remains that Iceland has yet to see any surge in left mobilization comparable to that in Portugal and Greece — or even the more modest adjustments being made inside the two trans-Atlantic establishment left-liberal parties in the form of the Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn campaigns.

This brilliant map renames each US state with a country generating the same GDP.

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88 College Taglines, Arranged as a Poem.

* The movie you’ve already completely forgotten about will indeed have a sequel bound to disappoint you.

Lang will reprise his role as Colonel Miles Quaritch, Avatar’s villain who appeared definitively dead at the end of the film after taking several huge Na’vi arrows through his chest. Despite that setback, Quaritch is expected to be resurrected in some way and will appear in all the remaining sequels.

Eywa* save us all.

* Reader, I googled it.

* Lovecraft and suburbia and Stranger Things.

* Anyway, the point I’d like you to take away from this is that while it’s really hard to say “sending an interstellar probe is absolutely impossible”, the smart money says that it’s extremely difficult to do it using any technology currently existing or in development. We’d need a whole raft of breathroughs, including radiation shielding techniques to kick the interstellar medium out of the way of the probe as well as some sort of beam propulsion system and then some way of getting data back home across interstellar distances … and that’s for a flyby mission like New Horizons that would take not significantly less than a human lifetime to get there.

I Went on a Weeklong Cruise For Conspiracy Theorists. It Ended Poorly.

* My new favorite Twitter bot: @dungeon_junk.

* Viacom is hemorrhaging money, in part on the basis of the struggling Star Trek (and Ninja Turtles, and Ben Hur) reboot franchises.

Friend acquires a lot of cheese. What to do with it?

* And of course you had me at Historic Midcentury Modernist Motels of the New Jersey Coast.

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday Morning

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* Well, it certainly doesn’t sound very jubilant: A group of long-term unemployed jobseekers were bussed into London to work as unpaid stewards during the diamond jubilee celebrations and told to sleep under London Bridge before working on the river pageant.

The Wire: The Musical.

* The Watchmen sequel gets meta right off the bat.

André & Maria Jacquemetton talk to Slate about “Commissions & Fees,” while Jared Harris talks to the New York Times. Big spoilers for the most recent episode, naturally.

My case illustrates how success is always rationalized. People really don’t like to hear success explained away as luck — especially successful people. As they age, and succeed, people feel their success was somehow inevitable. They don’t want to acknowledge the role played by accident in their lives. There is a reason for this: the world does not want to acknowledge it either. 

* Adam Kotsko reviews one of the next books in my increasingly long “free time” reading queue, Red Plenty.

* From the too-good-to-check files: 

A Dutch company has launched a reality television-type project to establish a human settlement on Mars by 2023.

Mars One, as the project is called, aims to bring a total of 40 astronauts to Mars between 2023 and 2033. Organizers say the astronauts will be expected to remain there permanently – “living and working on Mars the rest of their lives.”

Where do we sign up?

* Which Wisconsin? Lorrie Moore in the NYRoB.

 On Friday, the Michigan Supreme Court cleared the way for Detroit voters to determine whether or not marijuana should be legal.

* A new study shows “Women earn 91 cents for every dollar men earn—if you control for life choices.” The whole idea of “life choices” is itself essentially an argument-from-privilege, taking male experiences as neutral and unmarked and female experiences as a deviation from the norm—but women earn ten percent less even when you buy that line.

* ‘No surprise at all: ‘stand your ground’ defendants more likely to prevail if the victim is black.’ No one could have predicted!

You already know how a bill becomes a law. Now let’s take a look at how a secret memo becomes a kill list.

* Pittsburgh, before smoke control.

* “Right of conscience” watch: NJ Doctor Would Reportedly Rather Let Patient Die Than Treat Him For ‘Gay Disease.’

* Special pleading watch: I can’t wait to find out why Minnesota’s big shift towards marriage equality doesn’t count as evidence for the bully pulpit, either.

What happens when psychiatric hospitals disappear.

* And Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal takes an old-school sci-fi glimpse at the future of human evolution.

University (of Pittsburgh) in Ruins

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Long considered one of public higher education’s finest destinations for graduate work in the humanities, the University of Pittsburgh has cut off admissions to master’s and doctoral programs in German, religious studies, and classics in response to reduced state aid.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 24, 2012 at 11:10 am

Monday Links!

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* Fredric Jameson previews his new book, Representing Capital.

You will now have understood that this distinction between politics and economics, between the achievable Utopia of the Utopian planners and the deep unconscious absolute Utopian impulse, is one between the social-democratic moment and the moment of communism. Communism can only be posited as a radical, even unimaginable break; socialism is an essentially political process within our present, within our system, which is to say within capitalism itself. Socialism is capitalism’s dream of a perfected system. Communism is that unimaginable fulfillment of a radical alternative that cannot even be dreamt.

* Unexpectedly, grad school lowers your blood pressure. It doesn’t seem right to me either.

* The GOP thinks not enough people are unemployed. Calculated Risk has a brief history of the current catastrophe.

Wisconsin has some buyer’s remorse.

* More on hydrofrackingHow radioactive is Pittsburgh’s drinking water? What’s fracking going to do to New York?

* First Big Coal Broke the Union. Then It Broke This Town.

* Trailer for the American remake of The King’s Speech.

* Scientists in Hollywood. The focus is on Natalie Portman and Mayim Bialik.

* Ponzi justice in Raleigh.

* And Jon Hamm, Superman. I’m sure yet another version of the origin story will be great, though.

The Friday Before Spring Break Is The Third Greatest Friday in the World

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* Whenever I heard a word like “neuromarketing,” I reach for my gun.

* Neoliberalism! Greece told to sell off islands and artworks.

* Is Obamacare now a favorite to pass? My sense for a while now has been that both mainstream pundits and bloggers are (for different reasons) deeply exaggerating the extent to which health care is embattled. With the Senate having already cleared the highest hurdle, there isn’t any reason not do the Senate bill + sidecar reconciliation, no matter what happened in Massachusetts or what might happen in November. And Pelosi’s a good Speaker; I’ve never really doubted she could get the votes on this when she needs them. I don’t know that Obama will still get the ten-point popularity bump I was expecting when health care finally passes—they really let Republicans and Firedoglake diehards brand reform negatively—but I think it’ll pass.

* Mesofacts: those facts you don’t keep up with precisely because their rate of change is neither so fast as to be important nor so slow as to be newsworthy. Examples include the current population of the Earth, the number of known extrasolar planets, and the current suckiness of Pittsburgh.

* Glenn Greenwald is on fire talking about neo-McCarthyism in the media this morning. He already said it once:

I’ve seen some attempts to criticize Holder based upon clients he has represented while in private practice, most notably his defense of Chiquita Brands in a criminal case brought by the DOJ arising out of Chiquita’s payments and other support to Colombian death squads. Attempts to criticize a lawyer for representing unsavory or even evil clients are inherently illegitimate and wrong — period. Anybody who believes in core liberties should want even the most culpable parties to have zealous representation before the Government can impose punishments or other sanctions. Lawyers who defend even the worst parties are performing a vital service for our justice system. Holder is no more tainted by his defense of Chiquita than lawyers who defend accused terrorists at Guantanamo are tainted by that. 

* Noah Baumbach to work again with Wes Anderson?

* Bull Durham sequel in the pipeline?

* And Funny or Die has an advocacy ad about financial reform reuniting the SNL presidential impersonators. (They got someone shockingly famous to replace Phil Hartman’s Reagan…)