Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘pornography

Thursday Morning!

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* A major new report suggests serious underemployment among liberal arts majors, affecting as many as 50% of recent graduates in some majors.

* Liu Cixin has an essay on Death’s End up at Tor: Chinese Literature and Apocalyptic SF: Some Notes on Death’s End (and has a review up already as well). My review probably won’t be published for another few weeks, so I’ll just say again: just buy it!

* Once more, with feeling: Student evaluations are useless.

* CFP: The Job Market. CFP: Loanwords to Live With. I know some of the editors of the Loanwords project and I think it looks really exciting. CFC: A Marxist Game.

* Congratulations to Claudia Rankine on her MacArthur grant.

* The New Republic reviews Alice Kaplan’s new book on The Stranger.

* David Fahrenthold’s reporting on Trump’s foundation has yielded a major scoop, evidence of self-dealing in public documents that would appear to be trivially against the law. Even wilder: this is their defense.

* America: taste the rainbow.

* Instapundit has been suspended from Twitter for a tweet about the Charlotte protests. The tweet in question seems pretty indefensible to me, though Reynolds tries at the link, and regardless of its defensibility suspending him for it seems likely to have very bad consequences both for Twitter and for left academics on a pragmatic level. 9:04 AM UPDATE: He’s already back on.

“Actuaries shamelessly, although often in good faith, understate pension obligations by as much as 50 percent,” said Jeremy Gold, an actuary and economist, in a speech last year at the M.I.T. Center for Finance and Policy. “Their clients want them to.”

Seven charts that speak volumes about the opioid epidemic.

* Since the dawn of time, man has fought the rat.

From Back to the Future II to Stephen King’s saving-JFK novel 11/23/63, the lesson one learns again and again is that trying to improve the world through time travel is a fool’s game, creating far worse problems than whatever you’d hoped to fix. Most of time travel fiction these days is one way or another designed to help us swallow the bitter pill that this life is the one we’re stuck with, that trying to make things better will only backfire.

Cut-throat academia leads to ‘natural selection of bad science’, claims study.

* Something has gone wrong with our atheists.

The bear who fought in World War II.

* Stranger Things spinoff greenlit.

* Going to go ahead and greenlight this one too: Family flee home after finding spiders which can cause four-hour erection followed by death in ASDA bananas.

AI will eliminate 6 percent of jobs in five years, says report. Yes, even yours!

Greenland’s huge annual ice loss is even worse than thought.

A Massive Sinkhole Just Dumped Radioactive Waste Into Florida Water.

* In the Criminal Justice System the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups, the police and the police.

* Teaching the controversy: “Should police officers be required to provide medical aid to people they’ve shot?”

* Slate vs. Stone re: Snowden.

* The Internet and the end of porn.

* Know your white supremacy.


* Communists are everywhere!

* Contradictions of Capital and Care.

* The end, one hopes, of Anthony Weiner.

* “Karen Gillan Promises There’s a Reason Her Jumanji Character Is Dressed Like That.”

* Been there: Child’s Loose Grasp On Balloon Only Thing Between Peace And Anarchy At Restaurant.

School lunch worker forced to throw away student’s hot meal decides to quit.

* Save the Day, from Joss Whedon.

* Take that, every authority figure in my personal history! A new study finds that fidgeting — the toe-tapping, foot-wagging and other body movements that annoy your co-workers — is in fact good for your health.

* Political correctness run amok.

These are the most lewd-sounding town names in each state.

* And now, truly, more than ever: “Tonight the Character of Death Will Be Played by Brad Pitt.”


Big Tuesday Links!

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* Sadly always relevant: How the Media Inspires Mass Shooters. So There’s Just Been a Mass Shooting. I bought an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in Philly in 7 minutes.

Since, in fact, we lack the ability to realise even a single one of these demands in the foreseeable future, and since all other apparent solutions are unavailing, the unwelcome thought begins to insinuate itself — we are going to live in a world with Daesh and its massacres no matter what we do.

* Presenting The Bee. Exciting new “Beyond Criticism” project from Lili Loofbourow.

* Along the way to a world of driverless cars there are many potential roadblocks: infrastructure issues, different technical standards, restrictive state licensing policies, and more. But something more problematic might be the one most likely to derail this important technology: excessive lawsuits. To avoid the chilling effect that excessive litigation might have on this life-saving innovation, Congress may need to provide a certain amount of legal immunity for creators of driverless car technologies, or at least create an alternative legal compensation system for when things go wrong. 

* There are no ifs, maybes or caveats allowed in American sports and now in American culture—you’re either a champion or you’re a loser: a nothing.

We Finally Know Why Birds Are So Freakishly Smart. The tragedy of the pit bull. Fugitive capybara captured in Toronto park 19 days after zoo escape.

* I thought Captain America: Civil War held together reasonably well until I considered the movie from Baron Zemo’s point of view.

The Ecstatic Experience: “Hamilton,” “Hair,” and “Oklahoma!” “Hamilton” and History’s Darkened Rooms.

* Keep El Centro, CA weird.

Moving as a child can change who you are as an adult.

Aldermen call for hearings on lead in water at Chicago schools.

* The Blacklist: Here are the media outlets banned by Donald Trump.

Sad! These three campaign gurus for Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have had some time to reflect on their loss to The Donald. And do they ever have stories to tell.

The case for, and the case against, Elizabeth Warren as Clinton’s VP pick. Democrats vs Democrats. Clinton running even in Utah.

* Curb returns. So does Clementine.

* The VR X-Wing experience.

* Harrison Ford is moving to one of the five or six cities I call home: Burlington, Vermont.

* Not all heroes wear capes: Traveler sues TSA for missed flight.

* Abolishing Daylight Savings Time in California.

* If you want to understand the contemporary moment. Why Trump Now? It’s the Empire, Stupid.

Mongolia will become a global pioneer next month, when its national post office starts referring to locations by a series of three-word phrases instead of house numbers and street names.

For example, the White House, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, becomes sulk.held.raves; the Tokyo Tower is located at fans.helpless.collects; and the Stade de France is at reporter.smoked.received.

Why, it couldn’t be simpler!

* Porn and the future.

* First, let’s vote out all the lawyers.

* Video is terrible, is almost certainly the future of everything.

* And the future just isn’t very stable: Carbon nanotubes have been pegged as the wonder material that could finally allow us to build a space elevator. A discouraging new study suggests these microscopic strands aren’t as resilient as we thought—and all it could take is a single misplaced atom to bring the whole thing crashing down.



Make Mine Tuesday Links!

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* “Once upon a time, there was an angry guy, who hated the story he was in. All right?” Charles Yu in the New Yorker.

* Huge congratulations to my recent (last week!) student Michael Welch (ENGW ’16), winner of the 2016 Florence Kahn Memorial Award from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and the author of the poetry chapbook But Sometimes I Remember, now at Amazon!

* “Marquette reports surge in student demand for incoming class.” Well, that’s good news!

* Division of Precrime: There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks.

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 11.34.56 PMJust How Few Professors of Color Are at America’s Top Colleges?

So what can we do? The solution is very simple! Don’t date your students. Don’t stalk, harass, or overshare your feels with your students. Don’t expect them to perform emotional or sexual labor for you. Treat them like professionals, so that they can become the professionals they want to be without being humiliated or having their or your intellectual enthusiasm questioned or second-guessed.

* The number of times DoJ has invoked the state secrets privilege is a state secret.

In effect, we have two American economies. One is made up of expensive coastal zip codes where the pundits proclaiming “recovery” are surrounded by prosperity. The other is composed of heartland regions where ordinary Americans struggle without jobs. Over 50 million Americans live in what the Economic Innovation Group calls “distressed communities”—zip codes where over 55% of the population is unemployed. Of those distressed communities, over half are in the South, defined generously by the census as the region stretching from Maryland and Delaware to Oklahoma and Texas. The rest tend to live in Midwest rust belt cities that have long suffered from economic decline, like Gary, Indiana and Cleveland, Ohio. It is nearly impossible for Americans of the latter group to move to the cities of the former group—or to work in the industries that shape public perception of how the economy is going.

* This ed-reform trend is supposed to motivate students. Instead, it shames them.

* I’m actually surprised Terry McAuliffe almost made it the entire way through his first term.

“The apocalypse is never that single cataclysmic event,” remarks a resistance leader of an imaginary nation to her psychiatrist in a conversation at the heart of “In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain” (2015), the most recent film of Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour and the central piece in her solo exhibition at Sabrina Amrani Gallery. In the film, a resistance group is on a mission to produce a future history for a made-up civilization: by making underground deposits of elaborate porcelain, the group supports its claims to the existence of a people before their obliteration by a colonial power. In line with the classical sci-fi format, the digital film is set in a dystopian territory without a future, or at the very end of historical time. The master narrative of the end-of-times is not an event but a condition: Disaster becomes not sheer bad luck, but a fixed lens through which history is narrated.

* Visual cultures of indigenous futurisms.

Program’s focus on Aboriginal literature a first.

1890 Map of Indigenous Languages of the Americas.


* Why you should respond to student requests.

* “Possible Conflict at Heart of Clinton Foundation.” Well I suppose anything’s possible.

February national polls are the best you get until August. But let’s all panic just the same.

* #welcometonightvale: For all the advances in transplant surgery in the 62 years since doctors first moved a kidney from Ronald Herrick to his identical twin, Richard, the method of transporting organs remains remarkably primitive. A harvested heart, lung, liver or kidney is iced in a plastic cooler, the kind you might take to the beach, then raced to an operating room where a critically ill patient and his surgical team are waiting. The new approach flips that idea — emphasizing warmth instead of cold and maintaining an organ’s natural processes rather than slowing them down. That may speed an individual heart or liver’s return to service, and it offers the eventual possibility of more: the potential to reduce the chronic shortage of organs for transplant by expanding the pool of usable ones.

* Inside The Looming Disaster Of The Salton Sea.

* One Hundred Years of Gender-Segregated Public Restrooms.

* Parts of New Orleans Are Sinking Fast, Study Finds.

Has the age of quantum computing arrived?

Zika is coming, but we’re far from ready.

* Nothing gold can stay: Lego sets have become more violent to keep up with the times, new study shows.

* #ready4tyrion

* #Holdthedoor (from 2014!).

* #bluelivesmatter

“Dad wrote pirate porn, ghost porn, science-fiction porn, vampire porn, historical porn, time-travel porn, secret-agent porn, thriller porn, zombie porn, and Atlantis porn.” LARoB reviews Chris Offutt’s My Father, The Pornographer.

* No more water, the fire next time: xkcd explores the weirdly specific promise of the rainbow.

* William Gibson’s first comic book project, Archangel.

* Blastr actually liked DC Rebirth.

The planet would warm by searing 10C if all fossil fuels are burned, according to a new study, leaving some regions uninhabitable and wreaking profound damage on human health, food supplies and the global economy. ^when

* And we are all star stuff.


Tuesday Afternoon Links

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* A new page at Marquette: a $96 million residence hall development.

* And then there’s that old page.

* There’s more than one way to brand a college. Like at least three or four.

No-confidence vote by UW faculty passes overwhelmingly.

Scientists Find New Earthlike Planets, Kim Stanley Robinson Imagines Living There.

“Why Is Westeros So Fucked Up?” “In conclusion, Game of Thrones is a franchise of contrasts.”

For the television series, it’s more complicated. The crucial question is this: How do you take a story that’s written as a deliberate repudiation of 1990s fantasy norms and make it work, twenty years later, with an audience that didn’t necessarily grow up with Terry Brooks and Robert Jordan novels? The story is generally strong enough that it’s managed to survive and thrive; the failures of the Starks are not just reversals of fantasy convention but overall storytelling convention. But the longer the series goes, the less able it is to draw upon such clear subversions.

* Don DeLillo’s back and I’m pretty excited about Zero K.

Hamilton, the musical you may be tired of hearing about because it is literally impossible to get tickets to see it until 2047, made Tony history Tuesday morning, scoring a record-breaking 16 nominations.

It’s Illegal to Possess or Distribute This Huge Number.

‘I Just Don’t Find American Literature Interesting’: Lit-Blog Pioneer Jessa Crispin Closes Bookslut, Does Not Bite Tongue.

* Photo Essay: Fracking Communities.

Lead Water Pipes in 1900 Caused Higher Crime Rates in 1920. More Evidence for Lead Poisoning as Key Crime Driver.

* Coyote $21,000 in debt after wandering through university campus.

Does Viewing Pornography Reduce Marital Quality Over Time? Evidence from Longitudinal Data.

* Rebooting Stephen Colbert.

* google it should have been steph curry truth

* Jessica Jones season two is doomed watch: Trouble On The Set Of Jessica Jones Season One Was Calmed By David Tennant.

* You just can’t win: After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight.

High school football player faces 70 criminal charges for yearbook picture prank.

* “Poet & Vagabond”: Roberto Bolaño’s business card.

* Like the lady said: the goal should be a society without classes! Fights on planes 400% more likely when there’s a first class section.

Here’s yet another surprise David Bowie left for us on Backstar.

* Famous last words watch: Republicans have a massive electoral map problem that has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

Society of synthetic linguists explain to court, in Klingon, why Klingon shouldn’t be copyrightable.

* And if you want a vision of the future, imagine increasingly disappointing Star Trek (2009) sequels every three years, forever.

Weekend Links 2: Even Weekendier!

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A beard, said Whitman, is preferable in a man as “a great sanitary protection to the throat.” Walt Whitman’s lost advice to America’s men: meat, beards and not too much sex.

If defendants had well-funded, effective representation, our adversarial system would do what it is intended to do. What we have right now, however, simply is not adversarial: relatively well-funded, well-staffed prosecutor offices square off against public defenders whose caseloads defy imagination.

Hell’s Kitchens: Privatized Prison Mess Halls.

* The end of Howard University.

Everyone poops, and everyone pees, but no one should be stigmatized or criminalized when they answer nature’s call.

* Bring on the climate trials: When kids sue the government for failing to protect future generations against climate change, it’s a long shot. But on Friday, in King County, Wash., Superior Court Judge Hollis R. Hill ruled in favor of eight Seattle-area youth petitioners: The Washington State Department of Ecology must deliver an emissions reduction rule by the end of this year.

Living at the Edges of Capitalism.

The best podcasts, Ted Talks and academic papers about Beyoncé.

The PhDictionary: A Glossary of Things You Don’t Know (But Should) About Doctoral and Faculty Life.

Oddly enough, the late novelist David Foster Wallace, a friend of Franzen’s, appears to cast a shadow over the portrayal of Andreas, whom Franzen endows with personality traits he saw in Wallace — especially the idea that he was “unworthy” of love. Over his lifetime, Wallace suffered from various addictions and struggled with depression for years; like Andreas, he ultimately committed suicide. In his essay “Farther Away: ‘Robinson Crusoe,’ David Foster Wallace, and the island of solitude,” Franzen says that he “loved a person who was mentally ill.” Franzen attributes Wallace’s suicide, in large part, to the fact that Wallace felt there was something wrong with him and he was unworthy of love; “[a]nd this feeling was intertwined, ultimately to the point of indistinguishability, with the thought of suicide.” Inaccessible on his private island of self-laceration, believing there was something wrong with him, Wallace could never reach a farther shore, and nobody could reach him. Ultimately, Franzen speculates, his suicide was designed “[t]o prove once and for all that he truly didn’t deserve to be loved.”

* Lake Chad in the Anthropocene.

* Yahoo, when looked at in a certain way, is worth approximately -$8 billion.

* Who owns Klingon?

* Life in the 21st century: Fearing a nuclear terror attack, Belgium is giving iodine pills to its entire population. Creeps Are Using a Neural Network to Dox Porn Actresses. Black Teenage Boy Charged With Possession of Child Porn for Sexting With White Girlfriend. Julia Ioffe profiled Melania Trump. Then she started getting calls from Hitler.

The Untold Story of Canadian Super Heroes.

* A Japanese Map of European Stereotypes.

We must mine redheads for the secret of their immortality gene.

* That’ll solve it: “Crisis-hit Venezuela to push clocks forward to save power.”

* How many friends can a person have?

For the first three decades of the film industry’s existence, American “courts were not yet ready to consider motions pictures as speech worthy of constitutional protection.” And local and state governments were not ready to give up censorship as a form of good government. “In addition to the moral uplift, the logistics of film regulation were attractive. Regulation was a revenue generator; boards charged distributors for examination and approval and charged theaters for permitted exhibitions.”

Daniel J. Berrigan, Defiant Priest Who Preached Pacifism, Dies at 94.


Tuesday Is Soylent Green Day Links

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* Exciting news! My book, Octavia E. Butler (the latest in the University of Illinois’s Modern Masters of Science Fiction series) has a November 1 publication date and a pre-order page on Amazon!

* Some upcoming events at Marquette English this month: “Resume Doctor and Interview Bootcamp” and a Pop Culture and Pizza Night on Hamilton: An American Musical. There’s also MuHuCon this weekend and the Marquette/UWM joint conference next weekend.

* And speaking of HamiltonGoogle Hamilton truth! A little more from LGM and William Hogeland.

* A relation of cruel optimism exists when something you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing.

* Though the rumors are that they may actually have learned something from their mistake.

Kim Stanley Robinson’s Next Book, New York 2140, Will Feature a Half-Submerged Manhattan.

* On Xeno-Colonialism.

This Church Believes Humans Can Live Forever on Earth. Sold!

We’re running out of water, and the world’s powers are very worried.

University of Kansas Acquires 1,000 Zines from a Defunct Radical Library.

This Is What Really Happens to Your Brain When You’re Tripping on LSD.

* In a case showing the reach of college sports corruption, a former head men’s basketball coach at the University of Southern Mississippi instructed his assistants to complete junior college course work for recruits.

The Creative Writing of the Internet’s Premier White Supremacist Forum.

* Welcome to Night Vale: Two percent of humans can hear the Hum, a mysterious, low rumble in the distance. It might exist. It might be imaginary. It might be both.

* Diabetes watch: Are full-fat dairy foods better for you after all?

* Can this election get stranger? How Gen. James Mattis could become the unlikeliest U.S. president in history. I don’t know anything about Mattis, and doubt that he’s the guy, but I still think sabotaging the Electoral College by running one or more regional candidates in order to throw the election to the House is the only GOP strategy left that has any chance of success.

No matter how you measure it, Bernie Sanders isn’t winning the Democratic primary.

Scientists Unveil New ‘Tree of Life.’

Louis C.K. Has Millions in Debt Thanks to “Horace and Pete.”

Attawapiskat declares state of emergency over spate of suicide attempts.

* The most and least meaningful jobs.

This Is How Long Sex Should Actually Last. Science.

* The finding that launched a thousand sexist jokes: Men May Be Able to Avoid Dementia by Marrying Intelligent Women, Researchers Say.

* “I think that porn has the power to do what Bruce Springsteen can’t”: Porn Site Bans North Carolina Users Due To State’s Anti-LGBT Laws.

No one knows why they remained healthy, Friend said. But DNA from such people could one day provide insight into ways to prevent or treat such catastrophic disorders. “Instead of looking at people with disease, you need to look at people who should have gotten sick,” said Friend.

There’s an insanely well-hidden Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! Easter egg.

How precious is a longtime family dog? As valuable as an heirloom vase or family photographs? A Wisconsin appeals court says no.

* Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others: After 50 years of animal-welfare legislation, rats and mice are still left out in the cold.

A major perk of the job for New York State corrections officers may soon be off the table: The ability to be as brutal as they’d like with prisoners without having to worry about facing any serious consequences.

Last winter two bodies were found in Norway and the Netherlands. They were wearing identical wetsuits. The police in three countries were involved in the case, but never managed to identify them. This is the story of who they were.

Why Hollywood studios are taking a stand against an anti-revenge-porn bill.

* I want to believe: The Warriors Have A 93 Percent Chance Of Hitting 73 Wins.

* Huge, if true: Planet X to really cause mass extinction this month?

* And I know I say this a lot, but sometimes a thing really is ideology at its purest.


Written by gerrycanavan

April 12, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Reading!

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* Some late-breaking academic jobs (in Europe)! Assistant Professor Gender Studies & Postcolonial Studies. Tenure-track vacancy in Anglophone Literature.

* CFP: Call for Papers: Spanish Science Fiction. (couldn’t find a link)

Science Fiction Studies invites contributions to the monographic issue on Spanish SF (guest editors: Sara Martín and Fernando Ángel Moreno). By ‘Spanish SF’ we mean SF novels and short fiction written specifically in Spain, excluding other Spanish-language areas. We are particularly interested in articles dealing with writers Gabriel Bermúdez Castillo, Rafael Marín, Rodolfo Martínez or Javier Negrete and with SF women writers (excluding Elia Barceló). All submissions must be in English and conform to SFS submission policies, which includes a rigorous peer-reviewing process. Abstracts (150-200 words) are due by March 30, complete papers by 1 September (maximum 7000 words). Please, email your proposals to Sara Martín (

There were apparently no answers to these questions.  But the trend is clear. Without restored public funding, the New Normal means the permanent downgrading of all levels of public higher education, and the reversion of top-quality learning and research to small elites.  Unless we restore cut public funding, California will continue to pioneer educational post-democracy.

Are CEOs overpaid? Not compared with college presidents.

* Mount St. Mary’s now in trouble with its accreditor. Good! I can’t see how they can possibly retain accreditation with this leadership still in place.

Emails Show Michigan Aides Worried About Flint’s Water a Year Before Acting. When is someone going to go to jail over this? How the Flint River got so toxic.

* Riffing a bit more on this (“A presidential run by Michael Bloomberg could plunge the country into a constitutional crisis”), it seems to me there’s a real possibility of GOP leaders doing this on purpose, if they think a third-party run can keep both Clinton and Trump under a majority and thereby throw the whole thing to a presumably GOP House. Meanwhile: GOP elites “verging on panic.” Trump and the fake-university fraud. (Even the right-wing National Review, etc!) And then there’s just this morning. But you don’t have to take my word for it…

Jeb: An Elegy!

* Alas, Bernie.

* I don’t remember who said it, but someone on Twitter was remarking just the other day about how well Trump has turned the ignore-facts-trust-only-me ethos of Fox against Fox itself. And behold.

bdjones_2016-Feb-28* In your heart, you know she’s right.

* Meanwhile, on the other side of the cable news swamp: Melissa Harris-Perry Is Probably Not Coming Back to MSNBC. Scratch that “probably.”

Dow Chemical Co. said it agreed to pay $835 million to settle an antitrust case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death reduced its chances of overturning a jury award.

The Great Pennsylvania Government Porn Caper.

* Finland, education, and equality.

Ron visited the Burrow after he had gotten clean. He was dismayed to see how many photos of Hermione his mother kept on the walls. Harry Potter and Your Twenties.

* Truly, the cruelest month: Mississippi Governor Proclaims That April Is Now ‘Confederate Heritage Month.’

* …what is the best strategy for dealing with a body of thought that, on one hand, is riddled with internal contradictions and tensions and yet, on the other, is highly coherent and effective (for example, through the transformation of human subjects into financialized forms of capital)? Should we seek to destabilize neoliberalism by exposing its internal inconsistencies, or reject its market rationalities by embracing forms of sociality and politics that cannot be reduced to economic principles such as price, or perhaps both? These questions are, to some extent, left hanging, and the book leaves one with the feeling that the battle against neoliberalism is being lost, and perhaps even that there is an air of inevitability about where things are heading. This book, then, is at the same time enlightening and disheartening: it provides a brilliant insight into some of the darkest developments of our times while at the same time providing little hope for social and political change of a different kind.

* “The Big Short is, in one sense, about our protagonists’ search for a villain as formidable as the crisis they identify.”

* Parenting corner: Are picky eaters born or made? Given how terrible I was about this when I was a kid, and how relentlessly I’m being handed back every inch of it now, I’ve got to say there’s a genetic component to it, or at least a karmic one.

Shazam for Plants Will Identify Any Plant From a Picture.

Space is the Place: The Architecture of Afrofuturism.

What Life on Minimum Wage Actually Looks Like in 2016.

* This is still the best story.

This Is What Darth Vader’s Theme Would Have Been If He Had Been The Hero

* If you want a vision of the future.

* And it certainly is pretty: Licensing agreement reached on brilliant new blue pigment discovered by happy accident.