Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Portugal

Exactly the Right Number of Finely Curated, Carefully Selected Links from Around the Time My Computer Crashed Last Week to Around the Time I Got It Back This Week

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* CFP: “TechnoLogics: Power and Resistance.” CFP: Blade Runner 2049 and Philosophy.

* I have an essay in this new open-access book, Materialism and the Critique of Energy: “Peak Oil after Hydrofracking.” It’s a bit of a departure from my usual work but I thought it came out well… Check it out!

* Kim Stanley Robinson makes the left’s case for geoengineering. And from Peter Frase: Geoengineering for the People.

* The Buffy Not-a-Reboot: A Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come.

How author Nnedi Okorafor found her identity.

* Fascinating presentation on the SF writing market. Lots to think about here.

Inside the World of Racist Science Fiction. What can we learn from the utopians of the past?

* Why are there so many staircases in space?

* We were halfway through 2018 when the drugs began to take hold.

* Brexit: That Sinking Feeling. This is what a no-deal Brexit actually looks like.

Reading Your Problematic Fave: David Foster Wallace, feminism and #metoo. And a report from the 2018 David Foster Wallace Conference, partially a profile of my college classmate Ryan Edel.

Most academic books aren’t written to be read—they’re written to be “broken.” That should change.

* How to Prepare a Diversity Statement.

* When you’re the only person in your department.

* When your students (might) record you. A good thread on the subject from Angus Johnson.

* Teaching in a red county after Trump.

* Now he tells us! Mea culpa: there *is* a crisis in the humanities.

* I get it.

We now live in a country where it is seen as abnormal, or even criminal, to allow children to be away from direct adult supervision, even for a second. Motherhood in the Age of Fear.

* Nintendo announces Labo Kit #3.

* Astounding finalist images for Astronomy Photographer of the Year.

How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions.

Where the Super-Rich Go to Buy Their Second Passport.

Time to Take Sexism in Post-Secondary Education Seriously.

* So much of our culture has been shaped by predators.

* Federal judge allows emoluments case against Trump to proceed. Trump’s ‘emoluments’ battle: How a scholar’s search of 200 years of dictionaries helped win a historic ruling.

These Three Immigrant Families Were Just Reunited After Months Apart. Here Are Their Stories. A Migrant Boy Rejoins His Mother, but He’s Not the Same. A 6-Year-Old Girl Was Sexually Abused in an Immigrant-Detention Center. A child has died following her stay at an ICE Detention Center, as a result of possible negligent care and a respiratory illness she contracted from one of the other children. Immigrant Youth Shelters: “If You’re a Predator, It’s a Gold Mine.” Deportations take unique toll on blended American families. Hundreds of separated parents potentially deported. Deleted families. ICE agents pressured parents to be deported with their children — then separated them again when they refused. Suicide in ICE Custody. ‘Like I am trash’: Migrant children reveal stories of detention, separation. ICE snatches 25-year Minnesota resident from his family in harrowing video. A Father and Son Were Finally Reunited. Later that Day, the Government Ripped Them Apart Again. ‘Why Did You Leave Me?’ The Migrant Children Left Behind as Parents Are Deported. They were warned. It’s happening here. Don’t doubt it for a second. The Number Of Parents Who Were Deported Without Their Children Keeps Growing. Separated Parents Were “Totally Unaware” They Had Waived Their Right To Be Reunified With Their Children. Baby took first steps, spoke first words while in US custody: report. Florida Cops Ship 24-Year-Old Mom to ICE After She Paid Traffic Ticket. This Immigrant Returned To Her Dangerous Home Country — Where She’d Been Raped — After Having A Miscarriage In A US Detention Center. A mother and her son turned up for a domestic-violence case. Then ICE arrested them. A Philadelphia immigration judge was removed from a high-profile case and replaced with a judge who would order the man in the case immediately deported, a move that smacks of judicial interference by the Trump administration, according to a letter signed by a group of retired judges this week. From Crib To Court: Trump Administration Summons Immigrant Infants. Activist judges up to their old tricks. ICE Raids in New York. Philadelphia won’t share information with ICE in big win for activists. Pizza Delivery Man Pablo Villavicencio Freed From Immigration Detention. Protests and petitions call on universities to end their contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Swedish student stops deportation of Afghan man with protest streamed on Facebook.

The Trump administration is bullying trans kids, and it’s up to us to stop it. Transgender women say the US government is revoking their passports. Documenting the Trans Generation: Kids, Families and the Fight for Rights.

Q is a massively successful, deranged conspiracy/entertainment brand/game with roots in prior vile conspiracies like Pizza- and Gamergate. And many Trump supporters LOVE it. Flashback: What Is QAnon? The Craziest Theory of the Trump Era, Explained.

* I’m stuck in Guantanamo. The world has forgotten me.

* They still haven’t fixed the water in Flint.

* Scenes from the class war in New York City, NYDN edition.

MSNBC has done 455 Stormy Daniels segments in the last year — but none on U.S. war in Yemen.

Brett Kavanaugh’s Legal Opinions Show He’d Give Donald Trump Unprecedented New Powers. Brett Kavanaugh Thinks Undocumented Workers Aren’t Really Employees Under The Law.

The over-under on the Supreme Court’s liberal minority cohort all continuing to draw breath is about five years.

Imagine being a Democratic senator & actually telling yourself you are “playing the long game” by not doing everything you can to stop a lifetime Supreme Court appointment that will shift the entire American judicial system for the rest of everyone’s lives.

* Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?

* Undaunted Democratic Centrists Ready to Fight Trump and Bernie at Same Time.

The Expressive Function of the Russia Freakout.

* Gasp! Portugal Dared to Cast Aside Austerity. It’s Having a Major Revival.

* Gasp! A New Zealand company that tried 4-day workweeks says people were more creative, more punctual, and more energetic — and they want to keep it going.

* Quiet Skies: Air Marshals are following thousands of random Americans through airports and on planes, for no articulatable purpose.

* Unidentifiable fossils: palaeontological problematica.

* The world’s first trillionaire may be an asteroid miner.

* Science fiction design after cyberpunk.

In all these cases we see a de-saturated view of the world, no longer neon on black, just a pall gray. Gone is the “Coolness” of Cyberpunk, now replaced by the “coolness” of a color palate that ranges from a flat blue to an olive drab with only slightly less than 50 shades of gray in between.

The Architecture of Evil: Dystopian Megacorps in Speculative Fiction Films.

* Sure, 1,000,000% inflation sounds bad.

* Understanding “Kokomo.”

Why ‘Sorry to Bother You’ Is 2018’s Sharpest Political Satire. “Crazy” Anticapitalism.

* The fracking of America.

In 2016, China imported two-thirds of the world’s plastic waste. So when China stopped buying the world’s discarded plastics, it threw markets into turmoil. Meanwhile: The Dirty Truth Is Your Recycling May Actually Go to Landfills.

The Hidden Environmental Cost of Amazon Prime’s Free, Fast Shipping.

The Carr Fire Is Officially One of the 10 Worst Wildfires in California History. California is burning (again). The common thread in California’s wildfires: heat like the state has never seen. If you want a vision of the future. If you want a vision of the future. If you want a vision of the future. How Did the End of the World Become Old News? It’s a big problem.

Climate change is supercharging a hot and dangerous summer. Arctic Circle wildfires rage on as blistering heat takes hold of northern Europe. Crop failure and bankruptcy threaten farmers as drought grips Europe. Scandinavia Is on Fire. In Greece, Wildfires Kill Dozens, Driving Some Into the Sea. Dozens Dead in Japan. Climate change means bigger Arctic spiders — but don’t worry, that could be a good thing.

* I suppose there’s just no one to blame.

Cows, trees, corn, and golf – how America uses its land.

* In America, land votes. More election maps! Emails show Michigan GOP bragged about cramming ‘Dem garbage’ into gerrymandered districts. Why the argument for democracy is now working for socialists rather than against them.

* The Hacking of America.

“Cooking Them to Death”: The Lethal Toll of Hot Prisons.

We’re Living a Constitutional Crisis. And despite this, there’s no way out.

* Libertarianism and white supremacy.

“I’m No Donna Reed”: Postfeminist Rhetoric in Christian At-Home Daughterhood Texts.

It’s hard realizing that you’re the bad guy, because then you have to do something about it. That’s why the most aggressive players on the gory stage of political melodrama act in such bad faith, hanging on to their own sense of persecution, mouthing the plagiarized playbook of an oppression they don’t comprehend because they don’t care to. These people have a way of fumbling through their self-set roles till the bloody final act, but if we can flip the script, we might yet stop the show.

Uber and Lyft Are Overwhelming Urban Streets, and Cities Need to Act Fast. Pave Over the Subway? Cities Face Tough Bets on Driverless Cars. Yes, the scooters are fun, but.

Mortgage, Groupon and card debt: how the bottom half bolsters U.S. economy.

EPA staff worried about toxic chemical exposure — for Pruitt.

NJ governor bought a women’s soccer team to inspire his daughter, but ran it into the ground.

There’s a New Scholarly Take on Mizzou’s Race Crisis, and Its Former Leaders Don’t Fare Well.

A case involving professors at Plymouth State U raises questions about when it’s OK to speak up for colleagues or students accused of sexual misconduct, if ever. In this case, professors defended former student who admitted to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old. The description honestly doesn’t do it justice; these letters of support are completely eye-popping under the circumstances.

* Number of patients suing USC over sex abuse claims tops 300 as faculty push for Nikias’ exit.

* Ex-Trump staffers should not get plum jobs at elite universities.

* Is Elizabeth Warren Running for President?

* How a Swiss Army Knife is made.

* The latest in the stadium scam.

What would motivate a company to give away 52,000 tablet computers for free? Can you crack this case, gumshoe?

* Bet it’s still a bit long.

A new report finds that big companies could have given their workers thousands of dollars’ worth of raises with the money they spent on their own shares. Are Stock Buybacks Starving the Economy?

* Let the computers be the doctors, they said.

* You don’t know me, computer!

* They’re real good at memes though.

* The anarchist roots of writing.

* Today in Sheriff Clarke news.

* Truly the Devil can quote Scripture for his purposes.

She Gave Millions to Artists Without Credit. Until Now.

* The Bayeux Tapestry with knobs on: what do the tapestry’s 93 penises tell us?

Game Studio With No Bosses Pays Everyone The Same.

* WorldCon is crisis (again).

* Twilight of James Gunn.

Conservative Think Tank Says Medicare For All Would Save $2 Trillion.

* Angelo Secchi, the Jesuit father of astrophysics.

* Wariness and wonder at a conference devoted to “Ancient Aliens.”

Conversation is impossible if one side refuses to acknowledge the basic premise that facts are facts. This is why engaging deniers in such an effort means having already lost. And it is why AskHistorians, where I am one of the volunteer moderators, takes a strict stance on Holocaust denial: We ban it immediately.

Locke & Key Has Been Ordered To Series. Flight of the Conchords is coming back. Disney’s Next Heroine Will Be an African Princess. Carrie Fisher Will Appear in Star Wars: Episode IX Via Unused Footage.  Shazam looks 90s-cable-level bad, though maybe I’ve just been persuaded that the character is irredeemable. In the First Trailer for Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, the U.S.S. Enterprise Boldly Arrives. And they’re making a Parable of the Sower graphic adaptation.

Inside J.R.R. Tolkien’s Notebooks, a Glimpse of the Master Philologist at Work.

* Uneven, but finding its voice: @moviegoofs.

* A People’s History of the Greatest Music Video of All Time, Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough.

The Grim Conclusions of the Largest-Ever Study of Fake News.

* A reporter went undercover as a Facebook moderator and was trained not to delete certain racist memes and images of child abuse.

* When factchecking backfires.

* History in an Age of Fake News.

* When a stranger decides to destroy your life.

* Orwell knew.

We must not just ask what a contemporary slave rebellion would look like—we must be on its side.

* A biological intelligence, a machine intelligence, and a god intelligence walk into a bar. Ethics and the self-driving car. Heaven. Can I interest you in a happy ending? From hell’s heart I stab at thee.

* And you may ask yourself.

We’ll probably never know what really makes people happy.

Every Circle In This Image Is The Same Color And It’s Breaking Our Brains.

* Mr. Rogers was my actual neighbor. He was everything he was on TV and more.

* Behold, the thagomizer.

Dungeons & Dragons is having its best year ever, Hasbro CEO says.

* Great thread about New York City’s grid layout, with a great punchline.

Did… did a cat write this?

* The new astrology.

* And the guy who slated classic Star Trek takes was unfazed by the whole thing. It’s a living…

Written by gerrycanavan

August 1, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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What Day Is It? Links

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* Jaimee’s book was reviewed in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel last week. We spent the weekend in DC for her book launch and reading at the Folger, which was amazing. She just absolutely killed it. Buy her book! And come to her reading in Milwaukee next week…

Part of the issue is an image problem around the impact of humanities research on the wider world. The public should know about Priscilla Wald, an English professor at Duke University, whose explanation of the “outbreak narrative” of contagion is changing the way scientists think about the spread of infectious diseases. Yeah they should! Humanities research is groundbreaking, life-changing… and ignored.

* “The Time Traveller,” a story in tweets by Alberto Chimal.

* “Nuclear War” Turns 50: A Fun Game about Human Extinction.

Slave labor either physically built the modern American university or was the wealth vehicle that conditioned its making.

* Professorial anger, then and now. A bit more here.

Every NYT Higher-Ed Thinkpiece Ever Written. How to write an essay about teaching that will not be published in the NYTChronicle, IHE, or anywhere else.

* Bousquet against alt-ac.

* The semipublic intellectual.

* What happens when you fiddle with just one knob on the infernal machine: rich people get richer.

* Billionaires and superstorms.

* Nice work if you can get it.

* Meanwhile.

Are Public Universities Going to Disappear?

* The care work of the (mostly female) academic: “I estimate that someone cries in my office at least once every three weeks.”

* Playboy‘s science fiction.

* An incredibly rare Tolkien-annotated map of Middle-Earth was just discovered in a used bookstore.

* Highly irregular: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be considered the eighth book in the Harry Potter series.

In a final speech to the synod, Pope Francis endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for President of the United States, while taking some clear swipes at conservatives who hold up church doctrine above all else, and use it to cast judgment on others.

What Happens if a Former CEO Actually Goes to Prison?

Cop Attacks High School Student In Her Classroom.

The Hoverboard Scene In Back To The Future 2 Nearly Killed A Stuntwoman. Amazing story.

* Look, I’m not made of stone.

* A Google Tour Through The Underground: How to Read a Russian Novel Set in the Moscow Metro.

* NLRB Returns to Grad Student Unions.

* Bring on the climate trials: ICN has demonstrated that as early as the late 1970s, Exxon scientists were briefing top executives that climate change was real, dangerous, and caused by their product. By the early 1980s, their own climate models were predicting—with great accuracy—the track the global temperature has taken ever since. Meanwhile.

* David Mitchell on A Wizard of Earthsea.

* College sports: still the worst.

A statue of Vladimir Lenin in the Ukrainian city of Odessa has been given a sci-fi twist – by being transformed into Darth Vader.

* Portugal has apparently smartly baked the potential for coups in its official constitutional order.

Emolument took data from both the US and UK and found that while science grads get a bit of a headstart straight out of university in terms of pay, in later life it’s people with humanities degrees who tend to get bigger pay cheques.

* How to Make a Virtuoso Violinist: One mother’s devastating study of 100 musical prodigies.

A DEA Agent Who Helped Take Down Silk Road Is Going to Prison for Unbelievable Corruption.

The Ecological Uncanny: On the “Southern Reach” Trilogy.

* Boondoggle watch: The City of Milwaukee has been awarded a $14.2 million federal grant for construction of a spur connecting the streetcar with the lakefront.

* “Many Colleges’ New Emergency Plan: Try to Account for Every Possibility.” Well, that’ll work.

Should a Cal State Fullerton math professor be forced to have his students use $180 textbook, written by his boss? Why is Cal State letting the math department chair require his own book?

The Man Behind the Dragon Tattoo: Former Internationalen editor Håkan Blomqvist on the socialist politics of his colleague Stieg Larsson.

“They didn’t hire me, they hired me minus 35 pounds,” Fisher recently quipped.

* The arc of history is long, but Subway will finally pay for calling an eleven-inch sandwich a “footlong.” Next up: they shouldn’t be allowed to call that bread.

* Miracles and wonders: Landmark Huntington’s trial starts.

* Star Wars but with philosophers.

* “Blood alcohol concentration predicts utilitarian responses in moral dilemmas.”

* Sesame Street will introduce an autistic muppet.

* I hate it when Yglesias is right, but sometimes he’s right: Democrats are in denial. Their party is actually in deep trouble. Down-ballot the Obama years have been a complete disaster in ways no one in the party seems ready or able to face.

Wesleyan University’s student assembly is considering substantial cuts to the student newspaper’s budget, in a move that is surely *completely unrelated* to a truly stupid recent uproar when the paper published an unpopular op-ed. The paper is soliciting donations to stay alive.

* My brilliant colleague C.J. Hribal on his old house.

* The secret linguistic life of girls.

* Talkin’ Trash with Brian Thill and Pinar Yoldas.

Police “disappeared” more than 7,000 people at an off-the-books interrogation warehouse in Chicago, nearly twice as many detentions as previously disclosed, the Guardian can now reveal.

* A literary history of whales.

The Deadly Legacy of HIV Truthers.

Things Men In Literature Have Died From.

Exploring ‘Cartozia Tales,’ The Crowdfunded Fantasy Anthology for Readers of All Ages.

* Nabokov v. Kafka on drawing the monster.

* “Gentlemen, I just don’t belong here”: throwing shade the Le Guin way.

* Guys, we are definitely living inside a simulation. And possibly just a few years away from either crashing it or figuring out how to hack it.

* And teach the controversy: Luke Skywalker, Sith Lord. I really think this is just an effective viral marketing ploy, but I’ll concede I’m starting to have my doubts.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 27, 2015 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links!

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* Call for applications: 2014—15 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship.

* So Paul Di Filippo really liked Green Planets.

* Receive this petition in nomination of three candidates for MLA Executive Council and one for 2nd Vice President.

* Explaining Tuition Hikes at the University of Michigan. Construction Not Instruction: Bonds and Buildings at the Public University. 5 Links Between Higher Education and the Prison Industry.

And this is the pattern with austerity. The measures introduced under the rubric of an emergency, the supposed need to consolidate debt and appease “the market,” ultimately do little for the debt, and only consolidate the market’s tyrannical reach.

* On trigger warnings and who gets to count.

Journey to the Centre of Google Earth.

* I was born too early.

The Lion King: A short history of Disney-fascism.

But the emotional trauma that Disney tries its damnedest to induce in young children is only the spadework for the ugly principles it feels it must implant in each new generation. Although the film takes place in an imaginary jungle, THE LION KING really expounds the Law of the Schoolyard: only the strong and the beautiful triumph, and the powerless survive only by serving the strong. As Disney sees it, children must not only acknowledge the supremacy of those born privileged and violent, the children must love them. The young must gaze in hushed veneration at the princely predators who stand ready to harvest the labor and flesh of their subjects. They must learn to giggle at the hopeless scampering of weak and stubby creatures as they dodge the jaws of their overlords. They must accept that true friendship means flattering those who would otherwise feast on their entrails.

DaysOver95-MJ* Climate denialism and the Outer Banks. These time-lapse maps show how much hotter the USA will be when you’re old.

Why Did Borges Hate Soccer?

Was the U.S. Robbed Against Portugal? It Depends on What Time Means.

* You got your class-based analysis in my intersectionality NO you got your intersectionality in my class-based analysis

* Another exciting week of Good SCOTUS, Bad SCOTUS.

* Kunkel reviews Piketty. The circle is complete.

* Title Now Everybody Sue Everybody: expulsion and sexual assault at IHE.

Democrats are the worst, Daily Show edition.

Hillary Clinton 2016 and the Folly of the Left-Flank Push.

If you or any other speculator on my body and rights, wish to know how I regard my rights, they need but come here and lay their hands on me to enslave me. Did you think to terrify me by presenting the alternative to give my money to you, or give my body to Slavery? Then let me say to you, that I meet the proposition with unutterable scorn and contempt.

* The Star Wars museum is coming to Chicago.

* Konczal v. student debt.

* Obamaism v. teacher tenure.

* People aren’t worried about robots, they’re worried about who owns the robots.

* A New Bike Lane That Could Save Lives and Make Cycling More Popular.

*  “You express amazement at my statement that ‘civilized’ men try to justify their looting, butchering and plundering by claiming that these things are done in the interests of art, progress and culture. That this simple statement of fact should cause surprise, amazes me in return.”

* What could go wrong? Missouri School Districts Start Training Teachers To Carry Concealed Weapons In Classroom.

Former College Basketball Player Sues NCAA Over Concussions.

* ‘Think They Got Killed?’ 1964, L.B.J. and Three Civil Rights Icons.

* When Rambo was going to fight werewolves.

* In praise of Janelle Monáe.

* On phone horror.

* Another Fermi Paradox post.

* Here comes Pacific Rim 2. Plus a cartoon! But we still live in a vale of tears.

* Humanity Surprised It Still Hasn’t Figured Out Better Alternative To Letting Power-Hungry Assholes Decide Everything.

​The 20 Most WTF Magical Items in Dungeons & Dragons.

* Free at last: Oakland to decriminalize pinball.

* Kill Bill as an 8-bit video game.

* Episode 7 is already ruined.

* But the kids are all right.

Happy Birthday Connor Links!

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My son is being born today, so the posting will probably be sporadic even by summer standards. Sorry! And hooray!

* FindingEstella from @amplify285 is an awesome Octavia Butler Archives Tumblr.

* NASA: ‘Our plan is to colonize Mars.’ Well, then, let’s go!

* Alt-Ac as Symptom and Cure.

* Breaking: The Constitution is a shell game.

* Why Physicists Are Saying Consciousness Is A State Of Matter, Like a Solid, A Liquid Or A Gas.

* This fantasy has survived the 1980s, of course, even as the action genre that spawned RoboCop has faded. Meanwhile, the market fundamentalism and “tough-on-crime” rhetoric that the film makes fun of, still relatively novel in 1987, have today become normalized. The idea of redemptive violence—mass incarceration, a heavily armed police force—is now so deeply embedded in our political culture that we may no longer be able to see it well enough to mock it. RoboCop is thus both more dated and more current than ever. Its critical edge comes from a pessimistic vision of the future that is getting closer all the time.

If social and labor movements are to break out of this cycle, it will have to mean an actual break to the left of the Democratic Party. Or not?

charlie-brown-lucy-football

* Politics in Times of Anxiety.

* The Common Core leaves intact the longstanding ethos of American public education: what’s good for capital is good for the student.

* Is soccer finally becoming a mainstream TV sport in America? These charts say yes.

* Bazillionaires! They’re just like us!

* Drone crews told investigators their respective crashed planes had been “possessed” and plagued by “demons.

* Sherlock Holmes is officially out of copyright. Start your slashes!

* The end of the NCAA.

* Podcast of the week: Rachel and Miles x-Plain the X-Men.

* Danger Close: The Iraq War in American Fiction. Almost certainly a factor in the prevalence of Iraq War stories being (1) science fictional (2) set in narrative situations that recast us as the victims of our own invasion.

* US v. Portugal: It was the worst. See you Thursday.

* And Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has your improved Turing Test.

Links from the Week

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* I definitely picked the wrong week to stay off the Internet: SCOTUS plays the best and biggest game of “Is Health Care Reform Constitutional” of all time. It is! “The decision was 4-1-4.” Why Did Roberts Do It? How and Why Did Justice Roberts Do It? The right goes bonkers, claims Roberts is mentally ill. Did Roberts change his vote at the last minute? Did he? Did he? The long, sad twilight of Anthony Kennedy. Antonin Scalia, ranting old man. Did Scalia Scare Off Roberts? Ilya Shapiro: We Won Everything but the Case. And Ginsberg kills it. Ruth Bader Ginsberg, hero. More (oh, so much more) from SCOTUSblog.

Should we be surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the individual mandate and most of the Affordable Care Act? From the perspective of constitutional doctrine, the Supreme Court’s decision follows from 75 years of unbroken precedents.

* The Arizona SB-1070 decision was kind of a big deal, too.

* The important questions: Two-Thirds of Americans Think Barack Obama Is Better Suited to Handle an Alien Invasion Than Mitt Romney.

* The important questions: Did Nick Fury break the law when he refused to nuke New York?

* Jimmy Carter: The United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights. Abandoning? Champion? Human rights? Let’s start over.

* Wes Anderson Explains How to Make a Wes Anderson Film.

* The National Labor Relations Board announced Friday that it will reconsider a 2004 ruling by the board that took away the right of graduate students at private universities to unionize.

* College students are facing a roughly $20 billion increase in the cost of their federal loans, despite a much-heralded deal in Washington to contain the expense of higher education.

Starting Sunday, students hoping to earn the graduate degrees that have become mandatory for many white-collar jobs will become responsible for paying the interest on their federal loans while they are in school and immediately after they graduate. That means they’ll have to pay an extra $18 billion out of pocket over the next decade.

Meanwhile, the government will no longer cover the interest on undergraduate loans during the six months after students finish school. That’s expected to cost them more than $2 billion.

* Ten Years After Decriminalization, Drug Abuse Down by Half in Portugal. Chicago decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana.

* Watch out: here comes the Big Rip.

* How Many LEGOs Would It Take to Build Your House? Kiss goodbye to your productivity: Google just brought 8 trillion LEGO blocks to Chrome.

*  Jesus wept: “We believe the current teaching of a multicultural curriculum is divisive,” the platform says, adding that it supports teaching “common American identity and loyalty instead of political correctness that nurtures alienation among racial and ethnic groups.” In Arizona, where Republicans banned multicultural programs, students in those programs actually out-performed their peers. Texas Republicans also believe “controversial theories” such evolution and climate change — which aren’t controversial at all — “should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced.” There’s more: the GOP also opposes the teaching of “critical thinking skills” because they “focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

* When Roddenberry met Asimov.

* How 100-million year old geology affects modern presidential elections.

* And Smithsonian Magazine says it’s time to get your ass to Mars.

Lazy Saturday Night

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J-Day Miscellany

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* Big happy birthday to two of history’s greatest heroes: my wife and Stan Lee.

* I think I want to take back all the nasty things I’ve ever said about Eliza Dushku’s acting. She’s doing a really good thing here.

* Larry Niven and the Green Lantern Bible.

Drugs in Portugal are still illegal. But here’s what Portugal did: It changed the law so that users are sent to counseling and sometimes treatment instead of criminal courts and prison. The switch from drugs as a criminal issue to a public health one was aimed at preventing users from going underground.

* A particular type of ancient rock art in Western Australia maintains its vivid colours because it is alive, researchers have found.

* MetaFilter on how to live forever.

* Also: a megapost on science fiction sensation Ted Chiang. Move over, Philip K. Dick: twelve stories in twenty years is a pace I think I can match.

* And Daily Kos has up-to-the-minute details on the dumbest shit yet.