Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘SimCity

Another Day of Extreme Cold, Another Link Post

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* CFP: ASLE co-sponsored roundtable at MLA 2020: Indigenizing the Future: (Re)Imagining the Future of the Environment. Jan. 9-12 2020 Seattle, WA. Deadline March 1.

* CFP: The State of the Single-Author Study (also MLA 2020, deadline March 15). As Sean Guynes-Vishniac noted hopefully an SF studies scholar will participate as this has been a major site of research in recent years, largely due to the Modern Masters of Science Fiction series.

* #freelance #altac

* Just for the record: Polar vortex: what is it and how is it linked to climate change?

* A free book of science fiction from around the world about climate change, introduced by Kim Stanley Robinson.

Greta Thunberg: Act As If Our House Is on Fire. Because It Is.

* Kamala Harris picked a fight with the wrong fandom.

Sanders’s bill, the “For the 99.8% Act,” would tax the estates of the 0.2 percent of Americans who inherit more than $3.5 million, while the rest of the country “would not see their taxes go up by one penny under this plan,” according to aides to the Vermont senator, who is considering a 2020 presidential bid.

Democrats Must Reach Out to Moderates in 2020 — By Waging a Vicious Class War.

* Socialism for Realists.

* How a frustrated blogger made expanding Social Security a reasonable idea.

* Joshua Tree national park ‘may take 300 years to recover’ from shutdown. And another shutdown is just a few short weeks away!

Modern Weather Forecasts Are Stunningly Accurate.

How much better? “A modern five-day forecast is as accurate as a one-day forecast was in 1980,” says a new paper, published last week in the journal Science. “Useful forecasts now reach nine to 10 days into the future.”

* Cop watch: This Is What Truancy Laws Do. Feds used fake Michigan university in immigration sting. ICE force-feeding detainees on hunger strike. An asylum seeker’s quest to get her toddler back.

OxyContin Maker Explored Expansion Into “Attractive” Anti-Addiction Market.

* Once you have your sensitivity raised about a particular condition, you see the abuses they suffer everywhere. Florida School Staffers Charged With Using Dark Room, Whistle to Torment Autistic Kids.

* You can report the news in a way that doesn’t inform anyone.

* Bipartisan agreement that Donald Trump is God’s chosen instrument for destroying the United States.

* No helmets, no problem: how the Dutch created a casual biking culture.

* What happened when Oslo decided to make its downtown basically car-free?

* I basically pitched this story in Graz, talking about the difference between Aquaman and Namor: Namor, ecoterrorist.

The Beginning of the End of Capitalist Realism.

* Today in the liberal media’s endless drumbeat for war.

* 1984.

* It looks like I’ve accidentally made a terrific financial decision.

“We find that LEGO investments outperform large stocks, bonds, gold and other alternative investments, yielding the average return of at least 11% (8% in real terms) in the sample period 1987-2015,” write the authors of a study titled LEGO – The Toy of Smart Investors. “Small and huge sets, as well as seasonal, architectural and movie-based sets, deliver higher returns. LEGO returns are not exposed to market, value, momentum and volatility risk factors, but have an almost unit exposure to the size factor. A positive multifactor alpha of 4-5%, a Sharpe ratio of 0.4, a positive return skewness and a low exposure to standard risk factors make the LEGO toy an attractive alternative investment with a good diversification potential.”

* The contemporary fascination with women who were tabloid media spectacles in the 1990s has turned at last to Lorena Bobbitt.

* What You Should Know Before You Start Watching Porn.

* Scenes from the Anthropocene.

* And just in time for teaching SimCity later this semester: Behind one of the most iconic computer games of all time is a theory of how cities die—one that has proven dangerously influential.

Spring Break Is Over and All Our Accomplishments Turn to Ash Links

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* The best news: Jaimee’s book has won the Anthony Hecht Prize at Waywiser Press.

* Median Salaries of Tenured and Tenure-Track Professors at 4-Year Colleges, 2014-15.

Russian Witch Baba Yaga’s Guide To Feminism.

* Get ready for Margaret Atwood’s next.

Kim Stanley Robinson Says Colonizing Mars Won’t Be As Easy As He Thought. But it’s not all bad news: Suddenly, It Seems, Water Is Everywhere in Solar System.

Time, Space, and Memory at Whitney Plantation.

* Twitter and tenure.

* They found Cervantes’s tomb.

* Black Mirror IRL.

2050_Map_Megaregions2008-thumb-474x316-3663* The megaregions of America.

The Concussion Crisis Reaches a New Level.

Choctaws helped starving Irish in 1847.

* Ian Bogost: Video Games Are Better Without Characters.

But in 2014, the financial year that appears to have been the final straw for Sweet Briar, total operating revenues were $34.8 million and total operating expenditures were $35.4 million, which means that the deficit the school is running is actually smaller than the cost of any of the bad deals it’s gotten itself into with banks.

The United Arab Emirates, where New York University opened a new campus last year, has barred an N.Y.U. professor from traveling to the monarchy after his criticism of the exploitation of migrant construction workers there.

* If one arbitrary, designed-by-committee college ranking system is good, two must be…

“Capitalism posits a future of endless innovation in products and production processes, but no possible change in the social relations that move them.”

What is Star Trek’s vision of politics?

The Uncensored, Epic, Never-Told Story Behind ‘Mad Men.’

* The Secret History of the Hardy Boys.

A household name to black audiences yet completely unknown to white audiences, Gary Owen, a blond, blue-eyed stand-up from Ohio, has a career wholly unlike that of any comedian before him.

Almost seven years ago, a troubled 11-year-old girl reported that she had been raped — twice — in her Northwest Washington neighborhood. Despite medical evidence of sexual assault, records show that no suspects were arrested and the cases were given only sporadic attention by the police . Instead, in the second case, the police had the girl, Danielle Hicks-Best, charged with filing a false report.

People who lose their jobs are less willing to trust others for up to a decade after being laid-off, according to new research from The University of Manchester.

 * Docs Perform First Successful Penis Transplant.

Bruce Springsteen’s Reading List: 28 Favorite Books That Shaped His Mind and Music.

The Disturbing Puzzle Game That Nobody Can Solve.

What would happen if an 800-kiloton nuclear warhead detonated above midtown Manhattan?

The two Wisconsin tween girls accused of stabbing a friend 19 times and leaving her in a park—because they believed doing so would protect their families from the mythical internet horror known as Slender Man—will be tried as adults for first-degree attempted homicide, a judge ruled Friday. 

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has been on a mission to weed out purported voter fraud in the state since he took office in 2011. After launching an investigation into what he called an “expanding loophole” allowing non-citizens to vote in Ohio and potentially decide elections, he announced Thursday that 145 non-citizens were registered to vote illegally in 2014, amounting to just .0002 percent of the 7.7 million registered voters in the state.

* Nihilism watch, Washington Post edition.

How to Build a $400 Billion F-35 that Doesn’t Fly.

* What happened to UNC?

This is the best version of Star Wars — and watching it is a crime.

Before Star Wars: Rogue One Takes Off, a History of the X-Wing Series.

* What could possibly go wrong? In South Africa, Ranchers Are Breeding Mutant Animals to Be Hunted. Have to say I’m really pulling for the mutant animals here.

And now comes another, increasingly prevalent way to show appreciation for those who’ve served in the military: exempting them from taxes. Would you like to know more?

Guess Who’s Editing the Wiki Pages of Police Brutality Victims.

California has about one year of water left.

* “Yahoo seems down for just about anything,” Harmon said. “I don’t know why they’d turn their nose up to a movie about a low-rated show. They seem to be very naive.” 

* That gum you like may actually not be coming back into style.

* How did they manage to screw up Powers?

Four years after Fukushima, just one man lives in the exclusion zone – to look after the animals.

* And in a time without heroes, there was Florida Man.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 17, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links!

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But at least one line in the tax form gives pause: The college lost roughly $4-million in investment income compared with the previous year, for unknown reasons. That year the college posted a deficit of $3-million, compared with a $325,000 deficit the previous year. I certainly hope someone follows up on that little oddity.

* Of course, it’s not entirely insane: How Larry Summers lost Harvard $1.8 billion.

* Academia and the Advance of African Science Fiction.

* SimCity, homelessness, and utopia.

It seems we all now live in a Magnasanti whose governing algorithm is to capture all work and play and turn them not only into commodities but also into data, and to subordinate all praxis to the rule of exchange. Any data that undermines the premise that this can go on and on for 50,000 years, has to be turned into non-data. If there’s work and play to be done, then, it’s inside the gamespace that is now the world. Is there a way that this gamespace could be the material with which to build another one?

* Parenting and the Profession: Don’t Expect Much When You’re Expecting.

Higher Education and the Promise of Insurgent Public Memory.

While the post-9/11 attacks have taken an even more dangerous turn, higher education is still a site of intense struggle, but it is fair to say the right wing is winning. The success of the financial elite in waging this war can be measured not only by the rise in the stranglehold of neoliberal policies over higher education, the increasing corporatization of the university, the evisceration of full-time, tenured jobs for faculty, the dumbing down of the curriculum, the view of students as customers, and the growing influence of the military-industrial-academic complex in the service of the financial elite, but also in the erasing of public memory. Memory is no longer insurgent; that is, it has been erased as a critical educational and political optic for moral witnessing, testimony and civic courage. On the contrary, it is either being cleansed or erased by the new apologists for the status quo who urge people to love the United States, which means giving up any sense of counter memory, interrogation of dominant narratives or retrieval of lost histories of struggle.

* Precarious / Stability.

158 Private Colleges Fail Government’s Financial-Responsibility Test.

* Down to zero in Arizona.

* The gangsters of Ferguson. But even this is still not “proof!”

The Ferguson PD is NOT medieval. It’s modern white supremacy.

Judge who invented Ferguson’s debtor’s prisons owes $170K in tax.

* It’s Not Just the Drug War: Progressive narratives about what’s driving mass incarceration don’t quite add up.

Sotomayor May Have Saved Obamacare.

A video poker machine dealt Justin Curzi a strange hand. Now he’s calling the Oregon Lottery’s bluff.

* Designing The Grand Budapest Hotel with Marquette alum Adam Stockhausen.

Why Is Milwaukee So Bad For Black People?

* “Rahm Emanuel pays the price for not pandering.” Why should the poor man be voted out of office just because his policies are horror-shows that no one likes?

* A corrupt politician from New Jersey? What will they think of next?

* Wow: Ringling Bros. Circus Will Stop Using Elephants By 2018.

* Life imitates Breaking Bad.

Cities Are Quietly Reviving A Jim Crow-Era Trick To Suppress Latino Votes.

Hartford, CT says friends can’t room together unless some of them are servants.

This Is What It’s Like To Go To Prison For Trolling.

* Brianna Wu vs. the Troll Army.

* Short film of the weekend: “Chronemics.”

* Gasp! Science proves men tend to be more narcissistic than women.

The Time That Charles Babbage Tried To Summon The Devil.

Mary Cain Is Growing Up Fast.

Wellesley Will Admit Transgender Applicants. Planet Fitness Under Fire For Supporting Trans Woman, Kicking Out Transphobic Member. Students seeking to redesignate restrooms as “all gender” face harassment and police detention at UC Berkeley. US Army eases ban on transgender soldiers.

* The headline reads, “Decades of human waste have made Mount Everest a ‘fecal time bomb.’”

Colonization: Venus better than Mars?

* On Iain M. Banks and the Video Game that Inspired Excession: Civilization.

* Get it together, Millennials! “Millennials like to spank their kids just as much as their parents did.”

The Catholic Church Opposes the Death Penalty. Why Don’t White Catholics?

What’s Next After “Right to Work”?

* David Graeber talks about his latest book, The Utopia of Rules.

* The Pigeon King and the Ponzi Scheme That Shook Canada.

Conservative columnist can’t mourn Nimoy’s death because Spock reminds him of Obama. Is there nothing Obama can’t destroy?

* 9 Social Panics That Gripped America.

How Unsafe Was Hillary Clinton’s Secret Staff Email System?

* To whatever extent Doctor Who series 8 was a bit rocky, it seems like it’s Jenna Coleman’s fault.

* Making teaching a miserable profession has had a completely unexpected effect.

Why Are Liberals Resigned to Low Wages? What could explain it?

Is Yik Yak The New Weapon Against Campus Rape Culture?

* Tilt-shift effect applied to Van Gogh paintings.

* They say we as a society are no longer capable of great things.

* And the kids are all right.

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 7, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Can It Be? More Wednesday Links?

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Humanities-Job-Ads* …as long as critics and publishers frame African literature as always on the cusp, it will continue to be an emerging literature whose emergence is infinitely deferred. It will remain utopian, just out of reach.

* Also from Aaron Bady: ‘House of Cards’ Should Stop Trying to Be ‘The West Wing.’

* Never tell me the odds.

How To Lower Univ. of Illinois Tuition (and it can work at other universities too).

* The Corinthian 15.

Columbia Graduate Students Push for a Labor Union.

* The Loser Edit That Awaits Us All.

How One University Unexpectedly Found Itself Ranked Among the ‘25 Most Dangerous Colleges.’ This is pretty horrifying, even before you get to my intuition that this is all prelude to an extortion scheme.

* Teaching evaluations: still bad! Don’t use them!

Legendary, lost civilization discovered in Honduras rainforest 1,000 years later.

* Brian Williams has finally found the women responsible for his mistakes.

Iran Worried U.S. Might Be Building 8,500th Nuclear Weapon.

* My name is Ozymandias, Sim of Sims — look upon my work, ye Maxis, and despair.

Remember the Maryland parents who let their two kids walk home from a park alone and then had to deal with police and child protective services? They heard from the state today. The couple was found responsible for “unsubstantiated” child neglect, a confusing charge that resolved nothing and left the couple possibly more nervous and paranoid than ever.

Pharrell Made Only $2,700 In Songwriter Royalties From 43 Million Plays Of ‘Happy’ On Pandora. Disruptatational! Innovasmagoric!

* Daddy, what do you want me to be when I grow up?

* And from the too-good-to-check file: Profile of Hulk, a 175-pound pit bull.

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MLK Day Links!

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freahwater2* Do you have a Hugo nomination ballot? John Scalzi’s Author/Editor/Artist/Fan Awareness Page may be of use to you. You’ll note from the last comment that Green Planets is in fact eligible for a “Best Related Work” Hugo…

* What, To the Black American, Is Martin Luther King Jr. Day?

* The Evolution of Dr. King.

What Taking My Daughter to a Comic Book Store Taught Me.

* The question is, can we afford not to send our basketball team on a $800,000 trip to the Bahamas, in these troubled times?

* There’s always money in the banana stand.

The state Board of Regents for Higher Education approved $761,181 in merit raises for presidents, vice presidents and top administrators in the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities, but not without questions raised on the wisdom of doing so in tough budget times.

* Four Ways Human Beings Are Endangering Life on Earth.

* “Marine Le Pen is president of the Front National party in France.” Wow, The New York Times.

Is ‘SimCity’ Homelessness a Bug or a Feature?

“I have Community College and a University, plenty of police coverage, yet I still have a city with homeless ALL OVER….. so what the fix for this or do I just not worry about it?” asks a player on Simtropolis.

The bizarre ESP experiments conducted on aboriginal children without parental consent.

Mike Ditka: I Wouldn’t Want My Child To Play Football.

* Another BitCoin processor turns out to be a scam.

* Behind the scenes at TfL’s lost property office.

* Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found.

* The end of Apple.

Even while it leaps forward with features in its operating systems, Apple has a huge installed base it drags with it. And even if, for instance, iTunes has been a terrible mishmash for a decade, the fact that it continues to be one with a major new release in 2015 is beyond the pale: Apple should be learning, not starting over and re-inventing when it comes to stability and experience.

* 14th Dalai Lama announces he is also the 2nd Karl Marx.

An Internet of Treacherous Things.

Arkansas officer fired after learning police dept. allows sex acts with prostitutes before busting them.

* Old-School The Legend of Zelda art from Nintendo Power.

* Louie‘s Paula Adlon is getting an FX series.

The theme-park chain where children pretend to be adults.

* And Everyone Has Imposter Syndrome, Except For You.

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Happy Halloween Links!

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* China Miéville: Marxism and Halloween. “Halloween, for a rigorous socialist, is worth defending.”

* A new issue of Science Fiction Film and Television has come out, a special issue on SF anime. This is the last one before I became an editor, but read it anyway!

* Submission guidelines for Hidden Youth: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. A really interesting document of the new fandom.

* How much is revenge worth? The Life Aquatic: A Stanley Kubrick Film.

* William Gibson: The Future Will View Us “As a Joke.”

* SimCity isn’t a sandbox. Its rules reflect the neoliberal common sense of today’s urban planning.

* This Is What Happens When You Criticize Teach for America.

* How My Employer Put the “FML” in FMLA.

“Do you know about Jian?”

* Vowing to break “one of the only remaining public monopolies,” Gov. Cuomo on Monday said he’ll push for a new round of teacher evaluation standards if re-elected. Democrats! Catch the fever!

* Cops shows and the denial of death.

“My whole life has been affected by a fight that I was in when I was 14,” she says. “It’s not something that you can take back and not something that was premeditated, and I still have to deal with the consequences every day.” Racist policing of African-American kids in Minneapolis.

The implicit idea here is that our professional and financial growth depends on our spiritual merit, not on the presence or absence of social structures and biases. Spiritual meritocracy.

* Ebola and quarantine. The Grim Future if Ebola Goes Global.

* Hidden secrets of the MIT Science Fiction Society.

* Civility is truly an intricate riddle, friends.

* Mitch Hurwitz is so hurt that you didn’t like Arrested Development Season 4 that he’s going to waste his time reediting the whole thing his chronologically.

* If this catches on my daughter could be in some serious legal trouble: Court orders man to stop pretending to fall over.

* Hobby Lobby redux: Inmate Sues Prison Claiming His Religious Liberty Entitles Him To Dress Like A Pirate.

Report: Piece of Amelia Earhart’s Plane Found on Island Where She Died.

* Non-Violence In Gaming.

Incredibly, nearly half of North Americans say they’ve succumbed to mate poaching attempts at some point. One estimate suggests that 63% of men and 54% of women are in their current long-term relationships because their current partner stole them from a previous partner. I can’t work out the math on this but including the relationships that ended after a partner was “stolen” from a previous partner you’re dealing with an overwhelming supermajority of relationships beginning with cheating/”poaching.” That just doesn’t seem plausible to me on its face.

* Meanwhile, the film industry seems pretty worried that a man could fall in love with a computer.

Michael Showalter is developing a sci-fi comedy for FX. A dark, gritty reboot of The Bearded Men of Space Station 11 or I walk.

* Paying an exorbitant monthly fee to feel like you have friends can get expensive, and the New York Times is on it.

* So you want to troll an academic.

* Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

* Disney Princesses with realistic waistlines.

* Now we see the violence inherent in academia.

* Rest in peace, Galway Kinnell. A favorite:

She is leading her old father into the future
as far as they can go, and she is walking
him back into her childhood, where she stood
in bare feet on the toes of his shoes
and they foxtrotted on this same rug.
I watch them closely: she could be teaching him
the last steps that one day she may teach me.
At this moment, he glints and shines,
as if it will be only a small dislocation
for him to pass from this paradise into the next.

* And your SF short story of the day: “How to Get Back to the Forest.”

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Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Links Mori

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So Many Sunday Night Links

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* In 1988 the Los Angeles Times predicted we’d have robots by now.

Most low-income students who have top test scores and grades do not even apply to the nation’s best colleges, according to a new analysis of every high school student who took the SAT in a recent year. But what’s the story on the headline? “Better Colleges Failing to Lure Talented Poor.”

* The struggle of adjuncts against Obamacare.

* Meanwhile, China is spending $250 billion a year on education.

Here’s a wild fact. At a Women in Science edit-a-thon at the Smithsonian led by Stierch, new articles about women scientists were nominated for deletion even as they were being posted.

Bruno Latour wins the 2013 Holberg Prize.

* What else could the British government spend £100 billion on, if not nuclear weapons?

Half of people shot by police are mentally ill, investigation finds.

On Saturday, March 9, New York City police officers shot and killed 16-year-old Kimani Gray in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. After those seven bullets hit him, he lay on the ground and cried out, “Please don’t let me die.”

* Right to Lawyer Can Be Empty Promise for Poor.

A Brief History of How We Lost the Commons.

* Graft and graffiti abatement.

Facebook finally admits to tracking non-users.

Welcome to a world where Google knows exactly what sort of porn you all like, and more about your interests than your spouse does. Welcome to a world where your cell phone company knows exactly where you are all the time. Welcome to the end of private conversations, because increasingly your conversations are conducted by e-mail, text, or social networking sites. And welcome to a world where all of this, and everything else that you do or is done on a computer, is saved, correlated, studied, passed around from company to company without your knowledge or consent; and where the government accesses it at will without a warrant. Welcome to the Internet without privacy.

* Search engines and the law.

“Yours truly, The Colored People of Concordia Parish.”

Nearly five decades later, the Justice Department has written back — not directly to the family of Mr. Morris or to the black community of Concordia Parish, but to dozens of other families who lost loved ones during this country’s tumultuous and violent civil rights era.

Several years ago, the F.B.I. began reopening cold cases from that era — 112 at last count — raising hopes among some for justice. In all but about 20, though, the families of the long dead have received letters, often hand-delivered by F.B.I. agents, that say their cases have been closed, there is nothing more to be done — and please accept our condolences.

2 Ohio football players found guilty of rape, to be jailed at least 1 year; case roiled town. CNN Reports On The ‘Promising Future’ of the Steubenville Rapists, Who Are ‘Very Good Students.’ Same story at Raw Story. Reactions from all the worst people in the universe. What Steubenville’s Rape Trial Reminds Us About Consent.

* Why is the European Central Bank trying to cause a depression? I mean really. I mean really.

“We have found that our friend, the Republican nominee, our California friend, has been playing on the outskirts with our enemies and our friends both, he has been doing it through rather subterranean sources. Mrs Chennault is warning the South Vietnamese not to get pulled into this Johnson move.”

Famous Seattle Ceramicist Exposed as Holocaust Denier. Wow.

User-Renters in SimCity.

* The headline reads, “3,000 More Dead Pigs Won’t Make the Huangpu River Any Worse.”

* I’ve seen it a few times now, but I can’t believe any headline reads “Winnie Mandela Shocked at Possible Murder Charge.”

* Catholicism without Popes? The Pope Is Not the Church. Pope Francis sets casual style. Is Pope Francis a fraud?

The Smartest Guy in the Room.

* And just because Marquette’s a three seed: March Madness raw seedings, before the bracket. And the bracket itself.

Thursday Night Links

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* This may shock you, but Thomas Friedman loves MOOCs. An Ad Hominem Attack Against Thomas Friedman. MOOCs R Us. MOOCs or BOOKs?

* Public higher education is about to cross a historic threshold, in which students pay a higher percentage than do states of the operating costs of colleges.

Mother who stole son’s education gets 12 years in prison.

* Two bad tastes that taste good together: Rand Paul filibusters drones.

* Apocalypse now: The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the air jumped dramatically in 2012, making it very unlikely that global warming can be limited to another 2 degrees as many global leaders have hoped, new federal figures show.

Planning for the Post-Income Economy. Fracking is starting to devour the US economy.

Elephant Poaching Pushes Species To Brink Of Extinction.

* The case for open borders.

The entrapment defense rarely succeeds, both in terrorism cases and more quotidian (usually drug-related) prosecutions, largely because “entrapment” means something very different in a courtroom than it does in ordinary usage. For nearly a century, the federal courts have allowed a criminal defendant to dodge criminal liability by showing that the governmentinduced her to commit an unlawful act. Once the accused makes such a showing, however, the government still has the opportunity to prove that she was predisposed to commit the crime, even before government agents entered the picture. If a jury accepts the government’s characterization, other factors—the nature or size of the “bait,” the complexity of the government artifice, or the independent wherewithal of the defendant to commit the crime—basically don’t matter: the defendant is still guilty. This means that when entrapment is at issue, the personality, reputation, criminal history, and political or religious beliefs of the accused become the centerpiece of the trial. Post-9/11 juries have had little trouble concluding that the disaffected Muslims (and occasional anarchists) ensnared by the FBI have been sufficiently “predisposed” to engage in terrorism.

* On writing fan fiction.

Recovering Lolita. My students have been pouring over this collection of Lolita book covers thanks to @sselisker.

* #slatepitches: What SimCity Teaches Us About Real Cities of the Future.

Ephemeral third ring of radiation makes appearance around Earth. If we lived in a comic book, I bet this story would be fifteen times as awesome.

Detailed Floor Plan Drawings of Popular TV and Film Homes.

See Stephen Colbert school James Franco on Tolkien mythology.

* A first look at The Grand Budapest Hotel.

FBI Investigating Drone Near Miss with Jet at JFK.

* TPM’s papal contenders cheatsheet.

* Smile Time: Community is doing an all-puppet episode, with actual puppets.

First Trailer for Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing.

Consequences of Repeated Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption in Football Players.

* And the latest issue of The New Inquiry posits time is the fire in which we burn.

Unexpected Boxing Day Links!

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My baby’s selfish decision to start vomiting ruined my plans to finally see The Hobbit. So instead I’ll clear some tabs:

* If you want a vision of the future, imagine me and @adamkotsko arguing about revenge in Tarantino, forever.

* The End of the Community College English Profession.

* Jeopardy! is running its online contestant search again.

* Meritocracy watch, from the archives: In both data sets, Krueger and Dale, like other researchers, find that students who attended more selective colleges tend to earn higher salaries later on than those who attend less selective colleges. However, the researchers not only looked at the schools that students attended but also where they were accepted and rejected. They found that where a student applies is a more powerful predictor of future earnings success than where he or she attends.

The Heat, The Avengers, and the peculiar American love of the overdog.

Surreal Illustrations for Fairy Tales that Don’t Exist Yet.

* Eminem, master of Donkey Kong.

* Wikipedia’s timeline of the far future.

* Thomas Frank blames academia for Occupy’s failures. Now the lead editorial of the next Jacobin is devoted to denouncing Frank.

* A report from NRO’s annual cruise.

FBI Considered It’s A Wonderful Life Communist Propaganda. Don’t ever change, you lovable scamps!

12 Obvious Science Findings of 2012.

Could a captive tornado power an entire city? What could possibly go wrong?

STUDY: Antarctica Is Heating Up Even Faster Than Previously Thought.

Pulp Scifi Under Japanese Totalitarianism.

* And a few days late: Santa’s privacy policy.

Friday Afternoonage

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* Obama Administration on a roll this week, with announcements on new hospital guidelines for gay and lesbian partnerships and an SEC suit against Goldman Sachs for civil fraud.

The GOP claims to have the votes in the Senate to block financial reform. The Democrats really should have done this last summer when they had 60.

* Wealth, income, and power in America. 15 Mind-Blowing Facts About Wealth And Inequality In America.

* What unites tea partiers? Watching Glenn Beck.

* Limbaugh lies again about unions and the Massey coal mine disaster. O’Reilly lies about Fox’s misreporting on health care.

* Just what’s going on with all that volcanic ash over Iceland? More here.

On the trustworthiness of beards.

* Beating SimCity 3000.

* And Bruce in Durham! On 9th Street even.