Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘stem cells

At Long Last: Links!

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* CFP: Paradoxa 31: Climate Fiction. CFP: Technologies of Feminist Speculative Fiction. CFP: Fantasy and Myth in the Anthropocene. CFP: Radical Perspectives on Horror Cinema. CFP: New Perspectives on Contemporary German Science Fiction. CFP: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. CFP: The David Foster Wallace Society Annual Meeting. CFP: Poverty and Literature.

* Twentieth Century/Contemporary literature and culture (permanent, full-time) @ Warwick’s Dept. of English & Comparative Literary Studies.

Applications for The Roddenberry Fellowship are now open. $50,000 will be awarded to up to 20 Fellows in the areas of civil rights, immigration, environmental protection, LGBTQIA & women’s rights. Are you or someone you know a future Fellow?

University of Pittsburgh Acquires Romero Collection, To Found Horror Studies Center.

What Milwaukee Can Teach the Democrats about Socialism.

* A Union Fight at Marquette University. Spadework. Letter from a Graduate Instructor: Why We Need a Union @ Marquette University.

* Microsyllabus: Critical University Studies.

What Really Happened at Stanford University Press: An Insider’s Account.

Ex-Players Sue UCLA, Coaches, NCAA For Injuries, Abuse.

Enrollment Shortfalls Spread to More Colleges.

* Want to save the humanities? Make college free.

The Humanities Without Nostalgia.

The Party of Utopia: A Report from the 43rd Annual Society for Utopian Studies Conference.

As the Hungarian prime minister systematically undermined his own country’s education system, one institution stood defiant: a university in the heart of Budapest, founded by George Soros.

This Is What It Sounds Like Hiding In A Dark Classroom During A School Shooting.

* It’s 2059, and the Rich Kids Are Still Winning. And speaking of which: read Ted’s new book! Really!

* Profiles of young Americans who entered voluntary exile rather than paying their student loans.

* What’s Scarier Than Student Loans? Welcome to the World of Subprime Children.

* It is here that Afrofuturism offers not just significant thought and art but praxis in the development of black posthumanism – or better, exhumanism. Ditto with the call to enact innovative forms of cooperation: we need to think of who is joining whose cooperative, and for what purposes beyond liberal tenets of equality or socialist tenets of economic equity. I want to point out that the infiltration of Afrofuturism into the popular unconscious by way of black popular music, remix culture and science fiction marks but one of the sociopolitical forces of its versatile imaginary, yet perhaps its most potent: it seeds Afrofutures that destabilize the unthought aspects of whose future is at stake. When Afrofuturism, even as an “aesthetic,” enters popular discourse, its black speculative futures and revisionist histories tend to question whose worlding of the world “we” are speaking of – whose social movements, whose politics, whose “we”?

* History is a dystopia.

* A folk hero for our time.

* How golf explains Donald Trump.

The deaths of multiple Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees were preventable, according to internal agency documents obtained by The Young Turks. One ICE official told TYT the problem is “systemic.” She Stopped to Help Migrants on a Texas Highway. Moments Later, She Was Arrested. “I can tell which migrant children will become gang members by looking into their eyes.” What doctors found US officials have done to caged kids. DHS watchdog finds 900 people at border facility with maximum capacity for 125. Pretty grim.

The Deported Americans: More than 600,000 U.S.-born children of undocumented parents live in Mexico. What happens when you return to a country you’ve never known?

A review of the Facebook accounts of thousands of officers around the US — the largest database of its kind — found officers endorsing violence against Muslims, women, and criminal defendants.

‘So much land under so much water’: extreme flooding is drowning parts of the midwest. Extreme Heat Wave Forces South Carolina Bridge to Close for Several Hours. Levees Won’t Save Louisiana from a Climate “Existential Crisis.” Record-Breaking Heat in Alaska Wreaks Havoc on Communities and Ecosystems. This Town Didn’t Want to Be a Radioactive Waste Dump. The Government Is Giving Them No Choice. Flooding leaves Houston area students stranded at school. The U.S. put nuclear waste under a dome on a Pacific island. Now it’s cracking open. This map shows millions of acres of lost Amazon rainforest. Los Angeles Fire Season Is Beginning Again. And It Will Never End. What remains of Paradise. Jay Inslee promised serious climate policy and he is delivering. Ireland becomes second country to declare climate emergency. Why Carbon Credits For Forest Preservation May Be Worse Than Nothing. Humanity must save insects to save ourselves, leading scientist warns. 2050 or bust. No Happy Ending.

* Studies in the Novel 50.1: The Rising Tide of Climate Change Fiction.

* We may be witnessing the first stirrings of a climate movement that’s big enough to tackle the coming disaster — and radical enough to name the system responsible for it.

* What Would It Mean to Deeply Accept That We’re in Planetary Crisis?

* Of course you had me at hello: The Radical Plan to Save the Planet by Working Less.

One Year Off, Every Seven Years.

After 4 Years Of Not Throwing Away His Trash This Photographer Created A Powerful Photo Series.

* Why Are Americans Ignoring the Most Important Movie of Their Times, China’s The Wandering Earth?

* The average lifetime of a civilization is 336 years.

A Green New Deal Needs to Fight US Militarism.

Stalling on Climate Change Action May Cost Investors Over $1 Trillion.

After Standing Rock, protesting pipelines can get you a decade in prison and $100K in fines.

Almost 80% of the working incinerators in the United States are located in low-income communities and/or communities of color, exposing millions of already vulnerable people to pollutants.

* The end of the Grand Canyon.

* Koalas declared functionally extinct.

* Necessity defense.

The other side of climate grief is climate fury.

* Freedom gas.

* Party’s over.

* Dystopias now.

* America’s Cities Are Unlivable. Blame Wealthy Liberals.

* America’s educational system is an ‘aristocracy posing as a meritocracy.’

* Hell is a YouTube algorithm.

* Americans with diabetes are forming caravans to buy Canadian insulin at 90% off. How the U.S. health-care system puts people with diabetes in danger.

* American kids are 70 percent more likely to die before adulthood than kids in other rich countries.

* Angry Birds and the End of Privacy.

* I’d Have These Extremely Graphic Dreams’: What It’s Like To Work On Ultra-Violent Games Like Mortal Kombat 11.

5G networks could throw weather forecasting into chaos.

* Boeing Built Deadly Assumptions Into 737 Max, Blind to a Late Design Change.

Amazon’s Size Is Becoming a Problem—for Amazon. Cofounder of Facebook calls for breakup of Facebook. Facebook auto-generates videos celebrating extremist images. Worry About Facebook. Rip Your Hair Out in Screaming Terror About Fox News.

* Of course it’s even worse than all that.

* ‘I Did My Best to Stop American Foreign Policy’: Bernie Sanders on the 1980s.

* The kids won’t save us. Teenage Pricks: Trumpism’s Boy Power.

* Post-Earth capitalism.

The Birth-Tissue Profiteers.

The $3.5 billion shaving industry is secretive and litigious — and disrupting itself silly.

* Parents who raise children as vegans should be prosecuted, say Belgian doctors.

* Uber rang in its IPO with champagne and mimosas. Then the hangover began. The Ride-Hail Strike Got Just Enough Attention to Terrify Uber. Lyft’s First Results After I.P.O. Show $1.14 Billion Quarterly Loss. How Corporate Delusions of Automation Fuel the Cruelty of Uber and Lyft. Uber, Lyft account for two-thirds of traffic increase in SF over six years, study shows.

This Bird Went Extinct and Then Evolved Into Existence Again.

Weird science: Jeanette Winterson talks writing, teaching and queer visions of the future.

* There is no depression gene. Decades of early research on the genetics of depression were built on nonexistent foundations. How did that happen?

* NASA Accidentally Destroys NYC in Attempt to Save Denver.

No One Is Prepared for Hagfish Slime.

* Buffoonery, or laying the groundwork for heads-we-win-tails-you-lose impeachment proceedings? Or both? Probably both.

* Who wins from public debate? Liars, bullies and trolls.

My Cousin Was My Hero. Until the Day He Tried to Kill Me.

* Twenty-five years later, The Bell Curve’s analysis of race and intelligence refuses to die. Reckoning with its legacy may help redirect the conversation in urgently needed ways.

* David Foster Wallace’s journalism is, in many ways, inaccurate. But he’s hardly the only venerated journalist to have made stuff up.

* What I’m saying here is that the Georgia law is NOT an overturn of “Roe v. Wade.” We’re not headed back to pre-“Roe” days. We’re headed for something much worse.

Countervailing powers: the forgotten economic idea Democrats need to rediscover. Democrats need a power agenda, not just a policy agenda.

How A Black Psychiatrist Shaped ‘Sesame Street’ Into A Tool To Fight Against Racism. “Sesame Street” was a radical experiment in challenging institutional racism.

* What Would Happen to Earth If the Avengers Undid Thanos’ Snap?

* In perhaps the richest city in the richest country in human history. And again.

* The average millennial has an average net worth of $8,000. That’s far less than previous generations.

Suicide rates in girls are rising, study finds, especially in those age 10 to 14. For the past two decades, a suicide epidemic fueled by guns, poverty and isolation has swept across the West, with middle-aged men dying in record numbers. Over the past year, a spate of suicides has revealed a financial crisis in New York’s cab industry. Officials have blamed Uber, but much of the crisis can be traced to a handful of taxi tycoons. As Suicides Rise, Insurers Find Ways to Deny Mental Health Coverage.

Life, Liberty, and Advanced Placement for All.

* Susan Sontag was true author of ex-husband’s book, biography claims.

* Autoreply. Real college. Revenge. Love. Winning. Nausea. Brains. Aliens. Vegetarianism. The real climate change was the friends we made along the way.

* Of course I’d want $150,000. Please go away — I’m reading! There’s only one rule I know of. It could work.

* Some people just want to watch the world burn.

* Nice work if you can get it.

* Alternate history, 500 levels in.

The Martian Base in the Gobi Desert.

Freeing Britney Spears.

* We asked 15 experts, “What do we do now that will be considered unthinkable in 50 years?” Here’s what they told us.

* The Net Libram of Random Magical Effects version 2.00.

* Here follows my ongoing thread of Game of Thrones characters as Dril tweets.”

* Physicists Discover Our Universe Is Fictional Setting Of Cop Show Called ‘Hard Case.’

* Take the red pill, and find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.

* Trump’s hasty plan to get Americans back on the moon by 2024, explained.

* And okay FINE I’ll get excited about all these UFO reports.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 4, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Every Possible Monday Link

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8 Quick Thoughts on the Emmett Rensin Suspension. 21st Century Blacklists in New York.

* The second issue of the MOSF Journal of Science Fiction.

* Huge, if true: Ongoing Weakness in the Academic Job Market for Humanities.

Fig1_JobAds

The university-as-such is a criminal neoliberal and neocolonial institution. It cannot be reformed. It must be abolished and reinvented.

* 13 Ways of Looking at the Humanities.

* Apparent murder of a professor follows a day of terror on campus and reflects a kind of violence that is rare but feared. Hundreds gather to honor slain UCLA professor. Police Say UCLA Shooter Mainak Sarkar Also Killed Woman in Minnesota.

* Decolonizing Yale English.

Brigham Young professor told not to give fake urine to his students to drink.

When universities try to behave like businesses, education suffers.

* Nobody knows how to torpedo their own brand like a university outreach office.

Looks Like We Were Wrong About the Origin of Dogs.

* Who Gives Money to Bernie Sanders? Understanding Sanders voters. Bernie Sanders Has Already Won California.

“I don’t think anybody had figured out how to win when we got in,” said senior strategist Tad Devine. “It was ‘How do we become credible?’ ”

* Interesting trial ballon: Reid reviews scenarios for filling Senate seat if Warren is VP pick.

* Miracles and wonders: Stanford researchers ‘stunned’ by stem cell experiment that helped stroke patient walk.

Here Is The Powerful Letter The Stanford Victim Read Aloud To Her Attacker. The Stanford Rapist’s Father Offers An Impossibly Offensive Defense Of His Son.

* Report: Milwaukee conducted deceitful water testing for lead. Chicago residents take action to be rid of lead pipes as fear of toxic water grows.

These findings are very preliminary, but they support a decades-old (and unfortunately named) idea called the hygiene hypothesis. In order to develop properly, the hypothesis holds — to avoid the hyper-reactive tendencies that underlie autoimmune and allergic disease — the immune system needs a certain type of stimulation early in life. It needs an education.

* Genes Are Overrated.

SFMOMA Visitor Trips, Falls Into $82 Million Warhol Painting.

* Being Peter Thiel.

This Is How Elon Musk Wants Government to Work on Mars. Elon Musk believes we are probably characters in some advanced civilization’s video game.

What’s the Matter with San Francisco: How Silicon Valley’s Ideology Has Ruined a Great City.

* The Case Against America.

In the scope of the scheming, corruption, and illegality from this interim government, Temer’s law-breaking is not the most severe offense. But it potently symbolizes the anti-democratic scam that Brazilian elites have attempted to perpetrate. In the name of corruption, they have removed the country’s democratically elected leader and replaced her with someone who — though not legally barred from being installed — is now barred for eight years from running for the office he wants to occupy.

Claypool: Without State Funding Chicago Public Schools Won’t Open in Fall. Total system failure.

UC paid billions in fees to hedge funds that only mirrored stock market. Kean U. Broke Law in Purchasing $250,000 Table, State Office Says.

* Jay Edidin on how to be a guy.

* The case for abandoning Miami.

* Huge, if true: Game of Thrones’ Dany/Dothraki storyline doesn’t make any sense. Is Dany the villain? But the real villain is the one you never see coming: Game Of Thrones Season Seven May Be Seven Episodes Long.

Call for Contributors: Fan Phenomena: Game of Thrones.

The media have reached a turning point in covering Donald Trump. He may not survive it. Why Trump Was Inevitable. Why Donald Trump Is Flailing. Why Trump Will Lose. Donald Trump Does Not Have a Campaign. Why Trump Is Losing. Clinton’s case.

The Amazing Origins of the Trump University Scam. State attorneys general who dropped Trump University fraud inquiries subsequently got Trump donations.

Donald Trump rallies are only going to get more dangerous for everyone.

* Alas, Babylon: David French won’t run.

* Steph Curry and the Future of Basketball.

* The Amazing Story of Rio’s All-Refugee Olympic Team.

* The CW Century.

* In Praise of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

* In a panic, they try to pull the plug: A bug in Elite Dangerous caused the game’s AI to create super weapons and start to hunt down the game’s players. It’s hard not to think Skynet won’t view this as a provocation.

* “Researchers Confirm Link Between High Test Scores In Adolescence And Adult Accomplishments.”

* Legal trolling: One of the Leaders of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement Has Been Charged With Lynching.

A Goldsboro, North Carolina woman bought her neighbor’s used freezer for $30, not realizing it contained frozen parts of the seller’s dead mother.

Also unbelievable is that someone would purchase a used, $30 freezer without opening it first.

* No one wants year-round schooling. The Families That Can’t Afford Summer.

* Department of Precrime, Chicago edition.

Sometimes only minutes after the gunshots end, a computer system takes a victim’s name and displays any arrests and gang ties — as well as whether the victim has a rating on the department’s list of people most likely to shoot someone or be shot.

Police officials say most shootings involve a relatively small group of people with the worst ratings on the list. The police and social service workers have been going to some of their homes to warn that the authorities are watching them and offer job training and educational assistance as a way out of gangs.

Of the 64 people shot over the weekend, 50 of them, or 78 percent, are included on the department’s list. At least seven of the people shot over the weekend have been shot before.

For one man, only 23 years old, it is his third time being shot.

The surprisingly petty things that people shot each over last month.

* Power and the typo.

* The Chinese government and science fiction.

Star Trek reboots and the merchandising game.

Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Race: Time-travel narratives and bygone bigotry in “11.22.63” and ‘Back to the Future.’

Uber and the sub-prime auto business.

* What’s it like to work construction on a skyscraper?

* Liberate late sleepers.

* Louis on Maron convinced me to finally buy Horace and Pete. The Julia Louis-Dreyfus half of the episode is great too.

* Well, this seems questionable at best: Catholic Church spent $2M on major N.Y. lobbying firms to block child-sex law reform.

* Now we see the violence inherent in the system.

* Science finally proves I was right all along: it’s better to be right than happy.

* Rich people, y’all.

* A Shakespearean Map of the US.

* Tornado Town, USA.

* The Weird Not-Quite-Afterlife of Harry Potter.

* In praise of the punctuation mark I abuse more than any other: the dash.

Every Californian Novel Ever.

* Suits getting started on ruining Story of Your Life early.

* And RIP, Ali. Being Ali’s personal magician. Watching Rocky II with Muhammad Ali.

Shakespearean_Map

Written by gerrycanavan

June 6, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links! Seriously a Lot!

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Like C.P. Snow’s two cultures of the humanities and the sciences, a new bimodal view of higher education is becoming increasingly important at the start of the twenty-first century: one that sees the goal of universities as developing “the whole person” and another that sees it as largely or even exclusively in terms of job training. The Two Cultures of Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century and Their Impact on Academic Freedom.

* Academic search season watch: How To Tailor a Job Letter (Without Flattering, Pandering, or Begging).

* Episode 21 of Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men (with Kurt Busiek) is a great look at how Marvel’s sausage is made. Give it a listen if you’re a fan of the comics…

* Communism for Children.

* Time for the Libya mea culpas.

* TNI Syllabus: Gaming and Feminism.

* Tainted by its misogyny and embrace of consumption as a way of life, gamer culture isn’t worth saving.

What Happened To Jennifer Lawrence Was Sexual Assault.

* The Police Tool That Pervs Use to Steal Nude Pics From Apple’s iCloud.

* Steve Shaviro: Twenty-Two Theses on Nature.

* Even the Department of Education thinks their rating system will be a mess.

* How the University Drinks.

* Yale’s tax exempt New Haven property worth $2.5 billion.

Thirty-two teens escaped from a Nashville youth detention center by crawling under a weak spot in a fence late Monday, and nine of them were still on the run Tuesday, a spokesman said.

* Change Of Habit: How Seattle Cops Fought An Addiction To Locking Up Drug Users.

* Three Myths About Police Body Cams.

* Jeff Mizanskey Is Serving Life in Prison for Marijuana.

Scientists Find ‘Alarming’ Amount Of Arsenic In Groundwater Near Texas Fracking Sites.

* Can journalistic ethics include nonhuman perspectives?

* Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female.

All The Game Of Thrones Fan Theories You Absolutely Need To Know.

* NIH finally makes good with Henrietta Lacks’ family.

Twenty Days of Harassment and Racism as an American Apparel Employee.

Durham Public Schools dumps Teach for America.

* The Four-Year-Old’s Workday.

Texas School Won’t Let Native American Attend His First Day Of Kindergarten Because Of His Long Hair.

* Rape culture and Title IX at the University of Kansas.

“Duke University seeks a talented, engaged student body that embodies the wide range of human experience; we believe that the diversity of our students makes our community stronger. If you’d like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you’ve had to help us understand you better — perhaps related to a community you belong to, your sexual orientation or gender identity, or your family or cultural background — we encourage you to do so. Real people are reading your application, and we want to do our best to understand and appreciate the real people applying to Duke.”

Students at the Barricades.

* Twitter has an algorithm that assigns gender to its users.

* Why top tech CEOs want employees with liberal arts degrees.

* In Virginia, thousands of day-care providers receive no oversight. After a child’s death, parents grapple with second guesses.

Unlike most other states, Wisconsin does not recognize prisoners’ good behavior with credits toward accelerated release.  Wisconsin had such a “good time” program for well over a century, but eliminated it as part of the policy changes in the 1980s and 1990s that collectively left the state unusually — perhaps even uniquely — inflexible in its terms of imprisonment. Why No “Good Time” in Wisconsin?

* Now we see the violence inherent in the system: Meet The Guy Who Spent Seven Months Killing Everyone In Fallout 3.

* When Disney forbade Stan Lee’s original cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy. When they cut Hawkeye’s bit from Captain America 2.

* Rule of law watch: The Dumb Line In New York’s Constitution That Could Elect A Governor Most Of The State Doesn’t Want.

* For the geeks: How Randall “xkcd” Munroe wrote What If?

* Time Travel Simulation Resolves “Grandfather Paradox.” Bah! We need to go back in time and prevent this simulation from ever being devised!

* The arc of history is long, but: HBO has commissioned some sort of new Flight Of The Conchords show.

The Most Compelling Athlete In America Right Now Is Here To Play Chess.

* And just because it’s gerrycanavan.wordpress.com: Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we’re nearing collapse.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 3, 2014 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Night!

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* Biocapital vs. cultural capital: Proceeds from The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks are going to a foundation dedicated to helping Lacks’ family, which has received none of the biotechnology profits derived from the HeLa stem cell line.

Reading ACA tea leaves at the Supreme Court. I think Scott mostly has this right; overturning the mandate would be an incorrect decision, I think, but a relatively inconsequential one; overturning ACA altogether would be radicalism on the level of Bush v. Gore, if not worse. I just don’t think Kennedy will do it.

* Nemesis watch: Questions for James Franco.

* Gynomite! has an interesting post about the dreams Emily experienced while she was in a medically induced coma several years ago.

* And Vizzini, socialist.

Some More Links

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* Smart presidents making stupid arguments:

For instance, the FDA has long considered saccharin, the artificial sweetener, safe for people to consume. Yet for years, the EPA made companies treat saccharin like other dangerous chemicals. Well, if it goes in your coffee, it is not hazardous waste.

They call it poison. We call it life.

* From the don’t-know-if-this-is-crazy-or-awesome file: Though stem cell therapies are still in the early stages of development, some families are having their children’s baby teeth extracted and saved in anticipation of treatments that could be around by the time the child reaches adulthood, the Miami Herald reports.

* When Left-Wing Editors Fight Unions.

* When Famous Directors Lose Their Minds.

* Being Roger Ailes.

* Bomb Planted Along MLK Day Parade Route In Spokane.

* David Simon v. Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III. Discussion at MeFi.

* Last Stand 4 Children is devoted to providing all children with a quality education in spite of their teachers. See also: Billionaires for Educational Reform. (Via @mrtalbot.)

* Almost none of these “literal New Yorker cartoons” are actually “literal,” though a few are amusing nonetheless.

* Uplifting Duke/Durham story of the day: The Secret Game.

The North Carolina College Eagles were coming off their most successful season ever at that time. McLendon had just led his team to a 26-1 season. Aubrey Stanley, Henry (Big Dog) Thomas, Floyd (Cootie) Brown and James (Boogie-Woogie) Hardy were the stars on a team that ran McLendon’s fast break with great discipline.

That team was not eligible for participation in the National Invitational Tournament or the NCAA tournaments simply because they were African-Americans, but many — including the Hall of Famer McLendon — felt like the Eagles could’ve beaten anyone.

Meanwhile, Burgess and others regularly attended meetings at the local Y in Durham, as students from both sides of the tracks met secretly to discuss ways to overcome racism in the local area. During one of those meetings, the conversation turned to basketball and a bold challenge was issued: What about a secret game between the Eagles and the Duke Medical School team?

* And your couch is trying to kill you. Don’t let it!

Monday Night

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* Adjunct faculty have unionized at Central Michigan University.

* A federal judge has suspended federal funding for all stem cell research. Let’s just burn our scientists at the stake and get it over with.

* Nothing says “superpower” like when your public schools can’t afford toilet paper.

* Philadelphia wants you to pay your blog tax.

* And Postmodern Barney catches Superman boxing an angel. It ends just about exactly as you’d expect.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 23, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Wednesday Night!

with 2 comments

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, but more regular (and, we might hope, somewhat more thoughtful) posting will resume soon.

* My hometown in the news! Randolph Man Indicted For Shooting His Pet Parrot.

* “Supergenes” in pill form will help you live to 100. Take it to the bank.

* Donna Edwards and John Conyers are proposing an amendment to the Constitution in response to Citizens United: the Free Speech for People Amendment. There’s more at Firedoglike.

* Real rules for time travelers.

* To scientists, however, Henrietta Lacks almost immediately became known simply as HeLa (pronounced hee-lah), from the first two letters of her first and last names. Cells from Mrs. Lacks’s cancerous cervix, taken without her knowledge, were the first to grow in culture, becoming “immortal” and changing the face of modern medicine. There are, Ms. Skloot writes, “trillions more of her cells growing in laboratories now than there ever were in her body.” Laid end to end, the world’s HeLa cells would today wrap around the earth three times. All about Henrietta Lacks. More here and here.

* And I sincerely hope, whatever our differences, we can all agree that Watchmen 2, in any form, is a terrible no good very bad idea.