Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Steven Chu

Friday Links

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* Mother Jones on “the White House’s private outrage at former Secretary of Energy Steve Chu’s impromptu decision to talk about climate change while visiting an island nation uniquely threatened by it.” How dare he…

* Six women filed a federal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday alleging that Vanderbilt University, a prestigious school in Nashville, has failed to adequately respond to incidences of sexual assault on campus.

Boston Adjuncts Ask: Is There Life After Bentley U.?

Contingency and the Psychic Wage.

Baby Sent to Foster Care for 57 Days Because Parents Are Blind.

* Here come the ACA scammers. Meanwhile, in Obamacare follies: the “administrative fix.” The shorthand explanation for what’s going on here is that everybody — the insurance companies, members of Congress, and Obama — is bullshitting.

There is plenty of violence in the world of hunter-gatherers, though it is hardly illuminated by resorting to statistical comparisons between the mortality rates of a tiny tribal war in Kalimantan and the Battle of the Somme or the Holocaust. This violence, however, is almost entirely a state-effect. It simply cannot be understood historically from 4000 BC forward apart from the appetite of states for trade goods, slaves and precious ores, any more than the contemporary threat to remote indigenous groups can be understood apart from the appetite of capitalism and the modern state for rare minerals, hydroelectric sites, plantation crops and timber on the lands of these peoples. Papua New Guinea is today the scene of a particularly violent race for minerals, aided by states and their militias and, as Stuart Kirsch’s Mining Capitalism shows, its indigenous politics can be understood only in this context. Contemporary hunter-gatherer life can tell us a great deal about the world of states and empires but it can tell us nothing at all about our prehistory. We have virtually no credible evidence about the world until yesterday and, until we do, the only defensible intellectual position is to shut up.

Should your child play football? Poll: 40 Percent Say Tackle Football Should Be Banned Before High School. Former KU fullback Chris Powell sues NCAA over head trauma.

* The Eighth Doctor finally gets his sendoff in a prequel to the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special.

* Malcolm Harris against the unpaid internship for credit. I think there’s still a place for educational internships, but at nothing like the rates we see today, and it should never be used to displace waged workers or make the company money.

* The lives and deaths of hard drives.

* Shocked that Google Books is fair use. College and university administrators, take note!

How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body.

* And I took so long posting this link dump the latest Andy-Kaufman-is-alive hoax has already fallen apart.

Monday Links

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The Ambiguous Utopia of Iain M. Banks.

* Steven Chu waves the white flag on the tar sands. This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal… If only Obama had won!

* Colorado to split into two states over gun control? America has become a bad fan fiction of itself.

* The Constitutional Amnesia of the NSA Snooping Scandal: John Judis remembers the 60s and 70s.

* Leak, Memory.

Grouping Students by Ability Regains Favor in Classroom.

* And Dan Harmon says he won’t retcon season four. Of course, he hasn’t seen it yet…

Going Solar

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Obama will put solar panels on the White House after all. Good for him—but then I’m part of that thin demographic sliver for whom the “Welcome Back Carter” meme is more plus than minus.

Saturday Night Tab Closin’

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* If it’s possible to miss the point of Pale Fire any worse than this, I don’t want to know about it. Via PCEgan.

* I second both Steven Chu’s call to paint our roofs white and Atrios’s call for “Green Recovery” government stimulus to pay people to do this work.

* Learned helplessness watch: Congressional Democrats, obviously feeling the heat from my persistent calls to use reconciliation to get around Republican filibusters, have now taken reconciliation off the table altogether. Idiots.

* At least Elaine Marshall is ahead in Carolina.

* Speaking my language: Dreamlands, one of the temporary exhibits currently at the Pompidou Center in Paris, highlights Kandor-Con from artist Mike Kelley, with these observations:

The comics present a different image of the Kryptonian city on each occasion, and Kelley sees in this a complex allegory, the diversity of representations signifying the instability of memory. The installation Kandor-Con includes architecture students who continuously design new Kandors, feeding them to a Superman fan site. For the artist, the inability of the original draughtsmen, the new designers or the hero’s internet fans to fix the form of Kandor once and for all illustrates “the stupidity and ridiculousness of technological utopianism.” The capital of the planet Krypton, says Kelley, is “the utopian city of the future that never came to be.”

You had me at “Bonjour.”

* I was kidnapped by lesbian pirates from outer space! A comic, via MetaFilter.

* Added to my Netflix queue: Brick City, a documentary about Newark said to be “a real-life version of The Wire.” Also via MeFi.

* And added to my torrent queue: The Yes Men Fix the World (legal!). Via Boing Boing.

Some Obama Grumbling

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* About those unforced errors: NBC says it’s definitely Kagan. Too bad.

* Secretary of Energy Steven Chu confirms literally nothing could ever happen that would make our illustrious leaders rethink the wisdom of offshore drilling. Via Therem in the comments.

* The only thing worse than surrendering preemptively is surrendering immediately after you draw a line in the sand: for no reason I can see, the Obama administration has capitulated to the mindless Miranda-haters on the right.

* Pentagon still building its plan to create a task force devoted to writing a memo that will authorize a team to propose the elimination of don’t ask don’t tell.

* Let’s find one bright spot: Robert Gates has made a major speech promising cuts in defense spending. More here and here. We’ll see.

Chu: Paint Your Roofs White

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Steven Chu has a geo-engineering proposal that won’t backfire horribly.

The thing is, secretary Chu actually understated the potential benefits of global whitewashing. The Lawrence research he refers to (which we wrote about last fall) says that white roofs and pavements could mean a one-time reduction of 44 billion tons of carbon dioxide. That, Art Rosenfeld said, translates to removing all the cars in the world for 18 years.

Of course, that’s the best-case scenario. Most roofs are sloped, not flat. Using “cool colored” paint on sloping roofs—as California will require starting this summer—would lead to a global reduction on the order of 24 billion tons.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 27, 2009 at 6:02 pm

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Gimme Fever

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It’s Tuesday and I’m feeling just a little bit feverish.

* It’s come to this: they’re going to remake Drop Dead Fred. Don’t ask why.

* Oh, the wisdom of markets: Stephen Dunbar demonstrates that Peak Oil has “peaked” by citing the temporary crash in demand due to the financial crisis and speculative recovery technologies as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Crisis averted!

* Meanwhile, the climate is still totally screwed. See also: The 340 residents of Newtok, Alaska will soon be among the first “climate refugees” in the United States. What’s their governor have to say about this?

* Superpoop messes with Texas.

* David Kurtz comes through with your daily dose of swine flu commentary, the first on the rhythm of pandemic and the second on the deep, pervasive rot throughout the global meat industry.

* Science has proved that conservatives don’t get Stephen Colbert.

Additionally, there was no significant difference between the groups in thinking Colbert was funny, but conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements.

Whenever I hear about this sort of thing I’m just shocked. Not only is the parody on The Colbert Report completely unsubtle—it’s so unsubtle I even wouldn’t say it counts as satire—but it’s not as even as if Colbert is trying to fool anyone. If you didn’t get the point just from reading the sidebar during “The Word,” he breaks character, both deliberately and undeliberately, all the freaking time. Multiple times every show. He’s practically holding the audience’s hand.

Let’s hope “more likely” still represents a rather small part of the sample…

Written by gerrycanavan

April 28, 2009 at 3:43 pm