Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘swine flu

Courageous Underdogs Fighting a Corrupt Elite Engaged in a Conspiracy to Suppress the Truth or Foist a Malicious Lie on Ordinary People

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Other Links

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Other links.

* Inevitable endpoint of historical trends: Administrators in the Undergraduate Studies (US) office [at UC Davis] have asked if freshmen seminar instructors would voluntarily opt out of their quarterly stipend for teaching the one-to-two-unit courses for freshmen.

* The Italian magazine Wired has your map of the future.

* Bootleg DVD covers.

* Dick Armey: “The largest empirical problem we have in health care today is too many people are too overinsured.” Of course! That’s the problem.

* Someone really didn’t think this one through.

* How American politics works, part 1: [The Boxer] bill will be a dead letter. Already there’s an undercurrent of anxiety in Washington that a bill can never pass as long as it’s associated with an unpopular lady senator who runs one of the body’s most liberal committees. The Senate isn’t like the House. There is no party discipline among Democrats; in fact, Democratic senators are fond of explicitly disclaiming party discipline. It’s a chamber full of large, jostling egos and not a little old-boy sexism. They’re not about to let a combative liberal woman run the show.

* How American politics works, part 2: What not to spend your empire’s money on.

* Who is running for president in 2012? Only the new mayor of Manchester, N.H., knows for sure. Matt Yglesias has your chart showing no Republican can win in 2012, while Hendrik Hertzberg has something you can’t get in your fancy East Coast universities: his gut.

* And Pandagon considers Betty Draper.

Mysteries of the Swine Flu

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm

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Saturday!

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Saturday!

* Early ratings for the Dollhouse premiere are not exactly promising. (What genius thought Brothers would be a good lead-in?) AICN points out that Friday ratings were down across the board, and it’s not down much from last year’s finale—but it certainly doesn’t reflect hoped-for DVD buzz, either. The episode itself was pretty well put-together, though writing Amy Acker out due to her unavailability kills possibly the single best thing about the show. (No advancement on the 2019 thread, either, though apparently a sequence with Felicia Day was filmed and cut.) Let’s hope Happy Town fails quick.

* Also re: Dollhouse: Alyssa Rosenberg interviews Joss.

Whedon: The world will expand. Oh holy boy will the world expand. And then, unless our ratings tick up a bit, it will very suddenly contract.

* All 156 Twilight Zone episodes in 9 minutes and 59 seconds. More TZ links at MetaFilter surrounding the Rod Serling Conference in Binghamton, which I wish I could have gone to.

* Polling the GOP landslide: the gubernatorial races in both NJ and VA have narrowed to the margin of error, while GOP polling continues to seek its bottom.

* Climate researchers now predict the planet will warm by 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century even if the world’s leaders fulfill their most ambitious climate pledges, a much faster and broader scale of change than forecast just two years ago, according to a report released Thursday by the United Nations Environment Program.

* The sad death of an uninsured twenty-three-year-old Ohio woman from H1N1 has become bound up with the fight for health care reform.

* Jackson Pollack, egomaniac.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 26, 2009 at 5:03 pm

‘Duke Readies for the Flu’

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‘Duke Readies for the Flu.’ Given their long history of successful flu management I have nothing but confidence.

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August 6, 2009 at 11:36 pm

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No Happy Campers

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As many of you have probably already heard through Duke email alerts or anguished Facebook status updates, they’re shutting down Hogwarts a week early because of the swine flu. My instructional work now suddenly ends tomorrow, with a few days of absolute residential chaos scheduled to follow.

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July 22, 2009 at 11:24 pm

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Tuesday Miscellany

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Tuesday Miscellany.

* Sarah Palin’s controversial proposal to create a “Department of Law” with the power to block ethics claims against the president is turning a lot of heads this morning.

* I really want to read 1Q84.

* Swine flu: now more popular than Viagra.

* Steve Zissou: scientist.

* Another That Makes Me Think Of from Ze.

* We Are Wizards, a Harry Potter fandom documentary, with appearances from Brad Neely of Wizard People Dear Reader fame. (via @austinkleon)

Other Stuff Wednesday

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Other stuff:

* Duke swine flu Patient Zero located. Get your torches and pitchforks and meet me by the Chapel.

* NPR is having a microfiction contest, no entry fee (but no real prize either). I’ve already entered more than 1,300 times.

* Trailer for Ricky Gervais’s SFish comedy “The Invention of Lying” about a universe where no one has ever thought to lie.

* What is a master’s degree worth? My advice to students in the humanities, as always, is to stay away unless they’re paying you to go. Don’t miss the structural analysis from Columbia’s Mark C. Taylor:

The next bubble to burst will be the education bubble. Make no mistake about it, education is big business and, like other big businesses, it is in big trouble. What people outside the education bubble don’t realize and people inside won’t admit is that many colleges and universities are in the same position that major banks and financial institutions are: their assets (endowments down 30-40 percent this year) are plummeting, their liabilities (debts) are growing, most of their costs are fixed and rising, and their income (return on investments, support from government and private donations, etc.) is falling.

This is hardly a prescription for financial success. Faced with this situation, colleges and universities are on the prowl for new sources of income. And one place they invariably turn is to new customers, i.e., students.

* Also on the academic front is this on the split between reading and writing in English departments from the always insightful Marc Bousquet, at the Valve. Welcome to my future, everyone:

As of Fall 2007, contingent faculty outnumber the tenure stream by at least 3 to 1, roughly the inverse of the proportions forty years earlier. Across the profession, this trend line will drive the percentage of tenure-stream faculty into single digits within twenty years. It is hard to imagine that the trend line for English could be worse–but it is– and the outlook for literature is worse yet. A 2008 MLA analysis of federal IPEDS data (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System) shows that between 1993 and 2004, the hiring of nontenurable faculty continued to dramatically outpace tenure-track hiring in the profession as a whole.

However, in terms of absolute numbers most disciplines actually gained a modest number of tenure-track lines, or at least held steady. Political science gained 2.5 percent new lines; philosophy and religion packed on 43 percent. English, however, lost over 3,000 tenure-track lines, an average annual loss of 300 positions. This amounted to slightly more than one in every 10 tenurable positions in English — literally a decimation. If that trend proves to have continued — and all indications are that it has — by early 2010 English will have shed another 1,500 lines.

I just thank God I have an MFA to fall back on.

Friday Already?

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Really, it’s already Friday?

* Michael Jackson and SF: Michael Jackson “cameo” in Back to the Future II. (And here’s a real cameo from Men in Black II.) io9 remembers Captain EO.

* At right, of course, there’s a panel from Persepolis.

* NASA thinks it’s solved the 1908 Tunguska mystery.

* Happy birthday to the toothbrush.

* ‘How Wall Street Will Ruin the Environment’: Robert Bryce at The Daily Beast slams Waxman-Markey.

In short, given its length and complexity, the cap-and-trade bill would be better named “The 2009 Lawyer-Lobbyist Full Employment Act.” Proponents are ignoring the fact that Enron (remember Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay?) desperately wanted caps on carbon dioxide because they saw huge profits in being able to trade carbon allowances. And now Congress wants to give Wall Street traders—the same pirates who helped engineer the financial meltdown—a mandate that requires a massive new trading business that has the potential to be gamed in the same way that Enron gamed the California electricity market? Hello?

* And Wired has a detailed look at swine flu hysteria, just in time for the outbreak at Duke.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 26, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Welcome, H1N1!

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The swine flu has come to Duke. I’m sure glad I’m not teaching [Undisclosed Location] this term; I hear from friends working there that they’ve been keeping a bunch of cases quietly under wraps.

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June 25, 2009 at 5:44 pm

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Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings

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Saturday nights and Sunday mornings.

* Swine flu in NC! PANIC!

* Another article on Homeland Security’s use of science fiction writers for brainstorming.

* Test your knowledge of literature with the Amazon Statistically Improbable Phrase Quiz. Via MeFi.

* New Yankee Stadium homerun theories.

* ‘The Making of Rushmore.’

* Two from Steve Benen: on the improbable discovery of Democrats at Liberty University and a roundup of recent misogynistic attacks on Nancy Pelosi.

* And our friend Tim Morton has a new video on YouTube: The Mesh.

Oh, Biden

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I liked Joe Biden again for almost one whole day.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 30, 2009 at 12:32 pm

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4.6%

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I’m 4.6% as terrified since the World Health Organization announced that there are only seven confirmed cases of swine flu fatality in Mexico, not 152. But I’m 2100% more angry at sensationalistic media hype and cynical fear-mongering from people who, by now, should at least be pretending to know better.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 29, 2009 at 5:28 pm

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H1N1

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The government has announced the first swine flu fatality outside Mexico, a two-year-old child in Texas. Drudge, needless to say, is reporting this news with the sense of decorum and responsibility he is so rightly famous for.

Having gotten suitably excited about Typhoid Maria, we can now move on to the discovery of patient zero.

Five-year-old Edgar Hernandez survived the earliest documented case of swine flu in an outbreak that has spread across four continents.

His family lives in the 3,000-person village of La Gloria in the state of Veracruz, where a flu outbreak was reported on April 2.

Lab tests confirmed that Edgar was the only patient in Veracruz to test positive for the swine flu virus; the others had contracted a common flu. Health officials had returned to Edgar’s sample only after cases of the new flu strain were spotted around the country.

…Edgar has recovered and playfully credits ice cream for helping him feel better.

He can have his ice cream after he tells us who helped him engineer the virus.

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April 29, 2009 at 1:36 pm

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The Swine Flu and Industrial Agriculture

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April 28, 2009 at 7:33 pm

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