Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘SyFy Channel

Wednesday Wega-Links!

with one comment

* Ken Burns presents: The Humanities.

* My Pop Culture Series might have to be all Harry-Potter-themed this fall: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes out in July, then the Fantastic Beasts screenplay in November…

* I was hoping the other magic schools wouldn’t have four houses. But just tell me which one is Ravenclaw and get it over with.

* Something happens to you out there: Astronauts and the Overview Effect.

* On The Fall of the Faculty.

…administrators have effectively developed a hidden curriculum that they exclusively control to further sideline the faculty. Never mind that the courses offered in this hidden curriculum focus on life skills and various types of political indoctrination related to race, gender, and ethnicity, subjects that the deanlets and deanlings are hardly qualified to teach. Add to this, speech, civility and anti-harassment codes, which administrators use with great effectiveness to silence faculty and student critics who interfere with administrative designs. These same administrators often rely upon outside agencies and licensure groups to discipline the faculty with outside assessment measures, threatening the faculty with the school’s possible loss of accreditation. Administrators often interfere with well-running programs, attempting to change their structure to the point of ensuring their failure.

Banned instructor sues Inver Hills Community College, saying he was defamed. Just incredible.

* Political science department chair Eric Schickler said in an email that there was no longer a bond of mutual trust between faculty and the administration. He added that there were concerns among faculty that major donors were being steered toward supporting the Berkeley Global Campus project in Richmond rather than core campus research and teaching missions. “Shared governance requires a shared vision and shared trust between faculty and those at the top,” Schickler said. “Many of us believe that the chancellor’s poor decisions have eroded that trust to the breaking point.”

Call for Provocations: Stealing from the University – extended deadline.

This is our first call for provocations that demand we go beyond familiar complaints and challenge ourselves to organize. Recent student-led uprisings at Missouri, Ohio State, Duke, Appalachian State, and UC Davis, among many others, open up possibilities of re-purposing university-based resources for radical movements. How can we take the relay from these uprisings to expand insurgent practices of studying-in-movement?

* And it looks like it’s that time of the semester again: “Should I go to grad school in the humanities?”

* Dark Posthumanism: The Weird Template.

When Teller directed The Tempest.

* Today in exciting political developments: Trump Selects a White Nationalist Leader as a Delegate in California. At least nothing else incredibly dangerous and destabilizing is happening!

West Virginia is neither a secret socialist stronghold nor a racist fever-dream. It is one of several bleeding edges of a sharply unequal country, where people who never had much are feeling as pressed as they can remember ever being. Some are bigots. Many are not. Some, no doubt, find that Trump’s cocktail of arrogance and disgust, grievance and triumphalism, reassuringly resembles their own psychic survival strategies, blown up into world-historical dimensions. Others are voting for the socialist for the same reason they voted for the Chicago community organizer: a desire for a more equal society, born out of the lived experience of inequality. Maybe future organizing and leadership, like the decades-long fight that first built the unions and the Democratic party in the coalfields, will show that they are not alone in that. What West Virginia Is Saying.

* Data visualization in the Anthropocene.

5_9_16_Andrea_TempSpiralEdHawkins

One in five of world’s plant species at risk of extinction. Sea Level Rise Is Here, And Is Gobbling Up Islands.

* Sold in the room: Philip K. Dick Is Getting an Anthology Show, Courtesy of Bryan Cranston and Ronald D. Moore. Elsewhere in TV news: Locke & Key! Uh, Wheel of Time, I guess? Krypton, really?

* And elsewhere in PKD news: One of the TAs in an Artificial Intelligence Class Was Actually an A.I.

How Do You Put Out A Subterranean Fire Beneath A Mountain Of Trash? Stop me if you’ve heard it.

* How Marvel did it.

* Oof.

* And oof.

Our Awful Prisons: How They Can Be Changed.

The one thing rich parents do for their kids that makes all the difference. The answer may shock you!

This GIF of pre-CGI superhero jumps proves actors are just okay at jumping. The best thing on the Internet this year.

* The law, in its majestic equality: Poor People Don’t Stand A Chance In Court.

* Huge, if true: School principal: ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ cause brain damage.

* Someone’s been watching too much Game of Thrones: “Ultimately, There Is No Narrative without Death.”

Why So Many Smart People Aren’t Happy.

If Philosophy Won’t Diversify, Let’s Call It What It Really Is. A reply.

If those text reproduce ideology, and therefore reproduce empire’s projects of conquest, enslavement, and colonialism, then we can’t just say “nothing is intrinsically wrong.” We in fact have to be open to the notion that these texts are entangled in the most violent, destructive ideas in world history. That they are rooted in whiteness and what whiteness meant in those moments: the right to murder and steal and subjugate.

Civilization 6 Has Been Announced And It’s Out This Year.

The Vision and the Scarlet Witch Have Had Marvel Comics’ Most Fucked-Up Superhero Romance.

* And all hail the Childlike Empress.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 11, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Closing All My Tabs Links

with 2 comments

* For all my brothers and sisters: “What did you do the summer before you went on the academic job market? What do you wish you had done?” Duke Lit’s Job Market Resources page has been ramped up considerably in the last year, which helps.

* To immerse yourself in literary theory as an impressionable young person is a little like squinting at a piece of toast until the face of Jesus materializes. It’s a slight perceptual shift (all you have to do is unfocus your eyes) but risky, because there’s no going back to plain toast after Jesus. Similarly, once you have engaged in enough feminist readings of “The Iliad” or performed close textual analyses of “Alf” or written papers limning the intertextual relationship between “Videodrome” and “Madame Bovary” — once, in other words, you’ve glimpsed the social, political, historical and ideological underpinnings of every text ever constructed — you’ll never again see stories the same way again. They’ll shed their innocence and expose their dirty secrets and reveal the world as a darker, more dangerous place than it once seemed. (Thanks, Lindsey Fiona!!)

* Recent college grads facing mal-employment, while incoming Duke students are rightly anxious about debt. Not anxious enough, frankly.

* Affirmative action for white kids: Asian-Americans and diversity today.

D.I.Y. Detroit: How the Alternative Press shaped the art of a city left for dead.

* At Mother Jones: The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science. Related: Kate Shepard explains the Climategate fraud. Also: Confessions of a Climate Change Convert.

* This CIA press release about their eco-friendly document destruction processes has got to be an Earth Day prank.

* Rule of law watch: Gov. Chris Christie Considers Defying Court Order.

* Debunking Trig Trutherism once and for all.

* A gaffe is when you accidentally say what you actually think: Minnesota state House Speaker Kurt Zellers (R), who is strongly pushing for passage of a voter ID law, has now backed away from comments he made in a radio appearance on Wednesday — when he said of the act of voting: “I think it’s a privilege, it’s not a right.”

* The great thing about neoliberalism is that it’s the answer to every question. The answer is the same regardless of whether your public institutions have too little money, or too much. More on how austerity works from Glenn Greenwald.

* Ideal and actual representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

* Inside Obama ’12. John Judis explores one area in which this will be a tough sell.

Obama has tried to carve a liberal niche within this retrograde political framework by charging that the Republican plan to cut the deficit would get rid of Medicare and would keep the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy. That’s all well and good, but Obama is still playing on Republican turf. And it might not work. The last Democratic presidential candidate who based his campaign on deficits was Walter Mondale in 1984. Mondale probably would have lost to Ronald Reagan in any case, but he would have won more than Minnesota and the District of Columbia. The other Democratic candidate who tried to make deficits an issue was Al Gore in 2000, and he lost to a candidate he should have defeated easily. And you can be sure that Bill Clinton in 1992 didn’t focus on deficits in running against George H.W. Bush.

Via digby.

* I’d never heard of either Kiki Kannibal or StickyDrama, but I read this Rolling Stone article on her weird, tragic adolescence from beginning to end (a rarity for anything they publish not written by Matt Taibbi).

* Parallel worlds are still the hottest trope in SF: Here’s a trailer for indie drama Another Earth, and a description of SyFy’s next new terrible show.

Portal 2 news! The story is much more complicated and interesting than I noticed while I was playing.

* And mission (creep) accomplished: Unmanned drones now flying missions in Libya.

Thursday Links

leave a comment »

* A major aftershock has hit Japan, a 7.4. The tsunami warning originally issued has been lifted, which should limit the damage. I hope that country gets a break soon.

* Democrats are filing papers to recall a second GOP state senator in Wisconsin. Guys, collect them all!

* Now Alec Baldwin wants five more years of 30 Rock. Just not with him on it.

* My Student, the ‘Terrorist.’

* Ursula K. Le Guin: How the Sci Fi Channel wrecked my books.

* And the Independent has your list of fifty books every eleven-year-old should read.

3/16

with 2 comments

* News that a Mississippi high school has canceled prom rather than allow a lesbian couple to attend has caused a “lesbian prom pictures” meme to ripple across the Internets.

* Inside Higher Ed has an article concerning (another) recent spate of suicides at Cornell.

* Saudi Arabia may not worry about Peak Oil, but they’re definitely nervous about Peak Demand.

* If David Brooks had a point, he might have a point. More from Taibbi and Chait.

* More Congressional procedure! Just because “deem and pass” happens all the time doesn’t mean it’s not tyranny when Nancy Pelosi does it. Ezra Klein is right when he says we should simplify Congressional procedure, but I think our friends in the GOP would be the first to tell us we can’t just unilaterally disarm.

* Avatar will be rereleased with an additional forty minutes à la Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, bringing its total running time to three days.

* But what the world needs most, of course, is another Battlestar Galactica sequel. I’ve fallen off watching Caprica, but from what I hear it’s at least good enough to Netflix—but I’m really not sure what’s left for a third series, except (perhaps) something pre-apocalpytic set on contemporary Earth using the BSG mythology as its starting point. Still, and it’s just a crazy idea: why not something new?

Thursday Night!

leave a comment »

Thursday night!

* President Edwards prepares to resign the presidency tonight after admitting he had lied about the fathering of Rielle Hunter’s baby during the third debate with John McCain. Vice President Barack Obama is expected to assume the presidency tomorrow morning.

* Paul Krugman, legendary futurist?

* Luck, math, and how to win at gambling.

* What’s hot: potbellies!

* Multitask: the game. Note: you will hate this game.

* On the cinematography of Mad Men. Nice video to get you ready for the third season.

* Behold, NASA’s secret plan to move the Earth.

Hence the group’s decision to try to save Earth. ‘All you have to do is strap a chemical rocket to an asteroid or comet and fire it at just the right time,’ added Laughlin. ‘It is basic rocket science.’

The plan has one or two worrying aspects, however. For a start, space engineers would have to be very careful about how they directed their asteroid or comet towards Earth. The slightest miscalculation in orbit could fire it straight at Earth – with devastating consequences.

What could possibly go wrong? (Not a hoax. Via Occasional Fish.)

* Behold, the banned Family Guy episode.

* Nerdivore points out District 9 is getting great reviews.

* GLAAD flunks SyFy.

* And a physicist at Slate says The Time Traveler’s Wife checks out.

‘Virtuality’

leave a comment »

It sounds as though Rob Moore’s Battlestar followup, Virtuality, is dead on arrival, which is really too bad, because the pilot (first twelve minutes / whole episode) was actually fairly promising. (The premise is intriguing, from the eco-apocalypse backstory to the overarching reality-TV conceit—though there are worrying signs of BSG-style mysticism already peaking through.) Of course, there’s a “Save Virtuality” web campaign, but that and widespread, very positive reviews will get you exactly nothing. Maybe Sci-Fi Channel SyFy will come through, but I wouldn’t hold your breath…

Written by gerrycanavan

July 6, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Case Study in What Late Capitalism Does to Language

leave a comment »

Case study in what late capitalism does to language: The Sci-Fi Channel is changing its name to SyFy.

NBC Universal’s Sci-Fi Channel is changing its name to the “SyFy channel,” a name that is apparently easier for children to text to one another and will therefore increase the company’s earnings dramatically.

“SyFy” sounds exactly like “Sci Fi” when you say it, but, as Richard noted in the Trade Roundup, NBC Universal will own it now. For years, NBC executives had longed to trademark the channel’s own name, but legal kept telling them you can’t trademark a genre of entertainment for lonely obsessives. So they spent years, and paid a branding company gobs of money, to come up with SyFy.

“SyFy” is actually a fairly appropriate neologism; it nicely captures the relationship between the Sci-Fi Channel’s generally crummy output and actual SF.

The end of the Gawker piece twists the knife just right:

Accompanying the name will be the channel’s new slogan, “Imagine Greater,” which means nothing and is grammatically incoherent.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm