Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘the past is another country

Spriiiiiiiing Breaaaaaaaaak! Links

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* Don’t miss the CFP for my upcoming Paradoxa special issue on “Global Weirding”!

* Of course you haven’t read Canavan until you’ve read him in the original French.

Black Study, Black Struggle.

* Today in the end of our lives’ work. Delaware State cuts more than a quarter of its majors. But don’t worry, we’ve finally got the solution.

Chairing a humanities department at the end of the world.

* Trying to put a number on adjunct justice.

* In the chit-chat of the checkup, as I lay back in the chair with the suction tube in my mouth, he asked: “What are you majoring in at college?” When I replied that I was majoring in philosophy, he said: “What are you going to do with that?” “Think,” I replied.

* Course evaluation forms ‘not read properly by students’: Undergraduates endorsed patently false statements in US experiment.

* Can a Marxist Read Tolkien?

Cli-Fi Comes to YA.

* I think you’ll find every possible jaundiced, post-academic riff on this story has already been made: French woman aged 91 gets PhD after 30 years.

* Cuomo bares fangs at CUNY.

A new United Nations report on racism as a human rights issue speaks to challenges people are facing right here in Milwaukee.

* All about the SF sensation of SXSW, Dead Slow Ahead. And more!

* Great moments in unenforceable contracts.

* Ten Years after the Duke Lacrosse Scandal. A prison interview with the accuser.

* A previously unnoticed property of prime numbers seems to violate a longstanding assumption about how they behave.

Reminder: NCAA Amateurism Is a Corrupt Sham, We Are All Complicit. March Madness means money – it’s time to talk about who’s getting paid. And here’s how to gamble on it.

* The trouble with people who lived in the past.

Inside the Protest That Stopped the Trump Rally.

* How to steal a nomination from Donald Trump. The Pre-Convention. There is no point in even having a party apparatus, no point in all those chairmen and state conventions and delegate rosters, if they cannot be mobilized to prevent 35 percent of the Republican primary electorate from imposing a Trump nomination on the party. I can’t be contrarian about Donald Trump anymore: he’s terrifying.

* Inside a Trump rally.

Meet the Academics Who Want Donald Trump to Be President.

* I do agree that presidential term limits make little sense, though my solution would be to abolish the office entirely.

The oldest man in the world survived Auschwitz.

* What if Daylight Saving Time never ended?

* Twilight of the Metro.

* Twilight of Sea World.

* Teach the controversy: Richard Simmons May or May Not Be Currently Held Hostage by His Maid.

As temperatures soar, new doubts arise about holding warming to 2 degrees C.

* The Sadness and Beauty of Watching Google’s AI Play Go. Game Two. Game Three. Game Five. But we got one!

How The TV Show of Octavia Butler’s Dawn Will Stay True to Her Incredible Vision.

Surprise! NSA data will soon routinely be used for domestic policing that has nothing to do with terrorism.

* Take your Baby-Sitters’ Club cosplay / fanfic blog to the next level.

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 8.55.03 PM* Photoshopping men out of political photos.

* Scenes from Iconic Films Hastily Rewritten So They Pass the Bechdel Test.

* Another ultimate TedX talk.

Identical twins Bridgette and Paula Powers think of themselves as a single person.

Paul Nungesser has lost his Title IX lawsuit against Columbia.

* The Really Last Crusade.

* Chris Claremont visits Jay and Miles X-plain the X-Men.

* Despair fatigue.

* Paging Lt. Barclay: Science proves the transporter is a suicide box.

The Untold Tragedy of Camden, NJ.

* At least he denied it!

J.K. Rowling’s History of Magic in North America Was a Travesty From Start to Finish.

Scientists discover ‘genderfluid’ lioness who looks, acts and roars like a male.

* Always a good sign: Star Trek Beyond Is Reshooting and Adding an Entirely New Cast Member. Meanwhile: Paramount lawyers call Star Trek fan film’s bluff in nerdiest lawsuit ever.

* Jacobin reviews Michael’s Moore Where to Invade Next. Jacob Brogan reviews Daniel Clowes’s Patience.

* From our family to yours, happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Bonobos Just Want Everyone to Get Along.

* And because you demanded it: What if James Bond Was a Chimpanzee?

Written by gerrycanavan

March 17, 2016 at 9:00 am

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Thursday Links, Inc.

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* University, Inc.

* Like Kirk said, don’t let them promote you: Rising to Your Level of Misery at Work.

* Best American Poetry Pseudonyms.

* All the Sensible Progressives agree: The Clinton email scandal is over, over, so over.

Big-Name Plan B’s for Democrats Concerned About Hillary Clinton. I guess I’ll get started on Plan C.

* The Hal Salive Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

* At long last, the billionaires have come for their ancient enemy, UNC’s English department.

Rutgers Faculty Union Urges Inquiry Into Football Coach.

Cooperation or Collusion? Lawsuit Accuses Duke and UNC of Faculty Non-Poaching Deal. I think they bought themselves a whole lot of legal trouble here.

* Amid all the weirdness of the U Iowa president hire, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Gotta spend money to make money. University of Iowa Faculty Senate votes ‘no confidence’ in Board of Regents. “We’re just getting started.”

* Some good news in Wisconsin: MATC announces free tuition for low-income students.

Here’s the truth: academia is an amazing sector with some of the best features of any job, even if it also has substantial problems. Folks on the way out might feel like they’re biting their thumb at something, and those still “stuck” on the inside of this troubled-but-terrific career might feel some welcome-if-temporary solidarity. But after that, it’s just more fodder for legislators, corporations, and the general public to undermine the academy. It helps nobody in the long run. No One Cares That You Quit Your Job.

* Mediocrity is the secret key that explains everything. Moving beyond the early focus on conformity, we propose that the threat of status loss may make those with middle status more wary of advancing creative solutions in fear that they will be evaluated negatively. Using different manipulations of status and measures of creativity, we found that when being evaluated, middle-status individuals were less creative than either high-status or low-status individuals (Studies 1 and 2). In addition, we found that anxiety at the prospect of status loss also caused individuals with middle status to narrow their focus of attention and to think more convergently (Study 3). We delineate the consequences of power and status both theoretically and empirically by showing that, unlike status, the relationship between power and creativity is positive and linear (Study 4). By both measuring status (Studies 2 and 3) and by manipulating it directly (Study 5), we demonstrate that the threat of status loss explains the consequences of middle status.

Researchers have discovered a better way to wait in line, and you’re going to hate it.

Half of Americans have diabetes or pre-diabetes. This is framed as good news: “…after two decades of linear growth, the prevalence of diabetes in the United States has finally started to plateau.”

Words about slavery that we should all stop using.

* “Prison gets rich looking up preschoolers.”

* “Author says parent from Tennessee is confusing ‘gynaecology with pornography’ over description of Lacks discovering a lump in her cervix.”

* The next Charles Darwin?

* Kim Davis has defeated us all. Related: Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Never Should Have Gone to Jail.

The Final Discworld Book Is Bittersweet For Many Reasons. I haven’t read one of these in decades, but I’m still sad he’s gone.

Brooklyn College’s Longtime Janitor Is Also Its Cocaine Dealer, Police Say.

* An interview with Ursula K. Le Guin.

Salman Rushdie’s Bewilderment at Snapchat Inspired Him to Write Science Fiction.

The Joy Machine: Stephen Colbert, Satire, and Faith.

The High Burden of Low Wages: How Renting Affordably in NYC is Impossible on Minimum Wage.

One lawyer’s crusade to defend extreme pornography.

#DownWithCentennialism.

Washington’s Football Team Is the Donald Trump of the NFL.

* Negging and neoliberalism.

* Wifework and the university.

* And Boots lives. I anticipate that this will make Zoey’s entire year.

Thursday Links

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* America, I just want you to know there’s still time to stop this.

* Really got our number here: All Possible Humanities Dissertations, Considered as Single Tweets.

RT @gerrycanavan: This short text, seen rightly, reveals the contradictions of a whole culture.

Scholarly Associations Defend Tenure and Academic Freedom in Wisconsin.

* Now Cooper Union’s president is out, too.

Since starting to write this story about Champion, so many people have warned me away, expressed concern and shock, or (helpful but alarming) encouraged me to call the police if ever I felt threatened. I sort of knew what I was getting into when I began, and I believe I have as good an understanding now as I can have now that I’ve finished, but this fear is palpable. I know Champion will read this and I cannot imagine how it will feel for him. I would not want such a piece to be written about me, but I also hope never do to the kinds of things Champion has done. And I think that if I ever do them, I will deserve a story like this. Fascinating, frightening read.

* Unhappy career advice from the Chronicle: “You might not be ready for promotion.”

* UNC gets put on one-year probation for its recent student-athlete scandals. In other news, accreditation is a joke.

11-Year-Old Boy Played in His Yard. CPS Took Him, Felony Charge for Parents.

The Post-Ownership Society: How the “sharing economy” allows Millennials to cope with downward mobility, and also makes them poorer.

* History is a nightmare from which we are trying to wake George R.R. Martin.

This Artist Is Taking The Condemned Homes Of Detroit And Turning Them Into Gorgeous Fuddruckers Franchises.

* Clever girl: Reviewer From The Guardian Says Jurassic World Passes Bechdel Test Because of Female Dinosaurs. See also.

* Teach all girls self-defense.

* Bold new horizons in student debt moralism.

* The history of America, as seen through the Census.

* Twilight of “you guys.”

Quentin Tarantino is ‘retrofitting 50 theaters in the world’ with special projectors so they can show his new film properly.

* John Roberts, liberal hero?

* Being Kumail Nanjiani.

Doogie Howser, M.D. gets the gritty reboot you never knew it needed.

* Harriet Potter and the Very Dedicated Parent. There really should be an app for this.

* Male film critics are apparently unable to understand the explicit, surface text of Goodfellas.

* Alanis Morissette, before Jagged Little Pill.

* The arc of history is long, but.

* This is close, but I for one believe the hottest take is still out there.

* And I guess some people just see farther.

census_black_race_v3.0

Ten Thousand Tuesday Links

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* Susannah Bartlow has been writing about her side of the Assata Shakur mural controversy: 1, 2.

Saint Louis University has removed a statue on its campus depicting a famous Jesuit missionary priest praying over American Indians after a cohort of students and faculty continued to complain the sculpture symbolized white supremacy, racism and colonialism.

* Ursula K. Le Guin Calls on Fantasy and Sci Fi Writers to (Continue to) Envision Alternatives to Capitalism. What Can Economics Learn From Science Fiction?

Muslim fiction writers are turning to genres like sci-fi, fantasy, and comics.

Slavoj Žižek’s Board Game Reviews.

How to Advocate for the Liberal Arts: the State-University Edition.

Post-tenure review: BOR-ed to death. Don’t believe the lies about UW and tenure. On Tenure and If You [Really] Want to Be a Badger. Upocalypse Final Update. Does Tenure Have a Future? An Open Forum. Twilight of the Professors. The End of Higher Education As We Know It.

* Now more than ever: “Privilege” and the rhetoric of austerity.

* Meanwhile: college presidents are getting paid.

* Counterpoint: I was a liberal adjunct professor. My liberal students didn’t scare me at all.

* How to Tailor Your Online Image, or, Don’t Go to Grad School.

* The poet-scholar.

* McKinney nightmare. Disciplining Black Bodies: Racial Stereotypes of Cleanliness and Sexuality. Memories of the Jefferson Park Pool. Summer heat.

* America is still incredibly segregated.

Kalief Browder was one of those African American men. But in 2010 he was a boy of 16, sent to Riker’s Island for a crime he did not commit. As reported by the great Jennifer Gonnerman, Browder sat there for three years without a trial. He was repeatedly beaten by guards and inmates while in Rikers. He spent two years in solitary confinement—a euphemism for living under torture. On Saturday the effects of that torture were made manifest.

You Can Be Prosecuted for Clearing Your Browser History.

* Enter manslamming.

* Bernie Sanders: Let’s Spend $5.5 Billion to Employ 1 Million Young People.

* Meanwhile, Clinton advance the Canavan position on voter registration: just make it automatic. Now let’s talk about letting noncitizen permanent residents vote!

* And Chafee wants the metric system! This Democratic primary is truly devoted to Canavan demo.

* The Bureaucratic Utopia of Drone Warfare.

* The Middleman Economy.

* The gig economy triumphant.

NLRB: Duquesne Adjuncts May Form Union. 

* Nice work if you can get it: Top Weather Service official creates consulting job — then takes it himself with $43,200 raise, watchdog says.

You Can Be Prosecuted for Clearing Your Browser History.

The Apple Watch could be the most successful flop in history.

Put this one in the awkward file: just hours after the EPA released yet another massive study (literally, at just under 1000 pages) which found no evidence that fracking led to widespread pollution of drinking water (an outcome welcome by the oil industry and its backers and criticized by environmental groups), the director of the California Department of Conservation,  which oversees the agency that regulates the state’s oil and gas industry, resigned as the culmination of a scandal over the contamination of California’s water supply by fracking wastewater dumping.

* The rules of Quidditch, revised edition.

What’s Happening To Players At The Women’s World Cup, Where The Artificial Turf Is 120 Degrees.

* TSA is a hoax.

* All about Fun Home: Primal Desire and the American Musical.

Here’s what it would take for the US to run on 100% renewable energy. Bring on 2099!

Calvin And Hobbes embodied the voice of the lonely child.

The quick, offstage choreography of SNL costume changes.

100-year-old blackboard drawings found in Oklahoma school.

* How Clickhole Became the Best Thing on the Internet.

* Shocked, shocked: claw machines are rigged.

* Everything you know about wolf packs is wrong.

Only known chimp war reveals how societies splinter.

Sleuthing reveals Shorewood home was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

* I’ve been spending too much time on recommendation letters.

* I also chose the wrong career: I should have been a psychic, or at least whatever this guy was doing before he managed to lose three-quarters of a million dollars to a psychic.

Different People Have Different Opinions About Burning Their Own Children Alive, And That’s Okay.

* “What ‘Game of Thrones’ Can Teach Us About Great Customer Service.”

* Warp drives and scientific reasoning.

* The things you learn having a good editor: “Mexican Standoff” predates film by fifty years, and probably is participating in anti-Mexican prejudice.

* Language is like gymnastics.

* It’s a bad world.

* But keep hope alive: J.K. Rowling says there’s an American Hogwarts.

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Written by gerrycanavan

June 9, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Night Links! Probably Too Many!

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17644_10101690572456291_9124726088155968029_n* Upcoming appearances: I’ll be speaking at the Environments & Societies workshop at UC Davis next Wednesday. And of course we’ll be debating whether Harry Potter is a dystopia (it is) this Wednesday here at Marquette.

* This is nice: Green Planets is a finalist for the ASLE book prize.

* CFP: The Contemporary: Culture in the Twenty-First Century.

* CFP: Jim Gordon as Batman is dumb.

* The Dolphin Trainer Who Loved Dolphins Too Much.

* The cult of the Ph.D. I suppose I’m a hopeless curmudgeon on this at this point, but I just don’t see how any attempt to reform graduate schools can ignore the fact that “the primary, overarching purpose of doctoral programs is to produce professors.” Alt-ac can save a few, but it can’t save everyone, or even most.

Everything We Learned About The Force Awakens At Star Wars Celebration. Look, I’m not made of stone.

* And then there was (sigh) DC. Double sigh.

* There still aren’t any states where women earn as much as men.

PayGap2Did Yoda And Obi-Wan Screw Princess Leia Over?

But in choosing a hero to defeat Vader, they sent Luke to Dagobah, not Leia. They sent the whiny uneducated hick whose greatest ambition until very recently had been to *join the Empire* instead of the smart, sophisticated, and well-educated woman with the political connections and Rebel cred?

It was only the last time I watched Return of the Jedi that I finally realized “that boy is our last hope / no, there is another” refers to Anakin, not Leia. So I’m pretty on board with this, especially now that the possibly exculpatory Expanded Universe context has been retconned out of existence.

Citi Economist Says It Might Be Time to Abolish Cash. This is a truly stunning document: the argument is that we need to abolish cash because otherwise bankers won’t be able to force everybody to accept negative interest rates.

* New from the new TNR: We’re Checking the Wrong Privilege.

* Heinlein shrugged.

America’s wealth grew by 60 percent in the past six years, by over $30 trillion. In approximately the same time, the number of homeless children has also grown by 60 percent.

155,000 New York kids boycott standardized tests.

Preserving the Ghastly Inventory of Auschwitz.

It is a moral stance with specific curatorial challenges. It means restoring the crumbling brick barracks where Jews and some others were interned without rebuilding those barracks, lest they take on the appearance of a historical replica. It means reinforcing the moss-covered pile of rubble that is the gas chamber at Birkenau, the extermination camp a few miles away, a structure that the Nazis blew up in their retreat. It means protecting that rubble from water seeping in from the adjacent ponds where the ashes of the dead were dumped.

And it means deploying conservators to preserve an inventory that includes more than a ton of human hair; 110,000 shoes; 3,800 suitcases; 470 prostheses and orthopedic braces; more than 88 pounds of eyeglasses; hundreds of empty canisters of Zyklon B poison pellets; patented metal piping and showerheads for the gas chambers; hundreds of hairbrushes and toothbrushes; 379 striped uniforms; 246 prayer shawls; more than 12,000 pots and pans carried by Jews who believed that they were simply bound for resettlement; and some 750 feet of SS documents — hygiene records, telegrams, architectural blueprints and other evidence of the bureaucracy of genocide — as well as thousands of memoirs by survivors.

* There’s jobs, there’s dirty jobs, and then there’s being Joseph Goebbels’s copyright lawyer.

Ewald Engelen, a professor of finance and geography at UvA who spoke about the perils of the financialization of higher education at the Maagdenhuis occupation, explained in a coauthored article, published in 2014, how rendementsdenken became the ruling logic – and logic of rule – at his university. After a 1995 decision transferring public ownership of real estate to universities like UvA, he and colleagues argued, education and research considerations started taking a backseat to commercial concerns regarding real estate planning. The state’s retreat from management of real estate demanded tighter account of “costs, profits, assets and liabilities” at the university, setting “in motion a process of internal reorganization to produce the transparent cash flow metrics that were required to service the rapidly growing real estate debt,” the academics wrote.

Neither the Brostrom or the Campos side focuses on the fact that privatization increases expenses as well as revenues. In reality, privatization forces the mission creep of multiplying activities, “businesses,” funding streams, capital projects and other debt-funded investments, which increase all sorts of non-educational costs and also administration.  Private partnerships, sponsors, vendor relations, and so on bring in new money but also cost money, require institutional subsidies, and in many cases lose money for the university.

The Education Department Is Working On A Process For Forgiving Student Loans.

* Sweet Briar didn’t die, it was put down. If he puts his mind to it, Jamshed Bharucha has the ability to effectively destroy whatever future remains for Cooper Union.

* I really wish we could get famous people to stop talking this way about autism.

* Towards a disability version of the Bechdel Test.

A disability version of the “Bechdel Test,” maybe?
1) There’s a disabled character visible
2) Who wants something, and tries to get it,
3) Other than a) Death, b) Cure, or c) Revenge.

* Cuomo’s master plan to turn SUNY into a startup factory has created 76 jobs.

Large Pile Of Cash Announces US Presidency Bid.

* The BBC has adapted The Left Hand of Darkness.

* I’m very much in favor of “they” as a generic singular pronoun, but “they are,” please, not “they is.”

Private Company Conspired With Police To Hold Poor People For Ransom, Lawsuit Charges.

Ex-Drug Cop: Drug Squad Stole Cash And Planted Drugs Too Many Times To Count.

* Only for certain values of “justice”: The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

* It seems like the deputy isn’t the person who should be charged with Eric Harris’s murder. This person never should have been working as a cop, for myriad reasons.

* The only way this can work: California Assembly panel approves legislation preventing police from viewing body camera footage.

Labeling the market natural and the state unnatural is a convenient fiction for those wedded to the status quo.

White parents in North Carolina are using charter schools to secede from the education system.

Racism in schools is pushing more black families to homeschool their children.

All 3 Oregon Basketball Players Suspended Over Sexual Assault Find New Teams.

* Shocked, shocked: Leaked videos suggest Chevron cover-up of Amazon pollution.

* The Atlantic covers graduate student unionization.

Los Angeles school district demands multi-million dollar refund from Apple.

Centuries of Italian History Are Unearthed in Quest to Fix Toilet.

* “All I know is the end is coming for all of us.”

* On not hate-watching, but hope-watching.

* George R. R. Martin: Once More, into the Kennels.

The Atlanta teachers’ trial: A perfect example of America’s broken justice system.

* How Israel Hid Its Secret Nuclear Weapons Program.

The Quest to Boot Old Hickory Off the $20.

Why the Vatican’s crackdown on nuns ended happily. Pope Francis’s Populist War on the Devil.

Latchkey children age restrictions by state. Wisconsin, you’re probably asleep at the switch here. But Illinois, you guys relax.

A Scan Of 100,000 Galaxies Shows No Sign Of Alien Mega-Civilizations. Okay, but let’s scan the next 900,000 just to be sure.

That aliens would have imperial ambitions is taken as natural. Far from being the historical outcome of a specific organization of capital in the latter half of the second millennium, these signatories assume that the ideology of capitalist imperialism is inevitable across the galaxy. To be fair, though, the Fermi Paradox is a “it just takes one” claim, not a “all societies are alike” claim.

* If you’re so smart, why aren’t you terrified all the time?

Chase nightmares with behind-the-scenes photos from Return To Oz.

The Photo Hitler Doesn’t Want You to See.

* More on how Game of Thrones deviates from the books. And a fun flashback: The first pilot for Game of Thrones was so bad HBO almost passed on the entire series.

* It’s almost like Batman didn’t think this thing through.

* Dumb, but maybe my favorite Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal of all time.

* And teach the controversy: Tim Goodman says the Waitress arc on Mad Men might not be stupid and pointless.

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Written by gerrycanavan

April 19, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links

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* Annals of so totally completely missing the point: Hunger Games’ producers working on ‘potential theme park opportunities.”

The Public Option for Higher Education.

Instructed at 4 p.m. Thursday to cut $55,000 — or 20 classes — by 5 p.m.

* How to Write a Lifeboater Manifesto.

‘You Can Sleep Here All Night’: Video Games and Labor.

* Socialize Social Media! A Manifesto.

* Postal Service Insolvent Since 2006 Law Requiring It to Be Insolvent. Better privatize it!

Humanities degrees at Marquette remain steady despite national statistics.

* Colorized historical photos. Secluded Cultures on the Brink of Extinction. Michael Galinsky’s Retro Photos of 1980s Shopping Malls Are, Like, Totally Rad.

* Senate passes ENDA 64-32, now the House will completely ignore it. Obama Backs $10 Minimum Wage Secure in the Knowledge It Will Never Be Passed.

* The Chris Christie Hegemony. I Can’t Believe Terry McAuliffe Is Going to Be Governor of Virginia. Here comes 2016.

No, Crime Is Not Going to Start Soaring Under Bill de Blasio.

Terrible Columnist Richard Cohen Shocked To Learn That Slavery Was Really, Really Bad.

upinarms-map* “A Very Dangerous Boy”: the ten-year-old boy who killed his neo-Nazi father.

Secret ‘Bay Bridge Troll’ Guarded the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge for 24 Years.

* Advanced Readings in D&D.

* The eleven nations of North America.

School Named For Former KKK Leader Reconsiders Its Legacy. Christ, Florida, why the rush? Let’s be sure we really think this thing through.

* Declaring a war on warrior culture in the wake of the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal. “The NFL’s Bully Problem”: Sports Columnist Dave Zirin Connects Violence in Sports to Rape Culture. Tony Dorsett Has CTE. More Living Football Players Show Signs Of CTE. Why It Matters That Tony Dorsett Is Showing Signs Of CTE. Why a Denver Broncos player suddenly walked away from the NFL and more than $1M.

* You can tell the human body was poorly designed by evolution. I mean, who puts sanitation next to recreation?

* Happens all the time: Super typhoon Haiyan just broke all scientific intensity scales.

Since 1890 every Wisconsin officer who took a life was cleared of any wrongdoing. Every single one.

Black students scored lower this year in every category of the nation’s benchmark reading and math test, which also showed that for all the dynamism in Wisconsin’s education scene, student achievement remains stagnant.

* Sweden formalizes the Bechdel Test.

* Pablo Neruda: Not Poisoned.

* The new normal: Black woman shot in head seeking help in white neighborhood.

This Is How Much Money Twitter Owes You.

* And at last some good news: That Saul Goodman Breaking Bad spinoff may be both prequel and sequel.

Wednesday Is Friday and the Living’s Easy

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Half the professoriate will kill the other half for free.

In other words, while a few already well-paid superprofessors get their egos stroked conducting experiments that are doomed to fail, “second- and third-tier universities and colleges, and community colleges” risk closing because Coursera and its ilk have sent higher education price expectations through the floor and systematically devalued everybody else’s work. And they get to do all this while dispensing a produuct that they know is inferior! Jay Gould would be proud.

The irony, of course, is that “business” logic can kill its own host, like any parasite. When taken as an end in itself, it destroys everything — and then there’s nowhere else to invest, no more areas producing real values that can be syphoned off into the giant pool of money. The imaginary values that finance has racked up then become the object of a game of hot potato, furiously churning through the system until the point when they simply disappear (i.e., lose all their value). That’s what running everything “like a business” does — it trades real value for imaginary value that is then destroyed.

* Just because it’s totally ineffective doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it: A study by the Pew Charitable Trust in 2011, which looked at school closures in six US cities, found that school districts end up saving less than had been predicted. But think of all the other advantages school closings offer!

A University of Chicago study focusing on schools closed between 2001 and 2006 found that only six percent of displaced students ended up in high-performing schools.

And 42 percent of students continued to attend schools with ‘very low’ achievement levels. A year after changing schools, students’ reading and math abilities were not any better or worse.

Students who did go to better-performing schools also had to travel an average of 6km to get there – which critics say risks the safety of students who have to go through neighbourhoods containing rival gangs.

Entire library journal editorial board resigns, citing ‘crisis of conscience’ after death of Aaron Swartz.

* The Barbed Gift of Leisure.

And here, at the limit of life that idling alone brings into view in a nonthreatening way, we find another kind of nested logic. Call it the two-step law of life. Rule No. 1 is tomorrow we die; and Rule No. 2 is nobody, not even the most helpful robot, can change Rule No. 1. Enjoy!

Junot Diaz Talks Superman As An Undocumented Immigrant On The Colbert Report.

The Essential Verso Undergraduate Reading List. Makes me think I really need to start including more theory on my syllabi.

* MOOCs we can believe in? One of the most remote outposts of Jesuit higher education is tucked away in dusty northwest Kenya, in a place whose name means “Nowhere” in Swahili. There, at Kakuma Refugee Camp, a small group of students — refugees from several neighboring African countries, including Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia — are enrolled in online courses taught by 28 Jesuit colleges, mostly in the United States. The course is part of the Jesuit Commons project.

* Unexpected: SCOTUSblog now thinks there’s at least five judges who will vote to strike down DOMA. Meanwhile, McCaskill seems to have triggered Hagan to announce her support of marriage equality.

* Ripped from the stuff Fox News usually just has to make up: Gov. Rick Scott of Florida has stepped into the fray over an offensive classroom exercise at Florida Atlantic University in which students were asked to stomp on a sheet of paper with “Jesus” written on it.

Boston College threatens disciplinary action against students distributing condoms.

Boston College officials sent a letter to students on March 15 demanding an end to student-run “Safe Sites,” a network of dorm rooms and other locations where free contraceptives and safe sex information are available.

Students living in the “Safe Sites” were told in the letter that the distribution of condoms is in conflict with their “responsibility to protect the values and traditions of Boston College as a Jesuit, Catholic institution.”

Mexican town finds more security by throwing out the police.

* Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal considers the Singularity.

* xkcd considers the past as another country … with an outdated military and massive oil reserves.

* And making the rounds again: The 50 Most Perfectly Timed Photos Ever.

soldier-yawning-perfect-timing