Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘the power of positive thinking

Saturday Links

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…a few lifted from zunguzungu’s increasingly misnamed Sunday Reading.

The Daily crunches the numbers on rising university tuition costs and finds that, if they keep growing at the same rate they have for the past three decades, a four-year degree at a private institution will cost $274,684 by the time a baby born this year is ready to enroll, in 2031. At the top 10 most expensive, private universities, one year of tuition would come with a $110,432 price tag.

The Court Case That Almost Made It Illegal to Tape TV Shows.

* Hullaboo has a long post with links on recent evidence that the removal of led from home environments is responsible for today’s diminished murder rate.

* Evidence from the University of Vermont that English has a bias towards positivity.

* The original Star Wars‘ budget breakdown.

* And Cracked has your 6 Horrible Aftermaths Implied By Movies With Happy Endings. Of course the Endor Holocaust clocks in at #1…

Tabdump #1

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* The New York Times has a short piece on The Wire and its popularity among academics on the very day I sent in a proposal for an MLA 2011 special session to be moderated by Lisa and myself:

After The Wire. The cultural and intellectual legacy of The Wire, particularly its critique of neoliberal institutions and its place in the social realist tradition. 250-300 word abstracts due by 15 March 2010 to afterthewire@gmail.com.

* “Transracial Writing for the Sincere.” By Nisi Shawl, visiting Duke later this month.

* Avatar is a billion-dollar film after just 17 days.

* Star Wars status updates.

* 50 things we know now that we didn’t know this time last year.

* Barbara Ehrenreich on the “gift” of breast cancer and the trap of positive thinkinng.

* Last fall, the American Law Institute, which created the intellectual framework for the modern capital justice system almost 50 years ago, pronounced its project a failure and walked away from it. This welcome news comes by way of Srinivas.

Happy Saturday

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Happy Saturday. You’ve earned it.

* On the Yankee payroll. Via Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

In 2002, the Yankees spent $17 million more in payroll than any other team.

In 2003, the Yankees spent $35 million more in payroll than any other team.

In 2004, the Yankees spent $57 million more in payroll than any other team. I mean, it’s ridiculous from the start but this is pure absurdity. Basically, this is like the Yankees saying: “OK, let’s spend exactly as much as the second-highest payroll in baseball. OK, we’re spending exactly as much. And now … let’s add the Oakland A’s. No, I mean let’s add their whole team, the whole payroll, add it on top and let’s play some ball!”

In 2005, the Yankees spent $85 million more than any other team. Not a misprint. Eight five.

In 2006, the Yankees spent $74 million more than any other team.

In 2007, the Yankees spent $40 million more than any other team — cutbacks, you know.

In 2008, the Yankees spent $72 million more than any other team.

In 2009, the Yankees spent $52 million more than any other team.

Congrats again on that World Series.

* Ryan recommends Paul Fry’s literary theory course from Yale Open Courses. I’ve downloaded all the lectures and they’ll be joining me on my run tomorrow.

* First, Let’s Kill All the Credit Default Swaps. Related: an NPR interview on The Greatest Trade Ever, which tells the story of how a middle-of-the-road hedge fund manager made billions during the financial collapse.

* Al Gore, revolutionary.

When making his Oscar-winning 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, Gore arguably had it easy: it’s fairly straightforward to grip an audience when you’re portraying scenes of apocalyptic destruction. The new book pulls off a considerably more impressive feat. It focuses on solving the crisis, yet manages to be absorbing on a topic that is all too often – can we just come clean about this, please? – crushingly boring. Importantly, it seeks to enlist readers as political advocates for the cause, rather than just urging them to turn down the heating. “It’s important to change lightbulbs,” he says, in a well-burnished soundbite, “but more important to change policies and laws.” Or perhaps to break laws instead: peaceful occupations of the kind witnessed recently in the UK, he predicts, are only going to become more widespread. “Civil disobedience has an honourable history, and when the urgency and moral clarity cross a certain threshold, then I think that civil disobedience is quite understandable, and it has a role to play. And I expect that it will increase, no question about it.” People sometimes express incredulity that Gore, who was groomed for the presidency almost since birth, seems so resolved that he’ll never return to electoral politics. But here’s a vivid example of the benefits of life on the outside: how many serving politicians would feel able to come so close to urging people to commit trespass?

A friend reminds me that Al Gore was elected President of the United States 9 years ago today.

* And Barbara Ehrenreich’s new book argues that positive thinking is destroying America.