Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘The Walking Dead

Monday Night Links!

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* I had two short pieces come out this weekend: a review essay on Star Trek: Beyond at LARB and a flash review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child right here at WordPress.

* CFP: Vector Special Issue: Science Fiction and Music. The Man in the High Castle and Philosophy.

* Point: Earwolf has a new Hamilton podcast, seemingly along the lines of The Incomparable’s but with higher profile guests. Counterpoint: You Should Be Terrified That People Who Enjoy “Hamilton” Run Our Country.

To Learn About ‘Hamilton’ Ticket Bots, We Wrote Our Own Bot.

* “So Below”: A Comic about Understanding Land.

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* Peak Thinkpiece? “Centuries ago, explorers like Columbus and Vasco da Gama played a real-life version of Pokémon Go.” When colonialism is a game. Pokémon Go: Who owns the virtual space around your home? Werner Herzog: Would You Die for the Pokémons? Would You Kill?

A new genre of leftist literature arose between the wars, urging the young to build a brave new world. In the first of two articles, a forgotten dream is remembered. Here’s part two.

* The Huntington has put up some of Butler’s notes on writing Kindred.

Antiblack Racism in Speculative Fiction.

The modern research university has unfortunately become increasingly susceptible to value monism, the belief that there is only one right way to advance, only one correct form of knowledge.

* Bouncy houses OF DEATH.

* The Cosby Next Time: Former Fox News Booker Says She Was Sexually Harassed and ‘Psychologically Tortured’ by Roger Ailes for More Than 20 Years.

* Crisis Theory: The Game!

* Underearners Anonymous.

* #unschooling

* Teasing Arrested Development season five, and the long-rumored recut of season four, at TCA.

* The good news is, we’re all going to live. Here’s the bad news.

6 Human Activities That Pose The Biggest Threat To The World’s Drinking Water. America Has Never Seen a Hot Weather Outlook Like This. And an upcoming conference at Marquette: Public Policy and American Drinking Water.

Early Animals Could’ve Caused Earth’s First Mass Extinction Simply By Existing.

How One Colorado Man Disappeared While Hunting For Hidden Treasure.

What Are Young Non-Working Men Doing?

* What Happened to Wikileaks?

Is Rolling Stone about to get throttled in court over UVA rape report?

* How the other fifth lives.

Ableism, Mass Murder, and Silence.

* Race and dermatology. Space and cardiology.

The Stranger Guest: The Literature of Pregnancy and New Motherhood.

Zombie bacteria that awaken from old corpses might sound like the stuff of an “X-Files” episode. The premise is far from a complete fiction, however.

* Metaphors too on the nose: rise of the corpse flowers.

* Elsewhere on the zombie beat: The Walking Dead Comic Nearly Ended a Lot Sooner Than Anyone Expected. That’s sort of amazing, honestly.

Apps like Seamless and Yelp listen in on our adult lives, then speak to us like children.

J.K. Rowling Says Harry Potter is Done After Cursed Child.

The Lobster: Debt, Referenda, and False Choices.

* Trans* identity will be reclassified by the WHO.

* Being Dazzler.

* Black Art Matters: A Roundtable on the Black Radical Imagination.

* News you can use: How to land a passenger jet without any flight controls.

* Hell Is A Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement. How Prisons Overtook Schools as the Foremost American Institutions. Why Preschool Teachers Struggle To Make Ends Meet.

* This Rick and Morty clip reading from an actual trial transcript shows what how weirdly perfect the two voices work as a comedic duo, independently of any narrative context.

* I say the teach the controversy.

* How to do sex research.

* The Syllabus as a Contract: How do you deal with clever students who find loopholes you didn’t intend?

College learning takes 2.76 hours/day.

I grew up thinking journalism was just for rich white people. I was mostly right.

* Ghostbusters and liberal feminism. The Spiritualist Origins of Ghostbusters.

* This time the nostalgia industry is trained on my heart like a laser.

* Self-identified Jedi and political atheism, yes really.

* The end of the bulldog.

* Austerity nostalgia.

More Than 50 Animals Starve to Death in Venezuela’s Zoos as the Nation Endures Devastating Food Shortages.

* Automation and the end of liberal democracy.

* They told me capital was a vampire, and man, they nailed it.

As an artist, what can I consider if I want to de-objectify and add power to female characters?

* Politics roundup! State roll calls: What RNC and DNC delegates want you to know. Electoral Map Gives Donald Trump Few Places to Go. Trump’s Likeliest Path to Victory May Be an Electoral College Tie. Bounce! Disability Rights at the DNC. Seven Minutes. The GOP’s Dilemma: How Low Can He Go? Why does it matter that Donald Trump is not a novelty? All the same, a pretty incredible chart. From the archives: Norman Mailer Goes to the RNC. How And Why Trump Will Try to Ditch the Debates. Donald Trump as a One Man Constitutional Crisis. An Anti-Trump Electoral Strategy That Isn’t Pro-Clinton. Revenge of the Ghostwriters. A Historic Dud.  Obscene Media Spectacle. American Horror Story. Is Donald Trump OK? “Hegel remarks somewhere,” Marx wrote, “that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” We are the 5%. And we’re still allowed to vote.

* And the kids are all right: Trump, Clinton more disliked by millennials than Voldemort.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 1, 2016 at 3:35 am

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Big Tuesday Links!

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* Sadly always relevant: How the Media Inspires Mass Shooters. So There’s Just Been a Mass Shooting. I bought an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in Philly in 7 minutes.

Since, in fact, we lack the ability to realise even a single one of these demands in the foreseeable future, and since all other apparent solutions are unavailing, the unwelcome thought begins to insinuate itself — we are going to live in a world with Daesh and its massacres no matter what we do.

* Presenting The Bee. Exciting new “Beyond Criticism” project from Lili Loofbourow.

* Along the way to a world of driverless cars there are many potential roadblocks: infrastructure issues, different technical standards, restrictive state licensing policies, and more. But something more problematic might be the one most likely to derail this important technology: excessive lawsuits. To avoid the chilling effect that excessive litigation might have on this life-saving innovation, Congress may need to provide a certain amount of legal immunity for creators of driverless car technologies, or at least create an alternative legal compensation system for when things go wrong. 

* There are no ifs, maybes or caveats allowed in American sports and now in American culture—you’re either a champion or you’re a loser: a nothing.

We Finally Know Why Birds Are So Freakishly Smart. The tragedy of the pit bull. Fugitive capybara captured in Toronto park 19 days after zoo escape.

* I thought Captain America: Civil War held together reasonably well until I considered the movie from Baron Zemo’s point of view.

The Ecstatic Experience: “Hamilton,” “Hair,” and “Oklahoma!” “Hamilton” and History’s Darkened Rooms.

* Keep El Centro, CA weird.

Moving as a child can change who you are as an adult.

Aldermen call for hearings on lead in water at Chicago schools.

* The Blacklist: Here are the media outlets banned by Donald Trump.

Sad! These three campaign gurus for Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have had some time to reflect on their loss to The Donald. And do they ever have stories to tell.

The case for, and the case against, Elizabeth Warren as Clinton’s VP pick. Democrats vs Democrats. Clinton running even in Utah.

* Curb returns. So does Clementine.

* The VR X-Wing experience.

* Harrison Ford is moving to one of the five or six cities I call home: Burlington, Vermont.

* Not all heroes wear capes: Traveler sues TSA for missed flight.

* Abolishing Daylight Savings Time in California.

* If you want to understand the contemporary moment. Why Trump Now? It’s the Empire, Stupid.

Mongolia will become a global pioneer next month, when its national post office starts referring to locations by a series of three-word phrases instead of house numbers and street names.

For example, the White House, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, becomes sulk.held.raves; the Tokyo Tower is located at fans.helpless.collects; and the Stade de France is at reporter.smoked.received.

Why, it couldn’t be simpler!

* Porn and the future.

* First, let’s vote out all the lawyers.

* Video is terrible, is almost certainly the future of everything.

* And the future just isn’t very stable: Carbon nanotubes have been pegged as the wonder material that could finally allow us to build a space elevator. A discouraging new study suggests these microscopic strands aren’t as resilient as we thought—and all it could take is a single misplaced atom to bring the whole thing crashing down.

 

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Spring Break Forever Links

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* Hey look! LARoB reviewed Green Planets.

* Another science fiction studies research opportunity: The 2016-2017 Le Guin Fellowship.

Notes from ICFA roundtable on The Force Awakens, on cast, nostalgia, and franchise. This was a great panel; I’m so glad we did it.

* Will we ever learn George Lucas’s original Plan for Star Wars Episode 7?

What a Funding Fracas Could Mean for the Future of CUNY.

* They’ve finally diagnosed my unusual condition.

* Snubbed again! Here Are 15 Indispensable Academic Twitter Accounts.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Batman and Superman. Meanwhile:

* In other words, bad food becomes linked to good memories, and to our sense of who we are and where we come from. To give up that food would be to give up not only a piece of our childhood, but of ourselves. “When we hear someone suggesting that we stop eating our favorite brand of ice cream or potato chips or sliced white bread, we feel a knee-jerk hostility,” Wilson writes. “It’s hard to let go of these foods and find a better way of eating without a sense of loss.”

In this formula, the president implies that with hard work everyone can get a good job. This is the premise for a lot of public education rhetoric, and it is 100 percent false. It may be technically true that in the American system anyone can get a good job, but that doesn’t mean most people aren’t out of luck. Anyone can win the lottery, but everyone certainly can’t. America is still a class system, and by design, most people—no matter the average level of education or job skill—will have to sell their labor to property owners in order to feed and house themselves. Those property owners are the same people that have spent the past hundred years shaping the education system and scientifically reducing labor costs.

* What a weird coincidence, ten straight record warm months in a row.

* Appalachia in the Anthropocene: When mining a century’s worth of energy means ruining a landscape for millions of years. Ice in the Anthropocene. Oil in the Anthropocene. Boulder-Hurling Megawaves in the Anthropocene. Cli-Fi in the Anthropocene.

* “There are no plausible scenarios in which climate stabilization is compatible with a pace of capital accumulation required for economic and political stability under a capitalist system.” Capitalism, Climate Change and the Transition to Sustainability: Alternative Scenarios for the US, China and the World.

How are the political effects of “terrorism” produced?

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A Video Game About Changing What Happens In Shakespeare’s Hamlet Using Time Travel. Sold!

* Zootopia and ideology.

Up Against the Centerfold: What It Was Like to Report on Feminism for Playboy in 1969.

* Today in the charter school scam.

The Christians, the Soviets, and the Bible.

It’s Over Gandalf. We Need to Unite Behind Saruman to Save Middle Earth from Sauron!

* Game theory and the GOP nomination. Can’t #StopTrump? Third parties: a beginner’s guide. Of course, there’s always Plan B. Or Plan C.

I, Cthulhu, endorse Donald Trump.

* BART Social Media Intern ’16.

* Legalize everything.

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

* A Brief History of Sabotage.

* Twilight of Gawker: Hulk Hogan Awarded $115 Million in Privacy Suit.

* Sea World Promises to Acquire No New Orcas. Why SeaWorld is ending its killer whale program, in one brutal chart.

Why We’re Opting Out of Testing.

* Junot Díaz on time travel and colonialism.

* Daredevil and Catholicism.

* A book length history of abolition.

* More from the death of psychology.

* Well, he tried: the Obama legacy.

The Republican Party Must Answer for What It Did to Kansas and Louisiana.

* The stock market is a sucker’s bet.

* What we talk about when we talk about jobs.

These measures seem harsh, but if Trump really is a sui generis evil, then unprecedented and difficult measures are called for. If we’re not willing to make and carry through with such threats, does that mean that we don’t really view him as a sui generis evil? That this is just the latest thing we’re willing to humor for the sake of family peace and avoiding social awkwardness?

Emory Students Express Discontent With Administrative Response to Trump Chalkings. I’m currently in the process of filing a request with the chalk administration office so I can respond to this with the detail and attention it deserves.

What if physical activity doesn’t help people lose weight?

* Duke’s non-tenure-track faculty have unionized.

* They found Himmler’s occult book stash.

* “Kansas Bill Would Pay Students A $2,500 Bounty To Hunt For Trans People In Bathrooms.”

Inside the Crazy Back-Channel Negotiations That Revolutionized Our Relationship With Cuba.

* Somehow, Telltale is going to continue its Walking Dead series after radically fracturing the outcomes at the end of Season Two.

Hackers ‘could take over your dildo and make it go berserk’, expert warns.

* Reading Calvin and Hobbes in Korea.

* I’ll be 100% honest, you had me at hello.

* And the best fantasy series you’ve never heard of is getting a second chance at a film franchise. This time it will work for sure!

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 23, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Another Loose Firehose of Weekend Links!

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* I’ve been so busy this little bit of clickbait isn’t even timely anymore: 3 reasons the American Revolution was a mistake. And this one isn’t timely either!

* New China Miéville story, in Salvage.

A Laboratory Sitting on a Graveyard: Greece and the Neoliberal Debt Crisis.

Campus cops are shadowy, militarized and more powerful than ever.

* How to Support a Scholar Who Has Come Under Attack.

Guns, Prisons, Social Causes: New Fronts Emerge in Campus Fights Over Divestment.

* The final budget numbers that University of Wisconsin campuses have been dreading for months were released late Monday, prompting a mad scramble on campuses to figure out the winners and losers. Wisconsin’s Neoliberal Arts.

* In other words, states would be required to embrace and the federal government would be obligated to enforce a professor-centered vision of how to operate a university: tenure for everyone, nice offices all around, and the administrators and coaches can go pound sand. Sanders for president!

* Why College Kids Are Avoiding the Study of Literature.

* Rich Kids Study English.

* 11 Reasons To Ignore The Haters And Major In The Humanities. “Quality of life” almost barely sneaks in as a criterion at the end.

* Towards a New Common Sense.

* On Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye.

* Deep cuts: Why Do TV Characters All Own the Same Weird Old Blanket?

* The plan creates, in effect, a parallel school district within Milwaukee that will be empowered to seize MPS schools and turn them over to charter operators or voucher-taking private schools. While there is, in principle, a mechanism for returning OSPP schools to MPS after a period of five years, that mechanism carries qualifications intended to ensure that no OSPP school will ever return to MPS. This, alongside funding provisions for OSPP and MPS spelled out in the motion, makes it hard to avoid the conclusion that the plan’s purpose is to bankrupt the Milwaukee Public Schools. It is a measure of Darling and Kooyenga’s contempt for the city and its people that they may sincerely believe that this would be a good thing for Milwaukee schoolchildren.

The failure rate for charter schools is much higher than for traditional public schools. In the 2011-2012 school year, for example, charter school students ran two and half times the risk of having their education disrupted by a school closing and suffering academic setbacks as a result. Dislocated students are less likely to graduate and suffer other harms. In a 2014 study, Matthew F. Larsen with the Department of Economics at Tulane University looked at high school closures in Milwaukee, almost all of which were charter schools. He concluded that closures decreased “high school graduation rates by nearly 10%” The effects persist “even if the students attends a better quality school after closure.”

The Verdict on Charter Schools?

* “Here is what I would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body—it is heritage.” Letter to My Son.

What If Everything You Knew About Disciplining Kids Was Wrong?

On June 8, CNN unveiled “Courageous,” a new production unit and an in-house studio that would be paid by advertisers to produce and broadcast news-like “branded content.” 

* Social networking and the majority illusion.

* Reddit in chaos.

* “Colleges’ Balance Sheets Are Looking Better.” Happy days are here again!

* Is Bail Unconstitutional?

* My Severed Thumb and the Ambiguities of Technological Progress.

* So much for “most unpaid internships are illegal.”

* Now that the Supreme Court has once again saved Obamacare, can we have an honest talk about it?

* From the archives! Liberalism and Gentrification.

* From the archives! The world’s oldest continuously operating family business ended its impressive run last year. Japanese temple builder Kongo Gumi, in operation under the founders’ descendants since 578, succumbed to excess debt and an unfavorable business climate in 2006.

* Dear Alice Sheldon.

* “Zach Anderson” is the latest outrageous story from the sex offender registry to go viral.

* Prisoner’s Dilemma as pedagogy.

In its 2015-17 budget, the Legislature cut four-year college tuition costs by 15 to 20 percent by 2016 — making Washington the only state in the country to lower tuition for public universities and colleges next year.

* Shadow work and academia.

* Art and the wage.

* The end of “weaponized anthropology.”

Keywords for the Age of Austerity 20: Pivot.

* Tumblr of the week: Every Single Word Spoken by a Person of Color in [Mainstream Film Title].

* New Jersey congressman pitches the least substantive response to the student debt crisis — SO FAR.

Neither special circumstances nor grades were determinative. Of the 841 students admitted under these criteria, 47 had worse grades than Fisher, and 42 of them were white. On the other end, UT rejected 168 black and Latino students with scores equal to or better than Fisher’s.

Thousands Of Children Risked Their Lives In Tanzania’s Gold Mines For $2 A Day.

* Kotsko has been blogging about his latest turn through the harassment grinder. He’s taking on Big Santa, too. He just doesn’t care.

* Climate science and gloom. But at least air conditioning might not be that bad.

* Weird day for computers this week. Anyway we should put algorithms in charge of everything.

* Scenes from the Olympic scam, Boston edition.

20091207* At least it’s an ethos!

* Sci-Fi Crime Drama with a Strong Black Lead.

* Salaita, one year later.

The world of fracketeering is infinitely flexible and contradictory. Buy tickets online and you could be charged an admin fee for an attachment that requires you to print them at home. The original online booking fee – you’ve come this far in the buying process, hand over an extra 12 quid now or write off the previous 20 minutes of your life – has mutated into exotic versions of itself. The confirmation fee. The convenience fee. Someone who bought tickets for a tennis event at the O2 sent me this pithy tweet: “4 tickets. 4 Facility Fees + 4 Service Charge + 1 Standard Mail £2.75 = 15% of overall £!”. Definitely a grand slam.

* The initial, back-of-the-napkin notes for Back to the Future 2 and 3.

* Nice try, parents! You can’t win.

* What my parents did was buy us time – time for us to stare at clouds, time for us to contemplate the stars, to wonder at a goiter, to gape open-mouthed at shimmering curtains of charged particles hitting the ionosphere. What it cost them can be written about another time. What I am grateful for is that summer of awe.

The “gag law also forbids citizens to insult the monarchy and if someone is found guilty in a defamation or libel case, he or she can face up to two years in prison or be forced to pay an undetermined fine,” local media outlet Eco Republicano reported as the public expressed its anger against the law introduced by the ruling Popular Party.

* Wisconsin Democrats sue to undo the incredible 2011 gerrymander that destroyed the state.

* Obama Plans Broader Use of Clemency to Free Nonviolent Drug Offenders. This is good, but still much too timid — he could free many times as many people as he’s freeing and still barely make a dent in the madness of the drug war.

* EPA’s New Fracking Study: A Close Look at the Numbers Buried in the Fine Print.

* The central ideological commitment of the new Star Wars movies seems to be “well of course you can’t really overthrow an Empire.” Seems right. (Minor spoilers if you’re an absolute purist.)

* Brian K. Vaughn will write an issue of The Walking Dead.

* Dune, 50 years on: how a science fiction novel changed the world.

* When adjuncts go union.

* So you want to announce for the WWE.

* When I Was White.

* This isn’t canon! Marisa Tomei is your Aunt May.

* I’m not happy about this either.

* A Quick Puzzle to Test Your Problem Solving, or, Our Brains Don’t Work. I got it right, though I doubt I would have if it hadn’t been framed as a puzzle.

* Your time travel short of the weekend: “One-Minute Time Machine.”

* Or perhaps post-apocalyptic Sweden is more your flavor.

* Another round of the polygamy debate.

* RISK: Game of Thrones.

Everything You Thought You Knew About Nic Cage’s Superman Film Is Wrong.

* Remnant of Boston’s Brutal Winter Threatens to Outlast Summer.

* And then there’s Whitesboro.

The Lost Girls: One famous band. One huge secret. Many lives destroyed.

Armed police in England and Wales only fired their weapons twice over the course of 14,864 operations that took place from 2013-2014.

Cellphones Do Not Give You Brain Cancer.

* 7,000 Fireworks Go Off at Once Due To Computer Malfunction.

* Sopranos season eight: How two technology consultants helped drug traffickers hack the Port of Antwerp.

I never noticed how sexist so many children’s books are until I started reading to my kids. Preach.

* A gendered history of LEGO.

* Aurora is out! Buy it! You don’t have to take my word for it! Excerpt! More! More!

* And there’s nothing sweet in life.

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Written by gerrycanavan

July 10, 2015 at 8:02 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Links!

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* CFP: In More’s Footsteps: Utopia and Science Fiction.

* CFP: The Comics of Art Spiegelman.

* In case you missed it: the syllabus for my summer science fiction course.

* Your official Mad Men finale odds sheet.

Stop sanitizing the history of the run-up to Iraq War.

In this small suburb outside Milwaukee, no one in the Menomonee Falls School District escapes the rigorous demands of data.

What Makes a University Public?: Privatization, Environmental Racism, and UC Berkeley’s Real Estate Office.

Academic Freedom and Tenure: University of Southern Maine.

* Bérubé and Ruth (and Bousquet) on their plan to convert adjunct positions to teaching tenure.

Everything But The Burden: Publics, Public Scholarship, And Institutions.

Obama’s Catastrophic Climate-Change Denial.

Honeybees (still) dying, situation ‘unheard of.’

* A brief history of the freeway.

Britain is too tolerant and should interfere more in people’s lives, says David Cameron.

* Free market watch: Having everyone’s account at a single, central institution allows the authorities to either encourage or discourage people to spend. To boost spending, the bank imposes a negative interest rate on the money in everyone’s account – in effect, a tax on saving.

In the last academic year, Rutgers athletics generated $40.3 million in revenue, but spent $76.7 million, leaving a deficit of more than $36 million. In other words, revenue barely covered half the department’s expenses.

The crazy idea was this: The United States Army would design a “deception unit”: a unit that would appear to the enemy as a large armored division with tanks, trucks, artillery, and thousands of soldiers. But this unit would actually be equipped only with fake tanks, fake trucks, fake artillery and manned by just a handful of soldiers.

The top 25 hedge fund managers earn more than all kindergarten teachers in U.S. combined.

* I honestly found this a pretty devastating brief, though not everyone on Facebook found it as useful or persuasive as I did: The Progressive Case Against Public Schools, or, What Bleeding Heart Libertarians Should Say.

Disney Spent $15 Billion To Limit Their Audience. But the news gets worse, friends: Disney under fire for fairytale film based on true story of American dad who claimed African land to make daughter a princess.

Here’s Which Humanities Major Makes the Most Money After College.

Jury Acquits Six Philly Narcotics Cops On All Corruption Charges. Wow.

The Texas Prison Rape Problem.

Honolulu Mayor Learns The Hard Way That Criminalization Isn’t The Answer To Homelessness.

* Don’t vote Carcetti.

First Supergirl Trailer Really Does Feel Like An SNL Parody.

The last of the renegade Nazis living in a self-sufficient lunar colony has died, aged 95.

* “It’s about this little girl who finds a little kitten”: Mark Z. Danielewski is back. Did Mark Z. Danielewski just reinvent the novel?

* “TV show apologises for cruel ‘prank’ on girl, 13, who thought she was about to meet her long-lost mother.”

* Russ Feingold announces rematch Senate bid against Ron Johnson in 2016. Fine, but he should have run against Walker, any of the last three times.

* The arc of history is long, but Harry Shearer is quitting The Simpsons.

* Same joke but Alex Garland confirms zombie sequel 28 Months Later is in the works.

* Not since Jewel’s A Night without Armor have we seen a poet like James Franco.

The Agony of Taking a Standardized Test on a Computer.

Bill O’Reilly: America will fall like Rome if the secular “rap industry” has its way.

Georgia Man Arrested for Trespassing After Saving Dog From Hot Car.

Group petitions White House to add Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.

Dean Featured in ‘Rolling Stone’ Article Sues Magazine for $7.5 Million.

* Behold, Clichéa.

* And it’s not all bad news: Telltale Promise Something ‘Major’ From The Walking Dead Franchise This Year.

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Written by gerrycanavan

May 15, 2015 at 7:00 am

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Syllabus: Science Fiction in the Summertime

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I find teaching in the summer very agreeable in some ways and very difficult in others: I really feel as though a “life during wartime” spirit of camaraderie develops in the classroom, which is nice, but at the same time it can be difficult to cover the amount of material I’d normally cover in a semester (especially since it’s so hard to assign the usual amount of either reading or writing). This summer in particular I’ve really had to accept that summer classes are just different — my class meets only two days a week, for an impossible 3 1/2 hours at a stretch.

My plan is to break each class period into roughly three one-hour chunks, with two short breaks between each. There’s a lot more in-class stuff than I usually do, and even more little clips and exercises that I have planned that won’t be the major focus of the day and so aren’t listed in the syllabus. No papers — just take-home midterm, take-home final, forum posts, and quizzes.

People who know my classes or my work can probably tell that I’ve chosen texts I know inside and out, including a bunch I’ve written on. This is not an accident.

With all those caveats, here’s the gameplan:

M June 29 INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE

in class: Ted Chiang, “Liking What You See: A Documentary”

in class: excerpts from Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica (2000s), Interstellar, Mass Effect, etc.

W July 1 in class: film, Avatar (2009)
M July 6 Avatar discussion continues: Annalee Newitz, “When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like Avatar?” [web]; Slavoj Žižek, “Return of the Natives” [web]

Kim Stanley Robinson, “The Lucky Strike”

in class: Kim Stanley Robinson, “A Sensitive Dependence on Internal Conditions”

W July 8 Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five (first third)
M July 13 Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five (second third)
W July 15 Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five (whole book)
M July 20 TAKE-HOME MIDTERM DUE TO D2L BY 5:30 PM

James Tiptree, Jr., “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?” [ARES]

in class: Ursula K. Le Guin: “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

in class: film, “The Space Traders” (1994)

W July 22 Mark Bould, “The Ships Landed Long Ago” [ARES]

Samuel R. Delany, “The Star Pit” [ARES]

in class: TV, Star Trek: Deep Space 9: “Far Beyond the Stars” (1998)

M July 27 Octavia E. Butler, Dawn (parts one and two)
W July 29 Octavia E. Butler, Dawn (part three)
M August 3 Octavia E. Butler, Dawn (whole book)

in class: excerpt from Octavia E. Butler, Adulthood Rites

W August 5 Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead, Volumes 1 & 2

in class: zombie film and television, zombie games

LAST DAY OF CLASS

M August 10 TAKE HOME FINAL DUE TO D2L BY 12:00 PM

Find the Secret Tuesday Link and Win a Prize

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A thoughtful, if ultimately mostly negative, review of The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction. I’m either too narcissistic or not narcissistic enough to argue with the reviewer point-by-point — and in any event it’s probably unprofessional to get too deep into how the sausage is made — but I will note that we definitely thought about all these issues as we were putting the volume together, and tried to address them in our introduction and general organization. I’ll also add that “for better or worse” we didn’t really see our book as operating independently from the James and Mendlesohn volume; we were trying to do something that extended that book rather than merely replicating it with identical chapters focused on the US. No book can be all things to all people, but hopefully other people find the balance we struck more pleasing than Cheney did…

* Here’s a short alumni interview on science fiction I did with the CWRU English department for their newsletter.

On Monday, however, a county attorney in Virginia gave defenders of the college new hope that they could stop the ticking clock and save the institution. The county attorney filed suit in Virginia court charging that the president and board of the college have violated several state laws and failed in their duties to keep the college running. And the suit seeks an injunction to stop activity to close the college and to replace the president and the board.

* You mean “Capitalocene.” Just say Capitalocene.

* A great Existential Comic on the transporter problem. You’d never get me in one of those things.

Senate Bill 593 ties professors’ pay to teaching assignments, requiring a minimum of eight courses for the profs to earn their full salary. If academic research requires a lighter course load, universities could supplement professors’ salaries with money from their nonprofit foundations. Why only eight courses? We’re leaving money on the table!

Prof who got UW’s Ray Cross to put his job on the line says he meant to help him.

Towns established by freed slaves are dying out.

Growing Up on ‘Mad Men’: A Conversation With Matthew Weiner and Kiernan Shipka.

Disney Developing Live-Action Mulan.

* Robot horror.

If You Didn’t Kill That Zombie, Maybe I Won’t Either.

A brilliant Tinder hack made hundreds of bros unwittingly flirt with each other.

* Unreal: Spokesman for GOP candidate who committed suicide after anti-Semitic ‘whisper campaign’ found dead.

* Hell, just let Maisie Williams play the Doctor next. Or Kiernan Shipka. But one of them definitely.

* See, you can get fired from being a cop.

“I retweet not in anger. But it’s an impressive rise for a dude who three years ago was replying to Uberfacts tweets with dick jokes.”

* It hasn’t been the dynamics of the market so much as active state intervention that has fueled technological change.

Artist paints Star Wars characters using nothing but coffee.

* The United States Is (Still) at War in Yemen. “On the Verge of Total Collapse.”

* Everything old is new again: Anglo Saxon remedy kills hospital superbug MRSA.

* Everything old is new again.

* And everything old is new again.

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