Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘tipping points

Tuesday Night

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* Following up on today’s diappointing Supreme Court news: Obamacare’s Supreme Court Disaster. Well, That Could Have Gone Better. Brian Beutler says it wasn’t as bad as it looked. So does Ian Millhiser. The battle over a limiting principle. Medicaid as sleeper issue. Kennedy, Roberts Likely To Determine Fate Of Mandate. Lyle Denniston says it’s all Kennedy. Klein reads Roberts. Kerr reads Kennedy. Even more at MeFi.

* Rachel Maddow: 4,000 days of war in Afghanistan?

* An interview with the creator of You Can’t Do That on Television. Via MeFi.

* The headline reads, “Global Warming Close to Becoming Irreversible.”

* Look on the bright side: The speaker of the North Carolina House says the state’s coming anti-gay Amendment One will probably be struck down in a mere twenty years.

* More Scott Pilgrim? Maybe someday.

* Life in the Retreat at Twin Lakes after the Trayvon Martin shooting.

* And are these the rules of Roadrunner and Coyote? I choose to believe.

1. The Road Runner cannot harm the Coyote except by going “meep, meep.”
2. No outside force can harm the Coyote — only his own ineptitude or the failure of Acme products. Trains and trucks were the exception from time to time.
3. The Coyote could stop anytime — if he were not a fanatic.
4. No dialogue ever, except “meep, meep” and yowling in pain.
5. The Road Runner must stay on the road — for no other reason than that he’s a roadrunner.
6. All action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters — the southwest American desert.
7. All tools, weapons, or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the Acme Corporation.
8. Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote’s greatest enemy.
9. The Coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures.
10. The audience’s sympathy must remain with the Coyote.
11. The Coyote is not allowed to catch or eat the Road Runner.

A Few for Sunday

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Some of these I first saw at the triumphant return of zunguzungu’s Sunday Reading. You may have also seen his piece “The Grass Is Closed” on the arbitrariness of power this weekend, already linked everywhere.

* Chapel Hill anarchists occupy downtown building. Occupy Minnesota protestors occupy foreclosed home.

* UC groups endorse November 15 strike.

* An interview with Susie Cagle.

* The moral clarity of empire:

It’s over 800 billion dollars that we have expended [in Iraq]. I believe that Iraq should pay us back for the money that we spent, and I believe that Iraq should pay the families that lost a loved one several million dollars per life, I think at minimum.

* The Culturally Biased SAT: Hip-Hop Edition.

* From last week, but now more than ever: “Italy is now the biggest story in the world.”

* Except for this one: When do we hit the point of no return for climate change?

And, as the IEA found, we’re about five years away from building enough carbon-spewing infrastructure to lock us in and make it extremely difficult — maybe impossible — to avoid 450 ppm. The point of no return comes around 2017.

* Fat primates rejoice! Obese Monkeys Lose Weight on Drug that Attacks Blood Supply of Fat Cells.

* And I saw this the other day, but forgot to post it: Sam Harris on self-defense.

This is the core principle of self-defense: Do whatever you can to avoid a physical confrontation, but the moment avoidance fails, attack explosively for the purposes of escape—not to mete out justice, or to teach a bully a lesson, or to apprehend a criminal. Your goal is to get away with minimum trauma (to you), while harming your attacker in any way that seems necessary to ensure your escape.⁠

Stay safe out there.

Wed. Misc.

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Wednesday miscellany!

* Startling: 50% of people think women should be legally required to take their husbands’ names. Watch out, most married woman under forty I know! They’re coming for you.

* Jonathan Lethem talks to The Jewish Daily Forward about the greatness of Philip K. Dick.

* Have we reached our civilization’s tipping point? See also: why climate change is worse than we feared.

* AMC greenlights zombie series. Sounds promising. Between this and Red Mars AMC is making a strong push for my particular demographic.

* As of tonight, Microsoft can no longer sell Word.

* Another Battlestar reboot? Already? Really?

* Lesser-known editing and proofreading marks. (via)

* ‘Gathered, Not Made: A Brief History of Appropriative Writing.’

* And Ze gets philosophical.

You partake in a medical experiment. In the experiment you are given one of two pills. You don’t know which one until after you take it. One shortens your life by 10 years, and the other lengthens your life by 10 years. You have just found out which pill you took. The question is: which pill do you think will increase the quality of your life the most? Would one make you change the way you live your life more than the other?

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.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 22, 2009 at 11:24 pm

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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.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 25, 2009 at 5:44 pm

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Good Thinking

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Good thinking.

(via HuffPoGreen)

Written by gerrycanavan

December 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Monday Night Ecology

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Monday night ecology.

* Starbucks has an official corporate policy of wasting a whole lot of water for no good reason.

* At least 25% of the world’s mammal species are at risk of extinction, according to the first assessment of their status for a decade.

* Are we past the global warming tipping point?

Written by gerrycanavan

October 7, 2008 at 1:36 am