Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘TNG

Tuesday Links!

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* A Political History of the Future: Black Panther. Does the film ask its audience to root for the wrong character? Black Panther’s Right Thing.

Directly following from the notion that life is often boring and annoying, comes the consequence that our characters cannot always be wrapped up in galactic struggles to save existence. Sometimes it just has to be a day at the office, and we keep watching simply because a Federation starship is a more interesting and inspiring office than ours. That thought motivated me to portray the communist future not as a magical resolution of the human condition but, to follow Freud by way of Corey Robin, the conversion of hysterical misery into ordinary unhappiness. To Boringly Go.


If science fiction, for example, satisfactorily addresses the challenges of narrating the Anthropocene, why should we care whether the mainstream novel does or not?

According to a new study, we might be locked in this deadly embrace. Research by an international team of scientists recently published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters says that the cooling effect of aerosols is so large that it has masked as much as half of the warming effect from greenhouse gases. So aerosols can’t be wiped out. Take them away and temperatures would soar overnight. Turns out we have been unwittingly geoengineering for decades, and just like in the movies, it’s gone off the rails.

We’re witnessing the fastest decline in Arctic sea ice in at least 1,500 years.

The Cardinals will become the first NCAA Division I men’s basketball program to vacate a national title during the Final Four era, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

* The Real Threat To Campuses Isn’t ‘PC Culture.’ It’s Racism.

* Why the media can’t report the truth about John Kelly.

In many instances, the people forming that early narrative about Kelly — the reporters writing the profiles and the sources they quoted — were white. That’s not a determinative fact, but it was likely a factor in which parts of Kelly’s resume were focused on, and which aspects of his personality were prioritized.

I’m autistic. I just turned 36 — the average age when people like me die.

Michael: So one day, we were taping, and Fred comes in, and starts singing, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day … ” puts the shoes down here, goes to hang up the sweater in the closet. And he’s singing, and he opens the door — and there’s his floor manager, Nick, this big guy with his long goatee, pierced ears, hair all over the place, totally nude, just standing there naked in the closet. Well, Fred just fell down; it was the most hysterical thing you’ve ever seen. He was totally cool.

Why Do Star Wars Fans Want the New Han Solo Movie to Flop? Rey is the new Anakin.

Challenging new reading of Garfield reframes canonical “anti-Mondays” stance.

Monday Morning Links!

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* If you only read one Star Trek: Discovery postmortem this week, it’s got to be Abigail Nussbaum’s. But if you read too, here’s mine at LARB! No Follow-Through.

* Then this one #3: In Its First Season, Star Trek: Discovery Asked Hard Questions It Never Really Wanted the Answers to.

Original pitch for Star Trek: The Next Generation had a hologram captain. Fake Research Paper Based on Star Trek: Voyager‘s Worst Episode Was Published by a Scientific Journal.

Science Fiction Film and Television 11.1 now available! With a special section on the science fiction of Scarlett Johansson, essays on District 9 and dating simulators, and a review essay on Get Out! 

* A CFP for the “Worlding SF” event in Graz, Austria, next December, with keynotes from Mark Bould, Cheryl Morgan, and me…

* Meanwhile, the 2019 CFP for the MLA’s speculative fiction discussion group, of which I am now the immediate past chair:

Activist Speculation and Visionary Fiction

How “visionary fiction” (Walidah Imarisha’s term for stories imagining “newer, freer worlds”) contributes to speculative fiction theory, pedagogy, practice. 200-word abstract, CV by 16 March 2018 to Alexis Lothian (

* I got the chance to watch this documentary on Flannery O’Connor last week as part of a Marquette English event. It was great! Can’t wait for it to find a home.

* Nothing but respect for my president.

Horrified Florida students beg the adults: Please, do something about guns.

I have a thing to say about growing up after tragedy.

* On the imperative of content. No one knows.

The goal was to create “products,” which could then be monetized, but according to Leslie, who took over oversight of the institute in 2015, “There was not the foundation of a business plan” at the institute’s inception. This is perhaps not surprising, given that the “Framework for Excellence” which midwifed the Institute was literally dreamed up in two days by Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and his advisors and passed by the regents “without asking a single question.”

* We should just create “incentive” / punishment structures that force college presidents to retire at 64 1/2, just like they all did to faculty.

When the White Supremacists Come to Campus.

* When the suits killed Barnes and Noble.

* The august sport of (checks notes) curling may never be the same.

* Male privilege is having never thought about this possibility.

Ban The United States From The Olympics.

* Cleaning products as bad for lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day, scientists warn.

* How banks block people of color from homeownership.

* ICE really doubling down. Man who called 911 about suspected burglary detained by ICE. He can’t get proper HIV treatment in Venezuela. But he’s being deported anyway. ICE Arrests in the Pacific Northwest Increased 25 Percent in 2017. Washington officials gave activist’s info to ICE. Refusing an interpreter to a deaf detainee. How ICE Works to Strip Citizenship from Naturalized Americans. ICE Arrests Man at a Green Card Interview. Tearing families apart.

* Know your immigration law.

* Like Uber but for human trafficking.

Westchester School Leaves Behind Disabled Students in Fire Evacuation.

This List of Every Reason Banner Hulks Out in the Classic Hulk TV Series Is Hilarious.

  • Receiving a lethal injection, and then having the person say, “Oh. I just gave you a lethal injection. Sorry, David.”
  • Wandering around in the service ducts of a hotel (predating Bruce Willis) only to accidentally yank several of the pipes loose and get a full blast of hot steam
  • Being tied up and fed soup by an elderly Japanese woman who doesn’t
    understand words like “You’ve GOT to cut me loose!”
  • Being thrown under a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade float by a mean guy in a gorilla suit who gives David a few kicks for good measure
  • Receiving a speeding ticket
  • Wandering around inside a carnival funhouse, only to have someone turn on the machinery so that David is somehow caught in a rolling tumbler and flipped over a few times and then thrown down a convenient slide

‘Minecraft’ Data Mining Reveals Players’ Darkest Secrets.

* When Fonzie time-traveled.

* How should we talk about Trump’s brain?

The Security Clearance Situation in the White House Is Bonkers.

* The case for impeaching Clarence Thomas.

Here’s What Critics Are Saying About Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs.

New York Federal judge rules that embedding tweets can violate copyright law.

* Black Panther killed it. Black Panther and the Invention of Africa. Black Panther Is Not the Movie We Deserve. The Man Who Made Black Panther Cool.

Winners of the 2018 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest.

The Donkey Kong Timeline Is Truly Disturbing.

Debullshitifying Uber’s financial statement reveals a hemorrhaging fountain of red ink with no path to profitability.

* Let kids have a sense of control over their own lives. The research is clear, let’s ban homework. In Defense of Picky Eating.

First ship crosses Arctic in winter without an icebreaker as global warming causes ice sheets to melt. Miami could be underwater in your kid’s lifetime as sea level rise accelerates.

* A History of the United American Socialist Republics.

Here’s All 290 Star Wars Movies Officially in Production Right Now.

* I loved this read of “The Voice of the Dolphins” at LARB, but it’s odd that the piece never notes the very strong suggestion in the story that the entire dolphin project was a hoax.


* What was only a trial run was taken seriously.

* And in a time without heroes: Cow escapes on way to slaughterhouse, smashes through metal fence, breaks arm of man trying to catch her then swims to safety on island in lake.

Happy Valentine’s Day Links!

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* Very excited to welcome Adam Kotsko to Marquette later this week for his talk “Animated Nihilism: Rick and Morty, BoJack Horseman and the Strange Fate of the Adult Cartoon.”

* There was a nice interview with me at the ArchivesAWARE! site, kicking off a new series on Archives and Audiences.

* SFRA Review #323 is out! Check out the details on the upcoming SFRA conference in Milwaukee.

* CFP: The Journal of Dracula Studies. CFP: Žižek Studies special issue on “Žižek: What Went Wrong?”

* The Simpsons: What Went Wrong?

* A science-fiction narrative imagining an alternate universe in which Donald Trump never became President: he’s just a regular guy in New York City.

The Problem With Annihilation’s Messy Release.

Fantastic Beasts and What Could Have Been. They’re really not nailing this.

* Kim Stanley Robinson: The Radical Philosophy Interview.

KSR: Capitalism is still very feudal in its distribution of wealth. One of the great triumphs of Marxist historiography is to describe accurately the transition from feudalism to capitalism, why it happened and the differences. At a presentation I once gave with Jameson, I said something like capitalism is just feudalism liquidified. In the break he said, ‘Kim, it’s actually a big accomplishment for Marxists to be able to describe the change from feudalism to capitalism.’ I then brought up something he had taught me, Raymond Williams’s concept of the residual and the emergent, and said, ‘but there’s a lot more residual than people have imagined.’ That’s one of the only times I saw Fred startled by something I said. Although I think there’s an exchange of ideas between us, mainly he’s the teacher, I’m the student. He’s explained things that I never would have understood, and I treasure him for that. So it was nice to see him think, ‘Mmm, that’s an interesting thought.’

The residuals out of feudalism would be the power gradient and the actual concentration of wealth per se. In the feudal period, kings might not even have been as proportionally rich as top executives are now in relation to the poor. And if peasants weren’t murdered by passing soldiers, they were living with their food source at hand and working a somewhat decent human life. That isn’t largely true now of the dispossessed. So, capitalism is like feudalism in that, but worse.

* The Good Place and Divine Justice. Meet the Philosophers Who Give ‘The Good Place’ Its Scholarly Bona Fides. TV’s Dystopia Boom. Breakfast and Groundhog Day. Rod Serling: human rights activist as science fiction showrunner. Why the Culture wins. Netflix created a monster with its Cloverfield stunt, and Altered Carbon won’t be the last victim. Reproductive Futurism and Its (Dis)contents. Why I barely read SF these days. Against dystopia.

* My Butch Lesbian Mom, Bruce Springsteen.

* The Sublimated Grief of the Left Behind. How Academe Breeds Resentment. International Grad Students’ Interest in American Higher Ed Marks First Decline in 14 Years. Columbia University Gets In Bed with Trump. I’m a Stanford professor accused of being a terrorist. McCarthyism is back. How Hard Do Professors Work? Shameless and Hypocrisy at the MLA. And meanwhile, on the Singularity beat: Teaching assistant robots will reinvent academia. Universities in the Age of AI.

Humanities Grads Gainfully Employed and Happy.

White Supremacists Are Targeting College Students ‘Like Never Before.’

* The Olympic hero for our time.

* To U.S. Border Patrol, the Canadian border is 100 miles wide. A good overview of how Trump’s ICE differs, and doesn’t, from Obama’s; the major distinction seems to be empowering street-level officer to make policy-level determinations about enforcement. A Short, Brutal History of ICE. ICE Wants to Be an Intelligence Agency Under Trump. ICE Grants Stay To Arizona Father Whose 5-Year-Old Son Is Battling Cancer. Kansas chemistry instructor arrested by ICE while taking his daughter to school. ICE detains man at traffic court after DACA status expires, then frees him after outcry. Public Defenders Walk Out Of Bronx Courthouse After College Student Detained By ICE. Cuban immigrant awaiting removal dies in ICE custody. Green card veteran facing deportation starts hunger strike. Trump administration considered testing “abortion reversal” on unwilling prisoner. Give all immigrants the right to vote.

* Know your police rape loopholes.

* How not to die in America. I Had to Bury My 26-Year-Old Son Because He Couldn’t Afford Insulin. Texas Woman Dies Because She Couldn’t Afford $116 Copay. What Aetna did here might not even be illegal.

* America: (Still) Not a Democracy. That’s not to say things still can’t get worse.

* In the richest country in human history.

FEMA Contract Called for 30 Million Meals for Puerto Ricans. 50,000 Were Delivered.

* Even the Democrats (still) won’t talk about climate change. Democrats’ ‘Resistance’ to Trump Is Eroding, and So Are Their Poll Numbers. What Happened To The Democratic Wave?

A map of the world after four degrees of warming. There’s even more good news below the map!

An Urgent Crisis of Leadership, Climate, and Water is Unfolding in South Africa.

* And in Kentucky: Sometimes they get no water. Other times just a trickle. Often, they say, their water is so discolored it resembles milk or Kool-Aid or beer.

The African Anthropocene.

* Floods and pollution.

* Just six months from victory in Afghanistan.

Fitness tracking app Strava gives away location of secret US army bases. Podcast listeners are the advertising holy grail. A Driver’s Suicide Reveals the Dark Side of the Gig Economy. Whole Foods as Amazon Hell. What Amazon Does to Poor Cities.

I’m the Wife of a Former N.F.L. Player. Football Destroyed His Mind. Concussion Protocol.

Here’s Everything We Used to Know About Han Solo’s Early Years. A Primer on All Things Wakanda.

* Monopoly: Cheaters Edition.

Arizona Man Sells His $6.5 Million Ranch Because Of Constant, Violent Alien Attacks.

Supercut of Instagram travel photo clichés. Photos of Total Strangers Pretending to Be in Serious Relationships.

Why is Civilization 5 still more popular than Civilization 6?

* The arc of history is long, but Hot sauce king Billy Mitchell is in danger of having his Donkey Kong records stripped away.

Why Woody Allen hasn’t been toppled by the #MeToo reckoning — yet. This Is Why Uma Thurman Is Angry.

* Suicide and the opioid epidemic.

* Cancel student debt and grow the economy. Let’s Stop Normalizing Student Debt.

* College compiles first-ever index of slaves and their enslavers in NY. Slavery and the American University.

* Nation of Second Changes: Stories of people who received a pardon from Barack Obama.

* The Alt-Right Is Killing People.

The Median Young Family Has Nearly Zero Wealth.

* #NeverTweet.

Why Antonio Gramsci is the Marxist thinker for our times.

* I call it my brand: Marxism as Organized Sarcasm.

Worf’s Dad Is Repeatedly Disgraced When Predictive Text Writes Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Nintendo’s new cardboard extensions for Switch are blowing users away.

* Case Western in the news!

* Can’t stop the signal: here come the Firefly novels.

* Pets allowed.

‘Speaking’ orca is further proof they shouldn’t be kept captive.

* The mutant crayfish that ate Europe.

* And this guy gets it: Nigel, the world’s loneliest bird, dies next to the concrete decoy he loved.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 13, 2018 at 10:01 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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* Discovery vs. the canon. All of these so-called violations can be solved with creative thinking, you cowards!

* The day Star Trek: The Next Generation was truly invented.

This is not the dystopia we were promised. Philip K. Dick and the Fake Humans.

* I really think every person who has anything to do with assessment knows it is completely meaningless but fears some other actor in the system who they think truly believes in it. Great piece from the Chronicle on just how bad it is.

* Natalie Portman on being 13 in Hollywood. Five strategies of sexual harassers.

* Monopsony in America.

* Today in the NYPD.

* Kalamazoo doctor detained by ICE after forty years in the US. ICE looks to be targeting Niec, despite a permanent green card, due to some misdemeanor property damage convictions from 17 years ago.

* Rethinking Truman.

We remember Truman primarily as the person who was president when the atomic bombs were first used. We should also remember him, as I have argued before, as the person who ordered that the atomic bombs stop being used. And the person who, over the course of his presidency, did the most to establish that atomic bombs were not weapons to be deployed lightly ever again. One might see this as irony, but in my interpretation, it is not: it the reaction of someone who realized he had been badly out of the loop once, and wore that on his conscience, and determined it would not happen again.

* What it’s like to be a convicted felon.

* The Corruption Thesis, dystopia, and authoritarianism.

Invasion of the German Board Games.

I say all this because I think it’s important to bear in mind when considering the substantial subset of UCB that doesn’t get paid for its labor: the improvisors, stand-ups and sketch comics who perform nightly at its theaters. All of them work for free, and often at a loss. To perform on a UCB house team, you must complete UCB’s core curriculum, or four courses at $450-500 apiece. You must also be approved for study in an Advanced Study course—another $450-500. (Through its diversity scholarships, UCB waives these fees for 175 students each year). That’s at least $2,250 and at most $2,500 simply to be eligible to audition for UCB’s flagship Harold and Lloyd teams. If you make it, which you probably won’t, the costs continue to accrue. Members of UCB’s house teams are required to pay their coaches, and many also pay for rehearsal spaces and props. They do not recoup these costs.

Republicans want to make it easier to kill whales and dolphins.

* As metaphors go, it’s a little on the nose.

* And the New York Times asking the tough questions: Formidable tail weaponry is nearly absent in living animals. Scientists have an explanation for what happened to the clubbed tails of the ankylosaurus or the spikes on a stegosaurus.

Monday Night Links!

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Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Star Trek’ Will Be R-Rated: ‘The Revenant’s Mark L. Smith Frontrunner Scribe. Patrick Stewart would play Picard again, but only for Tarantino. Still pretty firmly on board.

* Pretty strong contender for the moment the Singularity happened: an AI teaches itself chess in four hours and beats the strongest human-designed AI that exists, which itself can beat any human. AI is now so complex its creators can’t trust why it makes decisions.

It is significant that it is women of colour, a doubly marginalised group, who are at the forefront of finding new ways to figure uneven development during this, our time, of successive systemic crises. Imbalances between cores and (internal and external) peripheries appear in the novels of Nalo Hopkinson and Nnedi Okorafor that also brought Caribbean, Yoruba, and Igbo folk culture into the core of genre sf at the same time as working to explode it. More recently, N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth novels (2015-2017) feature a fantasy world repeatedly wracked by cataclysmic geological upheavals that can easily be read as a metaphor for anthropogenic climate change. But as their coded commentary on #BlackLivesMatter, hardened borders, and refugee-panics indicate, these profound shocks are also those to which capitalist cores expose their internal and external peripheries. From world sf (via, if we must, World Sf) to world-sf.

* The short story phenomenon that’s sweeping the world: Men React to “Cat Person.” Based on the original short story by 

* Dragon debris.

* When an algorithm writes science fiction.

André 3000 lands big role in sci-fi film, ‘High Life’ — about convicts sent on a mission to a black hole, penned by Zadie Smith.

* One of my graduate students, Brian Kenna, has a terrific review of the new Tolkien publication Beren and Lúthien in the Los Angeles Review of Books, focusing both on Tolkien and gender as well as the weird inaccessibility of Christopher Tolkien’s editorial decisions. Check it out!

Every English major joke is a small concession to the same logic that leads administrators to trim humanities programs, or leads lawmakers to strike the NEA and NEH from the budget as wasteful, though these offices claim at best fractions of fractions of our larger national expenses. Humorless Man Yells at English Major Jokes. Facing My Own Extinction.

* How to Teach a Cyborg.

* Stony Brook Professor Detained in Cameroon.

8 Grad Students Are Arrested Protesting the GOP Tax Bill on Capitol Hill. College and the End of Upward Mobility. How Harvard’s Hypocrisy Could Hurt Your Union. Private Colleges Had 58 Millionaire Presidents in 2015. Charles Koch Gave $50 Million To Higher Ed In 2016. What Did He Buy?

* In the richest country in human history. How Big Medicine Can Ruin Medicare for All. Girl has blunt message for Aetna after her brain surgery request was denied.

Drug trial shows promising results to fight Huntington’s disease. This is a very promising finding: whether or not this particular treatment becomes “the cure” or not, the fact that you can shut off huntingtin production without negatively impacting the adult brain suggests some version of this treatment could diminish or entirely prevent the emergence of the disease. “I really think this is, potentially, the biggest breakthrough in neurodegenerative disease in the past 50 years.”

* Here’s what happens when noble, determined people win — and find themselves in an unwinnable situation.

After Trent Franks, men worry if asking subordinates to bear their child is still okay. For Female Lobbyists, Harassment Often Accompanies Access. Al Franken’s selfish, damaging resignation speech. Time POTY more or less gets it right for once. The Unsexy Truth about Harassment. Weinstein as Crime Boss. As More College Students Say “Me Too,” Accused Men Are Suing For Defamation. Dirty Old Men on the Faculty. Over two thousand entries on a Google doc detailing sexual harassment in the academy. Our Professors Raped Us.

“You can have my vote if you have sex with me,” Ms. Alarid recalled the lawmaker saying, although he used cruder language for sexual intercourse. He told Ms. Alarid she had the same first name as his wife, so he would not get confused if he called out in bed. Then he kissed Ms. Alarid on the lips, she said.

Shocked, Ms. Alarid, who was 32 at the time, pushed him away. Only after he was gone did she let the tears flow.

When her bill came up on the floor of the New Mexico House of Representatives the next day, March 20, 2009, it failed by a single vote, including a “No” by the lawmaker, Representative Thomas A. Garcia.

As Ms. Alarid watched from the House gallery, she said, Mr. Garcia blew her a kiss and shrugged his shoulders with arms spread.

Official Toll in Puerto Rico: 64. Actual Deaths May Be 1,052. Just one story of thousands: Lives at Risk Inside a Senior Complex in Puerto Rico With No Power.

‘Holy crap’: Experts find tax plan riddled with glitches. The Republican tax bill: four takeaways. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lets corporations loose to do what they will—and then imposes pain to make the numbers work. And inevitably.

The first wintertime megafire in California history is here. California’s wildfires are not “natural” — humans made them worse at every step. Incarcerated women risk their lives fighting California fires. It’s part of a long history of prison labor. California Is Running Out of Inmates to Fight Its Fires.

* The ‘poisoned landscapes’ we leave behind. As the climate changes and seas swell, coastal colleges struggle to prepare. Fracking Is a Huge American Money Pit.

Don’t blame the election on fake news. Blame it on the media.

* thisisfine.jpg

* “Here are the keys, Don, gas is in the tank.”

Pilots stop 222 asylum seekers being deported from Germany by refusing to fly. Deportation under Trump.

Millennials now biggest voting group in U.S., 2-1 Democratic.

Dem lawmaker calls for extra protections to ‘safeguard’ Senate pages if Moore is elected. That’s MILWAUKEE’S OWN Dem lawmaker Gwen Moore.

* “Lest I be misinterpreted, I emphatically affirm that education confers some marketable skills, namely literacy and numeracy.” Don’t give an inch, brother!

How our housing choices make adult friendships more difficult.

* “‘Ambiance and atmosphere models’ contractually obligated to pretend they’re party guests are in record demand from local agencies.”

*An exclusive analysis of data from the 50 largest local police departments in the United States shows that police shoot Americans more than twice as often as previously known.

Bodycam footage of the incident, released after the verdict, showed Mr Shaver on his knees asking officers not to shoot him just before he was killed.

Subsequently, The Intercept, working with the ACLU of Texas, obtained several DPS dashcam videos that show immigrants being detained on the road for trivial violations and then carted away by the Border Patrol.

Mark Hamill Made Up an Absurdly Grim Backstory for Luke Skywalker Ahead of The Last Jedi. The “True Nature of the Force” is More Complicated Than You Think. I made the “the Force is the villain” prediction way back in 2015, too, and still think some version of it is going to land. Star Wars vs. the Nazis. The First Impressions for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Are Overwhelmingly GoodAnd the only review I needed from the only voice I trust.

An extremely petty breakdown of everything dumb in the Jurassic World 2 trailer.

The Hollywood Drama Around Annihilation Shows Why We Can’t Have Smart Things.

How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met.

* Very 2017 Headlines: Why are America’s farmers killing themselves in record numbers?

* Modern politics.

* LEGO politics.

* No one makes a living on Patreon.

* Dial B for Blog is back! Again!

* Podcasts have truly arrived: they’re being turned into superhero movies.

* Tis the season: reference-writing guidelines for avoiding gender bias.

* The fascinating history of the first commercial jetliner.

A classified government document opens with “an odd sequence of events relating to parapsychology has occurred within the last month” and concluded with an alarming question about psychics nuking cities so that they became lost in time and space. If this sounds like a plot out of science fiction, it is – but it’s also a NSA memo from 1977.

A New Optical Illusion Was Just Discovered, And It’s Breaking Our Brains.

* A female translator reckons with The Odyssey.

* When a DNA test tells who your daddy isn’t.

* Stalk your friends the Wired way.

* From Zoey’s eyeballs to megabucks: This 6-year-old made $11 million on YouTube in one year.

* And Slaughterhouse-Five is coming to TV. Can’t wait to see what they cook up for season two…

Written by gerrycanavan

December 11, 2017 at 4:52 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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First Week of School Links!

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* Harvey. Hell and High Water. Houston has been hit with a 100-year flood — a rainstorm that, going by previous records, has a 1 percent chance of happening in one year — in 2015 and in 2016. Now in 2017 it’s enduring what will probably be the worst flood in the city’s history. Hurricane Harvey Probably Isn’t a 500-Year Event Anymore. The trouble with living in a swamp: Houston floods explained. 9 Trillion Tons. ProPublica’s report on how zoning made this even worse. “No one could have predicted.” Why Houston wasn’t ready for Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Harvey Could Also Be a Major Pollution Disaster. FIRST-UG 102: Critical Disaster Studies. Here’s how to help.

* CFP: “200 Years of the Fantastic: Celebrating Frankenstein and Mary Shelley,” ICFA 39, March 14-18, 2018.

* “Teaching first-years today? Here are some things my son, starting college today, was never taught.” And from the archives: Shadow Syllabus.

Mothering While Brown in White Spaces, Or, When I Took My Son to Octavia Butler’s Exhibit.

Announcing the Brittle Paper Literary Awards: The Shortlists.

* I hope someone is optioning “That 70s Suitcase” for a film trilogy. Here’s the creator’s answer. Via MeFi.

* The university in ruins.

* William Gibson on living in the retrofuture.

* Gene Roddenberry, megalomaniac.

Alexander: Are there any subjects that you haven’t tackled on The Next Generation that you would like to?

Roddenberry: There are subjects, yes, but I will keep them secret, because you have to wait until a certain level of thinking permits these things to be thought about openly and in writing. I have many thoughts which, if I were to voice them now, would turn many people against me. People would think, “My God, behind this is such inequity!” [Laughter.]

Alexander: People would be surprised at how big a revolutionary you really are? [Laughter.]

* Fan fiction in the New Yorker.

* When you come at the young-adult-literature community, you best not miss.

* Because you demanded it: a Tolkien biopic.

Try to imagine a society with no need for confinement, with no one being locked up after a brutal act, and it is difficult not to feel one has lapsed into utopianism. Yet, try to determine what socially useful purpose prisons have fulfilled, sift through the wreckage looking for a residual ‘good’ prison system, and it is hard not to feel you’re wasting your time on a pointless abstraction. For and against abolitionism.

* Well, this barely lasted a week: Why I’m glad the generals are in control in the Trump administration.

It’s Time: Congress Needs to Open a Formal Impeachment Inquiry.

We’ve been covering Joe Arpaio for more than 20 years. Here’s a couple of things you should know about him… Another Arpaio thread. The Joe Arpaio I knew. The year I spent in Joe Arpaio’s tent jail was hell. He should never walk free. Trump has realized that he can use his pardon power to bypass the lawyers and judges and investigators he so despises. Arpaio was a test run. Now he will know it works. Trump’s Pardon of Joe Arpaio Is an Impeachable Offense. President Trump Should Be Impeached for Pardoning Joe Arpaio.

Leaked Chats Show Charlottesville Marchers Were Planning for Violence. University officials say white supremacists are recruiting their students. Brandeis U. Is Closed After Receiving Email Threats. We’re Tracking Confederate Monuments. Tell Us What’s on Your Campus.

Fearing Trump Administration Crackdown, Immigrants May Stay in Hurricane Harvey Zone. ICE Left 50 Immigrant Women And Kids Stranded At A Bus Station Before Hurricane Harvey Struck. ICE detains DACA-protected immigrant trying to post bail for someone else. ABQ woman jailed after ATF informant lured her into drug deals. Salvadoran asylum seeker with brain tumor seized from Texas hospital. After ICE arrests in Saratoga Springs, some migrant workers fear showing up for racing season. I’m a DACA Student and I’m Praying ICE Doesn’t Pick Up My Parents.

* After all this mere tax gimmicks seems almost innocent.

* Yes, Icahn.

* Trump Tower Moscow.

* The End of the Goldwater Rule.

White House Sets Rules for Military Transgender Ban. All but promising to end DACA.

* Stories that already seem a thousand years ago and a million miles away: Special Counsel Examines Possible Role Flynn Played in Seeking Clinton Emails From Hackers. How are we ever going to find time to be angry about Mnuchin misusing public funds to get a better view of the eclipse? I’d forgotten this one even happened and it was last week.

* They’re not even pretending they think he’s competent.

* A whole lot of people with absolutely nothing to hide.

Law and protest in Durham.

Trump order could give immigration agents a foothold in US schools.

* An intimate history of antifa.

Can Anyone Stop Trump From Launching Nuclear Weapons?

* In the richest country that has ever existed in human history: “She eats out of dumpsters so she can afford long-term care for her husband.”

Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck.

* Fired for unexpected periods.

* The Upper Midwest is terrible for racial inequality, and Wisconsin tops the list.

* A solid B-. Not bad.

Boomers are news-illiterate couch vegetables stuck in front of their yelling, ad-saturated TVs.

There’s a reason you won’t find many monuments in the South to one of Robert E. Lee’s most able deputies.

3,700-year-old Babylonian tablet rewrites the history of maths – and shows the Greeks did not develop trigonometry.

There is no such thing as western civilisation.

* Understanding abiogenesis.

* The Monsanto of marijuana.


* Instagram Africa.

Given the enormous amount of data to support these findings, and given the field in question, one might think male scientists would use these outcomes to create a more level playing field. But a recent paper showed that in fact, male STEM faculty assessed the quality of real research that demonstrated bias against women in STEM as being low; instead the male faculty favored fake research, designed for the purposes of the study in question, which purported to demonstrate that no such bias exists.

* Stories like this one were why I thought supporters of Title IX (like myself) needed to get ahead of the problem and reform it while we still could. Almost certainly too late now.

* The water you just drank was filled with self-replicating nanobots. Understanding Noah’s Ark. Be careful what you wish for.

We talk about broad-strokes when assessing the slogan “Make America Great Again,” but what if — alongside the racism and toxic nostalgia — there is a more intimate way people are hearing it: make my children love and respect me again, make my community a place where people don’t automatically want to leave and never come back again, make America a place where getting ahead in life isn’t synonymous with dissociating yourself from me. Right-wing media — and here I am thinking of Trump fundamentally as a media phenomenon, which is how our parents experience him — has exploited this situation in a despicable and probably unfixable way, but they didn’t create the underlying dynamic. In other words, ultimately Fox News isn’t what’s tearing families apart, but it’s profiting from the fact that they’re already being torn apart by the geographic concentration of wealth and opportunity.

* Why no one can say Trump lost the election. Democrats’ 2018 gerrymandering problem is really bad.

Nuclear missiles were once ready to launch from Milwaukee’s suburbs.

* Profiles in courage getting out ahead of the story.

* Your mandatory Game of Thrones wrap-ups: Why Game of Thrones has become so incoherent. Every city in the world is built on wildfire. 27 questions (about last week’s episode). Game of Thrones’ Drive to the Finish Line Is Crippling Its Ability to Tell a Story. Game of Rewrites. Maps and fantasy. I’d watch at least a few episodes of a George R.R. Martin-helmed Star Trek series. And sure to be squashed fan theories we can believe in: Is Bran Stark the Night King?

In the wake of the Game of Thrones finale, indulge in the nostalgia of Dragonlance. Are you listening, TruTV?

* And this is the only prestige TV I need.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 29, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links!

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* People are figuring out that the “anthology” era of Star Wars was a bad idea. And a chilling report from the set of Han Solo: Ron Howard Once Defended Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Calling It “Truly Amazing.”

Behind the Scenes of Disney’s Donald Trump ‘Hall of Presidents’ Drama.

* The Year of Octavia.

* In the same vein, the proliferating but ever meaningless distinctions between the “bad” Uber and the “good” Lyft have obscured how destructive the rise of ride-sharing has been for workers and the cities they live in. The predatory lawlessness that prevails inside Valley workplaces scales up and out. Both companies entered their markets illegally, without regard to prevailing wages, regulations, or taxes. Like Amazon, which found a way to sell books without sales tax, this turned out to be one of the many illegal boons.

* Democrats and the working class.

Senate postpones health care vote as critical mass of Republicans defect. Keep calling! Tens of thousands per year. Trumpcare kills.

This chart shows the stunning trade-off at the heart of the GOP health plan.

* Democrats Help Corporate Donors Block California Health Care Measure, and Progressives Lose Again.

* Destroying the university in Illinois.

Chaffetz calls for $2,500 legislator/month housing stipend.

* Sometimes ideology critique just writes itself.

And Now Director Jon Watts Claims Peter Parker Was In Iron Man 2.

Someone’s Trying to Adapt Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series Again.

* I say teach the controversy.

* Communism — for kids!

As Lake Chad vanishes, seven million people are on the brink of starvation.

The inside story of how TMZ quietly became America’s most potent pro-Trump media outlet.

* So what is lectureporn? It is the media spectacle of a lecture whose audience is the opponent of the lecture’s intended target.

Trinity Suspends Targeted Professor. And U Delaware. Why can’t free speech advocates ever defend adjunct professors and people of color? Stop firing professors for having controversial views, says academic.

 But as the land enters its 120th year in the family, the Allens are struggling to hold on to it. Because of ambiguities surrounding the land’s title, there is no primary owner of the property; all of the heirs of the original owners—and there are more than 100 known heirs—are legally co-owners. As such, the land is classified as “heirs’ property,” a designation that makes it vulnerable to being sold without the family’s full consent. As the Allens attempt to overcome a stacked legal system—exacerbated by corrupt lawyers and predatory developers—they are at the center of a decades-long fight to retain black-owned land across the South.

* Social media won’t let toxic grudges die.

* Trump’s EPA won’t let toxic pesticides die.

Carbon in Atmosphere Is Rising, Even as Emissions Stabilize.

* Amazing the stories that don’t even rate as scandals in this trainwreck administration.

* As predicted, the Super Nintendo Classic is on its way.

The Tory-DUP Deal Proves the Magic Money Tree Is Real.

* Lynching and the sick history of the death penalty.

In Sumterville, Florida, in 1902, a black man named Henry Wilson was convicted of murder in a trial that lasted just two hours and forty minutes. To mollify the mob of armed whites that filled the courtroom, the judge promised a death sentence that would be carried out by public hanging—despite state law prohibiting public executions. Even so, when the execution was set for a later date, the enraged mob threatened, “We’ll hang him before sundown, governor or no governor.” In response, Florida officials moved up the date, authorized Wilson to be hanged before the jeering mob, and congratulated themselves on having “avoided” a lynching.

* Huge Star Trek: Discovery scoop: the entire series is a Holodeck program Riker is running during a commercial break.

* When you don’t want your hip retro soundtrack to be scooped.

* “Nuclear power plant faces backlash after choosing interns by way of a bikini competition.” Photos at the link, of course; this is the Internet, after all…

The ‘i before e, except after c’ rule is a giant lie.

* The weird logic of Facebook’s hate speech algorithms.

* SF short of the night: They Will All Die in Space.

* An AI Generates the Inspirational Posters We Need Right Now.

* And because you demanded it, it’s back up at An und für sich: Why remake The Handmaid’s Tale now? Gilead as ISIS.