Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

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Wednesday Links!

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* Today at Marquette! Dr. Robin Reid, “Conflicting Audience Receptions of Tauriel in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit.

* Tomorrow at Marquette! The English Department pop culture group geeks out over The Hunger Games.

* Solving prostitution the Swedish way.

“In Sweden prostitution is regarded as an aspect of male violence against women and children. It is officially acknowledged as a form of exploitation of women and children and constitutes a significant social problem… gender equality will remain unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them.”

Keywords for the Age of Austerity 13: Engagement.

The point of engagement in this sense is not to involve the public in making decisions, but make them feel involved in decisions that others will make. That this may be done with the best of intentions is important, of course, but ultimately besides the point. Like “stakeholder,” “engagement” thrives in a moment of political alienation and offers a vocabulary of collaboration in response. So if civic engagement is in decline, one thing that is not is the ritualistic performance of civic participation. The annual election-cycle ritual in American politics is a case in point here. In one populist breath, we routinely condemn the corruption of politicians who, it is said, never listen to the average voter. And in the next, we harangue the average voter for failing to participate in a process we routinely describe as corrupted. So it’s not the “apathy” or “disengagement” of the public that we should lament or criticize—it’s the institutions that give them so many reasons to be disengaged in the first place.

* A Few Questions About the Culture: An Interview with Iain Banks.

JR: In the past you have said that you are a short-term pessimist and a long-term optimist. Could you expand on this a bit: why are you pessimistic about the short term? What changes do you anticipate taking place between the near and far futures that change your pessimism to optimism?

IB: On a personal level, it’s damage limitation; a sanity-keeping measure. Expect the worst and anything even only half-decent seems like something to celebrate. The pessimism comes from a feeling that as a species we seem unable to pass up any opportunity to behave stupidly, self-harmfully (the Copenhagen climate talks being but the latest example). The long-term optimism comes from the the fact that no matter how bad things seem and how idiotically and cruelly we behave. . . well, we’ve got this far, despite it all, and there are more people on the planet than ever before, and more people living good, productive, relatively happy lives than ever before, and—providing we aren’t terminally stupid, or unlucky enough to get clobbered by something we have no control over, like a big meteorite or a gamma ray buster or whatever—we’ll solve a lot of problems just by sticking around and doing what we do; developing, progressing, improving, adapting. And possibly by inventing AIs that are smarter and more decent than we are, which will help us get some sort of perspective on ourselves, at the very least. We might just stumble our way blindly, unthinkingly into utopia, in other words, muddling through despite ourselves.

* “Gamechanging” climate deal that seems radically insufficient to the scale of the crisis. What could go wrong?

* Think Progress has a good rundown on King v. Burwell, the case that could kill Obamacare. Eight Reasons to Stop Freaking Out About the Supreme Court’s Next Obamacare Case.

* The growth of auxiliary activities was the primary driver in spending increases by the schools, the report concludes. From 2005 to 2012, $3.4 billion was spent on instructional and research facilities. The cost for nonacademic auxiliary facilities was $3.5 billion from 2002 to 2012. Limit athletic fees, check construction to control college costs, study says.

* The State Funding Sleight-Of-Hand: Some Thoughts on UC’s Proposed Tuition Hike.

* The Vitae Adjunct Retirement Survey.

* ProQuest says it won’t sell dissertations through Amazon anymore.

* Why Wall Street Loves Hillary

* It’s a start: Massachusetts Town Proposes First Complete Ban On All Tobacco.

* Inside America’s inept nuclear corps.

* The Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) is under attack by critics who say academe is colluding with the mainstream media to push a feminist agenda in video games. How deep does this conspiracy go?

When we think about the collapse of communism, we should emphasize and celebrate the attractiveness of a social market economy — not free enterprise.

Can You Gentrify America’s Poorest, Most Dangerous City?

Today, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration announced through the New York Times that it may stop making arrests for low-level marijuana possession, opting instead to issue tickets without detaining the suspect. This would feel like an important step toward reasonable weed policy if New York state hadn’t already mandated it 37 years ago.

The seminars offered police officers some useful tips on seizing property from suspected criminals. Don’t bother with jewelry (too hard to dispose of) and computers (“everybody’s got one already”), the experts counseled. Do go after flat screen TVs, cash and cars. Especially nice cars. Police Use Department Wish List When Deciding Which Assets to Seize.

* One in every 8 arrests was for a drug offense last year.

* Milwaukee Public Museum’s Sci-Fi Film Fest gathers large audience.

Running a school on $160 a year.

* Is Pre-K academically rigorous enough? That’s a real question this real article is asking.

Hello, My Name Is Stephen Glass, and I’m Sorry.

Grace Dunham is now an adult and she read this book before it was published. She is managing her sister’s book tour and they are best friends. Are we really going to overlook this?

* Also on the subject of Lena Dunham: this is an extremely clickbaity headline, but the testimony from a juvenile sex offender is fascinating and horrible.

* Sorry I Murdered Everyone, But I’m An Introvert.

* “Before the Internet, it would be really difficult to find someone, sit them down for ten minutes and get them to work for you, and then fire them after those ten minutes.”

In America, today’s parents have inherited expectations they can no longer afford. The vigilant standards of the helicopter parents from the baby boomer generation have become defined as mainstream practice, but they require money that the average household earning $53,891 per year— and struggling to survive in an economy in its seventh year of illusory “recovery”— does not have. The result is a fearful society in which poorer parents are cast as threats to their own children.

Although it looks like a traditional typeface, Dyslexie by Christian Boer is designed specifically for people with dyslexia.

Scientists Have Finally Found The First Real Reason We Need To Sleep.

* Wes Anderson might be making another movie with puppets.

In its gentle sadness, its deceptively light tone, and its inherent contradictions, this is the perfect ending to The Next Generation.  One of these days, the crew will be dispersed.  The Enterprise will be put in mothballs.  Starfleet will complete its transformation into a body that none of them particularly want to serve in.  But for now, their voyages continue.

* Peak Prequel: Sony Rumored to Be Prepping Aunt May Spider-Man Spin-Off Movie.

* And the best news ever: HBO Will Make Asimov’s Foundation With Interstellar‘s Jonathan Nolan. I may lose my mind over this show. I may even do a podcast. And a lot of what went wrong with Interstellar wasn’t even Jonathan Nolan’s fault!

7e3

So Many Wednesday Links It Is Guaranteed to Make You Sick

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* Brian Thill on academia, labor, and the prestige economy.

* Freddie de Boer on the unbearable wretchedness of higher education journalism.

* The only situation in which one would treat free speech as an end would be one in which there were no fundamental problems: no iniquities, immiseration, exploitation. No need for free speech as means. So we might say Dirks is speaking from the position of campus-as-utopia, a campus of nothing but speech, where the sun always shines and all other issues have been resolved happily for all. A campus wherein there was no privatized public education, no massive debt- and labor-loads for students, no shitty working conditions for campus workers, no cops being called in to beat or pepper-spray students and faculty into the hospital. No struggle over BDS, no systematic racism, no burying of rape statistics and accompanying leniency for perpetrators — struggles in which the administration is an aggressive antagonist, a side.

* Remember the other day when I linked to that piece about colleges recruiting lacrosse players as a proxy for wealth? Totally and absolutely unrelatedly, colleges are now giving out athletic video game scholarships.

* Steven Salaita has now spoken publicly at UIUC about his firing by UIUC.

* The New Inquiry 32: Back to School.

School is the alibi for class society. Passage through it is supposed to be what makes the unequal distribution of violence and luxury in the bourgeois world a fair outcome, what makes the bodies it disposes of earn their disposal. It is also the house of knowledge and so a powerful node of induction into the mysteries of this bloody society. Those who want to approach the knowledge held there must also internalize its mechanisms. Some go on to help it reproduce itself, as teachers. Unexpected success in this self-­transformation is sometimes called class mobility, but to celebrate those who are capable of moving admits that the majority are fixed in place.

How long will we have to wait for the poll finding that most Americans “regret” having supported this new war in Iraq and Syria and view it as a “mistake”, as they prepare, in a frenzy of manufactured fear, to support the next proposed war? Even the liberal Kevin Drum hopes Obama can stop Obama before Obama invades Iraq.

* Against TFA: “I am, I am asking you to quit.”

* Crisis for the crisis in the humanities. The full report is here.

* Scalia wept: Death penalty fans reel as one of their go-to examples for the necessity of capital punishment turns out to involve two innocent men.

* Hell in Rotherham.

Just 13, and Working Risky 12-Hour Shifts in the Tobacco Fields.

* Too rich to punish.

* From the archives: Almost everything in Dr. Strangelove was true. Capitalism Whack-a-Mole.

* Almost All the Books People Say Influenced Them Were Written for Children.

* Steve Almond on quitting football.

* Segregation forever: Share of white kids attending majority white schools. More links after the map.

2014-09-10 12.49.28 pm

UC Berkeley police have obtained more than a dozen M16 rifles via the 1033 program, as of June 2014. That’s outrageous. I can’t imagine them needing more than four or five tops.

* The Economist Has a Slavery Problem. Reagan reviews Roots, 1977.

A new portrait of the founding father challenges the long-held perception of Thomas Jefferson as a benevolent slaveholder. No! No! I simply won’t believe it!

* Logistics, Capitalist Circulation, Chokepoints.

* Cuomo (and de Blasio) after Teachout.

Where MacArthur fellows were born and where they lived at the time of the award.

How Much Carbon Dioxide Is in the Atmosphere? A Massive Increase in 2013 Sets a Record. “We are running out of time.”

* Milwaukee wept: Meteorologists Predict Record-Shattering Snowfall Coming Soon.

Almost Half Of North American Bird Species Are Threatened By Climate Change.

* Amazon Indian Warriors Beat and Strip Illegal Loggers in Battle for Jungle’s Future.

* Louisiana doesn’t look like Louisiana anymore.

* The oceans are acidifying at the fastest rate in 300 million years.

* Whiteness and conservation.

Fracking May Be Worse Than Burning Coal. People Who Live Near Fracking More Likely To Become Sick, Study Finds.

* Twilight for alumni donations. As someone remarked on Twitter, this piece seriously undercounts the rise of student debt and twentysomething un- and underemployment as factors here.

* Dystopia now: Airlines have never been better at making certain your flight is full.

Forty Percent of Police Families Experience Domestic Violence.

Peacekeepers Sexually Exploited And Abused Women And Girls In Somalia.

Video Shows NYPD Officers Taking Turns Beating Man After He Asked Why He Was Being Searched.

Cops Are Sorry They Keep Losing Cool Guns That the Military Gives Them.

“Driving while black” is, indeed, a measurable phenomenon. Look, if we’re going to make this about facts…

* BREAKING NEWS: Gambling is terrible city planning.

* License to kill: CBP Requests Federal Court Keep Identity of Border Patrol Agent Who Killed Teen Secret.

* Court rules Yelp has no obligation to publish positive reviews.

For years, nothing seemed capable of turning around New Dorp High School’s dismal performance—not firing bad teachers, not flashy education technology, not after-school programs. Turns out you actually have to teach the kids to get results. Crazy.

* And on the complete other end of the positivity spectrum: Teacher Allegedly Locked Kids in Closet to Teach Them “How to Survive.”

* Millennials aren’t using credit cards, and it might come back to haunt them.

* Now that I’m a parent, it’s hard for me to understand how roller coasters are allowed to exist.

* Silicon Valley’s Cult of Male Ego.

* Reddit is a failed state.

* The service, which launches September 16 in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester, works with a fleet of women drivers and will only be available to female passengers. Drivers are hailed with an iOS app—like Uber or Lyft—and arrive wearing “hot pink pashmina scarves,”according to the New York Times.

* Marriage counseling before feminism.

* Today in the voter fraud fraud.

Striking down Pennsylvania’s voter ID law in January, its state court found “no evidence of the existence of in-person voter fraud in the state.” Plus, the state failed to establish any connection between photo identity cards and the integrity of elections. Courts in Texas, Arizona, and Arkansas ruled similarly.

Wisconsin federal district court Judge Lynn Adelman in Aprilstruck down that state’s voter ID law for violating the Fourteenth Amendment and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Adelman found about 9 percent of registered voters – about 300,000 – lacked the government-issued ID required for casting a ballot under the Wisconsin law, enough to change election results.

‘Unprecedented’ Outbreak Of Rare Virus Strikes Hundreds Of Children In The Midwest.

The Leaky Nuclear Waste Dump and the Town That Loves It Anyway.

* The kids are all right: LEGO Is Now the Biggest Toymaker on the Planet.

8 Things We Can Do Now to Build a Space Colony This Century.

* And Harvard has received a record $350 million donation. So glad those guys will be able to keep the lights on.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 10, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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One Article Per Day

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Written by gerrycanavan

June 20, 2009 at 4:12 am

You Know Who Else Was a Vegetarian?

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You know who else was a vegetarian? Yeah, that’s right. Via Cyn-C.

PS: The Wikipedia article points out he didn’t drink or smoke, either. I’m beginning to suspect I might be Hitler.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 6, 2008 at 10:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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