Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Tolkien

Wednesday Links!

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* Call for Papers, UWM/Marquette Graduate Student Humanities Conference: “Conflict and Liberation.”

* Call for Papers: Posthuman Futures.

* Your SF short film of the week: “Stealing Time.”

Fifty years ago today, the United States of America dropped four nuclear bombs on Spain. It was an accident.

Fail safe systems in the weapons mostly worked

Uh, mostly?

and none of the four bombs experienced a nuclear reaction upon impact, sparing the region and its hundreds of inhabitants from multiple nuclear blasts that would’ve dwarfed the explosion over Hiroshima. “Only a fortunate stroke of luck saved the Spanish population of the area from catastrophe,” a Soviet official said at the time.

well that’s good

But the conventional high explosives on two of the bombs did detonate, essentially turning those weapons into dirty bombs that blasted plutonium radiation across the countryside.

oh

Democracy, Disposability, and the Flint Water Crisis.

Local, regional, and state governments are removing the basic, infrastructural supports that are necessary for the reproduction of life. As a consequence, residents of cities like Flint and Detroit, in particular black and immigrant populations, have been subjected to increasing vulnerability in forms like declining life expectancy and appalling infant mortality. “Disposability” and “surplus population” sound like abstract concepts, but they’re a tangible, visceral reality for folks on the ground in Flint. “We’re like disposable people here,” one resident told the Toronto Star the other day. “We’re not even human here, I guess.”

Detroit’s Teachers Want You to See These Disturbing Photos of Their Toxic Schools.

The Color of Surveillance: What an infamous abuse of power teaches us about the modern spy era.

This is the exam from a class that MLK taught at Morehouse in the early 1960s.

* So you want to read Infinite Jest.

These 11 laws are what keep space from becoming the wild west.

America’s Other Original Sin.

How the shining architectural optimism of the 1960s and 70s has ultimately produced buildings such as supermarkets, open-plan offices and other spaces of control.

The rising death rates for those young white adults, ages 25 to 34, make them the first generation since the Vietnam War years of the mid-1960s to experience higher death rates in early adulthood than the generation that preceded it.

Even Insured Can Face Crushing Medical Debt, Study Finds. ‘I Am Drowning.’ The Voices of People With Medical Debt.

* The Nation: Bernie Sanders for President.

* And in anti-endorsements: Sanders and Reparations. Rejecting Bourgeois Feminism.

When I was younger, someone took a knife to my clitoris and cut out a small but significant part of me. I blamed my mother. I despised her. I loved her.

* Jay Edidin on his recent top surgery.

The University of Victoria, in Canada, has announced the establishment of what it says is the world’s first endowed chair in transgender studies.

* HBO to air the rarely seen Godfather Epic cutting Parts I and II together.

Tennis match fixing: Evidence of suspected match-fixing revealed.

“Someone in Florida had made a second-mortgage loan to O.J. Simpson, and I just about blew my top, because there was this huge judgment against him from his wife’s parents,” she recalled. Simpson had been acquitted of killing his wife Nicole and her friend but was later found liable for their deaths in a civil lawsuit; that judgment took precedence over other debts, such as if Simpson defaulted on his WaMu loan.

“When I asked how we could possibly foreclose on it, they said there was a letter in the file from O.J. Simpson saying ‘the judgment is no good, because I didn’t do it.’”

* “The One Weird Trait That Predicts Whether You’re a Trump Supporter.” Weird! Kooky! Zany!

* After Oil.

* Sick Woman Theory.

* “In Oklahoma, now the country’s earthquake capital…”

Steven Moffat reveals the BBC almost canceled Doctor Who in 2009.

z5mqhmi8jqzlpvapzgrmYoung People Used These Absurd Little Cards to Get Laid in the 19th Century.

Shocking study reveals physics teachers give girls lower grades than boys – for the exact same answers.

A major new finding about the impact of having a dad who was drafted to Vietnam.

Former Nazi Medical Orderly to Stand Trial for Deaths of 3,681 People at Auschwitz.

* Writing is hard: “Shut up, Wesley!” did irreparable damage to Wesley Crusher’s role in TNG.

* WHAT YEAR IS IT

* Unbreakable! They alive, damnit!

Why Is Sperm So Damn Expensive?

A 120,000-Piece Lego Model of the Titanic Breaking in Half.

The Illegitimacy of Aragorn’s Claim to the Throne.

Given that the Númenoreans ruined their civilization to the point that it was personally destroyed by God Himself, the Gondorrim probably shouldn’t have been so quick to crown a long-lived, pure-blooded Númenorean like Aragorn. They’d probably have been better off elevating Pippin Took to the throne. Hobbits at least dally with the good things in life: hearty food, heady ales, fireworks, and weed.

* I don’t know why I’ll watch basically anything involving Pee Wee Herman, but.

* ‘Man flu’ is real. I’m taking the month off.

Synergy killed the Fantastic Four.

The Weird Way That Standing (Not Walking) on Escalators Helps Move People More Quickly.

* Race and gifted and talented programs.

* News you can use from the Financial Post: Here’s how to crush student activists once they become your employee.

* The genetic breakthrough that could change humanity, explained.

Is it still possible to get away with a heist?

* And for real though this is aliens.

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 20, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Remember, Sunday Is Procrastination Day, Always Procrastinate Safely

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* CFP: The Science Fiction Research Association Annual Conference, June 2016, Liverpool, England. I’ll be there, talking in some way or another about the world of the great Wisconsin SF writer Clifford D. Simak.

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

* #altac: Seattle to pay poet to live in a bridge.

The poet cannot actually live in the bridge… the room where the “living” would take place is not well heated and there is no running water.

* The very weird Dem primary is really heating up. Face It: A Vote for Hillary Clinton Is a Vote for War. That Clinton hasn’t easily put away Sanders should be very worrying for the people assuming she can defeat anyone the Republicans put up.

* Elsewhere on the 2016 election beat.

2007 is when the human species accidentally invented telepathy (via the fusion of twitter, facebook, and other disclosure-induction social media with always-connected handheld internet devices). Telepathy, unfortunately, turns out to not be all about elevated Apollonian abstract intellectualism: it’s an emotion amplifier and taps into the most toxic wellsprings of the subconscious. As implemented, it brings out the worst in us. Twitter and Facebook et al are fine-tuned to turn us all into car-crash rubberneckers and public execution spectators. It can be used for good, but more often it drags us down into the dim-witted, outraged weltanschauung of the mob.

* Kylo Ren, undercover boss.

How These 5 Famous Billionaires Are Dismantling Black Public Schools.

NASA Has Opened a Planetary Defense Office to Protect Earth from Cosmic Collisions.

* The New Marvel Universe and Afrofuturism.

* I think I’d rather it was Hellcat, but I’ll take it.

* Springsteen covers “Rebel, Rebel.” Returning a favor, as he says in the video: The real find for that link is probably the Bowie cover of “It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City.”

* And another one I fear I may have done before: The Soviet Hobbit (1976).

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New Year’s Links!

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* The Journal-Sentinel has links to its original coverage of the Steven Avery trial highlighted in the Netflix series Making a Murderer.

In a statistical analysis that controlled for a host of other influences, we found this: Negative racial views about blacks were the single most important predictor of white opposition to paying college athletes.

As college sports revenues spike, coaches aren’t only ones cashing in.

* What to do when you’re not the hero anymore.

* Old Navy hates art and artists and all things that are beautiful.

* The end of Cosby. The Real Cosby Story: Prosecutors Have Had Enough Information To Charge Him For More Than A Decade.

George Lucas Says He Sold ‘Star Wars’ to ‘White Slavers.’ Uh, sure.

* Ta-Nehisi Coates: The Paranoid Style of American Policing.

What is 21st Century Photography?

* A favorite from the archives: Modern art was CIA ‘weapon.’

Tolkien Reads from The Hobbit in Rare Archival Audio from His First Encounter with a Tape Recorder.

* Academic freedom and its limits: The New Hampshire Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the University of New Hampshire’s 2013 firing of Marco Dorfsman, an associate professor of Spanish, after he admitted to altering a colleague’s student evaluations. Appeals court rules U of Hawaii was justified in denying student teaching experience to man who was qualified academically but whose statements about adult-child sex and students with disabilities alarmed professors.

The forgotten contest between colonists and seafaring Indians for command of the American coast.

* This one is almost directly out of The Sheep Look Up, if not Silent Spring: Many pregnant women across Brazil are in a panic. The government, under withering criticism for not acting sooner, is urging them to take every precaution to avoid mosquito bites. One official even suggested that women living in areas where mosquitoes are especially prevalent postpone having children.

* Frankly I’m amazed they’ve let this go on as long as they have: CBS bites itself in the ass, sues makers of crowdfunded Star Trek fan film. In other Star Trek news,  I collect stamps now.

* Elsewhere on the copyright beat: The Diary of Anne Frank and Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf Both Enter the Public Domain on Friday

Aldous Huxley’s Predictions for 2000 A.D.

* Why time is the fire in which we burn, explained.

* Yes, yes, bring back Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, the whole enchilada.

* How did they limit themselves to just 50?

* Literature, y’all.

* Meanwhile: Bizarre, Deadly Weather Is Sweeping the Country. The Scariest Part of This Season’s Weird Weather Is Coming Soon. The Storm That Will Unfreeze the North Pole. Even fireworks aren’t fun anymore. Happy new year, one and all!

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Christmas Hangover Links

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* This was fun: My Tolkien/The Force Awakens mini-essay got picked up by Salon.

* Is Star Wars setting up Poe Dameron as its first queer protagonist? Rey is not a role model for little girls. The prior texts against which this film needs to be judged are not those long-ago movies, but rather the trailers for this new movie. And bah humbug! Double humbug! Double triple bah humbug!

* And for the devotee: How Did This Get Made? covered The Star Wars Holiday Special this week — with bonus oral history.

A Christmas Carol: Dedicated to Scrooge, And His Art Collection.

* New York University is known for bestowing lavish perks on its leaders. Its new president, Andrew Hamilton, will be no exception. NYU sort of hitting it out of the park this week generally. The latest extravagances in the college sports arms race? Laser tag and mini golf.

Economists Say ‘Bah! Humbug!’ to Christmas Presents.

Phylogeny of elves finds that santa’s workers are actually dwarves.

* The death of the Wisconsin idea: Under the proposed policies, faculty members could be laid off for financial reasons or if academic programs are discontinued for education reasons, including long-term strategic planning that includes “market demand and societal needs.”

* Let this be our Christmas story. Why? Well, that requires some explaining and perhaps even a stronger rationale than I’m yet able to muster. Because it has no cheer, redemption or family bonding. It’s about power, money, greed, recklessness and what can only be termed the sort of roughshod ridiculousness and surreal unintentional comedy that comes from being powerful enough or serving people with sufficient power that the ordinary sort of fear of getting caught and having to explain yourself simply doesn’t apply.

* Call for ideas: the Museum of Capitalism.

* From Bleeding Heart Libertarians: “Universities may indeed be exploiting adjuncts, but they cannot rectify this mistake without significant moral costs.”

* What really happened in the Christmas truce of 1914? The Real Story Behind the 1914 Christmas Truce in World War I.

* The Typical American Lives Only 18 Miles From Mom.

* The strange case of Case Western Reserve University law school.

* El Niño, explained: A guide to the biggest weather story of 2015. Records smashed on East Coast’s warmest ever Christmas Eve.

African-Inspired Space Opera Yohancé Is Going To Be Our Next Obsession.

‘Unprecedented’ gas leak in California is the climate disaster version of BP’s oil spill.

* I knew cheese was a drug.

* And no. Just no. Disagree.

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Tolkien, THE FORCE AWAKENS, and the Sadness of Expanded Universes

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(some spoilers near the end of the post, though I try to be vague)

Not long after completing The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien briefly began work on a sequel called The New Shadow, set 100 to 150 years later during the reign of Aragorn’s son Eldarion. (The main link between the two stories is the minor character Beregond, the noble but disgraced soldier of Gondor whose son, Borlas, would have been a major character in The New Shadow.) The New Shadow reveals that the eucatastrophic fairy-tale ending of The Return of the King was extremely short-lived; with the Elves and the Wizards gone from Middle-earth, the Dwarves moving underground, and the Hobbits now isolated in what amounts to an enclave in the Shire, Men are quickly falling back into their old bad habits. In fact the Men of Gondor already seem to have forgotten much of the details of the War of the Ring, even though it remains in living memory: they seem not to remember, or take seriously, the fact that they once strode with gods and angels in a war against pure evil, and were victorious. Instead, children play at being Orcs for fun; the death of Elessar has been an occasion for political striving and reactionary plots; and even something like a secret death cult of devil-worshipping rebels seems to be spreading through the elites of Gondor.

Tolkien wrote 13 pages of it.

He later wrote:

I did begin a story placed about 100 years after the Downfall, but it proved both sinister and depressing. Since we are dealing with Men it is inevitable that we should be concerned with the most regrettable feature of their nature: their quick satiety with good. So that the people of Gondor in times of peace, justice and prosperity, would become discontented and restless — while the dynasts descended from Aragorn would become just kings and governors — like Denethor or worse. I found that even so early there was an outcrop of revolutionary plots, about a centre of secret Satanistic religion; while Gondorian boys were playing at being Orcs and going around doing damage. I could have written a ‘thriller’ about the plot and its discovery and overthrow — but it would have been just that. Not worth doing.

Instead, Tolkien turned his attention back to the imaginative project that had more or less defined his life: The Silmarillion, begun between 1914 and 1917, which he tinkered with on and off until his death in 1973. The Silmarillion has always marked, I think, the grey line between being a casual Tolkien fan and becoming a Tolkien enthusiast — a path that then leads one even further into Christopher Tolkien’s twelve-volume History of Middle-Earth and the discovery of Tolkien’s own very elaborate (and somewhat fannish) self-commentary on his legendarium alongside many multiple alternate drafts of the narratives that form the barely glimpsed mythological background of The Lord of the Rings. 

The Silmarillion is nominally a prequel — ostensibly it is the Elvish legends that Bilbo translated and appended to the Red Book while he was retired in Rivendell — but the published version of the book includes a two-page summary of the War of the Ring that culminates in a brief, New-Shadow-style glimpse past Aragorn’s reign. We are reminded of the sapling of the White Tree that Aragorn and Gandalf find in the mountains near Gondor, which Aragorn plants in Minas Tirith as a symbol of his reign, and told that “while it still grew there the Elder Days were not wholly forgotten in the hearts of the Kings.” While it still grew there — which is to say, it doesn’t grow there anymore.

I don’t know that I would call this material “sinister,” but I taught The Silmarillion this semester after having tried and failed to read it as a child, and I think it would certainly be fair to call it “depressing.” What looks, in The Lord of the Rings, like a fairy-tale about how good and decent folk are able to do the impossible and defeat evil (with just a little bit of help from the divine, here and there) becomes in The Silmarillion and The New Shadow and Tolkien’s pseudo-theological commentary only the briefest, most temporary respite from a nightmare history in which things always turn out wrong, millennia after millennia after millennia. In fact Arda, the planet on which the continent of Middle-earth rests, is a cursed and fallen place, infused with evil and wickedness at its material core, and the only thing to do is raze the place and start over, as Eru Ilúvatar will at long last at the very end of time. To study Tolkien beyond Lord of the Rings is to come to a keen understanding of how tragic this history actually is, how Return of the King looks like a happy ending mostly because that’s where Tolkien (quite deliberately and self-consciously) decided to stop writing. But the Fourth Age was no better than the Third, and likely quite worse, and on and on through the degenerative millennia that bring us to the end of the Sixth Age and the beginning of the Seventh with the fall of the Third Reich and the development of the atom bomb.

I’ve been thinking about The New Shadow since it became clear that The Force Awakens would be borrowing from the Expanded Universe the notion that the Battle of Endor at the end of Return of the Jedi did not mark a full or permanent victory for the Rebel Alliance. The Force Awakens is The New Shadow, sinister and depressing, except they decided to go ahead and do it anyway. I joked in the link post earlier this morning that you can tell who read the EU novels and who didn’t based on whether your reaction to The Force Awakens is sadness — but the events of The Force Awakens, as sad as they are, are really only the tip of the iceberg in terms of how horribly Luke, Leia, and Han are punished in the EU novels, over and over, as everything they attempt to build turns to ash and the galaxy repeatedly falls into chaos, war, and catastrophe. In the farthest reaches of the EU universe, the Star Wars Legacy comics, set around 140 years or so after the Battle of Yavin, Luke’s descendent Cade Skywalker wanders a Galaxy that is again in war, as it always is, with a resurgent Empire again ruled by Sith masters — and when one casts oneself into the mists of time in the other direction (in material like the Knights of the Old Republic games, set thousands of years before A New Hope) one finds more or less the same basic story of genocidal total war playing out there too. Star Wars has always been, in the EU at least, a universe more or less without hope, that only looked hopeful to casual fans because they were looking too closely at just a very slender part of it.

This is why, while I can certainly understand the impulse to complain about The Force Awakens as derivative, I really think this is more repetition with a difference than mere or base or stupid repetition. One Death Star is a horror; two Death Stars and one Starkiller Base and whatever horrific murder innovation the First Order will come up with for Episode 9 is something more like the inexorable logic of history, grinding us all to dust. Likewise, it’s true that The Force Awakens hits many of the same story beats as the Original Trilogy, but almost always in ways that are worse: the death of Obi-Wan was sad but mysterious, suggestive of a world beyond death which the Jedi could access, while the death of The Force Awakens‘s version of Obi-Wan is not only brutally material but visceral, and permanent, as far as we have any reason to believe right now. The loss of Alderaan is sad, but the loss of what appears to be the entire institutional apparatus of the resurgent Republic is unthinkably devastating; aside from the loss of life it would take decades for the Galaxy to recover from such an event, even if they weren’t having to fight off the First Order while doing it. The film is extremely vague about the relationship between the Republic and “the Resistance,” but it appears to be a proxy guerrilla war against the First Order fought inside their own territory, secretly funded by the Republic — and prosecuted by Leia, Akbar, Nien Nunb, and all our heroes from the first movies, whose lives are now revealed as permanently deformed by a forever war they can never put down or escape. (If you want to ask me where Lando is, I think he said “good enough” after Endor and walked away, and that sort of makes me hope they never find him, never drag him back into it.) It’s horrible to lose a parent to addiction, or to mental illness, or to ordinary everyday cruelty, however you want to allegorize Vader’s betrayal of his children — but how much worse would it be to lose a child to it, how much worse would such a thing taint every aspect of your life and poison all your joy.

That Star Wars implies a world of sorrow belied by the spectacle of Jedi‘s happy ending isn’t a surprise to me — I told you, I read the EU books — but I can see why it’s a surprise to someone whose last memory of these people is smiles, a fireworks display, hugs, and a picnic. Return of the Jedi never asked us what we thought would happen when those people woke up the next morning and the Empire still had 90% of its guns, ships, territory, generals, and soldiers, ready to descend into vicious, scorched-earth fanaticism as they slid into defeat; it just wasn’t that kind of story. The Force Awakens is that kind of story, and I find that interesting enough to be excited about 8 and 9, to see where they try to take this story now that it turns out fairy-tales aren’t real and that deeply entrenched totalitarian systems don’t have exhaust ports, trench runs, or single points of failure. So I think the emerging critical consensus that The Force Awakens infantilizes its audience by re-presenting us with the same images we all saw as children is actually deeply wrong: The Force Awakens condemns Luke, Leia, and Han to actually live inside history, rather than transcend it, and it condemns us too.

Christmas Eve Eve Links

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* I was on On Point on NPR last week to talk about Star Wars. How to tell if someone read the EU novels. What We Talk About When We Talk about Star Wars. Medieval Star Wars. Smash the Force. Humorless Marxist Reviews: The Force Awakens. Starkiller Base: The Contractor Memos. Star Wars as Pastiche. “We now have something like proof that life for the average citizen in the Star Wars universe would have been better off if the rebellion had failed.” The Force Awakens as Jedi rewrite. Star Wars and the monomyth of Silicon Valley. George Lucas’s Secret Weapon. The only element that actually got me excited about what another galaxy might look and feel like was Rey’s instant bread. We Need to Make Room For This Gingerbread Darth Vader in the Smithsonian. This Lifesize BB-8 Cake Is Almost Too Beautiful To Eat. ‘Star Wars,’ if it were directed by Ken Burns. #WheresRey. An inversion of stakes so monstrous that it makes the film actually despicable. Please Stop Spreading This Nonsense that Rey From Star Wars Is a “Mary Sue.” Anyway, it did okay. And from the archives: “Hobbits in Space,” 1977.

* Another classic 1980s property gets a dark, gritty reboot.

* MLA Watch: 10 Years Gone But Change Goes On: Octavia E. Butler’s Public Legacy.

* A nine-month, non-tenure position teaching “What Is The Good Life?” to up to six hundred students. I’m not sure I know what the good life is but I think I can rule out at least one thing.

Here’s Why the SpaceX Rocket Landing Is Such a Big Deal.

What It’s Like to Be Noam Chomsky’s Assistant.

The case for determinism has two basic parts, material affordances and ideological construction (also called social construction).

In short, Orcs aren’t monsters. We are.

Better Management Through Belles Lettres.

* Pete Seeger’s FBI File.

Simon Pegg ‘Didn’t Love’ the ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Trailer, Asks Fans to ‘Hang in There.’

The Environmental Toll of a Netflix Binge: The data centers that support the Internet use a huge amount of energy.

* “yes Virginia, there is a left-wing reform movement.”

* World’s largest Star Wars cosplay association says new Star Wars villains are not evil enough.

* Marquette falls behind its peer institutions.

As part of their early schooling, Indonesians in the Soeharto era were deliberately traumatized by the state.

That’s right. The same educational policies that are pushing academic goals down to ever earlier levels seem to be contributing to—while at the same time obscuring—the fact that young children are gaining fewer skills, not more.

* Against The Hateful Eight.

Would you support or oppose bombing Agrabah?

* Racebending Hermione, now canon.

Historians often undermine the hopes that activists live on.

* SNL: Meet Your Second Wife.

The Star Wars Holiday Special Was The Worst Thing on Television Ever. Look for it on How Did This Get Made? this week.

* Immediately greenlit: Quentin Tarantino Almost Made A Luke Cage Movie And Wants To Create His Own Superhero.

* And I say teach the controversy: ‘Bleeding’ Communion Wafer Caused By Mold, Not A Miracle.

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Week-Old Links at Two-Weeks-Old-Link Prices

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* The San Bernardino mystery. Disband MSNBC. The story of the first mass murder in U.S. history. From the archives: The Making of a Rampage Murderer: What the Brutal Life of Oakland Shooter One L. Goh Says About America. So There’s Just Been a Mass Shooting. The Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook. Your tweets are not helping.

* YOU CAN’T KNOW THAT

The story, called “The Princess Steel,” was discovered by scholars Adrienne Brown and Britt Rusert, who write about it in the new issue of the Modern Language Association journal. We May Have Just Found W.E.B. Du Bois’ Earliest Science Fiction Story.

The CIA’s WWII Guide to Creating Organizational Dysfunction Perfectly Describes Your Toxic Workplace.

* Crank watch: What No One Is Telling You About Mark Zuckerberg Donating 99% Of His Fortune To “Charity.” The Philanthropy Hustle.

Tickets go on sale Friday, Dec. 11.

* Elsewhere on the local beat: The Transformation of the Milwaukee Art Museum.

* I teach practical, marketable skills that will serve my students their entire lives.

* Jury duty.

Four tough things universities should do to rein in costs. Four tough things columnists should do before writing about universities.

Are most academic papers really worthless? Don’t trust this worthless statistic.

College athletic departments are paying themselves to lose money.

* The future is a nightmare, and Purdue is ready.

* Self-driving cars will be the worst. Hopefully this particular problem is mostly solved by the elimination of private car ownership altogether.

* The hunt for Vulcan.

Catholic University Declares 1st Amendment Right To Ignore Catholicism.

* Sports Corner: Stephen Curry Is The Revolution.

* Meanwhile it is stunning to have my prejudices confirmed so wholly: New Study Finds ‘Surprising’ Correlation Between Degenerative Brain Disease And Amateur Athletics.

* Cruel Optimism and the NFL, or, Life in the Factory of Sadness.

* Let us be precise: Donald Trump Is Not a Liar.

Leaked Documents Show Alabama Police Department Planted Drugs On Black Men For Years. Meanwhile, in Chicago. UPDATE: There may be less to that Alabama story than meets the eye.

Spoiler Alerts: Three Books on Trash.

* The 24 Most Embarrassing Dungeons & Dragons Character Classes.

Assuming a round figure of two and a half billion years of beak-sharpening, and assuming (a BIG assumption, to be sure) about three days per iteration of the Doctor, you can figure, based on a solar year of 365.25 days, that there have been approximately three hundred and four billion, three hundred and seventy-five million and twelve Doctors.

* And speaking of the Doctor: I’m not even sure who #2 would be.

* Behold the Jessica Jones backlash.

* Study suggests Type 2 diabetes can be cured by weight loss — specifically the loss of half a gram of fat from the pancreas.

* What they give with one hand they take with the other: Research Points To Mental Health Risks Associated With Meatless Diet.

* This is neat: The Third Amendment to the Constitution — the one that bans the quartering of soldiers in homes without the owner’s consent — is sort of the Pete Best of the early American legislative experiment. While the other amendments have had all sorts of play at the highest levels of legal rulings, there has never been a Supreme Court decision primarily based on the Third Amendment. Clearly the Founders had a goal, wrote it down, and we haven’t had too many questions about the matter since. Nice work, Founders. Anyway, there’s an idea bubbling among legal theorists to use the Third Amendment to counteract domestic spying from the NSA — a branch of the Department of Defense — and while it may not be 100 percent there, it’s interesting.

* Our bad: U.S. Holds Yemeni Man at Guantanamo Bay for 13 Years in Case of Mistaken Identity.

Starting work before 10am isn’t just soul crushing, this scientist says it’s equivalent to torture.

* Why Education Does Not Fix Poverty.

* Rape in the porn industry.

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* Of One and the Other: Humans and Animals.

* Know your branches of economics.

State sues prisoners to pay for their room, board.

“This is the best declining mall review I’ve ever read.”

* Teach the controversy: Will Our Descendants Survive the Destruction of the Universe?

* Magnifique! In Photos: Anarchists Clash With Riot Police During Climate Summit Protest in Paris.

* When the Onion goes dark, there’s still no one better: Frustrated Gunman Can’t Believe How Far He Has To Drive To Find Nearest Planned Parenthood Clinic.

Female-Authors-Only Philosophy of Science Syllabus.

* There’s no such thing as a male or female brain, study finds.

Florida Woman’s Car Turned Her in for a Hit-and-Run.

Mom Who Overslept While Son Walked to School Could Get 10 Years in Prison.

* General election watch: Democrats are fiercely committed to the proposition of nominating a perhaps fatally compromised candidate whom basically no one likes. And from Amber A’Lee Frost: My Kind of Misogyny. Wheeeeeeeeee!

* Philosophy Corner: Is there a principled difference between having a gun and just having a button that when pressed kills the person standing in front of you?

* Abolish TIAA-CREF.

Was Star Wars’ Empire on the brink of financial ruin?

This company believes it can resurrect humans in the next 30 years.

* Kill the Santa Claus in your head.

From Climate Crisis to Solar Communism. World’s Most Vulnerable Islands Are Hoping Paris Will Bring an Impossible Climate Miracle. India Holds the Planet’s Fate in Its Hands. That’s Great News.

Def Sec Carter To Open All Combat Jobs To Women In Historic Change.

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today.

Soviet erotic alphabet picture book, 1931.

Yes, I did write a fixfic based on the “Wait—all the stories are true?” line from the new Star Wars trailer. I’m not sorry.

* There but for the grace of God go we: Man arrested with 51 turtles in his pants.

* And of course you had me at Rare 40-Year-Old Star Trek Comics Are Finally Being Released In the U.S.

anarchists-clash-with-riot-police-during-climate-summit-protest-in-paris-body-image-1448809422

Written by gerrycanavan

December 5, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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