Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘twists

Monday Morning Links!

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In Milwaukee, I lived two lives. On the East Side was the liberal Catholic school I attended for nine years; on the North Side was everything else. Dateline Milwaukee: Affluent and Black, and Still Trapped by Segregation. Some Lesser Known Justice Facts about Milwaukee and Wisconsin. And a more positive Milwaukee profile: How Milwaukee Shook Off the Rust: The Midwestern hub reclaimed some of its industrial glory by doing a surprising thing. It cleaned up.

Google’s response to inquiries was chilling: “Google News Archive no longer has permission to display this content.” Entire Google archive of more than a century of stories is gone. Why?

A narrow street dead-ends at the Detroit River, where a black-and-white boat bobs in the water, emblazoned with a Postal Service eagle. This is the mail boat J.W. Westcott II, the only floating ZIP code in the United States.

Hugo Awards Celebrate Women in Sci-Fi, Send Rabid Puppies to Doghouse. Special congratulations to N.K. Jemisin, whose The Fifth Season I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and to Nnedi Okorafar, whose “Binti” I have read already and is fantastic. Relatedly, Abigail Nussbaum asks: Do the Hugos actually need saving?

In Conversation With Colson Whitehead.

* This seems like a pretty big deal: Justice Department Says Poor Can’t Be Held When They Can’t Afford Bail.

U.S. Army only fudged its accounts by mere trillions of dollars, auditor finds.

An Indiana City Is Poised To Become The Next Flint.

* Trump’s Empire.

* Another late-summer syllabus: Problems in Posthumanism. #WelfareReformSyllabus. And a study guide for a world without police.

* “It’s ridiculous—we are talking about the biggest retailer in the world. I may have half my squad there for hours.”

Ranking the Most (and Least) Diverse Colleges in America. Marquette sneaks in at #86, while my alma mater Case Western is a surprisingly high #40 and Duke gets #32.


* The strangeness of deep time.

* How to make an R2-D2.

“The jobs that the robots will leave for humans will be those that require thought and knowledge. In other words, only the best-educated humans will compete with machines,” Howard Rheingold, an internet sociologist, told Pew. “And education systems in the US and much of the rest of the world are still sitting students in rows and columns, teaching them to keep quiet and memorize what is told to them, preparing them for life in a 20th century factory.” Nothing can stop Judgment Day, but with the liberal arts you just might have a chance of surviving it…

98 personal data points that Facebook uses to target ads to you.

* Hot.
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Only about a hundred groups of isolated indigenous people are believed to still exist, with more than half of them living in the wilderness that straddles Peru’s border with Brazil. Fiona Watson, the field director of the tribal-people’s-rights group Survival International, told me that the situation was dire for the region’saislados, as isolated people are called in Spanish. In a cramped London office, Watson laid out satellite maps to show me their territory, small patches in a geography overtaken by commerce: arcs of slash-and-burn farmland; huge expanses where agribusinesses raise cattle and grow soy; mining camps that send minerals to China; migrant boomtowns. Some of the indigenous groups were hemmed in on all sides by mining and logging concessions, both legal and illegal. One tribe in Brazil, the Akuntsu, had been reduced to four members. Near them, a man known to anthropologists only as the Man of the Hole lives in a hollow dug in the forest floor, warding off intruders by firing arrows. He is believed to be the last of his tribe.

The poet and activist June Jordan once wrote that “poetry means taking control of the language of your life.” Solmaz Sharif does just that in her excellent debut collection, “Look,” pushing readers to acknowledge a lexicon of war she has drawn from the Defense Department’s Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. Language, in this collection, is called upon as victim, executioner and witness.

Mr. Robot and Why TV Twists Don’t Work Anymore.

* Pittsburgh and the birth of the self-driving car.

* Iceland and revolution.

While people around the world will no doubt continue to project various fantasies onto the tiny island republic, the fact remains that Iceland has yet to see any surge in left mobilization comparable to that in Portugal and Greece — or even the more modest adjustments being made inside the two trans-Atlantic establishment left-liberal parties in the form of the Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn campaigns.

This brilliant map renames each US state with a country generating the same GDP.


88 College Taglines, Arranged as a Poem.

* The movie you’ve already completely forgotten about will indeed have a sequel bound to disappoint you.

Lang will reprise his role as Colonel Miles Quaritch, Avatar’s villain who appeared definitively dead at the end of the film after taking several huge Na’vi arrows through his chest. Despite that setback, Quaritch is expected to be resurrected in some way and will appear in all the remaining sequels.

Eywa* save us all.

* Reader, I googled it.

* Lovecraft and suburbia and Stranger Things.

* Anyway, the point I’d like you to take away from this is that while it’s really hard to say “sending an interstellar probe is absolutely impossible”, the smart money says that it’s extremely difficult to do it using any technology currently existing or in development. We’d need a whole raft of breathroughs, including radiation shielding techniques to kick the interstellar medium out of the way of the probe as well as some sort of beam propulsion system and then some way of getting data back home across interstellar distances … and that’s for a flyby mission like New Horizons that would take not significantly less than a human lifetime to get there.

I Went on a Weeklong Cruise For Conspiracy Theorists. It Ended Poorly.

* My new favorite Twitter bot: @dungeon_junk.

* Viacom is hemorrhaging money, in part on the basis of the struggling Star Trek (and Ninja Turtles, and Ben Hur) reboot franchises.

Friend acquires a lot of cheese. What to do with it?

* And of course you had me at Historic Midcentury Modernist Motels of the New Jersey Coast.


Written by gerrycanavan

August 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Night Links!

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* CFP: Afrofuturism in Time and Space.

* I was supposed to be at a conference this weekend, but the United flight left so amazingly late that it would have actually arrived after my panel (despite planning an ample buffer). I can’t remember the last flight I took that wasn’t at least partially a disaster. How much worse can air travel get? The Reason Air Travel Is Terrible and So Few Airlines Are Profitable. The airlines have maximized profits by making travel as miserable as possible. The Airline Fee to Sit With Your Family. And of course: Waiting in Line for the Illusion of Security.

* I’m 36, and I’ve never felt more “halfway there” than I have since my birthday last November.

* This is mostly anecdata, but all the same Milwaukee really does have the absolute worst drivers in the world.

* What happened to CUNY? The Relentless Shabbiness of CUNY: What Is To Be Done?

Students should study what they love, work hard, learn a lot, and they will find employment success.  We have become so vocationalized in our thinking about higher education that we have come to believe that a major is a career.  It is not.

* Climate Change: Views from the Humanities.

Student evaluations of teaching are not only unreliable, they are significantly biased against female instructors.

* Western universities are opening campuses in some odd places where they really don’t need to be.

Students With Nowhere to Stay: Homelessness on College Campuses.

For First Time in Modern Era, Living With Parents Edges Out Other Living Arrangements for 18- to 34-Year-Olds.

* Why Sci-Hub Will Win.

“Without provocation or warning, a large swarm of bees descended on both of them as they continued on the trail,” the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

We’ve separated the work of medicine and the work of the humanities for too long. After all, the creation of meaning is most important during our inevitable periods of suffering — whether the suffering is a patient’s physical illness or a physician’s emotional anguish.

Here’s the data: The National Health Interview Survey from 2011–12 found that children between the ages of six and 17 from families under the poverty line were significantly more likely to be prescribed psychiatric medication than any other economic group. The same study found that children on Medicaid were 50 percent more likely to get a prescription than those with private insurance. An analysis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnoses among kids between the ages of five and 17 between 1998 and 2009 found rates rose twice as fast for working-class and poor kids. A measurable class gap has emerged among children when it comes to mental health. And elsewhere from Malcolm Harris: why the dreaded term ‘millennial’ is actually worth saving.

We, the undersigned graduate students from the UCSD Literature Department and their allies, are writing to publicly voice our concerns about the building where the Literature program is currently housed.  In the past twenty-six years, many members of our departmental community have been diagnosed with cancer, forming an as-yet unexplained cancer cluster centered on the Literature Building.

How one California university faked students’ scores, skated by immigration authorities — and made a fortune in the process.

* Ole Miss Admits Former Assistant Football Coach Helped Falsify ACT Scores.

America’s atomic vets: ‘We were used as guinea pigs – every one of us.’

It’s time to acknowledge the genocide of California’s Indians.

Who paid for a professional oppo-research team to mock an environmental activist? The answer is secret. One could argue that the campaign isn’t substantially different from that of a corporate lobbyist, but, unlike registered lobbyists, America Rising Squared doesn’t have to file public disclosures or pay taxes, because it purports to be a social-welfare organization.

* For the first time, researchers have found a person in the United States carrying bacteria resistant to antibiotics of last resort, an alarming development that the top U.S. public health official says could mean “the end of the road” for antibiotics. That New Superbug Was Found in a UTI and That’s Key.

* The Ethics of Hodor.

* Ecotopia 2121.

The Player Kings: On Shakespeare’s Henriad.

Huge Marvel Comics twist changes Captain America forever*, and you might not like it.

* six months tops

* I get the anger, but I just don’t think Steve will be Hydra long enough to be outraged about. It really might not last past the next issue. Needless to say, on the question of outrage, others disagree. Jacobin weighs in: Captain America Doesn’t Have to Be a Fascist.

What’s it Like for Peter Parker Growing Up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

* Where is Wakanda?

* Super-antics.

“Unprecedented” discovery of mysterious structures created by Neanderthals.

Archaeologists discover Aristotle’s 2,400-year-old tomb in Macedonia.

A ‘Devastating Account’ of Diversity at Yale.

The Obama Administration Is Using Racist Court Rulings to Deny Citizenship to 55,000 People.

Hillary Clinton’s email problems just got much worse. More. What the new inspector general report on Hillary Clinton’s emails actually says.

* Hard not to feel like Democrats are really bad at this. Really bad.

Bernie Might Be Helping, Not Hurting Hillary Right Now.

* The Independent didn’t think this pair of glasses left on the floor of a museum was art.

* Geraldine Largay’s Wrong Turn: Death on the Appalachian Trail.

Peter Thiel just gave other billionaires a dangerous blueprint for perverting philanthropy. Peter Thiel, Tech Billionaire, Reveals Secret War With Gawker.

The iron-clad rule of all punditry and freelance social media opinionating: everything that happens must be construed such that it helps Trump.

* Pure class.

How to Get Trump Elected When He’s Wrecking Everything You Built.

12 Fringe Conspiracy Theories Embraced By A Man Who Might Be The Next President.

* The Gingrich Century.

Inside A White Nationalist Conference Energized By Trump’s Rise.

* A coup in Brazil, not that anyone seems to care.

How to Plug In Your Brain.

Research reveals huge scale of social media misogyny.

* Algorithmic injustice.

Teaching Veronica Mars in a season of campus sex crimes.

The turn to whetted appetites is supposed to be a compliment, but it just goes to show that there is no non-sinister defense for the “American male birthright” as a conceptual category.

* Gay Essentialism in a Eugenic Age.

“Frivolous” Humanities Helped Prisoners Survive in Communist Romania.

* Sad story: Gorilla shot dead after 3-year-old falls into enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo. A lot of people seem to be blaming the parents for neglectful watching, but having any way for a child to gain access to an enclosure is a catastrophic failure of design.

* Elsewhere in animal news: A Dutch Company Is Training ‘Low-Tech’ Eagles to Fight Drones.

In winter breeding grounds like Hawai‘i and Mexico, migrating humpback whales arrived later, left earlier, and showed up in fewer numbers than normal.

* There are a lot of pieces of this argument that I don’t agree with, but this part seems right to me: What its steadfast defenders fail to grasp is that, by promoting the PhD as a sort of generalist’s degree that should be used to do all sorts of things by as many people as possible, they are damning the humanities to continued irrelevance.

* 50 Years of Joan of Arc at Marquette.

* The end of Salon.

New Evidence Suggests a Fifth Fundamental Force of Nature.

Cell Phones and Brain Cancer: A Mother Jones Symposium.

Every Single Pinky and the Brain Plan to Take Over the World, Ranked.

* Do you think humans really have feelings, or are they just programmed to act like they do?

I try to remember the day I stopped believing in the Loch Ness Monster, the day I realized heaven and earth provided more than enough to think about. I cannot, which seems strange. I have never regretted my obsession with the Loch Ness Monster. A strong belief in UFOs, say, is somehow contaminating, so many of its paths leading into the intellectual urinal of conspiracy and cover-up. Belief in the hard-core paranormal is not something one grows out of but something one is reduced to. Accepting the Loch Ness Monster’s existence, on the other hand, did not mean signing on to any particular pathology, except possibly that of optimism. The Loch Ness Monster made the world a little stranger, a little more wonderful.

Welcome to Disturbia: Why midcentury Americans believed the suburbs were making them sick.

* Reproductive futurity watch: Congress member goes on bizarre anti-LGBTQ rant about sending gay people to space.

* Huge, if true: J.K. Rowling Confirms Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Will Be Sad.

The Sad State of Game of Thrones’ Direwolves.

* Game of Thrones: This is canon now.

* Winter is going: The Arctic Heat Wave Is Literally Off the Charts Right Now.

* But there’s a Plan B: The Time To Nuke Mars Is Now.


Written by gerrycanavan

May 29, 2016 at 5:13 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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