Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘violence

Monday Morning

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* In local news: Dangerous Levels of ‘Erin Brockovich’ Chemical Found in Local Drinking Water.

Great little Wisconsin story about the hotel NFL teams stay at when they play the Packers.

* A brief history of Tetris.

To understand Charlotte’s rage, you have to understand its roads. A Homegirl Reflecting on Charlotte Uprising.

* Homeless and in graduate school.

The survey that Williams was part of, the Milwaukee Area Renters Study (MARS), may be the first rigorous, detailed look at eviction in a major city. Interviewers like Williams spoke to about 1,100 Milwaukee-area tenants between 2009 and 2011, asking them a battery of questions on their housing history. The survey has already fundamentally changed researchers’ understanding of eviction, revealing the problem to be far larger than previously understood. 

The rise and rise of tabletop gaming.

It’s genuinely disturbing how easy it is to make a 269-269 electoral map, and how plausible that outcome seems.

Here’s Everything Donald Trump Has Promised to Do on His First Day as President. Seven Days of Donald Trump’s Lies. Scope of Trump’s falsehoods unprecedented for a modern presidential candidate. Donald Trump’s Week of Misrepresentations, Exaggerations and Half-Truths. The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally. Bruce vs. Trump. Trump’s jet vs. the taxpayers. Intel Officials Investigating Trump Advisor’s Ties To Putin Allies. Virtual media blackout on emerging Trump campaign scandal with Russia. Pregaming the debate. And again. And again. And again.

* Obama legacy project, take one.

* Know your 1%.

* From the right: “Against democracy.”

Roughly speaking, a white voter will lean left if she is “more college than church” and will lean right if she is “more church than college.”

* Democrats don’t actually want to win, exhibit 37,000.

* If you want a vision of the future:

 The Democrats have become the party, not of some specific ideological agenda, but of the traditional system as such. One of Obama’s major goals has been to rehabilitate the Republicans and force them to act as a worthy opponent rather than an implacable foe. This approach was naive and in many ways dangerous, as shown most vividly when Obama tried to “leverage” the Republicans’ unprecedented brinksmanship on the debt ceiling to engineer a “grand bargain” on the deficit, but it fits with the view that the system only works if there are two worthy opponents locked in an eternal struggle with no final victories. We can see something similar in Clinton’s controversial decision to treat Trump as an outlier rather than letting him tar the Republican brand as such. It works to her political disadvantage — showing that her centrist opportunism is weirdly principled in its own way — but from within her worldview, the most important thing is to restore the traditional balance of forces.

The situation we are in shows the intrinsic instability of party democracy. An eternal struggle between worthy opponents is not possible in practice. Eventually, one of the two teams is going to decide that they want to win in the strong sense, to defeat the opponent once and for all. And if that desire cannot be achieved immediately, it will inevitably lead to a long period where the old enemy is treated as a foe — as intrinsically evil and illegitimate. Within the American system, with its baroque structure of constraints and veto points, that will lead to a period where government is barely functional, because the natural tendency will be for the radicalized party to refuse to go along with the system until they have full control over it.

* Clinton’s policy team.

* This would be a better story if they were going to dive in to how creepy this would be: Geordi La Forge Has a Ship Full of Datas in This First Look at Star Trek: Waypoint.

* Tonight in Jungeland: Chris Christie’s Chances For Impeachment Just Went Way Up.

* On the Popular Acceptance of Inequality Due to Brute Luck.

Scientists have found a better version of the Dyson Sphere. Meet the Dyson Swarm, a vast mega-structure comprised of a plethora of solar panels.

* Mars! Still! Again!

* The circle of lfe.

Police enlist young offenders as confidential informants. But the work is high-risk, largely unregulated, and sometimes fatal.

* A walking tour of New York’s surveillance network.

* The Stolen War: How corruption and fraud created a failed state in Iraq—and led directly to the rise of ISIS.

The Fallacies Of Neoliberal Protest.

* Please be true, please be true: Arrival Is a Scifi Masterpiece You Won’t Stop Thinking About.

“The Battle of Algiers” at 50: From 1960s Radicalism to the Classrooms of West Point.

Professor Donald W. Schaffner, a food microbiologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, said a two-year study he led concluded that no matter how fast you pick up food that falls on the floor, you will pick up bacteria with it. Challenge accepted.

Cats sailed with Vikings to conquer the world, genetic study reveals. Trade between China and Rome in the ancient world, as tokened by a pair of corpses found in a London cemetery. (On that second one others say not so fast.)

“…Adding to the tragedy, is that this disaster went almost completely unnoticed by the public as later that day another, more “newsworthy” tragedy would befall the nation when beloved President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated. The Staten Island Ferry Disaster Museum hopes to correct this oversight by preserving the memory of those lost in this tragedy and educating the public about the truth behind the only known giant octopus-ferry attack in the tri-state area.”

* Breaking Bad at a Bronx charter.

* The Three-Body Problem in, well, China.

A Law Professor Explains Why You Should Never Talk to Police.

A History of Native Americans Protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

* The book in question is The Total Rush – or, to use its superior English title, Blitzed – which reveals the astonishing and hitherto largely untold story of the Third Reich’s relationship with drugs, including cocaine, heroin, morphine and, above all, methamphetamines (aka crystal meth), and of their effect not only on Hitler’s final days – the Führer, by Ohler’s account, was an absolute junkie with ruined veins by the time he retreated to the last of his bunkers – but on the Wehrmacht’s successful invasion of France in 1940. Published in Germany last year, where it became a bestseller, it has since been translated into 18 languages, a fact that delights Ohler, but also amazes him.

* A brief history of gang violence in Chicago.

This is what word processing machines, word processing software, and word processing as an office management strategy all have common: they are techniques for providing the essential labor required to produce texts while also concealing that labor, thereby generating the impression that the command to produce a document can itself produce documents.

Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest is a start, but what if pro athletes refused to play? Students Are Pulling a Kaepernick All Over America — and Being Threatened for It.

* And if you want a vision of the future: They’re gonna be submerging this dude in water and taking photos every 5 years until he dies.

Labor Day Weekend Links!

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20121130* Aliens! Aliens! Not really. But it’s never too early to panic.

* This truly is the darkest timeline: Marquette signs new contract with Pepsi for on-campus beverage services.

Some Of The Best PC Games Ever Made Hit Steam This Week. Quest for Glory! Police Quest! Wow. Waiting now for the Mac port.

* Star Trek: Discovery really will follow Number One. Relatedly: The 2000s-era Star Treks we never saw. Star Trek Beyond, Reviewed by Tim Phipps.

Science Fiction World Building in a Capitalist Society: An Interview with Dan Hassler-Forest (Part One).

* The Exemption Packet.

Jason Scott Talks about Preserving Games with the Internet Archive.

* Be a rebel; major in English. A decent discussion of the fact-free moral panic involving choice of major, clickbait headline aside.

The Peculiar Success of Cultural Studies 2.0.

* How to Write an Effective Diversity Statement for a Faculty Job Application.

Mandatory Trigger Warnings at Drexel?

* Lockout at LIU.

* Symposium: Why Monster Studies Now?

* Nicholson Baker, substitute teacher. Welcome to Terror High.

The most important lesson to take from all this is that there is no way to confront the climate crisis as a technocratic problem, in isolation. It must be seen in the context of austerity and privatisation, of colonialism and militarism, and of the various systems of othering needed to sustain them all.

* Improv as self-help philosophy, as scam, as fad, as cult. (via) I’ve never taken an improv class, but my nonstop consumption of improv-based comedy podcasts has seriously helped my teaching by helping me see the importance of adopting the yes-and stance in the classroom.

Professor hunger strikes against denial of tenure.

Islam and Science Fiction, the long-running website dedicated to “fill[ing] a gap in the literature about Muslims and Islamic cultures in Science Fiction,” has just published Islamicates: Volume I, as a free-to-download release.

Check Out These Amazing Soviet Maps Of D.C.

That’s a serious charge, worthy of being considered seriously. Although easy access to inexpensive Mexican food would be a boon for hungry Americans, what would the inevitable presence of those trucks do to the American economy? How could our country accommodate an explosion of trucks at that scale? The national economic implications of a taco truck on every corner.

* Stranger Things and the spirit of play.

Here’s why: it’s about play. We have good reasons to overthink TV shows, to take them too seriously: it helps us reclaim from them all that they take for granted, all the ideology in which we find ourselves implicated as we enjoy works produced by a capitalist, patriarchal, racist culture, etc. If your fave is problematic, it’s worth thinking about why, not because you or it are bad and should feel bad, but because our world is fallen and all is vanity and what does humanity gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun, etc. Or something like that. Art has baggage; criticism is about rummaging through that bag to see what’s inside, and what you want to do with it.

* Girls feel Stranger Things, too.

Fortunately, those of us who grew up in the 80s also experienced the 90s, where Dana Scully and Buffy Summers awaited us. But with its flawlessly staged setting and piled-up homages to 80s movies, Stranger Things has performed a kind of time travel: it has reached back into my memories,Total Recall-like, and inserted characters who now seem as though they were there all along. Nancy, the nerd-turned-monster killer who can like more than one boy at once. Barb, the buttoned-up babygay whose best friend won’t let her be disposable. Eleven, the terrifying, funny, scared, brave, smart weirdo whose feelings could save the world.

Global Capitalism, Fan Culture, and (Even) Stranger Things. The Strange Motivations of Stranger Things. Sticking a tough landing: Stranger Things Season Two Will Add New Characters, New Settings, and Sequel Sensibility.

* Teasing the Fall 2016 Pop Culture series at Marquette: Harry Potter, Tarantino, and (yes) Stranger Things.

* $600,000 humanities endowment account at CUNY turns out to be a mere $599,924 dollars short.

* Learn to Write the Vandermeer Way. Keep scrolling!


Virtually every decision made by Warner Bros. with regards to its DC superhero movies has been bad. But it’s been so desperate to recreate Marvel’s success that it keeps running forward, trying to constantly course correct, when what it really needs to do it take a break, a deep breath, and start over from scratch with a long-term plan that it will actually stick to.

Jack Kirby’s long-lost, incomplete “The Prisoner” comic book.

The Myth of the Millennial as Cultural Rebel.

Apartment Broker Recommends Brooklyn Residents Spend No More Than 150% Of Income On Rent.

Airlines are surprisingly ill-equipped to handle accusations of sexual assault on their planes.

This small Indiana county sends more people to prison than San Francisco and Durham, N.C., combined. Why? Yes, the word “oxy” appears in the first sentence.

Creepy Clown Sightings in South Carolina Cause a Frenzy.

* Tracing the history of the phrase “office-involved shooting.”

How Fox News women took down the most powerful, and predatory, man in media. Why Isn’t It a Bigger Deal That Trump Is Being Advised by Sadistic Pervert Roger Ailes?

Democrats really might have a shot at taking the House. Here’s the math.

* Because you demanded it! CBS is developing a scripted drama based on the life of Judge Judy. It’s also graciously decided to allow you to pay extra for an ad-free experience on its subscription service.

* Ah, the good old days. Still not done yet!


Meet Moya Bailey, the black woman who created the term “misogynoir.”

* Dialectics of Superman: The Old Lois Lane Really Doesn’t Like the New Lois Lane. The Rise and Fall of Axiom.

* Math is cool: The absent-minded driver’s paradox.

Solar Power Plant Can’t Figure Out How to Stop Frying Birds.

Georgetown University Plans Steps to Atone for Slave Past. Georgetown’s slavery announcement is remarkable. But it’s not reparations.

Deep in the Swamps, Archaeologists Are Finding How Fugitive Slaves Kept Their Freedom.

* “A short story in English is a story in which the letter e occurs no more than 5715  times.”

* How far are you from an In N Out Burger?

* Works for academic papers too.

* RIP, Gene Wilder.

Debating the Legality of the Post-9/11 ‘Forever War’ at the Council on Foreign Relations.

* Whiteness without white supremacy?

Football and the Buffalo both owe some of their survival today to Teddy Roosevelt, who loved them both because they were accessories to one of his first loves: violence, which he and others of his time and a lot of people living right now believe tempers men into steel.

Avengers: Full House.

* Sold in the room: Alison Brie Will Star in Netflix’s ’80s Lady-Wrestling Series G.L.O.W. And that’s before I even found out Marc Maron would be on it too.

* I’m also excited to option this one: Bizarre ant colony discovered in an abandoned Polish nuclear weapons bunker.

* The L.A. Times is running a six-part story on that framing of a PTA mom in California.

* Screens in Schools Are a $60 Billion Hoax.

* Socialize the EpiPen.

* The critics are saying Arrival (née Story of Your Life) is the real deal.

* The art of Biff Tannen.

* Breaking: Warner Brothers wants another five billion dollars.

Few baseball fans have heard of the tiny Pacific Association, an independent league founded in 2013. But in 2015, during the Stompers’ sophomore season, the team fielded pro baseball’s first openly gay player, Sean Conroy. Then, in the off-season, the filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola approached the team to talk about making his Virginia Dare Winery, based in nearby Geyserville, one of its sponsors. That proposal came with another: he wanted the team to recruit female players.

* Understanding Prenatal Depression.

* It’s weird that 911 has an off switch, isn’t it?

* Web comic of the week: Ark.

* Short film of the week: Movies in Space. Chris and Jack’s other stuff is pretty great too.

The New York Times Reassures Parents That Their Sons’ Penises Are Probably Totally Fine.

* And I really think just one more year ought to do it.


Written by gerrycanavan

September 3, 2016 at 8:43 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Far Too Many Monday Morning Links, Sorry

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* The Imaginary Worlds podcast did a recent episode on the legacy of Octavia Butler.

* N.K. Jemisin has a plan for diversity in science fiction.

* The best McSweeney’s link in years, maybe ever: “A Poem about Your University’s Brand New Institute.”

* The value-added English major: Book up for a longer life: readers die later, study finds.

Cloud Atlas ‘astonishingly different’ in US and UK editions, study finds.

* Group projects in the college classroom from Ramzi Fawaz.

* Call for applications: The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award.

* China Miéville and the Politics of Surrealism.

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 1.18.29 AM* Violence Breaks Out in Milwaukee Following Officer-Involved Shooting. More details. Sheriff Clarke and Scott Walker Call in the National Guard. And from the archives: Wisconsin named worst state for black Americans. Wisconsin Prisons Incarcerate Most Black Men In U.S. Wisconsin graduation gap between white and black students largest in the country. ‘Back in time 60 years’: America’s most segregated city. Why Is Milwaukee So Bad For Black People? Milwaukee County and the Unelectable Whiteness of Scott Walker. And a message from MUPD.



* Unprecedented flooding, again, this time in Louisiana (again).

Everything is fucked: The syllabus.

* The Republican War on Public Universities.

* Uber U.

So Your Kid’s A Medieval Studies Major? Relax.

The discovery of Hawaii Sign Language in 2013 amazed linguists. But as the number of users dwindles, can it survive the twin threats of globalisation and a rift in the community?

* One in seven U.S. households has a negative net worth.

The Average Black Family Would Need 228 Years to Build the Wealth of a White Family Today.

* Meanwhile, on the Trump beat: The Entertainment Candidate. My Crazy Year with Trump. Here’s how I’ll teach Trump to my college students this fall. A Republican intellectual explains why the Republican Party is going to die. On Decency. Inside the Failing Mission to Tame Donald Trump’s Tongue. Former supporters describe their ‘last straw’ when it came to Trump. The Ten Point Line. Even if Polling Tightens, Where Is Donald Trump’s 270th Electoral Vote? Presidential candidates leading polls at this point in the campaign have almost always won. What A Clinton Landslide Would Look Like. What would it take for the House to flip? News Organizations Ask NY State Supreme Court to Unseal Trump’s 1990 Divorce Records. Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief. I didn’t blog for a few days and the “Second Amendment People” thing already seems like a million years ago. It’s unreal.

* Twitter, or, a honeypot for assholes.

Polls suggest Iceland’s Pirate party may form next government.

* The four basic personality types, by way of the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

Why Did a University Quarter Police and Soldiers in Its Dorms? Stay for the paean to the Third Amendment. It’s making a comeback, my friends!

The drug war has enabled civilian police forces to militarize their tactics and technology up to the level of the armed forces. Police departments are now standing armies of “warrior cops” that largely crusade against Black low-level drug dealers and their Black consumers, with little regard for their non-Black suppliers. These militarized police officers are Third Amendment “soldiers” by any reasonable construction.

* New detail emerge on Star Trek: Discovery. I’m really not in love with the pre-TOS prequel angle — didn’t they already make that mistake? — but the rest seems reasonably promising. Meanwhile, in the next universe over: The Star Trek TV Shows That Never Happened.

The researchers calculated that the ship could reach five percent the speed of light (0.05 c), resulting in roughly a 90-year travel time to Alpha Centauri. The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963, which forbade nuclear explosions in the atmosphere, and the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which forbade nuclear explosive devices in space, effectively ended Orion. 

An Earth-like Planet Might Be Orbiting Proxima Centauri.

NASA unveils 6 prototypical deep space human habitats for Mars and beyond.

A mysterious object has been discovered beyond Neptune with an inexplicable orbit. I’ll be honest: I’m all in on Niku.

* All alone in No Man’s Sky, an incomprehensibly vast universe simulator.

It’s So Hot Out Cockroaches Might Start Flying in NYC.

This “proton radius puzzle” suggests there may be something fundamentally wrong with our physics models. And the researchers who discovered it have now moved on to put a muon in orbit around deuterium, a heavier isotope of hydrogen. They confirm that the problem still exists, and there’s no way of solving it with existing theories.

* Dystopia now: The latest technological innovation for data-hungry hedge funds is a fleet of five dozen shoebox-sized satellites.

* The Hidden Hawaii.

The Invisible Labor of Women’s Studies.

* Perhaps it might be time to abandon altogether the idea of childbirth as a moral experience? Resisting the application of prospective and retrospective judgment, appraisal, and categories of “good” and “bad” altogether: can we imagine birth outside of these assignations? Is there a way for us to hold on to the monstrosity of childbirth? To look directly at Winthrop’s descriptions, refuse his hateful moralizing yet cradle those monstrous lumps?

When mental health professionals systemically misdiagnose patients of color, treatment looks more like punishment.

Lawns are a soul-crushing timesuck and most of us would be better off without them.

Study Links Police Bodycams to Increase in Shooting Deaths.

* “When you realize that *all* faculty meetings follow the CIA’s Sabotage Field Manual.”


* Homeless at college.

* Politeness and the end of democracy.

* Rethinking family leave policies in academia.

* Chernobyl in the Anthropocene.

* A place called Mebane.

* Ice and American exceptionalism.

* Olympics minute! Saluting race-walking. Why Aren’t Long Jumpers Jumping Longer? The Olympics and climate change. This Is Why There Are So Many Ties In Swimming. There’s never been a state-controlled doping system that we know of, of this size. Why does Puerto Rico have its own team? Why bronze medalists are happier than silver medalists, and other things the Olympics teaches us about human emotions.

* Prime real-estate on the Moon (and how to seize it).

But even as new insights emerge from both the physical and social sciences, a longstanding argument over whether or not addiction is a disease prevents researchers from identifying effective treatment strategies. The “disease model” remains dominant among medical researchers as well as in the treatment community. But it is not universally embraced, and some researchers think it gets in the way of fresh ideas about how to help people.

An Open Letter to My Future Daughter.

* 8/11 is 72 cents on the dollar, please cite me in all future thinkpieces.

* Teach the controversy.

Cost of Lead Poisoning in Flint Now Estimated at $458 Million. It was reported last year that the problem could have been entirely avoided with water treatments on the order of $100/month. Millions Of Americans May Be Drinking Toxic Water, Harvard Study Finds.

* I’m a notorious Jessica Jones Season Two skeptic, but this is promising.

* The future of street signs.

* A Brief History of the Traffic Stop (Or How the Car Created the Police State).

* How to be rich.

* Is God Transgender? Fascinating op-ed.

* The Ballad of Merrick Garland.

* The Ballad of Mayor McCheese.

* The Ballad of Ray Kurzweil.

* The Man Who Created Bigfoot.

The secret life of a trade union employee: “I do little but the benefits are incredible.”

Your Coffee Table Needs This Lavish Collection of Retro UFO Pulp Fiction Art.

Unsung Architecture Of 1990s Anime.

The Chimera Quandary: Is It Ethical To Create Hybrid Embryos?

* Eight low-populated U.S. states as boroughs of New York City, or, abolish the Senate.


Some Editions Of The First Harry Potter Book Contain A Valuable Mistake. I’m a two-wand truther. This is canon and explains everything.

* Creating The Night Of.

* Making a Murderer‘s Brendan Dassey’s conviction gets tossed, pending the State requesting a new trial.

* MetaFilter vs. the PT Cruiser.

‘Hot’ Sex & Young Girls at the New York Review of Books.

Generate your own random fantasy maps. @UnchartedAtlas.

Six Proposals for the Reform of Literature in the Age of Climate Change.

The Moral Machine is a website from MIT that presents 13 traffic scenarios in which a self-driving car has no choice but to kill one set of people or another. Your job is to tell the car what to do.

* Why does DC Comics hate Lois Lane?

Why has this summer blockbuster season been so bad?

‘Suicide Squad’ suffers major drop in second weekend, still wins box office. And a perverse provocation: Suicide Squad is an artistic statement, “The DC Cinematic Universe Finding Its Voice.”

Ghostbusters sequel unlikely as studio prepares to eat $70 million loss.

This Open Letter by an Alleged Former Warner Bros. Employee Rages at Top Executives.

The Three-Body Problem Play Adaptation is a 3D Multimedia Spectacle for the Stage. More here.

I Made a Shipwreck Expert Watch The Little Mermaid And Judge Its Nautical Merits.

* Paul McCartney: The Rolling Stone Interview.

* The Thiel saga continues: Ex-Gawker Editor On The Verge Of Bankruptcy After Hulk Hogan’s Lawyers Freeze His Assets.

* Rest in peace, R2.

* Years late, this week I finally finished reading Chris Ware’s The Last Saturday, which I loved (of course).

* On Moirai, the experimental mini-game of the moment.

* Listen, man, animals have a lot of problems.

* Some people just see farther.

* And it’s all I think about now, too.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 15, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Weekend Links, Omnibus Edition (Only $19.99/Month for the First Six Months at the Canavan Pro Tier)

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* I watched The Stanford Prison Experiment (from 2015) yesterday, so of course I spent the rest of the day reading up on it. Some bonus Milgram!

* Nalo Hopkinson has created the Lemonade Award, which will be awarded to five people or groups who “perform small and large actions of kindness” in the SFF field.

Capybaras break out of Toronto zoo, on the lam for 3 weeks.

* Behold: Pigoons.

* The economics of Hamilton.

* The fuzzy math of drone war.

* PTSD and embodied consciousness, or, modern warfare destroys the brain.

* “The board of trustees voted to cut African-American studies, philosophy, religious studies and women’s studies.” Clearly Bruce Rauner wants to weaken unions. But I suspect that his ambition goes further: the mantra of “flexibility” now in play in Wisconsin would seem to be a strategy to diminish or eliminate whole fields of academic endeavor: African-American studies, art history, classical studies, cultural studies, foreign languages, literature, philosophy, queer studies, women’s studies, whatever might be deemed impractical, unprofitable, unacceptable.

Liberal-Arts Majors Have Plenty of Job Prospects, if They Have Some Specific Skills, Too.

* 25 Words Your Kindergartener Must Know Before First Grade.

Ars is excited to be hosting this online debut of Sunspring, a short science fiction film that’s not entirely what it seems. It’s about three people living in a weird future, possibly on a space station, probably in a love triangle. You know it’s the future because H (played with neurotic gravity by Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch) is wearing a shiny gold jacket, H2 (Elisabeth Gray) is playing with computers, and C (Humphrey Ker) announces that he has to “go to the skull” before sticking his face into a bunch of green lights. It sounds like your typical sci-fi B-movie, complete with an incoherent plot. Except Sunspring isn’t the product of Hollywood hacks—it was written entirely by an AI. To be specific, it was authored by a recurrent neural network called long short-term memory, or LSTM for short. At least, that’s what we’d call it. The AI named itself Benjamin.

* This paper seems like a B- at best: The authors regret that there is an error in the published version of “Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies” American Journal of Political Science 56 (1), 34–51. The interpretation of the coding of the political attitude items in the descriptive and preliminary analyses portion of the manuscript was exactly reversed. Thus, where we indicated that higher scores in Table 1 (page 40) reflect a more conservative response, they actually reflect a more liberal response. Specifically, in the original manuscript, the descriptive analyses report that those higher in Eysenck’s psychoticism are more conservative, but they are actually more liberal; and where the original manuscript reports those higher in neuroticism and social desirability are more liberal, they are, in fact, more conservative.

“Shut up and don’t talk to me again, okay?” the flight attendant says in the video. “If you talk to me again, I tell the cops, and you get arrested in Miami.”

There is a Dalek in the BBC that could actually help save your life.

* Department of precrime, parenting edition.

2 Valedictorians in Texas Declare Undocumented Status, and Outrage Ensues.

* Interesting times: Mitch McConnell Won’t Rule Out Rescinding His Endorsement of Donald Trump. Romney says Trump will change America with ‘trickle-down racism.’ #NeverTrump 2.0. Hundreds Say Donald Trump Has a Problem Paying His Bills. How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, but Still Earned Millions. The Next Two Weeks: Either Trump Or Unexpected Redemption Led by Wisconsin.

Gawker Files for Bankruptcy After Losing Hulk Hogan Privacy Case.

* On crafting a victim-impact statement.

Spomenik_01Abandoned Yugoslavian Monuments.

This sense of helplessness in the face of such entrenched segregation is what makes so alluring the notion, embraced by liberals and conservatives, that we can address school inequality not with integration but by giving poor, segregated schools more resources and demanding of them more accountability. True integration, true equality, requires a surrendering of advantage, and when it comes to our own children, that can feel almost unnatural.

Democrats Will Learn All the Wrong Lessons From Brush With Bernie.

Last year, inmates served 79,726 dead days at a cost of $143 per person per day in 2015. In other words, people spent 218 years’ worth of unnecessary time in jail at a cost of $11 million to taxpayers.

* The Future of War.

* People who value time over money are happier.

Instead of flipping through photo albums to reminisce, guest contributor Janine Hawkins loads up her late mother’s saved games.

* Headcanon watch: Han Solo was an untrained Force user. Stan Lee Is Playing the Watcher in Every Marvel Film.

What Game of Thrones Changed About Its Big Antiwar Speech, and Why It Matters.

Dan Harmon & Justin Roiland on Their Original Rick & Morty Season 2 Finale Plan, Season 3.

How to Stage a Broadway Musical With Deaf Actors.

Elon Musk and the Pentagon may be working on a real-life Iron Man suit.

* Reckoning with OJ.

Enter the Wild, Disturbing, Alien-Busting World of the Astralnauts.

Study: Most antidepressants don’t work for young patients.

* “I Was 20 Weeks Pregnant When They Told Me My Baby Might Never Be Able to Walk.” Gut-wrenching story. Serious trigger warning for miscarriage and for type-one diabetes.

As far as legal experts are aware, the Oregon court decision is the first time a court in the U.S. has ruled that nonbinary is a legal gender.

* When I later asked him whether the “Mr. Nobody” moniker ever bothered him he said “No, why should it have? There are two things about me. First, I am a very happy person, though I’ve lived an unhappy life. And sec­ond, I’m happy until I have to say my name, which carries a great deal of negativity for me. What troubles most people is that I want to be anonymous, without an identity. To them, this idea seems absolutely dangerous.”

Aphantasia: How It Feels To Be Blind In Your Mind.

Welcome to Larry Page’s Secret Flying-Car Factories.

* The end of the gas station.

* The end of non-digital film.

Bryce Masters was 17 years old when a police officer tased him for 23 seconds. His heart stopped for almost eight minutes. His life will never be the same.

What’s the most “normal” place in the US?

How the Police Identify Threats on Social Media. How Colleges Train for Active Shooters on Campus.

* Miracles and wonders: Man lives 555 days without a heart.

I am awaiting some sign from Twitter that it cares whether its platform is becoming a cesspit of hate.

* I want to believe! Sorry But Medieval Armies Probably Didn’t Use Fire Arrows.

* Understanding time travel in Game of Thrones. Distills down the leading Bran theories for your lunchtime consumption.

* I think I’ve done this one before, but: Class Struggle: The Board Game.

* It sounds like Larry David is thinking about Curb Your Enthusiasm again.

* Rolling Jubilee v. John Oliver in The Baffler.

Creative Ways To Fix Your Broken Phone Screen.

* Let William Shatner Sell You a Commodore VIC-20.

* Animal liberation now! Harry Potter play to stop using live owls.


Written by gerrycanavan

June 11, 2016 at 10:22 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Make Mine Tuesday Links!

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* “Once upon a time, there was an angry guy, who hated the story he was in. All right?” Charles Yu in the New Yorker.

* Huge congratulations to my recent (last week!) student Michael Welch (ENGW ’16), winner of the 2016 Florence Kahn Memorial Award from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and the author of the poetry chapbook But Sometimes I Remember, now at Amazon!

* “Marquette reports surge in student demand for incoming class.” Well, that’s good news!

* Division of Precrime: There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks.

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 11.34.56 PMJust How Few Professors of Color Are at America’s Top Colleges?

So what can we do? The solution is very simple! Don’t date your students. Don’t stalk, harass, or overshare your feels with your students. Don’t expect them to perform emotional or sexual labor for you. Treat them like professionals, so that they can become the professionals they want to be without being humiliated or having their or your intellectual enthusiasm questioned or second-guessed.

* The number of times DoJ has invoked the state secrets privilege is a state secret.

In effect, we have two American economies. One is made up of expensive coastal zip codes where the pundits proclaiming “recovery” are surrounded by prosperity. The other is composed of heartland regions where ordinary Americans struggle without jobs. Over 50 million Americans live in what the Economic Innovation Group calls “distressed communities”—zip codes where over 55% of the population is unemployed. Of those distressed communities, over half are in the South, defined generously by the census as the region stretching from Maryland and Delaware to Oklahoma and Texas. The rest tend to live in Midwest rust belt cities that have long suffered from economic decline, like Gary, Indiana and Cleveland, Ohio. It is nearly impossible for Americans of the latter group to move to the cities of the former group—or to work in the industries that shape public perception of how the economy is going.

* This ed-reform trend is supposed to motivate students. Instead, it shames them.

* I’m actually surprised Terry McAuliffe almost made it the entire way through his first term.

“The apocalypse is never that single cataclysmic event,” remarks a resistance leader of an imaginary nation to her psychiatrist in a conversation at the heart of “In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain” (2015), the most recent film of Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour and the central piece in her solo exhibition at Sabrina Amrani Gallery. In the film, a resistance group is on a mission to produce a future history for a made-up civilization: by making underground deposits of elaborate porcelain, the group supports its claims to the existence of a people before their obliteration by a colonial power. In line with the classical sci-fi format, the digital film is set in a dystopian territory without a future, or at the very end of historical time. The master narrative of the end-of-times is not an event but a condition: Disaster becomes not sheer bad luck, but a fixed lens through which history is narrated.

* Visual cultures of indigenous futurisms.

Program’s focus on Aboriginal literature a first.

1890 Map of Indigenous Languages of the Americas.


* Why you should respond to student requests.

* “Possible Conflict at Heart of Clinton Foundation.” Well I suppose anything’s possible.

February national polls are the best you get until August. But let’s all panic just the same.

* #welcometonightvale: For all the advances in transplant surgery in the 62 years since doctors first moved a kidney from Ronald Herrick to his identical twin, Richard, the method of transporting organs remains remarkably primitive. A harvested heart, lung, liver or kidney is iced in a plastic cooler, the kind you might take to the beach, then raced to an operating room where a critically ill patient and his surgical team are waiting. The new approach flips that idea — emphasizing warmth instead of cold and maintaining an organ’s natural processes rather than slowing them down. That may speed an individual heart or liver’s return to service, and it offers the eventual possibility of more: the potential to reduce the chronic shortage of organs for transplant by expanding the pool of usable ones.

* Inside The Looming Disaster Of The Salton Sea.

* One Hundred Years of Gender-Segregated Public Restrooms.

* Parts of New Orleans Are Sinking Fast, Study Finds.

Has the age of quantum computing arrived?

Zika is coming, but we’re far from ready.

* Nothing gold can stay: Lego sets have become more violent to keep up with the times, new study shows.

* #ready4tyrion

* #Holdthedoor (from 2014!).

* #bluelivesmatter

“Dad wrote pirate porn, ghost porn, science-fiction porn, vampire porn, historical porn, time-travel porn, secret-agent porn, thriller porn, zombie porn, and Atlantis porn.” LARoB reviews Chris Offutt’s My Father, The Pornographer.

* No more water, the fire next time: xkcd explores the weirdly specific promise of the rainbow.

* William Gibson’s first comic book project, Archangel.

* Blastr actually liked DC Rebirth.

The planet would warm by searing 10C if all fossil fuels are burned, according to a new study, leaving some regions uninhabitable and wreaking profound damage on human health, food supplies and the global economy. ^when

* And we are all star stuff.


Friday Morning Links!

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* CFP: Anticipations: H. G. Wells, Science Fiction and Radical Visions.

* “A mysterious infection may have killed 15 people in Wisconsin, and health officials aren’t sure why.”

* The Coming Desert.

* It’s basically become a standing assignment at the Marquette Tribune to ask me about some weird thing I like once a semester. And while we’re on that subject: a preview of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Black Panther.

* Hard times at Mizzou. This new enrollment decline — seemingly on top of the demographic dip nationwide — looks like a complete disaster for the troubled campus, which the administration has effortlessly managed to weaponize in pursuit of its own goals. Meanwhile: Melissa Click Breaks Silence, Backs AAUP Inquiry.

Luxurious College Apartments, Built on Debt.

In Illinois and Pennsylvania, eight-month budget stalemates threaten the future of public higher education.

* The end of tenure in Wisconsin.

* “Are becoming.”

* March Sadness, 2016.

* AlphaGo wins again.

Fukushima: Tokyo was on the brink of nuclear catastrophe, admits former prime minister. Miami’s oceanfront nuclear power plant is leaking.

* What happens if there’s a supervolcano?

* The Wachowski sisters.

Teaching kids philosophy makes them smarter in math and English.

* Alternate title: Bernie Sanders has no path to a delegate majority. Even so, that Michigan win was pretty great.

* Even the neoliberal Matt Yglesias: How Bernie Sanders convinced me about free college.

Study suggests grad students may outperform faculty members in the classroom and may also benefit from time away from their dissertations.

In stories of classroom sexual harassment, popular teachers are often the perpetrators.

The survey found that presidents did seem to be aware of the frustrations of minority students on other presidents’ campuses.

* Dystopia now: United confirms 10-abreast seating on some of its 777s.

* …just another instance of the bipartisan “smell weakness, then mercilessly swarm” routine that everyone has apparently decided is a healthy and beneficial norm for online life.

At Secretive Meeting, Tech CEOs And Top Republicans Commiserate, Plot To Stop Trump. It’s Getting Harder For Donald Trump To Deny That His Top Aide Assaulted A Reporter. Donald Trump Encourages Violence At His Rallies. His Fans Are Listening. Legitimacy and violence. The plan.

* The arc of history is long, but Home Depot might pay up to $0.34 in compensation for each of the 53 million credit cards it leaked.

“Magic in North America”: The Harry Potter franchise veers too close to home.

Revealed: the 30-year economic betrayal dragging down Generation Y’s income. (via)

* 100% absolutely yes: Janelle Monae Will Co-Star in a Movie About the Women Behind the Space Program.

Former College Student Wins Lawsuit After Being Told Men Were ‘Turned On’ By Her Pregnancy.

* xkcd: Map of the Repositioned United States.

As a result, the complaint stated, Choudhry was disciplined with a 10 percent reduction in salary for one year and required to write a letter of apology to Sorrell. Sorrell alleged in the lawsuit that she was told by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele that he had “seriously considered terminating the Dean” but had decided not to because “it would ruin the Dean’s career.” Berkeley’s handling of sexual harassment is a disgrace.

U.N.C. Football Player Who Ended Up Homeless Had C.T.E.

Reddit Users Were Asked To Sum Up Their First Sexual Experience With A GIF.

* How many LEGO would it take to…

* A brief history of allergies.

* google lightsaber truth

* google jar jar truth

* google spiderman sounds weird truth

The Armed Campus in the Anxiety Age.

The making of Cosmic Encounter, the greatest boardgame in the galaxy.

* Being Sid Meier.

* Sleep is important, apparently. I know I miss it.

* Saturday Morning Breakfast Orpheus.

* Y’all ready for a tech crash?

* And the worst part is, now they won’t even let us complain!

* And this is very promising: Huntington’s disease gene dispensable in adult mice.


Written by gerrycanavan

March 11, 2016 at 9:30 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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NYEE Links! A Whole Lot of Them!

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* What happened when slaves and free men were shipwrecked together. Amazing read.

* Schedule for the MLA Subconference.

The MLA’s annual report on its Job Information List has found that in 2014-15, it had 1,015 jobs in English, 3 percent fewer than the previous year. The list had 949 jobs in foreign languages, 7.6 percent fewer than 2013-14. The full report.

“These young T.A.s believed they were being asked to prostitute themselves in order to increase enrollment in the Spanish Department.”

33fede02e91b49a340ebc73e372b33f9* A gallery of interesting gravestones.

* Reading Everything Aaron Swartz Wrote.

* “Obscure law lets Prince of Wales set off nuclear bombs.”

* “The hidden legacy of 70 years of atomic weaponry: at least 33,480 Americans dead.”

* Your weekly must-read: N.K. Jemisin has a new SF/F column in the The New York Times Sunday Book Review.

Gender, Sex, and Sexuality in SF: A Conversation.

Adjuncts at Loyola University Chicago Want a Union. Will the Jesuit University Respect Their Demands?

* The Absolute Disruption blog has some thoughts on spoilerphobia and The Force Awakens, with a digression through my Tolkien/TFA piece. That piece has had some interesting patterns of circulation, incidentally; the Salon piece did well on Facebook and Twitter while the WordPress version has had a second life in the conservative blogosphere by way of Ross Douthat and Tyler Cowen….

* George Lucas, genius. Another oral history of the Star Wars Holiday Special. Star Wars and the death of culture. What was cut from The Force Awakens. 13 Story Ideas That Were Dropped from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What is a Mary Sue, and does Star Wars: The Force Awakens have one? I have not seen the new Star Wars but ambient levels of Star Wars have reached such a peak that I feel eminently qualified to review it without actually seeing the film or even reading a plot synopsis. Anakin Skywalker and the Methods of Rationality.

Given that the term Mary Sue will always carry gendered connotations and that it is highly likely to be disproportionately applied to female protagonists—who, in big budget epics, are already vastly outnumbered by their male counterparts—I see very little benefit to its continued use.

* “This iconic picture will live in history. When a women escaped ISIS territory and was able to wear color again.” More links after the photo.


A suggestion for search committees, and some questions.

The Irresistible Psychology of Fairy Tales.

* From the archives: The Really Big One.

When the next very big earthquake hits, the northwest edge of the continent, from California to Canada and the continental shelf to the Cascades, will drop by as much as six feet and rebound thirty to a hundred feet to the west—losing, within minutes, all the elevation and compression it has gained over centuries. Some of that shift will take place beneath the ocean, displacing a colossal quantity of seawater. (Watch what your fingertips do when you flatten your hand.) The water will surge upward into a huge hill, then promptly collapse. One side will rush west, toward Japan. The other side will rush east, in a seven-hundred-mile liquid wall that will reach the Northwest coast, on average, fifteen minutes after the earthquake begins. By the time the shaking has ceased and the tsunami has receded, the region will be unrecognizable. Kenneth Murphy, who directs FEMA’s Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, says, “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.”

In the Pacific Northwest, the area of impact will cover* some hundred and forty thousand square miles, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, Salem (the capital city of Oregon), Olympia (the capital of Washington), and some seven million people.

* ESPN is such a money pit it’s even dragging Star Wars down.

* My life as a job creator.

Guy Beats Fallout 4 Without Killing Anyone, Nearly Breaks The Game.

It’s a brute-force method, yes. Like I said earlier, Fallout 4 really doesn’t want you to play the game this way, and all of its mechanics ensure that, at some point during a normal playthrough, you’ll have to lodge bullets into someone’s noggin. Even if you take the so-called peaceful perks.

Cleveland Officer Will Not Face Charges in Tamir Rice Shooting Death. How Can No One Be to Blame for Tamir Rice’s Death? How Philadelphia prosecutors protect police misconduct: Cops get caught lying — and then get off the hook. Police Rarely Criminally Charged for On-Duty Shootings. When is it legal for a cop to kill you?

Why we turned off comments on Tamir Rice news stories.

* ASU’s Global Freshman Academy Is a Complete Bust.

* Being Véra Nabokov.

* Today in loopholes: consumptive demand.

* Loophole watch, part two: Pope Francis: atheists who follow their consciences will be welcome in Heaven.

* Why not cubic centimeters, or raw tonnage? Among other issues, the report said, Princeton had allotted “only 1,500 square feet” for student incubator and accelerator programs, “whereas Cornell has 364,000; Penn 200,000; Berkeley 108,000; Harvard 30,000; Stanford 12,000; Yale 7,700; N.Y.U. 6,000; and Columbia 5,000.” 

* Great moments in political campaigning.

* This story has everything.

* Like Goodfellas but for embezzling from a fruitcake company.

For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions.

* Africa and the Looting Machine.

* The House That Marx Built. Marxism for Tomorrow.

How Esurance Lost Its Mascot to the Internet.

* NSFW, obviously, but: These Real Women Want to Show You How to Give Them an Orgasm.

* Everything is totally normal, don’t even sweat it.

* We’ve been talking about climate change for a long time. Why Engineers Can’t Stop Los Angeles’ Enormous Methane Leak.

The Opium Wars, Neoliberalism, and the Anthropocene.

The Radical History of 1960s Adult Coloring Books.

The DMCA poisoned the Internet of Things in its cradle.

* More than one-third of wells in dairy farm-intensive Kewaunee County were found to be unsafe because they failed to meet health standards for drinking water, according to a new study.

William Gibson: how I wrote Neuromancer.

This Man Just Guessed How Much the Movies Have Spent “Rescuing” Matt Damon.

* For the poor in the Deep South’s cities, simply applying for a job exposes the barriers of a particularly pervasive and isolating form of poverty.

* Your 2016 TV Preview.

Why Do Employers Still Routinely Drug-Test Workers?

When Gun Violence Felt Like a Disease, a City in Delaware Turned to the C.D.C.

Reports of rapes of college-age women in localities of big-time teams go up significantly on game days, national study finds.

After difficult summer, UW-Madison fighting off efforts to poach top professors. The view from the provinces.

The Coolest Images From National Geographic’s 2015 Photo Contest. This Is Your Brain on Nature.

Star Wars Lego Sets Exploding at 3,000 Frames per Second Is the Best Guilty Pleasure.

* When Bobby Shrugged.

The science myths that will not die.

* Because you demanded it! The DeBoerist Manifesto.

* And Here’s More Evidence That Galactic Super-Civilizations Don’t Exist. But don’t you believe it! Bring on 2016!


Written by gerrycanavan

December 30, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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