Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘whitey on the Moon

Tuesday Links!

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* Ian Bogost on moralism and academic politics: The Opposite of Good Fortune is Bad Fortune.

* This week on Studio 360: Will Sci-Fi Save Us?

* The Forgotten Opposition to the Apollo Program.

* They say there are no heroes anymore, but I’ve decided not to promote any of the truly horrible things people have been saying about Gaza. You’re welcome.

* Lazer-guided metaphors about America in 2014: FEMA Wants to House Migrant Children in Empty Big Box Stores.

* Or this one: Luxury Condo’s “Poor Door” Is Now City-Approved.

* The Globe and Mail has a powerful piece about Huntington’s disease and the right to die.

* Here’s how shock-doctrine CFOs plan to ruin education at your university n the name of permanent crisis.

* UC Regents approve pay increase for university executives. Top UC coaches earn twice as much money as top UC brain surgeons. Why Are Campus Administrators Making So Much Money?

In recent years, a handful of community colleges in that state have outsourced the recruitment and hiring of adjunct instructors – who make up the overwhelming majority of the community college teaching force – to an educational staffing company. Just last week, the faculty union at a sixth institution, Jackson College, signed a collective bargaining agreement allowing EDUStaff to take over adjunct hiring and payroll duties.

* Segregation and Milwaukee, at PBS.

A recent random spot check of hundreds of arraignments by the Police Reform Organizing Project showed that in many courts around the boroughs, 100% of those appearing for minor legal violations — things like taking two seats on a train or smoking in a train station — are people of color.

* The nation’s top gun-enforcement agency overwhelmingly targeted racial and ethnic minorities as it expanded its use of controversial drug sting operations, a USA TODAY investigation shows.

* Sun Ra Teaches at UC Berkeley, 1971.

* D-List X-Men.

* There’s a place in Cornwall where LEGO washes in with the tide.

Historical Slang Terms For Having Sex, From 1351 Through Today.

Five Former Players Sue NFL Players Union Over Concussions.

* In praise of UNC’s anti-grade-inflation scheme.

* Holy NDA, Batman! One of the nation’s largest government contractors requires employees seeking to report fraud to sign internal confidentiality statements barring them from speaking to anyone about their allegations, including government investigators and prosecutors, according to a complaint filed Wednesday and corporate documents obtained by The Washington Post.

* First a LEGO episode, now a Futurama crossover: The Simpsons really wants me back. It’s been fifteen years, dudes, just let me go…

* How does squatters’ rights fit into Airbnb’s business plan?

* This Woman Has Been Confronting Her Catcallers — And Secretly Filming Their Reactions.

* Art Pope vs. North Carolina.

* Red Klotz, who led basketball’s biggest losers, the Washington Generals, dies at 93. A Statistical Appreciation of the Washington Generals And Harlem Globetrotters.

* “So, what have you learned in your many years of toddler torture?” “They hate it.”

* Dan Harmon on Paul F. Tompkins’s Speakeasy, with beloved Milwaukee institutions like the Safe House and the Marquette University English Department warranting mentions. Now, for PFT to finally appear on Harmontown….

* Now, please hold all my calls: the next episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead comes out today…

Wednesday Night Links

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Shameless Pandering to the Canavan Bloc

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 25, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Whitey on the Moon

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Alongside the nationalist mythmaking and the hypermasculine preoccupation with “bigness” you’d expect to find at a place like the Kennedy Space Center there’s a fin de siècle affect of nostalgia for empire nearly everywhere you turn. Never really sure how to celebrate its post-Apollo failures in the first place, the KSC staff appears to have been completely demoralized by the retiring of the Space Shuttle and the Obama administration’s recent decision to cancel the Ares project, with nearly every employee we heard speak during our tour giving voice to their dejection in one way or another.

As I’ve mentioned several times before, I find I’m totally conflicted on the value of manned space exploration. On the one hand I think the myth of space colonization is both hugely wasteful and politically pernicious; I don’t think the species is ever leaving Earth in significant numbers and as a consequence there are almost certainly better ways to spend our money than pretending that we might.

On the other hand I have to admit I was moved to tears during the Center’s long program detailing Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon and the attendant global celebration, which remains such a singular human achievement that I’d pay almost any price to live to see it someday replicated by an international mission to Mars. Intellectually I am able to look critically at the military-industrial-academic underpinings of the NASA missions and recognize the state interests and imperial ideologies at work in them, but emotionally it’s as if loving this stuff is coded in my DNA. I just can’t help it. I think manned space exploration is almost certainly pointless but I deeply, deeply hope I turn out to be wrong.

Long Nap Links

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Took a long nap today. That wasn’t bad. Here are some links.

* Lots of speculation today about what sort of health care bill could actually come out of the reconciliation sausage factory. Meanwhile, the always-wrong Politico is once again reporting Obama will back off the public option entirely.

* Game of the night: Canabalt.

* Classic SF of the night: John W. Campbell’s “Who Goes There” (1938), the inspiration for John Carpenter’s The Thing.

* Man Men has already been renewed for a fourth season.

* Cheney ’12!

* To boldly go where no one has gone before does not require coming home again. Lawrence Kraus, formerly of Case Western, writes about the possibility of one-way trips to Mars in The New York Times. Taking the neg is this Metafilter commenter:

Yes, you have to bring them back. Otherwise, what’s the point of the trip, to prove that you can shoot people into space to die? We already know how to do that.

Yes, helplessly listening to people die on Mars would certainly be horrible. But if we could keep them alive, or better yet, independent and (quasi-)sustainable, that would be amazing. And, I think, worth the risk and costs.

* Four-year-old Fantastic Four franchise to be rebooted already. In the future franchises will be rebooted before the first film even comes out.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 2, 2009 at 4:23 am

Monday Night 1

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Monday night!

* On the 40th anniversary of the Moon landing, Kotte catches Moon Fever (and there’s only no cure). The Nation celebrates the Gil-Scott Heron way.

* 21 artists who changed mainstream comics (for better or worse).

17. Chris Ware
Though he’s philosophically more in line with the alt-comics community, Chris Ware draws so much media attention, and his books sell so well, that his work is arguably more mainstream than any current superhero title. Ware’s innovations in comic-page design—which include temporal shifts conveyed by complex diagrams and frames within frames—were inspired by Art Spiegelman’s ’70s experiments and by Richard McGuire’s seminal Raw story “Here.” But Ware marries his fetish for design with a singularly sardonic voice and a God’s-eye perspective on his characters, creating an overall tone that’s like a turn-of-the-century circus poster crossed with the post-war angst of literary lions like John Updike and Richard Yates. Ware’s influence is mostly seen among the younger alternative crowd and contemporary commercial artists, but his use of staccato pacing and visual repetition has popped up in a number of superhero comics over the past decade as well.

* Is Harry Potter no longer a ticket straight to Hell?

* Steve Benen remembers the day Medicare enslaved us all.

* Aliens in vintage postcards.

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July 20, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Space News!

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 19, 2008 at 5:08 am

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‘We Almost Lost Detroit’

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In honor of John McCain’s visit earlier this week to the Fermi 1 reactor, here’s “We Almost Lost Detroit,” about, well, the day we almost lost Detroit.

There’s a live version from 1990 here. By Gil Scott-Heron, who also sang the controversial classic specifically requested for discussion by my class at [Undisclosed Location], “Whitey on the Moon.”

Written by gerrycanavan

August 7, 2008 at 1:11 pm