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[links] Link salad has been telling you it’s a genius since it was seventeen

Omega Coaxial Ad — Which very much puts me (and others) in mind of my novel Mainspring. (Via OldMiser.)

Amazing potato salad minus the WOW factorJersey Girl in Portland on her potato salad and mine.

20 of the world’s most beautiful World Heritage Sites — Bucket list stuff, if I had time and money for a bucket list before I die.

Army Airship: 1922 — A cool photo from Shorpy.

Crystal Puzzle Solved with Sea Squirt — The story’s interesting in its own right if you’re into biology or materials science, but you have to love the headline regardless.

Memory ImplantsA maverick neuroscientist believes he has deciphered the code by which the brain forms long-term memories.

Privately Financed Spaceship Roars Closer to Space — SpaceShip Two breaks the sound barrier.

ESA: Herschel space telescope blinded by heat, retires for good

The World’s First Website Gets Its Original Web Address Back — It’s not often you can follow something back right to the beginning.

Your Mac, iPhone or iPad may have left the Apple store with a serious security risk — This is mildly boggling. (Via [info]goulo.)

Seattle Police And Phoenix Jones – A New Chapter — Because, um, reasons. Nope. Come to think of it, I got nothing. (Thanks to my brother.)

About HistoryShortpacked is making fun of a specific subset of geekdom, but this pretty much captures the conservative mind in general.

Report: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s repeated requests for a lawyer were ignoredThere is zero legal or ethical justification for denying a suspect in custody this fundamental right Because reasons! After all, we treat white conservative terrorists exactly the same. Or we would, if there were any white conservative terrorists. “Patriots” like McVeigh and Rudolph certainly had a right to counsel. (Via David Goldman.)

Congress tries to reset science grants, wants every one to be “groundbreaking”If lawmakers get their way, research like recent Higgs findings could disappear. That’s what happens when you put anti-science willful idiots in charge of national science policy.

Justice O’Connor: Maybe Bush V. Gore Was A Mistake — Gee. Ya think? Note: If you don’t know who John Ellis is and when and why George W. Bush called him on election night, you really don’t understand what happened in Florida and why people like me are still pissed about it. And believe you me, if the situation had been reversed, and a cousin of Al Gore’s was involving in the media calling the election results prematurely in Gore’s favor, this would still be a daily topic on conservative media over a decade later. Meanwhile, back in the reality-based community, Your Liberal Media never covered Ellis much, even at the time.

House Republicans Eyeing New Hostage OpportunityThe House Republicans are contemplating a new budget-hostage strategy, the the Washington Post reports in a story that is both highly useful and inadvertently Onion-esque. The hallmark of Onion news reporting is conveying insanity as if it were sane in a completely deadpan way. The Republican party isn’t even pretending to govern any more, and no one cares. At least no one conservative. And they call themselves patriotic?

Maker of Useless Dowsing Rod for Bombs Convicted for FraudThere are an infinite number of flavors of this sort of nonsense, from astrology to homeopathy, from the antivaccination movement to global warming denial. While you might think some of these are harmless, they all have very serious ramifications: they lead to magical thinking. They tell people it’s OK to stop putting their trust in reality and science, and instead abandon it for nonsense. And that’s my fundamental objection to the Republican party. Not to the theoretical foundation of conservatism, which in many ways is an admirable philosophy, but to the conservatism that requires the magical thinking of evolution denial and climate change denial and supply side economics to function politically, while proudly and explicitly rejecting the evidence-based world. How can you possibly make useful policy decisions when your entire intellectual infrastructure is a fraudulent house of cards? Yes, magical thinking is everywhere (the anti-vax movement is not a conservative fixation), but only in the Republican party and its annexes such as FOX News and Tea Party has such magical thinking been institutionalized and glorified.

QotD?: Are you quite sure what it means?


4/30/2013
Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (WRPA editing work on METAtropolis: Green Space)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 247.8
Number of FEMA troops on my block helping welfare recipients buy cell phones and big screen tvs: 0
Currently reading: The Truth by Terry Pratchett

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