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Clues to Lost Prehistoric Code Discovered in Mesopotamia Researchers studying clay balls from Mesopotamia have discovered clues to a lost code that was used for record-keeping about 200 years before writing was invented. The clay balls may represent the world’s “very first data storage system.” (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Lord of the Rings Stained Glass-Style Art by Jian Guo — Some neat stuff here. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Artist’s Ben Heine 3D drawings are big enough for him to pose with his sketched characters — This is seriously cool. (Thanks to Jersey Girl in Portland.)

When a Fake Banksy Is a Real Banksy?

A Season With Swiss Cheesemakers — (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

Sleep ‘cleans’ the brain of toxins — I always thought of it as more like mental garbage collection.

Magnets going through a copper pipe — Some fun, cool, basic science. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

White Dwarfs: Evidence for Watery Asteroids

See The 5 Kick-Ass Women This Mom Dressed Her Daughter As Instead Of A Disney Princess — This is so cool! (Via Lezli Robyn.)

Better Living Through ChemistryScrivener’s Error on, among other things, organized religion.

Homosexuality Is Undercounted; So Is Homophobia — I don’t know. Seems to me all you really have to do to count homophobia is add up the Republican votes in any election. Anyone who votes GOP is by definition fully supportive of institutional homophobia and discrimination, after all.

Cryptographer Adi Shamir Prevented from Attending NSA History ConferenceThis is not a security issue – I have been to the US close to a hundred times so far (including some multi-year visits), and had never overstayed my visas. In addition, the number of terrorists among the members of the US National Academy of Science is rather small. As a friend of the US I am deeply worried that if you continue to delay visas in such a way, the only thing you will achieve is to alienate many world-famous foreign scientists, forcing them to increase their cooperation with European or Chinese scientists whose countries roll the red carpet for such visits. Is this really in the US best interest? (Via [info]goulo.)

My Skin in the Game: How Ted Cruz and the Right Want to Help Cancer Kill Me, and Maybe You — Yep. This.

Anonymous Park Rangers Speak UpWe have been recently treated to the Congressman who told a Park Ranger in DC that she should be ashamed of herself. (Because of the government shutdown he and his party had worked so hard to bring down upon us all!) She did not have the liberty to mouth off at his small-minded, mean-spirited willful ignorance. The National Parks Conservation Association has just released a video which shares the words of Park Rangers. Turns out their thoughts have much more to offer than that elected nitwit know-nothing Randy Neugebauer from Texas. (Via David Goldman.)

Arizona Lawmaker: When I Called Obama ‘Der Fuhrer’ I Didn’t Mean Hitler — Ah, the measured tones and justly famed rationality of conservative discourse. (Via [info]danjite.)

Learning Lessons From DefeatMovement conservatives of various stripes have become very good over the last ten years at rationalizing defeat, evading responsibility, and denying that obvious blunders were anything of the sort. The embarrassing and inconvenient explanations that found fault with their ideas and goals have been routinely ignored, and the ones that offered ready-made excuses were eagerly embraced. That’s what happens when you consistently privilege magical thinking and ideology over an evidence-based worldview. By the way GOP, how’s that whole Permanent Majority thing working out?

Top 10 Ways Ted Cruz & the Tea Party Weakened America with ShutdownCruz and the Tea Party deeply harmed American law & values, and they are much more dangerous than Edward Snowden. Snowden is in hiding in Russia. These guys are strutting around capitol hill, having much diminished it. At least our conservative leadership was defending America from the Socialist scourge of affordable access to healthcare!

The Paranoid Style in American StenographyOften you see that things that look modern are really old. So it is with our theories of dark plots, dastardly machinations, and invisible grimoires. Ta-Nehisi Coates on extremist politics.

?otD: Could we have kippers for breakfast, Mummy dear, Mummy dear?


10/18/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 243.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing laws passed under the Constitutional process and fully subjected to judicial review: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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