Jay Lake: Writer

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[links] Link salad gets busy with the medical crud

Seven Deadly Sins + Math — Hahah. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Silence Is Now a Luxury ProductA report on the quiet-car-ization of America. (Via AH.)

You’re Drinking the Wrong Kind of Milk — Moo.

Crazy living rock is one of the weirdest creatures we’ve ever seen — I guess it’s a coral, sort of? Weird stuff. (Via [info]scarlettina.)

Alien-Looking Skeleton Poses Medical Mystery — Cool, but, uh, yeah. (Via [info]scarlettina.)

Clinical Whole Genome Sequencing: Not Quite Ready for Prime Time? — (Via AH.)

Do Neutrinos Change Flavor at Night?

Getting the math of the Universe to cancel outNew modification to gravity may explain the cosmological constant.

Who Should Name the Craters on Mars, You or Astronomers? — (Thanks to David Goldman.)

MIT’s New Robotic Fish Can Change Direction As Rapidly As A Real Fish

German Robot Pole Dancers! — Because reasons! (Thanks, I think, [info]danjite.)

Science Graphic of the Week: Bombogenesis, the Most Extreme Weather This Winter — (Thanks to David Goldman.)

Interactive Map Shows Impact of WWII Firebombing of Japan, If It Had Happened on US Soil — Wow… (Via [info]shsilver.)

The Way We Live Now — Yup. You will know that they are Christians by their love.

Oklahoma FOX Affiliate Edited Evolution Out of ‘Cosmos’ By Removing 15 SECONDS of Footage — Exactly why I was appalled to see such a wonderful show come back on such a terrible network. FOX is not the natural home for anything evidence-based, whether’s it’s honestly reported news or actual science.

Ohio State Rep: ‘Public Education In America Is Socialism, What Is The Solution?’ — Conservatives in their own words. Poe’s Law would apply, except speaker intent is clear by his position. By the way, this guy is vice-chair of the Ohio House Education Committee. “Is our children learning?”, to quote another very prominent conservative.

Guns May Soon Be Everywhere in GeorgiaSoon gun owners in the state of Georgia may be allowed to pack heat almost anywhere—including K-12 schools, bars, churches, government buildings, and airports. The “Safe Carry Protection Act” (HB 875) would also expand Georgia’s Stand Your Ground statute, the controversial law made famous by the Trayvon Martin killing, which allows armed citizens to defend themselves with deadly force if they believe they are faced with serious physical harm. What could possibly go wrong!?

Republican Family Values — A missive from the Oregon GOP. The Republican Party is proud to be known as the party of liberty. As the party of freedom, we believe that Americans should be free to live their lives as they wish, so long as they do not impede the freedom of others to do so. Therefore they support a gay marriage ban. This doesn’t pass the logic level of a fourth-grade class debate, let alone rise to the basic standards of American citizenship. Conservatives…

Food stamps: Oregon becomes fourth state to avoid farm bill cuts — That’s called compassion, and constituent service. Much less effective at generating more angry white guys than grandstanding against anything that might make Obama look good, but that’s conservative priorities for you. I like living in a (relatively) sane Blue State where the public good can at least sometimes trump partisan self-interest.

Foreign Officials In the Dark About Their Own Spy Agencies’ Cooperation with NSA

?otD: Got IV?


3/14/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (almost solid, some daytime napping)
Body movement: 0 minutes (hall walking to come)
Weight: n/a
Number of FEMA troops on my block teaching wives how to be submissive: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad still wishes it slept better

Graphing Depression and Anxiety — Jim C. Hines is wise about writing productivity in the face of such widespread challenges.

Candlemen — A character type based on Mainspring. Very cool.

The Paintings of Jason de Graaf — Wow, the light work. I hope this guy is doing SF and fantasy covers. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Presenting the Mid-Century Modern… toothbrush — Because advertising circa 1949.

Fascinating Old Maps of Both Real and Ridiculous NYC Transit Projects — Cool beans. Some alt.hist here. (Via David Goldman.)

22-Pound Housecat Who Trapped Owners After Attacking Baby To Get Therapy — I don’t think it’s the cat that needs therapy. Ah, Portland. (Via Lisa Costello.)

New Jersey Bans Tesla to Ensure Buying a Car Will Always Suck — Ah, the New Jersery Auto Dealer Preservation Act, to better serve your needs without competitive pressure from new business models.

T. rex Had a Small, Cute Cousin — Uh…

First thin films of spin ice reveal cold secrets

U of A solves deep-Earth water mysteryTesting on the tiny mineral sample proves there is water about 400 to 700 kilometres below the Earth’s surface.

The Unfrozen North — Nothing to see here, citizen. Move along.

Recent estimates of low climate sensitivity were flawedBetter accounting for aerosols shows CO2 just as potent as we thought. This is how climate science works. New and contradictory data is absorbed and accounted for, and theories are adjusted. It’s science, after all.

Principled bigotry is still, you know, bigotry — Confidential to religious conservatives in America: Listen up. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia top list of gay-porn watching states — Because good conservative Red State morality trumps Blue State liberal degeneracy, that’s why.

Couple from Black Earth church convicted of child abuse — Ah, the magic of sincerely held religious beliefs. Which really are not a get-out-of-jail-free card for criminal conduct or outright immorality, the fevered dreams of religious conservatives in their persecution of gays and women notwithstanding. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Why We Hate Corporations

The Triumph Of Arrant Bullshit On The Affordable Care Act{T]his quote is immeasurably tragic. It represents a kind of final victory for mean-spirited and uncharitable propaganda over reality, a triumph for misinformation, sabotage, and arrant bullshit in the service of a cruel ideology and faceless oligarchy.

?otD: Yawn much more?


3/13/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (badly interrupted, some daytime napping)
Body movement: 0 minutes (hall walking to come)
Weight: n/a
Number of FEMA troops on my block teaching wives how to be submissive: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad wishes it slept better

The spiciest meals in BritainA burger in Brighton is so hot that people have to sign a legal disclaimer before eating it. And a curry in Edinburgh has hospitalised two diners. Here’s a roundup of those and other extreme spicy eating challenges. (Via Scrivener’s Error.)

Say bye bye to parmesan, muenster and feta: Europe wants its cheese backAs part of trade talks, the EU wants to ban the use of European names like parmesan and gruyere on cheeses made in the US. Cheese wars? (Via AH.)

Every Dog Has Its Data — Woof? (Via Lisa Costello.)

Baby Conductor: Children Absorbing the World Around Them

California pushes to finish driverless car rules

Body Odor ID: Your New Smelly Password — Sometimes the jokes just write themselves. (Via David Goldman.)

Fukushima operator may have to dump contaminated water into PacificAs Japan marks the third anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, Tepco is struggling to find a solution for hundreds of thousands of tonnes of contaminated water. (Via Susie Madrak.)

Coping with exceptional ice in the Great Lakes

Is the Senate’s climate change all-nighter more than a one-night stand?

By the Way, Your Home Is On Fire: The Climate of Change and the Dangers of Stasis — I am reminded of something a one-time friend with emergency services training said to me. “There are three kinds of people in a disaster. Those who run away, those who freeze, and those who run towards. The ones who freeze die.”

$600K Taken From Safe At Osteen’s Megachurch — So if this was an inside job, whose side was God on?

The Word – Pew! Pew! Pew!A Kentucky Baptist organization announces a 25-gun giveaway to lure men back to church.

8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance — (Via Lisa Costello.)

They’d rather die than be wrong about ObamacareYou know, I probably have as much disdain for Republicans as they have for me. But if one of them were to show me irrefutable proof that say, America has fewer gun deaths than other places due to our proliferation of gun ownership, I would have no choice but to believe it. These people simply put their fingers in their ears and sing “lalalalala”.

Is libertarianism taking hold of GOP? The big problem with the GOP is that its ideologies profoundly alienate vast swaths of the electorate. Gay rights and same-sex marriage — overwhelmingly supported by the young — are as thoroughly owned by Democrats as were civil rights two generations ago. Republicans’ harsh rhetoric on immigration puts off the rapidly growing Hispanic population. Democratic stances on choice and workplace equality attract women. And GOP opposition to a higher minimum wage drives working-class voters into Democratic arms. Must be nice being the party of ideas, GOP. How else do you generate all those angry white guys?

Young Republicans Find Fault With Elders on List of Social Issues — Given that social issues have defined the Republican party since Reagan’s ascendancy, if those things matter, why be a Republican?

Michele Bachmann Laments That ‘The Gay Community Have So Bullied The American People’“And the thing that I think is getting a little tiresome is the gay community, they have so bullied the American people and they have so intimidated politicians that politicians fear them and so they think they get to dictate the agenda everywhere. Well, not with the Constitution you don’t.” What color do you suppose the sky is on Planet Bachmann? Paisley, maybe, if the Gay Menace has hacked their way in already.

Hey, Conservatives! Are You Winning or Losing?Palin combines whining and gloating into a message of vengeance that makes yesterday’s losers tomorrow’s invincible winners. And that may be the most satisfying conservative message of all.

Version 1.0 of the 2016 Republican Presidential Primaries — I always enjoy this inside baseball aspect of politics. (Via David Goldman.)

As Though Iraq Never HappenedThe short memory of Condoleezza Rice.

?otD: Yawn much?


3/12/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (badly interrupted)
Body movement: 0 minutes (hall walking to come)
Weight: n/a
Number of FEMA troops on my block teaching wives how to be submissive: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad feels a bit better during the lull between assault waves

Bargain Book ClubA reading list for the almost-illiterate Heh.

Aggravated cat is subdued by Portland police after terrorizing family — Life imitates Portlandia.

A History and Account of Daylight Savings

95% of bank ATMs face end of security supportAn estimated 95% of American bank ATMs run on Windows XP, and Microsoft is killing off tech support for that operating system on April 8.

Is the Wolf a Real American Hero?

How elephants react to human voices

Fickle Sun Changed Europe’s Climate for 1,000 Years

Americans have no idea how much water they’re usingThey also think everyone else should be efficient while they simply conserve.

The Relationship Between Hearing and Memory

Bieber Deposed — Can we trade him back to Canada? Maybe for Rob Ford?

Think a hangover will teach you not to drink? Guess againIt only delays the next drink if you’re short on cash.

Microbes and Metabolites Fuel an Ambitious Aging ProjectCraig Venter’s new company wants to improve human longevity by creating the world’s largest, most comprehensive database of genetic and physiological information.

The Fat DrugHow humankind unwittingly joined an experiment on antibiotics and weight gain. (Via David Goldman.)

U.S. Uninsured Rate Continues to FallUninsured rate drops most among lower-income and black Americans. And amazingly, America has yet to collapse into smoking Socialist ruins.

Teens taunted by bullies are more likely to consider, attempt suicide — This just in: water is wet. I know the point of stories like this is that quantifiable study results can prompt official action, but as long-time victim of childhood bullying who had a lot of suicidal ideation and one semi-serious attempt, I have ask why anyone in authority over children needs to wait for academic approval?

Oh Lordy – on the forthcoming Christian film PersecutionBasically, this is a movie in which it’s overtly asserted that in order for Christians to be “free” the government cannot endorse the idea of fairness to all religions. Indeed, it seems that liberty has now been interpreted as a requirement to officially acknowledge that America is a Christian Nation and must adhere to Christian precepts.

When an Undue Burden? — What if gun laws were written like abortion laws? Would those Constitution-loving conservatives embrace the intent of the Founders the same way? (Via Scrivener’s Error.)

Journalists should stop ‘balancing’ stories with Science Denialists: Cosmos’s Neil DeGrasse Tyson — Either that or go all the way. Every time a story runs about a weather satellite, a Flat Earth denialist should get equal time. It would be precisely as intellectually credible as evolution denial and climate denial, as the Bible clearly states that the Earth has four corners, and would help those elements in our culture hell bent on destroying any public understanding of science to further their political ends.

Why men shouldn’t be allowed to vote — Heh.

61% of young Republicans favor same-sex marriage — The Gay Menace strikes again, weakening the minds of young voters.

The Uses and Abuses of ReaganOne of Bush’s flaws is that he governed as more of a hard-line ideologue than Reagan ever pretended to be, and another is that he claimed to be an internationalist while making a mockery of America’s reputation in the world. Republicans should not be deluded into thinking that they are obliged to follow Bush’s example in order to honor Reagan, but neither should they feel compelled to respond to contemporary events as if nothing had changed in the last thirty years. Confidential to GOP in America: Want another Reagan? Elect another senile old fraud who projects a strong Daddy image. It worked for you last time.

?otD: How’s the cough?


3/11/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 0 minutes (hall walking to come)
Weight: n/a
Number of FEMA troops on my block teaching wives how to be submissive: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad has a (hopefully) quiet Monday at home before leaving town

Misheard Lyrics: Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Purple Haze’

Polish Move Posters — Cool. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

At first I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. Once I got it, I couldn’t believe it. — Trompel’oeil tattoos. Wow. (Via [info]goulo.)

Objects of Intrigue: Mickey Mouse Gas Mask — Uh. Words fail me. (Via [info]danjite.)

Flu viruses derive from a global selective sweep in the 1870sA single event seems to have set the stage for all pandemics since. Story idea?

Potentially Habitable Exoplanets — A handy spotter’s guide.

‘Super-Earths’ Problematic for Life

Climate Change Behind Trapped Heat in Oceanic Depths

Meet The American Pushing Homophobia in Uganda — Meet Scott Lively, the American Christian who’s globalizing the worst of conservative Bible-based hate in the name of a just and loving God, with great success. In case you’re wondering why straight people like me stand so angrily against anti-gay bigotry from American churches and politicians. This is its logical extension.

No, Arizona’s SB 1062 was not “egregiously misrepresented” by critics

Disney ends funding to Boy Scouts over gay policy — The world really is changing. Moralistic discrimination by conservatives used to be consequence-free, and even rewarded. It still mostly is those things, but these are welcome shifts in society that will lead to a more just and moral America that better lives up to its own Constitutional promises.

Arguments Against GodI say “there is no God” with the same confidence I say “there are no ghosts” or “there is no magic.” The main issue is supernaturalism — I deny that there are beings or phenomena outside the scope of natural law. That’s not to say that I think everything is within the scope of human knowledge. Surely there are things not dreamt of in our philosophy, not to mention in our science – but that fact is not a reason to believe in supernatural beings.

Will a Multi-Polar World be more Peaceful? The Failure of the Project for a New American Empire

Pork-laced bullets designed to send Muslims straight ‘to hell’ — Because sometimes, simply hating people is not enough. (Via [info]danjite.)

The fallout from flouting international lawIt’s very hard as an American to righteously defend the precepts on International Law with respect to national sovereignty after what we did just 11 years ago in Iraq. I feel like an idiot saying it out loud to anyone and am embarrassed to see John Kerry shaking his fist and proclaiming the illegality and illegitimacy of Russia’s actions when he personally voted for that illegitimate and illegal invasion. The Iraq War was never anything but a conservative project to launch a war of choice under knowingly false pretenses. And the Republicans really did abrogate America’s diplomatic legitimacy in pursuing that morally vile course. Sadly, neither the political establishment nor Your Liberal Media is likely to acknowledge this now, as it embarrasses many currently powerful people on both sides of the aisle.

Rush Limbaugh weighs inNo, not on Ukraine or even the Oscars. On Michelle Obama’s weight. Ah, the leading voice of conservative media, guiding light of millions of Republicans, with his usual thoughtful, nuanced approach to the critical issues of our era. Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

?otD: How’s your life today?


3/3/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (very fitful)
Body movement: 30 minutes
Weight: 232.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block unjustly vilifying Ted Nugent: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad waves good-bye to Lisa

In Kentucky, a Family at the Center of the EarthJerry Bransford remembers the short day trips his family used to make to Mammoth Cave, half an hour away from their home in Glasgow, Ky. His father would tell him stories about how his family first came to know the cave as slaves but eventually became famous guides, starting a legacy that would last four generations.

Gladiator School Discovery Reveals Hard Lives of Ancient Warriors

Architecture May Influence Which Microbes Surround You — (Via David Goldman.)

Mars Meteorite with Odd ‘Tunnels’ & ‘Spheres’ Revives Debate Over Ancient Martian Life

Physicists start thinking beyond the LHC, consider reviving the SSCCould the tunnels we drilled for a collider in Texas house a Higgs factory?

Exxon Valdez Oil Is Still Polluting the Prince William Sound 25 Years Later — Because the conservative ideal of industry self-regulation is so much better than any possible Federal regulatory process. Just ask the folks in West, TX.

Former Mobil Oil VP’s Scathing Open Letter to ExxonMobil CEO Who Is Suing to Stop Fracking Water Tank Near His $5 Million Texas Mansion

Tim Cook advises climate change deniers to get out of Apple stockIn a response to a shareholder suggestion that Apple stop its environmentally friendly initiatives, the typically temperate Apple CEO draws a blunt line in the sand.

Should AGs Ignore Laws They Don’t Like?I was living in Virginia in 2006, know one of the sponsors of the ban on gay marriage, and fully understand – as you do much better than I – the bigotry and discriminatory intent behind that and these other state constitutional amendments. In fact, it is entirely possible that the sheer number of these referendums and the animus behind them exposed to the vast majority of straight Americans, who may not have thought that much about their impact on real people. Over time, I think straight Americans who voted against gay marriage came to see that they were aiding and abetting bullies and hurting real people.

NPR whitewashes past of anti-gay Holocaust-revisionist hate group leader — Your Liberal Media.

Paralyzed GOP Lawmaker On Medicaid Opposes Medicaid ExpansionMeet the paralyzed Arkansas state Rep. who is voting against Medicaid expansion even though he has received more than $1 million of Medicaid funded hospitalization and rehabilitation and continues to be on Medicaid. He’s says the potential new recipients don’t work hard enough and probably just want to abuse prescription drugs.

Lawmaker Regrets Asking Why Men Can’t Rape If Women Can Get Abortions — Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

Psychologists: Getting Liberals to Agree Really Is Like Herding Cats — This is pretty funny. Probably worth the read, whatever your personal politics. (Snurched from Fragano Ledgister.)

?otD: Is it a good day to fly?


3/1/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (slightly fitful)
Body movement: 30 minutes
Weight: 234.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block unjustly vilifying Ted Nugent: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad is having a good time

Un dernier recueil de nouvelles pour Jay Lake — (Via Sangoire De Terre d’Ange.)

The Privilege of Assuming It’s Not about YouHaley Morris-Cafiero is an artist, a photographer, and a scorned body. Aware that her appearance attracts disgust and mockery from some, she decided to try to document people’s public disdain. The result is a series of photographs exposing the people who judge and laugh at her.

World Press 2014: Signals from Djibouti — Rather science fictional and more than a little sad. (Via David Goldman.)

Tau Boötis b: A ’3-D’ Look at Star and Planet

Climate Change Deniers Lose Their Cool — You guys are going to have a lot to answer for when our grandchildren want to know why we didn’t do something sooner, while we still could have.

Climate change deniers have grasped that markets can’t fix the climateBut climate change denial is also about ideology. Many deniers have come to the conclusion that climate change is some kind of leftwing conspiracy – because the scale of the international public intervention necessary to cut carbon emissions in the time demanded by the science simply cannot be accommodated within the market-first, private enterprise framework they revere. As with most conservative positions, the ideology comes first, followed by a search for supporting evidence, what George W. Bush called “the true facts”. Which makes it very hard to change your position when you by definition reject non-compliant evidence, such as all those other pesky facts that don’t mean the conservative definition of “truth”. That was the whole point of the BEST project after all, and look how an intellectually honest conservative review of the evidence turned out. The template for this is of course evolution denial. (Snurched from Scrivener’s Error.)

Darkening of Melting Arctic Amplifying Global Warming from CO2One of nature’s key defenses against global warming—the reflection of the sun’s rays away from Earth by Arctic sea ice—has fallen victim to… global warming. And according to a study published Monday, the vicious feedback loop is worse than previously thought.

Health Care Horror Hooey — Paul Krugman makes the same point I was making a few days ago, about unforced errors in the GOP’s anti-Obamacare initiative.

I’m embarrassed by Ted NugentWhen did conservatives become prisoners to idiotic vulgarity? I ask that question as someone who self-defines as conservative and who is sick and tired of being embarrassed by Ted Nugent. Let me remind you of a little something called the Southern Strategy, as well as its post-Nixon incarnations. Not to mention the GOPAC memo. So-called “good conservatives” getting the vapors now is about four or five decades too late.

Fun With Metadata

How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

Military Spending Cuts and How They Are Being Distorted

?otD: Won’t you stop me now?


2/25/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 10.o hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes
Weight: 233.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block unjustly vilifying Ted Nugent: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad grumps awake

Redressing the translation imbalance — Aliette de Bodard reaches out to non-Anglophone writers. I love this.

Classic literature in Lego – in picturesFrom a bloody battle in George RR Martin to a sensual scene from Jane Austen, Waterstones has been recreating setpieces from great literature in toy bricks to coincide with the release of The LEGO Movie. Take a child’s eye view of classic books here.

Aardman Animals Talk Art — Plus a link to “Creature Comforts”!

Roentgen Objects, or: A Device Larger than the Room that Contains It

It Looks Like An Ordinary Piece Of Wood. But Trust Me, It’s Going To Blow Your Mind In A Minute.

When Doctors Need to Lie — Uh, no. This whole article is paternalistic overreach, disguised as compassion. As a patient with a terminal illness who’s endured years of setbacks and complications, no, I don’t want my doctor deciding when it’s okay to lie to me.

Mysterious polio-like illnesses reported in some California children — Uh oh. (Via David Goldman.)

A Brief History of the Typewriter — (Via [info]threeoutside.)

New ‘pomegranate-inspired’ design solves problems for lithium-ion batteries — (Via David Goldman.)

The Koreas at NightNight lights illustrate dramatically the relative economic activity of cities and countries.

Why You Can’t Keep a Secret — This is interesting and a bit strange.

11,000-Year-Old Settlement Found Under Baltic Sea

Oldest Rock Speck Zeros In On Earth’s Cooling DateThe oldest remaining grain of early Earth’s original solid rock crust has now been confirmed to be a 4.374-billion-year-old old zircon crystal from Jack Hills, Australia.

A Death Cult run by billionairesMy question to climate change deniers is this: what if you’re wrong? The only thing that will happen if the world addresses climate change will be a somewhat orderly change in the way we use energy, some economic reorganization and a whole lot of jobs and business being done to switch to different energy sources. The changes that are being proposed to mitigate climate change are far less cataclysmic than the changes that would be imposed by unaddressed climate change itself.

Climate change goes back to the Supreme Court

21 varieties of traditional African homosexuality

George Takei Blasts Arizona Bigots, Threatens Boycott In Epic Condemnation of Anti-Gay ‘Jim Crow’ Laws

Arizona Goddam — Jim Wright asks what Jesus would do in Arizona. I suppose it depends on whether you’re asking about smug Republican Jesus, or the man actually depicted in the New Testament as the Son of God. Those are two very different people.

The ‘Christian’ movement that tells husbands to SPANK their wives ‘to correct misbehavior’ — BDSM for Christ?

This is a Powerful Way to Combat a Christian Speaker at Your University — Hah! (Via [info]danjite.)

How I lost the religion of my childhood My parents raised me as Christian missionaries. When I finally opened my eyes, I made a stunning realization. A wonderful piece about faith and childhood. The headline notwithstanding, this is not an anti-religious article, but rather an interesting meditation on having grown up as a missionary kid. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

One Of The Best Comebacks I’ve Ever Heard Was Made In A Single Word — Hah!

The 50 states, redrawn with equal population

Our Sinister Dual State

Anatomy of the Deep State — (Via [info]danjite.)

?otD: Got sleep?


2/24/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes
Weight: 233.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block unjustly vilifying Ted Nugent: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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[links] Link salad drank up all the money, yes it drank up all the money

Cover Reveal for Jay Lake’s The Last Plane to Heaven

The Most Ridiculous Mashup Ever – SpongeMen SquareWatch — Totally depraved. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

WTF is that on her head?Vintage ads featuring women with inexplicable stuff on their heads.

Spend the Night in a Giant Anus — Because you can! (Thanks to @dratz.)

Girl Scout sells 117 boxes of cookies in two hours outside Marijuana clinic — I have a pretty firm policy of never linking to FOX News or any of its affiliates, because FOX, but this headline was too good pass up. (Via Lisa Costello.)

She wasn’t being rude — Just a story about a veterinarian, a woman and a dog. Very much worth the read.

80 women go topless in New York: photos by Jordan Matter (NSFW)

Christopher Ryan: Are we designed to be sexual omnivores? — A TED talk. My answer is duh, yes.

Finger Computer Reads Books Aloud

Extraterrestrial Dispersal VectorsIf human civilization is to extend itself beyond our planet, it will need to take with it the plants, animals and microorganisms that can sustain a living ecosystem.

Brain Scans Show Striking Similarities Between Dogs and Humans

Cities, Networks, and the Counterintuitive Nature of SuicideThe new science of cities shows that suicide may be a more complex social phenomenon than previously thought, say computational anthropologists. Me, I was fascinated to learn of Kleiber’s law while reading this piece. (Via David Goldman.)

The Dark Power of FraternitiesA yearlong investigation of Greek houses reveals their endemic, lurid, and sometimes tragic problems—and a sophisticated system for shifting the blame. This just in: water is wet. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in the mid-1980s, where criminal acts by fraternity members, up to and including rape, theft, vehicular assault, arson and several suspicious deaths, routinely went uninvestigated and unprosecuted because of the political influence of frat legacies who held power in all levels of local and state government. Boys will be boys, after all. There is nothing whatsoever surprising about this.

A Brief Meandering About the Polar Vortex — Which for some reason climate change denialists continue to insist against all evidence is a scare word made up by the liberal media. Of course, if they were willing to accept evidence, they wouldn’t be denialists.

A Great Freeze Over the Great LakesIce cover on North America’s Great Lakes reached 88 percent in mid-February 2014—levels not observed since 1994. The average maximum ice extent since 1973 is just over 50 percent. It has surpassed 80 percent just five times in four decades. The lowest average ice extent occurred in 2002, when only 9.5 percent of the lakes froze.

Clerics Issue Fatwa: Muslims Can’t Live On Mars — Uh, ok. Though in fairness, this is specifically about the proposed one-way trip being seen as a form of suicide. Which is still quite a stretch to my view. Is it suicide to emigrate somewhere?

Gay patient says Catholic chaplain refused him last rites — You will know that they are Christians by their love. (Via John Sapeinza.)

Kansas Christianists seek monopoly on worldly honors and emolumentsSlacktivist Fred Clark explains the wider context and profound anti-American shame of the currently-tabled Kansas bill legalizing Christian discrimination against the LGBT community. You know, the truly horrible bill that no one in the conservative blog, media and political world seems willing to comment on. My view of “good conservatives” is rapidly eroding.

Arizona Legislature approves controversial religion bill — Arizona joins Kansas in shaming itself, the nation, and Christians everywhere.

[GOP Senate Candidate] Bevin: Same-Sex Marriage Will Lead To Parent-Child Marriage — Because being conservative means never having to be anything but cracking batshit bugfuck insane. And people vote for this shit.

DeLay: Americans Have Forgotten That God Wrote The Constitution — Because being conservative means never having to be anything but cracking batshit bugfuck insane. And people vote for this shit.

“He Will Rule Them With An AR-15″Retired Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin believes when Jesus comes back, he’ll have an AR-15 assault rifle in hand. Every time I read about a prominent Christian like this, I get down on my knees and thank the Lord God Almighty that I am an atheist. This crap makes my skin crawl.

?otD: How’re you going to get around in this sleazy bedroom town if you don’t put yourself up for sale?


2/21/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 5.0 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 10 minutes (feeling poorly)
Weight: 233.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block attacking religious liberty: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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[links] Link salad carefully observes the First Law of the Sea

In defence of unnecessary words

An Animated Guide to the Economics of Sex

What all the stylin’ white boys were wearing on their heads in the 1950s — Is it wrong that these all look the same to me? And I am a white boy.

200-Year Old Douche Discovered Under NYC City Hall — I didn’t realize Mayor Giuliani was that old.

Star Wars actor dies: His ‘disturbing’ Star Wars role outshone a long careerStar Wars actor Richard LeParmentier died this morning in Austin. “Every time we find someone’s lack of faith disturbing, we’ll think of him,” said his family in a statement. Awesome quote in the subhead on this piece. (Via David Goldman.) ETA: While still amusing, it has been pointed out to me this is very stale news. My apologies, I did not check the date.

Comet Lovejoy over the Great Wall — The explanatory text includes some lovely poetic detail.

Old Arctic Ice Is Disappearing, and Taking the Rest of the Ice With ItIt’s not hard to see that over the past few years, the oldest ice has melted away, and over time the ice gets younger. That’s not good: Older ice is thicker and tends to hang around longer; young ice is generally thinner and melts away every summer. That means that the year-round amount of ice is dropping, and dropping rapidly. As the Arctic warms, its ability not just to form ice but to keep it wanes.

Politician wants to raise greenhouse gas limits, for the plants — The stupid, it burns. But it also gets elected.

Other Agendas “Frozen” Is Subtly Forcing Into Your Child’s BrainFeminist Mormon Housewives with a truly hilarious response to some criticism from another Mormon blogger who is deeply unhinged.

GOP Lawmakers Want To Define Anti-Gay Discrimination As ‘Religious Freedom’ — I have never seen a logical argument as to why barring discrimination compromises religious freedom.

Religious Liberty Or Anti-Gay Animus?For me, with devout Catholics, the acid test is divorce. The bar on divorce – which, unlike the gay issue, is upheld directly by Jesus in the Gospels – is just as integral to the Catholic meaning of marriage as the prohibition on gay couples. So why no laws including that potential violation of religious liberty? Both kinds of marriage are equally verboten in Catholicism. So where is the political movement to insist that devout Catholics do not have to cater the second weddings of previously divorced people? Yup. Nails it.

Homophobia Takes Years Off of Your LifeThat’s the conclusion of a new study that compares death rates with Americans’ attitudes toward gay rights. A small price to pay for being one of the GOP’s core of angry white guys, I am certain.

Arkansas man ‘shot dead cheerleader after prank’ — Because guns make us all safer. And you can’t make a safety omelet without breaking 30,000 eggs per year.

Social Identity Markers are NOT a proxy for left wing social policies — (Via [info]goulo.)

Racializing Politics: We don’t say “Slav” Democracy troubled in Ukraine, why Talk about “Arab” Failures?

Hyperlocal Neighborhood Maps Reveal the Chaos in Aleppo — Wow. I never would have thought of the bakery thing. (Via David Goldman.)

Let’s get straight who is paying for whom — More on the ridiculous belief among rural conservatives that they are somehow being bled dry by taxes to pay for the big cities. You know, those liberal “facts” and “data”. I especially like this bit: But it’s very, very tiresome to watch a bunch of delusional narcissists taking urban tax dollars to pay for their rural infrastructure and safety nets (most SNAP recipients are white, remember) elect a bunch of jokers to Congress who prevent the people who actually pay the bills from solving big problems like climate change, healthcare, privacy, wealth inequality, poverty, and financial corruption.

Watch This CNN Anchor Stop The Spin On The Minimum Wage — Every time we’ve tried to raise the minimum wage, conservatives have trotted out the same job-killing, anti-business opposition. Every time they’ve been wrong. Why would they be right this time?

?otD: Metalbeard? Is that you?


2/20/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 10 minutes (feeling poorly)
Weight: 234.4
Number of FEMA troops attacking religious liberty: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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