[links] Link salad dreams of electric sheep
Science and Technology Knowledge Quiz — You answered 13 of 13 questions correctly. […] You scored better than 93% of the public and the same as 7%. As I said in comments on james_nicoll‘s LiveJournal post about this, “One question I actually had to think about for a moment, the rest were general knowledge on a par with knowing the points of the compass or how to conjugate an English verb.”
Hundreds of Potential Drug Targets to Starve Cancer Tumors Identified — Huh. (Thanks to Bruce Taylor.)
Physicists Build World’s First “Magnetic Hose” For Transmitting Magnetic Fields — Magnetic fields decay rapidly and so have never been transmitted over long distances. Until now… I initially misread this headline as “Magnetic Horse”, which would be a lot funnier.
The Scientific Process Through Stock Photography — Hahah! I love nerd humor. (Via Gabrielle Harbowy.)
Penises on Mars? Grow Up, Internet. — At least it wasn’t cat .gifs.
Life’s Trajectory Seen Through Facebook Data — Data donated by Facebook users to Stephen Wolfram yields interesting patterns that may reveal how people change over time.
Why I Let My Students Cheat On Their Game Theory Exam — Teaching people game theory is good. Making them live it is even better, says UCLA professor Peter Nonacs. (Thanks to David Goldman.)
As they turn 150, Adventists still pray for the apocalypse — Adventist leaders say the apocalyptic pull is still strong at church headquarters, especially during planning sessions. “I see that in our education system,” said Beardsley-Hardy. “Not wanting to over-invest in building because Jesus is coming.” Religion doesn’t have to make you stupid, but it sometimes does an awfully good job of exactly that. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)
Jesus and Muhammad and the Question of the State — Juan Cole on scriptural authority for political power. Long but worth the read.
GE Halts Financing for Firearm Retailers as Gun Lenders Vanish — Unlike the gun culture conservatives in senate, GE can read polls that identify an overwhelming support for increased firearms regulation. Good for them.
Scenes From a Multiverse nails the conservative view of gun control
Changing my mind on nuclear disarmament — Charlie Stross is fascinating.
The Problem of Redaction — Hah. Interesting security wonk stuff. This seems right up autopope‘s alley. (Thanks to seventorches.)
Intelligence Is No Guarantee of Good Judgment — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison: [T]here was a frightening resemblance between Romney and Bush in their shared overconfidence and ignorance about the world. Romney endorsed misguided foreign policy ideas because he didn’t know much about the subject, didn’t care about it very much, paid it very little attention.
Bush 43: ‘History will ultimately judge … I’m a content man’ — He was completely delusional while in office. I don’t know he’d be any less delusional now.
Fight Club on the Hill — After thirty years of their proclaiming the evils of government, is it any surprise we have a Republican Congress that cannot govern? I continue surprised at the collapse of Republican party discipline, however. Another Bush 43 legacy, that, and one of the very few things America and the world should thank him for.
GOP quits public policy — Evidence reveals that today’s conservatives have been historically bad at writing bills or developing an agenda. When you elect people to govern who don’t believe in good government, why would you expect anything like good government? Conservatives: ruining America for the majority of us.
President Obama to daughters: if you get a tattoo, I will too
QotD?: Describe in single words, only the good things that come into your mind about your mother.
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (2,300 words on Original Destiny, Manifest Sin)
Hours slept: 5.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (very carefully on the stationary bike)
Number of FEMA troops on my block helping welfare recipients buy cell phones and big screen tbs: 0
Currently reading: Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett
Posted: 5:25 am Thu April 25 2013 | Comments(2) |
[links] Link salad knows the cider’s laced with acid
Magazine Monday: Subterranean, Spring 2013 — Including a review of my Green novelette, “A Stranger Comes to Kalimpura”. I liked this bit: Green’s voice is, as always, sharp and clear and pitiless. She is a haunting character.
Lois Tilton reviews “A Stranger Comes to Kalimpura” — She didn’t like it quite so much.
Cancer Centers Racing to Map Patients’ Genes — Welcome to my life.
What’s Tylenol Doing to Our Minds? — The same pathways that help with physical pain seem to moderate existential distress. Wow. (Via danjite.)
If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It: Ancient Computers in Use Today — (Via @daviddlevine.)
Inside the Race to Build the World’s Fastest Bitcoin Miner — Stories like this are making me feel like a tech dinosaur.
Two-Track Mind — The MTA’s “track geometry car” slides around through the New York City subway, using “a variety of sensors, measuring systems, and data management [software] to create a profile of the track being inspected.” This is cool.
Microraptor: A 4-Winged, Fish-Eating Dinosaur
Fellowship of the Tree Rings — New Zealand researchers probe history and climate science by looking at wood. It’s pretty amazing how liberals have planted evidence for climate change even deep inside ancient trees. Thank God we have Rush Limbaugh and the Republican Party to keep us focused on the truth instead of that pesky old reality.
Exploring public concerns about geoengineering the climate — UK researchers talk about pumping reflective aerosols into the atmosphere. What could possibly go wrong?
Terrorism and the other Religions — It takes a peculiar sort of blindness to see Christians of European heritage as “nice” and Muslims and inherently violent, given the twentieth century death toll.
Actual 4th Grade science test in South Carolina — I hope to Ghu this is a spoof. Thanks to Poe’s Law, it’s impossible to separate conservative willful ignorance from parody of conservative willful ignorance. I simply do not understand how any parent would want to so dreadfully miseducate their child. (Via goulo.)
2nd Child of Pa. Couple Dies After Only Praying — Religion really can make you stupid. Fatally stupid. The deliberate miseducation and intellectual stunting so beloved of religious conservatives is bad enough. Those poor kids died of abuse and neglect privileged under the mantle of faith.
FMH Podcast Episode 52: Women That Leave Because of Gender Inequality — What I find fascinating about the blog Feminist Mormon Housewives is the intellectual train wreck always in progress there. Most of the post and comments on that blog are from intelligent, progressively-minded women who are struggling mightily to reconcile what their education and identities tell them with what their faith demands of them by way of subservience, submittal and acceptance of discrimination and flat counterfactuals. To my atheist outsider’s view, almost all of them would a lot happier listening to themselves rather than their faith.
GOP Ex-Congressman Testifies About Struggle Getting Visa For His Gay Partner — Words fail me. You do remember you’re a Republican, right? Further proof that no one likes conservative policies when applied to them personally.
Texas wants federal disaster aid it refused to give others — Ah, the justly famed intellectual consistency of conservatives is once more on display. Of course, these are Sarah Palin’s “real Americans” in trouble, not undeserving East Coast liberals.
The Senate’s gun control fail: dead children and monied politicians — A UK perspective. A sane man’s contempt for the United States Senate must now be certain and complete. Given the inertia on even the most modest legislative response to the mass murder of schoolchildren, those still credulous enough to believe that our governance is representative of popular will are either Barnum-sized suckers, or worse, tacit participants in tragedies soon to come.
Jeff Flake’s Rhetorical Games On Background Checks Come Back To Haunt Him — Speaking of intellectual consistency. As ever, conservatives value their guns over your safety.
Arkansas county GOP is unhappy that we can’t shoot politicians, as the Second Amendment intended — More of that measured reason we have all come to expect from conservatives in the gun culture. I sure feel safer knowing people like this are exercising their Second Amendment rights to theoretical defense of essential liberties.
WSJ Columnist Taranto Uses Gabby Giffords’ Injuries To Silence Her On Gun Violence — Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best. (Honestly, if I were a Republican, I’d die of shame.)
‘I am the senator. You are the citizen. You need to be quiet.’ — This is how Republicans respect our democracy. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)
QotD?: What is the Holy Spirit crying?
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo day)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (very carefully on the stationary bike)
Weight: n/a (couldn’t stand on scale due to injured foot)
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for climate change: 0
Currently reading: Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett
Posted: 5:16 am Tue April 23 2013 | Comments(2) |
[links] Link salad wakes up in Austin having eaten chicken fried steak the night before
50 Absolutely Stunning 3D Street Art (Paintings) — Wow. (Via shelly_rae.)
“Sorry” doesn’t change it — Noise and Signal on what death means to the survivors. She’s talking about suicide here, but a lot of this applies to my own life as well.
New Film Examines if Internet Addiction Led to a Baby’s Death by Neglect — Sigh. (Via David Goldman.)
Brit challenges downtown Portland’s Mill Ends Park title of ‘world’s smallest city park’ — Hah! (Via mlerules.)
See-through brains clarify connections — Technique to make tissue transparent offers three-dimensional view of neural networks.
Dinosaur ‘embryo bonebed’ yields delights for researchers
Lost in the Supermarket — This will make you think about what you eat.
When it comes to vaccination, bad news is contagious — And on Twitter, good information apparently does not bear repeating. A sad reminder that the American Right does not hold a monopoly on willful ignorance and anti-science idiocy.
Noah’s Flood is proof that climate change isn’t man-made, says GOP — I can’t possibly comment on this one. It’s too mind boggling as it stands.
Climate Change: The Moral Choices — The effects of global warming will persist for hundreds of years. What are our responsibilities and duties today to help safeguard the distant future? That is the question ethicists are now asking. Good luck with trying to apply ethical thinking to a core conservative issue.
New Guidelines Call for Broad Changes in Science Education — Educators unveiled new guidelines on Tuesday that call for sweeping changes in the way science is taught in the United States — including, for the first time, a recommendation that climate change be taught as early as middle school. Well, that will send the wing nuts around the bend. Next thing you know, they’ll be teaching evolution in biology class, and this country will be one of the pits of hell.
How The NRA Secretly Protects People Who Commit Crimes With Guns — Over the past few decades, the NRA has tucked so-called “riders” into annual appropriations bills funding various government functions in order to avoid scrutiny in the regular legislative process. While the gun lobby is hardly the only special interest to employ this tactic, they have been enormously successful in undermining basic federal and local gun regulations through these riders. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)
10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down — Ah, more of those liberal “facts” and “data” from the reality-based community, a/k/a the real world. Good thing conservatives and the gun culture don’t have to pay attention to this shit. (Via Marta Murvosh.)
Senator James Inhofe Suggests Newtown Families Can’t Think for Themselves — “See, I think it’s so unfair of the administration to hurt these families, to make them think this has something to do with them when, in fact, it doesn’t,” Inhofe explained. And if they believe it does, “that’s because they’ve been told that by the president.” What a festering pit of moral bankruptcy and intellectual dishonesty. Are you proud of your Republican party?
QotD?: What did you have for dinner?
Writing time yesterday: 5.0 hours (WRPA, editing work on Process of Writing and METAtroplis: Green Space)
Hours slept: 5.25 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (raining outside, no exercise equipment where I am staying)
Weight: 0.0 (away from home)
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing Agenda 21 by closing down golf courses: 0
Currently reading: Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
Posted: 4:45 am Thu April 11 2013 | Comments(1) |
[links] Link salad takes a hit and its mind goes ping
The Acts of Whimsy cancer fundraiser is still live. It has made goal, but additional support is always welcome, especially given my new complications. Please check it out if you have not done so yet.
A final update from Waterloo Productions on their Kickstarter — Including a video segment I find very hard to watch. Last day for the Kickstarter, so if you were considering giving, go now.
Con or Bust — Helping Fans of Color Attend SFF Cons. Consider contributing or supporting through bids. Ghu knows we need more diversity in the field.
The World SF Travel Fund — Another worthy cause, for a slightly different flavor of diversity.
Two Guys and Guy on the price of literary success — Heh.
Dilbert on the 10,000 hours of practice required for excellence — Well, duh.
Grammar police: Vibrating pen warns of handwriting mistakes — A specialized pen under development is designed to catch writing mistakes and vibrate as a warning. Could it revive the dying art of handwriting? I can think of some entertaining abuses of this thing… (Snurched from James Aquiline.)
Wi-Fi “as free as air”—the totally false story that refuses to die — Journalism goes wrong and just keeps getting worse. No free wi-fi for you! (Via David Goldman.)
Facebook is malware, people suddenly realize
Fat Dads’ Epigenetic Legacy — Children with obese fathers show epigenetic changes that may affect their health.
Cancer reprograms immune cells to avoid an attack — Cause a specific type of white blood cell to change its identity.
Superomniphobic Material Vigorously Repels All Fluids — (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)
Moth Drives Robot, Cruising for a Lady — The insect’s mate-seeking behavior could help researchers program self-driving robots to track airborne chemicals. — I’ve been on dates like that.
“Aggressive Pizza-Stealing Dog” Makes Bail — Ah, Oregon.
The Sockeye’s Secret Compass — Magnetic fish?
Asteroid to Make Closest Flyby in History — Researchers keeping an eye on trajectory that will bring it within 18,000 miles of Earth. Recorded history, to be more accurate.
35 Ancient Pyramids Discovered in Sudan Necropolis
Dinosaur extinction: Scientists estimate ‘most accurate’ date — Scientists believe they have determined the most precise date yet for the extinction of dinosaurs.
A Cheap and Easy Plan to Stop Global Warming — Intentionally engineering Earth’s atmosphere to offset rising temperatures could be far more doable than you imagine, says David Keith. But is it a good idea?
Marco Rubio: Another Senator Who Doubts Global Warming — Rubio goes on, saying, “I understand people say there’s a significant scientific consensus on that issue, but I’ve actually seen reasonable debate on that principle.” Actually, no he hasn’t. There has been no reasonable debate, at least not from the deniers, who for the overwhelmingly most part are not climate scientists, who twist data, who leave out critical information, who use cherry-picked graphs, and who resort to outrageous ad hominems to cast doubt on the reality of global warming. Rhat’s because he’s a conservative. “Reasonable debate” means to a Republican, “anything which might support my ideological convictions, no matter how false or outrageous.” Rubio probably does know better, but he also knows that telling the truth will cost him vote in the lunatic asylum that is the Republican base.
Tendency to fear is strong political influence — Education, they found, had an equally large influence on out-group attitudes, with more highly educated people displaying more supportive attitudes toward out-groups and education having a substantial mediating influence on the correlation between parental fear and child out-group attitudes. Which is precisely why conservatives work so very hard to stunt public education, and control as much of the process as they can.
A Short Note on Mormon Theology and Transgender Identities
Choose Now. Which Side of History Will You Be On? — I wish every conservative in America would read this article. (Snurched from Slacktivist Fred Clark
New Rove Effort Has G.O.P. Aflame — Their battle with Democrats will have to wait. For now, Republicans have their hands full fighting one another. The party of “legitimate rape” is trying to purge its cranks and bigots. Which would leave the GOP small enough to hold its national convention inside a Denny’s restaurant. Whither the poor, neglected angry white man so beloved of generations of GOP pols?
The Persistence of Racial Resentment — Without racism fueling angry white men, the GOP would not exist as a meaningful political party.
QotD?: Will your heart pump? Will your blood sing?
Writing time yesterday: 0.75 hours (1,000 words on a spec novella to 3,000 words, plus some WRPA)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bicycle
Number of FEMA troops on my block protecting women from violence: 0
Currently reading: Mort by Terry Pratchett
Posted: 6:19 am Fri February 08 2013 | Comments(0) |
[links] Link salad slowly comes back online
The Acts of Whimsy cancer fundraiser and the Lakeside Kickstarter for the documentary about me, the_child, and cancer are still live. Both have made goal, but additional support is always welcome. Please check them out if you have not done so yet.
How to Write Like My Dad — the_child‘s Act of Whimsy.
Bryan Thomas Sxhmidt with a take on Kalimpura
Featured Author Review: Kalimpura by Jay Lake —
Saturday salmagundi — In which I am somewhat hilariously mentioned.
Timeline of the One Ring — Mmm. Filthy hobbitses. (Snurched from Andrew Wheeler.)
Scientists Build A Working Tractor Beam
Chinese Physicists Build “Ghost” Cloaking Device — A working invisibility cloak that makes one object look like ghostly versions of another has been built in China.
Drill reaches Antarctica’s under-ice Lake Whillans
Dung Beetle Uses The Milky Way For Navigation, First Animal Found To Do So — I’d be more impressed if it was the other way around.
Nature Has A Formula That Tells Us When It’s Time To Die — This is fascinating.
The Happiness Machine — How Google became such a great place to work.
Why You Truly Never Leave High School — New science on its corrosive, traumatizing effects.
The Preppers Next Door — Antisocial lunacy comes in many forms.
Feds: ‘Monsignor Meth’ dealt drug, bought sex shop — Really, how can atheists possibly have ethics or morals without religious guidance?
Mali rebels fleeing Timbuktu burn library full of ancient manuscripts — Town’s mayor says Islamist insurgents torched two buildings containing priceless books as French-led troops approached. I do not understand why people think religious values make for good government and society. Religious values just burned one of the most precious ancient libraries in the world. Religious values destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan. There’s a lot of reasons I’m an atheist, and these are some of them.
Why I Don’t Own A Gun — Ultimately I choose to live without guns because, a) I don’t hunt, b) I’m not a police officer, c) I choose to live gently in a violent world. I choose not to help swell the ranks of the armed in our society. I want to contribute to a more peaceable and gentle society. Does that mean I’m unsafe? No, I don’t think so. But if I am unsafe, well, then I choose to be unsafe. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)
Growing Up With Roe: How a Trip to the Eye Doctor Created a Lifelong Advocate for Reproductive Rights — (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)
Texas, where science and history have become ideological battlegrounds — PBS will show the story of the Texas State School Board’s assault on facts. This conservative assault on those liberal “facts” and “data” has been going on pretty much all my life, with little response from the reality-based community.
Jindal, courage is not enough — Good luck shedding that “stupid party” label, GOP. Until you stop trying to generate more angry white men as your basic electoral strategy, you’ve painted yourself into that corner.
Why the GOP Could Be in the Wilderness For a Long Time
QotD?: Did you miss me?
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (still in post-operative recovery)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (post-operative recovery)
Weight: n/a (forgot)
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing disability rights: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks
Posted: 8:57 am Mon January 28 2013 | Comments(5) |
[links] Link salad takes the day off from work to recover from chemo
Double Negative — Grammar tough guys on film. Hahah. (Via willyumtx.)
First liver cancer ‘chemo-bath’ in the UK — Hmm.
Finding the Courage to Reveal a Fetish — All depends on who you hang out with, now, doesn’t it?
Invisibility cloaking in ‘perfect’ demonstration — Scientists have succeeded in “cloaking” an object perfectly for the first time, rendering a centimetre-scale cylinder invisible to microwaves.
Looks like ice, burns like a candle: Frozen methane hydrate may be new Alaska energy source
Online Courses Put Pressure on Third-World Universities — How a teacher in El Salvador became an advocate of massive open online courses, and why hardly anyone listens to him yet.
Would You Buy A Gun? — Women and guns. Just what America needs. More guns. Those thirty deaths a day from gun violence are certainly worth it, aren’t they? (Via Marta Murvosh.)
“God Knew We Would Have Satellites”: A Map of Jesus In Arabia — Uh, yeah. Pareidola run rampant.
When God is Your Lifeboat — If your way of thinking is that it is God’s plan to have this Earth go to hell because in that said aforementioned deity is your lifeboat then what does it matter if life on this planet goes to “hell in a hand basket.” Such thinking is delusional and Mr. Erickson in any other country would be dismissed as a lunatic not to mention as a seriously misguided practioncer of Christian theology. That line of thinking is starkly dangerous and should be universally condemned for what it is, insanity. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)
Global warming felt by space junk, satellites — Manmade increases in carbon dioxide might be having effects that are larger than expected.
Poles apart: satellites reveal why Antarctic sea ice grows as Arctic melts — US military satellite data exposes complexity of climate change and impact of changing wind patterns on polar regions. Sorry, denialists, the growth of Antarctic sea ice isn’t a “gotcha” for climate change. Science, unlike ideology, is capable of accepting and explaining apparent contradictions. Welcome to life in the reality-based community.
Pandas Threatened by Climate Change — Between 80 and 100 percent of livable habitat will disappear from a major panda enclave in China. Amazing, the lengths liberals will go to in order to perpetrate the climate change hoax. Including wiping out an entire major Chinese ecosphere. Thank god we have the Republican Party to keep us straight on this stuff.
Is America Ready for a White, Male Secretary of State? — John Boehner isn’t white, he’s orange, and we know he can cry. Maybe he should be tapped? (Via Marta Murvosh.)
How Oregon differed from nation on presidential vote — This article makes me proud of my adoptive home state.
Will politicians actually heed lessons of Sandy? — Not as long as ideology trumps reality in conservative America, no.
Mitch McConnell: ‘We Have a Voter Mandate Not to Raise Taxes’ — Give the GOP one vote, and they have a mandate. Must be nice, being able to choose the color of the sky in their world. Reminds me of Dick “Dick” Morris saying that a Romney 325 to 213 electoral win be a landslide, but an Obama 332 to 206 electoral was barely “eeked” [sic] out. Um, Dick… Numbers are magic when you’re a conservative.
?otD: Working today?
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (chemo recovery)
Hours slept: 10.5 hours (11.0 hours, 8.5 hours solid plus napping)
Number of FEMA troops on my block confiscating guns and enforcing gay marriage: 0
Currently reading: Mirrordance by Lois McMaster Bujold
Posted: 8:40 am Mon November 12 2012 | Comments(1) |
[links] Link salad’s tide is high
Tidal massaging reveals a hidden ocean on Saturn’s moon, Titan — Its ocean comes with an icy floor, so Titan is likely unable to support life.
Top CIA Spy Accused of Being a Mafia Hitman — Um, wow. (Via danjite.)
Rise of the Planet of the Satanazis — Slacktivist Fred Clark with more measured, rational discourse from the American right.
Low Life Expectancy tracks with Opposition to Obamacare (Map) — With the exception of Utah, there is a pretty strong overlap between lower life expectancy and deep hostility to the Affordable Care Act. Those who need it most are most opposed to it.
What really happens to real people really matters — Slacktivist Fred Clark on the flip side of ACA, why opposing the casual cruelty of the conservative position really does matter.
A Vindication, With a Legacy Still Unwritten — Obama and HCR.
Legal scholars unsurprised by Roberts — “Had the court ruled as the four dissenters would have had it — in a 5-4 decision, red versus blue — that the signature act of a Democratic administration was unconstitutional, I think that would have been a very serious threat to the legitimacy of the court.” Concerns about naked partisanship didn’t stop the Supreme Court from decapitating the national interest in favor of GOP interests in either Bush v. Gore or Citizens United.
‘The Umpire’ Strikes Back—and The Affordable Care Act Survives
Health Care As a Privilege: What the GOP Won’t Admit — Democrats will confine the unfortunate to many forms of deprivation, but not deprivation of basic medical care. Republicans will. The GOP is the only mainstream political party in the advanced world to hold this stance. Are you still proud of your Republican party?
A Bill Seeking To Regulate Use of the Word Vagina — It’s time for the government to stop women from using anatomically correct terms. If I were a conservative, this would make sense to me. Of course, if I were a conservative, my head would implode from cognitive dissonance and intellectual dishonesty.
Texas GOP party platform opposes the teaching of “higher order thinking skills” — a curriculum which strives to encourage critical thinking — arguing that it might challenge “student’s fixed beliefs” and undermine “parental authority.” — In other words, the Republican party now explicitly and deliberately wants to make everyone’s children stupid, not just their own. What does that say about their faith in their own positions and beliefs? This isn’t me being an angry liberal ranter. This is conservatives in their own words. I weep for America that this seems reasonable to nearly half the voters in this country. (Thanks to ulfhirtha.)
?otD: Are you going to be my number one?
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (drove to coast for beach weekend)
Body movement: 60 minute coastal walk
Hours slept: 6.25 (interrupted)
Currently reading: Shattering the Ley by Benjamin Tate
Posted: 5:40 am Fri June 29 2012 | Comments(1) |
[links] Link salad boogies back to Texas
Entry Points into Fiction: Text Shows You How to Read It — Jeff VanderMeer is wise.
Brit Lit Map — A cartographic Wordle.
Online map calculates travel times in Ancient Rome — Cool! (Via a mailing list I’m on.)
The Liberating Embrace Of Uncertainty — I don’t agree with everything in this piece, as the writer buys a little too much into the woo side of things, and deliberately conflates empirical truth and spiritual truth, but it’s still pretty interesting.
A Mathematical Challenge to Obesity — Interestingly, we also found that the fatter you get, the easier it is to gain weight. An extra 10 calories a day puts more weight onto an obese person than on a thinner one. I could have told them that.
Humanoid Robot Swarm Synchronised Using Quorum Sensing — Proof-of-principle experiment shows how humanoid robots can co-operate on a large scale by copying the behaviour of social insects and bacterial colonies. The article is basically talking about SkyNet, but the accompanying photo is hilariously cute.
Cambrian shutter of doom becomes sucker of worms — This photo is the opposite of cute.
Researchers generate electricity from viruses — Imagine charging your phone as you walk, thanks to a paper-thin generator embedded in the sole of your shoe. This futuristic scenario is now a little closer to reality. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a way to generate power using harmless viruses that convert mechanical energy into electricity. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)
Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived — The Oatmeal goes to town on Tesla and Edison.
A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College
6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America — This topic is treated in great detail in the book 1491. (Thanks to Melissa Shaw.)
The Right’s Righteous Frauds — With a headline like that, this piece could refer to almost any leader in the conservative movement.
Wrong man was executed in Texas, probe says — Because capital punishment makes us all safer.
‘Hug The Monster’: Why So Many Climate Scientists Have Stopped Downplaying the Climate Threat — Gee, maybe they’ve been quiet because of savage, fact-free attacks from certain ideological sectors. Whaddaya think?
Is world outpacing U.S. on health care? — Nothing to see here, citizens. Move along. We don’t want any of that Kenyan Muslim socialist HCR that was originally proposed by the Heritage Foundation and promoted by the GOP.
How Economics Explains The Rising Support for Gay Marriage — Interesting thesis. My own experiences certainly dovetail into this discussion.
Gun Rights — From the Mitt Romney campaign Web site: Mitt will work to expand and enhance access and opportunities for Americans to hunt, shoot, and protect their families. Wow, the things conservatives get up to in their free time. (Via danjite.)
Who Really Caused The Deficit? — Under Obama’s watch the national debt has risen from roughly $10 trillion to $15 trillion, a record high. But to what extent are his decisions while in office to blame? The answer: very little. The vast bulk of the debt is the result of policies enacted during the Bush administration coupled with automatic increases in federal spending and decreases in tax revenue triggered by the economic downturn. Those are economic facts of life known to experts but that often gets lost in the political debate (and which Obama’s opponents are willing to obscure). That’s the Tea Party message in a nutshell: Mad about the deficit? Blame Obama and vote for the guys who created it!
?otd: Austin or San Antonio?
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (Kalimpura copy edits)
Body movement: n/a (airport walking to come)
Hours slept: 6.0 (fitful)
Weight: 241.6 (!)
Currently reading: Light Breaker by Mark Teppo
Posted: 4:24 am Wed May 16 2012 | Comments(1) |
[links] Link salad skids into Friday
Everything You Need to Know about the Hugo Award — In one handy chart. (Snurched from Andrew Wheeler.)
Sticking With Dropbox — A cursory but alarming analysis of Google Drive’s terms of service. Short form: if you’re producing copyrighted material for which you wish to protect first rights (i.e., if you’re a working or aspiring professional author), for the love of God, don’t use Google Drive. More comments on this from the same source, indicating this might not be such a big deal after all. I remain dubious. (Via danjite.)
Dogfights on Your iPhone — This is cool. I want one. (Thanks to Dad.)
Descriptive Camera, 2012 — This is also very weirdly cool. A text-based camera. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)
‘GPS brain cells’ seen in pigeons — Researchers have spotted a group of 53 cells within pigeons’ brains that respond to the direction and strength of the Earth’s magnetic field.
Jupiter and the Moons of Earth — APOD again. Though I have to wonder why the phrase “Earth’s largest natural satellite” was used to describe the moon in this photo’s cutline. Did we really need the adjective “natural” for clarity there?
What are Those Weird Spirals on Mars’ Surface? — The giant coils suggest a mysterious network of valleys on the Martian surface were formed through volcanic activity.
Les Très Riches Heures de Mrs Mole: A Real-Life Ronald Searle Love Story — A lovely piece about coping with cancer through art. (Courtesy of fjm.)
More debunking of the ex-NASA 49 climate change deniers — Remember that embarrassingly bad letter written by 49 ex-NASA employees saying that global warming is a fraud and that NASA shouldn’t support it? Not that the people who need to read this piece will do so, and even if they do, they’ll just dismiss it as part of the hoax. Sorry, climate change denialists, but the facts are seriously biased against you.
Women’s Prayer Group Praying That the Women at MRFF All Get Incurable Breast Cancer — As the hymn goes, “They will know that we are Christians by our love.” And people wonder why I am an atheist.
Study of the Day: Even the Religious Lose Faith When They Think Critically — New research in Science shows that, unlike intuitive thinking, activating the analytical cognitive system promotes religious skepticism. Which dovetails nicely with the GOP’s decades long effort to tear down education in this country.
Satanazis III: Night of the Satanazis — Maybe you’re thinking this is just a snarky post, mocking a bunch of fringe characters for their over-the-top rhetoric and their literal demonization of their political opponents. But these aren’t just fringe characters telling us that liberals are Nazis who murder babies and love the Satan whom they serve. These are Roman Catholic bishops, state governors, influential clergy and elected officials saying this. The great legacy of conservatism of this era will be how it legitimized absolute lunacy.
Using U.S. Dollars, Zimbabwe Finds a Problem: No Change — (Thanks to Dad.)
The Children of Fallujah – Sayef’s story — The phosphorus shells that devastated this city were fired in 2004. But are the victims of America’s dirty war still being born?
GOP Sets Up A Showdown On Violence Against Women Act — “Unfortunately in Congress, there are some who’d like to make this a political play. They’d like to make cheap shots and try to politicize it in an election year,” said Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD). Right. Because no Republican ever has done anything like this, especially not to President Obama. We all know how principled the GOP is, after all.
We Are Not Stupid — Romney is still Romney and he’s still running as the head of a party that has spent the last few years pursuing a profoundly regressive agenda. Last few years? Try my entire lifetime.
?otd: Where did your week go?
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hour (WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bicycle ride
Hours slept: 6.0 (fitful)
Weight: 241.4 (!)
Currently reading: A Game of Thrones (graphic novel), George R.R. Martin with Daniel Abraham and Tommy Patterson
Posted: 5:29 am Fri April 27 2012 | Comments(0) |
[links] Link salad knows your history
Jay Lake. The Weight of History, the Lightness of the Future — Best SF with a review of my recent Sunspin novella at Subterranean Online.
Talking pineapple question on state exam stumps … everyone! — And more on this. Plus a hilarious response from author Daniel Pinkwater, who wrote the original source material from which the test was extracted. Weird stuff. (Via corwynofamber.)
Rhetological Fallacies — Errors and manipulations of rhetoric and logical thinking. Oddly, the second chart I saw yesterday illustrating this point. (Via tillyjane.)
Sticking hand into bee colony and moving them — A nifty video. (Via willyumtx.)
Quantum decision affects results of measurements taken earlier in time
‘History of Space Photography’ is out of this world
Rosetta Approaches Asteroid Lutitea — What would it look like to approach an asteroid in a spaceship? Though I also love this comment: Lutetian is currently the largest asteroid or comet nucleus that has been visited by a human-launched spacecraft. Since when have we needed to qualify the noun “spacecraft” with the adjective “human-launched”?
Private company does indeed plan to mine asteroids… and I think they can do it — Bad Astronomer Phil Plait on some very cool stuff.
Primate Change — Hahahaha.
Facts, 360 B.C.-A.D. 2012 — In memoriam: After years of health problems, Facts has finally died.
Legal Theory Lexicon: Persons and Personhood — In case you were wondering. (Via Scrivener’s Error.)
The day-to-day reality of enforcing immigration laws
Shift on Executive Power Lets Obama Bypass Rivals — Strangely enough, this story in Your Liberal Media makes it sound as if Obama had come up with this all on his own, for his own reasons, without ever actually mentioning deliberate Republican obstructionism or the GOP’s stated highest legislative priority of making Obama a one-term president. Nope, he’s just a power mad liberal, apparently.
The Amnesia Candidate — Mr. Romney wants you to attribute all of the shortfalls in economic policy since 2009 (and some that happened in 2008) to the man in the White House, and forget both the role of Republican-controlled state governments and the fact that Mr. Obama has faced scorched-earth political opposition since his first day in office. Basically, the G.O.P. has blocked the administration’s efforts to the maximum extent possible, then turned around and blamed the administration for not doing enough. But, but, Tea Party!
Jon Huntsman and the Grand Old Communist Party — Hahahah.
Rubio: George W. Bush Was a “Fantastic” President — By what conceivable standard? National security? 9-11 happened on his watch, and we were drawn into the Iraq war on blatantly false pretenses. Domestic security? The response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans should have been the scandal of the decade. The economy? That’s a farce that goes without saying. The Bush administration was one of the most colossal political failures since at least Herbert Hoover, proudly following conservative philosophies while driving this nation as deep into the ditch as we’ve been since the Great Depression. And Republicans think it was a success? Unfortunately for reality-based Americans, we really do get the government that we deserve.
RNC spokesman says Republicans will follow Bush economic policies, ‘just updated’ — Yeah, because that worked out so well during the Bush administration. I realize that all likely GOP voters blame Obama for everything that’s happened to the economy over the last twelve years, but here in reality land, some of us remember what the state of the economy, the Federal budget, and the deficit were when Bush took office, and what state they were in when he left.
?otd: Where were you born?
Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (3,000 words on Their Currents Turn Awry)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.0 (solid)
Weight: 240.2 (!)
Currently reading: Between books
Posted: 5:35 am Tue April 24 2012 | Comments(0) |
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