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[links] Link salad wakes up in its own bed for a change

Arriving late to the Sous-Vide partyJersey Girl in Portland on cooking.

The Singularity is Still Closer than it Appears — A response to Ramez Naam.

Effects of bullying may add up in kids: study — Also, this just in: water is wet! Bullying sure played a huge part in my 1970s childhood, and the adult response was largely what we would now call victim-blaming. It’s shaped my whole life. Luckily for me, I wound up in a high school where I could hold my own.

Twenty-five percent of Americans don’t know the Earth revolves around the Sun, survey finds — Sigh.

Following a long road to ancient DNASvante Pääbo, the man behind the Neanderthal genome, tells his story.

How Wolves Change Rivers — I’ve run into this before. It’s still damned cool. (Via David Goldman.)

Santa’s revenge: Arctic ice may be putting US in a long, deep freezeEvidence is mounting that a warming Arctic has set the jet stream loose.

Becoming A Moral MinorityJim Hinch tracks the decline of conservative religion.

Snake Salvation pastor dies from snake bite — Uh, yeah. That’s what happens when you convince yourself that faith trumps reality. Reality doesn’t care about your sincerely held beliefs.

Dear GOP: Top 5 Biblical Marriage Moments far worse than Gay Marriage — Ah, Biblical marriage. Conservative America really doesn’t read its own faith text at all.

Seriously, what is wrong with Kansas?It’s all about ginning up feelings of persecution among so-called “values voters” … over having to surrender the long-held prerogative to persecute. Lacking any grace or humility, these demagogues won’t leave the scene until they’ve discharged all their poison into our politics.

It’s the gunsHumans get into arguments, they get in each others faces and they sometimes come to blows. There is no way to ensure that will not happen. But these minor beefs — like texting in a movie theater — would very rarely be deadly if people weren’t packing heat! That’s the real issue here. The gun nuts like to say that an armed society is a polite society. That’s just another way of saying that if you are carrying a gun you can make people do what you want them to do — stop texting, stop playing music you don’t like, stop walking through the night with with some candy and a drink from 7-11, even “that’s my parking spot.”

Stand Your Ground is simply an invitation to more killing, not less crimeWe found that homicide rates in states with a version of the Stand Your Ground law increased by an average of 8 percent over states without it. Actual research, with actual “facts” and “data”, firmly backing what I and many other liberal-progressives have long thought about Stand Your Ground laws. This will of course mean nothing to gun rights enthusiasts, whose right to use deadly force at their sole discretion trumps my safety and yours.

White Men’s Freedoms and Black Men’s LivesThe research found that [Stand Your Ground] laws increase the likelihood that a homicide will be considered “justified,” but only in cases where a white person is accused of killing a black person.

A Bitter Valentine’s Day — A letter from inside Guantanamo Bay prison. Your tax dollars at work. (Via [info]danjite.)

?otD: Sleep well?


2/17/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (fitful and in pain)
Body movement: n/a (feeling poorly)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block who aren’t descended from monkeys: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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[cancer] A bit more detail on my oncological hypochondria

I’ve mentioned numerous times enjoying what I sarcastically refer to as “oncological hypochondria”. Meaning, experiencing every somatic change or irregularity in my body as if it were a sign of impending trouble on the cancer front.

This is less of a joke than it used to be, given that I am probably entering my terminal decline right now. It used to be that when I had a problem, I wondered if that meant the cancer was returning. Not so much any more. The disease is back with a pervasive, terminal vengeance. Now when I have a problem, I wonder if that means a step in my irreversible slide toward death.

Specific things that are going on right now:

Oversleeping — I am sleeping more than I used to. That’s normal for any post-operative patient, and I am recently post-operative. It’s also one of the specific markers of terminal decline, at least given my most likely failure modes. I cannot judge whether the oversleeping is one, the other or both.

Reduced energy — For example, Lisa Costello and I yesterday took the Metro from Rockville to DC to have lunch with her Day Jobbe workgroup, which is based in downtown DC. Two forty-five minute Metro rides and twenty minutes of walking back and forth in the cold absolutely wiped me out physically and mentally for the rest of the day. As with the oversleeping, this could be a post-operative issue, or a harbinger of terminal decline, or both.

Kennel cough — I’ve got a very odd little cough these days. It’s not connected to a sore throat, post-nasal drip, or any sign of impending infection. I just cough, a tiny, little apologetic thing like a baby’s cough, that often comes in pairs. My best guess is that I am producing more saliva than I used to, and it’s draining into the back of my throat. What the hell does this mean? I don’t know. Cue more worry.

Chest pain — Ok, let’s get real. I had a right thoracotomy less than three weeks ago. Of course I have chest pain. But the pain has settled in a spot below and to the left of my right pectoral. Which was in no way directly affected by the surgery. Likely this is a knot of referred pain, perhaps the trunk end of the nerve on that rib, but it’s persistent and annoying, and seems to be happily outlasting the receding pain from the surgery site itself. (Sites, actually, since I had VATS surgery, meaning there are five small but distinct entry and exit wounds.) What does that mean?

Appetite — My appetite continues irregular. I eat a very modest breakfast, tend to eat a full lunch or close to it, and eat a very modest dinner. I’m pretty sure my calorie intake is below target now, though we don’t have a scale in the hotel, so I can’t track any weight swings, which for me based on experience are known to be a pretty good proxy for calorie intake. Like extended sleep hours and daytime lassitude, reduced appetite and weight loss are symptoms I’ve been told to expect in the process of terminal decline.

In a sense, this is all dithering. I’m dying. That is a thing which is true. What we’re up to here at NIH might buy me some time, maybe months, maybe a year, though more likely not. It won’t cure me. My body is under assault from within, and at some point this endless stubbornness of mine that has kept me going will collapse under that assault. Still, I watch the signs, wondering which twinges are just middle age and hard use, and which twinges are glaring idiot lights on my personal dashboard of death.

Weirdly, some days I just want to get on with the business of it. So, weirdly, some days I almost hope for the worst.

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[personal] The things I did yesterday

I slept in.

I watched the beach out of the windows of our hotel room.

I had the last stitches from my thoracic surgery removed at an urgent care facility here in Ocean City. (Ouch.) Some pleasantly unexpected personal kindnesses were exchanged.

Lisa Costello and evacuated our room when the hotel alarms went off, slogging through the near-freezing, blowing sideways rain to reach the lobby rather than walk through the building. There we spent twenty minutes or so chatting with the day manager whilst emergency responders tramped around the hotel verifying that it was a false alarm.

I re-read some C.J. Cherryh. I’m still not doing well with new material, but I’m able to reread old material which appeals to me.

We had a truly excellent calzone for dinner at Pizza Tugos.

How was your day?

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[links] Link salad has got an ache in its side

“Quoth” the raven? The heartwarming tale of a defective verb — I’ve never before heard of this class of words.

Google puts prescription lenses in Glass’ frame — If I live so long, and if I have the money, man would I want these.

What’s Ikea for? Cultural Differences in Appropriate Behavior

In South Korea, Spam Is the Stuff Gifts Are Made Of — (Thanks to Dad.)

One of the strangest animals on earth gets a little weirderDespite having 12 photoreceptors, mantis shrimp aren’t great at sensing color.

The Sloth’s Busy Inner LifeEvery week or so, the sloth descends from its favorite tree to defecate. I know the feeling. (Via David Goldman.)

Japan’s huge magnetic net will trawl for space junk — (Via [info]corwynofamber.)

Where The Alps Are A 3D-Printed Landscape Made From Artificial Snow

From Warheads to Cheap EnergyThomas L. Neff’s Idea Turned Russian Warheads Into American Electricity. Reading by bombsight. (Via David Goldman.)

A Cross-National Investigation into the Effects of Religiosity on the Pervasiveness of CorruptionIt is found that even after controlling for the effects of socioeconomic development, communist heritage and religiosity tend to promote corruption. Interesting if true. Not sure this isn’t some kind of elaborate trolling which happens to cater to my personal confirmation bias. (Via [info]danjite.)

Please Let’s Not Make Fun of the Poor

Tom Perkins Is The Hitler of Making Accurate Comparisons — Oh, the burden of the wealthy.

The Text that Changed the WorldOn Tuesday the Ukrainian government sent the following text message to thousands of protesters in the streets of Kiev: “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.” This short text belied a far more radical message. For the first time, a government was able to identify individual protesters and privately communicate to them that it knew who they were and where they were located. Well. I certainly have a thorough understanding of this technology, and a thorough-going fear of these politics. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Republicans unveil Obamacare replacement plan: Everybody pays more — Ah, market forces.

Meet 330 Lawmakers Who Made 2013 “A Terrible Year for Women’s Health” — 94% of them are Republicans.

Thinking Like a Conservative (Part Five): Epistemology and Empathy — In their own words, of course.

Rand Paul’s Mixed Inheritance — (Via Dad.)

?otD: Had any holes cut in you lately?


1/28/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 4.0 hours (badly fitful)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

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[links] Link salad see them every night in tight blue jeans in the pages of a blue boy magazine

The Allure of the Map — Map, meet territory. (Snurched from Scrivener’s Error.)

The History of Smoked BrisketIt’s definitely not what you’d expect. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Grand Canyon ‘formed recently’

Holocaust Told in One Word, 6 Million Times

Audi Bets on Bio Gasoline Startup — Gas in a jar someday, grown in your own home.

Climate scientist’s defamation suit allowed to go forwardCalling a scientist a fraud could be defamatory. If climate change skeptics had good attacks on the data, they wouldn’t need to resort to ad hominem attacks on the investigators. If you know someone who’s on the fence about climate change, point that out to them.

Double Homicide Victims’ Names ReleasedDeputies say he admitted to shooting the two men because he thought they were trespassing on his property. Sheriff McComas says the land actually belonged to Garrick Hopson. He had just purchased it and was showing his brother where he and his family were planning to build their new home in the coming weeks. Yup. Guns definitely make us all safer.

Colo. GOP propose election law changesColorado Republicans are taking aim at a new requirement that every registered voter get a ballot by mail. A system which has worked very well here in Oregon, with voter fraud rates almost immeasurably low (though there has been registration fraud, oddly perpetrated mostly by Republican operatives) and improving turnout. I cannot imagine what the GOP would have against fraud-free, high-turnout system.

?otD: Do you want to go out with a lion’s roar?


1/27/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: n/a (in hospital)
Weight: n/a (in hospital)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad wishes you a thoughtful and reflective Martin Luther King Day

Fun with English Oronyms — I didn’t know the word ‘oronym’, so I’ve learned something new. Yay!

A sweet and savory step too far? New fast food chain specializes in CHOCOLATE deep-fried chicken — Because reasons. (Thanks, I think, to [info]garyomaha.)

‘Sky Whale’ Future of Flight?

Giant laser could arrange particles into enormous space telescope — What could possibly go wrong?

Did life start with a replicating molecule or a metabolism?Despite lots of progress on the origins of biomolecules, we’re still not sure.

Science: Australia Is a Gigantic SpongeHow rising sea levels are affected by one weird continent (Via The Nib.)

Trans woman asks anti-gay bigot if he`d like to stone her

World’s 85 richest have same wealth as 3.5 billion poorest — I wonder which group works harder. Well, ok. Actually, I don’t wonder.

Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did — (Via [info]danjite.)

?otD: Do you remember the Revered Dr. King?


1/20/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 239.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad knows there is a time to dance, a time to mourn

This Guy’s Wife Got Cancer, So He Did Something Unforgettable. The Last 3 Photos Destroyed Me. — (Via Joyce Scrivner.)

Bill Keller, Get Well Soon: You’re sick — More on the criticism of people who fight their cancer battles in public. This is sad, terrible stuff. Nostalgia for the old conspiracy of silence surround serious illness is so profoundly misplaced and inhumane. (Via [info]goulo.)

Jewish Surnames Explained

Kevin Andrew Murphy on Jack Chick passing the Bechdel test with respect to gaming — Oh, wow. My head hurts.

Eating ‘Paleo?’ Don’t Forget Worms and Tubers

The ‘Nutcracker Man’ Diet: Extinct Species Of Early Human Survived on ‘Tiger Nuts,’ Not Meat

Lost Remains of Slain Ancient Queen Unearthed

African tigerfish catch swallows in flight — Yow.

A Trip to the Moon — About Georges Méliès and his 1902 movie, Le voyage dans la lune.

It’s all work and no play for SpaceShipTwo pilot on virgin flight

Virtual Museum of Decorated Windows — This architectural neepery is interesting in a slightly worry way. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Why I Bought A House In Detroit For $500 After college, as my friends left Michigan for better opportunities, I was determined to help fix this broken, chaotic city by building my own home in the middle of it. I was 23 years old. (Via Lisa Costello.)

The great decoupling: another phrase for an end to 20th century capital economics

About that consensus on global warming: 9136 agree, 1 disagrees — Climate change denial is like evolution denial. It’s a political position taken for ideological reasons which has no grounding in evidence-based reality. Consider this: no one arrives at either evolution denial or climate change denial after a dispassionate review of the evidence. There is always an ideological starting point, followed by a search for a convincing explanation to justify the desired ideology. That’s pretty much the opposite of how science works. The constant conservative pretense otherwise is a disgrace to American politics, media and education, and a clear and present danger to our national interests. (Via Scrivener’s Error.)

Fossil Fuels causing Antarctic Glacier to Melt Irreversibly, raise Sea Levels — Nothing to see here, citizens. Move along. Just liberal “facts” and “data”, which as any good conservative knows are lies from the pit of Hell.

Beyond Fire and Brimstone — A different view of the Christian ethic of eternal torment. (Thanks to [info]daveraines.)

Catholic Church Didn’t Have a ProblemIt simply never occurred to the Catholic Church to oppose health care plans that offer contraceptive coverage until opposing the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act became a priority for the Republican Party. Nice to see America’s Christian leadership upholding Biblical standards, which by amazing coincidence swiftly evolve to repeatedly coincide with the conservative political agenda. Smug Republican Jesus smiles upon them. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Chemical Spill Shuts Down Much Of W.Va. Capital — Remember kids, regulations are always bad for the economy. That’s the most important thing. Only stupid liberal moonbats care about drinkable water when there’s quarterly profits at stake.

Keeping Public Buildings Free of Guns Proves Too Costly for Kansas TownsReasoning that more guns mean greater safety, Kansas lawmakers voted last year to require cities and counties to make public buildings accessible to people legally carrying concealed weapons. Because 30,000 gun deaths a year is a small price for you and I and everyone else in America to pay for gun owners’ illusion of safety, that’s why.

Road Rage Victim Made Multiple 911 Calls — Another proud gun owner acting in theoretical defense of his essential liberties by slaughtering an innocent driver. Ask any conservative: more guns means more safety. Now ask the victim.

Coffee With RefugeesIn Lebanon’s Mountains, Syrians Face a Grim Future. (Snurched from The Nib.)

Anatomy of an Obamacare ‘horror story’ — Surprise! Conservatives lie about the ACA, Your Liberal Media does no fact checking. Hmm, the sun must have risen in the east this morning. Also, water is wet. (Via David Goldman.)

Democracy and the Christie phenomenonHe is leading up to an explanation as to why people like the bullying tough guy types such as Chris Christie — they are looking for someone to “take charge” in a world in which they feel a loss of control. That’s a pretty good encapsulation of the whole of modern conservatism. That’s what people wanted from Reagan, after all.

Fox’s Hume: Christie Seen As A Bully Because He’s An “Old Fashioned Guy’s Guy” In Today’s “Feminized Atmosphere” — Actually, Christie is seen as a bully because he’s a bully. Pure and simple. To some people, especially many conservatives longing for a powerful authority figure, that’s admirable manliness, but those people who admire this behavior are wrong and frankly a bit sick in the head.

?otD: Is there a time for peace? Is it too late?


1/13/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.75 hours (interrupted fitful)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 238.8
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad heads back to the west coast

Bechdel Test Movie List — Huh. I think seven of my ten novels pass the Bechdel test. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

10 abandoned hotels

Blaze ravages ancient Tibetan town

Mmm, vintage coffee

Decline of large carnivores damages ecosystems, experts warnResearchers recently called for an international initiative to conserve large predators in coexistence with people.

Metamaterials could perform calculus with light wavesA properly structured material could convert a light wave to its derivative. Science!

New discovery could be a Thorne-Zytkow object — Astronomical turducken? (Via David Goldman.)

Rise of the distorporationA mutation in the way companies are financed and managed will change the distribution of the wealth they create. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

American Conservatives, Jewish Law, and Israel’s New Abortion Policy — In which the intellectual and moral consistency of the American Right is proudly on display once again. It’s so nice to know that our nation’s conservative religious leaders would never stoop to political expediency when Biblical principle is at stake. Wait, sorry, the sarcasm bit got stuck on and dialed up to 11. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

How Newsweek’s ‘global cooling’ story got its legsNine paragraphs written for Newsweek in 1975 continue to trump 40 years of climate science. It’s a record that has the author amazed. Conservatives are not interested in evidence, except that which supports their position. Contrary evidence is ignored because of the well-known liberal bias in reality. Meanwhile, science really does change its collective mind about things. That a theory being explored 40 years might have changed since then due to more compelling evidence to the contrary is apparently inconceivable to conservatives. Confidential to GOP in America: that flexibility is a feature, not a bug, in science. There really is no “gotcha” in pointing out that scientists changed their minds about something over time.

?otD: How far will you go today?


1/11/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (fitful)
Body movement: n/a (airport walking to come)
Weight: n/a (traveling, no scale)
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[food|friends] Last night’s open dinner

Last night, Lisa Costello and I went to our open dinner. Despite the very crummy weather, we had a nice turnout: Joe Jordan, John Sapienza, Evelyn Kriete and GD Falksen.

IMG_2752

A good time was had by all, amid good food and fun conversation. I’m really sorry the weather kept some other folks away. Once I understand my schedule better, I will try to offer another opportunity.

Photo © 2014, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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[food|repost] Open dinner in Rockville, Maryland Sunday 2014-01-05

This is a repost, with light edits for clarity.

As mentioned, I am holding an open dinner today, Sunday January 5th, at 5 pm at Gordon Biersch in Rockville, MD.

200 East Middle Lane, Unit A
Rockville, MD 20850
301-340-7159

As always, these are Dutch treat, and anyone who can read this is invited. We don’t need to be old friends or even online acquaintances, though I do love to see my friends. The whole point is to meet people, after all.

I’m aware the weather today may be poor, but it’s the only time slot I have this trip than I can commit to without the reasonable possibility of cancellation. Unless the weather is truly dreadful, I will be there. Please RSVP if you can, it helps with talking to the restaurant.

See some, all or none of you there!

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