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[links] Link salad is a Melkotian object

Green, Book Review — Not so much with the liking of my novel.

It’s happening again! — My dear friend [info]garyomaha talks about the costs of segmentation in media and society.

Red Hong Yi renders Chinese scenes from makeup — Impressive. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Lego Hell — Oh, wow. Hahaha. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Chandre Oraon, Man With Tail, Worshipped As God (But Not By His Wife)

33 Powerful And Creative Print Ads That’ll Make You Look Twice — Some of these are amazing. Some are questionable. They’re all worth looking at. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Wildly detailed drawings that combine math and butterflies — Amazing stuff.

Photos by Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji in Iran of mosque art — (Via Lisa Costello.)

Genome Surgery — Here comes the future.

NASA Mars Orbiters spots clues to possible water flows

Star Wars planets migrate into position around stellar pairsTatooine orbited two stars; now researchers believe planets like this actually exist.

Australian researchers say they have found the oldest star in the known universe, 6000 light years from Earth

Does a More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex? — Wow are there a lot of unexamined cultural assumptions embedded in this article, especially around the supposed natural inviolability of monogamy.

NRA Board Member: Bullied Children Commit Suicide Because Young Boys Have Been “Neutered” — Ah, the magical sense of social responsibility that comes with gun ownership.

My Baby and AOL’s Bottom LineThat “distressed baby” who Tim Armstrong blamed for benefit cuts? She’s my daughter.

Greenland glacier sets glacial speed recordWater pressure greases the skids for Jakobshavn, clocked at 2 meters per hour.

Business as usual + sea level rise = losses of up to 9% of global GDPBut losses should be less if we’re not dumb enough to keep building on coasts.

Sowing Seeds: An Ex-Christian’s Thoughts on the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debateee, there’s this stereotype in Christian culture (and elsewhere) that atheists are joyless, unhappy God-haters with hearts full of anger and lives devoid of purpose. That makes loss of faith a scary prospect, because who wants a life like that? Just by being himself, letting his love of science shine through, Nye demonstrated how joy, wonder, excitement, passion, and purpose — all things religious people tend to associate with service to God — can be a part of an atheist’s life. (To be fair, I don’t know for sure what Nye’s beliefs are, but Creationist fundamentalism does rather tend to lump together evolution belief and atheism, along with homosexuality, Communism, and baby-eating.) Yes, this. Atheists can be and often are moral, ethical, joyful people. Just as with any group of human beings. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

I’m a Member of the American ‘Used-to-Haves’Watching John Boehner and the Republican Congress during the past few years has been a stunning confirmation of their seeming disregard for the “Used-to-Haves.” As they pull down salaries of $174,000 a year, unparalleled benefits and the option of voting themselves a raise, their selfishness is unrivaled as they barricade health care reform, knowingly shut down the government, cut SNAP benefits and eliminate extended unemployment payments.

A commentor responds to my post on the 1% and hard work — Worth the read, as he has personal experience at multiple levels of the economy, unlike myself. I’ve never held those hard, low-end jobs, not even in my student job days. My first paid jobs were as a government clerk, then as a bank courier.

Tree Lobsters on economic inequality — Be sure to read the mouseover text.

Chastened G.O.P. Tries to Foil Insurgents at Primary LevelOne of the biggest challenges for Republican leaders in the 2014 midterm elections will be how to hang on to the Tea Party support that has been so instrumental to the party’s growth, while winning back voters alienated by hard-right candidates. I dunno. Maybe by not taking hard-right positions? Confidential to GOP in America: Try the evidence-based worldview for a change. You’d be amazed how differently things look when you factor in facts, data and actual history instead of an “unskewed” ideological narrative.

Tea Party Ain’t Over Yet: How Conservatives Still Control Congress — It seems like not so long ago that people in my end of the blogosphere were angrily defending the Tea Party as an independent, non-partisan grass roots movement. How’d that work out?

Leave The Poets AloneTrey Gowdy is a member of the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives. As such, Trey Gowdy is dedicated to working the job of governing the country as little as possible. When you elect people who think government is a failure, is it any surprise when they work for the failure of government? That such nonsensical thinking has achieved such political prominence in America is one of the great shames of our time.

Welfare StateWashington’s Republican counties depend on Western Washington’s money. How can they survive the state budget cuts they demand? Welcome to conservative America, where evidence-based thinking is proudly rejected. And yes, this phenomenon of rural conservatives opposing the very tax structure that benefits them most based on counterfactual ideological beliefs about the direction in which the money flows repeats within many states across the US, as well as at the state/Federal level. As the article comments, The irony here is not that those who benefit most from state spending are paying the least; that’s kinda the way these things are supposed to work. No, the irony is that those rural communities that are most dependent on the state—whose roads and schools and other essential public services couldn’t possibly be maintained without generous state subsidies—are also those least likely to vote for the tax dollars necessary to sustain these services. (Via David Goldman.)

CBO: Guys, We Didn’t Say Obamacare Would Cost 2.5 Million Jobs — Hmm. Unthinkable that the GOP should substantially misrepresent an important ACA point in a way that casts an unfavorable light on the president. Conservative intellectual honesty and moral probity would never permit such a thing.

?otD: How many to beam up?


2/11/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 15 minutes stationary bike (resuming exercise post-operative)
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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[links] Link salad watches the Cadillacs go creeping now through the night and the poison gas

The Science Fiction Author on Trial (NIH trial, that is!) fundraiser made goal. Thank you! Meanwhile, I am still in the hospital recovering from the surgery required for the first phase TIL cell harvest. We are working on some stretch goals, if you’re interested. Keep an eye out.

Jay Lake: Der verborgene Hof – DREIMAL IM PREISRÄTSEL AUF SFBASAR.DE! — More on the German edition of Green.

A Lion in the Garden — The miracle of translation.

Homophonophobia — Ah,linguistics humor.

Antique Phonograph with Stirling Engine Hot Air Motor — Mmm. Alcohol fueled phonograph! What could possibly go wrong? (Via [info]danjite.)

What reviewers said about the first Mac when it debuted 30 years ago

The 25 most common passwords of 2013

American Locomotive: 1943 — Tanks built in a train plant.

Scientific Thinking in Business More than technology, businesses need the scientific method.

Fox News Math Fail: 137% Of Likely NJ Voters Weigh In On Gov. Christie’s GWB Scandal (INFOGRAPHIC) — Hello? FOX wrong about basic things like arithmetic. This just in: water is wet. (Snurched from Steve Buhcheit.)

Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?I would call attention to the parallels of Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.” This is in the Wall Street Journal. Sometimes there simply are no words.

The Brittle Grip, Part 2 — Josh Marshall with some analysis of the Perkins piece. The extremely wealthy are objectively far wealthier, far more politically powerful and find a far more indulgent political class than at any time in almost a century – at least. And yet at the same time they palpably feel more isolated, abused and powerless than at any time over the same period and sense some genuine peril to the whole mix of privileges, power and wealth they hold. There is a disconnect there that is so massive and glaring that it demands some sociocultural explanation.

GOProud co-founder gives up, leaves Republican Party[T]his is a man who has spent five years with his hand on an oven burner suddenly phoning up a reporter and saying “You know what? Fire hot.”

Long Grove plan may pave way to privatize public roads — Living in Libertarian paradise… Me, I am the kind of pinko who likes the fire department to be able to reach my house, and the food distributors to reach my neighborhood grocery stores. (Snurched from Steve Buhcheit.)

Time To Start Asking Republicans Directly: How Much Sex Is Too Much Sex? — Since Mike Huckabee raised the issue, it’s time to start discussing it. This is a terrific beginning.

?otD: All these hunters who are shrieking now, oh do they speak for us?


1/26/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 5.0 hours (badly 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 swears by its pretty floral bonnet

Der verborgene Hof — A review of the German edition of Green. Insofar as I can tell, the reviewer wasn’t too thrilled.

WCMX: Taking Wheelchairs To New Heights — I am boggled. (Thanks to Lis.)

Smoking Is Worse Than You Imagined

Manufacturing OrgansHarvard Bioscience spin-off is stepping up its production of synthetic tracheas to supply clinical trials.

Defying Japan, Rancher Saves Fukushima’s Radioactive Cows — (Thanks to Dad.)

What scientific idea is ready for retirement — This makes for some interesting reading. (Snurched from Scrivener’s Error.)

Is the Universe Made of Math?

Hibernating spacecraft Rosetta to awaken for comet chase

Rising Tide Is a Mystery That Sinks Island Hopes — Weird story about a Caribbean lake. (Thanks to Dad.)

Men with sledgehammers rob crowded Memphis mall — Proving that yes, you don’t need a gun to commit a crime. But how many people were killed with sledgehammers last year?

Whose Economic Recovery Is It?

19 things conservatives insist on comparing to slavery

?otD: How tight are your pants?


1/19/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.75 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 239.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad wakes up in its own bed

Jay Lake livre son génome — I love the translation of my attribution, The author of the largely unknown Jade…

Neanderthals ‘could speak like us’ — “Ooh-bi-doo, I wan’na be like you / I want to walk like you, talk like you, too…“ Everybody sing!

Dutch masters paintings deconstructed — This is pretty intense.

Will Commercial Space Travel Blast Off in 2014?

Big Dig West — Wow, this is serious stupidity up in Seattle, thanks to WSDOT.

Back in the Pulpit After Losing His Church, and Still Supporting Gay Marriage

Cosmas IndicopleustesCosmas composed his Christian Topography over a number of years, after he had retired to monastic life. He aimed at proving, contrary to prevailing Greek and some Christian theories, that the universe had the same shape as Moses’ tabernacle, that it was in the form of a cube and not a sphere. The earth was a flat, oblong table, 12,000 miles long and 6,000 miles wide, surrounded by ocean beyond which was Paradise, where Adam and Eve had lived (cf. II.43). The whole area was surrounded by high, perpendicular mountains on which the vault of heaven rested. Between heaven and earth lay the firmament, dividing the universe into two stages. God and the just dwelt on the upper level, to which man would be admitted after the Resurrection; on the lower was humanity in this life. And see here. (Thanks, ultimately, to Felix Gilman.)

Noah’s Extremely Bad Animal Husbandry AdviceBy their estimates, 16,000 land animals and birds, including dinosaurs, were on the ark. Uh, yeah. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Heat Wave Stifles AustraliaTemperatures topping 118° F, 48° C, baked eastern Australia during the final days of 2013 and first week of 2014.

Ford Exec: ‘We Know Everyone Who Breaks The Law’ Thanks To Our GPS In Your Car — Apparently there has since been a retraction. Gee, I wonder why. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Judge in “kids for cash” ruled liable for damage — It’s so rare for people who work in the judicial system to face consequences for misconduct, especially when the victims are essentially helpless and have no real social power. See our nation’s long and shameful history of essential zero consequences for prosecutorial misconduct, for example. This story continues to amaze me.

Freedom to lie[S]ome members of the court are concerned that the anti-abortion zealots are being obstructed from lying. You can’t blame them. Blatant dishonesty is a big part of the forced childbirth movement strategy and at least a handful of justices are undoubtedly fully on board with that tactic. Yeah, that whole Ten Commandment about not bearing false witness? Smug Republican Jesus gives His followers a pass on that one every time.

NJ Democrat lawmaker on traffic scandal: ‘I do think laws have been broken’ — As any Republican can tell you, rumors of a presidential blow job are far, far more politically important than abuse of power for petty political payback a part of a long term pattern of bullying and intimidation.

?otD: Did you walk alone in restless dreams?


1/12/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (extremely fitful)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 240.4
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 gets punctured

Fantasy Novels — A reader reacts to, among other books, my novel Green. Very much not with the liking. Hilariously snarky, in fact. I highly approve of this review.

Scrivener’s Error is grumpy about (among other things) the SF/F community’s awards nomination process — A topic on which Generalissimo (ret.) Scalzi was opining yesterday.

Historic, Eccentric Wills Go Online

Kraft says Velveeta running low; fans warn of ‘cheesepocalypse’

A Giant Twisting Serpent Skeleton Emerges from the Loire River in France — Oooh. (Via Lisa Costello.)

The Science Behind Ageing Sharks: Study Reveals Great Whites Can Live More Than 70 Years

Will We Find Habitable ‘Super-Earths?’

Search for exomoons turns up fluffy, Earth-sized planetIt’s so fluffy!

No, the Polar Vortex Does Not Disprove Global Warming — Unless you’re blinded by ideology and willful ignorance, of course, in which case the only evidence you’ll accept is negative evidence. Hello, conservative America.

Pastor tries atheism, loses jobs, gains $19,000 — Hmm. I’m not sure this is truly atheism so much as pretending to live as an atheist, but I am still impressed. (Thanks to [info]shsilver.)

Israeli government offers women aged 20 to 33 free abortions — Wonder how that will play on the American Right? (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Ohio police: Man stopped for speeding had 48 bombs — Hmm. A white conservative patriot with a carload of bombs. Heard this story? What if he’d been a Muslim? Think you would have heard about that? (Via Karen Williams.)

Top Christie aide linked to GWB lane-closing controversy — And people think this guy should be president? He makes Sarah Palin’s corrupt political pettiness during her tenure as governor look like Sunday school.

Christie says he was misled on GWB lane closures — If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. Christie is infamous for his hardball vindictiveness and generally abusive approach to people he doesn’t agree with. This is a highly documented, long term character flaw. Who could possibly be fooled by his denials now? Well, other than pretty much every conservative voter in the country, of course. Remember kids, character counts… if you’re a Democrat.

?otD: Got apheresis?


1/9/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (fitful)
Body movement: n/a (up too early for hotel gym)
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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[links] Link salad says, “Son can you play me a memory, I’m not really sure how it goes.”

Gimbling in the Wabe – My Favorite Reviewed Books of 2013 — In which my novel Green receives an interesting commentary.

“Human Cheese” Only the First Course for Odd CheesesAdventurous eaters have plenty of cheese to choose from. Lisa Costello claims these are cheeses even I would not eat.

When it comes to giving gifts, we’re hardly aloneThe drive to exchange presents is ancient, transcultural and by no means limited to Homo sapiens. Researchers have found striking examples of gift-giving across the phyletic landscape in insects, spiders, mollusks, birds and mammals. (Thanks to David Goldman.)

A Perspective on Time — This is pretty cool. Sort of like those “powers of ten” things floating around. (Via [info]garyomaha.)

OK, Glass: Show me what’s next for GoogleGoogle Glass is expected to reach store shelves sometime in 2014. When it does, the connected headset could do more than change the wearables market: it could change Google, too. If they ever release a version for prescription lenses, I’d be on this like white on rice.

The dark money in climate changeAbout 75 percent of the money backing climate-denial efforts is untraceable, primarily via conservative foundations and shadowy tax-exempt groups that obscure their funding sources. What’s notable is that many of the big industrial funders — ExxonMobil and Koch Industries chief among them — have withdrawn their publicly traceable funding in recent years, and that withdrawal tracked closely with an increase in untraceable funding. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out what’s happening there.

Study: Plants Might Lack Traits Needed to Cope With Climate Change — Thank God for Rush Limbaugh and the Republican party. Without their help, America might be tempted to take potential problems like this seriously.

Solar variability has a small effect on climate changeFor the last 1,200 years of the Northern Hemisphere, at least. Hey, look. Science, not ideological cherry picking. And yes, science is often wrong. But unlike ideology, it has mechanisms for self-correction.

Children’s Books and Segregation in the Workplace

Like a virgin (mother): analysis of data from a longitudinal, US population representative sample surveyObjective: To estimate the incidence of self report of pregnancy without sexual intercourse (virgin pregnancy) and factors related to such reporting, in a population representative group of US adolescents and young adults. Ah, the wonders of abstinence-based sex education. Like most conservative ideas, an utter failure even in terms of its own internal logic. (Via David Goldman.)

It’s Over — Josh Marshall on the continuing collapse of unconstitutional state-sponsored Christianist anti-gay bigotry.

For Team Jonah, the Bible condemns interracial marriageHere’s conservative columnist Dennis Prager saying something that isn’t true: No religion practiced in America –€“ indeed, no world religion –€“ has ever banned interracial marriage. Umm… Wow. That is so stupid it doesn’t really deserve comment.

Living with the threat of being blown upApparently we have reached a tipping point in which no American can be held responsible for the destruction of others’ lives by their fellow citizens, whether through economic ruin or the kind of violence perpetrated by the right wing gun fetishists. You want to live in the US? Then you obviously agree that your life will always be at risk from anyone who wants to make a buck. To do otherwise would curtail the efficiency of the economic engine of our society. Yep. Regulations bad, free enterprise good. Why I am not a conservative, part 2,074.

Benghazi Consular attack was Local, not al-Qaeda: NYT Correspondent Demolishes GOP Talking Points — What? Conservative talking points that turn out to be false? Impossible! Why, that hasn’t ever happened in at least hours!

?otD: Did you ever know it complete?


12/29/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: n/a (traveling, no scale)
Number of FEMA troops on my block falsifying climate change data: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad for a rainy Solstice Saturday

In which our collaborate novel Our Lady of the Islands, written by me and Shannon Page, finds a home

Jade par Jay Lake — A French review of the French translation of my book Green. Some complaints, but I interpret the Google Translate version as generally positive.

Textopornographie: France creates its own word for ‘sexting’ — Of course they did. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Party Down: 100 Years of the Crossword Puzzle

Amazing Shadow Sculptures by Tim Noble and Sue Webster — Wow. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Photos: 2013’s Most Terrifying Weather Disasters

Scientists Send World’s First Text Message Using Vodka — Because reasons!

Algae go in, biocrude oil comes out

Damage suffered by Mars rover Curiosity’s aluminum wheels raise concern

‘Perfect’ Electron Roundness Bruises Supersymmetry

People worried about food poisoning, however, should treat chicken as a hazard in the kitchen.People worried about food poisoning, however, should treat chicken as a hazard in the kitchen. (Via David Goldman.)

New Mexico becomes 17th gay marriage state — Another bigotry domino falls. Another state abandons senseless hatred cloaked in religious privilege in favor of a sane and moral approach to its citizens.

Federal judge strikes down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage — Wow. I would have bet good money that either Utah or Nebraska would the last stand of religious bigotry in this country when it comes to persecuting gays. This is beyond shocking.

In Striking Down Utah’s Gay Marriage Ban, Judge Gives Scalia Big Bear Hug — Ah, legal trolling.

New Jersey Senate Passes Transgender Birth Certificate BillEarlier this week, The Advocate reported on the status of a bill intended to make the often-difficult and cost-prohibitive process of updating identification documents easier for transgender individuals in New Jersey. This in the state that elected Chris Christie as governor? Wow…

‘Duck Dynasty’: White evangelicals rallying for racism — It makes smug Republican Jesus smile.

Phil Robertson’s America The Duck Dynasty star’s warped vision of civil-rights history feeds his warped view of today’s gay-rights struggle. Ta-Nehisi Coates with some perspective that should shame any white person, regardless of your politics.

Is the “War on Christmas” about Christmas?For these commenters, the so-called War on Christmas is about much more than a competition between religious and secular forces, it’s also about the centrality of whiteness and a defense of “true” Canadianness against an influx of foreign cultures. It is worth considering whether, in general, this debate is really code for racism and anti-immigrant sentiment more generally. I dunno. Do conservatives ever fixate on race and immigration? Seems beneath them, somehow.

“You’re Days Are Numbered”: On Death Threats And Gun RightsSo what do you think about the NRA’s advocacy? Just curious, since their essay resulted in death threats to me, threats of rape to my wife, and threats of abduction and murder of my six-month-old daughter from the people who read the NRA’s column. Personally, I think a little bit less of an organization like the NRA, which incites their members to threaten rape and murder and the abduction of babies. Guns make us all safer. Especially in the hands of patriotic NRA members like these folks. Only liberal pussies like me could possibly doubt that tools designed for human death in the hands of angry, irrational people could possibly be any kind of threat in a society which cheerfully accepts 30,000 gun deaths a year without question.

Military retirees: You betrayed us, CongressMilitary retirees are outraged that Congress will start voting Thursday on a budget deal that trims military pensions, calling the move “an egregious breach of faith.” Actually, the weakening of any pension — city government, union, corporate, Federal, military — is an egregious breach of faith. But one that companies, courts and politicians are all to eager to embrace at any turn, especially when there are investors whose returns must be protected. Of course, that attitude almost certainly makes me a mouth-breathing Socialist. (Via [info]danjite.)

Wyoming Senate race 2014: Liz Cheney husband Phil Perry on vote rolls in 2 states — Imagine if you will for a moment if a Democratic Senate candidate’s spouse were registered to vote in two states. There would be calls in the House for a Federal investigation, and the story would top the cycle of Your Liberal Media for weeks, and the conservative echo chamber for months. But a Republican candidate’s spouse? This dog will be dead by Sunday. Because conservatism is more moral, dammit.

$22.62/Hr: The Minimum Wage if it had Risen Like the Incomes of the 1% — I cannot even bring myself to be sarcastic about this.

Did 17 Illegal Voters in Ohio Steal the 2012 Election?And a great deal of legal work has come up dry in the hunt for the mythical “buses of illegal voters” being spirited in from cities or campuses to stuff the polls. But if you just read Fox, you’ve learned that the voter fraud problem is very real. That’s because conservatives are almost always wrong both on the plain face of the facts, and on the basis their “ideas”. Lying is the only way to make the conservative case. Bearing false witness makes smug Republican Jesus smile, after all, because it’s one of those optional Ten Commandments. (Snurched from John Sapienza.)

?otD: Got your collar turned to the cold and damp?


12/21/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 237.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block falsifying climate change data: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad bumbles into a faraway weekend

Jade — A middling review of the French edition of my novel Green.

The Jay Wake Book is Complete — Hooray for Sandra Tayler, hero of the revolution!

Classic TV show maps – in picturesAt first the arrangements seem random, but with Monty Python’s Flying Circus across the road from Fawlty Towers, and The Killing adjacent to The Bridge (and The Tunnel), this street map for TV addicts includes more than 700 television shows, linked by a multifarious set of connections. (Thanks to AH.)

What makes creativity tick?While some believe creativity is spontaneous, Michigan State University neuroscientist Jeremy Gray suspects there’s a lot of hard work going on in the brain even when the proverbial light bulb going off feels effortless. Like hell creativity is spontaneous. I mean, of course it can be, but any working creative professional can tell you that there’s a lot of discipline, structure and work involved. As a society, we have such odd notions about writers and artists. (Via David Goldman.)

100 Diagrams That Changed the WorldA visual history of human sensemaking, from cave paintings to the world wide web. (Via Lisa Costello.)

10 of the world’s most scenic cemeteries — A subject of some personal interest to me lately.

Sick mum ‘belittled’ by Air New Zealand — Wow, I thought Air New Zealand had treated me poorly, but this is just depraved. And an update here; apparently the airline has apologized, but the horribly discriminatory policy did and does exist, so it obviously seemed like a good idea to Air New Zealand right up until they were publicly embarrassed in the media. (Via [info]danjite.)

13 Horrifying Ways to Die (If You’re an Arthropod) — Fascinatingly weird images and story, but trigger warning if you’re icked out by insects, spiders, or nature red of tooth and claw. (Thanks, I think, to [info]willyumtx.)

A partial eclipse will bring a strange sunrise SundaySunday morning, everyone on or near the Eastern Seaboard has a rare chance to watch an eerie celestial spectacle at sunrise. The sun will come up over the east horizon while in a partial solar eclipse. Instead of a golden ball, the sun will be a weird, upside-down thick crescent with, as seen from New England, a big bite missing from its lower right. That is, it will if the weather permits. I saw the total eclipse in 1991 with a completely clear sky. It was amazing.

Les Johnson: Big Projects and Deep Time

Slow-moving zombie technologies that refuse to dieJust when you think they’re obsolete, they rise from your desk and bite.

Climate Change Seen Posing Risk to Food Supplies — Another day, another liberal lie. Thank God for Rush Limbaugh and the Republican party, or we might actually have to worry about this stuff.

What’s the greatest threat to economic growth? It’s climate change. — Amazing, the lengths liberals will go to for their hoax. Even to maybe crashing the world economy.

Another Obamacare horror story debunked — Huh. A conservative talking point that turns out not to be true. Who could possibly imagine a Republican bearing false witness about healthcare? (Via Davis Goldman.)

SecDef orders 9 rogue red-state National Guards to recognize spouses of gay US troops — Conservatives just can’t help themselves. They have to hurt somebody to feel good. I’m only amazed that there’s meaningful pushback on this particular bit of Republican bigotry.

Neo-Bircher apocalyptic politics harms the people who embrace itOur politics is hobbled by a determined, motivated, vindictive bloc of voters driven by fear, ignorance and resentment of the Other. That’s a problem for all of us and it’s a big reason why we can’t have nice things. It does real harm and causes real pain to those it demonizes and targets — usually vulnerable outsiders and poor people. Yes, this. They’re called conservatives.

?otD: Who are you helping today?


11/2/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing children to learn critical thinking skills: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad limps into the weekend

Green, by Jay Lake — A tepid review.

Review: The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. — Includes a nice capsule review of my multiple award-nominated novella, “The Stars Do Not Lie”.

Short Story Review Roundup: February – July 2013 — A round-up that includes a positive short review of my short story “The Speed of Time”.

Harvey Dunn on “Art for Art’s Sake”Art writing guru James Gurney on a topic which often stirs younger and newer writers to heated passion. And sometimes jaded old writers as well.

1960s KFC Commercial Is The Stuff Of Nightmares

Judge says Chubby Checker can pursue lawsuit against HP over penis-measuring app — Um… (Via [info]danjite.)

These Microscopic Balls Protect Insects From Their Own Waste — This is pretty cool nano engineering from nature. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Teleportation: Behind the Science of Quantum Computing

How to Catch a Liar on the InternetTechnology makes it easier than ever to play fast and loose with the truth—but easier than ever to get caught.

Witness to a Hanging: California’s Haunted Trees — (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

El Al Goes The Extra Miles to Bring Cancer-Stricken Girl to Camp Simcha — (Via @deirdresm.)

Mouth bacteria may trigger bowel cancer — Hoo boy. (Thanks to David Shanahan.)

Bugger: Maybe the real state secret is that spies aren’t very good at their jobs and don’t know much about the world — Odd stories about MI5. (Thanks to David Goldman.)

Surprise! There are no quick solutions to our climate problemsA focus on reducing short-lived greenhouse gas emissions only takes you so far. Gee. Ya think?

Oregon Supreme Court Upholds Portland’s Loaded Weapons Ban — A few courts in America are still sane. A few places in America still don’t want to be free-fire Second Amendment kill zones. I’m very glad I live in one of them.

Obama: GOP trying to ‘gum up’ ACA — The Republican hatred of the ACA is a combination of their irrational hatred of all things Obama (remember, the basics of the ACA were a Clinton-era GOP proposal) and their dread fear of the impact of the ACA’s eventual success on their political fortunes. I’m afraid that in this, as in so much of the rest of American culture, a minority of angry, misinformed conservatives will have the power to ruin a good thing for the rest of us.

QotD?: Got feet?


8/17/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 245.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing conservatives to enroll in Obamacare: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg

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[events] Went down to the library, fell down on my knees

Actually, I went down to the library and sat in a big comfy chair. But all writers feel a bit like Robert Johnson, somewhere in our stained and tattered little souls.

Yesterday evening was the monthly book group at Milwaukie Ledding Library. We discussed my multiple award nominated novella, “The Stars Do Not Lie“, as well as my novel Green and some of my other work. It wasn’t a group of SF/F fans (with one or two exceptions), but it was absolutely a group of literature fans. Also, some of my family came: Lisa Costello, (step)Mom, Dad, [info]lillypond (a/k/a my sister), and [info]the_child her own self.

It was a lot of fun. I’m normally talking either to writers, fans or educational audiences. General readers have a different take than those demographics. This was very q/a driven — I wasn’t lecturing or instructing — and reflected the opinions and experience of this long-established book club. I fielded questions about the creative process, publishing, and steampunk, as well as getting into specifics about “The Stars Do Not Lie”, Green and Mainspring. Not to mention a bit of autobiographical discussion. [info]the_child offered some commentary, and at one point Dad got drawn into the discussion as well.

We ran about 30 minutes overtime, which seemed just fine with everybody there. It was fun for me, a very on-the-ground form of immediacy in interacting with my ultimate audience: the reader.

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