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[links] Link salad wonders what’s the fuss

Save Trent’s Teeth, Save His Life — Trent Zelazny needs help with a medical fundraiser of his own.

The Algorithm That Automatically Detects Polyps in Images from Camera PillsAnalysing the footage from camera pills is a time-consuming task for medical professionals. Now computer scientists are attempting to automate the process.

The British ‘Atlantis’ is mapped in detailUsing dual frequency identification sonar, the ruins of Dunwich rise again.

8BBC News – Close-up on Japan’s amazing lunchboxes — Mmm, bento. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Watch 32 discordant metronomes achieve synchrony in a matter of minutes — Huh. (Via David Goldman.)

‘Junk’ DNA Mystery Solved: It’s Not Needed — I am dubious of this story. National Geographic with more.

Happy whateverBlogess Jenny Lawson says some very important things about women in general and mothers in specific.

Transgender woman wins right to marry in Hong Kong — Not exactly a noted hotbed of progressivism, that.

Dalai Lama Calls For Care For Our ‘Only Home’ Earth

‘Dramatic decline’ warning for plants and animals — More of that liberal conspiracy to keep the climate change hoax going.

Researchers Create “Hate Map” of the U.S. With Twitter DataThe same researchers previously mapped racist Tweets about President Obama. In both cases there’s reason to be a little skeptical.

Pediatricians take on gun lobby – carefully — Well, the NRA is better armed, and unlike doctors, some NRA members have a habit of publicly threatening people.

QotD?: Tell me what’s a-happening?


5/13/2013
Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (1.0 hours of revision, plus WRPA, editing METAtropolis: Green Space)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 249.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block digging for fossils in the yards of God-fearing Republicans: 0
Currently reading: The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad has counted all the lines on the road between here and Los Angeles

Roger Ebert, RIP — John Scalzi on Roger Ebert’s passing. Sigh.

A statement from Chaz Ebert — Sigh.

Talia’s Life: Coping with Cancer! — A 12 year old describes living with cancer. (Via [info]the_child.)

Thousands of Medicare patients just lost chemotherapy because of sequester — Thank you, GOP. Your compassionate conservatism underwhelms. Fatally, for some. Are you proud of your Republican party?

Target apologizes for label on plus-size dressShoppers at a Target store in Brooklyn say a label that listed the color of a plus-size dress as “manatee gray” was insulting. The label for the same dress in smaller sizes described it as “dark heather gray.”

Police Surveillance May Earn Money for City — Interesting, and a bit frightening. (Via my Dad.)

Brazil Nut Effect Measured in Lunar and Martian Gravity Conditions — I think this is my favorite headline of the week.

The 25 Best Photobombs of All Time in the Universe Ever — Snerk.

Bitcoin May Be the Global Economy’s Last Safe Haven — Really?

Rat Chase Again Bedevils Fukushima Nuclear Plant — It’s like a bad post-apocalyptic short story.

Western U.S. Created From Geologic ‘Pileup’ Says New Study — Warning, facts about the majesty of the universe are not valid for Young Earth Creationists and others among the willfully ignorant.

Get Fuzzy nails the conservative mindset — Hahah.

In Sign of Warming, 1,600 Years of Ice in Andes Melted in 25 YearsGlacial ice in the Peruvian Andes that took at least 1,600 years to form has melted in just 25 years, scientists reported Thursday, the latest indication that the recent spike in global temperatures has thrown the natural world out of balance. Amazing, the lengths liberals will go to in order to perpetrate their climate change hoax.

Climate change may be irreversible, but we control the future trajectory — Or not. We all know reality doesn’t stand a chance when confronted with good, patriotic, “real American” conservative ideas.

Why expanding background checks would, in fact, reduce gun crime — Oops. Once again that pesky reality contradicts the conservative narrative. As always.

Congress Obsessed with American Muslims, Neglects real threat of White Supremacists — This has been true for years, like when the GOP suppressed the DHS report on the threat of conservative domestic terrorism. Confidential to Republicans: It’s hard to think rationally about policy when your entire political fortune is built on lies and fear.

The Conservative Black HopeFor kids like me who came up in Baltimore during the ’80s and ’90s, Dr. Benjamin Carson has special importance. Ta-Nehisi Coates on Ben Carson. Though he doesn’t use this phrase, I would characterize what he is describing as cynical political opportunism.

North Carolina Republicans introduce bill to outlaw Baptist churches and establish N.C. StaatskircheSlacktivist Fred Clark on the latest conservative lunacy out of North Carolina. Lowering the Bar has more.

QotD?: Ever been to a joint in Bakersfield called the Wagon Wheel?


4/5/2013
Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (reviewing existing material on Original Destiny, Manifest Sin)
Hours slept: 6.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 244.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing Agenda 21 by closing down golf courses: 0
Currently reading: Maskerade by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad sees that morning mists are parting to reveal

The cover art of my German editions of Mainspring and Escapement has been nominated for the Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis in the Beste Grafik category &mash; Which doesn’t really have much to do with me directly, but is still pretty cool. Kudos to illustrator Max Meinzold.

Why Do We Hate Certain Words?The curious phenomenon of word aversion.

‘I’m Google’ by Dina Kelberman: A Visual Exploration of Google Image Search — A very cool digital art project. Direct link here. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

A Japanese medical blog reports on my Whole Genome Sequencing

End-of-life talks lacking between doctors, patients — I’ve already begun to have these conversations with my physician.

Cancer Drug That Shrinks All Tumors Set To Begin Human Clinical Trials — Huh. This is a treatment for primary tumors, not for metastases, so it probably isn’t relevant to me personally, but it’s still pretty damned cool.

Messenger RNAs Could Create a New Class of DrugsNew partnerships could help bring a novel class of biopharmaceutical to patients.

Steampunk iPad: 1922 — Another Shorpy classic. Hahah.

Scientists successfully create living embryo of an extinct species

Collision Course? A Comet Heads for Mars — Could have a significant impact on NASA programs there. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Melt may explain Antarctica’s sea ice expansionClimate change is expanding Antarctica’s sea ice, according to a scientific study in the journal Nature Geoscience. This is what science does. It looks at contradictory evidence and tries to work out the contradiction. Ideology simply says, “If I believe this, it must be true”, and ignores contradictory evidence. Guess which view is based in reality?

Oceans continue to warm, especially the deepsAltered patterns seen over past two decades. Amazing how the liberals can convince the entire planet to join in their climate change fraud. Any good conservative can tell you this is all wrong, no matter the evidence.

A New Map Of The U.S., Created By How Our Dollar Bills Move — Identifying functional regional boundaries through analysis of movements of paper currency. This is cool. (Via AH.)

1,200-year-old Egyptian text describes a shape-shifting Jesus — “Everybody need a mood lifter, Everybody need reverse polarity.” (Via [info]shsilver.)

Google and white Christians’ search for ‘persecution’Christians will never be happy until they stop being the kind of people who, as TBogg put it, “can’t sleep at night because they can’t wait to see how the world will offend them the next day.”

Elite in China Face Austerity Under Xi’s Rule — Good luck with that. (Via my Dad.)

While GOP Elites Soften On Gay Marriage, Local Leaders Haven’t Gotten The Message — That’s what happens when one of your political cornerstones is irrational bigotry with no objective or principled value. I see a principled opposition to abortion, for example, though it’s sadly obvious most opponents aren’t actually standing on principled objections. I see a principled stance in favor of widespread private gun ownership, though again it’s clearly based on willful ignorance, promulgation of bad data and wholesale suppression of the reality of firearms in private hands. But opposition to gay marriage? Nothing but a combination of religious bigotry and personal ick factors. There simply is no principled opposition to be found, other than nicely rationalized versions of bigotry and ick.

New GOP plan: Guns for domestic abusersAs president Obama visits Colorado to discuss guns, state GOP launches fight to protect batterers’ gun rights. Because nothing says compassionate conservatism like protecting a violent man’s right to a firearm.

Jim Carrey: Fox ‘News’ is “A media colostomy bag… a public health issue” — Well, duh. The polling on how misinformed (strongly in the direction of conservative bias) FOX News viewers are is remarkably consistent. It’s almost like media isn’t liberal or something.

QotD?: Ever been to the Blue Mountains?


4/2/2013
Writing time yesterday: 2.0 hours (WRPA, specifically critique)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 245.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block building solar arrays to undermine the American fossil fuel industry: 0
Currently reading: Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad waits for big announcements

The Dark Stuff, Distilled — A review of The Americans.

Sit! Staaayyyy. Play Music! Good Dog! — iPhone Tamagotchi?Oookay… (Via my Dad.)

Do robot ants dream of electric crumbs?Which is smarter: a swarm of brainless mini-robots with clockwork guts, or a colony of ravenous, half-blind Argentine ants? If you answered mindless robots, you’re right — but just barely.

EndlingAn endling is an individual animal that is the last of its species or subspecies. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Fossil DNA used to reset humanity’s clockProvides a better date of when some of our ancestors left Africa.

How to Make a Computer from a Living Cell

Scientists Discover First Meteorite From Mercury — Oooh.

What remains of an irradiated, damaged, and abandoned Japanese town

Dear Rightwing Catholic Islamophobes: Pope Francis just washed the feet of a Poor Muslim — Not in Tennessee, he didn’t.

The Austerity Agenda and Public Employment

Group plans free shotgun give-away to boost safety in Tucson — What could possibly go wrong with free guns? (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Bill would extend waiting period for divorce to two years — Now that’s compassionate conservatism. (Via [info]shsilver.)

QotD?: Do you know what a difference a day makes?


3/30/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (con time)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (overslept, but plenty of con walking to come)
Weight: n/a (away from home)
Number of FEMA troops on my block building solar arrays to undermine the American fossil fuel industry: 0
Currently reading: Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad gets ready for a St. Patrick’s Day party

Hidden Menu — Secret food in a public world. (Via my Dad.)

Kidd’s Toy Museum — A slightly oddball Portland attraction. (Via my Dad.)

The Cesar “biplan mixte”, circa 1910 — Oh, wow. That’s just freaky.

Meshworm — A “soft robot”.

The CIA’s secret experiments to turn cats into spies — Weird stuff. (Thank to AH.)

Will Methane Hydrates Fuel Another Gas Boom?Energy-hungry Japan extracts natural gas from deep-sea methane hydrates, but it’s not clear whether the “flammable ice” makes economic and environmental sense. Flammable ice? Really?

How Beer Gave Us Civilization[S}cholars have found circumstantial evidence that supports the idea that some early humans grew and stored grain for beer, even before they cultivated it for bread.

Biological Evolution in Interstellar Human Migration

Google like dairy farming? — Huh. (Via AH.)

Can we Get the Media to Report Climate Change? — No. Reality has a well-known liberal bias, so media reports on reality are met with a lot of opposition and criticism from the Right.

Little Princesses and Mighty Warriors — Bibles for boys and girls. Weird. Really weird.

Pope Francis wants Church to be poor, and for the poor — Good luck with that. If nothing else, they need to keep the money to continue paying damages for decades of sheltering pedophiles.

CPAC Event On Racial Tolerance Turns To Chaos As ‘Disenfranchised’ Whites Arrive — Nope. No racism in the Republican party. Nuh uh. By the way, where is Obama’s real birth certificate, conservatives keep asking?

Rubio and the “Idea” of AmericaRubio speaks here as if there is only one conception of what America is, and he seems to think that one political movement has exclusive rights to it. This is what comes of a movement that rewards and encourages sloganeering in place of argument. Rubio’s statement is an admission of intellectual exhaustion dressed up as a celebration of conservatism. Yes, this.

QotD?: Is it not easy being green?


3/16/2013
Writing time yesterday: 2.75 hours (revisions to nonfiction piece on steampunk)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 242.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block escorting ACORN thugs to steal the votes of “Real Americans”: 0
Currently reading: Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad is more than a feeling

The latest Lakeside trailer — Sigh.

Where Things StandNearly 90% of the books reviewed by The New York Times are written by white writers. That is not even remotely reflective of the racial makeup of this country, where 72% of the population, according to the 2010 census, is white. We know that far more than 81 books were published by writers of color in 2011. You don’t really need other datasets to see this rather glaring imbalance. (Snurched from [info]james_nicoll.)

Dork Tower on tweeting and writing novels — Hahahah. (Via [info]goulo.)

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling — (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

On Facebook, smart people like The Colbert Report and curly friesHello Kitty fans scored low on emotional stability.

Astronomers Conduct ‘Reconnaissance’ Of Another Solar System

Toward a Space-Based Civilization

Electronic Sensors Printed Directly on the SkinNew electronic tattoos could help monitor health during normal daily activities. I can think of some pretty cool nonmedical uses for this, too.

Sequencing the UnderdogsTranscriptome studies reveal new insights about unusual animals whose genomes have not been sequenced.

Failure to Hunt Rabbits Part of Neanderthals’ Demise?The inability to shift prey may have been deadly, study says.

Cross-Species Infrastructure

Japan Erects Massive Sculpture of the Last Standing Tree from a Forest Destroyed by the 2011 Tsunami — (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Catholic officials break into a sweat over €23m investment in gay sauna

Why the world is so angry with ChristiansIt’s ludicrous, really, the way some Believers carry on in this nation about being persecuted. You know the type. They can be heard most often on talk radio or some cable television channel whining about how their religious freedoms are being infringed upon. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Calgary Cruz sure is lucky he wasn’t born in HawaiiAnyone with the foggiest awareness of the facts understands that there’s nothing controversial about Cruz’s status. He’s just really damn lucky that he was born in Canada instead of someplace overseas, like Hawaii, because then we’d have some investigating to do.

The GOP’s Bush Baggage — Bush did everything that fever-swamp conservatives like to accuse Obama of, and far worse. Why would anyone vote Republican after that disastrous presidency?

QotD?: Did you lose yourself in a familiar song?


3/12/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (took the day off)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (21 degrees and snowing outside, what do you think?)
Weight: n/a (away from home)
Number of FEMA troops on my block escorting ACORN thugs to steal the votes of “Real Americans”: 0
Currently reading: Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad falls to the ground with that high, lonesome sound

U.S. booksellers, meeting in KC, express optimism — (Thanks to [info]garyomaha.)

The Arts SetScrivener’s Error is interesting on various aspects of literature, art and publishing.

Streampunk Vegan Leather Corset — Streampunk? Really? Heh. (Via Chris W. Johnson.)

Yo as a Pronoun — Yo. Fascinating. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Capturing life with ‘the last roll’ — Wow. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Was Wittgenstein Right?

The not-so-slight return of Jimi Hendrix

Swimming with spacemen: The image gallery

Retro Revival: Man as Industrial PalaceVintage German artwork on digital steroids, or why you house a factory. (Thanks to [info]threeoutside.)

Graphene Antennas Would Enable Terabit Wireless Downloads

‘I am one of the Fukushima fifty’: One of the men who risked their lives to prevent a catastrophe shares his storyThey displayed a bravery few can comprehend, yet very little is known about the men who stayed behind to save Japan’s stricken nuclear plant. In a rare interview, David McNeill meets Atsufumi Yoshizawa, who was at work on 11 March 2011 when disaster struck.

African forest elephants decline by 62% in 10 years

An Iowa Farmer’s Quest for No Ordinary Pig — (Thanks to Dad.)

Ships to sail directly over the north pole by 2050, scientists sayMelting sea ice will allow ice-strengthened vessels to sail directly over the pole, and normal ships to take the ‘northern sea route’. It’s amazing, the lengths liberals will go to for their global warming conspiracy, right up to actually melting the Arctic ice cap to perpetrate the fraud that the Arctic ice cap is melting!

From Wary To Full Embrace: Obama’s Complete Turnaround On Gay Marriage — Another bigotry domino falls.

Staying In: Growing Up Lesbian in Evangelical America — Oi. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Republicans who didn’t vote for Violence Against Women Act say they did anyway because why not? — When your political ideas are socially and intellectually bankrupt, you may as well lie. That’s conservative morality in a nutshell, right there.

Mooching Off Medicaid — Paul Krugman on the conservative fetish for privatization no matter how much it drives up costs.

The Pope and Prisoner XBoth Israel’s poor handling of the Prisoner X debacle and the Vatican’s mismanagement of the pontiff’s resignation show how maintaining a culture of secrecy, whether through gag orders or media silence, is both damaging and counter-productive.

Voting is no ‘racial entitlement,’ Justice ScaliaSo, Justice Scalia, when you spew that entitlement discourse from the bench you undermine the very core of our democracy. But you know what? I want to thank you for what you said. Because on Wednesday, you showed us all exactly who you are.

Romney is still wooing that all-important brown-hating vote, but why? — Because manufacturing more angry white men is all conservatives know how to do.

Continuing to Get the 2012 Election WrongIt certainly didn’t hurt Obama’s chances that many Americans still held Bush responsible for the country’s woes, which created a significant obstacle to Republican efforts to pin blame on the incumbent, but that wasn’t the only problem. Republicans couldn’t distinguish their economic agenda from Bush’s economic record because there was little or no substantive difference between them, and the economic agenda that their nominee presented also happened to be irrelevant to most voters. Many Americans still hold Bush responsible for a perfectly good reason: reality.

QotD?: Did she follow you down for the kill?


3/5/2013
Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (WRPA and editing)
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike, yay hotel gym!)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for climate change: 0
Currently reading: Pyramids by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad for a thirsty Thursday

The Acts of Whimsy cancer fundraiser and the Lakeside Kickstarter for the documentary about me, [info]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. Note that the next unlock goal at $44,000 is [info]the_child‘s video, “How to Write Like My Dad”.

Jay Lake on the Whole Genome Sequencing project — Waterloo Productions with a short video from me explaining the genomic sequencing that the Acts of Whimsy fund raiser is paying for.

Throne of the Crescent Moon and the use of God in epic fantasy — Some neat commentary from [info]ericjamesstone

Video of Nichelle Nichols describing the filming of Star Trek’s first interracial kiss (on American network television.) — Wow. (Via David Goldman.)

How to ice a cake — Hahahah. This one is sure to be a favorite with anybody whose gender orientation includes an interest in hot, shirtless men. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Bristling DixieUncle Walt thought Song of the South would be his masterpiece. Now it’s invisible. I remember seeing this as a kid. (Snurched from Cora Buhlert.)

Medieval helpdesk — German humor, with English subtitles. Hahah. (Via [info]lillypond, a/k/a my sister.)

“Meeting de Monaco – Mars 1912 – Le Canard Voisin” — A truly lovely photo from the early days of aviation. x planes is back from its holidays with a very nice series of images.

Operation Deep Sleep: or, dormant robots at the bottom of the seaBriefly, it seems worth mentioning that this vision of waking things up from slumber at the bottom of the sea reads like a subplot from Pacific Rim, or like some militarized remake of the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

Japan’s Philanderers Stay Faithful to Their ‘Infidelity Phones’ads Attracted to How Outdated Device Hides Calls, Texts; Juggling Three Girlfriends. Wow… I’m not in the habit of linking to the Wall Street Journal, as they are only slightly more trustworthy than FOX “News”, but this article falls outside of their range of reality distorting obsessions and in the realm of real, if weird, culture. (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Complex behaviors driven by remarkably simple geneticsA mouse’s intricate architectural tastes are the product of “modular” genetics.

Fecal transplants cure most cases of C. difficile, first clinical trial shows — I know this is serious stuff, but sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

A Vaccine Eliminated A Deadly Killer Of Infants. So Why Do Some People Fear It? — An article with a lot of detail on one specific strain of anti-vax lunacy.

Pregnant? That Might Get You Arrested — The unhealthy obsessions of the forced pregnancy enthusiasts in the so-called “Right to Life” movement have real, hard consequences for other people. Conservatism really is very much about punishing and controlling female sexuality.

‘There’s nothing mutual about it’: White evangelicals, privileged distress and grievance envySlacktivist Fred Clark is much kinder than I am able to be about Bible-based bigots and the pervasive politics of Christianist hate.

Global Warming Brings Earlier Spring FlowersHenry David Thoreau was one of the most iconic figures of the 19th century. The famous naturalist and poet wrote the book “Walden” about his years living at idyllic Walden Pond in Concord, Mass. Starting in 1852 and at different points throughout his life, he also created the first “spreadsheets of flowering dates” for many well-known flowers, including the wild columbine, the pink-lady slipper orchid and the marsh marigold. It must be tough to be a conservative and hold on to your moral certainties when every aspect of nature is cooperating with the liberal climate change hoax. Thank God for Rush Limbaugh and the GOP to tell good conservatives what to think. Clinging to ideological denialism is obviously much more satisfying than actually acknowledging an entire planet’s worth of reality-based “facts” and “data”.

Solving Global Warming Will Require Far Greater Cuts than ThoughtA new look at climate change implies that we’ll need energy breakthroughs as soon as possible. The longer our political and business cultures are trapped in global warming denialism, the harder the solution gets. Thanks conservative America for running the bills up so high and saddling future generations with ever-burgeoning costs. History will not be at all kind to you.

Roe vs. Wade at 40: Pew poll finds abortion not a key issue — I know it’s too much to expect the forced pregnancy enthusiasts in the so-called “Right to Life” movement to back down from their continuous assault on women’s health and sexual autonomy, but it’s nice to see they’re a losing demographic.

NRA knocks Obama on daughters’ securityThe National Rifle Association released a video Tuesday calling President Obama an “elitist hypocrite” for being skeptical of armed guards in schools when his daughters receive armed Secret Service protection every day. Wow is this disgusting. Even taking the question at face value, it’s stupid. Obama’s kids need protection from precisely the kind of people who become NRA members. Stay classy, and illogical, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

Portland judge lets loose with strong words — ‘We live in a gun culture’ — at manslaughter sentencing — People don’t like the truth about guns. It challenges their comfortable self-image.

Obama to announce most expansive gun-control agenda in generations — Excellent. And no, executive orders are not a power grab. They’re part of the system, one way for a president with an intransigent Congress to still govern effectively. Now, if only he’d gone far enough. Just like the ACA, half a loaf is better than none, but also just like the ACA, the entire country, regardless of voters’ individual politics and personal beliefs, would be much better served if Obama had gone all the way.

Gun Murders vs. Terrorism by the Numbers — Some plain language statistics that every gun owner and conservative needs to see, and very few ever will. Few of those who do see will believe, because acknowledging the reality of firearms challenges too many of their cherished beliefs.

Les Insufferables — In which the Wall Street Journal demonstrates how utterly out of touch they are with the 99%. This graphic is laughably bizarre, but it’s what the Manhattan high flyers are nodding in agreement over.

Republican Woes Go Far Beyond Poor Tactics and Weak Arguments — A fascinating squib from conservative commentator Daniel Larison. If party leaders sometimes deserve not to be trusted, perhaps the “debilitating lack of trust” isn’t solely a product of conservative myth-making. Perhaps it is a result of the leaders’ substantive errors and/or betrayals of principle. Put another way, perhaps current party leaders suffer from a lack of trust because they have done an abysmal job over the last ten years or so and have led their party to one policy or political disaster after another.

?otD: What are you drinking today?


1/17/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (stress)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 221.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing disability rights: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks

[links] Link salad knows you’re gonna fly high, you’re never gonna die

Fuck Yeah SciFi/Fantasy WOCAuthor Scott Lynch responds to a critic of the character Zamira Drakasha, a black woman pirate in his fantasy book Red Seas Under Red Skies, the second novel of the Gentleman Bastard series. Plus Anne Bonny. Duh. (Via [info]rekre8.)

The Misty Mountains song from The Hobbit — This gets me every time, even in this European cover version from str8bvoices.

Notes After a Viewing of Red Dawn (2012)The Mumpsimus is interesting. Long but worth the read if you’re interested in either film criticism or politics.

‘Bird Buggy’ keeps noisy parrot quiet — and mobile — I for one welcome our new psittacine overlords. (Snurched from @jeremiahtolbert.)

Tennis star Novak buys up world’s supply of donkey cheese at £400 a pound for new restaurant chain — Because… I got nothing. Except that I want to try it. (Via [info]danjite.)

Cafe Ginza: 1941 — I continue to be fascinated by this image, both for haunting historical reasons (note the date, and probable fate of all the business owners and families on this street), and for the curious details, like the name of the doctor on the sign in the right edge of the frame. Even the movie posters on the wall of the cafe are interesting.

Apple Maps ‘is life-threatening’ to motorists lost in Australia heat — Hey, Apple. Your Maps app is the Newton of this generation. Give it up already. Enough with the corporate dick waving. Can we please have our damned Google Maps back on the iPhone?

On “Otherness” at Christmas — The Velveteen Rabbi writes about being Jewish at Christmas. Highly recommended reading for any Christian who somehow imagines they are part of an imperiled religion in modern America. I think there’s something profoundly valuable in the de-centering experience of recognizing that one’s own paradigm is not the only paradigm. But I recognize that it isn’t always easy or comfortable. And if it isn’t happening in a reciprocal way — where I recognize that my way isn’t the only way, but so does the other guy; specifically, so does the person with the privilege of being in the dominant / majority position — it can feel alienating and painful. Everyone else is having a great time and I’m outside the party — alienating and painful. That mainstream experience is “normal,” and I feel perennially “other” — alienating and painful.

Climate Change 101: Separate Fact from Fiction

Same-Sex Issue Pushes Justices Into Overdrive — I’m extremely dubious of the assumption that the narrow ideologues on the Court’s Right are going to place any emphasis at all on public opinion. They’ve proven time and again they’ll place the conservative political agenda above either the national interest or the Constitution. Scalia’s tortured reversal of a lifetime of his own legal reasoning in order to avoid supporting the Obama administration on the ACA ruling was just the latest example.

Likely Increase in Births Has Some Lawmakers Revisiting CutsThe latest Health and Human Services Commission projections being circulated among Texas lawmakers indicate that during the 2014-15 biennium, poor women will deliver an estimated 23,760 more babies than they would have, as a result of their reduced access to state-subsidized birth control. And it’s costing the state a lot of money in post-natal healthcare. Gee? Ya think? Obviously it requires a grasp of that nasty liberally-biased reality to understand the causal link between availability of birth control and birth rates.

Laura Ingraham Has the World’s Worst Imagination — Conservative commentator outraged at liberal-progressives doing with Obama exactly what she did with Bush. More of that justly famed conservative intellectual consistency in action.

?otD: By the way, which one’s Pink?


12/10/2012
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bike ride
Weight: 216.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block dissolving traditional marriages and plastering OBAMA bumper stickers on SUVs: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks

[links] Link salad knows that ain’t ain’t a word ’cause ain’t ain’t in the dictionary

Oregon passed ballot measure to copy edit state constitution — On copy editors and Constitutions. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Andy Serkis: The actor inside a character’s skin

The Keep Calm-O-Matic — For all your icon and avatar generating needs. (Snurched from the Velveteen Rabbi.)

Sworn Virgins: Intimate Photos of Women Living as Men in the Balkans — Interesting gender constructs from an almost vanished era. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Ladies Dressed as Appliances — Because reasons!

Hono­lulu after Pearl Harbor: A report published for the first time, 71 years later — (Via my Dad and my brother.)

Can you start the baby on soda too early? — It scares the hell out of me that anybody, ever thought this was a good idea. Also, the ad copy is hilarious is a dark way.

End-of-Year Follies (Again)Scrivener’s Error on, among other things, the Supreme Court’s recent decision to review both the DOMA and Proposition 8 cases. He makes an interesting point that would have completely escaped me as a non-attorney.

Strong opinions on climate change are self-reinforcingDon’t believe it’s real? You won’t see local effects. As George Banks said in Mary Poppins, “Kindly do not attempt to cloud the issue with facts.” Which is pretty much the motto of the conservative movement these days, sadly for both them and the rest of us. Unfortunately, while its point is interesting, this article makes the far too common journalistic mistake of false equivalency, in attempting to appear balanced on a factual issue where there simply is no balance.

‘Barack the Destroyer’: Bryan Fischer’s Grand Unified Theory of Obama — See. This is why the reality-based community thinks conservatives are crazy. Bryan Fischer is a major figure in a major conservative organization saying things that would embarrass a strung-out bus stop mumbler with their batshit, wall-eyed insanity. And millions of his fellow conservatives believe him. There simply is no liberal-progressive equivalent of this kind of widespread conservative paranoid lunacy.

Republican Staffer Khanna Axed Over Copyright Memo — This how conservative epistemic closure is perpetuated at the policy level. A GOP staffer writers a memo analyzing an internal conflict between Republican positions on free market ideals and copyright law. Instead of responding to the critique or reconsidering conservative positions on the issue, the staffer is fired at the request of upset GOP officials. This is not the response of a political party interested in evidence-based reality. This is the response of denialist ideologues. At least Republican are consistent. Conservatism cannot fail you, only you can fail conservatism. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

GOP’s politics unraveling before our eyesAs it approaches its rendezvous with the fiscal cliff, the Republican Party in Washington shows all the signs of a national nervous breakdown. I must confess that a lot of my schadenfreude in observing Republican disarray is colored by the unbearably smug Republican triumphalism we all had to endure during the heady days of the Permanent Majority. (Or as I like to call it, the Dozen Year Reich.) Which pretty much left me with a permanent bad taste in my mouth for the character of conservatives and their discourse. How’d that work out for you, Karl?

Arithmetic on Taxes Shows Top Rate Is Just a Starting Point — Yep. And budget math has never been the GOP’s strong point. Not with actual, you know, numbers. They got addicted to fantasy math as a result of the supply side economics fairy and Bush era spending sprees. As Paul Ryan said, it’s too complicated. Not only to explain, but to even perform. But then actual arithmetic is much like “facts” and “data”, it almost never favors the conservative view, and therefore can be disregarded.

?otD: Descriptivist or prescriptivist?


12/9/2012
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.5 hours (very fitful)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bike ride
Weight: 215.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block dissolving traditional marriages and plastering OBAMA bumper stickers on SUVs: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks

[links] Link salad sleeps too much

Mochizuki Chiyome[A] Japanese noblewoman of the 16th century who was credited with creating an all-female group of ninja (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

The Monster of Monticello — Thomas Jefferson and slavery.

How Two Presidents Helped Me Deal With Love, Guilt, and FatherhoodGuidance from Bill Clinton and George W. Bush taught the author how to accept and understand his son’s Asperger’s syndrome.

Move to drop Asperger’s from revised diagnosis manual gets approval

GRATITUDE FOR YOUR GENEROSITY: Our First Two-Year Research Grant — Colorectal cancer. (Thanks to Jerri Lyn.)

Dozens Of Covers Later, ‘Hallelujah’ Endures — More than dozens, I think. I have always loved this song, since the original release. (Via [info]garyomaha.)

A Budding War Over Internet EconomicsProposals for a “sender pays” policy will roil UN talks in Dubai. Telecomm today is fragmented. In North American cellular traffic, both sender and receiver pay. The cell companies have their hands in everybody’s pockets. Outside North America, the rest of the world runs on “sender pays” only. But I don’t see how this applies to the Internet, which is a essentially a receiver demand-based system.

Updated: “Scientists” uncover global league of mythical creaturesLack of peer review makes findings less credible, more awesome.

Marijuana advocates hope to rise from ‘prohibition’ — I have personally used street drugs in about 30 years, so I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I’ve always thought the War on Drugs was horrible misprioritization of resources. Our incarceration rate is one of this nation’s great shames, and a great deal of that comes from heavy overpenalization of objectively trivial drug crimes.

The Associated Press Bans Homophobia — Another victory for Right wing framing in Your Liberal Media, in which we will all continue to pretend that irrational hatred of the LBTGQ community is an ethically tenable or socially responsible position. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

West Point chapel hosts first same-sex marriageThe ceremony comes a little more than a year after President Obama ended the military policy banning openly gay people from serving. Strangely enough, military morale has not collapsed and God has not rained down hellfire upon the United States. Chalk up another big conservative wrong.

Obama’s chance to change (political) climate — Ah, climate change. One of the things the American right will someday not too long from now be reviled for in both politics and history is making this a partisan issue instead of cooperating, or even leading, the fight.

How to Negotiate[T]he assorted Republican drama queens seem so two months ago, don’t they?

How Petraeus Created the Myth of His Success — (Thanks to David Goldman.)

?otD: How much sleep is too much sleep?


12/2/2012
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 13.0 hours (10 hours solid plus napping)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (on chemo)
Weight: n/a (forgot to weigh)
Number of FEMA troops on my block teaching evolution to children and redistributing wealth: 0
Currently reading: Neptune’s Brood by Charlie Stross

[links] Link salad toddles off to chemo

Sometimes there’s no unitary ruleLanguage Log with more than (most of) you wanted to know about the who/whom distinction.

Grotto-esque — Art guru James Gurney with a neat little squib on the history of the grotesque.

Master carpenter from Japan visits Portland to inspect tea house he built 50 years ago

Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality? — Long but nifty piece on jellyfish, science and scientists.

For Winning The Nobel Prize, Niels Bohr Got A House With Free BeerSo was free beer the reason why Bohr was able to make great strides in developing quantum mechanics? (Via David Goldman.)

Mercury’s water ice at north pole finally provenScientists have finally shown what has been postulated for decades: the planet Mercury holds billions of tonnes of water ice at its north pole.

Solid Chocolate Baby Heads — (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Who Will Solve Wearable Computing’s “Jetpack” Problem?Wearables are supposed to be the future of consumer tech–and that’s what’s holding them back.

Spaun, the new human brain simulator, can carry out tasks — I need this as a prosthetic.

Wormholes: not just for physicists anymoreA biologist investigates old illustrations to find new data about bugs. Heh. This is clever.

How Do Porcupines Mate? Very Carefully.Their stark, night-piercing shrieks aren’t just about the quills. Yeah, I’ve been on dates like that. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Central Auckland super brothel approved — Headline of the week. (Via [info]danjite.)

Porn star punks Pastor Hagee: ‘I considered flashing my boobs’“The ability to compartmentalize seems to be the hallmark of ideologues everywhere. I guess it spares them potentially lethal attacks of cognitive dissonance.” Also, this: “I wasn’t sure I’d encountered firsthand the banality of evil, but I’d gotten a solid dose of the evils of banality.” (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Heart Gadgets Test Privacy-Law Limits — I don’t like to link to the Wall Street Journal because of their deep conservative bias, and lunatic mendacity of their editorial board, but this article is fascinating.

New Study Shows Global Warming Is Rapidly Melting Ice at Both PolesA new international study—done by 47 experts using data from multiple satellites and aircraft—shows that the Earth is losing ice at an ever-increasing rate from both poles. We’ve known for years that the Arctic has been suffering massive ice loss, with the record low broken more than once in recent years. What’s devastating about this new report is that it shows unequivocally and quantitatively that the Antarctic is also losing land ice, with the critical West Antarctica ice sheet losing on average 65 billion tons of ice every year. This would be what we in the reality-based community call “data”, which is therefore irrelevant to conservative beliefs and rhetoric. Just ask any Republican about climate change and see what answer you get.

How sensitive is the climate to added CO2?65 million years of Earth’s history suggest we’re in uncharted territory. Another great thing about science is that it doesn’t have all the answers, so it keeps asking questions. This is where dogma, both religious and political, fails. When you already know the truth, you have a strong disincentive to ask further questions. Especially those that might challenge a closely-held and cherished belief masquerading as that truth.

A 60-Million-Year Debate on Grand Canyon’s Age — Note this is how science works. Disagreement and revision based on experimental data and field observation. Not reasoning backward from an ideological or faith based conclusion.

America is a Christian Nation. If We Don’t Like it, We Should Get Out Fundamentalist Christians see nothing wrong with this. To their mind, it is not the non-Christians who are the victims, but the Christians who are being told they cannot force their religion on the other students. To their mind, anything which impinges on the special rights of Christians is a form of persecution. Yep. This. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Complaints Aside, Most Face Lower Tax Burden Than in 1980 — This would be what we in the reality-based community call a “fact”, which is therefore irrelevant to conservative beliefs and rhetoric. Just ask any Tea Partier about tax burdens and see what answer you get.

Legends of the Fault — Jon Stewart of The Daily Show displays the arrant hypocrisy of Sens. McCain and Graham in opposing Susan Rice, in their own words on videotape. See, it’s ok to knowingly lie about foreign terrorism if you’re a Republican, but not if you’re a Democrat. That’s about the only difference here. Except that Republican Condoleeza Rice never has clarified her statements or apologized, while Democrat Susan Rice has — which is clearly unforgivable to the same people who supported Rice’s unrepentant lying. See the difference? More of that justly famed conservative intellectual consistency proudly on display from Sen. McCain (R-Palin) and friends.

?otD: Drugs or medicine?


11/30/2012
Writing time yesterday: 1.75 hours (revisions to “Rock of Ages”)
Hours slept: 8.75 hours (very fitful)
Weight: 224.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing people to accept healthcare and committing voter fraud: 0
Currently reading: Neptune’s Brood by Charlie Stross