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[links] Link salad has a full life, if a trifle banal

A Non-Binary Person’s Guide to Invented Pronouns

This Movie Works Whether You Play It Backward or Forward — A visual palindrome. (Via David Goldman.)

Sartre & Peanuts — Huh. (Snurched from David Wilford.)

San Francisco’s Class War, By the Numbers

A Winter Olympics Venn Diagram — Hahahahah.

How to Design an Interstellar Communications System If we want to communicate with other civilisations, it turns out that the laws of physics, the nature of interstellar space and a little common sense place surprisingly strict bounds on how this communication can take place.

SETI at the Particle Level

Satellites Spot Whales From SpaceThis new method could help researchers remotely count and keep track of whale populations. Mmm, space whales.

Giant leap for nuclear fusion as scientists get more energy out than fuel put in150 picoseconds of scientific breakthrough, though “ignition” remains a distant goal.

Probe to use Prehistoric Pigment Shield for Solar PlungeEuropean scientists designing the upcoming Solar Orbiter — a mission that will swoop deep inside the sun’s atmosphere (the corona) to carry out an unprecedented solar observing campaign — didn’t turn to science fiction for help, however. They’re using a technology that was available during prehistoric times to protect the spacecraft from the sun.

This is why we have two nostrils, rather than a single, large hole in the middle

Ancient native boy’s genome reignites debate over first Americans — And then there’s Kennewick Man.

Southeast U.S. Battered by Another Winter StormThis storm doesn’t disprove global warming any more than it getting dark at night disproves the existence of the Sun.

Planet, Oceans Burning Up: There is no “Pause” in Global Warming

Dear Creation Museum, all science is “historical science.” Here’s whyThe sort of selective reasoning—miracles don’t happen when there’s lab equipment nearby, but they have made anything more than a few centuries old completely inaccessible to scientific analysis—quite reasonably raises questions about whether researchers who hold this view can be relied on to do solid science, as does their lack of self-awareness that keeps them from recognizing that they are doing historical science. Their apparent willingness to throw the scientific method under the bus as soon as it conflicts with their personal beliefs is concerning as well.

Christian School Faulted for Halting Abuse StudyFor decades, students at Bob Jones University who sought counseling for sexual abuse were told not to report it because turning in an abuser from a fundamentalist Christian community would damage Jesus Christ. Administrators called victims liars and sinners. Tell me again how atheists are immoral? Help me understand why this version of the Christian worldview is somehow better than simple, honest humanism? ‘Cause I’m really not seeing it here.

Kentucky must accept out-of-state gay unions“Assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons,” wrote Heyburn, an appointee of Republican President George H.W. Bush. The very same people who threaten to take up arms over every perceived possible slight to their freedoms ought to understand that. But they don’t. Even so, another bigotry domino falls, another step forward for freedom, justice and American values.

U.S. Takes a Sharp Drop in World Press Freedom RankingsThe United States took a nasty drop in the World Press Freedom rankings, released on Wednesday by the media group Reporters Without Borders, falling 14 spots to the 46th best country for journalist freedoms. Of the 180 countries ranked, the home of the First Amendment now sits snuggled between Romania and Haiti.

How Obama Officials Cried ‘Terrorism’ to Cover Up a Paperwork Error — A crazy story about everything that’s wrong with our National Security regime. Headline is a bit misleading, as the problem started in 2004 in the Bush administration, but the Obama administration continued to cover it up. (Via David Goldman.)

How a Purse Snatching Led to the Legal Justification for NSA Domestic Spying — Because security! (Via David Goldman.)

Senate passes debt-ceiling plan in blow to conservatives — The profoundly unpatriotic nihilists in the House GOP caucus take on on the chin. A very modest victory for good government and good sense.

Rand Paul v Barack Obama: A prelude to 2016 — As much as Rand Paul is a profoundly unpatriotic nihilist as well, he’s got a point about the surveillance state. Not that moderates and progressives haven’t been crying foul.

Is one of “the crazy ones” behind a threatening email sent to House Republicans? What makes “the crazy ones” crazy, in fact, is that they genuinely believe the cynical lies — about government debt, global warming, taxes, healthcare, immigration, Democratic Party fiscal policies and so on — that the non-crazy ones have been feeding the rubes for years. Mind you, “one of the crazy ones” is a description by a House Republican of other House Republicans.

?otD: Have any Cardassian laundry lists?


2/13/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.5 hours (mostly solid)
Body movement: 20 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

[links] Link salad has got bananas, watermelons and peaches by the pound

Photographer Gets A-List Celebrities To Reenact Stunning Scenes From Disney Movies — Annie Leibovitz with some amazing stuff. (Via Lisa Costello.)

An open letter from a Death Star architect — Hahaha. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Agloe, the Paper Town Stronger than Fiction — An odd twist on a well-known story, for you map geeks.

Researchers Watch As Our Brains Turn Sounds Into Words — Ok. This is cool.

Seattle construction workers unearth mammoth tusk

Good luck trying to escape a hungry crocodile by climbing a treeResearchers discovered that four crocodile species climbed trees.

The Archaeology of the Stars — More on hunting for very ancient stars. (Thanks to Dad.)

4 Crazy Gay Marriage Predictions That Never Came TrueIt’s time to take a look at some of predictions and see if any have come to fruition. Guess what?

Nevada Officials Won’t Defend Gay Marriage Ban“After thoughtful review and analysis, the state has determined that its arguments grounded upon equal protection and due process are no longer sustainable.“ Another bigotry domino falls in the face of personal freedom and American values.

Now They’re Making the Homeless Freeze to Death in PensascolaPensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward has reversed positions on a city ordinance that makes it a crime for the homeless to sleep on public property with a blanket. I’m pretty sure the Bible has something to say about this in Matthew 25:36. I realize Jesus wasn’t up on current American conservative thinking when he talked about clothing the naked, but the principle seems clear. (Via David Goldman.)

GOP Report Acknowledges That The U.S. Military Couldn’t Have Changed Benghazi Outcome — Republicans formally acknowledging in writing that neither Hillary nor Obama did anything wrong in the Benghazi matter? Yeah, that will be all over Your Liberal Media.

?otD: More better than in town?


2/12/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.0 hours (multiply interrupted)
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

[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

[science] Signal boost for Nerd Nite in the PDX area

My friend Amanda puts on a really terrific series of booze-and-brains events in the Portland area. I spoke at one of the first Portland Nerd Nites last spring, talking about Whole Genome Sequencing. She’s branching out into the wilds of Washington state, Vancouver to be specific. So here’s some signal boost to get some of y’all Portlandians and SW Washingtonians out to live and learn. As it happens, I’ve seen Dr. Sherman talk before, and he is freaking hilarious.

Nerd Nite Vancouver #1 – Lust, Chocolate and Prairie Voles: The Neuroscience of Pleasure and Love

When: Wednesday, February 12, 2014, doors at 6:00pm, event at 7:00pm
Where: Kiggins Theater, 1011 Main Street, Vancouver, WA
Cost: $8.00 suggested cover at the door
Come early if you want to order food and drinks and get a good seat!

Is the brain chemistry behind our love for chocolate equivalent to that which drives infatuation with a new lover, the love of a particular song, or addiction? How does the brain sort out pleasure and discomfort? What drives our decisions to stay with one person for life or go from one lover to another, never settling down? This Nerd Nite will focus on these and other questions that reveal much about how neurochemical changes can have major effects on our behaviors—how we love, what we love, and who we love.

Dr. Larry Sherman is a Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Neuroscience at OHSU. He was identified as someone who is “Changing our World” by Portland Monthly Magazine and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and he was awarded OHSU Teacher of the Year in 2012.

[links] Link salad gets a shiver in the dark

Akira Kurosawa — Ever watched The Hidden Fortress imdb  ]? To my eyes, Star Warsimdb ], as much fun as it is, is only a pallid remake of the Japanese original. (Via Cora Buhlert, who has a lot to say about all this.)

Mapping the mutations of twelve major cancer types

Breaking Through Cancer’s Shield The recent discovery that cancers can evade the immune system by wrapping themselves in a protective shield offered a bonus: a way to try to thwart the disease. (Via David Goldman.)

50 States, 50 Pizzas — Mmm. (Via [info]garyomaha.)

Life Reclaims Mount St. Helens — Some nifty satellite photography of Portland’s neighbor to the north.

Amazing Secret Dungeon discovered under my new apartment… — Some people have all the luck! (Via Lisa Costello.)

Scout leaders jubilantly knock over 170m-year-old rock formation in UtahOutrage after triumphant video of destruction by Boy Scouts of America leaders in Goblin Valley state park goes on YouTube. Ah, doubtless some of Sarah Palin’s “real Americans”. Fricking yahoos. (Thanks to [info]threeoutside.)

60 Minutes‘ shameful attack on the disabled — Your Liberal Media, enabling the conservative narrative in a completely fact-free manner since forever.

New Jersey becomes 14th gay marriage state — The bigotry dominoes slowly fall. There simply is no principled stance against gay marriage. Only bigotry clothed in self-valorizing claims of religious morality.

Tea Party Group Leader: File ‘Class Action Lawsuit’ Against Homosexuality — The stupid, it burns. Oh, wait, that’s just the Tea Party talking on FOX News. As you were, business as usual.

Top Ten Climate Change Threats being ignored by your Television News — Amazingly enough, Your Liberal Media is not contributing fully to the liberal hoax that is climate change. Rush Limbaugh and the Republican party are helping keep conservative ideology safe from those liberal “facts” and “data”!

The Truthiness of Rand Paul“I never, ever cheated. I don’t condone cheating. But I would sometimes spread misinformation. This is a great tactic. Misinformation can be very important.” When Republicans can’t win an election on the merits (and they can’t anymore, outside of safely gerrymandered districts and deep red states full of low information voters) this is how they campaign.

The Tea Party, by the NumbersTwo-thirds of regular Republicans believe the federal budget deficit has grown this year and 93 percent of Tea Party Republicans agree. Both are wrong; the budget deficit is projected to fall this year from $1.1 trillion to $642 billion. Speaking of low information voters. Conservatives, as always, are wrong on the plain face of the facts. As always, if ever confronted with the evidence, they will blame liberal bias and cling to their cherished beliefs. That something they believe may not be true has zero impact on conservative political discourse or the manufacturing of angry white men.

Inside the Fox News lie machine: I fact-checked Sean Hannity on Obamacare — Individual conservatives who went on national television (FOX, of course) to share their outrage over Obamacare’s punitive provisions turn out to either be knowingly lying, or never to have checked the reality of the situation at all. Gee, what a shock. The truth has no impact on their political convictions.

Conservatives, Get a Grip on Reality!Obviously, not every Republican or conservative thought, up until the end, that Romney would win or that the anti-Obamacare strategies would work. But this increasingly widespread tone deafness should concern party leaders, particularly when it leads to self-destructive decisions, as we are witnessing these days. In politics, it isn’t uncommon to see judgment clouded by emotion, but when hate and contempt predominate, truly awful decisions often result. That’s what you get when your primary electoral strategy is manufacturing angry white men. Also, this story could have done without the stupid false equivalency obviously thrown in to deflect criticism that by reporting on the documented reality of the Republican party, this reporter is being a liberal partisan.

Scenes from a broken Republican PartyThe fact that repealing the 17th Amendment is an unpopular crackpot idea is, then, a feature, not a bug — because the more nutty the idea, the harder it is for regular conservatives to adopt it. Although Dewhurst, having lost to Cruz, seems to have figured out how to play the game. Now, apply that story and its logic to the crackpot idea of shutting down the government until the Democrats surrender the Affordable Care Act, and I think you can see what’s going on.

Cruz put GOP in position to be brokenOver the last several days, I’ve seen some Republicans complaining that President Barack Obama and the Democrats were trying to break them. Their anger is misplaced. They should be angry at Ted Cruz for putting Republicans in a position to be broken. Has there been a point anywhere in the past thirty years where the GOP hasn’t sought to break and decimate the Democratic party? Doesn’t feel so good to be beaten with your own stick, does it, conservative America?

World War GOPAmerica deserves a far better conservative party than this mewling insanity. […] Unless Republicans shed themselves, and soon, of the uncompromising fanatics and the raging extremists and the yellow-eyed religious zealots and the seditious confederates and the tri-corner hat wearing conspiracy nuts, they will drive both themselves and the rest of us to ruin. Jim Wright rants magnificently as ever about the recent behavior of the GOP. As usual, with citations quoting America’s ruling lunatics in their own words.

?otD: Is it raining in the park?


10/20/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 242.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block reopening National Parks: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad is the heavy-handed gent who ran amok in Kent

Reading Notes: “The Stars Do Not Lie” — A mixed review of my Hugo- and Nebula-nominated novella.

2013 stories 151 – 159 — A review of, among other things, my short story “The Future by Degrees”, all from Seeds of Change.

The Lovely Mr. Gaiman — A despatch from Friday night’s Clarion West party.

JayWake Registration OpensFile 770 covers the forthcoming terminal festivities.

I Just Can’t Process My Own Death — Ferrett Steinmetz with some serious thinking about mortality.

The Atlantic In Paris–Dispatch #1 — Ta-Nehisi Coats with an admirable meditation on privilege, luck and going to Paris with his family.

Epic Superhero Art in a Traditional Native American Style — (Thanks to [info]corwynofamber.)

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office: 3 men towed, rode 600-lb. aluminum chickenThree men were arrested Wednesday in Putnam County for stealing a 9-foot-tall chicken statue. (Via [info]danjite.)

Zoologger: Hipster toad has weaponised moustache — Because headlines! (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Agriculture arose in many parts of the Fertile Crescent at once

Improving 3-D Printing by Copying NatureBiomimicry could make the technology safer and better.

First look: Google Glass unboxing, setup, and first impressions — I would love to work with Google Glass, but even if I somehow got hold of it, unless they can be configured with prescription lenses, they’re useless to me. I can’t wear contacts, and I can’t go without vision correction.

Astronomers remain puzzled by mysterious intergalactic radio bursts

Climate Scientist Michael Mann Sums Up the Witch Hunt Against HimBut the “enraging” part is still there—that duly-elected public officials would waste so much time, effort, and tax dollars on witch hunts like these is galling, amplified even more so by the import and stakes involved. If this were a real controversy I would enthusiastically support investigations; but the evidence is in, and it’s clear these attacks are without merit and just politically driven. The GOP battlecry: “Millions for pointless political witch hunts to keep our white, male voters angry; not one cent for social services that might benefit likely Democratic voters!”

New Living Word removed from Louisiana Scholarship Program — Huh. Conservative Christians cheating the government on a wholesale basis. Guess those Commandments about theft and false witness don’t apply when there’s public money to be pocketed. It is obvious from their behavior and rhetoric that to many American Christians the Ten Commandments are not nearly so important as God’s inviolate word on homosexuality, for example. No wonder people think us atheists can’t have a moral compass. Not when we lack this kind of moral leadership.

Sound Familiar?Can we think of some Americans who view secular, rational thinking as contrary to God’s Will? Who seem to be in an extended revolt against modernity? Who have a fixed, rigid notion of how society ought to operate, rooted deeply in an imagined Golden Age? Who want to utilize democratic processes to impose a system that brooks no compromise or “relativistic” adjustments to changing circumstances, but instead reflects an order dictated by natural and divine law, and the nation’s “true” character?

Gay Marriage Stirs Rebellion at Synagogue — Sadly, there are religious bigots everywhere. History is leaving them all behind.

Restrictive law could force most Texas abortion clinics to close — Ask any Republican about Obamacare, and they’ll tell you, “Don’t let the government come between me and my doctor.” I’m so glad to see the Texas GOP is upholding this core conservative value.

For Islamists, Dire Lessons on Politics and Power

Venezuela’s Maduro: Unlike US Asylees, Snowden didn’t Blow anything Up, just said ‘This is not Right’

How the Pentagon Papers Came to Be Published by the Beacon Press, Told by Daniel Ellsberg and Others — Oh, how times have changed. (Via David Goldman.)

A Bad Dream — Charlie Stross on the politics of democracy in the contemporary UK. Fascinating.

QotD?: What have you overheard in Mayfair lately?


7/7/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (vacation)
Hours slept: 9.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (away from home)
Weight: n/a (away from home)
Number of FEMA troops on my block building mandatory gay marriage halls: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg; Snuff by Terry Pratchett

[events|repost] JayFest sponsored by Powell’s Books

This evening, Powell’s Books will be hosting JayFest, a group signing and book fair in support of the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund in my name.

DATE: Thursday, June 13, 2013 (two days before JayCon XIII)
TIME: Book fair 6:00-9:00 pm, group signing 7:00-8:00 pm
PLACE: Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton, Oregon

Authors in attendance will include David D. Levine, Phyllis Irene Radford, Devon Monk, Barb and J. C. Hendee, Shannon Page, Mark Ferrari, J. A. Pitts, M. K. Hobson, Diana Pharaoh Francis, and Tina Connolly.

Ten percent of the proceeds for each book sold during the book fair will go to the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund, which helps professional science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery writers living in the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska deal with the financial burden of medical expenses.

Be there or be rectilinear!

Please see http://www.powells.com/events/5348/ for more information and updates.

[events|repost] JayFest sponsored by Powell’s Books

Mark your calendars! A week from today, Powell’s Books will be hosting JayFest, a group signing and book fair in support of the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund in my name.

DATE: Thursday, June 13, 2013 (two days before JayCon XIII)
TIME: Book fair 6:00-9:00 pm, group signing 7:00-8:00 pm
PLACE: Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton, Oregon

Authors in attendance will include David D. Levine, Phyllis Irene Radford, Devon Monk, Barb and J. C. Hendee, Shannon Page, Mark Ferrari, J. A. Pitts, M. K. Hobson, Diana Pharaoh Francis, and Tina Connolly.

Ten percent of the proceeds for each book sold during the book fair will go to the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund, which helps professional science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery writers living in the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska deal with the financial burden of medical expenses.

Please see http://www.powells.com/events/5348/ for more information and updates.

[events] JayFest sponsored by Powell’s Books

Mark your calendars! Powell’s Books will be hosting JayFest, a group signing and book fair in support of, well, me.

DATE: Thursday, June 13, 2013 (two days before JayCon XIII)
TIME: Book fair 6:00-9:00 pm, group signing 7:00-8:00 pm
PLACE: Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton, Oregon

Authors in attendance will include David D. Levine, Phyllis Irene Radford, Devon Monk, Barb and J. C. Hendee, Shannon Page, Mark Ferrari, J. A. Pitts, M. K. Hobson, Diana Pharaoh Francis, and Tina Connolly.

Ten percent of the proceeds for each book sold during the book fair will go to the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund, which helps professional science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery writers living in the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska deal with the financial burden of medical expenses.

Please see http://www.powells.com/events/5348/ for more information and updates.

[links] Link salad wipes the sand from its eyes

Ballard Street on writers and their inspiration — Hahah.

Giant Squid, Anyone?Scrivener’s Error with a number of interesting observations on publishing.

Bacon ExplosionJersey Girl in Portland on our recent culinary adventures. Mmm.

Freakishly large goldfish found in Lake Tahoe; Researchers worry about impact on native species

1964 ‘Popemobile’ visits Tacoma museum

Roko’s basilisk — Okay… (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Pistorius case brings South Africa gun culture to global spotlight — Sigh.

Old Yellow Stain: A Tragedy In One Act — Jim Wright on the decline of Senator John McCain.

QotD?: Sleep much?


2/24/2013
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (Research for the current non-fiction project.)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (cold and wet, not walking with my mild head cold)
Weight: n/a (out of town)
Number of FEMA troops on my block covering up high crimes and misdemeanors in Benghazi: 0
Currently reading: Mort by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad takes a hit and its mind goes ping

The Acts of Whimsy cancer fundraiser is still live. It has made goal, but additional support is always welcome, especially given my new complications. Please check it out if you have not done so yet.

A final update from Waterloo Productions on their Kickstarter — Including a video segment I find very hard to watch. Last day for the Kickstarter, so if you were considering giving, go now.

Con or BustHelping Fans of Color Attend SFF Cons. Consider contributing or supporting through bids. Ghu knows we need more diversity in the field.

The World SF Travel Fund — Another worthy cause, for a slightly different flavor of diversity.

Two Guys and Guy on the price of literary success — Heh.

Dilbert on the 10,000 hours of practice required for excellence — Well, duh.

Grammar police: Vibrating pen warns of handwriting mistakesA specialized pen under development is designed to catch writing mistakes and vibrate as a warning. Could it revive the dying art of handwriting? I can think of some entertaining abuses of this thing… (Snurched from James Aquiline.)

Wi-Fi “as free as air”—the totally false story that refuses to dieJournalism goes wrong and just keeps getting worse. No free wi-fi for you! (Via David Goldman.)

Facebook is malware, people suddenly realize

Fat Dads’ Epigenetic LegacyChildren with obese fathers show epigenetic changes that may affect their health.

Cancer reprograms immune cells to avoid an attackCause a specific type of white blood cell to change its identity.

Superomniphobic Material Vigorously Repels All Fluids — (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Moth Drives Robot, Cruising for a LadyThe insect’s mate-seeking behavior could help researchers program self-driving robots to track airborne chemicals. — I’ve been on dates like that.

“Aggressive Pizza-Stealing Dog” Makes Bail — Ah, Oregon.

The Sockeye’s Secret Compass — Magnetic fish?

Asteroid to Make Closest Flyby in HistoryResearchers keeping an eye on trajectory that will bring it within 18,000 miles of Earth. Recorded history, to be more accurate.

35 Ancient Pyramids Discovered in Sudan Necropolis

Dinosaur extinction: Scientists estimate ‘most accurate’ dateScientists believe they have determined the most precise date yet for the extinction of dinosaurs.

A Cheap and Easy Plan to Stop Global WarmingIntentionally engineering Earth’s atmosphere to offset rising temperatures could be far more doable than you imagine, says David Keith. But is it a good idea?

Marco Rubio: Another Senator Who Doubts Global WarmingRubio goes on, saying, “I understand people say there’s a significant scientific consensus on that issue, but I’ve actually seen reasonable debate on that principle.” Actually, no he hasn’t. There has been no reasonable debate, at least not from the deniers, who for the overwhelmingly most part are not climate scientists, who twist data, who leave out critical information, who use cherry-picked graphs, and who resort to outrageous ad hominems to cast doubt on the reality of global warming. Rhat’s because he’s a conservative. “Reasonable debate” means to a Republican, “anything which might support my ideological convictions, no matter how false or outrageous.” Rubio probably does know better, but he also knows that telling the truth will cost him vote in the lunatic asylum that is the Republican base.

Tendency to fear is strong political influenceEducation, they found, had an equally large influence on out-group attitudes, with more highly educated people displaying more supportive attitudes toward out-groups and education having a substantial mediating influence on the correlation between parental fear and child out-group attitudes. Which is precisely why conservatives work so very hard to stunt public education, and control as much of the process as they can.

A Short Note on Mormon Theology and Transgender Identities

Choose Now. Which Side of History Will You Be On? — I wish every conservative in America would read this article. (Snurched from Slacktivist Fred Clark

New Rove Effort Has G.O.P. AflameTheir battle with Democrats will have to wait. For now, Republicans have their hands full fighting one another. The party of “legitimate rape” is trying to purge its cranks and bigots. Which would leave the GOP small enough to hold its national convention inside a Denny’s restaurant. Whither the poor, neglected angry white man so beloved of generations of GOP pols?

The Persistence of Racial Resentment — Without racism fueling angry white men, the GOP would not exist as a meaningful political party.

QotD?: Will your heart pump? Will your blood sing?


2/8/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.75 hours (1,000 words on a spec novella to 3,000 words, plus some WRPA)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bicycle
Weight: 230.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block protecting women from violence: 0
Currently reading: Mort by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad digests Peking duck

The Acts of Whimsy cancer fundraiser is still live. It has made goal, but additional support is always welcome, especially given my new complications. Please check it out if you have not done so yet.

The Lakeside Kickstarter has expanded its stretch goals to include documenting the science around my genomic testing by traveling to the testing lab and interviewing the scientists there. They’v also posted a new trailer for the movie, which is very striking. So give a little to support SCIENCE!

A very nice poster made from some of my recent words on cancer — Thank you, Nicole.

F.E.A.R. — Another cancer survivor talks about fear and loss and coping.

The Girl on the Glider and Other Stories — A roundup of reviews from a reader, including a very kind mention of my short story, “The Cancer Catechism”.

The Best Shots Fired in the Oxford Comma Wars — (Via [info]danjite.)

The last roll of Kodachrome — “Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away.”

The Physics of… Face Slapping — Um… yay, science? (Via David Goldman.)

In science today, a genius never works aloneFuture discoveries are more likely to be made by scientists sharing ideas than a lone genius

Cat gapThe cat gap is a period in the fossil record of approximately 25 to 18.5 million years ago in which there are few fossils of cats or cat-like species found in North America. No cat gap on the Internet! (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

App Feeds Scientists Atmospheric Data from Thousands of SmartphonesPressureNet shows the potential of distributed sensing with mobile devices.

East African Railways and Harbours — For all you infrastructure geeks. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

The Museum of Online Museums — Hah! (Also via [info]threeoutside.)

You Moist Remember This — Tom Robbins on rain. (Via Marta Murvosh.)

Richard III: unveiling day arrives for skeleton that would be kingLeicester University prepares to show carpark remains to the world as scientists work round the clock to finish ID tests.

The Last Places — Henry VIII’s wine cellar, under Britain’s Ministry of Defense building. This is cool. (Snurched from Cameo Wood.)

No Pictures. Only Words. — Peter Watts on his father’s life and death as a deeply closeted gay man. Sobering reading. (Via Tim Keating.)

Activists hail a watershed moment in gay rights movement

Do White evangelicals have a delusional persecution complex? — In a word: yes. It feeds the Christianist narrative quite nicely. Unfortunately for my Evangelical friends, having your absolute cultural supremacy replaced by merely overwhelming dominance isn’t persecution; it’s progress for the rest of us. In other words, a smidgen of fairness. Do unto others, and whatnot, not that the Golden Rule holds much water for American Christianists.

NRA likens universal checks to gun registry — That would be the same NRA that used to support background checks, before they decided the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of children.

Obama gun photo triggers mocking comments — Of course it did. Conservatives hate him no matter what he does. At least those of us who deposed Bush had ample reason to do so, rather than paranoia and self-valorizing fantasies. Unless, of course, you think ruining the economy, crashing the Dow-Jones, reversing the budget surplus, and launching a trillion-dollar war of choice under knowingly false pretenses were good for the country.

Smart dumb quote of the day: “American democracy is the greatest institution on Earth” edition — Ah, Senate rules. (Snurched Steve Buchheit.)

QotD?: Is it pure quackery?


2/3/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.25 hours (minor revisions to an accepted story)
Hours slept: 10.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.2 hours stationary bicycle (still in post-operative recovery)
Weight: 225.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block protecting women from violence: 0
Currently reading: Gulp by Mary Roach