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[links] Link salad gets busy with the medical crud

Seven Deadly Sins + Math — Hahah. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Silence Is Now a Luxury ProductA report on the quiet-car-ization of America. (Via AH.)

You’re Drinking the Wrong Kind of Milk — Moo.

Crazy living rock is one of the weirdest creatures we’ve ever seen — I guess it’s a coral, sort of? Weird stuff. (Via [info]scarlettina.)

Alien-Looking Skeleton Poses Medical Mystery — Cool, but, uh, yeah. (Via [info]scarlettina.)

Clinical Whole Genome Sequencing: Not Quite Ready for Prime Time? — (Via AH.)

Do Neutrinos Change Flavor at Night?

Getting the math of the Universe to cancel outNew modification to gravity may explain the cosmological constant.

Who Should Name the Craters on Mars, You or Astronomers? — (Thanks to David Goldman.)

MIT’s New Robotic Fish Can Change Direction As Rapidly As A Real Fish

German Robot Pole Dancers! — Because reasons! (Thanks, I think, [info]danjite.)

Science Graphic of the Week: Bombogenesis, the Most Extreme Weather This Winter — (Thanks to David Goldman.)

Interactive Map Shows Impact of WWII Firebombing of Japan, If It Had Happened on US Soil — Wow… (Via [info]shsilver.)

The Way We Live Now — Yup. You will know that they are Christians by their love.

Oklahoma FOX Affiliate Edited Evolution Out of ‘Cosmos’ By Removing 15 SECONDS of Footage — Exactly why I was appalled to see such a wonderful show come back on such a terrible network. FOX is not the natural home for anything evidence-based, whether’s it’s honestly reported news or actual science.

Ohio State Rep: ‘Public Education In America Is Socialism, What Is The Solution?’ — Conservatives in their own words. Poe’s Law would apply, except speaker intent is clear by his position. By the way, this guy is vice-chair of the Ohio House Education Committee. “Is our children learning?”, to quote another very prominent conservative.

Guns May Soon Be Everywhere in GeorgiaSoon gun owners in the state of Georgia may be allowed to pack heat almost anywhere—including K-12 schools, bars, churches, government buildings, and airports. The “Safe Carry Protection Act” (HB 875) would also expand Georgia’s Stand Your Ground statute, the controversial law made famous by the Trayvon Martin killing, which allows armed citizens to defend themselves with deadly force if they believe they are faced with serious physical harm. What could possibly go wrong!?

Republican Family Values — A missive from the Oregon GOP. The Republican Party is proud to be known as the party of liberty. As the party of freedom, we believe that Americans should be free to live their lives as they wish, so long as they do not impede the freedom of others to do so. Therefore they support a gay marriage ban. This doesn’t pass the logic level of a fourth-grade class debate, let alone rise to the basic standards of American citizenship. Conservatives…

Food stamps: Oregon becomes fourth state to avoid farm bill cuts — That’s called compassion, and constituent service. Much less effective at generating more angry white guys than grandstanding against anything that might make Obama look good, but that’s conservative priorities for you. I like living in a (relatively) sane Blue State where the public good can at least sometimes trump partisan self-interest.

Foreign Officials In the Dark About Their Own Spy Agencies’ Cooperation with NSA

?otD: Got IV?


3/14/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (almost solid, some daytime napping)
Body movement: 0 minutes (hall walking to come)
Weight: n/a
Number of FEMA troops on my block teaching wives how to be submissive: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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

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

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

Grand Canyon ‘formed recently’

Holocaust Told in One Word, 6 Million Times

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

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

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

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

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


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

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[cancer] Field notes from Cancerland, Maryland follies

Weird tests

The fecal occult blood test is one of my favorite medical test names ever, edging out even Western blot. Yes, there was poo flinging around here this morning at Nuevo Rancho Lake Oriente. The things we do for medical science.

Slotting in with an NIH team

I appear to be slotted in with an NIH team. I won’t know formally until Monday, and even then there are several major choice points looming ahead. Once I am formally enrolled and understand the public profile, I’ll report in more detail. Suffice to say it has been an incredibly productive week. My head is practically overflowing with information. I think we’ve taken 20,000+ words of notes, not to mentions charts, spreadsheets and selection criteria matrices. Also, I apparently continue to distinguish myself as self-directed patient man.

Time here in Maryland

Due to the major choice points referenced above, my time here in Maryland is still a nebulous quantity. At this point, I expect to be here most of the next two months, through the end of February, but my exact comings and goings back to Oregon and in-patient hospital time are still subject to considerable revision. When I know more, I’ll say more.

Stuff to do next week

We’re staying through next Saturday at a minimum. I have a surgical clinic appointment next Friday, and prior to that probably at least one other clinic appointment as well as a handful of screening tests and assessments focused on both the proposed surgery and on the subsequent treatment protocol. In other words, intermittently and unpredictably busy.

Hope

We’re not hoping for a cure here. We’re hoping for a meaningful halt or reduction in tumor growth. If we can achieve that, we can look at the next steps. As I’ve said before, hope can be very poisonous for me. But the fact that we’re doing interesting things at the cutting edge of medicine fills me with an emotion not unakin to hope. It’ll do, for now.

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[politics] You’d better run said the man with the gun

A day or two ago, [info]kenscholes and I were enjoying a leisurely breakfast in The Bomber, in Milwaukie, OR. It’s a sleepy little diner mostly patronized by older folks in a sleepy little suburb south of Portland. In other words, about as a dangerous as your living room. Probably less so.

A very large man walked in with a pistol on his hip, open carry. I am extremely dubious that he was a peace officer off duty, based on his hair, clothes and grooming. I turned to Ken and said, “We need to leave.” We did. I didn’t follow my normal policy of dialing 911 whenever I see a weapon in public because the diner staff had taken no action.

Open carry scares the hell out of me. So does concealed carry, frankly, but concealed carry is a defensive measure, at least in theory. Open carry is a very deliberate threat. It’s a gun owner saying, if in my judgment you are dangerous, I will shoot you down.

I am far, far more frightened of someone who feels the need to walk around openly displaying a handgun than I am of any theoretical criminals that might have been menacing Milwaukie that day. The fact that this guy had that need to threaten everyone he encountered telegraphs some very negative information about both his emotional stability and situational judgement. Open carry isn’t about safety, it’s about dominance.

The weird part is how hard this is to prove. The same conservatives who loudly assure us that firearms are safe and that firearms improve public safety have for decades banned Federally funded research into precisely those questions. If guns were such an excellent safety tool, wouldn’t gun rights enthusiasts be eagerly embracing the research to underscore their point?

Quite the opposite. A firearm is a tool for killing. It serves literally no other purpose. All the collateral uses such as target shooting or hunting are simply practice for the killing. Even the gun lobby knows better, hence the research ban. They just don’t want people thinking in those terms because it’s bad P.R.

I do not want to be around another human being who feels the need to threaten to kill me for the sake of their own sense of security. It saddens me that this is legal, acceptable behavior, and people who practice open carry in normal, everyday situations scare the living hell out of me.

This is not a well-ordered militia, as the always-neglected part of the Second Amendment calls for.

30,000 people die every year in shootings in this country. It is one of the great shames of our society, and will eventually be one of history’s greatest puzzles that we as a society embraced this wholesale slaughter when every other similar industrialized society of our era managed a much more peaceful solution with much lower death rates.

Why would I want to be a part of conservative America’s rain of blood just to satisfy some guy’s paranoid ego?


If past experience proves true, I will catch a lot of flak for this post. A note to head off at least one line of criticism: I am quite comfortable with firearms, am a rather good shot, and understand range safety. In other words, I am not speaking from some thick-headed liberal ignorance. It’s precisely because I understand guns that I don’t want to be around them.

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[links] Link salad asking only workman’s wages, comes looking for a job

NSA forces novelist to scrap book — Hah. Charlie Stross from the other end of the telescope. (Via Dad.)

Hubble Space Telescope Sees Evidence of Water Vapor Venting Off Jupiter Moon — (Via Bruce Taylor.)

What You Get When You Pour Molten Aluminum Into An Ant Hill — Wow…

Strange gelatinous creature gives hints of the first animals on EarthThe comb jelly genome is in, nerves are common, and muscles were invented twice.

World’s Smallest Pacemaker Can Be Implanted without SurgeryNew cardiac devices are small enough to be delivered through blood vessels into the heart.

Small Oregon Nuclear Power Plant Company Gets Massive Federal Backing

Arctic Waters Keep Warming in 2013The Arctic continued to shift to a warmer, greener state in 2013.

And may all your Jesuses be white — While I certainly could have a lot of bitter sarcasm here, this is actually good news about the LDS church and race. The moral cretins who invested so heavily of their spiritual and financial credibility in Proposition 8 get something right for a change.

Photo of the Day: Was St. Nicholas “White”? — Well, smug Republican Jesus was certainly white, so why not? It’s not like facts or accuracy have any place whatsoever in the Christianist worldview.

Let’s just rename Michigan Gilead and call it a dayYes, Michigan ladies you’ll need to insure yourself against pregnancy from rape because the misogynistic pigs of the Michigan legislature think women should be forced to give birth to their rapists children. This is Handmaid’s Tale come to life. The conservative obsession with controlling women and their reproductive health is so toxic I cannot imagine why any woman, or anyone related to a woman by birth or marriage, can ever vote for the Republican party. Assuming they have a shred of compassion or morality in them.

Most of 109 new gun laws enacted since last year’s Newtown massacre have loosened restrictions — Because as any conservative will tell you, guns make us all safer. Ask the 30,000 people who are proudly killed by firearms every year in order to preserve your theoretical defense of essential liberties. No other developed country in the world makes such wholesale human sacrifices for the illusion of safety. Makes me proud to be an American, damn it.

?otD: Did you get any answers?


12/13/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 239.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[travel] Flying back to Oregon

Lisa Costello and I are flying back to Oregon today. We seem to have accomplished all our critical priorities here in Maryland. I personally do not ever expect to come back to the East Coast except possibly for some medical purpose. Was nice to see folks yesterday, will be nice to sleep in my own bed tonight.

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[conventions] My Orycon programming schedule

My Orycon programming schedule, for them what wants it.

Friday, November 8

5:00pm – Panel: Living With Late Stage Cancer

Saturday, November 9

11:00am – Panel: Political Systems in SF

Sunday, November 10

10:00am – A showing of the film: Lakeside
12:00pm – Panel: Reprints

I will be arriving at the convention in the mid- to late afternoon, due to medical and legal appointments today. I’m booked for dinner tonight, but will otherwise be around tomorrow and Sunday to the degree my physical energy and GI issues permit. Sunday afternoon, I’ll be joining many other writers at the Powell’s Authorfest over at the Cedar Hills store.

See some, all or none of you there.

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[art|photos] He took a face from the ancient gallery and walked on down the hall

Lisa Costello and I recently visited ceramic artist Beverly Toyu at her studio in Dayton, Oregon. We were both absolutely croggled at what we found there — hundreds of ceramic life masks and molds. It was beautiful and strange and more than a little unsettling. Neither of us had come prepared for serious photography, but with Beverly’s permission, I took some shots on the iPhone.

I give you faces:

Read the rest of this entry »

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[travel] Still at the beach, heading home today

What it says on the tin. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

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[travel] We are at the beach

Carry on without us. Back soon.

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