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[links] Link salad might be thrillin’ baby, but a-my love so dog-gone willin’

Everything About These Pictures Of A Tiny, Adventurous Lego Photographer is Awesome

Arrgh! Adventures of 17th-Century Pirate Alliance Uncovered

Technocracy Inc.: 1939 — Ah, the Technocracy. But in Josephine County, OR? Really?

Oscars 2014: Vagina rejuvenation procedure offered in $80,000 goodie bags — Uh… (Via [info]danjite.)

‘Three parent babies’ could be born in Britain next year Britain is set to become the first country in the world to create babies with the DNA of three people after the government set out new draft regulations.

Cheese Chunks Adorn Ancient Mummies

10 of the world’s coolest underground wonders

The “Exosuit”: A wearable submarine for visiting deep waterDeep sea fish may contain proteins we need for brain-machine interfaces.

The Mammoth Cometh — On species restoration. (Via AH.)

On Way to New World, First Americans Made a 10,000-Year Pit Stop — Now if only they’d been willing to ask for directions. (Via David Goldman.)

Settled Science1 in 4 Americans isn’t down with heliocentricity. Because science is a cult, man. Where the priesthood of knowledge doesn’t permit alternative views. Your opinion is just as valid as some longhair Ph.D. who’s spent decades in research. Right?

Who’s behind ‘religious freedom’ push? The answer is hard to find

When ‘Religious Liberty’ Was Used To Justify Racism Instead Of HomophobiaRacism was more than just an ideology, it was a sincerely held religious belief.

After veto in Arizona, conservatives vow to fight for religious liberties“I have not heard one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated,” said Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer. Really, kids, it’s pretty simple. The right to discriminate and persecute based on your picked-and-chosen dictates of dogma is not a religious liberty. It’s a cultural privilege which is eroding, and rightfully so in a just and moral society.

30 Pieces of Silver — Jim Wright on the Brewer veto in Arizona.

Texas’s ban on gay marriage struck down by federal judge — Some interesting analysis here, including polling data.

CNN host gives Catholic League epic lesson on equal rights: ‘You do not own marriage’ — (Via Brad Smith.)

Who Favors Discrimination against Gay Newlyweds? Most Republicans, old People, Southerners, EvangelicalsYouth is such a determining factor here that it overwhelms the other identity considerations; 60% of African-American Millennials accept gay marriage and half of young Republicans do. People who don’t know any gays have not joined the new consensus.

TPM Interview: The Brown Grad Student Who Chased The NRA Out Of Rhode Island — Well, to be more specific, out of Rhode Island politics.

Rule 34, meet Kafka — Hah!

5 years later, here’s how the tea party changed politicsFor better or worse, the coming together of frustrated conservatives fearing American ruin due to rising debt has altered the national discussion to raise the profile of people and policies previously relegated to the right-wing fringe. That’s an awfully kind description of a political movement far better characterized by its arrant racism and proud, willful ignorance. Because really, if these people were motivated by deficit issues, where the hell were they when a white conservative named George W. Bush held office and ran up the highest deficits in history? They didn’t get mad until there was a black Democrat to blame. A GOP astroturf operations from the beginning, the Tea Party has never had a shred of intellectual or political credibility except as gifted to them by Your Liberal Media.

?otD: Did you kiss him good-bye?


2/28/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes
Weight: 234.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block unjustly vilifying Ted Nugent: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad pulls across to greet a fellow rolling stone

Sculptures That Are Literally Head-Expanding — This be some strange stuff.

The Science of Selfies: A Five-City ComparisonWhere do they smile the most? The least? Who poses most expressively? Then there’s always felfies. (Via David Goldman.)

Lonely Cows Are Slow Learners

Massive offshore wind farms’ unexpected benefit: Hurricane protection

Daytime Moon Meets Morning Star — Which somehow sounds like the title of a Cordwainer Smith story to me.

“I Don’t Think We Accept These,” Says TSA Agent, Peering at D.C. License — I once had a car rental counter clerk in Dallas, Texas decline to accept my Oregon driver’s license because she could only accept US IDs.

Michael Dunn Compares Himself To Rape Victim In Newly Released Calls From Jail — Not unlike George Zimmerman. Apparently middle aged men who kill unarmed black kids are society’s true victims. Their guns made them safer, then they were betrayed. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Rand Paul Blocks Surgeon General Nominee For Saying Gun Violence Is A Public Health Threat — Because guns make us all safer, and any pantywaist who pretends otherwise doesn’t deserve to be heard. Just ask the 30,000 people killed every year by firearms, they’ll surely agree.

“Stand Your Ground” NationAmerica used to value the concept of retreat. Now we just shoot. The paranoid bullies with their guns are winning.

One-Third Of Millennials Who Left Their Religion Did It Because Of Anti-Gay Policies: Survey — I know from listening to American religious leaders that Jesus’ teachings on homosexuality are far more prominent and important in the New Testament than His teachings on ministering to the poor, or feeding the hungry, or hypocrisy, or love of self and neighbor. Just look how many verses are devoted to each of those topics, after all. He preached constantly on the gay menace. Wait, what?

There Are Two Christian Right Movies Called ‘Persecuted’ Coming Out This YearWe’ve written quite a bit about the Religious Right’s conviction that conservative Christians in the U.S. are facing religious persecution through things like gay rights and the expansion of contraception access. Well, in case we needed a confirmation that this is in fact the direction of the right-wing zeitgeist, it turns out that are several movies coming out this year about the supposed oppression of Christians in America. And two of them have the same title: “Persecuted.” (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Federal judge voids Texas’ gay marriage ban, though he delays order from taking effect immediately — Republican officials are of course appealing in their continued effort to restrict civil and human rights for Americans of whom they disapprove.

Fox’s Tucker Carlson: It’s “Fascism” For Businesses To Have To Treat Gay Customers EquallyCarlson’s attempts to distinguish between refusing to provide services related to a gay wedding and refusing to serve gay people in general ignore the substance of the bill. New York University constitutional law professor Kenji Yoshino has noted that the measure is broadly written enough that it would allow any individual or business owner to refuse services to any gay person as long as he or she contended that providing services would burden his or her religious beliefs. So I guess we’ll have to carry gay/straight cards, as well as religious IDs?

Hispanic Lawyers Pull Conference From Arizona Over Anti-Gay Bill — Just the first of a long and richly-deserved string of economic setbacks for one of the epicenters of Christianist bigotry in America.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoes divisive bill seen as anti-gay — “Seen as” anti-gay? “Flatly intended to be” anti-gay is the simple truth. And I am amazed at this veto, given that the Religious Right never backs down on anything. Would have been nice if she’d vetoed the bill because it is profoundly unConstitutional and against everything American values stand for, rather than due to the economic backlash, but I guess morality is where you find it when you’re a Republican governor in a conservative state.

Dumb New Arizona Laws — Hah!

The Death Throes Of The Anti-Gay Movement — We should be so lucky.

Arizona Discrimination, Leviticus StyleHate can get complicated.

Let he who is without sin… — Hahahah.

It’s Official: White Folks in Red States are the Biggest Food Stamp ‘Moochers’ in the Country!

DOJ Still Ducking Scrutiny After Misleading Supreme Court on Surveillance

Dick Cheney Broke US Military, now blames Obama for Cuts — Oh, come on. It’s all Obama’s fault. You can’t blame Cheney for anything. The last Republican to bear any responsibility whatsoever for their destructive acts in office was Richard Nixon. Reagan’s teflon coat is still ubiquitous among GOP pols.

Why I left the GOPMy old Republican worldview was flawed because it was based upon a small and particularly rosy sliver of reality. To preserve that worldview, I had to believe that people had morally earned their “just” desserts, and I had to ignore those whining liberals who tried to point out that the world didn’t actually work that way. I think this shows why Republicans put so much effort into “creat[ing] our own reality,” into fostering distrust of liberals, experts, scientists, and academics, and why they won’t let a campaign “be dictated by fact-checkers” (as a Romney pollster put it). It explains why study after study shows — examples here, here, and here – that avid consumers of Republican-oriented media are more poorly informed than people who use other news sources or don’t bother to follow the news at all. Waking up to a fuller spectrum of reality has proved long and painful. (Via [info]shsilver.)

?otD: Do you remember Dick Tracy? Do you remember Shane?


2/27/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 30 minutes
Weight: 233.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block unjustly vilifying Ted Nugent: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad looks forward to hump day

Another excerpt from Jay Lake collab “Recontact” for #WIPpet Wednesday — My good buddy Ruth Nestvold is cleaning up some of our unfinished collaborative work for publication.

METAtropolis: Green Space Audiobook Review

Sarah Silverman and the Art of the Non-Dirty Joke — This is a good example of the creative process, very well explicated.

Toy Story: The True Identity of Andy’s Mom Makes The Movie More Epic — (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Google Glass-wearing woman posts video of alleged S.F. bar attack

How Humans Went From Being One Shade to Many

Provide coverage for Lung Cancer Screening with LDCT — Cancer activism, courtesy of Janet Freeman-Daily.

Cheaper Cancer Gene Tests, by the DropA single-molecule gene test requires much less DNA to identify cancer-causing mutations.

Chile’s stunning fossil whale graveyard explained

Scientists re-weigh the electron, get more precise mass

Water Found in Atmosphere of Nearby Alien Planet

Space Rock Smacks Moon, Creating Biggest Lunar Explosion Ever Seen — (Via David Goldman.)

The audacious rescue plan that might have saved space shuttle ColumbiaThe untold story of the rescue mission that could have been NASA’s finest hour.

A World Multiply Endangered: Horseman of the Four Apocalypses — About political fear and terror.

‘I Am Still Called by the God I Serve to Walk This Out’A conversation with Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis. Ta-Nehisi Coates again.

Is Religion Secularizing? Trends in Opposition to Pornography — I’m not sure this has any great significance, but it is interesting.

Christian rocker pleads guilty to trying to hire hit man to kill wife — Ah, the superior morality of Biblical marriage. (Via Scrivener’s Error.)

Inside the Conservative Campaign to Launch “Jim Crow-Style” Bills Against Gay Americans“This seems to be a concerted Hail Mary campaign to carve out special rights for religious conservatives so that they don’t have to play by the same rules as everyone else does”

A License to DiscriminateThere are 17 states where it is legal for same-sex couples to marry, and there is no evidence that the accelerating progress toward equality has compromised anyone’s freedom to worship or hold religious beliefs. Unfortunately, that has not stopped religious and social conservatives from pressing lawmakers in various states to enact noxious measures to give businesses and individuals the broad right to deny services to same-sex couples in the name of protecting religious liberty.

Fox News blasts Arizona’s “Jim Crow laws for homosexuals” — Uh, really? They were certainly for it before they were against it. Let’s see if this holds up at all.

Senators on SB1062: “We made a mistake”A trio of Arizona state senators urged Gov. Jan Brewer to veto a controversial “religious freedom” bill on Monday, just days after all three cast votes in favor of the proposal that opponents say will legalize discrimination. These unAmerican conservative jerks don’t even have the balls to stand proudly for the same bigoted hate they were happy to vote in for relative anonymity a week ago? Poor widdle babies, facing consequences for their profoundly destructive actions. Such accountability rarely happens to conservatives, of course. I suppose this is progress, but it would have been a lot more progress not to embrace such a hideously immoral piece of GOP vote pandering in the first place.

Arizona Confronting Awkward Realization That Gay People Have Money, Buy Stuff Acknowledging that her vote for the anti-gay law might have been calamitous for the state’s economy, Ms. Foyler placed the blame for it squarely on the shoulders of one group: the gays themselves. “How was I supposed to know what gay people do with their money, etc., when I don’t personally know any gay people?” she asked. “I’m sorry, but it was up to the gays to tell us.” (Via Lisa Costello.)

Oops: GOP Bill Would Strip 1 Million Workers Of Health Coverage — I’m pretty sure that’s a feature, not a bug, as stripping lower income people of healthcare is an explicit and widely held Republican goal. See the widespread efforts at refusal or even rollback of Medicare expansion.

[Redacted in the Interest of National Security] — Ah, humor.

GOPer: Ranchers Should Shoot ‘Wetbacks’ Crossing Border IllegallyA Republican Senate candidate argued to The Dallas Morning News editorial board earlier this month that ranchers in Texas should be allowed to shoot “wetbacks” trying to cross the border illegally. Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

?otD: Is this the middle of your week?


2/26/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 10.0 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 30 minutes
Weight: 234.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block unjustly vilifying Ted Nugent: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad is having a good time

Un dernier recueil de nouvelles pour Jay Lake — (Via Sangoire De Terre d’Ange.)

The Privilege of Assuming It’s Not about YouHaley Morris-Cafiero is an artist, a photographer, and a scorned body. Aware that her appearance attracts disgust and mockery from some, she decided to try to document people’s public disdain. The result is a series of photographs exposing the people who judge and laugh at her.

World Press 2014: Signals from Djibouti — Rather science fictional and more than a little sad. (Via David Goldman.)

Tau Boötis b: A ’3-D’ Look at Star and Planet

Climate Change Deniers Lose Their Cool — You guys are going to have a lot to answer for when our grandchildren want to know why we didn’t do something sooner, while we still could have.

Climate change deniers have grasped that markets can’t fix the climateBut climate change denial is also about ideology. Many deniers have come to the conclusion that climate change is some kind of leftwing conspiracy – because the scale of the international public intervention necessary to cut carbon emissions in the time demanded by the science simply cannot be accommodated within the market-first, private enterprise framework they revere. As with most conservative positions, the ideology comes first, followed by a search for supporting evidence, what George W. Bush called “the true facts”. Which makes it very hard to change your position when you by definition reject non-compliant evidence, such as all those other pesky facts that don’t mean the conservative definition of “truth”. That was the whole point of the BEST project after all, and look how an intellectually honest conservative review of the evidence turned out. The template for this is of course evolution denial. (Snurched from Scrivener’s Error.)

Darkening of Melting Arctic Amplifying Global Warming from CO2One of nature’s key defenses against global warming—the reflection of the sun’s rays away from Earth by Arctic sea ice—has fallen victim to… global warming. And according to a study published Monday, the vicious feedback loop is worse than previously thought.

Health Care Horror Hooey — Paul Krugman makes the same point I was making a few days ago, about unforced errors in the GOP’s anti-Obamacare initiative.

I’m embarrassed by Ted NugentWhen did conservatives become prisoners to idiotic vulgarity? I ask that question as someone who self-defines as conservative and who is sick and tired of being embarrassed by Ted Nugent. Let me remind you of a little something called the Southern Strategy, as well as its post-Nixon incarnations. Not to mention the GOPAC memo. So-called “good conservatives” getting the vapors now is about four or five decades too late.

Fun With Metadata

How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

Military Spending Cuts and How They Are Being Distorted

?otD: Won’t you stop me now?


2/25/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 10.o hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes
Weight: 233.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block unjustly vilifying Ted Nugent: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad grumps awake

Redressing the translation imbalance — Aliette de Bodard reaches out to non-Anglophone writers. I love this.

Classic literature in Lego – in picturesFrom a bloody battle in George RR Martin to a sensual scene from Jane Austen, Waterstones has been recreating setpieces from great literature in toy bricks to coincide with the release of The LEGO Movie. Take a child’s eye view of classic books here.

Aardman Animals Talk Art — Plus a link to “Creature Comforts”!

Roentgen Objects, or: A Device Larger than the Room that Contains It

It Looks Like An Ordinary Piece Of Wood. But Trust Me, It’s Going To Blow Your Mind In A Minute.

When Doctors Need to Lie — Uh, no. This whole article is paternalistic overreach, disguised as compassion. As a patient with a terminal illness who’s endured years of setbacks and complications, no, I don’t want my doctor deciding when it’s okay to lie to me.

Mysterious polio-like illnesses reported in some California children — Uh oh. (Via David Goldman.)

A Brief History of the Typewriter — (Via [info]threeoutside.)

New ‘pomegranate-inspired’ design solves problems for lithium-ion batteries — (Via David Goldman.)

The Koreas at NightNight lights illustrate dramatically the relative economic activity of cities and countries.

Why You Can’t Keep a Secret — This is interesting and a bit strange.

11,000-Year-Old Settlement Found Under Baltic Sea

Oldest Rock Speck Zeros In On Earth’s Cooling DateThe oldest remaining grain of early Earth’s original solid rock crust has now been confirmed to be a 4.374-billion-year-old old zircon crystal from Jack Hills, Australia.

A Death Cult run by billionairesMy question to climate change deniers is this: what if you’re wrong? The only thing that will happen if the world addresses climate change will be a somewhat orderly change in the way we use energy, some economic reorganization and a whole lot of jobs and business being done to switch to different energy sources. The changes that are being proposed to mitigate climate change are far less cataclysmic than the changes that would be imposed by unaddressed climate change itself.

Climate change goes back to the Supreme Court

21 varieties of traditional African homosexuality

George Takei Blasts Arizona Bigots, Threatens Boycott In Epic Condemnation of Anti-Gay ‘Jim Crow’ Laws

Arizona Goddam — Jim Wright asks what Jesus would do in Arizona. I suppose it depends on whether you’re asking about smug Republican Jesus, or the man actually depicted in the New Testament as the Son of God. Those are two very different people.

The ‘Christian’ movement that tells husbands to SPANK their wives ‘to correct misbehavior’ — BDSM for Christ?

This is a Powerful Way to Combat a Christian Speaker at Your University — Hah! (Via [info]danjite.)

How I lost the religion of my childhood My parents raised me as Christian missionaries. When I finally opened my eyes, I made a stunning realization. A wonderful piece about faith and childhood. The headline notwithstanding, this is not an anti-religious article, but rather an interesting meditation on having grown up as a missionary kid. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

One Of The Best Comebacks I’ve Ever Heard Was Made In A Single Word — Hah!

The 50 states, redrawn with equal population

Our Sinister Dual State

Anatomy of the Deep State — (Via [info]danjite.)

?otD: Got sleep?


2/24/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes
Weight: 233.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block unjustly vilifying Ted Nugent: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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[links] Link salad is alive with the sound of music

Whoops — A perhaps NSFW and absolutely tasteless piece of hilarity from McSweeney’s. You were warned. (Via David Goldman.)

The Policeman’s Beard is Half-Constructed — Language and computers.

Last surviving member of Trapp Family Singers dies aged 99Family’s story of escaping Nazi-occupied Austria told in The Sound of Music

Clowns Aren’t Cool? Fewer Young People Don The Polka Dot Pants — (Via [info]garyomaha.)

Absurd Creature of the Week: This Fish Swims Up a Sea Cucumber’s Butt and Eats Its Gonads — Uh. (Via David Goldman.)

USPTO issues patent for fraudulent stem cell procedureRetracted papers, prison sentence apparently didn’t tip patent examiners off.

A Cockroach Tour of the Science Museum — (Via [info]threeoutside.)

World’s 10 weirdest medical museums — Oooh! Pick me! (Via Dad.)

Haunting Photos of the Abandoned 1984 Winter Olympics Facilities

What Happens to Olympics Infrastructure?

Alcoholics Anonymous, Without the ReligionThe boom in nonreligious A.A. represents another manifestation of a more visible and confident humanist movement in the United States, one that has featured public figures such as Bill Maher, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens. Yet this recent trend within A.A. also marks a departure from the organization’s traditional emphasis on religion.

More Americans Have Died From Domestic Gunfire Than All Wars In U.S. History — Because guns make us all safer.

Arizona State Senator Says He Opposes Common Core Because… It Promotes Algebra — The Republican Party has adopted Poe’s Law as its primary platform, apparently. (Via David Goldman.)

No Nugent is Good NugentThere’s been hand-wringing and eye-rolling among the Texas GOP this week over Ted Nugent calling President Obama a “subhuman mongrel.” The real question is, why now?

The Deep State is Vulnerable to People Power

?otD: Tell me you didn’t sing the same damned songs for a thousand years?


2/23/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 20 minutes (recovering)
Weight: 234.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block unjustly vilifying Ted Nugent: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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[links] Link salad fires its lipstick taser

Inside Amtrak’s (Absolutely Awesome) Plan to Give Free Rides to Writers — I hope this bears fruit.

Is truth stranger than fiction? Yes, especially for science fiction — (Via John Sapienza.)

Is entanglement real or is there a super-deterministic cosmic conspiracy?Researchers use quasars to kill off the last of the quantum hidden variables. This article made my head hurt. In a good way.

Traveler’s Table: Dumplings around the world

Map: How Wrong Is Your Time Zone — This is pretty cool.

Facebook won’t change privacy settings when you die, allows Look Back video requests for memorial accounts

Judge Tosses Muslim Spying Suit Against NYPD, Says Any Damage Was Caused by Reporters Who Exposed ItMartini, a one-term Republican congressman from New Jersey, was appointed to the federal bench by George W. Bush in 2002. Previous critiques of his judicial conduct have been unusually blunt and public, including repeated rebukes at the appellate level and the local U.S. attorney’s describing him in court filings as “misguided” and “irrational.”

Pastor tells ‘White Christians of Florida,’ that ‘stench from your houses of worship is wafting’ across AmericaA Baptist pastor from Washington has penned an open letter to “White Christians of Florida,” condemning them for not standing united against that state’s controversial “stand your ground” law.

Are Republicans even trying? Another Obamacare horror story bites the dust Given how horrible Obamacare supposedly is, it’s bizarre the GOP has such a hard time finding real victims. Kind of like years ago when the GOP was campaigning to eliminate the estate tax because it broke up farm families, and they could not find a single farm family that had been broken up. The really weird thing is that there are plenty of problems with the Obamacare rollout, and a significant number of people struggling with balancing premiums and subsidies. In other words, there are plenty of real hard luck stories to tell. Why does the GOP continue to lie?

My Night in Solitary — The world would be a different place if law-and-order types had to experience criminal justice from the inside.

Tenn. official ‘threatened’ blacks with skin ‘trophy’ he saved from 1896 lynching — Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

?otD: Do you declare your weapon?


2/22/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.0 hours (solid until someone poked me awake in her sleep)
Body movement: 15 minutes (recovering)
Weight: 233.2
Number of FEMA troops attacking religious liberty: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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[links] Link salad drank up all the money, yes it drank up all the money

Cover Reveal for Jay Lake’s The Last Plane to Heaven

The Most Ridiculous Mashup Ever – SpongeMen SquareWatch — Totally depraved. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

WTF is that on her head?Vintage ads featuring women with inexplicable stuff on their heads.

Spend the Night in a Giant Anus — Because you can! (Thanks to @dratz.)

Girl Scout sells 117 boxes of cookies in two hours outside Marijuana clinic — I have a pretty firm policy of never linking to FOX News or any of its affiliates, because FOX, but this headline was too good pass up. (Via Lisa Costello.)

She wasn’t being rude — Just a story about a veterinarian, a woman and a dog. Very much worth the read.

80 women go topless in New York: photos by Jordan Matter (NSFW)

Christopher Ryan: Are we designed to be sexual omnivores? — A TED talk. My answer is duh, yes.

Finger Computer Reads Books Aloud

Extraterrestrial Dispersal VectorsIf human civilization is to extend itself beyond our planet, it will need to take with it the plants, animals and microorganisms that can sustain a living ecosystem.

Brain Scans Show Striking Similarities Between Dogs and Humans

Cities, Networks, and the Counterintuitive Nature of SuicideThe new science of cities shows that suicide may be a more complex social phenomenon than previously thought, say computational anthropologists. Me, I was fascinated to learn of Kleiber’s law while reading this piece. (Via David Goldman.)

The Dark Power of FraternitiesA yearlong investigation of Greek houses reveals their endemic, lurid, and sometimes tragic problems—and a sophisticated system for shifting the blame. This just in: water is wet. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in the mid-1980s, where criminal acts by fraternity members, up to and including rape, theft, vehicular assault, arson and several suspicious deaths, routinely went uninvestigated and unprosecuted because of the political influence of frat legacies who held power in all levels of local and state government. Boys will be boys, after all. There is nothing whatsoever surprising about this.

A Brief Meandering About the Polar Vortex — Which for some reason climate change denialists continue to insist against all evidence is a scare word made up by the liberal media. Of course, if they were willing to accept evidence, they wouldn’t be denialists.

A Great Freeze Over the Great LakesIce cover on North America’s Great Lakes reached 88 percent in mid-February 2014—levels not observed since 1994. The average maximum ice extent since 1973 is just over 50 percent. It has surpassed 80 percent just five times in four decades. The lowest average ice extent occurred in 2002, when only 9.5 percent of the lakes froze.

Clerics Issue Fatwa: Muslims Can’t Live On Mars — Uh, ok. Though in fairness, this is specifically about the proposed one-way trip being seen as a form of suicide. Which is still quite a stretch to my view. Is it suicide to emigrate somewhere?

Gay patient says Catholic chaplain refused him last rites — You will know that they are Christians by their love. (Via John Sapeinza.)

Kansas Christianists seek monopoly on worldly honors and emolumentsSlacktivist Fred Clark explains the wider context and profound anti-American shame of the currently-tabled Kansas bill legalizing Christian discrimination against the LGBT community. You know, the truly horrible bill that no one in the conservative blog, media and political world seems willing to comment on. My view of “good conservatives” is rapidly eroding.

Arizona Legislature approves controversial religion bill — Arizona joins Kansas in shaming itself, the nation, and Christians everywhere.

[GOP Senate Candidate] Bevin: Same-Sex Marriage Will Lead To Parent-Child Marriage — Because being conservative means never having to be anything but cracking batshit bugfuck insane. And people vote for this shit.

DeLay: Americans Have Forgotten That God Wrote The Constitution — Because being conservative means never having to be anything but cracking batshit bugfuck insane. And people vote for this shit.

“He Will Rule Them With An AR-15”Retired Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin believes when Jesus comes back, he’ll have an AR-15 assault rifle in hand. Every time I read about a prominent Christian like this, I get down on my knees and thank the Lord God Almighty that I am an atheist. This crap makes my skin crawl.

?otD: How’re you going to get around in this sleazy bedroom town if you don’t put yourself up for sale?


2/21/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 5.0 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 10 minutes (feeling poorly)
Weight: 233.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block attacking religious liberty: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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[links] Link salad carefully observes the First Law of the Sea

In defence of unnecessary words

An Animated Guide to the Economics of Sex

What all the stylin’ white boys were wearing on their heads in the 1950s — Is it wrong that these all look the same to me? And I am a white boy.

200-Year Old Douche Discovered Under NYC City Hall — I didn’t realize Mayor Giuliani was that old.

Star Wars actor dies: His ‘disturbing’ Star Wars role outshone a long careerStar Wars actor Richard LeParmentier died this morning in Austin. “Every time we find someone’s lack of faith disturbing, we’ll think of him,” said his family in a statement. Awesome quote in the subhead on this piece. (Via David Goldman.) ETA: While still amusing, it has been pointed out to me this is very stale news. My apologies, I did not check the date.

Comet Lovejoy over the Great Wall — The explanatory text includes some lovely poetic detail.

Old Arctic Ice Is Disappearing, and Taking the Rest of the Ice With ItIt’s not hard to see that over the past few years, the oldest ice has melted away, and over time the ice gets younger. That’s not good: Older ice is thicker and tends to hang around longer; young ice is generally thinner and melts away every summer. That means that the year-round amount of ice is dropping, and dropping rapidly. As the Arctic warms, its ability not just to form ice but to keep it wanes.

Politician wants to raise greenhouse gas limits, for the plants — The stupid, it burns. But it also gets elected.

Other Agendas “Frozen” Is Subtly Forcing Into Your Child’s BrainFeminist Mormon Housewives with a truly hilarious response to some criticism from another Mormon blogger who is deeply unhinged.

GOP Lawmakers Want To Define Anti-Gay Discrimination As ‘Religious Freedom’ — I have never seen a logical argument as to why barring discrimination compromises religious freedom.

Religious Liberty Or Anti-Gay Animus?For me, with devout Catholics, the acid test is divorce. The bar on divorce – which, unlike the gay issue, is upheld directly by Jesus in the Gospels – is just as integral to the Catholic meaning of marriage as the prohibition on gay couples. So why no laws including that potential violation of religious liberty? Both kinds of marriage are equally verboten in Catholicism. So where is the political movement to insist that devout Catholics do not have to cater the second weddings of previously divorced people? Yup. Nails it.

Homophobia Takes Years Off of Your LifeThat’s the conclusion of a new study that compares death rates with Americans’ attitudes toward gay rights. A small price to pay for being one of the GOP’s core of angry white guys, I am certain.

Arkansas man ‘shot dead cheerleader after prank’ — Because guns make us all safer. And you can’t make a safety omelet without breaking 30,000 eggs per year.

Social Identity Markers are NOT a proxy for left wing social policies — (Via [info]goulo.)

Racializing Politics: We don’t say “Slav” Democracy troubled in Ukraine, why Talk about “Arab” Failures?

Hyperlocal Neighborhood Maps Reveal the Chaos in Aleppo — Wow. I never would have thought of the bakery thing. (Via David Goldman.)

Let’s get straight who is paying for whom — More on the ridiculous belief among rural conservatives that they are somehow being bled dry by taxes to pay for the big cities. You know, those liberal “facts” and “data”. I especially like this bit: But it’s very, very tiresome to watch a bunch of delusional narcissists taking urban tax dollars to pay for their rural infrastructure and safety nets (most SNAP recipients are white, remember) elect a bunch of jokers to Congress who prevent the people who actually pay the bills from solving big problems like climate change, healthcare, privacy, wealth inequality, poverty, and financial corruption.

Watch This CNN Anchor Stop The Spin On The Minimum Wage — Every time we’ve tried to raise the minimum wage, conservatives have trotted out the same job-killing, anti-business opposition. Every time they’ve been wrong. Why would they be right this time?

?otD: Metalbeard? Is that you?


2/20/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 10 minutes (feeling poorly)
Weight: 234.4
Number of FEMA troops attacking religious liberty: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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[links] Link salad knows that everything is awesome when you’re part of the team

How my husband forgot sexWhen we were younger, he was the one who taught me to explore. Then he had cancer surgery — and came out a virgin. Sigh.

A Rainbow Pileus Cloud over Zimbabwe

Why Mount Hood’s next eruption will be like a big blob of toothpasteMixing of hot and cold magna can bring a volcanic eruption in as little as 60 days. Volcanic eruptions at Mount Hood occur when cold magma, stored like ‘peanut butter in a refrigerator,’ mixes with hot magma from deep within the Earth’s crust, say researchers. That would be Portland’s friendly neighborhood volcano.

Kitties teach scientists a thing or two about geneticsCats, the patron saints of the internet, are typically not thought of as being at the forefront of genetic research. Their lack of opposable thumbs really limits their ability to run a proper DNA sequence, after all.

Hole-y Phobia May Have Evolutionary Origins Images that induce trypophobia, the fear of holes, share visual features with images of certain venonmous animals, implying that the aversion has an evolutionary basis. Trypophobia?

After 400 years, mathematicians find a new class of shapes

“Don’t Buy Shirts in Herat”: the Lost World of the Hippie Trail — Oh, man, to have lived this.

Rethinking a Zero Tolerance Approach to “Female Genital Mutilation” — Wow am I having a hard time wrapping my head around this.

Drug site Silk Road wiped out by Bitcoin glitch

World’s Smartest Company: Illumina — These guys did my Whole Genome Sequencing.

Capital One says it can show up at cardholders’ homes, workplacesThe credit card company’s recent contract update includes terms that sound menacing and creepy. Not “sound menacing”. “Are menacing.” World’s creepiest company.

National clown shortage may be approaching, trade organizations fear — There’s always the GOP congressional delegation to draw from as deep bench. (Via [info]danjite.)

Who Believes that Astrology is Scientific? — A paper on the correlations between belief in astrology and political affiliation. Which, surprisingly, show liberals to be the bigger idiots. Just what this country needs: further validation of non-evidence-based thinking. (Via [info]ericjamesstone.)

Bill Nye Science Guy to Debate GOP Rep Gohmert on Gravity

Obama’s Tea Party Cousin Who’s Running for Senate Compared President to Hitler — Running on the Godwin ticket, I see.

The evolutionary puzzle of homosexuality — Fascinating.

May a Man Marry a Man? A Medieval Debate — The alleged logic of opposition to same-sex marriage hasn’t really changed since. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Kansas Gets Their Hate OnBut don’t call it discrimination.

Noose tied on Ole Miss integration statueThe FBI on Tuesday was helping investigate who tied a noose around the neck of a University of Mississippi statue of James Meredith, who, in 1962, became the first black student to enroll in the then all-white Southern college. Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

What Information Are Stun Guns Recording? — It’s sort of the equivalent of putting serial numbers on bullets. I wonder how long the reservoir of these tags lasts. (Via David Goldman.)

After background checks were scrapped in Missouri“This study provides compelling confirmation that weaknesses in firearm laws lead to deaths from gun violence,” Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research and the study’s lead author, said in a news release. “There is strong evidence to support the idea that the repeal of Missouri’s handgun purchaser licensing law contributed to dozens of additional murders in Missouri each year since the law was changed.” Moar guns, to make us all safer!!

VW workers may block southern U.S. deals if no unions: labor chief — I find this whole ongoing VW-in-Tennessee story a little weird.

One-Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society

America’s First President Was The Tea Party’s Worst Nightmare — But, but, tricorn hats!

Remember that thing called the Unitary Executive Theory, Republicans? Obviously not.

UK Court: David Miranda Detention Legal Under Terrorism Law — A proud day for civil liberties.

?otD: Are you living the dream?


2/19/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 10.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (feeling poorly)
Weight: n/a (feeling poorly)
Number of FEMA troops attacking religious liberty: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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