Sign up for my newsletter to be among the first to learn of upcoming titles!

[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)

[links] Link salad corresponds from its bed of pain

29 Incredible Colorized Historical Photos — (Via Lisa Costello.)

What Happens in the Brain When Blind People Learn to See With Sound — (Via David Goldman.)

A Hole in Mars — A very cool photo.

Morpheus Shows NASA the Path

Portolan Charts ‘Too Accurate’ to be Medieval — Huh.

‘The wife is to voluntarily submit’ — Uh, yeah. I’m all for a little consensual submission play, but to make it a mandatory lifetime comment is more than a little sick. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

CPACer On Women’s Issues Panel: No Stupid Comments This Time Please — If you have make about a point out of telling people this, you have a serious problem.

CPAC Panelist: It Is ‘A Liberal Lie’ That States Ban Gay MarriageTo be clear: 30 states have banned same-sex marriage in their state constitution, usually by legally defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Because being a conservative means never having to tell the truth about anything you disapprove of. Once again the justly famed moral probity of Republicans is on proud public display.

Is there any super bad-ass Catholic weapon around out there? — Uh… (Via [info]danjite.)

Prosecutors balk at being told they have to be honestThey are saying that if you think prosecutors should be honest you are biased against prosecutors. Which may actually be true, since so many of them are dishonest.

How a Hacker Intercepted FBI and Secret Service Calls With Google Maps — (Via [info]danjite.)

The NSA Has An Advice Columnist. Seriously. — Ask Zelda.

Bill O’Reilly says Muslims will Diss Hillary; but 8 Muslim Countries Chose Female Leaders

ALEC is coming to a town near you — This is terrible news, assuming you don’t equate lunatic fringe right wing astroturfing with functional democracy. These are the people who legalized the murder of black teen agers by middle aged assholes through Stand Your Ground, after all.

Do Virginia students really need Terry McAuliffe deciding what to call the “Sea of Japan”?Virginia’s new Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is learning that campaign promises have consequences. He’s landed the commonwealth in the middle of a longstanding dispute over the Sea of Japan and the Korean Peninsula. In the process, he helped Democrats lose the moral high ground when it comes to education. Gee, thanks, Terry. Big help to the progressive cause there, moron.

Paul Ryan’s Free School Lunch Story Never Actually Happened — It is inconceivable that a prominent conservative representing the political party which most loudly stands for moral probity and personal ethics could possibly misrepresent the truth. After all, we have Ronald Reagan’s Welfare Queen speech as the gold standard by which such things should be measured.

Fuck Your Religious Beliefs, Sincerely — An Open Letter to Michele Bachmann — (Via Lisa Costello.)

Rep. Paul Ryan calls for cuts in anti-poverty programsIt is, in a way, nice to see the likes of Mr. Ryan at least talking about the need to help the poor. But somehow their notion of aiding the poor involves slashing benefits while cutting taxes on the rich. Funny how that works. Look, they’re Republicans. If aliens invaded and the Yellowstone supervolcano exploded, their first response would be a call for tax cuts on the highest-earning Americans. That’s not a policy position, that’s a fetish.

?otD: Good drugs or good sleep?


3/10/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.5 hours (very fitful and interrupted)
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)

[links] Link salad goes on the needle today

The Conversation We Never Have — On being a writer, economically. (Snurched from Elizabeth Bourne.)

My Headline Was Stolen — Ah, ideas.

Needless 911: Can’t Get This Jacket Off and I’m Pissed About It! — This would be the Portland area. Be proud, Oregon.

Oscar Mayer Wants to Make Your iPhone Smell like Bacon — Well, okay then.

Beatles memorabilia — Talc? Really?

Measuring Atmospheric Pressure on Exoplanets — Because science!

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: Upskirt photos not illegal under state law — The law, in its majestic equality, permits the polite as well as the creepy to take upskirt photos in Massachusetts.

Oscar Pistorius’ ex-girlfriend says he fired from carOscar Pistorius’ ex girlfriend has told his murder trial he once fired his gun from his car sunroof after becoming angry with police. Because guns make us all safer. Ask any conservative.

Navy will deploy first ship with laser weapon this summerNavy’s LaWS will save bullets and missiles—and blind and burn drones and boats.

Flash WarRussian mystery soldiers invaded Crimea by covering up and keeping mum. That could work for us!

Watching for a Crimean Cyberwar CrisisAn info-war is under way as websites are blocked and telecom cables to Crimea are mysteriously cut.

These 9 Maps Should Absolutely Outrage Southerners — Conservative governance, conservative results. These folks should be proud they’ve gotten exactly what they’ve voted in for. Increased poverty, decreased economic mobility, increased teen pregnancy, compromised healthcare outcomes: all utterly predictable results of GOP policies. What’s not to like?

Obamacare Effects Account for Most of Income, Spending Increases — This was published by The Wall Street Journal? The paper that abandoned its editorial integrity years ago in order to become the FOX News of the country club set? Wow… (Via David Goldman.)

Report: How GOP lost young voters“In the short term, the party ought to promote the diversity of thought within its ranks and make clear that we welcome healthy debate on the policy topic at hand.” Why in the hell are you a Republican if you believe diversity of thought and healthy debate are actually good ideas? Or have you never heard any single GOP political or media figure speak, ever? And you’ve obviously never read any GOP party platform.

?otD: Got infusion?


3/7/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.5 hours (very fitful)
Body movement: 0 minutes (hall walking to come)
Weight: 233.6 (hospital weigh-in)
Number of FEMA troops on my block teaching wives how to be submissive: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad likes to get some sleep before it travels

SlushPile Hell — Hahahahahah. Sadly irregular, so I suppose it’s an occasional skim.

30,000-year-old giant virus ‘comes back to life’ — What could possibly go wrong!?

A Powerful New Way to Edit DNA — (Via David Goldman.)

LSD, Reconsidered for TherapyIn Switzerland, the first controlled trial of the drug in more than 40 years found that it eased anxiety in people nearing the end of their lives. Personally, given what’s inside my head these days, I’d be very concerned about a bad trip. (Via David Goldman.)

Toward an Extraterrestrial Paradigm

School releases pamphlet with sex alternatives — Because nothing says “young love” like a burping contest. (Via [info]danjite.)

IMF study finds inequality is damaging to economic growthInternational Monetary Fund paper dismisses rightwing argument that redistributing incomes is self-defeating. Clearly, the IMF are a bunch of Socialist moochers who don’t know anything about money, economics or job creators. (Via [info]danjite.)

The Cliches of “Leadership” and “Resolve”

And we will prove them herewith… — My friend [info]ericjamesstone with a Mormon perspective on homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Since he’s primarily talking about his interpretation of Mormon doctrine, it doesn’t matter what my opinion is. I’m not a LDS member. But I’m glad he wrote this, regardless of my disagreements. Where I engage those disagreements is when doctrine leaves the church, any church, and enters the statehouse in an attempt to coerce non-believers according to church rules. Within their house of worship, according to our Constitution, people are free to believe anything they want. My opinions do not apply there.

The Forces Behind The ‘Religious Freedom’ Movement That Exploded Last Week — No vast right wing conspiracy here. Just lots and lots of conservatives and deep pocket donors working quietly to the same malicious ends. See the difference?

Handbook for HomophobesAdvice for those who are troubled by tolerance.

The Real Welfare QueensA new report shows corporations like Koch Industries have gotten billions in government subsidies. It’s not welfare if you give government money to rich people who don’t need it.

Right-wing columnist urges GOP to abandon outreach: ‘Colorblind conservatism’ is futile

Bill Kristol To Bill Maher: ‘Total Bullshit’ That The Tea Party Was About A Black President — Nice try, Bill. I know bigots don’t like to be called bigots, but too bad. “I totally believe that,” Maher said. “It happened a month after he took office. Suddenly white people were very upset about debt, even though Bush had raised the debt way more than Obama had.”

It’s not a messaging problemIsn’t it time for people to recognize that this isn’t a problem with the GOP “message?” It’s a problem with conservative philosophy. Also, this just in: sun rises in east.

Tea Party Might Just Fizzle In Ted Cruz’s Texas — America should be so lucky.

McConnell Vows a Senate in Working Order, if He Is Given Control“We are going to treat senators with respect — we are going to work harder and accomplish more,” said Mr. McConnell. Sure thing, Mitch. Given the behavior of the GOP majority in the house, and the Senate during prior periods of GOP majority, does anyone believe this crap besides the low information crowd watching FOX News and voting Republican? Plus, note the glaring hypocrisy on the question of the Senate filibuster, which was the worst Constitutional evil EVAR when Democrats changed it according to McConnell, but is a reasonable tactic for Republicans to keep on the table according to McConnell.

Republican Lawmaker Apologizes For Saying Men Should Be Able To Rape Women If Abortion Is Legal — Are you proud of Your Republican Party?

Wisconsin GOP Seeks To Oust Majority Leader Accused Of Sexual Harassment — From the credit where credit is due file. Good for the Wisconsin GOP.

?otD: Has it been a long, strange trip?


3/4/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0 minutes (airport walking to come)
Weight: 234.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block unjustly vilifying Ted Nugent: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad has a (hopefully) quiet Monday at home before leaving town

Misheard Lyrics: Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Purple Haze’

Polish Move Posters — Cool. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

At first I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. Once I got it, I couldn’t believe it. — Trompel’oeil tattoos. Wow. (Via [info]goulo.)

Objects of Intrigue: Mickey Mouse Gas Mask — Uh. Words fail me. (Via [info]danjite.)

Flu viruses derive from a global selective sweep in the 1870sA single event seems to have set the stage for all pandemics since. Story idea?

Potentially Habitable Exoplanets — A handy spotter’s guide.

‘Super-Earths’ Problematic for Life

Climate Change Behind Trapped Heat in Oceanic Depths

Meet The American Pushing Homophobia in Uganda — Meet Scott Lively, the American Christian who’s globalizing the worst of conservative Bible-based hate in the name of a just and loving God, with great success. In case you’re wondering why straight people like me stand so angrily against anti-gay bigotry from American churches and politicians. This is its logical extension.

No, Arizona’s SB 1062 was not “egregiously misrepresented” by critics

Disney ends funding to Boy Scouts over gay policy — The world really is changing. Moralistic discrimination by conservatives used to be consequence-free, and even rewarded. It still mostly is those things, but these are welcome shifts in society that will lead to a more just and moral America that better lives up to its own Constitutional promises.

Arguments Against GodI say “there is no God” with the same confidence I say “there are no ghosts” or “there is no magic.” The main issue is supernaturalism — I deny that there are beings or phenomena outside the scope of natural law. That’s not to say that I think everything is within the scope of human knowledge. Surely there are things not dreamt of in our philosophy, not to mention in our science – but that fact is not a reason to believe in supernatural beings.

Will a Multi-Polar World be more Peaceful? The Failure of the Project for a New American Empire

Pork-laced bullets designed to send Muslims straight ‘to hell’ — Because sometimes, simply hating people is not enough. (Via [info]danjite.)

The fallout from flouting international lawIt’s very hard as an American to righteously defend the precepts on International Law with respect to national sovereignty after what we did just 11 years ago in Iraq. I feel like an idiot saying it out loud to anyone and am embarrassed to see John Kerry shaking his fist and proclaiming the illegality and illegitimacy of Russia’s actions when he personally voted for that illegitimate and illegal invasion. The Iraq War was never anything but a conservative project to launch a war of choice under knowingly false pretenses. And the Republicans really did abrogate America’s diplomatic legitimacy in pursuing that morally vile course. Sadly, neither the political establishment nor Your Liberal Media is likely to acknowledge this now, as it embarrasses many currently powerful people on both sides of the aisle.

Rush Limbaugh weighs inNo, not on Ukraine or even the Oscars. On Michelle Obama’s weight. Ah, the leading voice of conservative media, guiding light of millions of Republicans, with his usual thoughtful, nuanced approach to the critical issues of our era. Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

?otD: How’s your life today?


3/3/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (very fitful)
Body movement: 30 minutes
Weight: 232.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block unjustly vilifying Ted Nugent: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad waves good-bye to Lisa

In Kentucky, a Family at the Center of the EarthJerry Bransford remembers the short day trips his family used to make to Mammoth Cave, half an hour away from their home in Glasgow, Ky. His father would tell him stories about how his family first came to know the cave as slaves but eventually became famous guides, starting a legacy that would last four generations.

Gladiator School Discovery Reveals Hard Lives of Ancient Warriors

Architecture May Influence Which Microbes Surround You — (Via David Goldman.)

Mars Meteorite with Odd ‘Tunnels’ & ‘Spheres’ Revives Debate Over Ancient Martian Life

Physicists start thinking beyond the LHC, consider reviving the SSCCould the tunnels we drilled for a collider in Texas house a Higgs factory?

Exxon Valdez Oil Is Still Polluting the Prince William Sound 25 Years Later — Because the conservative ideal of industry self-regulation is so much better than any possible Federal regulatory process. Just ask the folks in West, TX.

Former Mobil Oil VP’s Scathing Open Letter to ExxonMobil CEO Who Is Suing to Stop Fracking Water Tank Near His $5 Million Texas Mansion

Tim Cook advises climate change deniers to get out of Apple stockIn a response to a shareholder suggestion that Apple stop its environmentally friendly initiatives, the typically temperate Apple CEO draws a blunt line in the sand.

Should AGs Ignore Laws They Don’t Like?I was living in Virginia in 2006, know one of the sponsors of the ban on gay marriage, and fully understand – as you do much better than I – the bigotry and discriminatory intent behind that and these other state constitutional amendments. In fact, it is entirely possible that the sheer number of these referendums and the animus behind them exposed to the vast majority of straight Americans, who may not have thought that much about their impact on real people. Over time, I think straight Americans who voted against gay marriage came to see that they were aiding and abetting bullies and hurting real people.

NPR whitewashes past of anti-gay Holocaust-revisionist hate group leader — Your Liberal Media.

Paralyzed GOP Lawmaker On Medicaid Opposes Medicaid ExpansionMeet the paralyzed Arkansas state Rep. who is voting against Medicaid expansion even though he has received more than $1 million of Medicaid funded hospitalization and rehabilitation and continues to be on Medicaid. He’s says the potential new recipients don’t work hard enough and probably just want to abuse prescription drugs.

Lawmaker Regrets Asking Why Men Can’t Rape If Women Can Get Abortions — Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

Psychologists: Getting Liberals to Agree Really Is Like Herding Cats — This is pretty funny. Probably worth the read, whatever your personal politics. (Snurched from Fragano Ledgister.)

?otD: Is it a good day to fly?


3/1/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (slightly fitful)
Body movement: 30 minutes
Weight: 234.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block unjustly vilifying Ted Nugent: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[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)

[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)

[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)

[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

[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