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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 jets back across the continent

Linguistics Jobs: Interview with a literary agent

41 Things You Need To Know Right Now, For No Reason In Particular — Pretty hilarious stuff, for the most part.

How To Poop At Work — Pure genius. Of a sort. A compendium of important safety tips. Be warned, pretty much what it says on the tin. (Thanks to someone who would almost certainly prefer to remain nameless in this case.)

Dorion Sagan on the First Ejaculation in Earth’s History — To be more accurate, the first documented ejaculation… (Via Lisa Costello.)

The Strange World of Bug Sex, in Pictures — I’ve been on dates like that. (Via David Goldman.)

8 Celebrities Who Got It Right About Gay Marriage — Uh, yeah. It’s what you might call a non-invasive issue. No social cost, no damage, substantial benefit. Bigot fee-fees are not a proper concern for legislation.

Howard Schatz and Beverly Ornstein: The Different Body Types of Olympic Athletes — (Via [info]willyumtx.)

The Best Report on Bullying I’ve Ever ReadThe NFL’s amazing investigation of the Miami Dolphins locker room. Cruelty and abuse by the strong, established players against the newer and weaker, endorsed by authority figures. Not much different from the sports culture of my school days. Just higher stakes. Why is anyone surprised by any of this? (Also a big part of why I am not and never will be a sports fan. As a humane person, I simply cannot stomach the attitudes and behaviors that come with the thrill of the game.)

Race Inequality in America by Graph, from Crime Sentencing to IncomeSo if an African-American male had fired ten shots into the SUV of some white suburban kids playing their music too loud, killing one of them, I think we all know there would have been a murder conviction and almost certainly a death penalty imposed.

On the Killing of Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn — Ta-Nehisi Coates is bitterly powerful on this.

Red Scarer: 1953 — A photograph of one of the truly vile figures in 20th century American history, Senator Joe McCarthy. Him and Roy Cohn.

?otD: Ever flown through a storm?


2/16/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.0 hours (mostly solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes stationary bike
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block who aren’t descended from monkeys: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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[links] Link salad didn’t know you were looking for more than it could ever be

“Hemingway” on Hemingway — Who the hell would use an app to evaluate their writing quality?

1966 Batman Valentines — Hahaha.

Compulsory Coupling: Fit In By Finding Someone — Yeah, this.

Snow Bird: 1922 — Some photographs defy explanation.

Austin’s Moon Towers, Beyond ‘Dazed and Confused’ — I lived in Austin 18 years, almost all of them in the old part of town where these towers still stand.

Frozen Venice – in pictures — (Via Lisa Costello.)

Bobsleds in ManhattanWhy NYC Should Host The Winter Olympics. Hahahah.
Global Geologic Map of Ganymede — In case you need one.

A little ass music: Hieronymus Bosch’s 500-year-old butt song from hell — This is so weird. (Via Lisa Costello.)

248-Million-Year-Old Fossil Shows Oldest Reptile Live Birth, Chaohusaurus Was Born ‘Head First’

The Rise of the Crazy Ants — Fire ants were bad enough. Now this? (Via David Goldman.)

The French way of cancer treatment[T]he French system is basically like an expanded Medicaid. Pretty much everyone has insurance, it explained, and the French get better primary care and more choice of doctors than we do. It also turns out, as has been much commented on, that despite all this great treatment, the French spend far less on healthcare than Americans. But Socialism is evil! No matter that people live longer, with better quality of life, for less cost. (Snurched from Alexander Unwyn Cherry.)

Cartoon: The truth about numbers: Bible Math! — Snerk. The dangers of literalism.

Kansas’ Anti-Gay Segregation Bill Is an Abomination — Wow. It’s very, very hard for me to read about something like this and not reach some very harsh negative conclusions about the intelligence, morality and basic human decency of American conservatives. (Via John Sapienza.)

Herpin: ‘A good thing’ that James Holmes had 100-round magazineRepublican state Sen. Bernie Herpin raised the ire of an Aurora theater shooting victim’s father when he claimed that it might have been “a good thing” that gunman James Holmes had a 100-round magazine when he opened fire and, ultimately, killed 12 people. I cannot even bring myself to snark about this.

Schofield man who advocated for open carry jailed, accused of making gun threats — Because guns make us all safer, and every American who carries deadly force can absolutely be relied upon to use that threat of deadly force wisely under all circumstances.

Doctors: Abortion laws carry riskEven those who oppose abortion say that before giving their best medical advice, they may need to call a lawyer. All in accordance with that bedrock conservative principle of not letting the government come between you and your doctor.

[Conservative activist] Brent Bozell urges liberal media to ‘tell the truth,’ while he fibs about writing a column — “Forced ghostwriting”?

Sen. Bob Corker can’t stand the United Auto Workers: An annotated interview — I wish more journalists would do this when interviewing politicians: annotate the lies and misrepresentations. (Snurched from John Sapienza.)

[New York Republican state legislator] Thomas Barraga: No one ‘should ever ride a bicycle’ in Suffolk County — Because freedom, I guess.

?otD: Do you have to stay?


2/14/2014
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

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

A Non-Binary Person’s Guide to Invented Pronouns

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

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

San Francisco’s Class War, By the Numbers

A Winter Olympics Venn Diagram — Hahahahah.

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

SETI at the Particle Level

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

?otD: Have any Cardassian laundry lists?


2/13/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.5 hours (mostly solid)
Body movement: 20 minutes stationary bike (resuming exercise post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block who aren’t descended from monkeys: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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[links] Link salad yawns, mumbles

Dear lung cancer patient who smoked

Historically Accurate Disney Princess — This is depraved. And remember, this is me talking.

Verifying images: why seeing is not always believing — Sorting out the provenance of Internet photos. (Via David Goldman.)

How Science Turned a Struggling Pro Skier Into an Olympic Medal Contender — (Via David Goldman.)

Anybody who doesn’t support LIHEAP funding is a big ol’ jerkThat’s one of the weirder aspects of the bitter teavangelical politics of resentment: It’s constantly condemning what it calls “socialism” because it’s not socialistic enough. Once everybody gets something, regardless of need, then it’s fine (“Keep your government out of my Medicare!”). Yes, that’s dumb, but sitting in a corner nurturing every tiny molehill of resentment into a mountain of indignation isn’t a promising way to make yourself smarter.

Republican Jesus says… — They left out the adjective “smug”. Otherwise, this is awesome. (Via Lisa Costello.)

8 Unsustainable Delusions of the American Way of Life — An interesting list. The presentation is a bit more leftie and shrill than even I’m comfortable with, but the points are worth considering.

Top 10 Reasons Rand Paul’s Lewinsky Gambit Can’t Obscure GOP War on Women — Well, all that, and the fact that desperate nastiness doesn’t sell well outside those predisposed to the politics of resentment.

?otD: Got sleep?


2/10/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 12 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

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[personal] Happy Birthday to Mother of the Child, with bonus sports snark

Today is Mother of the Child’s birthday. She does not have a social media presence, so I mention it here to wish her well and happiness.

I believe there may also be a significant-to-some-people sporting event somewhere today in honor of her birthday. I wish the contestants well with the same majestic indifference both Mother of the Child and I have always applied to all sporting events not involving [info]the_child herself on the field of play.

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[links] Link salad has a Cadillac as big as a whale

Why the Olympics Are a Lot Like “The Hunger Games” — (Via David Goldman.)

A Man Takes A Single Rake to The Beach. And When You Zoom Out And See It… Mind BLOWN. — Wow. (Snurched from Ellen Eades.)

School ditches rules and loses bullies — Most of the kids who bullied me back in the 1970s would have seen this as a happy hunting ground.

Obamacare, Hallelujah! — What the ACA means in real life, to a real human being, my friend Diana Sherman. You know, that same ACA which my conservative friends believe to be the greatest threat to American values since Nazism.

State of the Union address confirmed: Republicans are fringe minority party — A piece on the political polling behind differences between the GOP and Obama. Republicans are on the wrong side of every one of these except, arguably, the immigration question.

Fox Host Says There Is No Gender Gap: ‘Many Women Make Exactly What They’re Worth’ — Confidential to conservatives in America: you’re entitled to your own opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts.

About that ‘government making health care choices for you,’ Ms. McMorris RodgersYes, on the very same day that the Republican House voted on yet another anti-abortion bill, [Republican] Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers actually said: “Republicans believe health care choices should be yours, and not the government’s.”

?otD: Don’t you wish you had a cetaceanlac?


1/30/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.0 hours (badly fitful)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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[links] Link salad reports in from the ICU

Encore, for the Norwegian Curlers and Their Pants — Because color! (Via David Goldman.)

Are You A Super-Spreader of Disease? A small group of special individuals could act as an early warning system for the next epidemic. Their special power? Super-spreading disease.

The Plumes of Ceres — This be some serious cool.

An insider’s story of the global attack on climate scienceAn epic saga of secretly funded climate denial and harassment of scientists.

On the ongoing destruction of Christian communities in the Near East

‘Philomena,’ A Must-See Film About the Magdalene Laundries and Forced Adoptions — (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Real Facts About AbortionThe women who get abortions are not merely irresponsible drug using harlots. They are us.

Top Ten Ways GOP could avoid “War on Women” Label

Glenn Beck and Other ‘Too Little, Too Late’ Apologies“I wish I could go back and be more uniting in my language because I think I played a role, unfortunately, in helping tear the country apart[.]” — Now that he’s made his fortune, he’s developing a glimmering of a conscience?

Non Sequitur on sweet, sweet reason

?otD: Got drainage tubes?


1/24/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
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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[links] Link salad swears by its pretty floral bonnet

Der verborgene Hof — A review of the German edition of Green. Insofar as I can tell, the reviewer wasn’t too thrilled.

WCMX: Taking Wheelchairs To New Heights — I am boggled. (Thanks to Lis.)

Smoking Is Worse Than You Imagined

Manufacturing OrgansHarvard Bioscience spin-off is stepping up its production of synthetic tracheas to supply clinical trials.

Defying Japan, Rancher Saves Fukushima’s Radioactive Cows — (Thanks to Dad.)

What scientific idea is ready for retirement — This makes for some interesting reading. (Snurched from Scrivener’s Error.)

Is the Universe Made of Math?

Hibernating spacecraft Rosetta to awaken for comet chase

Rising Tide Is a Mystery That Sinks Island Hopes — Weird story about a Caribbean lake. (Thanks to Dad.)

Men with sledgehammers rob crowded Memphis mall — Proving that yes, you don’t need a gun to commit a crime. But how many people were killed with sledgehammers last year?

Whose Economic Recovery Is It?

19 things conservatives insist on comparing to slavery

?otD: How tight are your pants?


1/19/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.75 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 239.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad mutters

Analysis of “Midnight at Valdosta’s” by Jay Lake — Hmm. Interesting.

Sophia Stewart wins the Matrix copyright infringement case — Fascinating. (Via [info]danjite.) Update: Snopes.com reports this is false. (Thanks to [info]corwynofamber.)

11 terrifying kids from vintage adverts who will freeze the very marrow in your bones — Contributor David Goldman says the kid in #11 looks like a young me. (Via David Goldman.)

24,000-Year-Old Body Shows Kinship to Europeans and American Indians — Much as with Kennwick Man, if the science had not been suppressed.

Print your own dinosaur bones Ever dream of holding a sauropod skull in your hand? New imaging and printing technology may soon give the public unprecedented access to millions of fragile, rare fossils. Love the headline! (Via AH.)

Eating nuts ‘may prolong life’ — My dating strategy is validated! No, wait…

Boeing 747 Mistakenly Lands At Tiny Kansas Airport — Oops. (Via [info]danjite.)

Universal Law of Commuting Discovered in African, European and US Mobile Phone Data — Marchetti’s constant. Huh.

Bill Gates condom challenge ‘to be met’ by graphene scientists — (Via David Goldman.)

Japan reports volcano raises island in seas far south of Tokyo

4.4 billion-year-old meteorite NWA 7533 is straight outta MarsSimilar to rocks found by Spirit rover, meteorite is a clue to early Mars. Warning: facts not valid for Young Earth Creationists and other willful idiots who believe The Flintstones was a documentary.

NFL Hazing and Jonathan Martin’s “Man Card” — I have found this whole business utterly ridiculous, but then I have a strong (and unreasonable) personal bias against any story involving organized or professional sports.

The persecution of Christians: 4 ways to respondSlacktivist Fred Clark deliberately avoids deconstructing the false self-valorizing persecution narrative of American Christianists in favor of a broader view of actual religious persecution.

?otD: Argle bargle?


11/21/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 241.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block closing down donut shops: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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