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[links] Link salad gets busy with the medical crud

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do Neutrinos Change Flavor at Night?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

?otD: Got IV?


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

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[links] Link salad wishes it slept better

The spiciest meals in BritainA burger in Brighton is so hot that people have to sign a legal disclaimer before eating it. And a curry in Edinburgh has hospitalised two diners. Here’s a roundup of those and other extreme spicy eating challenges. (Via Scrivener’s Error.)

Say bye bye to parmesan, muenster and feta: Europe wants its cheese backAs part of trade talks, the EU wants to ban the use of European names like parmesan and gruyere on cheeses made in the US. Cheese wars? (Via AH.)

Every Dog Has Its Data — Woof? (Via Lisa Costello.)

Baby Conductor: Children Absorbing the World Around Them

California pushes to finish driverless car rules

Body Odor ID: Your New Smelly Password — Sometimes the jokes just write themselves. (Via David Goldman.)

Fukushima operator may have to dump contaminated water into PacificAs Japan marks the third anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, Tepco is struggling to find a solution for hundreds of thousands of tonnes of contaminated water. (Via Susie Madrak.)

Coping with exceptional ice in the Great Lakes

Is the Senate’s climate change all-nighter more than a one-night stand?

By the Way, Your Home Is On Fire: The Climate of Change and the Dangers of Stasis — I am reminded of something a one-time friend with emergency services training said to me. “There are three kinds of people in a disaster. Those who run away, those who freeze, and those who run towards. The ones who freeze die.”

$600K Taken From Safe At Osteen’s Megachurch — So if this was an inside job, whose side was God on?

The Word – Pew! Pew! Pew!A Kentucky Baptist organization announces a 25-gun giveaway to lure men back to church.

8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance — (Via Lisa Costello.)

They’d rather die than be wrong about ObamacareYou know, I probably have as much disdain for Republicans as they have for me. But if one of them were to show me irrefutable proof that say, America has fewer gun deaths than other places due to our proliferation of gun ownership, I would have no choice but to believe it. These people simply put their fingers in their ears and sing “lalalalala”.

Is libertarianism taking hold of GOP? The big problem with the GOP is that its ideologies profoundly alienate vast swaths of the electorate. Gay rights and same-sex marriage — overwhelmingly supported by the young — are as thoroughly owned by Democrats as were civil rights two generations ago. Republicans’ harsh rhetoric on immigration puts off the rapidly growing Hispanic population. Democratic stances on choice and workplace equality attract women. And GOP opposition to a higher minimum wage drives working-class voters into Democratic arms. Must be nice being the party of ideas, GOP. How else do you generate all those angry white guys?

Young Republicans Find Fault With Elders on List of Social Issues — Given that social issues have defined the Republican party since Reagan’s ascendancy, if those things matter, why be a Republican?

Michele Bachmann Laments That ‘The Gay Community Have So Bullied The American People’“And the thing that I think is getting a little tiresome is the gay community, they have so bullied the American people and they have so intimidated politicians that politicians fear them and so they think they get to dictate the agenda everywhere. Well, not with the Constitution you don’t.” What color do you suppose the sky is on Planet Bachmann? Paisley, maybe, if the Gay Menace has hacked their way in already.

Hey, Conservatives! Are You Winning or Losing?Palin combines whining and gloating into a message of vengeance that makes yesterday’s losers tomorrow’s invincible winners. And that may be the most satisfying conservative message of all.

Version 1.0 of the 2016 Republican Presidential Primaries — I always enjoy this inside baseball aspect of politics. (Via David Goldman.)

As Though Iraq Never HappenedThe short memory of Condoleezza Rice.

?otD: Yawn much?


3/12/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (badly 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)

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[links] Link salad feels a bit better during the lull between assault waves

Bargain Book ClubA reading list for the almost-illiterate Heh.

Aggravated cat is subdued by Portland police after terrorizing family — Life imitates Portlandia.

A History and Account of Daylight Savings

95% of bank ATMs face end of security supportAn estimated 95% of American bank ATMs run on Windows XP, and Microsoft is killing off tech support for that operating system on April 8.

Is the Wolf a Real American Hero?

How elephants react to human voices

Fickle Sun Changed Europe’s Climate for 1,000 Years

Americans have no idea how much water they’re usingThey also think everyone else should be efficient while they simply conserve.

The Relationship Between Hearing and Memory

Bieber Deposed — Can we trade him back to Canada? Maybe for Rob Ford?

Think a hangover will teach you not to drink? Guess againIt only delays the next drink if you’re short on cash.

Microbes and Metabolites Fuel an Ambitious Aging ProjectCraig Venter’s new company wants to improve human longevity by creating the world’s largest, most comprehensive database of genetic and physiological information.

The Fat DrugHow humankind unwittingly joined an experiment on antibiotics and weight gain. (Via David Goldman.)

U.S. Uninsured Rate Continues to FallUninsured rate drops most among lower-income and black Americans. And amazingly, America has yet to collapse into smoking Socialist ruins.

Teens taunted by bullies are more likely to consider, attempt suicide — This just in: water is wet. I know the point of stories like this is that quantifiable study results can prompt official action, but as long-time victim of childhood bullying who had a lot of suicidal ideation and one semi-serious attempt, I have ask why anyone in authority over children needs to wait for academic approval?

Oh Lordy – on the forthcoming Christian film PersecutionBasically, this is a movie in which it’s overtly asserted that in order for Christians to be “free” the government cannot endorse the idea of fairness to all religions. Indeed, it seems that liberty has now been interpreted as a requirement to officially acknowledge that America is a Christian Nation and must adhere to Christian precepts.

When an Undue Burden? — What if gun laws were written like abortion laws? Would those Constitution-loving conservatives embrace the intent of the Founders the same way? (Via Scrivener’s Error.)

Journalists should stop ‘balancing’ stories with Science Denialists: Cosmos’s Neil DeGrasse Tyson — Either that or go all the way. Every time a story runs about a weather satellite, a Flat Earth denialist should get equal time. It would be precisely as intellectually credible as evolution denial and climate denial, as the Bible clearly states that the Earth has four corners, and would help those elements in our culture hell bent on destroying any public understanding of science to further their political ends.

Why men shouldn’t be allowed to vote — Heh.

61% of young Republicans favor same-sex marriage — The Gay Menace strikes again, weakening the minds of young voters.

The Uses and Abuses of ReaganOne of Bush’s flaws is that he governed as more of a hard-line ideologue than Reagan ever pretended to be, and another is that he claimed to be an internationalist while making a mockery of America’s reputation in the world. Republicans should not be deluded into thinking that they are obliged to follow Bush’s example in order to honor Reagan, but neither should they feel compelled to respond to contemporary events as if nothing had changed in the last thirty years. Confidential to GOP in America: Want another Reagan? Elect another senile old fraud who projects a strong Daddy image. It worked for you last time.

?otD: How’s the cough?


3/11/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (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)

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[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)

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[personal] Paying for online content

I have a small conflict of interest which crops up from time to time. It did a while back with The Christian Science Monitor, and again just lately with Andrew Sullivan’s site, The Dish. Both are excellent news sources, and both put up a paywall after you’ve read a very limited number of articles.

There are workarounds for some paywalls. Google News gets around The New York Times paywall, for example. If I find or get a tip to a Times story, I can call it up in Google News and click through. That doesn’t seem to work for me for The Christian Science Monitor and The Dish.

I’m not sure it should work for me, frankly. Andrew Sullivan has every right to be able to make a living, and The Christian Science Monitor can’t possibly be cheap to run. They deserve to be paid.

The problem for me is that I read dozens of Web sites every day. I can read hundreds in a given week, following links from other articles or tips people email me for Link Salad.

I simply cannot afford to subscribe to all the sites that want my money. If I made my living as a journalist, Web-based or otherwise, and could count those subscriptions as research expense, maybe I could justify them. Even then, we’re talking many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars per year.

So I just don’t read The Christian Science Monitor, despite their excellent reporting. And I’m giving up on Andrew Sullivan, even though my initial reading of The Dish engaged me considerably. Instead I must rely o commentators and link aggregators elsewhere on the Web for any exposure at all to either of those markets. And so many others.

In effect, this is my personal version of the Paradox of Choice. Too many good choices, and I cannot afford them all. Instead I’m driven away from excellent sources. I can’t afford to pay everyone, so I pay hardly anyone.

That doesn’t seem right. But I don’t perceive a better solution.

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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 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 checks into the Tabard in Southwark

35 Nerdy Cards Against Humanity Cards To Add To Your Deck

Digital Steamboat Willie — Uh…

Lincoln Blimp: 1930

A Map of the World’s Most Dangerous Countries for Drivers — The headline is misleading (the headline editor clearly did not read the whole piece), as this article draws an inverse correlation about cause of death around the world that is fascinating.

The Shrink & The Sage: Should we fear the worst?‘People cope with what they consider disasters much more positively than they would have guessed’

Tracing Ancestry, Researchers Produce a Genetic Atlas of Human Mixing Events

Intel’s Sharp-Eyed Social Scientist

For Mice, and Maybe Men, Pain Is Gone in a FlashResearchers find a way to turn pain on, and off, with a beam of light.

Glass, DarklyFor its wearable computer to be accepted, Google must convince people that the device isn’t creepy.

Promoting Public Policy Programs…with Puppets

Woman Arrested Nine Years After Failing to Return Rented Video

Kerry Blasts Climate Denialists, equates Climate Change with Terrorism, WMDs

This is what actual ‘religious liberty’ looks like

The Changing Face of Christian PoliticsAmong 16- to 29-year-old non-Christians, Christians were viewed as “anti-gay” (91 percent), judgmental (87 percent), hypocritical (85 percent), sheltered (78 percent) and—surprise—”too political” (75 percent). In 2010, respected academics David Campbell and Robert Putnam’s landmark book, American Grace, concluded that partisan politics was directly to blame for the rise of religiously unaffiliated Americans. Interesting read. Unfortunately, this article is far, far too kind to the Christian right and measured by its words and deeds, such as the recent Kansas anti-gay bill.

Breaking the DichotomyIn the wake of Prop 8 and the LDS church’s continued political involvement opposing same-sex marriage in several states in the US, a lot of members find themselves in a very difficult position. It’s more than just embarrassment, and it’s a question that a lot of people outside the church have asked with varying degrees of reasonableness. If you disagree with what they’re doing so much, why do you keep supporting them? A similar question comes, regrettably, both from outside and inside. Why don’t you just leave? A reflection from Feminist Mormon Housewives on a question I’ve often (as an outsider, obviously) wondered about.

Black Boy InterruptedOn the unfinished life of Jordan Davis. Ta-Nehisi Coates is bitterly brilliant, again.

George Zimmerman Refuses to Say Whether He Regrets Killing Trayvon Martin“Certainly, I think about that night and I think my life would be tremendously easier if I stayed home.” You mean like the 911 operator told you to? I doubt Zimmerman ever reflects how much easier, and longer, Trayvon Martin’s life would have been if Zimmerman had stayed home. Ladies and and gentlemen, your gun culture, where the power to conduct your summary execution can be tightly gripped in anyone‘s hands.

I’m anti-carThere are people who really love their cars too but don’t think that having to pay to have a license plate means that the government has become a fascist dictatorship determined to take their vehicles away from them — yet otherwise intelligent people will use that exact same argument when talking about guns.

GOP operative asks judge to delay trial until after electionsClaiming key GOP campaign strategies could be “exposed” before this year’s gubernatorial and legislative races, a Queens Republican operative wants his federal corruption trial delayed until after November’s elections. Wow, does that take some stones. What do good, honest, moral conservatives have to fear from the light of justice anyway? Look, over there, ACORN! Well, never mind. I made the mistake of expecting better of non-conservatives, but the Democrat involved has also asked for a delay for the same reasons.

Congressional Republicans focused on calming their divided ranks“We don’t have 218 votes in the House for the big issues, so what else are we going to do?” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), an ally of House Speaker John A. Boehner. “We can do a few things on immigration and work on our principles, but in terms of real legislating, we’re unable to get in a good negotiating position.” Poor GOP. Trapped in the majority, stuck with controlling the House, and unable to advance their agenda. Why would anyone vote for a political party this utterly dysfunctional?

?otD: Will you tell your tale?


2/18/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.25 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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[links] Link salad wakes up in its own bed for a change

Arriving late to the Sous-Vide partyJersey Girl in Portland on cooking.

The Singularity is Still Closer than it Appears — A response to Ramez Naam.

Effects of bullying may add up in kids: study — Also, this just in: water is wet! Bullying sure played a huge part in my 1970s childhood, and the adult response was largely what we would now call victim-blaming. It’s shaped my whole life. Luckily for me, I wound up in a high school where I could hold my own.

Twenty-five percent of Americans don’t know the Earth revolves around the Sun, survey finds — Sigh.

Following a long road to ancient DNASvante Pääbo, the man behind the Neanderthal genome, tells his story.

How Wolves Change Rivers — I’ve run into this before. It’s still damned cool. (Via David Goldman.)

Santa’s revenge: Arctic ice may be putting US in a long, deep freezeEvidence is mounting that a warming Arctic has set the jet stream loose.

Becoming A Moral MinorityJim Hinch tracks the decline of conservative religion.

Snake Salvation pastor dies from snake bite — Uh, yeah. That’s what happens when you convince yourself that faith trumps reality. Reality doesn’t care about your sincerely held beliefs.

Dear GOP: Top 5 Biblical Marriage Moments far worse than Gay Marriage — Ah, Biblical marriage. Conservative America really doesn’t read its own faith text at all.

Seriously, what is wrong with Kansas?It’s all about ginning up feelings of persecution among so-called “values voters” … over having to surrender the long-held prerogative to persecute. Lacking any grace or humility, these demagogues won’t leave the scene until they’ve discharged all their poison into our politics.

It’s the gunsHumans get into arguments, they get in each others faces and they sometimes come to blows. There is no way to ensure that will not happen. But these minor beefs — like texting in a movie theater — would very rarely be deadly if people weren’t packing heat! That’s the real issue here. The gun nuts like to say that an armed society is a polite society. That’s just another way of saying that if you are carrying a gun you can make people do what you want them to do — stop texting, stop playing music you don’t like, stop walking through the night with with some candy and a drink from 7-11, even “that’s my parking spot.”

Stand Your Ground is simply an invitation to more killing, not less crimeWe found that homicide rates in states with a version of the Stand Your Ground law increased by an average of 8 percent over states without it. Actual research, with actual “facts” and “data”, firmly backing what I and many other liberal-progressives have long thought about Stand Your Ground laws. This will of course mean nothing to gun rights enthusiasts, whose right to use deadly force at their sole discretion trumps my safety and yours.

White Men’s Freedoms and Black Men’s LivesThe research found that [Stand Your Ground] laws increase the likelihood that a homicide will be considered “justified,” but only in cases where a white person is accused of killing a black person.

A Bitter Valentine’s Day — A letter from inside Guantanamo Bay prison. Your tax dollars at work. (Via [info]danjite.)

?otD: Sleep well?


2/17/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (fitful and in pain)
Body movement: n/a (feeling poorly)
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 feeling it gets when it looks to the west

Avoiding the goober — The linguistics of the word “gubernatorial”.

Rubber-Duck-Race Bill Expected to Pass in Wisconsin

Cat parasite found in Arctic Beluga

Made in Maine scent makes farmers more attractive to livestock — Because, uh. Nope. I got nothing. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Breast Milk Varies for Males, Females — Uhh…

Skeleton Typogram, A Human Skeleton Illustration Made Using The Words For Each Bone — (Via Lisa Costello.)

Mystery of ‘jelly doughnut’ Martian rock solvedNASA said Friday that a wheel of the rover Opportunity broke it off a larger rock and then kicked it into the field of view.

We Aren’t the WorldJoe Henrich and his colleagues are shaking the foundations of psychology and economics—and hoping to change the way social scientists think about human behavior and culture. This is pretty damned interesting, but be aware it’s a longish read. (Via [info]danjite.)

Why AIs Won’t Ascend in the Blink of an Eye – Some Math — My friend Ramez Naam is smart.

BART riders get measles scare from UC Berkeley studentHealth officials say that thousands of San Francisco Bay Area residents may have been exposed to measles recently when an unvaccinated UC student attended classes and used the BART travel system. Because some people are fucking morons. I hope they charge that student, and their parents, with several thousand counts of reckless endangerment.

Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?Here’s the type of questions Air Force missileers are cheating on…and why. (Snurched from Daniel Larison‘s weekly roundup.)

Who’s the judge who ruled on Va.’s ban on gay marriage? A seeker of ‘more perfect’ freedom.

How Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Are Trying to Defend Their State BansThis line or reasoning serves two purposes. First, it’s meant to refute echoes of Loving v. Virginia, charges that the state acting in a bigoted manner by trying to discriminate against LGBT people or preserve heterosexual superiority. These are distasteful things to be accused of, so those defending the bans are trying to minimize the characterization that they’re on the wrong side of history. And water can try to minimize the characterization that it’s wet, but bigotry is bigotry, no matter how nicely it dresses up to go to church.

Tom Perkins’ big idea: The rich should get more votes — Ok, now he’s just trolling. Either that or he’s the most ignorant, self-involved example of financial entitlement that ever walked the earth.

We Did the Math on Tom Perkins’ Vote-Buying SchemeGuess who wins? Almost certainly not you.

New Jersey lawmakers cause international stir with bill to rename ‘Sea of Japan’ — Proof positive that Democrats can be utter morons, too. Sigh.

?otD: Is your spirit is crying for leaving?


2/15/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 10.0 hours (mostly solid)
Body movement: 30 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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