There She Blows! ‘Tis the Contract for Moby Dick! — Huh. Cool.
Colon Cancer: Aspirin May Improve Survival in Some — Not sure if I’m in this pool or not.
The Snail Wrangler — Wow. Who knew the intricacies of escargot? (Via my Dad.)
MIT’s artificial leaf is ten times more efficient than the real thing — This is seriously cool. (From Lisa Costello via Stupidest Genius I’ve Ever Met.)
Carrier at New Orleans: 1910 — Circa 1910. “Southern Pacific R.R. transfer boat Carrier at New Orleans.” For some reason, this image fascinates me.
A small (but glorious) world: The best microscope images of 2012 — Spiders, fossils, brains, and eyes all make the grade.
Why We Can’t Solve Big Problems — Interesting article, though I think the author gives shorter shrift to the market-based explanation than it deserves. The fundamental shift in investment patterns that came to fruition in the 1980s from long-term value investing to manic focus on quarter-over-quarter gains made long-term research and development, especially pure research, much harder to justify in corporate America. This same attitude has leaked into government, viz the endless budget cuts at NASA, NSF and so forth. I really do think Big Money bears a lot of the responsibility for this loss of human capacity.
Seismologists Convicted of Not Predicting Earthquake — A US legal analysis of the recent travesty of justice in Italy. Freakonomics with more on this.
Bitten: Apple’s ‘blasphemous’ logo under fire in Russia — Some Russian Orthodox Christians see the iconic logo as a symbol of sin that they would like to see outlawed. Really? This kind of nonsense is what faith-based thinking gives you. (Thanks to David Goldman.)
Conservative Media Ignore GOP Voter Registration Fraud — Gee, ya think? That’s a big advantage of living in a post-truth, non-reality-based world. You can edit out all those inconvenient “facts” and “data” with their liberal bias. Oh, look, ACORN! (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)
Five Ridiculous Congressional Candidates Who Will Probably Win — Hey, they actually found a Democrat to criticize!
Sen. Cornyn Defends Mourdock’s Comment On Pregnancies From Rape — That would be the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Tell me again that this senseless cruelty isn’t a core Republican value?
What “health of the mother” means — When cancer was suspected during my pregnancy, I faced a decision no woman wants — and few politicians understand. No one who needs to read this article ever will, sadly. And if somehow they do, as it emits from the reality-based community, it will be dismissed as liberal lies. Because senseless cruelty to women sells much better to the Republican base than any amount of reality.
Pregnancy as Labor — Ta-Nehisi Coates on a similar theme, in further reference to the senseless cruelty of core Republican values regarding women’s lives and health.
Mourdock, Rape as a Gift of God, and Islamic Sharia — To put this in simple terms, government by Christian theology is no better than government by Islamic theology. Thanks to the GOP’s decades-long embrace of theocracy while trolling for votes, Christianity is far more of a danger to the United States than Islam can ever hope to be.
Powell standing by Obama in 2012 presidential race — Speaking of Obama, Powell said the president got the United States out of Iraq and has laid out a plan for leaving Afghanistan “and didn’t get us into any new wars.” Mighty generous of you, Colin, since it was your good name and reputation that gave considerable political cover to the knowing, cynical lies that the Bush administration used to get us into those wars.
Poll: Gender gaps all but gone in White House race — I find this bizarre if true. (Polls are sometimes quirky.) The GOP has experienced a substantial gender gap in the female vote for quite a while now in presidential elections. Which given their positions on women’s health, reproductive rights, and equal pay for equal work only makes sense. In fact, what does amaze me is that any women vote Republican, ever. It’s almost as weird as gays who vote Republican. Or middle class people. Or people in states that are net beneficiaries of government spending (i.e., virtually all of the so-called “Red states”.) One of the great triumphs of the modern Republican party is getting millions of people to vote directly against their own personal and economic interests time and time again. I guess that’s the value of a post-truth worldview.
How Mitt Romney Gets So Tan — A source lets BuzzFeed in on a campaign mystery: It’s a spray tan. “It’s not like Mitt Romney can go chill out on a beach right now; he needs a quick fix.” So R. Money’s tan is every bit as sincere as the rest of him?
?otD: But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, viniculture, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hour (WRPA, research for the Sekrit Projekt, plus opening the story stub)
Body movement: 0.5 hour stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.75 hours (fitful)
Currently reading: n/a