[links] Link salad for the last days of a better nation

Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família — A video showing the planned completion of Gaudí’s designs for the cathedral in Barcelona. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Terrifying Lake Turns Birds Into Statues — Real or art project? Does it matter? (Via Lisa Costello.)

Who’s got guts? Young infants expect animals to have insides — Mmm. Sweetbreads. (Via David Goldman.)

SETI: Looking for von Neumann Probes

Supervolcanoes ripped up early Mars

Making the case for life having originated on MarsMars’ early environment might have been more hospitable than Earth’s.

Beach cuspsBeach cusps are arc-like patterns of sediment that appear on shorelines around the world. Cusps consist of horns, made up of coarse materials, connected by a curved embayment that contains finer particles. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Health of oceans ‘declining fast’

A climate skeptic states his caseIt’s an odd mix of hard-core physics, basic errors, and digs at Al Gore. Since there simply is no coherent evidence-based argument supporting climate change denialism, the errors are inevitable.

The Role of Conspiracist Ideation and Worldviews in Predicting Rejection of Science Among American Conservatives, but not Liberals, trust in science has been declining since the 1970’s. Climate science has become particularly polarized, with Conservatives being more likely than Liberals to reject the notion that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the globe. Conversely, opposition to genetically-modified (GM) foods and vaccinations is often ascribed to the political Left although reliable data are lacking. There are also growing indications that rejection of science is suffused by conspiracist ideation, that is the general tendency to endorse conspiracy theories including the specific beliefs that inconvenient scientific findings constitute a “hoax.” (Via Jaws.)

Poll: Large Number Of Republicans Believe Conspiracy Theories On Guns, Sharia Law — Because being conservative means never having to acknowledge reality.

Effects of Shutdown Felt in the Final Frontier

National Parks: Shutting Down America’s Best Idea — Welcome to conservative America: no hope, no change, and nothing works.

Blame the Bush Era for Current Republican Dysfunction — Frankly, I think the roots go back to Reagan and the GOP’s attempt to recover from the disaster that was Nixon. We’ve been paying the price for deliberately toxic conservative politics since 1980.

Top Ten Things Ted Cruz did to the NSA and other Security Agencies that Edward Snowden Couldn’t — The patriotism of Republicans knows no bounds.

The Shutdown Caucus Explains Itself — The conservative mind is a wonder to behold.

Where Poor and Uninsured Americans Live The 26 Republican-dominated states not participating in an expansion of Medicaid are home to a disproportionate share of the nation’s poorest uninsured residents. Eight million will be stranded without insurance. Hence the overwhelming conservative passion to deny the Socialist scourge of affordable healthcare access.

150 Years of Racism: Attitudes in the American SouthA new paper by Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell, and Maya Sen has discovered that the proportion of enslaved residents in 1860 — 153 years ago — predicts race-related beliefs today. As the percent of the population in a county accounted for by the enslaved increases, there is a decreased likelihood that contemporary white residents will identify as a Democrat and support affirmative action, and an increased chance that they will express negative beliefs about black people.

Perry: Wife Misspoke About Abortion — Oops. A brief glimmer of sanity from a GOP spouse is swiftly walked back.

?otD: Remember when government worked?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 242.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block implementing Kenyan Muslim socialism by helping poor people see doctors: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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