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[links] Link salad looks back on Monday with rain in its eyes

Dark Faith Invocations Pre-Order — This includes my short story “The Cancer Catechism”.

The mega-epic pissing contest — Roger Ebert is snarky about film formats.

Powerhouse Museum Photo Collection — Some truly lovely old photos from Australia. (Thanks to [info]threeoutside.)

Rodent thieves explain mystery of tree survivalThievery by rodents moved an estimated 87 percent of seeds beyond the immediate vicinity of the parent tree, according to a study.

Future Mars rover may use bigger parachute, atomic clocks

Detecting Exoplanet Oceans

Can non-Newtonian fluid behavior explain stuck ketchup bottles?

The Eyes Don’t Have It: Lie Detection and Neuro-Linguistic Programming — (Via David Goldman.)

Dragon, L&H, Goldman Sachs… — Ah, me. Investment bankers are so highly paid precisely why?

What made the creationist footprints in the Giant’s Causeway visitor centre? — Nice to see Creationist idiocy isn’t confined to the United States. (Snurched from Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Get Fuzzy on true conservatives — Hahahah.

Climate change denial as real estate ploy? — Of course most leading climate change denialists are venal scam artists. They’re conservatives. Duh.

Five Obamacare Myths — Speaking of counterfactuals beloved by conservatives. (Ie, Republican lies.)

Romney’s Bain Yielded Private Gains, Socialized Losses — That’s what American conservatives mean by market forces. (Via [info]danjite.)

The Romney Standard — Ta-Nehisi Coates on Mitt Romney’s laughable posturing over Bain Capital and his “retroactive retirement”.

The Strange Political Ineptitude of the Romney Campaign

?otD: Do rainy days and Mondays always get you down? What about automatic weapons?

Writing time yesterday: 30 minutes (15 minutes on Going to Extremes outline, 15 minutes of WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.0 (interrupted)
Weight: 240.0
Currently reading: The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

[links] Link salad goes walking in the rain

Urban fantasy author (and very good friend of mine) J.A. Pitts is having a book launch tour in July — He’ll be in Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego. Check him out if you can.

Modernity vs. Posterity — An interesting view of fantastic literature, specifically with some notes to near-future SF authors. Critics have long maintained that science fiction was, as a genre, a reaction to man’s discomfort with the machine age, citing Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I think it arose because the future became, for the first time in history, more interesting than the past. (Via David Goldman.)

Twitter answers the question “What technology from science fiction would you most like to see as science fact?”

MaledictaUncensored language research. Crank warning. Interesting but weird. (Thanks to [info]martang.)

Rock of ages: Australia’s oldest artwork foundArcheologist discovers Aboriginal rock art made 28,000 years ago in Northern Territory cave.

YouTube riders avoid chargesTrike daredevils will not be charged. If you think about it, this is one of those “living in the future” stories.

Digital differences — Pew on the current state of the digital divide.

Air Force’s Secret X-37B Space Plane Lands in California After Mystery Mission

Jupiter’s Rings Revealed — Another awesome APOD image, along with the usual excellent explanation.

Three Things Make a Post — Andrew Wheeler on (among other things) what my friend [info]elusivem calls “flying with amateurs”.

Our Most Important Food Rule and How to Break It: A Rant — All about food consumed while traveling. I am extremely guilty of this. (Thanks to [info]willyumtx.)

Economists demonstrate exactly why bank robbery is a bad idea

RNC Latino Site Features Stock Photo of Asian Children — I believe they swiftly pulled this down, but well, to white conservatives, all those foreigners really do look alike, don’t they? (Via [info]danjite.)

?otD: Having weather, are we?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (brain break)
Body movement: 40 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 6.0 (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Shattering the Ley by Benjamin Tate

[links] Link salad ties another one to the racks, baby

Aussie Delicacy Vegemite Loses Some of Its Savory Appeal

Path Dependence and the Stupidity of LED Light BulbsWhy are we cramming 21st century technology into a socket designed by Edison? I found this pretty interesting.

The making of modern humansIf some of our ancestors interbred with Neanderthals, are we really modern?

Vesta asteroid is ancient protoplanet

Unprecedented Maya Mural Found, Contradicts 2012 “Doomsday” Myth — Yeah, because the course of the planet was otherwise going to be controlled by the myths of a long-decayed Mesoamerican civilization.

USB tampon flash drive — For when you never, ever want anyone else to touch your business. (Via David Goldman.)

Can I Trust Those Evil Pharmamancers With My Life?[info]cathshaffer (who knows whereof she speaks) on Big Pharma. Interesting read.

Someone has hacked Google News. Check out this screen shot I took this morning. Look carefully at the cutline beneath the headline, then check out the story. (Or, as Charlie Stross has pointed out, more likely someone has hacked the Seattle Times.)

Missing words from 9-11 tribunal: CIA and “big-boy pants” — Because, um, yeah. I got nothing. Feel safer? (Via [info]danjite.)

Romney Apologizes For Bullying In Prep School, Says He Didn’t Know Victim Was Gay — I can and do say a lot of negative things about Romney, but I’m not sure very many of us could stand up to being accountable as mature adults for what we did in high school. (Via my Aunt M.)

?otd: Hey kids, where are you?

Writing time yesterday: 2.0 hours (WRPA, mostly galley edits)
Body movement: 60 minute urban walk
Hours slept: 6.25 (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Light Breaker by Mark Teppo

[personal|photos] The Shiny, it sparkles

[info]davidlevine came by Nuevo Rancho Lake yesterday bearing gifts. He brought a card from [info]elisem which had also been signed by a ton of folks at WFC, causing me to tear up. Additionally [info]elisem her own self had sent along a couple of gifts.

One is a cupcake bead. It’s horribly cute, and is a reference to a dream I had about her a while back: [ | LiveJournal ].

The other is an opal in one of Elise’s lovely silver settings, and is a reference to the visit she and I and several other folks made to Lightning Ridge Opals in Melbourne last year: [ | LiveJournal ]. It’s a piece I rather liked in the raw, and she has set it up so very nicely.

photo 2

I want to thank [info]elisem, and any other little elves I suspect may have been involved in this. ETA: And I’m told there were many elves, everyone on the card in fact and perhaps more. Thank you all.

I feel honored and loved and beautified.

Photo © 2011, David D. Levine. Used with permission.

[links] Link salad looks over the horizon

Don’t forget the new Endurance ARC contest: [ | LiveJournal ]

Footprints and flags on the moon won’t last foreverFootprints, anyone?

A drink a day linked to healthy aging — Good news for all you budding lushes out there.

A fall from grace — Roger Ebert on his health, and frailty. I know whereof he speaks.

A 7-ton Satellite to Fall on Earth This Month

Climate Scientists’ Pole-to-Pole Greenhouse Gas Survey Near Completion

Wildfire Smoke Plumes over Texas — This is a terrible problem. I have friends and relatives whose property (and potentially lives) are threatened. Still, I think Pharyngula comment on the Texas drought perfectly applies to this as well. To my conservative friends who claim to believe that natural disasters are a form of divine commentary: Why is God punishing Texas?

Banning All Religion — An interesting squib from Australia.

Channeling FDR: The Moral Case Against Unemployment — Unfortunately, our politics has become downright punitively Calvinistic about the unemployed. Even more unfortunately, nearly half the electorate seems to be fine with this.

The Myth of Conservative Purity — A conservative view of the Right’s no-compromise tendencies.

Dick Cheney praises Hillary Clinton — Also, this just in: monkeys have flown out of my butt to deliver hockey sticks to Hell.

Asymmetrical War — Ta-Nehisi Coates on Republican obstructionism. As he says of Obama’s view of Boehner and McConnell, And we wonder what portion of “Government is the problem” he failed to understand.

Pass, Fail and Politics — Call me crazy, but I actually want someone smarter than I am in the Oval Office. Unfortunately, millions of my fellow Americans demonstrably would rather have someone they’re comfortable having a beer with. A valedictorian president or a frat boy president? Is that really our political divide?

?otD: Where would you go if you could?

Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (fitful)
Weight: 226.0
Currently reading: Antiphon by Ken Scholes

[links] Link salad on Labor Day

Don’t forget the new Endurance ARC contest: [ | LiveJournal ]

Slacktivist on the religious progressive view of labor

Ancient menagerie uncovered in Australia’s Nullarbor — (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

FEMA Uses the Waffle House Index to Determine Hurricane Threat

Scenes From a Multiverse takes on right wing denialism — Hahaha. (Thanks to [info]goulo.)

Michael Moore, Triumphant?In a new memoir, the controversial filmmaker opens up about his life. He talks about the vitriol he faced after 9/11, and why he thinks the last decade has proved him right.

Why Do Conservatives Get a Pass?Perry’s views are getting denounced by all the usual lefty suspects but not much by anyone else. And the reason for this is something very odd: In modern America, conservatives are largely given a pass for saying crazy things. They’re just not taken seriously, in a boys-will-be-boys kind of way.

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the CultI left because I was appalled at the headlong rush of Republicans, like Gadarene swine, to embrace policies that are deeply damaging to this country’s future; and contemptuous of the feckless, craven incompetence of Democrats in their half-hearted attempts to stop them. Long, but definitely worth the read. Especially if you’re a conservative. (Thanks to [info]goulo.)

?otD: What are you doing with your Monday off? Or do you even have this Monday off?

Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (2,500 words on Sunspin, including some editorial work)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.25 hours (solid)
Weight: 223.4
Currently reading: Endurance by Alfred Lansing

[links] Link salad cries more, more, more

If all stories were written like science fiction stories — Hahaha. Very bad science fiction stories, admittedly. (Via David Goldman.)

First Measurement of ‘Wordquakes’ Shaking the BlogosphereCertain words disrupt the blogosphere in the same way that earthquakes shake the planet. And that makes them ripe for an earthquake-like magnitude rating.

A Year in the Slow Lane in a ’30 Ford — That be some dedication.

Back to the Future — An amazing photo re-creation project. (Thanks to [info]willyumtx.)

Shipping cupcakes down the thermal exhaust port — A video of the unboxing of an entry in the cupcake shipping challenge. Color me impressed. (Via [info]scarlettina.)

Australians hit by Cyclone Yasi warned to stay away from deadly giant birds — Now that is a headline. (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

Up telescope! Search begins for giant new planetTyche may be bigger than Jupiter and orbit at the outer edge of the solar system. (\Bad Astronomy responds.

Evidence of a Spurious Origin — Ta-Nehisi Coates on nineteenth century scientific racism. Both interesting and depressing.

The leaked campaign to attack WikiLeaks and its supporters — Glenn Greenwald on Wikileaks and his own targeting in response. No matter what your politics, this will likely strike you as appalling.

Selection Bias? PolitiFact Rates Republican Statements as False at 3 Times the Rate of Democrats — Or possibly just the Palin effect.

House GOPer against big government health care enjoys taxpayer-funded state government insurance — Further evidence that the core tenet of contemporary conservatism is ‘right for me but not for thee.’ See the only moral abortion is my abortion for a much larger, more devastating example of this.

Be Nice To Bigots: Republican leaders tiptoe around the smear campaign against Obama’s faith and citizenship.That’s four straight interviews in which the country’s three top Republicans—the speaker of the House and the GOP leaders in each chamber—have refused to condemn the spreading of lies about Obama’s faith and citizenship. […] Why can’t Boehner, Cantor, or McConnell speak that bluntly? Why won’t they call a lie a lie? If they want to be leaders, it’s time to lead. Your Republican party: proudly standing up for what’s right and true in America. (Except when it pisses off their base, of course.)

?otD: What happened in the midnight hour?

Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (copy edits on Endurance)
Body movement: 30 minutes on stationary bike
Hours slept: 5.75 hours (solid)
Weight: 252.0
Currently reading: Between books

[personal|writing] My 2010 Year in Review

2010 has been a very difficult year for me, but it’s also been a very accomplished year. The ironies of this are not lost upon me. And frankly, the leading indicators for 2011 are not much improved. We shall see.


Pinion from Tor Books
The Specific Gravity of Grief from Fairwood Press
The Baby Killers from PS Publishing
The Sky That Wraps from Subterranean Press

Short Fiction

In short fiction, I had about twenty-five appearances, one jointly authored with Ken Scholes, several more with Shannon Page.

Other Activities

I was nominated for an Airship Award for the Mainspring cycle, sold French and German rights to various of my books, and edited METAtropolis: Cascadia,’s followup to the highly successful METAtropolis audiobook.

I attended Rainforest Writers’ Village, Cascade Writers, New Zealand’s National Convention, Worldcon in Australia, Orycon and Steamcon.

Submissions and Sales

43 new fiction submissions in total
    22 sales, several with Shannon Page
    12 rejections

19 reprint submissions in total
    11 reprint sales
    18 reprint rejections

Writing Statistics

226,200 words of first draft (Kalimpura, twelve short stories, outlines to Kalimpura and Sunspin, several nonfiction items)

Revisions to Endurance

Approximately 1,000 blog posts

Personal Life

All of this while recovering from lung surgery, undergoing six months of chemotherapy, experiencing and recovering from liver surgery, holding down a full-time job, parenting, and spending the last three months of the year watching my primary relationship erode and vanish. So while the writing held up remarkably well (I accomplished more in 2010 than in 2009), the rest of the year sucked rocks and is totally fired.

Also, don’t ever talk to me about not finding the time to write.

[photos] Australia: Interesting Food

This last set of the Melbourne series features a few interesting food photos. The world is filled with interesting food, I suppose, but this is what we saw.

Nothing says yum like a white tomato.

Mmm. Funky curry.

Burger trademark fault.

Pork floss buns, because nothing else speaks so well to dental hygiene.

More pork floss buns!

Inexplicable buns are inexplicable.

Puppy cake! Now made from real, erm… Never mind.


As usual, more at the Flickr set.

© 2010, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

[photos] Australia: Lightning Ridge Opals

We also visited Lightning Ridge Opal Mines, named for a famous opal mining area. elisem had a terrific time shopping here.

We got to see opals being ground, in a nifty demo.

A closer view.

Some of their wares.

Sign by the bathroom. :: covets ::

There was also a series of terraria in a side room, with various Aussie natives. Some four-legged, some six- or eight-legged. Or more.

This sadly blurry shot was the only time I’d managed to capture his tongue.

Another critter.

And some had lots of legs.

Woof woof!

As usual, more at the Flickr set.

© 2010, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.