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[links] Link salad leaves the DC area

If Game of Thrones Were A Children’s Book Series — Hahahaha. Via Reynardo the Red.)

The Perfect Car — 911-DS. Um… Wow… (Via [info]danjite.)

Google Reveals Plans for Mystery Barges

Finding the Higgs Leads to More PuzzlesAs scientists try to reconcile the discovery of the Higgs boson with what they thought they knew, one theory suggests that a glitch in the Higgs field could end the universe as we know it. (Thanks to Dad.)

?otD: Will I see you at Orycon this weekend?


11/7/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (extremely fitful)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing children to learn critical thinking skills: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad is like a bridge over troubled waters

The lights go out and I can’t be saved, tides that I tried to swim against Lisa Costello talks about her end of what’s been going on in our life lately, including parts of the story I have not been free to recount.

Hanging out with Jay Lake (figuratively) — My friend [info]soon_lee talks about my collection, The River Knows Its Own.

My Orycon programming schedule — For them what wants it.

and straight on ’til morning… — John G. Hartness looks to start a nonprofit focused on supporting writers and artists with severe illness. (Thanks to Marta Murvosh.)

So frenchy, so touchy, about the English languageMichel Serres’ call for France to strike over the march of English words is as daft as his nation’s daily massacre of the language. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

German Officials Provide Details on Looted Art Trove

Fighting Over the Width of Airline Seats — Hmm.

Alligator found under escalator at Chicago airport‘‘We don’t know where it came from or how long it’d been residing in the airport facilities,’’ Estrada said. ‘‘It’s one of those random incidents.’’ Wow…

Lasers Zap Heads of Flies to Expose Brains — Zombie lasers?

Fossil of largest platypus ever is discovered in Australia

This may be the ocean’s most horrifying monster (and you’ve probably never heard of it) — (Thanks, I think, to Ellen Eades.)

New Kepler analysis finds many Earth-like planets; total 3,500 exoplanetsEarth-like planets are common around Sun-like stars, too.

Oglaf nails religion in seven panels — Hahahahahah. As always with Oglaf, not precisely work-safe.

Don’t tell Muslim women what to wear — This is what comes of following God’s law. And far too many Christian conservatives want to implement such ‘standards’ in this country.

Belief in biblical end-times stifling climate change action in U.S. — We make national policy based on the self-valorizing eschatonic narratives of one narrow-minded and willfully ignorant group of religious sects who are a small minority in this country. Yep, that sounds like a free and democratic society to me. Either that or Republican electoral politics. History will be severely unkind to the contemporary GOP. (Via Steve Buchheit.)

Climate change is already affecting food suppliesRising temps will help in some places, but global productivity will decrease. Now the liberals are raiding farms and warehouses to keep their climate change hoax going. Thank God for Rush Limbaugh and the Republican party, or we might have had to do something about this.

Exclusive: Feds confiscate investigative reporter’s confidential files during raid — Yeah, that whole freedom of the press thing? Not so much anymore. (Via [info]danjite.)

To Flatten A Heroine: Artist Puts Disney Princess Filter On 10 Real Life Female Role Models — Wow. Just wow. A thoughtful wow, not a happy wow. (Thanks to [info]scarlettina.)

Southern National Guards ignore Hagel order on gay troop spouse IDs — Once again conservatives express their dedication to the Constitution and their deep respect for law and order.

NIST to Review Standards After Cryptographers Cry Foul Over NSA Meddling

White Terrorist is “Gunman,” “Alleged Shooter,” no Mention of Wingnut ‘New World Order’ BeefUltimately, Ciancia is depicted as a quiet and troubled loner, probably mentally unbalanced, and his right wing political commitments and conspiracy theories are not even mentioned. That put-upon “whites” in an America becoming majority multi-ethnic and multi-cultural have developed an extremist ideology centering on their betrayal at the hands of a government subordinating itself to a world dominated by non-whites is not deemed worthy of being part of the analysis. Your Liberal Media, enabling the conservative narrative since forever.

Study Links White Racism With Opposition to Gun ControlResearchers report white Americans who hold implicitly anti-black attitudes are more likely to have a gun in the house, and to oppose gun-control measures. I was especially struck by this passage: ”U.S. whites oppose strong gun reform more than all other racial groups, despite a much greater likelihood that whites will kill themselves with their own guns (suicide) than be killed by someone else.” See? Don’t you feel safer when everyone exercises their Second Amendment rights? I know the 30,000 people killed by firearms in this country every surely did feel safer, too.

Doctors’ role in enhanced military interrogation ‘clearly violates’ ethics — Ya think? Welcome to the security state. Which Obama has continued and strengthened. Sigh.

?otD: Will you lay you down?


11/5/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing children to learn critical thinking skills: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad knows that love is just a kiss away

Reading: METAtropolis: Green Space — A reader reacts positively to my novella, “Rock of Ages”.

Love, The Weak and FragileLove, to me, is like an emaciated refugee that shows up at your door in the middle of the night during a storm. You’re not sure how she had the strength to get here, but here she is regardless, her thumb on your doorbell until you let her in. (Via [info]rekre8.)

A Girl and Her Room: Portraits of Teenage Girls’ Inner Worlds Through Their Bedroom Interiors — (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

The Acrobat Sublime — Some gorgeous photos of acrobats in unusual settings. NSFW in a very arty way. (Via [info]martang.)

Around 50% of people can ‘see in the dark,’ study shows

What is the craziest thing you have ever said to your boss, with or without getting fired? — (Via David Goldman.)

East Meets West: An Infographic PortraitGerman punctuality, Western ego and how to stand in line like a Chinese. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

I Noticed This Tiny Thing On Google Maps. And When I Zoomed In… Well, Nothing Could Prepare Me. — Wow. This is amazing, intense, and sad. (Thanks to [info]willyumtx.)

Telescopes as Time Machines — This has been obvious to me since I was a kid, and I’m pretty sure is clear enough to most SF readers and fans. It’s still a cool topic.

GOP Deeply Divided Over Climate Change — Polling about climate change is like polling about gravity. You can hold any ideology you want, but in the reality-based world shit still falls down.

More Passengers Are Trying To Board Planes With GunsThe most common explanation passengers give officers when they get caught is, “I forgot it was there.” Man, I feel so much safer when responsible citizens exercise their Second Amendment rights. So do the 30,000 people killed every year in this country by firearms, I’m just certain of it.

?otD: Gimme shelter?


11/4/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing children to learn critical thinking skills: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad bumbles into a faraway weekend

Jade — A middling review of the French edition of my novel Green.

The Jay Wake Book is Complete — Hooray for Sandra Tayler, hero of the revolution!

Classic TV show maps – in picturesAt first the arrangements seem random, but with Monty Python’s Flying Circus across the road from Fawlty Towers, and The Killing adjacent to The Bridge (and The Tunnel), this street map for TV addicts includes more than 700 television shows, linked by a multifarious set of connections. (Thanks to AH.)

What makes creativity tick?While some believe creativity is spontaneous, Michigan State University neuroscientist Jeremy Gray suspects there’s a lot of hard work going on in the brain even when the proverbial light bulb going off feels effortless. Like hell creativity is spontaneous. I mean, of course it can be, but any working creative professional can tell you that there’s a lot of discipline, structure and work involved. As a society, we have such odd notions about writers and artists. (Via David Goldman.)

100 Diagrams That Changed the WorldA visual history of human sensemaking, from cave paintings to the world wide web. (Via Lisa Costello.)

10 of the world’s most scenic cemeteries — A subject of some personal interest to me lately.

Sick mum ‘belittled’ by Air New Zealand — Wow, I thought Air New Zealand had treated me poorly, but this is just depraved. And an update here; apparently the airline has apologized, but the horribly discriminatory policy did and does exist, so it obviously seemed like a good idea to Air New Zealand right up until they were publicly embarrassed in the media. (Via [info]danjite.)

13 Horrifying Ways to Die (If You’re an Arthropod) — Fascinatingly weird images and story, but trigger warning if you’re icked out by insects, spiders, or nature red of tooth and claw. (Thanks, I think, to [info]willyumtx.)

A partial eclipse will bring a strange sunrise SundaySunday morning, everyone on or near the Eastern Seaboard has a rare chance to watch an eerie celestial spectacle at sunrise. The sun will come up over the east horizon while in a partial solar eclipse. Instead of a golden ball, the sun will be a weird, upside-down thick crescent with, as seen from New England, a big bite missing from its lower right. That is, it will if the weather permits. I saw the total eclipse in 1991 with a completely clear sky. It was amazing.

Les Johnson: Big Projects and Deep Time

Slow-moving zombie technologies that refuse to dieJust when you think they’re obsolete, they rise from your desk and bite.

Climate Change Seen Posing Risk to Food Supplies — Another day, another liberal lie. Thank God for Rush Limbaugh and the Republican party, or we might actually have to worry about this stuff.

What’s the greatest threat to economic growth? It’s climate change. — Amazing, the lengths liberals will go to for their hoax. Even to maybe crashing the world economy.

Another Obamacare horror story debunked — Huh. A conservative talking point that turns out not to be true. Who could possibly imagine a Republican bearing false witness about healthcare? (Via Davis Goldman.)

SecDef orders 9 rogue red-state National Guards to recognize spouses of gay US troops — Conservatives just can’t help themselves. They have to hurt somebody to feel good. I’m only amazed that there’s meaningful pushback on this particular bit of Republican bigotry.

Neo-Bircher apocalyptic politics harms the people who embrace itOur politics is hobbled by a determined, motivated, vindictive bloc of voters driven by fear, ignorance and resentment of the Other. That’s a problem for all of us and it’s a big reason why we can’t have nice things. It does real harm and causes real pain to those it demonizes and targets — usually vulnerable outsiders and poor people. Yes, this. They’re called conservatives.

?otD: Who are you helping today?


11/2/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing children to learn critical thinking skills: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad is busy, checks in anyway

A reader reviews my single title novella Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh[This] is a kind of existential horror story. It has great power. I’m not sure it’s in any way entertaining, but it certainly provokes thought and, in these superficial times, that’s high praise.

Rune Charms for Warriors & for Peace — (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Airline passengers look forward to using gadgets gate to gate

Other people’s divisionsAmerica’s states labelled by an Australian who’s never been there and knows nothing about its geography. This is funny.

Images from the glorious world around us that we never seeNikon’s microscopy image contest gives us a different view of our world’s beauty.

How to build a digital robot dinosaur — What could possibly go wrong!?

Chimpanzee retirements put on hold because of federal budget mess — Huh, and here I thought I was nasty about the GOP congressional delegation. No, wait, they meant real chimpanzees, not the inarticulate, poo-flinging vandals in the conservative movement.

Pacific Ocean warming 15 times faster than before Some parts of the Pacific Ocean have warmed 15 times faster in the last 60 years than they did during the previous 10,000 years. Climate change is a liberal hoax. Do not be confused by these so-called reality-based “facts” and “data”, not when there is good conservative ideology to guide you.

A Decade of WaterNearly a decade of observations from the twin GRACE satellites shows that some parts of the United States could face hard times in coming years. This map shows how water supplies have changed between 2003 and 2012. I am sure Rush Limbaugh can tell us how Al Gore stole all this water, as the problem cannot possibly be climate change.

The American Health Care System Sucks

Obamacare is a mess, and liberals need to fix it As policy and P.R., the ACA is in trouble. Democrats need to acknowledge that, and make it work for everyone.

‘Winners And Losers From Obamacare’ — The numbers don’t lie. Unlike Republicans.

Perhaps Love Bakes a CakeSuppose that the headlines read “Atheist Baker Refuses Wedding Cake to Christian Couple.” The uproar would be deafening. Every conservative Christian and political news outlet would be outraged. If it happens to us, we want to call it persecution. But when we do it to others, we want to call it “religious liberty.” We can’t have it both ways, and I find these fear-mongering cries of persecution to be simply dishonest. Yup. This. Welcome to conservative America, where the hypocrisy is bone deep beneath a self-valorizing veneer of smug Republican Jesus. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

The Dow hits another record high. Where are all the jobs?Much as in other areas of scientific debate, conservatives have plainly lost this argument in the realm of fact, and have resorted to restating ideological opinions in the hope that repetition will become accepted truth. The difference is that the media have finally begun to accept and report that climate change and evolution are incontrovertible facts, while Young Earth creationism and climate denialism are fiction undeserving of publication. The same standard should be applied to the obvious fiction of supply-side economics. Something else I’ve been saying for the past three decades.

Officials bash rumors that Alamo, other missions will be run by U.N. — Why do conservatives have any cultural credibility at all, when willfully ignorant bullshit like this is their bread-and-butter?

On Telling President Obama to Go Back to Africa — Ah, the measured, rational discourse of the conservative mind.

Conservative Attorney Larry Klayman Calls For Coup Against Obama — Because nothing embodies the justly famed conservative respect for the Constitution like calls for sedition and rebellion against a duly elected president.

The Tea Party, Now and ForeverThe ones who remain will not be chastened by what just happened, nor when their numbers decrease. As there is after every Republican defeat, there’s talk now amongst the base about the need for more “true conservatives.” But if you look at the people who decided to end the crisis, they aren’t that different in their policy beliefs from the Tea Partiers. Mitch McConnell would genuinely like to repeal the ACA, and outlaw abortion, and slash food stamps. This isn’t even a dispute about tactics, because that would mean the Tea Partiers have some kind of coherent set of tactics in mind, beyond “Fight, fight, fight!” It’s about the apocalyptic worldview that animates the Tea Partiers. From the very beginning, the Tea Party never was anything but Republican astroturf, bigots posing as being concerned about the deficit so they could claim not to be racist. Now it has become the GOP. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

If They Violate Your Privacy in the Woods, Do You Make a Sound? — Some breathtaking stupidity from the chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

[links] Link salad says it’s your birthday

Centuries-Old Manuscript Reveals Love for Richard III

Bad ScienceLanguage Log on problems in science.

Your Liver May Be ‘Eating’ Your BrainNew research shows the liver and hippocampus (the memory center in the brain) share a craving for the same protein, and the liver wins out when there’s extra belly fat involved. (Via David Goldman.)

The longest flight in the world

Poster Boy for Anti-Gay Campaign Against Military Religious Freedom Really Could Be Court-Martialed for This On September 6, 2013, the Family Research Council (FRC) launched a petition to “Protect Sergeant Phillip Monk from Air Force Court Martial.” Incredibly, just over a month later, on October 12, the very same organization paraded Sergeant Monk out at its Values Voter Summit, a political event in which the participation of an active duty service member is strictly prohibited by military regulations, the violation of which could subject Sergeant Monk to punishment by … um … court-martial. Ah, those poor, persecuted Christianists. Merely having overwhelming cultural dominance is such a terrible, victimizing descent from absolute cultural supremacy. Meanwhile, they make up lies to self-valorize. Because bearing false witness against the people smug Republican Jesus tells you to hate is the Christian thing to do! (Thanks to David Goldman.)

Little Libertarians on the Prairie — Laura Ingalls Wilder and American conservatism.

What You Can Get For The Price Of A Shutdown — In case you somehow still imagined that Republicans were the party of fiscal responsibility. Though I suppose if you still imagine that at this point in American political history, no further evidence from the reality-based world is likely to change your thinking. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Are partisan news sources polarizing Americans? — Ya think? That’s the whole point of FOX News. And there simply is no center-left equivalent that consistently fans fear and resentment through deliberate, wholesale lies and misrepresentation through a partisan lens. The right assumes all non-conservative media has a liberal bias, but that’s a self-valorizing lie the right tells itself because reality doesn’t comply with conservative ideology, so honest reporting is rarely satisfying to conservatives.

?otD: Gonna have a good time?


10/19/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (badly interrupted)
Body movement: n/a
Weight: n/a
Number of FEMA troops on my block reopening National Parks: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad’s face at first just ghostly

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreamingA lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens. (Via AH.)

A brief history of young adult literature

The Meat Is Only the StartHungry City: Umami Burger in Greenwich Village. Mmm mmm. (Thanks to Dad.)

Colourful ‘solar glass’ means entire buildings can generate clean powerBritish firm develops colourful, transparent solar cells that will add just 10% to glass buildings’ cost. (Thanks to Ellen Eades.)

Popeye in PerspectiveIn the 1934 animated film “A Dream Walking” by the Fleischer Studios, Olive Oyl sleepwalks on a skyscraper’s scaffolding, as Popeye and Bluto try to save her. It’s a tour de force of perspective, switching effortlessly between one-, two-, and three-point perspective.

Could a Vaccine for PTSD Protect Soldiers?

Santa Fe Flyer: 1943 — Holy crap, this photo. I love industrial imagines, but an entire steam locomotive being hoisted through the air… wow…

Big clawed fossil had spider-like brainScientists have discovered the best-preserved nervous system in an ancient fossil.

Vast meteorite pulled from Russian lake, breaks upIt’s half a ton big and it came from outer space. At least that’s what Russian scientists say. Yet when they try to weigh it, it breaks into pieces.

“Thank You, Doctor. And Now, for the Opposing View, Here’s Joe Camel.”And while it chaps my hide, stuff like this is what I expect from Heartland. What really gets me is that USA Today gave Heartland a place to confuse the public about global warming. If they ran a piece about satellites, would they get an “opposing view” from a Flat Earther? Global warming is no more a controversy than Young Earth Creationism. Only conservative political pressure keeps that question alive at all, that and the media’s terror at being labelled liberal for reporting on what’s really in the world.

Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches New Maximum Extent — And yes, this is an expected part of climate change, too.

The American Genocide Against Iraq: 4% of Population Dead as result of US sanctions, wars — Remember, kids, the Iraq War was a trillion dollar war-of-choice started on knowingly false pretenses by a Republican administration eager to be seen doing something about an attack on the United States which Iraq had nothing to do with. Plus maybe oil. And PNAC. Yet somehow people still imagine the GOP to be patriotic stewards of America’s national interest.

The Radical Christian Right and the War on Government — Ah, Dominionism, that ultimate expression God’s love as taught to us by smug, hateful Republican Jesus. (Via David Goldman.)

Scalia’s word problem — So true. Heh. The conservative mind is indeed a wonder to behold.

Thanks to the Shutdown, Republicans Are Losing Ground in Numerous Senate Races — We can only hope this will last. The country should be so lucky.

Nine things we missed during the shutdown — American conservatives are why can’t have nice things in this country.

GOP: We can easily avoid default Thursday by not paying Social Security checks — Mmm. Compassionate conservatism. Are you proud of your Republican party?

Pro-shutdown SD ranchers upset shutdown means no federal aid for devastating blizzard — Ah, the vaunted intellectual consistency of American conservatism. As I keep saying, no one, especially not conservatives, likes conservative policies when applied to them personally.

Senate Debt Deal Screeches To Halt As U.S. Looks Over The Cliff“We won’t be the last political party to overplay our hand,” he said. “It might happen one day on the Democratic side. And if it did, would Republicans, for the good of the country, kinda give a little? We really did go too far. We screwed up. But their response is making things worse, not better.” What has happened in the last thirty years of politics that would lead anyone with a pulse to imagine that the Republicans would “kinda give a little” if they had the Democrats backed into a bad political corner? This is incredibly self-serving tripe from Senator Graham.

Republicans never demanded Obamacare repeal, says Republican who demanded ‘getting rid of Obamacare’ — Of course, the GOP’s base of low-information voters will believe this flat out lie, and blame it all on Obama. But they always do.

Heritage Action: Fight Against Obamacare Will Go On — The Heritage Foundation’s Dan Holler lies smugly about the supposed disaster that is the successful Heritage Foundation healthcare proposal known as the ACA.

The huge health-care subsidy everyone is ignoringThe political right has paralyzed government over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, on the grounds that the ACA represents an unacceptable government intrusion into what today is the province of private markets. But the premise is fundamentally untrue. What? A cherished Republican talking point untrue? Not possible! (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

?otD: What shade of pale did you turn?


10/17/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 243.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing laws passed under the Constitutional process and fully subjected to judicial review: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad is everything a big, bad wolf could want

Metatropolis: Green Space Out Today + Metatropolis Trade PB On the Way

As We May Type — New generations of outliners and writing tools.

Small scale, small contributionThe 1.26 billion people whose countries belong to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development account for 42 percent of emissions. The rich, if they reduced their emissions by just 8 percent, could achieve more climate mitigation than the poor could achieve by reducing their emissions to zero. The rich could manage this 8 percent reduction by altering their lifestyles in barely noticeable ways. For the poor, a reduction of 100 percent would imply permanent misery. (Via [info]danjite.)

An Antarctic Journal — LJ user [info]antarctic_sue photoblogs life at the bottom of the world, including the GOP’s anti-science shutdown of US operations there. (Via [info]natalief.)

Uncommon path to Medal of Honor ceremony for Afghan war hero Swenson — This is an odd story (I heard a version of it on NPR).

Graph ‘o the day: Hey, big spenderSo, how have the Republicans managed to persuade Americans to buy into the whole “Obama as big spender” narrative? By flat out, knowing lies that their voter base eager laps up because a black Democrat is in the White House, and that means the End Times to Sarah Palin’s “real Americans” that make up the GOP.

The Tea Party Smoke-And-Mirrors Ponyfucker Express Magic Show — Chuck Wendig with a magnificent rant.

Heroic Times — Josh Marshall on the apocalyptic fever of the Tea Party Republicans. (Not that there is, or ever has been, any other kind of Tea Party but racist, radical Republicans.)

Your tax dollars at work, GOP styleWe furloughed the CDC but there is still money for shennanigans like this.

Three must-read articles about the shutdown and impending debt default — This isn’t about Obama somehow refusing to negotiate or acting in bad faith. This is about unilateral, unprecedented hostage taking by a GOP driven to desperation with their declining poll numbers and multiple election losses. These America-first patriots are willing to take the whole country down permanently if they don’t get to do things their way.

What This Cruel War Was OverIf a patriot can stand in front of the White House brandishing the Confederate flag, then the word “patriot” has no meaning. The Nazi flag is offensive because it is a marker of centuries of bigotry elevated to industrialized murder. But the Confederate flag does not merely carry the stain of slavery, of “useful killing,” but the stain of attempting to end the Union itself. You cannot possibly wave that flag and honestly claim any sincere understanding of your country. It is not possible.

Why Should the Public Trust Republicans With Power? — A question I’ve been asking since the Reagan administration, but which really came into focus during George W. Bush’s disastrous tenure in the White House. At least some people are waking up to this very long-standing issue, thanks to the House GOP and the Cruz faction in the Senate.

House Republicans Show Themselves To Be Dangerously Incompetent, AgainThere is no serious argument for Republican governance right now, even if you prefer conservative policies over liberal ones. These people are just too dangerously incompetent to be trusted with power.

?otD: Hey there little red riding hood?


10/16/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 242.8
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing laws passed under the Constitutional process and fully subjected to judicial review: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad wonders about the taste of fish

Gratitude and Stewardship — My friend and fellow cancer patient on living onward through the disease. I like this post.

Codex Seraphinianus — Wow. What a weird and cool piece of bibliographic art. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Reflections — These photos are gorgeous and bittersweet. (Thanks to AH.)

Study Shows Eating Bacon Will Make You Live Longer — According to Lisa Costello, in that case, I should live forever. (Thanks to [info]garyomaha.)

Getting Into the SpiritA former mental hospital in West Virginia, rumored to be a hotbed of paranormal activity, lets visitors search for their own ghost story to tell. (Thanks to Dad.)

Rare blood-filled mosquito fossil found — Wasn’t this how Jurassic Park began?

If the Moon was at the same distance as the ISS — That’s pretty intense. (Thanks to [info]threeoutside.)

So Far, Smart Watches Are Pretty Dumb

For shame: Trolls defeat Scientific American, Popular Science

My Two Cents on Feminism and Miley Cyrus — Fascinating.

Jay Lake, Cancer, and God #8: The Intersection — My friend pastor [info]daveraines continues his series about me, God and cancer. I’ll write a more detailed response to this post sometime soon.

The “We’re Not All Like That” project — A contrary view of the NALT project I was commenting favorably on yesterday. Since this perspective almost precisely mirrors my own view of so-called moderate Republicans, I do feel the power of the argument. (Via [info]gwyd.)

State Troopers Say Maryland’s AG Is a Terrible Backseat Driver — This guy is a seriously privileged asshole. And running for governor of Maryland as a Democrat. You’re supposed to be the good guys… Sigh.

North Carolina: Marriage Ban Is Challenged — Even in a Red State moral desert like North Carolina, the right thing occasionally happens.

New Low in Election Fraud — This is what was supposed to happen in Ohio in 2012, which is why Karl Rove got so upset and walked off the air. The failure of the Republican plan to steal the election for Romney through polling fraud is what so many on the right now consider Obama’s stealing of the election by the nefarious means of winning the popular vote. (Thanks to David Goldman.)

The “Pragmatic” Politics of SubtractionMuch of the party’s current toxicity with the public is the legacy of the last era of united Republican government. The Bush era was the political disaster from which Republicans have been recovering. Cruz isn’t helping to get the party out of the deep hole where the Bush administration put it, but driving his supporters out of the party would be even more politically self-destructive than the tactics that Cruz has been employing this year.

Here’s Why We Have a Debt Ceiling in the First Place

False equivalence: how ‘balance’ makes the media dangerously dumbWe’ve seen it in climate change reporting; we see it in shutdown coverage. Journalists should be unbiased, yes, but not brainless. Many of my conservative friends think “false equivalency” is a liberal myth. Which is a lot like my Christian friends thinking they’re persecuted: an erroneous and self-valorizing response to the challenge of their unconscious privilege.

Rep. Van Hollen on House Rule Change on Shutdown Vote: “Democracy has been Suspended!”Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) went viral in a YouTube video he released of his parliamentary inquiries on a change in House rules that forbade individual members to initiate a motion to open the Federal government. Only the Speaker of the House can now do so, in a highly undemocratic step. Yes, the House leadership did this. Think about that the next time you blame Obama, or even Republican extremists. (Though how you can tell “extremists” from the rest of the GOP is completely opaque to me.) The party leadership gamed the rules in a midnight change to keep the shutdown from being ended by an open vote.

The Dixiecrat SolutionConservative activists are simply not willing to give up on the idea of ruling through extortion, and the Obama administration has decided, wisely, that it will not give in to extortion. Ah, the patriotic, democratic values of conservatives are always on proud display.

Republicans Aren’t the Daddy Party Anymore — This is freaking hilarious. (Via David Goldman.)

50 years later, the ‘Fright-peddlers’ are still peddling fright — Conservatives never change. Really. The same angry paranoias on parade today were just as powerful fifty years ago, and just as wrong fifty years ago. Go read this, no matter what your politics.

?otD: Do you eat seafood?


10/15/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 242.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing laws passed under the Constitutional process and fully subjected to judicial review: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad wakes up from a bad night

Metastasis: An Anthology to Support Cancer Research — In which I have a reprint piece.

Polemic: how readers will discover books in future — Charlie Stross is as usual smart and funny.

Mark Forsyth’s top 10 lost wordsFrom snollygoster to wamblecropt, these forgotten words just might come handy, says the author of The Horologicon. (Via AH.)

Check Out the 1,500-Bottle Multnomah Whiskey Library — Huh. This is pretty cool. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Memory Is Inherently Fallible, And That’s a Good Thing

Mothers Pass Depression to Kids, Study Finds

A Strange Lonely Planet Found Without a StarAn international team of astronomers has discovered an exotic young planet that is not orbiting a star. This free-floating planet, dubbed PSO J318.5-22, is just 80 light-years away from Earth and has a mass only six times that of Jupiter. The planet formed a mere 12 million years ago — a newborn in planet lifetimes. Centauri Dreams with more on this. (Via Ellen Eades.)

Measuring a superconducting qubit by manipulating its environmentPutting microwaves in the environment lets researchers track a qubit’s evolution.

The mathematician’s defense of Bitcoin: It’s just another option

An Open Letter to the Editors of the Los Angeles Times — Yup. This. Climate change denialism has all the intellectual credibility of Flat Earthism (itself once Biblical position) and evolution denial (also a claim with exactly the same scientific authority as Flat Earthism). Cherished biases are not facts, no matter how desperate the true believer is to convince everyone around them otherwise.

Red Dawn delusions and an unmet longing for real community“The data suggests to us that outrage-based programming offers fans a satisfying political experience,” they write in the journal Poetics. “These venues offer flattering, reassuring environments that make audience members feel good. Fans experience them as safe havens from the tense exchanges that they associate with cross-cutting political talk they may encounter with neighbors, colleagues, and community members.” This is fascinating.

Bachmann: Obama Funding Al-Qaeda Proves ‘We Are in God’s End Times’ — Ah, the measured, rational discourse of your Republican party. If you’re Republican, this is what you vote for. Because if there really are reasonable Republicans in Congress, they certainly don’t do a damned thing to curb this vile insanity in the party. (Via David Goldman.)

What the Shutdown Has AchievedPost-Bush Republicans have managed to achieve what I thought couldn’t be done–they have made their party even more unattractive to the country than it was at the lowest ebb of Bush’s last years in office. I hope this finally means more voters are seeing the GOP for what it really is, but I am very dubious of such a happy outcome.

7 things @ 9 o’clock (10.10)Slacktivist Fred Clark is on fire with a series of links to interesting reporting on the ethics, morality and racist impulses behind the Tea Party-inspired GOP government shutdown.

“A Federal Budget Crisis Months In The Planning” — It’s very emotionally convenient for conservatives to blame Obama for the shutdown, but the shutdown is an extraordinary event which only happened because conservatives drove toward that goal in defiance of over two centuries of Constitutional process, parliamentary procedure, and traditions of the House and Senate. Obama wasn’t the one gleefully planning this months in advance. Republicans were.

?otD: Got cramps?


10/10/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (badly interrupted)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: n/a (scale broken)
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing laws passed under the Constitutional process and fully subjected to judicial review: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad takes a walk with its sister, the moon

The C-Word or “C” is for Cancer — Author Eugie Foster is in great and sudden need, something I understand all too well. I will be shifting some of the funds raised for me to Eugie. Please join me in helping her.

You can do a lot in a lifetime if you don’t burn out too fastLisa Costello on her first year in Portland (with me).

METAtropolis: Green Space is now available for pre-order — Edited by [info]kenscholes and me. Stories by Elizabeth Bear, Tobias S. Buckell, Mary Robinette Kowal, Seanan McGuire, Ken Scholes, Karl Schroeder and me. Check it out.

A favorable Russian review of Escapement

8-year-old flags ‘sexist’ children’s books; bookstore takes notice — Wow. (Via [info]threeoutside, among others.)

Wind Turbine Bird Threat Overstated, Study Suggests — (Via David Goldman.)

Galloping robot “WildCat” — Crazy video. (Via [info]threeoutside, among others.)

When to Catch a Lie via TextA recent experiment finds that when people are about to lie via digital text they take longer to construct their words. I can think of about a million things wrong with this, but it is still interesting. (Via David Goldman.)

Shutdown Stops T. Rex Trek in Its TracksThe ongoing government shutdown has stalled plans to haul a near-complete T. rex fossil to its new home at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, a federal institution forced to shut its doors last week.

Creationism and Climate ChangeSkepticism about evolutionary science, it seems, bleeds over into suspicion of all mainstream science. If mainstream science has been proven, from creationists’ perspective, to be a naked emperor, then its conclusions on every topic must be treated warily. I’ve been saying precisely this about conservative politics and culture for years. Privileging evolution denial has validated magical thinking at all levels and devaluated evidence-based reasoning. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Judge Demands Sikh Man Take Off His “Rag” — American conservatives: always at the forefront of the battle for religious liberty. Their religious liberty, not anyone else’s, of course. Sarah Palin “real American” bonus points for total indifferent ignorance about the differences between Muslims and Sikhs. (Via [info]goulo.)

A Ghost of May Days Past: East Germany Rises Again! — Politics and the map.

Inquisitive Justices? No Argument There

What did Justice Scalia mean? — A linguist takes on the Supreme Court’s most narrow-minded and intellectually dishonest justice. (And that’s saying something.)

Why the Devil Quit Bothering Pigs, According to Justice Scalia — And this man sits on the Supreme Court. Are you proud of your Republican party?

The Craigslist Ad That Will Make The Government Shutdown Seem Hilarious — This is pretty funny.

Despite federal shutdown, MAVEN mission still blasting off to MarsKey role as communications hub keeps probe on schedule.

How Democrats Got a Spine“Dealing with terrorists has taught us some things,” said Washington Rep. Jim McDermott after voting no on one of Thursday’s GOP bills. “You can’t deal with ’em. This mess was created by the Republicans for one purpose, and they lost. People in my district are calling in for Obamacare—affordable health care—in large numbers. These guys have lost, and they can’t figure out how to admit it.”

Deadlock — Jim Wright on the government shutdown. A must-read, especially if you consider yourself a supporter of the shutdown.

The Importance of CompetenceLosing the last election seems to have exhausted Republicans’ patience rather than forcing them to scale back their ambitions. Winning parties are often guilty of overreaching and imagining that they have an electoral mandate to advance their preferred agenda no matter what, but it is very unusual for a losing party to have the same delusions of grandeur. The simple answer to that is that Republicans don’t think they lost. They’ve never considered Obama’s victories legitimate. Listen to their rhetoric: conservatives see themselves as the aggrieved victims of liberal conspiracies to steal elections. They know perfectly well how much they have to manipulate voting rolls, turnout and polling to win, and cannot imagine Democrats doing anything different.

?otD: Have you been living underground, eating from a can?


10/8/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 242.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing laws passed under the Constitutional process and fully subjected to judicial review: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad heads back to Portland

A Korean review of Kalimpura — Even with Google Translate, I can’t tell if this is positive or negative.

50 People On ‘The Most Intellectual Joke I Know’ — This is hilarious. (Via David Goldman.)

Einstein’s genius may be due to a ‘well connected’ brainEinstein’s genius may have been triggered by the left and right sides of his brain being unusually well connected, research suggests.

Fear is the mindkiller: Focus group peers into the Republican brain — Yep. Conservatism in America long since ceased being driven by rationality or anything like either national interest or even voter self-interest.

Meet Butch Matthews, A Republican Who Came To Love Obamacare After Realizing It Will Save Him $13,000 — Yup. Amazing what those actual liberal “facts” and “data” can mean, when stacked up honestly against the self-deceptions of conservative ideology. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

?otD: Driving anywhere today?


10/6/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing laws passed under the Constitutional process and fully subjected to judicial review: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)