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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)

[links] Link salad might be thrillin’ baby, but a-my love so dog-gone willin’

Everything About These Pictures Of A Tiny, Adventurous Lego Photographer is Awesome

Arrgh! Adventures of 17th-Century Pirate Alliance Uncovered

Technocracy Inc.: 1939 — Ah, the Technocracy. But in Josephine County, OR? Really?

Oscars 2014: Vagina rejuvenation procedure offered in $80,000 goodie bags — Uh… (Via [info]danjite.)

‘Three parent babies’ could be born in Britain next year Britain is set to become the first country in the world to create babies with the DNA of three people after the government set out new draft regulations.

Cheese Chunks Adorn Ancient Mummies

10 of the world’s coolest underground wonders

The “Exosuit”: A wearable submarine for visiting deep waterDeep sea fish may contain proteins we need for brain-machine interfaces.

The Mammoth Cometh — On species restoration. (Via AH.)

On Way to New World, First Americans Made a 10,000-Year Pit Stop — Now if only they’d been willing to ask for directions. (Via David Goldman.)

Settled Science1 in 4 Americans isn’t down with heliocentricity. Because science is a cult, man. Where the priesthood of knowledge doesn’t permit alternative views. Your opinion is just as valid as some longhair Ph.D. who’s spent decades in research. Right?

Who’s behind ‘religious freedom’ push? The answer is hard to find

When ‘Religious Liberty’ Was Used To Justify Racism Instead Of HomophobiaRacism was more than just an ideology, it was a sincerely held religious belief.

After veto in Arizona, conservatives vow to fight for religious liberties“I have not heard one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated,” said Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer. Really, kids, it’s pretty simple. The right to discriminate and persecute based on your picked-and-chosen dictates of dogma is not a religious liberty. It’s a cultural privilege which is eroding, and rightfully so in a just and moral society.

30 Pieces of Silver — Jim Wright on the Brewer veto in Arizona.

Texas’s ban on gay marriage struck down by federal judge — Some interesting analysis here, including polling data.

CNN host gives Catholic League epic lesson on equal rights: ‘You do not own marriage’ — (Via Brad Smith.)

Who Favors Discrimination against Gay Newlyweds? Most Republicans, old People, Southerners, EvangelicalsYouth is such a determining factor here that it overwhelms the other identity considerations; 60% of African-American Millennials accept gay marriage and half of young Republicans do. People who don’t know any gays have not joined the new consensus.

TPM Interview: The Brown Grad Student Who Chased The NRA Out Of Rhode Island — Well, to be more specific, out of Rhode Island politics.

Rule 34, meet Kafka — Hah!

5 years later, here’s how the tea party changed politicsFor better or worse, the coming together of frustrated conservatives fearing American ruin due to rising debt has altered the national discussion to raise the profile of people and policies previously relegated to the right-wing fringe. That’s an awfully kind description of a political movement far better characterized by its arrant racism and proud, willful ignorance. Because really, if these people were motivated by deficit issues, where the hell were they when a white conservative named George W. Bush held office and ran up the highest deficits in history? They didn’t get mad until there was a black Democrat to blame. A GOP astroturf operations from the beginning, the Tea Party has never had a shred of intellectual or political credibility except as gifted to them by Your Liberal Media.

?otD: Did you kiss him good-bye?


2/28/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes
Weight: 234.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block unjustly vilifying Ted Nugent: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad says, “Son can you play me a memory, I’m not really sure how it goes.”

Gimbling in the Wabe – My Favorite Reviewed Books of 2013 — In which my novel Green receives an interesting commentary.

“Human Cheese” Only the First Course for Odd CheesesAdventurous eaters have plenty of cheese to choose from. Lisa Costello claims these are cheeses even I would not eat.

When it comes to giving gifts, we’re hardly aloneThe drive to exchange presents is ancient, transcultural and by no means limited to Homo sapiens. Researchers have found striking examples of gift-giving across the phyletic landscape in insects, spiders, mollusks, birds and mammals. (Thanks to David Goldman.)

A Perspective on Time — This is pretty cool. Sort of like those “powers of ten” things floating around. (Via [info]garyomaha.)

OK, Glass: Show me what’s next for GoogleGoogle Glass is expected to reach store shelves sometime in 2014. When it does, the connected headset could do more than change the wearables market: it could change Google, too. If they ever release a version for prescription lenses, I’d be on this like white on rice.

The dark money in climate changeAbout 75 percent of the money backing climate-denial efforts is untraceable, primarily via conservative foundations and shadowy tax-exempt groups that obscure their funding sources. What’s notable is that many of the big industrial funders — ExxonMobil and Koch Industries chief among them — have withdrawn their publicly traceable funding in recent years, and that withdrawal tracked closely with an increase in untraceable funding. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out what’s happening there.

Study: Plants Might Lack Traits Needed to Cope With Climate Change — Thank God for Rush Limbaugh and the Republican party. Without their help, America might be tempted to take potential problems like this seriously.

Solar variability has a small effect on climate changeFor the last 1,200 years of the Northern Hemisphere, at least. Hey, look. Science, not ideological cherry picking. And yes, science is often wrong. But unlike ideology, it has mechanisms for self-correction.

Children’s Books and Segregation in the Workplace

Like a virgin (mother): analysis of data from a longitudinal, US population representative sample surveyObjective: To estimate the incidence of self report of pregnancy without sexual intercourse (virgin pregnancy) and factors related to such reporting, in a population representative group of US adolescents and young adults. Ah, the wonders of abstinence-based sex education. Like most conservative ideas, an utter failure even in terms of its own internal logic. (Via David Goldman.)

It’s Over — Josh Marshall on the continuing collapse of unconstitutional state-sponsored Christianist anti-gay bigotry.

For Team Jonah, the Bible condemns interracial marriageHere’s conservative columnist Dennis Prager saying something that isn’t true: No religion practiced in America –€“ indeed, no world religion –€“ has ever banned interracial marriage. Umm… Wow. That is so stupid it doesn’t really deserve comment.

Living with the threat of being blown upApparently we have reached a tipping point in which no American can be held responsible for the destruction of others’ lives by their fellow citizens, whether through economic ruin or the kind of violence perpetrated by the right wing gun fetishists. You want to live in the US? Then you obviously agree that your life will always be at risk from anyone who wants to make a buck. To do otherwise would curtail the efficiency of the economic engine of our society. Yep. Regulations bad, free enterprise good. Why I am not a conservative, part 2,074.

Benghazi Consular attack was Local, not al-Qaeda: NYT Correspondent Demolishes GOP Talking Points — What? Conservative talking points that turn out to be false? Impossible! Why, that hasn’t ever happened in at least hours!

?otD: Did you ever know it complete?


12/29/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: n/a (traveling, no scale)
Number of FEMA troops on my block falsifying climate change data: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad has breakfast in America

Clues to Lost Prehistoric Code Discovered in Mesopotamia Researchers studying clay balls from Mesopotamia have discovered clues to a lost code that was used for record-keeping about 200 years before writing was invented. The clay balls may represent the world’s “very first data storage system.” (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Lord of the Rings Stained Glass-Style Art by Jian Guo — Some neat stuff here. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Artist’s Ben Heine 3D drawings are big enough for him to pose with his sketched characters — This is seriously cool. (Thanks to Jersey Girl in Portland.)

When a Fake Banksy Is a Real Banksy?

A Season With Swiss Cheesemakers — (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

Sleep ‘cleans’ the brain of toxins — I always thought of it as more like mental garbage collection.

Magnets going through a copper pipe — Some fun, cool, basic science. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

White Dwarfs: Evidence for Watery Asteroids

See The 5 Kick-Ass Women This Mom Dressed Her Daughter As Instead Of A Disney Princess — This is so cool! (Via Lezli Robyn.)

Better Living Through ChemistryScrivener’s Error on, among other things, organized religion.

Homosexuality Is Undercounted; So Is Homophobia — I don’t know. Seems to me all you really have to do to count homophobia is add up the Republican votes in any election. Anyone who votes GOP is by definition fully supportive of institutional homophobia and discrimination, after all.

Cryptographer Adi Shamir Prevented from Attending NSA History ConferenceThis is not a security issue – I have been to the US close to a hundred times so far (including some multi-year visits), and had never overstayed my visas. In addition, the number of terrorists among the members of the US National Academy of Science is rather small. As a friend of the US I am deeply worried that if you continue to delay visas in such a way, the only thing you will achieve is to alienate many world-famous foreign scientists, forcing them to increase their cooperation with European or Chinese scientists whose countries roll the red carpet for such visits. Is this really in the US best interest? (Via [info]goulo.)

My Skin in the Game: How Ted Cruz and the Right Want to Help Cancer Kill Me, and Maybe You — Yep. This.

Anonymous Park Rangers Speak UpWe have been recently treated to the Congressman who told a Park Ranger in DC that she should be ashamed of herself. (Because of the government shutdown he and his party had worked so hard to bring down upon us all!) She did not have the liberty to mouth off at his small-minded, mean-spirited willful ignorance. The National Parks Conservation Association has just released a video which shares the words of Park Rangers. Turns out their thoughts have much more to offer than that elected nitwit know-nothing Randy Neugebauer from Texas. (Via David Goldman.)

Arizona Lawmaker: When I Called Obama ‘Der Fuhrer’ I Didn’t Mean Hitler — Ah, the measured tones and justly famed rationality of conservative discourse. (Via [info]danjite.)

Learning Lessons From DefeatMovement conservatives of various stripes have become very good over the last ten years at rationalizing defeat, evading responsibility, and denying that obvious blunders were anything of the sort. The embarrassing and inconvenient explanations that found fault with their ideas and goals have been routinely ignored, and the ones that offered ready-made excuses were eagerly embraced. That’s what happens when you consistently privilege magical thinking and ideology over an evidence-based worldview. By the way GOP, how’s that whole Permanent Majority thing working out?

Top 10 Ways Ted Cruz & the Tea Party Weakened America with ShutdownCruz and the Tea Party deeply harmed American law & values, and they are much more dangerous than Edward Snowden. Snowden is in hiding in Russia. These guys are strutting around capitol hill, having much diminished it. At least our conservative leadership was defending America from the Socialist scourge of affordable access to healthcare!

The Paranoid Style in American StenographyOften you see that things that look modern are really old. So it is with our theories of dark plots, dastardly machinations, and invisible grimoires. Ta-Nehisi Coates on extremist politics.

?otD: Could we have kippers for breakfast, Mummy dear, Mummy dear?


10/18/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 243.6
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 drunk and dressed in its best brown baggies and its platform soles

Hook Agonistes” is live at Subterranean Online — By Seanan McGuire and me. Go read it.

5 Gorgeous DIY Cheese Boards To Impress Your Guests — Mmm, cheese. (Via [info]theeoutside.)

Researcher controls colleague’s motions in first human brain-to-brain interface — What could possibly go wrong? (Via several sources, including [info]danjite and Ellen Eades.)

Iron gall ink and wasps — Huh. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Tesla outsells Porsche, Jaguar, others in Calif. — Huh.

Embracing misinformation on Obama — All that really important Bible stuff about not bearing false witness and doing as you would be done by doesn’t apply to talking about Kenyan Socialist Muslims and their unConstitutional plots to ensure that more Americans receive affordable healthcare. Ask any Republican!

Pat Robertson Claims Gays Deliberately Spread AIDS Using Sharp Jewelry — Because being a conservative Christian means making up batshit lies about people God tells you it’s okay to hate. None of that Ten Commandments crap about bearing false witness applies to people who follow Jesus. Given this man is one of the most public Christian leaders in the country, I am so glad I’m an atheist.

Limbaugh: Feminism Rooted In “Sexual Perversion” — Because being conservative means even a vicious, cruel bastard can be idolized into fame and fortune.

N.M. Republican Said Gay Men Should Stop ‘Whoring’ And Marry Women — Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

Zimmerman Wants Florida to Pay Legal BillsHe wants to be reimbursed for up to $300,000 after his acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin. As any conservative can tell you, Zimmerman is a true American hero who made a much-needed stand against the oppression of the white race. Why should we not all pay for his free murder spree?

Qotd?: Do you give a damn about any trumpet playing band?


8/29/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: 245.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block vaccinating children to spread autism: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad rises up into the air and explodes

Jay Lake Pre-Mortem Readathon, review the second: Mainspring

Beth Zuckerman reviews the Hugo-nominated novellas

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope — Hahahah! (Thanks to Mom.)

Jane Austen, Game Theorist

What Do Women Want?Discovering What Ignites Female Desire

You are entering a reconstruction zone — Breast cancer survivor Diane Mapes on reconstruction.

The Weird New World of Girl Cheese — Gendered cheese. Because reasons. (Thanks, I think, to Lisa Costello.)

America’s BBQ Battle: an Eater’s Guide — :: wants :: (Via [info]garyomaha.)

Man catches 200-year-old fish — Hmmm.

How Should We Respond When Humans and Sharks Collide?

Meet the Baby Liligers Born in a Russian ZooThe cubs are three parts lion, one part tiger — and 100% adorable. (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Genetic History of Great Apes Over 15 Million Years Could Lead to Medical Advances

Tiny stem-cell livers grown in laboratory

Brain’s ‘Garbage Truck’ May Hold Key to Treating Alzheimer’s and Other Disorders — Interesting. (Via David Goldman.)

Why good deeds don’t go unpunishedBeing overly generous can get you punished as a nonconformist.

Mars Rover Curiosity Captures Video of Martian Moonrise — Mmmm.

Too Much Wind Energy? Save it Underground in Volcanic Rock Reservoirs — Write your own joke here.

No Atheists in Foxholes, no Climate Change Deniers at front Lines of Wildfires — Actually, there are plenty of atheists in the foxholes, but still.

The insane things people still try to bring on airplanes

Neil Steinberg & Dave Gushee on the damaging idea that ‘hating gays is a bedrock of Christian faith’The question remains: How can McDonald’s sell cheeseburgers, violating Jewish law? Not a toughie. Answer: Because the laws of kosher don’t matter to anyone but observant Jews. … Jewish dietary law has no bearing on secular law. Neither does a sectarian interpretation of Biblical law. Ever.

Huge document dump shows how Church protected abusers What is despicable isn’t just that these abuses occurred in the first place, or even that in so many cases, church administration knew about the abuse and actively endeavored to cover it up with apparently zero regard for the welfare of victims. It’s also that so many of the guys who let this happen remain in positions of authority in the church today. But without religion in our lives, how shall we find a moral compass? Suffer the little children, indeed.

Mystery in killings at Oakland Wingstop — Remember, an armed society is a polite society. Those thirty thousand gun deaths a year are a small price to pay for your Second Amendment right to mistakenly shoot restaurant workers. I’m sure everyone is much safer now.

LeVar Burton explains his ritual to prevent being shot by police — Sigh. (Snurched from Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement — Wow. This is disturbing.

QotD?: Are you celebrating something today?


7/4/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (vacation)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (away from home)
Weight: n/a (away from home)
Number of FEMA troops on my block building mandatory gay marriage halls: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg; Snuff by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad buries its soul in a scrapbook

The Acts of Whimsy cancer fundraiser and the Lakeside Kickstarter for the documentary about me, [info]the_child, and cancer are still live. Both have made goal, but additional support is always welcome. Please check them out if you have not done so yet.

Calvin and Hobbes on language — Hahahah.

In the Dairy Case, Ripe Prose — On the language of cheesemongery. Hah! (Thanks to AH, via [info]tillyjane, a/k/a my Mom.)

Women fight to get benefits for breast cancer survivors rushed — Because when you’re very ill is when America shows its cruelty best.

Is It Time to Treat Violence Like a Contagious Disease? — (Via David Goldman.)

Microorganisms Discovered in Middle and Upper Troposphere — I hate it when that happens.

Data Storage: The DNA Option — Brings a whole new meaning to the term “thumb drive”.

Physicists seek cosmic domain walls — Because science! (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Simulated Pickett N4-ES Slide Rule — Because math!

Apollo 16: Driving on the MoonAPOD with some cool video.

North Korea Is No Longer A Big White Space On Google Maps — You can even find your friendly neighborhood gulag now.

A climate seesaw in the AtlanticResearchers are trying to understand the impact of the Atlantic’s big cycles. This is how science works. Instead of the comforting ideological certainty and willful ignorance of denialism, climate science constantly tests itself.

In a Quick Shift, Scouts Rethink a Ban on Gays — Another domino in the wall of conservative bigotry falls? They’re going about it in a half-assed way, but at least this is progress.

Boy Scouts reconsidering stance on gay members — Really, who wrote that headline?

Do white evangelicals have a delusional persecution complex? Barna says yes, and provides quantifiable proof A majority of white evangelicals “want Judeo-Christians to dominate the culture,” said David Kinnamon, president of the Barna Group. “Dominate.” Or, as Christian said, it’s not about religious liberty, it’s about religious primacy. The idea that Christians are persecuted in our society is a wonderfully self-valorizing concept that has no correspondence in reality, unless you define “persecution” as “marginal erosion of the privilege inherent in absolute cultural dominance.”

QotD?: Are there photographs there? Is there moss?


1/29/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (still in post-operative recovery)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (post-operative recovery)
Weight: n/a (forgot)
Number of FEMA troops on my block protecting women from violence: 0
Currently reading: The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad missed out on the apocalypse again, darn it!

In praise of … roquefortJust in time for Christmas comes news the cheese harbours anti-inflammatories that work wonders for the heart. Mmm. (Via Scrivener’s Error, among others.)

Megapiranha, Prehistoric Piranha, May Have Had Strongest Bite Ever — 1.3 meter long piranha? Wow…

Hawaiian Islands ‘dissolving from within’ — Oh noes Runa away!

The 12 Instruments of Deathmas (Fa-la-la-la-la!) — Implements of pre-anesthetic surgery. Really, don’t click through to this unless you have a strong morbid streak and a good stomach. On the other hand, if you can hack it (see what I did there?) this is pretty amazing stuff. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Boston Priest to Lead Vatican’s Oversight of Sexual Abuse ClaimsPope Benedict XVI on Saturday named a priest from Boston, the epicenter of the sexual abuse crisis in the United States, as the Vatican’s new sex crimes prosecutor. Also known as the Vatican office of “La la la I can’t hear you, and besides it’s the fault of those sultry boys and the dirty hippies”, or for short, “Suffer the little children.” I’d be a lot more impressed with the Vatican’s efforts in this regard if anyone in the Church’s senior leadership had ever taken responsibility or accepted punishment, rather than simply being transferred out of the relevant jurisdictions.

Scrivener’s Error on sociopathy and the NRA — With documentation. This.

The NRA and the positive good of maximum gunsIn short, the NRA has become a neo-Confederate movement that sees Federals as foes, and that stokes the paranoia of its followers by claiming, as LaPierre did this year, that Obama’s re-election marks “the end of our freedom forever.” That’s more or less what Fire-Eaters said about Lincoln in 1860. And alongside the dominant right wing of the Evangelical movement, the NRA is pretty much the face of evil in mainstream America today.

Random Thoughts on the Ramblings of a Mad Man — Steve Buchheit says a lot of what I would have said (if my brain weren’t so fogged by illness) about the moral depravity and political insanity of Wayne LaPirere and the NRA as evidenced by Friday’s press conference. Yes, I have a bias here. My bias is people should be safe to live in peace.

U.S. Shooting Deaths Since Sandy Hook Top 100 — Your gun rights have cost 100 more lives since Sandy Hook. I sure hope you feel safer, because I sure as hell don’t.

?otD: Everyone still here?


12/22/2012
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 11.5 hours (10.5 hours solid, 1.0 hour napping)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (30 minutes on the stationary bike)
Weight: 212.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block confiscating firearms and shutting down the Internet: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks

[links] Link salad basks in the glory of cytotoxic drugs

Waterloo Productions will be following my chemo experience in realtime on Facebook this weekend — Come along for the ride, if you’re curious.

Hydrated and deliciousLanguage Log with a long riff on “cringe words”. We all have them, and it’s kind of baffling unless you share the particular cringe. For me, the nicknames “Compie” and “Lappie” for computers are cringe words.

Write Your Own ‘Shatoetry’ and ‘Shatisms’ with William Shatner’s New iOS App — Presented without further comment, because basically none is possible. Well, except for the observation that “Shatoetry” is probably a cringe word. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Sandwich Monday: The Latke Double Down — Wow. Slightly reminds me of the über sondvich at Eastburn. (Via @ShellyRaeClift.)

Cheese through the centuries — Because cheese!

Model WarfareBLDGBLOG on the history of art as a tool of warfare.

Indiana Jones Mystery Package — Abner Ravenwood’s diary surfaces. Surrealist performance art on the hoof at the University of Chicago. I love this. (Via both [info]danjite and [info]scarlettina.)

NASA’s GRAIL Creates Most Accurate Moon Gravity Map — Cool stuff. (Via [info]corwynofamber.)

Titan’s Big River (and Thoughts of Jules Verne)

Quantum networks may be more realistic than we thoughtDelicate qubits survive long distances in quantum communication without a memory.

Recreational marijuana should not be top federal priority: ObamaPresident Barack Obama says federal authorities should not target recreational marijuana use in two Western states where it has been made legal given limited government resources and growing public acceptance of the controlled substance. Yeah, duh. This issue doesn’t affect me personally in the slightest — I don’t use even though I live in a state with a medical condition that would allow me a marijuana card — but as a matter of rational social policy there’s only one direction it can go. “Rational”, however, does not often describe our social policies, viz this nation’s views on welfare, healthcare and gun control.

Minimum Wage Machine (Work in Progress) — Yeah, well. For those of you who oppose raising the minimum wage, imagine living on that. (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

US backs United Nations measure in favor of universal health coverage — Ah, irony, we hardly knew ye.

Calif. judge says victims’ bodies can prevent rapeA Southern California judge is being publicly admonished for saying a rape victim “didn’t put up a fight” during her assault and that if someone doesn’t want sexual intercourse, the body “will not permit that to happen.” Is this guy a GOP Senate candidate? As amply demonstrated at length during the most recent election cycle, that’s such a Republican view of women’s health; and as such, profoundly and insultingly wrong.

The perils and potential of N.A.L.T. (Not All Like That)Slacktivist Fred Clark on Dan Savage’s take on Christians and Christianists, and what do about the fact that conservative bigotry has become the public face of Christianity in America.

76 Things Banned In Leviticus — All of which are equally abominable in God’s eyes. You know, like wearing mixed fabrics. Or homosexuality. Or trimming your beard. See the whole list to know what you should be protesting on the streets every week and agitating for ballot measures to ban. Assuming you need further proof that Christianists are ridiculous theological and intellectual frauds. (Via Steve Buchheit.)

Clearly has no problem with straw men, long as their haystacks aren’t touching…There was a time I regarded Justice Scalia as a guy who was intellectually honest although I disagreed with him, a reasonable mind I could differ with. Was. It’s a long time gone. Yep. The way Scalia abrogated forty decades of his own legal reasoning in order to vote against the ACA pretty confirmed what had been obvious for years — that he’s a partisan hack who places political interests above law, precedent, the Constitution or the national interest. Which is precisely what conservatives want in a Supreme Court justice. (C.f. Clarence Thomas, who unlike Scalia has the added advantage of being a dim bulb unlikely to ever be troubled by an attack of conscience of the sort that led to Chief Justice Roberts’ aberrant vote on the ACA case. Dumb and loyal are the perfect qualifications for a GOP nominee to any Federal bench.) This piece does a terrific job of unpacking Scalia’s knowing intellectual dishonesty and personal mendacity in service of his political and cultural goals. (Via Steve Buchheit.)

Lieberman Will Not Be Missed — Actually, go ahead and let the door hit you on the ass on the way out, Joe. It’s the least you deserve.

It’s okay to be extreme in the Senate, but only if you’re a RepublicanThe most liberal member of the Senate, Bernie Sanders, was more conservative than 38 members of the House. Furthermore, nine Republican senators were more conservative than Sanders was liberal. Well, duh. Conservative extremism is patriotic, liberal extremism is socialism. Ask any Tea Partier.

?otD: What’s your cringe word(s)?


12/14/2012
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 10.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bike ride
Weight: 219.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing international law and Kenyan Muslim socialism: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks

[links] Link salad looks forward to another chemo session

The best trailer yet for The Hobbit

The Fungus in Your Cheese Is Having Weird Sex — Well, this certainly explains a lot.

Schrödinger’s gardenia: Does biology need quantum mechanics?A review of the processes that might exploit quantum weirdness.

Ediacaran study shakes the tree of life — Ah, science.

Are genes our puppet masters, or just a single link in a complex chain?Jim Watson goes after the epigenetics fans.

PartiallyClips on the oddities of the medical pain scale — I’ve actually had a version of this conversation.

Health-themed greeting cards fill a supportive niche — Hah! (Via Lisa Costello.)

Google from the 1960s — This is way too much fun. It rewards time spent playing. (Via @gabrielle_h.)

The iPhone Gets an Answer to Google NowSiri gets some competition from an app that offers answers to search queries you haven’t even made yet. Interesting but spooky.

Google Maps back on iPhone after Apple software fiasco — Finally, an end to Apple’s corporate dick-waving at the expense of millions of customers. No more Apple Maps for me.

Surprising Source of Tsunamis — Meteotsunamis. Huh. Obvious enough in its way, after the fact. (Via Daily Idioms, Annoated.)

Vast Alien River System Spotted on Saturn’s Moon Titan — Ooooh. (Via [info]corwynofamber.)

DNA testing frees man who lived on death row for 15 years — Ah, justice. [A]cademic studies […] suggest that 2% to 4% of death-row inmates are probably innocent. “If that was the rate of failure of airplanes,” he says, “would you fly?” (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Another Tragedy, Another Missed Opportunity To Talk About Gun Control — Charles Pierce with comments on the Oregon shootings. [C]rimes involving the easy availability of firearms are swiftly isolated as individual events, pried loose from any social and political contexts, and even separated from the context of other, similar crimes. It is never time to talk about them.

Carney shuts down WH press conference after being asked about Prop 8 case — Classy, Obama administration. Standing up for what is right is part of what won you the election. You might consider it as policy going forward. If you’re going to be evasive on questions like this, you might as well join the black helicopter brigade on the other side of the aisle. All you’re doing is pissing off your own constituency while feeding paranoid wingnut victimization fantasies.

Do corporations pray?[W]e are, however, living in a Golden Age of imagined religious persecution, in which the seasonal gestures of department stores are a grievous injury to the faithful, and the inability to make public policy consistent with religiously-based political views is deemed martyrdom. Yes, the erosion of Christian privilege in America from absolute supremacy to merely overwhelmingly dominant is definitely seen as persecution. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Lie of the Year: the Romney campaign’s ad on Jeeps made in China — It was the Jeep-to-China ads that really sealed my understanding of the cheap, cynical opportunism of Mitt Romney and confirmed his poor character. Not that there wasn’t plenty of evidence prior to that.

The Importance of Foreign Policy KnowledgeDespite his “clear set of principles,” Romney’s lack of knowledge about foreign policy issues frequently led him to make poor choices and caused him to say foolish things that wrecked whatever credibility he might have had. Romney is a prime example that a “set of principles and a vision to go along with it” aren’t nearly enough.

?otD: What’s your favorite color?


12/13/2012
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bike ride
Weight: 219.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing international law and Kenyan Muslim socialism: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks