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[links] Link salad likes to talk about fiction

Punk in Burma: Cultural Appropriation & Resistance

First Enzyme-Based Memory Created in the LabSome clever biochemistry has led to the world’s first enzyme-based memory capable of learning, say biochemists.

Questions over Gene Patents Shake Diagnostics IndustryThe impending Supreme Court ruling on gene patents is creating uncertainty in the fledging genetic diagnostics sector. I have never understood the logic of allowing patents on genes. That’s like allowing patents on minerals or seawater.

Making of Europe unlocked by DNA

Pictures: Extreme Algae Blooms Expanding Worldwide

Understanding the brain of a man with no conscious memory — Of course, my immediate question on reading this article was to wonder how the heck they ever got informed consent to perform all these tests. I think I’ve been a patient too long.

China’s cancer crisis — Wow. Sigh. (Via [info]mikigarrison.)

About the Obamacare ‘train wreck’Insofar as the Republican Party has a strategy on Obamacare, it’s goes like this: The law needs to be implemented. The GOP can try and keep the implementation from being done effectively, in part by refusing to authorize the needed funds. Then they can capitalize on the problems they create to weaken the law, or at least weaken Democrats up for reelection in 2014. In other words, step one: Create problems for Obamacare. Step two: Blame Obamacare for the problems. Step 3: Political profit! That’s the GOP’s strategy on everything. Remember, these are the same civic-minded solons whose number one legislative priority in the face of the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression was to ensure that Obama was a one-term president. Are you proud of your Republican party?

Delaware House passes marriage equality — And another step taken in rolling back the arrant, unthinking bigotry of homophobia. Not mention Nevada, France and other places.

Today’s Political Thought — Andrew Wheeler on the Second Amendment. Yup.

Why Should I Care That No One’s Reading Dzhokhar Tsarnaev His Miranda Rights?When the law gets bent out of shape for him, it’s easier to bend out of shape for the rest of us. We used to have this thing called “the rule of law”, before the fear-based conservative narrative about terrorism took over our national consciousness.

QotD?: What’s the title of the most recent short story you read (or wrote)?


4/24/2013
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (2,300 words on Original Destiny, Manifest Sin)
Hours slept: 5.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (very carefully on the stationary bike)
Weight: 248.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for climate change: 0
Currently reading: Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad hurts its foot

The Digital Public Library of America Opens its DoorsA new website is the start of a bold project to digitize America’s cultural heritage.

Trigger Happy: roleplaying in a World Which Hates You. — Caias Ward is running a gaming Kickstarter.

Terminal Illness: Readers’ Best and Worst Airports — In which my opinion of the Newark airport is quoted.

When oversharing online can get you arrested

Startup uBiome Will Catalog Your Microbes, Again and Again

Illegal loggers continue to threaten Amazonian tribe

When Dinner Has a Gleam in Its EyeChina’s economic boom is driving a culinary revival, as chefs rediscover dishes that haven?t been seen for decades. (Via Dad.)

Fish’s DNA May Explain How Fins Turned to Feet

Opalized woodPetrified wood is basically fossilized wood that has had it’s organic matter replaced by a mineral such as agate, bit by bit, as it decomposes. The wood structure is maintained, but the wood fibers are slowly changed into stone. Sometimes a jasper, quartz, pyrite or even opal(shown above) can be found fossilized in wood. Wow. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Super Storm Sandy Produced Tiny Vibrations in Earth’s Crust

Dust over the Four Corners Region — My pareidolia caused me to see this as a cowboy waving his hat, even before I realized what region of the world the orbital photograph covers.

Samsung Demos a Tablet Controlled by Your BrainAn easy-to-use EEG cap could expand the number of ways to interact with your mobile devices.

Small Government: Texas Fertilizer Plant that blew up not inspected for yearsThe Texas fertilizer plant that suffered a massive explosion had not been subject to an OSHA inspection for many years. The current American obsession with deregulation and ending inspections has claimed yet more victims, as The Nation shows. And Texas has also cut funding for first responders like firemen. See? The Republican party is right. Regulation is bad for business, and taxes to pay for things like fire departments are an evil theft of your hard-earned money. Too bad about all those dead people, but at least they died for conservative principles.

Conservative radio host: Families of Newtown shooting victims can ‘go to hell’ — Ah, compassionate conservatism intersects with the measured, rational tenor of the American gun culture. You guys must be so proud of yourselves.

QotD?: Ow?


4/19/2013
Writing time yesterday: 4.0 hours (60 minutes and 1,600 words on Original Destiny, Manifest Sin, plus 30 minutes of WRPA to produce 1,100 words of nonfiction, and 2.5 hours of Reddit interviewing)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (injured foot)
Weight: n/a (couldn’t stand on scale due to injured foot)
Number of FEMA troops on my block checking the magazine sizes of gun owners: 0
Currently reading: The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad sorrows for Boston

War of the worlds: who owns the political soul of science fiction?In the sci-fi genre, two diametrically opposed ideologies are battling it out as leftwing writers embrace otherness, while the rightwingers look up to authority. Although my personal sympathies should be blatantly obvious, why should anyone own the soul of SF, so to speak? Right wing fiction has as much to say as left wing fiction, regardless of my individual opinions. (Via an interesting linkdump from Cora Buhlert.)

Literature from Librarians: Great Reads Written by the Experts

Landfill Harmonic: An Upcoming Documentary About the ‘Recycled Orchestra’ in Cateura, Paraguay — People are amazing. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

This is your brain on music

Google Glass hits productionThe first Google Glass devices have been finished and are expected to ship imminently, the company has confirmed. I would love to have these, but even if I did, I couldn’t use them until they’re available with prescription lenses.

The Planetary Super-Surface of San Bernardino CountyBLDG BLOG gets interestingly weird about commercial architecture.

Is Nasa looking in the wrong place for life?

Dark matter experiment CDMS sees three tentative cluesResearchers have revealed the first potential hints of the elusive material called dark matter at an underground laboratory in the US.

Human cycles: History as scienceAdvocates of ‘cliodynamics’ say that they can use scientific methods to illuminate the past. But historians are not so sure. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Duplitectural Marvels: Exploring China’s Replica Western Cities — Wow. This is strange. (Via [info]scarlettina.)

Margaret Thatcher and misapplied death etiquetteThe dictate that one ‘not speak ill of the dead’ is (at best) appropriate for private individuals, not influential public figures. This bit is especially to the point: Demanding that no criticisms be voiced to counter that hagiography is to enable false history and a propagandistic whitewashing of bad acts, distortions that become quickly ossified and then endure by virtue of no opposition and the powerful emotions created by death. When a political leader dies, it is irresponsible in the extreme to demand that only praise be permitted but not criticisms. (Via [info]goulo.)

Are there Any Solid Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage?The case against same-sex marriage seems, to me at least, muddled, odd and paltry. A Christian blogger talks about the opposition, and finds the same point progressives have made for years. When you take away bigotry cloaked in religious freedom as an excuse, there is no rational opposition to same sex marriage. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

The Limits of Good Faith — Ta-Nehisi Coates on Rand Paul. Rand Paul went to Howard University, lied, and then got his ass kicked. That’s not so bad. I got my ass kicked regularly at Howard. That was the reason my parents sent me there. But having gotten his ass kicked, his answer is to not to reflect but to make an allegation of racial discrimination.

John Kerry: Foreign Students Aren’t Studying In U.S. Because They Fear Guns — From a certain conservative perspective, I suspect this is good news.

Guantanamo Commander Orders Single-cell Living For Detainees — Lifetime imprisonment without charges or trial, in solitary confinement. Yes, America is definitely a beacon of liberty and the rule of law the world over. (Via [info]danjite.)

Patriots Day bombings in BostonSlacktivist Fred Clark with some modest wisdom.

PSA: Ignore the news — The brilliant Charlie Stross is wise about the Boston bombings in his own lateral way.

Boston Marathon Calamity Shows Value of Social MediaIt might be no surprise that immediately after the explosions at today’s Boston Marathon, social media sites became the best way for the public to obtain on-the-scene reports. But notably, it also became the best way for classic news media to report. Even more than that, the long minutes after the news broke showed just how superior social media is for finding answers to your own personal concerns. (Via David Goldman.)

Can the Boston Bombings increase our Sympathy for Iraq and Syria, for all such Victims?Terrorism has no nation or religion. But likewise its victims are human beings, precious human beings, who must be the objects of compassion for us all.

Trapped by the BaseI see little reason to believe that the staunch conservative bloc will wither away or splinter; it will remain a dominant force in the GOP and on the national stage. At the same time, however, I see no indication that its ideas about policy, governance and social issues will gain new adherents. They are far beyond the mainstream. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

QotD?: What do you think?


4/16/2013
Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (60 minutes and 1,700 words on Original Destiny, Manifest Sin, 15 minutes of WRPA)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 246.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block checking the magazine sizes of gun owners: 0
Currently reading: The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad mumbles through the weekend

Ben Wolverton’s Recovery Fund — Author Dave Wolverton’s son Ben has been seriously injured, and the family is without insurance. I’ve donated some of the money all of you donated to me, as part of my commitment to pass on 5% of the funds to other charitable purposes. Go check this out.

The Young are the Restless — On generational change.

USB Typewriter — Oooh. (Via a mailing list I’m on.)

Apparently Dogs Wearing Pantyhose Is All The Rage In China Right Now — Um, ok… (Via [info]danjite.)

How the sky would look if the planets were as close as the moon — Oooh, cool. (Via [info]danjite.)

The Moon’s Saturn — Oooh.

Volcanoes on Jupiter’s Moon Io Are All Wrong, NASA Says

First magic mushroom depression trial hits stumbling blockThe world’s first clinical trial designed to explore using a hallucinogen from magic mushrooms to treat people with depression has stalled because of British and European rules on the use of illegal drugs in research.

The anti-drone hoodie that helps you beat Big Brother’s spy in the sky

Revealed: The secret deal that launched drone assassinations

The Real Reason for Climate Change Denial: Oil Cos. Would lose 60% of their Value — Capital protects itself. That’s also why we can’t have single payer healthcare finance in this country. It would be saner, far cheaper for doctors and hospitals, more efficient for everyone, provide more effective healthcare delivery, and be much kinder to patients, but the health insurance industry represents a $650 billion per year industry that would almost completely vanish with single payer. Our social and economic system privileges capital above all else.

Mourning with those who mournSlacktivist Fred Clark on Christianist attitudes towards mental health care. Wasn’t it Pat Robertson who said back during the Clinton-era effort at healthcare reform that Christian families didn’t need mental health services? And now the tragedy in Rick Warren’s family puts the lie to that assertion for the zillionth time. That kind of self-deluding denialism is both tragic and fatal. Much like the Soviet assertion early in the AIDS epidemic that Communist citizens could not contract the disease, or various conservative regimes around the world stating there is no homosexuality among their people.

QotD?: Is this your Sunday?


4/7/2013
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (1,100 new words plus some outlining and research Original Destiny, Manifest Sin)
Hours slept: 9.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: n/a (forgot to weigh)
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing Agenda 21 by closing down golf courses: 0
Currently reading: Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad sees that morning mists are parting to reveal

The cover art of my German editions of Mainspring and Escapement has been nominated for the Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis in the Beste Grafik category &mash; Which doesn’t really have much to do with me directly, but is still pretty cool. Kudos to illustrator Max Meinzold.

Why Do We Hate Certain Words?The curious phenomenon of word aversion.

‘I’m Google’ by Dina Kelberman: A Visual Exploration of Google Image Search — A very cool digital art project. Direct link here. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

A Japanese medical blog reports on my Whole Genome Sequencing

End-of-life talks lacking between doctors, patients — I’ve already begun to have these conversations with my physician.

Cancer Drug That Shrinks All Tumors Set To Begin Human Clinical Trials — Huh. This is a treatment for primary tumors, not for metastases, so it probably isn’t relevant to me personally, but it’s still pretty damned cool.

Messenger RNAs Could Create a New Class of DrugsNew partnerships could help bring a novel class of biopharmaceutical to patients.

Steampunk iPad: 1922 — Another Shorpy classic. Hahah.

Scientists successfully create living embryo of an extinct species

Collision Course? A Comet Heads for Mars — Could have a significant impact on NASA programs there. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Melt may explain Antarctica’s sea ice expansionClimate change is expanding Antarctica’s sea ice, according to a scientific study in the journal Nature Geoscience. This is what science does. It looks at contradictory evidence and tries to work out the contradiction. Ideology simply says, “If I believe this, it must be true”, and ignores contradictory evidence. Guess which view is based in reality?

Oceans continue to warm, especially the deepsAltered patterns seen over past two decades. Amazing how the liberals can convince the entire planet to join in their climate change fraud. Any good conservative can tell you this is all wrong, no matter the evidence.

A New Map Of The U.S., Created By How Our Dollar Bills Move — Identifying functional regional boundaries through analysis of movements of paper currency. This is cool. (Via AH.)

1,200-year-old Egyptian text describes a shape-shifting Jesus — “Everybody need a mood lifter, Everybody need reverse polarity.” (Via [info]shsilver.)

Google and white Christians’ search for ‘persecution’Christians will never be happy until they stop being the kind of people who, as TBogg put it, “can’t sleep at night because they can’t wait to see how the world will offend them the next day.”

Elite in China Face Austerity Under Xi’s Rule — Good luck with that. (Via my Dad.)

While GOP Elites Soften On Gay Marriage, Local Leaders Haven’t Gotten The Message — That’s what happens when one of your political cornerstones is irrational bigotry with no objective or principled value. I see a principled opposition to abortion, for example, though it’s sadly obvious most opponents aren’t actually standing on principled objections. I see a principled stance in favor of widespread private gun ownership, though again it’s clearly based on willful ignorance, promulgation of bad data and wholesale suppression of the reality of firearms in private hands. But opposition to gay marriage? Nothing but a combination of religious bigotry and personal ick factors. There simply is no principled opposition to be found, other than nicely rationalized versions of bigotry and ick.

New GOP plan: Guns for domestic abusersAs president Obama visits Colorado to discuss guns, state GOP launches fight to protect batterers’ gun rights. Because nothing says compassionate conservatism like protecting a violent man’s right to a firearm.

Jim Carrey: Fox ‘News’ is “A media colostomy bag… a public health issue” — Well, duh. The polling on how misinformed (strongly in the direction of conservative bias) FOX News viewers are is remarkably consistent. It’s almost like media isn’t liberal or something.

QotD?: Ever been to the Blue Mountains?


4/2/2013
Writing time yesterday: 2.0 hours (WRPA, specifically critique)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 245.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block building solar arrays to undermine the American fossil fuel industry: 0
Currently reading: Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad gives an online course today

‘Ungoogleable’ removed from list of Swedish words after row over definition with Google — I see Sergei and Larry and the boys are staying classy. Whatever happened to “Don’t be evil?”

Victoria’s OTHER Secret: Designer creates world’s first lingerie colostomy bags as they often put partners off — Yes. This. (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

Continued DNA synthesis in replication checkpoint mutants leads to fork collapse — I love this headline. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Why IBM Made a Liquid Transistor

Into the Oort Cloud: A Cometary Civilization?

Astrophysicists Test Cosmological Defect DetectorAstrophysicists have built and tested the building blocks of a global detector capable of spotting topological defects in the cosmos as the Earth passes through them. I think I left mine behind the couch.

Amid Tsunami Debris, Something Sacred Washes Ashore In Oregon[T]he arch from a Japanese Shinto shrine’s sacred gate has washed ashore in Oceanside, Oregon.

USPS Discrimination Against Atheism? — Appears to be a marketing troll, but pretty funny nonetheless. (Thanks to [info]houseboatonstyx.)

China Bans Reincarnation Without Government Permission — Ah, the intersection of politics and religion. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Cold Dead Hand — Jim Carrey with some seriously funny mockery of gun culture. Hahahaha. As the bug said in Men in Black, “Your proposal is acceptable.” (Via Scott Frey.)

Suspect in custody after neighborhood sprayed with bullets — Yep. Definitely safer with more guns. Uh huh. Ask any of this man’s neighbors.

Birth certificates and bathrooms in Arizona — Conservatives just can’t keep themselves from discriminating. Slacktivist Fred Clark explains why this can be tough to accomplish.

QotD?: How good are your first ten pages?


3/27/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (genomics lecture)
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 242.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block building solar arrays to undermine the American fossil fuel industry: 0
Currently reading: Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad whispers to the Children of the Corn

1200 dead pigs fished from Chinese waterway

Mummies With Heart Disease Show That Clogged Arteries Aren’t Just Modern Ailment

Global Warming Brings Trees to Arctic Tundra — I’m pretty sure I saw Al Gore out there planting them.

How to Resurrect Lost SpeciesGenetic experiments could bring back passenger pigeons and other extinct animals.

What are the chances of an American pope? This time, not zero

What’s behind the display of embalmed world leaders? — Kind of like when we had Ronald Reagan on display in the White House for eight years.

QotD?: Omaha or Kansas City?


3/11/2013
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (2,100 words to draft complete on a requested short story)
Hours slept: 7.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (slept in due to late arrival)
Weight: 240.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block escorting ACORN thugs to steal the votes of “Real Americans”: 0
Currently reading: Eric by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad is lost in time like tears in the rain

Asimov’s for April/May 2013 (3 of 3) — In which my novella “The Stars Do Not Lie” is held up as an example of bad fiction. (Honor is restored, however.) Proving once again that the story truly does belong to the reader.

The Telegraph on Sex — Cora Buhlert with a roundup on British commentary on literary sex scenes. Mmm, literature.

A Photo Service That Understands the Contents of Your Images Everpix organizes photos after analyzing them with software that can detect things such as animals, outdoor scenes, and people. Is this really a good idea?

SETI: The Artificial Transit Scenario

Massive flood scarred the surface of Mars less than 500 million years agoWater carved channels at least 70 meters deep and 40 kilometers wide. Mmm, Missoula Flood on Mars.

Sinkhole Science: A PrimerAn expert weighs in on causes—and which areas are most vulnerable.

2 Civil War sailors from the Monitor to be buried at Arlington

The Law of the TongueHumans have trouble honoring treaties with each other, what are the chances they’d respect a contract signed with another species? Pretty good … at least in one case. (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

NOTE: Do Not Kill Yeti Except in Self-Defense

Earth at its warmest since last ice age – and temperatures are still rising — More of those liberal “facts” and “data”, which of course being part of reality, good conservatives can safely ignore.

Antiscience “Academic Freedom” Bill Dies in KansasI have no doubt these same state governments will continue to try to pass bills that curb our children from learning and blind them to the real world. And while they do so, that very same world is still warming up. And species are still evolving. And the Universe adds another few years to its already considerable 13.73 billion year age. That’s the way things are. Ah, conservatives. Stunting the minds of children everywhere in America.

What China’s hackers get wrong about WashingtonNo one can carry out complicated plans. All parties and groups are fractious and bumbling. But everyone always thinks everyone else is efficiently and ruthlessly implementing long-term schemes. Um, maybe. (Snurched from Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

What happened to Orson Scott Card?Now there’s a furor from the right, that this is a left wing witch hunt against people who disagree with their agenda, to economically punish those who don’t toe some political line. I disagree quite strongly. This is not some freedom of speech thing, not some despicable and childish refusal to engage with those who disagree politically. I would defend to the death Card’s right to speak his beliefs, but the hell if I have to stock it on my shelves if I’m the owner of a comic book store. And the hell if I have to draw the panels into which those words are written if I’m an artist. Card has the right to speak, but so do all these other people. To my view, Card’s depth of bigotry crosses the line from the usual conservative irrationality into something much akin to mental illness. He would literally condemn people I love to death: this isn’t reasonable disagreement over an objectively debatable point, this is vile poison that gains undue traction and attention due to Card’s prominence. I feel very, very sorry for the misery Card lives with inside his own head that makes him think this way.

Honey, I shrunk the bigotsA new study released today, and summarized by the Washington Post, shows that opposition gay marriage is shrinking, and now generally resides in only three pockets of Americans: white evangelicals; old people; and uneducated whites. The rest are basically on our side. It’s nice to be on the right side of both morality and history. Maybe someday the GOP will catch up.

Medicaid program helped Will Weatherford’s family after all, he admitsFlorida House Speaker Will Weatherford reversed course on Wednesday and said that health care provided for his brother was covered under Florida’s Medically Needy program, which is financed by Medicaid. So ends a mystery that developed a day earlier when Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, voiced opposition to expanding Medicaid in his opening day speech of the 2013 legislative session. I am reminded of Craig T. Nelson’s angry, moronic remark that “I’ve been on food stamps and welfare, did anybody help me out? No.” Ah, once again we bathe in the light of the justly famed intellectual consistency of conservatives.

New York NRA Official Barred From Having Guns After Altercation With Wife — Yep. Guns definitely make us all safer, especially with the NRA safeguarding our right to threaten our spouses in the privacy of our own homes.

QotD?: Can you ever really go home?


3/8/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.75 hours (a little WRPA, 1,000 words of first draft on a requested short)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (fitful, including two hours on the plane)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike, yay hotel gym!)
Weight: 241.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block escorting ACORN thugs to steal the votes of “Real Americans”: 0
Currently reading: Guards, Guards! by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad tries to catch a falling star

2012 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced — Look, it’s me! Whee!

How To Use Your World — An analysis of world building using my novel Mainspring as a negative example. Including some rather personal snark. Heh.

Fall or Fly? — On writing and day jobs. (Via Marta Murvosh.)

Borrowing E-Books — Andrew Wheeler on Amazon’s latest abusive-to-authors business idea.

The Kickstarter for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival & CthulhuCon (Portland, OR) — Go check it out!

A Digital Shift on Health Data Swells Profits in an Industry — Maybe in the New York Times, but not in real life. My current second opinion effort requires over three hundred pages of printouts, which must be faxed, because electronic records transfer doesn’t meet patient privacy requirements.

Can Boosting Immunity Make You Smarter?The body’s defense cells engage the brain in an intricate dialogue that may help raise IQ. (Thanks to Harald Striepe.)

The Brain is Not ComputableA leading neuroscientist says Kurzweil’s Singularity isn’t going to happen. Instead, humans will assimilate machines. Hmm. Emergent mind-body dualism? And no more Rapture of the Nerds? I am disappointed.

Can You Feel Me Now? The Sensational Rise of Haptic Interfaces — Reverse electrovibration? (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

A DIY Bioprinter Is BornMembers of the biohacker movement have created an inexpensive device to print cells. Will they print a leaf next?

Resources Between the Stars — Mmm. Steppenwolf planets.

Can Humans Do Better Than Dinosaurs When it Comes to Incoming Space Objects? — At the moment, no.

Bird-friendly Farms Catching On in CaliforniaMigratory birds find refuge on farms as part of conservation plan. When I lived in Texas, we called that a Chicken Ranch.

Well Now I’m Depressed — A robot designed to depress mice?

Witness: “I Bite Him. Bad Man. He Tasty.” — Hahah.

Raising the stakes on life’s big choicesUsing a coin-flipping website, an experiment aims to investigate how people make the most important decisions.

Subvert the Script — I’ve been on both ends of this social script jumping the proverbial shark.

Bark Up or Down? Firewood Splits Norwegians — I really don’t know what to say to this. (Thanks to David Goldman.)

Exposé of Chinese Data Thieves Reveals Sloppy TacticsA report on the Chinese group that breached the computers of U.S. companies reveals that they took few precautions against detection.

The Lady and the Library Loafr: Gender and Public Space in Victorian AmericaFor Folsom and other Victorians, female readers not only disrupted library order but also threatened to rend the very social fabric of respectable Boston. (Thanks to Marta Murvosh.)

Family, Race, Religion: The U.S. is Becoming More Diverse — This is real America, not Sarah Palin’s crew of angry whites.

Governors, stop bashing liberal arts — It has the word “liberal” in it, so it must be evil. Because everybody knows liberals are responsible for such horrors as paid vacation, child labor laws, drinkable water and air, a safe food supply, free public education and other vile socialist chains that entangle American job creators.

The story of ‘Reagan’s Childhood Home’: A case studyBen Dimiero explained this morning, “While easily dismissed, the story serves as an illustrative example of the way the conservative echo chamber can twist facts and turn baseless speculation into their controversy du jour.” Your Republican party and its top priority: manufacturing more angry white men. Also, conservative commentator Daniel Larison on this same issue. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

PowerPoint Presentation Shows Boehner Selling The Sequester To His Members In 2011Although he now blames President Obama for the draconian spending cuts set to take effect March 1, just days before it passed House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) characterized the so-called sequester to Republicans as a way to hold the president accountable. Typical conservative: when your ideas and reality collide, lie, lie, lie. Millions of FOX News viewers will nod along and be angry at our Kenyan Socialist muslim president.

The Emancipation of Barack ObamaWhy the reelection of the first black president matters even more than his election.

QotD?: Ever seen a Nebula?


2/21/2013
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hour (0.75 hours on a new story, to 2,400 words, and 0.25 hours working on my collaboration with [info]the_child)
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 232.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block covering up high crimes and misdemeanors in Benghazi: 0
Currently reading: Mort by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad looks to the future, finds itself myopic

The Acts of Whimsy cancer fundraiser is still live. It has made goal, but additional support is always welcome, especially given my new complications. Please check it out if you have not done so yet.

The Lakeside Kickstarter has expanded its stretch goals to include documenting the science around my genomic testing by traveling to the testing lab and interviewing the scientists there. They’v also posted a new trailer for the movie, which is very striking. So give a little to support SCIENCE!

The Great Lake Conspiracy — A Mustache and the Mutt Mystery (Audio Drama for Jay Lake) — Skiffy and Fanty perpetrate another Act of Whimsy.

Genomic Analysis, the Office Edition — More on genetic sequencing and interpretation. (Via my Dad.)

Medical Self Defense — Really? (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated

GIVEAWAY REMINDER: Win a Complete Set of Jay Lake’s “GREEN” Trilogy!

A reader reacts to Mainspring — Luke warm review.

Amazing Future Tales — Heh heh.

China’s Chicken Syndrome, and the Man in the Iron CurtainStrange Maps gets a little weird.

The Author Himself Was a Cat in the Hat — Ted Geisel’s toppers.

Court Rules Icelandic “Girl” Can Use Her Own Name — Weird.

How to Build a Nanotube ComputerIBM creates a new way to make faster and smaller transistors.

Last-stand Neanderthals queriedWe may need to look again at the idea that a late Neanderthal population existed in southern Spain as recently as 35,000 years ago, a study suggests.

Noisy Sex Really Is Better Sex, Study Reveals — So much for my duct tape.

Britain’s PM faces gay marriage revolt as plots swirl

Tree ring history spurs actual climate science debateScientists argue about errors in tree ring records vs. cooling from volcanoes. This is science, constantly self-correcting based on new facts and data. Unlike ideology, which is right by definition regardless of facts and data. Guess which I choose?

Health Care’s Trick Cointhe entire evidence base for medicine has been undermined by a casual lack of transparency. (Via [info]danjite.)

Krugman: The NRA Is An ‘Insane Organization’ They have this vision that we’re living in a ‘Mad Max’ movie and that nothing can be done about it. Gun culture.

Memo Cites Legal Basis for Killing U.S. Citizens in Al Qaeda — In other words, summary execution without due process of law. No.

QotD?: Whither hope?


2/5/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.25 hours (WRPA)
Hours slept: 6.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.33 hours stationary bicycle (still in post-operative recovery)
Weight: 227.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block protecting women from violence: 0
Currently reading: Gulp by Mary Roach

[links] Link salad slowly comes back online

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.

How to Write Like My Dad[info]the_child‘s Act of Whimsy.

Bryan Thomas Sxhmidt with a take on Kalimpura

Featured Author Review: Kalimpura by Jay Lake

Saturday salmagundi — In which I am somewhat hilariously mentioned.

Timeline of the One Ring — Mmm. Filthy hobbitses. (Snurched from Andrew Wheeler.)

Scientists Build A Working Tractor Beam

Chinese Physicists Build “Ghost” Cloaking DeviceA working invisibility cloak that makes one object look like ghostly versions of another has been built in China.

Drill reaches Antarctica’s under-ice Lake Whillans

Dung Beetle Uses The Milky Way For Navigation, First Animal Found To Do So — I’d be more impressed if it was the other way around.

Nature Has A Formula That Tells Us When It’s Time To Die — This is fascinating.

The Happiness MachineHow Google became such a great place to work.

Why You Truly Never Leave High SchoolNew science on its corrosive, traumatizing effects.

The Preppers Next Door — Antisocial lunacy comes in many forms.

Feds: ‘Monsignor Meth’ dealt drug, bought sex shop — Really, how can atheists possibly have ethics or morals without religious guidance?

Mali rebels fleeing Timbuktu burn library full of ancient manuscriptsTown’s mayor says Islamist insurgents torched two buildings containing priceless books as French-led troops approached. I do not understand why people think religious values make for good government and society. Religious values just burned one of the most precious ancient libraries in the world. Religious values destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan. There’s a lot of reasons I’m an atheist, and these are some of them.

Why I Don’t Own A GunUltimately I choose to live without guns because, a) I don’t hunt, b) I’m not a police officer, c) I choose to live gently in a violent world. I choose not to help swell the ranks of the armed in our society. I want to contribute to a more peaceable and gentle society. Does that mean I’m unsafe? No, I don’t think so. But if I am unsafe, well, then I choose to be unsafe. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Growing Up With Roe: How a Trip to the Eye Doctor Created a Lifelong Advocate for Reproductive Rights — (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Texas, where science and history have become ideological battlegroundsPBS will show the story of the Texas State School Board’s assault on facts. This conservative assault on those liberal “facts” and “data” has been going on pretty much all my life, with little response from the reality-based community.

Jindal, courage is not enough — Good luck shedding that “stupid party” label, GOP. Until you stop trying to generate more angry white men as your basic electoral strategy, you’ve painted yourself into that corner.

Why the GOP Could Be in the Wilderness For a Long Time

QotD?: Did you miss me?


1/28/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (still in post-operative recovery)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (post-operative recovery)
Weight: n/a (forgot)
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing disability rights: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks

[links] Link salad has too many places it’s got to see

In which I am a finalist for an award of which I was previously unaware — My novella “A Long Walk Home” was a finalist for the Hawthorne Citation. Their Web site says, Welcome to the Hawthorne Citation, which recognizes Excellence in Short Fiction, English-language. Now in our third year (2012) of the annual prize, we’ve cited some of the great short works in those years, from both well-known writers and yet-to-be-known writers.

Timothy Anderson Art — ZOMG, such retro art reconcepting for some of my favorite books and movies. I lust for the Argonath travel poster. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Raymond Chandler’s Private Dick — Ta-Nehisi Coates with an incredible essay on misogynist and masculinity, using Raymond Chandler’s work.

Apple fires Maps manager — They waited this long? I cannot wait til Google Maps comes back to the iPhone and I can dump the ridiculously flawed Apple Maps. Apple’s biggest failure of both delivery and consumer trust in years, at least that affected me personally.

Can You Crack The Pigeon’s Code? — A WWII mystery comes to light. Or not, as the case may be.

Time for the U.S. to Partner with China in Space?

Earth’s Core & Carbon: Planetary Center Holds Largest Store Of Common Element, Computer Simulation Suggests — Talk about sequestration.

Tobacco companies ordered to admit they lied over smoking dangerUS judge says tobacco firms must spend their own money on a public campaign admitting deception about the risks of smoking. Let’s see if this sticks.

Can Culture Create Mental Disease? The Rise of “Hikikomori” in the Wake of Economic Downturn in Japan — Can culture create mental disease? Look at gun fetishism and religious mania in the U.S. Both are heavily culturally influenced, and both have broad swathes of adherents who go way beyond reasonable and well-socialized behavior. (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

The Simpsons‘ take on Obamacare — Hahahah. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Enclaves, Long Gated, Seek to Let In Storm Aid — So the wealthy who wanted to go Galt in their gated communities need public assistance after all? I wonder if Tea Partiers in the tri-state area are expecting to have the government help repave their roads and restore their utilities. Pretty tough for me to find much sympathy here.

‘Change is a mofo’: The GOP and white evangelicalism are in the same situation — The Christian Right rendered themselves unto Caesar, and in doing so lost the respect of younger generations for the church as a whole.

30+ Examples of Christian Privilege — Yep. And like most forms of privilege, completely invisible to the vast majority of its beneficiaries. Because with 73% of the population, and 89.3% representation in Congress, many Christians and Christianists are pleased to fancy themselves as a persecuted minority. It’s a comforting and self-valorizing narrative which is absolutely laughable from outside their own framework. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Dying for the Right to Choose — Ta-Nehisi Coates on the conservative view of abortion. Walsh was lying in his refusal to admit that women actually do die during the work of pregnancy. But his position — “without exceptions” — strikes me as the honest one. The problem here isn’t packaging. There is no way to honestly modify its import. Either you believe that women who have sex should run the risk of being remanded to potentially lethal labor, or you don’t. No exceptions.

Fox News Exec VP: Guest Who Slammed Network Apologized – But Not Publicly — Or maybe not. Looks like another Fox lie. Unlike Ricks, who stated a simple, obvious fact when he said on the air that Fox News was “operating as a wing of the Republican party”. As we have long seen proven over and over again, in conservative America you lie boldly (as FOX has previously sued to preserve their right lie under the First Amendment) but apologize for telling the truth. FOLLOWUP: “[The FOX News] MO is that when the facts aren’t on their side, they attack the person.” Hahah. Ad hominem attacks are the conservative MO in general, given that the facts are rarely on their side in liberally biased reality. Ever listen to Rush Limbaugh? Or John McCain on Susan Rice? Mocking people is much more fun than responding substantively, and it helps generate more angry white men, which in their own words is the GOP’s key electoral strategy.

RINO Hunters Fire Warning Shots At Republican Senate Candidates — That Tea Party farce the GOP dreamed up to help mobilize their base against the threat of Kenyan Muslim socialism is biting them in the ass again, as it did in this election cycle just past. I’d say it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch, except sometimes the far right gets their people elected, and that is a major disaster for everyone, including the oblivious chumps in the Tea Party themselves.

Notes on the Decline of a Great Nation — A European view of our country. The United States is frittering away its role as a model for the rest of the world. The political system is plagued by an absurd level of hatred, the economy is stagnating and the infrastructure is falling into a miserable state of disrepair. Gee, which party has made hatred a key electoral strategy? Which party has blocked almost all efforts at economic stimulus? Which party refuses to allow the government spend money on infrastructure? Would that be the party whose highest priority these past four years was to make Obama a one-term president, and thus spent all their political capital denying him anything that might make him look successful? Rather than, say, fixing this country’s problems? Nope, can’t quite put my finger on it. Must be Kenyan Muslim socialism at work. Ask any of Sarah Palin’s “Real Americans”, they’ll tell you that. (Via Pharygula.)

Revenge of the Reality-Based Community — A formerly prominent Republican laments discovering reality about three decades too late. So here we are, post-election 2012. All the stupidity and closed-mindedness that right-wingers have displayed over the last 10 years has come back to haunt them. It is now widely understood that the nation may be center-left after all, not center-right as conservatives thought. Overwhelming losses by Republicans to all the nation’s nonwhite voters have created a Democratic coalition that will govern the nation for the foreseeable future.

Mandate with Destiny — Obama’s electoral mandate. In 2004, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, conservatism’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, congratulated President Bush for “what by any measure is a decisive mandate for a second term” and exulted, “Mr. Bush has been given the kind of mandate that few politicians are ever fortunate enough to receive.” This year, examining similar numbers with different labels, the Journal came up with a sterner interpretation. “President Obama won one of the narrower re-elections in modern times,” its editorial announced. Kind of reminds me of Dick Morris predicting a 325-213 Romney “landslide” in the Electoral College, then proclaiming that Obama “eked out” a narrow 332-206 victory in the Electoral College. More of that vaunted conservative intellectual consistency all around. Or in shorter words: “The conservative stupid, it burns.” (Snurched from Ta-Nehisi Coates.)

?otD: If I leave here tomorrow would you still remember me?


11/28/2012
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (revisions to “Rock of Ages”)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (30 minutes on stationary bike)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Weight: 222.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing people to accept healthcare and committing voter fraud: 0
Currently reading: The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett