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[links] Link salad eats ham and eggs for breakfast

Don’t forget the Kalimpura ARC caption contest [ | LiveJournal ]

Inside the Original Space Dive: Joseph Kittinger on 1960 Record JumpRecord-setter’s personal account in classic National Geographic article.

Hacker cracks 4 million hotel locks with ‘James Bond Dry Erase Marker’

Topology: The Secret Ingredient In The Latest Theory of EverythingCombine topology with symmetry and add a sprinkling of quantum mechanics. The result? A powerful new theory of everything.

Malala Yousafzai: The Latest Victim in the War on Children in PakistanThe Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for a hideous attack on a young schoolgirl they deemed “an infidel” for championing her right to go to school. This is what you get when you try to rule society by scripture.

One in five Americans reports no religious affiliation, study says — A civil society less interested in rule by scripture can only be a change for the good.

Vaccines: opinions are not facts — This argument is every bit as stupid and pointless as the evolution argument, and doesn’t speak well of our society or our educational system that we need to keep having it.

One In Ten Americans Think PBS Gets A Third Or More Of The Entire Federal Budget — And that’s who Romney is talking to when he says he wants to kill Big Bird. Because critical thinking is a liberal scourge. The Texas GOP has said so. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Romney: Abortion not on my agenda — That would be what we call a “lie”. Read your own campaign statements, Mittens. Or your party’s platform.

The Romney Wave Isn’t Abating Yet — Good for Romney, terrible for the country. And where are all of last week’s GOP “poll truthers” now?

?otD: What did you have for breakfast?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hour (chemo fog)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (overslept due to chemo fatigue)
Hours slept: 7.5 (interrupted)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Heartland by Mark Teppo

[links] Link salad for another Tuesday in Omaha

Don’t forget the Kalimpura ARC caption contest [ | LiveJournal ]

Honeyed Words by my good friend J.A. Pitts has won the Gaylactic Spectrum Award for Best New Novel — Go give him some love.

A Steampunk Wristwatch I Would Love to Afford — Clickety clack. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Mongolian BlingWe follow three young rappers as they combine traditional Mongolian music with western rap to create nomadic hip hop. (Via my brother.)

A transgender story: My daughter, my sonWhen Sarah became Finn, her parents began their own journey.

The person you used to be still tells you what to do — (Via Lisa Costello.)

Fossil reveals spider in mid-strike — I love behavioral fossils. (Via David Goldman.)

Mind-Control and Instant Skill — Optogenetics and you.

Organism without a brain creates external memories for navigation — I’ve been on dates like that.

SpaceX Falcon 9 lost an engine on the way up; Dragon on its way to ISS — Or maybe not. Apparently it’s in the wrong orbit.

The Ohio State University Marching Band Does Video Games — Hahah. (Via Jersey Girl in Portland.)

Restraint — Ursula K. LeGuin on social sacrifice. (Thanks to [info]controuble.)

Chick-fil-A’s Biblical Family of the Day — Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy: “We support biblical families.” Today’s Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day: Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-3).

Charlie Fuqua, Arkansas Legislative Candidate, Endorses Death Penalty For Rebellious Children In Book — Welcome to the Christian nation of America that our conservative friends want to institute.

Romney says Obama hasn’t signed any Free Trade Agreements (false) — The really great thing about being a Republican candidate in America is that Your Liberal Media will dutifully report any baldfaced lie you tell as if it were true, making any challenge to that lie seem like progressive whining. Thus neatly reinforcing the hermetic seal on the conservative echo chamber.

Ryan gets testy, calls off interview, when asked about tax cuts (video) — Oops. GOP presidential campaign accidentally meets a truthful moment.

Romney 2006 calls Romney 2012’s jobs attacks ‘silly’ — Remember, kids. When white Republican governors do things, that’s statesmanlike leadership. When African-American Democratic presidents do the very same things, that’s Kenyan Muslim socialism.

Inside the campaign: The Romney rebellion — I think letting Mitt be Mitt is the best thing they could possibly do. With his lifelong record of unselfconscious entitled selfishness and unprincipled beliefs, the real Mitt will really shine with the voters.

The Candidate of “Omni-Directional Belligerence” — The cheapness of foreign lives plays well in the pulpits of Peoria. Welcome to Romney’s America.

?otD: Into the office with the post chemo bring down. How about you?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hour (chemo fog)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (suburban walk)
Hours slept: 10.0 (7.5 hours solid, plus considerable napping)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Heartland by Mark Teppo

[contests] Kalimpura caption contest

Advance Reading Copies copies of Kalimpura (a/k/a Green book 3) have arrived. We all know what that means — a giveaway via caption contest! So I hereby declare another one of those suckers, based on a photo from this chemo weekend. Your challenge is to write a caption that answers the question “Why is Jay wearing a bank robber mask, Ray-bans and pearls?”

First prize will be a personalized, signed copy of the Kalimpura ARC, as well as the Green and Kalimpura trade paperbacks. Additional prizes to be awarded at my discretion. Usual rules apply. I’ll collect captions in comments here (at both and until I get bored with it, then build a voting poll. Please try to limit the length of your entries or they may become truncated in the poll code.


Jay masked and pearled, © 2012, Emily Siskin. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

[funny] Tell me a joke

What’s your favorite joke? Leave it in comments.

Sometime next week, I’ll pick a few I like and we’ll run a poll, with books and stuff for the winning jokes.

Make me laugh, people! Make me laugh!

This probably doesn’t need to be said, but though I have a very broad sense of humor, and enjoy jokes about sex, religion or politics, I will absolutely draw the line at racial “humor”, and will moderate comments if needed.

[links] Link salad leaves Omaha once more

[info]calendula_witch Announces her first novel sale — Go congratulate her.

StarShipSofa Online Writers Workshop — This is tomorrow. There’s still a few slots open.

Flash Fiction Contest Special Judges and Extended Deadline[info]kenscholes and I are celebrity judges for the Write to Publish flash fiction contest at the end of April.

Spectacular brain images reveal surprisingly simple structure — For some reason this makes me think of Inception.

Types of Extremists — Heh.

When Medicine Was Cheap

Court upholds time limit for clergy abuse claims — So apparently the Catholic Church’s cynical strategy of covering up crimes, tampering with evidence and intimidating victims and witnesses, led for years by the man who is now Pope, is paying off. Please explain to me once more why so many religious people think atheists are immoral?

Study: Conservatives’ Trust In Science At Record Low — When you explicitly privilege counterfactual claims and reality denial, this is what you get. Idiots. Who vote.

?otd: How high can you fly without a plane?

Writing time yesterday: 2.0 hours (1.75 hours on Sunspin, 0.25 hours of WRPA)
Body movement: airport walking to come
Hours slept: 6.25 (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

[links] Link salad wishes Dad a happy birthday

Endurance Sweepstakes! with a giveaway of my forthcoming book.

Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of has taught readers that they do not need bookstores. Now it is encouraging writers to cast aside their publishers. (Via several sources, including my Dad.)

What killed Steve Jobs?Pharyngula with more on Steve Jobs’ cancer. (Thanks to [info]feorag.)

Fusobacterium Linked To Colorectal Cancer

The Quest for the Holy Grail of Storage – RAM Cloud

Movie: Approaching Light Speed APOD with an interesting little video about the optical effects of relativistic speeds approaching c.

Alfred Hitchcock and Angry Birds

Rare Keaton Music Typewriter — (Snurched from Dark Roasted Blend.)

California Velocipede Map — An 1895 bicycle touring map of the Golden State.

Failing dreams: California faces its own Great DepressionIt is less than 20 miles from the pristine surfing beaches of the California coast to a scene of Third World deprivation.

The Rise of Crime-Sourcing — (Via David Goldman.)

How News Media and Blogs Have Eyed the Presidential Contenders During the First Phase of the 2012 Race — Your Liberal Media, fluffing the conservatives as always. This is excellent news for John McCain!

Rick Perry officials spark revolt after doctoring environment reportScientists ask for names to be removed after mentions of climate change and sea-level rise taken out by Texas officials. This is exactly how the Bush administration handled these things, too. When the facts are biased against you, delete the facts. It’s a very Soviet approach to ideology, ironically enough. (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

For Bachmann, God and Justice Were Intertwined — Confidential to GOP in America: Freedom of religion means freedom from religion. Which decidedly protects you every bit as much as it protects the rest of us.

Democrats Court the Wall Street Protesters — Karl Rove in The Wall Street Journal. Before they go much further with this courtship, the president and other Democrats need to remember it’s always dangerous to associate with people who are just plain kooky. The mind boggles that Rove could say this with a straight face. Has he looked at the GOP base? Science denial? Christianism? The forced pregnancy movement? Gun psychosis? Those are the pillars of his own house. (Via Dispatches from the Culture Wars.)

?otD: Tuesday already?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo recovery)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (fitful)
Weight: 218.4
Currently reading: The Star Fraction by Ken MacLeod

[contests] Endurance ARC contest results

A few weeks ago, I announced an Endurance ARC contest [ | LiveJournal ]. Only three brave readers entered the contest, which kind of croggles me, so I’m declaring three co-winners!

The winning entries are:

[info]etcet: There were slings and arrows, of course, and while her fortune was anything but outrageous, her accuracy with the slings, arrows, and several other tools of the trade certainly was. Too young to contemplate retirement seriously, and still, in her heart of hearts, enjoying her work to a certain extent, this left her feeling uneasy and a bit untethered.

It wasn’t easy, being Green.

Original here

Trey: What about Green? Sold by her family, raised in cruelty to a specific standard of courtesan, used as a weapon and on and on. She should have broken under all that. But she keeps on. She endures. She grows and changes.

I like her prickly pride, stubbornness, wit and temper. She’s also deadly as a viper. In all of these, she reminds me of Venera Fanning (Karl Schroeder’s Virga series) and Jamethiel Dream Weaver (of P.C Hodgell’s Kencyr series), with a touch of Hezhi from Greg Keyes Waterborn. I like reading about her though I doubt I’d want to deal with her regularly (sort of like Dr. House in that regard), and right now I want a copy of the sequel Endurance to read.

Original here

Greg: Green is a girl of a poor family sold into service of a forign power trained as an assassin and courtesan whom looks back on the stoic bull of her family as a symbol if her separation from her fate…

Original here

So, go you guys for being players! And winners! Please email me with your contact information so I can send out the ARCs. And thank you for playing.

[writing] Flash flash flash, it’s a gas gas gas

Yesterday’s “Flash me, baby” blog post [ | LiveJournal ] was fun. Thank you to everyone who played along with flash bits, WIPs and discovery draft snippets.

My favorites are by Joe Richardson, Jim Van Pelt, and Ruthanne Reid. I’ll give top honors to Joe, just for the heck of it.

Joe, give me your contact info and I’ll drop an Endurance ARC and a bonus book in the mail to you. Everyone else, thanks for being part of it. Maybe we’ll do this again in a month or two.

[links] Link salad is resting down in Cornwall writing up its memoirs

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

Authors Say Agents Try to “Straighten” Gay Characters in YA — In case you missed it. I’ve written a number of incidentally gay or bi characters (ie, not “gay fiction”, just characters who happen to be people with those orientations) and no one’s said a word yet. Which is exactly how it should be, I think.

Bring Your Questions for Willpower Authors Roy Baumeister and John TierneyFreakonomics with a discussion of willpower. Writing novels, and finishing them, more to the point, is a profound act of willpower.

Why US Pays More for Health Care Than Other Nations

An Objective Way to Measure PainResearchers use brain imaging to detect patterns of brain activity associated with pain—a potential boon for doctors and drug developers. I’ve often wondered about the validity of the pain scale. My calibration of 1-10 changed utterly once I’d undergone abdominal surgery, for example. It’s so subjective.

Giant balloon to be launched to test climate fix hope

Glasgow University in bid to create ‘inorganic life’Scientists in Scotland are undertaking pioneering research to create life from inorganic chemicals. As tipster David Goldman says, what could possibly go wrong?

Soyuz rocket flaw found?

Wait, what? Atheists don’t understand stories?Pharyngula on some very bizarre religious thinking about the non-religious. Some people really are idiots, blindered by the need to justify their own beliefs at the expense of objective reality.

Jimmy Carter: ‘We never dropped a bomb. We never fired a bullet. We never went to war’ — Perhaps the best ex-president we’ve ever had.

After 20 Years, Missing CEO Reappears — Apparently only little people pay taxes. Big people just vanish behind their cloud of money.

A Bit of The Post-American World 2.0[info]madwriter with some interesting comments on Fareed Zakaria’s book.

Shockingly Petty: News Corp. Outlets Attack Obama Over Paper Clip — And conservatives wonder why the rest of us find you guys a little crazy.

Tea party crowd about sick man without insurance: “Let him die” — Ah, family values. Compassionate conservatism in a nutshell. Right there. This reinforces my view that contemporary conservativism arises out of a poverty of imagination and a failure of empathy. The people jeering this man’s death simply can’t imagine themselves or someone they love in his situation.

Deep Thought — Given the GOP fixation with death, how would they treat a fetus whose mother is on Death Row?

?otD: Where were all the sportsmen who always pulled you through?

Writing time yesterday: 2.0 hours (revisions to Kalimpura)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.25 hours (interrupted)
Weight: 222.0
Currently reading: Inversions by Iain M. Banks

[links] Link salad puts its bet on number one and it comes up every time

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

A Reader Reacts to Steampunk Tales #1 — Including my story “Benedice Te”.

Amazon e-book subscription? Publishers should join — Ever since Amazon’s blatant and inappropriate abusive behavior punishing Macmillan print authors for an only tangentially related ebook pricing dispute last year, I simply don’t trust them not to burn us again and again. Their business ethos clearly does not encompass the rhetoric of do no evil.

Fish oils block chemotherapy drug — Hmm. Grr. I take fish oil. (Thanks to reader M.)

Insulin Via Nasal Spray May Slow Alzheimer’s

Supercomputer predicts revolution — Alas, poor Mike, we knew ye well.

6 months into Japan’s cleanup, radiation a major worry

Arizona church is house of prostitution, police say“We certainly respect First Amendment rights. However, religious freedom does not allow for criminal acts,” Martos said. What, like illegal protests at abortion clinics? Refusing medical or pharmaceutical services based on the practitioner’s beliefs? Religious freedom privileges all kinds of acts, some of them criminal and some of them just nuts. At least it does so for mainline Christians. (Thanks to [info]bravado111.)

We refuse to live in fear! — Glenn Greenwald on American behavior in a post 9/11 world. [T]he very idea that America hasn’t been converted into a paramilitarized Nation of Fear is absurd on its face. Most foreign policy and domestic civil liberties erosions are grounded in little other than that.

The Tea Party and the GOP primary electorate — They’re almost one and the same. Shocking, I know.

What is Socialism and what is not — Addressing GOP/Tea Party/FOX newspeak. Which is admittedly pissing in the wind, but they’ve been awfully good at redefining loaded terms in nonsensical ways. (Via Steve Buchheit.)

?otD: So! Where the hell was Biggles when you needed him last Saturday??

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (interrupted)
Weight: 222.0
Currently reading: Antiphon by Ken Scholes

[links] Link salad came back with a lock of your hair

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

[info]benpeek is clever about the latest Orson Scott Card disgrace

Writer Ed Bryant needs some help — A combination of healthcare and housing issues threatens him.

New Implant Can Monitor Tumors ContinuouslyResearchers ultimately hope to combine the tiny sensor with a device to deliver targeted chemotherapy only when the tumor becomes more aggressive.

The Trouble With Homework

Gaddafi’s Creepy Love Den

Another faith-healing death of a child puts Oregon City parents on trial — I find it very difficult to summon sympathy for the actions of these parents. Why is religion allowed to so pervasively privilege what would otherwise be unacceptable behavior in civil society?

Postal Workers: The Last Union — More on the GOP’s relentless dismantling of the American middle class and opportunities for job security and upward mobility. (Via David Goldman.)

The Years of Shame — Paul Krugman on our responses to 9/11.

US will never be at war with Islam: Obama — Almost literally the only thing I respect George W. (“OK, you covered your ass. You can go now.”) Bush for was his insistence on this point. Of course, his advisors and supporters muddied that water horribly for electoral reasons, so the point was largely lost.

How much has Obama learned?The president’s speech to Congress and the Republican presidential debate last week should have taught us that we are no longer in the world of civics textbooks in which our political parties split their differences and arrive at imperfect but reasonably satisfactory solutions. To be more accurate, the GOP is not in that world. The Democrats keep trying to govern, and get kicked in the teeth by Republican electioneering every time. Viz Senator Lott’s highest stated legislative priority — not jobs or deficit spending or dealing with Mr. Bush’s wars, but ensuring that Obama is a one-term president. That’s not governance, that’s politics in bald-faced nutshell.

?otD: That night that you planned to go clear, did you ever go clear?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 9.0 hours (naps plus fitful overnight)
Weight: 223.0
Currently reading: Antiphon by Ken Scholes

[links] Link salad for the 9/11 anniversary

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

A reader reacts to Green — A positive review from [info]gerryhuntman. Among other things, he touches on the (baffling to me) negative response several reviewers have had to the dedication.

Those darn fan letters (or, you know. Emails) — Urban fantasy author J.A. Pitts talks about his fanmail. Touching.

Charlie Stross asks “What do you think is the most important novel of the past 10-and-a-bit years (published since January 1st 2000)? All male authors are disqualified.” — Interesting comments.

Scientists Reveal How Hummingbirds Sing with Their Tail Fethers

NASA fanfare for Orion progress as welds begins on the OFT-1 vehicle

World in Transit Hides ‘Invisible’ Planet in Its Solar System

Witnessing Hell — Writer Sonia Lyris on looking back at 9/11.

9/11 dwarfed the films about it — Roger Ebert on 9/11.

Ten Years after 9/11, Do the Arabs value Democracy more than We do?Some critics trace the debt and budget crisis to the Bush wars, but in a $14.5 trillion a year economy, the $1 trillion spent on the wars over a decade was not decisive. The real cost of the wars of aggression was a decline in the standing of the US abroad, a gutting of the UN Charter and international legal norms, and a de facto repeal civil liberties at home.

9/11: The Decade Since — I have profound respect for 9/11 and what is meant to this country, but not for our response it. 9/11 killed slightly under 3,000 people. In that same year, 2001, 29,573 died of gun violence in the United States. 931,108 of cardiovascular disease. Other major causes of death in 2001 were cancer, 553,768; accidents, 101,537; Alzheimer’s disease, 53,852; and HIV 14,175. Those numbers have held up every year since, as deaths by terrorism have not. We did not go on trillion dollar+ parxoysm of needless security theatre and foreign wars-of-choice under knowingly false premises and runaway deficit spending and dismantling of civil liberties and politicization/rank partisanship as a result of those vastly higher death rates, many of them highly preventable. We did not open commissions or establish payouts for the victims of all those other deaths. Which saddens me for our social priorities. Was 3,000 lives worth what we did? Wouldn’t a better memorial to 9/11 and its victims have been improving conditions at home across the board rather than degrading our national standing aboard?

?otD: Where were you that day?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo)
Body movement: 0.0. hours (chemo)
Hours slept: 11.5 hours (badly interrupted)
Weight: 225.0
Currently reading: Antiphon by Ken Scholes