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[links] Link salad enjoyed the reading

A reader reacts to Endurance — I think they liked it.

The Self-Sabotaging Writer — Kameron Hurley on the perils of being a writer. (Via Steve Buchheit.)

What the Nook MeansA new Nook’s on its way. Can it save books?

The Milhous Collection A meticulously assembled selection of mechanical musical instruments, vintage automobiles and more. (Via [info]danjite.)

Cloud Cover’s Role in Exoplanet Studies

Study measures mammalian growth spurtIt takes 24 million generations for mouse-sized mammals to evolve into elephants — but shrinking back is much faster.

Mind-reading program translates brain activity into wordsThe research paves the way for brain implants that would translate the thoughts of people who have lost power of speech.

[info]cassiealexander on Rick Santorum, privilege, healthcare, and sick kids — What she says.

The End of Health Insurance Companies — I don’t think I actually believe this piece, but it’s a nice thought.

Inside the heresy filesInterrogation. Surveillance. Ethnic profiling. Censorship. The words come from 21st-century headlines, but they have an ancient pedigree. Cullen Murphy on how the Inquisition ignited the modern police state. (Snurched from Scrivener’s Error.)

McConnell’s Revisionist History: Congress Gave Obama Everything He Wanted! — Can he possibly believe this? McConnell, of all people? More to the point, why does anybody else believe this?

Marsh on Obama: The Party’s Over — Sigh.

Delusions of Obama the IdiotIt’s amazing that the GOP has somehow convinced itself that Obama is some kind of beguiling intellectual lightweight. Once you accept that ideology trumps reality, it’s easy to put faith in any whackdoodle idea that enters one’s head.

Gingrich, Romney, and “Reckoning with the Base”

Romney versus Gingrich slugfest is harbinger of Republican civil war — We can only hope. Meanwhile, I continue to marvel at the Republican base’s vitriolic view of liberals, who are guilty of bringing America such heinous sins as the forty hour work week, paid vacations, child labor laws, clean air and water, and other such violations of our civil rights, all over the strong objections of conservatives.

Welfare Drug Testing Bill Withdrawn After Amended To Include Testing Lawmakers — Don’t worry, it will be back. Oppressing the poor is a club sport for the GOP.

Huh? Mitt claims Newt outspent him in S.C. — Huh. Republicans lying about each other. The candidates and party leadership know it doesn’t matter. The message always trumps facts. The low information voters who make up the GOP base will just nod and follow along like they always do.

The Myth of the American Political Intelligence Gap

?otd: When’s the last time you attended a live reading?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (Sunspin revisions)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.5 (solid)
Weight: 228.8
Currently reading: The Man in the Moone, and Other Lunar Fantasies ed. Faith Pizor

[links] Link salad lingers over its cereal

Paying Tribute: The Stars My Destination — Ty Franck on Daniel Abraham’s blog.

The self-epublishing bubble — (Snurched from @lilithsaintcrow.)

Pythons linked to Florida Everglades mammal decline

Little Ice Age was caused by volcanism

Russia blames radiation for space probe failure

Toward a New ‘Prime Directive’

While temperatures rise, denialists reach lowerThe WSJ OpEd makes a lot of hay from having 16 scientists sign it, but of those only 4 are actually climate scientists. And that bragging right is crushed to dust when you find out that the WSJ turned down an article about the reality of global warming that was signed by 255 actual climate scientists. Ah, ideology: trumping facts in the conservative mind since 4004 BC.

The Condom’s CousinsHealth care coverage is one horse that the Church has chosen to ride in order to protect its belief in the sanctity of its beliefs. Sex, rather than God, is its focus. If God’s perceived commandments on how one deals with one’s fellow man come into conflict with the Church’s opinion on sex, its opinion on sex wins out every time, irrespective of the effect it may have on fellow man.

The Austerity DebacleHaven’t we learned a lot about economic management over the last 80 years? Yes, we have — but in Britain and elsewhere, the policy elite decided to throw that hard-won knowledge out the window, and rely on ideologically convenient wishful thinking instead. “Ideologically convenient wishful thinking” pretty much describes most of the conservative mindset these days, at least on the budget, jobs, climate change, foreign policy, etc.

Brewer Has History Of Getting Facts WrongIn the past, when Brewer has been confronted about inaccurate statements, her first move has been to maintain she was right no matter how clear the matter was. Republican to the bone.

Wash. Post’s Parker Wildly Distorts Charitable Giving Of Obama, Romney — Because when you’re taking the GOP party line, facts don’t matter, the message does. Even flat out lies like this pass unchallenged in Your Liberal Media.

Trillions in tax cutsThe Republican presidential candidates claim to abhor debt, yet propose tax cuts that would add trillions more. Supply side economics hasn’t worked yet, but why stop believing in it now? Who said New Math was dead?

Election angst hits Hill Republicans — What amazes me is that for most of my adult life, the GOP has had fantastic party discipline. Since about 2006, that seems to have really weakened. Not that I’m complaining about anything that undercuts the toxic conservative agenda, but I find it surprising.

Kansas Speaker O’Neal asks House GOP to pray for Obama’s death — Stay classy, GOP. It’s what you do best.

The Grover Norquist “Impeach Obama” Fantasy[T]he Republicans wanted [Clinton] removed from the first day he took office, and that they were not waiting for a crime so much as they were waiting for the moment when they had the votes to do it. (That this is a monumental act of contempt for the people who elected him their president should not concern us here, because it apparently never concerned the Republicans.)

Why Gingrich is a Liability to Down-Ticket Congressional Races — And the GOP establishment continues to dog pile on poor, misunderstood Newt.

?otd: Got milk?

Writing time yesterday: 2.5 hours (Sunspin revisions)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.0 (solid)
Weight: 228.6
Currently reading: The Man in the Moone, and Other Lunar Fantasies ed. Faith Pizor

[links] Link salad celebrates Boxing Day

Bad Fathers — A fantasy trope?

Publishers vs. Libraries: An E-Book Tug of War — (Via my Dad.)

11 Christmas songs we hope never to hear again — Heh.

Leadership Lessons From the Shackleton Expedition

Decades later, a Cold War secret is revealed — Building spy satellites.

Report Condemns Japan’s Response to Nuclear Accident

Medicare passes on big profits to insurers — Explain to me again why the profit-taking from private health insurance adds value? Coz I’m confused.

?otd: Do you float like a butterfly? Would you like to?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 11.75 (solid)
Weight: 203.4
Currently (re)reading: The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey

[links] Link salad sweats on cue

What Publishers Don’t Do — Andrew Wheeler on Michael Chabon and e-books. Chabon got this one wrong, which is unusual for him, I think.

Rocket-Powered ‘Aerotrain’ — Some awesome retrotech. (Via H—.)

Through a sun tunnelAPOD with an interesting image and write-up. I’d never heard of these.

Frankincense, Staple of Christmas, Doomed

Where the Tax-Cut Walkout Really Came FromThen, of course, along came the new Republican House majority under Newt Gingrich. They rewrote the formal rulebook which, to be entirely fair, really needed some of its more sclerotic provisions cleaned out. But they threw out the unwritten rules entirely. This culminated in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and everything that has followed after, right up until this morning. They are not legislators. They are vandals in the house of democracy.

Speaker Cuts Off C-SPAN Cameras When Dems Attempt To Bring Vote On Payroll Tax Cut — The GOP: your party of good government. (Thanks to [info]corwynofamber.)

?otd: When is the last time you watched the original Star Trek?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 10.5 (very fitful plus napping)
Weight: 208.0
Currently (re)reading: The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey

[links] Link salad has got your number

Oxen and Sociopaths: Writing Endurance — A squib from me in the Tor/Forge newsletter.

How Amazon Can Afford to Give Away Books, FreeAmazon makes so much on Prime that digital media has become the perfect loss leader for the company. What about the authors>

Is Sitting Too Long a Major Cancer Risk?Study Shows Inactivity and Excess Sitting Linked to an Estimated 100,000 Cancer Cases a Year. (Thanks to David Goldman.)

Saber-Toothed Squirrel Lived Near Dinosaurs — Really? Saber-Toothed Squirrel? Heh.

Pale-faced Mars crew “lands” after 520 days in isolation

IBM Open-Sources Potential “Internet of Things” Protocol — More fascinating near term futurism. (Via [info]danjite.)

Changing Youth Migration Patterns: So Long New York, Hello… Portland? — Well, duh.

Conservatives Discover America — An entertaining and thought-provoking liberal rant from driftglass. He’s got it nailed, too.

Does the 1% Distract from the Next 19?

Looking beyond their needs to determine faultSlacktivist with an interesting perspective on the morality of the foreclosure crisis.

America’s ‘Oh Sh*t!’ MomentHas the U.S. deleted the very things that made it great? Niall Ferguson on how America can avoid imminent collapse. Fixing the toxic dysfunction in conservative politics would go a long way…

Red vs. Blue: Do Democrats Subsidize Republicans? — An interesting piece on the relationship between unionization and net tax burdens. Hint: the Red states benefit directly at the expense of taxes paid in the hated Blue states.

America: With God on our sidePresidential candidates feel no shame in asserting divine purpose in U.S. policies and actions. In this ubiquitous view of American exceptionalism, the nation is not bound by rules to which others must submit. (Snurched from Dispatches From the Culture Wars.)

Condi Rice Just Forgot About Pearl Harbor on Letterman — 9-11 was the first attack on American soil since the War of 1812? Really? Hey, GOP, this is reality calling. Anybody home?

?otD: 867-5309?

Wriing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Weight: 212.6
Currently (re)reading: Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad toddles off to chemo

Another Perspective on Amazon as Publisher & Bookseller, Plus a Contrarian View on Disruption in Publishing — Long but worth the read.

Cosmic dust contains organic matter from stars, study findsSuch chemical complexity was thought to arise only from living organisms.

Asteroid Lutetia may have core of hot melted metal — Huh. I find this really surprising.

Massively Parallel Computer Built From Single Layer of Molecules

Python blood holds key to heart disease cure

SMBC on the dangers of Biblical literalism — This is hilarious, and one I never thought of.

Justice Scalia speaks for himself on death penalty, not the Catholic ChurchI don’t want a justice sitting on the Supreme Court who submits blindly to religious authority or who holds his religion above the laws of the land. So keep your job, Justice Scalia. Just don’t pretend your church approves of the death penalty. Or that you aren’t like most people of faith, cherry-picking the teachings of your church that suit you best.

World power swings back to AmericaThe American phoenix is slowly rising again. Within five years or so, the US will be well on its way to self-sufficiency in fuel and energy. Manufacturing will have closed the labour gap with China in a clutch of key industries. The current account might even be in surplus.

The Class War Has Begun

Police Actions and Media Coverage of Occupy Wall Street

Bachmann’s ex-staff in New Hampshire calls campaign ‘dishonest’ and ‘cruel’ — Live by the self-obsessed counterfactual inanity, die by the self-obsessed counterfactual inanity.

?otD: What’s the worst drug you ever took?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.75 hours (solid)
Weight: 220.0
Currently (re)reading: Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad goes right to the moon

Sympathy for the Devil, ed. by Tim Pratt – Ray Gun Reviews — With a passing favorable mention of my story “The Goat Cutter”.

Steampunk Ebooks for $2.99 — Getcher Mainspring ebook on the cheap from

Murakami on Fiction, Truth, and Lies

How translation software helped crack ‘unbreakable’ code in 1866 secret society manuscript

‘Android Dreams’: Time-lapse video of Tokyo set to ‘Blade Runner’ soundtrack — In case you needed some cool in your morning.

Why Names Matter — SCIENCE! It works, bitches. And a serious discussion of the same issue.

Time – and brain chemistry – heal all wounds

Panel recommends that 11- and 12-year-old boys get the HPV vaccine; now given to girls — I have a question for all you folks who oppose the HPV vaccine because “oh noes, kidz and teh sex!” We’re talking about lifelong protection here. Do you seriously want your children to grow up and never have sex? Stunted lives and no grandchildren is the logical result of your objections.

US dismantles most powerful nuclear bomb

NASA Is Considering Fuel Depots in the Skies

In, Through, and Beyond Saturn’s Rings — Another awesome APOD photo.

Hardiness Zone Changes — More liberally biased facts about climate change. Which is ridiculous. Climate change wouldn’t be a partisan issue if right wing ideologues hadn’t made it one. I can even understand why evolution denial, as fundamentally moronic as it is, has become an issue. But climate change denial? It doesn’t even make as much sense as Christianist tripe, which at least comforts some wilfully ignorant people who are scared of the future.

Rand retracts report on pot clinics and crimeThink tank says researchers failed to realize that data used in the study did not include LAPD statistics. It plans to recalculate its analysis. WHo’d a thunk it? Distortion and hysteria over pot use. I don’t do 420 myself, but I’ve never seen the point of criminalization of pot.

Chart comparing Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party — Heck, yeah.

Goldman Sachs Global Rage Fund — Some seriously funny snark.

Islamic Law not a problem in Bush’s Afghanistan & Iraq, but a Problem in Libya?If secular, communist Afghanistan was made fundamentalist by Reagan and Bush, or if the relatively secular Baath Party of Iraq was overthrown by W. in favor of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the Islamic Call Party and the Bloc of Ayatollah Sadr II, that is unobjectionable and not even reported on. But if there’s a Democratic president in the White House, all of a sudden it is a scandal if Muslims practice Muslim law. Not a Democratic president, a Kenyan Muslim socialist president. Just ask our friends in the GOP and Your Liberal Media.

Televangelist Pat Robertson Calls GOP Field Too Extreme to Win General ElectionYou know you’ve hit rock bottom when one of the most radical, hate-spewing figures in America calls you “extreme.”

Michele Bachmann’s misstatements may be catching up to herThe Republican presidential candidate’s supporters seem to like her mastery of what she presents as facts — but they often aren’t. Hey. Someone finally noticed.

?otD: Ralph or Norton?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Weight: 217.4
Currently (re)reading: Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

[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

[links] Link salad misses Steve

Steve Jobs’s Death: The World Reacts — Cancer claims a very prominent life. The first computer I ever used was an Apple IIc (I think), and I’ve been a Mac user since 1985. Every one of my books was written on a Mac, as were the vast majority of my short stories. Every phone call I’ve made for years has been on an iPhone. Jobs’ vision of technology and usability have influenced my life in profound ways. Juan Cole with more, a fascinating perspective on Jobs.

Essay: Publishing Favors the West — Charles A. Tan on the issues of being a writer outside the US/UK orbit.

The Writer Beware/The Write Agenda discussion[info]deborahjross on the idiocy around the so-called “Write Agenda”.

The Future of the BookBestselling author Sam Harris explains his current solution to the strange new media world—and why he’s publishing short ebooks. (Via AH.)

Comets created Earth’s oceans, study concludes — Mmm, volatiles.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry for dogged work on ‘impossible’ quasicrystalsDaniel Shechtman, who has won the chemistry Nobel for discovering quasicrystals, was initially lambasted for ‘bringing disgrace’ on his research group.

Long Cold Spell Leads to First Arctic Ozone Hole — There goes reality with that darned liberal bias again. If only things fit people’s preconceived notions, life would be so much simpler!

A Moral Gene? — Hmmm…

Ruminations on scientific expertise and the ethics of persuasion

Evangelicals vs. scienceSlacktivist Fred Clark delves into the roots of Christian and Christianist idiocy on evolution, global warming and so forth.

What They’ve Come to Find at Occupy Wall Street Is America — Charles Pierce on the Occupy Wall Street protests. Well worth the read.

Crowdsource action: List of Facebook pages for Occupy solidarity events

Sarah Palin’s Die Hard Supporters ‘Stunned,’ ‘Disappointed’ — The Dunning-Kruger presidential ticket certainly has taken a big hit here.

When I Needed Help, I Got PropagandaWhile Republicans have made their concern for the unborn clear, the fact that many of them proposed cutting nutrition programs for infants by about 10 percent earlier this year suggests that their concern for babies may end once they’re born. That’s been true of the forced pregnancy enthusiasts on the Right since the beginning. Conservative pro-life concerns end at birth. Years of rhetoric and legislation assaulting women and children’s programs and promoting the death penalty make that unassailably clear.

?otD: Got Apple?

Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (2,500 words on a short story)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (interrupted)
Weight: 220.0
Currently reading: Among Others by Jo Walton

[links] Link salad flies back to the West Coast

Kevin J. Anderson on ebook pricing

The Syntax of Photography

One-Ninety: 1912 — A little more steam for your punk.

The Culture of Combat Rations — This is weirdly fascinating. Too bad they didn’t cover the old C-rations. Orange nut roll, anyone?

Dilbert and conversational implicature — One of my favorite Dilbert moments at work was some years ago in a former job when I was formally counseled about my use of the words “concision” and “brevity” in an internal memo, because in using such words I was allegedly deliberately making other employees feel stupid.

The Internet is Filling Up With Dead People And There’s Nothing We Can Do About ItOn the web, you can’t die so much as join the ranks of the undead.

The Birth of Religion — A fascinating article on religion and agriculture. With some awesome photos. (Thanks to my Dad.)

What Does the Bible Actually Say About Marriage?It’s high time people came clean about how we use the Bible. We’re looking at you, Christianists. The Bible has a hell of a lot more to say about poverty and usury than it does about marriage or homosexuality. And let’s face it, Jesus wasn’t exactly living the heterosexual American family values life himself.

The Voter Fraud Con Comes to Kansas — Laws addressing voter fraud are a consistent GOP tactic to suppress the votes of poor Americans, who largely vote Democratic. Much like GOP views on tax cuts, the numbers have never supported the rhetoric. Chalk up another loss for reality in the face of conservative ideology.

?otD: Going anywhere today?

Writing time yesterday: 0.25 hours
Body movement: n/a (airport walking to come)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (interrupted)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

[links] Link salad eats badly, lives to regret it

Spam for sale — Ah, the magic of self-published ebooks.

Apple vs. the world: App Store showdown looms — Ebooks and more.

What we believe inLanguage Log on the linguistics of belief. Or, as I say from time to time, just because you believe it doesn’t mean it’s true.

Civil War submarine rotated to upright position

Nighttime or violent TV tied to tots’ sleep woes — Science fiction’s very own Miki Garrison is the author of this study. Cool.

Why I’m raising my son to be a nerd — (Snurched from Scrivener’s Error.)

The Hajnal Line — Fascinating bit of sociology.

Fossilized eyes reveal a predator’s sharp vision515 million-year-old shrimplike beast with compound eyes just discovered.

Awesomely weird expanding halo of light seen from Hawaii

Tom Petty’s War On Michele Bachmann

Constantine is dead — Slacktivist Fred Clark on Evangelical Christian morality. A bit inside baseball for this atheist, but still pretty interesting. And a real strong commentary on the Christianist minority who dominate politics on the American Right.

While Fighting To Block SEC Investigation Of Goldman Sachs, Rep. Darrell Issa Bought Goldman Sachs Bonds — All my life I’ve heard that conservatives vote Republican because of ethics and family values, that godless liberals and unprincipled Democrats can’t be trusted. If this is Republican trustworthiness, y’all are fucking idiots. (Snurched from @twilight2000.)

U.S. foreign policy: War fever subsides — Remember the period of time where if you opposed the Iraq War, you were “objectively pro-Saddam.” US war hawks on both sides of the aisle have a hell of a lot to answer for. What most Americans have never understood is that the Iraq War especially was a creation of Republican think tanks for political gain. Despite the vicious faux-patriotic rhetoric, the real, underlying logic for attacking Iraq was never about national defense or 9-11, it was about GOP electoral gains and affirming the conservative worldview. Google “Project for a New American Century”, or “Iraq Study Group” if you don’t believe me. Thanks, GOP. Besides a second term for George W. Bush, what did we get for our $4 trillion and our thousands of dead and the hundreds of thousands of civilian dead?

?otD: Chocolate or bacon?

Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (Sekrit Projekt)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (solid)
Weight: 230.4
Currently (re)reading: A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin