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[links] Link salad evolves, descending from the trees to gaze across the savanna

Someone has made fake London Underground signs, and whoever did it is a ruddy genius — (Via [info]garyomaha.)

Bionic hand feels real, says amputee

The Terraced Night — A wonderful APOD image of the night sky in China.

Questions of preservation after ancient village found in downtown Miami

Why the Promise of Cheap Fuel from Super Bugs Fell ShortThe sell-off of synthetic biology pioneer LS9 goes to show that making biofuels from genetically engineered microbes has yet to deliver economically.

Is there a way to exploit the metabolic quirk of cancer? — (Via Philip Brewer.)

Scientists have likely found Charlemagne’s skeleton

Camel Bones and Jerusalem: Archeology Shows Bible written Late, Full of Errors — Speaking as an atheist, I wouldn’t describe the Bible as full of errors. It’s a faith text. The errors arise from trying to interpret a faith text as having empirical reality, taking it literally, but those are errors of interpretation, not of the book itself.

22 Messages From Creationists To People Who Believe In EvolutionI asked 22 self-identifying creationists at the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate to write a message/question/note to the other side. Here’s what they wrote. Interesting piece, misleading headline. Evolution isn’t a “belief” in the sense that creationism is a “belief”. It exists, demonstrably and provably, independently of whatever your or I might understand or hold faith in. Believing in evolution is like believing in gravity or weather.

The Creation of DebateThe people who are attacking evolution are doing so because they think evolution is attacking their beliefs. But unless they are the narrowest of fundamentalists, this simply is not true. There is no greater proof of this than Pope John Paul II—who, one must admit, was a deeply religious man—saying that evolution was an established fact. Clearly, not all religion has a problem with evolution.

Google Earth Shows You a Warming PlanetThe facts are in, and the science is clear: The planet is getting hotter. The Google Earth app will help make that even more obvious. I urge folks to get it and play with it. Facts don’t speak for themselves, but this app helps give them a voice.

The Inefficiency of Long Hours — Having worked in fields heavily dependent on punishing amounts of white collar overtime (advertising, software consulting), I understand why individual managers and executives ask this of their teams, but I have never understood why the industries as a whole, not to mention their clients, tolerate the resulting errors and inefficiencies.

The day a Special Olympian stood up to Ann Coulter for calling Obama a “retard”

Vatican ‘Regrets’ Damning UN Report On Sex Abuse — Note that the Vatican does not regret the content of the report, only that it was issued. The games continue.

A Rash of Deaths and a Missing Reporter – With Ties to Wall Street Investigations

‘America The Beautiful’ Author Is Rush Limbaugh’s Favorite Lesbian Socialist

Paul Ryan Fact-Checks Republicans On Obamacare Job ‘Costs’ — I never thought I’d say this about Paul Ryan, but good for him. Of course, the usual walkback from reality to conservative talking points will start in 3… 2… 1…

Why Jeb Bush Isn’t Going To Be the Next Republican Nominee — A conservative analysis of a question that hasn’t much yet vexed me.

?otD: Monkey around much?


2/6/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block who aren’t descended from monkeys: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[dreams] Walking into ignominy, and fish cookies

Long, complicated dream about my own impending death last night. In the manner of dreams, I have lost much of it already after waking, but the last bit remains.

I was preparing to leave this world, but for some reason I was dressed in motorcycle armor, and my death was a quest from which I would not return. I was wandering around trying to say good-bye to people I cared about, having just escaped some now-lost-to-memory threat earlier in the dream, when I realized that @jackwilliambell was following me with a pistol in his hand.

Confronting Jack, I told him to either go ahead and shoot me, or help me out. He decided to help me.

We were trying to get into the campus of a high school endowed by the late Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s. I had a bag of fish-shaped cookies I wanted to give to someone, anyone, I knew to pass on as my farewell offering to my circle of friends. But Jack and I couldn’t find our way to the front gates. Eventually we climbed some fences before trying to blend in with the student population.

I finally found @MartiMcKenna wandering around campus with some large, hunky young dude she was totally in to. I could barely get her to pay attention to me, but I finally got here to accept my fish cookies. Which her hunky dude promptly started eating.

Somewhere in there I woke up.

As usual, I don’t have much problem deconstructing my dreams. I went to boarding school when I was a kid. Dave Thomas supported adoption causes, and [info]the_child is adopted. Marti and Jack are both beloved friends of long standing associated with the writing community. I am in fact dying. Not so sure about the motorcycle armor or the fish cookies, come to think of it, other than some obvious Christian imagery around Communion, which seems remarkably egotistic, even for me in the privacy of my own dreams.

But weird and sad and amusing all at the same time. As with much of the rest of my life.

[links] Link salad for an achey Wednesday

What grocery stores can teach us about linguistics — Mmm, taxonomy and language.

The Best Response to Grammar Nazis, EverStephen Fry nails it. (Via [info]danjite.)

Lego Goes to Hollywood

Citizens seek cancer cure with “Genes in Space” smartphone game — (Via Dad.)

Most cancers in our world pandemic are preventable — here’s how

Remembrance or revision? Brain study shows memory misleads

Ethics Questions Arise as Genetic Testing of Embryos Increases

Habitability Around Ancient Stars

Cryptography Breakthrough Could Make Software Unhackable — I’m not sure I believe in “unhackable” as a concept, but this is interesting. (Via David Goldman.)

The Female Orgasm—Illustrated — Hahahah. Also: NSFW, in case that wasn’t obvious already.

Courtesy Stigma and the Consequences of Deviance — This is fascinating, and something with which I am familiar in real life.

Talking past each other: Bill Nye vs. creationist Ken Ham on evolutionArs reports on the debate over whether creation is viable as science. I really, really hate the fact that this Creationist tripe is even dignified with a debate, instead of laughed off the stage as it should be. You can believe anything you want about God and the universe, but to mistake your private faith for empirical truth is a grave intellectual and spiritual error.

U.N. Panel Assails Vatican Over Sex Abuse by PriestsA United Nations panel sharply criticized the Vatican on Wednesday for putting the reputation and interests of the Holy See above the interests of children who had been sexually abused by priests, effectively allowing priests to continue abuse and escape prosecution. In a series of hard-hitting observations, the Committee on the Rights of the Child said that “the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators.” Yeah, I can feel that moral authority from all the way over here.

California man points gun at Girl Scout at his door to sell cookies — Under the Stand Your Ground laws so beloved of conservatives, there is no test of reasonableness. Only the shooter’s own word that they felt threatened. If the victim is dead, that’s it. Who’s to say otherwise? This means that any person with a firearm in a “Stand Your Ground” state has the legal power of summary execution over any human being they encounter. Yup. Guns definitely make us all safer.

O’Reilly Tells Obama He Didn’t Need Student Loans: ‘That’s Who I Am’ — This is a common conservative meme. But when O’Reilly was young, college was much cheaper in both absolute and relative terms. Four decades of very deliberate conservative chipping away at higher education funding has made it impossible to work your way through college painting houses.

Broken Democracy: Republicans poised to take Senate, Americans Reject their PlatformThe Republican majority in the House of Representatives can already block most legislation, and in 2013 it dedicated itself the the proposition that the country must be punished for re-electing Barack Obama, by being denied virtually any new needed legislation at all.

Delusions of FailureThe truth is that the campaign against Obamacare relies on misleading stories at best, and often on outright deceit. Who pays the price for this deceit? In many cases, American families.

Arksansas Republicans hope to dump 85,000 out of Medicaid They’ll cut 85,000 people out of health care to spite President Obama.

?otD: Relax. I’ll need some information first. Just the basic facts. Can you show me where it hurts?


2/5/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad misses Philip Seymour Hoffman already

His Friends Know Him as Petroswickonicovick — On names and naming traditions in Brazil. (Via Dad.)

Ashes to Ashes, but First a Nice Pine Box — On building your own coffin. (Via Reynardo.)

Nine Treasures — Mongolian folk metal. Yo. (Thanks, I think, to [info]danjite.)

In China, ‘Once the Villages Are Gone, the Culture Is Gone’ — Changes in culture. (Via Dad.)

Lunar Time Lapse Panorama including Yutu Rover

How the Media Missed the Story of the Millennium: One Climate Blockbuster after AnotherThe fact that 97% of scientists who have weighed in on the issue believe that climate change is a human-caused phenomenon is not a story. That only one of 9,137 peer-reviewed papers on climate change published between November 2012 and December 2013 rejected human causation is not a story either, nor is the fact that only 24 out of 13,950 such articles did so over 21 years.

Hillary Clinton: ‘fun to watch FOX when it’s someone else being blitzed’

The Cheapening of American Politics: Why did Obama reward O’Reilly with an Interview?Fox cheapens our lives by reducing respect for human rights. It pushes homophobia, the restriction of women’s choice, Islamophobia, xenophobia (irrational fear of “foreigners”) and white and Christian triumphalism. It is hypocritical, in that it slams Muslims and Arabs while being 6% owned by Saudi billionaire al-Walid Bin Talal.

4 Ways Tunisia Is Now More Progressive Than The United States — (Via [info]danjite.)

Go Ahead, Try it That Way”We’re in this mess for a reason, and it’s because GOP leaders either doesn’t understand the conservative ideal (which is why they can’t articulate it), or they do understand it and simply don’t like it.” If that’s true, it’s probably the only thing “GOP leaders” and the American people have in common.

?otD: Life is precious and short enough already. Why go too soon?


2/3/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad is surprised to see the Year of the Horse

2013 Locus Recommended Reading List — Including my Audible.com novella, “Rock of Ages”.

Editor’s Desk: Support Jay Lake — Neil Clarke of Clarkesworld talks about me and my medical travails.

Are You Pooping Wrong? — (Via David Goldman.)

Henning Mankell: chronicler of his own declineAfter years of exploring Sweden’s darkest fears in his fiction, the creator of Wallander faces his own anxiety after being diagnosed with cancer. He will now chart his illness in a newspaper column. (Via Cora Buhlert.)

Smeared Skies Made from Hundreds of Stacked Photographs by Matt Molloy — “Timestack”. Now there’s a word. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Mars and Orion over Monument Valley — Mmmm.

Brain-Dead Texas Woman’s Family May Have To Pay For The Cost Of Keeping Her On Life SupportIt’s not guaranteed that Texas will actually change the arcane state law that allows hospitals to override women’s end-of-life wishes if they are pregnant. And it’s unclear who exactly will be responsible for paying the medical bills that resulted from Muñoz’s hospital stay, which stretched on for about nine weeks.

Inside the Apocalyptic Soviet Doomsday Machine — Shades of my novel The January Machine. (Thank to [info]danjite.)

Reagan and the occultRonald Reagan had an interest in lucky numbers and newspaper horoscopes. Less known is that a certain scholar of occult philosophy had a lifelong influence on the 40th president of the United States. Uh, yeah. (Snurched from Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Even the top 1% is disgusted by Tom PerkinsHowever, on the issue of economic equality in particular, I must part ways with Mr. Perkins as well as some of my other colleagues in the business community who subscribe to his simplistic, almost childlike point of view regarding the factors that are driving the emerging debate on inequality.

Christie Asks for Public’s Patience While He Comes Up with New Story — Heh.

?otD: What is your birth year in the Chinese system?


2/2/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (fitful)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad’s daddy had a car it loved to drive

A review of my short story, “King of the Kingless” — By my friend [info]talekyn.

Get Fuzzy on dialog in fiction

Pope Francis Continues Outreach, Blesses Male Stripper’s Parrot — This story was a headline writer’s dream.

Woman Gives Birth to Children, Discovers Her Twin is Actually the Biological Mother, But She is Technically Her Own Twin — Another headline writer’s dream.

How Londoners Died in One Plague-Ridden Week in 1665 — Apparently, you could die of “teeth”. Actually, that’s explained in the article, but it’s still weird. (Via AH.)

First Porsche Was An Electric Car

Jade Rabbit Says ‘Goodnight’ Before 14-Day Shutdown; Its Status Uncertain

The Biggest Stereotype Of Every State In America In One Map — I like Oregon’s label.

The Day We Lost AtlantaHow 2 lousy inches of snow paralyzed a metro area of 6 million.

Study: Many will die if Medicaid is not expandedNew report says thousands of uninsured will go without medical tests and treatments.

South Dakota bill would protect teachers who promote intelligent design — Seriously, people, this is an argument too stupid for a modern society to even be having. Not to mention, First Amendment.

Montana GOP Candidate Calls Hillary Clinton The ‘Anti-Christ’ — Wait, I thought Obama was the Anti-Christ? Seems like just a day or two ago that the Wall Street Journal was smugly talking about the liberal politics of vilification. This must be what they meant.

Even Republicans Now View The Iraq War As A Failure — Confidential to conservative America: Welcome to the reality-based community.

The House GOP’s incredible, amazing discovery: Most Americans aren’t entrepreneurs

Koch-Tied Groups Funded GOP Effort to Mess With Electoral College Rules

The Champion Barack ObamaHow Black America talks to the White House. Ta-Nehisi Coates is moving.

?otD: Were you shaking? Snapping your fingers?


2/1/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (fitful)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad watches the Cadillacs go creeping now through the night and the poison gas

The Science Fiction Author on Trial (NIH trial, that is!) fundraiser made goal. Thank you! Meanwhile, I am still in the hospital recovering from the surgery required for the first phase TIL cell harvest. We are working on some stretch goals, if you’re interested. Keep an eye out.

Jay Lake: Der verborgene Hof – DREIMAL IM PREISRÄTSEL AUF SFBASAR.DE! — More on the German edition of Green.

A Lion in the Garden — The miracle of translation.

Homophonophobia — Ah,linguistics humor.

Antique Phonograph with Stirling Engine Hot Air Motor — Mmm. Alcohol fueled phonograph! What could possibly go wrong? (Via [info]danjite.)

What reviewers said about the first Mac when it debuted 30 years ago

The 25 most common passwords of 2013

American Locomotive: 1943 — Tanks built in a train plant.

Scientific Thinking in Business More than technology, businesses need the scientific method.

Fox News Math Fail: 137% Of Likely NJ Voters Weigh In On Gov. Christie’s GWB Scandal (INFOGRAPHIC) — Hello? FOX wrong about basic things like arithmetic. This just in: water is wet. (Snurched from Steve Buhcheit.)

Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?I would call attention to the parallels of Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.” This is in the Wall Street Journal. Sometimes there simply are no words.

The Brittle Grip, Part 2 — Josh Marshall with some analysis of the Perkins piece. The extremely wealthy are objectively far wealthier, far more politically powerful and find a far more indulgent political class than at any time in almost a century – at least. And yet at the same time they palpably feel more isolated, abused and powerless than at any time over the same period and sense some genuine peril to the whole mix of privileges, power and wealth they hold. There is a disconnect there that is so massive and glaring that it demands some sociocultural explanation.

GOProud co-founder gives up, leaves Republican Party[T]his is a man who has spent five years with his hand on an oven burner suddenly phoning up a reporter and saying “You know what? Fire hot.”

Long Grove plan may pave way to privatize public roads — Living in Libertarian paradise… Me, I am the kind of pinko who likes the fire department to be able to reach my house, and the food distributors to reach my neighborhood grocery stores. (Snurched from Steve Buhcheit.)

Time To Start Asking Republicans Directly: How Much Sex Is Too Much Sex? — Since Mike Huckabee raised the issue, it’s time to start discussing it. This is a terrific beginning.

?otD: All these hunters who are shrieking now, oh do they speak for us?


1/26/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 5.0 hours (badly interrupted)
Body movement: n/a (in hospital)
Weight: n/a (in hospital)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad loves it some sticky tracklements

Journalists vs ePatient — and How It Got Ugly — Janet Freeman-Daily does a much better job of responding to the Kellers than I did.

My Personal Genome Project public profile — The other side, as it were, of my open source Whole Genome Sequencing.

Does Illumina Have the First $1,000 Genome?Illumina announces a new high-end sequencer made for “factory-scale” sequencing of human genomes. These are the guys who did my (much more expensive) sequencing last year. Hooray for advances!

‘You Have to Know History to Actually Teach It’ An interview with Eric Foner, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.

Mile marker 420 in CO changed to thwart thieves — Duuude…

The Modest Victorian Proposal to Electroplate Corpses Into Beautiful Statues — UH, yeah. Heh. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Challenger Disaster — From a family photo album. (Thanks to Reynardo the Red.)

Massive Hole Discovered Under Antarctica, Bigger Than The Grand Canyon

Melting glaciers in northern Italy reveal corpses of WW1 soldiersThe glaciers of the Italian Alps are slowly melting to reveal horrors from the Great War, preserved for nearly a century. (Via [info]danjite.)

Low oxygen blamed for complete fish loss in Nev. marina

Acceptance of global warming rises on warm days — Yeah. And polling climate change is like polling gravity or evolution. It doesn’t get any less true. Reality is indifferent to ideological willful ignorance.

Medicare Is Grievously Overpaying for Penis PumpsThe reason that Medicare is more efficient than private insurance, usually, is that it has the power to negotiate prices from suppliers. When we deny it that ability, such as with prescription drugs, the problem is far more severe than overpaying for a few vacuum erection systems. (Via David Goldman.)

As part of budget deal, Congress blocks light bulb efficiency standards — The whole conservative fixation on light bulbs is just bizarre. Especially considering the efficiency standards they hate so much as a liberal intrusion were a Bush administration initiative. On they other hand, conservatives hate the ACA, which they invented. Logic is a distinct disadvantage for what passes for thought among Republicans.

State efforts to block Obamacare are working, study findsStates whose governments are hostile to Obamacare are hindering efforts to get people signed up for health insurance, according to a study released Tuesday. Laws restricting outreach and enrollment efforts have handicapped community health centers that are a key component of plans to get health insurance to millions of Americans who lack it, researchers at George Washington University found. Because denying people affordable access to healthcare is the patriotic thing to do. Any Republican can tell you letting people get sick and die is what’s best for America, given the alternatives. (Via David Goldman.)

Oklahoma ban on gay marriage ruled unconstitutional — Gee, imagine that. What, what? Depriving a class of citizens of their basic human and civil rights is unconstitutional? Ask any conservative: persecution of people you don’t approve of is the patriotic, Christian thing to do.

Fox News creating its own political cult Fox viewers feel oppressed and victimized because they’ve been told they are being oppressed and victimized, and if facts have to be twisted and even fabricated to justify those sentiments, they and the network are clearly willing to live inside that warped reality. The conservative movement gleefully mocks the reality-based community, and clings desperately to views that are starkly contrary to any evidence-based analysis. What the hell else would you expect from the Fox audience?

Susan G. Komen’s attack on Planned Parenthood cost Komen $77m, 22% of its income — It’s so rare that right wing operatives pay any price at all for their destructive behavior. This story cheers me unduly.

County GOP Auctions Rifle In MLK’s Honor — Oh, geese, this is Portland, no less. Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

Prosecutors: This wasn’t the first blow-up for Florida theater shooter Curtis Reeves — A retired police officer, armed, in theoretical defense of his essential liberties killed a man for texting in the theater after feeling threatened by a bag of popcorn. And given conservative, pro-gun “stand your ground laws”, might even get away with it. Tell me again how guns make us all safer? Tell me again why any sane and civilized society allows millions of its citizens the power of summary execution based on their sole judgement in moments of stress? If you’re a gun owner, tell me why this is okay with you. If it’s not okay with you, tell me why you’re a gun owner. Because all I can ever see is that my life and safety are worth less than the sum of the gun culture’s fears.

?otD: Do you relish chutney?


1/15/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 238.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block closing bridge lanes for political payback: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad for the cutting edge

Jay Lake, The Cancer Journals — Matt Cheney talks about my cancer blogging. This is very moving. Thank you, Matt.

Nanoparticles catch cancer cells that make it into the blood stream

What is this article? — About blogging one’s own death. This made me sad. (Via DM.)

LingBuzzFeed: 5 Linguistically Valuable Uses For Drones — Linguist snark.

Danger: HumansTom Scott explains how terrifyingly dangerous human beings are, in the form of a educational safety video for interstellar travelers who aren’t humans. Hahah. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

The Nose Knows: An Olfactory Map of Newport, RI

Should Men’s Products Fear a Woman’s Touch?Recent research shows that loyal customers often get upset when a brand associated with men expands to include products perceived as feminine. Senior Lecturer Jill J. Avery discusses the problem of “gender contamination.” Cooties! (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

RCA Victor Record Changer 1931 Radiola Automatic Electrola RAE-26 Demonstration — This is some seriously old school tech. Cool. (Via [info]garyomaha.)

The Great Brooklyn House Snooping of 1978

Searching for Time Travelers Probably a Waste of Time — I see what they did there.

What Goes Around Comes AroundWhile North Americans contended with a blast of Arctic air, Europeans found themselves wondering where winter went.

New titleholder? China says it is world’s largest traderChina’s latest trade figures show it is “very likely” to have overtaken the US as the world’s largest trader. It would topple the position that the US has held for much of the last century and cross another milestone in rivalling the biggest economy in the world.

Biblical birth control: The surprisingly contraception-friendly Old Testament Think conservative objections to birth control are enshrined in the Bible? Think again. Ah, but true conservatives don’t read the Bible, any more than they read the Constitution. They already know what’s in there, the actual words don’t matter.

?otD: How sharp are you?


1/10/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.25 hours (fitful)
Body movement: n/a (on medical restriction)
Weight: n/a (traveling, no scale)
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad has another one, just like the other one

Hawaiian shirts, indeed — Hahahaha. (Thanks to Scrivener’s Error.)

Why tropical forests have more tree species than US and Canada combined

The Brain, in Exquisite Detail

Want Perfect Pitch? You Might Be Able To Pop A Pill For That — Really? (Thanks to [info]martang.)

The Environmental Disaster You’ve Never Heard OfAlbuquerque’s Kirtland Air Force Base jet fuel spill. Wow… (Thanks to GD.)

Global-warming-truthers, Donald Trump, Fox use record cold to `disprove` climate change“I think these scientists are laughing from their lavish laboratories and their vacations up at the arctic, and their nice boats that are well-equipped.” How do you even have rational engagement with stupidity this deep? Or willful ignorance this vile? Either way, there is no middle ground to speak of. It’s like arguing orbital mechanics with Flat Earthers.

Yes, the pope is still Catholic, despite what you heard — What I hear is not a liberal or a reformer. What I hear is a man who is calling for the Catholic Church to be humane and loving, rather than judgmental and punitive. It’s probably too much to hope for, at least here in the US given the makeup of the American bishops, but it’s a nice return to something at least vaguely resembling actual Biblical values, which I even as an atheist strongly prefer over the gospel of smug Republican Jesus.

Tripoli Residents Protest as 80,000 Rare Books in Lebanon Torched by Salafis — Another very good reason for being an atheist, given that this is the kind of conduct faith drives people to.

I Corrected a Misinformed Conservative About Obamacare. What Happened Next Will Neither Surprise You Nor Restore Your Faith in Humanity — Being a conservative these days means explicitly rejecting an evidence-based worldview in favor of ideological conviction. So there is no surprise at all that presenting a conservative with evidence that they are wrong will have no effect. It merely feeds their self-valorizing sense of injustice.

About that Country you Destroyed: A Letter to George W. Bush — It ain’t My Pet Goat, so this will be over Dubya’s head, but even if he could read it, he wouldn’t. More’s the pity.

GOP Memo Coaches Members To Show Empathy Toward Unemployed — Ah, the inherent compassion of conservatism.

Would the ‘first conservative’ recognize today’s right?

America’s real problem: Too much bipartisanship — Not how I would have thought to put it, but this article makes some interesting points. Another way to phrase the headline would have been “America’s real problem: Too much conservative consensus, not enough progressive values”, as all the examples given fit that bill nicely.

How the NSA Threatens National Security Our choice isn’t between a digital world where the agency can eavesdrop and one where it cannot; our choice is between a digital world that is vulnerable to any attacker and one that is secure for all users.

?otD: Is it espresso love?


1/8/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: n/a (traveling, no scale)
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad lays low on Sunday

Alien Abduction Lamp — I need this. (Via [info]garyomaha.)

4 Things I Learned from the Worst Online Dating Profile Ever — Wow…

100-Million-Year Old Amber Fossil Preserves Ancient Flowers Caught In The Middle Of Sexual Reproduction

Go to Jupiter for the Best French Fries

The helical model – our solar system is a vortex — A cool visualization of the solar system. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Scientists solve mystery of UFO lights appearing just before earthquakesElectrical light shows known as earthquake lights may occur at rifts, or nearly vertical faults in the Earth’s crust, new research suggests.

Living at a Time of Post Natural Ecologies

Methane release around Arctic islands predates recent climate changeAreas where methane bubbles up from seafloor have been around for centuries. Ah, science.

Government Might Deregulate Corn, Soybean Seeds — Uh, we are talking Agent Orange here. Ring any bells? (Via [info]danjite.)

What happens if authorities seize your laptop? — Too bad for you, basically. Though why the BBC is quoting the Heritage Foundation as a source on anything rational or evidence-based is beyond me. (Via Scrivener’s Error.)

The NSA refuses to deny spying on members of Congress — (Via [info]danjite.)

2014 looking to be a gay old year for anti-gay Republican Congressman Aaron SchockSo Aaron Schock is happy to affirmatively harm people based on their sexual orientation, but expects people to not affirmatively harm him based on his sexual orientation. Ah, Republicans.

Something to BeholdIt’s become something of a cliche: disabled, aged or relatively impoverished whites who literally could not survive without federal government assistance in many case nonetheless raging against Washington, “hand outs” and government dependency. It’s there with a vengeance in this article in National Journal by Beth Reinhard on GOP plans to double down on race-based class warfare as the ticket to success in the 2014 elections. When you can’t win on your ideas, fear mongering works almost as well as lying. Hence the GOP’s “generate more angry white guys” strategy, of which this is merely latest iteration. Because basing your governance on divisive hate is the patriotic thing to do!

?otD: Can you hear me, Phil?


1/5/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: n/a (traveling, no scale)
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)