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[links] Link salad didn’t know you were looking for more than it could ever be

“Hemingway” on Hemingway — Who the hell would use an app to evaluate their writing quality?

1966 Batman Valentines — Hahaha.

Compulsory Coupling: Fit In By Finding Someone — Yeah, this.

Snow Bird: 1922 — Some photographs defy explanation.

Austin’s Moon Towers, Beyond ‘Dazed and Confused’ — I lived in Austin 18 years, almost all of them in the old part of town where these towers still stand.

Frozen Venice – in pictures — (Via Lisa Costello.)

Bobsleds in ManhattanWhy NYC Should Host The Winter Olympics. Hahahah.
Global Geologic Map of Ganymede — In case you need one.

A little ass music: Hieronymus Bosch’s 500-year-old butt song from hell — This is so weird. (Via Lisa Costello.)

248-Million-Year-Old Fossil Shows Oldest Reptile Live Birth, Chaohusaurus Was Born ‘Head First’

The Rise of the Crazy Ants — Fire ants were bad enough. Now this? (Via David Goldman.)

The French way of cancer treatment[T]he French system is basically like an expanded Medicaid. Pretty much everyone has insurance, it explained, and the French get better primary care and more choice of doctors than we do. It also turns out, as has been much commented on, that despite all this great treatment, the French spend far less on healthcare than Americans. But Socialism is evil! No matter that people live longer, with better quality of life, for less cost. (Snurched from Alexander Unwyn Cherry.)

Cartoon: The truth about numbers: Bible Math! — Snerk. The dangers of literalism.

Kansas’ Anti-Gay Segregation Bill Is an Abomination — Wow. It’s very, very hard for me to read about something like this and not reach some very harsh negative conclusions about the intelligence, morality and basic human decency of American conservatives. (Via John Sapienza.)

Herpin: ‘A good thing’ that James Holmes had 100-round magazineRepublican state Sen. Bernie Herpin raised the ire of an Aurora theater shooting victim’s father when he claimed that it might have been “a good thing” that gunman James Holmes had a 100-round magazine when he opened fire and, ultimately, killed 12 people. I cannot even bring myself to snark about this.

Schofield man who advocated for open carry jailed, accused of making gun threats — Because guns make us all safer, and every American who carries deadly force can absolutely be relied upon to use that threat of deadly force wisely under all circumstances.

Doctors: Abortion laws carry riskEven those who oppose abortion say that before giving their best medical advice, they may need to call a lawyer. All in accordance with that bedrock conservative principle of not letting the government come between you and your doctor.

[Conservative activist] Brent Bozell urges liberal media to ‘tell the truth,’ while he fibs about writing a column — “Forced ghostwriting”?

Sen. Bob Corker can’t stand the United Auto Workers: An annotated interview — I wish more journalists would do this when interviewing politicians: annotate the lies and misrepresentations. (Snurched from John Sapienza.)

[New York Republican state legislator] Thomas Barraga: No one ‘should ever ride a bicycle’ in Suffolk County — Because freedom, I guess.

?otD: Do you have to stay?


2/14/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.5 hours (mostly solid)
Body movement: 20 minutes stationary bike (resuming exercise post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block who aren’t descended from monkeys: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad has a full life, if a trifle banal

A Non-Binary Person’s Guide to Invented Pronouns

This Movie Works Whether You Play It Backward or Forward — A visual palindrome. (Via David Goldman.)

Sartre & Peanuts — Huh. (Snurched from David Wilford.)

San Francisco’s Class War, By the Numbers

A Winter Olympics Venn Diagram — Hahahahah.

How to Design an Interstellar Communications System If we want to communicate with other civilisations, it turns out that the laws of physics, the nature of interstellar space and a little common sense place surprisingly strict bounds on how this communication can take place.

SETI at the Particle Level

Satellites Spot Whales From SpaceThis new method could help researchers remotely count and keep track of whale populations. Mmm, space whales.

Giant leap for nuclear fusion as scientists get more energy out than fuel put in150 picoseconds of scientific breakthrough, though “ignition” remains a distant goal.

Probe to use Prehistoric Pigment Shield for Solar PlungeEuropean scientists designing the upcoming Solar Orbiter — a mission that will swoop deep inside the sun’s atmosphere (the corona) to carry out an unprecedented solar observing campaign — didn’t turn to science fiction for help, however. They’re using a technology that was available during prehistoric times to protect the spacecraft from the sun.

This is why we have two nostrils, rather than a single, large hole in the middle

Ancient native boy’s genome reignites debate over first Americans — And then there’s Kennewick Man.

Southeast U.S. Battered by Another Winter StormThis storm doesn’t disprove global warming any more than it getting dark at night disproves the existence of the Sun.

Planet, Oceans Burning Up: There is no “Pause” in Global Warming

Dear Creation Museum, all science is “historical science.” Here’s whyThe sort of selective reasoning—miracles don’t happen when there’s lab equipment nearby, but they have made anything more than a few centuries old completely inaccessible to scientific analysis—quite reasonably raises questions about whether researchers who hold this view can be relied on to do solid science, as does their lack of self-awareness that keeps them from recognizing that they are doing historical science. Their apparent willingness to throw the scientific method under the bus as soon as it conflicts with their personal beliefs is concerning as well.

Christian School Faulted for Halting Abuse StudyFor decades, students at Bob Jones University who sought counseling for sexual abuse were told not to report it because turning in an abuser from a fundamentalist Christian community would damage Jesus Christ. Administrators called victims liars and sinners. Tell me again how atheists are immoral? Help me understand why this version of the Christian worldview is somehow better than simple, honest humanism? ‘Cause I’m really not seeing it here.

Kentucky must accept out-of-state gay unions“Assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons,” wrote Heyburn, an appointee of Republican President George H.W. Bush. The very same people who threaten to take up arms over every perceived possible slight to their freedoms ought to understand that. But they don’t. Even so, another bigotry domino falls, another step forward for freedom, justice and American values.

U.S. Takes a Sharp Drop in World Press Freedom RankingsThe United States took a nasty drop in the World Press Freedom rankings, released on Wednesday by the media group Reporters Without Borders, falling 14 spots to the 46th best country for journalist freedoms. Of the 180 countries ranked, the home of the First Amendment now sits snuggled between Romania and Haiti.

How Obama Officials Cried ‘Terrorism’ to Cover Up a Paperwork Error — A crazy story about everything that’s wrong with our National Security regime. Headline is a bit misleading, as the problem started in 2004 in the Bush administration, but the Obama administration continued to cover it up. (Via David Goldman.)

How a Purse Snatching Led to the Legal Justification for NSA Domestic Spying — Because security! (Via David Goldman.)

Senate passes debt-ceiling plan in blow to conservatives — The profoundly unpatriotic nihilists in the House GOP caucus take on on the chin. A very modest victory for good government and good sense.

Rand Paul v Barack Obama: A prelude to 2016 — As much as Rand Paul is a profoundly unpatriotic nihilist as well, he’s got a point about the surveillance state. Not that moderates and progressives haven’t been crying foul.

Is one of “the crazy ones” behind a threatening email sent to House Republicans? What makes “the crazy ones” crazy, in fact, is that they genuinely believe the cynical lies — about government debt, global warming, taxes, healthcare, immigration, Democratic Party fiscal policies and so on — that the non-crazy ones have been feeding the rubes for years. Mind you, “one of the crazy ones” is a description by a House Republican of other House Republicans.

?otD: Have any Cardassian laundry lists?


2/13/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.5 hours (mostly solid)
Body movement: 20 minutes stationary bike (resuming exercise post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block who aren’t descended from monkeys: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad has got bananas, watermelons and peaches by the pound

Photographer Gets A-List Celebrities To Reenact Stunning Scenes From Disney Movies — Annie Leibovitz with some amazing stuff. (Via Lisa Costello.)

An open letter from a Death Star architect — Hahaha. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Agloe, the Paper Town Stronger than Fiction — An odd twist on a well-known story, for you map geeks.

Researchers Watch As Our Brains Turn Sounds Into Words — Ok. This is cool.

Seattle construction workers unearth mammoth tusk

Good luck trying to escape a hungry crocodile by climbing a treeResearchers discovered that four crocodile species climbed trees.

The Archaeology of the Stars — More on hunting for very ancient stars. (Thanks to Dad.)

4 Crazy Gay Marriage Predictions That Never Came TrueIt’s time to take a look at some of predictions and see if any have come to fruition. Guess what?

Nevada Officials Won’t Defend Gay Marriage Ban“After thoughtful review and analysis, the state has determined that its arguments grounded upon equal protection and due process are no longer sustainable.“ Another bigotry domino falls in the face of personal freedom and American values.

Now They’re Making the Homeless Freeze to Death in PensascolaPensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward has reversed positions on a city ordinance that makes it a crime for the homeless to sleep on public property with a blanket. I’m pretty sure the Bible has something to say about this in Matthew 25:36. I realize Jesus wasn’t up on current American conservative thinking when he talked about clothing the naked, but the principle seems clear. (Via David Goldman.)

GOP Report Acknowledges That The U.S. Military Couldn’t Have Changed Benghazi Outcome — Republicans formally acknowledging in writing that neither Hillary nor Obama did anything wrong in the Benghazi matter? Yeah, that will be all over Your Liberal Media.

?otD: More better than in town?


2/12/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.0 hours (multiply interrupted)
Body movement: 15 minutes stationary bike (resuming exercise post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block who aren’t descended from monkeys: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad doesn’t know why they changed it, it cannot say

Come Support the Jay Lake Auction at RadCon, Sunday at 1pm! — That’s today, in Pasco, WA.

The 2014 Sony World Photography Awards — (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

This goat simulator looks like maybe the best video game ever — Uh…

This Crow Is The Smartest Bird You’ve Ever Seen — (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

How the vastly improbable has determined what animals got where — Personally, I’ve always wondered why the North American bird census is so different west of the Rockies.

Deep sea (mesopelagic) fish biomass 10 times more than previously thought

ICE/ISEE-3 to return to an Earth no longer capable of speaking to it — This is poetic and strange.

Young American adults abandon religion in record numbers

Understanding Polygamy — The comment thread on this Feminist Mormon Housewives post is very strange and difficult to read if you don’t share their Mormon faith framework.

Pat Robertson begs Ken Ham to shut up“Let’s be real,” Robertson begged, “let’s not make a joke of ourselves.” Uh, Pat, the reality-based community appreciates the sentiment, but you’re way too late for that.

Babylonian Tale of Round Ark Draws Ire From Christian Circles — Ah, literalism.

Three endangered whooping cranes shot in US — See guns make everything better! And everyone who carries deadly force is socially responsible, and so completely trustworthy.

Justice Department To Launch Push For Full Recognition Of Same-Sex Marriage — Another push on the row of bigotry dominoes. Just as with evolution denial, this is a one-sided “issue” without a credible argument against.

Republican Official Says Gays Should Be Purged From GOP, Blames Homosexuality On Satan

8 Former Republicans Who Ditched the Extremist GOP

?otD: Did people just like it better that way?


2/9/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.75 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 10 minutes stationary bike (resuming exercise post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block who aren’t descended from monkeys: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad gazes across the frigid Atlantic at the sunrise

Come Support the Jay Lake Auction at RadCon, Sunday at 1pm! — Ah, my friends.

Photos: Time Capsule Mansion Opened After 100 Years — Wow… (Via Lisa Costello.)

A Venn diagram cartoon — Hahahah.

The Patient, the Provider, and Participatory Medicine—Are We a House Divided? — (Snurched from Casey Quinlan.)

A Creepy Medical Tour Of The Past — I’m not sure I’d describe all of these as creepy, but they are fascinating.

Apple fires up new furnaces for iPhone 6’s sapphire screenUnbreakable screen tech heading Apple’s way.

Young Salmon Born Knowing Migration Route Without any prior migration experience, juvenile Chinook salmon can find their way to ancestral feeding grounds by using the Earth’s magnetic field and an inherited internal map, according to a new study.

Earliest footprints outside Africa discovered in Norfolk

Nasa’s Mars Curiosity Rover’s First Photo Of EarthThe distance between Earth and Mars when Curiosity took the photo, which includes the moon, was about 99 million miles.

Night Hides the World — Another beautiful night sky image, with an interesting explanation, from APOD.

Thoughts on Planetary Migration

Seeing science: The year’s best visualizationsThe National Science Foundation and Science name 2013’s best.

Calvin & Muad’Dib on religion — I love this piece, and I love this series.

Answers for Creationists — Phil Plait answers the Creationist questionsposted after the Bill Nye-Ken Ham “debate”, with grace and patience.

Alabama Chief Justice Jumps Into Gay Marriage FightMoore said that “a great majority of the American people want to hold to the definition that a marriage is between a man and a woman. Uh, no. Not if you believe the polling or voting patterns. Of course, if you decide to believe that polls are skewed and elections are stolen, then I guess evidence doesn’t matter.

Stupid Irish Homophobes and Their Big Homophobic Fail — This is very similar to conservative dialectic in this country.

Assault on California Power Station Raises Alarm on Potential for TerrorismApril Sniper Attack Knocked Out Substation, Raises Concern for Country’s Power Grid. I have seen coverage on this before, but I’m amazed at how little. Perhaps because firearms were involved, rather than explosives. Somebody was out exercising their right to a theoretical defense of essential liberties. (Via [info]danjite.)

Dread Pirate Roberts 2.0: An interview with Silk Road’s new bossNew leader wants Silk Road to publish gov’t secrets; calls old DPR a “fraud.” This is very strange, as is everything to do with the Deep Web, which is incredibly science fictional while also being quite real.

Lobbying is a Lucrative Investment, Researchers Find Using CRP Data — Duh? (Via [info]danjite.)

Six Economic Benefits of the Affordable Care Act

Still don’t have health insurance? The Obama administration is trying to find you.

GOP Rep: Even Jesus Couldn’t Control House Republicans — Hahaha.

?otD: Did you get weathered out of work or school today?


2/7/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.25 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

[links] Link salad watches the Atlantic

Intimate Portraits of BeesResearchers take advantage of photography technology developed by the U.S. Army to capture beautiful portraits of bees native to North America. (Via Marta Murvosh.)

A Valuable ReputationAfter Tyrone Hayes said that a chemical was harmful, its maker pursued him.

New rule allows patients to get test results directly from labs, without doctors’ clearance

Fighting cancer isn’t all about personal lifestyle but the environment we live in

Cancer cases set to rise by half by 2030: UN — Yeah, well. Some days I know I’m just another statistic in a government chart.

Older than oldest of 7 Wonders: 4,600 year old step pyramid uncovered in Egypt

New laser-printed material is lighter than water, as strong as steelAn internal structure like that of bone keeps the material porous but tough. This article also includes an incredibly cool chart of material strength and density which ought to be of interest to anyone writing hard SF.

Soon, the Coldest Place in the Known Universe Will Be on … the International Space Station“We’re going to explore temperatures far below anything found naturally.”

Atlanta Storm Was a Government Conspiracy? Snow Way!Unless folks can learn from their mistaken ideas, this kind of thinking is dangerous. We know that political parties and ideologically based “think tanks” will spread disinformation that gets absorbed by the public through various media. That’s no tinfoil-hat theory, that’s fact—you only need to read about the history of the tobacco industry (and now the fossil fuel industry) to see this. I draw your attention to the Texas Republican Party platform in 2012, which explicitly opposed teaching critical thinking skills.

Winter Heat Swamps AlaskaIn January 2014, record-breaking heat left Alaskans dealing with unseasonable bouts of rain and avalanches.

‘In God We Trust—but We Have Put Our Faith in Our Guns’Florida teenager Jordan Davis was shot by Michael Dunn after an argument over music. His mother, Lucia McBath, talks about losing her son and her fight against Stand Your Ground laws. Read this, especially if you’re one of those people who believes guns make us all safer.

Everything Is Like Slavery, Except Slavery — If it wasn’t so grimly sad and offensive, this conservative fixation with comparing pretty much every political initiative they disapprove with slavery would be funny. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Republicans, Democrats, and Trust in the Government

Coca-Cola’s Multicultural Super Bowl Ad Really Angered Conservatives — Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

Coca-Cola Critics Have Never Heard of ‘E Pluribus Unum’The rage directed at the Super Bowl ad with “America the Beautiful” sung in foreign languages shows some people can’t get on board with the future.

Times Are A-Changin’: Republicans Now The Key To Gay Marriage Fight — I find this piece to be wildly optimistic, given the GOP’s core electoral strategy of generating angry white guys, but I hope I’m wrong.

Republicans Are Advancing Their War on Public Education — Old news here, but it never stops.

Trick Websites Dupe Democrats Into Donating To RepublicansWhen a crop of mock sites cropped up last month, the NRCC defended its actions as perfectly legal. Character counts, as some political party or another used to frequently remind us.

?otD: When you stare into the ocean, does the ocean stare back at you?


2/4/2014
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 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)

[politics] The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice

I’m not convinced that the universe actually does bend towards justice, but there’s been a reasonable approximation of that here in the West since the Enlightenment. Other cultures, other paths, but that’s the one I’m familiar with.

When you look at the moral arc of the history of the United States, something almost startling very rapidly becomes clear.

When it came to slavery, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to Jim Crow, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to women’s suffrage, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to child labor, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to workplace safety, paid time off, and forty-hour work weeks, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to the Great Depression, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to the New Deal, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to entering World War II to fight fascism, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to racial integration, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to interracial marriage, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to the minimum wage, and every effort since to raise the minimum wage, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to women’s economic independence and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to women’s safety on issues such as marital rape, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to making healthcare accessible to as many citizens as possible, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

Every single one of those issues was promoted by progressive reformers. Every single one of those issues was opposed by the conservatives of the day. Viciously so in many cases. Violently so in some.

Given the track record of conservatives over the past two centuries, why should we believe them now about gay marriage? Or equal pay for equal work? Or income inequality?

Why should we believe conservatives on any issue of social justice?

They’ve been on the wrong side of history every time.

[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 wakes up in its own bed

Jay Lake livre son génome — I love the translation of my attribution, The author of the largely unknown Jade…

Neanderthals ‘could speak like us’ — “Ooh-bi-doo, I wan’na be like you / I want to walk like you, talk like you, too…“ Everybody sing!

Dutch masters paintings deconstructed — This is pretty intense.

Will Commercial Space Travel Blast Off in 2014?

Big Dig West — Wow, this is serious stupidity up in Seattle, thanks to WSDOT.

Back in the Pulpit After Losing His Church, and Still Supporting Gay Marriage

Cosmas IndicopleustesCosmas composed his Christian Topography over a number of years, after he had retired to monastic life. He aimed at proving, contrary to prevailing Greek and some Christian theories, that the universe had the same shape as Moses’ tabernacle, that it was in the form of a cube and not a sphere. The earth was a flat, oblong table, 12,000 miles long and 6,000 miles wide, surrounded by ocean beyond which was Paradise, where Adam and Eve had lived (cf. II.43). The whole area was surrounded by high, perpendicular mountains on which the vault of heaven rested. Between heaven and earth lay the firmament, dividing the universe into two stages. God and the just dwelt on the upper level, to which man would be admitted after the Resurrection; on the lower was humanity in this life. And see here. (Thanks, ultimately, to Felix Gilman.)

Noah’s Extremely Bad Animal Husbandry AdviceBy their estimates, 16,000 land animals and birds, including dinosaurs, were on the ark. Uh, yeah. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Heat Wave Stifles AustraliaTemperatures topping 118° F, 48° C, baked eastern Australia during the final days of 2013 and first week of 2014.

Ford Exec: ‘We Know Everyone Who Breaks The Law’ Thanks To Our GPS In Your Car — Apparently there has since been a retraction. Gee, I wonder why. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Judge in “kids for cash” ruled liable for damage — It’s so rare for people who work in the judicial system to face consequences for misconduct, especially when the victims are essentially helpless and have no real social power. See our nation’s long and shameful history of essential zero consequences for prosecutorial misconduct, for example. This story continues to amaze me.

Freedom to lie[S]ome members of the court are concerned that the anti-abortion zealots are being obstructed from lying. You can’t blame them. Blatant dishonesty is a big part of the forced childbirth movement strategy and at least a handful of justices are undoubtedly fully on board with that tactic. Yeah, that whole Ten Commandment about not bearing false witness? Smug Republican Jesus gives His followers a pass on that one every time.

NJ Democrat lawmaker on traffic scandal: ‘I do think laws have been broken’ — As any Republican can tell you, rumors of a presidential blow job are far, far more politically important than abuse of power for petty political payback a part of a long term pattern of bullying and intimidation.

?otD: Did you walk alone in restless dreams?


1/12/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (extremely fitful)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 240.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad in the Arctic cold

Scrivener’s Error is funny about a lot of things, including my genome being released open source

2013 movies that pass the Bechdel test — (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

The Coolest Child Care Program You’ve Never Heard Of

Civilian Airplanes, 1914Civilian Flight in 1914 was still a new business, riding hard on the heels of the latest innovations by inventors and tinkerers. Oooh. (Thanks to Danny Adams.)

World War II’s Strangest Battle: When Americans and Germans Fought TogetherDays after Hitler’s suicide a group of American soldiers, French prisoners, and, yes, German soldiers defended an Austrian castle against an SS division—the only time Germans and Allies fought together in World War II. (Via [info]danjite.)

Is it 1914 all over again? We are in danger of repeating the mistakes that started WWI, says a leading historian — (Via Donnie Reynolds.)

160 year-old Documents Intentionally Destroyed in Franklin County, N.C. — This is a crime, in so many senses of the phrase. Including possibly literally so.

Colorado River Drought Forces a Painful Reckoning for StatesThe sinuous Colorado River and its slew of man-made reservoirs from the Rockies to southern Arizona are being sapped by 14 years of drought nearly unrivaled in 1,250 years. Nothing to see here, citizen. Just those evidence-based liberal “facts” and “data”, which as any good conservative knows are lies from the pit of Satan. Move along.

Group unveils Satan statue design for Oklahoma — A bit more on one of my favorite proposals. (Via [info]shsilver.)

Banished for Questioning the Gospel of Guns — And conservatives like to accuse liberals of “political correctness”. This is the stereotype of PC gone amok, in the heart of conservative gun culture. (Via [info]goulo.)

New York Official Freaks Out Audience While Using Handgun As A Laser Pointer — Guns make us all safer! Unless you’re a pinko freak who thinks 30,000 Americans shouldn’t have to die every year for gun owners’ illusions of safety, of course.

Supreme Court Puts Utah Same-Sex Marriage on Hold — And this is the political problem on the Supreme Court. Moderates on the bench attempt to adjudicate fairly, even against their own political interests. At least over the past two or three decades, conservatives on the bench have always followed their political interest, justice be damned.

40 Years Since Women Were Granted the Right to Credit Cards — One of those things conservatives opposed, something to note if you’re a woman who votes Republican.

The Smartest Nerd in the RoomWhy Melissa Harris-Perry is America’s foremost public intellectual, and what she means.Ta-Nehisi Coates on race, culture and media.

GOP Senate Candidate Wants To Move U.S. Capitol To Nebraska — Well, maybe not really. But the idea that Obamacare is the worst law EVAR ignores slavery, segregation, and Japanese internment, just name three things off the top of my head. Not to mention a few hundred more, almost all of them conservative ideas.

Bill Young’s first family emerges to tell their story — A Republican congressman who cheated on his wife with one of his staffers, who had his baby out of wedlock, was awarded the Family and Freedom Award from the Christian Voice, the nation’s largest conservative religious lobby. He received the award because of how he voted on “key moral issues.” And he completely wrote his three kids and all his grandkids through them out of his life. Ah, this why “values voters” always vote Republican. Because the conservative respect for the institution of marriage and the sanctity of the family always comes first, unlike those godless liberals like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama who have been married to the same women all their life.

The Agony of Frank LuntzHaving spent his career telling politicians what the people wanted to hear, Luntz now believed the people had been corrupted and were beyond saving. Obama had ruined the electorate, set them at each other’s throats, and there was no way to turn back. The man who worked for Buchanan and Gingrich, who helped write the Contract With America and was instrumental in honing the GOP’s angry white guy strategy through promoting the politics of resentment, this man thinks Obama is to blame for a divided electorate? “Stupid or evil” is almost always a valid question with Republicans, but this line of utterly self-serving bullshit can only be “stupid and evil”. Either that or the biggest failure of self-awareness since Sarah Palin thought she was fit for public office.

?otD: Could you walk outside today without the weather killing you?


1/7/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 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 is too long ago, too far apart

Russell Banks: By the BookAnything described by the author or publisher as fantasy, which to me says, “Don’t worry, Reader, Death will be absent here.” In his brief introduction to “Slow Learner,” Thomas Pynchon says he takes serious writing to be that in which Death is present. I agree. Thus speaks a man most proud of his absolute ignorance on the topic he is discussing. It’s one thing not to care for a literary genre as a matter of taste. It’s another thing to dismiss that entire genre out of hand based on a profound lack of understanding, and then pretend that dismissal is a statement of high principle. So much for Russell Banks’ intellectual honesty.

The more they stay the same! — Sherwood Smith shows us sneering at genre fiction from two and half centuries ago. Russell Banks would be pleased at his place in the pageant of tradition.

Because syntax — This one’s for all you language nerds.

Parseltongue — This one’s for all you language nerds who are Harry Potter fans.

How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood To understand how people look for movies, the video service created 76,897 micro-genres. We took the genre descriptions, broke them down to their key words, … and built our own new-genre generator. Fascinating. (Thanks to Scott Frey.)

Jay Lake #Dayton — Mmm.

This Dad Does Incredible Things To His Kids’ Lunches Every Day. I Can’t Stop Smiling! — This is cool. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Why Everyone Seems to Have Cancer — We’re living longer, basically, and not dying of other things. Then there’s the simply unlucky, like me.

30-Something Everyday Tasks You Might Be Doing ‘Wrong’

Why It’s Nearly Impossible to Castrate a Hippo — Because there are some things you just absolutely, positively need to know. (Via [info]danjite.)

No, Our Solar System is NOT a “Vortex” — That video I posted yesterday? Not so much… (Thanks to [info]ericjamesstone.)

Newly discovered three-star system could debunk Einstein’s theory of General Relativity — Maybe, maybe.

Three CubeSats Released — I love these things.

Physics Professors Search Internet for Time Travelers, Don’t Find Any — All depends on how you want to think about the causality.

The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence In some jobs, being in touch with emotions is essential. In others, it seems to be a detriment. And like any skill, being able to read people can be used for good or evil. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Social Darwinism Isn’t DeadIf you’re doing well, you believe success comes to those who deserve it, and those of lower status must not deserve it.

Why Kim Jong-un probably didn’t feed his naked uncle to 120 dogsPoe’s law definitely applies to North Korea. (Via [info]danjite.)

Winter Does Not Disprove Global Warming — Willful idiocy is a backbone of conservative thought.

Papa John’s, Applebee’s And Others Pay Huge Price For Anti-Obamacare Politicking — As much as I would love for this to be true, I have a very hard time believing that enough of the public cares about this kind of thing to be the root cause of such a decline in brand value. If most people cared that much about conservative insanity on such a large scale, we would have a very different House of Representatives right now.

Romney Wishes He Could ‘Turn Back The Clock’“They’re going to find that the doctor they’ve had, they can’t keep. They’re going to find the policies they were promised they could have, they’re not going to be able to keep. And the American people are going to be very, very upset about that.” Right. Because that never, ever happened under the old system. And Romney never lied about anything, especially not his extensive efforts to offer a superior healthcare reform. Still trying to unskew, Mittens?

Gay Marriage Opponents Call For Uprising In Utah“The people of Utah have rights, too, not just the homosexuals. The homosexuals are shoving their agenda down our throats,” Former Graham County, Ariz., Sheriff Richard Mack said at the meeting. Yes, the conservative right to hatred, bigotry and oppression is certainly being endangered by other Americans enjoying their civil rights, that is true. This attitude does not fill me with sympathy.

“Religious liberty” means never being allowed to do anything that someone else’s religion forbids, apparently — Welcome to conservative America, where their beliefs rule your life.

Liz Cheney Dropping Senate Bid — Interestingly, note that one of the key issues was Cheney’s hypocrisy over gay marriage.

The Return of the Welfare QueenRepublicans are launching a class war with racial undertones—and hurting the poor whites they’ll need to win in 2014. Launching? What the hell launching? The GOP has been waging a race-driven class war since Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy.

The Failure of the Trillion Dollar National Security State

?otD: Can you wait another day now?


1/6/2014
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)