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[links] Link salad checks into the Tabard in Southwark

35 Nerdy Cards Against Humanity Cards To Add To Your Deck

Digital Steamboat Willie — Uh…

Lincoln Blimp: 1930

A Map of the World’s Most Dangerous Countries for Drivers — The headline is misleading (the headline editor clearly did not read the whole piece), as this article draws an inverse correlation about cause of death around the world that is fascinating.

The Shrink & The Sage: Should we fear the worst?‘People cope with what they consider disasters much more positively than they would have guessed’

Tracing Ancestry, Researchers Produce a Genetic Atlas of Human Mixing Events

Intel’s Sharp-Eyed Social Scientist

For Mice, and Maybe Men, Pain Is Gone in a FlashResearchers find a way to turn pain on, and off, with a beam of light.

Glass, DarklyFor its wearable computer to be accepted, Google must convince people that the device isn’t creepy.

Promoting Public Policy Programs…with Puppets

Woman Arrested Nine Years After Failing to Return Rented Video

Kerry Blasts Climate Denialists, equates Climate Change with Terrorism, WMDs

This is what actual ‘religious liberty’ looks like

The Changing Face of Christian PoliticsAmong 16- to 29-year-old non-Christians, Christians were viewed as “anti-gay” (91 percent), judgmental (87 percent), hypocritical (85 percent), sheltered (78 percent) and—surprise—”too political” (75 percent). In 2010, respected academics David Campbell and Robert Putnam’s landmark book, American Grace, concluded that partisan politics was directly to blame for the rise of religiously unaffiliated Americans. Interesting read. Unfortunately, this article is far, far too kind to the Christian right and measured by its words and deeds, such as the recent Kansas anti-gay bill.

Breaking the DichotomyIn the wake of Prop 8 and the LDS church’s continued political involvement opposing same-sex marriage in several states in the US, a lot of members find themselves in a very difficult position. It’s more than just embarrassment, and it’s a question that a lot of people outside the church have asked with varying degrees of reasonableness. If you disagree with what they’re doing so much, why do you keep supporting them? A similar question comes, regrettably, both from outside and inside. Why don’t you just leave? A reflection from Feminist Mormon Housewives on a question I’ve often (as an outsider, obviously) wondered about.

Black Boy InterruptedOn the unfinished life of Jordan Davis. Ta-Nehisi Coates is bitterly brilliant, again.

George Zimmerman Refuses to Say Whether He Regrets Killing Trayvon Martin“Certainly, I think about that night and I think my life would be tremendously easier if I stayed home.” You mean like the 911 operator told you to? I doubt Zimmerman ever reflects how much easier, and longer, Trayvon Martin’s life would have been if Zimmerman had stayed home. Ladies and and gentlemen, your gun culture, where the power to conduct your summary execution can be tightly gripped in anyone‘s hands.

I’m anti-carThere are people who really love their cars too but don’t think that having to pay to have a license plate means that the government has become a fascist dictatorship determined to take their vehicles away from them — yet otherwise intelligent people will use that exact same argument when talking about guns.

GOP operative asks judge to delay trial until after electionsClaiming key GOP campaign strategies could be “exposed” before this year’s gubernatorial and legislative races, a Queens Republican operative wants his federal corruption trial delayed until after November’s elections. Wow, does that take some stones. What do good, honest, moral conservatives have to fear from the light of justice anyway? Look, over there, ACORN! Well, never mind. I made the mistake of expecting better of non-conservatives, but the Democrat involved has also asked for a delay for the same reasons.

Congressional Republicans focused on calming their divided ranks“We don’t have 218 votes in the House for the big issues, so what else are we going to do?” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), an ally of House Speaker John A. Boehner. “We can do a few things on immigration and work on our principles, but in terms of real legislating, we’re unable to get in a good negotiating position.” Poor GOP. Trapped in the majority, stuck with controlling the House, and unable to advance their agenda. Why would anyone vote for a political party this utterly dysfunctional?

?otD: Will you tell your tale?


2/18/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (feeling poorly)
Weight: n/a (feeling poorly)
Number of FEMA troops attacking religious liberty: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad wakes up in its own bed for a change

Arriving late to the Sous-Vide partyJersey Girl in Portland on cooking.

The Singularity is Still Closer than it Appears — A response to Ramez Naam.

Effects of bullying may add up in kids: study — Also, this just in: water is wet! Bullying sure played a huge part in my 1970s childhood, and the adult response was largely what we would now call victim-blaming. It’s shaped my whole life. Luckily for me, I wound up in a high school where I could hold my own.

Twenty-five percent of Americans don’t know the Earth revolves around the Sun, survey finds — Sigh.

Following a long road to ancient DNASvante Pääbo, the man behind the Neanderthal genome, tells his story.

How Wolves Change Rivers — I’ve run into this before. It’s still damned cool. (Via David Goldman.)

Santa’s revenge: Arctic ice may be putting US in a long, deep freezeEvidence is mounting that a warming Arctic has set the jet stream loose.

Becoming A Moral MinorityJim Hinch tracks the decline of conservative religion.

Snake Salvation pastor dies from snake bite — Uh, yeah. That’s what happens when you convince yourself that faith trumps reality. Reality doesn’t care about your sincerely held beliefs.

Dear GOP: Top 5 Biblical Marriage Moments far worse than Gay Marriage — Ah, Biblical marriage. Conservative America really doesn’t read its own faith text at all.

Seriously, what is wrong with Kansas?It’s all about ginning up feelings of persecution among so-called “values voters” … over having to surrender the long-held prerogative to persecute. Lacking any grace or humility, these demagogues won’t leave the scene until they’ve discharged all their poison into our politics.

It’s the gunsHumans get into arguments, they get in each others faces and they sometimes come to blows. There is no way to ensure that will not happen. But these minor beefs — like texting in a movie theater — would very rarely be deadly if people weren’t packing heat! That’s the real issue here. The gun nuts like to say that an armed society is a polite society. That’s just another way of saying that if you are carrying a gun you can make people do what you want them to do — stop texting, stop playing music you don’t like, stop walking through the night with with some candy and a drink from 7-11, even “that’s my parking spot.”

Stand Your Ground is simply an invitation to more killing, not less crimeWe found that homicide rates in states with a version of the Stand Your Ground law increased by an average of 8 percent over states without it. Actual research, with actual “facts” and “data”, firmly backing what I and many other liberal-progressives have long thought about Stand Your Ground laws. This will of course mean nothing to gun rights enthusiasts, whose right to use deadly force at their sole discretion trumps my safety and yours.

White Men’s Freedoms and Black Men’s LivesThe research found that [Stand Your Ground] laws increase the likelihood that a homicide will be considered “justified,” but only in cases where a white person is accused of killing a black person.

A Bitter Valentine’s Day — A letter from inside Guantanamo Bay prison. Your tax dollars at work. (Via [info]danjite.)

?otD: Sleep well?


2/17/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (fitful and in pain)
Body movement: n/a (feeling poorly)
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 is a Melkotian object

Green, Book Review — Not so much with the liking of my novel.

It’s happening again! — My dear friend [info]garyomaha talks about the costs of segmentation in media and society.

Red Hong Yi renders Chinese scenes from makeup — Impressive. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Lego Hell — Oh, wow. Hahaha. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Chandre Oraon, Man With Tail, Worshipped As God (But Not By His Wife)

33 Powerful And Creative Print Ads That’ll Make You Look Twice — Some of these are amazing. Some are questionable. They’re all worth looking at. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Wildly detailed drawings that combine math and butterflies — Amazing stuff.

Photos by Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji in Iran of mosque art — (Via Lisa Costello.)

Genome Surgery — Here comes the future.

NASA Mars Orbiters spots clues to possible water flows

Star Wars planets migrate into position around stellar pairsTatooine orbited two stars; now researchers believe planets like this actually exist.

Australian researchers say they have found the oldest star in the known universe, 6000 light years from Earth

Does a More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex? — Wow are there a lot of unexamined cultural assumptions embedded in this article, especially around the supposed natural inviolability of monogamy.

NRA Board Member: Bullied Children Commit Suicide Because Young Boys Have Been “Neutered” — Ah, the magical sense of social responsibility that comes with gun ownership.

My Baby and AOL’s Bottom LineThat “distressed baby” who Tim Armstrong blamed for benefit cuts? She’s my daughter.

Greenland glacier sets glacial speed recordWater pressure greases the skids for Jakobshavn, clocked at 2 meters per hour.

Business as usual + sea level rise = losses of up to 9% of global GDPBut losses should be less if we’re not dumb enough to keep building on coasts.

Sowing Seeds: An Ex-Christian’s Thoughts on the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debateee, there’s this stereotype in Christian culture (and elsewhere) that atheists are joyless, unhappy God-haters with hearts full of anger and lives devoid of purpose. That makes loss of faith a scary prospect, because who wants a life like that? Just by being himself, letting his love of science shine through, Nye demonstrated how joy, wonder, excitement, passion, and purpose — all things religious people tend to associate with service to God — can be a part of an atheist’s life. (To be fair, I don’t know for sure what Nye’s beliefs are, but Creationist fundamentalism does rather tend to lump together evolution belief and atheism, along with homosexuality, Communism, and baby-eating.) Yes, this. Atheists can be and often are moral, ethical, joyful people. Just as with any group of human beings. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

I’m a Member of the American ‘Used-to-Haves’Watching John Boehner and the Republican Congress during the past few years has been a stunning confirmation of their seeming disregard for the “Used-to-Haves.” As they pull down salaries of $174,000 a year, unparalleled benefits and the option of voting themselves a raise, their selfishness is unrivaled as they barricade health care reform, knowingly shut down the government, cut SNAP benefits and eliminate extended unemployment payments.

A commentor responds to my post on the 1% and hard work — Worth the read, as he has personal experience at multiple levels of the economy, unlike myself. I’ve never held those hard, low-end jobs, not even in my student job days. My first paid jobs were as a government clerk, then as a bank courier.

Tree Lobsters on economic inequality — Be sure to read the mouseover text.

Chastened G.O.P. Tries to Foil Insurgents at Primary LevelOne of the biggest challenges for Republican leaders in the 2014 midterm elections will be how to hang on to the Tea Party support that has been so instrumental to the party’s growth, while winning back voters alienated by hard-right candidates. I dunno. Maybe by not taking hard-right positions? Confidential to GOP in America: Try the evidence-based worldview for a change. You’d be amazed how differently things look when you factor in facts, data and actual history instead of an “unskewed” ideological narrative.

Tea Party Ain’t Over Yet: How Conservatives Still Control Congress — It seems like not so long ago that people in my end of the blogosphere were angrily defending the Tea Party as an independent, non-partisan grass roots movement. How’d that work out?

Leave The Poets AloneTrey Gowdy is a member of the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives. As such, Trey Gowdy is dedicated to working the job of governing the country as little as possible. When you elect people who think government is a failure, is it any surprise when they work for the failure of government? That such nonsensical thinking has achieved such political prominence in America is one of the great shames of our time.

Welfare StateWashington’s Republican counties depend on Western Washington’s money. How can they survive the state budget cuts they demand? Welcome to conservative America, where evidence-based thinking is proudly rejected. And yes, this phenomenon of rural conservatives opposing the very tax structure that benefits them most based on counterfactual ideological beliefs about the direction in which the money flows repeats within many states across the US, as well as at the state/Federal level. As the article comments, The irony here is not that those who benefit most from state spending are paying the least; that’s kinda the way these things are supposed to work. No, the irony is that those rural communities that are most dependent on the state—whose roads and schools and other essential public services couldn’t possibly be maintained without generous state subsidies—are also those least likely to vote for the tax dollars necessary to sustain these services. (Via David Goldman.)

CBO: Guys, We Didn’t Say Obamacare Would Cost 2.5 Million Jobs — Hmm. Unthinkable that the GOP should substantially misrepresent an important ACA point in a way that casts an unfavorable light on the president. Conservative intellectual honesty and moral probity would never permit such a thing.

?otD: How many to beam up?


2/11/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
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 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 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 see them every night in tight blue jeans in the pages of a blue boy magazine

The Allure of the Map — Map, meet territory. (Snurched from Scrivener’s Error.)

The History of Smoked BrisketIt’s definitely not what you’d expect. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Grand Canyon ‘formed recently’

Holocaust Told in One Word, 6 Million Times

Audi Bets on Bio Gasoline Startup — Gas in a jar someday, grown in your own home.

Climate scientist’s defamation suit allowed to go forwardCalling a scientist a fraud could be defamatory. If climate change skeptics had good attacks on the data, they wouldn’t need to resort to ad hominem attacks on the investigators. If you know someone who’s on the fence about climate change, point that out to them.

Double Homicide Victims’ Names ReleasedDeputies say he admitted to shooting the two men because he thought they were trespassing on his property. Sheriff McComas says the land actually belonged to Garrick Hopson. He had just purchased it and was showing his brother where he and his family were planning to build their new home in the coming weeks. Yup. Guns definitely make us all safer.

Colo. GOP propose election law changesColorado Republicans are taking aim at a new requirement that every registered voter get a ballot by mail. A system which has worked very well here in Oregon, with voter fraud rates almost immeasurably low (though there has been registration fraud, oddly perpetrated mostly by Republican operatives) and improving turnout. I cannot imagine what the GOP would have against fraud-free, high-turnout system.

?otD: Do you want to go out with a lion’s roar?


1/27/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (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 has no idea where the hell it is today

Water Spout at Liguria, Italy

Religious meteorology needs more rigorous science — Man, this is hilarious.

Get off my lawn or I’ll shoot you dead — Mmm. Gun safety.

Former conservative hero and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell indicted — Because character counts.

Little has changed year after GOP’s planned reboot“The issue that remains an open book for the Republicans is: What is the character of the party?” said Ari Fleischer, a top aide to President George W. Bush, who helped author the report of the “Growth and Opportunity Project. “Are we a more inclusive and welcoming party yet?” Uh… Self awareness much?

Florida GOP House Candidate: President Obama Should Be Executed

It Is Expensive to Be Poor Minimum-wage jobs are physically demanding, have unpredictable schedules, and pay so meagerly that workers can’t save up enough to move on. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

?otD: Did you wake up in the same state you went to sleep in?


1/22/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 3.0 hours (non-contiguous)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad swears by its pretty floral bonnet

Der verborgene Hof — A review of the German edition of Green. Insofar as I can tell, the reviewer wasn’t too thrilled.

WCMX: Taking Wheelchairs To New Heights — I am boggled. (Thanks to Lis.)

Smoking Is Worse Than You Imagined

Manufacturing OrgansHarvard Bioscience spin-off is stepping up its production of synthetic tracheas to supply clinical trials.

Defying Japan, Rancher Saves Fukushima’s Radioactive Cows — (Thanks to Dad.)

What scientific idea is ready for retirement — This makes for some interesting reading. (Snurched from Scrivener’s Error.)

Is the Universe Made of Math?

Hibernating spacecraft Rosetta to awaken for comet chase

Rising Tide Is a Mystery That Sinks Island Hopes — Weird story about a Caribbean lake. (Thanks to Dad.)

Men with sledgehammers rob crowded Memphis mall — Proving that yes, you don’t need a gun to commit a crime. But how many people were killed with sledgehammers last year?

Whose Economic Recovery Is It?

19 things conservatives insist on comparing to slavery

?otD: How tight are your pants?


1/19/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.75 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 239.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!: 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 wonders why some people bother

Explaining various linguistic fields using donuts — Hahaha.

The Death Bet In it’s pure form, the death bet is just that, a bet that when the bill comes due, you’ll be dead. If you live a good life and die owing millions, well, what do you care? But someone will pay that bill. Maybe it will be your creditors, who might even go out of business, unable to collect what they are owed. Perhaps it will be your heirs, if the millions adhere to property. Perhaps it will be someone you don’t even know. But someone will pay. The good life, bought by debt, is always paid for. Speaking as someone who is currently and rapidly dying, boy do I see this. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

How The Friendship Paradox Makes Your Friends Better Than You Are The friendship paradox is the empirical observation that your friends have more friends than you do. Now network scientists say your friends are probably wealthier and happier too.

Ancient fossil shows evolution of fins to feet on Ellesmere Island

Weighing particles at the attogram scaleNew device from MIT can measure masses as small as one millionth of a trillionth of a gram, in solution.

U.S. Long Range Bomber B-17E, “The Flying Fortress” — I have always had a soft spot for these old aircraft identification posters.

Making Jesus’ name a banner for jerksAnd that’s why the Duck Dynasty affair was a huge deal. It was a test for the Christian church. It was an incredibly easy test for the Christian church. And the white evangelical church in America failed that test. Completely, utterly failed.

The Very, Very Thin Wedge of DenialLet me make a none-too-subtle political point here. Climate change deniers in politics and in the media are overwhelmingly Republican (or “free market libertarians”, who have aligned themselves to virtual indistinguishability from the GOP, or more likely vice versa). When I write on the politics of this issue I get accused of being biased, which is ironic indeed. I didn’t start this fight, nor did I draw the partisan lines. I’m just shining a light on them. I know some pro-science Republicans, but the ones in elected office are few and far between. And no one comes to climate change denial based on a review of the evidence. It’s all ideology pretending to be sciencey enough to fool the rubes who vote Republican.

Victims identified in Portland strip club shooting — One of those rare stories where an armed bystander stops a potentially larger incident. The sort of thing gun enthusiasts tout hard in their rationalization for our rates of gun violence. Which given the actual statistics on gun violence, insofar as conservative restrictions allow them to be studied, is sort of like people who hate seat belts touting the “man thrown from burning car” stories. (Via D. Scott Frey.)

Retired officer arrested in Wesley Chapel theater shootingAn altercation between two couples at a Wesley Chapel movie theater Monday led to a shooting that left a man dead, authorities said. Over text messaging, no less. Because we are all safer with more guns. Ask any conservative, or any of the 30,000 people who die every year of gun violence.

Partisanship and DiplomacyWe just have to think back to the debate over New START in 2010 to recall how intensely Republicans opposed an utterly uncontroversial and modest arms reduction treaty simply because the administration wanted it to be ratified. The objections to the treaty were all spurious or wildly overstated, but getting enough Republicans to vote for ratification was absurdly difficult given the nature of the agreement. Remember, the Senate GOP’s top legislative priority was making Obama a one-term president. Not jobs or the economy, not national security, nothing in the national interest whatsoever. Just a partisan vendetta. And there you have the Republican political philosophy in a nutshell. In their own words.

?otD: Are other people real to you?


1/14/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 238.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad knows there is a time to dance, a time to mourn

This Guy’s Wife Got Cancer, So He Did Something Unforgettable. The Last 3 Photos Destroyed Me. — (Via Joyce Scrivner.)

Bill Keller, Get Well Soon: You’re sick — More on the criticism of people who fight their cancer battles in public. This is sad, terrible stuff. Nostalgia for the old conspiracy of silence surround serious illness is so profoundly misplaced and inhumane. (Via [info]goulo.)

Jewish Surnames Explained

Kevin Andrew Murphy on Jack Chick passing the Bechdel test with respect to gaming — Oh, wow. My head hurts.

Eating ‘Paleo?’ Don’t Forget Worms and Tubers

The ‘Nutcracker Man’ Diet: Extinct Species Of Early Human Survived on ‘Tiger Nuts,’ Not Meat

Lost Remains of Slain Ancient Queen Unearthed

African tigerfish catch swallows in flight — Yow.

A Trip to the Moon — About Georges Méliès and his 1902 movie, Le voyage dans la lune.

It’s all work and no play for SpaceShipTwo pilot on virgin flight

Virtual Museum of Decorated Windows — This architectural neepery is interesting in a slightly worry way. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Why I Bought A House In Detroit For $500 After college, as my friends left Michigan for better opportunities, I was determined to help fix this broken, chaotic city by building my own home in the middle of it. I was 23 years old. (Via Lisa Costello.)

The great decoupling: another phrase for an end to 20th century capital economics

About that consensus on global warming: 9136 agree, 1 disagrees — Climate change denial is like evolution denial. It’s a political position taken for ideological reasons which has no grounding in evidence-based reality. Consider this: no one arrives at either evolution denial or climate change denial after a dispassionate review of the evidence. There is always an ideological starting point, followed by a search for a convincing explanation to justify the desired ideology. That’s pretty much the opposite of how science works. The constant conservative pretense otherwise is a disgrace to American politics, media and education, and a clear and present danger to our national interests. (Via Scrivener’s Error.)

Fossil Fuels causing Antarctic Glacier to Melt Irreversibly, raise Sea Levels — Nothing to see here, citizens. Move along. Just liberal “facts” and “data”, which as any good conservative knows are lies from the pit of Hell.

Beyond Fire and Brimstone — A different view of the Christian ethic of eternal torment. (Thanks to [info]daveraines.)

Catholic Church Didn’t Have a ProblemIt simply never occurred to the Catholic Church to oppose health care plans that offer contraceptive coverage until opposing the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act became a priority for the Republican Party. Nice to see America’s Christian leadership upholding Biblical standards, which by amazing coincidence swiftly evolve to repeatedly coincide with the conservative political agenda. Smug Republican Jesus smiles upon them. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Chemical Spill Shuts Down Much Of W.Va. Capital — Remember kids, regulations are always bad for the economy. That’s the most important thing. Only stupid liberal moonbats care about drinkable water when there’s quarterly profits at stake.

Keeping Public Buildings Free of Guns Proves Too Costly for Kansas TownsReasoning that more guns mean greater safety, Kansas lawmakers voted last year to require cities and counties to make public buildings accessible to people legally carrying concealed weapons. Because 30,000 gun deaths a year is a small price for you and I and everyone else in America to pay for gun owners’ illusion of safety, that’s why.

Road Rage Victim Made Multiple 911 Calls — Another proud gun owner acting in theoretical defense of his essential liberties by slaughtering an innocent driver. Ask any conservative: more guns means more safety. Now ask the victim.

Coffee With RefugeesIn Lebanon’s Mountains, Syrians Face a Grim Future. (Snurched from The Nib.)

Anatomy of an Obamacare ‘horror story’ — Surprise! Conservatives lie about the ACA, Your Liberal Media does no fact checking. Hmm, the sun must have risen in the east this morning. Also, water is wet. (Via David Goldman.)

Democracy and the Christie phenomenonHe is leading up to an explanation as to why people like the bullying tough guy types such as Chris Christie — they are looking for someone to “take charge” in a world in which they feel a loss of control. That’s a pretty good encapsulation of the whole of modern conservatism. That’s what people wanted from Reagan, after all.

Fox’s Hume: Christie Seen As A Bully Because He’s An “Old Fashioned Guy’s Guy” In Today’s “Feminized Atmosphere” — Actually, Christie is seen as a bully because he’s a bully. Pure and simple. To some people, especially many conservatives longing for a powerful authority figure, that’s admirable manliness, but those people who admire this behavior are wrong and frankly a bit sick in the head.

?otD: Is there a time for peace? Is it too late?


1/13/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.75 hours (interrupted fitful)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 238.8
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)