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[links] Link salad thinks some they do and some they don’t

A French review of Extraordinary Engines — Including my story, “The Lollygang Save the World on Accident”.

Getting out of the way — Roger Ebert on prodigies and the creative process.

5 Timeless Books of Insight on Fear and the Creative Process — The only time I experience fear in my creative process is immediately before diving into a large scale project.

Mysterious 16th-Century Sext Discovered in Copy of Chaucer — Heh. (Via [info]danjite.)

Led by the child who simply knew — Raising a transgendered child.

Having to think about the unthinkableMost people don’t like to plan for dying, but in our state of denial, we leave ourselves vulnerable to conditions we would never want. Arrangements for the end of life are essential.

NASA is planning to use a giant crossbow and harpoon to capture samples from an asteroid. — Oh, the opportunities…

How the 10,000-Year Clock Measures Time>The Earth’s rotation is notoriously unpredictable. So how can a clock keep time for 10,000 years?

Higgs boson: the particle of faithThere are parallels between the search for the ‘God particle’ and the search for God Himself, writes Alister McGrath.

Overnight Makeover for a Kosher First Kitchen — Making the White House kitchen kosher. (Thanks to Dad.)

A common atheist delusion — This is one of my mental failings as an atheist as well. I find religious dogma so preposterous and obviously suspect that I have a lot of trouble believing that other people really believe it. My default assumption is always that they are going through the motions for some other reason. Which is an error-of-thinking on my part, to be sure.

Texas school may build protective wall after 2 students shot while trying out for basketball — See, your your Constitutionally guaranteed right to defense of essential liberties with firearms requires that rather than limit firearms use near schools, or any other sensible measure, we build walls around those schools. Because otherwise students might get shot by people out exercising their constitutional rights, and after all it’s kids’ fault for getting in the way of the bullets. This is yet another reason why I can never be a conservative. I just can’t think myself that twisted and inhumane, to believe that gun rights trump the safety of schoolchildren.

Empathy, Cont. — Ta-Nehisi Coates on culture as a toolbox. I will also note, in parallel to his observation about weight and class, that there are no overweight kids in [info]the_child‘s eight grade class, and vanishingly few in her entire school — which is a Waldorf school populated largely by the children of relatively (or heavily) monied white liberal-progressives. I am one of the few overweight parents, as well.

Non Sequitur nails contemporary politics — Read the blackboard in the background.

Physics EnvyCreating financial models involving human behavior is like forcing ‘the ugly stepsister’s foot into Cinderella’s pretty glass slipper.’

Panetta formally shuts down US war in Iraq — And we’ll just leave the money on the dresser on out way out, right?

?otd: Some you just can’t tell, right?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 9.5 (solid, plus plus napping)
Weight: 209.6
Currently (re)reading: Retief! by Keith Laumer

[links] Link salad tries to wake up

Interview: Lilith Saintcrow, author of ‘The Hedgewitch Queen’

Could This Be The End Of Cancer?It’s a disease that kills millions a year and a slew of hoped-for miracle treatments have gone nowhere. Now scientists say vaccines could hold the key—not just to a cure but to wiping out cancer forever.

Periodic Table of Swearing — Yes, this is NSFW, both visually and audibly. Funny as hell, though.

The assholocracyLanguage Log with a useful new word.

Accidental Scientist Hawks ‘Online Marketplace for Brains’ — The headline on this very cool story is a bit misleading. This is about data science crowdsourcing.

Trillion-frame-per-second video — This story makes my brain hurt. In a good way. SCIENCE!

Augmented Reality for Six-Year-OldsToy makers bring augmented reality to the masses.

Next Big Bet for Space: Airborne Rocket Launcher — This is cool. More here.

A second life for Vietnam’s bile bears

Did walking evolve underwater? ‘Walking fish’ suggests that it did.A study of the African lungfish suggests that our evolutionary ancestors first started walking before they migrated onto land.

Pakistan police rescue chained students from madrasaPakistani police say dozens of students were at the Madrasa Zakarya, an Islamic seminary, in Karachi. Several were reportedly chained in a basement, denied food and pressured to join the Taliban. The only difference between this and some Christian ‘schools’ in America is a matter of degree, not intent.

Tennessee family home burns while firefighters watch — Life in a fee-for-service conservative paradise.

What Perry gets wrong about religion in America — Everything, basically, outside the narrow box of Christianist bigotry so beloved of the GOP. Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson comments.

Post-American Iraq by the Numbers — In case you labor under the delusion that we somehow improved things in Iraq.

There Is Only One Issue In America — Hmm. Interesting article. I think he ignores the issue of faith-based social conservatism, which fatally distorts the compromise process essential to party politics, but still an interesting point.

?otd: Coffee or hot chocolate?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 10.0 (solid, plus plus napping)
Weight: 208.4
Currently (re)reading: Return of Retief by Keith Laumer

[links] Link salad celebrates hump day

The Fathomless Abyss — A shared world project of which I am a part is announced. Go check it out.

British garbage worms survive in space without human help — Boy do I feel better now.

‘New Earth-like planet may have water, life’

Turn on, tune in and get better?Hallucinogens and other street drugs are increasingly being studied for legitimate therapeutic uses, such as helping patients deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, chronic pain, depression and even terminal illness.

The Accented Activist, the Blue Woman and One Curious Year in Court — Ah, justice. (Via [info]tillyjane.)

The Afghan General Who Fell to EarthShe was a national hero—and some powerful men didn’t like that.

?otd: Work a five day week?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.0 (fitful)
Weight: 212.4

[links] Link salad won’t go out tonight

“Remember, Harlan!” said the driftglassman — Harlan Ellison and a copyright problem.

Junot Diaz and Min Jin Lee Tell it Like it is #origins #doubt #why people want to become writers — (Via @literaryanimal.)

Why Fingernails on Blackboards Sound So Horrible — Heh.

Scientists: Modern humans mated with different species — Rishathra, anyone?

China Launches Shenzhou-8 To Test Docking For Chinese Space Station

Are Bendable Smart Phones the Future? — For you near-term futurists.

System D: The Shadow Economy is the Second Largest in the World — Huh. Real life version of what we see in cyberpunk and elsewhere.

The medieval, unaccountable Corporation of London is ripe for protestWorking beyond the authority of parliament, the Corporation of London undermines all attempts to curb the excesses of finance. A strange and fascinating squib on a British legal oddity that affects us all. Plus bonus China Mieville references. Plutocracy on the hoof. (Via multiple sources.)

Dr. Livingstone’s lost 1871 ‘massacre’ diary recovered; discovery rewrites history — Interesting stuff about digital imaging. (Via [info]danjite.)

Are big banks feeling pressure from Occupy Wall Street? — Hmmm.

Major Parties Struggle for Popularity; Broad Interest in an Alternative

Wartime Contracting Commission Classifies Findings for Next 20 YearsAlthough the Commission on Wartime Contracting was created to expose waste and abuse, their records are sealed until 2031. Come on, Obama, we elected you to be better than the GOP. And that is a low, low bar.

Remember when Romney said he wouldn’t put a Muslim in the cabinet? He made his Mormonism relevant. — Interesting point. Up til now I’ve maintained Romney’s religion isn’t relevant to his run for the presidency, being a fundamentally private matter. But why should he be exempted from the same religious test he would place on people he would name to his own cabinet? We all know the answer, of course, because Republicans can always have it both ways. I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.

Bruce Bartlett, Ex-Reagan Economist: Idea That Deregulation Leads To Jobs ‘Just Made Up’ — Well, that’s what the facts say, but unlike those of us in the reality-base community, facts never got in the way of a good red meat to the base conservative talking point. (Via [info]madwriter.)

?otD: Is it bound to take your life?

Writing time yesterday: 0.25 hours (chemo fatigue, tiny bit of WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 11.0 hours (fitful overnight plus napping)
Weight: 214.4
Currently (re)reading: Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad goes right to the moon

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

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

Murakami on Fiction, Truth, and Lies

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

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

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

Time – and brain chemistry – heal all wounds

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

US dismantles most powerful nuclear bomb

NASA Is Considering Fuel Depots in the Skies

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

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

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

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

Goldman Sachs Global Rage Fund — Some seriously funny snark.

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

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

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

?otD: Ralph or Norton?

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

[links] Link salad thinks about spam names

Fun with Siri — (Via David Goldman)

Radiation detected in Tokyo seven months after earthquake… but it’s not from FukushimaHigh readings triggered by old glass bottles in a basement.

Meet the Guy Who Snitched on Occupy Wall Street to the FBI and NYPD — Can you image the reaction if the Tea Party were being subverted this way?

The 1930s Sure Sound Familiar

America’s growing anti-intellectualismPaul Rosenberg concludes his analysis of critical deficits leading to the “Occupy” movement sweeping the nation.

In charging diocese, prosecutor takes rare step — Given the Catholic Church’s decades-long written policy of protecting priest sex offenders, these kinds of charges can hardly come too soon.

Active Duty Gays Say Coming out Has Been Nonevent — But the GOP leadership assured us there would be a mass exodus from the military! Once again, as almost always, the facts are biased against the conservative position.

Obama, take a page from ReaganRonald Reagan was a successful president because he understood that in frightening times, Americans want to be reassured that their leaders can defeat all foes and deliver a happy ending. What, get Alzheimers, crash the social safety net and listen to the economic lunatic fringe?

This is the Way the Iraq War Ends, with Bangs and WhimpersThe US will receive no benefit from its illegal war of aggression, no permanent bases, no bulwark against Iran, no new Arab friend to Israel, no $14 a barrel petroleum– all thing things Washington had dreamed of. Mr. Bush’ war. Launched under knowingly false pretenses, ending under no appreciable gain to the US. Thanks to PNAC and the GOP, all we’ve done is spend a trillion dollars and waste thousands of US lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. Are you proud of your Republican party?

God is not registered to vote in New HampshireSeveral explanations suggest themselves for how four candidates for the same office came to believe they were called by God to do so. It’s possible that at least three of them are mistaken. Or this may be evidence that those of us who are monotheists are mistaken and all four candidates really were called, just by four different Gods. Or perhaps God simply subscribes to a management theory that values fostering competition.

Cain: I won’t be ‘flavor of the week’ — Been asked to show your birth certificate yet, Herm? You’re not nutty enough for your base in the long run, especially not the White Right.

?otD: Who is Monocler Vest?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (chemo)
Hours slept: 9.5 hours (fitful)
Weight: Did not weight (chemo)
Currently reading: The Star Fraction by Ken MacLeod

[links] Link salad watches old movies

Don’t forget to drop me a question in my interview thread. [ | LiveJournal ]

Hearing Bilingual: How Babies Sort Out Language

Black Death genetic code ‘built’The genetic code of the germ that caused the Black Death has been reconstructed by scientists for the first time. What could possibly go wrong?

Scrivener’s Error is contrarian (what else!?) about Steve Jobs

Graf Zeppelin vs Goodyear Blimp — A classic photo via x planes. No, they’re not dogfighting.

Seal Beach shooting: Death toll rises to eight — Another patriot exercises his Second Amendment rights in defense of his essential liberties. Guns don’t kill, just ask any conservative. It really is about the guns people. This has to stop somewhere.

Speaker at Occupy L.A. calls for violence, gets cheers from crowd[info]ericjamestone points to a counterexample of an OWS protestor advocating violence. Fair enough. How many OWS protestors bring firearms to the protests? How many talk about Second Amendment remedies? Does a rare counterexample balance against the violence-soaked eliminationist rhetoric of the American Right?

Occupy Wall Street: Who Are the 1%?

Open Letter to that 53% GuyI’m a liberal, so I probably dream bigger than you. For instance, I want everybody to have healthcare. I want lazy people to have healthcare. I want stupid people to have healthcare. I want drug addicts to have healthcare. I want bums who refuse to work even when given the opportunity to have healthcare. I’m willing to pay for that with my taxes, because I want to live in a society where it doesn’t matter how much of a loser you are, if you need medical care you can get it. (Via Via @gregvaneekhout.)

How I Communicate With People Less Right Than MeA Tiny Revolution on talking to the 53%’ers.

Occupy Wall Street: A Banker Explains What Really Happened to America

Wagging the Dog with Iran’s Maxwell Smart — Juan Cole with a takedown of the alleged Iranian DC assassination plot. Pursuing this as a grievance against Iran, as they are currently doing, is going to make the Obama administration look every bit as clownish and incompetent as the Bush administraton was with respect to Iraq.

Let’s go out to the lake, EarlSlacktivist Fred Clark on the social realities of the GOP blocking the jobs bill. You know, those real life stories conservatives never tell, or even believe. This is the kind of thing that stokes my notion that conservativism is rooted in a failure of empathy (for the problems of other people) and imagination (the inability to believe they might ever experience those problems for themselves).

The Tea Party vs. The Establishment — A conservative view of the GOP primary process. (Which includes the deeply hilarious assertion that 2010 Tea Party candidates like Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle were principled. That makes for a pretty warped worldview if you can believe that while also walking and chewing gum. Either that or you have a really strange idea of what principles are.)

?otD: What’s up, Tiger Lily?

Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (WRPA, including 1,000 words on two small nonfiction projects)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (fitful)
Weight: 222.8
Currently reading: The Star Fraction by Ken MacLeod

[links] Link salad mulls the weekend

Getting to the Story’s Core[info]jimvanpelt on the process of teasing out a story.

[conspire] OT: On cultivation of survival traits — The mistake that killed Steve Jobs. Evidence-based medicine, people. Evidence-based medicine. (From [info]rinolj.)

[info]danjite with a contrarian view on Steve Jobs — I take his point, but I think he’s deliberately underestimating the role of organizational leadership in a corporate context.

Meteor Shower This Weekend: Space Station at Risk?

12 gorgeous views of Earth from the International Space Station

“Sex At Dawn” — A Portland talk by the author of Sex at Dawn. Definitely go check it out if you’re in or around the Rose City on November 2nd.

Wall Street Journal: neutrinos show climate change isn’t real — The Bad Astronomer on the latest anti-science idiocy from the American Right. Who needs facts, or logic, when you have the Wall Street Journal op-ed page?

Historians say today’s rebukes of presidents have grown more extremeH.W. Brands, professor of history at the University of Texas-Austin and the author of books on several presidents, said he is not aware of “mockery of the president by elected officials” at the frequency that Obama has been getting it. Given that the default Republican position is that Obama was never legitimately elected, this is hardly surprising.

The Weapons That Were Not There — Ah, the Iraq War. Bush’s gift that just keep on giving, and never had a damned thing to do with 9/11 no matter how hard they gamed the intelligence.

How We Got Into The Primary Calendar Mess — And Why We Can’t Get Out

Sarah Palin’s Die Hard Supporters ‘Stunned,’ ‘Disappointed’ — Only because you were never paying attention to the long con job, people. Ta-Nehisi Coates with more on this.

Best of the Web on Widening Wall Street Protests — I missed yesterday’s Occupy Portland, as going out on damp afternoons doesn’t mix well with chemo fatigue.

The origins of Occupy Wall Street explained — Salon talks to the editor of Adbusters about the practical and philosophical roots of the movement.

?otD: What’s frying today?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (2,000 words to finish this short story)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (interrupted)
Weight: 218.2
Currently reading: The Stone Canal by Ken MacLeod

[links] Link salad asks earnest questions

Analyzing the Leaves and Missing the Forest — Richard Parks on what I would call the difference between being a writer’s writer and a reader’s writer. He, of course, takes a different and rather illuminating tack.

Fantasy: High, Low and…? Part One: Fate, Prophecy and Destiny — Writer A.J. Luxton with some analysis of fantasy.

Interview with my bully: The courage to remember — Author Janni Lee Simner in Salon‘s series. I was mercilessly victimized through about 7th grade myself, and have some very bitter memories of childhood. It was the late 1970’s, and even in middle school the budding jocks were privileged and protected from the reality of their actions because “boys will be boys”, and the culture of geek cred wasn’t even smoke on the horizon in those days. The most common response I got from adults, both in school and at home, was “Well, what did you do to antagonize him.” I existed, that was enough for me to have my bike stolen, to be stuffed in a trash barrel, to be forced to drink urine. So this hits a hard spot for me. (Again via [info]shsilver.)

Niagara Mills: 1908 — I love this photo of the mills above the gorge.

The Physics Nobel: Why Einstein Was Wrong About Being Wrong

Can Answers to Evolution Be Found in Slime? — A pretty cool article on slime molds. (Thanks to my Dad.)

NASA asks students to name moon gravity probes

New York Times Shifts Its Framing of the Arrests at Occupy Wall Street — Your Liberal Media, supporting the conservative narrative as usual.

Third of US vets say wars not ‘worth it’ — I had a difficult conversation on a plane a few years ago with an active duty soldier flying on leave who was convinced we couldn’t leave til we’d won, because otherwise his buddies would have died for nothing, but he couldn’t tell me what winning was.

When Politics Trumps Theology — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison speaks. If only this could possibly be true. American politics could only be vastly improved by an ebbing of religious fervor on the Right. When you define compromise as sin, you break the system.

Talking Texan — The linguistics of Rick Perry.

Mitt Romney: The Jury’s Still Out On Why Those Guys Were Booing After The Gay Soldier Spoke — Another Republican profile in courage. Nice to see the Right standing up for what’s right. Or maybe not so much.

Cooperation in Evil — Maureen Dowd on Justice Scalia.

GOP senior officials quietly trying to restore science to their agenda — A step in the right direction, though note this is an effort by Republicans who are no longer running for office. Convenient, that. Good luck cleaning up the horrible mess you’ve made, boys.

?otD: How long could it last, how bad could it be?

Writing time yesterday: 1.75 hours (2,000 words on a short story, plus some WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (interrupted)
Weight: 219.2
Currently reading: The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson

[links] Link salad gets its railroad tracks removed

Clinging to the rear view mirror — Roger Ebert on Marshall McLuhan and the generation gaps in media technology. Fascinating.

An open letter to Google — From a very angry and ill-used consumer. (Thanks to [info]lillypond.)

Kaley Cuoco Releases PSA About the Cliche of ‘Slave Leia’ Costumes — (Via David Goldman.)

Mystery Solved: Water on Saturn Comes From Icy Moon ‘Rain’

New Tests for Newborns, And Dilemmas for Parents — The ethics of medical testing are fascinating and frustrating to me. I’m someone who would have been spared an enormous amount of grief if one of two two tests had been routinely performed on 40-year-olds, yet neither is or likely ever will be due to a combination of concerns over expense and over false positives. A real positive, for me, would have saved me at least three of my four major surgeries, which seems to me to be a small price to pay both systemically and personally.

A Revenge Plot So Intricate, the Prosecutors Were Pawns

Experts: Drone Strike Has the ‘Hallmark of al-Qaeda’ — Snerk.

The Purpose Driven Lie — Slacktivist Fred Clark on conservative contempt for the poor, and the lies conservatives and Christianists tell themselves to justify that contempt. (Specifically, the bizarre notion that the poor do not pay taxes.) He has a followup here.

The Help-Wanted Sign Comes With a Frustrating Asterisk — Excluding the unemployed from applicant pools is both morally disgusting and counterproductive.

Glenn Beck compares Norwegian victims to ‘Hitler Youth’ — Are you proud of your conservative movement? This is one of your leading voices, after all.

O’Reilly’s Muslim-Hatred and Christian Terrorists — The Norway massacre is uncomfortably close to the rhetoric and stated beliefs of the American Right. Suck on it, boys, you’ve been knowingly stirring this pot for years.

Conservative Media: Norway Shooter Is Muslim-ishErickson writes that while he was wrong, he was nonetheless justified in his assumption because Christians, unlike Muslims, do not commit politically motivated violence. I am sure that would come as a great surprise to a number of abortion clinics, their doctors and staff.

Graphic shows how Bush created deficit, not Obama — The Tea Party in particular seems convince that the deficit, along with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, began with Obama. Facts never have been able to interfere with a good, self-righteous conservative narrative, but this graphic is worth reviewing nonetheless.

Bloomberg reports that Boehner and Republicans voted for all the Debt they now Blame on Obama — This is surprise to whom? Besides FOX News viewers, Tea Partiers and other wilfully ignorant low information voters, I mean? (Via Tim Keating.)

?otD: Got deficit?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (post-op recovery)
Body movement: 30 minutes stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (interrupted)
Weight: 226.8
Currently reading: A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

[links] Link salad blinks into another week

The voting poll for the Endurance caption contest is now open: [ | LiveJournal ]

Super-Sized Spores Make Fungal Infections More Deadly, Possibly Explaining Victims in Missouri — More on the Missouri post-tornado infection. Weird stuff. (Thanks to David Goldman.)

Mechanical Calculators — Some lovely mechanical photography. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Fukushima Disaster Failures Kept Behind Closed Doors at UN Atomic Meeting

The difference between US and foreign reporting: [ OPPD Dispels Nuclear Meltdown Rumors In Ft. Calhoun | US orders news blackout over crippled Nebraska Nuclear Plant: report ] — Hmm, Omaha. (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

[Sec. Def. Robert] Gates: Winding down the Wars

Benefactor’s Activities Raise New Ethical Concerns About Justice Thomas — What, an unethical party line Republican? Thelma, bring me my smelling salts.

The Tom and Jerry ProblemThis use-hate relationship, in which Palin manipulates us and we torture her, reminds me a little of Princess Diana, whose relationship with the press Tina Brown described as “a cycle of dependency and combat.”

?otD: Is Monday the start of your workweek?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Weight: 229.8
Currently (re)reading: A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

[links] Link salad wonders what lies beyond the sky

Walt Disney Surrenders to Navy’s SEAL Team 6 — A glimmering of sanity over at the Mouse House?

Ceci N’est Pas Une Roquette — Hahahahah. Symbolism, ah symbolism. A snaky look at art and sexy magic through the ages. Very mildly NSFW, though mostly through coffee spit-takes on the keyboard. (Via David Goldman.)

Streamlining — 1938 Hispano-Suiza Dubonnet Xenia. Gnuh. Why am I not a multibillionaire so I could experience this in person? (Thanks to [info]willyumtx.)

Cities as Software — A fascinating article on hacking urban infrastructure. (Snurched from [info]rekre8.)

Goodbye, Spirit: An Explorer of the Red PlanetAfter three months of trying to contact the Mars rover, NASA is calling it quits. Rest in peace, little dude.

Turbid Waters Surround New Zealand — An orbital photo of the Cook Strait. Hey, I’ve been there…

How the Rise of Apple Is Just Like the Rise of MammalsAn afternoon in the National Museum of Natural History yields some unexpected connections. From the really odd metaphor file.

Harold Camping wrong again, but what if 200 million people did disappear? — Snerk. What if 200 million people were gullible idiots, how much money would Harold Camping make?

Federal government must not skimp in rebuilding Joplin — What, wait? The government can do something good? Rush Limbaugh to the news room, stat. The liberal media strikes again. (Via [info]danjite.)

Franklin Graham goes the Full OlaskySlacktivist Fred Clark on the conservative/evangelical myth of faith-based social services. With, you know, actual data and stuff. From reality. That surprisingly does not conform to the conservative viewpoint.

Scalia Misstates Facts in Dissent — Imagine that.

Medicaid a Big Deal Too — More on the wide-ranging human and family costs of the Republicans’ proposed cuts.

The Defeated — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison on Palin’s new movie, and her presidential ambitions. Ah, it’s loon season in America.

Selective Outrage about WarThis poster at compares the various costs of Bush’s illegal war in Iraq to those of the UN /NATO intervention in Libya (which is not illegal in internationaL law) and asks you to guess which one Republicans are angry about. It’s not like either one of those wars had a damned thing to do with 9-11 or national security.

The Crazy, Inexplicable Demand for a Paul Ryan Presidential RunThat should raise some questions about how short conservative memories are, underscore how easily many conservatives are swayed by the right rhetoric, and remind everyone how remarkably malleable the GOP’s new heroes are when Republicans had unified control of the government.

Bush Policies Dominant Cause Of National Debt — Tell me again where the Tea Party was with their great concerns for fiscal responsibility back when we had a white conservative present creating the mess they’re so angry at Obama about?

?otD: Would you like to be Raptured?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (1,100 more words on a non-fiction project)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.5 hours (fitful)
Weight: 232.4
Currently (re)reading: A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin