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[links] Link salad is hermetically sealed for its own protection

Young Bonobo Shows Signs of Autism

Brain Imaging Reveals Moving ImagesResearchers develop an fMRI-based model to reconstruct moving images that people are seeing. Ok, now we’re getting somewhere. Intensely cool and a bit spooky.

How Automation Leads to More Aviation Accidents

The $300m cable that will save traders milliseconds — Wow. (Via David Goldman.)

Roll over Einstein: Law of physics challenged — Speed of light broken? Or experimental error? The Bad Astronomer critiques.

Suicide by Roller Coaster

The Needle and the Damage Done — Some legal analysis on the execution of Troy Davis. Sobering. Ta-Nehisi Coates with an account of events.

Using plastic to pay Anthem bill? Prepare to lose your coverageNotice of cancellation was a shock to one policyholder who had been making automatic payments with her credit card. It’s just one case involving a policy switch at the health insurer. Yep. Best healthcare system in the world. No need for reform here. Move along, citizen.

Breaking News: The Civil War Is Over — States’ rights and Federal HCR. I liked this thought: I can describe the legal arguments and the judicial conclusions, but on a fundamental level, I just don’t get the attack on the federal law. I don’t understand people who voluntarily, without claiming poverty, let their children go uninsured. I don’t understand the moral compass of the owner of the fancy car I saw the other day that sported the bumper sticker: “Repeal Obamacare.” I suppose that the self-satisfied and oh-so-secure car owner never met anyone like the healthy 27-year-old man profiled the other day in USA Today who was denied insurance in the private market because his doctor four years ago had ordered a particular heart-monitoring test – which found nothing wrong with his heart. I do know such people. So do you.

Bill O’Reilly’s Civil WarThe Fox News host thinks America is in dire straits—and what it needs is a history lesson. In this week’s Newsweek, he tells Peter J. Boyer about his new book and why he likes Obama. I never liked O’Reilly’s politics, but ever since the “shut up” incident, I’ve had no respect for him in any capacity. (Not to mention the whole falafel thing, from this conservative guardian of America’s moral rectitude.)

Obama and Perry, geese and ganders — This in turn reminds me of the conservative outrage over the photo of Obama with his feet on the desk of the Oval office, as compared to their dead silence over a virtually identical photo of Bush43. What possible difference could there be? I cannot even begin to imagine.

FACT CHECK: Slippery assertions in GOP debate — I especially like this one: BACHMANN: “President Obama has the lowest public approval ratings of any president in modern time.” THE FACTS: That’s true, if you leave out Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford. All of them at some point in their terms dipped lower than Obama’s low point of 38 percent job approval, according to Gallup’s comparison. Of course, GOP voters everywhere will believe her over the facts. It’s what conservatives have been taught to do by the “liberal media” meme — to assume any facts they’re presented contrary to their worldview with have been cooked.

?otD: How’s your immune system today?


9/23/2011
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (goofing off/post-novel ennui)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (fitful)
Weight: 221.6
Currently reading: Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks

[links] Link salad is even more ragged

Próba obrzydliwości — A rather negative Polish review of the translated edition of Trial of Flowers, from a reviewer who also disliked Mainspring.

It Must Follow, as the Night the Day — Madeleine Robins on writers who don’t read. Huh?

Don’t Waste TransportationNew in our gallery and store: From WWII, “War Traffic Must Come First.” Mmm, steam locomotive. Trains. Mmm.

Uh oh! Netflix doesn’t own the @Qwikster Twitter account — Glad to see they’re on top of Marketing 101.

Capitalism, Animals, and the Ownership of Icons — This may be perfectly well within the law, but it’s also nuts.

Is the World Running Out of Oil? — Poo pooing the Peak Oil hypothesis. Again.

Harvesting ‘limitless’ hydrogen from self-powered cellsUS researchers say they have demonstrated how cells fuelled by bacteria can be “self-powered” and produce a limitless supply of hydrogen.

Circumbinary Orbits and Stellar Radii — “But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!”

Fighting back against creationism — Hooray for scientists in the UK for having the temerity to fight back against the religious charlatanism of evolution denial.

‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ formally endsOpenly gay people will now be able to serve in the US military after repeal of controversial 18-year-old DADT law. One manifest conservative injustice finally ends, at least. (Yes, I know DADT was a Clinton-era “compromise”, but but it was a concession to rank GOP bigotry.) Watch now for all the alarmist rhetoric from the Right to completely fail to come true. As always.

Study Links Medical Costs and Personal BankruptcyHarvard researchers say 62% of all personal bankruptcies in the U.S. in 2007 were caused by health problems—and 78% of those filers had insurance. Unpossible! Everyone knows Rush said HCR was a socialist plot! Like I’ve said, in general, the people who oppose HCR are people who’ve never had to deal with the real consequences of serious illness. The conservative failure of empathy and imagination is firmly in play, along with some good old fashioned Calvinist/Christianist vindictiveness. (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

Through The Looking Glass: Bachmann’s Long History Of Strange StatementsThe national media is now starting to figure something out: Michele Bachmann says a lot of things that aren’t just kind of crazy, but manifestly false. No wonder the GOP base has been so enthralled with Bachmann. She fits right in with FOX News’ twisted version of America.

Boehner’s ‘Tea Party Challenger’ Really a Randall Terry Plant? — Golly. Imagine that. The Tea Party being used for conservative political ends. No one could have possibly foreseen this.

?otD: I still got nothing.


9/20/2011
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (ill from chemo side effects)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (severely interrupted, plus napping)
Weight: 218.0
Currently reading: Matter by Iain M. Banks

[links] Link salad overflows the bowl

Poetry, Politics, Law or Fiction — Urban fantasy author J.A. Pitts with a moving essay on why he became a writer.

The Trivialities and Transcendence of Kickstarter — Crowdfunding creative projects. Hmm. See also @timpratt‘s efforts in this regard.

Glorious Socialism: Chinese Ladies in Propaganda Posters — I wonder if I should show these to [info]the_child?

Experimental Mach-20 aircraft set for launch at Vandenberg AFB

Genetically-Engineered Spermless Mosquitoes Offer Malaria Hope — “Spermless Mosquitoes” would be a great name for a rock band.

Surprise! Underwater volcano has erupted — Right here in my neighborhood. (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

Amazon UK’s riot gear sales soar: Aluminum bats up 6,000%

By Helping a Girl Testify at a Rape Trial, a Dog Ignites a Legal Debate

God and Psychology

Evangelicals Question The Existence Of Adam And EveEvangelicals have to either face up to it or they have to stick their head in the sand. And if they do that, they will lose whatever intellectual currency or respectability they have. Um… (Via @MatchesMalone.)

Health care reform rules have GOP mum — Except for the Tea Party/lunatic fringe that controls their agenda, of course.

Why Michele Bachmann is no Sarah Palin — Bachmann’s a smart politician with batshit policy positions that border on the insane.

Federal taxes minus spending — Hey, look! The red states mostly take in more money than they generate. Freeloading conservatives! (Also stone idiots, if they really want taxes cut further.)

?otD: How much wood could a woodchuck upchuck if a woodchuck could upchuck wood?


8/10/2011
Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (3,100 words on Sunspin)
Body movement: 30 minutes stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Weight: 225.6
Currently reading: A Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik

[links] Link salad has chemo head

Announcing New Collections by Jay Lake and Philip Jose FarmerSubterranean Press speaks.

Yesterday I Twittersnarked David Lynch’s Dune — Click the link above, but you’ll have to scroll down and view older tweets. I may stick this into a blog post of its own later.

Augmented Reality Maps — A TED talk video. (Via .)

Sex-change surgery and universal grammar — A Language Log entry of interest to those concerned with gender reassignment, law and language.

How do you regulate Wu? — Ben Goldacre on regulating the dangers of alternative medicine.

Far-Right John Birch Society 2010 — A discussion of current conservative politics, and the John Birch Society’s co-sponsorship of the CPAC conference. [The founder of the society] had called President Dwight D. Eisenhower a “conscious, dedicated agent of the communist conspiracy” and that the U.S. government was “under operational control of the Communist party.” Sound familiar? Substitute “socialism” and/or “terrorism” and you have the daily Republican talking points on Obama. Buckley argued that such paranoid rantings had no place in the conservative movement or the Republican party. Back when conservatives had principles, maybe.

Joe Stack Hailed as Hero in American ‘Patriot’ Resurgence — Let’s see, are the Patriots socialist? No. Liberals? No. Progressives? No. Centrists? No. Who could this be celebrating a murderous act of domestic terrorism committed by an angry white male? Wait, wait, I know! Conservatives!

Man who crashed plane into Austin IRS building part of decades-long line of tax protestershis views on taxation follow a long line of protesters who believe tax laws don’t apply to them. Yet amazingly even tax protestors use roads and bridges, call 9-11, enjoy the benefits of national defense and public health. Which are otherwise paid for by the Libertarian fairies? Always a good reason to commit murder, that.

Conservative Is Not Opposite Liberal: That’s Totalitarianism — Timothy Ferris with an interesting article on classical definitions. I am however suspicous of anyone who creates false equivalency by claiming Bill Maher is the progressive’s Glenn Beck. Beck’s marketshare and mindshare is 10X, possibly 100X Maher’s, and Maher isn’t exactly at the core of liberal-progressive thought, unlike Beck’s second-only-to-Limbaugh place in the conservative dialectic.

Hold Onto Your Underwear: This Is Not a National EmergencyUnder the circumstances, you would never know that Americans living in the United States were in vanishingly little danger from terrorism, but in significant danger driving to the mall; or that alcohol, tobacco, E. coli bacteria, fire, domestic abuse, murder, and the weather present the sort of potentially fatal problems that might be worth worrying about, or even changing your behavior over, or perhaps investing some money in. Um, yeah. But political pants-wetting wins more GOP votes.

?otD: Ever play chemo side effecs bingo?


2/20/2010
Writing time yesterday: 0 minutes
Body movement: (forthcoming suburban walk)
Hours slept: 9.75
This morning’s weigh-in: n/a (forgot to weigh)
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 7/10
Currently reading: [between books]