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[links] Link salad shivers awake

Learning a language is like learning to drive a car, and studying linguistics is like learning to become a mechanic.

Interactive dialect map

5 lies you were told about grief — (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Let’s Talk About Death — The conservation project. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

How to change the world $1 at a time — Guerrilla bank marketing. This is cool. ([info]danjite.)

The Cubli — Huh? (Via [info]willtumtx.)

New Salt Compounds Challenge the Foundation of Chemistry”The rules of chemistry are not like mathematical theorems, which cannot be broken,” he says. “The rules of chemistry can be broken, because impossible only means ‘softly’ impossible! You just need to find conditions where these rules no longer hold” (Via David Goldman.)

Research spotlight: microbubbles for therapeutic delivery. — Theranostic microbubbles? (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Into the Bitcoin Mines — Via Dad, an article about BitCoin. And from Charlie Stross,a counterpoint.

Researchers Find Factors Tied To Voting Restriction Bills Are ‘Basically All Racial’ — Wow. A non-evidence-based conservative hobby horse having racial implications? No one could possibly have foreseen this!

The other America — Scraping by on $140,000 a year is so hard. This is why rural America votes so solidly Republican, to help people trapped in those low six-figure jobs by supporting tax cuts for the wealthy.

?otD: How cold do you feel?


12/22/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 235.8
Number of FEMA troops on my block falsifying climate change data: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad for a rainy Solstice Saturday

In which our collaborate novel Our Lady of the Islands, written by me and Shannon Page, finds a home

Jade par Jay Lake — A French review of the French translation of my book Green. Some complaints, but I interpret the Google Translate version as generally positive.

Textopornographie: France creates its own word for ‘sexting’ — Of course they did. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Party Down: 100 Years of the Crossword Puzzle

Amazing Shadow Sculptures by Tim Noble and Sue Webster — Wow. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Photos: 2013’s Most Terrifying Weather Disasters

Scientists Send World’s First Text Message Using Vodka — Because reasons!

Algae go in, biocrude oil comes out

Damage suffered by Mars rover Curiosity’s aluminum wheels raise concern

‘Perfect’ Electron Roundness Bruises Supersymmetry

People worried about food poisoning, however, should treat chicken as a hazard in the kitchen.People worried about food poisoning, however, should treat chicken as a hazard in the kitchen. (Via David Goldman.)

New Mexico becomes 17th gay marriage state — Another bigotry domino falls. Another state abandons senseless hatred cloaked in religious privilege in favor of a sane and moral approach to its citizens.

Federal judge strikes down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage — Wow. I would have bet good money that either Utah or Nebraska would the last stand of religious bigotry in this country when it comes to persecuting gays. This is beyond shocking.

In Striking Down Utah’s Gay Marriage Ban, Judge Gives Scalia Big Bear Hug — Ah, legal trolling.

New Jersey Senate Passes Transgender Birth Certificate BillEarlier this week, The Advocate reported on the status of a bill intended to make the often-difficult and cost-prohibitive process of updating identification documents easier for transgender individuals in New Jersey. This in the state that elected Chris Christie as governor? Wow…

‘Duck Dynasty’: White evangelicals rallying for racism — It makes smug Republican Jesus smile.

Phil Robertson’s America The Duck Dynasty star’s warped vision of civil-rights history feeds his warped view of today’s gay-rights struggle. Ta-Nehisi Coates with some perspective that should shame any white person, regardless of your politics.

Is the “War on Christmas” about Christmas?For these commenters, the so-called War on Christmas is about much more than a competition between religious and secular forces, it’s also about the centrality of whiteness and a defense of “true” Canadianness against an influx of foreign cultures. It is worth considering whether, in general, this debate is really code for racism and anti-immigrant sentiment more generally. I dunno. Do conservatives ever fixate on race and immigration? Seems beneath them, somehow.

“You’re Days Are Numbered”: On Death Threats And Gun RightsSo what do you think about the NRA’s advocacy? Just curious, since their essay resulted in death threats to me, threats of rape to my wife, and threats of abduction and murder of my six-month-old daughter from the people who read the NRA’s column. Personally, I think a little bit less of an organization like the NRA, which incites their members to threaten rape and murder and the abduction of babies. Guns make us all safer. Especially in the hands of patriotic NRA members like these folks. Only liberal pussies like me could possibly doubt that tools designed for human death in the hands of angry, irrational people could possibly be any kind of threat in a society which cheerfully accepts 30,000 gun deaths a year without question.

Military retirees: You betrayed us, CongressMilitary retirees are outraged that Congress will start voting Thursday on a budget deal that trims military pensions, calling the move “an egregious breach of faith.” Actually, the weakening of any pension — city government, union, corporate, Federal, military — is an egregious breach of faith. But one that companies, courts and politicians are all to eager to embrace at any turn, especially when there are investors whose returns must be protected. Of course, that attitude almost certainly makes me a mouth-breathing Socialist. (Via [info]danjite.)

Wyoming Senate race 2014: Liz Cheney husband Phil Perry on vote rolls in 2 states — Imagine if you will for a moment if a Democratic Senate candidate’s spouse were registered to vote in two states. There would be calls in the House for a Federal investigation, and the story would top the cycle of Your Liberal Media for weeks, and the conservative echo chamber for months. But a Republican candidate’s spouse? This dog will be dead by Sunday. Because conservatism is more moral, dammit.

$22.62/Hr: The Minimum Wage if it had Risen Like the Incomes of the 1% — I cannot even bring myself to be sarcastic about this.

Did 17 Illegal Voters in Ohio Steal the 2012 Election?And a great deal of legal work has come up dry in the hunt for the mythical “buses of illegal voters” being spirited in from cities or campuses to stuff the polls. But if you just read Fox, you’ve learned that the voter fraud problem is very real. That’s because conservatives are almost always wrong both on the plain face of the facts, and on the basis their “ideas”. Lying is the only way to make the conservative case. Bearing false witness makes smug Republican Jesus smile, after all, because it’s one of those optional Ten Commandments. (Snurched from John Sapienza.)

?otD: Got your collar turned to the cold and damp?


12/21/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 237.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block falsifying climate change data: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad could be another Lincoln

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Tolkien — Daniel Larison is very unhappy with Peter Jackson. I pretty much agree with his points, though I am perhaps less vociferous in my articulation thereof.

Literary self-loathing: How Jonathan Franzen, Elizabeth Gilbert and more keep it at bay — Really? Yeah, maybe for them, but I’m with Scalzi on this one. Doubts are one thing, we all have those, but if you do struggle with genuine self-loathing, see a doctor, get that fixed, and write more. If you don’t struggle with genuine self-loathing, quit posing and write more.

Just in time for Santa!

Taxidermy mouse chess set — For all your gift giving needs. (Via [info]lillypond, a/k/a my sister.)

Repent now. Geographers map 7 deadly sins. — Mmm, lust. (Via [info]lillypond, a/k/a my sister.)

New attack steals e-mail decryption keys by capturing computer soundsScientists use smartphone to extract secret key of nearby PC running PGP app. (Via David Goldman.)

Full-size car made of 500,000 Legos really drives — Whee!

Video shows stunning penguin ‘traveling wave’ — Simulating penguins? (Via David Goldman.)

DNA from Neanderthal toe links ancestors to inbreeding — Headline of the week.

Possible Planet in Nearby Brown Dwarf System

The Big SqueezeWhat happens if you crush an organic substance between diamond anvils? Researchers are finding out, with ramifications for our knowledge of Earth’s core. (Via my Dad.)

A quantum revolution against Feynman diagramsWe all love Richard Feynman, but his diagrams may have to go.

Did Rock Weathering Trigger ‘Snowball Earth’?

The Gangs of Chicago — Ta-Nehisi Coates about being black on the street. Sigh,

Tolerating ChristiansThere’s a persistent, pernicious sentiment from certain Christian conservatives that they’re being persecuted or oppressed for their religious beliefs. It’s a very comforting and self-valorizing perspective that doesn’t need to be rooted in reality to feel real to the people who hold. Rather like pretty much every conservative position I could name. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Pope Francis and the Naked Christ

Good Grief and Great Tits” Sitting Down to Read Sarah Palin’s Christmas Book While I Bake Christmas Cookies for My FamilyModern conservatives have made “merry Christmas” toxic by associating it with Christian fundamentalism, religious intolerance, and the politics of imagined persecution. Yep. This exactly. I never say it any more, because I don’t want someone to accidentally think I’m a Christianist asshole. Unlike so many Bible-believing Christian conservatives, I actually think it’s important to love my neighbor rather than hate them. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Hobby Lobby is fine with forced abortions and mandatory contraception in China, but balks at voluntary contraception for American women — To which I say, which part of “religious conservative” do you not understand? The term is literally and irretrievably synonymous with sanctimonious hypocrisy. Smug Republican Jesus wouldn’t have it any other way, after all.

My abstinence-only educationI was 17 before I found an adult who told me the simple truth about sex. Until then, I heard some crazy things. But abstinence education makes smug Republican Jesus smile! And that’s way more important than protecting and enabling our kids to live in the reality-based world. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Is Edward Snowden a modern Martin Luther? — There’s an angle I never thought of.

GOP Rep Hartzler has flag moved so that it blocks Obama portrait — Now imagine if you will for a moment the reaction if some moderate Democrat had done such a thing during the Bush administration. I mean, I know hypocrisy is more natural to conservatives than breathing, but just think about the firestorm in Your Liberal Media. Versus this chuckling little story.

The death of the American Dream in a single image — Burgeoning income inequality, shrinking social mobility. All a very logical outcome of decades of Republican economy policy. We’re living in conservative paradise.

?otD: Got MRI?


12/19/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 237.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block falsifying climate change data: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad has thunder in its heart

The Devil is Due in Dreary — An interesting project that Donnie Reynolds brought to my attention. Go pick one up for your gift giving list or your own reading pleasure.

The creepy art of Zdzisław-Beksiński

Artist Creates Elaborate Non-Photoshopped Scenes in Her Small Studio — This is pretty darned cool. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Why We Sing “Fa La La” Instead of “Fra Spla Spla”

He’s a ‘God particle’ detective

Gibbous Europa — Oooh.

Is our Media Screwing us on Climate the Way it Did on Iraq? — Duh. Your Liberal Media constantly pretends that politically motivated transparent lies from well-funded conservatives constitute a legitimate challenge to overwhelming scientific consensus. Next question?

Why are Christian Militias never “Christian Extremists”? — Because of the absolute privileging of Christianity in American society. Despite the self-valorizing paranoias of many American Christianists, Your Liberal Media endlessly honors the overwhelming cultural dominance of their religion. Next question?

Pope: I knew good Marxists; label doesn’t hurt me — Come on, that’s a little hard on smug Republican Jesus, who stands for truth, justice and the American way. Just like it says in the Bible.

The real tragedy of America’s gun violenceIn the aftermath of its own Newtown-like massacre, Australia changed its gun laws. The result? Homicides and suicides plummeted in the decade that followed. Of course, like all real world problems, the link between guns and violence is a complex issue. But one rarely has so much evidence pointing in the same direction. Yup. And Australia’s undeniable success at protecting its citizens by disarming itself is something you will never, ever hear any conservative politician, media outlet or voter admit to. Here in America, 30,000 deaths a year are essential for the illusion of safety that gun owners enjoy. Ask any conservative: your risk of death is a small price for them to pay for their Second Amendment rights.

Kelly: Outrage Over ‘White’ Santa Comment Was ‘Race-Bait’Fox News host Megyn Kelly insisted Friday that her earlier comment that Santa Claus was “just white,” which invited significant backlash, had been a joke — and that her critics were just looking for an excuse to call her a racist. Ah, the old “I was just kidding” defense so beloved of racists and sexists everywhere.

Bipartisan HypocrisyEzra Klein wonders how Republicans can be such hypocrites about health care when Obamacare turns out to be exactly what they wanted all along. Um, hello? They are Republicans? Is anyone who isn’t a conservative true believer surprised by this? It’s part of the GOP’s absolute fixation with bearing false witness against liberal-progressives and all their works. Especially the Kenyan Muslim socialist usurper.

?otD: Got Kate Bush?


12/15/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 solid
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 240.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad is dreaming its life away

Civilization and Its Stoplights — Interesting. I have found myself falling on both sides of this question over the years.

Twitter Reverts Changes To Blocking Functionality After Strong Negative User Feedback — Uh, yeah.

California to Test GPS Earthquake Warning System

Simulations back up theory that Universe is a hologramA ten-dimensional theory of gravity makes the same predictions as standard quantum physics in fewer dimensions. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

China carries out first soft landing on moon in 37 years — Go, go, go.

Noble gas molecule discovered in space where astronomers least expected it

Meet the Kraken: Hydrocarbon seas spotted at Titan’s north poleLakes of liquid methane may also form where the hydrocarbon crust dissolved.

We’re Still Losing Ice at the PolesI’ll note that some people who deny global warming like to talk about ice in Antarctica increasing, not decreasing. This is at best misleading; the sea ice fluctuates every year, and has grown marginally recently, but this is tiny compared to the loss of land ice. Overall, Antarctica is losing ice, rapidly, with more melting every year.

Okay, I Thought People Were Using “Affluenza” as a Joke — Ah, the majesty of the law.

Indian Gays Shocked by Supreme Court Ruling upholding Colonial Sodomy Laws — Because arrant bigotry and wholesale denial of human rights isn’t confined to American conservatives.

The Real Face Of JesusAdvances in forensic science reveal the most famous face in history. Ah yup. An oldie but a goodie. Thank God smug Republican Jesus doesn’t look like this at all! (Via [info]shsilver.)

Mom shot while taking gun from toddler — No patriotic American could possibly draw a conclusion about gun safety or parenting fitness from this incident. After all, the child was merely standing his ground and exercising his Second Amendment right to theoretical defense of essential liberties as part of a well-ordered militia.

?otD: What did you dream last night?


12/14/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 239.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad asking only workman’s wages, comes looking for a job

NSA forces novelist to scrap book — Hah. Charlie Stross from the other end of the telescope. (Via Dad.)

Hubble Space Telescope Sees Evidence of Water Vapor Venting Off Jupiter Moon — (Via Bruce Taylor.)

What You Get When You Pour Molten Aluminum Into An Ant Hill — Wow…

Strange gelatinous creature gives hints of the first animals on EarthThe comb jelly genome is in, nerves are common, and muscles were invented twice.

World’s Smallest Pacemaker Can Be Implanted without SurgeryNew cardiac devices are small enough to be delivered through blood vessels into the heart.

Small Oregon Nuclear Power Plant Company Gets Massive Federal Backing

Arctic Waters Keep Warming in 2013The Arctic continued to shift to a warmer, greener state in 2013.

And may all your Jesuses be white — While I certainly could have a lot of bitter sarcasm here, this is actually good news about the LDS church and race. The moral cretins who invested so heavily of their spiritual and financial credibility in Proposition 8 get something right for a change.

Photo of the Day: Was St. Nicholas “White”? — Well, smug Republican Jesus was certainly white, so why not? It’s not like facts or accuracy have any place whatsoever in the Christianist worldview.

Let’s just rename Michigan Gilead and call it a dayYes, Michigan ladies you’ll need to insure yourself against pregnancy from rape because the misogynistic pigs of the Michigan legislature think women should be forced to give birth to their rapists children. This is Handmaid’s Tale come to life. The conservative obsession with controlling women and their reproductive health is so toxic I cannot imagine why any woman, or anyone related to a woman by birth or marriage, can ever vote for the Republican party. Assuming they have a shred of compassion or morality in them.

Most of 109 new gun laws enacted since last year’s Newtown massacre have loosened restrictions — Because as any conservative will tell you, guns make us all safer. Ask the 30,000 people who are proudly killed by firearms every year in order to preserve your theoretical defense of essential liberties. No other developed country in the world makes such wholesale human sacrifices for the illusion of safety. Makes me proud to be an American, damn it.

?otD: Did you get any answers?


12/13/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 239.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad is big and round and three to the pound

Dementia: Terry Pratchett ‘angry’ with government

Meet Your Body’s Death EatersFrom brain to blood to bone, macrophages take out our cellular trash. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Calvin and Hobbes on ebooks — Hahahah.

Twitter’s World — Languages and Twitter.

Prosthetic Arm Found in Second-Hand Shop — Ah, headlines.

Irrefutable Proof that Santa is Odin — (Via [info]rekre8.)

‘Get me off this plane’: Man locked in dark cabin in worst layover ever — Wow. (Via RWN.)

Fat Flag — Food, art, nationalism. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Europe’s rarest orchid rediscovered in the Azores

Blistering exposé prompts Johns Hopkins to suspend black-lung screeningsCoal companies paid the Baltimore-based university handsome sums to screen the claimants for the disease. After reviewing chest X-rays, the university’s scientists almost always concluded that the scans did not show black lung — a conclusion which often overwhelmed any other medical opinion in the case. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

What Names are Normal? Shifting the Center of the World — Culture and names.

Online Dating Shows Us the Cold, Hard Facts — Fascinating article, although it makes a couple of logical leaps.

“She Said ‘This Is a Gun.’ I Said No, It’s a Prop for My Monkey.” — Ah, TSA, we hardly knew ye.

At Least 194 Children Have Been Shot to Death Since NewtownThe NRA says arming more adults will protect kids—but most are killed at home, our investigation shows, often with unsecured guns. Yep. Definitely safer dead by those guns than they would have been remaining alive in a gun-free household. Ask any gun owner.

The Heartland Institute and the American Meteorological SocietyIf climate science really is in such disarray as the deniers claims, then why do so many resort to misleading tactics so often? Why post misleading graphs, why cherry pick data, why engage in egregious ad hominems, why send out emails about papers that say the opposite of what the paper actually concludes? If their claims are correct, then why even risk the perception of impropriety? It might seem as if they’re more interested in scoring political and ideological points rather than scientific ones. But then, the evidence is solidly against them. So are 97 percent of the scientists who actually do research in climate science, as are the data, the science, and the reality of global warming. As with virtually all conservative causes, bearing false witness is far more productive than providing evidence, given that evidence-based reality almost never favors the conservative viewpoint.

Dear Pres. Obama: Dissent isn’t Possible in a Surveillance State — Sigh.

?otD: Does your staff have a knob on the end?


12/11/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 239.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad watches the snow fall like soft memories liberated from the failing mind of God

If Only for a Second — Remaking cancer patients. This made me cry. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

From Tudors to Turducken: An Engastration Tale — Engastration? (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Seams Geeky | Items Sewn with Love for the Chic Geek — A Kickstarter for some high quality embroidered geek gear. Me, I’m down for the Schlock Mercenary stuff.

Google Glass prescription frames spotted but concerns linger — Yay for this. If I were not so sick as to make the project more or less pointless, I’d be very actively pursuing a prescription version of Google Glass.

Nymi Is A Heartwave-Sensing Wristband That Wants To Replace All Your Passwords & Keys — And more than that. From the department of weird future tech. (Via David Goldman.)

Microsoft designs smart bra to combat emotional eating — What happens when your smart bra has a blue screen of death? I guess that would be the ultimate Nerd World problem.

Wafer-scale production of graphene devices to become a reality

NASA May Test Its Lunar Green Thumb

Everest Panorama from Mars — Mars!

Solar would be Cheaper: US Pentagon has spent $8 Trillion to Guard Gulf Oil — Imagine what we could have done in alternative energy with an eight trillion dollar research budget. Instead of warring for oil, destroying whole countries, and slaughtering people wholesale.

Top 25 Censored Stories from 2012-2013 — (Via [info]danjite.)

The Mandela Problem of the Angry White Male Wing of the GOP — Wing? That’s the whole GOP. Duh.

?otD: How deep is your slush?


12/8/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (restless)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad gets its kicks above the waistline, sunshine

Dude, Where’s My Accent?Why the California Vowel Shift may have us all by the tongue. Also this. Snerk. (Via David Goldman.)

Lovebible.pl — Charlie Stross is very funny.

Why Do We Call People Redheads Instead of Orangeheads?

Who Put the O in Portland? — More on the ‘round maps’. I was also struck by this comment: [T]here’s scientific evidence for the fact that GPS technology is making us less, rather than more spatially aware. When we rely, as is now so commonplace, on satellite-guided driving instructions tailored to our specific trip, we’re preventing our brain from doing what it should do naturally: making ‘mental maps’ of our surroundings. That’s been exactly my experience of using GPS.

How to Talk to a Live Person: Every Customer Support Number You’ll Ever Need — A holiday calling guide. (Thanks to my Dad.)

Soylent hits its 1.0 formula, nears releaseWe talk with Soylent’s creator on what’s changed since we slurped down the beta. Soylent peen is greople!

You Can’t Get Entangled Without a Wormhole: Physicist Finds Entanglement Instantly Gives Rise to a Wormhole — (Via Bruce Taylor.)

Die, selfish gene, dieThe selfish gene is one of the most successful science metaphors ever invented. Unfortunately, it’s wrong. This is freaking fascinating. (Thanks to AH via [info]tillyjane.)

Animal Locomotion: Reanimating Muybridge’s 19th Century Illustrations with GIFs — Zoopraxography indeed. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Tolkien gesture – scientist maps climate of Lord of the RingsMount Doom is like LA and the Shire like Lincolnshire, so says a climate model based on author’s famously detailed maps. (Via [info]danjite.)

The Most Important Command in the Old Testament isn’t what you think — A little linguistic analysis for you. And guess what? It’s not about teh gayz or sex or the abomination of widely available, affordable healthcare. Not at all. (Via [info]daveraines.)

Australia’s first gay marriages conducted — Another bigotry domino falls, at least temporarily. Sadly, the forces of religiously-cloaked conservative intolerance are still very strong.

Iceland in shock as cops kills a man for 1st time in history — Clearly they need more guns to be safe. No, wait, they have more guns.

South Carolina Sheriff Refuses To Lower Flag For Mandela — Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

Special Report: Thailand secretly supplies Myanmar refugees to trafficking rings — As Daniel says, this is stunningly evil. Sigh. (Via [info]danjite.)

Apartheid’s Useful Idiots For many years, a large swath of this country failed Nelson Mandela, failed its own alleged morality, and failed the majority of people living in South Africa. Ah, we are again reminded of the much vaunted moral consistency of American conservatives.

A reminder of what Republicans thought of MandelaIt’s a constant theme of conservatism to falsely take credit for the progressive causes of yesteryear while attempting to destroy contemporary ones. You have to give the GOP a break here. When their own record is a nearly unbroken string of failures and policy disasters, they can claim no credit at all except false credit.

Santorum: Fight Against Obamacare Like Fight Against Apartheid — You don’t have to be bone-stupid to be a conservative, but demonstrably it sure as hell helps. Really, what can any rational, moral human being say to something like this?

“History? We don’t know. We’ll all be dead.”The conservative project in general really, truly doesn’t give a damn about human suffering. They live in an abstract universe in which their dedication to their rigid ideology simply trumps all moral concerns about real human beings in the here and now. They just don’t give a damn.

?otD: Where was that one night?


12/7/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (very fitful)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad’s name was Robert Paulson

Aging cells share features with cancerChemical modifications of DNA look similar in aging and cancerous cells.

Sex versus Cancer — (Via Laurie Mann.)

50 States of Lego — This is cute. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Mugshots from the 1920s — This is pretty cool. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

World War Two era Japanese submarine found off Hawaii coast — A submarine aircraft carrier. Also, a video via David Goldman.

China (Again) Shoots for the Moon. We Should Join Them. — One of the reactions to my story “The Speed of Time” was an angry denouncement of my portrayal of a future where China was a leading space power. Apparently this was a betrayal of the American dream or something. I still think I was right, and I’m damned glad a government not plagued by so-called deficit hawks and the supply side economics fairy is interested in space.

Turning the Moon into a Giant Space Solar Power HubBut how about wrapping the moon’s equator in a 250 mile wide band of solar panels and beaming the power generated back to Earth? What could possibly go wrong!?

New GPS game is out of this world: Czechs are introducing Stratocaching — Ok, this is some serious cool. — (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Why Costco is beating Wal-Mart — An important element missing from this story is Costco’s approach to human resources, which is almost diametrically opposite to Wal-Mart’s Wall Street-pleasing “use and abuse” policies.

Diversity, Mirrors and Narcissism — Cora Buhlert on the ‘selfie’ discussion spawned by Felicity Savage. Also some interesting commentary on [info]james_nicoll’s LiveJournal here.

Bigotry And The Human Language — Ta-Nehisi Coates is wise, at length.

“The Notification Was Posted on the Recipient’s Gravestone Because He Is Deceased” — Uh, yeah.

Today In Responsible Gun OwnershipMan with Alzheimer’s shot. I feel so much better now, don’t you? Guns make us all safer. Especially innocent people who are slaughtered by trigger happy home defenders.

Anonymous ‘TipsforJesus’ leaves thousands in tips — This is cool, and a nice counterpoint to the very gleeful public mean-spiritedness of so many American Christians.

Pope Francis Tells Faithful He Worked As A Nightclub Bouncer — Headline of the month.

Dan Savage has no respect for child-raping Catholic priests — I join Dan Savage in his disrespect. The new Pope’s apparent glimmers of sanity notwithstanding, the Catholic Church has utterly lost its standing as a moral actor in society over this issue, especially their generations-long mishandling of it and continue failure to address this through meaningful consequences for the abusers and the protectors of those abusers who still hold positions of high trust and power in the Church hierarchy.

U.S. students lag around average on international science, math and reading test“Our scores are stagnant. We’re not seeing any improvement for our 15-year-olds,” said Jack Buckley, commissioner at the National Center for Education Statistics, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Gee, I wonder if this anything to do with the privileging of ridiculous counterfactuals such as evolution denial and the wholesale denigration of critical thinking skills by a powerful political minority driven by a hate-fueled agenda of resentment and fear?

Top 10 Ways the US is the Most Corrupt Country in the World — Food for thought.

California Republicans use taxpayer dollars to send mail to bash the ACA with fake website — Now that’s the responsible stewardship of public resources for which the GOP is justly famed.

?otD: What’s the first rule of Link Salad?


12/3/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 241.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad was out on the road today, saw a Black Flag sticker on a Cadillac

Milo Fowler is giving away a personalized copy of my new novella from Prime Books, Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh

Famous Novelists on Symbolism in Their Work and Whether It Was Intentional — Boy, do I have a lot to say about this. (Via Beverly Block.)

You, Me, and Every Word We Know — Ta-Nehisi Coates on the languages of labeling, in-groups and out-groups. Wise, as always this man.

Sculpting with Light — This is cool. (Via Scott Frey.)

Meet the flying machine that was inspired by a jellyfish

Brain region key to decision-making discovered

Bringing Back My Real Self With Hormones — Ah, the American healthcare system.

The Internet of Things, Unplugged and UntetheredA startup called Iotera wants to let you track your pets, your kids, or your belongings without relying on commercial wireless networks.

Printing BatteriesNew inks and tools allow 3-D printing of lithium-ion technology. That is just whack. Admirably, SFnally whack.

Gynecologists Run Afoul of Panel When Patient Is Male — Ok, this is deeply stupid. (Via [info]danjite.)

One third of all American women have an abortion in their lives. Are they all immoral? — Unlike opposition to gay marriage, which is pure and simple bigotry, usually clothed in religious privilege, I can readily see an intellectually consistent and upstanding moral opposition to abortion. I can even more readily see that almost no one from the conservative forced pregnancy movement is in fact following that intellectually consistent and moral position.

Christians have not been ‘reading the Bible this way for 2,000 years’ — The problem with being a Biblical literalist is that you have to be literally-minded well beyond the point of willful ignorance and deep into rank, knowing stupidity. Some people just need the comfort of certainty, no matter the cost to their souls or the lives of others.

Kentucky’s ACA rollout is a reminder of what can happen when the law isn’t being sabotaged — Even now, the jackbooted Socialist hordes of blah people are breaking down the doors of Sarah Palin’s Real Americans all across Kentucky.

On the second killing of Trayvon MartinSo deeply, bizarrely invested was she in the idea of Trayvon as thug that she could not distinguish between a fair-skinned man with tattoos, and a brown boy with no visible markings. Literally, they all look alike to her. And once again, a conservative movement which argues with airy assurance that American racism died long ago, disproves its thesis with its actions. The conservative movement: failing America and Americans every day in every way, all for the sake of generating enough angry white guys.

America’s angriest white men: Up close with racism, rage and Southern supremacy Up close with small-town white rage, with bitter, scary men who feel left behind by economic and cultural change. These are America’s core conservatives, the people who drive the agenda of Your Republican Party. These are the angry white men the GOP needs to keep generating in order to stay in power. Does it make you proud?

Town Forgets to Have Election Again — Ah, patriotic heartland values.

The Senate Did Not Really Abolish the Filibuster — Exactly what did happen in the Senate? Remember, the starting point for this isn’t some Democratic power grab. The starting point for this is Republican senators filibustering more of Obama’s executive and judicial nominees than all other presidents in history combined. A fact my conservative friends (as well as their enablers in Your Liberal Media) conveniently refuse to admit in their manufactured outrage at the Democrats carrying out a parliamentary maneuver first proposed by the GOP in 2005. (Via David Goldman.)

Cruz: Filibuster Rule Change ‘Will Poison The Atmosphere Of The Senate’ — Yeah, because up until now open-minded Republicans acting in the best interests of the nation as a whole had so carefully preserved Senate comity and cooperation rather than privileging their minority’s partisan agenda.

?otD: Can you ever turn back?


11/25/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 241.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block closing down donut shops: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad for a chilly Saturday

The Life and Times of an Aging Superhero Captured in Oil Paintings by Andreas Englund — Oh, wow, this is so cool. (Thanks to [info]goulo.)

Gut Flora Boost Cancer TherapiesGerm-free or antibiotic-treated mice fare worse than those with rich gut microbiomes during cancer treatment, two studies show.

Google In Talks With VSP Global To Integrate Prescription Lenses In Google Glass — I would love to use Google Glass, but absolutely need prescription lenses to make it happen.

Absurd Creature of the Week: The 16-Foot-Tall Reptilian Stork That Delivered Death Instead of Babies — (Thanks to Lezli Robyn.)

Leafing Through Early Interstellar Ideas — Ah, classic SF.

A One-Two Punch — Binary asteroid tracks in Quebec.

Ancient Wine Cellar Unearthed In Israel Shows Canaanites Enjoyed Sophisticated Drink

The Gendered Forest: Women Relax, Men Mountaineer

Militia nut openly calls for Obama`s assassination on FacebookAnd what troubles me the most is when I see crazies like this fueled by every Republican conspiracy from Benghazi, to bitherism, to Obamacare, to guns. Words have consequences, and a number of us have said for a while that while no sane person would listen to conservative hate-talk and pick up a gun, but we’re a bit country, and I’m not worried about the sane ones. The crazy ones can all too easily get a gun as well.

State Rep. Drew Darby charged with taking weapon to Austin airport — I feel so much safer knowing that Republican politicians are packing heat in airports. Don’t you?

How The Wall Street Journal And The New York Times Flip-Flopped On The Filibuster — Your Liberal Media, supporting the conservative narrative since forever.

FLASHBACK: When Conservatives Decried Filibusters And Urged Senate Majority Leader To Use Nuclear Option — Because, you know, this was a naked Democratic power grab without precedent. Ask anyone in Your Liberal Media. Never mind that President Obama has had more executive and judicial nominees filibustered than all other presidents in American history combined: that was the GOP’s patriotic duty, not a power grab on their part. No, no.

?otD: Getting busy?


11/22/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 241.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block closing down donut shops: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)