Sign up for my newsletter to be among the first to learn of upcoming titles!

[links] Link salad goes on the needle today

The Conversation We Never Have — On being a writer, economically. (Snurched from Elizabeth Bourne.)

My Headline Was Stolen — Ah, ideas.

Needless 911: Can’t Get This Jacket Off and I’m Pissed About It! — This would be the Portland area. Be proud, Oregon.

Oscar Mayer Wants to Make Your iPhone Smell like Bacon — Well, okay then.

Beatles memorabilia — Talc? Really?

Measuring Atmospheric Pressure on Exoplanets — Because science!

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: Upskirt photos not illegal under state law — The law, in its majestic equality, permits the polite as well as the creepy to take upskirt photos in Massachusetts.

Oscar Pistorius’ ex-girlfriend says he fired from carOscar Pistorius’ ex girlfriend has told his murder trial he once fired his gun from his car sunroof after becoming angry with police. Because guns make us all safer. Ask any conservative.

Navy will deploy first ship with laser weapon this summerNavy’s LaWS will save bullets and missiles—and blind and burn drones and boats.

Flash WarRussian mystery soldiers invaded Crimea by covering up and keeping mum. That could work for us!

Watching for a Crimean Cyberwar CrisisAn info-war is under way as websites are blocked and telecom cables to Crimea are mysteriously cut.

These 9 Maps Should Absolutely Outrage Southerners — Conservative governance, conservative results. These folks should be proud they’ve gotten exactly what they’ve voted in for. Increased poverty, decreased economic mobility, increased teen pregnancy, compromised healthcare outcomes: all utterly predictable results of GOP policies. What’s not to like?

Obamacare Effects Account for Most of Income, Spending Increases — This was published by The Wall Street Journal? The paper that abandoned its editorial integrity years ago in order to become the FOX News of the country club set? Wow… (Via David Goldman.)

Report: How GOP lost young voters“In the short term, the party ought to promote the diversity of thought within its ranks and make clear that we welcome healthy debate on the policy topic at hand.” Why in the hell are you a Republican if you believe diversity of thought and healthy debate are actually good ideas? Or have you never heard any single GOP political or media figure speak, ever? And you’ve obviously never read any GOP party platform.

?otD: Got infusion?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.5 hours (very fitful)
Body movement: 0 minutes (hall walking to come)
Weight: 233.6 (hospital weigh-in)
Number of FEMA troops on my block teaching wives how to be submissive: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad always pays its debts

23 Signs You’re Secretly An Introvert — The hilarious part about this article is how many of these apply to me.

Old globe may be first to depict New World

Where The Whale Sharks Go — (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

China aiming to be newest—and largest—space superpowerExperts say a Chinese moon landing “very much in the cards.” Good for them. We’ve certainly lost the will to space here in the United States. I’m glad some country somewhere has the pride and ambition to keep trying.

Are Americans Ready to Rebel Over Climate? — Sadly, no. There is a much stronger streak of rebellion over the entirely imaginary Kenyan Muslim socialist depredations of our current president than there ever will be over the civilization-threatening reality of climate change.

Al Gore hurricane hubbub and climate changeWhile some supporters of climate policy reform occasionally overstate the effects climate change will have on extreme weather, opponents of climate policy often go completely off the rails, accusing scientists of possible criminal behavior and rejecting the reality of climate change itself. The latter actions are far more damaging to dialogue around climate policy. In fact, they poison our public discourse. You can’t deal with a problem if you refuse to acknowledge it exists. Welcome to conservative America.

Wild Applause, Secretly ChoreographedDesignated Cheering Spectators Thrive at the Bolshoi Theater. Some interesting parallels with the American political media here. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

When Australians gave back their guns — Some countries are sane when it comes to gun violence. And much, much more successful at ensuring the safety of their citizens than we are. Firearms are America’s national mental illness. 30,000 deaths per year has no justification.

Student ‘Subversives’ And The FBI’s ‘Dirty Tricks’ — Ronald Reagan always was a liar and a fraud. He was doing many of the things to stifle dissent and restrict freedom that conservatives like to pretend Obama is doing, about the time Obama was born. Ever seen a freedom-loving Republican protest the Gipper? (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Powell: Trayvon Martin Verdict ‘Questionable’ — That’s it. He’s done being a Republican. Either that or a Limbaugh apology tour is imminent. Conservatives are not allowed to discuss the realities of race in America, ever.

QotD?: Is winter coming?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bike
Weight: n/a (someone moved my scale)
Number of FEMA troops on my block vaccinating children to spread autism: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad knows you can’t sleep alone in a strange place has two more of my books up: Rocket Science & Death of a Starship

Rowling and “Galbraith”: an authorial analysis — This is pretty interesting stuff around language geekery and automated textual analysis.

Your Favorite Movies Laid Out as Vintage Treasure Maps — This is weird and cool. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

31 More Images Of Hot Steampunk Girls & Guys — Ah, costuming. (Via [info]martang.)

U.S. Pat. No. 1,926,420: Monkey Dog Saddle — I’ve been on dates like that.

Exercise in a Pill? The Search Continues — (Via David Goldman.)

Scientists put nature’s infinite playlist on iPods to monitor wildlifeWireless listening posts allow remote real-time IDs of tropical species.

North Sentinel Island — I’ve heard of this place. Very strange.

Growing Your Own Bridge — These are elegant and beautiful. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Flying with a little help from friends — This is crazy cool robotics. (Via Steve Buchheit.)

Space-Time Loops May Explain Black Holes — Also the state of my sock drawer.

British space penetrator passes icy test — Bang bang, shoot shoot? Somehow this is very Buck Rogers (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

A Waterspout in Florida — I have always wanted to see one of these. I have been through fires, foods, hurricanes. I’ve even seen a volcanic eruption. But never a tornado or a waterspout.

Why Ancient Earth Was So WarmGreenhouse gases in the atmosphere kept the planet toasty, model shows.

Thousands of Years of Rising SeasA study estimates the ultimate effect of greenhouse gases on ice sheets, after the gases have persisted for hundreds of years.

Behold, the six types of atheists — Hmm. Interesting but simplistic. (Via [info]garyomaha.)

One hell of a deal: Pope Francis offers reduced time in Purgatory for Catholics that follow him on Twitter — Is that really how God does things? I’m damned glad I’m an atheist, so I don’t have to keep up with this kind of ludicrous score keeping.

Robertson Wonders If Obama Is A ‘Crypto-Muslim’ — This isn’t a difference of opinion. This isn’t contrasting governing philosophies. This is lunacy, pure and simple. This is your Republican party.

The Banality Of Richard Cohen And Racist Profiling — Ta-Nehisi Coates hits hard on the more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger strain of racism.

Health Plan Cost for New Yorkers Set to Fall 50% — Obamacare is a real disaster, isn’t it? What’s this country coming too when people pay less for a better service from a conservative ideal that happened to be sponsored by a Democratic president? This is the very definition of creeping Socialism.

Titles of Laws as Propaganda — This is a function of soundbite culture as much as any thing, I think.

US ties outweigh intelligence ‘squabbles’ – PutinRussian President Vladimir Putin has said bilateral relations with the US are more important than “squabbles between special services”.

QotD?: Can you sleep with somebody else?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (away from home)
Weight: n/a (away from home)
Number of FEMA troops on my block supplying black kids with Skittles: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg; Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

[links] Link salad wishes happy birthday to its mother

Debut author lessons: Hate mail — Mary Robinette Kowal Is Wise.

Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy Available! — In which I have an essay.

Temple of the Autonomous Machine — Okay, this story about the intersection of robotics and archaeology is just fricking cool.

Happiness Inc. — What makes people happy?

Group kicks off planting of ancient tree clones

The chicken crouton recipe — For them what wants it.

Classifying a Killer Whale for Tax Purposes — Ah, lawyers. And to be fair, the IRS.

For young Soviets, the Beatles were a first, mutinous rip in the iron curtainThe band inspired dissidents and musicians and, a new book claims, meant more to youth in the USSR than in the west. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Jon Stewart investigates the Australian gun control “failure”

National Debt Graph by President[T]he Voodoo [Economics] failed just as Bush predicted, and the supply-siders turned a 32-year winning streak into a debt disaster that continues to this day. For 20 years, under Reagan and the Bushes, the national debt increased compared to GDP every single year. In most other years it decreased. Supply side economics never worked. It’s just another one of those counterfactual conservative political fetishes that they justify within their bubble of epistemic closure. Another example of reality’s well-known liberal bias.

Political rhetoric finds its way into post-bombing debate

QotD?: When is your mom’s birthday?

Writing time yesterday: 0.5 hours (WRPA, plus some work on my archives which I didn’t include in the time tracking)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (injured foot)
Weight: n/a (couldn’t stand on scale due to injured foot)
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for climate change: 0
Currently reading: The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad says rock me Asmodeus

at Genome ConferenceNabsys’s technology could provide the positional accuracy missing from current DNA sequencing methods. This is the harbinger of the generation of genomic sequencing tech, that is faster and more accurate than the generation used to analyze my tumor tissue.

The Problem with Our Data ObsessionThe quest to gather ever more information can make us value the wrong things and grow overconfident about what we know.

An edge over which it is impossible to look — The Ladybower bellmouth. (Snurhced from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Chelyabinsk Meteor Flash

Starships of the MindScience fiction publisher Donald Wollheim has noted a widely shared vision of the human future among science fiction writers. This future history begins with journeys to the planets and their colonization, and extends to interstellar travel, star colonies, and the formation of a human galactic empire. This may be too ambitious for a species of our modest abilities. But if we choose to journey out, however far we go, it will begin with the starships of the mind.

Meet One of Mars Rover Curiosity’s Earthbound Twins
Scientists use a Mars-like environment created in Maryland to test key rover equipment.

Gypsum on Earth and Mars

Understanding extreme weather in an era of climate changeScientists try to ID climate signals in weather as public draws conclusions.

An Anniversary — On Giordano Bruno, free speech, and science. (Via David Goldman.)

No guns allowed at GOP meeting blasting “gun free zones” — Because they wouldn’t be conservatives without the hypocrisy.

QotD?: Demonic typo, isn’t it?

Writing time yesterday:0.0 hours (traveling with [info]the_child.)
Hours slept: 8.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (cold and wet, not walking with my mild head cold)
Weight: n/a (out of town)
Number of FEMA troops on my block covering up high crimes and misdemeanors in Benghazi: 0
Currently reading: Mort by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad has been there and done that

Jay Lake, una storia umana — An Italian Web site with a story about me, my writing and my cancer.

Writer from an Other Culture — Karen Lord Is Wise. (Snurched from Cora Buhlert.)

Genevieve Valentine – Ten Things You Should Know About “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” — Hahahahaha. (Thanks to [info]bedii.)

The Darwinian Dead — Peter Watts on natural selection and zombie-ism. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Nietzsche Family CircusRandomized pairings of Family Circus cartoons and Friedrich Nietzsche quotes. (Snurched from the Bloggess.)

Society’s key to finding the next Earth: The Ars guide to exoplanetsHave a faster-than-light colony ship? This is what you should know.

Strange damage reports surface after Friday’s Russian meteor explosion

Vivian Maier – Her Discovered Work — (Via David Goldman.)

Why Gender Equality Stalled

Why Regulating Legal Weapons Purchases Affects the Weapons Criminals Have — Steve Buchheit takes on another self-serving gun culture myth that endangers you, me and everyone.

California Lawmaker Pushing Gun Control Got Death Threat — But guns don’t enable violence, no no. Ask any member of the gun culture.

Oscar Pistorius case shows that guns don’t belong at homeStats prove that the person most likely to die from your weapon is you or someone you know. Your wife, your child, your partner. Not according to the NRA and the Republican party, which together have successfully banned almost all gun violence research in the US so the myth of home defense can go unchallenged. The conservative mind’ favorite tactics when confronted by those liberal “facts” and “data”: lie, then deny. The gun culture harms us all.

QotD?: Did you get the t-shirt?

Writing time yesterday: 1.75 hours (1.0 hours WRPA, 0.75 working on my collaboration with [info]the_child)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 233.8
Number of FEMA troops on my block covering up high crimes and misdemeanors in Benghazi: 0
Currently reading: Mort by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad asks what’s the matter with him? Is he all right?

Paradise Lost 3 — Looking for a tight writers’ conference with a high staff:student ratio? Plus me? Check it out.

Post-Sick SharksScrivener’s Error with a whole bunch of commentary and links on publishing and copyright, with focus on (among other things) orphan works. Recommended reading if you’re serious about this stuff.

Amazon ‘used neo-Nazi guards to keep immigrant workforce under control’ in Germany — Yep. That’s Amazon, predatory business practices and all. (Snurched from Andrew Wheeler.)

The Complete 14 Batman Window Cameos — Hahahah! (Via David Goldman.)

JayBall rules — Because reasons! (Thanks to [info]garyomaha.)

I’m Elyn Saks and this is what it’s like to live with schizophrenia — Wow. (Via Lisa Costello.)

The CIA funded abstract art during the Cold War — Umm…

Optical Calibration Targets — Oh, wow, this is cool. I want to visit some of these in person.

Bioinspired fibers change color when stretchedColor-tunable photonic fibers mimic the fruit of the “bastard hogberry” plant. (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Love of aviation launches teens’ fight to reopen museum — A local story from the Portland area.

Why Almost Everyone in Russia Has a Dash Cam — And why we have so many videos of the recent Russian meteor strike. (Via David Goldman.)

Russian Meteor Is Largest Since 1908 Siberian Blast, NASA SaysA meteor that exploded in the skies above Russia’s Ural Mountains was the largest since the Tunguska blast in Siberia in 1908 and released about 33 times the energy of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

Sex in the Middle Ages — Life after 40? No, wait…

Before Love: Puritan Beliefs about Sex and Marriage — Unfortunately, that Puritan sexual ethos continues to have grip on American culture, especially in the minds of the vocal and destructive Christianist minority, as part of their ongoing campaign of wholesale social repression and denial of individual rights in the name of a very narrow view of religion and morality.

Rising Voices in S. Korea, Japan Advocate Nuclear Weapons — What could possibly go wrong>

How the NRA Hobbled the ATF

The Art of Infinite War, Ctd.: The Administration’s Drone Campaign — Ta-Nehisi Coates with commentary from Judah Grunstein, who edits World Politics Review.

QotD?: How do you know?

Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (2,400 words on novella in progress, to 15,700 words, plus 0.25 hours of collaboration with [info]the_child.)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 232.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block covering up high crimes and misdemeanors in Benghazi: 0
Currently reading: Mort by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad worries some more, because worrying is what it does

The Macroeconomics of Middle Earth — Hahahah. (Snurched from [info]james_nicoll.)

In Portland, Tex-Mex fare rides again — One of my favorite cuisines, and one rarely found (even poorly executed) here in the foodie town of Portland. I miss Chuy’s from my Austin days, and especially the Hula Hut. (Via my Dad.)

Riding a horse across a frozen lake in Siberia — Also this wow factor as well: Frozen Bubbles Suspended Below Abraham Lake. (Both thanks to Lisa Costello.)

LROC Browse Gallery — Lunar pr0n. (Thanks to Gary Dierks.)

Futuristic highways in the Netherlands glow in the dark. — Weird and cool. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Test Room — This is a weird little squib from BLDG BLOG which happens to have an Oregon connection. Though that’s not the weird part.

Juggling by numbers: How notation revealed new tricks — Huh. Interesting. I have extremely modest skills as a juggler myself. (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Forbidden sphere — Weird security in the nuclear age. See also: Classifying a Shape and Illegal Numbers. The fascinating weirdness of security paranoia. (Via David Goldman.)

Why We Have a Right to Consumer GeneticsIt’s hard to get straightforward health guidance from personal genome tests, which are banned in some places. But one way to make them more meaningful is to let more people buy them.

World first as scientists create cancer-killing cells that can be injected into patients

The Myth of Harriet Tubman — A moving piece from Ta-Nehisi Coates that says some new-to-me things about race and racism.

Joseph Sciambra, Self-Described ‘Ex-Gay Porn Star,’ Claims Gay Men Anally Give Birth to the Devil — Are all religious conservatives insane? Or just the ones who have public voices? This guy’s on the same range of cruel lunacy as Dobson, Fischer, Franklin Graham and Huckabee. So unlike anything I ever found in the Bible, at least the New Covenant. It’s like faith makes them stupid and mean. Or maybe they started out stupid and mean and found a faith that fit those tendencies. (Via Mike Brotherton.)

The NRA Claims the AR-15 Is Useful for Hunting and Home Defense. Not Exactly. — Uh huh. (Via [info]danjite.)

Thoughts on the Second Amendment — A long but fascinating piece on the Second Amendment’s historical context and judicial interpretations thereof. I was struck by this comment on D.C. v. Heller: Apparently judicial activism is okay for decisions right-wingers happen to like, but not for decisions they don’t like. Well, duh. That’s a cornerstone of the justly famed principled intellectual consistency of American conservatism. More to the point: Americans have clearly stated that the blood of children is an acceptable price for the free availability of guns, and I do not see any marking on the wall that says, “When the pile of bodies reaches this line, things will change.” It is a sad commentary on us as a culture, but there you have it. (Via Steve Buchheit.)

Sen. Crapo pleads guilty to DWI, seeks ‘forgiveness and repentance’ — Another religious conservative moral scold has feet of clay. Not that this ever stops them from lecturing and legislating against behaviors they disapprove of in others.

O’Reilly: “Asian People Are Not Liberal, You Know, By Nature. They’re Usually More Industrious And Hard-Working” — Wow. Racist and classist and staggeringly stupid all in one. Conservative America, this is one of your leading voices. What does this say about you?

The Secret History of US Drone Strikes in 2012 — Just in case you thought everything was peachy Over There. America embarked on a decade plus of frenzied killing in response to 9-11, mostly of people who had nothing to do with the original event. How do you think they feel about us now?

Gulf Coast Lawmaker Votes Against Sandy ReliefRep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS), whose Mississippi district is situated on the Gulf Coast, was one of 67 Republicans on Friday to vote against a $9.7 billion relief package to victims of Hurricane Sandy. Stay classy, Mississippi. It’s not like the Feds gave you any money to help out after Hurricane Katrina. No, wait… I guess this is compassionate conservatism in action.

GOP’s obstructionism is suicide strategy — We should all be so lucky, The key to the suicide bomb strategy is to convince people that members of the conservative wing of the Republican Party are crazy enough to wreck the economy if they don’t get their way. I’m certainly convinced. The congressional GOP have become a basket of vandals and loons completely uninterested in a functional government. Which is the logical outcome of 30 years of “government is the problem” rhetoric, unfortunately for those of us who are still sane and wish to live in a functional society.

?otD: How carefree is your morning?

Writing time yesterday: 0.75 hours (WRPA, specifically research for a Cthulhu short)
Hours slept: 5.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: n/a (forgot to weight before I ate)
Number of FEMA troops on my block teaching critical thinking skills to the children of conservatives: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks

[links] Link salad has seen the future, brother and it is murder

Librarians and porn — Not work safe. Funny.

Last of 2012’s Link SausagesScrivener’s Error with several worthwhile publishing rants all rolled into one mighty post.

Continuity errors in WWII — Hahahahah. An oldie but a goodie. (Snurched from [info]james_nicoll.)

Hartmut Esslinger’s early Apple computer and tablet designs — Some cool stuff, very forward thinking work from 20-30 years ago. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Cosmic Radiation Could Cause Alzheimer’s in Mars Astronauts

Tree Receivers — A very fascinating and weird (and very SFnal) post from BLDG BLOG about using trees for electronic communication.

First you take a leek… — Oh, this soup. Jersey Girl in Portland with the recipe and commentary on her awesome potato-leek soup.

Liberal bullying: Privilege-checking and semantics-scolding as internet sportIncreasingly, I’ve started recognizing this kind of behavior for what it is: privilege-checking as a form of internet sport. It’s a kind of trolling, with all the politics I agree with, but motivations and execution that turns my stomach. It’s well-intended (SO well-intended), but when the motivations seem to be less about opening dialogue about the issues, and more about performance, righteousness, and intolerance for those who don’t agree with you… well, I’m not on-board. Reminds me strongly of certain people and issues in the SFnal community.

Will gay marriage destroy America as we know it? — We can only hope to be supplanted by a kinder and more tolerant society.

Russian Inequality on the Eve of RevolutionIn 1904, on the eve of military defeat and the 1905 Revolution, Russian income inequality was middling by the standards of that era, and less severe than inequality has become today in such countries as China, the United States, and Russia itself. So the U.S. has greater income inequality than Tsarist Russia. Yep, definitely need to lower the taxes on the rich from their already historic lows. Because reasons. Conservative ones. (Via [info]danjite.)

A Broken System for Tracking GunsThe bureau — which should have a lead role in protecting the nation from gun crimes — has been severely hindered by an array of N.R.A.-backed legislative restrictions. For example, a 1986 law prohibits A.T.F. agents from making more than one unannounced inspection a year on a gun dealer, a rule that serves no purpose other than protecting unscrupulous dealers. Yep, us antigun liberals are definitely full of it: no hocus pocus in our gun laws or statistics gathering. Just patriotic, intellectually honest Real Americans defending their essential liberties and standing their ground without burdensome government interference.

Let’s Give Up on the Constitution — Hmm. There’s a level at which I take his point. It’s only the Constitution that has allowed a discredited minority party explicitly dedicated to rendering government dysfunctional hold so much of this country’s political process hostage. At the same time, it’s the Constitution that undergirds and binds our system together. Even when the lunatics in the GOP have grabbed the reins.

Mosque Arsonist Tells Court: ‘I Only Know What I Hear on Fox News’“No, I only know what I hear on Fox News and what I hear on radio. Muslims are killing Americans and trying to blow stuff up,” Linn also reportedly told the judge. “Most Muslims are terrorists and don’t believe in Jesus Christ.” Ah, conservative America and your media echo chamber. You are such clear thinkers and moral actors. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

?otD: When they said repent, did you wonder what they meant?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 11.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (30 minutes on the stationary bike)
Weight: 211.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block teaching critical thinking to the children of conservatives: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks

[links] Link salad knows that a British bank is run with precision

Gunman opens fire at Oregon mall; Suspect, 2 dead — This is a mile or so from my house. Thank God for the NRA and the Republican party. Without their vigorous defense of gun rights, this shooter wouldn’t have been able to pursue his theoretical defense of essential liberties by murdering people for Christmas in my neighborhood. Without widespread availability of firearms, we’d be living in a peaceful liberal hell, I’m just certain of it.

Why Being An Academic is like Being a Novelist, And Why That’s OK — In which I receive passing favorable mention as a Good Example.

Lice in the Locks of Literature — Christopher Priest on Robert McCrum’s recent dismissive characterization of science fiction as the cockroach of genres. German author Cora Buhlert is amusing about this from a non-UK/USAnian perspective.

Spooky spirit stalks Imperial Schooner? — I’ve eaten at this place. (Thanks to my Dad.)

The Empire That Was RussiaThe Prokudin-Gorskii Photographic Record Recreated. (Via Alexis.)

Jimmy Fallon on the Gadsden Purchase — These guys are obviousy planted actors, but this is still some pretty funny history trolling.

GravityLight: lighting for developing countries — This both technically cool and socially worthy. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Threatening Snowglobe Administration Lifts Some Restrictions — So snowglobes are no longer considered an air safety risk? Good to know. I feel much safer now.

Meteor shower — or two– Thursday night

Earth’s orbital cycles may trigger peaks of volcanic eruptions41,000-year cycle in the Earth’s tilt matches up with peak volcanic activity. Didn’t they make a disaster movie out of this?

Live Message of Peace from the Mayan Elders on December 21-23, 2012 Will Be Broadcast Worldwide on World Unity 2012 Network — (Via [info]supersniffles.)

Fake Metro Map of Montevideo — This article about faking the Uruguayan metro is quite interesting.

The man whose brain ignores one half of his worldA stroke left Alan Burgess with hemispatial neglect – an inability to pay attention to sensory stimuli on his left side (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Gene Regulation May Explain How Homosexuality Flourishes — Isn’t this more or less another approach to the “gay uncle” hypothesis?

An Epi PhenomenonWhile exploring the genetics of a rare type of tumor, Stephen Baylin discovered an epigenetic modification that occurs in most every cancer—a finding he’s helping bring to the clinic. This bit about inflammation leading to DNA methylation actually explains to me a lot about why colon cancer hit me early — I have a lifelong history of bowel distress and colonic irritation, and was diagnosed years before my cancer with IBS.

Black swans and blue tarantulas: ‘Without’ and ‘despite’ are not the sameSlacktivist Fred Clark on belief and evidence.

New global report on discrimination against the nonreligious — (Via [info]shsilver.)

GOP mute as Supreme Court tackles gay marriage — Come on, Republicans. Where’s that loud and proud bigotry you’ve built your political fortunes on over these past decades? Those angry white men won’t generate themselves!

Roberts Donated Help to Gay Rights Case — You know, my opinion of Chief Justice Roberts couldn’t be any lower if he was a Young Earth Creationist used car salesman, but if he votes on the side of equality and sanity in the Supreme Court’s DOMA review, I will send flowers and chocolate to [info]ericjamesstone.

Scott Tranter, Republican Consultant: Voter ID And Long Lines Help Our Side “A lot of us are campaign officials — or campaign professionals — and we want to do everything we can to help our side. Sometimes we think that’s voter ID, sometimes we think that’s longer lines — whatever it may be,” Tranter said with a laugh. That’s the real innovation of Mitt Romney: Republicans no longer even bother to lie about their dishonesty and electoral manipulation. I’m old enough to remember when the GOP was all about “character counts”. Too bad nobody in the GOP is.

Republicans Look To Break Their Fox Addiction — That would begin to get them out of the epistemic closure. Maybe a step in the right direction? Forgive me if I’m cynical about this one.

?otD: A British home requires nothing less, right?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bike ride
Weight: 218.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing international law and Kenyan Muslim socialism: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks

[links] Link salad crawls through chemo fog

Skyfall review: James Bond from a Russian perspective — This is more interesting for the history of Russia’s relationship with James Bond than for its comments on the newest release. (Thanks to Marta Murvosh.)

Why David Petraeus’s Gmail account is a national security issue

Where are all the millennial feminists? — I understand the frustration, but doesn’t this count as a ‘win’ for feminism?

Memo to the Right Wing: Women Know You Really Have Our Backs — Hahahah. (Thanks to Marta Murvosh.)

It all makes sense now — A brilliant interpretation of gay marriage and legalized marijuana. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Mapping Racist Tweets in Response to President Obama’s Re-election — Nope, no racism in conservative America. These are only “facts” and “data”, which as any good conservative know have a conservative bias.

What The 2012 Election Would Have Looked Like Without Universal SuffrageThese five maps look at how the 2012 election would have played out before everyone could vote. No wonder the GOP worked so hard at suppressing votes. It really was the only way they could win.

Training up children in the way they should goSlacktivist Fred Clark on Christianist brainwashing of children into reflexive homophobia, and how that distorts their thinking over the long term.

“Ex-Gay” Counsellor Arrested For Molestation Of Two Young Men — Hey, look, another Christianist homophobe caught fooling around with men. Because, yeah, insofar as I can tell, religious homophobia is major case of psychological projection every damn time. Any time I see a conservative preacher or political railing against teh gay, I assume self-loathing closet case. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Christian Right Failed to Sway Voters on Issues — Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of theofascist thugs.

Why Didn’t Religion Matter More in This Election? — (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Fox News Guest: Obama Won by Lying About ‘Rape Camps’ Under Romney — Conservatives really are unhinged, on the plain face of their own words.

Rachel Maddow on Obama’s Re-electionhio really did go to President Obama last night. And he really did win. And he really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately President of the United States. Again. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month. And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy. And the polls were not skewed to oversample Democrats And so on and so on.

Texas Republican Wants State To Leave U.S. Over Obama Win“We must contest every single inch of ground and delay the baby-murdering, tax-raising socialists at every opportunity,” Morrison wrote. “But in due time, the maggots will have eaten every morsel of flesh off of the rotting corpse of the Republic, and therein lies our opportunity.” Apparently, Republicans only like representative democracy and Federalism when their guys win. Admittedly, this is pretty fringe stuff even by the very loose standards of the GOP, but still sadly unsurprising.

Florida’s West refuses to relinquish seat in Congress to MurphyMath says Allen West lost his Florida congressional seat to Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy. West begs to differ. That’s the really great thing about being a conservative. When those liberal “facts” and “data” don’t agree with your ideology, your ideology is always right. Conservatism cannot fail you, you can only fail conservatism.

OrcaLanguage Log is both funny and serious about the failure of Money Boo Boo’s Orca software.

?otD: Onward?

Writing time yesterday: 0.25 hours (WRPA)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (chemo)
Hours slept: 10.5 hours (8.5 hours fitful plus nappy)
Weight: 226.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block confiscating guns and enforcing gay marriage: 0
Currently reading: Mirrordance by Lois McMaster Bujold

[links] Link salad has been told again and again that you prefer handsomer men

Con-etiquette — Lucienne Diver is wise. (Via Marta Murvosh.)

Galloping Horses — Art guru James Gurney on the influence of the photography of Edweard Muybridge. This is some cool history.

Skull flower — Pareidolia on the hoof.

Bits of Mystery DNA, Far From ‘Junk,’ Play Crucial Role

NY court to decide if lap dance is tax-exempt art — In Oregon, nude dancing is protected as artistic expression in the state constitution. Not sure why that’s the case, but it is.

Putin leads young cranes in flight — Because, uh. Nope. I got nothing.

The First Lady of America — Ta-Nehisi Coates on Michelle Obama.

The Public Seems to Dislike Unified Government Even More Than Dysfunction

Mike Huckabee is lying. Again.And Mike Huckabee is telling a particularly stupid lie. President Obama speaks in public, a lot. And almost every word he has said for the past several years has been recorded on video. So claiming that Obama never says something he says all the time — the president loves quoting the Declaration — either reveals Huckabee’s hamfistedness as a liar, or else it reveals his utter contempt for those in his audience, whom he assumes are too stupid not to just swallow every bogus word he feeds them. That last would pretty much be the basis of the entire Romney-Ryan campaign, which is explicitly and knowingly promoting massive lies.

Top Ten Ways we are Better off than in January 2009It is breathtaking impudence that Republicans should try to campaign on whether we are better off than were were in the last six months of the Bush administration. I can’t believe we are even arguing about this. Seriously? The country had fallen off a cliff in the last years of Bush, or rather had been pushed off one by GOP policies.

?otD: For me, would you make an exception?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hour (revisions to Other Me)
Body movement: 60 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 5.5 (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Heartland by Mark Teppo