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[links] Link salad has a mysterious ache in its side

The Science Fiction Author on Trial (NIH trial, that is!) fundraiser made goal. Thank you! We are working on some stretch goals, if you’re interested. Keep an eye out.

A map showing lexical distance (how much similarity there is between vocabularies) among the languages of Europe — Cool…

The Ancient Ghost City of Ani — Haunting photos.

The pending demise of Facebook (and Princeton) — This is hilarious in a very geeky way.

1984 Macintosh vs. Apple iMac: Spec Showdown

Here’s What It Looked Like When Marijuana Was Growing All Over Brooklyn — (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

6 reasons female nudity can be powerfulA reporter’s question about Lena Dunham’s nudity pointed to a bigger issue: Naked women can threaten the status quo.

Behold, the Kindle of the 16th CenturyJust one of the “various and ingenious machines” of Captain Agostino Ramelli. (Thanks to [info]threeoutside.)

Inside Monopoly’s secret war against the Third Reich “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find.” Fascinating. (Via David Goldman.)

Workers of the World, Faint! — I got nothing. (Via David Goldman.)

Astrobiology Underground — Deep, hot life.

Biodiversity can flourish on an urban planetFor instance, cities now support 20 percent of the world’s bird species.

Source of water ice on dark side of the Moon revealed?Interplanetary dust regularly showers the Earth and other Solar System bodies.

Rover’s decade on Mars surprises NASA A decade after landing on Mars, the rover Opportunity is still chugging along.

China Installed More Solar Power in 2013 than the US has in its Whole History — Lux fiat, baby.

The Penance of Glenn Beck — He’s a little tiny bit sorry now.

Michigan GOP official: ‘Herd all the Indians’ to Detroit, build a fence and throw in corn

Mike Huckabee and women’s uncontrolled libido, or, Uncle Sugar — This one pretty much speaks for itself. I don’t need to snark.

Why Republicans Keep Calling Women Sluts — A helpful exegesis on Huckabee’s unfortunate remarks.

?otD: Did you see them? It was dark, they were big.


1/25/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (badly interrupted)
Body movement: n/a (in hospital)
Weight: n/a (in hospital)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad reports in from the ICU

Encore, for the Norwegian Curlers and Their Pants — Because color! (Via David Goldman.)

Are You A Super-Spreader of Disease? A small group of special individuals could act as an early warning system for the next epidemic. Their special power? Super-spreading disease.

The Plumes of Ceres — This be some serious cool.

An insider’s story of the global attack on climate scienceAn epic saga of secretly funded climate denial and harassment of scientists.

On the ongoing destruction of Christian communities in the Near East

‘Philomena,’ A Must-See Film About the Magdalene Laundries and Forced Adoptions — (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Real Facts About AbortionThe women who get abortions are not merely irresponsible drug using harlots. They are us.

Top Ten Ways GOP could avoid “War on Women” Label

Glenn Beck and Other ‘Too Little, Too Late’ Apologies“I wish I could go back and be more uniting in my language because I think I played a role, unfortunately, in helping tear the country apart[.]” — Now that he’s made his fortune, he’s developing a glimmering of a conscience?

Non Sequitur on sweet, sweet reason

?otD: Got drainage tubes?


1/24/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (in hospital)
Weight: n/a (in hospital)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad wakes up to head for surgery

2013 Book 96: love in the time of metal and flesh[info]talekyn reviews me.

Yesterday, The Internet Solved a 20-year-old Mystery — This is cool and strange. (Snurched from Language Log.)

Sex With Google Glass — Because reasons! Or not… (Via [info]danjite.)

Milk Drinking Still a Mysteryhe mutation for milk-drinking evolved independently in different parts of the world over the last 10,000 years as a result of strong natural selection, but why was it so advantageous?

2013 Continued the Long-Term Warming TrendThe GISS Land-Ocean Temperature Index put 2013 into the top ten warmest years in the global record, even though temperatures in the United States were not much warmer than usual.

The Death Of ExpertiseToday, any assertion of expertise produces an explosion of anger from certain quarters of the American public, who immediately complain that such claims are nothing more than fallacious “appeals to authority,” sure signs of dreadful “elitism,” and an obvious effort to use credentials to stifle the dialogue required by a “real” democracy.

Leaked Records Reveal Offshore Holdings of China’s Elite — (Via [info]danjite.)

The abortion liars club. And one way they wield it. — Thou shalt not bear false witness.

?otD: Cuts like a knife, does it?


1/23/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (in hospital)
Weight: n/a (in hospital)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad creaks through the weekend

Always fighting the storm, afraid to suffer the woundLisa Costello on acceptance and coping with my impending death.

Ten Things You May Not Know About Ebook Prices — (Via D. Scott Frey.)

Nimoy Sings: 1968 — Given the pattern on Nimoy’s shirt, we can only be grateful this photo isn’t in color.

Apogee’s Full Moon — It’s a mighty cool photo, but be sure to read the copy as well.

Hiroo Onoda, Japanese soldier who long refused to surrender, dies at 91After losing his comrades to various circumstances, Onoda was eventually persuaded to come out of hiding in 1974. His former commanding officer traveled to Lubang to see him and tell him he was released from his military duties. In his battered old army uniform, Onoda handed over his sword, nearly 30 years after Japan surrendered.

Bone fragment ‘could be King Alfred or son Edward’

Scratching out a Living on Ellesmere IslandRetreating glaciers in the high arctic have left behind heaps of debris and new territory for cold-loving plants to colonize.

Three arguments about climate change that should never be used — Yeah, good luck with that. Climate change denialism isn’t an evidence-based process, and reason doesn’t enter in to. Exactly like evolution denialists, climate change denialists argue backwards from an ideological conclusion and try to subvert the language of evidence and reason to support their article of faith. So providing evidence-based reasoning against ideological denialist arguments is pointless.

Company Behind West Virginia’s Chemical Spill Files For Bankruptcy — Mmm, industry self-regulation for the win. All those meddlesome, job-killing Federal regulations wouldn’t have done anything except likely prevent the spill, and ensure the company could cover the damages if the spilled happened anyway. We don’t want that sort of thing in a free society, do we? Also, this. Because freedom! And evil liberals who happen to think clean drinking water might be important!

The GOP’s War on Science Endangering America: Climate Change, Evolution, RegulationThe Republican Party is increasingly emerging as an anti-science party. Since American greatness was built on its science and technology (and not on the odd cult of biblical inerrancy), this development is a danger to the republic, and, indeed, to the world. The US used to be about solving problems, about a can-do spirit, not about denying concrete reality. I would have said, “has long since emerged”. Conservatives will have an enormous amount to answer for in America’s degraded future, but they will never see or understand that.

Judge strikes down North Carolina ultrasound abortion law — Slowly, sanity and morality and justice creep back into America despite concerted conservative efforts to the contrary. (Via David Goldman.)

Christians aren’t being driven out of public life – they’re just losing their unfair advantages One of the prickly issues for a society that attempts to be liberal is how tolerant it must be of the intolerant. Writing in the last issue of this magazine, Cristina Odone says that she feels her rights as a taxpayer, a citizen and a Christian have been trampled on. She warns of a world around the corner in which religion will be a secret activity behind closed doors. So, what is this dystopian vision of the future? A world where if you run a bed and breakfast, you cannot discriminate against gay couples, and you have to abide by the rules of the job you are contracted to do. That’s it, really. (Via [info]rekre8.)

America is becoming more liberal — If true, this offers some hope for future sanity in this country. The Reagan and post-Reagan conservative experiment has failed by almost every conceivable metric. Maybe it’s time to try optimism, growth and tolerance instead.

Obama Outlines 5 Surveillance Reforms — Yet somehow the surveillance state will continue to proper. Color me cynical.

?otD: Did you sleep in today?


1/18/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.75 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 239.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad for a thirsty Thursday

Surviving the World on creative writing — Uh…

A Toast Story — You just have to read this one all the way through. I simply cannot do it justice in a couple of lines of commentary or throwaway snark. (Via David Goldman.)

What not to say to a transgender person — What a curious, and encouraging, thing to see on CNN.com, of all places. Slowly the culture moves in the right direction. (Assuming that you, like me, believe tolerance, inclusiveness and human rights for every American is the right direction.)

Thai graft body to probe rice subsidies, adding to PM’s woes amid protests — The story itself doesn’t mean much to me one way or the other, but it took me several tries to read the headline as anything other than some kind of incredibly creepy Dr. Moreau thing about grafting bodies together.

Can history leave towns struck in places with bad locational fundamentals?

34 nuclear missile officers cheated on tests, Air Force says — Well, that’s comforting as hell.

Energy Teleportation Overcomes Distance Limit The ability to teleport energy from one location to another could revolutionise the way quantum devices operate, but only if it can be made to work over practical distances. Now physicists think they know how. I love living in the future.

Why plural marriages make sense — An opinion piece connecting the interests of a certain stripe of the Mormon community with the interests of the polyamorous community. Not a usual conjoining, to be sure.

Vatican To Be Grilled By UN On Allegations It Enabled Rape Of ChildrenThe Vatican is gearing up for a bruising showdown over the global priest sex abuse scandal, forced for the first time to defend itself at length and in public against allegations it enabled the rape of thousands of children by protecting pedophile priests and its own reputation at the expense of victims. Calling the Vatican’s long-term campaign of protection of child rapist an “allegation” is astonishingly kind to one of the most vile action taken by a putative moral organization in modern times. I’m pretty sure the Catholic church’s wholesale ruination of children’s lives over decades has been exhaustively demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt.

The Dark-Tinted, Truth-Filled Reading List We Owe Our Kids — A Christianist view of fiction. I especially like this observation: I would understand if hard-bitten secularists were the ones feeding narrative meringue to their children with false enthusiasm. They believe their kids will eventually grow up and realize how terrible, grinding, and meaningless reality really is. Wow. Has that author ever actually met a secularist? That is an amazingly smug, ridiculous caricature, though I suppose it’s pleasantly self-valorizing for a certain kind of faithholder to pretend that’s how atheists and secularists see the world.

Sen. Burr won’t say why he’s blocking a nominee he recommended — Once again the much vaunted intellectual consistency and sterling character of the American right is proudly on display.

So long, IRS ‘scandal’The IRS faux-scandal, which has died with a whimper, is actually in the news quite a bit right now for a couple of reasons. The first is the Republicans preoccupation with comparing President Obama’s handling of the IRS story with Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) handling of his bridge scandal. But as the FBI’s disinterest helps remind us, there is no equivalence here – the Christie administration, as the governor himself now admits, engaged in actual misconduct. The IRS story, on the other hand, is a mirage. And then there’s House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). (Via David Goldman.)

An actual advance in human freedom in New Mexico. No surprise that conservatives hate it. — Ah, right to die.

Rush Limbaugh: If Christie was a true conservative, whether he lied ‘wouldn’t matter’ — Conservatives get a free pass on ethics. Duh. Also, water is wet. Why is this news? There has never been ethical consistency on the American Right. That’s why they yammer so much about character and morality: to cover up their own massive hypocrisy.

?otD: What will you drink today?


1/16/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 238.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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

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

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

Jewish Surnames Explained

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

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

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

Lost Remains of Slain Ancient Queen Unearthed

African tigerfish catch swallows in flight — Yow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

[links] Link salad wakes up in its own bed

Jay Lake livre son génome — I love the translation of my attribution, The author of the largely unknown Jade…

Neanderthals ‘could speak like us’ — “Ooh-bi-doo, I wan’na be like you / I want to walk like you, talk like you, too…“ Everybody sing!

Dutch masters paintings deconstructed — This is pretty intense.

Will Commercial Space Travel Blast Off in 2014?

Big Dig West — Wow, this is serious stupidity up in Seattle, thanks to WSDOT.

Back in the Pulpit After Losing His Church, and Still Supporting Gay Marriage

Cosmas IndicopleustesCosmas composed his Christian Topography over a number of years, after he had retired to monastic life. He aimed at proving, contrary to prevailing Greek and some Christian theories, that the universe had the same shape as Moses’ tabernacle, that it was in the form of a cube and not a sphere. The earth was a flat, oblong table, 12,000 miles long and 6,000 miles wide, surrounded by ocean beyond which was Paradise, where Adam and Eve had lived (cf. II.43). The whole area was surrounded by high, perpendicular mountains on which the vault of heaven rested. Between heaven and earth lay the firmament, dividing the universe into two stages. God and the just dwelt on the upper level, to which man would be admitted after the Resurrection; on the lower was humanity in this life. And see here. (Thanks, ultimately, to Felix Gilman.)

Noah’s Extremely Bad Animal Husbandry AdviceBy their estimates, 16,000 land animals and birds, including dinosaurs, were on the ark. Uh, yeah. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Heat Wave Stifles AustraliaTemperatures topping 118° F, 48° C, baked eastern Australia during the final days of 2013 and first week of 2014.

Ford Exec: ‘We Know Everyone Who Breaks The Law’ Thanks To Our GPS In Your Car — Apparently there has since been a retraction. Gee, I wonder why. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Judge in “kids for cash” ruled liable for damage — It’s so rare for people who work in the judicial system to face consequences for misconduct, especially when the victims are essentially helpless and have no real social power. See our nation’s long and shameful history of essential zero consequences for prosecutorial misconduct, for example. This story continues to amaze me.

Freedom to lie[S]ome members of the court are concerned that the anti-abortion zealots are being obstructed from lying. You can’t blame them. Blatant dishonesty is a big part of the forced childbirth movement strategy and at least a handful of justices are undoubtedly fully on board with that tactic. Yeah, that whole Ten Commandment about not bearing false witness? Smug Republican Jesus gives His followers a pass on that one every time.

NJ Democrat lawmaker on traffic scandal: ‘I do think laws have been broken’ — As any Republican can tell you, rumors of a presidential blow job are far, far more politically important than abuse of power for petty political payback a part of a long term pattern of bullying and intimidation.

?otD: Did you walk alone in restless dreams?


1/12/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (extremely fitful)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 240.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad for the cutting edge

Jay Lake, The Cancer Journals — Matt Cheney talks about my cancer blogging. This is very moving. Thank you, Matt.

Nanoparticles catch cancer cells that make it into the blood stream

What is this article? — About blogging one’s own death. This made me sad. (Via DM.)

LingBuzzFeed: 5 Linguistically Valuable Uses For Drones — Linguist snark.

Danger: HumansTom Scott explains how terrifyingly dangerous human beings are, in the form of a educational safety video for interstellar travelers who aren’t humans. Hahah. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

The Nose Knows: An Olfactory Map of Newport, RI

Should Men’s Products Fear a Woman’s Touch?Recent research shows that loyal customers often get upset when a brand associated with men expands to include products perceived as feminine. Senior Lecturer Jill J. Avery discusses the problem of “gender contamination.” Cooties! (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

RCA Victor Record Changer 1931 Radiola Automatic Electrola RAE-26 Demonstration — This is some seriously old school tech. Cool. (Via [info]garyomaha.)

The Great Brooklyn House Snooping of 1978

Searching for Time Travelers Probably a Waste of Time — I see what they did there.

What Goes Around Comes AroundWhile North Americans contended with a blast of Arctic air, Europeans found themselves wondering where winter went.

New titleholder? China says it is world’s largest traderChina’s latest trade figures show it is “very likely” to have overtaken the US as the world’s largest trader. It would topple the position that the US has held for much of the last century and cross another milestone in rivalling the biggest economy in the world.

Biblical birth control: The surprisingly contraception-friendly Old Testament Think conservative objections to birth control are enshrined in the Bible? Think again. Ah, but true conservatives don’t read the Bible, any more than they read the Constitution. They already know what’s in there, the actual words don’t matter.

?otD: How sharp are you?


1/10/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.25 hours (fitful)
Body movement: n/a (on medical restriction)
Weight: n/a (traveling, no scale)
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad lays low on Sunday

Alien Abduction Lamp — I need this. (Via [info]garyomaha.)

4 Things I Learned from the Worst Online Dating Profile Ever — Wow…

100-Million-Year Old Amber Fossil Preserves Ancient Flowers Caught In The Middle Of Sexual Reproduction

Go to Jupiter for the Best French Fries

The helical model – our solar system is a vortex — A cool visualization of the solar system. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Scientists solve mystery of UFO lights appearing just before earthquakesElectrical light shows known as earthquake lights may occur at rifts, or nearly vertical faults in the Earth’s crust, new research suggests.

Living at a Time of Post Natural Ecologies

Methane release around Arctic islands predates recent climate changeAreas where methane bubbles up from seafloor have been around for centuries. Ah, science.

Government Might Deregulate Corn, Soybean Seeds — Uh, we are talking Agent Orange here. Ring any bells? (Via [info]danjite.)

What happens if authorities seize your laptop? — Too bad for you, basically. Though why the BBC is quoting the Heritage Foundation as a source on anything rational or evidence-based is beyond me. (Via Scrivener’s Error.)

The NSA refuses to deny spying on members of Congress — (Via [info]danjite.)

2014 looking to be a gay old year for anti-gay Republican Congressman Aaron SchockSo Aaron Schock is happy to affirmatively harm people based on their sexual orientation, but expects people to not affirmatively harm him based on his sexual orientation. Ah, Republicans.

Something to BeholdIt’s become something of a cliche: disabled, aged or relatively impoverished whites who literally could not survive without federal government assistance in many case nonetheless raging against Washington, “hand outs” and government dependency. It’s there with a vengeance in this article in National Journal by Beth Reinhard on GOP plans to double down on race-based class warfare as the ticket to success in the 2014 elections. When you can’t win on your ideas, fear mongering works almost as well as lying. Hence the GOP’s “generate more angry white guys” strategy, of which this is merely latest iteration. Because basing your governance on divisive hate is the patriotic thing to do!

?otD: Can you hear me, Phil?


1/5/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: n/a (traveling, no scale)
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad flies away again

Being right or being happy: pilot study — Which kind of reminds me of my “justice versus peace” parable I sometimes tell. (Via David Goldman.)

Was Dickens’s Christmas Carol borrowed from Lowell’s mill girls? A new discovery by literary scholars highlights an unexpected inspiration. (Thanks to Dad.)

Stunning photography of man’s mightiest shameA 25-year-long documentary of the glorious beauty of destruction.

An Autopsy of a Dead Social NetworkFollowing the collapse of the social network Friendster, computer scientists have carried out a digital autopsy to find out what went wrong.

There Are 500 Identified Fetishes Out There. How They All Became Normal. — Hmm. (Thanks to Jim P.)

These kids are clearly up to no good. — Uh, yeah. (Via [info]danjite.)

Table held up by buckets resting on it — This is rather strange. (Thanks to [info]willyumtx.)

Moore’s Law and the Origin of LifeAs life has evolved, its complexity has increased exponentially, just like Moore’s law. Now geneticists have extrapolated this trend backwards and found that by this measure, life is older than the Earth itself. There’s some thought provoking stuff. (Via David Goldman.)

Church official has conviction reversedIn dismissing the landmark criminal case on Thursday, a three-judge Superior Court panel in Pennsylvania unanimously rejected prosecutors’ arguments that Lynn supervised the welfare of any particular child. How terribly convenient for the Monsignor and Holy Mother Church. It’s only a crime to shelter an individual pedophile with an individual victim. Sheltering pedophiles wholesale is completely legal. Just like smug Republican Jesus says! Catholic moral standing restored!

Wyoming can give homeless a place to live, and save money – See more at: http://wyofile.com/kerrydrake/wyoming-homelessness-place-live-save-money/#sthash.jGdnf0f7.dpuf — As [info]danjite says, “Seems awhile back Utah compared ER visits + jail ($16,670) for homeless folks vs a socialistical commie pinko state provided apartment + case worker ($11,000) and choose the anti-American path.” Ah, helping the poor: what an anti-conservative, unChristian thing to in Sarah Palin’s “real America”.

McDonald’s removes worker site in fast food flap — I don’t know if you’ve been following this story, but it’s been an idiotic illustration of the income gap in this country.

?otD: Been to Maryland lately?


12/27/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 239.6
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 knows the nose knows

Elevenses And Then Some: How To Prepare A Feast Fit For A Hobbit — Now that’s a lot of food… (Via Lisa Costello.)

Benedict Cumberbatch sees Smaug as sexy

Misheard for the holidays: When good song lyrics go bad — (Thanks to Dad.)

The Best of the Worst Logo Designs — Oh geeze. (I think I got this from Steve Buchheit, but I have lost the source.

Isle of Coll secures ‘dark isle’ status — Mmm. Dark Isle. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

First Lasing Nanofibres Open The Way For Cheap, Soft Laser TextilesBy adding laser dyes to organic fibres, researchers have demonstrated a technique that should lead to textiles that lase at all visible frequencies. All the world’s a rave, and we are merely stoners.

MetropolomeResearchers take advantage of rapid and cheap DNA sequencing technologies to map the bacterial microbiome of New York City.

Trust Me (I’m a kettle) — Charlie Stross on the virtues of tech paranoia.

Scientists Discover a Jewel at the Heart of Quantum PhysicsThe amplituhedron looks like an intricate, multifaceted jewel in higher dimensions. Encoded in its volume are the most basic features of reality that can be calculated, “scattering amplitudes,” which represent the likelihood that a certain set of particles will turn into certain other particles upon colliding. Huh. (Via David Goldman.)

Vitamins’ Old, Old EdgeFrom the beginnings of life roughly four billion years ago, they have played a central, necessary role. In fact, early life forms used to be veritable vitamin factories.

Furthering the Conversation on the HPV Vaccine — Katie Couric sorta-kinda apologies, but not on the air!, for giving weight to vaccine denialists in a segment on the HPV vaccine. Which is the precise intellectual and moral equivalent to sorta-kinda apologizing for giving weight to evolution denialists, climate change denialists and proponents of supply-side economics: all destructive counterfactuals with no evidence-based support, crafted from knowing lies and deceptions for which real people pay a real price.

Melting Arctic sea ice could be altering jet streamMore studies look at links to extreme weather. Nothing to see here, kids. Just corrupt liberal scientists falsifying data to get a bigger share of that sweet government grant money. Thank God for Rush Limbaugh and the Republican party, or someone might have to take this shit seriously.

Australia Court Nixes Gay Marriage in CapitalA day after India’s Supreme Court recriminalized gay sex, Australia’s High Court has overturned the capital’s same-sex marriage legislation. This culture war really is over, but the forces of bigotry, clothed in the self-valorizing righteousness of their faith, will keep the battles going for years to come.

Brave Colorado gun-owner stands his ground against disabled children hogging handicapped space in Walmart parking lot. — See. This is why we need widely available firearms in the hands of everyday citizens. Because of this kind of safety-oriented crime prevention. Just ask any conservative about those thirty thousand gun deaths a year. Those are absolutely necessary losses so that this responsible Colorado gun owner can pursue his theoretical defense of essential liberties against the socialist threat of handicapped children whose parents need to use the disabled parking space. I feel so much safer now, and so should you. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Support for a $10 Minimum Wage Is Surprisingly High — Every time in my life there’s been an effort to raise the minimum wage, conservatives have raged about job losses and damage to the economy. Every time, they’ve been dead wrong. Every time, Your Liberal Media gives them full coverage and credibility, and never asks about their history of being dead wrong on the issue at every turn. So it went with integration. So it goes with gay rights. So it goes in America, where the conservative narrative is dominant even with almost no track record of accuracy.

Republican Senator Alexander Aide Arrested For Possession And Distribution Of Child Porn — This is why Sarah Palin’s “real Americans” always vote Republican: their upright moral standing. Want to imagine what the reporting would be like in Your Liberal Media if this had been a senior Democratic aide? We would never hear the end of it. Since this was a Republican aide, the story will die immediately.

Boehner Snaps At Conservative Groups For ‘Using’ House Republicans“These groups aren’t acting out of principle, and they’re not trying to enact conservative policies. They’re using you to raise money and expand their own organization,” Boehner said, according to the source’s paraphrase. “No one controls your voting card but you.” Hi, Speaker Boehner. Welcome to reality. Where the hell have you been through the past four decades of Movement Conservatism?

Mandela and the Question of ViolenceOne should never lose sight of why America preaches nonviolence to some people while urging other people to arms. Ta-Nehisi Coates is on fire.

?otD: Did you smell that cheese?


12/12/2013
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)