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[links] Link salad saw that she had such a pretty face

Publishers Weekly reviews Kalimpura — A largely positive review, but sadly no star for me this time.

Haldeman’s Marvelous Forever Warriors — Ta-Nehisi Coates on Joe Haldeman’s classic.

Secret Space Plane Set to Launch on Mystery Mission Today

26 Amazing Facts About Finland’s Unorthodox Education System — Almost all the student and classroom oriented assertions in this piece are also true of [info]the_child‘s Waldorf school, and of Waldorf schools in general.

Origin of intelligence, mental illness linked to ancient genetic accident — I want to know more about those mice using touchscreen computers. (Snurched from [info]deborahjross.)

The contract between science and society, plus a possible new RenaissanceGenomics may accomplish a lot, but could it redefine humanity’s view of itself?

Yale scientists name Obamadon, a slender-jawed lizard, after the President — Rawr!

Mayan apocalypse: panic spreads as December 21 nears — Because people are stupid. This is dumber than believing in the lottery or supply side economics. At the least lottery entertains, and supply side economics is a feel-good fairy tale for low-wattage ideologues. I’m not sure what anyone gets out of faux-Mayan apocalypticism.

When is a religion not a religion?O’Reilly and Staver are both trying to justify Christian privilege. They want the free exercise clause of the First Amendment to apply to Christianity, and exclusively to Christianity (and maybe Jews, too, if they behave). And they want the no establishment clause of the First Amendment to apply to every religion except for Christianity.

‘Like lesser Americans’: Atheists face discrimination, persecution, report saysIn at least seven U.S. states, constitutional provisions are in place that bar atheists from public office and one state, Arkansas, has a law that bars atheists from testifying as witnesses at trials, the report said. It’s much worse elsewhere in the world. But every time I see one of those polls that atheists are the least trusted group, or hear some Christianist conservative talking about how morality cannot exist without religion, I remember that Hitler and Pol Pot were Christians. And yes, I just Godwinned myself. (Via [info]shsilver.)

Scalia Defends Anti-Gay Quotes — In which his arrant conservative bigotry is laid plain. Again. And this man sits on the Supreme Court. Evaluating Justice Scalia on the plain face of his own words on this subject, he doesn’t have the moral character, intellect, compassion or discernment to qualify as a dog catcher. So much for impartial justice. Or any justice at all, really.

Poll: Colbert The Most Popular Choice To Replace Outgoing Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) — Do people not get the joke? Colbert in character (and he always seems to be in character) is Poe’s Law on the hoof.

How to Raise a Little Liberal or ConservativeIn short, authoritarian parents are more prone to produce conservatives, while those who gave their kids more latitude are more likely to produce liberals. This strikes me as painfully obvious, but I suppose the news is that there’s evidence for the assertion.

Democrats and Republicans belong to different groups — (I think I got this from Fragano Ledgister, but I lost the source.)

How the Mainstream Press Bungled the Single Biggest Story of the 2012 Campaign[C]ampaign coverage in 2012 was a particularly calamitous failure, almost entirely missing the single biggest story of the race: Namely, the radical right-wing, off-the-rails lurch of the Republican Party, both in terms of its agenda and its relationship to the truth. Romney and the GOP lied knowingly, constantly, and unapologetically. They bragged about it. And they nearly succeeded with that strategy, displaying unambiguously the miserable public character of both Money Boo Boo his own self and the conservative movement as a whole. But the American Right is so worked up about Kenyan Muslim socialism that they neither noticed nor cared about the utter failure of their own leadership.

?otD: Did God in His mercy lend her grace?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bike ride
Weight: 216.4
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 saves the last dance for you

New evidence of ‘chemo brain’ proves cognitive damage from cancer treatment isn’t ‘all in your head’ — Duh. But yeah, i guess it has to be proven for doctors to believe it. (Via both [info]danjite and [info]fx4.)

The Last Laughing Death — (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Can Worms Alleviate Autism?Autoimmune and allergic diseases are more prevalent in more developed countries where citizens are accustomed to better water quality and less contact with farm animals. Some researchers chalk this phenomenon up to the so-called hygiene hypothesis, which posits that the microbes and parasites that humans co-evolved with act to help keep our immune responses in check. The theory was spurred initially by observations in humans—that after anti-parasitic therapy, people scored higher on allergy skin prick tests, or that autoimmunity and allergies were more prevalent in more-developed West Germany than East Germany[.]

Human Evolution Enters an Exciting New Phase

3-D Chip Promises Better Brain ControlA new device will let scientists create complex patterns of activity within the brain using optogenetics. More conspiracy nut bar fodder. Ever read Mike Jay’s The Air Loom Gang?

The Monstrous Eye at Saturn’s North Pole — Wow. Just wow.

Language Is Shaped by Brain’s Desire for Clarity and EaseUsing an artificial language in a carefully controlled laboratory experiment, a team from the University of Rochester and Georgetown University has found that many changes to language are simply the brain’s way of ensuring that communication is as precise and concise as possible. (Via David Goldman.)

The Key to Science (and all learning) is…?…being wrong and learning from being wrong. That’s what happens when you base your worldview on “facts” and “data” instead of faith and ideology. First and foremost, you admit that you can be wrong, and that you can learn from it. Facts are far more forgiving that many people’s version of faith. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Let’s Get Rid of Zero! — Denialism outside of a political/religious context. Math! (Via [info]goulo.)

White evangelicals and contraception: reversal and revision reduxSlacktivist Fred Clark on Evangelicals and contraception. Just five years ago it would have been unthinkable for American evangelicals to rally against contraception. Religious opposition to contraception was strictly a Catholic thing and evangelicals, as Protestants, did not accept the baroque theological arguments supporting that Catholic teaching. That has begun to change. I’m pretty sure the Forced Pregnancy Movement, masquerading as ever as a right to life effort, has had their sights on contraception a hell of a lot longer than the past five years.

Services Announce Recruiting Numbers for Fiscal 2012All four active-duty services and five of the six reserve components met or exceeded their recruiting goals for fiscal 2012, officials announced today. That means that repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell had no impact on recruiting. Yet another in the endless parade of histrionic conservative talking points that turned out to be nothing at all. But yelling about the evil gays sure helps generate more angry white guys, which is the keystone of the GOP’s electoral strategy. Much easier to be hysterical than to look at the truth.

The Killing of Jordan Russell Davis — Ta-Nehisi Coates on a Florida man using his Second Amendment rights to his theoretical defense of essential liberties to murder an unarmed teenager with whom the man had picked a fight. Thank God for the NRA and the Republican Party, or that teen ager wouldn’t now be dead for the crime of playing his music too loud. Guess he learned his lesson. More to the point, the shooter may well walk free because of Florida’s NRA-sponsored ‘Stand Your Ground’ law. Feel safer now?

Movement Conservatives Foisted Romney on Themselves — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison on the history of the Romney candidacy.

GOP divide over Obama tax plan goes public — Ah, Grover Norquist. If you don’t know who he is, you really don’t understand the deep Republican irrationality on this topic.

?otD: What song do you want to dance to?

Writing time yesterday: 2.25 hours (revisions to “Rock of Ages”, including an editorial meeting with [info]kenscholes)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (30 minutes on stationary bike)
Hours slept: 8.25 hours (interrupted)
Weight: 223.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing people to accept healthcare and committing voter fraud: 0
Currently reading: Neptune’s Brood by Charlie Stross

[links] Link salad has too many places it’s got to see

In which I am a finalist for an award of which I was previously unaware — My novella “A Long Walk Home” was a finalist for the Hawthorne Citation. Their Web site says, Welcome to the Hawthorne Citation, which recognizes Excellence in Short Fiction, English-language. Now in our third year (2012) of the annual prize, we’ve cited some of the great short works in those years, from both well-known writers and yet-to-be-known writers.

Timothy Anderson Art — ZOMG, such retro art reconcepting for some of my favorite books and movies. I lust for the Argonath travel poster. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Raymond Chandler’s Private Dick — Ta-Nehisi Coates with an incredible essay on misogynist and masculinity, using Raymond Chandler’s work.

Apple fires Maps manager — They waited this long? I cannot wait til Google Maps comes back to the iPhone and I can dump the ridiculously flawed Apple Maps. Apple’s biggest failure of both delivery and consumer trust in years, at least that affected me personally.

Can You Crack The Pigeon’s Code? — A WWII mystery comes to light. Or not, as the case may be.

Time for the U.S. to Partner with China in Space?

Earth’s Core & Carbon: Planetary Center Holds Largest Store Of Common Element, Computer Simulation Suggests — Talk about sequestration.

Tobacco companies ordered to admit they lied over smoking dangerUS judge says tobacco firms must spend their own money on a public campaign admitting deception about the risks of smoking. Let’s see if this sticks.

Can Culture Create Mental Disease? The Rise of “Hikikomori” in the Wake of Economic Downturn in Japan — Can culture create mental disease? Look at gun fetishism and religious mania in the U.S. Both are heavily culturally influenced, and both have broad swathes of adherents who go way beyond reasonable and well-socialized behavior. (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

The Simpsons‘ take on Obamacare — Hahahah. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Enclaves, Long Gated, Seek to Let In Storm Aid — So the wealthy who wanted to go Galt in their gated communities need public assistance after all? I wonder if Tea Partiers in the tri-state area are expecting to have the government help repave their roads and restore their utilities. Pretty tough for me to find much sympathy here.

‘Change is a mofo’: The GOP and white evangelicalism are in the same situation — The Christian Right rendered themselves unto Caesar, and in doing so lost the respect of younger generations for the church as a whole.

30+ Examples of Christian Privilege — Yep. And like most forms of privilege, completely invisible to the vast majority of its beneficiaries. Because with 73% of the population, and 89.3% representation in Congress, many Christians and Christianists are pleased to fancy themselves as a persecuted minority. It’s a comforting and self-valorizing narrative which is absolutely laughable from outside their own framework. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Dying for the Right to Choose — Ta-Nehisi Coates on the conservative view of abortion. Walsh was lying in his refusal to admit that women actually do die during the work of pregnancy. But his position — “without exceptions” — strikes me as the honest one. The problem here isn’t packaging. There is no way to honestly modify its import. Either you believe that women who have sex should run the risk of being remanded to potentially lethal labor, or you don’t. No exceptions.

Fox News Exec VP: Guest Who Slammed Network Apologized – But Not Publicly — Or maybe not. Looks like another Fox lie. Unlike Ricks, who stated a simple, obvious fact when he said on the air that Fox News was “operating as a wing of the Republican party”. As we have long seen proven over and over again, in conservative America you lie boldly (as FOX has previously sued to preserve their right lie under the First Amendment) but apologize for telling the truth. FOLLOWUP: “[The FOX News] MO is that when the facts aren’t on their side, they attack the person.” Hahah. Ad hominem attacks are the conservative MO in general, given that the facts are rarely on their side in liberally biased reality. Ever listen to Rush Limbaugh? Or John McCain on Susan Rice? Mocking people is much more fun than responding substantively, and it helps generate more angry white men, which in their own words is the GOP’s key electoral strategy.

RINO Hunters Fire Warning Shots At Republican Senate Candidates — That Tea Party farce the GOP dreamed up to help mobilize their base against the threat of Kenyan Muslim socialism is biting them in the ass again, as it did in this election cycle just past. I’d say it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch, except sometimes the far right gets their people elected, and that is a major disaster for everyone, including the oblivious chumps in the Tea Party themselves.

Notes on the Decline of a Great Nation — A European view of our country. The United States is frittering away its role as a model for the rest of the world. The political system is plagued by an absurd level of hatred, the economy is stagnating and the infrastructure is falling into a miserable state of disrepair. Gee, which party has made hatred a key electoral strategy? Which party has blocked almost all efforts at economic stimulus? Which party refuses to allow the government spend money on infrastructure? Would that be the party whose highest priority these past four years was to make Obama a one-term president, and thus spent all their political capital denying him anything that might make him look successful? Rather than, say, fixing this country’s problems? Nope, can’t quite put my finger on it. Must be Kenyan Muslim socialism at work. Ask any of Sarah Palin’s “Real Americans”, they’ll tell you that. (Via Pharygula.)

Revenge of the Reality-Based Community — A formerly prominent Republican laments discovering reality about three decades too late. So here we are, post-election 2012. All the stupidity and closed-mindedness that right-wingers have displayed over the last 10 years has come back to haunt them. It is now widely understood that the nation may be center-left after all, not center-right as conservatives thought. Overwhelming losses by Republicans to all the nation’s nonwhite voters have created a Democratic coalition that will govern the nation for the foreseeable future.

Mandate with Destiny — Obama’s electoral mandate. In 2004, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, conservatism’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, congratulated President Bush for “what by any measure is a decisive mandate for a second term” and exulted, “Mr. Bush has been given the kind of mandate that few politicians are ever fortunate enough to receive.” This year, examining similar numbers with different labels, the Journal came up with a sterner interpretation. “President Obama won one of the narrower re-elections in modern times,” its editorial announced. Kind of reminds me of Dick Morris predicting a 325-213 Romney “landslide” in the Electoral College, then proclaiming that Obama “eked out” a narrow 332-206 victory in the Electoral College. More of that vaunted conservative intellectual consistency all around. Or in shorter words: “The conservative stupid, it burns.” (Snurched from Ta-Nehisi Coates.)

?otD: If I leave here tomorrow would you still remember me?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (revisions to “Rock of Ages”)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (30 minutes on stationary bike)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Weight: 222.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing people to accept healthcare and committing voter fraud: 0
Currently reading: The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad thinks it’s fun to charter an accountant

A reader reacts to my recent Asimov’s novella, “The Stars Do Not Lie” — They liked it.

Me Translate Funny One Day — How does humor translate? (Via [info]rekre8.)

How to weaponize office supplies — Because zombies! (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Deck Hands for a Four Decade Journey

True Blue Stands Out in an Earthy Crowd — The color blue, nature and us. (Via my Dad.)

Denny’s to Launch a Hobbit Menu Full of Hobbity Food — The End Times are upon us! Fly, you fools! (Thanks, I think, to Jersey Girl in Portland.)

Convincing Women in China They’re Too Hairy — Creating inadequacies to sell people products. (Via [info]danjite.)

Geology by Light Plane — Annotated aerial photographs of geology. Interesting stuff. (Thanks to Gary Dierks.)

That’s Hot! Beetles Dance on Poop Balls to Keep Cool — I’ve been on dates like that.

Molecular analysis supports controversial claim for dinosaur cellsNew evidence adds heat to the argument over prehistoric dinosaur tissue. Wow. Really? (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Flatly wrong global warming denial — Climate change denial is like virtually every other major position conservatives take these days. Wrong on the plain face of facts, unsupported by historical experience or future trends, and unpopular with people who have to actually experience the problem. So they lie.

The Gospel according to Obama“No Christian says I believe in Jesus Christ and I reject the Bible,” Cass says. “These progressives who say they’re Christians are liars. They’re using Christianity as a guise to advance their own agenda.” Projection much, conservative America? (Snurched from Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

The Fraud of Voter Fraud — Ta-Nehisi Coates on current GOP efforts to steal the forthcoming election through wholesale voter suppression at the state level. The Republicans have said effect that it is better to deny hundreds of thousands of (likely Democratic) votes than allow a single fraudulent vote to go through. Note that there have been exactly thirteen cases of documented voter impersonation fraud (the kind of fraud these laws are allegedly intended to address) in the past decade, nationwide. On the other hand, registration fraud (not addressed by these laws) has been pursued wholesale, mostly by GOP groups. Republicans have also flatly stated that the new voter ID laws will deliver the election to Romney. Tell me again how this is a sincere desire for clean, fair elections? Move along, citizen. Nothing to see here but liberal bias.

Gay GOP group: Vote for Romney, he hates you — The bizarre endorsement of the Log Cabin Republicans. That has the be the weirdest group in the conservative movement, bar none.

The Women in Mitt Romney’s Polygamous Heritage. Part Two. — Again, history, not politics. Though the timing of the posts remains curious to me, especially considering the largely conservative, largely apolitical blog they’re appearing on.

All Of Mitt Romney’s Fancy Lady Policies In One Handy Flowchart — Obviously subject to change depending on whatever new and different highly principled, severely conservative stance R. Money has taken in the last hour or two. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Richard Mourdock: God at work if rape causes pregnancy — This is profoundly disgusting and immoral, not to mention profoundly cruel and ignorant. Why is any sane, humane citizen voting for the Republican party when the GOP endorses and encourages this kind of rhetoric? (And if you don’t believe me on that, go read their national and state party platforms.) Both conservatism and religion in America today have become pathologized, and everything that is wrong with them is on gaudy display right here. This is not some lunatic fringe commentator on a Web site. This is a Republican senatorial candidate talking, echoing what we’ve heard from other major GOP candidates. The Democrats had the sense God gave a goose, they’d hang this statement around Mitt Romney’s neck and every downballot GOP candidate in the United States. Are you proud of your Republican party?

?otD: Have you sailed the wide accountant sea?

Writing time yesterday: 2.0 hours (WRPA, research for the Sekrit Projekt)
Body movement: 0.5 hour stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.5 hours
Weight: 229.4
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad wishes the Child a Happy Birthday

Have you voted in the Kalimpura caption contest voting poll?

Cliff Nest> — The shadow hunters of underground Thailand. Wow.

A Space Shuttle on the Streets of Los Angeles — Cool time lapse video.

Fish Can Cloak, Become Invisible to PredatorsSilver-colored fish, such as herring, sardines and sprat, are bending the laws of physics, according to a new study published in Nature Photonics. The ability allows the fish to become invisible to predators. Ye canna’ break the laws of physics, Jim.

Spa Massacre By Estranged Husband With Restraining Order — So, how many of your essential liberties did your guns defend yesterday? Were they worth these lives, too? Because that’s what your guns cost every day: other people’s lives. Thank god for the NRA and the Republican party: protecting the right of the angry to massacre.

Romnesia — President Obama, on fire. Romnesia, in case you missed it over the weekend. This is hilarious.

Issa defends releasing documents — This would be the same Congressman Issa who promised Congressional investigations of the Obama administration on virtually everything. Because reasons! More on the sterling qualities of this leading conservative.

Undecided Voters That Have No Business Being Undecided — I have to admit, I find the whole undecided voter phenomenon more than a bit baffling. On the other hand, I find likely Republican voters baffling, too, on the basis of logic, sheer common sense, and the GOP’s actual record in office. (Look at the balance of the budget and the overall deficit the day Bush took office and compare those to the day he left, for one of the simplest and least controversial measures of the colossal failure of conservative governance and values that I can imagine.) But I suppose that’s my own confirmation bias speaking.

The feedback loop catches up with Romney — Regarding Romney’s constant lying. The question is: Why shouldn’t he do it? Republican-aligned media surely aren’t going to call him on it. Indeed, within the GOP political loop, there’s no one who is even going to realize that they have a basic factual thing wrong; that’s what happens when you convince yourself that the neutral press is out to get you, and you’ve trained your supporters to only pay attention to what they hear on Fox News and the Rush Limbaugh program, so you had better stay tuned to them yourself or else you won’t be able to talk the way you need to. Of course, that’s how a candidate winds up insulting half of America, because that’s what high-level party donors expect to hear. I’m old enough to remember when Republicans loudly proclaimed that “character counts”. Not anymore, clearly. Or perhaps character only counts for Democrats and liberal-progressives. Especially in a post-truth world where conservatives cannot win on their ideas, and so must lie. (“I don’t have time to go into that”, “we’ll tell you after the election”, etc.)

?otD: When is your birthday?

Writing time yesterday: 2.5 hours (Sekrit Projekt, 0.25 hours revisions on “A Stranger Comes to Kalimpura”)
Body movement: 0.5 hour stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 9.0 hours
Weight: 229.2
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad was there in silver underwear

Alpha Centauri Bb: An Interstellar Target?

Engine in development could cut Mars travel time to three monthsFusion reactor would use deuterium and lithium-6 crystals. (Via David Goldman.)

Genome Hunters Go after Martian DNAJ. Craig Venter may have just started a race to discover alien life on the Red Planet. Really? There’s some deep embedded assumptions here.

Huge Moon-Forming Collision Theory Gets New Spin

Britain has alien-war weapons, says former government adviser — Um, ok. (Via Cora Buhlert.)

My son is schizophrenic. The ‘reforms’ that I worked for have worsened his life. — Sigh. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Death row inmate walks free due to DNA evidenceThibodeaux is the 18th death row inmate released due to DNA evidence in the United States, according to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC). The first was Kirk Bloodsworth, who was freed in 1993 after being wrongfully convicted of the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl. “It takes a long time to find these cases,” DPIC executive director Richard Dieter told AFP. “If executions are rushed and accelerated then we are going to miss these cases,” he added. “It underscores the fundamental problems that the death penalty could actually kill innocent people.” Not could. Does. What if it was you in that cell, wrongfully convicted and waiting to die? Do you have any idea how many prosecutors fight DNA evidence appeals, and how many courts deny them? Feel safer now? (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Calvin & Hobbes pegs the contemporary conservative movement — Well, except for the last panel.

Two Canadians Discover the US has become a Police State

2012’s Incredible Disappearing Issue: Climate ChangeThe planet, quite simply, is dying of a fever, and everybody can see the symptoms, and everybody who isn’t Jim Inhofe or some other mountain troll knows precisely what the cause is. But not even this president, for all his besotted devotion to green technologies, can talk straight to the American people about what is murdering the earth and why.

Mitt Romney’s Tax Proposals: Understanding the Debate — You know. Math. That thing it would take Paul Ryan too long to explain.

Five things we learned from Tuesday’s debate

Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the DayChick-fil-A president Dan Cathy: “We support biblical families.” Today’s Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day: Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 37:18-28) Mmm, Bible-based values. Just what America needs! Then I can sell my brother for fun and profit, too.

Would More “Confidence” in Ideology Be Helping the GOP Ticket? — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison on R. Money, the GOP ticket and the debates.

Tagg Romney wanted to “take a swing” at Obama during debateRADIO HOST: I’m gonna ask something I know a lot of people want to know, or at least I do. What it is like for you to hear the President of the United States call your dad a liar. How do you react to that? TAGG ROMNEY: Uh, you know, uh, well, jump out of your seat, and you want to rush down there to the debate stage and take a swing at him. Or how about this, Tagg? Your dad could stop lying! Then no one would need to call him a liar! Nah, too easy. That would require acknowledging “facts” and “evidence” and “truth”, which would make both Tagg and Mittens too liberal. Ta-Nehisi Coates points out this also has a significant racial angle. Which, being white myself, completely escaped me until he said it.

Romney Is Attacked by His Father’s Longtime AideA longtime aide to George W. Romney issued a harshly worded critique of Mitt Romney, accusing him of shifting political positions in “erratic and startling ways” and failing to live up to the distinguished record of his father, the former governor of Michigan. Come on, give Mittens a break! It’s kind of hard to have intellectual or moral consistency in the GOP’s post-truth, Etch-a-Sketch world. (Via [info]shsilver.)

Portman will reject your reality and substitute his ownThis is genuinely remarkable. Ryan was caught presenting a false claim to the nation, and asked to explain why, one of the Romney campaign’s leading surrogates told a national television audience, in effect, “The lie is accurate.” When the book is written on the evolution of post-truth politics, this anecdote should be in the first chapter. Welcome to conservative America. When you can’t get elected on the basis of your ideas, lie. Fast and furiously and loudly.

Abortion: As Mitt Romney Moves To The Middle, Anti-Abortion Activists Try To Cover His Right Flank — Or in other words, bearing false witness. Which is remarkably easy to do for Christianists who claim so loudly to hew to the literal word of God. Must be a lot of Bibles out there in Evangelical America with no Ninth Commandment.

Romney Obscures Opposition To Obama Contraception Coverage MandateAt the debate, Romney tried to make it appear as if he opposed the Blunt amendment. But that’s not true. A Republican. Lying about contraception in front of undecided votes on national television. What a shock. Conservative policies are unpopular with everyone, even conservatives when applied to them personally. Once more, when you can’t win on ideas, run a post-truth campaign. Sensing a theme here?

?otD: But who was the invisible man?

Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (rWRPA)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bicycling)
Hours slept: 7.5 (solid)
Weight: 224.2
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad has binders full of women

To public domain — As tipster [info]goulo says, “What if authors were compensated more justly (unlike the Google books situation) for having their works make public domain for the public good in an “eminent domain” way? And how would society decide which books are most valuable to society and thus candidates for being freely available?”

R. B. Woodward, general problems and the importance of timely birth — Being the right place at the wrong time. (Via David Goldman.)

Exoplanet around Alpha Centauri is nearest-everAstronomers have found the nearest planet outside our Solar System, circling one of the stars of Alpha Centauri just four light-years away. The Bad Astronomer with more.

Pluto’s Moons (and Maybe Rings) Pose Risk for NASA Spacecraft — Pluto strikes back.

Finding Fossils in the Great Divide Basin — Using satellites and AI to improve the odds. I’ve been on dates like that.

Computer Viruses Are “Rampant” on Medical Devices in HospitalsA meeting of government officials reveals that medical equipment is becoming riddled with malware. Speaking as someone who has major surgery about once a year thanks to my friend cancer, this is pretty frightening.

Corn Belt Shifts North With Climate as Kansas Crop Dies — More of those liberal “facts” and “data” about climate change in the reality-based world. Thank God we have America’s conservatives to remind us how wrong that is. How’s that working out for you Kansas Republicans, btw?

King’s crisisAfter a meteoric rise in the evangelical world, The King’s College president Dinesh D’Souza now faces his board’s likely questions about his relationship to a woman not his wife. When you make your living as a conservative moralizer and a public scold, you might want to keep your own damned pants zipped. Either that or stop caring so much about what rest of us do with ours. More of that justly famed conservative intellectual consistency, hot on the hoof.

Religious right kills anti-bullying day in schools — Because nothing speaks of Christian compassion like standing up for your kid’s right to bully others. Thank God I’m an atheist.

5 Reasons Humanity Desperately Wants Monsters to Be Real — I really like this piece. Among other things, it does a lot to explain how hate has become a family value. (Snurched from Slackivist Fred Clark.)

Why I Resigned the Paterno Chair — Michael Bérubé with a very thoughtful take on the horrid mess at Penn State.

Ann Coulter thinks family rejection of LGBT youth is a joke — We are talking about a leading light of the conservative movement here. What did you expect besides inhumane callousness?

Tommy Thompson’s Son Apologizes For Birther Joke — Aww, that’s sweet. Of course, he had no regrets until he was called out. That’s not apologizing for the joke, that’s regretting getting caught.

The Women in Mitt Romney’s Polygamous Heritage — From a Mormon historian. (Note, this is not a political hit piece, though the timing is odd.) Still, polygamy is unambiguously biblical marriage. I’m sure Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy is good with it.

The correlation between releasing tax returns and winning presidential elections — Interesting. (Courtesy of [info]dsmoen.)

Mr. Romney Needs a Working CalculatorTo the annoyance of the Romney campaign, members of Washington’s reality-based community have a habit of popping up to point out the many deceptions in the campaign’s blue-sky promises of low taxes and instant growth. I wonder what would happen if every American with doubts about Romney’s tax plan sent his campaign a pocket calculator?

Romney’s Tax Plan: Secret or Just Nonsensical?Mitt Romney, who built Bain Capital LLC and ran Massachusetts with technocratic detachment, is a famously astute numbers guy. These twin achievements make it all the more frustrating that Romney has resisted filling in the details on the signature proposal of his U.S. presidential campaign: to cut taxes by 20 percent across the board without raising taxes on the middle class or exploding the deficit. Romney’s reticence has led others to do the job for him. This in turn has made his campaign unhappy. This story is from those wild-eyed socialists at Bloomberg.

Romney Binder full of Top Ten Mistakes and Falsehoods — The Republican post-truth campaign (e.g., lying opportunistically out of your ass at every turn) has paid off well for Romney so far with few if any significant negative consequences. Why quit now?

Romney Somehow Manages to Bungle His Biggest Opportunity to Attack on Foreign Policy — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison on the key moment of the debate.

Obama Is Back!Well, Fox was calling it a draw, and its anchors started blaming Candy Crowley for how it all went down 32 seconds after it ended. Need to know anything else?

?otD: Is being a woman in a binder like being a girl in a refrigerator?

Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (revisions to novelette “A Stranger Comes to Kalimpura”)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bicycling)
Hours slept: 6.5 (solid)
Weight: 227.2
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad for another Tuesday in Omaha

Don’t forget the Kalimpura ARC caption contest [ | LiveJournal ]

Honeyed Words by my good friend J.A. Pitts has won the Gaylactic Spectrum Award for Best New Novel — Go give him some love.

A Steampunk Wristwatch I Would Love to Afford — Clickety clack. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Mongolian BlingWe follow three young rappers as they combine traditional Mongolian music with western rap to create nomadic hip hop. (Via my brother.)

A transgender story: My daughter, my sonWhen Sarah became Finn, her parents began their own journey.

The person you used to be still tells you what to do — (Via Lisa Costello.)

Fossil reveals spider in mid-strike — I love behavioral fossils. (Via David Goldman.)

Mind-Control and Instant Skill — Optogenetics and you.

Organism without a brain creates external memories for navigation — I’ve been on dates like that.

SpaceX Falcon 9 lost an engine on the way up; Dragon on its way to ISS — Or maybe not. Apparently it’s in the wrong orbit.

The Ohio State University Marching Band Does Video Games — Hahah. (Via Jersey Girl in Portland.)

Restraint — Ursula K. LeGuin on social sacrifice. (Thanks to [info]controuble.)

Chick-fil-A’s Biblical Family of the Day — Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy: “We support biblical families.” Today’s Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day: Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-3).

Charlie Fuqua, Arkansas Legislative Candidate, Endorses Death Penalty For Rebellious Children In Book — Welcome to the Christian nation of America that our conservative friends want to institute.

Romney says Obama hasn’t signed any Free Trade Agreements (false) — The really great thing about being a Republican candidate in America is that Your Liberal Media will dutifully report any baldfaced lie you tell as if it were true, making any challenge to that lie seem like progressive whining. Thus neatly reinforcing the hermetic seal on the conservative echo chamber.

Ryan gets testy, calls off interview, when asked about tax cuts (video) — Oops. GOP presidential campaign accidentally meets a truthful moment.

Romney 2006 calls Romney 2012’s jobs attacks ‘silly’ — Remember, kids. When white Republican governors do things, that’s statesmanlike leadership. When African-American Democratic presidents do the very same things, that’s Kenyan Muslim socialism.

Inside the campaign: The Romney rebellion — I think letting Mitt be Mitt is the best thing they could possibly do. With his lifelong record of unselfconscious entitled selfishness and unprincipled beliefs, the real Mitt will really shine with the voters.

The Candidate of “Omni-Directional Belligerence” — The cheapness of foreign lives plays well in the pulpits of Peoria. Welcome to Romney’s America.

?otD: Into the office with the post chemo bring down. How about you?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hour (chemo fog)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (suburban walk)
Hours slept: 10.0 (7.5 hours solid, plus considerable napping)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Heartland by Mark Teppo

[links] Link salad spreads itself thin on toast

Don’t forget the METAtropolis contests

The Adams Theory of Content Value — Sigh. (Via .)

Slow Going on Cellulosic Biofuels — I hate it when that happens.

Manned Missions to the Outer System

Man accidentally shoots himself in testicles — Using his Second Amendment rights to defend his essential liberties, I see. Lowe’s is definitely full of commies and gun control Democrats, so I can understand why this gun owner needed to go to the home improvement center armed.

Gingrich’s Defense On His Nazi Comparison: I’m Not Saying Obama Is The Bad Guy’ — Actually, you did, Newt. In so many words. Don’t worry about being unprincipled or intellectually dishonest, though. Republican voters always forgive and forget that in Republican politicians, so long as they remember to persecute gays and pregnant women.

?otD: Can the verb “butter” be used to apply to anything besides butter? Margarine? Jelly? Spackle? Pureed critics?

Writing time yesterday: n/a (chemo exhaustion)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.25 (interrupted)
This morning’s weigh-in: n/a (forgot)
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 8/10 (fatigue)
Currently (re)reading: The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad once held a lion cub in its arms

Work starts in £15m plan to get Concorde flying — “Heritage flight”. What a great term.

Testing the flotation dynamics and swimming abilities of giraffes by way of computational analysis — I adore geek science. This article is freaking hilarious.

Is Betelgeuse about to blow? — Where is Michael Keaton when you need him?

LightSail-1 Nears Critical Design ReviewCentauri Dreams on the Japanese solar sail mission.

Vaccine refusal is putting everyone in dangerDiseases such as measles and mumps are creeping back as well-meaning parents, wary of an unproven link to autism, refuse vaccines for their children, exposing them and others to a proven risk. The subhead is misleading. The vaccine-autism link isn’t unproven, it’s thoroughly discredited, at length.

The Visible Hand — A fascinating analysis on racial discrimination in purchasing behavior. Including a distinction I’ve never before encountered between “animus discrimination” and “statistical discrimination”. Purely a descriptive piece, no conclusions or recommendations.

How Did Ulysses Grant Become a Caricature? — Ta-Nehisi Coates on U.S Grant. This is interesting.

Obama Administration Turns Focus To Homegrown Terrorism — I note that even this story focuses on domestic Islamic terrorism, rather than the “patriots” and militant forced pregnancy enthusiasts that infest the American Right.

Eyewitnesses Confirm Israeli Gunplay; Egypt’s lifting of the Blockade likely Temporary — Mideast specialist Juan Cole with analysis of the Israeli ship attacks from the Egyptian perspective.

?otD: What’s the strangest animal you’ve ever touched/held/been licked/bitten by?

Writing time yesterday: 15 minutes of WRPA (chemo exhaustion)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.0 (solid once I got there)
This morning’s weigh-in: 230.0
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 8/10 (fatigue)
Currently (re)reading: The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett