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

[links] Link salad is a Melkotian object

Green, Book Review — Not so much with the liking of my novel.

It’s happening again! — My dear friend [info]garyomaha talks about the costs of segmentation in media and society.

Red Hong Yi renders Chinese scenes from makeup — Impressive. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Lego Hell — Oh, wow. Hahaha. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Chandre Oraon, Man With Tail, Worshipped As God (But Not By His Wife)

33 Powerful And Creative Print Ads That’ll Make You Look Twice — Some of these are amazing. Some are questionable. They’re all worth looking at. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Wildly detailed drawings that combine math and butterflies — Amazing stuff.

Photos by Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji in Iran of mosque art — (Via Lisa Costello.)

Genome Surgery — Here comes the future.

NASA Mars Orbiters spots clues to possible water flows

Star Wars planets migrate into position around stellar pairsTatooine orbited two stars; now researchers believe planets like this actually exist.

Australian researchers say they have found the oldest star in the known universe, 6000 light years from Earth

Does a More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex? — Wow are there a lot of unexamined cultural assumptions embedded in this article, especially around the supposed natural inviolability of monogamy.

NRA Board Member: Bullied Children Commit Suicide Because Young Boys Have Been “Neutered” — Ah, the magical sense of social responsibility that comes with gun ownership.

My Baby and AOL’s Bottom LineThat “distressed baby” who Tim Armstrong blamed for benefit cuts? She’s my daughter.

Greenland glacier sets glacial speed recordWater pressure greases the skids for Jakobshavn, clocked at 2 meters per hour.

Business as usual + sea level rise = losses of up to 9% of global GDPBut losses should be less if we’re not dumb enough to keep building on coasts.

Sowing Seeds: An Ex-Christian’s Thoughts on the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debateee, there’s this stereotype in Christian culture (and elsewhere) that atheists are joyless, unhappy God-haters with hearts full of anger and lives devoid of purpose. That makes loss of faith a scary prospect, because who wants a life like that? Just by being himself, letting his love of science shine through, Nye demonstrated how joy, wonder, excitement, passion, and purpose — all things religious people tend to associate with service to God — can be a part of an atheist’s life. (To be fair, I don’t know for sure what Nye’s beliefs are, but Creationist fundamentalism does rather tend to lump together evolution belief and atheism, along with homosexuality, Communism, and baby-eating.) Yes, this. Atheists can be and often are moral, ethical, joyful people. Just as with any group of human beings. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

I’m a Member of the American ‘Used-to-Haves’Watching John Boehner and the Republican Congress during the past few years has been a stunning confirmation of their seeming disregard for the “Used-to-Haves.” As they pull down salaries of $174,000 a year, unparalleled benefits and the option of voting themselves a raise, their selfishness is unrivaled as they barricade health care reform, knowingly shut down the government, cut SNAP benefits and eliminate extended unemployment payments.

A commentor responds to my post on the 1% and hard work — Worth the read, as he has personal experience at multiple levels of the economy, unlike myself. I’ve never held those hard, low-end jobs, not even in my student job days. My first paid jobs were as a government clerk, then as a bank courier.

Tree Lobsters on economic inequality — Be sure to read the mouseover text.

Chastened G.O.P. Tries to Foil Insurgents at Primary LevelOne of the biggest challenges for Republican leaders in the 2014 midterm elections will be how to hang on to the Tea Party support that has been so instrumental to the party’s growth, while winning back voters alienated by hard-right candidates. I dunno. Maybe by not taking hard-right positions? Confidential to GOP in America: Try the evidence-based worldview for a change. You’d be amazed how differently things look when you factor in facts, data and actual history instead of an “unskewed” ideological narrative.

Tea Party Ain’t Over Yet: How Conservatives Still Control Congress — It seems like not so long ago that people in my end of the blogosphere were angrily defending the Tea Party as an independent, non-partisan grass roots movement. How’d that work out?

Leave The Poets AloneTrey Gowdy is a member of the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives. As such, Trey Gowdy is dedicated to working the job of governing the country as little as possible. When you elect people who think government is a failure, is it any surprise when they work for the failure of government? That such nonsensical thinking has achieved such political prominence in America is one of the great shames of our time.

Welfare StateWashington’s Republican counties depend on Western Washington’s money. How can they survive the state budget cuts they demand? Welcome to conservative America, where evidence-based thinking is proudly rejected. And yes, this phenomenon of rural conservatives opposing the very tax structure that benefits them most based on counterfactual ideological beliefs about the direction in which the money flows repeats within many states across the US, as well as at the state/Federal level. As the article comments, The irony here is not that those who benefit most from state spending are paying the least; that’s kinda the way these things are supposed to work. No, the irony is that those rural communities that are most dependent on the state—whose roads and schools and other essential public services couldn’t possibly be maintained without generous state subsidies—are also those least likely to vote for the tax dollars necessary to sustain these services. (Via David Goldman.)

CBO: Guys, We Didn’t Say Obamacare Would Cost 2.5 Million Jobs — Hmm. Unthinkable that the GOP should substantially misrepresent an important ACA point in a way that casts an unfavorable light on the president. Conservative intellectual honesty and moral probity would never permit such a thing.

?otD: How many to beam up?


2/11/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 15 minutes stationary bike (resuming exercise post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block who aren’t descended from monkeys: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad doesn’t know why they changed it, it cannot say

Come Support the Jay Lake Auction at RadCon, Sunday at 1pm! — That’s today, in Pasco, WA.

The 2014 Sony World Photography Awards — (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

This goat simulator looks like maybe the best video game ever — Uh…

This Crow Is The Smartest Bird You’ve Ever Seen — (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

How the vastly improbable has determined what animals got where — Personally, I’ve always wondered why the North American bird census is so different west of the Rockies.

Deep sea (mesopelagic) fish biomass 10 times more than previously thought

ICE/ISEE-3 to return to an Earth no longer capable of speaking to it — This is poetic and strange.

Young American adults abandon religion in record numbers

Understanding Polygamy — The comment thread on this Feminist Mormon Housewives post is very strange and difficult to read if you don’t share their Mormon faith framework.

Pat Robertson begs Ken Ham to shut up“Let’s be real,” Robertson begged, “let’s not make a joke of ourselves.” Uh, Pat, the reality-based community appreciates the sentiment, but you’re way too late for that.

Babylonian Tale of Round Ark Draws Ire From Christian Circles — Ah, literalism.

Three endangered whooping cranes shot in US — See guns make everything better! And everyone who carries deadly force is socially responsible, and so completely trustworthy.

Justice Department To Launch Push For Full Recognition Of Same-Sex Marriage — Another push on the row of bigotry dominoes. Just as with evolution denial, this is a one-sided “issue” without a credible argument against.

Republican Official Says Gays Should Be Purged From GOP, Blames Homosexuality On Satan

8 Former Republicans Who Ditched the Extremist GOP

?otD: Did people just like it better that way?


2/9/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.75 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 10 minutes stationary bike (resuming exercise post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block who aren’t descended from monkeys: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[photos] The Delmarva Peninsula and Wallops Island

Yesterday I drove down the Delmarva Peninsula to NASA’s Wallops Visitor Center, plus a quick swing through Chincoteague. I’ll observe that the Virginia end of the peninsula is much more economically distressed than the Maryland end, judging by the abandoned housing stock, the desolate small town business centers, and the general depopulation. The whole area had something of a Blair Witch vibe. Also, Virginia doesn’t seem to be able to pick up their roadside litter nearly as effectively as Maryland, which is a passive testament to constrained resources.

Still, it was pretty, if a bit strange.

The Wallops Visitor Center was fun and kind of cute, basically a small and slightly random museum to NASA operations with an understandable focus on the site’s role. Sadly for my goals of the day, there’s no longer any public access to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, or anywhere within line of sight of it, except for a little bit of on-the-horizon visibility from the Chincoteague causeway.

IMG_2874
Abandoned house in Horntown, VA.

IMG_2880
Yard in Horntown, VA. Note the egret stencil spray painted on the side of the shed.

IMG_2885
Side road near Horntown. This looked unaccountably spooky to me.

IMG_2872
Gulls at Chincoteague. I didn’t have the right camera with me, so it doesn’t come out well, but this picture has a lot of gulls in it.

IMG_2888
Abandoned drive in movie theatre, West Ocean City, MD.

IMG_2870
Observation deck of the NASA Wallops Visitors Center.

IMG_2871
Rocket on static display at the NASA Wallops Visitors Center.

IMG_2860
Another rocket on static display at the NASA Wallops Visitors Center.

IMG_2863
Spherical movie screen at the NASA Wallops Visitors Center.

Photos © 2014, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

[links] Link salad can’t sell you what you need

TOC: The Mammoth Book of Steampunk Adventures — In which I have a reprint novelette, “Benedice Te”.

Worst Day of the Year Ride Canceled Because of Bad Weather — Ah, Portland. (Via my sister.)

Put a monocle on anything and it looks classy — Mr. Peanut, is that you?

That’s “Heavy”: The Mind-Body-Metaphor Connection — This is fascinating. In English, and several other languages as well, weight is used as metaphor to signify importance. The authors hypothesized that this abstraction can be triggered by concrete experiences of weight, like holding something heavy. They call this “embodied cognition.”

Can tumors be transplanted? — Uh…

Why do Americans spend so much on pharmaceuticals?

The Evidence Piles Up: Antioxidant Supplements Are Bad For You — Ooops. (Via David Goldman.)

Crowdfunding’s Effect on Venerable Nonprofits Raises ConcernWebsites now let people ask for charitable support for their own causes, but some fear that such sites will drain donations from established nonprofits. (Via Dad.)

Plate tectonics set the thermostat for early animal lifeSwitch from snowball to hothouse conditions driven by continental collisions.

Mechanism Important for Photosynthesis was Present in Ancient Microbes 2.5 Billion Years Ago

Earth’s Oldest Land Predators Had ‘Steak Knife’ Teeth

Glimpsing Heat from Alien Technologies

What Noise Does the Electric Car Make? — I was nearly struck by an electric scooter in China, the rider moving fast at night with his headlight off, presumably to conserve battery. Fast and all but noiseless.

Hamline professor’s post on student loan debt goes viral — When I started at the University of Texas at Austin in 1982, tuition and fees for a full 18 semester hour load were about $360. When I graduated in 1986, thanks to conservative-driven cuts in subsidies for higher education, it was well over $2,000 per semester. Costs have soared many times over since then, because we as a society have explicitly chosen to make higher education less and less accessible to each succeeding cohort of youth.

(GOP) Rep. Has Cordial Chat About Whether Obama ‘Should Be Executed’ — This piece is just creepy. Now try imagining the firestorm in Your Liberal Media if a Democratic congressman had had this conversation about Bush or Reagan.

?otD: Did buy it off the shelf? Did you grow it from the seed?


2/8/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (fitful)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block who aren’t descended from monkeys: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad gazes across the frigid Atlantic at the sunrise

Come Support the Jay Lake Auction at RadCon, Sunday at 1pm! — Ah, my friends.

Photos: Time Capsule Mansion Opened After 100 Years — Wow… (Via Lisa Costello.)

A Venn diagram cartoon — Hahahah.

The Patient, the Provider, and Participatory Medicine—Are We a House Divided? — (Snurched from Casey Quinlan.)

A Creepy Medical Tour Of The Past — I’m not sure I’d describe all of these as creepy, but they are fascinating.

Apple fires up new furnaces for iPhone 6’s sapphire screenUnbreakable screen tech heading Apple’s way.

Young Salmon Born Knowing Migration Route Without any prior migration experience, juvenile Chinook salmon can find their way to ancestral feeding grounds by using the Earth’s magnetic field and an inherited internal map, according to a new study.

Earliest footprints outside Africa discovered in Norfolk

Nasa’s Mars Curiosity Rover’s First Photo Of EarthThe distance between Earth and Mars when Curiosity took the photo, which includes the moon, was about 99 million miles.

Night Hides the World — Another beautiful night sky image, with an interesting explanation, from APOD.

Thoughts on Planetary Migration

Seeing science: The year’s best visualizationsThe National Science Foundation and Science name 2013’s best.

Calvin & Muad’Dib on religion — I love this piece, and I love this series.

Answers for Creationists — Phil Plait answers the Creationist questionsposted after the Bill Nye-Ken Ham “debate”, with grace and patience.

Alabama Chief Justice Jumps Into Gay Marriage FightMoore said that “a great majority of the American people want to hold to the definition that a marriage is between a man and a woman. Uh, no. Not if you believe the polling or voting patterns. Of course, if you decide to believe that polls are skewed and elections are stolen, then I guess evidence doesn’t matter.

Stupid Irish Homophobes and Their Big Homophobic Fail — This is very similar to conservative dialectic in this country.

Assault on California Power Station Raises Alarm on Potential for TerrorismApril Sniper Attack Knocked Out Substation, Raises Concern for Country’s Power Grid. I have seen coverage on this before, but I’m amazed at how little. Perhaps because firearms were involved, rather than explosives. Somebody was out exercising their right to a theoretical defense of essential liberties. (Via [info]danjite.)

Dread Pirate Roberts 2.0: An interview with Silk Road’s new bossNew leader wants Silk Road to publish gov’t secrets; calls old DPR a “fraud.” This is very strange, as is everything to do with the Deep Web, which is incredibly science fictional while also being quite real.

Lobbying is a Lucrative Investment, Researchers Find Using CRP Data — Duh? (Via [info]danjite.)

Six Economic Benefits of the Affordable Care Act

Still don’t have health insurance? The Obama administration is trying to find you.

GOP Rep: Even Jesus Couldn’t Control House Republicans — Hahaha.

?otD: Did you get weathered out of work or school today?


2/7/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block who aren’t descended from monkeys: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad for an achey Wednesday

What grocery stores can teach us about linguistics — Mmm, taxonomy and language.

The Best Response to Grammar Nazis, EverStephen Fry nails it. (Via [info]danjite.)

Lego Goes to Hollywood

Citizens seek cancer cure with “Genes in Space” smartphone game — (Via Dad.)

Most cancers in our world pandemic are preventable — here’s how

Remembrance or revision? Brain study shows memory misleads

Ethics Questions Arise as Genetic Testing of Embryos Increases

Habitability Around Ancient Stars

Cryptography Breakthrough Could Make Software Unhackable — I’m not sure I believe in “unhackable” as a concept, but this is interesting. (Via David Goldman.)

The Female Orgasm—Illustrated — Hahahah. Also: NSFW, in case that wasn’t obvious already.

Courtesy Stigma and the Consequences of Deviance — This is fascinating, and something with which I am familiar in real life.

Talking past each other: Bill Nye vs. creationist Ken Ham on evolutionArs reports on the debate over whether creation is viable as science. I really, really hate the fact that this Creationist tripe is even dignified with a debate, instead of laughed off the stage as it should be. You can believe anything you want about God and the universe, but to mistake your private faith for empirical truth is a grave intellectual and spiritual error.

U.N. Panel Assails Vatican Over Sex Abuse by PriestsA United Nations panel sharply criticized the Vatican on Wednesday for putting the reputation and interests of the Holy See above the interests of children who had been sexually abused by priests, effectively allowing priests to continue abuse and escape prosecution. In a series of hard-hitting observations, the Committee on the Rights of the Child said that “the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators.” Yeah, I can feel that moral authority from all the way over here.

California man points gun at Girl Scout at his door to sell cookies — Under the Stand Your Ground laws so beloved of conservatives, there is no test of reasonableness. Only the shooter’s own word that they felt threatened. If the victim is dead, that’s it. Who’s to say otherwise? This means that any person with a firearm in a “Stand Your Ground” state has the legal power of summary execution over any human being they encounter. Yup. Guns definitely make us all safer.

O’Reilly Tells Obama He Didn’t Need Student Loans: ‘That’s Who I Am’ — This is a common conservative meme. But when O’Reilly was young, college was much cheaper in both absolute and relative terms. Four decades of very deliberate conservative chipping away at higher education funding has made it impossible to work your way through college painting houses.

Broken Democracy: Republicans poised to take Senate, Americans Reject their PlatformThe Republican majority in the House of Representatives can already block most legislation, and in 2013 it dedicated itself the the proposition that the country must be punished for re-electing Barack Obama, by being denied virtually any new needed legislation at all.

Delusions of FailureThe truth is that the campaign against Obamacare relies on misleading stories at best, and often on outright deceit. Who pays the price for this deceit? In many cases, American families.

Arksansas Republicans hope to dump 85,000 out of Medicaid They’ll cut 85,000 people out of health care to spite President Obama.

?otD: Relax. I’ll need some information first. Just the basic facts. Can you show me where it hurts?


2/5/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad watches the Atlantic

Intimate Portraits of BeesResearchers take advantage of photography technology developed by the U.S. Army to capture beautiful portraits of bees native to North America. (Via Marta Murvosh.)

A Valuable ReputationAfter Tyrone Hayes said that a chemical was harmful, its maker pursued him.

New rule allows patients to get test results directly from labs, without doctors’ clearance

Fighting cancer isn’t all about personal lifestyle but the environment we live in

Cancer cases set to rise by half by 2030: UN — Yeah, well. Some days I know I’m just another statistic in a government chart.

Older than oldest of 7 Wonders: 4,600 year old step pyramid uncovered in Egypt

New laser-printed material is lighter than water, as strong as steelAn internal structure like that of bone keeps the material porous but tough. This article also includes an incredibly cool chart of material strength and density which ought to be of interest to anyone writing hard SF.

Soon, the Coldest Place in the Known Universe Will Be on … the International Space Station“We’re going to explore temperatures far below anything found naturally.”

Atlanta Storm Was a Government Conspiracy? Snow Way!Unless folks can learn from their mistaken ideas, this kind of thinking is dangerous. We know that political parties and ideologically based “think tanks” will spread disinformation that gets absorbed by the public through various media. That’s no tinfoil-hat theory, that’s fact—you only need to read about the history of the tobacco industry (and now the fossil fuel industry) to see this. I draw your attention to the Texas Republican Party platform in 2012, which explicitly opposed teaching critical thinking skills.

Winter Heat Swamps AlaskaIn January 2014, record-breaking heat left Alaskans dealing with unseasonable bouts of rain and avalanches.

‘In God We Trust—but We Have Put Our Faith in Our Guns’Florida teenager Jordan Davis was shot by Michael Dunn after an argument over music. His mother, Lucia McBath, talks about losing her son and her fight against Stand Your Ground laws. Read this, especially if you’re one of those people who believes guns make us all safer.

Everything Is Like Slavery, Except Slavery — If it wasn’t so grimly sad and offensive, this conservative fixation with comparing pretty much every political initiative they disapprove with slavery would be funny. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Republicans, Democrats, and Trust in the Government

Coca-Cola’s Multicultural Super Bowl Ad Really Angered Conservatives — Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

Coca-Cola Critics Have Never Heard of ‘E Pluribus Unum’The rage directed at the Super Bowl ad with “America the Beautiful” sung in foreign languages shows some people can’t get on board with the future.

Times Are A-Changin’: Republicans Now The Key To Gay Marriage Fight — I find this piece to be wildly optimistic, given the GOP’s core electoral strategy of generating angry white guys, but I hope I’m wrong.

Republicans Are Advancing Their War on Public Education — Old news here, but it never stops.

Trick Websites Dupe Democrats Into Donating To RepublicansWhen a crop of mock sites cropped up last month, the NRCC defended its actions as perfectly legal. Character counts, as some political party or another used to frequently remind us.

?otD: When you stare into the ocean, does the ocean stare back at you?


2/4/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad misses Philip Seymour Hoffman already

His Friends Know Him as Petroswickonicovick — On names and naming traditions in Brazil. (Via Dad.)

Ashes to Ashes, but First a Nice Pine Box — On building your own coffin. (Via Reynardo.)

Nine Treasures — Mongolian folk metal. Yo. (Thanks, I think, to [info]danjite.)

In China, ‘Once the Villages Are Gone, the Culture Is Gone’ — Changes in culture. (Via Dad.)

Lunar Time Lapse Panorama including Yutu Rover

How the Media Missed the Story of the Millennium: One Climate Blockbuster after AnotherThe fact that 97% of scientists who have weighed in on the issue believe that climate change is a human-caused phenomenon is not a story. That only one of 9,137 peer-reviewed papers on climate change published between November 2012 and December 2013 rejected human causation is not a story either, nor is the fact that only 24 out of 13,950 such articles did so over 21 years.

Hillary Clinton: ‘fun to watch FOX when it’s someone else being blitzed’

The Cheapening of American Politics: Why did Obama reward O’Reilly with an Interview?Fox cheapens our lives by reducing respect for human rights. It pushes homophobia, the restriction of women’s choice, Islamophobia, xenophobia (irrational fear of “foreigners”) and white and Christian triumphalism. It is hypocritical, in that it slams Muslims and Arabs while being 6% owned by Saudi billionaire al-Walid Bin Talal.

4 Ways Tunisia Is Now More Progressive Than The United States — (Via [info]danjite.)

Go Ahead, Try it That Way”We’re in this mess for a reason, and it’s because GOP leaders either doesn’t understand the conservative ideal (which is why they can’t articulate it), or they do understand it and simply don’t like it.” If that’s true, it’s probably the only thing “GOP leaders” and the American people have in common.

?otD: Life is precious and short enough already. Why go too soon?


2/3/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad’s daddy had a car it loved to drive

A review of my short story, “King of the Kingless” — By my friend [info]talekyn.

Get Fuzzy on dialog in fiction

Pope Francis Continues Outreach, Blesses Male Stripper’s Parrot — This story was a headline writer’s dream.

Woman Gives Birth to Children, Discovers Her Twin is Actually the Biological Mother, But She is Technically Her Own Twin — Another headline writer’s dream.

How Londoners Died in One Plague-Ridden Week in 1665 — Apparently, you could die of “teeth”. Actually, that’s explained in the article, but it’s still weird. (Via AH.)

First Porsche Was An Electric Car

Jade Rabbit Says ‘Goodnight’ Before 14-Day Shutdown; Its Status Uncertain

The Biggest Stereotype Of Every State In America In One Map — I like Oregon’s label.

The Day We Lost AtlantaHow 2 lousy inches of snow paralyzed a metro area of 6 million.

Study: Many will die if Medicaid is not expandedNew report says thousands of uninsured will go without medical tests and treatments.

South Dakota bill would protect teachers who promote intelligent design — Seriously, people, this is an argument too stupid for a modern society to even be having. Not to mention, First Amendment.

Montana GOP Candidate Calls Hillary Clinton The ‘Anti-Christ’ — Wait, I thought Obama was the Anti-Christ? Seems like just a day or two ago that the Wall Street Journal was smugly talking about the liberal politics of vilification. This must be what they meant.

Even Republicans Now View The Iraq War As A Failure — Confidential to conservative America: Welcome to the reality-based community.

The House GOP’s incredible, amazing discovery: Most Americans aren’t entrepreneurs

Koch-Tied Groups Funded GOP Effort to Mess With Electoral College Rules

The Champion Barack ObamaHow Black America talks to the White House. Ta-Nehisi Coates is moving.

?otD: Were you shaking? Snapping your fingers?


2/1/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (fitful)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad is Friday, Joe Friday

Drilling surprise opens door to magma-powered electricityWell hit magma at unexpectedly shallow depths and used it to generate steam.

Bose-Einstein condensates used to emulate exotic magnetic monopole

Weather-Mapping a Brown DwarfAstronomers using a novel technique have mapped a brown dwarf’s visible surface — even though they can’t resolve the object in telescopes.

Is Google Cornering the Market on Deep Learning?

The Famous No-Memory Brain That Is Getting Plugged In Online

Acid bath turns cells from any tissue into stem cellsScientists borrow a trick from the plant kingdom.

Collectively, humanity’s genomes carry a fifth of a NeanderthalIf you have lupus or trouble quitting smoking, it may be their fault.

Child peanut allergy treatment ‘breakthrough’

Absurd Creature of the Week: Pink Fairy Armadillo Crawls Out of the Desert and Into Your Heart — (Via David Goldman.)

Rains Spurred by Climate Change Killing Penguin Chicks

Side-Channel Attacks on Frog Calls — Hahahahaha. (Via David Goldman.)

Fifty States of FearIn total, 54,000 Americans die every year due to work-related illnesses and accidents. This is the equivalent of 148 deaths each day; in terms of fatalities it is roughly a Boston Marathon bombing every half hour of every day. But while we spend more than 7 billion dollars a year on the T.S.A.’s national security theater in which over 58,000 T.S.A. employees make sure we are not carrying too much toothpaste or shampoo onto airplanes, the budget for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is under $600 million per year. It seems that our threat assessments are flawed. (Via David Goldman.)

Oh, the tyranny! — A short history of presidential use of the Executive Order. Obama is issuing orders at the slowest rate since Grover Cleveland is a great line.

Jon Meacham Says He Was Wrong About Lincoln, FDR And Executive Orders — So this guys makes a flat misstatement about Obama and executive orders on national television, an anti-Obama lie alleging presidential overreach seen and believed by millions of viewers. The retraction will be seen by 1% of that number, maybe, if we’re very lucky?

Rep. Cathy Rodgers Exemplifies GOP: Benefit from Gov’t yourself, Deny Benefits to Others — As usual, conservatives in their own words and deeds.

Lunches seized from kids in debt at Salt Lake City elementaryBut cafeteria workers weren’t able to see which children owed money until they had already received lunches, Olsen explained. The workers then took those lunches from the students and threw them away, he said, because once food is served to one student it can’t be served to another. Addendum: After being called out in the press, the school district has apologized.

PerkinsnachtLiberal vituperation makes our letter writer’s point. In which the Wall Street Journal proves once again that it is the FOX News of country club Republicans.

Why Is the American Dream Dead in the South?Upward mobility has stayed the same the past 50 years despite skyrocketing inequality. But it’s lower in the South (and Ohio) than anywhere else in the U.S.—or the rest of the developed world. Interesting to note the overlap between the opportunity map in this article and a Red state/Blue state political map of the United States. Startlingly similar to the overlap between a tax map (i.e., which states receive the most net inflow of government funds as compared to tax burden).

At Retreat, GOP Aims to Erase Its “Obstructive” Image — Sometimes the jokes just write themselves. And mind you, this is a story whose author was careful to be sympathetic to the GOP.

The state of the union speech Barack Obama would never give — Huh. (Via Lisa Costello.)

?otD: Just the facts, ma’am?


1/31/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 10.0 hours (fitful)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad still hurts

Sense and sensorbility: the book that lets you feel your protagonist’s painMIT scientists have created a ‘wearable’ book using temperature and lighting to mimic the experiences of a book’s protagonist. (Via AH.)

Why do we get confused about “you and me”? — Ah, grammar.

How Long Have I Got Left? — Yup. This. An oncologist writes about the experience of having cancer. (Via David Goldman.)

Giant leaps of evolution make cancer cells deadly — (Thanks to [info]fjm.)

Transmissible cancer is a time capsule from the earliest dogsTransmissible cancer dates back 11,000 years, has a mix of dog and wolf genes.

Evolutionary selection of stupidity — The concluding graph is awesome. (Via David Goldman.)

First Tests of Prototype Organic Wires Grown from Seedlings

Jelly Donut Shaped Rock Appears on Mars

The Secret Lives of Mormons — The excellent Feminist Mormon Housewives blog with a some heart-rending stories.

Historical Abuse Inquiry hears Sisters of Nazareth nuns ‘were almost psychotic’Nuns’ treatment of children at a residential care home was “bordering on the psychotic”, Northern Ireland’s Historical Abuse Inquiry has been told.

The Pawnshop Abortion DoctorReading this piece, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that terrorism sometimes works. If you truly believe that abortion is murder, than the killing of George Tiller must be viewed as a success. The killings in the 80s and 90s may well have been bad PR for the movement. But they terrorized doctors and were essential to the broader campaign that cleaved abortion away from mainstream medicine.

NY congressman to reporter: ‘I’ll break you in half’New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm was not happy when a New York reporter asked him Tuesday night about allegations involving his campaign finances.

My personal Fox News nightmare: Inside a month of self-induced torture Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness,” and I don’t regret the time I spent among the Foxians. I still believe that what the network does, and the way they do it is deeply damaging to our society—but I think I understand the Fox universe much more clearly. And if, as a result, I wind up being more skeptical of my own certainty and less apt to bore people with my anger, then it was time well spent.

?otD: Ow?


1/29/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 10.0 hours (badly fitful)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad has got an ache in its side

“Quoth” the raven? The heartwarming tale of a defective verb — I’ve never before heard of this class of words.

Google puts prescription lenses in Glass’ frame — If I live so long, and if I have the money, man would I want these.

What’s Ikea for? Cultural Differences in Appropriate Behavior

In South Korea, Spam Is the Stuff Gifts Are Made Of — (Thanks to Dad.)

One of the strangest animals on earth gets a little weirderDespite having 12 photoreceptors, mantis shrimp aren’t great at sensing color.

The Sloth’s Busy Inner LifeEvery week or so, the sloth descends from its favorite tree to defecate. I know the feeling. (Via David Goldman.)

Japan’s huge magnetic net will trawl for space junk — (Via [info]corwynofamber.)

Where The Alps Are A 3D-Printed Landscape Made From Artificial Snow

From Warheads to Cheap EnergyThomas L. Neff’s Idea Turned Russian Warheads Into American Electricity. Reading by bombsight. (Via David Goldman.)

A Cross-National Investigation into the Effects of Religiosity on the Pervasiveness of CorruptionIt is found that even after controlling for the effects of socioeconomic development, communist heritage and religiosity tend to promote corruption. Interesting if true. Not sure this isn’t some kind of elaborate trolling which happens to cater to my personal confirmation bias. (Via [info]danjite.)

Please Let’s Not Make Fun of the Poor

Tom Perkins Is The Hitler of Making Accurate Comparisons — Oh, the burden of the wealthy.

The Text that Changed the WorldOn Tuesday the Ukrainian government sent the following text message to thousands of protesters in the streets of Kiev: “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.” This short text belied a far more radical message. For the first time, a government was able to identify individual protesters and privately communicate to them that it knew who they were and where they were located. Well. I certainly have a thorough understanding of this technology, and a thorough-going fear of these politics. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Republicans unveil Obamacare replacement plan: Everybody pays more — Ah, market forces.

Meet 330 Lawmakers Who Made 2013 “A Terrible Year for Women’s Health” — 94% of them are Republicans.

Thinking Like a Conservative (Part Five): Epistemology and Empathy — In their own words, of course.

Rand Paul’s Mixed Inheritance — (Via Dad.)

?otD: Had any holes cut in you lately?


1/28/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 4.0 hours (badly fitful)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett