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[links] Link salad knows that fire is the devil’s only friend

Science Fiction Author on Trial (NIH trial, that is!) — The fundraiser for my NIH collateral expenses continues. If you haven’t already done so, please do check it out and pass the word.

The London ArrayThe world’s largest wind farm has been planted just off of the mouth of the River Thames. Oh, cool photos.

Hello World: Hibernating Rosetta Comet Probe Awakens

Are We Alone? NASA’s 30-Year Goal to Answer Astrophysics’ Greatest Question “For the first time, we will identify continents and oceans—and perhaps the signatures of life—on distant worlds,” says NASA in its 30-year vision for astrophysics.

Sex abuse files on 30 Chicago priests going publicAttorneys say the documents will show that the archdiocese concealed the abuse for decades. That’s not what Jesus meant in Matthew 19:14.

Wait. Texas Is Spending HOW Much Money to Violate the Constitution? — I love those Constitutional absolutists with their unswerving loyalty to the letter of the document. No, wait that’s the Second Amendment. The First Amendment is entirely fungible.

Executives quit after massive South Korea data theftThe alleged theft of 104m credit card account details by a lone security contractor has left thousands of South Koreans forming long lines in bank branches to cancel their cards, as three dozen financial executives resign in disgrace. Can you imagine American financial executives doing such a thing?

A Wall Streeter comes clean — This is fascinating to the point of alarming.

From ‘I don’t want any part of Obamacare’ to ‘It’s a godsend’ — The transition from ideological hatred to the hard realities of living with serious illness.

NSA-o-Matic! — Your automatic NSA spin generator! (Via David Goldman.)

If Dr. King was in Fact a “Republican”, I Too Can Entertain Some Fantasies: Was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. a Space Alien? If Dr. King was a Porn Star, What Would He Have Chosen For a Stage Name?Dr. King would be disgusted with the Democratic Party, as it is just the more Left-wing of a two party political system that is stridently conservative, and neither serves the public interest nor the public good. Moreover, Brother King was not beholden to either political party. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. held the Republicans in especially low regard. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

?otD: Where were you the day the music died?


1/21/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 238.8
Number of FEMA troops on my block BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad wishes you a thoughtful and reflective Martin Luther King Day

Fun with English Oronyms — I didn’t know the word ‘oronym’, so I’ve learned something new. Yay!

A sweet and savory step too far? New fast food chain specializes in CHOCOLATE deep-fried chicken — Because reasons. (Thanks, I think, to [info]garyomaha.)

‘Sky Whale’ Future of Flight?

Giant laser could arrange particles into enormous space telescope — What could possibly go wrong?

Did life start with a replicating molecule or a metabolism?Despite lots of progress on the origins of biomolecules, we’re still not sure.

Science: Australia Is a Gigantic SpongeHow rising sea levels are affected by one weird continent (Via The Nib.)

Trans woman asks anti-gay bigot if he`d like to stone her

World’s 85 richest have same wealth as 3.5 billion poorest — I wonder which group works harder. Well, ok. Actually, I don’t wonder.

Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did — (Via [info]danjite.)

?otD: Do you remember the Revered Dr. King?


1/20/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 239.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad swears by its pretty floral bonnet

Der verborgene Hof — A review of the German edition of Green. Insofar as I can tell, the reviewer wasn’t too thrilled.

WCMX: Taking Wheelchairs To New Heights — I am boggled. (Thanks to Lis.)

Smoking Is Worse Than You Imagined

Manufacturing OrgansHarvard Bioscience spin-off is stepping up its production of synthetic tracheas to supply clinical trials.

Defying Japan, Rancher Saves Fukushima’s Radioactive Cows — (Thanks to Dad.)

What scientific idea is ready for retirement — This makes for some interesting reading. (Snurched from Scrivener’s Error.)

Is the Universe Made of Math?

Hibernating spacecraft Rosetta to awaken for comet chase

Rising Tide Is a Mystery That Sinks Island Hopes — Weird story about a Caribbean lake. (Thanks to Dad.)

Men with sledgehammers rob crowded Memphis mall — Proving that yes, you don’t need a gun to commit a crime. But how many people were killed with sledgehammers last year?

Whose Economic Recovery Is It?

19 things conservatives insist on comparing to slavery

?otD: How tight are your pants?


1/19/2014
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 finds Friday behind the couch cushions

A deeply personal statement, regarding reason and religion — Brad Torgersen responds, to me and others, from a faith-holding perspective.

A message from a fellow First Amendment follower — A blogger riffs on my religion post from yesterday. I like it.

The social life of health information

An interesting wheelchair alternative — (Via David Goldman.)

“Haunted” Maya Underwater Cave Holds Human Bones

Researchers study what sharks know, where they attackShark expert, math professor use unique skills to set facts straight about the predators.

Watching volcanoes deflate aids ash forecastAll you need is a GPS station on the rim and you can help keep planes safe.

Saving the Planet One Tiny Satellite at a TimeA Silicon Valley startup is turning its technical acumen and passion for space into an innovative venture that uses a fleet of relatively inexpensive, tiny satellites to take non-stop pictures of Earth.

Google makes first contact lens — They measure glucose levels. Wow.

Design Flaws: The Horrible Human Neck — If this is intelligent design, I want a refund. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Texas Public Schools Are Teaching CreationismResponsive Ed has a secular veneer and is funded by public money, but it has been connected from its inception to the creationist movement and to far-right fundamentalists who seek to undermine the separation of church and state. Infiltrating and subverting the charter-school movement has allowed Responsive Ed to carry out its religious agenda—and it is succeeding. Yep, American Christianists are never under any obligation to obey that pesky “bearing false witness” commandment, are they? (Via EK.)

The Republicanization of the United States: Becoming a “Can Do Nation” AgainThese are all signs of the “Republicanization” of America, folks. It’s the result of constantly cutting and cutting, without any regard to what we need or want as a people, as well as the “can’t do” spirit that imbues everything the Republican Party stands for. The current incarnation of the GOP has as its main theme that government can’t work, and it proves that every chance they get. And after 34 years of it, it’s time to say, “Enough!”

In our quest to appease superstitious neanderthals and short-sighted plutocrats we are abandoning the future — The decline of American research: another conservative legacy to poison our future.

America Black Ops Wars in 134 Countries — Tell me again why I voted for Obama?

?otD: Does change come from within? Or within the couch?


1/17/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 238.6
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 heads back to the west coast

Bechdel Test Movie List — Huh. I think seven of my ten novels pass the Bechdel test. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

10 abandoned hotels

Blaze ravages ancient Tibetan town

Mmm, vintage coffee

Decline of large carnivores damages ecosystems, experts warnResearchers recently called for an international initiative to conserve large predators in coexistence with people.

Metamaterials could perform calculus with light wavesA properly structured material could convert a light wave to its derivative. Science!

New discovery could be a Thorne-Zytkow object — Astronomical turducken? (Via David Goldman.)

Rise of the distorporationA mutation in the way companies are financed and managed will change the distribution of the wealth they create. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

American Conservatives, Jewish Law, and Israel’s New Abortion Policy — In which the intellectual and moral consistency of the American Right is proudly on display once again. It’s so nice to know that our nation’s conservative religious leaders would never stoop to political expediency when Biblical principle is at stake. Wait, sorry, the sarcasm bit got stuck on and dialed up to 11. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

How Newsweek’s ‘global cooling’ story got its legsNine paragraphs written for Newsweek in 1975 continue to trump 40 years of climate science. It’s a record that has the author amazed. Conservatives are not interested in evidence, except that which supports their position. Contrary evidence is ignored because of the well-known liberal bias in reality. Meanwhile, science really does change its collective mind about things. That a theory being explored 40 years might have changed since then due to more compelling evidence to the contrary is apparently inconceivable to conservatives. Confidential to GOP in America: that flexibility is a feature, not a bug, in science. There really is no “gotcha” in pointing out that scientists changed their minds about something over time.

?otD: How far will you go today?


1/11/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (fitful)
Body movement: n/a (airport walking to come)
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 gets punctured

Fantasy Novels — A reader reacts to, among other books, my novel Green. Very much not with the liking. Hilariously snarky, in fact. I highly approve of this review.

Scrivener’s Error is grumpy about (among other things) the SF/F community’s awards nomination process — A topic on which Generalissimo (ret.) Scalzi was opining yesterday.

Historic, Eccentric Wills Go Online

Kraft says Velveeta running low; fans warn of ‘cheesepocalypse’

A Giant Twisting Serpent Skeleton Emerges from the Loire River in France — Oooh. (Via Lisa Costello.)

The Science Behind Ageing Sharks: Study Reveals Great Whites Can Live More Than 70 Years

Will We Find Habitable ‘Super-Earths?’

Search for exomoons turns up fluffy, Earth-sized planetIt’s so fluffy!

No, the Polar Vortex Does Not Disprove Global Warming — Unless you’re blinded by ideology and willful ignorance, of course, in which case the only evidence you’ll accept is negative evidence. Hello, conservative America.

Pastor tries atheism, loses jobs, gains $19,000 — Hmm. I’m not sure this is truly atheism so much as pretending to live as an atheist, but I am still impressed. (Thanks to [info]shsilver.)

Israeli government offers women aged 20 to 33 free abortions — Wonder how that will play on the American Right? (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Ohio police: Man stopped for speeding had 48 bombs — Hmm. A white conservative patriot with a carload of bombs. Heard this story? What if he’d been a Muslim? Think you would have heard about that? (Via Karen Williams.)

Top Christie aide linked to GWB lane-closing controversy — And people think this guy should be president? He makes Sarah Palin’s corrupt political pettiness during her tenure as governor look like Sunday school.

Christie says he was misled on GWB lane closures — If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. Christie is infamous for his hardball vindictiveness and generally abusive approach to people he doesn’t agree with. This is a highly documented, long term character flaw. Who could possibly be fooled by his denials now? Well, other than pretty much every conservative voter in the country, of course. Remember kids, character counts… if you’re a Democrat.

?otD: Got apheresis?


1/9/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (fitful)
Body movement: n/a (up too early for hotel gym)
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 is too long ago, too far apart

Russell Banks: By the BookAnything described by the author or publisher as fantasy, which to me says, “Don’t worry, Reader, Death will be absent here.” In his brief introduction to “Slow Learner,” Thomas Pynchon says he takes serious writing to be that in which Death is present. I agree. Thus speaks a man most proud of his absolute ignorance on the topic he is discussing. It’s one thing not to care for a literary genre as a matter of taste. It’s another thing to dismiss that entire genre out of hand based on a profound lack of understanding, and then pretend that dismissal is a statement of high principle. So much for Russell Banks’ intellectual honesty.

The more they stay the same! — Sherwood Smith shows us sneering at genre fiction from two and half centuries ago. Russell Banks would be pleased at his place in the pageant of tradition.

Because syntax — This one’s for all you language nerds.

Parseltongue — This one’s for all you language nerds who are Harry Potter fans.

How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood To understand how people look for movies, the video service created 76,897 micro-genres. We took the genre descriptions, broke them down to their key words, … and built our own new-genre generator. Fascinating. (Thanks to Scott Frey.)

Jay Lake #Dayton — Mmm.

This Dad Does Incredible Things To His Kids’ Lunches Every Day. I Can’t Stop Smiling! — This is cool. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Why Everyone Seems to Have Cancer — We’re living longer, basically, and not dying of other things. Then there’s the simply unlucky, like me.

30-Something Everyday Tasks You Might Be Doing ‘Wrong’

Why It’s Nearly Impossible to Castrate a Hippo — Because there are some things you just absolutely, positively need to know. (Via [info]danjite.)

No, Our Solar System is NOT a “Vortex” — That video I posted yesterday? Not so much… (Thanks to [info]ericjamesstone.)

Newly discovered three-star system could debunk Einstein’s theory of General Relativity — Maybe, maybe.

Three CubeSats Released — I love these things.

Physics Professors Search Internet for Time Travelers, Don’t Find Any — All depends on how you want to think about the causality.

The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence In some jobs, being in touch with emotions is essential. In others, it seems to be a detriment. And like any skill, being able to read people can be used for good or evil. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Social Darwinism Isn’t DeadIf you’re doing well, you believe success comes to those who deserve it, and those of lower status must not deserve it.

Why Kim Jong-un probably didn’t feed his naked uncle to 120 dogsPoe’s law definitely applies to North Korea. (Via [info]danjite.)

Winter Does Not Disprove Global Warming — Willful idiocy is a backbone of conservative thought.

Papa John’s, Applebee’s And Others Pay Huge Price For Anti-Obamacare Politicking — As much as I would love for this to be true, I have a very hard time believing that enough of the public cares about this kind of thing to be the root cause of such a decline in brand value. If most people cared that much about conservative insanity on such a large scale, we would have a very different House of Representatives right now.

Romney Wishes He Could ‘Turn Back The Clock’“They’re going to find that the doctor they’ve had, they can’t keep. They’re going to find the policies they were promised they could have, they’re not going to be able to keep. And the American people are going to be very, very upset about that.” Right. Because that never, ever happened under the old system. And Romney never lied about anything, especially not his extensive efforts to offer a superior healthcare reform. Still trying to unskew, Mittens?

Gay Marriage Opponents Call For Uprising In Utah“The people of Utah have rights, too, not just the homosexuals. The homosexuals are shoving their agenda down our throats,” Former Graham County, Ariz., Sheriff Richard Mack said at the meeting. Yes, the conservative right to hatred, bigotry and oppression is certainly being endangered by other Americans enjoying their civil rights, that is true. This attitude does not fill me with sympathy.

“Religious liberty” means never being allowed to do anything that someone else’s religion forbids, apparently — Welcome to conservative America, where their beliefs rule your life.

Liz Cheney Dropping Senate Bid — Interestingly, note that one of the key issues was Cheney’s hypocrisy over gay marriage.

The Return of the Welfare QueenRepublicans are launching a class war with racial undertones—and hurting the poor whites they’ll need to win in 2014. Launching? What the hell launching? The GOP has been waging a race-driven class war since Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy.

The Failure of the Trillion Dollar National Security State

?otD: Can you wait another day now?


1/6/2014
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 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 scurries back to NIH

Every argument you’ll ever need for singular ‘they’ — More on an evergreen topic.

The 38 Most Haunting Abandoned Places On Earth. For Some Reason, I Can’t Look Away… — Wow. Some of these are new to me. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Court refuses trial by combat — For a vehicle registration violation. Hahaha. Ah, tradition. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around — (Via [info]martang.)

Caterpillar Puffs Out Toxic Nicotine in Breath

Full atmosphere-ocean model of a rotationally locked exoplanet

This iPad App Wants to Be Your New AssistantMindMeld analyzes your conversations and tries to offer helpful info from the Web. It’s a cool idea, but it doesn’t work as well as it needs to. I’m pretty much a technophile, but I don’t think I would want this much involvement from one of my devices.

The NSA Reportedly Has Total Access To The Apple iPhone — (Thanks to David Goldman.)

NSA reportedly intercepting laptops purchased online to install spy malware — Uh. Yeah. You weren’t using those civil liberties, were you? And here I thought Obama was supposed to be one of the good guys. (Via David Goldman.)

The Intellectual Civil War within Evangelicalism: An Interview with Molly WorthenEvangelicals sincerely try to please all the sources of authority in those three questions that I mentioned. They try to satisfy the standards of secular reason and spiritual experience and scripture and do right by the public square. I like this article a lot, but that bit, about Evangelicals, or at least those in the American Right, is very far off. Evangelicals have become the group most concerned with dismantling the public square and remaking into an extension of their churches. They are every bit as insidious and immoral enemies of freedom as the most wildly imagined Shariate bogeyman, and they do so with joy in their hearts and a patriotic smile on their faces. That sinister fruitiness on the part of people who work very hard at dismantling American freedoms and civil rights is part of why I can never, ever be a conservative. The fact that they cannot recognize this most basic characteristic in themselves, but in turn work very hard to project it onto liberals, progressives and atheists is an intellectually dishonest icing on the cake of Christianist willful ignorance. (Snurched from Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Public’s Views on Human Evolution — Willful idiocy continues to burgeon on the American Right. Ah, the intellectual marvel that is American conservatism. Tribalism for the win, I guess, and the evidence-based world be damned.

?otD: Got healthcare?


12/31/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (up too early for hotel gym)
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 wasn’t its mama’s only boy, but her favorite one it seems

Jay Lake, Cancer, and God #9: A Tale of Two Tales — My friend [info]daveraines continues his intermittent series of thoughtful posts.

Why pain is expressed differently in different languages — Ow.

The magnificent, fragile beauty of bubbles blown outside when it’s 15 degrees below freezing — Wow. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

On Ice: 100 year-old negatives discovered in Antarctic — This is seriously cool. See here for more of the images themselves. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Scientists tell us their favourite jokes: ‘An electron and a positron walked into a bar…’Science is a very serious business, so what tickles a rational mind? In a not very scientific experiment, we asked a sample of great minds for their favourite jokes.

Scientists create the world’s first glow-in-the-dark pigs after injecting them with jellyfish DNA — Mmm. Glowing bacon.

Dragonfly-Like Lenses Grown With Liquid Crystals

NASA begins work on ‘super bot’ rover for Saturn’s Titan

Navajo Nation struggles with same-sex marriage The Navajo banned such unions in 2005, but some hope to change that — especially since New Mexico began permitting gay marriage this month. Bigotry is everywhere, even among people who should understand the evils of oppression.

Cruz hires lawyers to help him ditch Canadian citizenship — Well, sure. After the Kenyan Muslim socialist usurper, Sarah Palin’s “real Americams” are hardly going to vote for a Hispanic Canadian usurper, are they? No real American ever came from anywhere else, after all.

America’s Internal CheckpointsRefuseniks fight back against feds demanding papers. This is where the American Right becomes confused. Government intrusion is bad, but oppression of immigrants is good. What’s a Constitution loving conservative to do here? (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

?otD: Did she begin to cry when you said goodbye, and sank into your dreams?


12/30/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (up too early for hotel gym)
Weight: n/a (traveling, no scale)
Number of FEMA troops on my block falsifying climate change data: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)