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[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?


10/17/2012
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 tried to call you from a noisy bar in Avalon

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

Men and Women Really Do See Things Differently — Hmm. (Via Art Guru James Gurney.)

The fast and the flexible: Graphene foam batteries charge quicklyCapacity on par with existing lithium batteries, but charges in 15 minutes.

ISS^3 — Mmm, CubeSats.

Bulletproof vest gets attention but officials miss weapons in bags — Boy, I sure feel safer taking off my shoes.

Lance Armstrong’s team ‘ran most sophisticated doping programme ever’ — Is this real, or a crusade against Armstrong?

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: Abram & Sarai & Hagar (Genesis 16:1-6)

Australia’s PM calls out sexism and misogynous behavior of opposition — Would that our progressives had a fraction this much courage to speak the truth.

Rep. Broun Spox: Comments Decrying Science As Satanic Lie Were ‘Off Record’ — Because being conservative means never having to be intellectually consistent. Or even sane, really.

Scott DesJarlais, Pro-Life Republican Congressman And Doctor, Pressured Mistress Patient To Get Abortion A pro-life, family-values congressman who worked as a doctor before winning election as a Tea Party-backed Republican had an affair with a patient and later pressured her to get an abortion. Mmm, family values. This is why you can’t trust liberals.

The Shameful Politicization of the Benghazi Consulate AttackThat’s right, the Republicans cut funds for embassy security, and now are blaming the State Department for laxity. That’s fundamental conservative political theory right there. Starve the government beast, then blame it for failing to perform when inadequately supported.

Mitt Romney has a Google problem — Ultimately irrelevant, but still funny as heck.

Who do you believe–Mitt, or your lyin’ memory? — Roger Ebert on Mitt Romney and the sad fact that post-truth campaigning succeeds. Conservatives don’t even pretend any more, and no one cares.

Romney’s abortion comments leave campaign scrambling to unify ticket — That’s what happens when you lie so habitually you can’t remember what the truth ever was.

As Democrats cry foul, “Moderate Mitt” rises in polls — More of that justly famed conservative intellectual consistency. Mitt’s not like those untrustworthy situationalist liberals. No sir.

?otD: Have you seen the Southern Cross for the first time?


10/11/2012
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hour (chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (overslept due to chemo fatigue)
Hours slept: 9.0 (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Heartland by Mark Teppo

[links] Link salad has crossed the threshold, and it has overturned the order of the soul

Story Bone — Steve Buchheit with a brief, entertaining rant about the portrayal of dwarves in fantasy.

An interesting and largely civil discussion about firearms and society in the comments section of my post from yesterday on guns [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ] — Mostly on the LJ side.

Disney Researchers Add Virtual Touch to the Real WorldA new computer interface can modify the feel of almost any surface—potentially adding a new dimension to games and augmented reality apps. This be some weird science.

Crystal-clear images from Mars rover thrill NASA scientists — Not to mention how the rest of us feel about it.

Curiosity landing site: the whole mess — Where all the hardware wound up.

Mike Bloomberg’s Soda Ban and the Case for Paternalism — Ta-Nehisi Coates on food choices. Yes. This.

Disabled Spectator Arrested for Not Visibly Enjoying Olympic Event — This is in the UK, where civil rights in the American sense don’t quite exist (nor do they here so much any more, but I digress). Still, a very weird story.

Archaeologists Officially Declare Collective Sigh Over “Paleo Diet”You simply do not see specific, trans-regional trends in human subsistence in the archaeological record. People can live off everything from whale blubber to seeds and grasses. You want to know what the ideal human diet consists of? Everything.

Ancient skull deepens human-origins mystery — Warning: facts not valid for Young Earth Creationists.

Hey White Guys intro — An interesting video on race, gender and privilege.

What do Christian fundamentalists have against set theory? — Man, I got nothing here. (Thanks to [info]seventorches.)

Bryan Fischer: Children Of Same-Sex Couples Must Be Saved Through ‘Underground Railroad’ Kidnapping — And conservatives wonder why the rest of America thinks they’re nuts.

Dams, reservoirs are new global warming culprits — It will be interesting to see if this line of evidence pans out on further investigation.

No, Harry Reid is No Michele BachmannIt is difficult to find a better example of the strange mixture of paranoia, bad faith and self-pity that is behind so many conservative claims of media bias. This, in a nutshell.

Komen president resigning, founder shifting roles — Wow. I really am surprised. Conservative dishonesty rarely carries penalties for those in positions of senior leadership.

Top Ten differences between White Terrorists and Others — Juan Cole is sarcastic but accurate. Remember, according to the GOP, Real Americans with guns can’t be terrorists. The DHS got in a lot of trouble with conservatives for stating the obvious in this regard.

?otD: What did they mean when they said “repent”?


8/9/2012
Writing time yesterday: 0.5 hours (WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.75 (solid)
Weight: 236.4
Currently reading: The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems by Henry Petroski

[links] Link salad wonders if anyone got the number of that truck

Cello Wars — Um, wow. A Star Wars parody. At about two minutes in, this goes utterly over the edge. (Via [info]the_child.)

Notes Towards a Philosophy of Sleep — Interesting. (Via [info]tillyjane, a/k/a my mom.)

If evolution is all about survival of the fittest, why are we attracted to the cutest? — Hahahahahah.

Fruit flies offer DNA clue to why women live longer — Because science!

What If Huge NASA Mars Rover Crashes Sunday Night?

NASA chooses SpaceX to return US astronauts to space

Smooth Lumpsucker — The weird world of nature. (Via [info]scarlettina.)

The Incidental Art Of Penn State Football — Ta-Nehisi Coates with a fascinating photo.

Progressive religious voices not irrelevant, just ignoredWho decided that the faith and ethics and values of tens of millions of people, plus the interests and well-being of tens of millions of additional people, do not matter? What is the rationale for dismissing these folks as irrelevant while hanging on every outrageous word from right-wing evangelicals? That would be Your Liberal Media in action, as always, embracing and supporting the conservative narrative.

A Message To America’s Creationists From Jesus Of Nazareth You’ve become so suspicious of anyone and anything you label as “intellectual” that you’ve actually turned ignorance into a virtue. It’s not. It doesn’t make you a better, more loving, more righteous person to pretend you’re living in the 18th century while you take advantage of the antibiotics, airplanes, computers, and air conditioning that comes from the scientific progress of the 20th and 21st. It just makes you a tool. (Snurched from Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

11 Eye-Opening Highlights From a Creationist Science Textbook — Wow. Just wow. (Via [info]controuble.)

Seriously – you’re embarrassing meSo fellow liberals – just shut the fuck up about running CFA out of town on a rail. If they are accused and convicted of discrimination against gay people, or Muslim people, or Atheist people, THEN you can call for punitive measures. Because then they would be guilty of breaking the law. Right now the only thing they’re guilty of is Level 10 Douchebaggery, which, last time I checked, was not a reason to discriminate against them, although it’s an excellent reason to stop eating their chicken. Seriously – you’re embarrassing me. Plus hilarious bonus graphic documenting the modern persecution of the Christians by population numbers!

Americans Want to Live in a Much More Equal Country (They Just Don’t Realize It) — (Thanks to [info]threeoutside.)

Debt, Depression, DeMarcoThere has been plenty to criticize about President Obama’s handling of the economy. Yet the overriding story of the past few years is not Mr. Obama’s mistakes but the scorched-earth opposition of Republicans, who have done everything they can to get in his way — and who now, having blocked the president’s policies, hope to win the White House by claiming that his policies have failed.

David Brody says tea party isn’t ‘far-right,’ just ‘constitutional’Slacktivist Fred Clark documents the Tea Party in their own words. Which is of course unfair, as any conservative will tell you about confusing the issue with facts.

Romneygaffe can’t even properly defend his own wife — Mmm. Olympic dressage.

?otD: What the heck happened?


8/4/2012
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (30 minutes of revisions on Other Me, 30 minutes of WRPA)
Body movement: 60 minute coastal walk
Hours slept: 5.75 (solid)
Weight: 237.2
Currently reading: The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems by Henry Petroski

[links] Link salad is one of the cats that you meet on the street who speaks of true love

A reader reacts to Green — Interesting review. They started out very suspicious of the book, and wound up liking it a lot.

A reader reacts to Death of a Starship — They liked it.

Hotel Replaces Bible with Fifty Shades of Grey — (Via [info]willyumtx.)

How to Write — Hahahah.

Friends of a Certain AgeWhy Is It Hard to Make Friends Over 30? This article is a mix of the banal-and-silly with the fascinating.

Sunken World War II submarine found off Nantucket

Biochemically, All Is Fair[P]assionate love has the same biomarkers as addiction and obsessive compulsive disorder. This is completely unsurprising.

Vampire Stars Suck Life Out Of Stellar PartnersMany massive stars in our galaxy have smaller companion stars that are slowly being drained of gas.

Pastor Rick Warren tries to blame shooting on evolution? — Christianists are asses. Full stop.

Bang Bang Crazy — More on guns and society from Jim Wright. Long, worth the read. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

The Olympics and the Muslims

Obama campaign doesn’t sell merchandise for Muslim supporters — (Via David Goldman.)

Half of Americans Do Not Know the President’s Religion — So let me see if I have the conservative narrative straight. We’re all supposed to be outraged over President Obama’s twenty year relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but we’re also all supposed to pretend we don’t think he’s a Christian. Got it.

What drives the Obama doubters and haters? — Unfortunately, that question pretty much answers itself. Some pretty interesting detail here about the president’s biography, however.

?otD: Are you sitting and crying at home?


7/29/2012
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hour (60 minutes on Other Me)
Body movement: 60 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 7.0 (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems by Henry Petroski; Ironskin by Tina Connolly

[links] Link salad heads for the Piedmont

Same Book, Different…Book (includes spoilers) — Editor Gabrielle Harbowy talks about her reactions to my novel Green, and compares those reactions to a number of other reviews.

Steampunk themed cruise to be held on Navigator of the Seas — Including yours truly. USA Today blogs about this as well.

In an old furniture store far, far away… — More from Waterloo Productions, this time involving [info]the_child.

How not to talk to someone about their feelings…[info]alumiere is both wise and angry. Me, I despise the cult of optimism, so, what she said.

Space smells like seared steak, hot metal, astronauts reportAstronauts returning from spacewalks frequently report a distinct odor clinging to their spacesuits and equipment. In space, no one can hear you dream?

NASA tests ‘inflatable heat shield’ which unfurls in space and helps space ships float gently down to a planet’s surface

Catholic priest victims: NCAA too light on Penn StateWhen money was misspent at SMU, play is suspended. But when boys are raped and crimes are concealed at PSU, play continues. This sends absolutely the wrong signal. Football. Just like Wall Street, the money’s too big for there ever to be true accountability. Ain’t that America?

Loading the Climate Dice — Paul Krugman is thoughtful on climate change.

Deniers, disgust, and defamationWhenever I post about the reality of climate change, I get the usual chorus of denialist outrage. This includes the odd ad hominem or two, like the sneering “What does an astronomer know about the climate?”, because apparently not having an advanced degree in science makes someone a better judge of the data.

Fox News Banned From Canada – Law Forbids Lying On Broadcast NewsHarper’s attempts to make lying legal on Canadian television are a stark admission that right-wing political ideology can only dominate national debate through dishonest propaganda. Got it in one. (Snurched from [info]jess_ka.)

What I Learned in Law School — An attorney’s perspective on the Second Amendment and the Aurora shootings.

Guns versus cars — Philip Brewer responds to some discussions on my blog.

Romney to Olympians: ‘You didn’t get here solely on your own’ — So when Obama says that to businesspeople, that’s socialism, but when Romney says the same thing to athletes, it’s, um, what? More of that justly famed conservative intellectual consistency.

GOP Rep. Stands Up For Huma Abedin & Freedom Of Religion At Town Hall — Props to him for getting it right. The First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion really does protect everyone.

GOP’s Obama obsession will lose it the election — A lot of people, including me, hated President Bush for a lot of reasons. Most of them were reality-based, whether or not they were objectively worthy of vilification. Most of what the GOP hates Obama for isn’t even particularly connected to reality. It’s just weird. And these are the people who used to mock “Bush derangement syndrome”.

?otD: Carolina in the morning?


7/24/2012
Writing time yesterday: 90 minutes (1,900 words to complete first draft of a requested short story, plus some revision time)
Body movement: n/a (airport walking to come)
Hours slept: 5.75 (solid)
Weight: 238.0
Currently reading: Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

[links] Link salad heads out for another hike

Hear That? #11: Koelle, Lake, Shehadeh — Sandra Odell reviews, among other things, the recent podcast of my short story, “The American Dead.”

The true secret of love…Marti McKenna makes a funny and neat image out of something I said.

Avengers of Harmony — My Little Pony/Avengers mashup video. Heh. (Thanks to [info]willyumtx.)

Heavy ion collisions reveal the earliest instants of our UniverseLHC and RHIC provide a completely different view of fundamental forces.

Is Central Oregon Warming To Gay Culture?

Penn State orders removal of Paterno statue — One very small but symbolic step in the right direction.

The Seven Stages of Gun Violence — Some wise thoughts about the American response to violence. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Dreaming of a World With No Intellectuals — Conservatives and the intellectual life. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Legislator Upset That Muslims Want to Use School-Voucher Program Too — This is actually slightly old news, but I like this particular take on the story. Especially this: [Republican state representative] Hodges mistakenly assumed that ‘religious’ meant ‘Christian.’ Which pretty much in a nutshell explains the conservative view of the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion. More of that justly famed conservative intellectual consistency: absolutists to a point beyond absurdity on the Second Amendment, arrant revisionists and situationalists on the First.

Self-Indulgence and DutyMany of the failures of the Bush [Administration] came about partly because most conservatives fell in line, deferred to party leaders, and did their “duty” to their party by continuing to support it even when it was leading them and the country towards disaster. It doesn’t bode well for the future if conservatives are ready to fall back into that same pattern.

?otD: Got mountain?


7/22/2012
Writing time yesterday: 90 minutes (research plus 1,300 words on a requested short story)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride, trail hiking to come
Hours slept: 6.5 (solid)
Weight: 237.8
Currently reading: Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

[links] Link salad times its rhymes

Kalimpura — Illustrator and artist Dan Dos Santos discusses how he developed the cover art to my next novel, Kalimpura from Tor Books.

[info]mcjulie with an epic rant on literary snobbery

Help an author research: British Law in the Regency — Mary Robinette asks for help.

The Big War Over a Small FruitSimple but clever ideas have made America great. Now a small seedless fruit has become an emblem of marketing in our era. Will your local supermarket ever be the same again?

Inactivity ‘killing as many as smoking’

The Puzzling Problem Of Proportionate GrowthBiologists have long wondered how our organs all grow at the same rate. Now theoretical physicists think they’ve found a clue in the special way sandpiles grow.

Why isn’t Earth a lot wetter?

A hole in Mars — Another awesome APOD image.

A Biologist And A Psychologist Square Off Over The Definition Of Science

McDonalds staff accused of assaulting ‘human cyborg’ — Is there any other kind of cyborg?

Wealth Rises in Mongolia, as Does Worry — Welcome to the boom town. I first visited Ulaan Baatar in the Iron Curtain days. Wow have things changed. (Via Brendan Boerner.)

The sins of the father — A sportswriter comments on Joe Paterno’s true legacy.

Republicans Attack Obama For Giving States Flexibility On Welfare Reform — Because conservatives have always been staunchly against states’ rights. No. Wait. What…?

American history, as told through the two RomneysIn the ’50s and ’60s, a period considered the economic heyday of a free and capitalist post-war America, George Romney paid 37 percent of his income in federal taxes. By 2010, Romney’s son paid a total of 13.9 percent of his income in federal taxes, this in an America that is supposedly well on its way to becoming a socialist state, with a confiscatory federal government intent on stealing the wealth of its highest earners.

No, Obama Isn’t Taking Credit For Building Your Business — The Republican lie on this one is breathtakingly stupid and transparently dishonest, even by the usual abysmal standards of conservative discourse. Which doubtless sells well to the base, and low information voters, but this doesn’t stand up to fifteen seconds of scrutiny. Luckily for Romney and the GOP, Your Liberal Media won’t put much effort into debunking the claim, so as usual, the lie will get a lot of traction and stick in people’s minds.

?otD: How now, brown cow?


7/18/2012
Writing time yesterday: 30 minutes (WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 4.5 (solid but short)
Weight: 239.4
Currently reading: The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

[culture] The Ones Who Walk Away From Penn State

I don’t comment on sports much on this blog, with the exception of occasional posts about [info]the_child‘s team events and athletic accomplishments. I’m just not much about sports. My personal universe includes walking, hiking and (sometimes) biking. I am so not a sports fan that if the entire apparatus of professional sports in the United States vanished overnight, I wouldn’t even notice until NPR ran an informative investigative piece on the subject a few weeks later.

Part of this is because of the way I grew up. I spent the vast majority of my childhood overseas in the era prior to VCRs or consumer satellite television, so there were no broadcast sports in the house. My parents aren’t sports fans at either the college or pro level. Even the high school I went to was about as unfocused on sports as it’s possible for an American high school to be.

My first real encounter with serious sports fans was when I went to college at the University of Texas at Austin. Hook ’em, Horns. Watching Longhorn fannery, and more specifically, Aggie fannery, rise nearly to the level of mental illness in some cases, pretty much confirmed my lack of interest in that culture.

On top of this, I experienced a childhood of always being the slowest kid in P.E. class, the most inept at ball sports, the last picked for every team or exercise (and often the subject of bitter arguments about who had to be stuck with me), all of this in the era when the gym teacher coaching style was to pick one kid to goat hard in order to motivate the rest. “You don’t want to be like Lake, do you!?” shouted with a sneer were words I heard from adult authority figures for many years of my life.

Likewise, my first experience of the concept of privilege in the social justice sense of the term was through athletic privilege. As early as about fifth grade, the bad kids — bullies, petty thieves, etc. — who happened to be good at sports were excused a great deal of terrible behavior that would have landed most kids in a lot of trouble. By the time of my high school years, this favoritism was blatant and explicit. For example, you could be thrown out of my prep school for drinking, unless you happened to be a sports star whose contributions to the team drew alumni interest and donations.

All of which is to say, my attitude toward college and pro sports hovers somewhere between blank indifference and resentful contempt. Which I recognize is specific to my life experience and personal quirks, so I don’t usually feel a need to comment on sports in public. Not for me to piss on other people’s harmless passions. With the exceptions of dodgy stadium deals and some unfortunate educational funding priorities, sports fans don’t really have a negative or destructive influence on public life. (Unlike, say, Evangelical Christians whose misplaced obsessions and passions frequently poison the well for everyone.)

Except sometimes sports does become destructive. Joe Paterno. Jerry Sandusky. Penn State. The Freeh Report. Even I, the resolute non sports fan, am aware of what’s been going on in State College, PA.

And I just don’t understand it.

How can devotion to a team, to a university, be so powerful that child rape can be excused and covered up and enabled to preserve that team’s fortunes and good name? Not just one incident of child rape once, but a pattern of behavior known to the principals for well over a decade?

What the fuck is wrong with people?

This business is like everything I’ve ever despised about the culture of sports in America distilled into one evil package.

Why aren’t Curley, Spanier and Schultz registered sex offenders rotting in prison? Why is there a single statue or plaque to Joe Paterno still left standing? Why does Penn State even still have a football program? This isn’t the case of a child molester who happens to be tangentially associated with a football program. This is a case of an entire sporting dynasty resting explicitly on a knowing long-term coverup of child rape. To preserve Penn State’s good name, and Joe Paterno’s place in history.

I don’t give a damn how many games he won. What a nice man he was. How many athletes he graduated. When he made the decision to protect Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno crossed an unforgivable line. When the officials of Penn State made the decision to protect Jerry Sandusky, they crossed an unforgivable line.

Will anyone walk away from Penn State over this?

I seriously doubt it. The culture of entitlement and privilege around big time sports in America is too powerful. Penn State’s need for alumni donations keyed to its football program is too great. What’s a few kids getting messed around back in the day compared to the significance of a Big Ten football program?

My question to all you Penn State supporters with ready excuses for Paterno and the school, with easy words about how it’s not the program’s fault and you shouldn’t punish the players or the institution by shutting things down, is this: How would you feel about the coverup if you were one of Jerry Sandusky’s victims? How would you feel about Penn State if your child had been abused by Sandusky under the smiling protection of Joe Paterno?

There couldn’t be a sports story with a more clear-cut moral than this. And I’m afraid it will have no effect at all.

[links] Link salad was seeking out the poorer quarters

Will you still medal in the morning?The real games in the Olympic Village will not be televised. Athletes and sex? Well, duh. (Via David Goldman.)

Migrant Workers in China Face Competition from Robots — This is one of those ‘from the future’ headlines I’d have been just as happy not to see.

Gene-Silencing Technique Targets Scarring

Faltering Steps May Indicate Oncoming Dementia

Pluto jokes resurface after new moon found

Dark, Starless Galaxies Observed For The First Time — This is so cool.

The woman who stood up to Joe Paterno

U.S. Declares the Largest Natural Disaster Area Ever Due to Drought — Rush Limbaugh to the weather room, stat!

Q&A: Barney Frank on the Contempt of the House GOP

?otD: What did you do this weekend?


7/16/2012
Writing time yesterday: n/a (weekend off)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.0 (interrupted)
Weight: 238.8
Currently reading: The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

[links] Link salad follows Horace Greeley’s advice

Pseudopod 290: The American Dead — A podcast of one of my stories.

Women are people too[info]fjm on the subject of women’s clothes.

Oregon stone tools enliven ‘earliest Americans’ debate

Dinosaur Sex Experts Concur That Animals Mated Front To Back — How the heck does one become a “dinosaur sex expert”, anyway? (Thanks, I think, to Lisa Costello.)

Justin Bieber Blasted Me With His Gondola-Based Sonic Ray Machine

xkcd asks, “what if…?”

Virgin Galactic announces new launch vehicle

After 14 Years, Furby Has Returned — I had one of those the last time around… (Thanks to Dad.)

The Other Joe Paterno — Ta-Nehisi Coates on the vile evil of Joe Paterno and the Penn State football program. Where are the ones who walk away from State College, PA?

Voters Would Accept Black, Female, Catholic,or Hispanic President — (Via David Goldman.)

What Is Causing The Increase In Political Violence In America? — Conservatives and hate speech. (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

The Mystery of John Roberts — More on Supreme Court history and rulings.

?otD: Going west?


7/13/2012
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hour (workshop crit and WRPA)
Body movement: n/a (airport walking to come)
Hours slept: 6.0 (fitful)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie

[links] Link salad is a firework spiraling high

Kalimpura has cover art! — Yay!!!

The Conservative Menace? — Brad Torgersen responds to my post from yesterday about flinging poo, from a conservative perspective.

Butting Heada — Arinn Dembo responds to my post from yesterday about flinging poo, from a cultural perspective.

No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found

Double amputee Oscar Pistorius to compete at London Olympics

Maxwell’s demon goes quantum, can do work, write and erase data19th century thought experiment meets 21st century physics.

Quantum Computation at Room-Temperature for a Reasonable Time

Physicists find new particle, but is it the Higgs?LHC data confirm discovery, but not identity, of Higgs-like entity.

Earthquakes since 1898, by magnitude — This is a cool image. (Via [info]khaybee.)

Why it’s easy to rationalize the immoral position of not treating climate change as a moral issue

This is climate change

Global warming: It’s “I-told you-so” time — Or not. Weather is not climate. Climate is, however, the aggregate of weather.

A Climate Scientist Battles Time and Mortality — I’m old enough (and at enough mortality risk, thanks to my friend cancer) that I probably won’t live to see the worst losses from climate change. [info]the_child and her children will be living in a very, very different world. And if they’re not too busy struggling to survive, they’re going to be asking some very hard questions of my generation about why we stood by and did nothing in the face of the glaringly obvious.

The Best Case For the Bible NOT Condemning Homosexuality

Arafat poisoned by polonium – report

Smaller government, smaller dreams, smaller people — An older post from Slacktivist Fred Clark on what society can do when people are committed to the common good.

Where the Money LivesVanity Fair investigates Mitt Romney’s offshore accounts. Personally, I don’t care that he’s wealthy. Yes, there’s an argument to made about representation democracy and social justice, but as far as contemporary American politics is concerned, that ship sailed a long time ago. I do care about the secretive approach Romney and his campaign have taken, because to me that telegraphs untrustworthiness. Admittedly, I’m not a likely Romney voter, but I would prefer to believe he has some integrity. Which is hard to do, given this kind of thing.

?otD: Ever exploded in a shower of sparks?


7/4/2012
Writing time yesterday: 1.75 hours (WRPA)
Body movement: Two hour suburban walk
Hours slept: 7.0 (solid)
Weight: 237.8
Currently reading: Shattering the Ley by Benjamin Tate