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[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?

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 will mend your robbing ways

3 to 3: Orycon 2013 interview with Jay Lake — In which Camille Alexa interviews me.

The Church of the Brass Messiah — Hah!

Amazon to deliver by drone? Don’t believe the hypeJeff Bezos’s ‘plan’ for drone deliveries is little more than a publicity stunt – timed for the biggest online shopping day of the year.

Compulsory Monogamy in The Hunger Games — This story has it right. A polyamorous solution, logical and satisfying as it might be, would never have made it on to the pages of the book or into the film.

Robot Handjobs Are The Future, And The Future Is Coming — Uh, yeah. (Thanks, I think, to David Goldman.)

Pheromone Signaling of Male C. elegans Worm Shortens Hermaphrodite Lifespan

Evangelical historian remains key ally of right — More on the profound and knowing intellectual dishonesty of America’s Evangelical Right. That whole not bearing false witness thing in the Bible? It’s one of the optional Ten Commandments. Lying for Jesus is never a sin, I guess. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Dozens of same-sex couples wed in Hawaii as new law takes effect — Another bigotry domino fallen. Just for reference, have any of the Right’s apocalyptic predictions for gay marriage (and repeal of DADT) come true? Even remotely? Anywhere? Not that there is ever any accountability whatsoever for conservative hysteria, but still.

Since rich people don’t create jobs, why are conservatives taken seriously on economics?This isn’t he-said-she-said economic theory. This is known fact, demonstrable time and again through empirical evidence just like evolution or climate science. Since when have facts ever stood in the way of a conservative position? It’s an entire ideology founded on explicit rejection of reality. In their own words conservatives have made it clear they have no interest in evidence-based thinking, except when it supports their interests.

?otD: Was your father a man of wealth and power whom everyone obeyed?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 241.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[travel|photos] Collier Logging Museum

One of the other places Lisa Costello and I visited during during our trip to Klamath Falls was the Collier Memorial State Park and Logging Museum. That’s an equipment graveyard from the last century and a half of Oregon logging, home now to derelict wagons, tractors, trucks and railroad equipment, and about ten zillion chipmunks.

It was a lot of fun to walk through. Especially if you’re all about old steam equipment. And the only place I’ve seen so much equipment together like this is Camp 18, which is not curated, just there. Also very cool, but with a somewhat different vibe. And fewer chipmunks.





[photos] Fossilized steam

At Crater Lake National Park, there are fossilized steam vents along Castle Creek.

Pretty much what it says on the tin

Fumaroles cut through the ash fall of the Mt. Mazamas eruption

According to the sign, the streambed was buried in several hundred feet of ash and pumice during the Mt. Mazama eruption about 7,700 years ago. Water trapped at the bottom was boiled to steam and forced its way up through the ashfall, leaving behind fumaroles.

So, yeah. Fossilized steam.

Photos © 2013, 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.

[art] Steampunk pirate me

Portland area artist Nat Iwata is working on a Kickstarter to produce a deck of Steampunk Pirate Bicycle Deck. Through the good offices of Evelyn Kriete, I have been included as the Jack of Hearts.

Jay Lake as Jack of Hearts (c) 2013 Nat Iwata

Personally, I think this is a seriously awesome portrait of me. I am beyond thrilled. Yesterday, [info]elisem and I got to meet Nat in person. He is every bit as charming as he is talented.

If you like this card, or the idea, consider contributing to Nat’s Kickstarter. Me, I’m getting some prints of this card art. Too cool for words.

And when I get my deck, as Evelyn said, I can play with myself in public.

I am so thrilled.

[links] Link salad sails the wine dark sea

My standalone novella, Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh is out now from Prime Books — The Publisher’s Weekly review, which includes this statement: “The writing is graceful and sometimes even poetic, but the subject matter, which tests the bounds of the word “explicit,” will limit the novella’s audience.”

Adventures of the League of S.T.E.A.M. Season Three — Check this out. My good buddies in the League of S.T.E.A.M. are fundraising to film season three of their Web series. Think Victorian ghostbusters. Hilarious good fun, and terrific steampunk.

Alaska feline mayor Stubbs the cat suffers dog attack

5 Ways Smithsonian Uses 3-D Scanning to Open Up HistoryWhat happens when 3-D scanning is unleashed on America’s attic?

British university posts exclusive photo scans of space exploration artifacts400-megapixel hand-drawn map of the Moon’s surface? Check.

The Scarecrow might just get his wish: Scientists try to grow a brain — Huh. There may yet be hope for the GOP congressional delegation.

Jersey pensioners get letter asking if they still exist — Because reasons! (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

A Data Broker Offers a Peek Behind the Curtain — How big is your data? (Via my Dad.)

How Mechanical Turkers Crowdsourced a Huge Lexicon of Links Between Words and EmotionSentiment analysis on the social web depends on how a person’s state of mind is expressed in words. Now a new database of the links between words and emotions could provide a better foundation for this kind of analysis.

Making ‘Too Big To Fail’ Banks Help Poor Borrowers — As if. American culture always privileges capital over consumers. (Via [info]danjite.)

Jesus Is Not At All Like ThatSlacktivist Fred Clark speaks truth to the Christianist bigots who dominate the public face of the American faith community.

Syrian and Middle Eastern Christians Condemn US Strike Plans — Mooslims, damn it. They’re all Mooooooslims. Only white, Bible believing Americans are true Christians: ask any conservative.

Defying Pentagon, Texas National Guard Refuses To Process Benefits For Gay Couples — Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best. And keep on going with your principled dedication to the rule of law.

Qotd?: Do tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 245.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block closing gold courses for Agenda 21: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[travel] In Rotorua, NZ, day eleven – mmm, steam

Wasn’t feeling too well yesterday, either, but I pulled it together enough for us to make a run out to Waiotapu, a huge geothermal site. The place was incredible. We visited the Lady Knox geyser, then walked (or in my case, mostly rolled on wheelchair) through the park. It’s so weird to see steam just flowing up out of the ground from under bushes and so forth. Not to mention the giant craters, boiling ponds, mineral terraces, and colored fogs and smoke. I got some great photos which I will post bandwidth permitting.

On the way out, [info]danjite and I spotted a fantail playing along a creek. I got some good shots of the bird, which is apparently not all that easy to photograph.

Afterwards, we drove over to Huka Falls, which are pretty strange even by the standards of waterfalls. That’s also the area where I snapped this photo of my new favorite New Zealand road sign:

My favorite New Zealand road sign

Yes, the area is so geothermally active that the highway department feels a need to warn drivers that steam may obscure vision or erupt from the pavement at any time.

Today we are off to Hobbiton (weather permitting), then Hamilton. Unfortunately, in addition to my mobility problems and my GI problems, I have also acquired a respiratory problem. I’m hoping this is just my body reacting to all the ambient sulfur in the air of Rotorua, and once we get away things will settle down.

Photo © 2013, 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.

[travel] In Oamaru, NZ, day two – cheese, steampunk and penguins

Yesterday, [info]the_child, Lisa Costello and I went with [info]danjite and [info]khaybee to the Whitestone cheese factory, Steampunk Headquarters, a playground featuring a giant rotating barrel like a human hamster wheel, a working Victorian bookbindery operated by Michael O’Brien, and the blue penguin colony. The Waterloo Productions crew came to some of this as well.

In order…

  • We ate some killer cheese, including the butteriest bleu I’ve ever put in my mouth, and saw the cheesemaking rooms
  • We saw a wonderfully bizarre steampunk installation that ran to rooms of kinetic art and found industrial sculpture, along with an outside area that was a playground for the machinery-inclined — this is a must-see destination for any serious steampunker
  • [info]the_child ran around inside a rotating barrle about 7 feet in diameter — so did I, which resulted in me learning not to try a human sized hamster wheel while walking with a cane
  • We spoke for a while to a fascinating fellow who lives la vida Victoriana to someplace well beyond the hilt, while also producing some amazing books-as-artifacts
  • We saw blue penguins, wee little fellows about a foot tall, come ashore and seek their nests — this was stupidly cute and somewhat silly, and a lot of fun
  • There were also coastal vistas, penny farthings, and random penguins on the city street

So, yeah, loads of fun.

On the flip side, touring while disabled is a stretch for me. I move a lot more slowly than I ever did when healthy, have to rest more, and simply cannot do some things. (In yesterday’s case, climb atop an armored apocalyptic railroad car, or walk on the beach.) Plus needing a bathroom about once per hour really puts a crimp in things. New Zealand seems very accommodating to the mobility impaired, and well supplied with decent public restrooms, so it is working out okay.

Also, we are taking tons of pictures, but do not currently have the bandwidth to upload them. You will see… More to come on almost all of the above topics, time and bandwidth permitting.

[links] Link salad knows you can’t sleep alone in a strange place has two more of my books up: Rocket Science & Death of a Starship

Rowling and “Galbraith”: an authorial analysis — This is pretty interesting stuff around language geekery and automated textual analysis.

Your Favorite Movies Laid Out as Vintage Treasure Maps — This is weird and cool. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

31 More Images Of Hot Steampunk Girls & Guys — Ah, costuming. (Via [info]martang.)

U.S. Pat. No. 1,926,420: Monkey Dog Saddle — I’ve been on dates like that.

Exercise in a Pill? The Search Continues — (Via David Goldman.)

Scientists put nature’s infinite playlist on iPods to monitor wildlifeWireless listening posts allow remote real-time IDs of tropical species.

North Sentinel Island — I’ve heard of this place. Very strange.

Growing Your Own Bridge — These are elegant and beautiful. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Flying with a little help from friends — This is crazy cool robotics. (Via Steve Buchheit.)

Space-Time Loops May Explain Black Holes — Also the state of my sock drawer.

British space penetrator passes icy test — Bang bang, shoot shoot? Somehow this is very Buck Rogers (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

A Waterspout in Florida — I have always wanted to see one of these. I have been through fires, foods, hurricanes. I’ve even seen a volcanic eruption. But never a tornado or a waterspout.

Why Ancient Earth Was So WarmGreenhouse gases in the atmosphere kept the planet toasty, model shows.

Thousands of Years of Rising SeasA study estimates the ultimate effect of greenhouse gases on ice sheets, after the gases have persisted for hundreds of years.

Behold, the six types of atheists — Hmm. Interesting but simplistic. (Via [info]garyomaha.)

One hell of a deal: Pope Francis offers reduced time in Purgatory for Catholics that follow him on Twitter — Is that really how God does things? I’m damned glad I’m an atheist, so I don’t have to keep up with this kind of ludicrous score keeping.

Robertson Wonders If Obama Is A ‘Crypto-Muslim’ — This isn’t a difference of opinion. This isn’t contrasting governing philosophies. This is lunacy, pure and simple. This is your Republican party.

The Banality Of Richard Cohen And Racist Profiling — Ta-Nehisi Coates hits hard on the more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger strain of racism.

Health Plan Cost for New Yorkers Set to Fall 50% — Obamacare is a real disaster, isn’t it? What’s this country coming too when people pay less for a better service from a conservative ideal that happened to be sponsored by a Democratic president? This is the very definition of creeping Socialism.

Titles of Laws as Propaganda — This is a function of soundbite culture as much as any thing, I think.

US ties outweigh intelligence ‘squabbles’ – PutinRussian President Vladimir Putin has said bilateral relations with the US are more important than “squabbles between special services”.

QotD?: Can you sleep with somebody else?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (away from home)
Weight: n/a (away from home)
Number of FEMA troops on my block supplying black kids with Skittles: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg; Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

[links] Link salad is an effective dentrifice when used under proper supervision

My Convention Harassment Policy Co-Sign Thread — Mr. Scalzi asserts leadership. I co-sign.

Steampunk Watch Part Sculptures by Sue Beatrice — Ooooh. [info]lillypond (a/k/a my sister) would love the tiny carousel horse. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

11 Harsh Realities About The World Of Harry PotterWe’re blowing the lid off this totalitarian regime! Once you peel back the layers of child-like wonder, it kind of sucks to be a wizard. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Pacific Ocean Floor Is a Huge Underwater Garbage Dump — Sigh. (Via David Goldman.)

GALEX decommissioned: What happens to abandoned space probes?NASA’s earth-orbiting GALEX was shut down Friday, meaning that the spacecraft will join a long line of space probes sacrificed to the universe. This is a surprisingly poignant piece. (Via David Goldman.)

Optical transistor switches states by trapping a single photonWhen switched off, the gate photon can be retrieved, too.

Leaving Las Vegas: How a tiny Chinese enclave is remaking the gambling world and Sin City

Faith-Healing Parents Denied Free Exercise of Religion in Death of Child — That’s the persecution narrative of contemporary American Christians in a nutshell. Profoundly immoral self-valorization.

Cyanide and Happiness recaps the arguments against gay marriage — They make more sense that what I read and hear in the media. Which is to say, not much at all.

How Do You Tell When a Politician is Lying? — I do not find this terribly surprising.

In Oregon, a Demand for Safety, but Not on Their Dime — This is what happens in low-revenue, low-tax jurisdictions. (Via Dad.)

NYT: IRS Scrutiny More Complicated Than Previously Thought — What do you know? Like almost every other conservative outrage, the great Obama IRS scandal turns out to be a nothingburger once the details are scrutinized objectively.

QotD?: Did you brush your teeth this morning?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (vacation)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (badly interrupted)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (away from home)
Weight: n/a (away from home)
Number of FEMA troops on my block building mandatory gay marriage halls: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg; Snuff by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad is always questing

Kyle Cassidy reads steampunk in the original Klingon

A quiet scene from The Matrix demonstrates how to make exposition compelling — (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Ghost War — Electronic and physical deception during WWII.

Asteroid Mining Company Kickstarts a Space Telescope — Just think carefully about that headline for a moment. I love living in the future.

Awesome Time Lapse Video Shows 281 Days Of Roving On Mars

Scientists poke frozen mammoth, liquid blood squirts outA variation on the age-old “poke it with a stick” method revives cloning hopes.

Volcano nerds will love Oregon’s Newberry Monument

Holy Land for sale — Wow. Weird.

Police: Maine man staged kidnap that killed girl — What is the matter with people?

I was a liberal mole at Fox News: From Bill O’Reilly to Roger Ailes, here’s all the inside dope — (Via [info]shsilver.)

Americans Underestimate How Many Other Americans Support Same Sex Marriage — This is in line with the fact that most conservative positions poll much worse than politicians of any stripe believe. Viz the recent votes on gun control in the Senate. Strangely enough, Your Liberal Media significantly overrepresents the socially marginal ideas of the GOP as being a balanced part of the American zeitgeist. Think about this: Why aren’t the core GOP stances of evolution denial and climate change denial laughed right off the newspaper page and television screen on the face of it? In any rational society, they would be. Like many if not most GOP positions, these aren’t debatable issues among intellectually honest people with a grounding in reality. Conservatism has become a religion.

Health Care and Social JusticeLook at which states have rejected the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion — and see how “color-blind” public policy can produce bigoted effects. Ta-Nehisi Coates on ObamaCare and race.

Gun Deaths Outpace Motor Vehicle Deaths in 12 States and the District of Columbia in 2010 — Because guns make us all safer. And unlike automobiles, there is absolutely no reason a sane society that values the lives, health and safety of its citizens would register or regulate firearms. Just ask the GOP and the NRA, they’ll tell you.

This Is How the NRA EndsA bigger, richer, meaner gun-control movement has arrived. We should ever be so lucky as to get those vile, death-worshipping NRA bastards out of our political system.

Top Ten Michele Bachmann Goofs on the Middle East — Well, she is a Republican. As such, there’s no political or cultural expectation that her statements should correspond with reality or those liberal “facts” and “data” in any way. Certainly Your Liberal Media doesn’t hold conservatives accountable for their Reality Gap.

QotD?: Can you remember what you forgot?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hour (revisions to “Hook Agonistes”)
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 248.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block scamming disaster aid slush funds: 0
Currently reading: Thud by Terry Pratchett