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[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)

[links] Link salad feels froggy and foggy and faint

Street’s Corner: Sci-Fi Writer Becomes Genomic Pioneer Science fiction writer Jay Lake turns a terminal cancer diagnosis into an opportunity to help mankind by being the first person to open source his entire genome on the internet. A television interview with me.

“Hook Agonistes” is available now![info]seanan_mcguire talks about our collaborative novella.

Richard Derus Talks About His Jay Lake Reading Project

Ten rules for writing fictionGet an accountant, abstain from sex and similes, cut, rewrite, then cut and rewrite again – if all else fails, pray. Inspired by Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing, we asked authors for their personal dos and don’ts. (Via Scott Frey.)

Ten of the Best Storybook Cottage Homes Around the World — So cool! (Via Lisa Costello.)

The Crumbling Chaos of Abandoned Amusement Parks — Cool stuff. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Time Travel? Don’t Forget to Pack Your Wormhole — I left mine at DS9.

Surprise! Your Flight Attendants are All Strangers

Phosphorous minerals stoke speculation of life beginning on MarsNew theories suggest our home world was merely a second stop.

Hedgefox Buys MetayachtMany people are trying to figure out why Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post, so in the same spirit—the spirit of trying to understand the intentions of powerful people willing to pay to maintain the sensory organs of our society—I too will speculate. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Mega-canyon discovered beneath Greenland ice sheetThe formation has been hidden under ice for more than four million years.

Industrial Age soot blamed for mid-1800s Alps glacier retreatThe use of coal sent massive amounts of black carbon and other dark particles into the atmosphere.

How the Fukushima Ice Barrier Will Block Radioactive Groundwater Japan plans to stop leaking radioactive groundwater at Fukushima with an underground wall of ice. Here’s how it would work.

Pennsylvania court to consider marriage licenses for same-sex couples — Christianist bigots are losing, piece by piece.

Ohioans are split on gay marriage and not ready to overturn the state’s ban on it, poll shows — Sadly, in some places Christianist bigots still cling to power, following their own Savior’s injunction to love their neighbors by striving to deny basic human and civil rights to their fellow Americans.

The Guardian Partners Up with the New York Times Because America — Ah, freedom of speech. (Via [info]danjite.)

Qotd?: Are you still trapped in summer land?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 244.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block closing gold courses for Agenda 21: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad is drunk and dressed in its best brown baggies and its platform soles

Hook Agonistes” is live at Subterranean Online — By Seanan McGuire and me. Go read it.

5 Gorgeous DIY Cheese Boards To Impress Your Guests — Mmm, cheese. (Via [info]theeoutside.)

Researcher controls colleague’s motions in first human brain-to-brain interface — What could possibly go wrong? (Via several sources, including [info]danjite and Ellen Eades.)

Iron gall ink and wasps — Huh. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Tesla outsells Porsche, Jaguar, others in Calif. — Huh.

Embracing misinformation on Obama — All that really important Bible stuff about not bearing false witness and doing as you would be done by doesn’t apply to talking about Kenyan Socialist Muslims and their unConstitutional plots to ensure that more Americans receive affordable healthcare. Ask any Republican!

Pat Robertson Claims Gays Deliberately Spread AIDS Using Sharp Jewelry — Because being a conservative Christian means making up batshit lies about people God tells you it’s okay to hate. None of that Ten Commandments crap about bearing false witness applies to people who follow Jesus. Given this man is one of the most public Christian leaders in the country, I am so glad I’m an atheist.

Limbaugh: Feminism Rooted In “Sexual Perversion” — Because being conservative means even a vicious, cruel bastard can be idolized into fame and fortune.

N.M. Republican Said Gay Men Should Stop ‘Whoring’ And Marry Women — Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

Zimmerman Wants Florida to Pay Legal BillsHe wants to be reimbursed for up to $300,000 after his acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin. As any conservative can tell you, Zimmerman is a true American hero who made a much-needed stand against the oppression of the white race. Why should we not all pay for his free murder spree?

Qotd?: Do you give a damn about any trumpet playing band?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: 245.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block vaccinating children to spread autism: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[personal|cancer] My bucket list

In light of my recent, widely read post titled “Special dying person wisdom” [ | LiveJournal ], a friend asked about my bucket list. The funny thing is, I don’t really have one.

In the course of my life I have walked on the Great Wall of China, climbed down into an ancient Greek tomb, seen a lion cub nursery with the sun rising over the shoulder of Kilimanjaro, sat with baby seals, and done a thousand other fascinating things. (I feel like Roy Batty at the end of Bladerunner, talking like this.) I’ve visited about forty countries on five continents. I’ve set foot in all fifty U.S. states. I’ve eaten fabulous meals, loved glorious women, written books and stories that stirred at least a few people, spent long nights talking with close friends, and just of late, edged ever closer to the face of death while still drawing breath.

The things I still wish I could do? i.e., my bucket list? A few personal experiences I don’t care to detail here. Some small things I likely won’t be able to do: see all three movies of The Hobbit. Some large things I likely won’t be able to do: watch [info]the_child graduate from high school, see what she does with her life. Visit some places I know I’ll never get to now: Antarctica, South America, the Middle East, India. A few places I might yet get to: the United Kingdom, for example. And some things I’ll never do, even if I live to be a hundred: go into outer space, voyage to the bottom of the sea.

So, yeah. Not so much with the bucket list, simply because I’ve been filling my bucket all my life. If anything, my bucket list is to keep on living. I’ve been lucky and beyond lucky. Even now, not-so-slowly dying, most days I still remember my luck and privilege, and am grateful for them.

I have seen the world, after all, and it is us.

[links] Link salad limps into the weekend

Green, by Jay Lake — A tepid review.

Review: The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. — Includes a nice capsule review of my multiple award-nominated novella, “The Stars Do Not Lie”.

Short Story Review Roundup: February – July 2013 — A round-up that includes a positive short review of my short story “The Speed of Time”.

Harvey Dunn on “Art for Art’s Sake”Art writing guru James Gurney on a topic which often stirs younger and newer writers to heated passion. And sometimes jaded old writers as well.

1960s KFC Commercial Is The Stuff Of Nightmares

Judge says Chubby Checker can pursue lawsuit against HP over penis-measuring app — Um… (Via [info]danjite.)

These Microscopic Balls Protect Insects From Their Own Waste — This is pretty cool nano engineering from nature. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Teleportation: Behind the Science of Quantum Computing

How to Catch a Liar on the InternetTechnology makes it easier than ever to play fast and loose with the truth—but easier than ever to get caught.

Witness to a Hanging: California’s Haunted Trees — (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

El Al Goes The Extra Miles to Bring Cancer-Stricken Girl to Camp Simcha — (Via @deirdresm.)

Mouth bacteria may trigger bowel cancer — Hoo boy. (Thanks to David Shanahan.)

Bugger: Maybe the real state secret is that spies aren’t very good at their jobs and don’t know much about the world — Odd stories about MI5. (Thanks to David Goldman.)

Surprise! There are no quick solutions to our climate problemsA focus on reducing short-lived greenhouse gas emissions only takes you so far. Gee. Ya think?

Oregon Supreme Court Upholds Portland’s Loaded Weapons Ban — A few courts in America are still sane. A few places in America still don’t want to be free-fire Second Amendment kill zones. I’m very glad I live in one of them.

Obama: GOP trying to ‘gum up’ ACA — The Republican hatred of the ACA is a combination of their irrational hatred of all things Obama (remember, the basics of the ACA were a Clinton-era GOP proposal) and their dread fear of the impact of the ACA’s eventual success on their political fortunes. I’m afraid that in this, as in so much of the rest of American culture, a minority of angry, misinformed conservatives will have the power to ruin a good thing for the rest of us.

QotD?: Got feet?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 245.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing conservatives to enroll in Obamacare: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg

[links] Link salad returns from some other hemisphere

A reader review of “The Stars Do Not Lie”

Cesta kolem světa aneb přečteno za červenec — A nice review in Czech of Mainspring.

Mainspring – A review — Given his comments about the female characters, I hope the reviewer gets a chance to read the next two books in the series.

Jay Lake Pre-Mortem Read-a-thon, Review the Sixth: Madness of Flowers

Richard Derus Talks About His Jay Lake Reading Project

What Excites You Most About This Year’s Worldcon? — Including comments from me.

Jay’s Genome Project — Part 3 — More on the genome scarves from creator Astrid Bear.

F Cancer — On me, and cancer.

The Newly Discovered Fossil Snake That Makes an Anaconda Look Small — Wow. (Thank to MS.)

Tips on How to Become a Fossil

The bad faith of climate-deniers cannot be deniedIf what this senior member of the House Science Committee says is true, then by necessity, it must therefore be true that inanimate objects are acting in bad faith. Arctic sea ice must be acting, willfully, out of malevolent motives. Permafrost — non-sentient cryotic dirt — must be capable of duplicity and malice, secretly harboring a desire for “more and bigger control … by higher levels of government.”

Obamacare works where state officials want it to work — Gee, there’s a shock. A program opposed by Republican officials in Republican-dominated states will fail on implementation. That’s been the GOP’s governing style in all the years since “drown it in the bathtub” become their political ethos. Politically profitable for them, but a social and cultural disaster for all Americans. (Via [info]shsilver.)

Missouri Citizens Face Obstacles to Coverage — Because being a patriotic American conservative means you never have to make any fucking sense at all.

The ‘Refuse to Enroll’ campaign gets to workDesperate right-wing activists know the law won’t be repealed; they know it can’t be stopped in the courts; and they know there’s a limit to Republican efforts to sabotage the federal health care system. So they’ve been reduced to one last-ditch effort: convince people with no health care coverage to voluntarily turn down affordable insurance so as to advance their ideological cause. And why do conservative activists want this? It’s not altogether clear, exactly, but apparently their hatred for President Obama has overwhelmed their judgment and basic sense of morality to a degree that can only be considered alarming. As with virtually all conservative ideals, Republicans cannot win on the merits. So they cheat and deceive, as always.

Susan B. Anthony List Petitions Supreme Court for Right to Lie in Political Ads — Once again, conservative who cannot win on the merits of their position must lie. In this case suing all the way to the Supreme Court for that “right”. Unfortunately for truth, justice and the American people, with this Supreme Court they will almost certainly get their right to lie endorsed. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Social Conservatives’ 2016 Plea: Double Down!AMES, Iowa — Facing a generational divide that is sapping their relevance, a group of evangelical conservatives argued Saturday that they need to become even more vocal in their support for often unpopular social positions. Go for it, dudes. Anything that helps drub the modern conservative movement into its inevitable political irrelevancy all the more quickly can only be of powerful benefit to the entire nation, red and blue states alike.

QotD?: Did you miss me while I was gone?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (too jet lagged)
Weight: 246.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing conservatives to enroll in Obamacare: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg

[links] Link salad goes to a wedding

Pre-order on the trade paperback of Jay Lake’s Process of Writing is now available

Jay Lake’s Process of Writing 2005-2010 — Minerva Zimmerman of Apocalypse Ink Productions talks about working on my writing book.

“The Stars Do Not Lie” — A positive review of my award-nominated novella.

The Whirling Dingleberry Award — Something I helped create some years ago. Hee. It’s a motorized trophy awarded for wretched excess in stylistic elegance.

US Gained a Decade of Flynn-Effect IQ Points After Adding Iodine To Salt — Because science! (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

First Planet Discovered Orbiting a Brown Dwarf

Projected climate change moves much faster than land vertebrates have evolvedSpecies that survive future warming probably won’t do it by evolving.

Teen Bible Campers Hospitalized After Mixing Fart Spray and Deer Repellent in Prank — (Via [info]danjite.)

I’m The 14-Year-Old Who Wrote The “Jesus Isn’t A Dick So Keep Him Out of My Vagina” Sign In Texas And Was Labeled A “Whore” By Strangers Online — Ah, the compassionate kindness of Bible believing Christians. Love their neighbor-loving Christlike ways. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Pope Francis: Who am I to judge gay people? — Clearly the Pope is no Christian. Ask any conservative pastor or Catholic bishop or Mormon stake president in America about gays.

Just as We Suspected: Florida Saved Nothing by Drug Testing Welfare Applicants — One of my working definitions of conservatism is the dread fear that someone, somewhere is enjoying an unearned benefit at one’s expense. This law is a perfect example of that kind of thinking. The only public interest it ever served was manufacturing more angry white men. (Via [info]corwynofamber.)

The U.S. is Last in Paid Vacation and Holidays — Yes, but investor returns are properly protected, so it’s all good.

Growing Number Of States Are Reporting Lower Than Expected Health Care Premiums — Yes, the liberal disaster that is Obamacare will provide healthcare coverage more people for less money than ever before. How can we bear the shame of such a conservative idea as the individual mandate actually being implemented?

Edward Snowden’s not the story. The fate of the internet is.The press has lost the plot over the Snowden revelations. The fact is that the net is finished as a global network and that US firms’ cloud services cannot be trusted. (Via [info]danjite.)

QotD?: Got cake?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: n/a (forgot)
Number of FEMA troops on my block conducting Department of Justice investigations of white patriots: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg

[links] Link salad walks into the fire

Open dinners in New Zealand — Wellington – Thursday, 8 August – 6 pm – The Southern Cross; Auckland – Tuesday 13 August – 6 pm – Galbraith’s Alehouse. See also the SFFANZ announcement. (Thanks to [info]khaybee.)

The Stars May Not Lie, But Why Are They So Racist? — A very snarky review of my novella. (Hint: they didn’t like it.)

‘Death With Dignity’ Difficult For Hospice Workers

Before the Stewardess, the Steward: When Flight Attendants Were Men

Inside The Genius, But Asocial Elevator’s Brain — Hah. (Via David Goldman.)

Crochetdermy, Wonderful Crocheted Taxidermy Art Sculptures — Yow! (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Issue of Sexual Consent Between Elderly Adults With Dementia Proves Problematic

How to put a human on Mars

Volunteers See Fukushima Radiation on the MoveCrowd-sourced data provides a high-res view of radiation levels in Japan.

“Stable” parts of Antarctic ice may have retreated in the pastIce in one region retreated hundreds of kilometers when CO2 was last this high. Nothing to see here citizen. Move along.

A Brown Mother’s letter to her Sons and a White Mother’s letter to her Son — Sigh.

A Religious Legacy, With Its Leftward Tilt, Is Reconsidered — There is more to religion in this country than the socially and morally toxic conservative Christianism that has come to dominate the cultural discourse.

“Finally, Real Numbers on Voter ID” — Ah, that conservative commitment to democracy. Because voter fraud is a problem which occurs on a par with death by meteor strike, and thus must be resolved by Republicans, entirely coincidentally to the detriment of an enormous number of minority voters who just happen to lean Democratic. (Via Scrivener’s Error.)

QotD?: Got any big news today?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 250.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block conducting Department of Justice investigations of white patriots: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg

[links] Link salad wakes up at home, wonders how it got there

Sneak Peek: Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh — I have a single-title novella which will be released at Worldcon next month. This one’s a weird one, even by my admittedly loose standards.

Metastasis Cover & Table of Contents — My short story “The Cancer Catechism” will be reprinted.

First Person: My Lunch With Hemingway

Dolphins ‘call each other by name’ Scientists have found further evidence that dolphins call each other by “name”. This seems huge to me. Or maybe not.

Mind the gap! Commuters in Japan push 30,000kg train carriage off trapped womanShe escaped serious injury and train left station just eight minutes after the incident. Wow. People are amazing.

“Hockey stick graph” climate researcher’s defamation suit to go forwardJudge rules against attempts by conservative groups to have it thrown out.

The American cloudThe cosy coastal world of pretend farmers’ markets bears no resemblance to the actual back end of America. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Dear Royal Baby: We Americans apologize for our Revolution; please be our Absolute Monarch — Hahaha. Ah, politics.

Monarchy versus the Panopticon — Charlie Stross on the royal baby.

Texas’ new law bans biblical abortionsLook, either you believe the Bible or you don’t. Either you submit to the authority of the inerrant Word of God or you don’t.

QotD?: What did you have for breakfast?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bike
Weight: n/a (forgot)
Number of FEMA troops on my block conducting Department of Justice investigations of white patriots: 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 has a chrome steel heart

Hugo nominated novella: The Stars Do Not Lie, by Jay Lake — An interesting review.

Emoji Dick; — Lit-choo-a-chur!!! (Via [info]corwynofamber.)

Potosi miners’ language — For those of you interested in using argots, creoles and secret languages in your fiction, this is a must-read.

The Pixar Theory — The Grand Unified theory of Pixar movies. Weird. (Thanks to [info]scarlettina.)

The Top F2P Monetization Tricks — Some pretty deep gaming geekery here. (Via David Goldman.)

Here’s How to Wash Your Hair in Space — Because you might need to know this.

Congressman who used to be a high school English teacher irks GOP by marking their memos with a red pen — Hahahahahah. (Via Scott Frey.)

GOP House members from districts most affected by climate change cast 96% anti-climate votess residents of these often deep red districts struggle to cope with extreme temperatures, they need to know that while the science on climate change is overwhelming, their Congressional representatives are doing their best to make things even worse. It’s hard not to say those conservative voters deserve what they are getting — the deep anti-science, reality-denying bias built into the GOP will come home to roost very, very painfully — but nobody deserves what is going to happen to these people. Not even the intellectually dishonest and willfully ignorant who vote this way.

Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty — So a white guy chases a black neighbor kid around, picks a fight, shoots his unarmed victim, then successfully pleads self-defense. Yes, this is justice all right. I am ashamed. Ta-Nehisi Coates on this. Slacktivist Fred Clark also has a round-up. This outcome may be legally correct, but it is a moral and ethical disaster.

Undocumented Immigrants In Oregon Paid About $94 Million In Taxes — This is another thing the immigration bigots on the Right never seem to understand. Undocumented immigrants pay a hell of a lot more taxes than any benefits they receive. They’re a net benefit to the economy.

QotD?: Got polish?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 250.6
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; Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

[links] Link salad redacts its title

My Hugo votes 2013, part 1, novellas — Including a tepid review of my nominated novella “The Stars Do Not Lie.”

Tor Books Announces Programming for San Diego Comic-Con 2013 — Including yours truly.

The Mom From ‘The Cat in the Hat’ Finally Speaks — The Man in the Yellow Hat answers. Hahahahaha. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Could Superman Punch Someone Into Space? — Because science! (Via David Goldman.)

The Science of Familiar Strangers: Society’s Hidden Social Network

Volkswagen XL1, wheeling a 262-mpg orb: Motoramic Drives — Wow.

Redesigned Window Stops Sound But Not Air

No Place Like Home GPS Shoes — Just click your heels three times… Really.

One grower’s grapes of wrath — The national raisin reserve? Uh, yeah.

The Unsung Heroes of the Crash Landing in San Francisco

The Real Reason Behind Public Smoking Bans — Hmm. Someone has an ax to grind, methinks.

Big Five personality traits — Huh. I never knew this. I’m pretty far along the axis on all five of these.

Federal judge temporarily blocks new Wisconsin abortion law — That’s right. Can’t have the government coming between you and your doctor! Unless you’re a woman, of course.

The lies Christianists tell themselves — In item 2 of this post, Slacktivist Fred Clark takes on the homophobic lying from conservative Christians about the overturn of DOMA. My Bible says quite clearly, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” I guess that Commandment doesn’t count for Christianists talking about gay people or the government or women’s health.

Report: Bin Laden Wore a Cowboy Hat to “Avoid Detection From Above” — Man, I got nothing.

Insurer Refuses To Cover Gun-Carrying Kansas SchoolsAn insurance company based in Iowa has refused to renew coverage for Kansas schools that permit teachers and staff to carry concealed firearms on campus, the Des Moines Register reported on Sunday. When conservative craze collides with reality. I’m sure there will soon be a ‘Second Amendment fix’ to insurance regulations to put a stop to the anti-American notion that guns make schools less safe. Because free market!

QotD?: Did you notice the mistake?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (vacation)
Hours slept: 7.75 hours (solid)
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 the heavy-handed gent who ran amok in Kent

Reading Notes: “The Stars Do Not Lie” — A mixed review of my Hugo- and Nebula-nominated novella.

2013 stories 151 – 159 — A review of, among other things, my short story “The Future by Degrees”, all from Seeds of Change.

The Lovely Mr. Gaiman — A despatch from Friday night’s Clarion West party.

JayWake Registration OpensFile 770 covers the forthcoming terminal festivities.

I Just Can’t Process My Own Death — Ferrett Steinmetz with some serious thinking about mortality.

The Atlantic In Paris–Dispatch #1 — Ta-Nehisi Coats with an admirable meditation on privilege, luck and going to Paris with his family.

Epic Superhero Art in a Traditional Native American Style — (Thanks to [info]corwynofamber.)

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office: 3 men towed, rode 600-lb. aluminum chickenThree men were arrested Wednesday in Putnam County for stealing a 9-foot-tall chicken statue. (Via [info]danjite.)

Zoologger: Hipster toad has weaponised moustache — Because headlines! (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Agriculture arose in many parts of the Fertile Crescent at once

Improving 3-D Printing by Copying NatureBiomimicry could make the technology safer and better.

First look: Google Glass unboxing, setup, and first impressions — I would love to work with Google Glass, but even if I somehow got hold of it, unless they can be configured with prescription lenses, they’re useless to me. I can’t wear contacts, and I can’t go without vision correction.

Astronomers remain puzzled by mysterious intergalactic radio bursts

Climate Scientist Michael Mann Sums Up the Witch Hunt Against HimBut the “enraging” part is still there—that duly-elected public officials would waste so much time, effort, and tax dollars on witch hunts like these is galling, amplified even more so by the import and stakes involved. If this were a real controversy I would enthusiastically support investigations; but the evidence is in, and it’s clear these attacks are without merit and just politically driven. The GOP battlecry: “Millions for pointless political witch hunts to keep our white, male voters angry; not one cent for social services that might benefit likely Democratic voters!”

New Living Word removed from Louisiana Scholarship Program — Huh. Conservative Christians cheating the government on a wholesale basis. Guess those Commandments about theft and false witness don’t apply when there’s public money to be pocketed. It is obvious from their behavior and rhetoric that to many American Christians the Ten Commandments are not nearly so important as God’s inviolate word on homosexuality, for example. No wonder people think us atheists can’t have a moral compass. Not when we lack this kind of moral leadership.

Sound Familiar?Can we think of some Americans who view secular, rational thinking as contrary to God’s Will? Who seem to be in an extended revolt against modernity? Who have a fixed, rigid notion of how society ought to operate, rooted deeply in an imagined Golden Age? Who want to utilize democratic processes to impose a system that brooks no compromise or “relativistic” adjustments to changing circumstances, but instead reflects an order dictated by natural and divine law, and the nation’s “true” character?

Gay Marriage Stirs Rebellion at Synagogue — Sadly, there are religious bigots everywhere. History is leaving them all behind.

Restrictive law could force most Texas abortion clinics to close — Ask any Republican about Obamacare, and they’ll tell you, “Don’t let the government come between me and my doctor.” I’m so glad to see the Texas GOP is upholding this core conservative value.

For Islamists, Dire Lessons on Politics and Power

Venezuela’s Maduro: Unlike US Asylees, Snowden didn’t Blow anything Up, just said ‘This is not Right’

How the Pentagon Papers Came to Be Published by the Beacon Press, Told by Daniel Ellsberg and Others — Oh, how times have changed. (Via David Goldman.)

A Bad Dream — Charlie Stross on the politics of democracy in the contemporary UK. Fascinating.

QotD?: What have you overheard in Mayfair lately?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (vacation)
Hours slept: 9.5 hours (solid)
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