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[links] Link salad digests Peking duck

The Acts of Whimsy cancer fundraiser is still live. It has made goal, but additional support is always welcome, especially given my new complications. Please check it out if you have not done so yet.

The Lakeside Kickstarter has expanded its stretch goals to include documenting the science around my genomic testing by traveling to the testing lab and interviewing the scientists there. They’v also posted a new trailer for the movie, which is very striking. So give a little to support SCIENCE!

A very nice poster made from some of my recent words on cancer — Thank you, Nicole.

F.E.A.R. — Another cancer survivor talks about fear and loss and coping.

The Girl on the Glider and Other Stories — A roundup of reviews from a reader, including a very kind mention of my short story, “The Cancer Catechism”.

The Best Shots Fired in the Oxford Comma Wars — (Via [info]danjite.)

The last roll of Kodachrome — “Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away.”

The Physics of… Face Slapping — Um… yay, science? (Via David Goldman.)

In science today, a genius never works aloneFuture discoveries are more likely to be made by scientists sharing ideas than a lone genius

Cat gapThe cat gap is a period in the fossil record of approximately 25 to 18.5 million years ago in which there are few fossils of cats or cat-like species found in North America. No cat gap on the Internet! (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

App Feeds Scientists Atmospheric Data from Thousands of SmartphonesPressureNet shows the potential of distributed sensing with mobile devices.

East African Railways and Harbours — For all you infrastructure geeks. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

The Museum of Online Museums — Hah! (Also via [info]threeoutside.)

You Moist Remember This — Tom Robbins on rain. (Via Marta Murvosh.)

Richard III: unveiling day arrives for skeleton that would be kingLeicester University prepares to show carpark remains to the world as scientists work round the clock to finish ID tests.

The Last Places — Henry VIII’s wine cellar, under Britain’s Ministry of Defense building. This is cool. (Snurched from Cameo Wood.)

No Pictures. Only Words. — Peter Watts on his father’s life and death as a deeply closeted gay man. Sobering reading. (Via Tim Keating.)

Activists hail a watershed moment in gay rights movement

Do White evangelicals have a delusional persecution complex? — In a word: yes. It feeds the Christianist narrative quite nicely. Unfortunately for my Evangelical friends, having your absolute cultural supremacy replaced by merely overwhelming dominance isn’t persecution; it’s progress for the rest of us. In other words, a smidgen of fairness. Do unto others, and whatnot, not that the Golden Rule holds much water for American Christianists.

NRA likens universal checks to gun registry — That would be the same NRA that used to support background checks, before they decided the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of children.

Obama gun photo triggers mocking comments — Of course it did. Conservatives hate him no matter what he does. At least those of us who deposed Bush had ample reason to do so, rather than paranoia and self-valorizing fantasies. Unless, of course, you think ruining the economy, crashing the Dow-Jones, reversing the budget surplus, and launching a trillion-dollar war of choice under knowingly false pretenses were good for the country.

Smart dumb quote of the day: “American democracy is the greatest institution on Earth” edition — Ah, Senate rules. (Snurched Steve Buchheit.)

QotD?: Is it pure quackery?

Writing time yesterday: 0.25 hours (minor revisions to an accepted story)
Hours slept: 10.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.2 hours stationary bicycle (still in post-operative recovery)
Weight: 225.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block protecting women from violence: 0
Currently reading: Gulp by Mary Roach

[links] Link salad talks about pop music

The Acts of Whimsy cancer fundraiser is still live. It has made goal, but additional support is always welcome, especially given my new complications. Please check it out if you have not done so yet.

The Lakeside Kickstarter has expanded its stretch goals to include documenting the science around my genomic testing by traveling to the testing lab and interviewing the scientists there. They’v also posted a new trailer for the movie, which is very striking. So give a little to support SCIENCE!

The Locus Recommended Reading List has two of my novellas on it — “The Stars Do Not Lie” (Asimov’s 10-11/12), and “The Weight of History, the Lightness of the Future” (Subterranean Spring ’12).

Twitter Breached, Attackers Stole 250,000 User Data — Sigh.

Tiny Sensors Could Give an Atom-Level View of ProteinsThe advance could help researchers better understand the role of proteins in disease.

Did antibiotics spur the sexual revolution?A cure for syphilis lowered the “cost” of sex, says one economist.

Fish ThoughtsIn this seven second video, the brain activity of a fish is registered in real time.

Memorable moments in Grand Central’s 100 years

Off the Rails: 1943Shorpy with a very cool photo of a steam locomotive in the shop.

Ten things you don’t know about the earth — Chord tunnels? (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

The Effects of Housing Segregation on Black Wealth

Former NRA Prez: Yes, We’ve Flip-Flopped On Background Checks — Ah, that justly famed intellectual consistency of American conservatives.

With The Fox News Empire In A Ratings Slump, Where’s Roger Ailes’ Magic Touch? — Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of intellectually dishonest moral frauds.

Hagel’s “Re-Confirmation” HearingThe Republicans on the Armed Services Committee mostly distinguished themselves for their vapidity and fanaticism. The consensus seems to be that Ted Cruz was by far the worst in this regard, and based on what I saw that seems right. Cruz and his Republican colleagues on the committee may not appreciate this now, but they managed to inflict significant new damage on their party in one day. If anyone wants a clear, albeit tedious, lesson in why Republicans shouldn’t be trusted on national security and foreign policy matters, all one needs to do is watch the recording of that hearing.

Not Sure We’re DoneBut conservatives seem incapable of understanding that unyielding anger and contempt is not paying dividends anymore.

Clinton: Benghazi Critics Don’t Live In ‘Evidence-Based World’ — Duh. They’re Republicans. By self-definition, they reject the reality-based community in favor of ideology.

Geraldo “Truly Contemplating” Senate Run — Hahaha. Oh, wait. That’s not a joke.

QotD?: New York, Paris, ice cream, tee vee, travel, good time?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (still in post-operative recovery)
Hours slept: 9.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (still in post-operative recovery)
Weight: 228.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block protecting women from violence: 0
Currently reading: Gulp by Mary Roach

[links] Link salad feels like Leisure Suit Larry

The Lakeside Kickstarter has begun — The complications in my cancer have created complications in the filming process. The producer needs to extend the budget a little further.

imdb with the listing for Lakeside — Still being built, but there’s a movie poster there, and acting credits for me and [info]the_child.

Lord of the Strings: The Influence of Tolkien on Heavy Metal Music — Um? Wow. (Via Cora Buhlert.)

Faster, Quentin! Thrill! Thrill! — Roger Ebert with a lot of interesting things to say about Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchainedimdb ].

Closed off tunnel now sheds light on Portland’s sordid past — A squib about Portland’s Shanghai tunnels.

Round Trip — I love this 1943 Shorpy photo of a railroad roundhouse.

The US And New Zealand Secretly Tested The First Tsunami Bomb — Wow. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

The Sarcastic Fringehead — Really? Curious video of undersea life. Also possibly the name of my next rock band. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Captured deep beneath the waves: Giant squid filmed in natural habitat — I’ve seen the specimen on display at Te Papa, the national museum in Wellington, NZ (though I think that one might have been a colossal squid). These things are amazing.

Release the kraken! 2,000 years of tall tales (and a smattering of truth)veryone from Pliny the Elder to Tennyson has written about giant squid.

Earth-Sized Planets Widespread in Galaxy — The rate at which our knowledge of the universe changes amazes me.

Consumption of sweet and diet drinks could lead to depression — Huh.

The Reverend Hall, America HeroComes word that the National Cathedral, an Episcopal Church, will start to perform same-sex marriages. Good. The public face of American Christianity needs to be about something more than bigotry, hatred and willful ignorance. Everything from evolution denial to the Mormon Church’s shameful support of Proposition 8 to practically every word that comes out of the mouths of Evangelical leaders further stains the image of religion. Nice to see some movement in the other direction

Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice? — A wrenching piece on murder and forgiveness. Though given current events, I was quite struck by this line: “If that gun had not been in the house, our daughter would be alive.” There’s a lesson here, that no one in the gun culture will ever acknowledge, let alone learn. The rock solid truth of the fundamental immorality of wholesale death is incompatible with gun owners’ view of themselves as good people. (Courtesy of [info]wild_irises.)

Alex Jones Pitches Government by Boxing Match[T]he fact that Jones responds to a disagreement over government policy by telling his interlocutor “well how ’bout we take this outside” is illustrative. Jones spends much of the interview ranting about the evils of government use of force, without much attention to the kind of individual violence with which he threatened Morgan. That’s one of the deep problems with our gun culture. It valorizes violence that the gun owner sees a defensive, just or retributive. Do we really want 100,000,000 people with powers of summary execution which depend on their casual judgment regardless of mood or circumstance or the objective facts of the situation? Because that’s what this country has with widespread private gun ownership.

Giffords and Kelly: Fighting gun violence — An important effort that will sadly most likely be a failure, as Americans’ love of guns trumps any number of deaths. As a culture, we prefer killing machines to the morality of life, and make endless excuses to maintain the illusion that this is the right thing.

?otD: Ever been to the Land of the Lounge Lizards?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (stress)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 217.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block teaching critical thinking skills to the children of conservatives: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks

[links] Link salad is Brian, and so is its wife

There She Blows! ‘Tis the Contract for Moby Dick! — Huh. Cool.

Colon Cancer: Aspirin May Improve Survival in Some — Not sure if I’m in this pool or not.

The Snail Wrangler — Wow. Who knew the intricacies of escargot? (Via my Dad.)

MIT’s artificial leaf is ten times more efficient than the real thing — This is seriously cool. (From Lisa Costello via Stupidest Genius I’ve Ever Met.)

Carrier at New Orleans: 1910Circa 1910. “Southern Pacific R.R. transfer boat Carrier at New Orleans.” For some reason, this image fascinates me.

How the Chinese and the Greeks viewed (pretty much) the same sky — (Via Lisa Costello.)

A small (but glorious) world: The best microscope images of 2012Spiders, fossils, brains, and eyes all make the grade.

Why We Can’t Solve Big Problems — Interesting article, though I think the author gives shorter shrift to the market-based explanation than it deserves. The fundamental shift in investment patterns that came to fruition in the 1980s from long-term value investing to manic focus on quarter-over-quarter gains made long-term research and development, especially pure research, much harder to justify in corporate America. This same attitude has leaked into government, viz the endless budget cuts at NASA, NSF and so forth. I really do think Big Money bears a lot of the responsibility for this loss of human capacity.

Seismologists Convicted of Not Predicting Earthquake — A US legal analysis of the recent travesty of justice in Italy. Freakonomics with more on this.

Bitten: Apple’s ‘blasphemous’ logo under fire in RussiaSome Russian Orthodox Christians see the iconic logo as a symbol of sin that they would like to see outlawed. Really? This kind of nonsense is what faith-based thinking gives you. (Thanks to David Goldman.)

Why Are States So Red and Blue? — A fascinating cultural and psychological riff on voting patterns. (Thanks to [info]shsilver.)

Conservative Media Ignore GOP Voter Registration Fraud — Gee, ya think? That’s a big advantage of living in a post-truth, non-reality-based world. You can edit out all those inconvenient “facts” and “data” with their liberal bias. Oh, look, ACORN! (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Five Ridiculous Congressional Candidates Who Will Probably Win — Hey, they actually found a Democrat to criticize!

Sen. Cornyn Defends Mourdock’s Comment On Pregnancies From Rape — That would be the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Tell me again that this senseless cruelty isn’t a core Republican value?

What “health of the mother” meansWhen cancer was suspected during my pregnancy, I faced a decision no woman wants — and few politicians understand. No one who needs to read this article ever will, sadly. And if somehow they do, as it emits from the reality-based community, it will be dismissed as liberal lies. Because senseless cruelty to women sells much better to the Republican base than any amount of reality.

Pregnancy as Labor — Ta-Nehisi Coates on a similar theme, in further reference to the senseless cruelty of core Republican values regarding women’s lives and health.

Mourdock, Rape as a Gift of God, and Islamic Sharia — To put this in simple terms, government by Christian theology is no better than government by Islamic theology. Thanks to the GOP’s decades-long embrace of theocracy while trolling for votes, Christianity is far more of a danger to the United States than Islam can ever hope to be.

‘Fairness and integrity’: The New Yorker endorses President Obama

Powell standing by Obama in 2012 presidential raceSpeaking of Obama, Powell said the president got the United States out of Iraq and has laid out a plan for leaving Afghanistan “and didn’t get us into any new wars.” Mighty generous of you, Colin, since it was your good name and reputation that gave considerable political cover to the knowing, cynical lies that the Bush administration used to get us into those wars.

Poll: Gender gaps all but gone in White House race — I find this bizarre if true. (Polls are sometimes quirky.) The GOP has experienced a substantial gender gap in the female vote for quite a while now in presidential elections. Which given their positions on women’s health, reproductive rights, and equal pay for equal work only makes sense. In fact, what does amaze me is that any women vote Republican, ever. It’s almost as weird as gays who vote Republican. Or middle class people. Or people in states that are net beneficiaries of government spending (i.e., virtually all of the so-called “Red states”.) One of the great triumphs of the modern Republican party is getting millions of people to vote directly against their own personal and economic interests time and time again. I guess that’s the value of a post-truth worldview.

How Mitt Romney Gets So TanA source lets BuzzFeed in on a campaign mystery: It’s a spray tan. “It’s not like Mitt Romney can go chill out on a beach right now; he needs a quick fix.” So R. Money’s tan is every bit as sincere as the rest of him?

?otD: But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, viniculture, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hour (WRPA, research for the Sekrit Projekt, plus opening the story stub)
Body movement: 0.5 hour stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.75 hours (fitful)
Weight: 229.8
Currently reading: n/a

[links] Link salad just turned its back on the crowd

The Feathered Edge — A book which needs some love. Go check it out. [info]calendula_witch and I have a story in there.

Storm of Swords – It Gets Better — Brilliant poking of fun at GRRM. Warning: spoileriffic. Hahahah. (Via Marta Murvosh.)

A Computational Model of an Anticancer NanoparticleIBM’s Blue Gene supercomputer uncovers a novel drug interaction site.

Off the Beaten Track, Railroad Buffs Get Stoked by Riding Obscure Routes‘Rare-Mileage’ Fans Go to Great Lengths; ‘I Have Lusted After That Track for 35 Years’

50 years to orbit: Dream Chaser’s crazy Cold War backstoryThe reusable mini-spaceplane is back from the dead—again—and prepping for space.

Drake equation: How many alien civilizations exist? — Cool little software toy. (Via AC.)

Life on Mars time for JPL scientist and his familyA JPL scientist’s family joins him on his mission to live sol by sol — and discovers a new sort of life around Los Angeles.

Mars image may indicate presence of water ice

US Health Care System Wastes $750B A Year — (Via [info]danjite.)

We can have political debate or politicized facts, but we can’t have both — Welcome to conservative America, denying the reality-based community since pretty much forever.

Disillusioned Obama Supporter In Romney Ad Is Actually GOP Staffer — Because honesty is a core conservative value. Right up there with truthfulness.

Top Ten Ways we are Better off than in January 2009 — It’s a question the GOP really doesn’t want to ask. Except, of course, that Your Liberal Media will as always support the conservative narrative, and the low-information voters that are the Republican lifeblood will dutifully nod along.

Paul Ryan, Mountaineer — Ah, more of that vaunted conservative truthfulness. Because liberals can’t be trusted to be honest or sincere. Not like these guys.

?otD: But you got away, didn’t you babe?

Writing time yesterday: 0.5 hours (revisions to Other Me, then off to agent)
Body movement: 60 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 5.75 (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Heartland by Mark Teppo

[links] Link salad winds on down the road

Patent No. 5,443,036: Method of Exercising a Cat

Broken Letters: A Typogeography of Europe — Fascinating reading if you’re either a typeface geek or a history geek.

Which profession drinks the most coffee?

Roundhouse Foundations — Mmm. Trains.

Video urges Singapore couples to make babies – like, now — (Thanks to David Goldman.)

Neanderthals did not interbreed with humans, scientists findThe genetic traits between humans and Neanderthals are more likely from a shared ancestry rather than interbreeding, a British study has suggested.

Study: Japan nuclear disaster caused mutated butterflies — “Power was to be cheap and clean; grimy faces were never seen”

Researchers find some of the world’s earliest (pre-Cambrian) armorSpecimens hint that protective organic skeletons predate the Cambrian explosion.

Into the Uncanny ValleyCentauri Dreams on extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Obama Calls Mars Rover Team, Considers Mohawk — Heh.

Arctic ocean losing 50% more summer ice than predicted — Facts not valid in conservative America and other places outside the reality-based community.

Isolated Incidents (Completely Unrelated To All The Others Just Like It) — Sexual morality at a Christianist bible “college”. Proving once again that atheists are moral monsters without Christian principles to guide them. Or something. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court — A classic example of why people hate both insurance companies and attorneys. This also clearly illustrates the fundamental conflict of for-profit insurance companies. Unlike almost any other business sector, their profit model relies on them not fulfilling their contracts. That problem is most obvious in health insurance companies, but applies across the board. Which is why I sometimes think all insurance companies should either be co-ops or publicly owned. As for the attorneys involved on the Progressive insurance side, I hope the crypts they sleep in are comfortably chilled.

The Certainty of Even More Shootings — Because this is America, where your theoretical defense of essential liberties is worth more than my actual life. But only under the Second Amendment. Thanks to the justly famed intellectual consistency of the conservative movement, we’ve already traded away all those other pesky amendments and their essential liberties for the illusion of a little temporary safety.

Your Election is being Bought by 47 Billionaires (and they are Buying War, Climate Change)[N]early 60% of the almost quarter of a billion dollars raised by Super PACs from individuals derived from just 47 people, who gave at least $1 million each (obviously some gave much more). Remember, kids, according to the conservative-dominated Supreme Court, money is speech, so if you don’t like this, put up your own millions.

Mitt Romney Denies Freedom of ReligionDo you believe in freedom of religion? President Obama does, and he is defending Americans’ freedom of religion against Mitt Romney and Fox News.

Paul Ryan already benefited from the Social Security fund he now wants to gut — When a conservative needs something from the government, it’s an essential Federal program. (See highway bills and farm price supports.) When anyone that conservative disapproves of needs something from the government, it’s wasteful socialism. (See Aid to Families with Dependent Children.)

The Ryan Role — Paul Krugman on Paul Ryan. Interesting what the facts tell you, which is very different from what Your Liberal Media tells you.

Wonkbook: Everything you need to know about Paul Ryan — Paul Ryan’s number one qualification for Romney’s VP slot? He’s not Sarah Palin.

?otD: Is your shadow taller than your soul?

Writing time yesterday: 0.25 hours (WRPA)
Body movement: 60 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 6.0 (solid)
Weight: 238.4
Currently reading: The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems by Henry Petroski

[dreams] Silence of the baboons

Very strange dream last night. I was driving back to Portland from somewhere in the old, old Genre car — the gray Chrysler sedan that IRL I sold about four years ago. But I wasn’t really in Oregon, as the physical geography was more like the trip from San Antonio to Austin. There were a lot of construction projects tearing up abandoned railway lines. (I dream of trains and train tracks fairly often.)

The car broke down not far outside of Austin, so I got it pushed into the parking lot of a mechanic’s. Then I went to find a place to stay. There was a little resort motel nearby, which looked sort of like the Village from The Prisoner, if the builders had been rednecks working with salvage lumber and no plumb lines. Lots of little oddball buildings scattered among the pecan and live oak groves.

Somewhere in here, my family appeared. Dad, (step)mom, my mother, [info]the_child, [info]lillypond, the Niece. As we wandered around, I pointed out some wild animals nearby.

The animals turned out to be a troop of baboons. They didn’t like me pointing. As the Niece and [info]the_child laughed, the troop began approaching us. I twigged that we were at risk, so I tried to get my family to step back and walk away. Everyone was too excited about the baboons to pay any attention to me.

I wound up spanning my arms wide, jumping up and down and screeching, and pounding my chest. A classic primate aggression display. The baboons backed off a bit, as everyone began running away from me. I was fine with that. The desired result had been reached. As I began to back away from the baboons, still facing them and baring my teeth, the troop ran to attack me.

In real life, I used to live in Nigeria. When you travel cross-country in Nigeria, at least in the north, one thing you do any time you stop the car is watch for baboon troops. They will come to investigate what you’re doing, and they will rip your arms off if they feel like it. So even in dreamland, I knew to run like hell.

It turned into a zombie apocalypse dream, with the baboons taking the place of zombies. People were running everywhere, screaming and crying. The baboons were breaking down doors, leaping through windows, running down the weak and slow and unlucky. Taken literally, the whole thing was horrible, but I also knew I was dreaming, so it was more like watching a movie.

I woke up laughing about the whole thing. Other than the cancer, my life is not particularly infused with anxiety just now. Not sure what the dream meant, but it was funny and it was weird.

[personal] Punked, dreams, and other thoughts

The last week or so has been colored by some real challenges on the personal and professional front. Nothing I’m prepared to discuss yet, largely for reasons of others’ confidentiality, but also not critical (or medical). Just disappointing and, well, challenging. And annoyingly simultaneous, as sometimes happens in life.

This weekend will be a basement party at Nuevo Rancho Lake, or at least my half of it. Team E— is coming over, as is [info]mleules, to stand on my toes and Enforce Justice with respect to actually purging things I don’t need in my life. Also, [info]the_child‘s last lacrosse game happens Saturday. Conflict is the nature of drama, right?

Last night I dreamt I was driving down Mopac in Austin when a very peculiar railroad train passed me. (This isn’t quite as weird as it sounds, as in real life the highway in part follows a railroad right of way, and so cars and trains often are heading along side by side.) The train consisted of an older Southern Pacific diesel locomotive that had been grafted together with a caboose and some miscellaneous machinery into one of those oddball maintenance-of-way work units you sometimes see. While driving my car, I pulled out a camera and began snapping photos, primarily for the benefit of [info]garyomaha and [info]kevin_standlee. Somehow, using the mighty power of his mind, the engineer (still in his locomotive cab hurtling down the tracks) began lecturing me (still in my car racing down the highway) about the national security implications of me publishing those photos, and did I know what the purpose of this unit was?

Interpretation of this dream is left as an exercise for the reader.

Also, I continue to mull some fairly deep thoughts on creativity, process and groups that are rising up out of my experiences at World Steam Expo. Look for a blog post here soon. Finally, speaking of WSE, here is a caricature of me done by the inestimable @howardtayler:


© 2012, Howard Tayler, reproduced with permission.

[links] Link salad parties with the dangerous punks

Easter Island statues had bodies — Did no one ever think to look?

CSR project aims to create a high-speed, carbon-neutral steam-powered locomotive — Oh, cool. (Thanks to David E. Vincent.)

Egos and Immorality — Paul Krugman on the Wall Street fairy tale.

Scientist: Evolution debate will soon be history — This is stupid. The evolution debate has been history for a long time. What you have today is a combination of religious willful ignorance and conservative political opportunism. It’s not a “debate” in any meaningful sense of the word, as the anti-evolution side has no evidence, logic or credibility.

Conservatives used to care about community. What happened? — They lost their fucking minds.

?otd: Ever been electric motorboated?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (Con time)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.5 (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Shattering the Ley by Benjamin Tate; Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht

[links] Link salad is identical cousins with Linkee-poo

Just What the (Bleep) Do I Think I’m Doing? – Redux — Richard Parks Is Wise on process.

The Oatmeal responds to a Forbes article criticizing the recent Tesla comic — This is freaking hilarious.

A really striking Absolut ad masquerading as a short film — This is a lot of fun. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Italy earthquake hits parmesan productionCheese producers near quake’s epicentre fear for 300,000 parmesan wheels that crashed to the ground in warehouses. Epic cheese disaster! (Thanks to Scrivener’s Error.)

Gotthard Girl’s Pioneering Intestine — Headline of the week. Do you even care what the story is about? (A historical map of European railroads, btw.)

Can a Surfboard-Sized Watercraft Cross the Pacific on Wave Power Alone?

News flash: Congresscritters using slightly shorter words and sentencesLanguage Log deconstructs a current, somewhat idiotic political meme.

Career Prospects in the Pain Business — Interesting bit of political media theater. (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

North Carolina Pastor: Pen In ‘All The Lesbians And Queers’ With An Electrified Fence, Wait For Them To ‘Die Out’ — Man, I can really feel the enlightening warmth of that Christian love for their fellow man from all the way over here on the West Coast.

NBC, Fox, CBS etc. Protest transparency requirement on Political Advertising — Yeah. Because why would any citizen ever want or need to know that stuff? I should think no matter what your politics, this seems like an issue.

It’s Official: Watching Fox Makes You StupiderAccording to a new study by Farleigh Dickinson University, Fox viewers are the least knowledgeable audience of any outlet, and they know even less about politics and current events than people who watch no news at all. But isn’t that the whole point of Fox News, to foster a cohort of angry, low information Republican voters?

The Conservative Fantasy History of Civil Rights — Once you endorse counterfactual beliefs in any area (i.e., evolution denial), you enable them in every area. In historical terms, this may be the besetting sin of the conservative movement as it has developed in my lifetime. I can remember when conservatives were realists, but those days are long gone. (Thanks to [info]shsilver.)

Bennett Backs Off Birther Threat, Apologizes To Arizona — I wonder what this is about? I mean, it’s not like Republicans have ever had any shame regarding even their most blatant distortions of truth. And btw, this guy was the Romney campaign chair for Arizona. Did you know that? Any guesses on how Your Liberal Media would have reacted to an Obama campaign chair threatening to keep Romney off a state ballot?

?otd: Patty Duke or Jerry Mathers?

Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (WRPA)
Body movement: 55 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 6.25 (solid)
Weight: n/a (forgot)
Currently reading: Light Breaker by Mark Teppo (except I’ve lost the darned book)

[links] Link salad heads west

New York’s Last Cross-Harbor Railway Chugs On as Alternative to Trucks

Gesture Controls Get a Huge Boost with New ‘Leap’ Interaction System

Fossil Ink Sacs Yield Jurassic Pigment—A FirstInk “strikingly” similar to that of modern cuttlefish, study says.

Quantum Dots May Be Safe to Use in PatientsThe colorful, glowing crystals could prove to be useful as a surgical aid.

Can mammals outrun climate change?For about 10 percent of species, the answer could be “no.” Of course, they wouldn’t need to if they’d just listen to Rush Limbaugh instead of paying attention to the realities of their environment.

Catholic dioceses, colleges sue over Obama mandate — Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

On Christianity and marriage equality (part 4)Christians who oppose equality are losing the argument. That’s why they’re so loud. Slacktivist Fred Clark with an excellent roundup of links about Christianist bigotry and responses to it.

Andrea Mitchell: Romney Has Been Getting A “Free Ride” From The Media — Of course he has. He’s a Republican. Your Liberal Media has for many years been strongly biased in favor of them. Look at the scholarship on the relative incidence of negative stories about George W. Bush and Al Gore during the 2000 election cycle (roughly 4:1 against Gore) for objective confirmation of this. The “liberal media” meme has been one of the most successful political lies in modern history.

?otd: Cascades or Coastals?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (full day of work and socializing)
Body movement: n/a (airport walking to come)
Hours slept: 5.25 (fitful)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Light Breaker by Mark Teppo

[links] Link salad knows that rap is something you do, hip hop is something you live

Study: Organic food turns people into jerks — Heh. Who knew? (Snurched from @jackwilliambell.)

Hybrid: 1910 — A somewhat peculiar piece of railroading history.

How the Professor Who Fooled Wikipedia Got Caught by Reddit

Bugs Help Measure Impact of New Transoceanic Highway on Amazon

Australasia has hottest 60 years in a millennium, scientists findStudy of tree rings, corals and ice cores finds unnatural spike in temperatures that lines up with manmade climate change. Amazing how the liberals even manage to get tree rings and coral reefs onto the climate change conspiracy. Good thing we have the GOP to remind us that the truth isn’t before our lying eyes.

Legal Experts: Sodomy Is a Civil Right — Unfortunately, so is bigotry. And hypocrisy. (Via [info]danjite.)

Gay Marriage: The Republican Love Affair With the PastIn 2005 the Supreme Court made sodomy legal in all 50 states and since then there have been absolutely no reports of anyone turning into a pillar of salt. To be fair to the conservative viewpoint, we’ve all seen how places like Canada and Massachusetts have collapsed into apocalyptic Socialist hells since the advent of gay marriage. I mean, just look at the divorce rates in Massachusetts compared to the good, American gay-hating Red states. Oh, wait, never mind.

?otd: How many MC’s must get dissed?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (WRPA, not to mention a full day of conferencing and critique)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.5 (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Light Breaker by Mark Teppo