Sign up for my newsletter to be among the first to learn of upcoming titles!

[links] Link salad realizes that science requires our physical union

[info]the_child makes art from my words — Media are: 1910 Remington typewriter, tissue paper, cooking oil, flame, and dirt. Wow.

11 nouns that only have a plural form — (Via the hilarious Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Do women and men prefer different colors? — Taupe.

Water cribs in Chicago — Weird. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Microfluidic Platform Gives Clear Look at a Crucial Step in Cancer Metastasis — (Thanks to Bruce Taylor.)

Phil and Penny Knight to OHSU: $500 million is yours for cancer research if you can match it — This is my treating hospital.

Forget premiums: A peer-to-peer network will cover you — Hmmm. (Via Ellen Eades.)

A Capella Science – Bohemian Gravity! — Oh, wow. This is both hilarious and very cool. On several levels.

The life and death of Buran, the USSR shuttle built on faulty assumptionsAfter concluding the US Shuttle was a weapons platform, the USSR wanted its own. This is a weird, almost melancholy article.

Seeking Vital Signs in a Lifetime Warranty — Huh.

Radical Self-Respect — Another one of those posts from Feminist Mormon Housewives that makes me sigh. Why should it have to be radical to recognize that you yourself are a human being with needs and desires? The cognitive dissonance that faith brings to some people would be intolerable to me.

The Evangelical Orphan Boom — Given the way American Evangelicals deliberately miseducate their children, and stunt their intellectual growth, I have trouble seeing any of this as a good thing, even before the Christianist abuses documented in this article are taken into account.

Creationism and Religious Freedom — An interesting essay, but I will continue to insist by way of response that religious freedom does not require willful ignorance. Rather, that is a social and political choice made by conservative American Christians, which causes lasting harm to their children, and to everyone else’s when one sect imposes its values on public education. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Cantaloupe vs. al-Qaeda: What’s More Dangerous?We have more to fear from contaminated cantaloupe than from al-Qaeda, yet the United States spends $75 billion per year spread across 15 intelligence agencies in a scattershot attempt to prevent terrorism, illegally spying on its own citizens in the process. By comparison, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is struggling to secure $1.1 billion in the 2014 federal budget for its food inspection program, while tougher food processing and inspection regulations passed in 2011 are held up by agribusiness lobbying in Congress. (Via David Goldman.)

Honoring Navy Yard Victims, Obama Asks: ‘Do We Care Enough’ to Change? — Clearly not. As a society, we have decided emphatically that the deaths of 30,000 other people every year is a small price to pay for the personal illusion of safety clung to by gun owners. Anyone who joins the NRA or votes Republican is stating this in no uncertain terms with their dollars and their support.

Bruce Schneier: NSA Spying Is Making Us Less SafeThe security researcher Bruce Schneier, who is now helping the Guardian newspaper review Snowden documents, suggests that more revelations are on the way.

?otD: Iron Sky much?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 243.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block violating religious freedom by treating LGBTQ people like human beings: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad heads for the mountains

Clarkesworld, Year Four, part one — A review that covers my short story, “Torquing Vacuum”.

Think Seeing A Little Male Nudity On TV Is Too Explicit? Then … It’s Time To Hear The Hard Truth.

At Fake Hospital, Kaiser Runs a Testing Ground for New TechnologyPushing around supply carts for miles, tending to plastic babies, and maintaining an ersatz operating theater are how one health-care giant figures out what saves money.

How to Fall in Love With Math

The Boy Genius of Ulan Bator — Wow. (Via [info]danjite.)

Trading bots create extreme events faster than humans can reactOur algorithms now show collective behavior that we do not control.

Another Week, Another Climate Change Denial Article in The Mail — Climate change denialism has slightly more intellectual credibility than evolution denialism, but that’s sort of like saying tire rubber is slightly more edible than asphalt.

The Banality of Systemic Evil70 percent of those age 18 to 34 sampled in a poll said they believed that Snowden “did a good thing” in leaking the news of the National Security Agency’s surveillance program. So has the younger generation lost its moral compass? (Via David Goldman.)

Qotd?: How high will you go today?

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

[links] Link salad worries some more, because worrying is what it does

The Macroeconomics of Middle Earth — Hahahah. (Snurched from [info]james_nicoll.)

In Portland, Tex-Mex fare rides again — One of my favorite cuisines, and one rarely found (even poorly executed) here in the foodie town of Portland. I miss Chuy’s from my Austin days, and especially the Hula Hut. (Via my Dad.)

Riding a horse across a frozen lake in Siberia — Also this wow factor as well: Frozen Bubbles Suspended Below Abraham Lake. (Both thanks to Lisa Costello.)

LROC Browse Gallery — Lunar pr0n. (Thanks to Gary Dierks.)

Futuristic highways in the Netherlands glow in the dark. — Weird and cool. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Test Room — This is a weird little squib from BLDG BLOG which happens to have an Oregon connection. Though that’s not the weird part.

Juggling by numbers: How notation revealed new tricks — Huh. Interesting. I have extremely modest skills as a juggler myself. (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Forbidden sphere — Weird security in the nuclear age. See also: Classifying a Shape and Illegal Numbers. The fascinating weirdness of security paranoia. (Via David Goldman.)

Why We Have a Right to Consumer GeneticsIt’s hard to get straightforward health guidance from personal genome tests, which are banned in some places. But one way to make them more meaningful is to let more people buy them.

World first as scientists create cancer-killing cells that can be injected into patients

The Myth of Harriet Tubman — A moving piece from Ta-Nehisi Coates that says some new-to-me things about race and racism.

Joseph Sciambra, Self-Described ‘Ex-Gay Porn Star,’ Claims Gay Men Anally Give Birth to the Devil — Are all religious conservatives insane? Or just the ones who have public voices? This guy’s on the same range of cruel lunacy as Dobson, Fischer, Franklin Graham and Huckabee. So unlike anything I ever found in the Bible, at least the New Covenant. It’s like faith makes them stupid and mean. Or maybe they started out stupid and mean and found a faith that fit those tendencies. (Via Mike Brotherton.)

The NRA Claims the AR-15 Is Useful for Hunting and Home Defense. Not Exactly. — Uh huh. (Via [info]danjite.)

Thoughts on the Second Amendment — A long but fascinating piece on the Second Amendment’s historical context and judicial interpretations thereof. I was struck by this comment on D.C. v. Heller: Apparently judicial activism is okay for decisions right-wingers happen to like, but not for decisions they don’t like. Well, duh. That’s a cornerstone of the justly famed principled intellectual consistency of American conservatism. More to the point: Americans have clearly stated that the blood of children is an acceptable price for the free availability of guns, and I do not see any marking on the wall that says, “When the pile of bodies reaches this line, things will change.” It is a sad commentary on us as a culture, but there you have it. (Via Steve Buchheit.)

Sen. Crapo pleads guilty to DWI, seeks ‘forgiveness and repentance’ — Another religious conservative moral scold has feet of clay. Not that this ever stops them from lecturing and legislating against behaviors they disapprove of in others.

O’Reilly: “Asian People Are Not Liberal, You Know, By Nature. They’re Usually More Industrious And Hard-Working” — Wow. Racist and classist and staggeringly stupid all in one. Conservative America, this is one of your leading voices. What does this say about you?

The Secret History of US Drone Strikes in 2012 — Just in case you thought everything was peachy Over There. America embarked on a decade plus of frenzied killing in response to 9-11, mostly of people who had nothing to do with the original event. How do you think they feel about us now?

Gulf Coast Lawmaker Votes Against Sandy ReliefRep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS), whose Mississippi district is situated on the Gulf Coast, was one of 67 Republicans on Friday to vote against a $9.7 billion relief package to victims of Hurricane Sandy. Stay classy, Mississippi. It’s not like the Feds gave you any money to help out after Hurricane Katrina. No, wait… I guess this is compassionate conservatism in action.

GOP’s obstructionism is suicide strategy — We should all be so lucky, The key to the suicide bomb strategy is to convince people that members of the conservative wing of the Republican Party are crazy enough to wreck the economy if they don’t get their way. I’m certainly convinced. The congressional GOP have become a basket of vandals and loons completely uninterested in a functional government. Which is the logical outcome of 30 years of “government is the problem” rhetoric, unfortunately for those of us who are still sane and wish to live in a functional society.

?otD: How carefree is your morning?

Writing time yesterday: 0.75 hours (WRPA, specifically research for a Cthulhu short)
Hours slept: 5.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: n/a (forgot to weight before I ate)
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 a day tripper

A reader reacts to the anthology Cthulhu’s Reign — Not so much with the love for my story.

A reader reacts to the anthology Westward Weird — In which I have a story.

[info]cassiealexander on themes in fiction[A]ny verb that might occur to you while running out of supplies on the arctic tundra is a good verb to make a theme out of.

I am interviewed about the Writers of the Future Contest

The Fantasy Author’s Handbook Interview: Mats Minnhagen

The Subterrene War — An interesting approach to a book trailer. (Via Jeremiah Tolbert.)

King Street Station gets more rehab — A slide show of Seattle’s railroad station. (Thanks to [info]garyomaha.)

Will CBS Consider New Star Trek Television Series?

Waterworld: Hubble reveals new class of planet outside the solar system

Some Planets Are Alien Invaders

Rocks hint at strong quakes on Mars

Ash-covered forest is ‘Permian Pompeii’Scientists reconstruct ancient ecosystem from plants preserved in volcanic eruption.

Are gluten-free products a waste for those without celiac disease?

Tibetans cancel New Year celebrations

Gay marriage ban supporters seek second review by circuit court of ruling — Bigots don’t quit.

Why Patriarchal Men Are Utterly Petrified of Birth Control — And Why We’ll Still Be Fighting About it 100 Years From Now

Va. vote on abortion ultrasound bill pushed back a day — I suppose it’s too much to hope that Virginia’s GOP loons are actually embarrassed by their own extremism.

71% of Americans think Iran already has the Bomb (Also we used to have pet triceratops) — Welcome to FOX News America, where facts are irrelevant in the face of GOP talking points.

Sarah Palin: Media ‘wee-weed up’ about Rick SantorumSarah Palin came to the defense of Rick Santorum for his “Satan” comments as she condemned “lame-stream media characters” for getting “all wee-weed up about” the candidate’s past remarks. Right, poor Senator Frothy Mix. Yoyr Liberal Media has never gone after any Democratic politician for anything they’ve said in the past. Also, “wee-weed up’? Is Santorum running for kindergarten class president?

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Santorum” — The evolving politics of an absolutist bigot.

Santorum: “You’re Not A Christian” — This guy really is a fruit loop, even by GOP standards. And that’s a bar set so low I think it’s buried in the ground.

Four reasons Abraham Lincoln wouldn’t win the GOP nomination in 2012 — Neither would Ronald Reagan.

?otd: Did she take you half the way there?

Writing time yesterday: 2.0 hours (Sunspin revisions)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bicycle ride
Hours slept: 6.0 (solid)
Weight: 235.2
Currently reading: 1491 by Charles C. Mann

[links] Link salad sweats on cue

What Publishers Don’t Do — Andrew Wheeler on Michael Chabon and e-books. Chabon got this one wrong, which is unusual for him, I think.

Rocket-Powered ‘Aerotrain’ — Some awesome retrotech. (Via H—.)

Through a sun tunnelAPOD with an interesting image and write-up. I’d never heard of these.

Frankincense, Staple of Christmas, Doomed

Where the Tax-Cut Walkout Really Came FromThen, of course, along came the new Republican House majority under Newt Gingrich. They rewrote the formal rulebook which, to be entirely fair, really needed some of its more sclerotic provisions cleaned out. But they threw out the unwritten rules entirely. This culminated in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and everything that has followed after, right up until this morning. They are not legislators. They are vandals in the house of democracy.

Speaker Cuts Off C-SPAN Cameras When Dems Attempt To Bring Vote On Payroll Tax Cut — The GOP: your party of good government. (Thanks to [info]corwynofamber.)

?otd: When is the last time you watched the original Star Trek?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 10.5 (very fitful plus napping)
Weight: 208.0
Currently (re)reading: The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey

[links] Link salad says Happy Solstice

If Dragon’s Mass Eve Be Cold And Clear — Go check out [info]kenscholes‘ store at It’s worth your time.

First trailer for ‘The Hobbit’ arrives

Part 1. The Origins of Dinotopia: Childhood Dreams — Art guru James Gurney with a very detailed series of blog posts on how he developed Dinotopia. A wonderful series of pieces on world building for all you writers and artists out there.

Watch the Solstice Approach (and Recede) — Be sure to click through to the year clock.

Metal undergoes novel transition under extreme pressureUnder extreme pressures and temperatures, one of the main materials of the Earth’s interior has exhibited a never-before-seen transition. Cool.

Sheriff: Ohio man cleaning gun killed Amish girl — Ah, the death of a child. As my conservative friends stoutly agree in their party platforms, a small price to pay for the Second Amendment right to defense of essentially liberties. How many deaths are your guns worth to you?

In Madison, 1,000 Singers Defy Walker’s Edict — Ah, the price of free speech. (Via [info]tillyjane, a/k/a my mom.)

Politifact, R.I.P. — The pernicious GOP “liberal media” meme strikes again.

Fox and Friends on the SpongeBob Conspiracy — Further proof that the conservative worldview is nutty crankery. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

?otd: Long nights? Impossible odds?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 12.5 (solid plus napping)
Weight: 208.8
Currently (re)reading: Dragonquest by Anne McCaffrey

[links] Link salad for an Omaha Friday

A reader reacts to Green — Not so much with the liking, I am thinking.

A review of Boondocks Fantasy — Including some favorable comments on my story, “Jefferson’s West”.

Kurt Vonnegut’s chalk talk on the shape of a story — (Via a mailing list I’m on.)

No One Cares About Your Reading — On book tours. (Via Patty Garcia.)

Goodbye, Oxford comma? Hello, Shatner comma! — Snerk. (Thanks to [info]corwynofamber.)

Sylvester H. Roper — A true steampunk hero. (Thanks to you what sent it.)

Making Genomics Routine in Cancer Care

History of Flight — Sigh. (Thanks to [info]goulo.)

The Rogue Taxidermist — This is very weird. Like Warren Ellis weird. (Thanks, I think, to [info]willyumtx.)

Audio from 123-year-old talking doll ‘a pretty big first,’ historians say

The Gospel Blimp — Speaking as a staunch atheist, I am increasingly fascinated by Slacktivist Fred Clark’s critiques-from-within of Evangelicalism.

What Would Reagan Do? — More on the conservative myth-making around that sad old man who used to be president.

Obama calls the GOP’s bluff — Confidential to conservatives in America: Taxes are an investment in the country you claim to love so much. Unless you plan to go utterly Galt, stop pretending they are theft.

?otD: How many roads must a man walk down? And why?

Writing time yesterday: n/a (too tired)
Body movement: 30 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 7.75 hours (interrupted)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

[links] Link salad gets over JayCon, heads to Seattle

5 Reasons Why E-Books Aren’t There Yet

Slo-mo landslide — This is a weirdly cool video.

The WHO Says Cellphones—and Pickles—May Cause CancerShould I stop eating kosher dills?

Tapping Quantum Effects for Software that LearnsDefense contractor Lockheed Martin paid $10 million for a “quantum computer” that is also being tested by Google.

Michele Bachmann’s Stance on Evolution Demolished by High School Student — Anyone with an even modest grip on reality could have accomplished this same feat.

?otD: Ever, ever on a Sunday?

Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (WRPA, even on JayCon day!)
Body movement: 30-minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (interrupted, plus napping)
Weight: 230.2
Currently (re)reading: A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

[links] Link salad hums the Queen of the Night’s aria

Macmillan posts an excerpt of my novel Green — In support of the forthcoming trade paperback release.

The Ads Were More Boring Than the Super BowlScrivener’s Error with a number of interesting things to say about economics, publishing and the economics of publishing.

Welcome to Beautiful Jay Lake Family Campground and R.V.Park — I really need to go there. (Thanks to

The Entabulator — A hilarious short video snippet of pseudobusiness/pseudotechnical B.S.

Waterloo Teeth — Ok, this is just weird. As so much of history is. (Via @lilithsaintcrow.)

Some fins up! 100,000 sharks mass off Florida’s beaches — Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water.

Anonymous to security firm working with FBI: “You’ve angered the hive” — We are definitely living in the future.

Droughts, Floods and Food — Paul Krugman on the link between climate change and revolution. Warning: Facts and informed analysis not valid if you are a Republican.

Bachmann, congressional Republicans in political ‘parallel universe,’ says Bill Clinton[T]he new crop of Republicans in Congress are living “in a parallel universe divorced from reality with no facts.” So are most of the old ones, actually.

Colbert on O’Reilly — The tides smugly and confidently presented as otherwise inexplicable evidence of God’s hand? Also, this just in, Mars has no moons. And you people wonder why I think conservatives are basically nuts.

Faith Healing Parents Get Probation — I have always felt a very strong tension between my respect for religious freedom and the rights of parents on the one hand and the rights of children on the other. It’s one thing for people to choose faith healing for themselves. Every adult has the freedom to be as wrong-headed as they wish to be in their private life. But to choose it for their children, who have no other recourse? Like vaccination denial, so far as I’m concerned, that’s child abuse, pure and simple.

Fact Checking Palin on Reagan, Budget — Hmm. facts, meet perception. Perception for the win! Like I said before, Ronald Reagan was no Ronald Reagan. The man was a maundering fool who made no sense in 1980, he did not improve during office. He is virtually worshiped for things he is believed to have said by people who willfully ignore the deep and abiding hypocrisy of the man’s actual historical record. I listened to the Reagan-Carter debates on the radio in 1980. I heard President Carter stammer and earnestly grope with facts to try to answer questions. I heard candidate Reagan genially thank the moderator for the question then go off on long, content-free riffs that neither addressed the issues under discussion nor made a whole lot of sense otherwise. But his smooth, confident delivery clinched the television audience. I have never, not from the very beginning, understood the cult of Reagan.

?otD: Can you hit the high notes?

Writing time yesterday: 2.25 hours (200 new words, revisions and editorial to Sunspin)
Body movement: 30 minutes on stationary bike
Hours slept: 5.75 hours (solid)
Weight: 252.8
Currently reading: Between books

[links] Link salad dreams of foreign beaches and familiar air

Stuff No One Told Me (But I Learned Anyway) — Hilarious. And somewhat thought-provoking. (Via @inkhaven.)

Hippos Licking Crocs — Um, yes.

Seeing New York: 1904 — Electric buses and the Flatiron Building. It’s just like today!

Palm-Size NMRThe portable but powerful magnet could be used to find archaeological artifacts or to detect contamination in products. Seems like a handy thing to have around the house.

Beta Pictoris b: A New Planet and Its Implications — More crunchy exoplanetary goodness from Centauri Dreams.

Autism and the search for simple, direct answers — PZ Myers with a very detailed and cogent analysis of some of the new evidence on autism. Note that it does not involve vaccination denial and the deaths of children through preventable epidemics.

Kids of lesbians have fewer behavioral problems, study suggests — Obviously we need to stop gay marriage in its tracks. Otherwise we might have well-behaved children. (Note to the literally minded, English orthography does not include a sarcasm punctuation mark.)

New Policy on Gender Change in Passports Announced — Very nice to see our government doing the right thing here. I’m about as GLBT as your desk chair, but I have a lot of GLBT friends, and very glad to see this, simply as a matter of principle and basic human rights.

Souter’s Theory of InterpretationJustice Souter said he well understood, and indeed had shared, that “longing for a world without ambiguity, and for the stability of something unchanging in human institutions.” But he said he had come to accept and even embrace the “indeterminate world” in which a judge’s duty was to respect the words of the Constitution’s framers “by facing facts, and by seeking to understand their meaning for the living.”

On this ground, zero tolerance — Arab-American Christians protest proposed New York mosque near 9-11 site, threatened by white Christians, then removed. No racism here, nope nope. Nothing but Real Americans. Nothing to see citizen, move along.

?otD: How many countries have you visited? What’s your favorite?

Writing time yesterday: n/a (chemo exhaustion)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.5 (solid)
This morning’s weigh-in: 226.2
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 6/10
Currently (re)reading: Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad zones in the chair, thinks about life

Sally Forth on writing fantasy

The Roaring Secret — Ruthanne Reid on psychotic persistence and other writerly virtues.

“Little Red Riding Hood” seriously reinterpreted — (From LJ, but chemo brain lost the attribution.)

Day 21- Running 6 Miles! — Blake and I inspire through the Internet. You don’t need to shave your head in solidarity, but if you’ve been following my journey, go excercise, mm? And if you’re 50 or older, get tested for colorectal cancer. It can seem embarassing to get a colonoscopy, but doesn’t hurt, and early detection is key.

Taking Stock in the Testimony of the Crowd — Social media as history, reportage and social justice. (Thanks to my Dad.)

Great moments with Mr. Nixon — High weirdness from one of America’s greatest Republicans. Any party so much into its own history as to call itself the “party of Lincoln” (that well-known champion of states’ rights and Federal noninterference) needs to own Nixon and McCarthy, too, just as fully.

Lesbian Sgt. Discharged After Police Tell MilitaryThe 28-year-old’s honorable discharge under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy came only after police officers in Rapid City, S.D., saw an Iowa marriage certificate in her home and told the nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base. Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you’re best at.

More on the insanity of Texas textbook standards — Out of control conservative revisionism is ruining education for the next generation of all American children. And we wonder why we’re losing our competitive edge. It’s disgusting, quite frankly, and directly opposite to the “America First” ethos of those self-same conservatives. Not that intellectual consistency is any virtue for them.

Lessons from the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit voteHere are some things that happened on the night the GOP pushed the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit through the House of Representatives Much dirtier pool than anything the GOP is crying foul about over the current HCR process. Thank goodness for the Memory Hole, or voters and the press might actually notice some rank hypocrisy here. Nah, they’re Republicans, they must be doing the right thing. No anger from the Tea Party over this stuff, either.

Is US politics nastier than ever? — Hey, Tea Partiers, if use of reconciliation to pass HCR means civil war, as quoted in the article, where was your anger when Republicans used it repeatedly?

The New Rove-Cheney Assault on RealityTo hear them tell it, 9/11 was so completely Bill Clinton’s fault that it retroactively happened while he was still in office. The Bush White House is equally blameless for the post-9/11 resurgence of the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Iran Ah, the Memory Hole. Supported by Your Liberal Media. These are conservative lies of Big Lie proportions, that largely go unchallenged.

?otD: Where did you leave your heart?

Writing time yesterday: 0 minutes (infusion day)
Body movement: brief walk later today
Hours slept: 8.75 (solid)
This morning’s weigh-in: 233.2
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 6/10
Currently reading: [between books]