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[links] Link salad shivers awake

Learning a language is like learning to drive a car, and studying linguistics is like learning to become a mechanic.

Interactive dialect map

5 lies you were told about grief — (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Let’s Talk About Death — The conservation project. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

How to change the world $1 at a time — Guerrilla bank marketing. This is cool. ([info]danjite.)

The Cubli — Huh? (Via [info]willtumtx.)

New Salt Compounds Challenge the Foundation of Chemistry”The rules of chemistry are not like mathematical theorems, which cannot be broken,” he says. “The rules of chemistry can be broken, because impossible only means ‘softly’ impossible! You just need to find conditions where these rules no longer hold” (Via David Goldman.)

Research spotlight: microbubbles for therapeutic delivery. — Theranostic microbubbles? (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Into the Bitcoin Mines — Via Dad, an article about BitCoin. And from Charlie Stross,a counterpoint.

Researchers Find Factors Tied To Voting Restriction Bills Are ‘Basically All Racial’ — Wow. A non-evidence-based conservative hobby horse having racial implications? No one could possibly have foreseen this!

The other America — Scraping by on $140,000 a year is so hard. This is why rural America votes so solidly Republican, to help people trapped in those low six-figure jobs by supporting tax cuts for the wealthy.

?otD: How cold do you feel?


12/22/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 235.8
Number of FEMA troops on my block falsifying climate change data: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad could be another Lincoln

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Tolkien — Daniel Larison is very unhappy with Peter Jackson. I pretty much agree with his points, though I am perhaps less vociferous in my articulation thereof.

Literary self-loathing: How Jonathan Franzen, Elizabeth Gilbert and more keep it at bay — Really? Yeah, maybe for them, but I’m with Scalzi on this one. Doubts are one thing, we all have those, but if you do struggle with genuine self-loathing, see a doctor, get that fixed, and write more. If you don’t struggle with genuine self-loathing, quit posing and write more.

Just in time for Santa!

Taxidermy mouse chess set — For all your gift giving needs. (Via [info]lillypond, a/k/a my sister.)

Repent now. Geographers map 7 deadly sins. — Mmm, lust. (Via [info]lillypond, a/k/a my sister.)

New attack steals e-mail decryption keys by capturing computer soundsScientists use smartphone to extract secret key of nearby PC running PGP app. (Via David Goldman.)

Full-size car made of 500,000 Legos really drives — Whee!

Video shows stunning penguin ‘traveling wave’ — Simulating penguins? (Via David Goldman.)

DNA from Neanderthal toe links ancestors to inbreeding — Headline of the week.

Possible Planet in Nearby Brown Dwarf System

The Big SqueezeWhat happens if you crush an organic substance between diamond anvils? Researchers are finding out, with ramifications for our knowledge of Earth’s core. (Via my Dad.)

A quantum revolution against Feynman diagramsWe all love Richard Feynman, but his diagrams may have to go.

Did Rock Weathering Trigger ‘Snowball Earth’?

The Gangs of Chicago — Ta-Nehisi Coates about being black on the street. Sigh,

Tolerating ChristiansThere’s a persistent, pernicious sentiment from certain Christian conservatives that they’re being persecuted or oppressed for their religious beliefs. It’s a very comforting and self-valorizing perspective that doesn’t need to be rooted in reality to feel real to the people who hold. Rather like pretty much every conservative position I could name. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Pope Francis and the Naked Christ

Good Grief and Great Tits” Sitting Down to Read Sarah Palin’s Christmas Book While I Bake Christmas Cookies for My FamilyModern conservatives have made “merry Christmas” toxic by associating it with Christian fundamentalism, religious intolerance, and the politics of imagined persecution. Yep. This exactly. I never say it any more, because I don’t want someone to accidentally think I’m a Christianist asshole. Unlike so many Bible-believing Christian conservatives, I actually think it’s important to love my neighbor rather than hate them. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Hobby Lobby is fine with forced abortions and mandatory contraception in China, but balks at voluntary contraception for American women — To which I say, which part of “religious conservative” do you not understand? The term is literally and irretrievably synonymous with sanctimonious hypocrisy. Smug Republican Jesus wouldn’t have it any other way, after all.

My abstinence-only educationI was 17 before I found an adult who told me the simple truth about sex. Until then, I heard some crazy things. But abstinence education makes smug Republican Jesus smile! And that’s way more important than protecting and enabling our kids to live in the reality-based world. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Is Edward Snowden a modern Martin Luther? — There’s an angle I never thought of.

GOP Rep Hartzler has flag moved so that it blocks Obama portrait — Now imagine if you will for a moment the reaction if some moderate Democrat had done such a thing during the Bush administration. I mean, I know hypocrisy is more natural to conservatives than breathing, but just think about the firestorm in Your Liberal Media. Versus this chuckling little story.

The death of the American Dream in a single image — Burgeoning income inequality, shrinking social mobility. All a very logical outcome of decades of Republican economy policy. We’re living in conservative paradise.

?otD: Got MRI?


12/19/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 237.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block falsifying climate change data: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad watches the snow fall like soft memories liberated from the failing mind of God

If Only for a Second — Remaking cancer patients. This made me cry. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

From Tudors to Turducken: An Engastration Tale — Engastration? (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Seams Geeky | Items Sewn with Love for the Chic Geek — A Kickstarter for some high quality embroidered geek gear. Me, I’m down for the Schlock Mercenary stuff.

Google Glass prescription frames spotted but concerns linger — Yay for this. If I were not so sick as to make the project more or less pointless, I’d be very actively pursuing a prescription version of Google Glass.

Nymi Is A Heartwave-Sensing Wristband That Wants To Replace All Your Passwords & Keys — And more than that. From the department of weird future tech. (Via David Goldman.)

Microsoft designs smart bra to combat emotional eating — What happens when your smart bra has a blue screen of death? I guess that would be the ultimate Nerd World problem.

Wafer-scale production of graphene devices to become a reality

NASA May Test Its Lunar Green Thumb

Everest Panorama from Mars — Mars!

Solar would be Cheaper: US Pentagon has spent $8 Trillion to Guard Gulf Oil — Imagine what we could have done in alternative energy with an eight trillion dollar research budget. Instead of warring for oil, destroying whole countries, and slaughtering people wholesale.

Top 25 Censored Stories from 2012-2013 — (Via [info]danjite.)

The Mandela Problem of the Angry White Male Wing of the GOP — Wing? That’s the whole GOP. Duh.

?otD: How deep is your slush?


12/8/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (restless)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad really doesn’t mind if you sit this one out

Heroines in an ancient film called the flame of the west — How it all looks lately from the point of view of Lisa Costello.

How I Thank God[info]theferrett on illness, faith and science.

The Strength of Wild Horses — A Kickstarter by Sandra Tayler. Check it out.

25 Everyday Things You Never Knew Had Names — I knew about half of these. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Bend’s First Fire Engine Will Be Home For Christmas — A little bit of Oregon history.

Moving Stars: The Shkadov Thruster

What scared H. P. Lovecraft — Charlie Stross is (as usual) clever and cool.

2D or Not 2D — Facial art. Wow. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

The Front of This House Is Sliding Onto the Street — I love public art. (Thanks to Lezli Robyn.)

Winners of the Dance Your PhD Competition Revealed — Hahah. (Via David Goldman.)

Solving the neural code conundrum: digital or analogue?Physicists have developed a technique that can tell which parts of the brain rely on analogue signals and which rely in digital signals.

Tracking Fecal TransplantsA long-term study confirms transplants of stool microbes from healthy donors can successfully clear recurrent Clostridium difficile infections.

Modern life ‘turning people off sex’ — Hmm.

Restaurants may seat guests according to looks. Surprise, surprise

Google Earth spies unreported fish traps, study reveals — Satellite surveillance from your armchair.

US Working Overtime Behind The Scenes To Kill UN Plan To Protect Online Privacy From Snooping — Because security, you commie. (Thanks to David Goldman.)

48% of U.S. Schoolchildren Live in Poverty — A rising tide lifts only yachts.

Pope Denounces Trickle-Down Economics ‘Which Has Never Been Confirmed By The Facts’ — Wow. That’s a big old ‘fuck you’ to the GOP-Church axis in America. A great smackdown to the smug Republican Jesus who dominates the public face of religion in America.

Slacktivist Fred Clark on (among other things) Senate politicsDistrict court nominations by white presidents filibustered in U.S. Senate in all of American history: 3. District court nominations by black presidents filibustered in U.S. Senate: 20. Senate filibusters of executive nominees by white presidents since World War II: 20. Senate filibusters of executive nominees by black presidents since World War II: 54 From the department of painfully true things you will never, ever hear any conservative admit. Tell me again about that unprecedented Democratic power grab in the Senate?

?otD: Do my words make you whisper?


11/27/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 241.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block closing down donut shops: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad gets ready to go clean house

We Are All Strange — The final video edit.

The 2014 John Picacio Calendar — A Kickstarter for a project of which I am a small part.

14 Ways to Tick off a Writer — Because reasons.

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin rules out sharing Westeros — (Via Scrivener’s Error.)

★What are some of the funniest and most clever advertisements? — Heh. (Via David Goldman.)

This Device Lets You Order A Pizza With The Push Of A Button — Mmmm. Pizza. (Thanks to [info]garyomaha.)

Someone Just Got $237,000 in Debt Forgiven! — Strike Debt does good, in the Biblical sense of Jubilee. (Thanks to [info]daveraines.)

British Railways Locomotives — This is cool. From 1948.

Wounded QR codes — Some serious geekery for you. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Meteorite impacts capture time capsules of the ecosystems they destroyBiological molecules from the site of impact get preserved by molten rock. I’ve been on dates like that.

Oldest signs of life on Earth foundScientists discover potentially oldest signs of life on Earth – 3.5 billion-year-old microbe traces in rocks in Australia.

It was hard to stomach David Cameron preaching austerity from a golden throneAs a waitress at the lord mayor’s banquet, the contrast between what Cameron was saying and where he was saying it felt particularly chilling. Scenes from the class war. (Via Lisa Costello.)

?otD: Where did you hide the silver?


11/14/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing children to learn critical thinking skills: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad bumbles into a faraway weekend

Jade — A middling review of the French edition of my novel Green.

The Jay Wake Book is Complete — Hooray for Sandra Tayler, hero of the revolution!

Classic TV show maps – in picturesAt first the arrangements seem random, but with Monty Python’s Flying Circus across the road from Fawlty Towers, and The Killing adjacent to The Bridge (and The Tunnel), this street map for TV addicts includes more than 700 television shows, linked by a multifarious set of connections. (Thanks to AH.)

What makes creativity tick?While some believe creativity is spontaneous, Michigan State University neuroscientist Jeremy Gray suspects there’s a lot of hard work going on in the brain even when the proverbial light bulb going off feels effortless. Like hell creativity is spontaneous. I mean, of course it can be, but any working creative professional can tell you that there’s a lot of discipline, structure and work involved. As a society, we have such odd notions about writers and artists. (Via David Goldman.)

100 Diagrams That Changed the WorldA visual history of human sensemaking, from cave paintings to the world wide web. (Via Lisa Costello.)

10 of the world’s most scenic cemeteries — A subject of some personal interest to me lately.

Sick mum ‘belittled’ by Air New Zealand — Wow, I thought Air New Zealand had treated me poorly, but this is just depraved. And an update here; apparently the airline has apologized, but the horribly discriminatory policy did and does exist, so it obviously seemed like a good idea to Air New Zealand right up until they were publicly embarrassed in the media. (Via [info]danjite.)

13 Horrifying Ways to Die (If You’re an Arthropod) — Fascinatingly weird images and story, but trigger warning if you’re icked out by insects, spiders, or nature red of tooth and claw. (Thanks, I think, to [info]willyumtx.)

A partial eclipse will bring a strange sunrise SundaySunday morning, everyone on or near the Eastern Seaboard has a rare chance to watch an eerie celestial spectacle at sunrise. The sun will come up over the east horizon while in a partial solar eclipse. Instead of a golden ball, the sun will be a weird, upside-down thick crescent with, as seen from New England, a big bite missing from its lower right. That is, it will if the weather permits. I saw the total eclipse in 1991 with a completely clear sky. It was amazing.

Les Johnson: Big Projects and Deep Time

Slow-moving zombie technologies that refuse to dieJust when you think they’re obsolete, they rise from your desk and bite.

Climate Change Seen Posing Risk to Food Supplies — Another day, another liberal lie. Thank God for Rush Limbaugh and the Republican party, or we might actually have to worry about this stuff.

What’s the greatest threat to economic growth? It’s climate change. — Amazing, the lengths liberals will go to for their hoax. Even to maybe crashing the world economy.

Another Obamacare horror story debunked — Huh. A conservative talking point that turns out not to be true. Who could possibly imagine a Republican bearing false witness about healthcare? (Via Davis Goldman.)

SecDef orders 9 rogue red-state National Guards to recognize spouses of gay US troops — Conservatives just can’t help themselves. They have to hurt somebody to feel good. I’m only amazed that there’s meaningful pushback on this particular bit of Republican bigotry.

Neo-Bircher apocalyptic politics harms the people who embrace itOur politics is hobbled by a determined, motivated, vindictive bloc of voters driven by fear, ignorance and resentment of the Other. That’s a problem for all of us and it’s a big reason why we can’t have nice things. It does real harm and causes real pain to those it demonizes and targets — usually vulnerable outsiders and poor people. Yes, this. They’re called conservatives.

?otD: Who are you helping today?


11/2/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing children to learn critical thinking skills: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad wishes the Child a Happy Birthday

Unusable Words — Auto-antonyms and other peccadilloes of the English language. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

A Tale of Two Drugs — How ultra high priced pharmaceuticals work in the market. For comparison, my core cancer drug costs $116,400 per year, face value before carrier contracts and discounting.

Hitchhiking virus confirms saga of ancient human migration

Ghost advertising on old buildings — There used to be more of these in Portland, but they’ve been slowly disappearing.

Burlesque Dancer Twerks To Beethoven, Which Is As Amazing As It Sounds — Because reasons! (Via David Goldman.)

George Washington University misrepresented admissions and financial aid policy for yearsThe University admitted publicly for the first time Friday that it puts hundreds of undergraduate applicants on its waitlist each year because they cannot pay GW’s tuition. Administrators now say the admissions process has always factored in financial need. But that contradicts messaging from the admissions and financial aid offices that, as recently as Saturday, have regularly attested that the University remained need-blind. Classy. Very classy.

Goblin Toppler Files Personal Injury Lawsuit Prior to Incident — So one of those “real American” Utah vandals is also a lawsuit cheat? I wonder what he thinks of people who receive welfare or food stamps. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

How much warming does new IPCC report see in our future?Understanding how the report’s projections are generated and what they tell us. Amazing what you learn about the world when you listen to reality instead of ideology.

One Big Problem With Heritage’s New Obamacare StudyThe conservative Heritage Foundation released last week a new report on insurance premiums under Obamacare, and the conclusion was that favorite of conservative talking points: people are going to pay more for insurance under Obamacare. Only the foundation left out one key variable in the equation, one that undermines their conclusion that “individuals in most states will end up spending more on the exchanges.” As always with conservatives, they cannot win the on the merits, so they flat out lie. It’s a good strategy for them, because people remember the lie, not the later mumbled retraction, if it even ever occurs.

Inhofe: Obamacare would have killed me because of ‘my age’ — So if this is news, how come the media doesn’t report on the thousands of people like me who would be dead if the GOP got its way and repealed Obamacare? The ACA’s lifting of spending caps is what has kept me in treatment at all. Not only that, Inhofe is either lying about how Obamacare works or seriously confused. Given that he’s a Republican, I know which one I believe.

The real reason that 500,000 people died in Iraq — This comment from the Bush White House will make you ashamed to be an American, and a human being. Unless you’re a Republican, in which case you’ll likely approve, just like you have all along.

How Texas’ Voter ID Laws Affect WomenSusan B. Anthony once said, “No self-respecting woman would wish or work for the success of a party which ignores her political rights.” It’s times like these that one has to wonder how there can be a single woman left supporting the Republican Party as it goes out of its way to deny minorities and women their constitutional rights.

Texas Judge Quits GOP Over Social Issues, ShutdownAs the smallest minds continue to make the loudest noise in the Republican Party, true leaders will be driven by their principles and values to become Texas Democrats,” he said in the statement. Wow is that well put. America surely needs a conservative party for the sake of political balance, but not the Christianist, hate-fueled, reality-denying freakshow that the GOP has become. (For that matter, American needs a liberal party, too. The current Democrats are essentially Richard Nixon’s GOP, and everyone else in the political mainstream has run to the right: that redefinition of the political center is the ultimate victory of Ronald Reagan, and the ultimate punishment this country has had to endure for the sake of the senile old fraud’s success.)

?otD: How old are you today?


10/22/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 241.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block reopening National Parks: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad has no courage

12 Bar Blues – Piano Duet with Peter the Elephant – Thailand — Wow, this is neat.

Kentucky’s Case of the Missing Bourbon

Kennedy’s Vision for Mental Health Never Realized

As midnight strikes, same-sex couples wed across New Jersey — Strangely enough, nowhere in America have the hysterical predictions of conservative bigots about DADT, DOMA and gay marriage come true. Strangely enough, while Your Liberal Media was happy to give those cynical, knowing lies a full airing before such changes, there’s never any follow up or accountability after the fact for conservative lies.

Sanders: Climate Change more Menacing than Terrorism — So are firearms, by any metric you care to name except lives lost per incident. We don’t do anything either of these huge threats to our national interest, as neither the climate nor the gun industry is promoted by Muslim terrorists, apparently.

Republicans blame each other after shutdown fiasco Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Jeb Bush say the party needs to pick better battles, but Sen. Ted Cruz vows to fight on. We can only hope this goes on.

Virtual secessionism — Yes, this discussion of GOP dynamics rings very true for me.

?otD: WHat about brains and a heart?


10/21/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 241.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block reopening National Parks: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad’s face at first just ghostly

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreamingA lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens. (Via AH.)

A brief history of young adult literature

The Meat Is Only the StartHungry City: Umami Burger in Greenwich Village. Mmm mmm. (Thanks to Dad.)

Colourful ‘solar glass’ means entire buildings can generate clean powerBritish firm develops colourful, transparent solar cells that will add just 10% to glass buildings’ cost. (Thanks to Ellen Eades.)

Popeye in PerspectiveIn the 1934 animated film “A Dream Walking” by the Fleischer Studios, Olive Oyl sleepwalks on a skyscraper’s scaffolding, as Popeye and Bluto try to save her. It’s a tour de force of perspective, switching effortlessly between one-, two-, and three-point perspective.

Could a Vaccine for PTSD Protect Soldiers?

Santa Fe Flyer: 1943 — Holy crap, this photo. I love industrial imagines, but an entire steam locomotive being hoisted through the air… wow…

Big clawed fossil had spider-like brainScientists have discovered the best-preserved nervous system in an ancient fossil.

Vast meteorite pulled from Russian lake, breaks upIt’s half a ton big and it came from outer space. At least that’s what Russian scientists say. Yet when they try to weigh it, it breaks into pieces.

“Thank You, Doctor. And Now, for the Opposing View, Here’s Joe Camel.”And while it chaps my hide, stuff like this is what I expect from Heartland. What really gets me is that USA Today gave Heartland a place to confuse the public about global warming. If they ran a piece about satellites, would they get an “opposing view” from a Flat Earther? Global warming is no more a controversy than Young Earth Creationism. Only conservative political pressure keeps that question alive at all, that and the media’s terror at being labelled liberal for reporting on what’s really in the world.

Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches New Maximum Extent — And yes, this is an expected part of climate change, too.

The American Genocide Against Iraq: 4% of Population Dead as result of US sanctions, wars — Remember, kids, the Iraq War was a trillion dollar war-of-choice started on knowingly false pretenses by a Republican administration eager to be seen doing something about an attack on the United States which Iraq had nothing to do with. Plus maybe oil. And PNAC. Yet somehow people still imagine the GOP to be patriotic stewards of America’s national interest.

The Radical Christian Right and the War on Government — Ah, Dominionism, that ultimate expression God’s love as taught to us by smug, hateful Republican Jesus. (Via David Goldman.)

Scalia’s word problem — So true. Heh. The conservative mind is indeed a wonder to behold.

Thanks to the Shutdown, Republicans Are Losing Ground in Numerous Senate Races — We can only hope this will last. The country should be so lucky.

Nine things we missed during the shutdown — American conservatives are why can’t have nice things in this country.

GOP: We can easily avoid default Thursday by not paying Social Security checks — Mmm. Compassionate conservatism. Are you proud of your Republican party?

Pro-shutdown SD ranchers upset shutdown means no federal aid for devastating blizzard — Ah, the vaunted intellectual consistency of American conservatism. As I keep saying, no one, especially not conservatives, likes conservative policies when applied to them personally.

Senate Debt Deal Screeches To Halt As U.S. Looks Over The Cliff“We won’t be the last political party to overplay our hand,” he said. “It might happen one day on the Democratic side. And if it did, would Republicans, for the good of the country, kinda give a little? We really did go too far. We screwed up. But their response is making things worse, not better.” What has happened in the last thirty years of politics that would lead anyone with a pulse to imagine that the Republicans would “kinda give a little” if they had the Democrats backed into a bad political corner? This is incredibly self-serving tripe from Senator Graham.

Republicans never demanded Obamacare repeal, says Republican who demanded ‘getting rid of Obamacare’ — Of course, the GOP’s base of low-information voters will believe this flat out lie, and blame it all on Obama. But they always do.

Heritage Action: Fight Against Obamacare Will Go On — The Heritage Foundation’s Dan Holler lies smugly about the supposed disaster that is the successful Heritage Foundation healthcare proposal known as the ACA.

The huge health-care subsidy everyone is ignoringThe political right has paralyzed government over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, on the grounds that the ACA represents an unacceptable government intrusion into what today is the province of private markets. But the premise is fundamentally untrue. What? A cherished Republican talking point untrue? Not possible! (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

?otD: What shade of pale did you turn?


10/17/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 243.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing laws passed under the Constitutional process and fully subjected to judicial review: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad wonders about the taste of fish

Gratitude and Stewardship — My friend and fellow cancer patient on living onward through the disease. I like this post.

Codex Seraphinianus — Wow. What a weird and cool piece of bibliographic art. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Reflections — These photos are gorgeous and bittersweet. (Thanks to AH.)

Study Shows Eating Bacon Will Make You Live Longer — According to Lisa Costello, in that case, I should live forever. (Thanks to [info]garyomaha.)

Getting Into the SpiritA former mental hospital in West Virginia, rumored to be a hotbed of paranormal activity, lets visitors search for their own ghost story to tell. (Thanks to Dad.)

Rare blood-filled mosquito fossil found — Wasn’t this how Jurassic Park began?

If the Moon was at the same distance as the ISS — That’s pretty intense. (Thanks to [info]threeoutside.)

So Far, Smart Watches Are Pretty Dumb

For shame: Trolls defeat Scientific American, Popular Science

My Two Cents on Feminism and Miley Cyrus — Fascinating.

Jay Lake, Cancer, and God #8: The Intersection — My friend pastor [info]daveraines continues his series about me, God and cancer. I’ll write a more detailed response to this post sometime soon.

The “We’re Not All Like That” project — A contrary view of the NALT project I was commenting favorably on yesterday. Since this perspective almost precisely mirrors my own view of so-called moderate Republicans, I do feel the power of the argument. (Via [info]gwyd.)

State Troopers Say Maryland’s AG Is a Terrible Backseat Driver — This guy is a seriously privileged asshole. And running for governor of Maryland as a Democrat. You’re supposed to be the good guys… Sigh.

North Carolina: Marriage Ban Is Challenged — Even in a Red State moral desert like North Carolina, the right thing occasionally happens.

New Low in Election Fraud — This is what was supposed to happen in Ohio in 2012, which is why Karl Rove got so upset and walked off the air. The failure of the Republican plan to steal the election for Romney through polling fraud is what so many on the right now consider Obama’s stealing of the election by the nefarious means of winning the popular vote. (Thanks to David Goldman.)

The “Pragmatic” Politics of SubtractionMuch of the party’s current toxicity with the public is the legacy of the last era of united Republican government. The Bush era was the political disaster from which Republicans have been recovering. Cruz isn’t helping to get the party out of the deep hole where the Bush administration put it, but driving his supporters out of the party would be even more politically self-destructive than the tactics that Cruz has been employing this year.

Here’s Why We Have a Debt Ceiling in the First Place

False equivalence: how ‘balance’ makes the media dangerously dumbWe’ve seen it in climate change reporting; we see it in shutdown coverage. Journalists should be unbiased, yes, but not brainless. Many of my conservative friends think “false equivalency” is a liberal myth. Which is a lot like my Christian friends thinking they’re persecuted: an erroneous and self-valorizing response to the challenge of their unconscious privilege.

Rep. Van Hollen on House Rule Change on Shutdown Vote: “Democracy has been Suspended!”Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) went viral in a YouTube video he released of his parliamentary inquiries on a change in House rules that forbade individual members to initiate a motion to open the Federal government. Only the Speaker of the House can now do so, in a highly undemocratic step. Yes, the House leadership did this. Think about that the next time you blame Obama, or even Republican extremists. (Though how you can tell “extremists” from the rest of the GOP is completely opaque to me.) The party leadership gamed the rules in a midnight change to keep the shutdown from being ended by an open vote.

The Dixiecrat SolutionConservative activists are simply not willing to give up on the idea of ruling through extortion, and the Obama administration has decided, wisely, that it will not give in to extortion. Ah, the patriotic, democratic values of conservatives are always on proud display.

Republicans Aren’t the Daddy Party Anymore — This is freaking hilarious. (Via David Goldman.)

50 years later, the ‘Fright-peddlers’ are still peddling fright — Conservatives never change. Really. The same angry paranoias on parade today were just as powerful fifty years ago, and just as wrong fifty years ago. Go read this, no matter what your politics.

?otD: Do you eat seafood?


10/15/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 242.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing laws passed under the Constitutional process and fully subjected to judicial review: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad takes a walk with its sister, the moon

The C-Word or “C” is for Cancer — Author Eugie Foster is in great and sudden need, something I understand all too well. I will be shifting some of the funds raised for me to Eugie. Please join me in helping her.

You can do a lot in a lifetime if you don’t burn out too fastLisa Costello on her first year in Portland (with me).

METAtropolis: Green Space is now available for pre-order — Edited by [info]kenscholes and me. Stories by Elizabeth Bear, Tobias S. Buckell, Mary Robinette Kowal, Seanan McGuire, Ken Scholes, Karl Schroeder and me. Check it out.

A favorable Russian review of Escapement

8-year-old flags ‘sexist’ children’s books; bookstore takes notice — Wow. (Via [info]threeoutside, among others.)

Wind Turbine Bird Threat Overstated, Study Suggests — (Via David Goldman.)

Galloping robot “WildCat” — Crazy video. (Via [info]threeoutside, among others.)

When to Catch a Lie via TextA recent experiment finds that when people are about to lie via digital text they take longer to construct their words. I can think of about a million things wrong with this, but it is still interesting. (Via David Goldman.)

Shutdown Stops T. Rex Trek in Its TracksThe ongoing government shutdown has stalled plans to haul a near-complete T. rex fossil to its new home at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, a federal institution forced to shut its doors last week.

Creationism and Climate ChangeSkepticism about evolutionary science, it seems, bleeds over into suspicion of all mainstream science. If mainstream science has been proven, from creationists’ perspective, to be a naked emperor, then its conclusions on every topic must be treated warily. I’ve been saying precisely this about conservative politics and culture for years. Privileging evolution denial has validated magical thinking at all levels and devaluated evidence-based reasoning. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Judge Demands Sikh Man Take Off His “Rag” — American conservatives: always at the forefront of the battle for religious liberty. Their religious liberty, not anyone else’s, of course. Sarah Palin “real American” bonus points for total indifferent ignorance about the differences between Muslims and Sikhs. (Via [info]goulo.)

A Ghost of May Days Past: East Germany Rises Again! — Politics and the map.

Inquisitive Justices? No Argument There

What did Justice Scalia mean? — A linguist takes on the Supreme Court’s most narrow-minded and intellectually dishonest justice. (And that’s saying something.)

Why the Devil Quit Bothering Pigs, According to Justice Scalia — And this man sits on the Supreme Court. Are you proud of your Republican party?

The Craigslist Ad That Will Make The Government Shutdown Seem Hilarious — This is pretty funny.

Despite federal shutdown, MAVEN mission still blasting off to MarsKey role as communications hub keeps probe on schedule.

How Democrats Got a Spine“Dealing with terrorists has taught us some things,” said Washington Rep. Jim McDermott after voting no on one of Thursday’s GOP bills. “You can’t deal with ’em. This mess was created by the Republicans for one purpose, and they lost. People in my district are calling in for Obamacare—affordable health care—in large numbers. These guys have lost, and they can’t figure out how to admit it.”

Deadlock — Jim Wright on the government shutdown. A must-read, especially if you consider yourself a supporter of the shutdown.

The Importance of CompetenceLosing the last election seems to have exhausted Republicans’ patience rather than forcing them to scale back their ambitions. Winning parties are often guilty of overreaching and imagining that they have an electoral mandate to advance their preferred agenda no matter what, but it is very unusual for a losing party to have the same delusions of grandeur. The simple answer to that is that Republicans don’t think they lost. They’ve never considered Obama’s victories legitimate. Listen to their rhetoric: conservatives see themselves as the aggrieved victims of liberal conspiracies to steal elections. They know perfectly well how much they have to manipulate voting rolls, turnout and polling to win, and cannot imagine Democrats doing anything different.

?otD: Have you been living underground, eating from a can?


10/8/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 242.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing laws passed under the Constitutional process and fully subjected to judicial review: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad for the last days of a better nation

Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família — A video showing the planned completion of Gaudí’s designs for the cathedral in Barcelona. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Terrifying Lake Turns Birds Into Statues — Real or art project? Does it matter? (Via Lisa Costello.)

Who’s got guts? Young infants expect animals to have insides — Mmm. Sweetbreads. (Via David Goldman.)

SETI: Looking for von Neumann Probes

Supervolcanoes ripped up early Mars

Making the case for life having originated on MarsMars’ early environment might have been more hospitable than Earth’s.

Beach cuspsBeach cusps are arc-like patterns of sediment that appear on shorelines around the world. Cusps consist of horns, made up of coarse materials, connected by a curved embayment that contains finer particles. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Health of oceans ‘declining fast’

A climate skeptic states his caseIt’s an odd mix of hard-core physics, basic errors, and digs at Al Gore. Since there simply is no coherent evidence-based argument supporting climate change denialism, the errors are inevitable.

The Role of Conspiracist Ideation and Worldviews in Predicting Rejection of Science Among American Conservatives, but not Liberals, trust in science has been declining since the 1970’s. Climate science has become particularly polarized, with Conservatives being more likely than Liberals to reject the notion that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the globe. Conversely, opposition to genetically-modified (GM) foods and vaccinations is often ascribed to the political Left although reliable data are lacking. There are also growing indications that rejection of science is suffused by conspiracist ideation, that is the general tendency to endorse conspiracy theories including the specific beliefs that inconvenient scientific findings constitute a “hoax.” (Via Jaws.)

Poll: Large Number Of Republicans Believe Conspiracy Theories On Guns, Sharia Law — Because being conservative means never having to acknowledge reality.

Effects of Shutdown Felt in the Final Frontier

National Parks: Shutting Down America’s Best Idea — Welcome to conservative America: no hope, no change, and nothing works.

Blame the Bush Era for Current Republican Dysfunction — Frankly, I think the roots go back to Reagan and the GOP’s attempt to recover from the disaster that was Nixon. We’ve been paying the price for deliberately toxic conservative politics since 1980.

Top Ten Things Ted Cruz did to the NSA and other Security Agencies that Edward Snowden Couldn’t — The patriotism of Republicans knows no bounds.

The Shutdown Caucus Explains Itself — The conservative mind is a wonder to behold.

Where Poor and Uninsured Americans Live The 26 Republican-dominated states not participating in an expansion of Medicaid are home to a disproportionate share of the nation’s poorest uninsured residents. Eight million will be stranded without insurance. Hence the overwhelming conservative passion to deny the Socialist scourge of affordable healthcare access.

150 Years of Racism: Attitudes in the American SouthA new paper by Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell, and Maya Sen has discovered that the proportion of enslaved residents in 1860 — 153 years ago — predicts race-related beliefs today. As the percent of the population in a county accounted for by the enslaved increases, there is a decreased likelihood that contemporary white residents will identify as a Democrat and support affirmative action, and an increased chance that they will express negative beliefs about black people.

Perry: Wife Misspoke About Abortion — Oops. A brief glimmer of sanity from a GOP spouse is swiftly walked back.

?otD: Remember when government worked?


10/3/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 242.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block implementing Kenyan Muslim socialism by helping poor people see doctors: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)