Site Meter
Now she walks through her sunken dream to the seat with the clearest view
And she's hooked to the silver screen,
but the film is a saddening bore for she's lived it ten times or more
She could spit in the eyes of fools as they ask her to focus on
Sailors fighting in the dance hall, oh man!
Look at those cavemen go, it's the freakiest show
Take a look at the Lawman beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know he's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Linkee-poo wanders through the sports ball weekend

Just a heads up that the hospital work is going to explode for the next month as a departure in a choice position settles out throughout the workforce. This may disrupt regular postings.

Matt (f'ing) Wallace on publishing/submitting. YMMV.(Grokked from Chia Evers)

So, how's that "the next generation will embrace ebooks" thing going? Ninety-two percent of college students prefer paper books over ebooks (for anything longer than an article). That good, huh. Who'd a thunk it. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

Marginalia. In case you didn't know (and didn't read your Umberto Eco). (Grokked from Steven Brust)

Fred Clark on recent events in his life (well, okay, in January), human worth, the supposed "Wisdom of the Market", and optimism. Mr. Clark, aka the Slactivist, is also running his own fund raiser. "What’s the best way to allocate the resource of this scrawny, brainy guy who has years of experience honing a useful craft? Let’s employ him as muscle. Brilliant." Well, I'm not exactly scrawny, but damn, that's exactly what I was thinking during my last job search. And it well and truly sucks to be in that position and has been the main impetus behind my own reboot. Hang in there, Fred.

XKCD on kerning. Bwahahahaha. (Grokked from Kelly Link)

"More than 40 years after her burial in an unmarked Philadelphia grave, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, gospel’s first superstar and its most celebrated crossover figure, is enjoying a burst of Internet celebrity." This year I think people have finally caught the hang of Black History Month. (Grokked from Patrick Nielsen Hayden)

"Scientist have spotted hills made of ice floating in a sea of frozen nitrogen in Pluto’s 'heart,' one of the dwarf planet’s must (sic) distinct regions because of its shape." The universe is stranger than you think. (Grokked from Christopher Moore)

RIP Moore's Law. We knew it was coming (and really hadn't been in good health for the last decade). (Grokked from John)

Five things to understand about people who have lost a child. (Grokked from Janiece)

"Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature." Steven Brust rants about the nattering nabobs of negativism.

"The incinerated partial remains of at least 274 American troops were dumped in a Virginia landfill, according to government records…" :: staring slack-jawed :: "Changes in disposal policies came about after an in-depth review at Dover was ordered in 2008 by then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates." I should hope fucking so. I often metaphorically ask for heads to roll, this time it's not so metaphorically. (Grokked from Janiece)

When conservative candidates talk about changing the direction the country is going, understand that they want to reverse this. Note that GDP "slowed" to 0.7%, which isn't good.

"You had a surge of federal money for sterilizations, mainstream feminists calling for easier access to them, a fear that overpopulation would soon destroy the planet and the fear that poor women were burdening the country with children whom taxpayers would need to feed, clothe and educate." And they complain about funding Planned Parenthood. (Grokked from Janiece)

Tweet of my heart: @StevenBrust Ever notice how those who say the problem is people wanting too much stuff are people who can afford lots of stuff? #nocontext

Friday, February 5, 2016

Linkee-poo hopes the world sees the same person that you’ve always been to me

Some days I wonder just what the hell I'm doing in the day job.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is online for all your Latiny and Old English gratification. (Grokked from Sarah Goslee)

Need a good checklist to make sure your convention is accessible all your guests? Well, SFWA has a pretty good checklist. (Grokked from Merrie Haskell)

Terry Gilliam reveals how he did it. His cut-out animation, that is. (Grokked from Neil Gaiman)

The slow turn of cultural perceptions. In this case, about how Dads are perceived in our Western Civ. (Grokked from Marie Vibbert)

We are special. As a species. And here you see the blind spot in most science. We can not see the world except through our eyes. By the same reasoning, lactobacillus is also a special snowflake. And all life on earth is special, unlikely to have an exact analog in other biosystems. Although animals will fill similar niches, and we believe the basic functions of life would be the same, you can look at life on Earth and see how many different ways nature solves the same problems in different ways. So, we are probably unique in the universe. But so is the ant.

Tweet of my heart: @KameronHurley Agency life is weird. Many clients come and go. You have to both care VERY much (to do great work) & not at all (if work is lost).

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Linkee-poo keep me safe, lie with me, stay beside me, don't go, don't you go

John le Carré on the art of fiction. (Grokked form Terri Windling)

Good news for mice! Scientist have bred a mouse that allows them to (with a drug) kill off cells that have stopped dividing, leading to 25% longer and healthier life. Unfortunately, it's not so easy in humans, and those cells may be protecting us from some cancers.

Buzz-kills! The CDC recommends that sexually active women who are not using birth control should avoid alcohol consumption. While scientifically a valid statement (as alcohol consumption while pregnant, especially in the early stages, can cause birth defects, not all of which are noticeable), slightly tone-deaf in delivery. So people are rightfully outraged. Also, it's a recommendation not a mandate. This is what the CDC does, "Hey, there's this health problem, how do we reduce morbidity and mortality?" And if you don't think this is a problem when I work in X-ray, you haven't had one lately. I've gotten pretty used to asking, "any chance of pregnancy, when was your last menstrual cycle?" I also know when and where to ask (especially if the patient is a minor with parents in the room). Why, because if you are pregnant and we X-ray you (I try to shield even for the most minor exams) it is exactly the wrong time for the fetus (x-ray exposure in the early weeks typically leads spontaneous abortion, although not always). If it's an abdominal exam, oh yea, I am much more strict about that (note there are times when we must, a doctor needs to sign off on those as they are taking responsibility).

While it seems a simple argument to add women to the registration for Selective Service (aka, the Draft), the arguments here are pretty subtle and long standing. There is a subtext of "if women are also drafted, there is less political support for continuing Selective Service" which is why this argument also occurred in the 80s. It was an attempt to abolish Selective Service. There is the subtext of equal rights, why shouldn't women also be considered for the draft? And there is the final contention over opening all combat roles to women. While it's an order, I bet you can't swing a cat in the Officers Club without hitting someone who vehemently disagrees with it. But seriously, it's time to either kill Selective Service, or make it mandatory for all citizens/residents aged 18 to 25.

And more news in the "it's everybody else's fault, except us" brand of conservative politics, a Congressional hearing on the Flint Water crisis/poisonings. Everybody but the people involved in forcing the change of water to the Flint River, or the process of imposing an Emergency Manager on local governments, will be there to take the heat.

With friends like these. Speaker Ryan agrees with the Black Caucus that Congress should update the Voting Rights Act to mend the gaping hole put in it by the Supreme Court. However, not enough that he'll pressure the committee chairman to release the legislation.

Yes, all the Sturm and Drang about Obamacare from the insurance industry is about getting leverage to blunt rules that are coming down the pike. Because they can't make as much money as they used to.

First stage, denial. Jeb! has to ask an audience to clap after he gave a "fiery" speech. That's gonna leave a mark.

And then there were nine. Oh Ricky, you went and lost that number. So much for my bet. And then he struggles to justify his endorsement of Rubio. And that shows just what is wrong with this election. There are no reasons on the Right for what they're doing, at least none they can admit in the open.

And this is exactly why the FBI released that video of the chase and death of LaVoy Finicum. Also, so much for the 4 still inside to get their wish of just being "let go".

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Briar Rabbit

Okay, crazy wild-ass conspiracy theory to follow.

Donald Trump is a Republican plant. Not the leafy kind, the kind that waves it's hands and keeps you from noticing someone is making bunny-ears behind you for the class picture.

I know what you're thinking, but give it a moment (and I'll probably discount this tomorrow).

First off, the Right has a long history of shouting "Wolf" and the Left only to kept the Left from claiming the Right is the Wolf. If you've been watching Fox news you've seen this play out a thousand times. And this strategy was outlined in a number of memos that came out from Newt Gingrich in the 90s on how to influence people and win elections. And it was early on that the Right claimed that Donald Trump was a plant from the Democratic Party.

See, one of the lessons the Right learned in 2012 was that people actually listen and pay attention now. I know there's been a lot of "Mitt Romney lost because he couldn't sway minorities… he was too moderate… he was establishment…" blah blah. Remember all their polling told them they would win easily. But you know what, the electorate had almost 6 months of Romney, and that was all they could take. Actually we had enough of Mitt as he was dragged to the Right to win the Primaries, he couldn't swing hard enough to the Center to win in the general election (the Right wouldn't let him, and there were all those statements he made during the Primaries that came back to haunt him, "Corporations are people, too, my friend" and "I'm a conservative's conservative").

So, what better way to remove that threat as all the candidates swing hard to the Right to win the primaries than give the public Bread and Circuses. What did the English Parliament call Trump, "a buffoon, a clown…". But an entertaining one. As all the other candidates make their dog whistles to the Right, Trump is out there in front blatantly calling out the political game and sucking up all the air in the room, not to mention all the air time from the news. So the Right gets to hear the candidates, but the general populace only gets to hear Trump.

Trump is winning what the Right considers their "staunch supporters", they kind they believe will come out and vote for anyone with an "(R)" after their name. All to keep those godless liberals from office. So, the RNC thinks Trump can do his dance, keep all the yokels satisfied and keep the Left distracted.

Why would he have not only missed the last debate before Iowa, but also counter schedule his own event? Maybe to keep the general public's eyes from the debate, but allow the hard core caucusers get a clear view of the candidates.

The RNC and Fox News keep going from loving him to having fits about him. But lately those fits have held a tinge of "Don't throw me in the briar patch" about them. Plausible denial.

And what does Trump get? Publicity. Lots of it. And he gets to call himself a winner. Fawning fans that love him, feeding his narcissism. And in the end, maybe a President that will see to his interests as a very rich guy. Also, if he plays his cards right, it might be him (do you think Trump would never try to double-cross someone?).

Just some idle thoughts.

I'm sure it's not true.

Linkee-poo cradle me, close my eyes, lullaby me to sleep

Phosphorus starts with pee. Those wacky alchemists, they'd try anything to turn base materials into gold. The start of an NPR series on serendipitous scientific discoveries, or happy accidents. Say, have I ever mentioned how our founding fathers used to make saltpeter?

"I'm your server, not your sex toy." A woman's perspective on the male gaze in the work place. Yea, I've had that conversation with some of my (male) employees when I was a manager. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

So, got yourself one of those fancy pedometer/health trackers, eh? Well they might be helping other people track your health as well. Seriously, in this day and age for developers to not use some standard protection techniques is really just deplorable. And yea, I have one of these trackers now, for the wellness program at the PRN job. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Turns out, some of those employers who decided to cut workers' hours to avoid giving them healthcare coverage under Obamacare aren't having such a good time with it. They have motivational problems, retainment problems, and quality of worker issues. Who'd a thunk it? Although there is the opposite, workers who are right on the cusp who now qualify for free medicaid, but would have to pay more for regular insurance if they got more hours.

"'Instead of saying, We screwed up, they said, Obamacare is the problem and we may not play anymore,' Lee said in an interview with California Healthline. "It was giving an excuse to Wall Street and throwing the Affordable Care Act under the bus.'" Companies blaming Obamacare for their own screw-ups and economic problems? Why, that's unpossible!

For all those people who think we're not doing anything about ISIS/ISIL/DRASH, we're not doing so much that we have to buy a heckalotta more smart bombs 'cause we're running out. Good thing President Obama is a coward and not leading the world, 'cause that would be even damn more expensive if he were. Time to buy Boeing stock. (Grokked from John)

Because it's the day after Iowa, six actual historical super villains. Yes, there's a Nazi or two in there. (Grokked from Vince O'Conner)

Why is this culture of hate speech and outrage a bad idea? "I don’t know if he was there to kill me." That's why. Because people don't understand it's a game or a strategy, because it's their life. And they believe the lies they've been told, even though they'll spout that all politicians are liars, but not there politicians. Never the ones they agree with. And stoking the fires of hate and divisiveness drives the type of people like the guy in this story. And it drives them to react to crimes they believe are being committed against them, when absolutely nothing of the sort is happening. This is why we rage at the language of the Right. (Grokked form Annalen Flower Horne)

"Fine says one sure way of identifying an outsider is a prominently displayed sidearm. She shoots a scornful glance at a trio of men standing in front of her, their arms crossed, their holsters hanging out." More on Harney County and the confrontation between locals and outside agitators (one of whom wondered how many of those "locals" were "paid actors"). Some analysts that have looked at the political landscape say that there are two Americas people exist in. There's a heck of a lot more than two.

Did Clinton rig the coin tosses to win in Iowa? Shakes Magic 8-Ball, "Signs point to no." It doesn't quite work that way, but it feeds some preconceived notions that Hillary Clinton is both incompetent and wily canny that she couldn't win outright, and so somehow "fixed" six coin tosses to go her way.

"'For strong liberals the estimated drop in turnout in strict photo identification states is an alarming 7.9 percentage points,' researchers found. 'By contrast, strong conservatives actually vote at a slightly higher rate – 4.8 points – in strict ID states, all else equal.'" Working as planned. Just in case anyone still doubted the purpose behind voter ID laws. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"Last year, she made 10 trips – to her local driver’s license office, to the bank to obtain personal documents, to Social Security offices in Raleigh and home again – to get an ID that she was certain would allow her to vote." So much for the vaunted ease of getting an voter ID. (Grokked from Mur Lafferty)

Not only does the Trumpster feel he wasn't treated fairly by the media (insert standard conservative whining point #2), he also thinks he should've gotten credit for trying. I mean, "funding his own campaign." Not like he wanted a trophy for participation, but yea, wanting credit for showing up.

Then Dr. Carson and Bill O'Reily play a game of Rabbit Season/Duck Season over who was to blame for the Cruz campaign's letter to inform Carson caucusers that the good doctor had suspended his campaign (even though that appears to be rumors based on his "returning to Florida" which he now says, "was to get fresh clothes"). Apparently Dr. Carson wasn't given the memo to blame CNN, instead of the Cruz campaign. But I'm sure they could all agree it was Pres. Obama's fault.

So much for any actual work getting done in the Senate this year. Although, truth be told, it's an election year. Nobody should have expected anything anyway. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

And then there were ten. I knew we'd get to an Agatha Christie novel sooner or later.

So, more guns makes us safer, huh? Man shoots dog when he meant to shoot his wife after a drunken argument. I think the dog would disagree with more guns making us safer. On the plus side, the man was actually charged with attempted murder and arrested. 'Cause that doesn't always happen.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Linkee-poo is full up for the evening

Tomorrow is going to be a lot of hard work where I may be without internet for much of the day. So, since many of these are sometime time sensitive, you all get a double-dose of linkee-poos. If all goes well, I might be able to get some out tomorrow, but I'm not betting on it.

As we type this, results from Iowa are just tricking in. Gods help us all.

On writing the "other" when the other is you. An Asian-American writer talks about why they don't write about Asians. (Grokked from Julia Rios)

The old practices are the best practices. Dutch police are looking at using trained eagles to take out rouge drones. Out fly that asshole. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

And, a breakdown of the drone already delivering your packages (within the warehouse). (Grokked from John)

Is too much exercise bad for you. There are studies out there looking at extreme endurance athletes and heart disease. I have to say, I'm not as surprised as they researchers. I've known a few of these people (and have seen more of them on TV, because "aren't they the ideal!"). They push too far. That's actually their whole point. Also, most of them don't have a well balanced diet (because they burn so many calories, they tend to carb and fat load). We already have research that binge eating is bad for you. "'We don't think that long-term exercise is dangerous, because long-term endurance athletes live longer than other people,' (the lead researcher) says."

Using a twitter bot to tweet your slow connection speed to your ISP. Okay. Maybe there is a good use for bots after all. (Grokked from John)

So, I remember this article on reimagining the icons for bathrooms. And the article writers came to the conclusion that they just loved this one solution so much they thought the rest of us were stupid for not employing it. It was two piles of poop (in an ice-cream swirl), one pink, one blue. So many designers that it was "fabulous." And then I pointed out the obvious and pissed on everyone's parade. Everyone that was paying attention, that is. I'm sure the authors of that article still though the colored poop was a fantastic updated solution for an older problem. Yea, no it wasn't. Not all handicaps are visible. Color-blindness is one. This is also why I absolutely loath high-key solutions (little color variance between areas, or the colors appear to be the same level of "grey"). And there are a great many designers who believe it's the only way to go (because it's tougher to make it work properly). Fuck them. Design is communication. If you're not able to get that communication across to the widest audience possible (even if they disagree or misinterpret) you've failed. And by fail, I mean you need to be slapped about with Gardner's History of Art. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

Egypt formalizes and vows enforcement of their "short-term" bride law. In the US, we call them escorts. And, yes, this is formalizing sex trafficking and forced marriages, not to mention exploitation of the poor in a country that offers few social services. "And while there are no hard numbers on how many Egyptian women are married off to much older foreign men, human rights groups say it's a thriving business, and in parts of the country, whole villages resort to selling their daughters to support the family."

A little bit about Iowa's great unemployment rate, but sluggish economy. There's a whole lot to unpack from that short article. Including pay issues and internal training.

I just can't even… A commentator on an article about the A Birthday Cake for George Washington thinks it's about the same to be a slave for good ol' George as it is being a tax payor now. Might even be better to have been the slave. Why? Because Ol' Wooden Choppers was a stand up kinda guy. And, yes, you'd think the comments on NPR would be a refreshing break from the cesspool of most comment sections. You would be wrong. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"All of this was investigated and all of it was found to be crap." The twenty-five years of lies and hatred against Hillary Clinton, all of which we can expect to be rolled out again in the next 10 months. (Grokked from Jason Sanford)

"Tension flared in the deeply divided town of Burns, Oregon, on Monday as 500 demonstrators on both sides of an armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge squared off, brandishing signs and yelling at each other days after one of the occupiers was shot dead by state police." As I said before, this will not end well. "'I want to feel safe in my town,' said Lindsay Davies, 37, a mother of three who says her young children are afraid of the armed protesters walking around the community. 'It feels like a threat when people are carrying guns and you see guns all over the place.'" I feel your pain Mrs. Davies, and I sympathize.

I don't care which side you're on, but don't be a dick. Disagree with the candidates all you want, but don't be a dick about the supporters unless they're making asses out of themselves (or are already in the public sphere).

"'So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them,' Trump said at his rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa." Then he promised to pay legal fees to anyone who did. I wonder if anyone has explained to the Trumpster that if that actually happened now, he would also be criminally and civilly liable for those actions? So I wonder when some smart lawyer will take up the challenge and then sue for damages. Especially if all they do is just show the tomato, not make to throw it.

Hmmm, that's pretty dark for The Onion. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Linkee-poo there's nothing halfway about the Iowa way to treat you, when we treat you, which we may not do at all

I don't often point to these things, but Jim Wright is running a fund raiser. I have always lusted after some of Jim's woodworking, now I have the impetus to hit the buy button. So besides donating to Jim and then maybe having him select you as a donor to get one of Jim's woodturned items (that bowl looks awesome), you could also buy things from Jim's etsy store.

Self-publisher makes good, start up her own imprint to publish other self-published authors. She's not the first one I've heard of (there are a few others mentioned in the article). Also note which genre she's publishing (erotica), which has been underserved by more mainstream publishers (and is also a main component of most of the authors she is bring onboard with her imprint). Also pointed to for this line, "Over the last five years, close to 40 independent authors have sold more than a million copies of their e-books on Amazon, the company said." Forty is a far cry from the "thousands" other have stated (although selling millions isn't a good metric for "making a good living"). Also note that mostly what she's doing is marketing, although she offers other services. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

A transgender Girl Scout proves a transphobic neighbor wrong by selling thousands of boxes of cookies. One, props to Girls Scouts (which is why I buy their cookies, which I guess my normal supplier this year had graduated, but her mom is still active in the troop), and two, props to the foster mother who helped prove to this little girl that she is valid and people will accept her. (Grokked form Chuck Wendig)

I've never called, because I know it's a scam, but Planet Money investigates the "Work From Home" racket. There are some legit work from home businesses, the website Rat Race Rebellion supposedly vets some of these jobs (site was mentioned at the end of the Planet Money episode as providing help for the story), but a great many are just trying to get your money. Use cautiously (note, even for legit freelancing there are enough places that will stiff you for payment to make you fully investigate whom you're working for).

The viking sacrificial practice of the blood-eagle. Trigger warnings for excessive violence in the portrayal and the embedded video from the Vikings series. (Grokked from Tania)

First, you must unlearn what you have learned. Or the six lessons you need to forget before you start coding for a real company. Not entirely applicable to other careers, although all careers will have their differences between what you learn in the classroom and what is done in the real world. I don't care how much your school states they only hire professionals with real life experience (was the case for both my graphic design and radiology technologist degrees). Why? Because everyone does it differently, ISO9001 and "Best Practices" be damned. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

Kids these day, "So next time an acquaintance talks about what a computer genius their kids are, sigh really loud and roll your eyes and tell them what dum dums they are." Yea, I've had that conversation before. (Grokked from John Scalzi, I think)

So, if a groundhog sees its shadow and goes back in, it means six more weeks of winter. If it doesn't, Spring comes early. What does it mean if the groundhog dies the day before Groundhog Day? This can't be good. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Flexiramics (flexible ceramics). Okay, that's interesting. (Grokked from John)

Apparently Illinois can't pass a budget. Pointed to because this is the result of partisan impasse and just how deep government spending reaches into everyone's life.

A lot of people are going to be hungry very soon as SNAP waivers expire. SNAP, or food stamps, have been tied work requirements since the 90s, typically allowing for only 3 months of assistance. In the Great Recession that time limit was waived. It's now coming back.

A reminder about what happened at Ruby Ridge.

A profile of Iowans voting tonight. I got nothing. Okay, well, I'm sure this will come of as East Coast Elitist (it is after all the New York Magazine) and how the raging liberals on the coast don't understand "fly over country." But that's just Mid West Elitism of "we know better because we're closer to the Earth." Well no, dumbass. Because even in Texas, a place that loves it some guns and is making sure you can carry (open and concealed) everywhere, they don't want them in the State Capital, because that would just be crazy. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Linkee-poo is just a poor boy from a poor family

Writing when no one gives a shit. Yes, that. At Confusion a number of pros that I had just met told me they knew me. It was both humbling and exciting and frightening. But sometimes just being out there is enough to gain notice. Try, fail, try again, fail better. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

New agent DongWon Song is looking for manuscripts.

Ask the agent. Ask Jennifer Laughran, Senior Agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, questions. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

Chuck Wendig with 25 more hard truths about writing and publishing.

Saladin Ahmed's Boston Globe editorial on fighting back against xenophobia and Islamophobia in particular.

How to get better at tuning your bullshit detector. Mostly focused on the self-help industry, but might be useful for the coming election.

So, there's this highly virulent dog virus spreading around the country. Wait, wasn't that the plot line of how the Planet of the Apes started? The classic one, not the reboot.

Even for the normal corruptness of big league sports, this year's Super Bowl seems to be hitting a low note.

Jim Wright on the Clinton email news. Jim had way more experience in this area than most people I know. This is a Facebook link, for those that like to keep Facebook at arms length.

So, how's Texas' plan to defund Planned Parenthood going? It's a disaster for women's health care? Why, who could have seen that coming. Dear conservatives, this is your war on women.

About that famed champion of US veterans, Donald Trump. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

Remember when I said that there could be some alternative version of events in that video showing LaVoy Finicum's death? Well, that didn't take long. When Finicum is shot and drops to the snow, I think I'm on pretty good grounds that he's reaching under the left side of his coat for something. That dance he's doing before hand, part of that is finding his footing and part is the adrenalin rush. And I've noted (offline) the Venn Diagram overlap of people who believe that many of those black people killed over the past year deserved it, and those who think Finicum was shot in cold blood, and that overlap is pretty large. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Students unveil "Trump Makes America Hate Again" banner at Trump rally. The Trumpster's biggest crime is that he doesn't know how to dog-whistle. So he is peeling off the voters the GOP has cultivated since Nixon who are angry at the loss of their unearned dominance is society. These are the voters draw by the Southern Strategy, who are angry at their perceived power loss and at the fact that once in power the GOP leaders they helped vote into office haven't moved fast enough (for them) to curb their perceived "social ills." (Grokked form George Takei)

Tweet of my heart: @iscoff The reason Latin is a dead language is because they kept accidentally summoning demons during regular conversations

Double Dip: @KameronHurley Folks think gov has too much regulation, but let me tell you: its actually so lax that only a handful of WORST offenders ever get slapped

Friday, January 29, 2016

Linkee-poo where in hell can you go, far from the things that you know

Trigger Warning: The unedited helicopter video footage of the chase and shooting of LaVoy Finicum. The time in question starts at about the 9 minute mark. I'm pretty sure some of those officers have body cams. I expect we'll see edited footage from those at some point. So much for the myth that Mr. Finicum was on his knees with his hands up when he was shot. It does show the moment he was shot (as well as the initial stop of both vehicles, the chase as Finicum attempts to flee the scene, and the surrender of the other people in the truck and clearing of the truck afterwards). My guess the initial shot was taken by the officer behind Finicum, who emerges out of the tree, whom Finicum probably did not see until the last moment. It's easy to ascribe motivations and intent in this video, but the video isn't the whole story. It's my personal believe that Finicum was looking to go out "in a blaze of glory" and didn't understand that drawing and firing a gun is an art that must be practiced to get right (this from his jumping out of the vehicle, notice no one else did, and where he chose to stop and his stance, all classic movie gunfighter tropes). It is possible, though, he intended to surrender and was shot at (or believed he was shot at) and then attempted to draw his gun in defense. I don't give this a high-probability of being the case. Without experience, most people would grasp at the area they had been shot and not think of anything else or act confused by being shot at. Also those officers most likely had high-power weapons, notice how fast he drops when shot (at the one point you can safely assume someone shot him). Until we have video from the ground, with audio, it's impossible to be sure. The video does seem convincing that after he got clear of the truck and surveyed (what he thought was) the situation, he attempted to draw his hip weapon, failed, raised his hands again, then tried to draw his shoulder/pocketed weapon twice. This, of course, fits the official version of the story (and I'm guessing a major reason why they released the video so quickly).

The Book of Kells is now online. I'll be in my bunk. (Grokked from Fran Wilde)

It's exploding manhole season. (Grokked from Steven Gould)

President Obama directs the Labor Department to gather information from more businesses to make sure the equal pay act is being enforced. Well, that only took seven-years.

Heinous fuckery. Apparently the FBI has been using the immigration process (normally slow and convoluted, hence there's a whole legal industry devoted to it) to force muslim immigrants to become informants. Just like torture, this is the worst possible way to do this work. Why? "Michael German, a former FBI agent who is now a national security expert… says wide-scale coercive recruitment produces a surfeit of false leads… The result is so much useless information that agents cannot focus on the most important leads." That's why. Coercion is the absolute worst way to get reliable intelligence, despite what the entertainment industry likes to show us. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

When you see the world repeating the same mistakes, sometime you need to speak up. "Eva Schloss -- the stepsister of Anne Frank and herself a survivor of Auschwitz -- compared Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler in an op-ed in Newsweek about the challenges that refugees are facing around the world." Or as a friend's mother said, "I know a brownshirt when I see one" (not about Trump, but I'm sure it applies here).

"(B)ut the base isn’t taking guidance the way it used to." Paul Krugman is wise. I'm not sure I agree with everything he is saying here (his op-ed on the meta-questions of this election), but it's an interesting theory. (Grokked form Jason Sanford)

So, the Speaker of the Tennessee House has "told interns not attend legislature receptions or events and not to give their cell phone numbers to members of the legislature" on account of how creepy (as in creepy, sex-crazed old man) the members of the legislature are. That ain't good.

"Renowned scholar and activist Noam Chomsky declared this week that the GOP and its far-right front-runners are 'literally a serious danger to decent human survival.'" Lest you think the left makes it out alive, he also says that basically the Democrats and the Republicans are the same in their servitude to big money, and he calls Bernie Sanders "'basically a new dealer.(sic)'" The New Deal is a proper noun. (Grokked from Chip Dawes)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Linkee-poo goes with throttle up

Catherine Schaffer has similar thoughts about Confusion. I think I got to spend about 10 minutes in total in her company, as a part of a larger group.

Fellow VPXIII alum Miranda Suri has an agent! w00t!

Aw fuck, I wish I had seen this job opening. The National Parks are hiring a staff photographer… but not the type that takes the "birthday celebration in the lunch room" photos. We're talking large format camera work out in nature, the Group f/64 stuff. Oh man, yea, that would be a dream job. It would mean a vagabond existence, which I don't particularly favor, but it would be so, so worth it. Unfortunately not only is the application process closed (thanks NPR!), I wouldn't have the book to get it (although I do know how to use large format cameras, and loved using them in school). And I disagree, there are some digital processes that are the equivalent to an 8x10 image (ultra-high-resolution digital imaging), but right now they wouldn't work well in these environments (and are prohibitively expensive).

So, you've probably seen those videos of high-altitude balloons taking objects to the edge of space and then falling back to earth (then recovered). And you've probably thought, "that would be cool, but where am I going to get all that equipment?" Well, for the low, low price of $500, you can send something to the edge of space (within reason) and support solar radiation research and support kids learning about science. (Grokked form

A "coyote (or coyotes) has been attacking cars along Highway 1 in a manner so bizarre it has residents scratching their heads. The attacks are weird enough that one seemingly outlandish explanation, that the coyotes are eating hallucinogenic mushrooms and vision questing their way into interactions with drivers, is being considered." Hahahahah (although it's bad for the coyotes, the cars that is). (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Twenty things you probably shouldn't say to someone with depression. (Grokked from George Takei)

That $1m+ potato photo everyone is talking about. Look, I understand the whole, "hahaha that rich dope paid so much for a photo of a damn potato, what a dope" knee-jerk reaction. But seriously, it is art. Look at it, have you taken such an image? No you have not. I agree that $1M is way too much to drop on it (especially when Kevin Abosch usually only fetches half a mil for his portraiture), but it wouldn't be unreasonable to fetch a quarter or half as much. My guess is that a part of the deal is that Kevin Abosch doesn't make any more prints of it (there are only 3). Yes, I know, your kid was coloring Jackson Pollock like paintings since they learned what a finger in a diaper could do. But have you sold even one of those? There's a hellalota stuff to laugh about in the art world, but this isn't one of them. That's a damn gorgeous photo.

I often hear people talk about how progressive we've become and that sexism/objectification in business is a thing of the past. Oh really? Dear fellow advertisers and marketers, this kind of shit is the low hanging fruit to sell your product. I challenge you to do better, and to educate your customers to let them know you can do better. YEs, when I was young I did it too, but 1) that was the early 90s and 2) I learned better (and became more successful). You want to make things sexy without objectifying women? Go study Edward Weston. It's called "sensuality". It works, and there's no need to degrade humans to make things sexy. Now, can we talk about "meth body" aesthetics in fashion? (Grokked from George Takei)

There's this movement out there, we'll call it the "Sweet Jesus, Anybody But Trump" coalition. Several members of which have been trying to get Michael Bloomberg to run. And these are top people, like Rupert Murdoch. Serious people with serious intent and serious money/clout. And they're all seriously brain dead. Seriously, look at the chart and notice all the filing deadlines that have passed. Entering now and winning may technically be possible (I'd really have to do some serious math to figure it out), but is highly improbable for anyone not already declared to win the nomination. Too late, suck chows. We're about to top the first hill. If you ain't on board by now, you're gonna miss the ride.

Is that what you get for the money. I find the fascination with life style in the article to be both a fascinating cultural check and completely disingenuous. "'There is no return on investment on the (jeb!) Bush ad buys, zero,' said one high-dollar donor…" Funny how people realize the worth and function of advertising only after they spend the money. But that's the rich for you. They want another Bush in the White House, after all the previous 2 times were great for them. and the rest of the country is saying, "Darling, if that's moving up, then I'm moving out." (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Linkee-poo made a pilgrimage to save this human race, never comprehending the race was long gone bye

I guess the Bundy's aren't big Star Trek fans, or they would had known to not put all the command staff in the same shuttle craft. Apparently the remaining 7 to 12 people on the reserve are vowing not to go down without a fight. As of this morning (when I'm typing this), the Feds have left a "golden bridge" for them to leave the Malheur Wildlife Refuge unharmed. My guess is that offer won't last long. At some point the negotiators will just say, "well, if that's what they want…" Also, apparently the FBI has told reporters that the FBI won't offer them protection. So many of them are removing themselves to a safer distance. This is the difference between your local weatherman standing in the rain and snow and what a war correspondent does.

Seanan McGuire reposts robotmango on why you can find so much Boba Fett stuff but gru-help you if you want Leia or Ren stuff. Points to, yes this. (Grokked from Mer Haskell) (edited to give credit where credit is due)

Kameron Hurley aims to misbehave. Well, to get you to misbehave when you have a book contract in negotiation. As she says, most people (especially without agents) don't know they're in a negotiation. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

Is Abe Vigoda dead? Yes. Fuck. (Reminded of site and grokked from John)

Old woman wakes up to kinkajou sleeping on her chest. That ain't a cat. Oh, and she lives in Florida, not South America where they're normally found. Yea, that would have kinda creeped me out as well. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett, who apparently has a new book out, or something)

There's this whole thing about people in the West who are pissed that people in the East are telling them how to work their land. It's a part of the whole Malheur standoff and the movement behind it (among other things). Well, there's a reason we in the East and telling you folk how to handle your land. It's because we fucked up our own environment, and we want to make sure you don't make the same mistakes. "According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, children, pregnant women and women who might one day want to be pregnant should not eat any fish from most of the waters in New Jersey. It's safe for men to eat a small amount: about one catfish or one eel per year." Note, there's a similar limit (but not an exchange) on eating fish in Ohio (also note, these restrictions are very lax because sport fishing in Ohio is a big business, and it would be decimated if the EPA were allowed to apply scientifically sound standards). Around the wildlife refuge one of the former big industries was timber. Note what you don't see in most of the photos from the standoff, mature trees. Sit down, shut up, and pay attention.

"'As we convene this morning, you look around the chamber, the presiding officer is female. All of our parliamentarians are female. Our floor managers are female. All of our pages are female.'" Well, Sen. Inhofe is out playing in his snow fort. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"The Cleveland Police Department announced Tuesday that six of its officers involved in the 137-shot barrage that killed an unarmed pair after a car chase have been fired." Well, some justice at least. Being fired as a police officer means never working again in civil law enforcement. (Grokked from Dan)

Tweet of my heart: ‏@Stonekettle It's one thing to play soldier, whole 'nother thing to go up against ACTUAL professionals. No matter how it shakes out, you lose.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Linkee-poo, it's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough

Our culture of information overload. Boy howdy do I grokked that. And NPR wants to help. And they'll send you some more damn email to help you break your habit. Isn't there a Naloxone type shot I can get for it?

Just because the stupidity of "look, snow, global climate change is a lie" has started back up (now that we have snow), just a reminder that last year was also the warmest year on record.

"A new study argues that student evaluations are systematically biased against women — so much so, in fact, that they're better mirrors of gender bias than of what they are supposed to be measuring: teaching quality." As a general note, in the mean, student evaluations matter for exactly squat. Unless the college is trying to get rid of a professor, then they matter a great deal. YMMV.

In the uniform you can get away with a lot of abuse of power, "(b)ut never, ever embarrass your fellow police officers." Especially if they're your superior officers. Tell me again why you should automatically defer and give respect to a police officer. Cause shit like this makes me not want to. (Grokked from Steven Gould)

There's a movement to get medical researchers to release all of their data, not just publish their results. Good luck with that one. The current medical establishment likes to talk about how "scientific" they are. There is some truth to that. But only some. It looks scientific, in the way Mythbusters looks scientific. And the researchers know it. And that's why they won't release their data (also, there's money to be made in that there data stack, they ain't givin' it away for free).

You know the line, "when people look at all the evidence they'll see the truth of the matter" (typically deployed where one side is called liars)? "A Houston grand jury investigating undercover footage of Planned Parenthood found no wrongdoing Monday by the abortion provider and instead indicted anti-abortion activists involved in making the videos that provoked outrage among Republican leaders nationwide." Yea, the truth does come out. It usually doesn't go the way those who make that claim think or want it to. Unfortunately, as you can read later in the article, the actual facts don't sway them. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Remember that article/story about Ted Cruz and his BC/BS healthcare policy? Well Politifact looked into Teddie's statement "Blue Cross canceled all policies in Texas (including his own)" and rated it pants on fire. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

If only Chris Christy can win a sumo match against this Oregon land squatter can we call this national nightmare over. Wait. WHAT?! Yes, I am beginning to believe that this whole wildlife refuge takeover is a long-form performance art piece. (Grokked from Dan who made me actually read that article)

Such a quality crowd they're drawing to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. "Law enforcement arrested a man on his way to join the standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon on Monday who appeared to be intoxicated and told officers that he was going to kill them." Oh, and he was spec ops who had his record sealed by Ronnie Reagan, and he's also gonna kill all those sons a bitches who put cuffs on him. Except the state troopers, who are our last line of defense. Or something.

But then, Ammon is just doing it for the rest of us. Dear Ammon Bundy, you can count me out of your group. Thanks. Go home, asshole. The only good part about this whole thing is I expect most of them will end up behind bars.

Tweet of my heart: @clmazin When I met Ted in 1988, I had no word to describe him, but only because I didn't speak German. Thank you, Germans, for "Backpfeifengesicht." (ht to Dan who also says, "'Backpfeifengesicht,' by the way, translates to 'face that should be slapped.'")