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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Linkee-poo, maybe I love you, maybe I'm just kinda bored

The Uncanny Magazine kickstarter all the cool kids are talking about. Hey, I know some of those authors involved! I'd love to contribute, but unfortunately all my money is now tied up in vacation and career futures. But, hey, there's still 29 days to go. Maybe I can rummage up a few bucks by then (starts by shaking down coworkers for their milk money). (Grokked from so many people, seriously, I forget where I first saw it)

A cartoon of the writing process. No sarcasm this time. I'm still a "beginning" writer, and now that I have some spare brain cells and time, I'm working on getting back into the swing of it. So it's a good time to remember what kind of slog we're in for. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

"Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle transformed an abandoned Walmart in McAllen, Texas, into a 124,500-square-foot public library, the largest single-floor public library in the United States." Finally something good to come out of the Walmart craze. (Grokked from Vince)

John Scalzi on the latest Amazon move to push e-book prices artificially down. Amazon is not your fried, if you're an author, publisher, or consumer. Amazon is a company whose sole mission is to make money for their shareholders. If that means screwing anybody along the way (publishers/manufacturers, authors, consumers, employees, whomever) they've shown the propensity to not give a crap. (Note, yes, I still order items from Amazon when I find they have the best deal, that's my job as a consumer, to get what I want without overpaying)

How to tell someone's age when all you know is their name. Statistics! Also, good things to know when you're naming characters in your story. Oh, and yeah, I'm median for "Steven"s. (Grokked from Dan)

A man made leaf that can produce oxygen. Someone has suspended chloroplasts within a silk membrane. Okay, that's cool. Now, it depends on the O2 output, and lifespan (since the chloroplasts were harvested from other plants). Now, once we can "print" chloroplasts we'll have something. (Grokked from Mer Haskell)

"You call it a charade of consent. That's not a good sign." OkCupid admits to screwing with their customers. And president Christian Rudder is a dick. Now, there is no law (that I know of) that prevents companies from conducting their own "market analysis", but that's not what is going on here (or what happened with the Facebook experiments). There is a reasons why psychological experiments on humans is tightly controlled in academic settings, because you're fucking with real lives of real people. Here's where (and why) government regulation comes in. And Mr. Rudder's "well, you sign up, they give you $20, but you don't know what experiment is going on" reasoning is fucked and exactly the type of idiotic science talk that comes out of computer scientists mouths (sorry, all my friends who hold that degree or work as one, but you're scientists in the same way air conditioning engineers are scientists or the way Myth Busters are scientists - which, actually, they adhere to the scientific process a little more closely than you do). Everybody there knows an experiment is going on, they volunteer (for certain values of "volunteering", some people just want the cash). Your subjects never did (even if it was covered in the EULA). And that's the difference. Can you tell I'm a little hot about this?

So, apparently trying to raise bluefin tuna in captivity is a thing. There's a lot of info in that NPR story. Like how animals are not machines (no matter how we like to treat them like they are, say like how we raise milk and beef cows these days). Any food culturing/animal domestication is a hard and long process (even though we think it isn't). Also, I'm wondering how they will keep the adults. Seriously, this is one hellofa fish. They are one of the fastest things in the ocean. The reason their muscle is prized is because these fish swim the entire ocean. Keeping them in tanks, even "very large tanks", would be like keeping a greyhound pup in a dog run built for a chihuahua. Unless they intend to make the worlds largest, salt-water endless pool (which actually would be quite cool, but very energy intensive).

"So, for those keeping track at home: Hobby Lobby cares deeply about protecting the unborn when it comes to denying women contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Hobby Lobby does not care deeply about protecting the unborn when it comes to ensuring that mothers are capable of providing for their new families. Hobby Lobby also does not care deeply about protecting the unborn when it comes to its investment strategy, as the company's retirement plan invests in companies that produce Plan B, IUDs and drugs commonly used in abortions." Well I guess being assholes could be considered a deeply held religious belief. I've met enough of them. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Canadians can see the American Health System, could move to our system, but even their conservative politicians don't want that. "The Canadians have seen the American System, they prefer their own." Oh Sen. Sanders, if only such arguments had any effect on the conservative mind-set. Plus, excellent points on the wait lists by Dr. Brown, and an excellent analogy to exactly what the US system is like. If you have the money and connections, you can get right in. However, if you're using insurance, just try and get an appointment with a specialists without being a patient of theirs already. (Grokked from Janiece)

"… Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Wednesday blamed President Barack Obama for the recent discussions about House Republicans potentially impeaching him." It's a great story, the "no one here but us mice" story, but it's a lie. Seriously, Speaker Boehner, Chairman Ryan, either you're ignorant or you think the rest of us are. It's one or the other now. And can we just all agree that Karl Rove is a troll?

Dear Rhode Island State Treasurer Gian Raimondo, "people will be inconvenienced" is not an acceptable excuse for denying open-records requests. I'm not absolutely sure of Rhode Islands laws, but I'm fairly confident that's not in there. Unfortunately she's not the only one. "Still, the confluence of new investments, increased fees, below-average returns for Rhode Island taxpayers and Wall Street campaign contributions inevitably raised questions." Yea, that. I see the stirrings of the Occupy Movement this election season. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Linkee-poo is doing the last-minute rush-vacation dance

Categorized under things writers shouldn't do. Seriously, reviewing your own book? Wow. (Grokked from Mur Lafferty)

Chinese covers to the Lord of the Rings. Wow. It just reminds me how boring any Phoenician based alphabet really is. No, seriously, we do some great typographic tricks, but it all pales against Arabic, Sanskrit and pictographic based alphabets. Just google any of those with "calligraphy" to see what I mean.

"One of the richest inhabitants of fourth century Roman York, buried in a stone sarcophagus with luxury imports including jewellery made of elephant ivory, a mirror and a blue glass perfume jar, was a woman of black African ancestry, a re-examination of her skeleton has shown." Strange how not only trinkets traveled those trade routes, but people did as well. Just in case you're about to world build for your novel or someone says, "they didn't have any diversity long ago", people have been "mixing" since we started looking different. It's what people do. (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

And in what should come as a surprise to no one, "The typical American household was significantly poorer in 2013 than it was ten years earlier… an effect that is compounded by growing wealth inequality in the United States." Except for the 1%, while they were also affected, it wasn't to as great an extent and they were well positioned to profit from the market rebound. Just in case you think I've been harping on this point for too long, here's the reason. A rising tide floods most boats stuck to the bottom. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

The worm turns. Satanists are now claiming religious freedom to not have to view materials mandated by the state before having an abortion, based on the Hobby Lobby case. Well, I think they have a hard road ahead of them, but good on them if they see it through (as well as get someone who has been "harmed" to sign on to their suit). This is what happens when you open that can of worms. Of course, they may have a case even without the Hobby Lobby verdict, but it certainly helps their cause. (Grokked from Dan)

"In 2013, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization released a report advocating insect consumption worldwide. The report found that pound-for-pound, palm weevils… have similar levels of protein as beef, but beats out the bovine in levels of iron, potassium, zinc, phosphorous and several amino acids." Yea, but the t-bones are real tiny and they cook really fast. It definitely wouldn't make in here in the US (where much of the population considers any meat other than cow, chicken, fish, or pig to be strange), but there are many countries where insects are a staple of the diet. (Grokked from Sarah Goslee)

"Police told the Phoenix New Times that it is legal to carry a semi-automatic rifle into the airport terminal and that in Steinmetz's case the problem was 'the way he was carrying it.'" I think I see the problem here, and it's not that "way he was carrying it." Maybe it's the fact that you allow people to carry firearms into 1) a public space and 2) an airport, which is a really charged atmosphere to bring a weapon to. Seriously, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure this out. What happens the next time someone "unslings" their AR-15 and the person whom they point it at "feels threatened" and that person is also carrying? There's a lot of stupid going round, and unfortunately a lot of people have caught it.

What's going on in Syria. "Warning: This report contains descriptions and an image that could disturb some readers." It's one of those moments in history that will decide if we're on the side of the angels or on the devil's side. The problem is the people fighting against Assad aren't that much better and the moderates are getting snowed under renewed intense nationalism (I'm beginning to regard "sectarianism" as a form of "nationalism", it's a tribal allegiance of the extreme).

"House Speaker John Boehner torched Democrats on Tuesday over talk of impeaching President Barack Obama, insisting that Republicans have no such plans and that Democrats are using the issue to gin up their base." And while it's true the Democrats are raising a shit-ton of money on this issue, it is not true, however, that is only made up by the Democratic Party to raise money. Seriously, Speaker Boehner, you once had a brain. Either you no longer have one, can't see outside the bubble of conservative thinking, or you think we're all stupid. It's gotta be one of those.

Then again, the stupid is growing in the conservative ranks. "Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) argued that Congress should not be passing laws 'that the states would consider nullifying.'… Of course, as the Daily Beast pointed out, states can't nullify federal laws." I had a similar discussion with some nice ladies in 2010 who were supporting various Tea Party platforms that made it onto the Ohio Statewide Ballot. This is high-school civics stuff, people.

NPR asks are corporations people? Yes, they are given a fictional personhood. Unfortunately we now have an activist Supreme Court which seems intent on wiping away that fiction part and give corporations full personhood. And I say, if we do that, okay, but then we can arrest them and put them in jail. Once we're able to do that, I'll believe the other bullshit.

Just another example that conservative politicians are in the pockets of businesses and couldn't care less for you as an individual citizen. The House votes to end the "full-fare" rule for airline travel. This is also known as, "tell the truth" regulation. Seriously, I remember the times before these regulations went into effect. Think your cell phone bill is blindly obtuse, they're amateurs at this game.

Fuck cancer. (Grokked from Dan)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Weekend Linkee-poo is recovering from the spending spree

So, today we replaced the front door speakers in Bette's car. Achievement unlocked, husband handyman level-up.

Dr. Doyle has some tips for naming characters.

"When a science fiction convention is more affirming, less body-shaming, more welcoming and less sneering than a conference with 3,000 plus 'progressives,' we're doing something wrong." A little on Netroots Nation and Detcon1, both held in Detroit last weekend, and what it means to be inclusive and diverse. (Grokked from Al Bogdan)

Can Dateline run your YouTube clip without getting permission? The answer is complicated because it depends on how and where they show it. Also relevant to the written word as experienced by my friend, Jim Wright. I'll note here the Mike Malloy is not a "news" show, it's opinion. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Republicans love to listen to what the military wants (within limits of that which is made within the districts of the representatives), except when they talk about the challenges posed by climate change. Which they're already experiencing. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

Hey, wants a realistic dystopian future to write about? How about this one that talks about climate change and how it's throwing us out of the relatively stable Holocene. Yea, that'll do it. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

"Yet if the GOP had its way, Obamacare would be destroyed, even Medicaid would be destroyed, and in fairly short order my family would almost certainly go bankrupt and our daughter’s health compromised, her life shortened." I don't think the GOP actually is able to see this, being wrapped up in their ideology. Of course, this is also their worst nightmare, that people would like Obamacare, and it would help a lot of people. Because they fought it so vigorously they know they stand to lose, and lose big, if that happens. They can't see they've tacitly supported Social and Economic Darwinism. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

What should come as a surprise to no one, the US is one of the least energy efficient industrialized nations. Just in case someone talks about how they're so bummed out they can't buy an old fashion incandescent (note, you can still get incandescents… but they're more energy efficient, which was the point of the legislation) or have a car that "had more muscle" (modern stock cars have more horsepower to weight ratios than the old muscle cars). Also useful when someone is talking about how advanced our technology is (we pay the most for the slowest internet in the developed world). (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

"The question prompted a lengthy pause and looks of confusion from State Department and congressional staff attending the hearing." I sometimes feel like that when watching politics. Congressman Clawson later apologized for his mistaking US official for foreign dignitaries by saying he wasn't full briefed before speaking. I don't know, Rep. Clawson, maybe you should have been listening as they were introduced. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Scenes from a Commute

From this morning, smoke on the water. Well, okay, it's fog over LaDue Reservoir, but was still pretty neat to see.


Click to embiggenate.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Linkee-poo same hurt in every heart, same trailer, different park

So, tired of pressing all those buttons to unlock your "device"? Engineers to the rescue! Now you can use a digital tattoo to unlock it. Hey, engineers, you aren't helping. Ever hear of biometrics? Remember when people laughed at Apple's iPhone 5S fingerprint unlocking? Doesn't look so bad now, does it? (Grokked from Dan)

What happens when all the jobs belong to robots. Lots of good points in there, even if he doesn't come to a conclusion. One of those good points, and something applicable to the current income inequality conversation, "… we'll definitely come to a future where there aren't enough owners of robots to buy all the things that robots make." (Grokked from Brent Bowen)

The US Chamber of Commerce, pitting themselves against the Tea Party. It's like Mortal Kombat. Not that I like either's positions. But the fight should be interesting.

The only "gotcha" here is the exposed snooping of the opposition. "'Did it sound, like, not staged?' the tracker asks nervously as she and an accomplice leave the Grettenberger event. 'Do you think they knew?'" Here's the thing Jockamo, we aren't the ravening beasts Fox News portrays us as. Compare this campaign to the constant litany of "gotcha" moments in the last race, mostly against conservatives. And here's the kicker, it was done without the "spy kids" apparel, the candidates were fully aware they were being taped and they still made those comments (the most notable exception was the leaked Romney campaign event footage).

"All along, (Republicans) insisted that the ACA wouldn’t work, that it would raise costs — and when reality didn’t match with their scary stories, they took deliberate action to make the bad outcomes they fervently wished for more likely." A little political dissection of the Halbig decision and the GOP taking a victory lap. Pretty much matches to what I've been thinking that if the conservatives are able to make health insurance more expensive for people, at this point they're injuring their own cause. Because they're "taking something away", not keeping people from something. I expect in a week or two conservative activists will realize the blowback from all this crowing will affect them both this Fall and it 2016 and then they'll all start moderating their response. But I won't hold my breath. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

But, then again, it's been four fucking years since Obamacare was passed and the Republicans still don't have their "replacement plan." Seriously. Four years. That right there should convince most thinking people that conservatives just aren't serious about this and at best are lying through their teeth when they say "repeal and replace." They have no intention of replacing it should they ever get to repeal it. (And, yes, for all my Progressive friends, the GOP is still trying to repeal Social Security and Medicare, do you really think they're going to stop on Obamacare, especially now that it's known by that name?)

"The fact is, children from Guatemala, where health care is fully subsidized by the government, have a better chance of being vaccinated than kids in Texas, where one in six people is uninsured. The fact is, in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala again, the vaccination rate for measles is 93%, compared to 92% in the U.S.—and it’s much lower in some poorly vaccinated pockets like New York City, where there has been a recent measles outbreak." But what's a few facts to the chance for fear mongering and fund raising among the xenophobes? Tell me again how we don't have rampant racism in this country, 'cause that never stops being funny (in a sad way). (Grokked from Steven Gould) Whackaloon quotient on the rise. (Grokked from Dan) So, now there's some data in on if raising minimum wages curbs job growth. So far, not really. In fact there's a small, but statistically significant growth in jobs in those states who have raised the minimum wage. Not that I expect facts to repudiate conservative ideology.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Linkee-poo, if I had some remedy I'd take enough to please me

Writing shouldn't be so hard. Yes, this! (Grokked from Sarah Goslee)

The masterpiece that is Goodnight Moon. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

MOTHRA! Or a reasonable facsimile. You know, if we got those instead of the Canadian Air Force Mayflies, Cleveland would be a whole lot weirder. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, they even have their own website)(Grokked from CC Findlay)

Gears are just a never-ending set of levers. How things (used to) work. In this case your transmission, when they were run by gears instead of bands and friction pads. (Grokked from Dan)

The rising criminalization of parenting. While there could be extenuating circumstances, and we now live in a time where parents need to be more aware of their children's whereabouts, this is ridiculous. So, basically, if you're not a helicopter parent, you're doing it wrong and may be criminally prosecuted. Great family values we've got right there. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

Which, yes, you should probably have closer watch over your children or evangelicals will convert them. As the title says, I just can't see what could possibly go wrong by trying to evangelize to children as young as 5 at local pools and parks. (Grokked from Dan)

The web tracking technology that's difficult to get away from. Some sites, using "social media connections" are using this "fingerprinting" technology to create persistent tracks of viewers. Yet another reason for believing that javascript is evil. (Grokked from John)

The giant hole in Siberia. So, basically, it's an ice pimple on the Earth? I like my theory that it's the opening to the underground layer of the Illuminati.

Manufacturing the talent shortage. Mostly an article on high-tech industries, but highly adaptable to everything down to flipping burgers. A whole lot about ingrained prejudice, the stories we tell ourselves, and just how screwed up our business processes have become in America. I've experienced all of this first hand, and for a straight, white male to see that is an example of just how far to the nutty edge we've gone. I've been in places that expected I would know their workflow, including the complicate process forms that needed to be filed, all without any training or mentoring. Nobody's business process is "inherent". I've also faced the prejudice of because of my age, I don't know how to do my job anymore because "the kids know all that technical/social media stuff" and since the people hiring don't understand it, and we're of an age, they believe I don't either. Again, working within the "lowest difficulty setting" and seeing it should be a siren horn for everyone else. But that's the part of the stories we tell ourselves, we believe them so thoroughly that even the keepers of the status quo accept their fate when the hatchet comes. "Within a hiring process fraught with implicit bias, blind acceptance of the inherent qualities of workers’ capabilities leaves individuals, organizations, and the field of practice unable to meaningfully develop the talent sources currently available, and risk the same outcomes for new entrants to the field." Or, in other words, we're all fucked. (Grokked from Steven Gould)

Did you ever want to program the Apollo Guidance Computer the way the astronauts did to land on the Moon? Sure you did. Computer languages and how they've changed. (Grokked from Dan)

Sure there was a ruling about the subsidies from Obamacare, but did you hear about the same day ruling that said the exact opposite? Yea, probably not. The key to knowing which is correct is this line, "The law encourages states to build their own exchange, but if they don't the federal government operates one on their behalf." That is, the Federally run exchange is a state exchange that is just being run by the Federal Government. And, yes, this is all political. But the politics are on Obamacare's side, at least for the en banc "The appeal to the full bench… would be cast by the three judges who heard the case as well as 10 other judges on the active bench… Such a vote may be friendlier… as it would feature 8 Democratic appointees and 5 Republican appointees. Four of the judges on the court were appointed by President Barack Obama, three of them after Senate Democrats eliminated the 60-vote threshold…" Of course, once it gets to the Supremes, who knows.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Linkee-poo don't know where I belong, don't know where I went wrong

Today I got my ARRT certificate in the mail. I is official! A few minutes later I submitted my application for Ohio State licensure. Anyone need an x-ray?

Grammar Girl has a few things to say about Weird Al's "Word Crimes."

Hey, you know how this whole NetNeutrality thing is based on the premise that current providers aren't throttling anybody's connection? As should be a surprise to no one, yea, they're lying about that. (Grokked from Dan)

Feeling a little slow lately? Why not strap a 9 volt to your head. That's the radiolab story on trans-cranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). I've held the suspicion that the electrical shock I received as a child had lasting effects on my head and that the longer I live, the less "energy" boost I'm getting. Well, now there may be a way to recharge. I wonder if you can mod a tens device to do this?

Speaking of x-rays, apparently you can generate x-rays by unrolling tape in a vacuum. As someone with accreditation, I can say looking at the x-rays that these are very low-energy rays, and I worry about the dose these scientists are giving themselves (I'll note the lead guy is wearing a radiation badge, and whomever's hand is shown over the device is wearing a ring badge, but those are the only ones in view). The problem with low energy x-rays is all they do is increase skin entrance doses, but don't provide diagnostic quality images (this is why we use aluminum filtration, which increases the average energy levels and removes the lower energy x-rays leaving only the diagnostic quality rays). (Grokked from Karl)

Think skimping on sleep will help? Think again.

No, Speaker Boehner, it is a joke. I notice you're careful not to say the President has violated the Constitution yourself, and only quote other people. Coward. I name thee coward. This is a stunt to secure your position in the next Congress and to throw red meat to the whackaloon base you need to keep your majority. Not only for the reasons your "friend" points out (and here I use quotes because we only have the "friend's" letter to go on), but because if the President is going beyond the Constitution your job is clearly outlined in the Constitution. You must impeach. It's your duty. Because you haven't (because you know you don't have a case), I'm also also going to name you a liar. Again, you hide behind others' words, and that has been good enough for the press since Reagan. It isn't for the rest of us. There is only one way out of this, Speaker Boehner, and that path leads to your "retirement" or winning an impeachment. That's the road you're on, and I know you see this as well, but think you can thread between Scylla and Charybdis. You can't. Your base won't let you. And we all know just what chances your suit has (which we all know won't be resolved before the election this Fall, unless a judge decides to have some fortitude and throws it out, which then you get to rail against the "conspiracy" and file an appeal, which again won't be resolved until after the election). No thank you for wasting our time and money, Mr. Boehner. Stick a fork in it, pal, you're done. (Grokked from Eric)

Also, in case you think I'm being a little over the top, you can hear roughly the same thing from Eric, but with more legal weight. This is a joke, it'll mostly like be thrown out. And I'll remind everyone that Speaker Boehner announced he would sue before he and his team actually figured out what to sue over.

Mitch McConnell, having won against a hard right challenger, now swings to the left and denies everything.

"'Texans are willing to put boots on the ground, but we expect Washington to foot the bill,' (Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott) said." That pretty well encapsulates the conservative mind set. I think they'll find it doesn't work that way. When the President calls up the Guard, the Federal Government pays for it. When the Governor calls them up, it's all the State's money. But this will give them something to complain about while they try to look good by skirting posse comitatus and using the Guard in the completely wrong way, while throwing red meat to their base.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Linkee-poo only wants to say, if there is a way…

S. Andrew Swann is looking for gullible mules willing assistants going to cons this summer who may want to spread the word about his book by leaving bookmarks on tables. He's offering books as payment. I did this once for Jeff Vandermeer, it's not a bad thing (but then I went to World Fantasy on his membership, but didn't get a book out of it).

This is the problem with hate, it's blind. "Adam Kwasman, a Republican state representative and congressional candidate in Arizona, apparently thought it’d be a good idea to lead a protest… against a bus full of children. The kids,… (he) assumed, were undocumented minors…, and as the bus approached, Kwasman tweeted, 'Bus coming in. This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law.'… Those weren’t the migrant children in the school bus. Those were children… heading to the YMCA’s Triangle Y Camp…" Brilliant. (Grokked from Stephen V Ramey)

It's a vast left-wing conspiracy. I'm sure it has nothing to do with using "America" in the title of everything he does. Nah. I'm sure that's not it.

You know, one thing you should never do in life is call a decorated combat-aviator and astronaut a coward. Just a word of advice.

"Asked whether Republicans were 'emulating' the Obama campaign, (Mark) Shields said no, they're trying to surpass it. He used the metaphor of the space race. 'I always say, the Democrats put up Sputnik, we can put a man on the moon,' Shields said." First of all, screw you Mark Shields. Also, what is not mentioned in the article is this isn't the first time the GOP has tried this trick. In 2008, they just didn't do it as well as the Obama team did. And in 2012 they had a myriad of technical glitches (they said) which kept them from being as successful as they thought. So, maybe they have their act together this time. Also I'll note here this isn't the first election where the GOP has been over confident of winning the Senate.

Kids these days, hacking into ATMs on their lunch break. Why, in my day, we'd take the money and run. Especially after the bank didn't believe that we had done it when we tried to explain their glaring security hole. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

"What the researchers found was that while those factors (past criminal history, severeness of crime) were the best predictors of a case's outcome, race still played 'a statistically significant independent factor' in how a given case was handled at almost every stage." So glad we live in the "post-racial" America.

And, John Sclazi has an update to his "Lowest Difficulty Setting" post, now with actual data.

Ever wonder what happens when you strap a jet-engine pod from a B52 B47 to a train? Sure you do. Well, they did it in 1966. I really can't think of a current example of this kind of engineering. (Grokked from Dan)

Well, I guess private drug-sniffing dogs for hire are a thing now. For the parents, spouses, schools, and other people who suspect someone somewhere might have drugs stashed. Or, you know, they could be observant. Yea, I know, drug users are good at hiding things and for somethings you need a somewhat official kind of confirmation. Now, in my head I'm writing the story of a former drug-dog who didn't play by the rules, but now sells his services on the street to help people for whom the law just doesn't work. Like a Lassie Equalizer.

Ah, that corporate freedom of religion. I guess they should have checked which religion. Give me that old time religion, give me that Cthulhu just like we usta do… (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

"Homicides increase under the 'castle doctrine' or Stand Your Ground laws, according to two studies published since 2012, while the laws do not appear to deter crime in any significant way." And now you know why the NRA and other conservative groups have blocked any attempt to track data when it comes to gun deaths and accidents. What they didn't realize is there are other was to suss out the data.

"… I think, because it illustrates part of the mentality that led to the whole recent Leadership Journal debacle. When you’re busily trying to pretend that you’re persecuted and victimized for your righteousness, you’re never going to be able to see… actual victims."

Someone with the crazy talk finally does it to the wrong people. Well, at least he'll have someplace to stay as they take his home for fines due.

"Fifty-seven percent of mass shooting incident… were connected to domestic or family violence… Additionally, the groups' most recent analysis found that the victims of mass shooting incidents have been disproportionately female." Strange, that.

Tweet of my heart: @GregMitch Cable news constantly invoking Soviets shooting down Korean airliner in 1983--with no mention of U.S. shooting down Iran airliner in 1988.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Word Crimes

For all my writer friends out there…



Just keep in mind that B, C, R, U are words, not letters
Get it together. Please use spell checker.
You should never write words using numbers, unless you're seven… or Prince.
I love you, Weird Al. Just saying.

Not only is the song great, the animation is fantastic. It's a send-up on so many levels. Genius.

A big hat tip to Sheila. Thanks.

Linkee-poo is the blue canary in the outlet by your light switch who watches over you

Man, am I behind in my reading. Will try to catch up as I sort out 2 years of life on hold. I have about 5 phone calls to make today. How many have I made so far (past noon)? Why that would be zero.

Steven Brust on fixing that one scene.

Sentient trees in fantasy literature. Because. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

How to identify and avoid psychic vampires. (Grokked from Emma Audsley)

Probably apocryphal, but a NY restaurant reviews security tape from ten years ago and today to find out why service takes so long. It's not the service. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

The executive coloring book from 1961. With only a few slight modifications, I think I've work there. More than once. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

The only moral abortion is my abortion. The cognitive dissonance needed here is of stupendous proportions. Reminds me of the patient on Medicare (which they loved and felt was their right and due) who wanted to lecture me on the evils of government controlled medicine in Obamacare (that I should avoid it at all costs). (Grokked from the Slactivist)

You should all know by now that I have a lot of friends that I respect and admire. Jim Wright is one of those. I'm pretty sure I linked to this before, but just in case I haven't, it's time to do so. Jim wrote and great article (I think I linked to it, I often do), and then some people decided they were going to just rip it off. When I make these links, I sometimes quote extensively from articles. Sometimes it's to let you know what you're in for, sometimes it's to say "this is what I thought was important", and sometimes it's because I love the words. But what I won't do is post the whole article. I'll try not to go beyond a few lines. This is covered under Fair Use. What Mike Malloy did to Jim wasn't. There are several reasons for this. One, Malloy rebroadcast almost the entirety of Jim's article. First transgression. Two, he didn't get permission. And three, when called on it, didn't demonstrate the basic knowledge of the industry he's engaged in. If Malloy doesn't have a lawyer, he really should. Because any lawyer worth their salt would have told Malloy he should get permission before reading Jim's article. They may have advised how to get around it, but the first words should have been, "Just contact him and get his okay." Jim gives his response to this thievery here. And, yes, it's a theft, one Malloy didn't think anyone would call him on. And he tried his best to bluster (it's what his type typically do in these circumstances). Mr. Malloy, Jim isn't a soldier in your army. While your political ideology may in this instance have aligned, that's no excuse for theft. Ask your lawyer how you should approach this. If they don't tell you, "Start with a heart-felt apology," you might want to avail yourself of better legal council.

Prayer isn't a game of "What's My Line."

Time to update the saying "Don't take candy from strangers" to include taking candy from the KKK. It's a kinder, softer Klan full of intolerance. (Grokked from John)

"Dinesh D'Souza, conservative author and filmmaker, on Thursday argued that while progressives seem to attack the wealthiest one percent of Americans, really they are attacking poor immigrants." Whoa, slow down there Hoss. You're likely to give yourself whiplash doing that.

Hey, anybody you know talking about how the Y2K think was all a bunch of nonsense and was all a part of (insert favorite conspiracy target here)? We're still dealing with the problems. In this case, a Penn state department forgets to include the century of birth in some records sent to the Selective Service which then doesn't question it and so sends out warning letters to centenarians that they better sign up or else.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

And that's a wrap

So, took the ARRT registry today. And the result is… (this is the point in most reality TV shows where they take a fake pause to heighten tension and splice in footage of both sides of the decision making process that were very obviously taken at other times during the show by the goofy look on everyone's faces, but they needed to add footage here because there really wasn't any pause in real life) … 96%. Booyea!

I can haz RT(R) now?

RT(T) means I can work as a regular radiological technologist taking x-rays of patients.

So that's what it's all been leading to. Well, actually there's a lot more work to come (finishing up the licensing process with ARRT, getting the final blessing, getting the Ohio State licensure - which is an automatic with ARRT certification, but still requires paperwork). And then this Fall we start on getting the RT(CT) (computed tomography, which the natives call CAT Scan). While there are more comps to do for CT than for R, there's a lot less coursework. And CTs are often scheduled procedures which makes it easier to schedule in to get those comps (for the regular RT, you kinda take them as they come).

I might do another post on just how insane this whole thing has been (I have an app to keep track on when I was working where, and it's mostly been registering on the 74-80 hours per week since January, with a break between Spring and Summer semesters - that's before I add in mandatory lunch time, commute time, and coursework/study time).

How shall we fill the empty spaces?

I know I'll do some posts on what all I've learned. These won't be technical (I don't think), but more along the lines of my post "I'm sorry, dear."

Would I do it all again? I'm not sure. This has nearly killed me more than once. But I've done some good work, I'm met some cool people, I've grown tremendously. But it's a hellalotta time, energy, and money. I think if I were a few years older I wouldn't have made it. On the other hand, I think I've found something I like as much as design. It's not the same love, but I think it could become similar. The plus side is that except for seeing stupid things on TV shows (seriously, producers, gets some consultants) it doesn't interfere too much in real life (for those of you who have sat through my discourses on design in the wild, you know what I'm talking about).

So, at least for this one, all that's left is the party and filling out paperwork. Did I mention the 24 hrs of CEU every two years?

Now if you all will excuse me, I'm going to go collapse in a corner.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Linkee-poo, there has to be an invisible sun, it gives us hope when the whole day is done

OMG, it's starting to sink in that in a week I'll have (most) of my life back. ZOMG! Teh feels. Also, somewhat relieved, a lot scared. I should probably do a post on all those emotions and the what fore and wherebys.

Huhn, the new D&D basic rule kit as loss leader. That is, for free. (Grokked from Dan)

The seal politics in The Little Engine That Could.

Whale poop may help mitigate climate change in the oceans. Mostly from "carbon sequestration" (which really hasn't played out anywhere else they've researched). Interesting if it could be proven. Too bad we killed most of them off. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

"A class of pesticides linked to colony collapse disorder in bee colonies has now been linked to a dramatic decline in insectivorous bird populations. Disturbingly, this could also mean that other animals along the food chain are at risk as well." Strange how the world is all interconnected. But don't worry, Bayer (the company that makes the pesticides) tells us it can't possibly be their chemicals. (Grokked from Dave Klecha)

Eric is very thoughtful (in amusing ways) about things we should be very thoughtful of. In this case the Hobby Lobby decision. And he does a very good job of breaking it all down. "Yeah, so is this the most American Supreme Court ever, or what? None of the reactionary old men from the waning days of the Gilded Age, holding back the New Deal for our time, nope. None of the harrowed veterans of the Second World War, moderate conservatives turned crypto-progressives having spent the years 1936-1945 staring into the abyss until the abyss not only stared back, but blew them a fetid kiss reeking of dead bodies and Zyklon B, knocking them back headlong and reeling clasping hands with the New Frontier on one side and the Great Society on the other, neither, no sir, no ma'am." How can you not want to read that? (I have Eric's blog in my feed, but I got this from Janiece's pointing it out)

Another opinion piece on the Hobby Lobby case. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

The Mitrokhin KGB's Archive, from when leakers had to actually do hard work is now public. Puts the Snowden thing in a different perspective, doesn't it. (Grokked from Dan)

Why, with production of domestic oil up drastically, do we still not have cheap gasoline. "The cumulative blitz on exploration and production over the past six years has been $5.4 trillion, yet little has come of it. Output from conventional fields peaked in 2005. Not a single large project has come on stream at a break-even cost below $80 a barrel for almost three years." It's called "peak oil". We will never have cheap gas again (unless there is a technological breakthrough in synthetics). Keep this in mind as we enter the public aspect of the 2016 presidential election. Anyone telling you we can produce domestically to get low cost gas is lying through their teeth (or at least has no concept of what they're talking about). (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

Why we can't have nice things. "House Republicans are planning to spend as much as $3.3 million for this year's operations of the special committee they created in May to investigate the September 2012 Benghazi attacks, a bigger budget than the House Veterans Affairs and Ethics committees were given this year." And "The Benghazi committee has no deadline for a final report, and it is almost certain it will continue into next year." No, the committee (as long as conservatives are still in charge of the House) will continue to operate until a time that either Hillary Clinton says no to a Presidential bid, is mathematically out of the nomination, or the Tuesday after the first Monday in November 2016. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

So, how are all those conservative "state revolutions" working out? "(I)t turns out you can’t save the Economy Fairy just by clapping louder." Well, the article ignores Ohio, which also went hard right in 2010. Depending on whose numbers you believe, either we're doing fantastic (low-er unemployment) or about as good as the rest (lower numbers of people in the workforce, millions to private interests through our "semi"-private business offices of government, remove the results of the American Auto Industry Bail-out and it's pretty bad).

Only backward, third-world countries use prison labor to manufacture items. Uh, yea, no. Also what's not listed here, items used in prisons (clothing, flip-flops, bedding) are often made by inmates. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Tweet of my heart: @cjwerleman Colorado offered free birth control. Teen pregnancy falls 40%. Science is hard.