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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.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Linkee-poo's heart was never kind, tell me I'm blind

Eleven things to know if you're dating a writer. Hahahaha, oh, wait… (Grokked from Mer Haskell)

Stephen King's top 20 rules for writers (restated from his On Writing. Not included in the rules, be definitely something you should pay attention to is, "King admits that he doesn’t think much about the opening line as he writes, in a first draft, at least. That perfectly crafted and inviting opening sentence is something that emerges in revision, which can be where the bulk of a writer’s work happens."

Mary Robinette Kowal gives a good definition of what cultural appropriation is like.

Writing Excuses is doing critiques of the members' stories. While somewhat a backdoor marketing piece for their anthology, still worth a listen (even if you haven't read the story). In case you've ever wondered how to give a critique, what you should probably focus on, you should give them a listen. Best line so far, "And the prose was serviceable." If that were to be said about your (and especially my) first draft, that's a high compliment.

So wants. I think I'll spend the money on vacation, though, but that's a nice ring. (Grokked from Tania)

"The post underscores the futility of relying on obscurity to prevent hacking attacks. Sadly, the approach, known as security through obscurity, underpins much of today's Internet of things offerings." Your light bulbs just got hacked. Just so I say it again, sometimes I don't adopt new technology for some good reasons. Plus, my light bulbs have a very serviceable on/off switch already, I don't need a cell phone for them, thanks. For the record, I do have (some) LED bulbs, but they're the basic dumb kind. For exactly this reason. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"Fineman reported that the retail sales for Clinton's book, Hard Choices, had 'plummeted another 50 percent in the third week -- down to 26,190 from 48,200 the week before and 85,900 the first week of publication.'" Okay, so are there any of my other fellow writer peeps out there who wouldn't kill someone to get those numbers? I guess her book is a failure in the way Stephen King, JK Rowling, Danielle Steel, and Richard Patterson are also failures at writing.

The problem with crowd sourcing? Crowds. It makes it easy for competitors to launch cyber strikes at each other. Like no one could see this one coming. (Grokked from Neil Gaiman)

Why we shouldn't let asshole workaholics define our future. That's a conversation with Larry Page, CEO of Google, on the coming robotic age where most of our jobs will disappear. So, CEO, totally misunderstands history (like how the industrial revolution enticed people off farms so it spurred innovation on farms to deal with less people, not the other way around, and don't get me started on the glaring errors in macroeconomics), but he's the one telling us it'll be all right. Just remember, when a pick-pocket tells you to relax, hold on to your wallet. Also, no, robots aren't all that good at doing some jobs (and aren't likely to get better). (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Some questions you may want to ask when you visit proposed colleges. Some are specific to the UK, but still some interesting ways to look into the life of the University. Having been a university tour guide (I can walk backward and talk, a skill I've actually used in real life) and having a spouse who works as an adjunct faculty, I support this article. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

As we're now experiencing another in the series of journalist who saw that the grass was greener over on the conservative side of reporting (coughFoxNewscough) and so is decrying the "liberal bias of the MSM", it bears to repeat that the conservative media (coughFoxNewscough) is not an independent voice and is tied to corporate (coughKochIndustriescough) interests. The word you're looking for after reading that article is "bootlickers". Remember the pillaring Dan Rather got for attending a party thrown by his daughter, and then left quickly once he realized it was a political fund raiser? Good times, good times. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

And just in case you were wondering, the May Day SuperPAC did get its funding. (Grokked from Dan)

Repeat after me, she's keeping the baby and that's all that matters to the lunatic fringe. Again, Pro-Life is not about anti-abortion or morality or anything like that. It's about rolling back the sexual revolution and the societal changes that came with it. Of course the Conseravtive Representative form Louisiana is happy and supportive of his 17 year old daughter who is pregnant out of wedlock. If she were having an abortion, she'd just drop out of any chance of being seen by the public eye for a few months until it all blew over.

Remember that report early in the Obama Administration about ultra-right groups posing a terrorist threat to America. You know, the one that was pilloried by conservatives as over reactionary. Good times, good times. Seriously, these people do not know how to start a revolution, let alone fight one. For that we can thank movies, TV, and magazines like American Mercenary. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

As my grandmother once told me, every day is kids' day. Look, fellow whiteys, it's our club. We don't need another one. You're just upset that we're letting everyone (well, sometimes and mostly) in. But then some of you were always looney, I couldn't expect better of you. I'm just upset that you seem to have multiplied.

Tweet of my heart: @janfromthebruce I love when people who paid 1,000 a yr tuition & bought a house for under $100,000 explain why teens shouldn't make $14/hr. #MinimumWage

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Proof of life

So, yesterday I did go to the Mespo Festival. It is mostly a large flea market with the chance to buy some good roast ox sandwiches and support the Mespo Fire Department. The people around Mespo are an interesting mix. Here are some crowd shots.

The image above is standing in line to get a cheese on a stick (also supports the Cardinal Band). That was a 45 minute line. While the line for the sandwiches was about 6x as long, it was also only about 45 minutes (which was surprising, given previous years' progression I expected it to be 3 hours). What is everybody looking at? Well, they were adding new wood to the fire. The wood they use are remnants (from logging). Think the outside skins of trees that are sawn off while making lumber. So, they're about 8 to 12 foot long planks just thrown onto a fire (they firemen are good grillers, they only use the coals and ash from the fire to heat the beach-ball sized pieces of meet).

Also, had lunch/dinner sitting across from an exurban hipster. Yea, that was pretty surreal. Also, there were exactly 3 Goths there. I know this because in this crowd, they stood out. Also, wearing black in the hot sun, probably not the best choice.

But one thing about Mespo is not only do the have the oldest still operating general store in Ohio, and one of the few remaining examples of a village green (it's where the festival is at), but they have a great cemetery with some cool stones. Like this one.

Linkee-poo isn't taking a holiday

Too much to study. Although I did go to the Mespo festival yesterday. And now I have sunburn on one side of my face and neck. I'll just tell people it's a radiation burn from a bad gamma-ray experiment.

"Time for the Fourth Annual Maureen "AJ" Ramey Memorial Summer Reading Program."

Sure, vampires may sparkle, but did you know the also have the fluffiest of tails? I bet you didn't. Also, there are "vampire squirrels" in the world? WTF? Also, there are Giant Acorns roaming the lands of Borneo, which these squirrels mostly feed on. But local legend also says they "that the squirrels will perch on low branches, jump onto a deer, gash its jugular vein, and disembowel the carcass." Christ, I think I just peed my armor. You'll never watch "Up" the same way again, will you? (Grokked from Dan)

It may come as news to some that western energy companies have become targets for hackers. Really, this has been going on for years now, but it seems to have become corporatized. My favorite line from that article is that the groups "operate during Eastern European business hours." Slackers! Why, in my day, we would drink Mountain Dew and stay up all night hacking. The kids these days with their weird ideas about work. (Grokked from Dan)

Well, that didn't take long. "The day after the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, a group of religious leaders sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking that he exempt them from a forthcoming executive order that would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people." I find it interesting that so many supposedly religious people are fighting so hard to be assholes to so many people.

Yea, the KKK doesn't want to alienate anyone or make them uncomfortable, they'll just makes sure if you don't agree with them that you'll be dead in their white-revolution. "'The only solution is an all-white revolution,' The Patriot News reported one Klansman as having preached… 'We are taking back this land,' and shouted." Sound familiar? (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Just in case you think we're living in a post racial world, how about a story of a prep-schools first female, black, lesbian class president who mocks the majority rich, white culture. (Grokked from Maureen Johnson, I think)

How lawless was Iraq under US control? This lawless. Reports of a Blackwater Manager threatening the lives of two State Department investigators in Iraq and then had them removed from the country. I've said it before, they're a bunch of cowboys who give mercenaries a bad name. (Grokked from Matt Staggs, I think)

Five efforts by the religious right to disprove science that were failures to launch. (Grokked from Janiece)

The difference between Republicans and Republicans who watch Fox News. (Grokked from Janiece)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Well the world's greatest wonder from what I can tell…

Sweet Amarillo from Old Crow Medicine Show and and NPR story on the genesis of the song.

Damn this old cowboy for my foolish pride.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Linkee-poo is gearing up for the downhill run to graduation

And, then, of course, came the start of a brand new novel thought. Sigh. Brain, I wish you'd get with the program.

Nineteen rare recording of famous authors. (Grokked from

Wait, Ready Player One is going to be a movie? Cool. I mean, sure, it's a Willie Wonka story, but it's a good one. (Grokked from

Dolls can just be creepy (it's that whole uncanny valley thing), and they often feature in horror for just that reason. But in real life they can also freak people out. That's a doll found by the side of the road in Singapore with a blindfold inscribed with "bismillah". Apparently someone removed the blindfold and the doll followed them home. Or, you know, it could be a hoax. (Grokked from Stewart Sternberg)

The world's largest underground trampoline park opens soon. Because reasons. (Grokked from

While some people learned everything they needed to know in life in Kindegarden, I learned what I needed to know hanging out with Senior Chiefs. Things that are none of my business, a non-comprehensive list. (While Janiece's site is on my reading list, groomed from Phiala)

While I disagree with their classifying Russia in with Europe (while St. Petersburg may have had a European focus, much of Eastern Russia focused on Asia and Asia Minor), but still a nice map of areas controlled/colonized by Europe. So when someone talks about "Western cultural hegemony", now you know what they're talking about. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

The problem with creating beasts is the often turn on the hand that feeds them. Some part of me thinks there is an attempt to re-establish Fox New's creds going forward, but that's just the conspiracy theorist in me.

Want to know why people have been beating the drum on climate change? Most people think meat comes from the grocery store. These two things are connected. In other words, a lot of what is discussed (warmer temps, ocean rise, stronger storms) aren't really the problem. It's what those things mean for our civilization that's the problem. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

"Isn’t it fun when you can discover a new wing nut… What we’re gathering from this is that Joy Pinto thinks birth control is the original sin or some such nonsense." Well, I guess we're going to make it a game, then. Given the Supreme Court this week striking down "safe buffer zones", I'm really going to hate what is coming in the next few years as we refight for abortion. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

", a coalition that includes The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Greenpeace, the Freedom of the Press Foundation, and other groups, flew a 135-foot thermal airship over the million-square-foot NSA facility in Bluffdale, Utah today." Frankly, I think an army of those wavy arm blowups would have been better, but that's me. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Linkee-poo is burning through the sky, 200 degrees, that's why they call me Mr. Fahrenheit, traveling at the speed of light

Mary Robinette Kowal on finding, accepting, and processing critiques and how to train your internal editor. Also gives a good example of why starting writers should try to ignore the internal editor as you are writing.

"The researchers… observed a broad network of regions in the brain working together as people produced their stories… (T)here were notable differences between the two groups of subjects (experienced and novice writers). The inner workings of the professionally trained writers… showed some similarities to people who are skilled at other complex actions, like music or sports." This is your brain on writing. (Grokked from Christine Purcell)

The Rockford Files title sequence deconstructed. Also noted for it's character building qualities. (Grokked from Dan)

A hue angle of 270 degrees, saturation of 50, and a lightness of 40. (Grokked from John Scalzi with a nod toward Ferrett Steinmetz)

The science of pigments and poison, with examples from paintings. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

How not to do it. A company that will send you a $10 roll of quarters every month for the low, low price of $14.99, monthly. You know, so you have quarters to do your laundry. Okay, I thought selling water in a bottle was hutzpah. (Grokked from Dan)

"Conceding the time has come to limit the proliferation of new movies that simply rehash old ones, Universal Studios and Warner Bros. have entered bilateral talks to reduce their considerable stockpiles of unproduced reboots, sources confirmed Wednesday." Oh, Onion, how I love you. (Grokked from

Well, fuck. "Another kid lies dying at the hands of SWAT teams looking for drugs via no-knock warrant." So glad we're "tough on crime." Look, I'm very pro-police. I had direct overview of our local force once upon a time. I know their job is tough, and I know what they face is a difficult job with little thanks for it. But, seriously folks, using these tactics for low-level people and without active intelligence is just stupid. While the street cops will take the heat for this, it's really a management issue. This is a failure of planning, failure of judicial overview, failure of intelligence gathering, and failure of execution. Unfortunately the wrong person has to pay for it.

So, if fracking was bad, shouldn't we have lots of reports about the health risks by now? Sure, unless your state health department has a system to ignore calls about it. Remember folks, the ads say, "Safe and proven technology" not proven safe technology. More about the hidden costs of your "cheap" energy. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"The flurry of stock trades in major health care companies that followed has since caught the eye of federal law enforcement as well as Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who has made investigating the matter one of his pet projects… In his search, Grassley… cast suspicion on the Obama administration as the source of the leak… But in a twist, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that federal regulators… have now focused their attention on a Republican health policy staffer in the House." Sucks when that happens, doesn't it.

"Open Carry Texas group calls off march in predominantly black neighborhood." While the news actually sounds like someone bought a clue, the march is officially being called off because of a scheduling conflict. Dear OCT, you know the KKK also marches through black neighborhoods and the Neo-Nazi's march through Jewish neighborhoods too. Just a little historical context there.

"Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) said he hasn't conceded to Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) yet because 35,000 Democrats crossed over to vote in the runoff election for Cochran and claimed that it is illegal for voters to back one candidate in the primary but another in the general." Well, we will ignore that the obscure law he's referring to was found unconstitutional, but, hey, I's gots an idea! Seriously, okay, so if I'm "registered" as a certain party, I can't vote for the other party's candidate in the general election? By extension, all those who voted for McDaniel should probably not be able to vote for Cochran (or vice versa if he's successful, which he won't be). I'll take that. Please note reference to earlier link and the reading and interpretation of antiquated laws and opinions by a certain lunatic fringe of society. Well, here's a more high profile example of that.

"(O)ne Oklahoma congressional candidate took his accusation to a new level this week when he claimed his opponent was actually dead and being represented by a body double." Um, yea, Bob (reaches for the sedatives). (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

Quote du jour: "You're not important enough to have writer's block." - Paul O'Dwyer to Pete Hamill (editor's note, I may need to write that on tape and put it above my monitor)

Tweet of my heart: ‏@haleshannon But I always loved the writing advice, "Put everything you have into this book. Save nothing for the next."