Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Linkee-poo is tired of living in this one-horse town

Borders has filed for liquidation. Cue the "Publishing is Dead" crowd in 3… 2… 1… It had nothing to do with their property management, purchasing policy, or constant churn at the top. Nope, not anything at all. Anybody remember B. Dalton, Waldenbooks, and any of the others?

David B Coe on creating minor characters. Even side characters have their motivations, skills, needs, and expectations. It could be maddening to keep track of it all, but then, they don't need to be deep. You don't need to explain how you're second in command of security is driven by her being the only girl in a family with 3 boys. Or that she has a deep need to prove herself. But as a writer, it's good to know those things to explain why she's upset her part of the plan was 2 minutes behind schedule or why she kicks-ass better than some of the other thumpers she directs.

Cool photo of the orbiter, the ISS, and the aurora australis. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Jay Lake has a short and interesting post on cancer and invisibility. While you can attribute it to various levels of "no hair" and "no beard", and those things definitely can make someone nearly unrecognizable (hey, it's the stock action of criminals) I think there's a heavy dose of cultural invisibility as well. When people fall ill, or their luck runs out, find themselves on hard times, go against the "stories we tell ourselves" our culture can erect a veil before them (this is sometimes exacerbated by the individual internalizing this and "putting themselves on the iceflow" as it were). I'm not saying this is good behavior, I'm just pointing out a common occurrence. Fortunately, this is changing. Slowly. Jay is also going in for his fourth cancer surgery today. We wish him good luck and a speedy recovery. Fourth time is a charm, or something like that.

Eric, mirroring some of my own thoughts. "… there is no other way to describe a party that has viciously turned on proposals (in healthcare and economic reform, for example) that originated on their side and have been offered back to them by the President in the spirit of meeting them more than halfway." (emphasis in the original) Yes. That. Also mirrored at Janieces' place. I think for me, part of it is a great weariness of having to prove my point over and over again against opponents who don't bother to prove themselves, but cling to their convictions as a drowning person clings to a scrap of wood that may help them float. No matter how often I prove that this rope here is a much better choice to get them out of the water, they think it's a hangman's noose.

Mitt Romney gets ignorant. And he's right. Carbon is not harmful. However, CO2 and CO are (and that's what we're talking about regulating). Very much so. Don't believe me? Okay. You survive in a booth that replaces the air content of O2 with CO2 and I'll believe your point. No. Really. Do it. Do it now or concede the point. And if you don't think CO is bad, maybe you missed how we sell CO detectors in the same vein we sell fire/smoke detectors. Want to know why CO2 is bad? Because it's an acid, man (you need to say that like a stoner). CO2 + H2O make H2CO3 (Carbonic Acid) which then makes H+ and HCO3 (bicarbonate, which is a buffer). This action is reversible and easily converts from one state to the other with H2CO3 being the preferred state (for nature, not for us). Too much CO2 in your system and your pH drops. If it drops too far (it's actually a pretty narrow band) and your enzymes quit working. That happens and death quickly follows. Getting rid of CO2 is actually the subconscious driver of breathing (2 steps above O2 levels) because of this. You breathe not so much to get O2 as to rid your system of CO2, 'cause it's an acid, man.

Because it keeps coming up, more on the "lightbulb ban." A quote from that article. "In fact, there is no 'light bulb ban.' Because of the advanced light-bulb standards Upton (R-MI) helped pass in 2007, 'the incandescent bulb is turning into a case study of the way government mandates can spur innovation,' the New York Times reported last year. 'There have been more incandescent innovations in the last three years than in the last two decades.' The new light bulb efficiency standards are supported by the light bulb manufacturing industry. 'When this bill was passed, it was passed by people who knew how to make light bulbs,' says Randall Moorhead, vice president of government affairs at Philips… 'Everyone supported it… it’s created more choice for consumers — we have two incandescent bulbs on the market that weren’t there before.' The standards will save about $100 per household annually in lower electricity costs, or about $12 billion per year when fully implemented." The people telling you this is a bad thing are lying to you. They are trying to get you upset to make sure they have your vote. Let's see: innovation, more consumer choice, reinvestment, saving money and lowering our dependence on fossil fuel energy. Yep, don't want any of that. The government should get out of the regulation business! Stop telling us what to do with giving us more choices and saving us energy/money. This is a non-issue.

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