Terry Bisson's 60 rules for short SF (and Fantasy). Including this one, "The stranger the idea, the realer the world must seem to be."
And the Irony Prize winner of the day? The man who is thrown from his motorcycle and dies while protesting mandatory helmet laws, when a helmet would have saved him. While we can all laugh (yes, you can laugh), there's some interesting sociological aspects in that story. Those that are anti-helmet say "we know the risks, he died doing what he wanted." The opposition says, "What a waste, and for no real reason." I wonder what his family thinks? Also, just how much extra did he cost you and me by not wearing his helmet? I guess we might be glad that he didn't survive and require more medical help than ambulance transportation. (Pointed to by Dan)
A letter from Juan Cole to our new found brothers in freedom of the Arab Spring, how to avoid our mistakes. I'm sure the "America, Fuck Yeah!" crowd will find this annoying in a "why do liberals hate Amurica" way. But, yes, this. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
An article on how with the stimulus winding down, conservatives point to the slowing economy and jobs to say the stimulus didn't work. When it did indeed work as designed. And now it's effect is lessening, as designed. Also, notice now discussion about how we may be turning to a "double-dip" or an "even slower recovery" now that the stimulus money is no longer there. But don't expect many people to make that connection. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
Some charts showing government spending since 2001 (adjusted for inflation). Again, if you think we can cut our way out of this, but won't cut defense and the mandatory spending, you're whistling Dixie. One of those conservatives won't touch, and the other is political death. Which leaves the third route, actually generating revenue. Which conservatives are dead-set against. Unless a case of reality checks breaks out soon, I think this August will be very painful. For everybody.
And, strangely enough, the voter reform act in Ohio has dropped the photo ID requirement in the Senate. Well, I'll be damned. Reminds me of the time at Akron U, after students had been yelling about text book prices, it finally took a regent's child going to Akron for the board to really address and confront the issue (IIRC, they only raised tuition 2% that year). In general, this is the wrong reason to either make law or change laws.