Spent the morning at the courthouse, only to have the judge dismiss one count, and the state drop their prosecution of the other count. So, thanks Universe. I think that was meant to be a good thing.
George Takei, broker of intergalactic peace. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
Tor is sending Tobias Buckell on the road for his new book, Arctic Rising. So happy for my friend, you just wouldn't believe. Ah, I think I've found the Christmas Spirit early. Oh, wait, that's just the hard cider. All the events are on the other coast. (Congrats, Tobias.)
How doctors die. Having watched too many people go through a rough end of life, there is something to be said for Hospice (although, please note, not everyone there goes gently into the night either). (Grokked from Jay Lake)
Sure, you've seen the cats playing with the Friskee's app, but can they play a real video game like this bearded dragon? I think not. (Pointed to by John)
When the "free market" goes too far. Amazon once again shows the dark side of the force. Now, I'll admit, I've made purchases through Amazon after seeing something in a brick-and-mortar store. I've even made the comment to my wife, "I bet I could get a good deal on-line for (whatever see's looking at)." So I'm guilty. However, that's the consumer doing price shopping (and here I'll also say that I've gone the other way saying, "I could probably save a buck buying this online/outside my local shops", but then realizing what I'd save I would spend in doing that runaround, just purchased the item - there's several scenarios around this). This app is industrial espionage at an exceptionally course level. If Amazon went out and gathered this info (more difficult than just walking into a store with a pen and paper - see stories from Best Buy about doing that), and then set its price accordingly, I'm okay with that. But enlisting the consumer to do the dirty work? There's a line back there that we crossed. (Grokked from John Scalzi)
Paul Allen goes for the full Howard Hughes. Okay, well, launching rockets after taking them close to orbit by another means (aircraft, ballon) isn't a new idea. The old space launch company he funded (now Virgin Galactic) did the same thing with White Knight and SpaceShip One.
You know how climate scientists talk about "tipping points." Well we might have just passed one. It's already been seen that the melting permafrost in Alaska has been releasing methane, but this is a whole different scale. You know how we all get worried about CO2 releases? Yeah, methane is about 20x worse. Of course, the other side is all pictures or it didn't happen. Unfortunately, I can't find that the AGU has released the papers presented, yet. Considering this scientist has been talking about this for 5 years (that I can remember) and has more scientific cred that the deniers, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. But measurements would be nice (as I remember, though, methane research isn't what he's doing, these are just incidental sightings). (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)
Lies, damnable lies, and infographics. Serious face palm going on over at Fox News. Really, dudes, when it's only drawing grid lines to show how much you faked the chart, you're not even trying. And yes, I've been asked to make charts like that in previous positions, there are better ways of doing this work which don't intentionally show the lie (like how the chart goes from 8.0 to 10.0, which flattens out the line). Oh. Wait. I get it. This is the "Help, I'm being held prisoner in a fortune cookie factory" message. (Grokked from Phiala)
Another Tennessee house burns as firefighter watch. I'm of two minds about this, being Chairman of Safety (for only a few more weeks). It's damn expensive to run a fire department (you wouldn't believe the cost of equipment and the training necessary). So I understand the thinking behind the "the fire service is for our municipality, if you want it outside of that line, you need to buy into the service." $75 is chicken feed, btw, for such insurance. But I also understand there are people for whom $75 is a hardship. The way to settle this is property tax in the form of a levy to buy into the local municipality's fire service (we have two such arrangements, while the millage is the same, because of the increased value of property inside the village, we still pay they lion's share, not to mention tossing in extra income tax dollars). If you don't believe in taxes, then you have to go to fee for service. But then you have these types of things. And, yes, the firefighters will watch the blaze (not welcomely, they'd rather fight it) to make sure it doesn't spread to other properties that have paid the fee (or for which they could get reimbursed by federal agencies, like preventing a forest fire). (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)
I hope you'v all be working out, keeping this calluses in good shape, because this election year is going to be a doozy of a face palm season. Not to mention a rehash of the has-beens of the last election. I might want to stock up on the pepto bismol. (Grokked from Jim Wright)
When Rick Perry's campaign started off with his Day of Prayer, I worried a little. Then when it was exposed that the people behind his Day of Prayer were the New Apostolic Reformation, I got concerned. Then with his video, "Strong" Rick Perry proved he was a tool. Dear Texans, if you have the recall, I'd start doing it now. No, really, Rick has jumped the shark. The whole, "Obama's war on Christianity"? That takes some serious reality disconnect to get to. Rick shouldn't be allowed to operate a motor vehicle while taking such strong stuff, let alone being handed keys of power. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
Tweet of my heart
@God_Damn_Batman: The holidays are the most stressful time of year. What with all the shopping and armies of penguins with tiny missiles on their back.