Jay Lake's Link Salad is very good today. Including these gems: Like finding mutated butterflies in Fukushima. That sound? That's another of the shoes dropping. The Arctic is losing 50% more summer ice than predicted. Drop, drop drop. But the good news is that ice is forming faster in the early winter. Which partially masks the greater loss in the summer. Oh well. And a story from Matt Fisher about how insane our laws regarding insurance really are (and before anybody wanks on the "free market" I'll let you guess who had the lobby that pushed for the Maryland law that prevents you from directly suing an insurance company for failure to pay). No, we didn't interbreed with Neanderthals. And there's plenty for the political side. Including Juan Cole's showing how our elections are trying to be bought by 47 billionaires with the rise of the Super PACs. And more on Paul Ryan, including his self-loathing attacks on Social Security Paul Krugman's shouting to try and remind people that Ryan isn't the moderate they're trying to paint him as. And how Ryan is playing to the gullibility of self-proclaimed centrists, who want to show their 'balance' by finding a conservative to praise." And the Ezra Klein with a short brief on who Paul Ryan is.