Aircraft carriers in space is an interesting article on SF in Foreign Policy magazine. Lots of world building stuff in there if you're thinking of writing space opera-ish stories. There's always the writerly "But…" that you can do (I can think of very reasonable reasons why you'd have the fighter attached to a carrier paradigm), but all in all a nice article. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
You know all those videos of people launching knick-knacks into low-earth orbit with weather balloons, which then fall back all while the video camera runs? I guess that wasn't good enough. So now some guy is going to drop from about 23 miles up from a modified weather ballon rig. By the time he reaches the ground he will have broken the sound barrier without plane. (Grokked from Tor.com)
So, Michelle Bachmann walks into a synagogue in Chicago during Yom Kippur. Isn't there also supposed to be a monk and clone and they all decide to go bowling together? Anyway, one person feels so violated by this that they're spurred to give a donation to her opponent. That's one way to win them over. (Grokked from Dan)
Every culture that touches Christianity changes it in subtle ways. Most fundamentals think this is horrible, but it's actually the sign of a living religion. That link is to modified pop culture Virgin Mary icons.
Fred Clark on the apocalyptic rhetoric and it's consequences. In this case, the thought of Obama winning a second term was enough to tip a man over the edge and helped contribute to murdering his wife and sons. Now, something was going to get this guy; a stale mars bar or low-flying airplane, but the priming of the pump with what we used to call hellfire and brimstone sermons only it's now about the zero-sum game in politics. At the end Fred asks if the pundit class on the right ever reads these stories and if it gives them pause. No, Fred, they don't. If these ever do make it on their radar, it's something they easily dismiss, like I did above. They don't have their Fisher King moment.
And, unfortunately, these apocalyptic ravings aren't the first time we've heard them. Libby Anne takes on the Focus on the Family's "Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America." You can see the same hysterics in this year's rhetoric. (Grokked from the Slactivist)
Wanna know what the Earth sounds like from outer space? Sure you do. This is what we sound like if you had radio antenna for ears. More about it here. Who knew we would sound like whales on helium? Ah, genuine space gas music. Oh, and don't miss reading about Killer Electrons. Which is the name of my next band.
You know all that talk about how the Mittster's comments about the 47 just weren't stated "elegantly"? Well, here's a real example of when something is stated inelegantly. That's the lawyer that the Speaker of the House hired to defend DOMA, "…speaking on behalf of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives…told the appeals court that the Defense of Marriage Act was consistent with the intention of Congress to continue 'preserving programs the way they’ve always been — not opening these programs to others.'… As an example, he said the government cannot deny benefits to blue-eyed people." But if you're gay they can. Anyway, the statement comes out very insensitively and possibly racist (but more than likely refers to a famous classroom experiment on racism), but is close to the point he was trying to make is that the government can't disenfranchise you because of something you have no control over or some arbitrary delineation (which makes being gay different somehow - yes, I know, because he probably thinks, or his client thinks, that being gay is still a choice). That's speaking inelegantly, Mitt was just being a dick. There's a difference (although both could still be dicks). (Grokked from Jay Lake)
In case you think that the US is the only democracy to be corrupted by the corporatocracy, our mother country has the same problems. And you'll notice similar themes of less taxes for the rich, less regulation on business, and less social services, all in the name of a "greater society." (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)
A small example of this in the US is the closing of the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum. And that plan they paid $45,000 for (when the annual budget of the museum was $85,000) sound like a sure plan to kill what's left. (Grokked from Joe Hill)
Look, real voter registration fraud. Oh, wait, it's the Republicans again. Never mind. Move on citizen, nothing to see here. "The RNC… hastily cut ties with Strategic Allied Consulting when the first questionable forms were discovered in Palm Beach County…" Good on them, but… "Strategic Allied is run by an Arizona-based… Republican Party activist… who has been dogged by charges in the past that his employees destroyed Democratic registration forms. No charges were ever filed. But his reputation is such that Sproul (the owner of SA) said RNC officials requested that he set up a new firm so the party would not be publicly linked to the past allegations. The firm was set up at a Virginia address, and Sproul does not show up on the corporate paperwork." Well, maybe not all that good on them. The end of the article blames just one worker. Although to be fair, IIRC, Florida has a law that if someone fills out a voter registration form that form must be submitted (this is the same thing that the GOP accused Acorn of doing in the last election cycle). Also, don't miss reading the second page. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
"As Steve Kornacki notes, the public is currently rejecting the GOP ticket’s ideas — because the GOP failed to come up with a true post-Bush agenda that the American mainstream will actually accept." But it's easier just to say the polls are skewed and that's why the numbers are changing. You know, after months of touting the polls showing Romney ahead and how those polls correctly gauged the populace. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
Tweet of my heart: @StevenBrust: While I was holding forth this weekend. @pnh observed, "Sometimes you think you're justified, but it turns out to be ragged right."