Cory Doctorow on where characters come from. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)
The Guardian with a squib about where SF is going in 2013. Mostly, "woohoo, SF rocks!", but some other things in there. Given last weeks Writing Excuses was also about four ways the industry is changing I'm starting to see a meme emerging. (Grokked from John Scalzi)
You know how some evolution deniers like to talk about how evolution isn't reproducible in or could be studied in a laboratory (you know, unlike Creation which has oh so many lab applications)? Well, they're even more wrong. In this case it isn't so much forcing animals to evolve (that's been done for a while, but mostly on bacteria), but to prove and theory held about evolution and the rise of larger-brained animals. In this case they bred guppies for larger brains and saw a decrease in other organ size and the size of the broods. Which is what was predicted. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
"… Roughly 1 in 5 families with children are not getting enough food…For some, free or reduced-price school meals have become a major source of basic nutrition. When schools close for the holidays, many of those families struggle to fill the gap." (Full disclosure, I qualified for free lunches when I was in school) Good thing we're cutting food stamps and the other social net programs. After all, if we're going to have a 3rd world economy with 3rd world income disparities, we have to have the starving kids with Kwashiorkors to go along with the package.
Physicists have created a gas which can reach "sub-Kelvin temperatures." There's going to be various technical arguments about exactly what they did and the definition of absolute zero, but it's this line that is the payoff. "Another peculiarity of the sub-absolute-zero gas is that it mimics 'dark energy',". (Grokked from Jay Lake)
Someone else's thoughtful insights into the 2nd Amendment. (Grokked from Mirandi Suri, I think, although Eric shows up in the comments)
Oh, what might have been. Actually it does make sense that Steve Jobs nixed putting a cellular phone in the Newton, as he killed the product off a short time later. But what if Apple had started the smart phone revolution (rather than upsetting the cart later)? (Pointed to by Dan)
The DCCC is being helpful by sending Freshman Conservative Representatives Tea Party Membership cards. Before you get irate, read the last paragraph on what the NRCC sent Democratic Freshmen. (Pointed to by Dan)
Empathy is a long climb. Isn't it strange that when people have direct and deep contact with our healthcare system they tend to have the scales drop from their eyes. It isn't just Medicare that limits PT visits, when I broke my leg I ran up against my insurance's yearly PT visit limitation. For mental health issues, most insurance in Ohio limits you to 4 visits per year (and even that was an epic battle to change regulations to require mental health coverage at all, such a battle would be impossible in today's environment).
Another take on Sen. Kirk's epiphany regarding Medicare. That leap, the one saying, "Hey, I know about this one thing, but this is one of many things" is a difficult one. It is doubly so in some conservatives' brain spaces which can compartmentalize how their actions are just but if someone else does the same thing, they're wrong (see the number of "my abortion was necessary and right, all yours are because your selfish and want to kill babies" stories). On in other words, learning to walk the walk means you need to do more than put one foot in front of the other. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
The Day's Quote: (brought to you via Teri Windling) "In order to write the book you want to write, in the end you have to become the person you need to become to write that book." ― Junot Díaz