What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Linkee-poo might as well begin to put some action in my life, breaking the law

A post on titling short stories and novels. One of these is not like the other.

Tobias Buckell on the profit structure of hardcovers and ebooks and how they're apples and oranges.

The NYT article by authors on writing. I'll need some more time to go through all that, if I can get any time at all for it. But just a quick overview of the headlines looks like there could be some good stuff to mine there. (Grokked from Dr. Doyle)

Way oh, there goes Tokyo, go go Godzilla. And article about the increasing body count of extras and people off scene who die in droves so the heros can come out alive and victorious at the end. Or, to put it another way, you know several police departments have rules about high-speed chases (specifically not engaging in them) because by not making the chase you end up saving more lives. Or in other words, at the end of the Avengers, we are left with a body count higher than what we experienced during 9/11 (not to mention nearly wiping out NYC with a tactical nuclear weapon), but instead of heading into cultural shock and mourning that last weeks (if not years), the good guys go out for shawarma. (Grokked from Tor.com)

Actor Peter Mayhew (aka Chewbacca) gets stopped by the TSA for his lightsaber shaped cane. Pointed out because while they get points for the "when a wookie loses" reference, but then loses those points for not commenting on the TSA's side of the story by saying something like, "this wasn't the cane they were looking for." (Grokked from Tor.com)

When I was younger, we used to classify this kind of thing as "gathering stars for your crown in heaven." In this case, Wil Wheaton gains even more super cool geek points. I think he's do for a free frogurt or something.

(Note to self, think up kickstarter for "Geek Stamps" nee "Green Stamps")

Some very cool time-lapse sky photography. And the music is okay. (Pointed to by John)

"Well, actually it is a direct quotation, but not from (Rep.) Stephen Fincher (R-TN). It’s a quotation from the 1936 Constitution of the Soviet Union… The key point for both Fincher and for his fellow-travelers in Stalin’s USSR is that 'work is a duty.'… But Fincher doesn’t understand what that means either. He doesn’t understand that if employment is a duty, then employment must also be a right." And that, friends, is why I read Fred Clark's posts. Mr. Clark also takes Rep. Fincher to task for quoting the Bible, not out of context, but by completely misconstruing both the passage and the content of the passage. When I was a very young, church going kinda guy, my grandfather taught me a very bad habit. He taught me to read the entire Bible chapter being used as the weekly readings before those passages were used in the sermon. And then I was to see if what the passages were actually saying in the context with which they were written in the Bible squared up with what was being preached. Rep. Fincher fails this simple text.

You hear about it all the time, but somebody actually reinvented the (skateboard) wheel. Well, I think I've seen this done before, but they got the patent and are looking to kickstart the startup cash to get a larger production run made. (Pointed to by John)

"Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the court, said the genes Myriad isolated are products (the genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2) of nature, which aren't eligible for patents." I'm not sure if I mentioned this in the link to the Angelina Jolie story, but that test she used to find if she carried the BRCA1/BRCA2 genes is only offered by one company (Myriad), could not be included in other genetic tests (because Myriad charges outrageous licensing rates) and costs a few thousand dollars. Why? Because they owned the patent. They also stopped other researchers from looking into how these genes work with the hope of maybe developing therapies to help women (and men) who carry them. As in, no one else in the world was doing research here and Myriad's own research wasn't nearly close to being able to develop actual treatments. Why should they? They were getting their money from selling the tests.

Eric with a very long piece on the ramifications and implications of the NSA spying controversy. "The first (way to protect the innocent) is to keep nothing… And the second is to keep everything, so that if a pattern emerges from the data--and patterns will emerge…" Yep.

Okay, I'm going to have to alter my opinion of Excel because of this. A man uses Excel to create art reminiscent of Japanese silk painting. Wow. (Pointed to by John)

Dismantling the legacy of The Boston Molasses Disaster. Or the effects of non-regulation and austerity are already known. Most of the time it's described in the terms of "disaster" or "great shame" (like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire). It's really a shame that one segment of our population doesn't understand history and is forcing us all to relearn these lessons (the West Fertilizer Company explosion for instance). And while we can talk about the market forces that would eventually drive these companies out of business and how "that's how it's supposed to work", allowing that to happen ignores the dead bodies left in these policies wakes as well as the money being sucked out of the economy into the stagnant hoards of the rich. Not to mention if we continue cutting welfare, Medicaid (and the cost of rejecting the Medicaid expansion), and SNAP to the poor (which actually is a cost-shiting exercise and doesn't actually save any money while it works for less people) how will Walmart be able to continue their business model. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

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