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Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Linkee-poo tells me over and over and over again, my friend, ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

The "self-loathing" thing. Le sigh. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

On the Writer's Alamanc for Wednesday, December 18th, they have a poem by Mary Oliver called The Journey. While it's a great poem about coming into your own life, it also reads well as writing advice. Highly recommended reading. "One day you finally knew / what you had to do, and began, / though the voices around you / kept shouting / their bad advice". Yes, that. First rule of Write Club, writers write. (I haven't written much lately, but the words are still there and have been trickling out.)

"It’s possible that most of the women are incredibly difficult to work with, have no time to answer publishings’ phone calls, or simply refuse to leave empty space for type setting. It’s possible like it’s possible George R.R. Martin will release a book next year… What’s definitely not possible is that these women aren’t capable of doing commercial SF&F work. That’s just bullshit." Justin Landon on gender parity of genre cover illustrators. (Grokked from Tor.com)

How to cook for a hobbit. Or cooking for a Lord of the Rings movie marathon, including recipes. (Grokked from Jay Lake, I believe)

Ad execs in Australia agree to be subject to electrical shocks from the internet to raise money for charity. A real life Milgram Experiment, only with live video feed and for charity instead of "following orders." See, I'd be interested to see what ISPs those commands came from (the call is coming from inside the house). I'm not sure this would work in the US, as the subject may cross over into electro-shock therapy levels of audience participation. (Pointed to by Dan)

"Students who, by lottery, were selected to visit the museum on a field trip demonstrated stronger critical thinking skills, displayed higher levels of social tolerance, exhibited greater historical empathy and developed a taste for art museums and cultural institutions." A new art museum opens in an area that never had museum access to visual art before. This is what is known as a natural experiment, and social scientists took advantage of the opportunity. Turns out, visiting an art museum is highly beneficial both mentally and emotionally. It's not a surprise for those of us who visit museums. If you live in NE Ohio, you also have the benefit of living near a world class art museum, work class orchestra, nationally prominent natural history museum, a good science museum, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Maltz Museum, and a bunch of smaller institutions. Cleveland, we got class, by the butt-load. But, no, seriously, take you kids to the museums. Most art (public) museums are free at least on some days (special exhibits sometimes cost extra). (Grokked from Cat Rambo)

Why I use Apple products (even if I don't have an iPhone). "But once Apple introduced a 64-bit processor, all the other phone-makers wanted one too. 'Apple kicked everybody in the balls with this. It’s being downplayed, but it set off panic in the industry.'" Well, that and this. (Pointed to by Dan)

"'We would prefer to keep our capitol secular… but if the state decides to turn it into an open forum, they have opened the floodgates. We hope everyone takes advantage of this opportunity to advertise their own viewpoints, no matter how silly.'" I'm sure the whole "open forum" idea sounded great when most people thought it would just be Xmas trees and nativity sets. But now in Wisconsin there's a Flying Spaghetti Monster display and in Florida there's a Festivus Poll. The easiest way to stop the madness is to keep government out of religion and vice-versa.

Oh, and the Satanic Temple Monument. The case ands it's complexity "also sheds light on the very real privileges that Christianity is afforded from our nominally secular government." Yes, that. And if you want to argue that the Satanists don't have historical case (which a savvy lawyer would be able to run through with a stake to the heart), it'll be a lot harder to deny the Hindus on the same grounds. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Just for the silliness of it, the Star Wars Bohemian Rhapsody. (Grokked from Tor.com, I think)

"Defining when an issue is about race and when it isn't can be a tricky dance. And too many people see slapping a racial category on an issue as a way of dismissing it from general consideration — placing the conversation in the realm of unjustified grousing about a marginal idea." On CBS playing Toto's Africa during the photo montage tribute to Nelson Mandela and the recent Fox News faux pas on Santa Claus and Jesus's race. (Grokked from Justine Larbalestier)

"Despite many good intentions and initiatives, gender inequality is still rife in science. Although there are more female than male undergraduate and graduate students in many countries, there are relatively few female full professors, and gender inequalities in hiring, earnings, funding, satisfaction and patenting persist." A worldwide bibliographic research on gender parity in scientific publishing find significant disparity. Go figure. (Grokked from Tor.com)

When cowboys wore pink. Or, in other words, all this genderization of toys and society is a relatively recent phenomenon. Reminds me of the time I used purple for a Catholic Church recruitment poster which went very well until a t-shirt vendor said to the client, "Only gay people like purple." And then we had to redesign to change the purple, which, as you may know, is the color of many saints and the Christ. Sigh. Society has become so screwed up because of some people's fear of teh gayz. Have I ever mentioned some of the comments I would get when I wore a cardigan sweater to work back in the 90s? (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Whackaloon. "'I don't care if he's from Lithuania or Laos, I don't care. Santa Claus is white,' Boortz said. 'He's been white for brown, black, white for ages.'… On Monday, while defending Fox News host Megyn Kelly on the issue, Boortz said Santa is white just like 'Martin Luther King is always portrayed as black.'"

"In recent years, increasing numbers of patients worldwide have contracted severe bacterial infections that are untreatable by most available antibiotics. Some of the gravest of these infections are caused by bacteria carrying genes that confer resistance to a broad class of antibiotics called beta-lactams, many of which are treatments of last resort. Now a research team reports that some wastewater treatment plants in China discharge one of these potent resistance genes into the environment." As Bender would say, we're boned. (Pointed to by Dan)

New research shows vitamins don't help you live longer. "Three studies published Monday add to multivitamins' bad rap. One review found no benefit in preventing early death, heart disease or cancer. Another found that taking multivitamins did nothing to stave off cognitive decline with aging. A third found that high-dose multivitamins didn't help people who had had one heart attack avoid another… 'Enough is enough,' declares an editorial accompanying the studies in Annals of Internal Medicine. 'Stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements.'" See the problem there? Okay, some supplement companies have been touting their vitamins and herbals as wonder drugs that will make you fart rainbows and unicorns, but most people don't take vitamins to halt cancer (although I've heard people recommend it, which, don't, people, they just don't and they can cause more problems by altering the effects of the pharmaceuticals you're taking, same with "bombing" your system with super-hyper doses of vitamins) or prevent heart disease, but since research shows vitamins don't help with these scientists are saying "Don't Take Them Evar!". This is one of the problems with science. There is historical precedent for vitamin therapy. Those of us in NE Ohio have a deficit of Vit. D (note, not all Vit. D is the same, do some research). I could go on about just how "minimum" are those "minimum daily dose" recommendations are and what vitamins are good for you and how they work (and why some aren't necessary), but the scientists saying "Don't waste your money" are lying just as much as those supplement producers telling you they can cure cancer. If you eat a balanced diet, if you live on the coast, if you get plenty of sunshine, and if you're in good health, yes, your need to supplement vitamin and mineral intake is very minimal. But how many of us really fall into that category?

Oh looks, another idiot blaming Obamacare for something that isn't in Obamacare (the requirement isn't in Obamacare, as the article states that initiative was started a long time before, but Obamacare and the Stimulus provided funds to help doctors move into the end of the 20th Century). (Grokked from Jay Lake)

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