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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

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Weekend Linkee-poo says it's your birthday, it's my birthday too, yea

Henry Miller's 11 rules of writing. (Grokked from Mrs. Tad)

Jason Sanford on the Hugo ballot-stuffing brouhaha.

From Confessions of a Funeral Director, how grief actually works. (Grokked from Janiece)

Teaching creativity. (Grokked from Stewart Sternberg)

For your cultural edification, a pig-rider. Add in to this that one of the more successful tactics against war elephants was to grease pigs, set them on fire, and shoo them in the directions of the elephants. Warg riders my arse, welcome the dwarf Swine Riders of Hern. Yea, that's a story bone, go crazy with it. (Grokked from Camille Alexa)

How to leave work at work. As a recovering workaholic, yea, good luck with that. Well, maybe these techniques will work for you.

The three pitfalls to avoid when talking about race. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

It's gonna take a lot to get this egg off their face. Gee, Cliven Bundy turns out to be a racists. Who would have thought. But, hey, he likes the Spanish People. So, unable to speak about racism in code and willing to grant illegals amnesty. Hey BLM, I think the roads the Bundy homestead will be clear by the end of the weekend. (Grokked from Vince)

Say, remember that challenger to Sen. McConnell who said that after he spoke at a rally to legalize cockfighting that he didn't know where he was at? Someday people will learn that in this modern age, someone is always recording. Yea, turns out, he was lying. And this was the guy who was a serious contender to Sen. McConnell? (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

As a former Chairman of Safety, yea, don't park in front of hydrants. My firemen know I'd have their backs if they had to do something like this. (Grokked from Janiece)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekend Linkee-poo dreamed he met a Gallilean

Ferrett sells a novel. If you're a writer who hasn't broken through yet, go read his post. Heck, even if you have, go read his post.

"'It's a staff issue, so we're taking care of the staffing error,' (District spokeswoman Mary Kay Roth) said. 'It wasn't supposed to be sent home.'" Um, how about it should never have been written let alone copied. Seriously, don't tattle on bullies? Exact opposite of what kids should be doing.

So, there was this whole thing after the 2012 election when conservatives both failed to take back the White House and the Senate, and also lost seats in the House, about making sure that next time conservatives would hew to the message and not stick their collective feet in their mouths again. How's that working out? Well, I'm sure that's just one candidate speaking out of their ass. Okay, well, at least they're not engaging in the war on women any… Yea. At least in the manner of sticking ones foot in ones mouth, they don't seem to have much control there this year. So, how's the whackaloon count going? Oookaay. How about the other hate thing? Sigh.

Well, there's one life Obamacare helped save. (Grokked from Steven Gould, I think)

"What you’re doing is attempting to limit my choices, and I don’t appreciate that… There are young women my age who are extremely smart but they hide it because they get messages from women like you that if they are too smart or successful, boys won’t like them. They get messages from women like you that pleasing a man should be their number one goal." A 12-year old sees through Phyllis Schlafly's comments (linked to above). The unfortunate thing is, not many people do (although I'm heartened that more are). (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

The lawyer who argued for California's Prop 8 in front of the Supreme Court has an adopted daughter who is gay and wants to marry her partner. And Charles Cooper is adjusting his views on the matter. So, good on him. Although I'll note here that 1) not every lawyer believes every argument they make and 2) it took a close family member for his to re-evaluate his stance. It's strange that once people actually realize they actually know actual gay people, they're no longer afraid of "the gay agenda." (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"Republicans have absolutely no intention of letting go of Obamacare, their No. 1 campaign issue in 2014. The positive new sign-up figures unveiled by the White House -- including 5 million on non-exchange private plans, 3 million on Medicaid, 3 million young adults on a parent's policy -- won't change that because the issue animates the conservative base like none other." Again, if they lose, they know they'll lose the Congress for another decade or two. Conservatives, beating dead horses to dust since 1980.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Linkee-poo without a title

Wanna win a cool book, of course you do. (Grokked from Mer Haskell)

No time to read On Writing by Stephen King? Here's his top 20 rules for writers. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Essential tremors. When I'm under great stress and very tired, my hands shake like I have palsy. I wonder if I have this? Also note, this is different than the normal movement of your body from your pulse.

Jim Hines talks about some new technology to help diabetics.

Some social history on the beard. Last year you may have chuckled at the story of a splinter Amish sect cutting off the beards of other Amish. It wasn't all that long ago that anyone wearing a beard was considered strange and a challenge to social order. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Get offa my lawn, you hippie. Why older men are grumpy. It happens at around 70. I'm just practicing.

Best economy in the world, my ass. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

Fred Clark with history in the making. We have always been t war with Eastasia.

"'We understand that change can be confusing and that Boonstra was annoyed at having to sign up for a new plan… But it appears (Boonstra) jumped on television without trying to understand the basics about her new coverage... In any case, one cannot claim that a plan is "unaffordable" when over the course of the year it will provide you with substantial savings.'" Another Obamacare horror story ad goes down the drain. Also note that even with proof that 1) she's paying less in premiums, 2) her drugs are covered under her plan (instead of a prescription card) and 3) her out of pocket will be less, she still thinks she's getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop. Why? Because people are telling here she is and she believes the people exploiting here more than the people trying to help her.(Grokked from the Slactivist)

I want to be very clear about this, Cliven Bundy is a thief. His family are thieves. The people supporting him don't understand that while he is using the words of patriotism, he's a crook. And he is stealing from all of us. His arguments are cockamamie. Pure bull. He signed the contracts after bidding to use Federal Lands. He knew exactly what he was getting into. His argument about the Federal Government not being able to own land is complete and utter bullshit. His argument that the lands can't belong to anyone outside the State of Nevada is complete bullshit. His argument of being grandfathered in is complete bullshit. The land doesn't belong to him. The rules change. It happens. His argument is the same as if someone went speeding past the new school while kids are crossing the street and getting on and off of buses because, hey, they've been speeding down that road since they were 16, some 40 years before. It's the same level of argument. Ryan Bundy says, "We will do whatever it takes to protect our life, liberty and our property. And that's what every single American should also say also." Hey, that's great. Only, it's not your property. If it were, there wouldn't be court orders against you. If it were, you wouldn't have had to sign contracts with the BLM. Keep your cattle on your land, pay the back rents you owe, and this will all go away. But that isn't what you want. The Bundys are criminals, the people they're robbing is everyone else in this country, and all the people supporting them are enabling and abetting criminals and criminal behavior. They aren't patriots. They're a mob. We're a country of laws.

Oliver North, you're a jerk. A complete knee-biter. Seriously, dude, going off your meds isn't helping anyone. And if you aren't on meds and still want to think that nobody died because of your actions, and that the Reagan Administration didn't try to cover up Iran-Contra, you've obviously are suffering from some sort of stroke damage. Get help soon. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Mind over food.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Weekend Linkee-poo is just too tired for words

I'm wondering if anyone in the media is doing a study on when "the people" in Washington started to be referred to as "these people" in Washington?

Jennifer Cruise on characters wanting and bodies in motion. It makes more sense when you read it than I make with my description. She also gives some software tips on getting organized.

Five tips for telecommuting.

The list of most popular books by state according to Scibd. Not sure about the source of his data, but interesting none the less. (Grokked from Neil Gaiman)

Jim Hines on the "choosing to be offended" gambit. What I think is hilarious is usually those making the statement "you're just looking for something to be offended by" are often the ones I also end up correcting when they are offended. Take this past weekend. Long ago friend was upset by something handed to him by his media outlets. He changed his tune as I proved to him that what he was upset about wasn't really what was happening. It's easy to do in some circumstances (mostly debunking the lies of certain media outlets, often able to do with a quick google search). But then there are things to be offended by. For as much as I know Jim, the things he chooses have proven out to be true, and basically horrible things that should be dealt with.

Chemo-mouth explained.

As you may have noticed, I get pretty snarky about my first career (design, communication, advertising and marketing). I'm not the only one. Here's a McSweeney article called This Is a Generic Brand Video. Yes, this. And then, in case you think this is hyperbole, Dissolve (a video clip service) produced the video from their stock. While it's a somewhat cynical ad for their services, still pretty good. Even AdWeek commented on it. "Watch below, and have a great self-hating rest of your afternoon." (Grokked from Dr. Phil)

On repetition in music and advertising. Why? It works, that's why.

In case you weren't paying attention, the drone war is still going on in Pakistan. Although, recently, I think it has been going a little better (like since the CIA was removed and command was returned to the Pentagon). But even though our missiles are "smart" is doesn't mean our targeting is, nor is it able to remove one person from a crowd, it just removes the crowd and we hope we get that one person. I have complicated feelings about the drone war, mostly boils down to I agree it's necessary (and a good way to fight an asymmetrical battle against a widely dispersed enemy), but damn, it could've been managed so much better. There's also the question of using drone strikes in targeted assassination. Most people point to Anwar al-Awlaki, but frankly, he wasn't the first American to die in a Predator drone strike. But here is something interesting. See, from a drone's camera (and from most aircraft), you don't see faces too often. Here's an art installation that shows drone pilots the faces of people whom their actions have affected their lives. It's in the form of large portraits on the ground in northern Pakistan. I also agree with this kind of activism. (Grokked from Joe Hill)

On the rise of environmentally sound aquaculture.

Quote of the day: "It is harrowing for me to try to teach 20-year-old students, who earnestly want to improve their writing. The best I can think to tell them is: Quit smoking, and observe posted speed limits. This will improve your odds of getting old enough to be wise." - Barbara Kingsolver

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Weekend Linkee-poo shakes its puny fists at an uncaring sky

Yea, this won't keep you up late at night. Now for an even worse thought, image this posted in the various ethnic communities.

Jim Hines with depression, anxiety and creativity. Yea, that also pretty well tracks to my own experience.

What would happen if you dropped a tungsten countertop into the sun? Because SCIENCE! Anyway, at the end of that XKCD what if piece he mentions that for health safety you should get normal granite countertops. I would recommend a different material than granite. (Pointed to by Dan)

Skydiver nearly hit by meteor gets what is possibly the first ever images of a meteor in its dark flight phase. (Grokked from Dan)

Steven Seagal thinks Putin is a great leader and may consider moving to Russia. The friends you keep. This really isn't news, except many conservatives have been spinning the same line. There is a population that reacts strongly to a strong handed "leader". There are many people who would rather have kings than democracy. And then there are people who want to be submissive in the face of domination. And those people seem to be inordinately clustered on the conservative spectrum. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

The Good Judgement Project. Taking citizens and seeing if they can be better predictors than our "experts" staffing the country's intelligence agencies. If you want to know what "spooks" really do, it's just as humdrum as this is. "First, if you want people to get better at making predictions, you need to keep score of how accurate their predictions turn out to be, so they have concrete feedback." There's so much in there I could discuss (coughFoxNewscough). Also a little on "the wisdom of crowds" which is always an interesting subject. "What's so challenging about all of this is the idea that you can get very accurate predictions about geopolitical events without access to secret information. In addition, access to classified information doesn't automatically and necessarily give you an edge over a smart group of average citizens doing Google searches from their kitchen tables."

How the 1 percent has it's own 10 percent. While the article likes to say that we shouldn't vilify all of the 1%, because it's only 10% of that 1% that is really seeing their wealth grow, I'd point out that the 10% keeps cycling through the 1% and even the laggardly 1% still have gathered more wealth to themselves (and fought to keep it there) than most of the rest of the country. So, no. I don't buy it. What this shows, as I've stated before, is that there is always someone with more money. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

And with more attention to the nuances of the top, we're also getting a more nuanced picture of the bottom. As many of us have know, being poor doesn't always mean living below the poverty line (that line is set artificially low, BTW).

Why we hate corporations (a pie chart). (Grokked from Jay Lake)

The career reboot. Apparently being older and working as unpaid interns isn't all that unusual anymore. Pretty much what I've been doing. It beats being long term unemployed.

The basic human impulses that lead us astray when it comes to our nest eggs. A little on retirement strategy.

Hobby Lobby, after arguing before the Supreme Court about how as a corporation they should be allowed the religious exemption to not cover birth control in their corporate healthcare policies now finds out their retirement plans including investing in those same companies that make birth control. While a lot of people are pointing fingers and saying "hypocrisy", I don't think so. What I think is this shows how incredibly hard it will be for these companies to claim and enforces their religious decrees. After all, who reads the full prospectus? Of course there are investment companies that screen those out. This is just egg on their faces which I'm sure they will now quickly change the company that handles their 401(k) plans. This isn't like the Catholic companies that screamed bloody murder only to discover the diocese office workers health plans that they've had for year already covered birth control. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

Remember that whole, "don't let the government get between your doctor and you" thing? Well, not only do insurance companies get between your doctor and you already, so do the large health care conglomerates. Yep, business directives will drive your doctor's decisions interfering with their judgement and practice. And this has been going on for a long time. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I have often felt this way in corporate meetings

Sometimes called, "The Expert", sometimes labeled as "What Meetings Feel Like to Engineers." But change some words and basically it becomes "What business meeting are like to those people who don't hold MBAs as their only qualification."



Yea. I've so been there. (Grokked from Dan)