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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Linkee-poo will climb that hill in my own way, just wait a while for the right day

Kameron Hurley's writing income report. Don't quit the day job, kiddies.

Naziya Mahmood, space mission planner, martial artists. Also, she likes the Jain, gotta love a woman who love sharp, pointy things. (Grokked from a thousand places, but I think it was Janiece that finally got me to check it out)

Fuck cancer. The PBS multi-part documentary, "Cancer, the Emperor of All Maladies."

"'The Schrödinger Sessions: Science for Science Fiction' a workshop at the Joint Quantum Institute." Wow. Sort of like Launch Pad, except for Quantum Physics. Must consult vacation schedule. (Grokked from SFWA blog)

What it's like to have face blindness. For your world building toolkit (or curiosity). (Grokked from Dan)

Vatican Astronomer equates Creationism with Paganism. Don't worry, Evangelicals, the Pilgrims you venerate also equated the celebration of Christmas with Paganism and you survived that.

"In an effort to remain financially solvent by keeping payroll expenditures in check, executives at the Banford Group announced Tuesday they would have to start hiring more female employees." I want to have the Onion's babies. (Grokked from Steven Brust)

Sure you can trust the police. To my friends in law enforcement, you and I know what this officer's history means. Protecting these cops is going to get a lot of good officers killed. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"(W)hile LGBT Americans are the current target of this effort to repackage prejudice as “religious liberty,” they are hardly the first." A little history on the use of religion to promote political ideology and hatred. And this is why we should not be "a Christian Nation" or a nation founded on any religious sect. First, because it isn't the truth (exactly 2 colonies were founded by religious orders, and 2 colonies were founded to get away from the nut cases in those previous 2 colonies - and technically 1 of the colonies founded on religious grounds, Connecticut, was set up because they were also getting away from the nut cases in Massachusetts), and secondly, as our Founding Fathers knew and wrote about in great detail, we shouldn't commit the same errors and atrocities Europe did. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

Fred Clark brings some historical information about the history of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and how it has morphed from its original purpose when the states begin passing their own acts.

Boom to bust. In this case, the Texas Miracle loses it's shine. But they have all those wonderful, business friendly laws there. Well, so much for much of Rick Perry's arguments for being President. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

On selling God, capitalism, and the American Way. Or how business, scared about the rise of unions, brought the money changers back into the House of God and got the ministers to shill the concept of America as a Christian Nation, and capitalism as the most divine form of economics.

I love the insanity of the "Pro-guns Everywhere" crowd. "See, your little sign wouldn't stop me, now imagine I was a crazy person…" Way ahead of you there, Charles Heller.

Just how the Indiana law is not like all the other laws they've been comparing it to. Because there's nothing like integrity. (Grokked from someone, sorry, forgot the link)

"The average American believes that the richest fifth own 59% of the wealth and that the bottom 40% own 9%. The reality is strikingly different. The top 20% of US households own more than 84% of the wealth, and the bottom 40% combine for a paltry 0.3%. The Walton family, for example, has more wealth than 42% of American families combined." Yea, that won't come back to bite us. Well, the good thing is most people don't have a good grasp of numbers and their meaning. America, the best economy in the world… if you already have money. If the American Deal (get an education, work hard, get ahead) was still functioning my wife and I would be a millionaires by now. "(T)he United States is now the most unequal of all Western nations. To make matters worse, America has considerably less social mobility than Canada and Europe." (Grokked form Elizabeth Bear)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Linkee-poo

Oh Gov. LePage, Stephen King wouldn't use you as a villain, but as an easily disposable comic foil. Oh, and he wouldn't have to pay you royalties for it, either. Public figure, fair use. It's now up to Mr. King to decide if he really want to, and if he believes that even a straight up portrayal of such a cartoonish governor could be believable to fans who demand verisimilitude.

"Fusion broke down sales figures compiled by ComiChron, and it turns out that feminist Thor is selling significantly better than old school dude Thor." Reality 1, Trolls -20,000 (a month). (Grokked from Tor.com)

Looking for new music? Try NPR's All Songs Considered Austin 100 SXSW 2015. Link to download songs goes away April 2.

Computer ads these days are boring, not like the computer ads from the dawn of the computer age. (Grokked from Dan)

I don't know about you, but I never get tired of looking at photos of the surface of other planets. In this case Mercury, as our probe, Messenger, gets ready to plow into the surface. (Grokked from Tor.com)

Opportunity sees its shadow. I guess that means four more months of winter on Mars. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

The Rings of Charon is a great short story title. (Grokked from Tor.com)

"'The true inspiration [for the program] was, frankly, seeing all the waste on farms,' says Claire Cummings, a waste specialist for Bon Appetit who created the Imperfectly Delicious program." Lots of vegetables are thrown away because producers don't think they can sell them because they don't look perfect.

Antarctic ice shelves, which hold the land based ice/glaciers, at bay from flowing into the ocean, are melting faster than we thought.

And, on the other side of the planet, the Winter Maximum ice coverage of the Arctic is the minimum ever recorded. No need to worry. Especially if you get your campaign money (and personal grift) from fossil fuel producers. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

A Congress member asks constituents for their Obamacare horror stories, people share why the actually like Obamacare. Strange that. Doubt it'll change their mind (because their objection to Obamacare has nothing to do with how it works, who it helps, the cost savings, etc and everything to do with whom it is who is perceived to help Americans live their lives and how that impacts political control of governments). Also, it goes against the grain of government actually being able to help people. The conservatives hate when that happens because it breaks their world view and myth building.

Eating their own. Dear Rep. Peter King, I wouldn't be so sure about the supporters of the other potential candidates. I suggest you do an experiment by bad mouthing all of them, individually, and see what kind of response you get. (Sits back, munches popcorn, waits for the fireworks)

"In an interview on Saturday with The Indianapolis Star, (Indiana Gov. Mike) Pence, a Republican who served in Congress for a decade before becoming governor, said: 'I just can't account for the hostility that's been directed at our state.'" Kinda sucks when someone hates you without giving you a full hearing, doesn't it Mikey. If only there were protections against that kinda thing. All snark aside, I'm sure it is surprising to find out that your insular world view isn't actually shared by, you know, the rest of the world. Other states and other conservatives take note, your ideology isn't mainstream, and there are soon to be consequences (YMMV in gerrymandered "safe" districts).

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Story Bone

A submariner's tale, one of the people who man the sonar on a nuclear submarine starts to hear sirens in the deep. An as all who hear their call, desired to join them. The other crewman are put in peril because of this and attempt to stop him from sinking the boat in order to get out.

What kind of creature would an underwater siren be like? What would they sing and how do they sing?

Okay, now place this during World War II in the North Atlantic.

Got that? Okay, now place it in space.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Linkee-poo would stand in line for this, there's always room in life for this

"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?" The Onion AV Club invites the original voice actors for Pinky and the Brain to do their routine, only with swearing. NSFW. "Just say it, people have been wanting this for years." (Grokked from Yanni Kuznia)

Cory Doctorow on Clear Reader. This isn't the first time such a service has debut (that is, removing offending passages from e-books so people don't get naughty all over themselves). And it's just as silly as when the video service (I forget it's name) cuts out all the bad words, violence and sexual situations from movies. There is a difference here, though. Those video services were then releasing those remastered films (which is a violation of copyright). Here, the application is running on your own copy of the e-book. So, how is this different, exactly, from me skipping over all the songs and epic poems during my last read of the Lord of the Rings?

I normally don't do product placement, but 1) was interested in the idea of office space rental ever since Tobias Buckell brought it into my consciousness, and 2) they handled my snakiness on twitter pretty well. So, if you're looking for shared office space on the east side of Cleveland, there's CUBE Cleveland. And they have space right down from where the day thing is. I probably won't rent space to write because 1) I'm notoriously cheap and 2) I like at least being able to see my wife for a few hours each day. Yea, I'm weird that way. But if you need it, there you are.

Adding a virtual nose to the VR display helps with user vertigo. Yep. It's as plain as the nose on their faces. Want to know how this works? Look straight ahead and close one eye. See your nose now? That's how this works. I know the computer people are all agog over this, but anyone who has studied how our vision actually works knows why. It's not "blindness", your individual eyes see your nose all the time, but when your brain converts stereo vision into the simulation in your head (note, again, what you "see" in your consciousness is a construct of your brain, not exactly what your eyes are seeing), since the nose is so close and isn't seen by both eyes in similar places, your brain edits that out of the simulation (however, it's still processing it, which is how this VR trick works)). Want to test that? Okay, look straight ahead, hold your palm up to your peripheral vision area to create a similar flesh colored mass in the same place in your vision (ie. if you hold up your right hand, place it in the vision of your right eye that you see your nose in using only your left eye, or vis a vis - it helps if you use the hand opposite your dominant eye). Viola, your nose will appear in you vision on the side you're holding your hand up (it's a little fuzzy, because the shape isn't the same, also, your brain knows it can't be the same object). I wonder when they'll realize that some of the motion sickness (and some other problems) can be due to the difference in disharmony between screen refresh rates and your brain's vision refresh rates (everyone is slightly different)? (Grokked from John)

"We wouldn't call a 30th place global ranking 'world-class' -- if US internet from private industry wasn't so terrible and expensive, the FCC and municipalities wouldn't have needed to intercede in the first place." Burn! The State of Tennessee is suing the FCC over their new Net Neutrality rules because those rules overturn bans against local municipalities running their own broadband service for residents and businesses. Why, because the State of Tennessee lawmakers get a lot of funding from the telecoms to make sure there's no actual competition. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), whose push to defund Obamacare led to a government shutdown, now plans to get insured through the federal exchange." Sen. Cruz's wife (from whom they had insurance) has stepped down from her job to help him campaign, so now they're on the market. He then made a statement about how "it's the law" that member of the Legislature have to buy from the Exchange… while completely ignoring his own advice to others to go without instead of signing up. (Must not make joke about needing healthcare to counter the poisonous effect of all that hair product)

Yes, the War on Women is the fault of liberal ideology. Maybe if you're a brain-dead neo-crustacean that lives in the world of men not being able, or challenged, to control themselves and accepting that "women were just asking for it." But for those of us who play with reality and responsibility, we know it's important for boys to take charge of their own lives and responsibility for their own actions and not use neo-conservative values to justify their Cro-magnon fantasy life (note, there's good evidence that Cro-magnons were mostly egalitarian).

I remember the good old days, when Agent Orange was so non-toxic air crews would thug glasses of it. Days of future past. A Monsanto lobbyist is offered a glass of the active ingredient in Round-Up to drink after proclaiming that it won't hurt you (to drink a whole quart). This is after the World Health Organization has cited it as a possible carcinogen. The lobbyist pulled the ripcord and bailed on the interview rather than drinking a glass of what he claimed was a harmless chemical. Wish the next person to say "CO2 is a harmless gas" is offered the chance to stand in a phone booth box filled with CO2. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Here's the thing, Sen. Cruz, Galileo actually had his new, confirmable observations under his belt. What you're forgetting is "the climate isn't changing" was the older interpretation and the "climate change" science is the new, confirmable observations. Also, we've already called you a Flat-Earther, it's whomever gets to the punch line first. You might have missed that part of the yearly talking notes briefings.

Back when people were freaking about what we could do to secure our airlines and there was all this push to secure the cockpit and give pilots weapons some voices said it was a bad idea, because we saw what might really happen. We really fucking hate to be right. The co-pilot may have died, it may have been intentional (it's now been surmised that it was intentional), but because the door was fortified and locked, the other pilot had no chance to save them (there's an override, which can be overridden from the cockpit). Can we maybe rethink the other "safety" measures before someone realizes that those pilots and air marshals are bringing weapons that can be used to hijack flights.

"Bill O'Reilly bemoaned the state of journalism on his show Tuesday night, telling his guest that when inaccurate reporting is left unchallenged, it 'hurts the country.'" Wow, that's meta. Sometimes you have to marvel at the distance Fox News host hold reality. It's like they're going for a world's record for "divorced from reality", or maybe the Olympic Event, the 100 meter Denial.

Echoes - the ice is going out


As I've mentioned before, Meddle is slowly becoming my favorite Pink Floyd album (it's 1970, dammit, music is still on vinyl). This is the B side of the record (the whole damn B side… go ask your grandparents). This is the quintessential song to play in your bedroom, with all the lights out, drapes drawn, eyes closed, soaking in the music. There is no outside world, just you and the music.

Do the kids listen to music that way anymore?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Linkee-poo knows although scary is exciting, nice is different than good

The historically inaccurate (in regards to diversity) fantasy world we create. But mostly about Dragon Age.

I'm just gonna drop this link to an Apple support page for using the Control Center, and I'll just point to the helpful screen grab of the iPhone. Either you're gonna get it, or not. (Grokked from Dan)

Shields up.

Some people rebuild cars or motorcycles. Some people rebuild computers. The pride, craftsmanship, and reasons are the same. (Grokked from John)

Mukbangs in Korea, where watching other eating can be entertainment. If you put this in your fiction, people wouldn't believe you.

Why "organic food just costs more to produce" is a falsehood. It cost most because they can charge more. And switching to organic feed these days wouldn't raise the price so much (unlike the 70s when much of our modern food culture was engineered).

"Today, hospital bills are so hard for patients to understand because they're not written for patients — they're written for the insurance companies that pay 97% of them." (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"According to a new study just out in Nature Climate Change… we’re now seeing a slowdown of the great ocean circulation that… helps to partly drive the Gulf Stream off the U.S. east coast." Right now they're saying about a 15-20% drop in circulation. While it's not a "Day After Tomorrow" situation (the physics of that just can't happen) If it slows circulation enough and the Greenland Ice continues to melt at an accelerated rate, that, friends, is called "the tipping point." Fisheries, crops, forests, surface temperatures and a lot more will be thrown into kilter, not to mention a large sea level rise on our Eastern Coast. If it turns out to be true, we're all fucked now. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

So, on Monday the Supreme Court heard a First Amendment/Free Speech case from Texas where the state's motor vehicle department refused to issue a license plate with the Confederate Battle Flag. Um. Okay, this is weird that I find myself supporting the government of Texas, but when is it free speech is someone else refuses to speak? In this case, the Government refuses to issue a plate that people want, and because the government won't endorse a symbol they feel (rightly IMHO) promotes racism, the people claim it's restricting their right of free speech. What the… What? How is this not spiked at the lower court level?

Boom to bust. A woman truck driver is getting out of the Bakken Oil Fields. Note the societal issues implied in the article (well, more hinted at than implied) and the economic wasteland coming to the West as the price of oil falls.

How to shoot yourself in the foot without even trying. In this case, the cover for the University of North Georgia which brings to the fore the soft racism/sexism this country still has problems with. As a professional graphic designer I know how easy it is to fuck up like this (hey, at least they HAD a woman and a black man on the cover, in some cases you don't even get that). BUT (and yes, I meant that in caps because here's the "professional" part) you have to be consciously aware of the subconscious messages you are sending. There are many times I've rejected what I've considered "the better photo" because of what that photo was saying. You have to see the person in the back of the crowd flipping off the camera. When setting up the photo (in this case it's a stock image) you have to make all the decisions consciously and purposefully. Do I think UNG intended the message the cover gave? No, not really. However it exposes the unconscious nature of prejudice and the acceptance by the conscious brain of those assumptions. They just didn't see anything wrong because the message fit their unconscious and unexamined mental picture of the world. (Grokked from Dan)

So, apparently to get uber-conservatives to apologize for past bigotry we need to get GOP presidential hopefuls to speak at their places of power. Then it's a good thing there's going to be another long roster this time, because there's a lot of apologizing to get done.

Zombie Reagan.

Another example of a false flag operation. Why this is not labelled "terrorism" (because it has all the hallmarks of the same motivation and the intended results, not just because "BOMB") is still baffling to me (not really, my guess is the suspect is white and doesn't have an accent).

Monday, March 23, 2015

Linkee-poo gets it out of its system early

Mary Robinette Kowal on if you should quit your day job. I hate selling, so it's a day job for me.

There is no dark side of the moon, really, it's all dark. Some ten science myths and misperceptions that just keep going. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

Bloomburg Business tries to get all "wooga wooga" on renewables with the recent solar eclipse. "While eclipses are relatively rare events, policymakers are concerned that further expanding renewables will make strains on the grid more routine." But you know what, essentially nothing happened. Some gas fired turbines had to work at 100% for a little time, and then as the sun came back "online", the power generated by oil and gas dropped down to having to be discounted. Again, we don't have a single source of power now, with renewables we also won't have a single source of power. The assumed argument (because it's easy to defeat) that it's all or nothing is a red herring. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke, I think)

The rich are just like you and me. Except, you know, not. In this case, paying to hunt genetically modified animals. It sounds almost too science fictiony to believe. (Grokked from Janiece)

I (and others) have often used the term,"false flag operation." You may wonder what that means. Here's an example. Where "reporters" for Project Veritas were sent in to specifically gin up trouble by asking leading questions, all to get people on tape saying what Project Veritas (and other conservative outlets) thought they should say so they're movement could be discredited.

The narrow gate. Jim Wright on the neoconservatives getting it on and banging a gong for war. Because for some people, war is the answer to any question. Especially if someone else has to do the fighting.

Paul Krugeman on the creative fantasies that are wrapped in the Republican Budget. (Grokked form Jeff Beeler)

Hey, whatever happened to Cliven Bundy? So, looks like some Nevadans will need to learn the lesson that Federal Law trumps State Law, and that the Federal Government already owns that land. And let say they're successful in changing the ownership and management of the lands back to Nevada, watch what happens to their economy when the Federal Government pulls their operations out of Nevada. No amount of gaming can make up for that.

Five signs America is heading toward plutocracy. That didn't work out so well the last time it was tried. Hopefully we won't have to go through the minor revolutions again. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

Paul Ryan advises States to screw over their citizens if the Supreme Court rules against Obamacare subsidies. That's just hilarious. Please Rep. Ryan, please keep going on the record about this so everybody knows which party to blame for all that pain. But, then again, Majority Leader McConnell is advising States to ignore new EPA rules. Well, you let those fine accumulate, we may be able to clear some of the long term debt when States are forced to pay. Unfortunately, they'll have to tax all of us to cover that bill. It's amazing how people can advance to these levels of political power and be so ignorant of how the law works. Well, it's mostly that they just want to thwart President Obama and they're now grasping at straws and encouraging others to lay the price.

John Oliver on our current political theater regarding municipal offenses fines paying for our local governments, how it impacts the poor disproportionately, and how morally bankrupt it makes our system look. It was often advanced that we should do this in our local community, to which the majority of us said "no fucking way." For exactly the reasons outlined here. We shouldn't be basing our local government's budgets on the minor criminality of it's residents. Our police forces should not be revenue generators. While debtors prison helped build our country (looking at you Georgia and South Carolina), we then had this revolution thingy just because of an English King pulling this kind of shit.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Story Bone

"'We found that if lunar lava tubes existed with a strong arched shape like those on Earth, they would be stable at sizes up to 5,000 meters, or several miles wide, on the moon,' Blair said."

Holy frak. I mean, besides the whole transformation of "hollow Earth" to the Moon, the early history of Moon creatures (all the way back to Jules Verne), and… just… wow.

Story bone grokked from Dan.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Linkee-poo can't sleep 'cause my bed is on fire

ED Sorry, didn't see that I didn't link the one article on gold buying, fixed now.

Well, today was a banner day for political news. Sorry about all the links to TPM, but they all hit at the same time.

So, does grabbing a flag pole as you're falling from a building actually have a chance of saving you? No. But the full answer, backed by SCIENCE! (or at least actual calculation) is more amusing. (Grokked from Dan)

"The plant is expected to produce batteries at a lower cost to power Tesla’s Model 3, the mass-market vehicle the company hopes to start selling in two to three years. Along the way, however, the 'gigafactory' will also reduce the costs of energy storage through sheer economy of scale." The real reason Tesla is building their "gigafactory" to build batteries. It's all about renewable power. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Orbital dust cloud and auroras spotted on Mars. Just when you think you've seen it all. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

The latest global temperature reports from NOAA. Parked here, because I'm going to need to refer to it sometime soon. (Grokked in a roundabout way from Robert J Bennett)

"When he got out of the jewelry business and became one of the most powerful oil men in the country it was because he realized the scams he could pull in the oil business paid a lot better than those in the jewelry business." An article on the scam that is "jewelry buying." While much of it is from the 80s and before, don't kid yourself that this didn't/doesn't go in on the current "We Buy Gold" craze (or on the "buy gold, it's the best investment side of the business). (Grokked from BoingBoing)

It's a good life rule, never piss off clowns. They are mean drunks (I just kid, the majority of clowns I've known are nice people). (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

"But suicide on the job is also increasing and, according to federal researchers, suicide risk changes depending on the type of work people do." I bet you won't see that list in Forbes. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"'We play nice in Iowa,' Polk County Republican Party co-chairwoman Sherill Whisenand told the New York Times." Unless, you know, you criticize us and then we'll make sure you get your comeuppance. Like if you've tweeted mean things about Iowa and then a GOP front runner names you to their staff. In that case, my advice is "don't unpack your bags." Also, though shall not criticize Fox News.

"His analysis shows how family structure, parenting practices, schooling and health habits correlate with diminishing opportunities for poorer children." The land of opportunity, but only if you've already had success. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

And related, "Many parents of low-income high achievers didn't go to college, and, when they think of selective schools, they think of the pricey, East Coast elites: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc. The obvious conclusion: Out of our league." This is a little pie-in-the-sky-ish. Colleges have endowments that help low-income students go for almost free, but that doesn't cover their costs for moving and living where those selective schools are (which are also more expensive that cities and towns where state schools are). Also, form person experience (in 1984), I was selected to go to one of those schools, and would have had some great financial aid, but it wasn't enough for me to go, and I got even more financial aid from the state school I went to.

Whatever happened to that GOP Post mortem following the 2012 defeat? Oh yea, they clapped harder and forgot all about it. No worries, I doubt it will bit them in 2016.

Glenn Beck to the GOP, "I just can't quit you." Okay, he's saying that he is quitting, but he's said that before. Don't worry, he'll be back around July 2016. Until then he can revel in his "outsider" and "spoiler" fakery.

And in other Glenn Beck news, what happens when you allow the paranoids to run the show? They start eating their own. At Glenn's insistence on conspiracy theories, the NRA is now investigating Grover Norquist to ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Hahahahahaha. (Grokked from John)

"The story of Vote2ReduceDebt is an egregious example of what can happen in the absence of such controls, but similar scenarios have played out on a smaller scale at dozens of PACs in the last three election cycles." You know, if they had watched The Colbert Report, they'd know these things. Welcome to the SuperPAC, the wild west of campaign financing. The irony in this case, is the major mark donor wanted to help end what he saw as monetary corruption and the booming debt. If only there were regulations to help make sure all this money was spent the way the donors believe it should be spent… oh, wait, most of these are from ultra conservatives who don't believe in regulation (I bet they will now, but only for these, not for their businesses).

Speaker Boehner promises a conservative healthcare plan to replace Obamacare real soon now. In case you don't get that joke, here's the definition of RSN. Note, they've been promising this for 6 years now (if we only count their promises during the Obamacare legislative effort, we won't discuss their answer to Hillarycare, which Obamacare was cribbed from - the conservative response, not Hillarycare). It's getting to the point we need to see if a groundhog sees its shadow to know if it'll be six month or sixty years from now.

There's no conservative War on Women. Uh, yea, Bob.

Were is the conservative outrage over the silencing of a public employee and the violation of the Free Speech rights? Oh, wait, yea, it's a Florida employee who mentioned "Climate Change" and expressed the thought that the KeystoneXL pipeline might not be the best idea. Never mind.

Wackaloon quotient reaches all new levels of crazy. Listen to one question another. Sen. Santorum, how can you have hearings when you said just a moment before you shouldn't convene Congress? I know, I'm looking for logic in the mouth of the crazy. Then, in response to Pres. Obama saying mandatory voting might be interesting, Fox News hosts admit they don't think everyone should vote (and we're not talking about their conspiracy theory of illegal immigrants voting). The English Only crowd is back at it. This time, an Arabic reading of the the Pledge of Allegiance during a high school program on foreign languages fires up the xenophobes. Just to repeat, the first language if the Americas, after Native American languages, was Spanish. The next was Portuguese. New York's first non-native language was Dutch. The new GOP presidential candidates are off to the same start as last time. In this case, Dr. Carson talking about how NATO should go to war if Putin invades the Baltic States. Well, yes, because they are already a part of NATO, we'd have to, wouldn't we. Bill O'Reilly thinks Pres. Obama had nothing to do with killing bin Laden. Well, truth be told, O'Reilly isn't so much a whackaloon as a self-serving opportunist shilling the gullible. But his argument that because Obama didn't pull the trigger himself he deserves no credit is just laughable on the face of it.

Gov. Bobby Jindal says, "You don’t have the right to come here and say, for example, that you think women should be treated as second class citizens." That's right, we don't need those "radical muslims" comin' over hear saying that. The social conservatives are frightened they might steal their fire. :: drops mic, walks off stage ::

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Linkee-poo is careful with the things you say, children will listen

The Joseph Eichler homes. While the look and esthetics are starting to fade from popularity, the concepts he injected into residential building have really informed what we considered "the modern lifestyle." While our houses look different, the concepts were still the same. This is what good design does.

The art of packaging. Form follows function. Although they make some mistakes when it comes to learned behavior and the power of brands and branding.

And speaking of branding, "The world's biggest beverage maker, which struggles with declining soda consumption in the U.S., is working with fitness and nutrition experts who suggest its cola as a healthy treat. In February, for instance, several wrote online pieces for American Heart Month, with each including a mini-can of Coke or small soda as a snack idea." Just in case you thought in the healthcare world that it was only doctors who took gratuities to push certain brands (of drugs). (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Oo, what a cute little robot. OMG, are they fighting? The Antweight class of robot warriors. (Grokked from Dan)

While there are some errors in the article, here is a good primer on the dangers of CT and X-ray procedures. They're a little sensationalist by presenting the statistics in a ZOMG kind of way, and they get some of the details wrong (such as hardly any CT scanners use a "pencil" beam anymore). They also don't explain just what is changing with the new Medicare standards (one thing is every scan must also record your actual radiation dose) or that with the advances over the past two decades your medical exposure to x-rays is much reduced than before. They also don't make the distinction of why kids are more susceptible to radiation cell damage or that not all x-ray scans are the same.

In case you ever wondered, this is how we know what the brain does and how it works. We find people with "defective" or injured brains and study them. In this case, a man born without a cerebellum (that's the structure at the back of the cerebrum, under the occipital lobe). The cerebellum, or vermiform process (you have two, this is the second one, the other isn't brain related), is an older structure of the brain, and handles much of the fine tuning of our actions. But it now appears to do much more than motor skills (although I'll note, speech is a fine motor skill as well as language control, which seems to be missing in the discussion in this article).

And speaking of brains, ever had an MRI of your brain? Ever wanted a 3D model of your individual brain? Well, there's a company that will 3D print one for you. Livin' in the future. (Grokked from Maureen Johnson)

The Milky Way may have ripples and ridges. The better for dipping, or something. (Grokked from Mrs. Tadd)

I usually do agree with the sentiment that the children of candidates are to be left alone for campaign issues (with a rare exception for egregious behavior that points to character flaws of the candidate). However, when you intentionally involve them in your campaign they become legitimate targets. "'When we started doing this, the longest a genetically-modified pig could survive in a bath of human blood was two hours and now that we are up to over eight days, it’s mind-blowing,' (Martine Rothblatt) said, in a wide-spanning conversation that drew an audience of hundreds at the South by Southwest conference." Ummm… (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

There comes that time when people are so fired up to go against a person that they jump the shark and stop making sense. Dear Fox's Outnumbered crew, seriously? A "war on men" because Hillary points out how the conservative lead US Senate is proving the liberal talking points about a "war on women"? That's not even up to the "I know you are but what am I?" level of discourse. Jesus Hopalong Cassidy, we need a better "opposition" group.

You know, during Jim Crow bigots were more than happy to advertise their bigotry. But then, if you have to put a sign in your window displaying your bigotry, that's the antithesis of a dog-whistle and we can't have that. Yep, while the Oklahoma legislature wanted to pass a law that allowed businesses the right to refuse custom because of religious beliefs (read this as "no gayz allowed"), they don't want to make people display their bigotry outright. So when a lawmaker adds an amendment that says, "if you're going to refuse custom, you must post a notice in your window of which custom you'll refuse". And then the bill dies. If that's really the case, then it's not a heart-felt religious belief. You should be proud of your religion and wear it on your sleeve. After all, I'm sure the same people would be all for putting Bibles back in classrooms (like Ricky Santorum stated this weekend). (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"Blaming the poor for abandoning social norms around reproduction and child-rearing makes our glass houses a bit comfier. It makes it easier to ignore our low tax rates and weak safety net. It makes it easier for us to ignore dramatic inequities in our education system. It lets us blame, and scorn the poor. And nothing gladdens the proud human heart quite like judging the weak… That’s how privilege works." Some people (especially on the right, and especially the well off) would do well to remember Maslow's Hierarchy. When you're struggling for just the physiological and safety tiers, it's hard to be worried about the rest of the pyramid.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Linkee-poo to close out a weekend

One of these days, I want a real weekend. I want to have two days in a row where I can sleep in, and don't have to be anywhere. On the plus side, got a 100% on the second test in Sectional Anatomy II ((85+100)/2 = 92.5 = A). Will find out grade on second test in CT Physics this Tuesday (not all that worried about this one). But before then I have a 2 page report to write. Another couple of days at the day thing. Somethings I feel I'm getting ahead on, lots of things getting left behind. Sigh.

When the phenomena of the "Fairy Door" goes too far. Their like dandelions, let one go and soon your yard is full of them. (Grokked from Tor.com)

You know how I say that the pro-life movement isn't ant-abortion, they're actually anti-sexual revolution? That's because they are, and they're coming for your birth control. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

"(S)ources within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice confirmed Thursday that they now regret wasting doses of pancuronium bromide on innocent prisoners in 1997, 2000, and 2004." Why the Onion is very good at what they do. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

But they support him in email. Um, no, James Knowles III, Mayor of Ferguson, it's time to go. I appreciate the part-timeness of the job. I was a "part-time" councilman for 9 years. When I left I was paid less that you are (and that was after a struggle to double our pay). I understand how somethings can slip by you, especially recent happenings. But after being involved with council and being mayor and the length of time the city has been bilking its residents, if you didn't grok what was going on, you should leave on account of just that. Cluelessness on that level has no place inlace politics. Consider yourself lucky that Missouri doesn't have their own version of the Hatch Act (who knows, IANAL, they might). As a citizen, if your desire is to help transition the city into the civil rights of the 1970s, there are ways to be of service, but not in elected office. Here is your sword, sir. Time for the fall.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Linkee-poo doesn't care for sugar, honey, if I can't have you

Shannon Hale's experiences of giving talks at schools. Being a woman, many administrations believe only girls would be interested in what she writes and has to say. Yes, this sort of shit is still going on.

That Con Man Indygogo thing all the cool kids are talking about. (Grokked from John)

The scourge of the swear system, the wet wipe. At the hospital, they've tried to ban their "flushing" to some degree of success. The problem is (besides the fact that the flushable kind really aren't) is that the consumer doesn't really see a difference. To the end user, they are all flushable because one or two are. Plus, they're using them in place of toilet paper, which we flush. So in most peoples' minds, the wipes are all flushable. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

The BBC has developed their own microcomputer and will give it away to kids in the UK in an attempt to relaunch a "programming culture." “The kids can do their main programming at school – they might have written a piece of code to scroll text and make the lights flash – but then you can imagine them being on the bus on the way home and reprogramming it from their mobile phone over Bluetooth to send messages from the back of the bus.” Yes. Yes I can imagine it. And just what do you think those kids will program it to send? What could possibly go wrong? I and my college friends we a part of that first programming culture with the advent of "cheap" computers and the BASIC language, so I actually do wholeheartedly support this attempt. To many younger people are labeled as "so technologically adapt" when they're mostly users (don't worry, kids, so are most of your parents and everyone else). But, at least from what I can see, kids don't have a strong fundamental on how technology works. They really should. Granted, you don't need to be able to diagram the structure of an internet packet, but they should know the basics of how packets are created and then reassembled (or even that data is sent in packets). (Grokked from John)

The killer USB drive. No, really, this would kill your computer if you inserted it into the USB port.

Oceans are everywhere. We once thought Earth was special for life because water appeared to be rare everywhere else. Turns out we were wrong about that. This is how science changes its mind, by actual data and methods developed by people motivated to help us understand our universe and ourselves better. It's not done by political process and people throwing hissy fits. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

A documentary of "Japanese people who live in Internet cafes because they can't afford apartments." Fuel for your novel of a dystopian future.

Just one of the things I came away with from the Apple event earlier this week. "In the end, it’s not really enough. Mac laptops are going to go crashing to the ground in vastly greater quantities than they have over the last several years. I’ve heard it said since Monday morning that MagSafe was the single best hardware feature Apple invented for its laptops, and I’m hard pressed to deny that—although extra-long battery life is nice, too." Having had laptops (and other devices) without MagSafe and one with, I can't tell you how much better MagSafe is. What will probably happen, is someone will come out with a USB-C with a MagSafe breakaway on the cable. If I have to get one of these Macs, I would so buy one. Hell, I'd buy one made for the thunderbolt connection right now. (Grokked from BoingBoing)

Two articles on the fight to protect all health care for women. The first talks about the work of the clinic escorts, the second is about survivors of rape and incest sharing their stories to debunk and shame other politicians into doing the right thing. And the sad truth is at the end of that second article, "This bill, I predict, will pass. This bill will traumatize people, and it will put doctors in danger, because one of the provisions of the bill will make it so that doctors' personal information, like their address, will be made public."

"I left the Dollar General realizing that dictating what you can buy with food stamps is the kind of thing that only sounds good to people who don't actually have to survive on a poverty income… SNAP recipients already eat more virtuously than the rest of us. A 2008 USDA report found that they are less likely than those with higher incomes to consume at least one serving of sweets or salty snacks per day. More recently, a 2015 USDA study concluded that, adjusting for demographic differences, people who take SNAP benefits don't consume any more sugary drinks than their low-income peers who aren't in the program." Funny how you don't hear about that during the debates of who much to cut from social welfare programs. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

Hey, you know how conservatives love to talk about how efficient and cost-effective the private sector is and how we should just hand everything over to private companies. Sort of like we did with Medicare reform that brought in private insurance companies to handle Medicare Advantage accounts. So, how's that working out for us? "But overspending tied to rising risk scores has cost taxpayers billions of dollars in recent years, as the Center for Public Integrity reported in a series of articles published last year. Earlier this week, the Government Accountability Office estimated 'improper payments' to Medicare Advantage plans at more than $12 billion in 2014." Well, I bet if we go after all that other fraud out there, like stopping individuals from getting heart valve transplants before their natural heart valves completely fail (yes, I know someone in that situation), yea, that'll save us some money. And I'm sure conservatives are fighting to make sure we reform this part of Medicare. "The Medicare Advantage industry is lobbying hard to block budget cuts sought by the Obama administration."

"The Congressional Budget Office expects that the federal government will spend $849 billion on Affordable Care Act insurance subsidies — $209 billion less than the scorekeeping agency expected a year ago. That works out to the federal government spending 20 percent less than expected… CBO also expects the federal government to spend less on Medicaid… $73 billion less than expected between 2016 and 2024." Just in case you hear someone spouting off about how much more the ACA is costing us. As I said at the time, what Obamacare was mostly going to do is cost shifting, taking what we spent occultly on covering the healthcare of everyone and bring it out into the open. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

"We even have three states with pending bills that would make it nearly impossible for transgender students and citizens to even use a public bathroom. Business owners who let transgender people would face fines and lawsuits. Individuals who turn in transgender students would receive $2000 bounties according to the latest bill in Texas." What the total fuck?! Okay, I'm approaching the edge of tolerance and am approaching the "maybe if we burn the whole world down the roaches will do a better job at civilization" line. And if you don't think I don't know how to burn the world down, you don't know me very well (also, no, this wouldn't be an "internet" thing). At this point, maybe we'll start with Texas and see how that plays out. Seriously conservatives, if you think I've been mean before, you ain't seen nothing yet. Putting bounties on people is so far over the line, I don't think there's a chance we can bring you back. And since you ask others this question, I don't see any conservatives denouncing this, so you all must agree with it. Something about living by the sword. (Grokked from CC Findley)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Linkee-poo, together we could break this trap, we'll run till we drop, baby we'll never go back

Chuck Wendig with how to make the most out of a critique.

The Bloom County / Outland Humble Bundle. (Grokked from John)

How DST really screws with our bodies.

That Main Inn being "given away" in an essay contest. Note most places don't mention the $170 entry fee. And the website of the actual inn. (Grokked from many places, but this article is from Kameron Hurley)

Okay, you can now play the classic Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy text based game in a web browser. I remember when this game launched. Yes, all that hyperbole about it's text parser was very justified.

How Mexico learned to polka.

"'These findings add to the possibility that Enceladus, which contains a subsurface ocean and displays remarkable geologic activity, could contain environments suitable for living organisms,' said John Grunsfeld astronaut and associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington." (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

The abandoned microwave towers of America. This was all the rage when I was younger. The article talks about how fiber optics spelled their doom, which is nonsense. Cheap communications with a constellation of geosynchronous satellites is what spelled their downfall. By the time fiber optics showed up the system was also out of widespread use. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"Within a few years the vast majority of Nicaragua's electricity will come from hydroelectric dams, geothermal plants and wind farms." Glad the US is leading the world.

Sometimes it's easier to see the mote in another's eye than the beam in your own. Or, seeing how an Israeli settler and a Palestinian living in the village below the settlement view each other and their relationships you can extrapolate to race relations elsewhere (like the US). Both live a few miles apart, but are worlds apart in how they view the place of the other and how they live and deal with the issues directly affecting their lives.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Linkee-poo heard you on the wireless back in '52

Welp, here's something that we didn't know about climate change. "Archaeologists note that Arica is extremely dry… but the humidity levels in the region have recently risen. The higher humidity means microbes are breaking down the Chinchorro mummies, essentially turning them to goo." (Grokked from Matt Stages)

"Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif wasn't moved by the letter (signed by 47 GOP Senators)… (and) lashed back at Cotton and his allies, pointing out technical errors in their description of how the U.S. Constitution works." You know, it's sad that these senators sent a letter sent to a foreign minister that includes the phrase, "you may not fully understand our constitutional system" only to be schooled by that foreign minister on the said Constitution. Seriously, dudes, you're an embarrassment to everybody. Also, you may be in violation of the Logan Act. But then, I know you all don't know about that, what with the actions of President Nixon and President Reagan.

As a demonstration that idiocy isn't owned by one political party, "At a New Mexico House Judiciary Committee hearing last week state Rep. Ken Martinez (D) said 'rape is defined in many ways and some of it is just drunken college sex.'" No. No it's not. I've had drunken college sex, still made sure we were all on the same page we were before the drunken part (have also said "nope" because consent wasn't there before the drunken part). Dear Rep. Martinez, I'm sure in your mind you think you said the right thing, in that case, though, you should apologize that you didn't make your comment properly and may have confused people on your stance. And then you correct the record. You don't "stand behind what you said" and try to critizie others for not hearing any qualifying remarks.

"On Tuesday, a book and a separate study are being released — both turning up evidence that the one-generation leap is getting harder to accomplish in an economy so tied to education, technological know-how and networking." And, in other news, water is surprisingly wet. The reports tear down some long cherished axioms and thoughts of America, while promoting some other destructive concepts. So it's more of a lose-lose proposition. Some of my longer time readers will note I've described myself as having "clawed" my way up from working-poor. I'm not being dramatic. And if you ask me what really haunts me in the dark midnight of dreams, it's the fear I'll lose what little I've gained.

A few years ago I sat in a panel discussing the use of psychedelics as pharmacologicals (LSD as the new aspirin, sorta). I was there and took the "con" side of the table. One of my arguments was that psychedelic use could led to increases in psychosis. My bad. "Data from population surveys in the United States challenge public fears that psychedelic drugs such as LSD can lead to psychosis and other mental-health conditions and to increased risk of suicide, two studies have found." To my credit, I did make other arguments. (Grokked from Cat Rambo)

Everybody does it is NOT a defense against racism. Can we just agree to that? Or do we need to buy everyone a copy of that Bruce Hornsby song?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Linkee-poo is your one-way ticket to midnight

So, what did we learn from the Apple event today? We all need to buy new cables and adapters. Again.

I missed the book launch, but Fred Clark has made a book of his research and dissection of the Left Behind series.

Neil Gaiman on Douglas Adams. This is, for me, like listening to Steven Spielberg talk about Alfred Hitchcock.

Cat Rambo on grabbing the reader. I'm not sure I agree with the angle of the quote she uses (digesting a number of writing epiphanies from today so that may change), but it may help you.

Why do you need a designer for your ebook? This is why. The tumblr for Kindle Cover Disasters. (Grokked from John)

Looking for new music? Can't get to SXSW? Okay, how about a selection of 100 songs, as curated by NPR, from bands that will be there? Not exactly keeping Austin weird, but definitely much cheaper.

A short film about a boy and his kite, rendered in real time using the released Unreal Engine 4. Everybody can talk about Moores' Law, kilobytes to terabytes and Hz to GHz or even how with new chips, because of the light used to etch the silicon has to be of such high energy (high frequency), the lenses used are opaque in "white light" mean just how far we've come in computing power, but this is just frackin' amazing to me. When I learned computer animation, even if we could have gotten the fractal trees and motion study (not to mention sub-engines to run realistic fabric, water, sky, wind, and hair), when you did something like this you needed a thing called a "render farm" (picture 30-80 computers locked in a room with some heavy duty air-conditioning) and it would crank for a week generating comparative years of processing time to get that bit of video. That's a little too long to substitute, "we had to walk, uphill, both ways", but yea, that's the gist. "Back in the day, we computed using bear skins and flint knives." (Grokked from Dan)

"The Olympics are coming to London, so our civil liberties are going out the window… Police will have powers to enter private homes and seize posters, and will be able to stop people carrying non-sponsor items to sporting events." Smile for the TV, Winston. THAT is just freaking creepy, okay. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell, I think)

So, just in case you still think you can trust the police. Most police officers don't act this way, faking evidence and testimony (that is, seven officers all agreeing to testify a certain way and making legal statements about what their testimony will be), but as the article ends, that thin, blue line protects the bad ones as well as the good ones. This shouldn't be the case, because you all, the good and the bad, are going to get painted with the same broad brush. Because just like the conservatives need to realize, there is always someone taking video. And any attempt to stop civilians from photographing or taking video all appear as attempts to cover up bad behavior not matter what you may say. (Grokked from Diana Rowland)

So, Block Island will get the first offshore wind farm in the US. And it will cut resident's electrical bills by 40%. Suck it, Cape Cod (and related islands). (Grokked from Dan)

Rand Paul will be able to run for President and for his Senate Seat. Because, for the top conservatives, the rules don't apply. In this case, Kentucky has a prohibition against a candidate appearing twice on the same ballot. But only the schlubs have to follow the law.

"Officials at Florida’s (Department of Environmental Protection) have banned the words “climate change” and “global warming” from all official communications, including reports and emails, according to an investigation published Sunday by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (FCIR)." Because if we don't talk about it, it isn't real. Until it swamps Florida. Oh conservatives, tell me again about the evils of being Politically Correct, 'cause that never gets old. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

The limits of conservative compassion. Or, another example (actually "examples") of "got mine, fuck you." (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Linkee-poo has had a long week

Robert Jackson Bennett on that horrible, self-righteous and self-aggrandizing article on talent. Growing up there were at least 3 other guitar players who had more "talent" than I had, but I was the rhythm guitarist for our stage band and have some of my licks on (admittedly "self-published", but by other people) records (back when vinyl was it, baby). Why, because I had to work at it. Not one of those guys still plays or every made it anywhere in a band. Oh, they had bands. They didn't even compete in the talent contests or show up at fairs. They were too good for that. When you love something enough to fight for it, you can break through that level that "talent" gets you to and reach "professional" levels. If all you have is talent, you'll be the best there "could have been" ever. Because eventually it gets hard and if you don't know how to work for it, that's a hell of a learning curve to get over. I can speak from experience having done that more than once.

Editors note: graduated last summer summa cum laude not from "talent" or "skill" or "just gets it", but because I worked my ass off, which I didn't do my first 3 years in college. I didn't have to work to learn things and a C was good enough. This degree I needed, wanted, and hungered for that A. It's my promise to myself to approach writing the same way once I'm able to get back to it. [insert long-winded discussion of having realized I was skating by and floundering, now I see I need a more disciplined approach, and why Sonnet 29 has been haunting me]

The ACE score, or 10 questions your doctor doesn't want to ask you, but could help determine you chance of developing some health problems. Unfortunately, as the story talks about, there's no course of "treatment" or way to avoid these health issues (other than what we're already doing). Me? Seven out of 10. (Grokked from Tania)

Catherine Shaffer on on finding your way back. It's a difficult thing to explain and understand unless you've experienced that detachment from your own body.

The crime of allowing people to live in squalor. Not only is it demeaning, it costs us all a lot more and is deleterious to the health of the people who have to live in those conditions.

"Fewer American workers are taking time for lunch. Research shows that only 1 in 5 five people steps away for a midday meal. Most workers are simply eating at their desks." I so feel this. Normally I take only a half hour, and lately I've been going into the warehouse to eat. And people have been known to find me there to tell me something that isn't timely. Seriously. Tell me again how business shouldn't be regulated. There are hard numbers that allowing your employees to have their lunch hours increases productivity. Taking vacations also have the same effect. Having paid sick leave, regular hours, having email access turned off after business hours, all have been shown to have demonstrable effects on increase creativity and productivity. But these are the very things that business' as a whole are trying to stamp out. "People who are in more staff or line jobs that are unionized or regulated by labor rules, [those] are the people who are left taking lunch — because it's mandated. But for white-collar workers and managers it's not, and so they're the group who are least likely to take lunch."

What's love got to do with it? The Alabama Supreme Court strikes back and issues an order to stop county courthouses from issuing same-sex marriage licenses. However, in doing so they've contradicted all the claims of "marriage is a religious institution" (which is okay, because it isn't). "'This notion (public chanting "love matters" outside the courthouse) has broad public appeal and is, perhaps, the mantra most repeated in public discussions of this matter,' the court wrote. 'But although love may be an important factor in a lasting marriage, civil marriage has no public interest in whether the people seeking a marriage license love one another.'" Civil marriage, that means "the state controls marriages".

This must have been what the conservatives called the English no-go zones. Only, here are members of the Islamic community renovating an abandoned (but not un-consecrated) church as a community center of "All Souls." Look, it's one of those armor-plated llamas.

Well, I'm glad you're hate isn't based on ignorance. "State Sen. Steve Vick (R)[said] on Monday that he would walk out of the invocation, delivered by Hindu leader Rajan Zed. He explained that the U.S. was 'built on the Judeo-Christian not only religion but work ethic,' and said he didn't want to see that 'undermined.'… Hindus 'have a caste system,' he added. 'They worship cows.'" Okay, well India does have a caste system (not necessarily just Hinduism), but they don't worship cows. In my head I hear Raj saying, "Do not tell me about my own culture, Sheldon." So, how does being a hateful, vengeful ass fit into your idea of Judeo-Christianism, Sen. Vick? Do you worship your god with those lips?

"Describing its policing practices as totally out of step with the nation as a whole, the U.S. Department of Justice called on Ferguson, MO to take immediate action to align its level of institutional racism with the rest of the country, sources said Thursday." Please don't take my Onion away. (Grokked from someone, sorry, lost the link)

"'Our teen birth rate has dropped 40 percent over the last four years,' says (Larry) Wolk. 'The decline in teen births has been accompanied by a 34 percent drop in abortions among teens.'" But the pro-lifers will try and shut it down. Granted, the program to provide IUDs to poor women was initially funded by private money, but it's proved its worth. It is cheaper for the State of Colorado to continue the program than it is to let it die. But, because the Pro-Life movement is not about actually reducing abortions (but is all about rolling back the sexual revolution) they will kill the bill.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Linkee-poo, no one flies around the sun

Ferrett Steinmetz's book is out today. Happy book day, Ferrett!

The reality of the six-figure book deal. Just in case your writing dreams needed crushing this week. (Grokked from practically everyone)

My father, the pornographer. Chris Offutt writes the biography of his father (and mother) who helped pay the bills by writing porn. There's no judgement here, hell, if I could write it, there's still a hellalotta money to be made.

Annalee Flower Horne on not being broken. I'm glad that terms used to describe people that have had traumatic events in their lives (broken, damaged, dysfunctional) are starting to lose favor in the popular culture. On the other hand, those words die hard.

We've come full circle, we now have computers that can play computer games. How about a nice game of chess? Okay, well, yea, it is kinda a break through. The computer was just given the game and the basics of how games are played, but not the rules or goals of the various classic arcade games. The program had to figure that out for itself. I wonder how many quarters it had to use? (Grokked from Dan)

John Scalzi offers a menu of responses to online stupidity. Now, just like at a Chinese restaurant, you can order by number. "Oh, you wanted Beef and Broccoli?" To this list I would add "13. Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son," because, well, who doesn't love a Dean Wormer quote (extra points if you didn't have to Google that one).

So, Speaker Boehner does what everybody knew would happen, use the lawsuit against President Obama's executive orders on immigration as an out to abandon attaching language to the DHS funding bill. And now the shit will fly.

On February 3, "(a) 20-year-old U.S. military weather satellite apparently exploded for no obvious reason." Uncontrolled chain reaction, or a laser strike on a satellite someone didn't think anyone was using anymore? In either case, wasn't this the plot bunny from Gavity? (Grokked from Dan)

Hey, ho, way to go Ohio. Yep, little by little a woman's right to choose is being whittled away. Remember, conservatives are the ones who say government should regulate less and stay the heck out of your lives. Unless they don't like what you're doing, and then they'll regulate and interfere like hell.

You know how conservatives are all for the "open market"? Yea, well, not so much when it's their pocket-book being threatened. In this case, how the Kochs and others are trying to hamper the installation of consumer solar power. This is why you hear so much hype against it, many powerful people are seeing their profits going down and they're going to fight like hell to make sure they keep that profit margin. Also connected, the Ohio PUCO in a rare example of actually protecting the public, rejects AEP's attempt to saddle rate payers with the extra costs of running older coal-fired power plants (in other words, they wanted to make the citizens to cover their losses as the power plants age out into obsolescence). Yea, this is going to be a hard fight with lots of propaganda being spewed. (Grokked from Dan)

Boom gone bust.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Linkee-poo signs the song that others have sung

Lots of Tor.com links, guess which feed I caught up with this weekend. No, really, guess. :)

The forgot ichor. The ten most used words of HP Lovecraft.

And the 10 worst misconceptions about medieval life you'd get from fantasy books. That and going to Ren Faires. (Grokked from Tor.com)

Stephen King's everything you need to know about writing successfully in 10 minutes. Interesting to see how his opinions changed from when this was published till when On Writing was published.

Chrissie Hynde famously said of the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, "They killed my rock 'n roll and this is its gravestone." When the Wall Street Journal has an article on "slipstream" fiction, does that mean it's dead as well? (Grokked from Tor.com)

I'm sure it's because Kelly Link has a new book and she's being interviewed and name dropped everywhere. (Also grokked from Tor.com)

Cartoon Network is relaunching the Powerpuff Girls. Freaking awesome. I think my squee gland just broke. (Grokked from Tor.com)

(Near) Space tourism by ballon. You know, when I saw the first experiment of someone launching a weather ballon with a camera pack and GPS reporting, I knew this would only be a matter of time. "Hey, what if we built a Really Big Ballon and then we went up with it…" (Grokked from Tor.com)

"I’ve had it with this self-righteous, delusional wing of the party." Wow, when Rep. Peter King says that, just how far have you overshot the shark?

"The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System is a retinal implant that allows patients to see objects by sending light directly to the optic nerve, effectively avoiding the damaged retina." Yea, but the first patient didn't go for the laser pointer eye socket upgrade. More the pity. (Grokked from Tor.com)

Sen. Inhofe throws a snowball demonstrating that, yes, Virginia, there are snowballs in hell. I mean, that because it snowed there is no climate change. Meanwhile on the other side of the island, "Historic Old Brockway is open as of Saturday, March 15th. This marks the earliest opening for the course in over 30 years." Sounds bad, right? Wait, that was last year. They're already open this year. Maybe in Sen. Inhofe wound up like Bugs Bunny, he could throw all that snow back to Lake Tahoe where the ski resorts are hurting. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)