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

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Linkee-poo, Bela Legosi is dead

Witches' hares.

"In an effort to help his students develop inaccurate perceptions of their talents, University of Virginia creative writing professor Alan Erickson told reporters Monday that he takes the time to provide each and every one of them with personalized false hope." Oh Onion, never change. (Grokked from Christopher Cornell)

Besides hawking painting reproductions for Sears, did you know Vincent Price had a cookbook.

The international Church of the Dude. (Grokked from Dan)

I need to bookmark this article and share it every time some one says that we need a CEO as president. Four ways the Oval Office is not like the corner office. Being a CEO is very different than being in an executive in government. (Grokked from Janiece)

Turns out that early demo lunar rover vehicle wasn't actually scrapped after all. But the scrap yard owner, as many in the same circumstances, knows what he's got and wants the cash. (Grokked from Dan)

"Republican candidates made it a point to bash moderators during Wednesday night’s GOP debate over what they called “gotcha” questions, but CNN guest Michael Smerconish pointed out the questions were not unlike those posed during the first debate in September by moderators from right-wing Fox News." Ah, but they weren't Fox News, so the candidates weren't comfortable because they were talking "amongst their own." Also, it was a chance to bash the "Mainstream Media" (which drew great applause lines). (Grokked from Vince O'Conner)

"Cruz's attack on the moderators was smart politics — but it was almost precisely backwards. The questions in the CNBC debate, though relentlessly tough, were easily the most substantive of the debates so far. And the problem for Republicans is that substantive questions about their policy proposals end up sounding like hostile attacks — but that's because the policy proposals are ridiculous, not because the questions are actually unfair." (Grokked from Beth Falk)

Oh Christ on a cracker. "Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor at the National Review, suggested in a Friday column that retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is 'more authentically African-American' than President Obama." This feeds into my suspicion that Ben Carson is surging in the pools because conservatives think if they nominate the "'Friend' that is the Black Friend everyone talks about" that liberals will just "vote for the black guy." Because they hold the mentality that this is how Obama won the past two elections. Dear conservatives, nobody really votes that way.

You'd think with all the GOP's talk about cutting the social security net (which now with Paul Ryan's ascendancy we will hear more about), you'd think people all over this country would be asking for the government to role back programs. Turns out people actually like and support the social programs.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Linkee-poo dances the time warp, again

Why we carve pumpkins in America, instead of turnips. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"In The Prophecy, a striking series by Dakar-based photographer Fabrice Monteiro, majestic alien creatures wear hoop skirts and headdresses made from soda cans, garbage bags, fishing nets, tortoise shells, and the odd baby doll. It isn’t just fashion photography at its most theatrical and cinematic…" Wow. (Grokked from Alex C. Renwick)

Turns out the differences between the male and female brain… not so much. Pointed to for various reasons, not the least of which is how "medicine" is not actually science, because when real science comes along it overturns a lot of thinking and "accepted wisdom." (Grokked from Jer)

The Hidden Brain podcast show on compassion. There's a thought experiment in there that has me thinking about a lot of things. Compassion and service are very big things in my life and I struggle hard to follow my precepts sometimes. Compassion is the very heart of Buddhism. Some days I fail because of choice, some days because of ignorance. Anyway, here is the transcript of the show.

Solar cells at 25% efficiency and decreased manufacturing costs. Shit's getting serious now. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Yes, Virginia, child marriages happen right here in the US. Just in case you hear someone spout off about our supposed "cultural superiority." Put that in your "Traditional Definition of Marriage" pipe and smoke it.

Have gong, will travel. A high school puts a football coach on leave after Satanists plan a protest "prayer." Seems the coach, after being admonished for leading students in prayer before games, took to bending knee after the games while on the field. Some people at the school felt it was still too much so they contacted local Satanists. They then wrote a letter to the school board saying that such an act opens the field to religious practices and therefore it is open to all religious practices, and they would be by to express theirs. Besides robes and incense they have a gong.

Florida goes for a two-in-one discrimination bill disguised as "religious freedom" bill. Not only does it enshrine homophobic idiocy, it also goes for misogyny. This is what the modern conservative movement is all about. I wonder if I could claim my deeply held believe in "do unto others" for refusing to treat conservatives? (Grokked from Janiece)

So, ever wonder why teachers have strong unions and seniority rules? This is one reason. My guess is there is a lot of back story here, where a teacher of the year just resigns instead of having to reprove her certificate to teach the class she's teaching. Note the recent move from 3rd to 5th grade, made by administrators. Note the comment about "another round of testing." This is a teacher who has been harassed out of a job. This is not uncommon.

It's beginning to look a lot like teh Crazy. Yep, they're coming for the Beckster. Even if the Trumpster wins, he'll be gunning for the Beckster. Paranoia strikes deep… Actually, it's the victimization and martyrdom mindset of the social conservative at play here. There's a dash of "we ain't with those guys, really" as well (you know, so they can say they're non-partisan and they're not a part of the GOP).

In other news, Glen Beck is still on the air?

Woman set on fire. No, not somewhere else, right here in the US. The KKK is still active, and still committing horrific crimes. (Grokked from Janiece)

After the GOP's very bad, no-good day of debating, the candidates want to change the rules. Why won't the debate moderators just let them give their stump speeches? Why won't they let them just say whatever the hell they want? Why do they have to answer questions and maybe have their viewpoints challenged? That's not what debates are for. Debates are to get in front of the voters and tell your story, not answer questions or be challenged on your past or maybe have your ideas called into question and being forced to defend them and get deeper into the questions of the day. This snark brought to you by the RNC, of which the candidates are ready to drop. Reality, she's a stone-hearted bitch. Especially when you've lived your life in the spin-cycle.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Linkee-poo is a one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people-eater

A video by the Historical European Martial Arts groups on how most sword fighting in the movies and in games is completely wrong. Actually, it's about a whole lot more, but that's how it's mostly being promoted. And, yes, most common beliefs are wrong. Also, today we focus highly on the sword (as do most of HEMAs members do), but there was a hellalotta more going on in the martial arts. (Grokked from Tor.com)

Some thoughts on why old women are the face of evil in fairy tales. I disagree a little with some of their interpretation of characters, and they don't hit the most obvious point (it was mostly men collecting these tales) nor the second obvious point (the war between the Pagans with their goddess centered worship and the rising Christianity).

The PBS episode of The Secrets of the Dead, Vampire.

Cassini is going to barnstorm Enceladus. (Grokked from John)

"… for the first time, scientists are poised to bring to the US market a virus that can help thwart cancer, a development that could herald a new age of viral therapies." (Grokked from Kelly Swails)

Paul Ryan, already selling you out to get his job. In this case, no immigration deal while Obama is in the White House, or one that the GOP doesn't like. Because the Freedom Caucus is totally against back-room deals. Except when it's their back-room deals. But then, "'Immigration is far and away the most important problem facing America because it changes the voter pool, thereby controlling the outcome of every single public policy challenge America faces,' (Rep. Mo) Brooks said…" Well, that's not racist at all. Thanks, Rep. Mo Brookes (why did I keep typing "Rep. No") for reminding everyone the GOP is mostly the "angry, white, old-men" party.

You know you're doing something wrong when the fact checkers send you a letter of TL:DR. "The reporters told Paul they eventually stopped vetting every chapter of (Rand's books) because, 'we don't have the time to check them all.'" Seriously, Rand Paul, this isn't a he said/she said thing. It's researchable. It's knowable. Stop mangling our founding father's quotes. I think George Washington said it best when he said, "Hey Rand, don't be a dick."

"'It’s certainly not the process I would want, but think about what the alternative was,' (Speaker John Boehner) said (about the compromise deal). 'I would hope that the process in the future would have a little more length to it and involve more members.'" Strangely enough, Speaker Boehner, it's exactly the same process you had to use to get any substantive work done in the House during your tenure. Exactly the same; secret deal without amendments, offered at the last moment, and needing an overwhelming majority of the Democratic votes to help get it passed. And while I agree the alternative is disastrous, that's because your caucus is full of whackaloons who don't play well with others and see no reason to. You can't get your own GOP sponsored bills passed the Hastert Rule. Maybe it's time to chuck it (the rule, that is). And it would have been a much larger catastrophe for the GOP. The RNC should get on their knees and kiss your ass for getting this done.

"Fox Host: We Don't Regulate Cars! Why Should We Regulate Guns?" Okay, I'll take regulating guns just as much as we regulate cars. I just don't have the fucking spoons for this total ignorance. Oh, and Andrea Tantaros, about your comment re: swimming pools, let me introduce you to the concept of attractive nuisance. This is why many jurisdictions require a lockable fence around any pool (there are also regulations on depth, cleanliness, and in some cases insurance carriage). JFC these people ignoramuses.

John Kasich has his come to Jesus moment. Note, John is also a far right whackaloon. We've had two general votes to overturn laws he supported and signed into law. So the pots are calling the kettles black.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Linkee-poo is not a monster, Tom, well, technically I am, I guess I am

Tell me again why we should respect police officers. Because this is how you lose respect. At least the sheriff did the right thing by calling for a federal investigation. My guess is that Deputy Fields is going to be looking for a new job and the school is going to settle a lawsuit. There is no reason for this other than a power trip.

A map of Middle Earth annotated by the professor himself turns up in a rare book shop. Is it me, or is anyone else remembering the Hitler Diaries or A Million Little Pieces. (Grokked from Dan)

Comet Lovejoy is spewing alcohol and sugars into space. Yea, I've been to parties like that. Actually this give credence to the theory of pan-spermia (that life originated elsewhere and is being deposited on planets to jump start the evolutionary process). (Grokked from Dan)

Ah, this good Christian values of the Greens, the family that owns Hobby Lobby. In this case, smuggling the cultural heritage of Iraq into the US to go into their Bible Museum. While there's no specific prohibition in the Commandments against, "Thou Shall Not Mis-label Artifacts on Customs Documents," I think the bearing false witness clause and "Thou Shall Not Steal" covers it pretty well. (Grokked form Lizz Winstead)

"In a final flourish of ruthless savagery, sources reported that the barbaric gorgon concluded the email with a conspicuously single 'xo.'" The jester speaking truth to power. In this case, the Onion speaks truth to idiot men. Had I not heard some similar commentary from men, I would think this was hyperbole. Sadly, not so much. (Grokked from Christian Klaver)

Hey, you know all those earthquakes in Oklahoma which may be linked to increased fracking (actually with injection well sites, which are linked to fracking)? Did you know Oklahoma is where we store a lot of oil above ground? Do you see where we are going with this? (Grokked from Dan)

I think I posted about this before, but more for your file on the world is weirder than you can imagine. Not only do fetal cells cross the placenta and remain in the mother for the rest of her life, but the opposite happens as well. Now, really this shouldn't freak you out. Your mitochondrial DNA (and all the organelles in your cells) came from your mother. And they're the same that her mother had. And so on. Kinda puts a dent in that Special Snowflake armor doesn't it.

What No child Left Behind got right, and what it got wrong.

Ah, good ol' American Exceptionalism. A photo form WWII of a young woman sending a thank you note to her Navy boyfriend after he sends here a Japanese skull. (Grokked from John)

Some mental illness may be linked to infections and inflammation. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. (Note they're not saying "all", as as someone with experience with it, big-D depression isn't the same in everyone or every time)

"The study, which included responses from high-ranking lawyers at 320 firms with at least 50 lawyers on staff, found that 35 percent of the top brass at responding law firms envision replacing first-year associates with some type of AI in the coming decade." In other new, 35% of the top brass at responding law firms have never written an email themselves. Yea, I think if you ask ANY executives if they could replace people with AI and robotics they would think they can. However, especially in law, if you don't have 1st year associates who are real people, your business model is doomed to failure in a decade as you don't have anyone to replace those retiring old lawyers. (Grokked form John)

Your questions answered when it comes to the WHO's new guidelines on processed and red meats.

Having failed to provoke the Conservative Rapture with compelling Hillary Clinton to testify before Congress, conservatives go to their fall back position of threatening to impeach the president. It's an old tune, but it still plays well to the market. In other news, Tom Delay is still a criminal and an asshole who violated election laws.

Please Senator Inhofe, please go to the Paris talks. Please go and try to explain to the rest of the world that President Obama's policies are bad and will be reversed. The policies the rest of the world was damn happy he finally proposed and a little sad that the US is dragging their feet. Please, Senator, speak to the world leaders one-to-one with your "truthiness" squad. Let them tell you to your face that you're a fucking imbecile whom they wonder how you tie both your shoes correctly and if you have someone help you go to the bathroom.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Linkee-poo is breaking the furniture

We'll just jump to the one you're gonna hear a lot about, the WHO classified processed meats as highly carcinogenic and red meats as mostly carcinogenic. And that, my grandchildren, is when the Great Meat Wars really began. Apropos of yesterday's rant, there are whole industries and industry lobbying groups that will tell you this isn't the case. They will begin to flood the airwaves with their message. Beef, it's what's for dinner. Pork, the other white meat (actually, not any longer). And you'll hear people at parties repeat the trite line about how salad is what food eats. And for everyone that wants to point out that we have eye-teeth, you have just as many molars, and your incisors also developed to eat vegetables. Your eye teeth were good for getting marrow out of bones. How many of you still eat marrow? Again, all food are drugs. When our diet gets out of balance, we tend to go out of balance.

Cheryl Strayed on writing, the art of living, and 3 ancient motifs of story telling. (Grokked from Mrs. Tadd)

Twenty-nine way to end a scene. For your plot wheel spins. (Grokked from Elizabeth Bear)

The legacy of Robert Mapplethorpe in Cincinnati. Full disclosure, I saw that exhibition in Cincinnati. His portraiture work is gorgeous. The photos that people had a problem with were segregated into a different room that had a line of it's own to get in to see them. Wasn't all that impressed with them. But the rest of the show was stunning. The man is a master.

Some pages from the 1975 Sears Catalog. Back when companies printed huge catalogs for mail ordering. See how primitive we were before the internet. And we all had to wear dusky rose corduroy overalls! It was the law. (Grokked from Dan)

Coloring books for adults. It seems odd to me that people think it strange that coloring in these books (which are not about adult subject, but just more complicated designs) is close to meditation. Really, I guess they've never really studied meditation. Mandalas, painted or sand painted, have always had a devotional aspect. While laying them out, one enters a meditative state. (Grokked from Janiece)

Of relation to my last rant, and as a general PSA, don't drink while pregnant. Some people just don't want to believe. "But Janet Williams, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and lead author of the report, says it's really impossible to say what level of drinking is safe. 'Not finding something is not necessarily the same as being safe. It could be that our tests are not sensitive enough to detect it.'"

So, how's that $15 an hour pay thing going in Seattle? "Since the wage hike passed on April 1st, dozens of new restaurants have opened… The King County section of Seattle has issued 5,227 permits for food service establishments in Seattle so far this year, which means this year will have more openings than last, which had 5,458 permits. This also means 2015 will beat 2013, with 5,415 issued that year." So, no doom and gloom? Fancy that. (Grokked from Cat Rambo)

"Texas A&M Professor of Management Markus Fitza used a technique called variance decomposition to evaluate the extent to which the performance of companies can be attributed to astute leadership versus the random chance, and concluded that in 70% of cases, CEOs can't be shown to add any value to the companies they run." Well, that's gonna sting. Don't worry, it won't affect their income (because nothing affects their income). Actually 70% sounds low in my personal experience.

"What's better than parachuting beavers?… Video of parachuting beavers." Is it sad the first thing I thought of reading that was the WKRP Turkey Drop?

We have always lived with the plague. In this case, bouts of the plague may have helped human migration.

Texas goes on a fishing spree at Texas Planned Parenthoods. I'm pretty sure what they're asking for is a violation of HIPAA. Plus the governmental bullying of asking for personal data. So, where are all the small government libertarians? (Grokked from Steven Gould)

Say, remember all the arguments over seniors (and others) wanting to order medications from other countries because they're cheaper? Arizona gets caught red handed ordering prescription drugs form overseas companies to use in executions. Petard, and hoisted thereupon. (Grokked from Dan)

The DOJ finds no criminal wrong doing in the supposed IRS "targeting" scandal. Strange how when people actually look at all the evidence, they find no actual wrong doing (more "liberal" leaning organizations were flagged than "tea party" groups).

Boogs Booga. "A survey of 1541 randomly selected US adults ranked the country's fears as of 2015. Items that ranked above climate change included corruption, mass surveillance, cyber-terrorism, bio-warfare, identity theft, running out of money, economic collapse, credit card fraud, Obamacare, illness, nuclear attack, meltdowns and civil unrest and tornadoes."

Bruce Bartlett (no, not THAT Bartlett) "a former adviser to both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, warned over the weekend that Fox News had damaged the Republican Party by creating a bubble for conservatives to brainwash themselves." Really? While I would love this to be some sort of self-realization/actualization moment, instead it becomes a "No True Scotsman" argument. (Grokked from Josh Parker)

This article on Sen. Rubio missing votes pretty well explains the whole disfunction of government. Not to mention, why the hell would you elect this guy to the presidency? Seriously, he'll take his little red ball and go home. "'For two years, we just tried to slow-dance and wait for the 2012 election,"'Rubio said. 'And then, when that didn’t work out, we spent two years trying to position ourselves for ’14… Now it’s [2015], and the argument is, "We’ve gotta wait to elect the president,"' he continued." Yep, the do nothing congress explained pretty well.

I've seen this movie before. Supporters of Trump drag and kick protestors out of the hall. In other Trumpster news, he takes credit for Ford listening to his campaign speeches and deciding to keep some production in the US which is a neat trick considering they announced the move in 2011. Maybe Marty did make it back to the future last week?

"'On our side, you've got the No. 2 guy tried to kill someone at 14 and the No. 1 guy is high energy and crazy as hell,' Graham said. 'How am I losing to these people?'" Bwahahahaha. I don't know, Lindsey, but it sure says something about you and the party.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Corporal Pedantic on Chemicals

So, I think I've had enough. See, there's this meme about treating people who are worried about "chemicals" as idiots because, well, everything is made out of chemicals. And so the people who point that out can feel superior in their knowledge and at the same time dismiss the concerns people have.

The above is a joke, you can tell by the "dihydrogen monoxide" (water if you don't know). That's the key here. Audit's very successful propaganda if my Facebook feed is anything to judge by. And yes, it's propaganda. And it's spread by people who don't want you to really know anything, but are trying to get you to trust them because they're smart.

Don't fall for it.

First of all, let's clear out the air here. Chemicals. People use words. Words are symbols, they represent ideas and concepts. And those meanings are individualistic and variable. Ask any writer you may know. There is the dictionary definition, and then there is the societal use. While many people think of it as slang, it's not, words work differently for different people.

When most people say "chemicals" it's a short hand statement. It means, to them and anyone who understands how words work, industrial chemicals. What they want to say is the chemicals that are being produced by our industry and, surprise, find their way into our body.

And only an idiot would think that when people are worried about "chemicals" in the bloodstream that they mean the dictionary definition of "chemical". And a political propagandist would be the one who would use that to dismiss the argument concerning non-organic chemicals (the ones that the body doesn't produce and can not process regularly) showing up in the environment and in the human blood stream.

Because here is my response to that graphic, I wanna know the person who created it, and offer them a big glass of Tetraethyllead or (CH3CH2)4Pb. See, that's a chemical. And it was a damn important one for many, many decades. You may remember it as "leaded gasoline." You might remember lead paint. As a human of a certain age, I have trace amounts of these different leads in my body. And it's toxic. Highly neurotoxic.

But it's just a chemical, isn't it? And we once thought it was very, very helpful. After all, we put lead in everything (lead pipes, lead in gas, lead in paint, lead in our jewelry, lead everywhere). In fact, in many parts of the world you can still buy leaded gas and lead paint. We still make it here in the US (you just can't sell it in the US).

Then there's Thalidomide. It's a chemical. It's a damn useful chemical. It was so useful we once prescribed it to expectant mothers to help with morning sickness. How did that work out when it reached the fetal blood supply? I mean, it's just a chemical, that wasn't supposed to be able to pass the placenta. And we still make it because it is a damn useful drug (it treats a whole host of other things).

There's methyl mercury. That's a chemical, and highly useful industrial chemical. And it's in your blood. Ah, but you know about the problem with mercury, mad hatter's disease and all. When I was a kid, we played with mercury, because it was "safe." We knew it was safe, didn't we? Well, there was Minimata disease, but that was in Japan. Now, when a mercury thermometer breaks, the hazmat team is called in. But mercury is just a chemical. And I'll bet you that you have it in your blood right now. Remember how tuna has mercury? It still does.

Just because a chemical is in your body doesn't mean that 1) it belongs there, and 2) just because you're not falling over doesn't mean it isn't killing you.

But there's a whole industry that wants to make sure you're not thinking about it. There's a hellalotta money riding on the fact that the people who really like this graphic also don't know what chemicals, or chemistry is about. And just because we don't know that something is bad for you doesn't mean it's not killing you right now. Lots of the chemicals they list do occur naturally. But here's an interesting fact. You see that line about ketone bodies? Yea, that's actually a natural occurrence. It's a byproduct of processing proteins and fats into sugars to use as energy. All those commercials about proteins being good for you, as a long term source of energy they're all true.

But do you know about ketoacidosis? This is when you have too many of them in your blood stream. And you begin to die as your blood pH levels turn off your enzymes. You can get it from too much alcohol, from diabetes (and especially from undiagnosed/uncontrolled diabetics drinking too much alcohol - oo, that's really bad, don't do that, seriously). See, the alcohol and/or proteins and fats aren't bad by themselves. But what your bodies makes from them can. Ketones are very natural, or biologic, chemicals and you have them right now. Hopefully not enough to do the pH in your blood.

Carbon dioxide is also a chemical that you can breathe and that you make. It's "natural." You make a lot of it. There's a lot of it in the environment. And it will kill you as well. And strangely enough by the same process that the ketones will, by dropping your blood pH (unless it suffocates you first). Want a lot of that?

You might remember a lot (and I mean A LOT) of congress peoples talking about how carbon dioxide is good for you, it's not poisonous. How can it be hurting us? Mostly in reference to global warming, but you get my drift. See, it's just a chemical, and because we know what it is, we know all about it. Not really. Also, CO2 will kill you quickly (like if you're in an enclosed space with too high a concentration of it) or slowly (by altering the climate of the earth until we can't adapt fast enough).

There is a whole industry (well, multiple industries) that are hellbent on you not knowing that. There are industries who really hope you don't think about how much we've altered the environment, how many of the chemicals your body doesn't make (and we don't know how it affects you, hell, we don't know how the chemicals our body makes affect us) have found their way into your blood and tissues. And if you actually think of that, they most assuredly want to make sure you think there's nothing wrong with it, because you're not falling over dead right now, are you? And they sure as hell don't want you to think it's a problem and want your government to regulate their production or use. Because they wouldn't make as much money. And you can trust companies, because if they hurt you, they wouldn't be in business for long, would they?

Ask Exxon-Mobil.

So, pay no attention to those chemicals. Scientists know them. You food is made of them. And you can trust the people in the white coats, can't you? It's all under control. You can go back to sleep.

'Cause after all they were right about lead, mercury, and all the rest. Especially all those drugs that the scientists researched heavily before putting them on the market. Like fen-phen.

Now plastics. Plastics are uber-ultra-good for us. They don't breakdown, so they're non-reactive. Yea, plastics are good. Like micro-beads. All good. You should get a job in plastics.

How about a nice glass of Agent Orange?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Linkee-poo cursed the gloom that set upon us

Patricia, already the strongest tropical storm ever recorded, approaches the theoretical limit of a storm's strength. That can't be good.

Fifty design terms defined. For when I go off the deep end and start talking in code. Also, look, that's a pretty good definition of Brand (which everybody gets wrong). (Grokked from Dan)

NSFW if people can read over your shoulder. "Mia Matsumiya has received many supportive messages from fans following her career as a violinist. But for the last 10 years, she’s also been receiving something else: creepy, abusive, and harassing messages from strangers." She also kept them. So, just in case you may still harbor thoughts that women are making this shit up. Look, dudebros, you need help. And maybe medication. From professionals. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

Comedian and friends brutally assaulted after the refuse the advances of a group of men. Just in case you thought it was only online. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

After a scorcher of a September, it would pretty much take Earth retiring to "Ice Ball" status to not be (by far) the hottest year on record.. (Grokked from just about everybody)

The Planet Money podcast on the violent rise of Unions. Also, why we really don't want to have to live through those times again.

Man bites dog. No, seriously, the guy bit the police dog. "The confused dog also bit an officer." I love the idea of that. In thoughts in the the dog's mind going something like, "What the Total Fuck, Dude, okay, everybody is getting bitten then!" (Grokked from Dan)

The British "Conservative Party's 'anti-radicalisation' laws call on teachers and other public servants to report brown children who espouse 'radical' ideologies -- and now the other shoe has dropped, with the Family Division of the Judiciary promising to steal those children from their parents." Jumping Jesus on a pogo-stick, WTF? But, hey, we can help our friends the Britons by offering all those Boarding Schools we sent American Indian children to as a place to send all those radicalized children. Okay, who am I kidding? If the conservatives on these shores piss their pants by even floating the idea of closing Gitmo and bringing those prisoners to US Maximum Security Prisons, imagine what they'd lose thinking of all those kids at a boarding school without razor wire.

You know, when Stuart Varney can pose a "gotcha" question, you really aren't a fucking candidate. Or at least you simply don't have a brain or any clue as to reality. Stuart Varney. Trump was trolled by Stuart Varney.

Benny Netanyaho goes full Godwin. "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sparked an uproar in Israel on Wednesday for suggesting that a World War II-era Palestinian leader persuaded the Nazis to adopt their Final Solution to exterminate 6 million Jews." Germany then had to remind the Israeli Prime Minister exactly who it was who came up with the idea and then instituted the Nazi's Final Solution, aka the Holocaust.

Ben Carson says he wants Secret Service protection because he's a challenge to secular progressives. When was the last time you heard of a progressive assassin? Dude, really, you're the "safe" black man the right has been talking about for so long. You are the "friend" of all those people who say they "have black friends." You're not a threat, you're barely above inconsequential. That's why the love you're idiocy in the GOP, you parrot back what they've long held in their hearts.

"Real estate mogul Donald Trump on Friday announced that he asked super PACs supporting his presidential bid to return all the funds they've raised—and challenged all other presidential candidates to demand the same." Um, isn't that "coordination"?

Tweet of my heart: @NYTScience In some howler monkey species, deeper calls mean smaller testicles http://nyti.ms/1Gkxn9o

And that can pretty well sum up much of the internet.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Linkee-poo, one’s the devil, one keeps driving me insane, at times I wonder if they ain’t both the same

Puts on Ned Stark costume, looks broodingly at camera, "NaNoWriMo is coming."

Sometimes, senior, the bull no lose.

A newly discovered large asteroid is going to make a flyby on Halloween. What could possibly go wrong (cue the "Armageddon" soundtrack)? (Grokked from Stewart Sternberg)

The burn churches, don't they?

So, how did that whole "student builds a clock, gets called a terrorist" thing work out? Gee, he's going to a country that 1) probably won't throw him in jail for being smart while brown and 2) actually offers to support his dream of going into science. Boy, I hope he has good memories of Texas. You know, to hold him over as Qatar pays for his advanced education in STEM while Texas likes to keep the whole "Darwin Was Wrong" flag flying. I know conservatives will love this story, but we just lost an asset because they were being asshats. Also, Qatar believes in him so much, the whole family is going. Put that in your "we have to reduce Pell Grant" pipe and smoke it.

Paul Ryan says he'll be speaker if everyone agrees that he's the person to unit the GOP in congress. Paul Ryan wants to be The One. Sorry, Paul, leadership doesn't work that way. "Hey everybody, agree I'm right and that you'll do what I say, and then I'll lead you." Nope, that's not leadership. Leadership is to bring all those factions to the table and convince them your direction is the right one and then bring them on board with it. That's leadership.

Larry Wilmore on gun violence.

I guess the Trumpster never really read Playboy for the articles. Who wants to bet he does an interview next week, just like his boycotts of Fox News.

Tweet of my heart: @BillKristol @adesnik @DouthatNYT No objective evidence Empire was "evil." A liberal regime w meritocracy, upward mobility. Neocon/reformicon in spirit.

You know, sometimes I think I'm being mean by banging on conservatives so much. And then something like that happens and I realize I've been too easy and nice about it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Linkee-poo watched the fire that grew so low

In case you haven't watched it a thousand times yet, the 3rd Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer.

"A life in the arts is rewarding in so many ways, but you have to be very lucky just to make a living wage." An article on working in the arts and the ever present fail mode of burning out. Out of my graduating class of 26 designers, I think maybe 4 or 5 of us are still working in the arts. "I think the level of resourcing in most arts companies would not be acceptable in the corporate sector.'" Actually, it is more prevalent everywhere. Some people I work with at the hospital get grumpy when they've worked 10+ days in a row. Last month I worked 28 days without a day off. And many of those days were 10+ hours, or like today where I'm working 8 hours at the day thing and then another 6.5 at the hospital to cover someone's shift. "‘It's both internal, your home is your workplace, and external – the need to pay the rent. Most writers I know seldom take holidays, and if they do, they're usually work-related and seldom have days off… The plus side is that your time is your own to manage, but it's too easy to fall into a default of working all the time. When you combine that with having a life, family and so on, it can just wear you out. It's not dramatic, it just creeps up.'" Yea, that. So very that. (Grokked from Maureen Johnson)

What do I do for self-care or to take a break. Well, you're reading it.

"(Nilotinib)that's already approved for treating leukemia appears to dramatically reduce symptoms in people who have Parkinson's disease with dementia, or a related condition called Lewy body dementia." It's a very small study, over a limited amount of time, but wow. But please note "… nilotinib is very expensive. The cost of providing it to leukemia patients is thousands of dollars a month." And "Alan Hoffman was okay for about three weeks after the study ended and he stopped taking the drug. Since then, 'There's (been) a pretty big change,' his wife says." A change for the worse.

Sure, you may be psyched for the SW VII trailer, but what about the movie no one wanted, the Michael Dell story. (Grokked form Dan)

The problem with racism is it has long legs. In this case, a housing community that still has exclusionary terms in their bylaws of just whom can move in. And, yes, these have been illegal for years. Doesn't mean they still aren't out there. Wonder where the conservative "they're not letting us do what we want with our land" types are in this fight?

Why should you support mandatory paid sick leave? "Fifty-one percent of food workers… said they 'always" or "frequently' go to work when they're sick, according to the results of a survey released Monday. An additional 38 percent said they go to work sick 'sometimes.'… (T)he vast majority of reported cases of norovirus — the leading cause of foodborne disease outbreaks and illnesses across the country — have been linked to infected food industry workers." Yea, that would be a pretty good reason.

John Scalzi on the problems of the 1%. What he said. Plus, you know, the rich wouldn't feel so isolated if they actually, you know, lived where other people live, not in gated communities, attending $1000 plate dinners, having separate entrances for the "poorer" people in the building, etc. Here's the article John is referring to. Yea, all the "but if we were black or gay you wouldn't be saying these things"… wow, that's some sense of entitlement you've got. Also, that line about coming out to someone as rich is like coming out to someone that you're gay? Hold your horses there. When was the last time a rich person was beaten bloody and left tied to a fence in the middle of nowhere, left to die in the cold, because they were rich? Can't remember? Right, that's the difference right there.

Researchers find that researchers don't understand child development and the word "verisimilitude". Sigh. Of course kids want the "real" story over "fantastical" story if the choice is given to them that way (actually, they're 50/50, whereas adult prefer the fantastical). Kids are trying to learn how to live, how to be an adult, how to make it through the world. They don't get the concept of metaphor as an existential thing (although they understand it intuitively). Also, I don't see "How to Win Friends and Influence People" winning out over "Harry Potter" anytime soon. "And, unlike hearing a realistic story from an expert, engaging in imaginative play doesn't offer new data about the way the world works — it instead offers an opportunity to explore what we think we already know, including its limits and entailments." Ugh, no. Play offers an "undo" button the way the real world doesn't.

This is just unconscionable. Repeat after me, there is no "safe" dose of ionizing radiation. Using large x-ray devices where living tissue may be exposed without knowledge or consent is a health hazard and is unethical.

"Remember (this) when you read the next "THE GOP IS DOOMED" piece." I've long stated that the Democratic Party really needs to focus and push more strongly for the local level elections (city councils, county level, school boards, etc). The GOP has pushed very hard and built a good ground game for these seats. This is where the next leaders come from. This is where they're groomed. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

When boom goes bust. "When energy booms go bust, the public is often left responsible for the cleanup. That's because while most states and the federal government make companies put up at least some money in advance to pay for any mess they leave behind, it's often not enough… After the methane industry collapse, there were almost 4,000 wells in Wyoming that the company responsible walked away from. Now, the state has to pay the price." The flip-side of "Drill, Baby, Drill." Also, just in case someone is spouting off about government regulation, remember that it's your tax dollars that are going to be cleaning up the mess. Of course the answer is to make drilling companies put up a bond for each and every well. But then, you'd have to change the law. Good luck with that.

Congress punts again. There is the rabidly loyal base that loves this kind of crap (we're only gonna fund things that nobody will hate us for). But it really shows just how poorly the national GOP does at governance. And it's because they have swallowed the concept of "Government is the problem" hook, line, and sinker. And since it wasn't, they're going to make it that way. The problem is, without actual government services, the economy will collapse. We saw it in the first shut down in the 90s. We saw it two years ago. Insanity is doing the same thing expecting different outcomes.

"In the half-hour interview, Mondale expressed surprise at Obama’s response to reported CIA abuses and called for punishment of agency employees who were involved with penetrating computers used by Senate staffers reviewing CIA interrogation methods." Among other things. And Walter Mondale knows from where he speaks. Yes, this. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

The Lone Wolf concept comes to small town politics. See, the party and the candidate can then deny all they want, but still get the benefit of having racists doing their shouting for them.

Oh look, Congress is voting to (partially) repeal Obamacare. Again. Instead of, I don't know, passing an appropriations bill, fixing the debt limit crisis, fixing the Highways Fund, fixing about a few hundred other things. Nope, gotta vote one more time. Worst music revival evar.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Linkee-poo finds me someone to love

Today is election day in Canada. You only had a 75 day campaign (lucky you). Here's John Oliver on the election and why it's important for you to go out and vote. Don't be like the US, Canada, go and vote.

A lot of NPR stories. Kinda turned out that way, it wasn't planned.

A pastor in NC get tired of burying his congregation members with preventable diseases. So he starts a community garden program and educates the kids how to grow their own food and eat nutriciously. Then he helps all of his community lower their food bills, eat better, and he has to preside over fewer funerals. That is service. (Grokked from Janiece)

Lot os good information regarding 401ks and their fees. Here I'll note that the 401k program was never meant for most of us. It was mostly designed for the top 10% of wage earners. It's only because companies got tired of being on the hook (and getting bad publicity) for their shitty pension programs, and this was a way of making you responsible for your own shitty retirement program. But if you have a program that has high fees, it's even shittier.

"Texas can — for now — continue to deny issuing birth certificates to the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants, a federal judge decided on Friday." In fairness, the judge also says this is a gross injustice, but hey, what is he going to do? I don't know, you're a fucking federal judge, maybe enforce the Constitution and specifically the 14th Amendment? All of this is over the parents being able to provide "secure" proof of who they are. Let's call BS on this. Is there a legal issue here? Yes, parents of citizens can get green cards and immigration status easier than others. But what is really happening here is an attempt to deny those born here to people "who just aren't our sort, old fellow" from getting documentation.

"But what could a tax-the-rich plan actually achieve? As it turns out, quite a lot, experts say. Given the gains that have flowed to those at the tip of the income pyramid in recent decades, several economists have been making the case that the government could raise large amounts of revenue exclusively from this small group, while still allowing them to take home a majority of their income."

NY State begins actions concerning "surprise medical billing", or what happens when you go to an out-of-network provider believing them to be in-network. Again, we don't have single-payor why?

Even college professors can be stupid. Especially when it comes to something outside their experience. Like socialism. Also pointed to in case you're still suffering form the delusion (and hype) that colleges are liberal strongholds. I'm sure this asshole has a "Make Liberals Mad - Work Hard and Succeed" bumpersticker. (Grokked from Chia Evers)

"The 22 states that didn't expand Medicaid eligibility as part of Obamacare last year saw their costs to provide health care to the poor rise twice as fast as states that extended benefits to more low-income residents." Say, which states were the ones who declined to expand Medicaid? Oh right, those who are "fiscally responsible" and "want to limit big-government."

"Using data from 63 emergency rooms, he and his colleagues calculated that 23,005 emergency room visits occur each year because of dietary supplements. Among those cases, 2,154 patients are hospitalized to receive further treatment." The war against non-prescription drugs continues. For this study "dietary supplements" includes homeopathic and herbal remedies.

On Donald Trump's history. "Bloomberg puts Trump’s current net worth at $2.9 billion, Forbes at $4.1 billion. The National Journal has worked out that if Trump had just put his father’s money in a mutual fund that tracked the S&P 500 and spent his career finger-painting, he’d have $8 billion." But yea, he's great because he says he's great. Basically, the Trumpster's greatest accomplishment is promoting himself. HE hasn't actually accomplished much on his own. (Grokked from Rae Carson)

Jeb! Bush wants to know, "'Does anybody actually blame my brother for the attacks on 9/11? If they do they're totally marginalizing our society.'" I'm not exactly sure what that "marginalizing out society" comment is about. Bu then, "CNN host Jake Tapper pressed Bush on how he could blame President Obama and… Hillary Clinton for the attack on the Benghazi compound if he believed his brother was not at all responsible for 9/11." To which Jeb! then said they were different, because.

Which then, prompted a discussion wondering if George W Bush was president on 9/11. (Grokked from Joe Hill)

It sucks when actual history interferes with your narrative and an actual history professor sets you right. But then, as Conservatives are wont to do, they say, "well, the real fight was even longer ago, and you're a dummy for not knowing that." Yea, sure pal.

It's just a little rain

Yea, I keep trying to tell myself that.

Anyway, whenever I see anyone list the greatest rock bands ever and the don't include Led Zeppelin or if they list the greatest rock guitarists and don't include Jimmy Page, I immediately classify them into a category of idiotic pundits. And this song is one of the (many reasons). Not only does it play well with a symphony (as it was on the original release), Page uses a non-standard guitar tuning (that is, even for non-standard guitar tunings), and he fucking nails it every. single. time. And if I could sing like Robert plant, my life would be fuller in every way. Freddie Mercury and Diamond David Lee Roth have similar ranges. Freddie is smoother, and Diamond Dave can do the scream better, but Robert is the best mix of both.


Frankly it's a little disappointing people wait for Robert to start singing before cheering the song, because that opening riff is so damn memorable.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Linkee-poo drinks because I'm lonesome, and I'm lonesome because I drink

The PBS special on the Brain, with David Eagleman. Some of you have heard me go on about how your vision (and perception of reality) isn't some movie playing on the back of your eyes. Instead it's a construct of your brain, a 3D holographic projection filled with emotional meaning with several extra dimensions that exist only in your head. Oh, and most of it is preprocessed information your brain pulls from memory routines, instead of reprocessing what your eyes (and other perceptions) are seeing. Just in case you ever thought I was full of shit. Well, at least about this.

Why is diversity an important value to have in any organization? Because it helps prevent you hanging your ass out for the rest of the world to see. I'm sure they'll retouch the video of Homeland before reruns to remove all the anti-Homeland graffiti. If they were smart, they would leave it in. (Grokked from Janiece)

Representative Trey Gowdy is becoming the man who doth protest too much after another GOP member of the Benghazi Committee admits that it's a political witch hunt. The money line, "Gowdy and other Republicans say the committee has been and remains focused on those killed in Benghazi and on providing a definitive account of the attacks. There have been at least seven previous investigations." Each prior one found no fault (other than poor security, which the GOP can't really harp on because they're the ones that reduced spending for embassy security). So, either it's a political witch hunt, or it's just that the GOP lead Congress is really inept (this is the eighth committee that's trying to get the "real story").

Remember Denny Hastert? He's settling his "hush money, don't tell the FBI" case with a plea deal. Ah, those good old Law and Order and Family Values conservatives.

"The US government has been wildly understating the collateral casualties from its drone program… Using leaked documents on Operation Haymaker, one report takes an unprecedented look at drone strikes in Afghanistan between January 2012 and February 2013, during which more than 200 people were killed… only 35 were approved targets, the rest being either collateral damage or mistakes resulting from faulty intelligence." This is what whistleblowing laws were designed to help. Of course, it would be better to not need whistleblowers to help us to do the Right Thing™ in the world. How does this get by any sniff test? "Military officials might accept some level of collateral damage, assuming anyone near the target is likely to be involved in terrorism, but those additional targets… aren't subject to conventional oversight. When collateral targets cannot be identified, they're routinely marked as 'Enemies Killed In Action,' forestalling any fallout from the strike." That's how. By making the tautology "our drones only kill enemies of the US, therefore everyone killed by drones are enemies of the US." While some collateral in war is inevitable (one of the many reasons war is to be avoided at all costs), a less than 18% targeting capability calls into question the ability of our frontline commanders (the ones who give the order to loose weapons) to function competently. Now, how many of those 200 were "targets of opportunity" or "engaged in detrimental actions" (that is in the process of attacking or performing acts designating them to hostile groups) we don't know. But given the "success rate" (our fuckups in Afghanistan and Pakistan) of previous drone missions, it calls the whole program into question. Besides the morality of it all, the justification of "worldwide war", or any of that bullshit, this is an operational failure (either in targeting, or in promoting the war to the public). I thought we were ending this kind of shit when we took the CIA out of the loop. Obviously this mental virus has infected the rest of the military. This is also the result of the thinking of drones and "smart weapons" as "magic" and the sine qua non of policy. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Ima gonna just leave this here. Fox News analyst arrested for making false claims on his "employment" with the CIA (among other frauds). Of course Fox has cut him lose and is hanging him out to dry. Nothing to see here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Linkee-poo had a long day

And it'll be even longer tomorrow.

Beowulf 4.0. (Grokked from Hannah Bowman)

The NY Public Library Podcast featuring author speeches and presentations. I'll be in my bunk. (Grokked from Neil Gaiman)

The 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest. Damn. (okay, my artist side has a lot more to say like "look, there's some obvious trends here which show the artistic tastes of the judges, like single point vanishing lines, but that's my geeky side). (Grokked from Dan)

Twelve badass scientists who also happen to be women. I know a number more. (Grokked from Janiece)

A most unusual star. While the light from the star tells us it's old, the interference pattern of the light (as seen from the Kepler) indicates massive amounts of objects in orbit, like you would see around a young star who's planetary disk hadn't congealed into planets yet. There are some natural possibilities for this (including, but not stated, that our concept of stellar development may be wrong), but this may be an emergent Kardashev Type II civilization (where it harnesses all of the energy of a star) as you'd expect to see the same interference pattern. Note here the recent stellar search turned up no evidence of Type III civilization (which harness the power of multiple stars, possibly moving them to increased output). (Grokked from Jason Sandford)

Stupid phrase to use for people in a crisis. I admit I have used some of these, but I've excised most of them out of my vocabulary. (Grokked from Janiece)

Sikhs have a long tradition of giving to the communities and world they live in. In this case, traveling to Turkey and setting up a free bakery to serve the refugees. At one time, Christians understood this philosophy (it was the systems of hospitals, kitchens and elder-care that allowed them to strong-arm Constantine into recognizing their religion). But lately, at least in America, the concept of service (for most Christian sects) has devolved into "mission vacations." (Grokked from Janiece)

"A former chairman of the Arizona Republican Party tweeted Tuesday night during the first Democratic presidential debate that guns should be taken away from 'blacks' because 'they are the main killers.'" Whackaloon quotient skyrockets. I really just don't have the fuckin' spoons for this election season. (Grokked from Dan)

You might wonder how I define heinous fuckery. "(B)y the early 1990s (Exxon-Mobil) researchers studying the possibility for new exploration in the Arctic were well aware that human-induced climate change was melting the poles. Indeed, they used that knowledge to plan their strategy, reporting that soon the Beaufort Sea would be ice-free as much as five months a year instead of the historic two. Greenhouse gases are rising 'due to the burning of fossil fuels,' a key Exxon researcher told an audience of engineers at a conference in 1991. 'Nobody disputes this fact.'… But of course Exxon did dispute that fact. Not inside the company, where they used their knowledge to buy oil leases in the areas they knew would melt, but outside, where they used their political and financial might to make sure no one took climate change seriously." That'll do. So, when Fox News asks the question, "Just look at who stands to profit from promoting Global Warming" understand that it shouldn't be Al Gore (who has made investments in alternative energy companies) you point to, but Exxon-Mobil who willingly fucked over the planet to increase profits and create a strategic advantage for themselves. That, IMHO, is exactly the betrayal of the public trust that should cause government regulators to sieze the company, sell off its assets to competitors and put the corporate governance people (executives, board, advisory councils, etc) in jail, pay investors off at a discount, and transfer the rest to the general fund. Think I'm being harsh? Okay, in times past the executives would have been drug into the street and hung from lampposts. I'm willing to accept historical precedent here. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Here I'll just remind everyone that Exxon-Mobil holds the world record for profits in 1 QTR and 1 Year. Also, it's good to remember that corporations are legal fictions which exist at the government's beneficence (and it seems the public's ignorance). We are the government. We don't have to tolerate such behavior. As the government gives (a charter) the government can take. The problem here is their disinformation campaign had significant impact, and we here in the US haven't yet seen the outlines of the coming catastrophe brought by climate change (which will be more than an inconvenience).

Why body cams and dash cams are important. Again, to the good cops out there, are these the people you want to be protecting?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Linkee-poo, come along with me if you feel like a room without a roof

An article on the decline of public support and government sponsorship of art, the William Morris movement, and what it means to (British) culture. Note, the decline in the US is much more advanced than that in Britain. I have many professional and personal feeling about this and have seen the decline first-hand. We are not better for it. Art, even the art we disagree with, is the food of the soul. Without art we are soulless beasts. Culture without art is totalitarianism and dystopia. It is a culture that enslaves the minds of its people instead of freeing them. It is less than the sum of the whole. (Grokked from Terri Windling)

The Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars exhibition at New York's Morgan Library.

"I learned a vital lesson in that, which is to always write the book I want to write." Chuck Wendig, telling me what I know to be true, but want to deny (because it's hard, dammit, it's very much easier to write about a guy who has to use a sword against people using guns, because he kinda got roped into it, plus honor and shit). Do what you love, and the money will follow.

Terri Windling with the care and feeding of your Muse. That.

How filmmakers (and others) manipulate your emotions using color.

How to design a fantasy village. (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

Relating to the previous link to the Star Trek fans who are continuing the five-year mission, Star Trek Continues. Oh noes, it's a fan war. And the wiki page listing all of the fan-based productions in the Star Trek universe. (Grokked from Dan)

Boom goes bust for the Alberta oil sands development. You might remember me saying a little something about this, that OPEC refused to decrease production to take a temporary hit to their profits as economic warfare to North American oil production. Well, the oil sands are still producing oil, but they're doing a lot less of it. In a few years, if OPEC is able to keep oil prices down, the oil sands, and shale oil, will no longer be profitable. We'll lose the technology (moving of equipment) and the expertise to exploit those resources quickly. As someone who lives in the US this should be very worrying, as for many years Canada has supplied most of our imported oil. With lower prices that will shift back to Mexico and Venezuela. While we're enjoying lower energy prices now, this forecasts much higher energy prices in the future (think $150 a barrel oil in 4 to 5 years).

Just how crazy is America's Gun Culture? "A 2-year-old boy… was riding in the backseat of his great-aunt's car, when he took her loaded .357 revolver from the pocket on the back of the seat, according to WSOC. He pulled the trigger, shooting through the passenger seat of the car where his grandmother was sitting." That's how crazy. One, shouldn't a 2-year old still be in a car seat? Two, who the fuck keeps a loaded revolver in the pocket of the back seat of a car?

The Trumpster goes in front of the centrist "No-Labels" convention and things get predictably wacky when the floor is opened to questions. Or, to say it differently, the Donald has drunk the Kool-Aid. Also, this shows just how far to the right the GOP has gone.

So, still think the Thin Blue Line needs protecting because they're just protecting us? Okay, how about this video taken automatically by a Taser gun that shows Matthew Ajibade, beaten and bloody, restrained in a chair, being Tasered in the testicles. While the video was time stamped at 4:45am, police reports say they found him unresponsive (ie. dead) in his cell at 1:38am. Most cops are good, but they're protecting these murders. Trigger Warnings for watching the video. (Grokked from Hannah Bowman)

Dear Good Cops, the more you protect these people, the worse it's going to be for everybody. You know this isn't good police work. These people are working against you. It's time to hang them out to dry and call them the criminals that they are. Yes, I know what they face if they go to jail. Do you think it's not worth it here?

We have always been at war with EastAsia. On National Emergencies and how we've had at least one in operation for, I don't know, since WWI. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

Exposing the Koch "grassroots" organizations. Dear progressives, all politics are local. You used to know this. Frankly, your local organizations are (for the most part) disasters. Someone is about to eat your lunch, and it's not because the patrons share the same positions as the targets. But they believe they can win converts to their cause. Bread and circuses.

"'These guys thought they could channel this populist anger into election victories and then co-opt the people they recruited and are finding that they're the ones that have been co-opted,' Ornstein said." On the current GOP meltdown. Revolutions are dangerous things. They often run out of control of the people who started the fire.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Linkee-poo said can't you see that this old boy has been lonely

Character creation and novel writing. (Grokked from Mrs Tadd)

"If these are the sort of truths that discourage you, yes, you should probably give up now. Because you are going to hit far more roadblocks and hurdles once you have that first novel published, and more again with the second. It does not, in truth, get any easier." Kameron Hurley on the truths about writing, publishing, being a writer and giving up (spoiler, no, she's not giving up). Most of you are going to give up. Hell. I spent most of this summer wrestling with that question. But I know, deep in the chambers of my little, black heart, I will never give up. I will be writing something. Even if it's just links on this blog.

And, because Kameron Hurley has a new book out, she's blogging everywhere. Like here where she talks about writing your passion, even if it seems unpublishable. And the long road to publishing and the amount of dead bodies littering the short road.

Ten SF/F writing "rules" (well, tropes) that io9 would like us to break. (Grokked from Tor.com)

This is why fandom is so great, Star Trek, the New Voyages. (Grokked form Mrs. Tadd)

The Tomb at Amphipolis was built by Alexander and dedicated to Hephaestion, his "general" (COUGHloverCOUGH). Nu uh, say other archeologists. (Grokked from Mrs. Tadd)

"The Klementinum library, a beautiful example of Baroque architecture, was first opened in 1722 as part of the Jesuit university, and houses over 20,000 books. It was voted as one of the most beautiful and majestic libraries in the world by (Bored Panda) readers! Wow. (Grokked from Tor.com)

A most awesome blue screen of death. (Grokked from Dan)

The Space-X Dragon crewed capsule. I think someone watched a little too much STNG if you ask me. (Grokked from Tor.com)

Radiolab's Smile My Ass episode. On Allen Funt, the rise of Candid Camera, and how social media has made us all a part of the experiment.

"House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) addressed his recent comments about the Benghazi committee again on Wednesday, urging people to 'stop playing politics.'" You know, for a complete asshole he's kinda cute when he's naive. Dude, seriously, the best option at this point is to resign the position and STFU. Anything else and you just continue to label yourself as a part of the "vast right-wing conspiracy" against the Clintons.

At the break between conservative and libertarian, Ohio Judge (and Ohio is a "conservative" state) allows private company to survey other people's private land for a gas pipeline. So, you have the rights to your land, except when I company wants it. Tie in the debate over seizing property for the public good and this becomes a very interesting reveal into the conservative mind.

"(F)ormer Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke tells us… he 'lost patience with Republicans' susceptibility to the know-nothing-ism of the far right.'" Gee, GOP economic and budget views are not based in reality or data? Who knew? (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"Most judges take the position that they are not going to re-victimize the person." Except in this case, the judge jails the victim of domestic abuse for not testifying against the perpetrator. Because that will work so well and send the proper message to other victims.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Linkee-poo, for I have dined on honeydew and drunk the milk of paradise

I know some of you are disappointed I haven't posted anything about the Goat-Sacrificing, Blood-Drinking Libertarian from Florida who is running for office. Well, let me just say, anyone who changes their name to a fake Latin/Roman name is not entirely mentally stable. Plus, every time I read about him, this scene from Monty Python's Life of Brian goes through my head and I just lose all sense of respect. This is the equivalent of getting your gerbil an American Express, or putting a dog on the ballot. Same. Exact. Thing.

"Everybody is invited to my all-male, all-white literary panel." That. Is. Hilarious. Thanks, McSweeneys. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

Is your creative process killing you? Based on a designers job, it also translates for writers.

Apropos, yes, sitting at your desk is killing you. Also, something I have been looking for, the Cubii, an elliptical designed for your desk. Although, at $320, my cheapness is going to kill me as well. (Grokked from Janiece)

"Wind power is now the cheapest electricity to produce in both Germany and the U.K., even without government subsidies, according to a new analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). It's the first time that threshold has been crossed by a G7 economy." As more and more installed base comes on line, the price between renewables and fossil fuels continues to invert. Although, right now we're in a golden age, where much of that renewable energy isn't requiring replacement. Once that cost comes in the price variability will change again. But renewables (wind and solar) continue to drop in price for installation, compared to fossil fuels which continue to rise in price. Add in all the hidden costs (such as a carbon tax), and renewables now present a nice ROI. (Grokked from Dan)

NASA has released all the photos from the Moon Missions. (Grokked from Dan and lots of other people)

"… The Klencke Atlas featured state-of-the-art maps of the continents and various European states. It was also notable for its size. Standing six feet tall and six feet wide (when opened)…" Now that's an atlas. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Okay, this "diffuse a bomb" game sounds interesting. One person has the bomb in front of them, the other person has the manual. Neither can see each other, but they need each other to diffuse th bomb in time. This is much more like the real world than some other simulations. (Grokked from John)

And what should come as a surprise to no one, "The results suggest that the private Medicare Advantage health plans are managing to get rid of patients once their care becomes too costly, says economist Momotazur Rahman, the study's lead author. 'When the plan finds out this patient is very costly, there are incentives for the plan to get rid of the patient,' he says… The shift of patients who were insured by private companies back to traditional Medicare rolls can cost taxpayers more."

Trigger warning. The girls of El Salvador are disappearing. Either because they're being killed by the gangs, or they're trying to avoid being killed by the gangs. And this is why they come to the US (or try to). Also, I'll point out because of the larger conversation and general wisdom that muslims are horrible to girls, El Salvador is a majority Catholic country. It's not about religion, it's about society. And it's all over the world.

Fuck you, former Representative Ray Dickey. You might remember Mr. Dickey as the person who cut CDC funding to research firearm deaths in the US, which has been added as an amendment (and expanded) to every spending authority bill ever since he first introduce it twenty years ago. Now at 75, he says he has some regrets. "'If we had somehow gotten the research going, we could have somehow found a solution to the gun violence without there being any restrictions on the Second Amendment,' Dickey said. 'We could have used that all these years to develop the equivalent of that little small fence (for highway safety).'" To bad some dick blocked that research.

About your Second Amendment Solution and "I'd shoot the bastard" or "I'd rush the shooter" talk, people who have been in combat don't believe you. (Grokked from Joe Hill)

Turns out, Russia isn't playing nice in Syria. Who could have predicted that. However, keeping Turkish planes on their MiG-29 targeting radar is a Very Bad Thing™. I keep going back to the line in Red October. "This will get out of hand. Someone will make a mistake and we'll be in a shooting war." Turkey is a full member of NATO. An attack on a NATO member country is an attack on all of NATO. Anybody remember WWI?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Linkee-poo wishes I was like you, easily amused

Maureen's Marchers for suicide prevention.

Dear Friends. A book launch told in letters. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

Some depression may be linked to inflammation. Huhn. Mostly anecdotal evidence here, but it would be interesting to see full research done. We already have the drugs, this would be research into "off-label" uses. From my own side, I do take Omega 3 (fish oil) pills and I believe I feel better when I have them than when I don't. But this might turn out like the "melatonin=sleep" thing (which, it turns out, really hasn't been proven, and IIRC, melatonin pills don't work much better than placebo). Sure, there's elevated cytokine levels in depressed people, just like there are elevated melatonin levels in sleepy people, but correlation isn't causation (melatonin levels are linked to the circadian clocks in our bodies and might be performing other functions). (Grokked from Janiece)

What bad things could probably happen with global warming? Well, for one, an increase in hobo spiders who will invade your home. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Everybody is all about the Mars, doesn't Venus get any love? (Grokked from Astrid Julian)

And they will know we are Christians by our guns. Although, I like this "Christians and defenders of the West" Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey came up with. It's very Tolkienish, as if Christians were the Last Men of the West.

Oh Christ, it's the Zombie Harold Camping come back to predict the end of the world. Again. Well, a group usin this math who now says the earth will end tomorrow, October 7th. I guess someone forgot they rolled doubles and got to roll again, or something. Actually, the Zombie Harold Camping has been on the radio (late night Christian radio is replaying some of his shows). (Grokked from John Scalzi)

The stories we tell ourselves. In this case, the stories told within the evangelical community. I didn't know that the couple that refused to bake a cake for the lesbian couple also published the couple's contact information. There's also a lot about the abstinence movement. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

On topic to both the racial divide when it comes to "honors" programs and what is happening in our schools, the rejuvenation of a Denver high school. Note that the "traditional" students at this high school would be considered "honors" students at other schools, but because of the racial divide, lack of engagement (by all parties involved), lack of communications, etc the school was about to tear itself down. But now that it has the teacher, administration, parents and students all pulling together they're seeing a turn around. Strange how that happens. (Grokked from Janiece)

Here's the thing, most companies that has public stock has some sort of stock purchase incentive program. However, they have strict rules against profiting from insider information. Unlike, say, the new fantasy football betting games. "Last week, a DraftKings employee admitted to inadvertently releasing data before the start of the third week of N.F.L. games, a move akin to insider trading in the stock market. The employee — a midlevel content manager — won $350,000 at rival site FanDuel that same week."

What would happen if we actually defunded Planned Parenthood. Bad things, Maynard. Basically, it will increase the "problem" that the so called defenders of the faith are attempting to prevent. (Grokked form the Slactivist)

One nation, under fear. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to revolution. This is what the terrorist knows. This is the goal of the attack.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Linkee-poo, the only heaven I'll be sent to is when I'm alone with you

Linkee-poo would like to take a moment and wish Fred Clark's father a speedy recovery from his double-bypass surgery and send good thoughts to Fred and his family.

Ten Icelandic Sagas. Because, you know. (Grokked from Sarah Goslee)

Why it's harder now to police ethical production policies (especially for garment workers) because of the rise in corruption and the baffling chain of middlemen who obscure where and how our clothes are made. All in response to the "end bad labor practices/sweatshops" protests of the 90s. This is how capitalism works.(Grokked from the Slactivist)

Legionella is a lot harder to kill than most people think. In this case, after a small outbreak in NY, officials ordered cooling towers (where the bacilli grows well) decontaminated. After a few weeks they retested the towers to find Legionella was still growing in them. Welcome to the age of the superbug. (Grokked from Dan)

Using stable organic compounds in flow batteries may help solve the "wind don't blow, sun don't shine" problem with wind and solar power. While batteries don't have a Moore's law, the transformation in the past decade has been stunning. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Unfuck Your Habitat tumblr. As a confirmed pack-rat, I appreciate this. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

It might have heard me complain about how we're cutting government to the point where it can't protect us and do the jobs it needs to do properly (how long you have to wait for a passport, or your tax return for instance). Well, it turns out such cuts may also have lead to the lax regulation enforcement that allowed Volkswagen to get away with their emissions rouse. (Grokked from Dan)

"Pennsylvania’s low-wage workers lose between $19 million and $32 million to wage theft in any given week, potentially costing the state’s economy as much as a billion dollars in lost potential consumer spending each year, according to a new analysis by law students from Temple University." Because wage theft affects more than just those who have their labor robbed from them. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Remember when I said that there is a coming revolution, although it's not the one most people think is coming? Well, how about this labor action against Air France when it announced job cuts. While they call it a "mob", these are the Air France workers who probably will be losing their jobs, storming the board meeting, and tearing the shirts off executives as they try to flee. Also pointed to because of my several references to people losing their lives during the war for workers' rights. When you have to fear your workers, something is wrong at the very base of the employer/employee relationship. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

You know how this Congress is just kicking the can down the road until December when several things will come to a head, and we can get all our bowels twisted up over yet another fiscal crisis? Turns out, one of those isn't going to wait until December. It's estimated the government will hit the debt ceiling on Nov 5. No word if that's the hard date, or if that's the "lets move this column around, and shift this account, and then we have enough money to pay the bills" deadline.

The stories we tell ourselves and the Trumpster. In this case, the story that all (or most) of the Syrian refuges are men (of fighting age) and the story that all able bodied men should fight. It kinda suck when reality disrupts your worldview. Also, just a reminder that the Trumpster doctor-shopped to get a deferment for serving in Vietnam. Also, most of these refugees are highly-educated professionals. And finally, most of them are fleeing being pressed into service by the Syrian forces loyal to Assad.

You know, if you wrote a story about a major state politician forging signatures on election documents and funneling campaign funds to their personal account, and that the politician was running for the office that would police that type of activity you'd never believe it.

"That’s how you fail the nut test." On climate change and how to tell the scientists from the kooks. (Grokked from the Slactivist)