The NPR book concierge's picks for best books of 2015. Hey, I know a few of those authors!
The big reason why agents and editors stop reading a submission. (Grokked from Elizabeth Shack)
Notable book covers. I just stared at the Fox and the Star cover for most of the day. (Grokked from Dan)
Moley, the robotic kitchen. Jane, stop this crazy thing! (Grokked from John)
"'Such security concerns could give parents second thoughts about buying the Internet-connected toys on their children's holiday wish lists,' observes CNET." Now, not only do you need to watch out for toys with "some assembly required", you need to vet the little buggers for strong encryption. (Grokked from Rodney)
"… Greenpeace today disclosed that it led an undercover investigation to expose how easy it is for big oil, gas, or coal companies to pay academics at leading U.S. universities to write research that sheds doubt on climate science, and promotes the commercial interests of the fossil fuel industry… The scientist involved is speaking at Sen. Ted Cruz's Senate hearing on promoting climate denial this afternoon, on Capitol Hill."
Diane Rehm to retire after the next election. (Grokked from Dan)
"America's largest and most futuristic destroyer has headed out to sea for the first time ever. The USS Zumwalt departed from the Bath Iron Works shipyard earlier this week for its first open ocean trials… the Zumwalt — the first of three ships in its class — is thought by some to represent the future of the Navy. It's fitting, then, that it's helmed by one Captain James Kirk." Who says the Navy doesn't have a sense of humor. (Grokked from John)
Those druids, they sure knew how to barbecue. I wonder if they were a sweet or spicy sauce kind of people? Or were they dry rub?
A drones, they're so cute, and they have cameras that might invade your privacy. Or a local teen could add a flamethrower. Because, you know, this is Amurica! (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)
Not sure I liked to this before (it's from September), but… "Houston police say that an armed man’s attempt to stop a carjacking went terribly wrong on Saturday night when he shot the vehicle’s owner in the head, then fled the scene." Yea, that. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)
You never really want to know how they make sausage or legislation. That's an article on the things being rolled into the Omnibus Spending Bill that the Legislature and Senate don't want you to know about.
""Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky doesn't give a shit about anything but politics. The first responders were told the Zadroga Act would be included — they were told this last week — would be included in the transportation bill passed last week," (Jon) Stewart said. "Mitch McConnell of Kentucky pulled it out of the transportation bill last week when he didn't get concessions about loosening oil export regulations." Video: Jon goes to Washington and interview with first responder. (Grokked from TPM)
John Scalzi with eight things about Donald Trump. "…Reince Priebus said Tuesday he doesn't 'agree' with frontrunner Donald Trump's proposed plan to bar Muslims from entering the U.S., but stopped short of a full condemnation of the real estate mogul's remarks… The RNC chair has called Trump's candidacy a 'net positive' for the national party, saying Trump has 'done a good job of getting [the] message out'" "Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Tuesday that rival Donald Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering the country was a 'mistake,' even though it was similar to a plan Paul already proposed to halt immigration from the Middle East."
"Donald Trump has three words for critics of his newly announced plan to bar Muslims from entering the United States: 'I don't care.'" He's not speaking to you or me, he's only speaking to his crowds of supporters. And yes, that is a dangerous turn. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)
"Real estate magnate Donald Trump soared to the top of a Suffolk University/USA Today poll released Tuesday with 27 percent support… Trump supporters are also proving to be a loyal bunch. Sixty-eight percent of supporters said they would still vote for Trump if the former reality television star left the GOP and ran as an independent." That'a after his comments on banning muslims.
And Trump's hate speech isn't innocent (and granted, anti-Islam sentiment didn't start with his candidacy, but he's giving people cover and legitimacy). "Anti-Muslim hate crimes are happening with frightening regularity." And they've been increasing in tempo. "Someone threw a pig’s head at a Philadelphia mosque" (which also gives more data on other attacks). A Somali restaurant in North Dakota is vandalized "Vandals late last week spray-painted an offensive symbol on the business and the words 'go home', but authorities say it's too early to know if the two incidents are connected." (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)
Tweet of my heart: @Thom_astro Manual controls for Soyuz atmospheric re-entry. Like a video game, except you only have one life ;) (picture)