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

Monday, September 19, 2016

Linkee-poo has got a little black book with my poems in

There's the story circulating about a writer who ran back into their house, which was a 3 alarm fire, to rescue their laptop and their unpublished novels. As many people have pointed out, hasn't this person heard about gmail, dropbox, or any of the many free backup storage solutions? Just your random reminder to backup your data in a secure manner, preferably in a remote location. Also this note, it's easy for people who have internet access to make comments about how easy it is to have a backup, but not everyone with a computer has internet connections (at least in their homes).

Tim Waggoner with some tough-love advice on writing. I've struggled with this question over the past few years, do I want to be a writer, or do I want to want to be a writer? Clawing time away from my schedule is difficult, and when I do have actual free time, the last thing I want to do is sit in front of a computer. Part of this is my day job (if you've known me long enough, you know I chose my last day job because I knew it wouldn't drain my creativity, I didn't get that choice this time), and that has been a major reason why I've thought hard about jumping to the next career (the major reason for not jumping is the pay differential and the benefits package). It's possible that decision will be soon made for me. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

Using macaroni to make perfect fantasy world maps. As Captain America said, "Language." (Grokked from Lara Kristin Herndon)

iMessage in iOS10 sometimes return hardcore porn when searching for gifs to send. The gif search is handled by Bing, but Apple is blocking certain terms from search.

"The largest prison strike in U.S. history has been going on for nearly a week, but there’s a good chance you haven’t heard about it. For months, inmates at dozens of prisons across the country have been organizing through a network of smuggled cellphones, social media pages, and the support of allies on the outside. The effort culminated in a mass refusal to report to prison jobs on September 9, the anniversary of the 1971 Attica prison uprising." (Grokked indirectly by Saladin Ahmed)

"The board moved quickly to change the rules under which Flint is governed so that the city cannot file a lawsuit without first getting approval from that state-appointed board." Well ain't that ducky. (Grokked from Chia Evers)

"As America’s opioid epidemic rapidly increased to crisis levels over the course of the last decade, pharmaceutical companies like Purdue, which makes Oxycontin, and Pfizer, the second-largest drug company in the world, employed over 1,300 lobbyists around the country and collectively spent over $880 million between 2006 and 2015 in an effort to stop states from enacting laws that would limit access to painkillers, a report published on Sunday by the Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found." One thing lost in a lot of this is that in the 90s the FDA kept tight control over these drugs, but then the crisis was people who actually needed these painkillers because they have been living with chronic, disabling pain, were unable to receive them. What we're seeing is the opposite swing of the pendulum here. I hope it doesn't swing too far in the opposite direction. It's not that pharma is acting in patient's best interests, they're acting in their own interests to sell as much as possible. It's just that I don't want us to lose site of the patients in this argument. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

"After twenty-five months of labor, the committee’s 'comprehensive review' of an immensely complex subject weighs in at thirty-six pages… I have graded college term papers that long. It is one more dispiriting commentary on the state of legislative oversight that the committee’s twenty-two members, Republican and Democratic, were unanimous in signing their names." I'm not a big fan of Snowden, but on the reporting of the "report" it was pretty clear to me that the report was nothing more than a Congressional whitewash and an attempt to smear his name while trying to regain some legitimacy for our domestic surveillance programs. It was a way of saying in a sea of dark gray inks, "We're right and he is wrong." And no, no matter how well the movie does or does not do is not an indication of the veracity of anyone's story. To me, it's probably as much a fantasy as "Sully". (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"Ravel’s recent vote to sanction conservative filmmaker Joel Gilbert for alleged violations of federal election laws — the FEC deadlocked on the matter — have prompted a new round of hate mailers to, in recent weeks, call her a 'communist c---sucking b----' and wish her 'the worst for you and yours.'" I'm sure it has nothing to do with the alt-right movement. Not at all. Oh, just a hint, guys, death threats against a public official, even one as obscure as a FEC commissioner, are handled differently than death threats against random people (read "mostly women") on the internet. Also, funny/not-funny how these kinds of things always involve the same political stripe of actors.

"The results from several ballot stations (in Russia) may be thrown out, CEC leader Ella Pamfilova said Monday, after surveillance video showed voting irregularities — including at least one case in which an election worker is seen taking a small stack of ballots and jamming them into the box." Now that's how you rig elections.

"U.S. military officials on Saturday denied reports that Syrian jihadists expelled American and Turkish troops from a border town about 30 miles west of the Euphrates River." So some guys shoot a video of them shouting at special forces as they left a town in Syria after a meeting and supposedly this is them kicking the US out. Um, see those squad weapons on the tacticals? Yeah, if they thought these yahoos were an actual threat, they would have been leveled. This is such a piss-poor attempt at propaganda it's laughable. Of course the real reason for this is to provoke a reaction (and to rally the troops as ISIL loses territory). Also, when you "kick" someone out, you don't let them leave with their weapons, #protip.

So, which party is better at creating more jobs? Ah, yep. Pretty much knew that one (you might remember my report on which presidents were responsible for greater economic growth as reflected by stock market prices). So again, one party claims they're better, but the numbers just don't bear it out. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

"'Imagine what our country could accomplish if we started working together as one people, under one God, saluting one flag,' Trump said, drawing enthusiastic applause from the crowd at the Values Voter Summit." Yeah, about that… Also note this is coming from the same political side that embraces people taking up arms against that same country.

And putting his ignorance and racism on display, the Trumpster "called for profiling of refugees and immigrants 'from that part of the world'". What no one thinks to ask (specifically because he's only talking with Fox News on a regular basis) is to ask exactly what part of the world that would be (because I don't think he knows)? But, you know, those people. Hint, that phrase, when not accompanied by physically pointing to a crowd of people close at hand, is almost never used in a non-racist way.

Just a reminder, right wing extremists (aka white supremacists and sovereign citizens) are a bigger threat to the citizens of the US than any jihadists.

Tweet of my heart: Kevin Nguyen ‏@knguyen There is a weird thing white people do where they think they can only be racist if they are trying to be racist. (Grokked from Joshua Parker)

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