"Pete Burns, fabulous freak singer of 1980s dance-pop group Dead or Alive, died yesterday of cardiac arrest. He was 57." Shit, okay here's how old I am; whenever I hear that song I'm right back in the Townhouse in Akron (alas, no more, swallowed by the Plasma Alliance donation center that used to be only half of the complex). Stale smoke and beer atmosphere, cheap furniture and thankfully they keep the lights low, especially in the bathrooms. A dance floor maybe twenty by ten feet with forty plus co-eds and some of us more adventurous guys dancing like maniacs, barely enough room to take a full breath without rubbing against someone. The sound system loud enough to drown out our off-key, full lunged caterwauling even to the person you're dancing with. Recovering from that sauna by drinking dollar-a-pitcher nite beers (now you know part of my aversion to cheap beer) before diving back into that pool of humanity and sweat. You spin me right round, baby, right round like a record, baby, right round round round. Yeah, it was the 80s.
Strange Horizons has a new look. (Grokked from Jason Sanford)
Captain Awkward on not quitting the day job immediately. Just going to highlight this part, "Maximize retirement contributions and anything your firm matches… Shrink your living expenses so that they’ll be manageable during the transition time when you might not be earning quite as much. If you’ve got fancy health insurance, take advantage of it and get every nice thing you might want done now." Yes, that. Also, from my own history (which I wish I could repeat), take the day job that might not be as rewarding (money, professional life) so you can do what you want. And trust me, I think about that one almost every day since last April.
"Oxford University Press has announced that its new edition of the complete works of William Shakespeare will credit Christopher Marlowe as a co-author on the three Henry VI plays." Big data to the rescue. Unleash the conspiracy theorists in 3… 2… 1…
For your Halloween amusement… "Doctors sometimes removed the skins of infamous murderers and used them to bind books about their deeds—a fact well known enough to serve as a kind of deterrent. The most infamous case is the pocket-sized book bound in the skin of William Burke, half of the Scottish duo Burke and Hare, who murdered sixteen people in order to sell their bodies to doctors for dissection."
A fake BSoD error message in Windows from a piece of malware is a social engineering gimmick. "'Real error messages from Microsoft do not include support contact details,' Microsoft said on its Malware Protection Center blog, warning of the new threat. It also never asks for payment for delivering tech support." You're first clue with this being fake was a Windows error message that was helpful. (Grokked from Vince O'Conner)
Jack Chick, he of the ubiquitous "Satan Panic" comics or "Comics for Jesus" tracts, has gone to meet the great printer in the sky.
A Mother Jones article from the inside of a militia group. I haven't finished reading it yet, but so far it looks good. Basically groups pretending to be soldiers and helping because that's the ideal of manliness they have. Unfortunately they have dangerous ideas and are somewhat willing to act on them. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)
John Scalzi talk about the productivity hit this election has been. Boy howdy that with a side of WTF cole-slaw. I'm really looking forward (with some trepidation to be sure) to November 9. My guess is the election will be called by midnight. Hopefully the after-party won't go in directions that I fear it might. But, yes, productivity and brain-capacity have been way down since February. You can see how much it has eaten up in these posts. I mean, I'm a political wonk, but damn this is deep shit. And I can't get away from it, even when I try. Which is why I said before that I'm going to take a break after this. I need it. You need it. We all need it. I keep telling myself, "only two more weeks." Of course the gremlins in my head keep shouting back, "Remember 2000?" Bastards.
"Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz vaulted suddenly and without any advance warning to the top rung of Democratic party megadonors with two unheralded tears through his checkbook in the past six weeks." Just so you know who they're talking about as the conservatives form their ranks to stop another Democratic Party mega-donor. (Grokked from John)
Trumpster may be touting how strong he is on the 2nd Amendment, but the 1st Amendment he'd like to change. In this case to specifically make it easier to sue the now 11 women who have come forward with sexual assault allegations. Also, he'd really like to hurt the newspapers who criticize him. Wonder if we'll see all the "You're Violating My 1st Amendment!" trolls come out against this? Bueller… Bueller…
"An anti-media smear favored by the Nazis and the alt-right wormed its way into headlines after a Trump rally on Saturday: 'Lügenpresse.'… The slur, shouted at BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray by two unidentified men at Trump’s rally in Cleveland, pre-dates the Nazis and was used at first by the German government during World War I to designate foreign writing as propaganda, according to the Washington Post." But the Nazi's used it a lot. So, real, honest-to-God, fucking Nazis supporting the Trumpster. The friends you keep.
And an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic detailing both the magazine's endorsement of Clinton (only the 3rd endorsement in its history) and the daily anti-Semitic invective he faces on Twitter every single day. Honest-to-God, fucking Nazis. And just like he says, even if Trumpster is well and fully trounced in the election, I don't expect them to go away either.
"Basically, every time you saw Hillary land a blow or Trump muffle an answer, you saw the stocks start to rise. And so, through the course of the evening… they rose by nearly three-quarters of a percentage point… It absolutely spiked, and it wasn’t just a two-hour spike -- we were looking minute by minute. And, for instance, when Hillary took Trump to town on about not paying taxes, which was a moment that scored well with most audiences, it also scored well with the stock market. The S&P started to rally yet again during each of those little phases as well."
"'There's not a separation between me and Donald Trump. As a matter fact, there's an ad on TV saying I'm too cozy to him,' (Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) ) said at a rally for the Gaston County GOP, according to tracking video from the liberal group American Bridge."
And for some others… "Some Republicans are running so far away from their party’s nominee that they are threatening to sue TV stations for running ads that suggest they support Donald Trump." (Grokked from Wesley Chu)
Oh look it's one of those sting videos. "Undercover reporters posing as consultants acting for a Chinese benefactor approached specific pro-Trump and pro-Clinton fundraisers and groups after receiving information that individuals were involved in hiding foreign donations… The pro-Clinton organisations did not respond to initial approaches. But earlier this month an undercover reporter spoke by telephone to Eric Beach, co-chairman of the pro-Trump Great America PAC… He suggested the donation could be put through a social welfare organisation called a 501(c)(4) - or C4 - , which unlike a PAC is not subject to a blanket ban on receiving foreign money, and not required to name donors." Well, they didn't contact the campaigns directly, but only their Super PACs. I'm sure it's all okay. "In an initial call on October 4 the reporter explained that the benefactor wanted to donate to support Mr Trump’s campaign, 'but he’s not a US national.'… Mr Beach agreed that making such a donation to the PAC could be difficult. But he did, however, have a suggestion…" (Grokked from John Scalzi)
Trump TV launches on Facebook. "The hosts denied that this was some type of 'Trump TV,' a rumored endeavor from the GOP nominee if he loses to try to monetize his loyal base into a massive media influence akin to Fox News."
"(Trump) directed $300,000 of small donors’ money to the publisher of his bestselling business book 'The Art of the Deal' in the past month, according to a Monday Huffington Post review of the Trump Make America Great Again Committee’s most recent FEC report." Well, I'm glad he's not in it for himself (he's making the publisher some money as well).
"Donald Trump may be coming up short in the polls, but his brand of politics has sparked a movement. David Greene talks to Chris Buskirk, a conservative blogger and a talk radio host in Arizona." Another reason why I'm no longer in the GOP, noted for the immense double-think obvious in this interview. The overall theme is "Donald Trump is authentic and not a polished politician and tells us what he thinks unfiltered and that's his appeal and taps into what people want and are thinking… but he should script a little more, talk about it differently and still resonate with the base… and I don't really know what he stands for, I don't know him, but I'm voting for him." That right there. He tells you what he thinks, unfiltered, but then you don't know where he stands? His unfiltered speech taps into what people want, but maybe he should say what he says differently?
Tweet of my heart: @splashikins Today is the kind of day where my levels of done-with-this-shit are inversely proportional to my fucks-to-give.