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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

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Linkee-poo, a child of sacrifice, a child of war, another son who never had a father after Leningrad

"Paul Beatty wins Man Booker Prize with The Sellout, a sendup of race in America"

Writing advice from Joe Lansdale. Standard disclaimer, use what works for you, toss what doesn't. YMMV. Everybody writes differently, and even books by the same author demand to be written differently than other books by that same author. See "tweet of my heart" below. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

What do witches eat? Pretty much what everyone else does. Although cakes and ale is nice.

Remember when companies would offer free child care? Does anyone do that anymore? 'Cause that would be a great thing for working parents. And it would certainly help out their budgets.

"Its critics, including in industry, say the way IARC evaluates whether substances might be carcinogenic can cause unnecessary health scares. IARC assesses the risk of a substance being carcinogenic without taking account of typical human exposure to it." At least that's the excuse of industries facing having their products labeled as carcinogenic are using to force scientists to release emails and draft documents. Because it's so totally not an attempt to frighten anyone away from doing that research or find cheap talking points. Not at all.

"Oxehealth’s software uses camera data to measure heart rate, respiration and blood oxygenation from a distance. The company is now trying out the technology in the real world, in hospitals, psychiatric wards and police stations. Now that would be interesting… except for "police stations"? WTF? But, yes, not having to disturb patients at night would be excellent. I think I see a major fault though. "The Oxehealth software watches for the tiny changes in video frames as a patient’s chest rises and falls when they breathe, for example. It also tracks subtle changes in the pinkness of their skin, using that to infer their pulse."

"Some Chinese iPhone owners are giving their old models a makeover to look like the latest iPhone 7, rather than buying new… Online sites offer shoppers makeover kits, false cameras and even dust plugs to hide the removed headphone jack to give their iPhone 6 or 6S the appearance of the iPhone 7…" (Grokked from John)

"Forget garlic. In real life, a tomato can defeat a vampire. And researchers have now figured out the first step to vegetable triumph." Actually it's an article on plant parasitism/predation and how tomatoes have developed resistance to a certain strain of "vampiric" plant. It's not deep science, but could give you some story ideas or at least a primer on how weird the world we live in actually is.

Remote controlling robots with thought for those paralyzed. Interesting, but I'm not sure that's what they really want… until it becomes as immersive as in John Scalzi's "Locked In".

"Sounds, particularly those made by other humans, rank as the No. 1 distraction in the workplace. According to workplace design expert Alan Hedge at Cornell, 74 percent of workers say they face "many" instances of disturbances and distractions from noise." White noise generators were supposed to help, but just like in clubs when people start talking louder than the music, they turn the music up. And while I don't have an "open" space, I've worked in cubicles most of my adult like, two jobs that were open space officer, and only once with an office and a (insert angelic music here) door. At the current day job I have several shouters and loud talkers nearby.

"The polar vortex in recent years has brought the kind of miserable cold to northern states that made it hard to breathe outside. We’re probably in for more of the same… That’s the finding of a new study published yesterday in the journal Nature that finds that as the Arctic warms, it is shifting the polar vortex to Europe. That in turn will bring more bursts of frigid cold to North America." I'm going to stock up on my "Weather Is Not Climate" expressions now, before the storms hit. Which, BTW, last night was the first Lake Effect snow event, which meant ice pellets.

Microsoft is about to release it's Surface Studio. And actually, that looks like some pretty good tech there (not in the way they use it, but for it's potential, which we'll see if it lives up to). (Grokked from John)

Using fMRI to study long-term fear responses. In this case a simulation close to the "jump-scare" but using pictures and mild electric shock. Not exactly PTSD area, but the research could be relevant. However, all those centers they identified as active during "fear response" are exactly the same areas involved in pain response (I did a paper on fMRI research into pain detection). And it's already been shown that the body does remember pain (to some extent). So this might just be seeing the same response, but because they're research is filtering for fear, they interpret a pain response as fear response. fMRI research is still in "infancy" and there isn't much cross-sharing of data.

The jury is asking some interesting questions in the Malheur Case. And then Juror 11 is gone.

The Gallup Election 2016 tracking polls. Interesting where there is any movement. Note that last week only 42% of adults were paying close attention to the election, just so you can judge your own online echo chamber. What I see is a lot of dissatisfaction going on.

"The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP sent a letter to the state's board of elections Monday after voters complained that machines had flipped votes in five counties. The group noted that, in each case, the voter was able to correct the error before the ballot was cast. But it asked the board to remove malfunctioning machines and to post signs reminding voters to check their ballots before submitting them." Touch-screens are notorious for having user error. I'm a pretty tech savvy kind of person, and at the hospital we use a lot of touch screens in our radiology department, especially for logging into the portable X-ray machine (the machines in the department all have keyboards we can use). Every night there are multiple times I have to try to login several times before getting it to recognize I'm hitting the right key. Mostly it's parallax issues between where I see the key, and where the machine thinks the key is.

This just in, Rep. Jason Chaffetz is a tool. "House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is gearing up for 'years' of investigations into Hillary Clinton’s record should she win the presidency on November 8." So, basically, he's got nothing better to do because the Republicans won't do any actual work anyway if Clinton wins the White House. And then there's "Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) on Wednesday joined the ranks of a handful of Republican lawmakers who pulled their endorsements of Donald Trump but who later said they would still vote for the Republican nominee." In other words, "I can't endorse him because that could be politically damaging, but I'm sure gonna vote for him." My, what solid values and integrity you have there.

"The Los Angeles police say they are investigating the smashing of Trump's star following a report that the sidewalk tribute was destroyed with a sledgehammer." Don't do this people. I appreciate the emotion, I empathize very much, but it's still criminal. This is what they want. They are trying to provoke a response (not that this is the only reason behind their hate speech). It fits the narrative they're trying to create. (Grokked from Dan)

The PBS Newshour story on the political influence of twitter bots. And the BotorNot tool that statistically analyses a twitter feed to give a probability score of it's a bot or not. Good news, there's only an 8% chance I'm a bot.

The Hidden Brain podcast on what billionaires are really like, by interviewing their wealth managers. They're just like you and me, except only if you remove social consciousness and concern.

"There are no people backing Florida’s deceptive solar amendment. Only corporations… Money and misinformation could give Florida utilities a big win in November." Or why if I ever go solar, I'm also going off-grid. (Grokked form Robert J Bennett)

And in the vein of "it takes an asshole to recognize another asshole publicly" "Donald Trump interrupted his Wednesday speech announcing the grand opening of his Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. to congratulate Newt Gingrich for his contentious and off-the-rails interview with Fox News host Megyn Kelly."

And speaking of assholes, former Congressional chew toy, Joe Walsh, he who couldn't control his mouth during a State of the Union speech, obviously continues with his verbal diarrhea. Yeah, Joe, you go grab your musket. You can march up and down the square in your tri-corner hat.

"Donald Trump's campaign is reportedly trying to shrink the electorate to secure a victory for the Republican nominee… 'We have three major voter suppression operations under way,' a senior official told Bloomberg News." Typically people don't talk so candidly about that kinda thing. That just shows their level of contempt for the American voter. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"The DNC filed papers saying that the RNC, through Trump’s actions has already violated the consent decree, and asks for another 8-year extension." Yes, one side has been trying to affect voters and how they vote, and it's the side that's crying the loudest about the election being "rigged." (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

CNN's analysis of the limited data for early voting. At this point all you're judging from these numbers (how many of which party, if tracked, have voted) is who is scared and who is motivated. It remains to be seen if these numbers are merely time-shifting when people would have voted (or did vote in 2012), or if they're genuine increases in voter participation.

PBS Newshour story onwhy white nationalists hear a political ally in Donald Trump.

The Yale Record does not endorse Hillary Clinton. Slow clap. (Grokked from John)

Tweet of my heart: @aliettedb It's interesting to be part of a little cloud of similar people, but ultimately: your writing process is whatever works for you. (Grokked from Elizabeth Bear)

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