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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

Friday, December 9, 2016

Linkee-poo, a time for man and beast to stand and feel the seasons turn

Godspeed, John Glenn. They don't make them like that often. Friendship 7 you're go for launch.

Kayla Whaley tweet storm characters in wheel-chairs. Good things to know and keep in mind for you're own writing. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

"99-Million-year-old baby dinosaur's tail, encased in amber, surfaces in Myanmar." Says what it does, does what it says. And yes, Virginia, there are feathers. When I was young dinosaurs were sluggish, cold-blooded, had splayed legs and tails that dragged on the ground, sauropods lived half submerged, and they were all green with leatherish scaled skin and their evolutionary branches all died out long ago. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

In a study of mosquito fish, a longer penis drives evolution of bigger brains in females. Now, before you "go there", this fish doesn't court, their sexual reproduction is very much like rape. "In this sort of mating system, the relationship between males and females can resemble that between predators and prey, which commonly involve an evolutionary arms race where adaptations on one side are closely matched by changes on the other." However, this and other studies show a link between sexuality and bigger brains. So now you know what they're for.

"The surprise find of smallpox DNA in a child mummy from the 17th century could help scientists start to trace the mysterious history of this notorious virus… Smallpox currently only exists in secure freezers…" And, obviously, mummies.

Oh look, that Internet-of-things thing is acting up again. This time, Epson printers connected to Google print cloud decide to just shut down. Who thought these things were good ideas? (Grokked from John)

Combat vets who are now police hold their fire better than their non-vet co-officers. Embedded in a story about one vet refusing to shoot someone hellbent on suicide by cop. Backup arrives and they shoot the guy. Vet officer is then fired for (among supposed other things) endangering the lives of his fellow officers.

"The widening gap between rich and poor Americans has pushed the chances of children earning more money than their parents down to around 50 percent, economic researchers say. That's a sharp fall from 1940, when 90 percent of kids were destined to move up the income ladder." I can't tell you how many times I've heard the workplace discussions about "you should have been here back then…" with parties, pay, opportunity, and ease of employment. It's happened way, way too many times. The article also identifies what is needed to help people get ahead. Hint, it's not tax cuts for the wealthy.

"At many doctors offices and hospitals, a routine part of doing business these days is estimating patients' out-of-pocket payments and trying to collect the money up front." Yeah, I'm sure that won't cause any problems. Given that some doctors' offices basically say it's up to the patient to determine if the doctor accepts the insurance they carry, I'm not sure this is really going to work too well. Also pointed out here is the rise of high-deductible plans (and the rise of health savings plans, which may or may not be fully funded). And let me just state that if you need your appendix surgically removed, that is a life-threatening issue. If not from the trauma of a burst appendix, from the ensuing sepsis that would result.

"President-elect Donald Trump is weighing naming as Food and Drug Administration commissioner a staunch libertarian who has called for eliminating the agency’s mandate to determine whether new medicines are effective before approving them for sale… 'Let people start using them, at their own risk,' the candidate, Jim O’Neill, said in a 2014 speech to a biotech group." Fuckstockings. It's way past time for me to say publicly, the President Elect is insane or an imbecile and unfit to be dog catcher let alone POTUS. And to add in as a bonus, this fucktard, brain-addled, poor excuse for an executive salary is big into seasteading. Can't all these asshole go Gault already and leave the rest of us alone?

"Turns out making a composite material using graphene and Silly Putty gives you a new material that is still runny and bouncy, but now conducts electricity and is extremely sensitive to pressure. Press on it just the tiniest amount, and you change its electrical resistance."

"On Thursday, Rep. Sam Johnson, a Republican from Texas and chair of the Ways and Means Committee, introduced legislation to significantly cut Social Security." So how's that "what's the worst that could happen" vote working out? Expect the "we have to do something to save SS or it'll go broke" argument to be rolled out. Yeah, another way to save it is remove the top end cap on income that is taxed (oh, and tap all capital gains as income). (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

Just wait until you see what they plan to do with Medicare and Medicaid (voucher that won't keep up with cost increases and make it a block grant to states, which means lots of wellness programs, but nobody can see a real doctor).

There's just one more thing needed to make me really feel like it's the 80s and we're still in the Cold War with the Soviets. "In what could mark an escalation of tensions with the West, commercial satellite images suggest that Russia is moving a new generation of nuclear-capable missiles into Eastern Europe." That's it. Satellite images (no longer blurry and black and white) and rumors of the Russians moving nuclear capable missiles into Eastern Europe.

"Politico obtained a copy of the memo to the Energy Department and reported that Trump's team asked for a list of staffers who attended interagency working groups that discussed the social cost of carbon, a metric used to determine the economic impact of increasing or decreasing carbon emissions." I'm sure it's perfectly innocent.

"Authorities say in recent weeks there has been an unprecedented wave of hate crimes targeting library buildings, books, and the people who read them. The officials told the New York Times they'd rarely seen such before. These crimes are intended to terrorize, and they follow a recent report by the F.B.I. which says hate crimes against Muslim people in America shot up over the past year."

Things in politics are moving so fast, it's hard to keep up with all the heinous fuckery.

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