What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Linkee-poo, a time when the corn is all into the barn, the old cow's breath so frosty white

Need some encouragement and rewards for writing? How about 4theWords.com. It's a subscription service that costs $4 a month. There's a free one month trial. (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

Just realized I had this tab open (which meant I hadn't posted it); Jason Sanford's post on mags with quick responses and how there is some negative pushback from authors. I remember when getting a response within a month was considered fast. Now, with online submission systems, it's real easy to send a form (or even slightly personalized) rejection. It's automated. Yes, for the most part editors can quickly determine if the story if for them. There is no time to "develop" authors (like there used to be). Even the "request for edits" (where and editor says they think they might be able to use a story if certain changes are made, but even this isn't a guarantee they'll buy the edited story) doesn't seem to be happening as often as it used to. For most markets, if you're a new author, your work needs to be of a higher quality than established authors (sucks, huh, but a known author brings an audience and you don't) and it needs to be submitted in a condition of high polish (one or two typos probably won't sink you, but nobody is going to do a full copy edit on your story). That's the game. Novels are a little more forgiving, but even that game is changing.

"Scientists have found a superbug — hidden 1,000 feet underground in a cave — which is resistant to 70 percent of antibiotics and can totally inactivate many of them." Well, most antibiotics are based on penicillin (we're at Generation IV of such drugs, with each progressive generation they become more powerful, but specific to the diseases they fight), and that's also been around for a long time. Also, most of the rest are derived from naturally produced compounds (discovered in other bacteria and fungi).

"Yesterday, the National Center for Health Statistics released a report that should further puncture the myth of American superiority when it comes to health outcomes — and which should set alarm bells loudly clanging for anyone worried about how the country treats its most vulnerable residents. The report found that life expectancy in the United States dropped from 78.9 in 2014 to 78.8 in 2015, the first drop in life expectancy since 1993." The author then goes on to propose a "one-bad-break theory" to explain how this is happening. It's basically the concept that most people live paycheck to paycheck (or not much ahead of that). So when they have a bad break (health, economic, lifestyle) it quickly leads to a downward spiral and since the 80s we've been removing the social safety net so there's not much to catch them as they fall. Add in that wages for middle and low income people haven't even kept pace with inflation and it creates an exceptionally hard environment if something goes wrong. Have I mentioned how personal debt is back to pre-2007 levels? Most other so-called "advanced" economies have stronger safety-nets and support their citizens and residents to a much greater degree. (Grokked from Jeff Beeler)

"Donald Trump often invoked Ronald Reagan on the campaign trail this year, and did so again as President-elect last week at a North Carolina rally as he described his plans for the military. But just how similar are the two men? As NewsHour Weekend Correspondent Jeff Greenfield explains, their differences are a testimony to how much our political landscape has changed over the past 35 years." A PBS Newshour report. Reagan was checked in his agenda by an opposition controlled congress and Senate and the fact he had some decency. This is not true for Trump.

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