And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Linkee-poo rebel, rebel, your face is a mess

"… (A)nd there were witches, too, I decided, for I had never managed to be scared of ghosts, but witches, I knew, waited in the shadows, and they ate small boys… I did not believe in witches, not in the daylight. Not really even at midnight. But on Halloween I believed in everything. I even believed that there was a country…where… people my age went from door to door in costumes, begging for sweets, threatening tricks." In which Neil recounts one of my favorite flash fiction of his (which I had been trying to find for the past week to share with you all). There's a few in there, take your pick.

And in other Neil Gaiman news (besides All Hallows Read), Neil, and others, read Coraline. While I like the animated movie, I like the book better (no icky boys help save her - see his opening quote for why). You are not my mother and I want to go home. (Grokked from

And thinking of strong female characters, Mer's next book is turned in. Unlike The Princess Curse I can't claim to have read this one (yet), but knowing Mer I'm sure it'll be a romp when it comes out May 28.

A new poll by the Pew Research Center finds younger adults are reading more than their parents. And they actually like dead tree editions (although they view them in the mix of all the other options). Good news, you know, for those of us who write. The book is dead! Long live the book. Oh, and they also use the library more than their parents. The Pew study summary.

The Cranky (Lego) Cave Troll. Yeah, that. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

A Japanese road construction sign that bows to you to apologize for the inconvenience. (Pointed to by John)

There's nowhere you can escape the long arm of Amazon. At least when you own a Kindle and they decide they don't like you. And then say bye-bye to all your books. And some more information on what happened. (Pointed to by Dan)

The first "pill" that revolutionized sex, penicillin. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Seems yet another animal has learned to mimic human speech. This time a crafty beluga whale. So next time you go swimming with the whales, check your wallet when you leave. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Dinosaur cells. Science is cool. You know, until they clone them and they eat us all up.

"'It is a sense of, you know, I deserve this,' (Chrystia Freeland, author of Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else) says. 'I do think that there is both a very powerful sense of entitlement and a kind of bubble of wealth which makes it hard for the people at the very top to understand the travails of the middle class.'" The Plutocrats, or the very wealthy, what can you do about them? Also note in the article of whom they feel real sympathy for ("… some friends who'd come to (this billionaire) for investment advice… 'They only had $10 million saved. How are they going to live on that?'") What isn't discussed in this article, or many others exploring the same ground, is what has happened to those Plutocrats in the long run. In the US, the last time this happened, most of the blood spilt was of the lower classes and the super-rich got away with just loosing a little money and influence. In the history of the world, that hasn't always been the case.

Some photos of unusual weather-related events. I've had my hair do the same thing on the first photograph. Here's a hint, when you see that, run the fuck away. Lay as flat on the ground as you can, preferably not right next to the high point on the landscape (ie, if there's a big rock or tree next to you, get away from it). (Pointed to by Dan)

Salt Lake City isn't Romney's hometown in any real sense. It is, however, his spiritual Goshen/Rome/Mecca/Jerusalem, so when the hometown newspaper endorses Obama because they don't feel they can trust Mitt Romney (and that Obama deserves another term), that's gotta sting.

Ever wonder what happens in the Mormon church? Well, here's some undercover video. Which probably will go down as a political hit job (but by which side?). (Pointed to by John)

Alligator Quotient: They're discombobulated because I was supposed to be in orientation this morning, but that didn't happen.


John the Scientist said...

Those signs are common in Japan. I have a whole photo series of different ones that caught my eye the first few months I lived in Japan.

They also tend towards pastel colors in their digging equipment and helmeta. Pale blue or purple helmets are not uncommon.

The lower one in that link is extremely polite - there are 4 or more politeness levels in Japanese, so what we would use the phrase "Excuse me" for ranges from "sumimasen" to "domo sumimasen" to "Moshiwake gozaimasen". As in most languages, generally the more syllables in the phrase, the more poltie it is. They used the last expression in the bottom sign.

Steve Buchheit said...

John, it's a great cultural detail. Now, if they made a sign that actually bowed (as in, it bent, or an animation of someone bowing), that would also be totally cool. And I think our DoT could learn a lesson, he said as the person who is now dealing with either 2 construction zones on the route to work or school, and at least 1 construction zone on any of many alternative routes. Most of which have gone over their planned dates.