No doorways, no windows, no walls
No shelter here on the ground
No standing and no safe place to fall
Just the promise of this distant sound
Bells are ringing all over the world

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Linkee-poo is walking in a Winter Wonder… muddy, green field

Tobias Buckell tells how he used Kickstarter to restart his novel writing career. And it looks like he's been successful. Note that Toby had a lot of dedicated readers to begin with, and a good core of people cheering him on. He also took one hell of a risk.

Ken McConnell is releasing his Star Series books as an omnibus edition.

Sigh, turns out the Dr. Jones package sent to the University of Chicago was an eBay product created for a collector that got misdirected. Sigh.

The speed of perception. More analysis (although in just three paragraphs) on how we actually "see". (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Some people have way too much time on their hands. Or making programable holiday display lights on the (somewhat) cheap. I've seen some of the light setups that the uber lightship people use, and considering this all fits in what's essentially a tool box is just amazing. Some people dedicate entire closet spaces (walk-in closet spaces) or half their garage to do similar things (although they tend to put lights everywhere, including on the ground). (Pointed to by Dan)

In other holiday news, free printable wrapping paper. For those small gifts. (Pointed to by Dan)

What if they had "steadi-cams" when we went to the moon? That's film from Apollo 16, which drove the lunar rover. It was pretty jumpy footage at the time, but now it's nice a smooth. Which makes it look even cooler. (Pointed to by John)

The Minimum Wage Machine art sculpture. "The minimum wage machine allows anybody to work for minimum wage. Turning the crank will yield one penny every 4.97 seconds, for $7.25 an hour (NY state minimum wage)." Sometimes art likes to make a statement. Something to think about the next time you go on the late night Taco Bell run. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Oh no, William Shatner, you didn't. But I guess you did. Of course the opposite response would be, "Wasn't his poetry done by app before this?" I wonder how long before we have Spock app as well? (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"Paragould, Arkansas is set to create a new law enforcement unit… will patrol on foot and may have the power to 'randomly ask residents for identification.'" Reality is starting to Godwin itself. (Grokked from Vince)

The Seasteading Concept gets rolled out once more as libertarians look for some place to "Go Gault" in their own ways. This has been done before, it was called Sealand. Sealand had it's own issues, including a few pirate attacks. But mostly the Seasteaders just want to avoid taxes and being a part of the community, or what they call, "choices." Don't forget to read all the way to the bottom of that NPR article to see what usually happens to separatists. But, hey, go ahead. Set up your businesses on the refitted ship. Say, anybody tell you about import taxes? See, you're not a nation that we really need to worry about, and you won't be a part of the international trade communities, so there are no existing trading agreements or protections. Also, will all that concentration of wealth in one area, relatively unprotected… well, you do know that high-sea piracy is still a problem, right? Mostly it's kidnapping for ransom and or property confiscation (ie. nice boats). Oh, and don't forget the drug traffickers who would just love a nice base to launch their smuggling operations from (note the Zetas are highly militarized). And as "being separate", you may ask for help from the Coast Guard (Law of the Sea and all), but that doesn't mean we won't send a bill for it afterwards. Good luck, buckaroos. Do it. I really want to see you try so everybody else with pie in the sky dreams can see what happens. Just wait until the first "assessment" for "shared utilities" after installation costs happen. Oh, and I hope your desalination plant is equipped for the increased acidity of the ocean. Or you'll be replacing that real soon.

"'Yeah, some people are going to say, "Oh, those stupid Arizonans, there they go again,"' (Gila County, Arizona GOP chair Don Ascoli, also one of the Electors for President) said in an interview. 'But, you know, I’d rather be right than popular.'" What if you're neither, Don? It's time to just point and laugh, like you do at the zoo watching the monkeys flinging poo. (Pointed to by Dan)

"As has been pointed out before, GOP extremism in the Congress doesn’t have a Democratic analog." With the facts and figures to prove it. "What’s more, you have to add Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Henry Waxman together to get a liberal counterpart to Ron Paul’s conservatism." Hahahahaha. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"I’m saying that we are a violent people, we Americans… We glory in violence. We revel in violence. We worship violence." In case you're wondering what I was referring to earlier about "the disease in our society", Jim Wright sums it up pretty well.

"And there’s no such thing as one good bullet." Warren Ellis on the logic fallacy of increasing the prevalence of guns in society as a way of stopping gun violence. (Grokked from Joe Hill)

The Tobias Buckell post on perceptions, insular cultures devoted to exceptionalism, and the prevalence of guns in our culture that lots of people are pointing to.

"Of course, Westboro (Church) denied the charges and taunted Anonymous as incompetent hackers. They claimed their website was protected by God… A few days later, while a Westboro spokeswoman was boasting about how the church foiled Anonymous on a radio talk show, an Anonymous spokesman called in and hacked the church’s website in real time on the air." (Pointed to by Dan)

Eric posts the song he talked about in the comments. "And he can see no reason 'cause there are no reasons. What reason do you need to be shown?"

Tweet of my heart: @neiltyson: If you're always successful at BS'ing it's because you are not hanging around people who are smarter than you.

Alligator Quotient: They're all here in person. Yippie.


Eric said...

Sigh?! I think you missed the totally awesome part that was buried in the story:

The United States Postal Service made sure a package got to where it apparently needed to go even though it was "mailed" by a fictional character seventy years ago.

That's kind of awesome when you think about it. "Stamps look kinda funny, but it says it's supposed to go to the University Of Chicago--put it in the truck."

Steve Buchheit said...

"Your Honor, every one of these letters is addressed to Santa Claus. The Post Office has delivered them. Therefore the Post Office Department, a branch of the Federal Governent, recognizes this man Kris Kringle to be the one and only Santa Claus. "

Having worked for the PO as a 90 Day Wonder, it's not surprising to me. Once it's past a certain wall, the mail is accepted and it's the duty of the PO to try and get it where it is supposed to go.

What the sigh is about is because instead of being something neat and cool and unique and a labor of love someone shared with the world (like the book sculptures showing up in that library in England), instead it's crass consumerism that the person suppling the piece said, "Nah, keep it. I'll make another to send to my customer."


Eric said...

Ah, but see--I love that the USPS has that duty and is so diligent about executing it.

(And Mr. Gailey's argument is some of the damned finest screen lawyering I've ever seen. I'd find for the defendant if I were the judge, and I wouldn't even need Fred Mertz to tell me to do it.)