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

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Weekend Linkee-poo, shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Some agents talking about what they don't want to see in the opening of your novel.

The impostor syndrome. Yea, I feel like that all the time.

Tobias Buckell talks about rejection. As in the "submit, get rejected, wash, rinse, repeat."

Justine Larbalestier on finding those words you overuse. And then cutting back on overdosing. "Back" is one of mine. As in "getting back" or "going back", that kind of thing slips in a lot.

Mindy Klasky on the synopsis.

Amazon wouldn't think of itself as the only place in the wide world that people could obtain reading materials, would they? (Grokked from Neil Gaiman)

Reading printed material versus reading on a screen. Yea, I think I've said as much before. Also notice, our abilities and preferences are changing. Lots of deep nepery in that article, but good fodder for the "Dead-tree vs Pixel" debate. There's also a lot in there for why shopping online isn't as satisfactory as going into an actual store (note the rise of "showrooming"). (Grokked from Victoria Strauss)

Research finds (well, one research project) that employees who surf the web are more engaged and productive at work. Ummm… (Grokked from Dan)

You want to see a map of those who Tweet, don'tcha. Sure you do.

Eric reminds us we're all going to Hell just because we played D&D. Right behind ya, pal. Right behind you.

The prevalence of "ancient" computers still in use today. Say, remember Y2K? Back in the 80's, when I was in computer programming we considered COBOL a dead language. All those COBOL programmers were in hot demand after 1995. Also, most space based computers are base on the 486 chip design. You may remember that from the Windows 3.2 days. Pentium replaced the 486 design. But we know they work well in space and aren't as susceptible to radiation. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"Poppies. Poppies will make them sleep. Sleep." I don't seem to remember Dorothy and the Scarecrow making crop circles though. "'The one interesting bit… in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles,' Lara Giddings told the hearing." Ah Australia, what would we do without you. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

A followup to the Duffys Cut Massacre where 57 Irish railroad workers were killed. Now some are being repatriated and/or giving them proper burials. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

"We think that (acetaminophen) is blocking existential unease in the same way it prevents pain, because a similar neurological process is responsible for both types of distress." Another insight into how science works. Or, maybe, how our governmental regulations work. Just because something doesn't kill you doesn't mean it doesn't have other affects on you. Hell, Viagra was initially being test for people who have blood pressure problems. It was only when Lilly saw the reports of how prevalent the side-effects were that they changed the study's direction. Also, and here's the secret, while we're getting better at it, we still don't know how many drugs work. Oh sure, we have theories, but not actual hard data. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Is there life out there? Some scientists are wondering is there more life here that we don't know about. This is also one of the blind spots of most of science, we are still very anthropocentric. We don't think animals are smart, because they don't think like us, or have emotions like us. We place our moral values on what we observe in the wild. Now, you may read that article thinking "certainly we would have seen this "shadow biosphere" in our microscopes." And if that life was organized as we are, with cell membranes with organelles, yea, we should have. But here's the thing. To view a lot of microorganisms, like viruses, we grow a lot of them first. And life, when it started on this planet, was not organized the same way. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Eric talks a little about Miranda and the search for answers in the wake of the Boston Bombing. I'm not sure people will be all that happy knowing why the brothers did what they did. After all, we were all ready to accept that Columbine was about bullying and wearing duster jackets and not about undiagnosed/treated depression and a persecution complex. Look, these two weren't rocket geniuses. Seriously, they couldn't even schedule car maintenance successfully to fit into their plans so they ended up carjacking which lead to their demise and arrest. However I will say I'd rather hear their reasons instead of the mother claiming it was all a frameup job, or the breathless take of the guy who got carjacked, or their third grade classmate who can't believe the kid who ate all the paste grew up to plant a bomb.

North Carolina State Senator Tommy Tucker just doesn't get it. "I am the senator. You are the citizen. You need to be quiet." Um, no, you asshat. You've got that relationship backwards. And because I normally bang on conservatives, at least some of the other conservatives are proposing legislation that would make it easier to find public notices. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Good thing he wasn't in Arkansas. Sigh. Can't fix stupid. Look, let me address this here (and I think I'll do it again at length), if you think guns are gonna keep the "guberment" from coming after you, the two suspects in the Boston Bombing were posted as "considered armed, violent, and dangerous". How much did that stop the government from going after them? No one bit. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

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