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

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Linkee-poo may be the last time, I don't know

Too far behind in my reading, but here's some links before they get too stale.

Break glass in case of emergency.

Diana Peterfreund talks about her website changes, but mostly makes the case for smart banding. As I've stated many times before, as a writer your brand is not the book. Hopefully because you, like her, will have many books. The book is the product, your brand is why people will buy the product.

A Shorpy photo of Linotype operators of the New York Times. Back when type was Type, and meant pouring hot lead into moulds creating lines of type. My little designer's mind quivers with excitement just thinking about it. (Grokked form Jay Lake)

Every known piece of space schmutz orbiting our plants in one helpful graphic. Time to find some noble alien to cry next to the ISS to get us to clean up that stuff. (Grokked from

"And now, thanks to this question, whenever I look at the Moon, I’ll notice the Sea of Tranquility, the Sea of Serenity, and the Sea of Crisis, and I’ll think: Finger holes." XKCD and the really, really big Lebowski. (Pointed to by Dan)

In search of the impossible to break encryption. In this case, using a modern version of an old technology. The one-time pad. I disagree with the conclusion that this encoding method is "impossible to break" (at least as described here), but still interesting. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Mark you calendars because this doesn't happen very often. I agree with Sen. Rand Paul. Seriously, having worked with tax accountants and lawyers, the Apple tax story is a big frickin' yawn. Companies lobby Congress to put in these specific loop-holes. And then Congress gets in a both because companies take advantage of Congress' inability to do their work (see also, "IRS not given instructions on 504(c)(4), makes up their own rules to weed through the mounds of applications they have, then Congress gets pissed about those rules"). Look, one party deliberately set out to make government not work (which they explicitly made clear that was their goal). And they had eight years to put their plan in place. Welcome to the results. (Pointed to by Dan)

Six scientist overlooked for their contributions because of sexism. Also I'll note here that just because the Nobel Committee makes sexists decisions in awarding the prize, that's no excuse for our history books which also have discounted women's contributions to science. And while there's a lot of talk about "how it was back in the day", it isn't that much better now. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Also, the narrative of that hearing is changing.

The Bible as interpreted in Lego bricks. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

You know when pay-day lenders come under regulatory scrutiny they tend to squeal like stuck pigs about how much they add to the economy? Well, turns out someone is finally starting to look at the actual numbers. "Specifically, each dollar in interest paid subtracts $1.94 from the economy through reduced household spending while only adding $1.70 to the economy through spending by payday lending establishments." Which means they're actually sucking money from the economy. Is there a need for micro/fast loans? Given the stagnation of wages over the past decades unfortunately there is a need. But charging people what amounts to 392% per year makes even hardened loan sharks blush in embarrassment. Protecting them doesn't help our economy at all.

Want to know what some of that government largess bought? Safety for economically impacted areas. And now, because Congress can't get it's collective shit together (except to hold show votes to tell the people back home about), people are being hurt and crimes are going unpunished and unprevented. Tell that woman who called 911 as her former boyfriend was breaking into her house why because you think debt is too high that she had to be raped because there were no law enforcement officers available to answer her pleas for help. Living in a county that has problems with staffing with the sheriff's office (do to various things, but also because of the cut backs in federal and state money to local governments), yea, this. Fortunately, I worked very hard to keep our local police department going and fully staffed (and it ws a struggle). Because, frankly, we also don't see sheriffs around here. I'm so filled with rage over this, I really hope nobody talks to me about cutting government spending and "waste" anytime soon, 'cause I might introduce their nose to my fist.

What if we never run out of oil (and are never forced to come up with alternatives)? As the climate deniers like to say, "the Earth has been warmer in the past than it is now." And they're right. But guess when all that coal, oil, and natural gas were laid down. Then guess what happens when we release that carbon dioxide (and other gases) back into the atmosphere? And then realize that at those temperatures, we won't be able to survive. (Pointed to by John)

"And when the groundwater runs out, it is gone for good. Refilling the aquifer would require hundreds, if not thousands, of years of rains." That, BTW, is talking about our breadbasket. You know, the southern plains that used to produce the crops that fed a hungry nation as it expanded westward. Once that nation hit the Pacific, that land then helped feed the world. And now it's going dry. Sure glad we don't need any of that conservation stuff or try to halt global climate change anymore. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"In an April 28, 2011 statement while he was a Senate candidate (now the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in Virginia), conservative minister and lawyer E.W. Jackson held up the three-fifths clause as an “anti-slavery” measure. The context of his statement was to attack President Obama after a pastor at a church service he attended referred to the three-fifths clause as a historical marker of racism." Wow. That's some industrial grade ignorance right there. Considering that E. W. Jackson is African-American, it's stunning. Pointed out because of 1) "we had some black people at the rally so the TEA Party can't be racist" and 2) conservatives will twist history and reality into knots no pretzel maker ever dreamed of to square off their beliefs as being "rational". (Pointed to by Dan)

Alligator Quotient: It's alligators all the way down (and up).

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