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

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Linkee-poo puts the blame on VTR

There's so many things you can say to someone facing a terminal illness, attempting to convert them to your religion isn't one of them. I also understand where religious people come from, post-middle ages there's a good percentage who come from the "you don't wanna go to Hell, do you?" side of the argument. So when people ask, "have you gotten right with God", sometimes it's from a loving perspective of "we want to see you again in the after life, and you need to (whatever) to get there." And that's a pretty selfish attitude, but it does come from the, "I want you in my experience" stance. However, there is the other darker side of "we have to win you to the team, because if we don't it sort of invalidates our experience/beliefs" part of the argument. In that case, if you believe in a God who will send people to Hell (or, as Revelations teaches us, throws them into the Lake of Fire to have their souls consumed), maybe your issue isn't with the person who doesn't believe that, but with the concept of a loving God that would toss people willy-nilly into a Lake of Fire, but would also give them the Monopoly "Get Out of Jail Free" card for signing up at the last minute.

Cory Doctorow talks about improving book publicity. Yea, what he said.

Rochita Loenen-Ruiz on writing the other. Other people's cultures aren't window dressing, especially not to them.

Why, as writers, we don't learn as much from good books as we do form bad ones. Which is pretty true until you get to the point of saying, "Why am I studying bad story telling?" There's a point where, once you learn to step back from the story, you can say, "that was brilliant! How the hell did they pull that off." And then you figure out how they did it.

What is the draw of Faerie and the Fey? A number of authors supply their views in this SF Signal MindMeld. While I think they get close, most skirt what I believe is the real issue. The Fey allow us to figure our way forward as we face intense social, political, and economic pressures. (Grokked from

Ever heard the phrase, "stimulate your mind, read a book"? Well, we now have the fMRI studies to prove it. Words have real impacts on your brain. Especially the written word. Also the act of learning a written language changes our brains, it forms new connections and activates lots of areas not normally associated with language (typically meaning "spoken word"). (Grokked from Mer Haskell)

The history of typography in video form. Not bad. I have a few quibbles with their history (Guttenberg didn't "invent" type, nor did he invent "blackletter", he didn't even "invent" movable type - that was the Chinese-, he just put a bunch of things together in a commercial package and standardized "slug" type) and what they're focusing on (don't get me started about what they left off on their discussion of Old Style/Transitional/Modern type, but all of that could - and has - taken up multiple heavy volumes of books), but overall, a good primer. Having cut mask to airbrush type onto a page, I love their work with cut-paper type and appreciate what it takes.

Eschersketch. For those time wasting needs. (Pointed to by John)

Kristen Lamb talks about the Good People™ problem. And it is a problem. Plus, just so you know, whenever I say "good people" you can pretty much view me saying that with a sneer.

Imaging cells using squeezed light. Or… getting your quantum goggles on. Of a related note, you may have heard about how micro-processor chips are made through the use of photo imaging technology. That is, they use a film negative of the image of the circuitry and project that onto the prepared silicon substrate (a "sandwich" of many materials). But did you know that the circuitry is so minute, we can't use visible light for this because the width of the wave in visible light is too wide. In the visible light spectrum, the lens used to project the image is opaque. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

What can happen if you don't read the full prospectus? Well, you could invite someone to your organization to talk about piracy. And then, because you have an internal contest of whom can dress more appropriately, you all show up wearing dime-store pirate gear only to find out the speaker was going to talk about how he was captured and held captive by Somali pirates.

Hey look, some 30 years after Ronald Reagan proposed it, we have a mobile laser platform that can destroy missiles. Well, almost there. And it's not like the missile was 1) incoming and 2) directed at the installation. (Pointed to by Dan)

It sucks when someone actually reads their Bible and knew you in High School when you're trying to ride your high horse. Especially when you're trying to judge others. There's something about a reciprocity clause in there, isn't there? (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Of relation to the abduction story in Cleveland, and related to the discussion going on in fandom, an NPR story on what sexual coercion says about a society.

Fred Clark also has some thoughts in this direction concerning men believing they have a right to control women's bodies. "It is not surprising that sexual traffickers and other predatory men are able to harness this toxic purity culture for their evil ends. That’s what it was designed to do. That’s what it’s for."

Dear Heritage Foundation, it's called vetting your researchers. You might want to look into it. But I'm sure they did, they just didn't think anyone would link one of the authors of their new study saying "ZOMG! Illegal Aliens!" with their previous, highly racist study report. Of course, nobody is breaking out in laughter over the "it'll cost us $6.3 trillion over 50 years!" claim. Fifty years? Really and truly when Congress went to 10 year studies for the impact of policy decisions it was roundly criticized for the complete fiction of such a long-term study. After 5 years, the variables pretty much create too wide a divergence to have any legitimate credibility. And now the Heritage Foundation takes it to 50 years (so they could get a big scary number). (Grokked from Jay Lake)

People are constantly underestimating renewable energy. Yea, I've had conversations that get to the whole, "the solar hot water heater Jimmy Carter put on top of the White House didn't work" argument. Um, yeah. I also have a natural gas hot water heater that doesn't have a pilot light, and I'm pretty sure those weren't to available in 1977 either.

"An FBI report released in October said the reason (Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne) didn't stop after the accident was because he was having an affair with Assistant Attorney General Carmen Chenal, who was in the car at the time." Uh, yeah. Horne later says that if he had known he had left "just a paint scratch" that he would have left his name and handled it. I think you could read that as, "If I had known someone could trace this back to me and expose the fact that I was having an affair, I would have just thrown money at you." (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Stephen Colbert and his Catholicism. You may also remember when he did the bit on the the Daily Show called "This Week in God." (Grokked from the Slactivist)

"So, how did these young men become terrorists?" Yep, that's one of the processes. And note that religious extremism (actually, any extremism) isn't solely the provenance of Islam. Not by any measure (*cough*Tea Party*cough*). Once the ideals of the group (not what the group actually does) becomes more important than everything else, we're down the rabbit hole. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

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