What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Linkee-poo is feeling his old, eldritch, squamous self

Rapture Palooza in IMDB. :: Wanders off cussing and kicking small animals :: (Pointed to by Dan)

An NPR story on how libraries are funded.

Butterick's Practical Typography. I haven't read all of it (yet), but so far I don't have too many quibbles with it (although Times New Roman is an acceptable face, not ideal, but good for some uses, and I agree Arial is right out). The site dispenses with a lot of what probably wouldn't be germane to most readers (history, font structure, the names of parts, cold slug vs hot slug, tech that is out of date, etc) and gets to how to use type properly. For those of you who have been around me, you've probably heard me say a lot of these things out loud. Well, in case you thought I was just blowharding, here's proof that it is important. (Pointed to by Dan)

Three times as many Samsung users switch to iPhones than the other way around. Well, that's gonna leave a mark. Apple is the company people love to complain about (too over priced, not an "open" system, blah, blah, typical tourist stuff), but when given a choice, people like to use Apple's product. This is bourn out by the cycle here in my office. (Pointed to by Dan)

"How To Suppress Women's Writing, Russ's satirical text on sexism in art, is 30 years old this year but its lessons are still largely unlearned. Women's writing is dismissed as fantasy, while the fantasies of men are granted some higher status as science fiction." A Guardian article (not the most favorable places to SF/F people even on a good day) on SF invisible women authors. "There's a huge audience of people who love science fiction, but do not see themselves reflected in white male faces that dominate it today." Better get on that. (Grokked from Mrs. Tadd)

the upper atmospheric discharges called sprites. More proof our world is weirder (and more beautiful) than we think. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"A common assumption has been that if such herbicide resistance genes (from GMO rice) manage to make it into weedy or wild relatives, they would be disadvantageous and plants containing them would die out. But the new study… challenges that view: it shows that a weedy form of the common rice crop… gets a significant fitness boost from glyphosate resistance, even when glyphosate is not applied." Oops. (Pointed to by Dan)

An new study ups the chance that global climate change is caused by humans from 90 to 95%. Getting to the point where the difference between what we can measure and figure and 100% is within the margin of error. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"The ISS moves so quickly that if you fired a rifle bullet from one end of a football field,[7] the International Space Station could cross the length of the field before the bullet traveled 10 yards." Because keeping in orbit isn't so much about staying up there as it is about moving laterally really, really fast (basically falling, but you keep missing the Earth). (Pointed to by Dan)

"Global sea level has been rising as a result of global warming, but in 2010 and 2011, sea level actually fell by about a quarter of an inch." But don't worry, 2012 and 2013 have made up for it. Science!

Has Voyager 1 left the solar system?

Why most people die from cancer, it isn't really about the cancer. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

In case you think that the Snowden revelations (I won't say whistle blowing, because, really, we already knew this was going on, didn't we?) doesn't have a chilling effect, various sites that require anonymity and security to function are shutting down because they can't guarantee either. (Pointed to by Dan)

"But groups that would like to see changes to (Obamacare) are finding themselves frustrated by the GOP’s posture, which is that full repeal is the only acceptable stance. The most recent example of this that Republicans are blocking Dem efforts to fix a glitch in the law that could harm small churches." Business groups that helped create, fund, and spur the Tea Party "Revolution" are finding the beast they created a little difficult to control. I guess in their zeal to be anything Anti-Obama, they missed that the TP said they wanted members who wouldn't be responsible to anybody. Say, you would think then these groups (like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business) would then stop filling their campaign coffers, but that's a little too much rationality to expect. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

In California, they have a team of police that go out to confiscate the firearms of those people who have lost the right to own them (felons, those found to be mentally ill, etc). I wonder how the whackaloons feel about this because 1) they're enforcing the law (and they've been all about the "enforce the laws we have") but 2) confiscation of guns (see how little protection you have with all the safeguards the whackaloons like to talk about keeping the guberment from knowing you have guns). "Thus far, no other state has adopted California's gun seizure law. However, there is a bill in Congress to provide funds for other states to follow this model." But since "The NRA initially supported California's program, but it's since become disenchanted," I don't think it's going to go anywhere.


Jeri Castonia said...

"The ISS moves so quickly that if you fired a rifle bullet from one end of a football field, the International Space Station could cross the length of the field before the bullet traveled 10 yards." Have you ever had the chance to watch that thing zing over your area? It's a total nerdgasm. It's really bright and there's no missing it, and man, does that thing boogie! You probably know or have posted this, but here's where you can sign up to be notified when the ISS will be going over your town: http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/index.cfm

It's going to be visible tonight over my burg for a couple of minutes at around 10:30.

I also find it interesting that anyone truly thinks there is any website left in existence (at least for public use) that can 100% guarantee privacy or anonymity. Huh.

Steve Buchheit said...

Hey Jerri, I was able to see it once (NE Ohio where I'm at has a lot of overcast days). The best way to recognize it is that it travels as fast as a good moving meteor, but last longer and doesn't change in brightness until it hits the shadow and is gone.

And, yea, in general the web has gone from "tighten security" to "security through obscurity/hiding in a crowd" philosophy for me.

Dr. Phil (Physics) said...

We saw Mir with the Space Shuttle docked to it once. Just after sunset, in the parking lot of the old Studio 28 and right after a movie. Was it Apollo 13? The security guys wanted to know why we were loitering in the parking lot at like 9:05 and I explained about Mir in fifteen minutes. Right after it zipped towards the horizon, the two security guys raced back to us saying they saw it. Coolest thing they'd ever seen. At the time, it counted as the largest manmade object in space.

Dr. Phil

Steve Buchheit said...

Hey Dr. Phil, it's a wonderful ting to see those spots of light move and know there are humans up there.