There's battle lines being drawn.
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong.
Young people speaking their minds
getting so much resistance from behind

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Weekend Linkee-poo, there's no use trying to save them, there's nothing left to save

LeVar Burton watching the Reading Rainbow kickstarter reach its goal in one day. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Why is that kickstarter important? Because this story isn't isolated. Hell, it's more common than many people want to think. Yes, there are people who are ostracized because they 1) read books and 2) actually read Harry Potter. (Grokked from Steven Gould)

Some perspective and thoughts on the Amazaon vs Hachette imbroglio. (Grokked from Elizabeth Bear)

"I hope you’re not going to make a big deal out of this." Warning, tigers. Lots of them. And what she says at the end is so incredibly right, when things like this happen, it's easy for everyone to lock down (we are, after all, a dysfunctional family society). So, besides understanding and grokking this story in the context of our larger discussion about #yesALLwomen, I am imploring you all to think about this, be prepared for it, so if (gods forbid) you ever experience this either as the victim or as the audience, you can be that person who stops it.

Someone logs into the discussion board the UCSB shooter frequented. You know, just in case you thought he was an outlier. And, yes, I knew people like this growing up. They're still as abusive and insane. This isn't a new phenomena, it's something pervasive in our culture. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Captain America's best friend from childhood, who also was gay at a time you couldn't say "gay" in comics. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

The House Science Committee declares the IPCC report isn't science. Well, Im glad that's settled then. Pass the water wings sun block. (Grokked from Sarah Goslee)

Lost futures. Many people think that our technology today is wonderful and exciting. Most of those people didn't live through the 80s when things in prototypes were so hyper-cool is was hard to contain excitement. In this case, several Apple prototypes. Note, these were before cell phones and miniaturization (the thing that made laptops possible). And these weren't even the coolest thing out there (looking at you Atari!). (Grokked from Dan)

I'm not sure this study is showing exactly what the headline suggests, that it's "better to be bullied than ignored in the workplace." But the study shows people who are ignored in the workplace are more likely to quit than those who are bullied. What they're not considering is 1) the dysfunctional nature of most people's relationships, 2) ostracization is a form of bullying and aggression and 3) bullying and ostracization are not polar opposites and neither are good for mental health and moral. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Linkee-poo of one, because of awesomeness

The Reading Rainbow/LaVar Burton kickstarter. Which as I'm about to post this, I refreshed and see it made it's $1M goal. That was, what, 3 hours or so? Yeah, it is still very popular (include the awesome kickass goal of getting kids to read). (Grokked from a hellalotta people)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Linkee-poo cut itself on angel's hair and baby's breath

NK Jemisin's WisCon GoH speech. (to many people linked to this one)

A good thought on the Princess Culture. Yes, this. (Grokked from Annalee)

Since we're heading into summer, as PSA. "Drowning does not look like drowning."

One of the many #yesallwomen. (Grokked from Vince)

Your own personal power plant isn't that far off. (Grokked from MJ Locke)

Of some pertinence to the WisCon speeches linked above, eight charts that show why racial equality is a myth. (Grokked from Matt Staggs, I think)

Joe the Plumber is such a putz. I almost said "a horrible, fucking pathetic excuse for an insecure man", but I'm waiting for it to be official. Dear Tea Party, this is your hero? You can do better. (Grokked from MJ Locke)

"There's a downtick in Second Amendment paranoia over gun-control legislation that never came to pass, and retailers are jittery about lower gun sales." And cue the NRA to gin up that fear to sell more guns in 3…2…1… And, yes, that actually is the NRA's function, they're a lobbyist for the gun manufacturing industry, despite what you may think their actual purpose is (again, follow the money, analyze the statements they make). It's why a paranoid lunatic is the functioning leader of the organization. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

But, if gun sales are down, why not have a hipster web series based on… okay, I got nothin' here. Um, yeah, Bob. (Grokked from John)

Tweet of my heart: @jimchines Reminder to self: This is a first draft. It's okay if it's crap. Stop overanalyzing every word, and just write the silly thing! (this was from Tuesday, May 27 2014 - Jim has got, I don't know, a dozen books under his belt)

There is trouble with the trees

One of my favorite Rush songs, and something that has been on my mind for a long time. Sometimes the solution can be worse than the cause, but the cause doesn't see there's a need of any solution.
So the maples formed a union and demanded equal rights
'The oaks are just too greedy, we will make them give us light'
Now there's no more oak oppression for they passed a noble law
And the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe and saw.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Weekend Linkee-poo is working 3rds

Fuck cancer.

Fixing inconsistencies in your own series. A panel from ConFusion.

Finding joy when writing becomes work.

"The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that 'more than 400,000 high-resolution digital images of public domain works in the Museum’s world-renowned collection may be downloaded directly from the Museum’s website for non-commercial use.'" You know, sometimes I just love technology. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Why solar energy jobs mean so much. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"Yes, you are a screwed generation, Class of 2014, with a helping of debt that will take you many years to digest. But consider this other generation that has also been screwed, and screwed by the very same people who secured that millstone to your neck. You borrowed and forked over enormous sums in exchange for the privilege of hearing lectures . . . lectures that were then delivered by people who earned barely enough to stay alive. It is a double disaster of the kind that only we Americans are capable of pulling off." (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

The changing picture of poverty and the resurgence of defacto debtors prison.

"(W)hen lean and obese research subjects were underfed in order to make them lose 10 to 20 percent of their weight, their hunger increased and metabolism plummeted. Conversely, overfeeding sped up metabolism." This isn't new, this is called the "Famine Mechanism". It's how we survived droughts and other famines (including over wintering). But here's the twist, "(T)he increasing amount and processing of carbohydrates in the American diet has increased insulin levels, put fat cells into storage overdrive and elicited obesity-promoting biological responses in a large number of people." Our food is making us fat, and making it more difficult to lose that fat. We're starving in the middle of all these calories. And that, in case you're wondering, is entirely by design. "But obesity treatment would more appropriately focus on diet quality rather than calorie quantity." Also, while not specified in this opinion article (based on actual science), not everything about digestion and food processing is completely understood. One such thing is flavonoids. Once considered junk, or at best "taste enhancing", chemicals we now know that they play a much more complex role. And processed foods have none of these. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

"The Republican party and the tea party are one in the same… according to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who was asked Thursday… if the string of victories for establishment-preferred candidates in the GOP primaries this week amount to a victory against the tea party." Because they're going to need the votes. And of the TP takes their little red ball and goes home, the GOP is going to lose seats. But that pretty much confirms what we all thought.

You know how conservatives are portrayed as strong on defense? Well, except when it comes to the Pentagon planning on how to handle climate change. So, apparently, they want to leave our grandchildren with their money, but not a functioning military to defend their freedom. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

Ted Cruz is one crazy whackaloon. The unfortunately thing is that he does have a point here. While the proposed Amendment to roll back the Citizens United decision isn't a "repealing" of the First Amendment, under current law it is a limitation of the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has decided that money=speech and that without coordinating with a campaign corporations (which they've already decided in most cases "corporations=people") should be allowed to spend however much they wish without reporting their donors. No matter how much we disagree (with both money=speech, corporation=people, and non-disclosure of political spending), that's the law, and that's the interpretation of the First Amendment. However, unlike what the NRA likes to tell you, all of the first 10 Amendments have limitations and conditions already. This is just adding another one to the First Amendment (to join "incitement to violence" and "panic inducing" and "slander" and "peyote use in religion" and defining just who is "press", etc). So, has a legal point, still a whackaloon because he is implying so much more than what is actually happening. Hyperbole doesn't come close to describing this. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Weekend Linkee-poo is hiding out

Why you should call the FCC about net neutrality. Here's a contact page.

One of those days as a writer.

Short stories on coffee cups. If it weren't for the gratuitous PR/marketing nature of it, I would be applauding. But what I seen now is just more advertising space. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

Another reason why I distrust server based solutions. In this case a badly rolled out update repartitions and reformats everyones' drives, including the servers. (Matt Staggs)

Why you never hear back after an interview. Having been involved with the process with several companies, this isn't too far from the actual truth. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

For those times at work when you need to disappear, the authentic ostrich pillow. (Grokked from George Takei)

In God we trust, but only since the 50s. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

"When you’re poor, you can’t afford to dream." Random Michelle on poverty. As a side note, even after you've "made it", that inability to dream haunts you later in life.

So, how did the American Spring go? Yea, pretty much like the rest of them. Sorry, the Revolution was cancelled on account of it being rainy. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"[N]o matter how much Republicans say they care about infrastructure, they’re not going to accept any infrastructure proposals that come from President Barack Obama." For those of us who live in the north, it's easy to see the infrastructure crumbling. There's only so many potholes you can fill before the road won't take anymore and just crumbles. Trust me, I've seen it happen. What's worse is the roads and bridges that look perfectly safe, until they collapse in a cloud of dust. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

It kinda sucks when your cover story of "we don't know these (wingnut) people who are helping our campaign" breaks down so easily. "'I think it would be interesting to know how she would hear about it before 7:45 a.m.,' Russell said, if no one at the McDaniel campaign had met Kelly or knew of his work on McDaniel’s behalf." A whackaloon Tea Party blogger breaks into a nursing home to photograph the wife of less rabid conservative candidate. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

“Men, who on the second date, let their date pay for dinner, I’m sorry that’s disgusting,” (Fox News host Tucker Carlson) insisted. “And I don’t care. The new norms are — he shouldn’t allow it. Period.” Dear Tucker Carlson, my manhood isn't affected if a woman pays for dinner. I'm sorry that your manhood is a small, pathetic, mewling thing that such a non-event or a strong woman can emasculate you by just her presence and autonomy. The rest of us men are comfortable with out manhood enough that we don't find it a problem. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Linkee-poo is going to see the river man, and tell him all about the plan

You may have remembered me claiming the universe has it out for my free time. Here's another example. This week is my one week off between Spring and Summer semesters. So how have I been spending my evenings where I should be cleaning up and getting rested up for summer? On the newsletter masthead project that would not die. I've worked every night this week on it. So when I say the universe has it out for me, this is what I'm talking about. No rest for the Steve.

Chuck Wendig has some things to say to young writers. Points to this, especially the section about the world lying to you about being an artist. See also his post on "so you say you want to be a full time writer. Note the life stories in there.

When people discuss Mad Men, since I'm not able to watch that, I alway get the vision of David Ogilvy in my head. Who was David Ogilvy? This might help. He wasn't required reading, but he was expected reading.

In case you ever wonder what I mean when I say I'm old school and distrust network based solutions (like "everything in the Cloud"), earlier this week Adobe Creative Cloud when down. (Grokked from Dan)

Idiots. Seriously, testing a bullet-proof vest by putting it on and inviting people to shoot at you? Oh, Darwin Awards, I think I have a candidate for you.

"Operation American Spring – Beginning Of Tyranny Housecleaning" While they say it's about "peaceful" revolution, but it sounds an awfully lot like an attempted conservative coup d'etat. So, let's see if they get any more people than came to the last one. And, again, I put out my call, just how have they subverted the Constitution? I really want to know.

A new healthcare rule that makes the whole thing go wonky. It's called "reference pricing" and you'll want to know about it because it sounds like a great idea, until you get to the details. Now, what remains to be seen is if this does help control costs, or if it just shifts those costs back to the consumer. I've said it before, if we want to do this as "the consumer has the power" then we need to start opening up pricing to make it more transparent. So, for now, just a hint, learn the pre-cert rules for your plan and use them. Also, I wonder when people will remember that when an insurance company in a PPO adds a facility to their approved, in-network, they've already negotiated pricing with that facility?

Tweet of my heart: @mushenska This year I sold a debut by someone in their late 60s so when people are all 'agents only ever want young authors!' I get pretty annoyed.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Linkee-poo is forever in debt to your priceless advice

Bid on having tea with Neil Gaiman. Also supports The Moth. Because you know you wanna. Open until Friday (if I've done my maths correctly).

Elizabeth Bear has some good things to say about characters.

For your world building edification, the turnspit dog.

Also for your world building, "The military may soon be deploying air-mobile hotspots so that troops operating in remote locations can communicate with support units."

The secret libraries of NYC. Many cities have smaller and/or private libraries, many run by various societies. Your local gardening club probably runs one. (Grokked from

A simulation of neutron stars colliding to form a black hole. (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

Hero cat saves boy from attacking dog. Our eldest cat once stared down a dog that was barking at her. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Can you have plot without conflict? Well, yes. While the article mostly talks about Japanese Kishōtenketsu, Europe also has plot structures that don't require conflict. It's just that in the modern world, they don't get much play time. Also, while I agree that we should have more variety of story, as a beginning writer I would be wary of it. Sure, go and experiment, but unless you pen the master piece that changes the cultural paradigm, it's probably not going to be published as editors continue to look for conflict. Ouroboros bites its tail. (Grokked from

So, boy meets girl, girl breaks up with boy, boy broods for a year, boy attempts to reconnect, girl wants nothing to do with him, boy insists, girl says "go away", boy doesn't get it, girl threatens legal action. Same old story. Except this boy then writes a piece about how he's the victim and why won't she just talk to me. Uh, no. Look, I get it, breaking up is hard. I've been there, have the scars to prove it. Also, I've been a dick during a breakup. Yea, one of those moments when I woke up and said, "I don't wanna be THAT guy anymore." Wake up here is figurative and emotional. Dude, don't be that guy. (For the record, yes I've talked to that ex since then and apologized for said dickishness, she initiated contact - one more person I need to do that with, no, I'm not hunting for them because that would be dickishness on top of dickishness). (Grokked from John Scalzi)

The Konami Code. If you're a video gamer, you know what I'm talking about. (Grokked from

In case you may be wondering why the FAA is slow walking drone regulations this story of a commercial airliner almost hitting an illegally flown drone might help explain that.

Tweet of my heart: @ChuckWendig The thing about writing 'rules' is not to say, "This is forbidden" but rather, "This is hard to do well."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Linkee-poo's bloodshot eyes are gone, tell me I'm wrong

Ever have a book someone you know just loves, loves, loves. So you read it and find it's a boring grind? Here's some tips on how not to react. (Grokked from Neil Gaiman)

In this age of self-publishing, are editors still needed? If you know anything about this business, the answer is, "Yes." (Grokked from

I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? There's a great future in graphene.. Think about it. Will you think about it? (Grokked from Dan)

"Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), or the widespread population loss of honeybees, may have been caused by the use of neonicotinoids (a type of insecticide), according to a new study out of Harvard University." Oops. Why is this a problem? "Honeybees are essential to providing food for humans, as well as wild animals. They pollinate around one third of all crops consumed by humans and domestic animals." (Grokked from Dan)

Have you ever wondered just how pervasive racism is in our society. I mean, sure, there are idiots of the world like Sterling, or that Aunt or Uncle at Thanksgiving time. But I mean, just how deep the roots of it go? Take for example, the Ice Cream Truck song. Betcha didn't see that one coming, did ya. (Grokked from C.C. Findley)

Now that the draft is over, what's next? Well, for the players who got drafted, money problems. Also pointed to as a warning in case you win the lottery. It's always good to have a plan. (Grokked from John Scalzi - who also has some good advice on finances for writers)

Huhn, Kansas politicians actually like their wind power mandates and are suspicious of Koch Brothers' propaganda. Kansas. Wow, didn't expect that one. Say, Ohio legislature, are you reading this? We're going to make Kansas look progressive and forward thinking.

One of the problems with modern news. "'You don't need people's opinions on a fact,' (John Oliver) said." Yea, that. WARNING, there's a video of John Oliver's show on that link. Language is NSFW. Use headphones. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

And of point here, you may have heard people mentioning talking points memos on the various talking heads shows. Here's Eric Luntz's TPMs on climate control. This is how you structure a response and control public discourse. Here are the cogs that turn the wheels. And Eric Luntz was/is the guy behind the curtain. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"The collapse of large parts of the ice sheet in West Antarctica appears to have begun and is almost certainly unstoppable, with global warming accelerating the pace of the disintegration, two groups of scientists reported Monday." Well, fuck. This is what's known as a "tipping point." The good news is that it'll take over 200-1000 years to completely collapse. The bad news is global climate change has a record of progressing faster than our estimates. (Grokked from John)

Of importance to those of us with "Wellness Programs" at work. How many steps are enough? That's an abstract to a paper looking at the 10,000 steps mantra (found the full paper here - PDF). It was a marketing ploy. That's not to say 10k steps isn't a bad goal, but I haven't achieved it yet with my "normal" routine (ie. not in clinicals). Although mowing my yard is about 5.2k steps by itself. I am not mowing my yard everyday. Here's a little more on that. For me, I work at a desk for the day thing. I'm lucky to top 2.5k steps by the time I drive home. I then try to get about another 2.5k after that. Why yes, my company is having a step challenge soon. Why do you ask?

Tweet of my heart: @MARIADAHVANA Writing Tip #1: take a great story & steal its spine. Break it's plot down into 1 sentence. Now change the characters. Now write. #unstuck

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Weekend Linkee-poo is working for the weekend

The "mourners carried hundreds of yellow paper butterflies, echoing one of the best known images from 100 Years of Solitude." Gabriel Garcia Marquez is mourned around the Spanish speaking world. (Grokked from

On getting a book deal with links to other articles about agents and publishing.

And once you get published, the calling is staying published. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

Has the wants for this bike. If it had a dual-v 600cc and electric start, I would be all drooly about it.

Everybody is quick, these days, to call for the death of things. In this case the death of the tablet. (Grokked from Dan)

Jim Wright on the latest lunacy of the right and on "religious freedom."

A man is arrested for being obnoxious and interrupting others as he attempts to have a book banned from school, claims his 1st Amendment rights are violated. Irony, oh no, we don't get that around here. (Grokked from John Scalzi, I think)

The next shoe drops at the Bundy compound. Federal agents interviewed local sheriffs about harassment, intimidation, death threats and possible weapons violations of the militia who responded to the Bundy cause. What remains to be seen is how far over into criminal behavior the militias are willing to go as members are arrested.

I'm sure it has nothing to do with this escalation. Here's a hint to militia types. Until you're ready to pull the trigger, don't screw with federal employees. Especially threatening people empowered with law enforcement. That's one of the quickest ways to find yourself behind bars. In D&D we used to call this law, "You don't fuck with the city guard." There's a hellalottamore of them than there are of you, they have comparably larger resources, can tap into other law enforcement, and will win with the law on their side. This is one (of a constellation) of those reasons why militias will never be able to carry off the revolution. They always jump the shark. Always. Which is why I can say this in the open, they don't know how to lay low because it's all about the bravado and chest thumping.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Linkee-poo let me light your candle 'cause, momma, I'm sure hard to handle now

WW I slang for German munitions. For your world building edification. (Grokked from Eric VanNewkirk)

The LA Times Graphic/game of how to be a writer. Just a hint, nobody does it the same way. (Grokked from

Amazon is changing it's game. Instead of pulling all the buy buttons from a publisher, they're now just delaying shipping. It's not a good strategy as this one reflects on the Amazon experience. Hint to Amazon, people, in general, really don't care about the publisher. They just want their book. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

You can take my snark when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands. Is snark overdone? In a hipster way, yes. But that's not the real snark. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Kurt Vonnegut's reply to an invite to appear at a school. "Do art, and do it for the rest of your lives… You have experienced becoming… and you have made your soul grow." Gods I miss that guy. (Grokked from

Have you ever wondered what a fireworks display looks like from the inside? Sure you have. Somebody flew a drone through them so you won't have to. (Grokked from Dan)

It looks like this summer we're (the collective we, as in a public discussion) going to have a conversation about food and what we eat. So, to help you get started, "People selling diets or exercise programs will latch on to true things that help them sell their product; they'll also latch onto false ones. Just look at Dr. Oz: plenty of what he's pushing is true, but lots of it isn't, or is misleading. Which is which? I don't know that he cares. He just needs a steady stream of things to endorse." Why is there so much confusion over nutrition and fitness. Because there's hellalotta money at stake. As an FYI, I haven't seen much discussion over the role of government in this issue (except from a "they're making us label our food this way"), but most of this is the direct result of the Nixon Administration. Make sure you read it all, including how to evaluated claims being made (hint, "until process is complete, assume bullshit"). (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

Sure, you've heard about Kent State, but have you heard about Jackson State? (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Nine maps that show how climate change is already affecting the US. The take away from the report this week, climate change is not "will it happen" but now "how long will we wait to try and stop its progression, here's what we've lost already". (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

"The soon-to-be-formed select committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks will have 7 Republican members and 5 Democratic members…" You know it's gotta be bad if you have to hedge your bets on a hand select committee.

"'Tomorrow, President Obama is going to do interviews with meteorologists all across the country about a new climate change report,' (Dana Perino, co-host of Fox News' "The Five") said. 'I hope they ask him about Benghazi.'" You all do know there's pharmaceuticals to help everybody at Fox News get past this, right?

Completely unrelated, did you know May is Mental Health Awareness Month?

In case you had forgotten about it, Wall Street banks continue to pillage our economy. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

"The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that pot farmers in the Sinaloa region have stopped planting due to a massive drop in wholesale prices, from $100 per kilo down to only $25. One farmer is quoted as saying: 'It’s not worth it anymore. I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization.'" Good thing heroin is on the rise. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Tweet of my heart: @MarkTwainTweets The most outrageous lies that can be invented will find believers if a man only tells them with all his might. (ed. I believe this is the Fox News broadcast mantra)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Story Bone

A title: "Mountains of the Sun" (note, not "Going-to-the-Sun Mountain" which is in Glacier National Park).

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Reboot Update - Partial Spring 2014

First grades are in. Clinicals are a 97%, so that's 1) huge improvement over previous semesters, and 2) an A. Also took first final today in Radiation Protection and prof has posted final grades. Over all I have 210.4 out of 204. Booyeah. So for the last class where it would be possible to get over 100%, I got over 100%. So 2 out of 3 are A's. Now it's the last final on Thursday in Pathology. Prof isn't using blackboard, so I won't know grade until posted on my transcript (could be next week).

Summer is going to be crazy busy. I'm glad I only have a few things to accomplish in clinicals (although 2 of them are very intense an dI was hoping to get both of them done at the other site where things were less pressure-cookery). Summer is also cramming for our national registry. There are tons of things that are "by the book" (ie. on the registry) that aren't the way we do things in actual practice. There is also whole sections of information that I have the knowledge of, but haven't had reinforcement in clinical settings (such as the use of film). Starting to feel tense about it.

Hey, it's only my future career on the line.

We will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay

Whenever I hear someone shout "'MERICA- fuck yeah!" this is the song that plays in my head. I should probably owe Randy Newman royalties by now.

In America, you get food to eat
Won't have to run through the jungle and scuff up your feet
You just sing about Jesus, drink wine all day
It's great to be an American.
In fact, if I had to choose a soundtrack for my political discussions, it would probably have been written by Mr. Newman.

Linkee-poo take bath, take nap, this job fulfilling in create way such a load of crap

One final down, all the t-shirts from the sale distributed to the other students (or will be, anyway, out of my hands at the moment), all the checks deposited for the sale. Think I'm almost to the end of this semester.

I'm moving this political post to the top because of its importance. The FCC is now open to public comments regarding the new rules sweeping away Net Neutrality. If you've ever signed a petition, or circulated an email about this subject, now is the time to actually be heard. For a primer on why this is important, here is an article discussing it. And another interview about why this is important.

Oh look, the novel is dead. Again. What a giant burrito of self-agrandisment bullshit. Look, mate, you're off your fucking rocker, you are. Seriously, your perception of reality is based in teenaged dreams of avarice and glory. You might want to listen to Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine" one more time and seriously grok what they're telling you. Art, in all it's forms, has always been low. Because, and here's the thing, it's entertainment. It's what people did after knocking down the mammoth and frying up some elephantine t-bones while making spear points for the next hunt. The people prefer Punch and Judy over McBeth. Bread and Circuses, mate, Bread and Circuses. And for the love of all that is holy, can we stop whipping the desiccated corpse of Marshall McLuhan? We are already past his paradigm, have been since the late 60s. Get over yourself. While you type pretty words, you ain't all that and a bucket of posies. Welcome to what art has always been, a working class aspiration. For every master of the form, there are legions of journeymen and armies of talented apprentices. Keep laboring on. (Grokked from Dr. Doyle)

Paul Roth makes a video regarding VidCon and harassment policies and codes of conduct. Yes, this. Look, we would all love to live in a world where such things aren't necessary, but we don't live in such a world. You need these policies, and the enforcement mechanism (and willingness to use it) if you're hosting an event. I know people who go to VidCon, I know people in that video. Even if I'm not going it's important to me. So, VidCon, your stakeholders in this matter include way more people than your attending members. Also, please note, all other convention organizers, if you don't have these policies in place, please get with the 1990's and write one. Also, make a pledge to enforce it, especially if it's uncomfortable (because of situation or people involved). It's important. (Grokked from Annalee)

And speaking of conventions, if you're an SF/F themed event and you're looking for a guest of honor, Jim Hines has some "not the usual suspects" recommendations.

Symantec throws in the towel when it comes to detecting computer malware. Yea, it's a target rich environment and they kinda fell behind in how one needs to do these things. (Grokked from John)

Look, whatever party you belong to, don't be a dick, okay?

Jim Wright with his ninth installation of Bang Bang Crazy. I love the people who say "moar guns." They're so cute. Jim gives a pretty good scenario about an active shooter on base and MPs responding to a scene where everybody is holding. I've got a better one. You are that highly-trained soldier waiting in line to process. You're kinda bored, wondering what's for lunch when you finally get through the line. You look down to make sure all your forms are filled out and in order when you hear the first shot. Being highly trained you realize the sound you heard couldn't have been anything else but a firearm discharging (because, you know, there aren't lots of things that make loud banging noises). So you drop your kit and draw while going heads up. In your vision you identify 3 people with drawn side arms (this is out of the approximately 50 people around you who have drawn their weapons as well). One of them aims and discharges dropping another soldier whom you hadn't visually processed yet. Is that soldier the shooter or is the soldier they shot the actual shooter (even worse, what if that soldier made a mistake and shot the wrong person). Everyone is now zoning in on the person you saw fire their weapon (because this is a perfect scenario and everybody can determine the direction and distance of the shot). Someone fires and the person you saw shooting falls. Did this new person shot the shooter, did they make a mistake, or is this other person the original shooter taking out another target? Also, since you're in an enclosed space your head hurts and your ears are ringing. See the problem. It's a chain reaction. By the time the MPs arrive there's going to be a lot of bodies on the ground and the rest of the people standing will be in a Mexican Standoff.

More people are expected to die constructing Qatar's 2022 World Cup stadium than those who died on 9/11. Just in case you don't think the world need a human rights movement. (Grokked from John)

Robert (Freakin') Reich on the four biggest right-wing lies about inequality. Yes, this. No, seriously, if tax cuts created jobs we would be swimming in them after the Bush Tax Cuts. If a rising tide raises all boats we'd all be floating instead of half of us drowning. If hard work was the criteria for better pay, CEOs would be making less than their line workers and the person flipping your burgers would be driving a new Benz (your nurse would be living in the gated communities of the world). When people talk about the coming revolution, here is where it will come from (not some idiot Patriot group). (Grokked from Steven Gould via Wil Wheaton)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The things I haven't been telling you

Because of all the time spent working and studying it seems that my blog has just become a linking station. That isn't going to change soon as we head into summer session. Normally I've been going from 7am to 10-11pm. This summer I'll typically be going from 7am to midnight. With some overnight shifts thrown in for shits and giggles.

The big thing is that I'm no longer a Teamster. Given that my day job doesn't involve much print and the job I'm transferring into involves zero print, I figured it was time to cut my losses. It doesn't help (or did help depending on how you think about it) that they're changing the rules on our inter-local pension fund. Again. Not only are they reducing the benefit, but they want to remove the lump sum option. So before it goes away, I'm taking advantage of it. Which is really sad. If the benefit remained about the same it really would be a fantastic benefit for retirement (probably doubling my income from Social Security). However the rule change before I joined was to allow the Teamsters to buy into this extra benefit (if I had been able to retire from the print shop I would have had 2 pensions along with Social Security - also, my union is affiliated with the Teamsters, but that's only been for the past decade), that was supposed to shore up the fund. The fund is currently stable with a very large amount of money invested. But it's top heavy (more retirees than those people contributing) and it's not insured by the Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation so if it goes away, all that money goes away with it. This move may also involve much of my freelance work going bye-bye as well.

For the reboot I'm going to receive the Outstanding Radiologic Technology Student of 2014 award. Which I guess is a medal. So for graduation I'll be able to wear my Phi Theta Kappa stole, a gold cord for graduating with honors (unless I screw up it should be Summa Cum Laude, if I screw up it'll be Magna Cum Laude), and the medal. Go me. I really wish I had this focus graduating form high school and starting college. However, my life would have been radically different.

Also with the reboot I'm down to the nitty-gritty when it comes to competencies. I'm not entirely certain but I think I only have 2 more to go (depends on if I passed the mandible before I left on Friday, I don't have clinicals for two weeks, so that's when I'll find out if I have to redo that). There's also two more checklists to go over (fairly easy, "which button takes the exposure" kind of thing). Oh and 1 or 2 film critiques (pretty easy). Considering where I was this time last year, that's a big improvement. This past semester I had no failed comps (depending on that mandible) which is a big change. I'm a lot more confident, competent, and a heck of a lot faster. At this time last year it would take me about 15-18 minutes for a 2 view chest. It now takes me less than 8 minutes.

My RSS feed continues to be above 500 (currently at 536). I haven't been able to get it below 450 since February.

Spring is here, which means the grass needs to be mowed. Haven't done it yet, but it still needs to be mowed. Maybe this week we'll start up the mower. I'll also need to finish some of the outdoor projects.

And then there's the writing. Must, must, must get back to putting words down. You should see the note papers next to my bed. Lots of them.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Linkee-poo think maybe manager wanna write god-damn login page himself

Mer Haskell is giving away a lot of cool stuff, including things other than her books. I say that because her books are cool stuff all by themselves. Although I guess I've gotta get a tumblr account now.

Short history here. I joined Facebook because of Mer. In the first week of being on Facebook I received a friend request from my former fiancée (from a long time ago). So, I don't know where this is going to lead me, Mer, but I just may have to join another social network now. Again. Whatever.

So you say you have a book or story out and you're developing a little bit of a following. Here are seven things your fiction fans want to hear you say. (Grokked from Stewart Sternberg)

Police are called to the scene in Meridian, Idaho because people were distributing (for free) a "banned book" to high school students. Only to find, there's nothing against the law about people reading books they disagree with. (Grokked from Alex C. Renwick) Using a liquid metal alloy to help transfer neural impulses while waiting for neurons to regrow. Cool, but, um, that wasn't Robocop, that was the T2. Also, "and since it’s metal, it can be easily removed with the help of an x-ray", what? X-rays don't work that way. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

NASA's new space suit design. Ummm… (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

"Fox News was the least accurate; 72 percent of its 2013 climate science-related segments contained misleading statements. CNN was in the middle, with about a third of segments featuring misleading statements. MSNBC was the most accurate, with only eight percent of segments containing misleading statements." But in the good news, Fox is actually getting more accurate. (Grokked from Dan)

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Or, Fox News leaves the presidential press conference because they were only talking about "Russia and Ukraine, U.S.-Germany relations, National Security Agency spying and the recent botched execution in Oklahoma" and not Benghazi. And frankly, I'm really glad that Speaker Boehner is setting up a select committee to look into Benghazi. Because it typically takes 3 reports that contradict conservative talking points before they'll shut up about it. We've already had two reports (by conservative lead committees which found nothing). But here's the thing, I want all these conservatives to put up the cash this extra investigation will require. Because I really don't want to have my taxes pay for it.

But then I'm sure they aren't renewing the beating of the dead horse that is trumped up Benghazi conspiracy theories because 1) they realize they've lost the Obamacare argument or 2) the economy continues to heal despite their recalcitrance to do anything about it.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Tell them a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you the call

I am not normally a fan of covers, but I love this version of White Rabbit. In some ways, I think it's superior to the original with Jefferson Airplane and Grace Slick.

Linkee-poo, it's just a spring clean for the May Queen

Justine Larbalestier wants to remind you, if you're doing research for your story, keep careful notes.

Saladin Ahmed has been tweeting about his research into pre-code comics. If you haven't been following his twitter feed, you're missing something wonderful. But here I will point out, the actual Comics Code.

"It's not just corporate America that is trying to get workers on the cheap. Turns out, despite tuition costs that are insane for you and me, half of all professors at universities are working for peanuts. Sometimes they're even on food stamps." They're called "adjuncts". And they could probably make more working at the McDonalds down the road, if they weren't "over qualified." And, yea, even people in education don't understand or know about this. To the point, I was asked if I would consider such a position for Graphic Design. Yea. That isn't going to happen. (Pointed to by Sheila)

"One of the most infamous urban legends in video games has turned out to be true." The last resting place of the Atari game, E.T. Although they've only recovered "a few hundred" cartridges. Actually what's most exciting isn't so much the "thousands" of cartridges supposedly buried there, but Atari also cleaned out their R&D labs of everything that didn't get produced and buried those as well. For those people who don't know there was a lot of very cool stuff Atari was working on that never saw the light of day. (Grokked from Dan)

An Apple II emulator written in javascript. Because reasons. (pointed to by Dan)

Don't put pins in your mouth. Yes, this. And, yea, I've done that x-ray (although mostly for random change, but one was a suspected pin). (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

The testosterone surge. Building the next Viagra industry. This isn't to say there aren't a lot of men who should be able to get testosterone replacement therapy. But just as Viagra isn't used only by people who have ED, many people who are going to get tested for Low-T, and will receive prescriptions, really don't need it. If you're going to get tested, here some tips on how to be tested.

Hey, lets take a pricing model consumers hate, hides all taxes and fees, is widely misleading, and compare that with a pricing model that isn't fully "truthful" (baggage fees, anyone) and make the former one the law. Sure industry loves it. Now, I can see an alternative argument that this makes very explicit the taxes being charged, but this is why you itemize a bill. What this really is there is to hide the various fees that companies charge (telephone bills, anyone) to mislead you about pricing. What should happen is all those companies who aren't subjected to full fare pricing should be brought under its umbrella. Every price should include all fees and taxes (this includes things like groceries that are taxable, note here in Ohio most groceries are not taxable). As I remember, this is standard practice in Europe. (Grokked from Annalee)

Everybody's code sucks. Or, as the saying goes, if architects built cities the way programmers codes, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization as we know it. (Grokked from Dan)

"It's not cheap, she says, but the coverage allowed her to quit her job and launch an online business to help other young women take care of sick loved ones." Obamacare is allowing people to leave their jobs and start the mythic small business and others can now afford to retire. Look, it's what conservatives feared all along. Why, it's unpossible. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"Florida Gov. Rick Scott… went to a senior center on Tuesday to warn of the dangers of Obamacare and hear horror stories about the law. But instead Scott found almost all the seniors he talked to were satisfied with the new law." And now you see the real horror story that conservatives were fearing. Obamacare might be popular once people know the truth instead of the spin.

"The utilities hate this requirement (for mandated levels of renewable energy sources), for obvious reasons. A report by the Edison Electric Institute, the lobbying arm of the power industry, says this kind of law will put 'a squeeze on profitability,' and warns that if state incentives are not rolled back, 'it may be too late to repair the utility business model.'" Point source generation, it becomes awfully much easier with renewables. Which means traditional utilities go bye-bye. And another arm of the Koch brothers is stretching its tentacle out to squash all the hard won requirements. Especially right here in Ohio. (Grokked from Morgan J. Locke)

Okay, this is fun. Which are lines from 50 Shades of Grey and which are from contemporary Christian music lyrics. Full disclosure, I worked at a studio where our major clients worked in the CCM. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

When will conservatives learn, there are always records of conversations now. Especially when you tell the editor of Scientific American to pick some other future trend topic than climate change when he appears on Fox & Friends.

Life in the Bundy Camp. Well, that seems sane enough. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

And I guess I was wrong about the roads being open. Apparently the whackaloon contingent is growing at the Bundy Ranch and is now setting up road blocks and check points. You know, just like our founding fathers did. The crazy, it's catching. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Say, think people at the Bundy Ranch (or any of the various militias) going to remember the government has satellites, drones, and tanks? Yea. Probably doesn't figure to well into their dreams of their own Red Dawn scenarios.

And how's the other crazy (2014 election cycle) going about its business? Yep, just what I thought.

"Sterling's partisan affiliation appears to have no relevance to the national political debate. But descriptions of Sterling as a Democrat could be found early this week in conservative media outlets including the Drudge Report and National Review, which made the assertion based on Sterling's past campaign contributions to several Democratic politicians." Um, yea, Bob.