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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Linkee-poo, maybe I love you, maybe I'm just kinda bored

The Uncanny Magazine kickstarter all the cool kids are talking about. Hey, I know some of those authors involved! I'd love to contribute, but unfortunately all my money is now tied up in vacation and career futures. But, hey, there's still 29 days to go. Maybe I can rummage up a few bucks by then (starts by shaking down coworkers for their milk money). (Grokked from so many people, seriously, I forget where I first saw it)

A cartoon of the writing process. No sarcasm this time. I'm still a "beginning" writer, and now that I have some spare brain cells and time, I'm working on getting back into the swing of it. So it's a good time to remember what kind of slog we're in for. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

"Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle transformed an abandoned Walmart in McAllen, Texas, into a 124,500-square-foot public library, the largest single-floor public library in the United States." Finally something good to come out of the Walmart craze. (Grokked from Vince)

John Scalzi on the latest Amazon move to push e-book prices artificially down. Amazon is not your fried, if you're an author, publisher, or consumer. Amazon is a company whose sole mission is to make money for their shareholders. If that means screwing anybody along the way (publishers/manufacturers, authors, consumers, employees, whomever) they've shown the propensity to not give a crap. (Note, yes, I still order items from Amazon when I find they have the best deal, that's my job as a consumer, to get what I want without overpaying)

How to tell someone's age when all you know is their name. Statistics! Also, good things to know when you're naming characters in your story. Oh, and yeah, I'm median for "Steven"s. (Grokked from Dan)

A man made leaf that can produce oxygen. Someone has suspended chloroplasts within a silk membrane. Okay, that's cool. Now, it depends on the O2 output, and lifespan (since the chloroplasts were harvested from other plants). Now, once we can "print" chloroplasts we'll have something. (Grokked from Mer Haskell)

"You call it a charade of consent. That's not a good sign." OkCupid admits to screwing with their customers. And president Christian Rudder is a dick. Now, there is no law (that I know of) that prevents companies from conducting their own "market analysis", but that's not what is going on here (or what happened with the Facebook experiments). There is a reasons why psychological experiments on humans is tightly controlled in academic settings, because you're fucking with real lives of real people. Here's where (and why) government regulation comes in. And Mr. Rudder's "well, you sign up, they give you $20, but you don't know what experiment is going on" reasoning is fucked and exactly the type of idiotic science talk that comes out of computer scientists mouths (sorry, all my friends who hold that degree or work as one, but you're scientists in the same way air conditioning engineers are scientists or the way Myth Busters are scientists - which, actually, they adhere to the scientific process a little more closely than you do). Everybody there knows an experiment is going on, they volunteer (for certain values of "volunteering", some people just want the cash). Your subjects never did (even if it was covered in the EULA). And that's the difference. Can you tell I'm a little hot about this?

So, apparently trying to raise bluefin tuna in captivity is a thing. There's a lot of info in that NPR story. Like how animals are not machines (no matter how we like to treat them like they are, say like how we raise milk and beef cows these days). Any food culturing/animal domestication is a hard and long process (even though we think it isn't). Also, I'm wondering how they will keep the adults. Seriously, this is one hellofa fish. They are one of the fastest things in the ocean. The reason their muscle is prized is because these fish swim the entire ocean. Keeping them in tanks, even "very large tanks", would be like keeping a greyhound pup in a dog run built for a chihuahua. Unless they intend to make the worlds largest, salt-water endless pool (which actually would be quite cool, but very energy intensive).

"So, for those keeping track at home: Hobby Lobby cares deeply about protecting the unborn when it comes to denying women contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Hobby Lobby does not care deeply about protecting the unborn when it comes to ensuring that mothers are capable of providing for their new families. Hobby Lobby also does not care deeply about protecting the unborn when it comes to its investment strategy, as the company's retirement plan invests in companies that produce Plan B, IUDs and drugs commonly used in abortions." Well I guess being assholes could be considered a deeply held religious belief. I've met enough of them. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Canadians can see the American Health System, could move to our system, but even their conservative politicians don't want that. "The Canadians have seen the American System, they prefer their own." Oh Sen. Sanders, if only such arguments had any effect on the conservative mind-set. Plus, excellent points on the wait lists by Dr. Brown, and an excellent analogy to exactly what the US system is like. If you have the money and connections, you can get right in. However, if you're using insurance, just try and get an appointment with a specialists without being a patient of theirs already. (Grokked from Janiece)

"… Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Wednesday blamed President Barack Obama for the recent discussions about House Republicans potentially impeaching him." It's a great story, the "no one here but us mice" story, but it's a lie. Seriously, Speaker Boehner, Chairman Ryan, either you're ignorant or you think the rest of us are. It's one or the other now. And can we just all agree that Karl Rove is a troll?

Dear Rhode Island State Treasurer Gian Raimondo, "people will be inconvenienced" is not an acceptable excuse for denying open-records requests. I'm not absolutely sure of Rhode Islands laws, but I'm fairly confident that's not in there. Unfortunately she's not the only one. "Still, the confluence of new investments, increased fees, below-average returns for Rhode Island taxpayers and Wall Street campaign contributions inevitably raised questions." Yea, that. I see the stirrings of the Occupy Movement this election season. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

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