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

Friday, January 30, 2015

Linkee-poo claws it way to the end of the week

Damn this has been such a hard week. Seriously, did we stop the aerial spraying of Prozac or something? I think I tweeted this the other day, but I wish NASA would identify whatever planet has gone retrograde and blow that fucker out of the sky.

Well, much to my chagrin, Mitt Romney has dropped out of the race for President before it's even begun (uh, yea, right). So I guess we won't be hearing replays of his infamous 47% comments this time.

How to tell if you're in a soft science fiction novel. (Grokked from Jason Sanford)

The female husbands of the 19th century. A good article on the fluidity of gender, which we seem to be experiencing again (and which some people like to say is "brand new" and "not natural", it's interesting how other generations actually viewed this issue). There's also a little about the history of marriage.

Working toward an "artificial pancreas." At this time it's mostly bringing together a couple of existing technologies and removing the human factor in decision making, but at the end there's a little on making an actual artificial pancreas (or, more technically, Islets of Langerhans, since your pancreas does a lot more than just produce insulin).

"The Republican-led House is planning to vote next week to fully repeal Obamacare, a GOP leadership said on Wednesday… It appears to be an attempt to help more than three-dozen newly elected House Republicans win points with their base." Because, as we all know, it doesn't matter if you actually get anything done, as long as you "score points." Good job with the leadership there, Johnny boy. You know what, since this seems to be a thing for conservatives, maybe they could get it out of their system by holding the vote in their caucus at the beginning of every Congress. "We elected our leaders and voted to repeal Obamacare." Thanks, everybody, we're good for another two years.

"'Well, it's time to hunt down the Republicans who don't support the Constitution and the Republican Platform,' the (Tarrant County Open Carry) wrote on Facebook. 'Then, we will expose them and help them find a new job by making sure they won't have a chance to ever get elected in Texas again.'" They sound like such nice people.

Turns out Sarah Palin's teleprompter might have been working all along and she just decided to wing it. In that case, I suggest checking for stroke, or get her back on the meds.

"An overwhelming majority of the American public, including nearly half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times, Stanford University and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future." I wonder how many of those, "I'm not a scientist" GOP presidential contenders will suddenly become scientists overnight? (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

You know who gets hurt with tough immigration laws? Well, it turns out "small" businesses are among those who get hurt. I love how they still dance around "we don't hire people who are here illegally" and "it's so hard to find people to work here now that they're cracking down." Also added to the mix is the unwelcoming nature of some state's laws, even to people who are here legally. I wonder how the conservatives will play this, since they support tougher immigration laws, but are supposedly the small businessman's friend?

How about this, Augusta County Supervisor Tracy Pyles, learn to treat everyone with respect, even when you disagree with them. Then you might not stick your foot in your mouth. The again, we don't really live in a post-racial society, so there is that on your side.

How to accept the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion without really saying, "Obamacare" or "Medicaid Expansion." Oh, those wacky conservatives.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Linkee-poo can feel it coming in the air tonight

Writer residencies with applications.

The rise of the paperback and pulp books and how they changed the publishing industry. (Grokked from

Of some relation to writing and submitting, the NPR Invisibilia show on becoming Fearless. Send that story out there and get rejected. We've all been there. We have support groups. Next time, fail better. The secret formula for overcoming fear, "Fear = thinking + time. Take either one of those things away… and you can not get fear." They've only had a few shows, but I'm liking the Invisibilia podcast.

Five myths of science fiction. (Grokked from

I'm already hating the 2016 political ads, and they haven't started running, yet. The Koch Brothers plan to spend $889 million in 2016 on political, I'm sorry, issue ads. And that's just what they've announced (Koch Industries is a private company, they don't have disclosure).

Hey, remember when Sarah Palin was all, "President Obama can only give a good speech because of his reliance on a teleprompter"? Okay, that quote may be a little more coherent than what she actually said. But, damn, instant karma is going to get you. And Jon Stewart's take on the whole Iowa Freedom Summit (video).

Shocked, shocked I am to find there's more involvement of the Koch Brothers in the formation of the Tea Party than previously admitted to. Of course, many Tea Party members will tell you there is no central organizational framework, like Americans for Prosperity or Freedomworks. But, those organizations, the the Tea Party name were already there and waiting for you when you all decided to get upset. And just who paid for all those conference calls (they aren't exactly free) and the mobilization of the marches on Washington? Welcome to the new boss, same as the old boss, won't get fooled again (except you did). You go on telling yourself it's a grassroots movement and you don't believe in those things the Tea Party has come to stand for, but you're keeping true to the principles. All the while the social conservatives have hijacked you, which is okay with the Kochs, they don't care about those issues either, but they're happy for the foot soldiers. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

This just in, Indiana Gov. Michael Pence inaugurates The Ministry of Truth. Dear Gov. Pence, it's called a "press release." Seriously, you're wasting money.

Mickee Huckabee wants you to know there weren't any school shootings or violence when there was prayer in school. Because nobody would ever shoot up a school prayer group. Because, as we all know, school shootings are a new phenomenon that only occurred after God was thrown out of school. Seriously, conservatives, it's fucking thing called "Google." It's real easy to use. But actually, what you're seeing here is the grooming of low-information voters. This is how they're made.

Dear Conservatives, just who is prosecuting a war women?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Linkee-poo nighty shorty, er, something like that

Because you may need this for the office tomorrow. "With every winter storm, including the blizzard hitting the Northeast this week, climate change skeptics return to a familiar argument: If the world is getting warmer, why am I stuck out here, shoveling so much snow?" (Grokked from Robert Bennett)

That link to the Buchheit histories I posted the other day? Turns out it was just a coincidence of names (strange, eh?). So much for getting a nice, French saber to show my history. I guess I'll have to stick with trying to find a schiavona that won't sink the budget. My uncle is going to send me some of the genealogy he's been able to put together. He did state that our family emigrated in the 1800s (I got the impression of "early 1800s", which is different than the story I know). From what I can tell there aren't any big genetic diseases I have to look forward to, at least from my father's side (I have enough on my mother's side). Although there is some heart disease (same as mother's side) and my grandfather died of an brain aneurysm (we don't know which kind). Still don't know many details of my father's death. Hopefully more will come after the coast deals with this storm.

And, speaking of swords (weren't we?), how to win a sword fight. First hint, don't get into one. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

The moneychangers are no longer in the temple, they're the bishops and princes of the temple. The Catholic Church in New Orleans throws its weight around to keep a new Planned Parenthood clinic from being opened. The story is a good one showing the troubles many of us pointed out when President Bush created the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Much of that money that Archbishop Gregory Aymond is using to bully the local contractors is our tax money, not actual diocese tithes. And this is why I support reclassifying all the churches Archbishop Gregory Aymond has domain over as commercial enterprises and revoke their tax exempt status. There's a delicate balance between church and state, the church has decided to violate that public trust and in doing so, a no longer a church. Render unto Caesar, Archbishop. The bill has come due. (Grokked from Lizz Winstead)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekend Linkee-poo listens for the bustle in my hedgerow

It turns out my father was in a retirement community, not in an apartment. No one knew. We still don't know all the details or where his body is.

The histories of the Buchheits. Note, this genealogy website tells a very different story of the family than the one I learned. It could be a coincidence of names, or it could be we're notorious bullshitters and what I think is my ancestry is complete bullpucky. At this point, I wouldn't know which way to lean. Hell, I've just recently confirmed that on my mother's side we are part of the hidden Jews and I have ties back to the Ashkenazi (there are a few genetic diseases that have popped up among my cousins, and it resolves some family mysteries and traditions) and to those who fled before the Nazi advance. Mostly this is from my relatives getting too old to worry about the lie anymore.

The history of the game cartridge. Hey kids, when I was young, we'd plug these plastic cartridges into "counsels" to play video games. Oh, it was a grand time. (Grokked from Dan)

The Nebra sky disk. It's the oldest known depiction of the sky, cast in the bronze age. It's a one of a kind, that had been immediately sold on the black market. Here is the story of the disk and how it was removed from the black market. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

Bioluminescent plankton. Beautiful. For ages sailors reported the phenomenon, but it actually was quite recent that scientists confirmed the existence. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Bulletproof coffee? Just say no. Actually it's a pretty good article that goes through the claims of a new diet and gives you actual information. What's not talked about in the article is with consuming all that fat at once (2 tablespoons of butter and one of MCT) you're going to give your gallbladder and liver a workout (bile emulsifies fat so you can process it, without it, you'd have slippery poop - see effects of Olestra if you have doubts). If you have gallstones, you're going to notice it right away. Also it'll make your pancreas work overtime. That's bad. This is how Type II Diabetes develops in some cases (overworked pancreases just give out). (Grokked from Dan)

"Just who is in the middle class? The term has no formal economic definition, and that’s one reason politicians use it." Well, everybody wants to be middle class. It's the place to be. "Somewhat amusingly, every group with earnings between $30,000 and $100,000 was most likely to identify whatever their own income was as middle-class." And that's part of the problem. A good post with lots of economic data in there. (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

"'I'm going to do more than bring my bill up. I'm going to need your help to find a way out of this definitional problem of rape,' (Sen. Lindsey) Graham said (to the Family Research Council's ProLifeCon). 'We just need to find a consensus position on the rape exception. The rape exception will be part of the bill. That's the Hyde position. We just need to find a way, definitionally, to not get us in a spot about where we're debating what legitimate rape is… We're not here debating legitimate rapes. We're here talking about saving babies at 20 weeks.'" I think I see the problem here, but they don't. You know, he wants to be able to define what is Rape rape, not allowing abortions for just rape. Actually the real problem is they know if they make the exception, those evil doctors will just have a form that says, "I was raped" and tell their patients, "I need you to check here" and then that will nullify any of the restrictions they try to impose. The real problem is they're trying to impose restrictions that will end any abortions for any reason without seeming like they are. I say this because that's their real goal. That, and taking your contraception.

On a related note, "Uh oh, them conservatives let womyn in the tent." Now they're all, "but we didn't think you'd have a problem with that rapey rape exception thingie."

Mike Huckabee forgets there's such a thing as video tape and YouTube and tries to buffalo everyone into thinking Ted Nugent cleaned up Cat Scratch Fever when he played on the Huckster's show (with Huck playing bass). Jesus Haploid Christ conservatives, do you constantly need this reminder? (Yea, I know, this is for the faithful so that it's in their minds when someone criticizes the Huckster that they're preconditioned to say, "Oh no, they cleaned it up" and it'll be a zombie argument of his campaign.) But then the Huckster is going the whole "CHRISTIAN AMERICA!" route for his campaign. This is going to be interesting (as long as he lasts, which I predict won't be much past Super Tuesday, if he gets that far).

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Telling the bees

I mentioned news which makes processing anything a little difficult. I've been waiting for this call for nearly 23 years, and tonight it's happened.

My father is dead. He would be 77. All I know at this point is that he was found in his Berlin, New Jersey apartment yesterday or today. I'm sure more will come out in the days to come.

Right now I'm not sure how I feel. Inside there's a tightness in my chest, but not real tears. See, 23 years ago my father stepped out of my life. It was his choice. And it's not like there wasn't president for it. We had hardly spoken for more than 12 years before that. So I never really knew him. I'm not entirely certain I missed much.

There were the various Father/Son events, some of which I had with my grandfather, whom I felt closer to. I still feel the sting from when he passed. The only "confusion" (that was the word they gave at the time for boys who grew up without their fathers) was dealing with friends who didn't understand why my Dad wasn't around, or didn't show me things, or talk about football, or whatever. And it was dealing with their sadness or pity for me that hurt the most.

So it's almost like the passing of a stranger. I don't know, maybe more will come later as I digest this. Maybe this tightness in my chest will release in some catharsis. I'm not going to lay money on it, though. Maybe this is just shock at the news, but I don't think so. Like I said, I've had 23 years to prepare and wait for it. Twenty-three years is a great distance to bridge, like the 12 years were before that (and, if I had to guess, was part of him cutting me out of his life when I didn't embrace the stranger whom I vaguely remembered when he reappeared).

At the same time that happened we were dealing with other things in our lives that needed our attention and care. More urgent problems presented themselves. The result of having gone through those was more rewarding, if you can use that word for slogging through various hells. My other relationships became more important, as they should have at that time of life.

But morning and the rites of funerals aren't for the dead, they're for the living. The dead are past caring. I'm not sure what rites there will be. My uncle is taking care of things (which is different from the last communication my brother and I had from our father). It's not like he treated my uncle any better than he did us. When people leave this world, they leave behind things, like their bodies. Things that will need to be divided up and scattered to the winds. Signatures need to be put on papers, calls need to be made. Someone needs to tell the bees. I doubt my Father has much in the way to pass on to us that we don't already carry.

I feel like I should be feeling more. There should be something going on, something to mark his passing through this world. Maybe I'll think of it later.

We, my friends and myself, are approaching that time in life were the balance between those we know and those who have "gone on before us" as they say, begins to tip in the opposite direction. More people are dying than we meet. We buy black suits. We get piles of cards ready. We get the words ready to be spoken. The sweeping hands of the clock become scythes. We listen to the ticking of our own clocks deep in the night, listening for the fault in the gear works. We say the same things we heard when we were young and maybe the invincible kids will listen. Probably not.

Frederick Karl Buchheit, half of my gene pool, is no more. And so it goes.

What we talk about when we discuss

Radiation exposure risks. I've been thinking about this post since Confusion where I explained this concept to the shocked and horrified expressions of those listening.

So, it turns out that radiation from Fukushima has reached the Western shorn of America. We'll note here that it wasn't the first radioactive particles from Fukushima to reach the US, nor the only way the lingering radiation from that accident is affecting us.

But, yes the amount of radiation is relatively small at 1 Becquerel per cubic meter of water. The government has declared it "safe", and we all get more radiation every year from just breathing the air than we'd get by an hour in the water.

Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?

Well, here's what we're actually talking about. Some of you are going to die of cancer caused by environmental exposure to radiation. That's just the truth of it. So many people out of one million will contract and die of cancer that can be traced to once source. That's just the facts of life. You're exposed to approximately 300 milli-RADs of radiation every year by just living on this planet (well, in the USA in particular). It takes at least 300 RADs for a lethal dose, so that yearly exposure is 1/1000th of a lethal dose. Pretty small. But then, a 300 RAD has a high chance of killing you within a month or two (and can be averted by a bone marrow transfusion in many cases). And that does needs to delivered to your whole body within a short space of time. And we're talking about living 60-80 some years on Earth.

There is no safe dose of ionizing radiation. The way we think about these things, there are various thresholds for certain effects, like cataracts, having your hair fall out, or reddening of the skin. However, there is no safe level of dose to avoid all effects of radiation. Every dose you receive is a ticket to the Cancer Lottery. And just like a real lottery, more than likely you won't win. The odds, however, are more in your favor when it comes to cancer.

So, how can they say that any radiation is safe? Well, they can't. This is what they mean. These aren't the real figures, because I'm just to mind fried to look them up, sorry. But let's say the actual statistic is 100 out of 1,000,000 of us will get cancer that can be tied to radiation. This exposure may mean 101 people in 1,000,000 will now get cancer. That is a minuscule risk increase (here we are playing with statistics, for pharmaceutical research if a drug takes the instance of a disease from 2 in 1,000 to 1,000 that's a 50% decrease of your chance of getting the disease if you use the drug - never mind the 998 other people who didn't get it either). Basically, it'll hide in the normal variance around the mean or average. So, your chances of getting cancer from this increased exposure is practically 0%. So it's safe. See how that works?

But they're lying to you, Becquerels don't mean diddly squat. Becquerels (and Curies) describe radiation in the air. It's a basic way of saying "we see these many air molecules being effected over this period of time." Sounds important, doesn't it. It doesn't mean squat to you. Because there is another measurement, related to Becquerels that's a little more important, and those are RADs (or Greys). This is the exposure that actually hits your skin. RAD is "radiation absorbed dose." That sounds a little more important, doesn't it. You see where this is going, don't you.

The most important number (without getting even more pedantic) is REMs (or Sieverts). REM is "radiation equivalent man." This is the number that looks at the RAD and applies some multipliers that are quite important, such as the type of radiation you received. X-ray and Gamma (high energy photons) rays are a multiplier of 1, Beta radiation (high energy electrons) are a multiplier of 2 (because electrons are larger, they cause more damage and are more likely to cause damage), and Alpha radiation (basically Helium nuclei stripped of their electrons) is a multiplier of 20. The good thing here is paper can stop Alpha particles, Beta particles don't penetrate very far, but X-ray and Gamma will go all the way through you.

So, when someone tells you any radiation count that isn't given in REM or Sieverts, they're lying to you. These are the two most important measurements (yes, DAP and the others work better, but do you really want a physics course?).

Well, I was going to go on more, but I just received some news I need to process. I didn't want to hold this up. That's most of what I wanted to say.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Linkee-poo into the night

Not going to talk about the State of the Union, except to note the BAZINGA! in the middle. Also, not going to talk about the response, but damn, we though Kerry was wooden.

Twenty-four things no one ever tells you about the publishing industry. (Grokked from Christine Purcell)

Patrick Rothfuss explains unexamined privilege and how it seeps into culture and then seeps out of our creative minds. Again, it requires that we don't examine ourselves and our places in the world.

How I learned to stop worrying and came to love AI. Or something like that. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"… Taofick Okoya… has created Queens of Africa dolls and Naija Princess dolls that are outselling Mattel's (Barbies)." Math is hard, let's go to the mall. Interesting from both the historical side, the marketing side, and from the point of view of exposing cultural imperialism (just in case you never knew what it looked like).

Apparently, according to a small survey of college men, a third of them think it's okay to force themselves on women (with almost half of them thinking that rape is okay even when the word "rape" is used). What the total fuck? It's like the 60s to 2000 never happened. Actually I'm not totally surprised at this, given the social regression we've had since 2000, accelerated (or at least exposed) since 2008. But now there's not even a veneer of civility for a portion of our population.

Imagine there's no Heaven, it's easy if you try. Well, Alex Malarkey admits he just made up that story about going to Heaven as a kid (hint: seriously, his name is Malarkey). Not that I truly expect it'll change anyone's philosophy or faith. Faith, after all, survives in the absence of proof. That's why it is faith.

The drone pilot shortage. Damn. Here's something you probably didn't know about me; when I took the OCT (Officer Candidacy Test) I scored so high I was told by my colonel that if I didn't have shitty eyes, the Air Force would have paid for my civilian pilot training and guaranteed me (as these things go) a pilot slot. Yea. No reason why drone pilots can't have corrected vision.

"Americans for Prosperity, the most prominent arm of the Koch brothers' organization, put Republican lawmakers on notice Thursday, setting out a conservative agenda for Congress. AFP leaders say it will be pushed by the group's grassroots supporters in 34 states." Strange how we're told the Koch brothers don't have any real influence, yet how their priorities are the Congress' priorities and how they now can put lawmakers "on notice." What's not stated in this article is how much an influence the Koch's have over ALEC. Pay no attention the brothers behind the curtain.

"A Sentinel, Okla., man on Thursday shot the town's police chief four times…" Don't worry, he's (most likely) white, so "… was then released from custody after questioning, the Oklahoman reported."

Keystone XL is so amazing wonderful. It's like a job-farting unicorn that brings economic prosperity and it's so totally safe. What could possibly go wrong. "A cancer-causing component of oil has been detected in the drinking water supply of an eastern Montana city just downstream from a crude oil spill that entered the Yellowstone River."

On why modern munitions are so much a problem. There still may be Japanese Ballon Bombs from WWII waiting to be found.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Linkee-poo gets ready for what it hopes is a fun weekend

And as such, won't be online until next week. If you're in Detroit, stop by Confusion and say hi.

Well, if that's all there is to it (successful writing), I'm in. Neil Gaiman exposes the secret. (Grokked from Ken McConnell)

Writing advice from Jane Austin, mostly from letters to her niece. (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal) Catherine Shaffer shares what it's like in psychotherapy. I've explored going to talk therapy, but then I was fired from the job that had depressed me which helped cleat up my perspective on things. There have been times since then that I've thought of going again. Anyone who makes it there is courageous. One-hundred and one astronomical events in 2015. Astronomy is looking up. (Grokked from the Slactivist) There are now twice as many solar power jobs than coal jobs. Not a fully fair comparison, but interesting to the "jobs" argument and which side is making more. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

A minister stops a funeral mid-grieving because the deceased was gay, and then said it could continue only if they mourners removed images showing the deceased with her spouse. Wow, what would Jesus do? My guess is he wouldn't have been such a dick. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"Please forgive me for the actions of extremists I have never met who commit acts of violence that I have never advocated." I knew there was a reason I keep reading the Slactivist, the excellent snark.

"The US Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) drone surveillance program — which allegedly helped law enforcement make only 2 percent of its border arrests in 2013 — follows a distressing pattern of rapid border security investment with little oversight, analysts told VICE News." Why, that's unpossible. Everybody told us it would work better. I'm so glad we spent that money. Plus, IIRC, the requested increase in funds for this program is greater than the cost of covering everyone's community college degrees (or at least those who keep above a 2.5 GPA), which would have a greater return effect on our economy. But guess which program will get the money. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"An anonymous advisor to Mitt Romney told the Boston Globe in an article published on Tuesday that if the former Republican nominee had been elected President, there would be no Islamic State terror group in Syria and Iraq, and Russian leader Vladimir Putin would never have invaded Ukraine." Along with the other claims about what an America under Romney would have been like. Hint, it would have been FABULOUS! :: jazz hands :: At least according to the Mittster and his friends. Well, of course it would have, because Mitt Romney is the Magical Cracker.

This is like the kids who watch an action movie and then say, "I could have done that better" or "I know how to do that." And its just as fake and just a childish.

Oops, sorry, I guess we don't talk about race. Or at least, if the poet laureate of a state offers up a poem that includes the racist history of that state, they get uninvited to the inauguration.

Let's see, limiting abortion, rolling back Dodd-Frank, extending tax cuts for the rich, causing a future crisis in Social Security, causing a show down of the President's executive actions on immigration (while not offering their own solutions, like they said they would) oh, of course, voting to abolish Obamacare, and now seeing nothing wrong with the Supreme Court's actions to knock down parts of the Voting Rights Act. These are the true values of the modern conservative movement.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Linkee-poo takes the money and runs

Stone-age sex-toys. NSFW (depending on where you work and if pictures of stone penises - peni? - are permissible) Although there are plenty of other uses (just ask any teenaged boy on sodium pentathol if their penis is magic), yea, they were probably also used as sex toys. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Terry Gross interviews the author of "America's Bitter Pill" on why Obamacare won't work. He also discusses his own healthcare crisis that happened just as his Time's article was published. Highly recommended.

Why you shouldn't download and install the top 10 apps. Ah, the wonderful world of malware. "Because when the product is free (on the internet) the real product is YOU." (Grokked from Dan)

People are rioting in a midwestern city again, cops move in wearing riot gear and use pepper spray and tear gas to disperse the hordes who were setting fires and discharging firearms. Oh, wait, no, it's just a bunch of white people celebrating the Ohio State victory over Oregon. We can all relax and not call it a riot. I wonder, now that it's happened to fairly affluent white people if we can have a real discussion about police tactics? Yea, probably not (unless there's a semi-famous person in those crowds).

Okay, gun rights activist people, let's review. The first rule of gun safety is to act as if any firearm you haven't personally checked is loaded. Also, um, it's against the law to have loaded firearms in a gun store. Most keep the bullets far away from the guns so they don't accidentally have sex, or something. Also, any range warden would tell you there were two very basic mistakes made here. First, the person behind the counter didn't safety the weapon. Second, the police officer who shot his finger off shouldn't have accepted the weapon that wasn't safetied. You all like to say it's just some bad apples out there and we shouldn't punish the rest of you. Well, you have a lot of bad apples in the bunch. Might want to see to that.

Boom goes bust. Welcome to a replay of the 70s oil crisis, only in reverse. Lots of grist in there, like how American Oil (and this includes both Mexico and Canada who supply most of our foreign oil) is expensive. This is what's known as the end of oil, but nobody in the industry will say that. We're out of cheap oil in America. What's left is both hard to get at, and expensive to exploit.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Working for the Weekend

This weekend I'm skipping class, ignoring the day thing, using vacation time, and giving up extra time at the hospital to get my not-so-skinny behind to Detroit. In the winter. But it's for a good cause.

This weekend is Confusion. Well, okay, most of my weekends for the past few years are confusing, but this is the Con-fusion (no, they don't spell it with the hyphen) convention. It's a fantastic weekend where I have the high honor to confer, converse and otherwise hob-nob with my (sister and) brother wizards.

Confusion comes highly recommended. This is the one con I will do all of the above mentioned items to go to. And that, for me, is high praise. This is the con I've gone to the most often and most continually. I am blessed to have many friends there and have had wonderful experiences. This is my Christmas morning event, if you know what I mean. I'm going to be dead dog tired afterwards, but I'm so looking forward to it.

This year I'm on programming, again. I'll be on four panels or so with a bunch of other great people (looks at Catherine, Dr. Phil, Christian, and all the rest wondering how I got so lucky). I'll be in barcon with the other people I've come to know (Toby, Mer, Dave, the Julies, John, Saladin, Lucy, Lawrence, Christine, Ferrett, and so many more I can't remember everybody's name, no, seriously, I'm very bad at names ever since I tried diet pops back in college).

If you're in the area, drop by. It's a blast, and what little of the programming I've been able to scan, it's going to be a great year. If you're a writer or fan of SF/F/H, this is your tribe. Come and meet them. We won't bite (unless you're into that kind of thing).

Linkee-poo gets exercised about politics

Have handbasket, Hell here we come.

Sometimes I don't understand people. A writer tries a kickstarter for a sequel and receives a ton-load of shit for it. She responds in the posted link. (Grokked from CC Findley)

Seriously. What is wrong with people. Mitt Romney is exploring another campaign for President, I think it would be a drastic and terrible wrong step if he even gets the nomination again and that people giving to his campaign are completely out of touch, but, hey, have at, dude.

Sen. Graham is a tool. Need proof? Okay, he states he wants Congress to pass a law that would require the Obama Administration to get Congressional approval before implementing any treaty agreement with Iran. Let that sink in a moment. Congress doesn't need to pass a law, it's in the fucking Constitution. Senator Graham sits in the body that needs to approve any treaty. It's in his fucking job description, and not in one of the obscure procedural rules, but right out in the open. The man is either an idiot, or he thinks the rest of us are. Also, Jesus Haploid Christ does he need a Zoloft prescription. Of course, he's just spouting what his financiers want him to, that much has become obvious.

The men who would be President, and where they stand on global climate change. Ignorance abounds. (Grokked from Wil Wheaton)

You know how we lefties say the conservatives are mean spirited and ignorant of the actual way laws are made and enforced? Here's another example. Texas representatives, sensing they're about to lose their argument against same-sex marriage, have proposed a law that would strip the salary, benefits, and pensions of anyone in local or state government who recognizes same sex marriage and/or facilitates it. So much for personal consciences. And, knowing this doesn't have a chance of standing up to any court challenge, has a piece about how if anyone sues over the implementation of this law they automatically lose and have to pay court costs and lawyer fees for whomever they would name as defendants. Wow. Such ignorance and mean spiritedness. Basically they're saying, "if you follow the law, we're going to punish you and strip you of everything." The arrogance and ignorance demonstrated here is astounding. Yes, that will mean either all state employees will be outlaws, or they'll have their livelihood removed. That's blackmail, and this law deserves to go down in flames. If it's enacted, I believe the government of Texas should be removed for institutional stupidity.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Linkee-poo in the morning, in the evening, ain't we got fun

Did dinosaurs play? Evidence points to yes, as the Magic 8 Ball says. (Grokked from John)

The anti-vaccination movement isn't new. Even with the first vaccine, using cowpox to inoculate people against smallpox, there were those who ridiculed the idea and tried to get people to not be vaccinated.

Walking for Democracy, the NH Rebellion. What the Tea Party didn't learn was that it wasn't the boisterous or yelling hordes that change the world, it's the silent millions who support an idea and won't let it go. They wanted to change politics, here's the actual path to change politics. Remove the money incentive for politicians. But their "grass-roots" supporters, the Koch brothers, certainly don't want that.

"In other words, the men plotted to launch large-scale explosive attacks against local government and police that, if successfully carried out, would have been the largest terror attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11." The right-wing domestic terror plot you didn't hear about this week. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

America leads the way. Except in renewable energy development. Granted, the US market for energy is may times larger that these countries which are getting large portions of their energy from renewables, even compared to raw output, we lag. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

While here in the US, we can't even get one off shore wind farm going. Just a small note, while it's been touted that even the Kennedys don't want it in their back yard, what was missing in those reports is that David Koch's mansion have a front line view of the proposed wind farm. Gee, I wonder who might have spent a lot more money to kill the proposal?

So, Majority Leader McConnell wants you to know this better economy (jobs, GDP, consumer satisfaction, etc) is all the work and result of the new Republican majority. We'll at least they're being consistent. You might remember one week after the 2009 inauguration the GOP was saying all that what we've come to call the Great Recession was the Obama Economy. Now, exactly what they're being consistent about I leave as an exercise for the reader.

What's the opposite of death panels? The start of 2015 seems to be filled with medical ethics questions. In this case, Connecticut is forcing a 17-year old to go through chemotherapy with the hope of curing her of Hodgkins lymphoma (85% chance of success, if she goes through the whole course). This brings up all kinds of ethics questions on the power of the state in parenting, age of consent, patient rights, and the efficacy and ethics of medicine.

Are social conservative driving the GOP agenda? They sure are. "Less than one day into the 114th Congress, House Republicans reintroduced their bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy… On Thursday, Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) led more than 80 colleagues in re-introducing the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which would rescind federal funding for Planned Parenthood." Jobs? Economy? Fiscal Responsibility? What's that?

Cops deserve our unquestioning respect all the time. The Slactivist with a link post to recent article of the "bad apples" in the police departments.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Linkee-poo's thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letterbox

An infographic of the daily routines of famous creative people. Are you a morning, afternoon, evening, or overnight person? (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

There's been over a decade of "artificial" meat on the market (Boca Burgers, anyone?), but it really hasn't taken off all that well. There's a lot of research into "vat-grown" meats, but I doubt the market will ever really accept them (or they'll be able to reduce the price enough, science is expensive). Now there are a few companies re-exploring how to produce meat. Beyond Meat is looking to make meat-like materials by extrusion and is gaining mind-share (and market share). And then there's the Herbivorous Butcher in Minneapolis that selling their own versions of vegetable spiced-"meats". The artificial processes are still more expensive, but their processes can be scaled to reduce cost. And they're getting better tasting and matching the textures of meat. Welcome to living in the future. (Grokked from Dan)

How much would you pay for an extra year of life? A Radiolab podcast (part of a larger program called Worth). Might need a trigger warning as they discus life, death, the cost of healthcare, and specifically the cost of cancer fighting drugs and the process of dying of cancer. It's a tough subject, but I recommend listening and thinking about the ethics and economics of modern healthcare. Fuck cancer. Also applicable to other pathologies, but cancer is the subject they use.

So, will we call this terrorism, or just a lone wolf/crazy white person? Yea, my guess is on the latter too. (Editors note, there have been several other attacks since I wrote this, I'll leave it as an exercise of the reader to discover which are labelled "terrorism" and which aren't and by whom)

"Children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information." As a graphic designer, we know this. And it also is important on how they learn to write, faster is not always better. Reading and writing alters your mind in ways that listening and typing doesn't. (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

Who says the world can't be changed? A he-man father drops his son off for his date with another boy. (Grokked from Julia Rios)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Linkee-poo believes in the power of creation, I believe in the good vibration, I believe in love alone, yeah yeah

Kameron Hurley with some inside baseball on the publishing industry, and on almost quitting.

Jim Hine's annual report on his writing income.

John Cleese on creativity. Oh man, those last 2 minutes, that's exactly where I work the day job. It's a long video (the second one), but entirely worth it. (Grokked from David Farland)

Don't have enough time wasting distractions? Okay, the Internet Archive just released 2,400 MS-DOS games to play for free (through your web browser). Time sink, ahoy! Enjoy. (Grokked from John)

An NPR interview with Neil Peart. You can see him, 'cause he's a blur (as we used to say). Seriously, I know Rush takes a lot of heat, but they really are excellent musicians who do things with their instruments that no other rock band has been able to touch. Example? Show me another rock group who writes songs in 7/8 (or even 8/8) time. Listen to Neil's fills. Just fucking amazing. I'll stop gushing on the music, but if you're working in the arts (say, like writing), read the interview. It's that level of dedication you'll need if you want to be good. If you want to be great, you'll need Neil's drive and love of the craft.

The medieval origin of the logo. Speaking professionally, logos actually began much earlier. One of the more notable examples is the Egyptian cartouche, but really it can go back as far as an early hominid holding their hand to a rock and blowing pain through a straw to create its outline. The logo, humankind's X in the place of a signature. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"Yes, I’m blonde. And yes, I attend MIT." Sure, we don't live in a society with a prejudicial problem. Hint, she's also what society says is "cute". My wife has a PhD in Ethnobotany, and she's blonde (and cute). Yea, I've seen this first hand.

"'You don’t need to think about the energy that makes our lives possible,' (the Exxon-Mobil ad voiceover) says. You don’t need to think. Trust us. Don’t think. Don’t ask questions. We’ll do all the thinking for you." The Slactivist on this ad. You might have seen a lot of energy ads in your nighttime programing shows (instead of just the Sunday Talk Shows). There's a reason for this. Rarely does the intimation rise to the obvious in advertising. You'll also notice how in a lot of these energy ads (for Exxon, BP, the American Gas Alliance) you'll see snow and ice (no reason to worry about global warming, we've still got snow and ice, see, right were we produce energy). And then there's the "you probably own an energy company in your 401k program" ads with the not-subtle warning of "regulate us, and we'll tank your retirement." And finally, you'll notice how many times they mention "jobs". Jobs, we've got 'em. We help make 'em. Jobs. You want 'em and if you mess with us, we'll make them all go away. Think about it. Yes, that's what their ads are threatening, this "think about it" is delivered in the same way John Goodman delivers the line, "I will kill your entire bloodline." Nothing personal, but unless we get our money, we'll pull the plug on you all.

Where the wild things are. Or, in this case, where our techno-garbage goes. It's the bottom of the ocean, where everything goes so we won't have to look at it. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Dear Councilman Delauter, you're obviously an idiot. Seriously, you're an elected official (or at least hold an elected official's place even if you were appointed). The press doesn't need your permission to use you name or quotes because you are a "public" person. Once you raised your hand and took that oath (actually, if you ran for office the moment you signed that paper of intent) you relinquished rights to privacy. We can argue where that line should be (hint: in modern life, there is no line anymore, everything is up for grabs), but if the article is about what you did or said (even if it's not connected to your office), fair game. Welcome to the club, dude. We have jackets (in case you're bright enough to have google alerts on your name and see this, I'm a former councilman, 9 years, so yea, I know what I'm talking about).

Sure you can trust the police. As I've said before, there isn't this miracle that happens in the Academy where everybody who applies is automagically transformed into a wonderful person.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Linkee-poo, a cloud of eiderdown draws around me softening a sound

Neil Gaiman's wishes for the New Years.

On Stephen Colbert and the art of satire. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Cutting a CEO's pay is more difficult than you think.

The bioluminescent fungus gnat. Wow. (Grokked from Jim Hines)

Pick a little, talk a little, cheep, cheep, cheep, pick a little more. On the myth that women do a to of talking. Hell, go to any party, the research is easy. (Grokked from Seanan McGuire)

In our current racially charged atmosphere, nobody would make up a false story about an attack. That would never happen. Just like a prosecutor would allow known liars into a grand jury process. Not in this country. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

And then good, (white,) God fearing people wouldn't bear false witness when faced with injustice.

Just in case you think the millennial fever is over, here's a video on how we're in the end times and President Obama is the anti-Christ. Just a warning, the video is mostly of the "if it bleeds it leads" news recap variety. (Grokked from John)

Oh conservatives, why do you always miss what the internet is for. Yet another Fox New hashtag attempt goes wildly wrong. For Fox News.