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

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Linkee-poo was there and saw what you did, saw it with my own two eyes

Brandon Sanderson on being nominated for a Hugo and the S/RP thing. (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

But Thomas Mays has already withdrawn from the nomination. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

And the often puppy target John Scalzi has a few thoughts.

Yeah, I'm sure the river near a Australian fracking site was just naturally flammable. Been that way for years. I'm sure the process of fracturing the bedrock in the area had nothing to do with methane leaks in the river. Nothing at all. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

Freedom of speech is under attack, but it's by the people who say their freedom of speech is under attack. Trying to out do itself and make more legislation that the country can be pissed at, NC's "Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is proposing that the state's 17-campus public university system create a policy that includes punishments for 'those who interrupt the free expression of others.'" Because free speech means those in power should never have to hear our disdain.

In case you doubted Jim Wright and his post that shared his thoughts on optimism and just exactly where Elon Musk was going, "SpaceX plans to send its Dragon spacecraft to Mars as early as 2018, the company announced today." Shoot for the Moon, and even if you miss you'll end up among the stars. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

How do you know how much to save for retirement and how to structure the payouts from your 401k? Well, you could think about making sure there are defined beneficiaries in your plan (so if you die before it's all paid out the money will go to someone you want it to) and then plan for the long run. That, of course, means less money to live on. So some people are buying an annuity that kicks in later in life. It's an insurance policy that you'll have money when your money runs out. Of course, these things are not inexpensive.

Using rice husks to make silicon anodes for lithium-ion anodes. Silicon has superior energy storage capabilities, but so far has been more expensive to produce, has some impractical limitations, and doesn't have the cycling capability (the number of times it can be recharged) needed. Silicon nanoparticles, however, do much better.

"…the gravitational field of the sun can focus light. Place a telescope at the focal point of this giant lens and it should become possible to study a distant object in unprecedented detail. But how good would such a lens be; what would it reveal that we couldn’t see with our own telescopes?… Today we get an answer to these questions thanks to the work of Geoffrey Landis at NASA’s John Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. Landis has analyzed the resolving power of the solar lens and worked out just how good it could be." Wow, Geoff, that's some seriously good stuff. Also, noted for the public, Geoff Landis has done a lot of fantastic science (like floating cities on Venus because breathable air is a lifting gas there, you might remember such an idea from Tobias Buckell, guess who helped him with it) and it's good to see him getting a lot of attention for this paper.

"In an unofficial experiment, Greenman tested scabbed and unscabbed Parma apples, a high-sugar variety native to southwestern Virginia, and found the scarred apples had a 2 to 5 percent higher sugar content than unmarred apples from the same tree. More sugar means a higher alcohol content once fermented, producing a tastier hard cider." Gods but I love science. Also noted in case someone around you says the tired line of "nobody has ever proven organics are better for you." My guess is it isn't just the anti-oxidants that are more plentiful in organic and scarred fruit.

The biases shaping the sharing economy. Or AirBnB while black can lead to not getting a room (or a car from Uber, or…).

White kid in ski mask with fake guns running around a neighborhood, police respond to urgent calls, nobody dies. Why? Well, the police officer said the kid immediately complied with his orders to drop the gun and get on the ground (and the article then goes on to say, "always comply with police orders", thanks). My guess is because "…this took place in a really nice neighborhood", and that had a lot to do with it. Also note, the officer approached on foot, from a distance, not driving up over a curb and over a lawn. Yeah, I think that also helped. You know, like the original officer report in the Tamir Rice case stated they did (which the video shows they absolutely didn't, also note no prosecution for falsifying official reports). (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

In other Baltimore "kid with a toy gun" news, police shot the boy. He's expected to make it. Which is good, since they arrested his mother because she asked if he would live. Or for some reason.

A long, but well written article on being caught in the hype. This is very much like working in an art/ad/design studio. You have to have the same mental tricks. "It will be months until I call uncle and quit; it will take almost a year to realize I was gaslighting myself, that I was reading from someone else’s script." (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Not like it'll make a bit of difference but, "'And to all those lawmakers out there who are so obsessed with who's using what bathroom and what plumbing they got downtown: Newsflash — you're the weirdos!' (Stephen) Colbert said."

"Prosecutors and legal experts were outraged and angered by a recent Oklahoma court ruling that determined state law doesn’t criminalize forced oral sex with an unconscious or intoxicated victim… 'There is a recognition that social mores have changed, that the law should now try to protect sexual autonomy as opposed to sexual morality,' (assistant district attorney Benjamin) Fu said." Good thing there weren't any activist judges hearing the case or who knows what kind of dystopia we may be living in.

Note to Self's podcast on eye in the sky. On technology developed for the war coming home and finding new applications. In this case, a specific development to help stop bombing in Fallujah coming back to the states to help fight crime. A persistent eye in the sky, that the operators can then rollback the video footage to locate vehicles or people and follow them. The camera isn't good enough to make out details at the level it needs to fly at (after all, you're covering whole cities with 1 camera), but that's a technological fix (I remember an article on the cameras used, they are incredibly good, top-end tech, but their resolution is much greater than their processing capability). So, to solve some crimes are you willing to be watched 24/7?

"Walid Phares, one of Trump's foreign policy advisers, said: 'There will be no details in this speech.'" This just in, water is wet. So, basically, it's just like every other speech the Trumpster has given.

Sure the Trumpster isn't misogynist, he just thinks Hillary is a little shrill when she shouts. I'm sure at the debates he's going to recommend that she "give us a smile."

There are a few things I learned serving on council and writing laws that affect my community, in this case indirectly (which is the best way to learn these lessons). Never introduce a law (or amendment) meant to be ironic, sardonic, or sarcastic, always have the commitment behind your actions. Because if you don't, sometimes you get your ass handed to you. In this case, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) though he was being so smart about offering an amendment to have women register for the draft (because he hates the idea of women in combat, see how those go together?). Oh how the people on the committee would see what a ridiculous idea it was to allow women into combat roles. Except that his amendment passed the committee vote (my guess is it won't pass a full house vote). Because when you confuse a straw-man for real people you expose yourself as an ignoramus.

Tweet of my heart: @HooklandGuide 'The mythic never knows how to be uninterestring.' - C.L. Nolan. #FolkloreThursday

Double dip: @NateSilver538 Take: Trump invalidated a lot of beliefs held by centrist elites about the GOP base, but validated beliefs held by liberal elites about it.

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