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

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Linkee-poo can give you what you want, but you gotta come home with me

Justine Larbalestier on how her evolving views on writing the Other with some good points for any white writer who is thinking about writing a protagonist of color.

Brandon Sanderson's BYU lectures on writing SF/F, now with more production values. Can't attend a writing workshop? Here's a good alternative. Although the change in audio quality is sometimes jarring, but at least is recognizable. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

These days, nothing you see in a movie is there by accident. How directors use color to manipulate your emotional response.

A BBC radio report about a model of a bewitched ship and the prevalence of witches in the 16th century. Also a good primer for why the campaign against immigrants is the new witch hunt. (Grokked from Ellen Kushner)

British Columbia is experiencing what we're all seeing as heroin is being replaced with Fentanyl and W-18 (that later one is still mostly in Canada). And this could be why we see spikes in overdoses.

"It probably started because I did a few dilation and evacuations on labor and delivery for women at 22 or 23 weeks with ruptured membranes, infections, and fetal demise. It’s technically a very hard procedure when there is an infection and helping a woman not need a hysterectomy to save her life is something only people who have learned how to do late-term abortions can do. It’s nerve wracking because with infection the uterus is like soft butter and you are using hard instruments. And it’s all by feel. In those days we didn’t use ultrasound." Why teaching abortion to Ob-Gyns and in general is a needed skill. (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

A giant octopus kite taking flight. Wow.

The Brexit in four easy charts. Well, pretty much the first one tells you what you need to know.

The population demographic of Texas in four easy charts. Hmm, I sense a trend. (Grokked form Robert J Bennett)

"I'm where I am in part because of my mother's sacrifice, in part because I also had a white middle-class father a few miles away who was active in my life and invested in my education. I worked hard, sure, but nobody works harder to survive than poor people. I just got some good breaks and so did many of my ancestors." About the same, except for the Dad part, it was mostly my Mom. An opinion piece about the disappearing middle-class written by a person who clawed their way into it from the working-poor. Also pointed to because of this line, "I think most Americans love the rich — as long as they can convince themselves it's possible to join their ranks." So true.

"… because the US welfare state is 'submerged' and sliced up among a variety of different programs, many of which operate indirectly rather than directly, it is mostly invisible to US citizens… The fact that nearly half of Social Security recipients do not believe that they have benefited from a government social program, and that the same is true of some 40% of G.I. Bill beneficiaries and Medicare recipients is a rather extraordinary one." With a list of programs listed by the percentage of the populace that uses them that denies they are using any government program. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

Congressional Democrats stage a sit-in on the floor of the House to demand votes on gun-control issues. I would feel a lot better if 1) they had any chance of passing and 2) would fix the lists they want to use to exclude people from buying guns. How about we just focus on closing the private sale/gun show loop-hole? Or maybe repeal the Dickey Amendment? I appreciate that it's good optics, but I want real fucking change and something that has a chance of both passing and actually doing something.

So now that the GOP has recovered their "healthcare thoughts and prayers" from the past 6 years and tried again to say it's an actual policy and actionable legislation, how is Obamacare doing? "The US is spending trillions less than expected on health care — and uninsured rates are at an all-time low… Medicare alone has cost $455 billion less than expected." Now you know what every single idiot who claims they want to rollback Obamacare is actually for, increased spending by the government and for you. (Grokked from Fred Clark)

You know, whenever I see these "Trump supporters and hangers-on/white-supremist" stories I wonder if we're all just being punked or that they're some piece of performance art. Unfortunately it's all true. Including the desire to go full retrograde and take the country "back" to an time where they imagined everything was okay. "'(The) Leave it to Beaver time when there were no break-ins; no violent crime; no mass immigration,' (Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District independent candidate Rick Tyler) told the news station." His billboard's actual headline was "Make America White Again." But of course he doesn't hate anybody. Of course not. (Grokked from Dan)

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