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[links] Link salad boogies back to Texas - Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2012-05-16 04:24
Subject: [links] Link salad boogies back to Texas
Security: Public
Tags:climate, cool, culture, education, funny, gay, guns, healthcare, history, language, links, personal, politics, process, tech, weird, writing
Entry Points into Fiction: Text Shows You How to Read It — Jeff VanderMeer is wise.

Brit Lit Map — A cartographic Wordle.

Online map calculates travel times in Ancient Rome — Cool! (Via a mailing list I'm on.)

The Liberating Embrace Of Uncertainty — I don't agree with everything in this piece, as the writer buys a little too much into the woo side of things, and deliberately conflates empirical truth and spiritual truth, but it's still pretty interesting.

A Mathematical Challenge to ObesityInterestingly, we also found that the fatter you get, the easier it is to gain weight. An extra 10 calories a day puts more weight onto an obese person than on a thinner one. I could have told them that.

Humanoid Robot Swarm Synchronised Using Quorum SensingProof-of-principle experiment shows how humanoid robots can co-operate on a large scale by copying the behaviour of social insects and bacterial colonies. The article is basically talking about SkyNet, but the accompanying photo is hilariously cute.

Cambrian shutter of doom becomes sucker of wormsThis photo is the opposite of cute.

Researchers generate electricity from virusesImagine charging your phone as you walk, thanks to a paper-thin generator embedded in the sole of your shoe. This futuristic scenario is now a little closer to reality. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a way to generate power using harmless viruses that convert mechanical energy into electricity. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever livedThe Oatmeal goes to town on Tesla and Edison.

A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College

6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America — This topic is treated in great detail in the book 1491. (Thanks to Melissa Shaw.)

The Right’s Righteous Frauds — With a headline like that, this piece could refer to almost any leader in the conservative movement.

Wrong man was executed in Texas, probe says — Because capital punishment makes us all safer.

‘Hug The Monster’: Why So Many Climate Scientists Have Stopped Downplaying the Climate Threat — Gee, maybe they've been quiet because of savage, fact-free attacks from certain ideological sectors. Whaddaya think?

Is world outpacing U.S. on health care? — Nothing to see here, citizens. Move along. We don't want any of that Kenyan Muslim socialist HCR that was originally proposed by the Heritage Foundation and promoted by the GOP.

How Economics Explains The Rising Support for Gay Marriage — Interesting thesis. My own experiences certainly dovetail into this discussion.

Gun Rights — From the Mitt Romney campaign Web site: Mitt will work to expand and enhance access and opportunities for Americans to hunt, shoot, and protect their families. Wow, the things conservatives get up to in their free time. (Via [info]danjite.)

Who Really Caused The Deficit?Under Obama’s watch the national debt has risen from roughly $10 trillion to $15 trillion, a record high. But to what extent are his decisions while in office to blame? The answer: very little. The vast bulk of the debt is the result of policies enacted during the Bush administration coupled with automatic increases in federal spending and decreases in tax revenue triggered by the economic downturn. Those are economic facts of life known to experts but that often gets lost in the political debate (and which Obama’s opponents are willing to obscure). That's the Tea Party message in a nutshell: Mad about the deficit? Blame Obama and vote for the guys who created it!

?otd: Austin or San Antonio?




5/16/2012
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (Kalimpura copy edits)
Body movement: n/a (airport walking to come)
Hours slept: 6.0 (fitful)
Weight: 241.6 (!)
Currently reading: Light Breaker by Mark Teppo

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Terie Garrison
User: teriegarrison
Date: 2012-05-16 11:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Not sure if you've seen this yet, but it seems to be up your alley:

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/15/my-take-what-the-bible-really-says-about-homosexuality
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S-47/19-J
User: shsilver
Date: 2012-05-16 14:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America

We took the girls to Cahokia back in December and one of their favorite things was the sign next to Monk's Mound proclaiming "No sledding!"
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Elf M. Sternberg
User: elfs
Date: 2012-05-16 16:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I like Jonathan Rauch's take on the economic origins of gay marriage. He maintains that it's a cultural split and, for want of a better terminology, call them 'red' and 'blue' cultures.

In the large, families are an economic necessity: we need another generation to keep our machines running into our decrepitude. Families deserve economic benefits for the burdens they take on. The question for Rauch is then, what is a family, and what does it do?

Blue culture recognizes that we're heading into a technological, creative future. In order to be self-sustaining in such a future, we must be fully educated and established before we think about the major project of forming a family unit. For Blue families (perhaps overlapping mostly with Postrel's "dynamic" culture), this means delaying reproductive activity, which in turn means educating the young about the full range of sexual possibilities and their potential problems. Having children at 20 puts a serious damper on your educational and economic future. Such a culture embraces the "domestic sphere run by robots" argument, but it does so deliberately. Having done so, however, "the formation of a family unit" looks like a deliberate choice based on mutual compatibility, and consequentially gay marriage looks like just another deliberate choice.

Red culture is in denial about the educational burdens of the future. Its reaction is to grasp to the agricultural and industrial past, to look to a time when a young man who worked hard could get ahead without much more than a high school education. (In fact, they're so explicit about this that conservative magazines, reacting to Obama's push for higher education, have recently rolled out articles extolling various college dropouts like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, and claiming that if you worked hard, just like them, you could be a billionaire genius playboy philanthropist too.) For "static" reds, the world shouldn't change, and therefore creating families through accidental pregnancies at a young age is not only acceptable, it's part of the cultural fabric. For these people, gay marriage is oxymoronic because it can't happen by accident. In order for marriage to be "marriage," it must of necessity be something that might happen according to God's will, through pregnancy.
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Clint Harris
User: wendigomountain
Date: 2012-05-16 19:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
On that Tesla/Edison rant, they neglected to mention that Edison had to use DC current to electrocute the animals, but he still pawned it off as being Tesla's AC current. Bastard.
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Kate: puzzle button: do you know this symbol?
User: kateyule
Date: 2012-05-17 05:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:puzzle button: do you know this symbol?
Article #5's obesity research all comes back to “the model says this, the model predicts that”. But what is the model based on? Why should we think it represents reality?

Sure, this is a short piece for popular readership. It bugs me that the interviewer and/or editor have been content to completely handwave past that part. Most readers won't even notice. “Oh look, they used a model. Must be true, then.”
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