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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-12-21 05:27
Subject: [links] Link salad observes that the solstice is the end of the world as we know it
Security: Public
Tags:christianism, climate, cool, gay, guns, links, media, movies, personal, politics, process, religion, space, tech, writing
Has Fiction Lost Its Faith? — Sort of weird reading this critique of religion in fiction from my perspective.

The 13 Dwarves In The Hobbit, Ranked By Hotness — Uhh...

HammerspaceHammerspace (also known as malletspace) is a fan-envisioned extradimensional, instantly accessible storage area in fiction, which is used to explain how animated, comic and game characters can produce objects out of thin air. Huh. I didn't know this. Makes sense, so to speak. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo flies with rocket motor for first timeThe hope is to start passenger flights as early as 2013.

Drastic cuts in fish quotas expectedWith fishery regulators poised to impose devastating cuts Thursday on the New England fleet, blame for the disappearance of once-abundant cod and flounder populations is shifting from fishermen to a new culprit: the changing ocean. Warming waters and an evolving ocean ecosystem possibly related to man-made climate change are contributing to the anemic populations, not just decades of overfishing, government officials say. Man, even the fish in the sea are responding to liberal lies about climate change. Al Gore must be the most powerful person on Earth. I'm sure Rush Limbaugh can explain this away. Probably black helicopters over the Grand Banks or something — that would make as much sense as any other conservative ideas on the subject, after all.

Newt Gingrich Supports “Reality” Of State-Sanctioned Marriage Equality — Wait, doesn't this mean God has abandoned the Republic, and we're due for rivers of blood in streets? I'm pretty sure that's what the GOP's been saying for years.

Government Mistakes Cartoonist's Paycheck for Terrorist Funds — I certainly feel safer now. Don't you? (Via [info]goulo.)

Misinformer Of The Year: Rush Limbaugh — The hilarious part is when Limbaugh claims to have acted with integrity. That delusion would be cute if it wasn't so toxic, sort of like FOX News employees somehow imagining they are journalists.

To Keep and Bear Arms — A long article on the semantics of the Second Amendment. (From some time back, fwiw, this is not a response to recent events.)

The N.R.A.’s Blockade on ScienceThe Dickey Amendment is why we don't have good science or public health info on gun violence. Because of the typical conservative response to actual data — an authoritarian shutdown of any discussion at all, while hiding the facts.

Do Armed Civilians Stop Mass Shooters? Actually, No. — Oh, those pesky little facts, getting in the way of the conservative narrative again. Not that we'd know for sure, what with the gun types getting laws passed to ban actual research on the topic here in the free marketplace of ideas.

Kids find gun, loaded and safety off, in cinema after concealed-carry guy “loses” it, doesn’t call copsA man carries around a loaded gun, safety off, then loses it in a public place frequented by children (it’s “The Hobbit,” of all movies), and doesn’t “think” to call the police. Oh, yeah, I feel hella safer now. Because nothing improves the public welfare like a lost handgun in a public space frequented by children.

Evil, Mental Illness, and the Responsibility of the Free[I]t could also be argued merely feeling the need to possess and bear a piece of artillery designed to kill a hundred human beings in a hot minute is actually a sign you have some kind of mental illness in the first place. Um, hell yes. This one of those things that's painfully obvious unless you've already drunk the Kool-Aid and have convinced yourself that being a free and moral human being requires that you be able to deal death at the flick of a finger. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

The Connecticut school massacre: How the world sees us — I realize that to conservative Americans, the rest of the world is a series of Socialist hells that can be ignored, but a lot fewer people die in those Socialist hells of gun violence. Personal safety is a small price to pay for surrendering our gun pathology. Not that we likely ever will…

House Republicans Vote to Throw 300,000 Kids off Food Stamps In Order to Cut Taxes for Millionaires — Because that's how conservatives roll. With justice and compassion for none.

?otD: Are you dancing in the dark?




12/21/2012
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 90 hours (9.0 hours fitful, 1.0 hour napping)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (30 minutes on the stationary bike)
Weight: 213.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block confiscating firearms and shutting down the Internet: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks

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Angie: New Me
User: aiela
Date: 2012-12-21 14:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:New Me
Any hotness ranking that puts Thorin FOURTH is clearly wrong.

1. Kili
2. Thorin (I much prefer Richard Armitage clean-shaven, which is not normal for me, I usually much prefer facial hair)
3. Fili.

(I almost feel weird that I have an opinion on this, but there it is.)
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rekre8
User: rekre8
Date: 2012-12-21 16:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
With you on that.

The feeling weird about having an opinion. And Kili winning.
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mcjulie
User: mcjulie
Date: 2012-12-22 14:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Agreed. They were right about the top four, but Thorin has to be one or two.

I don't think it's weird. When I was a teenager and my best friend and I were obsessed with the Bakshi Lord of the Rings (it's true!) we ranked the characters according to hotness. Legolas won handily, but Aragorn held his own. I still have a fondness for that older-seeming, more grizzled take on Aragorn...
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a rhetoric of preservationists: table
User: tesserae_
Date: 2012-12-21 15:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:table
Excellent link set today - thanks particularly for the David Frum piece.

On a related topic, I've been shaking my head for years over this notion that armed civilians would be a better response to gun massacres than keeping the guns away from the people likely to buy them in the first place, and I've come to the conclusion that it's the gun nuts' version of "She was asking for it!" - i.e., an attempt at victim-blaming to cover the unwillingness to change society. Of course, it's a nasty and toxic kind of magical thinking, too....
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Jon C
User: joncwriter
Date: 2012-12-21 17:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Government Mistakes Cartoonist's Paycheck for Terrorist Funds

Actually, I have some background on this, as this is exactly what I do at my job. Not this particular issue per se, but I understand exactly what's going on here.

In short, the regulations are in place NOT to say Tim Hamilton or David Axe or Matt Bors are on a "Blocked" list. In fact, chances are quite good that they're not. So it's highly doubtful that these writers are at fault.

What is happening is that the wire payment that the publisher is sending most likely mentions "KONY" or "Army of God" in the remittance info (e.g., the paystub of a check that has a description of what the payment's for). Per OFAC regulations, any phrasing or name that should be questioned gets flagged, and it's up to the bank to reach out to the client (in this case, the publisher) to get a clarification. That clarifying info is sent to the bank's OFAC team, and that team will give the go/no-go for the check.

I always tell clients this: It's not that "Joe Smith" is on the Federal Blocked list, it's that they share the same name as a Joe Smith who is on that list, and this process is to ensure that they're not the same person and the payment can be released as quickly as possible.

[EDIT: The turnaround is relatively quick, depending on the bank's OFAC team. I've seen payments sent out by End of Business Day as soon as they're cleared.]

The government isn't "mistaking" anything. If anything, I'm thinking that there was a breakdown somewhere at the bank. Either the publisher didn't want to give clarification, or the bank blocked the funds without reaching out to the client. And if anything, the clarifying questions are usually simple such as an address and professional information.


[Just to note, this is not hidden info; it's posted on the US Treasury site. Just wanted to put that out there to say I'm not illicitly sharing proprietary or private bank info. ;) ]

Edited at 2012-12-21 05:24 pm (UTC)
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daveraines
User: daveraines
Date: 2012-12-21 17:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Re: Fiction and faith - the author doesn't treat genre fiction, which might be interesting. Judging from the shelves in my last church's library (always reliable data), Christian Romance is alive and thriving; Christian historicals also; and of course the Left Behind series is fantasy. Bad fantasy, but best sellers.

Science fiction, not so much. But then there's _The Sparrow_.

I should finish that novel one of these days.
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mevennen
User: mevennen
Date: 2012-12-21 17:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
> I realize that to conservative Americans, the rest of the world is a series of Socialist hells that can be ignored, but a lot fewer people die in those Socialist hells of gun violence. Personal safety is a small price to pay for surrendering our gun pathology. Not that we likely ever will…

Accurate article. Most of us outside the US are just baffled by this gun thing, to be honest.
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ulfhirtha
User: ulfhirtha
Date: 2012-12-21 18:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
many of us in the US are too.
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mevennen
User: mevennen
Date: 2012-12-21 20:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Good to know. A lot of my American friends have been expressing similar sentiments to the ones in the article, I must say.
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houseboatonstyx: smaller-healing-buddha
User: houseboatonstyx
Date: 2012-12-21 21:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:smaller-healing-buddha
piece of artillery designed to kill a hundred human beings in a hot minute

I went to the Slacktivist link hoping there would be more detail on which guns fit this description, but there was not. I wish some pro-gun-contrtol person with the right knowledge, would write up something detailing this for non-gun people. In internet discussion, as soon as someone favors a moderate policy of restricting 'assault' or 'military style' guns, the gun fans attack those terms. We need new, transparent terms and examples of what kind of guns can kill how many people per minute.

For example, the theatre Batman killer's gun jammed after less than 30 bullets. Normally it shot 50-60 bullets per minute, which could have wiped out everyone in front row seats.
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houseboatonstyx: smaller-healing-buddha
User: houseboatonstyx
Date: 2012-12-21 21:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:smaller-healing-buddha
Sorry, only the first line should have been in italics, as a quote from the Slacktivist piece.
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Lethran: Angel
User: gwyd
Date: 2012-12-22 03:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Angel
When I worked at Eugene Public Library, some armed robbers ran in and took shelter from police in the Children's section. You know, the place where the children spend the most time in the library. The police got them to surrender without anyone getting killed. The next day, some children found an ammo box in the shelves. Being good citizens, they turned them right in to a Librarian instead of playing with the bullets. we cleared the children's section, as we had to search every inch of children's room shelving. We did find a gun.

The danger guns pose to children in public spaces makes my blood run cold when I think about it.
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