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[links] Link salad wonders what's the fuss, tell it what's happening - Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2012-12-24 08:00
Subject: [links] Link salad wonders what's the fuss, tell it what's happening
Security: Public
Tags:christianists, climate, cool, culture, funny, guns, links, movies, nature, personal, photos, politics, religion, science, tech, weird
Dislike Peter Jackson's The Hobbit? Then You Don't Know Tolkien — (Via Caias Ward.)

The Wine Grapes of Westeros[F]or wine you need grapes, and for grapes you need something Westeros does not have: Reliably changing seasons. Interesting piece. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

The Sun and the Earth in the same photo — From spaceweather.com. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Cadaver stem cells offer new hope of life after death — Um, wow?

Napoleon Wasn’t Defeated by the Russians — Typhus.

Cloud-Powered GPS Chip Slashes Smartphone Power Consumption — The headline is slightly misleading, but still pretty cool stuff.

Programming for all, part 1: An introduction to writing for computers

Rivet Spacer — One of those tools you never knew you never knew about. Also check out the cool blog it's found on. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Allergies, extra weight tied to bullyingKids who have food allergies or are overweight may be especially likely to get bullied by their peers, two new studies suggest. Not surprisingly, researchers also found targets of bullying were more distressed and anxious and had a worse quality of life, in general, than those who weren't picked on. Also, this just in: water is wet, sun rises in east. When I was a kid, back in the 1970s, us bullying targets were asked what we'd done to antagonize the bullies, and told to be behave better so we wouldn't be picked on so much. Keep our mouths shut so we wouldn't draw attention to ourselves. So maybe this is an improvement, that there's academic scholarship proving what ever fat, sniffly kid has so painfully learned since the dawn of man.

Timbuktu mausoleums 'destroyed'Islamists in Mali have begun destroying remaining mausoleums in the historic city of Timbuktu, an Islamist leader and a tourism official said. Ah, yes, the healing power of religion in civil society strikes again. This is why American should be a Christian nation, so we, too, can destroy our history to protect our delusions.

Extreme Climate Predicted in Eastern U.S.: Storms, Heat Waves With Global Warming — Nothing to see here. Please attend to conservative Correct Thought and move along.

Scientists Report Faster Warming in AntarcticaWest Antarctica has warmed much more than scientists had thought over the last half century. Pay no attention to the climate change behind the curtain. That's just more liberal lies by climate scientists chasing that sweet, sweet Federal grant money for their new Ferraris.

Obama vs. the NRAObama always promised to take on the special interests. Now he is set to square off against the strongest interest group of all. Of course, all this only justifies the conservative Obama-is-coming-for-our-guns paranoia. Sigh. If they'd signed on for sensible gun control all along instead of the NRA's policy goal of Maximum Firearms, they wouldn't be in the position today of feeling so threatened.

Silencing the Science on Gun Research — The typical conservative response to adverse data is to suppress it. When you base you worldview on the authority of dogma rather than the value of evidence, it becomes more important to deny reality than to acknowledge it. They certainly learned (again) from the BEST project that conservative beliefs don't hold up to objective examination. This, in turn, is why none of my gun-owning friends's claims about safety and crime rates hold any water. Their own side has suppressed virtually all study.

Wayne LaPierre: If It’s Crazy To Put More Guns In Schools, Then Call Me Crazy — Ok. Since you asked. Wayne LaPierre: You're crazy. You and your organization have proven that you are crazy, destructive fucks who don't have the moral authority or common sense to be allowed possession of a steak knife, let alone a role in our national firearms policy.

Top two headlines in my Google News this morning: 2 firefighters shot, killed while battling New York blaze and 1 Killed, 1 Wounded in Bar Shooting — Your guns are not making me or anyone else safer. Widespread private gun ownership scares me a hell of a lot more than criminals or some mythical government conspiracy. The headlines every day prove I'm right to be more scare of private citizens carrying than I am of criminals or the government.

Gun Violence And The Irrational Fear Of Home InvasionNationwide, there are about 100 burglary-homicides every year. When you compare that to more than 18,000 gun suicides, the conclusions seem pretty obvious. Not to mention those 10,000 gun homicides. Oops, those pesky facts. Again, I am a lot more risk from you and your gun than you are from your mythical home invader or attacker. Your illusion of safety is my real danger.

?otD: Why do you want to know?




12/24/2012
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 10.5 hours (10.0 hours fitful, 0.5 hours napping)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (30 minutes on the stationary bike)
Weight: 211.4
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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Nathan
User: mastadge
Date: 2012-12-24 16:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, that Jackson/Tolkien link, engaging in the usual weird Fannishness. Don't like The Hobbit? You're not a true Tolkien fan. Like Daniel Craig? You're not a true Bond fan. Don't like the prequel trilogy? You're not a true Star Wars fan. Like Abrams' Star Trek? You're not a true Trek fan. Because people can't have valid reactions to movies for their own reasons that have little or nothing to do with the history of a franchise.

I'm not sure what bearing my situation as a Tolkien fan (or not) should have on my reaction to the film -- which I am watching, first and foremost, as a movie, and not as a . . . what? . . . a tribute to Tolkien or something like that.
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Susan
User: lil_shepherd
Date: 2012-12-24 17:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Considering that in almost the first line the author gets the percentage fresh on Rotten Tomatoes completely wrong, it's very difficult to trust anything he says after that. (Current figures are: critics 65% fresh, audience 81% liked it. These are low figures only in real comparison with, you know, movies, that were huge critical and/or box-offices success stories like, you know, The Fellowship of the Ring - 92% for both - or, in more recent times, The Avengers 92% Fresh from the critics, 96% liked from the audience.)

Most movie critics judge a movie as a movie not as to how close it was to the original book/play/comic/TV show. And there are problems with the first Hobbit film both in tone and pacing - some of which are, you know, shared by the book itself...
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Dave O'Neill
User: daveon
Date: 2012-12-24 16:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
A fair few people have been trying to explain to me that the UK is a more dangerous place since they banned guns and it's therefore to do with the handgun ban.

Ignoring, for a moment, the fact that gun ownership was so low as to be irreverent, I'd rather consider that if I am the victim of a crime would I rather be physically injured than dead myself.
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Susan
User: lil_shepherd
Date: 2012-12-24 17:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And it is not a perception shared by most people living in the UK.
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Dave O'Neill
User: daveon
Date: 2012-12-24 18:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, yes, indeed. But I have noticed that in these discussions what the British *actually* think is secondary to what they see as reality.

I read an article yesterday that suggested that increases in South African crime were due to increased rules on gun ownership. And not, say, the problems of dealing with 30 million people who've been systemically oppressed and kept impoverished by a minority for decades.

Edited at 2012-12-24 06:11 pm (UTC)
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Susan
User: lil_shepherd
Date: 2012-12-24 18:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Quite.

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threeoutside
User: threeoutside
Date: 2012-12-24 17:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I for one agree with the Huffpost Hobbit article. I loved the richness and depth of the movie, and I recognized a lot of the history that wasn't in the Hobbit, but in The Silmarillion, and but for a couple of very minor spots, I understood and accepted or outright celebrated the changes and additions Jackson made.

I don't understand all this enmity anyway. Routine movie reviewers I don't give a single fuck about anyway, but that fans use the movies to tear each other's throats out? I don't get this at all. Think you can do a better job? Fine - do it. Otherwise, at least disagree politely with one another.
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russ: lyles constant
User: goulo
Date: 2012-12-25 15:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:lyles constant
> The Sun and the Earth in the same photo

Hey, that's no big deal! Most ordinary sunrise and sunset photos I see (which were taken on Earth) have the Sun and the Earth both visible in them. :)
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russ: wrocławski znaczek
User: goulo
Date: 2012-12-25 15:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:wrocławski znaczek
> This is why American should be a Christian nation, so we, too, can destroy our history to protect our delusions.

This reminded me of a friend's recent story: she was in a Christian bookstore which had music CDs for sale, and an irate customer was complaining vociferously to the store clerk that the store had music by Ennio Morricone for sale (apparently the composer was not sufficiently Christian for the irate customer; I have no idea what Morricone's religious views are).
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-12-25 15:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Morricone did the music for The Mission, I believe, which if one were Evangelical (with the small minded literalism that so often accompanies that worldview), would be quite offensive.
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seventorches
User: seventorches
Date: 2012-12-25 18:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
He's probably at least nominally Catholic, because he's Italian. I got into an argument 30 years ago with a schoolmate who insisted Catholics aren't really Christians. "We believe he's the Son of God and our Savior Jesus Christ, how is that not Christian?" "you have to be born again." "You're an idiot."
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russ: quo vadis
User: goulo
Date: 2012-12-25 21:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:quo vadis
Sounds like a lot of the crazy Jack Chick religious tract comics, with their nutty theories of how not only are Catholics not really Christians, but the Pope is the Anti-Christ, secretly in league with the United Nations to enslave the Earth in some Illuminati-style plot...

(I assume you're aware of them, but if not, visit http://chick.com for wacky craziness.)
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seventorches
User: seventorches
Date: 2012-12-25 18:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've seen those rivet spacers before. Always wondered what they were for!
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Reynardo the Red
User: reynardo
Date: 2012-12-26 12:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Home sewers have been using them for decades, to help space buttons properly too. Mind you, those ones usually only go up to about 10
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e_bourne
User: e_bourne
Date: 2012-12-26 08:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Very happy to see the stem cell article. Mark's stem cells were harvested (along with skin, eyes, long bones, blood, and a few other miscellaneous parts) which surprised me at the time. It was explained to me that there are many, many uses for cadaver stem cells, and I was sent a pamphlet since I asked. I confess, I remember almost nothing of the conversation other than knowing how happy Mark would be to have everything but the ability to pun constantly used for someone's benefit.
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