December 14th, 2011


[links] Link salad tries to wake up

Interview: Lilith Saintcrow, author of 'The Hedgewitch Queen'

Could This Be The End Of Cancer?It's a disease that kills millions a year and a slew of hoped-for miracle treatments have gone nowhere. Now scientists say vaccines could hold the key—not just to a cure but to wiping out cancer forever.

Periodic Table of Swearing — Yes, this is NSFW, both visually and audibly. Funny as hell, though.

The assholocracyLanguage Log with a useful new word.

Accidental Scientist Hawks ‘Online Marketplace for Brains’ — The headline on this very cool story is a bit misleading. This is about data science crowdsourcing.

Trillion-frame-per-second video — This story makes my brain hurt. In a good way. SCIENCE!

Augmented Reality for Six-Year-OldsToy makers bring augmented reality to the masses.

Next Big Bet for Space: Airborne Rocket Launcher — This is cool. More here.

A second life for Vietnam's bile bears

Did walking evolve underwater? 'Walking fish' suggests that it did.A study of the African lungfish suggests that our evolutionary ancestors first started walking before they migrated onto land.

Pakistan police rescue chained students from madrasaPakistani police say dozens of students were at the Madrasa Zakarya, an Islamic seminary, in Karachi. Several were reportedly chained in a basement, denied food and pressured to join the Taliban. The only difference between this and some Christian 'schools' in America is a matter of degree, not intent.

Tennessee family home burns while firefighters watch — Life in a fee-for-service conservative paradise.

What Perry gets wrong about religion in America — Everything, basically, outside the narrow box of Christianist bigotry so beloved of the GOP. Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson comments.

Post-American Iraq by the Numbers — In case you labor under the delusion that we somehow improved things in Iraq.

There Is Only One Issue In America — Hmm. Interesting article. I think he ignores the issue of faith-based social conservatism, which fatally distorts the compromise process essential to party politics, but still an interesting point.

?otd: Coffee or hot chocolate?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 10.0 (solid, plus plus napping)
Weight: 208.4
Currently (re)reading: Return of Retief by Keith Laumer


[personal] Things are getting better

The heater guys came and went yesterday. It was a long day, and got awfully cold here in the house. [info]the_child built a fire in the fireplace, and I made liberal use of my new quilt. Nonetheless, a ridiculous amount of money fled my bank account, and in return I have a new, high efficiency heater. Unfortunately, a lot of that money was my convention travel-and-lodging budget for 2012, so I may not be as many places as I'd hoped.

Meanwhile my GI has calmed. Not back to what passes for normal these days, but not in violent rebellion either. I'm hoping to taper off the meds today or tomorrow. We shall see. The result of this was that I slept solidly last night from 7 pm to 4:30 am. I'm still pretty worn out from the last couple of days, but I no longer feel like I'm in dire straits. Just an annoying passage.

In addition to a full day of Day Jobbery, I'm off the Author's Lunch today, an occasional event here in Portland. Otherwise, I'm laying low and keeping my nose shiny and damp. Woof.


[personal] By popular demand, more on the quilt

Because Jeff Rutherford asked for more info about the quilt, as did several others, I now offer this note from Mom.


Thanks for the compliments on the quilt.  It was made for you with lots of love from family members. By the way, I put fourteen book covers (counting Endeavor without title and author) in the quilt.

I know that both Dad and Q spent time perfecting the scanning of your book covers to achieve the best image. You would have to ask them for comments on that subject.  Uncle Lloyd has lots of experience printing photos, but putting them on fabric was a bit different.  He experimented and spent lots of time, I am sure, to produce the finished product.  You can ask him to share his expertise.

As to “quilting techniques”, you may share the following with your fan, unless you think it is too much information.



“There are five rows of five blocks each in the body of the quilt. The quilt blocks are 5x8 finished.  Book covers alternate with blocks of pieced batiks, each containing eight different fabrics.  I placed the blocks based on the colors of the adjacent book covers. No two batik blocks are alike.  The top row consists of one book cover placed horizontally and four sawtooth stars.

First I stitched- in- the- ditch around each block.  Then I heavily quilted each batik block. I used a decorative stitch on the sashing.  The thread is variegated in shades of yellow and orange.  All this firmly anchored the quilt together.

I wanted the book covers to be the focal point so did not want quilting to overwhelm the image.  I used outline and echo quilting mostly, with a few instances of decorative stitching.   The thread color was dictated by the color or colors in the cover, so the quilting would blend in.  Some book covers required more than one color thread.

The printed book cover fabric is a bit thicker and stiffer than quilting fabric.  I used a thin, sharp needle (size 11) to quilt the covers, and I changed needles often.

The border fabric of green tone on tone and the four corner stars are quilted with variegated green thread, from light to dark.

Luckily the backing fabric of aloha shirts is very colorful, so all the different thread colors blend in nicely.  Incidentally, I found that fabric one and a half years ago and it screamed “Jay” so I bought it immediately.”

I hope that's helpful.


Photos © 2011, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.