October 31st, 2012


[links] Link salad wishes you a Happy Halloween

How Authors WriteThe technologies of composition, not new media, inspire ­innovations in literary styles and forms.

How Disney Could Make Star Wars Episode VII Awesome — Um.

Japanese Artist Paints Hyper-Realistic Body Modifications — Whoa. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Quantum entanglement shows that reality can't be localEither that, or faster-than-light communications is a go.

Curiosity Mars rover finds soil similar to Hawaii's — Aloha Mars?

Killing the Computer to Save It — Rethinking the basics.

A Wind Is Rising — The Bad Astronomer on weather and climate and Hurricane Sandy. Too bad only those of us in the reality-based community will get the message.

Romney on Climate Change: “Spending trillions to reduce CO2 is not the right course” — Old news, essentially, but relevant. I wish we were talking about reality instead of denialism.

Maybe We Should Talk About Climate Change Now — Not while conservatives remain a political force in America. Better to drown than admit reality.

Revisionist memory: White evangelicals have always been at war with abortionWhite American evangelicals are “pro-life.” This is the single most important political aspect of American evangelicalism. It is the single most important theological aspect of American evangelicalism. And it is the paramount factor in evangelical identity for evangelicals themselves. It’s also a very recent development. Thirty years ago, this was not the case. Fifty years ago, it was unimaginable. The problem with moral absolutism, especially when combined with a flat rejection of evidence outside your own carefully selected proof texts and a disdain for nuance or ambiguity, is you lose an understanding of even your own position, let alone anyone else's.

Hey, remember when evangelicals were pro-choice because of the Bible? What a difference 30 years makesSlacktivist Fred Clark with more on how timeless Biblical truths can be utterly reversed by three decades of cynical conservative politics. Which would of course make a rational person question the notion of timeless Biblical truths, but clearly that's not an option in our culture. Yet another reason I will never stop being an atheist. I am allowed to use both my brain and my memory.

Bush’s FEMA Director During Katrina Criticizes Obama For Responding To Sandy Too Quickly — Because, uh… Nope. I got nothing. Heck of a job, Brownie. (Via [info]madwriter.)

Romney Camp Going Off The Fact Checking Rails In Ohio — The thing is, it's a post-truth campaign. The GOP has stopped even pretending about lying. They just don't care any more, and neither do their voters.

Romney Campaign Training Poll Watchers To Mislead Voters In Wisconsin — Gee, the candidate who defined post-truth campaigning, the party that has raised voter exclusion to a political art form, deliberately misleading their own poll watchers in ways that coincidentally only favor themselves? Must be nice to make your own reality. Must be even nicer never to have to be accountable for your lies.

?otD: Got candy?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo)
Body movement: 0.5 hour stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 10.0 hours (eight hours solid overnight plus napping)
Weight: 224.6
Currently reading: Brothers in Arms by Lois McMaster Bujold


[child] In which The Child makes me proud; very, very proud

One of my editorial policies on this blog is not to talk about the troubles of others without their explicit permission. I spend enough time narrating my cancer, I don't need to drag the business of my friends and family in as well. But sometimes their troubles intersect mine. Those intersections can be occasionally brutal. Last Friday, for example, my father was in the ER at the same time I was in the infusion center for chemotherapy. That made for a deeply miserable morning across our entire family. As it happens, he is fine, and I am whatever I am on chemo, but no worse than expected to be sure. This past Friday morning, those things were not obvious.

[info]the_child carries a heavy load these days. In addition to the usual assortment of issues any teen aged girl weathers, she is working hard to come to terms with the meaning of the circumstances of her birth and her adoption. She is coping with the hideous stress of my illness, now over four and half years on, and the high likelihood of my early death. Like all of us, she has to manage her own, individual inner demons as well. And finally, she is significantly learning disabled, as I have mentioned a few times here before. This causes numerous issues in school, not the least of which is a fantastically elongated homework load given the length of time it takes her to process and comprehend written text.

Her grandmother, [info]tillyjane (a/k/a my mom), has been a hero of the revolution for spending up to five and six afternoons or evenings a week providing [info]the_child with mentoring and structured guidance on homework. This is a job I have done in the past, but simply cannot do this year, due to chemotherapy destroying both my cognitive capacity and my ability to stay awake. [info]the_child herself fusses like any teen, but underneath it all is quite diligent and dedicated in the face of great challenges.

Yesterday she brought home her first major grade report. Her high school runs on a lesson block schedule rather than a semester schedule. Every three to four weeks, they switch main lessons, and focus on that through the block. So this was her first significant high school academic evaluation, the equivalent of an end of semester grade in a key subject.

She got an A- for the lesson block in Civics. With a very positive write-up from her teacher.

I am proud of her. Very, very proud of her. A daunting amount of work and stress and effort has paid in ways that exceeded even my highest expectations.

Some things just need to be said: You go, kid.