December 8th, 2012


[links] Link salad's instruction of its kinswoman is interrupted

Historically Authentic Sexism in Fantasy. Let’s Unpack That.

Study debunks ‘chemo brain’ — Any researcher who thinks chemo brain is a myth should try my drug regimen over the past four years. I realize full well that anecdote is not data, but this isn't just stress-induced fatigue, you morons.

Appeals court puts 1st Amendment over public healthAn appellate panel clears a man who pitched a drug for an unapproved use for it, saying he had a free-speech right to promote other uses. It's a blow to the FDA. This story isn't quite as cut-and-dried as the reporter makes it out to be, given the complex realities of off-schedule uses for FDA approved drugs. For example, a major drug which is also important in treating a rare illness may never go through the formal approvals for that use due to purely economic reasons. How else do the doctors and patients know, except for off-schedule discussions? I myself am taking or have taken several drugs for off-schedule purposes as part of my cancer regimen. (Via [info]danjite.)

Sea silk — From the department of textiles you've probably never heard of. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Yo-Yo Ma and a wombat meet on a bathroom floor. Seriously — (Via @deirdresm.)

Why I won’t be cheering for old Notre Dame — Athletic privilege much? If Penn State and Joe Paterno taught us anything, it's that big time college sports is a toxic mess of power and money that will go to any lengths to protect itself, punishing any victims whose testimony might threaten the image of coaches and players. At this point in my life, I'm damned proud of never having been a sports fan. And yes, to all you fans, I know: this is an isolated incident, just like all those other isolated incidents. Wave your flags and cheer for the big boys.

Supremes’ ruling on gay marriage important, not critical — W should hope. Given that the Right wing of the Supreme Court has shamefully demonstrated over and over again since Bush v. Gore that their loyalty is to narrow ideology rather than to Constitution or the national interest or even the plain old fashioned rule of law (exactly what conservatives like to denounce "activist judges" when they happen to disagree with the outcomes), the only real shield we have to pure, vile bigotry from the conservative-dominated Roberts court is the apparently dim but dawning awareness on the part of the Chief Justice that he really does have a legacy by which history will judge him that goes beyond the GOP's next election results.

Dick Armey, Jerry Falwell, and the for-profit crisis-lords of the GOPIt isn’t just the Conservative entertainment complex that is driving the GOP to ever more ridiculous and preposterous positions, the Conservative scam-PACs are demanding the same. They don’t want an agreement on extending the tax cuts or raising the debt ceiling because it really isn’t about policy at all. To get eyeballs glued to the screen, and to liberate cash from wallets, Fox News and the GOP PACs need a continuous state of political crisis. Yes, that justly famed principled consistency of modern conservatism, hard at work in in America's interests as always.

Rick Warren Admits What Poll Shows: Churches Have Responsibility For Anti-Gay Hate — Gee. Ya think? And you will know that they are Christians by their love. Got to keep generating those angry white men somehow. Christianist Bible-based hatred keeps the collection plate full and the rubes voting Republican. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Trouble in the Water: Acidifying Oceans Hinder Health of Northwest Shellfish — More of those liberal "facts" and "data" from the reality-based community that contradict cherished conservative beliefs, and therefore can be safely ignored. Unless it's your business that's losing money, of course, or your fish market that can't stock oysters. Reality doesn't care what Rush Limbaugh or the Heritage Foundation says. Look, Obamacare!!!

The Seductive Dream Of Standing Your Ground — Ta-Nehisi Coates on the impulse to violence. Not my life experience in the slightest, but still fascinating.

?otD: Have you seen the king?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bike ride
Weight: 216.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block dissolving traditional marriages and plastering OBAMA bumperstickers on SUVs: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks


[cancer|dreams] A reader questionnaire, of sorts

Last night I dreamt I was involved in the lengthy process of filming a BBC documentary (or possibly mockumentary) about searching for lost Norman treasure in an old English country village. Somehow this eventually transmogrified into me sitting in the driver's seat of a parked SUV with diplomatic plates in downtown Almaty, Kazakhstan talking to a friend from work (an actual person from Day Jobbery rather than one of those skeevy dream people, :: waves to Dan U. ::), explaining why the Bloggess was so much more popular a blogger than I. And, no, the discussion in-dream doesn't make sense now. Plus bacon and eggs. Lots of dreaming of bacon and eggs.

Sadly, no bacon and eggs this morning.

Also, it should be pointed out I've never been to Almaty. I have, however, been to Ulaan Baator, so my backbrain does have a readymade set for 'Central Asian cityscape' available.

I did wonder after I woke up if I should consider splitting my blog into personal/political/cultural/writing stuff (essentially what it was pre-cancer) on one fork, and purely cancer blogging on the other fork. It didn't take me long to realize that (a) this would be a lot of work I don't really want to do, especially given the relatively dubious benefits of performing that work; and (b) it would be somewhat dishonest in that I don't see myself as divided that way, and a lot of what I think about life and politics and writing and my personal stuff is heavily inflected by cancer, as well as vice viscera. So, yeah, we're not going there unless someone can present me with a truly compelling argument in favor. I mean, that's why I have tagging and [title brackets] right?

That, however, led me to wonder a bit more about readership here. I am curious as to a few questions, and I'm not going to put this in a poll specifically to enable both verbose and anonymous answers in comments.

So here's a reader questionnaire, and since turnabout's fair play as well, consider this an ask-me-anything thread with a non-mandatory focus on the topic of cancer and serious illness.

1) Do you read the cancer posts? Why or why not?

2) Are you a cancer patient or survivor?

3) Do you live with some other serious illness such that the cancer posts are helpful to you in that regard?

4) Are you a friend, family member, loved one or caregiver to someone who falls in the above categories?

5) What helps you most here?

6) What hurts you most here?

I know even some of my frequent fliers in comments are very private about their health, so please feel free to leave your responses and/or questions for me anonymously. This is contra my usual mild preference for signed comments, but very appropriate to the topic.