June 28th, 2013


[links] Link salad my friend, don't you start away uneasy

Audiobook review: METAtropolis, edited by John Scalzi — Cool.

Space Magic audiobook released! — David Levine brings a project to fruition.

What crashed through the roof at a South Park home?Police at the scene determined the piece of metal may have fallen from an "aircraft or a really big bird that had stolen a lead bar."

Counterfeit Food More Widespread Than Suspected

Details Of The Walking Dead Monopoly And Risk Games Rises From The Dead — Really? (Via my brother.)

Population boom might not have set off “human revolution”Human culture and departure from Africa may be unrelated to population levels.

First Person: Save a Language, Save a CultureGrassroots initiative seeks to revive threatened languages of Bangladesh.

Britain plans world's first go-ahead for '3-parent' IVF babiesBritain is planning to become the first country in the world to offer controversial "three-parent" fertility treatments to families who want to avoid passing on incurable diseases to their children. This is something that's really going to freak some people out. Which it really shouldn't.

Best SCOTUS tweets ever — (Via [info]threeoutside.)

The scenario I really want to see play out — Oh, this is a very clever take on same sex marriage.

George Takei: A defeat for DOMA — and the end of ‘ick’ — Yup. (Via [info]garyomaha.)

The Pope Song — Tim Minchin being extremely NSFW and very on target. (Thanks to Alyx Dellamonica.)

Senators: Student loan interest rates to double — Can't raise taxes on the wealthy, no, but let's punish the hell out of students, thus preventing future wealth.

Rick Perry Attacks Wendy Davis: ‘She Was A Teenage Mother Herself’ — Once again, conservatives seize the moral high ground.

WATCH: Rep. Tammy Duckworth Dresses Down IRS Contractor — (Via [info]lindadee.)

Ecuador Scraps Trade Pact Over U.S. Threats in Snowden CaseEcuador’s Communications Secretary Fernando Alvarado, who called the trade preferences a “new instrument of blackmail,” said today the government is offering the U.S. $23 million, an amount similar to what the U.S. provides under ATPDEA, to provide human rights training to combat torture, illegal executions and attacks on peoples’ privacy. Most Americans have no idea what we look like to the rest of the world. (Via [info]danjite.)

The Boring Massachusetts Senate Race and Why It Mattered — Political science versus narrative. Guess which party falls on which side of this divide.

QotD?: Can't you see it's only me?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (WRPA of various sorts)
Hours slept: 9.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (in hotel)
Weight: n/a (n hotel)
Number of FEMA troops on my block attempting to secure minority voting rights despite the recent Supreme Court ruling: 0

[photos] Your Friday moment of zen

Your Friday moment of zen.


Another view of Erden Zhuu, the ruined monastery at the site of Genghis Khan's lost capital of Kharkhorum. This from the main highway leaving the area, the ruts of which are visible in the foreground. Photo © 1992, 2013, 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.


[tech] Password, password, what have you heard?

As you might imagine, I've been doing an enormous amount of work lately on various Web sites. Banking, financial services, health insurance, disability insurance, Social Security, and so forth.

One thing which has surprised me considerably (though it's hardly news) is the number of Web sites dealing with healthcare and financial information that have weirdly simple password rules. Some have eight or twelve character limits. Many will not allow any non alphanumeric characters, so the user cannot include characters such as *, &, _, !, and so forth. Which in turns means the passwords are much more easily hacked. Some are not case sensitive.

It's a very weird mishmash of standards which will make any coder, or anyone with even a passing understanding of security, cringe.

I really don't get this.


[cancer|movies] Filming the Roadtrip to Mordor

From an announcement by Waterloo Productions:
Roadtrip to MordorAuthor Jay Lake has been given 3-6 months to live. Before he dies, he's going to take his daughter to New Zealand. We want to make a documentary of their trip.

This is an effort parallel to the Lakeside documentary, also from Waterloo Productions. Producer Donnie Reynolds wants to follow me, [info]the_child and Lisa Costello to New Zealand. We'll be touring both the South and North Islands in the company of the redoubtable team of [info]danjite and [info]khaybee. Donnie wants to fold this into the larger effort of documenting my life and death.

Note this fundraiser isn't to pay for our trip. I did that out of the overage of funds from the Acts of Whimsy fundraiser last spring. That's already down to all of you who supported and contributed with such incredible generosity. This effort is to get Donnie, his second cameraman and all his equipment from Texas to New Zealand and back. The whole project is off budget from Lakeside.

This is important to me because the trajectory of my illness means I'll never make it to Antarctica like I'd hope. New Zealand will by my last great adventure shared with my daughter and with Lisa. I hope you'll consider helping Donnie out, because we can tell more of my story, and [info]the_child's through this process.

I live every day in spectacle here in the decline of my life. Let us make of it a grand spectacle. If you so desire, you can help Donnie out here.