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Jul 04 2011

Los Links 7/1

You know what, unless you lot prefer it a different day, I think I shall just officially move Los Links to Monday.  It’s just easier that way.  I’ll still be dating it for Friday, because that’s when I stop collecting.

Anyway.  Best news o’ the week was New York approving same-sex marriage.  FINALLY another state gets a clue.  I’m so sick of my friends being denied the curse blessing of marriage simply because they happen to love someone of the same gender.

In honor of that, I have some LGBT links.  Not all of them are happy, but all are worthwhile.

Maplewood Patch: A SOMA Kid’s View of Marriage Equality.  Okay.  You wanna feel good about the world?  You want a toasty-warm heart?  Here you go.  The kids are all right!  And anti-gay prejudice will not last forever. 

Butterflies and Wheels: “The corrupt political process in New York State.” In which bishops throw a fit over all those icky gays getting a basic civil right.

Diversity in Science Carnival: Pride Month 2011.  Queer nerds in science!  A smorgasbord. 

And this is not an LGBT post, but it’s about being other, and it’s bloody damned important, so I’m putting it right here near the top:

Slobber and Spittle: Who Are We, Really? This is in bold.  You should read it, and then forward it to people who think immigrants are icky, and people who aren’t sure, and – look, just make sure everyone reads it, m’kay?

Right, then.  On to the regular links!

Science

Smithsonian: The Giant Squid: Dragon of the Deep. Did you know that P.T. Barnum once ordered two of them?  This and many other intriguing facts await you!

Bad Astronomy: A dragon fight in the heart of Orion.  Pareidola at its finest.  I mean, really, insanely, intensely beautiful.  Also, for fans of big explosions: 100 years ago today: KABLAM!!!!!

Pawn of the Pumice Castle: Kata Tjuta – the forgotten sibling.  Oh, people.  And you thought you knew about all the awesome rocks in Australia!

Tooth & Claw: On Assignment in Heart City.  I loved this piece. It includes both journalists and scientists working in the field, and it’s charming and witty and wonderful, with just a hint of danger.

Science not Fiction: The AI Singularity is Dead; Long Live the Cybernetic Singularity.  Writers of science fiction that might include AI take note.  Also, people prone to wild claims about AI take note.

Oregon Live: Experts say an earthquake surely will devastate the Northwest.  We are so very, very fucked.

Smithsonian: The Beer Archaeologist.  It’s science.  It’s ancient beer reborn. I don’t have to tell anyone how cool this is, do I?  I say field trip!

Highly Allochthonous: Update: Christchurch aftershocks.   Chris takes a look at what’s happening to Christchurch and assesses the liklihood of a volcano going boom.  And don’t miss Flooding around the world (26 June edition), in which Anne takes us on a tour of world flooding this week.  Wear galoshes.

The Last Word on Nothing: What do you get when you put a terrorist inside of a brain scanner?  Walked away from this one feeling horrified at what my country is still doing.

Glacial Till: Video of pillow basalt formation.  If you haven’t seen this yet, you must you must you must!  And there’s Meteorite Monday: Aubrites, too!

NYT Sunday Review: It’s Science, but Not Necessarily Right.  Carl Zimmer’s provoking piece on why incorrect science so often stands uncorrected.  Methinks we need to develop a culture of replication.

Georneys: Dinosaur Bone Hunting with Nobel Laureates.  Dinosaur Bone Hunting.  With Nobel Laureates.  Serious awesome, people!

Slobber and Spittle: Sunday Photo(s). My intrepid companion’s guide to our river walk.

Seattle Times: Seattle Times special report: Twisted ethics of an expert witness.  Hoo-boy.  Wot a mess.  If you’re interested in forensic psychology, this will send a chill down your spine.

Uncovered Earth: Sunday Science Photos, June 19 – 25.  Happy sigh.  Go delight, my darlings.

Evolutionblog: Does it Spoil Anything to Know How the Tricks Are Done?  An absolutely outstanding and thorough spanking of an ignoramus who deserved it.  Speaking of ignoramuses, here’s an excellent post on Evolution and the Second Law for you to whack creationists with.

Liberty, Equality, and Geology: Cinder Cone Hike.  Drooled my way through this post.  Narrowly missed jumping in the car and going there immediately.

Through the Sandglass: Martian floods of tears – are the TSIs ESRs? Or is it just the total drag?  When exploring the geology of other worlds, it pays to keep in mind that it is, in fact, another world.

SciDev.Net: Ten top myth-busting tips.  You, too, can become a mythbuster!  Alas, not as many explosions as you see on teevee.

Eruptions: Debris flow on Mt. Rainier: Why volcanoes are dangerous even when not erupting.  Holy fucking shit, Batman, that was intense.  See the video.  Marvel at its power.  And keep in mind that locals aren’t so much worried Rainier will blow up as fall down.

Mark Lynas Geoengineering: why all the fuss?  We are “geoengineers every time we… switch on a light.”  That’s not why, but it’s still cool.

Quest: Is the Salton Sea really “15 Months Pregnant” with our next big quake?  Andrew does a masterful job tackling some really awful reporting.

Wired: Megafires May Change the Southwest Forever.  I wondered how long our great and glorious Ponderosa pines would last in all this global warming.  Looks like it may not be much longer.

Dinosaur Tracking: Terra Nova Previews “Slasher” Dinosaur.  Brian Switek, I bloody love you.  “Granted, the creators of the Slasher gave the dinosaur an embarrassing pate of wispy fuzz which makes the dinosaur look as if it needs to subscribe to the ‘Feather Club For Dinosaurs,’ but it’s not nearly enough. The Slasher is a naked dinosaur, and I can’t help but feel sorry for it.”

Writing

A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Estributors Redux.  In which we learn that agents handling your self publishing need
s may indeed be useful for you.  Also, I found Your Second Storefront, Attack of the Self-Publishing Memes! – A Guest Post by Barry Eisler and Interview with Catherine MacDonald from BookRooster.com to all be of great good use.

Bob Mayer’s Blog: If I were an unpublished author, would I self-publish?  Not completely sure I agree with some of this, but the advice to focus on getting some books written is sound.

Galley Cat: 7 eBook Price Points Defended.  Interesting how it’s publishers defending the highest prices, innit?  Coinkydink, I’m sure.

The Intern: on whoopie pies and elephant rides.  This has got to be one of the best extended metaphors I’ve ever read on getting what you think you wanted.

Almost Diamonds: Empathic Trauma. The high cost of high-empathy reporting.

The New Midlist: Self-published E-book Authors Who Earn a Living.  This should be of great comfort to those who realize that only a very lucky few become superstars.

Not Exactly Rocket Science:  Am I a science journalist?  In which Ed Yong empathizes with grolar bears, and admits he owns no pajamas.  Beautiful.  And I am putting it in bold because I really want you to read it.

SciDev.Net: How one man emerged from Tahrir Square with a passion for science journalism.  Genius.  Pure genius.  And oh, so true.  Read this, you science bloggers with a social conscience, and know that you can have your science writing and be revolutionary too.

Almost Diamonds: For the Squee.  SF podcast devoted to sheer awesomeness?  Oh, I am squeeing.

Atheism and Religion

Scientific American: Evolution Abroad: Creationism Evolves in Science Classrooms around the Globe.  Just so America doesn’t feel lonely, here’s a nice round-up of other countries infected by idiocy.

io9: Believing in the tooth fairy can warp your young mind.  Certainly warped my patience with loose teeth.  This will need more study to determine whether the cart’s in front of the horse, here, but it’s intriguing nonetheless.

Google News: Lebanon Sunni clergy reject domestic abuse law.  Ah, yes. Religion.  So humane and gentle.

Index on Censorship: Pakistan: Campaign against blasphemy abuse goes on.  Tell me again about the mercy and compassion of religion.  I dare you.

The Telegraph: East London Mosque breaks its promise on homophobic speakers after just eight days.  Tell me one more time about how religion is moral and good and treats people with love and respect.

LOLReligion: That should do the trick.  Advice from an atheist on how parents can prevent their children from becoming one of us.  Killer funny and wicked sharp.

Why Evolution is True: Evangelicals, evolution and atheism: the 2011 Pew Foundation survey.  Whoo-boy, this is a weird bunch.  And do they ever despise them some atheists…

Women’s Issues

Mother Jones: Kansas: The First Abortion-Free State?  There are no lengths anti-abortion zealots won’t go to in order to deny a woman’s right to choose.  This is only one of many despicable attempts to do an end-run around Roe vs. Wade.

CNN: Silence lifted: The untold stories of rape during the Holocaust.  Well past time that particular silence was broken.  We can’t pretend that war in a different era didn’t include violence against women.

The Guardian: Outcry in America as pregnant women who lose babies face murder charges.  Ah, yes, the Conservative War on Women continues apace.  This is why fetal homicide laws, despite sounding lovely, were a terrible idea.

Think Progress: As GOP Continues Its War On Women, Study Shows Female Life Expectancy Is Declining In 313 Counties.  Here’s how I’m picturing the GOP: “No, Ms. Bond, I expect you to die.”

BBC: South Africa’s lesbians fear ‘corrective rape.’ Because we all know rape is just what the ladies need to make ‘em lurv the men.  How can men be so fucking stupid?  Or is that just a pathetic excuse for mayhem?

Politics

Mike the Mad Biologist: It’s When the Pundits, Not Lobbyists, Divide Over Antibiotic Resistance, We’ll Be Screwed.  Thanks, Mike. Really needed this distopian vision of Cons jumping on the overuse of antibiotics doesn’t cause resistance bandwagon: “Then it becomes a matter of personal identity for their slavering Uruk-hai followers in much the same way creationism is.”  Argh.

Calamities of Nature: June 27, 2011 – The Indiana Pi Bill.   Ignorant pols have been trying to legislate reality out of existence for a long damned time.

The Wall of Separation: Faith-Based Frenzy: Kansas Governor Preaches Religion As Solution To Social Problems.  I’m feeling a tinge of precognition coming on.  I foresee… lawsuits.  Many lawsuits, in Kansas’s future…

Slate: Has Bachmann Met Her Waterloo?  Oh, Hitch. No one can take down a batshit crazy freak the way you can.

Society and Culture

Neil Gaiman: Why defend freedom of icky speech?  An extremely powerful piece (it’s Neil Fucking Gaiman, did you expect any less?) ennumerating the reasons why it’s not just the speech we like that we should protect.

CBLDF: CBLDF Forms Coalition to Defend American Comics Reader Facing Criminal Charges In Canada.  If we don’t defend freedom of speech and expression, you, too, could be arrested for the comics you carry.

Scientific American: Education Reform in the Wrong Direction: High-Stake Consequences for New York State Teachers and Their Students.  Remember when Steve spanked New York for their assessment asshattery?  This is what he was talking about.

3 Quarks Daily: Men of Straw.  Somebody grab a match.

The Telegraph: Area 51: the plane truth.  Not that conspiracy theorists will care, but here’s some of the dirty reality behind one of America’s most mythologized military sites.

Lance Mannion: Working until we drop: A fable for our times.  Grate. Now I’m depressed.  But it might just make these “raise the retirement age!” evangelists think for a fraction of a second.

The Guardian: The secret scandal of Britain’s caste system.  There are plenty of wonderful things about other cultures worth importing.  Caste systems and horrific prejudice are not among them.

Seth Godin’s Blog: The ethics of sunscreen.  Yes, ethics.  Also, an object lesson in the importance of regulations.  Send along to your libertarian friends and then ask them how well that whole free-market-self-regulation thing’s working out.

YouTube: Wits with Neil Gaiman, Adam Savage, and Gollum: “I Will Survive.” Please find a safe and comfortable place to sit and remove all items from mouth before viewing.  ETEV cannot be responsible for injuries to people or equipment resulting from watching this video.

io9: Transformers 3 is a movie about how wrong you were to hate Transformers 2.  I love a thoroughly scathing review, and this one is a thing of beauty.

En Tequila Es Verdad: When Lives Are On The Line: Part II.  Yeah, I’m linking my own blog.  That’s because if you missed my amazing coblogger’s post, you missed out on something wonderful and important.

1 comment

  1. 1
    Malcolm V L

    I'm amazed at the USA and the growth of this "atheist movement". I knew demographically there was more belief, but didn't realize it was of such a strong variety, so pervasively poisoning the well. In my neck of the woods, being atheist brings about a "yeah, so?" response. Looking at things like Atheist Experience and your blog stuns me sometimes. I get the impression that devout belief is polarizing the States. Yet I look around at home, where Sunday services have more parking stalls empty than filled, where classroom polls on the presence of religious belief have 3-5/30 young adults putting their hand up, and where YEC doesn't exist as more than a joke even among Xtians.

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