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Los Links 7/22

Okay, we’re a bit late. Look, a lot happened. Work was busy, so I got behind in my reading. Then Google+ went all assclown over ‘nyms, a right-wing Christian terrorist bombed Oslo and shot up kids, which distracted me from my linkage duties.  And, just to top it all off, my darling Aunty Flow showed up bright and early Sunday morning, bearing pain.

Rather lost both ability and motivation to write up the links, but here they are at last.  Let’s jump straight in.

Science

Neurotic Physiology: Friday Weird Science: They totally knew Lady Gaga was coming.  Sci doesn’t think you need to go so far as to use a huge expensive fMRI to determine the next hit song.

Updates from the Paleontology Lab: A paleontologist’s worst nightmare…realized.  An amateur catches a mistake professionals missed, and everybody’s happy. Yay, science!

EvoEcoLab: The Reality and Utility of Bear Paternity Tests.  This is the kind of nuance Cons tend to miss when they’re busy dissing science.

Pharyngula: A Skeptical Look at Aliens. Looking for ideas to make your aliens more alien? Peruse this post, and also consider this ape’s ass... 

We Are All In the Gutter: Lanhaina Noon. Freaky wicked cool!

Uncovered Earth: Sunday Science Photos, July 10 – 16. In which a terrible confession is made.

Terra Sigillata: iAroma synthetic marijuana and the loss of Max Dobner. This is tragic, and stands as a reminder: be careful about mind-altering substances, legal or not.

Degrees of Freedom: When Math(s) Turns Out To Be Useful. Yes, even the weird, abstract shit that seems like it’ll never, ever have an application in the real world can come in very useful indeed.

Georneys: Geology Word of the Week: H is for Halokinesis. Evelyn brings on the science and beats down the pseudoscience. Fun! Also, Red Rock Canyon in Pictures. Man, this took me back home. I could smell it. Lovely!

Hindered Setting: Salt and sediment: A brief history of ideas. Good reading after Evelyn’s whetted your appetite for salty stuff.

Bad Astronomy: Dawn of a new Vesta. Yes, read this post, despite the horribly punny title.  Also, Dear Playboy: Deepak Chopra is wrong.  I don’t even have to pitch this, do I? You’re gonna click.

Tuff Guy: A vulcanologist’s holiday snaps. These pretty much had me packing my bags for Santorini. Will haul rocks for food!

MSNBC: Stem cell clinics ripping off patients, bullying scientists. Despicable shits they are.

Glacial Till: Meteorite Monday: More thin section fun. These things make me love meteorites all the more!

New York Times: First-Place Sweep by American Girls at First Google Science Fair. This was fantastic to see. And these girls are scary smart.

Science-Based Medicine: Antidepressants and Effect Size.  “Once more, science fails to give us the black-and-white answers we crave. And once again we are reminded that we can’t rely on the media for accurate, nuanced information about medical science.” Which is why I’m glad we have people like Harriet Hall making some sense of it all.

The Chalkboard: UF calls for precautions against animal activists. The despicable fucktards are at it again. And anyone who thinks terrorizing scientists using animal models is all right is not all right with me, FYI.

Not Exactly Rocket Science: The power of nouns – tiny word change increases voter turnout. First flags, now nouns – democracy is beginning to worry me. Okay, continuing.

Evolutionblog: Multiverses. No, they’re not something scientists made up.

Cosmic Variance: The Laws Underlying The Physics of Everyday Life Are Completely UnderstoodSeriously, The Laws Underlying The Physics of Everyday Life Really Are Completely Understood.  Read both posts before you scream, “The fuck they are!”

The Primate Diaries: The Science of Sexism: Primate Behavior and the Culture of Sexual Coercion. This may redefine your thinking on sexism, patriarchy, and biology – there’s hope!

Science Daily: Diamonds Pinpoint Start of Colliding Continents. That’s just wicked cool, that is. It amazes me what we’re able to find out from tiny old bits of crystal.

GigaOM: Thousands of scientific papers uploaded to the Pirate Bay. Ha ha ha take THAT, journals!

Discover: The Army’s Bold Plan to Turn Soldiers Into Telepaths. Sounds crazy, but it’s serious science.

The White Coat Underground: Asthma, placebo, and how not to kill your patients. I love it when something pisses PalMD off. He writes like a fury and we all learn something that could save our lives.

Life Unbounded: O NASA! My NASA! This may possibly be the only thing you need to read about Atlantis and NASA. Well, for now, anyway.

Boing Boing: Science on Screen coming to 8 theaters across America. And Seattle is one. I love my
city!

Eruptions: Guest Post: Unusual volcanism in the central Andes. Fascinating! Want more!

The Science & Entertainment Exchange: Under the Microscope: Fringe. Okay. This is a show that is absolutely dedicated to getting science right, and I think I have to watch it now.

Scientific American: How Probiotics May Save Your Life. You’ll be a little surprised at what one of those probiotics is. Consider this an Ode to a Mouse.

Science Sushi: Mythbusting 101: Organic Farming > Conventional Agriculture. These are the kinds of conversations we’re going to have to have if we expect to feed billions more people.

Gilt Taste: The Most Important Fish in the Sea. We’re going to have to get serious about stamping out overfishing. This article demonstrates why.

The Scicurious Brain: Drinking Coffee to Stave Off Alzheimer’s. Show me the money. I picture Sci with a rapier, poking holes in bad science papers and cackling madly.

Writing

The Book Designer: 7 Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Book Design. Simple stuff, but it’ll make for a much more readable book. Pay attention, self-pubbers!

The Passive Voice: Are Big Publishers Colluding in Violation of Antitrust Laws? Ooo, controversy. Yum!

Global Comment: In praise of Joanne Rowling’s Hermione Granger series. A mind-bending review of a series that never was, but actually is, now that you think about it…

The Observatory: Whose Line Is It, Anyway? In this age of Google, social media, and instant communication, it’s probably not the best idea to copy other peoples’ work wholesale. Not that it stopped the idiot spanked herein.

The Intern: How Books Work: The Hunger Games (Part 1). Anatomy of a book, pretty colors. 

Women’s Issues

MSNBC: Afghan women rally, turning men red-faced with anger.  It’s good to see these women, who have been put through so much hell, find their voices and fight for equality.

Ann Daly: Beware the Silent Career-Killer: ‘Excessive Subjectivity’. “When a company fails to establish objective criteria for its managers to decide on pay raises and promotions, then personal, subjective, unexamined biases kick in. And if you’re operating in a male-dominated environment, you can bet that those cultural biases ain’t gonna benefit the women.”

Daily Kos: Rick Santorum is against abortion for any reason, with one exception. Can we say “Raving hypocrite,” boys and girls?

The Big Picture: World’s Most Dangerous Countries for Women. Prepare for depression.

Cocktail Party Physics: Is It Cold in Here? Sexism doesn’t have to be conscious or blatant for the climate to get awfully chilly toward women.

Blag Hag: Is free birth control coming soon? I want this for two reasons: one, free birth control which may wrestle my wayward hormones into submission. Two: fundie heads exploding.

Religion and Atheism

The Telegraph: Chief Rabbi: Equality laws leading to new Mayflower exodus. Well, Rabbi, if that’s how you feel… don’t let the door hit you in the arse on your way out.

David’s Slingshot: The Arrogance of Not Arguing. This: “I’m going to point out something that tends to get papered over: accommodationism isn’t just insulting to the Gnu Atheists; It is insulting to believers, on a profound level.”

Bay of Fundie: The Alpha Course. Ron Britton is back, baby! And he has a hysterically funny look at a course meant to make us all believe in god.

Maryam Namazie: Sharia Law is a code of despair; a code obsessed with women.  This is important. Go read it.

BBC: King’s Torah splits Israel’s religious and secular Jews. This, folks, is what happens when people actually believe what’s written in the Bible. It’s ugly, it makes otherwise decent people believe in the morality of murdering children, and has no place in civilized society.

Politics

Paul Krugman: Getting to Crazy. Commentators suddenly begin to realize the Cons are insane. Krugman sez, “Well duh-huh.”

OregonLive: Misreading history: GOP, with great faith, leads us toward a depression. We all knew that already, but this is brilliantly written.

Politics USA: Eric Cantor Runs from The American People with Real Time Facebook Censorship. Because we all know the poor widdle Cons are too delicate to hear contrary ideas – their heads might esplode.

Christian Science Monitor: US businesses don’t succeed in spite of government. They succeed because of it. Send this to all of your anti-government acquaintances and relatives, please.

The Root: Using the Death Penalty to Get Re-Elected. Why electing judges is a deadly thing to do.

Roger Ebert’s Journal: The Republicans exit history. I wish they’d hurry up and get the hell gone.

Society and Culture

Pharyngula: My position on communicating skepticism.  “Don’t forget: the truth is our pole star, science is the vessel we use to progress, and a passion to explore and learn is the engine of our purpose. If we lose sight of that in our concern to be gentle with those who impede us, we’ll
lose our way.”  YES.

In These Times: Let’s Rethink Masculinity. Personally, I think a true superman is one who’s brave enough to stay home with the baby.

Scientific American: The educational value of creative disobedience. Gorgeous musings on what real learning is, and what we should do to change our current educational environment.  Bolded so you do not miss it.

Grist: Koch brothers declare war on offshore wind. Well, of course they have. Wonder if they’d stop screeching if we added another windmill every time they did?

Felix Salmon: The real Rupert Murdoch exposed. This will not come as a surprise to those of us who knew he was a disgusting little prick, but it’s deeply satisfying.

Center for American Progress: Think Again: Rupert, We Hardly Knew Ye. “The Murdoch empire is based on lies, criminal behavior, a lack of respect for elementary human decency, and a single-minded pursuit of its own self-interest.” About sums it up, yes.

The Audit: The Murdoch Pushback: Attacking the Press. Pointing you toward this one for the paragraphs upon paragraphs of wrongdoings. Wow-e-wow.

Furious Purpose: A kind of funny and mostly overlooked detail in the Newscorp meltdown. Heh heh heh. Religion and scumbaggery, all in one neat package.

Transportation for America: Prosecuting the victim, absolving the perpetrators. Turning a tragedy into an outrage, all because cities can’t design transit properly.

The Mary Sue: The Ol’ Switcheroo: A Consideration of Gender-Bending in Geek Culture. Heh. Considering all the times I’ve dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow, I totally relate to this.

Reciprocal Space: Plague-arism. “As academics, it is our duty to have robust procedures for assessment (and to take companies like Custom Essay Services to task). But equally, students must have the integrity and the wit to realise that, in the long run, learning demands commitment, not cash.” Hells to the yes!

Emily L. Hauser – In My Head: Why I think Marcus Bachmann might be gay (and why I think it matters). Some extremely good points in here, and well worth your time. It could make us all better people.

Balloon Juice: Why Yes. It’s Still True. Megan McCardle Is Always Wrong. Always.