Los Links 8/5

Right. So. It’s been a busy week: travel, work, sorting travel photos, recovering from travel, and then wonderful friends from long ago coming for a visit. That means Los Links is a bit thinner on the ground than usual, and once again no capsule descriptions. I know I’ve missed a ton of excellent stuff. But there’s enough to keep you busy on a Monday, I think.


RealClimate: “Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedback”.

Darwin’s Mailbag: Guillaume’s Mailbag: Why do we make odd faces when we orgasm? Part 2.

New York Times: Useless Studies, Real Harm.

Eruptions: The non-eruption at Pisgah Crater: The dangers of untrained interpretation of real-time data and Spectacular eruptions at Italy’s Etna.

The Landslide Blog: Another new video of the South Korea landslides landslides and Images of landslides from the Christchurch earthquakes part 1: boulder damage to a house.

Reading the Washington Landscape: The Bottom and Shores of Lake Missoula.

Media Matters: Fox News Confused, Baffled By The Moon.

Greg Laden’s Blog: “We can know nothing about the origin of life”.

The Loom: The ocean microbe within us.

Bad Astronomy: No, new data does not “blow a gaping hole in global warming alarmism”.

Nature News: How to design a safer chemical.

Tetrapod Zoology: Dear Telegraph: no, I did not say that about the Loch Ness monster.

XKCD: Lanes.

Decrepit Old Fool: The weirdness of the familiar.

Georneys: Geology Word of the Week: I is for Inselberg.

MacLeans: In the company of whales.

Uncovered Earth: A Trek Into the Crater.

Bug Girl’s Blog: Operation Cat Drop.

GeoSelim: Aquifers Properties: Porosity (n).

History of Geology: Are we doomed? and Hydrochemistry on the Rocks.

The Lay Scientist: Facebook will destroy your children’s brains.

Not Exactly Rocket Science: Deader than dead: people in vegetative states are viewed as deader than corpses.

Scientific American: Chemistry Day at Scientific American Blog Network.


Poynter: 6 ways Twitter has made me a better writer.

Assignment: Impossible: From The Writer’s Desk: A Salon of the Mind.

The Passive Voice: How to Read a Book Contract – Agents and the Law and How to Hire an IP Lawyer.

Let’s Get Digital: Agents And Publishing: A Roadmap For WritersRoadmap.

Decrepit Old Fool: Indiana Jones, James Bond and Thirteen walk into a bar… (Movie review, Cowboys and Aliens). This isn’t in the wrong category – good advice for writers in here.

Atheism and Religion

Sam Harris: Dear Angry Lunatic: A Response to Chris Hedges.

Choice in Dying: The Wrong Conclusion.

Stupid Evil Bastard: Lawsuit over the World Trade Center cross causes outpouring of Christian love.

Why Evolution is True: More death threats from religious folks.

Ill-Advised: Lesson 21: Religion — Never Write About It.

CNN: Militants hang 8-year-old boy in southern AfghanistanMilitants.

Pharyngula: Atheism is an essential part of skepticism.

Women’s Issues

BBC: The subtle messages that put women off science.


Box Turtle Bulletin: Why it’s never smart for a politician to whine about how badly he’s treated.

NMA.tv: Tea Party gives Boehner a budget headache. This is hilarious.

New York Times: The Centrist Cop-Out.

Spiegel: Once Upon a Time in the West.

Society and Culture

Electronic Frontier Foundation: A Case for Pseudonyms.

Almost Diamonds: Talking About Leadership and Whose Health Is Important?

The Digital Cuttlefish: On Pseudonymity.

Lifehacker: Google+ Not Sure How To Handle Traditional Aboriginal Names.

Decrepit Old Fool: Complaining about free services.

Kitsap Sun: Suquamish Tribe approves same-sex marriage.

Good Food: Eating While Black: How I Navigate Watermelon, Fried Chicken, and Frozen Yogurt.

Los Links 7/29

I’m arse-kickingly busy, what with the research, preparing for trip, and taking trip, so no pithy sentences this week, I’m afraid. Titles will have to do. Didn’t want to deprive you of your premium linkage!

Norway Tragedy

IndieObserver.com: Before and After Terrorist IDed: Fox News Commenters Weigh In on Norway

Balloon Juice: Give me all your liberal policies or I will kill you

Think Progress: Pat Buchanan: Norwegian Right-Wing Terrorist ‘Breivik May Be Right’ and Norway Terrorist Anders Breivik Purchased High-Capacity Gun Clips From The United States

 CNN Belief Blog: My Take: Norway attacks show why you can’t #blamethemuslims

Opinionator: Homegrown Hurt

Google+ Fiasco

Bug Girl’s Blog: Why Google+ hates women

Thomas Monopoly: Dear Google

Pulp Tech: Google Plus Deleting Accounts En Masse: No Clear Answers

Techi: The Google+ honeymoon is over

Mike Cane’s xBlog: The Google+ Real Name Policy Is Wrong

Punctuated Equilibrium: Google’s gormless “no pseudonym” policy and Google+ and pseudonymity: An open letter to Google

Adventures in Science and Ethics: Pseudonymity and ethics (with a few more thoughts on Google+).

Liminal States: Why it Matters: Google+ and Diversity

Infotropism: Preliminary results of my survey of suspended Google+ accounts

TekFrenzy: Google Plan To Address The Issue Of Pseudonymity In Future

Caterina.net: Anonymity and Pseudonyms in Social Software


Bad Astronomy: Atlantis, one last time in the Sun and The fiery descent of Atlantis… seen from space!

NewsObserver: UNC research uncovers new DNA building blocks

Neuroskeptic: New Antidepressant – Old Tricks

Andy Ellington’s Blog: On idiocy

The Scientist: The Beginning of the End for Bananas?

The Primate Diaries: Stressing Motherhood: How Biology and Social Inequality Foster Maternal Infanticide

Assignment: Impossible: From The Writer’s Desk: New Questions, New Frontiers

Respectful Insolence: Consumer Reports and credulity towards alternative medicine

Science Not Fiction: Captain America Gets Enhancement Right

Glacial Till: Meteorite Monday: Basic chondrite classification

Boston.com: A whiff of history

Slate: L’Eau Pour Chien

Superbug: Is Polio Eradication Slipping Out of Reach?

Educated Erosion: Five Reasons Geology Rocks 

I Can Haz Cheezburger: Chemistry Cat: Science and Puns, Together at Last!

NASA Lunar Science Institute: Unique volcanic complex discovered on Moon’s far side

The Artful Amoeba: Lichens vs. the Almighty Prion

Life, Unbounded: When Worlds…Perturb

Not Exactly Rocket Science: Is the parasite Toxoplasma gondii linked to brain cancer? and Insert Tongue Here – flower arrows guide fly tongues

Speaking of Research: The Value of Animals in Pre-Clinical Trials

Mind Hacks: Diagnostic dilemma, innit bruv

Discover: A Body Fit for a Freaky-Big Brain

Medialand: “Majestically Scientific” Federal Study On BPA Has Stunning Findings: So Why Is The Media Ignoring It? (via )

CMBR: Holy schist! That’s a lot of Earth science

Boundary Vision: Science Education and Changing People’s Minds Part 2: Writing to convince

Media Matters: If You Wish To Make Up Facts From Scratch…

From the Lab Bench: Super-Hero Experiment #2: The Waggle Dance

Superbug: Attack of the Deadly Slime: Farm Effluent Ruins French Beaches

The Green Apple Core: Drunk on books 

Weather Underground: Heat Waves (4) A Climate Case Study

Reading the Washington Landscape: Antecedent Yakima River and Geology Prank at Amboy Crater – Repost


Anne R. Allen’s Blog: Indie, Big Six, or Small Press Publishing: Why Not Try All Three?

Red Room: Our Publishing Nightmare-An Author’s Lesson(s)

Adventures in Space: After The Call: Don’t Ignore Your Gut 

Publishing Perspectives: The Hybrid Writer: Balancing Traditional and Self-publishing

WordPress: How to Get More Traffic

Terrible Minds: Turning Writers Into Motherfucking Rock Stars

Religion and Atheism

***Dave Does the Blog: Bryan Fischer is a Dolt (Folks Who Hate My Hate are Haters Edition)

Choice in Dying: What is the Church for?

ABC News: Church says sorry over forced adoptions

The Irish Times: Why is Vatican so miffed at reaction to Cloyne report?

Rock Beyond Belief: My ‘Atheist / Flying Spaghetti Monster’ military dog tags

Women’s Issues

Lousy Canuck: The Problem with Privilege (or: cheap shots, epithets and baseless accusations for everyone!) and The Problem with Privilege: some correct assertions, with caveats

Minnesota Skeptics: Nice Cans?! FFS, Really?

Sociological Images: Reception of Rape Victims: Silsbee, TX Edition

Lifehacker: Basic Self-Defense Moves Anyone Can Do (and Everyone Should Know)

Comment is Free: Richard Dawkins, check the evidence on the ‘chilly climate’ for women

Butterflies and Wheels: Claiming to speak for 

The Hathor Legacy: On rejecting men and rape culture


Mother Jones: The Teen Suicide Epidemic in Michele Bachmann’s District

The Conscience of a Liberal: The Cult That Is Destroying America

The Atlantic: Washington Isn’t Broken, the Republican Party Is

UN Dispatch: House Votes to Eliminate Funding for UNFPA

Hullaballoo: Balance!

ThinkProgress: GOP Congressman: If We Take The Senate And White House In 2012, The EPA Will Be ‘Discontinued’

Natural Resources: Ten Least Wanted Provisions Of The Interior And Environment Appropriations Bill

Society and Culture

Hugo Schwyzer: “Because it feels good”: the starting point for talking to kids about sex

Inside Higher Ed: Who Is Punished for Plagiarism?

Furious Purpose: The dire real-life effects of homophobia

The Guardian: Russell Brand on Amy Winehouse: ‘We have lost a beautiful, talented woman’

WWdN: In Exile: if you cut me, i will bleed

Murphy’s Law: The true story of how I shot a cop and went to jail (and something about a dildo)

Guardian: Jailed in Singapore for writing a book they didn’t like

Danger Room: FBI ‘Islam 101′ Guide Depicted Muslims as 7th-Century Simpletons

Skepchick: Skepticism and Disability by Chris “Gonz Blinko” Hofstader

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.


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.


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.


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.

Los Links 7/15

Another week in which there’s just too much good stuff.  This is because the people I follow on Twitter rule the universe.  They’ve got great taste!

Elevatorgate continues apace.  Some of you are probably sick of hearing about it by now, but the first link explains why it matters.

Greta Christina’s Blog: Why We Have to Talk About This: Atheism, Sexism, and Blowing Up The Internet.  For all those weary of the subject, this is the one post you must read before walking away.

She Thought: Legitimate Anxiety.  The answer to all those idiots comparing anxiety caused by men to anxiety caused by black people.

The Biology Files: Who is the Elevator Man? For me, he’s someone I know.  A completely different take on the Elevator Man dust-up.

Focal Point: Attention, Space Cadets: Do Not Proposition Women in the Elevator. For those who aren’t quite getting that, a useful metaphor is contained herein. 

Lousy Canuck: The Problem with Privilege (or: missing the point, sometimes spectacularly).  See?  Men can get it. This man does. Men who aren’t getting it: bloody well go read this and see if maybe just a smidgeon of sense gets through.

That which deranges the senses: The elevator thing.  This post breaks things down into easily-understandable chunks, and includes simple advice on how to entice the ladies.

Daylight Atheism: Atheists, Don’t Be That Guy.  Really.  It’s that simple.

Pandagon: The “Nice Guy” defense.  Can we say fallacy, boys and girls?

Skepchick: Frequently Answered Questions.  Read over this list before babbling.

Right.  With that out of the way, on with the usual categories.


Eruptions: Erik’s Volcano Nightmare: Why can’t the media get science right? Righteous outrage and some very good points.

Nature Newsblog: What’s new about new synthetic organs? Someday soon, made-to-order organs might become the order of the day.

PodBlack Cat: The Great Vaccination Debate Infographic.  It’s stark, seeing the difference between non-vaccinated and vaccinated. People who think vaccines don’t save lives need to take a second look at the numbers.

Geologic Froth: That fault only looks Photoshopped. It really does!

The Guardian: Effective things can come from silly places.  I did not need to know about Ben Goldacre’s golden anal beam.

Mountain Beltway: Cascade Canyon.  Haaawwwttt….

Earthly Musings: Time.  This is a mind-bending way of looking at your birthday, perfect for geologists!

Superbug: The Clap Came Back: Multi-Drug Resistant Gonorrhea.  Any future one-night stands will be delayed by STD testing.  Yeesh.

Slate: A Bad Case of the Brain Fags.  Minds out of the gutter, people!  Go find out what brain fags actually are before you embarrass yourselves.

C&EN: Itching To Know More About Itch.  Reading this made me itch.  But it was worth it.

Mind Hacks: Naomi Wolf, porn and the misuse of dopamine.  A thorough spanking of some egregiously bad “journalism.”  And look! It made it on to CNN!

Scientopia: Chemistry For The Zombie Apocalypse.  You will need this in your anti-zombie arsenal.

I Speak of Dreams: Waldorf/Steiner Schools and Low Vaccine Uptake Rates.  If you need a really good horrified laugh at some incredibly ridiculous woo, read on.

Glacial Till:  A quick preview of one of my meteorite samples.  Okay, people, meteorites in thin section. You do not want to pass this up! Also,  Meteorite Monday: Hoba Meteorite.

Uncovered Earth: Take a Hike: Saddle Mountain.  Michael covers some things about the hike the guidebooks don’t, plus yummy pictures!

Design Observer Group: The Scale of Nature: Modeling the Mississippi River.  It’s amazing what it takes to bring a mighty river under control.

Google Blog: Hats off to the winners of the inaugural Google Science Fair. Girl power, people! It’s nice to see so many young women get recognized for genius science ideas.

The Guardian: Everyday inspiration shines through at the Google Science Fair.  A closer look at some of the people and projects.

Cross-Check: Are Antidepressants Just Placebos With Side Effects?  Considering I have a mother who’s bipolar, this isn’t an academic question, but a matter of life and death.

Culturing Science: The conservation school of hard-knocks, or how I chose hope over futility.  A great post on avoiding despair while trying to save the world a bit at a time.

Wired: How Digital Detectives Deciphered Stuxnet, the Most Menacing Malware in History.  Confession: I love this stuff. It’s got nerdalicious bits and it’s got forensics, all in one engrossing read. WIN!

Scienceline: Parasitized throughout the ages.  We’ve had icky things hitching rides for a long time. Ewww.

Context and Variation: To save your marriage, hold the mayo… but only if you’re a lady.  Bullshit science spanked thoroughly.

BoingBoing: The Singularity is Far: A Neuroscientist’s View.  So when Ray Kurzweil starts in about it again, feel free to stuff your fingers in your ears and hum porno tunes very loudly until he gives up and goes away.

Not Exactly Rocket Science: Hacking the genome with a MAGE and a CAGE.  This.  Is.  Awesome.

Wired: More Than Charismatic: The Ecology of Big Animals.  Neat, startling photos of ecosystems with and without the big guys.

Scientific American: Why Is Quantum Gravity So Hard? And Why Did Stalin Execute the Man Who Pioneered the Subject?  I wonder how much further physics would have advanced if Stalin wasn’t such a murderous asswad?

The Scicurious Brain: Ketamine and Major Depressive Disorder: Is it Better with Special K?  Some intriguing results.

ScienceNOW: Anti-HIV Pills Powerfully Protect Uninfected Heterosexuals.  This is excellent news for couples with an infected partner.

On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess: How to Sell Your Fellow Students for $100.  The rabid animal rights freaks are at it again, willing to pay students to spy on other students.  Disgusting fucktards.

Science Sushi: What’s in a name?  In which Christie Wilcox discusses sushi and sustainability, deliciousness, and unintended consequences.

Scientific American: Nature’s Nuclear Reactors: The 2-Billion-Year-Old Natural Fission Reactors in Gabon, Western Africa.  Our own Evelyn Mervine talking about nature’s expertise in running nuclear reactors. Pure awesome!

Assignment: Impossible: Visions: No Worlds Left To Conquer.  Alien fans. Gotta love ’em.

Paleoseismicity: The Wednesday Centerfault (7).  And a very sexy centerfault ’tis.


Neuron Culture: Jo Marchant: How to Write (Long) About Science.  “A writer is a reader who mutated.” Tons of excellent advice for all genres in here.

Roger Ebert’s Journal: Gatsby without greatness.  This makes me die inside.

Nieman Storyboard: “Why’s this so good?” No. 2: McPhee takes on the Mississippi.  This post won’t help you write like John McPhee, but it will help you write like the best possible you.

David Gaughran: Batting for a Broken System.  Ah, yes, the old “If publishers screw themselves out of the market, we’ll all be sorry” trope. Riiiight.

Dean Wesley Smith: Chapter 8: Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing: New York Works as a Quality Filter.  HA HA HA HA HA HA H- Oh, wait, they were serious.

The Innocent Flower: What They Don’t Tell You About a Launch.  Hint #1: it ain’t that glamorous.

Social Media Examiner: 9 Ways to Use Social Media to Launch a Book.  There are a few good tips in here, if you can get through the blatant self-promotion.

Pimp My Novel: Guest Post: Four Elements of a Great Book Signing.   Should you ever get so lucky as to a) have a book signing and b) have people show up, here’s some ways to keep it from merely being a lump of an author scribbling on title pages.

David Gaughran: The Anatomy of A Book Cover.  For those of us intimidated by DIY, this is a good post breaking down the evolution of a cover design.

Bob Mayer’s Blog: Thrillerfest Wrap Up- Thoughts on Traditional Publishing, Agents and Self-Publishing.  Very valuable thoughts, especially for those weighing their tradition-vs.-self-pub options.

GalleyCat: Google+ Hangouts for Writing Groups. Forget all that time wasted driving to some dingy, smelly little meeting from for a writer’s group meetup – go virtual!

Modern Author Showcase: Daily Kick–The Value of Rewrites.  So eat it, all you first-draft-only advocates! (via The Passive Voice)

Women’s Issues

Tales of a Mad Scientist: Why Are People Touching Me?  A corollary to Don’t Hit On Women In Elevators: Don’t Grab People With Tattoos.  Why the fuck are people so bloody dense?

Ophelia’s Web: Harry Potter is the Boy Who Lived. Hermione Granger is the Girl Who Studied And Saved Everyone.  Hell to the yes! Fuck Harry – Hermione’s the hero!

MacLeans: Girls should not be segregated on public school property.  I’m so glad we have a First Amendment that keeps most of this religious bullshit out of schools.

The Independent: Israel: Religious paper bans women from event.  I wonder if the religious fucktard men who fall for this shit realize how weak and frightened, not to mention ridiculous and hateful, it makes them look?

Religion and Atheism

AlterNet: 5 Faulty Arguments Religious People Use Against Atheists (Debunked).  Greta Christina makes fools suffer. 

What Would JT Do? Securing the chains of history.  All I’m going to say is this: read it.  All of it.  From the spanking of homophobic fuckwads right down to the Christian revisionist history, read it all.

Cosmic Variance: Free Will Is as Real as Baseball.  So far, this is the only post on free will that hasn’t left me stone-cold bored.

Society and Culture

Culture Lab: Saving the planet: not just for pansies.  Macho manly-men (and hard-as-nails women) can save it, too!  Enlightened self-interest saves the day.

New York Times: Bomb Took 3 Limbs, but Not Photographer’s Can-Do Spirit.  This man is the definition of hardcore.  I’ll be thinking of him every time I’m tempted to snivel about my various petty problems.

Decrepit Old Fool: In which Tim Wildmon, American Family Association president, helps me buy a lawnmower.  It’s like he’s that friend whose judgement works great as long as you do the opposite of everything he says!

Fabulous Lorraine: You Can Rest Easy Now. We Found Your Cat. I hope the people who abandon cats out in the middle of nowhere understand that this is not the right thing to do.

New York Times: The Good Short Life.  This extraordinary man is living his final days perfectly, and demonstrates why assisted dying isn’t scary or depressing.

Scientific American: Taking Charge of Your Life and Your Death.  A friend’s view.

NeuroTribes: An Eye-Opening Adventure in Socialized Medicine.  It’s horrible, I tell you.  Swift service, not getting shaken down for cash, having the means of healing in hand at an affordable price without having to drive across town.  The horror! The horror!

The Compound Eye: Thrifty Thursday: What’s the difference between a $200 and a $2000 camera?  I feel even fonder of my camera now!

Buffalo News: Soldiers’ stories.  Brian Romans has a relative in this, but that’s not the only reason it rocks – this is art giving us a window into other minds.

Slate: How Facebook Saved My Son’s Life.  See? Social networks do lots more than just suck up all your time.


Not Exactly Rocket Science: Seeing an American flag can shift voters towards Republicanism.  We were already plastered in flags before this study. We’re going to be suffocated by them now.

Good Culture: Half of Americans Getting Government Aid Swear They’ve Never Used Government Programs.  Even when their lips are firmly attached to the teat.

Questionable Authority: Michelle Bachmann wants to fire my wife.  Because, y’know, weak widdle wimmins and teh icky gayz don’t belong in the military.

Archy: Where I stand on the family.  Looks like someone isn’t gonna get elected by the frothing fundies!  Hilarious and occasionally anger-inducing read. 

Balloon Juice: Of Course They’re Crazy.  Amazing how many people are just now awakening to the fact that the Republican party is full of batshit crazy freaks.

Bad Astronomy: Congress threatens America’s future in space.  One gets the distinct feeling most of Congress wants America to become a third-world country.Astronomy

Los Links 7/8

As far as clever intros this time, all I can say is “Meh.”  Sure, we had the Scandal o’ the Week, but I’ve already expounded on that here.   The other big event that I paid attention to was, of course, the Fourth of July, and that was only because I wanted to go out and watch things esplode.

But PalMD had a little something for us:

White Coat Underground: In Congress, July 4th, 1776.  Says all that needs to be said.

Right, then.  We shall carry on:


Richard Wiseman: Paranormality launches in the USA….and the Friday Puzzle! Okay, so here’s a book I’m pretty chuffed about.  Might even have to bump one of the twelve billion other books lined up waiting…

Tuff Guy: Reconstructing a catastrophe: The Minoan eruption of Santorini.  You see how this is in bold?  It’s because it’s the best damned thing I’ve read on Santorini’s geology.  So go read it, and then let me know when you’re free for a trip out there.

Eruptions: Dissecting the Nabro lava flow from space.  Oh, yeah.  Volcanoes from space.  You know you wanna.

Skulls in the Stars: My day as a shark biologist!  Awww, cute sharks and science! 

The Undercover Economist: No, statistics are not silly, but their users . . .  This is funny, and you really should go read it.

Geotripper: A Convergence of Wonders: Journeys in the Pacific Northwest, Day One.  Garry’s blog is always a delight, but especially so when he stomps through my stomping grounds.

Uncovered Earth: Sunday Science Photos, June 27–July 1.  Delicious as always!

Highly Allochthonous: Flooding around the world (3 July edition).  So much for the control of nature.

New York Times: Practicing Medicine Can Be Grimm Work.  How a book of fairy tales contains lessons for young doctors.  Literature matters!

New York Post: One small step.  Okay, yes, it’s the New York Post, but Phil Plait wrote it, and it’s got sensible things to say about where our space program should go next.

PopSci: Are We Ignoring the Small but Brilliant Innovations That Could Bridge the Energy Gap?  Yes, but we shouldn’t.  Those small innovations can have a huge impact.

Mountain Beltway: Varves from Yellowstone Lake.  So nice of the caldera to display them so well!

Wired Science: Young Darwin’s Marginalia Shows Evolution of His Theory.  If you’re a history of science buff, you’ll need a bucket handy to catch the drool.

Observations of a Nerd: Aloha, Science Blogs.  In which Christie Wilcox leaves with a language lesson.  Aloha says a lot more than goodbye.

Not Exactly Rocket Science: Updated: The disease trackers – full text now available.  Seriously awesome stuff, people, and I hope you all read it.  Also, see Beauty is in the brain of the beholder.

New Scientist: Specs that see right through you.  You know how you always wanted x-ray glasses as a kid?  These aren’t them, but cooler.

Scientific American: Scientists Discover That Antimicrobial Wipes and Soaps May Be Making You (and Society) Sick.  After I stopped going ewww, I checked my soaps.  Nary an antimicrobial brand in the lot.  So hopefully that means mutated bacteria won’t be climbing out of the sink and killing me in my sleep tonight….

Superbug: How Much Is a Drug-Resistance Death Worth? Less Than $600.  One wonders how many people have to die hideous deaths before we start taking this seriously.

History of Geology: Thougths on a Pebble.  This is a very nice new beginning for David Bressan.  I love the stories he weaves in with science.

The Loom: Last year: Arsenic life. This year: Chlorine life?  Only this time, it may be for realz!

Maniraptora: Tastes Like Chicken: American crows: the ultimate angry birds?  I thought of @UncoveredEarth when I read this one.

Science Daily: New Force Driving Earth’s Tectonic Plates.  Mantle plumes might do more than just create islands like Hawaii.  Fascinating.

About.com Geology: Who Put the Salt in Basalt?  How a typo became the official name for GDB.

Looking for Detachment: Update from the Lake: Early Blooms.  There.  Now you can’t say Silver Fox never gave you flowers, either.

NPR: Thinking Thoughts No One Has Thunk.  A beautiful post on science, breakthroughs, and seeing the world from odd angles.

Degrees of Freedom: Under a Blood Red Sky.  Well, actually, it would be more orange, but still: the universe we don’t see with our eyes, beautifully explained.

PKids: Virus Slams Unvaccinated.  There’s nothing childish about the resurgence of measles.

Quest: Geological Outings Around the Bay: The Great Slickenside of Corona Heights.  Oh.  Drool.

Cosmic Variance: Why We Need the James Webb Space Telescope.  The fact we even need to have this discussion depresses me.  America seems content to let its laurels get all raggedy and old, shoot science in the face, and pretend its being sensible when in reality it’s being so stupid it makes IDiots look smart.

Lounge of the Universe Cafe: Perception of Science: in popular culture vs. actual science.  After that, we need a good giggle.  This is perfect.

Pop Sci: Stem-Cell Therapy Works Wonders for Race Horses; Are Human Treatments Next?  I sincerely hope so.  My wrists will need it one day.

The Mail: Beauty in every grain: For the first time remarkable photographs reveal hidden charms of ordinary SAND.  Gorgeous, wonderful stuff.  And finally, a practical use for acupuncture needles!  Sand will never look the same again.  But then again, we had Michael Welland for that.


For Bloggers, By Bloggers: Good Thief-Bad Thief: What I Learned When Someone Stole My Blog.  Something all of us bloggers can benefit from here, complete with tools to help you track down bad thieves.

Smashwords: Agents Entering E-Publishing Services Arena.  Some sensible advice that will help you decide if you want to DIY or allow an agent to handle the bidness for you.

Courtney Milan: Stages of Production.  There’s more to editing than you think.  This one might make you break out in an uncomfortable sweat, but you still need to read it.  Also, Unpacking assumptions about percentages.

Blood Writes: Interior Book Design for the Dirt Poor and Graphically Challenged.  Loving this series.  If you can’t afford people, this will still help your self-published book look professional.

Books & Such: How an Agent Can Kill Your Career: Involuntary Manslaughter, Part 1 and Part 2.  Useful things to watch out for so you don’t get derailed (via The Passive Voice).

Everywhereist: Happy Birthday, Everywhereist.com.  This author’s happy birthday message to her blog celebrates everything wonderful about blogging.  Glorious!

The Business Rusch: Slush Pile Truths.  In which a thorough spanking is delivered to those who whine about how without gatekeepers, we’ll be overrun by icky barbarian amateur writers.

Co. Design: BERG Designs Comic Where Subtexts Shine Under UV Light.  This was a wonderfully clever idea.  Plus, Warren Fucking Ellis. WIN!

Decoding the Heavens: How to write about science.  Storytelling is key, people.  Even if you don’t bother to read the post, take that lesson to heart.  Now go see how it’s done.

Glittering Scrivener: American Gods, All Sorts, Plus Me, Comparing Revising to Inept Teenage Sex. Yep.  In which I am called a writer by a published author, and which contains some damned good analogies.

Women’s Issues

The Guardian: Italian firm’s women-only job cull inflames gender controversy.  Patriarchy in action, ladies and gentlemen.  Cuz, y’know, teh wimminz should be at home makin teh noms anyway.

Huffington Post: How to Talk to Little Girls.  This article is good enough to link to even though it’s on that wretched hive of scum and quackery. 

Center for American Progress: Abortion Is Slowly Becoming Legal in Name Only.  We’re going to need a new Roe vs. Wade, methinks – or forced pregnancy will become the American way.

The White Coat Underground: Wednesday wackiness.  Add PalMD to the list of men who Get It.

Decrepit Old Fool: Cleaning it off is a lifetime’s work.  And our own George W., but we knew that already.

This View of Life: My Privileged World.  This is exactly how it is.

The Gleaming Retort: The Inhuman Response to Rebecca Watson.  We learn that staring at strangers is not the Done Thing. Why’s it so hard to absorb the Elevator Man Lesson?

The Daily Beast: Why the DSK Maid Lied.  Our blame-the-victim culture strikes again.

Religion and Atheism

Washington Post: Atheists fed up? Believe it!  Why yes, yes, we are.  While you’re at it, read Why do Americans still dislike atheists? Both of these articles were awesome.

The Globe and Mail: Imam decries Islamophobia while Pride battles homophobia. I know, right?

CNN: Why U.S. is not a Christian nation.  Okay, No. 1: 100% true.  No. 2: I love that a major news organization ran this rather than chickening out.

New Humanist: No doubt.  Towards a better definition of atheist.

Against Religious Freedom: A Debate:  Against Religious Freedom.  This brings together some things I’ve been thinking for years – it shouldn’t be just religious folk who get special freedoms.  And before you freak out, no, it’s not an argument against religious freedom, but an argument for more sensible protections for the religious and secular alike.

Choice in Dying: The Truth About Islam.   No, we’re not Islamophobes if we subject Islam to the same scrutiny and criticism we subject any other religion to.  Deal.

What Would JT Do? Love the sinners to death…  In which JT opens several cans of deserved whoopass on the idiot who thinks being bullied to death is good for LGBTQ folk.


The Plum Line: MSNBC’s suspension of Mark Halperin is way over the top.  Especially considering he was suspended for tone, not content.  Crimes against the public discourse are okay, but not crimes against tone trolls, apparently.

Driftglass: Voting Them Off The Island.  This, my darlings, is the perfect solution to our current woes.  I fully endorse it.

Chicago Tribune: U.S. could drop screening for deadly strain of E. coli.  Because our politicians are raging fucktards and don’t care if you die.

Society and Culture

Mother Jones: The Spam Factory’s Dirty Secret.  You know what, I don’t eat Spam anyway, but I’m seriously never going to touch it the entire rest of my life after reading this.  It’s like the modern version of Sinclair’s The Jungle.  Horrible.

The Guardian: Lee Hall: ‘I will fight this.’  In which we learn that homophobia is alive and well.

The Gleaming Retort: Swimming Pool Safety: On Very Public Drownings.  Don’t rely on lifeguards to save you and yours.  Also, if the water is too cloudy to see the body at the bottom, you might want to find another pool.

Mother Jones: What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Jobs.  Some of the truths revealed herein will make your heart break, if you’ve got one.

Slate: The World’s Greatest Light Bulb.  Okay, when this comes on the market, I’m totally buying it.  Save the planet in style, baby, yeah!

AlterNet: Religious right leader weeps because gay community gains equality.  Wow, that same-sex marriage is teh powerful evul.  It destroys straight marriages and makes frothing fundies blubber like babies just by existing!

The Uncredible Hallq: Philosophy is dysfunctional.  I knew it!

Ad Week: Will The Guardian bring down Rupert Murdoch?  And wouldn’t it be lovely if it did?  Go, Guardian!

AlterNet: 14 Propaganda Techniques Fox ‘News’ Uses to Brainwash Americans.  Forewarned is forearmed.  Also, you could just not watch Faux News.  Side benefit: your IQ will go up by at least 30 points in the first week of freedom from Faux.


Unapologetically Neurotic: Among the Things You Just Do Not Say.  A handy guide for those trying to speak to the grieving.

Open Topography: Remembering Kurt Frankel.  People, please, please be more careful of folks on bicycles.  A careless driver cost us a young geology star.  It didn’t have to happen.

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!


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.”


A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Estributors Redux.  In which we learn that agents handling your self publishing needs 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?


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.

Los Links 6/24

Late again, I’m afraid.  Story of my life.  But you didn’t think I was going to deprive you of your delicious linkage, did you?

Either I wasn’t paying attention, or I was distracted, but I didn’t notice any enormous controversies this past week.  Oh, there were dust-ups and flare-ups and there’s always something stupid trending in the political world, but whatev.  For once, let’s put some fun, uplifting and really neat science front and center.  Scientific American’s Expeditions blog has been running a series on Montana State University’s China Paleontology Expedition, in which students from a variety of Montana colleges and universities get the chance to study dinosaur eggs in China.  Reading the series has been an exercise in delight and discovery.

New Expedition–MSU Student Research with Dinosaur Eggs in China.  In which we are introduced to the program and learn why dinosaur eggs in China are a Very Big Deal.

MSU China Paleontology Expedition–New season starts with division of egg duties, petrified trees, soybean Popsicles.  A student’s-eye view of immersion in Chinese sights, sounds, and food, with a sprinkle of science on top.  And holy shit, the petrified tree…

MSU China Paleontology Expedition–Beautiful window serves as escape hatch for baby dinosaur.  We’re on to the eggs!  It’s amazing how delicate structures can fossilize, and give us a glimpse of what the beginning of life was like for those long-vanished bebbes.

Fossil hunting in China very different than in Montana.  Methinks they should’ve practiced in the Pacific Northwest.  We could tell them a bit about sorting the geology and paleontology from the biology!

Incredible Find in Temple Museum, Harrowing Rescue on Crumbly Mudstone.  Geos and geoadventurers in the audience will grin at this.  We know a little something about crumbly mudstone, don’t we just?

Rock Mapping a Challenge for Biology Student.  Heh, I sympathize.  But this kind of thing is outstanding – more folks should get their feet wet in unfamiliar fields.  Cross-disciplinary fertilization FTW!

Go to Landfill, Find a Dinosaur Footprint!  Ah, the glamorous life of a paleontologist!  Doesn’t sound like anybody decided to switch majors afterward.  Strong bunch!

We Visit Fishy Relatives, Geology Wonderland.  When you see how China treats important geological formations, you will resolve to go there forthwith.  I have only one question: when are we going?

Right.  Refreshed?  Excited?  Then let’s get on with los links!


Almost Diamonds: With Friends Like These. When people jump in to defend a sexist, racist moron, our Stephanie Szvan is there to take ’em down.

The Loom: Sex with someone from the future can be hazardous to your health. Anyone planning to write time travel, take especial note.

Looking for Detachment: Recent Hike: Water in the Desert.  This former desert rat thoroughly loved this post. Loved loved loved.  And while you’re there, visit Cathedral Gorge II: The Hike.  Get up close and personal with some truly astonishing geology.

Highly Allochthonous: The slowly building threat of Cascadia – and the slow realisation it was there (book review).  Sigh. Another book to read, a little more mortal terror.  Also, read Seismo-volcanism in Eritrea.  This rifting stuff is teh awesome!

Georneys: Geology Word of the Week: C is for Coquina.  A shelly stone that can stop a cannonball – how cool is that?  And absolutely do not miss D is for Delta either.

Scientific American: The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Natural Selection and Evolution, with a Key to Many Complicating Factors.  For all those who wonder about the evolutionary science of same-sex attraction.

Not Exactly Rocket Science: Herding HIV into an evolutionary dead end – study finds the virus’s weak spots.  Send this link to every person who claims evolution has no useful applications.

Meteorite Monday: Impact craters and surprises.  It’s got plate tectonics, meteors, and unexpected twists.  So why aren’t you over there reading it already?  Also see The Quotable Geologist: Sir David Brewster.

Scientific American: Brain Scans Predict Pop Hits.  Now that we can predict them, can we fix the areas of the brain responsible for them?

Darryl Cunningham Investigates: Evolution. A fantastic comic strip about evolution suitable for sending to any ignoramus.

Bad Astronomy: Betelgeuse’s sandy gift.  This post expresses exactly why science is so sublime.  Carl Sagan couldn’t have done better!  It’s every reason why I find science intensely inspiring, and that’s why I’m putting it in bold.  But don’t get so distracted that you miss As arctic ice shrinks, so does a denier claim.  And a special one for Who fans: An observatory that’s bigger on the inside.  WANT!

Maniraptora: Tastes Like Chicken: Cold-blooded cannibals: extreme adaptations to island life.  The Darwininian struggle for existence gets really intense when there’s limited land…

ScienceNews: Death of a Continent, Birth of an Ocean.  One of the best posts on African geology I’ve ever read (aside from Georneys). How awesome is it to see plate tectonics in action, ripping a continent asunder?

Clastic Detritus: Pyroclastic Flow Caught In the Act.  ZOMG drool. A must-see for any pyroclastic flow afficinados in the audience.

Neatorama: Six Seriously Strange Animal Adaptations.  I love how wacky evolution can be.

Mountain Beltway: The Rockfish Conglomerate.  Glaciation or metamorphism?  Callan Bentley investigates.

Eruptions: Why volcanism isn’t the source of increasing carbon dioxide emissions.  In which we learn how dirty humans are compared to volcanoes.

The Scholarly Kitchen: A New Study Asks a Troubling Question: Are We Losing Our Minds?  This is a great case study in how to interpret a study.

Quest: Geological Outings Around the Bay: Stinson Beach.  Yet another place in the Bay Area that is a must-see for geology buffs.

Blag Hag: Picking on myself. As usual, Jen’s absolutely correct.  And brave as can be.

Pharyngula: Dear Emma B.  PZ writes a beautiful letter to a little girl about questions, science, and thinking for yourself.  Which caused the creationist fucktards who filled her head with bullshit to lie, run and scream.


Nieman Storyboard: Slow violence and environmental storytelling.  In this era of flash and bang, how do we tell those stories that (like global warming) take decades to unfold? Here’s how.

This View of Life: Narrating Science and Fear.  For this sentence: “We can use the heroic narrative to communicate that the sciences do fit in with the traditional idea of a good and worthy pursuit, and not just as the villains or warning character.” Brilliant.

A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Notice to Appear.  The pros and cons of going on tour to pimp your novel, lovingly dissected by an expert.

La Vie en Prose: Down and Dirty Ethics of Digital Publishing.  If your agent also wants to be your publisher, this is what you should know.

Embargo Watch: Wait, Guardian bloggers shouldn’t get access to Nature’s embargoed materials? A guest post by Martin Robbins.  Isn’t it about time that journals et al started realizing bloggers ARE journalists?

Women’s Issues

A Division by Zer0: Feminists don’t think all men are rapists. Rapists do. Men, this should get the old neurons sparking. Think about it.

National Post: Counterpoint: Dressing modestly doesn’t stop sexual violence.  So can we please stop pretending it does?

Religion and Atheism

WWJTD: Thanks Christians! Don’t you just love the law of unintended consequences?

Stupid Evil Bastard: Statue of Hindu God included in public art project and Christians freak the fuck out.  I shouldn’t love it so much when stuff like this happens, but I do. The self-unawareness is just delish.

Evolving Thoughts: Atheists aren’t entirely human, part whatever. Subtle but vicious dehumanization of atheists continues apace. 

Huffington Post: The Atheist in the Closet.  You know that if I’m linking to that wretched hive of scum and quackery (h/t Orac), it’s a damned good post.

Alternet: Sex, Love, Revenge … and Atheism? Finally, a Big New Film That Shows Non-Belief in a Positive Light.  And it seems it’s even good storytelling. Woot!

Starts With a Bang: Weekend Diversion: And now, they’re coming for me. Yeah, me. Because I write for you.  If this noxious bit of legislation passes, they’ll be coming for us all

Daily Kos: The conservative war on facts.  Nothing more needs be said. Just read.

Think Progress: Mitt Romney: Federal Disaster Relief For Tornado And Flood Victims Is ‘Immoral,’ ‘Makes No Sense At All’ and As Crops Are Killed, House Forbids USDA From Preparing For Climate Disasters.  These two posts don’t say all that needs to be said about the current Republican party, but close enough.

Boing Boing: Georgia’s anti-immigrant law leaves millions in crops rotting in the fields.  What was that about “taking American jobs” again?

Balloon Juice: Not Fade Away.  The take-away lesson from Sarah Palin’s aborted bus tour.

Rolling Stone: Michele Bachmann’s Holy War.  Okay.  Terrified and depressed now. I can haz new country?

Society and Culture

Hudson Valley Geologist: Assess this! In which tests are dealt a devasting blow, and what’s truly important in education is put front-and-center.

CNN: Recycling hotel soap to save lives. This is one of the most genius things I’ve ever seen. Waste not, want not, and save the world!

The Guardian: The shot that nearly killed me: War photographers – a special report. This is harrowing. War is not pretty.

The Times of India: ‘I supported Husain but you can’t disown your country’  A view from exile, haunting and provocative.

Snarkmarket: I Can’t Believe I’m Doing This. The Justice League and journalism – see how they juxtaposed.

The Bloggess: And that’s why you should learn to pick your battles. Towels vs. Giant Metal Chicken. ZOMG ROFLMAO I think I need a towel…