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…

Los Links 6/17

Our streak is broken.  Better late and all that.  Especially since there’s quite a bit of yummy stuff here for ye.

Our weekly dustup was finding out that a Gay Girl in Damascus was actually a middle-aged white male with delusions of importance.  I figure the following link is very much worth highlighting:

The Rumpus: A Note to My Fellow White Males.  A must-read for any white male wanting to become a lesbian minority on the intertoobz.

For any of my readers who may be wondering if Dana Hunter is also a middle-aged white male, the answer is no.  And should you fall prey to any doubts, you can come see me in really real life, and I’ll give you all the necessary clues with which to track down my history, complete with family, friends, teachers, employers and so forth who can all attest that the only fiction I write is clearly marked as such.  I’d never do to you what this shite did to the online community.

Wot a fucktard.  Let us waste no more time upon him.


KGW.com: OR computer simulation helps tsunami planning. This is one of the most sensible things done by town planners ever.

Grist: How to stay cool for next to nothing 1.   Summer salvation on the cheap! Especially nifty for those of us with no A/C.

Andrew Alden: Petit-Spot Volcanism.  I had no idea anything like this even existed.  That’s why I love geology – always something new and interesting!

Highly Allochthonous: Flooding Around the World. A nice (and sobering) roundup of floods happening all over the place.

Looking for Detachment: Cathedral Gorge I.  A truly, truly gorgeous gorge.  I mean, seriously beautiful, and you should all go look at it right now.

Highly Allochthonous: Why does a compass point north? A mystery at the heart of the story of science (book review).  Since I’ve slacked off on Tomes 2011, let Chris add to your “must have this book!” list.

Balanced Instability: I gay wrote this post.  An excellent inside look at what it’s like to be out in the sciences.

Speakeasy Science: Chemical Free Crazies.  Find out why the fashion section can make people hit themselves in the face with the newspaper.

Elsevier: Reviewer’s quick guide to common statistical errors in scientific papers (pdf).   It’s meant for reviewers, but this guide can serve everyone who ever encounters a graph.  Yes, that means you.

Retraction Watch: Geology retraction unearths a dead co-author and plagiarized image of “Himalayan” rock actually from Norway. Controversy in the geological community!  See how scientists keep the unscrupulous from screwing everything up.

Why Evolution is True: Liberal Christian rag: creationism and evolution are “competing myths”. Um, no.  Really not. Nice takedown by Jerry Coyne.

Geomagnetism.org: Why should the taxpayer fund palaeomagnetic research? The reasons may surprise you – and make you happy to pay the cost.

Observations of a Nerd: Alien Invasions: Do They Deserve Their Bad Rep?  I think it’s safe to say yep.  They certainly do.

Glacial Till: A few pictures from my petrology trip to the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon.  I love geo posts that make me jealous.  This is one.

Magma Cum Laude:  Obsidian hunting in the Jemez Mountains.  So is this one. Gorgeous! And fun!

Scientific American: The Power of Theory in Science.  This is one of those posts you should send to everyone who’s unclear on what “theory” means to science.

Dangerous Experiments: Psychology Tomorrow: The Mental Disorders of our Future.  Okay, this is awesome: DSM-V proposed disorders as suffered by comic book characters.

The Panda’s Thumb: We get mail.  Stupid creationist mail, but what a great opportunity to share science!

Clastic Detritus: Linking Erosional and Depositional Landscapes.  I love seeing research blogging, and while sediments may sound boring, they’re actually quite fascinating.

Scientific American: When Cells Discovered Architecture.  Multicellular, complex life is older than you realize.  And weird, and wonderful.

Outside the Interzone: Preventing A Cave Calamity. Caves are fragile, beautiful things – even your clothes could harm them.

Phylogenetic Tree Hugger:  Hyenas give birth through their clitoris and other facts. Um.  Ow. And wow.  I have a whole new respect for hyenas now.

Laelaps: The Spectacular Strobe Squid. They will blind you with their light!  “Amaze Your Friends and Startle Your Enemies With the Spectacular Strobe Squid! *(Tank and squid food sold separately.)”

Lapham’s Quarterly: Death in the Pot.  Which is exciting, intriguing, and the best damned argument for food safety standards ever. You know those people who say the free market will protect our food supplies? Send them this article to show them just how the free market behaved.

Boston.com: Japan: three months after the quake.  Striking, incredible images that remind us just how enormous this disaster was.

Grist: Houses made of bacteria could save 800 million tons of CO2.  Bacterial brickmakers.  How awesome is that?

Mountain Beltway: Lawhorne Mill High Strain Zone.  Delicious rocks that have, shall we say, not been treated gently.

Quest: Geological Outings Around the Bay: The Cordelia and Green Valley Faults.  Forget the San Andreas for a while and go enjoy these!

Daily Kos: Effing Liars.  In which I am not the only one willing to use naughty language in relation to creationist liars leading geologists around.

Scientific American: From the Shadows to the Spotlight to the Dustbin–the Rise and Fall of GFAJ-1.  The penultimate post on the #arseniclife debacle.

ChemBark: Felisa Wolfe-Simon Does NOT Get It.  She’s got a long way to go before she’ll climb out of this hole and earn any scientific respect.  I’ll add that the popular media that fell for her hype needs a loving whack from a clue-by-four, too.


Wonders & Marvels: I get by with a little help from my friends…  The power of writing groups, even itsy-bitsy ones, can be substantial.

Skulls in the Stars: H.G. Wells’ The World Set Free (1914).  In which I learn H.G. Wells was a lot more interesting than I’d imagined – and it is once again demonstrated that science fiction can change the world.

Patricia C. Wrede: Where one writes.  Bet you didn’t think your office was detrimental to your writing, but could well be.

xoJane: It Happened to Me: ‘The Babysitter’s Club’ Changed My Life. Twist: it changed HIS life.  Yes, guys can be “girly book” fans.

Pharyngula: Alan Moore at Cheltenham.  Because this helps me make sense of myself: “Moore is a writer, and his explanation was basically that the weirdness was to spark creativity; for instance, he talked about staring into a quartz crystal and seeing visions, but he was quite plain that it wasn’t supernatural, it wasn’t the crystal, it was his own mind generating and imposing ideas on what he saw. And that’s all right with me — it fits very well with how I see science functioning.”

Blood Writes: Cover Page Design for the Dirt Poor and Graphically Challenged. For those of you worried you’ll have to acquire a second job to pay for book design, here’s reason to relax.

Writer Beware Blogs: Book Marketing Methods That Don’t Work. So avoid spending any $s on ’em.

A Brain Scientist’s Take on Writing: Improving Creativity: The Envision Brainset.  I can attest that this works like a charm.  Though, of course, writers being writers, your mileage may vary.

The Business Rusch: Bookstore Observations.  Now I’m afraid to visit Barnes and Noble again…

The Coffee-Stained Writer: The nature of the freelancing beast.  Some excellent advice for anyone wanting to freelance.

Women’s Issues

The Mary Sue: Comics Illustrator Raises Money For Texas Cheerleader Who Refused to Cheer Her Rapist.  This is a genius idea.

Tumblinfeminist: Fool Proof Sexual Assault Prevention Tips. These should be posted everywhere.  And society should be ashamed for not thinking of them before.

The Fourth Vine: The Women Men Won’t See.  The next time you wonder why more women don’t like comics, consider this as part of the explanation.  (Mind you, I’ve not experienced these problems in comic shops myself, so don’t condemn with a broad brush.)

Streets Blog:  Saudi Arabia on the Hudson: NYPD Officer Stopped Cyclist For Wearing Skirt.  Seriously fucked up, seriously sexist, serious abuse of power, and I hope the NYPD seriously gets its ass kicked over shit like this.

Skepchick: Sunday AI: Kicking ass in high heels.  An artist puts dudes in women’s costumes.  Hilarity ensues.

The White Coat Underground: NYT: Women are ruining medicine.  One of my favorite doctors with one of my favorite smackdowns.

On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess: The Noble Priesthood and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.  Another favorite doctor completes the fatal beating.

Almost Diamonds: The Good Bad Girl.  Do not fuck with our Harley Quinn.  Or our Stephanie Szvan.  The latter’s actually more important for you to remember.  Harley’s a homicidal maniac, but Stephanie is a writer.  Also, Dreaming for Women.  The commencement speech that should have been.

The Guardian: Afghanistan worst place in the world for women, but India in top five.

The Hot Word: What is “Mrs.” short for? The answer may make you blush (or at least laugh).  After you get done sputtering in mirth and outrage, head over here and pick yourself a new honorific from the “title” dropdown.  I’m rather fond of “Vicondessa” at the moment, but “Rt Hon Baroness” also would do – or should I keep it simple and stick with “Lady”?

The Nation: A Conversation With Saudi Women’s Rights Campaigner Wajeha al-Huwaider. Love this quote: “Secular society is a better bet for women—and men too.”  The whole interview’s well worth a read.

Religion and Atheism

Sydney Morning Herald: ‘I can still hear the kids’ screams’.  Do not tell me how wonderful Catholicism and the Catholic Church is.  Not ever.  Not when their abuses are so varied, pervasive, and horrific.

Alternet: 10 Scariest States to Be An Atheist.  Not a scientific survey, but a good one, and some of the idiocy will make your eyes pop.

Hibernia Times: Breaking Out from the Prison of Religion.  An amazing account from Paula Kirby on losing her faith and learning to question.

Pharyngula: Atheism ≠ fascism. Worth it for the takedown of the “atheism is fascism” argument, plus this: “Too often, the conversation between so-called ‘progressives’ and their opponents is one of gelatin-spined appeasers trying desperately to stave off the tyrants of the right by frantically retreating from the conflict.”  Too fucking right!

Society and Culture

The Last Word on Nothing: Secrets of British gravitas revealed.  Okay, you know what?  I laughed so hard I nearly peed myself, and it was totally worth that risk.

The Guardian:  What price freedom of expression now?  Read this, because it tells you a good amount of what you need to know about the evils of religion and nationalism.  And it has a really fantastic artist in it.

Butterflies and Wheels: Well thinking. Ophelia Benson tells those who can’t fathom assisted suicide to try harder.


Homeland Security Department curtails home-grown terror analysis. Because the right-wing hatemongers hate it when they get called out on their home-grown terrorism, and because so many of our officials are lily-livered cowards.

Mike the Mad Biologist: We Are Living Below Our Means, Not Above Them.  That is the first thing you need to remember while everybody screams about teh horrible debt.

Think Progress: Massachusetts Republican: Undocumented Immigrant Rape Victims ‘Should Be Afraid To Come Forward’.  Another one for the annals of Why I Consider Cons Such Complete Shits.

Skepchick: GOP Presidential Candidates: Don’t Vote For Us. Yep, that pretty much sums them up right there. Thanks, I won’t!

Washington Monthly: We shouldn’t grow inured to madness. Even though the sheer quantity of it makes it easy to become numb.

Los Links 6/10

Not as linkolicious as usual, I’m afraid – the Muse is a harsh mistress, and work has been hell.  But we’ve got some good stuff here.

This week’s Controversy on teh Internetz came courtesy of a truly awful WSJ editorial that made me want to go have a good wash afterward. Basically, the complainer (I refuse to dignify the spouter of such drivel with the august word “author”) spent far too many words bitching about how awful it was that young adult fiction explored dark and dangerous subjects.  One comes away with the sense that the complainer prefers all fiction to do nothing more than spoonfeed bland platitudes and pollyanna pablum into the mouths of everyone.

I couldn’t really jump into the #YASaves fray, because young adult fiction never saved me.  I’m one of the fortunate few who enjoyed a nearly idyllic childhood, and my YA reading was devoted to such sillyness as Sweet Valley High (look, I didn’t mean to, it just happened), Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, and suchlike other things.  Although, come to think of it, a Sweet Valley High novel that dealt with the aftermath of death by cocaine did give me reinforcement when it came to deciding drugs were not for me…

Anyway, several excellent bloggers took care of the situation admirably, and I encourage you to read their posts.

Almost Diamonds: Living in the Dark.  In which myths are exploded and a righteous spanking is administered.  I wish we lived in a world that didn’t give Stephanie Szvan so much to get pissed off about.  Since we do, I’m very glad she’s so damned good at turning her rage into hard-hitting blog posts.

Gayle Forman: wall street depravity.  Time for the silent majority to tell the loudmouth minority trying to dictate what’s worthy of reading to STFU.

Kyle Cassidy: if you can’t be witty, then at least be bombastic – The Wall Street Journal Nonsense about YA Literature.  The demolition is complete.  Also, cool metaphors!

WSJ Speakeasy:  Why the Best Kids Books Are Written in Blood.  Sherman Alexie, ladies and gentlemen.  Money quote:  “I write in blood because I remember what it felt like to bleed.”  Read the whole thing.


Clastic Detritus: Friday Field Photo #146: Deep-Sea Landscapes in the Desert.  The ocean. On land. Do I really have to explain how cool that is?

Uncovered Earth: Of Puddles and Probabilities. Lottery tickets, creationists, and a quick lesson in the way odds work.

Highly Allochthonous: If you’re waiting for an earthquake warning, you’re doing it wrong.  Instead of suing scientists who don’t predict the unpredictable, people in earthquake-prone areas should see to, y’know, maybe just possibly preparing for the inevitable instead. Also, don’t miss Chris’s new Geotweeps Discuss site. Too much fun!

Looking for Detachment: Megabreccia II: More Photos and Megabreccia III, the Continuing Saga.  I’d tell you a little something about how awesome these posts are, but I’m still busy wiping the drool off. ZOMG delicious!

Earthly Musings: Hawaiian Geology at Haleakala Crater. And dessert. Yum!

The Atlantic: Chile’s Puyehue Volcano Erupts. And the postprandial cognac.  Some of the most spectacular volcano photography I’ve ever seen.

Eruptions: Spectacular images and video of the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle eruption in Chile.  In which Erik explains, and volcanoes are suspected of being willfully inconvenient.

Mammoth: Cubit’s Gap.  Cut one little hole in a levee and watch the river build…

Science House: The Public and Science: A Blind Date.   Improv, science communication, and Alan Alda.  This is made of win.

Freakonomics: Launching Into Unethical Behavior: Lessons from the Challenger Disaster.  The most devastating statement, and how considering business rather than ethics angles can lead to horrifying consequences – even for the ethical among us.

Measure of Doubt: “Stand back everyone, I’ve been trained for situations like this…” And here you thought algebra could never be of any ordinary practical use.

Neurotic Physiology: Does all that coffee really make you hear Bing Crosby sing?  In which Sci wields the Smack-o-Matic upon a study so bad even this layperson’s jaw dropped.

Not Exactly Rocket Science: The Renaissance man: how to become a scientist over and over again.  I loved this for many reasons. The fact it celebrates the creative power of failure is only one.

Grist: No joke: This is the biggest battery breakthrough ever.  If this pans out, electric cars won’t be a ginormous pain in the arse when it comes to recharging.  Truly amazing stuff.

State of the Planet: Making Room for Rivers: A Different Approach to Flood Control.  This seems like a good and necessary idea.  Also, opens your eyes to what artificial creatures we’ve forced rivers to become.

Atheism and Religion

Butterflies and Wheels: Oh is that so.  Here is the money quote for the next time someone howls about their religious freedom being infringed because they’re not allowed to lead a sectarian prayer at a public event: “My religious belief is that god is a non-existent imaginary agent. I don’t get to say that at public school graduation ceremonies or Congress’s morning prayer. Since other people do get to say that god is a real, non-imaginary agent, the state is interfering with my rights to express my religious beliefs.

“It is also, of course, interfering with the religious beliefs of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Wiccans, Scientologists, Crefto Dollarians, and so on.”

Also don’t miss Right here in River City, in which we learn that Catholic laundries tormented Seattle women. 

Xtra: Rainbows banned at Mississauga Catholic school.   How the Catholic church hates on gay students, and adds insult to injury by not letting them donate the funds they raise to LGBT charities.

The Hibernia Times: Atheism Is the True Embrace of Reality.  Paula Kirby’s journey from near-nunnery to out atheism, delivered without compromise.


Harvard Business Review: Publishing’s 169 Years of Disruption, Told in Six Freakouts. Read this and relax. Reading will survive. It’s just the incidentals that change.

Scientific American: All About Stories: how to tell them, how they’re changing, and what they have to do with science.  Writing about science?  Read this.

A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing:  Guest Post by Raymond Benson.  In which we learn that success may not come overnight, and get much good advice.

Women’s Issues

PLOS Blogs: Women as natural capital.  I’m okay with using hard-headed practicality to get people to do the right thing.  Especially if it means less female infanticide.

The Washington Post: SlutWalks and the future of feminism.   Feminism fired up and ready to go.  Quite a few money quotes in this one.  And it has made me determined to be a badass.


Alternet: The Worst Thing About Weinergate? The Total Obliteration of Sexual Privacy by Ideologues Like Andrew Breitbart.  At least I’ll be safe from the prurient prudes if I ever run for office, considering I haven’t got a sex life…  Oh, and for those who are wondering, I don’t give a rat’s ass if Rep. Weiner wants to flirt.  Really don’t.

Society and Culture

Temple of the Future: Red Smoke, No Fire.  How dare A.C. Grayling open a university!  In which snark is employed and protesters smacked.

Los Links 6/3

You know, this would’ve been on time, if Blogger had published yesterday like I told it to.  Ah, well, on with the show.

Monday was Memorial Day, of course, and a lot of people wrote some incredibly excellent things round it.  Here, in their own words:

Almost Diamonds: Fallen Warriors.  “People have died every time our country has been persuaded to recognize the right of another group to be considered full human beings.” Wherein people who didn’t fight on actual battlefields but fought and died for our freedoms nonetheless get a look in. 

Decrepit Old Fool: Memorial Day 2011.  “War is crazy; it is crazy-making. It drains reason out of what passes for civilization. The stories matter. They let us know about courage, who have never been there. And yes, many wars should not ever have happened. The stories punch holes in the fantasy that it’s all some kind of glorious video game. If we’re going to do this to human beings, let’s be damn, damn sure there’s a real reason.”

Stupid Evil Bastard: Thoughts on Memorial Day 2011.  “I’ve heard enough to know that it’s a whole lot of not fun covered in a thick layer of fuck this shit. I know enough to know that war is something that should be a last resort when all other options have been exhausted. I know enough to realize that it has impacts far beyond the battlefield that affect people individually, and nations collectively, long after the guns have gone silent.”  Yes.

Slobber and Spittle: Memorial Day 2011.  “America’s saddest acre won’t be closing anytime soon.”  And there will be more fallen soldiers to remember next Memorial Day.

It seems appropriate to post a link to this paper (pdf): The Psychological Cost of War: Military Combat and Mental Health.  It’s bloody expensive, both in dollars and human terms.

This week, the person voted Most In Need of a Good Sharp Smack appears to be Sen. Tom Coburn, whose ignorance of science knows no bounds.  He hated on the National Science Foundation.  Well, we can give as good as we get.

NeuroTribes: Why the GOP Hates the National Science Foundation.  “The truth is, the current incarnation of the GOP, frozen in its pose of perpetually indignant outrage, doesn’t want additional perspective, more data and nuance, and — Heaven forbid — dissenting voices.”  Damn you, reality, and your liberal bias!

The Tightrope: Attacks on science and Coburn’s ignorance.  Amazing how much ignorance can be revealed in a short post, but then again, Coburn’s a motherlode. 

Take it to the Bridge: Transformative Science.  Which is precisely what Coburn doesn’t understand even a tiny little bit.

NeuroDojo: What the Coburn report has in common with arsenic life.  When we expect science to produce nothing but bright, shiny breakthroughs, things like Coburn and the arsenic life debacle happen.  Neither one is good for science.

Respectful Insolence: Need to pander to your base? Attack funny-sounding science funded by the NSF!  Orac utterly destroys Coburn’s attack on the NSF.  The ground Coburn stands upon is scorched.  He is finished.


Slate: The Discovery of Arsenic-Based Twitter.  The story of #arseniclife, and what it means for science.

Neuroself: Jonah Lehrer is Not a Neuroscientist.  Really not.  So don’t get worked into too much of a lather over that “wisdom of crowds” article in the WSJ.

John Hawks Weblog: No echoing the echo chamber here. No, seriously, forget those “intertubz are maeking u stoopid” articles.

The Guardian: How to spot a psychopath.  A long but fascinating read – psychopaths are intriguing.

Guardian: Children don’t need Brain Gym to spot nonsense.  But they do get censored for pointing out utter bullshit.

BoingBoing: Tornadoes, climate change, and real scientific literacy.  This post does a phenomenal job of tying together several important concepts.  Read it.

Uncovered Earth: It May Usually Rain, But It’s Not As Wet As You Think.  This is the one post you need for comprehending Pacific Northwest Weather.  Also, Sunday Science Photos, May 22 – 28.

Glacial Till: Meteorite Monday: The OSIRIS-REx Mission.  Pure awesome!

The Atlantic: Endeavour’s Final Mission.  These photographs made me gasp and grin and think, “ZOMG humans did this! We are teh awesome!”  Absolutely, utterly beautiful.

Skepticblog: Litigation gone wild! A geologist’s take on the Italian seismology manslaughter case.  The clearest take I’ve read yet on the rabid stupidity that is putting scientists on trial for not predicting the unpredictable. 

Neurotic Physiology: SCIENCE 101: Cranial Nerve V, the Trigeminal.  Science gone Bollywood!  Brilliant!

NPR: Science Deniers: Hand Over Your Cellphones!  We so totally should make them do this.  Might make people who don’t know jack shit about science but like to piss on it anyway think twice if they’d lose their iPhone in the process.

Laelaps: Stressed Lemurs and Grass-Eating Humans.  Amazing what we can learn from teeth – like our cousins had more in common with horses than we thought.  Also, at Dinosaur Tracking: Dinosaur Diamond: Moab’s Potash Road

Respectful Insolence: The bride of the son of the revenge of cell phones and cancer rises from the grave…again.  No, your cell phone won’t kill you.  Relax and keep talking.

Pharyngula: Is your cell phone cooking your brain?  For the last time: NO IT’S REALLY NOT. Seriously. 

Scientific American: An Epidemic of False Claims.  We need to change the funding and incentives, or science will continue to suffer.

Clastic Detritus: Surprising, Important — or Weird and Fun.  Blogs can step up for science when editors fail.

The Gleaming Retort: Great Moments in Science Writing: The Alpha Cavewoman Fiasco.  Write a stupid article butchering science, get pwnd by a master.  That’s all I’m sayin’.

Highly Allochthonous: Simulating river processes…ooh shiny, stream table!  ZOMG I want one of these! Amazing way to show how water and geology mix.

Eruptions: Carbon dioxide as a volcanic hazard at the Dieng Plateau (and beyond).  It’s not just lava, lahars, and big booms that make volcanoes dangerous.

Women’s Issues

New York Times: Badminton’s New Dress Code Is Being Criticized as Sexist.  Because it is.  When they start sexualizing the menfolk, then I might give them the benefit of the doubt.

Salon: Abortion saved my life.  If religious shits want to force women to view sonograms, they should be forced to read stories like these.

Good Media: Why White Men Should Refuse to Be on Panels of All White Men.  Step up to the plate, pasty boyz.

The Guardian: The incredible shrinking presence of women SF writers.  Wherein we learn that books written by women get short shrift in “best of” polls.  Quelle surprise.  Take especial note of this comment.

Biodork: Remembering Dr. Tiller.  It infuriates me that doctors trying to do a good service for women get targeted by religious fucktards who love to proclaim themselves “pro-life” while killing human beings.

Aetiology: You’re also too pretty for math.  How our culture tells little girls they shouldn’t do nerdy boy things like study math and science.

Inner Workings of My Mind: I’ve Gone and Done It Now: What It’s Like Without the Muslim Headscarf.  An inside look you should really have a look at.

Atheism and Religion

Why Evolution is True: Evidence against New Atheism: Exhibit B?  In which Chris Mooney is given yet another righteous spanking, and a study is studied.

Choice in Dying:  Through the Looking-Glass.  In which a vicar on a train is taken to task for being a lousy source of comfort to a grieving woman.  Also,  It’s all of a piece …

Sam Harris: Morality Without “Free Will”.  Yes, indeed, there is such a thing.  Religious people, take especial note – especially if you’re tempted to go on about how people can’t be good without God.

Metamagician and the Hellfire Club: D’Souza on callousness and compassion, atheism and morality.  Spoiler: D’Souza gets it completely wrong.

EvolutionBlog: Ye Olde “Atheism is a Religion” Canard.  Jason Rosenhouse puts a stake through its heart.  Again.


The Passive Voice: Publishers and Agents are Trying to Figure Out How to Skin Their Own Authors.  Possibly even flay them alive.  However, while they flay, you can pwn: How to Read a Book Contract – For Avoidance of DoubtBooyah!

The Atlantic: Why Are Spy Researchers Building a ‘Metaphor Program’?  And why did I stick it under ‘writing’?  Because it’ll make you think about metaphors in a whole new way.

A Brain Scientist’s Take on Writing: Do Flashbacks Make Your Butt Look Big? (aka, Baby Got Backstory…)  All writers who have ever/are now/will ever struggle with how much backstory to put in the story need to read this post.  In other words, all writers need to read this post.

Dean Wesley Smith: Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing: Killing a Career.  It’s not as easy as you think.

Literary Abominations: Principles of Contracts: Everybody Knows Peggy Lee (or should).  Because if you don’t, you just might find yourself signing away the rights to every format your creative work could end up in ever.

The Chronicle: The Nature of E.B. White.  Bet you didn’t know there was a lot of science behind Charlotte’s Web.  But there was.  No matter how fluffy your fantasy, it could benefit from knowing about how the real world works.

Writer Beware: Contract Red Flag: Net Profit Royalty Clauses.  Be very sure you understand just how the publisher intends to calculate your royalties before you sign, or you could end up with pennies.  Literally.

A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Ebooks and Self-Publishing Part 3 – Yet Another Dialog Between Authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath.  All I can say is, Amazon must be making publishers afraid.  Very afraid.  And if they’re not terrified already, they should be.  Authors, meanwhile, may scream for joy.

NeuroTribes: Practical Tips on Writing a Book from 23 Brilliant Authors. Some of the best writing advice you’ll get, from people who made it happen.  Like a smorgasbord, there’s lots to pick and choose from.


Speakeasy Science: Jessica Alba and the Chemistry Thing.  Celebrities, science, and the pathetic fact we have to sell common sense with sexy but badly informed people.

Bad Astronomy: Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA): on climate change, makes wrong even wronger.  Lest you thought it was only Coburn being a raging dumbass this week.  And why giving Rohrabacher the benefit of the doubt on possibly being taken out of context doesn’t make him any less of a mega-moron.

Liberal Values: Doctors Moving Left For Many More Reasons Than The New York Times Reports.  Cuz Dems are better for business, and some people are smart enough to realize when tax cuts taketh away more than they giveth.  Among other reasons.  Heh.

Society and Culture

Outside the Interzone: We Had Been Told This Mighty Ocean-Liner Even God Himself Could Not Sink.  A fantastic post on sinking ships, hubris, and why it’s important not to think too much of ourselves.

Mike the Mad Biologist: Do Pro-Education ‘Reform’ Progressives Actually Know Any Teachers?  If they did, they probably wouldn’t be spouting such utterly stupid shit about them.

Washington Monthly: The consequences of education cuts.  Parents are now paying for things that should be part of the educational package.  Schools can’t afford fucking paper towels and soap.  When will we have to admit we haven’t got a public education system anymore?  And when will we demand it be restored?

Los Links 5/27

I caught up on some reading whilst Aunty Flow was here.  That means you’ll have more linkage than you know what to do with.  And on time!  So let’s get right down to it, shall we?

Biggest news of the week, at least for the United States, was Joplin getting leveled by a tornado.  It’s one of those shitty things that can happen when you’re in the middle of Tornado Alley and storms are getting stronger due to climate change.  For most of us, the immediate reaction was empathy and a hope that folks would make it out okay.  For others…

PoliticsUSA: The Darker Side of YHWH: Janet Porter Says Tornadoes Were God’s Wrath.  You knew some religious lackwit was gonna say it.  As if the people of Joplin haven’t been through enough.

This shit’s depressing.  So are head-in-the-sand attitudes that will allow this planet to bake to death.

Grist: Missouri tornado whips up media discussion of climate change and extreme weather.  No better post if you need to sober up in a hurry.

Kansas City Star: Tornadoes! Floods! Droughts! Scientists say it’s global warming.  Our own Anne Jefferson gives a kick-ass interview.

The news we poked the most fun at, o’ course, was the Rapture!

LiveScience: Failed Doomsday Has Real Deadly Consequences.   Pets and people dead.  So don’t tell me there’s no harm in religion.

Greta Christina’s Blog: Live-blogging the Rapture.  We do still get to point and laugh, though.  “There is a vanishingly small but non-zero chance of butt monkeys.”  Oh, Greta, how I love you!

Pharyngula: Wrong, root and branch; wrong at every cell and molecule; wrong to the core.   The aftermath, and a rant.


Miller-McCune: Scientists Take Charles Darwin on the Road.  Getting scientists into classrooms to talk about *gasp* evolution has some surprising – and uplifting – results.  Also, Comet Theory Comes Crashing to Earth, in which we see the sad result when scientists refuse to face the lack of evidence.

Puffthemutantdragon: Bubonic Plague in America, Part I: LA Outbreak.   Yes, I’m a sucker for super-deadly infectious disease stuff, but this is fascinating even if you aren’t a sucker for same.  Don’t miss Part II.

Speaking of Research: A paralyzed man stands again…thanks to animal research!   This, my friends, is among the many reasons why it’s important to stand up against the animal rights maniacs who think mayhem and murder are justified against animal researchers.

Neurotic Physiology: Friday Weird Science: Horsing Around and the Sexual Behavior of Stallions.  You know, I owned horses for years and never realized they pleasure themselves…  Also, see how to handle being wrong with kick-ass awesomeness.

Georneys: Blast from the Past: Element Talk Show.  Evelyn’s posting bits of her school projects for a bit of a laugh, but this one’s brilliant.  I want to see it produced!  Also, the Geologist’s Alphabet is complete.  Learn your ABZs!  And then feast your eyes on Cape Peninsula in Pictures.  Wowza!

ScienceNews: Stellar oddballs.  If anyone was wondering if Kepler’s worth the money it took to develop and launch it, the answer is yes.  Yes, it is.  Sign of a truly great mission, this, the fact it’s already gone so far beyond its original intent.

Uncovered Earth: Expressions In Stone: Suiseki.  For those of you wondering what to do with those unruly rock collections, or looking for excuses to collect more rocks, this.  Bonus: suiseki, unlike bonsai, won’t die horribly because you have a black thumb.  Also, Sunday Science Photos, May 15 – 21

Contagions: Rinderpest, Measles and Medieval Emerging Infectious Diseases.  Measles is younger than you think.  And 400 kids die of it every day.  Vaccinate, people!

About Geology: A Poet’s Advice on Geology.  Walt Whitman proving science and poetry do mix.  Beautifully.  Plus, the d-word.

Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week: The world’s longest cells? Speculations on the nervous systems of sauropods.  You thought the giraffe’s recurrent laryngeal nerve was ridiculous?  Check this out!

Glacial Till: Meteorite Monday: Lunar meteorites.  Including one of the most beautiful pictures of the Moon you’ll ever see.

Outside the Interzone: Moonday: Io.  While we’re on the subject of incredible pictures of moons….

The Loom: How a zombie virus became a big biotech businessShh.  Don’t tell the anti-vaccine frothers that zombies manufacture vaccines!

Highly Allochthonous: Earthquake ‘precursors’ and the curse of the false positive.  Chris Rowan takes the latest earthquake prediction nonsense down.

Doctor Stu’s Blog: Blue Lights Shown to Give a Brain Boost! But is a Better than Coffee?  I need me a blue light!

Thoughtomics: Why Life is like Lego.  This is purely awesome.  I’ll never play with Legos the same way ever again.

Scientific American: Physics and the Immortality of the Soul.  Damn you, physicist Sean Carroll, for making my writing life harder!  But I’m glad you did.  Too bad about the souls, really.

Bad Astronomy: Weather satellites capture shots of volcanic plume blasting through clouds.  Okay, this is too cool for words – just go look.

The Official Geologist Webpage.  ZOMG LOL just go have a look I can’t talk about it laughing too hard ow.

Scientific American: Looking for Empathy in a Conflict-Ridden World.  Can you capture empathy in a scanner?  Appears so – and the results may or may not startle you.

Quest: Geological Outings Around the Bay: Ring Mountain.  Andrew, look, you know I love you – but stop making me want to move to California!  Okay, actually, don’t stop.

Grist: How industrial agriculture makes us vulnerable to climate change, Mississippi floods edition.  Awgawds.  As if it wasn’t already horrible…

Smithsonian: Top Ten Myths About the Brain.  If I ever hear “We only use 10%” again ever in my life, the person saying it will get such a smack.

Mountain Beltway: Weekend macro bugs.  So pretty!  A camera certainly changes your whole perspective on creepy-crawlies.

Laelaps: Long Live the Anomalocaridids!  Squee!  Anomalocaridids survived longer than we thought!  Hooray for bizarre beasties!  Also, don’t miss Brian’s ScienceNOW companion piece: Who You Callin’ Shrimp? 

io9: The story behind the world’s oldest museum, built by a Babylonian princess 2,500 years ago.  Modern archaeology, meet ancient archaeology.

The Guardian: Britain’s volcanic past.  Epic.  Geology is awesome.

Eruptions: That about wraps it up for the Grímsvötn eruption.  Nice finale to the biggest Icelandic volcano news since that bloody unpronouncible one.

Scientific American: Material Poet.  Cloning glaciers.  I bloody love it when art and science mix!


A Brain Scientist’s Take on Writing: In Which I Wax Philosophical on Narrative Distance, POV, and Voice.  This isn’t a run-of-the-mill post on those points – this is a brain scientist’s post on those points.  Much food for thought for such a short post!

The Passive Voice: How to Read a Book Contract – Assignments – Part 1.  Assignments, people, not assignment.  As in, assignments in a contract.  And if you don’t know what those are, you’d better get your arse over there and read up.  Also, Part 2.  

Nathan Bransford: Reversals in Novels and Movies.  Or, why your story should be more like switchbacks than open road.  Hey, I should write that…

Dean Wesley Smith: Think Like A Publisher #11… Electronic Sales to Bookstores.  This is possibly the coolest idea ever.  Who says you can’t sell ebooks in a brick-and-mortar store?!

The Business Rusch: Publishers (Surviving the Transition Part 2).  It’s amazing, innit, just how many different ways people can find to screw you royally.  Good thing there are people who can help you screw back.

Imaginary Foundation: Seth Godin: The Wealth of Free.  “The industry’s dead.” Find out why.

Atheism and Religion

Blag Hag: Atheist high schooler receives death threats for protesting graduation prayer.  Seriously.  Death threats, merely for pointing out that a school-sponsored prayer is against the law.  This is why atheists have to speak out, folks: to keep kids like this from being ostracized, disowned, and threatened.

What Would JT Do: They drag prayer lower than I ever could.  I hope they enjoy the ensuing court battle.

Jessica Ahlquist: A Quick History.  Another brave, eloquent high school student finding herself under fire for trying to get her school to understand the law.

Miranda Celeste: A worthless and dangerous report.  Once again, the Catholic Church blames everybody but itself for its child-raping priests – with bonus blame-society and but-they-were-never-taught-raping-kiddies-was-wrong handwaving.  Good on Miranda for ripping their report apart!

Patheos: Time for a Nontheist History Month.  I’m so down with this.  And can you imagine the frothing fundies’ reactions when they find out this nation wasn’t so Christian after all?  Heh.

Bad Astronomy: Oregon set to remove faith healing defense for parents.  Good.

Open Parachute: Confronting accomodationism.  Excellent.

Women’s Issues

The Daily Beast: DSK Accuser: The Dangerous Life of a Hotel Maid.  You’ll never see the woman who brings you fresh towels as anything less than incredibly brave after this.

The Difference Engine: What it feels like to be me.   A neat little thought experiment that should help even the most obtuse among us understand what it’s like to be female in a male-dominated world.

Coyote Crossing: How Not To Be An Asshole: A Guide For Men.  Give to every man you meet.  Men not already following the guide: pay close attention.

Sasha’s Den of Iniquity: Sasha’s Brief Guide to Not Being a Douchy Misogynist.  Also give this to every man you meet.  See?  Some men really get it.  You can, too!

The Plog: Kansas Rep. Pete DeGraaf: Being impregnated during a rape is just like getting a flat tire.  But I’ll bet he expects his insurance to cover Viagra while women are forced to pay for their own abortions after a rape.

Greta Christina’s Blog: Atheism, Sexism, and Pretty Blonde Videobloggers: or, What Jen Said.  Dear atheist males: you should be better than this.  Please ask the nearest female atheist to whack you over the head with a clue-by-four.  Repeat as necessary.

Blag Hag: We’re not here for eye candy.  Got that yet?

Skepchick: The Secular Movement’s Position on Women’s Rights.  As in, when you’re fighting frothing fundie encroachment on secular society, you shouldn’t forget the war against women they’re waging.

Almost Diamonds: Sexism Always Wins, but It Still Loses.  There’s good news.  Nothing like allowing the opponent room to shoot self in foot, is there?

Sociological Images: Serena Williams’ Patriarchal Bargain.  Why are we playing a game we can’t win, ladies?  It’s time to change that game.

Mike the Mad Biologist: Refusing to Cede the Moral High Ground on Abortion.  This is what abortion really is.  A blessing.  And we shouldn’t forget that, lest we lose all access to that blessing.  Oh, and before you start babbling about adoption, read this comment at Pharyngula.

The Independent: Laurie Penny: Say it again: it’s our right to choose.  Britain’s facing the same kind of frothing fundie anti-abortion crusades we are here.  Ladies, if you don’t want to end up a baby factory, time to get loud.

Society and Culture

MoveOn: The Most Aggressive Defense Of Teachers You’ll Hear This Year.  I don’t normally point to videos, but da-amn, this one’s worth watching in its entirety.

A Teacher on Teaching: Sham Standards: Governor Kasich and the Standardized Testing Fetish.  Veterans, teaching-to-the-test, and good old righteous rage.  You must read this, which is why it’s in bold.

Racialicious: How to Debunk Pseudo-Science Articles about Race in Five Easy Steps.  One of the best how-tos ever – definitely one we’ve needed.

Technosociology: Why Twitter’s Oral Culture Irritates Bill Keller (and why this is an important issue).  I love posts that make me look at something familiar through new eyes.  I’ll never see Twitter quite the same way again.

Rationally Speaking: Who dunnit? The not-so-insignificant quirks of language.  It’s fascinating how language can change one’s views.  This post shows how the way we word things can change the way we understand the world with chilling clarity.

Not Exactly Rocket Science: Bad gossip affects our vision as well as our judgment.  Speaking of how language affects us, check out how a little gossip can change the way we actually see.

Decrepit Old Fool:  Consumerism and attachmentClocks, consumers, and a bit o’ Zen.  Also, The daughters of popular culture, in which the People of Wal-Mart and children’s toys are used to make some excellent points about our society.

Bug Girl’s Blog: Photos, Flames, and Copyright.  Copyright is important.  So is not being a total asscrunch when you think someone’s violated your copyright (but really hasn’t).  Also, never ever buy a picture from Ron Wolf.  Really, don’t.  There are plenty of photographers who aren’t gargantuan assholes who also take better photos.  Give them your business.

Almost Diamonds: The Role of Confrontation in the Gay Rights Struggle.  An awesome list of resources for those who want to understand the subject.  Accommodationists, take especial note, please, and extrapolate accordingly.  And don’t miss Stephanie’s Scientific American post: The Politics of the Null Hypothesis.

The Guardian: Our ignorance was bliss for Fred Goodwin.  Why we must learn to say, “That’s tough” a lot more often.  In fact, it’s so important that I’m going to quote it right here:

When censors try to restrict debate, democratic peoples must learn to reply with two words: that’s tough. “You want to use violence to stop criticism of religions that claim supernatural dominion over men’s minds and women’s bodies – that’s tough. You want to use libel law to stop scientists warning about the quack “cures” of chiropractic therapists – that’s tough. You want to use privacy law to prevent any mention of an alleged relationship between Sir Fred Goodwin and a colleague at the precise moment when he was taking the Royal Bank of Scotland over the cliff’s edge. Well, we can see why his tender feelings may be hurt, but this is a free society – so that’s tough too.”

SF Gate: The value of facts.  Apparently, reality violates some people’s values.  Jon Carroll helps us practice “that’s tough.”  And explains why volcanoes violate his values.


Marie Porter: Minnesota’s Gay Marriage Amendment.  A proper rant on the bigoted and badly misplaced priorities of the Cons.

Almost Diamonds: Not in My Constitution.  And while we’re on that subject, Stephanie Szvan’s blistering take on that nonsense.

NeuroDojo: Before you attack science, could you at least learn to use Google?  ABC plays the stenographer for Sen. Tom Coburn (R, of course, what did you expect?). 

Think Progress: BREAKING: Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin Makes History By Signing Into Law Single Payer Health Care.  WOOT! Nation, follow Vermont’s lead.

Alternet: Why Conservatives Want to Destroy Public Education.  Hint: it has a little summat to do with edimicashun and eekwaluhtee.

Los Links 5/20

Right.  Okay.  So it’s late.  Again.  So what’s new?  Look, I had some frantic fiction writing going on, there was a Peacemakers concert, and then meeting Helena.  I was busy.  But I’ve finally got everything gathered for your reading pleasure.

Before we get on with the rest of Los Links, there’s one I just want to place right up front here:

Harvard Magazine: The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination.  I don’t even care if you despise J.K. Rowling.  Go read her commencement address.  It’s one of the wisest, most inspiring and important things I’ve ever read, and it applies to everyone, regardless of what they plan to become.  And it’s got funny bits in.  And it might just change your life. 

Mississippi Floods

Highly Allochthonous: Levees and the illusion of flood control.  Anne’s fantastic post will make you rethink river systems and our attempts to control them.

Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog: America’s Achilles’ heel: the Mississippi River’s Old River Control Structure.  A wonderful post explaining just exactly how difficult it is to make a mighty river go one way when it really wants to go another.

Science: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back on U.S. Floodplains.  Written in 2005, uber-relevant now.  Ye gods, we’re idiots…

Mount St. Helens Anniversary

About.com Geology: National Volcano Day.  Some excellent points and a wonderful collection of links to various and sundry 31st Anniversary posts.  Including mine.  Squee!

Rapture Nonsense

Mountain Beltway: Five days until… nothing much happens.  Callan at his uncompromising, incisive best.  Don’t miss the bonus fun of the tone troll in the comments!


Uncovered Earth: Take a Hike: Latourell Falls.  A beautiful post about a beautiful setting.  Now that summer’s almost here, it’s definitely time to take a hike!

Not Exactly Rocket Science: Building anti-flu drugs on a computer.  I can’t think of anything clever to say about this because it’s rather too awesome for words.  Amazing what we can do with computers these days, innit?  Also, Life’s deliberate typos.

Neuroskeptic: There’s no DNA in “Disease”.  A good explanation as to why one gene doesn’t always equal one disease.

Starts With a Bang: On Being What You Want, and BigotryEveryone should read this amazing and inspiring post on science, diversity and pursuing your dreams.  That’s why it’s in bold.  While you’re there, also peruse The Fun of Going Faster-Than-Light.

Respectful Insolence: Straw men and projection: Tools of quacks and conspiracy theorists to deflect critical thinking.  Read this post for classic lines like, “Projection this massive should be reserved for 3D movies in IMAX theaters.”

Looking for Detachment: Bighorns on the Overlook Trail.  This one’s got cute animals and some of the most delicious strata you’ve ever seen.  That’s why you should go feast your eyes upon it.  Why are you still lurking about here?

Geotripper: “Are We There Yet?” In Geology, the Journey is the Destination.  The title rather says it all, but I’ll just add that this one’s an especial pleasure for LOTR geeks like meself.

Foundation Blog: After the Debunking: Autism Parents Have Their Say.  Why desperate parents fall for pseudoscience, and how to help them overcome it.

Observations: Space Is an Elaborate Illusion.  Dude, I think this one bent my mind.  Just a little bit.  I love it when a science post changes my perspective!

Aetiology: Pigs with Ebola Zaire: a whole new can o’ worms.  Kay.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve just sworn off anything to do with pigs for life.

Scientific American: Nothing Personal, You’re Just Not My Type.  Those of you worried about intelligent aliens invading earth should probably start worrying about a different sort of alien invasion.  It’s all in the strategy, baby, and I ain’t talking about military tactics.

Slate: Positive Black Swans.  I think the upshot here is that too much fear of falling will never get you flying.  Something for those who fund science to keep in mind.

The Curious Wavefunction: The top four publicly misused chemical terms: A layman’s primer.  This layman certainly appreciated it!

Discover: The Brain Is Made of Its Own Architects.  Brains are awesome.  More awesome than we knew.  Brains build themselves – don’t get more awesome than that, does it?

Cocktail Party Physics: hop, skip and a jump.  Okay, we’ve got a sexy Hollywood actress and a composer teaming up to invent a torpedo guidance system.  Who says artists can’t be scientists?

Myrmecos: Photographing insects with a point & shoot digicam.  So you wanna get a great pic for a post but all you’ve got is this lousy point-and-shoot?  You can still take outstanding photos for science!

Dinosaur Tracking: Tarbosaurus Gangs: What Do We Know?  One thing we know for sure: when something’s hyped out of all proportion, Brian Switek’s standing there with the Righteous Pin o’ Deflation.  You’d think they woulda learned after Ida…

Women’s Issues

The Atlantic: ‘Knowing Your Value’: An MSNBC Host Tells Women They’re Doing It Wrong.  Aren’t we always?  A nice battle cry for telling the UR Doin it Rong crowd to STFU.

Bug Girl’s Blog: Things do get better, sometimes.  Signs of progress, and the way things used to be.  

The Guardian: Being a slut, to my mind, was mostly fun – wearing and doing what you liked.  Clothes, power, and perception.

The Atlantic: Perverse Incentives.  Ladies: your naughty bits are fine just the way they are.  Really.  WTF do you want your vajayjay to look like Barbie’s for?

XKCD: Answering Ben Stein’s Question.  Wherein Ben Stein’s dumbfuckery regarding over-privileged arseholes accused of rape gets the proper boot in the arse.

Indymedia Scotland: Edinburgh City Council Advocates Violence Against Women.  What else can you say when a city council won’t issue a permit for a women’s march because drunk men may harass them?  Rather than, y’know, making it clear drunk men harassing women won’t be tolerated?

Society and Culture

LA Times: The disgraceful interrogation of L.A. school librarians.  This, my darlings, is the sign of a very sick culture.  I’m sorry to say that culture is ours.

Decrepit Old Fool: It’s a dirty job, but…  I have a new appreciation for blue-collar workers after our maintenance guy unclogged my toilet last Sunday.  And this is a beautiful tribute to them, and a good sharp smack for those who fail to realize how important such workers are.  Also treat yourself to Those who can, teach.  You know what, make it a trifecta and read Punishment while you’re there.

CDC: Social Media: Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse.  The most brilliant hook for emergency preparedness education ever.

Take as Directed: The Freedom Riders and Same-Sex Marriage.  John Lewis, same-sex marriage, and the struggle for civil rights.

Atheism and Religion

Salty Current: Yes, Templeton is antiscience.  Just in case there was any doubt left in anyone’s mind. 

Temple of the Future: Support Sojourners? I Decline.  Anti-gay bigotry rears its ugly head yet again.  Why are people surprised that supposedly “progressive” religious groups can still be so hateful?

Butterflies and Wheels: A split within the movement.  All those accommodationists shouting at atheist activists to shut up ‘cuz they’re rocking the boat too much?  Yeah, think of what would’ve happened if Freedom Riders has listened to much the same advice.

Why Evolution is True: Mooney snatches victory from jaws of defeat.  Yup.  Chris Mooney’s still a disgusting little slimeball, although, like John McCain, he does on rare occasion say something reasonable people can agree on.


Racialicious: If You Haven’t Been On Food Stamps, Stop Trying to Influence Government Policy.  Email a copy of this to every fucktard in office who thinks people on food stamps are living like royalty at the government’s expense.  Better yet, force every fucktard in office who thinks same to live off of food stamps either to the end of their terms or until they stop being so stupid.

The Washington Post: Bin Laden’s death and the debate over torture.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but John McCain is absolutely right (except the bit where he says those who tortured prisoners shouldn’t be prosecuted).  He demonstrates a moral clarity and an attention to reality that’s been sadly lacking on the right.


The Passive Voice: How to Read a Book Contract – How Long Does It Last?  You’ll be horrified at the answer in some cases. Also, What’s Not There? and Inflation.

Musings and Moths: It’s big, it’s bad, it’s a publish button.  This is the only checklist you’ll need as a science writer.  Modify as necessary for other sorts of writing.  Then write!

A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Tech Talk and the Active Ebook.  A fascinating look at what books might become.

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books: Audible Launches ACX, Self Publishing for Audio Books.  Seems like self-publishing no longer means being limited to lame vanity press paper books, eh? 

The Business Rusch: Surviving The Transition (Part One).  As clear a survey of the changes sweeping the publishing industry as I’ve seen.

A Brain Scientist’s Take on Writing: Ebook Publishing Tips from Joanna Penn.  Valuable info for anyone thinking of striking out on their own.

Literary Abominations: Principles of Contracts: The Third Cousins Rule.  No matter what kind of contract you’re negotiating, this is damned good advice.

Bit o’ Fun

Gabbro B-Sides: How Gay Marriage Causes Earthquakes.  Okay, so this is years old, but it made me laugh my arse off and it’s still relevant, so here you are.

Los Links 5/13

All right.  Sorry.  Yes.  We’re seriously late, here, but between Blogger’s malfunction and the fact my Muse isn’t quite aware the winter writing season’s over, I haven’t had a chance to put them together.  But here we are, and thanks to overwhelming reader demand, the Los Links show will go on.

Let’s get right to it.

I know Mother’s Day was two Sundays ago now, but these are still worthwhile posts, and we should probably appreciate Mom on more than one day of the year anyway.

Deliberate Pixel: Mothers, daughters and superheroes.  Almost made me cry, this one, and I’m one of those horrible people who tries not to get too sentimental about such things.

NYT: When We Hated Mom.  Believe it or not, we did.  Really.  Go find out why and how.

One of the biggest stories – well, more like ongoing saga – of the past couple of weeks is the flooding on the Mississippi.  Here are some posts that will help you sort through the chaos.

XKCD: Michael Bay’s Scenario.  You’ve only got time for one post on the Mississippi flood.  You want to understand just what the fuck is going on.  This is that one post.  And it proves that there’s more at XKCD than just brilliant science comics.

Riparian Rap: Giving and taking at Birds Point. Levees for Libertarians? This post is crucial for understanding flood easements, and a nice antidote to all those “Oh, those poor people the evil Army Corps of Engineers are flooding out of house and home!” stories.

And, quite important for me, at least, Neil Gaiman’s episode of Doctor Who aired Saturday.  This post explains why this is a Really Big Thing.  Allow me to quote, because this sums up exactly why I adore this show, and Neil Gaiman, so very much:

All in all, it’s a silly, twinkly and enchanting look at the world of Doctor Who from a new angle. The idea of treating the original mad scientist show as a fairy tale has seldom worked better than it does in Gaiman’s hands. It’s one of those things that starts out just sort of spinning out cleverness, and then it suddenly turns quite scary and dark, and winds up being quite emotional. And it might just make your friends fall in love with the greatest time traveler of them all.

It was all that and much, much more.  If you didn’t get a chance to catch it, treat yourself – it’ll come round again.

And now, on with the regular linkage.


History of Geology: May 8, 1902: La Pelée.  First time I heard about Pelée was in a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not book.  David’s post is better.  If you like volcanoes, history, or volcanoes in history, go read this right now.

Uncovered Earth: Sunday Science Photos, May 1 – 7.  Have I mentioned lately how much I’m loving this series?  Gorgeous!

Bad Astronomy: Incredibly, impossibly beautiful time lapse video.  The next time someone tells you science isn’t phenomenally beautiful, send them here.

The Biology Files: Autism, Lupron, the Geiers, and what can science do about emotions?  A horrifying story, and a very good point.

Molecular Matters: I wanna be a Pseudoscientist.  This post made me laugh so hard I almost peed myself.

Glacial Till: Meteorite Monday: Origins of carbonaceous chondrites.  This post will cure you of thinking that meteorites are merely slightly-interesting space rocks.

Oscillatory Thoughts: We are all inattentive superheroes.  No, really, we are.  Go find out what that means.

The Panic Virus: The latest claims of “proof” that vaccines cause autism: Will the media take the bait? Why the anti-vaccination crowd is, once again, remarkably full of shit.

Culturing Science: Erasistratus on the nature of scientific inquiry.  Because I’m a complete sucker for history and science, not to mention ancient Greek and Rome.  Are you trying to tell me you’re not?

NASA Science: NASA Announces Results of Epic Space-Time Experiment.  Einstein was right.  Do try to contain your surprise.  But seriously – go read it.  This shit sounds like a science fiction show, but it’s real, and it’s so close to home.

Daily Mail: Drifting apart: Amazing underwater photos that show the growing gap between two tectonic plates.  This, people, is why science is so damned incredible.  Without science, it’s just a dive through an underwater canyon.  With science, it’s a story of epic forces and powerful plates pulling apart.  Fantastic!

Not Exactly Rocket Science: A memory for pain, stored in the spine.  Did you know your spine has a memory?  I didn’t.  Read on!

Short Sharp Science: Fossil raindrops reveal early atmospheric pressure.  Fossil raindrops are cool.  The fact they can tell us about the air up there billions of years ago is even cooler.

Explainer.net: The Fracking Song.  A video that explains fracking in song?  So awesome!  I loved this, and I don’t even like that sort of music.

Reading the Washington Landscape: Iceberg Tracks and Kettles in Columbia Valley.  Simply because I love glacial landforms, and these are awesome.

Religion, Atheism and All That Rot

Punctuated Equilibrium: Understanding Christianese, Lesson 1.  This is hilarious.  And helpful.  You can’t beat that combo.

Almost Diamonds: Standing on Aether, Thinking Airy Thoughts.   Bad questions, pseudoscience, and theology, and how they all tie together.  This post allowed me to clarify my thinking a bit.  Always nice!

Mother Jones: One Man’s Crusade Against Fundamentalist Claptrap.  And how the Cons have fallen in love with an enemy.

Choice in Dying: Religion Lies.  Just in case anyone had any doubt.  But it bears repeating, and the fact Eric MacDonald has an inside perspective makes it hit all the harder.

Butterflies and Wheels: Ron Lindsay talks to Chris Mooney.  Further proof the leopard can’t change his shorts.  Even when they’re reeking.


The Passive Voice: Don’t Sign Dumb Contracts.  Really, seriously, no matter how desperate you are to get published, don’t.  Also, this, this and this – you really need to read these in order to get a handle on how contracts can fuck you sideways, and how to avoid getting fucked.

MacLeans: Why it’s hard to write for Bugs Bunny.  This is one of the best articles on writing I’ve read for a long time.  Definite food for thought, here.  Plus, Looney Tunes!

KeyboardHussy: Reasons behind Self-Published Book Sale Spikes and How I was Wrong.  A must-read for anyone considering self-publishing.

A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: What Works: Promo for Ebooks.  And this.

Women’s Issues

XKCD: Marie Curie.  Women, science, women of science, and truth.

Guardian: Speak up, I can’t hear you.  Why you should just forget all of the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus bullshit.

Salon: The “Hooker Teacher” tells all.  What our society does to women who ever dared take their clothes off.

Slate: Texas Passes Ultrasound Requirement.  And why frothing fundies and uterus-obsessed Cons might want to rethink the whole thing.

Pandagon: Sluts, Walking: A FAQ sheet.  In case you have no idea what Slutwalk’s all about, or think you know and have your prim little nose turned up.


Southern Fried Science: Florida Senate fails basic biology, accidentally outlaws sex.  ZOMG ROFLMAO EPIC FAIL.  Funniest damned thing ever.
Various and Sundry

Vanity Fair: Unspoken Truths.  This will break your heart.