[syndicated profile] james_nicoll_feed

Posted by james_nicoll

Which is creating the Amazon and Chapters links for the book being review, I know one particular book is $19.19 if you buy it from Kobo and $11.71 from Kindle....

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

Chainsaw developmental biology

Sep. 23rd, 2017 11:37 am
[syndicated profile] pharyngula_feed

Posted by PZ Myers

I’m kind of in to how undifferentiated tissue becomes mature and acquires a specific morphology, so I liked this series of photos of a big hunk of driftwood being shaped into an octopus. It gets from here:

To here:

However, I’m used to development proceeding autonomously. I don’t think it would work if I just put a tree trunk and a chainsaw together in a beaker in my yard, which disappoints me. Is it a matter of getting the salt concentration just right? The temperature?

[syndicated profile] pharyngula_feed

Posted by PZ Myers

In case any of my readers are interested in doing that (and some of you are! I get your email all the time), here’s a WikiHow article on how to convert atheists. It’s very simple, and I can summarize it in one sentence: be very nice, and for the love of god, don’t talk about Christianity.

I’m not kidding! Every recommendation is about demonstrating how you’re a nice person, but if the atheist confronts you with any of their disagreements with Christian doctrine or mythology, you’re supposed to back away gracefully and avoid addressing any of their points. Let me just inform any of you proselytizers out there that this tactic would simply increase my contempt for your religion, so don’t bother. Thanks.

You know, I read the educational literature to figure out better ways to get ideas across to my students, and there are effective ways to communicate and inform. I’m trying to imagine doing a better job of teaching cell biology by forming a personal rapport with my students, being friendly and kind, but running away every time I’m asked a question about mitochondria. I don’t think it would accomplish any of the goals I have for the class.


Wait! I found another site that reveals what happens when Christians do talk about the specifics of their religion. It’s called PROVING THE INSANITY OF ATHEISM BY FACTS PHYSICS HAS NO FOREKNOWLEDGE, WHICH IS A FACT.

So physics could have never known in advance that man’s body could produce knowledge.

By knowledge we take the proper food to eat which then by our organs becomes blood, and obviously we need this to live because life is in the blood. Even if you eat or if the food becomes blood you are still dead. So what happened to evolution? Who knew in advance that after food becomes blood you need veins all over your body, so the blood can flow throughout your body and also that you need a pump to keep circulating the blood? Is this a proven technology or a myth of physics? And also who knew the heart has to keep pumping constantly otherwise you are dead? Do you put the food into your mouth or evolution does? You do. If you eat food you grow, but if you do not then you do not grow. What do you see here, that food makes you grow or that evolution makes you grow?

So physics puts the food into your mouth or your knowledge puts the food in your mouth? For food to become blood, you must have different organs working to form it. Every organ has a special workmanship in order to complete the foreknowledge of the personality, but again, not by physics because physics has no foreknowledge. The atheists claim it is by physics, however. So the atheists do not understand wisdom.

Welp, I sure am convinced.

[syndicated profile] alas_a_blog_feed

Posted by Ampersand

Whoops, there are forty links here. I really should have posted this sooner.

  1. Maybe Voting Before Healthcare? | Noah Berlatsky on Patreon
    Noah argues, and I agree, that voting rights should be the top priority of Democrats, not Medicare For All.
  2. Republican House Majority Whip in the South Dakota legislature calls running over protesters ‘a movement we can all support’ – ThinkProgress
    The article includes another example of an elected politician, and also Fox News, promoting the idea that protestors should be run over.
  3. Forced-To-Penetrate Cases: Lived Experiences of Men (pdf link)
    A British survey of men who have been forced to penetrate (the paper’s term) by women. This is very interesting, although we should keep in mind that it’s a self-selected sample; I’d really like to similar questions asked by a large-scale survey using a more representative sample.
  4. Not Sorry Feminism: Dear Millennial Men
    A study finds that male students in college, in biology class, consistently see their female counterparts as less intelligent and accomplished, even in classes where the grade leaders are female. The female students had no corresponding bias. (Thanks, Grace!)
  5. How Black Women Have Impacted Feminism Over Time | Teen Vogue
  6. Neoliberal academia complex shows its ass: Harvard rejects Manning, Jones, unions
    But the only free speech problem on campus comes from the left. (Thanks, Grace!)
  7. Bernie Sanders Is Changing the Democratic Party’s Priorities – Bloomberg
    It doesn’t matter, for now, that his Medicare for All bill has no funding mechanism; the point is to raise the priority of Medicare for All as a core belief among Democrats. Other, wonkier politicians will work out the details if MFA becomes a central Democratic belief.
  8. Comics – Index of Multi-Panel Pans by Decade | THE PERIODIC FABLE
    I love these sorts of panels (where a background continues across multiple panels). I’ve long contemplated trying to do a full-length comic with a single continuous background.
  9. ICE Is Abusing the ACLU’s Clients Because They are Fighting Deportation | American Civil Liberties Union
    ” ICE appears to have ramped up its efforts to make the lives of Iraqis in custody so unbearable that they will “voluntarily” sign away their rights to reopen their immigration cases or pursue asylum. The Iraqis have been singled out and denied food, water, and access to the restroom.”
  10. The well-meaning harm of “the last acceptable discrimination.”
    An essay by a fat writer about a phrase she’d rather not hear.
  11. Single-payer isn’t the only progressive option on health care – Vox
    The goal should be universal coverage, not single payer.
  12. In Sync We Trust: Pop Music’s History of Lip-Syncing (and Lying About It)
  13. Reflections on Abjection and Fatphobia – Kiva Bay – Medium
    “What does it mean to separate a part of your body from your Self? To look in the mirror and tell yourself you are surrounded by some alien Other thing?”
  14. To Understand Rising Inequality, Consider the Janitors at Two Top Companies, Then and Now – The New York Times
    1980s at Kodac versus today at Apple. Alternative link.
  15. The generation game | Inside Story
    Regarding “baby boomers, generation X, and so on”: “I’ve now concluded that generational clichés are the ultimate zombie idea, easy to refute but impossible to kill.”
  16. How I Learned to Love Being a Hairy Lady – by Vreni
    Long-form cartoon, with nice drawings. Mostly autobio, but also some interesting stuff about the history of shaved legs.
  17. A Serf on Google’s Farm – Talking Points Memo
    How Google’s near-monopoly on many aspects of online publishing effects publishing.
  18. Two Circles by Micah Lexier – YouTube.
    “Two Circles” is an attractive but also unimpressive piece of public art, in the photos of it I’ve seen. But this video of the making of it is hypnotic.
  19. Deaf Advocates Call Oklahoma Police Shooting ‘Tragic but Not Surprising’ – NBC News
  20. Antifa Broke My Camera | New Republic
  21. The Resegregation of Jefferson County – The New York Times
  22. Trump supporter tries to get undocumented classmate deported, gets expelled from college
  23. Confessions From The Fattest Person At The Sex Party
    Content warning: Discussion of fax anxiety in an extremely anxiety-producing situation.
  24. Congress prepares to do the bare minimum to stabilize Obamacare – Vox
    And even that level of accomplishment may be a stretch.
  25. (1) The Adorkable Misogyny of The Big Bang Theory – YouTube
    Although honestly, one 20 minute video can barely scratch the surface of the sexism of this show.
  26. How to Distinguish Between Antifa, White Supremacists, and Black Lives Matter
  27. From Prison to Ph.D.: The Redemption and Rejection of Michelle Jones – The New York Times
    Harvard accepts, and then rejects, an applicant who served 20 years in prison for murdering her son – partly out of fear of what Fox News would say. The research Michelle Jones did (in prison!) is really impressive.
  28. David’s Ankles: How Imperfections Could Bring Down the World’s Most Perfect Statue – The New York Times
    A long read, but I liked it. (Although I have to admit I was more interested in the story of David than the parallel story of the author’s personal growth.) Indirect link.
  29. Study: Trump fans are much angrier about housing assistance when they see an image of a black man – Vox
  30. I posted a long thread on Twitter about the anger of anti-SJW comics fans, which to my surprise got a LOT of views and responses.
    ETA: Oh, and now someone has made it into a Storify, which may make for easier reading.
  31. Teacher accused of assaulting student who sat for Pledge | MLive.com
  32. Fuck The Pledge of Allegiance – Intelexual Media
  33. Inside The Federal Bureau Of Way Too Many Guns | GQ
    A federal bureau that is legally forbidden to use computer databases tries to track down guns for murder investigations.
  34. Consentacle: A Card Game of Human-Alien Intimacy by Naomi Clark — Kickstarter
    This looks like it could be a fun game. Thanks to Grace for the link.
  35. DACA’s Five-Year Anniversary: More than 100 Law Professors Support Legality of DACA
  36. How the Courts Have Devastated Organized Labor – Lawyers, Guns & Money
  37. Funnybook Babylon · Archives · Re-Coloring Moebius
    Examples and discussion of the horrendous recoloring of a comics classic. Although actually I think in the third example, it actually looks better in the newer colors; but in the first two examples, the recoloring is a travesty. Also, the choice to switch to a much more typical lettering font sucked.
  38. The problem with how men perceive rape
    “While writing this story, I heard from a number of different women who’d had sexual experiences that weren’t quite rape, but didn’t feel completely consensual either.”
  39. Comic strip: What If We Thought Of Gender Like Ice Cream? It Makes Sense, Here’s Why – Everyday Feminism
  40. The Effects of ‘Ban the Box’ on the Employment of Black Men | Econofact
    Research finds that if employers can’t ask if applicants have ever been convicted of a crime, they respond by increasing discrimination against young Black men. But then others argue that that interpretation of the studies is flawed (pdf link). There’s also a in-depth discussion in this paper from the Urban Institute (pdf link).

Let’s Talk Advertising

Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:16 am
[syndicated profile] ctrlaltdel_feed

Posted by Tim

If you don’t use ad block, you’re going to notice some new ad locations on the website this week. If you do use ad block, well, you won’t see them… which is the reason they’re there.

To be clear, that is not a judgement or an accusation. I understand and sympathize with the various reasons to use an ad blocker. Especially since with the ad exchanges, we can’t always control the ads showing up on our site. I’m not going to make some big pitch about the evil of ad block and implore you to disable it; if you choose to use it, that’s your decision and your right. But as a website owner who relies on advertising income, the proliferation of ad blockers and their indiscriminate use has had an unmistakable impact on the way that side of the business functions. And it’s something we have to find ways to deal with.

Let’s get this out on the table right up front: I don’t like the new ads. I don’t really want them on the website, and I’ve yet to decide if they’ll stay. We’re doing a sort of trial with them at the moment so that we can collect hard data on their performance and so I could see them in practice. There’s some garbage at the bottom of the page, and occasionally a video ad in the corner that should not play sound unless you mouse over it.

I don’t like them, but I’m also faced with having to at least seriously consider their use. Advertising income is directly responsible for keeping this site running. I don’t mean that in a “I need to eat so I can keep working” sort of way, although that is certainly part of it. I mean the revenue generated by advertising pays for the server to keep this website online and the personnel to monitor/respond to issues.

And so I’m torn between not wanting to cover my website in ads, and not wanting to leave money on the table, so to speak. Especially now that I have a family to support, I feel added pressure to take steps I might not worry too much about if it were just me alone. It’s hard not to be keenly aware of the percentage of traffic that uses ad blockers, and not wonder if that deficit could be made up at least in part by certain ads that offer a higher payout, even if they are a bit gross.

Ideally, I could convince more people to support the website with $1 a month via Patreon and not even need ads. But that requires active participation whereas placing ads on a page is a passive method of the support; the reader doesn’t have to do anything extra. They’re already loading the page for the comic. They visit the site, and someone else gives me some money.

So, that’s the long and short of it. It’s why ads are there to begin with, and it’s why we’ve added some new ones. Like I said, it may or may not be permanent. Part of me wants them to not be worth it so I can get rid of them, and part of me worries about what the next step is if they don’t work out.

[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

image of a pub Photoshopped to be named 'The Beloved Community Pub'
[Explanations: lol your fat. pathetic anger bread. hey your gay.]

Belly up to the bar,
and be in this space together.

I'm going to be otherwise occupied for most of the day Monday, so I will be taking the day off and return on Tuesday. See you then!

News Post: Market Penetration

Sep. 22nd, 2017 09:04 pm
[syndicated profile] pennyarcade_feed
Tycho: Outside of Twitter or email, I don’t let strangers talk to me on the Internet.  I just don’t do it.  Generally speaking their “insights” about my identity fall into a few very staid categories and I feel confident I’ve experienced the flavor ridges of that particular narrative arc.  I’m not resting on my anodized laurels though: I’m getting into the conversation in a big way, and there’s been some interest in the novel mode of my dialectic. Hey!  The Child’s Play Team has put together a an event this afternoon on our…

Quote of the Day

Sep. 22nd, 2017 03:30 pm
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

"Graham-Cassidy, the health bill the Senate may vote on next week, is stunningly cruel. It's also incompetently drafted: The bill's sponsors clearly had no idea what they were doing when they put it together. Furthermore, their efforts to sell the bill involve obvious, blatant lies. ...Graham-Cassidy isn't an aberration; it's more like the distilled essence of everything wrong with modern Republicans."—Paul Krugman, in "Cruelty, Incompetence, and Lies" for the New York Times.

MAKE YOUR CALLS. RESIST.
[syndicated profile] pharyngula_feed

Posted by PZ Myers

Wow. Every person on the planet saw one version or another of this “Octopolis” story and had to send it to me. It was the subject of a Friday Cephalopod a year ago, you know.

Apparently, this is the second octopus city discovered, which is interesting — they’re exhibiting more complex social behaviors.

However, I have two complaints.

  1. A lot of the stories are describing Octopolis/Octlantis as “gloomy”. Why? Is it because the inhabitants aren’t swimming around with toothy grins? The cephalopods look quite normal to me.

  2. A more serious complaint, about this quote:

    The discovery was a surprise, Scheel told Quartz. “These behaviors are the product of natural selection, and may be remarkably similar to vertebrate complex social behavior. This suggests that when the right conditions occur, evolution may produce very similar outcomes in diverse groups of organisms.”

    Nope. You don’t know that. There’s no evidence and no reason to think this behavior is the product of natural selection — quite the opposite, actually. It looks to me like the spontaneous emergence of a novel property of octopus behavior in an unusual and fortuitous environment.

New Books and ARCs, 9/22/17

Sep. 22nd, 2017 06:52 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Just in time for the weekend, a new batch of books and ARCs at the Scalzi Compound for you to peruse. Which would you want to give a place in your own “to be read” stack? Tell us in the comments.


Shaker Gourmet

Sep. 22nd, 2017 02:30 pm
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

Whatcha been cooking up in your kitchen lately, Shakers?

Share your favorite recipes, solicit good recipes, share recipes you've recently tried, want to try, are trying to perfect, whatever! Whether they're your own creation, or something you found elsewhere, share away.

Also welcome: Recipes you've seen recently that you'd love to try, but haven't yet!

That sounds like a promising idea

Sep. 22nd, 2017 07:07 pm
[syndicated profile] pharyngula_feed

Posted by PZ Myers

Rebecca Otto is running for governor of Minnesota, and she has some good, progressive ideas for improving our energy self-reliance.

Here’s the elevator speech version: Minnesota residents get around five thousand dollars cash (over several years), monetary incentives to upgrade all their energy using devices from furnaces to cars, some 80,000 new, high paying jobs, and in the end, the state is essentially fossil fuel free.

About half of that fossil fuel free goal comes directly from the plan itself, the other half from the economy and markets passing various tipping points that this plan will hasten. The time scale for the plan is roughly 10 years, but giving the plan a careful reading I suspect some goals will be reached much more quickly. This means that once the plan takes off, Minnesotans will have an incentive to hold their elected officials accountable for holding the course for at least a decade.

I like it. It’s incremental, it provides incentives for citizens to do things that will be good for them and the state, and it’s a great long term investment. My only concerns at this point are that the sums are on the small side — I could use $5K to make some small improvements in energy efficiency in my house, but big changes require bigger capital investment — and it’s not obvious how these incremental investments will get us to the point of being free from fossil fuels. There are more details, and I’ll have to look into it.

Even if it cuts fossil fuel usage by 20%, though, that’s an improvement worth doing. I might have to vote for this person in the next election and get this plan implemented.

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