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Brooks Moses
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Brooks Moses

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This is a good compendium of links about the shooting at the Emanual AME church, including some links for places to donate.  But, more than that, the comment section is well worth reading for a nuanced discussion of racism, the Civil War, and how the Civil War has been treated in public discourse, along with suggestions for more reading.

It's well worth reading for the information it contains, and it's also well worth reading just as an existence proof that we can, in fact, have comment forums on reasonably popular websites that can have this sort of conversation about extremely emotional topics.  "Never read the comments" is not always true.  But, for today, read it for the discussions about institutionalized racism, and why we have many Jefferson Davis High Schools in the South and what that means.
The Toast presents a selection of delightful information in the form of a link roundup.
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For +Suzanne Moses.
We follow Atwood through a wet forest in Norway as she hands over the manuscript for a book that won’t be read for 100 years. Plus: David Mitchell is named as the project’s next writer
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I'm surprised Margaret Atwood believes the world will be intact in 100 years. I like her books, though.
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I'd like to commend this Kickstarter to your attention.  The theme of the anthology is "stories that sidestep expectations in beautiful and unsettling ways, that ... cross genre boundaries, that aren’t afraid to experiment with storytelling techniques."  Past editions of this anthology have had stories by Marie Brennan, Tanith Lee, Cat Valente, Ann Leckie, Mary Robinette Kowal, Saladin Ahmed, and many others.  I really enjoyed the 4th edition that came out a couple of years ago, and would highly recommend it.

Also worth noting: Part of the goal of this Kickstarter is paying proper professional rates to the authors, which they've done in past editions as well.

It's currently about $1200 shy of its goal, with 22 hours left.  Based on the last few days, it's has a good chance of making it, but it will be tight, so please help!
Mike Allen is raising funds for CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 5: more stories of beauty and strangeness on Kickstarter! A new volume in our celebrated anthology series devoted to offbeat cross-genre fiction.
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Thanks for sharing. I haven't read the others, but this looks interesting. I went ahead and gave them some money.
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I'd guess both +Suzanne Moses and +David Blaikie will appreciate this.
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Really beautiful.
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The sort of ways that people express emotions in the formal academic writing of journal papers is often fascinating, especially when the the emotions are the awe and wonder of discovering something awesome and wonderful.  For instance, this example of spiderwebs linked from the recent XKCD "what if?" page:

"As an interagency team with expertise in arachnology, urban
entomology, and structural pest management, we were unprepared
for the sheer scale of the spider population and the extraordinary masses of ... webbing that blanketed much of the facility’s cavernous interior.  ... [The] visual impact of the spectacle was nothing less than astonishing."

If you can deal with the spiders, it's well worth reading.  The basic story is that a wastewater treatment plant produces midges in vast quantity, and then vast quantities of spiders (primarily of a couple of different species, both harmless to humans) eat the midges.  So in a way it's sort of a closed ecosystem with wastewater input.

Also there was a point made that spiders for various reasons are quite well-adapted to being first colonizers of new terrain such as results from volcanic eruptions or rockslides or whatnot -- and this terrain is ecologically very much like human-made buildings.
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+Theresa Mecklenborg, I must share.  You'll also want to ... well, it's The Toast, so the comment thread is all good, but the thread under the second comment -- with the gif of baby owls -- is particularly funny.  (+Suzanne Moses will also be amused by it, since she showed me the penguin picture referenced there a few minutes before I read this!)
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Not that I'm aware of, but stranger connections have certainly occurred!
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Carvell Wallace writes a letter to his late mother about yesterday's white supremacist massacre in Charleston.
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Quoting from the article: "Other than those fibs, the study was 100 percent authentic. My colleagues and I recruited actual human subjects in Germany. We ran an actual clinical trial, with subjects randomly assigned to different diet regimes. And the statistically significant benefits of chocolate that we reported are based on the actual data. It was, in fact, a fairly typical study for the field of diet research. Which is to say: It was terrible science."
 
It's shockingly easy to get worldwide attention with a totally bogus study. Simple recipe: measure 20 variables in a small sample group, and it's likely that one of them will "win the lottery" and seem statistically significant. Nice job demonstrating this.
“Slim by Chocolate!” the headlines blared. A team of German researchers had found that people on a low-carb diet lost weight 10 percent faster if they ate a chocolate bar every day. It made the front page of Bild, Europe’s largest daily newspaper, just beneath their update about the Germanwings crash. From there, it ricocheted around the internet and beyond, making news in more than 20 countries and half a dozen languages. It was discussed on tel...
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Interesting discussion of Boston's road history in comment #15 on this post.  It's not all cow paths; a lot of it is old shorelines.
You can't get there from here. By Andy Woodruff on 22 December 2009. Apparently in Maine they have a saying, “you can't get there from here” (spoken in a Maine accent), said when giving directions as an observation of the impossibility of traveling a direct route between certain places.
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As the person who posted this link elsewhere said, "Yes, really.  It's an eagle.  With a camera on its back."

It's pretty nifty.  Especially the bit at the last 30 seconds or so where the eagle goes into a fast dive down to its handler.
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Some quite interesting thoughts about Netflix series and the future of video storytelling.  The excerpted speech by Kevin Spacey that +Howard Tayler links to is short and well worth watching.
Related Features. Schlock for iPhone, iPad, & Android · Schlock Coloring for iPhone and iPad; Ovalkwiki - The Official Encyclopedia; Get Schlock via Email · Writing Excuses with Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Howard Tayler; One Cobble at a Time - Sandra Tayler's ...
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This is really rather frightening.

The assumption that's underpinned pretty much all of the conversations I've seen about California's water problems has been that the in a year or three the drought will be over, and that it will get better.  That's why you water the almond trees in a drought no matter how hard it is to afford the water, because if you don't it will take more than a decade to grow new ones -- it's not a matter of losing a year of income (as devastating as that is), but of losing a decade of it.  If you can make it through the year with the trees alive, there is some hope of rain next year, and maybe you can keep the farm.

And that is something that I don't think we are grappling with.  Solving this, insofar as we can solve it, means taking away what remaining hope people on farms have for a future in order that the catastrophe might be less bad.  Might be less bad globally, but surely worse for them if only by coming a year earlier.

There is a real danger here.  It is easy, tempting, to rationalize doing this by seeing the farmers as an enemy, as other, as opponents who we need not be compassionate towards because they have taken "our" water and "wasted" it.  It is easier, more comfortable, to excuse taking away their hope by thinking of them as other.  Let us not forget that taking away a person's hope for the future is a horrible, unforgivable thing, and though it may be necessary, that does not forgive it.  Let us not blink and turn away from this truth.

And let us at least find some way to make what amends we can, and remember that it cannot be enough.
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Stories like this make me so glad I decided to pick up my family and move them elsewhere, even if it means I have to spend most of my year out here alone as a sort of migrant tech worker.

California lacks leadership to make difficult decisions, and the state has waited so long to decide that there is an actual problem that any course of action is likely to be painful for a whole lot of people.
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