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Josh Fredman
Works at Joshua Tree Studios
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Josh Fredman

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You gotta stop and marvel about the gentle absurdity of a genre where it's more or less uncontroversial to see an oceangoing ship hull, supported by cathedral-style  _flying  buttresses_, soaring through the sky.

The balloon is a nice touch.

I've grown past the point in my life where I am inherently roused by resplendent displays of vehicles of war, but let's for the moment look past that and appreciate the wider emotional canvas on a work like this.
 
"Salute the Gothic Fleet" by Luches.deviantART.comhttp://bit.ly/1gdAkch
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Josh Fredman
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This cross-sectional study concluded that, even though vegetarian diets were associated with lower BMI and reduced alcoholic intake, they were also associated with poorer actual health  in most of the specific measures taken (e.g., cancer, hypertension, migraine). Furthermore, the study found that even diets especially rich in meat often compared favorably to strictly vegetarian ones.

It's important to remember that this was just one study, and a cross-sectional one at that (i.e., they didn't control the experiment themselves but simply used data from large surveys conducted by other authorities). Pro-vegetarians have also raised some specific criticisms that are worth taking into account, such as the fact that this study didn't control for people who might have been on vegetarian diets because they already had health problems that later developed into more serious ones. Thus, we can't take these results as conclusive.

What we can do is take a moment to appreciate that this is just one more little nugget of evidence in an increasingly large hill of evidence that our popular notions about what constitutes a healthy diet are greatly in error. Humanity has evolved to eat meat, and on a qualitative level it's not surprising that excluding meat completely seemingly does not contribute to better health.

This, in turn, has consequences for society's popular belief in the supposed unhealthfulness of being fat--which, with each passing year and the studies that come out, seems to me to be more and more unfounded.

http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0088278&representation=PDF
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If people wore these in general, we'd know who is willing to be solicited for romance and who isn't.

(That's the biggest deal; it'd also be useful in non-romantic contexts.)
 
how awesome is this?  color coded badges from the autistic self advocacy network's 2013 gala.  including the following link for interesting discussion and a letter from the president asan on the topic.

as a very shy individual, i would love something like this to find wide-spread use in a variety of public settings.  as others pointed out, such badges or indicators could be useful at cons and the like.

http://embodiedspirit.tumblr.com/post/81899292496/autisticadvocacy-overtflannel

#autism   #autismspectrum   #convention   #interaction  
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The boom town culture that has flourished here is, like industrial boom town cultures tend to be, pretty barbaric. Dismaying, but not surprising, that some people still reduce to this. Boom towns probably attract a certain kind of person, too, who is much likelier to commit sexual and other crimes. People like that need outlets for their nature, but clearly they can't be left to their own discretion.
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Have him in circles
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Josh Fredman

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I got a certificate for my vote to affirm "Goodbye Tour"! ^_^
 
Help name the last phase of the Cassini mission!

The scientists on the Cassini team are incredibly excited about the final, "proximal orbit" phase of the mission. But they want a punchier name for it, and they're asking the public for help.

Find out more: http://bit.ly/1sLRP8I

(Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech)
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This right here is reason enough not to live in Pennsylvania, the only state where a bullied kid can be criminally charged--and convicted!--for documenting the bullying against them.

I expect this conviction will be overturned on appeal, but we'll see. The letter of the law itself covers everything that happened, but I would hope that a higher court will find the obvious need for an exemption here, if not throw out the whole law.
 
Record your bullies; get accused of illegal wiretapping.

Insult to injury, it's reduced to disorderly conduct, but for being offensive actions “which served no legitimate purpose.”
In Pennsylvania, a high school sophomore with developmental disabilities was convicted of a crime after recording classmates threatening to "pull down his pants"
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Here's an unofficial list of websites vulnerable and not vulnerable to the Heartbleed exploit. Virtually all popular websites are listed there for your reference, including bank websites (if you bank online), PayPal, popular news sites and social networks, and so forth. Just do a text search for web domains you want to know about (like "facebook.com").

You can also follow the link and test other websites yourself.

Remember that even if a website checks out as not vulnerable, you should probably still change your password as it may have been vulnerable prior to the past few days. Lots of people are recommending you change every password you have, everywhere on the Internet. I don't know if that's overkill or not, but that's the advice.

Likewise, any website still listed as vulnerable you should retest yourself (as the list is a couple days old by this point), and avoid logging into it so long as it remains vulnerable. Only after it shows as not vulnerable should you log in and change your password.

This effects virtually the entire world, not just my American readers.

It looks like many of the sites I use (but not all of them) are in the clear.

#Heartbleed  

https://github.com/musalbas/heartbleed-masstest/blob/master/top1000.txt
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So, like, if you're wary of Internet security, you should stay off the Internet completely for the rest of the week, and when you get back you should change your passwords--pretty much all of them. And if you don't want to spend some time offline, then right now is a good time to change them. Maybe check your bank accounts too.

This "Heartbleed" bug looks like the most serious security breach I've ever read about. I'm a little late to the game; everybody else is already talking about it.

#Heartbleed  

http://heartbleed.com/
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The Barren Field


"He's the help God sent."

That's the advice of an opinion columnist who offered an alternative explanation for a Christian sex-reassignment surgeon in South Korea who is ashamed of his own job and believes he is defying his god's will. But he's not really defying the god's will, says the columnist. The surgeon is the help that the god sent those people who want and need reassignment surgery.

That's touching, and it's sad. Set against the backdrop of the strength and hatefulness of the conservative Christian movement in South Korea (sound familiar?), it's even a little exasperating.

Is that the best a Christian can hope for? Benevolent ignorance? Is it really a bridge too far for a Christian to determine that "God's will" has nothing to do with what those Jesus freaks on the far right says it does, and that ethics is sufficiently derived from the natural world--and that we are our own agents in that world?

Are we musical notes on a sheet, meaningless without a performer? That's what Christians seem to believe. They would seem to hold that the music we perceive ourselves to make is not our own doing, that a divine performer animates us. But that belief runs up against the reality of the independent the human mind, which correctly perceives itself to be sovereign. When we make music, do we feel like inanimate notes? No, we certainly don't. That is why Christians are so insistent on the belief in what they call free will: It supposedly reconciles this obvious contradiction that we know ourselves to be free and yet are meaningless without the Christian deity to play us for the mere notations we are.

When I was a teenager I used to enjoy arguments about the existence of the divine (which usually took the form of the Christian trinity), because they were a way for me to better hone my understanding of and logical justification for what is ultimately an exceedingly simple real-world observation: All religious divine premises that I had theretofore encountered were wrong. In time I resolved things nicely and moved on, the field of debate having discharged its value. That is how I wish it could be for everyone, that we could engage and learn and then move on from what is obviously untrue and explore other questions in other fields.

But that isn't how everybody lives. As someone who has never labored under the delusion of a belief in some objective divinity, and who has long since moved on from finding the questions of divine influence on the world even remotely interesting, it is as if those who do believe are still caught as teenagers, stuck for their whole lives on the premise that their gods exist, and laboring endlessly to explain the world in accordance with that theory.

And what evil it works. Everywhere I turn, it is these religious activists--usually Christian or Muslim, since they are the most numerous--who are the main driving forces behind humanity's countless attempts to cut off the disfavored and the unwieldy from liberty and happiness. Name the most serious issues facing the world today, in the countries of your choice, and tell me who is driving those threats. Most of the time, religious fanatics are the sole or main force. The only engine of evil in the world that comes even remotely close to rivaling the behemoth of religious zealotry is that of the hierarchs who, through their minions of course, indiscriminately wreck the world and everyone and everything in it as a means to protect and enrich their profits, political authority, or military might. And, for them, religion is their first recourse--their weapon of choice for manipulating or repressing the public.

If there were no religion, at least of the sort that encourages people to tell other people how to live, there would still be woe and malice in the world. But our civilization would become immensely healthier, and happier, and stronger. Trans people would get sex reassignment surgeries without harassment. Sex reassignment surgeons would not believe that their healing craft is an act of defiance against their god. And news magazine columnists would not feel compelled to devise lies to help soothe the consciences of people who have nothing to feel guilty about.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/saletan/2014/04/01/a_sex_reassignment_surgeon_declares_i_ve_decided_to_defy_god_s_will.html
When a person is born with a male body but a female psyche, is his body a divine gift to be respected? Or is her body a birth defect, an error by her creator? does sex-reassignment surgery overturn God's will? Kim Seok-Kwun, a doctor who pioneered gender surgery in South...
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Have him in circles
112 people
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  • Joshua Tree Studios
    Writer, Editor, Web Developer, Game Designer, Consultant, 2012 - present
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I live on a remote mountain observatory, but I don't work there! I work for the Internet.
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I love curiosity, ambition, beauty, human power, exploration, and creation. I have a strong will.

If you are thinking about adding me to your Circles, thank you! I would request that you send me a brief message explaining why you've added me. That way I'll have a better understanding of whether I should add you back, and into which Circles. If I don't add you back, please don't take it personally! Most of my posts are public so you will still be able to follow them and participate in the conversation.

For people wondering if they've found the Correct Josh: I am left-handed, and rather fond of fat people.
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