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Gert Sønderby
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Good book, cheap price, totally worth it and more. It's well written and fun, funny, sexy, exciting, all that good stuff. Don't wait, buy now! ;-)
 
Last two days for my random summer coupon for Finding Gaia!

Enjoy 40% ($2) off at Smashwords using code AT56F until this Wednesday.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/180554 (offers all major formats, including Amazon Kindle)

If you're not sure, try before you buy!  You can read the first several chapters for free.  If you dig it, use the coupon and save.
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Now there's a juxtaposition for the ages: A post by the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, right above a post crowing about a discovery that will enable the eugenic elimination of autistic people.
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Are you tired of the bullshit "Google+ is dead" rhetoric in the tech press, and don't find that it reflects your experiences at all? Turns out, that's because you're not a tech journalist, and thus not victim to the same mental illusion they are, which +Mike Elgan (possibly the only tech journo to ever get G+?) lays out in this article.
 
I don't often share press articles about our products – they rarely seem to say much of use – but this was just such a good case of a journalist Getting It Right that I had to share. Google+ is very much alive, and our recent changes are focused on making it be the best product it can be for what it's best at: helping people meet people and have great conversations about things they're passionate about. 

One particularly noteworthy thing in this article is its discussion of the "majority illusion:" people tend to assume that their friends are typical of the wider world, but almost by definition they aren't – for one thing, they all have one uncommon attribute in common, which is being your friend in the first place. And since people don't choose their friends randomly from the entire spectrum of humanity, one's friends are always a distorted sample. 

So yes, we have here a tech press article which (correctly) uses an important result in cognitive psychology to explain why lots of tech press articles are nonsense.
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First day going back to work after vacation, and I came across this little critter moseying along the sidewalk by the bus stop.
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During our recent vacation in Berlin, we visited the rather excellent Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Musem). Prompted by a discussion with +Spencer Earl and +Marko Bosscher about fossil mounts, this album contains some examples of mounts containing both actual fossils, replicas, and partial fossil bones that were filled out.
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I just realized how unfamiliar I am with the actual skull, because you see so many reconstructions they tend to get superimposed over the real thing in my memory.

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Eeeyup.
 
We exist, we are everywhere, and we are tired of your bullshit http://ow.ly/PyNVL
We exist, we are everywhere, and we are tired of your bullshit
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Not being a shitty husband to my autistic wife doesn't make me special, it doesn't mean I'm inspiring or some bull like that. It means I'm a decent person who loves his wife and is willing to help her when she needs it. If that's impressive to someone, I'll guess their marriage/parenthood/etc. probably isn't going so great. 
 
Just what are we saying about people with disabilities when we glorify those who love and care for them? http://ow.ly/Pilhq
Just what are we saying about people with disabilities when we glorify those who love and care for them?
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It is nearly a tradition within science to forget the women who do great things, and the people of color get nearly as short shrift. Here is an example of someone who will be sorely missed, whose work was phenomenal and important, and who overcame many barriers to get there. Join me in celebrating her life, and mourning her passing. She deserves remembrance.

h/t +Janet Reid 
 
The death of Claudia J. Alexander, a phenomenal woman of #science, was totally overlooked by the social media world. WHY IS THAT??!

Well let me educate you just a little bit.

Claudia J. Alexander, a #NASA scientist who oversaw the dramatic conclusion of the space agency's long-lived Galileo mission to Jupiter and managed the United States' role in the international comet-chasing Rosetta project, died July 11 at Methodist Hospital of Southern California in Arcadia. She was 56.

The cause was breast cancer, said her sister, Suzanne Alexander.

During nearly three decades at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, Alexander was known for her research on subjects including solar wind, #Jupiter and its moons, and the evolution and inner workings of comets.

She was the last project manager of #Galileo, one of the most successful missions for exploring the distant reaches of the solar system. Alexander was leading the mission when scientists orchestrated its death dive into Jupiter's dense atmosphere in 2003, when the spacecraft finally ran out of fuel after eight years orbiting the giant planet.

Most recently, she was Rosetta's U.S. project manager, coordinating with the European Space Agency on the orbiter's journey to rendezvous with the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet as it circles the sun.

Colleagues said Alexander was particularly keen on engaging the public in space science.

She spearheaded Rosetta's efforts to involve amateur astronomers through social media and recognize the value of their ground-level observations of the spacecraft's path toward deep space. In particular, she spurred the creation of a Facebook group where members of the amateur community post comments on their sightings and interact with her and other scientists.

“Claudia's vision was to engage and empower the amateur community via various social media… a new wrinkle on the concept” of public engagement in NASA’s missions, said Padma A. Yanamandra-Fisher, a senior research scientist with the Space Science Institute who coordinated the outreach.

"I was a pretty lonely girl. I was the only #black girl in pretty much an all-white school and spent a lot of time by myself -- with my imagination."
- Claudia Alexander

"She had a special understanding of how scientific discovery affects us all, and how our greatest achievements are the result of teamwork, which came easily to her," JPL director Charles Elachi said in a statement. "Her insight into the scientific process will be sorely missed."

Alexander was born in Vancouver, Canada, on May 30, 1959. She moved to the Silicon Valley with her family when she was 1 and grew up in Santa Clara. Her father, Harold Alexander, was a social worker and her mother, Gaynelle, was a corporate librarian for chip-maker Intel.

As an African American in a predominantly white community, Alexander felt isolated. Writing became a refuge for her.

"I was a pretty lonely girl," she recalled in a feature for the University of Michigan's Engineering Magazine. "I was the only black girl in pretty much an all-white school and spent a lot of time by myself — with my imagination."

She wanted to study journalism at UC Berkeley, but her parents "would only agree to pay for it if I majored in something 'useful,' like engineering," she said in an interview for the Rosetta website.

During college she became an engineering intern at NASA's Ames Research Center near San Jose. But she found herself drawn to the space facility and visited it as often as she could. Her supervisor eventually arranged for her to intern in the space science division.

She went on to earn a bachelor's degree in geophysics at UC Berkeley and a master's in geophysics and space physics at UCLA. At the University of #Michigan, she wrote her doctoral thesis on comet thermophysical nuclear modeling and earned a PhD in #atmospheric#oceanic and #space sciences.

In 1986, she joined JPL as a team member for Galileo, which was still years from launching.

In 2000, she became Rosetta's U.S. project scientist at the relatively young age of 40.

"She was always looking to improve the project and make things flow better," said Paul Weissman, an interdisciplinary scientist on Rosetta. "Europeans can be difficult about collaborations. Claudia would get people to open up and work together."

In 2003, she became Galileo project manager, guiding efforts to destroy the venerable spacecraft to prevent it from accidentally crashing into and contaminating any of Jupiter's moons.

She had also served as a science coordinator on the Cassini mission to #Saturn.

In her spare time, Alexander wrote two books on science for children and mentored young people, especially #African American #girls. "She wanted children of color to see themselves as scientists," her sister Suzanne said.

A fan of the steampunk movement in science fiction, Alexander wrote and published short stories in the genre. She wore the Victorian-style clothing associated with steampunk fashion when she taped a #TED talk on how to engage youths in #math and science. Her lecture will be released later this year.

Alexander was never married and had no children. Besides her mother and sister, she is survived by a brother, David Alexander.

Via Tania Scott on Facebook
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This is how you relate a widely publicized injustice to one that is also deserving of attention, cleverly and satirically. It makes you laugh, and then go "oh wait...". And that subverts the brain's defenses against being convinced.

h/t +Uche Eke
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God damn it, just install async or something, liberate yourself from callback hell!
 
I almost missed this! "thanks single character code delimiters, but we'll take it from here" -teamdesign
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Finally found a use for The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson: Dropped it on a beetle. Beetle died.
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Despite the book being a hardcover of a thousand pages, it took two drops.
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