Lithium and other rants

  1. Apparently the marathon method of doing things I don’t want to do is fairly effective. pdoc appointment quickly followed by buying new bras (hate hate hate hate doing this, I am not a woman, I’m genderqueer arg) followed by picking up the lithium is more effective than having to psych myself up three times to get things done. Despite the long T rides for each of these.
  2. With regard to starting lithium. I’m hoping this goes okay. It better go okay. Please let it go okay with minimal side effects. Please.
  3. With regard to buying bras. Yes. I have small breasts. Yes, I would like compression bras, preferably in a natural material. Arg. Please. None of this nylon/polyester bullshit. Cotton. I would like cotton. And yes, I said compression. Compression, not push up. I know I sound a privileged little wanker for complaining about this stuff, but seriously. Arg.
  4. Why have I never considered knitting on the T before?

Emacs M-x spook: EuroFed Perl-RSA 9705 Samford Road Peking computer terrorism Becker [Hello to all my friends and fans in domestic surveillance] HAMASMOIS AK-47 nuclear CID secure weapons of mass destruction Bletchley Park CDMA

Monday Miscellaneous

I guess we’re living in a surveillance state after all. FBI demands Lavabit‘s SSL encryption key.

The U.S. government in July obtained a search warrant demanding that Edward Snowden’s e-mail provider, Lavabit, turn over the private SSL keys that protected all web traffic to the site, according to to newly unsealed documents.

The July 16 order came after Texas-based Lavabit refused to circumvent its own security systems to comply with earlier orders intended to monitor a particular Lavabit user’s metadata, defined as “information about each communication sent or received by the account, including the date and time of the communication, the method of communication, and the source and destination of the communication.”

Why are there so few women in science? A lovely essay written by Eileen Pollack.

Presented with identical summaries of the accomplishments of two imaginary applicants, professors at six major research institutions were significantly more willing to offer the man a job. If they did hire the woman, they set her salary, on average, nearly $4,000 lower than the man’s. Surprisingly, female scientists were as biased as their male counterparts.

It’s apparently not difficult to get a concealed gun permit in Utah, even when you don’t live there.

My achievement doesn’t make sense for a number of reasons. One, I don’t live in Utah. I’m a resident of Washington, DC, a city that holds concealed handguns in roughly the same esteem as working escalators. I’ve never shot a gun. And in distinctly un-Utahn fashion, I’m nursing a hangover. Fortunately, none of that matters here. After four hours at Dukes Defense, I have a completed application and a snazzy graduation certificate for my wall. Sixty days after my application is processed, I’ll be able to carry a concealed weapon in no fewer than 32 states. It’s great for road trips.

Fox News and Republicans celebrate the fact that the EPA shuts down during government shutdowns.

A full 94 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 16,204 have been furloughed for the duration of the government shutdown, impeding the agency’s ability to regulate pollution, monitor air and water quality and clean up Superfund sites. It could also, as the Guardian reports, prevent them from enforcing those new CO2 standards for coal-fired power plants.

Some aren’t too torn up about that possibility. Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn, for example, tweeted the following:

There is some good news out of the shutdown, the EPA can’t issue new regulations. http://t.co/SsSTDiif2R

— Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) October 1, 2013

Personally, I think we should have expected the government shutdown, because seriously Republicans would just rather not govern.

Fox’s John Stossel:

“I’m hoping the shutdown will wake people up and say, hey, maybe we don’t need all this stuff,” [Strossel] said. “We could close whole departments. Why do we need a Commerce Department? Commerce just happens, government gets in the way.”

[…]

“So, you’re pro-shutdown?” co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked.

“Yeah,” Stossel replied. “Shut more down!”

Zimmerman’s wife doubts his innocence.

Shellie Zimmerman appeared on the NBC program with her attorney and discussed the trial, her divorce and a Sept. 9 domestic dispute.

She said she never saw a gun during the incident, although she said she felt threatened when her husband gestured toward a holster on his hip and repeatedly told her to “step closer.”

“I saw him in a stance and a look in his eyes that I’ve never seen before,” Shellie Zimmerman said.

Shellie Zimmerman said she did not press charges because she said police told her she and her husband would each go to jail but she would likely stay there after pleading guilty to perjury related to George Zimmerman’s murder case.

[Emphasis mine]

There’s a new Hyperbole and a Half! [1]

And your miscellaneous photo of the week: Giant chart of beer.

o.O


[1] Incidentally, the same effect may comes into play when people drink.

Overall, 38% of the experiments found expectancy effects. All 3 of the social influence studies found that expectancy set increased susceptibility to social influence, whereas none of the aggression studies found effects for expectancy set. Studies on creativity, mood/emotion, sexual aggression, sexuality, and miscellaneous topics yielded mixed findings and there were too few within each topic to consider further. Three topics, cognitive/motor performance, decision making/risk taking, and stress/anxiety, included at least 10 studies and were examined at more depth.

Or, in English, people tend to become more susceptible to peer influence when drunk because of subconscious factors and not because of the alcohol itself. [Return]


Emacs M-x spook: Geraldton George W. Bush sweep import LLNL anthrax Zachawi cracking warfare MD5 analyzer $400 million in gold bullion Commecen Fedayeen pink noise

Monday Miscellaneous

Kansas picks the “I can’t hear you!” method for combating climate change.

Now the state’s “Committee on Energy and Environment” is proposing a law that would prohibit spending on anything that won’t set Kansas on a course to self-destruction. House Bill No. 2366 would ban all state and municipal funds for anything related to “sustainable development,” which it defines as: “development in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come.”

This guy makes beer in his gut. I’m not sure what to think of this.

The patient had an infection with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Cordell says. So when he ate or drank a bunch of starch — a bagel, pasta or even a soda — the yeast fermented the sugars into ethanol, and he would get drunk. Essentially, he was brewing beer in his own gut. Cordell and McCarthy reported the case of “auto-brewery syndrome” a few months ago in the International Journal of Clinical Medicine.

In less pleasant news, brain-eating amoeba discovered in Louisiana.

An oldie-but-goodie: Gay marriage and databases.

Boston’s MBTA is switching up its maps [HT: AmiableBowfin].

Cliff on gender presentation and how other people treat you:

I used to think a certain level of trolling and insulting was just the base state of the Internet, just something you had to thicken your skin to because Internet’s gonna Internet.

Then I changed my name from Holly to Cliff.

This dad is awesome: My Son Wears Dresses; Get Over It

I’m a father. I signed on for the job with no strings attached, no caveats, no conditions. I can name every Disney Princess and her movie of origin. I’ve painted my son’s nails and rushed to remove it when he was afraid that he would get teased for wearing it. I didn’t want to remove it, I wanted to follow him around and stare down anybody who even thought about teasing him. I only removed it because he started to have a panic attack. It was his decision and if he wants to edit himself to feel safer, I’ll do it. Every time. No questions asked.

Brute Reason: Why you shouldn’t use mental illnesses as metaphors. This entire essay is totally worth reading.

But the dilution of mental illness terms might have another, more insidious effect, and that is changing our mental schemas of what mental illness looks like such that it’s less and less serious, and treating it accordingly.

Wikileaks leaks movie script about Wikileaks:

In an internal memo posted alongside the screenplay, WikiLeaks calls the film “work of fiction masquerading as fact” and offers a point-by-point listing of its concerns with the film’s creative liberties, including depictions of harm caused by WikiLeaks, the role of Daniel Domscheit-Berg, and the discussion of charges against Assange. It notes that “there are very high stakes involved in how WikiLeaks is perceived.

And a minor personal update: Turns out growth lights – yes, the ones you buy if you want to grow plants indoors – roughly approximate SAD lights, but are so much cheaper.