Links for 2010 Feb 3

I’m getting sicker and sicker as the week progresses. For those of you who despise me: enjoy. There’s some heavy stress that’s taking a toll on me, and that it involves a mortgage is making things even worse than they might otherwise be.

At the moment I’m taking Mucinex, and if you have never taken an expectorant, you might want to meet their cute Mucus Mascot family. Or… not. However, this stuff is hella awesome. From their product line, this is what I take.

Science Digestive is writing some interesting letters. Hat tip to Phil Plait. From Science: Dear Media, Dear Homeopathy, Dear Astrology, Dear Economics, Dear ‘Apple’, Dear Advertising, Dear ‘The Pope’.

Not Exactly Rocket Science: Why Does the Gunslinger Who Draws First Always Get Shot? Though the theory that inspired the research may be more of a case of awesome gun-slingin’ physicist, the research itself is interesting.

New York Post: SAVAGE BEAGLES TERRORIZE EAST END. Yes, REALLY. “It was like a scene from a werewolf movie.” Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan (who loves his beagles).

Talking Points Memo: Week of Shenanigans Makes the CA-Gov Race Interesting Again. What happens when two billionaire Republican candidates duke it out in the party’s gubernatorial primary? Wank. So much wank. Not even political wank. (No, Schwarzenegger is not involved.)

Bad Astronomy: Evolution for kids. Whoa. This is a neat book: illustrated, scientific, Phil Plait’s stamp of approval. Look at the cover:

Available directly from’s shop,,, (where I think it’s actually temporarily sold out). Considering how evolution-anathema the US is, I’m surprised the ratings are that high on the entry (five stars); undoubtedly this will change as some folks go to mob it.

The Big Picture: Tough Guy Challenge 2010. For those of us with a weaker disposition, it’s nice to watch tough people of both genders put themselves through trials that will probably make them as sick as us over the coming week.

While I’m at it, a couple more health product plugs, both from Burt’s Bees, because there are so very many things wrong with me.

First is Res-Q Ointment; it comes in a small round tin, 1.5″ across and 0.75″ high, is green, and smells like aloe vera. Some people don’t like the smell, but it’s comforting to me. It helped heal a very nasty scrape wound that itched like crazy under Neosporin, even the one that’s supposed to soothe itching; and only a little bit under the Res-Q. It’s also the only scrape I’ve had that’s healed without much of a scar. Recommend it highly.

You can get four tins at bulk price from, but you aren’t going to use all that much of it. Though I certainly made a noticeable divot while treating the rather horrible scrape. Apparently there’s also Res-Q Lip Balm now. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Second is Thorougly Therapeutic Honey & Grapeseed Oil Hand Creme. The skin on my face is constantly oiled and smooth, but the skin on my hands get cracked horribly during winter, even in the soggy Pacific Northwest, to the point where it will bleed between cracks by noon. So far, this is the only hand creme that works. It does smell very nice, too, and soaks in rather than staying greasy. I use a lot of this, but unfortunately it’s not currently available in bulk anywhere.

And finally: this is where John Travolta lives. I’m… kind of speechless.

Links for 2010 Feb 1

Glenn Greenwald: Susan Collins spreads central myth about the Constitution. In other words, yes, non-Americans are indeed protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Bad Astronomy: President Obama’s NASA budget unveiled. We probably won’t miss Constellation all that much, but there are other things we probably will.

James Fallows: Why bipartisanship can’t work. “The drawbacks of a parliamentary system… without any of the advantages.”

Justin Kaufman’s Campaign Ad Film Reviews – Installments 1, 2, 3, and 4

Andrew Sullivan: Ronald Reagan, Leftist. No, Reagan is not being argued as Liberal All Along. Well. Not in the usual way.’s Curiosities: Awesome Elevator Ads

/Film: Orange/Blue Contrast in Movie Posters. Warning: you cannot unsee this. However, of the things that you can’t unsee, this is probably one of the preferable ones.

US Baptists Knew Taking Children Out of Haiti Was Wrong. WTF.

Roger Ebert: How to Read a Movie. An older blog entry of his. His (@ebertchicago) is the only Twitter stream I read via RSS.

New Post at My Favorite and Mostly Improper Items of Holmesiana: A Letter

Dear Fans of the new Sherlock Holmes movie:

Let me apologize on the behalf of older Sherlock Holmes fandom for the bits of it that have been generating get-off-my-lawn reboot wank, not five days after the release of the movie. The Sherlock Holmes fandom has thrived for over a hundred years and multiple generations, and every generation has its… special snowflakes.

But fortunately, every generation has also produced creative fandom work (though they may not see it that way), from the solidly analytical to the wondrously fanciful. I may not agree with all of them, or even remotely like some of them, but they all occupy a place in my heart, because there wouldn’t be a Sherlock Holmes fandom without constant re-interpretation of the works. Yes, even the fic pastiche where Moriarty is a vampire who falls madly in love with Holmes.1

I present to you the more amusing pieces of Holmesiana I’ve gathered throughout the years. I’ve strived for a varied collection here that is at the very least sometimes accessible, even if it knocks out some of my absolute favorites. Too much of the fandom is out of print; I hope that changes one day, so that reading all the ’ship wank doesn’t cost 500£.

[Love and adaptation: that's how legends survive.]

Reasons to Defy Self-Inflicted Existence Failure

1. Roasted Chestnuts

© jwalsh, Creative Commons Attribution License

2. Zoë’s Tale

Zoë's Tale

3. Live-Tweeted Hugo Awards!

© Cory Doctorow, Creative Commons Attribute - Share Alike License

Many thanks to Cheryl Morgan and her live-blogging skills.

You can see the tweets at @TheHugoAwards.

4. Nick Mamatas Went to See G.I. Joe

And… wow, what a bad movie.


What the Hell, Hero?
This Is Your Premise on Drugs
One’s a Plot

6. Agony Booth

The Worst of Trek, in particular.

7. Harry and Silvio

Little characters drawn by Eric Orchard that are cute awesome. This for instance is currently my iPhone wallpaper.

The Dream: A Digital Life and What’s Important

The World's Biggest Toys'R'Us, © thewastedsmile, Creatives Commons Attribution License

I had kind of a silly nightmare, compared to the ones I usually dread. It was more of a realization, kind of like the Obama dream.

This is going to ramble on a bit.

In my dream, I’d driven my car to where Home Depot used to be. Except there was a Toys ‘R Us instead! Bizarre, but I spent some time walking around.

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