Friday Links (baby leopard edition!)

Quadruplet clouded leopard cubs were born at Point Defiance zoo and aquarium in Tacoma, Washington (Photograph: Point Defiance Zoo/Facebook)
Quadruplet clouded leopard cubs were born at Point Defiance zoo and aquarium in Tacoma, Washington
(Photograph: Point Defiance Zoo/Facebook)
It’s Friday! The fourth Friday in May. We have family flying in from out of town, and they want to do a whirlwind tourist-y tour of Seattle, so I’m going probably going to be off the grid until sometime next week.

Anyway, here is a collection of some of the things that I ran across over the course of the week which struck me as worthy of being shared. Sorted into categories with headings so you can skip more easily:

Link of the Week

Ian McEwan to Grads: Defend Free Speech. It’s long, but really worth the read. And it is not entirely about what you think it’s about.


Girls With Toys: This is what real scientists look like..

New Mind-Altering Substance Identified. It’s Called Writing.

The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous. “Its faith-based 12-step program dominates treatment in the United States. But researchers have debunked central tenets of AA doctrine and found dozens of other treatments more effective.” (Thanks to geojlc for the link!)

Science women celebrate ‘toys’ after radio show comment.

The closest supernova candidate?

Why is the Universe flat and not spherical? (Advanced).


Introducing Washington’s first dinosaur. Woo hoo!

And for more information: The First Dinosaur from Washington State and a Review of Pacific Coast Dinosaurs from North America.

What effect did compression waves have immediately following the Big Bang? (Intermediate).

The Slow-Motion Symbiotic Train Wreck of the 13-Year Cicada.

New Math Model Shows How Neural Networks Create Memories.

Quantum-mechanical monopoles discovered.

Astronomers baffled by discovery of rare quasar quartet.

Oil CEO Wanted University Quake Scientists Dismissed: Dean’s E-Mail.

Political/culture war news:

Let’s stop saying bad police officers are rare. Fact is they’re plentiful from coast to coast.

BOMBSHELL DUGGAR POLICE REPORT: JIM BOB DUGGAR DIDN’T REPORT SON JOSH’S ALLEGED SEX OFFENSES FOR MORE THAN A YEAR. Shorter version of the same headline: Awful hateful bigot does awful things, duh.

Gross Josh Duggar Admits To Molesting His Own Sisters, Resigns From Family Research Council. The Wonkette actually has screen captures of a lot of the redacted police documents and way more details than I found anywhere else.

Largest Paper in New Jersey Calls Chris Christie Out for Losing Touch with Reality.

Bush Administration Gave ‘False Presentation’ Of The True Intelligence, Briefer Charges. File this under, “We told you so years ago”

White America’s Waco insanity: The shocking realities it ignores about racism & violence.

George W. Bush’s CIA briefer admits Iraq WMD “intelligence” was a lie.

The Christian right is losing women: Why more and more are embracing non-belief.

President Obama And Bill Clinton Put Republicans To Shame With Twitter Takeover.

This Week in Sexism

On the Rape of Sansa Stark and Quitting Game of Thrones.

Maggie Gyllenhaal: At 37 I was ‘too old’ for role opposite 55-year-old man.

What Hollywood’s Acceptance Of Sexism Looks Like In Practice.

I had a culture column at WIRED. And then I didn’t. Here’s what happened.

News for queers and our allies:

Here’s the latest conservative outlet equating gay rights with slavery; yes, slavery, and yes, literally.

Okay, let’s talk about ‘silencing’.

A gay-marriage opponent changes his mind.

Boy Scouts Head Robert Gates: Blanket Ban On Gay Leaders “Cannot Be Sustained”. The former defense secretary, now president of the Boy Scouts, called upon the organization to make a change “sooner rather than later.”

FRC prays against Dan Savage ‘spewing upon our nation’; I’ll let Dan make that joke himself.

EXCLUSIVE: Grindr Screenshots Reveal Antigay Pastor Is A Top Who Likes To Cuddle.

And it gets worse: Anti-Gay Pastor Caught On Grindr Told Gay Teen He Was Going To Hell, Should Commit Suicide, Says Mom. (Seriously, how many times does this have to happen before everyone in the world realizes that almost every virulently anti-gay person is a deeply closet self-hating homosexual themselves?)

Gay rights supporters score two victories in conservative Arkansas.

France’s main Protestant church votes to allow vicars to choose whether to bless same-sex marriages.

Child abuser in Argentina has sentence reduced as judges rule six-year-old victim ‘was gay’ and had been traumatised through earlier abuse.

Backlash, bullies and victory blindness.

Gay fairy tales in Orange County.


Judith Marcin: Guest Post on Crafting Queer Characters.

‘Baking pretty cakes for a living is pretty gay actually’, declares Judge. I don’t completely agree with this, but I don’t completely disagree, either…


US Christians ‘bankrolling’ No campaign in Ireland’s gay marriage referendum.

not all gay men want to be ordinary.

The obligatory Sad Puppies/Hugo Awards update:


Situation Normal: All Fisked Up.

Unassigned Readings — As for gaming the Hugo awards, it is surprisingly easy….

Puppies wee on your shoulders and tell you it’s rain.

Hugo Awards: Short Fiction. “Oh, Puppies, just because you agree with the message, it does not make the work any less message fiction.”

And other news:

B.B. King: A Tribute to Blues Brotherhood.

William Zinsser, Author of ‘On Writing Well,’ Dies at 92.

A writer, a hermit, and Oreo cookies: The strange and sad tale of Cole Waddell’s first magazine story.

Pianist James Rhodes wins right to publish autobiography telling of abuse.

Simon Pegg: Big Mouth Strikes Again. “…maybe I was being a little bit trollish, I can be a bit of a Contrary Mary in interviews sometimes…”

A Liberator, But Never Free.

Farewell, Dave!

Letterman Leaves Late-Night TV With A Near-Perfect Final Show.

Regis Philbin: I hope David Letterman comes back.

Top moments from David Letterman finale.

Happy News!

Hey Other Comic Book Shows, The Flash Finale Just Kicked Your Ass. It really did!

Kate Brown signs bill banning ‘conversion therapy’ for LGBT youth. (Yes, I decided to put this here, rather than up with the other queer-related news, because it really is happy news for everyone)

Things I wrote:

Hugo Ballot Reviews: Short Stories.

And Pot shots from the troll gallery.

And for Throwback Thursday: Time Travellers Strictly Cash: more of why I love sf/f.


Study: Every Republican Obamacare Prediction Was Wrong:

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Taylor Swift – Bad Blood ft. Kendrick Lamar:

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Four rare clouded leopard cubs born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (music, no narration):

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Endangered Clouded Leopard Gives Birth To Four Adorable Cubs (with narration):

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The final Top Ten, Top Ten Things Celebrities Have Always Wanted to Say to David Letterman:

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