Friday Links (holiday frenzy edition)

CUX4n3rUAAAtN-kThank goodness it’s Friday. Especially this Friday, because I’m on vacation now, and after the last few weeks I really, really need some time off! Christmas is only a week away, and even though I’m a gay taoist married to a bi wiccan, our house has a big tree covered with ornaments (this year lots of otters, seals, penguins, polar bears, mermen, and starfish) and lights. We’re cooking today for a big holiday party we’re hosting this weekend. And I’m still trying to finish my Christmas Ghost Story in time to read it at the party! Eek! And I have a gazillion presents yet to wrap. Where has the month gone?

Anyway, here are links to some of the interesting things I read on the web this week.

Link of the Week

The “War on Christmas” Cries Overshadow The Daily War On Christ—By Christians. ‘Frankly, I’m tired of annual demands to “keep Christ in Christmas” by Christians who don’t seem particularly interested in keeping Christ in their Christianity the rest of the year (you know: caring for the poor, protecting the marginalized, alleviating suffering, shunning greed, championing equality). I think lots of people are.’

This week in Evil, Greedy People

The 4 worst patents of 2015.

Turing’s reviled Martin Shkreli arrested for alleged securities fraud. This is the jerk who bought a life-saving drug and raised the price 5000%…

How the Las Vegas Review-Journal broke news about its own sale.

This week in Topics Most People Can’t Be Rational About

We Asked A Mass Shooter Why The Hell This Keeps Happening.

This week in Difficult to Classify

Atlantic Challenge: Four men, three legs and 3,000 miles.

The Elf on the Shelf is preparing your child to live in a future police state, professor warns. The article is from last year, and it isn’t a crazy conspiracy, the academic paper referenced is talking about the very real psychological effects the Elf on the Shelf concept has on children. I thought they were creepy before…

Seattle’s 4.5-Foot-Wide ‘Spite House’ Up For Sale.

News for queers and our allies:

Calgary parents update mom’s tattoo to support their transgender son.

This is the story behind that weird gay Robert Dyas Christmas ad.

30 Moments That Made Us Proud In 2015.

LGBTQ: ‘There’s a Real Shift Happening’ in Christianity.

10 Superheroes Who Need to Come Out Right Now.

Happy News!

We Are Gay Atheists, and We Love Christmas.


Town rejects solar farm for many dumb reasons, including fear the solar panels are stealing energy from nearby trees and gardens.

DEBUNKING THE “CRIMINALS DON’T FOLLOW LAWS” MYTH 2.0: WHY GUN CONTROL WORKS. The problem, these studies show, isn’t that criminals don’t follow laws, but rather that criminals aren’t dissuaded by weak laws.

18 Hybrid Animals That Are Hard To Believe Actually Exist.

The ancestry of a 21st century multi-racial American family.

Butterflies remember a mountain that hasn’t existed for millennia.

Debunking the myth that evolution can’t explain eyeballs.

Smithsonian Scientists Name New Species of Sperm Whale.

Could a Human Not in Our Species Still Exist?

Sail-Backed Dinosaur Fossil Found In Spain.

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculation!

Can we talk about Susan Pevensie for a moment?

And another take on the same thing (using the same quote for the title on the web page, but it is a different article) There comes a point where Susan, who was the older girl, is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick..

The Quiet Gender Glass Ceiling in Fantasy.

C.S. Lewis Was a Secret Government Agent.

5 Things ‘Star Wars’ Fans Don’t Understand About ‘Star Wars’. A better title might have been: “You can love something while still understanding it’s a product.”

This week in Writing

Sad Puppies and The Goosebumps Rap: The Best and Worst Things to Happen to Literature in 2015.

ScrivenerVirgin Blog: Keeping track?

Red Pen is the home of writers who wish to polish their words ready for exposure to the world.

Writers–Give Yourselves a Break.

Culture war news:

Outrageous story about adopted baby taken from a lesbian couple and given to alleged child abusers.

Parishioners Terrified as Men Interrupt Catholic Masses by Shouting Religious Messages — and It’s All on Video. Note: these are Christians invading another Christian denomination’s service and shouting this slogans.

Austinites turn out in droves for anti-gun ‘mass farting’ protest.

WTF????? Homeless Women and Children Booted by ‘Christian’ from Shelter to Keep Them From ‘Tempting’ Men.

Border Agents Detain U.S. Citizen For 3 Hours For Sketching In Her Notebook.

Unbelief As A Belief System: Core Tenet For Christians’ Fight For Religious Rights.

This Week in the Clown Car

Trump’s brazen rhetoric and willingness to run as an independent may be proof that he was bullshitting us all along.

Finished: Fiorina Iowa Town Hall Event Draws Only 14 People.

Trump Audience Member Yells Nazi Salute as Protester Removed From Las Vegas Rally.

Donald Trump supporter wants to burn a black man alive: “Light the motherf**ker on fire”. And Trump was egging the crowd on…

FACT CHECK: Do Tax Cuts Grow The Economy?

This week in Other Politics:

Deconstructing Israel’s “Self-Defense” Claim and Its Campaign Against the ICC.

You’re more likely to be fatally crushed by furniture than killed by a terrorist.

This Week in Racism

White America’s toxic ignorance: Abigail Fisher, Antonin Scalia and the real privilege that goes unspoken.

Things I wrote:

Weekend update 12/12/2015: Man(un-)splainin’.

Getting nerdy as f— about things we love.

Of course Han shot first!


Alton Brown reviews Amazon’s dumbest kitchen gadgets (a lot of people have been sharing this, many arguing with it; I figure I have no room to criticize other people because I have owned numerous unitaskers: coffee maker, coffee grinder, krumkake iron, waffle iron, and so to a lot of people…):

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BEST NEWS BLOOPERS 2015 (I won’t point out that we still have a few weeks of the year to go…):

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The Christmas Song with BLAKE and Dame Shirley Bassey:

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Santa Baby – Christmas Charity Single – Out of the Blue:

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