Firefly looking at the Milky Way

Aww. Thank you, Jiawen.

Let's rescue the race debate

Good article. Additionally linked for the quote "denial may be the new normal", which has been running through my head lately about any number of topics.

Speaking of denial, this is why self-styled "climate skeptics" really piss me off. 

Worrying about global climate change is not hand-wringing over some imaginary future Waterworld. People are *already* dying because of this. The people who are dying so far are not the people responsible, either. My fear is that these deniers, who tend to be the most culpable people on the planet (Americans, Canadians, Australians and Europeans who've been able to really enjoy the fruits of their economic bounty) won't fade from significance until long after we've begun feeling it too.

Framing the deficit

Here in the US (and increasingly elsewhere in the Anglosphere), it's a popular notion that the budget is unsustainable and our governments simply spend too much. In promoting this seemingly-reasonable meme, the fiscal right has glossed over the fact that we don't want to *pay* for entitlements, and also called upon the false intuition that government budgets work the same as family ones do. This article concentrates on the former problem, but I find it scary how many people fail to understand the latter. The government *creates* the money supply; indeed, it shapes the economy profoundly even in our ostensibly conservative country. It has options and abilities here that simply don't translate to a household planning how to spend their limited income.

HIV mutates into audible strain

This is unspeakably cool in a shivery way.