Here’s a bright spot in your day: Hundreds of scientists & science fans just saved a crapton of govt data.

Look, I’m gonna be honest with you guys. Today’s probably going to be just the biggest mess, news-wise. Brace yourselves.

But, there’s a bright spot! Scientists around the country have been clocking hella overtime to save NASA’s earth science data – and other climate data – before the Trump administration can make it all disappear, and they have succeeded!

Diehard Coders Just Rescued NASA’s Earth Science Data
“On Saturday morning, the white stone buildings on UC Berkeley’s campus radiated with unfiltered sunshine. The sky was blue, the campanile was chiming. But instead of enjoying the beautiful day, 200 adults had willingly sardined themselves into a fluorescent-lit room in the bowels of Doe Library to rescue federal climate data.”

Groups around the country assisted, plus built all kinds of applications to track data changes on government websites and keep track of stuff that was already “disappeared” by the Trump administration, because yes, they totally were already doing that.

It’s actions like these that give me hope. In the face of the horror show that is the Trump administration and the GOP in Congress, Americans are pulling together to fight back, rescue the tools we’ll need to recover from this administration, and stop them in their tracks. Journalists are digging in and breaking news daily, making it harder and harder for the GOP to remain silent against Trump.

Days like yesterday, when the news cycle is wall-to-wall drama and fuckery, can make you feel hopeless. It can drown you in garbage until you think that there can’t possibly be any way forward. That is not true. We’re fighting back, and we’re winning some of these fights.

Dawn is coming, people. Stay tough. Stay mad. Resist.

Friday Tunes: ‘Hand In My Pocket,’ Alanis Morissette (& Weekend Linkdump)

“‘Hand in My Pocket’ is a rock song by Canadian recording artist and songwriter Alanis Morissette, for her third studio album, Jagged Little Pill (1995). The song was written by Morissette and Glen Ballard, and was released as the second single from the album. The song was released on October 31, 1995, nearly five months after the album release. ‘Hand in My Pocket’ received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who applauded Morissette’s songwriting.” (Wikipedia)

I always thought Alanis Morissette got more crap than she deserved for her music. She had a great voice and fairly solid lyrics, for the 90’s, plus her music was catchy. She was never, like, a huge favorite of mine, but I always liked her. You can check out the lyrics here.

Weekend Reading

I’ve got a stack of great reading here, including the rundown on the House GOP’s assault on Obamacare and regulation in general, an interesting thing about Donald Trump and fascism, science communication, and more.
Continue reading Friday Tunes: ‘Hand In My Pocket,’ Alanis Morissette (& Weekend Linkdump)

Friday Tunes: ‘April 2031,’ Warrant (plus some news)

Warrant’s probably better known for their first two albums, Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich and Cherry Pie, but I was a big fan of Dog Eat Dog when it came out in 1992. “April 2031” was one of those songs that was a favorite song at the time but that I had completely forgotten about until this morning. You can check the lyrics here. Also, did you know Jani Lane, Warrant’s lead singer, died in 2011? I hadn’t heard. He was 47 – died of alcohol poisoning. Damn shame. I saw him once in concert. He put on a good show.

Anyway, the song came to mind because Trump was on TV this morning kicking off a new nuclear arms race. I wish I was being hyperbolic about that, but I don’t think I am. He said on Twitter yesterday, “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes”, then followed up today on Morning Joe with “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”

If we make it out of the next four years alive, it’s gonna be a goddamn miracle, people. I might find Jesus.

Let’s finish up with some good news, eh? We’ve got what appears to be a working Ebola vaccine.

A Libyan plane got hijacked this morning – that’s not the good news. The good news is that all 109 passengers made it off the plane safe. Meanwhile, India has announced that they think they’re going to beat their renewable energy targets (the ones set in Paris last year) by almost 60%.

And finally – you probably heard this one already – Obama has banned new oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Alaska and part of Atlantic coast. I dunno if that one’s going to stick, but hey, it’s something.

Merry Christmas, folks.

Today is promising to be a busy day. Let me just clean out my bookmarks folder, here…

A couple of quick notes: I’ve bolded the items of particular interest. If you only read one link, make it the first one, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “My President Was Black,” and make time for it. It’s brilliant, and long. Also, did you know Cracked.com sort of does journalism now? They hired a couple of journalists and send them out to write about cool things.

TGIF: Luke Cage, Donald Trump & Climate Change

Marvel's Luke Cage - Poster

We stayed up (entirely too) late last night to watch the first episode of Marvel’s Luke Cage on Netflix, and it was pretty good. I strongly suspect I’m missing a great deal of the context for this show. I’m probably going to have to watch the whole thing, do a bunch of reading and homework, and then go back and watch it all again, before I can have any sort of a decent opinion on it.

In non-nerd news, a bunch of important scientists say that when it comes to climate change, we’re screwed. Which, let’s be honest here, we already knew.

Meanwhile, you know how Congress passed that bill allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia, and then the President vetoed it, and then they vetoed the veto and passed it anyway? They’ve got some buyer’s remorse. Turns out that bill was kind of really bad, and no one told Congress! Well, no one but everyone, including the President himself, but I guess that wasn’t good enough.

Since we’re talking politics, the Trump Foundation is in more trouble. Amongst the other shadiness Trump and his charity may have gotten up to, they’re also lacking some of the certifications they need. Also, Trump’s having a just super bad week. It’s hard to feel bad for him though, since his bad week is entirely of his own making.

Speaking of bad times that are entirely of Trump’s own making, he had a Twitter fit at like 5am this morning and advised everyone to go check out Alicia Machado’s sex tape. Yep. That’s a thing that happened. This election is so. weird. y’all.

Newsweek published that article about Trump and Cuba yesterday and got DDOSed to death, by the way. Possibly (probably) by Russians.

Oh, and FYI, the creepy clowns have made it to Portland. I don’t know what’s going on with the clown thing. It’s probably just the time of the year. But just so everyone knows, I punch first and ask questions later. I don’t want some dumb college kid in bloody grease paint acting all surprised about his broken nose or anything. You’ve been warned.

Finally, to end the week on a high note, here’s ten minutes of kittens being adorable.