Link round-up for 29 December 2013
320 sharks are now on Twitter.
Two Kenyans in Texas, seeking to buy a goat, encounter weirdness.
History of Things to Come has a snowy solstice photo gallery.
McDonald's food is crap -- McDonald's says so.
A new teabagger children's book depicts Obama as an evil Santa.
Santa in 1903 was loaded down with welcome gifts.
Christie has his priorities.
Americans prefer "Happy holidays" over "Merry Christmas", 49%-to-43%.
Raise taxes or cut benefits? It makes a difference.
Bitcoin may be following the classic bubble pattern -- and there's a way of cheating on the "mining" process. Cashing out into dollars remains an excruciating impossibility.
Utah right-wingers are freaking out over the recent gay-marriage ruling, but they'll get over it. With gay marriage now legal in 18 states, the national fight is close to won.
The US meat industry uses a dangerous steroid, banned in Europe, which contaminates water supplies.
If the Republican-imposed expiration of unemployment benefits is allowed to stand, it could cost the US 240,000 jobs.
The Christian Right is obsessed with weird collapse-of-civilization fantasies (found via Republic of Gilead).
A New York Times investigation further debunks the Benghazi fake scandal.
Here's where angora sweaters come from.
A "knockout" attack in Texas yields hate-crime charges, and here's another apparent case in Brooklyn. In New York City, Jews seem to be targeted.
Obamacare canceled my policy! No it didn't.
When you defend Phil Robertson, here's what you're defending -- not free speech, but the ugly side of the culture war.
Watch out for this nasty virus in your e-mail.
The poor are poor because of moral failings -- of the rich.
All in all, Republicans got badly pwned this year.
Is Henderson TX the worst town in America?
Fuck you, John Hagee, I live here -- you get out.
Eliminating gerrymandering would help almost everyone, but will be hard to get done.
A money man joins the good fight.
Popes come and go, but the Catholic Church is what it is.
In 2011 the USS Ronald Reagan was sent to help at the Fukushima disaster -- now 51 sailors are suffering radiation-related medical problems.
Here's one world leader who wanted to put the Christ back in Christmas.
This is stupid -- if you don't want to do the job, don't apply for the job.
No, faint signs of economic growth in Britain do not mean austerity works.
In Germany, even cows now have hope of a happy retirement.
Some Democratic Senators are helping Republicans sabotage the Iran deal.
A Russian MP and opera star speaks out against the persecution of gays.
Ego trip: check out the size of this Kim Jong Il statue in North Korea (yes, those are people standing around it).
Despite French intervention, religious violence in the Central African Republic continues to escalate.
Uganda has finally passed its anti-gay law. These earlier comments by a top Ugandan official are of some interest.
South Sudan is a mess, and shallow Western news reporting isn't helping.
A new strategy against HIV needs more attention.
"Neuromorphic" computers modeled on organic nervous systems show some of the flexibility and learning ability of real animals.
Bioethicists and fatalists be damned, aging is neither natural nor desirable (found via Maria Konovalenko).