Comments

  1. cubist says

    The current resistance to the Angry Cheeto reminds me of Star Trek fandom.

    Yes, I’m serious.

    Here’s the deal: NBC wanted to cancel Star Trek in its second season. But the show’s fans worked up a letter-writing campaign which flooded NBC with more than a million letters asking them to let Trek stay on the air. One. Million. Letters. This campaign was led/organized by Bjo Trimble, and after Trek got its stay of execution, the show’s fans kept in touch, forming a kind of subculture within science-fiction fandom… and the rest is history.

    Right now, the Cheeto is on the receiving end of an imperial shitload of on-going, organized political resistance. If this follows the example set by Trek fandom, we might just be seeing a new cross-cultural commitment to progressive political action, a commitment which endures long past the moment when the Cheeto and all his hangers-on get squashed. It’s not a sure thing, of course, because the fucking GOP has pretty much cast aside any threadbare façade of giving a shit about anything except (1) making sure the 1% stay the 1%, and (2) ensuring that the GOP retains all the political power they can, by any means necessary. Nevertheless, there have been some bright spots in the toxic fog, and it does seem like the resistance is in it for the long haul. So… well-guarded optimism?

  2. says

    I don’t know. We’ll see how the National Strike on the 17th this month goes. I think people are starting to feel so overwhelmed, it’s going to be very easy to slide into apathy.

  3. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think I can take a break from some cleaning. I have, over the last several days, shredded all the old mail, the labels and inserts on/in the catalogs before recycling, and have my unread magazines sorted into six stacks/bankers boxes. This allowed me to bring in the vacuum from the garage, and vacuum the stairs, first time for quite a while, getting rid of the dust kangaroos trying trip me. While my mind was all for cleaning the upstairs hall, my back said no. Fortunately, I don’t have to get the vacuum back to the garage, as there is some space to store it in the sun room. Now to widen the clean area. Mañana.

  4. says

    Man, I am having so much trouble shaking off this last trauma situation. Having a hell of time trying to focus, and still feel like I can’t bloody breathe. Still hyper alert, vigilant and startle, too. I had been reading The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, but I had to stop for now. Too much. That’s why there’s gonna be a fucktonne of Avoidance photos, because it’s the only time I feel okay. I know it will get boring, so just skip.

    Giliell, how’s the new job going?

    Nerd:

    While my mind was all for cleaning the upstairs hall, my back said no.

    I know that song all too well.

  5. AlexanderZ says

    A Federal Appeals Court Just Ruled Against Trump’s “Muslim Ban”

    The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled against the Trump administration and upheld a Seattle court ruling that blocked implementation of the ban. That means that travelers from the seven countries, as well as refugees, can continue to enter the United States as the case proceeds through court.

    President Trump immediately responded to the decision, tweeting:

    SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017

  6. rq says

    That’s all 3 down with the flu. No vaccinations this year, as most years, because [$reasons$], so we count on being lucky; this year -- we are not.
    *sigh*

  7. says

    Alexander:

    SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017

    Such an idiot. I was reading the other day about how worried people are about his instability, and one major sign noted was one I missed entirely: he keeps on tweeting with his personal account -- he doesn’t use the POTUS account.

  8. blf says

    [Hair furor] keeps on tweeting with his personal account — he doesn’t use the POTUS account.

    There may be some reason behind that: Presidential records / communications are not to be deleted (by law (Presidential Records Act (1978))), which applies to the presidential account. But possibly not to a personal account, albeit Is It Legal For Donald Trump To Delete Tweets As President? seems to suggest otherwise.

  9. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    rq#7, I feel for you. Once the Redhead and I both caught the flu during a trip. Not pleasant.

  10. rq says

    Thanks, everyone. Holding out that me n the Husband don’t come down with it, at least not both at once. Probably will, though -- once the kids are all well. :P

  11. AlexanderZ says

    rq
    Best wishes and a speedy recovery.
    Also, didn’t the middle one had a flu just two months ago? Poor little guy :/

    Caine

    he keeps on tweeting with his personal account — he doesn’t use the POTUS account.

    That doesn’t matter! What matters is that Hillary Clinton had a private server. Or something.
    You really have to love the naked hypocrisy of the right.

  12. rq says

    AlexanderZ
    No, he had what we thought was potential pneumonia but was bronchitis now officially diagnosed as (mild) childhood asthma. So yeah, still hasn’t lucked out, that one, medicated up to his ears right now.

  13. says

    Ogvorbis:

    This came to me this morning. Can we start calling Trump’s reign the Tang dynasty?

    That’s brilliant! Gods, I haven’t thought of Tang in about a zillion years. “It’s what astronauts drink!”

  14. kestrel says

    I’m going to join this thread. Hope no one minds..

    Trying to do art to express myself. They are having a local show called “Outrageous” about current world events. Maybe I’ll enter.

    Really sorry to hear about the flu making its rounds. That is so hard.

  15. says

    Kestrel! Yay for art, that’s always a good way to go. The local show sounds interesting -- that’s the kind of show where you can truly go with your gut.

  16. cubist says

    Tang is still going strong—local Walmarts carry it, for crying out loud. Definitely not gettin’ the same PR love it used to, though.

  17. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    One of life’s little questions. Cleaning the upstairs hall today. Happened upon something that had been missing for a while, namely the Redhead’s turkey tetrazzini recipe. I have absolutely no idea of how it got to where I found it, unless the last time I had it out was four years ago or so, and it got stuck to something else and ended up buried under dirty sweaters and receipts. Anyway, it is found, scanned, and I will type it up as the page it on is rather deteriorated. I have at least two portions of turkey in the freezer from last Thanksgiving. I think the neighbors deserve a share as they check in on me.

  18. says

    Heya
    It’s Sunday already, is it?

    +++

    President Trump immediately responded to the decision, tweeting:
    SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017

    By now the German Kiddie News is trolling Trump. When it was first struck down and Trump had one of his temper tantrums they explained why courts can do that. They always give nice little explanations of how things work and I think watching it should be mandatory for kids and adults alike. Anyway, the newsanchor (if you can call them that) introduced the segment saying “Now we’ll explain to you and Donald Trump what “separation of power” means”

  19. says

    And part two, fuck my laptop…
    rq
    Urgh, I’m sorry to hear. I got my flu shot in October, but the kids aren’t vaccinated either.

    Caine

    Giliell, how’s the new job going?

    Lots…
    Lemme explain. As you may remember, this is still teacher training. Part of this means that we have to ask our already fully trained colleagues if we can come with them, watch them, teach in their classes and get feedback. I hate that mostly because we have to ask them and depend on their goodwill while also being obliged to do that. I’m lucky with my Spanish colleague and one of my English colleagues, but not all of them are forthcoming.
    I also have two classes “for my own” and I definitely like that. But, they’re two 12th grades which means that at least the English class doesn’t have a book to fall back on, so preparing their lessons is a lot of work. It’s work I love because I’m very free in what to to. Right now I’m doing a unit on religion in the UK and the USA, which will lead us to the USA and The American Dream which will lead us to the play we still have to read according to the curriculum. And since the curriculum doesn’t say which one* I decided to go for Hamilton. If that doesn’t get them involved then there’s no hope left for them. I’m seriously in love with the music.

    *During 12th and 13th grade they have to cover a range of topics and they have to read a novel and a play that fit those topics. They already read a British novel, so that leaves an American (or non-British) play.

  20. says

    Giliell @ 28:

    It’s always been that way. Religious and parental freedom, y’know. Way back when, I was maybe 16 or so, there was a woman I worked with, she was new to SoCal, and feeling intimidated, so I used to stop by and have coffee with her from time to time. One time, she dropped one hell of a bombshell: her daughter had hooked up with an older man. The man was 40 something, her daughter? 12 years old. While I sat there, trying to pull myself together, she continued, telling me that they went and forcibly brought their daughter home, and she ran away, back to her ‘love’, so what could they do? They gave permission for her to marry.

    That happened a very long time ago, and I’m still gobsmacked when I think about it.

  21. kestrel says

    Have you ever thought about not being able to blink?

    Apparently I have a mild case of Bell’s Palsy and can not close one eye all the way. Perhaps it will add a nice perspective to a painting I’m working on.

    I never realized how often a person blinks in a day.

  22. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Last night I turned off the TV and downstairs lights (except for light above the bottom landing) for the first time since the Redhead’s passing.
    When I read my electrical meter last weekend, I saw a huge drop in kwhrs due to the replacement of the tungsten bulbs in the chandeliers with LED equivalents. Things are changing, hopefully for the better.

  23. kestrel says

    @Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls: much sympathy. Good for the changes, and yes hopefully for the better.

    @Caine: That *would* be unnerving…

  24. says

    Caine
    Oh, I know, and I know that lots of adult men abusing teenage girls is still going on (and the other way round, to a smaller extend), but I wouldn’t have thought that some state official would go “she’s how old? 12? Fine with me, let’S get her married”.
    BTW, my parents got married when my mum was 18. Age of maturity was 21 at that time so yes, my grandparents signed over legal guardianship to my dad…
    And while my father isn’t abusive, it would have done my mother a hell lot of good if she’D lived her own life for a few years.

    +++
    Holy fuck Oklahoma: “I understand that they (women) feel like that is their body… What I call them is, is, you’re a host”

  25. Saad says

    Have any of the racist rapist’s major nominees been rejected during the confirmations yet?

    I haven’t been keeping up with all of them.

  26. kestrel says

    @Caine #37: oh crap. Gosh, I guess no more golfing for a day or so, right? **rolls eyes**

    The world keeps scaring me more and more.

  27. says

    Yeah, it’s getting difficult to wake up to a day, just one day, where scary things aren’t happening. This is subjecting everyone to extreme stress.

  28. Saad says

    “Imagine a Muslim-free America” flyers popped up at universities

    Anti-Muslim fliers affiliated with the American Vanguard, a white nationalist organization, have appeared on college campuses across the United States.

    Students from the University of Texas at Austin, University of Central Florida and Rutgers University tweeted photos of a flier reading “Imagine a Muslim-free America.” The flier was in black and white with a silhouette of the twin towers depicted in the background. American Vanguard’s Texas group has taken credit for the posters at UT-Austin.

    But we can’t be punching them!

  29. chigau (ever-elliptical) says

    I do want to punch something but my hands hurt.
    and I must bank the non-hurty times for knitting.

  30. Saad says

    Oh cool, so he’s able to literally just stay silent when asked about the Russian contacts over and over by different journalists at different times and places. We’re just going to keep this going for the next four years, right?

    This must be so encouraging for a competent and clever fascist planning a takeover of America in the near future. America is so ripe for the taking.

  31. Ice Swimmer says

    In Thursday I went to movies for the first time in a long while. The movie was good, but the ads before it were horrible. Why, oh why, do they have to flatten the dynamics of the sound in the ads and play it too fucking loud so that the ears get no relief?

    Any way, the movie was the new Aki Kaurismäki film, “The Other Side of Hope”. I liked it, it was both funny and serious, good acting and uncluttered visuals.

  32. says

    I feel like my brain is made of feathers. Depression is setting in again. Shit.

    One of my uncles got seriously ill on monday. On thursday at work I got an unexpected phone call telling me this. Yesterday and today I visited him at the vicinity for patients in need of long-time care. It seems I will have to become his legal guardian, because I seem to be the only one in the family both willing (he is not a pleasant person and run afoul with all his siblings) and capable (at least in theory) to help him, as it is unlikely he will be able to fully care for himself again. That means I will probably have to take care of a derelict, for decades not cared for house, and clear it of all the rubble and years of accumulated mess. I hope to persuade him to sell both his car and the house (if somebody buys the ruin -- at least the locality is good, the house is a sore of the neighborhood) and use the money to pay for a nice spot in a care home nearby where I could visit him and help him if needed.

    I do not currently feel like having the spoons needed to undertake something like that. I have only two hands and already not yet completely reconstructed house to take care of and elderly parents to help. And I have enough money to live comfortably, but not that much money to pay for such a huge endeavour as this.

    I did say that I never found life enjoyable, didn’t I?

  33. says

    Charly, you should not have to shoulder such a burden alone. What happens if you say you cannot be his legal guardian? I realize none of his other relations want to deal, but that’s no excuse for dumping solely on you. Seems to me you should have a talk with the relatives, and point out that to put all the responsibility on your lap is not right.

  34. says

    The thing is, that one brother lives in US -- he might be willing, but is not capable. Another brother is a drunk barely capable of taking care of himself as it is and has to be already helped by his daughters. His sister has had with him a legal spat over the house and she does not want to have any dealings with him whatsoever, even if she could. She is not willing, but as she also is not capable it is irrelevant -- she lives on the other side of the state (that is not as impressive a statement as it would be in US, but it still means a few hunderd km). And it is questionable if he would accept any help from her, the bitterness is still there on both sides. So the last relative left is my father, and that means essentially me. The uncle even mentioned me as the person to contact to the police when they broke into his house to extract him to hospital.

    The only real support I can count on is my mother, but that is only moral support. I am still left with the problem of just two hands and a limited amount of time. And a drawer lacking spons.

  35. Saad says

    I was just on someone’s Instagram and among their uploads were 3 images with these messages on them:

    1) Trump, the 45th president FINALLY SOMETHING GOOD THIS YEAR
    2) I stand with Standing Rock
    3) We stand with the police

    I can’t even.

    If that’s a pattern, I’m assuming the next one will be about solidarity with Muslims followed by a BUILD THE WALL ALREADY!!1 image.

  36. StevoR says

    I love this clip :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeDllUiq92I

    Bowie and Mars future vision.

    Humanity.

    Teamwork regardless of differences.

    Humour, courage, science, love, problem-solving and hope.

    Us at our collective best summed up so well. We can be our best.

    And working together we can save lives and learn and so much more.

    (Yes I have failed and sucked before. I’m striving to get better, to be better.)

    PS. Applies to replicants too. Love the movie at the start of this here. Thankyou Caine.

  37. StevoR says

    Sentience. If you have that and individuality.

    And even if you don’t. Those that do. Should think and be kind.

    This I’ve painfully, gradually learned and try to apply -- & if I can, anyone can. (Not going to tell anyone else what to do. Suggest maybe?)

  38. StevoR says

    @35. Saad : “Have any of the racist rapist’s major nominees been rejected during the confirmations yet?”

    DeVos came so, so close to being rejected.

    But not yet. No.

    Meanwhile in other news :

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-17/organic-molecules-discovered-on-dwarf-planet-ceres/8276028?section=science

    The 4 & 1/2th planet has intriguingly complex chemistry.

    Jupiter imaged from Sweden as well as from from Voyager during its close fly by :

    https://vimeo.com/98291257

    Oh & Pluto has quite a tail :

    http://www.physics-astronomy.com/2015/07/nasa-just-found-something-big-hiding.html#.WKmhEPl96M8

  39. rq says

    Well, hello, world! I’m sad to see that most of what happened over the last week was not a product of fever-brain (Husband was listening to parts of that weird press conference in my presence -- that was really something to induce confusion about my perceptions of reality). If anyone ever asks, I officially declare that the worst possible combination of sicknesses is sinusitis and flu (type B, complete with leg cramps! <-in my unprofessional opinion), with a side of phlegmy bronchitis to finish things off. I'm pretty sure I spent some time dying somewhere in there, but I'm back now.

    Charly
    You are a good person, and you will still be a good person even if you say you cannot take this additional burden upon yourself, least of all alone. Is there any way to find, say, a lawyer to transfer some kind of power of attorney, if only to deal with the administrative stuff of selling the house and finding a nursing home? Would the hospital have any of that kind of information? As a family member, you have major emotional investments in the whole process, and I don’t know what your uncle is like, but he might take strict orders better from someone else (re: selling the cars and the house, at least). Someone he can’t as easily boss around or manipulate due to the close family ties (if only biological).
    *hugs* if you like, and remember, no matter what, you’re a good person!!

  40. says

    @rq, I am glad you feel better. Flu is nothing to sneeze at (no pun intended).
    @rq and Giliell thanks for the supporting words. It helps.

    I cannot wait when the days get finally longer than nights again. I will feel much better when the sun shines more than a few hours a day at best. Last few winters have been especially harsh -- not too cold, but almost no sun to speak of, always cloudy and murky. But this week the birds started to sing again…

  41. says

    rq
    I’m glad you’re feeling better. Sadly, it was not your fever that made that press conference bizarre.
    Mr was like “I heard his language level was that of a 4th grader”. Me “you take that back! Your daughter speaks and writes much better than that!” (And she’s not a nazi…)

    Charly

    But this week the birds started to sing again…

    Oh yes, and 90% of our singing birds are crows… There’s a 300-400 individuals colony in the wood behind us.

  42. AlexanderZ says

    He said “The FAKE NEWS media (failing New York Times, NBC News, ABC, CBS, CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”.

    In other news, a href and blockquote don’t like to play nice with each other.

  43. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly, as others have said, you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.

    rq, glad that the flu is retreating.

    Giliell, there was a big group of crows flying from the land to somewhere over the sea ice when I swam in the hole in the ice, about 7 pm on Sunday. I wonder if they were off to some island for the night or whether the coal ship nearby had something that was interesting for them. Or they were just on their way to sleep by the coal heap.

  44. blf says

    there was a big group of crows flying from the land to somewhere

    Saruman’s Crebain are spying the place out…

  45. says

    Giliell

    Oh yes, and 90% of our singing birds are crows… There’s a 300-400 individuals colony in the wood behind us.

    Well, you could say that spring is the time of year when flowers begin to cause hayfever and birds start making racket :).

    I have not seen crows this year yet. They only occasionally come by in a big flock, but this year so far nothing. Now when I think about it, I do not remember them coming by for a few years.

    I made three nesting boxes and hung them around my garden. One of them is directly on the house, relatively near the window. If a bird is going to nest there, I might get nice electricity free alarm at 4 a.m. each morning over a large part of the summer. I got exactly that a few years back when sparrows nested in a crack in the roof.

  46. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I made three nesting boxes and hung them around my garden. One of them is directly on the house, relatively near the window. If a bird is going to nest there, I might get nice electricity free alarm at 4 a.m. each morning over a large part of the summer. I got exactly that a few years back when sparrows nested in a crack in the roof.

    We had a dove that nested in the tree in the side yard maybe 10 years or so ago for several seasons. Loved to wake up at 5 am and tell other doves this was his/her territory. At length. I needed to wake up at 6 am for work. I didn’t appreciate it, and had many dreams of small bird roasting on an open fire….

  47. says

    I know that feeling, I am not particularly looking forward to it. If I had a better place for the nesting box, I would hang it somewhere else.
    No matter what I do, in the summer I get woken up at 4-5 a.m. by birds making an incredible racket and I have to close the window in order to sleep 1-2 hours more. Last year I had no bird nesting directly on the house, but a white wagtail had nested in the pile of wood behind it. And the little bugger has decided to use the roof as a minaret for his morning call of “♪this is my teritory, ya’all fuck o-off♪”.

  48. StevoR says

    My quote of the night :

    “Someone wants to know something,” said the 98 year old (Katherine) Johnson (human computer, ‘Hidden Figures’ star -- ed), explaining her maths skills in a speech at her own Langely dedication ceremony. “Help them.Help anybody you can help.”

    Source : Page 49, Korey Haynes “Fighting for visibility” article in ‘Astronomy’ magazine, February 2017.

    A. Beautiful. Mind. Indeed.
    ***

    Runner up quote of the night :

    “When they pulled out a few notes to write down what I had worked on, the guy had 20 pages.”

    Source : Katherine Johnson quoted in “Fighting for visibility” article in ‘Astronomy’ magazine, February 2017 by Korey Haynes,page 49.

    Yes, I have seen the superb ‘Hidden Figures’ movie tonight. Loved it -- multi-layered, powerful, funny, thought-provoking and brilliant.

  49. kestrel says

    Apropos of nothing, I have 8 eggs in my incubator and either tomorrow (Wednesday) or day after (Thursday) they will hatch -- if they are going to. Last I candled them, 5 days ago, all 8 showed they were still developing. Still -- “Many a slip txixt the cup and lip” and I am sure not counting them quite yet. Haha.

    They are the eggs of the Svart Höna -- the Swedish Black Hen -- which are fibro-melanistic. They have melanin everywhere. The combs are black. The insides of their mouths are black. Even their bones are black. In the sunshine they are black but with a green metallic sheen, sort of like a crow or raven.

    So yes, spring… come on, spring. Soon I will also have kids born to my goats, to go along with (hopefully) baby chicks.

  50. kestrel says

    @chigau (ever-elliptical) -- that’s a good idea, I didn’t think of that. That would be a cheery spring bird of the day. :-)

    @rq I like the idea that those chickens are SO black they made the goats black too… Actually most of the goats ARE black. Hmmm… ???

  51. kestrel says

    re#68: “If every third child born in the world is Chinese, and you already have two children….”

  52. says

    Kestrel

    Soon I will also have kids born to my goats, to go along with (hopefully) baby chicks.

    We were once lucky to witness a goat giving birth to twins. It was a great experience for the kids (I mean mine, not the goat’s, but those probably appreciated the smooth transition as well) but left me envious…

    +++
    Tonight we found a smooth newt at the front door. At least I think it was. I told the kids it was a lizard, but looking it up now it struck me how little it resembled a lizard. I don’t know how the poor thing even got out today, but it was stuck on the cold stones. I picked it up so people wouldn’t accidentally step on it, we all held it to give it a bit of warmth and then put it down in the greens.
    I don’t recommend intentionally freezing poor newts, but it was a good opportunity to show the kids how those animals work.

  53. Ice Swimmer says

    Wednesday was a big snowfall day here. Not only was there heavy snowfall but the high wind also was blowing the snow (storm winds of 30 m/s in the West Coast of Finland, here in the Capital Area somewhat milder winds).

    There were two multi-vehicle crashes* in Helsinki-Turku motorway, causing some bent sheet metal and inuries, but no fatalities. Two runways have been shut down in the Helsinki airport because of wind conditions and trams in Helsinki seemed to have some trouble climbing hills.

    One tram I was riding started moving slower and slower and after a while ground to a halt despite all the sand the driver was dumping on the rails. So she decided to back the tram somewhere, so that the tracks could be cleaned properly. Only there was another tram behind whose driver couldn’t figure out how to enable the reverse (or the rear dashboard of the tram). At this point I exited the tram, walked to the nearest metro station and took metro/underground and bus to get back home. On the way to the metro station, I went past another stuck tram.
    __
    * = Between Muijala and Lempola motorway exits. Muija is a somewhat pejorative colloquial word for wife (or any woman) and Lempo was a pagan-era god which the Church considered to be a devil.

  54. Ice Swimmer says

    inuries -> injuries

    What could have brought heat to the hibernating place of the newt? Somebody parking a car and leaving it running for hours? A heat pipe?

  55. kestrel says

    @Giliell: Wow, that’s pretty cool! Has it rained there recently? Sometimes a rain will bring them out. Poor thing! I hope it manages OK.

    So a visitor was at the place once, standing there at the sliding glass doors looking straight at the goats, and watches the goats for a while. So I thought he knew i raised goats. And he says, “How many kids do you have?” all the while still looking at the goats, and I say, “Well, right now I have eleven.” You should have seen his face. I’m so glad that I had not added anything, like, “I don’t like any of them; think I’ll take them all to the auction and try again next year” or something.

  56. rq says

    I’m so glad that I had not added anything, like, “I don’t like any of them; think I’ll take them all to the auction and try again next year” or something.

    Maybe you don’t want the chickens rubbing off on your goats, because saying ‘black kids’ in that context just cannot end well…

    chigau
    I used to read it as ‘meh-meh’ due to an internalized cross-language reading quirk. I think they both work.

  57. Saad says

    Tweet from Asshole Pence:

    ObamaCare will be replaced with something that actually works—bringing freedom and individual responsibility back to American health care.

    Yes, the reason so many people aren’t able to afford basic healthcare is because they won’t admit their diseases are their fault.

  58. Ice Swimmer says

    So, during the night I look out the window and there are two ducks digging the snow near an oak (for acorns, I’d guess). Tried to dress and go outside as quickly as possible, but couldn’t get a photo. The frost and snow must have made the sea-bottom food inaccessible. The Estonian coast is still partly free of ice, so they might go there if they can.

  59. says

    Ice Swimmer

    What could have brought heat to the hibernating place of the newt? Somebody parking a car and leaving it running for hours? A heat pipe?

    Mild temperatures, rain and the fact that hibernation is basically over here. The first roads are closed because of toad migration, so I don’t think a newt is very surprising…

    At least it was nowhere to be seen today…

    kestrel
    Now imagine you’d told him that you raise them for food…

  60. Saad says

    Sooo, I’m hearing even the white supremacists over at CPAC didn’t want Nazi Spencer hanging around them…

  61. Saad says

    This is where the news of the Kansas white terrorist who yelled “get out of my country!” and shot three men (one died) appears on CNN’s page just now.

    *imagines what the atmosphere of the entire country would be like If it was a Muslim man shouting “Allahu Akbar!” and shooting at three white guys*

  62. Ice Swimmer says

    Slipped and broke my non-dominant forearm. Doctors can’t figure out what they see in the x-rays (both normal and tomography). After about five hours in the night in the emergency room got sent home with my arm in a sling and a percocet-type drug prescription (plus the first dose in a bag). They will re-analyze the x-rays. I’ve now slept, thanks to the drugs and the sling. The emergency room bill will be 32.50 €, not a problem.

  63. says

    @Ice Swimmer, my sympathies and I hope you will get well soon, that sounds as an awfully unpleasant experience. I am glad to not have broken anything in my life.

  64. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly & Caine

    Thank you. I hope they’ll figure out what injuries I have so they can be treated accordingly. It wasn’t fun in the emergency room, but it could have been worse, There weren’t too many other patients and the ones present minded their own business. It was mostly a bit boring and low-level painful.

  65. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ice Swimmer

    Slipped and broke my non-dominant forearm.

    I did the same falling off my bike years ago. My sympathies. Hope it heals well. My break area gets achy if I do too much lifting and carrying.

  66. StevoR says

    A Papuan parallel offers an interesting possible explanation for Trump’s appeal here :

    http://www.sapiens.org/culture/trump-arrogance-papua-new-guinea/

    Why do we use the word Çaucasian still and wouldn’t say, Euroopean-American be better? A good question given the terms history which raised & discussed here :

    http://www.sapiens.org/blog/race/caucasian-terminology-origin/

    Oh & technologies very widely separated in space and time and also united by an extremely long historic journey :

    http://www.sapiens.org/blog/curiosities/clovis-point-space-station/

    All via an Anthropology blogplex thingy Sapiens which has quite a few other interesting articles there. Hope these are interesting for y’all.

  67. StevoR says

    @89 & 86. Ice Swimmer : Ouch! That sucks. Also I gather you must have a high pain threshold if a broken bone is only ” low-level painful” here!* FWIW, I broke my wrist in a fight in high school and recall it being one of the most agonising pains I’ve ever experienced. Having my arm in a cast afterwards got really annoying too -- that was my dominant hand and I guess the good side was it made my semi-ambidextrous with having to use my other hand for ages.

    Wishing you as smooth and speedy a recovery as possible.

    * Also from your nym -- have / do you actually swim in ice?

  68. says

    Given that global warming is likely to get a hell of a lot worse before any serious action is taken to remedy it (presuming such action ever is taken…), it seems prudent to suppose that there will be disruptions in the existing systems for production and distribution of food. So I’ma give a little signal-boost to a project whose goal is to radically decentralize food production:

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/altifarm-a-modular-all-season-home-farm-food#/

  69. says

    Ice Swimmer
    Ouch. Get well soon and take it easy.

    +++

    So I’ma give a little signal-boost to a project whose goal is to radically decentralize food production:

    Sorry, not buying it, literally and figuratively.

    1. That’s fuck expensive. Seriously, any DIY shop will carry material from which you can just as easily make something similar for probably around 50-80bucks

    2. It’s not going to make any noticeable difference in food production. What are you going to grow? 6 eggplants, half a dozen bell peppers (they’re the worst, attract pests like nothing) and herbs? I know because I’ve been growing food like this for years on the balcony. It’s great fun and you eat your tomatoes with pride, but you cannot grow the staples in such little space. It’s nice to have cilantro for your rice, but if there’s no rice you’Re fucked.

    3. Which gets me to the space and time you need. I grew up in a family that still grew most of its vegetables. At about 10m2 per person and additional fruit trees it yielded a considerable amount of vegetables and potatoes (still not enough to last all year. Also no rice or pasta). It also meant a lot of work all around spring/summer and whole days come harvest time to clean and can the food.

    I don’t mean to be a spoilsport. By any means, if you have fun growing some veggies and herbs, do so (but get something for a reasonable price). As I said, I’ve been doing it for years. I would always encourage people to grow things n their balconies and windowsills. But those things are ONLY fun as long as there’s a safe supply in the supermarket.

  70. Ice Swimmer says

    StevoR @ 92

    Thanks!

    Well, it was low-level pain on average, a wrong position or a wrong move made it very painful. The doctors aren’t sure if it’s a fracture and what kind of a fracture it is, if so.

    As for the nym, I do swim in holes made in sea or lake ice during the winter. The actual phase I swim in is the liquid phase of of hole in the ice system. 8-) In English, AFAIK, you can’t express “hole in the ice” with a single word like you can in Finnish (avanto = hole in the ice in a frozen lake, river or sea).

  71. rq says

    We call it an ‘āliņģis’ in Latvian, and the extreme sport of under-ice fishing that occurs at near-zero temperatures (hauling people in danger off the ice is routine for the police in early autumn and late spring (no I did not mix those up), plus there’s the inevitable drownings, though generally the sport has a surprisingly high survival rate) is called ‘bļitkošana’ in slang, which is a russification.
    Hope it heals smoothly, Ice Swimmer, and that the pain abates quickly!

    re: the Altifarm
    It’s not a bad idea, but I see there’s no potatoes on the list of vegetables. Then again, you can grow potatoes in a pot (approx. 2kg yield per plant, if things go well), but you still need a lot of space for it to be worth your while. I find that these home farms are usually good for the additives to a recipe -- herbs, different types of leafy greens, chili peppers, bell peppers, a few tomatoes, etc. -- things that aren’t usually the base of a recipe (like potatoes! :D). And it’s also not as easy to get a sustaining yield for a larger family. A few meals, yes, and herbs can keep going for a long time, but it can’t replace a supermarket.
    Also what Giliell said about family-owned farming land. Our family-owned plot of land out in the country could potentially be self-sustaining -- there’s certainly the space for it, as well as the basic infrastructure, but it’s a heck of a lot of work, and not everyone in the family is interested in putting in the hours. It’s a life-saver in lean times, because when there’s less employment, there’s more idle hands to do the hard labour for the necessary yield, but it’s still a huge time-and-energy investment that not everyone’s capable of maintaining (or interested in maintaining, which is probably half the problem, but there’s a reason supermarkets are so popular -- people like doing other things a lot, like working in jobs more appropriate to their own interests rather than constantly running the numbers for surviving the next winter).
    So I’m all for growing your own stuff, if you have the time and the space, esp. with kids in the house because they really need to see and appreciate where the stuff they eat is coming from -- but I’m still waaay out in skepticland when it comes to actual major de-centralization of food production.
    (Personally, we’re planning for beans, radishes, tomatoes and all kind of herbs this year, might even attempt pumpkins again, but we don’t seem to have the right soil/sunlight combination for that, and I do want to try for more potatoes this year -- the single pot was a good experiment and a very promising start. But alas, 2kg of potatoes lasts us three meals at best. Not going to survive the winter on that!)

  72. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 94

    Thanks!

    As for the Altifarm, yeah, that’s best suited for fresh herbs, not staples, because they need relatively little space and are expensive in the shops. For the price of the Solo you can get about 15 -- 20 premium self-watering pots (180 mm, square, Orthex Eden). However, if you’ve already overplanted your windowsill, something like this could be easy and make sense, as you’re implying.

  73. says

    BTW, if you’re interested in something like that, I think the Ikea Ivar series would make a good basis. With an ordinary saw you can adjust them to the height you want, put the shelves in with a tilt and glue/screw a piece of wood to the front to keep the pots from falling out.
    I’m pretty sure you can fix wheels to it as well. And if you use some outdoor finishing it can be used on the balcony…

  74. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ century

    Thanks, if I had more room or willingness to use growling lights, I might do something like that (no doubt, many others might find your tip useful). My flat is like a cross between a hotel room and a library, the window facing west and partly shaded by trees.

    But anyway, the windowsill planting madness will start in a few weeks, if I’m up to the task.

  75. says

    Hmmm, I want time to get at least a part of the garden ready…

    I also should have made clear that I meant “you” in the “people” sense. Good luck with the planting, Ice Swimmer. I already planted the chilis, because they take ages to germinate…

  76. rq says

    Hard to believe it’s pretty much March and planting season can be begun…

    Ice Swimmer
    Is it the low sonic frequencies of the growling lights that encourage plant growth and development? ;)

  77. Ice Swimmer says

    rq @ 103

    Yes, the low sonic frequecies do encourage plant growth according to a recent article in the Journal of Black & Death Metal Science. The article noted however that the effect was most clear in settings where the soil was nitrogen poor prior to the experiments. 8-)

  78. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 102

    Thanks. The luck will be needed. To enhance the luck, I’ll have to eat the lemon balm still growing and have no plants for a while in order to eradicate the bugs (and make a few more cranberry juice -- balsamic vinegar -- dishwashing detergent traps).

  79. rq says

    Ice Swimmer
    I’ve never heard of that study, do you have a link? :D (I was 95% sure that the only musician known by scientists is Mozart. ;))
    Hey wait, cranberry juice? Does that add an extra kick to the eradication?

  80. rq says

    am, not was, the guy is everywhere in classical music studies. Won’t someone play Beethoven or Rachmaninoff to children?

  81. says

    Not to pile on you, cubist, but this “altifarm” is not going to save anyone from a failed harvest.

    To expand wiht my experience:
    The night from thursday to friday there was a very strong wind in central Europe. It has dismantled one of my greenhouses, the other one luckily survived without visible damage. I just spent two days repairing it and I will spend at least one day more.

    I do get significant use from the two greenhouses -- I have fresh figs for breakfast for approximately quarter of a year, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers for about the same amount of time. In addition to the greenhouses with 20 square meters together there is approximately 50 square meters of vegetable patch, where I grow potatoes, beans and similar. And a few fruit and nuts trees all over the garden.

    All of this yelds approximately (estimation) 5-7% of our food, so it would be 15-20% for one person.

    It is not free food. The price paid for that is a lot of work and even money for equipment, and weather can throw a wrench in your efforts at any time (like it just did). And if you get sick at the wrong time, you get nothing, because nature will not wait for you to harvest the fruits or plant the vegetables when it suits you -- there are time windows for that, and they are sometimes very narrow and not easy to hit with a day job. I do not save money by this, I am spending money on it. I am doing it for fun, gardening is a hobby.

    I could even have geese in summer for meat (they would thrive on mown grass mixed with potato peels) and chickens for eggs, but I do not have time for that. Hovewer we used to have poultry and rabbits and we got thusly almost all of our meat consumption from them -- but we still had to buy at least some grain for them to sustain them in winter and invest a lot of work and space in making and storing hay.

    So instead of animals I am planning to use approximately 400 square meters of unused garden for growing wood, in order to reduce my dependency on fossil fuels. Currently I manage to grow approximately 5% of my fuel on my land with just a testing row, and I think the use of the whole area can yield 40% of my fuel, maybe even more. I think this will be the most effective use of the land with regard to ecology.

    To really feed and sustain one person where I live, you would therefore need approximately 500 square meters for vegetables, fruits and nuts, a small animal farm that would utilize all the growth that humans cannot utilize (i.e. grass, peels etc.), and 1000 square meters for fuel. I am sure there are scientific papers giving more precise numbers, but I do not have time to look.

    Neither of this is even remotely possible on your balcony or indoors using LED lights. We will be dependent on farms and infrastructure to sustain civilization.

    That said, I think the idea is very good in principle. If everyone grew at least a few vegetable plants in their home, it would on average ease slightly the burden on land for farming. And perhaps most importantly, people would more appreciate the work that farmers do to keep them alive. They would really know that food does not grow in the supermarket, and perhaps would not be as wastefull as they are now -- and that is curently a huge problem in the first world. I see it in my own family -- I and my parents throw away very little food, almost none. My nephews, my brother and my sister in law, who never really worked in garden, throw away about one quarter in the bin because they alway put on his plate way more than they can eat and they are not carefull about food not getting spoiled.

  82. says

    If I’m reading the reactions to Altifarm correctly (always a questionable notion), it would appear that some folks are letting the Perfect be the enemy of the Good.

    No, Altifarm is not going to be the one-size-fits all universal solution for food production. But it’s something, and as best i can tell, it will do some good.

  83. says

    Cubist, maybe you should check out the front page a bit more often: http://freethoughtblogs.com/affinity/2017/02/23/oh-so-cool/

    There were similar criticisms over this as well, and they should be taken on board. One nice thing about Ikea’s Growroom is that the plans are easily altered -- it could be made smaller, one tier of the planters could be made considerably deeper to accommodate more root veg; the wood could be easily sealed, the planter lined with plastic, and so on.

    People are actually working on this problem, y’know, all over the place, and primarily trying to open up food growing in heavily urban spaces. In that respect the growroom is brilliant. I don’t think anyone is getting hung up on ‘the perfect’. It doesn’t do to ignore the realities of all the problems we’re facing, and yes, we need all manner of solutions, big and small.

  84. says

    Charly:

    The night from thursday to friday there was a very strong wind in central Europe. It has dismantled one of my greenhouses,

    Is that ever familiar. It’s a rare day when it isn’t windy on the Prairie, and the winds here can get unbelievably vicious. We’ve had three greenhouses taken out. The only way to have one standing is to have a permanent structure with glass or heavy plastic.

  85. Ice Swimmer says

    rq @ 106

    I seem to have lost the link. 8-)

    The idea in the concoction is that cranberry juice provides fruity smell, sugar and sufficient depth to drown in, the dash of balsamic vinegar provides even more tempting aromas and may get the sugar to ferment into acetic acid (not sure if this happens actually) and the droplet of detergent lowers the surface tension.

    Using American cranberry juice is cheaper and less offensive to the human nose than making the trap from vinegar and detergent only. Also, I haven’t tried other juices, because cranberry seems to work and doesn’t get moldy in the trap.

  86. says

    cubist

    If I’m reading the reactions to Altifarm correctly (always a questionable notion), it would appear that some folks are letting the Perfect be the enemy of the Good.

    You know, we wrote rather lengthy and thoughtful critiques of this (hell, I even suggested a cheaper way to make this). Your “takeaway” seems rather petty to me. I’m sorry if we pissed in your cornflakes.

    Charly

    The night from thursday to friday there was a very strong wind in central Europe. It has dismantled one of my greenhouses,

    Oh yes. Mr has already put up the kids’ trampoline and I hardly slept that night out of fear it would blow through the neighbourhood.

  87. Ice Swimmer says

    rq @ 97

    Yes, ice fishing from an avanto is also done here and it’s called pilkkiminen when done using a lure (called pilkki, if it’s longish and vaguely fish shaped or mormyska if it’s one of those Russian-style small “blinged” hooks). Some people also set up nets under the ice between two holes.

    My dad used to do both and had all the stuff needed for ice fishing with lures: a styrofoam seat/backpack, poles, lures and a hand-operated auger.

  88. says

    @cubist, if you think that I am “letting the Perfect be the enemy of the Good”, then please read my post again, especially the last paragraph. I am not objecting to the altifarm idea per se, but I contest the notion that it will “radically decentralize food production”. It will not do so in any significant, let alone radical way.

    I do not know about your experiences in this area, but I would be surprised if they were more extensive than mine. You really need a lot of space to grow enough food to feed even one person. Seriously, it is extremely naive to even think that growing vegetables as pot plants will make any radical change whatsoever, at least radical from logistical or quantitative point of view.

    It might, as I say, accomplish radical change only from societal point of view, by changing peoples attitudes.

    @Giliell, I hardly slept that night because I sleep under the roof and the wind dmade a lot of noise. I was so worried about the roof getting damaged I did not even think of the greenhouse until I looked out of the window in the morning. The whole of friday I was at work like a zombie due to lack of sleep.

  89. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly @ 109

    Ouch, I had no idea it was so bad there. Wondering if it’s the same storm that was here on Wednesday.

  90. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    *eyes the frozen eggplant parmesan bought for the Redhead*
    Might as well eat it to make room for other stuff. Do I have any meatballs left?

  91. says

    @Giliell
    At that elevation, I would not be suprised if the whole building shook. I live only in two-floors house and I think I felt one gust of wind, perhaps the one that dismantled the greenhouse.

    Funny thing that. Two years ago the same happened to me, with the same greenhouse. That time it lifted the whole greenhouse and flipped it on the roof. So when I was rebuilding it, I made concrete foundations. This time the foundations remained, but the wind ripped of the whole roof. So this year I will reinforce the roof. I am curious what goes bust next time, unfortunately I live in a very windy area.

    I just checked data from my meteo station, and this was the strongest wind I recorded in three years (even stronger than it was when I got my greenouse dismantled last time).

  92. rq says

    Storm? What storm?
    Actually the days from Friday to Sunday were rather oddball days: Friday was a heavy wet, windy snow; Saturday brilliant barely-below-zero weather with sunshine and heavy flurries in between; Sunday with heavy blizzarding in the morning turning to heavy rains in the afternoon. It’s a bit early for the seasonal lark blizzards (basically a cute term for spring flurries with sunshine), but had the same feel to it. Too early to think about cutting the roses yet.

  93. says

    First Thunderstorm of the year tonight.

    Too early to think about cutting the roses yet.

    I doubt mine survived. If it wasn’t the winter that killed them (I had them wrapped) it was the ton of roof tiles on top of them…

    Charly
    I’m planning to build a small “tomato house” with the old windows…

  94. kestrel says

    Really sorry to hear about the high winds, storms and especially -- the broken arm! OUCH. :-( May it heal well and quickly.

    On farming etc. Yeah. I live on a farm. It’s amazing to me how people don’t realize that you are not automatically self-sufficient. We rely on each other far more than we realize. I can not, for example, run my tractor without: fuel, parts, oil and on it goes. I can not cut hay, or harvest crops, without those things. I NEED other people to do their stuff so I can do mine. Now, what I would love to see? I’d love to see people tear up their stupid monoculture lawns and plant gardens. Or raise goats. Or chickens etc. I’d love for people to stop having that automatic reaction of, “there is an empty place, let’s pave it! It’s ‘wasted space”!” and think more about growing plants, food, the drainage from storms etc. (Heavy rainfall is not so problematic when there is a healthy amount of bare ground covered with plants to absorb it.) Small beginnings are really good. I love that so many people have chickens now! That is great! Baby steps I guess. But in the meantime… we all rely on each other. Very much so.

  95. chigau (ever-elliptical) says

    a womand womb is a sacred place for alien angel eggs
    jeebuswept
    I’m trying to go to sleep.

  96. says

    @kestrel

    Now, what I would love to see? I’d love to see people tear up their stupid monoculture lawns and plant gardens.

    QFT.

  97. Ice Swimmer says

    Thank you, kestrel and rq. The arm isn’t in any significant pain, just mostly useless and in the way. There is probably a fracture or two, but the bones are where they should be, according to the re-analysis of the x-rays. Slept last night without painkillers and I’m going to see a doctor in Friday. My back and shoulders aren’t too happy about the sling.

  98. says

    Now, what I would love to see? I’d love to see people tear up their stupid monoculture lawns and plant gardens. Or raise goats. Or chickens etc.

    Nyes.
    Honestly, I’m not going to raise any lifestock. There’s only 24 hours in a day. And I will not dig up the entire 500 m2 for gardening. But I think that a less monoculture lawn is better, one with herbs and flowers.
    Also, flowers are good! They are bee friendly. A recent study found out that bees in Berlin are healthier and more productive than in the surrounding countryside. Partly because of pesticides/herbicides but also because in the city people love their flowers on the balcony/windowsill.
    And yeah, just leave some green spaces.

  99. StevoR says

    @ ^ Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- Yes.

    As someone else said on fb, why not start the ceremony again with La-laland eliminate dand theothernminees still there.

    Also I reckon Hidden Figures should have won.

    ***

    Also for those reading here in Adelaide (& not too I guess) DOCO ALERT : 9.25 according to my TV or 9.29 according to the ABC’s site Channel 2 Final episode of another great Brian Cox astronomy series :
    ***

    Human Universe With Brian Cox
    Tuesday, 28 Feb
    Series 1 | Episode 5 | What Is Our Future?
    9:29 PM -- 10:30 PM [61 mins]
    g CCRepeat | Repeated on Wednesday 1 Mar at 3:30 AM, ABC
    In the final episode of the series, Professor Brian Cox explores the future of our home planet, its unfolding relationship with the rest of the universe, and its effect on our destiny as a species. (Final)

    ***

    Sorry for the short notice. Love this series (& Brain Cox’es work generally.)

    Previous episodes can be viewed on ABC iView too -- albeit may be hard from outside Oz but those with better internet-fu than me may have some suggestions, be able to work out how to do it?

  100. StevoR says

    @ 95. Ice Swimmer : Thankyou & hope you heal as smoothly and rapidly as possible.

    Also you are definitely tougher than me, FWIW. I’ve swum in cold water before but never that cold. Respect.

  101. says

    @Giliell

    Also, flowers are good!

    And flowering shrubberies. Not only are they beautifull, they have less maintenance than lawn and flowers, they provide nesting spaces for birds, and in cities they absorb pollution, dust and noise.

    Unfortunately they have one drawback, at least in CZ -- a lot of people are lazy to make two steps to the trashcan and toss paper wrappers etc into the shrubs, so in the winter when the leaves fall and snow melts the whole city looks like a trashcan.

    Basically anything is better than monocultue lawn, both aesthetically and practically.

  102. kestrel says

    @Gilliel: flowers are *awesome*. They add so much more than beauty as you have pointed out! Plus you don’t have to mow them.

    @Charly: yes, more shrubs. And I agree the trash tossing is really weird… why do people do that? I’ve seen them just toss trash out the window of a moving car, too. Some were even unwise enough to do it in a car that I personally was driving. The brakes were promptly slammed on and they were told to go and pick it up. I have a friend who makes people pick up their trash if she sees them throw it in the city. She thinks it’s just Americans who do that; obviously she is wrong, very sadly.

    You don’t have to mow shrubs either. I guess mowing something and then not baling it, makes no sense to me. **shrugs**

  103. rq says

    I like shrubbery. Also low-maintenance early flowers like tulips and daffodils. Our lawn is a mess (a good mess!) of different grasses, clover in different types, random low-growing garden escapees, dandelions… It gets mowed but the cuttings go into the compost and get redistributed at a later date. I don’t get monoculture lawns, because you can get a really nice grass surface with a mix, if you do it right. We’re trying to figure out how to localize the clover, at least a little (laugh with me here), because the bees love it too much to make bare feet safe, buuut that’s a minor thing. Also this year we’re finally mowing over the flower garden in front, the one we never weed -- what lives, lives, but it wasn’t wild or tamed enough to look pretty. The strip with all the scented flowers will stay, it’s the middle bit, that wasn’t really anything, that will go. Less guilt about not weeding for me.

  104. says

    And I agree the trash tossing is really weird… why do people do that?

    I don’t know. If you’ve eaten a snack there’s now a conveniently empty space where you can put the wrapper. Seriously, our car looks like a moving trashcan, but none of that gets into the environment.

    rq

    I don’t get monoculture lawns, because you can get a really nice grass surface with a mix, if you do it right.

    This. I want the open space for recreation, playing, etc. None of that requires a monoculture

  105. kestrel says

    @Giliell: here in the US you can buy wild mixtures of what grows wild on the prairie, both short grass and tall grass prairie -- flowers, grasses, forbs. Do they offer that there? That would be pretty cool and what I have seen here is very beautiful, not to mention a healthier mix for both the plants and the soil. Some of it you don’t mow (yay!).

    @rq: your lawn sounds great -- the sort of lawn I find more attractive, and yay for not weeding. :-)

  106. rq says

    I was about to admit to monocultivating the roses, but then I realized that no, they’re cultivated together with garlic, and I let the poppies have free rein among the roses, too. Because I read somewhere that garlic keeps pests away. Doesn’t, not really, but it puts two of my favourite plants into one garden area. Poppies are just pretty, but if they start sucking up too much nutrients from the roses, they’ll have to relocate, too.

    kestrel
    It’s actually easy to get non-mono grasses here. I haven’t actually looked if they have prairie-type mixes (not much call for it here, ecologically), but you can get mixes for shade and mixes for sun and things like that. That being said, we’re not particular about other plants mixing in, that’s just too much maintenance when you could be outside enjoying different things. The only place where I mind all those grasses is in the rose garden (I swear, I can tell them apart by their root systems by now, there’s at least six obvious ones and probably twice as many more that I can’t differentiate).

  107. says

    kestrel
    You can buy mixes here and flower mixes. Generally I don’t think you have a lot to do in order to get a little diversity into your lawn. The one thing I try to kick out is the moss because it kills everything else.

    I can’t tell what we’ll get come summer. We only bought the house/garden last year and worked half of autumn to get the moss out (approximately 50 wheelbarrows full).

  108. rq says

    Ugh, moss. I have mixed feelings about it because I like how it is soft and green pretty much all the time, and if you’re in a pine forest, a lot of moss means chanterelles, but it does have a tendency to spread. You’ll probably be raking up moss every year, Giliell, it’s a bit of a fight, but it can be done. Aeration of some kind is usually good, too, but if your backyard is really shady, it’ll take a bit more than that. But then, there’s good shady grass and flower mixes you can do, too, so good luck with that!

  109. says

    Moss is a nuisance. I am composting it, but it makes necessary to add wood ash or egg shells to the compost.

    I have started an experiment with it -- What I have done done is make a 1 m hole, fill it to the brim with mixture of moss and powdered horn and plant canadian blueberry directly into the moss. It seemed to thrive, but I had to take it out previous year when I was reconstructing a part of the garden. I plan to replant it again on the same spot and make there a “moss hill”. Blueberry not only does not mind acidic environment, it requires it, so I hope in a few years to kill two birds with one stone -- continuously use the moss and get blueberries.

  110. says

    We used some of the moss for the potted plants, mixing it with the earth, but most got dumped in a big heap behind the garden next to the wood. I guess the deer had a nice snack this winter.
    I’ll use some of the “spring harvest” when we dig up the garden.

  111. rq says

    Charly @141
    We might steal your idea. We have some blueberry plants that aren’t thriving, plus all that moss each spring -- I’ll suggest it to Husband once we get around to the yardwork!

  112. says

    rq Steal away, but beware that it is as of yet de-facto untested idea. Please do not throw custard pies in my face if it does not work.

  113. rq says

    Charly
    Consider it a replication. And no promises on the custard pie(s), isn’t that how scientists resolve these issues?

  114. says

    Tragedy of my life:
    The house is making good progress and it is time to choose a shower cabin*. One of the models is called “Tardis”. There’s an obvious joke here but nobody in the family gets it…

    *We also found out that it’s cheaper to have it done than to do it ourselves. The plumber gets really good prices on the material and he passes that advantage on, provided you pay him for the installation. So shower+cabin+installation = shower+cabin at the DIY shop.

  115. Ice Swimmer says

    Beautiful singing and acoustics. The name of the group (Árstíðir) means “seasons”, literally translated times of the year (no, I don’t know any Icelandic, but they use the same word in Swedish [årstider in plural]).

  116. kestrel says

    Wow, beautiful hymn and amazing acoustics!

    @Ice Swimmer, are the languages there fairly similar? I have a neighbor from Norway, who I had asked to translate what I **thought** was a Swedish document about the Svart Höna but turned out to be in Danish. Maybe she simply knows a ton of languages, but if you can understand some Icelandic… got me thinking.

  117. chigau (違う) says

    I’ve seen that video before.
    I’m delighted to see/hear it again.
    Thanks, Giliell.

  118. rq says

    Giliell
    Time to educate the family!
    Also, the thing with the plumber doing it, are you going to get some kind of guarantee on that? That can be an added bonus in case anything goes unexpectedly wrong.

    kestrel
    I believe the Norse consider Swedish a dialect, the Swedes consider Norse a dialect, while both don’t believe Danish is a real language and Danes insist they invented it all. Or something, I could be getting the sides wrong on this. Icelandic is older and different enough to rise above the fray.

  119. says

    @Giliell -- I think “Tardis” is a reference to Dr. Who. A show I know nothing about except what Google tels me.

    Regarding prices for material and work -- I think this is a German peculiarity, we certainly do not have that thing in CZ. It can backfire, too. My colleague was building a garden shed and it took him two years. He had to wait for the carpenter to have time. If he build it himself, he would have paid more for the material. But he would not have to wait two years.
    _______________

    Sorry for this, but I have to get the weight of my chest somehow.

    Whatever the outcome, I have decided to not try and help my uncle anymore. That he did not even bother to say “thank you” after we brought him some stuff (bath robe, shaving, prepaid cell phone) and paid his bills for him was only the start of it.

    He was supposed to contact the social worker resident in the hospital he is in and inform himself about how to divest the house and get a place in nursing home. He was supposed to contact a lawyer regarding the same. That is why we gave him cell phone with pre-paid credit. He dit none of that. He only asks everyone to bring him clothes and help him to get hold of his personal papers so he can leave. He insists on trying to sneak out of the hospital, he knows better than anyone, even the physicians -- who say that he will not be able to care of himself anymore and he cannot be alone in a big, desolate house -- and everyone else is stupid. He is the epitome of self-centered asshole who knows everything better and is a universal expert. He never thanks and never apologizes. No wonder his siblings want to have nothing to do with him. No wonder his nickname (not in a good way) is Mr. “Pouch the Beetle” (a reference nobody outside of CZ gets -- essentially it is a cartoon character who knows everything on expert level -- because he has seen it in the cinema).

    As long as he is legally competent, I can only offer him financial help in case he needs it (which I did) and manual help with clearing the house (which I did), but I cannot do what he wants -- which is to take him out of the hospital so he can pick up his things and “come back”. I would be legally responsible for him during the two-hours leave and I do not trust him to come back to the hospital willingly. And I am not willing to be in a choice where I am either complicit in kidnap, or I have to call police to get him back after he barricades himself in his house again.

    And I am not alone in this. Local parish priest said essentially the same when asked to take him home so he can pick up his things. He too does not trust him to come back after the two hours leave. Since my uncle is still practicing catholic and he was working as a verger in the church for decades, he had over the years much more contact with the priest than with me (I only saw him every two-three years or so). I am therefore inclined in this particluar case to trust the priests judgement, especially when it does not contradict my experience in the sligthest and he gave his assesment of the situation independently of me.

    All of the siblings -- including my father -- think the same.

    It seems that being an asshole to the whole of your social circle all of your life is not a good strategy.

  120. Ice Swimmer says

    kestrel @ 152, rq @ 154

    Yeah, Icelandic is different (more like Old Norse) from Swedish, Norwegian and Danish, which have fairly similar standard written languages. AFAIK, speakers of Norwegian have the easiest time to understand both Swedes and Danes, while Swedes and Norwegians agree that Danish is a speech impediment, not a language.

    Some Icelandic words are easy to guess, but others, not so much. Also, the spoken language is difficult to follow.

  121. rq says

    Swedes and Norwegians agree that Danish is a speech impediment

    My brother is learning Danish and says it’s like trying to speak with a mouthful of pebbles.

    Charly
    *hugs*

    It seems that being an asshole to the whole of your social circle all of your life is not a good strategy.

    If you start feeling guilty, remember that sentence. It’s not you, it’s your uncle. The fact that he has made it practically impossible for anyone to help him is nobody’s fault but his own, and it doesn’t make you a bad person for not even wanting to help him (in fact, it’s a point towards how terrible he has made things for himself). You are a good person.
    I do hope he realizes his own situation and becomes willing to accept the help he will be needing. But at least it won’t be on you anymore.

    Also, two years waiting for a carpenter?? Wow. People wait that long for cancer therapy here, but never a carpenter…

  122. Ice Swimmer says

    In fact Danish, Norwegian and Swedish form a dialect continuum and the standard languages are closer to each other than some dialects that are considered Swedish, for example the Ostrobothnian Swedish dialects are quite different from either Finnish or Swedish forms of standard Swedish and hard to decipher due to their “medieval” phonology and grammar, while also being different from Icelandic, which comes from a different dialect of Old Norse.

    An aside: A Finnish woman who lives in Iceland told a funny story about the language: She needed some glue to fix something at home. Glue in Icelandic is lím while penis is colloquially lim and the two use a slightly different wovel sound. You can guess which she used when asking for glue from the younger guy in the store.

  123. Ice Swimmer says

    The story about buying glue was in her book which I leafed through in a bookshop.

  124. Ice Swimmer says

    rq @ 157

    Speaking while having a hot potato in the mouth is the common way to.describe it.

  125. kestrel says

    LOL! Thank you, Ice Swimmer and rq, that does clarify things. That is also interesting that Swedish has different dialects! My friend told me that in Norway there are two, one is sort of the “city” dialect and the other sort of the “country” dialect. Here is an exceedingly silly song called the “Norwedish Hate Anthem”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gWAUxP6RmM

    @Charly: much sympathy. It’s really sad but sometimes you just have to watch someone else crash and burn because they have decided to be so self-destructive. It is hard to see someone do these type of things to themselves, but you are so right, your uncle has always been like this, he will not change. All you can do is shake your head and remember not to be so incredibly foolish yourself if you should ever be in the same sort of situation. But being in the midst of it… incredibly heart-breaking. Very sorry that is happening in your life.

  126. Ice Swimmer says

    Well, there are two different versions of standard Norwegian in use, bokmål (book language, which is based on Norwegianized Danish) and nynorsk (new Norwegian, which is based on dialects of Norway). And yes, not only does the Swedish spoken in Finland differ from Swedish spoken in Sweden (the written standard is pretty much the same), but in both countries, there are large differences in the spoken language.

  127. Ice Swimmer says

    And again, my scatterbrainedness is showing @ 162, (I’ve slept for 3,5 hours because I had my x-ray checkup and doctor so early [relatively speaking]. No significant fractures detected in the arm, so the pain is mostly from soft-tissue damage, which is nice, but stating last week that I broke my arm may have been a wrong way to put it, so boo me.)

    “Book language” is a translation, it’s spoken and used in other contexts as well.

    Charly @ 155

    My sympathies as well. I can’t say it any better than kestrel did.

  128. chigau (違う) says

    My sympathies, Charly.
    How hard would it be to have him declared legally incompetent?

  129. kestrel says

    @Ice Swimmer, #163: Oh ouch. That happened to me once, I was kicked by a horse in the upper arm and thought it was broken. X-rays showed it was not. That really hurts, even though it’s not as bad as a break it is bad enough. I had one heck of a time getting dressed for over a week. The physician told me it was not at all serious and I told him he only thought that because it was not **his** arm…

    My Norwegian friend says you are 100% correct in your comments on the Danish language and it made us both laugh so thank you!

  130. says

    Today he was pretending to be asleep when I brought him post and some home made buns.
    Well at least I could leave promptly. If he really needs something, he has my phone number and a phone.

    Having him declared legally incompetent would not be easy (well, it should not be easy in a functioning state) and someone would have to become his legal guardian. I cannot do that, my plate is full already. That is why I asked him to talk with social worker. She is there to help him, it is her work. But he knows better *shrug*.

    We have a saying -- whomever cannot be advised, cannot be helped either. I think it applies.
    _______________

    Regarding languages -- it is astounding how many there are and how funny sounding we find those that are not our own. In CZ are three main accents and people of each think theirs is the “correct” one. When I heard someone speak Dutch I thought the person is garling gravel. When some of my colleagues lapse into heavy local bavarian dialect, I get the feeling that they are not talking, but barking like dogs.

    Languages are a great testament to the plasticity of human brain. The sheer amount of languages, slangs, dialects and accents is mind blowing.

  131. says

    Heya
    Catching 5 minutes of net time before I get back to work…
    You know it’s been a long week when you try to open your front door with the staff room key.

    Charly
    *hugs*
    Some people really do make their own bed.

    re: dialects
    Germany has a ton of them. Seriously, even my small state has two major ones and a ton of finely cur differences. Of course they are levelling out now that people no longer marry their third cousin ;), but my dad pronounces some words different from my mum and the places they grew up in are like 10 km apart.

  132. says

    @Giliell

    You know it’s been a long week when you try to open your front door with the staff room key.

    I try to lock the lab with house key and open the house with lab key happens often enough too. But the sign that I am really tired is when I start talking to my parents in German. Like I did yesterday.
    I just slept 11 hours and want more.

  133. rq says

    Oh man. I once came home from work, unlocked the door, then got into a panic because I couldn ‘t find the alarm keypad. Then I got upset that someone obviously had forgotten to turn on the security system, because the alarm wasn’t beeping anyway, and I was getting ready to leave an angry note to my colleagues.
    Then I remembered we haven’t installed an alarm in the house. :/ So. :) Lab security not compromised!
    Hope you have a restful weekend, Giliell and Charly!

  134. says

    As somebody once said, “a language is a dialect with an army and navy”.

    Something like this. Or a crown. Nobody would consider Letzeburgisch as language if it weren’t for that sovereign state thingy.

    +++
    Spent the day mostly digging in the dirty. My kind of day.

  135. kestrel says

    @Giliell: What a wonderful day! I love it when one can finally get outdoors and do that sort of thing. I did a little of that myself, checking various beds and trying to prepare them for the coming growing season.

  136. says

    Here the weather is reasonably warm. I could (and should) work in garden, but yesterday I just finished repairing the greenhouse, today I will make last few touch-ups and then I will have to call it quits for this weekend. I will try and re-pot some plants in the afternoon because it really needs doing, but I am unsure I will be capable to. That damn storm threw me off my schedule this year, I was ahead and now I am behind.

  137. says

    It was a really nice day out yesterday but now I’m suffering the consequences. My <a href="Sacroiliac joint is acting up again (probably because of the bent back lifting). The worst: the only remedy I know is to get up and move and work around the house…

  138. StevoR says

    @ 176. chigau (違う) :Here in Adelaide South Oz, today has been mercifully the coolest and nicest all week.

    Monday was 35 degrees then we had 38, 38, 36 and 34 -- all positive and all Celsius. (Then I missed a few nights weather forecasts / observations incl. tonights but has been very warm still.)

    (http://www.metric-conversions.org/temperature/celsius-to-fahrenheit.htm )

    IOW, horribly sleep deprivingly very unpleasantly hot.

    Wish we could swap some of our heat for your cold, temperature~wise.

    ***

    @124. kestrel :

    I’d love to see people tear up their stupid monoculture lawns and plant gardens.

    For whatever little it may be worth, I’ve been doing that -- transformed lawn to bush garden with local native plants about five years ago or so. Wish I’ done it sooner. Still got some lawn but also a lot of good local natives (Acacia pycnanthas, Allocasurinas, Eucalyptus microcarpa, Eutaxia diffusa, Olearia ramulosa, Platylobium obtuseangulum, etc ..) growing well.

    I still have some areas of lawn (plus some native grasses e.g. Themeda triandra -- kangaroo grass.) but still. Am working on it and couldn’t agree more.

    ***
    Saw this :

    7. cedrus
    3 March 2017 at 4:12 pm

    I am fascinated by old SF, but from a sociological perspective. The past is a different country; their models of reality are different. It’s perhaps never more obvious than when you watch them try to predict the future.

    For instance, the classic Foundation series by Asimov…mild spoilers, but it is screamingly obvious that it was written before chaos theory. In a world where most SF readers understand “butterfly effect” and “black swans”, the story just goes boom. It’s really interesting to try to put yourself back in that 1950s headspace where this story makes sense.

    (There’s also a passage in there that I think of every time I’m tempted to get arrogant about the current state of our knowledge. The whole scene is meant as an excuse to talk about the vast galaxy-spanning trade network that exists 25K years in the future. There’s a businessman in a fancy office; he plays grab-ass with the secretary who brings his cigar, muses about how she’s cute but useless, then proceeds to smoke the cigar in his office. Because these are all unremarkable things you do in the distant future, of course.)

    Source link : http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2017/03/03/what-would-happen-if-you-made-people-who-didnt-like-science-fiction-anyway-read-really-old-science-fiction/#comment-1065771

    on a recent Pharyngula thread -- does anyone recall that scene and would anyone be kind enough to provide more info eg which book and ideally pages in the series that came from please? I don’t recall that myself. Not doubting Cedrus here but just keen to confirm for myself -- and the Foundation series has a lot of books in it and, yes, I know, Isaac Asimov did very much the wrong thing and caused hurt to a lot of women by his behaviour to them which very much sucks and was wrong of him despite him being my favourite childhood author.

  139. says

    @Giliell
    Back pain is a plague for any garden owner. After the greenhouse repair I do not have luckily any back pain, but instead I ache all over. I intended to do rake some old grfass today afternoon before the sun sets, but I have to really call it quits, otherwise I will not be able to go to work tomorrow.

    In on word -- bugger.

  140. rq says

    Charly
    Hot bath? I’d recommend some time in the sauna, if possible, but even that’s a luxury I have only out in the country.

  141. kestrel says

    @all the sore backs, legs, feet, shoulders: times like this I am SO HAPPY to live in the current times, when we have things like aspirin and Tylenol. And hot baths and Epsom salts. Sometimes I hear someone say, “I wish I’d been born 400 years ago” or some such. Ha -- not me! I LIKE living in an era with dental care and pain killers etc.

    Please don’t shut down this thread. I only barely got up the courage to post in it. Now I’m really enjoying it!

  142. Ice Swimmer says

    kestrel @ 186

    While herbal medicine was used by common people 400 years ago, even distilling alcohol might have been still unknown in some parts of Europe. I’m not sure if all my ancestors had access to viina (vodka) in 1617, let alone late in 1500s.

    Caine,

    Concurring with Giliell and rq, please don’t close this thread, I think it’s possible that PZ’s resurgent thread may attract a slightly different community. I like it here, this place isn’t neither too “intimate” nor too “aloof”.

  143. rq says

    kestrel
    I think sometimes I would like to try things from other eras -- fashion (well, except maybe lead-based make-up), food (minus the unhygienic preparation -- speaking of which, a relatively local cafe just started selling poppyseed cakes using a recipe from the 16th or 17th century (can’t remember), which is kind of awesome), hobbies, etc.
    But dental case, pain killers, rights… those are all things that make me really like living when I am.

    Ice Swimmer

    viina (vodka)

    So what do you call wine?
    (Here, wine is vīns -- ī is like the ii for you; vodka is šņabis, from the German Schnapps, but šņabis can also mean any hard liquor incl. homemade, though homemade is usually designated by a more slangish term like kandža, šmakalka, polšs, where the terms differ by region or by quality (i.e. šmakalka would be of better quality than kandža, which is more likely to poison you); beer is alus.

    +++

    re: the thread
    As a quick explanation for myself, which is a selfish one: I’ve made this my social(ish) space and while I do plan on maybe lurking around the Pharyngula open thread every now and then, I’m not likely to unlurk over there (except maybe sporadically) anytime soon (people from previous social threads are likely to show up there, so it will be nice to read some of them again, but I don’t plan on talking much). That place makes me nervous, unlike here, which is kind of weird, because I used to be afraid of you, Caine. :D In any case, between here and the Speakeasy, I have the communication with the people I like and/or want, and jumping back into the mass of commenters over at PZ’s just isn’t appealing to me right now. But that’s just me and my personal reason(s).

  144. Ice Swimmer says

    rq @ 189

    Wine is viini. Beer is olut. Illegally distilled viina (moonshine) is pontikka or ponu. 96 % rectified spirit (illegal to be imported, a controlled substance*) is pirtu (from spiritus fortis). Viina can be used for all distilled beverages, cognac, brandy, whisky and liqueurs aren’t usually called viina, but the process of drinking them can be called viinan juominen just as well.
    __
    * = Smuggled stuff, which I’ve seen labeled as American Corn Tradition, Royal or even Royal American (sic) has been available. Also, doctors, veterinarians and pharmacists have been able to get medical grade spiritus fortis, though this has been getting more and more tightly controlled.

  145. Ice Swimmer says

    Circular reference error: It was supposed to be rq @ 188 in my 189.

    The thread issue:

    Yes, I also admit that my reasons are personal. I’m just saying how I feel.

  146. rq says

    Ice Swimmer
    re: pirtu and spiritus fortis
    I find that interesting, as the Latvian word for sauna is pirts, and the act of tossing water on the hot rocks is called ‘throwing spirit’. Wonder if there’s an etymological connection between all of it. ;)

  147. says

    rq & kestrel
    I find that the occasional medieval/renaissance fair perfectly satisfies my desires for a past that never existed. You usually get the best bread there.
    Also only fun when you can decide to stay at home instead because it’s raining smallish mammals.

    strong stuff
    Schnaps!

  148. says

    I too am glad the thread will not be killed yet. I never really felt like commenting in the endless thread on pharyngula. On the first occasion I did I got totally shredded by, ahem, Caine, Giliell and Beatrice.
    Hm *scratches head*.

  149. says

    As long as people are using it, the thread will remain.* Charly, I’m ashamed to say I don’t remember that, however, I apologize. I can definitely be an asshole.
     
    * On the 14th of this month, Affinity will be one year old.

  150. says

    [sees people sitting in a circle of folding chairs, some of them nursing cups of mediocre coffee]

    [stands up]

    “Hi there! My nym is Cubist, and I’m an asshole.”

    [chorus of “Hi, Cubist!”s from the circle]

  151. kestrel says

    How exciting! SQUEE!! Happy early Birthday, Affinity!! !!!

    I remember I used to post on this “other forum” and everyone talked about how HORRIBLE all those commenters were on Pharyngula. I was a little scared, as a consequence, to come to FTB and check it out for myself but I did finally. What I saw was… most of the time, the commenters were dishing out fairly well deserved scorn. They did seem stern and unwilling to put up with BS, but not actually mean or uncaring. It seemed to me that once someone had explained their point better, or even changed their views to less awful, that this was not a mean or cruel commentariat. Thus I got suckered in, LOL, and quit the former forum. Then I found Affinity… (where is the heart smiley?)… :-D

    I really like this thread. It is filling a need for community, and connection, that most people seem to need. Even me. A known hermit.

  152. says

    [sees people sitting in a circle of folding chairs, some of them nursing cups of mediocre coffee]

    I insist on being an asshole with proper coffee.
    You don’t want my asshole side with mediocre or even worse, no coffee.

    Charly
    I don’t remember either, sorry.
    I guess we all remember getting shredded (and believe me, I have), but not shredding. Definitely a construction error in human engineering…

  153. says

    @Caine, I do not think you were an asshole to me. I was pretty clueless. It is not suprising that neither you nor Giliell remember it, because it is probably more than five years ago when there were two types of endless thread on pharyngula -- The Endless Thread and The Zombie Thread.
    How the time flies.

  154. Ice Swimmer says

    Caine, I’m also glad that this thread will remain.

    Maybe I should try to get the herbs sown by the blogiversary or failing that the anniversary of TNET. This year, there will be no dill and lemon balm may also be omitted. Basil, parsley, chives, mint and lovage are the herbs I intend to grow.

  155. Ice Swimmer says

    rq @ 202

    The dill didn’t grow all that well last year. It started very well, but then the growth slowed down. I think the problem is that dill shold have more space and light than is available on my windowsill.

  156. rq says

    Ice Swimmer
    Well, the solution is not to not grow dill at all, but to widen your windows and turn them south to give the dill the full advantage of the warm summer sun! Sheesh. No dill.

  157. says

    Saad @ 205:

    Jesus. I couldn’t make it through that whole thing. Wow, white is one word for it. That sure doesn’t look like the LA I know.

  158. Saad says

    Probably the stupidest part of the video.

    “super amazing for the brain”

    Ghee is literally made from just butter. It’s a common desi thing. But I guess for them, it’s a hip health potion.

    Stupid and appropriationy.

  159. rq says

    Before I even try to watch that video, I would like to say that I’m sorry white people can be so stupid and ignorant.

  160. says

    Yeah, I’ve made ghee. Most people who cook have made it at least once. And yes, it’s delish, because butter! “Brain Dust” “Sex Dust” blah blah blah, oh, these people need to be smacked.

  161. Ice Swimmer says

    rq @ 204

    I guess I could start hoarding old windows and scrap lumber to make a greenhouse annex, envy of the neighbours (who have balconies).The outer wall isn’t load bearing, just the columns in the corners and the beam above the window are (a fashionable way to build in the 1950s and 1960s). The pieces of paper coming to my mailbox could be torn, crumpled and put on the bottoms of the ceramic pots, under the soil. 8-)

  162. Ice Swimmer says

    Caine @ 209

    In Finnish snot is sometimes called aivolima (brain slime/mucus).

    In other news, HIM is going to disband after a farewell tour.

  163. quotetheunquote says

    Probably the stupidest part of the video.

    “He processes it … on the ascending lunar cycle”

    Cognitive … functions… failing…! Woo… filter… overload!

    Really? Lunar cycles, still? Someone needs to tell these kids, that kind of stuff was really popular in the ’70s, maybe that’ll be enough to convince them it’s not “cool” (or “sick”, or whatever they’re saying these days) anymore.

  164. says

    Ice Swimmer:

    Here’s the announcement by HIM.

    Oh FUCK. So the album that was supposed to be out this year is not gonna happen? Fuck. I wish I could see them.

  165. Ice Swimmer says

    Caine @ 215

    Not sure about the album. There’s still about two months left to do the album (if they’ve done most of it already), but I’m not sure what they’re going to do*. I have no idea how their album project has gone, though one could speculate, but I’m not going to do it.
    __
    * = Or what are their plans in the future, Ville could do solo stuff, Linde has Daniel Lioneye, not sure about the others.

  166. Saad says

    This is fucking terrifying

    A 43-year-old Indian-origin store owner in the US has been shot dead outside his home, just days after an Indian engineer was killed in Kansas+ in a hate crime shooting that had sent shockwaves across the country.

    Harnish Patel, 43, the owner of a convenience store in Lancaster County, South Carolina, was found dead of gunshot wounds in the front yard of his home on Thursday, coroner and police officials said.

    Patel closed his store and drove in his silver minivan to his nearby home where authorities believe he was confronted by his killer. The store is about 6 km from his house, The Herald reported.

    [. . .]

    Sheriff Barry Faile said the Indian ethnicity of Patel does not appear to be a factor in the crime.
    “I don’t have any reason to believe that this was racially motivated,” Faile said

    Oh, of course not.

    White supremacy gets almost the same benefit of the doubt as rapists do.

  167. kestrel says

    “I don’t have any reason to believe that this was racially motivated,” ??!!!!! WTF do you THINK motivated it?

    Now I want to go eat fencing staples. Sometimes the willfullness to not see the dog vomit is just too much.

  168. says

    When it rains, it pours. Today my father was rushed to hospital because of irregularities in EKG.

    I hope it will turn out OK, but at his age even the visit itself can be dangerous if he catches pneumonia.

  169. says

    Charly
    Best wishes for your father!

    +++

    Nothing of importance:
    I managed to do a really nice crown braid* today. Only it was very wet. NOw the left hand side of my hair has largish waves while the other side has tight kinky curls….

  170. Ice Swimmer says

    From the Department of Frivolous Frills:

    Crown bread, that must be long and thin unless you’re in some high level office.

    Went to sauna and swimming in the sea for the first time after I hurt my arm. It was great, my back, neck and shoulders feel much better (almost as if I haven’t had my arm in a sling for the last 12 days) and it was easy and pleasant to move the injured arm in the water (the doctor told me last Friday to get some movement for the elbow joint, daily). Felt some strange sensations in the injured arm the first time I got it into the cold water.

  171. says

    Charly, I hope your dad is okay!

    Also, I hope you noted that everyone in the Pharyngula thread came to your defense. I have no idea as to what possessed PZ to say such a thing. I can only assume the general stress and anxiety of what’s happening here has gotten to him. At any rate, it was an awful thing to say, and for those of us who know you, we know you are a fine person, a caring and compassionate one.

  172. kestrel says

    Crown braid!!! I have done that on myself before, it is challenging but the end result is awesome. I am sure you looked fabulous in your crown braid! As for crown bread: I can envision that. A braided loaf, round, and with no beginning and no end.

    For women’s day today, I started up a conversation with a local woman about how important it is for women to have control of their own bodies. It was perhaps silly of me as most people here are very staunch catholics and certainly don’t think this way, but I thought, things need to change, and the way they change is one person at a time. So I very carefully but passionately had this conversation. The amazing thing was she did not pull out her cross and hiss at me or anything, she actually **agreed** with me. She even said she thought it was important not to make a snap judgement on an issue but to try and think carefully beyond the obvious. You could have knocked me over with a feather. But I hid it well. One person at a time…

  173. says

    Crown braid, I used to do those all the time when I was young, but with two braids. That’s when my hair was below my arse; it’s about 12 inches shorter than that now.

  174. kestrel says

    Here’s a tutorial for a crown braid that you can do yourself. I’ve done this… it takes me about half an hour. Normally, when I put my hair up, it takes about 30 seconds… so I don’t do this but it is awfully cool. :-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tjLWkfiHvE&t=305s This lady has a delightfully goofy style that I like. If you have long hair, she’s got some good tutorials.

  175. rq says

    Charly
    Hope your dad is / will be okay!!
    Also PZ is wrong about you, though he’s not likely to apologize for it.

  176. says

    kestrel
    I like that version, though my hair is not nearly as long, so “one” braid needs to do the trick. It also has the tendency to “fall flat”. I don’t know why. On other people’s heads braids look like they are on top, with my hair it’s always like somewhere inside.

  177. says

    Still no information about what is actually wrong with my father, they still did not tell him any diagnosis. However he is allowed to freely move and walk, so it hopefully is not acute carditis or something immediately life-threatening.
    _____________________
    Thanks for the heads up. I was thinking whether I should try and clarify my point on Pharyngula, but I decided against it. PZ would probably never read it anyway. He either woke ass forward that day, or he has some to me unknown reason to be as much uncharitable to me as possible. I was taken aback, I did not expect such baseless insult completely sans argument. And the least from him.

    So just to clarify for you -- I was not trying to make any moral arguments or statements about reality whatsoever, I was not advocating for promiscuity or having harems and how superior it is or any similar MRA shit. I just like tinkering with stats and probabilities (it is a part of my job after all) so I tried to check the math in his article using the assumptions and data from it. And I found out what I wrote. I was trying to be clear that in reality there is a bunch of confounding factors that are completely omitted in his article and as a consequence therefore omitted in my comment too. Either I expressed myself really poorly or he did not read or understan that part of my comment and took the rest as some MRA fantasy about objective superiority of sleeping around (but monad f.e. understood evidently exactly what I meant).

    Anyway, I am dropping this particular ball. But it was a jarring experience, I am not going to lie about that.

  178. kestrel says

    @Charly: It jarred me too. But then, it’s easy, like you say, to wake up grouchy or angry etc. Still I was sorry to see that, and on top of what you are dealing with too… which must be very stressful. I hope they can solve this soon so you both at least know what is going on.

    @Giliell #232: Forgive me but you just put a nickel in me as I am a professional braider. When you are braiding your hair, there is a way to do it called French braiding: the sequence would be, over one on the right, over one on the left etc. Or, as I would think of it, o1, o1. Now. For the crown braid, you have to do what they call Dutch braiding. The sequence is: UNDER one on the right, UNDER one on the left etc. Or, u1, u1. I think this is what you are talking about, because yes, with French braiding it does look like the braid is on the inside of your hair. If you are used to doing o1, o1, it will feel awkward, but just give yourself some time and practice. Then you too will have an amazing crown braid like everyone else! :-) And if your hair is long enough, you can always just braid it at the back into a long braid, and then wrap it around your head and pin it up with pins. No one will be the wiser. ;-)

  179. says

    John @ 231:

    In Australian news: ‘It was a mistake’: public trustee who sold Albert Namatjira’s copyright.

    That’s quite the “mistake.”

    “In hindsight, a cautious public trustee would have done that,” he said.

    No actual apology or regret, either.

  180. says

    kestrel
    Oh, I know that. To be honest, I have problems doing a French braid. #1 only gets one if we have time enough for me to do one because I really need to concentrate on going over instead of under. It’s hard to describe. I’d take a picture, but I just washed my hair…

    And if your hair is long enough, you can always just braid it at the back into a long braid, and then wrap it around your head and pin it up with pins. No one will be the wiser. ;-)

    It would just reach beyond my ears. I think people might notice *lol*. I’m sadly not one of the people who can grow their hair to an amazing length. It’s a bit longer than shoulder length now and I can’t grow it much longer.

    Charly
    Glad your dad is not in immediate danger.
    No idea what got into PZ, probably on a hair trigger.

  181. kestrel says

    @Giliell: oh man. That was an entire QUARTER. Yes, you CAN grow your hair long. There is a forum dedicated to that… I know there is a German one too.. I think it is called the LHN, for German. The one in English is called LHC. Most of the time the problem is that the hair is not protected or put up. For example if you say you can not get beyond shoulder length I wonder where your chair that you usually sit in hits you… or seat belts and so on, as these cause mechanical damage due to friction. Is the pillow case of cotton, or is it silk or a satin weave. Again, a cotton pillow case causes mechanical damage. It is safer for the hair for it to be put up at night. Also, it’s about what you do NOT do. No heat, for example. Do not use most brushes, instead a wide-toothed comb. Do not wear the hair down outside in the wind as it will get tangled. Do not pile your hair on top of your head while you are washing it, and smoosh it around. Let it instead hang straight down and gently wash the top of it only, down to the earlobes, and then don’t smoosh it around in a towel when you dry it, instead let it hang straight down and drip-dry. It’s a matter of changing one’s habits. If you *do* wish to grow your hair long it can be done… Not everyone wishes for this. For some, hair really upsets them and freaks them out. Well, that is fine, we are all different.

    Really agree with Caine @#235. Holy cow…

  182. says

    A plastic bottle of syrup, in my studio for who knows how long (don’t ask, I don’t know why it was in there in the first place). Rats never touch it.

    A plastic bottle of Windex, two days before the rats knock it over, and chew a sizable hole in it.

    A plastic bottle of Lysol cleaner, one day before the rats knock it over, and chew a sizable whole in it.

    Rats. Fuckin’ A.

  183. Ice Swimmer says

    kestrel @  237

    I’d guess letting your wet hair freeze outdoors is also a no-no? Not drying it with a towel or blow-dryer and not freezing it might present a challenge in the winter in some climates with some lifestyle choices.

  184. Ice Swimmer says

    Caine @ 238

    Ouch. If I may play a game of trying to guess why rats do it, I’d say the syrup didn’t smell much of anything while Windex and Lysol smelled of something fruity.

  185. kestrel says

    @Ice Swimmer: LOL! If one actually has long hair, one has learned to plan. :-D Mine has always been dry enough by morning that it won’t freeze when I go out in the AM.

    @Caine: the cussedness of animals. It’s like they know… of course they don’t, but still… When you are trying to get somewhere on time, and they choose that very moment to break out, go into labor, get stuck in the fence etc. you would almost swear they DID know.

  186. says

    Ice Swimmer, I just go with “rats are perverse walking chemical factories.” Did I mention they like to drink window cleaner and lysol?

    Hair -- I’ve never had any problem with head hair. I was completely hairless for a while, being so premature, and I still barely have eyebrows, you about have to be on top of me to see them. Extremely little body hair. Head hair, it was past my ankles when I was a young sprog, eventually trimmed to just above ankle length. Now, it won’t get much farther than just past my arse. I don’t take a lot of time with it these days, though. Some peoples’ hair grows so slowly, it never attains much length. In those cases, you have to baby it so much, it wouldn’t be worth the effort for me, but I can cut my hair off to within in inch length all over my head, and it will be back to my arse in about 6 or 7 months.

  187. says

    @Caine

    Did I mention they like to drink window cleaner and lysol?

    I suspect there is a very prosaic explanation for that. Your rats like to get drunk.

  188. chigau (違う) says

    Don’t forget: DumbStupidTime starts 2AM Sunday.
    I note this because the SO is going somewhere on one time zone on one time-scheme
    and returning on another……
    or something …
    whatevs

  189. chigau (違う) says

    If Rats could drink lysol and live long, we Monkeys would be toast.
    and octopusses

  190. kestrel says

    @Giliell: I think it looks great! And your hair color is wonderful. :-) Actually, i do know this about hair selfies. Although, I have gotten pretty good at taking pics of the back of my head, matter of practice I guess. Everyone i know thinks I’m nuts. :-D I’ll shut up about the hair now, I promise. :-D

    Those rats are amazing. Drinking Lysol!! Wow.

  191. says

    Dad is back from the hospital with a few pages long report for the family physician and a new schedule of prescription drugs.

    Uff…

  192. kestrel says

    @Charly: glad to hear he is at least out of the hospital. Perhaps those drugs will help. Here is hoping.

  193. Ice Swimmer says

    Thirding kestrel & Giliell @ 249-50.

    Caine @ 242

    No, but after hearing about all the stuff the rats like, from you, not all that surprised (a bit, though).

    About the hair, some of us waste their collagen all around the body and limbs, seems you don’t.

  194. rq says

    Fun times last night: had a work thing. Boss likes referring to women employees as ‘girls’. I kept telling him that I don’t see any girls around, only a great many women, and anyway, isn’t it illegal to hire underage employees? For which I got Looks from him, so I took to calling him ‘boy’ every time he tried calling me and colleagues ‘girls’. He took it well, but I have my doubts that he’ll actually think the point through. He’s really nice, though, that must count for something! Right?

    Also, mushrooms are aliens. Beautiful aliens, but aliens nonetheless.

  195. Lofty says

    In other news from Australia, the conservative government of Western Australia sees the biggest swing against a sitting party in the state’s history of around 16%. The Labor party is going to get in with a resounding election victory. Run and hide from the citizens wrath, you conservative assholes.

  196. says

    Thrushes and starlings are already here. Today it was sunny and the trees around the house were full of them. Unfortunately they are easily spooked so I could not take too many pretty pictures. They always scarpered and only a few on the verey top of the tree remained.

    Spring is here at last. Unfortunately only the temperature, not the actual usable day lenght.

  197. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Glad to hear about your father Charley. One of the Redhead’s aunts was on 17 meds, going to several specialists who weren’t talking to each other, or apparently, looking at the other meds she was on. Almost made her terminally comatose. Fortunately, her GP took a good hard look at her pharmacy, and dropped the number down considerably. She did perk up after that. A good rule of thumb is that if you are on more than 3-4 meds, you may have averse interactions.

    Wednesday was a bit depressing, as I was working on the taxes (I will get a refund from both state and federal taxes, so it wasn’t money). Had to write on both forms the Redhead was deceased, giving the date of death, then sign as “filing as surviving spouse” for her name. And I’ll have to do it again next year as she received an SSA payment in January. Sigh.

  198. chigau (違う) says

    *hugs* Nerd, if wanted.
    .
    The SO’s father got called for jury duty about 10 years after death.
    That phone call was actually kinda funny.

  199. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The SO’s father got called for jury duty about 10 years after death.
    That phone call was actually kinda funny.

    Thanks for the virtual hugs.

    Just sent back the proxy for the Redhead’s Life Insurance Company. Sometimes the left hand doesn’t know what happened to the right hand…..

  200. blf says

    I had an nazi almost-punching moment this morning, perhaps an hour ago— As you might know, the first round of the French presidential elections is end-April (about six weeks from now). It is widely predicted one of the two candidates to go through to the second round (early-May) is Marine Le Pen, führer of the nazis France (national front, or as I prefer to call them, since they are a Le Pen dynasty, the le penazis). So the le penazis are out campaigning. About three weeks ago I saw the first poster, a week later a flier was put in my letterbox (I burnt it (the flier, not the letterbox, mostly because I couldn’t get the flamethrower started)), last week a few were handling out leaflets in the market, and today a whole battalion was saturating the market handling out leaflets and talking to people. I’m not kidding, there were multiple multi-nazis gangs all over the market, they were impossible to avoid. (They must have left their brownshirt uniforms on the bus or whatever, they weren’t provocatively dressed or threatening violence (most seemed elderly).)†

    I managed to duck / avoid them for awhile, albeit growing more irritated, and “giving the finger” to each le penazi poster I saw. I saw a number of people grin back, and a few nod, in return… Anyways, eventually I was cornered by some old lady who tried to push a leaflet into my hands.

    NO, I did not hit her or commit any other physical violence. I just yelled, at the top of my voice at effectively point-blank range (well, one step back), “FECK YOU NAZIS!” and gave the whole squad the finger (or actually, as per the local convention, two fingers).

    That quite startled them, and everyone else in the vicinity I suspect, as (quick estimate) around fifty people were looking at me, including the local security person. I tipped my hat and walked over to one of the traders I frequently do business with. We greeted each other, and he asked how I was doing. “Just fine, except for the local nazis” I said, pointing at them behind me. He grinned and sighed and said “good…” something in a low voice — I didn’t quite catch what but it appeared he doesn’t like them either.

    I eventually stomped — no, more strode — off, had a beer to relax a bit, and then definitely stomped up to the lair to rant here a bit…

    Perhaps the most disappointing thing is I haven’t (yet) seen any posters / fliers / leaflets / people / signs-of-existence for any of the other candidates. Whilst I am quite happy not to be bothered, I’m unhappy the le penazis currently seem to have the local playpen to themselves.

      † It’s quite likely many of them were local, actually, since this area tends to vote c.25% len penazi in past elections. Fortunately, there aren’t any in the local council; As I recall the closest elected scumbag is c.100km away…

  201. kestrel says

    @blf, I’m glad you stood up to them. That *would* be infuriating, and perhaps your actions have encouraged others; it certainly sounds like it.

    @Lofty: those photos are amazing! Mycology is one of my hobbies. My photos are not near as nice!

  202. says

    blf
    Ah, the joys of a democracy where some of the strongest candidates are the ones who actually want to abolish it. We have a state election in two weeks. Some month ago the proud to be Nazis of the NPD rang at my door to collect signatures*. I closed the door quickly and loudly. Now the campaigns are on in full and the Nazis in everything but the name AfD is spending huge sums, including a plane that flew rounds yesterday.

    *In Germany you need a certain number of signatures if you want to run for an elections where you’re not yet in the parliament, thus limiting the number of parties.

    Nerd
    *hugs*

    When my grandma-in-law’s husband died (long time ago, I never met him), his name got somehow put in the birth register and not the deceased and she got send lots of free samples for baby food and stuff.

    +++
    Things kids say: Our friend’s son is about 4 years old and recently he told his mum “when I grow up I want to be a police officer and chase the bad guys!” His mum replied “Good idea. Better do lots of sports already because police officers have to be really fit.” He about it thought for a moment and then said: “Mum, I thought about it. I don’t want to become a police officer, I want to become a dad!”

    +++
    traditional cowboy images reimagined with women

  203. StevoR says

    Also via SBS TV Oz :

    http://www.sbs.com.au/guide/article/2017/02/01/face-racism-what-you-need-know?cid=sbs:guide:tile4

    &

    http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/hindi/en/article/2017/02/27/australia-racist-here-are-10-stunning-stats

    Meant to post these links earlier too, sorry. Hope they are (still) interesting and useful for folks here.

    FWIW, I’d very highly recommend both Kate Grenville’s The Secret River book and the play based on it at the Adelaide Festival at the Anstey Hill quarry -- both are overwhelmingly powerful, extremely moving and brilliantly done.

  204. blf says

    Giliell, An alternative to dogs is to open the trapdoor to the pit containing sharp spikes and rabid skunks.

    (And peas if you really annoyed…)

  205. Ice Swimmer says

    A weekend: Saturday afternoon, went to see the sea ice starting to melt and look a the rocks smoother by Ice Age, kneeled and my trousers burst. While on my way home phoned a friend, heard that he was in Helsinki, got home, changed clothes, back to city to a restaurant and then a pub, for fun, games and food.

    Home to sleep after closing time, slept for a few hours, woken early by another friend who needed some help, ate and then went and helped him, went back home, packed the sauna bag and went to sauna and swimming in the sea. Now, I’m home, I’ve eaten and I’m ready for the bed, 28 hours from the start of the story.

  206. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 274

    Yeah, I’m not complaining, the “oh shit” moment(s) weren’t too bad and were a part of making the good times happen. Hoping you’ll have nicer ones at some point!

  207. blf says

    hidden cellar […] filled with earth

    Dormant horses. Several tonnes of napalm to start, then the usual orbit-and-nuke…

  208. Lofty says

    Just spent the bestest, coolest long weekend days in bed fighting off a horrible cold. Should have been out on the bike getting some much needed fitness. At least I had a small friendly brown kitty to keep me company. Lying along my right side with its head on my shoulder and purring fit to bust it helped me on the path to better health.

  209. rq says

    I’m in London for some work stuff, and staying in a very seedy hotel. This should be… interesting.

  210. says

    Current search strings:

    microwave camera
    microwave oven controlled by cell phone can be camera
    microwave tweet

    Sigh.

  211. kestrel says

    @Giliell: those are some seriously cool paintings! I would love to see the movies starring those models instead!

    @Lofty: well, the kitty and the purring sounds nice… :-( Hope you are better soon.

    @rq: uh-oh. Be careful…

    @Caine: um yes, because, of course we all have no idea how microwave ovens works but I’m just SURE it could be used as a spy machine. Or something. ?? (Wow people can come up with some weird ideas.)

  212. says

    Kestrel:

    um yes, because, of course we all have no idea how microwave ovens works but I’m just SURE it could be used as a spy machine. Or something. ?? (Wow people can come up with some weird ideas.)

    In this case, thanks to Kellyanne whatsherface. FFS, now there are going to be a zillion paranoid Americans doing weird shit to their microwave ovens, because they think they are being spied on. It would be a wondrous thing if the gullible would ever figure out that no one, especially someone high in the halls of power, is interested in what they may or may not be doing in their fucking kitchen.

  213. says

    I had to look up what “seedy” means. Interestingly enough I do not remember encountering that phrase often enough to understand it.
    Now that I (think) I understand it, I am joining in with “stay safe”.

  214. Ice Swimmer says

    rq, stay safe!

    Giliell, fine paintings with a fresh angle.

    Ate some strawberry fake ice cream (made from oats and vegetable fats, not milk) with a lot fresh lemon balm. Taste was fine. Still one pot of lemon balm and some mint to eat, probably tomorrow with couscous and fried halloumi. After that, all the last year’s herbs are either eaten or dried.

    Also, applied some linseed oil and polyurethane lacquer mixture on the windowsill extender I made last year (a pine glulam board on legs mounted on an oak glulam board). Now that the air indoors is still dry (and thus the wood is also dry), I think it’s a good time to re-oil oiled wooden furniture. Am I right or severely misguided?

  215. says

    I think you are right, after all the point of oiling the wood is to keep it dry. But I admit I do not have any experience at all with wooden furniture (apart from burning it because it is old and badly damaged).

  216. rq says

    The oiling is also to prevent cracks from being too dry. So I think it’s a good time to do it, Ice Swimmer.

    Thanks, all -- two more nights in this odd little place. There’s also a window draft right by the headboard, so guess who’s going to have a headcold by the end of this! (Going to try sleeping with a hat tonight, see if that helps.)

  217. says

    My new favourite word: tölva, Icelandic for computer. Basically means witch that counts, or counting witch. And a good for them to Icelanders who are resistant to adopting outside words.

    Came across this in Fred Vargas’s latest book, A Climate of Fear. (Original title: Temps Glacier.)

  218. Ice Swimmer says

    Have to hand it to Icelanders, that’s a poetic word for computer.

    In Swedish it’s dator which is a semi-Latin neologism and is supposed to mean “giver” (had to check the Swedish Wikipedia for the rather complicated etymology). In Finnish, it’s tietokone (knowledge/information/data machine).

  219. rq says

    Ice Swimmer
    Cool! re: dator, we say dators in Latvian, I always assumed it had something to do with data (“dati“).

    +++

    Very interesting day today, majority of the audience are women (experts in the field of forensic genetics, not that surprising considering biology is a “soft” science meant for women but still awesome), presenters are about 50-50. Very good presentation today (by one of the few presenters of colour, a man of Sri Lankan descent from the States) about the genetic diversity of Native American populations. With the conclusion that there is far more diversity within the Native American population (with two main groups being treated as one -- Inuit and everyone else) than previously examined, and about the geographical and linguistic groups so far completely omitted from any statistical population studies. Surprisingly (not!), because there’s two parallel ‘streams’, this one was rather less attended, but still a good audience. Third question derailed into whether Hispanic should be a racial category at all (due to the more cultural and linguistic aspects of the label ‘Hispanic’, they’re genetically pretty much unclassifiable because of the diversity of ancestry under that label). By the sixth question, was brought back on topic. Very, very interesting and was the third presentation that openly mentioned social justice related issues (the other two were UK-based presentations about re-analyzing cold cases due to the examination of racial bias within the Metropolitan Police). Nice to hear, and basically anyone who says science is not political and that justice is impartial can fuck off (I know, everyone here knows that already! :) ).
    Back at the dodgy hotel putting my feet up after stopping in a bookstore on the way back.

  220. says

    Ice Swimmer:

    In Finnish, it’s tietokone

    That’s very euphonic. Quite pleasing.

    Giliell, I know we have Brits who show up on the front page, but I don’t know about TNET.

    rq, sounds like a great experience!

  221. kestrel says

    rq, sounds like a fascinating conference! Hope you found some treasures at the book store.

    Ice Swimmer, very good use of the herbs! I have taken to drying and then freezing them. I don’t know if it helps preserve flavor or if it’s just my imagination.

  222. chigau (違う) says

    rq
    dodgy/seedy hotel with good internet access?
    what’s the problem?
    .
    I went to University in the 1970s and finally managed an undergrad degree in Anthropology.
    Pretty much 99 and 44/100 percent of ethnographers were white.
    I was young and white so that seemed perfectly natural.
    Later, the first time I encountered a non-white ethnographer, I had to sit down.
    Still later, when I read someone not of my kind who had studied my kind, I just got drunk.
    .
    This sounds like a fabulous conference.

  223. rq says

    chigau
    I had to pay for it. As an extra. Plus this is Europe, you don’t have good internet access, you probably go out of business in a week!

    And it is mostly fabulous, except for the half-hour commercial breaks disguised as scientific talks. You can tell they’re not actually scientific talks because they’re presented by company representatives trying to sell you the new technology.

  224. blf says

    Well, more-or-less any hotel in London, especially in the centre, which doesn’t cost a bazillion shillings an hour, is, at best, seedy. Or else a horse stable, with horses. And peas. Which are mashed by the horses, then scrapped off the floor, soaked in cat’s piss to hide the lack of taste, and served as mushy peas.

    (If you have the impression I don’t like London hotels, you have yet not begun to even consider how much I loathe them…)

  225. John Morales says

    In the news: New Zealand’s Whanganui River granted legal status as a person after 170-year battle

    A river in New Zealand has become the first landmark in the world to be recognised as a living entity, after a 170-year battle.

    The Whanganui River, which flows 145 kilometres from the central North Island to the sea, was given legal personhood by the country’s parliament on Wednesday.

    The river is a sacred and revered waterway to New Zealand’s Maori people, or Iwi, and its interests will now be represented by an Indigenous group.

  226. says

    John @ 300:

    The Whanganui River, which flows 145 kilometres from the central North Island to the sea, was given legal personhood by the country’s parliament on Wednesday.

    The river is a sacred and revered waterway to New Zealand’s Maori people, or Iwi, and its interests will now be represented by an Indigenous group.

    WOW. I had no idea, thank you so much for posting this, I really appreciate it. It would be grand to see that kind of a personhood fight and win over land and water here, rather than gits trying to grant personhood to zygotes while revoking it from women.

  227. says

    We agreed to help the social worker and try and find my uncle’s personal papers. He gave us permission to enter his house.

    What I saw exceeded my expectations. I just washed and I still fel dirty. I waded through what seemed to be about twenty-years worth of accumulated garbage. I mean garbage, as in dirt, wrappings, packagings, uneaten food, old clothes all piled on one another and mixed with documents, books and just about everything imaginable. Even normal movement throughout the house was not possible, I had to forbid my parents to try and help, they could hurt themselves. I heard mice move in the piles.

    I was expecting disorder, and maybe even hoarding of usefull but unused things in a higgledy-piggledy fashion. But not this. This was not an ordinary old bachelor’s mess, this was much, much worse.

  228. rq says

    Jesus, Charly… Sounds like he wasn’t just being ‘eccentric’ but also a serious danger to himself and those around him. That house sounds like a firetrap and a den of disease. :/ Is there a professional company you can hire to help take care of something like that? It just doesn’t seem right or hygienic to do on your own without the appropriate safrety precautions -- the mice/rats alone are a danger. Good luck and *hugs* and *hypoallergenic soap*

    +++

    I am now home again.
    Also, I feel like it’s something I should confess here: in May, I will be going to a six-month training course at the police college to get my uniform and join the ranks, as it were, and for some reason that feels like a huge betrayal of a stack of personal principles, even though I’ll still be only a lab jockey and I’m doing it for the money (and perhaps some long-term advancement benefits, but those have yet to prove themselves as Real and not just Promised -- actually I’m doing it more for the benefits because if I can get to those, then maybe I can do something about having to wear the uniform at all but that’s a whole other pile of stuff, either way the whole thing together with political aspects of life here freak me out a bit so I’m just putting it out there; don’t hate me for it!). Also I don’t do well with authority imposed by institution, but I’ll handle those outbreaks of behaviour when I get to them.

  229. chigau (違う) says

    My last pre-bed task:
    shovel the water off the back patio and front landing
    and then, a tot of rum

  230. StevoR says

    Via The Young Turks the Prime Minister of Ireland is a flippin’ legend here :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfApTqLTB4c

    America summed up in a sentence : E pluribus unem -- from many one. An old slogan but a good one.

    Something Austrlai a has sorta copied with “We are one but we are many” Also spot on.

    PS. TYT have a live youtube thing on now too.

  231. Ice Swimmer says

    I sowed the seeds in my window garden (i.e. windowsill, so the scale is far too small for this much fanfare) on Saturday 18th of March 2017. Basil, parsley, mint, lovage and chives. 2 m (out of 3 m) of windowsill is in use. I sowed into 84 plugs in 2x3 trays and four small plastic pots.

    This will result in too many seedlings once they grow and need replanting, even with 0.8 m extra space halfway up the window on the contraption I made last year and refinished this week. Are others already running into space issues with plants this early in the spring?

  232. says

    Ice swimmer

    Are others already running into space issues with plants this early in the spring?

    We have over 200 pot plants in house. “Space issues with plants” are an ever-present phenomenum in our household.

  233. says

    I’m running into time problems. Space there is.
    But my chillis have germinated nicely. This year I sowed them early and in a little windowsill greenhouse.
    I also sowed tons of flowers on the left hand side of the garden because I surely won’t get any terracing done there this year.
    At least that’s what I thought I did. The blackbirds think I prepared them an All-you-can-eat buffet…

    Charly
    To drag this conversation overe here:
    Get a job at the BASF and move in with Mr. I never knew the two of you had basically the same profession. Good luck with the jobhunt.

  234. rq says

    I’m getting a little apprehensive about Giliell collecting commenters at her husband’s work (see recent suggestion that I, too, should just get a job there…). Should I worry? :)
    (Though when I think about it, I wouldn’t mind a bunch of us working together on internationally renowned scientific endeavours… or, you know, just washing labware.)

  235. says

    rq
    Nah, I’d just like to have all of you close to me. We could have awesome barbecues AND we have a trampoline!

    +++
    Also, we have a toilet you can flush AND a sink with running water. Almost ready to move in.
    hahaha.
    But things are moving. We won’t be able to keep “Easter” as a date for moving in, but we’re getting there.

    +++
    It’s always nice when my father in law assumes that I have the most idiotic reason imaginable for something …

  236. Ice Swimmer says

    rq  @ 308

    Thanks!

    Giliell @ 310/12 & Charly @ 309

    Some people have cluttered a time dimension, others cluttered space dimensions. Now, Easter is a movable feast, just move the feast to fit your move 8-).

  237. says

    I fear that if we meet in flesh you will go for my throat to satiate your feminist lust for male blood. Or is that vampiresess? It is so easy to confuse those two. Or do feminists cut off pieces of flesh? Must look it up. Anyway, a man has to be carefull when feminists are in the vicinity, thats just common sense.

    Joking aside, I certainly would have better chances at getting a new job and finding a partner, if I lived in a rented appartment and not in my own house, and could move quickly. I know people who live like that and are happy . But I cannot imagine moving out of my house. I could perhaps imagine it twenty years ago, but not now. How would I move my workshop? Where would I put my bonsai trees (of the >200 plants over 100 are mine). The effort to move all that stuff would be like starting all over again and I do not have the strength to do that.

    And without a garden and a workshop I could not be happy. I was actually pretty frustrated over last few years, because building of my workshop and house reconstructions went slower than I wished and I was so depressed from being unable to do anything just for fun, that it took even longer because I could not scramble the spoons even for simple tasks.

    But now I have a fully functional workshop and a room that I can use as an atelieur. I want to start making knives again and carve and turn wood and hopefully finish painting those pictures that I started and did not finish twenty years ago when the workprocess swallowed me whole.

    Plus of course I would leave my elderly parents with limited ability to move out in the wilderness, ten minutes of very brisk walk from nearest bus station and half an hour from nearest shop and a physician.

  238. lumipuna says

    Hello all,

    I finally got around to registering on FTB! Some regulars may know me as Arctic Ape from Progressive Pub and We Hunted the Mammoth. I used to lurk on Pharyngula for years, and still do, but Affinity is now one of my top favorites.

    Together with Ice Swimmer, I shall represent the demographic of thirty-something Finnish dudes. My new nym is a random Finnish word construct that popped into my head, meaning “snow-red”. It’s pretty and nonsensical, like “wine-dark sea”.

  239. rq says

    Hello, lumipuna! Nice to see you here!

    +++

    I have a question that maybe someone can answer.
    I know static electricity is a normal thing in dry environments, and can manifest itself in a myriad of ways, but should I really be getting electrical shocks from the running water in the sink? Not from the (metal) sink itself, but from the water itself…

  240. says

    Hi, lumipuna!
    _____________

    rq, I think the problem is not that you get shock from the running water, but that you ground yourself on the running water when you are statically charged.

    It would be really bad if you were getting electrical shocks from the water, because afaik the only way that can happen is if the water has electrical current runing in it.

  241. rq says

    Charly
    Well, we’re probably all grounding ourselves in the water then (that would make sense, though still annoying), I certainly hope there’s no current running through it!

  242. says

    Hello lumipuna
    How’s the area formerly hosting your appendix doing?

    Charly
    I can completely understand that. It’s why I can’t wait to finally move into the house. I can already make use of the garden (not as much as I’d like to because the house needs so much work) but I loooooooooooooong for my office/crafts room.

  243. rq says

    Also

    Easter is a movable feast

    is a true statement, but even more conveniently, if you simply use the orthodox calendar, you will automatically have 13 extra days to finish everything!

  244. says

    @Ice swimmer. It is not 100 bonsai trees, strictly speaking. It is over 100 plants in differing state of bonsaineness (that is a word, I am saying it is). I am only growing them for 20 years, and that is nothing in this kind of hobby. So it is like 10 bonsai trees and over 90 in progress.

    I hope to send a few pictures of the already presentable pieces to Caine when the weather is right.

    @rq, I think if you had electrial current in the water, it would not give you one shock at the beginning and then cease, it would give you a shocks or prickling whenever you approach it and for the whole time you would be touching it. Since you cannot get grounded on the sink (and I assume the tap) I would guess that you have water run in plastic tubes and ground is covered in PVC or resin. That way the sink is completly insulated until/unless the water is running.

    I am wearing almost pure cotton, because I cannot wear anything containing polyesther near skin. Even so I got a nice static shock when passing a metal table a few weeks back. It was like being hit with a hammer. Clothes containing synthetics makes it of course worse, as you no doubt know.

    Fun fact: my IT friends in uni always ground themselves by touching some grounded metal (like heat radiator or the grounding pin in EU electrical socket) before venturing into the entrails of a PC.

  245. says

    RE: grounding and static electricity: one of my jobs many many years ago was a summer job in a styrofoam factory. They produce mostly material for interior decoration, many of them with fake wood decor. Now that one time my job was to sit at the end of a machine that glued the fake decor to styrofoam cover strips that people with no taste would then put into their homes. Since the fake decor was an endless strip and the other strips were about 2 m each my job was to see when one ended and the other began, usually by running them through my hand, separate the two, put them on a cart and move the cart away when it was full.
    Of course we didn’t get any proper shoes or anything so static electricity was a constant thing as you can imagine. The “trick” was to ground yourself every three strips or so because if you forgot and accidentally touched the metal machine after 10 strips, this was pain.

  246. lumipuna says

    Thanks for welcomes.

    As I mentioned elsewhere, I had my appendix removed a week ago. Afterwards there’s been mild soreness and gut contraction-related pain that felt very much like the original infected (not yet burst) appendix, but it seems to be slowly going away. Overall, my condition is almost back to normal. Modern surgery is neat, as is public healthcare.

    My windowsill is starting to produce tiny amounts of dill, parsley and garden cress.

  247. says

    My windowsill is starting to produce tiny amounts of dill, parsley and garden cress.

    Why? I mean, I perfectly understand parsley and cress, but why don’t you weed properly and produce dill?*

    *Dill is to me as horses eating peas is to other commenters.

  248. blf says

    Apropos of nothing much, many many yonks ago, my farther was the plant engineer in a styrofoam factory, producing (mainly) meat and egg cartons (which may indicate how long ago this was). Part of his job was to devise tests, and test, the production lines, and one of his favourite tests was to produce cartons for Rotten Eggs, “guaranteed” to be effective against politicians and at political protests. I used to have several such sample tests, but sadly have lost them in the time since…

  249. chigau (違う) says

    Northern Hemisphere Spring begins in about 14 hours, they’re early.
    I wasn’t under them long enough to worry.

  250. blf says

    Greased geese placed in the gearbox of a crane cause a very loud, if brief, honking ge——!

  251. says

    I saw today first pair of white wagtails, they were checking the pile of lumber behind the house. Maybe it was the same pair that nested there last year. I really hope they find some other nesting place this year, preferably one of the prepared nesting boxes. I need to work near that pile of lumber and last year it was a pain in the ass to organize work so they can also feed their young.

    I also saw either redstart, robin or red-breasted flycatcher. That is, I saw quickly flying red-streak about the size of a sparrow. My bet would be on redstart.

    The spring is here, its official.

  252. blf says

    I really hope they find some other nesting place this year… I need to work near that pile of lumber…

    The mildly deranged penguin suggest Odeur de pois, and / or Cheval № 9. Spray on (she says dunk in) the lumber. Biohazard suit, and perhaps also a tank, recommended during the spraying / dunking, and subsequent working near.

    An alternative, she suggests, is to charge the little blithers rent, payable by them doing the work.

  253. says

    And now for some music
    The kiddie TV channel hosts a “young songwriter competition” each year and Friday was this year’S finale.
    They get professional advice and support during the whole thing so the final songs are all of high workmanship, but the original composition is still what is being presented. For the finale they get a more or less popular musician to work and perform with.
    Each year I’m awed by the quality of those kids’ work. Here are my favourites:
    Farzin: Sie lässt mich allein (She leaves me alone)
    This young man was most amazing. He’s a refugee from Iran and you should have seen him on the show. He only arrived last year and I swear I’ve heard much worse German from people born and bred here who can’t brag with a second mother tongue.
    Anyway, Spanish and Iranian pop music make a surprisingly (or not) fitting mix.

    She was our collective favourite: Cassandra: Going home
    Not only did she write an amazing song, she’s also an amazing singer and performer. I love sparsely orchestrated songs that live off amazing voices and this is one for sure.

  254. blf says

    Hangerdom (the clothes kind, not the aerocraft kind) seems to be annoyed with me. I used to have exactly the correct number of hangers for my shirts (entirely by coincidence). Then one broke (hanger, not shirt), which was sort-of Ok, as I only wear a shirt (not a hanger, with trousers, &tc, optional); that is, there was normally, previously, an unused hanger or two, and now there wasn’t. Then another one broke (hanger, not optional shirt or trousers), which, whilst awkward, still sort-of worked: Wear one (shirt), with another one lying about the place someplace fermenting. (The reinforced laundry basket ran off screaming many yonks ago.) Then another one broke (hanger, not laundry basket, shirt, &tc), making the situation quite awkward. And yet another one is cracked and seemingly-soon to break (hanger, I think, albeit the shirt is fighting back making it hard to check).

    Despite the mildly deranged penguin disliking hangers — she considers them a rare example of sentient Republicans — she is, possibly, and certainly unusually, innocent: There are no teeth marks, shed feathers, or any smell of herring. The lack of teeth marks and green slime (except from the fermenting shirts) largely rules out peas as the culprits. Horses are, I suppose, a possibility, as are the rather lively bunch of formerly-fresh prawns I finally threw out last week, but again, there are no teeth marks or slime. (And those prawns were slimy, almost Republican-like.)

    In the village where I live, the clothing shops rarely, if ever throw out hangers. In several cities where I’ve lived in the past, some did: And it was an easy exercise to raid the piles of discarded hangers and boxes for perfectly serviceable hangers (and boxes). All(?) of my hangers are such reclaimed discards; I cannot recall ever purchasing hangers in my life.

    The mildly deranged penguin suggests growing a tuxedo of scales (such as feathers), along with horns, forked tail, fire-breathing, and various ways of carrying around cheese, grog, and her. This would dispense with any presumed need for clothing, and hence with the hangers. It would also save on the heating, which is quite nice considering the lack of clothing. (Both — heating and clothing — are only a problem during the winter here; the mildly deranged penguin is always a problem, even when not here.)

  255. Ice Swimmer says

    Now, I’ve had too many hangers for the last seven years (after my dad died). Still, the plastic ones seem to break every now and then. Wooden hangers can last at least 40 years, but you can’t really dry your shirts on them.

    It seems that hangers here can cost from about 1 €/piece (cheap plastic or wooden ones) to more than 20 €/piece (wooden or metal designer stuff).

  256. blf says

    A follow-up to @300, Ganges and Yamuna rivers granted same legal rights as human beings:

    Indian court cites the Whanganui in New Zealand as example for according status to two rivers considered sacred

    The Ganges river, considered sacred by more than 1 billion Indians, has become the first non-human entity in India to be granted the same legal rights as people.

    A court in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand ordered on Monday that the Ganges and its main tributary, the Yamuna, be accorded the status of living human entities.

    The decision, which was welcomed by environmentalists, means that polluting or damaging the rivers will be legally equivalent to harming a person.

    The judges cited the example of the Whanganui river, revered by the indigenous Māori people, which was declared a living entity with full legal rights by the New Zealand government last week.

    […]

  257. blf says

    Whilst I am suspicious of school uniforms, this seems like a sensible thing to do if you insist on having them, New Zealand school abolishes gendered uniforms, offering same clothes to all: “Dunedin North Intermediate will allow boys and girls to wear kilts, shorts or trousers after female pupils complained about compulsory skirts”.

    In the article it is mentioned that “[Heidi Hayward, principal of Dunedin North Intermediate school], said her school still had segregated toilets for boys and girls, but this was a funding issue, which she anticipated being addressed in the near-future.” I particular like one of the rationales Ms Hayward gave, “I would take offence to being told I had to wear a skirt to work every day because I am female, so this is about being responsive to the kids telling us we are perpetuating gender stereotypes, and what is going on in society at the moment.”

  258. says

    Whilst I am suspicious of school uniforms, this seems like a sensible thing to do if you insist on having them, New Zealand school abolishes gendered uniforms, offering same clothes to all: “Dunedin North Intermediate will allow boys and girls to wear kilts, shorts or trousers after female pupils complained about compulsory skirts”.

    Three cheers for sensible people. I especially like that they didn’t just “allow girls to wear trousers”.

    +++
    Parents. Sometimes I hate them. They don’t even have to be mine.
    Many parents bring their kids to school by car. OK. I’m not going to judge any individual case, but many of them are complete assholes in the process. There’s a lane for turning left and when you arrive for the first class you might have to wait there for a minute or so before someone driving the opposite direction lefts you pass.
    What do several parents do? Stay in the right lane and then cut in in front of the cars waiting for their turn to turn left.
    And that’s what they teach their kids: You can do what you want, rules are for stupid people, you always go first, others have to wait.

  259. says

    Another sure sign the day was long -- you come home and try to pull your t-shirt on your legs instead of your sweatpants.

  260. blf says

    try to pull your t-shirt on your legs instead of your sweatpants

    Usually, when dressing, people don’t stand on their head. Or heads, depending on exact species.

  261. says

    Charly
    If it’S any consolation, I just needed to finish something with a deadline and I needed to talk to myself loudly* about what I was going to do next so I wouldn’t print “yes” on the red paper…

    *BTW, it’s a great way to do fidgety things. Verbalise them.

  262. KG says

    Oh yes, and 90% of our singing birds are crows… There’s a 300-400 individuals colony in the wood behind us. -- Giliell@56

    Those’ll be rooks, not strictly speaking, crows, unless you have a kind of crow we don’t have in Britain -- although rooks and crows are closely related. Visually, they differ in the rook having a patch of bare skin at the base of the beak, and the call is a bit different too, although I can’t describe just how. However, the easy way to tell them apart is expressed in an English country saying:

    If ‘ee sees a lot o’ crows together, they be rooks -- an’ if ‘ee sees a rook on its own, it be a crow!

  263. rq says

    So rooks are gregarious crows and crows are solitary rooks. Speciation by social inclination! :D
    (I know, I know, it’s a little more complicated than that. I would like to note that I see congregations (murders?) of grey crows all over. They can be solitary or in small groups, but they gather in trees in large numbers on summer evenings and make a racket until darkness falls. Even in the city. It’s rather eerie… At least I think they’re crows, to be honest it’s always twilit and dusky outside so it’s hard to tell, visually. Would those be rooks, then?)

  264. rq says

    It’s vārna (f) vs. krauķis (m) here. Apparently they’re a rare bird locally, with first nesting populations only observed since the beginning of the 20th century, a peak in numbers in the 1970s, and a steady decline since then (down to about 50 breeding colonies). So it may very well be rooks, unrecognized, that I’ve been hearing.

  265. Ogvorbis: A bear of very little brains. says

    Lofty:

    So, if crows and rooks interbreed, do you get crooks?

    I recently picked up a package of non-name-brand English Muffins (which means, basically, anything but Thomas’). Instead of being filled with nooks and crannies, they had crooks and nannies.

  266. blf says

    English Muffins (which means, basically, anything but Thomas’)

    English Muffins not being English — they seem to have been invented by Thomas in the States — and in England are known as Muffins or, sometimes, amusingly, American Muffins. There is a similarly to a crumpet (in England), but crumpets are noticeably denser (less air).

  267. Ogvorbis: A bear of very little brains. says

    blf:

    In one of my cookbooks (a bread book by, I think, Bernard Clayton (just checked it, yep, got the name right), he states that the stove-top baked dual-risen (both yeast and baking powder) muffin may actually be from Wales but, since we in America have no clue about the various regions of the UK, refer to anything from England and Wales as English (oddly, the Scots seem to remain different in our eyes (Scotch broth, Scotch shortbread, Scotch).

    Are crumpets anything like strumpets? And can one perform a crumpet solo? Are they anything like Miss Muffett’s Tuffett? Perhaps Miss Muffett’s Tuffett Buffet? Or am I getting sillier?

  268. blf says

    Ogvorbis@360, Harold McGee’s On Food & Cooking (second edition) barely mentions English Muffins, so no information there (that I could find). He does point out various relevant terms, such as biscuit, have different meanings in different places, and that those meanings have also changed over time.

    Or am I getting sillier?

    The mildly deranged penguin didn’t even wake up. This means that whilst there is the correct amount of peas and horses — none and none, to be precise — there is also insufficient cheese.

  269. says

    Crumpets start out damp, muffins do not. A well toasted crumpet holds more than its own weight in honey and dribbles some down your chin. Mmmmm.

  270. Saad says

    Today in “Men Exhibiting Mind-numbing Levels of Self-unawareness and Irony”, I present this YouTube comment:

    Hot girls are getting far more attention than needed

  271. Ice Swimmer says

    Thursday turned out a bit different from what I thought it would be (not much). Woke up and saw and felt that erysipelas had made a comeback on my leg after three years. Fortunately got an doctor’s appointment for afternoon and got a 2-week antibiotics prescription. It isn’t all that painful or itchy yet.

    Got the pills from pharmacy, went back home, showered and went to the city. Went to the national museum to check some temporary exhibitions and after that to the Music Centre for a concert I got a (discount) ticket for a while ago, the Turangalîla-Symphonie by Olivier Messiaen. It was a roller-coaster, at places so beautiful and mellow and huge noise, cacophony and violence in others, totally crazy, but it all held together nicely. I liked it. There were even danceable rhythms in multiple parts.

  272. says

    Today I saw many “road works ahead” signs on my travels. I think “road doesn’t work ahead” would be more accurate.

  273. rq says

    Lofty
    For us, that is a sure sign of approaching spring/summer. (Or, as they say, the second of two seasons -- winter, and roadworks!)

  274. says

    We don’t seem to have a preferred season for roadworks, our hole refillers are perennial. I also saw a road “worker” leaning on a shovel… with the blade end upwards.

  275. says

    Well, we have roadworks here that are so ancient the kids conceived in the traffic jam are already learning how to drive…

    +++
    I have good news! Actually, it’s more like no news, but you take what you can get.
    I thought I was developing tinitus. Every night, when the kids had gone to bed and it was all quiet I would start hearing a high pitched sound. Yesterday I paid attention to it. First I thought it had something to do with moving vs sitting quietly. Then I found out it was Mr’s USB charger which he had left plugged in and forgotten…

  276. blf says

    Back in the late-1980s / early-1990s there was a States-side folk-rock(-ish) band who had a (self-penned?) song about road construction in the States, especially the national highway system. I cannot currently recall the name of the band or of the song, or much of the lyrics, but it included a few gems similar to “…and construction season has begun”, something about started by Eisenhower “and still not done”, and so on.

  277. rq says

    Giliell
    You’re in real trouble when it starts complaining in that high-pitched whine about being left plugged in and abandoned like that.

  278. blf says

    The USB charger was not complaining, it was celebrating! A nice long holiday from having an explosive battery stuffed up yer, well, you get the idea.

  279. rq says

    KG
    An all-lack crow here is, alas, a rarity. We have mostly grey crows (hooded crow to you).
    Next time I see these crowds of birds, I’ll try to spot the colouring, but as I said, this occurs usually around the twilight hour, and distinguishing all-black from grey-and-black in the twilight is a bit of a challenge. :D Though considering the rarity of rooks, I would also expect they’re grey crows.

  280. says

    KG
    The hooded crow (corvus cornix, German Nebelkrähe (mistcrow)) is the same species as the carrion crow (corvus corone), though apparently it changed between “different species” and “same species” back and forth and the question has only been settled with DNA testing.

    KG
    The little one has now added “Latvian” to her collection of friends ;)

  281. blf says

    Back in 1977 a boycott of Nestlé was started over the sale of, and marketing methods used for, formula baby milk in developing and impoverished countries. That boycott is still going on (Nestlé baby milk scandal has grown up but not gone away). Ever since I learned of the boycott (probably sometime in the 1980s) I’ve tried to, and mostly succeeded in, avoiding Nestlé products.

    Last year I did accidentally buy some Greek-style yogurt made by them (despite their name being clearly visible on the packaging!). And I’ve just realised I recently bought some packaged soup made by them, albeit this time their name wasn’t nearly as visible. Oops! Sorry.

  282. blf says

    The soup (see @378) was far too salty, which, as it happens, is connected with the present-day boycott…

  283. blf says

    Good grief! I just looked at the packaging more closely and the fecking “soup” is labeled as one portion (serving) containing 29% of the (French) daily recommendation (apports journaliers recommandés).

    Belch! Absolutely foul, and even if there wasn’t a decades-long boycott, I’d never deliberately or knowingly get this shite again! The taste was absolutely dominated by the completely excessive salt. The label — now that I read it much more carefully than I obviously did in the shop — also indicates the “soup” is extrmely low in the RDAs of the Good Stuff.

    Utter bilge.

  284. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    One of those seeming weird things happened here today.
    My computer said the temperature was 79 F. That reading is from the local airport, about 3 miles inland from the lake. I live about 1.25 miles from the lake (Lake Michigan for those not in the know, due east). At the house, it was 59 F, and there was a slight breeze off the lake. 20 F is a very large difference. Obviously the slight breeze was not going inland enough to cool the airport.

  285. kestrel says

    The birds are getting busy, but it seems a bit early to me… but I know that soon I’ll be chasing flickers away from the house. They love to drum on the stove pipe at the top of the house because it makes such an impressive noise. And yet we just had a very severe snowstorm. At least the fruit trees have not yet blossomed. Perhaps it will be an easy spring. The birds seem to think so.

  286. ChasCPeterson says

    Oh, my. I just found out (from Chris Clarke) about my bannination at Pharyngula.
    It’s not that big a deal since I hardly ever comment there any more (and nobody likes it when I do anyway), and I haven’t felt like part of the Community or Horde or whatever for, like years. So, *shrug*.

    But for the record:
    I did not “spread lies” at Coyne’s. Rather, I repeated an inference--the same one I made on the Pharyngula thread in question--which, apparently was incorrect. To wit, I took Charly at their word that they did not embolden the last sentence of their comment, and coupled with PZ’s weirdly hostile response, I inferred that he had done so. And I explained all this in so many words at Coyne’s. So I was evidently wrong, and certainly intemperate, but for fucks sake that’s not the same as “spreading lies”.
    But I still think PZ’s an asshole sometimes which, yeah, takes one to know one.
    (btw I also think Coyne’s an asshole, and a narcissist, and I am on permanent moderation over there after being banned…twice. So I am no acolyte swearing fealty to the House of Coyne or anything. But whatever.)
    As you were.

  287. says

    ChasCPeterson, now I understand what you meant by saying that PZ edited post without attribution. To clarify -- I really did not put the bolding in the last sentence. And I really do not know how it got there, but PZ could not have put it there either. Let me explain:

    I was writing that post at work during a break. I wrote it in notepad and since at work we have some weird shit happening that makes the preview function not to work, I double checked the code, cut it, pasted, posted. Immediately after publication I noticed the bolding in last sentence. So I pasted my text back into notepad and checked. The bolding tag was not there for the last sentence. I really do not know how it got there, but PZ could not have the time to do it and I do not remember me doing it either. I am sorry this has lead to your ban at pharyngula.

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