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Oct 31 2011

Episode CCLXVIII: Spooky story time

Since it’s Halloween, we should be telling spooky stories. Here’s one.


I guess that was more like creepy disturbing than spooky.

Episode CCLXVII: Clarity!.

714 comments

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  1. 1
    pelamun

    In other news, I learnt today two very cool things:
    Janine,

    he did ask for the link. And the “Queen of England”, if I was called out for it, I wanted to give an explanation why. I find it amusing though. I actually enjoyed the exchange today, more so than earlier ones. I hope I wasn’t the only one…

    In other news, I learnt two very cool things today:

    - the Roman numerals all go back to original abstract symbols, they don’t come from the letters they’re usually written as (I, V, X, L, C, D, M), even though some match the Latin words like Centum or Mille. Some of the marks come from Etruscan times even, which wasn’t an IE language. In the case of C and M, folk etymology contributed to their evolution towards the letter.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_numerals#Pre-Roman.2FAncient_Rome

    - taking up the topic of Struensee, the German doctor who was executed for having an affair with his boss’ wife. I met someone from one the formerly Danish Counties (as in headed by a Count), today a German county (as headed by a county commissioner), and they don’t learn anything at all about the man in school. Seems that he is remembered more in Denmark.

  2. 2
    pelamun

    sorry, there was a cut and paste error, I apologise..

  3. 3
    pelamun

    and again something crucial was missing

    taking up the topic of Struensee, the German doctor who was executed for having an affair with his boss’ wife. I met someone from one the formerly Danish Counties (as in headed by a Count), today a German county (as headed by a county commissioner), where Struensee had worked as a doctor before joining the Royal Court in Copenhagen, and they don’t learn anything at all about the man in school. Seems that he is remembered more in Denmark.

  4. 4
    Sili

    Seems that he is remembered more in Denmark.

    Presumably we just like to reminisce about the good old days when we could just cut the heads off politicians.

    With typical Danish efficiency we decided to rid us self of one who actually got stuff done and changed things for the better. As Lenin (supposedly) said after having visited Denmark (during and after one of the first Internationales): “When the revolution of the proletariat has swept over all other nations of the world, Denmark will still be conservative.”

  5. 5
    Sili

    I’d never heard of Struensee’s atheism either as it happens. Guess that helps explain his willingness to merge the days of prayer and fasting.

  6. 6
    Glen Davidson

    Get your grubby paws…uh…on me.

    Glen Davidson

  7. 7
    pelamun

    Sili,

    that’s funny because compared with countries around the world, Denmark is far from being conservative.

    From that webcomic PZ linked to once, I know Denmark has a reputation as a racist nation within Scandinavia, though I know from my Swedish family that there are a lot of Neonazis there too (and what with the Sverigedemokraterna), I think Gothenburg is THE Neonazi capital of Scandinavia, so that reputation of Denmark might be undeserved.

    But the stereotype that Danes are more relaxed than Swedes, I experienced myself when spending a couple days in Copenhagen before travelling on to Sweden one time. Really really relaxed, especially about safety precautions, for example XD!!

  8. 8
    First Approximation

    Does Jesus cause scrotum injuries?

    Only if his mother is made of bird shit.

  9. 9
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    @cicely:

    changeable faded
    a signal degraded
    the moniker, muted
    no longer computed

    *lurks*

  10. 10
    Sili

    We’re good at putting on appearances, but scratch the surface, and we turn out to be hella reäctionary.

    And don’t get me started on ‘Danishness’. Are there any other nations but Denmark and the US who talks about being “un-nationality”? I’ve never heard of un-German, un-French og un-Spanish, but un-American and un-Danish are in common use.

    (Have I mentioned that I don’t like the Danish image? At least Oprah was suitably shocked to learn the Danes are largely apathetic-agnostic, though she did have to dig up someone to say that she thought it was too bad that religion was so poorly represented on the special Danish show, she did.)

  11. 11
    The Sailor

    Walton, I sometimes get tired of the Monarchy posts, but I find some interesting, and I can always space bar past the tealdeers. I don’t want to encourage you in them, but I also don’t want to discourage you. I’m impressed with the sheer amount of knowledge you have of them. And we all write about what we know, or think we know, or want to know.
    ++++++++++++++++
    TLC, with a more finished handle I would be happy with that type of knife. Forge ahead!;-)
    I don’t consider I’m buying a knife custom made for me, I’m buying a custom made knife. Wazzat clear?

    If this exchange of money for art happens (no pressure) I want it to be something you would want to keep, but are willing to part with.
    ++++++++++++++++
    Today, for the very first time since I bought my new glasses 2 months ago, I wore them. (I almost always wear my contacts during sailing season. I wear my glasses the most in winter when I don’t usually care what is farther in front of me that a book.)

    Shifting from contacts to glasses or back is always odd for a couple of days. When I wear my contacts I have to put on my glasses to read. When I wear my glasses I like to take them off to read.

    The glasses are super light, considering my Rx and that they are progressive addition lenses. Driving, crossing the street and walking down stairs is … interesting.
    ++++++++++++++++
    I hate scary movies. I’m not talking about gory movies, those just squick me. If scary movies are good, they scare me. If they’re bad, they’re just bad movies.
    ++++++++++++++++
    IRT RHPS, I’ve found it really depends on the company you see it with. (I’m not talking about the Midnight showings, that can be fun … once.) I like the actors, I like the script, I like the music and dancing and low budget and the imagination it took to do that movie with a low budget. It wouldn’t have worked with more $$ thrown at it.

    True story: The last time I saw it was at my insistence that it was funny. I saw it on VHS with an ex-GF named Janet.
    She didn’t have a good time/get it. (She kinda looked like Susan Sarandon.) I felt like I was watching a porn movie with my mom.

    After she told me, in her passive-aggressive way, that she didn’t like it.

    I said “dammit, Janet” and she didn’t get the joke.

    My humor is not for everyone.

  12. 12
    slignot

    Hello, TET! I’m afraid I’m only popping in for a moment (declaring thread bankruptcy now).

    Just found out that spouse won cook-off contest today with our pork chile verde. Has a mounted golden spoon award thingy and everything.

  13. 13
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    As if I did not need an other reason to hate the RCC.

    Homosexuality is proof of the devil.

    Here is the money shot.

    The most recent and most comprehensive discussion of this research is found in a book published earlier this year by a scientist who also happens to be a gay-rights advocate. Even though it discounts other environmental factors that other scientists believe also may play a role, Simon LeVay’s publication, “Gay, Straight and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Attraction” is worth the read.

    LeVay is not interested in the “who” question and describes same-sex attraction as just a variation among other human inclinations. Catholics do not have the luxury of being materialists. We look for ultimate explanations that transcend the strictly physical world and that stretch beyond our limited ability to mold and reshape reality as we know it. Disruptive imbalances in nature that thwart encoded processes point to supernatural actors who, unlike God, do not have the good of persons at heart.

    In other words, the scientific evidence of how same-sex attraction most likely may be created provides a credible basis for a spiritual explanation that indicts the devil. Any time natural disasters occur, we as people of faith look back to Scripture’s account of those angels who rebelled and fell from grace. In their anger against God, these malcontents prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. They continue to do all they can to mar, distort and destroy God’s handiwork.

    Therefore, whenever natural causes disturb otherwise typical biological development, leading to the personally unchosen beginnings of same-sex attraction, the ultimate responsibility, on a theological level, is and should be imputed to the evil one, not God. Applying this aspect of Catholic belief to interpret the scientific data makes more sense because it does not place God in the awkward position of blessing two mutually incompatible realities — sexual difference and same-sex attraction.

    If in fact this analysis of causation and culpability is correct, then it opens new perspectives on the Church’s teaching in this area. Being born with an inclination which originates in a manner outside of one’s control is not sufficient proof that the condition is caused by God or that its satisfaction meets God’s purpose. Furthermore, a proper understanding of who is really at fault should deepen our compassion towards those who experience same-sex attraction and inform our response to the question of loneliness. Ultimately, an accurate attribution of responsibility for same-sex attraction frees us to consider more fully the urgent question of why sexual difference matters so much to God. These matters will be addressed in my next column.

    Rage.
    Rage!
    Fuck rage!

    I cannot and will not have respect for people who think and say such things about people like me.

    (I am thinking of the time that the typing pile of shit, The Hoax, claimed that I love being the victim.)

  14. 14
    Tethys

    Happy Hallows Eve/ Day of the Dead! I am tickled that few remember the religious aspects of the holiday, but retain all the pagan rituals that Rome tried so hard to suppress.
    I will add my vote to the “bored silly by monarchy, please stop!” requests.

    Look at this photo gallery of vintage halloween pictures.

  15. 15
    pelamun

    Well, in Germany, they used to say “un-German” a lot. It fell somewhat out of favour, after 1945. I think the Danish webcomic author actually portrays the German self-image within Europe and what other nations might think of that quite accurately. Here’s an example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Theses

    But basically in Germany any ostentatious sign of nationalism is discouraged, which doesn’t mean Germans are no longer racist or whatever, but it’s more about xenophobia than chauvinistic nationalism. The only time you see German flags displayed everywhere is during a Euro or World cup. House owners usually choose to have a local flag, such as the state flag, rather than the German flag, but that may be changing (government buildings have three flags, the EU one, the German one and the state one, or the city flag, depending on the type of institution).

    I’ve heard of the Oprah incident enough to remember it, but why did she have such an image of Danes being so pious? Or what was that about?

  16. 16
    bc23.5

    Here’s a spooky story: scientists prove DNA can be reprogrammed with words!

    *shrieks*

    Apparently they turned frog DNA into a salamander by somehow putting the genetic code information of the salamander into a laser and shooting it at the target (frog) DNA. I think that what they got was not a salamander at all but a hideously deformed frog with melted and fused DNA sequences.

    IT’S A MONSTER!

    *Jamie Lee Curtis screams*

    http://wakeup-world.com/2011/07/12/scientist-prove-dna-can-be-reprogrammed-by-words-frequencies/

  17. 17
    The Sailor

    “Does Jesus cause scrotum injuries?”

    Only blue balls, do they count?

    It was a very face looking image, but FFS! I thought it looked more Edvard Munch inspired.

    BTW, I read the paper, most of it was science. Seriously, it’s called an orchiectomy!?

  18. 18
    Inaji

    Chas:

    How ’bout once and for all?

    Works for me.

    Watching Red State. That’s scary.

  19. 19
    Sili

    Congrats, mrs Slignot!

    –o–

    Well, in Germany, they used to say “un-German” a lot. It fell somewhat out of favour, after 1945. I think the Danish webcomic author actually portrays the German self-image within Europe and what other nations might think of that quite accurately.

    Exactly.

  20. 20
    Sili

    I’ve heard of the Oprah incident enough to remember it, but why did she have such an image of Danes being so pious? Or what was that about?

    Because the idea of a whole country of non-pious people is so incomprehensible to your average American that it never even crossed her mind, that maybe not everyone was gonna be all “Oh Lawdy! Prrrrraaaaiiise GAWWWWD!” at the sight of her.

  21. 21
    pelamun

    Since we were on the topic of the RCC, in another instance of European moments of religious madness,

    a German court upheld the right of a RCC-run hospital to fire a nurse for making a joke about the pope.

    This is not so much about the freedom of speech aspect, but about religious privilege again. Because had such an incident happened to a secular employer, they would have needed to put the man on notice first, they couldn’t fire him right away. But in Germany, the churches have constitutional privileges granting them the legal rights to discriminate against anyone not living in accordance with their doctrines, and the Catholic church has been more adamant about this than the Lutherans.

    So by making a joke about the pope on the internet, the man put himself in violation of Catholic dogma and the Church had the right to fire him immediately.

    As they would if it was a divorced nurse, or an openly gay doctor, or even someone living together with a s.o. without being married. (I think I told the anecdote of this lesbian friend of mine who worked for the Catholic church)

  22. 22
    pelamun

    Because the idea of a whole country of non-pious people is so incomprehensible to your average American that it never even crossed her mind, that maybe not everyone was gonna be all “Oh Lawdy! Prrrrraaaaiiise GAWWWWD!” at the sight of her.

    Hah. My Korean instructor in the US once asked the class how (and at what church) we would spend Easter, and I answered, the old-fashioned European way, with egg-hunting, but far far away from a church, and the response was incoherent sputtering along the lines of “But the churches! The cathedrals! But Martin Luther! yaddayaddaydda”.

  23. 23
    pelamun

    Because the idea of a whole country of non-pious people is so incomprehensible to your average American that it never even crossed her mind, that maybe not everyone was gonna be all “Oh Lawdy! Prrrrraaaaiiise GAWWWWD!” at the sight of her

    But you said you were unsatisfied with the Danish image? But as you retell the Oprah incident, that could have happened in any EU member state except Poland…

  24. 24
    slignot

    @Sili, thanks. I’m glad that our recipe was such a hit, although I’m sad that I don’t get any. Despite my urging to upscale the recipe even more, spouse was certain that not only would there be enough for his office, but that there would be enough leftover that I could enjoy some of what we spent all day Sunday doing.

    Hah! Not only was it the first dish to be completely gobbled up, but there was not enough for those present.

    We’ll have to make more again soon so I can actually get to have some. We took pictures as we cooked, so I’m thinking of doing a recipe post on the blog at some point. I can now legitimately call it our award-winning recipe too.

  25. 25
    Sili

    Despite my urging to upscale the recipe even more, spouse was certain that not only would there be enough for his office

    Ooops.

    Sorry for my patriarchal assumptions.

  26. 26
    The Sailor

    slignot, mounting a gold spoon is the hard way to do it. Most of the people who have them are already born with them in their mouths.

    Conga rats to your spouse!
    ++++++++++++++
    Janine, yep, everything they don’t like or fear is ’cause of the debil. And they can change definitions at the drop of a miter.

    Speaking of Walton, I wonder what he thinks of the divine right of kings?

  27. 27
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    We do say unAustralian, but the meaning tends to be contested. The right wing tends to try it on as meaning unpatriotic. But because our national mythology is egalitarian, and not keen on empty pomp, it’s also quite useful against the nastier conservatives. Fair go, mate! It’s very unAustralian to respect unearned rank. Etc.

  28. 28
    Tethys

    From Janines link:

    consider more fully the urgent question of why sexual difference matters so much to God

    Bwa ha hahaha.

    Gawd has burning, urgent questions about sexuality?

  29. 29
    chigau (違う)

    I may catch-up later.
    I just bought a new EeePC with an in-store-set-up.
    If all goes well, I will post later from there.
    but it’s Hallowe’en and I’m drinking…

  30. 30
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Has a mounted golden spoon award

    That really sounds painful as all gitout. Congtats, but it still sounds painful.

    ————-

    I just got chased off my front porch.

    There are, most likely, very few cigar days left before it gets too damn cold. I don’t smoke in the hose, I don’t smoke in cars, so I somoke on the porch. In a nice, bright yellow, wooden Adirondak char.

    And, after four mobs of triker-treaters failed to realize that the old guy, sitting on the porch, smoking a stogie and reading Going Postal is not, repeat not, handing out candy.

  31. 31
    The Sailor

    “Gawd has burning, urgent questions about sexuality?”

    Penicillin takes care of that, or so I’ve heard.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    “I don’t smoke in the hose”

    If you do, I give you the same advice I gave the pygmies, don’t inhale!

  32. 32
    The Sailor

    I don’t dress up or go out trick-or-treating or do anything fun for Halloween. and it used to be my favorite holiday. (I make a great Death;-)

    I hate to use the term, but somehow, against my will, I was dragged kicking and screaming into adulthood. It’s just not fun anymore!

  33. 33
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Damn. That should be, “I don’t smoke in the house.”

    All Hail Tpyos and all that shit.

    And somoke should be smoke.

    And triker-treeter should be tricker-treater.

  34. 34
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    @Pelamun, I found that thing on Roman numerals fascinating. Thanks. Why was this relevant? It seems a bit random. (But still fascinating.)

  35. 35
    The Sailor

    Ogvorbis, have you ever “hosed a thousand users with a turkey application”?

  36. 36
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I don’t dress up or go out trick-or-treating or do anything fun for Halloween. and it used to be my favorite holiday. (I make a great Death;-)

    When I lived in California and Arizona, in national parks, trick or treating was fun. We could hit every single house in the town. Sometimes twice (changing costumes, of course).

    When we moved back to Maryland, trick or treating was not allowed in the county. The local volunteer fire companies had Hallowe’en parties for the kids. To appease the local preachers, no ‘evil’ costumes were allowed — no devils, no ghosts, no monsters. They had no problem with kids dressed up as French maids or professional wrestlers, but no evil stuff. And every kid left with a bible and some inspirational religious dreck. And I kinda sorta got out of the whole mood.

    At the junior college I attended for a year, the student government (I was vice-president of the freshman class) held a costume party for Hallowe’en. I dressed as a terrorist — complete with a machine pistol and some really realistic looking dynamite. No way could I get away with that today.

    When the kids were young, we tried trick or treating. One of stayed home, the other would hand out candy. There were plenty of houses on the block with young children, but we were the only ones handing out candy. Their kids came to our house, but their houses were dark. So we decided to say, ‘screw it,’ and our tradition became going out the Friendlies for sundaes.

  37. 37
    The Sailor

    hey only left out a ‘t’ and an ‘n’. This is why my lab doesn’t offer partial credit to our post-grads.

  38. 38
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Ogvorbis, have you ever “hosed a thousand users with a turkey application”?

    Er, no. Not even sure what that means.

  39. 39
    The Sailor

    I must prey to Tpyos now, the front of my comment previous disappeared.

    Or maybe it’s the debil.

  40. 40
    pelamun

    @Alethea,

    my closest friends are Latin teachers, so this came up today in a discussion about whether an elementary school teacher should teach their kids about the origin of said symbols.

  41. 41
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Pelamun, I would have loved it in primary school, but then I was a weird maths/classics nerd even at that age.

    Halloween trivia: the US has lollies called “smarties”. So does Australia. However, they are completely unrelated. Our smarties are similar to your M&Ms (plain chocolate kind). Your smarties look to be a little similar to our fruit tingles, though I can’t vouch for the flavour. (Discovered through reading Good Eats on everyone’s most hated Halloween candy.)

  42. 42
    Rrhain

    OK…what the hell was that? This is why I hate performance art: I’m sure it makes sense to the artist and about three of his friends, but nobody else can find anything of use in it.

  43. 43
    pelamun

    Alethea, it would have been nicer for the elementary teacher friend present today if the letters were actually derived from actual Latin words. Someone had heard a folk etymology that “L” came from “largo”, but alas, no. Though I do find the evolution of tally marks fascinating in its own right.

  44. 44
    A3Kr0n

    Oh great, I’m becoming trapped in the balloon!

  45. 45
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Happy Halloween, everyone!

    I’m all partied out after this past* weekend, so I’m just going to enjoy my glass of wine before I go to bed.

    RE Janine’s quote:
    Fuck the RCC. Fuck them right out of existence.

    *I dressed up as as Mr. Blonde: black suit, skinny black tie, hair slicked back, a pair of wayfarers, and I handed out gummy ears. Sadly, the only person who got it right off the bat was the guy who was dressed as Don Draper.

  46. 46
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Whew. Doing the most important part of the week, working to cleanse my soul. With the greatest solemnity, I observe this great holy ritual.

    That is, I’m doing laundry.

    Very important. Soon, I shall have clean clothes!

  47. 47
    pelamun

    Yuck, I really dislike the new layout of Google Reader. Is there any way to revert back?

  48. 48
    chigau (違う)

    It is dark out.
    It is 6:30 PM.
    It is Hallowe’en.
    So far, none.
    Not even the ones collecting for the Food Bank.

  49. 49
    Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan

    Well the kids have come and gone, thought not to our house. *sigh* I admit the best part of Halloween for me, now, is the scary part. Or at least what’s left of that. Managed to scare a few people at work today with these beauties, although the lack of a black shirt and some proper makeup really kind of lessened the look I was going for. Maybe next year I’ll take that one student’s advice and go as a werewolf, as I bought the previously linked in a set with a pair of smaller fangs.
    ————————————–

    Not much candy. Not in a huge candy mood, though the Smarties are calling my name.

    Have a couple of candles burning, in memory of my dad, my brother’s recently deceased friend, and a few others. And I have some scary music playing while I type and such.
    ————————————-

    Back to using a heat pack on my neck. During the day I was fine, when I got home it seemed my body decided it was the perfect time to remind me of how miserable I’d been last night. Maybe I should invest in one of those neck pillows, or that twisty doo-hickey I saw in an infomercial.
    ——————————————

    MORE monarchy? Oh it’s over. Move along, nothing to see here.
    —————————————

    And now for something that’s actually scary and spooky:

    Time to declare “open season” on ANYONE (Mexican, American, Canadian, etc) who crosses either of our borders illegally. Shoot first, ask questions later.

    From here

  50. 50
    Cipher

    Swallow shit, or spoil the afternoon?

    I was trying to take a break from here (it’s not y’all, it’s the constant trickle of toxic Menz fuckery, it’s grinding me down) but fuck it.

    I feel like a hypocrite and I feel like a coward because one of the two classmates I’d call friends said something shitty about rape on Facebook and I can’t think what I’m supposed to say. He said our midterm was rape. It was a very bad midterm (we were all pretty close to tears at the end of it, and now my professor is offering a makeup midterm on Friday because it went so badly), but that does not make it rape. I’m not out as a survivor on Facebook or I’d know what to say, mildly: “Having been through both, the midterm was still a lot less traumatic, actually.” I’m going through the Fugitivus piece, looking for what to say.

    What can I say?

  51. 51
    pelamun

    What can I say?

    Sorry you had to go through that, some people can just be insensitive…

    Could you raise it as a general issue? I mean this should be something people would know better about irrespective of whether a rape survivor is present or not.

  52. 52
    Cipher

    Could you raise it as a general issue? I mean this should be something people would know better about irrespective of whether a rape survivor is present or not.

    I could, but I don’t know how. All I can think of is either yelling or outing myself.

  53. 53
    Muse (evidently temptress of Pharyngula women)

    At CC – not that it helps, but have you seem Melissa’s piece at Shakesville on The Terrible Bargain? I’m guessing you have from the phrasing you chose, but it’s a damn fine, if depressing, read,

    CC perhaps say, knowing people who’ve been through both, I can say that the midterm was better, and a lot less traumatizing?

  54. 54
    Cipher

    Could you raise it as a general issue? I mean this should be something people would know better about irrespective of whether a rape survivor is present or not.

    I could, but I don’t know how. I can’t think of how to say it.

  55. 55
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Whew. Doing the most important part of the week, working to cleanse my soul. With the greatest solemnity, I observe this great holy ritual.

    That is, I’m doing laundry.

    Very important. Soon, I shall have clean clothes!

    Damn. With the two (adult) kids still at home, my ufinorms, and all else, we are lucky if we do less than one load a day.

  56. 56
    cicely

    I has a sad.

    No tricker-or-treaters at all. And after I painted this butterfly on my face just ‘specially for the occasion.

    It doesn’t seem like they’re just avoiding our house this year, either. No giggling/bickering mobs, no slamming car doors, no shuffling through the leaves.

    My guess (it being a school night) is that the parentals are taking all the kiddies to the sponsored parties, which have defined starting and stopping times, in the interests of getting ‘em home and in bed.
    -
    Smarties are colored, flavored chalk.
    -
    *hug* for Classical Cypher. And

    What can I say?

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
    -

  57. 57
    Therrin

    (Sez the girl in the great, gray Pacific Northwest.)

    Somebody didn’t see a triple rainbow this afternoon. -.-

  58. 58
    ImaginesABeach

    Cicely -

    Trick or treat!

  59. 59
    Cipher

    I think this is what we’re going with: “I don’t know, boys, I think it’s fair to say we’ll all get over the midterm without the need for therapy… Bad test though it was.”

  60. 60
    cicely

    *jamming handfulls (hands-full?) of candy through port to ImaginesABeach*

    I’m off to drown my sorrows with a couple of little Butterfingers bars and Castle. ‘Night, all.
    -

  61. 61
    Carlie

    Halloween trivia: the US has lollies called “smarties”. So does Australia. However, they are completely unrelated. Our smarties are similar to your M&Ms (plain chocolate kind). Your smarties look to be a little similar to our fruit tingles, though I can’t vouch for the flavour. (Discovered through reading Good Eats on everyone’s most hated Halloween candy.)

    And our lollies are what you’d probably call suckers. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

  62. 62
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    The Sailor: Cool, I’ll see what I can do. Still no promises though, I need to find the right piece of steel and work it for a while. Any particular favorite motifs or carving designs for the handle? Any ‘themes’ or symbols or anything you like?

  63. 63
    Cipher

    “I don’t know, boys, I think it’s fair to say we’ll all get over the midterm without the need for therapy… Bad test though it was. Mugging by Ancient Greek, perhaps. Fraud by potential optatives. Assault with a deadly participle.”

    Fuck, at least it’s something.

  64. 64
    Carlie

    Yuck, I really dislike the new layout of Google Reader.

    What the… (runs off, comes back)… dammit.

  65. 65
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Yesterday we gave out about 300 pieces of candy in two hours to the ghosties and ghoulies. Our record is almost 400. And no candy was given out in the first 15 minutes when I was on duty before one of the neighbors got the first treat. When they come, they come in droves.

  66. 66
    Tethys

    CC

    *hugs/booze/candy/confetti/rainbows*

    I would say something like. Ewwwww! Your analogy is kinda creepy dude.

    Goodnight cicely!

  67. 67
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Here’s a question for y’all:

    Have any of you ever trick or treated in a bar? This is a tradition here in the valley; even Girl has trick or treated in a bar. When she was 12. And she got about $30 from the inebriated patrons. Does anywhere else in the world do this?

  68. 68
    Algernon

    Does anywhere else in the world do this?

    Not that I know of :/

    I was too sick to play for the holiday. I fell asleep at a red light on a railroad track and woke up when the gate started descending while driving home. Then I just passed out until a little while ago and uploaded my pics from this morning.

    This all was not great, but I guess I’m glad to be alive! I don’t know what might have happened if I’d stayed asleep, maybe there’s a safety or something. Uh… let’s just go with that.

    Sleeping in your moving car is bad enough without the extra stuff.

    I had a flu shot this year, I don’t know though. Maybe it didn’t work. Felt like the flu today. What do I know, I can never tell when I’m sick or what is going on with me.

    Anyway, I’m glad I woke up when I did at least. I feel kind of ok now so I’m just really bummed to have missed out on most of the holiday fun (at work I was just trying to *push through* the day).

  69. 69
    A. R

    Algernon: It could be a flu strain that wasn’t included in the vaccine this year, or a coronavirus.

  70. 70
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    Caine, I’m so sorry to hear about Alfie. You have my deepest condolences. It’s hard to lose our furry loved ones. They touch our lives deeply and bring such love, laughter, and joy into them. Alfie will be remembered in your wonderful photos and stories, as well as in the hearts and minds of those of us privileged enough to have been allowed to share him with you.

    [cross-posted at A Thousand Stitches Deep]

  71. 71
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Algernon:

    Sorry you’re not feeling up to snuff. Being that tired is scary as hell.

    And I am extremely glad that your close call with a train was not closer. That’s scary as hell, too.

  72. 72
    Ingdigo Jump

    The Doctor Lanterns: All 11

    Making a note that if I do this again, I don’t trust stoner friends with my patterns.

  73. 73
  74. 74
    Ingdigo Jump

    Highlight The Third Doctor was my favorite

  75. 75
    chigau (違う)

    not gonna happen

  76. 76
    Markita Lynda, healthcare is a damn right.

    One of my favourite costumes was when a friend came in his cycling outfit, with a few bandages and fake blood added.

    I strolled up and down the two long streets that constitute most of my neighbourhood. Unbeknownst to me, this area, which used to be rather dark and quiet on Halloween, has become one of the go-to places in Toronto, with people driving their kids over from their own neighbourhoods to enjoy the decorations and each other. It was fun.

  77. 77
    Markita Lynda, healthcare is a damn right.

    Ing, nice–I see the 3rd doctor but the other two are black & white “do not enter” graphics – like a dash in a circle.

  78. 78
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    At the risk of exposing (once again) my prfound ignorance, who is the Doctor?

  79. 79
    Ingdigo Jump

    Ugh I suck at this today


    The group shot

  80. 80
    Oenotrian

    Ing: Nope, still nothing.

  81. 81
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Ing:

    I can see your photos. They look great. I don’t know who they are, but it looks good.

  82. 82
    Rey Fox

    One of my favourite costumes was when a friend came in his cycling outfit, with a few bandages and fake blood added.

    Dang, I just got that idea while out on the two-wheeled steed today. Except in my version, tire-tracks would be involved.

  83. 83
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Father Ogvorbis

    Doctor Who?

  84. 84
    Markita Lynda, healthcare is a damn right.

    Vast weapons stockpile found in Libyan desert:
    Time photo gallery. I hope this administration thinks to guard this from pilferage, unlike the previous one.

  85. 85
  86. 86
    Markita Lynda, healthcare is a damn right.

    Arrgh, I borked the link again! Sorry. I’m going to bed.

  87. 87
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Doctor Who. Oh. Right. Sorry. I’ll just crawl back under my rock now.

  88. 88
    mythusmage

    Janine #13,

    Zoe Brain has a post up on The Biology of Sexual Orientation I think you’ll find interesting. The core of the post are the videos she provides covering the differences between people of different sexual orientations.

  89. 89
    Markita Lynda, healthcare is a damn right.

    This is better: The History of Doctor Who. So I used to watch Peter Davison, the fifth Doctor.

    The second season introduced robot aliens called Daleks, who looked like salt-shakers (and, it turns out, were inspired by salt-shakers) and go around intoning ‘Exterminate, exterminate!’ You might have seen them as they tend to pop up as a meme.

  90. 90
    Markita Lynda, healthcare is a damn right.

    Father (etc.) Ogvorbis, OM, there’s plenty of popular culture that I’ve never encountered and don’t care if I never do (or never do again, e.g. Red Dwarf the TV show); it just happens that I ran across that little bit of it.

    Did you know that the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” started out as a radio show? Some things are better if they stay audio-only: the special effects are better. I’m thinking of a certain CBC humour show, “The Royal Canadian Air Farce.”

    It’s midnight, the Bewitching Hour on Hallowe’en, when the rivers and lakes turn to gates of glass, the souls of this year’s dead move on to the Summerland, and you can visit the Faerie. So I’m off to bed with only the cats to keep me company.

  91. 91
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    You’d better Stay away from him
    He’ll rip your lungs out Jim
    huh, I’d like to meet his tailor

  92. 92
    Markita Lynda, healthcare is a damn right.

    Running shoes placed sequentially at angles (broken, offset V shapes) make great truck-tire prints. I’ve done it in sand, never on a costume. Just place the heel of one approximately in the instep of the previous print.

  93. 93
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.
    Did you know that the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” started out as a radio show?

    I think the book came first!

    No, it was a radio programme first (I even have a copy of the original scripts). However, the original scripts are not the same as the record version released a few years later (which I also have (on cassette (which means that I now have no way to listen to them))).

  94. 94
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Yale, no, the radio series was first; in 1978. The first book was 1979.

    I’ve just watched the Melbourne Cup. Very exciting this year – photo finishes for 1st & 2nd place, as well as 3rd & 4th. No word yet on the wooden spoon, but the last I heard the caller was naming 2 as neck and neck for last place. The horses’ names are hilarious. Older Than Time; Glass Harmonium; Drunken Sailor; The Verminator…

  95. 95
    Rey Fox

    I got all that Hitchhiker shit on MP3.

  96. 96
    David Marjanović, OM

    Happiness is a warm cat.

    Yesterday evening I tried to fall asleep in a rocking chair with a cat on my lap. Didn’t work :-(

    Homosexuality is proof of the devil.

    Fun is, that article is actually progress. The quote you provide says twice that one’s sexuality isn’t a lifestyle choice but something one is born with. It only says “don’t blame the Good God for it – teh gheyz are poor victims of teh debil”.

    Happy Hallows Eve/ Day of the Dead! I am tickled that few remember the religious aspects of the holiday, but retain all the pagan rituals that Rome tried so hard to suppress.

    Rome never controlled Ireland, and Halloween was a specifically Irish thing before it became a specifically American thing and then – only in the last 15 years or less! – spread to mainland Europe. For a long time, I only knew it from the German translation of a “Disney” (Barks) comic; the translator didn’t use the name Halloween and strongly implied the holiday was unique to Ducksburgh.

    Well, in Germany, they used to say “un-German” a lot. It fell somewhat out of favour, after 1945.

    …where “somewhat” means “grindingly, screamingly, crashingly”. It’s an instant Godwin.

    a German court upheld the right of a RCC-run hospital to fire a nurse for making a joke about the pope.

    Popatine practically begs to be made fun of.

    My Korean instructor

    At this point I should probably ask which halfway widespread languages you do not speak. Georgian?

    To appease the local preachers, no ‘evil’ costumes were allowed — no devils, no ghosts, no monsters. They had no problem with kids dressed up as French maids or professional wrestlers, but no evil stuff.

    I saw a young woman dressed as a Japanese schoolgirl today.

    That was at a gas station on the way home from 3 roadcuts in West Virginia where the Mattir family had taken me. Siluran & Devonian; brachiopods, bryozoans, infilled burrows, trilobites, rugose corals… bliss for everyone!!!

  97. 97
    Therrin

    Father Ogvorbis

    At the risk of exposing (once again) my prfound ignorance, who is the Doctor?

    Exactly!

    <spookyvoice>Beware the fields of Trenzalore.</spookyvoice>

  98. 98
    David Marjanović, OM

    The most recent post on FtB r teh awsum.

  99. 99
    Ragutis

    re: Doctor Who and The Hitchhiker’s Guide,

    I presume you guys discussing it know that Douglas Adams was a writer on Doctor Who? It’s where he met Lalla Ward, whom he later introduced to Richard Dawkins at a party.

    Anyway, he was writing Hitchhiker’s on the side and bits and bobs of each crept into the other. In Destiny of the Daleks, the Doctor is seen reading a book by Oolon Colluphid. (Sadly, not one of the God trilogy) And IIRC, Life, the Universe, and Everything was based on a rejected DW script.

  100. 100
    Amblebury

    Janine, thanks for the overload of awesome!

    Now, I scurry away for a nice hot drink, to watch them all while there’s rain, thunder and lightening outside.

  101. 101
    pelamun

    Classical Cipher

    I hope that did the trick!

    David

    Your link is borked.

    At this point I should probably ask which halfway widespread languages you do not speak. Georgian?

    Linguists learn a lot of languages, but that doesn’t mean they speak them. I’ve forgotten most of my Korean already, but the point of me learning it was more about understanding how its grammars works than to be able to hold a conversation. And the script :). (I also blame the fact that the Korean native vocabulary is totally different from the Japanese native vocabulary AND that Korean no longer uses Chinese characters for its Sino-Korean vocabulary, I mean in the CJK languages you have xue2xiao4, gakkou and hakgyo, for instance, but in the first two instances you write it 學校 and 学校, whereas in the third case they do 학교. Makes it much harder to understand).

    I didn’t learn Georgian but I did one year of Armenian (and if you ask the one question any linguist will have been trained to ask about Armenian, even if they don’t know ANYTHING else about Armenian: Eastern Armenian).

    Nurse fired by Catholic hospital

    I read the article again, and it was as follows:

    the nurse was satirising the pope pseudonymously on the internet. After he was found out, his superiors at the Caritas-run hospital threatened him with dismissal, upon which he agreed to enter into a severance agreement. According to German law, however, this means he wouldn’t get unemployment money for 12 weeks, as he quit as opposed to being fired. So that’s why he sued in the social court system.*)

    Apparently the first instance had agreed with the plaintiff, but the court of appeals, the State Social Court in Stuttgart, disagreed with the lower court and at the same time emphasised that the RCC would have had to fire the man immediately.

    *) Germany has a separate social court system for cases within the welfare system. Had he been fired and had he sued against dismissal, it would have been handled by another separate system, the labour courts.

  102. 102
    pelamun

    argh

    … emphasised that the RCC would have had the right to fire the man immediately.

  103. 103
    Inaji

    Hekuni Cat, thank you very much. ♥

  104. 104
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    David Marjanović, OM, your link is borked.

    And what’s your take on the etymology of “borked”? Do you think it’s from the Swedish chef, or from a joke where “broken”->”broked” (folksy grammar) -> “borked”, Prasie Tpyos & cf. “teh”? Perhaps even with a nod to Robert Bork = fucked up?

    Ragutis, err, yeah. Not like I’m a fanatic or anything, but yes, I did know all that. Though I don’t think the LUE plot was developed quite as far as an actual Who script. More like an outline. But Adams certainly reused his stuff, a lot.

  105. 105
    pelamun

    bork

    I don’t think it’s to do with Robert Bork, as it has taken on a specific meaning.

    This is the take Wiktionary has on it:

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bork

  106. 106
    pelamun

    …and this might appeal to you

    Possibly derived from a word used repeatedly by the Swedish Chef of the Muppets. In various skits, the Chef often repeats the phrase bork, bork, bork. The word may refer to the often-failed experiments in the Chef’s cooking adventures.

  107. 107
    pelamun

    sorry you did mention the Swedish chef. Brain fart on the early morning. Ehm, these things are hard to determine. Does anyone have access to OED online, which might have the first mention of bork used in that context. Then we could see if the Muppet version would be plausible.

    A slang term created by metathesis would be quite plausible, so I think broke -> borke looks better than on first glance.

  108. 108
    Ragutis

    Q: What’s 16 feet long, 44 inches around, and weighs 215lbs ?

    A: A Python with a deer in it

    Picture #5 –> Ho. Lee. Crap.

  109. 109
    pelamun

    Eric Cantor tried to give a speech at Penn, but it got cancelled, due to fear of protests.

    But luckily Timothy Noah read the prepared speech.

    “We should want all people to be moving up and no one to be pulled down,” Cantor concludes. Well, yes, we should want that to happen, because wanting people to fail isn’t very nice. But unless we all live in Lake Wobegon (where the children are all “above average”) uniform upward mobility isn’t actually possible. The thing about mobility is that people have to move up and people have to move down.

    Cantor’s income inequality solution is to elevate all of the bottom 99 percent in incomes up to the top 1 percent. That would shut up the Occupy Wall Street crowd for sure! A more practical solution–and one that doesn’t violate the laws of mathematics–would be to encourage mobility, by all means (the U.S. has actually fallen behind most of western Europe in this regard) but also to pay close attention to what happens to the people who don’t make it to the top. The bottom 99 percent contribute to prosperity too, and lately they haven’t had much to show for it. Cantor seems not in the slightest bit curious as to how that happened.

  110. 110
    rorschach

    It could be a flu strain that wasn’t included in the vaccine this year, or a coronavirus.

    Huh ? And it could even be any of 5000 other viruses !

    *eyeroll*

    In other news, the US has withdrawn 60 million of funding for UNESCO because they dared to accept Palestine as a member. How nice.

  111. 111
    First Approximation

    Just say this on The Daily Show:

    Rick Perry’s drunken speech

    Has Perry been trying to sabotage his campaign?

  112. 112
    rorschach

    Oh, and I had an epiphany, and I need to look into this : How many people on antipsychotics are religious ?

  113. 113
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Good morning
    We had a nice Halloween.
    I took the kids to the zoo, where they held a “Halloween-Zooparty” and later we had spooky dinner:
    Maggoty bloodsoup, Tombstones with wriggeling worms and Witchfingers, and giant spiders for dessert.
    Some kids came “trick or treating”, which is an easy shot here, house having 78 apartments

    “un-German”
    Well, the conservatives have found a way around.
    Now they’re talking about a “Deutsche Leitkultur” (German leading culture) that apparently all immigrants have to practise.

    Special rights of the RCC in Germany
    AFAIK it’s not so much a constitutional right than a right coming from the treaty with the Vatican. As such, it is an international treaty that overrides national law and the constitution.
    But the European court of Human Rights has struck down a number of similar verdicts in the past.

  114. 114
    Carlie

    As I recall, borked does refer to how the nomination process of Bork was tanked. (heh) The muppets bork word was around for a long time but not used as a verb; it wasn’t until after the Bork political business that the word was coined.

  115. 115
    pelamun

    Deutsche Leitkultur
    I still remember the hubbub about it, when that first came up in 2000, I was living in Asia at the time, and it looked quite bizarre to me from the distance. But it seems to have been discredited, and mainly used by comedians to lampoon the idea…

    AFAIK it’s not so much a constitutional right than a right coming from the treaty with the Vatican. As such, it is an international treaty that overrides national law and the constitution.

    Probably various Konkordats have reaffirmed this, but let me cite what I wrote on my blog:

    Curtailment of workers’ rights: despite all the progress in equal rights protection within the EU, the churches are allowed to discriminate against their workers based on religion. This means that a Catholic kindergarten may refuse to hire an atheist, or a Catholic hospital may fire a nurse after she gets a divorce. They may not refuse to accept non-Catholic children or non-Catholic patients, as the freedom to discriminate is only applicable to workers’s rights. This is based on Article 140 of German Basic Law, which is basically an incorporation of Art 137 III of the Constitution of the Weimar Republic. According to this article, employees of church-owned institutions have an obligation of loyalty towards the church, and it can be expected that they live in accordance with the churches’ religious and moral dogmas (“Übereinstimmung mit den kirchlichen Glaubens- und Moralvorstellungen”).

    The relevant Art. 137 III reads

    „Jede Religionsgesellschaft ordnet und verwaltet ihre Angelegenheiten selbständig innerhalb der Schranken des für alle geltenden Gesetzes. Sie verleiht ihre Ämter ohne Mitwirkung des Staates oder der bürgerlichen Gemeinde.“

    This doesn’t explicitly say “They are allowed to discriminate”, so there’s hope for the courts to change their minds, but until now it has been construed to mean that, especially the Constitutional Court has a history of reaffirming the churches’ rights here.

  116. 116
    pelamun

    Addendum: certain restrictions of workers’ rights are actually fleshed out in laws, which could be changed by parliament in an instant. I’m not familiar enough with constitutional law as to say whether that has been tried before and was then rebuffed in Constitutional Court.

  117. 117
    pelamun

    bork

    let’s have a look at this

    http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=+borked&year_start=1960&year_end=2008&corpus=0&smoothing=3

    Problem is this is only from published books, and might not accurately reflect colloquial language use.

    anything prior to 1987 mostly represents obscure technical uses such as “d-Borked” whatever that meant.

    The political use is strong until today, but usually in capitalised form. The quotation marks are still strong in the 90s, and begin to become less frequent afterwards, but never disappear completely.

    My main objection to there being a connection to the nominee is that the usage in the IT field, the first one of which is in a book from 2001, doesn’t seem to show any kind of capitalisation or quotation marks. I’ve glanced over all of the hits, and it looks like the only nonpolitical uses seem to be in the IT field, so I think a slang origin of broke -> bork seems to be more likely.

  118. 118
    rorschach

    Take that, Beatles. Amy Winehouse – All my loving (live)

  119. 119
  120. 120
    rorschach

    To be fair to The Beatles : All My Loving – Live in Melbourne 1964

  121. 121
  122. 122
    Richard H

    Dr. Who [... is] notorious (or should be) for its cheap effects (think early Star Trek).

    That would be the original format, which the BBC finally canned in 1989. You might want to check out the new (post-2005) series, which have very different production values. The executive producer for 2005-2010 was Russell T (“Queer as Folk”) Davies, and it shows.

  123. 123
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Sie verleiht ihre Ämter ohne Mitwirkung des Staates oder der bürgerlichen Gemeinde.

    The actual interpretation here differes from court to court.
    Some follow the opinion that this only applies where the person actually holds an office within the church and doesn’t act as an employee.
    Others argue on basis of equality: Since they often tolerate divorce and stuff in other employees, if they fire one for it, they are discriminating against that person.

    Here’s one of the relevant cases.

    What is sad is that this could be solved easily with a bit of courage and solidarity: Since most catholics in Germany have no problem making jokes about the pope, they should just all make one, publicly.
    Let’s see if the catholic hospitals can do without 95% of their employees.
    They’re having problems already to hire christians only. The ecumenical care-providers my sister works for didn’t give a shit about her being an atheist, they needed a competent nurse.

  124. 124
    Carlie

    I’m so glad that heterosexuals like Kim Kardashian are out there keeping the sanctity of marriage intact and safe from teh gheys. [/eyeroll]

  125. 125
    rorschach

    I’m so glad that heterosexuals like Kim Kardashian are out there keeping the sanctity of marriage intact and safe from teh gheys. [/eyeroll]

    18 million in “endorsements” for 72 days of marriage, maybe I should propose to Abbie Smith ! Although, 72 days, that seems like an eternity !

  126. 126
    tielserrath

    Oh, Caine! I’m so sorry!

    *Aspie hugs*

    (which are slightly awkward, and go on too long, or not long enough, and collide with your chin, or nose, and mind your foot!…oops, sorry ’bout that.)

  127. 127
    Inaji

    Tielserrath, {hugses} right back. ♥

  128. 128
    pelamun

    Giliell,

    thanks for the link, that is indeed quite interesting. I am frustrated by the remaining privileges, but I don’t want to go overboard in painting the picture gloomier than it is, there are some silver linings on the horizon, and the verdicts cited by the Federal Labour Court and the ECHR are steps in the right direction.

    I was actually wondering if anyone or any organisation has actually compiled a study or some kind of statistics how many employees are ACTUALLY dismissed by RCC run institutions based on doctrinal grounds.

    The only anecdote I have was this:

    the Catholic Church may fire tenured religious studies high school teachers if their lifestyle doesn’t conform with Catholic doctrine. A friend of mine told me that she was held up by her university instructor as a model to her fellow students because unlike some who dared to live together with their unwed significant other, she was living with a female roommate. Little did the church types know that that roommate was actually her girlfriend.

    I should ask that friend what would have happened had she come out. (prior to working as a R.E. teacher, she also worked for a Catholic centre in the Rhineland)

  129. 129
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Ugh. I hate dreaming sometimes :(

    Had a dream I came out TG to my family and it was all angry and mean and sad-making. And then I told my boss and got fired and was living in the gutter and I was woken up by kitten jumping on my stomach. Thanks kitten.

  130. 130
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    That was at a gas station on the way home from 3 roadcuts in West Virginia where the Mattir family had taken me. Siluran & Devonian; brachiopods, bryozoans, infilled burrows, trilobites, rugose corals… bliss for everyone!!!

    There are also some fantastic fossils to be found in the sandstones to the west of Martinsburg, WV. We got to take a field trip to one of the quarries when I was in 7th grade to prospect for fossils (the sand is used in the glass industry down there, thus the quarries). And we all got to hear about the Noatic flood dropping all the sand with the sea creatures trapped insid. Only way to explain it.

    Oh. Yeah. This was a public school. 1978,

  131. 131
    Birger Johansson

    You may have seen this already… good that one government agency is preparing for the worst.

    CDC prepares us for zombie attack this Halloween http://www.newscientisCDC prepares us for zombie attack this Halloweent.com/blogs/culturelab/2011/10/this-halloween-the-cdc-wants-you-to-prepare-for-zombie-attack.html

  132. 132
    Birger Johansson

    Pelamun, is not the English use of “girlfriend” ambigous in some contexts? It is one of those linguistic minefields a non-english speaker needs to be aware of (like who is allowed to use the n word).

  133. 133
    Carlie

    Katherine – big hugs and a nice mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows being shoved through the usb port to you.

    You know how sometimes you start clicking around on websites and end up down the rabbit hole somewhere? So I ended up on some site of inappropriate Halloween costumes, and I’m about 60% sure that one of the featured photos is a relative of mine. The only thing that makes me really think it’s not is that none of that person’s friends would think it is inappropriate and send it into a website. And even if it’s not, they’d think it was a great idea and probably use it next year. Sigh.

  134. 134
    Dianne

    Now they’re talking about a “Deutsche Leitkultur” (German leading culture) that apparently all immigrants have to practise.

    I’m not sure if this is due to that pressure or just the general perversity of human nature, but immigrants I’ve met in Germany seem more stereotypically German than the multi-generation Germans: you can eat off the floor-of the bathroom-in the average Indian restaurant, Turkish immigrants complain about how late and sloppy Germans are, an Italian grumbling about all the immigrants messing up the place (apparently without the least bit of irony)…

  135. 135
    Moggie

    Katherine:

    Had a dream I came out TG to my family and it was all angry and mean and sad-making. And then I told my boss and got fired and was living in the gutter and I was woken up by kitten jumping on my stomach. Thanks kitten.

    How do you know you’re awake? Perhaps this is still a dream?

    *Inception noise*

  136. 136
    Ingdigo Jump

    The kitten is her totem

  137. 137
    Ingdigo Jump

    Father Ogvorbis

    The main character on Doctor Who; the alien who calls himself The Doctor can regenerate when mortally wounded (or reaches old age). The body breaks itself down and puts itself back together so the result is a rejuvenated ‘version’ of the person. His appearance and quirks and tastes are shaken up but the overall memories and core of the person remain. This was done by the show earlier on to allow them to continue after the original actor’s retirement and has become one of the staples of the show. Each actor can bring their own take and twist on the character and have it consistent with the mythos. 1st Doctor was grouchier, 4th Goofier, 7th more manipulative, 8th cooler, 9th darker, 11th dorkier etc.

  138. 138
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Moggie:

    If I were still dreaming I’d be a woman :\ I never dream of myself as a guy. I haven’t been male in my dreams for years – except when I’m not a human (elf, dragon, whatnot.)

  139. 139
    KG

    Interesting turn of events in the Occupy LSX story in London. The C. of E. is scrabbling about for a coherent response to an actual confrontation between the powers of the world and the (relatively) poor taking place literally* at its own doors.

    *In this case, “literally” does really mean literally, not metaphorically.

  140. 140
    Ingdigo Jump

    Jimmity Christmas, first Doctor Who reference and now Powerpuff Girls? Am I too old or too young for this place?

  141. 141
    Minnie The Finn, Fluffy Pink Bearer of Loose Morals

    Howdy folks, and merry Samhain (well, the day after, anyway).

    No trick-or-treating here in our neck of the woods – funnily enough, we do it before Easter. On Palm Sunday, kids do the rounds dressed up as witches, collecting candy/protection money. If you pay them, you get a willow twig with some feathers tied to it, which they wave about for a while, mumbling. Very Wiccan indeed.

    Also, in Ostrobothnia, they light up the bonfires on Easter, to burn the witches, as the tradition goes.

    Note to self: must google more about that.

    —-

    Otherwise, I’m fine and dandy. Working away like mad, which is fiscally very much appreciated. But the downside of it is that I don’t get enough time for myself, like hanging out on the net. So, how are you all?

  142. 142
    Psych-Oh

    Katherine – *hugs* sounds nightmarish. My fears always come out when I am sleeping as well. Sending a chocolate croissant through the usb.

    Carly – Clearly the Kardashian wedding was for $$$. I think E! should get a refund. Or, sadly, they probably still made money on it. I can’t believe people watch that crap.

  143. 143
    Minnie The Finn, Fluffy Pink Bearer of Loose Morals

    Yay, I get local Google ads at the top of the page. In my own lingo. Very well done.

    I will start clicking on them, if that helps to bring in revenue.

  144. 144
    Carlie

    Love the pumpkins – how long did they take to carve??

    Jimmity Christmas, first Doctor Who reference and now Powerpuff Girls?

    I may admit to owning a set of Powerpuff Girls figurines.
    Maybe.

  145. 145
    Birger Johansson

    Science provides where snake oil fails: Srx 1 and Prx 1 and the delay of ageing.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111031215938.htm

    “And we all got to hear about the Noatic flood dropping all the sand with the sea creatures trapped inside.

    Did they bother to say where the water came from and where it went? No, didn’t think so.

  146. 146
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Last night, I finally watched Let The Right One In. What a disturbing yet beautiful movie. I am not sure if Eli really feels anything remotely human but anything remotely human disappears when she feeds.

    I found it interesting how the makeshift nature of her clothes shows how little she pays attention to such human niceties. Though she knows enough to know what they find valuable.

    That said, I can understand why Oscar falls for her, even though Eli is probably one of the worse things that could happen to him.

  147. 147
    Don Quijote

    A plaintive cry from the barren wastelands of the eurozone; Will somebody please give George Papandreou a kick up the proverbial.
    Thank you very much.

  148. 148
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    I may admit to owning a set of Powerpuff Girls figurines.
    Maybe.

    Are they the amine version?

    I will admit to loving “Meet The Beat-Alls”.

    And Mojo Jojo is one of the best super villains ever.

  149. 149
    RichardAustin

    So, last night was the first holiday I’ve had in the new apartment. I wasn’t sure of the protocol – the building has controlled access and not many kids living there. Also, in houses the custom is to leave your porch light on if you’re passing out candy, but I have no such method to notify people. Add in that I was going to be playing on the computer with my headphones on all night, and it was a losing proposition.

    So, I took the lazy way out: bought a small black cauldron, filled it with stuff, and put it on a small platform outside the door. That seems to have worked, since it was about 20% gone at 10 pm. Of course, now I have a cauldron full of candy – but I bought smarties and lollipops and such, so at least I’ll eat some of them.

    (And yes, Smarties® are just flavored sugar candies. The same kind of chalky texture as candy cigarettes if you’ve ever had those. I got into them when I was a kid because I don’t really like chocolate candies that much and, well, you are what you eat.)

  150. 150
    Ing

    1 November 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Love the pumpkins – how long did they take to carve??

    They were carved on the 29th but I did the patterns over the course of a week+

    I should scan them since they’re not bad art in their own right IMHO

  151. 151
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I may admit to owning a set of Powerpuff Girls figurines.
    Maybe.

    *looks up, studies shelf on wall above desk*

    Well, hmm. A row of matryoshka dolls, a giant plush D20, C’thulu in a Hawai’ian shirt, two swords, a rack of test tubes with flowers in them, plushies of E. coli, C. difficile, and the Epstein-Barr virus, a blown-glass swan, and Wedge Antilles (without the Ewok, tragically). I think I’ve got a nice blend.

    ‘Course, that’s my desk at home. My desk at work has more text books, a row of Questionable Content sketches, a two-headed dragon, and a plush mesenchymal stem cell. Oh, and a massive quantity of tea.

    No Powerpuff Girls, I must admit. Never saw the appeal.

  152. 152
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    I got into [Smarties] when I was a kid because I don’t really like chocolate candies that much and, well, you are what you eat.

    I knew I shouldn’t have eaten so many Dum Dums.

  153. 153
    Carlie

    a blown-glass swan

    I also have a blown-glass swan! Well, a melted-glass one. When I was a wee lass, we went to visit a relative who was a chemistry professor, took a tour of his building, and one of his colleagues made me a swan right there out of a glass rod over a bunsen burner and mounted it in a rubber stopper for me. I thought it was the most awesome thing I had ever seen. Now I wonder if all chemists go through a swan-making initiation rite sometime in grad school. :) It’s at home in my “all my life stuff” box; now I’ll have to get it out and put it on my desk.

  154. 154
    Carlie

    Janine – Cartoon Network version. The Beat-Alls were pretty awesome.

  155. 155
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Home shelf (when I get one) will have a figurine of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a figurine of Iris from Princess Waltz (a really good (albeit pornographic) visual novel,) a figurine of a dragon with a mage’s staff, a LEGO model of a B-Wing, a cute little figurine of a Moehog, cards, honors cords, necklaces, beads, lanyards with con badges, and my stuffed chick from when I was a baby who has certainly seen better days. Elsewhere I have a large plushie Cthulhu, a plushie World of Warcraft griffon and wyvern, a plush kitten, a plush frog, a reverse-blade katana, and the remnants of the shirt that says “Blissfully Unaware of My Surroundings.”

    Work shelf has a mini-Cthulhu plushie, textbooks, certifications, quotes, art, many random geeky pictures, a red panda picture, my HRC sticker, calendar, ribbons, badges, food, candy, and the letter from Brian Jacques.

  156. 156
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I just heard on the news that there is a trial in Indonesia where a 14-year-old Australian is accused of drug possession – for 3.6 grams of marijuana. He is facing up to 12 years in prison (on the news, they said 14, but the article I found says 12).
    WTH?! (link to the relevant article)

  157. 157
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    @ ragutis #103
    Anyway, he was writing Hitchhiker’s on the side and bits and bobs of each crept into the other. In Destiny of the Daleks, the Doctor is seen reading a book by Oolon Colluphid. (Sadly, not one of the God trilogy) And IIRC, Life, the Universe, and Everything was based on a rejected DW script.

    I think you might be thinking of the Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency book which was based partly on an unfinished Dr Who episode he wrote called Shada which never got finished because of industrial action of similar, and partly on the City of Death one that did get shown.
    The filming on Shada did get started and footage from it was briefly used in The Five Doctors during the scooping of the 4th Doctor (Tom Baker)

    Er… yes. I’ve been watching Doctor Who for a while now… And the effects are a lot better than they used to be. But while a lot of it has updated, they’ve kept the core of the show remarkably intact.

  158. 158
    Ing

    Oddly for the last part of season 6 of Doctor Who I thought the old format of serialization would have served many of the stories better than the modern faster pacing. (Let’s Kill Hitler and Night Terrors)

  159. 159
    pelamun

    Birger

    yes, “girlfriend” can be ambiguous, unlike “boyfriend”. I don’t want to speculate too much why, but in gendered languages generally the default is masculine, i.e. a friend would be a male friend, whereas a friend-IN would be female. English has lost these distinctions, so I’d first want to look at historical data first to be sure.

    BTW, in German, the ambiguity can exist for both “Freund” and “Freundin”, they can refer to friends or s.o., which can lead to some ambiguous situation, where you will use a construction akin to “a friend of mine” instead of “my friend” in order to avoid the impression that the friend in question was your s.o.

    Are there similar problems with Scandinavian languages? My Swedish dictionary seems to suggest that “vän” can mean boyfriend or friend, but not girlfriend, for which “flickvän” has to be used. Although to make matters clear, words like “pojkvän” seem to be available, unlike in German. (I like the Spanish solution to undergo a semantic change of the word for “fiance/ee”)

    Beatrice

    This is a little bit complicated.

    1. Drug laws are notoriously draconian in Indonesia (and all over SE Asia, as well as Taiwan and China), and prosecution of drug offenders is the priority of their president’s own War on Drugs. This is one area where bribes in the judicial system will not get you anywhere.

    2. Bali is part of Indonesia, which some Australians tend to forget. If you vacation there, you need to be careful about these laws. Some foreign tourists seem to buy drugs only from other foreigners for this reason, but foreign drug dealers tend to “ganti kepala”, i.e. turn in as many others as possible when caught in order to escape the death penalty. So it remains risky.

    3. That said, 1-3 g of marihuana usually only leads to a prison sentence of several months, and in the case of juveniles, they might even avoid jail time altogether.

    4. However, as I learnt when I was spending five months in Australia 15 years ago, Indonesians are very sensitive about what Australian politicians say about them. They dislike how the Australian govt has been disparaging (in the Indonesian perception) their country publicly, and the statements made by Australian politicians in this case could lead to the boy actually having to serve jail time, out of spite.

    Here’s an analysis about that: http://oigs.indonesiamatters.com/211-bali-drugs-and-refugees/

  160. 160
    Moggie

    Janine:

    That said, I can understand why Oscar falls for her, even though Eli is probably one of the worse things that could happen to him.

    Except for (avoiding spoilers) that one awesome scene where he’d have been properly screwed without her. I haven’t seen the American remake, because, you know, American remakes, but word is that it’s a lot better than you’d normally expect

  161. 161
    Moggie

    KG:

    Interesting turn of events in the Occupy LSX story in London. The C. of E. is scrabbling about for a coherent response to an actual confrontation between the powers of the world and the (relatively) poor taking place literally* at its own doors.

    Could the CofE, uncharacteristically, snatch victory from the jaws of defeat? So far, their floundering has shown how utterly useless they are. This protest should have been an open goal for an organisation which claims moral leadership; instead, it’s been clear that they just plain don’t know what to do, other than try to keep all that juicy mammon flowing into the cathedral’s coffers.

  162. 162
    pelamun

    The Anglican bishop in charge of St. Paul’s has been portrayed on some atheist blogs as plain greedy, but does anyone know what’s really going on here? (It might very well be true)

  163. 163
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Except for (avoiding spoilers) that one awesome scene where he’d have been properly screwed without her. I haven’t seen the American remake, because, you know, American remakes, but word is that it’s a lot better than you’d normally expect

    Well, Eli was indirectly responsible for Oscar being in that situation. She insisted that Oscar hit back, hard.

    And, yeah, that scene. It stays with you.

  164. 164
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Hoookay… I just read the most absolutely bugfuck insane thing ever XD

    “A New Life” at John Richards’ site, linked from an ad that looked like animals going two-by-two into a sperm spaceship… was indeed insane, but awesomely ridiculous. Apparently the Bible (or at least two chapters in the Bible) are describing the following: Genesis Creation Myth – conception, Daniel’s Dream – the human nervous system.

    And apparently America is the land of the free and where God’s spirit has landed because it vaguely looks like an eagle or the lungs and Europe / Africa looks like a head and a brain. o.O

  165. 165
    David Marjanović, OM

    Teh b0rked link: http://freethoughtblogs.com/assassin/2011/11/01/anonymous-takes-on-mexican-cartels-and-takes-down-pedophiles/

    Have to go. Will change planes in Salt Lake City. :-)

  166. 166
    Pteryxx

    Once again, Cracked for our edification:

    http://www.cracked.com/article_19468_5-logical-fallacies-that-make-you-wrong-more-than-you-think.html

  167. 167
    A. R

    rorschach: Most cases (>90%)of Influenza-like illness in the US and Europe are caused by Influenza virus or a Coronavirus (sometimes Adenoviruses). Some may also be caused by a variety of bacteria and even fungi.

  168. 168
    cicely

    5 Logical Fallacies That Make You Wrong More Than You Think.
    -

    “I don’t know, boys, I think it’s fair to say we’ll all get over the midterm without the need for therapy… Bad test though it was. Mugging by Ancient Greek, perhaps. Fraud by potential optatives. Assault with a deadly participle.”

    I like it!
    :)
    -

    Sleeping in your moving car is bad enough without the extra stuff.

    Once upon his early twenties, The Husband commuted 6 or sometimes 7 times a week to the town forty miles from home, where he worked two jobs while going to college. Unsurprisingly, he tended to drive home on autopilot, yea, verily, even over the stretch of highway where there was a cross-over because a bridge was being repaired. One fine night, he was napping home from work when he was abruptly (one might even say, rudely) awakened by the knowledge that he had just embarked upon a cross-over that no longer existed, inasmuch as the crews had that very day finished the repairs and broken up the cross-over. He somehow was able to fight his car back up and over the broken concrete chunks (formerly the cross-over pavement) in time to avoid going through the open space between east-bound and west-bound lanes (and into the creek below).

    Needless to say, he was wide awake for the remainder of that trip.
    -

  169. 169
    Dhorvath, OM

    Janine,
    As if indeed. That is bullshittery of the highest order, constructed solely to allow a continued hatred.
    ___

    It was Hallowe’en, and our son wanted nothing more than to be a spinosaurus named Rudy. So a green dinosaur (I suspect some dragon dna was involved) costume with tail and spinal crests was donned. With a bicycle helmet on his head. Covered with a red lobster stuffy. Pictures were attempted, but none did justice to the crustacean headed theropod of Colwood. I have dubbed it Rudy, because any other name was summarily dismissed by the creature in question.
    He was a hit, one house must have half filled his bag with treats. Fun times for all, followed by video games and more codeine. I love Hallowe’en. Sadly, it appears to be dying out, we had half as many kids as last year and that was down from the prior year as well.
    ___

    A3KrOn,
    But did you do the hip swing getting back out?
    ___

    Classical Cipher,
    Ugh. Oh, but your response was very good.
    ___

    Birger Johansson,

    is not the English use of “girlfriend” ambigous in some contexts? It is one of those linguistic minefields a non-english speaker needs to be aware of (like who is allowed to use the n word).

    I ran into that hard once. My wife referred to her friend, (I knew this person hardly at all) as a girlfriend, and one of our mutual friends, also a woman, took exception. I was not terribly eloquent and stuffed my foot well into my mouth in trying to say that she wasn’t my girlfriend and so the term wasn’t really a great fit. Sometimes silent reflection would be better. I still find the word troublesome.

  170. 170
    RichardAustin

    cicely:

    Once upon his early twenties, The Husband commuted 6 or sometimes 7 times a week to the town forty miles from home, where he worked two jobs while going to college. Unsurprisingly, he tended to drive home on autopilot…

    Yeah, I did that for a while. Two 30+ hour a week jobs plus 18 units. I’d get up go to school, then one job, then (sometimes) the other, then hit the coffee house in West Hollywood after and be out until 2 or 3, then be up at 6 and do it all over. Oh, and I typically pulled 10-hour shifts on the weekends.

    Many were the nights when I’d get on the freeway in Hollywood, then get off the freeway near home, and have zero recollection of the 30 miles between.

    I don’t do that any more. I could if I had to, and I’ve come close working two jobs here recently, but mainly there isn’t a hangout I like enough to stay until 2:30 am.

  171. 171
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Sadly, it appears to be dying out, we had half as many kids as last year and that was down from the prior year as well.

    Sadly it seems to be dying off here too. The number of houses in the area that decorate for halloween is becoming smaller and smaller each year.

    My theory, at least in this town, is that the youth culture out here ruined it. Quite frankly, any nice Halloween decorations are going to get stolen and/or smashed.

    I was testing out my new knife at the river yesterday (it worked great btw) and on my way home, I saw about five people in costume. They were all adults.

  172. 172
    cicely

    A slang term created by metathesis would be quite plausible, so I think broke -> borke looks better than on first glance.

    Like “teh”. “Teh link is borken”. From there to “teh link is borked”, to go with the ususal -ed ending for past tense in English, is just one small step, whether for Man or LolCat. And Tpyos claims his own.
    -

    rugose corals

    Doesn’t count unless they are squamous, as well. ;)
    -
    *hug* and *left-over Halloween candy* for Katherine Lorraine. Dreams can suck really hard; after all, they hijack your brainz, which have access to all your private hopes/fears. Which is cheating, just as surely as if they’d written the answers on the palm(s) of its(their) hands.
    -
    Minnie! *hug* and *left-over Halloween candy*

    (Can anyone guess who bought ‘way-lotsa Halloween candy this year?)
    -
    On my (work) desk I have a little black-and-silver Cthulhu chibi, sitting on the little notebook wherein I jot down ideas for Ugly/Humorous Things To Do To Player Characters, which in turn sits on an old-style Gameboy.

    On my (home) desk I have a set of 3 plastic Erlenmeyer flasks, a stack of books, a stack of printed sheets of what can best be describe as stuff, a balloon octopus (made for me by a friend, and steadily deflating), a little black statuette of Bast, a disorganised mess of post-its (various sizes and colors) whereon I have jotted down ideas for Ugly/Humorous Things To Do To Player Characters, and another disorganised mess of post-its (v s & c) with ideas for projects.

    The plush Cthulhu collection lurks on a shelf over the bed, waiting until The Stars Are Right.
    -

  173. 173
    RichardAustin

    The plush Cthulhu collection lurks on a shelf over the bed, waiting until The Stars Are Right.

    That is not dead which is eternal stuffed,
    And with long aeons even Old Gods get fluffed.

  174. 174
    Inaji

    Mister is on his way home with a little female rat to keep Chas company. This oughta be interesting. Her name is going to be Esme. Heh.

  175. 175
    Dhorvath, OM

    Caine, I am excited for Chas and Esme. May they be good friends.

  176. 176
    Ingdigo Jump

    Oh shoot! I just realized that due to a recent change in SO and I’s housing we could actually get a rodent now!

    SO has wanted one.

  177. 177
    Monado, FCD

    All that stuff around your work area is called your geekosphere.

    I think that “borked” caught on because it sounds like “fucked.”

    Cicely, that was very scary for Husbeast! I’m glad he wasn’t hurt.

    Katherine Lorraine, hurray for kittens waking you up out of a Not Real dream.

    David M., I would so love to have a geologist on my road trips, even once. I’m envious of Mattir.

  178. 178
    Sili

    Sinfest returns to the subject of feminism.

    It backfires, since in my opinion ‘Nique just turned hella hot.

  179. 179
    Inaji

    Dhorvath:

    Caine, I am excited for Chas and Esme. May they be good friends.

    Thank you, Dhorvath. Here’s hoping! :) KT didn’t have any male Dumbos except for two hairless, and I just wasn’t sure how Chas would take that, so the girl it shall be. I’m all excited, I’ve wanted girls for ages.

    Ing:

    I just realized that due to a recent change in SO and I’s housing we could actually get a rodent now!

    SO has wanted one.

    Excitement! Being able to do something like that feels wonderful.

  180. 180
    Monado, FCD

    Good luck with introducing the new rattie. Does this mean that babies will soon be on the way?

  181. 181
    Sili

    I think that “borked” caught on because it sounds like “fucked.”

    Huh?

    David M., I would so love to have a geologist on my road trips, even once. I’m envious of Mattir.

    Then you should try looking at dinosaurs with the resident palaeontologist.

  182. 182
    Inaji

    Monado:

    Good luck with introducing the new rattie. Does this mean that babies will soon be on the way?

    Thanks. Oh, I doubt it. We’ll have her in to be spayed next week.

  183. 183
    cicely

    That is not dead which is eternal stuffed,
    And with long aeons even Old Gods get fluffed.

    :D :D :D

    Though I might rearrange and revise it a bit:

    That is not dead which is eternal fluffed,
    And with long aeons, even Cthulhu’s stuffed.

    Though that’s just me. And I’ve never claimed to have poetic talent. Or refined tastes. Poetic or otherwise.
    :)
    -

  184. 184
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Good evening

    I’m not sure if this is due to that pressure or just the general perversity of human nature, but immigrants I’ve met in Germany seem more stereotypically German than the multi-generation Germans: you can eat off the floor-of the bathroom-in the average Indian restaurant, Turkish immigrants complain about how late and sloppy Germans are, an Italian grumbling about all the immigrants messing up the place (apparently without the least bit of irony)…

    Ah, now you know why we hate immigrants ;)
    No, but you see, those Indians might still wear a Sari and the Turkish immigrants might still refuse to eat Haxn at the Oktoberfest. They are visibly different!
    Today I had a short dialogue with Mr that perfectly demonstrates the problem with Germans and their imigrants.
    He told me that they were going to get a new colleague at the lab. He hasn’t met her yet, but another colleague informed him that she was a Turkish woman.
    Thing is, she was probably born in that very city and so were her parents.
    There’s the third generation of Turkish immigrants growing up here and people still act as if those kids were guests who belong in a tiny village in Anatolia where they spent less time than in the local supermarket.

    shelves
    Well, there’s the entire Kinderegg LotR collection.
    And a Swarowski Eeyeore…

  185. 185
    Weed(less) Monkey

    I’m gonna eat myself some fetuses or babies or whatever.

  186. 186
    Monado, FCD

    Sili, you’re right; I should have said palaeontologist because what I want to see is fossils.

    I don’t mean that “borked” and “fucked” rhyme; but they both lend themselves to being pronounced with emphasis.

    Introduced pet pythons in the Florida Everglades = very bad for native wildlife.

    Meanwhile, PZ might soon have a “snake heart“!

  187. 187
    Juice

    If you had told me that the short movie was made by David Lynch, I would have believed you.

  188. 188
    Anne C. Hanna

    Hm, my post seems to have been eaten. Not sure if it was held for moderation because of the link, or what. Short version is, I just ran across something interesting today which others might also appreciate. Specifically, look up Larry Keith Robison and compare and contrast with Dennis Markuze.

    Sorry if this has been mentioned here before and I missed it.

  189. 189
    Moggie

    Juice:

    If you had told me that the short movie was made by David Lynch, I would have believed you.

    I’d have said the Brothers Quay, or Jan Švankmajer.

    Caine, we will expect a full report, with pictures! Let’s hope they get on with each other.

  190. 190
    Inaji

    Oh my gods, she’s tiny! Chas looks like Godzilla next to her. Esme looks like a teeny tiny Mink. Pics soon.

  191. 191
    Therrin

    Just finished Firefly (series and movie) based on recommendations here, it was at least ten times better than expected. Wish there had been more scenes on how River views the world (like the autumn in the cargo bay). I’ll have to try Buffy next, at the time it aired I had the impression it was just another angsty-teen-coming-of-age story (don’t think I ever actually watched a full episode).

  192. 192
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Esme looks like a teeny tiny Mink.

    Here’s hoping she doesn’t have the typical personality of that critter.

  193. 193
    Sili

    Okay, who were the Occupy Wallstreet fuckers on Colbert?

    I don’t think I’ve seen anyone make the movement look so stupid before. They come across as a complete nutters.

  194. 194
    feralboy12

    Jemelle Hill at ESPN has published an article chiding NFL players for mocking the prayerful pose that football player Tim Tebow adopts after a big play and therebydisrespecting his faith. I put in my two cents (I mentioned that his faith teaches that people like us deserve to burn in hell, and asked why anyone needed to respect that).
    If anyone else has an ESPN account and wants to chime in, there’s the link.
    Fuck. That crap really pisses me off.

  195. 195
    Inaji

    Esme (shots 17 – 22).

  196. 196
    Inaji

    Nerd:

    Here’s hoping she doesn’t have the typical personality of that critter.

    She’s sweet and more than a bit freaked at the moment. Given who I named her after though, I expect an attitude. A big one. :D

  197. 197
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Caine
    Cuuuuuuuuuuute Alarm
    She looks like I’d like to cuddle her tonight.

    Oh, and here’s the lesson for tonight:
    stepping into a sewing needle: ouch
    stepping into a felting needle: OUCH
    But my cloak is making progress

  198. 198
    Inaji

    Giliell:

    She looks like I’d like to cuddle her tonight.

    She’s all slippery and squirm at the moment. :D My empathy on the needles. That seemed to be all I could do with one last night, stick myself.

  199. 199
    RichardAustin

    cicely:

    :D :D :D

    Though I might rearrange and revise it a bit:

    That is not dead which is eternal fluffed,
    And with long aeons, even Cthulhu’s stuffed.

    Though that’s just me. And I’ve never claimed to have poetic talent. Or refined tastes. Poetic or otherwise.
    :)

    Whatever works for you. Your rhyming scheme is closer to the original, and I thought about something similar. I spent more time trying to find a usable rhyme for “plush”, though, and that didn’t work out.

    It’s the thought that counts, right?

  200. 200
    Dhorvath, OM

    Giliell,
    I squirmed. My feet are so not amenable to accidents.
    ___

    Caine,
    Wow, they are really different in size, eh? Will she grow?

  201. 201
    Inaji

    Dhorvath:

    Wow, they are really different in size, eh? Will she grow?

    Oh yes, she’s a baby. The baby just discovered Chas’s stash of dogfood in the vacuum cleaner box…he’s not overly impressed.

  202. 202
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Caine: OOOH, Congratulations! Esme is adorable. How is Chas reacting to the new arrival?

  203. 203
    Sili

    Jemelle Hill at ESPN has published an article chiding NFL players for mocking the prayerful pose that football player Tim Tebow adopts after a big play and therebydisrespecting his faith.

    “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”

  204. 204
    Sili

    Can’t seem to access to the cute pictures …

    Pity.

    I’ll have to settle for my nearly finished commission. Well … I think it’s cute …

  205. 205
    Inaji

    TLC:

    OOOH, Congratulations! Esme is adorable. How is Chas reacting to the new arrival?

    Thank you! Chas is handling it well, he wants to groom her something fierce, but he’s being pretty gentle. And his nose is a bit out of joint too. They’ll be fine. :D

  206. 206
    pelamun

    Caine,

    indeed, the pictures are very cute. A friend of mine used to have a pet rat, it was cute too.

  207. 207
    Inaji

    Thanks, Pelamun. :)

  208. 208
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Caine:

    Cuteness overload.

    —–

    Wife and I finally bit the bullet and decided that the cost of keeping our aging minivan operational (and legal — annual inspection coming due), which would include new front brakes, three new arm ends, a new exhaust system, and three new tyres (just what we know about). So we traded it in and now drive a Ford Taurus — far better fuel mileage, more comfortable, and in fantastic condition.

  209. 209
    opposablethumbs

    Hope Chas and Esme get to be good pals (and reach an understanding about the stash of dogfood :-) )

  210. 210
    Sili

    Have I mentioned lately that I love Japan?

  211. 211
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    So we traded it in and now drive a Ford Taurus — far better fuel mileage, more comfortable, and in fantastic condition.

    Ah, but you will never hit 20 years and drive it to the junk-yard doing that (I missed by 6 months).

  212. 212
    The Sailor

    Caine, I’m not given to squeeing, but ***squeee***.

  213. 213
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Ah, but you will never hit 20 years and drive it to the junk-yard doing that (I missed by 6 months).

    True. But I’ve never been big on older vehicles. At least, not since my Microbus. I spent more time underneath her back end . . . .

  214. 214
    Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan

    Hmm no desk at work.

    Desk at home has (on top of old-fashioned computer monitor) a bush baby plush that also chitters and purrs when you squeeze it, a baby snow leopard plushie, and the little stuffed brown-and-white husky I’ve had since third grade. The latter’s nose was chewed off when one of our long-deceased beagles got ahold of him, though I caught her before she could detach the bone from his mouth. My latest addition, a wolf, used to hold court atop a pile of junk to the left side of the monitor. She’s now vegging out on my bathrobe.

    Atop a tall set for drawers there sits a teddy bear, a gargoyle statue, a posable dragonfly, a horned owl figurine, and two dragon statues I’ve had since college. All these have a perfect view of my bed, presumably the gargoyle enjoys chasing away nightmares that threaten to plague my sleep.
    ———————————————-

    Janin: I’ve never seen Let the Right One In although I have both the book and the movie saved to my Amazon Wishlist. Read a brief description of the plot, liked it. I suppose I should do what I did a few years ago and download the movie to decide if I actually would want the DVD. At the same time, feh, I know I can always sell it or give it to someone else if I don’t like it.

  215. 215
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis, The Sailor & Opposablethumbs, thanks. :) I expect they’ll reach an accord, especially when Esme figures out she can steal her own dogfood.

  216. 216
    pelamun

    Argh, I should stop having online discussions with German theists. Much more slippery than their American counterparts.

    Etsi Deus non daretur

    So he basically is totally fine with it that God’s existence can’t be scientifically proven. What can I say…

  217. 217
    Sili

    Desk at work?!

    You lucky sods!

    I’m working out of my pigeonhole.

  218. 218
    The Sailor

    Ann Coulter IRT Herman Cain: ““That’s why our blacks are so much better than their blacks,””

    WTF!? This woman needs a porcupine, stat!

  219. 219
    Sili

    Well, our Jews are better than their Jews as well.

    Not to speak of our crazy, Nazi scientists. Soooo much better than their crazy, Nazi scientists.

  220. 220
    myeck waters

    Caine, Esme looks adorable. Thanks for sharing the photos.

  221. 221
    Inaji

    Did the 20 minutes with Esme, it helped. She just made her first try at thieving, I’m so proud. She’s doing well.

  222. 222
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Caine:

    Wait. You’re teaching your baby to steal?

  223. 223
    Inaji

    Myeck:

    Thanks for sharing the photos.

    Thanks for looking. :)

  224. 224
    Ing

    Ancient right wing nuts try to kill politicians with gas and guns

    The affidavits don’t identify the “known militia organization” of which FBI agents say the men are a part. But according to the documents, they talked about spreading ricin across several cities at once, including Washington, Atlanta, New Orleans and Jacksonville, Florida. And during an April meeting at his home, Thomas told participants he had a “bucket list” of politicians, government officials, corporate leaders and media figures he said should be targeted to “make the country right again.”

    WHY!? We don’t fucking tip toe around naming Al Queda? Why are they not naming names!?

  225. 225
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis:

    Wait. You’re teaching your baby to steal?

    No, I’m not teaching her, it’s a natural talent. Some rats are outstanding thieves. No one has outdone Ash on that front, who would steal rings off my fingers and anything out of Mister’s pockets.

  226. 226
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    No, I’m not teaching her, it’s a natural talent.

    Oh. Okay. Encourage away.

  227. 227
    Cipher

    Unhappy kitty.
    Just heard there’s a self-diagnosed Aspie on Glee, who is heavily implied and understood to be “just saying that as an excuse.”
    I understand that such people exist.
    That doesn’t mean that, when so many of us are undiagnosed and such ignorance is rampant about it, we need to put them on hugely popular television shows.
    Fucking hell.

  228. 228
    pelamun

    Is this any good?

    JOURNEY TO THE STARS
    narrated by Whoopi Goldberg

  229. 229
    Inaji

    Esme says: Ladders! How in the fuck do they work?

  230. 230
    Carlie

    Caine- glad she’s settling in well. :)

    CC – I liked Glee for about the first half of the first season, and then it started to go downhill faster than, um,… ok, faster than a show tanking really fast. Every time I’ve seen it in the news in the last year it’s been something that I’ve gone “wow, I’m so glad I quit watching that shit” to, this included.

  231. 231
    pelamun

    OK,

    now he has trotted out the imaginary numbers argument. If you can “believe” in the square root of -4, then why not god, or sth like that.

    To which I’d like to say

    - mathematics is an abstract system, with no direct relationship to the real world.
    - the actual use of imaginary numbers is quite limited, modelling that refers to real world entities always uses real numbers (now I know from Wiki that AC voltage calculations often make use of imaginary numbers, but the values they refer to are all real number values).

    Did I get anything wrong? Any other good argument to debunk this?

    Thx

  232. 232
    pelamun

    If you really want to see Catholic homophobia in action in Germany, have a look at this, allegedly “Europe’s biggest Catholic portal”

    http://www.kreuz.net/article.12495.html

    Excuse me while I go throw up…

  233. 233
    First Approximation

    Any other good argument to debunk this?

    You can form complex numbers by just looking an ordered pair of real numbers (i.e, (a,b) with a,b ∈R)

    Define addition as:

    (a,b) + (c,d) = (a+c,b+d)

    Define multiplication as:

    (a,b)(c,d) = (ac-bd, bc + ad)

    You can verify that (1,0) acts as the multiplicative identity. You can also verify that set of numbers of the form (a,0) act like the real numbers (closed under addition, multiplication, etc.). Finally, using the definition of multiplication, you see that (0,1)(0,1) = (0-1,0+0)= (-1,0).

    Now, identify every ordered pair (a,b)= a(0,1) + b(0,1) as a + bi. Ta da. That’s it. Fuck, it’s much simpler than the construction of the real numbers themselves. All you did was take an ordered pair of real numbers, used multiplication and addition. Nothing magical. The “imaginary” numbers thing reflects an earlier period when people weren’t thinking about things properly. Just like the real numbers are numbers on a line, complex numbers are numbers on the plane. A professor of mine actually wanted to call them ‘plane numbers’ and do away totally with this ‘imaginary’ misnomer thing.

  234. 234
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    PZ, Shiloh is still trolling The Strength of Dawkins thread over on SB. He just can’t give up his NDE book being evidence for the soul, despite being presented with recent scientific evidence refuting the book. I don’t think he will give up until the banhammer hits, as he has been repeating himself for over a month now.

  235. 235
    pelamun

    First Approximation,

    thx. So people are just hung up on the name. OK.

  236. 236
    pelamun

    First Approximation,

    but what about square roots of negative numbers? Is there any real world application for that. I must confess, this is how I learnt about imaginary numbers in school too…

  237. 237
    First Approximation

    Some additional comments to 237:

    - that isn’t the only way to construct the complex numbers, but it’s one that’s very simple and straight-forward. It has the disadvantage of seeming somewhat arbitrary (i.e, the definition of multiplication). See here for other methods.

    - Numbers on a line, numbers on a plane, why not numbers in three dimensional space?! Doesn’t work, unfortunately. I won’t get into the details as to why. However, if you do what we did with an ordered pair of real numbers, but instead take an ordered pair of complex numbers you can get 4 dimensional numbers. They’re called quaternions and were discovered by William Rowan Hamilton. After his eureka moment he engaged in what John Baez calls “a famous act of mathematical vandalism” and carved the equations for quaternions on Broom Bridge. Quaternions famously do not commute. That is, a*b does not necessarily equal b*a. This was revolutionary at the time.

    - You don’t have to stop there. You can take ordered pairs of quaternions, do the same song and dance, and get the octonions. They’re even uglier that the quaternions (doesn’t even follow what’s called associativity) and people usually just stop here (with some good reasons, since only the first four (reals, complex, quaternions, and octonions) contain some important properties that you want). However, you can technically keep going, with each time doubling in the number of dimensions.
    _ _ _

    mathematics is an abstract system, with no direct relationship to the real world.

    Well, mathematics doesn’t necessarily have to have a direct relationship, but it often serves as a good description of the real word. It’s a big fuckin’ mystery why this is and no one has the faintest idea why.

    However, ‘don’t know, therefore God’ is just as bad reasoning as ‘don’t know, therefore Odin’ or ‘don’t know, therefore flying spaghetti monster’.

    - the actual use of imaginary numbers is quite limited, modelling that refers to real world entities always uses real numbers (now I know from Wiki that AC voltage calculations often make use of imaginary numbers, but the values they refer to are all real number values).

    Complex numbers have far more applications than just that. Quantum mechanics, for example, uses them extensively. Anyway, since a complex number is just an ordered pair of real numbers it’s no surprise that real numbers are what’s referred to.

  238. 238
    pelamun

    Thx for the additional explanations!

    It’s a big fuckin’ mystery why this is and no one has the faintest idea why.

    And this I find a 1000x more fascinating than the question whether there is an imaginary sky fairy waiting in an equally imaginary heaven…

  239. 239
    First Approximation

    thx. So people are just hung up on the name. OK.

    Yeah, I’ve seen that before. It’s just a big misnomer. Some people just look at the name ‘imaginary’, the strangeness of the square roots of negative numbers and don’t investigate further.

    It’s almost as sad as the big internet debates as to whether 0.9999999….=1.

    but what about square roots of negative numbers? Is there any real world application for that. I must confess, this is how I learnt about imaginary numbers in school too…

    There’s a full list here. Complex numbers have some nice properties that the reals lack.

  240. 240
    SallyStrange

    Hey guys, I’m home! Just toked up, chilling, going to bed soon. Occupy Wall Street was awesome. The NYC Halloween parade was not so great. First, we got stuck next to the “Thriller” float while they rehearsed. It was cool the first time, watching the zombies strut their stuff. The fifth and sixth times, not so much, especially since the Chinese Dragon drummers had started practicing by then, as well as a samba percussion group. We’re such a small and rag-tag group, we could barely hear ourselves play to tune. Then, during the parade, the people behind us kept crowding us and yelling at us to go faster. At one point, their line of people was surrounding our small group in a semi-circle on either side of us. But, all in all, good times were had, free Ben and Jerry’s was eaten, drinks were drunk amongst old friends and new, and all is well with the world. Snow on green leaves left the city looking unearthly beautiful–perfect for Halloween.

    I checked into the Embarassment/Feminism thread and guess who I saw? My old pal crissakentavr. That troll is like the old critic in Ratatoille, only without the intelligence and good taste.

  241. 241
    cicely

    Caine, I’m sure young Esme will be a credit to her native talents.
    :)
    -

  242. 242
    SallyStrange

    …Catching up…

    Those are some cute rats.

  243. 243
    Walton

    *ahem*

    I just came in to announce that I got something wrong on the last thread. Apparently it is, in fact, the case that the Prince of Wales must signify his consent before certain Bills may be passed by either House of Parliament. According to Hansard from April 30, 1996, the Prime Minister, in response to a written parliamentary question, advised the House of Commons that:

    Bills whose provisions affect the hereditary revenues, personal property or interests of the Duchy of Cornwall require the consent of the Prince of Wales to be signified in both Houses before they are passed. The same would apply to any Bill which affected the interest of the Prince of Wales in his capacity as Prince and Steward of Scotland.

    The same is apparently true of anything which affects any of his prerogatives as Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall or Prince and Great Steward of Scotland; so, for example, his consent was required to the House of Lords Act 1999, which removed his automatic right as a peer to sit in the House of Lords.

    This is an unwritten prerogative power, and is extremely obscure, hence why I’d never even heard of it until the Guardian’s recent obsession. (And I speak as someone who has spent plenty of time studying constitutional law and who is unhealthily obsessed with trivia about royalty, so the fact that I’d never heard of it is testament to its obscurity.)

    Now I will bow out of the thread and will, in deference to others’ wishes, say nothing more on the subject of monarchy. I just felt I should correct my own error in this regard, rather than letting wrong information stand.

  244. 244
    Amblebury

    Catching up – squee! Bebe ratling!

    Here’s what Father Christmas could be bringing, if you’re a very good boy, Walton.

    Please work, oh link.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/oddstuff/5894581/Queen-Victorias-underwear-sold-for-18-800

    Just a gentle tease, honest.

  245. 245
    Amblebury

    Oh hilarity, I see you were posting at the same time.

  246. 246
    pelamun

    Walton,

    good for you.

    I don’t want to add anything to the fire except

    This is an unwritten prerogative power, and is extremely obscure, hence why I’d never even heard of it until the Guardian’s recent obsession.

    The Guardian didn’t follow its obsession, but did its civic duty, just as it did regarding Murdoch. (I’m not comparing the two cases, just saying it’s helluva newspaper.)

    英国卫报万岁!

  247. 247
    A. R

    Sally: I’ve heard all of the news reports etc. about OWS, but I’ve never actually had the opportunity to go there,l and thus know precious little of what actually goes on there on a daily basis. How does it compare to the other Occupations (excepting the egregious Police violence at Oakland) in terms of general mood and routine?

  248. 248
    chigau (違う)

    testing

  249. 249
    Weed(less) Monkey

    This is an unwritten prerogative power, and is extremely obscure, hence why I’d never even heard of it until the Guardian’s recent obsession.

    Oh, please, just fuck you.

  250. 250
    Aratina Cage

    Squeee! @ Caine’s photos of Esme


    I don’t remember saying this: “He [Aratina] told me [Justicar] that after all PZ’s done for me, I should be grateful and on PZ’s side.

    I don’t remember saying that, and I can’t find where I said it if I did. And Justicar is currently censoring the exact quote and withholding the link to it, both of which he could easily give me so I could verify that I actually said that. The closest thing I can find is a comment where I said PZ was gracious for retweeting something Justicar tweeted, but that is not what Justicar is claiming I said. I really don’t think I said what Justicar says I said, but if anyone knows of a quote of mine where I did say that, could you please let me know about it? Thanks.

  251. 251
    Ray, rude-ass yankee

    Caine, congratulations on the new fur person. So, Soooo cute!

    Welcome to pharyngula, Esme.

  252. 252
    Weed(less) Monkey

    My condolences for Alfie.

    Esme is just too cute. :)

  253. 253
  254. 254
    chigau (違う)

    Caine
    Esme is adorable.
    On a pedantic note, I don’t think that what the rats do is “stealing”.
    Just because you have the notion that any of that stuff belong you, doesn’t mean that your roomates agree.

  255. 255
  256. 256
  257. 257
    SallyStrange

    OWS is chaotic and organized at the same time. It was smaller than I expected. The park is mostly stone. It’s incredibly crowded. I totally understand why people hate the drummers. The site is surrounded by skyscrapers built of stone and concrete so the noise echoes and echoes. Then there’s the traffic. At both ends, tourists pass by and snap photos. People are out with tables, getting signatures to end fracking or giving out socialist newspapers. There’s a library corner and a food station in the center. General assemblies happen at the steps at the bottom (downhill, not sure of cardinal direction) end of the park on a regular basis. Lots of cops, obviously. People hanging out, a couple were sleeping. Signs everywhere proclaiming the OWS “good neighbors” policy giving phone numbers and emails addresses in case of complaints. Some protesters look really raggedly, others not so much. Wide mix of ages, more white than it should be in NYC but still pretty diverse. In general, things seemed quite chill. After the stupid drummers finally shut up, a small jazz band at the other end of the park started up. Stand-up bass, clarinet, trumpet, an older white lady with a frame drum and steel brushes, and a singer, a young dark-skinned black man sitting on a chair perched on a stone table, in his fuzzy slippers, smoking a cigarette and singing a gorgeous version of “Witchcraft.” Cameras everywhere.

  258. 258
    chigau (違う)

    nighty-night
    I really hate my new netbook.

  259. 259
    SallyStrange

    Oh yeah, and somehow I missed the fact that Zucotti park is right next to the Twin Towers site. So you can see the new memorial tower going up, right over your head. The whole scene is really quite odd. A collection of extreme opposites, juxtaposed.

  260. 260
    A. R

    Thanks Sally, great description!

  261. 261
    Cipher

    Occupy Tulsa eviction tonight.
    Apparently, SWAT teams are underway. Why? No one knows.
    I can’t watch another one of these. I can’t bear it.
    Goodnight, everybody.

  262. 262
    Cipher

    Why’d I say “underway” instead of “on their way”? Again, no one knows, but I suspect no one cares in this case :)
    Well, goodnight again.

  263. 263
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Good morning

    pelamun
    Wow, that site is almost poesque.
    Part of their writing at least borders on libel.
    It’s also noteworthy that they consistently use Nazi terminology of “entartet”, which tells us who’s child they are.
    Apart from that, know a lawyer who’d like to make some quick money?
    Their Impressum is not in accordance with German law, obviously if you’re speaking for god, you don’t need to obey it.

  264. 264
    First Approximation

    *dislike* *dislike* *dislike*

    Templeton Frontiers Program Established at Perimeter Institute

    The integrated program, supported by a $2 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, centres on three research areas which are key to major advances in our understanding of the universe: quantum foundations and information, foundational questions in cosmology, and the emergence of spacetime.

    Most people here probably know that the Templeton Foundation is the wealthy organization that tries to blur the line between religion and science. Many probably haven’t heard of the The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. It’s fairly new, in Waterloo, Ontario and has some pretty big names in physics connected to it (Stephen Hawking is taking a visiting position).

    I can easily see “foundational questions in cosmology, and the emergence of spacetime” being abused to enter religion into science. I really hope I’m overreacting, but it doesn’t help that the representative for the Templeton Foundation at the announcement, Hyung S. Choi, while having a Ph.D in physics also has a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary.

    Ughhh….

  265. 265
    First Approximation

    Looking at grants from the Templeton Foundation they also gave $10.5 million to Harvard for “Foundational Questions in Evolutionary Biology”, $8.8 million to MIT and University of California Santa Cruz for “Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology”.

    Also, $8.2 million for “Establishing an Institute for Research on Unlimited Love” (wtf?!). Apparently,

    the Institute’s aim is to significantly increase humanity’s understanding and knowledge of what is commonly called unconditional love. The Institute has held a competitive awards program for high-level scientific research, and it has convened several conferences to examine the science, theology, and praxis of “love for the other.”

    They also seem to be giving a lot of money to theological investigations.

  266. 266
    Inaji

    Thanks for the congarats, squees and Esme welcomes, everyone! Chigau @ 258, yes, that’s the rat attitude in a nutshell. Some of them are excellent thieves, er, appropriaters of goods though, and I have high hopes for Esme. Chas can’t be bothered with stealing much, unless it’s a jar of peanut butter (or nutella).

    Esme is still very much agog at her new space, which is absolutely vast and a bit overloaded sensation-wise. She adores having a window and has decided that Bush’s baked beans are very good indeed. She hasn’t adjusted to the ladders in the condo yet, but adores being on the ground level. Esme squeaks most dramatically when Chas pins her and grooms her, then chases him and leaps on him mercilessly.

    She is so young and so tiny and she was all alone at the store, which is unusual. I assume she didn’t make the cut for whatever characteristics the breeder was looking for, so she’s been alone in a strange place for a week. Still a tad frittered, but she’s adjusting very quickly. :D

  267. 267
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    *sigh*
    My day has just gone wahoonie-shaped.
    Daughter #1 vomited all across the living room and is in bed again.
    The little one is unhappy because that means that playgroup is cancelled and I am unhappy because it means that work is cancelled.
    So she had a reason to be a pain in the ass this morning. Problem is, since she’s always a pain in the ass in the morning, it was hard to tell the difference..

    Caine
    Is it easir with rats to have the female spayed?
    With rabbits it’s not only easier and safer to have the males castrated, it also makes them more “group minded”

    pelamun
    OK, looking some more at the site it becomes clear that this is the Westborough version of catholics. They think the pope to be a lefty traitor, unless he’s said something nasty, are AGW denialists and are the only true catholics (TM).

  268. 268
  269. 269
    tielserrath

    Esme is cuteness to the power of ten.

  270. 270
    drewl, Mental Toss Flycoon

    Cute critters you have there, Caine!

    Out in Mormon-land again visiting the family and others before my dad’s next surgery. Hopefully this will be it for a while. Saw some good music this week (classical, jazz and an old friend’s rock band) and it’s been giving me the urge to start playing classical bass again after 20 yrs — I got to mess around on one the other day, and remembered much more than I expected!

    Unfortunately, I learned that my old music director (who was a huge influence in my life growing up) has been slipping further into mental illness to the point of refusing all medical treatment for this AND cancer, and becoming paranoid to the extent of leaving her pets with the friend she was staying with and disappearing a couple months ago. This has happened before, apparently, but we’re all scared for her, and no one can find her. How do you find someone who doesn’t want to be found and who feels that everyone is plotting to destroy her? It’s heartbreaking.

    So to take my mind off it, tonight I desecrated the Gideon Bible in my hotel room with choice comments in permanent marker over relevant passages. Didn’t really help much…

  271. 271
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Good morning, had another depressing dream about not being who I want to be :(

    Esme is adorable, Caine! Congrats for getting the new ratter ^^

  272. 272
    Walton

    Oh, please, just fuck you.

    My apologies. I didn’t mean to cause any offence.

    (If the objection is to the word “obsession”, I obviously did not mean to insult OCD sufferers – seeing as I suffer from chronic OCD myself. But perhaps I could have chosen a better word.)

  273. 273
    Walton

    pelamun
    OK, looking some more at the site it becomes clear that this is the Westborough version of catholics. They think the pope to be a lefty traitor, unless he’s said something nasty, are AGW denialists and are the only true catholics (TM).

    The Society of St Pius X, perhaps?

  274. 274
    llewelly

    Alert: Atheism in books is trending down! We’d better bring back Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

  275. 275
    Birger Johansson

    P Z, can you please use your evil atheisty superpowers to deal with these wankers?

    U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: The Men Behind The War On Women http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/01/the-men-behind-the-war-on_n_1069406.html

  276. 276
    Birger Johansson

    “Also, $8.2 million for “Establishing an Institute for Research on Unlimited Love” (wtf?!).”

    In theory you could do research in neurology and figure out the neurological underpinnings for altruism, but remember, altruism also include such things as “altruistic punishment” (to keep norm violators in check).
    Unlimited love seems a tall order.
    Altruism & empathy coupled with a humanitarian value system is to unlimited love what the Somebody Else´s Problem Field is to invisibility. It gets the job done.

  277. 277
    pelamun

    kreuz.net

    Wow, it even has its own Wikipedia entry
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kreuz.net

    A Pius X bishop has said it’s not them. Though they’re happy someone holds up the traditional flag. The other German and Austrian bishops aren’t too happy though, both countries’ bishop conferences have distanced themselves.

    The website is out of bounds for the German law because it is hosted in the United States. Same strategy as many Neonazi sites really. Which is also why you won’t find any names..
    Apparently they’ve also denied the Holocaust, though I can’t find any details for now.

  278. 278
    pelamun

    Today’s Moment of European religious madness is

    The German Federal Government contributes 35m EUR to a campaign of the Lutheran Church to promote Martin Luther! Yikes.

    http://blasphemieblog2.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/dachmarkenkampagne-luther-2017-in-berlin-vorgestellt/

  279. 279
    pelamun

    oh, the Pius X bishop (I take it they only have one?) is Swiss, not German or Austrian.

  280. 280
    Walton

    oh, the Pius X bishop (I take it they only have one?) is Swiss, not German or Austrian.

    As I understand it, the group was founded by a rogue archbishop named Marcel Lefevre, but he’s dead now. However, he consecrated four other priests as bishops in 1988, against the wishes of the Vatican. (One of them, Richard Williamson, is a Brit who has made some rather nasty comments on the subject of the Holocaust.) They incurred automatic excommunication latae sententiae, and were condemned vocally by then-Pope John Paul II, but the excommunications were lifted in 2009 by the present Pope.

  281. 281
    Carlie

    Katherine – but then you wake up, and there you are. :)
    Sorry it’s going on so long – I had a spate of bad dreams last month for awhile in a row, and it gets so old and tiring. I hope they end soon.

  282. 282
    Walton

    Lefevre

    Lefebvre, sorry.

  283. 283
    pelamun

    OK, I checked. In 1988 the Pius X founder appointed 4 priests as bishops. This was one of the reasons for their schism, and even after reconciliation the Vatican has never recognised those 4 bishops, who include this Williamson guy who caused a ruckus in Germany and Sweden (maybe also the UK, I don’t know)

  284. 284
    pelamun

    Oh I see, Walton wrote the same thing.

  285. 285
    Nick Gotts

    This is an unwritten prerogative power, and is extremely obscure, hence why I’d never even heard of it until the Guardian’s recent obsession. (And I speak as someone who has spent plenty of time studying constitutional law and who is unhealthily obsessed with trivia about royalty, so the fact that I’d never heard of it is testament to its obscurity.) – walton

    Doesn’t the fact that you have ever heard of it – like just about everyone else – tell you something, Walton? This brazenly anti-democratic prerogative claimed by and conceded to Charles Windsor to protect his private interests has been kept very quiet indeed. It blows a huge hole in your defence of the British monarchy, which is no doubt why you absurdly characterise the Guardian‘s exposure of it as an “obsession”. Evidently you’d rather it had been kept secret.

  286. 286
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    She is so young and so tiny and she was all alone at the store, which is unusual. I assume she didn’t make the cut for whatever characteristics the breeder was looking for, so she’s been alone in a strange place for a week. Still a tad frittered, but she’s adjusting very quickly. :D

    Girl thinks that Esme (and Chas) is really cute. She also wondered if Esme was direct from a breeder or from a store as, at least around here, the stores avoid rats that are all, or mostly, dark as they look too ‘wild’. You have preemptively answered my protoquestion. Thanks.

    ———

    I am currently reading John Foster’s Jurassic West: The Dinosaurs of the Morrison Formation and Their World and really enjoying it.

    ———

    And I fucking hate, with a passion (one of the few thinks I do actually get up the energy to hate) nightmares, especially the ones that come complete with olfactory hallucinations. But, according to the shrinks the government has sent me to, no PTSD here.

  287. 287
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Carlie:

    Yea – but it’s not all right :\

    Thanks tho *hug*

    And I just poked myself in the eye, ouch… stupid hair.

  288. 288
    Walton

    KG: I’ve been asked not to talk about monarchy, so I’ll limit myself to providing you with this link.

  289. 289
    Ing

    @KG

    Well of course. If the papers exposed the corruption we can’t go on believing in our happy Disney fairytale world where we’re ruled by a Fischer King and mice in footy pajamas float down River Thames on sunshine row boats.

  290. 290
    Ing

    @Walton

    The Kochs paid for the cool update to the NYMoNH. I suppose they’re ok now too?

  291. 291
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Ing:

    You got me looking at Fisher Cats, then I got sad cause I did an image search and about 90% of them are pictures after they’ve been hunted for their pelts :(

  292. 292
    Ing

    @Kathrine

    Wow between that and RW’s Child Beating Judge this is a depressing day.

  293. 293
    First Approximation

    Me,

    All you did was take an ordered pair of real numbers, used multiplication and addition. Nothing magical.

    Forgot to add that there was also subtraction. Point still stands however.

    I’ll stop since I suspect mathematics is considered an even a more boring subject than the monarchy (I see some are trying to bait Walton into yet another argument on the subject :).

  294. 294
    Ing

    In good news, the economy is now stable and jobs are acommin back!

    I mean, why else would our Senate waste time voting to violate the constitution by reaffirming the motto!?

    I mean, it was reaching it’s expiration date right?

  295. 295
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Ing:

    Nah, not your fault – it’s my dynamic mind. You said “Fischer King” and I immediately thought of “fisher” which led to the animal, which I think is cute :3

    Don’t mind me, I like mustelids. I think they’re cute.

  296. 296
    Ing

    So I’m thinking of designing some T-shirts to sell to help make rent and the like. Would any one here be interested in acting as a focus group to judge the taste of some of the ideas (Poor, Bad, and Unacceptable)?

  297. 297
    Walton

    If the papers exposed the corruption

    “Corruption”? Really?

    *sigh* Ok, I’m going to have to respond to this. I apologize to those who are sick to death of talking about monarchy, but let it be observed that I am only responding to others’ posts on the subject.

    The papers are fond of going on and on and on about Prince Charles’ £18 million income from the Duchy of Cornwall, but usually neglect to mention that he spends much of it on public and charitable works, including environmental advocacy, sustainable farming, the Prince’s Trust, and several other charitable organizations, fifteen of which he has personally established. They also keep pointing out that the Duchy is legally tax-exempt, without acknowledging that he voluntarily pays taxes on all his income.

    Prince Charles was even awarded the Global Environmental Citizen Award in 2007 for his work on climate change and sustainable farming:

    “Prince Charles has been a forward thinker on environmental issues since the 1970s, on issues ranging from sustainable agriculture to climate change,” said former Vice President Al Gore, who was the recipient of the Global Environmental Citizen Award in 2005. “As we have worked together over the years, I have always been impressed by his ability to understand complex global issues and his deep commitment to solve the pressing issues facing our world.”

    Yes, he has a position of unearned privilege. But he’s done his very best, over the past few decades, to use his platform of influence for good. Certainly, he has some silly ideas about “alternative medicine” and the like; but that doesn’t make him a terrible person, just a fallible one.

    This is why I’ve been annoyed and frustrated by the campaign of personal attacks in the media against him. He could, like plenty of scions of wealthy families (including some past Princes of Wales), have ended up as an arrogant asshole who spent his entire life drinking, womanizing and wasting money. But he didn’t. He devoted his time and his money to doing some good things for society and for the planet, and I think he deserves some credit for that.

  298. 298
    Ing

    And to make things more depressing

    http://torrentfreak.com/video-judge-savagely-beats-his-daughter-for-illegal-downloads-111102/

  299. 299
    Ing

    Yes, he has a position of unearned privilege. But he’s done his very best, over the past few decades, to use his platform of influence for good.

    Except for that alt med stuff, which you brought up but don’t give a shit about.

    You know how he can best use his unearned privilege? By giving it up.

  300. 300
    Ing

    This is why I’ve been annoyed and frustrated by the campaign of personal attacks in the media against him. He could, like plenty of scions of wealthy families (including some past Princes of Wales), have ended up as an arrogant asshole who spent his entire life drinking, womanizing and wasting money.

    YES! EXACTLY! AND WHAT WOULD ANYONE BE ABLE TO *DO* ABOUT IT IF HE DID!?

    And isn’t insisting that he ISN’T wasting money begging the fucking question?

  301. 301
    Ing

    Seriously, Walton. Charles is good (if you ignore all the bad things he does) therefor God save the Queen is roughly the same argument as ‘the rich are job creators so we must preserve our economic disparity’

    After all Bill Gates, Buffet, and Jobbs did good work, so ultra mega super plutocracy is a good thing right?

  302. 302
    Ing

    Jobs*

  303. 303
    Matt Penfold

    Walton,

    You have criticised too much power being given to elected officials, or to judges, on the grounds that allowing such concentration of power can lead to abuse of power, and that whilst those currently wielding power might be honourable and decent people this might not always be the case.

    Yet when it comes to the monarchy you are explicitly rejecting that argument.

    This is not about whether Charlie is decent or not. It is about a person being given powers simply because he is part of the Royal Family.

  304. 304
    Ing

    And yes Walton, having unchecked power to torpedo legislation just because it might hurt your finances is institutionalized corruption.

    And if you want to play your usual equivalency ‘you to!’ games, yes so are things like the POTUS’s pardon power.

  305. 305
    pelamun

    And as an architecture aficionado, I find the way he meddles in architecture irritating too. Just because of his position and privilege, his voice is heard several times louder than any other architecture critic

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2009/apr/23/architecture-prince-charles-design#/?picture=346370871&index=0

  306. 306
    Ing

    I have a nation where the constitution allows the King to beat any peasant he wants within an inch of their life with a ceremonial dildo. Now our current King doesn’t exercise that power, therefore it’s perfectly fine to keep it in our constitution!

  307. 307
    Muse (evidently temptress of Pharyngula women)

    Perhaps I’m wrong here, but it seems as if Walton is personally defending the actions of Charles-the-man (fine, he’s using his unearned privilege better than he might, e.g. paying taxes) however, the attack is not against Charles-the-man, but against the institution that gives him power. The issue isn’t if Charles-the-man would improperly use this veto power given him, but the problem is that he has this power at all. Therefore, a valid defense can’t speak to Charles-the-man.

  308. 308
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    AUGH can we PLEASE not talk about the monarchy FFS! I’ve avoided TET for three freakin’ episodes straight because it gets derailed into a “Walton talks about monarchy” type of thing?

    That’s not just directed at Walton. Stop engaging him on the subject, please!

  309. 309
    Walton

    I’ve said all I’m going to say on the subject of monarchy, so there’s no point in further replying.

  310. 310
    pelamun

    I brought up architecture because that’s something I care about. But with the recent disclosures by the Guardian this becomes relevant, because a developer might not want to cross the Prince lest he run into trouble later.

  311. 311
    Algernon

    Oh dear, I see we are all being treated to the cognitive dissonance cantatas again.

  312. 312
    Moggie

    Perhaps we could talk about ceremonial dildoes instead?

  313. 313
    Carlie

    Ing – I’d be willing to, but I don’t necessarily have good taste.

    In other news, this is what is wrong with the world. Rings made out of crayon. Cute idea, sure. But selling for $49. And they’re sold out.

  314. 314
    pelamun

    I never understood the point of people trying to steer the topics on TET. There’s plenty of topics that don’t interest me, but I just scroll past them?

    While I understand that we shouldn’t have the umpteenth episode of Walton Defends the Monarchy, what the Guardian exposed was an important piece of journalistic work that more than deserved to be discussed here.

  315. 315
    Matt Penfold

    Does everyone get a veto on what gets discussed here ?

  316. 316
    Algernon

    We can’t stop you from talking about it. But you can’t stop us from complaining either.

  317. 317
    Algernon

    Some of us talk to the Walton regularly enough that this becomes a 24/7 monarchy apologetics marathon for us…

    just sayin.

  318. 318
    Algernon

    And if your scroll bar works so great, then feel free to scroll past the complaints.

  319. 319
    pelamun

    Algernon,

    that’s not the same. Complaints are directed at specific posters and also TELLING them to stop. While discussion topics are directed at those interested in them.

  320. 320
    PZ Myers

    We’ve had a little flurry of trolls that I’ve had to clean up. Just a suggestion to the regulars: if you see hogglers (you know, the ones who declare this freefromthoughtblogs, call people baboons or toiletslaves, and whine about censorship because they aren’t free to treat women like sewage), please ignore them. They will be deleted as I find them.

    The source is clear: it’s the gang at ERV, and I’m sorry to see that Abbie Smith is now enabling spammers. This is a comment from some pseudonymous wanker on her site:

    COME ON!

    Get onto PeeZus’s site and comment.

    Go, reveal the regulars for the lickspittle baboons they are.

    Tell them what damage they are doing to atheistic debate, and how far they are from “freethought”. Let’s crowdsource this; between us, we should be able to keep track of the many hypocrisies which emerge each day from the regulars.

    I don’t think they’ll be able to demonstrate that we are “lickspittle baboons” by mindlessly spamming this site; I think that will constitute more of an own goal than anything else.

  321. 321
    Carlie

    Well, that was a bit of a proximity error. I was referring to Ing’s question about shirt designs at 317, not about Moggie’s comment right before mine…

  322. 322
    Predator Handshake

    I guess the Halloween edition of TET is the best place to ask this. There’s a few degrees of separation between me and a known outbreak of scabies at an elementary school and the possible route of infection is as follows: a kid goes to this school, his mother had sex with a guy who then had sex with a different woman, and I had sex with her on October 21. None of the people mentioned have shown any symptoms, but I understand it can take several weeks to develop and can be spread while the mites are dormant.

    I’ve been doing some internet research but all the treatment options I’ve found information on seem to require symptoms to have already shown up. Is this going to just be a “watch and wait” situation or is it possible to diagnose before development of symptoms?

    Please note that I’m not in here seeking medical advice; I have no problem going to a dermatologist if I need to. I’m just wondering if anyone here has experience with the critters.

  323. 323
    Walton

    Look. I don’t actually want to talk about monarchy here any more. I apologize to those who have been bored by it, and I am trying very hard to disengage from the topic, which is hard to do when people keep commenting on my past statements about it. (You may notice that I didn’t comment at all on this subThread until last night, in an attempt to avoid this.) I promise that I will not say anything else about it, and will stop posting on the thread for the time being. OK?

    I have no control over what other people want to talk about, so if others decide to carry on discussing monarchy without me, that’s their problem.

  324. 324
    Algernon

    Meh… fuck off. I’m really sick of Walton’s neurotic monarchy fetish and that’s that.

    Either everything else he claims to stand for is bullshit he fronts with to fake people out into thinking he’s so great so he can get a narcissistic rush from feeling like everyone’s favorite liberal… or his love of the monarchy is a childish unrealistic hangover from his idyllic days as a sheltered English schoolboy and his utter privilege allows him to pretend it’s completely harmless and not at all incongruous with his purported political leanings.

    Frankly, I don’t care. The honest truth is every god damned day there’s reams of this shit.

    And yeah, I’m going to complain about it.

  325. 325
    PZ Myers

    Hey, I’ve got a veto on what gets discussed!

    I’m not going to shut it down, but one of my shortcuts for detecting spam is picking up on repetitive topics that go around and around in circles, all centered on one or a few commenters. And using that rubric, Walton on the monarchy looks exactly like either spam or trolling.

    Just saying.

  326. 326
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Urgh, the Pius Brothers.
    Unfortunately they have a stronghold here.
    They are the one swho are targetting the abortion/healthcare clinic and they also have a boarding school here, which the courts basically keep alive.
    Even the conservative government has tried to shut it down several times, but courts have ruled in favour of them every time.
    They were accused of (non-sexual) child-abuse, but, oh, the old teachers had retired, no reason to believe they’d break the law again, they lied and cheated on their boarding system (they only had a permision for 2 small boarding groups and the rest of the boarding students was supposed to live with other families in the area, but they lodged way more students, knowingly violating the regulations. So the government ordered the school to be closed immediately. They went to court, because that was toooooo hard for the kids at the end of the school year and they won.
    So the govrnment ordered the school to be closed at the end of the school year, but during the summer holiday, they won again in court. Just because they weren’t willing to follow the regulations put in place to ensure the students’ wellbeing you can’t say that they are dangerous for the students’ wellbeing *puke*

  327. 327
    pelamun

    Walton,

    I’d be sorry if you stopped talking about it, but that’s my opinion. Your defence of it have been very interesting to me, just like it can be interesting to read apologetics of religion… but still..

  328. 328
    Matt Penfold

    So Walton is running away, unable or unwilling to defend his position.

    It might more honest if he just admit he had no defence.

  329. 329
    Algernon

    FWIW, Walton is one of my favorite people in the world… ever.

  330. 330
    Matt Penfold

    FWIW, Walton is one of my favorite people in the world… ever.

    Well sorry about that, but it really is your problem and not ours.

  331. 331
    Algernon

    That was an addendum to my potentially too harsh comment above, Matt.

    But have you never liked some one personally while disagreeing with them on certain subjects with vehemence?

    Meh, well, if it offends you I think I’ll say it again.

    FWIW, Walton is one of my favorite people in the world… ever.

  332. 332
    pelamun

    PZ,

    certainly repetitive discussion of the same thing all over again is not constructive. But the Guardian story was a new development, and potentially huge story to those in the UK. But I think that thing’s over now as far as this thread is concerned, even though the defence of it was a little bit disappointing.

    All in all, I’m more interested in discussing church privileges than in those of monarchy. Sadly, plenty of those still remain even in Western Europe..

  333. 333
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Algernon:

    Oh yes, I like Walton too! He’s a very nice guy.

    @Matt:

    Stop being an ass.

  334. 334
    pelamun

    But have you never liked some one personally while disagreeing with them on certain subjects with vehemence?

    Yes, one of my fears is falling in love with someone who is deeply religious or a supporter of a political party that has xenophobic policies. Actually I did date couple of Republicans…so there you go..

  335. 335
    Walton

    And using that rubric, Walton on the monarchy looks exactly like either spam or trolling.

    Just saying.

    So Walton is running away, unable or unwilling to defend his position.

    It might more honest if he just admit he had no defence.

    Er… so if I do talk about it I’m spamming or trolling the thread, and if I don’t talk about it, I’m being a coward and running away? :-/

    The Walton is extremely confused.

  336. 336
    Matt Penfold

    Stop being an ass.

    And you stop telling me what to do, you arrogant fucker.

  337. 337
    Ing

    I like Walton as well…which is why I find it painful.

    Taking my own advice however, I’ve gotten enough complaints about sounding arrogant that I’m recalibrating my rhetoric.

  338. 338
    Don Quijote

    Walton;

    We could start talking about the Spanish royal family.

  339. 339
    Ing

    The Walton is extremely confused.

    Damnit! big…tempting….target…. Ugh, no. Not going there.

  340. 340
    Algernon

    The Walton is extremely confused.

    Not that confusing. When you do defend it your apologetics are circular, belie a lot of obvious cognitive dissonance and privilege, and take on the characteristics of their religious counterparts.

    When you stop doing that, having failed to offer more than that, it can’t really be called winning.

    But do you want to win it? Because you’ll have to give up some things you seem not to want to give up in order to win that argument. I mean, you’ll have to cede some other ground. Your bag.

  341. 341
    Muse (evidently temptress of Pharyngula women)

    Walton, may I suggest that you’ve probably made a good call to stop engaging on it for a while. No need to run off the thread if you don’t want to, but perhaps a rousing discussion of gnomes is in order.

  342. 342
    pelamun

    The reason I’ve engaged Walton on the topic is that I like him too. And was hoping to crack that monarchy stance, one discussion at a time ;)…

    Maybe if you feel uncomfortable continuing this here, you could blog about the Charles-the-man defence Muse and also Ing talked about? That the criticism, which was also behind the anger about what the Guardian found out was about the institution not the man’s personal behaviour?

  343. 343
    Algernon

    The reason I’ve engaged Walton on the topic is that I like him too. And was hoping to crack that monarchy stance, one discussion at a time ;)…

    Were you around for the libertarian years? It went just like this, and honestly it worked!

    It’s just grating for the rest of us in the meantime.

  344. 344
    theophontes, Pedante Royale

    @ Carlie #325

    I was referring to Ing’s question about shirt designs …

    Funny you should mention Ing and shirts in the same sentence. On the way back from the office I saw a giant Ing poster, selling shirts. (Sadly no picture to post but here’s the logo: Linky)

    @ Pelamun

    If you are a fan of architecture, you have probably run into the town of Poundbury, designed by Leon Krier under Teh Auspices of Teh Charles. (Link to Pfft.)

    If you look carefully at the streets of this town, you will see that they are paved with good intentions.

  345. 345
    Ing

    So on a change of topic I’m gonna share some Ing adventures in “Holy crap what’s wrong with my friends”. Curious to see the other Femimusillino’s opinion

    I stopped at the TD Bank . I let this guy walk across the parking lot and he was looking at me and mouthing words. I parked and he was standing outside, waiting for me. He said, “You’re hot. Can I get your number?” So I gave it to him

    Ing *headdesk*

  346. 346
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Garden gnomes – Are they gnomes in gardens or gnomes from gardens?

    I’m more in line with the second, since I use forest and mountain gnollen in my story to represent two varieties of gnollen (a race of three-foot tall dog-men.) There are gnollen who live in cities, but they’re either mountain or forest gnollen, not city gnollen, cause that’d be silly.

  347. 347
    Ing

    Funny you should mention Ing and shirts in the same sentence. On the way back from the office I saw a giant Ing poster, selling shirts. (Sadly no picture to post but here’s the logo: Linky)

    WTF? Weird. My Logo is cooler…it’s swishy!

    —————————————————

    The criticism of “arrogant” seems to be propping up a lot. Could this be the new “giant rifts” or whatever it was called?

  348. 348
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Were you around for the libertarian years? It went just like this, and honestly it worked!

    It’s just grating for the rest of us in the meantime.

    No fucking kidding. I had him in my killfile for a while because I just could not take it. I am sorry but imagine what it would be like if more people took to open blogs to work out their own personal struggles in such excruciating details.

    And yeah, I am one of those who gets just a little tired of the undead threat becoming the Walton diaries.

  349. 349
    ChasCPeterson

    I do love it when people start barking orders at each other here on teh Thread. You order-barkers are being unclear on the concept. If you do not like the current discussion(s), you have options. One is to go away and come back another time. This may be done with or without a snide flouncing comment expressing your disapproval in a condescending fashion. Another idea is to stick around and start talking about something else instead.
    wait…that would complicate and disorganize things…

    No, I’ve decided it would be best to police the Thread more carefully. Please return at this time to the Original Topic: The science of Watchmen Titanoboa!

  350. 350
    Algernon

    I’m not sure what to make of that, Ing?

  351. 351
    Ing

    @Kat

    Obviously they’re gnomes IN gardens. Gardens are not a natural ecosystem so the garden gnomes most likely are field or valley or thicket gnomes that have adapted to the new human made ecosystem.

  352. 352
    pelamun

    Were you around for the libertarian years? It went just like this, and honestly it worked!

    It’s just grating for the rest of us in the meantime.

    When was that exactly? I might have already been following Pharyngula, but only read the posts. But I’ve heard all about his “conversion story” though..

  353. 353
    Muse (evidently temptress of Pharyngula women)

    @Ing, my reaction likely would have been, “you’re creepy, no.”

  354. 354
    Ing

    @Algernon

    My take was that giving your number to someone that creepy, ie random hit on from passing by your car, is …not wise. This is a friend who has routine dating woos, and it baffles me that she thinks anything good could come from that.

  355. 355
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    If you need to ask, you were not here at the time.

  356. 356
    Walton

    I don’t want to “win” anything. I don’t care that much. Monarchy is my hobby, and it’s a fun and diverting topic for me personally; but if it’s causing thread-stress and annoying people, I’m happy to stop talking about it permanently. It isn’t that important.

    I feel really strongly about a great many things: gender and race equality, equal rights for immigrants, LGBT rights, a better asylum system and humane treatment of refugees, ending the death penalty, and so on. I devote my time to working on some of these issues: I’m studying immigration and asylum law and intend to have a career in that field. That’s what I care about. It can also be emotionally stressful, and the fucked-up nature of our world makes me very unhappy sometimes. I’m also very conscious of the fact that, being a white guy who grew up in a middle-class family in a developed country, I’ve benefited from a huge amount of unearned socio-economic privilege and opportunity; and I’m trying to use the opportunities I have for good, by doing something with my life that promotes social justice. I know I’m a clueless ass sometimes. But I’m trying, even if I sometimes get it very wrong.

    Monarchism, by contrast, is just a hobby; something I enjoy in my free time. It’s no different from many people’s love of music or cookery or literature or steampunk or historical re-enacting. And just as I wouldn’t want to ruin the thread or cause people stress over an argument about whether Leonard Cohen is better than Madonna, or what kind of pastry one should use in making an apple pie, I don’t want to ruin it in an argument over monarchy either. It isn’t actually that important.

  357. 357
    Psych-Oh

    Ing – Eeeewwww. I got heebie jeebies just reading that. My smarm meter is off the charts.

  358. 358
    Predator Handshake

    Katherine Lorraine: it sounds like your gnollen are somehow related, if not by blood then by classification, to gnolls, the wild offspring of gnomes and trolls. If they are related somehow in lineage to gnolls, how did they come to be civilized enough to live in cities?

  359. 359
    Dianne

    Weird and mildly scary dream…I dreamed that, for some odd reason, I had to repeat high school. That’s a fairly common dream for me and is usually just embarrassing for all the sitcomish reasons you’d expect (a 43 year old in high school), but this time there was a twist. The school had been taken over by Christian fundamentalists who were very insistent on certain dress and behavior. In retrospect, shopping for the school “uniform” (a long dress that the Victorians would have considered prudish) while completely naked was probably an error. It attracted the attention of a number of young men enjoying their status as future lords of creation and they started acting much as you’d expect said to do, although less overtly violently than they probably would in real life. I ended up ignoring them and focusing on a young woman who was with the guys and telling her about the outside world and how much better she could do than to cling to this little enclave. The dream resolved with my concluding that I didn’t need a HS degree, since apparently the college and medical school degrees were still valid and wandering off with the young woman in tow, discussing her options for finishing her education and deciding what to do with her life now that she wasn’t going to spend it as an incubator. But I was still sad that my (for Texas) liberal and multicultural HS had been taken over by fundies.

  360. 360
    pelamun

    theophontes,

    no I haven’t, but that’s the great thing about architecture, that there is so much to know about it, in almost anyplace in the world (the only regret I have is that in developing countries they don’t really ask famous architects to come design buildings but I do understand that those countries have other priorities).

    And generally speaking, architecture projects where Teh Charles had his hand in were pretty low on my aficionado list.

    But there is a very very interesting book about the powerful and their architects, it’s called the Edifice Complex. American Presidents, French Presidents, Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler, they all are featured there. Ever read it?

  361. 361
    Ing

    Monarchism, by contrast, is just a hobby; something I enjoy in my free time.

    No I have to stop this. This is too fucking stupid. When it affects other people, and you’re advocating for it, it is not a fucking hobby.

    Catholocism, by contrast, is just a hobby; something I enjoy in my free time.

    Fascism by contrast, is just a hobby; something I enjoy in my free time.

    Flat Tax Economics by contrast, is just a hobby; something I enjoy in my free time.

    The KKK by contrast, is just a hobby; something I enjoy in my free time.

    Pick up Artistry by contrast, is just a hobby; something I enjoy in my free time.

  362. 362
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Ing:

    You know – every time I see your name I think of these guys, but that’s cause I’m a geek.

  363. 363
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    I am waiting for the Hogglers and MRA’s to take Ing’s story and use that as proof that RW cried rape. Yet again.

  364. 364
    Ing

    http://images.wikia.com/metroid/images/b/b9/Ing_model1.png

    I should make that an avatar.

  365. 365
    Algernon

    When was that exactly?

    I’m bad with dates, but maybe 2006 or so? Strange Gods argued with him day and night in the way only Strange Gods can. It was pretty impressive in retrospect, but it was also accompanied by much whining and gnashing of teeth though pretty much everyone argued with him at some point.

    I’m not saying it isn’t worth it, but I reserve my right to snark and whine.

    My take was that giving your number to someone that creepy, ie random hit on from passing by your car, is …not wise.

    Your friend appears to have an unfortunate romantic streak.

  366. 366
    Carlie

    Gnomes!

    Anybody watching Once Upon A Time? Totally guilty pleasure, but there was a cute scene last week wherein a gnome made the Queen mad, and she turned him into stone, and then it cut to the present-day town where said stone gnome was ensconces in the Queen’s garden. It made me laugh.

  367. 367
    Dianne

    Monarchy is my hobby, and it’s a fun and diverting topic for me personally;

    Good, since, if I understand correctly, that’s how the royal family earns its keep these days: providing amusement for their “subjects”. If they didn’t amuse you and other Britons, what would their purpose be?

  368. 368
    Walton

    I’m bad with dates, but maybe 2006 or so?

    2008-2009, mainly. I abandoned libertarianism for good sometime in the spring of 2010.

  369. 369
    pelamun

    If you need to ask, you were not here at the time.

    Janine,

    no you’re wrong, or depending on what you mean by “here”.

    My consumption/participation at Pharyngula came in three stages:

    1. just reading the posts, skipping the comments completely.
    2. reading the comments also, but not commenting.
    3. commenting myself.

    Of course with periods of prolonged complete absences, as this blog has always had high volume.

    So my question about when was that it might have been during phase 1, or maybe even before that.

  370. 370
    SQB

    Garden gnomes – Are they gnomes in gardens or gnomes from gardens?

    Girl Scout Cookies – Are they made from real girl scouts?

  371. 371
    Ing

    Your friend appears to have an unfortunate romantic streak.

    She blocked me from her facebook and other stuff for snarking at her, and then expressing my concern about it. Because I was too judgmental.

    This is a woman who I have seen reject dates based on number of abs or height.

    I love her, but it is blindingly obvious why she’s having date drama.

  372. 372
    pelamun

    So that was definitely during my phase 1, and if the discussion mainly took place on TET, then during phase 2 too, because I would usually only read the comments on blog posts that interested me, and TET wasn’t one of them…

  373. 373
    Algernon

    At the risk of offending Ing, every time I see that name I think of my 401k.

  374. 374
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Ing
    Well, I suppose she’s a big girl and can make the appropriate risk-assesment herself.
    I can’t look into her head. It’s certainly not something I would have done.

    Garden Gnomes
    We had a similar discussion about the sandbox. Is it still a sandbox when all the sand has been scattered and replaced by leaves, grass and chestnuts?
    After all, a winebottle remains a winebottle even though you use it to water the plants.

    In other news: i more or less ruined a shirt *bugger*

  375. 375
    Algernon

    2008-2009, mainly. I abandoned libertarianism for good sometime in the spring of 2010.

    LOL. I have noooooo ability to judge time.

  376. 376
    Ing

    Well, I suppose she’s a big girl and can make the appropriate risk-assesment herself.
    I can’t look into her head. It’s certainly not something I would have done.

    Oh yeah I’m not fretting over it. I’m just face palming at yet more examples of her lemmingesq romantic instincts.

  377. 377
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Pelamun, you would have remembered. The current Walton inspired flame up are but controlled camp fires compared to the fire storms of libertarian, Townhall loving Walton verses everybody.

  378. 378
    Ing

    Now what would be REALLy cool? Garden Golems.

  379. 379
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Predator Handshake:

    They are, indeed, the offspring of gnolls (which was one of the created races) – who were, indeed, savagely bloodthirsty and extremely tribal bestial creatures. They became civilized cause the gnoll race started to die out – their natural homes encroached upon by human civilization – and as humans and their sem companions (humans genetically crossed with animalistic characteristics – usually called demi-humans in other stories) moved into these areas, some gnolls and canine sem had children, and due to the combination of human blood and the genetically manufactured loyalty of the sem, their offspring were much less bloodthirsty.

    Skip ahead about 1500 years (very short lifespans,) and the gnolls are all dead, and the remaining race are only what could be called half-gnoll. They split off to two different areas, mountains and forest. Mountain gnollen are bigger, stronger, and darker furred – very industrial; miners, metalworkers, warriors. Forest gnollen are sleeker, faster, and mottled – more agrarian; farming, fishing, working wood craft. The gnollen who live in the cities are the ones who got acclimated to living in human society.

  380. 380
    Carlie

    Now what would be REALLy cool? Garden Golems.

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

  381. 381
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Ing:

    Is that a golem made of a garden (ie: stone golem, clay golem) or a golem ina garden?

  382. 382
    pelamun

    Janine,

    what I meant is I know it’s clearly before my time commenting here, but as we’ve established now, I was already a blog reader and later a lurker when this all blew over.

    I mean the Walton conversion story still echoes in a powerful way that I’ve heard about it just from commenting here, which probably started at the beginning of this year (phase 3).

  383. 383
    Ing

    in D&D the Iron Golems have a SLOW breath weapon. The Garden Golems have a hay fever breath weapon. 30 by 30 cone of histamines!

  384. 384
    Walton

    Katherine: I envy your literary talents. I really want to write a novel some day – sci-fi or fantasy – set in a fictional kingdom. But while I’ve started hundreds of stories in my life, I’ve never had the skill or self-discipline to finish them. I’ve written a few passable poems over the years, but the ability to write good literary prose seems to elude me.

  385. 385
    Ing

    @Kathrine

    It starts as one and then continues as the other.

  386. 386
    Ing

    Might be something to jot down for a fantasy setting I’m fiddling with and may write some on (if I ever stop being lazy :( ). It already has a Hedge Wizard in it (magic gardening)

  387. 387
    Algernon

    I end up writing long complete story arcs and character descriptions with a lot of background notation on the environment, and then never seem to care to flesh it out.

  388. 388
    Predator Handshake

    Katherine Lorraine: whew! Thanks for clearing that up. I’ve played so much D&D (and Baldur’s Gate) that if I see the word “gnoll” it brings back memories of slaughtering the poor things in self defense all because of an unimaginative DM. Actually I think I may be part of the reason for the gnoll race dying out as you mentioned it, so your gnollen may have me to thank in part for allowing them to spread to new areas.

  389. 389
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Went to a friend’s dad’s funeral yesterday. Drove a 15 hour turn around from here to GA and back.

    I was glad I could be there to support my very good friend as his father’s death was very sudden an unexpected and he appreciated us being there. I would do it again 1000 times.

    However this does not mean I’m not who I am and there were a lot of things in the service that really stood out for me.

    #1 – I haven’t been to a very religious ceremony in a church in a long time. Most weddings I’ve been to have been outside or not just hammering you with the religious side of those things. I understand because you’re dealing with death that the faith and religion thing will be at the forefront, but holy shit it was astounding how much. The ridiculous ceremony and back and forth between Priest and congregation was way more than I remembered. The wording of the ceremony borderlines on unintelligible and way ridiculous in its manufactured seriousness and rigidity to the ersatz rules of procedure.

    #2 – This has to be one of the most contradictory verses in the bible

    Lamentations 3:31-33

    31 For the Lord will not reject forever.
    32 Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
    33 for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone.

    #3 – Being the only person in church to not take communion allows you to see a good representation of confused looks of people as they walk past you.

    #4 – 2 hours is a long time to stand in the back of a church not singing or partaking in the call and response of the ceremony.

    #5 – Funeral reception food can be sketchy.

  390. 390
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Group Wants Mormon Church Blocked From Future Liquor Law Debates

    A trade group for bars and restaurants is asking a federal judge to block Utah legislators from considering input from the Mormon church when drafting future liquor laws.
    The Utah Hospitality Association contends that considering the views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is unconstitutional under federal laws separating church and state.

    Works for me

  391. 391
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Ing:

    How about Harvest Golems?

    Ooh, or an Architecture Golem?

    (what else would you call the Colossi from SotC? They’re giant creatures with magic glyphs made up of architectural elements!)

    @Walton:

    13 years of writing and re-writing and re-re-writing an acceptable world for my stories, abandoning projects I began and decided weren’t acceptable, and I’m just now working on getting my first novel published.

  392. 392
    RichardAustin

    So, don’t know anything about this guy specifically but thought it’d be something for y’all:

    Diederik Stapel: The Lying Dutchman

    Big science news today out of the Netherlands: A top social scientist, Diederik Stapel, of Tilburg University, has been suspended after an investigation showed that he’s been fabricating his data for years. This may seem far away and esoteric in the extreme, but there’s collateral damage here in DC, home base of the AAAS journal Science, which published one of Diederik Stapel’s papers in April.

    That paper, “Coping With Chaos: How Disordered Contexts Promote Stereotypying and Discrimination,” claimed that people were more likely to be prejudicial toward others when in the presence of litter, a broken sidewalk, an abandoned bicycle, etc.

    The problem is, there may not have been any experiment upon which this conclusion was based. Stapel apparently invented his raw data and then handed it to his graduate students to intepret…

  393. 393
    theophontes, Pedante Royale

    @ pelamun

    (the only regret I have is that in developing countries they don’t really ask famous architects to come design buildings but I do understand that those countries have other priorities)

    Well, very few buildings in the world are architect designed (world average … Stuart Brand mentioned something like 6% IIRC).

    We may be in the worlds second oldest profession, but we are not as significant as we like to think we are.

    I will collect some examples of developing world quality architecture when I have some more time. (I have to sleep now, tomorrow off early to look at another piece of land to desecrate.

    But there is a very very interesting book about the powerful and their architects, it’s called the Edifice Complex.

    Not yet, but I will look out. Beatriz Colomina’s book : Sexuality & Space has an in depth look at this topic. (The chapter dealt with the strange relationship between wealthy business owners and their Edifices. (Which where being climbed by crazy free climbers. (The owners felt emasculated.)))

  394. 394
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Predator Handshake:

    I also took the idea of Dungeons and Dragons kobolds and elevated them to an entirely new race called the tallis. Only instead of being little scaredy-cat pipsqueaks who make traps and die when you breathe on them, they’re a human-sized steampunk race with heavy religious overtones – although they worship dragons, not gods.

  395. 395
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Liquor law debates? Does not the US have a cautionary tale about that from the last century. Living through the draconian laws was not pleasant and we are still living with the aftermath.

  396. 396
    Algernon

    13 years of writing and re-writing and re-re-writing an acceptable world for my stories, abandoning projects I began and decided weren’t acceptable, and I’m just now working on getting my first novel published.

    Quoted for relevance. Most people who are successful with their writing write over and over again. It rarely just comes out well.

  397. 397
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    And using that rubric, Walton on the monarchy looks exactly like either spam or trolling.

    And my obsession with fire and steam locomotives would, too. As would Caine’s rats. And The Sailor’s sailing. Each of us have something (or somethings) that we are deeply interested in — hobby, avocation, vocation, obsession, whatever. I try, very hard (I have been told I amy very trying), to only enter into FIRE STORY or steam overdose when it fits into the conversation.

    I do sometimes tire of Walton’s monarchism, but that is just me. Today, he was responding to a news story and, I have to admit, it did catch my interest. Especially the differentiation between Charles the privileged person with good points and bad points, and Charles the privileged person with lots of unearned ability to abuse his position. As monarchogasms go, this one was pretty mild.

    Anyway. Ignore my above if I have overstepped.

  398. 398
    Carlie

    Well, very few buildings in the world are architect designed (world average … Stuart Brand mentioned something like 6% IIRC).

    Now I’m confused – isn’t the person who designs a building called an architect? Someone has to design them all – I would think that even if you’re taking pre-existing plans, they’d have to be adapted to the exact space they’re going in. Or is this another garden gnome question, that an architect designs buildings but someone who designs buildings isn’t always an architect?

  399. 399
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    , but the ability to write good literary prose seems to elude me.

    That might keep you away from the Booker Award, but not necessarily the best seller list (think Danielle Steele and Jackie Collins).

  400. 400
    pelamun

    Well when I was in Utah I was told that most bars are organised as clubs. Is that still the case?

    Too bad that the 21st Amendment “suspends” the Interstate Commerce clause as far as alcohol is concerned.

    Attitude to alcohol is one of those cultural differences betw Americans and Europeans

  401. 401
    SQB

    Richard Austin, yeah there has been a minor shitstorm raging about that, with — unfortunately but not unexpectedly — half of the comments on fora being along the lines of “goes to show that you can’t trust scientists”.

  402. 402
    Dianne

    32 Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
    33 for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone.

    Technically, these verses are not entirely contradictory. They could mean that god causes grief unintentionally or inevitably but does his supernatural best to minimize that grief and avoids causing it when possible. One could argue that the griefs afflicted by god are like the pain that parents cause their children by having them vaccinated: relatively minor* pains necessary to avoid the larger ones of serious infectious diseases. Yes, of course this contradicts omnipotence, but just about everything does.

    *”Minor” in this context because if there’s an afterlife then death is just a temporary inconvenience and the grief associated with death is a fleeting thing in comparison to eternity, right? Of course, that makes me worry about what major grief god is seeking to avoid…sending people to hell? But that would be intentionally causing harm and grief. And, again, it all falls apart.

  403. 403
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Quoted for relevance. Most people who are successful with their writing write over and over again. It rarely just comes out well.

    I had read Harlan Ellison hammer home this point, repeatedly, for decades. If you want to be a writer, you need to write. Everyday.

    I have read Richard Thompson make the same point when it comes to song writing.

  404. 404
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    That might keep you away from the Booker Award, but not necessarily the best seller list (think Danielle Steele and Jackie Collins).

    At that point, you can hire hacks and just slam you brand, er, name, on it. Hello, V.C. Andrews.

  405. 405
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    My major issue with writing remains that I get into different moods and if I could somehow write with both of those moods at the same time, my novels would be excellent. I’m either completing a story by writing a good tale but with little substance, or I’m writing a great chapter with amazing substance and plot and detail but it staggers blindly for a continuation. So either too little or too much detail, too little action or too much.

  406. 406
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Dang, #403 should read: That might keep you away from the Brooker Award.

    I even looked it up to be sure. Almighty Tpyos is receiving my offerings.

  407. 407
    pelamun

    Carlie,

    from my experience in developing countries, most buildings are just designed on the scratch by a knowledgeable resident, who has no formal training as an architect. In the communities I’ve been, building a house is quite a community effort.
    But then, humanity has been building houses for thousands of years without there being architects.

    theophontes,

    that’s great! I got interested in architecture after I went to the States for grad school. After you’ve become an architecture fan, you’ll never go through a city the same way again. My entire way of looking at cities has changed! After I’ve been through Houston, Dallas, New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco, D.C.

  408. 408
    theophontes, Pedante Royale

    @ Carlie

    As I recall, the issue was raised in his book, “How Buildings Learn” (Link.)

    The point is that a lot of buildings (most) are constructed without any plans. Traditional dwellings are built by craftsman, who might be more guided by local lores and traditions than anything else. They simply copy the steps learned from their elders (often accompanied by religious fables and rationale.) There is no plan to follow.

  409. 409
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Technically, these verses are not entirely contradictory.

    I wasn’t clear. the verse I bolded is contradictory when viewed as a part of the bible’s whole, not just in reference to the previous verses.

  410. 410
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I was glad I could be there to support my very good friend as his father’s death was very sudden an unexpected

    Well, that’s the way to go.
    I know this sounds cruel, but I’d like everybody to die unexpectedly.
    How much crueler is it to suffer until your loved ones feel relief when you finally make it.
    In just 4 weeks it will be a whole year that my grandpa died, and he really died like “doctor, the hypochondriac in room 219 has died”, and I’m grateful for that (although there’s of course nobody I’m grateful to), since miners with COPD usually die the hard way.

    Ugh, sorry. The last weeks have brought up so much memories. I miss him.

    writing
    At the moment I only write short stories. I think I can write decent scenarios, but I don’t think I have it in me to create a character anybody would like to spend 300 pages with.

  411. 411
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright

    Some one had to do it.

  412. 412
    Algernon

    That makes me want to start trying to write (like, as in a private journal) again.

  413. 413
    Algernon

    I have read Richard Thompson make the same point when it comes to song writing.

    Lol. Most of my songs are evidence of this. Well, I mean all of them so far.

  414. 414
    pelamun

    damn, pressed the wrong button.

    … and other American cities with an AIA handbook, then I’ve gone back to various European cities to just look at “good pieces”.

    The problem with developing countries, or those I’ve been to, is that even in the capital they have the same bland style all over. Every shopping mall just looks the same, copied from your generic American or Japanese mall. Whereas the old colonial buildings go to the dogs. Also in the provinces, every government complex looks the same too, maybe with roof shapes different by region. (And don’t get me started on the lack of urban planning, which actually makes life harder for residents, as towns even in remote areas are spread out all over the place)

  415. 415
    pelamun

    And good pieces can be found in residential areas too. I’m just this guy taking pictures of random houses in your neighbourhood.

    In Eureka, California, I was once asked if I worked for Google. WTF?

  416. 416
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Fascist Archicture-Bruce Cockburn

    I should stop now.

  417. 417
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    More songs about buildings and food.

  418. 418
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Giliell:

    The story I’m currently working on finishing has:
    1) A gnollen who’s been given an enormously important task, but hasn’t left his home the entirety of his (admittedly short) life so he gets homesick and scared. Plus he’s a bit clumsy, not very skilled with fighting, and extremely naive. But he’s got a kind heart, a sense of duty, and a pride and honor in his race.
    2) A middle-aged former admiral now working as a spymaster for the king of his country. He’s a womanizer, he’s full of himself, and he’s not above reminding everyone that he is, indeed, a hero. He’s only yet discovering that he’s becoming old, and can’t fight as well as before, and he’s also got a dedication to his king, to his family, and to his friends.
    3) An elven-raised spellsword ranger, who is very arrogant and proud of his accomplishments without realizing that he’s kind of a joke when compared to others who do what he does. He’s very interested in himself, but when push comes to shove, he’s prepared to lay down his life for his friends and his country.
    4) A princess who is tired of being used as a solution to her country’s ills. She doesn’t feel like she’s more important than the rest of her people, and would rather vanish into the background than be held up as the queen. She’s also got a strange past and can see visions and change minds through some mystical abilities granted by the spirits.
    5) An avian sem, a teacher in a magical school who knows how to call on the spirits of the elements to help protect her. She’s strong-willed, but doesn’t want to be a fighter because she’s not trained for it and is scared of being harmed or killed or also hurting others. She’s smart and caring, and kind of like a fussy mother figure.

  419. 419
    SallyStrange

    The problem is, there may not have been any experiment upon which this conclusion was based. Stapel apparently invented his raw data and then handed it to his graduate students to intepret…

    Damn, I remember reading about that study. It made quite a splash. I thought it was interesting, etc… How embarrassing. Three junior researchers suspected it, and reported it to the University, which is how it was found out. Fourteen PhD students’ theses have been tainted by the falsified evidence. What an asshole.

  420. 420
    pelamun

    The point is that a lot of buildings (most) are constructed without any plans. Traditional dwellings are built by craftsman, who might be more guided by local lores and traditions than anything else. They simply copy the steps learned from their elders (often accompanied by religious fables and rationale.) There is no plan to follow.

    One of my regrets during my fieldwork research is that despite seeing people in the village working on building houses (private, and also a school), I didn’t record them discussing the building process. I only jotted down what to call the process…

    OTOH, I recorded discussion of marriage rites (you were supposed to marry your cousin until the Catholic Church forbade it), and traditional laws (no death penalty except for witchcraft, usually you paid restitution in animals, for murder that was 10 buffalo, if you couldn’t afford it, you became a slave to the victim or their family)

  421. 421
    PZ Myers
    And using that rubric, Walton on the monarchy looks exactly like either spam or trolling.

    And my obsession with fire and steam locomotives would, too.

    No, actually, they don’t. I’m not talking about the content, but the nature of the chunks of text that get thrown over my transom, that I can inspect with just a superficial glance and no conscientious reading at all. Cycles of meta-wrangling are symptoms of trolling; interested conversation about a subject looks very different.

    I see the threads in a different way than most of you — I can’t read everything in detail, just sampling here and there, and a lot of it is like the waa-waa noise of adults talking in Charlie Brown specials. I see the rhythm more than the words.

  422. 422
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    Is it time for a change of subject?

    *ahem*

    Oh poor me, my life sucks…

  423. 423
    SallyStrange
    Well, very few buildings in the world are architect designed (world average … Stuart Brand mentioned something like 6% IIRC).

    Now I’m confused – isn’t the person who designs a building called an architect? Someone has to design them all – I would think that even if you’re taking pre-existing plans, they’d have to be adapted to the exact space they’re going in. Or is this another garden gnome question, that an architect designs buildings but someone who designs buildings isn’t always an architect?

    I see somebody already said this, but here we’re talking about buildings that aren’t designed at all, but rather built using what Christopher Alexander calls “pattern languages,” collections of spatial and structural patterns that are shared among people in a culture. Slum dwellings constructed from recycled corrugated iron, bricks, etc. are the main example. Over a billion people live in these self-built dwellings that are extremely dense and have a very small ecological footprint, but which look chaotic and messy to an outsider.

    Then there’s adobe houses from the southwest. Earthen buildings in northern Africa. Old wooden houses in New England. Old cob houses in Britain. And so on. If you’re talking about fitting a building into a tight space, it might just be easier to go right to the site and put the foundation down without doing the intermediate steps of measuring the tight space, designing a footprint to fit in the space, then building the foundation. There’s less error if you just do it right on site: the constraints are obvious and unforgiving; if you get it wrong, it’s immediately apparent. As long as you have a strong grasp on the suite of elements that are necessary to create a dwelling, a blueprint may be unnecessary.

    Alexander’s “Pattern Language” website

    How slums have inspired architects interested in green urbanism and architects interested in the same

  424. 424
    Carlie

    Oh, I get it. I wasn’t even thinking of houses. I would have thought one would make a plan before starting to build, but I’m also the person who spent my free time in lab yesterday sharpening every colored pencil in the colored pencil drawer, separating them by color, and constructing little dividers to tape in the drawer to keep the colors separate, then organizing them in the proper order of the color spectrum.
    (no, I have no issues. none at all.)

  425. 425
    Carlie

    I see the threads in a different way than most of you — [...] I see the rhythm more than the words.

    So …. meta…..

    That’s got to be fascinating.

  426. 426
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    No, actually, they don’t.

    I guess I view my writings differently than you. Fair enough.

  427. 427
    SallyStrange

    *ahem*

    Oh poor me, my life sucks…

    Comment by Benjamin “I Crush Everything” Geiger blocked. [unkill]​[show comment]

  428. 428
    pelamun

    Well, originally I was complaining about the lack of big projects famous architects are involved in in developing countries, like in a capital city.

    Of course the fact that there are no AIA handbook type resources available for many developing countries makes it harder for the layperson interested in architecture.

    But if theophontes has a nice list, can’t wait to see it…

  429. 429
    pelamun

    oh, and theophontes,

    China doesn’t count ;)

  430. 430
    cicely

    Occupy Tulsa eviction tonight.
    Apparently, SWAT teams are underway. Why? No one knows.

    Oklahoma is an extremely Red state.
    -

    So I’m thinking of designing some T-shirts to sell to help make rent and the like. Would any one here be interested in acting as a focus group to judge the taste of some of the ideas (Poor, Bad, and Unacceptable)?

    You could link to a selection of prospective designs, and run a poll, and we could Pharyngulate it!
    :)
    -

    So Walton is running away, unable or unwilling to defend his position.
    It might more honest if he just admit he had no defence.

    Walton has been requested, nay, begged, to give his Defense of Monarchy a rest. He can’t do that, while simultaneously Defending Monarchy; at least, not without descending to Sockpuppetry. Cut the man (and all of us, for that matter) a break, in the name of Humanity!
    -

  431. 431
    SQB

    Is it time for a change of subject?

    *ahem*

    Oh poor me, my life sucks…

    See? I still say you should try stand up comedy.

  432. 432
    consciousness razor

    Walton:

    Monarchism, by contrast, is just a hobby; something I enjoy in my free time. It’s no different from many people’s love of music or cookery or literature or steampunk or historical re-enacting. And just as I wouldn’t want to ruin the thread or cause people stress over an argument about whether Leonard Cohen is better than Madonna, or what kind of pastry one should use in making an apple pie, I don’t want to ruin it in an argument over monarchy either. It isn’t actually that important.

    Is this a new development? If it had been the case, you would’ve gotten a clue and been able to stop beating this dead hobbyhorse a few years ago.

    I really want to write a novel some day – sci-fi or fantasy – set in a fictional kingdom. But while I’ve started hundreds of stories in my life, I’ve never had the skill or self-discipline to finish them. I’ve written a few passable poems over the years, but the ability to write good literary prose seems to elude me.

    Though I write music rather than fiction, I think in many ways the processes are similar. If you’re serious about doing it, then keep working on it. And I want to emphasize that you should treat it like work (not a hobby or something, but real work you enjoy doing) and try not to come up with excuses for why you don’t have the talent or discipline to do it. Indeed, you may not have it yet, but simply telling yourself that doesn’t get you anywhere. It’s also good to remember that you can think of scenarios and plots and characters all day, without ever writing down even a piece of a real story, which if taken too far can make you feel like you haven’t really accomplished much.

    I often find myself getting caught up theorizing about music I haven’t written down, spending a lot of time deciding what sort of relationships I want between different sections, rhythms, motives, timbres, or a bajillion other things. Of course all that pre-compositional stuff is very important to how I work, but it’s not actually composing until I put some notes on a staff, then some more notes before or after them, then some more. And even when I start to do that, I can get trapped into tweaking a particular figure a thousand different ways until I’m satisfied. I might spend an hour on just few measures if I’m not careful. On the other hand, sometimes I’ll blow through a hundred measures in the same time, but I’m never quite satisfied with all of it, so I have to go back, edit a lot and not be too attached to anything I’ve written. I’ll also get stuck working linearly, writing everything down from beginning to end, but then I decide that what I’ve got won’t work as a “beginning” at all, or that something is supposed to come after the “end,” or the order ought to change in the middle. Again I have to force myself to be flexible with all of that, no matter what plan I had in advance, because my plans can’t account for all those details that pop up. (With computers, it’s very helpful that you can save any number of earlier drafts, so nothing needs to be destroyed, unless it really is an abomination.)

    No amount of talent or discipline will eliminate those sorts of problems. Everybody has to deal with them. That’s just how it works. But with experience, by putting yourself in those situations a lot and really caring about what comes out of the process, you learn better ways of dealing with them. The skills and discipline don’t come first. They’re more like muscles you build up from lots of exercise: you get them after lots and lots of work.

  433. 433
    SQB

    BTW, Benjamin, I tried connecting to? with? you on LinkedIn. Are you interested?

  434. 434
    myeck waters

    …so if we all started making posts consisting of “Wah wah wuh-wah wah wah”, PZM wouldn’t notice?

  435. 435
    pelamun

    Oh, another piece of news from Germany:

    I do think that wooists are more serious a threat to reason than the traditional churches now, though the latter still retain all these privileges.

    Anyhoo, according to this article (the actual article is behind a paywall),

    the esoteric industry is a 18-25b EUR a year market.

    Weird: they call themselves “nature scientists” (Naturwissenschaftler), which in German just means “scientists” (Wissenschaftler is scholar in general, though Wissen = scientia. Hard sciences are called Naturwissenschaften).

    One person is quoted

    Am Ende, so sagt sie, sei sie auch noch in die USA gereist, um sich von dem weltweit bekannten Meditationslehrer Drunvalo Melchizedek zur Lichtarbeiterin ausbilden zu lassen. Er sei ein Naturwissenschaftler, wie sie.

    (She travelled to the USA to study with the world famous meditation teacher Drunvalo Melchizedek to be trained as a “light worker”. He is a nature scientist, just like she is.)

    Ever heard of this world famous guy? Is this yet another American woo trend we can be thankful about in Europe?

  436. 436
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Katherine
    That sounds like an interesting cast. And an interesting world. Is it the one where you once posted that excerpt?
    But your #1 sounds a bit like an RPG character of mine:
    An anthropologist who only ever studied his books until he decided to travel the world at age 50. He’s annoyingly friendly, clumsy, nosy, eh interested I mean and GOOD (TM), which means that he’s hard to corrupt but easy to fool.
    The system allows for unconscious 1/4 magicians, people with a weak magical ability that allows them to use about 4-5 spells intuitively, usually without knowing that they can do it themselves*, which is what keeps him alive. He just thinks he’s incredibly lucky and very good with people.

    *a horrible munchkin ability, quite often, because the players use it like a real magician would use xier powers, calculated and only to the greatest effect.

  437. 437
    SallyStrange

    Hey consciousness razor,

    Can you recommend a good free musical notation software?

  438. 438
    pelamun

    I do think that wooists are more serious a threat to reason than the traditional churches now

    in Western Europe. In the United States, that’s different, at least from what I can see…

  439. 439
    pelamun

    Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention the most ironic thing about this news

    The place warning against esoteric charlatans is a cult counseling centre of the Lutheran church, saying that popular support has moved away from the larger cults to smaller movements, and inexplicably, by “larger cults” they do not mean themselves or the RCC..

  440. 440
    Ing

    I had read Harlan Ellison hammer home this point, repeatedly, for decades. If you want to be a writer, you need to write. Everyday.

    Other glaring flaws aside, I do like how Ellison has tried to shatter the myth of the genius and promote artistic “talent” as just another acquired skill

    @Kathrine

    I do have a Modern Art Golem design laying around somewhere in my doodles.

  441. 441
    Carlie

    See? I still say you should try stand up comedy.

    He is quite witty. I think a good outlet would be writing an occasional/regular column for a local indie publication. It could be Ben’s rants, or something of the like, and would probably prove quite popular.

  442. 442
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    In Chicago, we have a different kind of woo.

    For the record, I detest this person. Imagine having to hear this on a regular basis. And he has been doing this for a half century.

  443. 443
    Ing

    @Giliell, the woman who said Good-bye to Kitty

    The fantasy setting I’m working on to either write in or find a way to make a P&P system in has spell casters using two different sorts of magic: Minor magic which is really just mundane skills such as ventriloquism, slight of hand, chemistry, herbal knowledge etc, and the major magic which requires actual arcana.

    Most of the magic that props up in the setting is probably minor.

  444. 444
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    My life over the last 3 weeks has been a very bizarre mix of utterly wonderful (Rhinebeck, NYC with Sili and DDMFM, having DDMFM at the Mattir Homestead for a bit more than a week) and very painful logistical and personal stuff. Example of the logistical: yesterday the fairly dim-bulb but nice electricians showed up with a hammer drill at 10 am to take out a section of patio in order to bury the electrical line into our house. They knew that the gas and septic lines were under said section of patio. I insisted on turning off the propane feed and draining the line, which they thought was unnecessary. They then proceeded to ding the copper gas line not once, but 3 or 4 times with a shovel. I know from previous encounters with the propane company that underground joints are not acceptable, so if the thing leaks (which is does not appear to, based on the soapy water test), we will have to retrench the 40 feet of line from the tank to the house. Having observed DDMFM spend an hour or more removing a fossil from a cliff, I have decided that next time I need to have gas lines excavated, I am procuring a paleontologist to do the job.

    This whole electrical saga resulted from a leaky roof. Can’t replace the roof without moving the overhead power line. Can’t move the power line without relocating the meter. Can’t relocate the meter without replacing the breaker box. And so on ad infinitum…

    The personal stuff I don’t really want to get into, but I have been astonished and grateful for the Horde.

  445. 445
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Giliell:

    Yea that’s the one.

    Iego (the character you’re describing) is a recently come-to-age gnollen, and since he’s no longer considered a “pup” he has to find a job in the tribe, but he sucks at everything he does – too distracted or bored to focus on things (it’s like he’s got ADD!) He doesn’t understand the outside world since he’s never been a part of it (not unusual for his race, since they tend to stick to their little villages in the middle of forests.)

    He’s probably my favorite character I’ve written in some time – cause he’s so much different from your regular heroes. Open nearly any fantasy story and your main characters are very likely to be some strong, gallant adventurer who’s remarkably good with a sword and goes adventuring to save the world because destiny calls and he wants to do it.

    Iego is not a great fighter. He’s not strong, he’s not fearless, he’s really cuddly in appearance. He goes on the journey cause he’s pushed by his goddess, despite his hangups about the entire thing.

  446. 446
    Ing

    @Kathrine

    Do you have your rough drafts on text novel or anything. Now I am curious and wants to read.

  447. 447
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    I would like to add that in addition to the personal support that the Horde has offered privately over the last few weeks, I have benefited greatly from the willingness of many people to talk openly about their experiences. I grew up with a great deal of “don’t say what you really want” pressure, extending to just about every aspect of life (don’t say you want a bicycle – it just gives the authorities a chance to say “no, you can’t have a bicycle”). At 48, and thanks to Pharyngula, I’m starting to get over it and to express myself in words instead of in sneaky manipulative covert strategizing to get what I want. The words method works better – go figure…

  448. 448
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Ing:

    Made up of modern art sculptures?

    My world’s magic is based off of cantrips and arcana – where almost anyone could do a cantrip if they practiced, and the arcana require a heck of a lot more practice, access to a proper ley line, the right weather, a good hat, a stiff drink, usw.

    Everyone in the world has some intrinsic magical abilities, some are just better than others.

  449. 449
    pelamun

    Argh, he is still going on about square roots of negative numbers therefore God. I think I give up…

  450. 450
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Is there any way that the latest sham reality star marriage can be blamed on LGBT marriages? And while we are at it, link it to the lesbian prom king and queen?

  451. 451
    pelamun

    Is there any way that the latest sham reality star marriage can be blamed on LGBT marriages? And while we are at it, link it to the lesbian prom king and queen?

    Easy.

    The sanctity of marriage and Christian morals over all have been under assault of the CommunistGayMafia. This decline in morals has led to people disrespecting the institution of marriage in general.

  452. 452
    RichardAustin

    Carlie:

    He is quite witty. I think a good outlet would be writing an occasional/regular column for a local indie publication. It could be Ben’s rants, or something of the like, and would probably prove quite popular.

    “Geiger’s Counter”?

  453. 453
    RichardAustin

    pelamun:

    Argh, he is still going on about square roots of negative numbers therefore God. I think I give up…

    Just reply with my favorite voicemail message:

    We’re sorry, the number you have tried to reach is imaginary. Please rotate your phone 90 degrees and try again.

  454. 454
    x

    …good free musical notation…

    You might have a look at Lilypond if by “good” you don’t mean “easily usable with a GUI”. From the examples the typesetting seems excellent, and if you are not daunted by the markup language, at least usable.

    I’m sure there are others out there – I remember seeing them when I was looking and found this one. You could try googling “like lilypond” or check the Pfft to see if it has a Lilypond entry which might also link to others.

    I tried my hand with it and it’s not exactly forgiving as far as helpful error messages go (at least a couple of years ago it wasn’t).

  455. 455
    consciousness razor

    Can you recommend a good free musical notation software?

    Hmm, I use all commercial software, so I’m not too familiar with the free stuff out there. MuseScore and Musette are at the top of the list on google….??

    What kind of music are you writing and how do you like to write? There are standard notation-style programs like those, then others are like a piano-roll and more often used with electronic music. If the latter, you might search for a free sequencer program of some kind, since those would let you notate with a piano-roll and have more options in terms of virtual instruments and adjusting timbral parameters.

    The notation-style programs are generally going to use some crappy general MIDI sounds without any way to alter them, which may or may not be important to you. But if you need to print it so it can be performed live, those would be your best option.

  456. 456
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Pelamun, that is so vague, it just might work. Have to work on that persecution angle though.

  457. 457
    ChasCPeterson

    next time I need to have gas lines excavated, I am procuring a paleontologist to do the job.

    Dental picks and paintbrushes; perfect tools for the job.

  458. 458
    Aratina Cage

    Is there any way that the latest sham reality star marriage can be blamed on LGBT marriages? And while we are at it, link it to the lesbian prom king and queen?

    Cue Chris Crocker: “But it wasn’t a sham marriage! Leave Kim alone!”

    This is the irony of all the anti-gay marriage bigotry: straight people have unparalleled freedom to treat their own marriages with as much whim and fancy as they want, and that is a good thing. You can even use your marriage to make tens of millions of dollars if you are so inclined and no one gives a flying fuck. Or you could lead another person on for years and years and then say, “Fuck ‘em”, when that person gets cancer or becomes debilitated or gets Alzheimer’s and leave them for your next victim. It’s all up to you! (If you are straight.)

    In other news, I still have not been able to find and not been provided with a link or quote to verify that I said what Justicar says I said. HMMMMMMmmmmmmm……

  459. 459
    cicely

    I’m not saying it isn’t worth it, but I reserve my right to snark and whine.

    And throw *rotten fruit and eggs* from the sidelines.
    -

    in D&D the Iron Golems have a SLOW breath weapon. The Garden Golems have a hay fever breath weapon. 30 by 30 cone of histamines!

    Oooh, yes! Or possibly can throw Pollen Storm three times per day, with an area-of-effect of, oh, let’s say a 20 ft. radius centered on the golem.

    Takes double damage from purpose-made gardening implements.
    -

    Is it time for a change of subject?
    *ahem*
    Oh poor me, my life sucks…

    *rotten fruit and eggs*
    -

    See? I still say you should try stand up comedy.

    Yes.
    -

    He is quite witty. I think a good outlet would be writing an occasional/regular column for a local indie publication. It could be Ben’s rants, or something of the like, and would probably prove quite popular.

    Even better yet.
    -

    “Geiger’s Counter”?

    There ya go, Benjamin! “Your mission, should you choose to accept it….”
    -

  460. 460
    pelamun

    Janine,

    if you need some more “evidence” of persecution, why not

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/11/01/no-one-expects-the-atheist-inquisition

    I’m not allowed to discriminate against gay employees *wail*

    the state will not give me any money any more if my hospitals refuse to perform any abortions or give out contraceptive *whine*

  461. 461
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Aratina Cage, why would you care what a worthless scumbag like Justicar has to say? Yes, I know that is about what he claims you said, but he has forfeited being treated like a reasonable person long ago.

  462. 462
    SallyStrange

    I’ve been playing about with MuseScore but it’s not at all intuitive to learn how to use, so I’m just wondering if there’s anything else to check out. I don’t care about the sound quality, I just have a lot of tunes in my head that will be easier to teach to others if I have a hard copy as well. Also I’d like to do a little bit of arranging, nothing too complicated.

    Thank you anyway!

  463. 463
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Pelamun, I have had plenty of run ins with “alex” over the years here. I imagine that I will have more in the future. I am aware of the arguments that they are being oppressed because we no longer live under their moral code.

  464. 464
    SallyStrange

    Belated *hugs* for Mattir–I don’t know any of the details but I think you are awesome. Reading about your adventures in child-rearing always cheers me up.

  465. 465
    SallyStrange

    What’s a piano roll? What’s a GUI?

  466. 466
    Dhorvath, OM

    Pelamun,
    Nothing to add, but I think complex numbers are pretty neat so thanks for dragging them in here. And a shout to FA for covering everything that I actually know about them. So long ago…
    ___

    WeedMonkey,
    Your links, I like ‘em.
    ISIS?
    So Did We
    ___

    First Approximation,
    Well of course, why not push money at research that most people won’t understand? It makes it easier to pull quotes and claim they support the goddidit camp. Still, I think Smolin canny enough to put the money to good use.
    _

    Err. Not everyone finds math a boring subject.
    ___

    Drewl,
    I am sorry to hear about your music director. Life altering illness of that magnitude is scary for everyone who touches a person afflicted. Hugs if you want ‘em.
    ___

    Katherine and Ogvorbis,
    And here are some for you too. Having our dream life undermine us does little good.
    ___

    Ing,
    That needed more warnings. For using the internet? Gotta get my licks in? Rage.
    ___

    Moggie,
    What kind of ceremonies?
    ___

    Algernon,

    Meh, well, if it offends you I think I’ll say it again.

    This is sublime.
    ___

    Ing,

    Ing *headdesk*

    My take was that giving your number to someone that creepy, ie random hit on from passing by your car, is …not wise.

    I am uncomfortable saying that she shouldn’t because of how it could work out for her. Where I would criticize is perhaps on the other end, when she does something like that it sends a message that creepy come ons work. And that means that more women than herself will have to continue fielding approaches.
    ___

    I so, so, so want a garden golem. Carrot for a nose if you would.
    ___

    As someone who dumps a lot on this thread, I don’t really want standards or anything. Scroll on past what you don’t like, it’s kinda like going to the cafe where you know everyone, you sit where the conversation interests and enriches your day.
    ___

    Oh poor me, my life sucks…

    Okay, that made me smile.
    ___

    It is November 2, is that too late to try to type up something resembling a novel? Who knows? I might pass ten pages this time.

  467. 467
    Dhorvath, OM

    Graphical User Interface

  468. 468
    Aratina Cage

    Aratina Cage, why would you care what a worthless scumbag like Justicar has to say? Yes, I know that is about what he claims you said, but he has forfeited being treated like a reasonable person long ago.

    Well, I’m just tired of his unchecked harping on me over at ERV’s, and this is something that he has mentioned at least twice now over there and seems a tad obsessed about. So, I think it is time for him to put up or shut up about it. I really cannot find myself saying something like that on any of the blogs I usually comment on. If I did say it, fine–point it out to me where, but otherwise I am not going to let him get away with it.

  469. 469
    pelamun

    Has anyone seen Melancholia by Lars von Trier?

    A Catholic bishop used that film to preach that the movie (directed by an atheist) showed that nihilism was hell and that the film was a parable of the hopelessness in a world without the word “god”, that in such a world, depression was the only answer. Yet man was created for heaven.

    I haven’t seen the movie, but can you really arrive at such a conclusion based on that movie?

  470. 470
    Q.E.D

    This just in:

    Satirical French magazine, Charlie hebdo, has had its headquarters fire bombed after printing a satirical issue mocking Islam.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15551153

  471. 471
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Aratina Cage, I understand what you mean. But it is not like that gang over at ERV’s monument really care about a fair exchange in general. Why would Justicar care about being truthful in this one particular case?

  472. 472
    Q.E.D

    The cover of Charlie Hebdo represents Mohamed saying “100 lashes if you aren’t dying of laughter”

    http://www.lemonde.fr/actualite-medias/portfolio/2011/11/02/les-caricatures-publiees-dans-charia-hebdo_1597283_3236.html

  473. 473
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Behead those who claim that islam is not a religion of peace.

  474. 474
    consciousness razor

    I’ve been playing about with MuseScore but it’s not at all intuitive to learn how to use, so I’m just wondering if there’s anything else to check out. I don’t care about the sound quality, I just have a lot of tunes in my head that will be easier to teach to others if I have a hard copy as well. Also I’d like to do a little bit of arranging, nothing too complicated.

    Yeah, I know what you mean. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about the free stuff to give you any advice about that.

    If it’s not a really big project, or if it’s something more straightforward like arranging, you might consider printing your own staff paper and doing it by hand. You can find printable staff paper online (or even make it yourself in a word processor). I know that sounds ridiculously old-fashioned, but what can I say? In some cases it could end up saving you a lot of time and headaches. Doing that, you can also make it look however you like, whereas I know a lot of free programs are limited in terms of the number of staves, changing time signatures, or making various kinds of adjustments. The major problems with doing it by hand are that you need legible handwriting and have to know how to notate everything properly, rather than just selecting stuff from a list or display in a computer program.

  475. 475
    Aratina Cage

    @Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM

    Aratina Cage, I understand what you mean. But it is not like that gang over at ERV’s monument really care about a fair exchange in general. Why would Justicar care about being truthful in this one particular case?

    True. I’m actually not sure if he imagined it by misreading what I actually wrote (which would be truthful but still wrong) or if he is making it up along with all the other libel and twisted fantasies he has written about me and others. I am beginning from the latter position, though, which is why I am demanding he provide a link to the quote of mine or the exact words I wrote, or admit it was a lie.

  476. 476
    Algernon

    I’m with you Sally. I’m done with that shit for good. There’s a history there, and I have been too nice about it.

  477. 477
    ChasCPeterson

    I am uncomfortable saying that she shouldn’t because of how it could work out for her.

    Why?
    I honestly do not understand why the perceived need to absolutely avoid anything smacking even faintly of possible ‘victim blaming’ means that one has to disingenuously avoid perfectly straightforward evaluations of risk that would be uncontroversial in any other situation.

    If Richard Dawkins were to ask me, “Do you think I should go off into the woods alone with this drunk guy I just met in the tavern parking lot after having a few myself?” I would, of course, answer “no, in my view that would be a foolishly risky thing to do.” I would say the same thing to anybody who asked me that same question, be they old, young, male, female, or Tralfamadorian.

    Yet I cannot criticize, as foolishly risky, the exact same behavior in hindsight if somebody does it and thereby gets sexually assaulted?
    What if instead they are robbed or beaten or, I don’t know, forced to eat mushrooms at knifepoint?

    I assure you that I am not trying to troll or open old wounds. I am seeking clarification about attitudes that I have seen expressed many times around here (sometimes rather rudely in my direction) but which seem, and have always seemed, irrational to me. Dhorvath’s comment opened the door to asking directly.

  478. 478
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    What’s a piano roll? What’s a GUI?

    A piano roll is similar to a black-and-white cookie. Picture a sweet roll, iced in white, with black rectangles going almost all the way across in parallel. GUI is the consitency of the frosting in warm weather.

    Trust me.

  479. 479
    Algernon

    If Richard Dawkins were to ask me, “Do you think I should go off into the woods alone with this drunk guy I just met in the tavern parking lot after having a few myself?” I would, of course, answer “no, in my view that would be a foolishly risky thing to do.” I would say the same thing to anybody who asked me that same question, be they old, young, male, female, or Tralfamadorian.

    Yet I cannot criticize, as foolishly risky, the exact same behavior in hindsight if somebody does it and thereby gets sexually assaulted?
    What if instead they are robbed or beaten or, I don’t know, forced to eat mushrooms at knifepoint?

    I assure you that I am not trying to troll or open old wounds. I am seeking clarification about attitudes that I have seen expressed many times around here (sometimes rather rudely in my direction) but which seem, and have always seemed, irrational to me. Dhorvath’s comment opened the door to asking directly.

    TBH, on this exact point I do agree with you insofar as there is nothing wrong with saying to some one “that sounds like a terrible idea and one you could regret.”

    The problem comes in the next step with the implication that the natural and deserved reaction to having been a bit foolish is to be raped or otherwise assaulted IMO.

    I am also not trying to get into an old argument with you. I think that the two things need to be looked at for what they are separately.

    The problem socially to me is that people tend to stop at the first point with women, as if that solves the larger problem when it doesn’t.

    However, that doesn’t mean it is rude to tell your friends you think they’re making a terrible mistake. Though, that also doesn’t mean they’ll listen, and it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve any sympathy if something bad does happen either. Or at least, that’s how I see it.

  480. 480
    Muse (evidently temptress of Pharyngula women)

    Chas – question for you in return. What good does it do, to after the fact, say, “you shouldn’t have done that”?

  481. 481
    Muse (evidently temptress of Pharyngula women)

    Or, what Algernon said.

  482. 482
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Guess what gals, today’s American are too well mannered to be overtly prejudiced. There is no such thing as sexual harassment. Grow up, people.

  483. 483
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I think the problem is that, as lonfg as we’re living in patriarchal rape-culture, we have to deal with it.
    One thing is victim blaming, the other one is being sensible.
    Because it won’t do no good if we all totally agree that it wasn’t her fault when she ends up as a victim of sexual assault.
    Is it bad that women are told to watch their drinks?
    Yes.
    Is it sensible advice in an area where there have been 10 cases of drug-related rape in the last month? Absolutely!
    Is it bad that women can’t walk the streets safely?
    Yes, it is.
    Will I still hand out taxi money to the girls when they’re old enough to go clubbing?
    Sure I will.
    While we have to fight rape-culture, we still have to take care of ourselves. Nobody is helped if we suffer some more.

    Having said that, well, I don’t know what she was thinking or how her risk-assesment was.
    Maybe she has a prepaid phone where she can easily change numbers, maybe she’s just naive.

  484. 484
    Dhorvath, OM

    Chas,
    My specific concern is tied up in what is an actual bad move and what is not. Do more women who give their phone numbers to strange men in parking lots actually suffer subsequent harm than those who meet new people at school, work, dance clubs, or online? Is what she did actually more risky?

    When we start saying, don’t meet new people doing ‘x’ because they might turn out to be bad, unless we can strongly tie ‘x’ to future harm, I think we are focused on the wrong half of the problem.

    Is it okay to approach women doing ‘x’, regardless of outcome? I have heard enough people who find that annoying, invasive, and otherwise rude to think that it would be best if randomly hitting on strangers should just stop. So for me, it seems that saying instead, ‘don’t respond favourably to new people doing ‘x’ because that is poor behaviour’ is both easier to support as true, and more likely to have an impact on the actual lives that people lead. I still think saying anything places an unfair burden on the people so approached, but I don’t rightly know how to deal with that.

  485. 485
    Moggie

    Dhorvath:

    What kind of ceremonies?

    Huh? Oh, Ing’s ceremonial dildo. Well, anything with enough pomp to bring in the tourists, I guess. Anything involving Prince Philip, a diamond-encrusted dildo, and no lube.

  486. 486
    pelamun

    Sorry, I need to come back to the imaginary numbers thing.

    Has anyone proven mathematically that they exist.

    His original idea was like this: someone said that there are no square roots for negative numbers. Some other person says yes there are, and I call them imaginary numbers. So now the burden of proof would be on that person to prove that there are imaginary numbers.

    This is why I wanted to say that mathematics doesn’t have a direct relationship to reality. But if there was someone who proved mathematically that they exist, maybe that’d be a more powerful counterargument…

  487. 487
    Carlie

    “Geiger’s Counter”?

    YES. “Belly up to the bar and have a chat about the world, here at Geiger’s Counter.”

    Mattir, I’m sorry things have been rough. The biggest problem with my withdrawal from social media is that I no longer can follow things that are anywhere but here. You have my email though, if there’s anything you ever need to bounce off someone else.

  488. 488
    Dhorvath, OM

    Pelamun,
    Do numbers in a plain exist on a number line? Are irrationals part of the rationals? Etc.
    Complex numbers are a different mathematical tool that lend themselves to certain aspects of conceptual exploration. This person is still trying to think of numbers solely based on cardinality, one apple, three cars. I am surprised they didn’t go for negative numbers while they were at it, but maybe because debt is such a common modern concept they give it a pass.

  489. 489
    Inaji

    Driving by…

    Giliell, it’s better to get females spayed when it comes to rats. Neutering males decreases their life span (they get serious lazy and over eat) while spaying increases a female’s life span (no pregnancy/birthing stress and no risk of uterine cancers).

  490. 490
    julian

    Yet I cannot criticize, as foolishly risky, the exact same behavior in hindsight if somebody does it and thereby gets sexually assaulted?

    My thinking is something like,

    Saying “what the fuck were you thinking” to someone who’s just been wronged shifts the burden of reponsibility onto them for a situation we’ve already agreed they weren’t at fault in. The person who leaves his keys in his car with the door unlocked may be foolish, but he isn’t wrong to do so. It is his vehicle and we recognize that stealing is wrong.

    It is the responsibility of the would be thief not to take what isn’t his. Now there may be obligations and factors that make the owner responsible for protecting the vehicle (sole mode of transportation for family, child in the back seat) and wrong for not being careful but that’s a different case. I am not responsible for the criminal activity of the person who attacked me. They and they alone are regardless of how foolishly I may have behaved.

    Besides, what purpose does that serve other than to remind the victim how superior you are to them?

  491. 491
    Ing

    @Ing:

    Made up of modern art sculptures?

    Half of it is a lit candle, the other is a castle tower, and it’s feet are tin cans.

    I am uncomfortable saying that she shouldn’t because of how it could work out for her. Where I would criticize is perhaps on the other end, when she does something like that it sends a message that creepy come ons work. And that means that more women than herself will have to continue fielding approaches.

    That’s 1 point. it’s not of how it could work, it’s that I’m insanely skeptical it would have any GOOD result, not just the possibility of a bad result. I see someone doing that and my mind jumps to motive and what they’re thinking and what kind of person does such a thing. I told her the best case scenario was that a doucehbag has her number. Did anyone really think someone who does that is doing anything but indiscriminately seeking tail? I’m not against one night stands or anything but this is a) creepy, b) while she does ONS the vibe I get is that she wants something more stable/romantic.

  492. 492
    Ing

    I am not hoping anything bad happens and if it does I will NOT say “I told you so” or anything like that.

  493. 493
    pelamun

    Dhorvath,

    Thx. I went with the abstract system that can be validated by real-world applications spiel.

    Since we were on the topic of the Pius X brothers, apparently they will refuse the agreement offered them by the Vatican. The most mind-boggling thing for me is that Ratzinger will probably be unhappy about this (actually that he wanted them back in the fold in the first place).

    http://www.kathweb.at/site/nachrichten/database/42665.html

  494. 494
    First Approximation

    Sorry, I need to come back to the imaginary numbers thing.

    Has anyone proven mathematically that they exist.

    Again, look at my comment at 237. If you agree that you can take an ordered pair of real numbers and define addition/multiplication as we did there then it logically follows that imaginary numbers exist. They are just numbers of the form (0,a). Let’s take a=1 for sake of concreteness.

    When you square that number (under our definition of complex multiplication) you get (0,1)*(0,1)= (0-1^2, 0+0) = (-1, 0). Now remember that complex numbers are plane numbers and that the x-axis is identified as the real number line*. Therefore, (-1, 0) is identified with -1. Ta da. The square root of a negative number.

    The only way you can object to imaginary numbers is if you disagree with something we did in the construction. However, there’s nothing objectionable there. An ordered pair of real numbers is well defined (making the concept of an ‘ordered pair’ from set theory is really simple, but I doubt anyone would object to the idea of an ordered pair (if they do I can justify it)). The complex addition/multiplication is well defined. It’s just the addition, multiplication and subtraction of real numbers. We didn’t even need division! Nothing objectionable there. The only objection would be that you disagree that the reals exist, but that’s a whole other discussion.
    _ _ _

    * Let’s take numbers of the form (b,0).

    Adding them: (b,0) + (c,0) = (b+c,0)
    Multiplying them: (b,0)*(c,0) = (bc-0,0+0) = (bc,0)

    Therefore numbers on the x-axis behave exactly like the real number line.

  495. 495
    pelamun

    FA,

    thanks. One thing I’m still trying to get is

    (a,b)= a(0,1) + b(0,1) as a + bi

    Why would we take (0,1) here?

  496. 496
    consciousness razor

    The only objection would be that you disagree that the reals exist, but that’s a whole other discussion.

    Well, unless you can point to some real number, of unicorns or flat-earthers or teabaggers (or another suitably Jesus-oriented set of objects), out there in the real world, then I’m afraid I can’t accept those exist either. They are a trick of Satanic communist math professors, meant only to make us sin and test our faith.

  497. 497
    pelamun

    the apologetic in question is a theology student, but claims to have studied maths for a couple of semesters..

  498. 498
    Dhorvath, OM

    a + bi=(a,b)
    Your other statement, a(0,1) + b(0,1), mixes the two notations and is also wrong in the way I think you are trying to use it. Say instead that a(1,0) + b(0,1)=(a,0)+(0,b)=(a+0,0+b)=(a,b)

  499. 499
    pelamun

    Ah Dhorvath,

    now that makes sense to me. Thx, I think I’m clear about it now. Haven’t done any maths for ages, that was refreshing.

    If he does question the construction I will report back.

  500. 500
    SallyStrange

    A piano roll is similar to a black-and-white cookie. Picture a sweet roll, iced in white, with black rectangles going almost all the way across in parallel. GUI is the consitency of the frosting in warm weather.

    Trust me.

    Ah good, that’s what I assumed it was.

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