Another note for students — the rest of you can ignore it »« A little sliver of restoration

Comments

  1. Algernon says

    I just want to know what it must be like being born and raised on such a small strange island in the world.

  2. Rey Fox says

    The hell happened last night?

    Apparently somebody set off the Slanted Science signal, and he had to show up and defend his lack of honor, or some such.

  3. says

    Algernon:

    Oh I thought ERV did?

    No, Abbie didn’t either. Abbie linked to a post of mine, apparently, in the old lens of your preconception thread at sciblogs, the one about the rusty knife dust up with the Colgate Twins. Some one else, who I’m not familiar with at all is the one who wrote the charming stuff about me.

  4. says

    This is even more bizarre than the government of Tokelau residing in Samoa.

    Speaking of Samoa, it’s also an interesting country, from a constitutional point of view; it’s a halfway house between a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary republic. The “O le Ao o le Malo” is the head of state, has all the ceremonial trappings of a constitutional monarch and is addressed as “Your Highness”, and is, in practice, always selected from among the traditional hereditary chiefs. However, the office is not hereditary: he is elected by the parliament to a renewable term of five years, and can be removed from office by the parliament. So it’s hard to know whether to classify him as an elected monarch or as a ceremonial president.

    (Of course it’s also important not to confuse the independent country of Samoa – formerly known as Western Samoa – with the neighbouring territory of American Samoa. The latter is a US territory, like Guam and Puerto Rico.)

    One day I’d love to visit some of these Pacific islands – Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Hawai’i and so on. It would be really interesting. Though I doubt I’ll ever have the money to travel long distances for fun (immigration and asylum law is not notorious for paying well).

  5. says

    Oh and Rorschach, while I don’t care if you go digging around at erv, in the future, if you see posts which mention me, please don’t copy & paste them here. I’m not interested, okay? Just leave me out of it. Thanks.

  6. Algernon says

    Yeah, to be honest… well I’m avoidant anyway in general so all this has been enough to make me less willing to be at certain places in general.

  7. Sili says

    I’m glad I didn’t have to do that, Mattir. I would likely have yelled, facepalmed and smacked someone.

    (Yes, I have in fact just spent three days doing basic paedagogy, why do you ask? Awesome resort, by the way. I thought I ate a lot in NY, but no, it doesn’t compare.)

  8. says

    Santorum is frothing, Cain isn’t abel, Perry has no thrust, Newt is naught,Bachmann is in Turner Diary overdrive and …
    Who did I leave out?

  9. chigau (無) says

    The Sailor
    I liked Fiji in the early ’80s.
    I don’t know how it is now, after the many coups.

  10. Sili says

    Rev. BigDumbChimp says:

    Caol Ila is my new favorite thing.

    Guess I should break open mine, then.

  11. theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme says

    @ Josh

    Check email. (Yeah, yeah, I haz been slack in checking my own mail lately.)

    @ Pelamun

    IM Pei (I was told this, but it seems to be disowned… cannot find architects name) in China: Linky. I took the picture yesterday.

    But back to the real sub-sub-sub thread: Laurie Baker in India (here is real architectural inspiration in a developing country). Linky. (Many more to follow in weeks, months and years to follow … call me teh Walton of Architecture.)

    @ RTL

    Chandigarh is a concrete dump.

    (As was a lot of what Le Corbusier did. Fixing leaky roofs was beyond him.)

    Thanks for the link to the Rock Garden. It reminds me not a little of the outsider art in Nieu Bethesda in South Africa. Linky. We went for a meal at a local restaurant there. No prices on the menu. Huh? “Just pay me what you think the meal was worth”, said the chef. I guess there must be something in the water there.

  12. says

    Disappointed how Stephanie Zvan seems to be handling comments on her blog. Probably won’t comment there any more..

    Star Trek Could I safely skip ahead to VOY season 3 or 4 without missing much? You couldn’t do that with DS9, well maybe you could skip the first season, just watching the first and last episodes of it.

    Chandigarh Rock Garden looks like. Concrete dump, well that could be the case, but that could still be architecturally interesting. Probably many New Yorkers feel the same way about Empire State Plaza…

    Admin factoids
    Yes, Walton, these two were on my useless-admin-trivia-unless-you-live-there list. I read a book once about
    “The Last Pink Bits: Travels Through the Remnants of the British Empire”, I think Pitcairn was featured there as well (can’t locate the book now). Bonus question: now that Hong Kong has been gloriously returned (that’s the term the Chinese govt likes to use, 香港光復), which country is now the master of the largest (as in “population-wise”) colony nowadays?

    Pacific islands
    In uni, I studied Samoan for three years, but in a city where there was no single Samoan, so we mostly translated myths and stories.

    I think there’s plenty of work for immigration lawyers in the Pacific islands. One thing I learnt about Pacific islands is that by far they’re not the paradise as which they market themselves to tourists (you probably knew that). Samoan society, incl. the overseas communities, is characterised by strict social control for which high rates of youth suicides are blamed. But I also find the Samoan concept of third gender interesting, they have a better societal role than in SE Asia.

    Regarding Samoan democracy and monarchy:

    You have to understand the matai system first (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fa%27amatai). A matai is a chief, usually the head of a family. Acc to Wikipedia, 8.7% of Samoans are matai, 80% male, 20% female. Until 1990, only matai were allowed to elect the members of parliament, and until now 47 of its 49 seats are reserved for chiefs. The head of state is better translated as paramount chief. A council of chiefs electing one of their own as paramount chief is more akin to an electoral monarchy than democracy. Maybe it’s an oligarchy?

    The Tongan monarchy is probably a better example of a monarchy in the region, with the royal family and noble families controlling parliament. Incidentally, the idea of a Tongan super-kingdom was probably overblown by Europeans, but at least it’s become an important part of Tongan and Samoan identity. Because for the Samoans, this makes the story about how they defeated the Tongans in war even more impressive (yes, we read that story too).

  13. says

    Could I safely skip ahead to VOY season 3 or 4 without missing much?

    No, not really. There’s stuff that happens in early seasons that comes up in later episodes. You’d definitely want to watch the first two episodes at least or nothing will make much sense. But the early seasons aren’t bad, IMO.

  14. says

    I wanted to say, Rock Garden looks NICE.

    theophontes,

    thanks for the links, looking forward to many to come… But the one link to the skydrive doesn’t seem to be working… Zenmeban?

  15. says

    The Tongan monarchy is probably a better example of a monarchy in the region, with the royal family and noble families controlling parliament.

    Yep. Tonga is a fascinating country, and the only independent monarchy in the Pacific. It’s still governed under the British-inspired constitution of 1875, which, I’ve noticed, bears a lot of resemblance to the (several) constitutions of the former Kingdom of Hawai’i.

    The Legislative Assembly, the Tongan parliament, consists of representatives of the nobility and the common people, and a number of ex officio members – rather like the British House of Lords and House of Commons, except combined into a single unicameral legislature. There is a Prime Minister and Cabinet – again, similar to the British system – but most cabinet ministers have been drawn from the royal family and the hereditary nobility, although this is changing slowly.

    Tongan monarchs tend to be impressively long-lived. The famous Queen Salote ruled the country from 1900 to 1965; IIRC, there is famous footage of her arriving at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1952 in an open carriage, waving to spectators. (I haven’t been able to find that image, but here’s a New Zealand film of her from 1956.) She was succeeded by her son Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV, who, at one point, famously became the heaviest head of state in the world; in the 1990s he established a national fitness programme for the country, and lost a third of his weight. He died just a few years ago, in 2006.

    The current King, George Tupou V, has reportedly been implementing democratic reforms and modernization, including an increase in the number of people’s representatives in the legislature.

  16. says

    (I’ve been interested in Tonga since 2006 or so, when it was briefly in the news because of the King’s death. It’s a really, really interesting country, and I’d love to visit.)

  17. Esteleth says

    Sounds like CNN is getting a little Foxy

    Getting is a bit mild. Witness their love affair with the teabaggers!

  18. says

    Walton,

    I don’t want this to turn into a repeat of our Liechtenstein debate, but I just like to warn you to have a rosy view of a country just because it’s a monarchy.

    The reason the current King is moving towards more democracy is because of the riots in 2006. This link is not really an unbiased source, but I’ve found it hard to find many good links about political matters in Polynesia, probably because they’re so far away and countries with 500k people count as major nations http://libcom.org/history/tongan-riots-2006

    Samoa has technically abolished its monarchy, as per Wiki

    Tanumafili died in May 2007 and his successor, Tupua Tamasese Tupuola Tufuga Efi was elected by the legislature for a five-year term in June 2007. At the time the Constitution was adopted it was anticipated that future Heads of State would be chosen from among the four Tama-a-Aiga ‘royal’ paramount chiefs. However, this is not required by the Constitution and for this reason Samoa can be considered a republic rather than a constitutional monarchy like the United Kingdom.

    But until Samoa actually elects a head of state who is not a paramount chief, I will regard it as de facto electoral monarchy. Also the Constitution does say, that every Samoan can become member of parliament, and any member of Parliament can become head of state. But how would that be possible for a commoner, if only 2 out of 49 Fono seats are NOT for chiefs?

  19. says

    countries with 500k people count as major nations

    Actually in Polynesia, the biggest countries have like 150-200k inhabitants only. Hawai’i might have around 150-200k native Hawai’ians, and New Zealand 500k-700k Maoris.

  20. Pteryxx says

    seconding Caine, though in general and not about her specifically. Personally I would appreciate if posts with sliming content were rot-13 encoded or spoiler-tagged (however THAT gets done) so that I don’t have to look at them unless I choose to. I’d rather not actually follow a link to the Slimepit, either. just my 2c.

  21. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    All-
    I’ve a feeling I’ve missed/not processed a whole bunch of conversations about important things happening to folks here. Mea culpa friends; my slow-building head cold keeps getting worse, and I’m foggier every day.

    Theophontes-
    Got email:) Will post Phoenicia this week. She’s all bagged up, but I can’t bring myself to get off the couch right now.

    Star Trek-
    I’m just starting DS9, and into season 2. It was the last instantation of the franchise I hadn’t watched. If you’re a committed Trekkie, you should watch them all. They all have strengths and weaknesses. For me, TNG is the gold standard. I very much liked Voyager, though it had some of the most ridiculous scientific and logical fuck-ups of all time. The appearance of Seven of Nine as a character is when the show gets most excellent (and no, it’s not the cat-suit; the character’s fucking great and so is the performance).

    Enterprise? Meh. Glad I watched it but don’t remember much of it.

  22. Mattir says

    One of our most amusing homeschooling activities was a couple weeks of Star Trek School™, in which we watched the various series and discussed the ethical conundrums, the scientific headdesk moments (Picard devolving into a lemur? Or possibly a pygmy marmoset? Really?) , and the structure of the storytelling. It was freaking awesome, and actually educational, in a thoroughly bizarre Mattir Family sort of way. And it paved the way for BattleStar Galactica School™, Lost School™, Buffy School™, and Firefly School™.

    I wonder what the Homeschool Review Automaton would make of that if I stuck it into my portfolio thingy?

    As to Voyager, it’s useful to slog through the first couple seasons, but the whole thing gets a whole lot more palatable once the crew is rid of the horridly insipidly empath Kel and acquires the excellently confrontational Seven of Nine.

  23. julian says

    Also, what the hell is Stephanie Zvan doing — deleting any comments that rip apart the condescending, awful, irony-meter-breaking defenses of Hoggle’s pseudonymity by Greg Laden, or something?

    She’s pretty hostile to off topic discussions or discussions that try to avoid the purpose of the challenge. I don’t doubt her friendship with Greg Laden has contributed in this specific case but she’s been less than friendly (rightly I think) towards that sort of thing in all her other challenges as well.

  24. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    what the heck is a “true blue” member of Congress?

    Someone who votes for the definition of marriage as only “one man, one woman”, votes against any sort of equal status for LGBT people and will oppose any initiative of Obama because is such an ideologue.

  25. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Mattir:

    As to Voyager, it’s useful to slog through the first couple seasons, but the whole thing gets a whole lot more palatable once the crew is rid of the horridly insipidly empath Kel and acquires the excellently confrontational Seven of Nine.

    That’s the goddamned truth right there.

  26. says

    but doesn’t Greg Laden also know the identity of Franc Hoggle? I think his stance in the past matters for the purposes of the discussion…

  27. says

    Janine,

    I knew that much.

    But what’s the symbology of the colour blue for conservatives? Nowadays it’s the colour for Dems (historical fun fact: the colour scheme used to be based on incumbent and challenger parties, at some point, prolly due to the 2000 Floria Hanging Chad crisis, it got fixed. Funny that after 11 years many people now think it was always that way). Stars and Stripes are red, white and blue. Blue blood is more an English thing..

  28. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    I have long been of the opinion that if Spock were to do a mind meld of the Tom Baker Doctor and Spock would go insane.

    Star Trek is only of use for me because of the great Andrew joke about Faith fighting a Vulcan, instead of a vulcanologist.

  29. Esteleth says

    Pelamun,
    The phrase “true blue” is an old one. It means “orthodox.” This usage dates back to the 1700s.

  30. says

    Star Trek is only of use for me because of the great Andrew joke about Faith fighting a Vulcan, instead of a vulcanologist.

    I remember that line, a great line it was.

    Well, in the traditional Star Wars v. Star Trek debate I came down on the side of SW. Also because there’s just too much to watch from Star Trek :D…

    But I really enjoyed DS9. They kept the scientific mumbo-jumbo to a minimum. Voyager starts out doing just that… Well, I might need to do some research first, which episodes from the first seasons are must-see episodes, or just watch it with the Star Trek Wiki open..

  31. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Pelamun, I still find it funny that neo-coms are from “red states” when, from roughly 1919 through 1989, being “red” was the same as being “un-american”. (Keep in mind, the baseball team Cincinnati Reds became the Redlegs because of such fears.)

    We are at war with Eastasia and has always been at war with Eastasia.

  32. says

    Esteleth,

    The phrase “true blue” is an old one. It means “orthodox.” This usage dates back to the 1700s.

    Ah, thx. So it’s kinda a relic from the usage of English nobility. But then American conservatives have never reflected upon their language use, have they…

  33. KG says

    Bonus question: now that Hong Kong has been gloriously returned (that’s the term the Chinese govt likes to use, 香港光復), which country is now the master of the largest (as in “population-wise”) colony nowadays? – pelamun

    The USA (Puerto Rico)

  34. Esteleth says

    Pelamun,

    So it’s kinda a relic from the usage of English nobility.

    Actually, my google-fu informs me that the original usage apparently comes from the textiles of Coventry, England, which was renowned for producing blue fabric that didn’t fade with age or repeated washing back as far as the Middle Ages.

    It’s related to the technique that the weavers of Coventry used to produce said fabric – dying before spinning the wool – that gives rise to another phrase, “dyed in the wool,” i.e. steadfast.

  35. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    How the fuck can all americans be united by the idea that the Koch brothers acting only in their own interests is best for everyone?

    Because the right has successfully linked extremist oligarchical conservatism with evangelical dominionism through the extremely toxic prosperity gospel. Jesus wants to let the poor starve because they are not True Christians.*

    * Just my opinion, of course. Your results may vary. Processed by a nut in a manufactured facility. Do not take anally, orally, or aurally.

  36. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    When I had a look at the link for the Chandigarh Rock Garden it sort of slightly made me think of Gaudí’s Parc Güell – using scrap, broken ceramics etc. (but I’m probably just being ridiculously eurocentric).

  37. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    and acquires the excellently confrontational Seven of Nine.

    My favorite Voyager episode was the one were the crew went into suspended animation in order to pass through a radiation cloud unscathed, and just 7 of 9 and the holographic doctor remaining conscious to run the ship. The radiation begins to get to 7 of 9, making her slightly delusional.

  38. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Anyone else noticing FTB hanging up, crashing, and timing out more and more frequently? It’s happening several times a day for me now. Have we overloaded the new-new server yet again?

  39. julian says

    Why does everyone hate Wesley so much? I don’t think he’s nearly as annoying as Kes.

    Why does everyone hate Kes? The actress who did her wasn’t half bad. Not nearly as annoying as whoever played that chef.

  40. Mr. Fire says

    Janine, were you ever interested in a group called Bad Brains?

    This song is in one of my favorite movies, and I found it catchy. And I had never even conceived of Afro-Punk before.

  41. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Why does everyone hate Kes? The actress who did her wasn’t half bad. Not nearly as annoying as whoever played that chef.

    It’s the character and how it was written. Insipid. Beige-colored. As exciting as margarine without the yellow food-coloring. One-dimensional. Too “nice.”

    Just bad writing, bad characterization.

  42. says

    Why does everyone hate Kes? The actress who did her wasn’t half bad. Not nearly as annoying as whoever played that chef.

    The character was annoying. She was perfect. She had no flaws and very little conflict. I didn’t think the actress was very good either. At least Wesley was just boring.

  43. says

    I like DS9 the best of all the Star Trek series. It has a much stronger story-arc and much more political commentary – cf Bajor and the Cardassians – and it’s a little less utopian and starry-eyed.

    I do like TNG and Voyager too, having grown up with both series, but I’ll have to admit that the plots sometimes get silly. Partly, I think they’re enjoyable because of the likeability of the characters, and the good acting; Patrick Stewart and Kate Mulgrew are both brilliant, and one of the major factors that made both shows enjoyable, IMO.

  44. says

    (I’ve been a Star Trek fan since childhood, since I grew up with DS9, Voyager and (later) Enterprise. I’m too young to have seen much of the Original Series, though.)

  45. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m too young to have seen much of the Original Series, though.

    I stayed up Friday nights to see it. *starts to shake cane, runs out of breath, and retires*

  46. Dhorvath, OM says

    I liked the tailor guy on DS9, that is about all I really remember, although I think I saw the whole series and certainly remember saying at the time I watched it that I liked it best out of OS, TNG, and Voyager. Voyager I dabbled with, but aside from Janeway (awesome!) I just couldn’t crack the show, then 7of9 chased me off altogether. TNG I watched in my early teens while putting off homework, I haven’t gone back for fear of what I might find. Only saw one Enterprise so I can’t comment there.
    Still, I like the movies best, yes even TNG movies. What can I say?

  47. says

    The reason the current King is moving towards more democracy is because of the riots in 2006. This link is not really an unbiased source, but I’ve found it hard to find many good links about political matters in Polynesia, probably because they’re so far away and countries with 500k people count as major nations http://libcom.org/history/tongan-riots-2006

    Yeah… I was aware of the riots, but I wouldn’t really treat an avowedly anarchocommunist website as a good source about them. (Though you’re right that there aren’t a great many better sources available.)

    Unfortunately, under the previous King, there were some major errors of judgment; the King’s former “court jester” and financial advisor, a man named Jesse Bogdonoff, reportedly stole millions of dollars from the government of Tonga through a dodgy investment deal, for which the King was widely blamed. There was also an attempt to clamp down on freedom of the press, with an attempt to ban a newspaper which was critical of the government, although the ban was later overturned by the Supreme Court.

    And of course Tonga does need constitutional and legal modernization, since it’s still being governed under a written constitution from 1875 which is now rather archaic. One of their cabinet ministers, Clive Edwards, a New Zealand-educated lawyer, is apparently trying to reform the Tongan legal system, proposing reforms including the abolition of the death penalty (which is still on the books, but has not been used since 1982).

  48. says

    Walton, are all 60 people in the Pitcairns related to Fletcher Christian?

    I believe most of the people there are interrelated, although IIRC there are a few British and New Zealand ex-pats.

    Unfortunately, due to the community’s small size and isolation, it’s been reported that for decades a number of men – including the island’s mayor – got away with sexually abusing teenage girls. This was unknown to the outside world until the late 1990s, when Gail Edwards, a British policewoman posted there, discovered the abuse and launched an investigation. Later, more than fifty charges of rape and indecent assault were laid against seven islanders, and they were tried and convicted in 2004. (See Pitcairn sexual assault trial of 2004.)

  49. says

    (IOW, Pitcairn is really, really not a place one would want to live. The trouble with very small and isolated communities is that assholes with power have no checks on their behaviour.)

  50. Mattir says

    One reason I enjoyed Seven of Nine so much (besides the very attractive catsuit) was the depiction of her struggle with PTSD and trying to fit back into the human world. It captured a lot of the struggle of dealing with personality forming early childhood trauma and the weirdness of sexuality and gender and human connection generally. The PTSD/sexuality/gender confusion was greatly enhanced by her appearance (i.e. the catsuit), which attracted other characters and confused Seven, and her ambivalence about the benefits that her assimilation gave her and the crew – she was always saving the crew with nanites, which were essentially traces of her torture.

    Plus there was the great way she could glare at people.

  51. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    (. . . The trouble with very small and isolated communities is that assholes with power have no checks on their behaviour.)

    Hmm. I had no idea the USA was a very small and isolated community.

  52. says

    true blood
    Esteleth,

    ah, dyed in the wool, yes. It seems that there are several theories for “true blood” but this website has a quote from 1670

    “Coventry had formerly the reputation for dying of blues; insomuch that true blue became a Proverb to signifie one that was always the same and like himself.”

    Whereas “blue bood” seems to have become popular in English only later.

    Pitcairn

    Walton, are all 60 people in the Pitcairns related to Fletcher Christian?

    1. the original crew (the island had been inhabited before, but the original population had died out) was 17 people. But intermarriage between cousin was common.

    2. at least since 2005 this is technically no longer true because

    In February 2005, Shirley and Simon Young became the first married outsider couple in recorded history to obtain citizenship on Pitcairn (Miscellany, March 2005).

    3. Also don’t forget that over the course of Pitcairn history, there have been “mass emigrations” to New Zealand of up to 200 people at a time

    By the mid-1850s the Pitcairn community was outgrowing the island and its leaders appealed to the British government for assistance. They were offered Norfolk Island and on 3 May 1856, the entire community of 193 people set sail for Norfolk on board the Morayshire, arriving on 8 June after a miserable five-week trip. But after eighteen months on Norfolk, seventeen of the Pitcairners returned to their home island; five years later another twenty-seven did the same.

    [...]

    Since a population peak of 233 in 1937, the island has been suffering from emigration, primarily to New Zealand, leaving some fifty people living on Pitcairn (December 2009: 45 islanders on Electoral Roll)

  53. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    I think DS9 did quite a good job of depicting religion in the form of that poisonous priestess figure (I have the misfortune to be related to someone exactly like that, only worse because non-fictional). But it’s a pity they were all woo-ish over the other “nice” believers.

  54. says

    Walton,

    the best news source I have on the Pacific islands is the Pacific Beat newscast by Radio Australia. I followed all the relevant news on the Tongan crisis and the Fijian “situation” listening to them, but it’s not exactly amenable to a text search.

  55. Pteryxx says

    @Mattir, got any recommendations for particular episodes featuring 7of9? I didn’t know a darn thing about PTSD back then, and I’d like to follow up what you’ve said without having to watch the whole series. (Also, why the heck is it called a “catsuit”? Cats have baggy skins they can twist around inside, like mice.)

  56. Mattir says

    Mr. Mattir has left for 3 days on a tour of some mountain top removal activism stuff with a buddy of his (I persuaded him to take the fossil field guide and rock hammers with him). The Spawns and I are embarking on a Star Trek School™ intensive seminar. Expect live bloggingTET updates.

  57. says

    erm, that was true blue, not true blood LOL…

    Yeah the site was down for me too. Thought they might be adding some new bloggers, though I don’t know if that would cause a hangup like this…

    Not having watched TNG, I don’t have an opinion on Wes, but I found the quote from Wikipedia amusing:

    Many fans, including Wil Wheaton himself,[1] considered the character to be a Mary Sue and a stand-in for Gene Roddenberry, whose middle name was “Wesley”. On TV Tropes, “The Wesley”,[2] a trope describing a character who is liked by the creators but disliked by audiences, is named after him.[3]
    Some fans disliked the idea of a young boy who seems to constantly save the whole ship. Commentators have observed at least seven times in which Wesley, “who has trouble getting into the Starfleet Academy” and is on a ship “filled with Starfleet’s best and brightest crew members”, has come up “with the needed solution”.[4][5]

  58. Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan says

    Ah, staying up till 2 am. What Fridays are for. Clubs and other social things optional.
    ——————————-

    I just learned the real reason one of the first-graders went as a Na’vi this year for Halloween. Her mother originally had bought a princess costume, and the girl said no. “Well, then what do you want to go as?” “A Na’vi from Avatar.” “Why?” “Because Miss E. (that would be me) loves that movie.”

    I swear, I’ve never wanted to be part Shmoo so much just so I could do the “exude hearts over head” stunt. Come on, how many times does anyone get to hear that a kid wanted to be a certain thing for Halloween just because they think that much of you?

    But now I’m sad that I never got to see her costume beyond a glimpse at the parade. And I’m a bit angry too – dammit, she did it because of me, and I never got to see her because I had to make sure some of the the more rambunctious kindergarteners didn’t run off! I might ask Mom to email me a copy of that picture she took of the girl – no way am I missing out on a momento of this.
    ——————————————–

    In other news, I picked up a printer at the new Radioshack downtown. Smallest I could find, as space is kind of at a premium in my study, which is really just a small room connected to my bedroom by an open doorway. Turns out one or two of the places I’m thinking of submitting a written piece will only take mail-ins. So, OK, new printer. Was the cheapest one, too. I just hope that doesn’t mean it will break soon.
    ——————————————–

    There’s a possible new partner in the polyamory equation, although I’m proceeding with caution for now. He seems like an interesting guy, lives on Long Island. Much like J, he’s something of a nerd. (I guess this proves what my preferences really are, eh?).

  59. says

    opposable thumbs,

    I think DS9 did quite a good job of depicting religion in the form of that poisonous priestess figure (I have the misfortune to be related to someone exactly like that, only worse because non-fictional). But it’s a pity they were all woo-ish over the other “nice” believers.

    woo-ish in what way?

    Also, I guess Star Wars is a good universe for woo-ists, what with the force and all. The Midchlorians or whatever they were called was a very lame attempt at providing a scientific explanation for a Chopraistic universe

  60. Esteleth says

    Pelamun,
    The phrases “true blue” and “blue blood” are completely unrelated.

    “Blue blood” is a literal translation of the Spanish sangre azul, which showed up during the Reconquista time period as a way of distinguishing between Spaniards who did or did not have Jewish or Moorish ancestry. If your veins could be clearly seen through your skin, then you were “pure,” and a true Spaniard. As the Reconquista progressed, the blue-blooded Spaniards formed the core of the burgeoning aristocracy. By the time the Reconquista was completed in 1492, having sangre azul was institutionalized into the limpieza de sangre (“cleanliness of blood”) system, where people were ranked based on their degree of Jewish or Moorish ancestry.

    The term showed up in English in the 1800s, where it denoted “noble,” and was backwards-applied to the tans of working-class people vs the paleness of the wealthy, who didn’t have to do manual labor outside.

  61. says

    Esteleth,

    I know the origin of the phrase “blue blood”. It is technically wrong to say that “blue blood” and “true blue” are “completely unrelated”, after all they both share the element “blue”…

    Anyways, as I said in my post 581 (or tried to say), apparently some people did propose “blue blood” as the origin of “true blue”, but this seems to be wrong. There’s a citation from 1670 showing clearly that the Coventry textile industry was the origin of “true blue”, whereas “blue blood” entered the English language at some later point, I think it was the 19th c. So these two phrases have entered the English language independent of each other.

    However, it is probable that these two expressions influenced each other, after the 19th c. (because etymology does not necessarily determine the synchronic connotations) as they do share a common element. How, and to what extent, I wouldn’t be able to say without doing corpus analyses.

  62. Sally Strange, OM says

    Pitcairn Island is just really not suitable for human habitation. It’s too small to support a human population that doesn’t depend on regular imports from the outside world.

    I remember reading about the scandal when it first came out and afterwards. Talk about rape culture! It was an accepted rite of passage that once a young girl reached the age of 12 or so, she could expect to be taken out behind a woodshed (literally) and raped by some older man. The really amazing thing about it was how so many of the islanders, women included, banded together to defend their culture of abuse. Tribalism at its worst.

  63. Esteleth says

    Pelamun,
    The two phrases did probably influence each other. Not going to attempt to deny that.
    Add to that the fact that the color blue has carried connotations of purity, truth, etc, for centuries, and you’ve got a nice little kettle of blue = high class boiling away.
    I’d argue that blue being the color of conservative parties in many countries an aspect of this. That blue = Democrat in the US is quite recent, as you yourself noted.

  64. Esteleth says

    Sally,
    I’d argue that the fact that most Pitcairners are 7th Day Adventists adds to the clusterfuck of tribalism and rape culture. That is a religion very given to regimentation and pronouncements-from-above that must be obeyed.

  65. Carlie says

    I loved DS9, except when they got really heavy into the chosen one territory near the end.
    (no spoilers for Josh!)

    Finally got 3/4 of the attic properly insulated. Have to buy and cut and put in another 5 rolls and the damned thing will be done.
    It had better show up on our energy bill is all I have to say. I think in about an hour I’ll be totally immobile once all my joints settle down and freeze up.

    Just caught a mouse downstairs. For some reason this year’s crop don’t seem to like peanut butter, but went right for the cheese. Hopefully it was the little fucker what bit my son on the foot at 6am this morning. Nothing makes you feel like an inadequate parent quite like finding out your house sucks so much that wild rodents are chewing on your children while they sleep. :(

    You know what Star Trek character is awesome? Data.

    The Naked Now is still my favorite episode, just because Data.

    <Walton, are all 60 people in the Pitcairns related to Fletcher Christian?M

    It’s pretty fascinating from a familial standpoint; they all are descendants of about 3 of the original mutineers, including Christian, with just a few people who have come in from outside here and there and intermarried. You can trace their family histories online; they have most of the genealogy up. I use the current population and their last names as a proxy example of the bottleneck effect and drift in my classes. I’ve read some on the scandals; awful business.

    Josh, I hope you’re feeling better soon.

  66. sandiseattle says

    Carlie,

    I kid you not, been the standard in our house since the 70s — best mouse trap bait ever – plain popcorn. We seem to have a ‘mouse season’ here and it work wonders every time.

  67. says

    I thought ‘blue blood’ was from English royalty being inbred so long that a genetic defect begat hemophilia.

    I guess I was wrong.
    ++++++++++++++++
    ‘feeling blue’ according to naval etymology “If the ship lost the captain or any of the officers during its voyage, she would fly blue flags and have a blue band painted along her entire hull when returning to home port. ”
    +++++++++++++++

  68. says

    I thought ‘blue blood’ was from English royalty being inbred so long that a genetic defect begat hemophilia.

    No, I’m pretty sure Esteleth is correct about the phrase’s Spanish origins.

    Though you are right that many European royals have suffered from haemophilia. Queen Victoria carried the gene for haemophilia, and her fourth son Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, suffered from the disease and died in 1884 at the age of only thirty.

    However, Prince Leopold’s children both lived to relatively advanced ages – indeed, his daughter Princess Alice, later Countess of Athlone, is the longest-lived British princess in history, having lived from 1883 to 1981 – and as far as I know, neither was haemophilic. I’m not sure how this works genetically. :-/

  69. First Approximation says

    I was a huge trekkie when I was a preteen and during much of my teen years. Watched The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, the Original Series (caught the reruns) and most of Voyager. My favourite had to be The Next Generation. I loved the idea of exploring the galaxy. Sure the Original Series and Voyager had that, but TNG did it best IMO. Even when I was a teen I realized the science wasn’t always great, but the show stirred by my imagination and kindled my love for science. Picard was also a great captain (sorry, Kirk was fun, but Picard was the better one).

    As to Voyager, one thing I didn’t like after Seven of Nine appeared was that every episode became about her. Clearly an attempt to get ratings by making everything about the hot blonde in tights. My brother and I would joke about how every episode had to have Seven make a “When I was part of the collective….” speech.

    DS9 didn’t really start to get good until around the time Sisko shaved his head (I don’t know what the exact link between increased quality of Star Trek shows and hair is). The whole Dominion War arc was very interesting and different from what is usually done in Star Trek. They pulled it off, IMO. In the Pale Moonlight, where Sisko and Garek try to use very questionable methods get the Romulans in the war, is one of my favourite ST episodes of all time.

    (I also caught a few episodes of Enterprise. It was pretty much as bad as everyone said it was and I didn’t bother with it.)

  70. says

    However, Prince Leopold’s children both lived to relatively advanced ages – indeed, his daughter Princess Alice, later Countess of Athlone, is the longest-lived British princess in history, having lived from 1883 to 1981 – and as far as I know, neither was haemophilic. I’m not sure how this works genetically. :-/

    Upon doing some research, I gather that there is an explanation for this. According to the NIH:

    In males (who have only one X chromosome), one altered copy of the gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the condition. In females (who have two X chromosomes), a mutation would have to occur in both copies of the gene to cause the disorder. Because it is unlikely that females will have two altered copies of this gene, it is very rare for females to have hemophilia. A characteristic of X-linked inheritance is that fathers cannot pass X-linked traits to their sons.

    So it makes sense that Queen Victoria could pass the gene to Prince Leopold, but that neither Prince Leopold’s son nor his daughter were haemophilic (since fathers cannot pass the genes to sons, and it’s very rare for a woman to have haemophilia). But presumably Princess Alice’s descendants have a chance of carrying the gene.

  71. says

    “Pitcairn Island is just really not suitable for human habitation. It’s too small to support a human population that doesn’t depend on regular imports from the outside world. “

    I think they survived just fine on farming and fishing for many years. Small island, big ocean.
    ++++++++++++++++
    INAH* : I’ve always been fascinated by English naval history from 1700 to the age of steam. Bligh was no doubt an asshole, but many RN captains were worse. At any rate**, he was an incredible sailor.

    The Bounty crew had no more reason to mutiny than the US had to revolt.

    Comparatively, we (USians) and the crew (Bountinans) just didn’t have it that bad.

    *(I’m not a historian)

    **see what I did there?

  72. says

    I think they survived just fine on farming and fishing for many years. Small island, big ocean.

    Sally is quite right. The previous Polynesian settlement existed for fourhundred years, but it did trade with the next island 300 km away, rocks against food. The current scholarly consensus indeed seems to be that the island can’t sustain a human settlement without outside trade relations.

    Oh, and 100 points to KG!

  73. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Janine, were you ever interested in a group called Bad Brains?

    This song is in one of my favorite movies, and I found it catchy. And I had never even conceived of Afro-Punk before.

    Mr. Fire, I realize that being a fairly new parent, you have not had much time to hang out here. I have linked to a lot of Bad Brains. I Against I ranks up there with Zen Arcade and Double Nickels On The Dime.

    I Against I Live 1988

    Hired Gun

    Banned In DC Live 1982

  74. ringtailedlemurian says

    theophontes – thanks for the stuff about the Owl House. Went through that area in the early 60s, probably before it was known about.

    —————————————

    pelamun – Even if Chandigarh was architecturally interesting it’s still a badly designed dump.

    It gets blisteringly hot in the summer but there are huge open spaces with no protection against the elements between each small concrete block of shops.

    Might look nice and pretty but you end up having to take a taxi to do anything, if you don’t have a car. OK if you are one of those who can afford that, but not a sensible design for everyone else. Climates like that need arches and colonades to protect people from the sun, the monsoons, and the bitter winter winds coming in from the nearby Himalaya.

    And concrete isn’t the best choice of construction material in that climate (or the ecology) either, but that’s all Le Corbusier could do.
    If you’re only doing two and three storey buildings anyway why not use bricks, ffs? India isn’t short on mud. But then you can’t do the fancy designs that win you awards.

    ———————————————

    opposablethumbs – It must be the similar materials. I thought that too.

  75. says

    Pitcairn is a very small island.
    With a very peculiar history. Pop <60.

    It made me think about how many people I interact with in a day.

    anecdata follows: I see hundreds, but interact? With strangers? About 3.
    ++++++++++++++++++

  76. says

    ringtailedlemurian,

    well, the descriptions of what I’ve read about it sounded different, like Le Corbusier having the neighbourhood unit in mind as the “basic module of planning”. But I haven’t been there, and haven’t read particularly much about it yet..

  77. Pteryxx says

    It so happens that the current ST:TNG episode is Data being confined by the collector. Objectification, anyone? *shudder*

  78. A. R says

    Walton: The Lancastrians and Tudors carried the gene as well, at least according to something I read a month or so ago. Which may explain my family’s tendency toward mild haemophillia… (The John of Gaunt was my male line xth great grand father, so I’ve inherited that wonderful gene as well.)

  79. A. R says

    Walton: The Lancastrians and Tudors carried the gene as well, at least according to something I read a month or so ago. Which may explain my family’s tendency toward mild haemophillia… (John of Gaunt was my male line xth great grand father, so I’ve inherited that wonderful gene as well.)

  80. says

    ringtailedlemurian, concrete as a construction material works in every climate (aside from the cost when the base materials have to be imported.) It’s insulating and it takes a long time to heat/cold soak.

    I lived in Palm Springs for awhile. Walking on ‘the sunny side of the street’ was one method of telling the tourists from the locals.

  81. ringtailedlemurian says

    Oh yeah, I forgot. A few people mentioned wishing to know more about Economics. Reminded me of a (Marxist) series of animated economic analyses, of which this is one – Crises of Capitalism

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOP2V_np2c0

    In this RSA Animate, renowned academic David Harvey asks if it is time to look beyond capitalism towards a new social order that would allow us to live within a system that really could be responsible, just, and humane?

  82. says

    I just finished watching The Manchurian Candidate, (the original), and am now watching North To Alaska.

    John Wayne couldn’t act if you shoved a rusty porcupine up his ass.

    Frank Sinatra was great at anything he put his mind to.

  83. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Hi pelamun, sorry I was away having supper. I don’t remember in much detail, but I was thinking partly of the whole “chosen one” thing, plus the fact that they had to have the super-nice priest figure to make up for the evil priestess figure (so that oh, of course it wasn’t really religion that made for hypocrisy and cruelty and manipulative holier-than-thou power-plays, it was just one bad apple).

    My favourite characters in most shows are usually the ones who are all what-is-this-you-humans-call-[whatever social phenomenon we are considering]. So that would be Spock, Data, 7 of 9 …

    And I do like 7 of 9 enormously, but why, dear lard, why did the costume department have to choose those shoes? I can suspend disbelief for the skin-tight uniform but please, like a totally practical warrior character is going to wander around in high heels …. ? Argh.

  84. says

    (John of Gaunt was my male line xth great grand father, so I’ve inherited that wonderful gene as well.)

    Wow! This is exciting. So you’re an extremely distant cousin of the Queen,* and are also related to many of the royal families of Europe, in varying degrees. (Since, of course, the Tudors, Stuarts and Hanoverians were all descended from John of Gaunt through the female line, through his great-granddaughter Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII.)

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean you’re in the line of succession to the throne, since the Act of Settlement 1701 restricts the throne to the legitimate descendants of the Electress Sophia of Hanover.

  85. says

    Josh,

    don’t read this! We need spoiler tags…
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    .
    .
    .
    .

    .
    .
    .
    .

    .
    .
    .
    .

    .
    .

    .
    .

    .
    .

    opposablethumbs,

    ah yes the Chosen One thing, and those prophecies. I think it is alleviated to a certain extent because both the Prophets and the Pah Wraiths or whatever they were called turned out to be energy being like aliens. If you then also can accept that they exist “outside time”, then they might also see the future.

  86. says

    Oh, one thing that has been bugging me lately about sci-fi. So I read up on asteroid belts, and it turns out that while they are more dense than other parts of space, they are much less dense than commonly depicted, they would be spread out much more, so normal sized spaceship would have no trouble navigating them. Also objects are usually not spaceship big.

    So they’re not full of debris, where you can hide away from pursuers.

    (Oh, please correct me if I got it wrong)

  87. says

    Walton: 8th Cousin.

    This is incredibly exciting! So presumably that means you have a more recent common ancestor than John of Gaunt (since, by my reckoning, as the great-grandfather of Henry VII, he’s the Queen’s sixteen-times-great-grandfather).

  88. Sili says

    So you’re an extremely distant cousin of the Queen,* and are also related to many of the royal families of Europe, in varying degrees.

    Newsflash: We all are.

    Not least in a small island nation like Britain.

    If I recall correctly all inhabitants of Britain are at least sixth cousins.

  89. says

    @Sili, I don’t know why you’d feel like an idiot for missing a short announcement a couple of months ago. I can’t remember when I did it. Pretty shortly after the FtB move. I was feeling a bit foolish about identifying myself with my dormant blog (no updates since May, but perhaps one day), and then I stumbled across “Alethea” (via Alethian Worldview) and loved it. The “Claw” bit is kind of a “reality bites” idea, and kind of a nod in the direction of my real name, and the H is for Harpy, Harridan, Hyena etc.

    @Rorschach, that is disgusting. I’ll second the request for rot13 or other spoilers. I can’t imagine how shocking it would be to wake up in the morning and read such shit about myself. It’s horrible, even if it’s in the context of a defender being horrified about it.

    I’m not offended by Stephanie Zvan dropping the “Laden is a hypocrite” posts, because she has been very consistent and firm about staying focussed in her EG challenges. Greg Laden, well, he seems to me to be very mixed up. Sometimes he’s very lucid :) But then he’s often inconsistent, or obfuscating, and loves to play a cryptic “I didn’t say what you think I said” game. Which was a bit funny in that thread, when I mis-identified a post by someone named “George” as his and he replied “I didn’t say that”. It sounded exactly like what he would say if he had written it, so it took a while for me to realise my mistake.

    So, hey, he outed Sven? That’s certainly adding to the picture of why he’s so disliked.

  90. says

    Newsflash: We all are.

    Not least in a small island nation like Britain.

    Many people are, certainly, but not all of us. IIRC, the number of legitimate descendants of Sophia of Hanover (these being the only people potentially in line to the throne) is estimated at around four thousand. Obviously the number is far higher when one counts descendants of earlier dynasties, and descendants of illegitimate children; but it’s still a stretch to suggest that we all have royal blood.

    (Weird factoid of the day: David Cameron is directly descended from Elizabeth Hay, Countess of Erroll, an illegitimate daughter of William IV. This makes him the Queen’s fifth cousin twice removed, their common ancestor being George III.)

    If I recall correctly all inhabitants of Britain are at least sixth cousins.

    Really? I find that surprising, especially given the increased rate of migration from other parts of the world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. (Source?)

  91. says

    Alethea:

    I can’t imagine how shocking it would be to wake up in the morning and read such shit about myself.

    It’s not nice, nor is it welcome. I don’t go digging around erv’s for a reason. I don’t need to see that stuff here.

  92. says

    List of island nations by population

    1. Indonesia 237m
    2. Japan 127m
    3. Philippines 87m
    4. UK 60m
    5. Taiwan 23m
    6. Australia 22m
    7. Madagascar 21m
    8. Sri Lanka 21m

    This from a list of 49 sovereign island nations.

    So I wouldn’t say Britain is a small island nation

    /pedant

  93. A. R says

    Walton: Yeah, there is a closer connection, but I’m not sure what it is as of right now. However, it is still out of the line of succession. The amazing thing to me is that the Queen is so closely related (relatively) to an upper middle class American atheist who happens to be a monarchist (one my very few bizarre views that totally contradict my other beliefs, but I’ve not been able to shake it for my entire atheist life).

  94. Dhorvath, OM says

    Pelamun,
    If an asteroid collection the density of what happens in SW:ESB was any kind of planetary orbit, yes, it would not be likely to remain that way for long. That is a lot of material, and keeping it stable and separate far harder than having it coalesce.

  95. says

    Yeah, Dhorvath,

    and then I read on and found out that away from the galaxy core “on the rim”, you wouldn’t find any elements other than hydrogen and helium, whereas near to the core life would be regularly destroyed due to the high occurrence of supernovae (and higher degrees of radiation in general).

    And that pretty much renders most of the fictional galaxies unrealistic. Or at least harder to explain. Habitable/metallic planets at the rim might have come from other galaxies (like our solar system having a chance of joining Andromeda in a couple billion years), and the core might have been settled just inbetween supernovae. But in the SW universe, space exploration originated at the core.

    (Trying to ignore the arrival of another monarchist at TET in order not to go trigger these big monarchism/republicanism debates again everyone but Walton and me (and one or two more??) seemed to be totally annoyed about)

  96. says

    Maybe there should be a TMET.

    One can only hope for a Royal to do or say something sufficiently stupid for PZ to blog about it. Shouldn’t be too hard ;)

  97. Pteryxx says

    re sci-fi et al…. I had no idea Battlestar Galactica could hit so many triggers in one episode. (“Precipice” is on BBCA)

  98. A. R says

    One can only hope for a Royal to do or say something sufficiently stupid for PZ to blog about it. Shouldn’t be too hard ;)

    With the wonderful Prince Phillip, it’s a guarantee!

  99. says

    Caine,

    my blog is strictly about religious privileges in Western Europe.

    And my republicanist arguments were kinda in (an admittedly strong) reaction to Walton’s sentimental waxing about monarchy. It’s not a topic I’d necessarily bring up by myself (and TBH that thing about the xth cousin seemed to come close to it, but I tried to restrain myself).

    In other news, we’ve been having a woo-ist troll derailing several Why I am an atheist threads..

  100. says

    you could say that Britain is a small-island nation, while Australia is a small island-nation :)

    That is a great way of saying it :D…

    The first time I ever met an American was on a guided tour of Canberra, departing from Sydney. He was apparently a doctor in town for a cardiology conference (and totally overweight, like the stereotype Europeans have of Americans). I was on a budget and couldn’t afford the buffet, so he gave me $10. That was really nice of him. Later I overheard him tell Australians that he was from New Jersey, and the NYNJ metropolitan region had 18m people (just like Australia back then), “we’re talking about a different scale”.

  101. sandiseattle says

    Dhorvath: I humt for ‘em every Xmas. My late mother bought a TON of wrapping and other gift wrapping items and we always seem to find the bows in the back of the closet. (I suspect malevolent mice move the bows in the off season.)

  102. Tethys says

    Pteryxx

    (Also, why the heck is it called a “catsuit”? Cats have baggy skins they can twist around inside, like mice.)

    Because Catwoman

  103. Sili says

    So I wouldn’t say Britain is a small island nation

    Geographically – compared to the European mainland. The influx of new blood has been more in waves than steady diffusion.

    And as I said, I no longer recall the source, but the point about recent immigration has merit. I presume that such was implicitly ruled out – that is, the claim is about people who considered themselves ‘ethnically British’.

    I have vague idea that it might have been on the Guardian Science Weekly podcast. I wonder if that’s searchable.

  104. sandiseattle says

    pelamun:
    it really is a different scale. NE US is more like the density of Europe, and west of the Mississippi is comparably wide open country with a few major population centers. The one thing that struck me when I was at Langley was a seeming lack of elbow room.

  105. says

    Caine, I was just talking about royal history and genealogy. It’s a geeky interest of mine, just as many other people here have interests in various aspects of history. What’s the problem? :-/

  106. says

    Geographically – compared to the European mainland. The influx of new blood has been more in waves than steady diffusion.

    Yeah, a source might be nice. The Channel isn’t exactly that wide. And trade has been going for millenia between the mainland and the Isles.

  107. Sili says

    One can only hope for a Royal to do or say something sufficiently stupid for PZ to blog about it. Shouldn’t be too hard ;)

    Apparent the British royals mk. II was in Denmark the other day to meet their Danish dittos.

    The ‘news’ shew pictures of them being oh-so charitable and helping Unicef pack aid for teh poor poor Third World.

    I have no facts to back this up </Herman Cain>, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some poor slob had to open the packages and repack them after the cameras left. Much like real nurses had to redo the bandaging after the tzarina and her daughters had been so very, very helpful at the field hospitals of the Great War.

  108. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Walton, you are being disingenuous if you are claiming to not understand the reason why Caine (and others) are tired of this geeky obsession.

  109. says

    Sandi,

    you’re missing the context.

    Telling someone that your own city has as many inhabitants as the entire country of your interlocutor, can come off as bragging. Especially since Americans are often stereotyped to be braggards. You know all these jokes about the Texan businessman in Israel etc.?

  110. First Approximation says

    but it’s still a stretch to suggest that we all have royal blood.

    I don’t think that’s what he was saying. You wrote “you’re… related to many of the royal families of Europe, in varying degrees”. Technically, any two humans are related, if you look back far enough. So we’re all related to any royal family in Europe or elsewhere for that matter.

    As for the sixth cousin thing, I’ve never heard it before and it doesn’t sound right (but I could be wrong).

  111. says

    Caine: Sorry if my #663 was obnoxious. :-( I really don’t want to start an argument. And I don’t intend to argue about monarchy yet again, btw (I agree with you that it’s become repetitive and boring).

  112. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    I think that txpiper and Shiloh stays over there because all of the big bad trolls who rip off their heads are over here.

  113. Sili says

    Some discussion with a link to the relevant podcast:

    http://www.anthonysmith.me.uk/2010/10/26/you-might-be-my-sixth-cousin/

    The specific statement is:

    On average, two randomly chosen British people are sixth cousins, which means that they share an ancestor who lived in the year of publication of The Origin of Species (1859).

    I wonder how he defines “average” in this case? The cheating way would be that two randomly chosen Britons share as much (of the variable) DNA as they would if they were sixth cousins.

  114. says

    Argh never mind, I misread Caine’s post in 666. Sorry for causing confusion.

    So Shiloh was the NDE obsessed one,

    BUT so far Shiloh hasn’t been sighted at Freethoughtblogs.

  115. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Look at the time stamp. Less then a minute’s difference. Unless you are going to refresh before you post, these things happen.

    Even that might not catch all of those.

  116. says

    Walton, thank you. :)

    Janine:

    Yes, Caine, it was the mush headed Shiloh.

    Thanks, all of ‘em tend to get muddled in my memory anymore. I’m fine with Shiloh keeping his one thought crap at sciblogs. Because of them, though, I have really come to hate NDE a/o Soul arguments. They give me a headache these days.

  117. says

    That’s why I find that dictionary atheism doesn’t lead anywhere. I think atheism should be about a rational-skeptical approach in general. Especially in Europe, most people might no longer believe in god, but many are susceptible to woo.

  118. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    I gave Shiloh a lot of verbal abuse. He does not like me at all. I find him to be a simpering little sack of shit.

    TXpiper did not show up until after the move. The simple fact that he seems to have run of the place is reason enough to not pop back into the old place.

  119. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I find him to be a simpering little sack of shit.

    And that is his good qualities…

  120. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    I will be getting extra grouchy the next couple of months. Just saw a commercial for yet am other crappy looking Christmas movie.

    “It does not matter how we got here as long as she still believes.”

    BBLLAAARRRGGGGG!

    “No child left behind!”

    Yeah, got to love those dated pop reference jokes.

    *gag*

  121. says

    Pelamun, it can be a fair call, though, if it’s not being smug and superior with it. One of the major defining factors of Australia is our vast geography. Logistics for service delivery in remote areas are pretty complicated; so we have things like the Flying Doctors and the School of the Air. And although most of us live in urban areas, we’re still very aware of the distances and the space between those urban areas.

    Related story: several people at a public health forum in Canberra last week came over from Perth. Some had bookings that were affected by the recent QANTAS grounding, and one bloke told us that he had finally got in tough with customer service to try to sort it out, and they had suggested that he make alternative arrangements, like had he considered driving instead?

    *double facepalm*

    Obvious offshore outsourcing problem is obvious.

  122. says

    Caine,

    probably “leads nowhere” was wrong to say. It’s great if anyone is an atheist, whatever their reason.

    So let me just restate what I said, from another thread

    1.atheism in the strictest sense of the word (“dictionary atheism”), just the idea that there is no god. Has the problem that it not necessarily excludes wooists and is less useful as an identifier as it’s strictly a negative concept. (the “non-stamp collector” conundrum)

    2. atheism as rational-skeptical approach. This doesn’t include a moral philosophy as that doesn’t necessarily follow from a rational-skeptical approach. This would be my personal idea of what atheism is about.

    3. atheism as rational-skeptical approach + humanism. While I wholeheartedly agree with PZ’s humanist ideals, I do think it would go too far to include them under atheism. Nonetheless I do think that atheism and humanism are a good combination that go together.

    I was mainly thinking about how dictionary atheism can also play into the theists’ hands by trying to associate atheists with all types of ideologies whose proponents happened not to believe in god, but often were wooists, or not particularly fond of the scientific method in other areas.

  123. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    How can shit simper? I mean, I know it can simmer, but simper?

  124. A. R says

    The “Why Am I An Atheist” troll is still going strong. I’m not especially well trained in the art of troll slapping beyond demolishing bad science and statistics, so I’ve not been able to contribute much.

  125. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Alethea, while I never been there, I have heard the same about Alaska.

  126. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Father Ogvorbis, I submit that Shiloh is a walking and talking sack of shit. And his main means of communication is simpering.

    (Yeah, I hate that person as much as any fundy who has hung out here.)

  127. DemetriusOfPharos says

    In the Star Trek vs Star Wars debate: look, no one in Star trek has _ever_ frenched kissed their sister.

    Mostly kidding. I like Star Wars, but I do prefer Star Trek. DS9 was pretty good, but seemed to take a far more neutral stance on religion. TOS was my favorite – in fact, it pretty much goes in chronological order for me. I like TOS for the camp factor (same reason Bruce Campbell is my favorite actor). TNG carried on the bad science but also the general feeling of skepticism to deity figures. DS9 got crazy, as was said, with the Chosen One stuff. VOY got boring for me – though I did eventually go back and watch them all, and they do get better – and I never bothered with ENT. The new movie/cast has me really excited though. I also read a rumor Seth McFarlane wants to do a TNG/DS9 era live-action series.

    All that said, I think Stargate has supplanted Star Trek as my current favorite sci-fi. Generally has some of the same science problems as Star Trek, but generally well-written and generally skeptical towards deity figures. Although, they were kind of soft on the Ori.

    Honorable mention to Firefly/Serenity, which generally rocked but didn’t last long enough to take the top spot for me. YMMV.

  128. A. R says

    DemetriusOfPharos: I feel the same way about Stargate, though I refuse to watch Universe, due to it being Stargate in name only.

  129. A. R says

    Oh, on the topic of Stargate, am I the only one with a strong suspicion that God was a Goa’uld? 8^)

  130. says

    Alethea,

    that is very true, and the guy was very nice.
    I mainly stayed in the big cities, but I did visit the “outback” once (not really that far away from anything, but it was enough for me).

    Not sure though if the concept of “megalopolis” can be applied to the east coast which houses 80% of the population.

    Janine,

    I had a colleague from Alaska, who used to work in tourism, and had to argue with tourists from the lower 48 (some of whom weren’t sure if Alaska was part of the US) that she was selling them “incomplete road maps”. They wanted one with all of the roads. They didn’t want to accept that certain communities are so isolated that there are no roads from Anchorage leading there, you have to fly (postal addresses are also like “yellow house behind the post office”)

  131. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    The Sailor:

    John Wayne couldn’t act if you shoved a rusty porcupine up his ass.

    Thank you. I have no idea what anyone saw in that guy. I can’t fucking stand his movies.

    (I’ve been meaning to read True Grit, but I keep getting side tracked. First it was Snuff, then I started Zone One. Lately it’s been taking me for-fucking-ever to finish any book, too.)

  132. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    I agree that Shiloh has less worth than a sack of shit. The image of a simpering sack of shit just gave me the giggles.

  133. DemetriusOfPharos says

    A. R:

    Oh, on the topic of Stargate, am I the only one with a strong suspicion that God was a Goa’uld? 8^)

    Oh, totally. If there was an historical Jesus at all, he was definitely one of the minor System Lords.

  134. says

    Father O,

    very amusing how you exalted the “Great K******ga”.

    got a laugh out of it. Now can’t wait to hear their definition of sprituality…

  135. A. R says

    DemetriusOfPharos: Or a well behaved Harcesis that God had executed for inciting a slave rebellion (then edited the records to make him a vehicle for worship) :)

  136. Sili says

    “It does not matter how we got here as long as she still believes.”

    I wonder what would be the result of agreeing to do a debate with a Christian and then just reading “Yes, Virginia There Is a Santa Claus” as one’s part.

  137. says

    That makes sense, Janine. Alaska is almost as big geographically as Queensland, which is our second largest state. And it has a small population with a lot of wilderness and harsh weather, and with lots of small remote settlements. They’d have snow rather than tropical cyclones to deal with, though. We find that Canada is quite interestingly comparable, too.

    It’s Texans who have the stereotyped image of bragging about how large and spacious everything is there.

  138. sandiseattle says

    @pelamun: ever seen the movie “Snow Dogs” with Cuba Gooding JR?
    Nichelle Nicols has a line in the movie: to the taxi driver
    “I only have american money, is that okay?” :-)

  139. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    There is a spiritual meltdown happening in the doubting thomas thread.

  140. Pteryxx says

    More misogyny/harassment thoughts, because I don’t know where else to put them:

    If 10% or so of men are predatory repeat rapists (re Lisak) and, they display notably misogynistic and dominating attitudes (re Lisak again) then, isn’t the vast majority of online harassment of women (see Ophelia Benson’s two posts) probably being committed by the same population? And maybe, by raising awareness and thereby social pressure and prosecution, much of the harassment would also stop?

  141. says

    Alaska is almost as big geographically as Queensland, which is our second largest state. And it has a small population with a lot of wilderness and harsh weather, and with lots of small remote settlements.

    I did spend my time in Australia mostly in Brisbane, which was a city like any other, but apparently QLD is the state with the lowest percentage of the population in the capital city as compared to the rest of the state (I hope this is making sense). 45% or something, while this is much higher for other states.

    Texas being wide open might also be a stereotype due to I-40. The hill country definitely is not.

    But the Houston and Dallas metropolitan areas are quite spread out, though I don’t know how Australian ones would compare against that.

  142. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Janine:
    I’m catching up on the Doubting Thomas thread as we speak– what is it with all of the assholes accusing the regulars of trolling lately?

  143. says

    Pteryxx:

    And maybe, by raising awareness and thereby social pressure and prosecution, much of the harassment would also stop?

    Maybe, but I think online harassment is a different dynamic and not quite so simple to deal with. Shutting up about it a/o ignoring it isn’t good, because then the harassment is an effective silencing technique, however, responding to it simply fuels the ongoing obsession.

  144. Mattir says

    So far we watched both episodes of Scorpion, where Voyager gets Seven of Nine, and the second episode of Season 4 (The Gift), which is the first one to deal with the slow recovery from trauma stuff. Bonus – it’s the episode where they finally get rid of Kes.

    There’s a scene where Kes is meditating with Tuvok and talks about seeing beyond the subatomic, to the realm of matter, energy, and thought. DaughterSpawn blurted out “Oh my god, she’s living in The Secret!” Which pretty much sums up what I find most irritating about Kes. Then she suggested that there is probably slashfic erotica about Janeway and Seven, which I don’t even want to contemplate, even though she’s likely right.

    Is anyone else really irritated by Chakotay’s noble spiritual Indian routine?

  145. A. R says

    Pteryxx: Perhaps partially due to a lack of technical aptitude? And maybe the MRAs are so vocal they drown out the 10%?

  146. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Side note: Two helicopters have flown over my apartment in the past couple of minutes. Couple that with the insane drivers on the road today and the long lines at the supermarket, I’d say that the Zombie Apocalypse is at hand!

    Run, everyone! RUN!

  147. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    Apropos of some unnamable horror, uBjoern on a recent libertarian thread:

    it’s all about aesthetics

    some think (me included) that a government doing nothing is more “beautiful” than any other non-perfect government

    but more elegant does not mean (or even imply) better

    in a world of dreams and ideals they would be right, that’s why i can’t bring myself disliking them as much as other idiots

    maybe I’m a dreamer too

    The conflation of aesthetics with ethics occurs at a low level in the mind, apparently, considering fart spray experiments. What’s remarkable in uBjoern’s comment is the conscious recognition of this conflation.

    I wonder whether, in the unnamable case, it might be more effective to ignore the consciously articulated rationalizations (assuming them to be epiphenomena), and instead try to turn the aesthetic into one of disgust or at least dissatisfaction. Might this be accomplished by severe artistic criticism of Babar the Elephant?

  148. says

    gah, if this k******nga person posts anywhere else, I’ll be sure to remind them about the fact that they kept the ultimate answer to the mystery of spirituality from us…

  149. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    gah, if this k******nga person posts anywhere else, I’ll be sure to remind them about the fact that they kept the ultimate answer to the mystery of spirituality from us…

    True. But our tomatoes will survive.

  150. says

    Sandi,

    my Alaskan colleague was always annoyed that on Election Day, the networks would wait for the polls to close on the west coast, but not in Hawai’i and Alaska.

    Actually when Sarah Palin became governor I discussed that with her, about how she was a reformer to try and reform the Republican party back home (my colleague was a liberal). Buahahahaha…

  151. Pteryxx says

    Thanks @Caine and A.R, but one of Ophelia’s threads is taking off so I’ll move my comment over there. (I should’ve known.)

  152. sandiseattle says

    A R, there are some fish that survive freezing. Don’t know if that counts as zombie unless they all go cannibal afterwards. Maybe our resident fish could answer better. Ichthyic? Got ur ears on?

  153. says

    StarStuff,

    that would be due to an excellent joke Father O made.

    Oh Great Guru, Have Mercy And Do Not Destroy Our Tomatoes With Your Undiluted Piss.

    Amen.

  154. A. R says

    sandi: See PZ’s anti-caturday post.

    StarStuff: The troll was talking about killing tomatoes with undiluted dog piss.

  155. sandiseattle says

    @ pelamun: Palin is the butt of many a joke around here. My pops likes her, but I could take her or leave her. My g’ma and auntie live in Alaska and both are just waiting to vote for her in 2012.

  156. A. R says

    The troll was unwittingly equating their thoughts with undiluted dog piss, and Father O pointed that out to it.

  157. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    Why is everyone talking about tomatoes in that thread? I tried to catch up a bit, but I’m kind of lost because there’s just too much to read.

    Over on the Why I am an Atheist thread, there is a spiritualist who asked if we wanted a definition of spirituality. A couple of us answered yes, but I added that I would be willing to bet that it would be good fertilizer for my tomatoes.

    The spiritual troll responded that his answer would turn my tomatoes to ashes.

    To which I replied, “You’re answers are undiluted dog piss?”

    And now he has flounced.

  158. Rev. BigDumbChimpbi says

    2nd funeral of the week today. This bottle of scotch doesn’t stand a chance.

  159. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Oh! If anyone still cares about reptiles and whatnot:

    I went to the pet store today* and I got a chance to check out the chameleons and, oh yes, they are definitely chameleons. Holy shit, they are so freaking adorable!

    … There are still helicopters flying over my building.

    *To finally replace the bum lamp for the turtle tank. We were switching out the two bulbs in the one good lamp, but that was a pain in the ass.

  160. A. R says

    Audley: Nice to hear you have real chameleons on hand! Perhaps there is some kind of accident the helicopters are responding to?

    BTW, the troll has failed to stick its flounce.

  161. sandiseattle says

    pelamun,

    yeah, but they’re hoping for a President from Alaska. I don’t see it happening. I don’t think she can appeal to the majority enough to see a win either via the popular vote or the electoral college.
    ***************
    And 8#$%@ Nurse just pulled up, time to get sick for the next 12 hrs. TTFN all.

  162. Esteleth says

    On tomatoes:
    I like them mashed up in sauce, but not otherwise. I’ll even carefully pick out pieces of tomato from sauce and set it aside in order to gleefully mop up the sauce with bread/pasta/chip/whatever. I think it’s a texture thing.

    On SF:
    I’ve never been a Star Trek fan. Probably comes with never having watched more than 5 or 6 episodes in my life. I went through a phase where I was a diehard Star Wars fan, but I grew out of it after high school or so. I think it was a combination of being appalled by the shit that was the prequel trilogy and how the NJO series flatly contradicts the rest of the EU. I gave away most of my EU books and comics, with the exception of the X-wing ones. Those I still like.
    When it comes to SF nowadays, I really like Firefly, and I really wish it had lasted longer. I also like things like Le Guin’s Hainish cycle and Bradley’s Darkover series (I hate her Avalon series, though). There’s some fantasy I like, though I’m very picky about that. I don’t mind magic or characters that are religious (so long as the author’s thought about how religious belief X would actually manifest in society described as Y), but I have a serious issue with author avatars filibustering religiously. Now that I think about it, my tastes in fiction (SF/F and otherwise) tends to feature independent women who do shit and LGBT-positive themes (even if there are no LGBT named characters).

    Maybe this says something about me?

    *snort*

  163. says

    Pelamun, I think that’s true. Qld has quite a lot of its population living along the coast, from the Gold Coast on up to Cairns. But also there’s inland mining towns, and relatively less desert and more arable land than some other states. From what I know, Alaska seems to make pretty good sense as a comparison. You swap heat for cold, but many other issues are similar.

    But since our whole national population is smaller than that of Texas, and Texas is quite small geographically, it doesn’t seem very comparable. And the cliched “Texas=huge” jokes also make no sense to us.

  164. says

    Esteleth,

    I found the recent comic book series in the SW-EU quite good, Legacy, KOTOR, Invasion, also Dark Times. Always stayed away from NJO, because I heard too many bad things about it.

  165. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Is anyone else really irritated by Chakotay’s noble spiritual Indian routine?

    Yeah. Hated it. It was offensive to Indians and to good sense. I hate it when Star Trek goes all accommodationist for its Favorite Spiritual Character, and Chakotay was the worst.

    The character was as badly written and dully acted as Kes was.

  166. says

    Yeah Alethea,

    I think I’ve said it before, but my Alaskan friend kept running into Texans who couldn’t get over the fact that Alaska was bigger than Texas. To which she liked to say, well even if you cut Alaska in half, each of the halves would still be bigger.

    During the Freedom Fries crisis,*) they started selling post cards saying “Texas is bigger than France”. I found them quite amusing and sent them to some friends in Europe.

    *) which weren’t even invented by the French, but by the Belgians!

  167. says

    This just in: k********ga is now about to “make” their answer about what spirituality is. So not for very long, and humanity’s problems all will have been solved!!!

  168. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    A. R:

    Perhaps there is some kind of accident the helicopters are responding to?

    Could be. But I prefer my explanation. :P

  169. Esteleth says

    Pelamun,
    I tried to get into some of the new comics, but I just can’t. A lot of the stuff about the nature of the force just makes me grit my teeth, it’s so blatant a rip-off of Eastern mysticism (mostly Taoism, but it’s a grab bag, really) by someone who doesn’t make an even halfway effort to understand it. There’s some Western mysticism tossed in willy-nilly, and it’s just a mess.

    I tried to think of something positive to say about the NJO, and I’m really just blanking. It’s bullshit, from beginning to end. If the idea behind it (people with animist religion and organic technology vs. people with non-animist religion and inorganic technology) had been introduced (by Lucas, or not) as a Star Wars-independent series it might have been interesting. That sort of concept is not new, and can be done well. Orange vs. green instead of black vs. white sort of thing. Orthogonal morality systems. Instead, by attempting to shoehorn it into that universe, it strained it to the breaking point and made a load of gibberish. Add the shitty writing and mood whiplash and it’s just terrible.

  170. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    pelamun:

    Either that, or we will suddenly have a world-wide shortage of tomatoes.

  171. says

    Esteleth,

    when consuming Star Wars, I always make an effort to ignore anything connected to the “Philosophy of the Force”, and look at it as Space Opera. As you say the idea of what the force is about, is just too willy-nilly. I did find the idea of Imperial Knights in Legacy an interesting concept within the SW universe.

    Oh yes I remembered the NJO series also includes the Yuuzhan Vong, right? So maybe you’ll have a look at Invasion and see if you like their portrayal there better. Since this series is still on-going I don’t really have an opinion yet about how the YV are portrayed there.

  172. Therrin says

    Every Star Trek should have had a classically-trained captain. I started out thinking Voyager was ok, but as it progressed it seemed like every problem ended up being some complex made-up string of words (The paraphased thruster is collapsing!) with a similar solution (Readjust the quartz reaction with avidyne emitter block!), and character development was secondary*. It’s plenty interesting to watch a good actor alone. Enterprise was meh.**

    *Figures there was a Treknobabble generator already.
    **Opinions formed at the time of series’ original airing.

  173. says

    How bad is Technobabble at TNG? I really really dislike episodes that revolve around one technobabbled problem neutralised by another technibabbled solution.

  174. Therrin says

    TNG had some (it’s inevitable given the setting), but it ramped up after DS9. I speculated (fully unresearched) it was from Gene Roddenberry’s lack of input on episodes.

  175. Esteleth says

    Pelamun,
    The YV are my real problem with NJO. Like I said – the YV vs. a society that is a stand-in for us is a really interesting concept. But it’s done in an internally contradictory manner. I would dislike the NJO for the shitty writing in any case, but the whole “the YV and their creations don’t exist in the force” schtick is just stupid. Either the force is created by all of life and all life is part of it, or it isn’t. There are three options: (1 )the force is real, and the YV, as living things, are part of it, (2) the force is real and the YV are dead and therefore not part of it, or (3) the force isn’t real.

    As a concept, the YV are fascinating for me. Organic technology? Frothing-at-the-mouth Luddism? Intelligent weapons? Pain is good for you because it makes you stronger? Gaiaism? War between people with orthogonal belief systems? Neat idea! YV-in-SW? Shitty idea.

  176. says

    DS9 is mostly about politics, and exotic cultures (Ferengi, Klingons, Gamma Quadrant), so the technobabble was kept to a minimum. Sometimes O’Brien would go all McGyver on sth, but that might have been about it..

  177. First Approximation says

    Treknobabble

    ‘Heisenberg Compensators’ or ‘Inertial Dampers’ basically just mean ‘Breaking Laws of Physics Machine Thingie’.

  178. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    A. R:

    Troll has given definition of spirituality! It sucks.

    Are you kidding? That was the funniest damned thing I’ve read all fucking day. I almost squirted tea out of my nose!

  179. A. R says

    Audley: Not excluding humor! It did suck as a definition though. BTW: I too had an interesting incident with my Earl Grey

  180. Esteleth says

    Upon more thought, I think my problem with the NJO boils down to agnosticism. SW and the EU take a stand on religion. A stupid, poorly-thought-out religion that has way too many elements of cultural appropriation, but religion.

    The NJO suddenly turns agnostic!

    I gotta say, there are few things that piss me off more than agnosticism. Take a fucking stand already!

  181. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Did I say Caol Ila is my new favorite thing?

    Well it is. I feel like I’m sipping on a manna infused golden campfire from heaven delivered by Big foot impersonating Elvis and poured from Miles Davis’ trumpet.

  182. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    A. R,
    Hey, I’m drinking earl grey, too! It’s like we’re tea buddies or something. :D

  183. Esteleth says

    *wheels tea cart in*
    Audley, A.R., I’ve got Earl Grey, Orange Pekoe, chai, camomile, lemon zinger, and jasmine. The kettle’s on. Help yourselves!

  184. Sili says

    The YV are my real problem with NJO. Like I said – the YV vs. a society that is a stand-in for us is a really interesting concept. But it’s done in an internally contradictory manner. I would dislike the NJO for the shitty writing in any case, but the whole “the YV and their creations don’t exist in the force” schtick is just stupid. Either the force is created by all of life and all life is part of it, or it isn’t. There are three options: (1 )the force is real, and the YV, as living things, are part of it, (2) the force is real and the YV are dead and therefore not part of it, or (3) the force isn’t real.

    As a concept, the YV are fascinating for me. Organic technology? Frothing-at-the-mouth Luddism? Intelligent weapons? Pain is good for you because it makes you stronger? Gaiaism? War between people with orthogonal belief systems? Neat idea! YV-in-SW? Shitty idea.

    ………..

    I … I think it’s time I went to bed …

  185. says

    There are three options: (1 )the force is real, and the YV, as living things, are part of it, (2) the force is real and the YV are dead and therefore not part of it, or (3) the force isn’t real.

    That is true. If one accepted the lame Midchlorian explanation, one could say those were confined to the galaxy, as the YV are from outside the galaxy. Or sth like that.

    There were also the Ysalamiri who created some kind of Force-Bubble and could not detected either…

    I guess since I don’t like the concept of spirituality in general, I’ve just successfully blocked it out in Star Wars, and just accept as a premise that the YV cannot be detected.. After all, Palpatine was right under the Jedis’ noses and wasn’t detected either… (which is explained in a different way of course. For a different case in KOTOR, there was Sith artifact responsible for the Covenant not detecting a Sith in their midst)

  186. Esteleth says

    I…I think it’s time I went to bed…

    Aww, it’s okay. Here, you can sleep with my stuffed Lt. Kettch.

  187. DemetriusOfPharos says

    Mattir:

    Is anyone else really irritated by Chakotay’s noble spiritual Indian routine?

    Josh:

    Yeah. Hated it. It was offensive to Indians and to good sense. I hate it when Star Trek goes all accommodationist for its Favorite Spiritual Character, and Chakotay was the worst.

    The character was as badly written and dully acted as Kes was.

    I think that’s part of what put me off VOY. That, and there seemed to be more emphasis on the Vulcan “spirituality” through Tuvok as well.

    *****

    Therrin:

    *Figures there was a Treknobabble generator already.

    Holy shit, that’s fantastic! I’m gonna use that so much…

  188. Esteleth says

    *rummages*
    Oolong should start flowing out of your USB in a few minutes, A.R. Gotta let it steep a bit longer.

    Milk? Honey? Sugar cube?

  189. A. R says

    Esteleth: Thanks, I take mine with milk and two sugar cubes. (Audley: if you haven’t already, you should really try oolong, its great)

  190. Mr. Fire says

    Janine, thanks so much, that’s some good shit – and yeah, I just knew I should have put a “I’m sure you’ve been all over this ten times already” disclaimer.

    Doesn’t having a jukebox built into your head ever get kinda, y’know…heavy?

    :)

  191. ChasCPeterson says

    You youthful fools.
    There is, and always has been only, One Star Trek.

    Hint; Leonard Nimoy.
    Hint2: Bill Shatner.
    Hint3: “I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer!”

  192. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    Audley, A.R., I’ve got Earl Grey, Orange Pekoe, chai, camomile, lemon zinger, and jasmine. The kettle’s on. Help yourselves!

    Ah, man! You never have ginger peach tea.

  193. Esteleth says

    Sorry Ogvorbis, I drank the last of the ginger peach last night before bed. I’ll be sure to pick some up the next time I go to the store. Maybe you’ll like the jasmine?

    AR, your tea should be flowing. Be careful, it’s rather hot.

  194. says

    YV? NJO? It seems there’s more to Star Wars than I thought…

    @ad hominum salvator: have you noticed the related theme of disgustingness in the ERV slimepit? (Or techically, in the choice snippets that get posted elsewhere, I don’t go there.) The name calling is very strong on all sorts of disease and stench descriptors, especially but not exclusively for female genitalia.

  195. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Esteleth:
    Ooooh, thank you! I’ll have another cup of earl grey if you don’t mind. With a touch of honey, please. :)

    A. R:
    I do love me some oolong. None in the house currently, though.

  196. Esteleth says

    Alethea,
    The NJO (stands for New Jedi Order) is a series of books set 20-odd years after Return of the Jedi. Starring cast includes everyone’s kids, with supporting roles by the original cast, with a few more grey hairs. The Yuuzhan Vong are the baddies, vs the Empire and the New Republic, which have made nice with each other.
    The first book of the NJO made a splash by killing Chewbacca off. The next two books featured Han Solo in a drunken stupor.

  197. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    The troll just accused the regulars on the Why I am an atheist thread of being one person with lots of ‘nyms. Who manage to post multiple comments per minute. Often simultaneously.

    Oh, and we now have quantum tomatoes.

  198. says

    Esteleth, Ogvorbis, is that Zhena’s Gypsy Tea? I LOVE the ginger peach! I’m so pleased I have found a place to order it online, since my local Oxfam only sells the sampler tins, and I can live without the Raspberry Earl and the rose one (which seems a bit soapy to me). Their coconut chai is very nice, too. And the sampler tins are awesome for stashing stuff. I think I’m going to build a tower of them for storing pendants.

    Caol Ila rocks, too, but not before late afternoon. Unless it’s Xmas day, but my thing there is really Laphroaig in the morning coffee.

  199. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    The first book of the NJO made a splash by killing Chewbacca off. The next two books featured Han Solo in a drunken stupor.

    But is Dekker a replicant?

    (Actually, he is, according to Ridley Scott.)

  200. DemetriusOfPharos says

    Therrin:

    I speculated (fully unresearched) it was from Gene Roddenberry’s lack of input on episodes.

    FWIW, that’s long been my opinion as well. Roddenberry bowed out when he got sick, then died, and Rick Berman ran the franchise nearly to the ground. As I recall, he stated after ST:10 that Star Trek was done for a while – after which he was promptly fired by Paramount, which led to the JJ Abrahms reboot.

    *****

    ChasCPeterson:

    Hint; Leonard Nimoy.
    Hint2: Bill Shatner.
    Hint3: “I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer!”

    You have Hint #1 and Hint #2 out of order. Shatner > Nimoy. (They’re both epically fabulous though.)

  201. says

    Alethea,

    there is a lot of stuff in the Expanded Universe, known as EU.

    I’ve stayed away from the novels, except for Knight Errant, which was OK (the comics are ok too).

    I’ve mostly tried the comics, because if they suck, you haven’t wasted as much time as when reading novels.

    I’d recommend

    - Knights of the Old Republic, set in 2000 or 3000 years before the movies. It stands out in that it has an anti-hero protagonist who is a mediocre padawan that he would have never made knight.
    - Dark Times: about the beginning of the Empire, quite depressing at times. Mostly about a lone Jedi trying to keep hidden from the Empire, and the a rag-tag space crew
    - Legacy: set 100 years after the movies. The Sith have taken over the Galactic Empire, the Jedi are in hiding again, and the Galactic Alliance is reduced to a small fleet of ships hiding in some corner of the galaxy. Protagonist is a drug addicted Skywalker-scion who is struggling with his – you guessed it – legacy.

  202. Esteleth says

    Audley, the Earl Grey is in the rose-patterned teapot.
    It’s a bit strong, I always make it that way. Hope that’s okay.

    I see Sili hasn’t claimed poor Lt. Kettch. I must admit I’m worried – if he just sits on the floor all alone much longer, Wes Janson might take his clothes off, rub cat food all over his body and play dress-up with Kettch again.

    /obscure?

  203. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    And here is SS talking like cock sucking is a bad thing.

    Why do you hate some straight women and some gay men?

    Oh, and drop dead.

  204. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    StarStuff:
    Wearing a turtleneck and watching (at least some of) The Cosmos. You?

  205. A. R says

    StarStuff: I’m going to find as many opportunities to say “billions and billions” as I can. While wearing a turtleneck and Harris Tweed.

  206. Esteleth says

    Pelamun, when we start talking about tomatoes and Star Wars, you just know that the thread will take off.

  207. says

    I’m planing an event for my Freethinkers group. We’re going to have my copies of Carl Sagan’s books out and play one of his lectures or something at tabling. Then at the meeting in the evening we’re going to watch an episode of Cosmos (I haven’t picked which yet) and I’m going to bring in homemade apple pie.

  208. says

    Esteleth,

    I meant the k****ga thread. But yeah we had about 60 posts in the last hour on TET too, so that’s a good average.. LOL