Why I am an atheist – Pris »« Anti-caturday post

Comments

  1. Esteleth says

    And the quantum tomatoes tunneled over here! :O

    *wheels cart over*

    Here, I baked some banana bread. It’s on the cart with the tea.

  2. says

    [on the topic of Carl Sagan Day from the last thread]

    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.

  3. DemetriusOfPharos says

    Janine:

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

    Right? Carlin had it (half-) right – when did cocksucker become a bad man? It’s a good woman! (Eh, either way, it’s just a good person, but I still think Carlin’s point stands.)

  4. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    No, no nuts.

    Given David and Kookamunga, you must be using a different definition of ‘nut.’

  5. Esteleth says

    Ogvorbis, there are no nuts of any kind (well, okay, there’s wheat germ, which is a nut, but not in the culinary sense) in my bread. No culinary nuts, no godbotherers, and no testicles.

  6. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    Alethea

    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.

    Re women and disgust, I don’t know if I noticed it before you mentioned it, but I think I noticed how I am disgusting for my aesthetic choices re Phil’s wiki page (which, incidentally, I justified explicitly on aesthetic grounds: lulz).

    Now that you mention it, yeah, I think it’s evident.

    One should be warned, moreover, against taking these concepts “pure” and “impure” too ponderously or broadly, not to say symbolically: all the concepts of ancient man were rather at first incredibly uncouth, coarse, external, narrow, straightforward, and altogether unsymbolical in meaning to a degree that we can scarcely conceive. The “pure one” is from the beginning merely a man who washes himself, who forbids himself certain foods that produce skin ailments, who does not sleep with the dirty women of the lower strata, who has an aversion to blood—no more, hardly more!

    Women, menstruating animals that they are, pose an aesthetic threat to some modern atheist moralities too.

  7. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    Ogvorbis, there are no nuts of any kind (well, okay, there’s wheat germ, which is a nut, but not in the culinary sense) in my bread. No culinary nuts, no godbotherers, and no testicles.

    Ah, nuts!

  8. Esteleth says

    Well, A.R., I do have a dyke reputation to uphold. If I don’t bag at least 6 sets of testicles (must be human) a month, they revoke my Rainbow merit badge.

    They specified that they had to be human after a contingent of dykes from farming country arrived with a bucket of mountain oysters.

  9. says

    Josh:

    It was offensive to Indians and to good sense.

    It was offensive to this Indian, but not for obvious reasons. Beltran is part native himself, so playing an Indian didn’t bother me. What did bother me is all the stupid crap the writers had him doing – none of which was exclusive to one particular nation, but a mix (plenty of screwed up ideas of Oglala Lakota/Dakota/Nakota spirituality in there) and nothing to do with Beltran’s own native heritage.

    It was just more of white people’s ideas about noble savages. Fetid tripe.

  10. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Well, A.R., I do have a dyke reputation to uphold. If I don’t bag at least 6 sets of testicles (must be human) a month, they revoke my Rainbow merit badge.

    Want to know what I hate? When I have to wear them as a necklace at the annual get together. Even though they are dried out, it is still rather gross.

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

    Banana bread? I’m down.

    My bread is in the oven. It rose A LOT this time around and I’ve no idea why. :-/

  12. A. R says

    Audley: Did you let it rise for longer than usual, or change the flour/water balance, or knead it more? I make artisan bread as a hobby, so apologize for the bread advice diarrhea.

  13. Esteleth says

    Want to know what I hate? When I have to wear them as a necklace at the annual get together. Even though they are dried out, it is still rather gross.

    I know! It’s so gross. Do you remember the woman who showed up at the ’06 gathering with had collected a penis as well? She attached it to her tiara! It could barely focus, what with it bobbing up and down like that. :/

  14. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    OK, somebody send me a link to the troll so I can clean it up.

    No reason to clean that up IMNSHO.

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

    A. R:
    Yeah, I used more water than usual– the dough was REALLY dry and crumbly at first.

    I’m not worried about it, I was just all “holy moly, this dough is HUGE!” and a little baffled.

  16. A. R says

    Audley: the more water you add to bread dough, the higher it rises, and you get bigger bubbles in the dough.

  17. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    I know! It’s so gross. Do you remember the woman who showed up at the ’06 gathering with had collected a penis as well? She attached it to her tiara! It could barely focus, what with it bobbing up and down like that. :/

    If I remember correctly, they changed the by-laws in order to keep that from happening again. Too many of the women started acting like thirteen year boys.

  18. Esteleth says

    Too many of the women started acting like thirteen year boys.

    Yeah, they did. Good thing, too.

    ____
    Jesus fucking Christ on a Pogo stick-shaped cracker, I love you Janine. I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. <3

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

    A. R:
    Thanks. I’m new to this whole bread baking bidness*– most of what I bake is batter-y and not dough-y (cakes, cookies, brownies, that kind of thing).

    I’m digging bread though. The whole process is just fascinating.

    *Josh gave me some sourdough starter a couple of weeks ago, so I thought I’d put it to some use.

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

    Caine:
    *facepalm* Of course!

    Sorry, my attention is split in too many different directions.

  21. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Caine, you said the SS word. It just set off his signal and now he will be forced to comment again. He has such poor impulse control.

  22. Ichthyic says

    Banana bread? I’m down.

    interesting.

    we’re making some here too; well, banana cake, which is better, because it’s cake.

    Is it international Banana Bread Day?

    did I miss the memo?

  23. says

    Janine:

    Caine, you said the SS word. It just set off his signal and now he will be forced to comment again. He has such poor impulse control.

    Yes, yes, poor widdle baby. He’s such a fucking liar. He can’t manage to stay away no matter what. I’ve completely lost count of all his different identities to date.

  24. says

    while it was amusing this time, this person did derail several threads. I do think woo-botting falls under godbotting. So in the end, I think bannable, but it’s not my decision to make…

  25. A. R says

    Caine: For some reason, they all include OM too. Perhaps I’m ignorant to some obvious reason though.

  26. Sili says

    It was offensive to this Indian, but not for obvious reasons. Beltran is part native himself, so playing an Indian didn’t bother me. What did bother me is all the stupid crap the writers had him doing – none of which was exclusive to one particular nation, but a mix (plenty of screwed up ideas of Oglala Lakota/Dakota/Nakota spirituality in there) and nothing to do with Beltran’s own native heritage.

    It was just more of white people’s ideas about noble savages. Fetid tripe.

    Well, ST is set some hundreds of years into the future. Given how messed up people’s ideas about aboriginal Americans are today, it doesn’t seem all too farfetched to me, that our descendants will have fucked up the mythology even more. Why wouldn’t future ‘Native’ religion be an eclectic, synchretic, ahistorical mix like presentday Paganism and Christianity?

  27. Sally Strange, OM says

    Dudes, my tomatoes are like totally on fire and I can’t figure out why.

    Hey Esteleth, I’d like to meet you in person. I’m going to be in upstate NYS, near Cooperstown, next weekend-ish. If you’re into it, email me at sallylichtenstein three zero three (numbers as numerals, all one word) at yahoo dot com.

    Audley, watch your email.

    I’m a bit tipsy from having drinks with an old friend/former lover of mine. Cool dude; we’re both having relationship issues; it was good to see him again.

    Tomorrow morning I’m going to work at a regular job for the first time in months. Dishwashing, yay. :-P

  28. Esteleth says

    Sally, I’d love to meet you in meatspace, but I am car-less. :(
    If you feel like driving 80-odd miles east of Cooperstown, I’d love to meet you.

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

    A. R:
    Neat! Thanks, I’ll check it out.

    Bread’s out of the oven and as predicted, it’s fine. Now I just have to wait for it to cool without eating all of it. :D

  30. says

    A.R.:

    Caine: For some reason, they all include OM too. Perhaps I’m ignorant to some obvious reason though.

    Eh, SS has been pissy about being stomped on by OMs and continually being outed in each new identity. He has a real thing for Nerd, which is one of the reasons he does the OM business.

    Sili:

    Given how messed up people’s ideas about aboriginal Americans are today

    It really doesn’t fucking matter how messed up non-native’s ideas are – an Indian wouldn’t have fucked up ideas about their own heritage and traditions.

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

    Sally:

    Audley, watch your email.

    Woo hoo!

    A. R:

    For some reason, they all include OM too.

    They’re trying to mock us. Badly.

  32. A. R says

    Audley: No problem, they have a great instructional section on artisan breadbaking as well.

  33. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    Given how messed up people’s ideas about aboriginal Americans are today

    When I lived in Arizona, the school I went to was very small — 16 kids in my class small. Being a school in a national park, there was constant changeover of students. Generally, though, we were about 50% European-American, about 25% Hispanic-American, and about 25% Native American. Usually, one Havasu (the girl I talked about in the bullying thread), one Hopi and two Navajo. Made for some intersting discussions, even in elementary school.

    When I moved back east, kids could not believe I actually went to school with Native Americans. The questions were funny –”What did they wear? Did they live in tipis?” and my answers disappointed them — usually blue jeans and a t-shirt and they lived in houses, trailes, hogans and really old apartment houses. I will say that those kids (and the Hispanic kids) all had a very good understanding of their family histories.

  34. Sally Strange, OM says

    Sally, I’d love to meet you in meatspace, but I am car-less. :(
    If you feel like driving 80-odd miles east of Cooperstown, I’d love to meet you.

    ARGH I thought… wait… I thought you said you worked at Brewery Ommegang which is located near the Dreamworks park, a mere 20-odd miles from where my parents reside… I thus assumed you lived close by but I now see I was sadly mistaken. Boo.

    Well, send me an email anyway. If you’re 80 miles EAST then you may very well be right on my route.

  35. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    Perhaps we have a new meme with the flaming quantum tomatoes?

    I dunno. I was kinda hoping that the whole ‘my ideas will burn your tomatoes’ equals ‘your ideas are undiluted dog piss’ would be part of it.

  36. Esteleth says

    Sally,
    I have an abiding love of Ommegang, but don’t live in Cooperstown. The stores and bars where I am carry their stuff, which is great. I’m 80 miles due east of Cooperstown, near Albany.

    I emailed you, from esteleth at gmail.

    I’m very creative with my screennames :p

  37. says

    Ogvorbis:

    I will say that those kids (and the Hispanic kids) all had a very good understanding of their family histories.

    Yes, they would. That’s very important to Indians. They aren’t the ones running around with muddled, fucked up notions about what they do or don’t believe and how they do things.

  38. says

    Ogvorbis:

    I was kinda hoping that the whole ‘my ideas will burn your tomatoes’ equals ‘your ideas are undiluted dog piss’ would be part of it.

    Yeah, these are priceless.

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

    I’m 80 miles due east of Cooperstown, near Albany.

    No shit. Me too!

    We should try and arrange a meetup when Sally’s in town!

  40. Esteleth says

    My eyelids are getting all droopy and my bed is calling my name.

    It’s mispronouncing it, which is really fucking annoying.

    Night, all.

  41. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    can you remind me again what that was about? Drawing a blank here…

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

  42. Esteleth says

    Audley,
    Indeed. I’ve emailed Sally, and my email is up @62.
    Shoot me a line if you want to organize a 3-way.

    And now, I am actually off to bed.

  43. Sally Strange, OM says

    I’m 80 miles due east of Cooperstown, near Albany.

    No shit. Me too!

    We should try and arrange a meetup when Sally’s in town!

    YES YOU SHOULD.

    I will email you both tomorrow when I’m a bit less drunk (and after I call my mom to find out exactly what the schedule is).

  44. says

    sorry that should’ve been

    wow, it gets better, they still have nine core principles.. LOL

    oh sgbm,

    I gotcha. I was confused by the contents of your linked comment. But now I understand!

  45. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    And Mr. Dogpissidea has just failed to stick the flounce again.

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

    Esteleth:

    Shoot me a line if you want to organize a 3-way.

    Hot. Now we definitely have to work something out.

    Sweet dreams.

  47. A. R says

    Just threw a definition up on the Wiki under memes. Needs polishing and more work. Will attend in the morning.

  48. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    And off to bed. G’night, all.

    Heh. Spiritualism is all about the finding of the true self. Heh.

  49. David Utidjian says

    Esteleth: Can’t handle the nuts?
    /rimshot

    Having a bowl of honey nut cheerios with dried cranberries.
    I <3s the comfort food.

  50. Ragutis says

    Has anyone mentioned Andy Hamilton’s Search for Satan yet? I strongly recommend it to everyone, especially for Hovind’s trolls. AH goes looking for where Satan comes from, how he’s viewed by the 3 Abrahamic faiths, and how the character has changed and been manipulated over the years. The 3 early church elders brainstorming are priceless.

    Very interesting, and several chuckles as a bonus.

  51. Pteryxx says

    Sili: Why wouldn’t future ‘Native’ religion be an eclectic, synchretic, ahistorical mix like presentday Paganism and Christianity?

    It might be, but it’s being written for a present-day, stereotype-riddled audience.

  52. A. R says

    StarStuff: But we know people believe in homeopathy? :) Anyway, I’m getting close to going to bed here.

  53. A. R says

    StarStuff: I would take a sedating antihistamine if I were you. Benadryl would work quite well.

  54. Sally Strange, OM says

    Heh. You know what’s funny? When Pandora starts playing a tune from a band whose CD I picked up long ago but long since forgot about. I don’t even remember where I got it, maybe at the Clearwater Folk Festival? Hell, when I bought the “Mecca Bodega” CD, I was such a hick that I didn’t even know what a bodega was. Just don’t have those in Hickville in upstate NY. Then I recognize this tune, and there they are. Still pretty good. Nice to know that I had mostly decent taste as a teenager. There aren’t too many bands I liked then that I’d be embarrassed to listen to now.

  55. Ichthyic says

    naw, then you’d just have phantom limb itching.

    I second the Benadryl recommendation; cheap, easy to get, and is about the best thing available for dealing with chronic itching.

    meaning; it does a tiny bit to help the itching itself, but typically makes you so drowsy you sleep through it.

    trust me.

    I’m a guy who spent 3 months with severe jaundice from a liver condition.

    Imagine your fire ant itching, all over your body, 24/7, for 3 months straight…

  56. cmv says

    Definitely recommend against amputation.
    Ice will work on the itch. As will alcohol, either topically (burns for a while, but the itch goes away), or orally (gives you the drowsy).

  57. A. R says

    ad hominum salvator: Yeah, that’s some fascinating neuropsychology right there. takes a few treatments though.

  58. Sally Strange, OM says

    I’ve always stuck to classical myself, but occasional bouts of Jazz are ok.

    Oh my goodness, you poor sheltered creature! What on earth is wrong with you? Some sort of anachronistic fetish?

  59. Sally Strange, OM says

    I mean, I have a hard time understanding why anyone would exclude VAST SWATHS of quality music just on the basis of genre. There are a few genres for which I have a generalized distaste–country music, for example–but even within those genres there are a few artists whose music I can appreciate and even enjoy–Lyle Lovett, for example.

    But then, I’m a musician who grew up around musicians, listening to music nearly all the time, so it’s possible I have a particular background that gives me a unique appreciation for it.

  60. Pteryxx says

    OT again: More great anime captions:

    [train noises] chuga chuga chuga whooo-ooooot

    [silly sheep noises] baa-aaa baa-aaa

    [more train noises] chugachugachuga

    Someone out there loves their work.

  61. cstuart says

    OMFG!!!!
    I’ve followed you for years PZ.
    You were key in freeing me from religion.
    But I never knew you were hip till now.
    :)

  62. cmv says

    @Sally – I’m with you, there are genres of music I generally avoid, but I can’t imagine confining my listening to a single genre, even one as broad as “classical”.

  63. says

    Sally:

    But then, I’m a musician who grew up around musicians, listening to music nearly all the time, so it’s possible I have a particular background that gives me a unique appreciation for it.

    I don’t think you need any particular type of background to appreciate a wide and eclectic mix of music, but people like what they like, I don’t see the point of giving anyone grief for it.

  64. Sally Strange, OM says

    I don’t see the point of giving anyone grief for it.

    It feeds my ego! Isn’t that point enough!

    Seriously though, it does make me sad to think that people are missing out on some seriously awesome stuff because “Oh I only listen to classical”. I’m not trying to give grief, just a bit of gentle teasing in the hopes that some (A.R. in this case) will check out something new and interesting and outside the old box, and hopefully have their life enriched and enlivened because of it.

  65. A. R says

    Sally: It’s not so much a total exclusion based on genre, but I simply find that most of the music that I enjoy falls into those two. But then again, I wear a coat and tie every day. :)

  66. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    The thing with classical is that if you like it a lot, there’s more than enough content to grab your attention for a lifetime. I don’t. But I think this is what I’m observing in heavy classical fans.

  67. A. R says

    I do enjoy the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkle, and as a random and semi-eclectic addition, the Red Hot Chili Peppers

  68. Sally Strange, OM says

    I imagine A.R. in suit and tie, shaking a fist out the laboratory window at those damn kids with their damn loud hippity hoppity music. Teehee.

    Loosen up a bit, kiddo. I’ve been introduced to a number of fascinating artists, both new and old, thanks to the eclectic tastes of the Horde. I hope the same happens for you.

  69. Sally Strange, OM says

    The thing with classical is that if you like it a lot, there’s more than enough content to grab your attention for a lifetime.

    This is true of pretty much any genre you can think of. Unless you get SUPER specific, like, “post-punk grrrl band electronica.”

  70. A. R says

    Sally: lol. Anyway, I come from a long line of liberals who act like conservatives (sans the conservative thinking, misogyny, etc.) I would be most interested in music suggestions. (I do have a revulsion for country and hip hop though) :)

  71. says

    Do you mean classical as in all western art-music, or classical as in the period between baroque and romantic? I tend to find pop music very boring, but there’s a lot of other stuff out there.

    If you’re into the sturm und drang kind of romantic composer stuff, then metal might appeal. Power chords and melodic lines and grand drama. (There’s even a metal band by that name!) Or if you like jazz, consider some of its roots in klezmer, honkytonk and blues. If you like the romantic composers in their tranquil modes (like Delibes, Debussy & Delius) consider trance music. And even my country-hate is tempered by kd lang, Patsy Cline and a few modern alt-country darker types.

  72. Sally Strange, OM says

    @ A.R.

    Well, I’d want to know more about what it is you like about your classical, jazz, Beatles, and so forth before I made any recommendations. But it’s late now and I must sleep. So I’ll have to check in later.

    @ ahs

    Curmudgeon indeed. However, looks like an excellent album. Too bad I’m too broke right now to be purchasing any new music, but I’ll keep it in mind.

  73. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    Thread bankrupt! But a fast skim suggests that SS was back, so I doubt I missed much.
    -
    Quantum…tomatoes? Intriguing notion. Am I going to have to wade through the previous Thread to find out what’s going on?
    -

    Also, I much prefer playing classical to listening to it.

    Me, too. :)
    -
    Flaming quantum tomatoes???
    -

  74. A. R says

    Sally: I suppose it’s a general melodic quality of something like the Canon in D or Mozart (he was a proto-liberal too!). I do rather like some of the stronger Classical pieces like the 1812.

  75. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    I’m already familiar (but not that familiar, and not in that way) with dog urine, but flaming quantum tomatoes is a new and potentially exciting concept.
    -

  76. says

    I spent the last six hours or so playing Minecraft, and I don’t think I was caught up even before I started, so I’m declaring Thread bankruptcy.

    ####

    The hunger system in Minecraft is a PITA, but it’s not too bad once you get a working farm set up. Melons grow rapidly, and mushroom stew is limited only by the availability of bonemeal. I have an indoor farm and an indoor huge-mushroom room in my shelter. It’s all good.

    If only there were some better foods for the first few days. It takes a long time to set up a farm.

    (I play Survival when in single-player, and Creative when on a server.)

    ####

    If ST:TOS was the only Star Trek, then Star Trek sucked. TNG was my favorite. (And frankly I don’t know why everyone hates on Enterprise so much. It wasn’t that bad.)

    ####

    The relative lack of Applied Phlebotinum is one reason I love Firefly so much.

  77. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    Anyway can somebody tell me what Mary Daly said that was so mean? Because if it’s just aborting <95% of XY fetuses I don't see the problem; there may be a moral obligation to make a decent world for people you know are going to exist—and there will indeed be people in general—but not to run the proteins over one particular chunk of DNA.

    What if somebody said that about XX fetuses?
    That all depends on what one hopes to accomplish and reasons to suspect one's plan will work.

    I think all the strong arguments against Daly depend on probability of success.

  78. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    It would take decades to accomplish and could only plausibly begin voluntarily. It would necessarily remain voluntary for I’m guessing centuries.

  79. Ing says

    (And frankly I don’t know why everyone hates on Enterprise so much. It wasn’t that bad.)

    Oh yes it was.

    A) Violate previously established continuity
    B) Violate previously established back story
    C) violate internal continuity
    d) Violate common sense sending stories into idiot plot territory

    Enterprise gave us Captain George W Bush, Catfish Tucker, Dear Doctor and a Night in Sick Bay.

    Fuck, Voyager at least had the Doctor to entertain us.

  80. says

    Good morning
    Partial bancruptcy.
    We had a nice trip yesterday and bought a new car.
    If you think that’s not a very sexy car, you should see mine ;)
    No, it was a rational decision, we traded the PoS for a decent sum and I go Mr. to downsize the whole thing one step. We don’t need a car that can pull 1700kg if our caravan only has 1300kg.
    And as usually, after we made clear that we won’t buy the pimped version, no matter if it was good value for the money (If I pay only 50% for something I don’t want and need, I still pay too much), suddenly they also had a more basic, cheaper model. Still has a bazillion unnecessary things…

  81. says

    Schenectady.

    Most of my father’s family live in, or nearby, its sister city, Nijkerk. It’s right in the middle of the Dutch bible belt.

  82. says

    Should you ever need to pronounce it as they do in the local dialect, that’s “knee-kark”.

    Other than that, I’m totally TET bankrupt. I’m sorry.

    Nice car, Giliell. Congratulations. What was the PoS you traded in?

  83. KG says

    One of the adverts getting cylced to me at present is: “Realise your dreams and become a nail technician”.

    How on earth did they know?

  84. Moggie says

    One of the adverts getting cylced to me at present is: “Realise your dreams and become a nail technician”.

    Does this involve hammers?

  85. Sili says

    It really doesn’t fucking matter how messed up non-native’s ideas are – an Indian wouldn’t have fucked up ideas about their own heritage and traditions.

    Not now, no.

    But 200 years in the future? Not knowing how it’s treated in canon, I can’t say how thriving Indian culture is in that universe (Aside: I thought Chakotay was supposed to be Maori, based on the facial tattoos.). But it wouldn’t be unreasonable for a portrayal of the future to depict space-Indians in much the same way as present day Irish-Americans.

    Culture can easily be distorted through the years.

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

    SQB:

    Most of my father’s family live in, or nearby, its sister city, Nijkerk. It’s right in the middle of the Dutch bible belt.

    Interesting. Schenectady, NY is one of those suffering northeastern US former industrial cities* (although not technically in the rust belt). Things are starting to look up through some good decisions by our mayor and city council (they’ve made downtown attractive again, there’s actually code enforcement now, there’s been an effort to clean up the police force, and whatnot), but we’ve got a long ways to go still.

    *GE was founded here and had thriving turbine production until ~30 years ago.

  87. Sili says

    “Realise your dreams and become a nail technician”.

    Odd. My dreams involve more screwing.

  88. Esteleth says

    Morning, all!

    *chomps on bagel*

    My musical tastes vary widely. Comes with being a classically-trained pianist, I guess. One with small hands, so I don’t play anymore.

    I used to use Pandora, but I got irritated at its inability to correctly parse “Yes on ONE Dixie Chicks song, No on every fucking song about tractors” as “likes one song by the Dixie Chicks but dislikes country music otherwise.” I got tired of having to constantly downvote Tim McGraw.

    So now I use Spotify, which I like a lot. My main playlist is based around Tom Lehrer, Patrick Wolf, and S. J. Tucker. So I get tangos about BDSM, songs about werewolves, and jigs about Peter Pan. It suits me well. Sometimes I toss some Ani Difranco in for balance.

  89. says

    Esteleth: I like Tom Lehrer very much. (Every time I travel on the T, I think of his Subway Song. Though it no longer quite works, since Washington station has since been renamed Downtown Crossing.)

    I’ve come across Ani DiFranco once or twice, in the context of her collaborations with the late Utah Phillips. But I’m not very familiar with her music in general.

  90. says

    (After consulting the Pft!) Ah, it was settled by Arent van Curler, who came from Nijkerk. Obvious choice for a sister city, then.

  91. Esteleth says

    SQB,
    Upstate New York is Dutch in most of its place-names. The town I live in has a non-Dutch name, but the county (Rensselaer) and most of the surrounding towns and landmarks are Dutch (Watervliet, Wynantskill, Niskayuna).
    Most of the original settlers – and many of the current residents – were Dutch.

    New Amsterdam and all that.

  92. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    [not remotely caught up]
    I’m super grumpy this morning for any number of reasons, but was cheered by the Cure video. At the age of 14 I was in a band that ostensibly was a cure cover band. We all had shempy hair and affected a quirky/sad demeanor. To this day, I can probably play one hundred Cure songs on bass guitar.
    [/not remotely caught up]

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

    Question for this morning:
    Cheese danish or toast made from the sourdough I made last night?

    Decisions, decisions.

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

    I’m just reading Believing Bullshit by Stephen Law (“How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole”) and was particularly struck by how exactly the recent drive-by gaggle of hovindish godbotters were reciting from the cue-sheet that Law holds up for examination.

    It’s a great book for anyone, and particularly for people like me who see the godbotters coming, know they’re drivelling rubbish, but lack the skills to put the finger on precisely where and when and how they’ve shifted their goalposts or shot themselves in the foot.
    .
    and apropos of nothing (except possibly the OP, which is really OTT considering that this is TET): Pete Townshend in the official, very slashy 1981 music video Rough Boys
    (hope I got the formatting right …) (many of the comments are worth NOT reading, though some are fine)

  95. Zugswang says

    Question for this morning:
    Cheese danish or toast made from the sourdough I made last night?

    Sourdough toast, definitely. (Though I will say that I don’t care at all for cheese danishes, and love fresh sourdough, so my opinion may be somewhat biased.)

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

    SQB:
    ‘Cos I’ve got two loaves and I’ll probably eat it non-toasted with dinner tonight. And I love toast. Mmmm MMM! Toast toast toast.

  97. says

    Yeah, I still wonder what if the English hadn’t won that one.

    Oh yes… one of the oddest bits of history. At the Treaty of Breda in 1667 which concluded the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the Dutch traded away Manhattan Island to the British in exchange for the latter giving up their claim on a tiny remote island called Run, in the Banda Islands, part of modern-day Indonesia. At the time, the Banda Islands were immensely valuable because they were the world’s only source of nutmeg, which sold for a high price in European markets. The treaty was thus expected to give the Dutch a global monopoly on the nutmeg trade. However, after peace was declared, the Brits cheated by transplanting nutmeg trees to the British territories in India, Ceylon and Singapore, therefore breaking the Dutch monopoly.

  98. says

    Esteleth, thanks for the banana bread! [Take a slice and butters it, pours a cup of tea. Nom, nom, nom!]

    Good morning everyone!

    “Almost heaven, West Virginia,
    If you’d just leave it for us sinners…”

  99. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Pharyngulistas be lovin on some sourdough bread. I never met such a bunch of sourdough lovin mufukaz in my whole life.

    But come on. Cheese danish is not something to be dismissed so glibly. For one, it’s delish.

    Dr. Darkheart: You have a real conundrum on your hands. I wouldn’t trust the hataz who discount danish as a viable option with such easy condescension.

    I personally would eat both and skip lunch.

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

    AE:

    I personally would eat both and skip lunch.

    I like your style.

  101. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    We had a nice trip yesterday and bought a new car.

    A few weeks ago, Boy’s car threw a rod. So we went to a dealership and got him a 2-year-old Hyundai Accent with less than 30k miles and a manual transmission. He’s paying about $50 a week and that includes a really good aftermarket warranty.

    We were treated so well by the dealership that Wife and I went back there later the same week and traded our ’04 minivan (which needed new tyres, new front struts, a new exhaust system, three arm ends, and rear brakes) for an ’08 Taurus which is more comfortable, gets better mileage and is not a minivan. Wife and I are now, officially, postminivanal.

    Conga rats, Giliell. A new car is almost always a joy.

  102. says

    I’m going through old books at home, currently a stack of “Horizon,” a hard-backed quarterly from the American Heritage Publishing Company. (The contributors range from Arnold Toynbee to T.S. Eliot. I’m reluctant to send them to the Goodwill.) The Spring 1976 issue contains “The Stately Mansions of the Radiolaria,” by Stephen Jay Gould. Here’s what he says about the much-maligned Ernst Haeckel:

    Ernst Haeckel was the Thomas Huxley of Germany. A brilliant and indefatigable writer and lecturer, he became the continent’s chief publicist for evolution. His books certainly had a greater impact on the general public than those of Darwin. He is best remembered today for his intriguing, but basically incorrect theory that “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”—that is, that individuals repeat the stages of their evolutionary ancestry during embryonic growth….

       Haeckel also introduced a multitude of terms into our biological language—”plankton” among them. in his own day, he was a force to reckon with. He railed against the established church and the privileges of aristocracy, and hoped to establish an evolutionary humanism as the basis of ethical judgment. But when he was not fighting his cosmic and romantic battles, he liked to work on the taxonomy of radiolarians, for he was overwhelmed by the beauty and variety of their shells. He wrote an illustrated an enormous monograph to describe the radiolarians collected by a famous scientific expedition, the voyage of H.M.S. Challenger in 1872–1876.

       In his monograph of 1877, Haeckel could do little more than catalogue in wonder. He estimated the number of known radiolarian species at 4,314, of which he described 3,508 for the first time [my emphasis] in that single work. Haeckel’s plates are a marvel of natural illustration, though in retrospect they contain as much imagination as observation. Haeckel was so convinced of the unerring geometric regularity of radiolarian parts that he drew many perfect symmetries not quite obtained by the real beasts.

    This is a man who should not be dismissed in a single sentence if there’s space for more.

  103. Carlie says

    I broke the seal on buying Christmas gifts yesterday – stopped by the New York State Museum after a conference and got some rocks for the Child. More specifically, a large crystal with a color-changing led base to light it up with. Ooooo. He loves rocks and gems and sparkly pretty things, so I think this will be a hit.

    Spiritual tomato guy is weird. Seems desperate to be banned.

    Enjoy the banana products, everyone. Sadly, I have no bananas. (I have no bananas today…)

  104. Carlie says

    Wife and I are now, officially, postminivanal.

    I am jealous. We have a 10 year old minivan that is quite needing to be replaced, but we can’t do it for another year or two. And we’ll still need another one for the next several years, and they’re just so expensive any more.

  105. A. R says

    Morning thread. I’ve had a great time reading the flaming quantum tomato troll’s latest. Anyway, Esteleth, did you bring in the teacart this morning?

  106. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    Carlie:

    Obviously, I don’t know your situation, but we were able to get ours quite cheap. Call around to some of the larger dealerships and ask if they have any that are either coming off of a lease (which is what our Freestar was) or were rental cars (our current Taurus). Some of them are quite affordable and the miles are usually very good.

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

    Carlie:

    More specifically, a large crystal with a color-changing led base to light it up with.

    Oh, awesome! I’m a little jealous of Child now. :)

    I can’t even think about buying Xmas/Hanukkah presents at the moment– October’s a busy time for gift giving around here (my older sister, mom, dad, and Mr Darkheart’s grandma all have Oct birthdays). I usually end up waiting ’til December before I get started.

  108. Esteleth says

    A.R.,
    The teacart is where I left it last night.
    The tea is laid out in loose leaf and in bags. Tea strainers are in the drawer to the left, next the slotted spoons.
    *puts kettle on*
    I did put the milk away before I went to bed. Here’s a fresh jug.

  109. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    But still no peach ginger tea, I notice.

    I have no idea the brand. We got a large tin of it at TJMaxx or Marshalls, or one of the discount stores (they often have really good spices there (and things like smoked salt)). Came in a tall, three sided tin. And was delicious.

  110. Esteleth says

    Ogvorbis,
    I’ll go to the store in a bit, okay? I have to go out anyway, what with it being First Day and all.
    The local stores carry mostly Republic of Tea, Celestial Seasonings and Tetley. Preference?

  111. A. R says

    Esteleth: Thanks for the tea! I’ll make myself a cup of Earl Grey. BTW, was FtB inaccessible for anyone else for the last ten minutes?

  112. says

    Niskayuna a Dutch name? Would surprise me…

    Another Dutch-in-America related question: who was the only president so far whose first languages was NOT English?

  113. says

    Argh

    Another Dutch-in-America related question: who was the only president of the United States so far whose first language was NOT English?

    Also, sgbm, thanks for the second thread. All very illuminating…

  114. Carlie says

    Audley – it was only $8 altogether, which is why I went ahead and got it. I try to buy stuff early and spread it out the way responsible people do, but I never end up starting until mid-November or so.

    Ogvorbis – thanks for the info. I’ve wondered about previously leased cars before, but have never seen any advertised as such. I guess they would just not say up front unless asked.

  115. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    who was the only president so far whose first language was NOT English?

    Er, George W. Bush? English was his second language, and he didn’t have a first?

    Carlie:

    Some places (like Nationwide (there’s one in Wilkes-Barre, not sure about other places) that specialize in off-lease and rentals. If you are dealing with an upfront dealer, one that doesn’t play games (I sold cars for a while and the games are annoying), if you ask specifically for off-lease or ones from rental car companies, they should cooperate.

    One of the great things about off-lease cars is that getting a lease is often more difficult than getting a loan, so the people who buy them tend to have the money to take care of them. And the rental car companies (the big ones, anyway) tend to be anal about by-the-book maintenance.

  116. says

    Er, George W. Bush? English was his second language, and he didn’t have a first?

    Actually George W. Bush has been classified as a bilingual president, because he speaks somewhat Spanish.

    Dixit Wikipedia

    George W. Bush speaks some amount of Spanish, and has delivered speeches in the language.[49] His speeches in Spanish are imperfect, with English dispersed throughout.[50] Some opponents, like Molly Ivins, have pointedly questioned the extent to which Bush could speak the language, noting that he kept to similar phrasing in numerous appearances and displayed a “Spanish II” level of mastery in a Spanish-language press conference.[51]

  117. maddog1129 says

    Another Dutch-in-America related question: who was the only president of the United States so far whose first language was NOT English?

    Who were the Dutch presidents? Van Buren? The Roosevelts?

  118. says

    Also I once read that when he first ran for Congress in West Texas, his speech was peppered with so many big words that he came off as the New England patrician he originally was.

  119. says

    Audley @67, Hank Fox is normally near Albany, too, I believe, except that this week he’s visiting his dying Dad in California–but perhaps another time you can include him.

  120. says

    There is only one president who learnt Dutch as a second language, John Quincy Adams, because he went to school in the Netherlands..

  121. A. R says

    pelamun: I had heard the same regarding Bush. I’ve always wondered if he purposefully mangled his elocution to seem “folksy”

  122. says

    @Gilliel- oh the envy. I wish we could get Peugeots over here. Sexy=no, but reliable=yes, good on gaz=yes, faster than it looks=yes, and handles better than anything made by the Big Three*=yes.

    (big three is North American speak for Dodge, GM, and Ford)

  123. says

    @Carlie, if you’re brave and know a little about the car you want, auto auctions are an awesome place to pick up good vehicles for not a lot. Ex fleet vehicles of any sort tend to be a bit more at auction, mainly because they’re been maintained to within an inch of their lives (when registered “commercial” they have much higher standards). They’ve been driven hard, often, but they’re usually low mileage and are more likely to be immediately roadworthy than trade-ins that dealers have sent to auction.

    As with any auction, go beforehand to look at what might be good for your uses.

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

    So…

    … I’ve decided to quit smoking and I’ve had my last cigarette. *bites nails!*

  125. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    Actually George W. Bush has been classified as a bilingual president, because he speaks somewhat Spanish.

    I know. But when he ‘good ol’ boys’ English (Mercun, nucular, etc) he annoys the hell out of me. And his good ol’ boy-isms are not native for him. His earliest political speeches are well-constructed proper English. He deliberately dumbed his speech down to disguise his Yale almost-education.

  126. Esteleth says

    Pelamun,
    Wikipi-tan tells me that Niskayuna is a Native American term. My bad.
    The US is odd like that – a sea of place-names in one language, punctuated with some in a completely unrelated one.

  127. Carlie says

    Audley – good luck! I’d second the suggestion on patches etc. just because you don’t need the physical withdrawal on top of the mental one, but I’m not the one to ask. I’m sure other ex-smokers can help you out more – I remember Josh really liking the e-cigs.

    RSS is putting them into a feed, like using Google Reader. That way you can read them all without going to the site itself. I have become very reliant on my reader because I can quickly check all the sites I like to see if there’s anything new, and skim down through them all fast.

  128. Carlie says

    Two quickies:

    I’ve always had an internet crush on Carl Zimmer (his brain! just his brain!) and this is a great talk he gave on his inspiration for science journalism (warning: contains sad cancer story and gross descriptions of parasites). Radiolab itself is fantastic, if anyone doesn’t know about it yet.

    Also, famous painting has a devil painted in it. Heh. “Art restorers have discovered the figure of a devil hidden in the clouds of one of the most famous frescos by Giotto in the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi, church officials said on Saturday. The devil was hidden in the details of clouds at the top of fresco number 20 in the cycle of the scenes in the life and death of St Francis painted by Giotto in the 13th century.”

    I don’t see it in the attached picture, though.

    Love the McRib locator. Spouse loves them and has been chowing down for over a week. I can’t stand them.

  129. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    Janine:

    Look at my avatar. That is Death Valley, 1971. And I lived there in ’69.

  130. changeable moniker says

    Bang in the middle of the 1st linked picture, looking up and to the right. HTH!

  131. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    More:

    http://www.rssowl.org/

    http://rssbandit.org/

    When I click on them on my blog, it goes to a text page that says: “This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below.”

    What does that mean?

    It means either 1) you’re not using a browser like Firefox that handles RSS natively, or 2) those RSS feeds are malformed.

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

    Also, famous painting has a devil painted in it. Heh. “Art restorers have discovered the figure of a devil hidden in the clouds of one of the most famous frescos by Giotto in the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi, church officials said on Saturday. The devil was hidden in the details of clouds at the top of fresco number 20 in the cycle of the scenes in the life and death of St Francis painted by Giotto in the 13th century.”

    I don’t see it in the attached picture, though.

    Yeah, I don’t see it either. Maybe it’s one of those things you see if you’re standing on your head? Or maybe it’s like one of those Magic Eye pictures.
    ————————————–

    Currently letting the bathroom cleaner sit for a bit before scrubbing and wiping, especially since there’s mildew. After that, cleaning the bathroom floor and letting that dry while doing dishes. Weekends may be for sleeping, but housework sometimes has to take first priority.

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

    StarStuff:

    Good luck! Are you going cold turkey or are you going to get patches or something?

    Thanks!

    Right now, cold turkey. We’ll see how good or bad today goes– I’ve quit before (for about a year), so I know what to expect. If it gets really hairy, I’ll definitely get some nicotine gum.

  134. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    I’m using Chrome. What should happen when I or someone else clicks on it?

    Dunno about Chrome. But when I go to starstuffs.site/feed/ I see something like this.

  135. Esteleth says

    On my way home I saw a man in a Santa suit riding a Harley! He was blaring Christmas music from the stereo.

    Funniest. Thing. Ever.

  136. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    But when I go to starstuffs.site/feed/ I see something like this.

    That is to say, your site is working fine; the RSS is not malformed. You just aren’t using an RSS reader.

    If you want to play with this functionality, get Firefox or one of the standalone RSS readers I linked above.

  137. Carlie says

    Depends on the oatmeal. If it’s McCann’s steel-cut (from the metal tin, not the box, I don’t know why the stuff in the box sucks but it does), a bowl of it is just fine. I do like to add a little milk or brown sugar, and it’s best when raisins are added during the cooking or bananas are added after, but it can be eaten plain.

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

    Don’t know about you, sandi, but I prefer my oatmeal with raisins and cinnamon. And milk instead of water. Or a spoonful of strawberry jam. So I guess my vote would be for “Yes.” Even when I’m sick, plain oatmeal doesn’t strike me as appealing.

  139. Carlie says

    Or do you mean plain oatmeal for breakfast as in oatmeal but not anything else like eggs or bacon along with?

  140. sandiseattle says

    Carlie/PTI: Plain is a forced diet for me right now. I’m always nauseous the day after treatment. Its all I can keep down. But when I’m well, I prefer plain sugar and trail mix.

  141. ringtailedlemurian says

    Funny piece by Tim Minchin about touring the US, atheism, creationists, Texas, etc.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2011/nov/06/tim-minchin-mocking-god-in-texas

    (His manager’s nickname is Grizzly)

    Usually we sort out pianos well in advance, but we had a bit of trouble with our planned hire in Dallas. Three days ago, Grizzly received an email from the company who had been booked to supply us with a lovely Baldwin. The subject heading was “CANCEL !!!!!!!!!!” (yep, 10 exclamation marks), and the body of the email read:

    “I need to decline after watching that insane Tim Minchin. What a God-hater.

    So sorry, please cancel the Entire Event In Dallas. Go back to Australia we do not appreciate Tim Minchin in TX.

    WE ARE NOT DELIVERING THE GRAND PIANO!!! NOT FOR 1 MILLION $ HA HA HA.

    You probably agree. Find a better comedian (not a demon).

    Love in Christ,”

  142. Sili says

    I don’t see it in the attached picture, though.

    Yeah, I don’t see it either. Maybe it’s one of those things you see if you’re standing on your head? Or maybe it’s like one of those Magic Eye pictures.

    Took a while for me to spot as well. Still not quite sure if it’s real or not.

    Follow the line of the white garment: There’s a big dark spot on top and then a much smaller one further down. Below the big spot is a not quite as dark splotch – that’s the horns. Follow those down and you’ll see a high forhead, closed eyes, perhaps a long nose, lips and large chin.

    The face is actually more obvious than the horns – it could be a sorta death mask.

  143. First Approximation says

    Why does Feyny look like Johnny Depp ? Oh, and happy BD !

    Thanks (for both :).

    Actually George W. Bush has been classified as a bilingual president, because he speaks somewhat Spanish.

    He spoke it better than El Bloombito.

  144. hotshoe says

    Someone posted a slashy Pete Townshend video. Here is one in which he shaves. Seriously.

    Huh. I expected something sexier – something like the little straight-razor shaving scene from The Great Train Robbery, but with a better soundtrack.

    Sorry, no youtube, but it’s available streaming on netflix.

  145. consciousness razor says

    Carlie and Part-Time Insomniac:

    I don’t see it in the attached picture, though.

    Yeah, I don’t see it either.

    It’s hidden in the brighter part of the clouds, about halfway along the right side, looking as if it’s staring at the white-clothed angel’s naughty bits.

  146. Carlie says

    Ah, thanks. I’ll keep looking.

    sandi – try steel-cut oats, if you haven’t yet. Should be the same effect (or lack of one) on your stomach, and there’s a nutty nice taste and texture there that rolled oats can’t match. If you roast them in a pan for a minute or two before cooking them, it tastes even better.

  147. sandiseattle says

    Carlie, its usually Quaker oats. I’m sure my local Safeway prolly has steel cut. I usually recover after a day. Its a weekly ‘ritual’ for now, so anything that eases the pain, i’m up for.

  148. says

    Good evening

    Brother Ogvorbis

    Er, George W. Bush? English was his second language, and he didn’t have a first?

    I love you

    cars
    Well, the PoS is a Toyota Avensis.
    Mr’s first car was a Toyota and he loved it. Reliable, solid car. So, when we went shopping for a new one, he wanted a Toyota.
    Well, the times of Toyota building reliable, solid cars are over. I’m not talking about the “car won’t stop crashes”, but I know hardly anybody who bought one the last years who’s happy.
    Maybe the person to buy ours will be happy with it, given they never try to pull a caravan with it, because that cloggs the exhaust system. Having to have it burned free for 500€ after each holiday isn’t an alternative.
    Funny, that you should mention the 406 Coupé, SQB, because that’s that car we had before the Toyota. In blue. Man, I loved that car, fast, reliable, pure fun to drive. It took us to the South of France and the North of Spain, Portugal and Andalucía, Corsica, Ireland and Scotland. Lots of wonderful memories.

    Totally unrelated
    I haz Cheddar
    I know, sounds trivial, but it’s hard to get real quality Cheddar here.

  149. speedweasel says

    I can say, without hyperbole, that this song is a million times better than all the other songs in the world put together.

  150. A. R says

    Giliell: Unless you happen to live in the UK, I think it is difficult everywhere to get a decent cheddar.

  151. ChasCPeterson says

    Shit, I fucked up those numbers.
    Corrected, and as correct as they’re going to get:

    Thread total, ScienceBlogs: 181108 comments (229 Episodes).

    Current Thread total, FreeThought Blogs (@comment #268): 21760 comments.

    Total: 202868 comments.

    And #200000 was actually this one.

    OK.

  152. says

    @SQB- I didn’t mean no Peugeots are sexy; I meant the particular Peugeot Gilliel had bought was perhaps less than sexy…

    But at least it’s not one of these.

  153. Algernon says

    Anyone here with house/remodeling experience could I get some advice?

    TL;DR

    Is attempting to peel off fifty year old formica crazy? Think the wood (it’s actually a nice wood under there) will be beyond salvage or something that could be shored up or topped a thin layer of wood?

    I’m having some flooring put in part of the house and the moving and working has got me thinking about other long needed fixes. This house has almost no changes since the 1960s. I have talked about the bath before, and that is a waaay out there total remodel job that is totally out of budget and beyond me right now. But some flooring in the kitchen and family room I can handle. The kitchen is almost getting cute in a still-has-original-appliances way.

    The old hideously damaged formica is peeling off of the counters though and I’ve always figured it’s too much cost to have it replaced (I can’t afford much right now)and as a chunk of it just fell off I noticed that what I always assumed would be some kind of nasty MDF beneath is actually a surprisingly nice looking chunk of wood with a sort of plywood/wood-veneer on top and just a little bit of gap/damage at the corner.

    So that got me thinking? Is it feasible to use acetone and a chisel or something and just remove the formica and old glue? Has anyone done something like this? What are the chances the wood underneath is salvageable?

  154. Carlie says

    *confetti for Audley’s comment*

    *confetti for Chas’ counting*

    sandi, see if you can get your hands on some and try it during the week when you’re feeling fine – see if you like it. I’m trying to think of other options that would be fairly bland; what about hot buttered rice? Yummy, but the oils might do you in. Or quinoa? That has a lot of texture and taste, even plain (or with a tiny bit of olive oil).

  155. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    A. R., it is fine if that spleenweasel is insulting me. It is but words from a worthless fool. Besides, I called that sack of shit names before he did so with me.

  156. Carlie says

    Oh, was that actually my comment? Figures it would be one where I profess ignorance of the subject and then follow up with actual information much later.

    FTB is being really wonky – just had some major format errors, in addition to the hang times.

    Algernon – if it’s already peeling off, might as well try. A heat gun might get it off easier, but I’d check to see if it would melt the formica instead first.

  157. sandiseattle says

    @Carlie: Nursey suggested rice in milk, but I didn’t have any rice at the time. Quinoa was a suggestion from The Diabetes Food & Nutrition Bible (my first diabetes book) I still want to try.

  158. Esteleth says

    The troll’s latest explanation for why evolution isn’t true: Charles Darwin was a zoophile.

    My mind, she is broken.

  159. Pteryxx says

    apropos of not much: I’ve been following the story of that VA vet subjected to a homophobic rant, first on Ed’s blog, now on RBB. The Dallas Voice picked up the story last week (which may or may not be because I emailed their editors <_< ) and now it's going viral. Awareness! Pressure on the VA! Good things!

    But that's not the best part… I'm reading the Dallas Voice article, and Elizabeth Moon (squee!) wrote a fiery comment in support. …She’s even more my hero than she already was. *snif*

    http://www.dallasvoice.com/va-nurse-accused-anti-gay-tirade-1093109.html/comment-page-1#comment-49671

  160. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    The troll’s latest explanation for why evolution isn’t true: Charles Darwin was a zoophile.

    My mind, she is broken.

    You must be relatively new to this. Sex with apes is a common trope for the less devout creationist. And for people who get their laughs from posting stupid shit.

  161. consciousness razor says

    So that got me thinking? Is it feasible to use acetone and a chisel or something and just remove the formica and old glue? Has anyone done something like this? What are the chances the wood underneath is salvageable?

    Hmm, I don’t know. Lots of work, I imagine; but it seems like you probably could save the counter. I’d bet for the most part the wood is in pretty good shape. I have no idea what acetone would do to it…. I’m wondering if a hair dryer or something would make it peel off more easily. That might make the formica curl up around the edges or at least be a little more flexible, so when you pry it up with a chisel or something, it won’t be as brittle and crack into tiny little pieces.

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

    I lived for a while in France, the Promised Land of Cheeses … and I’m ashamed to admit that after some considerable time I (oh the shame of it) started to miss Cheddar. In France.

  163. says

    SQB
    Will you be even more envious if I tell you that it was a V16?
    Oh, I loved that car. But sadly, it was becoming old, kid was on the way (and it does have a small trunk) and since the car is no longer built, it had become a favourite of young men with the wrong ideas about what makes a good driver, driving insurance premiums up through the roof :(

  164. Rey Fox says

    I can’t speak for everyone here, but I personally don’t really need a play-by-play commentary for trolls on other threads.

  165. Carlie says

    V16??? Did you have to drive around with an entire fuel tank on a trailer behind you, constantly pouring gas into the tank?

  166. says

    Morning all,
    I have no problems finding a decent cheddar. It’s the most popular style of cheese in Australia. (Our regular household cheese is Bega Strong & Bitey.) But it’s also easy to find very good cheddars and truly outstanding cheddars, if you feel like paying the premium prices.

    Nice choice, Gilliel. Peugeots are good cars. My bloke & I always seem to go European for cars: Peugeot, Renault, Volvo, VW. We love our current VW Jetta.

  167. says

    Rey:

    I can’t speak for everyone here, but I personally don’t really need a play-by-play commentary for trolls on other threads.

    I don’t either, we can all figure it out for ourselves and did just fine before A.R. and Starstuff decided to alert us every 10 seconds.

  168. says

    Unfortunate, but quite funny, too:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-15611160

    (It caught my eye because I used to live in Oban.)

    Can’t get decent cheddar in Tasmania, either, unless you pay crazy prices. They put ‘aged six months’ on the label as if it’s some kind of amazing recommendation, when any cheese-lover from the UK knows you can’t really consider it cheddar until it’s had at least twelve months, or better eighteen. Then they sell this ‘premium’ cheddar in little shrink-wrapped 100g blocks for about eight dollars.

    Australians also have this pseudo-cheddar called ‘tasty’ (it’s not), made by increasing the acidity to cover the insipid flavour. And don’t get me started on ‘club’, which seems to essentially be three-week old pre-cheddar, sour and floury, that they’ve convinced the public here is a cheese in it’s own right.

  169. says

    That’s pretty crazy. Isn’t the Japanese government trying to do anything about it?

    Considering that Japan also has state-sanctioned murder*, I doubt it. Though, in fairness, at least Japan doesn’t kill people for “drug trafficking” (only for murder and treason).

    (*I refuse to dignify it with the label “capital punishment”, as though there were a material difference between the state killing someone and a private individual killing someone. The idea that states have “legitimate authority” to decide who “deserves” to live or die is utter bullshit, to any rational-minded person; governments, after all, are just glorified protection rackets, and we shouldn’t buy into their propaganda.)

    Hopefully there will be a letter-writing campaign by Amnesty or Human Rights Watch, although neither seems to have picked up this case as yet. (There’s still time, as there are routes of appeal from the judgment.)

  170. Crudely Wrott says

    In answer to Algernon @ 270, yes, you can get the old laminate off with acetone and a chisel, though I recommend using a wide putty knife with the corners rounded slightly to avoid damage to the plywood substrate.

    Because acetone evaporates so quickly it will do minimal damage to the wood. You should let it dry completely for several hours. Don’t forget to provide “adequate ventilation”! That stuff is hell on brain cells.

    After the laminate has been fully removed it will probably be necessary to go back over the wood and remove the globs of adhesive that will remain. A second application of acetone and putty knife should do the trick. After drying again, judicious application of coarse (60 or 80 grit) sandpaper will help to clean up and rough up the surface. Knock it down with 100 grit and it should be ready. Hand sanding with a sanding block will give best results.

    Any nicks or gouges resulting from this process should be filled with an exterior grade wood filler. You want a smooth surface to work on when you commence applying any kind of new covering.

    While you have a naked counter top do take care to protect it from water and food spills. It’s also a good time to inspect the edges and the bottom side. Make sure that the plywood is well secured to the cabinets and that it is level and flat. You may need to use some shims underneath it and install or re-tighten the screws that hold it in place.

    What sort of new covering are you considering?

  171. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    What the fuck is wrong with people? Seriously?

    They got a bad case of The Rules,

    Probably it is possible to eventually change The Rules to persecute people for not carrying drugs when they travel, if one were into that sort of thing.

  172. says

    we’ve had this topic before, drug laws in SE Asia (and China and Taiwan) are draconian. There was just a case where an Australian teenager for arrested on Bali for trying to buy marihuana.

  173. says

    Hopefully there will be a letter-writing campaign by Amnesty or Human Rights Watch, although neither seems to have picked up this case as yet. (There’s still time, as there are routes of appeal from the judgment.)

    Well, if you do find out about one, would you let me know?

  174. says

    King Island cheddar’s still pretty decent, and that’s actually from Tassie even if it has been bought out by a bigger company. The big brands are big for a reason – they aim for a mass market lowest common denominator. Lots of mild cheeses for the kids. It’s exactly the same in the UK – there’s heaps of boring bland cheddar-styled cheeses in the supermarket, and the really good stuff is pricey.

  175. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    governments, after all, are just glorified protection rackets

    Not just. Infrastructure is not a protection racket.

  176. says

    Japan has strict drug laws too, but not the death penalty.

    And no, Walton, it’s not the death penalty for plain murder, it has to be something extremely cruel, or against the morals of society, like a child murdering their parents (which goes against Confucian values).

    Also, you’re wrong, or rather English Wikipedia is wrong. There is a variety of crimes that can be punished by death, arson among them. But not narcotics smuggling as far as I can see.

    The Japanese govt usually does not protest on behalf on its citizens facing the death penalty. This is what then-PM Hatoyama had to say when four Japanese citizens were executed in China for drug offences

    『それぞれの国の法律に従って行っていることを、他国の首相が異議を申し立てることは差し控えねばならない』
    (Prime ministers of foreign countries should not interfere in the legal processes of other countries)

  177. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    *moral support* for Dr. Audley. I’ve never smoked, so I’ve never had to quit, but I understand that it’s way hard.
    -

    Okay show of hands: plain oatmeal is a crappy breakfast. Y/N/maybe

    Y. Nasty taste, nasty texture, plus these days, it doesn’t seem to want to digest properly; an altogether unpleasant dining experience. Better, however, than turnips. Or peas, natch.
    Oatmeal is best used, in conjunction with pecan chunks and dried cranberries, to make cookies. Nomnomnomnomnom! It’s also sometimes useful as filler in meatloaf.
    -

    *confetti for Chas’ counting*

    *more confetti*
    -

  178. says

    Also, you’re wrong, or rather English Wikipedia is wrong. There is a variety of crimes that can be punished by death, arson among them. But not narcotics smuggling as far as I can see.

    Wait, what? I expressly said that Japan doesn’t have the death penalty for drug trafficking. I think you misread me. :-/

  179. says

    The link about the case in China: http://mikitogo.at.webry.info/201004/article_18.html

    (if you want the list of crimes punishable by death in more detail, I can translate them for you. But also mass murder stuff like that Sarin gas guru guy, these are the type of cases that usually get a death verdict)

    Also in the legalistic spirit of many Asian governments, they will say, she broke the law, she has to face the music.

    There was a movie once about an American facing the death penalty in Malaysia for drug offences, with Anne Heche before her crazy period.

    I’ve said it before though, Westerners should be extremely cautious. Many Asian countries, especially those that were colonised by western countries, are extremely sensitive about foreign groups “meddling in domestic affairs”. It might be better to cooperate with local NGOs.

    Japan had a good spell recently, when Hatoyama made a long time anti-death penalty activist his justice minister. She made sure no death warrant got signed while she was minister, but I think she has stepped down now.

    Her Taiwanese counterpart was trying to do the same thing but was told by the president’s office (I forgot if it was someone from the executive or legislative, sorry) that she had to sign, or resign.

    (But Malaysia is off the deep end anyways. They have instituted sharia law incl. many of the punishments from it for all Malay citizens.)

  180. says

    You said “only for murder and treason”.

    De facto, the death penalty is only given in cases where deaths have occurred, but that’s not what the Penal Code says.

  181. Esteleth says

    Surfacing from a marathon Sims game to offer some burritos.

    I made them myself, they’re quite good!

    ___
    Ah, drugs. Growing up in the country, I saw meth a lot. Meth is baaaad for you. I am opposed to the death penalty (I came to this after seeing how unevenly it is applied, especially with regards to race), but in general I have an attitude of “whatever it takes” to stomping out drug dealers. Not users (who should be helped to kick their addictions), but dealers, the cartels. Money + Weapons + Psycotropics = Bad Fucking Combination.

  182. A. R says

    Apologize for the play by play. On the topic of Malaysian drug law, less than a kilo can still win you state sanctioned murder.

  183. says

    but in general I have an attitude of “whatever it takes” to stomping out drug dealers.

    Wait, what? The criminalization of drugs, and the idea that we need to “punish” or “stomp out” drug use, has made drug problems far worse. The prison-industrial complex in America (which has by far the highest rate of incarceration in the Western world, for which the “War on Drugs” is largely to blame) has created immense social problems – the burden falling most heavily on the poor and ethnic minorities. (Bear in mind that people are identified as “dealers” in many jurisdictions if they are in possession of more than a certain quantity of a drug; the people being prosecuted as “dealers” in many cases are generally not the heads of the cartels, but people who are themselves poor and vulnerable.) And the reason these violent cartels exist is precisely because of criminalization; banning drugs drives the supply into the hands of organized crime, just as the banning of alcohol during Prohibition did for the alcohol trade.

    The way to deal with the problem of drugs is to decriminalize them, and get cops and criminal courts out of the process altogether. Drug addiction should be treated as a health issue, the domain of physicians and social workers, as it generally was before the mid-to-late twentieth century.

  184. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    Subsidized treatment for addicts, legalization and cornerstore sale will wipe out dealers.

  185. says

    Also, echoing what esteleth said,

    In China, Taiwan and Singapore, as countries that are culturally Chinese (or a large majority), the horrors of opium brought into the country by the English are still remembered. So they get extra sensitive when the criticism comes from foreigners.

    In Indonesia, their own war on drugs is the priority of its Harvard-educated president. Drug crimes is one area where you can’t bribe your way out.

  186. says

    I should add that of course there’s a difference between different kinds of drugs, and we shouldn’t lump them all together. Marijuana – which is much less dangerous than either alcohol or tobacco – should be legalized and regulated, just as alcohol and tobacco now are. Not that it doesn’t have risks, but the harm of criminalization is vastly disproportionate to the amount of risk; and plenty of adults use marijuana sensibly and in moderation, and should be allowed to do so without interference by the state.

    Drugs like cocaine and heroin, by contrast, should be decriminalized rather than fully legalized, and treated as a public health issue for which social services is the primary port of call. Money should be spent on providing treatment for substance addictions (something which is currently hard to access unless one has money), rather than on police and prisons.

  187. says

    In China, Taiwan and Singapore, as countries that are culturally Chinese (or a large majority), the horrors of opium brought into the country by the English are still remembered.

    Yeah… the Opium Wars were not Britain’s finest hour. That was a really shitty episode (even by the standards of a century which contained many similar greed-driven colonialist misadventures).

  188. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    I almost never buy alcohol from acquaintances. There is no significant secondary market. Can’t be more than five times I’ve had alcohol wasn’t produced by a company.

  189. says

    I mean foreign pressure is not always harmful.

    Malaysia was about to have a Malay woman whipped for drinking alcohol. They were expecting her to appeal to a higher court, so the sentence would be reduced to a fine (as it usually is), but she insisted on being whipped to make a point.

    Malaysia was aware that they were running the risk of making a fool out of themselves on the world stage, so they found some other legal maneuvre not to have her whipped.

  190. Esteleth says

    Walton, you’ll note that I said stomp out the dealers and help the users.
    I very much believe that what ad hominum salvator says @311 is true.

    Once the market evaporates – or shrinks dramatically – when the drug addicts are no longer addicts, the power of the cartels will evaporate likewise.

  191. says

    As for the argument that the interference of Western human rights activists in the “domestic affairs” of Asian countries is cultural imperialism (an argument I’ve run into before; I blogged about it once), I think the best way to head off this criticism is to show that we criticize our own countries’ governments just as much, and that we apply the same standards to them. Which we should be doing anyway. Western countries are perpetrating massive human rights abuses every day. Take, for instance: the racist discrimination against immigrants in almost every Western country, the system of immigration detention and deportation, and the widespread exploitation and abuse of undocumented workers (with the tacit support of the state, since they are often afraid to come forward for fear of deportation); or the torture of detainees by the United States, and the complicity therein by Britain’s and other countries’ intelligence services; or the death penalty in the United States, the prison-industrial complex, and so forth.

  192. says

    Walton, you’ll note that I said stomp out the dealers and help the users.
    I very much believe that what ad hominum salvator says @311 is true.

    Once the market evaporates – or shrinks dramatically – when the drug addicts are no longer addicts, the power of the cartels will evaporate likewise.

    Yep, I agree. But in the original context, since we were discussing a criminal sentence for drug trafficking, I assumed that your reference to “stomping out the dealers” implied an approval of punitive measures against drug dealing. Perhaps I misunderstood you.

  193. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    And I really don’t think decriminalization goes far enough. If you want to wipe out the competition you have to give the pharmacies a chance to compete.

    (Plus imagine the public health when licensed pharmacists give advice instead of just other unprofessional drug users.)

    I wonder what our health care profressionals here think.

  194. says

    Walton,

    that’s great. But it still is a form of Western privilege, to be from a nation that has never been colonised before. Nations that became independent quite recently, and who have a sizeable middle class, often have a widespread sentiment that they don’t want be told to what to do by foreigners, especially as the international system still remains rigged in favour of Western nations. Sovereignty is a concept that is not going away in Asia, not for decades..

    But as I mentioned in my post above, there are domestic activists, I think the best would be to work with them.

    I was reading up on the case, and acc to the Japanese media, 50g of amphetamines makes it trafficking in Malaysia, and earns you the death penalty. Now I don’t know how much you usually need for “one pop”, but 50g sounds pretty pretty little…

  195. says

    Esteleth @163 with the small hands, you might want to investigate a harpsichord or spinet, as they have keys that seem about 3/4 scale to those of a pianoforte. Or there might be electronic keyboards to suit you.

  196. consciousness razor says

    Walton:

    I refuse to dignify it with the label “capital punishment”, as though there were a material difference between the state killing someone and a private individual killing someone.

    You could argue that any punishment-oriented justice system is wrong, even if it doesn’t involve killing people, so calling it “punishment” shouldn’t sound better from your perspective anyway, right? My problem is that it hides the fact that it’s a form of killing people. The use of “capital” (referring to beheading) obscures the association for people used to colloquial, modern English. If people really thought of it as “chopping-off-heads punishment,” I doubt they’d use it the same way.

    Also, I would say there is a difference between killing someone and murdering someone. It’s arguable whether there is ethical justification for killing someone, but not for murdering someone. So to me it looks like “state-sanctioned murder” is a loaded term (i.e., that it isn’t justifiable), because I don’t know that in every case the public couldn’t justifying killing someone when an individual in an equivalent situation could.

  197. says

    Esteleth, music: If you like Tom Lehrer, you’ll probably like Roy Zimmerman.

    Steeleye Span: traditional British folk-songs with celtic-rock backgrounds and amaaazing vocals.

    Stan Rogers: A poet with a good voice.

  198. says

    Sandiseattle, plain oatmeal with a handful of plain corn meal in the initial mix has slightly crunchier texture, better flavour, and is faintly golden instead of grey. When you get better a handful of granola makes it even better.

  199. consciousness razor says

    Ah, drugs. Growing up in the country, I saw meth a lot. Meth is baaaad for you. I am opposed to the death penalty (I came to this after seeing how unevenly it is applied, especially with regards to race), but in general I have an attitude of “whatever it takes” to stomping out drug dealers. Not users (who should be helped to kick their addictions), but dealers, the cartels. Money + Weapons + Psycotropics = Bad Fucking Combination.

    Walton, you’ll note that I said stomp out the dealers and help the users.

    Fuck, you think dealers don’t need help too, or in any case, the death penalty is okay? Stomp them out? What the fuck? You think they’re all “cartels” with guns and shit?

    Bah. Fuck it. Think it over some more, or don’t. I don’t care. It’s just painful to know that a lot of people have this mindset, some of whom are in actual positions of power.

  200. Esteleth says

    Consciousness Razor,
    I do not think the death penalty is okay. I am adamantly opposed to it.

    When I say “dealers,” I am not referring to the street-level guy, or even his boss – I’m referring to the higher-ups in the cartels. Most street-level dealers start dealing either to fund their own addictions or because they grew up in a poor neighborhood and attended bad schools and have no good opportunities other than selling drugs.

  201. A. R says

    In fact, the street level dealers make less than minimum wage according to a study done in the 1990′s

  202. Esteleth says

    How many runs a year do mules do?
    A job at federal minimum wage ($7.25/hr) would net $15,080 a year, assuming a 40-hour workweek.
    A mule would have to do 6.032 runs a year to make that much, which I suppose is doable.

    Of course, $15,080 is not a lot of money, especially if one has dependents.

  203. consciousness razor says

    I do not think the death penalty is okay. I am adamantly opposed to it.

    Okay, I misunderstood this:

    I am opposed to the death penalty [...], but

    And you don’t actually support doing “whatever it takes” for those individuals, to “stomp them out,” despite your opposition to the death penalty. My mistake, I guess.

    When I say “dealers,” I am not referring to the street-level guy, or even his boss – I’m referring to the higher-ups in the cartels.

    What about the distribution networks (e.g., people making meth in their garage) which don’t involve anything like a cartel? Isn’t that meth just as “baaaad” and isn’t that meth more common anyway?

  204. sandiseattle says

    Monado
    thanks never heard of the corn meal angle. May have to try that after treatment next week.

    AND… entering the fray of the conversation above.

    I’m for the decriminalization of the use of drugs, and I support NORML. I’ve seen no significant proof that marijuana is any more harmful than liquor. I do think that we should legalize the use of MJ with rules along the same lines as those we have for drunk driving laws however. As for dealers and so on, if we legalized MJ I suppose they’d fall into a niche like that of a moonshiner.

    AND.. regarding the death penalty, one reason I’m against it is the hypocrisy of it. “it is illegal to take a human life” but “we’re the state so its okay”? no. not in my book.

  205. Esteleth says

    Ah, I see the problem.
    I was saying that I support most things other than the death penalty. You interpreted it to mean that while I oppose the death penalty, I support in the case of drug dealers.
    I can see how what I said could be interpreted as the latter. I should have been more clear.

    It is true that meth doesn’t have much in the way of distribution networks. In that case, I support support for the addicts – there’s no one that really deserves to be tossed in jail. Meth is indeed very common, especially in rural areas.

    What I support is a three-pronged approach: (1) help the addicts kick the habit, (2) help the low-level dealers (many of whom are addicts, of course) find a different line of work, and (3) go after the upper-level scumbags who are profiting off of the misery that drug addiction so frequently causes.

  206. Rey Fox says

    Subsidized treatment for addicts, legalization and cornerstore sale will wipe out dealers.

    Imagine all the jobs it would create, too.

  207. A. R says

    The Republicans have been wanting to partially defund a major government agency, how about the DEA?

  208. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    They didn’t chase the big dealers after the end of alcohol prohibition, did they?

  209. says

    A question (that has nothing—nothing at all, I assure you—to do with the bullshit going on in the leadership of Atheists of Florida):

    Is there any recourse when the chairman of a board of a nonprofit organization refuses to abide by the bylaws? (Specifically, when the chairman refuses to acknowledge a legitimate board member?) Is there a higher authority?

  210. sandiseattle says

    Benjamin “I Crush Everything” Geiger:
    Democratically speaking, the Board itself minus the Chairman.

  211. says

    The reason the chairman, hypothetically speaking of course, would refuse to acknowledge a board member, is so he could maintain a 2/3 vote for ousting the president of the organization. The vote (again, hypothetically) would have been 7-4, vs. 7-3 without the new member.

    But yeah, he’s got enough (hypothetical) people in his pocket to get away with it.

  212. chigau (無) says

    Over there, under PZ’s picture in the Profile frame is a button called “my calendar”.
    I’ve been clicking that thing for a couple of years and there is never anything on the calendar, including when we know PZ is somewhere.
    (I hate bold, I want underline.)

  213. Tethys says

    They didn’t chase the big dealers after the end of alcohol prohibition, did they?

    No, they regulated them. I support making marijuana legal to cultivate for both cordage (Dupont is evil) and personal use.
    It is safer than alcohol and cigarettes, makes wonderful long lasting fabrics, and has many medicinal uses.

    Meth and Heroin are poisonous shit, and should never be made
    legal.

  214. says

    If anyone wants to help me defend Occupy to Vancouver residents…

    -sigh- Seeing how badly it’s going here is so fucking disheartening. I love this city. I thought we were progressive. I thought we’d stand up too.

    But, no. Our protest is the media’s Occupy Poster Child, and the ‘progressive’ citizens of Vancouver for the most part appear to gladly regurgitate the same tired fauxgressive crap that gets thrown at the Occupants by most of the mainstream media. And thus, to Vancouver real progressives are made to look even worse than before (if Gregor Robertson’s fake-left-go-tax-haven wasn’t enough to drive the good citizenry back to the NPA).

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH.

    MY CITY IS THE MOST GILDED OF THEM ALL.

  215. Owen says

    I too, support the legalization of pretty much everything, and a change in the perception of drugs from a criminal to a public health issue.
    But now for something completely different. A glass steam engine.

  216. says

    Meth and Heroin are poisonous shit, and should never be made legal.

    They are poisonous shit, yes. But it doesn’t follow that arresting and imprisoning people is a good response to what is, at root, a health problem that needs medical treatment. Criminalization hasn’t reduced the problem of substance addiction. (In fact, the decriminalization of drugs in Portugal since 2001 has led to a documented decline in rates of addiction.)

  217. says

    @ Setár

    The city better be ready to forcibly remove those protesters if they really want them gone, because (if other Occupy groups are any indication) they’re not going to leave willingly. Hopefully your city’s police force won’t be as violent about it as others have been (but I’m not going to bet any money on it). Even if they are violent, I doubt they’ll be very successful in removing the protesters (Oakland wasn’t).

  218. Ze Madmax says

    Walton @ #355:

    While I agree that decriminalizing drug use is probably the best policy, I think manufacturing/traffic of hard drugs (more specifically: heroin, cocaine and amphetamines) should remain a punishable act, given the severe health risks associated with those drugs.

    I saw no mention of how Portugal deals with that in your article, although I am curious about it, and also if there are any idiosyncrasies regarding Portugal’s geography that make traffic easier to control.

  219. Sally Strange, OM says

    Oh goodness. I just went upstairs to borrow some butter from M. (you remember, my friend who randomly knows Josh TOSG), and while there, he pressed wine on me and insisted that I view the following:

    “Jersey Shore” Gone Wilde: Presented by “The Importance of Being Earnest” on Broadway at Roundabout Theatre Company. What if the characters of Broadway’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” traveled through a time warp and woke up on the beach with Snooki, The Situation and the rest of the gang of MTV’s “Jersey Shore”?

    I’m still giggling. There are five parts!

  220. consciousness razor says

    The reason the chairman, hypothetically speaking of course, would refuse to acknowledge a board member, is so he could maintain a 2/3 vote for ousting the president of the organization. The vote (again, hypothetically) would have been 7-4, vs. 7-3 without the new member.

    But yeah, he’s got enough (hypothetical) people in his pocket to get away with it.

    You’ll need to be less hypothetical to get a real answer. The hypothetical state in which this non-profit is hypothetically filed will have some hypothetical laws about how it can conduct its hypothetical operations. Here’s one section of the Florida statutes, for example, which may be relevant. Hypothetically, the chairman could convene a meeting at which one member would not be able to attend, and get a quorum so voting could still be conducted without that member. Is that the sort of thing you’re talking about?

  221. Esteleth says

    Walton,
    Decriminalization does lead to lower rates of addiction, mainly because (1) addicts aren’t punished for seeking help and (2) people aren’t given hard time for having 3 joints and introduced to the harder stuff in prison.

    Both of those drive down addiction rates.

  222. Sally Strange, OM says

    While I agree that decriminalizing drug use is probably the best policy, I think manufacturing/traffic of hard drugs (more specifically: heroin, cocaine and amphetamines) should remain a punishable act, given the severe health risks associated with those drugs.

    This makes no sense at all. It merely ensures that production and distribution of mind-altering substances will remain in the hands of organized crime.

    Regulate, regulate, regulate! Tax the shit out of it.

  223. Sally Strange, OM says

    I cooked pork medallions in a garlicky vinaigrette, with carrots, onions, and cabbage. Over rice, it’s delicious.

    Now I’m missing StrangeBoyfriend. Pork & rice are two of his favorite things. :(

  224. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    But now for something completely different. A glass steam engine.

    Interesting. I hadn’t seen that valve setup before. Usually, with the small steam engines of this type, the drive rod and piston rod are one and the same — as the wheel rotates, the piston itself moves in a short arc, opening and closing the inlet and exhaust ports on the cylinder. This one has a separate valve gear operating off of an eccentric crank, creating a more efficient engine. One of the nice things about saturated steam is that, if the tolerances in the valve cylinder and the drive cylindar are close enough, condensed steam provides enough of a seal to minimize steam leakage.

    Neat. Thanks.

  225. cmv says

    With almost all drugs, regulation and taxation are the way to go. You have to be at least a little careful about how much you tax stuff, as taxing too high leads almost anything into the underground economy. A major reason that the Mafia is still around is that the end of prohibition did not include the end of drug prohibition, but only alcohol. If you legalise and regulate, you put the cartels out of business.
    In the mid-90s in Ontario, they dropped the tax rate on cigarettes drastically because of the amount of smuggling that was going on, and the violence that tied to it. t’s back up now, but at the time it was $2 per pack cheaper there than almost anywhere in the country.

  226. Ze Madmax says

    Sally Strange @ #362:

    My issue with regulating those specific drugs is the health risks associated with them (or rather, the health risks implications of drugs that directly activate reinforcement centers in the brain). Neuroscience research on self-administration of cocaine and heroin in rats shows that the drugs have a very strong reinforcement effect, far more than nicotine or THC*. And my concern stems from there: The degree of risk to develop an addiction to these substances is far higher, so I don’t think regulated recreational use would be a good idea (therapeutic, maybe… no real differences between heroin and morphine once it hits the brain, anyway).

    On the other hand, you’re right. Prohibition merely empowers organized crime. Gah. I’m glad I don’t have to make social policy decisions.

    *Funny side note: I recall an article that tested the ‘gateway drug’ hypothesis with rats. Turns out that exposure to THC made rats less prone and/or slower to learn self-administration of cocaine. So not only is marijuana not a gateway drug… it keeps rats off the hard stuff. Which I thought was crazy cool.

  227. chigau (無) says

    If the chair of the board has that kind of power, your association bylaw needs a serious re-write.
    Is the board chosen by the membership?

  228. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    I’m toddling off to bed, now.

    I just put a pound of dried lima beans in the crock pot to soak overnight. And I have some German sausages (two different kinds, all smoked) and a hunk of smoked ham to use in the soup. Haven’t decided on what seasonings to use, though.

  229. Sally Strange, OM says

    I just put a pound of dried lima beans in the crock pot to soak overnight. And I have some German sausages (two different kinds, all smoked) and a hunk of smoked ham to use in the soup. Haven’t decided on what seasonings to use, though.

    Despite the fact that I JUST ate, my mouth just went all drooly-drooly. Smoked sausage & ham, OM NOM NOM…

  230. Esteleth says

    Damn Ogvorbis, that sounds delicious.
    Ever had baked beans? It’s a real love of mine. It’s best with Jacob’s cattle beans, but kidneys will do in a pinch.
    Gotta be careful to put enough molasses in there, though.

  231. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    I am done commenting on that thread. How long before the spleenweasel notices.

  232. Sally Strange, OM says

    The spleenweasel will notice pretty soon, I think. After all, he seems to have a major fixation on you.

    ———–

    In other news, did you hear about this? Apparently some asshole hit & run driver deliberately ran over protesters at Occupy DC. So for, so what? Well, he did it twice, in two separate incidents. Okay, and? Well, cops apparently have refused to take statements from witnesses who saw it both times, and from the victims themselves. The link is to a video of a press conference where the DCPD show up late, so the victims take it upon themselves to start the press conference without the police. I am absolutely positive that the police’s evidence disdain to listen to the victims’ stories has NOTHING to do with the fact that two of them are a mother and son, and the mother is a lesbian white woman married to a woman of color (who, incidentally, is pregnant).

    Feh.

  233. A. R says

    Sally: Wow, I’ve always wondered how police forces can act in a manner so contrary to their member’s personal interests.

  234. A. R says

    With regards to the quantum spleenweasel, I’m done there as well. In fact, I killfiled him after he made a particularly gauche comment.

  235. tiktaalik says

    Long time lurker here.

    Is anyone here in a relationship/marriage with someone who is pretty deeply into religion? I used to be that way myself, but I see myself drifting away pretty quickly (from religion). Just wondering if anyone has been in that situation and how it went. Thanks.

  236. Sally Strange, OM says

    My friend M. says the police are like any other middle management. Every day they make about a half dozen decisions on whether to side with the workers or the owners.

    I just got a crock-pot, I need to figure out what to cook in it (if it works).

    Tiktaalik, nice ‘nym. I can’t speak to that personally, but I’m sure someone here can.

  237. chigau (無) says

    With regards to the quantum spleenweasel, I’m done there as well. In fact, I killfiled him after he made a particularly gauche comment.

    Did the offensive comment have to do with being overweight?

  238. A. R says

    Sally: I’ve been fortunate to have only had one bad encounter with a police officer (in DC as a matter of fact)(pulled me over without probable cause and tried to arrest me because I accidentally cut him off in traffic), I pressed charges and got him suspended for three months. Unfortunately, the Occupy protestors don’t have that option.

  239. cmv says

    @Sally,
    For the crockpot, I’ve had really good success with shortribs. Half a bottle of red, some beef stock, an chopped onion, mushrooms and some rosemary with the browned ribs. Low heat for 8 hours and you can cut them with a fork.

  240. Esteleth says

    Alright, I’m off for the night. Gotta work tomorrow.

    There’s a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies on the tea cart.

  241. Sally Strange, OM says

    I’ve been fortunate the beneficiary of white privilege to have only had one bad encounter with a police officer (in DC as a matter of fact)(pulled me over without probable cause and tried to arrest me because I accidentally cut him off in traffic), I pressed charges and got him suspended for three months.

    FIFY

    @ cmv

    That sounds delish! I shall definitely have to try it… right after early Thanksgiving with my family this weekend. :DDD

  242. chigau (無) says

    Caine @388
    yup

    Crock pot are great for meat stews.
    Many of the cheaper, tougher cuts of beef are very tasty, they just need long, slow cooking.

  243. A. R says

    Sally: Yeah, I know. I was going to mention privilege in my post, but I forgot. If anyone here is interested in issues of racial privilege and law enforcement, there was a rather good book published a few years ago about the Eric McGinnis case (Wikipedia it if you’re not familiar, it’s quite interesting)

  244. Sally Strange, OM says

    I remember my Grandma cooking some mouth-watering beef stews in her crockpot.

    Hey look! Tomorrow’s google doodle (or today’s depending where you are) celebrates Marie Curie’s birthday! Yay!

    (Posted in the spleenweasel thread by mistake.)

    On that happy night, I bid you good night.

  245. says

    Thrilled to hear that ‘Old Gold Mountain’ might get a Chinese-American mayor.*)

    Intrigued that San Franciso mayoral elections seem to use the Australian preferential voting system.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/07/us/san-francisco-may-get-first-chinese-american-mayor.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    *) The importance of San Francisco to Chinese-American history is also reflected by the fact that it is the only major American city with a unique Chinese name, namely 舊金山 jiu4 jin1 shan1.

  246. sandiseattle says

    okay, my top amusing bit of the day,
    I just discovered Fatdog Linux, the 64 bit version of Puppy. Love the name. :-)

  247. Owen says

    Marie Curie got the Nobel Prize twice, according to that article. That is all kinds of awesome.

  248. A. R says

    Geiger: Why does “chairman cancelled elections” and “refusing to acknowledge ma legitimate board member” sound all too familiar?

  249. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Crock pot. Hum….The Redhead used to make a beef burgundy back when we were first married. Tasty, and you could use a normally tough (and cheap!) piece of beef. Same for beef stroganoff. She’s also done an occasional stew, which is quite tasty, but amount limited by crock pot volume. Lately, the biggest use has been for corned beef brisket for St. Patties day. I can’t carve the meat, as it just falls apart.

  250. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    White privilege and the police. Except for a couple of times in which I was arrested, only once did a cop stop me for a frisk and questioning. For this story, it helps to know that I am not a light weight.

    It was a Friday night and I was heading to a bar. I has about eighty dollars in my pocket. (Big time money!) I am stopped and told to spread it on the fender. He goes through my pockets and finds my huge wad of money. Asks me what I was planning on doing with the money.

    Going to a bar to have some drinks with some friends.

    Starts asking me about any habits I might have. After a few minutes of this, he finally pronounces me clean. I have no needle tracks on my arm and I am too heavy to be a regular heroin user.

    He proceeds to tell me that there is drug dealing in the neighborhood. (No shit! In the middle of Chicago?) Asks that I let them know if I ever get any information about said activities. I was smart enough not to say, “After you approached me and treated me like a criminal, I am inclined to be helpful towards you.”

    Once I was away from that cop and sitting on the train, I though about what it must be like to be treated like this regularly.

  251. chigau (無) says

    Benjamin Geiger
    If your non-profit organisation is constituted under the laws of your state the chair(man) is probably breaking a law.

  252. A. R says

    Crock pot: I’m not a real crock pot chef, but I what little cooking I have done in them typically involves meat too tough to use otherwise. Someone upthread mentioned red wine, which is a great option, especially if you use one with quite a bit of acid and fruit undertones(like a Cabernet or Merlot). Though you do have to be careful when using vegetables with a strong wine, as the wine can impart an off-flavour to the vegetables in some cases.

  253. Tethys says

    But it doesn’t follow that arresting and imprisoning people is a good response to what is, at root, a health problem that needs medical treatment.

    My state is fairly progressive, and offers convicted drug users treatment options along with their prison terms. Successful completion of a treatment program is also used to grant them early release, in order to add incentive to choosing treatment.

    Regulate, regulate, regulate! Tax the shit out of it.

    I held this opinion too at one time. Then a meth-head moved into the house kitty-corner from me, set up business, and 14 squad-car armed police responses arresting his armed scumball drug-addict customers became commonplace events. After nearly a year he was finally arrested by the DEA in a very scary men-in-black type of armed response.

    Meth is incredibly addictive, has no level of safe use, and causes drug-induced psychosis due to brain damage.

    It is far too dangerous to legalize. I support mandated treatment for a typical user, but criminal charges for people like the asshole whose criminal behavior endangered my entire neighborhood.

  254. A. R says

    Drug enforcement: I personally like the idea of policies tailored to the unique situation encountered with each drug class, which IMNSHO would look like this:

    1. Marijuana: Total legalisation with taxation and regulation on a level similar to alcohol.
    2. Cocaine, Heroin, etc.: these are more difficult, as they are quite dangerous to the end user, and has a major supply network. Perhaps a lack of enforcement at the street level? Or partial legalization
    3. Methamphetamine: Decriminalization for minor nonviolent end users. Use to money to fight manufacturers. Also make the components more difficult to obtain (prescription regulation etc.)

  255. says

    So meth is a type of amphetamine, as the name says, but what the woman was smuggling was probably not meth? Does anyone know what it was exactly (or what type tends to be smuggled internationally), and how dangerous it is as a drug? The media reports I’ve read were just saying “amphetamines, a type of stimulant”.

  256. chigau (無) says

    Crock-pot cooking needs timing.
    The tough meat can cook for hours.
    The veggies and wine go in for the last hour.

  257. Esteleth says

    It means meth (and heroin and cocaine) have NO LEVEL OF SAFE USE.
    Alcohol, tobacco, marijuana can- in theory – be used safely.
    These drugs cannot. They are poison.
    Simple as that.

  258. Algernon says

    Meth is incredibly addictive, has no level of safe use, and causes drug-induced psychosis due to brain damage.

    So do most inhalants, psychosis isn’t uncommon with several drugs, and meth is popular because other shit is expensive and hard to get.

    High quality stimulants of the sort the rich use are still classed as meth. This is a whole other world from hillbilly meth. I’ve lived next door to a police raid too, and lived with addicts being dependent on them (woo hoo).

    I’d still legalize the fuck out of it all and work to reduce the stigma on users (yes even meth users).

  259. says

    High quality stimulants of the sort the rich use are still classed as meth. This is a whole other world from hillbilly meth.

    So would those be the ones considered worthwhile smuggling internationally? I’m still trying to understand the particulars of the criminal case in Malaysia…

  260. Algernon says

    At least from my experience with drug culture, yes heroin is addictive but it is not the magic one time lifestyle change drug it is made out to be. Especially for those who do not shoot it.

    The worst addicts I know love the lifestyle, or have other very significant problems/mental illnesses/personality disorders for which the addition is basically both a crutch and a foil. It’s not just about the drug, but about everything else. Some people will change their minds, some will fight it, and some will never be helped and that’s that.

    Harsh I guess, but whatever. Same goes for anything really or anyone.

  261. cmv says

    A.R @405 – Totally agree with the Merlot, that’s what I generally use. Other than onions, and maybe a mir fois (add carrots and celery), all veg is cooked separately from the meat. Once the meat is done cooking, remove everything from the liquid, setting the meat and veg aside separately. Skim off the fat and simmer the remaining liquid to reduce for 30 minutes. Makes a great sauce to pour on oven roasted potatoes and veg.
    This has pretty much replaced turkeys for us on the holidays.

  262. says

    My state is fairly progressive, and offers convicted drug users treatment options along with their prison terms. Successful completion of a treatment program is also used to grant them early release, in order to add incentive to choosing treatment.

    This helps less than you think. The lack of availability of substance-abuse treatment is not the only problem with the prison system. Most people who are imprisoned lose their jobs (if they were employed in the first place; the great majority are of a low socio-economic status to start with) and their homes; many lose contact with their families; and on release, with the stigma of a criminal conviction and prison term, they’re unlikely to be able to rebuild their lives. Treatment isn’t enough on its own, without a path to getting accommodation, employment, and the other pre-requisites of a stable life. Imprisoning someone is the best possible way to make it less likely that xe will be able to access these things.

    The problem is with applying the whole punitive criminal justice paradigm to what is, at root, a personal health problem. It doesn’t work, and makes things worse for everyone involved. At root, our society’s approach to this issue rests on the moralizing idea that drug users are “undeserving” people who should be “punished”, rather than people with a health problem that needs to be addressed through the most effective and evidence-based means.

    but criminal charges for people like the asshole whose criminal behavior endangered my entire neighborhood.

    Why do you support criminal charges? Do you think that sending him to prison will be likely to stop him doing the same thing again when he is released?

    The problem with the criminal process in general is that it is backward-looking; rather than trying to change people’s behaviour in the present, it seeks to inflict vengeance on them for things they have done in the past. Of course, there are two coherent rationales for this: (a) deterrence against future offending, and (b) containment of people who pose a danger to the community. But neither of these arguments is as compelling as it might sound. On the question of deterrence, one has to bear in mind that most crimes are not rational acts. People don’t generally sit down and conduct a rational cost-benefit analysis, or accurately quantify the degree of risk involved, before deciding whether to stab someone in a bar-fight or whether to shoot themselves up with heroin. Human behaviour doesn’t work like that; homo economicus is a myth. For this reason, there’s little evidence that harsher and more punitive policies are generally effective in reducing crime. Likewise, the problem with the containment rationale is that it isn’t generally practical or desirable to keep people in prison for ever – and, when released, the fact that they have been imprisoned makes them more likely to reoffend, not less so. (There is empirical evidence for this conclusion.)

    In short, criminal prosecution and imprisonment are not good means of solving social problems, in general. I am not suggesting that imprisonment is never appropriate; for murderers, rapists, serial domestic abusers and the like, it’s probably the only means available to society of protecting potential victims from them. But criminalization is an extremely crude tool, and it is not a good way of changing people’s behaviour with regard to something like drug use.

  263. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    It means meth (and heroin and cocaine) have NO LEVEL OF SAFE USE.

    mmhmm

    And what can this mean?

    Does it mean something in particular about my chances of ending up dead after passing around the lightbulb or the mirror? If not that, then what?

  264. Algernon says

    Given that it involves the Japanese and is in Malaysia I would guess it was crystal meth or shabu. Japanese have a huge culture of use.

  265. says

    Hm now I’ve looked at Malaysian websites, and confusingly, there they talk about

    Seorang wanita warga Jepun yang pernah menjadi jururawat menangis teresak-esak selepas Mahkamah Tinggi di sini semalam menjatuhkan hukuman gantung sampai mati ke atasnya kerana kesalahan mengedar dadah jenis methamphetamine atau syabu dua tahun lepas.

    Methamentamine, called Syabu in Malasyia. Then I found this website, explaining syabu,but they too seem to sometimes view meth as a synonym for syabu, sometimes they say it’s a type of amphetamine, like methamphetamine.

    Now I’m thoroughly confused…

  266. says

    (Sorry for the tl;dr. But criminal justice reform is my second biggest hobby-horse, next to immigration reform. Our society’s approaches to both issues are completely fucked-up.)

  267. says

    Japanese have a huge culture of use.

    Yes, that’s true. But they do have strict laws (though drug offences aren’t punished by death) and you can lose your job over drug use. Reminds me of the United States in that respect, though Japanese might also be concerned more about not losing face in public.

    So officially, there is no drug problem in Japan, it’s all invented by foreigners who want to make the country look bad or something…

  268. Algernon says

    So officially, there is no drug problem in Japan, it’s all invented by foreigners who want to make the country look bad or something…

    Yep, sounds Japanese.

    Guess who invented the drug, by the way?

  269. A. R says

    Japan: The cultural exchange between post-war Japan and the United States is quite fascinating. I did a small thesis on it for one of my required liberal arts classes a couple of years ago.

  270. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    Theoretically safe:

    «Meta-analysis found that the age at onset of psychosis for cannabis users was 2.70 years younger (standardized mean difference = –0.414) than for nonusers; for those with broadly defined substance use, the age at onset of psychosis was 2.00 years younger (standardized mean difference = –0.315) than for nonusers. Alcohol use was not associated with a significantly earlier age at onset of psychosis. Differences in the proportion of cannabis users in the substance-using group made a significant contribution to the heterogeneity in the effect sizes between studies, confirming an association between cannabis use and earlier mean age at onset of psychotic illness. The results of meta-analysis provide evidence for a relationship between cannabis use and earlier onset of psychotic illness, and they support the hypothesis that cannabis use plays a causal role in the development of psychosis in some patients. The results suggest the need for renewed warnings about the potentially harmful effects of cannabis.»

  271. says

    Yep, sounds Japanese.

    Guess who invented the drug, by the way?

    According to Wikipedia, this guy, in collaboration with the Germans!! There must be a WWII joke in there or two…

    So I’m still confused by the taxonomy, whether meth is a type of amphetamines or whatever, but after reading up on the Japanese Wiki’s explanations on Shabu, I get the impression that

    “speed”, “ice”, “meth” they’re all kinda similar drugs, with similar effects. Only that in the US meth seems to be associated with rural areas and speed and ice with urban/suburban.

    Please correct me if I got it wrong..

  272. chigau (無) says

    pelamun
    As far as I know™ the drug problem in Japan is entirely the fault of the Iranians who are there on visitor visas.
    I got this information™ from an American who was there on a visitor visa.

  273. A. R says

    pelamun: methamphetamine is amphetamine with a methyl group added onto the amine group. Methamphetamine was first synthesized from ephedrine in Japan in 1893 by chemist Nagai Nagayoshi.

  274. cmv says

    @ad hominum salvator ॐ –

    Theoretically safe

    The problem with this study is that it is correlational. There is no way of knowing if use of cannabis led to the early onset of psychotic illness, or if those with a predisposition for psychotic illness are more likely to self-medicate with cannabis.

  275. Algernon says

    “speed”, “ice”, “meth” they’re all kinda similar drugs, with similar effects. Only that in the US meth seems to be associated with rural areas and speed and ice with urban/suburban.

    There’s the kind of meth you need a lab to make, and then there’s the kind of meth you get from shaking up sudafed with solvents.

  276. Algernon says

    The thing is it’s actually a really large drug family. It includes lovable prescription drugs in the US as well.

  277. says

    oh chigau,

    but WHAT ABOUT ALL THESE MURDERING AND THIEVING CHINESE EXCHANGE STUDENTS?

    Or the Africans. I think throughout East and Southeast Asia, Africans are usually racially profiled to be drug dealers… (I’ve heard this prejudice more in SE Asia)

    Blame it on the foreigners, unfortunately an old tactic

    A.R,

    thanks. But, then, meth, ice, and speed are all methamphetamines, or can it vary?

  278. A. R says

    Algernon: As I understand, the chemical product is the same, but the final form may differ if you use a lab or “shake and bake”

  279. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    Meth is incredibly addictive, has no level of safe use, and causes drug-induced psychosis due to brain damage.

    Do you mean specifically from prolonged, regular use? Because casual, infrequent use certainly doesn’t lead to that. Or, at least, it didn’t for me or anyone else I know who’s used it.

  280. A. R says

    pelamun: different names for different forms of the same drug. Some synonyms as well. Speed may also reference normal amphetamine.

  281. A. R says

    Wowbagger: Then you probably weren’t using methamphetamine, as that particular drug has been known to cause addiction with fewer than three doses.

  282. says

    The thing is it’s actually a really large drug family. It includes lovable prescription drugs in the US as well.

    Oh well, so it’s just complicated. But probably the smuggled drugs were of the more dangerous type.

    Wow, I just read that there is even a slang term in North Korea for it, 빙 “bin” from Chinese 冰毒 bing1 du2 “ice drug”. For some reason I thought that N.K. would be meth-free… (also it’s apparently called “poor man’s cocaine” in the Philippines)

  283. Algernon says

    As I understand, the chemical product is the same, but the final form may differ if you use a lab or “shake and bake

    My understanding as well. You’re going after the same active chemicals either way. I wouldn’t consider meth a magic monster any more than I think it was logical to view LSD that way in the 70s though.

    Drugs seem to have fads.When I was a kid it was heroin heroin heroin.

  284. A. R says

    Most of the sources I’ve read on the nurse issue name methamphetamine specifically though.

  285. says

    Janine,

    on what is the petition based legally?

    If it violates some hate speech laws, then yes, take it down. But that’s probably more likely in Europe than in the US.

  286. cmv says

    @pelamun
    They’re all amphetamines. “Meth” is specifically methamphetamines, while “speed” is amphetamine sulphate.

  287. A. R says

    pelamun: some US districts have laws that ban that type of thing, so I assume that that district has something similar

  288. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    That sign is in Ohio. I prefer that bigotry be out in the open. It is better for my safety to know who to avoid.

  289. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    A. R wrote:

    Wowbagger: Then you probably weren’t using methamphetamine, as that particular drug has been known to cause addiction with fewer than three doses.

    That’s entirely possible – I’m not a chemist.

  290. says

    On the subject of marijuana and mental illness, this column – in the Telegraph, of all places – makes an important point about the perils of making anti-drug policy on this basis. (It was written in response to the very unfortunate appointment of an evangelical fanatic and notorious drug warrior, Hans-Christian Raabe, to the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.)

    Take [Raabe's] stance on cannabis. He wrote in a BMJ article: “A person who uses cannabis by age 15 has more than a four-fold increased risk of developing schizophrenia symptoms over the next 11 years compared with a person starting to use cannabis by 18.”

    Even if this statistic is correct, it doesn’t mean that cannabis use in adolescence causes increased risk of schizophrenia. Correlation is not causation. It is perfectly possible that, for example, adolescents with incipient mental health issues are more likely to take drugs, rather than taking drugs makes you more likely to have mental health issues.

    As it happens, there is evidence that cannabis increases risk of psychosis. This 2004 meta-analysis in the American Journal of Psychology suggests that the average age of schizophrenia onset is younger in regular cannabis users; this 2005 one from Schizophrenia Bulletin suggests that cannabis users are at double the risk of developing the disease at all.

    But, as I’ve written before, that’s not the whole story. This study suggests that you would need to convince between 2,800 and 10,870 cannabis users to quit in order to prevent a single case of schizophrenia. We need to judge whether taking a hard-line stance on the drug is worthwhile, given that even if it were implausibly successful and convinced hundreds of thousands of people to quit, it would only prevent a handful of schizophrenia cases, at a significant cost in police time, jailed users and, of course, civil liberties.

    Of course, as Ben Goldacre has pointed out many times, the right-wing media are very fond of exaggerating the perils of cannabis. I don’t mean to deny that there are dangers – but the known dangers are far fewer than those of alcohol or tobacco, both of which are legal and readily available. The hysteria about cannabis is largely manufactured.

  291. A. R says

    Walton: There is a great chart out there somewhere that shows the relative risks of various drugs, with cannabis placed below both alcohol and tobacco. I think it was published by the CDC if anyone wants to hunt it down.

  292. says

    chigau,

    the situation of Koreans has improved. They might be on the same level as the descendants of the untouchables now, so definitely better than Chinese exchange students. They might even be better off than the Brazilian-Japanese, because after several generations in Japan, the Koreans speak Japanese much more fluently (in most cases natively) and are better qualified than the Brazilian Japanese.

    (But I was very very much surprised to learn that it is relatively easy for foreign nationals to take on Japanese citizenship, it seems two years in a regular job is enough. I once met a Chinese woman in Germany who had Japanese citizenship. We discussed in Japanese the question whether Tibet was a cruel theocracy or not until it was liberated by the Chinese.)

  293. says

    Thanks,

    I think I got it about now. Amphetamines is the hyperonym, and then there are several hyponyms..

    So those synthecised drugs that are sold on the streets in Europe (according to reports) are those also experimental amphetamines?

    AFAIK, Ecstasy is also a metamphetamine?

    Janine,

    I figured it was a sign in the US. Though I did dimly remember about similar local laws, though I wonder how they would hold up against the First Amendment.

    While I respect the role the First Amendment plays in the American culture, in this question I’m just more a European. Hateful speech is banned, take it down.

  294. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Janine: But isn’t is better to just avoid churches and Christians in general?

    Churches are to be avoided. But christians, not so much. Many are good people. I just wished they would realize it is not because of their belief in god.

  295. Tethys says

    Ad hominum

    Does it mean something in particular about my chances of ending up dead after passing around the lightbulb or the mirror? If not that, then what?

    It refers to a recent study that classified drugs according to their addictive properties and degree of harm. I’ve been trying to find it for you, but my google foo is only finding a 2007 study that didn’t include meth.

    Heroin, meth, and crack cocaine were all ranked in the “no safe level of use” category due to their addictive properties, health impacts, and high social costs. Methamphetamine, and amphetamine were ranked separately.

    IRCC there was a small but significant proportion of Meth users who died of heart arrhythmia.

  296. says

    Saying stuff like “heroin and cocaine have NO LEVEL OF SAFE USE” basically marks you as severely ill-educated on the topic, if not actually stupid. It’s like that hilarious Reefer Madness movie – convincing to no-one except the totally ignorant. And then when they find out you lied, why would they believe you on anything else? It’s counterproductive.

    I can’t speak about meth, since my drug education training was back in the 80s. But most of the ills of both drugs come from impurities and illegality. Users are perfectly well-aware that one single dose of heroin or cocaine will neither addict you nor kill you. They have been ingredients of patent medicines in the past – which did not kill their users. There are weekend-only heroin or cocaine users who function perfectly well in society. I’ve had a cocaine solution used on me medically for anaesthetic purposes, and I’m definitely neither dead nor addicted.

  297. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    I prefer that social changes becomes the reason why signs like that do not get posted.

    For example, the Southern Baptist church was founded as a pro slavery sect. For over a century, that church was a bastion of racist thoughts and actions. But over the last sixty years, while hardly close to ideal, it has changed enough that Southern Baptists try to hide their pro slavery background. It was not because expressing racist ideas was outlawed. It is because gave their efforts, blood and sometimes their lives in forcing a change.

    I want enough change that people like those feel too much shame to put up such a sign. I want them to start lying about their pasts, just like the Southern Baptists do.

  298. says

    Janine:

    I want enough change that people like those feel too much shame to put up such a sign. I want them to start lying about their pasts, just like the Southern Baptists do.

    Yes, that’s a goal worth working towards. Hard.

  299. A. R says

    Janine: I of course meant the crazy ones. If I avoided all of them I would have to avoid most of my family. :)

  300. says

    Oh I didn’t want to derail the predator thread, but the story of not knowing the French words to tell off perverts reminded me about an experience I had in a developing country in SE Asia.

    So there you can travel by bus, or by SUV. They put up to 8 or 9 people into an SUV and sell each seat individually (Baggage goes on top). So one time I was sitting on the window side just behind the passenger seat, with the windows open (they turn the AC off to save gas). So a woman was sitting in front of me on the passenger seat, and then she spat out of the window, into the wind, which then carried the saliva back into the car, where it landed on me. Yuck! I wanted to make my displeasure known, but only problem was I didn’t know the word for “spit” in the national language… (Also, becoming angry in such a situation also makes you lose face. But she never said anything, or even apologised. I tried to rant a bit, and the driver gave me tissues).

    Well, now I’ve memoriesed the word.

  301. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Pelamun, this is the undead thread. You cannot derail this thread.

  302. A. R says

    No issue! I agree with you totally that any change in these churches must come as a response to societal change/shame, not legal action. This type of thing isn’t as common where I am right now thankfully, but it must be terrible for atheists/rationalists in the bible belt.

  303. says

    to be fair though,

    sexual preference as a protected class is a recent development in Europe, and I think that in some jurisdictions it might not be protected at all yet.

    Cardinal Meisner, the Archbishop of Cologne is on record for making essentially the same statement that “homosexuality is sin”. Granted, there is a lot of legalistic weaseling (it’s never against the person, only against the practice, the church affirms the dignity of all human beings yaddayaddayadda)

    (Source http://kath.net/detail.php?id=32220)

    But in the end it still boils down to that. And Ratzinger has cleared it up too by ending all hopes of the Church becoming more liberal for the time being. So people have been voting with their feet.

  304. A. R says

    Fortunately Pope Palpatine’s (does he not look like Palpatine?) decrees have less traction in many European nations (in my experience) than they do in the developing nations (where they arguably do the most damage) and the US.

  305. Tethys says

    Walton

    Why do you support criminal charges? Do you think that sending him to prison will be likely to stop him doing the same thing again when he is released?

    Because he is a criminal who was creating more drug addicts, and selfishly endangering innocent people.

    I hope he takes advantage of treatment while he is in jail, but it is his right to refuse and continue being a parasite on society.

    Not everyone can be rehabilitated. Some people are predatory sociopaths, and the only fair thing to do is to remove them from society.

  306. says

    Well, A.R,

    at some point the RCC had to make a strategic decision, whether it should liberalise like many Catholics in Europe have been demanding for decades (also under because of the promises implicit in the Second Vatican Council), or just stay “true to its roots”.

    Ratzinger has decided that the Church shouldn’t change, and Europe should either be abandoned or “re-proselytised”. I hope when they finally abandon Europe, they’ll also move the Vatican some place else..

  307. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    Heroin, meth, and crack cocaine were all ranked in the “no safe level of use” category due to their addictive properties, health impacts, and high social costs.

    Right then. I’m not going to argue with you if some reasonably controlled study declared their highest risk factor. I am dubious about their interpretation of things. But perhaps with their work we would classify automobiles in the category of no safe use (except as lawn ornament). If so then I should hardly be able to argue with them.

    Somehow a great many of the millions of people in the world who use these drugs end up fine though. I think the “you will get addicted to Drug A in one session” stuff, as it doesn’t pan out, may make people act more risky than they ought to.

  308. A. R says

    pelamun: I’m fine with them moving so long as they don’t take the art with them! And with that, it’s off to bed with me.

  309. ad hominum salvator ॐ says

    If the same person had a drug delivery car instead of a drug house, there’d likely be less activity which concerns.

    Not everyone can be rehabilitated. Some people are predatory sociopaths, and the only fair thing to do is to remove them from society.

    That’s really tangential to with the crime of drug dealing though. A non-violent drug dealer should be treated lightly. Somebody who, say, attacks their own houseguests, may be another matter. But then the serious crime is assault, not slangin.

  310. Tethys says

    Wowbagger

    Do you mean specifically from prolonged, regular use? Because casual, infrequent use certainly doesn’t lead to that. Or, at least, it didn’t for me or anyone else I know who’s used it

    Yes, prolonged use produces psychosis. Mood swings, paranoid delusions, compulsive behavior, self-mutilation when they start trying to pick imaginary bugs out of their skin, etc… IRCC purity and length of use were the determining factors.

    I’ve seen people use occasionally, and I’ve seen people become strongly addicted in very short periods of time.

    I only tried it once. I didn’t much enjoy it, and the strong craving after just one use was most unsettling.

  311. Brownian says

    Because he is a criminal who was creating more drug addicts, and selfishly endangering innocent people.

    What the fuck?! Really?

    I’ve never once been innocent while buying drugs. Maybe that’s just me, though. Everyone else who’s ever bought drugs: did you do it accidentally?

  312. Tethys says

    That’s really tangential to with the crime of drug dealing though. A non-violent drug dealer should be treated lightly

    This is not some young kid who is quietly going about his own business.

    He is a 40-50 year old repeat offender who was making and selling poison to young adults.

    Just because he didn’t hit them he should get a pass?

  313. Brownian says

    He is a 40-50 year old repeat offender who was making and selling poison to young adults.

    What? “Repeat offender”? “Poison?”

    What a monster! Have you alerted Fox News?

  314. Tethys says

    Brownian

    I find the danger lies in the toxic nature of the chemicals used to make meth, and the armed customers.

  315. Brownian says

    I find the danger lies in the toxic nature of the chemicals used to make meth, and the armed customers.

    Yes, you mentioned the poison. We’ve all seen D.A.R.E T-shirts.

  316. Tethys says

    DARE is a joke. I believe kids should be given factual information about drugs, not stupid slogans.

    I compare it to abstinence only sex-ed.

  317. Brownian says

    People need a world that can be faced sober. It’s not that drugs are addicting; it’s that being straight is a penance for many.

    The irony of a world in which we lock people up for escaping it merits some sort of toast, at least. One with a dragon chaser.

  318. First Approximation says

    Walton: There is a great chart out there somewhere that shows the relative risks of various drugs, with cannabis placed below both alcohol and tobacco. I think it was published by the CDC if anyone wants to hunt it down.

    I don’t know which chart you thinking of, but here’s one based on a study by the UK medical journal The Lancet. It looks at the relative addictiveness and physical harm of various drugs.

  319. Tethys says

    I’m all for safe drug use, and legalizing most drugs.

    Meth and heroin though? I think the dangers of addiction and resulting social costs far out-weigh any utility they may have for recreational use.

  320. Richard Austin says

    The problem with meth (from a user standpoint; manufacture is something else entirely) is that it seems to simultaneously imbue people with senses of self-confidence and paranoia: not only are you perfect and deserve success, but if you aren’t successful, it’s because people are out to get you. Interestingly enough, I was just having a conversation with an ex-meth addict about this last night.

  321. says

    Good morning

    I have some question for those advocating the legalisation (not decriminalisation) and regulation of drugs including heroine and meth:
    -Do you also advocate to do away with current prescription regulations for medical drugs? After all, if I can buy heroine, why not morphium?
    - What about product safety?
    They have a high risk of physical harm. Should those standards also apply to other goods? I mean, would we accept if the risk of serious physical harm for riding a rollercoaster 20X would be the same as that of taking meth 20X?

    Yes, the US war on drugs is stupid and doing more harm than good. And I think we can all agree that it makes no sense throwing a user into jail where they will surely not become sober model-citizens of society.
    I’m all for ways to make sure they can consume safely and get help (Germany, for instance, knows the facility of “Drückerräume”, places where heroine addicts can go, get fresh, safe needles, inject their heroine, have somebody watching them in case anything goes wrong. Dealing is a banning offense there.)
    But I don’t think that the solution lies in making those hard drugs mainstream and easily avaible.
    Do you think that legalizing and regulating meth will stop people from mixing it in their garages and selling unsafe stuff?
    Sure, we need a world that people can face sober, but not all drug use is “oh I’m so out of luck I need to forget”. Or is that the reason why most of you get drunk once in a while?
    People take stuff because they like the kick once in a while, which is nothing bad. But I want stuff where taking it once in a while doesn’t carry a high risk of leaving permanent damage.

  322. Josh Slocum says

    Sigh.

    But I don’t think that the solution lies in making those hard drugs mainstream and easily avaible.

    They’re already “mainstream and easily available.”

    Do you think that legalizing and regulating meth will stop people from mixing it in their garages and selling unsafe stuff?

    It might, it might not. The real question is — are you asking because you give a shit about people getting hurt from black market meth production, or because you want to rationalize prohibition?

    People take stuff because they like the kick once in a while, which is nothing bad. But I want stuff where taking it once in a while doesn’t carry a high risk of leaving permanent damage.

    Then you a)want a world that doesn’t exist b)are really uncomfortable with how state criminalization of drugs works out for real people, but you’re not quite willing to give that up.

    Figure out what side you’re on.

  323. says

    It might, it might not. The real question is — are you asking because you give a shit about people getting hurt from black market meth production, or because you want to rationalize prohibition?

    Well, there’s someone I love dearly who got hurt from it. i don’t want this to happen to anybody else. So, figure it out.

    They’re already “mainstream and easily available.”

    You mean, just like beer?
    Funny, I know where to get beer, I could get some in 5 minutes. No idea where to get anything else. And I don’t even drink beer.

    Then you a)want a world that doesn’t exist

    That’s immanent in the phrase “I want a world..”, isn’t it? So, you have to give me a good reason why it isn’t possible or a good idea how to make it possible or tell me that it’s not desirable. Stating the obvious isn’t an argument.

    are really uncomfortable with how state criminalization of drugs works out for real people, but you’re not quite willing to give that up.

    I made that clear already, didn’t I? I’m not arguing against decriminalisation, I’m asking about legalisation.
    BTW, law-enforcement never did any harm to my cousin, because drug use isn’t illegal in Germany. Didn’t help him much. Still a schizophrenic ex-addict who has to take medication all his life to keep him from harming himself and others.
    So, what I want is a way to change that situation. And so far the argument “just legalize and regulate it” isn’t very convincing for me.

  324. consciousness razor says

    People need a world that can be faced sober.

    The current one is known to cause permanent damage, but I don’t think we could change that.

    Do you think that legalizing and regulating meth will stop people from mixing it in their garages and selling unsafe stuff?

    It might, it might not. The real question is — are you asking because you give a shit about people getting hurt from black market meth production, or because you want to rationalize prohibition?

    Don’t be silly. The “real” question is never one person’s reasons for asking a question.