Bwahahahaha! »« Why I am an atheist – Matthew Donica

Comments

  1. carlie says

    So I just found out my brother’s wife is pregnant! Now my big decision is quilt or knit for a blanket? The last blanket I knit nearly killed me, but I don’t have a long arm on my sewing machine so quilting is a bit challenging unless I want to do it all by hand. (my great aunt would tell me to quit my griping because she hand-quilts queen sized blankets…)

  2. janine says

    Walton, perhaps I am just a bit touchy here. I detest the concept of royalty in all of it’s forms. And the persuasive plague of Disney endorsed princess culture pushed here in the US is one of the many paper cut wounds that leaves me agitated.

    You habit of monarchy mongering, be it jokingly or serious, sets me off. And I get the old desire to toss the bodies of royal in a pit and cover them with lye.

  3. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Carlie: I’ve always been a bit more partial to quilts than knitted blankets myself. They seem warmer.

  4. chigau (む) says

    carlie
    I made my first quilt on a foot-powered sewing machine.
    I made the second on a 1960′s electric.
    The third one has been waiting in the cupboard for 8 years.
    I knit.

    ahs ॐ
    You’re welcome.

  5. ahs ॐ says

    Well, I guess it’ll make it more difficult for people to sockpuppet.

    Slightly. It does raise the effort required, sort of like a CAPTCHA.

    It makes some things easier for PZ in ways that I don’t want to elaborate on publicly, for fear of spilling beans where malicious h*ggl*rs might see them.

  6. Pteryxx says

    Recommended reading on privacy in the digital age: danah boyd’s full-text responses to questions raised in a Wall Street Journal debate.

    Boingboing link

    People should – and do – care deeply about privacy. But privacy is not simply the control of information. Rather, privacy is the ability to assert control over a social situation. This requires that people have agency in their environment and that they are able to understand any given social situation so as to adjust how they present themselves and determine what information they share. Privacy violations occur when people have their agency undermined or lack relevant information in a social setting that’s needed to act or adjust accordingly. Privacy is not protected by complex privacy settings that create what Alessandro Acquisti calls “the illusion of control.” Rather, it’s protected when people are able to fully understand the social environment in which they are operating and have the protections necessary to maintain agency…

  7. walton says

    Walton, perhaps I am just a bit touchy here. I detest the concept of royalty in all of it’s forms.

    Apologies. I meant no offence.

    I won’t say anything further on the subject, since I really don’t want to have yet another debate about it.

  8. carlie says

    I do have approximately a gazillion quilt bits left over from a “find the matching square” quilt I made once, and it’s easier to play with textures on a quilt, but I’ve always thought knitted blankets are safer to actually use with babies since they can breathe through the holes. But if other people are like me, they say “oooh, nice handmade blanket!” and don’t let the baby use it anyway in case they throw up or poop on it. :D

  9. Cannabinaceae says

    Just checking commenting.

    Got my brining bag today. Until now I’ve been using my gigantic soup kettle, but with the lid on it is just big enough to require a reconfig of the shelves in the refrigerator, which is a pain in the ass. Not coincidentally, this is also the first year I’m not doing everything at the last minute (next year, assuming I’m employed again, may be a different story vis-a-vis the last minute bit).

  10. says

    roof over their heads, food and being able to provide for their family.

    This is going to sound snarky, but I don’t mean it that way – most people are, unlike yourself, unable to claim disability in order to have a small amount of money in which to scrape by, enabling them to tell the boss to fuck off. It’s notoriously difficult for people to get disability here, the hoops you have to jump through are myriad and even then, people get turned down left and right. I know people who have been fighting for disability for years as it is increasingly difficult for them to work and have even been fired for not being able to handle the job physically. They have documentation, doctor’s statements, all that stuff. Even so, no go.

    Here, it’s a crapshoot as to whether or not you can get disability. It’s a crapshoot when it comes to getting any sort of help whatsoever. No one likes a shit job, but you have to do that sometimes.

    And yes, it goes without saying (or should) that some people game the system, however, that’s not the majority.

    For reference Friday I had to take off work after barely dragging myself home Thursday with a sudden cold. Today I’m warned that “People who get sick are the first let go”.

    I have plenty of sick days I’m allowed to take, I still got some saved.

  11. Cannabinaceae says

    But if other people are like me, they say “oooh, nice handmade blanket!”

    My Dad, who is a crafty knitter/sewer/woodworker/organist/etc. practically insists that his handmade quilts and blankets get spotted with baby effluvia. Now that he is a great-grandfather, with all sorts of nephews and nieces popping out all over the place as well, he has no shortage of opportunities for this. He is not making art (well, unless he’s painting or making Santa dioramas or stained glass or something), he is crafting comfy expressions of love, and proper usage is the appropriate “thank you” for him.

  12. ahs ॐ says

    Is this really a problem?

    Yes. Oh, gods yes.

    Also, scaling the hockey stick while dressed as Anthony Watts.

  13. carlie says

    Cannabinaceae – I read somewhere that one way to encourage people to use handmade blankets rather than stashing them away for safekeeping is to use flannel as backing since it’s so touchable and friendly a material; I do that, but I’m not sure if it makes any difference.

    My spouse has a blanket his grandmother made that is crocheted on one side and has satin sewed on as a backing; this seems like a nice compromise, and has nice fingerholds on one side and smooth stuff on the other – it almost begs to be manhandled.

  14. Mr. Fire says

    This has likely been covered in eye-rolling detail, for which I apologize: does anyone else see their gravatar in their preview window but not in their published comment?

  15. carlie says

    Ing – if you’re union, can you get some backing from them? Might be good to have the incident on file just in case.

  16. chigau (anything you want) says

    Mr. Fire
    I see your gravatar.
    I see mine in preview and comment.
    I’m using Explorer.

  17. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Ing: Once, in an immature moment of bad temper, I broke my hand.

    On my brother’s face.

    I was so ashamed of it I went to work for like half a week with a busted up hand, until the boss MADE me go to the hospital, he drove me himself and waited in the waiting room with me.

    Why can’t I find more employers like that again? They expected hard work out of everyone, but when I put it in they actually appreciated it and gave me a raise. If it weren’t for the economy choosing that point in time to tank, I’d still be working for them, and happily.

    PS: The bone I broke never quite healed the same. I consider it a permanent reminder of how stupid it is to lose your temper on people you care about.

  18. dianne says

    Since the topic of German song lyrics has come up, does anyone have any recommendations for German singers/groups? I’m looking for new music and sadly lacking in inspiration right now. Groups that sing in English are ok too if anyone knows any good ones. I can also get into Spanish if they’re simple lyrics…

  19. Moggie says

    If I had a pound for every time Walton has ended a comment with “I won’t say any more on the subject”, I’d… well, I’d probably have about five pounds, which is not that impressive, really. Forget I mentioned it.

  20. janine says

    Dianne, the topic of German song lyrics did not come up; a spleen weasel was using a wall of copy pasta to spam this blog.

    See the difference?

  21. Weed Monkey says

    Huh. For some reason I decided to update my knowledge of James Bond films to this millennium and tried to watch Quantum of Solace, but it was utterly intolerable. All the action sequences were cut into 1/10th second snippets where I couldn’t comprehend what was happening. It was like something Michael Bay farted out.

  22. ChasCPeterson says

    My favorite creationist is Berlinski; he’s just such a supercilious Intellectual popinjay, despite being quite clearly wrong, that it is to laugh.
    Classic poseur vid posted at Coyne’s.

  23. heliantus says

    @ walton

    re: translation of “crosse”

    “Crosse en l’air et rompons les rangs”
    [...]The not-always-reliable Wikipedia translation has “stock” – presumably the stock of a rifle – which makes a little more sense.

    In this context, it’s indeed the stock of the soldier’s rifle. To hold your stock up (even if simply shouldering your rifle upside down), you have to hold your rifle by the barrel, which is as good a sign as any that you don’t want to use it to fire at anyone right now.
    Or it’s a good starting position if you plan to bash in your generals’ head instead of firing at them, because you haven’t been issued bullets yet. Not sure of the exact initial meaning of this stock-up position.
    I think it’s above all the exact opposite of on how your officers want you to carry your riffle: stock down, barrel up. Sign of disobedience and all that.
    Trivia: among French troops, only Alpine Hunters are allowed to carry their rifle stock up – to avoid snow falling into the barrel, I believe.
    Or so I was told by my trainers during my time in the army (conscription).

    (late to the party, but cannot resist translating French to English)

  24. heliantus says

    @ Ing

    Today I’m warned that “People who get sick are the first let go”.

    Didn’t saw your post before. May I send my empathy via internet?

    No, really. Sounds like one of your supervisors is a “I’m never sick, I’m not a wimp” type.
    Or it’s just their way to push employees to give everything to the job, and outside life be damned.
    Either way, I hate people thinking these as valuable strategies.

  25. John Morales says

    I want to apologise for derailing the “vileness on display” thread, and will useKG‘s comment there as a basis:

    Disappointing to see the pointless squabble about whether the police were cowardly as well as brutal – really, John Morales, you should just STFU in cases like this, but maybe the same deficiency that leads you to make such stupid interventions prevents you recognising when it is going to lead you to say something stupid.

    I regret it very much; it was thoughtless and it derailed the thread over a trivial point and that was not at all what I intended.

    Everything KG wrote is true.

    I’m embarrassed and I’m sorry.

    I will try to do better in future, and try not to comment early on on threads any more to prevent a repeat.

    Also, I’d have put that there, but I did write I’d not be responding there any more. If anyone cares to copy the above there, feel free.

  26. janine says

    John Morales, for what it is worth, it is hard to predict what off hand comment will cause a derail.

  27. Predator Handshake says

    @Weed Monkey:

    I’m glad you said that; I thought Casino Royale was decent enough but never got around to watching QoS, so now I don’t feel quite as much like I “need” to see it. The only other review I’ve encountered (I don’t really go seeking James Bond movie reviews) is from a friend of mine who loves them unconditionally and he told me “it kicks ass” so I didn’t have much to go on.

    I heard Sam Mendes is supposed to direct or produce the next one, so maybe it won’t be so bad?

  28. Cannabinaceae says

    I tried reading some Berlinski once, but his prose is so overwrought and precious that I couldn’t continue.

  29. Esteleth says

    I don’t go to the movies much – I have sound/light integration issues that makes it uncomfortable for me – but I frequently watch them streaming or from Netflix, etc, as I can control things that way.
    I am continually frustrated by the modern tendency (Michael Bay seems to be the most guilty) to chop action sequences into teeny tiny bits and toss them together with very little coherency with loud noises and ridiculous music. They tend to make me seasick.
    I enjoy some of the old Bond movies (mostly the Connery ones), but the new ones just repel me, due to a combination of obnoxious action sequences and ridiculous premises. Yes, they all have silly premises (10,000 henchmen in matching onesies? Cavernous secret lair? Evil masterminds with white cats?), but the old ones were campy in an attractive manner.

    And that, my friends, is how someone still shy of her 27th birthday sounds crotchety. Now get off my lawn! *shakes walking stick*

  30. Sili says

    Have I mentioned lately how much I love Rachel Maddow.

    I’m starting to subscribe to her “Herman Cain is an Art Project” thesis.

  31. changeable moniker says

    FWIW, I could get the kids to stage a Sylvanian re-enactment of the Reign of Terror. We have ketchup. And lots of Sylvanians. ;)

  32. broboxley OT says

  33. Weed Monkey says

    Predator Handshake, I can’t really say how fine a movie it might have otherwise been, but that style almost gives me a headache and I find it extremely annoying. So I stopped watching somewhere around 20 minutes, in middle of the second chase scene.

    One movie I really wanted to like but just couldn’t because of these “edgy” rapid cuts is Hot Fuzz. And that’s a shame because I like pretty much everything else Pegg and Wright have ever done.

  34. Richard Austin says

    On the subject of employers…

    This is one of my favorite lines from The Illuminatus! Triology.

    “Privilege implies exclusion from privilege, just as advantage implies disadvantage,” Celine went on. “In the same mathematically reciprocal way, profit implies loss. If you and I exchange equal goods, that is trade: neither of us profits and neither of us loses. But if we exchange unequal goods, one of us profits and the other loses. Mathematically. Certainly. Now, such mathematically unequal exchanges will always occur because some traders will be shrewder than others. But in total freedom —in anarchy — such unequal exchanges will be sporadic and irregular. A phenomenon of unpredictable periodicity, mathematically speaking. Now look about you, professor — raise your nose from your great books and survey the actual world as it is — and you will not observe such unpredictable functions. You will observe, instead, a mathematically smooth function, a steady profit accruing to one group and an equally steady loss accumulating for all others. Why is this, professor? Because the system is not free or random, any mathematician would tell you a priori. Well, then, where is the determining function, the factor that controls the other variables? You have named it yourself, or Mr. Adler has: the Great Tradition. Privilege, I prefer to call it. When A meets B in the marketplace, they do not bargain as equals. A bargains from a position of privilege; hence, he always profits and B always loses. There is no more Free Market here than there is on the other side of the Iron Curtain. The privileges, or Private Laws — the rules of the game, as promulgated by the Politburo and the General Congress of the Communist Party on that side and by the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve Board on this side — are slightly different; that’s all. And it is this that is threatened by anarchists, and by the repressed anarchist in each of us,” he concluded, strongly emphasizing the last clause, staring at Drake, not at the professor.

    (Just for clarification, I like the presentation of the distinction between the privileged and the unprivileged in this quote; please don’t take this as a personal opinion on anarchy. That’s an entirely separate discussion… or maybe not. I also don’t know that I agree that profit always implies loss.)

  35. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    I kinda think the Bond series has ‘run its course’. It was fun back in the day, but like a geriatric Hugh Heffner shuffling around in a housecoat and pretending he’s still a ‘sex symbol’, it’s just kinda getting sad now.

    Bond is one of those things that’s very much a product of its era. Modern Bond films, to me at least, are kind of like all the modern attempts to ‘reboot’ Looney Tunes. Passable at best (the current new Looney Tunes shorts being made), obnoxiously painful at worst (Loonatics Unleashed, anyone?).

    I’m saying this having not seen Quantum of Solace or Casino Royale, so I might end up eating my words, but judging by all the reviews of QoS I’ve been hearing, I doubt it.

  36. Predator Handshake says

    Weed Monkey:
    I, too, hate the style of action film that equates “jump-cut shakey camera” with “engrossing action sequence.” It’s too bad that it turned you off from Hot Fuzz, though; that movie was a really great satire/love letter to action movies and I think the camera techniques work for the movie rather than against it in that light.

    I may be alone in this, but I thought Casino Royale showed a lot of promise towards revamping the franchise. The beginning action sequence was exciting and the shots had a real sense of range (I’m not much on critical film theory so I’m not sure what the right word is here). It was also, with the exception of the last bit, not very explosion-based. However, this may be a product of comparison between this new Bond I hadn’t seen before and the Pierce Brosnan Bond who I couldn’t stand and whose movies had to have an explosion in every scene.

    The thing I liked the most about Casino Royale, though, is the relative infrequency of action scenes. I liked how the movie focused a lot on the psychology in the gambling between Bond and the villain and allowed their back-and-forth to generate tension, rather than forcing the tension with a big nefarious plot that the audience is reminded of every 5 minutes.

    Bear in mind, though, that it’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen it so I may just be remembering it too fondly.

  37. Weed Monkey says

    I tried to watch one of those Michael Bay Transformers films also, ’cause I’d been told the action scenes were somehow spectacular. But what the fuck? Those robots look like they were randomly put together by a tornado going through a junkyard even when they are still, and then their movement is cut MTV style. I’ll just say what?! like James Burke.

  38. says

    Noble conga rats in ermine, with tiny coronets? And an Archbishop Hamster in a tiny mitre. While the Gerbil Chapel Choir squeaks out Zadok the Priest, conducted by Sir Cecil Harvest-Mouse and accompanied by Zelda Bankvole on the organ.

    Sounds just about perfect to me. Overbites, big ears, pomp and procession.

    I did hear through the grapevine that Zelda Bankvole is losing it. She has been coming to the organ with mud on her paws. And she is wearing her spring hat though it is well into autumn, and maybe even time to switch to the winter hat. Nevertheless, in honor of her long service, Sir Cecil harvest-Mouse keeps her on. Still, we shall have to get Zelda’s daughter, Minnie Bankvole, up to speed soon. The Grim Reaper leaves no one untouched.

  39. Predator Handshake says

    Re Transformers movies:
    I saw the first one and found it painfully mediocre. After that I became unable to watch anything with Shia LaBeouf in it because a friend of mine pointed out that we have a friend whose younger brother looks exactly like him. Now I can’t separate the two in my head and the only thing I can concentrate on is the idea of everything in the movie happening to my friend’s brother and how his actions are very out of character for him.

  40. changeable moniker says

    I am valiantly resisting linking up the Daily Mash’s “Transformers film somehow makes giant robots uninteresting” and “Time traveller from the future warns of Terminator sequels”. But if you like rude UK humour, you can Google them.

  41. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    I saw the first Transformers movie. About halfway in I was like “Wait, this IS a movie about giant transforming robots, right? RIGHT?”

    I watch a transformers movie to see some, you know, transformers. Not watch Shia Lebeouf’s stupid high-school romance with a girl whose only purpose in the movie is to strike GQ covergirl poses.

    I am sick to fuck of the old “High school nerd somehow wins hottest girl in school from big douchebag jock” movie plot as it is… but to see a TRANSFORMERS movie that shuffles the actual TRANSFORMERS aside for this tired pukesome old plot is just unacceptable.

  42. Dhorvath, OM says

    Weed Monkey and others on Bond the last. It was inconsistent and if the action at the start caused issues, well, probably best abandoned. There was a pretty cool sequence centred on the opera, aside from that, strictly from hunger.

  43. Rey Fox says

    I’m starting to subscribe to her “Herman Cain is an Art Project” thesis.

    Well, Donald Trump became a candidate briefly just to promote his TV show. Nothing’s impossible.

  44. KG says

    Richard Austin,

    Actually, it’s easy to see that even if everyone starts equal, and is equally talented, in a “free market” with no constraints to prevent it, inequality grows without bounds. Just by chance, some will get a bit richer than others. But then they have an advantage – they can afford to wait longer to get a better bargain. So their advantage tends to grow.

  45. says

    Here’s a local news story on global warming. Among other things, songbirds are getting bigger.

    Take note of the comment thread. Now commenting at SignOn does require registering, and clean language, but I think that is one comment thread that could use some healthy Pharyngulation.

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

    Cicely:
    Thanks. :) My back is stiff and sore today, but manageable.

    As for what happened, I injured it long ago when I was working a job that required a lot of stocking* and every so often I will irritate the injury and I’ll be out of commission for about a day. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what the hell I did to myself yesterday– the closest thing to heavy lifting I did was make stew.

    *high fives* for the fifty dolla wheelchair! We’ve got a ReStore in the area, but I was under the impression that they only sold home improvement type stuff (which, being a renter, I don’t need) but if they’ve got other things for sale, I’ll have to check it out.

    *Pro-tip: Massage chairs are heavy. Definitely a “team lift” item.

  47. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    I really liked Paul. But I did find the girl kind of annoying when she ‘discovered swearing’.

  48. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    And speaking of movies, I saw the impossible the night before last. You will mock me, you will doubt me, you will call me a liar, but I really saw it.

    A SyFy original movie that was GOOD. Not just ‘OK’, it was actually GOOD.

    Stop laughing goddamnit, I’m serious!

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

    Ariaflame:

    Use the self raising for most baking things that would normally use baking powder or similar. Things that you want to rise. Plain flour for those that don’t.

    Makes sense. All of the recipes that I’ve seen that present an either all-purpose flour/baking powder or self-rising flour option call for cutting the salt when using the self-rising flour. Which is kind of weird to me.

    Esteleth (re: over edited action squences):

    I am continually frustrated by the modern tendency (Michael Bay seems to be the most guilty) to chop action sequences into teeny tiny bits and toss them together with very little coherency with loud noises and ridiculous music.

    I don’t mind that much, but it does strike me as an easy way to cover up filming mistakes– it’s a lot harder to film a long shot without any cutaways* than it is to cobble together a scene.

    *Think of the hallway scene in Oldboy.

  50. Tethys says

    I am confused. First I had to log in, but I can’t remember my user name. Now the normal comment name and e-mail boxes appear even though I couldn’t log in. I realize PZ is trying to make it more difficult for the trolls, so maybe I just happened to try again when normal commenting has been switched on? (sigh, my memory is getting old, and its dark, cold, and gloomy today which doesn’t help)
    —–

    Blankets. Some of my most treasured possessions are the quilts my Grandma makes. She makes a patchwork top, uses an old blanket for the inside, and a flannel backing. The layers are held in place by yarn loops pulled through alternating squares and knotted securely. They are used hard. The fabric itself starts to fall apart before the blanket does.

  51. says

    I’m starting to subscribe to her “Herman Cain is an Art Project” thesis.

    Speaking of art, I don’t know if others have seen, but people are adding casually-pepper-spraying-cop into famous art works. I’m sure it will be overdone, but it’s a good meme.

  52. Rey Fox says

    I saw Paul. Meh. The part that made me laugh most was when Agent Zoil revealed his name, probably just because it was such a complete ridiculous stretch of a joke. Paul was pretty tepid by comparison to Shaun and Hot Fuzz*. Maybe because the former two were entirely British productions?

    * All the stylized action camera work was part of the joke. Probably insufficient justification if that stuff really makes you physically ill, but there it is.

  53. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    Ing:

    That sucks. I hope the union is wholeheartedly supportive.

    Back before we voted a union in at my workplace, I was called into my bosses office and told that I was being put on leave probation because they thought I was abusing leave (leave probation means that ANY sick leave requires a doctor’s note, and all annual leave requires two-weeks advance notice). I asked, of course, why they thought this. My boss looked me in the face and said, “Thrity-five percent of your sick leave is coming either on the day before or the day after your lieu days. We think you are calling in sick to extend your weekend and we have the stats to prove it.”

    Think on that for a moment. Thirty-five percent of my sick days were on “Monday” or “Friday” and that is leave abuse.

    Think about it.

    Got it?

    He was quite embarrassed when I explained that 35% is less than 40%.

    I was not put on probation.

    Today, I would do a union grievance and get hhis ass in trouble. WIth relish.*

    Anyway, Ing, as I said, that sucks. Kinda makes you wonder why employers even allow people to have sick days when you’re not allowed to use them.

    *Probably pickle.

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

    Ing:
    It’s good that you’ve got your union to back you up, but you might also want to read up on the applicable state laws– I know that in New York, it’s illegal to fire an employee for using earned sick time and a company can’t require a doctor’s note or any of that silly shit*.

    *This, of course, doesn’t prevent shit like that from happening, but you can lodge a complaint with the state labor department or sue for wrongful termination if it comes down to it.

  55. Josh Slocum says

    I’m in the Burlington airport dosed on Kl*nopin, and then I have to go look at the pepper-spraying cop tumblr. I can’t stop laughing and people are starting to stare at me. . .

  56. Esteleth says

    I don’t mind that much, but it does strike me as an easy way to cover up filming mistakes– it’s a lot harder to film a long shot without any cutaways than it is to cobble together a scene.

    Yeah, I get why they do it, I’m just frustrated by it. Especially with my sensory integration issues, I get confused and nausous. And then there’s the problem of them being stitched together badly (props/actors jumping around, changing direction, lack of continuity, etc).

    Think of the hallway scene in Oldboy.

    Which I have neither seen nor heard of. *shrug*

    Re: blankets. One of my most prized possessions is a crocheted blanket made by my great-grandma when I was a baby. She was almost blind at the time. It’s quite large – it fits a twin bed.

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

    Esteleth:

    Which I have neither seen nor heard of. *shrug*

    That’s okay ‘cos it’s one of those movies that’s reeeeeeaaaaaaaalllllllly not for everyone. It takes a strong stomach, a tolerance for on-screen violence, and a love of revenge fantasies to like Oldboy.

    Shorter me: Oldboy is hella fucked up.

  58. Ing says

    I remember as a kid being red 20000 Leagues. I distinctly remember the scene of Nemo ordering the vessel to circle and dive so he can watch a ship he attacked sink. That was the creepiest thing to me as a kid.

  59. Sili says

    I’m on my second strong beer for the night. I need to be up in six hours and I’m actually contemplating a third.

    I’m sampling the Christmas beers (they were on sale yesterday), and the worst thing is that so far none of them really taste all that good to me.

  60. says

    (Same thing I tell my bank, I’m not bankrupt, I just haven’t caught up yet)
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Walton – “But this is why I really dislike and distrust cops in general.”

    I’m impressed Walton. Usually it takes a beat down or a roust to figure that out. (I’m not being snarky.)
    +++++++++++++++++++
    Caine, I had no idea of the size difference between Chas and Esme! (I already new they were cute.)
    Great pics, BTW.
    +++++++++++++++++++
    cicely, conga rats on the new wheelchair! Mobility, where could we go without it?
    +++++++++++++++++++
    TLC, is there any place within walking/bicycling distance where you could volunteer for a few hours a week? It’s good to get paid, but it’s also important to feel useful to others. (Not that you aren’t, it’s just a suggestion.)

    There is also your art, but getting paid for that is problematic for most artists.
    +++++++++++++++++++
    Josh, the vileness thread is NOT worth having a heart attack over. Being on the front lines might be, (but not to me).

    John Morales, IRT the vileness thread, I really appreciate your apology. FWIW, I didn’t object to your original comment, I got frustrated with the back & forth that ensued. I hope you apply what you learned from it in the future.

    The vileness thread once again reminded me why I hang out here at TET most of the time. We’re definitely not an echo chamber, but few things here make me boiling mad here.
    +++++++++++++++++++
    carlie, I’m ignorant of most things material, but isn’t a baby’s quilt small enought to bunch the non-quilted area under the machines arm?
    [still catching up] oh, the baby being able to breathe thru knit never occurred to me. See, this is why I can’t have nice things.
    +++++++++++++++++++
    Walton, I thought you had a perfectly whimsical response to conga rats, I enjoyed it.

    Lynna @ 554 agrees with me.

  61. Esteleth says

    Meh. I am hungry.
    I should cook.
    But I’m tired.

    There’s a fast-food joint on the corner.
    It’s bad for me.

    Fuck it. Back in 10.

  62. Ing says

    People forget that Nemo was supposed to be the villain, we tend to romanticize the bad boys.

    Oh I never forgot it. I just love how good of a villain protagonist he was.

  63. says

    On a personal note, I’m now dining on a bowl of chicken chili. Has anybody tried it, and what brands are out there? (I’m trying Hormel’s right now.)

  64. says

    594,

    My first exposure was through the Disney movie, which did tend to showcase the man in a favorable light. Can’t recall the book all that well, guess it’s time to reread.

  65. says

    The Laughing Coyote

    A SyFy original movie that was GOOD.

    You dirty lying bastard. You know that’s simply not possible.

    At least reassure me that the plot followed the standard SyFy “two warring/squabbling groups/people/royals have to combine forces to fight off a rampaging terrible CGI monster” template.

  66. changeable moniker says

    In the post today,
    Flowers For Algernon, but
    tears begin, page one.

    I think y’all have spoiled it for me. :-/

    *deep breath sniffle*

    On the upside, Cordelia Fine is here too. Which promises to be equally awesome (and hopefully, less depressing). (If I find myself in need of rescue, I may have to resort to Dr. Tatiana. ;)

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

    mythusmage:

    anybody run across a hero antagonist?

    Sydney Carton, maybe? Okay, okay, he wasn’t really the antagonist, but he was a total douche.

    Close enough, right?

  68. says

    Referring to the question PZ asked…

    In so far as God is all knowing and all present, and church is supposed to be where you go to be close to God, I really don’t see the need. Church is really for people, not God, where you can see and be seen and your fellows can note your attendance and thus get the impression you’re a decent God fearing person.

    You love God he already knows it. You love your neighbor as yourself, he knows that to. When you do something for your fellow, that is when you prove yourself to that person.

    Besides, my relationship with God is a personal and private one, not to be displayed for any purpose. So, no, I’m not going to be going to church in any time soon.

  69. says

    #600

    Insofar as he acts like a stereotypical hero, right?

    Haven’t seen the flick, but the impression I got is that Gaston treats Belle like a silly girl, while the Beast treats her as a mature adult, a human being, and that is what wins Belle’s heart.

  70. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    I hated church even when I was a christian. Something about the very atmosphere and smell always made me vaguely nauseous for some reason I can’t even begin to pin down. The singing sucks too.

    Twice now, I’ve told you all what my instinctive reaction to bullies and those who would dominate me is. And ‘God’ is the hugest bully of them all, apparently creating me for the sole purpose of dominating me.

    God, your face is mine. RAWR!

  71. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    Chicken chili: Never had any canned chicken chili. I occasionally make a white bean, chicken and artichoke heart green chili, but never had any luck with canned. Sorry.

    By the way, I made a good chili con carne y frijoles rojo today. With cornbread muffins. Good.

  72. ahs ॐ says

    Besides, my relationship with God is a personal and private one, not to be displayed for any purpose.

    If that was true, you would have shut up about it already.

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

    Ogvorbis:

    By the way, I made a good chili con carne y frijoles rojo today. With cornbread muffins. Good.

    Oooooh, care to share your corn bread recipe? My first attempt at corn bread was underwhelming.

  74. Esteleth says

    Heroic antagonists are not uncommon, actually. Basically, any time you have a protagonist who is “bad” in any way (a criminal, an asshole, etc) and are opposed by someone who isn’t worse than them, then you’ve got a classic heroic antagonist:villain antagonist situation.
    Hell, here’s a whole list of them, cross-genre, cross-medium. WARNING: LINK GOES TO TV TROPES.
    Did anyone see Catch Me if You Can? Tom Hanks’ character in that is a pitch-perfect heroic antagonist. Decent guy, doing his job. In the process, he puts the protagonist in prison. QED.
    I don’t really consider Gaston of BatB to be a heroic antagonist, though. He’s more a Mary Sue gone bad, in my opinion.

  75. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    And ‘God’ is the hugest bully of them all

    I look at the Abrahamic gods as being the ultimate abusive boyfriend: “I love you so much that I will aflict you with all sorts of weird painful shit so that you will love me back and if you don’t I’ll torture you because I love you.”

  76. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    Oooooh, care to share your corn bread recipe? My first attempt at corn bread was underwhelming.

    But of course. The only odd thing I do is add more sugar, and use raw rather than white sugar.

    Sift together:

    1 cup bread flour
    1 cup corn meal
    2 tablespoons baking powder
    1 tablespoon salt
    1/2 cup raw Turbinado sugar

    Beat

    1 egg

    and add to the dry ingredients with

    1/4 cup corn oil
    1/2 cup milk.

    Begin mixing together the wet and dry stuff. Keep adding more milk, a little more at a time, until you have a thick batter.

    Put in a greased pie pan, or xis large muffin tins, greased, and bake at 400F for about 20 to 30 minutes until the edges begin to brown and a skewer test comes out clean.

    (And if you want to put this one the wiki, go ahead (but only if it works (and this works better than my Always Fail Fudge)))

  77. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    Another hero antagonist is Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive.

  78. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    Shit. And ‘xis’ is actually Tpyosese for ‘six’.

  79. Rey Fox says

    Haven’t seen the flick, but the impression I got is that Gaston treats Belle like a silly girl, while the Beast treats her as a mature adult, a human being, and that is what wins Belle’s heart.

    I think that impression might be a bit off.

  80. says

    mythusmage, you have been asked politely and rudely to stop shitting on TET.

    Stop shitting on TET! Get out. Go play with yourself on other threads.

  81. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Father Ogvorbis: I like that so much I quoted it on my facebook page, for all my christian friends to see.

    They’re nice, and understanding about my hatred for ‘Gawd’ (whether he’s real or not, I still hate his disgusting guts), and one or two might even be on the verge of taking a step or two away from the darkness of stuperstition, and all of them seem to be more interested in talking about life with me than talking about Gawd, but some of them still think they can ‘pray for me’. I specifically told them all that I want NO ONE praying for me, ever, under any circumstances, but let’s be real. That won’t stop them.

    Now, YMMV, but what I find comes closest to ‘getting through to them’ is when I explain that I want to be good for its own sake, that I want to treat others well because its ethical and kind and right, and that I don’t give a rat’s red ass (sorry Caine, Chas, Esme, and ‘the guys’ in my backyard) what happens to me after I die, and any Gawd who doesn’t smile upon that is a Gawd I’ll gladly and gleefully piss on.

  82. says

    I think I raised this question earlier, but I don’t remember if it got an answer.

    We bred rats for docility… is there any particular reason we haven’t done the same for squirrels? I’d love to have a pet squirrel.

  83. Sili says

    Chili? I should learn to cook that. I even have beans. (Though I don’t recall what I bought them for – they were on sale.)

    –o–

    Third beer, ahoy!

    –o–

    Who’s the villain? Valjean or Javert?

  84. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    We bred rats for docility… is there any particular reason we haven’t done the same for squirrels? I’d love to have a pet squirrel.

    Wife has one, name of SrabbleBang (which is the sound xe makes on our wooden fence), which has successfully trained Wife to feed him peanuts on demand. He will come to the bottom of the back steps and purr/rattle/chitter. Which scares the hell out of the cats. Not quite the same thing, but it does show they can train humans.

  85. Sili says

    We bred rats for docility… is there any particular reason we haven’t done the same for squirrels? I’d love to have a pet squirrel.

    Myxomathosis?

    Though, that hasn’t stopped people from keeping rabbits.

  86. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    I imagine a squirrel as a pet would be lots of trouble.

    Rey Fox: Damn, I love that clip. I don’t get why the coyote is attacking though, unless it thinks the guy filming is an ‘easy target’. At first, I thought it was playing. Goes to show that among carnivorans, there’s only one degree at most of separation between ‘play’ and ‘attack’.

  87. Esteleth says

    Domesticated rats are domesticated.
    (In other news, the first rule of the tautology club is the first rule of the tautology club.)

    Squirrels are not domesticated. You can tame a squirrel, but that is not the same as domestication. It can be done, though. My sister used to have a pet flying squirrel. It was a cutie.

  88. says

    Amongst the things I learned today, I learned my boss is an atheist.

    Religion never comes up at work, we’re doing science it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with religion.

  89. Tethys says

    Benjamin

    Squirrels make lousy house pets. They gnaw and they aren’t social. They also become extremely aggressive when mating season comes around.

    AFAICT most animals that humans have domesticated are animals that live in social groups. Squirrels don’t tend to be herd, flock, or pack animals.

  90. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Yeah, I’ve seen ‘pet’ squirrels like the one Father Ogvorbis’s wife has, as in, a wild squirrel that buddies up to humans for treats. My aunt had two or three at a place she used to live. They’d come right into the house for peanuts.

    But as actual full-time pets? I dunno.

  91. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    There you go Benjamin. Instead of taking a squirrel from the wild and trying to make it adapt to a human domicile and lifestyle, why not make friends with a wild one? You still get to hang out and give it treats, but you don’t have to worry about providing for its every need because its wild.

    As for the actual friendmaking process…. that’ll take some time and patience. But you already have a head start with campus squirrels.

  92. says

    I just found out that my organic chemistry professor is sticking to having a quiz at 4 pm tomorrow. Tomorrow is the last day before break and no one is going to be in town. I was going to leave tomorrow afternoon, but now I can’t. I won’t get home now until tomorrow at 10 or so. It kind of sucks since I already have to shorten my time back home during this break (I have to return on Friday).

  93. says

    Walton – “But this is why I really dislike and distrust cops in general.”

    I’m impressed Walton. Usually it takes a beat down or a roust to figure that out. (I’m not being snarky.)

    Well, I’ve been interested in civil liberties and criminal justice issues (academically and politically) for long enough, and reading about police brutality for long enough, that it would be very, very hard for me to have blind faith in the cops. The problem is not that all cops are abusive thugs – they aren’t – but, rather, that those cops who are abusive thugs are protected and enabled by the system. (And they usually get away with it even when it is exposed; look up the horrifying saga of Babar Ahmad in the UK, and the subsequent acquittal of the anti-terror cops who abused him.) The criminal justice system is geared towards protecting the interests of Authority™, and bringing the full weight of coercive force down on any individual who challenges Authority™, particularly if xe happens to be poor, young, and/or from an “undesirable” ethnic minority.

  94. Sili says

    AFAICT most animals that humans have domesticated are animals that live in social groups.

    *ahegm* Cats *cough*cough*

    Though our cats managed to sleep together for warmth on the farm. Some of them.

    –o–

    I’s drunk and have sent off missives that I really shouldn’t.

  95. Sili says

    I just found out that my organic chemistry professor is sticking to having a quiz at 4 pm tomorrow.

    I was gonna throw the kids a popquiz tomorrow to catch the ones that calculate on not showing up, but I’m too drunk and lazy to get one made.

  96. Esteleth says

    Cats more or less domesticated themselves by hanging out around humans until a quasi-symbiotic relationship developed.

  97. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    Cats more or less domesticated themselves by hanging out around humans until a quasi-symbiotic relationship developed.

    I know, but try telling that to my 2.5 cats. They will not believe you.

  98. says

    Oh FFS, “I just found out that my organic chemistry professor is sticking to having a quiz at 4 pm tomorrow. Tomorrow is the last day before break and no one is going to be in town. I was going to leave tomorrow afternoon, but now I can’t. I won’t get home now until tomorrow at 10 or so. ”

    Occupy StarStuff. #wahh, wahh, wahh. [/toilet plunger in the trombone bell]

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

    AFAICT most animals that humans have domesticated are animals that live in social groups.

    *ahegm* Cats *cough*cough*

    My cats missed that memo. They think that they’re still queens of the jungle.

  100. Carlie says

    So my sniny new login doesn’t have a place to put a picture – do you really have to go through another whole damn site (gravatar) to upload an image?

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

    Carlie:

    do you really have to go through another whole damn site (gravatar) to upload an image?

    Yep, but at least it’s fast and easy.

  102. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Wait, what? Are you occupying me? That doesn’t sound too great. If not, commas, man, commas!

    Hey, not to butt in or anything, but with the right person that sounds like it could be kind of, you know, fun.

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

    Oh, Oggie, I missed the corn bread recipe at first. Muchas gracias! I’ll give it a shot next time I make chili. :)

  104. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    We’ve got a ReStore in the area, but I was under the impression that they only sold home improvement type stuff (which, being a renter, I don’t need) but if they’ve got other things for sale, I’ll have to check it out.

    That’s what I thought, too. Then recently, Son and D-i-L were going to be remodelling their computer room, so they went to check it out, and found that they get other stuff, too; so they stop in every now and then just to see what they’ve got. Yesterday he called to tell us about a dryer going for cheap, and mentioned that they also had 3 wheelchairs in stock, so this morning we checked it out. The dryer was a no-go (gas, and we need electric), and there was only one wheelchair, but it’s just dandy—seems a bit sturdier in the build than my previous one, and a bit wider across the seat, both good things—so I rode it out of there. We left the broken one (with their consent; no dumping was done) so someone can either fix it, or break it down for parts. Everybody happy!

    In fact, it kept me happy all day long, just thinking about it. I was worried that we’d have to wait until we ordered in the part and The Husband fixed it up, which might mean no holiday shopping at all for cicely.
    -

    A SyFy original movie that was GOOD. Not just ‘OK’, it was actually GOOD.

    TLC, can you supply documentation in support of your claim? And, what was this movie?
    -

    cicely, conga rats on the new wheelchair! Mobility, where could we go without it?

    Thanks! And…nowhere, of course. We could only sit with our noses pressed against the window in the front door, getting snot all over it and interfering with through traffic.
    -

    Church is really for people, not God, where you can see and be seen and your fellows can note your attendance and thus get the impression you’re a decent God fearing person.

    …and pass judgement on your clothes and character (which are closely related).
    -

    God, your face is mine. RAWR!

    Aye, gie th’ scunner a face full o’ heid!
    -

  105. Tethys says

    AFAICT most animals that humans have domesticated are animals that live in social groups.
    *ahegm* Cats *cough*cough*

    Both lions and cheetahs live and hunt in groups. My mini-felines aren’t all that domesticated judging by my perforated foot. (It was an honest mistake attack while playing, she did look slightly ashamed when I screamed)

  106. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    No problem on the corn bread recipe.

    It can be doubled, reduce the milk, and add a can of creamed corn. Or reduce the sugar and add a can of green chilis. Very adaptable.

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

    cicely:

    In fact, it kept me happy all day long, just thinking about it. I was worried that we’d have to wait until we ordered in the part and The Husband fixed it up, which might mean no holiday shopping at all for cicely.

    Oh, yay! That’s so fucking awesome. :)

  108. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Bah. My apartment is freezing and not heating up as quickly as it usually does. This is not helping the muscle ache headache I have. I’m going to bed.

  109. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Cicely: It’s called ‘Abominable’, despite being about a bigfoot.

    The main character I found very likeable, and the creature effects actually looked like a real creature, not just some CGI mess that would have looked stupid 10 years ago. They also did this sorta ‘fakeout’. A group of college-age girls show up to party, and you’re thinking ‘Oh fuck, here comes the cliche.’ But then it continues to show the whole movie through the main character’s perspective.

    I realize ‘good’ is a subjective claim, but I truly liked it. I tried to include a link to watch it, but my post wouldn’t go through. So, look it up. Abominable.

    With that, I’m out. Got a ‘date’ tonight.

  110. says

    Caine, – “Watching 12 Angry Men (1957) now.”

    I’m fonda that movie too. I have only watched it once, years ago.

    I’ve read it, I’ve read for it, (in HS), but damn, that is one ugly/accurate take on us.
    +++++++++++
    StarStuff, you’re complaining about my commas when my ‘h’s were the problem!? A hearty trombone gobble to you.

    I said ‘good day!’

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

    Mr Fire:

    Hello, Mr. Fire here playing around with his ‘nym just to piss off Audley

    Ha! As soon as I saw Adama Manoeoeoeoeoeoeuvre, I was shaking my fist– even before I read your post.

  112. chigau (本当) says

    … which might mean no holiday shopping at all for cicely.

    cicely, dear. You are missing spirit of the Season.
    You don’t say, “I have everything I need.”
    You say, “Gimmegimmegimme!!!11!! Solar-powered hoverchair!! With internet access!!!”

  113. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Ooops, belay that. Still got a few minutes waiting for my ride.

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

    Also, be prepared for MASSIVE butchering of Adama Manoeuvre* on my part.

    *oeoeoeoeoe

  115. says

    Gyeong, a remake was made in the 90s, with Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott. Never saw that version.

    Moving on to High Noon (1952). The reason for all the old flicks? Mister has seen almost no classic flicks. I’ve been edumacatin’ him for some months now. :D

  116. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Delightfully Machiavellian says

    Also, be prepared for MASSIVE butchering of Adama Manoeuvre* on my part.

    Just use adamantine armour for defense. Demand it. Be adamant about it. Just don’t listen to Adam Ant!

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

    Have fun, TLC!
    —————————

    Belated Happy Yearly Rotation to Caine and Lynna!
    —————————

    Have narrowed the specifics for my next guitar down a bit. I’ll still need to play in person to know what is the winning combo. Once that’s done, my old guitar goes bye-bye, maybe via donation or just leaving it out for someone to grab from the sidewalk.
    —————————

    Turkey Day approaches! And with it the hopes for Mom’s delicious post-TD turkey pot pie. I look forward to a couple of days off work.

    Speaking of food, I tried Blue Moon’s White Abbey Ale tonight with dinner. Tasty.
    ————————–

    Solar-powered hoverchair? That could be the next big project to be covered in Scientific American….maybe.

  118. says

    I’m sleepy, I’m heading off to bed. Given my ‘normal’ sked, I’ll be back in 40 minutes or 4 hours.

    Insomnia, it’s not just for breakfast anymore.

  119. Esteleth says

    Just got off the phone with my grandma. This year at Thanksgiving, there will be eight people and six pies.
    I like this ratio.

    This year’s pies will be: one pumpkin, one apple, one cherry, one lemon meringue, one blueberry, and one peach.

    I am SO looking forward to this! :D

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

    Esteleth:

    This year’s pies will be: one pumpkin, one apple, one cherry, one lemon meringue, one blueberry, and one peach.

    Jealous! We’re doing Thanxgiving with the in-laws, so there’s going to be all sorts of gluten-free desserts. *barf!*

    I offered to make a really real pie (from a recipe that I got from Mrs Fire, er, I mean, Mrs Manoeoeoeoeoeoeuvre that was OMG so good), but nope, not interested.

    One point of ridiculousness and I’ll stop whining about food: I was asked if I could make a loaf of gluten-free bread. *headdesk* That ranks up there with being asked to make a gluten- and dairy-free cheesecake.

  121. Crudely Wrott says

    Squirrels for pets? Well, one spring years back we found a flying squirrel nest in a dresser drawer when opening up the summer camp on the lake.

    Cousin Carol thought they were just too cute to turn lose and we noted that there was no apparent parent squirrels over the course of a weekend so she adopted them. Fed ‘em with an eyedropper at first.

    They ended up in the screened in porch of the camp. All summer long if one entered the porch and stood still for a moment there would come a soft “thunk” on the shoulder and one would be greeted by two rich shades of brown surrounding pure black googly eyes.

    Five, if memory is intact, of the rascals spent their time gorging on walnuts and soaring about. They seemed quite at home and not anxious at all. We children did dearly love them.

    Sometime in August, I think, we opened the windows and they glided away into the trees and the breezes and the light bouncing off the waves on the lake. Halcyon days, I tells ya.

  122. says

    If I had a pound for every time Walton has ended a comment with “I won’t say any more on the subject”, I’d… well, I’d probably have about five pounds, which is not that impressive, really. Forget I mentioned it.

    Unfortunately, once again I’m going to break my promise, because I’ve been thinking about the issue of class and classism some more, and the way that my own aesthetic sensibilities may be unconsciously shaped by social class. I wrote earlier about the close relationship between class and language in British society, and my worry that my own feelings about what’s “right” in language may be influenced by internalized classism. It may very well be the case that the same is true when it comes to my and other British people’s aesthetic sensibilities in other areas, from titles to table-manners to music. In the end, I’m coming to terms with the fact that class is far more pervasive in my own culture than most British people would recognize or acknowledge, and that it has shaped my perceptions in ways of which I haven’t been consciously aware. (I apologize if I’m overanalyzing again, and I’m sorry for the tl;dr post; those who find the subject boring should skip the rest of this post.)

    When it comes to monarchy, if someone feels – as many people here do – that monarchy is a grotesque emblem of nationalism, classism and imperialism, that it’s a living reminder of a violent and oppressive past, and that the rituals and aesthetics associated with monarchy are just meaningless flummery aimed at dressing up the ugly realities of state power and class privilege, then I can’t really tell you that you’re “wrong”. After all, this is an individual reaction, which is very much shaped by one’s own experiences and by one’s own feelings about one’s culture and history. It’s not for me to tell me that you’re “wrong” on something so personal.

    The Jamaican-British poet Benjamin Zephaniah said something similar when explaining why he declined to accept appointment as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire:

    Me? I thought, OBE me? Up yours, I thought. I get angry when I hear that word “empire”; it reminds me of slavery, it reminds of thousands of years of brutality, it reminds me of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised. It is because of this concept of empire that my British education led me to believe that the history of black people started with slavery and that we were born slaves, and should therefore be grateful that we were given freedom by our caring white masters…

    [The Queen is] a bit stiff but she’s a nice old lady. Let me make it clear: I have nothing against her or the royal family. It is the institution of the monarchy that I loathe so very much, the monarchy that still refuses to apologise for sanctioning slavery.

    It is certainly not for me to argue with his feelings on something so deeply personal and important. Indeed, it would be hideously privileged, offensive and bordering-on-unconsciously-racist for me, as a white middle-class Brit, to tell him that his feelings about racism and about the history of his own culture are “wrong”. (To put it another way, I’d be in danger of whitesplaining. I don’t know if that’s an actual word, but I hope you see what I mean.) I understand entirely why he refused an OBE and why he does not support the monarchy, and I will not argue with his reasons.

    At the same time, as an observation, it’s clear that not everyone in the British progressive community feels the same way that Benjamin Zephaniah does. Sir Terry Pratchett accepted both a knighthood and an OBE from the Queen, after all; and he’s as progressive as they come. (And not an uncritical fan of monarchies or aristocracies, judging from the Discworld books, although I’m not sure how far Sam Vimes’ views are a reflection of Pratchett’s own.) Ultimately, it’s a very personal choice about a very personal subject, and I don’t know that there’s a “wrong” or a “right” way to respond to this.

    I know this is a ramble without an obvious conclusion, and I’m not sure where I’m going with this. But I suppose my point is that if I’ve ever been offensive or culturally insensitive about the subject of monarchy, or about class issues in general, then I apologize, sincerely. I need to learn to make clearer, to myself and to others, that I’m speaking from a personal perspective, that my feelings are shaped by my own identity and background, and that what feels “right” to me is not necessarily “right” to everyone else. And I think I have a duty to be aware both of my own privilege, and of the peculiarities of my own cultural background and how it differs from others.

  123. says

    It may very well be the case that the same is true when it comes to my and other British people’s aesthetic sensibilities in other areas,

    Scratch that part. I just did exactly what I said I was trying not to do, i.e. generalizing inaccurately from personal feelings and experiences.

  124. Esteleth says

    Audley:

    Jealous! We’re doing Thanxgiving with the in-laws, so there’s going to be all sorts of gluten-free desserts.

    Well, to be fair, two of those pies will be made with the sweetener-stuff that’s safe for diabetics. So they’ll be a bit off, IMO.

    I REALLY hope that particular genetic bullet is one that skips me.

    But yes. That side of the family is half Yorkshire, half Bavaria. We eat. And then we drink.

  125. Crudely Wrott says

    This year’s pies will be: one pumpkin, one apple, one cherry, one lemon meringue, one blueberry, and one peach.

    ZOMG. My Grandma’s Thanksgiving dessert menu somehow ended up in your Grandma’s hands, Esteleth!

    So, which is your really really real favorite? Mine was the peach pie. Oh, my, so good! Except when my favorite was the lemon meringue. You know?

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

    Esteleth:

    Well, to be fair, two of those pies will be made with the sweetener-stuff that’s safe for diabetics. So they’ll be a bit off, IMO.

    Yeah, but 4 pies out of 6 ain’t bad. Plus, you can’t really fault a diabetic for wanting a pie made with artificial sweetener.

  127. Esteleth says

    My favorite kind of pi is the ratio of the diameter and circumference of a circle.
    /rimshot

    For food-pies, I am particularly fond of mixed berry-rhubarb pie, but it’s too late in the season for that now. I like berry pies and don’t like pumpkin.

    I have a serious lady-hardon for lemon meringue, though.

  128. says

    PTI – “Once that’s done, my old guitar goes bye-bye, maybe via donation or just leaving it out for someone to grab from the sidewalk.”

    Well, I guess you can always depend on the kinhdness of strangers.
    ++++++++++++++++
    caine, I never cared for that Strange Love, but I saw “To Have And Have Not” again a couple of nights ago. Oh yeah, it still holds up.

  129. Esteleth says

    Audley:

    Yeah, but 4 pies out of 6 ain’t bad. Plus, you can’t really fault a diabetic for wanting a pie made with artificial sweetener.

    Indeed, indeed. And considering that said said diabetic is one of my favorite kinfolk, I like having them around and healthy.

  130. says

    The Sailor, I love To Have and Have Not. Lauren Bacall is so young and so smokin’ hot. I’ve always like The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, but I’ve had a crush on Barbara Stanwyck all my life.

  131. Father Ogvorbis, OMoron says

    I won’t be having pie this Thanksgiving. There was an explosion at the local bakery where we planned to get our pies. Out of 22 workers, 7 were injured. And the blast could be heard 3.14159 miles away.

  132. A. R says

    Walton: I agree with you WRT class and British English. My family hasn’t been officially “British” for a few centuries (came over in the early 18th century), but the nature of the language we use is still very much resembles upper class British. (Even though we are middle class Americans now!)

  133. Esteleth says

    Ogvorbis, I sentence you to 1/e life sentences in a prison where you will be forced to do non-Euclidian geometry in your head.

  134. A. R says

    Looks like I’ve made my sacrifice to Typos tonight.

    StarStuff: Oh, doesn’t sound horrid. I always used ozonolysis of alkynes for open ended synthesis problems with carboxylic acids.

  135. Father Ogvorbis, OMoron says

    I sentence you to 1/e life sentences in a prison where you will be forced to do non-Euclidian geometry in your head.

    Oooh. I like euclids. Aren’t those the floweres Georgia O’Keefe painted?

  136. says

    Walton,

    Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl,
    but she doesn’t have a lot to say
    Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl
    but she changes from day to day

    I want to tell her that I love her a lot
    But I gotta get a bellyful of wine
    Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl
    Someday I’m going to make her mine, oh yeah,
    someday I’m going to make her mine.”
    ++++++++++++++
    My favorite 3.1416 is …
    1st) anything that has vanilla ice cream with it.
    2nd) Boston Creme Pie
    3rd) Pie.

  137. Esteleth says

    Ogvorbis:
    Inappropriate use of approximations of pi.
    All your calculations were off and your circles weren’t fully round. As a result, God fell out of the sky and landed on PZ’s front lawn. PZ didn’t care, of course, as God didn’t actually land in his front lawn (what with no existing and all), but the negative feedback loop of impossible logic made gave poor Zeno a headache, what with the infinity and all, and made Pythagoras irrational.

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

    Remind me Audley, is the gluten-free thing a matter of health, or personal preference? Or just being fussy? And just how do you make a gluten-free bread anyway?

  139. Father Ogvorbis, OMoron says

    Inappropriate use of approximations of pi.

    Are you kidding? That had more significant digits than a horse!

  140. says

    caine, I’ve never appreciated Barbara Stanwyck. She was so good at her later roles that I always disliked her. I think that means she was a good actor.

    Bacall & Bogart met on TH&HN, as I recall. It shows. Rowf.

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

    PTI:

    Remind me Audley, is the gluten-free thing a matter of health, or personal preference? Or just being fussy?

    Fussiness. Eat Right for Your Type bullshit.

    And just how do you make a gluten-free bread anyway?

    No clue. I’m sure it’s possible, but it’s also probably disgusting.

  142. says

    The Sailor:

    She was so good at her later roles that I always disliked her.

    Oh *boo*. She was a fabulous actor. Gorgeous, too. You should watch Ball of Fire (1941) with Barbara Stanwyck & Gary Cooper. Barbara shines as Sugarpuss O’Shea. :D

  143. says

    Audley:

    No clue. I’m sure it’s possible, but it’s also probably disgusting.

    You do know that you can order gluten-free Jesuses wafers on the net, right? If I were you, I’d order a couple dozen and show up with ‘em. There’s your gluten free bread.

  144. says

    @ Dr Audley

    Please consider getting your back seen to by a specialist. Hope you are feeling well again soon.

    (A friend of mine recently woke up unable to move from an old lifting injury. He had to have keyhole surgery and was about quite quickly, but it was nevertheless quite a scary experience.)

    @ Bro Ogg
    Thanks for the recipe. I shall give it a spin soon.

    @ ahs
    Thanks for the Bourdieu linky.

  145. Father Ogvorbis, OMoron says

    What did the sapling say after it grew up?

    Geometry!

    And with that, it is obvious that I need sleep. G’night, all.

    AND THE PATRIOTS WIN!!

  146. says

    Caine, I’ll check out the movie, but anyone seems animated next to Gary Cooper. (I grant all your points, she just made me hate her. (Brava!))

    I was young and impressionable and watching re-runs on TV. Veronica Lake was my favorite.

  147. says

    And who could forget the inimitable Zelda Bankvole … her cadenzas are utterly exquisite.

    I did hear through the grapevine that Zelda Bankvole is losing it. She has been coming to the organ with mud on her paws. And she is wearing her spring hat though it is well into autumn, and maybe even time to switch to the winter hat. Nevertheless, in honor of her long service, Sir Cecil harvest-Mouse keeps her on. Still, we shall have to get Zelda’s daughter, Minnie Bankvole, up to speed soon. The Grim Reaper leaves no one untouched.

    Indeed. Zelda was a great soloist in her younger years, but her recent performance of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor was… memorable. (Especially since she was supposed to be playing Mendelssohn’s Wedding March. The bride and groom were most displeased. Of course, being poor churchmice, they’d had to melt down one of the old embossed silver candlesticks in order to afford the ceremony.)

  148. says

    And the blast could be heard 3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679 miles away.”

    Next time, show work.
    +++++++++++++
    Walton, your link is baroque.

  149. says

    StarStuff:

    You could get a hamster or something and then hid it if you have to!

    Walton wouldn’t do that and you shouldn’t encourage such shit. A hamster, a mouse or a rat deserve good homes and good owners, who not only have the right to keep them, but who are concerned with keeping them well. Just because these are considered to be ‘pocket pets’ does not mean they should end up with a shit life.

  150. says

    ahs:

    Guh.

    Why is crissakentavr?

    Crissakentavr is a persistent tone troll here, who has no other object than to constantly complain about the nasty behaviour of all the cool kids, while at the same time, dying to be considered one of the cool kids.

  151. ahs ॐ says

    Hey Walton, you’re a cat person, aren’t you?

    You could call some of the animal shelters in your area and ask them if they please please need any more volunteers to come in and socialize cats for an hour a week.

  152. consciousness razor says

    Walton:

    It is certainly not for me to argue with his feelings on something so deeply personal and important. Indeed, it would be hideously privileged, offensive and bordering-on-unconsciously-racist for me, as a white middle-class Brit, to tell him that his feelings about racism and about the history of his own culture are “wrong”. (To put it another way, I’d be in danger of whitesplaining. I don’t know if that’s an actual word, but I hope you see what I mean.) I understand entirely why he refused an OBE and why he does not support the monarchy, and I will not argue with his reasons.

    Your reasons may be due to aesthetics, but you’d still be ‘splaining (and just plain wrong) if you’re telling everyone else their objections amount to a mere opinion. I guess it’s easier to rationalize if you can pretend we’re discussing something equivalent to liking a particular song or a painting. But we’re not. This is about a political system, which affects peoples lives substantially even today.

  153. ahs ॐ says

    Crissakentavr is a persistent tone troll here, who has no other object than to constantly complain about the nasty behaviour of all the cool kids,

    Heh. I think she lost her cool with mythusmage, though.

    Who wouldn’t?

    Anyway, somehow I failed to notice her before this week. Lucky me!

  154. chigau (本当) says

    ick
    “pocket pet” should be a description of size NOT a description of where it should live.

  155. says

    ahs:

    Anyway, somehow I failed to notice her before this week. Lucky me!

    Indeed. According to crissakentavr, all the regulars are assholes, the OMs are super-assholes. And we all have it in for crissakentavr. (Hir gender is not clear, I think crissakentavr stated he was male a while back, to SallyStrange. I don’t remember it all now.)

  156. says

    Anyway, somehow I failed to notice her before this week

    Same here.

    Watching 12 Angry Men (1957) now.

    Haven’t watch that movie since High School. I wonder if they’d make a remake of it.

    It was godawful, IIRC. The remake, that is.

    In the post today,
    Flowers For Algernon, but
    tears begin, page one

    .

    All the talk about it made me curious, and I d/l the free ebook yesterday. On page 80 or so, interesting read.

  157. says

    Rorschach:

    It was godawful, IIRC. The remake, that is.

    I’m glad I never bothered to watch it then. I don’t get the impulse to remake movies which are perfect. The 1954 movie still rings true and is still valid. There was never a need for a remake.

  158. says

    Of course StarStuff was joking. But of course it also goes without saying that I wouldn’t want a pet unless I had the money and time to care for hir properly. (Which may mean I’ll never be able to have one, depending on work commitments in the future.)

  159. says

    Walton:

    Of course StarStuff was joking.

    You never know who might be reading and way too many pocket pets end up dead because of the very reasoning expressed in StarStuff’s joke.

  160. says

    I’m going to GAC. Posted re dinner on FB TET.

    I don’t read that regularly ! Also, the organisers are asking not to request to be seated with a particular speaker, I just noted. Not sure what to do about that. And I’m blocking requests from anyone I don’t know in person on FB, so don’t be offended.

  161. chigau (本当) says

    Caine (and others)
    (I lost a comment to refreshing and Explorer being a sack of shit)
    re pocket pets
    Some people should not be permitted to be in charge of living things.
    I now add carrots and geraniums (et al).

  162. says

    @ Sailor

    Next time, show work.

    I prayed to Jeebus, but he could only get me to 100 decimal places. I am about to convert to Benjaminism for a more accurate picture of teh Pi.

    (Hey, praying IS work… waddidjathink?)

    PS: Shit should be blowing up in tau anyway.

    @ Josh

    Check your mail. Teh Trinket ™ clues will not be posted here, so that you can have more fun mentally torturing the local horde next time you see them in RL.

  163. Gen, or The RadFem of Dhoom says

    A Syfy original movie that was good? I can easily believe that!

    Hey, from where I’m sitting, I’m absolutely <3ing SyFy right now. I think it's my favourite American network, actually, but it's hard to tell since we watch the series in complete seasons and the networks that produced them generally aren't even mentioned.

    But come one, Warehouse 13, Haven, Eureka, Alphas (despite the colossal fuck up that is their explanation of what Synesthesia is: SO MUCH FAIL!) – but still SO ENTERTAINED!

    Of course, I admit my guilty love for pulp fiction (if the writing is OK, that is: ) and my weakness towards urban fantasy (the non-Paranormal Romance kind PLEASE!) and YA angst-fests as long as there's paranormal elements in there, or at least some Dystopian themes.

    For someone with a degree in English Lit, that takes a lot to admit :)

    @Caine, your ratties are gorgeous!

    What else? Oh, the Vileness thread – yeah, it does seem like every generation needs to re-learn the concept of civil disobedience and the reasons for it.

    I get upset out of all reasonable proportion when I have to explain to someone in my own damn generation, who grew up in SOUTH AFRICA for fuck’s sakes, what the hell that is all about. Of course, our huge crime problem does tend to push people into a more “the police should use more force” stance, but come on, people! We’re not even a generation removed from the police atrocities of the Apartheid regime! How can people not GET this?

    @Sili, Thank you for bringing up Valjean and Javert. I’ve always loved the nuance of their respective positions – Javert was always a sympathetic character for me (although not AS sympathetic as Valjean. Eponine is, of course, the one I’ve always found most sympathetic while I just wanted to strangle Cosette most of the time).

    I love fiction that makes a bunch of good people act in realistic ways that are not cartoon-villain bad but which may lead to unintended bad consequences, or placed in situations where there simply ARE no “good” choices, or making what they THINK is the “good” choice, etc. The more “good” there is in your antagonist and the more “bad” in your protagonist, the more REAL it becomes, for me, and the more likely it is that I’ll like it.

    Make of that combined with my love for “trash” fiction what you will ;p

  164. says

    Gen:

    Caine, your ratties are gorgeous!

    Thank you! Naturally, I think they are beautiful, so it’s extra nice to hear that from someone else. :) Esme is developing some interesting white/blonde streaks, she’s going to be even more striking when she’s all grown up.

  165. says

    Good morning
    Or something to that value

    So I caught cold, too and we’re all having a sick day with probably more DVDs than kids their age should watch, but I’m definetly not able to read for hours without end today, especially since my sick day ends when my work day begins.

    while the Beast treats her as a mature adult, a human being, and that is what wins Belle’s heart.

    Yeah, after taking her hostage, locking her up, threatening her…
    That girl is a case study of Stockholm syndrome.
    And yes, she is one of the better Disney heroines, since she has at least some agency left and isn’t a totally useless lump in need of rescue.

    gluten free bread
    It means you need to use things you’d usually not use for making bread, at least exclusively. Corn goes, to my knowledge, chestnut flour goes. Fortunately so far I have no hint that anybody around here is a celiac, so I can totally ignore that stuff. My brain simply refuses to understand how somebody can avoid entire food groups not for reasons of taste, ethics, diagnosed diseases but simply for reasons of woo.

    yummie
    Large tray of cinnamon waffers. Only they’re not going to stay here but will be haded to my gran and my mum’s cousin who’s here on a visit.
    We’ll make some more for us.

  166. says

    So, love interest’s tourist visa application to come visit me, pay 25 Dollar to go to the Zoo and spend money on gifts and other tourist things has just been declined. WTF ? In whose interest is it to keep one woman away from Australia who wants to, like, visit a friend and spend some tourist dollars ? Madness. Our Department of Immigration is completely fucked up.

  167. Ariaflame says

    GF bread is closer to cake than actual bread, though some specialist bakers get close.

    Some GF cakes are actually quite tasty and personally I think my GF shortbread biscuits are nicer than my normal flour ones. I don’t need to eat GF stuff, but I have friends who do, not for any sort of ‘trendy’ reason, but because they get sick if they have stuff with gluten in.

    From their point of view however I will note that even if the fad for gluten free food is daft for those who don’t have the gluten intolerance in any way, one good thing it has produced is a much larger range and availability of GF food for those who have no choice since a larger market means more people selling to it.

  168. consciousness razor says

    rorschach, #754:

    Please try to warn me when linking to Huff-po. A little help, eh? :)

    Anyway, I’m going to rant for a moment. Don’t mind me. Quotes from the article and study below:

    Dan Cassino, a political science professor at Fairleigh Dickinson, explained in a statement, “Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News. Rather, the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all.”

    Correlation isn’t causation, and “something about watching Fox News” is awfully vague anyway.

    “Sunday morning news shows tend to spend a lot more time on a single issue than other news broadcasts, and they are less likely to degenerate into people shouting at each other,” said Cassino. “Viewers pick up more information from this sort of calm discussion than from other formats. Unfortunately, these shows have a much smaller audience than the shouters.”

    I don’t know. Has anyone here watched the Sunday morning TV shows lately? I think they suck nearly as much as Fox. I’d call it a tie, the biggest difference being that with Fox there is less diversity in which people are lying on television.

    New Jerseyans are not necessarily more likely to be knowledgeable about domestic politics than international events. Just 47% are able to identify the Occupy Wall Street protesters as predominantly Democratic: 11 % think they are Republicans. Viewers of cable news on MSNBC are the most likely to think the protestors are Republicans. Watching the left-leaning MSNBC news channel is associated with a 10-point increase in the likelihood of misidentifying the protesters. Exposure to Sunday morning news shows helps respondents on this question: seeing these programs leads to an 11-point increase in the likelihood of getting the answer right. Listening to NPR also helps, but the biggest aid to answering correctly is The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, which leads to a 6-point decrease in identifying the protestors as Republicans, and a 12-point increase in the likelihood of giving the correct answer.”Jon Stewart has not spent a lot of time on some of these issues,” said Cassino. “But the results show that when he does talk about something, his viewers pick up a lot more information than they would from other news sources.”

    How relevant are these questions? What kinds of information do they pick up? If it’s just trivial like this, identifying the party of most Occupy protesters, then that’s not a very useful measure of how informed people are. Granted, you’d have to be really fucking ignorant to think they’re mainly conservatives, but knowing that one detail doesn’t make you much less ignorant.

    As an anecdote, I’ve spoken with several people (who are otherwise fairly knowledgeable) who don’t know what the Occupy protests are all about, except they do know they’re liberals. This seems to be a sort of media-driven ignorance: people are told the movement doesn’t have a coherent leadership or message, so they don’t bother to look into it to try to figure out what it’s about. So what good is that? You can be a fairly well-informed liberal with good intentions (from the Occupiers’ POV), repeat the inane Republican talking-points, ignore the movement, and end up being a part of the problem. So it doesn’t look like that gets you anywhere.

  169. says

    I think I like Craig Ferguson ! Here’s Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman performing Science Fiction Double Feature live on the Late Late Show, October 31.

    I’m fancying spending New Year’s Eve with them in Melbourne.

  170. Therrin says

    Katherine Lorraine,

    My computer was getting overheated so I blew the dust out, but not having a can of compressed air, I just blew it out…

    Pretty sure everyone has done this at least once. There’s a surprising amount of surface area inside them.

    Esteleth,

    I am continually frustrated by the modern tendency (Michael Bay seems to be the most guilty) to chop action sequences into teeny tiny bits and toss them together with very little coherency with loud noises and ridiculous music.

    I’d take this a step further, I don’t like movies (also TV shows) that use excessive cuts in any scene. Each cut is often a stopping and restarting of the actors, leading to inconsistencies in gestures and placement (I also am developing a peeve over the studio revoicing of bits where the person’s mouth isn’t visible to the camera, the lack of ambient noise is jarring). [eg.] Inception was overall an ok movie, but the most amazing scene was the 18 second shot in the hotel corridor (starts at 1:30).

  171. Cesar Hechler says

    Lynna @113: Maybe it’s just my weird penchant for hitting the wrong kind of news websites, but did that ‘I’m a Mormon’ campaign fly completely under the US news distributor’s websites and papers? I didn’t see one peep of it. I really hope this isn’t some purposeful attempt by media to somehow legitimize Romney. I thought by now there should be enough awareness of the not-so-hidden agenda of the LDS church and their desire for the national steering wheel that it should be a worthy news story for the more skeptical media outlets and writers. Given what I have heard from your testimony and others who have left the church, I don’t think ‘President Romney’ is as frightening in my nightmares as ‘Chancellor Hitler’, but I would rather not find out the comparison through an actual empirical demonstration.

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

    Theophontes:
    I know that I should see someone about my back, but it’s something I’ve been putting off for years at this point. And with work right now I just can’t take the time off, so I’m gonna havebto put it off until after the holidays.

  173. Cannabinaceae says

    Apologies if I’ve asked this before, but it does unify a couple of trends in the latter part of this thread.

    What did ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle say to the bottom part of a boat?
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    “Key lime pie!”

  174. says

    Rorschach,

    So, love interest’s tourist visa application to come visit me, pay 25 Dollar to go to the Zoo and spend money on gifts and other tourist things has just been declined. WTF ? In whose interest is it to keep one woman away from Australia who wants to, like, visit a friend and spend some tourist dollars ? Madness. Our Department of Immigration is completely fucked up.

    Agreed. There’s so much stupidity, racism and irrationality involved in the system of immigration controls.

    =====

    theophontes,

    Scrap borders I say.

    QF fucking T.

    In fact… this is completely off-topic, but for the class I’m taking about cross-border labour migration, I was just reading an ethnographic study, by sociologist Rhacel Parennas, of Filipina migrant workers who work as “hostesses” in Japanese clubs. Thanks to Japan’s highly-restrictive immigration laws, the hostesses, who are temporary guest workers, can’t just migrate and negotiate their own work contracts directly with the employer. Rather, they have to be hired by a government-licensed “promotion agency” in the Philippines; the agency then contracts with a job broker in Japan, which has a license to import a given number of temporary workers per year, and the job broker then hires the workers out to the clubs. The “promotion agencies” are legally allowed to take a 60 percent cut of the women’s salaries, and the job brokers generally take another 15 percent or so; so the hostesses are actually paid less than a quarter of the wages they earn. And the agencies don’t pay them the wages they’re owed until they’re about to return to the Philippines, so as to make sure they don’t skip out before their contracts are done. If they do quit their jobs before the contract is up, they become undocumented aliens and can be arrested and deported. So, in effect, restrictive immigration laws trap them in a kind of indentured servitude.

    It’s often a similar situation for guest workers in the US on H-1 visas, who are tied to working for a single employer and can be deported if they quit. And, of course, undocumented workers face exploitation, abuse and illegal labour practices, with total impunity on the part of the employer, since their employer can always threaten to report them to the immigration authorities. Not to mention, for immigrant women, the additional danger of domestic violence (which is something I’m writing about for my LLM paper): a victim of domestic violence who is undocumented, or who has a dependent visa that does not allow her to work, is often economically dependent on her abuser and can risk deportation if she comes forward to the police for protection. Although there are now forms of immigration relief available in US law to victims of domestic violence (the “U visa”, for instance, which allows those certified by police as victims of crimes to stay in the country in some circumstances), they’re not easy to get, and many victims are still afraid to come forward; and many countries don’t even have those limited forms of assistance.

    Sorry for rambling; this is just something I’m in the middle of studying. (There’s lots more I could say about all this stuff, but I don’t want to hijack the thread completely.) I really need to write a proper blog post on this at some point, and go into more detail: I think it’s useful to be able to cite specific real-world examples and social science research that illustrates the way in which immigration controls contribute to exploitation and victimization.

  175. Carlie says

    So, love interest’s tourist visa application to come visit me, pay 25 Dollar to go to the Zoo and spend money on gifts and other tourist things has just been declined.

    The fuck you say? That’s atrocious. :(

  176. says

    Walton,

    I’ve said it before: Japan treats migrants worse than your average Western country (not that’d justify mistreatment in Western nations, of course). I think I’ve mentioned that “work experience” program for Indonesian nurses before.

    They just don’t have as many illegal immigrants, probably due to the fact that Japan is an island nation.

  177. says

    Holy crap – Rush Limbaugh called Michelle Obama “uppity”. source

    *mouth agape*

    He never ceases to amaze me with his out-and-out offensiveness. It’s not so long ago that he called her fat and ugly (apparently completely oblivious to the irony). I guess today he decided to garnish his sexism with a side order of racism.

  178. says

    The best of all Disney heroines is Miss Price in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, played by Angela Lansbury. (I’m not sure if she really counts as a “Disney heroine” in the conventional sense, but the movie was, technically, a Disney production.)

  179. says

    @ Walton

    The discussion of border controls just tends to set me off.

    As it does for me too. In Hong Kong, anyone who has been living here for 7 years continuously may apply for residency. BUT, this does not include “menial” work like housekeepers.

    This has now been overturned, but there are many fighting to keep the old dispensation (illegal in terms of the constitution) in place: “She worked for a lousy wage for me for 21 years so that I could get rich. Now she can just fuck off and start again in “her” country.” This is about the level of their arguments against doing good by the people who have worked long and hard so they could have an easy life. I get riled.

  180. Dianne says

    So, love interest’s tourist visa application to come visit me, pay 25 Dollar to go to the Zoo and spend money on gifts and other tourist things has just been declined.

    Hideous. I’ve heard of similar problems from friends in the US. I think the tourist industry needs to take its political clout and go…explain…to the politicians why homeland security needs to back off. And fund campaigns to get rid of the ones who don’t get it.

  181. Dianne says

    Re border control: There’s an article in the Economist talking about the US/Mexico border and the number of illegal immigrants coming through it. That number has been dropping like a stone and yet the politicians are all about spending more money preventing the few that do try to get in from doing so. They’d be better off trying to stem the flow of guns into Mexico than stopping the occasional migrant worker from getting in and taking a sub-minimum wage job, but that doesn’t go over so well with the American voter.

  182. says

    This has now been overturned, but there are many fighting to keep the old dispensation (illegal in terms of the constitution) in place: “She worked for a lousy wage for me for 21 years so that I could get rich. Now she can just fuck off and start again in “her” country.” This is about the level of their arguments against doing good by the people who have worked long and hard so they could have an easy life. I get riled.

    Yep. Domestic workers – whose work in most countries is largely unregulated, and who are often either undocumented or temporary guestworkers – are a very vulnerable and exploited population. (Not to mention the gender angle, since the majority of domestic workers tend to be female, and they are particularly at risk of sexual and physical abuse in the home.) Liberalizing immigration laws, and giving them permanent residency and the right to switch employers, would go a long way towards increasing their economic autonomy.

    That number has been dropping like a stone and yet the politicians are all about spending more money preventing the few that do try to get in from doing so.

    Yep. Not to mention the economic denialism involved: in parts of the US, some industries rely very heavily on migrant labour, both undocumented labour and temporary guest-worker labour. (Cf the recent disaster in Alabama’s farming industry as a result of the new immigration laws). Yet there’s immense political resistance, driven by ignorant xenophobia, against the idea of giving these workers a route to lawful permanent resident status and the associated civil rights and protections.

    (Thanks to a nasty statute called the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, having been unlawfully present in the US for more than 180 days means that you are thereafter inadmissible for three years, and having been unlawfully present for more than a year means you are inadmissible for ten years. This makes it very difficult for anyone who’s ever been an undocumented immigrant to obtain a legal immigration status, unless certain waivers and exceptions apply.)

  183. says

    What is really needed, in every Western country, is comprehensive immigration reform, amnesty for existing undocumented migrants, and liberalization and deregulation of cross-border economic migration. Ironically, one would think conservatives ought to be in favour of this, since it’s a very free-market solution; but for some reason, when *gasp* foreign people are involved, many conservatives are suddenly all in favour of protectionism and tough restrictions.

  184. Carlie says

    May I just gush about my state senator for a moment? Kirsten Gillibrand’s office puts out frequent emails on various bills and issues and etc., but today’s was an enthusiastic informational request for women to donate to Dress For Success. I don’t care if she’s doing them a favor because of lobbying or whatnot, it’s not a very powerful organization (so there’s not a lot of strings to pull), and it is a fantastic group that fills in one of those gaps that is so small, but often such an insurmountable barrier to women getting jobs.

    It’s just so nice to have a senator who is honestly helpful and caring.

  185. says

    I like Kirsten Gillebrand, but she is guilty of the same “crime” as Jon Huntsman of exaggerating her Mandarin abilities (though I don’t know part of it might have been due to media coverage). My personal ranking of Mandarin speaking Western politicians is: Kevin Rudd > Jon Huntsman > Kirsten Gillebrand

  186. A. R says

    Gluten free bread: There are some health conditions (Coeliac sprue) that require avoidance of gluten, otherwise, there is no reason whatsoever to avoid it. Also, as an individual with experience with gluten free bread, I can assure you that it is both disgusting and very difficult to make.

  187. says

    Gillibrand

    South Korean politician set off tear gas in parliament!!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/22/south-korean-mp-lets-off-teargas

    I went there once, the security measures were practically non-existent. Went there with an Oxford student (kinda the opposite of Walton, an American studying in England), who was fluent in Japanese. We asked for a tour, and they were trying to find someone who’d be able to give us the tour in English. We said Japanese would be fine too – you shoulda seen the look they gave us. But the tour was very nice, and personal. (The parliament has been built on an artificial island, and apparently doesn’t get too many tourists)

  188. says

    I like Kirsten Gillebrand, but she is guilty of the same “crime” as Jon Huntsman of exaggerating her Mandarin abilities

    Rather like El Bloombito and his attempts at Spanish, perhaps. Unfortunately I don’t speak a word of Mandarin, so I can’t comment on anyone’s skills in that language.*

    (*I wish I did. I hate speaking so few languages. I can manage passable Spanish on a good day and high-school-level French, but I have absolutely zero knowledge of any non-Western languages. Which is frustrating, especially given my area of academic and professional interest; it would be really useful to have better foreign language skills.)

  189. says

    Dianne,

    I might have misread your post, but I had the impression that the American embassy was turning down many visa applications in a Southeast Asian country out of fear they’d become illegal immigrants in America. Many European countries have the same fear too.

    It really hurts people in Rorschach’s position too. Germany, for instance, also has insane requirements in place for spouses from developing countries. For instance they have to pass German language exams at intermediate level while still at home, when it would be much easier for them to acquire those language skills in Germany.

    Walton, do you know the EU regulations for language requirements pertaining to EU citizens? I was under the impression that a EU citizen could take up residence anywhere, but I was told last time in France that many British pensioners had to pass French exams for their resident permits, which struck me as strange, I don’t think Germany has a requirement for EU citizens (and I was under impression that it would be against EU law, but IANAL).

  190. says

    Walton,

    no, she actually did spend some time in Taiwan during her college years. But Jon Huntsman “missionaried” in Taiwan for two years, and Kevin Rudd studied in Taiwan and later served as a diplomat in Beijing, so I think we can see that there is a correlation between time spent in Chinese-speaking country and level of ability.

    But I’ve been told bluntly by American undergrads studying Asian languages that after graduating they’d never use those skills again anyways, so no wonder they’d atrophy (and I saw enough Westerners hang out with each other all the time in East Asia, that’s not helpful for your abilities either)

  191. Birger Johansson says

    NB!!!! The Democrats are caving in to the Republicans on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security!
    Petition below:
    http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/supercommittee_mms/?r=231765&id=30767-2292595-4R8QS4x
    (-Sorry for not addressing the topics raised in the previous 700 comments, but I felt this had priority before logging off. BTW are you sure the Democrats are vertebrates or even cordates? The Republicans behave like some extra-terrestrial mind parasites outside normal taxonomy…)

  192. Dianne says

    pelanum: I’m not sure what if anything you misread, but yes, you’re right, the US is turning down tourist visas from Asian countries on the assumption that anyone who sets foot in the US will automatically want to immigrate and go on welfare. It’s stupid and a disgrace. A graduate student of my partner’s nearly couldn’t get back from China after she went home for a visit because, well, essentially, the embassy didn’t feel like renewing her visa. She had made no mistakes, had a job waiting for her and several job offers after she graduated, had not so much as a jaywalking ticket on her record…it was just pure prejudice.

    But I was thinking of a different issue altogether in my earlier post: The US has been refusing visas to and deporting tourists who travel to the US on a regular basis, spend a bunch of money, and then go home to their high paying jobs in Europe, Asia, and other places because of some tiny violations on previous stays in the US, i.e. overstaying a visa by a few hours, making unimportant mistakes on the form, etc. People who clearly have NO agenda other than coming to the US for some entertainment and cheap shopping. Since a lot of them are traveling to NYC, it makes me wonder if it’s not all a scheme by the red states to ruin New York’s economy. I’m probably giving them too much credit though.

  193. says

    Dianne,

    I think I did misread it, but never mind :).
    I don’t think it is a red state conspiracy against NYC and California, I don’t think federal policy works that way.
    But the red state rhetoric could exert some pressure on State and DHS to give out visas more sparingly in total.

  194. says

    pelamun: Article 20(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union does grant EU citizens the right to move and reside freely within the EU, but it’s not completely unconditional. Under Directive 2004/38, EU citizens and their family-members have an unconditional right of residence in the territory of another Member State for up to three months. If they want to reside there for longer than three months, the host state can impose requirements: they have to be either a worker, a self-employed person, a student, or show that they have “sufficient resources for themselves and their family members not to become a burden on
    the social assistance system of the host Member State during their period of residence and have comprehensive sickness insurance cover in the host Member State.” In effect, they have to show that they will be able to support themselves rather than becoming a public charge. They can also be required to register with the national authorities.

    There isn’t anything in there allowing member states to impose a language requirement for residence – although, IIRC, states can impose language proficiency requirements to practice professions, provided that such requirements are proportionate and non-discriminatory. (That isn’t in the Directive, but I seem to remember there’s case-law on it. Though it’s a couple of years since I studied EU law, and since the Treaty of Lisbon was ratified while I was in the process of studying the subject, things may have changed a little.)

  195. says

    Walton,

    Thanks. It could also be that the French state offered those pensioners language courses for free (a little bit like Sweden, at least in its golden days). In the case of my friend’s spouse, they were obligated to take the course because they were from a non-EU country.

  196. Dianne says

    I don’t think it is a red state conspiracy against NYC and California,

    I don’t either, really. I doubt that people ranting about “illegals” are thinking that globally. But it does work out that way: NYC is dependent on tourists and foreign tourists spend more than tourists from the US. TSA policy is hurting our museums and other cultural institutions.

  197. says

    I mean, when I was at an American embassy in a developing country renewing my visa, the contrast was striking:

    they barely looked at me, asked me like one question, while they were conducting lengthy interviews with the local citizens: one guy was showing them how he owned restaurants all over the place, he had studied in the US in the past, and had been invited to a golf tournament in the US, and showed them proof of his riches. Another guy looking to go to the US for technical training was interviewed if he really knew the technical subjects he was being trained in…

  198. Dianne says

    @779: I had much the same experience applying for a visa to stay in Germany for >3 months: I got away with going in at the last minute, without the proper documentation, and still got a 6 week permission to stay with the caveat that I had to bring my proof of health insurance and contract with my employer next time (to get the permission to stay the rest of the year). I don’t think that would have happened if I’d been entering from Turkey or Iraq somehow.

  199. says

    Dianne,

    there are only a few select countries outside of the EU that are exempt from the German language requirements, and also allow their citizens to come in without a visa. The countries are the US, Canada, Australia, NZ, Japan, and South Korea. South Africa got stricken from the list, if it ever was on the list (I know that the UK just took them off, and added Taiwan, about which I was very happy).

  200. says

    Sorry: I was happy that the UK made it possible for Taiwanese citizens to come in visa-free (and spend their money on sight-seeing and language courses in the UK), NOT that they took it away for South Africans.

  201. says

    TSA policy is hurting our museums and other cultural institutions.

    Just for clarity, it isn’t the TSA that is responsible for immigration enforcement (although of course I agree that the TSA’s paranoid security-theatre is also in danger of seriously damaging the tourist trade). Rather, it’s two other alphabet-soup agencies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), separate agencies within the Department of Homeland Security.

    (One can blame the Bush administration for creating all of this pointlessly-confusing alphabet soup. It used to be that all immigration-related functions were the responsibility of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) under the Department of Justice, which was a much simpler system. But when Homeland Security was created, it was spun out into various new agencies. CBP is responsible for the Border Patrol and passport checks at ports of entry; ICE is responsible for enforcement, investigation and detention of undocumented migrants; and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is responsible for processing applications for green cards, asylum, visas and so on, and issuing paperwork. Then there’s the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), under the Department of Justice, which is responsible for the immigration courts and adjudicating immigration cases. It’s very confusing.)

  202. says

    Unfortunately I don’t speak a word of Mandarin

    Oooh! Ooh! I do! I speak four words of Mandarin!

    Unfortunately I don’t remember what any of them mean.

  203. says

    ahs,

    almost any combination of consonant and vowel will result in a meaningful word in Mandarin. The tones might be difficult.

    ma1 (spoken at a high level pitch): mother
    ma2 (spoken with a rising contour): hemp
    ma3 (starting low, falling a little, then rising again, though this tone is often “simplified” when combined with other tones): horse
    ma4 (spoken with a falling contour): scold
    ma5 (neutral tone, which is usually a short tone with no discernible contour): question particle

    voilà, you already know five words, and can say great sentences like:

    ma1ma5 ma4 ma2 ma3 ma5? “Did mother scold the hemp horse?”

    I’m told

    ma1ma5 ma4 ma3 de5 ma2 ma5_ “Did mother scold the horse’s hemp?” is more grammatically correct.

    Warning: no guarantee a native speaker will actually understand either sentence.

  204. says

    Walton,

    you shouldn’t be surprised. Some time ago, there was a talkradio guy rescinding his endorsement of Michelle Bachmann because she was too liberal for him…

  205. says

    @ Walton

    The domestic workers in Hong Kong are very well documented. It is not about any gray areas in employment conditions. The problem is that the government has (essentially illegally) discriminated against certain categories of people. This has now essentially been clarified, but people must still apply for this individually on a case by case basis.

    What really iritates me is the double (actually triple) standards. I am more or less in the middle (as a “creative”). Worst off are the (almost exclusively) women who work as maids. Best off are the corporates, who magically seem to get all they ask for at no effort. (Including the large wunch of bankers who fucked the local investors over with their “minibonds” and other nefarious schemes … they did more harm than good.)

    If we could just have a level playing field, I would have less of a problem with borders. But when they do nothing but create artificial barriers for some and “opportunities” (read “iniquitous opportunities”) for others I have a problem.

    Capital can stride the earth but labour must be shackled to the contrived concepts of nationalism and boundaries.

    @ pelamun

    NOT that they took it away for South Africans.

    Sheesh. I was about to start whining!

    (Actually no. As I understood it, corrupt officials in SA where selling on passports in a wholesale fashion, so that people could find an easy way into the UK by buying these. What with the recent security paranoia, it did not sit well with the UK authorities. This would likely have triggered their reaction. Perhaps with the recent improvements in the Department of Foreign Affairs we will see a re-evaluation some time soon.)

  206. says

    @ pelamun

    We better not tell Walton that there are also words that change their tone but retain their meaning (as if things aren’t difficult enough already):

    hen1,hen1,hen3 hau3 (At least that is how it sounds.)

    Even more shocking is Guandonghua, which has nine (9) tones of which some are “sung”. (ie: “singing” like some Swiss dialects – there must be an English word for it that I don’t know.)

  207. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    TLC: Gotcha. Abominable. I will keep an eye out for it. Thanks.
    -

    You say, “Gimmegimmegimme!!!11!! Solar-powered hoverchair!! With internet access!!!”

    Oh, hell yes! Gimmegimmegimme, indeed!

    Ya know…if this “God” person wanted to conclusively persuade me of his existence, there’d be just such a vehicle (with lasers! And extra-large cargo capacity! And some sorta forcefield to deflect the bugs as I fly it at 70 mph on the sidewalks!) parked outside the door right….now.
    *lurch-steps over to the window, looks outside*
    Nope. “God” is still a no-show. Surprise: I doesn’t has it.
    -

    Ogvorbis, I sentence you to 1/e life sentences in a prison where you will be forced to do non-Euclidian geometry in your head.

    Hey, wait! No! Belay that!

    Esteleth, don’t you know that the Many Angled Ones lurk at the bottom of the Mandelbrot Set, just waiting for such opportunities??? What came out of the cell would no longer be Ogvorbis, but instead some soul-sucking Thing, come to feast on the minds of men. (And women. They aren’t gender-biased. Dunno whether they find the minds of other primates succulent or not.)
    -

    And just how do you make a gluten-free bread anyway?

    No clue. I’m sure it’s possible, but it’s also probably disgusting.

    It can be done, but apparently tends to crumble easily; at least, in my s-i-l’s experience. Until recently, she had to home-bake all their bread because her husband has gluten trouble.
    -

  208. says

    Theophontes,

    that explains a lot. Do you know if other EU countries used to have visa-free policies like the UK did, and took it away? Unfortunately, the internet doesn’t really help here.

    I think most European countries imposed visa restrictions during apartheid as part of the boycott.
    I found an article in Ethnicities mentioning ancestral visas, which is an “elegant” way of implementing a racist immigration policy without having to admit to it.

  209. Richard Austin says

    Katherine Lorraine:

    Should I be worried about the EEO person at my all-hands meeting not mentioning gender identity as something protected under our EEO rules?

    Well, it’s not protected under federal statutes as I recall; state-wise, you’d know more than we would, but I’m more than happy to help you research that side if needed (or we can enlist Walton or others who are far more qualified). But on a company level, my initial response would be: cautious but not necessarily worried. I know a lot of people still haven’t come to terms with the notion of “gender identity” but would still protect gender identity under some other rubric (usually as sexuality or gender). It also might be something listed in the policy but just not explicitly stated, since it is less visible/common on a pure numbers basis.

    I’d get a copy of the official handbook and review the text and if indeed the language is ambiguous, maybe file an inquiry – anonymously if your office has an ombudsman or similar service, or through a hopefully friendly face in HR if you feel comfortable enough about it.

    I know you’re still dealing with being open and public (I hate the phrase “coming out”), so *hugs* if you don’t feel comfortable enough yet to approach someone on it. But I wouldn’t assume the negative automatically; certainly be prepared for it to be negative and have as much documentation and supporting legal framework as possible before you confront them, just in case.

  210. Carlie says

    Walton – and they completely miss the irony of complaining that Rush is destroying the sanctity of marriage by having a gay musician at his fourth wedding.

  211. Esteleth says

    NYState not long ago updated their labor laws to cover domestic workers for the first time, including overtime and health insurance requirements. Cue an uproar spectacular proportions.

    I suppose I should have been shocked by the sight of self-described liberal Democrats getting pissy about how they weren’t allowed to abuse and underpay their nannies and maids anymore.

  212. says

    Just thought I’d share this with you all:

    The pregnant woman who was pepper sprayed at Occupy Seattle last week has had a miscarriage. Her and her doctors think it was because of how the police treated her (you know, with pepper spray and beating, like any normal human being would do to a pregnant woman trying to flee from danger).

    http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/pregnant-seattle-protester-miscarries-after-

    (you’re getting a naked link because I’m on my phone and commenting is a huge pain in the ass)

  213. Father Ogvorbis, OMoron says

    complain about the nasty behaviour of all the cool kids

    Shit. There are cool kids here? Any time there have been cool kids, I end up on the shit end of the stick.

    I prayed to Jeebus, but he could only get me to 100 decimal places.

    I thought the Bible said that pi=3?

    And I did have a pie explosion at home. I was transferring a raw pumpkin pie to the convection oven and it self decanted all over the floor, me, the trumpet case, etc.

    What came out of the cell would no longer be Ogvorbis, but instead some soul-sucking Thing

    I’m already a federal worker and an atheist. How much more scarierest can I get?

  214. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    I’m already a federal worker and an atheist. How much more scarierest can I get?

    Number of tentacles = ?
    Writhing, glowing green “worms” behind eyes? Y/N
    -

  215. Richard Austin says

    Katherine:

    I found a statement that gender identity is protected, so I’m covered there, but I’m worried that it’s not being stressed and that could bring up some EEO problems with people who aren’t aware it’s protected.

    Probably a legitimate concern. You may also get asshats who don’t care if it’s covered and will still be problems. Again, I don’t know how much you can pre-address these concerns with HR as I don’t know how public you are at the office or if you’ve got anyone in HR you trust implicitly (I used to work with the HR department heavily and actually have a few of them as real friends, so I know I can’t use myself as a guideline for such experiences).

    I’m not you, and I obviously don’t have the immediacy of your concerns, but as long as it’s in the handbook, I’d just keep that in a back pocket until something does happen and requires me to bring it out.

    WRT to it not being stressed – again (and this is just being practical), most companies don’t deal with gender identity issues on a regular basis, so it’s probably not front-and-center for litigation prevention (which is usually what an all-hands meeting is about: don’t do this so we don’t get sued). I’m not trying to minimize the importance of those issues when they do come up; they’re just not as common. The focus tends to be on sexual harassment and gender discrimination, since those are the kinds of things HR is more likely to hear about in any given week.

    Is there a way you can adroitly ask for clarification on what all the different protected status groups are at the company? Just to feel out the response and to see if it’s even on the conscious radar.

    With that said…

    I suspect some of this has to do with general apprehension about the absolutely massive steps you’re undertaking. So, I’ll toss this out: you are valued, and cared about, and an esteemed member of this community. I have to assume at least some of the characteristics you display here carry through to your professional life, and that you are, therefore, valued there as a person as well as an employee (or they’re a bunch of useless dolts). Nerves and apprehension are normal. In the event that some systemic problems do come up, with assholes rising out of the woodwork, we’re here to give you any support we possibly can.

  216. Father Ogvorbis, OMoron says

    Number of tentacles = ?

    No tentacles. I do have about 20 skin tags, though.

    Writhing, glowing green “worms” behind eyes? Y/N

    No.

    You do have a hat, right?

    Either a white straw Stetson cowboy hat (with dyed feathers) or a faux fur and tweed bomber hat. Why?

  217. ChasCPeterson says

    The Roots play ‘Lyin’ Ass Bitch’

    heh

    I mean, of course I can’t condone even the musical quotation of a gendered slur, but still.

    [kw*k] I once opened for Fishbone; band called The Jaywalkers. Long Beach CA ca. 1988. [/kw*k]

  218. Father Ogvorbis, OMoron says

    Why are hats scary?

    ======

    Bachmann is evil, misogynistic, abusive, uncaring, unfeeling, greedy, subservient, authoritarian, but she is not a bitch. Asshole? Yes. Idiot? Yes. Gendered insults, like those pertaining to sexual orientation, physical disability, and mental illness or mental disability, has no place except in books covering the history of language.

  219. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    No tentacles. I do have about 20 skin tags, though.

    Apply again later, when they grow out properly. :)
    -
    Father Ogvorbis is an Amberite?
    -

  220. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    Such a shame that we will never know about the events leading up to the establishment of Amber….
    -

  221. Father Ogvorbis, OMoron says

    I don’t understand the Amber bit. But then, there’s a lot I don’t understand.

  222. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    I don’t understand the Amber bit. But then, there’s a lot I don’t understand.

    It’s easy. Amber is the One Real World, of which all other worlds are but imperfect copies (or Shadows); Oberon, King of Amber, and his children, are the only Real People, of whom the people of the Shadows are but imperfect copies. A really high-quality copy of any specific Amberite is hir Shadow.

    I took the slight liberty of replacing “shadow” with “reflection” for purposes of humor. Ar ar.
    -

  223. Father Ogvorbis, OMoron says

    No, I grok the literary Amber reference. I just don’t grok what it has to do with my skin tags or cowboy hat.

  224. Dhorvath, OM says

    I said that your wearing a hat defines what hat wearing means, that got extended by cicely to you casting shadows.

  225. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, I recall a colleague who bought an early computer text game about the Amber Books. Anything that was tried kept getting a response about following the paths of Amber. Ugh, not very enlightening. Now Infocom knew how to make a text game.

  226. Father Ogvorbis, OMoron says

    Oooookay, then.

    So.

    What are you having for dinner?

    I’ve got some thick cut bacon, some homemade bread, and some fresh eggs, so I’m having breakfast for dinner.

  227. Dhorvath, OM says

    Every once in a while I make sense. Today is not looking so good.
    _

    Fresh linguine with ham, shallots, celery, herbs and olive oil for me thanks.

  228. says

    Dinner? Grog and swill.
    Supper? Nothing but salad … egg salad, chicken salad and potato salad.
    ++++++++++++
    Apropos of nothing, it’s getting harder to find naive subjects to test the GUI for my lab’s invention. We’re still at the “why did you press that button!? You crashed it!”

  229. Richard Austin says

    Sailor:

    I had a boss (at the time, the Director of IT and my manager) who could break anything we wrote in about 30 seconds. The problem was that no one could ever reproduce what he did – he just seemed to do things that broke applications. He once broke the “hello world” app someone did as a test of a technology, and all it did was display the text “hello world”.

    I think he’s in Puerto Rico now, but I can try to track him down if you want to borrow him :)

  230. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Good morning everyone.

    Why does the comment section look different?

  231. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Nevermind, it looks normal now. Musta been a glitch or someshit.

  232. says

    Recent thing that infuriated me:

    Cambodia right now is putting in trial a member of Khmer Rouge’s mass murderers. The response to the accusation by “brother number two” Nuon Chea is:

    “If these traitors were alive, the Khmers as a people would have been finished so I dare to suggest our decision was the right one.”

    Seriously, what the hell is wrong with these people!?

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

    Plate of fruit. Grilled goat’s cheese on giant mushrooms with mixed salad. Ice-cream.

  234. says

    Richard Austin, You’re not the 1st person who has a boss who can crash anything. I was playing the subject today for our instrument. And she crashed it over and over.

    We thought we were doing phase 2. Back to the drawing board. (That isn’t quite fair, this is a new application of our device.
    We’re now doing perimetry with our device. It is (or can be) multi-purpose.)

    But we ain’t there yet.
    +++++++++++++++++

  235. changeable moniker says

    Battered cod fillet, roasted tomatoes, steamed spinach, buttered naan bread*.

    *It was supposed to be potatoes but they exploded whilst cooking and now I have glutinous goo in the sink. Prev-prev-night curry leftovers to the rescue!

    Liberated from the local church** book fair today: Dawkins, A Devil’s Chaplain. Yeah, like I need more books to not have enough time to read. I did however, turn up in the middle of choir practise, so I had musical accompaniment while browsing, which was nice.

    (The SAs were really on form; the Ts a bit wobbly. No Bs.)

    ** CofE so it’s practically atheist anyway. ;)

  236. Father Ogvorbis, OMoron says

    glutinous goo in the sink

    Mmmmm. Glutinous goo.

    Of course, I’m enjoying some Cherry Garcia right now.

  237. Dhorvath, OM says

    Caine,
    I am sorry, I didn’t click through as Pratchett and I have never really gelled. I am pleased that you are excited and sure they will provide much needed assistance in your seemingly inexhaustible quest to read everything.

  238. Father Ogvorbis, OMoron says

    Caine:

    I think they are fantastic! I even recognize some of the characters (I’m reading the Discoworld books that the library actually has, so I haven’t read most of the early ones). I love them. Death and Susan are great!

  239. Rey Fox says

    I’m reading the Discoworld books that the library actually has

    A world where Time Stood Still!

  240. Tethys says

    @Caine

    I like the bookmarks! I’m just being too lazy to comment today.
    I’m currently rereading Soul Music.

    Discoworld

    I’m imagining a mirrorball planet, where all conflict is resolved by dance offs.

  241. changeable moniker says

    Lack of response should not be taken as lack of appreciation. ;)

    ** On the CofE, Paxman (again):

    I once asked the Bishop of Oxford what you needed to believe to be a member of his Church. A look of slight bafflement crossed his face. ‘An intriguing question’, he answered, as if it had not occurred to him before.

    [...]

    ‘Well, it rather depends. [... The CofE] doesn’t believe in laying down rules,’ he said. ‘It prefers to give people space and freedom. It’s enough to make the effort to attend and take communion. That shows you believe.’

    Worst. Religious. Argument. Ever.

    On the radio now: 1 woman, 1 guitar, 1 echo-y device (Sailor?), 1 tambourine, 1 kazoo. (Studio version.)

    Live version.

  242. says

    Dhorvath:

    your seemingly inexhaustible quest to read everything.

    Well, not everything…I’m not interested in creationism and stuff like that. ;) I am seriously enjoying the Portable Atheist. Amazing how little things have changed.

    Ogvorbis:

    I think they are fantastic! I even recognize some of the characters

    Yay! I like Death and Susan too, but Death of Rats is conspicuously missing.

    Tethys:

    I like the bookmarks! I’m just being too lazy to comment today.

    Thank you! Lazy I get. I’m being lazy too.

  243. Cliff Hendroval says

    Sorry to burst in, but there’s a poll that could use a little pharyngulization. The governor of Oregon has just announced that he is suspending all executions in the state. One of the big Portland (the main media market in the state) TV stations has a poll asking if you support this suspension. According to an Oregon buddy, because of the media concentration in the state, these polls are actually taken somewhat seriously. Anyway, the current results are running 2-1 in favor of state-sponsored murder. The poll is here, should you be so inclined as to vote.

    Muchas gracias, and now back to your regularly scheduled endlessing.

  244. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    Caine, I do like your bookmarks, and tried to tell you so, but after 3 attempts to post the comment, I threw my hands up in disgust and quit trying. In fact, it’s continuing to be pissy this evening. I gather that we’ve still got a bad case of web weevils.

    It’d be cool if you also had one featuring Lord Vetnari. :)
    -

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

    Dinner: Chicken salad sandwich, garden salad, and half a sleeve of saltines. Followed by a can of Sprite. I swear I must have an addiction to soup or something, because I could have gone for that at every meal today.
    ———————————

    Tomorrow I have to fill in for Mom in the office. The school’s having this ceremony for kids who made honors in the first marking period – at least I think that’s what it is about – and the principal latched onto me as a possible fill-in. Did I mention that aside from the bookkeeper, and who the hell knows when she’ll be in, I’d be alone in the office for two hours?

    I’m going to ask just what I should say to people when they call asking for the other secretary who also pulls duty as a translator. Because I KNOW they’ll ask. Well at least it’s only half a day…although I still have to hang around for after-school until 5. I forsee a night of downing shots of whiskey, or perhaps a mixed drink or two.

  246. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Jack Starling has been adding some increasingly bad words to his vocabulary, like ‘Jesus Christ!’.

    I’m so proud. My little birdie has learned to blaspheme!

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

    Caine:

    I haz bookmarks! Discworld bookmarks!

    ♥ ♥ ♥!

    I love how Susan looks. Perfect.

  248. says

    Cicely:

    It’d be cool if you also had one featuring Lord Vetnari.

    This is sorely lacking in the bookmarks package. I would *adore* having Vetinari on one. On anything, really.

    Audley:

    ♥ ♥ ♥!

    I love how Susan looks. Perfect.

    She does look grand, doesn’t she? I love Esme, too, she’s all business. :D I have the “I Ate’nt Read” one in my current book. Mister wanted one of those too, and our Esme keeps trying to steal it. She’s quite determined.

  249. says

    If the former, it’s insane adherence to ideology and inability to adopt ethics. The Khmer Rouge functioned the same way as religious fanatics in that they could justify any of their horrible action as adherence to their ideology.

    If the latter, o.O

  250. Ing says

    Sent on Ing Family Group on Facebook

    I’m inviting all my Facebook family and friends to join me in returning to the traditional greeting of “MERRY CHRISTMAS” instead of the politically correct “Happy Holidays”!! If you agree with me, please re-post this message…..MERRY CHRISTMAS! We need Christ back into our lives
    GOD IS WELCOME IN MY HOUSE。* 。
    ° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π____*。*˚
    ˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */________/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
    ˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門| •
    If God is also welcome in your House re-post this

    To everyone who either activly wants to or doesn’t care that they are crapping on the cheer of nonbelievers, apathetists, atheists, Jews, Muslims, Pagans, hethans and nonchristians of all stripes with their passive agressive and insensative selfrightous campaigns to make the end of the year all about their religion, I just want to say

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS

  251. says

    Ing,

    I hate viral religious Facebook status. This one appeared on mine:

    Why do we sleep in Church, but stay awake through a 3 hour movie? Why are we so bored when we look at the Bible, but find it easy to read other books? Why is it so easy to ignore a message about God, yet we forward the nasty ones? Why are the church’s getting smaller, but bars and clubs are expanding? Why is it so easy to worship a celebrity, but very difficult to engage with God? Think about it, are you going to re-post this? Are you going to ignore it, cause you think you will get laughed at? 80% of you won’t Re-post this. God said: If you deny me in front of your friends, I will deny you on the day of judgment

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

    WTF is wrong with people? Christmas isn’t the only holiday that comes around in December! Some families even celebrate more than one.
    ——————————————–

    Suffocation. I just realized that’s how I feel about so many things nowadays. Like there’s far too much junk, not enough substance, and it’s all just meant to press the air out of my lungs and the joy of living out of my psyche. I HATE this feeling. Sometimes it seems like taking a month away to camp someplace would be just the tonic.

  253. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    Don’t know if folks have heard but Anne McCaffery died.

    I read it on FB just a few minutes ago.
    -