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Jan 03 2012

Episode CCLXXXVIII: Haute cuisine

There’s been a lot of talk about cooking lately, so I thought I’d contribute.

(Episode CCLXXXVII: Them’s good Martians.)

864 comments

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  1. 1
    magistramarla

    Has anyone seen the article in which Pat Robertson claims that “Gawd” has told him who the next president will be?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/03/pat-robertson-president-2012-god_n_1181669.html
    I’m anxious to read PZ’s response to this one!

  2. 2
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    What a horrible thing to do to a tarantula.

    When I lived in the Southwest (er, USA Southwest, that is), we always enjoyed tarantula mating season. The males were everywhere. We would catch a couple and then go into the Grand Canyon Visitor Center with a spider sitting on our shoulder. Sometimes it took as long as 5 minutes for the first person to start screaming. To be followed, of course, by the inevitable chewing out by my dad for freaking out the park visitors (and a few of the Park Rangers).

    The rest of the year, we just freaked out the visitors by jumping off the rim of the Grand Canyon.

  3. 3
    Tethys

    I think I much prefer frog and turtle.
    Do spiders qualify as shellfish?

    2

  4. 4
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    When I lived in the Southwest (er, USA Southwest, that is), we always enjoyed tarantula mating season. The males were everywhere.

    … I will never, ever go anywhere near there. Thanks for the warning.

  5. 5
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    KG:

    On the broader point at issue, the fact (if it is a fact) that dislike for a specific sexual practice is “evidence of sexism” in a statistical sense among a certain population (how do we choose the reference population, BTW?), does not remotely justify the presumption that a sexual partner who dislikes that practice is sexist.

    “It is possible for individual actions to be sexist actions. – SG/LM”

    Duh! Of course it is.

    Well, then you can drop the complaint that noting such an action “does not remotely justify the presumption that a sexual partner who dislikes that practice is sexist.”

    What do you mean by “such an action”? Dislike for a specific sexual practice? Doesn’t that assume the conclusion? You’ve said that it might be sexist and might not, so you can’t tell from the dislike itself. This seems to misrepresent KG’s argument, and to assume that since dislikes can be sexist people can presume that they are sexist.

    I’m not sure I’m crazy about Savage’s GGG thing, either. Sure, he says people shouldn’t be coerced, but he’s throwing into a mix of inequality and coercion the declaration that it makes you a better person to be game for your partner’s desires aside from those he (unilaterally) labels a “fetish too far.” I don’t see why sexual morality would put the moral burden on the person uncomfortable with a practice to acquiesce rather than on both people to be sensitive to each other’s comfort and desires.

  6. 6
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Sorry:

    “It is possible for individual actions to be sexist actions. – SG/LM”

    Duh! Of course it is.

    Well, then you can drop the complaint that noting such an action “does not remotely justify the presumption that a sexual partner who dislikes that practice is sexist.”

  7. 7
    Cipher

    … I will never, ever go anywhere near there. Thanks for the warning.

    Seconded. The voice in my head is going AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Kind of weakly.

  8. 8
    NuMad

    There’s always room for Jell-Y.

    http://www.food.com/recipe/sesame-jellyfish-with-chili-sauce-330492

  9. 9
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Caucuses are weird.
    In Iowa right now, people are siting in school gyms (etc.) and listening to people talk about their candidate. And then they’ll vote by writing the name on a piece of paper and pass it to the front of the room.
    It seems like a really strange way to do it.

  10. 10
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    … I will never, ever go anywhere near there. Thanks for the warning.

    Not to worry. Depending on the species, the mating season is anywhere from early spring to late fall. The ones at GRCA, if I recall correctly, were up and about in June.

    And not to worry even more. I have been bitten many times by whatever species of brown tarantula that lives up in the high altitude of Northern Arizona and there are not lasting repercussionsrepercussionsrepercussions. It actually hurts far less than the sting of a sweat bee.

  11. 11
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Brother Ogvorbis: I like spiders in general. My brother has a tarantula. I had a jumping spider try to do spider semaphore at me once, and that was awesome.

    I feel terrible for every spider needlessly stomped by an ignorant who hates things with too many legs, but eating tarantulas? If it’s sustainable and they’re killed relatively humanely, I can’t say I have a problem. I’d try it.

  12. 12
    David Marjanović

    O hai!
    I can has thread bankruptcy!
    kthxbai

    And then they’ll vote by writing the name on a piece of paper and pass it to the front of the room.
    It seems like a really strange way to do it.

    What the fuck. That’s not a secret vote. There’s not just fluoride in the water in Iowa.

  13. 13
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    So it looks like it’s between Paul, Romney, and Santorum in Iowa. But, does it really matter who wins there? I don’t think Iowa Republicans are very representative of Republicans as a whole. Hey, four years ago they picked Huckabee (and McCain came in 3rd).

    The pundits are already talking about Bachmann backing out at the end of the night.

  14. 14
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    So, I’m having a bit of a computer issue and I don’t have any real techy friends.

    I got a Macbook Pro 2 years ago, and it was doing great until about a month ago, when I noticed a warning thing pop up about my battery needing to be serviced. I didn’t have the money at the time to replace the battery and the warning told me I could wait, so I believed it. Then a few days ago I came home, my mom opened it up to use it and it was acting really weird, and then after I shut it off it wouldn’t come back on.

    I honestly have no idea what happened to it. Does anyone have any advice on what I should do? Could it just be the battery? Should I let the Apple Store people fix it?

  15. 15
    cicely

    Carried over:

    (Can we please stop making everything 3D, though? Ugh.)

    This, a thousand times over. Yes, I know—it’s hot, it’s cool, it’s all-temperature Buffy—but seriously…don’t. I don’t want my movie bundled with headache and nausea, even at no extra charge.
    -
    -

  16. 16
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    If it’s sustainable and they’re killed relatively humanely,

    Yeah, I can see that. As far as killing them humanely, I’ve Avada Kedavra works nicely. Quick, painless, just a green light and (unless you are a certain young wizard) you die.

    That’s not a secret vote.

    And there are multiple ballots. Any candidate with less than a certain percentage (it can vary, even within the same statewide caucus) can either assign supporters to another candidate or let the caucusers decide.

  17. 17
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    @ RahXephon231

    Sound like a battery problem, but I’m not an expert (though I do have the same model of macbook). If you have the money, you might want to take it to the Apple store (I’m pretty sure you have to take it into the store to replace the battery normally). I’ve heard of other people having some problems with their macbook batteries before, so I don’t think it’s that uncommon.

  18. 18
    NuMad

    As far as killing them humanely, I’ve Avada Kedavra works nicely. Quick, painless, just a green light and (unless you are a certain young wizard) you die.

    The Bug Who Lived.

  19. 19
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    So it looks like it’s between Paul, Romney, and Santorum in Iowa

    I think one reason Santorum is doing so well in Iowa is that many evangelicals have rallied behind him specifically to slow down or stop Romney. A few months ago (no citation available) there was talk that evangelicals were looking for anyone, electable or not, that they could use specifically to knock Romney out of the race. A non-Christian President would, apparently, void their version of the US Constitution (the one that says we are a Christian Nation, that corporations cannot be taxed or regulated, that the rich get everything, and that the government has no business at all promoting the common welfare).

  20. 20
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    The fact that FecallyLube has surged makes me think i’m having a dystopian nightmare. how the fuck is that possible?

    Of course that piece of shit has no hope of winning a national office . . . . right?

    What the hell has happened to us?

  21. 21
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    @ Brother Ogvorbis
    Well, apparently 57% of caucus-goers this time around are white evangelicals. 30% of which are for Santorum, 21% for Paul, and 14% for Gingrich. So you might have something there, Ogvorbis.

  22. 22
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Of course that piece of shit has no hope of winning a national office . . . . right?

    Don’t worry, Iowa Republicans are just really extreme. Romney will probably still get the nomination (though, really, is he much better?).

    So, with 18% reporting in, it’s Paul (24%), Santorum (24%), and Romeny (22%) in the lead.

  23. 23
    Sili

    The fact that FecallyLube has surged makes me think i’m having a dystopian nightmare. how the fuck is that possible?

    Duh. All his gay friends are voting for him, because they support his family-values (pace Savage).

    –o–

    Do spiders qualify as shellfish?

    Depends. Do they have four legs like crickets?

  24. 24
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    With 21% reporting in, we have a three way tie:
    Santorum (23%)
    Paul (23%)
    Romeny (23%)

    I’m starting to hope that Santorum might just pull a win here and that momentum will carry him to win the nomination. Then we can all laugh while he easily loses to Obama in the general election.

  25. 25
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    RahXephon, the power management unit is often the first thing to go wrong with macs. It does depend what kind of weirdness you’re having, but do check how to reset the PMU for your specific model first. If it won’t wake from sleep, that’s more often the PMU than the battery. (Also see SMC for more recent macs.)

    PMU: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1431
    SMC: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3964

  26. 26
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Those eschewing the Southwest because of tarantulas? I’d advise you also be wary in Maine (or anywhere else with Moose Spider infestations).

  27. 27
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    @Alethea

    I guess I should’ve been more specific, lol. The weirdness was actually the keyboard. It was doing things like acting keys were constantly being pressed, some keys were making other keys activate (the backspace key was also making the volume go up and down), and some keys didn’t work at all.

  28. 28
    Cipher

    Teehee, Ogvorbis.
    Teehee.
    I still have nights where I can’t fall asleep because I’m convinced a black widow is going to bite my face :(

  29. 29
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    RahXephon231:

    You have my sympathy. I had a Dell some years ago which lost its mind.

    Of course, one of my best friends kept telling me, “That wouldn’t happen if you bought an Apple.”

    So, please not, that I am not telling you, “If you bought a Windows or Linux machine, that wouldn’t happen.” I will not do that. That would be rubbing it in, so I will not do that!

    I hope you notice and appreciate my self control. Because I did not say it.

  30. 30
    RW Ahrens

    Take your Mac to the nearest Apple Store (go online and make an appointment so you don’t have to wait). The guys (or gals) there will be able to tell you in about five minutes what to do, and it is likely that you might get lucky and get a new battery gratis.

    That said, on your next Mac purchase, buy AppleCare. That way, if this happens again, you WILL get a new battery and it won’t cost you a thin dime. I’ve gotten AppleCare for a number of Apple products and it has almost always panned out to my advantage.

  31. 31
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    @Brother Ogvorbis

    Well, I wasn’t intending this to be a Mac vs. PC thing. I’ve had problems with laptops of all types. I think the mobility factor means fuck ups can and will occur; OS is pretty much irrelevant. It does seem, though, that the Windows laptops I’ve had, while degrading performance really quickly, did run longer. Things would break but it would still, ya know, turn on.

    Also, I don’t buy Dells because they’re (from my experience) poorly made. I had a Dell laptop for a couple of years and the hinge broke. That was fun. At least I’m not as bad as my cousin. He keeps buying Dells despite his constant disappointment with them. I think it’s because Dell keeps giving him credit.

  32. 32
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Try resetting the PRAM first, though, for keyboard & speaker weirdness.

  33. 33
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    @Alethea

    I read some of the pages you linked, but they all seem to assume the computer is running, which mine isn’t. I turned it off and now it won’t come back on. That’s mainly what worries me.

    The “SMC” (whatever that is) that you linked me did mention that the SMC controls things like the power button. If the SMC’s out, would the power button stop responding?

  34. 34
    rorschach

    If you ever want, or must, delete all your facebook activity and timeline, if you have Firefox, you can use this greasemonkey script : How to delete every Facebook wall post, wipe your Timeline

  35. 35
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    RahXephon231:

    Oh, hell no. I do not want to get into a PC v Apple thing. I was just trying to add a little humour to a tough and annoying situation.

    And my current computer is a low-end Dell that has done yeoman’s service for about three years.

  36. 36
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    I’ve just discovered the identity of Death’s Handmaiden! After so long being her fucktoy, imagine it’s only now that she removed my blindfold…

    Sense play: it’s a mindfuck.

    Tagline officially copyrighted here in 2012 – to be used only for purposes that promote human joy, health, growth, community and sex

  37. 37
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    resetting the PRAM? Is that more likely to keep the baby from sliding around when the bus takes a corner?

  38. 38
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    That said, on your next Mac purchase, buy AppleCare. That way, if this happens again, you WILL get a new battery and it won’t cost you a thin dime. I’ve gotten AppleCare for a number of Apple products and it has almost always panned out to my advantage.

    Good lord. That’s the worst advertisement that I’ve seen on FtB yet. Why the hell didn’t my AdBlock work??

    Oggie:

    And my current computer is a low-end Dell that has done yeoman’s service for about three years.

    Mine too! Mine’s like 5 years old now and I’m starting to get a warning that my laptop is at the end of its “useful battery life” or some shit like that.

    I cannot afford a new computer if this one shits the bed. :-/

  39. 39
    Cipher

    Creep, Slimebag, douchecanoe, and poor dancer Munkhaus is busy hoggling all over Lousy Canuck.
    Just putting it out there.

  40. 40
    dianne

    Frothy lube looks like he’s doing pretty well in Iowa so far…and most of the sane parts have already been counted. Disturbing.

  41. 41
    dianne

    I’m starting to hope that Santorum might just pull a win here and that momentum will carry him to win the nomination. Then we can all laugh while he easily loses to Obama in the general election.

    Historically, this has been a bad plan. See Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush…

  42. 42
    Cipher

    Historically, this has been a bad plan. See Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush…

    *whimper*

  43. 43
    The Sailor

    Crip Dyke, conga rats on your Molly!
    +++++++++++++++++
    Family member Ogvorbis; If you come near me with a spider I will swat at least one of you.

    I have a rule; if you come into my house uninvited, (and my boat is still my house), I might just kill you with my brain. [/River]

  44. 44
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Family member Ogvorbis; If you come near me with a spider I will swat at least one of you.

    I would never do that. I have matured. Really. Just ask Wife.

  45. 45
    Jessa

    Totally, hopelessly thread bankrupt.

    Just wanted to share a minor victory: I quit smoking today. So far it hasn’t been as bad as I’d feared.

  46. 46
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Yay, Jessa!

  47. 47
    Cipher

    Yeah, Crip Dyke, congratulations! I forgot to go tell you that. Much deserved :)

    Go Jessa! You can do it.

  48. 48
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Jessa – that is awesome!! Whatever happens – stay strong. You’re stronger than nicotine.

    and buy LOTS of gum. Not just nicotine gum. trust me.

  49. 49
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    I badly badly badly wish to see what would happen if someone pulled all the Santorum jokes to his face, on video. I would love to see the his reaction, and have a feeling that if it were caught on video it would be damaging to his rep. I hesitate to say a moment like that on video would actually bring him down, but it would make me laugh.

  50. 50
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    he is aware of it. i remember him whining about how google should get rid of the search results about it, or something like that.

    you know, cuz its unfair that people can make fun of his useless ass.

  51. 51
    shouldbeworking

    No Iowa caucuses and no tarantulas, horny or otherwise. Two more reasons why Canada is a good place to live.

  52. 52
    Jessa

    Thanks, Audley, Classical Cipher, and Illuminata!

    and buy LOTS of gum. Not just nicotine gum. trust me.

    Done. I found out that I don’t want to have a cigarette while chewing on something minty-tasting.

  53. 53
    Walton

    The whole election cycle as played out in America is a grotesque farce, a contest based on money, juvenile mudslinging, ignorance and naked bigotry. The political system is broken and unfixable. I’d opt to ignore it entirely, except for the horrible fact that these people have actual power, and that they are playing dice with human lives.

  54. 54
    The Sailor

    TLC: “I badly badly badly wish to see what would happen if someone pulled all the Santorum jokes to his face, on video.”

    Ewwww! Santorum can be a necessary byproduct, but santorum bukkake is just gross … IMO.

  55. 55
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    jessa – now that’s interesting. I was referring to the oral-fixation nature of cigarette addiction (at least, it was for me). I hadn’t considered that angle.

  56. 56
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    LOL @ The Sailor. And thanks for the NIGHTMARES.

  57. 57
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Jessa:

    I found out that I don’t want to have a cigarette while chewing on something minty-tasting.

    So… you didn’t smoke menthols? :)

    I did. I’m still chewing the shit out of fruit flavored gum* ‘cos I’m still fighting the cravings and mint gum makes me want a cigarette bad.

    *Has anyone else noticed how bizarre gum flavors are? Especially the fruit flavors.

  58. 58
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Oh, Heston: “I too embrace science, and I want to see if I can make my insects taste delicious”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLzYIXEFPNE&t=147
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnF6VZYQsDo&t=131
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GL6efxa1J10
    .

  59. 59
    mythusmage

    You disappoint me.

  60. 60
    alysonmiers

    Personally, I think it would be just ducky if Santorum made it a priority to fix his Google problem. As I’ve said before, he needs to contact the site owners and persuade them to take down that nasty lube and fecal matter. All of them. All the site owners. Get going right now, Mr. Frothy-Mix. Don’t stop until they’re all gone.

  61. 61
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Audley – i saw one recently that was like key lime pomegranate or something weird like that. i nearly puked on my shoes.

  62. 62
    Jessa

    So… you didn’t smoke menthols? :)

    Nope. I tried a menthol once and found it disgusting. It’s a weird taste quirk I have – I love mint, but hate it combined with any other flavor.* So I’m using my weirdness to my advantage.

    *Lone exception: chocolate and mint. Mmmmm…Thin Mint Cookies.

  63. 63
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    I don’t know much about Macs, but a bootable Ubuntu flash drive is an excellent debugging tool for any computer.

    If anything happens to my computer, I just boot from that flash drive and attempt to either a) see if the restore programs Ubuntu comes with will be helpful or b) see if the problem is on the hardware side (which means much money out of my pocket) or on the software side (which, at worst, means an OS reinstall. Painful, but less painful, than, say, when my harddrive decided it’d have corrupted sectors.)

  64. 64
    Walton

    This is a good blog post: A Liberal Monarchist at Occupy Miami. It’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only person out there who identifies as a left-wing monarchist.

  65. 65
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Here’s another Iowa caucus update:

    With 55% in:
    Santorum (25%)
    Romney (23%)
    Paul (21%)

    Still pretty close.

  66. 66
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Apropos of nothing – I have recently fallen in love with remoulade sauce. I can’t stop eating it. Putting it on everything.

    Currently, I’m dipping garlic bagel chips into it.

    Help me. I can’t stop!!!!!

  67. 67
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Illuminata:

    i saw one recently that was like key lime pomegranate or something weird like that. i nearly puked on my shoes.

    Oh, blech! I came across a honeydew/mint combination that was absolutely vile.

    Jessa:

    It’s a weird taste quirk I have – I love mint, but hate it combined with any other flavor.* So I’m using my weirdness to my advantage.

    Oh yeah, I can totally see that. Me, I love all mint (except combined with melon, apparently (seriously, who thought that was a good idea?)) and I’m kind of sad that I have to give it up (for the time being at least).

  68. 68
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Oooo, well now there’s 88% in and msnbc is projecting that Paul is going to finish in 3rd place.

  69. 69
    The Sailor

    So, Santorum was behind and now is in front?
    Ur doin it wrong.

  70. 70
    Cipher

    You disappoint me.

    Teehee.
    I just…
    *shrugs and keeps giggling*

  71. 71
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Borther Ogvorbis:

    We tried to avoid the 3-D, too, but it turned out the only showing time that was possible for us was a 3-D one, so we sucked it up. As you can tell from what I’ve said about loving the film, the 3-D didn’t end up bothering me. I’m not sure how much it really added (I’m tempted to go see it again, “flat,” as an experiment), but it wasn’t at all distracting, as I had feared it would be.

    I understand that it’s physically difficult for some people, but I suspect it’s probably here to stay: Ubiquitous 3-D entertainment is one of those things, like flying cars, that futuristic fiction has been promising us for decades… which suggests a certain level of latent demand. I could take it or leave it myself, but I’m betting that, like widescreen, color, and sound before it (and like CGI), it’s a genie that won’t go back in the bottle easily. In the future, I think making a movie “flat” will be a distinct artistic choice, just as making The Artist in silent B&W was.

    If 3-D does become the standard, and if the industry settles on one standard, I wonder if we’ll see people getting permanent, custom-fit glasses (with their prescriptions, if any, incorporated), so we won’t have to screw around with the cumbersome plastic over-your-real-glasses things? Surely the industry will have to address the problems of headaches and discomfort somehow.

    ***
    Irene:

    No, I’m not a telepath; I’m just reacting to what you wrote (and the fact that somebody else reacted, independently, in exactly the same way ought to be a clue). In your response to Ogvorbis, which you yourself described as a “rant,” you began…

    Grrr! Let the laudatory voices beware: I’m still pissed off by that bloody awful Tintin movie, its creepy CGI and its absurd patchwork of a scenario! [emphasis added]

    …expressing your criticisms in entirely unconditional terms, as if they were axiomatic truth. Of course, you go on to say…

    Yes, that’s subjective…

    …but that’s a half-assed figleaf[1], because you haven’t even caught a rhetorical breath after expressing yourself in the most aggressively nonsubjective terms.

    You are, of course, entitled to your opinion, and even entitled to the opinion (which you definitely seem to hold) that your opinion is settled fact. But surely you can see how putting it that way makes it sound like you think others who disagree are just idiots? If you don’t mean to be making us feel like idiots, then consider this “customer feedback”: UR DOIN’ IT RONG!

    I would’ve loved to have a conversation about our differing reactions to the CGI (which, you’ll recall, was the main reason the film even came up); the differences in seeing it “fresh” versus steeped in Tintin lore; our differing takes on the use of movie tropes (wonderfully inventive variations, in my opinion; lazy stock writing, apparently, in yours); etc. But it’s just not fun to have that kind of conversation with someone who treats me like I’m not worth talking to.

    And since it’s not fun, I’ll drop it now. I have plenty of other things to do that either are fun, or at least are useful.

    ***
    [1] I suppose that’s an anatomically mixed metaphor; whatever.

  72. 72
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Bernie Sanders is going to be on the Colbert Report tonight about reversing the Citizens United decision. Should be an interesting interview.

  73. 73
    feralboy12

    Ogvorbis:

    The rest of the year, we just freaked out the visitors by jumping off the rim of the Grand Canyon.

    Yeah, I read about you in Over The Edge: Death In Grand Canyon.
    A number of people have fallen to their deaths while pretending to fall to their deaths. But not as many as have fallen while taking a photograph, or posing for one.

    I really can’t imagine Santorum winning a national election; he’s too openly theocratic, I think, to win in a lot of states. And that’s before you assess competence.

    Thirty years ago I was married to a woman who kept a tarantula. His name was Bart. He taught me to love spiders, and to this day I refuse to kill them. I do, however, toss their little asses outside (eventually).

    In 2007 I bought a $500 Dell laptop with Vista. It worked about as well as you heard. I broke it with repeated pounding of the keys, trying to get it to fucking do something; it’s like it was so busy with operating system & security that it had no time to do anything I wanted it to do. Walk away for a minute, and it’s like the fucker went off to sleep under a tree somewhere.

    Ah, mint. Strangely, it can work with vanilla, too. One of my favorite things I ever tasted was Dairy Queen’s peppermint Dilly Bar (TM). Peppermint coating on a vanilla ice cream bar. It was, well, “heavenly.” I’m pretty sure they don’t make them anymore; periodically I consider going into a DQ and demanding one.
    Also, they were pink. Never a problem.

  74. 74
    Sili

    I badly badly badly wish to see what would happen if someone pulled all the Santorum jokes to his face, on video.

    Slog is not coöperating with my browser anymore, but there are recent pictures of Santorum with a big sign with infantile lettering in a colour that very much looks like santorum.

  75. 75
    The Sailor

    I’m glad my back feels better because I laughed so hard watching Jon Stewart’s take on IA tonight.

  76. 76
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Yeah, I read about you in Over The Edge: Death In Grand Canyon.
    A number of people have fallen to their deaths while pretending to fall to their deaths. But not as many as have fallen while taking a photograph, or posing for one.

    There is a low rock wall from up by Verkamp’s (well, where Verkamp’s used to be (too bad, that was a great place for Navajo and Hopi jewelry, weavings and potter)) west past El Tovar. Parts of the wall have a wide (three or four feet) shelf of Kaibab Limestone (much of which has shell fossils). We would run along the wall, jump off and fall flat on our bellies on the canyon side of the wall.

    We were aware that what we were doing was dangerous. My best friend’s dad was an S&R spec, along with being and LEO, and he was often on the S&Rs for those who had fallen (dead or alive) or those who thought that it would be easy to climb down, or up (from a trail), and needed a rescue. I don’t think they ever actually looked for us, but there were at least two S&Rs during the five years I was there where no body was recovered.

  77. 77
    Sili

    I have poussins in my freezer. Anyone have any good recipes? I’m thinking of stuffing them with something, and I’d like to be able to do them in the oven alongside some potatoes, but I’m open to suggestions.

  78. 78
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Sili – cover them with remoulade. Everything tastes better with remoulade.

  79. 79
    Part-Time Insomniac

    Mmm mint. I could go for some right now in a glass of water. I’m sort of hoping the mint plant in the yard, if it wasn’t truly dug up last time we did weeding and cleaning, will grow back. The dogs liked chewing on the leaves once in a while, which seemed to be good for their teeth and their breath.
    ———————————-

    Too many books, so little time to enjoy them all.

  80. 80
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    But Poussin has been dead since the 1660s. How the hell do you have him in your freezer? And why would you want to cook an artist?

    ================

    Just opened a letter from my US representative, Lou Barletta. He tells me that he is fighting to protect American jobs by pushing tax cuts, that he is fighting government waste by fighting to privatize federal jobs, and wants to put more Americans back to work by shrinking the federal workforce. Yeah. Right, asshole. You want me to vote for you because you think I am destroying America and you want to eliminate my job? Fuck you. Which is (sans profanity) the message I just left on the answering machine at one of his offices.

  81. 81
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Dr. Darkheart:

    Has anyone else noticed how bizarre gum flavors are?

    On one of the cooking shows I watch (Top Chef: Just Desserts, IIRC), there was a challenge to design a new flavor for a line of gums based on desserts! Gag! I don’t even want to think about (for example) cupcake-flavored gum!

    ***
    Dr. DMFM:

    No, it’s not even remotely a secret ballot. Caucuses are a whole different animal from elections. Parties’ candidate selection processes are somewhat like the difference between Olympic team selections and the Olympics themselves: Sometimes the selection process mirrors the final competition (i.e., primary elections, similar to the U.S. Olympic track team being selected in a track meet); sometimes, not so much (i.e., caucuses and conventions, similar to the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team being selected [IIRC] by an arcane combination of meet results, season results, and officials’ evaluations). The Iowa caucuses are distinctly “not so much.”

  82. 82
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Insomniac: Isn’t mint fairly resilient once established?

  83. 83
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I don’t even want to think about (for example) cupcake-flavored gum!

    Hmm. what do bigot trolls taste like?

  84. 84
    Sili

    Insomniac: Isn’t mint fairly resilient once established?

    It’s a right pest.

    My neighbour tried to get rid of hers – without luck. And I was stupid enough to grab a coupla roots from her, which are now spreading.

    My free rosemary died, though.

  85. 85
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Hmm. what do bigot trolls taste like?

    Like santorum, but with more class.

  86. 86
    Sili

    Apparently cinnamonflavoured gum is all the rage in the Arab world.

  87. 87
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    TLC:

    Isn’t mint fairly resilient once established?

    In my (limited, New England) experience, the stuff is positively invasive, and will take over any container, bed, or area where it’s planted. However, ’round here it doesn’t seem to winter over well (unlike, for instance, chives, which seem to be impossible to kill). Mebbe it’s different in warmer climes.

    Of course, at the rate we’re going, New England will be a “warmer clime” before long!

  88. 88
    Part-Time Insomniac

    I don’t know about resilient, TLC, but it’s certainly not something to leave unchecked. Spreads like crazy if you do.

  89. 89
    The Sailor

    Isn’t tonight when the Iowa Caucasians are decided?

  90. 90
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Isn’t tonight when the Iowa Caucasians are decided?

    Now that Cain is out, yeah.

  91. 91
    The Sailor

    Brother Ogvorbis I laughed out loud!
    Oh, wait, you said ‘class’!? [/never mind]

  92. 92
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Bachmann really does love to party, doesn’t she? I like that she knows what to do with a failing campaign.

    +++++
    Am I uniquely paranoid in thinking that Gingrich’s endorsement olive branch for Santorum is a Catholic conspiracy?

  93. 93
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Dark chocolate with sea salt is amazing.

  94. 94
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    In Iowa, with 96% in:

    Santorum (25%)
    Romney (25%)
    Paul (21%)
    Gingrich (13%)
    Perry (19%)
    Bachmann (5%)
    Huntsman (1%)

    So, it looks like Santorum and Romney are tied for first. I’m thinking Bachmann will drop out soon.

  95. 95
    Ava, Oporornis maledetta

    One critter that might get eaten soon: “Megyn Shelly,” the snail featured on the Colbert Report tonight as the prognosticator for the Iowa caucuses. Colbert was hoping to get Paul the Octopus, who had excelled at choosing World Cup winners, but he died. Colbert placed Megyn Shelly on a tiny replica of a Republican debate. All of the podiums were made of cucumber. Megyn still did not move towards a candidate, and could end up on a studio staffer’s fork sometime soon. Catch the rerun for a cool photo and short clip of Paul the Octopus.

  96. 96
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Okay, thank you The Sailor AND Brother Ogvorbis for the nightmares. lol

  97. 97
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Oooooo, it looks like Perry might drop out. He said he’s going to “reassess” his campaign and is now heading back to Texas.

  98. 98
    The Sailor

    Santorum was hoping for a come from behind victory.

  99. 99
    Sili

    Wooo. Congrats to Romney for getting over 22%!

  100. 100
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    So 25% are completely Batshit Insane.

    25% are nuts.

    21% are heartless morons.

    13% are idiots.

    19% are shitkicking idiots.

    5% are batshit crazy.

    and 1% are just conservatives.

    Makes sense.

    G’night, all.

  101. 101
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    I fear tying for first in Iowa will be seen as a beats expectations performance for Romney, since he’s really far too sane for the hard-right Iowa caucuses, he started campaigning there late, and Santorum won’t be a viable candidate anywhere else.

    I say I fear it because Romney is the only one of these assclams that scares me: Call me naive, but I still don’t think the country would, in the final analysis, vote for intransigent ideologues like Perry, Bachmann, or Santorum, nor for an incoherent ideologue like Paul, nor certainly for an incomprehensible self-promoting gasbag like Gingrich. Romney is just barely plausibly sane enough (and boring enough) to pass the snicker test.

    And while he might actually make the least-bad president out of the remaining Republican field (I’m not counting Huntsman, who has no chance unless all the rest of them are killed by a freak asteroid strike), there is no scenario for any Republican winning the White House that isn’t disastrous for progressives.

  102. 102
    Midnight Rambler

    Speaking of food, you may have seen the restaurant place in Iowa tha renamed a dish Santorum salad (and in case you’re wondering, they really are supporters, not spoofing). Of course, besides the well-established meaning of santorum, “santorum salad” itself already has a definition on Urban Dictionary, dating from 2007. You don’t want to know.

  103. 103
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    [Dell vs Mac]

    I have been running a long term experiment to determine once and for all which is the better way to go.

    Cheap Dell vs Expensive Mac.

    The sample size is large (n=2), so I have every confidence in the unbiased conclusions that I have come to. In the interests of Science ™, I have sponsored this out of my own pocket. Essentially it came down to buying Spawn a Mac (motivation: “All the cool kids have one.”) and S.O. a Dell (motivation: “Need a solid work machine.”)

    Methodology: Bought each a computer suited to their needs and let them get on with it.

    Notes: Charger to Mac broke in less than a year. Replaced for free after much pleading. Second charger lost, putting machine out of action until I could find one that “fell off a truck” in Shenzhen. (Original parts unaffordable.) Screen cracked and had to be replaced down an alley (original parts unaffordable). New screen is now broken (probably because crap aluminium construction is crap and is permanently out of alignment).

    Result: Dell is in daily use and goes like a rocket. Mac is a piece of shit and spends most of its time out of commission.

    Conclusion: Unless one particularly wants to spend twice as much for half the computing power, rather buy a cheap and nasty Dell.

    Further: Foxconn makes Macs. In the Great Book of Crappy Manufacturers they have an entire chapter just for themselves. I repaired a faulty machine by simply ripping out and replacing all Foxconn components with alternatives. All problems fixed.

    /rant

    ……………….
    Failed batteries: Try running the machine without the battery (ie: remove battery and plug machine into the mains.) Not ideal, but a good stopgap.

  104. 104
    The Sailor

    Santorum and Romney are tied on the exit poles.

  105. 105
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    He said he’s going to “reassess” his campaign and is now heading back to Texas.

    his execution finger must be getting itchy.

  106. 106
    sushimpls

    Actually, I’ve been to Cambodia and eaten these. They are from a town named Skuon (Sk-ew-on). I was told that people raise these in their houses, and it was historically a pretty important protein source. They are pretty tasty, I found them easier to eat than the Bong-dtea-goan (fetal duck eggs) or the bee larvae, as they are deep fried and then tossed in soy and garlic. Chngan-Nah!

  107. 107
    Midnight Rambler

    And while he might actually make the least-bad president out of the remaining Republican field (I’m not counting Huntsman, who has no chance unless all the rest of them are killed by a freak asteroid strike)

    Huntsman is equally bad, he’s just grounded in reality and less Marie Antoinette-ish about his wealth than Romney. Huntsman is the biggest cheerleader for the Ryan plan among all of them, for example. Still, TalkingPointsMemo said it pretty well in outlining Mitt Romney’s reaction in the event the different candidates win Iowa:

    Jon Huntsman Wins
    Hell freezing over and plague of flying pigs will be Romney’s bigger concerns in this scenario.

  108. 108
    sushimpls

    Oh yeah, if anybody would like to try some, let me know. I’ll be in Cambodia all summer and can send some… :)

  109. 109
    Midnight Rambler

    theophontes – Just make sure you get the three-year warranty from Dell. I have an n=4 and three have had some serious problem, two in the second year (the fourth one was stolen after about a year, so it’s incomplete). I just had to replace the hard drive on one after it self-destructed and was surprised to have good service from them. OTOH, the L key stopped working on my other laptop, and it’s out of warranty. You can get them for $30 on eBay though, so I’m not worried.

  110. 110
    autumn

    I recently got samples in my store of apple pie flavored gum, and there was another weird sweet flavor that I forget.

  111. 111
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Santorum just talked about when Obama said that some people cling to their guns and religion. I miss that Obama.

  112. 112
    Ava, Oporornis maledetta

    Bachman is dead last as of 12: Eastern. Huffpo saying Romney and Santorum five votes apart. Whatever; basically a tie.

  113. 113
    Ava, Oporornis maledetta

    12:40.

  114. 114
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Oh, no. It’s late all of a sudden. I’ve got my first class of the semester at 8 am. I guess that means I need to stop watching silly politics and go to bed. Goodnight everyone.

  115. 115
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    theophontes:

    Is it possible that the fact the Mac was in the hands of a Spawn (age unknown, but presumably no older than college aged, right?) with (no doubt) Places To Go and Things To Do™, while the Dell was in the hands of an adult who likely just takes it back and forth to work (if that), represents an uncontrolled variable in your experiment? ;^)

    It’s only anecdote, of course, but my daughter — who has historically been pretty rough on gadgets like cameras, mobile phones, and music players — has schlepped her MacBook Pro all over campus for the last 3 1/2 years, not to mention back and forth to Europe a couple times, without anything getting broken or lost. When battery life started to drop after about 1 1/2 years, the local Apple store replaced the battery for free (on their own say-so, and in a single visit), even though it was out of warranty; when the hard drive died after ~3 years of hard use, the repair was less than $200, and done in a day with no data lost. Otherwise, not a moment’s trouble, and as I say, no part of the physical machine — case, screen, keyboard, charger, etc. — has ever been broken.

    I know there are lots of reasons folks disagree about Mac v. PC, and Dog knows I’m not up for another round of Platform Wars©… but I’m not aware of the physical quality of the gear having historically been a problem for Macs.

  116. 116
    shouldbeworking

    @103 theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen

    I have a slightly larger sample size: n=2 for HP: mine, since work is a windose-only place and n=3 for Macs for wife and high school daughters.

    Conclusion: the HP laptop is solid, the HP netbook is slower than a speeding glacier. The Macs are running well, no problems with connecting to the WiFi network, screens are fine, chargers charge nor any other problems.

    However: any printer that is connected to the network upstairs has a live expectancy of a cold beer at a frat party. Every printer in the basement(where dad gets to do his thing) dies of old age and overwork.

  117. 117
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Regarding Macs:

    I bought a Macbook Pro specifically because of the vaunted reliability of them (which is hyped, yes, but I also know many people personally with Macs that have had them for-fucking-ever and they still run). Whatever’s wrong with mine may be something simple, maybe they’ll be nice and not charge me an assload of money to fix it. I suppose I won’t know until I go to the store.

  118. 118
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Midnight Rambler

    Three year warranty.

    I think ours is was 1 year. But repairs have not been much of an issue for laptops here. (Also had a missing key on an hp, it was like $10 dollars to replace… the whole keypad.)

    @ Bill

    Places To Go and Things To Do™

    I can’t keep up! Spawn is 18 and making South Africa unsafe right now. SO and I haz a sad… :’(

    Spawn is much more mature than the rest of us, but still manages to go through electronic devices like popcorn (she gets all the cool stuff, I have to get by with stuff out of the ark.)

    Wrt costs of running machines. Mac’s have been troublesome even if not that expensive (free replacement of frayed cord, lots of good techies at very low “private” rates.)

    To give you an idea of the price differences: USB power adaptor: Mac=HKD 228, theo’s buddies = HKD 10. Mac charger =HKD 588 theo’s buddies = HKD 120 ( for Mac and for Asus HKD 80) …

    @ shouldbeworking

    HP

    Both our hp’s kept going forever and then died from overheating problems. (Keep those vents squeeky clean and don’t leave machines lying on the douvet… Lessons learned the hard way.)

  119. 119
    magistramarla

    Every time I read about Perry “reassessing”, I think about Fagin in Oliver – “I am reviewing the situation…”. LOL

  120. 120
    Cupcake

    Oh dear, I just couldn’t eat those.

  121. 121
    shouldbeworking

    @ theo…
    Yeah, I know now to keep the air vents clear. I had a HP desktop for years as a work then cruise-Internet machine since I’m not a gamer. That thing was super until it died, I found out that the air vents were plugged with dust (basement machine). It was cheaper to buy a new machine than to replace the guts of the old one.

    I know several people with Mac book pros who never have problems, but they are adults and have buy their own machines. Mind you, my kids do take care of thier iiPhones, iPods with no complaints of defective chargers or such like. I am the only person in the house without an iProduct.

  122. 122
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Good morning
    The storm has calmed down after it woke me up a couple of times tonight.
    But I must admit that wind and storms are always worse up here (top floor, 13 storey building, top of a hill) than they are elsewhere.

    Wow, Mallorie Nasrallah goes on complaining how everybody just misrepresents her and that she only ever talked about her experiences. I mean, how could we take her claims that since she’s never felt uncomfortable and that the guys in the skepic community shouldn’t believe that there might be indeed any problem with some of their behaviour to mean that she was talking about the guys in the skeptic community being allright.
    I mean, really, understand what I find fit 2 days later, not what I say

  123. 123
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ giliell

    Mallorie Nasrallah

    The (soft porn) photographer?

    [figue tart recipe]

    Downloaded for when I get the chance…. omnomnom …. (if only theaphontes was not allergic to cream.)

  124. 124
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Need to share or I will burst:
    One of my work colleagues went to the same high school and had the same physics professor. She just shared that astrology was one of his hobbies. His theory was that if the moon has influence on the oceans and water in general, it’s no wonder that it would influence water in our bodies. I bit my tongue because I don’t want to argue, but really. Really. Now I remember that he once commented that my boyriend was no good for me because our astrological signs don’t match. I thought then that he was just joking, and was too angry because he was bothering me about my private life again to worry about his astrology nonsense.
    Jebus, I hear stupid things here. I am reminded every day why most people annoy me. Gay(of course, an offensive term is used) and fat people jokes abound.

  125. 125
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    FUCK paypal, with all the rotting porcupines around. And sandpaper.

    http://www.regretsy.com/2012/01/03/from-the-mailbag-27

  126. 126
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Beatrice

    “l’enfer, c’est les autres”

  127. 127
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Giliell, why “figue”? Are you mixing languages by accident? I would choose one of “tarte aux figues” or “fig tart”.

    Theophontes, perhaps Theaphontes might like a version made with a thick almond milk? Almond milk can be made with almonds, water and a blender, even if you can’t buy it where you are.

  128. 128
    Midnight Rambler

    Alethea – I was just reading that. Fudpucking nuts. I can sort of understand the intent behind it, but it only takes half a second to see how screwed up it is in practice – even if the violin was a fake (and yeah, there’s a good chance of that), it’s still probably worth a considerable amount of money (probably about the sale price of $2500; apparently a real one is on the order of $10-20,000), and PayPal never really verifies themselves.

    On top of that, there’s a lot of room for buyers to be scammers, by buying a real item, claiming it’s fake (and if necessary, sending a picture of a destroyed counterfeit item to PayPal), getting their money refunded, and then selling the real item themselves. In the purse forum (who knew?) linked at Regretsy, they mention at least one case where someone was caught doing exactly that.

  129. 129
    opposablethumbs

    Time zones! Bankruptcy! But mainly, YAY Patricia and good wishes for her good health.

    Also, yes to Tethys – Wilby Wonderful is a really lovely film which does all the right things for me :-)

  130. 130
    Serendipitydawg(rebel without paws)

    @Sailor,

    Santorum and Romney are tied on the exit poles.

    Is this the political equivalent of a cage fight?

  131. 131
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    theophontes

    The (soft porn) photographer?

    I think that’s what she does, but I don’t care. She’s written a very stupid letter that since her experiences were good there’s no sexism in the skeptical/atheist community.
    The old “telling guys “please, don’t do that” is wrong because I happen to like it”.

    Alethea
    Ehm, yes, sometimes my mind gets lost on languages.

  132. 132
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Don’t worry, Giliell, I think we all do that sometimes when working in a foreign language. I was vaguely wondering if there was a German tradition to write part French – like the way Americans talk about “bleu cheese”. Which always looks wrong to me. It’s blue. Or it’s fromage.

  133. 133
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Oh, femithread is brilliant! And I’m only on the 267th comment.

  134. 134
    birgerjohansson

    Law prof’s book probes ‘whys’ behind Big Apple crime decline http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-01-law-prof-probes-whys-big.html
    Examples:-drug violence and illegal drug use may be two different problems,
    you don’t need a mega-imprisonment policy to achieve a substantial reduction in crime
    .
    Obama Skips Chance To Appoint Key Nominee http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/03/obama-richard-cordray-cfpb_n_1181664.html Surprised? No.
    .
    Vote Against Obama in Iowa http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cenk-uygur/vote-against-obama-in-iow_b_1174314.html In the Iowa caucuses you can vote for “uncommitted.”
    .
    Swedish teenager made surprise mushroom find week before Christmas http://www.thelocal.se/38156/20111226/
    .
    Possible new explanation found for sudden demise of Khmer Empire http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-01-explanation-sudden-demise-khmer-empire.html (same as for the Mayas?)
    .
    From Greg Laden’s blog: Finding cause and effect
    146,000 BCE
    Targ: “Hey Lerb, why big cat have long teeth?”
    Lerb: “I dunno Targ, but cousin Seb went for look. He gone”
    Targ: ” Cat lucky, seem good for people eating. I go for closer look.”

  135. 135
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    I’ve had a grand total of two hardware problems with my Macs:

    1. The logic board (motherboard) on my Powerbook G4 went out. Apple replaced it.

    2. Apple’s cables suck ass, and that includes the power adapter cables. I think I’ve had three power adapters lose their insulation, and at least two bare iPod cables.

    But, compared to the hassles I’ve had with non-Apple hardware, it’s not nearly as bad as people claim.

  136. 136
    birgerjohansson

    Finns do it differently: A video of Finnish divers using the underside of the ice as a floor. Their suits are filled with air, which makes them lighter than water. By standing upside down, they can walk on the ice. Also, they fill buckets with air and pour it “down” a wheelbarrow.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIs00QjiJZQ&feature=player_embedded

  137. 137
    esmith4102

    What a disgusting thing to do. When I was a boy in west Texas, we used to find tarantulas in our back yard. We would play with them, even carry them to school in our pockets, much to the chagrin of our teachers. To this day I love tarantulas and would never entertain the thought of harming one. They make fascinating pets.

  138. 138
    carlie

    On one of the cooking shows I watch (Top Chef: Just Desserts, IIRC), there was a challenge to design a new flavor for a line of gums based on desserts! Gag! I don’t even want to think about (for example) cupcake-flavored gum!

    It happens every time; they all become blueberries.

    However, ’round here it doesn’t seem to winter over well (unlike, for instance, chives, which seem to be impossible to kill). Mebbe it’s different in warmer climes.

    Just a little further west in the northeast (huh?), the mint definitely overwinters without a problem. It’s still bright green now, in fact. I put it and some lillies-of-the-valley in the same bed and let them fight it out for dominance.

    How can they even say Romney won by 8 votes? What’s the margin of error?

  139. 139
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    *snerk*

    Via the Twitters, this morning’s headline:

    “Santorum Surges from Behind in Messy Late Night Iowa Three-Way”

  140. 140
    dianne

    there is no scenario for any Republican winning the White House that isn’t disastrous for progressives.

    I read a column in the Spiegel about possible disasters of 2012 that could justify the “Mayan prophecy.” THE worst potential disaster mentioned was the Americans going nuts and electing a Republican-any Republican.

    Also, for anyone worrying that Romney is too close to sane to be able to make fun of effectively, I have two words: Mormon underwear. Feel better now?

  141. 141
    carlie

    We have spent at least $50 in various cat toys, mostly shiny/jingly/chewy/rolly things. Her current favorites: a piece of plastic from a christmas gift box, a small sliver of cardboard, and a twig from the wood stove kindling.

  142. 142
    dianne

    @139: That headline is simply beautiful.

  143. 143
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Alethea (& Giliell)

    Rather than almonds, what about something in the line of coconut milk/cream? (I kinda like the fusion too.)

    ……………..

    While we are underwater…. Oh Wow! The Horde! (With cameo performance by Teh Ebil Oberlawd.) Linky: Yeti crabs. (see especially 1:00 onwards)

  144. 144
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    In the interest of Science ™ I have done some research into the origins of Teh Crocoduck ™. I have managed to trace it back as far as the following Linky. (In a nondescript neighbourhood in Hong Kong.)

    ……………

    @ Benjamin

    But, but, … why buy a steamroller when all you need is a nutcracker. (I am happly typing this on an eeepc that costs less than 1/4 of the cheapest Mac.) YMMV.

  145. 145
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Gillel – I’m finding Mallorie particularly funny because, for all her faux-macho chest pounding about how totally not like all those OTHER weak chicks she is, she’s done literally nothing but whine about what meanies people are to her.

    She’s coming off so delicate and fragile it completely defeats her ridiculous argument.

  146. 146
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Carlie – its like the Murphy’s law of cats. no matter what you buy, they like something free. my cat does the same thing. I haven’t spent as much on cat toys, but regardless, he only ever plays with my hair ties that he knocks off the doorknob or wadded up paper he steals from the wastebasket. LOL

    now, I just crumple up my junk mail. That’s a neverending supply of free cat toys.

  147. 147
    Serendipitydawg(rebel without paws)

    carlie @141,

    And this is why we don’t spend on cat toys… well, apart from the scratching posts, they are so popular that they are regularly destroyed.

    We do have a few catnip toys that others have donated but they fall a pale second to a) any bag or box, b) cellophane sweet wrappers (until they lose their crinkly noise,) and, c) found objects such as leaves which blow in the back door.

  148. 148
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    wait – there is ONE exception to my cat’s disdain for non-garbage toys.

    About 100 years ago, my great aunt crocheted this hideously ugly – and, really kinda scary – clown doll. it currently has a ribbon from some flowers i got around its neck so i can drag it across the floor. Cleo loves to attack Krazee Klown(tm).

    And then cuddle with it. Yeah, i don’t understand either.

  149. 149
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    My theory is that cats are just jerks. Don’t get me wrong, I love my cats, but they’re just little fuzzy jerks.

  150. 150
    Emrysmyrddin

    I may need to light up the Caine signal… but all ratters are welcome :)

    I’m tentatively looking into getting rats soon – I’m an experienced rodent keeper (hamsters, mice, gerbils) but have never extended to rats, although I’ve always wanted to. I’d rather talk to an experienced ratter than just look up some random info online (although I have also done that)…

    Are there any disadvantages to owning rats as pets, generally? I’m odour-tolerant, around all day, plan on mixing my own food as I do for other small furries, understand the need for greater stimulation for rats than for, say, mice, and roughly plan on trying to get two brother-rats as I’ve been told that boys grow bigger and cuddlier as they get older, whereas females tend to be smaller and more whizzy. Is this about right?

    Why do you have rats as opposed to other pets? What’s special about them? I know they’re prone to tumours – are there any other common health problems that you’ve experienced? What are rats like generally handling-wise? (I know rats have different personalities…)

    Really, I’m just looking for overall, inspecific advice from current and previous rat owners. Rats feel like a much bigger step than mice for some reason, although mouse colonies can be a real handful. Give me ratecdotes!

  151. 151
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    theophontes:

    I’d like to see you repave a street with a nutcracker.

    (In other words, some people actually need beefy machines.)

  152. 152
    Serendipitydawg(rebel without paws)

    @Starstuff,

    My theory is that cats are just jerks.

    Spot on!

    Mrs S does crochet mice for them because they really like something that they can rip to pieces… I used to think it was because of the catnip inside but it made no difference when omitted (though the obvious stupor that catnip induces evidently adds to the experience.)

  153. 153
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Benjamin

    Of course, “horses for courses”. (I also have graphics machines that can pave roads in the finest gold.)

    However…. and perhaps without people even even knowing it … most tasks can be achieved with very little cost or computational power. (Like mustard, the money is made from selling people far more than they really need.)

  154. 154
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Bachmann is dropping out. That’s 2 down, 4 to go.

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

    Blarg. Stomach you suck… I’d punch you but it’d just make things worse!

  156. 156
    Rey Fox

    I’m surprised that anyone is dropping out of the Republican race. If Santorum can get back on top, then any of the other ones can just wait their turn.

  157. 157
    julietdefarge

    I tend to think a pit-roasted Andrew Zimmern would be quite palatable. I watched his show for the travel and cultural aspects, then stopped because there waaay too many shots of critters being boiled or fried alive, and not a peep of concern from him. I don’t care if they’re just bugs or prawns, kill ‘em quickly first.

  158. 158
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    prawns, kill ‘em quickly first.

    Prawns, kill ‘em quickly. (Warning: violent scene from District 9)

  159. 159
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    However…. and perhaps without people even even knowing it … most tasks can be achieved with very little cost or computational power.

    True.

    However, I’m a Comp Sci major, and I’m constantly running virtual machines. Since I only want to have one primary machine, I need something that can do it all competently (if not perfectly).

  160. 160
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Just remember what was the reward for winning the 2008 Republican Iowa poll, a weekend show on Fox News.

  161. 161
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Benjamin

    Are you ever looking for Uber(uber(uber(uber(uber(uber))))) computational rendering power?

    (And at maximal bang for your buck? Perhaps my guys should talk to your guys…)

  162. 162
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    theophontes:

    Nah, I don’t need that level of power; I’m willing to sacrifice some of it for usability and portability. Besides, the university maintains some wonderful computing clusters.

    I’ll be in my bunk.

  163. 163
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Benjamin

    I’ll be in my bunk.

    kekekekeke…. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. ;)

  164. 164
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Catholics come home. Just don’t do it in bed.

    How sweet, abstinence organization for LGBT people. If only they put in so much public effort to keep their own from raping children.

    And where the fuck is Cardinal Law?

  165. 165
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @janine:

    I started out a post in a much more jovial manner, but then I just had to go and ruin it by being so incensed by that treatment.

    The suggestion is brought down to one simple thing – gays and lesbians should die bitter and alone. Fuck the homophobes.

  166. 166
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Love this comment in the Hartford Courant thread:

    Tonight, I am going to have an EXTRA helping of anal sex and dedicate my orgasm to the Archdiocese Of Hartford.

    This one’s for you, fool.

  167. 167
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Illuminata, #397, last thread: Congrats on your run time!

    Janine, #600, last thread: Glad to hear Patricia’s OK.

    Crip Dyke, #36 above: Congrats on the Molly!

    Jessa, #45 above: Congrats on quitting smoking!

  168. 168
    Emrysmyrddin

    And where the fuck is Cardinal Law?

    I’m seeing…fuzzy lense. A typical city street, a muscle car speeding down the road, turning a corner, back-end swinging out as it goes…pulling up in a cloud of dust with a screech…car door opens as funky 70s theme music starts (some of you Old Timers will actually remember when this music was current)…a pair of red Prada heels appear in shot below the car door – door slams – camera pans up… V/O in unfeasible but ever-present ‘movie-trailer’ style:

    “Cardinal Law: The maverick loner hard-drinkin’ bishop who just couldn’t take the rapin’ any more…now he’s coming for his former brothers, and communion ain’t on the altar…”

  169. 169
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Katherine, I swing between bitter amusement and getting really pissed off. I am afraid it depends on what mood I am in.

    But just remember, we are free to marry someone of the opposite sex! (How I hate that term, “opposite sex”.)

  170. 170
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @janine:

    *snrk* My situation is an entirely different bugbear to those homophobic prats. If I do a full transition, then I couldn’t marry anyone XD

  171. 171
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Katherine, I remember a case from a few years ago in Texas where a transgendered woman married her partner. This is because Texas law would not recognize her transition. So taking advantage of the twists in the law, this was a lesbian marriage. So it depends on how one can play with the local laws.

    Emrysmyrddin, that make me snicker. For some reason, it made me think of Xena. (Surprising, isn’t it.)

  172. 172
    chigau (違う)

    Hello?

  173. 173
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Shit… I just realized how depressing that statement was :(

    Being sick sucks, your brain is half there….

  174. 174
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Here is a meeting of the minds, Bryan Fischer and Peter Duesberg. The homophobe meets the denialist. It is a huge crank magnet.

  175. 175
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    is it my crap comp or is FTB falling asleep?

  176. 176
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    My favorite quote of the day

    Mrs. Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian:

    As it turns out, God told Michele Bachmann to run for president simply to make a fool of her. Praise God!

  177. 177
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    FTB is having a moment.

  178. 178
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Talking of food, here’s a story NOT recommended to cat lovers:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16409523

    What a creep. Without condoning murder, let’s just say I’m not going to mourn him. Too bad there’s no afterlife where he could be tormented by legions of felines…

  179. 179
    Dhorvath, OM

    Yes, but do so many of them have to be mine?

  180. 180
    Dhorvath, OM

    Timing. I missed it.

  181. 181
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Timing. I missed it.

    It’s ok, I followed

  182. 182
    Midnight Rambler

    Carlie et al. – My parents have a cat toy that theirs really likes, consisting of a ball (like a large ping-pong ball) in a circular track about a foot wide. It’s not the kind of thing you immediately think of as a cat toy, but it loves sitting in the middle and batting it around. And has the benefit of being indestructible.

  183. 183
    cicely

    I…I didn’t know that. Guys?
    -

    Well done, Jessa!
    -

    *Lone exception: chocolate and mint.

    One of those Ultimate Combinations. I’m eating a mint/chocolate truffle right now. :)
    -

    Ubiquitous 3-D entertainment is one of those things, like flying cars, that futuristic fiction has been promising us for decades…

    And, like flying cars, 3-D tends to fall out of the air and flatten innocent bystanders when it runs out of gas. I’m holding out for something more…hologrammy. (Hmmm…the Hologrammy Awards?)
    -

    Isn’t mint fairly resilient once established?

    *snortle*
    Not in my planter, it wasn’t.

    It’s a right pest.

    Yes. I was very annoyed with the way it just curled up and died. I had plans.

    [...]the stuff is positively invasive, and will take over any container, bed, or area where it’s planted.

    ROFLMAO.
    -
    The favorite cat toys in our house are the clothes baskets, and pop bottle caps. Oh, yes; and crickets. Bitsy loves those things. Dinner and a show.
    -
    I am experiencing Technical Difficulty in commenting. Anyone else?
    -

  184. 184
    Emrysmyrddin

    For some reason, it made me think of Xena. (Surprising, isn’t it.)

    Naw, actually, that was just the amount of self-referential cheese that I was aiming for ;)

    Still no rat-acquainted Hordeulites on board?

    Irene: In the UK, ex-Councillor Robert Payne was gaoled a short while ago for horrific and repeated cruelty to his own pet cats. You can google for specifics of the case if you like, but a lot of papers were very graphic so be warned.
    I have a problem with revenge-based justice but these are the sort of people that I wouldn’t mind locking up for life – in my mind, if he can hurt something like that to that degree of suffering then I have no problem armchair-diagnosing him as a raging psychopath. The strong correlation between abusers of animals also being abusers of people is no surprise to me.

  185. 185
    Dhorvath, OM

    cicely,
    It’s part of that tired men talk women listen bullshit, isn’t it? The one where getting to know someone is all about telling them about him, and a discussion is about his opinions and being validated in them. Gah!

  186. 186
    Predator Handshake

    Midnight Rambler @182:

    My cats have one of those, too. Only one of them seems to sorta like it; she’ll notice it as she’s walking by and smack the ball, then watch it spin for a minute and maybe give it another whack.

    My dog is the one that really loves or is frustrated by it. She has a thing with most toys where she really needs to hold that toy in her mouth and not let anyone else have it, so she spends a lot of time trying to pick up that confounded ball. Sometimes she’ll bring one of her more normal toys with her and try to dig the ball out with it. I have a weird dog.

  187. 187
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    My cats are both very sullen and angry right now. We flee dipped them last night and they are now sporting wonderful green (well, grey (or gray) to them) flee collars. And they keep looking at Wife and I with a “What the fuck, dude?” attitude. And it always amazes me that a creature with four forward facing toes on the front foot can still give me the middle finger. The Kittehs are unhappy, and they are determined to spread the feeling.

    No protest (bowel) movements, though.

  188. 188
    Inaji

    Emrysmyrddin:

    Are there any disadvantages to owning rats as pets, generally? I’m odour-tolerant, around all day, plan on mixing my own food as I do for other small furries, understand the need for greater stimulation for rats than for, say, mice, and roughly plan on trying to get two brother-rats as I’ve been told that boys grow bigger and cuddlier as they get older, whereas females tend to be smaller and more whizzy. Is this about right?

    Disadvantages? Plenty, depending on what you mean by disadvantage. I’m not one for keeping anything locked up, so my rats free range in my studio. (You can see the basic set up here) Depending on your rat[s], this can lead to problems, such as any and all wires/cords chewed through, books munched on, etc. Most rats are fantastic climbers, so they can usually easily get to places you don’t want them on, too.

    I’ve been pretty lucky on that score, only one Rat was a major cord/wire chewer. All my rats have been box trained, I use critter litter and I never, ever use that crappy paper substrate that’s sold all over. For all their hidey/sleep boxes and such, I use various cloths which are washable. (I cut up old sheets, T-shirts and the like.)

    Male rats do tend more to the mellow side when grown, of course, they all have distinct personalities, so nothing’s a guarantee. Mixing your own food up is great, however, that’s not always the best way to go, as rats can be remarkably fussy eaters and if you’ve made up a big batch of something they don’t like…well, it’s a waste. When it comes to dry food, mine *love* Reggie Rat Food. They have fresh, mixed salad greens three times a day, along with various fresh veg and fruits several times a week. Peanut butter is their favourite treat.

    You can have a single rat, but if you do, be sure you have a great deal of time to spend with him/her. Rats are social, and in the absence of other rats, they will bond ferociously with you. Rats enjoy going on shoulder rides with their people. Don’t *ever* take them outside unless they are well trained in shoulder riding and trained to stay under a hoodie, else something will come along and grab your rat for supper.

    Dumbo rats are your best bet for pets, they are mellow and affectionate, for the most part. Again, personality matters here – Chas is a cuddlebug, but Alfie didn’t care for being petted or cuddled, he preferred going on adventures instead.

    Why do you have rats as opposed to other pets? What’s special about them? I know they’re prone to tumours – are there any other common health problems that you’ve experienced? What are rats like generally handling-wise? (I know rats have different personalities…)

    Females are more prone to tumours than males. Getting them spayed can help out a lot with that problem. Rats are prone to Mycoplasmia, a respiratory infection which isn’t curable, but manageable when it flares up. (Rats should be taken to vet once you obtain them for a wellness check, then you’re good to go.) Rats can also be allergic to pretty much everything people can, so if one of them starts sneezing all the time, check the environment first.

    Why have rats? They’re absolutely brilliant. Smart, lots of personality and they can go where you go, on your shoulders. :D

    Handling depends on where you get your rats. Most breeders handle their rats every day; most of the rats in a pet store aren’t handled, so they’ll be skittish as hell for a while. You need to build trust slowly if you’re dealing with a young skitterbiscuit. Always let them smell you first (they generally love smelling hair) and try to smell the same every day.

    If handling continues to be a problem, you can do forced socialization – keep the rat in your hands (contact with your hands must be maintained) for 20 straight minutes. That’s a helluva lot harder to do than it sounds. For most rats, it breaks their fear barrier and makes things easier in the long run.

    Um, that’s more than enough for now, I think. Any other questions, holler!

  189. 189
    Rev. BigDumbChimp
    Isn’t mint fairly resilient once established?

    *snortle*
    Not in my planter, it wasn’t.

    In my back yard it sure as hell is. It’s like rosemary and to some extent Habaneros. Unkillable.

  190. 190
    Ingdigo Jump

    Just after all that, someone on my facebook complained about people buying Sushi with stamps.

    And then his friend whose a libertarian chimes in saying he’s doing that, because for some reason he is approved for stamps despite needing them and wants to intentionally cheat the system because he feels that once he’s a doctor he’ll have more than enough money ‘stolen’ through taxes.

    Libertarianism: you have to die for my ideals, while I eat Unagi

  191. 191
    carlie

    cicely – I should send you a sprig of my mint; it came from my mom’s garden, and survived a two-day trip in 100+ temperatures, getting dried out to almost death and just a few live leaves, to come back and entirely take over the side yard.

  192. 192
    carlie

    In my back yard it sure as hell is. It’s like rosemary and to some extent Habaneros. Unkillable.

    Ok, but rosemary, ha! I kill every rosemary I come within 15 feet of. (sad face)

  193. 193
    carlie

    My parents have a cat toy that theirs really likes, consisting of a ball (like a large ping-pong ball) in a circular track about a foot wide.

    *heavy sigh* Yeah, she liked that for about a day. Good thing it was half-price.

    Jessa, congratulations!!! Best of strength to you keeping up with it.

  194. 194
    Inaji

    Carlie:

    I kill every rosemary I come within 15 feet of

    I have two rosemary plants indoors, they’re threatening to take over a corner of the kitchen.

  195. 195
    Pteryxx

    Why do you have rats as opposed to other pets? What’s special about them?

    IMHO, rats have more personality per ounce than anything out there. They’re inquisitive, social, diverse, playful, fast learners… they’re like little fuzzy freethinkers. Y’know that statement “Help me to be as good a person as my dog thinks I am” ? I want to be as good people as rats already are.

  196. 196
    Ingdigo Jump

    Lol, face book friend “liked” the post I did in response ranting about him and his failure of being a decent human being.

  197. 197
    Ingdigo Jump

    As a side note, just want to say I don’t think I’ve ever regretted responding honestly and passionately to people when they say bullshit. At least not for long. It either is a good wake up call for someone else or it shows why I should stop speaking to them.

  198. 198
    Inaji

    Pteryxx:

    I want to be as good people as rats already are.

    Word.

  199. 199
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Ok, but rosemary, ha! I kill every rosemary I come within 15 feet of. (sad face)

    Must be climate thing. I haven’t watered my rosemary bushes in a year. Seriously. Granted they aren’t the best looking things out there, but they are still producing little piney aromatic leaves for my cooking.

  200. 200
    The Sailor

    Obama Skips Chance To Appoint Key Nominee http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/03/obama-richard-cordray-cfpb_n_1181664.html Surprised? No.

    What’s surprising is that you believe the HuffPo:
    http://news.google.com/news/story?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&topic=n&ncl=dOIgBgNHHME3YAMIGHC1yy0epa0FM&scoring=n

    Every other news source says it’s a done deal.
    ++++++++
    Alethea, that smashed violin and the story behind it makes me hurt inside.

  201. 201
    Emrysmyrddin

    If/when I get rats (it’s looking more and more like a when after all the replies!) I wouldn’t get a lone one. I’m no substitute for a grooming and play partner – I know that they’re similar to mice in a lot of ways, and sociability is one of them. At one point my mouse colony stretched to twelve; I wouldn’t keep such a social animal alone unless it was one removed for aggression, or quarantine obv. Mice get myco flare-ups too, they seem to be born with it, so I’m handy with resp infection care and Baytril.
    Free-roaming would be a problem in my flat – OH is a techie, so wires galore. I’ve been weighing the possibility of using the bathroom as the play area – no gaps, no wires, wooden floor so easy to sweep up, can splash a bit of water in the bath if they take to that. I’d like to free-roam, but as it’s not really possible, I’m saving up for a Royal Savic. I figure two or three males in a Royal with lots of toys, and a bathroom-roam every other day, would satisfy the need to explore? Or would I need to do anything else, anything more do you think?

    I fell in love with mice when I kept them; they’re very intelligent and personable too, and I guess I’m hoping with rats for Mice Plus One – something I can not only look after but interact with. Most of the hamsters I’ve had were the dopey sort, but when I got a bright spark it really showed in comparison – we seemed to enjoy each other’s company a bit more, rather than me just being Food Dispenser From The Sky. I’d like some personality!

    I’m looking around for possible breeders at the moment, mainly for health and handling; PaH always have plenty of rats but I don’t like going there – they don’t handle their animals, nor sex them accurately. I’d like two (I’d stretch to three) males preferably – I can see them as practice for more lively females in the future as well as pets in their own right. If they were brothers, do you think I should still get them neutered to reduce aggression? Or would they more than likely be well-socialised with each other? I know obv that you can’t answer for individual rats! Just on generalities. One part of planning is budgeting for any likely vets expenses, and if it includes a couple of ops then I would need to save a little longer still.

    I really appreciate your responses, Caine and Pteryxx – and I must say, as a habitat-fusser, that your setup is wonderful, Caine; so many textures and nibbly bits as well as long shelf cages! Mice love running along walls and sniffing in corners, and I think that rats would probably be the same; that’s why I ragestomp at Rotastak and their round bubble-shaped cages for small rodents – they like flat floors, walls and boundaries, dammit! ;)

  202. 202
    tielserrath

    Just a drive by before I go to work:

    Stephen Hawking says women are ‘a complete mystery’ (It’s your own fault, bitches! If you were logical, like men…)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jan/04/stephen-hawking-women-complete-mystery

    New cephalopod!!!
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/04/new-species-southern-ocean-antarctica

  203. 203
    Inaji

    Emrysmyrddin:

    I figure two or three males in a Royal with lots of toys, and a bathroom-roam every other day, would satisfy the need to explore?

    That’s workable, as for anything else, let them have ‘out’, free time with you and partner, anything else depends on the personalities you get. Ash used to adore running around the kitchen counters while I did dishes, and Alfie loved nothing more than getting his “okay, you get the whole house” days twice a week. (Alfie just loved chasing the cats all over hell and gone.)

    You can always make a habitat, like we did – the rat condo is a cheap bookshelf, wire cloth for ladders, holes cut for access, pegboard on the back and of course, the front “gates”.

    A lot of people have turned old pieces of furniture into good habitats, it’s worth a couple of days searching the net for such things – I did that when we ended up with Ash, who was a rescue. Before Ash, it never crossed my mind to have a rat as a pet, but I’ll never be without one now.

  204. 204
    Dhorvath, OM

    Tielserrath,
    Monolith thinking in action. Why do people need to do that anyways? It’s not like it’s so hard to think of people as individuals. Is it?

  205. 205
    Inaji

    Emrysmyrddin, about neutering males – don’t. Not unless there’s absolutely no choice due to excess aggression. Neutering males shortens their already short life and they lose motivation to exercise, so they basically eat and get very fat.

    Males do go through an aggressive period, usually when they are 3 to 6 months old. They will fuss and fight, but unless blood is being drawn, it’s generally no big deal. If fighting a/o squeaking distresses you, or you want to discourage it, do the same thing you do with cats, get a small squirt bottle or squirt gun and let loose with the water. :D They don’t like it any better than cats.

  206. 206
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Good evening

    Gosh, I didn’t know my father-in-law had superpowers.
    I mentioned the storm last night. My in-laws live in a house the same design as ours (fairly high, free-standing, top of a hill) and my dad-in-law is caretaker over there.
    So, last night a man living on the 11th floor rang their door-bell, complained about the storm and asked if my dad-in-law could do something about it.

  207. 207
    Dhorvath, OM

    So he spun widdershins thrice and did a back flip then said “No, not a thing.”?

  208. 208
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    they don’t handle their animals, nor sex them accurately.

    Sexing a rat is fairly easy when you remember the males have balls roughly the size of concord grapes. (Seriously, there must be a lot of padding in there. How do they run around without smacking that thing on everything? Or is that possibly why males are more mellow?)

    For me, I first became attracted to the idea of pet rats because “rats are disgusting.” I always had empathy for animals like rats, vultures, hyenas, etc, animals with a bad public image, because hey, I spent almost all of my life with a bad public image.

    But that’s a shallow reason for liking an animal and it wasn’t until I actually got my first rat, an ancient, rickety, elderly thing with missing fur and a hole in his ear from his cagemates, bought for five bucks off a backyard breeder since the petstore in that small town didn’t have any, that I realized how awesome rats were. I only had that rat for a few months, but he was such a great little companion.

    Every rat I’ve had since then has been a perfect wonderful individual.

    I don’t actually ‘keep’ rats anymore, but there’s a colony in my back yard that I just don’t have the heart to get rid of. So far they’re still being perfectly well-behaved tenants.

  209. 209
    Pteryxx

    If they were brothers, do you think I should still get them neutered to reduce aggression? Or would they more than likely be well-socialised with each other?

    I’ve had only male rats, both siblings and non-sibs of similar age (caveat: young-ish) and they’ve all gotten along fine. Rats aren’t like mice that way; as long as there’s not a female in heat to fight over, they’ll just scuffle for fun and dominance as they see fit.

  210. 210
    Inaji

    TLC:

    Sexing a rat is fairly easy when you remember the males have balls roughly the size of concord grapes.

    Uh, no it’s not easy. The testicles don’t drop for quite a while, so when you’re looking to get rats that are 6 to 8 weeks old, you need someone who knows what they are doing when it comes to sexing, or you’ll end up with a flavour you didn’t want.

    Frinst., Rubin’s balls haven’t, um, emerged yet, and he’ll be 3 months old soon.

    Also, those gigantic balls? Rats can pull them up into the body at will.

  211. 211
    Pteryxx

    TLC, you ask the bestest questions!

    (Seriously, there must be a lot of padding in there. How do they run around without smacking that thing on everything? Or is that possibly why males are more mellow?)

    As a veteran of a testis biology lab, thus very familiar with rat balls… there’s not as much padding as you’d think, just layers of membranes and thin muscle. Rat sacs are really flexy though, they sit on ‘em, lie on ‘em, sometimes step on them, and can always suck their balls back inside their body if things get rough out there. When they run, the balls are held juuust above the surface, right around ankle-height very consistently (like their tails). I figure rats are just so small that toughness-of-scale kicks in.

  212. 212
    Pteryxx

    also, I’d say sexing a rat is easy compared to other similar critters… they’re big enough to see the penis sheath up the belly, where on mice you kinda have to squint, and gerbils and guinea pigs aren’t as visibly different. The person doing the sexing does need to have a clue, though.

    Lots of pictures online: http://www.ratz.co.uk/sexingrats.html for instance.

  213. 213
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ Emrysmyrddin:

    Sadly, in this case, the real perpetrators won’t even go in trouble for killing cats, because this sort of “cuisine” (argh) is not illegal in China, far from it. It’s the old sympathetic magic nonsense: eat tiger flesh, you’ll absorb the tiger’s life energy. If tigers are not available (or too expensive due to the demand from traditional medicine), cat is a very acceptable substitute… Ah, the beauty of old cultural traditions!

    (I’m aware that vegetarians probably feel the same about eating pigs, sheep and chickens, but there’s not one shred of justification for eating carnivores. Their proteins are not of better quality, & raising them for food is more expensive and comes with a higher environmental footprint.)

  214. 214
    Emrysmyrddin

    I’ll not neuter, then – fighting doesn’t bother me unless it gets serious. Mice scrap for hierarchy, and it usually ended in a humping orgy (female mice are very enthusiastic about placement in the group). I’m only really worried about them actually hurting each other, not about a few fisticuffs. I’ll take the spray under advisement, thanks.
    I usually build my own rodent cages, but I’m a mite paranoid about escapees when there are so many wires about; hamsters and mice have been fine so far, but rat chew power is legendary, and I’d like a cage that soothes that paranoia while being huge enough for them to jump around in.
    Ha, when it comes to rodent bollocks, hamsters have enormous ones and they do the same: chew ‘em a bit, sit on ‘em in ways you’d think would be incredibly uncomfortable; they seem to treat them like beanbag chairs! They too descend after they grow up a bit – one of the few times that I have bought from PaH, I didn’t double-check myself after the assistant pulled out ‘a female’, and whoo boy, that nibbler had the biggest balls that I’ve ever seen on a hamster after about a week and a half of peering at him.
    Thanks for all the responses – I’m more confident now that I can cope with getting them. A few furry friends would come in handy right about now.

  215. 215
    Emrysmyrddin

    I’m watching Dexter Series 6 episode 9, and I swear that Trent Casey is meant to be PZ! :O

  216. 216
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Yeesh, FTB just crapped right out for me for an hour or so.

  217. 217
    'Tis Himself

    Is FTB running really slow or is it just me?

  218. 218
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    @RahXephon – this may perhaps be of interest. It is to me, as it’s exactly the model I have. http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Reinvigorate_Your_Aging_MacBook_Pro

    YMMV on which tips to take – I don’t care too much about a 2 minute vs 20 sec boot-time when I only reboot maybe once a month. But I do need a new battery.

  219. 219
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Tis: ‘Tis not just you. :(

  220. 220
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    cicely: I don’t know who they studied, but they sure as hell ain’t me. I prefer hanging out with people who can give as good as they get.

  221. 221
    Inaji

    ‘Tis, not just you. FTB has been fucked for me for at least an hour, not just slow, but the formatting has been wrong.

  222. 222
    cicely

    I should send you a sprig of my mint; it came from my mom’s garden, and survived a two-day trip in 100+ temperatures, getting dried out to almost death and just a few live leaves, to come back and entirely take over the side yard.

    But can it survive a trip through the mail? Maybe, come spring, I’ll take you up on your offer, and we shall see.
    :)
    -

  223. 223
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I think I may have created an eternal soup. Last weekend, I made a bean soup with sausage. On Tuesday, I added some more beans and onions and we had it for dinner. Today, I added a can of diced tomatoes and a hunk of what turned out to be some leftover frozen roasted pork shoulder. And we had it for dinner again. And there is still just as much in the soup pot as there was after the previous three meals.

    And I am happy to know that it was not just my connection that wasn’t.

  224. 224
    chigau (違う)

    I’m beginning to take this personally.

  225. 225
    Inaji

    It’s January. In North Dakota. I’ve been running around in shorts and a Tee. It’s in the 60s (F).

  226. 226
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Caine:

    It was 4 degrees this morning when Wife was out working her street corner. We made it all the way up to 24, which was warmer than expected, but still!

  227. 227
    'Tis Himself

    Brother Ogvorbis,

    The eternal soup pot is a staple in Jamaica. As long as the soup is constantly at a simmer, it’s not going to cool off enough to become a haven for biological contamination. Plus there’s the old nursery rhyme:

    Pease porridge hot,
    Pease porridge cold,
    Pease porridge in the pot
    Nine days old.

  228. 228
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis, yeah, we’ve been in the high 20s lately, which is amazing enough. Right now, it’s 40 F, when normally, we’d be well below zero. Beyond astonishing.

  229. 229
    Pteryxx

    now this is why the internet is wonderful:

    http://gayhomophobe.com/

    # days since the last prominent homophobe was caught in a gay sex scandal:

    19

    Latest winner: Mayor Greg Davis (R), December 16, 2011

    came out after ironic audit showed city paid for gay sex shop purchase

  230. 230
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    ‘Tis:

    I keep chucking the crock pot into the fridge and then heating it with the new ingredients before dinner.

    Caine:

    Wow. In North Dakota, that’s almost summer temps.

  231. 231
    Weed(less) Monkey

    birgerjohansson, a few years ago I found some funnel chanterelles in the beginning of December (they are called winter mushrooms for a reason!), but I’ve never heard of golden chanterelles surviving past October. That’s quite exceptional.

  232. 232
    Sili

    How can they even say Romney won by 8 votes? What’s the margin of error?

    There isn’t a margin of error in an election. The result is what it is. You’re thinking of polls.

    Of course, there’s the risk of miscounting, but that’s different.

  233. 233
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    There isn’t a margin of error in an election. The result is what it is.

    Unless you take the stand that voting for any of these assclams is an error, in which case, the margin of error for this straw pole was 100%.

  234. 234
    The Sailor

    The margin of error was everyone who voted for them.

  235. 235
    Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc

    It seems that the bloody DCA cancer bullshit is going round Facebook again. I get the raging SIWOTIs from nonsense like that. :-/

  236. 236
    The Sailor

    “Controversial Arizona sheriff says will cooperate with feds”

    Of course Sherf Joe was lying:

    “Ariz. sheriff pledges conditional participation in talks to fix alleged rights violations”

    I extremely dislike that asshole.

  237. 237
    Inaji

    Emrysmyrddin:

    A few furry friends would come in handy right about now.

    You will bow to the cuteness power. Trust me. :D

  238. 238
    Pteryxx

    You will bow to the cuteness power. Trust me. :D

    THE RATTY FEETZ AAAH

  239. 239
    Weed(less) Monkey

    22th of this month we have a presidential election in Finland, to replace Tarja Halonen (social democrat, former chairman of SETA, a LGBT rights organisation) who has had her two terms allowed by law. I decided months ago to vote for Pekka Haavisto (green, an active peacemaker in the UN and EU, gay, and most importantly, a very liberal guy).

    But it seems very unlikely that any candidate could have more than 50% of the vote so we’ll have a second round with the two candidates who got the most votes. This time it’s probably going to be a choice between Sauli Niinistö (national coalition, which is a conservative party (at least in regard to economics), but compared to US politics it might be seen as centrist) and whichever populist asshole gets their supporters roused to vote.

    So it seems likely I’ll have to do the thing I never thought possible since I started thinking: vote for a conservative.

  240. 240
    Inaji

    Pteryxx:

    THE RATTY FEETZ AAAH

    I know, I know, it’s just too much!

  241. 241
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    I miss my rats. :(

    The gerbils are doing quite well. They’ve eaten most of their “hay hut” and they’re still making “COME AT ME, BRO!” motions at the kittehs.

    Too damned cute.

  242. 242
    Inaji

    Audley, awwww, sounds like Syd and Chuck are having a good time. Reminds me of Alfie, oh, he did love chasing the cats and getting in their face. :D

  243. 243
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    That noise you just heard was me throwing my brand new 5×5 Rubik’s Cube against the wall with great force.

  244. 244
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Gerbils are quite useful in destroying pretty much anything they can bite into, like those cardboard thingies in toilet paper rolls. And simultaneously they’re adding to their litter. Handy, eh?

  245. 245
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    That noise you just heard was me throwing my brand new 5×5 Rubik’s Cube against the wall with great force.

    Disassembly is a very efficient way of ‘solving’ the Rubik’s cubes. I don’t think it is in the rubric, but it works.

  246. 246
  247. 247
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Brother Ogvorbis: So is removing and rearranging the colored stickers, if it’s one of the cheap models with colored stickers instead of painted sides.

  248. 248
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    TLC:

    True, but, eventually, the sticky stuff wears out, they fall off, and you end up with a semi-gloss black cube. Easy to solve at that point.

    Truth in Blogging: My best time with a 3X3X3 was just under four minutes. With the 4X4X4, my best was about 15 minutes. And no, I do not remember how to do it anymore.

  249. 249
    Walton

    “Controversial Arizona sheriff says will cooperate with feds”

    Of course Sherf Joe was lying:

    “Ariz. sheriff pledges conditional participation in talks to fix alleged rights violations”

    I extremely dislike that asshole.

    There are no negative epithets strong enough to describe Arpaio. He’s a racist, fascist, violent thug. And his hate-campaign against “illegal immigrants” illustrates the way in which immigration restrictions institutionalize racism. America’s ludicrous and discriminatory immigration laws give racist thugs like Arpaio – and he’s certainly not the only racist thug in the law-enforcement sector – an excuse to abuse and harass members of racial minorities.

  250. 250
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    It takes about five minutes for me to solve a 3×3 (guesstimate, I never timed myself, I’m not a speedcuber).

    Also, the official Rubik’s branded cubes are the ‘cheap models’. I knew a guy who had one where the sides were not only painted, but molded out of plastic. I’ll be damned if I can find it, though.

    But I got completely frustrated with the 5×5 because I keep making the same mistake and I have no idea how to fix it. The end result is that two pairs of cubelets get swapped, and I pretty much have to start the solution from scratch.

  251. 251
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    And his hate-campaign against “illegal immigrants” illustrates the way in which immigration restrictions institutionalize racism.

    Sheriffs are elected, so obviously the voters of that county love institutionalized racism. And it is a perfect example of why ‘majority rules’ is sheer stupidity when it comes to civil rights — for GLBTs, immigrants, racial minorities, religious minorities, ethnic minorities. Voting for or against human rights (which is what the voters of that county do every time they re-elect this assclam) is the antithesis what the US and the rest of the developed world should stand for.

  252. 252
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Caine:

    Audley, awwww, sounds like Syd and Chuck are having a good time.

    :) They’ve adjusted quite nicely– I think it helped that we got both of them at the same time, you know? Chuck is such a little sweetie, all sniffs and nibbles. Syd is a goofy oaf, who enjoys nipping at our fingers and scampering away.

    They have yet to truly come face-to-face with the cats (just through the cage bars), but honestly, I’m not too worried about it when the time comes.

  253. 253
    Pteryxx

    I’d be more worried about the cats. My rats quickly figured out they could leap out of hiding and scare the cat into running away.

  254. 254
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Pteryxx,
    Syd and Chuck are gerbils and, honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect from them. But they’re gutsy little guys, so no fear there.

    My last rat (Simon) was petrified of cats. I had a cat at the time (Pip) who only wanted to rub his stinky kitty face all over Simon, but Simon would just book it and hide, shivering, under a piece of furniture.

  255. 255
  256. 256
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Chili fail! I had tom yum with shrimp, veggies, an egg, a few jalapeño slices and a teaspoon of naga morich sauce. It was so incredibly hot it was absurd. I’m already afraid of the time I have to relieve myself.

  257. 257
    Inaji

    Audley:

    My last rat (Simon) was petrified of cats.

    Ash, our first rat, conditioned all the cats in the house, bit every single one of them, and rat bites hurt. Ash would sneak up when they were sleeping, bite them, then sit there and watch them. He only ever bit them once, but it did the trick. Whenever the cats see a rat coming, they get up and go away. Alfie just loved getting in their face and chasing them all over.

    Chas doesn’t care about the cats, but he doesn’t like playing with them. He does love grooming the monster dogs, though, and tolerates Doll bathing him.

  258. 258
    Pteryxx

    It was so incredibly hot it was absurd. I’m already afraid of the time I have to relieve myself.

    Oatmeal chaser a la mode, STAT!!

  259. 259
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Oatmeal chaser a la mode, STAT!!

    A la mode meaning “with ice cream”, right? Sound like a good idea, but I don’t have any. I’ll try some müsli with yoghurt and strawberries.

  260. 260
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Caine,
    Oh yes, I know how much rat bites hurt. It’s pretty awesome that Ash trained your cats for you. :)

    How are your current little ones doing, by the way?

  261. 261
    Weed(less) Monkey

    StarStuff, your TARDIS is gorgeous. :)

  262. 262
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    @ Weed Monkey

    Thanks!
    I’m making this hat with the leftover blue yarn now.
    I just go from one project to the next without breaks. I think I might be mildly obsessed.

  263. 263
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    In my back yard it sure as hell is. It’s like rosemary and to some extent Habaneros. Unkillable.

    It’s easy to kill habaneros here in Chiwaukee. We call it winter. Doesn’t do much to the mint, rosemary, or oregano though.

  264. 264
    JeffreyD

    Caine, Audley – your little “varmints” are adorable. And your rodents as well. ;^)

  265. 265
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Hello, Jeffrey!

  266. 266
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Teh Kitteh enjoys pipe cleaners as toys. Her addiction has come to a point where every time I start filling a pipe (which happens maybe a few times a week) she starts purring, circles around me and tries to steal one even while I’m using it. I give her unused ones to play with, but it seems they are much more fun if she can grab one from my fingers :D

  267. 267
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Jeffrey- what an unexpected treat!

    Cooking-

    I’m a very happy boy. I finally bit the bullet and bought some expensive kitchen equipment I’ve been putting off. I am the proud owner of a Cuisinart panini press/grill (having used it at a friend’s it’s well worth the money). And, a Henckel carbon steel 8″ chef’s knife. Oh, it’s glorious.

  268. 268
    Inaji

    Jeffrey! *pounces and hugs and hugs and hugs and hugs*

    Audley:

    How are your current little ones doing, by the way?

    Oh, just fine. Rubin is still a mega-skitterbiscuit, has an attack if so much as say his name, Esme is the self-declared queen of the studio and Chas is his usual cuddlebug self. I’m continually having to re-arrange stuff as Esme finds some way to climb up to where she isn’t allowed. She’s better at climbing than a monkey. Recently, I had to block access to any outlet where I had something plugged in, because she pulls herself up on top of the plugs and uses them as stepladders. She’s somethin’ else.

    When are we getting pics of Syd & Chuck?

  269. 269
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Welcome back Jeffrey.

  270. 270
    JeffreyD

    Hugs to Caine and Josh and Nerd…and off to bed. Well, off to read. Nite all.

  271. 271
    carlie

    Pretty Tardis!

    I guess I was thinking of polls, but still, 8 votes? Most places that would trigger an automatic hand recount.

    More hugs to Jeffrey! :)

    cicely, send me your address and I can make multiple mint attempts. :) I’m at carliesinternet at yahoo.

    Anyone read the Percy Jackson YA series? I just finished Son of Neptune (the newest), which I drove a half hour for to a library that had it in, and it was GREAT.

  272. 272
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Josh, congratulations for new tools.

    I also bought some new kitchen equipment last month: a carbon steel frying pan. It cost about 40 €, pretty much the same as a mediocre non-stick pan. But I expect this one to last for a lifetime, unlike the non-stick pans that start shedding their coating after a few years.

    Maybe higher quality non-stick would last longer, I don’t know. I’ve never had the money to spare to spend something like 100 € for a pan.

  273. 273
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Caine,
    I’ll get some pics once they start to settle down around us– right now, we’re still in the OMG! Everything is so new and exciting! phase, so they’re really active and curious about everything. I’ve tried to take some photos, but all I’ve managed to capture is gerbil blurs. :D

  274. 274
    Inaji

    Carlie:

    Anyone read the Percy Jackson YA series?

    Yep, I own them, read them last year. I enjoyed them, too. I found them refreshing, when it comes to YA books. They weren’t condescending and I think the gods were written well. All the adventures were fun and well thought out. Out of them, I liked the 2nd one best.

    I just finished Son of Neptune

    I brought that one home not long after it was out, finished it a few weeks ago. A lot of it felt repetitive, after reading the initial series, but I like the idea well enough and look forward to seeing where it goes.

  275. 275
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Weed Monkey:

    I bought a quality set of stainless steel cookware a few years ago. Non-stick pans have a place in the kitchen, but it’s limited, and for your everyday cooking, steel is the way to go. If it’s quality and you take care of it, it should last decades, maybe a lifetime.

    Pros:

    Heavy-bottomed steel disperses heat evenly
    The surface helps develop a good sear or crust
    You get a good “fond” you can scrape off the bottom that develops flavor

    Cons:
    It’s a pain in the ass to clean
    It’s a pain in the ass to clean

    My cleaning regimen:

    1. Hot pans get water and soap poured in. If they’re really crusty, I boil.

    2. An abrasive powder with very little water is your best friend. In the US Bon Ami cleanser is cheap and the most effective I’ve found. Barkeeper’s Friend is a good second, but it’s twice as costly and not quite as good as Bon Ami.

    3. Keep on top of the grease build-up before it hardens

    4. For nearly carbonized grease deposits, scrub with steel wool

  276. 276
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    My cat Titus has always had a fondness for those little circular strips of plastic you pull off the cap of a new gallon of milk. When he was a youngster he would play fetch with them and I remember once trying to get into the shower with him constantly bringing the $#@! thing back every time I threw it. (Throw milk tab — take off shoes and socks. Throw milk tab — take off pants and shirt. Throw milk tab — turn on shower water. Throw milk tab — adjust temperature. Throw milk tab extra far — get quickly into shower. Finish shower — find cat on bath mat waiting with milk tab.)

    Weed Monkey, I too dislike nonstick surfaces that can scratch because I’m sure to scratch ‘em. I got a carbon steel crepe pan as a gift a couple years ago and I love that thing. It truly did season nonstick.

  277. 277
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Josh, I’ve already found that with steel I can get a real crust in my omelettes while it’s still soft and custard-like on the inside. That’s something I was never able to accomplish with aluminum/non-stick pans. So I’m a happy monkey. And dedicated to kitchenware maintenance.

  278. 278
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Ooooh, Josh, have you used ammonia fumes to remove carbonized deposits? It’s like magic. Well, stinky magic. You put the pans in a heavy duty trash bag with a rag or a wad of newspaper soaked in ammonia and leave it overnight; the caked on brown stuff scrubs off! Don’t use it on anything with aluminum or copper, although it’s great for clear or white Pyrex (haven’t tried it on my vintage colored stuff).

  279. 279
    Inaji

    Kristinc:

    My cat Titus has always had a fondness for those little circular strips of plastic you pull off the cap of a new gallon of milk.

    Oh, those! Ophelia & Sinister still love playing with those, and they are 11 and 9 years old.

  280. 280
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Kristin – wow! No, and I’ve never even heard of that. Thank you, thank you. I’m def. going to try it. I have some Pyrex and Corning I’ve never been able to get clean.

  281. 281
    Weed(less) Monkey

    kristinc, teh Kitteh loves to play fetch as well. Observe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nuraz-4tMEw
    If that’s not adorable I don’t know what is :D

  282. 282
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Weed, is that YOUR kitteh?

  283. 283
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    It’s an old Heloise tip, I think. Every year before Thanksgiving I go on a several-day spree with the ammonia to make sure all my glass dishes are sparkling clean before I take them to the inlaws’ all filled with food. I do my steelware while I’m at it.

    I stress that I have not tried it with the pretty colored Pyrex, although I don’t really see how it could hurt.

  284. 284
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Oh, we’re talking foodie acquisitions? I didn’t get anything this year like the KitchenAid mixer I got last year, but did get did get a few food-related gifts. </blogwhore>

  285. 285
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Josh, yes she is. The house is my parents’ but the hand that throws the slipper is mine.

  286. 286
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Oh, Weed Monkey, my cats are way too lazy to haul an entire slipper around. The heaviest lifting they do is wadded up paper.

    She(?) is adorable though. And a tired-out cat is a well-behaved cat!

  287. 287
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Weed, your kitteh is freakin’ adorable. He brings the slipper back to you just like a dog!

  288. 288
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    Mom’s cats have always loved batting around the plunger caps from my brother’s insulin syringes.

  289. 289
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Oh, those are nice food gifts, Bill, fo sho.

  290. 290
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    OMG. Sometimes I fucking hate college. I just transferred, and this has been my experience so far.

    University Douche: Okay, to apply, bang your head against this giant brick wall, pay us 40 dollars, and we’ll see if we can let you in.
    Me: Okay…*bangs head, pays 40 dollars*
    UD: Alright, we’ve accepted you, but we farted around and now it’s too late for you to get your financial aid and enrollment shit arranged so you can’t actually attend. Wait until spring!
    Me: Okay…
    *waits until Spring*
    Me: Alright, time to enroll!
    UD: Nooooope! See, we know who you are but you waited too long. Gotta bang your head on the wall and pay 40 dollars again. As a formality.
    Me: FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

  291. 291
    Weed(less) Monkey

    For a long time I didn’t much care for tattoos. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, most of them just seem so tacky. But there’s this one image that has been in my mind for some years, and now I’ve decided I’ll put away a little money, maybe 20 € a month until I can afford to have this picture tattooed in my skin: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wihtmhzg6Pg/Tt3r7Isk-WI/AAAAAAAAAK4/RahXYPqpniw/s1600/nuuskamuikkunen.jpeg
    That’s Snufkin from Moomin books, drawn by Tove’s brother Lars. I think I’d like it on the left side of my chest, so it looks like he’s walked a long way and is about to disappear.

  292. 292
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Weed Monkey, your cat has to be one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. Do you mind if I link to that video on my blog this Saturday for my Caturday post?

  293. 293
    Weed(less) Monkey

    StarStuff, I certainly don’t mind. Go ahead.

  294. 294
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    I really like that, Weed Monkey. Has a bit of an ‘Odin the Wanderer’ feel to it. A tall walking stick would complete the image for me, but that’d be fiddling with the original artwork.

  295. 295
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    @ Weed Monkey

    Yay! Thanks.

    I should teach my at to fetch.

  296. 296
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    That’d be cat. I’d like to teach my cat to fetch, not my at.

  297. 297
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Yeah… I really identify with Snufkin, and in the picture it’s obviously autumn with the falling leaves, and he’s leaving. Quite beautiful.

    In the books Snufkin is a quiet but rational character, who stays a bit distant from everyone else.

    This picture feels like me.

  298. 298
    chigau (違う)

    When our kitteh was young, she played fetch. We didn’t teach her, she just did it. She quit when she grew up.
    I did teach her to shake a paw.

  299. 299
    SallyStrange

    No kitchen stuff for me. But, I am writing this from my brand new laptop, courtesy of my grandparents! Huzzah!

    I just registered the domain name for the website I’m starting. It’s basically going to be my online resume.

    Next up: the official debut of the Sally Strange blog. Considering possible blog names. Sally in a Strange Land? Something with “strange” in the title.

  300. 300
    chigau (違う)

    Long Tall?
    Mustang?
    Brew?
    .
    .
    .
    dating myself?

  301. 301
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    SallyStrange.com. No contest.

  302. 302
    Inaji

    Josh:

    SallyStrange.com. No contest.

    For the blog name? I think she can get a little more creative than that. My first thought was A Stranger in Sally Land, but that’s a little silly. ;p

  303. 303
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I’m just talking about the domain name. And yeah, the blog could just be the site itself. Wouldn’t it be cool for people to say “I read that on SallyStrange” the way they say, “I read that on JoeMyGod?”

  304. 304
    Inaji

    Josh:

    I’m just talking about the domain name.

    She’s already registered it, she wanted suggestions for the blog. Sally Strange is fine, I’m more the type to get creative with a blog name. Each to their own.

  305. 305
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Argh. My current project is, I’m trying to build an armoire, and I’m trying to do it using most of the parts of an old dresser.

    If I had been the slightest bit intelligent, I would have tightened up all the joints on the old dresser, built a hutch with doors to go on top of it, painted the whole thing and put on pretty hardware and called it done. It would have been a little too wide for the spot I have, but it would have been tons easier.

    Instead I’m disassembling this old dresser, pulling out a squillion little nails, cutting all the drawers down to fit my narrower armoire and reassembling them, ditto the drawer slides and supports, oh yeah and I’m doing it all with just a circular saw and a miter saw, no precision woodworking tools. And because I want to preserve the tenon joints that hold in the drawer supports, and the old wooden drawer slides that are glued to the drawer bottoms, I’m doing it all a sliver at a time from each side to make sure everything is still centered.

    It’s such slow going, and I really want to have the armoire finished and painted by the time I go in for my wisdom tooth removal in … gulp … less than 2 weeks. I consistently get myself in over my head with this stuff and I really should find some way to be more sane about it.

    Now I have to go pull out some more tiny nails.

  306. 306
    shouldbeworking

    I like Stranger in A Sally Land, but I’m a Heinlein fan and an Old White Guy who is colorblind. . Colour is just theory. Teach the controversy!

    I registered my family name as the domain for my class’ website. Which annoyed my two brothers. A win-win situation for big brother AGAIN!

  307. 307
    Rey Fox

    Strange Days.

  308. 308
    SallyStrange

    Hmm, I like it, Josh. I could register the domain as SallyStrange.com and title it something interesting. Sally Strangelove. Sallying Forth in a Strange World. I do like the Heinlein reference, it is of course what I was thinking of.

    Strange Days is also good.

    I’ll be thinking on it.

  309. 309
    SallyStrange

    kristinc, that sounds infuriating. My sympathies.

  310. 310
    Tethys

    Sally is starting a new blog! That’s femfabulous news!
    I’m too tired to be creative, but I found this interesting etymology tidbit while trying to come up with a good suggestion for a creative name.

    a astrânge (third-person singular present astrânge, past participle astrâns) 3rd conj.
    (regional, Banat, Transylvania, archaic) to gather, collect

  311. 311
    SallyStrange

    Tethys, that makes me think of the word “estranged” which is kind of how I feel about the world in general. Interesting.

    Anyway, night all. Thanks ever so much for the suggestions.

  312. 312
    SallyStrange

    And, as a matter of fact, I haven’t registered a domain name for the SallyStrange blog, only for my professional website, where I plan on advertising my services as copy editor, GIS mapmaker, babysitter, landscape designer, and whatever else seems handy. That would be my real life name dot com. Which is way cool and maybe someday I’ll feel comfortable revealing it.

  313. 313
    SallyStrange

    My previous comment is awaiting moderation. How odd.

  314. 314
    Emrysmyrddin

    Haha, thanks for all the ratty fodder. Feets! <3! :D

  315. 315
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Sallying Forth in a Strange World.

    Snap! (I was thinking along the lines of Sally Through Strangelands. (There is already a Sally Forth = webcomic). Pfffft:

    sally (plural sallies)

    A sortie of troops from a besieged place against an enemy.
    A sudden rushing forth.
    An excursion or side trip.
    A witty statement or quip.
    A tufted woollen part of a bellrope, used to provide grip when ringing a bell.

    …. or “Sally to Strangelands”. Verbing yourself iow.

  316. 316
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    … “Sallying Strange Lands” …. “Sally out to…

    Heck, I better stop now.

  317. 317
  318. 318
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Fucking Saudi Fucking Arabia, how does it work?

    Not at all if the grand mufti gets his way: Women only to work in Saudi Arabia lingerie shops (or not …)

  319. 319
    birgerjohansson

    The Sailor @ 200

    I stand corrected. HULK CRUSH HuffPo!!!
    — — — — — —

    Regarding felines – read at Physorg.com : Smilodon did not only have long teeth, it had extraordinarily strong forearms. So that is how so many of our ancestors got culled from the herd…
    — — — — — —

    Revisiting ‘whys’ behind New York crime decline http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-01-law-prof-probes-whys-big.html
    Somehow I doubt mere facts will have much impact on the debate of law and order.

  320. 320
    John Morales

    Sally Strange Scribbles

  321. 321
    beckydibari

    Last week if you searched Santorum the first hit you had was the definition. We need to get the definition of Santorum back to the top of the Goggle search results.
    Go to Google type in Santorum, click the spreadingsantorum.com/ search result. If enough people do this the definition will wind up first in the search.

  322. 322
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Hallelujah! Virgin birth found in zebra sharks! (Caution: video link.)

    One more vertebrate capable of parthenogenesis. Will Tim Minchin rewrite the “Komodo dragon Jesus” verse in his Christmas song next year?

  323. 323
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Hi there

    In case anybody is interesting in contributing:
    I’m collecting quotes of knee-jerk Rebecca Watson/PZ Myers/Ophelia Benson/Stephanie Zwan/Greta Christina etc. bashing for handy reference, you know the “this is wrong because they wrote it” kind, the “both sides are doing it”, the “Real Freethinkers(TM) wouldn’t do this” stuff.
    If you come across one and think it should be included, please feel free to post them on my blog.

  324. 324
    Serendipitydawg(rebel without paws)

    A couple of links that came up while Ftb was hanging around on the more disreputable corners of the information not-so-super highway:

    Sweden recognises new file-sharing religion Kopimism.

    An article about the decline in town twinning that is only interesting for the mention of Wincanton’s twinning with Ankh-Morpork. Nice that there really is a Treacle Mine Road.

    On a sombre note, a 15-year-old boy was tortured and drowned because a relative believed he was a witch, the Old Bailey has heard.

    Kelly Bamu said their holiday turned sour when Mr Bikubi and Ms Bamu, originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, accused Kristy, herself and their younger sister of “being witches or sorcerers – practising witchcraft – and adversely influencing his three-year-old son,” Mr Altman said.

    “Despite her own siblings’ denials that they were sorcerers, Magalie Bamu joined her boyfriend in repeating these fantastic claims and participating in the assaults.”

    The three were beaten and refused food, drink and sleep and eventually, to stop the torture, they admitted being sorcerers, the jury was told.

    Words fail me.

  325. 325
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Sally Strange, Should I ever start a blog, I am thinking of calling it Snarkrates’ Happy Hour: 2-for-1 Hemlocks 5:30-7:00

  326. 326
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Serendipitydawg,
    The sorcery story hits close to home. When I was a lad in the Peace Corps, I was dating a woman from a local tribe. One day, she showed up at my door very distraught. I asked what was the matter and was told her nephew had died. “Oh, was he sick,” I asked–as it was harmattan season, when meningitis is at its worst there.
    “Not so much,” she replied. “My aunt killed him by sorcery.”

    The aunt even admitted that she had done so, saying that she was sorry, but that she had to kill the boy to increase her power. I think that was when I fully realized just how tough cross-cultural relationships can be.

  327. 327
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    wow

  328. 328
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    On a sombre note, a 15-year-old boy was tortured and drowned because a relative believed he was a witch, the Old Bailey has heard.

    No one expects the Congolese Inquisition.

    Dark ages here we come.

  329. 329
    Serendipitydawg(rebel without paws)

    @arids,

    The aunt even admitted that she had done so, saying that she was sorry, but that she had to kill the boy to increase her power. I think that was when I fully realized just how tough cross-cultural relationships can be.

    Indeed, and bad enough that it goes on anywhere in the world.

    I am quite in favour of the UK’s cultural diversity but I can do without any of the magical thinking.

  330. 330
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    stupid blockquote

  331. 331
    cicely

    Jeffrey! *hug*
    -

    cicely, send me your address and I can make multiple mint attempts.

    carlie, I’ll shoot you an email this evening, braaiiinzz permitting (I’m having one of those head-stuffed-with-fluff days, and a monster headache).
    -

    My cat Titus has always had a fondness for those little circular strips of plastic you pull off the cap of a new gallon of milk.

    My Midnight loved those things.
    Pixel-cat, on the other hand, has a thing for pistachio hulls, trashcan-diving for them when she knows they’re available.
    -
    Sally in a Strange Brew?
    Nah….
    -

  332. 332
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Serendipitydawg, Indeed, magical thinking seems to be about the only mode in which humans use their brains. In Africa, it is prevalent even for highly educated professionals. They believe in science, but it is a thin overlayer on top of spirits that make you sick or well or reward your supplications or not as suits their whim. Here, it’s really no better.

    Had an interesting discussion with a friend. When her husband died suddenly 5 years ago, she became utterly convinced that he had been “taken away because she didn’t love him enough.” This woman is a PhD in psych, very intelligent and an atheist. I pointed out that her mourning had been pretty much textbook in its stages and thier timing. She said, “The weirdest thing was the magical thinking. I knew what I was doing and why, and yet I couldn’t stop myself. It just seemed so real.”

    In our demon-haunted world, we need to remember that the human cerebral cortex is only 2-4 mm thick and overlays many far more primitive structures. That’s where the demons lie.

  333. 333
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    ARIDS: I didn’t know that, about the cerebral cortex.

    But it’s got me thinking: I assume most other animals have even smaller cerebral cortexes than humans. But nonhuman animals don’t appear to be superstitious or believe in demons or evil spirits. Or are they, and we just don’t recognize it?

    Or is it that we have ‘just enough’ cerebral cortex to start looking to gods and demons for our explanations?

    I got woken up really early this morning. Dad had heard over the internet that three canadian tourists were killed in a traffic accident in Jamaica, where my (canadian) brother is vacationing with his girlfriend and her mom (which makes 3).

    Later on we found out they’re from Toronto – I wanna say ‘luckily’ but that’s sick to even think. Someone else’s family is gonna have to get that awful call and there’s nothing ‘lucky’ about that.

    I feel terrible for getting so irritated though. If my dad believed for even 2 seconds that it was my brother killed, then it totally justifies interrupting my precious sleep.

    Still not good for my cerebral functions. :/

  334. 334
    Ingdigo Jump

    But nonhuman animals don’t appear to be superstitious or believe in demons or evil spirits. Or are they, and we just don’t recognize it?

    Skinner in his famous experiments showed that his pigeons would pick up on correlative phenomena and associate it as causative. If pellets were given randomly the pigeons would still take what they were doing at the moment of delivery as causative and try to replicate it. He was able to get ‘rain dancing’ pigeons.

  335. 335
  336. 336
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Whatdoyaknow, it works. Wonder how long that will last.

  337. 337
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Skinner in his famous experiments showed that his pigeons would pick up on correlative phenomena and associate it as causative. If pellets were given randomly the pigeons would still take what they were doing at the moment of delivery as causative and try to replicate it. He was able to get ‘rain dancing’ pigeons.

    I suppose before nasty humans came around who intentionally misled you, it might have paid to pay attention, speaking as a pigeon, metaphorically.

  338. 338
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    I’d heard about that experiment before ING, but never in so much detail. Thanks!

    But until we invent a literal-thought-reading-machine, I doubt any experiment will show us what’s actually going through the pigeon’s minds.

    I really have to wonder if the pigeons actually have some conception of a great pigeon-god in the sky who created Pigeonkind in His image? If so, that’d be hilarious.

  339. 339
    RichardAustin

    Learning = pattern matching = building causation out of correlation. This is true for -any- learning.

    So, any animal that has the capacity to learn a behavior automatically has the capacity to build false causation scenarios that can be interpreted as “superstition.”

    The sides effects of superstition and mythology aren’t really side-effects, they’re the intended result. It’s just that, hopefully, we get better at figuring out what actually works vs. what doesn’t over time. The problems arise when people get to “step A” and never proceed to “step B.”

  340. 340
    The Sailor

    StarStuff, I think your @ is quite fetching.

  341. 341
    Serendipitydawg(rebel without paws)

    Damn, today is such as sad day. My friend Pete emailed today to say that the program made about the Windmill that he and his wife were restoring was being aired on channel 4 tonight (in 10 minutes actually). I am torn because Nikki died last year and I don’t think I can bear to watch it :(

  342. 342
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    *pokes head in*
    Are things working now? It wasn’t just me, right? FtB was really down?

  343. 343
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Ah, I see the post explaining the interruption now. Looks like I missed that and didn’t check in until it was already down.

  344. 344
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Oh good, Ing and Richard Austin have made me feel more confident in saying that I think one of the reasons dogs are easy to train is they’re “superstitious” and easily attribute causation to correlation.

    I think my dog is totally convinced that going out in the yard to potty after it gets dark makes dinnertime come. I always let her out one last time before I feed her, so if it’s getting late and I haven’t produced the chow she will ask to go out again and again even when I know perfectly well she doesn’t actually have to do any business out there.

  345. 345
    Nick Gotts

    Skinner in his famous experiments showed that his pigeons would pick up on correlative phenomena and associate it as causative. – We Are Ing

    What pigeons don’t do, is make up an explanation for the link (even if it’s just “It’s unlucky”), or (AFAIK!) spread the link to other pigeons: human superstitions are generally social phenomena. So Skinner calling the pigeons’ false causative links “superstitions” is a considerable stretch.

  346. 346
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    My cat is a box cat. Seriously, he’s been in that box for about an hour now.

  347. 347
    Weed(less) Monkey

    StarStuff, cats and boxes go well together. http://i44.tinypic.com/2gvsxw4.jpg

  348. 348
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Stop spoiling my fun, KG. I’m picturing pigeon religions now. Catholic pigeons (keep them away from the eggs!), protestant pigeons, baptist pigeons, always fighting over the interpretation of the white sidewalk splats that pass for holy scripture in their eyes.

    However, they do all agree on one thing: Atheist pigeons have rejected the holy spirit of Columba are going to the place where the cats and falcons never sleep.

  349. 349
    shouldbeworking

    Atheist pigeons also ignore statues and newly washed cars.

  350. 350
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Weed Monkey, your cat continues to be unbelievably cute. I usually keep a few empty boxes around the house for my cats to sleep in and play with.

  351. 351
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    unrelated: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTLt4nEJSoo&feature=related

    Somewhere deep in the Mattel factory, there’s a little mold for making little plastic dog turds. I love life sometimes.

  352. 352
    The Sailor

    Serendipitydawg, the story is heartbreaking and charming. I’m a big fan (:-) of windmills, they are self-adjusting rotating sails/wings. Most excellent high low tech.
    ++++++++++++
    StarStuff, box cats are preferred to ceiling cats. (cute kitteh.)

  353. 353
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Working on a list of Pharyngula threads about libertarians at PharynguWiki.

    Needs work. I’d estimate it’s no more than 1/3 complete. There’s a lot missing pre-2010. Nothing at all from 2008 yet.

    What I’ve listed so far I found in the first 100 google results for libertarian site:scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/

    Haven’t searched for “Ron Paul” or “Rand Paul” yet. Another good search should be libertarian site:scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009

  354. 354
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    arids:

    Had an interesting discussion with a friend. When her husband died suddenly 5 years ago, she became utterly convinced that he had been “taken away because she didn’t love him enough.” This woman is a PhD in psych, very intelligent and an atheist. I pointed out that her mourning had been pretty much textbook in its stages and thier timing. She said, “The weirdest thing was the magical thinking. I knew what I was doing and why, and yet I couldn’t stop myself. It just seemed so real.”

    Fucking grief! How does that work?

    I haven’t actually read the book, I should add: I remember the interviews of Didion I heard when it came out as so heartbreaking I’m not sure I could bear it.

  355. 355
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Ever since Schrödinger, we’ve know that cats and boxes are quantumly entangled.

  356. 356
    The Sailor

    arids – I’ve experienced a similar thing. As best as I can describe is that the thinking part of your brain can’t quite overcome the feeling part. (Bad description, I know.)

    In my case it was after an auto accident. I kept feeling oncoming cars were crossing over the yellow line to cause a head-on collision, even tho I could clearly see they weren’t. I went to a psychologist to help me.

    Being smart doesn’t mean you aren’t subject to irrational behaviors.
    +++++++++++++++++
    After a nice winter break the little bastards, (AKA students), are swarming back. With their parents.

    Traffic is actually worse than when it’s just students, students have learned how to drive here. The fucking parents not only can’t tell what One Way signs mean they apparently [pun intended] think since they pay the little bastards tuition they have a right to drive that way.

    It took me awhile to learn that parents and my Uni have opposite goals. They want to send their kids and keep the money. We prefer that they keep their kids and send the money.

    Hilarity ensues.

  357. 357
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Napalm Death – Harmony Corruption It’s a strange Napalm Death song: it lasts more than three minutes.
    Napalm Death – Scum
    Morbid Angel – God of Emptiness

  358. 358
    carlie

    It took me awhile to learn that parents and my Uni have opposite goals. They want to send their kids and keep the money. We prefer that they keep their kids and send the money.

    Hilarity ensues.

    That may be the best encapsulation of the university system I’ve ever seen.

  359. 359
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    I’m going to be (mostly) in charge of Freethinkers meetings this semester!
    I WILL HAVE ALL THE POWER! Muahahahahah!

  360. 360
    carlie

    Oh, for pete’s sake…

    Fuck you Stephen Hawking.

  361. 361
    carlie

    Argh, it makes me so mad. Physics? Easy. Women? Oh, such a mystery. Damn it.

  362. 362
    Weed(less) Monkey

    What the fuck… I used to love Acid Bath, but this is too hideous: Acid Bath – Dead Girl

  363. 363
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Oh but carlie, it’s FUNNY when he acts like we’re not human beings.

  364. 364
    The Sailor

    carlie, I didn’t want to get involved in this, (it’s on other channels), but it was a throwaway line leading into an article about his thoughts on physics. The original article was in The Guardian and the headline was to sex it up and get hits.

    That said; Hawking is attracted to women, but he’s been in a wheelchair most of his life. And his body has been mostly frozen for the latter part of his life.

    We have no idea how the reporter for The Guardian phrased the question. and I have to admit I find people that I want to have sex with a complete mystery. I’m also confused about people in general, but I’ve devoted more time to figure out the former than the latter.

  365. 365
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Needs work. I’d estimate it’s no more than 1/3 complete. There’s a lot missing pre-2010. Nothing at all from 2008 yet.

    Many can probably be found searching for *shudder* Scott from Oregon or John C. Randolph.

  366. 366
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Sailor, so the fuck what that it is a throw away line. He is smart enough to know how silly and stupid that line is.

    Humans cannot understand women! HAHAHAHAHA! How fucking funny.

    Please, ask a woman if women are a mystery to her?

  367. 367
    shouldbeworking

    Carlie, who knows what the original question was and how much was edited out of the response. I’m confused about women, kids, my students, my kids’ cats, the wireless router and why the flipping remote always ends up on the far side of the room.

  368. 368
    SallyStrange

    Women aren’t mysterious. Women are individuals, some of whom are mysterious and some of whom are not.

  369. 369
    Walton

    Please, don’t link the libertarian threads before 2009 or so. I don’t really want to have my own past idiocy on certain subjects come back to haunt me.

  370. 370
    Matt Penfold

    Please, don’t link the libertarian threads before 2009 or so. I don’t really want to have my own past idiocy on certain subjects come back to haunt me.

    Well even at your worst you were not as bas as either Scott from Oregon or John C. Randolph.

  371. 371
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Women aren’t mysterious. Women are individuals, some of whom are mysterious and some of whom are not.

    There goes SallyStrange, being all controversial and shit.

  372. 372
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Still not one word at CFI blog about Ben Radford’s debacle. Yoo-hoo. . Melody? You had a lot of time to spend the other day in defense mode. Think you could spare some of that for something more constructive?

  373. 373
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ The Sailor:

    Agreed. From what I’ve read in the Guardian, Hawking could have meant anything, from a repetition of the tired “F*** women, how do they work” meme, to an awkward but sincere acknowledgement that his intellect doesn’t make him omniscient in everyday life.

    The exact quote is very short and and we don’t know the question asked or what he said before and after:

    In an interview to mark his 70th birthday this weekend, Stephen Hawking, the former Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge University, admitted he spent most of the day thinking about women. “They are,” he said “a complete mystery.”

    So, maybe it was a douchebaggy statement… and maybe it’s one more case of attention-grabbing headline that distorts reality. I’d rather have more info before passing judgement.

  374. 374
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Serendipitydawg, as an inhabitant of the left-hand-side of that county, and knowing the landscape and its architecture, what your friends built was authentic, inspirational, and beautiful.

    Condolences to your friend, their families, and you, if that’s not too forward.

  375. 375
    carlie

    I can believe that the Guardian blew it out of proportion and context, but still. Just referring to women as “women” in terms of anything is troubling in terms of revealing how a person thinks about them.

    This, however, is so awesome I can’t even

    Noel Clarke (who played Mickey Smith on Doctor Who) has just been cast in J.J. Abrams‘ sequel to Star Trek. That’s not all. Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, The Hobbit) has also been cast — as the villain.

  376. 376
    Walton

    Ok, so this is an important question that’s been bugging me. Lately I’ve been reading Yo, Is This Racist? and becoming increasingly aware of the amount of racism in popular culture. It’s made me realize the amount of racism that was around me when I was growing up and of which I just wasn’t aware, due to my own white privilege and to the fact that we’re simply inured to it.

    An example that keeps bugging me: a movie I liked as a kid was One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing, made in 1975 but set before WWII. It’s a fun kids’ movie and a pretty funny dig at the British upper classes, and when I was younger it never occurred to me that there was anything wrong with it. But today, looking back at it through adult eyes – I haven’t seen it in years – I can’t escape the conclusion that Peter Ustinov’s faux-Chinese impression is horribly, horribly racist, so much so that I feel guilty for having once enjoyed the movie.

    There are plenty of other examples I can think of, just from the movies and television I like or used to like. In my recollection, Bing Crosby’s Holiday Inn contains some pretty cringe-inducing racial stereotypes that we would never consider acceptable today, including a whole extended blackface sequence. And of course a whole ton of stuff has been written about the racism in Disney animated films.

    So how do we deal with this, as progressives who want to avoid unintentionally perpetuating racism? We could, of course, just exclude these movies from the canon, but the trouble is that so many old movies – in fact, the great majority of movies I can think of that are more than a couple of decades old, including most of the classic Disney canon – contain some racist stereotyping of some form or another. Racism has been so endemic in our culture for so long that it’s hard to get away from it, and it’s really a shock to me to think about all the books, movies, TV and so forth which I enjoyed as a child and which, when I go back and analyze them as an adult, are steeped in (usually unintentional) racism. :-(

  377. 377
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Walton:

    1. Stop with the feeling guilty because your small-child-self enjoyed a movie.

    2. No, we don’t exclude historically, culturally, or artistically important works from the canon because they also showcase the prejudices of the day. I’m surprised you even put that up for discussion. We talk about them and critique them.

  378. 378
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Long day at work, so I’m nearly 100% thread bankrupt.

    Walton:

    So how do we deal with this, as progressives who want to avoid unintentionally perpetuating racism?

    Educate.

    There’s no point in trying to exclude them from the cannon*, but it’s important to know the pop culture of the time in context with the history. I just don’t see how ignoring our racist past (or, hell, our racist present) helps anyone, you know?

    Anyway, I’m well on my way to getting drunk, so if this makes no sense, my apologies.

    *Can you imagine if we tried to exclude sexist movies from the classic movie cannon? *brain asplode!*

  379. 379
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Also, as far as watching movies with cringe-inducing racial stereotypes– I watched A Christmas Story* on Xmas Eve. Oh my sweet zombie Jesus, the last scene, the one in the Chinese food restaurant? Yeah, terrible.

    *I should say, I was forced to watch A Christmas Story by my Xmas lovin’ older sister.

  380. 380
    Walton

    1. Stop with the feeling guilty because your small-child-self enjoyed a movie

    I think I was a young teen at the time, rather than a small child.

    2. No, we don’t exclude historically, culturally, or artistically important works from the canon because they also showcase the prejudices of the day. I’m surprised you even put that up for discussion. We talk about them and critique them.

    Well, of course. But what should one do, for instance, if one has small children? As per above, so many of the best older children’s movies and books contain some form of obnoxious stereotyping somewhere. If I had kids, I wouldn’t want to stop them watching or reading things that I think are good, fun and educational, but I would also be very, very worried about the prospect of exposing them to racial or other stereotypes at an age when they’re too young to be able to critique or question these portrayals.

    This isn’t a direct concern for me because I don’t have children and don’t plan to have any, but it’s something I have to be conscious of in terms of recommending and/or praising these works. I think One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing is a good movie; I also think it contains scenes which are racist. And I’m not sure how to deal with that. Am I perpetuating racism in saying that it is a good movie? There are countless other examples. (Like the portrayal of the Calormenes in the Narnia series, which we talked about here a while ago.)

    I feel a certain amount of guilt about these things, especially as I am very conscious of my own privilege as a white Westerner. Is it wrong for me to enjoy, recommend or promote books and movies which I also think contain some form of harmful stereotyping? Is there a way to do so without perpetuating stereotyping? I don’t know how to deal with this.

  381. 381
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Walton:

    Is there a way to do so without perpetuating stereotyping?

    Avoid all popular culture, at all times.

    Seriously.

  382. 382
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Humans cannot understand women!

    Hrmm… if that’s what he meant, then yes, fuck ‘im! But from what I’ve read about this, he could just as easily have meant, “Stephen Hawking cannot understand women.” Without more data, I’m reluctant to identify as hateful BS what might just as easily be a weak attempt at self-deprecation. Especially since, according to the interview I heard today with his biographer, it now takes him 5 minutes per word to say anything at all. Seems to me that could be at the root of a fair amount of inelegant expression.

  383. 383
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Also: Parenting.

    There’s no reason why parents can’t explain that shit to their kids and if they’re uncomfortable doing that, I’m sure there’s more acceptable media to be found.

  384. 384
    carlie

    Well, of course. But what should one do, for instance, if one has small children?

    One explains during and after those parts why those parts are wrong, and that people used to think it was ok to say/do things like that but now we know better.

    But from what I’ve read about this, he could just as easily have meant, “Stephen Hawking cannot understand women.” Without more data, I’m reluctant to identify as hateful BS what might just as easily be a weak attempt at self-deprecation.

    Which is still old, tired, and problematic. Oh, poor me! I just can’t understand those womenfolk and their emotional ways! Blech.

  385. 385
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Well, of course. But what should one do, for instance, if one has small children?

    You know, I’m totally sick of parents that want to put blinders on their kids, instead of talking to them and teaching them. I mean, holy shit, how else is a young child supposed to learn anything?

  386. 386
    carlie

    Walton – you know full well that there is a huge danger in just eradicating anything with a prejudiced bias from history and from cultural knowledge. Those ideas exist. It doesn’t matter how much they’re fought or how far they fall from public favor, they are still out there and there are still people who work very, very hard to not let those ideas die. The way to combat them isn’t to keep children from seeing them until they start getting courted by the bigoted zealots, it’s to put that stuff out in the open and explain it so, for example, when someone tries to convince your teenager that the problem is that lazy black people have taken away all the good jobs from white people, they can recognize that as a load of shit resulting from hundreds of years of entrenched societal racism.

  387. 387
    'Tis Himself

    Josh #372

    Still not one word at CFI blog about Ben Radford’s debacle.

    CFI is going out of their way to support humanism.

    </sarcasm>

  388. 388
    Walton

    You know, I’m totally sick of parents that want to put blinders on their kids, instead of talking to them and teaching them. I mean, holy shit, how else is a young child supposed to learn anything?

    I agree with you completely. And that’s precisely what I’m asking about. I’m against censorship, and I’m certainly opposed to patronizing kids or putting blinders on them. You seem to have misunderstood what I’m saying. I’m not advocating anything. I’m just asking for advice.

    I’m just asking if there is a good way to deal with this. There are many books and movies which I like, and which I like to talk and write about. I don’t want to stop talking or writing about them. But I’m also worried about whether I am unintentionally perpetuating racism.

  389. 389
    SallyStrange

    Yeah, people really underestimate children. I have done this many times with my babysitting charges. “Well, the guy in the movie thinks it is okay to do X, but we know that X hurts people, so we don’t do that, right?” It’s really not that hard–in fact, it can be quite interesting and rewarding to get into such discussions because they ask unexpected and insightful questions. I think it’s really true that trying to teach something really tests how complete your understanding of it.

  390. 390
    Walton

    Walton – you know full well that there is a huge danger in just eradicating anything with a prejudiced bias from history and from cultural knowledge.

    Of course! And I certainly wasn’t suggesting or advocating anything of the kind. (People seem to have misunderstood me, which is entirely my own fault, because I wasn’t very clear.)

    Rather, I’m just worried about my own, personal, inadvertent role in perpetuating racism, and asking how I should deal with this in my own life.

  391. 391
    SallyStrange

    But I’m also worried about whether I am unintentionally perpetuating racism.

    It is certain that you will do this at one point or another.

    IT IS OKAY. Just notice it, remark upon it, and resolve not to do it again. That is how you will learn. AND, that is how any hypothetical children will learn. Because you can’t be perfect, and it’s important to model how to deal with it when you yourself make a mistake or hurt somebody on accident.

  392. 392
    Tethys

    Walton

    I don’t want to stop talking or writing about them. But I’m also worried about whether I am unintentionally perpetuating racism

    Write about the parts you enjoy, and also write about the racist themes that you disliked. You’re only perpetuating racism if you use racist tropes in your writing, or if you deny that something has racist tropes because you happen to enjoy it.

  393. 393
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Carlie:

    Yeah, maybe he’s just a jerk: Even brilliant people have been known to be assholes.

    But this…

    Oh, poor me! I just can’t understand those womenfolk and their emotional ways! Blech.[emphasis added]

    …carries an emotional load I’m struggling to find in the actual quote. What if the word women was shorthand for “relationships with the opposite sex” (4 fewer words = 20 minutes less time to say)? Plenty of people have found that subject “mysterious” (i.e., perplexing/troubling in their own personal experiences, as it apparently has been in Hawking’s life) without necessarily being sexist assclams.

    Y’know, maybe I’m cutting him too big a break out of sympathy for difficulty he faces in communicating: I think about how many qualifiers and clarifying phrases I habitually use, and how often I feel I’m not expressing myself precisely clearly even so. Facing the obstacles he does in speaking or writing would be the very tortures of hell for me.

  394. 394
    Ingdigo Jump

    In my defense I did link to the topic where it does outline the problems and critiques.

    POint though: superstitions is a poor label for that.

    On Stephen Hawkings:

  395. 395
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Okay, Walton, but you did directly ask about “small children”. I’m surly and drunk; don’t make me quote you again.

    If you’re that worried about it, stop watching the goddamned movies. However, if you realize that they are racist (or have racist elements), I don’t see what the harm is in enjoying a classic film or book or whatever. It’s not like you’re picking up racist behavior or thinking from them at this point.

    All in all, I really have no clue what you’re even asking. It seems like a round-about way of asking permission from us to enjoy something. Stop that.

  396. 396
    carlie

    Bill – I guess, but the way it was worded just reeks of the whole “women aren’t capable of being understood” trope that’s older than dirt. It just seems beneath him.

    Can I ask a completely random question? I’ve started knitting a baby blanket, and I’ve noticed that somehow my yarn is getting wound tight by the time I get it to the needle. I’m not sure how. The yarn is in a ball that I wound by hand, and is fine when it comes off the ball. The hold I have is wrapped once around the pinky, threaded through middle and first fingers (left hand), and the only movement of the yarn itself is back and forth a little with the middle finger to grab the yarn with the needle, yet at the needle the plies are overly wound together. I have to stop every couple of rows and literally swing the needles/knitting around a few times to unwind it back to normal. What the heck am I doing wrong? I knit infrequently enough that I’m not sure if I’ve had this problem before, and usually I’m using a bulky/weird enough yarn not to notice something like that.

  397. 397
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Not caught up yet… but I was browsing the comments to several of last month’s posts on Alicublog, and I found a few I thought deserved to be repeated here. (Unfortunately, Roy Edroso uses Echo for comment software, so there are no individual comment permalinks.)
    First, from a post about racist douchebag Steve Sailer:

    Leonard Pierce
    The amazing thing about that comments section is that there’s at least five or six wildly dissenting opinions, and they’re all stupid and/or racist.  You’d think someone would come close to making sense just by pure luck, but no.
     
    Freshly Squeezed Cynic
    You forget, Leonard, that modern conservatism is not just a random mutation of half-formed memes disguised as opinions, but there is a form of natural selection at work; the stupidest comments are the most suited to their environment and thrive, whilst slightly more sensible comments, easy prey for Galtius trollboxii and Gassbagius wingnutaria, die out, or head to the balmier waters of The New Ledger or The Atlantic.
     
    Some still say the perfectly formed gibberish suggests an Intelligent Moderator; but one can still sometimes see vestigial coherency in some comments.

    And there’s one to a post about Andrew Sullivan’s most recent racist jackasssery that ought to be on the RationalWiki page for “JAQing off”:

    wjts
    My curiosity gets the better of me often.
     
    This is the aspect of Sullivan’s faux-contrition that hacks me off the most.  He adopts the pose of a man who has carefully examinined the evidence in the matter at hand, guided by nothing more than curiosity and a burning passion to know truth, making use of only strictly objective rationality in his quest for knowledge. After his careful assessment of the facts, undertaken with clinical detachment in the face of the vociferous condemnations of willfully blind ideologues who do not wish the truth to be known, he is ready to present his judgment: more in sorrow than in joy, he must report that black people are dumb.  He has no desire to hurt the feelings of the poor dumb black people, of course — you must understand, it was simply his curiosity that drove him to investigate the question and his devotion to the truth that drove him to trumpet the results of his inquiry.
     
    Of course, as has been noted time and again, what Sullivan has actually done is to credulously accept 18th century bigotry poorly disguised by 20th century statistics, and judicious weighing of the evidence be damned.  No matter how many times the flaws in Murray’s magnum dumpus are pointed out, Sullivan clings to the idea that in the service of curiosity about the truth, we must continue to think that Murray was in fact right in spite of the evidence to the contrary.  Someone who actually lived up to the ideals of objective inquiry and unbridled curiosity that Sullivan pretends to hold would have dropped this Bell Curve shit ages ago.

  398. 398
    SallyStrange

    carlie, my solution was to lift the thread up and lead the ball of yarn untwist itself rather than twisting my needles around. However, I am merely an amateur. I don’t know if there’s a way to actually prevent the problem.

  399. 399
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    carlie #375:

    I can believe that the Guardian blew it out of proportion and context, but still. Just referring to women as “women” in terms of anything is troubling in terms of revealing how a person thinks about them.

    I see what you mean. It’s problematic. To be honest, one reason I have to suspend judgement is that I’m wondering if Hawking might have been making some allusion to his second wife. Not much was made public, but at the time, there were allegations of abuse on her part.

    Bad experiences can sour someone’s outlook, and all that.

    This, however, is so awesome I can’t even

    Woohoo!! Thanks for the link!

    *dances*

  400. 400
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Argh! My English must be broken: I meant (#399) that there were allegations that she was abusing him.

  401. 401
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    It just seems beneath him.

    While I intend no statement about Hawkins specifically, this past year has taught us that there is no amount or kind of misogyny beneath even the big names of atheism or skepticism.

    We’re on our own.

  402. 402
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Carlie:

    I think people are generally mysterious (in the sense of bewilderingly complex; not suggesting anything mystical), so “women are mysterious” didn’t strike me as unpersoning.

    That said, I don’t own any stock in Stephen Hawking, and have little interest in investing any more of my already meager cred on defending him. The new bio (which is unauthorized, and apparently not entirely complimentary) does sound interesting, though, and its author, Kitty Ferguson, seems fascinating in her own right. When I first heard Terry Gross say her name, I momentarily confused her with Kitty Kelley, the author of gossip-mongering celebrity bios… which caused me no small pause, I must say!

  403. 403
    carlie

    Bill – I’m not trying to say it’s the worst thing ever, or that it makes him an awful person; it’s just disappointing.

  404. 404
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Understood, Carlie. BTW, did you get my e-mail(s)?

  405. 405
    JeffreyD

    cicely, Disturber of the Peas – just catching up – hugs, dear!

  406. 406
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Bill:

    I think people are generally mysterious (in the sense of bewilderingly complex; not suggesting anything mystical), so “women are mysterious” didn’t strike me as unpersoning.

    If someone says “women are mysterious” while implying that they are inherently beyond understanding because they are women, not because they are part of the complex and bewildering human species, that’s an essentialist statement, a way to put women apart from humanity. Alas, it’s an old, old trope.

    If Hawking’s quote reflects this kind of worldview, that’s disappointing.

  407. 407
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Every time I think I’m out… ;^)

    Irene:

    If Hawking’s quote reflects this kind of worldview, that’s disappointing.

    Yup, no argument, if that’s what it reflects. But what if it just reflects the fact that his personal relationships with the actual women in his life have been hard for him to sort out? In addition to the questions you mentioned about his second wife, I gather from the interview I listened to today that he had a complicated situation with his first wife as well.

    All of which may, of course, be even more evidence that he’s a jerk… or it could just mean he’s a guy with a complicated life and difficulty in talking about it clearly. I meant to be agreeing with you in suggesting we might not have enough of the context to know.

    But now I really am out: I have to go downstairs and get the Christmas tree ready for the recycling pickup. <sigh>

  408. 408
    Walton

    Bill: Just realized I forgot to email you when you asked the other day. I’ve done so now. Should be in your inbox. (Many apologies. The last few days have been hectic.)

  409. 409
    Amblebury

    Rollercoaster.

    Down, Hawking.

    Up, up, up! Cumberbatch.

  410. 410
    cicely

    [...] always fighting over the interpretation of the white sidewalk splats that pass for holy scripture in their eyes.

    Rorshach divination.
    -

    As best as I can describe is that the thinking part of your brain can’t quite overcome the feeling part.

    See now, here we have evidence that the brain wasn’t designed, but cludged together out of mutually incompatible parts. If it was designed, thinking and feeling would know their places, and quit trying to steal each others’ brain-time.
    -

    Argh, it makes me so mad. Physics? Easy. Women? Oh, such a mystery. Damn it.

    It’s because we’re quantum. Explanations break down at that scale.
    -

    So how do we deal with this, as progressives who want to avoid unintentionally perpetuating racism?

    With annotations, as with Shakespeare in literature classes, giving the context that makes it make sense? Not as practical in film, though; maybe we need a seperate class for it. “Media I: Print” and “Media II: Film”.

    And don’t angst over it, walton; you know better now, and the process of awareness gives you a feel for the size of the problem that obliviousness doesn’t.
    -
    Incidentally, I am massively sleep-lagged, and free associating more than just slightly (luckily, y’all can’t see the 188 comment FB dialog I just engaged in; there were deep fried walruses), so feel free to apply as much salt to my blatherations as seems advisible.
    -

  411. 411
    Rey Fox

    Wait a minute…even better Doors song for Sally’s blog: People Are Strange!

  412. 412
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Oh I love that song Rey Fox!

  413. 413
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Walton: I think I have a similar problem.

    I like ‘When I See an Elephant Fly’ from Dumbo. I like the characters that sing it too. I always thought they were kinda progressive for their time, and are portrayed positively in the story. I just recently realized what an ignorant and privileged position that was.

    But still I like the goddamned song. :/

  414. 414
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Many can probably be found searching for *shudder* Scott from Oregon or John C. Randolph.

    Ah yes. And africangenesis.

    +++++

    Please, don’t link the libertarian threads before 2009 or so. I don’t really want to have my own past idiocy on certain subjects come back to haunt me.

    Most of the threads which are Walton-heavy are those which started out not being about libertarianism at all. I wasn’t planning on listing them.

    Anyway… really? You’ve got a conversion tale. “I used to be an idiot, and now I’m not! Pharyngula saves! My sins are washed in the ink of the cuttlefish!” (That’s assuming that anyone goes looking through those threads for you. I doubt that anyone will read this list looking for you, except those of us who participated the first time around and remember your ordeal.)

    More seriously, you know how to argue against any old viewpoint. “I was wrong and here is why” is all anyone needs, on the very remote chance that you’ll ever have to answer for any of this again.

  415. 415
  416. 416
    Inaji

    Mister got a new table top cut and installed on my drawing table and we’ve both been a bit stressed lately, so I decided to open up a puzzle and get it framed and the pieces sorted (Private Wave by Jacek Yerka – it has tentacles!). We like to work on them on and off, relaxes us.

    I was sitting and sorting for straight edges when Chas came up, checking things out. I put him on my shoulder and said “you remember puzzles, you and Alfie would come up on the table and Alfie would try to steal the pieces.” As soon as I said Alfie, Chas started bruxing and boggling, then climbed down and grabbed a puzzle piece, then dropped it back in the box. My sweet little boy, he still misses his Alfie.

  417. 417
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    I need a chick.

    Preferably young, cute, and female.

    And maybe of something of an interesting breed. Is purebred Silkie too much to hope for?

  418. 418
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Walton:

    Thanks, and no sweat on the delay. Check your inbox.

  419. 419
    SallyStrange

    Wait a minute…even better Doors song for Sally’s blog: People Are Strange!

    People are Strange… When You’re Estranged!

    Hot damn I like it!

    I’m a bit drunk right now. I just had the best evening in a while. I tweeted my #howtofightmisogyny theory and realized I had the perfect material for my first ever blog post. Then I went out dancing with a wonderful woman I met at my new workplace and the music was AWESOME and she is an even crazier, more passionate dancer than I am!

  420. 420
    SallyStrange

    Oh, and about Benedict Cumberbatch and Noel Clark–

    squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  421. 421
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Femtastic Sally!

  422. 422
    chigau (違う)

    carlie @396
    Are you knitting left-handed?

  423. 423
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ walton 376

    [watching racist movies as a kid]

    We where obliged to watch racist propaganda as primary school aged children. The one movie that I recall (because even as a young child it jarred with me) featured the evil !Kung (“Bushmen” in English) raiding the righteous Voortrekkers (Afrikaner pioneers). The historicity of this seems to me very doubtful, but the point being made was propagandistic anyway and racist to boot.

    Another trope in a similar vein was the heinous trickery of Dingaan as stand in for all black people. “Don’t trust anyone.” seems to be the take home message. Racist fear-mongering was a common theme. It seems the only truly decent people where the “bittereinde” trekboers. We all seemed to end up outside that perfect circle -the center of which I never could determine.

    On whether this was bad? Undoubtedly for many it was. But it was also a two edged sword, as it started to sow seeds of doubt and feelings of subversion and resentment. Children shouldn’t have to feel these things, even though the feelings are perhaps healthier than taking taking on board all their crap.

    Could I watch it all again? Certainly. There is no chance I could fall for a word of that drivel (or similar lines spun by our sick headmaster). What it does do is build resolve to resist such things but also to remind one how far we really have travelled on the long road away those dark days.

  424. 424
    Rey Fox

    Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted.

  425. 425
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Wait, what is your #howtofightmisogyny theory? Where do I find it?

  426. 426
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Good morning

    Can you imagine if we tried to exclude sexist movies from the classic movie cannon? *brain asplode!*

    I recently watched a documentary about how the Bond Girls changed over time. Those old scenes, cut together, made me realize for the first time that he most likely raped a bunch of them and was an abusive asshole all over. And that he’s allegedly an “English Gentleman”.
    I still “like” Bond, but it’s clear that whenever the girls might be old enough to watch them, we need to talk.

    Same goes for racism.
    We recently had the short discourse about racism in Pippi Longstockings. I drop a short sentence about the word “Neger”, since they’re still pretty small, and when they grow older, we’ll need to talk more about those issue.
    I don’t want to “burden” them now. Not because I want to blind them, but so far they are still so “innocent”. I haven’t heard #1 ever even utter a word stronger than “bad”, so I think it would be counterproductive to take her aside and teach her discriminatory words first in order to then teach her not to use them.

  427. 427
    strange gods before me ॐ

    New articles at PharynguWiki include Hell, Christian fundamentalism and Christian evangelism by Proxima Centauri, Sauerbraten by Benjamin Geiger, and an import of Wikipedia’s criticism of libertarianism article.

  428. 428
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Sauerbraten

    I thought it would be the free shoot-em-up : Sauerbraten.

    But instead: Welcome to the Pharygufoodies Benjamin!

  429. 429
    carlie

    chigau – right-handed, but continental.

    Bill – sorry, I hadn’t checked in a few days. Will do today!

  430. 430
    JeffreyD

    Caine at #416 – Truly an “Ahhhh” moment. Tickle Chaz for me.

  431. 431
    Walton

    Oh, I dislike the Bond movies, and always have. Not primarily because of Bond’s misogyny, but just because I never got what was supposed to be interesting about the whole concept; as far as I can recall, most of the movies are just two hours of gunfire, stunts and macho chest-thumping, with a completely implausible plot. :-/

    Johnny English, on the other hand, was hilarious.

  432. 432
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Walton

    but just because I never got what was supposed to be interesting about the whole concept

    Suspension of disbelief
    ;)
    It’s like Kingdom of Heavens: Movies playing on a planet not unlike but very different than our own one.

    Woooo-hooooooo, my state government coalition has just dissolved. That’s some good news.
    It’s of course a few years too late to save those millions they sunk. but better late than never

  433. 433
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Walton, aside from what others have said about the evils of censoring our history, white people flagellating themselves over happening to like a dated piece of art (fine arts or pop culture) with racist flaws doesn’t really help fight racism all that much. Rather, it makes the situation it All About You And How Guilty You Feel.

    Just own that it’s flawed and let it go.

    Audley:

    There’s no point in trying to exclude them from the cannon

    Yeah, there should be enough room in there for all the faily movies and books, and the gunpowder, too!

    Bill, if Hawking had said that black people were a mystery, I doubt you would have expended so much energy defending him. And I predict that you are now writing a comment about how That Is Totally Different. Even though, as an educated white male in the UK — and especially one who has long required a personal caregiver — Hawking has likely spent much more time in the company of (white) women than in the company of black people of either sex.

    TLC:

    Is purebred Silkie too much to hope for?

    I dunno, hairy cocks aren’t my thing.

  434. 434
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    (Oboy. I’ve opened the door to a 50-comment throwdown about the evils of pubic shaving, haven’t I?)

  435. 435
    Walton

    Walton, aside from what others have said about the evils of censoring our history, white people flagellating themselves over happening to like a dated piece of art (fine arts or pop culture) with racist flaws doesn’t really help fight racism all that much. Rather, it makes the situation it All About You And How Guilty You Feel.

    I did not advocate “censoring our history”. I’d appreciate it if you’d actually read my posts.

    And I had no desire to make the situation all about myself. I am asking what I can do to avoid unintentionally perpetuating racism. Is that such a bad or inappropriate thing to ask?

  436. 436
    Serendipitydawg(rebel without paws)

    Sailor @352,

    Serendipitydawg, the story is heartbreaking and charming

    I relented and watched the programme and I am glad that I did, though it was a bit difficult in places: at the start, Nikki explained about her cancer and related her wishes for the future… that was really hard; I am glad that Nikki got to see the top and sails, it’s a shame that she died before it was ready for occupation.

    Although the mill building was restored, it isn’t actually a mill any more. It does look much better with a top and sails than some of the mills in Lincolnshire though we do have a few operational mills as well as full restoration projects:

    Waltham is the centre of a model engineering society and has an excellent outdoor railway; the annual exhibition is always worthy of visit (25th to 27th August 2012, already in my diary.) Mount Pleasant windmill, a few miles down the road is a working mill. Heckington is the only surviving 8 sailed mill and looks way better now than it did when I was a kid (I know, 50 years is a long time!) Many of the nearest ones (including one at the end of our road… there are many in Lincolnshire) are now simply towers that have been closed at the top with a flat roof. Barton’s is part of a pub and the mill tower used to be a restaurant.. I don’t think it is these days which is a shame because all the original wooden gearing and frames are still inside, though the cowl has no sails.

  437. 437
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    I did read your posts, Walton. “Exclude these movies from the canon” sounds a lot like censorship to me. You didn’t object to it on the grounds that it was censorship but on the grounds that doing so would be impractical.

    And, regardless of your intent, you are making it all about you. Here’s a link for you.

  438. 438
    Serendipitydawg(rebel without paws)

    changeable moniker @ 372,

    Condolences to your friend, their families, and you, if that’s not too forward.

    Not forward at all, I will pass your wishes on.

    I wish we could have fired a display at the wedding… we couldn’t get down to Kent at the time owing to a prior commitment, the windmill would have made a splendid backdrop!

    I still can’t believe that Pete travels between Kent and North of the Humber twice a week, I found it bad enough commuting from Lincoln to Hull twice a week.

  439. 439
    Serendipitydawg(rebel without paws)

    Sorry, that should be @374!

    Man, it’s hard catching…

  440. 440
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Ms. Daisy Cutter:

    (Oboy. I’ve opened the door to a 50-comment throwdown about the evils of pubic shaving, haven’t I?)

    Unless we are talking of Cephalopod genitalia, of course. ^^°

  441. 441
    Walton

    I did read your posts, Walton. “Exclude these movies from the canon” sounds a lot like censorship to me. You didn’t object to it on the grounds that it was censorship but on the grounds that doing so would be impractical.

    Then I communicated badly, and I apologize for that. What I was asking was more along the lines of “How do I deal with the fact that I like certain books and movies which I also know to contain racial stereotypes? If I say publicly “I like this book/movie” and promote it as a good book/movie, even while knowing that it contains racism, am I being obliviously privileged? How should I deal with that?”

    And, regardless of your intent, you are making it all about you. Here’s a link for you.

    All I am asking is what I can do to avoid perpetuating racism. Because I don’t know.

    You know, I could shut up about the issue, and go ahead and do whatever I wanted to do without even bothering to consider whether I might be perpetuating racism. But that would make me an obliviously privileged ass. I’m asking how to be less of an oblivious ass.

  442. 442
    Walton

    Look, I apologize if I’ve been insensitive or clueless. I’m sorry. I’m trying to make things better, not worse.

  443. 443
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Walton

    To paraphrase Hitch: “Racism poisons everything.”

    It’s a societal ill, like religion, sexism,… anything that breaks us apart. There is no quick solution to getting this shit out of our systems. Certainly you can’t undo the past. You can take a long hard sober look at it and plot a way forward that gradually brings us all to health.

    Those old films that concern you. If you don’t have them as a datum, how are you going to plot society’s recovery? (And hey, you might be drawn to them for non-racist aspects. The period/language/styling… we are not just defined by problems surely?)

  444. 444
    Emrysmyrddin

    Lightin’ up the porcupine symbol – the ‘Targets’ thread needs a cleanup on aisle #27…

  445. 445
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    On the ‘evils’ of old media:

    I heard from a friend that, supposedly, Disney was considering rereleasing “Song of the South” with a new preface narrated by James Earl Jones, explaining how the events in the movie weren’t realistic and shouldn’t be taken to endorse slavery. But, as the story goes, Maya Angelou got wind of the project and wrote a scathing editorial about it, and due to that and some other outcry, Disney decided to put the movie back in the vault.

    Not sure how accurate the story is, but if it were true it wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

    ####

    I’m more of a gourmand than a gourmet, but I like that sauerbraten recipe and wanted to pass it on.

    ####

    I finally managed to solve the 5×5 Rubik’s cube. In theory it’s simple (you basically solve the faces and the edges, then treat it as a 3×3 cube) but the process of solving the edges is fuggin’ evil. Add to that the fact that the cube is rickety and tends to stick, and you have an exercise in frustration.

    ####

    Is the phrase “save the drama for your mama” sexist? I literally know exactly one person who claims it is, but that one person is now accusing me of somehow attacking her by disagreeing (and kicked a mutual friend out of the local atheist group for it).

  446. 446
    chigau (違う)

    carlie
    re knitting
    Verbal descriptions of knitting defeats me.
    Yarn probably comes with a Z-twist or an S-twist whatever you do, the act of knitting will tighten or loosen the twist.
    Matbe, next time you roll a ball from that batch, use your other hand.
    ——-
    re old racism
    If you are dealing with children, explain it to them. Don’t pretend it never happened.

  447. 447
    cicely

    Good morning

    Wishful thinking; not borne out by the evidence. </grump>
    At least it’s stopped being Monday.
    -

  448. 448
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    I liked half of Song of the South too. I say ‘Half’ because I only ever watched the animated segments on youtube, and it kinda made me mad. The animation is really good. Furthermore, I like those old Uncle Remus stories. If they had found a respectful context, it could have actually been kinda groundbreaking. Too bad they had to frame it in such a stupid, insensitive, and condescending way.

    I heard somewhere that when Song of the South premiered, James Baskett couldn’t even go to it because the theater was ‘Whites Only’. That also makes me sad.

  449. 449
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Serendipitydawg

    Thanks for posting those beautiful mills (just haz a sad that some are not in good condition.)

    Here is a linky you will like: Mostert’s Mill.

    It says it is the only working mill in Africa south of the Sahara, which sounds like they are discounting all millions of pumping and generation mills.

    Why I love windmills so much? I have built turbines myself – like underwater windmills. Wow, good times. (Here is a brochure based on my project: PDF Water current turbines. Pictures and project by theophontes, though not credited (nor the designer of the turbine system itself) – I’ve never heard of Dr Sexon mentioned in brochure.)

  450. 450
    carlie

    If I say publicly “I like this book/movie” and promote it as a good book/movie, even while knowing that it contains racism, am I being obliviously privileged? How should I deal with that?”

    Easy – you say “I like this movie, except for that dumbass part with the racism”.

    chigau – thanks, I was wondering if I should roll the next ball differently. I have a hold very similar to the one shown here, which I see is prominently labeled as “left hand knitting”, so I guess I do. I thought since I do all the needle manipulation with my right hand it was right-handed. I learned by myself with a book and nothing other than a background in crochet, so I’m surprised I can even link it up to a real method. Convergent evolution for the win.

  451. 451
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ 449

    I’ve never heard of Dr Sexon mentioned in brochure. Sorry, strike that, my memory is getting rather rusty. {hugs to Peter}

  452. 452
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    blockquote fail:

    @ 449

    I’ve never heard of Dr Sexon mentioned in brochure.

    Sorry, strike that, my memory is getting rather rusty. {hugs to Peter}

  453. 453
    Serendipitydawg(rebel without paws)

    theophontes,

    What a beauty Mostert’s mill is! Lincolnshire is a very large county which is these days spit into three sections and is renowned for being very flat. Large areas around where I grew up are fens and, historically, they needed drainage to keep them as productive land. We had links to the Netherlands, so I guess it is natural that Dutch drainage engineers would harness the wind and the consequence was a huge number of windmills. Even in the north of the county, where I now live, the winds from the Humber mean that windmills were very popular, though mostly for milling rather than drainage.

    One I forgot about was Wrawby post mill… I think it’s the only extant post mill in Lincolnshire, it’s certainly the only one I have ever seen. We nearly bought the house that is the point of contact for visitors, though when we visited this boiled down to knocking on the door and being given the key to the mill. Typically, I haven’t been there for years and it is only a few miles down the road.

  454. 454
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Serendipitydawg

    What a beauty Mostert’s mill is!

    And IIRC they are still grinding wheat to this very day. Sooo cool.

  455. 455
    Ingdigo Jump

    If I say publicly “I like this book/movie” and promote it as a good book/movie, even while knowing that it contains racism, am I being obliviously privileged? How should I deal with that?”

    I think the biggest problem I’ve had with this is Lovecraft, where at least my friends’ consensus is that his paralyzing fear of minorities and women is more pathetic and humorous than insulting.

    Oh and I guess Penn and Teller…(on disabled rights and that sort of thing)

  456. 456
    rorschach

    A quiet night shift for a change. Went to the Cricket with a fundie Christian the other day, who had just spend a whole week of annual leave at a theology seminary (which she had to pay for and which went for 8 hours a day for 7 days). That’s some commitment. We had fun, considering.
    (Otherwise thread-bancrupt)

  457. 457
    The Sailor

    theophontes, that PDF is really cool. I wonder about the viability of adding a shroud around the water rotor to increase efficiency (decrease tip loss) and provide some protection from the blades.

  458. 458
  459. 459
    The Sailor

    This may be of interest to folks here:
    The Partner’s Guide to Asperger Syndrome

  460. 460
    Nick Gotts

    Oh, I dislike the Bond movies, and always have. – walton

    I’m proud to say I’ve never watched one. Nor read any of the books.

  461. 461
    rorschach

    I’m proud to say I’ve never watched one.

    That would have taken some active evasion !

  462. 462
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Walton, In the first “modern” movie,the KKK were presented as heros. Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn has been banned–both because it promoted relations between the races and because it was deemed (by African Americans) to be racist.

    Heart of Darkness is undoubtedly racist, but it was instrumental in ending the rule of King Leopold over The Congo. Movies are racist because our culture is racist. Maybe the racism we see there makes us cringe a wee bit, but maybe we need to be reminded of the cringeworthy aspects of our culture. Maybe the best we can do is to try and be aware of them.

  463. 463
    Pteryxx

    Random to those with more time and better internet than I have, via Crommunist:

    If you are a Redditor, you may be familiar with the concept of an “Ask Me Anything” – an open thread where the poster will answer questions from the gallery.

    Buddy Roemer, my official pick for the GOP Nomination, is now doing an AMA on Reddit.

    Ask him your questions about campaign finance, about SOPA, about NDAA, about church/state separation, about whatever you like!

    Link to reddit

    More Crommunist:

    Former Louisiana governor, economist, and unabashed #OWS supporter (the latter, I reckon, is the reason many people haven’t heard of him). I don’t agree with all of his policies, particularly his stance on immigration, and he’s a Republican so he’s about reducing expenditure rather than increasing revenue (taxes), but he’s an incredibly funny and engaged candidate. His signature policy issue is getting money out of politics. To demonstrate his commitment to the idea, he funds his campaigns through donations capped at $100. He returns cheques in excess of that amount. He’s also friends with Colbert, so that counts for a lot in my book.

    Would some of you smart, informed netizens be interested?

  464. 464
    The Sailor

    ‘Tis, let’s go sailing!

  465. 465
    Inaji

    Jeffrey:

    Caine at #416 – Truly an “Ahhhh” moment. Tickle Chaz for me.

    Thank you. :) One tickle, as soon as Chas wakes up for the day.

  466. 466
    Tethys

    Drive-by posting.

    I like what global warming has done with January so far. 47 and sunny is much more enjoyable than the single digit high temps that are the normal high at this time of year.

    I have been completely won over by Caines rats and the rat condo.
    After the current well loved killer kittahs either slow down, or meet their inevitable demise I am getting rats, a puppy, and kittens all at the same time.
    ___

    Youngest spawn is home for a visit. It’s so nice to have someone to cook for. (a complete surprise considering how much I came to despise the cooking and cleaning after years of child-rearing)
    —-

    Off to enjoy a walk in the sunshine!

  467. 467
    Inaji

    Tethys:

    I have been completely won over by Caines rats and the rat condo.

    You won’t regret rats, they are brilliant. We’ve completely adopted Pteryxx’s little fuzzy freethinkers. I told Mister about that and now he asks “how are the freethinkers today?” :D

    It’s still in the 40s here, too, but it’s very windy out today. I’m not happy about global warming, but I’m loving this no snow business.

  468. 468
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I like what global warming has done with January so far. 47 and sunny is much more enjoyable than the single digit high temps that are the normal high at this time of year.

    Feels good, but it worries the shit out of me. Snow and a good freeze helps to keep the water in the soil; lack of leaves on the trees means that the sun (low in the Southern sky as it is) can dry out the soil fast. Additionally, rain is more likely to run straight off into the creeks, snow melt (when it happens slowly, that is) recharges the acquifers quite well. Lack of snow cover can also make it very hard for many plants — snow is a great insulator and keeps the sold from getting too cold.

    And I just realized I sound all preachy but I just sent off an email to our local weatherman who was waxing exhuberant over the warm temps and lack of snow. You’d think a meteorologist would have a clue, riht?

  469. 469
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Well ffffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. I was getting along pretty well on the armoire project and feeling encouraged, and then the knobs I ordered arrived. They’re way too small, I can’t return them, and now I’m over budget.

  470. 470
    The Sailor

    Oggie, meteorologist != climatologist. Some of the worst deniers are meteorologists. What sucks for them is they can no longer predict the Wx 3 days in advance. The weather models are breaking down.
    +++++++++++++++++++
    In order to test some new software I was a subject today for my colleagues’ Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalomoscope.(AO-SLO*).

    It takes 4 computers, 18 power supplies, a multi-wavelength laser source, 2 MEMS mirrors (gross & fine), an eye tracker, a 4′x8′ optical table floated on 4 nitrogen cylinder legs, 3 human operators, 2 external racks, and a partridge in a pear tree.

    But we acquired images of my retinal cones, and at a different aperture, movies of my individual red blood cells flowing thru my retinal capillaries. (They collide and bunch and flip end-over-end as the slightly larger vessels feed into the capillary branches. Cool!)

    Yea science!

    * This isn’t our AO-SLO. They are unique enough that if I identified ours it would out me.

  471. 471
    The Sailor

    BTW, Caine, I’m totally in the rat fan club from your postings. (The feet freak me out a bit.)

    I’m not responsible enough to have pets, or houseplants, or even children, but I enjoy them vicariously thru you and other folks on TET.

  472. 472
    Walton

    Pteryxx: From Buddy Roemer’s website:

    …we have a responsibility to seal our borders and ensure that those who enter our country do so legally.

    Buddy Roemer would enforce immigration laws, but welcome those that are here legally and consider policies to allow illegal aliens to return to their home countries and apply for legal entry into the United States.
    Immigration quotas should be adjusted based on the needs of the labor market to fill jobs, rather than working from a set number or policy.

    No thanks. If I’m going to support an unrealistic candidate, I’d rather have one who doesn’t support “enforcing” the institutionalized racism of America’s immigration laws. Deal breaker.

    And yes, I realize that Obama’s policy is no better. But since Roemer is not going to be elected, and supporting him is therefore an act of wild-eyed aspiration rather than a realistic political plan, I’d rather plump for a candidate who actually supports a sane policy on immigration (which has to include, at minimum, a general amnesty for existing undocumented workers).

  473. 473
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Ms. Daisy Cutter:

    And I predict that you are now writing a comment about how That Is Totally Different.

    Well, it is, you know — sexual dimorphism being such a fundamental part of human existence, it’d be surprising if relationships between the sexes weren’t significantly different than other types of relationships between people — but no, I’m not: I have no interest in, nor energy for, defending Hawking. I haven’t really been defending him up to now, anyway, since I have no idea whether he or not deserves it. I’ve just been suggesting that a one-liner in a media puff piece isn’t much to go on.

    ***
    Brother Ogvorbis:

    I like what global warming has done with January so far. 47 and sunny is much more enjoyable than the single digit high temps that are the normal high at this time of year.

    Feels good, but it worries the shit out of me.

    Me, too! Consider the rest of your post QFTed by reference, and add this, admittedly less consequential concern: I like winter. I was glad when my company moved me from Florida to New England, partly because I wanted to play in the snow. Now here it is January, and we haven’t had a flake of snow all winter (none since the devastating snowstorm we had in frickin’ October).

    Oh, well… the good news is that I’m considerable farther above sea-level here than I was in FL. That may come in handy sooner than we know!

  474. 474
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Urrp!

    …whether he or not deserves… = …whether or not he deserves… 8^(

  475. 475
    Inaji

    The Sailor:

    BTW, Caine, I’m totally in the rat fan club from your postings. (The feet freak me out a bit.)

    Aaaaw, they shouldn’t. :D (Usually it’s the tails that freak people out, ’cause they aren’t furry.) Rat hands and feet are similar to ours. If rats had thumbs, they’d rule the world. As it is, they do pretty damn good without them!

  476. 476
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Bill: speaking as one of the people who immediately ragged on that one-liner, it’s not so much that I think I can Judge Stephen Hawking’s Very Soul by it but that I think it was a really harmful and hurtful one-liner.

    A lot of the comments on that article directly said, or boiled down to, “Good to know he’s just like me/us”. A lot of them were even more old, tired, othering jokes about how women are haha! completely incomprehensible and haha! really a completely different species. That one-liner has done much to feed a poisonous idea about women. Even a genius human can’t understand us!

    tl;dr: the line probably doesn’t reveal Hawking to be A Totally Sexist Human Being, but it was, nevertheless, A Totally Sexist Thing To Say.

  477. 477
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Oggie, meteorologist != climatologist.

    Never said it did. He mentioned the ongoing La Nina event, the Arctic Oscillation, and global warming as all having input into the uneasonable weather.

    Some of the worst deniers are meteorologists.

    Which this guy is not. He is unusually clueless about what a snowdrought can do for, say, spring fire season in the east.

    What sucks for them is they can no longer predict the Wx 3 days in advance. The weather models are breaking down.

    He mentioned a few months ago that the four day models are now as accurate as the five day models used to be.

  478. 478
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I now head off to bed. I am reading Jingo. And I jsut recieved The Dinosauria (Wishampel, Dodson & Osmolska) and The Rise of Amphibians: 365 Million Years of Evolution (Carroll). And I am arguing in my mind whether I want to finish the Pratchett book, or dive into dinos or phibs. Anyway, I’m happy — BOOOOOOOKS!!!!

    I also got my new tent for car camping: 10 feet by 18 feet, two ‘rooms’, and I’ll be able to actually stand up in it.

  479. 479
    The Sailor

    Ogvorbis, The bang and equals sign were not meant to be pejorative, it’s just the computer language I currently use.

    “I also got my new tent for car camping: 10 feet by 18 feet, two ‘rooms’, and I’ll be able to actually stand up in it.”

    Woo hoo!

    I’m still saving up for a sailboat I can stand up inside the cabin. My current one I have to duck my head until I open the main hatch.

    Also, too, Coleman makes a catalytic heater that runs on a propane bottle that will make the inside of a boat cabin toasty warm, but it still uses up oxygen so leave a vent open. But you knew that;-)

  480. 480
    ImaginesABeach

    Ogvorbis – I have received solicitations from the National Parks Foundation and the National Parks Conservation Association. Do you have an opinion as to which would be a better recipient of my money?

  481. 481
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    Why does my machine have to start crapping out right when things like this are on the horizon?

  482. 482
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I have the grouches today. I recently upgraded my computer (a very shiny nearly-new iMac) to the new OS X (“Lion”), and now it refuses to stay connected to the wireless internet. I went by the local Apple store and they tried to tell me it was just me and my computer. Except that BOTH my new iMac and my old and cranky MacBook started doing the exact same thing upon switching to Lion. Oh, and a google search revealed a pile of people griping about the same thing.
    Grumble.

    In other news, I have moved! I am settled into my new place and will be starting my new job (a JOB. I am done with school!) on Monday morning. :D :D

    Any of the Horde in western NY?

  483. 483
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Just popping by to say that the cheesecake my mum & I made from scratch for my sister’s birthday turned out perfectly (first time for the recipe http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/Legacy-77880/New-York-Style-no-crust-Cheesecake/detail.aspx, so that was great). Tomorrow I’m baking Tuscan bread http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22833/tuscan-bread for the first time. (Yeast for the sponge is proofing as we speak.) Mum is on a low-sodium diet and so I’m hoping this will be a good bread for her to make sandwiches with etc. Most bread recipes require some salt and store-bought breads are way too high in sodium to even consider at this point. I’ll be back to let you know how it turns out.

  484. 484
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    @ kristinc #476

    That was put very well. I was just about to say something similar in response to Bill, but you said it way better than I could.

    And yeah, I’m really fucking tired of the whole “women are so mysterious, amiright?” thing. Yes, half the population is just impossible to understand. It’s not like they’re normal people or anything.

  485. 485
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Ibis:

    Just popping by to say that the cheesecake my mum & I made from scratch for my sister’s birthday turned out perfectly

    OM NOM NOM! If I was a superhero, cheesecake would be my only weakness. :D

    Caine!
    As promised, here’s a picture of Chuck and Syd.

    Don’t you just want to eat them?

  486. 486
    Orange Utan

    @Esteleth

    I have the grouches today. I recently upgraded my computer (a very shiny nearly-new iMac) to the new OS X (“Lion”), and now it refuses to stay connected to the wireless internet.

    Are you running 10.7.2? I had the same problem when Lion first came out when waking from sleep but it was fixed in a subsequent update and has been rock solid ever since.

    This is of course assuming you can stay connected long enough to download the update.

  487. 487
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Ms. Daisy Cutter:

    Even though, as an educated white male in the UK — and especially one who has long required a personal caregiver — Hawking has likely spent much more time in the company of (white) women than in the company of black people of either sex.

    I don’t know about that. The population of the UK may me a lot “whiter” than the US, if it’s anything like what I see in continental Europe, people of colour (especially women) would tend to be over-represented in caregiver jobs, because white people have more opportunities to get into careers that pay better and come with more social recognition.

  488. 488
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    @Orange Utan,
    I am running 10.7.2. Checking for an update now. Hopefully that will do the trick.

  489. 489
    Inaji

    Audley:

    Caine!
    As promised, here’s a picture of Chuck and Syd.

    Aaaaaaaaaw, they are adorable! So, so, cute. I see a calcium chew, too – those are Chas’s favourite things. :D

  490. 490
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Caine:

    Aaaaaaaaaw, they are adorable!

    Thanks! :)

    They’re absolutely ridiculous– yesterday, Chuck was trying to steal food right out of Syd’s mouth. Right now, they’re asleep in their nest, but instead of being curled up together, Chuck is passed out on top of Syd. Poor Syd. :D

  491. 491
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    [psa]
    Check your blood pressure. If it is high, get it under control. The Redhead didn’t, and is now in the hospital due to complications thereof.
    Check your blood pressure.
    [/psa]

  492. 492
    Inaji

    Nerd:

    The Redhead didn’t, and is now in the hospital due to complications thereof.

    Oh no! I hope she’s okay and you be sure to take care of yourself, too, Nerd.

  493. 493
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Oh, dear, Nerd! How is the Redhead doing? What exactly has happened?

  494. 494
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    The puzzle story was beyond adorable.

    Debbie Goddard on CFI policy discussion:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/01/03/so-this-is-what-skepticism-has-come-to/comment-page-1/#comment-238071

  495. 495
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    As for the calcium chews, they seem to have pretty much ignored it. They have completely destroyed their “hay hut” within a couple of days, though.

    Any suggestions for good chewies?

  496. 496
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Aww, cute ratties are cute.

  497. 497
    Inaji

    Audley:

    yesterday, Chuck was trying to steal food right out of Syd’s mouth.

    Oh gods, Esme does that, all the time! She figures whatever Chas or Rubin might have must be the very best, so she charges and wrestles food right out of their mouth and runs off with it. She’s terrible.

  498. 498
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Progress in the US: the Justice Department has, after more than 80 years, changed its definition of what constitutes rape. This new definition makes it possible to call rape (and prosecute as such) assaults against men and forms of rape where the victim is unable of giving consent (if she/he is unconscient, too young, etc.)

    (Via Shakesville.)

  499. 499
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Nerd:
    Holy crap!

    Is the Readhead going to be okay?

  500. 500
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    The Redhead didn’t, and is now in the hospital due to complications thereof.

    Best to you both. Hope everything works out fine.

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