Libby Anne lays down the law »« The Grammy Awards will be televised tonight

Comments

  1. says

    theophontes — Awesome, those are good to look into, thanks!

    Here’s what I wrote up (well, mostly just quoted) from looking over Carrier’s work (which is great).

    Thanks so much, Phrangulites!

    ————–
    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/musonius.html “Gaius Musonius Rufus was a Roman knight of Italian (Etruscan) birth, but dedicated his life to Stoicism and to preaching moral lectures…”

    The context for the stories of Jesus’s birth, etc:

    “But the important context is the Hellenistic world. This is most obvious in the Christological titles (Lord, God, Savior, Son of God, God Incarnate, etc.). There is hardly a single title assigned to Christ that hadn’t already been used by one or another Hellenistic king–and it is to the latter ideology that the Christians are responding, since it was that which affected their immediate past and was still echoing in their present. The Messianic Book of Daniel already mythologizes a clash with the “deifying” blasphemy of Greek monarchy, and the Emperors maintained the same symbolism and ritual in the East as they adopted from the Hellenistic rulers they conquered (while maintaining instead a more rationalist and democratic face in the West). To look to Luxor is to look too far back. It only partly informs the Hellenistic development, whereas the Hellenistic development almost completely informs the Christian one (after accounting for what is peculiarly Jewish about it, that is).” http://www.frontline-apologetics.com/Luxor_Inscription.html
    “The only pre-Christian man to be buried and resurrected and deified in his own lifetime, that I know of, is the Thracian god Zalmoxis (also called Salmoxis or Gebele’izis), who is described in the mid-5th-century B.C.E. by Herodotus (4.94-96), and also mentioned in Plato’s Charmides (156d-158b) in the early-4th-century B.C.E. According to the hostile account of Greek informants, Zalmoxis buried himself alive, telling his followers he would be resurrected in three years, but he merely resided in a hidden dwelling all that time. His inevitable “resurrection” led to his deification, and a religion surrounding him, which preached heavenly immortality for believers, persisted for centuries.” http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/graves.html

    “We all have read the tales told of Jesus in the Gospels, but few people really have a good idea of their context. Yet it is quite enlightening to examine them against the background of the time and place in which they were written, and my goal here is to help you do just that. There is abundant evidence that these were times replete with kooks and quacks of all varieties, from sincere lunatics to ingenious frauds, even innocent men mistaken for divine, and there was no end to the fools and loons who would follow and praise them.” http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/kooks.html

    See http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/#history for numerous other texts on this topic, and his blog: http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier

  2. SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant says

    LOL! I am loving the turn this TET has taken. Squirrel and pigeon hunting. Most excellent. I feel we’ll all be well-prepared when the zombie apocalypse comes. Never change, TLC. Well, no. Change all you fucking want, but know that you’re awesome.

  3. echidna says

    : “The professional way”. Pros: a 22 rifle takes the difficulty level down several notches. Cons: You need a license. You need a rifle. You need an area where rabbits are found, AND where there’s absolutely no risk of tragic hunting accidents involving the general public.

    And then there’s the farmer-friendly way: nets and ferrets. Farmers really appreciate people who are not wielding guns getting rid of rabbits (although they may not be regarded as quite the pests in the USA as they are in Australia).

    Hunting squirrel? Isn’t there a risk of rabies?

  4. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ echidna

    “Never send a ferret to do a weasel’s job.”

    /Budweiser

  5. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Echidna: Problem: The ferret is used for european rabbits, which live in underground warrens. It’s adapted for flushing prey from burrows.

    The north american cottontail, which is my target, prefers to lay up in dense tangles of prickly bushes and does not dig burrows.

  6. says

    Good morning
    There’s a light snow falling and it has gotten some 15° warmer (yes, that means slightly under 0°C)
    The Discounter says it’s going to be spring next week. I don’t believe it but I’ll make good use of their sale on seeds.

    re: body image
    I was chubby as a pre-teen and people called me fat (looking at pictures, I see a chubby kid. A bit overweight but definetly not fat), so I came to the conclusion that it didn’t matter if I had another piece of cake until I really was fat.
    I lost the weight some 12 years ago and I loved that body. Not only because what it looked like, but also because of the things it could do. Well, I became pregnant, I gained about 70lbs and they all stayed with me…

    re: Loftus
    If he isn’t reported to the authorities he should at least be shunned from the community. That’s not somebody we want to associate with.

    re: hunting
    I met a shrew last Saturday (that fits with hunting ‘Cause it’s a predator). When this tiny animal became aware of giant me, it turned around and told me loudly to fuck off.
    I was aftraid it would attack the rabbits for a little nibble.

  7. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ TLC

    Like Bre’r Rabbit and the briar patch?

    (The stories I read as a kid are going to be dang useful, come the zombie apocalypse!)

  8. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Giliell: I’ve heard somewhere that shrews are the most voracious mammalian predators on earth, for their size. I also heard they can starve to death within a matter of minutes or hours due to their high RPM metabolism.

  9. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Sorry John, I don’t carry a list of citations around in my head.

    I do know from direct observation that shrews smell bad and seemingly never stop moving or taking and devouring any insect prey offered to them. And the two times I’ve tried to keep one alive in captivity, it fed well on anything given to it but was always dead by morning.

  10. says

    TLC
    They can be startled to death. Probably captivity is too much stress for them.
    Yeah, I mean 80-90% of their body weight in food is a lot, especially since we’re talking about protein and calorie rich food like insects. The pfft says that the local variety even goes after small vertebrates and that is frightening.
    I’m thankfull they’re only the size of a mouse.

  11. says

    Every time I try to post a comment on a different thread I keep getting an ‘error: duplicate comment’ message, when the comment definitely hasn’t been posted before.

    Anyone got any helpful suggestions?

  12. says

    Oh, and I have pet rabbits, btw.

    Killing the kind of creature that will curl up in bed with you and demand a nose rub has always seemed somewhat inappropriate, but that’s just me, I suppose.

  13. John Morales says

    tielserrath, first try closing and restarting your browser, and if that doesn’t work, try logging out and logging back in.

  14. birgerjohansson says

    In regard to rodents….
    I have been checking out the coverage of CPAC at Dispatches from the Culture Wars http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/02/13/that-white-supremacist-panel-at-cpac/

    “…CPAC is hosting the panel *“The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the pursuit of diversity is weakening the American Identity” (snip) [with] Peter Brimelow, the founder and head of VDARE.com. VDARE is a White Nationalist website, run by Brimelow, which frequently publishes the works of anti-Semitic and racist writers.”

    Here is a quote from the web site:

    “Jewish activity collectively, throughout history, is best understood as an elaborate and highly successful group competitive strategy directed against neighboring peoples and host societies. The objective has been control of economic resources and political power. One example: overwhelming Jewish support for non-traditional immigration, which has the effect of weakening America’s historic white majority.”
    — Kevin MacDonald, VDARE.com, Nov. 14, 2006
    .
    -My comment: What. The. Hell!!!
    .
    *[The host of the panel] Robert Vandervoort is a former leader of the White Nationalist group Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance
    (The magazine American Renaissance is a racist magazine published by fellow White Nationalist Jared Taylor.)

    [American Renaissance has organised] …conferences, suit-and-tie affairs that attract a broad spectrum of participants from the racist right, including neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Ku Klux Klan members, Holocaust deniers and eugenicists. The conferences even have an international presence. In 2002, for instance, speakers included Nick Griffin, leader of the neofascist British National Party, and Bruno Gollnisch, who was then second in command of Jean Marie Le Pen’s immigrant-bashing National Front in France.

  15. says

    tielserrath
    Well, we have pet rabbits, too. Better said, my children have them, I’m just one of the servants they keep.
    And I obviously wouldn’t eat them (only that I would. If it was me or the rabbits I know who survives), but yeah, that’s because I have an emotional attachment to them.
    They are cute and verrry cuddly.

  16. John Morales says

    Giliell:

    They are cute and verrry cuddly.

    And, with the right cuts to the carcass, you can peel them like a glove!

  17. says

    John
    You know this thing you have about coming off like deliberately being an asshole?
    This is one of the times. Fortunately, I actually agree with you, I like rabbit fur a lot. After all, I eat their meat, so why waste the fur.
    But saying this in respect to somebody’s pet rabbit is an asshole move.
    Believe me, somebody try to make cuts into our rabbits and I’ll try to make cuts into them.

  18. John Morales says

    Giliell, you forget I’m Australian — they’re an ecological plague here. I’ve been out spotlighting (just the once, I didn’t particularly enjoy it).

    FWIW, we too had a pet bunny (floppy-eared) for a time, but alas we also had a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Didn’t work out that well. :|

  19. says

    Two things:

    My non-nym blog was updated with a new post about the geography and cosmology of my planet.

    Also – possibly a trigger so I’ll put it down a bit:

    I had a very scary dream about a crazed doctor who was killing women, using their flesh and bones and teeth to revive his dead girlfriend, and when he was close to finishing his monstrosity, it woke up and tore him to pieces – looking for the rest of its body parts.

    I woke up in a sweat… crying almost at that point. Couldn’t get back to sleep for another half hour.

    When I did, I dreamed about a Reboot-type world… much better.

  20. Weed Monkey says

    John, I can no longer believe you’re sincere in your callousness. You’re just trying to heckle people for your own amusement.

    Goodbye.

  21. says

    theophontes,

    having been following Malaysian politics for years now, it’s never had that tourist-friendly feel to me. I’m planning to visit a friend in KL next time when I have the chance, but I feel like I’m going into a “cultural war zone” (apologies to those who have been to real war zones).

    But have a look at the Malaysian tourist statistics, they’re mainly getting visitors from neighbouring counries and other Asian countries, like China, where the issue probably won’t receive any attention. That said, I like your graphic and it’s worth a try.

  22. says

    Ya know, John, “Australian ecology” would be an argument if I’d said something along the line of “ohh, don’t kill cute lil bunnies!”.
    It’s not an argument when I said “Talking about cutting people’s pets open is an asshole move”.
    See, this is why your “honestly, I have a problem there, I’m really not trying to upset people” loses credibility: If it really were the case you would react differently when people point it out.

  23. birgerjohansson says

    “I’ve heard somewhere that lemmings are prone to mass suicide”

    This is one of the oldest extant urban myths. Disney even faked a documentary, throwing lemmings off a cliff in front of a camera. Disney was a prick.

    And, no the water in your bathtub will not circle the drain in the opposite direction from an Australian’s bathtub.
    And Swedes no not kill themselves more often than other scandinavians (this myth has a political background).

    Pharyngulites should get together sometime for a mythbuster-style session, with lots of explosives! Dibs for the rocket launcher.

  24. John Morales says

    Giliell:

    It’s not an argument when I said “Talking about cutting people’s pets open is an asshole move”.

    I was talking about bunnies generically, not about your pets.

    Apparently, my reference to our own pet bunny was too elliptical.

    (If you want to think the worst about me, I can’t stop you — but I’m not about to gird every comment with disclaimers and caveats on the basis that people will seek the worst possible interpretation)

  25. says

    And Swedes no not kill themselves more often than other scandinavians (this myth has a political background).

    Care to go into more detail? In the EU, though the honour of the highest suicide rate attribution goes to the Finns (apparently Latvia (22.9) and Lithuania (34.1) actually have higher rates than Finland (19.3)).

    If you don’t count Finland as part of Scandinavia (most people from outside the region don’t really distinguish between the Nordic countries and Scandinavia), Sweden (12.7) indeed seems to have a slightly higher suicide rate than Norway (11.9) and Denmark (11.9).

    (all rates / 100k people, based on WHO data as per Wikipedia)

  26. says

    John:

    I was talking about bunnies generically, not about your pets.

    Ahh, you mean I should have used my amazing intercontinental mind-reading abilities to understand that when I talk about our pets and you reply directly to me afterwards and quote part of that post about my pets without any further explenation and talk about cutting them open, that you changed the subject from my rabbits to rabbits in general?

    If you want to think the worst about me, I can’t stop you

    It’s not so much that I want to, it comes automatically.

  27. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ pelamun

    it’s never had that tourist-friendly feel to me.

    No, I wouldn’t think so. But the government is pushing for an increase in their tourist trade via the “Malaysia Truly Asia ™” initiative.This is all good and sensible, it is their “face”, their means to project an image to the outside world. At the same time they (the same government, the same politicians) go and involve themselves in the killing of an innocent young man. That is a totally repugnant stance. They cannot be allowed to welcome guests and then murder them. This is what we can put out there. If we raise awareness, perhaps they will eventually catch a clue.

    I’m planning to visit a friend in KL next time when I have the chance, but I feel like I’m going into a “cultural war zone” (apologies to those who have been to real war zones).

    I cannot say, as I have never been to KL (but I have worked in real war zones.)

    But have a look at the Malaysian tourist statistics, they’re mainly getting visitors from neighbouring counries and other Asian countries, like China, where the issue probably won’t receive any attention.

    If I ever hear someone talk about Malaysia I am going to badmouth that country about their government’s horrible behaviour until I am hoarse.

    That said, I like your graphic and it’s worth a try.

    I wish I had more time to work on more ideas that I have. I am hoping others may come up with similar ideas. We can subvert the cynical and hypocritical propaganda that they are promoting.

    ….

    theaphontes has covered my face with a mixture of avocado, honey and olive oil. Apparently I look “hideous … mwahahahaha”.

  28. ChasCPeterson says

    shrews are the most voracious mammalian predators on earth, for their size. I also heard they can starve to death within a matter of minutes or hours due to their high RPM metabolism.

    all true

    it but was always dead by morning.

    see above

    They can be startled to death.

    citation needed

    Probably captivity is too much stress for them.

    see above

    Shrews are very cool. Toxic and capable of echolocation and torpor.

  29. says

    My parents’ cat was an expert shrew hunter. He’d get outside and sit in the yard, then just pause and stare at the ground. Not a few seconds later he’d jab into the ground, and we’d hear a squeaking as a shrew flew up in the air and was promptly killed by the cat when he caught it back down again. They had no chance and we couldn’t even stop him cause we had literally seconds to react, and we weren’t ever close enough to catch him before he did.

  30. says

    Chas

    Spitzmäuse haben eine außergewöhnlich hohe Stoffwechselrate. Wenn sie erschrecken, kann ihr Herz bis zu 1200 Mal pro Minute [1] schlagen, oft kommen auch Todesfälle durch einen Schock vor. Aufgrund ihres immensen Stoffwechsels haben die Spitzmäuse einen hohen Nahrungsbedarf, so fressen Arten der Gattung der Rotzahnspitzmäuse (Sorex) täglich Nahrung in der Größenordnung ihres eigenen Körpergewichts.

    You’re welcome

  31. carlie says

    Wow, nice – today’s Google Doodle animation is all about love between a boy and girl, but at the end there is a montage of pictures of happy couples that includes some same-sex ones.

  32. says

    @TLC 477

    I asked my husband who’s a homebrewer. He says it would be possible to do it, (and he’s positive someone out there has tried it), but it probably wouldn’t taste very good. He’s also not sure if THC would survive the brewing process.

  33. says

    I’m sure Loftus means his guns of intelligence, or guns of amazing wit, or whatnot.

    Which would make him the joke of the internet, given that he was arguing with some atheists at the time and has in the past.

    “Up until now you’ve only faced my broken peashooters of intelligence and wit, but that’s because, to spare you humiliating intellectual defeat, I have been keeping my cannons under wraps. But shortly I will reveal my real argumentative firepower, at a time and place to be announced. And it will be devastating.”

  34. birgerjohansson says

    Birgerjohansson: ” “And Swedes no not kill themselves more often than other scandinavians (this myth has a political background).” ”

    Pelamun: “Care to go into more detail? In the EU, though the honour of the highest suicide rate attribution goes to the Finns (apparently Latvia (22.9) and Lithuania (34.1) actually have higher rates than Finland (19.3)).”
    .
    -In the 1960s, Sweden was considered something of a model nation, since we had the highest GNP per capita alongside the US. Since we already had stuff like universal health care there was an American enthusiasm for learning from the Swedish experience.
    The “Swedes commit suicide” myth got spread against the background of a conservative meme that Sweden should not be considered a model
    (we had sexual freedom and other Ehvil things).

    Essentially this is an older version of the “Death panel” meme, spread for the same reasons.
    I suppose we should be grateful we were not targeted with the “blood libel” meme
    — — — — —
    Your statistics are more up to date than mine.
    .
    Including Finland into the Scandinavia region, we get “Fennoscandia” (or what we in Sweden consider “Norden”) In Swedish “Scandinavia” is usually regarded as the big peninsula with Norway and Sweden.
    English speakers include the whole shebang in “Scandinavia” (our “Norden”).

  35. says

    Chigau, I’m so sorry.

    Josh, #462: Standing ovation.

    Also, I wish you’d expressed your hankering for squirrel meat last winter; I’d have let you harvest my attic. I’d have made you release the little brown bats, though.

    BTW: How to clean and prep a squirrel. Does not involve a popcorn popper.

    Echidna: The risk of getting rabies from eating squirrel is fairly low. Small animals are less likely to be carriers because the bite of a rabid predator or other rabid animal is more likely to kill them outright.

    Birger, please don’t compare CPAC attendees to rodents. That’s so unfair to mice, rats, and other little gnawers.

    Also, I had always figured the Scandinavian suicide thing was due to S.A.D. in winter. I didn’t know it was just a myth.

  36. says

    birger,

    so you’d exclude Denmark too? Some Germans do that following a strict geographic definition… But AFAIK usually “die skandinavischen Länder” include Finland in common parlance.

    So the political background would be US-Sweden, not Denmark-Sweden as I thought (I’ve started reading “världens lyckligaste folk”, my concern about Danish politics growing with every chapter I finish)

  37. Predator Handshake says

    birgerjohansson @528:

    And, no the water in your bathtub will not circle the drain in the opposite direction from an Australian’s bathtub.

    Is it true that your toilets flush in the opposite direction, not from any Coriolis influence, but just from some arbitrary design decision? My physics professor told me that once, but it was after class which was when he liked to tell us things that weren’t true to see if we were paying attention.

  38. says

    Mormons have been caught … again.

    There have been so many meetings between mormon leaders and Jewish leaders in which the mormons promised to stop necrodunking jews that I’ve lost count.

    This will come as no surprise to reality-based persons, but the mormons were caught baptizing the parents of a very famous Jew, Simon Wiesenthal.

    An LDS Church member last month posthumously baptized the parents of Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor and Jewish rights advocate, and the Los Angeles center named for him is incensed.

    “We are outraged that such insensitive actions continue in the Mormon temples,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, said in a statement on the group’s website. “Such actions make a mockery of the many meetings with the top leadership of the Mormon church.”

    LDS officials in Salt Lake City were quick to apologize Monday, saying that the Utah-based faith “sincerely regret[s] that the actions of an individual member … led to the inappropriate submission of these names,” which were “clearly against the policy of the church.”

    “We consider this a serious breach of our protocol,” spokesman Scott Trotter said in a statement, “and we have suspended indefinitely this person’s ability to access our genealogy records.”…

    Actually, this is not really a breach of their protocol, since mormon protocol is to say one thing and quietly (or not so quietly) do another. At least that’s the protocol LDS Church leaders go by. That’s what they did when they pretended to end polygamy. That’s what they do when they claim to honor women. That’s what they do when they say they love their gay brothers and their lesbian sisters. That’s what they do when they pretend to present a financial report at General Conference. That’s what they do when they say the LDS Church doesn’t dabble in politics. That’s exactly what they do when they carry on necrodunking Jews, Mitt Romney’s atheist father-in-law, etc.

    More details in this Salt Lake Tribune article. The comments are interesting.

  39. says

    @SC:

    Aren’t cats also pests under some distinctions? If you let your cat outside of the house (as many people do) you’re introducing a predator species to the population who is not only well cared for, but also vaccinated against diseases that kill many predator species anyway. Cats are responsible for the killing of many indigenous birds and rodents. That and they poop in peoples yards, spray on their glass doors, and leave dead animals lying about.

  40. says

    An excerpt from the comments below the Salt Lake Tribune article about mormons baptizing Simon Wiesenthal’s parents:

    All the temple ritual does is keep the true believing Mormon indoctrinated, so they pay more tithing, so they can maintain their temple recommend, so they can go back to the temple and get indoctrinated some more. It’s great money making racket for the Church.

  41. says

    Naturally, most of the mormons commenting about the Simon Wiesenthal story are of the opinion that if you find it offensive when mormons necrodunk your dead relatives it is you that has the problem.

    And your problem is that you hate mormons.

    Mormons are exceptionally good at being offended and feeling persecuted if anyone questions their doctrine. At the same time they are exceptionally good at offending others and being outraged that anyone would be offended.

  42. birgerjohansson says

    “so you’d exclude Denmark too?”

    No, no Denmark is part of Norden. And Greenland and Färöarna are under Danish sovereignty, so those two regions are represented in the Nordic Council, alongside Finland Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the Åland archipelago.

    And if some Inuit want to escape P M Harper I suppose we could annex Nuunavut, too :-) .
    .
    BTW Finland is eroded flat by glaciers so big lakes have filled up much of the place. Most of Canada is the same. You could demand anschluss with Finland, quoting the connection to the Baltic shield plate that existed during the time of Laurasia when the Iapetus ocean closed up. (Pan-Archaeanism? That would trump the “maintain old traditions” fetish of conservatives)

  43. dontpanic says

    Re: Loftus. I read that and immediately WTF’ed. But I think in context it’s quite clear that it was intended metaphorically and that the calls here for reporting him to the FBI were a bit over the top (worthy of their own O_o). I wasn’t impressed by him when he was here at FTB that hasn’t changed in the latest exchanges. I also looked at some of his new/old blog, and well, SC@540 has him pegged to a tee. He severely overestimates his own cleverness; takes offense at the slightest slight; willfully misunderstands why people might want to use pseudonyms online; and generally comes across as a bit dim and petulant with a fondness for the word “cookie cutter”.

  44. says

    Aren’t cats also pests under some distinctions? If you let your cat outside of the house (as many people do) you’re introducing a predator species to the population who is not only well cared for, but also vaccinated against diseases that kill many predator species anyway. Cats are responsible for the killing of many indigenous birds and rodents. That and they poop in peoples yards, spray on their glass doors, and leave dead animals lying about.

    Huh? Have I ever said anything contrary to this? (My cat nephews are indoor cats, incidentally; all they leave lying about are toys.) My point is that if people don’t object to others chatting casually about hunting and cooking rabbits, it’s kind of strange for them to become sentimentally incensed when someone jokes about doing it to one who happens to be their pet. These distinctions make no difference to rabbits. If people were talking about hunting and cooking cats and dogs that weren’t anyone’s pets, I doubt the response would be the same.

  45. says

    : Loftus. I read that and immediately WTF’ed. But I think in context it’s quite clear that it was intended metaphorically and that the calls here for reporting him to the FBI were a bit over the top

    No. It isn’t. Especially if he wants to tone troll and whine about the awful dialogue of atheists.

  46. dontpanic says

    Is it true that your toilets flush in the opposite direction, not from any Coriolis influence, but just from some arbitrary design decision?

    I don’t think there’s any uniformity in swirl direction design vs. hemisphere (or so I’ve heard) with the exception of the UK where apparently toilets are designed to gurgle and churn without actually, ah, flushing at all. Or so it has been my experience in the 7 or 8 trips across the pond.

    And they also still haven’t caught on to the idea of these newfangled “mixing” faucets. A hot faucet over ← there and a cold faucet over → here. All the better to scald my left hand and freeze my right. You want me to plug a sink of questionable cleanliness, wait for it to fill, wash my hands in it, repeat for a rinse? Is there something about British plumbing design that prevents use of mixing faucets? Inability to equalize hot and cold water pressures?

  47. says

    birger,

    what I meant is from “Scandinavia”.

    The Swedish Wikipedia article on Scandinavia starts thus:

    Skandinavien är ett geografiskt och kulturellt område i norra Europa. Vanligen används termen i kulturell och språklig bemärkelse och omfattar då Sverige, Danmark och Norge, där man talar skandinaviska språk.

    I though maybe due to the long Danish rule over Scania, or something, Denmark would always be part of Scandinavia in Sweden, but that you seem to say that some follow the “strictly geographic definition”, surprises me.

  48. Predator Handshake says

    I don’t think there’s any uniformity in swirl direction design vs. hemisphere (or so I’ve heard) with the exception of the UK where apparently toilets are designed to gurgle and churn without actually, ah, flushing at all. Or so it has been my experience in the 7 or 8 trips across the pond.

    To me it’s believable enough that they could have just picked a national standard that happens to be different from that of other countries, and people from countries with a different rotation in their toilets tried to retroactively explain it using the Coriolis effect because they heard about it once without learning how big of an effect it has on things.

    Actually, I seem to remember this being one of that physics professor’s examples of “a little knowledge of physics can be worse than no knowledge of physics.” I don’t think he ever mentioned whether they actually do go in a different direction, just that if they did it definitely wasn’t because of any weird reference frame effects. Toilets and the phases of the moon would always set that professor off on a tangent of bemoaning the lack of decent education in physics that people receive in US high schools these days.

  49. says

    @Katherine

    I thought it was an animal rights point that animals don’t distinguish between the privileged patron status and the persecuted pest status?

  50. dontpanic says

    No. It isn’t. Especially if he wants to tone troll and whine about the awful dialogue of atheists.

    O_o. Oh, I hadn’t realized that the updated “Patriot Act” had made tone trolling a FBI reportable offense. My apologies.

    Sorry, yes, it was obvious metaphorical. Well, at least in a world before arresting Canadian managers giving pep talks
    and kids from the UK being back for twittering about partying became the norm. [Sigh] Don’t be like those who overreact. Yes, call him out on how it’s too ambiguous, or a WTF statement. But the serious calls here for reporting him to the authorities? Dumbass.

  51. says

    This Moment of Mormon Madness comes from the category of irony-meter-busting lack of self-awareness, as demonstrated by LDS Church leaders.

    Everybody knows that Utah is the scam capital of the USA. Multi-level marketing schemes, ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, real estate ripoffs …. whatever your business poison, Utah specializes in it. Affinity fraud is on steroids there thanks to the dominant religion, which teaches the sheeple to rely on good feelings to determine truth, and to trust their fellow mormons.

    Seeing that Utah has quite a bad reputation in terms of not protecting citizens from scams, they have decided to do something about it.

    And they have enlisted the help of LDS Church leaders.

    Organizers of an event on Wednesday aimed at educating Utahns about avoiding financial scams hope that an LDS Church representative will deliver a strong message to help stem the tide of scams that have rolled over Utah in recent years.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is sending Michael Otterson, its managing director of public affairs, to the Fraud College at the University of Utah, where he is scheduled to speak at 11 a.m.

    The event is free but registration is suggested at http://www.fraudcollege.org….

  52. PFC Ogvorbis (Yes, they are) says

    And this is worse than organ meat in collogen?

    Objection! Some of my best friends are composed largely of organ meat in collagen.

    Yeah? Do you eat your best friend?

    Oh. Wait. Wife is my best freind . . . .

    Nevermind.

    I’ve heard that PTSD, as with learned fears in animals, can only be managed, not erased.

    And even managing ain’t easy.

    How the fuck is it that I work for a fucking MEDICAL SCHOOL and the employee insurance doesn’t include vision or dental?!

    We have this bizarre idea that teeth and eyes have nothing to do with the rest of the body.

    Annecdote: I suffered two or three sinus infections per year. I hated them. I got two abscessed teeth pulled (the dentist said that one abscess was very low-grade and could have been going for ten or fifteen years — oddly, that’s about how long I’ve been having the frequent sinus infections) and, lo and behold, no sinus infections since.

  53. says

    O_o. Oh, I hadn’t realized that the updated “Patriot Act” had made tone trolling a FBI reportable offense. My apologies.

    Oh grow up. Are we going to go through another “issuing death threats isn’t so bad!” apologizing again?

    Sorry, yes, it was obvious metaphorical.

    Clearly not if it worried people. This is what’s called begging the question.

    [Sigh] Don’t be like those who overreact.

    Totally different. For one this is in the context of “I am so mad at these people!” not a completely different context.

    Yes, call him out on how it’s too ambiguous, or a WTF statement. But the serious calls here for reporting him to the authorities? Dumbass.

    Is it clear or too ambiguous? Make up your mind. Yes if it’s ambiguous people should do a WTF report in the hierarchy posted above. No one is over reacting. I’m sorry but I’m not crying tears of him going shit nuts gives him grief after he goes off on how mean we all are.

  54. says

    The Duggar family is talking about Mom Duggar’s latest miscarriage. She already has 19 children, and says she will try again to have another baby.

    ^_- I want to be sympathetic but my first thought was “oh great, if this one goes wrong will they list cause of death as suicide?”

  55. dontpanic says

    …kids from the UK being sent back…

    Oh, and yes, I’ll self-report to the FBI for tone trolling <\snark>

    I doubt that there are any national standards for swirl direction. It might be that different countries have different primary manufacturers who’s toilets happen to swirl differently. I think only the most liberturdian nutcase would actually think there is a required “standard” for that.

    As a physicist, I don’t sweat the swirl issue. I’m not sure what exactly you mean by the “phases of the moon” as an indicator of poor public education, but I can guess and probably agree. Coriolis effect, small and hard to explain/demonstrate; phases of the moon on the other hand should be understandable by any 5th grader and can easily be demonstrated with common household items. Any fail there deserves a *facepalm*.

  56. says

    I know it’s horrible to think that way and that this is a very invasive indoctrination and controlling situation, but it just seems like death seeking. I can’t imagine anyone seemingly not giving enough of a shit about their other kids or lacking any sense of self preservation. It’s like she actually views herself not as a mother but an interchangeable expendable womb.

  57. says

    Oh, and yes, I’ll self-report to the FBI for tone trolling

    If you want to reply to what I actually said that would help.

    My comment wasn’t report for tone trolling. My comment was that if people are worried they should report and if it’s wrong I’m not shedding any tears over him because of the douchebaggery. It seems like people here are doing a fine measured response to ambiguous statements and no one is panicking or vindictive.

  58. PFC Ogvorbis (Yes, they are) says

    The Duggar family is talking about Mom Duggar’s latest miscarriage. She already has 19 children, and says she will try again to have another baby.

    Apparently her god wasn’t subtle enough with the STOP sign.

  59. says

    John:

    I’m not about to gird every comment with disclaimers and caveats on the basis that people will seek the worst possible interpretation take the minimum time possible, like practically everyone else does, to ensure I don’t come off like a jerk when I don’t mean to.

    FTFY.

    Giliell:

    It’s not so much that I want to, it comes automatically.

    “I didn’t jump. I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were”.

  60. says

    I’m not about to gird every comment with disclaimers and caveats on the basis that people will seek the worst possible interpretation take the minimum time possible, like practically everyone else does, to ensure I don’t come off like a jerk when I don’t mean to.

    Or apparently take the effort to even look like you give a damn when you do come off like a jerk.

    For example, while I think walton took my comments too personally, I regret that I offended him that much, I’ll have to remember not to snap in frustration like that in the future.

  61. says

    Isn’t there some thought that some women get addicted to pregnancy?

    There was that one Cronenbergesq news story about the woman who was addicted to abortions

  62. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ pelamun

    Thanks for linky. I will only be able to have a look tomorrow as I must sleep now.

    I have been watching France 24 news. They featured both the uprising in Wukan (people’s protest in China) and Hamza’s deportation (I hope this publicity will help him.) Perhaps you can catch that.

    (Be warned they feature the situation in Homs, which is horrific. Assad Jnr is just as murderous as his dad.)

  63. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    The Duggars: Most children (who are interested in such things) only sometimes play house, theirs have probably been parent stand-ins since they could walk.

  64. says

    Isn’t there some thought that some women get addicted to pregnancy?

    Well apparently pregnancy can have a temporary mitigating effect on depression, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that life has Michelle Duggar depressed as hell.

  65. says

    Jon Stewart came up with a funny bit about Santorum’s war on contraception. In the segment titled “The Vagina Ideologues,” Stewart takes Catholic Bishops to task as well.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/

    Santorum quote: “This is simply somebody trying to impose their values on somebody else …”

    [pause to fill out forms required to order new irony meter]

  66. says

    AS far as Mom Duggar dying, I’m afraid you are right. She will continue to get pregnant until pregnancy kills her.

    I guess the best we could hope for would be that menopause saves her life.

  67. dontpanic says

    Ing,
    Clear in context, but worded ambiguously. And I wasn’t complaining about “report in the hierarchy posted above” if by that you mean FTB blog owner. I meant that early posters were talking about calling 911 and/or reporting it to the feds. Really? People seriously thought he’d gone Mabus-ian because his fee-fees were hurt by mean comments? Reminded me of those who “misunderstood” suggestions here about what one could do with a porcupine, but with the roles reversed. Anyone who took it as a credible death threat (a) should get off the internet and (b) was predisposed to willfully taking the worst spin on it because Loftus is such a dofus.

    I’m not “apologizing” for any “death threat” because there clearly wasn’t one at the same level as the two example I gave above. Even if it was obvious he was mad at some people in the conversation.

    Whatever. I’m done with the topic of how seriously to take Loftus’ “death threats”. He’s still a twit.

  68. carlie says

    There is actually something called “stained glass cake”, and it is made with cubes of Jello. o.O

  69. says

    How the fuck is it that I work for a fucking MEDICAL SCHOOL and the employee insurance doesn’t include vision or dental?!

    I work at an optometry school and I don’t have vision coverage.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

  70. Pteryxx says

    People seriously thought he’d gone Mabus-ian because his fee-fees were hurt by mean comments?

    (emphasis mine)

    This again?

    An ordinary, stable, non-douchey person doesn’t suddenly become threatening, bigoted, or whatever because their fee-fees got hurt. If they do, they’ve got a problem that needs addressing, and apologizing for. Again, if ALL Loftus did was rage and throw insults, I wouldn’t bother saving the comments. Making a threat, even an ambiguous threat, is Not. Cool.

  71. Dhorvath, OM says

    Someone I know had their tonsils and adenoids out yesterday. At least once they even mentioned that they were “Not having a good day.” Today is nap time on the couch, soft foods and lots of drinks, and no activity. Yay morphine.

  72. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Tielserrath:

    Oh, and I have pet rabbits, btw.

    Killing the kind of creature that will curl up in bed with you and demand a nose rub has always seemed somewhat inappropriate, but that’s just me, I suppose.

    I’ve said this before, but I’ll say again: I would never kill a pet. And I don’t think it’s such an arbitrary distinction. A pet trusts humans, and trusts us not to harm it, which is why it allows humans to get close to it and touch it.

    A wild animal, such as a wild rabbit, knows it’s prey, knows that I’m the predator, and does its best to defend itself. Which is why wild rabbits do things like run and hide and take cover.

  73. Predator Handshake says

    dontpanic @571:

    I think I’ve been wording things in a confusing way; I don’t think there necessarily should be a national standard for direction of water flow, it just wouldn’t surprise me if there was one.

    The thing about the phases of the moon that I mentioned was when people will say with a certain air of confidence that the phases are caused by the Earth’s shadow.

  74. dontpanic says

    Someone I know had their tonsils and adenoids out yesterday. At least once they even mentioned that they were “Not having a good day.” Today is nap time on the couch, soft foods and lots of drinks, and no activity.

    Oooh, ouch. Spawn had that (+ tubes in the ears) done back in November. It was quite a miserable subsequent 10 days. I’m told its worse for adults than small children. Alas, this 14yr old is the size of an adult (has 3+ inches on me, and 3 shoe sizes and I’m average). At least it seems to have quenched the bi-weekly sinusitis infections, even if it hasn’t made him all well. [Empathy]

  75. says

    I think I just hurt myself laughing.

    Someone on a recent Alicublog thread referenced this old Jill Stanek post (not safe for anything) in which she accused a Kansas ob/gyn of microwaving aborted fetii and stirring them into his lunch.

    Another commenter replied with this:

    I have fed on
    the fetuses
    that were in
    the icebox

    and which
    you were probably
    saving
    for lunch

    Forgive me
    they were sacrilicious
    so sweet
    and warm (after
    the microwave)

  76. says

    Fresh cupcakes are being served in the TAA (shut up I know that’s two ‘the’s) thread if anyone else is interested.
    ————————————————–

    Should I consider it a bad sign or just my predisposition to psychosomatic symptoms that I feel sick every day in my work building? Sinus swelling, eye watering, etc?

  77. PFC Ogvorbis (Yes, they are) says

    Should I consider it a bad sign or just my predisposition to psychosomatic symptoms that I feel sick every day in my work building? Sinus swelling, eye watering, etc?

    Could be a building with ventilation problems (old filters, dust and/or mold in the ductwork) — if others are suffering similar symptoms, this is likely. Or it could be stress from dealing with whatever stresses you are dealing with — though if it is stressful enough, others may manifest in the same way.

    Do you have a union? Do you have a rational supervisor to whom you could suggest that the HVAC system be checked?

  78. Richard Austin says

    We are Ing:

    I used to work in a literal print plant – 6 color Heidelbergs right below us with laminating equipment and such. The fumes from the inks and chemicals were near-constant. I don’t think we had an OSHA inspection without getting flagged for it.

    Most days they maintained positive air pressure on our floor so the fumes stayed downstairs, but we occasionally had “bad” days. Over time, everyone seemed to adapt except me. Even before I “felt” it, my face would flush bright pink in my forhead and eyes (I assume around the sinuses) in the presense of the chemicals. This became the signal for a “let’s all go work in the conference room/patio/telecommute after lunch” day.

    Even for the people who couldn’t smell anything, there were clusters of sinus-type issues following those “bad” days. I’d assume, unless you’re prone to psychosomatic symptoms, that something may actually be wrong in your air system.

  79. David Marjanović says

    O hai! I r threadrupt!

    From Wednesday to Friday, I attended a “network meeting” of the Humboldt Foundation, the organization that shunts German tax money toward my research. All the natural scientists (and a few of the humanities people) presented a short talk and/or poster about the projects they’re pursuing during their stay in Germany.

    Those of you who have ever read PhD Comics will have noticed that every time the author draws stuff that happened to him and medicine students appear, the medicine students say “our research saves lives” as the second sentence they say, and the author is shown sighing at his own uselessness.

    Well, this meeting was the first time I got that feeling. Some of the Humboldt fellows are, like, working on our future.

    Xue Longjian from the PR of China makes “arrays of densely packed free-standing polymer nanorods (typical diameter 300 nm) with different tip geometries (flat, foot-like and mushroom-like)” that work like gecko feet. The polymer is good old polystyrene.

    Suresh Kalidindi, who didn’t show up and was based in India, makes new storage materials for hydrogen (which presumably store it at higher densities than the gas has).

    Philip Moquist, previously in the US, works on this stuff: catalysts for adding hydrogen or even carbon dioxide to larger molecules, apparently always to the same side of the molecule, which would be awesome. The principle behind this is exceedingly simple; everyone facepalms at the question why nobody got the idea 150 years ago. Basically, you take an atom that wants extra electrons and an atom that has electrons to spare, but you put so much bulk around them that they can’t react; what happens is that any small molecules that get between them are ripped apart – asymmetrically, which promises applications way beyond organic chemistry.

    Hannah Shafaat, likewise previously in the US, works on the enzymes that make and break hydrogen. I’ll simply quote from the abstract:
    “In many ways, hydrogen is an ideal fuel for the future. It is a carbon-neutral energy source with non-toxic byproducts and can also be used to make other fuels. However, the current methods for genertion of hydrogen gas (H2) require either the burning of fossil fuels, expensive and rare metals such as platinum, or a large overpotential in extreme alkaline conditions at high temperatures. In contrast to the anthropogenic mehtods, nature has evolved molecular machines that can convert protons [ = acids] into hydrogen gas under ambient temperatures and pressures […] My research seeks to couple spectroscopic studies of the hydrogenase proteins with studies of catalytically-active model compounds in order to better understand the mechanism of hydrogen production. In particular we seek to apply new techniques […] to complement prior studies; in this way, the design of efficient, small molecules for catalysis of H2 evolution may be facilitated. Understanding the natural mechanism of hydrogen production is critical for future implementation of this fuel in the global economy.”

    Xie* Wei, previously PR China, makes tiny gold beads coated with platinum and then studded with more gold beads. The resulting “nanoraspberries” are 30 nm across. The platinum catalyzes a lot of reactions, and the gold allows Dr. Xie to watch the reaction spectroscopically (wall of text on how that works here; the abstract says: “Highly convolved SERS spectra of reaction mixtures can be decomposed into the contributions of distinct molecular species by multivariate data analysis.”

    * Apparently Xiē. There were so many Chinese (more than any other nationality) at the conference that they talked to each other a lot, and I think I heard a conversation where this guy was asked which of several “Xie” surnames he had and provided this answer.

    Zhang Han, also from China, makes steels with “ultrahigh strength” that have “excellent ductility and superplasticity” instead of being brittle as usual.

    Lisandro J. Falomir Lockhart from Argentina investigates Parkinson’s at the molecular level, especially what the protein that aggregates in Parkinson’s does in healthy cells.

    Corina Fusari, also from Argentina, works on the genes that are involved in “sucrose and starch synthesis, and nitrate and ammonium assimilation. Second, I will use association mapping to identify major loci that regulate the activities of enzymes involved in the so-called C4 photosynthesis pathway, which allows higher rates of photosynthesis and decreased water use than in conventional [LOL!] C3 plants. These analyses will break new ground in understanding the genetic regulation of metabolism, providing a deeper understanding of the genetic control of carbon and nitrogen use, and contributing to the global challenge to engineer C4 photosynthesis into important crop plants.” Maize is a C4 plant, and a lot of investigative work will be done on it.

    When it runs out of oxygen, the single-celled green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, which lives on/in soil, can switch to a lot of different kinds of fermentation. One of them, which isn’t used much, produces hydrogen. Leonardo Magneschi from Italy works on how to turn this metabolic pathway up.

    Thomas Mölg from Austria drills into glaciers from the Kilimanjaro to the Himalayas “as a new source of knowledge of climate oscillations in the past. Revealing such sources is the only way to improve climate simulations and therefore climate projections of the future.”

    Of the projects without obvious applications, I like the one by Julián Dib who comes from a lab in Argentina that discovered living stromatolites in two lakes in the Andes, at an altitude above 4000 m, in 2009. He’s sequencing genomes (including “linear megaplasmids”) right, left and center to figure out how all those bacteria and archaea cope with the “extreme environment where they are exposed to high UV radiation, low oxygen content, wide fluctuations in daily temperatures, hypersalinity, low level of nutrient availability, and high concentrations of heavy metals, especially arsenic. These conditions are similar to the ones of the beginning of life on earth.”

    Time for me to go home. Still no Internet there.

  80. echidna says

    Cross posted from CWH.
    It’s easy to say that it must be metaphorical because surely JWL wouldn’t really literally mean he would turn his guns on pseudonymous atheists. But, honestly, JWL has not given any way of allowing us to disambiguate between a real death threat and a metaphorical interpretation. The sequence of posts as I saw them (realtime, time given is the timestamp):
    Comment 2:
    I was in a heated discussion with JWL (I said he was dishonest about censoring posts, and backed it up with screenshot evidence), where JWL calls me reprehensible me for hiding behind a pseudonym (2:09 pm). Also called me ignorant and uncivil, and told me to take a critical thinking class. He presents no argument or evidence, just slurs.

    At 4:14 pm, Loftus said to grungor, who also annoyed him by asking questions about why he left FTB, that he will turn his guns on these atheists [those who hide behind anonymous names] (who make vile and reprehensible comments).

    4:43 pm Grungor makes it clear that JWL’s words read like a death threat, and that a metaphorical reading doesn’t fit in the context, since he is already arguing with atheists. Death threats, of course, are illegal.

    4:51 pm JWL: “I’m serious. I just may turn my guns on atheists, really! At this point I no longer care. Some of them don’t care. Why should I?”

    The next comment, out of place at 4:59 says “Actually I’ve already decided to do this. It’s just a matter of timing.”
    Any doubt to the context is resolved by looking at JWL’s blog, where he says the same thing, “Yes, I am vilified almost every single day by either Christians or atheists. At some point I may turn my guns on these atheists. It wouldn’t take much.” with a remark that “I’ve actually decided to do this. It’s just a matter of timing at this point. It may be a couple of months though, so stay tuned.” at 4:57pm.

    I can construe this without any stretching at all to refer to a situation at a convention where real people are associated with their pseudonyms. I find it hard to believe that JWL didn’t intend at least some people to take him literally, unless he is blithely unaware, even now, that a literal interpretation is possible.

  81. says

    Mormons are using the news outlets they own to continue to lie about gay marriage, about homosexuality, and about the law.

    Reporter James Peron has called them out on this nonsense. Excerpt:

    The last time I looked at Deseret News, they were touting a poll purporting to show that most Americans oppose marriage equality — something in conflict with all other polls. An investigation showed that the poll used an unrepresentative sampling, skewed to disproportionately include those people most likely to take a negative position.

    Deseret News is the voice of the Mormon Church, which owns it, and twice weekly the paper publishes inserts specifically on church matters. This relationship influences the reports it publishes.

    A new article they published claims that marriage equality is a threat to religious liberty. The paper says there is a “growing conflict between same-sex marriage and the rights of people of faith — a conflict that experts says is negatively affecting the rights of individuals and organizations to live their faith freely and without fear of punishment.”

    This claim deserves the response Ronald Reagan gave Jimmy Carter in the 1980 debate: “There you go again.” The story misrepresents specific cases to make them about same-sex marriage, when they were about something different….

    Religious institutions have rights denied private citizens — they have the right to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc. A religiously owned radio station may refuse to hire atheists, but non-religious stations can’t refuse to hire the religious

    Sorry about the HuffPo link, but I don’t have another good reference for this:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-peron/deseret-news-gay-marriage_b_1271100.html

  82. echidna says

    One more thought: JWL used to teach college-level critical thinking. We can assume that he is very aware of the ambiguity, and that the ambiguity itself was deliberate. When PZ appeared on his blog, the first thing JWL did was use the phrase in a very clearly metaphorical way.

  83. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    I have no idea what you all are talking about. I just wanted to complain that I sliced my hand open at work this morning and I’ve been leaking blood ever since.

    I think I need stitches.

  84. PFC Ogvorbis (Yes, they are) says

    Audley:

    Yikes. I hope no tendon damage.

    I dare you to ask the doctor if you will be able to play the violin after you heal. You know the rest.

    Seriously, though, be safe.

  85. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Dr. Audley: Pain tolerance is all well and good, but speaking as a guy who’s sustained many a wound, if you think you need stitches, you probably do and shouldn’t hesitate.

    The doctor who stitched my thumb when I accidentally sworded myself was very compassionate and concerned about my suffering. I hate having needles jabbed into raw wounds, but he was very quick about it.

  86. says

    LC @ #596

    I have two objections to killing wild rabbits:

    1. they rarely die instantly (whether shot or poisoned), and most shooters are not the ‘crack shots’ they believe themselves to be.

    2. At a breeding rate of 5-8 litters a year, of 8-11 kits, the rabbit population will re-establish in less than eight months. It’s limited by the food supply, not how often you shoot.

    Oh, and John, I have found you a worthwhile contributor in the past, but responding to someone’s post about a pet with the ‘kill them, skin them and eat them’ line, or any other cruel action, simply reveals you as a playground bully. Particularly for those auties on the list who have the uncontrollable-empathy thing, this is very distressing.

    Case in point: I still throw up occasionally when thinking about PZs ‘kitten in oven’ post. I’m feeling nauseous again now.

    So can we drop the gratuitous pet cruelty comments?

  87. David Marjanović says

    Scrolled up. Over here, toilets do not swirl; water is dumped on top of what’s in them and flows out at the hidden end from the added pressure. Bathtubs swirl depending perhaps on how the bathtub is built and definitely on whether and how I try to make a whorl. Yes, I’ve done the experiment many times in several years.

    Be warned they feature the situation in Homs, which is horrific. Assad Jnr is just as murderous as his dad.

    …even though becoming that murderous has required an enormous effort.

  88. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Oh, and John, I have found you a worthwhile contributor in the past, but responding to someone’s post about a pet with the ‘kill them, skin them and eat them’ line, or any other cruel action, simply reveals you as a playground bully. Particularly for those auties on the list who have the uncontrollable-empathy thing, this is very distressing.

    I concur. Even if I didn’t give a rat’s ass about the animals themselves (which I do), I still wouldn’t do this or joke about this simply because it disturbs the people who DO care.

    I have two objections to killing wild rabbits:

    1. they rarely die instantly (whether shot or poisoned), and most shooters are not the ‘crack shots’ they believe themselves to be.

    2. At a breeding rate of 5-8 litters a year, of 8-11 kits, the rabbit population will re-establish in less than eight months. It’s limited by the food supply, not how often you shoot.

    I don’t shoot, I use primitive weaponry, but I do see your point. As for poisoning, I hunt for food. Why the fuck would I want to poison it? Yeesh.

    I’m not sure about how your second point applies, unless you’re talking about hunting as ‘population control’. The amount of rabbits I actually end up taking for meat don’t even make much of a dent in the population in a bad year.

    I still maintain, that if one is going to eat meat, it’s still less cruel to eat something that at least got to live for a while, got to eat its natural food, lay in the sun, and maybe get lucky a few times, instead of spending its life eating slop and wallowing under incandescent lights in its own shit. I’d much prefer to eat wild meat instead of factory farmed food all the time, or at least meat that was raised with some respect to the animal’s welfare.

  89. David Marjanović says

    Laughing at comment 541. It’s funny because it’s true!

    PZs ‘kitten in oven’ post

    I’m lucky I missed that one. I haven’t ever thrown up from anything that wasn’t disgusting in a narrow sense, but apart from my lack of bodily reactions, “uncontrollable empathy” sounds like a slightly more extreme version of what I have. *hugs*

  90. says

    Not to tempt fate, but it has been a whole week since I was delivered to the emergency room for what turned out to be a very, very hot appendix. Doing well and apparently healing correctly. During this week, nothing new has exploded, swelled, withered, turned colours, or fallen off. Nor have I, for the first time in a while, been forced to sit in a chair while being gently flayed. Fingers crossed for another good week.

  91. says

    David M.,

    are you sure it’s the first tone?

    There are only two surnames XIE in the 百家姓 (despite called “Hundred Family Names”, it actually has more than 500), and they’re both 4th tone xiè: 謝 by far more common, and the less common 解 (the character is usually read jie3 but xiè in names)

  92. Muse says

    Audley – I’m going to join in the go get it checked out club, especially since you only have 6-8 hours or so before a lot of people won’t do the stitches.

  93. carlie says

    Calling eastern Pharyngulites!

    Roy Zimmerman is going to play in Schenectady in April!

    Saturday, April 14 – 7:30 pm
    SCHENECTADY, NY
    Live From the Starving Ear
    Eighth Step at Proctors

    I think this calls for a meetup.

    Audley – go to the doctor!

    chigau – belated hugs.

  94. anteprepro says

    Fux News commenters use Whitney Houston’s death as an opportunity to show what wonderful human beings they are. Hahahaha, just kidding!

    Similar note: Saw someone on FB post an image saying “Whitney Who?” followed by some chest-thumping about how many American soldiers die in the line of duty. Yeah, I totally buy that dismissing the death of Whitney is entirely because the image creator and its forwarders love the military hard, and it’s not racially motivated at all. I’m sure there’s just tons of similar things out there, jokingly dismissing the untimely deaths of celebrities and other well-known people because Americans are dying in Iraq/Afghanistan/wherever-else-we’ve-invaded. I’m sure those ones are just as popular too.

  95. says

    Wow, nice – today’s Google Doodle animation is all about love between a boy and girl, but at the end there is a montage of pictures of happy couples that includes some same-sex ones.

    Will the bigots stop using google then?

    My point is that if people don’t object to others chatting casually about hunting and cooking rabbits, it’s kind of strange for them to become sentimentally incensed when someone jokes about doing it to one who happens to be their pet. These distinctions make no difference to rabbits.

    By people you mean me, I take.
    But you nailed the difference: It makes no difference to the rabbit.
    It makes a difference to me.
    Also, our rabbits don’t read on the internet, I do.
    I don’t see what’s so hard to understand this.
    People love their pets, they care for them and about them, their feelings are real. So, talking about slaughtering the specific pet of a specific person is an asshole-move against that person.

  96. ChasCPeterson says

    Shrews are venomous and AFAIK not poisonous.

    Right, I meant venomous. Toxic saliva. Owls certainly eat them without ill effect.

  97. says

    Giliell:

    So, talking about slaughtering the specific pet of a specific person is an asshole-move against that person.

    Yes, it is, and it’s a move John is well known for making, on many a different subject.

    If, after relating something about my rats, someone popped up immediately afterwords and made a remark about guillotining rats in labs, I wouldn’t be impressed, to say the least.

  98. anteprepro says

    Oh, wow, I didn’t follow the rabbit hole all the way down.

    So, I’ve found a new “Whitney Who?” . And whose facebook image folder is that? Well, you see, that’s the official Facebook page for the U.S. Marine Corps. My hope for this country diminishes faster than I imagined it ever could.

  99. ChasCPeterson says

    has anyone ever tried brewing beer with cannabis in place of hops?

    I don’t know, but Green Flash’s Imperial IPA sure smells and tastes like it. Uncannily so.
    Unfortunately, the interesting stuff in cannabis is poorly water-soluble and so you wouldn’t get high. No point in wasting decent weed like that.

  100. Pteryxx says

    re pets: heck, I HAVE killed lots of rodents in labs, and even I wouldn’t talk about that in a pet context. Yeesh.

    Is this John the same one who asked why anyone should care about Whitney Houston’s death?

  101. dianne says

    I sliced my hand open at work this morning and I’ve been leaking blood ever since. I think I need stitches.

    Not to mention wound cleaning, tetanus prophylaxis, and bleeding disorder workup. Go find an ER with a nice, grumpy trauma surgeon who yawns at your injury because she’s already seen 10 like it this morning.

  102. Aratina Cage says

    I don’t know if many of you have seen the tail end of the Not-So-Amazing-Atheist thread, but there is something that came from it that is too good not to share with you and I don’t want to derail that thread any more than it already has been.

    First, a little background: Lousy Canuck posed a question for people on how the context in which Penn Jillette called a woman a cunt could be justified. As usual with those threads, a handful of trolls from ERV showed up and started raising hell about PZ and Rebecca Watson. One of them who currently goes by Tuvok linked to a 2009 post by PZ wherein he quotes Bill Donohue ranting about how Penn Jillette is a big poopyhead. One of the reasons Donohue is irate is because Jillette called Mother Teresa’s order of nuns fucking cunts. PZ was silent about that in his post as were all the commenters except one person who tried to justify why those nuns could be called cunts without it being misogynistic.

    Then along came Ace of Sevens to the Lousy Canuck blog. Ace has had this idea that Pharyngula might be a place that ignores sexist attitudes and misogyny when directed at enemies ever since he started commenting on the Not-So-Amazing-Atheist thread. (One thing Ace couldn’t understand is why people here didn’t already know that TJ Kincaid, The Amazing Atheist, was a misogynist, especially since TJ had gotten into a similarly hateful online fight with a woman YouTuber named Laci Green years earlier.) At Lousy Canuck’s, Ace took the bait that Tuvok had left and brought that post of PZ’s about Donohue back to the Not-So-Amazing-Atheist thread to hold it up as evidence that his perceptions about this place are correct.

    I was trying to tell Ace to stop relying on biased samples pulled out by trolls from ERV as we’ve already been through that with Wally Smith. Several other Pharyngulites had some good input about that particular thread Ace was holding up as evidence, too. I think most of us here know how people put in a lot of work over the years to make Pharyngula the wonderful place it is today.

    Anyway, I went looking myself in the scienceblogs archives out of curiosity over the responses to misogynistic epithets, and one such thread I found from 2008 offered what I thought was pretty good insight into how much Pharyngula has changed through the efforts of many to raise other people’s consciousnesses. I included a link to it in a comment on the Not-So-Amazing-Atheist thread, hoping that Ace of Sevens might take note that Tuvok isn’t showing the whole story and that there are more threads like that scattered throughout the Pharyngula archives.

    It was after all of that when I decided to have another look through the thread I had just linked to, and I happened to notice comment #130 by PZ advising people to stop commenting on the appearance of the woman the thread was about (this is before people like truth machine and SC began calling people out on their sexism and misogynistic language). PZ’s suggested method was to think of the words from the woman you do not like as coming from someone you don’t find ugly, and he linked to an older thread on Pharyngula that featured… Laci Green–the very person Ace of Sevens was talking about who had been in a YouTube fight with TJ Kincaid.

    Now, here is the beauty of the Laci Green thread (titled Care!). It’s two things, actually. The first, less notable thing is that no more than 12 comments in, Abbie Smith of ERV is in there commenting on how she hopes Laci Green doesn’t hold Kelly from RRS in high esteem. After all, Kelly allegedly went on to produce porn after her stint as an atheist spokesperson, and we can’t have porn actors as role models! IOW: Same old, same old from her.

    But what I really wanted to share with you all was that comment #129 on the Care! thread was by none other than our very own Sven, and boy does he shine! (I’ll let you go there and read it yourselves because it really doesn’t do it justice to take it out of the flow of that thread.) If you get a chance and you want to look back on how much things here have changed, it will be worth your while to look over that thread.

  103. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Will the bigots stop using google then?

    Have you noticed that they don’t seem able to?

  104. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    has anyone ever tried brewing beer with cannabis in place of hops?

    Does mary jane have a bittering characteristic like its Cannabaceae family members? The aroma and flavoring side I can see, but are the same type of bittering acids present?

  105. says

    Pteryxx:

    re pets: heck, I HAVE killed lots of rodents in labs, and even I wouldn’t talk about that in a pet context. Yeesh.

    Right, because that would be an asshole move, and no, you don’t need to be an incredibly adept person to figure that one out. If there was a discussion about lab rats, I’d be fine with it, it’s got nothing to do with my pets.

  106. KG says

    So, talking about slaughtering the specific pet of a specific person is an asshole-move against that person. – Giliell

    Sorry, I may have prompted that with an ill-timed jest @518. My apologies, Giliell.

  107. John Morales says

    Caine:

    If, after relating something about my rats, someone popped up immediately afterwords and made a remark about guillotining rats in labs, I wouldn’t be impressed, to say the least.

    <sigh>

    There was discussion about hunting rabbits before people mentioned they kept them as pets. It was noted that rabbits are furry and cuddly; I riffed that they also are easily skinned.

    Rabbits. Not pet rabbits, just rabbits.

    (Yeah, I know it’s a mug’s game to even attempt to defend myself)

  108. carlie says

    Aratina – wow, what a lot of work. I’ve wondered about past history in threads before, but the search engine is so wonky that it’s never done me any good. Kudos to you.

  109. John Morales says

    KG, I don’t deny that the remembrance of my one rabbit-hunting experience and its associated post-kill dressing technique (the rabbits were for eating) was in part engendered by your comment, but you bear no responsibility for my comment.

  110. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Caine: Did I ever tell you that I had a rat once? A friend of mine got kicked out of his apartment and needed to get rid of her. I’m not into pets at all, but she was great company. Smart and really sweet.

  111. ChasCPeterson says

    is Sven Ace of Sevens

    no

    What ever happened to that guy anyway?

    he got old, depressed, and grumpy

  112. says

    wait, is Sven Ace of Sevens

    No. ChasCPeterson posted as Sven for a long time.

    AE:

    I’m not into pets at all, but she was great company. Smart and really sweet.

    That’s a rat alright. :D

  113. Aratina Cage says

    @pelanum

    Aratina,

    wait, is Sven Ace of Sevens, or where did Sven come from now in your narrative?

    Oops. I didn’t realize the similarity of the names. Sven is not Ace of Sevens. He’s one of our Molly winners, now removed by request (but whatever, I’ll always consider him one). I’m not sure about outing people through old nyms, so I’ll just leave it at that.

    *wink to Antiochus Epiphanes*

    @carlie

    I’ve wondered about past history in threads before, but the search engine is so wonky that it’s never done me any good.

    Carlie, you do an exquisite job yourself on the first thread I linked to in that comment. :D I found that one by searching on the scienceblogs.com/pharyngula site for stuff about Mother Teresa and the word hag of all things.

  114. Rey Fox says

    Well, good for Loftus, I just wonder what took him so long. I bought the book he edited at Skepticon, would hate to think he’s a bad egg.

  115. carlie says

    Much as Chas has annoyed and downright infuriated me at times, I can’t dislike him because when he says good stuff, it’s really really good stuff. Plus it’s fun to think that he’d probably be annoyed that some of us like him. ;)

  116. John Morales says

    Pelamum, as I recall, when Sven was first nominated for a Molly, he indicated he was not comfortable with that and would not accept. After numerous further nominations and cajoling, he eventually did so, but in time chose to repudiate the honor.

    (The nym change is another story entirely, but I think not entirely unrelated to the interpersonal dramas and character analysis that regularly occur here)

  117. says

    John
    Unbefuckinglievable

    There was discussion about hunting rabbits before people mentioned they kept them as pets. It was noted that rabbits are furry and cuddly; I riffed that they also are easily skinned.

    Rabbits. Not pet rabbits, just rabbits.

    You either have a sub-standard command of the English language, or a very bad memory, or that’s the worst attempt at gaslighting I’ve ever seen.
    This is your post:

    Giliell:

    They are cute and verrry cuddly.

    And, with the right cuts to the carcass, you can peel them like a glove!

    You personally adress ME who has been talking about our pets. You don’t adress TLC who talks about hunting.
    You quote ME, something I’ve written about our pets.
    And then you talk about cutting and peeling them.

    And when I call you out on it, you don’t do the reasonable and obvious thing in case that really was a missunderstanding, which would be to say “sorry, I wasn’t talking about your rabbits, I was talking about hunting”.
    No, you go on explaining that you’re Australian and that they are a pest down under.
    And you’re denying all this since.
    Which takes away any slight benefit of doubt I could have had for you.

  118. says

    John,

    you’re the first to put two Ms on my ‘nym!

    Usually people make it a pseudo-Latin name by swapping the M and N, like Aratina just did ;)…

    So here’s an explanation:

    the root lamun means “daydream” in Malay/Indonesian. peM-*) is a prefix, usually with the meaning “one who VERBs”

    *) m dropped before roots starting with L…

  119. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    Oggie,

    Yikes. I hope no tendon damage.

    Naaah, I’ve got full range of motion in that hand, so I think I’m okay there. The cut is wicked deep, though.

    It didn’t hurt at all– I didn’t even notice ’til I saw the blood all over my paperwork. (I caught the edge of a piece of sheet metal. I wasn’t wearing gloves ‘cos it was (theoretically) boxed up, I just happened to grab it at the exposed end.)

    I’ve stopped bleeding, so yay, I guess. It’s probably too late to have anything done about it now (it happened at around 10 this morning. I was in MA and had an insanely heavy day ahead of me). I’ve washed the cut out and put on a bandage, so we’ll see how it goes.

    Thanks for the concern, everyone. :) You’ve made a relatively crappy day much better.

  120. John Morales says

    Pelamun, oops! It was a typo — your name is short enough not to require cut’n paste.

    Giliell:

    And when I call you out on it, you don’t do the reasonable and obvious thing in case that really was a missunderstanding, which would be to say “sorry, I wasn’t talking about your rabbits, I was talking about hunting”.

    @531: “I was talking about bunnies generically, not about your pets.”

  121. Muse says

    pelamun – I had to read that several times before I figured out what the heck your name was supposed to be. Clearly I’m way too tired, because I kept reading it as one who verbs daydreams and I totally could not figure out how one verbs a daydream.

  122. John Morales says

    PS I guess I should add I appreciate your explanation of your ‘nym, Pelamun. So… ‘Daydreamer’?

    (I liked Giliell’s explanation of her nym (past thread), too)

  123. Therrin says

    This is not what hurrying and posting ten more comments looks like.

    I bet he’s scrambling to find a video.

  124. echidna says

    Well, good for Loftus, I just wonder what took him so long.

    To be honest, I think he was enjoying it. With people who use threats (sometimes acted on) to control, it’s always either “oh, I didn’t mean it that way” to deflect or “I warned you” afterwards. The ambiguity itself is part of the controlling mechanism.

    For a guy who taught critical thinking at college level, he’s either incredibly unaware or an asshole.

  125. cicely (Insert Clever Appellation Here) says

    Josh, you are totally welcome to come hunt squirrels in my attic! I’ll even lend you a slow-cooker.
    You, too, TLC.
    :)

    Jeffrey, glad to hear that things are going well, but who has been flaying you, and why?

    If, after relating something about my rats, someone popped up immediately afterwords and made a remark about guillotining rats in labs, I wouldn’t be impressed, to say the least.

    At least not favorably impressed. But then, it’s never too late to make a bad impression.
    -

  126. Therrin says

    Speaking of rats, Ace of Sevens has a cutesy YouTube video that features a rat in a box.

    That must be his non-sleeping bed in the background.