Epistasis and pathways in fly eye pigmentation »« Need another reason to go to the Reason Rally?

Comments

  1. says

    Got portcullised…

    Does anyone else feel like they are a 13-year-old who is faking being an adult?

    I always thought the whole point of growing up was that you could finally do all the things you weren’t allowed to do when you were 13.

    Ing
    Hmm, just an idea, could she probably claim 30 years of maintanance?
    US law is very renter-unfriendly, I take.
    Property tops everything.

  2. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    What’s all this talk about The Hobbit? Is the movie coming out?

    I may be in a bit of a minority, I actually like the Rankin/Bass 1977 Hobbit movie. I really like how they incorporated weird mammalian features into the design for Smaug.

    Though I regret that they failed to include the guy who can transform into a bear!

  3. says

    To continue the discussion of mormons necrodunking various non-mormons: international coverage of the issue has heated up again. The Daily Mail covered the proxy baptism of Anne Frank.

    Fury as Mormons posthumously baptise Anne Frank for ‘TENTH time in more than two decades’
    Anne Frank was posthumously baptised by a Mormon for the first time in 13 years after nine similar rituals were allegedly carried out in the 1990s.
    The Jewish girl and her diary rose to fame after she died during the World War Two Holocaust in 1945 at the Bergen-Belsen camp in Germany.
    But a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints member has caused fury by baptising her by proxy at a Dominican Republic temple last weekend.

    Scroll down at the link provided above to see a copy of the record of Anne Frank’s “LDS Ordinances.”

    You’ll note that “confirmation” was also completed, meaning that Anne Frank was not just baptized, but was confirmed as a member of the LDS Church. The confirmation step is par for the course. Mormons have been running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to respond to every necrodunking article, and they always say that the person who was proxy baptized has the choice to accept or reject the offer (dead, but still capable of decisions, I guess). However, the truth is that most of the necrodunkees are confirmed, and many are also sealed to dead spouses, children, etc.

  4. says

    Besides the “dead people have a choice to accept or reject proxy baptism” defense, mormon leaders have decided to start blaming unidentified malicious persons who are, they say, trying to make the LDS Church look bad:

    But a spokesman for the Mormon Church said it was ‘distressed’ by the finding and ‘keeps its word’ in not baptising Holocaust victims.
    “It takes a good deal of deception and manipulation to get an improper submission through the safeguards we’ve put in place,’ the Mormon spokesman told the Salt Lake Tribune.

    More bullpucky.

  5. says

    Ogvorbis – “Does anyone else feel like they are a 13-year-old who is faking being an adult?”

    Yep. But as pointed out BP (Before Portcullis) most everyone feels that way.
    +++++++++++++++++
    Ing, there very well maybe a case made if she has been paying all the upkeep and property taxes for 30 years. And while the defaulting on the child support may have passed the time frame, it doesn’t mean it can’t be considered by the court. I wish you the best of luck with this horrible situation.

  6. Nutmeg says

    From the last thread:

    Ogvorbis:

    I am immediately suspicious of anyone who acts in a friendly manner towards me as I still think they are setting me up to embarrass me. As was done in elementary and middle school. So 35 years later . . . .

    Damn. I’m only 10 years removed from that stuff, and I was hoping it would fade better over time.

    At least as adults we have (somewhat) the choice of surrounding ourselves with decent people, and we can remind ourselves that these thoughts are probably irrational. I find that helps a bit. It just makes me angry and sad that so many people have so much pain left over from growing up. And that it still affects the way we behave, even many years later.

    *special reminding-ourselves-that-middle-school-is-over cookies*

  7. Minnie The Finn, avec de cèpes de Bordeaux says

    I always feel like I’m thirteen pretending to be a grown-up.

    It’s only the times when I think I look like one, too, that worry me. Fortunately, there’s good medication for that.

    Hi everyone _O/

  8. onion girl, OM; imaginary lesbian says

    Shout out! Ibyea, if you see this, please email me so we can chat re: the Reason Rally.

    (ps: I got spammed from a post on TET so I uploaded a picture version of my email to the shared Pharyngula flickr account. If anyone else wants an email image made, let me know.)

  9. Predator Handshake says

    TLC @3: I liked that movie too. As for your question, the movie is coming out, but not for awhile. The most recent news I heard about it was that casting is now complete.

  10. dianne says

    Homeopathy–proven to be as effective as prayer!

    Actually, I think you might have found the one thing that homeopathy compares favorably to. IIRC, at least one study found that prayer did active harm, perhaps via people believing that since someone was praying for them they didn’t need to work on their rehab quite as hard as someone with no one to pray for them.

  11. Richard Austin says

    I tend to have people say I look younger when I’m feeling younger. It’s probably more movement and posture: I think, when I’m feeling silly/childish/6, I “bounce” a bit more in my steps and tend to stand or move less formally. It’s not implausible to subconsciously translate that to “youth/vigor”.

    Now, people don’t assume I’m six (at 6’2″, that’d be a bit weird), but I do get accused of being a teenager (albeit at the high end of teens, though I’ve heard as young as 16 in the last few months; I have to assume there was bad lighting or something); without that bouncy-ness, the usual guess is early to mid 20s.

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

    Does anyone else feel like they are a 13-year-old who is faking being an adult?

    I am a socially inept 14-year-old, totally faking it.

    We Are Ing, that is horrible. I so hope the comments upthread are right and a legal defense is possible. Fuck.

  13. cicely (Insert Clever Appellation Here) says

    I am tired and sore, but my surgery this morning went well! Hooray! My insides may be fixed!

    Hurrah!
    -

    No apologies necessary. There is no human language strong or vile enough for the RCC.

    Something more like the Black Speech of Moria, perhaps?
    -

    You can play this game with peas (sorry cicely)on graph paper or pebbles on a beach.

    As long as you destroy the peas afterword and properly dispose of the resultant toxic residues, I’m okay with it.
    -
    *industrial-strength, non-intrusive hugs* for Bro Og. Wish I could help.
    :(
    -

    Yeah, except there’s no ethnic component to Mor[m]onism, and it is hardly what I’d call a persecuted group.

    All Christian and quasi-Christian groups are “persecuted”, by definition.

    And it’s possible that we all Hate Them For Their Freedoms, as well.
    :^
    -
    TomeWorm, perhaps corn starch would play with your huevos better? You can find it on store shelves right next to baby talc, and I find that it works better by far than talc for my own itch-and-friction needs; and it doesn’t clump when you sweat in it.
    -
    Ing, I am so very sorry. *manymanymany hugs*
    -

    And I convince people that I am an actual adult by acting the part of an actual adult by acting the part of an actual adult.

    See, haters? All that Role Playing does come in handy! You were wrong! Neener neener neener!

    :)

    Does anyone else feel like they are a 13-year-old who is faking being an adult?

    Frequently.
    -

  14. dianne says

    Something more like the Black Speech of Moria, perhaps?

    Shouldn’t that be the Black Speech of Mordor?

  15. cicely (Insert Clever Appellation Here) says

    Yes. I don’t know how I screwed that up.
    *hanging head in shame*
    -

  16. says

    What’s all this talk about The Hobbit? Is the movie coming out?

    Movie will be out in december, but surely you must have seen the trailer. It’s going to be so awesome!

  17. Pteryxx says

    Just gt internet back

    Ing: holy crap.

    Talk to a wmen’s shelter. Call the Domestic Violence Hotline and ask for a shelter or legal resource close by. Shelters have pro bono lawyers on staff who specialize in cases just like this, where an abusive man’s using the legal system to strike at his victim. They deal with property grabs and acrimonious divorces all the time, they KNOW THEIR SHITE.

    http://www.thehotline.org/

    call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224.

    also, my o key is brken.

  18. says

    One more thing about the video–there are very few OTC drugs, or even prescription drugs entrusted to the patient to take, that would cause serious problems in the case of a single double dose.

    At worst, at least in most cases, you might skip the next dose. Not that double dosing is a good idea, but it would be scary indeed if readily available drugs would be alarmingly toxic from a single double dose.

    Glen Davidson

  19. Ogvorbis: Now With 98% Less Intellectual Curiousity! says

    Damn. I’m only 10 years removed from that stuff, and I was hoping it would fade better over time.

    For some people, it does. I guess I’m just weak or something. At least, that’s how I feel.

    I have an idea for a poll.

    What fucks up your mind worse?

    1)LSD?

    2)LDS?

    With LSD, you can fuck up your own mind and maybe end up dead. With LDS, you can fuck up your own mind, fuck up the dead, and fuck up lots of other people.

    So, for the actual imbiber, the results are similar. For bystanders, LDS is far worse.

  20. cybercmdr says

    @kevinalexander
    Good question. It reminded me of the line in Star Trek IV, when Kirk said that Spock had taken a little too much LDS is the sixties. Guess either interpretation can indicate brain damage…

  21. Ogvorbis: Now With 98% Less Intellectual Curiousity! says

    . . . the line in Star Trek IV, when Kirk said that Spock had taken a little too much LDS is the sixties. Guess either interpretation can indicate brain damage

    I laughed out loud, loudly, when they dropped that line. And I was one of only two people in a packed theater who laughed at that line. I ended up watching the film a second time to make sure I actually heard what I heard.

  22. leftwingfox says

    At this moment I’m worshipping the church of Benylin Total Cold and Flu syrup. With Dextromethorphan, Pseudoephedrine, Guaifenesin, Acetaminophen, and possibly Unicorn tears. I can breathe! It’s a god-dammned miracle!

    Ok, that’s not actually true. I’m actually worshipping the “Life” brand generic, which probably makes me a heretic. The alcohol content of this probably makes me extra flammable too.

  23. says

    Ing, there very well maybe a case made if she has been paying all the upkeep and property taxes for 30 years. And while the defaulting on the child support may have passed the time frame, it doesn’t mean it can’t be considered by the court. I wish you the best of luck with this horrible situation.

    That hasn’t stopped him from getting eviction notices and somehow having utilities turned off!

  24. Pteryxx says

    Ing: Utility companies don’t even check IDs, anyone can have them turned off by faking the right name. (I know, because my abusers turned MINE off.) Banks don’t care either. Please, call the hotline and get in touch with a lawyer who does this stuff every day. I’ve overheard a dozen stories like yours. Get help!

  25. David Marjanović says

    Annnnnnd another paper to review. Won’t be able to catch up this week anymore, I’m afraid.

  26. says

    And to top it all off it looks like it’s up to me as my father is all pissy about her blaming him because he had years back tracked the guy down trying to get some closure…and the jackass used that to worm back up here. So yes, it is his fault, he didn’t intend it but he did bring the asshole back into everyone’s lives; some understanding that the woman who is loosing her house is a bit angry at that.

  27. Nutmeg says

    At this moment I’m worshipping the church of Benylin Total Cold and Flu syrup

    I’m a devotee of Advil Cold and Sinus, myself. I’m on my third cold in as many months, and I am NOT happy about it. But ibuprofen plus pseudoephedrine makes me able to function, at least. I don’t know how I ever survived colds without it.

  28. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says

    Totally thread bankrupt. Haven’t been around since Monday. Utterly exhausted.

    Had a meltdown (sobbing) at work yesterday. Made a stupid mistake, got reprimanded (not “officially,” but with two separate bosses involved it’s pretty fucking official) for it. Serious guilt tripping. Melted down. Boss #1 decided that the thing to do was to take me aside, say that he knows mistakes happen, etc., etc., don’t do it again, good that I understand that it was a mistake and why it was bad, maybe I should get therapy to deal with my obvious deep emotional scars.

    Yeah.

  29. Minnie The Finn, avec de cèpes de Bordeaux says

    Esteleth:

    hugs if they are your thing. Guilt tripping: oh yeah, been there, hate it. Rational mind says ‘stop it, you’re an idiot for not understanding your own value’ while the emotional mind goes ‘whaaaaaa, I’ve failed yet again, my [father] was right, I’m no good at all’…

    Um, maybe that was TMI. Dunno if your situation is anything even remotely similar. But, yeah, hugs anyway.

  30. says

    @TLC, I’m unbelievably excited about the Hobbit. I’m a little concerned about a few things, but still optimistic (embedded trailer). I confess I’ve loved Tolkien forever, though so perhaps that doesn’t help much. I had never actually seen the animated version for whatever reason until just a couple years ago. I don’t have much affection for it, but I think it’s just the lack of childhood nostalgia.

    However, nothing is as bad as this monstrous adaptation of the Hobbit. It broke my brain, you should watch it.

  31. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Ms Daisy Cutter and everyone: There’s a new post on Loftus Unleashed.

  32. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says

    Thanks for the hugs Minnie.
    I should clarify: I was not guilt-tripping myself. THEY were guilt-tripping ME. Slight difference.

    …okay, I also guit-tripped myself. But that was secondary.

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

    Guilt tripping. Hate it, would like to completely eliminate it from life in general, but that’s damned near impossible.
    ——————————-

    What would “reminding ourselves that middle school is over” cookies look and taste like? And is there a high school equivalent?
    ——————————-

    TomeWyrm: I think I’ll try what you suggested if I can’t figure out how to redo the settings myself. Cant’ seem to find anything via Google and I’m not about to bother Customer Support if it’s some which I can fix on my own.
    ———————————-

    Hugs to Ing and grandma. And a steel-toed boot to the crotch and back of the skull for that walking heap of waste.
    ———————————

    Re: feeling like a teenager playing at being adult:

    Not very often. Sometimes I feel like an older woman, maybe even a crone, who’s been through this “don’t let them know you’re not a young adult” charade way too many times and just wants to get the fuck out of the madness. Either one sucks IMO.
    ————————————

    I’d like some honey, straight from the bottle or drizzled over fries. There’s none in the house. FUCK!

  34. Minnie The Finn, avec de cèpes de Bordeaux says

    Esteleth: ok, that’s different, alright =) Glad to hear that you didn’t do it all on your own.

  35. lipwig says

    I have complete days where I drop my son off at school, go to work, pick him up, go to some sports event, come back home, cooked supper, homework checked, then bedtime… and through-out the whole day, I feel like a inadiquite fool, bumbling between responsibilities, and trying to act all growen up.

  36. Rey Fox says

    I think I’ve mentioned before how I still like to check out abandoned houses. While out on my bike. Not exactly adult behavior.

  37. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says

    I am totally a kid at heart. My idea of a good time in nice weather is to hop on my bike and go zooming around town. Not in a exercise mindset, nor in a get from A–>B in a Earth-friendly way, but in a “WHEE FUN I WONDER WHAT’S OVER HERE” mindset. In nasty weather (or if I’m tired) I play the Sims. It is great fun. ^_^

    …WTF I am totally regressing. I have not done a kawaii-face since I was…okay 25.

  38. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says

    !!!! Totally regressed now. I get to hear Jane Lynch give a fucking speech! !!! Jane Lynch!!!

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

    That video was pure gold!

    Too funny and too – no, just sufficiently – educational. What a rockin’ start to this thread, PZ.

    Hope everyone else has been doing well while I’ve been largely absent the last month or two Expect the trend of limited comment to continue til April (sigh) but I’ll stop in & let everyone know if I get into my first choice law school.

  40. Ogvorbis: Now With 98% Less Intellectual Curiousity! says

    Brownian mentioned, in a footnote to a comment on the “Need another reason to attend the reason rally?” thread and, rather than derail that thread with my idiocy, I figured I would rif on it here, mentioned that

    Note that in PA, it’s now legally defensible to hit someone who pisses you off for religious reasons, as long as your intent behind hitting them is not “to harass, annoy or alarm [but] to try and have the offensive situation negated”.

    So, I was wondering. If, the next time an evangelizing asshole tries to witness me and I say I’m not interested, and they persist, and I explain I am an atheist, and they persist, and I tell them to fuck off, and they persist, am I now, in Pennsylvania, allowed to belt hir? Or would I, as an atheist, not have the same protection? I mean, the evanglizing asshole could claim that I was the offensive situation which needed negating, right? So, if an atheist did haul off and belt an evangelizing asshole, would the atheist get the same protection under that law that a Christian would if they belted an atheist? Or, if a muslim hauled off and belted an evangelizing asshole, would the muslim get the same protection under that law that a Christian would if they belted a muslim? Or am just begging for another edition of simple answers to stupid questions?

  41. says

    Esteleth
    Choclate should be dripping out of your USB port soon.

    The Hobbit
    Ooooh, I’m excited, too.
    Maybe we could get the old crew together and go to the release properly dressed and armed.

    Being a teenager pretending to be grown up
    Well, my parents always hoped that once I got married and had kids I’d finally “grow up”. Then they met my best friend, who’s married and already has adult children.
    That day they abandoned hope :)

    Only, of course, if you ask my mother, I probably am only thirteen and can’t do anything right…

  42. Minnie The Finn, avec de cèpes de Bordeaux says

    Ogvorbis: I can’t wait to see the first cases reach the court.

    If we had a similar law here, it would become a national sport: ‘Swat-a-JW’.

  43. Ogvorbis: Now With 98% Less Intellectual Curiousity! says

    Minnie:

    I suspect that there would be a big difference regarding who gets arrested if the person were an atheist rather than a Christian. But I am a well known cynic.

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

    I liked the hobbit well enough in the animated version. I really loved the animated LotR that was really just the first 3 books. When they finally came out with the much less ambitious (animation-wise) sequel, many folk were horribly disappointed. The live-action with paint-over animation was incredibly effective for the nazgul and other aspects of the first movie. I particularly remember appreciating Strider as acted/animated. But “The Return of the King” which included parts of Two Towers (much as did Jackson’s RotK) being merely conventionally animated didn’t have the wonderful richness and believability. It was “merely” a cartoon.

    So I understand how many people were disappointed.

    For me, however, I will be forever in debt to the creators of that movie for giving me the ultimate housework song: “Where There’s a Whip, There’s a Way!”

    –)->

  45. Minnie The Finn, avec de cèpes de Bordeaux says

    Giliell:

    “Only, of course, if you ask my mother, I probably am only thirteen and can’t do anything right…”

    Oh, your mother is my father? That would make us sisters? Or brothers?

    Could someone please tell me how to block quote? I can’t figure out the tags. Fluffy pink lady brain and all that…

  46. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says

    Gotta admit that I have never seen the animated versions of Hobbit or LotR. I have seen the Jackson films.

    The thing that bugs me the most about that damned “seeing your geek girl crush become a porn star” essay is that until that absolutely ridiculous analogy popped up, I was agreeing with the OP. The Jackson films are good films. As adaptations of the novels they are okay. I think that the Hobbit film will be similar.

  47. sisu says

    Hey Minnie you do this

    [blockquote]quoted text goes here[/blockquote]

    but replace the square brackets with

    So it turns into

    quoted text goes here

    Re: Loftus: for someone who wants to debunk Christianity, he sure seems happy up on that cross.

  48. Minnie The Finn, avec de cèpes de Bordeaux says

    sisu:

    so this is how I should do it?

    Oh dear Kali, it takes Sisu to teach a Finn =)

  49. sisu says

    oops! you replace the square brackets with the little greater-than and less-than symbols: like > and <

    (learns to preview before posting…)

  50. Nutmeg says

    PTI:

    What would “reminding ourselves that middle school is over” cookies look and taste like? And is there a high school equivalent?

    I suggest some combination of chocolate, sprinkles, caramel, peanut butter, and/or icing. Hard to go wrong there.

    *****

    On the topic of feeling like a teenager, I had a conversation yesterday with a woman, late 40s-ish, who was astounded that I was doing my master’s while still living in the city where I was born. She seemed to think that no one can grow up until they’ve attended school in at least two cities other than their birthplace and backpacked around Europe for several months.

    My thoughts:

    1. Really?

    2. Where is the money tree that would allow me to do these things? I have good grades and a couple of publications, and I can’t even get enough funding to move out of my parents’ place. And that’s with some extra money from TAing. I have no idea how people can afford to travel and go to school in foreign countries.

    3. What is the big deal with backpacking around Europe? Is there no other rite of passage that would be acceptable?

    Sorry, needed to get that out of my system. I spend enough time making myself feel inadequate, I don’t need help from anyone else.

  51. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says

    Daisy,
    I peeked once at Loftus’ blog back when he first arrived at FTB. Don’t know what it was, but something made me go “…eh.”
    So while I’m saddened to see this go down (much less his picking up ERV fanboys), I’m not surprised.

  52. sisu says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter, I saw that too, with a side of “Wah, male circumcision is just as awful as FGM!!” ugh ugh ugh. I wonder who he’s trying to impress? What the hell is the point?

    Although PZ’s comment about his ghost beating up Jesus was pretty funny.

  53. says

    Nutmeg:

    She seemed to think that no one can grow up until they’ve attended school in at least two cities other than their birthplace and backpacked around Europe for several months.

    Class privilege, she has it. The “backpacking around Europe” is very much a class marker.

    I’d have shot back at her that no one can grow up until they’ve worked a few years in food service, retail, a warehouse or factory, or the military. Shitty wages implicit.

  54. Rey Fox says

    What is the big deal with backpacking around Europe? Is there no other rite of passage that would be acceptable?

    I lived in a trailer in the woods of north Idaho chasing dead elk calves for two and a half months. Would that count?

    (yes, they were dead, except in the cases where they actually just slipped out of the radio transmitter collars)

  55. Rey Fox says

    There’s a new post on Loftus Unleashed.

    But he just wants to let it rest, of course.

    A quote from the Bugs Bunny cartoons comes to mind: “Shut up shuttin’ up!”

  56. says

    I’ve both backpacked around Europe AND done shitty food service work. You’d think I’d have grown up by now, and yet…

    I was originally thinking that no, it’s not a class marker, but then I realised that I’m Australian, and things are different in the US.

    Even working class kids here can do the overseas backpack thing. London is jammed full of Australian bartenders and waitstaff and such. There are special under-26 youth working-holiday visas for both UK and Aus. If you work primary production in Aus for a few months, you get to extend your visa.

    So all you really need is airfare and starter money until you get a job. A few months working and saving hard while mooching off the parents should cover that (and you’re hypothetically 18 and just finished school so you probably haven’t left home yet). Our economy and safety net are in much better shape than the US, so it’s not actually so hard.

  57. says

    Hey, I’m sorry I never met any of you instead of all the “classy” Americans who did the “officially I’m on an exchange program, but actually I’m on a half-year vacation” thing while I was in Ireland.
    But living abroad for a while is great.
    If you can do it while you’re still without people depending on you: Do it!
    And I really mean living somewhere, not doing a backpack-holiday trip.
    I think it was a great way to have so many of the little things I just took for granted challenged. It made me much more critical in my observations of “defaults”.
    It’s not like I hadn’t travelled before, but when you travel you just take the new things as “different from the default”. Living abroad set a new “default”. When I came back home I started noticing things actively for the first time.

    Actually, if Mr.’s company offered him the possibility to work abroad for 2 years, I’d pack things more quickly than he could accept…

  58. carlie says

    I learned an awful lot about being a decent adult from working on an assembly line for minimum wage. Mostly about how I was a privileged little shit without half the work ethic of my betters on the line.

  59. carlie says

    Wait, that could read as sarcastic that I was picked on. I really meant it; it was an eye-opening experience.

  60. says

    I learned an awful lot about being a decent adult from working on an assembly line for minimum wage. Mostly about how I was a privileged little shit without half the work ethic of my betters on the line.

    You are me?
    And I am Minnie’s brother-sister so you are…?
    Styrofoam factory, saussage factory, waitress, I did it.
    Although I admit that I was not sorry when I reached a qualification that allowed me to earn my money with my brain (especially since those jobs pay 2 -3 times as much…)

  61. Dhorvath, OM says

    Stevarious,
    I, uh, kinda have a fascination afair with the watchtower. I mean, we don’t really have any respect for one another, and it’s very adversarial, but, like, I just can’t not read one. Whatever. I take them however I can get one.
    ___

    Ing,
    Your news is disgusting. I have nothing to offer but futile wishes and ears to listen. Some people do fit evil.
    ___

    Ogvorbis,

    I am 46. I still feel like I am faking it. I have this horrible feeling that someone will finally notice that I am a 13-year-old, semi-socially-innept, immature boy.

    Only thirty six, but yeah, I don’t feel how I expected I would at this stage in my life. Certainly immature leaps to mind, although I feel nothing like how I remember feeling in my teens, I just don’t think I grew up so much as changed. If it’s worth anything, you had me fooled.

  62. Nutmeg says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter:

    The “backpacking around Europe” is very much a class marker.

    Maybe that’s it. I hadn’t consciously arrived at that conclusion, because my family is not by any definition poor. But we’re not wealthy enough that European vacations would even be a consideration.

    I do consider the summers and evenings/weekends that I spent working as a camp counselor (24/6 work for $125/week) and in retail to have been important. I learned about working hard and doing it cheerfully even when you hate your job and are making a pittance. Now, whenever I have to do something that sucks, I just look back and remind myself that it’s not as bad as working at camp. I think that’s valuable.

    Rey Fox:

    I lived in a trailer in the woods of north Idaho chasing dead elk calves for two and a half months. Would that count?

    It should! (My sympathies about the dead calves, especially if you wanted data from them.)

  63. says

    Ing

    Very sorry to hear about your grandmother. I really hope your lawyer relatives can set it straight.

    Vatican speech

    Well they do use corrupted Latin (SCNR).

    Globetrotting

    I really do think it was easier in my father’s day. He caught the travelling bug, maybe due to the fact that he grew up in the GDR and fled with his parents a few days before the Wall was built. It seems that travelling was easier, as you could make do with a one-way, and immigration authorities would look the other way if you worked odd jobs.

    After travelling in Latin America, he met an Englishman in Hong Kong and went to Australia with him, working odd jobs there. They’d steal the newspaper in the morning to look up the work offers. The Englishmen fell in love with an Australian and stayed there (years later, they’d be my host family in Australia, and I’m actually named after him), while my father was interested in learning an Asian language and moved on. Back then, the immigration authorities would not care about white foreigners working on tourist visas (custom officers aren’t stupid, they recognise a visa run when they see one). There he met my mother.

    I don’t think though it’s the prerogative the grow up, and in a way, as it defined my father and his English friend’s biographies, it wasn’t just a rite of passage after which you’d return to your own country.

    (Incidentally, the word “tourism” comes from the Grand Tour d’Europe, European nobility were expected to do exactly as a rite passage, it started in Britain, where people would go to France, Germany and Italy, and spread among the upper classes. So in a sense there can be a certain snobbistic element to expecting this of everyone)

    But I guess the work holiday schemes mentioned by Alethea might work as well, but when my father was traveliling, he did not have any financial backing from his parents, so I’m not sure if he had qualified under the scheme.

  64. Richard Austin says

    I’ve noticed that, among the people I know who have done the “backpacking through [region]” kind of thing for extended periods, it’s generally the people who aren’t worried about losing control of responsibilities.

    This is most often people who have others to take care of those responsibilities, but it’s occasionally people who simply have nothing to lose. I think the intersection of those two groups makes it a fascinating concept.

    I’ve thought a lot about doing such a thing. I have a fair bit to lose right now, but I’m not so certain that I’d be bothered by losing it (that probably reflects a privilege-based notion that I could re-obtain it if I wanted, which makes me a little uncomfortable, but it’s still the case). However, the conversation has planted the seed of an idea.

    I may have to think this over.

  65. says

    Just got off phone with Grandma. Getting in contact with lawyer but things are tough because she’s undergoing radiation and her work is trying to force her out because of her illness. The case is from lawyer relatives good in her favor because of 30 years of occupation, maintenance, upkeep and actually paying off the mortgage herself and the well documented back years of no alimony or child support. He’s seemingly just doing this because she’s sick and thinks she wont be able to get to court because of it.

    I have no idea why this bastard stays alive. The literal best thing he could do for his family is to kill himself. There’s not a single fucking thing I can think of that he’s touched that he hasn’t fucked up.

    My uncle is worse for supporting him, seemingly because he’s hoping for inheritance of the house. I hate him so much, it hurts every xmas seeing how verbally abusive he is to his son and how he has his daughter joining in with him to berate the kid and just grind him down whenever he says anything. I can’t imagine anyone so heartless and greedy but he is. He in the past took advantage of my mother trying to help him out when he was out of work for a long time, even wanting to help put the daughter through college. he took her money for a job then called her a cunt, broke and stole some stuff, and made threats of coming back. I hope one day he’s lying in a bed sick and infirmed and is terrified of what will happen because he knows who raised his kids.

    I just want to track those two down and yell at them.

  66. Rey Fox says

    My sympathies about the dead calves, especially if you wanted data from them.

    Oh, we got our data. Data on what killed ‘em. But only if we got there while there was enough of ‘em left to make that determination.

  67. says

    I lived in a trailer in the woods of north Idaho chasing dead elk calves for two and a half months. Would that count?

    How much chasing is involved with a dead animal? I would think finding might be difficult, but chasing? (I kid, I kid!)
    ++++++++++++++++

  68. Muse says

    Rock on. MD just passed marriage equality out of the Senate. House has already passed it and the Gov. has said he’ll sign.

  69. says

    Hopefully you can help get things straightened out in court, Ing. Totally understand your anger having watched what awful abusive father did to my dad as he (biological grandfather) was dying.

    Love that Maryland joins the club of marriage equality states. I still don’t understand how Christie thinks he’ll be seen as any different from Wallace to history.

  70. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ugh, this has been a bad week. Caught a CRUD Sunday, and it manifested itself with a racing pulse (my normal resting pulse is about 68, this was ~90), and cold extremities. Even woke me up Sunday night, need a couple of hours to warm up my hands to get back to sleep. Drippy nose, but not regular cold symptoms, more like an allergic reaction. Not able to get a good nights sleep. The doctor doubled my BP meds (not unexpected, working, but not enough), but the blood tests were fine. By yesterday afternoon, almost a basket case with all stress and lack of sleep. Today, things a looking a little better. Got a decent nights sleep, the nose faucet was almost closed, and when I got home, both the BP (near normal) and pulse (normal) were down. Had a meeting with Rehab caregivers, and Redhead is making slow progress, but maybe working too hard and stressing her good side. Looks like the insurance will be covering things for the near future.

  71. Dhorvath, OM says

    Nerd, that’s the last thing you needed. Glad to hear you are getting back to normal, hope Redhead can ease up a bit to get the best out of her efforts too.

  72. says

    @pelamun, the law concerning UK residents status in Australia has changed. Back long ago UK citizens could live & work here perfectly legally without visas – and even vote. My Mum arrived in 1960, and has never got round to getting citizenship. Even in the 70s she didn’t need it to work in the Australian Public Service, though now you must be a citizen for permanent APS positions. It started to change when the UK dropped a lot of Commonwealth privileges and joined the EU.

    As to shitty jobs: mine were mostly waitressing. I had some other odd jobs as a student – babysitting scientists at the particle accelerator, artist model, night manager at a homeless shelter, library assistant, retail counter staff – but the waitressing was the hardest and nastiest. Even compared to the homeless shelter.

  73. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ing, if you are interested, the Pharyngula Saloon and Spanking Parlor™ (Patricia, Princess of Pullets, Proprietor) Trebuchet operators are always looking for targets for Pullet waste products. If interested, e-mail (if PZ doesn’t scramble it, as I suspect he will), trebuchet.PSSP@)(*&^%$#@!.@#^

  74. Rey Fox says

    Comedian Tom Sharpling recently live-tweeted an afternoon at Starbucks in which he found himself sitting two tables away from Gov. Christie. Highlights:

    “He’s now yelling about ‘being the turd in the punchbowl’ at his assistant while taking HUGE bites of his scone.”

    “HE IS NOW CHOKING ON HIS SCONE.”

    “I am not making this up – he just YELLED AT THE SCONE. Told it to ‘go down easier’. Weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. ”

    “He polished off the second drink and said he had to ‘give birth to a Democrat’. Went right past me to the men’s room.”

    “Someone came up to his table and said something. He barked back ‘WELL I’M THE GOVERNOR SO THAT’S JUST TOO DAMN BAD!’”

    “Christie just asked his assistant re: the music “do people really like this shit?” (It’s the Decembrists)”

    Quite the portrait.

  75. says

    My understanding of NJ Gov. Christie’s posturing on marriage equality is that he think it will help in his bid for the White House in 2016.

    But the it looks lately, by the time 2016 rolls around, that issue will have little to no traction. The dominoes have been falling like dominoes lately.

  76. says

    Alethea,

    I see. Though my father wasn’t a Commonwealth citizen. Unfortunately I can no longer ask him what his legal status was, for all I know it might have been all completely legal. Towards the end of his stay, he worked for Qantas, so I think that must have come with a proper work authorisation.

    But at the beginning they worked on a chicken farm, drove ice cream trucks, whatever was available in the papers…

    (though what the UK gave up it gained through the EU. My host siblings are all dual citizenship holders, and that came in handy when some of them wanted to work in Europe)

  77. changeable moniker says

    Urgh. @Ing, that’s fucking horrible. I’m sorry.

    I was not sorry when I reached a qualification that allowed me to earn my money with my brain

    Stuff I did as a kid/student:

    1. Pick potatoes at a local farm (yes, thank you for the bad back)
    2. Ditto, except, strawberries
    3. File medical records at a local hospital
    4. Stack shelves in a paint warehouse
    (4a. Wash the managing director’s car (“university boy” taunts ignored))
    5. Test novel detergent formulations’ efficacy at removing tritiated oils using a UV scintillometer

    Guess which one paid best? :)

  78. changeable moniker says

    And, re. [3], by local, I mean local. One day I filed my Dad’s records. The folder was alarmingly full. :-(

    (No, I didn’t peek.)

  79. yubal says

    @ yesterday night’s bird topic

    Thanks to all posting, we found a way to settle this. My wife came up with the solution.

    We explained to the kids, that those birds might have simply messed up and that this will happen to all of us once in a while and is usually OK. We also told them, that this can happen more often when everyone is following one leading individual without questioning.

    The kids were fine with that explanation, but I am still struggling with that since my oldest one also noted that the tip of the V was pointing to the south, which is correct. And this time of the year birds are supposed to migrate north, aren’t they?

    We all remembered what the geese said in Nils Holgerson by Astrid Lindgren, “We form a V and fly to the north to show the summer its way!”

  80. Ogvorbis: Now With 98% Less Intellectual Curiousity! says

    If it’s worth anything, you had me fooled.

    Yah. I can fool others. Hell, sometimes I can fool myself.

    I can even be fool.

    I just want to track those two down and yell at them.

    You’re better off letting the lawyers do that. That’s what they are paid for. They may not be as loud, but they are much, much better at it.

    Stuff I did as a kid/student:

    Delivered newspapers (145 papers, four miles)
    Whitewater raft guide
    pizza hut ‘cook’
    7/11 clerk (held up twice)
    summer camp ecology teacher
    Knife salesman
    ski instructor
    night time security dispatcher at college
    dishwasher at a Friendly’s

    That was middle school, high school, and college.

    I like being a Park Ranger more than any of those.

  81. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My early work included working in the paint department of a register (HVAC vents) company, mostly striping paint, but occasionally applying paint, or helping to run the press that gave the “wood grain” effect.

    I also worked at minimum wage for a Sears small engine repair shop, help load and unload lawn mowers, and was extra muscle when needed (thirty pound hot water heaters were four-five times that after 30 years hard water). I helped out in the shop when not otherwise busy, and learned a lot on how to fix things.

  82. says

    I eat maraschino cherries out of the jar once or twice a year. They’re actually pretty revolting if I think about it too much but when I was a kid I chafed under the oppressive regime that restricted me to ONE cherry at a time, and now I can eat ten if I want, so I do.

    Also I set a toaster on fire a few years ago and it was awesome.

    Also also, I too am also ridiculously excited about The Hobbit! Also too!

  83. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I found a therapist! I had my first meeting with her last night and it went really, really well, and I’m super hopeful.

    *applause*

  84. carlie says

    kristinc – that’s great!

    Ing – so sorry. It’s good that she’s going to have such a strong case, but then even more annoying that he’s putting everyone through this when he doesn’t have a chance of winning.

    I worked at McDonald’s for years. Ugh.

    The assembly line job was temp work through an agency, so we didn’t get any of the protections (or wages) that “real” assembly line workers got, even though some of the temp people had been there for years. We did stuff that I was astounded to find that machines didn’t already do. It was contract, so we had one main job and then lots of alternating smaller ones.

    One of the jobs: putting two bottles of mouthwash together, slipping a plastic sleeve over them (which then went through a heater to melt it to form), and then slapping a “two for one” sticker on it. Sticker position was easy. Being the one to have to get the sleeve over them while they whizzed past? Not.

    The main usual job was bottle mixing. Think of those 24-packs of flavored water you get at the warehouse store. We had to turn them from single packs into multiple-flavor packs, which involved taking four bottles at a time from one box on a side table and putting them in the new box coming down the line. They had the ruffled metal caps, but we were only given cotton gloves, so we ripped through several pairs of gloves each every shift. I don’t know why they didn’t just buy leather gloves, unless it was a theft problem. The first week I would come home every night and not be able to unbend my fingers at all from the cramping pain. It wasn’t a mechanized conveyor, so the line speed was set by the person making the boxes at the head of the line. The woman who usually did it was fierce. It didn’t matter that we didn’t get rehired based on performance, or that we got paid shit for it, she was good at her job and was damned proud of it and she kept us on the move. One day she wasn’t there and they made me do her position, and I thought I wouldn’t make it to the end of the shift.

    What really pissed me off was that every time that a machine went down, we were all made to grab brooms and cloths and act like we were cleaning things while we waited. Because god forbid we got a couple of minutes to rest while they fixed it, even though the place was already kept spotless by the janitorial staff so acting busy wasn’t accomplishing anything.

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

    Hmm sucky jobs I’ve done . . . customer service rep (temp), canvassing for a local environmental group, and phone saleswoman. The latter only lasted two weeks, during which I discovered that I am shit at being a salesperson, at least over the phone. I now know that I’m not cut out for a job like that.

    Customer service rep was a bit more bearable, because sometimes customers had hilarious stories about how their week was one big disaster on top of their card not working. I also had a couple of instance where I please the hell out of a few callers by going above and beyond what my job duties were. What drove me nuts was: one caller threatening to sue just a week before I decided to quit, not knowing what times to come in because some fucking airhead didn’t check to see if my name was listed for the next day, and just having to be glued to the phone all day. Get sick and can’t come in? Oh well, too bad. That’s when I learned that temps are very expendable, and definitely not appreciated.

    Canvassing was perhaps tied with customer service as a miserable experience. Shit wages for work that hardly seemed effective at all which involved scant facts to discuss with people. I’m afraid my crowning moment was getting a writer for the National Review to sign my petition (no, I don’t know how I managed that . . . maybe it was giving him the few facts i had at hand). Then there was the time I got caught in a horrific thunderstorm, in a city I’d never been to before, and it was only thanks to a local family that I made it to shelter and could wait safely. They also dropped us off in some pretty dangerous places at night, and since their policy was “no cell phones to be used during work hours”, we were fucked if something happened; no way could we reach the team leaders to warn them or ask for help.
    ——————————————-

    Traveling as a rite of passage – It can be, but it doesn’t have to be backpacking through Europe to qualify. A simple two-week volunteer position can become a RoP. You don’t even have to leave the country you live in to have that experience, or even your home state. What makes it into a RoP is up to the individual to decide.
    —————————————–

    Yay for Maryland, and yay for kristinc finding a therapist!

  86. says

    Sigh in happier news need to pick the brain trust here regarding metrology/astrology

    If you had a planet in a locked orbit around it’s star system with one half in perma day and one in perma night, what would that do to the weather system?

  87. kimulrick says

    So I just moved to The North Coast of NSW (Ballina to be precise) and I would love to find some other skeptics here in the heart of woo-land.

    Do any Pharyngulites live around here? Or are there any skeptics groups in the area? I figure there is serious work to be done with the anti-vaxxers based so close by.

    So yeah, would love to hear from any locals.

  88. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If you had a planet in a locked orbit around it’s star system with one half in perma day and one in perma night, what would that do to the weather system?

    Weather implies an atmosphere. Depends on how cold the dark side gets. If water would freeze there, it would tend to desiccate the planet as the water is captured as ice/snow by the dark side. My 2 centiducats.

  89. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    How can I have a planet like that that has an atmosphere and can have some earth like life?

    I could see that if the dark side doesn’t freeze water, just causes rain/oceans, and the circle around the planets night/dark interface is temperate enough for life. I would suspect most of the sunside of the planet would be desert. A very hot desert. Another 2 centiducats.

  90. says

    Ing, I’m fairly certain that if a planet is phase-locked you can’t have earth like life. I don’t think we would have earth like life if we weren’t tilted.

  91. says

    What if we had a planet tilted in relation to the sun with an imperfect lock? It’s rotation is close to compensation for revolution but gives a bit of a wobble?

  92. dianne says

    Random physics query: You know the old quantum mechanics dilemma of many dimensions versus many worlds? What if the answer is “both”, much as the answer to “is light a wave or a particle” is “both”? And could this hypothesis be tested any more than the other two? (Alternately, am I way behind the times and the whole dilemma has been solved long ago.)

  93. says

    Oh, now you’ve done it. You’ve got me thinking orbital mechanics–and once I start, I may not be able to stop.
    One thing that comes to mind is the fact that orbits are ellipses, and that a body like the moon travels faster in its orbit when it’s closer to earth. The spin doesn’t change, however, which means the lock is not quite “perfect.” IIRC, we actually see 56% of the moon at one time or another.
    I would think an atmosphere would be continually mixing gases from the hot and cold sides–and the difference in temperature would cause some serious winds.
    And I’m wondering if, in order to get tidally locked, the planet would have to be close enough to the sun that the lighter elements would get blown away by radiation relatively quickly in its history, maybe even before the materials are done aggregating. Planets close to the sun are thought to lose their lighter elements while still forming.
    Well, those are my quick thoughts. But you should keep in mind that I’m a music school dropout whose formal science education pretty much ended in the eighth grade when I shorted out the lab with a pair of tweezers. You may get better information from others around here.

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

    I’ve been trying to not comment all day, but Mormon necrodunking . . . I don’t want to compare them to vultures, because those birds actually do something useful. And Anne Frank? Anne Frank?? Just . . . you have to be especially fucked in the head to think that’s OK! RRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH! *sounds of pillow being punched and torn apart*

  95. says

    Ing,

    I don’t remember where I read it, but there are scenarios for life on phase-locked planets, mostly around the terminator line. However, it is true that the possiblity for complex life would be much smaller. For instance, the authors of Rare life: why complex life is uncommon in the universe take a dim view of the possibility of animal life on tidally locked planets (p. 258, however, without further discussion of the issue).

    All I could find for now are reports on planets that might potentially sustain life, but the odds for earth-like life are indeed diminsihed due to the orbital lock.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/09/29/possible-earthlike-planet-found-in-the-goldilocks-zone-of-a-nearby-star/

    http://www.physorg.com/news204999128.html

  96. says

    Now I think about it, that “seeing your geek girl crush become a porn star” analogy is actually really good. In both cases a man is feeling upset because he has a totally inappropriate sense of ownership over something or someone who does not belong to him.

    Though I suspect that may not be what he meant. And I don’t want to go look.

  97. DLC says

    Ing : please add my sincere best wishes for a good outcome in your grandmother’s case.

    Meanwhile. I’ve worked as a kitchen help, back-bar help, installation installer, construction crew, bouncer, security, lab tech, computer systems geek, computer network tech and others.

    —-
    and: James Randi famously took several overdoses of homeopathic sleeping pills, and got nothing for it but an elevated blood sugar count.

  98. Pteryxx says

    all my jobs have been animal-related: pet store, pet wholesaler, animal lab tech. The other stuff came from volunteering at cons and robotics and hockey: some A/V, gopher, security, setup/teardown, DJing, scorekeeping, registration, guest liason and a bit of first aid.

  99. Owlmirror says

    [Random randomness...]

    I found an old Dilbert cartoon I had saved off, which, thanks to online archives, I can link to:

    http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1998-01-20/

    Where he’s basically mocking skepticism.

    [Comic Sans]
    “If your controlled tests have never found psychic powers, how do you know the tests work for that sort of thing?”
    [/Comic Sans]

    Which makes no damn sense at all.

    It didn’t seem funny back then, and stuck in my mind as a really weird thing for the author to have thought was funny.

    So when, much later, PZ started posting about what an idiot Scott Adams was, I thought of this comic, and was inclined to think that PZ was probably right.

    [/Random randomness]

  100. echidna says

    Ing, wishing you all the best for a speedy and fair outcome for your grandmother. Totally understand the anger. Can I offer bacon? Chocolate?

    Nerd, *hugs*.

  101. Pteryxx says

    Rise Against – Help Is On The Way

    Can nobody save us?
    Will anyone try?
    The bayou is burning,
    The cypress is dying.
    And all along they’re saying.

    Help is on the way
    (They said, they said)
    Help is on the way
    (They said, they said)
    One by land, two by sea.
    Right there in front of me.
    Help is on the way.

  102. says

    Good morning

    Nerd
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery

    stupid things in shitty jobs
    The first summer I worked at a styrofoam factory, my job was to stuff 6 packs of 8 ceyling-pannels (incredibly ugly ones) into boxes and seal them.
    For the German market, they had a little chart printed on one side where I just had to tick which was which. I’d usually have 2 or three different types running as the machines were producing them.
    Which was not a problem. It was hard work, it didn’t give you much of a break, but it was doable.
    For the Czech market, there would be little stickers. You know the kind you have to get moist. That was, of course, more work, but since I had a little machine where I could just pull them through to get them moist, it was still managable.
    Then there were the boxes for the Russian market. There I would have a printed piece of paper, a tin with glue and a brush. I was still supposed to do that at the speed I had for ticking the right box in the chart and then I got shouted at by the shift manager for:
    -not being quick enough
    -not glueing the fucking stickers on the boxes perfectly.
    He was an asshole all around. He would also regularly shout at me because the stamps (I had to stamp a code on each box) were not perfectly readable. One day, he had swapped shifts with another shift manager. He looked at my stamps and just said “I’ll go and get you some fresh ink”.

    +++++
    Something completely different:
    I know Greg Laden isn’t held in the highest esteem here, but sometimes he just hits the nail on its head:

    If you want diversity (and you do) you have to make it happen.

    You can’t just say “I’m not biased” or “I’m not sexist” or “I’m not racist” and then expect the world to adjust to this noble sentiment and sort everything out for you.

    So fucking true and obviously so fucking hard to get.

  103. John Morales says

    I know Greg Laden isn’t held in the highest esteem here, but sometimes he just hits the nail on its head

    His being damned with faint praise is entirely his own achievement.

    (He seems to have got better, I admit)

  104. McCthulhu, now with Techroline and Retsyn says

    I’m PO’d with the gay necrodunking website. Not that I have anything against what they’re doing (although we haven’t heard the opinion from the gay community to see if they even want people so lacking in critical thinking skills), but I’m distraught to find that I can’t pick my own living Mormon to necrodunk…er, vitadunk. I really want to inform the next batch of ‘elders’ that darken my doorstep that I have chosen them for gay vitadunking and thank them for putting their names on badges for me. However, the website will only allow me to vitadunk someone from a genealogical list, not someone I really want to. I’m so disappointed. I will have to eat extra m&ms to appease my distress.

  105. John Morales says

    McCthulhu,

    However, the website will only allow me to vitadunk someone from a genealogical list, not someone I really want to.

    Which surely invites the question: can that genealogical list be updated?

    (Conditional on an affirmative, the next question is: how?)

  106. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    I know Greg Laden isn’t held in the highest esteem here

    His blog is the only FtB blog I’ve never visited. I promised him I’d never darken his door again and I never have.

  107. says

    I dimly remember that some regulars here had some problem with him, but what was it?

    I’ve occasionally commented on his blog, and never had any trouble, so can you remind me again what the problem was?

  108. says

    Still in Sydney. Finished my paed resus course. Exhausted +++. Passed all exams – check. Acquired Indian girlfriend – check. Wait, what?
    Need to crash…

  109. John Morales says

    Pelamun, here’s a local maximum* in the space of our issue.

    (Echoes of it (different instantiation, though) in JWL’s recent episode)

    * The “Blastula” episode.

  110. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Dalai Lama tweet this morning

    “@DalaiLama: Cultivating inner awareness, introspection and reasoning can be more effective than meditation and prayer.”

    Can be?

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

    Getting-weller wishes to Nerd, plus ongoing rehabilitation wishes to the Redhead. Hope the stress levels go down.

    Yay for the hopefully-good-therapist-finding achievement, kristinc!

    I’ve been a cook and wait staff (simultaneously), but the most tiring job I’ve ever done was a time as a Nursing Auxiliary (I think this may be like being a Candy-striper in usanian????? Not sure if that’s the right term) in the geriatric ward of a psychiatric hospital. That was quite tiring and stressful – and mainly sad, for those of the patients who had no visitors.

  112. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Thanks for the well wishes. I’m now fine other than some minor lingering but diminishing lung congestion. It’s amazing how getting two full nights sleep helps one’s disposition. It’s snowing here, but the snowthrower is at ready. Not a problem.

  113. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I can say I do not like the jaundiced highlighting.

    Jaundiced is a good word for it.

  114. says

    I just read on Les “Survivorman” Stroud’s web site that he picked up a parasite during the shooting of one of his shows. He tried to cure it homeopathically and failed, and the bug stayed with him for a year. I sent him a message telling him that maybe he should try the real thing next time instead of snake oil.

  115. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    This is not a colour scheme to read when you have a hangover.

    I am operating sans hangover at the moment, but this is a very good point.

  116. Muse says

    I am really not digging the jaundiced yellow thing. I liked the grey – I’m sure a blue would be okay. They yellowness is giving me faint afterimages.

  117. says

    I woke up a tad queasy this morning, and the current color scheme seems to be making it worse.

    I move that these colors be kept off the palette on the grounds of the 14th Amendment.

  118. KG says

    can you remind me again what the problem was? [with Greg Laden] – pelamun

    Editing comments to make commenters look bad, without acknowledging it, and threatening commenters with hostile use of the identification information they provided. Like ‘Tis, I will never even look at his blog.

  119. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Call me a traditionalist, but I liked the color scheme the way it was.

  120. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    PZ @143,

    Anything but the nausea inducing colour scheme of that comment… the paler version helps contrast with my eyesight issues but the bright background of 143 is hideous in the extreme XD

  121. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    And bring back the banner cycling! I miss some of the old favourites.

  122. says

    Argh, Nerd, sorry you caught a crud.

    Kristin, glad to hear you found a therapist you think will be helpful.

    Ing, I’m glad to hear there may be some recourse for your grandmother. W/r/t her request, given all the stress she’s going through, probably the best thing to do is lie to her about praying for her.

    My shit jobs have included file-room work, waitressing and cafeteria work, an abortive stint in customer service, participation in medical studies, a wee amount of calling people up for surveys, and endless amounts of typing and answering phones. Being able to type super-fast has been a two-edged sword: I got better-paying jobs when I was young and inexperienced, but I also got repetitive stress injuries.

    RevBDC: How much you want to bet that a lot of people will be more offended that Chris Brown grabbed someone’s $500 iPhone than that he beat Rihanna? It brings to mind how Mike Tyson lost more fans for biting off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear than he did for raping a woman.

    Echoing Serendipitydawg: I’d love to see the artsy Pharyngula banners from SciBlogs over here, too.

    Also, I don’t think the pale yellow would be so bad if there were some other pastels around for contrast. The severe-head-cold-mucus yellow of PZ’s comment at #143, though… urk.

  123. birgerjohansson says

    I am soo weary of the artist Vilks… but even wearier of the dumb/fundamentalist people who harass him.
    .
    “Lars Vilks egged at ‘Mohammad’ lecture http://www.thelocal.se/39262/20120222/
    Yeah, that is a mature way of expressing disagreement. If they want to protest bad treatment of muslim people they should go to the Syrian embassy, the Bahrein embassy or why not the embassies of Bush’s “coalition of bombing the shit out of brown people”?
    .
    “Springsteen: US should be ‘more like Sweden’ http://www.thelocal.se/39166/20120217/
    This might sound parochial, but I think Sweden and Norway are pretty good role models.
    .
    The Swedish crown princess gave birth to a crown princess squared Tuesday and the newspapers have gone crazy about it.
    This coincided with me having to put a much beloved five-year-old cat to sleep after kidney failure. Whenever I see anything related to monarchy I will associate it with bereavement and grief. :-(
    .
    The people at work have been wonderful, I got to take one day off to get myself together, and they bought me flowers.

  124. says

    My first job was janitor for the little engineering firm my dad started. Twice a week, and the worst part of the job was scrubbing the gunk out the ashtrays – this was way before indoor smoking bans. There was so much smoking in the break room and the Men’s room that we had to wash the ceiling tiles at least once.

  125. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Ing

    If there is someone trustworthy near your gran (are you near her?) would it not be an idea to be granted “power of attorney” in order to do the paperwork on her behalf. (Facing up to cancer is already more than anyone should ever need to bear.) That would at least take a lot of the running around off her plate. If it is a trusted (it is sad that I have to add this qualifier) family member or close friend she would be saving on lawyers fees for some parts of the work. (I have granted this to my mother in the past. One can really do quite a bit with this.)

    @ Ogg

    13?

    12!

    ……

    I’m in Bumfuck, Central China. We went spelunking (hey my work isn’t always dull) in a nearby cave that was only discoverd in 2007. It is huge and consists of a long series of caves and tunnels. Some are partially flooded, so we took a boat (shades of LoTR) into the middle of the mountain and then walked back via another route. It is such fun to be a kid!

    On the way to the hotel we stopped of at a locally famous restaurant to eat their speciality … RABBIT! (Very tasty. The only disconcerting part was watching half a rabbit’s head going round and round on the lazy-susan.

  126. says

    If there is someone trustworthy near your gran (are you near her?) would it not be an idea to be granted “power of attorney” in order to do the paperwork on her behalf. (Facing up to cancer is already more than anyone should ever need to bear.) That would at least take a lot of the running around off her plate. If it is a trusted (it is sad that I have to add this qualifier) family member or close friend she would be saving on lawyers fees for some parts of the work. (I have granted this to my mother in the past. One can really do quite a bit with this.)

    Shoot I didn’t think o that. We need to make sure POA in terms of property and right to live/die is in the hands of either me or my father and not her other son.

    I don’t remember where I read it, but there are scenarios for life on phase-locked planets, mostly around the terminator line. However, it is true that the possiblity for complex life would be much smaller. For instance, the authors of Rare life: why complex life is uncommon in the universe take a dim view of the possibility of animal life on tidally locked planets (p. 258, however, without further discussion of the issue).

    All I could find for now are reports on planets that might potentially sustain life, but the odds for earth-like life are indeed diminished due to the orbital lock.

    Hmmm. Was looking for a planet where the inhabitants have a very rainy habitable zone and the east/west poles of their planet being deserts (one of sand one of icy tundra. Thought the idea of their home planet being one where there’s a narrow band of moderate climate and then the rest are extremes would be cool fluff. Idea was that life started in the small band that has a day/night cycle due to the imperfect orbit and then fanned out in an early evolutionary schism with microbes adapting to be extremephiles.

  127. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ PZ complaints department.

    I don’t know if this is just the browser I am on (IE, bleeugh, but the comment numbers are being truncated (goes up to 99 then 00, I suspect the hundreds are being cut off somehow.) Also my gravitar is no longer circular and has gone into a FUBAR grey square shape thingy. Can we not lose the borders and the ikky yellow too?

    /picky


    Jobs:

    3 worst evah: Quality controlling cling peaches in a cannery for weeks on end. I had to check if the machine was cutting them on suture properly (it was 99.99999999999999999999% of the time). When I started work, cling peaches where my favourite fruit. Whithin several days I was cringing at the sight or even smell of the bloody things.

    Repairing VIP latrines for rural hospitals. It meant getting into the pit and inspecting the construction among the shit and the flies. (I could have sent someone, but that would be pulling rank.)

    Stacking magazines in a printing works. OMFG this was both boring and exhausting – for shitty pay. There were people who worked there for years. What I learned: Some jobs are truly soul destroying.

  128. Rey Fox says

    “Springsteen: US should be ‘more like Sweden’

    Unfortunately for Bruce, assholes are everywhere. Next headline: “Whitney Houston ‘chose death’: Swedish politician”

    Sorry about the kitty.

  129. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    Did he change the colour scheme back or something? Because it doesn’t look different to normal for me.

    I was lucky? enough not to have to get a job as a teen. When your wants are very few there’s just not that incentive. We’d done a fair amount of travelling as a family prior to settling in Australia so I wasn’t even keen on travelling on my own.

    I did do volunteer work though. Was volunteer at local science museum for quite a few years.

    Did I miss out on life experience? Probably, but then that’s the thing with life, you can’t experience everything.

  130. says

    It’s back to blues and grays now, but lighter shades than the original color scheme. I was really getting tired of the dark blues everywhere — I’d still like to override the colors on the menus at the top of the page — and maybe I went too far the other way.

  131. Rey Fox says

    Now it clashes with the Freethought graphics. Could we at least have the background back to white?

  132. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Ing

    Shoot I didn’t think o that. We need to make sure POA in terms of property and right to live/die is in the hands of either me or my father and not her other son.

    Perhaps arrange as soon as you can. If she is going for treatments, you may find that they interfere very substantially with her ability to operate to her normal level. (Not intelectually, more that she will likely suffer from tiredness, naussea and feelings of depression.) She will have more than enough to deal with as it is.

    With power of attorney you could act on her behalf on pretty much anything, but at very least you can hoover up all the petty things she would otherwise have to deal with.

    planet

    Not sure why you need that planet, but here some thoughts:

    Your planet has a day (single 360 rotation)that lasts exactly one year.
    If it is more (or less), you could allow it to rotate ever so slightly more. Every living thing would have to migrate almost continuously to escape the impending winter or the encroaching desert (good sci-fi scenario).
    If locked, you can use topography to resolve some issues (canal shaped sea around planet, supercontinents,linear mountain ranges microclimatic “islands” of life.)
    Locked will give you a temperate band between shadow ice and desert sun. locked on tilted axis will give you temperate spots near equator (your equivalent of the tropics) and massive temperature shifts closer the poles. This would induce interesting shifts in otherwise constant winds.
    Some wobble may be good. You will need variation for life.
    Geothermal? The sun need not be the only driver…

    /off-the-top-of-my-head

  133. David Marjanović says

    Not caught up, just scrolled through enough to deliver to Esteleth: *hugs* *chocolate* *tea* *lavender cookies* *more hugs*

    Reminding me of the discussion of everyone’s mental age, Jadehawk has tweeted “where I want to work when I grow up” with a link to this. I feel like bouncing with excitement. :-) :-) :-)

    My own mental age? I don’t think I’ve ever felt like 13. On rare occasions I feel more like 89-year-old Erik Jarvik. (Scroll down a little.) More often, however, I still feel more like a 5-year-old with Asperger’s. And the baby sister says I’m 3.

    Random physics query: You know the old quantum mechanics dilemma of many dimensions versus many worlds?

    No. Those are completely separate questions, orthogonal to each other.

  134. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    gulp, brokended!!! (half text on left disapeared in IE)

  135. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    ………………….. (Too many tentacles in the pie?)

  136. TomeWyrm says

    What is this about yellow/pink highlighting? Everything looks the same to me. I think I’m happy about that from reactions.

    Though I do like pink, it’d be neat to see that as highlighting… hmm… To my other browsers!
    ————————————————————
    @ChasCPeterson [669 - pre 'cullis]
    Cornstarch? I almost can’t believe that works! I don’t need assistance for my undercarriage often, but I guess I’ll give cornstarch a shot next time I need to dust one of the dark sweaty bits of my anatomy.
    ————————————————————
    Comparing The Hobbit movie to a Geek turned Porn Star
    That analogy bugs me on so many different levels. Partially because I can’t relate, partially because of the entitlement and objectification, and in large part because I haven’t seen the movie. I try not to judge media before I’ve consumed it. (The bit about the sex fantasies in the original article was especially jarring for me)
    ————————————————————
    We Are Ing
    That house situation seriously sucks, and makes me glad that the only family I give a damn about are my mother and father. A few of my cousins are awesome, but they’re friends DESPITE being family.
    There should be legal recourse, I just wish I knew more about the law so I could help instead of just being vocal support. At least the legal situation looks better now than when you first posted!
    I’d also like to re-iterate how thankful I am that I dropped basically my whole family other than my parents like a basket of the poisonous snakes they are. You should give your uncle a swift kick to the gonads for how he treats your cousin, and how he’s apparently roped his daughter in on it. Or if you’re really feeling nasty, involve lawyers and/or CPS.

    Giliell [1]
    Yes, US law is VERY renter unfriendly. It’s also pretty homeowner unfriendly, but renters are basically parasites that get tolerated because they have money that hasn’t been sucked out of them yet. For instance where I live, they can evict you out of a long-term lease with no cause and only 3 day warning.

    carlie [100]
    Actually the evil jackass has a distinct chance of winning. Ing’s grandmother and council are the ones that have the burden of proof. Luckily unless they screw up the case or get an unfairly biased judge/jury, Ing’s grandma should be able to win.
    ————————————————————
    TLC [3]
    That guy’s name is Beorn. Beorn is awesome. Beorn will be included in the new movie. This makes me excited.
    ————————————————————
    Necrodunking
    Seriously, being able to convert someone to your religion when they’re completely defenseless is lower than low. I’ve only seen accounts of it being abused on two people, and it’s got me upset at friends who are Mormon, whose fault it sure as hell isn’t.
    ————————————————————
    kevinalexander [11]
    1 is powerful and then tapers off without much long lasting effect. 2 starts weak and just gets worse and worse. I vote 2.
    ————————————————————
    Impostor Adult
    I don’t think I’ve ever been mistaken for being YOUNGER. I might manage it if I tried, and would have to shave completely bare.
    I feel like an alien trying to become human, not a kid pretending to be an adult. People are just so STRANGE!
    ————————————————————
    cicely [17]
    It’s TomeWyrm, but like Katherine at least you got the pronunciation right!
    ————————————————————
    Loftus picking up ERV otaku
    That sucks, FTB doesn’t need that kind of poster outside of the shark tank. Wonder if we can funnel them here for target practice?
    also re: Circumcision/FGM. They’re both evil, FGM is just way more super evil. Circumcision is, sadly, probably easier to get rid of, what with the Muslim authoritarian-ness where FGM is regularly practiced. Under the guise of rant preemptively struck (I don’t want to be in that bad of a mood right now)
    ————————————————————
    Jobs I have done up to present day
    Delivered newspapers
    Dishwasher at bakery
    Computer and network repair/troubleshooting
    (lots and LOTS of that. You think of something to deal with computers after retail and I’ve probably done it)
    Weaving chainmaille jewelry
    (I’m going to start taking commissions for this once I stop making so many damn rusty mistakes. Yay possible small amounts of money!)

    (The last two were pro-bono. Why yes I AM an idiot, thank you for noticing!)
    It’s likely I’ve had more, but they were probably short, I forgot them, or I don’t consider them actual jobs.
    ————————————————————
    We Are Ing [102]
    Tidally locked planet, for specific weather I haven’t the foggiest clue off the top of my head, but from what I recall from my own planet generation using Geoff’s Climate Cookbook. It won’t have seasons, once you get past about 40 degrees axial inclination, they apparently stop happening.
    If you need more specifics for like say, a campaign or story that’s actually going to happen on the surface, there’s a lot more that you need to know. Total mass, rough composition, distance from star, type of star, and amount of radioactivity (for internal heat) come to mind off the top of my head. I have more worldbuilding resources somewhere in my tangled mess of a HDD, some of which are for hard sci-fi authors, so they’re damn good.
    ————————————————————
    kristinc [97]
    Congratulations on the therapist!

  137. says

    Tidally locked planet, for specific weather I haven’t the foggiest clue off the top of my head, but from what I recall from my own planet generation using Geoff’s Climate Cookbook. It won’t have seasons, once you get past about 40 degrees axial inclination, they apparently stop happening.
    If you need more specifics for like say, a campaign or story that’s actually going to happen on the surface, there’s a lot more that you need to know. Total mass, rough composition, distance from star, type of star, and amount of radioactivity (for internal heat) come to mind off the top of my head. I have more worldbuilding resources somewhere in my tangled mess of a HDD, some of which are for hard sci-fi authors, so they’re damn good.

    It’s the home world fo one of the main races in a sci-fi campaign I’m trying to get going…going slow because I’m building everything from ground up…so it’s the mass, composition and start system that would possibly add for an earth like biosystem.

    I have the race designed and thought the planet idea would be cool for them. I’m having a lot of fun in the world building playing with social norms for the races and gender…getting a lot of variation in the different races. The ones I want to live on this planet have only one gender but pair bond and reproduce sexually, another reproduce sexually and have two sexes but no gender (biology is internally dimorphic but not externally, females don’t ovulate cryptically, they reproduce by eggs stored inside an oral embryonic pouch that both sexes have so a clutch is shared between the father and mother…so not even any big evopsyche reason for them to have developed gender identity), another has gender but are cyclical hermaphroditic changing between male and female, another has very complex genders due to their biology so there’s an absurd number of gender combination each member could be, etc.

  138. cicely (Insert Clever Appellation Here) says

    Morning, all.

    kristinc, have I *high five*d you on successful acquisition of a therapist, yet? If not, *high five*
    -
    Wellness wishes for Nerd and Redhead. And anyone else who is unwell or hung-over.
    -
    My very first job was in a fast food Mexican restaurant (where I learned for the first time that “Christian” didn’t necessarily mean “considerate”)(oh, yes—and some un-funny things involving refried beans). After that I was a work-study secretary for one of the instructors, spent a summer stint at the university library (my idea of “heaven”), repeat for the next three years.
    I worked at Walmart briefly, an even briefer (for which I am thankful) time at a nursing home, at a convenience store on the night shift (two different locations, same chain), then at a grocery store (night shift, again). After that, I stay-at-home mommed until Son went into 1st grade, after which I got this job right here (formerly data entry/custodial/valet-to-fishes), now receptionist/secretary/custodial). Not a very impressive resume.
    -
    Hmm, not really caring for the yellow.
    -
    Update: really hate the aggressively yellow comment box for Our Squidly Overlord. Ouch!!
    -
    Yeah, I’d go with “jaundiced” as a description. Alternatively, “pissed on”.
    -
    birgerjohansson, *hugs* and sympathy for your kitteh.
    -
    Blues and grays a definite improvement.
    -

  139. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    PZ-the background color is hideous, and I’m convinced any background color would be. Anything that decreases the contrast between the text and the “page” makes it harder to read. The alternating gray (which doesn’t seem to bother me like colors do) and white for comments seems good to me. As does having some sort of separator (a line, whatever) between comments.

    Bet you can’t wait for the whole-site makeover.

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

    It’s pale duck-egg, is what it is.

    Is that appropriate for crocoducks?

  141. says

    We have a Cupcake for Christ, peoples:

    If, by “intruding on their church services,” you mean attending a worship service with an open mind and an open heart to learn more about Jesus Christ, I whole-heartedly and enthusiastically agree. Every Christian can trace his or her salvation back to a single step, and sometimes that step is the decision to attend a particular church on a particular day.

    If, instead, you’re planning to vandalize a church, blaspheme its exterior with spray paint, break in and remove the crosses, or defecate on the altar as other atheists have recently done in several churches in several states, then you would be well-advised to keep your distance. Lawlessness is never the right answer.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/02/23/need-another-reason-to-go-to-the-reason-rally/comment-page-1/#comment-273883

  142. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    My vote is GO BACK TO WHAT IT WAS.

    These palish color changes suck.

    Sorry, they just do.

  143. TomeWyrm says

    We Are Ing
    So, you’re making an earth-like, except tidally locked to the star? Hmm… you’re going to have to give it a fairly quick orbital period or it’s going to be a Janus planet (two radically different sides). I’m going to go digging into the mess of my hard drive and see if I can find my world building materials so it’s not all half-recalled advice and ass-pulls.

  144. says

    Whoa… I was just on RWW and I nearly missed the veiled racism buried among this pile of homophobic bullshit.

    But in his recent book, Coming Apart, Charles Murray shows how the loss of marriage for the white working class in America has already had catastrophic consequences. If we seek the reason behind the great disparities in wealth that the Occupy crowd is howling about, we need look no further than the collapse of marriage.

    Emphasis mine.

  145. says

    FUCKING GODDAMN IT TO HELL

    DUUUUUUUR lets force everyone to change their password to one that has to be at least 10 characters DUUUUUUUUUUUR! And a mix of at least 4 cases! DUUUUUUUUUUUUUR people can remember that right!? Oh and no need to set up any way for people to call to get a recovery now lets make them leave work to come all the way to our office.

    FUCKING IDIOTS. Why the fuck do these goddamn tech departments have no fucking idea how not to piss people off. I put IN the password…it’s something I SHOULD remember and it’s not working.

    FUCK FUCK FUCK

  146. says

    FUCK I so don’t need this added stress. I’ve tried every fucking combination of the phrase I KNOW I USED as the password. GODDAMN IT TO FUCK

  147. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    DUUUUUUUR lets force everyone to change their password to one that has to be at least 10 characters DUUUUUUUUUUUR! And a mix of at least 4 cases! DUUUUUUUUUUUUUR people can remember that right!?

    We just went to that. I have a piece of paper with the passwords I will use in rotation. Keep it locked in my desk. As I told the IT guy, that’s what you get for making it too long and complicated. I know I’m not the only who did that.

  148. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    “Eventually it was there, that tugging at my heart.”

    She should probably see a doctor about that.

  149. TomeWyrm says

    We Are Ing
    Hey, at least they didn’t limit you to MAX eight alphanumeric & case-insensitive, then send your password to you in plaintext. Yes I’ve seen that happen, no I don’t use that site anymore.

    Maximum password lengths below a reasonable block size like 128 are just plain bad sense. It’s easier for a human to remember a pass PHRASE than it is for a computer to guess it (generally speaking, there are caveats) Requiring all four types of characters *is* actually good sense for passwords, unfortunately. Luckily you can use them as boundaries like “Four0 & seven years ago.” 24 character password, easy to remember, 1 uppercase letter, 16 lowercase letters, 1 digit, & 6 symbols. It would easily take centuries to guess even using pessimistic estimates. Obviously it’s not a password anyone should ever use now that it has been published to the internet.

    I’m a firm believer in the password haystack principle here is a short 5-minute explanation video.

    [Down Soapbox]

    ——————–

    Hmm… you’d probably have to ask someone that’s got more schooling on the subject, but I don’t think you can make a Janus planet work without a lot of handwavium or being REALLY picky about things. Also you wouldn’t have plant life on the dark side without a crazy reflective tidal-locked moon. The bright side would probably be inhospitable as well. Which just leaves the transitional zone, which is really ****ing tiny compared to the surface area you would normally have available.

    It would also lead to very intense predation and fighting for limited resources, so everything alive on that planet would likely make even our amazing survivor species look like pudgy couch potatoes.

    If you got the distance JUST right, you might be able to get away with plants on the bright side, and animals could take shelter under plants (or underground) to sleep.

    Oh yay, the download’s done! I can go dig into my worldbuilding resources now. I shall return with more concrete ideas and suggestions.

  150. says

    On being mistaken for younger than I am: I don’t, usually, but a couple years ago (so I was in my late 20′s) I went to my nephew’s high school to drop something off. I didn’t know my way around so I asked the nearest adult where the office was, and he immediately gave me the third degree about why I wanted the office. It took me a few minutes to realize that he was treating me like shit because he thought I was a student. Asshole.

  151. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    FUCKING GODDAMN IT TO HELL

    DUUUUUUUR lets force everyone to change their password to one that has to be at least 10 characters DUUUUUUUUUUUR! And a mix of at least 4 cases! DUUUUUUUUUUUUUR people can remember that right!? Oh and no need to set up any way for people to call to get a recovery now lets make them leave work to come all the way to our office.

    FUCKING IDIOTS. Why the fuck do these goddamn tech departments have no fucking idea how not to piss people off. I put IN the password…it’s something I SHOULD remember and it’s not working.

    FUCK FUCK FUCK

    I frankly have little sympathy for this past the inability to reset or request a reset. That part is stupid and piss poor IT planning and policy. And we know damn well that it pisses people off, but our god damn job is to keep the company safe and secure, not to hold everyone’s hand. The fact people can’t remember their password is a user issue, not a rule issue, or a system issue. Passwords do not just up and change themselves. They might disable themselves if you wait to change it on the schedule. I keep no less that 25 passwords in my head at any time and I usually can remember the multiple user’s passwords who constantly come to me needing help getting into their systems because they can’t remember FlufFy1001!. Seriously it’s a case of the end user not putting in enough effort to remember 10 characters. There are tons of easy ways to set up a complex password so that you can remember it.

    There are good reasons why complex passwords are needed. And so that people who may not know this, a lot of the time that these rules are instituted is not the IT person’s fault or even the department. Banks to lend money / invest in companies will send auditors yearly to make sure not only that the company is following sound financial practices but that it has sound and safe secure IT practices.

    We go through it every year and every fucking year they make the requirements stricter. And every year I get screamed and complained at because we are just too tough on the users.

    Because we make them remember their passwords.

    Seriously.

    I’m sure this will generate a flame war but Really. I don’t care.

    You call me a fucking idiot for doing my job that has good god damn reasons and I’m not going to just sit and agree.

  152. consciousness razor says

    Gah! I had a nice color scheme for the site, but suddenly it’s full of ugly. WTF just happened?

  153. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Just saw on the news that a 9-year-old in US has shot a little girl in school with a gun he found at home. Parents had to pay $50000 bail (?!). At the court, the little boy was in an orange jumpsuit. Why the hell do they even have prisoner jumpsuits in size that fits a 9-yeal-old?!
    Sorry for all the ?!, but the whole news clip left me with one big WTF?!!!eleventy

    Why the hell isn’t the parent responsible for the gun being held responsible for not taking care of that gun properly?

    A 9-year-old.

    *speechless*

  154. Pteryxx says

    Seriously it’s a case of the end user not putting in enough effort to remember 10 characters. There are tons of easy ways to set up a complex password so that you can remember it.

    Speaking as a person with documented weaknesses in memory and name recognition, I ask that you go fuck yourself with that sentence plz. And *I* don’t even have dyslexia, plus I have perfect spelling to aid me.

  155. says

    Sorry for the rant under stress.

    @Rev. My password already WAS 12 characters with upper lower and numbers. I have trouble remember the pw…the problems them demanding even more complex pw that are harder to remember. And that I remember what I wanted it to be but its not accepting it….and the only way to get a reset is by fax or in person.

  156. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    @Rev. My password already WAS 12 characters with upper lower and numbers. I have trouble remember the pw…the problems them demanding even more complex pw that are harder to remember. And that I remember what I wanted it to be but its not accepting it….and the only way to get a reset is by fax or in person.

    No worries, my response was as well. Sorry for the blow up. I at the very time I read that had just finished getting screamed at on the phone for something very similar. An outside sales rep who can’t remember his VPN password, that he’s been using for 2 years. Something we did to accommodate the sales force who figure themselves to be above any rules or regulation of the company.

    Resetting by fax or in person is a giant pain in the ass for sure.

    And Pteryxx, yes there are very valid reasons this does not work for everyone. Those that have valid reasons are accommodated by my dept.

  157. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Something we did to accommodate the sales force who figure themselves to be above any rules or regulation of the company.

    re-read that, and that wasn’t a jab at you, just a description of them.

  158. says

    More calm: do tech guys see or think that there’s a problem that if by forcing more complex pws they get more users having to write them down or do other risky things? For example my last PW was Lobster9Iron but now I need to add nonnumber nonleter characters and I can’t just do an ammendum to the old ond…has to be new. So now put in what I wanted for new one and I must have slipped on the shift key cause its not working….sigh. I know I’m dumb for not being able to remember since childhood people have called me stupid for this

  159. says

    Oh and had to rant before because was trying not to scream at our it person on the phone…who did not make it easy

    “Have you tried logging in at *blank*”
    “Yes I’m at the centra authorizing hub login”
    “Did you try the password”
    “Yes it didn’t work…I just changed it today 5 minutes ago I know that’s the problem”
    “What did the site say”
    “…wrong password.”
    “Did you try your old password?”
    “Yes”
    “Did it work”
    “Yes it did…I just felt like cluttering your phone que for no reason”

    Last part was not said aloud

  160. says

    Please tell me that engaging my MIL in a conversation on the right to abortion, no matter how good my point is, will only open a door to a ton more crazy I don’t want to deal with. Remind me how it’s just going to stress me out and not change anybody’s mind because she is a profoundly stupid and unimaginative person who will never be able to do anything but parrot what her church has told her for over 70 years.

    Please tell me it’s okay to just not go there.

  161. carlie says

    Just got back from my annual “you’re getting old now so we have to keep tabs on you” bloodwork. I always celebrate by eating the most horribly anti-nutritious food I can find (it’s like an anti-Lent), so today it’s deep-fried beef chimichangas with cheese sauce. Mmm, cholesterol.

    I’ve seen a lot of arguments that passwords aren’t the right way to go about security at all, especially given the amount of user failure. I wish I could remember the suggestions of what would be better besides just biometrics. But there are people looking into it. My password memory technique is to send it to an email address that has no association with whatever the password is being used for. Usually it’s not even the password itself, but a series of hints as to what it is.

    Ing, definitely go for POA. Just make sure your grandma doesn’t breathe a word of it to Bad Uncle until after all of the paperwork is signed, so he can’t try to guilt her into making it him instead.

    I also had a similar experience with our IT just this week. I understand that most people call for stupid problems, and that it’s very likely that my problem is equally stupid, but I wish they would at least listen to me when I explain the problem.

    Me:”Feature X isn’t working. I’ve checked its settings on the computer and they’re ok, on the unit and they’re ok, and checked the plugs, and I just can’t see where the problem is.”

    Them:”Oh, that happens a lot. Usually it’s the settings on the computer. You need to check those settings.”

    Me:”I did. They’re fine.” (not said: that’s the first thing I said when I called.)

    Them:”Oh! Then it’s probably the switch on the unit.”

    Me:”Yes, I checked that too.” (grrrrr)

    Them:”Then you need to check the plugs.”

    ARGH

  162. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says

    I got in argument with IT once over my password. The rules said that it had to be a mix of uppers, lowers, numbers, letters, and punctuation. So I created a sentence – specifically a random factoid. I deliberately made the factoid WRONG. I set the password as something like “In 1901, Marie Curie discovered Radium.” This has uppers, lowers, numbers, letters, and punctuation. It is also untrue (she discovered it in 1894). IT got all pissy at me for picking an “easy to crack” password. I argued that a random-character guesser would have a much harder time of this than (say) MHin29u,6 (yes, I randomly keyboard smashed there) because there are more characters, including spaces and a human hacker (1) someone would have to know that my password was about Marie Curie and Radium, (2) would have to know what random date I picked as the (wrong) date of discovery, and (3) get the phrasing, punctuation, and capitalization correct before the account automatically locked.
    Oh, and it is fucking easy for me to remember, so I don’t have to write it down (or, if I really had to remind myself, I could do something like bookmark the Pfft page for radium with the note of “+6″).
    IT tried to force me to change it, I held out, and eventually they lost interest but told me that they’d be waiting to tell me that they had told me so when my account inevitably got hacked. It has yet to be hacked.

  163. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    More calm: do tech guys see or think that there’s a problem that if by forcing more complex pws they get more users having to write them down or do other risky things?

    Yes that is a big issue. In fact it’s pretty much the big issue that is a result of stricter passwords outside people forgetting them. And it’s also “policy” not to write them down.

    How enforceable is that? Not so much. But it’s a fine line we have to walk. And as I said a lot of the time these policies aren’t necessarily 100% driven by the IT department. Often they are driven by the bank or insurance audits.

    IT got all pissy at me for picking an “easy to crack” password.

    Yeah that’s a strange one because we have no visibility to people’s passwords on all but one of our systems. All passwords are hidden and encrypted. We can just reset them.

  164. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says

    Rev. BDC,

    IT got all pissy at me for picking an “easy to crack” password.

    Yeah that’s a strange one because we have no visibility to people’s passwords on all but one of our systems. All passwords are hidden and encrypted. We can just reset them.

    Oh, for some reason or another I had to log into something while the IT guy was watching me, so he saw me type and remarked on the length of the PW, so I explained it.

  165. dianne says

    Random question of the day with bonus mention of controversial topic: You may have heard the phrase “An armed society is a polite society” used to justify gun ownership (and occasionally to argue for mandatory gun ownership.) How do people who believe this adage explain road rage?

    Every person driving through the city streets is armed with a several thousand pounds of mass and ability to achieve velocities of hundreds of MPH. That’s plenty to kill people with. Yet drivers aren’t particularly polite. Indeed, they often get into spats, sometimes deadly ones. So, doesn’t that disprove the claim that people will be polite if they think their lives are on the line in an argument?

  166. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My problem isn’t with long words. After all, I’m used to writing things like 2-hydroxypropanoic acid or worse without hesitation. It’s putting in the uppercase, numbers, and symbols, without repeating them on every password, which also defeats the purpose (simple changes like o->0, a->@). So after a couple of non-”logical” changes, it takes me a few days to wrap my mind around the new password. Don’t need the piece of paper any more, until the next time we change passwords in a couple of months.

  167. says

    Beatrice:

    Why the hell do they even have prisoner jumpsuits in size that fits a 9-yeal-old?!

    …Gary Coleman…?
    …they’re just being prepared for all those unwanted kids that will be born under the new laws…?

    kristinc,
    Engaging your MIL in a conversation on the right to abortion, no matter how good your point is, will only open a door to a ton more crazy you don’t want to deal with. Remember, it’s just going to stress you out and not change anybody’s mind because she is a profoundly stupid and unimaginative person who will never be able to do anything but parrot what her church has told her for over 70 years.

    It’s okay to just not go there.

  168. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Oh, for some reason or another I had to log into something while the IT guy was watching me, so he saw me type and remarked on the length of the PW, so I explained it.

    Ahhhh. Yeah. Well if they are following the “rules” I don’t get on them for the ease of what it looks like.

    There’s always on xkcd for everything.

    I’ve actually used that before to help explain and help steer policy but the auditors said no go. And why should the MIS drive IT policy….

    And this one even if it is dilbert.

  169. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says

    Nerd, how do you feel about abbreviations, like say writing 2-mercaptoEtOH for 2-mercaptoethanol? The former would satisfy the upper/lower/number/letter/punctuation rule for a password and has 14 characters, which is not bad.
    I feel as you do about such things and generally I agree with the XKCD that SQB linked. My brain just doesn’t grok random strings of letters and numbers, but a short phrase is easy, especially if it a factoid that I know already.

  170. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd, how do you feel about abbreviations, like say writing 2-mercaptoEtOH for 2-mercaptoethanol? The former would satisfy the upper/lower/number/letter/punctuation rule for a password and has 14 characters, which is not bad.My problem is that 2-mercaptoEtOH is eminently easy for me, the symols are what drives me crazy. 2-mer#aptoEtOH has the problem of remembering both where they symbol is, and what symbol is it. After all, we’ve trained for years on how to spell correctly, and now we’re not. It just takes my brain a few entries to get a handle on it.

  171. Richard Austin says

    I’m really inclined towards thumbprint USB smart cards (I don’t know that those exist, but the tech can’t be that hard). Combine biometrics with a one-time-pad type security system.

  172. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says

    Nerd, why would you have to put a random symbol in the middle? If a computer is trying to guess your password, it would guess that he 5th character is # or c with equal probability.
    Why not just use the actual word (or invent a short phrase that incorporates it, like “2-mercaptoEtOH smells like ass”)?

  173. says

    I use a specific formula, which I won’t specifically reveal here, to create passwords. But it works more or less like this:
    I pick a song I know well that seems appropriate to the situation (for instance, if I was creating a special password for Pharyngula commenting, I might go with Octopus’ Garden or something). Let’s say, for instance, that I’ve decided “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” the 1970 song by Simon & Garfunkel, is appropriate. I take the first letter of the first eight or so words to the song in all caps, follow that with the year the song was released, and follow that (in lower case) with an obvious abbreviation for the artist.
    So in this case, the password might be: WYWFSWTA(70)s&g. It’s long enough, has upper and lower case, and some symbols. I can usually remember which song I found appropriate; if not, I can create a little key on paper that just gives a keyword from the song and maybe, if I think it necessary, a number for how old I was when the song was released (in this case, I would write “bridge (11).” The key would be useless to anyone without the formula.
    (Artists with ampersands in their names come in handy: Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Cannibal & The Headhunters.)
    It’s worked so far.

  174. says

    Good evening
    Went to a friend’s birthday party.
    Little one discovered that she loves his cat.
    I discovered that I am still absolutely allergic to them.
    Cat liked kid, cat let kid take the food out of the dish and feed him by hand. They also shared nachos: The cat would lick off the salt, kid would eat the rest…

    Remember that I wanted to write something else, forgot what it was.

  175. firstapproximation says

    You may have heard the phrase “An armed society is a polite society” used to justify gun ownership (and occasionally to argue for mandatory gun ownership.) How do people who believe this adage explain road rage?

    How do people who believe this adage explain Britain and Canada? Both countries have a reputation for being very polite, yet have less guns than the US. They also have a lower murder rate.

  176. cicely (Insert Clever Appellation Here) says

    kristinc, it is okay not to go there. 70 years of crazy is a heavy load to push uphill. Same thing for stoopid.
    -

    Ing, definitely go for POA. Just make sure your grandma doesn’t breathe a word of it to Bad Uncle until after all of the paperwork is signed, so he can’t try to guilt her into making it him instead.

    …and because you can never go wrong by keeping your enemy off-balance. If Team Evil Bastard is basing everything on the mistaken assumption that they should tailor their moves on the basis that it’s your grandma they have to beat, they may bring a spoon to a nuke fight, or at least go tilting at the wrong windmill.

    Scenario them rosily.

    And their little dog Toto, too.
    -

    How do people who believe this adage explain Britain and Canada?

    They don’t.

    Besides, nothing that happens in Foreign Parts is any indication of anything, anyway.

    ‘Cause of our Unique Specialness.
    -

  177. Nutmeg says

    firstapproximation:

    How do people who believe this adage explain Britain and Canada?

    On behalf of all Canadians, I apologize for failing to provide support for that hypothesis. We can’t help how polite we are, but we’re very sorry about it.

  178. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd, why would you have to put a random symbol in the middle?

    IT requirements here require a symbol. Our local IT guy apologizes for Corporates policies. I think the PW is stronger if the symbol is not at either end.

  179. TomeWyrm says

    Yeah, a lot of IT people have a script. You’d be shocked to know the number of time I didn’t follow said script because “duh the computer is plugged in, what do you think I am? A two year… … goo-goo-gaa-gaa I want my baba. The power cord was loose!” I fix computers on a regular basis, I’ve set up an administered small business networks. I didn’t check the ****ing power cord and that was the problem. So as annoying as it may be, try to be a good sport? You might not be an idiot, but easily 75% of calls an IT professional gets are fixed with that script. Which any 3 year old could probably follow. Yes retail customer facing IT is frustrating, and I’m ranting a little. Sorry.

    Unfortunately a lot of developers or corporate policies set LIMITS on passwords, and additionally call them PASSWORDS. If you find a system that allows you to do so, use a pass PHRASE, preferably more than 30 characters in length. It’s amazingly easy to stick symbols into a phrase (space is a symbol, as are all punctuation marks.) That parenthetical statement had 12 including the opening and closing parenthesis. The problems arise from highly outdated limits, and information. People are used to o9fKw864L7u5FvWEnZ when Dell 1979 loft sold Vicky goggle! is a much more secure passphrase, and EASIER TO REMEMBER!

    Oh and that old saw about writing down your passwords? Almost complete bullshit. Assuming you’re not sticking them on a sticky note on your monitor, that is. Place them with all your other valuable confidential data… like say with your social security card, credit card, driver’s license, and such. Sure it’s less secure than memorizing it. But the only people that can take advantage of that security flaw will have already done a lot more damage. You won’t lose it, and you’ll protect it fairly well.

    ——————————

    kristinc
    I would probably do it, but I’m a stubborn idiot. Talking to your mother in law about abortion will be a losing battle where you’re talking to a brick wall. Most people don’t find that particularly fun (I do, but like I said: I’m a stubborn idiot)

    ——————————

    We Are Ing
    The worst bit about realistic planet formation? Finding all the formulas… I really should cram this into an html file so it’s all in one place, I can zip it up to give to other people, and I don’t have to go through 25 Google searches for each step.

    Right now I found the basics of atmospheric gas retention, which requires the escape velocity and surface temperature. Times like this make me wish I’d taken college science classes.

  180. Tualha says

    Reminds me of a funny story. Apparently when I was just a widdle bitty Tualha, I swallowed a whole lot of my great-aunt’s nitroglycerine pills. Much panic when my parents discovered this. They called up another relative who was a doctor and asked him what they should do, and were quite startled when he started laughing his head off. He explained that all is does is open up your arteries, and mine were already wide open because I was about two, so no problem, except that Auntie had to go buy some more.

  181. firstapproximation says

    Random physics query: You know the old quantum mechanics dilemma of many dimensions versus many worlds?

    No. Those are completely separate questions, orthogonal to each other.

    Correct. And speaking of the subject…..

    I expect bad quantum mechanics from religionists, but from a physicist! Come on, Brian Cox.

    Well, I guess everyone makes mistakes, and much more so when it comes to something as unintuitive as quantum mechanics.

  182. Brownian says

    Reminds me of a funny story. Apparently when I was just a widdle bitty Tualha, I swallowed a whole lot of my great-aunt’s nitroglycerine pills. Much panic when my parents discovered this. They called up another relative who was a doctor and asked him what they should do, and were quite startled when he started laughing his head off. He explained that all is does is open up your arteries, and mine were already wide open because I was about two, so no problem, except that Auntie had to go buy some more.

    You were extremely lucky. That doctor may not have thought it was a big deal, but William Hanna and Joseph Barbera know better.

  183. David Marjanović says

    I don’t like the current color scheme much. In particular, PZ, your comments are hardly marked as such anymore, and they’ve become more difficult to read because of the font color.

    I keep no less that 25 passwords in my head at any time and I usually can remember the multiple user’s passwords

    Your memory is unusually good, then.

    For me, the problem is to remember which password I used where. At sites I haven’t used in a long time, I often have to try several. When I’m supposed to review a paper, I almost always have to ask for a new password.

    Cat liked kid, cat let kid take the food out of the dish and feed him by hand. They also shared nachos: The cat would lick off the salt, kid would eat the rest…

    :-}

    *cute overload*

  184. TomeWyrm says

    As for the symbol in the middle thing, it’s because so many people, when faced with minimum requirements do “Bumblebee1*” or “3@Bumblebee” It’s less entropy (less random). And password security experts assume the attacker is both super humanly smart and desires to make the least effort possible. Which means they’ve done a statistical analysis on all the passwords they have access to, will try the ones in their list (I have a password cracking list that is 20 GIGABYTES in size, with nothing but line after line of passwords) before starting in on the brute force. Which is why you should never use a dictionary word, lyrics from a song, or common substitutions. D1c7!0|/|4Ry might seem secure, but it’s just dictionary with a simple leet substitution. Most password crackers could get that in under ten minutes with an old computer in an offline attack (few seconds with a modern GPU cracking rig).

    ——————————

    For those of you saying “something other than passwords” or “other than JUST passwords” what you are looking for is either a different factor of authentication, or multi-factor identification. The three common factors are “something you know”, “something you have”, and “something you are”.
    ·For instance, a physical key is a form of authentication to bypass a lock. It belongs to “something you have” as do things like keyfobs and RFID chips.
    ·Something you are is pretty much limited to biometrics, but there are more than just fingerprints. Voiceprints, DNA (if you had months to wait), facial recognition, ear/foot prints, tongue prints, iris identification, all biometric (and probably not even close to the limit).
    ·Something you know is the classic PIN and password, or could be insider knowledge, personal trivia, etc.

    I do think that multifactor authentication is the way of the future, but until then the limitations set on passwords are arbitrary and need to change. Minimums are good, they prevent most of the lists from working, making the attacker resort to brute force and barely narrowing the search space. Limits are very VERY bad because they narrow the search space IMMENSELY. If they know that you can only have a 10 character password, they might not give up until they try all of them. That only takes a couple of months with current rigs if you haven’t used a symbol. Now a 40 number password? (Worst possible character set) That will take centuries, even if you’re taking into account Moore’s Law (processors get twice as powerful every 18 months). Make that a 40 character sentence and the only thing you’re going to have to worry about is typos… but because it’s a fairly normal sentence those are generally much lower. It’s not like you have to type in your password at 50wpm!
    ——————————
    Well… my appreciation for Firefox just went up about a gajillion notches. I BSOD’d (my computer crashed, HARD) and I was crying because I really didn’t want to have to re-write even part of this post. I booted back up and IT WAS STILL HERE! Yay:-)!
    I know what caused it, and I know how to fix it… Iron Portable hates my RAM sometimes for no apparent reason. Oh well.

  185. Esteleth, Ph.D. of Mischief, Mayhem and Hilarity says

    The cat would lick off the salt, kid would eat the rest…

    This reminds me of something I am said to have done as a kid. I would have been maybe 5 and we were at a restaurant that put chips and salsa on the table. I apparently took a chip, dipped it in salsa, licked the salsa off, then dipped it again. Repeat until the chip was soggy.

    Chalk me up as another person who doesn’t care for the new color scheme.

  186. TomeWyrm says

    I’ve got dark and light grey boxes… isn’t that fairly standard? Do other people still have yellow and pink, or something?

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

    PZ, just no. The old color scheme worked just fine.

  188. John Morales says

    So long as I can easily read the text, I care not what colours there are.

    I quite like the comment borders I’m seeing right now, though — they provide a nice delineation.

    Brownian @237, when I was younger, I used to imagine that Hanna-Barbera was some woman producer.

  189. says

    Umm, Nerd, the “-” in “2-mercaptoEtOH” is a symbol already. You don’t need to have two, do you?

    My work currently requires us to change passwords every 6 weeks, which is annoying. There’s a length requirement but no specific content – “billthecat” worked once, to my surprise. The first year I was there, I kept the same password all year but prefixed it. Apr-pa55w0rd etc. (Not actually pa55w0rd) More recently I’ve been using events, which since it’s 6 weeks turnover I find memorable in the short term. For example last Oct it was MyBonnie50! for my birthday and new bike. For the first couple of days I have a cryptic hint on a postit in my drawer.

  190. KG says

    “Springsteen: US should be ‘more like Sweden’”

    Except for the restaurants. I’m on a work trip in Umeå, and just paid 483 krona (about $73) for a mediocre meal, with no alcohol. Plus another 25 krona to leave my coat in the cloakroom.

  191. says

    The SF planet-building talk here, plus some random bits of web flotsam I ran across today have reminded me of a question I first wondered about when I read Why Evolution Is True.

    I seem to recall (unfortunately I can’t go look it up; that’s one of the downsides to audiobooks) that the book mentions there are structural evolutionary reasons why organisms that reproduce sexually (almost?) universally come in 2 sexes rather than 3 (or more). That got me wondering if there are boundaries to the shapes and kinds of biology that evolution can produce. That is, are there parts of the biological “design space” that are simply not within the “solution set” of evolution?

    Thus, assuming evolution is the literally universal basis for complex biological systems, are there forms (or categories) of alien life we shouldn’t expect to find on any planet, no matter how different its environment from Earth’s. Are Moties, or Pierson’s Puppeteers, or Jotoki even possible? And is there any place one could go to find guidelines for imagining evolutionarily plausible fictional aliens?

  192. says

    Thanks cicely. The issue is the bullshit she talked at dinner almost a week ago and which I didn’t address in the moment as I now wish I had done because it was truly a giant load of stupid woman-hate. So if I brought it up, it would be me bringing up the subject after a week, which I am aware is basically super masochistic.

    But DAMN.

    I have to remember to discuss it with both kids, though, so they can see that her stupid woman-hate is easily dismantleable.

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

    Like the borders very much. But would rather have shades of grey (fairly pale, ultra-pale, darker for squidly overlord) on a white ground. Actually the current shades of the individual comments aren’t bad; it’s just the page background which is subtly annoying. But maybe it’s partly just that it’s Not What We Had In The Good Old Days Before These Damn Crocoducks Laid Their Eggs All Over The Lawn?

  194. Matt Penfold says

    I seem to recall (unfortunately I can’t go look it up; that’s one of the downsides to audiobooks) that the book mentions there are structural evolutionary reasons why organisms that reproduce sexually (almost?) universally come in 2 sexes rather than 3 (or more). That got me wondering if there are boundaries to the shapes and kinds of biology that evolution can produce. That is, are there parts of the biological “design space” that are simply not within the “solution set” of evolution?

    If I recall it was John Maynard Smith who showed that more than two sexes was evolutionary unstable.

    I recall reading a book, but I cannot for the life of me remember who wrote it, that looked at constraints mathematics puts on evolution. One example I recall is the relationship between surface area and volume of solids, which has obvious consequences for how large an organism can grow.

  195. Therrin says

    While we’re on the subject, the “You can skip to the end and leave a response” line doesn’t actually contain a link to the end (unless I’m somehow blocking it).

  196. Brownian says

    While we’re on the subject, the “You can skip to the end and leave a response” line doesn’t actually contain a link to the end (unless I’m somehow blocking it).

    I think that just means PZ is fine with people skipping and not reading the whole thread. ‘Pinging’ is totally uncool, though.

  197. carlie says

    Hugs, grumps. Your general doctor might be perfectly willing to give you some antidepressants or antianxiety meds on a short-term basis while you weather the worst of the initial hit, without going to a therapist.

    I don’t like the new color scheme. I hate to be a “change is bad” person, but it’s too uniform now; not enough contrast for my eyes. And I really liked PZ’s comments standing way out so even if I’m scrolling fast I see them.

  198. carlie says

    If multiple colors are desired, I like the way Television Without Pity’s forums are set up. It’s a similar color scheme to the current one, but there are white gutters between the comments to set them off from each other more.

  199. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Umm, Nerd, the “-” in “2-mercaptoEtOH” is a symbol already. You don’t need to have two, do you?

    *Homer Simpson “DOH!” moment*
    Actually, anything reasonable guessable shouldn’t be used according to our instructions. So I followed those instructions. I am familiar with the basis for the passwords, but the changes for the special characters are what trips my memory up until usage imprints itself.

  200. says

    Our PW forbids the use of space

    ———————–

    PZ, do you feel like you’re competing with Facebook? Because there’s no reason to make your interface worse than it was

  201. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    @cm,

    “Two sugar pills are better at getting rid of gastric ulcers than one sugar pill a day.”

    In one of his talks he also mentioned that an inert injection was better than two sugar pills… he really explained both the Placebo and Nacebo (?sp?) effects very well.

    I have actually tried homeopathy and it did work. Of course, it worked in exactly the way that Ben Goldacre describes and it doesn’t even matter that you don’t believe in it :D

    Mind you, I wouldn’t try it for anything serious and I definitely wanted and had SSRIs, not some placebo BS.

  202. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Love the borders and contrast. Don’t personally mind the background color (which at the time of me posting this appeared to be a very very light blue) because it’s subtle to my eyes. Haaaaaaate the aqua at the top. Hate it.

    *high fives to kristinc* YAY for good therapists! And yeah, you have no obligation to fix all the wrong in the world.

    *hugs to Grumps* I’m sorry to hear that your mother passed away :( I hope you can find some real help soon.

    *hugs to Ing* I’m glad other people had constructive suggestions, because I’ve got nothing. What you’re dealing with sounds simultaneously infuriating and really really sad. I’m sorry.

    One of my favorite dogs from work died today. He was hit by a car. He was a sweet, happy dog, with tons of energy and a whole lot of bulk behind it. He was young. I’m sad that he died.

    Diary of a Mom posted a beautiful tearjerker today.

    I’m doing a little better than I was the other night. Thanks to everyone for the support. Unfortunately I’m still really lethargic and “off,” but it’s less bad.

  203. John Morales says

    Ing,

    Our PW forbids the use of space

    So do identifiers in many computer languages (because spaces are used as delimiters) — so underscores are used instead.

  204. John Morales says

    BTW

    Because there’s no reason to make your interface worse than it was

    The interface is identical, only the chrome has changed.

  205. Grumps says

    @ Cassandra and carlie

    Hugs gratefully received. Really. Thanks. They’re the best I’ve had… other than the platitudes of an ex-wife who “understands”..
    I guess this is the downside of being an introverted loner.

  206. chigau (違う) says

    If I tried really, really hard to care, I might be able to work myself up to hating everything.
    Except Terry Pratchett.
    and senbei.

  207. says

    Another one for the scrapbook:

    Suspect sought after 13-year-old girl sexually assaulted in elevator

    The Canadian Press

    Date: Thursday Feb. 23, 2012 2:03 PM ET

    Police are searching for a suspect after allegations a 13-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in an elevator in Toronto’s north end.

    Investigators describe the man as white, 20 to 25 years old, with thick, brown hair, bushy eyebrows and a moustache.

    He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a black coat with a hood, dark blue gloves with red stripes and grey canvas shoes.

    The alleged assault happened Wednesday night in the elevator of an apartment building.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

  208. says

    I’m very confused by all the talk about changed colour schemes – looks just the same as always to me.

    ((hugs)) to those going through bad times. No advice to offer, I’m afraid, as I’m off to the GP next week to ask to go back on my antidepressants.

    Also I have a dressing and pressure bandage on my leg after finding a large leech breakfasting on my blood this morning. The bite site wouldn’t stop bleeding. Vile things. (yes, I know hirudin is a useful drug. I just prefer to consent to its administration.)

    Here’s something for our squidly overlord:

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/80055440/glass-octopus-sculpture-paperweight

  209. ChasCPeterson says

    the relationship between surface area and volume of solids, which has obvious consequences for how large an organism can grow.

    Ah. Surface-area-to-volume ratio is of paramount important in myriad biological phenomena. It explains why cells are small, the reason for circulatory and respiratory systems (and their diverse details), the constraints on powered flight, the morphology of intestinal linings and kidney tubules, the scaling of metabolic rates to body sizes, and ever so much more.
    So the largest (in volume and mass) organisms are probably fungi, with their structural design of gazillions of tiny threads, with huge SA/V despite (and because of) the huge V. etc.

  210. says

    “So as annoying as it may be, try to be a good sport? ”

    No.

    e.g I wrote exactly the steps I took, you (nonspecific) didn’t read what I wrote. The next motherfucking time a fucking IT human doesn’t read what I wrote in email I will write an app to strangle them thru the USB 3 port.

  211. changeable moniker says

    “looks just the same as always to me.”

    Me too, but with a hint of aqua on the background.

    “gazillions of tiny threads”

    Hyphae?

    (Yeah, I used to know a mycologist.)

  212. carlie says

    But to keep complaining, the shadow effect behind the post titles makes it look like I’m seeing double. I know SB had that too, and I had the same issue there.

    But yay Gumby’s back!

  213. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I’m nerding out watching Rush – Time Machine.

    Trying not to consume too much because of Brewvival tomorrow.

    Not succeeding.

  214. says

    Brownian @237 –

    “You were extremely lucky. That doctor may not have thought it was a big deal, but William Hanna and Joseph Barbera know better.”

    I literally spewed coffee over my screen. Damn you, Brownian! (that doesn’t mean I forfeit my place in line, does it?)

  215. Pteryxx says

    ·Something you are is pretty much limited to biometrics, but there are more than just fingerprints. Voiceprints, DNA (if you had months to wait), facial recognition, ear/foot prints, tongue prints, iris identification, all biometric (and probably not even close to the limit).

    not necessarily limited to BIOmetrics. There’s also a person’s characteristic timing of keypresses. Back in Ian Fleming’s day the “fist” of a Morse code broadcaster could verify identity.

  216. picool says

    I am in a good mood this evening. Two nice things happened today. The first occurred when I was eating a ham and cheese omelet for breakfast, remembered that it is Lent and realized I did not have to care. In many ways, atheism is so much easier than the alternative. I don’t have any arbitrary dietary restrictions. I don’t have to engage in elaborate mental gymnastics to use birth control. I can treat everyone according to the dictates of my own conscience without worrying whether I am risking my immortal soul by associating with the undeserving.

    The second:
    In my (increasingly less brief) hiatus from formal education, I’ve been looking into some of the areas that I neglected in my previous schooling. Mostly the arts, specifically music. No one told me classical music was all kinds of awesome! I find I’m mostly drawn to stuff from ~1870 forward. I have next to zero experience, so I’m mostly relying on the CD inserts as a jumping off point for more research. There is a whole universe of stuff I didn’t know, I will never run out of things to find out about, and that is the second nice thing.
    Myaskovsky: String Quartet #13 in A Minor, Op. 86 – II Presto fantastico http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEqFZcgAtlM

  217. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    The colour experiments seem to be over (and thank whatever you hold dear that you didn’t see comment 143 in it’s glorious vileness).

    @carlie,

    But yay Gumby’s back!

    Where’s Gumby?

  218. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    Yikes… an aberrant apostrophe attempting to precipitate a catastrophe.

    I hang my head in shame and say “It’s 03:30 and I guess it’s time for bed” or at least, time for another beer!

  219. Tualha says

    We Are Ing – if a planet were locked that way, I don’t think it would have a weather system. All the atmosphere would be frozen out on the night side, wouldn’t it? Suppose it starts out like Earth, atmosphere evenly distributed. Night side gets very cold, air freezes out, pressure drops, air moves over from day side, repeat until no more air, or very very little. Helium would be liquid, still mostly on the night side.

    With a wobble, I think it would just end up frozen on the part that’s always in the shade.

    About the password, perhaps use a phrase, replace spaces with underscore, and always use the same digit/symbol at the end to satisfy the 4-character-class rule.

  220. ibyea says

    @tualha
    Would it be so cold as to actually freeze oxygen and nitrogen? Because I am thinking that in such a planet, there would be ginourmous winds that would prevent those gases from freezing. I may be wrong, though.

  221. ibyea says

    I would like to expand on what I said previously. What I mean is that those winds would carry the warm air from the other side to the cool side. While it wouldn’t be enough to defrost water, I am thinking whether at least it would be warm enough to let nitrogen or CO2 to exist as gas.

  222. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    PZ: Dear Christ/FSM/Tomatoes pleaseget rid of the blue background. Please. Please.

    Homeland Security Warns Vermont Same-Sex Couple: You’re Not Legally Married

    Blood boiling. Beyond Hulk Smash angry.

    I shall now invite those women to supper at my house.

  223. Owlmirror says

    Gumby?

    No can has class="creationist". No can has font face="Comic Sans MS". No can has style="font-family:Comic Sans MS".

    *sadeyes*

  224. says

    Bring back the white background! These cloying blues are making me think it’s 1998.

    PZ: Dear Christ/FSM/Tomatoes pleaseget rid of the blue background. Please. Please.

    Seconded, thirded, fourthed, nthed. That blue is beyond awful.

  225. says

    I have comic sans. Go to the Pharyngula Wiki and search Greasemonkey, there’s a script for it. I’d link, except links to the Pharyngula wiki go into moderation, don’t know why.

  226. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Apparently Sherlock gets super misogynistic in the third episode. Darn. So, I’ve just finished Season 3 BBC version of Being Human, now I’m watching Sherlock (but am disappointed and don’t know if I want to continue), and a while ago finished Breaking Bad and the first season of The Walking Dead. I’m taking a break from Whedon right now, since I have so many lines from his various series memorized that they’re coming out as scripts in class and stuff. Suggestions for other good/interesting shows to watch while I translate? I prefer shows that have been completed, because it’s annoying to get to the end of a season and find out that while the show’s not over, there aren’t any more on Netflix. My friend and I are supposed to be watching Dr. Who, but it keeps not happening, but I can’t watch it without him now, so that one won’t work.

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

    Off to Brighton today, to a gig. In a church. Which “works for the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the life of the Anglican Communion.” On Dyke Road.

    Invited by the singer and her girlfriend – should be a lot of fun!

  228. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Caine, thanks! That one I’ve watched too – well, a couple seasons anyway. I started to get irritated with some stuff and then got in a huff at the writers for their comments on Sheldon’s Asperger’s-or-not, but I do like the show and am glad to be reminded to check it out again. (I am personally of the opinion that my voice when recorded sounds either like a five-year-old’s or like Amy Farrah Fowler’s. I heart Amy Farrah Fowler, though, so I’ve made my peace with that.)

    (And a correction: Apparently Sherlock‘s problematic episode is actually the fourth episode of the series, the first episode of season 2. Which is lovely, because that’s not on Netflix yet so I can just watch the whole first season and not worry about it. Yaaay.)

  229. says

    Good morning

    Grumps
    I’m sorry to hear about your mum
    (((hugs)))
    Hmm, I don’t know the procedure in the UK, but around here antidepresiva were among the first things they offered my mum (not that she’d accept anything since she doesn’t have problem)

    +++
    Ah,yes.
    The kids fun it a lot of fun to first cut the rocking horse’s hair nd then their own.
    Neither of us found it a lot of fun when I then had to cut their hair into something that didn’t look like “attack of the rabid squirrel”.

  230. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    I found Outcasts slow, tedious and disappointing. I have no idea if the BBC are going to screen a second series, but I would think lomg and hard before watching it. I only stuck with the first series because it looked like there was going to be an interesting resistance to the establishment of a theocracy, but it was just too dull.

    Which episode of Sherlock is being referred to as mysogynistic? I don’t remember any being unwatchably bad, and overt mysogeny would have made me cringe, so it may have been too subtle for my privileged position (sometimes these things pass me by so I need a heads up, to my shame).

  231. Moggie says

    There is sun today! It’s looking almost like spring! And, inevitably, this has triggered my “clean all the things!!1!” mode, the tradition of spring cleaning apparently being etched into my brain at some subconscious level. The kitchen is sparkling. But, dammit, I don’t have time for this! I have other things which need doing today, non-cleaning things which can’t easily wait. I just need to finish cleaning the cupboards first…

  232. McCthulhu, now with Techroline and Retsyn says

    @Moggie: Well, at least your cleaning priorities were sensible. Make the area where you put stuff in your mouth spotless first. Can’t beat that logic. I would do same but the rellies just grease it all up again so the best I can do is damage control.

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

    CC:

    Suggestions for other good/interesting shows to watch while I translate?

    Totally reminds me that Community is coming back in March!!! It’s seriously one on the funniest shows on network teevee right now.

    Hm, what else to watch? Both True Blood and Boardwalk Empire are available through Netflix (not streaming, though). But, they haven’t finished their runs yet (to be honest, I’m not sure how much longer True Blood can last. It’s gotten… unwieldy the past couple of seasons).

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

    Moggie:

    And, inevitably, this has triggered my “clean all the things!!1!” mode, the tradition of spring cleaning apparently being etched into my brain at some subconscious level.

    You are welcome to work out your frustrations at my house any time. ;)

    My kitchen especially needs it– Mr Darkheart and I have worked out a system where if one person makes the meal, the other cleans up after. Only Mr Darkheart appears to be allergic to wiping down the counters, leaving the mess there until the next time I cook. I was going to make a cake this morning*, but I took one look at the mess he left and said “fuck it”.

    It snowed here last night. Not enough for full ground cover, but a little bit. *head shake* It’s been a weird, weird winter.

    *Italian-style semolina breakfast cake!

  235. Moggie says

    Audley:

    Only Mr Darkheart appears to be allergic to wiping down the counters, leaving the mess there until the next time I cook.

    Spike his food with E. coli. He’ll quickly get the message about keeping the preparation area clean.

    My kitchen counter has been cleaner since I became a bit of a coffee geek. Grinding beans and using my espresso machine inevitably makes some mess, so I always wipe down afterwards. I suppose the caffeine buzz helps.

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

    Moggie:

    Spike his food with E. coli. He’ll quickly get the message about keeping the preparation area clean.

    That’s pretty evil. :D

  237. carlie says

    Totally reminds me that Community is coming back in March!!!

    And the guy who played Inspector Spacetime is running a Kickstarter campaign to do actual Inspector Spacetime webisodes!!! :)

    We got about 6 inches of heavy nor’easter snow here last night. I wouldn’t have cared except today I had to take the kids to play practice and then come into work, which of course is not plowed at all. Grr.

  238. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    @McCthulhu, now with Techroline and Retsyn #π

    So, what is he going to do when an atheist is murdered for a similar transgression?

    Ludicrous, I am glad I live in the UK.

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

    carlie:

    And the guy who played Inspector Spacetime is running a Kickstarter campaign to do actual Inspector Spacetime webisodes!!! :)

    Wut.

    I don’t watch Doctor Who, but I would watch the shit out of Inspector Spacetime. XD

    How did you guys end up with so much snow when the rest of the state got nothin’?

  240. McCthulhu, now with Techroline and Retsyn says

    That’s pretty evil. :D – Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius

    —-

    I’ll say! I spent a week utterly immobile in bed and had to have someone feed me and hold my head up to drink because of those little e.BASTARDcoli. I later found out I should have been hospitalized, but at the time I wasn’t aware there was anything so horrible on the planet.

  241. McCthulhu, now with Techroline and Retsyn says

    ‘@McCthulhu, now with Techroline and Retsyn #π’

    Serendipitydawg, thanks for the piece of pi
    ;)

    (and apologies for using a smiley on TeT)

  242. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    So there is a sensible LibDem:

    Church ‘does not own marriage’

    Equalities minister Lynne Featherstone said the government was entitled to introduce same-sex marriages as a “change for the better”.

    Ms Featherstone’s comments come as ministers prepare to launch a public consultation on legalising gay marriage next month.

    1003 comments, no great surprise! There are a goodly number of positive comments though, this isn’t the Daily Telegraph.

  243. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    McCthulhu, you are most welcome!

    (and apologies for using a smiley on TeT)

    I use them all the time, no-one has nailed me to anything… yet.

  244. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Dr Audley

    *Italian-style semolina breakfast cake!

    Recipe!

    Today’s cooking: self made tagliatelle with mushrooms and cherry tomatoes (OMFG, so cheap and tasty… I love my market). Batch of yogurt about to go into the fridge. Wholewheat sourdough loaf about to go into the oven… omnomnom.

  245. Psych-Oh says

    Carly – Didn’t one of your kids have the sinus infection that lasted forever? My daughter is dealing with this. We are on the 3rd antibiotic and I am getting frustrated. Plus, she’ll feel better and then sink back into feeling like crap.

    I really want to make homemade pasta. Maybe that’s an idea for today.

  246. carlie says

    Psych-Oh – yeah, and I really feel for you. There’s just almost nothing that can be done short of finding the right antibiotic, and it really sucks. Have they cultured it yet to test what antibiotics it’s resistant to? They ought to by now (push for it if you can). That ought to eliminate trying another that might not work. We didn’t have to do that for the sinus infection, but the same kid once had an ear infection that the doctor finally did a resistance test on and the damned thing came back impervious to something like four major classes of antibiotics. Finally cleared it up with one that’s usually only used for kidney infections (!) (this was many years ago, so my memory is a bit fuzzy on the details)

    Audley – I don’t know, and it’s snowing again!

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

    theophontes:

    Recipe!

    As you wish. :)

    The original recipe calls for farina, but I checked a couple of supermarkets and couldn’t find any*, so I’m subbing semolina and hoping it turns out okay.

    *I haven’t had the time to go to any Italian specialty shops this week and I woke up with a brutal cold this morning, so I’m not going out today.

    Breakfast and Dessert Farina Cake
    4 cups whole milk
    1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) sugar
    8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
    1 cup farina
    16 ounces (2 cups) whole-milk ricotta cheese
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    6 large eggs, lightly beaten
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1) Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°. Grease 13×9 inch baking pan.

    2) Bring milk, sugar, and butter to simmer in large saucepan and cook, stirring often, until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in farina until smooth. Off heat, stir in ricotta and vanilla. Let mixture cool slightly, then stir in beaten eggs until combined.

    3) Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle top with cinnamon and bake until toothpick in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, then serve warm.

    (Little known fact about me: I will make any cake that calls for ricotta. Mmmmmmm, ricotta.)

  248. says

    Glad to see the abject pastel colors gone from the site. That shit always reminds me of homes for the aged.

    In other news, I think Utah legislators have thrown another stone into the sack they’re using to drown public education. I predict that their latest merit pay plan for teachers is going to have unintended consequences.

    The Senate Education Committee passed a substitute version of SB67, which would gradually do away with the current system of teacher raises based on experience and educational attainment. Teachers would instead receive raises based 60 percent on student learning gains and 40 percent on meeting effectiveness standards as measured by principal evaluations, peer evaluations, parent input and/or student input.

    The new pay system would be phased in over six years, starting in the 2014-15 school year. The percentage of raises teachers could earn based on the old system would continue to decrease until their raises were based entirely on performance by 2019-20.

    The bill also would prohibit teachers who earn low ratings from receiving raises and mandate that teachers who earn the highest ratings get larger raises….

    Link.

    There is some research we can look to in order to see if such a plan would work:

    A recent three-year study on performance pay for teachers, conducted by the National Center of Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, found that a bonus-pay system in metro-Nashville schools had no impact on student achievement. And an evaluation of a pilot performance pay program in Utah, performed by the Utah Education Policy Center at the University of Utah last year, found that paying teachers extra for performance spurred some to change the way they teach, but overall did not boost student scores on state achievement tests more than would otherwise be expected.

    One wag suggested that we institute performance pay for administrators instead.

    Another effect of performance pay rules is that students who are not doing well are shuttled here and there. Teachers and principals with more political power are encouraged by economic necessity to force those with less political power to take on students who don’t test well.

    And, as is usual, legislators are passing education bills without consulting teachers.

    Maybe we should let teachers determine the pay of legislators. The politicians receive minimum wage to start with, and only get raises if statistics show that their actions have had a positive effect on the economy, on education, on healthcare, etc.

  249. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Ms Daisy Cutter

    Homeland Security Warns Vermont Same-Sex Couple: You’re Not Legally Married

    Aack. Watching that makes one quite ill. It is so small minded and pointless. Perhaps the goddist bigots are just having a final lashing out before DOMA is universally overturned.

    Ruling in Calif. Sets up Battle Over Federal Defense of Marriage Act

    When Hitler was trapped in his bunker, he issued his last Führerbefehlen that (in spite of having essentially lost the war already) gave the orders to force the troops to fight to the death and destroy all German industrial infrastructure. In a fit of mean spiritedness he wanted to drag his country into the gutter. Fortunately his top military, and even Albert Speer, saw the writing on the wall and turned against these orders.

    The two comments I make above are not related. That would just be gratuitous godwinning.

  250. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Dr Audley

    Breakfast and Dessert Farina Cake

    Wow, that looks delicious. I am going to try this soon. (Sounds very rich though, I shall have to ration myself.)

  251. Pteryxx says

    The bill also would prohibit teachers who earn low ratings from receiving raises and mandate that teachers who earn the highest ratings get larger raises….

    while rated 40% by principals, parents, students and peers. Yeah, that’ll work REALLY well for anyone trying to teach actual thinking skills, real-world topics, or challenging material in UTAH. Why trouble to fire a noncompliant teacher when they can be ground down en masse with the threat of frozen salaries?

  252. says

    An update on the never ending saga of fundamentalist mormons (FLDS) ending up in Texas jails:

    A Texas appeals court has upheld the child sexual assault conviction of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints member Lehi Barlow Jeffs.

    In its opinion published Friday, the 3rd District Texas Court of Appeals in Austin ruled that the conviction of Jeffs, who lived on the Yearning For Zion Ranch near Eldorado, Texas, was legal and his plea of no contest to the charge should stand. Jeff is serving an eight-year prison sentence in accordance with the plea bargain he struck with prosecutors.

    Authorities alleged Jeffs was already married when he entered into a “spiritual” marriage with a 16-year-old in October 2005 at the ranch. Jeffs sexually assaulted the girl in September 2006 and she later gave birth to a daughter in 2007….

    Yes, Lehi Barlow Jeffs is a relative of Warren Jeffs, the prophet who was jailed for having sex with 12 year old and 15 year old girls … and tape recording it.

    One mistake these FLDS guys made was moving their twisted dream kingdom to Texas. They had their share of troubles when they were headquartered in the twin towns of Hilldale and Colorado City on the Utah/Arizona border, but Utah and Arizona law enforcement was lax enough that the patriarchs in the polygamist colony got away with all manner of abuse. A raid on the Yearning for Zion ranch in Texas led to multiple prosecutions and jail time.

    There are still more than 10,000 polygamists scattered throughout the west, ranging from Mexico to Canada, but those colonies are now bleeding, with former believers leaving in such numbers that they are straining the resources set up to counsel them.
    Link to story in Salt Lake Tribune.

    Link to one of the organizations helping people who have left polygamist colonies:
    http://holdingouthelp.org/

    There’s a video featuring interviews with escapees at the link above.

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

    theophontes:

    Wow, that looks delicious. I am going to try this soon. (Sounds very rich though, I shall have to ration myself.)

    I know! I can’t wait to try it– if I’m feeling better later, I’ll give it a shot.

    I forgot to mention that the recipe makes 15 servings.

  254. Sili says

    An update on the never ending saga of fundamentalist mormons (FLDS) ending up in Texas jails:

    I can’t wait to hear Santorum, Gingrich, Romney, the Human Turtle and Tangerine Man rail against the rampant religious oppression in Texas.

  255. says

    while rated 40% by principals, parents, students and peers. Yeah, that’ll work REALLY well for anyone trying to teach actual thinking skills, real-world topics, or challenging material in UTAH. Why trouble to fire a noncompliant teacher when they can be ground down en masse with the threat of frozen salaries?

    Good point. Conservative, mostly mormon parents, who take their children out of classes that teach sex ed or evolution are already a problem in Utah. Do we want these parents rating teachers? I thought public schooling was supposed to be an equalizer of sorts for all students, including those from less-than-ideal home environments.

    The legislators want to control school curriculums as well. They’ll encourage teachers to teach watered down crap for money.

    Here are a couple of comments on the Salt Lake Tribune article — looks like these were written by teachers:

    How about we just have a student ejection system right before testing? Then, I can just kick out the 20% who I know don’t perform up to par. We can send them home as “unteachable”.

    I’ll just scare away all of my special ed students such that they pull them out and put them in alternative classes vs. my regular class. No more Mr. Nice Guy with your accommodations. I’m going to put the screws to all the kids on 504s and IEPs. To the letter and nothing more. Between your low IQ kid and my family, I pick my family every time. This bill just makes me have to choose.

    Let’s not forget that the bill also does away with paying teachers more for earning that advanced degree. Unless you teach at a charter school, of course – charters appear to be exempt from the evaluation (and repercussions of evaluation) portion of this bill.

    And it was crafted for that purpose: to bolster charter schools at the expense of public.

    …all these bills are an attempt to channel our taxmoney into private industry profit.
    Nothing more nothing less

    I see the same thing happening in Idaho. There’s a lot of money to be made in education if private businesses can wrest taxpayer money away from public institutions and put it into private institutions. Where they fail to take funds away from public education, they just pass bills that public schools have to buy computers from such-and-such enterprise, and/or that public schools have to collaborate with purveyors of online courses.

  256. says

    Another teacher speaks out on the new legislation in Utah:

    I am a teacher and my kids score at the top of the district every year.

    I hate this bill. It does nothing but demoralize me and makes me want to quit.

    [If the bill is enforced] Teachers are not ever going to be paid on merit. They will be paid on how well they brown nose the principal, how much they kiss up to parents, and how many free As they give to kids.

    In the meantime, there’s a plethora of comments supporting Utah’s new merit-pay bill, and they all run along the lines of “Good teachers will like this program, bad teachers will hate it.”

    I’m too depressed by the kick-the-teachers comments to reproduce them here.

  257. Owlmirror says

    I seem to recall that “farina” is called different things. The Pfft! sez: “Cream of Wheat, Malt-O-Meal, and Farina are brand names of a type of wheat farina used for breakfast cereal.”

    So I think you might look for those in the breakfast cereal section, and use those in the CAEK! recipe.

    FWIW.

    HTH. HAND!

  258. says

    This is such bad news. You know Rick Santorum, that guy who is against contraception because it encourages a “libertine” lifestyle, that guy who thinks a pregnancy that is the result of rape is a “gift from God,” — well that guy is “winning more support from Republican women.” Link.

    Excerpt:

    Over the past several weeks, Republicans have watched squeamishly as presidential contender Rick Santorum has waded into multiple controversies that risk alienating half the 2012 electorate: women.

    But in fact, Santorum has grown more popular among women while talking about his opposition to abortion, his disapproval of birth control and his view that the federal government shouldn’t pay for prenatal screenings. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows not only that Santorum is doing better among GOP women than he was a few weeks ago, but also that he is less unpopular — and also less well known — among Democratic and independent women than his Republican rivals Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich….

    …But there is no evidence that Santorum’s position among women in either party has dropped in recent weeks. That is a surprise to some Republicans, who have watched uncomfortably as he has engaged in high-profile discussions about abortion, contraception and prenatal screening….

    All right. Let’s get the word out about Santorum. His anti-woman stance is not, apparently, well-known. Hard to believe, I know. But true.

  259. Owlmirror says

    Oh, wait. Malt-O-Meal also contains malt (duh!). I have no idea how that would affect the CAEK! recipe.

    Although it might make it even better! . . . !! Nom!

  260. Pteryxx says

    I can’t wait to hear Santorum, Gingrich, Romney, the Human Turtle and Tangerine Man rail against the rampant religious oppression in Texas.

    Religious oppression was in fact used as an excuse to decry the raid on the YFZ polygamist ranch in Texas. I wasn’t saving articles back then, but I remember the horrifying comments about the evil government coming to steal kids away from Godly parents. The children and underage women from the ranch were initially put into protective custody, but that custody was declared unjustified because they were not “at imminent risk of abuse”:

    “The existence of the FLDS belief system as described by the department’s witnesses, by itself, does not put children of FLDS parents in physical danger,” the judges said.

    Source

    Background:

    Officials on Monday announced that 534 women and children — more than twice as many as had been earlier reported — were removed from a polygamist compound and that all 401 children have been placed in state custody because a judge deemed them in imminent danger of physical abuse.

    “Once you go into the compound, you don’t ever leave it,” said Carolyn Jessop, one of the wives of the alleged leader of the Eldorado complex. Jessop left with her eight children before the sect moved to Texas.

    Jessop said the community emphasized self-sufficiency because they believed the apocalypse was near.

    The women were not allowed to wear red — the color Jeffs said belonged to Jesus — and were not allowed to cut their hair. They were also kept isolated from the outside world.

    They “were born into this,” said Jessop, 40. “They have no concept of mainstream society, and their mothers were born into and have no concept of mainstream culture. Their grandmothers were born into it.”

    Source

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

    Owlmirror,
    Thanks!

    I have to go out later to buy cold medicine and junk (*grumble*), so I’ll buy some Cream of Wheat for the CAEK!

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

    Also from the Pffft! article about farina:

    … or cooked with milk and made into semolina pudding. It is used as an ingredient in many dishes and in processed foods such as breakfast cereals and pasta.

    The recipe said that the cake was inspired by semolina pudding. Damn, Owlmirror, you rock!

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

    Pteryxx:
    You can probably sub rice flour or whatever in most cakes, but it’s going to screw with the consistency and texture. In other words, it’s going to end up being gross, unless you really know what you’re doing.

    There’s a reason why it’s difficult to find non-gluten baked goods made from scratch– the substitutions are difficult and the result, well, sucks frankly.

    Oh, and things like almond flour and whatnot are far more expensive than regular ol’ wheat flour.

    IMHO, there’s absolutely no reason to do that to a poor, defenseless cake.

  264. Pteryxx says

    Thanks… *sigh* it’d just be nice to HAVE cake or pizza or sandwiches or pita bread again. Even I have to admit, there are some things steak just can’t do.

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

    Pteryxx,
    Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

    I’m not really the one to ask about substitutions, though.

  266. Pteryxx says

    nah, I don’t know anything about baking anyway, but as long as y’all are throwing recipes around I figured I’d ask.

  267. changeable moniker says

    Re. spring cleaning, today I tidied up the garden. Using fire!

    A large pile of leaves and twigs is now a small pile of ash and embers.

    (Upside: eliminating Cameraria ohridella. Downside: I reek.)

  268. Sandiseattle says

    Well checking in and it seems ive missed a few new residents in the dungeon. I so hate this being outta touch thing.

  269. TomeWyrm says

    chigau (271)
    Hating everything sucks, I went through a phase where I did that. DO NOT recommend!
    ————————————————–
    The Sailor (277)
    Wait… You wrote that in an e-mail? Ok yeah, THAT would make me want to smack some heads into solid objects. I had assumed verbal communication, via telephone or in person. Which I personally suck at remembering lists of details in, so I can understand the mind-numbing forgetfulness and rote recital in something like that. But when you can simply refer to the email right in front of your eyes? Inexcusable
    ————————————————–
    Pteryxx (285)
    I was under the impression that such metrics were insufficiently unique, or too inaccurate to measure with machines (which wouldn’t really matter now, with confidences, algorithms and probabilities)
    ————————————————–
    picool (287)
    Awesome to listen to, really obnoxious to play as an amateur. Worst part of band for me was the arrangements from centuries past. Partially because they liked intricate complexity a bit more, and partially because the instruments themselves have disappeared or changed in playing style. I occasionally got pieces originally arranged for a clarinet of a different register… those sucked.
    ————————————————–
    (292)
    Actually, it doesn’t work like that as far as I know. It should create strong convective currents which would return atmosphere to the light side, and additionally it takes REALLY cold temps to precipitate most gasses out of an earth-like atmosphere. If it’s got an atmosphere it was probably tectonically generated (or it’s massive and the escape velocity is insane), which means that something created internal heat, tidal friction or radioactivity come to mind.
    The thing that’s making my brain cry uncle is the effect of the motion through space, and the stellar wind. If it’s properly tidal locked, there SHOULD be a permanent convective cell surrounding the transitional area, moving from the higher pressure light side to the lower pressure dark side… the winds would actually be reversed at ground level so the cold air would blow TO the warm side.
    Of course, I could easily be wrong. I was flunking science in high school thanks to my sleep apnea, [sarcasm] it’s so much fun having mental fog from exhaustion and oxygen deprivation headaches! [/sarcasm]
    ————————————————–
    Serendipitydawg (309)
    The Irene Adler episode, Series 2 – Episode 1, “A Scandal in Belgravia”
    ————————————————–
    Dr. Darkheart (312)
    You obviously haven’t watched many cash cow shows. They can drag things on for a decade if they feel like it. Stargate SG-1 was barely even the same show after 8 years. Of course they went through a large shift in cast which never helps. I still loved it, but I hear tell I’m both stubborn and crazy.
    ————————————————–
    McCthulhu (314)
    If only that worked both ways! I’d feel so much better arguing with religious fuckwits if I could claim THAT defense when they pissed me off enough to smack them upside the head.
    Too bad I’m too damned polite in public.
    ————————————————–
    Lynna (331)
    Oh joy it’s the No Child Left Behind Act: Pay-scale Edition. We don’t need FEWER quality teachers you legislative fuckwits!
    Lynna (342)
    Buh-WHA?! MORE POP… See this is why I don’t like politics! It’s a damned advernewsertainment (advertisement news entertainment) parody of governance!
    ————————————————–
    Gluten-Free Baking
    You can do a lot of things with gluten free flour mixes and a touch of molecular gastronomy. But you’re not (easily) going to be making anything that relies on protein as a structural agent or toughener/strengthener. Which means most proper baking is right out. You can still make a lot of good baked goods, for instance I love brownies and cookies made GF (they’re moister). But pizza, bread, pies, and a lot of cakes are just right royal pains. That said, anything unleavened is usually fine, or if it’s leavened via steam it’s a bit of a toss-up. Yeast leavened things require the protein matrix of gluten to trap the CO2, unfortunately (I’m going to miss the hell out of pizza during my diagnostic month…)

    That farina cake should be fine with Cream of Rice, it’s basically a baked pudding. As a gluten intolerant, sometimes you just have to experiment. Especially if textural changes aren’t real negatives for you. Let’s see… counteracting rice flour’s grittiness… tapioca flour, potato starch, or corn starch IIRC. (Note, not potato flour… there’s a difference apparently)

  270. Psych-Oh says

    Carlie – Thanks so much! I will make them do a culture if it isn’t cured by her appointment next week. I’m so tired of illness. As is my daughter.

    On Teachers in Utah – the method they use may not be sound. But the idea of a hybrid merit pay plus experience seems like a good idea to me. Why doesn’t anyone seem to consider that? Personally, I’d like to give the great teachers that my kids have been with a giant bonus. They haven’t had any “bad” teachers yet, but we are currently experiencing mediocre.

  271. Krasnaya Koshka says

    picool @ 287: Congrats on a guilt free ham and cheese omelette!

    I remember when I first discovered classical music. It’s a maze, but amazing! And then I went crazy and became the Classical Music buyer for Tower Records Market Street San Francisco for five years. I learned so much! (I knew nothing when I took the helm. But I spent several years standing at various performances–$6 a pop–and it changed my life.)

    Frankly, I’m more of an opera lover because I crave the human voice. Instruments alone rarely do it for me. Ballets DO do it for me because I can see emotion. I need a human contact in my music. I need to see it. Afterwards, I can listen forever because I already have the visual.

  272. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    The Irene Adler episode, Series 2 – Episode 1, “A Scandal in Belgravia”

    Having the female protagonist be a professional dominatrix provided a rational (if tenuous) means for her to have access to the information that she held, so I found the premise gratuitous but it didn’t strike me as intrinsically misogynistic.

    I did find it to be the weakest episode of the series; the final episode is by far the best, though it does leave some important questions unanswered.

  273. TomeWyrm says

    Serendipitydawg, the main problem is that Irene Adler was Holmes’ intellectual equal (or possibly better). She didn’t NEED to be a dominatrix, she didn’t need to have a man, she was as good or better than Holmes in his OWN ARENA, in VICTORIAN ENGLAND. Moffat reduced a strong female character into a stereotype. A damaging stereotype, at that.

  274. changeable moniker says

    In the sky tonight:
    Venus, Jupiter, new moon,
    stars. So many stars …

    It’s been quite pleasant having an outdoors day for the first time in, oh, *months*. Not quite spring, but getting there. I have (lesser) celandines in flower. Next, crocuses!

  275. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    I didn’t say I disagreed, TomeWyrm, I can only say that it didn’t strike me in the same way as it did others. Given her evident intellectual superiority (the twist with phone unlock code was the thing that made me gag) I just took it as her own choice of profession for the purpose of extracting the information that she required.

  276. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    Ooops, hit submit instead of preview…
    And it wasn’t set in Victorian England, so she wasn’t constrained by anything other than the modern era.

  277. TomeWyrm says

    Psych-Oh re: Merit-pay for teachers
    They did a study…
    (via Lynna, OM – post #331)

    A recent three-year study on performance pay for teachers, conducted by the National Center of Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, found that a bonus-pay system in metro-Nashville schools had no impact on student achievement. And an evaluation of a pilot performance pay program in Utah, performed by the Utah Education Policy Center at the University of Utah last year, found that paying teachers extra for performance spurred some to change the way they teach, but overall did not boost student scores on state achievement tests more than would otherwise be expected.

    It has no noticeable impact on student performance, and opens up a lot of political bullshit abuses (read post 331. Lynna sums it up nicely).

    It’s one of those good-on-paper ideas that falls flat once tried in the real world.

    ————————————————–

    changeable moniker
    For about 3 seconds I thought you said “My god — it’s full of stars!” I haven’t even SEEN that movie!

    Unfortunately for me and nature, I live in the city and the weather dial is currently set to “snowstorm”. Apparently nothing thinks it should be spring around here!

  278. firstapproximation says

    re: Sherlock and Moffat

    *spoiler alert*

    It better not turn out that Sherlock was miniaturised inside a shapeshifting robot that looked like him.

  279. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    @firstapproximation,

    Spoiler Alert

    Who’s who?

    XD

  280. janine says

    I remember when I first discovered classical music. It’s a maze, but amazing! And then I went crazy and became the Classical Music buyer for Tower Records Market Street San Francisco for five years.

    Krasnaya Koshka, I had a friend who spent most of the last two decades, since the fall of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact in Poland and Russia. But for a couple of years when she was stuck in the US, she worked in the classical music department at a Tower in NYC. She took care of Werner Klemperer when he came in to buy the works of his father, Otto, on the then new medium, CDs.

  281. says

    I didn’t much mind the dominatrix aspect; it worked well enough for the blackmail plot. In sexual terms, she was a socially dubious figure in the original. But… spoiler rot13 …gur cubar haybpx, naq gur tunfgyl gjvfg ng gur raq jurer Ubyzrf erfphrf ure!
    WRONG!!!

  282. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    I agree with you about the plot device(s), Alethea.

    In the original, Irene was an opera singer so she must have been somewhat socially respectable in the Victorian era, just not good enough for a future king of Bohemia. The original story’s gimmick of Irene threatening to publish a photograph that jeopardises his engagement to a princess seems to be a more misogynistic plot device than anything in Moffat’s retelling.

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

    I have purchased Cream of Wheat! Woo hoo!

    I also found out that my supermarket carries tangerine juice. Om nom nom.

    Okay, that’s about all of the excitement that my cold- ravaged body can handle right now. Back to napping on the couch.

  284. TomeWyrm says

    Ok, I feel the need to vent. There’s probably going to be some triggering stuff in here. I don’t like religious fuckwits, so they get really nasty comparisons.

    ————————————————–
    WARNING
    VENT AHEAD
    ————————————————–

    So a bunch of Christians want to go to Reason Rally. Awesome! We might get a few of them out of the clutches of ignorance, bigotry, and blind faith!

    What’s that you say? They’re planning to “interact one-on-one with skeptics and atheists in attendance, conduct surveys, engage in dialogue, and present the Christian view in a well-reasoned and respectful manner.”

    So let me get this straight; a bunch of theists want to go to an atheist gathering to talk about their particular flavor of theism? Hmm… that strikes me as a little bit confrontational, though par for the course for religious fuckwits.

    This trip does not involve street preaching, tract distribution, or blind faith

    Translated from ReligiSpeak:

    This trip’s whole purpose is street preaching, tract distribution, and demonstrations of blind faith and obedience

    Fixed it for ya!

    *headdesk*

    So I think to myself: Well this is stupid. I hope they make real idiots of themselves despite the special training courses they have to take to go. No, seriously!

    There will be two mandatory training sessions for all UNCG participants. The dates and times will be decided soon (they will be in late February and early-mid March). Failure to attend the training may result in an inability to attend this trip as this is a mission trip into the “lion’s den” so to speak.

    Then I finish reading Ophelia’s post and start on the comments. I hit Beth’s comments, Beth is being a Christian apologist.

    I wonder if she’d feel the same way about a member of the KKK going to a black pride parade (those exist, right?) to talk about how Aryans are smarter and prettier than everyone else?

    How about convicted child molesters going to a Boy Scout Jamboree (do the Girl Scouts have that kind of event too?) to hand out candy and pamphlets on how strangers really are nice people, and getting into their cars is awesome and rewarding?

    A liquor stand setting up right next to AA meetings?

    Nazi officers (aww crap, did I just Godwin? Oh well) going to a holocaust memorial event to give surveys to the Jewish descendants in attendance?

    Convicted domestic abuser going to a battered women’s shelter and talking to the refugees about how they should go to their spouses and beg forgiveness?

    Tobacco salesperson going into a cancer ward with advertising materials?

    Ok, I ran out of analogies now.

    I mean SERIOUSLY. HOW IN THE FLYING FUCK DO THESE PEOPLE NOT SEE HOW RUDE AND OBNOXIOUS THIS IS? How hard is it to not go peddling your fucking Kool-Aid™ to the people at Reason Rally. They REALLY don’t want it, and they don’t need the judgmentalism, bigotry, or proselytizing either! The kindling and/or toilet paper is kinda nice though.

    If any of you are going, look for the Christians and see how much paper they are pushing and preaching they are doing! Then call them on it for me please?

  285. says

    I have a tech question for teh horde: I need to recommend a graphics card for work that goes all the way from VGA (640×480) to SXGA; support 2 monitors, one at each extreme; has openGL access to programming it directly; access to it’s onboard memory as an image co-processor.

    Price is no object as we are willing to buy a computer and monitor to fit the card’s specs.

    My research has just left me confused and while we don’t mind spending the money, the time I’ve spent costs more than a card.

    TIA.

  286. says

    Cream Of Wheat and all similar things should be banned from the Earth. I don’t mind the flavor but the texture is disgusting.

    I like fresh green peas, but thin sandy gruel is something of which I shall not put. [/heresy]
    +++++++++++++++++
    janine, a Werner Klemperer reference gets you +10 shiny intertubes! A John Banner reference would be worth +20.

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

    Sailor:

    Cream Of Wheat and all similar things should be banned from the Earth. I don’t mind the flavor but the texture is disgusting.

    Yeah, except that I’m making a cake with it!

  288. says

    Also: Grumps, birger, sorry for your losses.


    Met someone from India. They mentioned praying for sth (alarm bells: a religious person, though it might be different in India*) ). Then I mentioned this court case currently before the Supreme Court in New Delhi, and got the reaction I hoped for.
    So I guess I can start learning the Devanagari script. I’ve always wanted to learn it anyways..

    *) as a point of comparison, in Japan the word “pray” can also mean “fervently hope for sth. to happen”

    Tangentially related:

    What happens when a physician writes a book on linguistics

    Not being an Indian specialist, I of course can’t judge the correctness of the linguistic facts in the book, but:

    - not citing the foremost authority on Indo-Aryan languages
    - positing a highly questionable hypothesis, namely that Hindi-Urdu does not derive from Sanskrit, but from West Asian languages (and at the same time positing that Mesopatamia is the Indo-European homeland), without giving any concrete data that would surely be needed to posit such claims that go against established scholarship

    does not make me trust his other claims regarding the history of the language policy and language planning on the sub-continent either.

    What kind of publisher is Algora anyway? I couldn’t find any kind of schorlarly or journalistic review of the book either. Fortunately it is only cited on one Wikipedia article of note, but it is being discussed in some South Asia related online forums, vehemently challenging my SIWOTI habit…

    theophontes,

    Befehl in the singular or Befehle in the plural. Befehlen only in genitive or dative plural.

    Marriage equality

    I think Obama has always been two-faced about this issue. Coupled with the high number of deportations his administration has been conducting compared to other administrations, in the case of the Vt. couple it creates a very sad state of affairs. Makes me angry too.

    I hope though that the US will soon see marriage equality on both the federal and state levels (which would probably only work thru the Supreme Court), because that would create an important signal to other parts of the world, including western Europe.

    In Germany, for instance, there is only a civil union (which is only open to same-sex partners) available, which does not grant all the rights accorded by marriage (also in the realm of tax law). Until now there hasn’t been any political will to change the issue.

    The German Constitutional Court already ruled in 2002 that the state could accord the civil union all rights and duties of marriage, without any harm befalling the legal institution of marriage.

    (Marriage and family are to be protected by the state, as per the German constitution. However marriage is not defined in the text per se. The constitutional court until now has held that in accordance with societal norms it is between a man and a woman, but this wouldn’t mean that the court couldn’t change its opinion if it held that things had changed. The decision in 2002 already allows the state to make the civil union a marriage-in-everything-but-name, but this hasn’t happened so far).

    (Recently, the German government has asked its ethics council to mull proposals to exempt intersex individuals from having an entry in the gender column. Again something which was taken up only very reluctantly, due to pressure from the UN. Also individuals with no gender entry would be barred from marriage, but the civil union law would probably amended to apply to them)

    Passwords

    I use a combination of

    - words from my private conlang, which are usually in direct relationship to what the password grants access to, “bank”, “email”, “blog” etc.
    - some meaningful numbers, like birthdays of exes, some other meaningful dates, telephone numbers or registration numbers

    Also, I have a low-level password for a large number of websites that aren’t that sensitive.

    Email accounts, banking etc I always try to keep separate to minimise damage in case one of them is compromised.

  289. carlie says

    Speaking of texture, I like to cook barley (either pearl or quick-cook), cool it down and mix it in yogurt. It makes the yogurt more interesting.

  290. says

    positing a highly questionable hypothesis, namely that Hindi-Urdu does not derive from Sanskrit, but from West Asian languages (and at the same time positing that Mesopatamia is the Indo-European homeland), without giving any concrete data that would surely be needed to posit such claims that go against established scholarship

    He does give some words that are supposed to derive from West Asian languages, BUT:

    - does not give any SYSTEMATIC sound correspondences establishing the fact that Hindi-Urdu indeed IS a descendant of said languages.
    - also does not give any counterevidence to the standard account that Sanskrit is the progenitor of the Modern Indo-Aryan languages (MIA). His comment to the effect that the grammar of Sanskrit is very different from that of Hindi-Urdu just shows how little he understands historical linguistics and how languages change…

  291. TomeWyrm says

    The Sailor
    VGA to SXGA (640×480 to 1280×1024) is easy IIRC, I can’t think of a modern video card that can’t.
    Supporting two monitors merely requires two ports on the card (might want to be careful about that one. You CAN get adapters for monitor ports, but it can mess with quality)
    The “one at each extreme” clause is software support problem, not hardware. If a card can put up a picture at that size, it can send it to any monitor, or none at your direction. It’s software limitations that prevent that most of the time.
    The last two are getting into technical details that I’m quite frankly not familiar with, sorry!
    ————————————————–
    John Morales
    Why did I vent here?
    Because it was the first place I thought of where I could vent to people that wouldn’t mind it. Nothing more, nothing less.

  292. says

    TomeWyrm,

    in order to properly godwin though, might I suggest replacing “Nazi officers” with “Holocaust deniers”? There aren’t that many Nazi officers (in the sense of “commanding officers”) around any more, and those who still are, are probably no longer fit for travel…

  293. Pteryxx says

    …Holy crap. Mind blown. Libby Anne wrote about the religious indoctrination behind the scenes of the Duggars’ TV show:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/lovejoyfeminism/2012/02/25/carefully-scripted-lives-my-concerns-about-the-duggars/

    but if that wasn’t bad enough, she linked to an explanation of how the “modesty doctrine” screws up boys raised with it, too:

    1. The modesty doctrine teaches men that they are constantly under assault. Advertising images of sexy women in skimpy clothing feel like clouds of fiery missiles hurtling into their brains. They have to avert their eyes everywhere they go just to avoid the images, and on top of that there are actual women wearing skimpy outfits. They feel like they can’t get away from sexual stimuli. When you’re taught that merely seeing something can defile you, guarding your eyes from “evil” becomes your eternal chore.

    2. Young men can react to this pressure by learning to despise women. Even as they are being taught not to look at women’s bodies, they are being taught to look at women as bodies.They are encouraged to speak hatefully about the scantily-clad models on magazine covers and billboards. Pastors scream about filthy harlots from the pulpit.

    4. The modesty doctrine does not give men any tools to deal with unwanted sexual attraction. It only tells them not to feel something they can’t help, and then tells them that they could go to hell for it. They do not learn to take a beat and let it pass, to move on and forget about it, to live their lives with the security of knowing that they are in charge of what they do. They literally believe that they can be moved to animalistic rape by the curve of a woman’s knee.

    Source

    …And there it is. Rape culture, in a nutshell, codified as religious indoctrination.

    There’s already been a link shown between fundamentalist religiosity and child abuse. Has anyone done a study comparing undetected rapists and religious beliefs about women?

  294. changeable moniker says

    Oh, fook. It’s still doing that?

    FtB elves, I’ve already offered my regex mojo to solve this problem.

    Just say yes, OK?

  295. says

    carlie, I love me some steamed/boiled barley, it’s called burgoo.
    +++++++++++++++++++
    “The “one at each extreme” clause is software support problem”

    No, no it isn’t. I said it has to be hardware. I need to be able to program at a pixel level.

  296. says

    Suggestions for other good/interesting shows to watch while I translate?

    If you like/don’t hate anime Sgt Frog is on netflix and Partner and I are enjoying it.

  297. says

    Utterly threadrupt; reporting cooking-like activities:

    Dinner for the fam —

    Homemade baked corndogs, finally using the gadget my spawn got me for Christmas ’10, with Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free cornbread mix for batter; deep fried yucca, my lovely bride’s favorite from the late (at least ’round here), lamented Pollo Tropical Cuban-style fast food chain, plausibly recreated in my first-ever attempt at deep frying; fresh snow peas sauteed in sesame oil with garlic, onions, and rice wine vinegar.

    Yummmmmmmmm!

  298. says

    I made latkes for the first time tonight (I cooked them in bacon fat, ha) and now I am sad that I missed out on their deliciousness all these years. Small kid and I are on our own for dinner tomorrow and we already decided to have latkes again.

  299. carlie says

    Alethea – yep, plain barley. Makes it kind of like giant tapioca pudding.

    I’m finally watching Parks and Rec on the internet. Leslie is a little too much like me.

  300. says

    can you remind me again what the problem was? [with Greg Laden] – pelamun

    Editing comments to make commenters look bad, without acknowledging it, and threatening commenters with hostile use of the identification information they provided.

    Wow. In Soviet Russia, comments ignore you.

    Shameful.

  301. carlie says

    He didn’t just threaten – he changed the nym of one commenter in a thread comment to their email address, which was clearly a name that might have been their real one. He changed it back a couple of hours later, but refused to apologize for it and said it was his prerogative to do so if he wanted to.

  302. says

    He didn’t just threaten – he changed the nym of one commenter in a thread comment to their email address, which was clearly a name that might have been their real one. He changed it back a couple of hours later, but refused to apologize for it and said it was his prerogative to do so if he wanted to.

    *speechless*

    Carry on, good people.

  303. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Hmm, I never did find out why everyone was so pissed at Greg Laden until now.

    I’m pretty speechless myself, I had no idea.

  304. says

    Every time someone uses two or more of “Sheeple” “Politically Correct” “Reverse Racism” in the same breath I want to take away their copy of Nietzsche and beat them with it till their ear bones pop out

  305. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Fortunately, no spears were involved.

    Everything is better with spears! :D

  306. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Dr Audley (& other Pharyngufoodies)

    CAEK

    15 portions is a bit much for one small tardigrade. If I halve the recipe, what other changes would I have to make (baking time, proportions)?

  307. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    *was not involved in the Laden thing, heard about it secondhand months later, is really confused by the recent string of comments and doesn’t even know how to ask*

  308. says

    *was not involved in the Laden thing, heard about it secondhand months later, is really confused by the recent string of comments and doesn’t even know how to ask*

    Way back, there was a long discussion about remarks made by the rightwing Henry Gee (Stephanie Z/Thread Cop’s editor at Nature), in which I made some harsh comments about him. Laden responded with Glen Beckish accusations of antisemitism, which were of course unsupportable. When some people from here joined in the conversation there, he behaved as people have noted above.

    All of this has been discussed several times. Some of the people commenting and reading here know the full story, and have discussed it in the past, but now seem to prefer to give an expurgated version.

  309. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    All of this has been discussed several times. Some of the people commenting and reading here know the full story, and have discussed it in the past, but now seem to prefer to give an expurgated version.

    Ah :( Well, for what it’s worth, the “expurgated version” is the only version I remember from earlier explanations (so if I’d been around to comment slightly earlier, I would have given the same explanation, with the caveat that it was secondhand knowledge). I thought you were the commenter he outed, and that he had also said some nasty things about you but I couldn’t remember what they were. So that’s why everything was so very confusing just now.

  310. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Everything is better with spears! :D

    No.

    :D?

    OK, I’ll just concede you this one.

  311. ChasCPeterson says

    Laden’s a demonstrated weaselly asshole and a proven jackass. An internet bully who couldn’t write his way out of a piss-soaked paper bag.
    He has, though, been edited cogently on the Congo. Everybody knows that.

  312. says

    Ah :( Well, for what it’s worth, the “expurgated version” is the only version I remember from earlier explanations (so if I’d been around to comment slightly earlier, I would have given the same explanation, with the caveat that it was secondhand knowledge).

    Sadly, the person I was quoting was KG, who knows the full story but apparently isn’t particularly accuracy-driven or much of a friend.

    I thought you were the commenter he outed, and that he had also said some nasty things about you but I couldn’t remember what they were. So that’s why everything was so very confusing just now.

    The commenter he outed was Sven. He also harmed Josh, OSG.

  313. John Morales says

    Many, many years ago, I was reading some book where the protagonist (I probably paraphrase) “revealed his man-spear” to the nubile lass.

    (Dunno how the rest of the book went, I can cope with the likes of “heaving bosoms”*, but that was just too much for me. No biggie, I used to borrow 10 books at a time from the library.)

    * Not a paraphrase.

  314. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Oh, I am so much muddled. Well, thanks for the many clarifications, SC.

  315. John Morales says

    Ing, no, but But I understand why that was your guess.* :)

    To be honest, I don’t remember either the book or the author, only that cringeworthy locution — it was some sort of analogue to The Clan of the Cave Bear but with a male protagonist, and in the early 80s.

    * The Color of Her Panties is the title of one of his juvenile books. Says it all, really.

  316. John Morales says

    [meta]

    When my comments are as fucked-up as the previous, the usual explanation is an editing mishap.

    (But I suspect regulars here know that)

  317. says

    Oh, I am so much muddled. Well, thanks for the many clarifications, SC.

    Ay. I’m sure. And you’re welcome. It is a long story, and I’m sorry I can’t link to the relevant threads. It just made me angry when his offenses against me specifically were left out of the story by people well aware of them.

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

    theophontes:

    15 portions is a bit much for one small tardigrade. If I halve the recipe, what other changes would I have to make (baking time, proportions)?

    It is a bit huge, I admit. Most cakes are, what?, eight or so servings?

    Anyway, halving should be easy enough– just use half of the ingredients called for and a 8″ square baking dish.

    As for the time, I’d check for doneness at 15 minutes and play it by ear from there*.

    *I wouldn’t be surprised if it baked for the full half-hour that the original recipe calls for, it’s just that I’ve never made a cake like this before**, so I don’t want to make any promises.

    **Essentially a baked pudding.

  319. ChasCPeterson says

    Yes, that’s right: Laden accused SC of anitisemitism. Or something. Statements-indistinguishable-to-Laden-from-antisemitism maybe is closer. *shrug*

    You know, I think he’s the only entity-of-the-blogosphere who’s earned disdain both here and @ Abbie’s slimepit.

    tee hee

  320. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ John Morales

    revealed his man-spear … No biggie…

    *snorfle*

  321. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Dr Audley

    [{translation:} "you will have to wing it"]

    Ok.

    The problem might be getting the ingredients. Nothing at the market or the supermarket. This will require some detective work. (Case in point Hong Kong has dozens of different types of flour, but no wholewheat … WTF. I might have to try the ‘Merkin military shopping center.)

  322. John Morales says

    Yes, SC was insidiously and unfairly maligned by Grog Leaden at his Bog, and I don’t deny that irritated me.

    (I noted that at the time, in my usual style, with a supporting link.

    And I feel I should note that Paul W. did yeoman work for fairness, at the time.)

  323. says

    For those wanting to read up on this issue, Laden escalated his accusation of anti-semitism in something SC wrote (see his much later post, A private letter to Salty Current) into his atheist firing squad smear which pinged on on Pharyngula’s radar here: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/02/nothing_will_stop_the_never-en.php#comment-2258802

    You can follow The Endless Thread backward and forward in time for days both ways (seriously, almost an entire week at least) to get the fuller picture, including where he edited Josh’s comment.

  324. John Morales says

    Ah — memories of The Way We Were.

    “Can it be that it was all so simple then
    Or has time rewritten every line
    If we had the chance to do it all again
    Tell me – would we? could we?”

  325. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Not only is my page background white on Pharyngula on my computer, but the borders and contrast thingies that I was so excited about before aren’t appearing. I’m using NoScript, is that why?

  326. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Ah, yes, the “good old days.” When commenters were commenters, and Greg Laden was either altering their posts on the down-low or threatening to (and actually doing it) out them. Nostalgia for the Congo. Good times, good times.

  327. John Morales says

    CC, possibly.

    Open up a new browser instance, enable everything in NoScript, see how it looks.

    Then close that instance.

    If it looks proper, then yes, that’s the cause.

  328. firstapproximation says

    You know, I think he’s the only entity-of-the-blogosphere who’s earned disdain both here and @ Abbie’s slimepit.

    How about Kwok? (And The Intersection to boot!)

  329. says

    One more educational look back in time because I think it really shows how much the conversation has changed across FTBers when it comes to misogynistic epithets and also how history keeps repeating itself when it comes to apologizing (SC helpfully lays out what a better form of apology would look like).

    Greg Laden apologizes… or does he?

  330. carlie says

    I’m sorry I didn’t elaborate on your part of that, SC. I read the earlier comments, my brain automatically filled in the gaps, and I then thought it had been covered.

  331. Sili says

    Many, many years ago, I was reading some book where the protagonist (I probably paraphrase) “revealed his man-spear” to the nubile lass.

    Great.

    Now you’ve reminded me of “denim prison”.

    Thanks …

  332. Ogvorbis: Now With 98% Less Intellectual Curiousity! says

    Totally and absolutely thread bankrupt.

    I did make some really good crispy pepper pork for dinner last night.

    As I skimmed the Thread, I did notice

    Every time someone uses two or more of “Sheeple” “Politically Correct” “Reverse Racism” in the same breath I want to take away their copy of Nietzsche and beat them with it till their ear bones pop out

    You’ve been talking to my Randian Santorite neighbor?

    Everything is better with spears! :D

    Except sweaty snugglebunnes (and what cartoon is that phrase from? Anyone?)

    Sorry, that’s all I gots todays.

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

    theophontes:

    Solved the ricotta cheese part.

    Yay!

    I’ve made “farmer’s cheese” and it’s pretty awesome. Soft and mild, we just served it with crackers instead of doing anything all fancy-pants with it. :)

  334. says

    OMG, thank you so much, Aratina Cage.

    In the light of later revelations, it’s funny to read that thread where StuV offhandedly remarks that he’s been arguing at the Intersection with some sockpuppets.

  335. says

    And I feel I should note that Paul W. did yeoman work for fairness, at the time.)

    I agree. I’m sure I expressed my appreciation at the time, but I had forgotten how awesome he was in that episode.

  336. Pteryxx says

    Random TMI!

    Somewhere beyond Natalie’s blogroll, I found this awesome post about trans people, sex, and *ahem* artificial aids. Probably not safe for anywhere.

    Link

    On top of this, there’s the other issue of body parts, and that’s the ones we buy and bring home and insist that you treat them like they’re ours. I don’t mean surgically-constructed bits; that’s its own education. I mean rubber thingies. Now, many perfectly ordinary and non-transgendered folks have a nice collection of rubber thingies in different sizes and shapes, but they generally don’t see them the way some of us do. To the average person, they’re sex toys. To us, they are parts of our bodies, at least when they’re on us. They’re auxiliary anatomy, and we expect them to be treated as such. …

    Don’t miss part 2 in the series, “How to Suck Off a Dildo”. J’sayin.

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

    For those at home keeping score, the CAEK! is in the oven.

    It smells delightful.

  338. changeable moniker says

    Solved the ricotta cheese part. Linky: Howto.

    It looks delicious, but it’s not ricotta.

    I do want to know what it is, though. Any cheesemakers (or other manufacturers of dairy produce) know?

  339. says

    HI there
    I’m largely skimming through, as usually at the weekend.

    Psych-Oh
    I read about your daughter’s sinusitis (did I? I hope I’m not mixig up names).
    My nose is a champion for sinusitis and one thing I found that helps a lot is nose drops. It might only lighten the symptoms now, but I found that if I use them consistently whenever I have a cold, the sinusitis doesn’t develop, or doesn’t develop fully.
    I know, anectodata, but since I’m really prone to sinusitis, and in really bad health otherwise, they are my best guess why I haven’t come down with one yet.

  340. Pteryxx says

    In good news, Virginia’s forced-ultrasound bill is going down in flames. SWEET.

    However…

    (bad news warning)

    Texas’s OWN forced transvaginal ultrasound bill is still IN EFFECT – as in already passed, already law, already happening. Along with mandatory ultrasound laws in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, pending legislation in Iowa, and a bill passed in Oklahoma but on hold since it was ruled unconstitutional.

    Crisis pregnancy centers on the other hand get plenty of state funding to force their religiously-based misinformation on women and girls, whether or not they’re even qualified to give medical advice (or provide expensive medical services or equipment… some CPCs are just decorated rooms with pamphlets and guilt-trip providers in house.) They will withhold patients’ medical information or lie to them about what week of pregnancy they’re in, specifically to deny abortions.

    These centers use various methods to attract women facing unplanned pregnancies, such as offering free pregnancy tests, locating next to abortion clinics, advertising for abortion services, and intercepting online searches for abortion on the Web.

    But an emerging trend is for states to push women through these centers’ doors as part of new legislation that increases waiting times and mandates pre-abortion ultrasounds, something CPCs increasingly offer.

    A legislative trend sweeping the country is the enactment of resolutions that “honor” crisis pregnancy centers. Last month, the Florida Legislature passed a bill that declared January “Pregnancy Resource Center Month” and commended “the compassionate work of the volunteers and staff at Florida’s pregnancy resource centers.” Ohio’s legislature passed similar legislation last month.

    Several states passed pro-CPC resolutions last year, including Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Oklahoma passed a pro-CPC resolution in 2010.

    An FRC study (PDF) of 1,969 crisis pregnancy centers in the U.S., found that in 2010, about 230,000 ultrasounds were performed – at no or very little charge to the client – at 1,000 centers, for an estimated total cost savings of $57.5 million. (To get this statistic, FRC estimated each ultrasound at $250.)

    Source

    I hate being right.

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

    cm:

    It looks delicious, but it’s not ricotta.

    No, it’s not, but it should still work in the recipe. I’m pretty sure that any mild, moist cheese will do– the cheese is more for texture and heft than anything else.

    My CAEK! is out of the oven! I had to cook it for 15 minutes longer than the recipe called for. I’m waiting for it to cool so I can taste it before making any judgements, though.

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

    Note to self: Do not, even under threat of death, ever get pregnant in any of the states listed. In fact, get your tubes snipped and cauterized. Can’t be too careful.
    ————————————–

    Rey, those cookies sound fantastic! Then again I speak as one who considers the combination of peanut butter and chocolate to be one of the best things ever.

  343. says

    Ah, yes, the “good old days.” When commenters were commenters, and Greg Laden was either altering their posts on the down-low or threatening to (and actually doing it) out them. Nostalgia for the Congo. Good times, good times.

    I reckon thems were the good days !
    Although our election 2008 thread was fun too, looking forward to having one like that again this coming November.

  344. changeable moniker says

    Dr AZD, I think it’s what we’d call cottage, or possibly curd, cheese. The site I linked to just calls it “basic cheese”, which may be accurate, but won’t help me in the supermarket cheese aisle. :)

    Did I mention I like cheese?

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

    cm:
    I love cheese, too. :)

    The recipe I made it from was called “farmhouse cheese”. I have no idea what it would be for sale as, though.

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

    Okay, another CAEK! update!

    It’s reminds me of flan in the flavor and consistency. Which, considering that it’s a baked pudding, isn’t a terribly huge surprise.

    It’s a little too sweet for my tastes. Oh well, live and learn, right?

  347. ChasCPeterson says

    Kw*k burned all bridges with Abbie personally long before there was a ‘pit (poor guy, she broke his weird, creepy heart.)

  348. firstapproximation says

    (poor guy, she broke his weird, creepy heart.)

    Heh.

    Every time someone uses two or more of “Sheeple” “Politically Correct” “Reverse Racism” in the same breath I want to take away their copy of Nietzsche and beat them with it till their ear bones pop out

    Don’t bother, the Sheeple will take care of them.

  349. says

    When did being Christian equate to being okay with repelling demons via holy oil smearings and whatnot? I know we’ve always had a few whackos that believed in demons etc., but now it seems like this demon-repelling craziness has gone mainstream.

    Here’s an example from Florida:

    Luanne Panacek was in a second-floor meeting at the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County last month when a manager came to her door.

    Employees arriving to work at the public agency that morning had found a strange oil on their desks and doors. They panicked — Had someone sprayed poison in the office? — and called police.

    Just before officers arrived, though, the manager looked at surveillance video. It showed two women entering the building the day before, a Sunday. One of them prayed and spread holy oil on desks and doors.

    The other woman? It was Panacek, the agency’s chief executive officer, who had invited the woman to bless the building after what she called a “meeting from hell.”

    “There’s nothing wrong with blessing a building,” said Panacek, who since 1995 has run the $35 million agency that finances programs serving 100,000 children and families in Hillsborough County….

    Panacek, who is paid $171,329, said the last board meeting in January had been a tough one. …

    Uh. $171,329? I vote that we reduce her salary, and that we give the savings to the children the agency is supposed to serve.

    Panacek is a Lutheran, which, if I remember correctly, is the faith in which PZ was brought up. With or without the smearing of holy oil?

    …Driving employees’ decision to call police was the fact that U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, was scheduled to hold a community meeting at their board offices that afternoon. They were concerned that someone had contaminated the office.

    The next day, Tuesday, Panacek said she called a staff meeting to explain. She describes herself as “embarrassed” but not regretful.

    “I said that I wasn’t ever going to apologize for praying but that I was sorry for scaring anybody.”

    Not sorry. Well, that’s to be expected, I guess. But really, she should be fined. That would make her sorry.

    Anointing oil, which is usually olive oil, is a liturgical symbol in the Catholic Church, said James Strange, professor of religious studies at University of South Florida.

    Charismatic Protestant groups have been borrowing the practice, Strange said. “They think that ‘holy’ means it has an important power from God that they can tap into by faith,” he said.

    Edwards, the board member, said Panacek risks alienating staff members who don’t share her faith.

    “If a person does that, she shouldn’t receive taxpayer salaries,” said Edwards, who plans to ask for an emergency board meeting to discuss the matter.

    Panacek said she got no negative feedback at the staff meeting. “I think most people here are Christian,” she said….

    It’s the blasé statement that “Christians” will understand, and that christians will find this kind of behavior normal that floors me.
    Link to Tampa Bay story.

  350. says

    Lynna, I’ve had a Baptist person make the cross symbol at me with their fingers and mutter stuff about Teh Beast in a misguided attempt to repel the demon in me when I told them I didn’t believe in God, but I haven’t been doused with oil yet.

  351. says

    Lynna, I’ve had a Baptist person make the cross symbol at me with their fingers and mutter stuff about Teh Beast in a misguided attempt to repel the demon in me when I told them I didn’t believe in God, but I haven’t been doused with oil yet.

    We should develop an appropriate gesture to repel the repelling.

    I’ve had a mormon priesthood holder anoint my head with oil, but it was just a few drops. I think it was olive oil. Being thoroughly doused would have been more fun.

    Maybe part of our Pharyngulite gesture to repel Baptists, mormons and other godaddled people could include a sprinkling with beer?

  352. says

    A legislative trend sweeping the country is the enactment of resolutions that “honor” crisis pregnancy centers. Last month, the Florida Legislature passed a bill that declared January “Pregnancy Resource Center Month” and commended “the compassionate work of the volunteers and staff at Florida’s pregnancy resource centers.” Ohio’s legislature passed similar legislation last month.

    I wonder how many Virginia legislators have a financial or political stake in the Pregnancy Resource, or Pregnancy Crisis, centers in that state. It would be interesting to look that up because a lot of those religious, anti-abortion centers enhance their masquerade of offering real medical care by buying ultrasound machines.

    Which means that the Virginia law that forces women to have an ultrasound, and to pay for said ultrasound, before they have an abortion — that law would funnel lots of cash to those religious busybodies.

  353. Rey Fox says

    I keep wondering why no one protests crisis pregnancy centers. Maybe the pro-choice side just doesn’t have as big a supply of retirees with nothing else to do.

    “There’s nothing wrong with blessing a building,” said Panacek

    Nevertheless, she had to sneak in and do it without telling anyone.

  354. AndrewD says

    Lynna oops sorry about your name I was looking at your post as I wrote my comment. I wish my new glasses would come!

  355. says

    Lynna oops sorry about your name I was looking at your post as I wrote my comment. I wish my new glasses would come!

    Not to worry, my name is unusual enough that I’ve learned to answer to almost anything. Satan, for example.

    I like the idea of responding to signs of the cross and other demon-repelling religious gestures with the “horns” — but I still think it would be awesomely stylish to add a sprinkling of loosen-up-libation.

  356. says

    Maybe part of our Pharyngulite gesture to repel Baptists, mormons and other godaddled people could include a sprinkling with beer?

    Yeeeessss… *evil laughter*

    But we have to make sure it is really shitty beer–a Schlitz Blitz, for instance.

  357. says

    @374

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers/2012/02/25/thunderf00t-youtube-starts-banning-religiously-offensive-videos/

    That was a good Thunderfoot video, though a bit repetitive with the weeping man image. Good discussion of an important topic.

    As far as the demonstration of sincerity via weeping, I have seen mormon men do the same thing. It is apparently a normal adjunct to giving one’s testimony during sacrament meeting. I find it unconvincing. And it denigrates real emotions, and real occasions for weeping.

  358. says

    But we have to make sure it is really shitty beer–a Schlitz Blitz, for instance.

    Okay. I’ve been rethinking this. We don’t want to go to jail for assault. And we don’t want to waste beer. So maybe we should stick with the horns as a reciprocal gesture.

    Stylized horn gesture, with sweeping motion carrying horns from one’s own forehead to the forehead of the offending godaddled person. Done with a genuine smile. Followed by tongue extension?

    I’m sure we’ll each develop a personalized version.

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

    But we have to make sure it is really shitty beer–a Schlitz Blitz, for instance.

    And we don’t want to waste beer.

    I would argue that wasting Schlitz is perfectly reasonable. Surely you don’t expect people to drink it, do you?

    ;)

  360. says

    Okay. I’ve been rethinking this. We don’t want to go to jail for assault.

    Of course. It was all in good fun. And with the recent arrest and potential prosecution of a glitter bomber, we probably really shouldn’t go there.

    And we don’t want to waste beer.

    I’ll make an exception for Schlitz. :P

    Stylized horn gesture, with sweeping motion carrying horns from one’s own forehead to the forehead of the offending godaddled person. Done with a genuine smile. Followed by tongue extension?

    LOL

  361. says

    I would argue that wasting Schlitz is perfectly reasonable. Surely you don’t expect people to drink it, do you?

    Good point.

    How about we set up foot baths at christian venues, offering Schlitz cleansing that removes the burden of christian shit from one’s psyche.

    Beer, even schlitz, is good for skin, right?

  362. TomeWyrm says

    The Sailor re: video card
    What I meant to say is I don’t know ANY video card with multiple inputs that can’t display a picture on one screen while simultaneously displaying a completely different picture of a different resolution on the other. It could be a movie of a fluffy bunny at VGA on one monitor, and a picture of the flying spaghetti monster at SXGA on the other.

    I did some more research and I think some information got dropped somewhere. You can’t use v-ram (or any other kind of memory, random access or otherwise) as a coprocessor. That’s what the GPU is for. It’s already a coprocessor because it’s processing along with your CPU cores, to take some of the work load.

    Also you need to know what VERSION of OpenGL you need. I’m fairly sure they’re backward compatible, but there are 4 different major versions of OpenGL. OpenGL 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0. along with a dozen minor versions scattered among them.

    Unfortunately, I’ve hit the limit of both my knowledge and Google-fu. My only other idea is asking someone in the computer science department of your nearest institution of higher learning, or getting whoever came up with the requirements to do so.
    ——————————
    Man-spear
    That is far from the most florid moniker I’ve heard. One of the stories I read had a contest between a couple of young ladies to embarrass the guy who was infatuated with them. I think they bandied about 40 different names, each more absurd than the last culminating in something along the lines of “heat-seeking moisture missile”. I was in stitches by the end of that scene.
    ——————————
    Cross-Repellant
    I just use an erect middle finger followed by ignoring the fuckwit.
    Also, yeah. Beer is good for the skin, even shitty beer.
    ——————————
    Pteryxx re: Rubber Anatomy
    That was an informative and entertaining read for me, and I’m eagerly looking forward to part two!

    re: Forced ultrasound bill, and CPC’s
    That makes me so glad both that I am an infovore and disciple of the digital age, and that I don’t live in any of those states.
    It also makes me angry because of all the women who are going to suffer (or already have) because of the pieces of legislative trash; and for all the people that will suffer because of the lies and misinformation from the CPC’s. Not to mention the waste of resources… Please tell me those CPC’s aren’t tax-funded!

    Right… I’m going to cool off by continuing to make some pretty jewelry for a friend.

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

    Lynna:

    Beer, even schlitz, is good for skin, right?

    Of course! Beer is the miracle cure-all!

  364. janine says

    Lynna, your story about anointing a building with oil made me enter the Pharyngula Time Machine, back to a time when Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia and the Reverends Rob Schenck and Patrick J. Mahoney anointed a doorway with oil, a doorway that Barack Obama would pass through on his way to his Inauguration.

  365. says

    Argh! What hair-pulling inanity Dawkins goes up against in his discussion with Rowan Williams. Thirty minutes in, and so far Dawkins has been quite keen to find a place of agreement in almost every woo-woo thing the moderator and Williams have come up with. But Williams–you can see him making things up on the spot to wriggle out of hard places when questioned about matters of faith, and Dawkins has to act like its reasonable and be polite about it. I would have been reduced to Smurthwaiting both Williams and the moderator by now.

  366. ChasCPeterson says

    It’s a fucked-up world when Schlitz is brewed by Pabst. However, it’s worth noting that few here (including me) are old enough to remember Real Schlitz, pre-1972 or so. Apparently, though, it’s back…with gusto.

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

    Chas:

    Apparently, though, it’s back…with gusto.

    You have no idea how excited my parents are about this.

  368. Pteryxx says

    Re: Crisis pregnancy centers

    Not to mention the waste of resources… Please tell me those CPC’s aren’t tax-funded!

    Sorry, more bad news. They’re mostly registered 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofits that receive state and/or federal tax money under “health” or “family planning” initiatives;

    Several state health departments allocate money for CPCs as part of programs that promote alternatives to abortion. For instance, Texas’ seven-year-old “Alternatives to Abortion” program got a $300,000 bump last year, for a total of $8.3 million, after the state legislature cut family-planning funding from about $112 million to $38 million and reduced funding for the social-service programs. Florida’s legislature recently voted to maintain $2 million in funding for the state’s CPC network, for the seventh year in a row, after making deep cuts to community health services.

    During the George W. Bush administration, CPCs benefited handsomely from federal grant funding for abstinence-only education programs. The Obama administration cut most of those abstinence-only programs, but CPCs can still receive federal funding through the National Fatherhood Initiative, which each year gives $25,000 “capacity building” grants to 25 community groups, as Sarah Posner has reported. Award recipients in 2011 included Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center in Rapid City, S.D., which is one of the CPCs approved by the state to disuade women under South Dakota’s new law.

    Source

    And CPCs receive privileged treatment from governments, for example in Texas:

    Alongside the requirement women in Texas must receive ultrasounds before seeking abortions, the newly enacted sonogram law also carries with it a stipulation that ushers pregnant women to non-medical, faith-based anti-abortion clinics.

    Under the law, abortion doctors are required to direct women to a “comprehensive” list of agencies in the state that offer free sonograms to pregnant women but that “do not affiliate with, refer to or provide abortion related services.” The rule builds upon the standing 2003 “Woman’s Right to Know” Act, which requires abortion providers give patients a pamphlet graphically depicting the stages of gestation.

    By virtue of the new law’s specifications, the listing– provided by the Department of State Health Services– ­rules out centers like Planned Parenthood and exclusively includes unregulated, unlicensed crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs).

    Despite the influx of state dollars, CPCs remain removed from the purview of state regulators. While the Texas Department of State Health Services conducts stringent and random annual reviews of abortion facility clinics, they do not inspect CPCs. Between 2006 and 2010, DSHS has never conducted an on-site evaluation of the program that oversees the centers, the Texas Independent previously reported.

    Source

    Note in the same article that more than half of CPCs provide prayer or religious counseling, which is also a violation for recipients of state or federal funding.

  369. Ogvorbis: Now With 98% Less Intellectual Curiousity! says

    Schlitz is to beer as CPCs are to actual health care.

    Just a another useless thought.

  370. says

    Paraphrasing the Williams discussion with Dawkins, they bring this idea up: Complexity of structure vs. complexity of function. And God’s structure is, according to Williams, simple while God’s functionality is complex.

    Whuuuu? The batshit crazy things godbots come up with.

  371. TomeWyrm says

    *headdesk*
    *headdesk*
    *headdesk*
    *headdesk*
    It’s shit like that what makes me wanna move to Sweden

  372. Arkady says

    Apologies if this point has been raised before, but not sure if I’d seen it anywhere…

    Was randomly thinking about those idiotic gender-segregated buses in New York and parts of Israel while on the bus today. Not sure how well this applies outside of the UK (though practically I don’t know how much bus design varies around the world), but: while we may wish things were different, the majority of those I see on buses with pushchairs and/or herding small children are women (separately, wheelchair users usually have an opposite-gender partner with them). On UK buses the general space for wheelchairs, pushchairs, luggage and more flexible seating are at or very close to the the front, so on a practical basis how on earth would the bloody-stupid segregation work? I suppose it would be understandable if buses in other parts of the world have no accommodations at all for pushchair/wheelchair users, but still seems weird to me.

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

    Looking at the list upthread of states not to be pregnant in makes me curious: which of the S in the US would you say have the least anti-women legislation? (Would this be a shorter list than if I asked which ones are the worst on this front?)

  374. cicely (Insert Clever Appellation Here) says

    Grumps: late out the gate to commiserate, but you have my sympathies.
    -
    *hugs* for CC (about the dog).
    -

    Homeland Security Warns Vermont Same-Sex Couple: You’re Not Legally Married

    See? “Civil Union” is just the same as “Marriage”!
    </sarcasm>
    -

    Everything is better with spears! :D

    So true! Take china painting, for instance; soooo much more exciting when the spears are flyin’.

    Really, I wouldn’t want to do it any other way.
    :D
    -
    Off to watch me some Muppets! Yayyyy!!!!
    *manically flailing arms over head*
    -

  375. says

    Mr Kristinc and Older Kid are at their geeky game day. The Smaller Kid took off to play with a friend. It’s just me, and I’m bored, and I need something to do or make or cook that won’t wear me out so I can still enjoy time with Mr Kristinc this evening. Oh, my first world problems, they are awful.

  376. Pteryxx says

    which of the S in the US would you say have the least anti-women legislation? (Would this be a shorter list than if I asked which ones are the worst on this front?)

    NARAL’s grades are a bit out of date, from 2009 on the wiki:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States_by_state

    but California and Washington get A+’s, Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, Oregon, and Hawaii get A’s.

    More recently, there’s this interactive chart as of Sept 2011:

    http://www.remappingdebate.org/map-data-tool/growing-set-state-abortion-restrictions-visualized

    which has the fewest restrictions showing in Oregon, New Hampshire and Vermont.

    They’re moving s damn fast now that there really should be a clearinghouse somewhere…

  377. changeable moniker says

    #490 was @krinstinc. :)

    @TomeWyrm, context helps. What are you headdesking about?

  378. David Marjanović says

    Link dump before I run. I’ll tell you later about the soups I made this and last weekend…

    German news feature about demonstrations for “Russia without Putin”. The punk rock band Pussy Riots, which consists of masked women, entered the Savior Cathedral (the national sanctuary) and performed a punk prayer for the end of Putin’s rule. Video somewhere online, probably on YouTube.

    Picture of demonstration for Assad. I notice two things…

    Picture of elsewhere in Syria.

    Abstract of paper on the Bruce Effect: not just lab rats, but also wild geladas terminate their pregnancies when a new alpha male takes over; that’s anticipating the fact that such males routinely kill all young that are not theirs.

    One of my favorite dogs from work died today. He was hit by a car. He was a sweet, happy dog, with tons of energy and a whole lot of bulk behind it. He was young. I’m sad that he died.

    *long hug*

    (poor guy, she broke his weird, creepy heart.)

    Heh.

    Quite.

    We should develop an appropriate gesture to repel the repelling.

    Ooh! The mirror from my childhood that reflects all attack gestures (middle fingers and such)!!! :-) Palms forward, fingers entangled, thumbs straight down…

  379. says

    Re-posting because apparently my original post was held up in moderation

    Grumps, birger, sorry for your losses.


    rorschach mentioning an Indian person:

    Met someone from India. They mentioned praying for sth (alarm bells: a religious person, though it might be different in India*) ). Then I mentioned this court case currently before the Supreme Court in New Delhi, and got the reaction I hoped for.
    So I guess I can start learning the Devanagari script. I’ve always wanted to learn it anyways..

    *) as a point of comparison, in Japan the word “pray” can also mean “fervently hope for sth. to happen”

    Tangentially related:

    What happens when a physician writes a book on linguistics

    Not being an Indian specialist, I of course can’t judge the correctness of the linguistic facts in the book, but:

    - not citing the foremost authority on Indo-Aryan languages
    - positing a highly questionable hypothesis, namely that Hindi-Urdu does not derive from Sanskrit, but from West Asian languages (and at the same time positing that Mesopatamia is the Indo-European homeland), without properly backing up such claims that go against established scholarship

    does not make me trust his other claims regarding the history of the language policy and language planning on the sub-continent either.

    (He does give some words that are supposed to derive from West Asian languages, BUT:

    - does not give any SYSTEMATIC sound correspondences establishing the fact that Hindi-Urdu indeed IS a descendant of said languages.
    - also does not give any counterevidence to the standard account that Sanskrit is the progenitor of the Modern Indo-Aryan languages (MIA). His comment to the effect that the grammar of Sanskrit is very different from that of Hindi-Urdu just shows how little he understands historical linguistics and how languages change…)

    What kind of publisher is Algora anyway? I couldn’t find any kind of schorlarly or journalistic review of the book either. Fortunately it is only cited on one Wikipedia article of note, but it is being discussed in some South Asia related online forums, vehemently challenging my SIWOTI habit…

    theophontes,

    Befehl in the singular or Befehle in the plural. Befehlen only in genitive or dative plural.

    Marriage equality

    I think Obama has always been two-faced about this issue. Coupled with the high number of deportations his administration has been conducting compared to other administrations, in the case of the Vt. couple it creates a very sad state of affairs. Makes me angry too.

    I hope though that the US will soon see marriage equality on both the federal and state levels (which would probably only work thru the Supreme Court), because that would create an important signal to other parts of the world, including western Europe.

    In Germany, for instance, there is only a civil union (which is only open to same-sex partners) available, which does not grant all the rights accorded by marriage (also in the realm of tax law). Until now there hasn’t been any political will to change the issue.

    The German Constitutional Court already ruled in 2002 that the state could accord the civil union all rights and duties of marriage, without any harm befalling the legal institution of marriage.

    (Marriage and family are to be protected by the state, as per the German constitution. However marriage is not defined in the text per se. The constitutional court until now has held that in accordance with societal norms it is between a man and a woman, but this wouldn’t mean that the court couldn’t change its opinion if it held that things had changed. The decision in 2002 already allows the state to make the civil union a marriage-in-everything-but-name, but this hasn’t happened so far).

    (Recently, the German government has asked its ethics council to mull proposals to exempt intersex individuals from having an entry in the gender column. Again something which was taken up only very reluctantly, due to pressure from the UN. Also individuals with no gender entry would be barred from marriage, but the civil union law would probably amended to apply to them)

    Passwords

    I use a combination of

    - words from my private conlang, which are usually in direct relationship to what the password grants access to, “bank”, “email”, “blog” etc.
    - some meaningful numbers, like birthdays of exes, some other meaningful dates, telephone numbers or registration numbers

    Also, I have a low-level password for a large number of websites that aren’t that sensitive.

    Email accounts, banking etc I always try to keep separate to minimise damage in case one of them is compromised.

  380. says

    LINKS

    I. Gay sex case before the Indian Supreme Court

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/india-media-home-ministry-asks-top-court-to-keep-gay-sex-illegal-calls-it-immoral/2012/02/23/gIQAPsRpUR_story.html

    II. the German Constitutional Court on same-sex civil unions from 2002

    http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/entscheidungen/ls20020717_1bvf000101.html (German)

    III. the German government’s Ethics council on intersexual individuals

    http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/36/36469/1.html

    Now instead of links, I just give the citations for:

    - the physician’s book on South Asian language history and language policy:

    Abdul Jamil Khan. 2006. The Politics of Language. Urdu/Hindi: An Artificial Divide

    - the foremost authority on South Asian linguistics, not cited a single time in Khan’s book: Colin Masica, U Chicago (Khan is based in NYC).

    Masica, Colin P. The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. ISBN 0-52129-944-6

    Masica, Colin P. Defining a Linguistic Area: South Asia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976. ISBN 0-22650-944-3

  381. says

    Lynna,

    as a cultural Lutheran who fortunately was never baptised though, I’ve taken an interest in intermittently following Lutheran affairs in the US. I’ll be glad if people who have actually been Lutherans in the US can correct me on this:

    - there is the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), a merger of three Lutheran Churches, and which has a large Scandinavian element, but also a German one
    - then there is the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), mainly in the Midwest and started mainly by German immigrants.

    These are the two big ones, but there are some more smaller Lutheran churches independent of them. So every time you hear a story about Lutherans in the US, you first have to ask yourself, ELCA, LCMS or something else?

    The ELCA is more or less like their Scandinavian or German sister churches (Note: the German Lutheran Church is like a federation of 10-12 independent Lutheran churches, each of which calls itself “Lutheran State Church of X”). It allows the ordination of women and had a decision to allow the ordination of openly gay clergy members. After that some more conservative ELCA members left and formed some new Lutheran entity. But now the majority of ELCA seems to be in support.

    The LCMS does no such things. Ordination is for men only. The only post women can aspire to is that of deaconess. I once knew someone who was studying to become one in Fort Wayne, and wow, was she conservative…

    So I do think that PZ’s Lutheran background was probably from one of the ELCA constituent churches (it’s also the church always referenced in A Prairie Home Companion)

  382. says

    I. Gay sex case before the Indian Supreme Court

    Before I looked at the link, I visualized a Supreme Court made up entirely of Native Americans. It was kinda nice. And the robes were colorful.

    Thanks for all the info on Lutherans. I suppose that Lutherans think all those schisms and reunitings and whatnot are important.

    I suppose I should apologize for thinking of Lutherans as a homogenous populations, all of whom carry vials of holy oil. I should.

  383. changeable moniker says

    In the night sky tonight, there’s a female Tawny Owl looping around going tu-whi, tu-whi, tu-whi. Over in the distance, I can hear a male going tw-hoo.

    Spring, eh?

    And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands
    Pressed closely palm to palm and to his mouth
    Uplifted, he, as through an instrument,
    Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls

    My kids are always impressed when I do that. ;)

  384. says

    Ooh! The mirror from my childhood that reflects all attack gestures (middle fingers and such)!!! :-) Palms forward, fingers entangled, thumbs straight down…

    I like that.

    Most religious people are so paranoid that they will take the bounced-back gesture as somehow harming them.

    It’s all too easy to frighten someone who believes in demons, or in Satan hitching ride inside me.