The difference? »« I am so glad I’m a science professor

Comments

  1. says

    Aratina Cage, 74

    Thanks for the moral support on the Difference thread. It helped me calm down about it. I also think you and pelamun helped the other person reassess their own comments, which I am grateful for.

    you’re welcome :)

    Giliell, 138 & 264

    I think the argument goes that the author understands a bit of linguistics but not enough and then thought xe had found something.
    I think xe was confused by the zero-derivation and the lack of inflection.

    OK, I agree now. Though I chose to abstain from commenting on it. I’ve gotten used to a shall we say rigorous way of debating things on Pharyngula, and that sometimes pisses people off on tumblr, I’ve found in my 3 days I’ve been on there…

    Also thanks for the explanation of Hitchens’ views. There are so many things I want to read, and I don’t need to read books written by a war-mongerer and misogynist, so that’s why I haven’t read his books yet. Sorry to those who feel that it’s an overly reductionist approach, but reading time is limited, after all…

    (as science still uses English, not Chinese (yet?) )

    John Morales, 266
    Perhaps, but I think the circumstances are changing; I think it more likely that good-enough automated personal real-time translators* aren’t that far into the future — perhaps a generation or two.

    I remain immensely skeptical about this. Language is not too complex for machine translation, but I think it’s too ambiguous, i.e. it would require all that human background knowledge that is still too complex for machines. I’m not an expert in machine translation, but AFAIK, the rule-based approaches to machine translation are still far away from viability. The ones that win the machine translation competitions are still brute-force approaches.

    AE, 268

    pelamun: I enjoy the linguistic tidbits. Keep em coming as long as it suits you.

    Thank you. The only problem I’ve discovered is that linguistics is not about learning languages. Apropos of nothing, I wrote a post about the etymologies for Leap year/leap day in various languages.

    Katherine, 270

    “I am a little boy of five?“

    Hehe, excellent. It’s not evident from the clip, but apparently it was a major plot point… Interesting enough many countries have laws that determine either Feb 28 or Mar 1 to be the official birth date for individuals in non-leap years. Since I’m an adherent of the German superstition of never celebrating your birthday in advance, I of course would only accept Mar 1, if I were born on Feb 29. (A quick look at the German-speaking parts of the internet indeed showed that most Germans would agree, and even insurance companies say “Feb 28 would be the last day of your last age year, and Mar 1 the first day of your next one”)

    David M., 318

    That would apply to English, but much less so to German. In English, you almost never continue with “it” when you’ve mentioned “child”, “kid” or “baby” (in fact, I’ve never seen it with “child”/”kid”), but in German, you must (or you must choose “boy”/”girl” to begin with).

    I wasn’t so much talking about English, which no longer has gendered nouns, though of course gendered pronouns. I also do not agree with your observation regarding pronoun reference in anaphoric pronouns. While I don’t recall any research regarding babies, I know that Friederike Braun has worked on that regarding neuter nouns referencing women, i.e. Mädchen, Model etc. The research showed that in the next sentence, many speakers would choose the feminine pronoun sie over the neuter one. This reminds me of what SQB said a thread ago about het meisje, die.

    But that was beside the point for me anyway. I was mainly talking about gender in nouns, and not what pronoun would refer to them. To make myself clearer:

    There is a tendency in most Indo-European languages that have a neuter noun class and a non-neuter one, to put almost all nouns referring to humans (and I think also almost all animates) into the non-neuter noun class(es). This is moot for languages such as English that have lost gender distinctions in nouns.

    Northern German even retains the general Germanic* feature of having neuter as some kind of default which is used with “who”, “somebody” and the like. (In southern German, all such words are treated as masculine – wer aller, jemand Anderer –, and at least some dialects avoid applying them to known females, resorting to eine for them.)

    * Or so I’ve read in a Google Books preview of Don Ringe’s book From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic.

    You mean “indefinite pronouns”. Yes, they take modifiers in neuter, BUT they are not neuter, grammatically they still get masculine agreement, i.e.

    es war jemand anders, den ich gestern gesehen habe. (it was somebody else I saw yesterday). It’s not das ich gestern gesehen habe (es here is an expletive pronoun and is not relevant here).
    I once read something about the history of this phenomenon, but I can’t remember where…

    and a lot of languages are still based on it

    Latin, yes. Greek, no. Greek hasn’t successfully branched in a very long time.

    It’s not how carlie phrased it, but many non-Romance languages also use the neo-Latin-Greek stock of internationalisms. Though it’s got more to do with the prestige of English than that of Latin/Greek. It’s also the reason why I understand the same news from NHK in Indonesian more easily than in Mandarin.

    Which is also why I think see the aversion of Mandarin to just borrow words as a disadvantage:
    – cannot react flexibly to trends. Before a committee has decided what to call new scientific terms officially, the scientific trends might have moved on already
    – many competing terms. I was trying to talk about the German RAF and even for this group, there are two terms, the more literal 紅軍派 hong2jun1pai4 and 赤軍旅 chi4jun1lü3, which literally means “naked-military-brigade” (赤 means “red” in Classical Chinese, but “naked” in modern Chinese). Gah. My friends said, “ah it’s ok because we don’t talk too often about the RAF anyway”. Gargh. I had to go listen to this song to cool off (and yes, the problem posed by calling an Underground that is not COMPLETELY under ground Underground vexes me too).

    I think the Chinese characters are an enormous hurdle to Chinese ever becoming the kind of universal language of science that English is now.

    I’m not sure. I agree that the script is a huge hurdle, but this has always been secondary. If China becomes the next superpower, many people will invest the opportunity costs in learning it. But it will not happen during our lifetimes.

    Obligatory mention of the textbook case: Coca Cola = kěkǒukělè = can-mouth-can-joy = you can taste it, you can enjoy it… Coca Cola means “Taste and Enjoy™” in Chinese.

    (…That’s a significant improvement over earlier attempts that mostly got the sounds closer but meant such things as “bite the wax tadpole”.)

    Yeah. I’m a bit skeptical about the “bit the wax tadpole” thing, but some claim that it was shopkeepers in Shanghai in the 1920s who came up with 蝌蝌啃蜡 kekekenla (probably pronounced differently in Shanghainese though). (Source). Now judging from its title, it is also mentioned in this book, which I haven’t read yet:
    – Biting the Wax Tadpole: Confessions of a Language Fanatic, 2007.

    Kransnaya Koshka 335
    Sorry about what you had to go through. Judging from my experiences on the necro-dunking threads, you will always have these allegedly former Mormons popping up trying to set the record straight. Annoying, and derailing.

    Google bombing Santorum

    As a linguist, I can’t approve of such tactics, but as a human being with any degree of decency I hate Santorum with a passion, so I’m all in favour!

    Andrew Breitbart
    I wonder why the only other Wikipedia article about him is in Serbocroatian. No other language Wiki saw him as notable enough…

    let me take his name as an example of why Chinese is so unwieldy regarding foreign terms. Of course names can’t be translated, so they choose characters that sound like the name:

    安德魯.布萊巴特

    安 an1 “safe”
    德 de2 “moral”
    魯 lu3 “home state of Confucius”
    布 bu4 “cloth”
    萊 lai2 “fallow fields (this character is overwhelmingly used in transliterations)
    巴 ba1 “character mostly used for transliterations, can also mean “hope, cling to”
    特 te4 “special”

    Andelu Bulaibate, you “safe moral home state of Confucius with the fallow fields clinging in a special way”, meet Andrew Breitbart. So of course they will translate everything that can be translated.

    telephone was originally transliteratedas
    德律風 de2 lü4 feng1, literally “moral-law-wind”. Delüfeng, the wind of morals and law. So some time later, they came up with a calque:
    電話 dian4hua4, “electric speech”.

    A minimum requirement for making Chinese more adaptive would be to create some kind of alphabet, or characters that have deliberately been stripped of any meaning in order to make the language more open to borrowings. Or just integrate the Latin script, like it’s done now with internet terms. Recently there was a debate about how 7-8 different terms are used for Facebook in Chinese.

    It’s a mess /rant

    Giliel, 450

    Cancer is always a bummer, glad to hear the news though under the circumstances…

    Hitler’s birthday

    Hitler’s birthday will be upon us in six weeks, watch out for Neo-Nazi organisations trying to make covert allusions to it (as celebrating it publicly would be banned in Germany)

    David M., 468

    Is that like a Chinese four-character proverb?

    I’d prefer the term chengyu (成語) because they can have anything between three and eight characters, though eight usually is well into xiehouyu (歇後語) territory. If you must use a calque, I’d prefer Chinese idiom because a proverb is usually a phrase, usually transparent to speakers synchronically. Chinese chengyu are not, they are frozen, and should be seen as words, and not as phrases.

    TomeWyrm, 481

    Could someone explain to me what “pfft” is, and why that series of letters is used to refer to it?

    Since I added it myself, may I also direct you to our Wiki.

    Chigau, 499

    One of the worst things you can call someone in Japanese is ばかbaka, meaning “fool” or “crazy”.
    When written in kanji it is 馬鹿.
    馬 = ba = horse
    鹿 = ka = deer
    I didn’t mean for it to make sense, just to indicate frustration with trying to learn Japanese language.

    it’s far from the worst thing you can say in Japanese. Japanese people will not talk openly about them (and also not publicly, Chinese is known for more colourful swearing, like “fuck your ancestors” but Japanese not so much), but there are VERY VERY VERY bad words, for instance the c-word equivalent.

    Now about baka, that’s folk etymology. I once looked into it as part of project on etymology, and comes from Sanskrit moha मोह, which was originally transliterated in Chinese as 莫迦. It means something like “bewilderment, folly”, and became monk slang in Japan, just like German students were known for their Latin slang in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    Later, 馬 ba “horse” and 鹿 ka “deer” were “reassigned”. Not so much because horses and deer were thought to be dumb animals, but this was another literary allusion, this time to Classical Chinese, i.e.

    a chengyu from the Shiji: 指鹿為馬 zhi3 lu4 wei3 ma2, “to make a horse out of a horse”, i.e. “ein X für ein U vormachen” in Chinese. This refers to the story of the eunuch Zhao Gao, who after Qin Shi Huangdi’s death was acting as regent for his son.

    This proverb was originated from Records of the Grand Historian (史记) written by Sima Qian of the Qin Dynasty in around 100 BC. History has it that during the reign of the Emperor Qin the second, there was a head of the executive bureau (丞相) named Zhao Gao (赵高), who was one ambitious man and had always wanted to be an emperor. However, he was unsure as to, among his subordinates, who were on his side and who were not. Zhao came up with a scheme. One day at the the Emperor’s palace, Zhao brought out a deer before his subordinates and said to the Emperor “Here is a horse for your highness!”. The Emperor laughed and said to Zhao that “You must be wrong, it is a deer”. Zhao ignored the Emperor and demanded that each of his subordinates to say whether it was a horse or a deer. Some said it was a deer, but some tried not to offend Zhao and chose to say that it was a horse. Later those who told the truth by saying it was a deer were killed by Zhao.

    Those who pretended to go along were playing fool, so that’s probably why these characters were assigned to it.

    In modern Mandarin, however, this idiom means something like “deliberate misrepresentation”, for instance in the news today, the Chinese company suing Apple in court over the iPad trademark is accusing Apple of “pointing to a deer and making a horse out of it”.

  2. Antares42 says

    Hullo there!

    Another humble help request with the UK acupuncture poll from a few days ago.

    After the acupuncturists reset the poll several times, they finally introduced a user registration and restarted the poll with ~200 “Yes please, quackery for tax money” and ~60 “No”. Over the last hours the “No” side has ever-so-slowly crept up again from 25% to now 37%. Good, but not enough.

    The red side of reason could use another Pharyngula bump. So please, copy this link into a new tab/window, make an account and give the woowoos a thumbs-down.

    Thank you.

  3. says

    Ahhh, gotta love my family.
    Since my grandma broke her arm last August she needs 24/7 supervision.
    Apart from the fact that you need to help her with everything like washing, toilet, walking to the table, getting her something to drink and so on, her dementia means that she keeps forgetting that she needs help with all those things, so you can’t leave her alone in the house.
    The three adults who live with her take that burden while I’m kind of “the last resource”.
    And I most certainly don’t mind. She’s my gran, I love her, we can do this together.
    It’s just that those other three people are suposed to write down their schedules so they can figure out when there’s a problem.
    Seems like they’re capable of everything except that.
    NO, thankfully I don’t have plans for tomorrow…

    pelamun

    I know that Friederike Braun has worked on that regarding neuter nouns referencing women, i.e. Mädchen, Model etc. The research showed that in the next sentence, many speakers would choose the feminine pronoun sie over the neuter one. This reminds me of what SQB said a thread ago about het meisje, die.

    Ah, but on the other side in many Southern German dialects you have the phenomenon to use the definete article in front of names and there women get “es”* from “das Mädchen”.
    Joke says that all women’s names in the Saarland start with an S.
    So, instead of saying “Petra hat angerufen. Sie wollte wissen wann Peter kommt.” (Petra called) I’d say “Es Petra hat angerufen, S wollte wissen wann der Peter kommt”.
    Of course, I wouldn’t say that, I’d say it more like “es Pedra had aangeruuf. ‘S wolld wisse wann de Peeda kommd”.

    *I think that “es” here doesn’t mean the pronoun but the weak form of “das”. I’d also say “(e)s Häschen mag Karotten”. It’s either pronounced “s” or “schwa+s”

  4. John Morales says

    Antares42, your spamming is beginning to irritate me.

    (And you utterly miss the point of Pharyngulation.

    Hint: PZ tags those posts as “Pointless polls” for a reason)

    Thank you

    You thank me for sneering at you?

    (Bah)

  5. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ David Marjanović

    Linky to De Botton thread.

    Re: Greek Gods etc. There is an exhibition called “Fantastic Creatures from The British Museum” on in Hong Kong right now. It is utterly exquisite. (I would be lying if I did not tell you I almost wept tears of joy walking around and taking it all in.) They even have the plaque of Bellerophon and the Chimera (I used for my wordpress blog. That is also where my nym comes from.)

  6. says

    Also, from the rubric of frustrating news:

    the German federal government commissioned a 762-page study on the lives of young Muslims. Now the archconservative interior minister himself falls victim to the tabloid press paranoia and spouts stuff like “20% of young Muslims refuse to integrate themselves, which is a breeding ground for terrorism”. Asshole.

    at least Marietta Slomka, news anchorwoman, showed some guts and tore him to pieces on live TV. And this on ZDF which has a conservative bent..

    Researcher behind the study, 20% of young Muslims not willing to integrate, is a normal figure, even if it sounds bad. You can also find 15-20% of xenophobic sentiment in the German population…

    And: glad to hear that our Australian threadizens seem to be OK.

  7. says

    pelamun

    “20% of young Muslims refuse to integrate themselves, which is a breeding ground for terrorism”. Asshole.

    What, wait, I thought it was converts who are the dangerous terrorists?
    That’s why we need a register for them.
    At least that’s what the former interior minister claimed.
    Now I’m confused.
    Must be my silly pinky lady-brainz.
    Do your man-brainz work better on that?
    I’m also wondering how much of the unwillingness to integrate has to do with them frequently being asked where they’re from and when they’re going back…

  8. says

    Giliell,

    I don’t know but I know this: the interior minister after being pounded by Slomka, tried to at one point blame the media for only focusing on the radical Muslims, when she went in for the kill “but you did that yourself minister, by focusing on the 20% and also by focusing on the security partnerships*” I have to say, I almost came when at that point in the interview.

    I don’t have the time to dig through all 762 pages, but:

    – the study (or major components of it, apparently it is a composite study) is based on 700 telephone interviews. Without looking at it in detail, I can’t judge its representativeness, but there are about 4m Muslims (however, of all ages).
    the study however, did find:
    – a major obstacle to Muslims’ willingness to integrate is the hostility by the majority to them.
    – it’s not only a perception. The study also found that many Germans support this racist book by Sarrazin, or rather if not its racist views, at least that many Muslims are neither able nor willing to integrate themselves. Breakdown by party supporters: Liberal Party (FDP) 59%, Conservative Party 51%, Left Party 52%, Social Democratic Party 43%.

    Die Zustimmung zu Sarrazins Thesen schien bei den FDP-Anhängern am höchsten zu sein (59 Prozent), aber auch die Wähler der CDU/CSU (51 Prozent stimmten Sarrazin zu), der Linkspartei (52 Prozent) und der SPD (43 Prozent) meinten, Sarrazin habe Recht mit seiner kritischen und provokanten Sicht auf die Integrationsfähigkeit und die Integrationsbereitschaft der Muslime in Deutschland.

    This is also why I still see these statements by the future president Joachim Gauck critically. I do hope he will educate himself and get down from his pedestal of white Christian privilege.

    *) the new interior minister did a) deny that Islam was part of Germany and b) try to rename the dialogue with Muslim associations “security partnerships”, i.e. implying they were coopting the associations to monitor all these radical would-be terrorists

    I’m also wondering how much of the unwillingness to integrate has to do with them frequently being asked where they’re from and when they’re going back…

    I have sometimes been asked where I’m really from. It annoys the hell out of me. Even my friends don’t really understand it, saying that those people I just met only asked out of genuine curiosity. Whatever…

  9. Antares42 says

    @John Morales #505

    Well alright, I’ll stop. My interpretation of Pharyngulation was to not let the crooks and liars get the numbers they want. If your definition is more along the lines of “showing them that their polls are vulnerable, non-representative and thus meaningless” then so be it.

    I was trying to keep this thing hot (or “spamming”) here because I felt it was a topic that deserved at least a modicum of attention – the funding of pseudoscience with taxpayer money, also an issue in the US, see NCCAM – and that those who wouldn’t want to bother could just ignore it.

    The audience here is diverse, so I was bound to get one or another dissatisfied response.

    Anyway, you’re all safe now. Have a great day.

  10. birgerjohansson says

    Anti-Rush Limbaugh gun? “Researchers develop ‘SpeechJammer’ gun that can quash human utterances” http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-speechjammer-gun-quash-human-utterances.html
    — — — —
    Steven Colbert Converts All Dead Mormons to Judaism http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/stephen-colbert-converts-all-dead-mormons-t
    — — — —
    Building a beetle antifreeze http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-beetle-antifreeze.html
    Question: Can we inject a xylomannan analogue into organs we want to preserve for transplantation? Or is the molecule so large that it can only be generated inside a cell by its own cellular machinery?
    — — — — —
    Three-strikes law fails to reduce crime http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-02-three-strikes-law-crime.html In earlier research, Parker found that homicide rates nationally correlate with alcohol consumption and unemployment rates.

  11. says

    - a major obstacle to Muslims’ willingness to integrate is the hostility by the majority to them.

    On second thoughts I’m wondering if anybody has ever bothered to actually define “integration” and if they have done so for the purpose of the study whether that definition has anything to do with what politicians mean by that.

  12. says

    I ranted last night in my Dreamwidth about Internet Asexuals (*cough* Sidneyia *cough*). Sorry, but I’ve got comments enabled only for people on my DW and LJ f-lists, in order to deter assholes.

    Pelamun:

    Hitler’s birthday will be upon us in six weeks….

    April 19 is also the date of…

    • the beginning of the Siege of Boston during the American Revolution (1775)
    • Enoch Powell’s racist “Rivers of Blood” speech (1968)
    • the FBI’s raid of the The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord (CSAL) compound in Elijah, MO (1985)
    • the Columbine massacre in Littleton, CO (1999)
    • the shooting at the Johnson Space Center in Houston (2007)

    And the day before, the 19th, is the date that the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began (1943), that fire consumed the Branch Davidian compound outside Waco, TX (1993), and that the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed (1995).

    Busy couple of days for law enforcement in the U.S.

  13. says

    Thank you. I did not know there was disagreement towards how the story was being presented. Still seems odd/wrong that an obvious attack could be ruled as justified or dismissed like that. Are the quotes from the judge accurate about how the victim was outside his freedom of speech? That was the troubling part for me. Why wasn’t it treated like an assault?

  14. onion girl, OM; imaginary lesbian says

    Hi guys! Quick drive-by to share this, please spread this word! (The server is super slow ATM, so be patient)

    ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

    MPAA: Don’t let the bullies win! Give ‘Bully’ a PG-13 instead of an R rating!

    I signed with the message below; please spread the word!

    __
    As a social worker, I’ve worked with dozens of children that have experienced the trauma of bullying. Today bullies can follow children into their bedrooms with text and cyber-bullying, and the adults in the lives of these children frequently feel ineffectual in or indifferent to finding solutions.

    A PG-13 rating allows children to see violence (frequently sexual violence), war imagery and other disturbing content–but a documentary on bullying is prohibited?

    Children suffer lasting physical, mental and emotional effects from bullying. Children develop bad grades, practice self-injurious behaviors, drop out of school, suffer psycho-somatic illnesses and sometimes become bullies themselves because of bullying. Children commit *suicide* because of bullying.

    Please change this rating and allow children the opportunity to see something that could help them.

    ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

    ps: if you’re coming to the Reason Rally and haven’t already done so, please fill out the poll!

    pps: miss you guys!

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

    … has anybody seen/heard from Walton lately?

  16. says

    Consciousness isn’t seperate from metabolism. The question is akin to saying that the jogging has to exist somewhere after you stopped running because energy!

    Consider that stolen. I hope to hell I don’t have to spend eternity in the afterjog.

  17. ChasCPeterson says

    It’s kind of too bad that the producers of the bullying documentary gave it the same title as this flick, which definitely deserved at least an R.

  18. Pteryxx says

    …I didn’t know the Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord was a thing, much less a polygamist cult. I only knew about the Cabaret Voltaire album. Sheesh…

  19. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    MPAA: Don’t let the bullies win! Give ‘Bully’ a PG-13 instead of an R rating!

    I signed with the message below; please spread the word!

    There’s a documentary film festival going on here this week (Zagreb Dox), and “Bully” is part of Teen Dox, which, as the name says, consists of movies targeting teenagers. It has no special warnings.

  20. KG says

    And already I’ve seen the first claims that Breitbart was assassinated ‘because he knew too much’ – SQB

    Much more plausible: he was assassinated because he knew too little.

  21. says

    Even more gross misogyny from Lush Rimjob against the Georgetown law student who testified before Congress in favor of better access to contraception:

    • He suggested a “compromise”: buying “all the women at Georgetown University as much aspirin to put between their knees as possible.”

    • “So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I’ll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

    • “Who bought your condoms in junior high? Who bought your condoms in the sixth grade? Or your contraception. Who bought your contraceptive pills in high school?”

    • Fluke is “having so much sex, it’s amazing she can still walk.” He also said Georgetown should establish a “Wilt Chamberlain scholarship … exclusively for women.”

  22. says

    I’m reading Shaun Morey’s “Wahoo Rhapsody”. It’s kinda like Carl Hiaasen or Tim Dorsey’s style, set in Baja California, Mexico.

    The lead character is a former personal injury attorney who struck it rich by suing god, then retired w/ $1B after all the religious death threats.

    The initial suit was based on a catlick bishop friend of his getting hit by lightning and having the insurance company refuse to pay because it was an act of god.

    So he sued on behalf of the guy’s sister for wrongful death against the catlick church. Arguing that because the church represented god and god caused the lightning strike, the bishop was killed in the course of his employment.

    After all, if god was all knowing and all powerful then it was a clear case of negligence.

    The church settled. When the settlement came out people of all faiths came to him about the act of god clauses and he filed a class action lawsuit.

    Since none of them wanted to admit their god wasn’t omnipotent, omniscient, or omni-benevolent they all settled for 1 day of their combined collections.

  23. Pteryxx says

    Brayton’s onto Limbaugh’s vile spew, too…

    “So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I’ll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

    I saw somewhere (BlagHag comments?) a commenter mentioned that Rush, like that hateful nursing student back when, apparently thinks contraception for women is identical to Viagra for men. Namely, that it’s something you take right before sex. Not that contraception for women’s usually an ongoing form of maintenance having nothing to do with frequency of sex.

    The more I think about it, the more sure I am that an awful lot of people (men and women) in this ridiculously Christian, slut-shaming, sex-phobic culture ACTUALLY BELIEVE THIS. There aren’t any sources of real information – they’ve squelched sex ed in schools, made Planned Parenthood’s name synonymous with abortion mills for dirty sluts, and run women’s health clinics out of town. Not only that, women’s sexuality or contraception can’t be discussed in popular media such as movies or TV – those sex ed videos about the clitoris get censored on youtube, but not the prostate ones? Yet there are ads for Viagra all over the place, even a Viagra-painted stock car, because sex is fine for MEN.

    Limbaugh’s accusations look ridiculous to us because we know better, but I really don’t think we’re in the majority here.

  24. Zugswang says

    Rush Limbaugh…such a despicable and atrocious villain should only exist in works of fiction.

    Isn’t there a pharmacy somewhere he should be raiding?

  25. TomeWyrm says

    Politicians like Rush Limpdick make me desire a mandated pain induction circuit implanted within all politicians conditional on their accepting the office. Then when they say stuff like that, you could run some negative reinforcement (that is the correct term, right?).

    Either that or a “groin kick machine”… but I like pain induction better. No marks, and you can get so much more intense with the pain. Today is apparently “Tomewyrm is a Sadist Day”. Ooh, I should grab my notebook and write down ideas for D&D!

  26. says

    via pelamun:

    History has it that during the reign of the Emperor Qin the second, there was a head of the executive bureau (丞相) named Zhao Gao (赵高), who was one ambitious man and had always wanted to be an emperor. However, he was unsure as to, among his subordinates, who were on his side and who were not. Zhao came up with a scheme. One day at the the Emperor’s palace, Zhao brought out a deer before his subordinates and said to the Emperor “Here is a horse for your highness!”. The Emperor laughed and said to Zhao that “You must be wrong, it is a deer”. Zhao ignored the Emperor and demanded that each of his subordinates to say whether it was a horse or a deer. Some said it was a deer, but some tried not to offend Zhao and chose to say that it was a horse. Later those who told the truth by saying it was a deer were killed by Zhao.

    Amazing. It’s a more realistic version of The Emperor’s New Clothes where, instead of embarrassing the bureau chief, the skeptics are murdered for speaking truth to power. Shades of “there are four lights”, even.

  27. David Marjanović says

    Just signed the petition with:

    “Bullying must be exposed. It must be dragged out in public.”

    ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░

    Sauropod worship – Ascend to a higher plane featuring the seriously huge Barosaurus in the American Museum of Natural History.

    ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░

    Huffing and puffing for dinner. Or: it is finally discovered how a fish kept in all large aquaria of the world eats.

    ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░

    Oh man, that publishing thing was awesome.

    Judging from firstapproximation’s description, it must have been! I’ve sent the link to the fine folks at SV-POW!. Take this in return.

    TomeWyrm: Wikipedia = “The Pf[f]ft! of all Knowledge.”

    Derived from “The Fount of All Knowledge”.

    New billboard up the street: “Speak LORD…I’m listening!”

    So, everybody should speak “lord” very loudly?

    While I don’t recall any research regarding babies, I know that Friederike Braun has worked on that regarding neuter nouns referencing women, i.e. Mädchen, Model etc. The research showed that in the next sentence, many speakers would choose the feminine pronoun sie over the neuter one.

    Oh yes. I can confirm that.

    This reminds me of what SQB said a thread ago about het meisje, die.

    That was at least two subthreads ago, because I still haven’t seen it. :-(

    es war jemand anders, den ich gestern gesehen habe.

    Oh yes. That makes anders look like an adverb – maybe that’s the real reason why it always looks wrong to me. :-)

    - cannot react flexibly to trends. Before a committee has decided what to call new scientific terms officially, the scientific trends might have moved on already

    Oh yes, I’ve seen this happen. There are scientific papers in Chinese in which terms are followed by an English term (for some obscure anatomical structure, so mostly Latin/Greek in origin) in parentheses, and I think I’ve even seen English terms in isolation, maybe in an abstract or so.

    Delüfeng, the wind of morals and law.

    I’ve read that was just one version of many: deleifeng, dalüfeng… no idea which characters (or tones) are involved.

    So some time later, they came up with a calque:
    電話 dian4hua4, “electric speech”.

    They didn’t – the Japanese did. The Japanese did so in kanji, so the Chinese simply took the kanji and ran with them. That happened a lot in the early 20th century. Economy? Jīngjì, Japanese keizai, written the same.

    Of course, 電 used to mean “lighting”; you can still see how it punches through all those whatevers from above!

    A minimum requirement for making Chinese more adaptive would be to create some kind of alphabet

    Has, of course, been done several times in the last 700 years. Just never caught on. (Well, one attempt caught on for Korean, for which it was also intended, though that only happened several hundred years after it was invented.)

    I think that “es” here doesn’t mean the pronoun but the weak form of “das”.

    Definitely.

    Why am I so sure? Because of my own dialect, where the neuter article is usually just [s], never starts with a vowel, and [d̥es ~ d̥ɛs] is pretty much restricted to the demonstrative pronoun* and the relative pronoun.

    Female names do get the feminine article, though, even when it shrinks to just [d̥].

    * Quite right, there is only one. Not like here in Berlin where you’d have to choose between det and dieset.

    Linky to De Botton thread.

    Thanks, I’ll check it out.

    Question: Can we inject a xylomannan analogue into organs we want to preserve for transplantation? Or is the molecule so large that it can only be generated inside a cell by its own cellular machinery?

    The name sounds rather large…

    On second thoughts I’m wondering if anybody has ever bothered to actually define “integration”

    LOL!

    And don’t go around thinking all politicians mean the same or that any particular politician (some Greens perhaps excepted) mean anything coherent, let alone stable.

    those sex ed videos about the clitoris get censored on youtube, but not the prostate ones?

    What is restricted to viewers over 18 on YouTube is completely random. Random prude randomly stumbles over randomly selected video and complains; random prude does not click on any of the Related Videos, does not complain about any of them, and they all remain unrestricted.

    Politicians like Rush Limpdick

    Technically, he ain’t. He’s a radio talkshow host.

    You could of course say he’s an unelected politician.

    Amazing. It’s a more realistic version of The Emperor’s New Clothes where, instead of embarrassing the bureau chief, the skeptics are murdered for speaking truth to power. Shades of “there are four lights”, even.

    QFT.

  28. Richard Austin says

    Ing:

    There’s some potential for having been fiddled with; they do have an OS in them and can, therefore, be hacked and re-purposed. You could (and would probably have to) factory reset it, but if someone has really tried, even that could have been compromised.

    I think if you found the appropriate firmware online and flashed it using that (most of them have tools/options for doing so) it would probably be okay, but you’d have to bring it online enough to do so.

    Unless you’re really jonsing for a router or you have a sandbox you want to play with, you’re probably better off just leaving it.

  29. Pteryxx says

    David M:

    What is restricted to viewers over 18 on YouTube is completely random.

    Um, no, it isn’t. Atheist, feminist, and sex-positive material get disproportionately age-restricted for offensiveness. That’s not random, it’s the same sort of silencing mechanism that brings the MRA’s out on every discussion of rape or sexual harassment.

    The example I was thinking of, though, was Laci Green’s Sex+ episode on the clitoris, and she did get youtube to de-restrict it.

    http://lacigreen.tv/sexplus/sexuality/3090-youtubedefendssexplus

  30. David Marjanović says

    Atheist, feminist, and sex-positive material get disproportionately age-restricted for offensiveness.

    Sorry, meant to say what of that material is restricted is random.

  31. says

    Perhaps, but I think the circumstances are changing; I think it more likely that good-enough automated personal real-time translators* aren’t that far into the future — perhaps a generation or two.

    I remain immensely skeptical about this. Language is not too complex for machine translation, but I think it’s too ambiguous, i.e. it would require all that human background knowledge that is still too complex for machines. I’m not an expert in machine translation, but AFAIK, the rule-based approaches to machine translation are still far away from viability. The ones that win the machine translation competitions are still brute-force approaches.

    “Yesterday, I bought two musical instruments: a piano and a pan flute. I took one of them home with me, while I had the other one delivered.”
    If you translate that to French, the piano and the pan flute have a different gender (‘le piano’ and ‘la flûte de Pan’). When referring to them, you need to use the correct gender. To correctly translate this, you need to know which one would need to be delivered and which one you can just put in your pocket. For this, you indeed need that human background knowledge. IMO, automatic translation is the ultimate test of artificial intelligence (which I used to study).

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

    “Yesterday, I bought two musical instruments: a piano and a pan flute. I took one of them home with me, while I had the other one delivered.”

    Hier j’ai acheté deux instruments de musique: un piano et une flûte de Pan. L’un d’eux j’ai ramené chez moi/à la maison, tandis que l’autre je l’ai fait livrer.

    I know my French laisse à désirer, but isn’t it possible to make both of them masculine as “un instrument”?

  33. Weed Monkey says

    Today I picked up a PeeWee litter box for teh Kitteh. It was posted in such a huge box I had trouble carrying it home from the post office (or the local kiosk) with my groceries even if it wasn’t heavy. So far it looks promising: I have the old and new litter boxes next to each other, and I found teh Kitteh happily peeing into the new one (I suppose it’s cleaner at the moment).

    If she approves of the new toilet it would be really nice, I’m tired of that bentonite “sand” getting everywhere in her paws.

  34. says

    Conferences are pretty fun. I’ve eaten lots of free food :) I wish I could go to more of these things. The only problem is that the Orlando Airport has awful wifi and the hotel wants me to pay to use theirs. I’ve found that my phone does not like this site.

  35. chigau (同じ) says

    So, do fancy litter-boxes work if the old dear is now in the habit of stepping into the litter-box, hanging her butt over the side, peeing on the floor then vigorously tossing litter in all directions?
    (Cement floor in the basement. I just go clean up after she’s done.)

  36. says

    Dr. Seuss is not a moose, he’s a mormon.

    Dr. Seuss is no longer loose
    in the dim Outer Darkness.

    He’s a mormon, don’t you know.
    After a dunking of his dead soul.

    Link to a record of all the mormon ordinances done for Theodor Suess Geisel. Yes, they spelled his middle name wrong and still managed to dunk, seal and deliver him to mormon heaven.

    Maybe he’s no longer allowed to be silly?

  37. Weed Monkey says

    So, do fancy litter-boxes work if the old dear is now in the habit of stepping into the litter-box, hanging her butt over the side, peeing on the floor then vigorously tossing litter in all directions?

    Probably not. But I must say this one is pretty large, and it has high walls that could be useful.

  38. John Morales says

    SQB, I don’t know French, but I remember some Spanish, which also uses grammatical gender.

    “Yesterday, I bought two musical instruments: a piano and a pan flute. I took one of them home with me, while I had the other one delivered.”

    “Ayer compré dos instrumentos musicales: un piano y una flauta de pan. Tomé uno de ellos conmigo a mi casa, mientras tuve el otro entregado.”

    Don’t see the problem here, because an instrument is “male”.

  39. John Morales says

    PS I do see a problem with such as ‘ser’ vs ‘estar’, because they both translate to different senses of ‘to be’ in English.

    (That is, I grant your point, but question your example)

  40. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    OOooh, the Carboniferous!

    I wish people didn’t obsess about dinosaurs quite so much. Even ignoring the various eras of weird mammals, The carboniferous was full of wonderfully bizarre creatures that barely seem to get a passing mention anywhere.

    This, of course, is why I’m a huge Darren Naish fan, but he is only one person and can only fill so much of this colossal gap.

  41. Pteryxx says

    I dunno if Akira MacKenzie reads here, but I put a call out in response to a comment over at Ed Brayton’s, about Akira’s experiences working with food aid recipients. If anyone’s in need of rage fuel, it’s here:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/03/02/right-wing-dickhead-wants-to-humiliate-the-poor/#comment-73944

    To Akira: I can’t stop thinking about what you’re describing, where recipients of aid don’t even have basic service or security protections that we’d expect even from a bank or a utility company. I’ve had vindictive family members shut off my utilities before, and it wasn’t that awful to get them turned back on and locked down with a password in my name, for instance. I know you’re dealing with a far more rotten system, and I don’t have any idea yet what if anything I could do about it, but I want to hear more from you, even if it’s just venting.

    If TET doesn’t work, there’s chat or IM or my gmail is my nym.

  42. says

    Ing,

    Still seems odd/wrong that an obvious attack could be ruled as justified

    It was not ruled as justified. Judge Martin explicitly said otherwise. At the end of Perce’s recording, Martin says to Perce “he shouldn’t be putting his hands on you.”

    or dismissed like that.

    It had to be dismissed like that, because the charge requires mens rea, which the state did not establish beyond a reasonable doubt. The US criminal justice system is deliberately set up to favor the defendant in ambiguous cases.

    It’s not odd at all. See Blackstone’s formulation. Martin thought, at the end of testimony, that there remained a reasonable doubt about Elbayomy’s intent, and since this statute specifies a particular intent, Martin had to acquit. He was legally obliged to do so. If he had thought reasonable doubt had been surpassed, then he would have been obliged to convict. But it is the job of the prosecutor to change the judge’s mind (or the minds of the jury members, but as noted in the other thread, this was a summary charge).

    Are the quotes from the judge accurate about how the victim was outside his freedom of speech? That was the troubling part for me.

    The quotes you’ve seen are probably accurate regarding what Martin said, but what Martin said on this was not terribly clear.

    To understand where Martin is coming from, realize that he is not a lawyer. He has taken a six week intensive course to be eligible to sit as a judge, which is what Pennsylvania requires of its lowest judges. That course is probably heavily focused on traffic and parking. I realize this may sound strange, but it’s probably adequate for the lowest courts, and something like this is necessary in a system where judges are democratically elected.

    But he’s never been to law school. So when he talks about the First Amendment, he speaks as Joe Sixpack (or maybe G.I. Joe) giving a man-on-the-street interview to The Onion.

    Here’s what he said in the trial. “But you have that right, but you’re way outside your bounds of First Amendment rights.” What does that even mean? It’s self-contradictory. Well, you’ve heard statements like that before. I’ve usually found that they mean: “you have that right but I don’t approve of how you’re using that right.”

    Later, to CNN, he said something which clarifies his understanding. “Here’s the thing: It’s a right, it’s not a privilege, it’s a right.” Okay, that’s clear enough. He does believe it’s a right. Then he goes on to say something confused, but not contradictory: “With rights come responsibilities. The more that people abuse our rights, the more likely that we’re going to lose them.”

    The content of those supposed responsibilities is very much up for debate, but whatever, it’s not damning that he believes this. And then the last sentence is just historically wrong, but it doesn’t contradict his statement that Perce’s speech was a right and not a privilege.

    My conclusion is that Martin appears to have pretty much the same understanding as every other soldier who’s insinuated that I’m a traitor while telling me that he risked his life for my freedom of speech.

    To be clear, though, that lecture on rights and boundaries of decency was not part of the acquittal. Elbayomy was acquitted because the state did not establish its case, period.

  43. says

    (Hit submit too early.)

    Why wasn’t it treated like an assault?

    Because he wasn’t charged with assault §2701, he was charged with harassment §2709.

    Why that charge? I can’t tell you definitively since I haven’t talked to the cop, but basically, indictments are hit and miss.

    Someone hears the victim’s statement and it reminds them of something or other. Apparently someone thought that what Perce described (as well as Elbayomy’s statement, who was questioned before being charged) was closer to the harassment statute than the assault statute.

    This is just a guess, but I suspect that because Perce did not claim to be injured, and the assault statute involves injury while harassment does not, harassment seemed like it would be an easier conviction.

  44. says

    Hrmmph! I really wasn’t planning to say anything about Rush Limbaugh’s latest outrage, because, really, who expects anything other than outrage from that enervated bag of gas? But then the Facebook page of “Ed Page” from the Hartford Courant (get it? “Ed Page”?) asked…

    After calling a Georgetown law student a “slut” and a “prostitute” for testifying before Congress about contraception and womens’ health, should Rush Limbaugh be taken seriously as a spokesman for conservatism?

    …and things snapped into relief for me. Here’s what I added to the gross comments (literally a gross of comments: 144 at the time I posted) there:

    “Forgive me for commenting without reading the whole thread, but my take is that it’s critical we get sane, conservative-leaning independents to understand that Limbaugh *REALLY IS* representative of the right-wing establishment: He’s what’s behind the curtain. They really do think women who dare to want control of their own sexuality are sluts and whores… that’s what’s behind their attack on reproductive freedom, on contraception, on women’s health generally; the high-minded prostestations about fetal personhood and freedom of conscience are just the veneer that covers an underlying structure of hatred and patriarchy.

    As much as I despise what Limbaugh said, I’m almost grateful to him for putting into such stark relief what’s really at stake in our politics at this moment in history.”

  45. says

    Looking at the Pennsylvania statutes again, I’m not sure there was any obvious choice of charge that would have resulted in a conviction.

    There’s a provision that amounts to: criminal intent + no injury = harassment.

    And another that: recklessness + injury = assault.

    But recklessness + no injury = not a crime.

  46. says

    That is, unless the possible injury would have been death or serious bodily injury. That’s the charge of “recklessly endangering another person.” But the danger in this case was not alleged to rise to the possibility of serious bodily injury, so that’s not a certain conviction either.

    I do not envy Sgt. Curtis’s job.

  47. Pteryxx says

    Following name-dropping from Skepchick and commenters in the Idiots post: I had no idea all these kick-ass women existed! Elizabeth Cady Stanton! Matilda Joslyn Gage! Anne Royall!

    While in Washington attempting to secure a pension, Anne caught President John Quincy Adams during one of his usual early morning baths in the Potomac River. It is commonly recounted, but apocryphal, that she gathered the president’s clothes and sat on them until he answered her questions, earning her the first presidential interview ever granted to a woman. [1]

    (from Pfft) SO AWESOME

  48. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ changeable 469

    @theophontes, are you sure that’s alcohol? I thought it burned with a blue flame.

    Bunsen burner with same fuel and different oxygen mix. (Link to image)

    I know one can change the flame colour with additives. As used in fireworks for example. (You might be on to something here!)

  49. says

    some news:

    – The Japanese Parliament decided to lower the salary of national-level civil servants by 7-8%, and leave it up to the prefectural parliaments if they would do the same for regional-level ones (but strongly implied that they do so). I don’t think many countries would be able to pass this measure without seeing mass demonstrations.

    – the German Parliament, meanwhile, is about to grant disgraced former president Christian Wulff the “honour pension” to the tune of 199,000 EUR a year. While this is no issue to do mass demos over, many Germans are pissed. The Appropriations Committee might at least take his limousine and secretary (also for life) away. The prosecution, meanwhile, just executed a search warrant to search his home and seized his computer.

  50. Pteryxx says

    sleep? who needs sleep when there’s INTERNET! zomgs!

    I’ve gone from kick-ass suffragettes through abolitionists, the triangle trade, the iconic images of slaves packed onto the ship Brookes (with a slight detour through torture implements) …and ended up at a righteous blow-by-blow rant about the whitewashing of history on the new US state quarters. Awesome.

    that rant by the way is here:

    http://historicalmuses.blogspot.com/2010/05/quarters-anyone.html

  51. janine says

    I just got done reading Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand. If you are familiar with her work, you know that she drops in a lot of references to punk and post punk song and artists. Yeah, it is like catnip to me. In this novel, it was Marquee Moon by Television. Now I cannot get the riffing out of my head.

    Bliss. Ten minutes of bliss.

  52. says

    I like how Ed Brayton reports that Ernest Perce received hundreds of threats, without reporting that Judge Mark Martin also received hundreds of threats and had to relocate to the county courthouse where they have better security.

  53. says

    Is there more background on Ernest Perce? The way he showed up on Ed’s blog and told us that the judge committed perjury kinda made me suspicious. He was there, but linguists now have analysed the construction the judge used and have correctly identified it as the so-called sports conditional.

  54. Sili says

    Please, “sports conditional” is so last week. All the cool cats call it the “bare paratactic conditional” now.

  55. says

    His public pronouncements in the last week indicate that he is a conspiratorially-minded crank. Here’s an excerpt from his interview with Pamela Geller

    Geller: What do you think of Judge Martin’s office denying that he is a Muslim?

    Perce: Remember, a Muslim can lie to a nonbeliever, a kaffir. He spoke Arabic to the defendant and his friend. They answered back. If he claims he isn’t a Muslim, then why does he have a Koran? Why did he challenge me to a debate on the interpretation of the Koran? Why get mad at me and insult me? Why then go on a six-minute rant against me? Why value Islam above Christianity? He said, “They pray five times a day, towards Mecca. To be a good Muslim before you die, you have to make a pilgrimage to Mecca.” Christians pray all the time, Jews pray all the time, Buddhists follow the basics of karma. Humanists will do no harm to anyone.

    There is so much wrong with his preference for Islam. I’ve never met a Christian who got offended at a person dressing as Muhammad or wanted to debate them, or who told another person, “As-Salamu Alaykum.”

    His staff can say what they want, but there are only three possibilities: he just got saved, or if he has nothing to hide, why threaten me with contempt and order me to destroy the audio? Or third, he’s a Muslim who is backpedaling because he got offended and had a slip of anger, and he knew he couldn’t physically attack me!

  56. says

    Oh lawd, and this. I didn’t see this before:

    I’m going to buy a billboard featuring Martin’s photo, saying, “You’re outside your bounds of the First Amendment! I’m Mark Martin, I am a Muslim and I’m offended.”

    It’s motivated reasoning. He’s sunk so much into his public claim that Martin is a Muslim, and received so much attention for it, that now he has to believe it.

  57. says

    And the 20th is my dad’s birthday. :)

    Wait, you’re my uncle’s illegitimate daughter?
    Poor guy, it’s a rather unfortunate birthday in Germany

    David D.

    Female names do get the feminine article, though, even when it shrinks to just [d̥].

    Definetly not here. Because we do have “die”. Women whose main “position” is a feminine noun “die Mama, die Tante, die Schwester” get “die”.

    +++++

    On completely different notes, did you know I’m a tool?
    I’m a highly fuctional and valuble tool, but nevertheless a thing.
    Wait, you’re saying that you were interacting with a person all the time?
    Ha, that was just the Giliell-Pharyngula performance I put on all the time. Did I fool you? Ha, I’m good at it. As I said, I’m a valuable tool.
    I am actually so good at performing different indentities that I’m only starting to realize that there’s no more me left.
    You think I’m exaggerating?
    Well, I mentioned yesterday that I need to go grandma-sitting this morning. When I came to my parents’ house, I told my dad that although I don’t mind grandma-sitting, I mind being ordered a day before. I have a life, too.
    His reaction:” Ha, ha, ha!”
    When he came back I was sitting in grandma’s kitchen, reading a book and waiting for her lunch to arrive. He told me that I didn’t have to sit there reading, I could go upstairs and do some housework!
    Well, of course I had already done that, the good daughter identity was functioning well.

    Sorry to dump that shit here, but I feel safe here.
    Remember that you laugh so you don’t have to cry? Don’t do it too often, you forget how to cry.

  58. says

    so looks like Ernest Perce is not the best atheist role model there is.

    It’s also ironic that this case pins the representatives of the two groups most hated by the American right against each other…

  59. says

    So I’m reading a thread elsewhere about people’s most embarrassing moments.

    One woman writes of having attempted to perform a strip-tease for her first boyfriend ever when she was 16. She was standing on the bed, and the ceiling fan whacked her in the head. Her boyfriend freaked out, thinking she had a concussion. It actually didn’t hurt as much as it looked, and “really the only thing hurt was my pride.”

    Also:

    The day my neighbor- who is an extremely nice lady but also very conservative- visited me to learn how to take care of my parrot, since I was going on vacation for a few days. I was explaining how to change his food and water dishes, and he said, “Hi!”

    My neighbor said, “Oh, how sweet! What else does he say?”

    The parrot promptly said, with lots of emphasis and great satisfaction, “Shit.”

    I emailed a few people about that. One of them, who is actually a parrot owner, replied, “Parrots are assholes. I say that with love, but it’s true.” Her own parrot, among other things, laughs anytime someone trips or falls.

    If you’re like me and you find that sort of thing puerilely amusing, have some more: Ruby the Swearing African Grey and Sparky the Foul-Mouthed Weegie Parrot. (Gendered slurs aplenty. But they’re funny when birds say them.)

    Giliell:

    When he came back I was sitting in grandma’s kitchen, reading a book and waiting for her lunch to arrive. He told me that I didn’t have to sit there reading, I could go upstairs and do some housework!

    What the fuck. Argh.

  60. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ SQB

    Delft has done it again: Delftse fysici doen spectaculaire ontdekking and see also TU Delta.

    Above only in Dutch. The articles discuss the discovery of the Majorana fermion:

    “Delftse natuurkundigen hebben waarschijnlijk als eersten een exotisch nieuw elementair deeltje gecreëerd waar al sinds 1937 over wordt gespeculeerd. Het kan een sleutelrol gaan spelen in de supercomputer van de toekomst. Ze deden hun vondst niet in een reusachtige deeltjesversneller zoals in Genève, maar op het kruispunt van supergeleidende nanodraden op een speciale chip, ‘made in Delft’.”

    Translation:

    “Delft scientists have likely (as first )created a new elementary particle that has been speculated about since 1937. It could play a key role in the supercomputer of the future. They made their discovery, not in a huge particle accelerator such as in Geneva, but at the intersection of super-conductive nanowires on a special chip ‘in Delft gefabriceerd’.”

    Quantum supercomputing anyone?
    ….

    Video of the amazing exhibition currently on in Hong Kong: “Fabulous Creatures of The British Museum.”

    At about 2:00 you can see the Greek version of Adam and Eve with the serpent. But they have instead Herakles and a dragon. Far more exiting methinks.

  61. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Ms Daisy Cutter

    …fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck…

    Have you ever seen the parrot called “Einstein”? Link safe for work.

    (I love how he does a PZ impression at 1:37)

  62. says

    @ 533 (and various other posts referencing Rush Limbaugh’s latest outrage):

    “So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I’ll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.” — Limbaugh

    Another conclusion we can come to is that Rush Limbaugh actually pays to watch sex videos online. He’s fed up with paying and he wants young women to supply him with free sex videos.

    If you add this conclusion to the unavoidable conclusion that Rush Limbaugh does not know how contraceptives used by females actually work, you come to this: Limbaugh is a pretender. He’s not an incisive dissector of politics and culture (which is what he claims to be), but is instead an unevenly educated (kindest way to put that) doofus.

    He’s really, really dumb when it comes to the facts of life.

    And he pays to watch sex videos.

  63. says

    I should clarify that my previous post about Rush Limbaugh. I don’t wish to condemn him for watching sex videos online. I want to ridicule him for paying to watch.

    Perhaps we should add “can’t find free p*rn on the internet” to the list of things proving that Limbaugh’s main problem is that he’s ignorant.

  64. says

    hm, since no-one offered to help me upload the video, I signed up for youtube myself, and discovered that you now have to sign up with Google+ in order to get a youtube account… Well, if anyone else is on Google+, feel free to add me
    I uploaded the video here. Some idiots came out of the woodwork and left some stupid stuff about them terror Muslims…

  65. says

    Also calling Sili:

    do you think that Jyllandsposten had been (maybe still is) waging an Islamophobic campaign including the months before the Muhammedkrisen erupted? That’s the impression I got from the first chapters of Världens lyckligaste folk. I’ve been arguing about this on some other blog.

    Do you have some objective Danish sources on this? Or do you think that’s a mischaracterisation of what Jyllandsposten did?

  66. says

    The Supreme Court led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the conventional wisdom goes, is exceptionally supportive of free speech. Leading scholars and practitioners have called the Roberts court the most pro-First Amendment court in American history.

    A recent study challenges that conclusion. It says that a comprehensive look at data from 1953 to 2011 tells a different story, one showing that the court is hearing fewer First Amendment cases and is ruling in favor of free speech at a lower rate than any of the courts led by the three previous chief justices.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/us/study-challenges-supreme-courts-image-as-defender-of-free-speech.html

  67. says

    WTF is this shit.

    I am an atheist and I find homosexuality and transgender disgusting the same way as I find pickles disgusting. However, I will never persecute someone who loves pickles if they do not force me to eat pickles or anything of the sort.

    The feminism bit is a little more complicated, though. The evolution in our society and in nature did assign specific gender roles to us. I believe that a person should be free to break from their assigned role, however, many feminists at the same time often complain that “there are no good men out there”. Usually people do not find masculated women attractive, the same way as efeminated men are not found attractive. To me, it is kinda hypocritical to ask for equality and at the same time bitch at men for changing as well.

    The sudden social revolution in the 20th century did create a sort of crisis of values in humanity. Not to say that it is a bad thing (racism is no longer accepted by the general public), but all those sudden changes are certainly an uncormfotable one for most people and not all of them can be classified as good.

  68. Sili says

    pelamun
    3 March 2012 at 10:55 am

    Also calling Sili:

    do you think that Jyllandsposten had been (maybe still is) waging an Islamophobic campaign including the months before the Muhammedkrisen erupted? That’s the impression I got from the first chapters of Världens lyckligaste folk. I’ve been arguing about this on some other blog.

    Do you have some objective Danish sources on this? Or do you think that’s a mischaracterisation of what Jyllandsposten did?

    I can’t say I’ve followed the argument too closely, but JP is generally considered a liberalistic (that is right wing) paper. The “Jylland” in the title is the big peninsula on the left of the map, and it is stereotyped as provincial.

    I do not know is they were looking to pick a fight, but the author who was at the base of issue certainly was. He’d written a book about Mohammed at claimed he couldn’t get anyone to illustrate it (I don’t know the truth of that – it may well have been just the first person he asked). He used that refusal to stir up the shit storm, and I guess that angle suited JP’s editorial line, so they went on to commission the ten drawings.

    A couple of the cartoonists actually lampooned the author and the editors in their submissions.

  69. says

    Sili,

    that’s interesting about the cartoonists lampooning Rose. But also, Lena Sundström makes the point in her book that in July 2005 two months prior to the Muhammedkrisen, the Jyllandsposten put on its title page in white letters with black background:

    TERROR
    New York 11 september 2001
    Madrid 11 mars 2004
    London 7 juli 2005
    København?

    Looks like Islamophobic fear-mongering to me, but then I don’t know the context. Ms. Sundström’s objective is to describe Denmark as a cautionary tale to her Swedish compatriots, lest Sweden follow down its path..

  70. says

    The “Jylland” in the title is the big peninsula on the left of the map, and it is stereotyped as provincial.

    Yes, it’s known as Jütland in Germany XD…

  71. Rey Fox says

    I think it’s high time that we started hammering all the people who feel the need to state their personal revulsion towards homosexuality. Sure, they may not be actual bigots in their other actions and political viewpoints, but surely it’s one of those microaggressions that makes being gay so difficult, and it’s totally unnecessary to state, and also, I think they need to grow the fuck up if they’re so personally scandalized by the thought of same-sex romance. It’s 2012, and gay panic is totally hack.

    How many homosexual people out there can legitimately claim to be grossed out by heterosex on that same level?

  72. Sili says

    Sorry, I thought I’d better add it in in case anyone was interested in Danish geography.

    Well, the ‘zeitgeist’ for a while was worried about terror hitting Denmark, but I guess that was post-cartoons, despite our playing along in Iraq under the former right wing government.

    Let me see if I can dig up that article online somewhere.

  73. niftyatheist says

    (poking head around door) Excuse me, all! Is raven around? I’d like a quick word.

  74. says

    Sili,

    that would be appreciated. After I started reading Sundström’s book, I felt like in all this Muhammed cartoon mess, the Danish perspective had kinda been buried under all the global brouhaha – until I realised I’m actually getting the Swedish take on the Danish perspective XD…

  75. Sili says

    I can’t find the exact page mentioned, but the first few days after the London attack has fairly measured commentary about a slightly increased level of vigilance (apparently Elton John performed in Århus around that time).

    There is talk of Denmark having been mentioned a possible target of attack, so that may have been what they’re reacting to. I assume such mention would have been found investigating the London attackers.

  76. says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter @557 and 558: I love those mormon-flavored Dr. Seuss titles!

    Permission to repost them on an ex-mormon forum?

  77. Sili says

    If you want to poke around the newspaper archive, yourself, drop a mail and you can get my login.

    siliconopolitanYouKnowWhatGoesHeregmail.com

  78. says

    Pelamun, sadly, it’s not a record at all. Prejudices tend to cluster, especially gender prejudices.

    Rey Fox: I can’t speak from personal experience, but, yes, the continual voicing of disgust at any kind of gender nonconformity helps keep it “othered” in society.

    Lynna: Sure! If anyone there comes up with more titles, please share them here.

    Unrelatedly: “The Beauty of Pollination.” The music is over-the-top cheesy, but the footage is amazing.

  79. says

    Antares42 503, 513

    I was trying to keep this thing hot (or “spamming”) here because I felt it was a topic that deserved at least a modicum of attention – the funding of pseudoscience with taxpayer money, also an issue in the US, see NCCAM – and that those who wouldn’t want to bother could just ignore it.

    I don’t think anyone disagrees here that fighting woo is a noble cause, in fact I think nowadays in western Europe this is the bigger threat to rationalism than organized religion.
    However, I do think that posting about the same poll several times is not useful because people who care will take note after one or two times.

    Also, I really hope nothing is riding on that poll. It doesn’t seem to be the way the NHS decides about these things, and if an organization is seriously arguing acupuncture should be paid for by the NHS based on internet polls, this should be reason enough to laugh them out of town..

    Giliell 504, David M. 537, Giliell 586

    Ah, but on the other side in many Southern German dialects you have the phenomenon to use the definete article in front of names and there women get “es”* from “das Mädchen”.
    […]
    *I think that “es” here doesn’t mean the pronoun but the weak form of “das”. I’d also say “(e)s Häschen mag Karotten”. It’s either pronounced “s” or “schwa+s”

    Definitely.
    Why am I so sure? Because of my own dialect, where the neuter article is usually just [s], never starts with a vowel, and [d̥es ~ d̥ɛs] is pretty much restricted to the demonstrative pronoun* and the relative pronoun.
    Female names do get the feminine article, though, even when it shrinks to just [d̥].
    * Quite right, there is only one. Not like here in Berlin where you’d have to choose between det and dieset.

    Definetly not here. Because we do have “die”. Women whose main “position” is a feminine noun “die Mama, die Tante, die Schwester” get “die”.

    OK, first off: I do see all dialects as linguistic varities in their own right, so I can’t comment too much on these phenomena y’all describe. I have done some cursory searches though to confirm that there seem to be no “spillover” effects on Standard German. While some Standard German speakers colloquially do put definite article in front of names, there seems to be no evidence for people putting the neuter gender in front of female names (where this does occur, it always seems to be code-switching between a dialect and standard German).

    I do think in the Saar dialect it comes from the neuter article. And it seems to come from the diminuitive form of female names. It reminds me of Swiss German s’Anneli and s’Gretli. Have a look:

    Ou s’Gretli Hubesack goht hüt i Aldi.
    S’bruucht no chli Muet – es isch erscht s’zwöite Mou!
    Si cha nid guet Hauchteutsch, drum ischt sie ein kly schiniert,
    Doch s’letscht Mou isch jo ou nüt schlimm’s passiert

    (sing to the melody of „Im Wagen vor mir“)

    In my freshman linguistics class many years ago, the instructor played a tape recording of Swiss German, I thought it was Dutch…

    Giliell 514,

    I present Advanced Chemistry: Fremd im eigenen Land
    Yeah, it takes some fucking white christian privilege to say that 4 million people aren’t part of this country because of their religion and then act surprised when they tell them “fuck you” in return.

    this is a great song, thanks for sharing it! I’ve been trying to find it on iTunes or otherwise, but to no avail :(. But I put it on my blog…

    516

    On second thoughts I’m wondering if anybody has ever bothered to actually define “integration” and if they have done so for the purpose of the study whether that definition has anything to do with what politicians mean by that.

    Feel free to check out the study. I found it quite opaque, seriously. But of course politicians mean all kinds of things by that, and these idiotic ideas like Leitkultur come to mind…

    Ms. Daisy Cutter, 517,

    April 20

    the beginning of the Siege of Boston during the American Revolution (1775)
    • Enoch Powell’s racist “Rivers of Blood” speech (1968)
    • the FBI’s raid of the The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord(CSAL) compound in Elijah, MO (1985)
    • the Columbine massacre in Littleton, CO (1999)
    • the shooting at the Johnson Space Center in Houston (2007)
    And the day before, the 19th, is the date that the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began (1943), that fire consumed the Branch Davidian compound outside Waco, TX (1993), and that the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed (1995).

    Wow, thank you for that. I’m really surprised how many incidents happened in post WWII America on Führers Geburstag, I must say, I never noticed.

    A friend of mine shares the same surname as one of the Nazi bigwigs, and their sister’s birthday was on April 20. We were all too polite to ever mention it though.

    Limbaugh

    I really hope that his latest vitriol was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I mean Glenn Beck finally did leave his network, maybe it can work for Limbaugh too…

    BTW, TomeWyrm, he is not a politician. The latest TRMS explained very well how he makes money off the vile things he says. But he maybe he overreached this time and gets dropped by one advertiser too many (so the mechanics here are different from how a politician would lose their career)

    Aratina Cage, 536, and David M.

    a chengyu from the Shiji: 指鹿為馬 zhi3 lu4 wei3 ma2, “to make a horse out of a horse”

    Gah, tonal typo. Shoulda been: zhi3 lu4 wei2 ma3

    Amazing. It’s a more realistic version of The Emperor’s New Clothes where, instead of embarrassing the bureau chief, the skeptics are murdered for speaking truth to power. Shades of “there are four lights”, even.

    Glad you liked it. I’ve looked for a better translation than the random DIY version I found somewhere on the internet, but it seems that you’d need to go to the library for that. Though for those who read French, I found this translation on Wikisource. Just search for the first mention of “Tchao Kao” and read from there.

    I think Sima Qian, the author of the Shiji, is kinda the patron saint of the discipline of history. Not only because he tried to consult different sources and give more objective accounts of history than was common back then (sometimes by smuggling in criticism of powerful historical figures in other chapters), and even left the Imperial Court for travelling around in order to find supplementary materials and record oral histories, but also when he angered the Emperor, was thrown in prison and sentenced to death, and effectively had the choice between committing a “noble suicide” or live out his days ignobly as a eunuch, he chose the latter because he wanted to be able to finish the Shiji.

    So some time later, they came up with a calque:
    電話 dian4hua4, “electric speech”.

    They didn’t – the Japanese did. The Japanese did so in kanji, so the Chinese simply took the kanji and ran with them. That happened a lot in the early 20th century. Economy? Jīngjì, Japanese keizai, written the same.
    Of course, 電 used to mean “lighting”; you can still see how it punches through all those whatevers from above!

    I did not say the Chinese created the calque, and that was irrelevant to my point, which was that the Chinese favoured semantic calques over phonetic transliterations.

    the story of 經濟 jing1ji4/keizai is more complicated
    the Japanese took this from a Chinese text of the 3/4th century CE: 經世濟民 jing1sh4ji4min2
    “to govern and benefit the people”.

    There is an interesting study btw on the back-borrowings of Chinese terms coined by Japanese people in the 19th century into the Chinese language: out of 1,500 borrowings into Chinese, 359 are from Japanese:

    – 92 are “purely” Japanese, i.e. originally Japanese (wago, though often read in a Chinese fashion due to the nature of how Chinese characters work in both languages)
    – 67 are Japanese coinages reusing old terms from Classical texts, like經濟
    – 200 are Japanese coinages involving Chinese lexical material, like電話

    Has, of course, been done several times in the last 700 years. Just never caught on. (Well, one attempt caught on for Korean, for which it was alsointended, though that only happened several hundred years after it was invented.)

    Not really. I was clearly talking about Chinese. Whatever happened in Korean or even Japanese (both kana syllabaries are actually based on Chinese characters) is irrelevant for Chinese. Auxiliary systems have only been appeared in the 20th century, like the Bopomofo with which I prefer to type Mandarin, as well as the various romanisation systems known as pinyin. But the thing is that these auxiliary systems are never used to replace or augment the script, they’re only used to help children learn the characters and also in dictionaries and text-input systems (though there are shape based text input systems).

    It would be good if they started using those auxiliary systems more aggressively also in normal text, then the next step could be the wholesale borrowing of Latin-script words like Vietnamese does.

    SQB, 542, John M. 552

    “Yesterday, I bought two musical instruments: a piano and a pan flute. I took one of them home with me, while I had the other one delivered.”
    If you translate that to French, the piano and the pan flute have a different gender (‘le piano’ and ‘la flûte de Pan’). When referring to them, you need to use the correct gender. To correctly translate this, you need to know which one would need to be delivered and which one you can just put in your pocket. For this, you indeed need that human background knowledge. IMO, automatic translation is the ultimate test of artificial intelligence (which I used to study).

    Ayer compré dos instrumentos musicales: un piano y una flauta de pan. Tomé uno de ellos conmigo a mi casa, mientras tuve el otro entregado.”
    Don’t see the problem here, because an instrument is “male”

    I think John’s 552 hit the nail on its head. The different genders of the individual instruments don’t matter, because you construed the sentence with other. That means we are referring to more than one thing, so it must refer to two instruments and I would predict that in most languages to have both pronouns agree with the gender of instrument would be correct. It would for German.
    Only nitpick I’d have: masculine and feminine refer to linguistic gender, while male and female refer to extralinguistic sex.

    Giliell, 586

    Sorry to hear that. Stuff like that always makes me angry…

  80. says

    the story of 經濟 jing1ji4/keizai is more complicated
    the Japanese took this from a Chinese text of the 3/4th century CE: 經世濟民 jing1sh4ji4min2
    “to govern and benefit the people”.

    The Japanese took this in the 19th century, upon which the term was then “borrowed back” into Chinese. Until the Sino-Japanese war of 1894, many Chinese intellectuals were great admirers of the Japanese modernisation efforts…

  81. says

    Lynna: Sure! If anyone there comes up with more titles, please share them here.

    No other book titles were offered, but some text for mormon Seuss books came up:

    I shall not eat green jello and ham……I will not do it sam I am.

    I will not take the death oath of man…….I will not do it sam I am.

    Not with a goat, not in a boat, not with a knife……I will not take my life.

    I will not give all that I posess, I will not have more than one wife at best.

    These underwear will give my crotch a rash, and you mormons can kiss my ass.

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

    I think John’s 552 hit the nail on its head.

    OK I haz a sad now, because I said (almost) the same thing just before (at least I think I did) (???)

    “Yesterday, I bought two musical instruments: a piano and a pan flute. I took one of them home with me, while I had the other one delivered.”

    Hier j’ai acheté deux instruments de musique: un piano et une flûte de Pan. L’un d’eux j’ai ramené chez moi/à la maison, tandis que l’autre je l’ai fait livrer.

    I know my French laisse à désirer, but isn’t it possible to make both of them masculine as “un instrument”?

  83. says

    Lynna:

    I don’t wish to condemn [Limbaugh] for watching sex videos online. I want to ridicule him for paying to watch.

    At the risk of TMI, can I just say that I pay to watch porn online? It’s not that I’m too stupid to find free stuff; it’s that the free stuff is often cliched, misogynistic, and unsexy. Instead, I’ve found a handful of women-friendly, sex-positive websites that provide erotic content I can watch without feeling guilty… and for which I’m happy to pay, because I’m confident that sexually empowered women are benefiting from my purchases.

    All that said, Limbaugh is certainly a horrifying bag of goo, and Rachel Maddow’s takedown of him was priceless.

    Her interview with Peter Tork was pretty cool, too.

  84. Sili says

    Ah, thanks, Bill. I was about to chime in on that as well.

    I don’t watch much video, but I commission drawn pr0n to cater to my fetishes.

    –o–

    I may be wrong, but I have a nasty feeling that Limbaugh and his ilk would be the first to call for suspension for any student caught financing their education by camwhoring.

  85. Sili says

    Durrrrr.

    Of course Romney tops. Hasn’t all the closeted Republan homophobes turned out to be bottoms?

  86. says

    Okay, so my example was flawed, but I still maintain that in order to provide a correct translation, you need full human knowledge.

  87. says

    I don’t watch much video, but I commission drawn pr0n to cater to my fetishes.

    What a good idea.

    And Bill, I take back any aspersions I cast on people who pay to watch pr0n. If you’re paying for higher quality, go for it.

    I doubt that Rush Limbaugh demonstrates a discerning, aesthetically motivated fastidiousness when he watches pr0n.

  88. says

    At the risk of TMI, can I just say that I pay to watch porn online?

    Dauphin 2016

    Unless you want to run as a republican, of course.

  89. says

    What Limbaugh really meant: “It’s disgusting when young women have casual sex … unless they’re having it for or with me.”

  90. says

    Romney/Santorum slash and photoshops. Not even remotely safe for work.

    While I can appreciate the irony of the idea of Romney and especially Santorum being what they’re so fiercely against, it still buys too much into homophobia, IMHO.

  91. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    I think it’s high time that we started hammering all the people who feel the need to state their personal revulsion towards homosexuality. Sure, they may not be actual bigots in their other actions and political viewpoints, but surely it’s one of those microaggressions that makes being gay so difficult, and it’s totally unnecessary to state, and also, I think they need to grow the fuck up if they’re so personally scandalized by the thought of same-sex romance. It’s 2012, and gay panic is totally hack.

    How many homosexual people out there can legitimately claim to be grossed out by heterosex on that same level?

    Psychologically, I think a lot of guys do this to make sure whoever they’re talking to is completely 100 percent sure they’re 100 percent notgay.

    Especially if they’re doing it in the midst of some half-hearted attempt to defend people’s rights to do stuff they find gross.

    At any rate, it’s like, why announce it? I find the idea of having sex with anyone I don’t feel sexually attracted to yucky, and I just naturally assume other people are the same way.

  92. Sili says

    Is anyone here familiar with Full Metal Alchemist?

    Is the English translation of the manga any good, or do they insist on anglifying the names to something stupid like in Detective Conan?

    I just found out today that the Danish publisher has stopped at volume 19.

    Fuckers.

  93. John Morales says

    The evolution of the reportage of the Sydney gay and lesbian Mardi Gras in the years since its inception has been remarkable*. I note that all three of the major political parties had members participating.

    Equality the message of 2012 Mardi Gras

    * I can’t think of a more colourful example of the Overton window effect. In the beginning, the event was highly-controversial and reportage was almost uniformly negative.

  94. chigau (同じ) says

    I don’t consider “homosexual” sex to be any more (or less) disgusting than “heterosexual” sex.
    Actually, I find most biological activity to be somewhat disgusting.
    Living things are generally full of blood and lymph and snot and smegma and pus and etc.
    yuk
    (Once, in one of those restaurants that require diners to wear a bib (ribs or lobster), my dinner companion remarked (about the occupants of a neighbouring table) that xe hated to watch fat people eat. I replied that I hated to watch anyone eat and does xe own a mirror?)
    (My dinner companion was my (ex)boss.)

  95. cicely (Insert Clever Appellation Here) says

    Not caught up. Not gonna be caught up ’til after the Game.
    :(

    However:
    Ms. Daisy Cutter:
    I do not cheer. I merely smile serenely in the happy knowledge that, at least for now, the Apeacalypse has been averted. Good kitteh! *scritch, scritch*
    :)
    -

  96. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Chigau: But, that kind of ‘disgustingness’ is what I like about sex.

    It seems to be one of the most essentially ‘animal’ things that humans still do, and I love the fact that it involves sweat and fluids and genitals and spit and stuff.

    That’s why I find slug-sex absolutely beautiful in its own way.

  97. John Morales says

    pelamun,

    Only nitpick I’d have: masculine and feminine refer to linguistic gender, while male and female refer to extralinguistic sex.

    Good nitpick — that was careless of me.

    (Can’t decide whether extralinguistic sex involves no tongue or extra tongue)

    opposablethumbs, it was your comment that directly prompted mine, and you definitely get prior claim.

    SQB,

    I still maintain that in order to provide a correct translation, you need full human knowledge.

    I did agree with your point; also, note I qualified my original speculation with “good-enough”. The odd solecism is acceptable if the meaning is understood (which is the case IRL anyway).

  98. chigau (同じ) says

    TLC
    I agree that biology is fascinating.
    I, too, enjoy watching a little slug porn but I’m still going to kill them (or it) because they destroy my garden plants.
    (It’s self defense.)

  99. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Chigau: I always kill the invasive black slugs.

    But I will take the greatest care not to harm banana slugs if I come across them in the wild. Such a big, gross, garishly colored living snot factory deserves my respect, and, dare I say it, a little admiration.

    I also leave leopard slugs and gold slime slugs alone when I come across them. They don’t seem to be garden pests, but I’m no expert on gastropods.

    As for black slug invaders, if you stomp them just right on the pavement you can make their innards fly about two feet or so like some sort of snot-projectile.

  100. chigau (同じ) says

    TLC
    You made me go to Wikipfft.
    I don’t even know what kind of slugs we have but they all eat my food and I kill them all, usually with a knife.
    The stomping intrigues me…

  101. says

    Cicely, you will be disappointed to hear that, this morning, I put most of the dirt back into the planter and replanted the sprouts, which will hopefully continue to thrive. :)

    Also, it may not be Kitteh’s fault. I’ve had some workmen over here the last few days, doing some weatherproofing stuff, and the vibrations may have knocked the planter over. It could have been more stably situated in the first place. When full of loam, it outweighs Kitteh considerably.

    Chigau and TLC: Years and years ago, Reader’s Digest featured photos of pairs of animals, accompanied by snippets of poetry. The animals weren’t mating, which wouldn’t have been “family friendly” enough for Reader’s Digest, but they were in “courting” poses. I distinctly remember two snails, both of them a pale glowing white, nuzzling each other. The accompanying verse was Marlowe’s “Oh! thou art fairer than the evening air,/Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars.” It was incredibly romantic, to my young perceptions.

  102. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Chigau: Banana slugs are fascinating. Colossal bright yellow or camo-patterned (No idea why there are two morphs) temperate rainforest dwellers. I rarely see them outside their habitat, and they are definitely not garden pests.

    I’m actually tempted to try and keep one in captivity next time I get the chance. I figure I could set hir up with a nice little rainforesty terrarium. There’s something very likeable about the noble banana slug.

  103. Rey Fox says

    Oops, that should have read “to silliness.”

    No, I like it the other way. “Don’t take that so seriously, it’s just sill.”

    I replied that I hated to watch anyone eat

    Me too. I like Michael Ian Black, but I’m afraid to check out his podcast “Michael and Tom Eat Snacks” because I’m afraid they’re going to chew into the microphone.

    My mother, on the other hand, seems to love watching me eat, as she notices within nanoseconds every time I drop something or do something wrong at the dinner table.

  104. says

    Thanks, Rey Fox.

    I think it’s high time that we started hammering all the people who feel the need to state their personal revulsion towards homosexuality. Sure, they may not be actual bigots in their other actions and political viewpoints, but surely it’s one of those microaggressions that makes being gay so difficult

    Yes, and the speaker will usually take offense when confronted, even if mildly. If you’re accustomed to idiots acting entitled to their idiotic opinions, just wait til you say something about their idiotic feelings.

    Yet it’s not really controversial that being told you’re disgusting can make you feel bad about yourself.

    There’s even a Geico commercial based on that premise.

    “Ew. Seriously? So gross.”

  105. says

    FIFA disqualies Iranian women’s soccer team because of niqab issue Thoughts?

    Sili,

    I sent you an email, if you didn’t get it, please check your spam folder.

    Now I will re-post this video because I need to test something. Also feel free to leave some comments there, all the comments so far are in favour of the archconservative interior minister. Weird. The echo on Twitter was better…
    Video

    SQB,

    Okay, so my example was flawed, but I still maintain that in order to provide a correct translation, you need full human knowledge

    I believe that was part of my original point in 501.

    remain immensely skeptical about this. Language is not too complex for machine translation, but I think it’s too ambiguous, i.e. it would require all that human background knowledge that is still too complex for machines. I’m not an expert in machine translation, but AFAIK, the rule-based approaches to machine translation are still far away from viability. The ones that win the machine translation competitions are still brute-force approaches.

    opposable thumbs,
    sorry should have mentioned you. To be fair though, you were not completely certain about whether that’d be the case for French (and in linguistics we need attested examples), and l’autre in this case obscures the grammatical gender here.

    Sili,

    Is anyone here familiar with Full Metal Alchemist?

    Is the English translation of the manga any good, or do they insist on anglifying the names to something stupid like in Detective Conan?

    I just found out today that the Danish publisher has stopped at volume 19.

    Fuckers.

    I have heard so much about this manga now, I must put it on my list. Can’t tell you anything about the English translation but the names in the original seem to be pretty Anglo throughout (though that wouldn’t be my primary criterion for evaluating the quality of manga translations)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Fullmetal_Alchemist_characters

    There are also some pseudo-Chinese names thrown in for good measure though.

  106. John Morales says

    pelamun, you asked for thoughts?

    1. If compliance with the dress code is required and they don’t comply, then it’s an open-and-shut case. FIFA is in the right.

    2. That said, I think dress codes are stupid — and I note that advertising is not clothing, though clothes can carry advertising.

    3. I think playing vigorous sports whilst swaddled would be a non-insignificant handicap. Since that’s what the Iranians want to do, the inference is that they aren’t playing to win (the game, anyway).

  107. Pteryxx says

    Slugs are awesome. Also, I draw commissions. …These topics may or may not be related.

    >_>

  108. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Well, I got bored of the plain (albeit warm, rich and appealing) brown of my wood-hilted sword and Norse “Tomahawk”.

    So today I bought some cheap Cordova purple boot polish, sanded most of the finish off both of them, and then went to town with the cordova purple.

    Now both of my favorite weapons/bush tools are sporting beautiful stylish purple handles, and I’m fairly pleased with the result. it could be more purple though.

    Facts:

    Arnold Schwarzenegger’s favorite color is purple.

    So is the ex’s babby’s. :D

  109. says

    So Josh was telling me earlier that he thinks Marcus Bachmann looks a lot like Mr. Green Jeans (played by Hugh Brannum) from the old U.S. kids’ show Captain Kangaroo. “But fruitier.”

    Honestly, I don’t see that much of a resemblance. But now I’m imagining Mr. Green Jeans trading his green jeans for a pair of chaps and a leather vest. And administering some discipline to Captain Kangaroo with a riding crop.

    Goddamnit. /cries

  110. says

    I don’t see the resemblance, either.
    I have a vague memory that as a kid I really liked Mr. Green Jeans. I have no idea why.
    But I’ve always wanted a pair of green jeans.
    As for Captain Kangaroo, I once saw a cartoon entitled “Captain Kangaroo visits Australia.” He was getting off a plane, and there on the tarmac was a bunch of kangaroos lined up, saluting him.

  111. Rey Fox says

    Jebus friggin’ criminy, the demonic conjuration thread is the saddest thread ever. When it gets to 666, could PZ just put it out of its misery?

  112. says

    Mr. Green Jeans always seemed to be pleasant. That’s about all I remember at this late date.

    And now, the opposite of pleasant. The odious John Derbyshire: “I wasn’t aware that school subsidies for female rutting is part of the Jesuit creed, but no doubt it’s there somewhere in the recorded teachings of St. Ignatius.”

    Some other asshole from NRO: Limbaugh calling Fluke a slut was “ungentlemanly,” but “a federal mandate for contraception coverage renders women’s personal sexual choices a matter for public debate,” so it’s all Fluke’s fault. Also, Bill Maher says misogynist shit, too.

  113. changeable moniker says

    the demonic conjuration thread

    Now, now. winstonsmith, ibyea and I just got into a quote-bash about general relativity. Given that DH can’t work out what time his watch says it is, I’d say that’s a positive, right?

  114. ibyea says

    @sili
    I can tell you that most names in Fullmetal Alchemist are already anglicized, so it doesn’t matter. The setting is steampunk 19th c. European like.

  115. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ TLC

    I ran into something at the museum recently that I think you would love. It is a Kozo double-headed dog. (Link to example.) The one I saw is this one (Linky, with explanation.) It is really incredible to see “in the flesh”.

    They are amazing carvings in their own right or as pieces of abstract art. It gets more intriguiing as you learn about their history and meaning. (Or start pondering how it looks like a headrest for having nightmares.)

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

    Hi everybody!

    Haven’t been commenting much lately because PET has been just too much fun. Sometimes I wish there was a little more crossover.

    Sis and BIL have gone to visit parental units. I have the house to myself, along with doggie and the kitties. Life is kinda rough, my unemployment bennies got denied. I landed a babysitting gig, which went well, but it was kinda depressing how dirty the apartment was and how clearly sick and underweight the 7-month baby was. 2-year-old baby “loves her candy pop rings.” 4-year-old girl is having separation anxiety after spending a year with her dad without seeing her mom. 6-year-old is protective and empathetic and smart and reminds his weeping sister that when she talks about how much she misses her dad, it makes mom sad because it means she doesn’t love her mom.

    Should I do this knife-selling thing? I’m kinda skeptical.

    Strange-Ex is being a bit of an ass. Actually I haven’t talked to him in a while because he basically told me to stop calling him. Not really friendly behavior. I don’t really have anything else to say about that. I mean, damn.

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

    Yuengling beer is tasty, and “Breakout Kings” is a good show.

  118. chigau (同じ) says

    The drumming was wonderful!
    I’m not sure why those other oddly-dressed people were prancing about, though :)

  119. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Theophontes: FASCINATING!

    I’ve done one or two carvings, for some reason, of a one eyed (as in cycloptic) dog with cloven hooves for hind legs for some odd ritualistic reason. The only explanation I can give is that as a little child I got a book from the school library about ghosts and it had a detailed painting of a one-eyed ‘Black Shuck’ spectral hound that really stuck with me.

    I’ve always dreamed, though I know it’ll never happen, of owning a two-headed dog, or to be more precise, a pair of conjoined hounds. I’m sure there’s some genetic reason why I can’t seem to find an authentic one (Dr Demikhov’s homemade horror doesn’t count), but I don’t know what it is.

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

    Knife-selling: Cutco, the best knives in the world (actually may be true). Manufactured in Olean, NY, they only sell person-to-person. Once you buy a set of Cutco knives you pretty much never have to buy a knife again because they don’t go dull for a long time, and when they do, the company will sharpen them for you.

    So, I can do three days of unpaid training and then I get to sell them to people. It seems like a good way to make some extra money but the training is on all the wrong days, vis-a-vis my sister and brother-in-law’s schedule, and I missed this past week because I locked my keys in my car. I went to one day of training and it’s kind of humiliating because I’m the only person over 23 there.

  121. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ TLC

    You might want to check out hentakoi from the Nicobar Islands. They are fantasy creatures that can fly (and ward off evil spirits). I cannot find the example I saw of a flying dog, but give it a google. (Don’t leave off the “n” in “hentakoi” or you will end up with soft pron.)

    Link to example.

    Two headed dogs: I am sure such a thing is possible. Try also looking into Janus heads (Link to example. Not shopped!) The concept is very well represented in mythology. The explanations tend to be far simpler (in terms of symbolism) than the underlying psychology is likely to be. (Sorry, I can’t help you there.)

  122. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Theophontes: Two headed dogs ARE possible, google Dr Demikhov (Trigger warning for scientific animal cruelty).

    But I’ve tried the trusty ol google image search, and never found a two headed dog that wasn’t a photoshop or trick photo.

  123. TomeWyrm says

    Sili (635) Fullmetal Alchemist
    I haven’t read the manga, but the dub’d anime wasn’t horrible (I prefer subs to dubs, but it wasn’t as horrific as the One Piece bowdlerization by 4Kids Entertainment)

    It depends mostly upon who is doing the translation, and many of the various venues you can get manga from use different translators. If you’re viewing online, I would shop around sites. If you read them in paper form, I’m no help at all. I much prefer the computer to DTF (Dead Tree Format), even in visual media like comics and manga.
    «•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»
    Paying for Pornography/b>
    There is a distinct difference between choosing to pay for porn, and being unable to find free porn. For instance, I can’t pay for the erotic content I would be willing to pay for, so I make do with the free stuff most of the time for a variety of reasons.

    As for Limbaugh, I doubt he is literate enough in the internet to make the choice himself. Which is certainly what I’m laughing at. That and his obvious misinformation, though the idiocy makes me cry.
    «•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»
    Cicely and peas
    I sense a story behind this aversion, and my curiousity has been piqued. No pressure or anything, it’s just intriguingly odd to this newcomer.
    «•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»«•»
    Rushed Limpdick not a politician
    Yeah, that misidentification is a pretty good indicator how little I can stand politics and newsertainment. I get most of my news second hand from the internet community or IRL friends. All I can recall about him before this comment thread is “EWWWW” though not the reason why.

  124. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    I am extremely proud of my food-making skills.
    I have burritos made with rice and beans and leftover salsa and garlic and canned tomatoes and fresh red bell peppers and onions and Anaheim peppers and cheese.
    Only downside is I learned after I made it that you’re apparently not supposed to eat rice as leftovers. :( Which I guess will make me more wary in the future. But I can’t bear to throw that much food/effort away right now.

  125. TomeWyrm says

    Argh, why do I keep thinking the “submit” button is the “preview” button?!

    In other news, I am greatly annoyed at a few things relating to pets and the legal system in my neck of the woods, and America in general.

    My dog escaped and allegedly bit someone. The alleged victim’s skin was apparently broken, which means not only did we have to hand him over to the authorities for the duration of the investigation, but he also has to be quarantined for 10 days to check for rabies.

    My issues arise from the liability we might have, and the possible consequences to both us, and our dog. Under the law in my neck of the USA, as I currently understand it all our dogs are now to be considered “vicious” and we are automatically liable for anything they do if they escape again. I haven’t yet gotten the whole story (I was away from home at the time), but we’re supposed to get a call from the Animal Control Officer on Monday explaining more.

    What I’m most worried about is the possibility of euthanizing our dog, and then probably the damages we may have to pay – nobody in the house has an income stream at current time, we’re living off of a lump of cash from a retirement plan that we had to cash out because our breadwinner had to go on disability, which has taken 6 months and STILL hasn’t gone through.

    What I’m most angry about is that that PARTICULAR dog is being implicated in an attack. He is one of the least aggressive dogs I’ve ever seen, and my family raised dogs for a living. He doesn’t bark aggressively unless he thinks his pack is being threatened, and up until this moment (other than with other dogs) the most aggressive thing he has done was accidentally plant his feet into the crotch of visiting males in enthusiasm while greeting them.

    What frustrates me about the law in this situation is how we (assuming the investigation turns out unfavorably for us) will be held responsible for someone provoking our dog into an attack. Because I’m sorry, he didn’t attack for no reason or without warning. We raised him from the instant he left the womb (we own his mother), and he has DAMN obvious signs he’s getting agitated. His hackles go up, his ears pin back, he bares his teeth, and then he barks viciously. He’s shown the same exact signs in every fight with dogs he’s ever gotten into, and he’s shown them when he’s protecting his pack or territory from intruders; only with other dogs has he ever actually been physically aggressive, with people it’s all been bravado until apparently now. Nobody involved could believe that he attacked someone, the police officers that stopped by the house were apparently both incredulous that the lovable teddy bear they had to take away was apparently the assailant.

    If I recall my reaction to the news accurately, the first thing I said “No way. I don’t believe it! I want to know what that fucktard did to provoke him”.

    Now I go to sleep and worry about what might happen because I live in a litigious society of undereducated bigots, and hope I get lucky and managed to get someone that’s educated, non-litigious, has common sense, or just common decency (neither of which are actually common anymore)

  126. Pteryxx says

    …? I make huge pots of rice with stock, store it in plastic and eat off it for a week. It’s just not classy smooth individual grain rice.

  127. TomeWyrm says

    There’s no particular reason not to eat rice as leftovers that I can think of. Long grain rices undergo retrogradation (similar to the process that stales bread, IIRC), or the starch basically crystallizes… In other words, it turns the rice grains into little rocks. Heat reverses the process though, you don’t even need the water. Though sometimes they’ll need it because they’re dry. Also shorter grain rices don’t have that problem. I can’t recall if medium grain rices do or not, but I know short grain rices could care less if you stick them in anything short of the freezer, at which point they’ll turn into little ice cubes anyway.

  128. says

    Can anyone of the Freethought Bloggers ask Cenk Uygur not to hide his explanation about why he calls himself an agnostic rather than an atheist behind a paywall? I’ve always liked the fact that he displays his nonbelief quite openly on his show, and also when he still was a host on MSNBC. But I think his explanation why he won’t go the entire way deserves to be noticed by more than just his paying members…

    /rant

  129. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    According to the internet, Bacillus cereus. But I made the rice and then refrigerated most of it right away, so I don’t think that’s supposed to be as big a concern.

    My dog escaped and allegedly bit someone. The alleged victim’s skin was apparently broken, which means not only did we have to hand him over to the authorities for the duration of the investigation, but he also has to be quarantined for 10 days to check for rabies.

    :( *hugs to TomeWyrm*
    I hope everything turns out all right.

  130. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ TLC

    Dr Demikhov

    You warned me but I regret I looked it up. Eeew, scary. (Shades of “The Island of Dr Moreau”.)

    Demikhov sounds like Demi-kopf = Half (Latin) + head (German) which is droll considering you where actually looking for two. {activates the pelamun signal}

    You are right, it is hard to find two headed dogs. But I did find you this: Linky.

    Would you be willing to settle for three heads? I could present you with Cerberus the guard-dog of Hades. Here is a picture of a two headed version with Herakles. Linky.

    @ TomeWyrm

    Sorry to hear about your dog. My experience of a similar situation comes from sitting in on a court case where the owner was being sued because his dog bit a passer-by through a fence. It seemed a bit unlikely that the dog had not been teased, but the judge still awarded it to the “victim”. As I recall the judge hinged it on the persons getting bitten at all, rather than considering extenuating circumstances. The owner was supposed to take any and all measures to make sure it was impossible for someone to get bitten. I came away with the feeling this was more than just a little unfair.

    I hope it all works out.

  131. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Why did it happen that I’m listening to the horrible catchy music from a horrible children’s TV show instead of translating?
    I was going to find actual reasonable music to listen to while I worked, but instead…

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

    Good morning. Also, re human knowledge being needed for correct translation (SQB and JM), yes of course you are right. This is certainly the case currently, and possibly for some considerable time to come.

  133. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Theophontes, very nice. I’ve, of course, known about about Cerberus for a long time. Orthrus is supposed to be his two-headed brother(s).

  134. NuMad says

    Maybe I should be more appreciative of the assorted atheists who try and seriously tackle on theological and apologistic arguments in detail. But reading the comments to this Episode of Reasonable Doubts makes me feel as though PZ’s stance on that sort of thing is often more than justified.

    Give them an inch, they take a mile. Debates are just victories to be claimed, the arguments don’t really matter. If an atheist admits to having argued badly anywhere in any way: victory. If they don’t, declare victory anyway: victory. If someone points out defeat (because it can be pointed out because it’s not a live debate and thus can be observed in detail easily:) say it didn’t count. Say that the absence of a debate on their terms means victory: victory.

    I prefer being lazy and treating theology with the respect it deserves (meaning very little) than doing a lot of heavy lifting just for the privilege of letting people who are basically upfront about being well insulated from any conclusions born from logical discussion walk all over me.

    The whining of tone trolls is a small price to pay.

  135. says

    I should point out my brother really does have Asperger syndrome (diagnosed and everything) and is 19. Not saying to go easy on him, but you way want to adjust rhetorical strategies accordingly.

  136. McCthulhu, now with Techroline and Retsyn says

    Someone must have read Pelamun’s comment about hitting Limbaugh in the pocketbook. I got an email from sumofus.org with a petition to one of Limbaugh’s sponsors to pull their ads from his show. What the hey, it’s worth a shot (and it doesn’t require anywhere near as many signatures as the petition demanding his outright departure from the airwaves):

    http://sumofus.org/campaigns/rush-delivery/?akid=184.13999.ggOLAz&rd=1&sub=fwd&t=2

  137. John Morales says

    Ace of Sevens, I see what you’re effectively doing as trying to sic people onto your brother. I am not impressed.

    If he comes here, I’ll address his claims as I see fit, like I would anyone else’s.

  138. says

    If I were playing tennis against my brother and tried to get three people on my side of the court, that wouldn’t be sporting. However, rape apologetics isn’t a sport. This isn’t about winning, this is about the fact that he think that we need to condemn promiscuous people and this is a harmless idea that’s never been tried and that if rape victims are in the wrong place at the wrong time, we should feel sorry for them, but if they get raped while doing something he deems dangerous, then we shouldn’t and it’s their fault. I’m not having much luck talking him out of this by myself. It’s just my opinion, after all. I was hoping to get some backing that his idea has been tried, is a form of bullying, encourages rape and is generally harmful.

  139. says

    John, that’s what we’ve done a thousand times with various commenters on blogs around the net. The horde has descended en masse so many times and I’ve never seen you object to that in principle. Indeed, I’ve seen you participate.

    There is no a priori obligation to refrain from handing over one’s siblings to the angry mob. Ace may have different priorities than you, but you have not shown that this should be objectionable.

  140. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ TLC

    Orthrus

    I am getting rusty. He was (perhaps) father of the Chimera.

    I have both a fear and fascination for chimeric creatures. About the most extreme (Dr Demikhov comes a close second) is the case where two twins swapped out their bodyparts. (Link. Warning, may be upsetting.)

  141. John Morales says

    ॐ, have I ever mentioned I’m neither a prescriptivist nor an ideologue?

    (BTW, how confident are you of the accuracy of AoS’s characterisation?)

  142. says

    John, I think I’ve understood you well for a long time. What I’m accusing here is essentially hypocrisy, which I think you feel some aversion to.

    (It doesn’t matter in principle; if I had a functioning Facebook account, I would become aware of what evidence is available as I approach the situation. That is of course the same as any other case where the horde descends.)