Botanical Wednesday: Forest of grass »« Jack Chick & climate change

Comments

  1. John Morales says

    “The uploader has not made this video available in your country.”

    (Thank FSM!)

  2. chigau (√-1) says

    still catching-up on the end of the last Thread:
    but in tonight’s news, I dropped my netbook and cracked the screen. It still works but there is an abstract design of black blobs in the lower right.

    Nutmeg
    I’m an archaeologist.

  3. Nutmeg says

    I think I’ll sacrifice some DNA to the PCR gods tomorrow for all those who are having a rough week. There seem to be a lot of you.

    (Does anyone else’s lab have PCR gods? No, my lab is just weird? All right, then.)

    chigau: If your technology woes will permit, feel free to tell work-related stories anytime! I’d love to get up north someday, but I haven’t made it much further than 55N so far.

  4. A. R says

    Nutmeg: Have you had your thermocycler serviced recently? I assume your primers and water baths are good.

  5. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    1. Thread bankrupt.

    2. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE!!— Francine came out of winter hibernation today! Good girl started right up just like her battery hadn’t been sitting outside all winter. Thank you, Chrysler, for the slant 6 engine.

  6. Pteryxx says

    gratz Josh!

    (Does anyone else’s lab have PCR gods? No, my lab is just weird? All right, then.)

    Labs of mine have had cloning gods, PCR gods and tissue culture gods. I specifically inherited a snarling rubber rat clutching a pipette tip in each forepaw.

  7. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    And. . . . I want a cigarette so bad right now it’s a good thing I’ve had too much to drink to drive to the store. Cuz I’d totes buy a pack.

  8. says

    Nutmeg, I must feel slightly offended at being compared to Americans! Except in the sense that we are the big country and NZ the small neighbour. But Canada – well, I lived in the US for a couple of years, and visiting Canada felt like a relief – it was just so much less foreign. We have a huge and mostly empty land mass and a British heritage; so do you. Home away from home, except with more water :)

  9. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    just for fun I bought a 7 dollar hatchet. It’s a piece of shit, and it was the least shitty in the bin. But this is a good thing, I intend to use it for throwing, so I want something shitty that I won’t cry if I ding the edge.

    I have a feeling this is gonna be a good summer.

  10. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Also I modified it and made it look cool despite the shittiness.

  11. A. R says

    TLC: I have a rather nice hatchet in my hunting kit. Got it for $30 IIRC. It hasn’t dulled yet, even with extreme use. Granted, said extreme use occurred exactly once when I had to get a tree limb off of my car.

  12. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    A.R: I bought myself the Cold steel Norse Hawk for 30 bucks, it’s my favorite bush axe. Its only drawback is that it doesn’t split wood well, but whatever. I did decorative filework on the back, sharpened a bit of the beard, and carved a neat pommel on the handle. It matches my homemade short sword. Which I also recently did a bunch of decorative filework on.

    (The sword is what I used to butcher up the deer we killed last fall, including splitting up the ribcage and removing the head)

  13. A. R says

    A sword to butcher a deer? I must sat that that is quite unique. Speaking of hunting swords, I do actually have an 18th century hunting sword I bought at a garage sale. Looks a bit like this actually.

  14. theophontes 777 says

    @ Josh

    Francine came out of winter hibernation today!

    TBBB…. we can haz pix soon?

    @ A.R

    Looks a bit like this actually.

    Oi! Don’t go waving that about TZT. We don’t want it to escalate….

  15. A. R says

    theophontes: I’m afraid to say that things have already gotten a bit crazy on TZT. Darth Benedict is zapping the population with lightning, and there is a LOLstar orbiting the thread…

  16. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    A.R: Beautiful. I know the style. I really enjoy the german ones with the antler handles. Such class, though I’ll never be able to afford one.

    My short sword has a ten inch roughly leaf shaped blade, five inch handle, it’s kinda like a smatchet, kinda looks like a bronze-aged short sword (but isn’t truly double edged and is more obvious now with the filework), kinda hilted like a gladius with a blocky wooden crossguard (nicely carved and polished though), and kind of just a big knife. Made from flattened leafspring. My favorite bush implement. Have used it for many years, though I’ve been filing it into a more manageable shape the whole time (painstaking, but worth it).

    Anyways, yeah, it clove that deer’s ribcage and sternum like nothing. It’s also the sword I badly injured my left thumb with, but that’s another story.

  17. A. R says

    it clove that deer’s ribcage and sternum like nothing. It’s also the sword I badly injured my left thumb with, but that’s another story.

    Swords can do these things you know! :)

  18. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Apple sharlotka is in the oven, I’ve cleaned all the windows and I can’t piece together that big whirl in the middle of the Starry night puzzle which is now annoying me beyond reason.

    Unemployment is driving me crazy.

  19. says

    Uff, coffee
    What a morning
    First to the doc, then to gran.
    We still can’t decide if the kid has an allergy or an infection, but in case we find out we have medication.
    Bittersweet:
    #1 noticed that my gran is totally lacking a plushie of her own. They’ve constantly supplied her with some of theirs, but that wasn’t right. So we bought her a little kittycat.
    I mean, yeah, 4yo empathy. They’d need their own plushie, so gran needs on, too.
    The sad thing is that they were right, of course, and gran is totally happy with her new plushie kittycat. And not because it’s a gift from her great-grandchildren.

    A.R.
    Nice. I looooove things with blades. Mr always tries to gently steer me away from any place where they sell them.

  20. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Oh, and our last couple of lessons in French class were about employment so the three essays I have to write are all about that topic: summer job, experiences in any previous jobs, work conditions, difficulties of finding a job in Croatia these days… you get the picture.
    Just the thought about writing those is depressing me.
    In the discussions about unemployment in class, there was more than just a whiff of “people are just not trying hard enough to look for work” and “you have to be imaginative and make up something profitable”. Yeah, that didn’t make me feel like a total lazy loser. Not. At. All.

    I’m currently finding going over all the verb tenses preferable to writing those essays.

    And my hands are now shaking almost all the time. It’s seriously annoying and more than a little embarrassing when in company.

  21. Rieux says

    For us out-of-towner Pharynguloids/FTBers who are in the D.C. area this weekend (or indeed, er, now) for the Reason Rally, is there any way to find out where folks are gathering to do atheist-social stuff?

    Obviously there’s the Rally itself on Saturday, followed by the FTB/Friendly Atheist gathering—but between now and then, I think there’s a need for a clearinghouse for “Where’s the FTB crowd hanging out at the moment?” information.

    Is the Endless Thread a good place to do that? Does it deserve a Pharyngula post of its own?

  22. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    Another shitty night. I’ve got some leftover hydrocodone. I wonder if I should pop one of those before bed?

    Sailor:

    Thanks. After I dropped that comment, I actually looked at what I was dealing with but wasn’t able to get back and say nevermind.

    Something to note, (no pun intended), is that most standard hearing tests are very poor and only show gross anomalies. By the time they detect loss it’s already progressed quite a bit.

    It took our union nine years just to get this much done. This is one reason I need my pre-agency test — and I’ll take both to an audiologist through my insurance. Just a starting point.

    Let me send you some recipe cards from the ’60s. Ways With Spam. It’ll open your eyes to the wonders that are SPAM.

    Please, please, please tell me that there are no recipes for SPAM in aspic. Please?

    (According to the Pfft, 3.8 cans of spam are eaten every second in the United States. Seriously, who’s eating all that spam? And why?)

    In some communities, it is considered a pre-antidote to Jell-o salads.

    It even jettison’s the themes of ME

    What is this? I tune in and it’s all, like, ‘ME, ME, ME!’ You sound like seagulls.

    Just booked my bus tickets for the Reason Rally!

    Have fun. Just curious — AmTrak runs a really good service from Boston to Washington, was that an option? (Personally, I would always rather be on a train — safer and, more important, when my knee starts cramping, I can go for a walk).

    Perhaps the only thing I miss about church is having an excuse to sing in public,

    In the Army, I sang in the choir at the church. Until the minister found out I was a Unitarian and I was asked to leave. And this was an ‘ecumenical, all faiths’ service.

    Ogvorbis, you’re really having a shit week, aren’t you?

    Yes.

    I’m sorry. I hope it gets better

    Not likely. In two hours, I have to give a gour to twenty members of the Pennsylvania State House — the tourism subcommittee. I consider it a compliment that the park, and the local visitor’s bureau, wants me to do the tour but, damn, it’s just another way of punishing the competent.

    It’s weird how the brain will randomly decide to throw one at you, sometimes when it’s the last thing you need.

    Yeah. My brain doesn’t seem to realize that the more stress it creates, the less time my body will be supplying its energy needs. Stupid brain.

    It won’t summon the shriveled, etiolated ghost of D*vid M*b*s if I post a Depeche Mode video, will it?

    Probably not, but why risk it?

    but in tonight’s news, I dropped my netbook and cracked the screen. It still works but there is an abstract design of black blobs in the lower right.

    I haven’t done that. Yet. I’m sure I will at some point.

    Have you tried working on the problem with, say, a hand axe or a bone needle?

    Thank you, Chrysler, for the slant 6 engine.

    When I was in college, one of the guys in my dorm had an old Aspen with a slant-6. The car needed about $1,500 worth of used parts just to pass inspection so he decided to kill it. He drained all the oil (yes, he did take it to a garage) and then started it up, put a brick on the accelerator, and let it run at 3krpm. After a half-hour, the paint on the hood (bonnet) was blistering. At 2h20m, the engine finally blew. Impressively. Those engines are damn near indestructable. And they shouldn’t be as they are, basically, half of an unreliable v-12.

    I’ve got a fruit fly god in my lab.

    Yeah, well, most gods come across as rather whiney so it is appropriate.

    I love making cold cream. It’s so quick and when I’m done there’s, you know, real cold cream, that looks like it came from a store and everything. Only better smelling.

    Recipe? Girl goes through that stuff faster than a freshman goes through beer.

    it clove that deer’s ribcage and sternum like nothing.

    Never would have thought of seasoning venison with cloves. Then again, I don’t like venison or cloves so season away! (Yeah, I know, I am deliberately misunderstanding for humour. At this point, I either make jokes or, er, something.)

  23. says

    Katherine
    Oh, I have plushies gallore. My gran, well, not so much.
    I must say that I’m terribly proud of my kids for how they’re dealing with gran, especially #1. The little one is still at that age where “things are the way they are”, but for #1 it was a shock.
    We accidentially lied to her when grandpa died. We told her that everything was fine, grandpa would be home from hospital soon and things would get back to normal.
    The day before he died.
    Because that’s what we thought was true.
    And then grandma fell, broke her arm, had to go to the hospital (a bad idea in hindsight) and it was not clear if she’d come home again and when she came home she was completely changed and that was hard on the kid.
    But by now she has adjusted her mental picture of gran, she cares for her lovingly, brings her cushions and cake, combs her and includes her in her games.

  24. says

    It even jettison’s the themes of ME

    Lolz. ME= Mass Effect.

    BUT the way you read it (or jokingly read it) is ALSO correct. The whole success of the franchise has been player agency? What sort of space opera hero do YOU think is best…that’s the one you get. It is all about you you you you you! You’re co-author. We provide the possibilities but you provide the preference. It’s your Shepard, your story. To in the end remove all of that and then defend the decision because it’s the artists right and it’s THEIR story? Not saying they can’t do whatever they want with the product but it is actually hypocritical to the theme and motif. It’d be like if Harry Potter suddenly in the last book had the author explain exactly why Voldemort was right and the lesser races are lesser.

    Really?!

    Fuck that. Might as well just get back into fighting games.

    The whole reason I kept playing was to see what happens to Jane but if that’s what I’m looking at, screw it.

    What’s funnysad is that Bioware in a the latest response where the realization that “Oh fuck all anyone is talking about the game is how much the ending sucks and people have raised 70,000 dollars for charity just to draw our attention to how much it sucked” is that they tone trolled and chastised people for destructive rather than constructive feedback. And defend the artistic integrity.

    Now I’m sure people did fly off the handle, but really defending artistic integrity? No no no no no no. Defending artistic integrity of a project is when you refuse to remove the gay option because it’d hurt feefees (a GOOD mark for Bioware) when someone returns your first draft and shakes their head and says “I KNOW you can do a lot better” staying by your original draft isn’t really upholding integrity…especially with a commercial entertainment project. Sorry the point of the game isn’t to give the developers the David Lynch Fantasy Experience at being all “deep” but to entertain their co-authors of the story (ie the players).

  25. says

    @Giliell:

    I have my stuffed yellow chick that is nearly as old as I am (got him when I was 2, I think.) He’s got one eye and his fur is falling out in all sorts of places so you can see the underlying mesh. I have a big Cthulhu plushie (a little one is at work, as well as the Common Cold Giant Microbe.) I have the World of Warcraft Griffon and Wyvern plushies. I have a little frog and a little kitty.

    Kids are interesting people. Sounds like she cares alot for your gran :)

    @Ing:

    “Artistic integrity” in that case would’ve made me not care that I had gaping plotholes, chapters of boring tripe, and aspects of the story that were bad or made little sense with my novel. I had to rewrite everything just because of how dumb the original draft was when I reread it.

    Sometimes authors (and video game writers) just have to step back and do a rewrite.

  26. says

    @Katherine

    Yeah when *checks pole* 98% of your dedicated fans start to independently come to the same Alternative Interpretation of events, either you’ve successfully manipulated a good mind screw or suck.

    If it’s not the sucking part you should take pause and be proud that you’ve made something everyone loved exactly as much as Matrix 3

  27. says

    Katherine
    Meet Boomer.
    He’s about 4 years younger than me and one of my best friends. Bith ears have fallen off in the mean time, he’s got a big fat scar where a friend ripped him almost in two, and he’s getting bald.

    And I really can’t name all the others if I want to finish today

  28. says

    When are they coming out with Mass Effect 3, by the way?

    Well I played the Beta and it seems solid, but the ending isn’t finished…but you can imagine that they’d want to spend a good chunk of time on that given how much focus the fans put on it. Extensively different CGI scenes to block and voice actors to record and all.

  29. says

    @Giliell:

    Ehehe. I’d take a picture of Chickie (my yellow chick) but he’s at home on my top shelf in a place of honor!

    @Ing:

    Oh yea, that might be difficult. The Beta seems really well done though. All the way up to the ending sequence where you’re, well you’ve seen it so you know what I’m talking about.

    @Matt:

    The point

    Your head

  30. Matt Penfold says

    The point

    Your head

    You asked a question, I answered it.

    Sorry if that causes you a problem. Now please stop being a fucking idiot.

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

    Both my spawn (I have one of each of the two most common flavours) have still got some of their stuffed toy animals from when they were in single digits. I don’t think either of them is hugely attached to any of them any more, though the family will of course continue to house el osito teddy and el monino with a nostalgic tear in its collective eye (spawn could not at that point pronounce “monito”). But I still have the white cat my mother made for me when she was ill in hospital; that’s special, of course, as she made it for me her very own self (when she wasn’t busy being a research scientist. Yup, my mother was superwoman in disguise, right down to the very real flaws and the never ever implying I really ought to be more like her. Which I’m not.)

    I hope your shitty week gets better, Og, or at least a lot less shitty.

  32. says

    You asked a question, I answered it.

    Sorry if that causes you a problem. Now please stop being a fucking idiot.

    Oh I thought you were joking.

    Stop being a fucking idiot and realize that Kat and I have been talking about ME3 for the last two threads and gave the warning that “yes the Ending is as bad as you’ve heard”

    I can see your confusion though, it’s not like Kat actually said “They never made any other Matrix movies…” before cracking the joke about denial concerning ME3. That sort of context would help.

  33. says

    My son Connlann had a stuffed teddy bear he was extremely attached to when he was in the single digits. It’s long gone now. But it had a name: RAGEY. I don’t know why, especially since he was a darned mellow kid.

  34. says

    @Matt:

    I was joking in the same way that I was joking about the previous sentence:

    “Wait, there’s more than one Matrix movie?” I am keenly aware that the Matrix is a part of a trilogy and all three movies have been made, it’s just the latter two were terrible and so, in joking, I’ve suggested they never made them.

    Similarly the question, “When are they coming out with Mass Effect 3, by the way?” echoed the sentiment that I’m keenly aware (as I’ve finished it in its entirety) that Mass Effect 3 was released earlier this month, I (along with Ing) am merely disappointed with the ending, so in jest I suggested the game is not finished. This statement was then echoed witH Ing and my joking about the Beta version.

    And I can’t believe I had to explain that.

  35. says

    Esteleth, #691, last thread: Yes, I’ve heard shape-note singing before. It’s pretty, although it doesn’t captivate me utterly.

    Also, I’d definitely be up for a Western Mass., or Cambridge, meetup on the weekend of 20 May.

    Nigel, I thought you were off to your daughter’s wedding? :) I became a NG fan in the late ’80s, when the singer/songwriter thing was making a comeback. It took me a while to get used to that tart voice, but once I did, she became one of my favorites. Her music and the Indigo Girls’ first album got me through one of those gawd-awful jobs one takes when one graduates into a shitty economy. That one lasted a year and a half.

    Bill, thanks for the video — which song is it? Work blocks YouTube. I’ll have to watch it later.

    Josh — Yaaaaaay! Next time I make it up there, I can haz ride in Francine? :D

    (Also, uh, yay for getting drunk, if it stands in the way of your buying cigarettes?)

    Beatrice:

    In the discussions about unemployment in class, there was more than just a whiff of “people are just not trying hard enough to look for work” and “you have to be imaginative and make up something profitable”. Yeah, that didn’t make me feel like a total lazy loser. Not. At. All.

    Sounds exactly like the mindfuck they pull here in the U.S. Except we also have self-styled “employment experts,” a/k/a bullshit artists, who get paid for saying this to groups of the demoralized unemployed. They even get paid by state unemployment agencies to say this shit.

    Og, sorry to hear you had another poor night’s sleep. Hope the tour went well enough.

    Matt, Ing was scolding you mildly. I do not know the specific reason UK Amazon would be impractical for him, but I suspect it has to do with shipping charges.

  36. Matt Penfold says

    Oh I thought you were joking.

    Stop being a fucking idiot and realize that Kat and I have been talking about ME3 for the last two threads and gave the warning that “yes the Ending is as bad as you’ve heard”

    Sorry I have not been able to keep up and missed the point.

    You could of course pointed this out to start with.

  37. says

    You could of course pointed this out to start with.

    I THOUGHT YOU WERE JOKING!

    Matt, Ing was scolding you mildly. I do not know the specific reason UK Amazon would be impractical for him, but I suspect it has to do with shipping charges.

    *head desk*

    Kat, I don’t want to live on this planet, can I crash on your’s for a bit?

  38. says

    @opposablethumbs:

    I think childhood toys are important to us not to forget. That’s why Chickie is in the place of honor. He was a part of my youth ever since I was a baby. He’s been there to comfort me in my saddest moments. He was there to play with. He was there to lull me to sleep.

    He’s like a friend, and every so often, when I’ve had just about the worst fucking day ever, he’s there to cuddle.

    @PZ:

    RAGEY the teddy bear. That’s an awesome name.

  39. says

    @Ing:

    Kat, I don’t want to live on this planet, can I crash on your’s for a bit?

    I dunno… my planet has a requirement that you have to wear funky fruit hats. Think you can do that? *reaches up to nom on a banana*

    And as I side note, I’m not even entirely convinced the “The Game isn’t finished yet” is actually 100% joke. I sort of cynically think it might be a ploy to release the product before completion and sell the core content as DLC

    Maybe Bioware is just massively trolling us?

  40. carlie says

    Hi, everyone! Emergency glitter and plushie parade!!! With extra chocolate bonbons!

    *rains down glitter and plushies and bonbons on everyone*

    Ok! Now we are all shiny and cuddly and chocolatified and happy, yes?

  41. carlie says

    And bacon! Except that it is hot and therefore dangerous, so it will be handed out in carefully wrapped packets.

  42. Predator Handshake says

    Here’s what I dreamed last night:

    Reason Rally was in Boston, and I had just gotten off the plane. I walked into a diner and PZ was in there sitting at a table with his personal bodyguard, a huge Samoan guy. I sat and chatted for a minute, wore out my welcome (the bodyguard told me so), and left through the restaurant’s backdoor.

    Out back, there was a huge group of Juggalos. I did what anyone does when confronted with a large group of Juggalos: got out my weed bag. This didn’t have the intended effect, because they all started making fun of my weed. Even though it was all broken up from whatever method I had used to have it on my plane ride, the Juggalos knew somehow that it was all male plant matter and began circling me, closing in slowly for some psycho clown justice or something.

    Just in time, Greta Christina rode in on the back of a mountain lion, wielding a novelty sized (i.e. six feet long) leather paddle, and ran the Juggalos off.

    Anyway, that all bummed me out a bit that I’m not going to the rally.

  43. birgerjohansson says

    Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort ° 44:
    “Sometimes authors (and video game writers) just have to step back and do a rewrite”
    Peter Watts made a brilliant retcon of the game “Crysis: Legion” when he wrote the novel version. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Watts_(author)
    BTW, Watts became a casualty of the ubiquitous use of pepper spray by cops when crossing the US border in 2009.

  44. walton says

    Reason Rally was in Boston,

    I wish. This would save me a ten-hour bus journey each way.*

    (*Not a continuous bus journey; it includes a short layover in New York City. Hence I can technically claim to have visited New York City. Though the Port Authority bus terminal may not exactly be its finest visitor attraction.)

    I walked into a diner and PZ was in there sitting at a table with his personal bodyguard, a huge Samoan guy.

    Well, you know, he needs protection from the legions of adoring fans who want him to sign their cephalopod memorabilia.

  45. birgerjohansson says

    Predator, your dreams are almost, but not quite as scary as mine. I keep getting the Alien as a visitor, 33 years after the fucking film.
    — — — — — — — — —
    PZ “My son Connlann had a stuffed teddy bear he was extremely attached to when he was in the single digits. It’s long gone now. But it had a name: RAGEY. I don’t know why, especially since he was a darned mellow kid.”
    .
    It makes me think of the small but homicidal robots in the film “Screamers”, a rather mediocre rendering of a Philip K. Dick story. Also, the robotic cuddly toys in The Simpsons.
    —- —- —- —- —-
    “I’ve got a fruit fly god in my lab.”

    A fairly common occurence if you have been without sleep for 48 hours.

  46. walton says

    How come PZ’s posts now appear in sinister-looking red letters? Is he living up to the archetype of the Evil Atheist by writing them in dried blood?

  47. ChasCPeterson says

    Ing, it’s not that it’s inherently uninteresting

    Yeah. It really is.
    (that’s my OPINOIN)

    nevertheless, all Hordemembers need to get with the program and pay close attention to any discussion Ing is involved in. There will be quizzes and heads may roll.

  48. Pteryxx says

    Just in time, Greta Christina rode in on the back of a mountain lion, wielding a novelty sized (i.e. six feet long) leather paddle, and ran the Juggalos off.

    …The heck with her book cover, I want THAT on a T-shirt.

  49. Richard Austin says

    I have a stuffed lion that is pretty much identical to this one.

    This was a gift from my father’s mother, and was quite literally placed in the bassinet with me in the hospital the day I was born. So, it’s actually older than I am.

    His name is Leo. He stopped playing music when I was about 5, and while it may be possible to get the music box fixed, the idea of anyone cutting him open and fiddling with his insides makes me squeamish.

    Other than that, he’s intact if a little old. He sits on the headboard to my bed.

    (Oh, and, he flies – he spins his tail around like a helicopter and zooms after bad guys.

    (When I tell people I’m a 6-year-old in a 35-year-old’s body, I’m not kidding as much as they think.)

  50. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    When I was a kid, I had a sock monkey. Her (yes, the sock monkey was female, as she had a skirt from the cuff of one of the socks) name was Iggy-Poo.
    Iggy-Poo is so named as that is the traditional name for sock monkeys in my family. Tragically, my Iggy-Poo got lost at some point, when she got left behind in a hotel.

    I also had a pillow that had a face, arms, and legs. His name was Mr. Sandman.

  51. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Ugh ugh ugh.
    So, my doc has decided to change my meds to one that is apparently more effective. Okay, no prob. She gave me a sample pack to try out. Works great. So, I get a scrip, drop it off at the pharmacy.

    I filled the scrip this morning. My out-of-pocket cost has gone from $20/month to $120/month.

    Now, I can afford that. But seriously, WTF? I have an appointment with the doc soon to discuss how the new meds are doing. I plan on complaining about this. If it really is that much better, okay (but I don’t feel 6 times better on the new meds), but if not I want to go back to the old meds.

    Goddammit.

  52. says

    nevertheless, all Hordemembers need to get with the program and pay close attention to any discussion Ing is involved in. There will be quizzes and heads may roll.

    Ok despite the fact that I said that I understood that it was a minority side discusion and joked with people about that you’ll attack that as if it’s my position.

    Ok I’ve had enough. I have ignored Chas for fucking MONTHS as he does this. And it’s just about every single fucking thread. Why is this trolling of his tolerated?

  53. A. R says

    I was just thinking, would “I got bored with Church” be a good “why I am an atheist” post?

  54. walton says

    Esteleth, last thread:

    Walton you’re stateside until the end of May?
    I’ll be in Western Mass the weekend or the 20th (near Springfield). Not too far from Cambridge, really. I’m not sure if you’d be willing/able to meet me halfway (or maybe a Horde-wide meepup in Boston could be arranged), but I’d be up for something.

    20th May is likely to be awkward for me, unfortunately, since it’s the weekend before commencement and I have a parent visiting. But it might be possible.

  55. Louis says

    Ing, #86,

    Why is this trolling of his tolerated?

    Is it because he has previously written lucidly about the Congo?

    Louis

  56. says

    Birger, Kevin Drum has never struck me as the most clued-in of commentators. Note that there is a reply to him from Greenwald in comments.

    Tangentially to the topic but relevant to our interests, in the same thread, another commenter complains because, earlier this month, Greenwald asked rhetorically whether Dennis Kucinich’s “wackiness” was any wackier than Obama’s belief that “Jesus turned water into wine, rose from the dead and will soon welcome him to heaven.” The commenter is complaining less about xtianity (or all major religion) being attacked than about Greenwald “just mak[ing] something up in order to get a shot in.” So, basically, another whiny Obamabot.

  57. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Daisy, Walton (possibly others):
    I have an event that I have to go to on 19 and 20 May, in Northampton (this is ~15 miles north of Springfield). I’ll be tied up all day on the 19th, and on the 20th until noonish. But – I was planning on arriving in the area the evening of the 18th. That, and later in the day on the 20th, are both open.
    I could head Boston-ways, or whatever. FWIW, the biggest yarn store in the Northeast is in Northampton :D :D :D (also many excellent bars & restaurants).

    I ALSO will be in Western MA next weekend (that is, the weekend of the 30th). But I have much less free time that weekend and am near-totally tied down. Nonetheless, if there was great interest I could swing something.

  58. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Introspection about race and gender from a friend who has given me permission to post. Her name is Kate Bishop. She is a playwright and a wonderful person, among other things. I thought many of you would find it interesting.

    I’m about to break down seriously racist shit that goes through my head. Reader discretion: I’m about to get ugly.

    I walked home from work today, good for me. I passed a young man in a hoodie and got to thinking about Trayvon Martin. Poor kid. Fucking tragic. Minding his business, out for a walk. His stroll to the 7/11 was suspicious enough to George Zimmerman that he felt compelled to shoot an unarmed skinny kid in the chest. 17 years old. Convicted and executed for walking while Black.

    I walk home through a stretch of Balitmore right at the edge of the White Stripe, past the infamous Lexington Market. You know the White Stripe, where all the booming businesses, best restaurants, and “cultural” institutions are, where average income is higher and average family size is lower, where crime happens seldom and when it does it’s less deadly. Where I live. If you are a Baltimorian, it’s probably where you live too. I don’t know that many people in those other neighborhoods, the ones that make up the majority of our city. Save for some work-related exceptions, I’ve never even been to them.

    It’s twilight and I’m a little nervous while I’m thinking about that kid Trayvon. I’m keeping an eye open. Head up, purposeful stride, don’t play with your phone, duck into a covered doorway to move your wallet from back to front pocket. Cause I’m near where drug deals are known to happen. I’m west of Howard Street, which up by my house is my boundary between definitely safe and sketchy. Some girl got raped near here last month.

    As I pass other pedestrians, probably 50 or 60 people on my way home, I realize I’m scanning them for threat. As I always do, as I was taught to do as a little girl. I always check out who’s behind me. Each person I assess gets dumped into their slot: Safe, UNKNOWN (potentially lethal), and Panhandler. Panhandlers are almost always Safe but sometimes aggressive. And just passing a hobo slumped in a doorway makes me feel a little bit bad about myself. So, Safe but itchy for the conscience. Avoid.

    So, who finds their way to the Safe category? Women. I learned as a pup that Beware of Strangers really means Beware of Men. The occasions when I see a woman as Dangerous are rare. Who else? Old people. Children. Someone with an observable disability. Dog walkers. Asians. Anyone wearing a uniform — cops and security guards, hospital workers in scrubs, McDonalds visors, Downtown Partnership sweepers, construction workers, all categorically Safe. Anyone who has a clear reason to be there, like a shopkeeper or people waiting for the bus. White men who are over 30, not obviously homeless or being loud. Pass.

    Those are easy and automatic, I barely notice them. Beyond those folks it gets individual. This is where the scan comes in. Scan: Student. Scan: Business Douche. Scan: Hipster. Scan: Musician. Scan: Working Stiff. Scan: Nerd. Scan: UNKNOWN.

    And my spine stacks up straighter, and I bend my path just slightly toward the street, and I think about whether I already moved my wallet.

    I make a second inspection, for details I have trained myself to spot. These are mostly related to ascertaining his socioeconomic status. How new are his clothes? How low are his pants? How tidy is his hairdo? Does he have all his viewable teeth? What’s the tattoo situation? Does he make eye contact? How old is this guy? How big?

    By process of elimination, I know you have cleverly deducted that UNKNOWN is pretty well known. Young White dudes in groups, able-bodied Black or dark Hispanic men between 12 and 80 years old. Right? The usual suspects. Literally.

    It is emphatically clear that my scan system is miscalibrated. How did I get to the point where I’m methodically preparing to run when I encounter Black men? As a class, as a default impulse? In Baltimore, females will totally jump another woman for money or revenge or kicks. I’m certain that someone of Asian descent has jacked up a passerby sometime in our city’s fair history.

    The reason I let them pass without suspicion is that it’s so exhausting to carry all that suspicion around. In order to leave the house I have to create a system where most people are Safe. In order to live in Baltimore City, ever boxing Detroit for highest murder rate, I stay aware that some people are Dangerous.

    The way I have worked that calculation out is by using my racism.
    As did George Zimmerman.
    As do you. Don’t you?

    Here’s my racist origin story in snapshots:
    I learn about Afro-Americans absent a context of actual Black people. None of my teachers are Black. No one at my church is Black. None of my neighbors, none of my schoolmates (ok, one kid. And his little brother.), just a handful of my parents’ coworkers. My kind White Liberal family taught me They are just as good as I am and we should be sympathetic and extra nice to Them because of Their hardships.

    From progressive White people I learned that Blackness equals anxiety. Because someday I will say something racist. Someday I will, even though I’m trained to be as polite as the Queen and use my best manners around Them. They are super-sensitive, too. I’m terrified I will blurt out something horrible. I will speak the unspeakable-word and make monkey noises. I must be vigilant with my words and never relax within Black hearing.
    Safe but itchy for the conscience. Avoid.

    The wider world carefully taught me that Blackness equals threat. On the news, police are always looking for a Black male about 6′ with no distinguishing marks. When I see Black men on TV they are in a mug shot or handcuffs or noble fictional slaves or a Cosby. White teachers taught me that hip hop is a ridiculous kind of “music” — aren’t they just talking, basically? And those rappers cuss so much, and kill police officers. Thugs and gangstas. In the movies, the ex-con or the killer is usually Black or maybe sorta gay. I learn that jail is full of Black men. They are Criminals. And in my city, in Pittsburgh, Black equals poor. I learn that poor people commit a lot of crimes too.

    Way down in my brain stem there’s a dark spot where those ideas are hardwired, welded into place. The lizard brain is detritus from an earlier point in evolution, but it’s still operating and there is no off switch. I’ve searched and searched. Pre-thought, lizard brain injects these residual images into my better mind and washes them with fear. It rings an alarm that has never, ever been practically useful to me. I have had no evidence in my entire life that I am actually, personally in danger near random African American people. Yet on the earliest setting, my lizard brain alarm was triggered just by being in the company of any Black person. That’s hard to admit. But true.

    When I moved near East Liberty and started working at the shelter I muffled that alarm with regular exposure to Black folks. It’s just not practical to panic that much of your day. If I passed a Black man on the street, he would almost always say “How’s it goin”. This happened so reliably that I reckon most little brown boys are taught by their mothers to nod and greet any White woman if she’s walking alone. How’s it goin translated just means Not a threat. Sometimes the guy looked resentful, but he’d still say it. And it worked! It still works! If I get the nod, that guy goes into the Safe bin. But it doesn’t really happen on the East Coast, not too much, I can’t depend on that.

    When I moved to Blacker-than-Pittsburgh Cleveland, I encountered a Black middle class. I made a few Black friends. I had neighbors and the people who rode the bus with me. When I first got there, the lizard brain warnings were still quite strong. Not a Danger alarm anymore, but an uncomfortable hyperawareness. I am the only White person on this bus, I would think. I’m the only White person in this restaurant. In this elevator. One of three in this grocery store. Gradually I forgot to count. I didn’t realize I had ever had those thoughts until my mother visited. She remarked “I noticed there are a lot of, um, there are a lot of Black people in your neighborhood. It’s fine, of course, I just…I just noticed.” I noticed that I’d stopped noticing.

    And now I live in a 70% Black city. It’s pointless to count fellow White-looking people, and the urge has passed. I have to be comfortable with ambient Blackness. And I am, honestly am. I am intimate with a spectrum of people across the African diaspora. I engage anti-racist ethics in all my thoughtful choices. I am as Good a White Ally as anybody, I try to own my privilege and educate other Whites and be consistently conscious that I show up White (and therefore, Kittens, unavoidably oppressive) in any mixed-race space. These tactics have helped me get a grip.

    And still, the lizard brain just won’t die. I’ve come to accept that I can merely be aware of the influence and try to work around.

    So I’m walking home. Scan: Gym rat. Scan: Weekend Dad. Scan: Eating a hot dog, neutralized. Scan: Missionary. Scan: UNKNOWN.
    And the awful, repulsive, hideous truth clangs like a prison door inside my chest.

    Trayvon Martin: UNKNOWN.

    George Zimmerman: Safe.

    Hard call, but probably. Lighter skin. Confident. Out on official Neighborhood Watch business.
    Scanning the streets for Danger.
    Walking home, I wonder…
    Walking home, I know.

    Just like me.
    Just like me.

  59. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    Two full hours. Two full hours. With twenty state legislators. Who are also conducting business, by phone, during the tour (they are up here taking a look at a new room tax proposal). And I think I made about the same impression that a dragonfly makes on a windshield.

    And my CMS system is systematically screwing up every bit of content I ask the system to manage.

    And there was an unexplained $15.00 charge on my credit card from the rental car agency in El Paso which was removed after I called them but I still don’t know what it was for but I am still supposed to have a reciept for it. And my boss and I have now put in two hours (a GS-9/09 and a GS-11/07 pay rates) trying to explain $15.00.

    I am so fucking glad it is Friday.

  60. Louis says

    Ing,

    Turtles, Congo, tomAYto, tomAHto, potAYto, potAHto, let’s call the whole thing off.

    Louis

  61. says

    PZ, your blog’s layout is not working here (IE 7, workstation), your recent posts are not showing up, there’s only the FTB recent posts, and Pharyngula’s recent comments far, far down. The clickety link on “recent posts” does nothing.

  62. says

    BTW, anybody want to come over for dinner?
    I think there’s at least one serving more than we can eat,
    It’s Giliell’s version of Mrs. Colon’s Curry.
    It theoretically has prawns in it.

    Ooh, sounds… interesting. I don’t really know you all that well, but… I shall come over forthwith!

  63. Nutmeg says

    AE, 94: Your post is sadly accurate. Replace black with aboriginal, and that’s what happens in my city, and probably in a lot of other Canadian cities. Similar processes happen in my own head.

  64. cicely ("Intriguingly Odd") says

    I have a black and silver plush chibi Cthulhu on my desk, right now. At home I have a whole shelf-full of Cthulhu plushes looming over the bed (together with one Nyarlathotep and Darth Tater).

    Wait. There was more than one Matrix movie?

    No.

    Son still has the plush anteater (named “Thing”) that was the first toy he picked out for himself, back when he was two. His fur is matted (turns out that Thing wasn’t as washer-safe as we hoped), I had to re-paint the pupils on his eyes at least half a dozen times, and his nose is getting threadbare, but he’s still hangin’ in there.
    -

  65. says

    Apparently there’s a Reason Rally app for Android (I don’t think there’s one for iphone).

    Speaking of the Reason Rally, I’m leaving for DC in 4 hours (it’s going to be a 14 hour drive). I found out yesterday that one of the people I’m going with bought our group (4 of us, including him) VIP tickets. I’m going to be sitting in the VIP section :D

  66. keenacat says

    Hello horde.

    Og,
    sounds like serious suckitude. Pour yourself a glass of wine (or other drink of your choice), you certainly deserve it. Congrats on having enough composure to not kill everybody. ‘Cause from the sound of it, I might have.
    Fingers crossed you dream of jostling legislators around rather than of shitty PTSD-crap.

    Re dinner, I’m making bruschetta with a side of left-over bratwurst – yesterday we celebrated the first bbq this year. Many more shall follow.
    The protoHusband (thanks Og!) and I deep-cleansed the flat, including windows and all that jazz.
    As a reward, we got our first ice cream this season, I choose a marvelous raspberry sundae with vanilla, yoghurt and raspberry ice cream and a humongous helping of whipped cream.
    And finally, I got an appointment with my examiner to go over the requirements for my oral exams. She’s also my future boss and eager to have me in her team, so I’m looking forward.
    My day was pretty orsum, so everybody in need of good vibes plz now touch their USB port. I’m sending some.

  67. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    I am moderately amused by this “dinner” talk (yay time zones). I finished my lunch and am now enjoying some tea. I’ll be having dinner in maybe 3 hours.

    That said, the plan is beef ravioli with marinara sauce. Om nom.

  68. Rey Fox says

    One of my most prized possessions is a vintage mid-80s Opus plushie I found at a con several years ago. He sits in mint condition (well, not quite mint since I cut his tag off) on top of my bookshelf. At my office, I have a Folkmanis badger finger puppet that I stole from a store I did inventory at, and a little Audubon plush cardinal that sings a little cardinal song (that one I paid for).

  69. Art Vandelay says

    This seems like as good of a place to ask as any. Daughter’s first science fair is coming up. We want to go with giraffe evolution because giraffes are ridiculous and it seems like this would be easy to explain to 4th graders. Now I’m reading that Darwin’s explanation (and what seems obvious) has been debunked and it has nothing to do with getting at the higher leaves and we really don’t know why they stretched so much? Can anyone confirm that?

  70. A. R says

    Art Vandelay: I’ve heard some stuff about sexual selection, but I’m a virologist, not an evolutionary biologist, so take that with 65mg of NaCl.

  71. says

    It has nothing to do with stretching. It’s about selection over multiple generations.

    Unless you’re planning for a science fair a few thousand years in the future and have a remarkably large yard, you aren’t going to be able to do any experiments on that, but only a descriptive survey of published data and explanations. That won’t do well at a good science fair. You should aim to do something experimental, which rules out giraffes, and if it’s coming up soon, you won’t be likely to be able to do multi-generation work, either.

  72. Pteryxx says

    Art Vandelay: Um, debunked where? Why else would giraffes have long necks but because it let them get the leaves nothing else could get?

  73. A. R says

    Unless you’re planning for a science fair a few thousand years in the future and have a remarkably large yard,

    Ultimate science fair!

    Art: How about something with fruit flies? You can catch your own, and observe the frequency of mutations in normally breeding wild flies.

  74. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Art Vandelay: Um, debunked where? Why else would giraffes have long necks but because it let them get the leaves nothing else could get?

    Necks for sex.

    It’s not really a settled issue either way.

  75. Art Vandelay says

    Oh yeah…I know it has nothing to do with stretching. Just using that term in a colloquial sense.

    Of course we don’t have the benefit of time to physically demonstrate any of this. We were just thinking of models. You have a line of acacia trees that get progressively taller with higher leaf lines. Each tree has some creature eating it that looks more and more like a giraffe until we get until the end. I mean it’s primitive but we’re talking 4th grade here. I just don’t want it to be wrong.

  76. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    A.R., my mid-day tea is usually masala chai with lots of sugar.
    Whee!

    *bounces off walls*

    My science fair projects were things like “blow up a watermelon using a tesla coil.” But then, I was not allowed to take biology in high school (state standards be damned, the public high school I went to taught strike>creationism “intelligent design”), so I took all of the chemistry and physics available. End result: I graduated high school with a middle-school understanding of biology, which I suppose put me ahead of my classmates.

    Still, it did make college biology fun (and by “fun,” I mean “mind-blowing”). Somehow, I managed to get all B’s.

  77. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Well, I borked my tags. Let’s try again:

    A.R., my mid-day tea is usually masala chai with lots of sugar.
    Whee!

    *bounces off walls*

    My science fair projects were things like “blow up a watermelon using a tesla coil.” But then, I was not allowed to take biology in high school (state standards be damned, the public high school I went to taught creationism “intelligent design”), so I took all of the chemistry and physics available. End result: I graduated high school with a middle-school understanding of biology, which I suppose put me ahead of my classmates.

    Still, it did make college biology fun (and by “fun,” I mean “mind-blowing”). Somehow, I managed to get all B’s.

  78. chigau (√-1) says

    re: giraffes necks
    gee willikers!
    Does everything always hafta be about SEX?

  79. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    sounds like serious suckitude. Pour yourself a glass of wine (or other drink of your choice), you certainly deserve it. Congrats on having enough composure to not kill everybody. ‘Cause from the sound of it, I might have.
    Fingers crossed you dream of jostling legislators around rather than of shitty PTSD-crap.

    Yeah, I really do feel like this whole week has been just like an electric guitar.* I plan to put to rest four fingers of Johnny Walker Black. Tidy. And I’m not sure if the legislators would be better than the smell dreams. Really not sure.

    The protoHusband (thanks Og!)

    No problem. Put it on the shelf with ‘strumpet solo’ and Tpyos.

    At my office, I have a Folkmanis badger finger puppet that I stole from a store I did inventory at,

    Wife has fallen in love with the Folkmanis goat puppets. We now have six — named Flannel Butts, Feta, Pete, Johlbak, Ophelia and Briar.

    Now I’m reading that Darwin’s explanation (and what seems obvious) has been debunked and it has nothing to do with getting at the higher leaves and we really don’t know why they stretched so much? Can anyone confirm that?

    I seem to remember reading that it may be a result of sexual selection via mating fights — two giraffes slamming their necks into each other’s necks until one backs down.

    gee willikers!
    Does everything always hafta be about SEX?

    With this grope, I swear anything can become ‘about sex.’

  80. Art Vandelay says

    Everything has to be about sex. Fuck it…we’ll just blow some shit up, then.

  81. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    “With this grope”
    I don’t care if that was intentional or not:
    +1

    Subtract 9. It was unintentional. Giving me a net of -8.

  82. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Art Vandelay:

    Everything has to be about sex. Fuck it…we’ll just blow some shit up, then.

    Add alcohol, and we have the makings of a hella fun equation.

  83. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    Fuck it…we’ll just blow some shit up, then.

    (imagine this in a faux German accent) Well, you see, a man’s fascination with blowing things up shows the masculine obsession with his penis and with ejaculation. Even the terms used in third rate pornography — ‘he erupted’, ‘he exploded’ — are redolent with the imagery of an explosion.

  84. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Kat, my impression was that he can’t afford to appear biased against the police chief; if after sufficient investigation he determines that the chief needs to be fired, everything will have to look fair, and it won’t be good for the city manager to be denouncing him on cable news beforehand.

    That’s me being cynical. It could be that he’s just the sort who really believes in being fair, which means going through the standard procedures and having a full investigation before he comes to any conclusion.

  85. says

    Og —

    Recipe? Girl goes through that stuff faster than a freshman goes through beer.

    1/4c oil. Mineral oil is fine. So is any other sort of light non-smelly oil like grapeseed or light olive. I’ve been using rice bran oil.

    2 Tb water
    2Tb orange blossom water or rosewater
    2 tsp beeswax (in pellets or grated and packed in there pretty well)
    1/8 tsp borax
    small dab of honey, optional

    This is a non-preservative recipe so be careful to use scrupulously clean tools, store it in the fridge, and take cream out of the jar with a clean spoon instead of your grubby mitts. It keeps a good two weeks.

    Warm the plain water and dissolve the borax in it. In a separate container heat your light oil and beeswax until the wax is melted. Combine the borax mixture and oil mixture and whisk till it’s thickened and cooled a bit (you can whisk by hand, I use a stick blender w/ whisk attachment). Add the orange flower or rosewater and the honey if you’re using it, whisk vigorously till incorporated. Spoon into a clean jar and refrigerate.

    If you don’t have or don’t like orange flower water or rosewater, you can omit it and use 1/4 cup plain water to dissolve the borax instead of 2 Tb.

  86. ChasCPeterson says

    “For the moment, the question of ‘How did the giraffe get its long neck?’ must be answered with ‘We do not yet know'”
    sez Laelaps. At length and with currency.

  87. Louis says

    Chigau, #123,

    Does everything always hafta be about SEX?

    Why yes. Yes it does.

    I always post in true rugby lad style, cock out, beer in hand. I thought everyone did. Especially the ladies.

    Louis

  88. A. R says

    Chigau, #123,

    Does everything always hafta be about SEX?

    Yep, sometimes is has to be about teh ghey secks with Brownian.

  89. Pteryxx says

    I always post in true rugby lad style, cock out, beer in hand.

    Better than the other way around, natch?

  90. says

    “For the moment, the question of ‘How did the giraffe get its long neck?’ must be answered with ‘We do not yet know’”

    “The longer neck gets the girl” doesn’t sound terribly convincing tbh.

  91. carlie says

    “The longer neck gets the girl” doesn’t sound terribly convincing tbh.

    It does when the males are bashing each other’s heads in over which girl they get.

    Bioware responds to ME3 critics.

    As co-founder and GM of BioWare, I’m very proud of the ME3 team; I personally believe Mass Effect 3 is the best work we’ve yet created. So, it’s incredibly painful to receive feedback from our core fans that the game’s endings were not up to their expectations. Our first instinct is to defend our work and point to the high ratings offered by critics – but out of respect to our fans, we need to accept the criticism and feedback with humility.

    Building on their research, Exec Producer Casey Hudson and the team are hard at work on a number of game content initiatives that will help answer the questions, providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey. You’ll hear more on this in April. We’re working hard to maintain the right balance between the artistic integrity of the original story while addressing the fan feedback we’ve received. This is in addition to our existing plan to continue providing new Mass Effect content and new full games, so rest assured that your journey in the Mass Effect universe can, and will, continue.

  92. Nutmeg says

    *plops down in lab chair with dramatic sigh*

    Hopefully that’s the last batch of [study species] I have to euthanize and dissect for a while. The little numbskulls are trying to incur massive tissue damage, I swear. I think I’ve foiled them for now – we’ll see what new tricks they come up with next week.

    Now I’m going for a nice long walk around campus so that I can behave like a human being this evening. I’m really not in the mood for a public lecture and reception, but that’s apparently what I’ll be doing.

    One more month, and then the winter term is over. It’ll be nice and quiet on campus, and I’ll have minimal non-research obligations. I can’t wait.

  93. says

    @Esteleth,

    I filled the scrip this morning. My out-of-pocket cost has gone from $20/month to $120/month.

    Now, I can afford that. But seriously, WTF? I have an appointment with the doc soon to discuss how the new meds are doing. I plan on complaining about this. If it really is that much better, okay (but I don’t feel 6 times better on the new meds), but if not I want to go back to the old meds.

    I feel your frustration. I seriously think that prescription coverage in medical insurance can be (and often is) nearly criminal.

    We have not been treating my spouse’s (almost certainly permanent) colitis for almost a couple years now because we simply can’t afford to. When you look at our (state employee, supposed to be great, right? wrong) insurance approved medications, it seems like they cover the condition, but then when we go to actually fill a prescription, you find that because of dosage restrictions, it’s utterly pointless.

    For you to pay a normal co-pay, they cover so little medication that it would treat ZERO inflammation. So you end up covering over half the cost of the drugs out of pocket. I fought and called for months trying to negotiate, and finally they said it was just fine, so I tried to fill it again last year. At the everyday maintenance dose (not a crazy high one either) he is prescribed, our monthly out of pocket for this one prescription was $380. And that was after the “good deal” I was supposedly getting after working with the insurance company. (Previously, the drug manufacturer had a card reducing each out-of-pocket month to $60. $60 was freaking awesome.)

    So he has untreated colitis. Don’t worry, he’s getting a colonoscopy again this year to check for more polyps; he’s 28. His first colonoscopy was around 22-3. I almost wish he had Crohn’s like his dad, because it would open up more approved drug options.

    But it’s not like the insurance company should actually have to pay for treatment, right?

    /rant

  94. A. R says

    Nutmeg: I’ve got a public lecture tomorrow. And one on Saturday. It’s not going to be fun.

  95. says

    I am especially grumpy because they are painting 5 feet from my desk at work. When I’m busy or on the phone, people keep opening the door to the stairwell of fumes, noticing it’s all wet paint and walking away. I think I’ll be tasting paint for a week at this point.

    Trying to wrap everything up at work quickly and leave early.

  96. Pteryxx says

    passing this along from Greg Laden’s blog, where he mentions two women at a political meeting spontaneously singing “Bread and Roses”. I recognize it thanks to Walton.

    Bread and Roses

  97. Rey Fox says

    Nutmeg: Would you mind if I wrote a comic book starting with your monologue in comment #140?

  98. Louis says

    A.R., #136,

    Indeed it does. Indeeeeeeeeeed it does.

    _______________

    Pteryxx, #137,

    Out of beer and cock in hand? Yeah, that’s DEFINITELY worse.

    Louis

  99. Nutmeg says

    Rey Fox:

    Would you mind if I wrote a comic book starting with your monologue in comment #140?

    Not at all, I think that’s hilarious. Go nuts. Glad my grad student rantings can be of help to someone.

    I’d love to hear your plotline sometime.

  100. says

    passing this along from Greg Laden’s blog, where he mentions two women at a political meeting spontaneously singing “Bread and Roses”. I recognize it thanks to Walton.

    Bread and Roses

    Very interesting. Although it is one of my favourite songs, I don’t think I ever heard it in English. It has a completely different melody but a very closely translated text. Which is absolutely uncommon, since usually you keep the melody and translate freely.

    Brot und Rosen (instrumental with lyrics on screen)

  101. julian says

    @Ing, I’m pretty sure the answer to games in the ME universe comes down to one word: prequels.

    Go ahead and break what’s left of my heart why dontcha?

    Sorry the point of the game isn’t to give the developers the David Lynch Fantasy Experience at being all “deep” but to entertain their co-authors of the story (ie the players).

    Something I wish more games would embrace.

    Most games are no different from movies (or books) in how they tell a story. You may be in control for the fight against the giant monster but everything else is more or less the same. The game has a sequence of events that will carry you from the introduction to the climax and then the resolution with every point in between already mapped.

    And that’s a damn shame as it loses out on so much. The same way I can choose to emphasize a survivability Lilith or DPS Lilith in Borderlands, I should be able to emphasize different themes through out the story. Maybe the narrative I want is dystopian future saved by rogue warrior. Or something else equally cliched. Those story options, dialog choices and alternate paths create a story every bit as engaging and thought provoking as any movie or book.

    Developers should embrace the fact that their medium for story telling is different from others. It opens up for a richer more fulfilling gaming experience than keeping the player a passive part of the story.

    Not that any of this applies to much to BioWare. They generally are at the front of this sort of thing.

  102. tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach says

    Does everything always hafta be about SEX?

    Only if you’re very good, children.

    Nice to hear some some folk have successfully finished projects, especially Nutmeg – terminating experimental subjects can be wearing; I’ve just completed our kitchen cabinets a year after making the carcasses! I do have really good excuses for the delay in the meantime. Pictures here

  103. says

    Oggie, wrangling such creatures must be exhausting, like 4 year olds but with less attention span. The bright side might be that the stench of privilege might displace your current olfactory one.

    p.s. When I re-read my comment about you checking the link again I sounded, uhh, terse, rude, impatient? I wasn’t, I was just pressed for time.

    Having a longitudinal record of your hearing is definitely a good idea.
    ++++++++++++++++++
    On a completely different subject: I got to play with lasers today! And mirrors and beam splitters and neutral density filters, oh my!

    I helped 4 post-grads set up a Michelson interferometer. Amazing, bright students, and the most ignorant of any practical application of theory I’ve ever seen. I swear to dog, a screwdriver is a high tech tool to them. I had to explain the concept of a bubble level to them.

    OTOH, they had questions that I had to refer them to the prof.

    One question I didn’t have to explain was why the interference pattern kept changing. I said, for the first time in my life, “get your elbows off the table!”

    Most of the time I had to keep my mouth shut and let them fuck up and figure out how/why they fucked up. Except when they tried to align the beam by bending down to its level and looking in the mirror. I interrupted the prof and yelled “stop!”

    Everyone stopped, stood up and stared at me. Mission accomplished.

    “Never look into a laser with your remaining good eye.”

  104. David Marjanović says

    Alive. Threadrupt. Stereospondylomorphs in matrix behave… well, those of them that are considered stereospondylomorphs by other people, mwahah.

    And so, to bed subway; bed about an hour later.

  105. Sili says

    Does everything always hafta be about SEX?

    Sounds like someone suffers from a serious case of neck envy.

  106. David Marjanović says

    *arrrrgh*

    I find that funny. I think that customer can’t have escaped from learning a lesson! But I bet he’s never ever admit that.

  107. Nutmeg says

    I think that customer can’t have escaped from learning a lesson!

    I think you can eventually beat it into most people’s heads that women can actually, you know, do stuff.

    One moment that still makes me smile:

    (Background: I’m petite and blonde, and I look like I’m about 14. Hold on to that mental image. It’s why no one takes me seriously at first.)

    I go fishing on a river with lots of rocks. Rocks everywhere, hiding just beneath the surface, waiting to rip your prop to shreds. There’s about 40 miles of this river, with its assorted rocks, between the fishing camp and a particular waterfall. Rookies will only go about 10 miles from camp, to the first set of rapids. You don’t make it to the waterfall unless you have a guide or you really know what you’re doing.

    Father’s Day weekend a couple of years ago, my dad and I go fishing on this river. We get up on Saturday morning and I take the wheel of the boat. We stop at a couple of spots to fish, but nothing’s biting, so I drive us all the way up to the creek leading to this waterfall. As we come around the last bend in the creek, there are about six boats circling below the falls. That’s about twenty guys. And me.

    You should have seen the looks on their faces, to see this little blonde girl pull into the most inaccessible spot on the river, clearly in charge of the boat despite the middle-aged man in the passenger seat. My morning was made complete when I proceeded to outfish all of them.

    I got major respect in camp that night. Sometimes people learn.

  108. says

    For Walton or anyone else who’s interested, Hampshire College in Amherst, [Western] Massachusetts is having its 26th Annual Conference for Student and Community Activists April 13-15. Abortion rights are the headlining topic, probably for obvious reasons, but some of the 75 panels and workshops mentioned on this flyer I’m looking at cover immigrant rights, racial justice, economic and foreclosure activism, criminalized communities, and this fall’s elections.

    http://clpp.hampshire.edu/conference

  109. says

    From Sili’s link to Not Always Right

    Male Customer: “Girls don’t climb mountains.”

    Heh. Reminds me of a story. During the 2008 primaries, I did some volunteer canvassing for the Obama campaign. Almost by accident (she was, at the time, a coworker, and I found her website while searching for her phone number), I learned that the “girl” running the office out of which I was volunteering was actually the woman who owns this impressive climbing resume… better known as “the first African American and the first black woman to climb to the summit of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain” (Pfft!).

    When I got home after my first day of volunteering with the campaign, a young woman called our house asking for my daughter, who was at the time going through the college application process. Spawn wasn’t home, but I thought I recognized the voice on the line, so I asked: Turned out it was the very same Sophia, for whom I had just done a shift of doorknocking, who was calling as a local Harvard alum to set up an admissions interview. Small world, eh?

    She would later go on to be an Obama delegate to the 2008 DNC.

    So, yeah… I don’t know if “girls” climb mountains, but awesome, multi-talented women sure as hell do!

  110. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    …Daisy, do you live in the Valley? Are you attached to Hampshire in some way?

  111. says

    terminating experimental subjects can be wearing

    I know, right!? And their parents get upset too. I mean, they sent them to college to improve our understanding of science and they get all weepy when the kids made the first half of LD 50.

    They take no comfort when I tell them their precious snowflake cohort was P<0.001.

    But I have confidence in them, the parents are republican & catholic, but for some reason they can't conceive of sending another subject child to us.

  112. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Ok, I was just curious. I lived there (in Northampton) between ’03 and ’07 and still know a bunch of people there.

  113. cm's changeable moniker says

    One word: magnolias.

    Now it’s Spring.

    There’s a magnolia tree I see every day that must be a hundred-and-something-ty years old. Right now, it’s a 40-foot high cloud of flowers. (And a robin is using the top twig as a song-perch.)

  114. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My morning was made complete when I proceeded to outfish all of them.

    The Pullet Patrol is clamoring for you to drink free tonight after that fish story. *hands over favorite glass of swill*

  115. ibyea says

    @Ing
    Okay, now that you have told me the ending, I know my brother is not going to be happy with it. That’s too bad because he is the one who invested so much time in this franchise. The only reason I can follow along this conversation is because I watch my brother play them, in part because my own computer can’t handle it, and in part because I love the setting and story they have created. The sucky ending doesn’t impact me as much emotionally as it will to my brother.

  116. Louis says

    I have run out of alcohol. There’s no weed in the house, not that I have had any in years, in fact I have no drugs of any kind. The bars closed 35 minutes ago unless I am willing to take a train to central London. I have just watched Jesus Camp and am watching a panel programme with Peter Hitchens on it.

    The level of rage I have built up is beyond what is normal or healthy for a human being. For ten human beings.

    Not good, not good at all. I blame the Jews, Blacks, Homos and Women. Especially Jewy-Blacky-Homo-Women. In wheelchairs. With disabilities. And poor…crap I forgot the poor. Erm….did I miss anyone?

    Louis

  117. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    You forgot immigrants, lizard people, and the French, Louis.

  118. Louis says

    The French! BASTARDS! Remember Agincourt, or Waterloo, or The Conflict in a Calais Hypermarket Carpark, or something.

    Mind you, they do good cheese. And the wine is stunning. How can you hate a people that provided the world with roquefort and Chateau Margaux? Oooooh and foie gras, the cruelty makes it crueltilicious. And ortolans! Oh dear, I appear to have just come.

    The French! Lovely!

    Louis

  119. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    *shakes head*
    I should have known that Louis would be pro-French. After all, look at his very name!

  120. Louis says

    I know right, clearly a Froggy sympathiser. Bastard!

    Louis

    P.S. In my exceedingly mixed heritage, I seem to remember there is 12.5% French. I’m a complete mongrel, and exceedingly proud!

  121. ChasCPeterson says

    “The longer neck gets the girl” doesn’t sound terribly convincing tbh.

    It does when the males are bashing each other’s heads in over which girl they get.

    exactly. It’s an armamant, not an ornament.
    But there’s no reason why sexual- and natural-selection pressures can’t push a trait in the same direction.

  122. says

    But there’s no reason why sexual- and natural-selection pressures can’t push a trait in the same direction.

    Well, sure, but now giraffes are just bragging.

  123. A. R says

    the French

    Those penis-shaped bread eating smelly goose-force-feeding, inefficient farming, wine-drunk bastards! I’ve got more than enough rage about the French for the both of us Louis. :)

  124. Nutmeg says

    Nerd:

    The Pullet Patrol is clamoring for you to drink free tonight after that fish story.

    Yay! *sips french vanilla steamer*

  125. says

    Yes, it is indeed autumn here. We seem to have skipped summer. The deciduous trees are still green, but I can tell, because the cockies are flinging leaves and twigs down onto the footpaths and roads as they strip off the foliage in search of acorns. Tough little buggers. I pity the cat that tries to take one on.

  126. chigau (√-1) says

    caught up now
    If there is such a thing as a Louis plushy, I want one.
    or we could start another secks Line.
    (no offence to Brownian)
    —–
    oh and 5cm of snow?
    Liars.
    more like 12.

  127. janine says

    This got started in the JohnTheOther thread but this goes off topic. But it does continue a conversation.

    FossilFishy, I understand exactly what you mean about intellectually understanding a situation but emotionally, thinking you could have changed it for the better.

    I blame myself for a good friend being dead even though I had nothing to do with what happened. And even if I were there, the results might still be the same.

    For a decade, I worked as a bike messenger. Let’s us just say that there is an interesting mix of people who work the job. Most quit after a week or two because it is rather dangerous. Some have degrees. Some are just passing time in the city before they move on. Some have a darker and more complicated past.

    I did not spend much time in the office. But after a while, even though we were very different, I started talking to one of the long timers. We both noticed that the other person kept making historical references that only the other one caught.

    In college, I had worked on a history major. But because I was working as a double major and was close to fulfilling the other one and there were history classes that I wanted to take that did not fill my requirements.

    My co-worker and soon to be friend had a more interesting past. Born in Puerto Rico, his father was a French sailor who never came back to port. He was raised in the Humboldt Park neighborhood in Chicago, one of the more gang infested ares. He joined a gang in his teens. One day, he was in a bad situation and a random person got him out of it.

    He decided he needed a change and left the gang and the hood. He went to college and got a degree in history. He also got married and she had a child. He was planning on working on his doctorate after his wife got her’s.

    We became very unlikely friends. He was very upfront about the fact that years early, he would have kicked my ass. As it stood, on Fridays after work, sometimes we would hit a bar and share stories.

    One Friday, I did not feel like going for some drinks, I had plans. He went out on his own. This is hearsay but from what his wife had to say, a couple of guys were giving him grief. They took it outside and when they jumped him, he was ready with his butterfly knife. They both died.

    A couple of years later, he was killed in a prison.

    Where does my guilt come in? I like to think that I could have been a calming influence on him, get him to ignore those two, keep him from going out. But I have no way of knowing what could have happened.

    All I know is that I had a friend, a very intelligent and decent person with a rough and scary background. He tried to get away from it, he tried to give his daughter something better. He and his wife were supposed to be very unlikely doctorates. But in one bad moment, what he learned while growing up came back and got him.

    And I still think that I could have prevented this if I was there. Even though most likely, I would not have been able to.

  128. FossilFishy says

    Janine, thank you for sharing that. It’s hard isn’t it? Being skeptical and rational makes many of life’s problems easier, what with no worries about supernatural punishment for thought crimes and the like. But in the end we’re emotional animals, like it or not, and some things just don’t respond well to intellectual argument.

    For myself, I suffer from this a great deal because of my upbringing. My father was an alcoholic who drank himself to death when I was 13. Even though I know, I flat out fucking KNOW, that there was nothing I could do as an infant and child to help him, and despite years of therapy both verbal and chemical, there’s a guilt that lingers deep down in me.

    That unwarranted guilt rears it’s head and fastens fangs most venomous on me ever time I’m in a situation where I fear I’ve failed someone. It sucks, but I cope, and I tell myself constantly that at least it makes me more likely to fall on the side of good when issues are in doubt.

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

    chigau

    gee willikers!

    oh, my regards to Katie Morag and all on the Island of Struay!

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

    Louis, when you say train do you mean train or tube?

  131. says

    Good morning
    Last night, at about 3am, #1 woke me up because she was thirsty. No wonder since she fell asleep at the dinner table.
    No problem, I got up, gave her a drink, went back to bed.
    5 min later, when I was just dozing off again, she woke me again, asking if she could sleep in our bed.
    No problem either since Mr. isn’t at home.
    5 Min later she said that she’d forgotten her drink!
    So, kid, get up, get it, go to sleep.
    5 Min later she started to cry because she’d forgotten some plushie in her bed.
    5 Min later she needed to pee…
    5 min later…
    Until it was half past four and I was fucking angry. I needed some sleep! Indeed I got so angry that I woke up. The kid was sleeping peacefully in her daddy’s bed. It was indeed half four, but everything after the forgotten drink had been a dream.

    Louis
    You mean the day-return super-saver ferry trips to French harbour-towns where there’s incidentially a lot of supermarkets with wine-shops bigger than the rest of the supermarket?
    I don’t like Roquefort and I never had a Chateaux Margeaux, but i can testify that a well-aged Margeaux A.C. is something worth the travel.

    janine
    I’m sorry

    FossilFishy
    I’m sorry to hear. I’m at that point right now and it pains me as an adult dealing with that shit. Much worse when you’re a kid.
    Hugs if you want them.

    good stuff
    -Tonight we’ll have Bettseiersalaad unn Gebroodne (dandelion salad and fried potatoes)
    -With all that shit the last weeks I lost a full size
    -Forgot to order milk but noticed in time to buy it at the supermarket.

  132. says

    I wish we could have a blockbuster about this book, Kate Summerscale’s ‘The Suspicions of Mister Whicher”. There was an ITV movie made last year, here’s the trailer.

  133. FossilFishy says

    Giliell, thank you for that, and right back at you if you like. It doesn’t matter what age you are, contending with a self destructive parent cannot be easy. Yah, going through that during puberty wasn’t ideal, but it has given me a long time to learn how to deal with the aftermath. Time enough to allow me to write this:

    She has my father’s eyes.

    She’s only 6 months old so there’s still the possibility that they’ll change to a shade of green like mine or her mother’s.

    Until now the only things that I’ve had to remind me of my father are his watch and a profound distrust of alcohol. Now every time I look into my daughter’s eyes I see him. I see him and I’m reminded of the time he stood in the door of my bedroom and stated that I didn’t love him. What could I, all of 9 years old, say to that? I’m reminded of how I dreaded weekends and holidays. I’m reminded of all the times I crept out of my bedroom as he snored his drunken snore on the couch, crawling on hands and knees behind the planter to turn on the porch light. It shone in my bedroom window and made my room feel safe. Those few meters made my heart race, sweating and praying that he wouldn’t wake up. Praying too that he wouldn’t get up and turn it off after I made it back to bed so I’d have to do it all over again: Sisyphus in flannel pajamas. I don’t want to be reminded of any of this.

    And yet…and yet I don’t really want Emlyn’s eyes to change. Somehow I think he would be proud of his granddaughter. Maybe it’s just the blinders of new-parenthood that makes me feel this way but I can’t imagine my father not loving her. I see him picking her up and tossing her in the way that makes her laugh her little baby laugh and he’s smitten just like I am. He looks in her eyes and sees the best of himself looking back.

    I want her eyes to stay that particular shade of blue-gray; I want my love for her to spill over into my memories of him. It’s the least I can do. Because without my father she wouldn’t exist, and for that I can forgive him everything.

    I hope your circumstances are such that you find a measure of peace as great or greater than the one that allowed me to write that.

  134. Pteryxx says

    Hey… NPR is talking about Reason Rally, “the Woodstock of atheism”… I hear Hemant and Greta!

  135. says

    Janine, I’m so sorry.

    FossilFishy:

    But in the end we’re emotional animals, like it or not, and some things just don’t respond well to intellectual argument.

    Agreed.

    I lost a dear friend to suicide one day last winter (early 2011, that is). I’ve lost a few other friends that way, too, but he was the closest one by far. I cried for three days, and, although I no longer experience a quick spasm of grief when I’m reminded of him, I still miss him deeply and expect to do so for a long time.

    That night, maybe fifteen minutes before his partner called me to break the news to me, I was thinking, “I really ought to call [name]; we haven’t talked in a few weeks.” (He lived several hours away from me.)

    To be honest, there was nothing anyone could have done. He had even sought out help in the fall, after years without therapy. But then his seasonal affective disorder kicked in and joined forces with his old traumata, and there were a few events in both his private life and in the news that, I and some of his other friends believe, pushed him over the edge. By the end, from what his partner told me, he was almost certainly lying to his therapist that he was doing okay.

    If his partner, their good friends who lived nearby, his other close friends (some of whom lived closer to him than I did), and his therapist couldn’t have done anything, neither could I have. But I felt guilty that I hadn’t called him a day or two earlier. Even though it would not have changed anything, except that I likely would have felt even guiltier for not picking up on what was wrong.

  136. Pteryxx says

    I’m just impressed that Reason Rally got mentioned here in east Texas. Link to the little piece I just heard:

    http://www.npr.org/2012/03/23/149021993/woodstock-for-atheists-a-moment-for-nonbelievers

    “I’m not sure it is to atheists’ benefit to always present a kinder, gentler face,” says Greta Christina, a prominent atheist blogger and author of a new book called Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off The Godless.

    Christina says there’s a tension in the movement. On one side are what she calls “firebrands,” such as Oxford biologist Dawkins, who has called some believers “staggeringly ignorant” and “insane.” On the other are the “diplomats,” such as Mehta, who deliver the same message of a Godless universe — but politely. Christina says every modern social movement — civil rights, feminism, gay rights — had the same tension, and you need both.

    “We certainly want to let people know, again, we’re your friends, we’re your neighbors, we’re good people,” she says. “But I think it’s also to our benefit to let people know that we’re to be reckoned with, that we’re not going to let ourselves be doormats, and that we’re mobilized, we’re organized, and when people get us angry, we’re going to take action.”

    eee!

  137. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    good night last night. No olfactory hallucinations. And no work today. Or tomorrow. I love Saturdays!

    #188: Perhaps we should start lobbying for Louis to have ghey secks with Brownian, and tape it for all of us to watch?

    I been done waitin’ in this mob (it used to be a line, but it has sort of descended into a mob exhibiting brownian motion) and Louis gets to jump to the front ’cause he’s funnier? I call duck! er. Goose! No. Wait. Fowl! That’s it. Fowl!

  138. says

    Ahh, the first things are sprouting on the balcony.
    That’s why I always sow cress: easy, instant success.

    Fossil Fishy
    That was beautifull.
    Funny, my youngest has my dad’s eyes, too. So far the only feature we could link to anybody in the family.

    Well, if you hang around for longer you’ll notice that I’m in the middle of dealing with my narcistic and alcoholic mother. The alcohol only became a problem in recent years (although, in retrospective, my parents’ alcohol consumption was always problematic. I grew up believing that it was normal for your parents to have one or two 1/2 l bottles of beer every night).
    It’s a shitty place to be in and the fact that I love them doesn’t make it easier. But I have a good therapist, a loving husband and two gorgous kids, wonderfull friends and a kick-ass sister.
    It pains me deeply that it will hurt my kids and that hurtig is inevitable. I can only try to find the way that has the least hurt and hope that they can forgive me if I fuck that up.

  139. Predator Handshake says

    Good news, everyone! Some of you may remember me coming into one of the previous threads for help dealing with a friend I was concerned about. I didn’t hear from her for a few weeks after that and was only getting more worried, but she popped up on my Gmail chat a couple of days ago! It turns out that she had been in a hospital during that period of time and is now taking mood stabilizers and is back to work and everything.

  140. Louis says

    Chigau, #188,

    I shall get plushies created immediately, and I am more than content to have new line form. My ego won’t be damaged by the fact that Brownian’s line extends beyond the horizon, and mine will have a mere fraction of the popularity because, well, it’s a Goddamn Secks Line people! That’s never bad.

    Unless it’s a Bad Secks Line? OH NOES! NOT A BAD SECKS LINE! A Secks Line that culminates in Secks so arse-clenchingly awful that you can never quite meet the person’s eyes afterwards and that ends with the words “Yeahhhh, erm, we’ll, erm, that was…..okay, see you…around” before the protagonist flees for the door, semi naked, dressing as they go. The next time you see them they are huddled in a corner whispering to a friend, and the friend oh-so-unsubtly glances your way, wide eyed, and you catch an amazed “No WAY!” before the whispering starts again. Neither person will meet your eyes.

    Not that that’s ever happened to me you understand. Gosh no no no no no no! No! Not even once! The very idea! Hahahahaha! A friend of mine told me about it. A really sexually inadequate friend, erm, apparently.

    Annnnnyway, when I am done talking myself out of Secks by the medium of comically paranoid imaginations, I would be very flattered to have a Secks Line. Unfortunately though, it cannot be a Ghey Secks Line, or at least not just a Ghey Secks Line. Since my wife and I are remarkably open minded, and really want to destroy society and the Catholic church, it’s going to have to be {fanfare}:

    The Line To Have Teh Groop Secks With Louis!

    I think this way, we can have different lines that don’t overlap too much in function. This way we can cause maximum Breakdown of Society (TM) and optimise our Destruction of Teh Catholic Church (TM). Of course organisation of the Line To Have Teh Groop Secks With Louis will be in conjunction with LouisCorp’s LouisBrand Orgies (TM): Where “Yes” Means “Oooooooh Yes!”. LouisBrand Orgies (TM), Where the only consent that matters is enthusiastic consent. We have bacon!

    Louis

  141. Louis says

    opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces, #193,

    Train or tube? A little of both, my old china, a little of both.

    Louis

    P.S. Saaaaaf of the rivah this time of night, guvnor? You gotta be jokin’.

  142. Louis says

    Giliel, #194,

    DON’T. LIKE. ROQUEFORT.

    O.o

    I…I….I……..{plotz}

    [Please wait while your LouisCorp Louis Mk XI is being reset]

    That’s okay, Giliel, de gustibus non est disputandum. And I agree, pretty much anything with Margaux on the front is worth the effort.

    And yes, I did mean those super saver ferry trips (or when I lived and worked in Kent, chunnel trips). It’s not the best way to do things, if you have a little more time go in land to a cave, but it’s light years ahead of most shops here in the UK. Unless you have an account with Berry Bros and Rudd (which if you have the cash, I HIGHLY recommend).

    Louis

  143. Louis says

    P.Z. Merkel (Chancelor of Germany), #196,

    As lovely has having Teh Ghey Secks with Brownian would be, filming it would be a little over the top. Unless of course it would contribute more to the downfall of the Catholic church and the general destruction of society. I’d take public exposure for the team on that basis.

    After all, we hedonist, perverted, evil, amoral, wicked atheists are simply hell bent on destroying all that is holy by the simple virtue of using our Gentleman Vegetables or Lady Parts in such a manner as to cause unrest in ladies of good breeding, horses, members of the clergy and sundry noblemen. “Wank for anrachy! Come for confusion!” is our cry, and we shall bring down society with a might crash by frottering it into submission one brick at a time.

    Excuse me, I go now to cornhole a particularly sexy church I know. Filthy little minx, did you see the way her triglyph was winking at me? I’m going to do her right up the Doric.

    Louis

  144. janine says

    Here is the game show we all have been waiting for, The American Bible Challenge. It is to be hosted by Jeff Foxworthy.

    I wonder if there will be any questions about Elisha and the She Bears?

    You might be a She Bear if…

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

    Saaaf onna rivah? No chance, mate, ain’t got me passport.

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

    Mind you, I am, in fact (technically) probably going saarf onna rivah very shortly. QEH, dontcher know. (and the gig’s even free :))

  147. chigau (√-1) says

    re secks film
    I’ve never really liked pron but for a Brownian/Louis production, I could make an exception.

  148. Louis says

    Chigau,

    I need drugs, woman. Strong drugs. Drugs that would make Hunter S Thompson think twice. And booze. I demand to have some booze. Booze enough to frighten Oliver Reed’s ghost back to life. And then I wish to go on a bender that would have Keith Richards saying “Steady on now, old chap, don’t you think that’s a bit trop?”. I want to go on a Rolls Royce into swimming pool, plane into tour bus, rock and roll lifestyle blaze of glory binge-fest that involves acts illegal in every state of every union everywhere.

    But I will settle for a herbal tea from you.

    Do you have anything with elderflower?

    Louis

  149. walton says

    Hangovers. They are total bastards. That is all.

    Indeed they are. I’m thankful that I haven’t had one in nearly two years. (In my experience, alcohol is overrated; these days I mostly just drink diet soda.)

    After all, we hedonist, perverted, evil, amoral, wicked atheists are simply hell bent on destroying all that is holy by the simple virtue of using our Gentleman Vegetables or Lady Parts in such a manner as to cause unrest in ladies of good breeding, horses, members of the clergy and sundry noblemen.

    *blushes*

  150. Louis says

    Oh and any secks film I made with Brownian would be purely for documentary purposes, it would not be pronographic at all, very artistic and tasteful. I promise not to yell “yippee!” at inopportune moments.

    Louis

  151. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    Hangovers. They are total bastards. That is all.

    Is there somehing wrong with me that I have no idea what a hangover feels like?

  152. A. R says

    Louis: I am beginning to be concerned for your stability I’ve got some absinthe in the liquor cupboard on the Jesus Camp thread.

  153. says

    Louis
    Look at my dislike for Roquefort the same way I look at people’s dislike for seafood: Should we ever happen to be at a buffet where said items are served, and some people don’t like them, there’s more of them left for me to eat :)
    I remember the wine in Irish supermarkets. It made me weep.
    Living 30km off the French border has many perks.

  154. keenacat says

    After all, we hedonist, perverted, evil, amoral, wicked atheists are simply hell bent on destroying all that is holy by the simple virtue of using our Gentleman Vegetables or Lady Parts in such a manner as to cause unrest in ladies of good breeding, horses, members of the clergy and sundry noblemen. “Wank for anrachy! Come for confusion!” is our cry, and we shall bring down society with a might crash by frottering it into submission one brick at a time.

    *joins the Line To Have Teh Groop Secks With Louis*
    Will I be required to have an aborshun afterwards, for maximum Societal Destruction(tm)?
    I also promise to bring my Slut Gear(tm), consisting of hormonal contraception, a college education and a miniskirt.

  155. Louis says

    Walton,

    In my experience, alcohol is overrated

    Walton. Walton, Walton, Walton. Waaaaaallllton, Walton, Walton, Walton, Walton. Whatever am I to do with you? I think I must now fly to Boston, come over to Harvard, and corrupt you so vigorously that people in the surrounding area engage in acts of depravity that are moderately out of character simply due to the resonance caused by my wickedness.

    With regards to alcohol being overrated, I shall tell you an analogous story that happened to me. Long ago, in the before time, during the Never Never, one of the best places to go out in the city I was in at the time was the local gay nightclub. It was always a brilliant night out and welcoming even to those poor few of us unlucky enough to not be gay.

    One night as a group of us entered the club, a very large gentleman, 6’5″ at least, and a huge barrel of a man put his arm around my neck and slobbered into my ear in a deep Yorkshire accent “You’re gorgeous, you are. You’re the best looking bloke in here by miles.”. I was very flattered obviously, but I demurred and said, in a possibly slightly coquettish voice, “Oh I’m not gay! I’m straight and married”. The grip around my neck tightened: “There’s no such thing. Come on, try it, you might like it.”. My whirring brain spat out the only answer I thought would work “Oh I’ve tried it, I didn’t like it.”. The grip got even tighter and a millimetre from my ear my suitor growled adoringly “You’ve never tried it with me”.

    Now I won’t relate the rest of the story, suffice to say Simon (for that was his name) and I parted on excellent terms, I remained intact despite his repeated advances and we remain friends to this day. Mainly because he is utterly hilarious.

    However, I refer you back to why the analogy is relevant. You say alcohol is overrated. Come closer, closer, clooooossssseerrrrrrrrr…

    You’ve never tried it with me.

    Louis

  156. keenacat says

    Oh noes. Sorry for borking this. :( How can I post a youtube link without embedding it?

  157. Louis says

    Chigau,

    Ahhhhh thank you. I feel soothed internally and the pressures brought on by The Voices are drifting slowly away. Softly The Voices retreat into the depths and The Urges retreat. Ahhhh The Urges, they seem almost controllable now. Almost…

    Louis

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

    it would not be pronographic at all, very artistic and tasteful.

    All in the Best Possible Taste.

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

    I trust the film will be screened in the Evil Overlord’s Sekret Undersea Lair (with added cephalopods) (world domination, for the planning of) and all good independent cinemas? Or will it only be shown at determined (very determined) hordely gatherings?

  160. Louis says

    Ogvorbis,

    I doubt there is anything wrong with YOU. You seem to me to be a wonderful person. However, if your lack of hangovers is due to Not Drinking (for non-medical reasons) then we need that correcting immediately, old bean.

    Don’t go hog wild and start at the Ernest Hemmingway level. Begin with the odd vodka spiked fruit punch, perhaps even a mojito if you are feeling racy and top it off with a pina colada. Then you’ll be ready for light beers, lagers, pale ales, ales, IPAs, bitters, porters, milds, and stout. I would advise not tackling farm brewed English West Country scrumpy cider (colloquially known as “suicider”) until you are at least a level 20 British Drinking Federation qualified boozer. If you see anything called “Cripplecock” in a stone jug, avoid at all costs, the name doesn’t lie.

    After a few weeks where you have lost daylight totally and drunk through the nights, I recommend moving to spirits. Start with a blended whisky on your breakfast cereal, save the single malts for the evening, and gradually work your way through the day until about 4pm on clear spirits like gin and vodka. Don’t drink tequila at this point, that’s a massive tactical error. As evening approaches a couple of aperitifs are a lovely way to open the account, a Cinzano or Campari is not out of the question, although a gentleman should prefer to stick to roughly clear spirits and/or cocktails, and I would say you cannot go far wrong with a well mixed dry martini. Make sure they only use Noilly Prat vermouth, an excellent gin (vodka is for poseurs) and if they actually open the bottle of vermouth, they must run past your gin very fast. I find it best to wave the sealed vermouth bottle at the gin in a darkened room. A whisky here, single malt of course, is not unheard of.

    After dinner, served with wine of course, relaxing with port and cigars is customary. Around midnight move away from port and onto brandy or various other eaux de vie, my personal tipple is calvados, and discuss “affairs” with the present company. I usually excuse myself around 4 am and go out onto the streets to mingle with the people of the night, have sex round the back of Tescos, vomit into a gutter, obtain a kebab and have a fight with a lamp-post for looking at my bird funny. You may of course, retire before that, as befits your station.

    Trust me when I say that within mere months of a regime like this, you too will be experiencing hangovers of truly biblical proportions.

    Louis

  161. Louis says

    A.R., #223,

    I assure you I am quite stable, it’s just that everything else is moving rapidly around me.

    The combination of Jesus Camp and Peter Hitchens last night was quite a blow. It’s okay, I’ve taken some Sagan, read a little bit of Feynman and Chigau’s herbal tea has helped immensely. My equilibrium is restored and the chances of me going on a killing spree with a high powered rifle screaming “THERE’S KEN HAM..{Blam}..NO THERE’S KEN HAM..{Blam}” are now reduced to background levels.

    I am on a course of intravenous Baron d’Holbach and David Hume until this evening. I think I’ve escaped a course of Bertrand Russel noctem.

    Louis

    P.S. I’ll have that absinthe though…..YOINK!

  162. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    Ogvorbis re: hangovers. I don’t think it’s necessarily bad. I’ve never had one because I don’t like the taste of alcohol (yes yes, it’s tasteless, so why does every alcoholic drink I’ve tried taste so foul – unless heavily disguised. I like aniseed but aniseed sweets are a lot cheaper than sambucca).

    There is always the chance though that should I ever actually get drunk, that I might not experience it either. Because apparently my dad, who does drink, never gets a hangover. This has been known to irritate my mother.

  163. Louis says

    Keenacat, #225,

    Oh we’ll all be having abortions, even we men. I’ve had two this morning dontcherknow. I had a lab culture grown uterus* strapped to each arm just so I could have abortions and cause maximum Damage To Society.I’ll have it all cleared up in time for the orgy though, don’t worry.

    You say you’re bringing a college education eh? And you, a woman. Kinky. Training that large sexual organ between your ears. Making it more powerful, more capable, more able to reason and ratiocinate. Ooooh yeah, I can imagine the discussions, the arguments, the to and fro of educated discourse. Dialogue!

    Oh no! I’m sorry! I’m objectifying you…I…I…I only want you for your MIND! I’m a terrible terrible person.

    Louis

    *Sooper Secret Atheist Science.

  164. walton says

    The combination of Jesus Camp and Peter Hitchens last night was quite a blow.

    *lightbulb* Ah, now it all makes sense. Having to endure the stupidity of Peter “Lock ‘Em Up” Hitchens has been known to reduce even the most stoic and resolute of listeners to gibbering wrecks. Between his anti-immigration bigotry, his opposition to gay rights, his support for anti-cannabis hysteria and his advocacy for reintroducing the death penalty, listening to him hold forth on any subject can cause severe cranial damage induced by hitting one’s head repeatedly against the nearest wall.

  165. Louis says

    Walton,

    So you are saying I done broked mah brainy thang?

    Anyway, I didn’t realise I was being THAT disturbing.

    Louis

  166. theophontes 777 says

    @ Louis

    We have bacon!

    Meh… At TZT they are handing out entire Bacon Generators ™.

    (Be warned, you will certainly need lots of bacon to survive there. It has been carpet-bombed with armour piercing LOLcats.)

  167. cicely ("Intriguingly Odd") says

    @205: That is good news, Predator Handshake!

    [...]in such a manner as to cause unrest [...] in horses,[...]

    You’re wrong there, Louis. Horses cause unrest; they are not subject to it.

    Read my new best-seller, War In Peas, for a thorough exposé of the planned upcoming Equine Insurrection.

    Will I be required to have an aborshun afterwards, for maximum Societal Destruction(tm)?

    A ghey aborshun.

    I’ve never had one because I don’t like the taste of alcohol (yes yes, it’s tasteless, so why does every alcoholic drink I’ve tried taste so foul – unless heavily disguised.

    I suspect an inherited ability to taste allegedly-tasteless alcohol (the queue for the Scientific Study of this hypothesis forms to the left, genties and ladlemen), as both The Husband and Son share this “problem”. I, on the other hand, have no trouble at all missing the taste of alcohol; just add orange juice, or strawberries, or most any fruit. I simply never have drunk to hangover-enabling excess. I don’t like it when the censor between my brain and my mouth clocks out.

    -

  168. Hekuni Cat says

    I’ve never had one because I don’t like the taste of alcohol (yes yes, it’s tasteless, so why does every alcoholic drink I’ve tried taste so foul

    This. Having grown up in Wisconsin back in the days when the drinking age was 18, it made me a statistical aberration.

  169. walton says

    Anyway, I didn’t realise I was being THAT disturbing.

    You weren’t… I just really, really, really dislike Peter Hitchens.

  170. Richard Austin says

    cicely:

    I suspect an inherited ability to taste allegedly-tasteless alcohol (the queue for the Scientific Study of this hypothesis forms to the left, genties and ladlemen), as both The Husband and Son share this “problem”.

    Count me in as someone who can taste/smell alcohol in things. Preferably “smell”, since if I get to the point of tasting it I’m in for a bad time. I’ve had a bartender friend test this by having me smell two different diet sodas to see which he’d put a shot of vodka in – I accurately reported that he’d spiked both (he wasn’t going to let me drink them, he was just trying to eliminate chance), and on a second round picked the correct one as well (he only did one that time).

    It does the same thing in my sinuses that gasoline fumes do, if that helps anyone: kind of a warm chemically feel. That’s not the effect it has on my insides, though – that’s more of the “stabbing, shooting pain/nausea/curl up in a corner and die” feel. Well, and the vomiting. Oh, the vomiting…

  171. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    @opposablethumbs #231 – I see what you did there.

    @keenacat <a href=”url of video/whatever”>Link text goes here</a>

    cicely, I do note that along with the finding the taste unpleasant, I am sometimes tactless enough without the influence of alcohol that I do not want to cultivate a taste for something that would reduce my ability to be tactful. Closest I get to alcoholic beverages is going to remain to be an LLB, which I suspect has a barely detectable alcohol content.

    Add to that watching family members and others when they’ve had maybe one or two too many and it was just somewhere I do not want to go. But it’s something that is my choice, and I do not even remotely insist that anyone else takes this path.

  172. Louis says

    Richard Austin,

    That’s not the effect it has on my insides, though – that’s more of the “stabbing, shooting pain/nausea/curl up in a corner and die” feel. Well, and the vomiting. Oh, the vomiting…

    That’s not the effect it has on everyone? Drink through the pain man, then you too can have a liver like mine, a blackened, shrivelled husk that growls at other organs and laughs in the face of tumours.

    Louis

    P.S. Some of this may be an exaggeration.

  173. keenacat says

    A ghey aborshun.

    Orsum. It will be ghey and also black. And possibly disabled. A ghey disabled Abortion of Color. I can feel the FuNdaMEnts Of SoCIeTy (now with moar upper case letters) crumbling.

    Oh no! I’m sorry! I’m objectifying you…I…I…I only want you for your MIND! I’m a terrible terrible person.

    It’s ok. The MRA movement can help! You’ll soon be back on track, negging your way into the nations underpants.

    Is there somehing wrong with me that I have no idea what a hangover feels like?

    Oh, I can help with that:
    Fix a clamp to your forehead. Adjust pressure until uncomfortable. Swallow a good helping of laxative along with a hint of ipecac and chew on a old, sweaty sock.

    Actually, I’ve never been much of a hangover person. I dislike the feeling of inebriation, however, so I rarely drink more than half a bottle of wine. This is when I just start feeling funny. I also suffer from pretty severe pain in my legs and buttocks if I drink too much. It’s a fibro thing.
    To be honest, when I was around 16, 17ish, man, I was quite the heavy drinker. Half a bottle of wine was nothing to me. My bff and I were able to share a bottle of vodka, down a bottle of sparkling wine each and still go partying. With beer. Teenage me scares me.
    I stopped being able to drink like this somewhere around 20 and then fibro came along and made drinking suck balls.

  174. Pteryxx says

    …I lost the thread bits I was saving, so *hugs* FossilFishy and Predator Handshake, whose names I can remember atm.

    Gentleman Vegetables and/or Lady Parts

    Fix’d.

  175. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Is there somehing wrong with me that I have no idea what a hangover feels like?

    Don’t worry I’ve been taking up your slack for years.

  176. tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach says

    I would advise not tackling farm brewed English West Country scrumpy cider (colloquially known as “suicider”) until you are at least a level 20 British Drinking Federation qualified boozer.

    Reminds me of a story my father used to tell me about his days in National Service (for the non-Brits or very young, think “conscripted army service after WW2 because the politicals liked the idea of enslaving people and/or couldn’t think of anything else to do with young people”) as a Sapper. He was stationed in the south-west of England, an area famous for scrumpy. And sheep-worrying (it’s what yer wellies are for, young’uns!). And being so far from London, centre of the universe, that nobody there actually believed in its existence.
    Anyway, he was pretty nerdy guy (still is, wears a tie to garden) and not a beer drinker. Mixed in with a bunch of London wide-boys, spivs, costers and general layabouts that thought not drinking copious pints (real pints, 20 fl.oz, not wimpy US 16fl.oz) meant he must be decidedly dodgy. So one evening at the local he suggested the ring-leader try a pint of real West Country Scrumpy – and he would have two. Ring-leader had to be carried back to barracks, dad helped carry. No more trouble.

    Me, I stopped drinking once I turned 18 because there never was any pleasure in it except for the breaking of Da Lore.

  177. Richard Austin says

    Louis:

    That’s not the effect it has on everyone? Drink through the pain man, then you too can have a liver like mine, a blackened, shrivelled husk that growls at other organs and laughs in the face of tumours.

    Louis

    P.S. Some of this may be an exaggeration.

    It may be what happens to most people; to me, it takes anywhere from 30 minutes (for a balsamic vinaigrette) to about 5 seconds (for something like a glass of wine). My usual statement is that I go from “sober” to “hangover” without any of the fun “drunk” in between. More practically, I have a problem with poisons in general and alcohol in particular (as well as cocaine – including things like Novocaine and Lidocaine – but at least I know I got that from my dad, who has the same issue but drinks like a fish).

    So, I get invited to a lot of parties as the designated driver. And I drink a lot of sodas at bars.

    It’s also fun to point out that my three major ancestral cultures are Irish, German, and Slavic – some of the heaviest drinking cultures that exist. If I thought God existed, I’d say he had a sense of humor.

  178. says

    Louis:

    I think I must now fly to Boston, come over to Harvard, and corrupt you so vigorously that people in the surrounding area engage in acts of depravity that are moderately out of character simply due to the resonance caused by my wickedness.

    I’m only an hour away from Boston, if you feel like expanding the radius of depravity a bit…

  179. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I need to buy a flask asap as I am in the unfortunate circumstance of having to photograph the Charleston Fashion Week runway tonight. I will need hard whiskey or whisky to keep myself from starting fist fights with every ego fueled photographer in the pit and then jumping on the runway and having a Bill the Cat style meltdown brought on by the sheer pomposity and low hanging stench cloud of aggravated self importance that will be polluting the entire event.

    And I lost my flask.

    fuck

  180. Louis says

    Rev BDC, #251,

    Amen, brother.

    And #253, thank you. Gentleman thuggery is an art, dontcherknow. A combination of Chap and Chav, made for maximum enjoyment.

    Louis

  181. keenacat says

    It’s also fun to point out that my three major ancestral cultures are Irish, German, and Slavic – some of the heaviest drinking cultures that exist. If I thought God existed, I’d say he had a sense of humor.

    Maybe they cancel each other out… like soundwaves.

  182. keenacat says

    What the fuck is this. Even as a “joke,” this fails, but I’d love to know what the full context was.

    “Social commentary”, in full scare quotes.
    [Disclaimer: I'm totally talking out of my ass here.]

  183. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Why do I always miss the excitement around here?

    *shakes fist at work*

    I have to admit, I’ve never been hungover. I’ve been flabbergastingly drunk, but hangovers just don’t happen to me. My ancestry begin a mix of Scottish, Irish, German, and Scots-Irish probably has something to do with this.

    WRT boozing, I loves me German beer (weissebier, mostly) and vodka.

    A funny story:
    Back in December, I got all gradumacated with my Ph.D. and went out to celebrate with the siblings, DoctorSib and HipsterSib. We are at a bar, I’ve had … let’s just say several, and HipsterSib announces that she will get the next round. She goes up to the bar and returns shortly with a series of glasses. She hands me one. I observe that it (1) is brown, (2) smells sticky-sweet and (3) contains ice. I take a sip. I am told that my reaction was a perfect spit-take followed by shouting “WTF IS THIS SHIT?!”

    Apparently, I don’t like rum and cola. Also, when I’ve got a few under my belt, I become expressive about this.

    I traded it for DoctorSib’s vodka and Red Bull. Not entirely sure if I came out ahead there.

  184. Louis says

    Richard Austin, #255,

    OUCH! I…I…my sympathy gland just overloaded from reading that. Imagine waking up in the morning and knowing that was as good as you were going to feel all day? Crikey, at least with a hangover the day gets gradually better (considered on the long term!) and you know you truly earned it.

    Perhaps it says far too much about my far too dodgy character that, regardless of how serious and professional I am in Real Life (TM), I simply cannot imagine life without some form of intoxicant at some point. Even if my golden days of extreme consumption are far behind me, the simple knowledge that the option exists is sufficient.

    The irony of your situation, based on your heritage, is awesome! It inspires awe.

    Louis

  185. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    I am a little bankrupt right now but I just need to shout angrily through text for a second and then I’ll go read.

  186. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    I GOT ATTACKED BY A SPIDER DURING MY GREEK FINAL. It dropped down onto my paper and SKITTERED at me. And then it got LOST. It was somewhere around for the WHOLE EXAM. With its GIANT HORRIBLE EIGHT LEGS.

  187. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Eep! That sucks CC!

    *sends Sam Gamgee, toting Sting, your way*

    Sam’ll take care of ya. He hates spiders.

  188. janine says

    I had two spiders waiting for me in the tub the other night. I lifted them out of the tub before I took my shower.

  189. Richard Austin says

    Louis:
    Don’t break that sympathy gland on my behalf – a lot of people here deserve it more.

    Perhaps it says far too much about my far too dodgy character that, regardless of how serious and professional I am in Real Life (TM), I simply cannot imagine life without some form of intoxicant at some point. Even if my golden days of extreme consumption are far behind me, the simple knowledge that the option exists is sufficient.

    I’ve never been drunk, stoned, high, etc. I’ve been told (by my doctor, who was awesome) that the safest thing for me to do would be LSD. It’s something I’ve thought about, but I’ve never gone there. I’ve actually got a friend who offered to “babysit” if I ever decide to try it. I have cool friends.

    I have gotten so wired on sugar that I blacked out for about 7 hours. This was at Disneyland; I ate an entire box (uh, probably 100 cubic inches, 5x5x4, if memory serves) of sweet tarts in the space of about 10 minutes, walking from the candy shop on Main Street to Thunder Mountain. I’m told I had a very good time the rest of the day, but I honestly don’t remember anything about it.

    Some day, I’d love to enjoy a really fine cognac, but at this point it’d probably kill me (literally).

  190. Richard Austin says

    CC:

    Maybe it just liked your translations? Or, hey, maybe it was actually a nano-robotic spider and it was really your professor trying to sneak you hints! It was going to crawl up your arm and whisper the answers in your ear!

    … now I want to go build nano-spiders…

  191. Nutmeg says

    I suspect an inherited ability to taste allegedly-tasteless alcohol

    Wait, there are people who can’t taste alcohol? Not that I’ve tested this extensively, but I can sure tell when it’s in something. It’s disgusting.

    I am extremely sensitive to pretty much anything that might have a mental effect. I don’t drink, and I have to strictly limit my caffeine intake or I appear to be high. When my friends play drinking games, I take shots of Diet Coke instead of booze, and I usually appear to be the most drunk at the end.

    I’m starting to really dislike the feeling of being caffeinated – apart from the anxiety, inability to sleep, and jumping at small noises, caffeine makes me less inhibited. This freaks me out.

    (Yes, I am a Type A control freak. How did you guess?)

  192. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    I doubt there is anything wrong with YOU.

    )h, you so don’t know me.

    You seem to me to be a wonderful person. However, if your lack of hangovers is due to Not Drinking (for non-medical reasons) then we need that correcting immediately, old bean.

    I do drink. I average three or four beers every week and can go through a bottle of scotch in 12 to 16 months.

    The last time I got drunk was when I was a sophomore in college. And I still have the scars in my hand to remind me. I still drink, but I drink because I enjoy the flavour. Is this weird?

    Trust me when I say that within mere months of a regime like this, you too will be experiencing hangovers of truly biblical proportions.

    Wouldn’t it be simpler and quicker (not to mention cheaper) for me to drink just one Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster?

    Because apparently my dad, who does drink, never gets a hangover. This has been known to irritate my mother.

    Sounds like an odd reason to not get hungover.

    ====

    I also need to know the proper procedures for filing a complaint. Louis has stolen half of my style (he stole the funny part (and I am funny on my good days (but (damnit!) this Louis commenter has nothing but good days!))). And not only that, but now I am the only one standing in the brownian mob for ghey secks with Brownian and everyone else, INCLUDING BROWNIAN!!!1!11 is now over in the Group Sex with Louis line. (He has left me (poor me) with nothing but my (well-earned) psychoses and my (odd, though (usually) grammatically correct) penchant for parenthesae.)

    Anyway, anyone want to clue me in as to how to file a grievance ’round heree?

  193. Louis says

    Ogvorbis,

    When the orgy starts, I will personally see to it that the {insert act of your choice} is performed upon your {insert part of your person} by the {individual(s) of your choice}.

    It may even involve Ghey Secks with Brownian. Walk with me.

    {Puts arm around shoulders}

    So let’s talk about not filing that grievance. Now cigars, you like cigars? Nice place you got here. Shame if anything were to….happen to it. Oh hey! That corner looks like it needs a plant. Tell you what, here’s £2000 to get a plant. Now you were saying something about aaaaaa…..grievance, was it?

    Louis

  194. carlie says

    Og – I’ve secretly replaced myself in both the Brownian and Louis lines with an exact duplicate replica mannequin, so let’s go out for a burger.

  195. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    I have pie!
    I made them last night.

    This one is very berry-cherry. It has strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and red cherries in it. It is rather soupy and didn’t thicken quite enough.
    This one is a lemon meringue. I put just a hint of lime juice in it, to give it a more complex flavor.

    *shares with the queues for Ghey Secks and Groop Secks*

  196. says

    @SGBM/Lipshtick

    Responded. I’m just shaking my head. I hate this “uncivil” disobedience thing. Now we all know that I am not in favor of being nice just for the sake of niceness, but damn it there’s no reason to act like a jackass to a perfectly reasonable request even if you don’t agree with it. Seriously if they were at the Met and someone with a sketch book asked them to move a step to their left because they were in the light would they throw a fit and stand their ground?

    What is wrong with these people?

  197. says

    Ha!
    Went Inline-skating for the first time today.
    Well, I took two rounds around the playground and I didn’t fall once.
    I suspect that I’ll be in for some sores and pain if I do that for longer.
    Also, if we’re going to this playground more often, I need to learn Russian.

    Also, I will have Whisk(e)y later.
    I usually try to avoid getting drunk. I like mildly intoxicated.

  198. cicely ("Intriguingly Odd") says

    I dunno, Ogvorbis. I don’t think Louis is ripping you off. He seems a little more…Smoggy…to me.

    KG, that is only the tip of the manure pile, I assure you. Not for nothing did Richard III offer his kingdom for a Horse!
    -

  199. Rey Fox says

    . Arizona legislator says women should be required to “watch an abortion being performed” prior to having it.

    Yeah, I’d love to know where they’re going to get that footage. How about a chemically induced abortion? Woman takes a pill on camera, gasp!

  200. Louis says

    Cicely,

    If you are insinuating that I am Smoggy….which I hope you’re not, I can only say 3 things.

    1) Smoggy is a genius, I am very flattered.

    2) I am not Smoggy, nor ever will be.

    3) I am a pervert and deviant of entirely my own stripe, order and confection. Smoggy is a separate pervert. Even on the internet, not all perverts are the same pervert! ;-)

    Louis

  201. Louis says

    Oh and I am an original. I have no need to rip other people off.

    Where’s the fun in that? Although sick minds do think alike…

    Louis

  202. KG says

    Not for nothing did Richard III offer his kingdom for a Horse! – cicely

    Or as 1066 and All That has it, complaining about the poor quality of the kings of England during the Wars of the Roses:

    During the Wars of the Roses the Kings became less and less memorable (sometimes even getting in the wrong order) until at last one of them was nothing but some little princes smothered in the Tower, and another, finding that his name was Clarence, had himself drowned in a spot of Malmsey wine; while the last of all even attempted to give his kingdom to a horse./blockquote>

  203. Rey Fox says

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a real hangover either. I’ve just woken up feeling a bit worse than I usually do in the morning, but at the same time somewhat accomplished.

  204. says

    Arizona legislator says women should be required to “watch an abortion being performed” prior to having it.

    And maybe men should be required to “watch a vasectomy” prior to having one.

    Not for nothing did Richard III offer his kingdom for a Horse!

    But only after failing to acquire the wanton ambling nymph that he called for in his opening soliloquy.

    In sports/religion news, Pat Robertson has weighed in on the trade of Tim Tebow to the New York Jets:

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson says Tim Tebow was treated “shabbily” by the Denver Broncos when they traded him to the New York Jets for Peyton Manning.
    Robertson also said that if Manning suffered a recurrence of the neck injury that sidelined him for a full season, Denver would be without a quarterback and “it would serve them right.”
    A spokesman for Robertson said Friday the outspoken evangelical Christian was “in no way advocating an injury” to Manning and said he has the highest regard for him.

    Funny how often his spokesmen have to clarify shit like that.

  205. cicely ("Intriguingly Odd") says

    Louis, I didn’t claim that you are—or were—or will be—(The Once and Future Perv???)—Smoggy, only that you seem Smoggy-like. Smoggalicious, if you will. And, anyway, all perverted deviants look the same after midnight. Granted, it’s now something like 15 hours after midnight, but still….

    I don’t know, Rey; some of them have real problems with the very idea of women taking Pills.
    -

  206. carlie says

    I has a shame.

    There, there… I’ll make it all better. First you just have to let me cut to the front of this line here…

  207. says

    The Jesus Mall in Salt Lake City is finally open. (“The Jesus Mall” is local slang, not church-approved.)

    The Lord’s only Prophet on Earth, Thomas Monson, was there with the entire First Presidency of the LDS Church. The old guys stood in a line in their suits. They prayed, blessed the place, cut the ribbon, and shouted, “Let’s go shopping!” [YouTube video of that moment http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBEQzib3AP8&feature=youtu.be ]

    The mormons spent more money per square foot to build City Creek Mall than was spent building the tallest building the word, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. I’ve seen estimates ranging from $2 billion to $5 billion, but I think the $5 billion includes three blocks of condos built to provide views of the mormon temple. The $2 billion for the mall itself seems to be agreed upon by most reporters.

    The famous creek of “City Creek” looks a little paltry in the photos if you ask me.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/city-creek-mormon-mall_n_1372695.html#s806024&title=City_Creeks_waterfall
    Excerpt from link above:

    The 700,000-square-foot mall certainly gives off a Biblical air. According to its website, City Creek has two 18-foot waterfalls, fountains that shoot water and bursts of flame while playing synchronized music, a fully retractable glass roof (the first outside of Dubai) and a man-made recreation of the south fork of City Creek, the mountain stream where, in 1847, Mormon pioneer Brigham Young founded the settlement that would later become Salt Lake City.

    It is a mall fit for a president — and might even be graced by one some day if Mitt Romney, one of the Church’s most famous members, can score the Republican nomination. City Creek is located just across the street from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ headquarters, the Temple Square complex. The stores, which include Tiffany & Co., Coach, Nordstrom, Porsche Design, H&M and Macy’s will all be closed on Sunday. No restaurants will serve alcohol, save for the Cheesecake Factory and Texas de Brazil. There are no bars.

    Here’s official confirmation of the “$4 billion to $5 billion” figure: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765560418/LDS-Presiding-Bishop-H-David-Burton-says-part-of-City-Creek-project-goal-has-been-met.html

    The $1.5 billion mixed-use project was developed by City Creek Reserve Inc. (CCRI) — a for-profit real estate company owned by the LDS Church. Including the City Creek project, roughly $4 billion to $5 billion of economic development is currently under way in the downtown area, Bishop Burton said.

    An ex-mormon pointed out that the burning fountains are a mormon/biblical reference: “The Spirit of God like a fountain is burning.”

    I hear the parking is good, if you’re willing to pay $20/day for it, and if you don’t mind Mormon Senior Missionaries greeting you.

  208. says

    So I just got word from my boss that company mucketies want me gone sometime this summer. Job lasted much longer than I expected and is awesomely flexible around classes and the like, but I’m just a bit sad at the moment. I really like the people here and it’s been nice to be able to work my way through school.

  209. says

    “The Jesus Mall” is local slang, not church-approved.

    @Lynna, that’s nice slang. Friends of mine call it Shitty Creek.

  210. Mattir says

    The Mattir household invasion has begun. Ibyea is here, Ursulamajor is here, Normal Teen Boy, Jessa, Jack, & Bridget arrive later this evening, and SallyStrange and SallyStrange’s Mom arrive tomorrow. Spouse, sensibly, has fled for the weekend, having the houseguest tolerance of Tom Travers from the Bertie & Jeeves novels. Brownies and soup are underway, SonSpawn is playing something on his amazing new Pharyngula-built gaming computer (thanks to kaessa’s amazing skype patience!), and Ibyea has explored the Mattir Academy’s library and settled on Steven Pinker’s Language Instinct.

    Life is good.

  211. carlie says

    slignot – oh, I’m sorry. I hope you find a good replacement soon.

    Six pages in, I’m already in love with Life Ascending, which I’m finally reading. I started with the photosynthesis chapter, and I have to say I’ve never read such a beautiful and understandable description of element and gas cycling. I hope the rest of it lives up to this part. I’m kind of jaded on popular science books, but something about this style is really striking to me.

    (disclaimer: book was free from publisher for possible course adoption)

  212. Pteryxx says

    Arizona legislator says women should be required to “watch an abortion being performed” prior to having it.

    I just can’t figure this shit out. They want to force women to watch an abortion video, but ban sex ed, mention of the word “uterus” and actual medical training in how to perform abortions…

    …Okay, now I’m thinking that to comply with everything, this mandated video should be a training video in how to perform abortion. Then every patient, nurse, physician, and Crisis Pregnancy Center patient who’s forced to watch this video anyway, would at least leave with the knowledge of how to perform an abortion safely. That’s going to be useful, soon.

  213. says

    I just found our stupid cat’s collar and tag, on the roof, over the porch. I had to climb a tree with a broomstick, knock the collar into the gutter, put the ladder against the side of the house and climb up and grab the damn thing. Wouldn’t have bothered if it weren’t a one-of-a-kind hand-stamped tag I got for Mr Kristin as a present (I say “our stupid cat” but it’s really Mr Kristin’s stupid cat; I have stupid cats of my own).

    He’s not even supposed to be outside in the first place, the least the little jerk could do is leave his collar on while he’s out there, but no. >.>

  214. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    What’s all this talk of alcohol being tasteless?

    Because I can DEFINITELY taste it. Unless what I’m experiencing isn’t so much the ‘taste’ of the alcohol, as the physical effects of alcohol on the tissue in my mouth?

    I bought myself a Khomus yesterday. So far, The Kid is the only one who likes my playing. Also, fucking hurts the teeth if you play it wrong. Yeesh.

  215. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Who says alcohol is tasteless? It totally is not.

    It smells too. Seriously, having spent today decanting bottles of 200 proof ethanol, I can say with certainty that alcohol smells.

  216. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Ethyl alcohol has a distinct taste. Get a bottle of Everclear and take a sip. Then you’ll know the taste of alcohol.

  217. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ethyl alcohol has a distinct taste.

    I know. All straight hard liquor tastes the same to me, the alcohol taste predominates. Any discussion beyond that point (oakiness, peatiness) is wasted on me.

  218. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Protip, by the way: 150 proof EtOH cut with denatured alcohol also has a distinctive smell, that is subtly different from pure ethanol. That said, after handling it, one should be very careful with hand-washing and never ever ingest the shit.

    Methyl alcohol will kill you dead. If it somehow doesn’t, it’ll make you go blind. Fun stuff!

  219. Louis says

    Carlie, #298,

    Nice one! Thanks. I’ll save it for later. These orgies are very physical and I don’t want to get indigestion.

    Louis

  220. keenacat says

    While it started quite sucky, today turned out to be good after all.
    protoMIL took me to a vaudeville show (I hope dict.leo.org is not lying to me about this term, it was a music theatre circus thingie with a live band and some acrobatics, no strippers). I lurve protoMIL, so I enjoyed it tremendously. The show itself was pretty awesome as well.
    Then I got home, checked my mail and found that an argument had been resolved. I had some serious crying over it earlier this day, so this was a relief.
    Then I log on to pharyngula and am treated to Louis’ “cunt” recital and mental illness rant and it was just the icing on the cake.

    I swear, for next Molly I’ll vote for Louis and continue to do so until justice is served and he is Louis OM.
    (I also hope to get preferential treatment in the Groop Secks Line.)

  221. Sili says

    [Today's puzzle completed 1 Min, 30 Secs ]

    Still not too shabby for me. I guess playing live against the masters musta done something for my skillzz.

  222. keenacat says

    Methyl alcohol will kill you dead. If it somehow doesn’t, it’ll make you go blind. Fun stuff!

    Fun fact from the emergency room/intensive care unit:
    In case of a methyl alcohol poisoning, we’ll give ethyl alcohol orally or as an i.v. until a BAC of about 0,1 percent.
    This will stop your enzymes from breaking down methyl alcohol into its toxic degradation products and allow it to be excreted via your kidney. Because your enzymes like ethyl moar than methyl and will work on it first, while the methyl alcohol is excreted in the urine.

    Medicine is awesome.

  223. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    keenacat, I’m pretty sure there was an episode of “House” about that.

    But yes. Best way to treat methanol poisoning is to get shiftfaced.

    Out of curiosity, what is the best way to treat isopropanol poisoning? Is there one?

  224. keenacat says

    I checked the therapy recommendations for isopropanol poisoning. There is no causal therapy avaliable, ethyl alcohol will only exacerbate the symptoms. So after first line measures (stomach irrigation, washing if skin is contaminated) its down to supportive therapy and dialysis.

  225. keenacat says

    keenacat, Louis is OM.
    That is a relief. Absence of OM in Louis would disturb space time.

  226. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Alrighty then. I’ve never ingested isopropyl and never intend to.

  227. Louis says

    Keenacat,

    Then I log on to pharyngula and am treated to Louis’ “cunt” recital and mental illness rant and it was just the icing on the cake.

    {Blush}

    Thanks. Hardly my most coherent or thought out rants, but nicely cathartic. I think shorter me is “Context, motherfuckers! It matters”.

    And yeah, I got an accidental Mollying a few months ago. They let anybody in nowadays. I, erm, know someone on, erm, a subcommittee. For the proper fee, erm, I could, erm, make an introduction. ;-)

    Louis

  228. Sili says

    Methyl alcohol will kill you dead. If it somehow doesn’t, it’ll make you go blind. Fun stuff!

    True perhaps, but what bearing does that have on 99.9% ethanol?

    The issue with absolute alcohol is, that to get rid of those last 4% water, it’s necessary to add benzene (or possibly toluene) to distil off the last water as an azeotrope. That means that those 0.1% impurities left are more likely to be benzene than water. And bad though methanol may be, you do *not* want to drink benzene.

  229. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Absolutely true, Sili.

    Methyl alcohol is more of a risk in hooch than anything else. As delicious as well-made hooch is, it is very very important be careful about it.

  230. Sili says

    An irony of hooch is that what gives it it’s hoochiness are the various pentanols (and possibly butanols, Iono) in there; the “fusel oils”.

    Those same fusel oils are what gives booze such as whiskies and the like their distinct booziness.

    Just goes to show that the poison is in the dose. Just like the lovely smells in coffee are due to sulphur compounds that stink to high heaven if getting over ppm concentrations.

    Chemistry is love.

  231. John Morales says

    Sili,

    Just like the lovely smells in coffee are due to sulphur compounds that stink to high heaven if getting over ppm concentrations.

    Huh.

    Next: why doesn’t coffee taste as good as it smells? ;)

  232. A. R says

    Just gave my public research lecture, three hours after my departmental lecture. Exhausted beyond belief. Need tea.

  233. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    So let’s talk about not filing that grievance. Now cigars, you like cigars? Nice place you got here. Shame if anything were to….happen to it. Oh hey! That corner looks like it needs a plant. Tell you what, here’s £2000 to get a plant. Now you were saying something about aaaaaa…..grievance, was it?

    Do you really think I can be bought? Just how low do you . . . .

    Are those Cubans?

    Og – I’ve secretly replaced myself in both the Brownian and Louis lines with an exact duplicate replica mannequin, so let’s go out for a burger.

    I agree. Though, given the circumstance, I think Fuddruckers would be appropriate.

    I dunno, Ogvorbis. I don’t think Louis is ripping you off. He seems a little more…Smoggy…to me.

    That’s the cigar smoke.

    Although sick minds do think alike…

    No, boring people are all the same. Every sick mind is sick in its own individually sick way.

    1066 and All That

    I once had a test in an English history class in which one of the questions was, “Why was William Orange?”

    While other students filled up half a blue book answering that one, I just wrote,”Yes, 1066 and All That is a good book.” I recieved 11 out of 10 for that answer.

    I’ve just woken up feeling a bit worse than I usually do in the morning

    I always wake up feeling a little bit worse than I usually do in the morning.

    A spokesman for Robertson said Friday the outspoken evangelical Christian was “in no way advocating an injury” to Manning and said he has the highest regard for him.

    And all who believe that, raise your hand.

    Thought so.

    I has a shame.

    Would you rather have a horse? It can be arranged.

    And where is my Cuban (cigar this time!).

    What’s all this talk of alcohol being tasteless?

    No. Too much alcohol can lead to tasteless behaviour.

    Medicine is awesome.

    Wait. The treatment for being blind drunk is getting drunk?

    Next: why doesn’t coffee taste as good as it smells? ;)

    Ask the horses. They know.

  234. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Alright, I just watched this YouTube video. It features Neal deGrasse Tyson ranting and pictures of space.

    It is beautiful.

    The other night, I looked up through my windshield and said to myself, “Hey, that’s the Big Dipper!” I was seriously impressed.

    Pardon me, I’m going outside to look at the stars.

  235. Louis says

    Esteleth,

    Pardon me, I’m going outside to look at the stars.

    I’ll join you. Albeit on a different continent, but I’ll join you.

    And then I’m coming in and writing to my MP and the Science Minister.

    Again.

    Louis

  236. John Morales says

    A. R,

    [1] Just gave my public research lecture, three hours after my departmental lecture. [2] Exhausted beyond belief. [3] Need tea.

    1. Grats!

    2. Hyperbole.

    3. (Damn, I can’t think of the antonymic to hyperbole! :| )

  237. Nutmeg says

    A.R.: When you said you had lectures to go to, I didn’t realize you were the one giving the lectures. I hope it all went well!

    Here’s some *coffee cake* to go along with that tea.

  238. says

    I’m pretty sure there was an episode of “House” about that.

    “Acceptance,” season two, episode one, co-starring LL Cool J.
    It sort of bothers me that I knew that.

  239. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Louis, I am not sure why, but I thought you were American. Hmm.
    Judging by (1) the fact that you have an MP and (2) how it is apparently night-time where you are, may I presume that you are European (most likely British)?

    feralboy, I used to watch “House” religiously. Then I stopped living in undergraduate housing. *shrug*

  240. Louis says

    Esteleth,

    I am indeed a British national. My heritage is rather mixed, I am basically the European Union, and I have lived in the USA (and other countries) for extended periods of time. I retain a great fondness for the USA and her customs and people, so maybe I ‘Merkin-it-up a little here. ;-)

    Louis

  241. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    OK. I must admit, I did check what time it is in Australia before guessing Europe. But unless night-time in the Southern Hemisphere works completely differently than it does here, the stars are not out at 11 am.

    But then, I am pedantic like that. I also read Wikipedia for fun. I’m currently reading about Nell Gwynn, who apparently slept with like half of England (while Charles II watched). Wacky fun.

  242. Louis says

    Annnd I guess I’ve assumed you’re an American too, Esteleth. Forgive me if I am in error.

    I’ve found it’s a good first approximation here, but since I could well have been wrong twice today about this topic, I’ll bin that heuristic!

    Louis

  243. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    I am American, Louis! In terms of ancestry, I’m a mutt, but mostly WASP. So you were right about that one.

  244. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Well, I’m an American who doesn’t know how to close an html tag.

    Silly Yank. *shakes head*

  245. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    I figgered Louis was English. Especially when he offered 2,000 pounds (no, I am not going to look up the stupid f+L for that).

    And though I live in the USA, I am, apparently, not an American. My local representative has sent me letters telling me that evil federal workers are out to destroy the jobs of real Americans and that when he gets rid of the evil federal workers then I will be able to keep more of the money I make as a real American worker (ignoring that he wants to put me out of a job).

  246. Louis says

    No no! Not “silly Yank”! If silliness were predicated on not closing an html tag then I would like 2378542987356375345635 previous crimes to be taken into account, M’Lud. ;-)

    And that’s just by me.

    This week.

    Anyway, mutts of the world unite, we have nothing to lose but our pedigr….waaaaiiiiit a minute!

    By the way, you do know you have now given me a brain worm. I am reading Nell Gwynn’s write on Wikipedia too. :-)

    Louis

  247. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Louis, as a Brit (may I call you a “limey”?) who has spent time the US, you are doubtless aware that “Yankee” means something different in the US and everywhere else?

    By one heuristic, I am a Yankee, 100%. By another, I am vaguely maybe Yankee on one side. Another side of my family would shoot you if you called them Yankees – and a third group would demand to know why you’re talking about baseball, don’t you Brits follow that cricket game?

    This has always amused me.

  248. John Morales says

    Esteleth, you’re a septic much like Louis is a pom.

    (Me, I’m an aussie)

  249. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    John, WTF is a septic? I only know that in the sense of “contaminated” and in the sense of septic tanks. :/

  250. Louis says

    Esteleth,

    You can call me a limey if it makes you happy. And it wasn’t the “yank” part of your brief, self-deprecating description I was ever so mildly objecting to! ;-)

    John raises a good piece of Cockney Rhyming Slang: Septic Tank = Yank.

    Now I am not going to claim that my countrymen from the East of London chose that particular rhyme because they considered Americans to be large and generally full of shit, but I think we know that Cockneys can be brutal when provoked! ;-)

    Louis

    P.S. Yes some of us “follow” cricket. I say “follow” because a Test match lasts days and can end in a draw. The only thing to do is drink heavily. And I MEAN heavily. Discover the antics of the “Barmy Army” via your google machine. They are not hooligans like the soccer supporters, you have to be capable of standing upright to be a hooligan, and drinking the way cricket fans do is not conducive to any form of standing.

  251. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Oh, Cockney Rhyming Slang. *shakes head*

    You Brits are odd, you know that?

    American ingenuity is geared towards ways of deep-frying shit and/or blowing it up (for an example of the “and,” google “deep-fried turkey”). You guys come up with creative ways of saying “cunt” and “bollocks.”

    Incidentally – bull bollocks are not bad, deep-fried. I’ve never seen one explode, though.

  252. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    I mean, I guess bull balls could explode, if something went wrong during the frying process. Dunno.

    They are good on toast, though. Use a marinade that has hooch in it to really bring out the flavor.

    Yes, I grew up in farm country, why do you ask? I have all my teeth!

  253. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    Incidentally – bull bollocks are not bad, deep-fried. I’ve never seen one explode, though.

    I had an egg roll explode while I was deep frying it. Does that count?

  254. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Oggie, what was the egg roll stuffed with? Testicles? Or just random pig-matter?

  255. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    Oggie, what was the egg roll stuffed with? Testicles? Or just random pig-matter?

    Ground pork, rice vermicelli, snow peas, onion, mung bean sprouts, sweet pepper, chile pepper, bok choy, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, szichuan pepper, sherry, and a touch of corn starch. No testicles. Been there. Done that. Lost my breakfast.

  256. Louis says

    Esteleth,

    Oh yes, we Brits are odd. There’s an old English saying:

    Everyone’s queer but thee and me, and even thee’s a bit queer. ;-)

    The “cunt” thing is being done to death on the other thread. I refuse to satirise wanton sexism on two threads simultaneously. As for English speakers, British English, we have a very euphemistic culture. We are remarkably creative with our rude words. I’m pretty sure this cannot be unique to these isles, but we do seem to put in a little extra effort. A case in point.

    As for the stuff about testicles….what a load of old bollocks.

    Louis

  257. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Oggie, when eating testicles, one of two things are required:
    (1) the consent of who the testicles are still attached to, or
    (2) ketchup.

    Actually, ketchup is good either way.

  258. A. R says

    Esteleth: Mountain oysters again?
    Louis: Pure WASP who has a family that thinks they’re English (not British, no association with those infernal Irish and Scots) here.

  259. ImaginesABeach says

    Ogvorbis –

    I sent my senators and representatives a letter this week asking them to protect the park rangers in the budget. I specifically told my representative that park rangers are necessary for ensuring that our children are well informed about what makes America great. Do you think Ms. Bachmann will accept my reasoning?

    My state representative sent a mailing assuring us that the next time there is a state government shutdown, it won’t be painful for the citizens because the state parks, race track and alcoholic beverage commission will continue to operate. Apparently as a state bureaucrat who doesn’t work for those particular agencies, I am not a citizen of my state.

  260. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Louis, I will happily concede your point with satirizing wanton sexism.

    The bollocks shouldn’t be too old, though. Best if eaten within 48 hours of castration.

  261. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Okay, I’ll stop talking about mountain oysters.

    In most ways, I am not sorry that I left my hometown. Too much racism, sexism, and homophobia. But I haven’t had a good bison or ostrich burger since I left.

  262. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    Do you think Ms. Bachmann will accept my reasoning?

    No. You see, what makes BachmAmerica great is unrestricted free enterprise. And National Parks restrict free enterprise. There are restrictions on hotels, gas stations, minimarts, restaurants, logging, mining, hunting, etc. in these protected areas and they are thus evil socialist creations. Except for Mount Rushmore (as soon as they add Reagan, anyway).

    Apparently as a state bureaucrat who doesn’t work for those particular agencies, I am not a citizen of my state.

    Depressing, ain’t it? The right has been demonizing public workers for so long that we are no longer even considered to be actual people.

  263. A. R says

    Esteleth: I don’t have a problem with the swinging beef, I just think it’s funny that you enjoy talking about it so much. Wonder what an MRA would say about it? ;)

  264. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Probably plenty, A.R., given that I’m a lesbian.

  265. Louis says

    Esteleth,

    Probably plenty, A.R., given that I’m a lesbian.

    [Old Joke]

    Oh really? And when did you move here from Lesbania?

    [/Old Joke]

    {Tumbleweed}

    Louis

    P.S. I shall be guided by your excellent mountain oyster advice above. In future I shall only eat them within 48 hours of severance, or fresh from the {ahem} “bush” with ketchup. Although, running after a bull with my teeth poised for a good chomp strikes me as a sub-optimal body position for speed…

  266. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Louis, I have never been to Lesbiana. I have, however, vacationed in Lesbos. I was a bit perturbed by the lover I took there, who claimed to be a fellow lesbian. Spyros was rather odd, what with the handlebar mustache.

    I think my lesbianism really got its start when I was in middle school, when I got hired by a farmer to castrate every other corn plant. That’s when I discovered that I’m allergic to plant semen.

  267. John Morales says

    Esteleth

    That’s when I discovered that I’m allergic to plant semen.

    <groan>

    Your seminal experience is duly noted.

    (No less than your stamena)

  268. Rey Fox says

    Jobbers cobknots ya mucker!

    Chemistry is love.

    If chemistry is love, then I’m a noble gas.

  269. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Very good, John!
    You are now allowed to graduate to Biology 102, where we shall draw Punnett squares until you want to cry.

  270. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    Boy has good news and bad news. The good news is, he got a free bottle of beer. The bad news is, it is Heiniken.

  271. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    If chemistry is love, then I’m a noble gas.

    What, you glow when subjected to electrical current?

  272. John Morales says

    AFK for quite some time, so I depart with the observation that events in the USA have made our news: Obama urges ‘soul-searching’ after black teen’s killing.

    US president Barack Obama urged Americans to do some “soul searching” on Friday after the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a neighbourhood watch guard that has sparked outrage across the nation.
    [...]
    “I think all of us have to do soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen and that means we examine the laws and the context for what happened.”
    [...]
    Local police say they believe Mr Zimmerman cannot be prosecuted thanks to a Florida law that lets state residents use lethal force in self-defence.
    [...]
    Trayvon Martin’s parents said he had just gone to the store to buy some candy.

    Although dispatchers told him not to pursue the youngster, Mr Zimmerman apparently followed him anyway and shot him with his 9mm handgun. The exact circumstances of the shooting, however, remain unclear.

  273. Patricia, OM says

    Esteleth – exactly where were the testicles you were hired to remove from corn plants? All I’ve ever seen was a nubbin oddly placed here or there.

  274. A. R says

    Esteleth: What Biology class do I get into if I can explain the mechanism of Ebolavirus entry into Vero E6 cells?

  275. carlie says

    God damn it!

    Same thing happened to spouse again that happened on Sunday, but without any triggers at all. He woke me up with stomach cramps, couldn’t breathe, sweats. Called paramedics and he took oral benadryl at the same time, when the first ones got there he was pretty rotten, by the time the whole team got here he was already getting better. So they just gave oxygen for a few minutes, and I felt kind of like a big idiot in front of the kid down the street (who’s a paramedic and got here first) and the parent of a kid in my kid’s class (also paramedic). Plus I couldn’t find my son’s epipen right after they asked if we had one, even though I always know exactly where it is, and it took like five minutes for me to locate it, proving me even more of a dumbass who is likely to just let everyone in my house DIE. (the hospital didn’t give him his own on Sunday)

    So now I feel dumb, and we have another paramedic co-pay (which I’m not even sure how much that is because we haven’t gotten the first bill), and it’s pretty clear that it’s not a peanut allergy but what the hell is in the house that’s doing this? Suspecting mold maybe now, but I’m not sure why it would set off only occasionally. He got an appointment with his doctor, but not until next week, so hasn’t even had allergy testing yet. Fuck.

  276. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    Because apparently my dad, who does drink, never gets a hangover. This has been known to irritate my mother.

    Sounds like an odd reason to not get hungover.

    Oh he doesn’t do it to annoy my mother. He just doesn’t get hungover. We don’t remember him ever becoming so. He just gets up in the morning absolutely fine. When they had been drinking at a party that I had ferried them home from so I know they were both inebriated it cannot help but be a bit annoying to my mum when she’s feeling a bit delicate the next day and he has no ill effects whatsoever.

    He also doesn’t tend to get sunburned. Goes in sun, slightly red (but not sore) that day. Next day brown. Since I inherited my mother’s celtic skin I did envy this a bit since I tended to go red, ow, ow, ow, and then a few days later the layer peeled off with the next layer down maybe a tiny bit darker.

  277. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Patricia, I was hired – like many kids in rural areas – to detassel the plants so as to promote hybridization. That is, you pull off the stamens (which look like upward-pointing tassels, hence the name). As the stamen is the male sex organ of a plant, you are castrating them and make them female.

    In the midst of this process, you get coated head-to-toe in pollen, which is plant sperm.

    SCIENCE!

    A.R., that sounds like 300 level class to me.

  278. carlie says

    Ahem. I’m sorry about that little outburst. I’m really tired, and cranky, and embarrassed.

  279. Richard Austin says

    carlie:

    There are few things worse that no knowing what’s wrong :(

    Only things I can think of are panic attacks and/or something like hypoglycemia. Has he had a blood workup done since the last episode? Iron levels, blood sugar, etc.?

  280. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Doubtful, A.R. They’re mostly fibrous tissue and cellulose.

    Carlie, fresh-baked cookies and cocoa are coming from your USB. I second Richard’s suggestion that the blood sugar be looked at.

  281. Patricia, OM says

    Well I’ll be damned. That’s a much more titillating explanation than just plain old ‘suckering’ corn.

  282. carlie says

    Richard – panic attack I wondered about, but the benadryl helped both times, placebo? They took blood at the hospital, but the ER doc told us absolutely nothing about the results other than everything was ok. I keep telling myself that paramedics get called for stupid crap all the time, and that us not knowing exactly what was wrong less than a week after it happened and it happening again isn’t our fault, but I still feel dumb.

  283. carlie says

    Thanks, Esteleth.

    I grew up in the midwest, but wasn’t quite rural enough to end up doing detasseling. Drove past many, many acres of corn in my time, though.

  284. Nutmeg says

    carlie: That really sucks. I’d be frustrated too. I hope the doctors figure out what’s causing this, and quickly.

  285. A. R says

    Esteleth: Very true. I saw a recipe for deep fried sweet corn a few weeks ago, very unusual.

  286. Rey Fox says

    What, you glow when subjected to electrical current?

    Yes, but only for a little while.

  287. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Deep fried sweet corn actually isn’t that bad. I prefer the traditional boiled method, or the grilled method.

    But yes, corn detasseling (and growing up in the rural midwest in general) did suck hard. I am massively allergic to corn (and soybean) pollen. Going to college was a revelation – I could breathe!

  288. Pteryxx says

    ot: I’ve been searching background info on the Treyvon Martin case (some of it in that thread) but there’s some good news. The Justice Department’s investigator, assistant attorney general for civil rights Thomas Perez, will be looking into the situation.

    The Justice Department has been a focus of conservative ire throughout the Obama administration, and Perez’s nomination was held up for months by Senate Republicans trying to kneecap the president by blocking many of his executive appointments. (Senate conservatives were put off by his immigration work.) Perez could have taken his confirmation battle as a message to lay low and avoid ruffling conservative feathers. Instead, his division has taken an aggressive role in enforcing civil rights laws: blocking restrictive voting measures, securing big money settlements against banks peddling predatory loans to minority customers and service members, filing lawsuits on behalf of bullied gay students, and fighting discrimination against the disabled.

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2012/03/tom-perez-justice-department-trayvon-martin

    (oh for petes sake, the Rocky song “Gonna Fly Now” came on the radio as I’m typing this)

  289. Richard Austin says

    carlie: I can’t imagine benadryl having an effect in less than a half-hour unless administered by shot, so I doubt the drug itself is doing anything, and almost certainly not that quickly.

    Is he taking it with water or milk or something?

  290. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    carlie: Sorry to hear about your spouse. I clench a tentacle in your general direction. OTOH, Life Ascending is one of my favorites…I used it in an undergrad seminar with much success and happiness and fulfillment all around.

  291. Patricia, OM says

    You just had to mention grilling corn…

    Dammit, we still have snow on the grill!

  292. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Regretfully, I have now exhausted Murdock’s website.

    It had so much great content.

    9/11 was an inside job,
    apologia for Rick Warren on Uganda’s kill-the-gays bill,
    vaccines cause autism,
    Bigfoot,
    ancient aliens,
    Burzynski’s cancer quackery,
    and possibly some mild AGW denialism, though I’m not completely sure about that one.

    But I wanted so much more! Oh wait she has another website which goes all the way back to 2006! Ahhhh nope I just don’t have the stamina.

    And I just know I’m probably missing an awesome Bigfoot-did-9/11 essay.

  293. carlie says

    Richard – it was liquid, so absorbed somewhat through mucus membranes, I thought it worked within 10 minutes or so? If not, then I guess panic attack with placebo seems more likely, still with no known cause.

  294. Richard Austin says

    Okay, yeah, looks like the suspension works in about 5-10 minutes. So, could still be something allergen-related.

    Weird. Hope you guys get it figured out, but still might be worth a full blood workup and physical.

    *Sending hugs and sleep aids*

  295. says

    Obama :

    “I think all of us have to do soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen

    Maybe demilitarizing and disarming the populace might help ? Works like a charm in the first world.

  296. Patricia, OM says

    pitbull @ 394 – Now see here, just what do you have against Bigfoot?

    Research scientist Peter Burn had a research trailor right here in my county, and he had maps and plaster casts, and all sorts of proof that Bigfoot is here.

    So there.

  297. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Well there ya go!

    And was Bigfoot sighted on the morning of 9/11?

    No?

    Isn’t that convenient.

  298. A. R says

    rorschach: Bad idea. Something similar still happened in the UK (I’ll have to find the case)

  299. Patricia, OM says

    Pitbull in lipstick – Now hold on, has Peter Burn filed a report on Bigfoots whereabouts on 9/11?

    You’d better take Professor Dumbledore’s advise on using extra caution until you hear the true story from an inquiring mind that knows.

    There could have been poop samples that you simply weren’t privy too.

  300. A. R says

    rorschach: Actually, IIRC, non-weapon objects are more commonly used in random homicide, and firearms are used more often by criminals, gangs, etc. At this point, The most responsible gun policy the US can implement would be to strengthen the restrictions on firearms purchases and how they may be transferred. I actually can’t think of any democratic western nation who’s citizens are truly disarmed.

  301. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    There could have been poop samples that you simply weren’t privy too.

    1) The poop samples have been lost.

    2) Bigfoot poop burns at a temperature hot enough to melt steel.

    Coincidence?

  302. Patricia, OM says

    2) Bigfoot poop burns at a temperature hot enough to melt steel.

    Coincidence?

    Holy shit, how could it be?!

  303. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Bit of free will reading material here, if anyone is interested.

    Good to see that Coyne takes the simple route of physics instead of neuroscience. That’s the way to do it. Although I’m not sure that his “prediction” necessarily follows. I’ll have to think on that.

    Couple of good works recently, on what the lack of free will means for law and social psychology, respectively.

    John A. Humbach; Free Will Ideology: Experiments, Evolution and Virtue Ethics; doi 10.2139/ssrn.1578445

    James B. Miles; ‘Irresponsible and a Disservice’: The integrity of social psychology turns on the free will dilemma; doi 10.1111/j.2044-8309.2011.02077.x

    Humbach makes the mistake of stumbling into neuroscience, but it’s not critical to his more interesting point: compatibilism is actually virtue ethics, as it justifies hurting people because of who they are.

  304. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Now that I think about it, it’s getting clearer. Has anyone confirmed that Timothy McVeigh is not a Bigfoot too?

    Have we even stopped to wonder why the Hutaree militia spent so much time in the woods?

  305. says

    Good to see that Coyne takes the simple route of physics instead of neuroscience.

    Just curious, why do you think that neuroscience is not going to provide any meaningful insights into the debate ?

  306. Patricia, OM says

    Good night sweethearts,
    I’m toddling off to bed,
    With visions of Bigfoot poop,
    Dancing in my head.

    dammit.

  307. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    rorschach, because free will is a non-starter.

    It’s physically impossible, as Coyne explains.

    Even before that, it’s philosophically impossible, as Thomas W. Clark has explained.

    Neuroscience comes “too late” to the game.

  308. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    (Really, physics comes too late as well, but most people have a harder time appreciating that it’s absolutely a philosophical non-starter. The answer from physics is the simplest, and so will probably remain the most effective.)

  309. says

    because free will is a non-starter.

    I get that (now), and agree with it. But wouldn’t it be interesting to see neuroscience contribute to the “why”, for example with regards to qantum indeterminacy ? What we find on the molecular level in brain cells must corroborate the theory, after all.

    Anyway, these were a couple interesting articles I thought. I’m not sure I want to buy Sam Harris’ new book tho. Victor Stenger’s new one about the incompatibility of science and religion looks much more promising.

  310. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    But wouldn’t it be interesting to see neuroscience contribute to the “why”, for example with regards to quantum indeterminacy ?

    No, because free will via quantum indeterminacy is a simple non-starter: a random event is not a willed event.

    Stronger effects from indeterminacy would only mean that we sometimes randomly fail to act upon our desires, or our desires fluctuate randomly.

    I mean, quantum indeterminacy probably has a some interesting effects upon the brain, but none of them can even theoretically offer free will.

    What we find on the molecular level in brain cells must corroborate the theory, after all.

    The theory that most events have causes, and uncaused events are not willed? I’m pretty sure that’s already corroborated by everything ever.

  311. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    I’m not sure I want to buy Sam Harris’ new book tho.

    I was looking forward to pirating it, but the summary there suggests it’s neuroscience-heavy. Which I suppose I should have expected, since that’s apparently his field of late, isn’t it? I’m afraid that will weaken his case, but maybe he covers the better arguments as well; tactically there can be a place for the neuroscience arguments, when the listener can’t or won’t grasp the stronger argument from physics.

  312. says

    I mean, quantum indeterminacy probably has a some interesting effects upon the brain, but none of them can even theoretically offer free will.

    So says you.

    Anyway, I’m off to watch The Descendants. Later !

  313. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    I mean, quantum indeterminacy probably has a some interesting effects upon the brain, but none of them can even theoretically offer free will.

    So says you.

    This comment suggests you still don’t understand the basics.

    Quantum effects are random. Random effects are not willed to occur. Therefore, quantum effects cannot be caused by free will.

    Random effects could only cause a change of will, or no change of will (law of excluded middle). If no change of will, then tautologically there’s been no effect upon will of any kind, free or otherwise. If there is a change of will, then it was random, so the change of will could not itself have been willed. Therefore, quantum effects cannot cause free will.

    Will can have no effect on randomness, and randomness cannot offer a causal chain — the choice of making another choice — which is required to call decision-making freely willed. I presume your error may be the one I worked out with John.

    “A freely willed action” would be an action which is proximately caused by the individual’s will, if the individual’s will is not determined via a causal chain that begins beyond the individual’s will.

    You should see that’s impossible. It would mean being an unmoved mover. (And so free will is called the little god; it requires the human being to be such an omni-god as to be able to transcend logic.)

  314. NuMad says

    ॐ,

    The question of free will as you and Jerry Coyne define it just strikes me as specularly irrelevant. Maybe that means that you’re right, I don’t know, but it sounds almost more like an argument about time travel than about anything to do with the mind.

  315. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    The question of free will as you and Jerry Coyne define it just strikes me as specularly irrelevant. Maybe that means that you’re right, I don’t know, but it sounds almost more like an argument about time travel than about anything to do with the mind.

    You’re only thinking about the implications for the past, though. That perspective can make it seem irrelevant.

    Not only does it mean you could never have chosen to choose differently than you did,

    it also means that for everything you do in the future, you will not be able to choose differently than you do. You are never confronted with the option of choosing differently.

  316. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Now taking bets on how long before rorschach starts yapping about microtubules.

    +++++
    NuMad, consider it from the other direction; take seriously what free will would offer you if it could exist:

    [I]magine that we do indeed have some sort of contra-causal free will, and see if it could improve on the deterministic situation we actually find ourselves in. I leave aside here the various sorts of indeterminacy that might be shown, eventually, to play a role in generating behavior, since these do not give us free will, they merely introduce randomness.

    Let us suppose then, that whatever my desires are at a given time, I am not bound to follow those desires. That is, my behavior isn’t completely the result of the competition of various motives and inclinations, but instead is at least partly a function of something independent of such influences. So, for instance, let us suppose I must decide between spending a thousand dollars on charity or on my own amusement. What would the role of this independent factor be in such a decision? Presumably, the story goes, one’s free will makes the decision about which desire should win out, the desire to help others or the desire to amuse oneself. But, on what grounds does this independent arbiter make its choice? Why would it choose one way and not another?

    If indeed the free will is uninfluenced by one’s circumstances, such as desires and motives, then it simply has no reason or capacity to act. Without an inclination pushing in one direction or another there can be no movement. Of course, one can (and usually does) consider the consequences of one’s actions, which has the effect of making one course or another seem more or less desirable. But this sort of rationality isn’t in the least separate from the influence of desire, rather it permits the more effective calculation of how a desire might be fulfilled, and of what might happen were it fulfilled. Nor is the choice to undertake such consideration “free,” in the sense of being uninfluenced, for if it were, the same problem would arise: why would the self choose to be rational – to consider consequences – unless there were some determining motive or desire to be rational?

    The “best” course – the decision taken – is that which wins out in the competition between motives as illuminated by rationality. If the self were truly free to choose between alternatives, uninfluenced by motives in some respect (whether such motives be altruistic or selfish) the choice would never get made. Likewise, if the self were truly free to choose between being rational or not, the operation of rationality would be haphazard and unreliable. As it stands, however, the self is nothing over and above the reliably coordinated system of desires and dispositions out of which decisions are generated. We don’t stand apart from, or direct, the rationally mediated competition of our motives. If we had some capacity to act independently of motives or of the consideration of consequences, that capacity would give us absolutely no power over circumstances. Why? Because that very independence renders such a capacity irrelevant to decision-making. In fact, it would immobilize us, not empower us.

  317. says

    Now taking bets on how long before rorschach starts yapping about microtubules.

    Who ?

    It’s Saturday stay alone at home night, like every Saturday, so I’m going to watch another movie ! Your microtubules can’t touch me.

  318. carlie says

    Free will discussions make my brain hurt.

    Bigfoot poop burns at a temperature hot enough to melt steel.

    Is that why fertilizer can be turned into explosives? It’s made from bigfoot poop?

  319. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Bigfoot poop burns at a temperature hot enough to melt steel.

    Citation needed. For the hallucinogen that caused this statement.

  320. says

    Semi-threadrupt and headed out.

    For everyone but especially Janine, Nigel (when he returns), Bill D., and Ogvorbis: Bill Kirchen’s cover of “Hot Rod Lincoln.” If rockabilly isn’t your thing, fast-forward to about the 2:27 mark and listen to the rest of it. Just trust me.

    (Side note to Bill, way up at #14: Eeee, “Lookin’ for the Time”! I’m actually about to burn a few mix CDs for the car, and one of them will be all Nanci Griffith.)

  321. KG says

    it also means that for everything you do in the future, you will not be able to choose differently than you do. You are never confronted with the option of choosing differently. – lilapbwls

    But you are. I quite agree with you that contra-causal freewill is a non-starter, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are indeed frequently “confronted with the option of choosing differently”, we need a word to distinguish those cases from others, and “freewill” is the most appropriate I can think of.

    That I don’t choose differently is indeed either determined, or has a random element; but that doesn’t make it any the less my decision, since it proceeds from my motives, history and thinking – and I’m free to decide otherwise (say in the case of spending $1000 on a good cause or personal enjoyment) in the sense that if my motives were different, I would. OTOH, if I kick my leg in a reflex when the doctor taps my knee, or perform some action while asleep or in an epileptic seizure, it’s not in the same sense my decision to do so, so it’s not an action perfomed out of freewill and I am not responsible for it – note that courts routinely if not exactly frequently acquit people who have killed while asleep. Even believers in contra-causal freewill are likely to exclude such actions from the class of those to which the term “freewill” applies. Other cases again are borderline: insanity, dementia, infancy, drug-induced hallucinatory states, and again, the courts spend a lot of time on decisions about responsibility in individual cases – just as we might expect if the concept of freewill is one on a different level of description from quantum physics or neuroscience, one concerned with agents’ perceptions, motives, beliefs, actions and interactions.

  322. KG says

    Louis, as a Brit (may I call you a “limey”?) who has spent time the US, you are doubtless aware that “Yankee” means something different in the US and everywhere else? – Esteleth

    In fact, “Yankee” is hardly ever used in the UK except in the shortened form of “Yank”. Even that (which is distinctly but not viciously derogatory), I almost never hear in everyday life, and my impression is that it’s much less common than it used to be: most of us call Americans “Americans”. (I admit that for a while I used “Usanians”, along with “Ukanians” for citizens of the UK, but I tired of the jest.)

  323. Matt Penfold says

    In the UK, a yankee is more likely to be taken for a betting term. A Yankee is a rather complicated form of bet in horse racing where the bet covers four horses, and at least two must come in the top three or four in order to get a pay-out.

  324. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    That I don’t choose differently is indeed either determined, or has a random element; but that doesn’t make it any the less my decision, since it proceeds from my motives, history and thinking

    All fine.

    and I’m free to decide otherwise (say in the case of spending $1000 on a good cause or personal enjoyment) in the sense that if my motives were different, I would.

    Typical compatibilist obscurantism! :)

    What this means is “I’m free to decide otherwise in the sense that if i were a different person, I would.”

    But you’ll never have different motives than the ones you’ll have! (This is why compatibilism is virtue ethics.) And if, at any given time, you’re changing your motives, then you’re not free to change them in any way other than how you do, which is a function of your prior motives, which you were not free to change in any other way than how you did, et cetera. In other words, you may do as you will, but you may not will as you will.

    It’s not you who could be free to decide otherwise, because you’ll never have the necessary motives to do so. It’s some hypothetical alternate KG who will never exist in our universe. To be most generous, we can take the Many Worlds interpretation seriously, so there really are these alternate KGs who have different motives because quantum fluctuations influenced their decision trees differently. But they’re not you; we only name them after you because they’re more like you than other people.

    What it takes, to be free to decide otherwise, is the motive to decide otherwise, but you will never have that. So you are not free like that.

    OTOH, if I kick my leg in a reflex when the doctor taps my knee, [...]

    So these are apparently your reasons for thinking we need the term “free will”, or rather the compatibilist equivocation “freewill”.

    Don’t you notice that we already have more specific terms for all these things, which are not so metaphysically laden? You list some: “reflex, epileptic seizure, insanity, dementia, infancy, drug-induced hallucinatory states”.

    And there’s still other terms we can use to talk about the important phenomena in this vicinity: inner strength, willpower, self-efficacy, constitution, diminished capacity, irresistible impulse, opportunity, power, ability, privilege.

    We have all the necessary language, all of which can be understood without terminology that’s metaphysically contested. Neither “free will” nor “freewill” does any extra work.

    the courts spend a lot of time on decisions about responsibility in individual cases – just as we might expect if the concept of freewill is one on a different level of description from quantum physics or neuroscience, one concerned with agents’ perceptions, motives, beliefs, actions and interactions.

    Another compatibilist trick of language. Look how that very same claim can be reforumulated accurately without the most heavily-contested metaphysical baggage:

    “the courts spend a lot of time on decisions about responsibility in individual cases – just as we might expect if the concept of responsibility is one on a different level of description from quantum physics or neuroscience, one concerned with agents’ perceptions, motives, beliefs, actions and interactions.”

    Again “free will” does no extra work.

    In truth we already have strong evidence of, and can confirm with experimental philosophy, what people really consider necessary to “free will” (rather than simply redefining it to avoid upsetting the legal status quo, as compatibilists have done).

    When people are confronted with the fact that they could not have chosen differently than they did, they either reject that fact or decide that it means they were wrong and they don’t have free will after all. (See also the fallout from compatibilism.)

    But you are. I quite agree with you that contra-causal freewill is a non-starter, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are indeed frequently “confronted with the option of choosing differently”,

    As above, that’s impossible. That would require being two people at once, two different KGs with different motives. A single KG only has the option of choosing what he chooses, never differently.

    we need a word to distinguish those cases from others, and “freewill” is the most appropriate I can think of.

    No, there are much better terms. “Self-control” is one.

    Compatibilism, because it relies on a term which most people take to mean the ability to have chosen differently, is probably more socially destructive than incompatibilism.

  325. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    From Miles, cited above:

    «Philosophical compatibilism dates back to the early Stoics and is the idea that free will is compatible with a fully deterministic universe, a universe where all current events are necessitated by past events, and that free will can co-exist with the understanding of humans as fully determined persons. (For humans, you can fit quantum indeterminism into a deterministic picture of actions because the quantum event may be uncaused but our resulting actions would be caused by the quantum event.) But how can free will be compatible with, at the human level, a fully determined universe? Because, for free will compatibilists, free will is simply redefined as being something other than freedom of choice, something other than freedom to have done otherwise, something other than freedom to have willed otherwise.

    This is ultimately what all compatibilism boils down to; this is why Kant in 1788 called compatibilism a ‘wretched subterfuge . . . petty word-jugglery’, why William James in 1884 called it ‘a quagmire of evasion’ (James, 1884/1956, p. 149; Kant, 1788/1956, pp. 189–190). Within compatibilism, the general rule is that free will can be defined as anything, so long as it is never defined as freedom of choice, freedom for any actual individual to have done otherwise. So, for example, Susan Wolf has redefined free will to mean sanity (1989), whereas others have redefined it as freedom from constraint, as unpredictability, as acting in accordance with ‘reason’, and many, including the doyen of modern philosophical compatibilists Harry Frankfurt (1971/2003), as acting in harmony with your basic – causally determined – personality. The philosopher of science Dan Dennett (1984) has defined free will as mechanical self-control. Free will, according to Dennett, is possessed by yeast, chrysanthemums, and some plastic toys. Under Dennett’s formulation were you to take your child’s toy car, put in new batteries, and then set it to race away, it would not have free will; however, as soon as you turn your back and walk away from it never to return, you have blessed it with free will. In other words, free will has deliberately been defined so generously it becomes a meaningless term, a morally empty concept, a capacity we can share with both the Energizer Bunny and fungal infections.

    There are some who continue to argue that the compatibilist project is a noble one, trying to steer a just course of limited human freedom through the murky waters of determinism, but I argue Dennett gives the lie to the suggestion that compatibilism is about advancing human understanding or justice. Dennett, one of the world’s leading compatibilist scholars, tells us he finds facing up to the absence of free choice ‘almost too grim to contemplate’ (1984, p. 168). But what exactly does Dennett not wish to contemplate? As a free will theorist it is his job to contemplate the non-existence of free choice, so it cannot be his own contemplation he fears. No; what scares Dennett is not the fact of no free choice, it appears to be the risk of the public being given the chance to understand that fact. Motive becomes almost irrelevant; because, in a world without free will, ‘luck swallows everything’ (Strawson, 1998), one effect of denying the electorate such knowledge is to pretty much ensure that the lucky stay lucky while the unlucky remain unlucky. [...]

    University of Illinois law professor Michael S. Moore is possibly the most influential retributivist scholar in Western legal theory, and Moore calls himself a compatibilist of the variant that holds determinism and free choice to be compatible. They are not. Moore notes that all we need to show to prove that an actor could have done otherwise is that he could have done otherwise ‘if he had chosen (or willed) to do otherwise’ (Moore, 1985, p. 1142). We need a conditional definition of the word ‘could’, says Moore, but to say an individual could have done otherwise if he or she had willed to have done otherwise is the logical equivalent of saying a dog would have a curly tail if it was a pig. Conditionality is not applicable here as no individual ever could have willed to have done otherwise in either a deterministic universe or an indeterministic universe. Two factors – and only two factors – determine human behaviour, being biology and experience, nature and nurture. At any particular moment, an individual could only have willed to have done otherwise if their biology or experiences to that date had been different; hence an individual could only have done otherwise if, in effect, they had happened to have been a different person. Person A is being judged as person A for not being person B[.]»

  326. Moggie says

    So, gamers: quit angsting about ME3 and play Journey on the PS3. It’s a rather sweet little thing which seems designed to promote companionship at a basic level: just sharing an experience with another person, maybe showing them the way a little. Given how often multiplayer produces assorted douchery, it’s rather refreshing to find a game where about the only bad thing you can do to someone is ignore them. If you’ve got a free evening (it’s a short game), give it a try: it’s quite lovely.

  327. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Skimming Humbach again, I see he provides the term you’re looking for. “Free agency” is uncontroversially the ability to act in accordance with one’s motives, and sufficiently distinguishes those times from reflex, legal insanity, duress, or other forms of diminished responsibility.

    «Compatibilism is the idea that free will can, if properly understood, be compatible with determinism. But the compatibilist version of free will turns out, when viewed from a different angle, to be essentially just a repackaging of the virtue- ethics foundation for justifying inflictions of human suffering based on character.

    From the outset, the basic idea of compatibilism looks like a pure contradiction: How could a rule-bound individual possibly have a free will? The two seem mutually exclusive. Compatibilists accept that human acts are determined (rule-bound) but they insist that there remains, in the springs of human behavior, a residue of freedom that can serve the same moral function that has been traditionally served by free will, namely, provide a basis for condemning those who commit dangerous and abhorrent acts and justifying the infliction of suffering. While there are many varieties of compatibilism, what they all seem to argue in common is that this crucial residue can be found in the freedom of the person. The freedom needed for accountability does not literally require the will to be free. The important thing that the person be free—free to do what she wills.

    This move, shifting the focus of inquiry from the will to the person, allows accountability (and, therefore, inflictions of suffering) to be based on something that can plausibly be called ‘free will’ without running head-on into the objection that freedom of the actual will rests on a dubious and mystical (non-deterministic) factual premise. In classical compatibilism (e.g., of Thomas Hobbes), the shift in focus seemed to be enough in itself for moral accountability. Freedom of the person to do as she wills was treated as the essential equivalent of free will—at least the important part of free will.

    There is, however, a problem with focusing on the freedom of the person to do as she wills rather than on freedom of the will itself. The problem is that such a shift in focus glides over the key difference between free will and free agency. When a person is free to do what she wills, she is a free agent, but that is not the same thing as having freedom of will. To have a free will (as opposed to mere free agency), an individual’s choices in a given situation would have to be free of constraint not only from her current external circumstances but also free from her internal state—probably meaning her internal neuronal state. A free agent can do what she wills, even if her will is determined. But for her will to be free, the will itself must be non-determined. This would mean, in neuronal terms, that in order to have a free will the individual must be able to break free from the mechanistic electro-chemical processes that otherwise would rule her muscles and direct what she does. An individual who cannot break free of these electro-chemical processes, which is to say everybody, may be a free agent but she does not have free will.

    Although free agency may superficially seem a lot like free will, it cannot perform the role that is attributed to free will in making the case to justify punishment. It cannot perform this role because free agency does not regulate or guide human behavior. Indeed, rather than being a source of behavioral constraint (regulation or guidance), it is an absence of constraint. And obviously, an absence of constraint cannot ‘determine’ how a person acts. When a situation is such that people are free agents and therefore able to act in different ways, it is not their free agency but something else that decides what they do. That ‘something else,’ if not some external force, is the person’s disposition, or character.»

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

    John Morales – 3. litote

    carlie – sounds very frightening. Hope you are both OK, and that it proves possible to pin down what’s causing it.

  329. KG says

    lilapbwls,

    The passage you quote is fundamentally dishonest, in that it emotively associates compatibilism with justification of the infliction of suffering, when there is clearly no necessary connection; it would be just as dishonest for a compatibilist to maintain that your position justifies the infliction of suffering because of course those who inflict suffering cannot, on your view, do otherwise. It is also dishonest in talking of the compatibilist position is based on a “residue” of freedom, as if it is an attempt to rescue some part of contra-causal freewill. But this is not the case. As you and I are agreed, the idea of contra-causal freewill is incoherent; it is not something we might have had, and so can rationally regret not having. The compatibilist position is, instead, a recognition that we do need to make distinctions based on the capacity to exercise free choice, which those in the categories I listed (infants, sleepwalkers etc.) either do not have, or have to a more limited extent than sane, wakeful, sober and mentally unimpaired adults. If you want to insist on confining the term “freewill” to the incoherent pseudo-concept of contra-causal freewill, and using “free agency” instead when referring to these distinctions, fine, I’m not interested in squabbling about definitions.

  330. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    KG, you’re overreacting.

    The passage you quote is fundamentally dishonest, in that it emotively associates compatibilism with justification of the infliction of suffering, when there is clearly no necessary connection;

    Humbach is a law professor. He is writing to other legal theorists, on the topic of legal compatibilism,* that subset of compatibilism which is concerned with using the criminal law to punish.

    Now I don’t propose that that’s the whole of compatibilism, but it’s relevant to this discussion after you’ve brought up criminal law.

    I suggest that instead of taking Dennett and other philosophers at their word on how compatibilism “could” be used, you should dip into the law journals to see how it really is being used. Actually-existing compatibilism should and probably will upset you; Humbach wasn’t responding to nothing. It’s quite a good article, at least in sections I, II, and V (the other stuff is too basic, but it was written for legal theorists).

    * cf. Anders Kaye; The Secret Politics of the Compatibilist Criminal Law

    it would be just as dishonest for a compatibilist to maintain that your position justifies the infliction of suffering because of course those who inflict suffering cannot, on your view, do otherwise.

    No, the comparison is not apt. You’d be making an is-ought error there, while Humbach is simply reporting on what legal theorists are actually saying about desert.

    It is also dishonest in talking of the compatibilist position is based on a “residue” of freedom, as if it is an attempt to rescue some part of contra-causal freewill.

    I don’t see how that’s dishonest as you word it. I’m also not sure that you’ve worded it as he meant it. But in any case here’s the citation he used on that claim; I don’t see anything dishonest in his portrayal of it:

    “For the most part, what philosophers working on this issue [of free will] have been hunting for, maybe not exclusively, but centrally, is a feature of agency that is necessary for persons to be morally responsible for their conduct.” STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY, supra note 2, at 3.1.

    But this is not the case. As you and I are agreed, the idea of contra-causal freewill is incoherent; it is not something we might have had, and so can rationally regret not having.

    I wonder if the word “rationally” is doing too much work there. People frequently do regret not being able to have chosen differently. And others, like Walton and Coyne — “knowing that we don’t have free will can perhaps temper our sense of regret or self-recrimination, since we never had real choices in our past” — find it a cause for relief. A person learns their older ideas were wrong, and they lose the hopes and fears that cohabited with those ideas; hmm, well, I’m not persuaded that this regret and relief is irrational.

    The compatibilist position is, instead, a recognition that we do need to make distinctions based on the capacity to exercise free choice, which those in the categories I listed (infants, sleepwalkers etc.) either do not have, or have to a more limited extent than sane, wakeful, sober and mentally unimpaired adults.

    No it is not. That’s the hard determinist position, and the hard indeterminist position, and the libertarian position, and the illusionist position, and the compatibilist position. Everyone agrees on that much. Therefore it cannot be claimed as a distinguishing feature of any one position.

    If you want to insist on confining the term “freewill” to the incoherent pseudo-concept of contra-causal freewill

    I insist on natural language — using the term how most people use the term — that for at least one choice you’ve made, you could have chosen differently than you did. And if the common meaning of it happens to be incoherent, then so be it. That doesn’t necessarily imply we should redefine it. It doesn’t imply any reaction at all. We can just as well say it was incoherent, like other supernatural concepts such as the soul, and just stop using the term instead of trying to “salvage” it (which, considering the evidence I’ve provided, is more likely to be socially destructive).

    and using “free agency” instead when referring to these distinctions, fine, I’m not interested in squabbling about definitions.

    Of course you’re generally interested in squabbling about definitions; that’s why you’re a compatibilist. That’s all compatibilism is, a word game.

    And of course you’re interested in squabbling about definitions this time around; that’s why you proposed that «we need a word to distinguish those cases from others, and “freewill” is the most appropriate I can think of.»

    It amuses me to no end when compatibilists insist that they have the right way to redefine “free will”, yet when others don’t want to go along with their counterintuitive rebranding, they complain that they don’t want to talk about definitions. Compatibilism’s distinguishing feature is only a stance about the definition of these two words, “free will”, that’s all it ever was or will be.

    There’s a reason why “agency” (I’m not really sure that “free” agency is any more meaningful, so I’ll drop it for now) is preferable to “free will”. Agency is not so metaphysically contested.

    So with agency — as with diminished capacity, irresistible impulse, opportunity, power, ability, privilege, duress, locus of control, reflex, epileptic seizure, insanity, dementia, infancy, drug-induced hallucinatory states, willpower, self-efficacy, constitution — if we see someone misusing these terms they can easily be corrected. They are often very clear on their face, while we frequently don’t know what all is bound up in someone’s notion of free will; it sometimes takes hours or days and many thousands of words back and forth before everyone understands each other. And there’s less opportunity for equivocation, or the “negative illusionism” that occurs when compatibilists don’t actively challenge common misunderstandings about free will.

    That’s why all these terms are superior to both “free will” and the equivocational homophone “freewill”. (And the fact that people tend to understand “not being able to have chosen differently” as not having free will is why compatibilism is generally false. If it’s true for anyone, it’s true only for a handful of philosophers and their fans.)

    Anyway, I gave you a sensible argument about how “I’m free to decide otherwise (say in the case of spending $1000 on a good cause or personal enjoyment) in the sense that if my motives were different, I would” is equivalent to “I’m free to decide otherwise in the sense that if I were a different person, I would.”

    It is, as Miles puts it, “the logical equivalent of saying a dog would have a curly tail if it was a pig.”

    That was the substantive objection to your main point, but you contented yourself with complaining that I won’t adopt compatibilist terminology.

  331. Sili says

    2) Bigfoot poop burns at a temperature hot enough to melt steel.

    Aha!

    So that’s what they™ use to make those chemtrail chemicals.

  332. consciousness razor says

    It’s not you who could be free to decide otherwise, because you’ll never have the necessary motives to do so. It’s some hypothetical alternate KG who will never exist in our universe. To be most generous, we can take the Many Worlds interpretation seriously, so there really are these alternate KGs who have different motives because quantum fluctuations influenced their decision trees differently. But they’re not you; we only name them after you because they’re more like you than other people.

    This is just a nitpick (or perhaps I’m wrong), but if the universe is infinite, you don’t need to invoke the Many Worlds interpretation to get an infinite number of almost-KG Boltzmann brains (or complete almost-KGs residing on almost-Earths, etc.) making some other choice. It just requires lots and lots and lots of spacetime; entropy fluctuations will do the rest.

    The MW interpretation raises the issue of (apparently possible) different outcomes for the exact same state at the same location; but unless I’m mistaken, the concern here should be whether the outcomes could be different for very similar states (which are macroscopically indistinguishable from one another) at the same location. To me it seems more obvious that those Boltzmann-KGs in other regions of spacetime are not the same as the KG we’re talking to, but honestly I’m not sure what I would say about their identities given the MW interpretation. That’s probably because I don’t understand QM.

    And of course no one could ever replace the real KG. ;)

  333. KG says

    lilapbwls,

    I don’t have time for a detailed response, so I’ll ask a couple of questions:

    “For the most part, what philosophers working on this issue [of free will] have been hunting for, maybe not exclusively, but centrally, is a feature of agency that is necessary for persons to be morally responsible for their conduct.”

    Is it your view that people are not morally responsible for their conduct? This appears to be Walton’s view, but I’m not clear whether it’s yours. If this is your view, I have to wonder at the moral indignation with individuals evident in many of your comments at this blog. If it is not, how do you reconcile that view with your denial that people have free will?

    I insist on natural language — using the term how most people use the term — that for at least one choice you’ve made, you could have chosen differently than you did.

    What is the force of “could” here? Unless you can say without using the term “free will” or any cognate term, you haven’t really moved us further forward. It can quite readily be interpreted as meaning that there was no external constraint on my choosing differently.

  334. cm's changeable moniker says

    Oh, FFS.

    What’s going on with the crank invasion this week? Murdock waving cocks, Warden dressing up sheep, leereed cluttering up Sb.

    (And who knows what’s going on on TZT.)

    Happy monkey all. I now have dog violets and leaves on the apple tree. :)

    And dandelions. :-/

    Next up, Equisetum. *shudder*

  335. Louis says

    LILAPWL, #442,

    jaycubed is back.

    He wants us to know that he counterprotests for Planned Parenthood.

    He counterprotests for Planned Parenthood? I never knew. He’s been so quiet and unassuming about it. He should have spoken up more, because that TOTALLY lets him off anything else.

    Louis

  336. says

    Morning, all. I’m being quiet because I’m having a Dorothy Sayers binge. For some reason, the Vorkosigan saga seems to be next in line for the reread. Is it just me, or do Miles & Peter seem to be similar characters?

    Now what time was that train to Kircudbright again?

  337. consciousness razor says

    It can quite readily be interpreted as meaning that there was no external constraint on my choosing differently.

    Your internal conditions may not be externally constrained to one outcome rather than another, but those conditions must be similarly constrained, so there’s still only one possible outcome (leaving MW aside). You couldn’t have chosen differently, because either “external constraints” includes all physical factors, or there are “internal constraints” (presumably referring to your brain state and other bodily states) which are effectively the same, or you end up in dualist territory.

    Anyway, as I said in the Pipkin thread, I’ll say something like “I was not coerced” or “no one forced me to do that” to refer to situations like you describe (if I’m understanding correctly). That doesn’t mean I could have had any other internal state than I did; it’s just a claim that my internal state was not affected in any significant way by external constraints which would have affected them if they had been present.

    So, for example, no one forced me to write this comment. You might say I did it “of my own free will.” It’s conceivable that someone could have had a gun to my head forcing me to respond to you.* Your original comment is an external constraint on my behavior, as are my internal states which motivated me to respond to it. So when I say “no one forced me,” I’m not talking about your decision to write your comment that motivated me to write this, but the fact that no one had a gun to my head (or something to that effect).

    *Now that I’ve submitted this comment, I know such an event never could have happened, however conceivable it was.

  338. Nutmeg says

    This article in the Globe and Mail may win the weekend Sexism and Heteronormativity in Print Award. At any rate, it wins the Pissing Me Off Award.

    Seriously, could they at least give a nod to the facts that:
    a) Women matter all by themselves! really! not just in relation to men
    b) Not everyone in the entire world is straight

    Thoughts?

  339. David Marjanović says

    Not caught up.

    The Mattir household invasion has begun. Ibyea is here, Ursulamajor is here, Normal Teen Boy, Jessa, Jack, & Bridget arrive later this evening, and SallyStrange and SallyStrange’s Mom arrive tomorrow. Spouse, sensibly, has fled for the weekend, having the houseguest tolerance of Tom Travers from the Bertie & Jeeves novels. Brownies and soup are underway, SonSpawn is playing something on his amazing new Pharyngula-built gaming computer (thanks to kaessa’s amazing skype patience!), and Ibyea has explored the Mattir Academy’s library and settled on Steven Pinker’s Language Instinct.

    Life is good.

    That green ooze oozing out of all your USB ports and dripping on the innocent cats? That’s my envy.

  340. says

    “because free will is a non-starter.”

    Full fucking stop. Just go back and read previous comments & threads on this. Many, many comments & way too many threads.

    Some folks just like to fight.
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    I’m listening to A Prairie Home Companion. I’ve worked with both Winton & Branford Marsalis. Branford was much easier to work with.
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    Ya know who is good at de-balling? Lisa Kudrow. I’ve never seen ‘Friends’ and yet, even I know she was the rat castrater in chief.
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    Oh, and …
    Put him in the hold with the Captain’s daughter,
    Earl-eye in the morning!

  341. David Marjanović says

    Next: why doesn’t coffee taste as good as it smells? ;)

    Because bitter and sticks to your palate aren’t smells.

  342. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    Made a nice pot of Roman Bean Soup with three kinds of German sausage and a whole smoked hock.

    Bigfoot poop burns at a temperature hot enough to melt steel.

    Explains all the wildland fires in NorCal.

    I now have dog violets and leaves on the apple tree.

    Our Eastern Redbud just bloomed. Like just this afternoon. About a month early.

  343. says

    The amazing thing about spring in the Midwest is that Spring fucking springs! One day it’s just dry, seemingly dessicated trees, and the next day busts are springing out all over!
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Hi Patricia ***waves enthusiastically***
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Ogvorbis, I smoked a hock once. For some reason Holly hasn’t talked to me since.

  344. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    I’m still not caught up and I probably won’t be today :( So far, I’m back at the beginning of Free Will, which I rather assume goes on for a while…
    FossilFishy, your post was beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    *hugs to Janine* I’m sorry to hear what happened to your friend.
    *hugs to Patricia* I SEE YOU! *glitterspin*
    *hugs to Carlie* I hope that by the time I’m caught up you and spouse will know what’s wrong :( That sounds terrifying.

    My day:
    1.) I have to go to a party! 2.) I have to pack to go to Utah! 3.) I’m watching Star Trek: The Original Series right now, which prompted the real reason for this post:

    WTF NAZIS.

    That is all.

  345. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    Ogvorbis, I smoked a hock once. For some reason Holly hasn’t talked to me since.

    I think that was Holly Hobby, not hollyhock, that you smoked.

    And I used a Ham hock.

  346. Rey Fox says

    I see that Dick Cheney is continuing to be allowed to live through the world he helped create.

  347. cicely ("Intriguingly Odd") says

    There could have been poop samples that you simply weren’t privy too.

    Bigfoots got privies!

    Free will discussions make my brain hurt.

    Mine, too; and entirely against my will.
    ;)

    Hello, people at the Rally.
    -

  348. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    Have fun at the rally.

    The weather is here. I wish I were there.

  349. says

    cicely, I was so totally going to go for the ‘privy’ joke, but with dial-up I thought someone would get there soonest, with the mostest.
    +++++++++++++
    Sometimes I listen to music and it inspires me, sometimes it discourages me. I have a guitar that is too good for me. The Folk Sampler reminds me of why I play and why I don’t even try to do it in front of other people.

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

    Ah, they got me, the OWS group downtown. I headed for the bus stop with one book, and wound picking out like 6 more from the free library they set up! Good selection, lots of books I never saw, and one from Noam Chomsky that looked interesting. Sadly, someone else took it and I didn’t think to try and snap a picture of the cover so I could search for another copy later. (It looked like an older edition, with an American flag background. Can’t remember the title, but I remember that it was about how US the has always been about imperialism and marching towards an empire even at the cost of the general public. Ring any bells?)
    ——————————————————

    Got Blood The Last Vampire. Not bad, I think I slightly prefer this version of Saya. Not that the Blood+ Saya isn’t cool -I like her for being sweet and smart as well as being deadly – but original Saya tops her in terms of being a kickass death-dealer.

  351. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    consciousness razor,

    This is just a nitpick (or perhaps I’m wrong), but if the universe is infinite, [...] entropy fluctuations will do the rest.

    Agreed, but isn’t there pretty good reason to think the universe has only been expanding at finite speeds for about 13.7 billion years?

    The MW interpretation raises the issue of (apparently possible) different outcomes for the exact same state at the same location; but unless I’m mistaken, the concern here should be whether the outcomes could be different for very similar states (which are macroscopically indistinguishable from one another) at the same location.

    I’m not sure what the significance of very similar states would be. Starting with the same state, if a change of mind can be initiated by a quantum effect such that multiple histories arise, then the resulting individuals will have different states of mind, but none of them will be the cause of their own change. They didn’t will it; they didn’t choose it; KG-α was never free to have ended up as KG-β, and the earlier KG was never free to decide to end up as one rather than the other (indeed he has no choice but to end up as both); the divergence of KG-α and KG-β was caused by a random event beyond anyone’s control.

    So histories can diverge, and every resulting individual KG might have the sensation of having pursued their preferences without being thwarted, but none of them were ever free to do otherwise — this is what I find significant about starting from the same state.

    honestly I’m not sure what I would say about their identities given the MW interpretation.

    Say there’s a CR-β who used a plain smiley at the end of #443 instead of a winky smiley. Are you him? If I ask you “did you use a plain smiley” you will say “no I did not.” He is not the person to whom your life narrative now refers.

    +++++
    KG,

    Is it your view that people are not morally responsible for their conduct? This appears to be Walton’s view, but I’m not clear whether it’s yours.

    I don’t think about it as much as Walton does. What I’m sure of is that people cannot deserve one thing over another because of their actions; that’s as bad as saying the kids with blue eyes deserve five more minutes of recess.

    I have these other notions I’ve occasionally tried to advance, about desert and responsibility attaching to everyone equally. One of them is that we should take responsibility, consider ourselves morally obliged to try to achieve a better future, just because if we don’t try, who will? and if not now, when? et cetera.

    So I think there is a coherent kind of moral responsibility, concerning what should be preferred and what should be attempted, but it seems to be unidirectional, starting in the present and proceeding toward the future.

    If this is your view, I have to wonder at the moral indignation with individuals evident in many of your comments at this blog.

    Well, even if I didn’t have any notions at all about moral responsibility, I would still be able to recognize that some outcomes are better than others, and people can be motivated in moral terms. It’s better to get to a better world, and moral chatter is apparently the way we do it; all indications are that it would be bad to refrain from trying to improve the world via the only known method.

    for at least one choice you’ve made, you could have chosen differently than you did.

    What is the force of “could” here? Unless you can say without using the term “free will” or any cognate term, you haven’t really moved us further forward. It can quite readily be interpreted as meaning that there was no external constraint on my choosing differently.

    Go ahead and take it to mean no external constraints: it still was not possible for you to have chosen differently. You already grant that to be free to choose otherwise, your motives must be different. But to say “I could have chosen differently if my motives were different” is to contemplate an alternate KG who does not and can not reside in our timeline. You can’t get there from here.

    Clark’s argument would apply to you just as well as to a god who has never had any external constraints and never will; that god still couldn’t choose differently than xe does, because xe cannot have any motivation to choose differently.

    +++++
    Ms. Daisy Cutter,

    I know it’s a reference to SGBM’s current incarnation but I keep misreading it as “Lilac Bawls.”

    Bitter and highly caffeinated!

  352. Patricia, OM says

    Hi Sailor & Cipher!!!

    Roman bean soup sounds wonderful, is it?

    I think I inhaled some Bigfoot powder last night, woke up this morning with a damned sore throat. I so do not want to be sick! Monday is mammogram day, just the thought of sneezing or coughing during that makes me cringe.

  353. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Hello everyone!
    I’m watching The Big Lebowski on teevee. Sadly, it’s not the version with the infamous “this is what happens when you find a stranger in the alps” edit. :(

    In other news, I made oatmeal-chocolate chip waffle cookies today! Om nom nom!

  354. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    SGBMs latest incarnation? I sure missed a lot…*snort*

    Hi Patricia! :) The ॐ is me.

  355. consciousness razor says

    Agreed, but isn’t there pretty good reason to think the universe has only been expanding at finite speeds for about 13.7 billion years?

    What we know is that it’s been about that long since the big bang. It hasn’t been ruled out that there weren’t any states prior to that time (depends on which physicist you ask). We could also be in a multiverse. So I am claiming it’s possible the past could go on infinitely (or for any amount of time longer than 13.7b). In the multiverse case, the big bang in this universe’s past isn’t necessarily a boundary condition for any other — most likely it’s completely irrelevant.

    Or maybe we were lucky to be the first ones just like this. I have no idea. I’ll stick with my day job and be a fucking musician. :)

    Say there’s a CR-β who used a plain smiley at the end of #443 instead of a winky smiley. Are you him? If I ask you “did you use a plain smiley” you will say “no I did not.” He is not the person to whom your life narrative now refers.

    Well I do object to the idea that there is a CR-β…. But never mind all of that.

    We should only be concerned about all of the approximate states some individual may be in (as long as they all look the same to us with whatever degree of precision we can have), because the relevance of any quantum mechanical phenomenon is questionable at best and because we cannot know the exact state anyway. That’s not to give free will any more wiggle room. There’s just no reason to believe that level of specificity would make any difference on the scale of macroscopic events like which action a person takes.

  356. cm's changeable moniker says

    Alethea: “Kircudbright”. Do remember to pronounce it as Cur-cood-bree. (There should also be a “k” in there to make “Kirk”, for “church”. No, I have no Scottish in me whatsoever. No grandparents called MacLeod. Oh no.)

    I keep misreading it as “Lilac Bawls.”

    Mrs M asked me to point out that (at least in the UK), when talking about a pitbull, its “lipstick” is the thing poking out when it gets excited. Not sure if this is the angle you’re going for.

  357. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Mrs M asked me to point out that (at least in the UK), when talking about a pitbull, its “lipstick” is the thing poking out when it gets excited. Not sure if this is the angle you’re going for.

    Aaaaahahahahahahah! Nah, it’s just a Sarah Palin joke.

  358. Patricia, OM says

    Uggggh! I could have went the rest of my days without reading you Brits opinion on pitbull “lipstick”. Dammit, I still use the stuff on occasion.

  359. Patricia, OM says

    cm – well it could be worse I suppose.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Those lucky selfish bastards at the Rally are all off line enjoying the baby BBQ and orgy. You’d think somebody could come up for air long enough to send us a picture.

  360. says

    I found some good henna still in the freezer from years ago when I was a flaming redhead. And talked Mr Kristinc into letting me slop it all over his head as a conditioning treatment. (He’s the longhair around here now, and also darkhaired, so it won’t show up very much. But it will be terribly shiny and purty.)

  361. Patricia, OM says

    It’s late, and not one damned one of you has posted a picture or sound bite from the skreit atheist feast/orgy.

    I’m going to bed, and I’m in a SNIT.

    So there. *snort*

  362. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    cm the d is almost silent as well.

    Actually holidayed there as a child.

  363. KG says

    lilapbwls,

    What I’m sure of is that people cannot deserve one thing over another because of their actions; that’s as bad as saying the kids with blue eyes deserve five more minutes of recess.

    Well except that kids with non-blue eyes can’t change their eye-colour, whereas people can, in general, change their patterns of behaviour.

    I have these other notions I’ve occasionally tried to advance, about desert and responsibility attaching to everyone equally. One of them is that we should take responsibility, consider ourselves morally obliged to try to achieve a better future, just because if we don’t try, who will? and if not now, when? et cetera.

    So I think there is a coherent kind of moral responsibility, concerning what should be preferred and what should be attempted, but it seems to be unidirectional, starting in the present and proceeding toward the future.

    This is incoherent. What can be meant by saying we “should” do something or are “morally obliged” to do so, if we have no moral responsibility for things we have done? It’s arrant nonsense.

    You already grant that to be free to choose otherwise, your motives must be different.

    No I don’t. I say that you are free to choose otherwise if you are not under external constraint, nor suffering from diminished capacity to make considered decisions.

    But to say “I could have chosen differently if my motives were different” is to contemplate an alternate KG who does not and can not reside in our timeline. You can’t get there from here.

    No, it really isn’t, because in practice, such a declaration would usually be made in the context of contemplating changing my motives, so I would be contemplating a future KG who would make different decisions due to having different motivations. I can and do decide to change my motives, and sometimes even succeed.

  364. says

    HI there
    pretty threadrupt
    Will catch up later (hopefully)

    My weekend:

    Sometimes you need other people to remind you how perfectly well-behaved your kids are.
    We went to town yesterday and had lunch at the Chinese restaurant.
    While our meal wasn’t as quiet as they used to be, and it needed a bit of persuasion to make #1 eat more than beetroot and crabchips, no major thing happened.
    Then the parents of little Ghengis Khan showed up.

    Little Ghengis, please (heavy focus on please) stop burning down villages.
    Please, Ghengis, I told you to stop, don’t burn down another village.
    Ghengis, you burned down another one. Please stop it or I will have to take away your torch.
    Now look at that pile of ashes, you did it again. I told you to please not do it. I really might have to take that torch away from you if you don’t stop…
    OK, but only one more!

    I am also a bit proud of myself and also quite embarrased.
    I’m starting to notice my unhealthy patterns. That’s good, but, uhm.
    Can you imagine that I argued with Mr. about the utmost importance of dying eggs with the kids easter Saturday? The day when we’ll have to travel 4hours with the caravan, put up the tent and go shopping?
    Although I maintain that we can’t postpone easter bunny to Monday, because they’ll see all the other kids with their stuff, it actually won’t cause permanent damage if they just get to put some stickers onto store-bought eggs. It doesn’t make me a bad mum who fails her children.

    I can imagine that it must have been frustrating as hell having those discussions with me.
    It was frustrating for me as well, I mean why couldn’t he just do it? I made those sacrifices all the time, this was really important!, when all he did was to healthily assert his own needs.

    Well, I’m gettin g started now.

  365. says

    OK, and on catching up:
    carlie
    Shit that sucks.
    I hope you can soon find out what’s causing those attacks
    *hugs*

    ++++
    re: alcohol
    Did you know that if you get a methanol poisoning, the medics will keep you drunk because that keeps the methanol from damaging your liver?

  366. consciousness razor says

    Sophisticated theology scoring an own-goal on the NYTimes philosophy blog … this part is superstitious groveling at its worst:

    Of course, an all-good God would do everything possible to minimize the evil we suffer, but for all we know that minimum might have to include our annihilation or eternal suffering. We might hope that any evil we endure will at least be offset by an equal or greater amount of good for us, but there can be no guarantee. As defenders of theism often point out, the freedom of moral agents may be an immense good, worth God’s tolerating horrendous wrongdoing. Perhaps God in his omniscience knows that the good of allowing some higher type of beings to destroy our eternal happiness outweighs the good of that happiness. Perhaps, for example, their destroying our happiness is an unavoidable step in the moral drama leading to their salvation and eternal happiness.

    Okay, he turns the tables on this near the end, but I’m just stunned that he never gets around to explaining why he never should’ve granted it in the first place. Maybe I should drink more. Does he really think we’re so ignorant that we don’t know eternal suffering isn’t necessary? Why the fuck would anyone need omniscience to know that? And why did the happiness of these hypothetical higher beings ever enter the fucking picture again? Because this looks like a fucking incoherent mess to me.

  367. says

    Heh, thanks for the pronunciation tips. I have not been to Kirkcudbright but I have been to parts of Scotland a bit to the north. But I’ve finished that one now, and I’m off south and east, in the Fens with the bellringers. Cheers!

  368. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    ‘Politely Refuse Resurrection of the Capitalist Zombie Thread!’

  369. FossilFishy says

    Janine, Ms. Daisy Cutter, pteryxy, Gilliell, Cassandra and any others that I’ve missed: Thanks for your stories and kind words, they’re much appreciated.

    Because I feel a bit like the king of downer TMI I’ll add this little family drama:

    The Players
    Me
    -A 46 year old with thinning hair who if he’d know just how much time he’d have to spend sitting on the floor would have had children much sooner
    Em-My 4 year old daughter who is of course the smartest, most beautiful child ever.

    Me: [glances down at Em's feet] Em! How on earth did your feet get so big?
    Em: I’m getting bigger Daddy. Bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger…[repeated until she ran out of breath]
    Me: Too true my love. [starts to worry about the cost of shoes] How big are you going to get?
    Em: As big as you Daddy…..but with hair!
    Me: ……..

    If every child is like this it’s a wonder that there are 7 billion of us. :)

  370. says

    Shaking a little bit.

    A friend who lives a thousand miles away put up a LiveJournal post just after midnight my time, locked and with commenting disabled, announcing plans to consume enough “liquid courage” and pills to drive out into the middle of nowhere with a shotgun.

    One of our mutual friends suggested calling the police in this person’s town. The officer answering the phones said that my friend is “in good hands” and “getting the care they need.” I nearly burst into tears of relief.

    I don’t know if this friend will attempt again… they have expressed suicidal feelings off and on for years, and there are various other aggravating factors that I don’t wish to get into here. I am both profoundly relieved and greatly alarmed.

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

    The “40-days-for-lifejeebus” gang have apparently been photographing people entering and leaving the pro-choice BPAS clinic in Bedford Square, London.
    .
    There is a counter-demo next Friday; I hope to be there.

    Pro-Choice Protest
    Public Event · By Bloomsbury Pro-Choice Alliance

    Friday, March 30, 2012
    7:00pm until 8:30pm

    Bedford Square, WC1E

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

    …. London, UK, that is :).

    My eurocentrism is showing.

    Though the British Pregnancy Advisory Service might have been a bit of a giveaway.

  373. FossilFishy says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter. Given what you wrote at #200 of this thread I can only imagine how distressing that must have been for you. Please accept the return, with interest, of the hugs you offered me should you desire them.

  374. says

    Happy Sunday, All! I’ll be doing what all good people do on Sundays – worshipping the sun, of course! (I’ll actually be potting plants in the garden :) Love that Sun! )

    Ms. Daisy, that must have been a sickly anxious night. I am glad it came out all right, but I hear you on the lingering alarm. Hope you have a much more peaceful day today.

    Giliell, I remember those days. I hope your caravan vacation is restful, fun and surprising in all the best ways. Sometimes getting ready for a trip can be a real challenge.

    Ogvorbis, Shameful AND Impudent – your posts make me chuckle. Happy Monday to you, too! ;-D

    I’m new to these endless threads and very inept. But I’ve been reading for ages. Just wanted to say that you all make a lurker smile, think and often laugh out loud on a regular basis!