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Mar 26 2012

Episode CCCXII: WRONG!

I’m home. I’m worn out. I’m feeling a creepy cruddiness, probably a vestige of spending a long day standing in the rain. I think I need to get some rest.

Meanwhile, here’s AronRa’s clone.

Episode CCCXI: Not an invocation.

729 comments

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  1. 1
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Portcullised!

    BTW, y’all can feel free to ignore me @672 [previous]: It’s not a coherent argument, nor do I really want to get into a long conversation about this. Consider it me scratching my head “out loud” (and, I fear, at far too great length), and just pass it by.

  2. 2
    Dhorvath, OM

    Bill D,
    Much of what I write is head scratching, sometimes I am surprised by the aid I find from others in the action though.

  3. 3
    chigau (違う)

    Boy. I called that one.
    repost
    I think we’re approaching porcullis but I’ll leave this here, anyway.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/03/26/bc-albinism-menu-complaint.html
    A albino woman with albinism is offended by the name of a beer at Earls Restaurants.
    If Earls uses Urban Dicionary they may have other reasons to rethink the name Albino Rhino.

  4. 4
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Reposted from previous episode:

    The property management company which acted as our landlords has been bought out by a new property management company. Since the changeover, the new company has taken such radical steps as calling us back when we report something broken, and today a guy came over, worked till the jobs in question were done, didn’t use inappropriate parts or materials, didn’t take off with a half ass job done, and the result is that every single ceiling light in our house works for the first time in two years and we no longer have a hole in the porch! PARTY TIME.

  5. 5
    chigau (違う)

    oh and the usual warning about reading the comments

  6. 6
    chigau (違う)

    kristinc
    Was the ex-hole in the porch a result of your last party?

  7. 7
    Walton

    Hey, everyone. I had a good time at the Reason Rally. Apologies to those of you at whom I rambled incoherently at dinner; by that stage I was somewhat delirious with sleep deprivation (a ten-hour overnight bus journey on Friday night did not prove to be a good idea).

    I have two requests to make of Canadian Pharyngulites. Firstly, the Canadian Parliament is considering Bill C-31, the Refugee Exclusion Act, which would, among other things, force mandatory detention for many refugees (along the lines of the disastrous policy already adopted in Australia), give the Immigration Minister wide arbitrary powers, and deny refugees a right to a fair hearing. If you’re Canadian and/or in Canada (which I’m not), please, please, please, if you can, email or call your MP and speak out against C-31. This is important. Please.

    (I’m frustrated that these anti-immigrant bills are cropping up everywhere. I’ve posted a lot lately about the campaign against SB 2061 here in Massachusetts.)

    Also, for anyone here who hasn’t seen it yet, you should really sign the petition for C-279, the transgender equal rights bill in Canada. More information can be found at Natalie Reed’s blog (I won’t link, so as to avoid going into moderation).

  8. 8
    strange gods before me ॐ

    BTW, y’all can feel free to ignore me

    I lack the motivation to do so ;)

    But, later.

  9. 9
    faehnrich

    I totally read that as “creepy cuddliness.”

  10. 10
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    Get some rest P.Z.!

  11. 11
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Funny Walton’s post (@7) should end with a mention of transgender rights: I was just planning to post about Mel Wymore, a candidate vying to become the first-ever transgender member of the NYC City Council. My friend Jordan Jacobs, whom I bumped into Friday night at a political dinner, is Mel’s campaign manager, and he tells me that even though the general election isn’t ’til 2013, the campaign is getting national media attention. I gather a 20/20 profile is in the works.

    And as for trans equality issues in Canada, this story caught my eye today. I’m a bit conflicted, being pro-equality but generally anti-beauty-pageant: She ought to be allowed to compete, of course… but maybe she (or anyone) ought not want to? Anyway, on close reading, it seems unfair to blame the Canadian organizers: They claim to consider her “to be a ‘real girl’” (big of them, eh?); it’s the Miss Universe pageant rules (i.e., the top-level pageant, AFAICT) that requires contestants be “naturally born female.”

    Wait, who owns Miss Universe, again? Gah!

  12. 12
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Dhorvath (@2) and lilapwl (@8):

    I didn’t mean to be asking folks not to respond (far be it from me to decide who talks, eh?); only to be saying no-one need feel obligated to do so. My teal deer really was more an extended expression of befuddlement than a coherent argument I’m prepared to defend.

    That being the case, be aware that I might well choose (ah, that word!) not to defend it… but I promise I will eagerly read whatever responses it elicits.

  13. 13
    Dhorvath, OM

    Walton,
    Thanks for the headsup, I already knew about C-279 and had entered my name on the petition, but hadn’t heard about the immigration ‘reform’ bill. Grr, busy times, but I should be able to keep up with my federal government.

  14. 14
    Nutmeg

    I went to see the Hunger Games movie tonight, and enjoyed it.

    (Spoilers) I second the comments upthread about camera motion – it took me about half of the movie to get used to it. The movie was very true to the book, but some aspects of the characters’ thoughts and motivations didn’t come through as clearly as I’d hoped.

    Overall it’s a good movie to see, and a refreshing change from most of the dross in recent YA literature/movies.

  15. 15
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Reading this made me wonder how Hitchens would have ripped apart the thugs of the Republican party.

    http://www.skepdic.com/skeptimedia/skeptimedia144.html
    “While reading a piece on the religiosity of Rick Santorum in the Washington Post by Stephanie McCrummen and Jerry Markon it hit me just how much I miss Christopher Hitchens. The gap left by Hitchens in intelligent, witty, skeptical observation of the human condition that is America during Republican primary season remains and is not likely to be filled any time soon. There are plenty of intelligent, witty pundits around, but none with the verbal skills Hitchens had mastered, and none who continually reminds us of the value of skepticism.”

  16. 16
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Someone on my Freethinker’s FB page is making me do this.

    She posted a comment on our page about how she didn’t like the one meeting she attended and won’t be attending in the future (yeah, real appropriate and mature). I tried to ask her what she would like to change about the group, but she refused to give a real answer and chose instead to put down the group and me. And another group member said that she should start her own group if she wanted a group to be a certain way (he wasn’t being a jerk, he was honestly just suggesting a solution).
    And then she said: “meh. i think i’ll pass on that challenge.”
    Why?… “because i have no desire to lead a group, or be in one.”
    WTF?! What was the point of any of this then???

  17. 17
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Chigau — no, it was a result of the porch being 90 years old and not repainted in at least 15 years.

  18. 18
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    addendum to my @17 — I can only stand in awe of people who have that level of party. My parties are mostly gathering, occasionally shindig, but never hootenanny.

  19. 19
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Jesus Christ but those Harvard humanist guys are masturbatory idiots. That’s all.

  20. 20
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Next, someone will complain about Belgian Blonde beers.

    Canada is considering a law protecting the trans-gendered from discrimination next month. Naturally, there’s a petition.

    P.S. I got out and tried to take a picture of the moon, Venus, and Saturn together in the sky, with my little digital snap-shooter.

  21. 21
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    I see Walton beat me too it on the transgender bill. *waves*

    Thanks for the heads-up on the other bill. God, I hate this government.

  22. 22
    Gyeong Hwa

    Josh,

    Jesus Christ but those Harvard humanist guys are masturbatory idiots. That’s all.

    Does that mean they are incapable of masturbating correctly? ;)

  23. 23
    michaelhopwood

    Hi to the endlessness — may I introduce myself and profess myself threadrupt at the same time?

    I’ve been lurking here for a couple years…. yes (checking) yes. And I’m growing tired of looking in through a window at what feels like home. So…

    Hi…

    My name is Mike.

    I’m an atheist. Can’t say I always have been. I went to Vacation Bible School as a kid. Went to some summer fellowship crap at a local church. Even professed myself born again at one of the events. But it never stuck. So here I am, watching a creative, sometimes cranky, always cr… cr…. critical? crucial? crawling with… peas… horses… where was I?

    Hi.

    SGBM, I’ve been really moved by the discussion of free will in the last thread, and particularly by your point that it is a real issue in current legal theory. (that’s where I am tonight. threadrupt back there and wanting to add something.)

    If I could say one thing about what your discussion of free will means to me: free will is the ultimate privilege. It means “I am a good person because I choose to be a good person.” Which is the ultimate lie privilege always uses.

    And after all of the discussions here about immigration and rape and the prison-industrial system, about victims with no choice in the matter, how can we say free will isn’t part of the equation? That victimizing always includes a generous dollop of blame for poor choices, that privilege prefers to talk about free will and block discussion of social responsibility?

    We don’t have free will. If we did, we’d do something fun and profitable, like start a megachurch.

    What we have is who we are, who we have been shaped as. And a desire to make the world in our image. And no real ability to choose otherwise.

  24. 24
    chigau (違う)

    God, I hate this government.

    Afuckingmen.

  25. 25
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Heya Mike, welcome.

    I went to vacation Bible school too. Like you, I lived. :)

  26. 26
    broken.cynic

    Why – Andrew Bird, live at the Guthrie

  27. 27
    chigau (違う)

    *Waves* to Gyeong Hwa.
    How’s things?

  28. 28
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Hello, Mike. Welcome to being a commenter and not just a lurker!

  29. 29
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    Welcome, Mike!

  30. 30
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    @Josh

    Uh oh, what did those pesky Harvard devils get up to now? I’m not very well acquainted with them, but I did see some guy named James Croft being insufferably wind-baggy on a post at Greta Christina’s blog.

  31. 31
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    Hi StarStuff, I know you were at Reason Rally, but I don’t think I was directly introduced to you. (So many people and things going on–and I can be terrible with putting names to faces.)

    I hope you feel better soon and that your workload abates as quickly as possible.

  32. 32
    chigau (違う)

    Welcome in Mike.

  33. 33
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Gyeong Hwa:

    Has it been a while since you’ve been ’round, or have I just not been reading the right threads? Anyway…

    Does that mean [these Harvard humanist guys] are incapable of masturbating correctly? ;)

    Probably that, too! ;^)

  34. 34
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    jfigdor, the well-known Harvard twit has just flounced from the Stedman thread. I suspect he won’t stick it.

  35. 35
    Walton

    Thanks for the headsup, I already knew about C-279 and had entered my name on the petition, but hadn’t heard about the immigration ‘reform’ bill. Grr, busy times, but I should be able to keep up with my federal government.

    I just find it sad that the current Canadian government is apparently intent on emulating the extreme anti-immigrant policies that have already been pursued in Australia, the US and Britain. Most countries already detain refugees and other arriving migrants (including children) for long periods of time, leading to appalling human rights abuses, and compounding the suffering of those who have already suffered persecution: this has happened in Australia, in Britain and around the world. It seems like nowhere is willing to provide a welcoming home for refugees.

    I feel frustrated and upset today. There’s so much wrong out there, and I feel so powerless to affect any of it.

    ===

    If I could say one thing about what your discussion of free will means to me: free will is the ultimate privilege. It means “I am a good person because I choose to be a good person.” Which is the ultimate lie privilege always uses.

    And after all of the discussions here about immigration and rape and the prison-industrial system, about victims with no choice in the matter, how can we say free will isn’t part of the equation? That victimizing always includes a generous dollop of blame for poor choices, that privilege prefers to talk about free will and block discussion of social responsibility?

    We don’t have free will. If we did, we’d do something fun and profitable, like start a megachurch.

    What we have is who we are, who we have been shaped as. And a desire to make the world in our image. And no real ability to choose otherwise.

    QFT.

  36. 36
    chigau (違う)

    Walton
    just so you know
    we in Canada do not currently have a “Canadian” government, we have a “Harper” government.

  37. 37
    A. R

    Firstly: Welcome Mike!

    Secondly: I’ve been rather depressed lately. Not sure why, though it may be the workload I’ve had recently. Thankfully, I’ll have quite a bit less in a few weeks.

  38. 38
    Pteryxx

    Yay short load-able TET! Welcome Mike, hiya Walton and StarStuff and everybody, and congratz kristenc.

    …No I didn’t have a point. I did once have a party that involved throwing an M16 (big firecracker) into a lake though.

  39. 39
    michaelhopwood

    Thanks for the welcomes! (A toast of mulled wine to the endless horde!)

    And Josh, thanks for the e-cig recommendations. I bought the eGo-T on your recommendation, it’s awesome. And when I showed it to another smoker, he switched himself and his wife. His response was that both he and his wife couldn’t stand to smoke tobacco—it made them sick—after smoking the e-cigs for a couple of days. He has small kids, so I was happy.

    Has anyone else here read Philip Bobbitt’s The Shield of Achilles? I’m less than a quarter through. It’s an older book about state theory, and it’s challenging material without having read any of his sources. Bobbitt is, I believe, the originator of the idea that the major conflicts from WW I to the end of the Cold War constitute one Long War to decide the successful constitutional form of the nation state: Fascist, Democratic, or Communist.

    It makes an awesome accompaniment to Neil Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle, however, as his disquisition on the development of the nation really illuminates Stephenson’s fictional history.

    And does anyone else find that they read faster than they can digest sometimes? I feel like I’m getting less than half of Bobbitt’s points. I can see the logic, but some of his ideas escape my nets. At this point I can see myself rereading Stephenson and this again. and again… and then doing some research….

    Which leaves me not nearly enough time for WoW. My guild, my guild, what have i done….

    (I have a pot of mulled wine here. Anyone else like some? It’s USB 3.0 compatible, I believe.)

  40. 40
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Hello, Michael~ welcome!

  41. 41
    SallyStrange

    Hello! Welcome Michael!

    I already miss the Horde. I’m not sick but that’s because I got to take a longish nap with StrangeNiece today.

    I LOVE Eddie Izzard.

    Starstuff is way cool.

    Random thoughts…

    Okay, bedtime.

  42. 42
    SallyStrange

    Oh yeah–Walton, you can ramble at me anytime, darling!

  43. 43
    SallyStrange

    RAWR.

  44. 44
    consciousness razor

    Bill D:

    But in an utterly deterministic universe, what could the meaning of “taking [something] up as one’s own project” possibly be? What “other imaginable alternatives” could conceivably exist? You could have the illusion of alternatives, but not, if there is never any possibility of anything being different than it was/is/will be, actually “other … alternatives.” For that matter, if all that can be said about the universe — every last damned quark of it, for all times past through future — is “it is what it is,” then what meaning could terms like “good” or “better” possibly have?

    You seem to be confusing conceivability (or logical possibility) with physical possibility. They are not the same thing. We can conceive of many possibilities that can never happen.

    If the script of all time was written to the last and smallest detail in the instants after the Big Bang, how could any of us have any more “agency” than characters in a movie?

    We exist, unlike characters in a movie. Other than that, our actions can “change” others’ actions in the future, in the same sense that any other physical event can “change” what people think or do. When Hurricane Katrina hit, it stirred some people like Brad Pitt to help out the victims. When another hurricane hits, the hurricane itself will “change” how people would ordinarily behave, some of whom may likewise follow Pitt’s example. Both the hurricane and Pitt’s actions are physical events which can influence behaviors in the future.

    Stepping outside a temporal perspective and looking at the totality of existence as an unchanging entity confuses the issue, because we experience the world temporally: our actions depend on what happened in the past and our expectations of the future. Anyway, to say we are “agents” is simply to say that we are sentient beings. We can think, act, be aware of our environment, predict the course of events, etc., which distinguishes us from inanimate matter or other life (which doesn’t have most of those properties). That is a fact, whether or not determinism is true, and it doesn’t entail that we don’t obey physical laws.

    We’re certainly inclined to believe in free will, that our thoughts and actions are not caused, which isn’t so surprising: if we were aware of everything causing a thought, we would immediately be overwhelmed with (mostly useless) information. But that doesn’t mean we ought to depend on such an illusion to do any conceptual work. In fact, speaking for myself, I don’t just find it hard to believe we have free will: it makes conceptualizing the world impossible. There is no way I could begin to wrap my head around the idea that my actions aren’t caused, so it doesn’t make thinking or interacting with people any more difficult.

  45. 45
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    michaelhopwood:

    And Josh, thanks for the e-cig recommendations. I bought the eGo-T on your recommendation, it’s awesome. And when I showed it to another smoker, he switched himself and his wife. His response was that both he and his wife couldn’t stand to smoke tobacco—it made them sick—after smoking the e-cigs for a couple of days. He has small kids, so I was happy.

    Thank you. That makes me insanely happy to hear. I don’t want anyone to quit smoking if they don’t want to, and I’ll never lecture anyone. But I do get a charge out of seeing smokers who want to quit pick up the e-cig and realize that putting down tobacco doesn’t have to be misery. Yay for you!

  46. 46
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    For followers of Josh’s Affectation of Living With Outdated Technology:

    1. Project Light Chez SpokesGay with Kerosene is a resounding success. The antique lamps look gorgeous in my old farmhouse-y(but tiny) abode. And they keep the living room warm. Been lighting with them for a solid two weeks.

    2. Francine, the BBB (Big Beautiful Plymouth Belvedere, 1966): I brought her out of winter hibernation a few days ago. When I put her into a seasonal coma she was getting shit mileage. Like 12 miles to the gallon. Now, she’s a big ol’ girl, but the slant 6 engine ought to get closer to 20 mpg.

    I figured I had her carburetor tuned wrong. She’d been running rich, and also I need a choke pull-off cuz I have to open the hood and push the thing open after a cold start (lots of boring car stuff excised). There’s a real trick to getting the idle mixture ratio right with the screws on the carb, so I thought I’d just fucked it up.

    Well, I stopped at the auto parts store today to order the choke part and lifted the hood to get the code on the carb. Smelled lots of gasoline. Figured “oh shit, it’s running really rich.” Then I noticed gasoline dripping out of the fuel filter onto the motor mount.

    Huh.

    Come to discover the hosing I used when I converted the fuel-line from copper tubing to fuel-injection hosing had cracked and was leaking. just a little 3-inch segment. Also the clamp had fallen off one end so it was pouring out fuel. So all this time I’ve been dumping gasoline onto the road.

    Went home, cut three inches of new tubing, found a clamp, and replaced the segment. Nice and tight, no leaks. Took a drive out to the country, picked up some shit, then refueled.

    Girl’s getting 20 miles to the gallon again.

    This is why I love mechanical shit.

  47. 47
    michaelhopwood

    And Walton: BLUSH. Thank you for the QFT on my Very First Post. You have made losing my virginity to the Horde a Memory to Treasure™.

    A. R: How depressed is depressed? I get depressed, but there are many ways of being so.

  48. 48
    Nutmeg

    Hi Mike, welcome to TET! Have some of my suitable-for-all-occasions *brownies*! And congrats on switching to e-cigs.

    ***

    A.R., I hope you’re feeling better soon. Please remember to take care of yourself – eat healthy, exercise, sleep, and get some sunlight – and see a doctor if things don’t improve. Here are some *brownies* for you too.

    ***

    I am, of course, insanely jealous of everyone who was at the Reason Rally. I hope that I can get to an atheist/skeptic conference someday. Meeting Horde members in person sounds awesome.

    ***

    I’ve been having trouble finding enjoyable books for the past few months, and as a result I haven’t been reading anywhere near as much as usual. I’ve been mildly bummed out about this. I haven’t had a chance to look into book recommendations from a few Threads ago, but I picked up a new book earlier this evening. It’s called Quiet, by Susan Cain. I’m 75 pages in, and so far I’m enjoying it more than anything I’ve read since The Emperor of All Maladies (last September). It’s about being an introvert in a society that values extroversion, and I can relate to so much of it. Yay for reading again!

  49. 49
    Inaji

    Hallo Mike, welcome in.

  50. 50
    Inaji

    Oh books, lovely, lovely bookses. I have two I’m looking forward to reading, Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith and Damp Squid by Jeremy Butterfield. First, I have to finish On the Shoulders of Giants by Hawking.

  51. 51
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    I couldn’t think of anywhere else to post this, but I’ve started seeing this argument from theists more and more. I don’t know if it’s new or just new to me, but I’m not sure how to respond to it other than that it sounds stupid.

    The argument goes something like “two dimensional beings can only perceive three dimensional beings in two dimensional terms so they can’t understand them, so since we’re three dimensional beings and God has more dimensions we can’t perceive all of God/any of God therefore faith therefore Jesus”.

  52. 52
    SallyStrange

    I just want to spread the word: one of my favorite DJ groups, A Tribe Called Red, has finally released their first album. It’s entirely free and you can download it at this link: http://www.electricpowwow.com/

    They’re First Nation DJs who live in the Ottawa area so if you’re in Canada, keep an eye out and you may be able to see them live. The music is a mashup-electronica style jam of hip hop, electronica, reggae, and Native American beats and music. It’s really good for dancing and working out. Plus, they make some awesome music videos, just look them up on Youtube.

    Josh! How are you?? I miss you, man. I miss Vermont.

  53. 53
    Nutmeg

    RahXephon: I remember that one from 8-ish years ago, when I still believed, so it can’t be particularly new. I don’t have a really good counterargument, because their analogy hardly seems worth the bother – am I expected to believe in 15-dimensional invisible unicorns? Is that like 12-stranded DNA?

  54. 54
    chigau (違う)

    RahXephon
    looky
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatland

  55. 55
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Mike

    Aaarh! Welcome aboard.

    The Shield of Achilles

    No, but we do have myrmidons on TZT.
    (Linky to TZT – a more refined version of TET, for the blogging cognoscenti)

    [ /blog threadwhoring ]

    @ Josh

    This is why I love mechanical shit.

    Amen (and more pix of BBB would be good)

    Phoenicia: Small issue in that theaphontes is complaining about “smells” emanating from the fridge. Is there any solution? (I thought maybe I could freeze her in an ice-cube tray and thaw out a block a day before baking. … any thoughts welcome.

  56. 56
    echidna

    I have a pot of mulled wine here. Anyone else like some? It’s USB 3.0 compatible, I believe

    Welcome Mike! It’s a pleasure to read your posts.

  57. 57
    chigau (違う)

    RahXephon
    or this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Planiverse
    It’s nice that “your” fundies are recycling.

  58. 58
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Hi Mike! Welcome aboard.

    Books: as mentioned, I’ve been having a Dorothy Sayers binge. There’s some fascinating period detail, some of it quite disturbing in re sex & race. (N-word caution!) I’m thinking of moving on soon.

    @Josh, I find it helps with the *rage* if you can just picture jfigdor as a participant in the Monty Python upper class twit of the year sketch. (youtube versions very easily found)

  59. 59
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    @chigau

    It’s nice that “your” fundies are recycling.

    I think you mean regurgitating. I know I wanted to vomit.

  60. 60
    Inaji

    Alethea:

    if you can just picture jfigdor as a participant in the Monty Python upper class twit of the year sketch.

    That does help. Thank you.

  61. 61
    echidna

    RahXephon,
    the argument seems to be simply sciency/mathsy smokescreen to explain the lack of evidence for any deity.

    There is no reason to formulate a counter-argument, because this version of a “god of the gaps” argument boils down to: there is something tricksy with multi-dimensions, therefore God and Jesus. It’s not even worth calling an argument.

  62. 62
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    @Sally-

    I miss you too babe. Wish you still lived in VT.

    @Alethea-

    Ah, sweet soothingness.

    @Theophontes-

    Moar pix Francine soon, promise.

    On Phoenicia—just cover her a little more tightly. Tell Theaphontes that best flavor develops from more…aromatic starter. It’s true.

  63. 63
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Once more, I cannot pretend that I am at all surprised by this. But it still fucking pisses me off.

    I am sure that most of you have noticed that anti-LGBT marriage groups love to tout black leaders who are also against marriage for all, making the argument that the civil rights fight for blacks is not to be tainted by giving special rights to perverts.

    Guess what? It is part of NOM’s plan to try to pit black people and LGBT people against each other.

    The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots…

    I hate these people so much!

    Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate!

  64. 64
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    @RahXephon: A countering argument to dimensionality isn’t necessary. According to their book, everything we need to know about the deity is contained within. The book is obviously flawed, from the opening kickoff (Hello, I’m God, and all powerful…I can’t find Adam and Eve in my own garden!) down to the acid-induced overtime known as Revelations. Obviously the book makes no mention of this multi-demented dimensional explanation for non-contact, but it’s bullshit anyway. Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses and others were all able to talk directly or over the phone-in burning bush show. There wasn’t suddenly another dimension added to the universe to magically hide deities, otherwise the laws of physics would have shuffled noticeably.

    If they insist on suggesting that their deity is the source for the book’s content, hand waving and pseudo-scientific excuses for absence or not being able to make contact are just last gasp excuses for an already stupid proposition. Plus it’s very telling that they aren’t remotely aware of, or in a thinking position regarding, their holy book since there is plenty of precedent for God sitting down and having a coffee with some of the logic-deprived fictional narrative’s main cast.

  65. 65
    chigau (違う)

    “blacks” and “gays” don’t overlap?

  66. 66
    Inaji

    The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks

    Jesus “Quantumn Tomatoes” Christ. The first thing that ran through my mind was Manson and his dream of provoking a race war. These folks aren’t any better. Also, what, they think all GLBT peoples are white?

  67. 67
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Janine: as long as every black civil rights advocate and black church leader is made aware of the subterfuge. It could put them in a position to seriously consider whether they are genuinely for everyone’s rights or standing up with homophobes who are also racist. Knowing they are being played like pieces in a game by people who genuinely hate them may backfire, with the pieces allying and defeating the players.

  68. 68
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    And as Chigau points out, there’s people in the middle of the Venn diagram who have reason to be doubly pissed.

  69. 69
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Yeah. In all of my life, I have never met neither a blackgay man nor a black lesbian.

    *eyeroll*

    Must try to get the different minority groups to fight each other.

    They are also trying to turn the growing Latino population to their way of thinking.

    “We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity – a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation.

    The next person who suggests that we are to be reasonable with these people will get nothing but boiling scorn from me.

  70. 70
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ RahXephon

    The argument goes something like “two dimensional beings can only perceive three dimensional beings in two dimensional terms so they can’t understand them, so since we’re three dimensional beings and God has more dimensions we can’t perceive all of God/any of God therefore faith therefore Jesus”.

    I wouldn’t worry about that. It is a sloppy argument from someone rather naive.

    We regularly deal with large multi-dimensional problems. “Spatial” dimensions are just a model that we conveniently use to describe spatial relationships in meatspace. But the dimensions do not have to be spatial at all. In marketing and psychology, one could define multidimensional “spaces” … n-dimensional spaces. (a dimension could be “religiosity”, another “aggressiveness”, “disposable income”, … whatever you can measure, you can put along an axis.)

    Sounds like these guys are being vacuous literalists again. We do not have to be able to “see” the model before us to understand and work with it. The whole point of science is to lift us above and beyond our human limitations. Looks like the goddists didn’t get that memo.

  71. 71
    michaelhopwood

    Alethea: Seconding the “period” detail problems. I read Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat as a child and, apart from the single reference to someone being dressed like a Margate nigger, found it funny as shit. I’m white, I didn’t know anyone who was black. Then I looked at the rest of his work….

    And the flip side is always Ursula K. LeGuin. If atheism has a calendar of saints, she is on it. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas is the canonical story depicting the essence of victimization. And the older I get, the more central the story becomes, and the harder it becomes to live in America Omelas.

  72. 72
  73. 73
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Bill,

    But in an utterly deterministic universe, what could the meaning of “taking [something] up as one’s own project” possibly be?

    Another way of looking at it: you’ll either feel compelled to take it up or you won’t. If you do, then that’s just what it means.

    What “other imaginable alternatives” could conceivably exist?

    That is just a reference to the uncertainty of the future. We don’t yet know what will happen, so we imagine it. Ultimately and with the benefit of hindsight, there won’t have been any physically possible alternatives, but by imagining logically possible alternatives, we partially drive what the future will be.

    Though trivial, a specific example may help to locate objections. So let’s say I’m going to play an iterated prisoner’s dilemma, of unknown rounds, with someone anonymously. Off the top of my head, I’m can’t remember whether to cooperate or defect in round one. I’ll probably go google it and do what the internet tells me to do. But let’s say I know the other player is going to be Walton. I expect he’ll begin by cooperating, so I’ll do the same.

    So what happens in that game is influenced by what I imagine beforehand; my imagining is a proximate cause of my actions. The future does not unfold without my participation; as long as I am alive it unfolds only with my participation, and depending on it. I am not only an observer; I am one of the billiard balls. See how determinists cross the street (third essay on that page).

    You could have the illusion of alternatives, but not, if there is never any possibility of anything being different than it was/is/will be, actually “other … alternatives.”

    Yes, but this has no bearing on your previous two sentences. Alternatives were no less imaginable, and the taking up of a project happens or it doesn’t (depending on motivations, which can be influenced).

    For that matter, if all that can be said about the universe — every last damned quark of it, for all times past through future — is “it is what it is,” then what meaning could terms like “good” or “better” possibly have?

    In standard utilitarianism, which needs no account of free will, the good is happiness. Better means more of it. Than what? Well, more than there was in the past. Always more.

    You’ve offered KG free agency (or just agency) as an alternative to free will (or freewill; I presume there’s some significance to the closed-up spelling, but I’ve never been able to sort it out)…

    Fowler has the single word as an indicator of philosophical jargon generally. When a compatibilist uses it, it means “anything, so long as it is never defined as [...] freedom for any actual individual to have done otherwise.” I am perhaps too ungenerous in regarding it as always indicating compatibilist jargon, though; I’m sure some incompatibilists use the single word in their own way.

    but that concept, to the extent I’m understanding what you mean, is no different from what “free will” has always meant to me: not that our choices are unconstrained or uninfluenced; merely that they’re actually choices. That is, that our actions (or at least those that are conscious and deliberate, as opposed to the less-than-fully-concscious-and-deliberate ones KG is trying to separate out) are volitional.

    Good! (Except for the physical impossibility of choosing otherwise) that’s pretty close to what I mean by it. It’s my contention that “compatibilist free will” — when actions are in accordance with desire — can be summed up by that word “agency” which is less metaphysically contested than “free will”.

    You’ve frequently said (quoted?), in the course of the many threads about this, “You can do what you will, but you cannot will what you will.” But the affirmative first proposition there, that we can do what we will implies things your deterministic worldview seems to deny: Can do implies can not-do;

    (It’s quoted from Schopenhauer.) You may be prevented by circumstance from doing what you otherwise could have, but this is no challenge to anyone’s worldview.

    what you will implies the possibility that you might will something else;

    Not at any particular moment, no. At any moment, your will is only what it is. Alternately, the sentence can be understood by taking the 13.7 billion year view; what you will is ultimately not decided by you, but rather by conditions that existed before you existed. And you don’t have a contra-causal superwill, which itself is not fully determined by conditions before you existed, that can ever intervene upon your will. Your will only changes in ways that are not ultimately willed by you.

    This is approximately equivalent to points 5 through 9 of Galen Strawson’s Basic Argument.

    And yet, your consistent position has been (unless I seriously misunderstand) that one could never have done otherwise than what one has done, can never in the future do otherwise than what one will do… so how does that not contradict the notion that one “can do what [one] wills”?

    I suppose this has been answered already, but the meaning is: one can do [at any moment, if not constrained by circumstance] what one wills [at that moment].

    You talk of “agency” as if it were somehow different from “will,” but I struggle to see how the former is any less contradicted by strict determinism than is the latter. If the script of all time was written to the last and smallest detail in the instants after the Big Bang, how could any of us have any more “agency” than characters in a movie?

    (Not every causal chain goes back to the Big Bang, btw.) I meant to talk of agency as if it were identical to will. “Compatibilist free will” is only will. Is agency too strong a word, though? What I mean by it is that one acts in the world, and has motives for acting. Dogs have it, rocks don’t.

    (Here is another of my complaints about compatibilism. KG likely has the same understanding as I have about physics; he just calls it free will. He should be called to answer for using an even more grandiose term than agency, but the compatibilist gets away with it, unquestioned.)

  74. 74
    csmiller

    Does the term “atheist” scare those around you? Try “heathen” instead.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/25/atheists-please-read-heathen-manifesto

  75. 75
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Way back the first time I was incautious enough to wade into this, somebody (Jadehawk?) said to me, “well, of course there’s no free will, but nobody’s denying the existence of will” (OWTTE)… but I can’t figure out how strict determinism doesn’t do just that, by collapsing the distinction between the two.

    I’ll have to give you the same response as last time; I can’t do better. I feel like perhaps you put too much weight on certain meanings of the W word, and too little on others.

    «Dictionary.com offers some definitions of will that still work. I’ll exclude those which obviously don’t, or which I’m unsure of.

    :“the faculty of conscious and especially of deliberate action; the power of control the mind has over its own actions” [ॐ: in the sense that you are the proximate cause of your actions; it's not someone else's mind that is the proximate cause of your actions]
    :“wish or desire”
    :“purpose or determination, often hearty or stubborn determination”

    You have these sorts of will, without being the ultimate cause of them.»

    It’s impossible for me to think that my order — or even the narrowing of the choice to the mac and a blackened salmon sandwich from among the half dozen other things on that menu that I also like — was foreordained as recently as when I woke up that morning, nevermind somewhere between 13 and 14 billion years ago…

    It’s demonstrably possible for you to think it, because you’re capable of articulating it. Maybe you mean you don’t find yourself feeling it. But there’s no particular reason to expect that everyone can feel it; it’s not a feeling that humans evolved to utilize, and it’s not intuitive.

    and yet, if I’m understanding you correctly, that’s precisely what you assert.

    Mostly. Some randomness, none of which could ever be under your control, has also entered the picture since the Big Bang.

    But then you still use terms like agency and willpower and desires and good/better and should. I haz a confyoooooz!

    Well, with the caveat that I’m yet sure agency is the right word, you don’t spend much time entertaining those other notions in light of an ultimate lack of free choice. So you shouldn’t be surprised that you’re confused, and neither should you suppose that you’d remain confused if you’d spend more time contemplating and discussing them in that light.

    I’m not sure it matters: I think your (and all of our) entrapment in the language of agency and choice despite your assertion of determinism reflects a perceptual reality that is inescapable, whether or not it is truly “real” reality:

    (I don’t assert determinism. I strongly suspect indeterminism. It’s just that free will is impossible in all possible worlds, deterministic and indeterministic alike. This is the Standard Argument Against Free Will.)

    Anyway, language, since it is shared and learned by us before we get a “say” in the meanings of words, is more likely to reflect the weight of massive cultural forces than universally-shared individual experience.

    Such arguments from language are like claiming that atheists really or at least at some level believe in God because we sometimes say goddamn.

    We perceive our actions as volitional. When we make choices, we experience them as true choices, ones which we could conceivably have chosen differently.

    This effect can be so strong that it’s possible to use transcranial magnetic stimulation to cause people to move yet the subject reports being in control of their own movements. Together with what I’ve posted here on confabulation in the past, it seems a great deal of this “feeling of volition” actually arises after the action, as an invention by the narrative self.

    And it’s not always as strong as you appear to suggest. I sometimes become suddenly aware of my bodily movements right in the middle of performing them, and the feeling is surreal and surprising. This happened the last time I ate; I noticed my hands moving to get food onto the fork, and for a moment I was acutely aware of the automaticity.

    Quite unlike such automaticity, but more or less on this subject, when I am extraordinarily anxious I sometimes have a feeling of being “swept along”, by what I can’t describe, but I know I don’t feel as much in control.

    It’s hard, if not impossible, for me to see how we could experience the world otherwise, even if we wanted to: How can you choose to believe that you have no choice about what you believe (or do)?

    I suspect that the meditative practice of mindfulness, particularly attention to the body and subtle emotions, would bring a person quite a long way toward such an awareness.

    I modestly suggest it might be better not to try.

    I don’t know. It might do much for humility, via the awareness that luck swallows everything.

    +++++
    Mike,

    Welcome, and thanks for your comment.

    If I could say one thing about what your discussion of free will means to me: free will is the ultimate privilege.

    This bit inspired my last line to Bill. I think there’s something to it.

  76. 76
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Thanks for the multiple responses about the argument from dimensions!!!1!111!! Here’s what I said to him (before I had posted here about it).

    Now, with this dimensionality argument, a two dimensional being is still perceiving three dimensional beings, just in two dimensional terms, correct? In other words, they still have experiential knowledge of them and could even perform some sort of tests. You’re advocating a being of unknown dimensionality that has no perceivable presence other than what you’ve imposed on reality.

    I think it’s still a good response. Even if a sphere only appears as a circle to two dimensional beings, it still appears.

  77. 77
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ RahXephon

    You could add to your above argument: Medical CAT scans. They give a series of flat images that describe a three dimensional space (the inside of one’s noggin.) This 2D stuff is so good at describing 3d meatspace that it saves many thousands of lives a year.

    @ Josh

    Unfortunately it may come down to a fight between the two. Phoenicia has been baking up a storm lately, but she is still living under a cloud. Her lack of opposable thumbs are a distinct disadvantage in any future conflict.

  78. 78
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Linky: Cat Scan . BRAINZZZZ!

  79. 79
    rorschach

    That atheist manifesto by Baggini is positively ridiculous.

  80. 80
    Inaji

    Esme has discovered bubble wrap and declared it to be good. Very good. Rubin seconds this goodness.

  81. 81
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Caine

    Esme has discovered bubble wrap and declared it to be good. Very good. Rubin seconds this goodness.

    Pix, or it didn’t happen!

    (You must remember that your rodents are the mascots of TET.)

  82. 82
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    I still think bubble wrap is good. Is that wrong?

  83. 83
    John Morales

    Catnip, how could throw-away plastic ever be wrong?

  84. 84
    birgerjohansson

    “(A toast of mulled wine to the endless horde!)”

    Served in a goblet made from a skull.*

    *and modified to prevent leakage.
    — — — — — — — — —
    “Fundies are recycling”

    Zombie worshippers are recycling. News at ten.
    — — — — — —
    Re. putting a wedge between Black people and the LGBT community:
    Creating wedges between groups is the only thing the rethuglicans have been efficient about the last 30 years.

  85. 85
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Sigh! Back to reality. No more hours spent popping those damned bubbles. You’re right John, I shall curb the bad habit

  86. 86
  87. 87
    John Morales

    Interesting claim: Dingoes, devils may be angels in disguise

    Snippets:

    Reintroducing predators such as dingoes and tasmanian devils into landscapes may help protect Australia’s diminishing biodiversity, researchers say.

    A new paper to be published in the May edition of Trends in Ecology and Evolution suggests dingoes and tasmanian devils could control invasive species, such as cats and foxes, as well as overabundant herbivores.

    [...]

    “Where dingo populations are still surviving is where we see a lot of threatened species still managing to survive in the wild, and that’s probably because dingoes are controlling cats and foxes,” he said.

    Although farmers fear bringing back dingoes may harm livestock, scientists argue there are viable solutions.

    Guardian animals, such as dogs, alpacas and even donkeys could offer protection against livestock predation.

    Catnip, peradventure should some fall into your grasp, there would be no further harm in then indulging before disposing.

    (Small consolation, but one takes what one can)

  88. 88
    pentatomid

    Okay, a couple of things:

    First of all, welcome Mike

    Secondly, I just realized that while I’ve been commenting occasionally over the past couple of months or so, I never really introduced myself, so here goes.
    I’m currently studying biology and I’m hoping to start a Phd next year (fingers crossed on that scolarship). I’m an atheist and have pretty much always been an atheist (even though I was baptised, went to a catholic school and all that jazz). Oh… and I’m from Belgium. Don’t really know what more to add here, so I’ll leave it at that.

    And,

    Next, someone will complain about Belgian Blonde beers.

    They better not be messing with our beer!

  89. 89
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ pentatomid

    Aaargggg! Welkom aan boord!

  90. 90
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Thanks John, that’s pretty much been my modus operandi. I’ll continue to fight my son for the bubble popping rights.

    Hello Mike, hello pentatomid. Hey, I didn’t introduce myself either, just sorta weighed into one of the creationist jebus bots that offended my sense of what’s right some months ago. So, while everyone’s in the mood…. Hi! I’m a mechanical engineer, hail from Melbourne, Australia, and in meat space, I spend most of my spare effort trying to ensure my kids learn to question everything. Even me. Except when I tell them to go to bed! Sigh!

  91. 91
    pentatomid

    theophontes777,
    Bedankt!
    (I’m so never going to get used to seeing dutch on a website that isn’t belgian or dutch)

    Hello, Catnip.

    Hey, I didn’t introduce myself either, just sorta weighed into one of the creationist jebus bots that offended my sense of what’s right some months ago.

    Yep, that’s pretty much how I got started commenting here too.

  92. 92
    rorschach

    Hi! I’m a mechanical engineer, hail from Melbourne, Australia

    Never heard of the place.

    Welcome, everyone ! Grab a seat and a drink.

  93. 93
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    @rorschach: neither have I.

    Cheers!

    *grabs drink, grabs chair*

  94. 94
    John Morales

    [PSA]

    PS Gravatar.

    (Picture thingies)

  95. 95
    pentatomid

    rorschach,

    Ooh drinks!
    Cheers!

  96. 96
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    RahXephon, Giant Feminist Mecha Robot @76

    I think it’s still a good response. Even if a sphere only appears as a circle to two dimensional beings, it still appears.

    Appearing. That’s the thing that worked against C.S. Lewis with his Narnia series. Sure, they’re alluding to the power of faith, but at least Aslan FUCKING SHOWED UP! And what lesson are we to take from the fact he always showed up after the destruction of great swaths of property and indiscriminate killing? God/Aslan are sadists that enjoy the sight of suffering in rubble? Bible fun at its best.

  97. 97
    Nick Gotts

    The argument goes something like “two dimensional beings can only perceive three dimensional beings in two dimensional terms so they can’t understand them, so since we’re three dimensional beings and God has more dimensions we can’t perceive all of God/any of God therefore faith therefore Jesus”. – RahXephon

    One response is to point out that the initial clause is false. We are three dimensional, but with the appropriate mathematical tools can understand higher-dimensional spaces. It’s apparently even possible to develop an intuitive grasp of 4-space, although I have seen a warning that the necessary mental exercises can become brain-worms. So where’s the mathematics of gods?

  98. 98
    John Morales

    KG:

    … although I have seen a warning that the necessary mental exercises can become brain-worms.

    Don’t mince words!

    (Gateways to the Dungeon Dimensions™, they are!)

    (™Pratchett)

  99. 99
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Hi Pentatomid! Hi Catnip!
    G’day mate! Dag, hoe gaat het?

    I can do both languages! Though I will admit to complete ignorance of the difference between Nederlands and Vlaams. And my Dutch is pretty pathetic really, a mostly forgotten second language, but I do like to see it out there.

  100. 100
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    McCthulhu, I got the impression that Aslan was just absent. Not sadistic, just gone. Not a very omnipresent or omniscient deity.

    Or maybe like this one? http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2560

  101. 101
    John Morales

    PS Dungeon Dimensions

  102. 102
    pentatomid

    Hi, Alethea H. Claw!

    I will admit to complete ignorance of the difference between Nederlands and Vlaams.

    The differences aren’t that huge, really. Some differences in pronounciation and in the use of a couple of words (e.g. in Flemish we tend to say ‘ge’ and ‘gij’ in stead of ‘je’ and ‘jij’). Mostly small stuff like that. In the end it’s all dutch.

  103. 103
    carlie

    So a guy in my hometown apparently got denied the right to wear a kilt to prom.

    The principal told him “we want men to dress like men”.

    It’s being billed as discrimination against the Scots.

    *facepalm*
    *headdesk*
    *repeat*

  104. 104
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Carlie, this is like the zombie horde. The stupid people will keep coming, attempting to drown us with sheer force of numbers.

  105. 105
    pentatomid

    carlie,

    What the hell! That’s… Ugh. The stupid! It burns!

  106. 106
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Carlie:

    *sigh*

    Can we take a sledgehammer to the whole patriarchy thing now? I mean, we live in the 21st century… we should be beyond this!

  107. 107
    Louis

    Scots? And Greeks and Turks and Irish and….

    Kilts: They’re not just for the Highlands!*

    Louis

    * Besides, thistles = bad.

    P.S. In other news, Burnin’ Stoopid (TM): Apparently It’s What’s For Breakfast Ever When It Comes To Anything That Even Borders Next Door To Something That Might Possibly Be Considered Even Remotely To Do With A Matter That Could Be Thought Of To Be Connected To Subjects Of A Nature That Are Tangentially Adjacent To An Item That Is On Nodding Terms With A Topic Related To Sex.

    (I watched “This Movie Is Not Yet Rated” this weekend. Gosh.)

    Film at 11.

  108. 108
    'Tis Himself

    csmiller #74

    Does the term “atheist” scare those around you? Try “heathen” instead.

    Doesn’t Baggini know that “heathen” already has a definition which doesn’t include “doesn’t believe in gods”?

  109. 109
    drbunsen, le savant fous

    Hi Mike!

    



    Reintroducing predators such as dingoes and tasmanian devils into landscapes may help protect Australia’s diminishing biodiversity, researchers say.

    Except of course that dingos themselves are a relatively recently introduced species. Personally I prefer Tim Flannery’s suggestion: Komodo dragons. Pending cloning & reintroduction of diprotodon & Tasmanian tigers.

    Catnip: hail from Melbourne, Australia myself! No CV of any note to present here, just another interested amateur.


  110. 110
    rorschach

    So we’ll be seeing all you people in 2 and a bit weeks then ?

  111. 111
    Louis

    Katherine Lorraine,

    Beyond this? But, but, but, but…wee-wees and hoo-hoos, Oh My!

    I saw a wee-wee once. Okay it was mine, but it disturbed the balance of Mah Fwagile Mind. I then had to go on a killing spree.

    True story.

    I’ve heard hoo-hoos have teeth and therefore women are not people.

    Also true story.

    No, really. Honest.

    Also, in other news, war is peace, guns are really good just in case the government takes away my right to make racist jokes, gays getting married will make my wife into a man who will have Forced Homo Sex (TM) with me (or worse, look at my wee-wee in the shower), immigrants are coming over here taking our jobs rogering our women and lowering house prices, and black people should be used for target practise because of their high level of Skittle consumption.

    Oh and calling women “bitches” and “cunts” is never misogynist, because dictionary. Calling black people “niggers” is never racist, I mean have you heard rap, and gays love being called “faggots” and “dykes” because it’s edgy and they act faggy and dykey which makes it all okay. And don’t get me started on transsexuals. It’s not natural, I mean have you ever seen a fish or a frog change sex? Bah! The baby Jesus loves you and you make him cry by not loving him back which you totally know you do really in your heart but are too proud/perverted to admit it. Also if you don’t do interfaith or capitalise Atheism this means you are killing atheism, sorry Atheism, and will never achieve the goals you want which are totally the same as my goals, despite the fact that loads and loads of voluntary/charity work (etc) occurs without anyone directly linking it to secularism or atheism. Oh and shut up because shutting up is exactly what has got every civil rights group what they want forever. Waiting for The Man is the right way to do things. And calling people “mad” is fun because I totes saw a mad person once and they looked like that. Government wants to take away your precious, precious things. You wouldn’t say that about Muhammed. Liberals hate America.

    Okay, well that’s all the problems solved for this TET. We now need more recipes for babies and LOLCats or something.

    ;-)

    Louis

  112. 112
    echidna

    Looks like that city (what city was that again? Never heard of it before…) has quite a Pharyngula contingent. We’ll have to make sure we meet up around the GAC.

  113. 113
    Matt Penfold

    The principal told him “we want men to dress like men”.

    Do you think he would have the guts to say that to a bunch of Scots ?

  114. 114
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Louis

    Don’t take this the wrong way…

    Can I be first in line for ghey secks with Louis? Cuz I feel it might be almost as good as ghey secks with Brownian.

  115. 115
    rorschach

    We’ll have to make sure we meet up around the GAC.

    Also, if anyone of you guys has tickets for the GAC dinner, you have until April 3 to let me know if you want to be seated with echidna, wowbagger and me (and attachments). We have gone from 7 Pharyngula tables (of 10 people each) in 2010 to not one (7 people so far) this year, which is slightly disappointing.

  116. 116
    rorschach

    Clearly I’m not doing as good a job as the Bride of Shrek did a couple of years ago. Who I have grave fears for by the way.

  117. 117
    Balstrome

    Is this evolution, as a human, to enjoy grabbing your tummy and giving it a good wobble. Or is it as I think, just plain weird?

  118. 118
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    I have such incredible anger over the whole Hunger Games thing because, as an author myself, I’ve come up with all these characters who are not just black (one of the characters of my second novel) but also gay (two characters in the second novel,) disabled (a mute, somewhat cognitively impaired character in the first novel,) and older (one character in the first novel, the main characters in the third novel, main character in the fourth novel.)

    It’s frustrating to think people will like my stories less because I choose to put in non-stereotypical representations of the various minorities, and because they’re not only important characters, but they’re main characters in these stories.

    *sigh* I hate bigots.

  119. 119
    Louis

    Katherine Lorraine, #114,

    Can I be first in line for ghey secks with Louis? Cuz I feel it might be almost as good as ghey secks with Brownian.

    1) There is a line for Teh Groop Secks (TM) with Louis, apparently Brownian is in the queue, several people have been in and out of the queue for bacon burgers. It is important that I do not compete on strictly Ghey Secks grounds with Brownian. Firstly, who could? Well, apart from me I mean. Secondly, I feel very strongly that we have to Destroy The Catholic Church (See threads, passim) and Cause The Destruction of Society (ibid.) in as many ways as possible. Duplicating effort is inefficient.

    2) Almost as good? Almost? Now THAT is a challenge. I am moderately comfortable with the notion that I could rock your world. I have engaged in levels of filth and depravity that would blow Brownian away. I’ve even held hands with a lady. Twice. And I saw someone’s bottom back in 1983.

    Louis

  120. 120
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Louis:

    Ahh, well then I’ll get in line for Groop Secks :D

    On a more serious note, I just enjoy everything you write. If I’m not laughing hysterically, I’m cheering in agreement.

  121. 121
    opposablethumbs

    Katharine, if I see that line forming I’m going to jump the line (and also jump the line if I get half a chance). (as long as I call it a line, I don’t have to queue up in orderly brit-like fashion) (save cueing for the pool table)

    I should be able to see the line from my window …

  122. 122
    Louis

    Katherine Lorraine,

    Thanks very much! {blush}

    I can say without fear of false flattery I feel the same way about you, except I also cheer in support (BEWBZ!) and have read a bit of your blog. It seems you have had a hard road to run, and so you have a lot of admiration from me, especially for your courage. Go you! That sort of thing doesn’t get said enough I imagine.

    Now as for Teh Groop Secks (TM) Which Will Bring Destruction Upon Us All, I am playing this very cautiously for the first session. We’ll be having Secks like the Dan Ackroyd character from Dragnet. Hats will be worn, it will be all “Yes, Ma’am” and “Yes, Sir”, the lights will be off, and socks, whilst optional, are to be encouraged. We may move on to light amusement in subsequent sessions.

    After all, whilst I enjoy a good bit of Teh Groop Secks as much as the next Hellbound Heathen Sexual Deviant, I am still British(ish) and therefore do not wish to convey that I enjoy Conjugal Unpleasantness to anyone to whom I have not been properly introduced.

    That sort of behaviour is Not Cricket, and leads to Unrest.*

    Louis

    * It is also perpetrated by Foreigners, Colonials and people who are Not Gentlemen. But I repeat myself.

  123. 123
    Walton

    And the flip side is always Ursula K. LeGuin. If atheism has a calendar of saints, she is on it. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas is the canonical story depicting the essence of victimization.

    I love that story. Indeed, it inspired the very first post on my blog. I found it a particularly relevant metaphor when I was writing about our society’s treatment of detained immigrants and refugees.

  124. 124
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Louis:

    When you say “socks” do you mean specifically socks? Or can I wear some naughty stockings?

  125. 125
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Way behind. Tired. I’m just gonna have to Marjonović the hell out of this.

    and today a guy came over, worked till the jobs in question were done, didn’t use inappropriate parts or materials, didn’t take off with a half ass job done, and the result is that every single ceiling light in our house works for the first time in two years and we no longer have a hole in the porch!

    Shocking. I hope you have reported the landlord. They are setting a good example.

    WTF?! What was the point of any of this then???

    I have known/do know people who’s only goal in life appears to be sowing discord. Why they are like this, I have no idea. They seem not to work towards anything other than garnering a reaction. When they get a reaction, they have won whatever game they are playing.

    but never hootenanny.

    Good. Hoonenannies are dangerous. Someone almost always brings a banjo.

    Hi…

    My name is Mike.

    Hi, Mike.

    I’ve been rather depressed lately. Not sure why

    Well, you have been reading, and responding to, my ‘humour’ and that could depress anyone.

    I feel for you. Depression can be scary as hell.

    …No I didn’t have a point. I did once have a party that involved throwing an M16 (big firecracker) into a lake though.

    Pshaw! The parties in farm country of Western Maryland often involved mutliple sticks of dymanite and old stumps. Or old cars. And once, and old outbuilding. Beer and TNT. Fun times.

    1. Project Light Chez SpokesGay with Kerosene is a resounding success. The antique lamps look gorgeous in my old farmhouse-y(but tiny) abode. And they keep the living room warm. Been lighting with them for a solid two weeks.

    That’s really cool. Er, warm. You know what I mean.

    Now, she’s a big ol’ girl, but the slant 6 engine ought to get closer to 20 mpg.

    I know this may come as a shock, but when things get older, they don’t always work exactly as they are supposed to work.

    So all this time I’ve been dumping gasoline onto the road.

    When they say, “Let’s fill ‘er up and hit the road,” they don’t mean dump the gas on the road.

    Girl’s getting 20 miles to the gallon again.

    Good news.

    And that Chrysler slant-6 works far better, and is far more indestructable, than it has any right to be.

    The argument goes something like “two dimensional beings can only perceive three dimensional beings in two dimensional terms so they can’t understand them, so since we’re three dimensional beings and God has more dimensions we can’t perceive all of God/any of God therefore faith therefore Jesus”.

    If a three dimensional entity intersects a two dimensional environment, there would be measurable or observable phenomena within the two dimensional environment. If gods are four dimensional beings intersecting our three dimensional environment, where are the measurable or observable phenomena showing that this is actually happening?

    Knowing they are being played like pieces in a game by people who genuinely hate them may backfire, with the pieces allying and defeating the players.

    Well, the GOP has been playing the religious right like a cheap accordian for half a century and the fundos still think the GOP is on their side (when the GOP is actually on the side of the 1%).

    Esme has discovered bubble wrap and declared it to be good. Very good. Rubin seconds this goodness.

    Girl’s rat (Splinter) has discovered the wonders of small paper bags. And they are good.

    Catnip, how could throw-away plastic ever be wrong?

    And I have to wonder about how often it is used for things that are totally inappropriate. I just got a copy of Maskerade, used, via Amazon, and it showed up in a bubble wrap envelope, wrapped in more bubble wrap. I emailed the company to ask why they were doing this.

    I was unable to reuse the bubble wrap as Girl found it. Pop, pop, pop, popopopop, pop.

    Secondly, I just realized that while I’ve been commenting occasionally over the past couple of months or so, I never really introduced myself, so here goes.

    Hell, I don’t think I ever actually introduced myself. I just storted commenting.

    Oh… and I’m from Belgium.

    The flat part?

    So a guy in my hometown apparently got denied the right to wear a kilt to prom.

    The principal told him “we want men to dress like men”.

    It’s being billed as discrimination against the Scots.

    Thats it, I give up. Every time I think the world cannot possibly get more stupiderest, something like this shows up. I hereby declare myself open to the probability that something more stupiderest will always come along. Call it the Ogvorbis Rule.

    rogering our women

    Love it. I have used that reference many times and have gotten nothing but blank stares. Good old Roger the Bull!

    apparently Brownian is in the queue

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Am I the only idiot still standing in the Brownian Motion line?

    people who are Not Gentlemen.

    Oh. That line is for enlisted personel only? Gotcha.

  126. 126
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    And I grovel at your feet. I was so intent on getting the ‘ć’ right that I mispelled the good Doctor David Marjanović’s name. Please forgive me.

    Oh, and blame Tpyos. It wan’t my fault anyway.

  127. 127
    Walton

    Now as for Teh Groop Secks (TM) Which Will Bring Destruction Upon Us All, I am playing this very cautiously for the first session. We’ll be having Secks like the Dan Ackroyd character from Dragnet. Hats will be worn, it will be all “Yes, Ma’am” and “Yes, Sir”, the lights will be off, and socks, whilst optional, are to be encouraged. We may move on to light amusement in subsequent sessions.

    After all, whilst I enjoy a good bit of Teh Groop Secks as much as the next Hellbound Heathen Sexual Deviant, I am still British(ish) and therefore do not wish to convey that I enjoy Conjugal Unpleasantness to anyone to whom I have not been properly introduced.

    I see you’ve been following Mr Cholmondeley-Warner’s guide to conjugal unpleasantness.

    (Possibly NSFW, if you work in a very staid establishment.)

  128. 128
    Louis

    Katherine Lorraine, #124

    Hmmmmm. Naughty stockings? Yessssss, I think that those should be okay, let me just consult the Ordinances and Strictures for Teh Groops Secks Handbook (18th Ed)…

    {Reading, pondering}

    …ah, yes, here it is. Naughty Stockings are permitted, but on First Orgy only up to level 12 Naughtiness with an Eroticism Quotient meeting international standard ISO90210. Stockings above level 12 Naughtiness and below level 75 can be permitted under Special Circumstances (for example a First Orgy coinciding with a suitable national holiday or other personal celebration) and/or with the agreement of a simple majority of participants (with option to Withdraw) decided at the Pre-Orgy Quorum on Acts and Attire. Stockings, or indeed any hosiery, above level 75 is not to be brought to a First Orgy due to the advanced nature of such garments, and the special requirements placed on users under the Geneva Convention (Chapter 36753, subclause 1A: Nookie and Befurtlings).

    Hope that helps.

    Louis

  129. 129
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    @Ogvorbis

    If gods are four dimensional beings intersecting our three dimensional environment, where are the measurable or observable phenomena showing that this is actually happening?

    Lourdes, obviously.

  130. 130
    Louis

    Walton, Fellow Countryman and Gentleman Abroad in the Colonies, #127,

    Quite so, quite so.

    {Puffs Pipe}

    I find that to be an excellent, if simplified, exposition of matters pertaining to Conjugal Unpleasantness.

    Louis

  131. 131
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Louis:

    But what about my ‘+3/+5 Naughty Socks’? Or my ‘Socks of Dancing’?

    And what about wildlife? After all (sayeth the venerable bard):

    Fox with socks come!

  132. 132
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Hey, Walton! Nice to see that the Reason Rally extracted you from the endless work-loop long enough to let us know you aren’t dead or trapped under a heavy object. Is this an anomaly because of the special events of the past weekend or are you now free to fritter away a portion of your life on the intertubez?

  133. 133
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Lourdes, obviously.

    Mass (pun intended) hallucinations do not count. They are devilishly (heh) hard to replicate with any reliability.

  134. 134
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Uhm, Mr. Louis sir? Beggin’ yer pardon sir, but some of us in the cue were wonderin’ if you were goin’ to make us stand here all day? You see sir, the sun in these here antipodean parts, well, it’s not like you’re used to back in the mother country, if you take my meanin’ sir. It’s not a good and proper English sun so to speak. Collins!? Collins! Dammit, someone get ‘im under cover…. Sorry about that Mr. Louis sir, Anyway, if forming up the queue earlier in the day isn’t right and proper we’d be gratefully obliged for an issue of pith helmets and parasols. At your convenience of course Mr. Louis sir…. [tugs forelock, wanders away muttering something that rhymes with muddy palms]

  135. 135
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Louis @ 130

    Conjugal Unpleasantness may indicate that one has exceedingly tight trousers. May I suggest a tailor?

    PS. That was totally coal smoke coming out of your pipe. Dirty Steampunker!

  136. 136
    Louis

    Ogvorbis, #131,

    I’ve checked, if those are The Socks We’re Looking For, I think they fall within the range for First Orgy suitability. The “Socks of Dancing” shouldn’t cause any problems at all. After all, who doesn’t feel like throwing shapes after a good old bit of Teh Groop Secks?

    Or even during for that matter.

    Louis

  137. 137
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Louis:

    Oh good. I don’t think any of my stockings are quite level 75 naughtiness. What is the effect of a garter belt on the naughtiness of stockings though? Since I want to keep my stockings up after all, I’d have to wear a garter. Do they multiply or merely add to the naughtiness? Is a lacy garter more or less naughty than one with a tiny frilly skirt around the edge?

    Lots of provisions and rules when it comes to Teh Groop Secks (TM)

  138. 138
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Don’t you people realize the arms race you have begun? The next step is obvious: TEH GHEY GROOP SECKS

  139. 139
    Louis

    FossilFishy, #134,

    Oh I am sorry, how desperately inconsiderate of me. I shall start the orgy forthwith, if not fifthwith, with the traditional cry:

    BUNDLLLLLLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Louis

  140. 140
    Louis

    Katherine Lorraine, #137,

    Happily, garter belts and sundry support mechanisms for stockings are considered as part of the essential equipment for stocking maintenance. They are free to be as outrageous as one wishes unless they perform functions in addition to the aesthetic/support role deemed Right and Proper (see Appendices 3 to 67).

    Basically, if the “garter belt” is not adorned with, for example, a massive rubber cock, then there is no problem. Should the “garter belt” be so equipped it comes under the category of “Implements of Arousal”, which frankly are to be encouraged. Nothing quite like a massive rubber cock at an orgy. Ahhh memories.

    Louis

  141. 141
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Don’t you people realize the arms race you have begun?

    Erm, I think you mean a foot race, not an arms race. Unless y’all wear your secks in odd places.

    Oh I am sorry, how desperately inconsiderate of me. I shall start the orgy forthwith, if not fifthwith, with the traditional cry:

    BUNDLLLLLLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And, meanwhile, I am still standing, alone, in Teh Ghey Secks with Brownian line. Don’t worry about me. I’ll just sit here. In the dark. On a rusty Brillo pad. With my stale Triscuit. You folks have fun. Don’t worry about me.

  142. 142
    Louis

    RahXephon, #138,

    Way ahead of you. Teh Groop Secks can, if needs be, incorporate many acts of Gheyness.* This permits one to maximise the Destruction of the Catholic Church, Society and of course the Alarming of the Children and Ladies of Sensitive Breeding.

    Louis

    * Especially THAT one. No, no, not that one, THAT one, yes THAT one.

  143. 143
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Fantastic! Although none of my belts have such implements, I am pleased to be able to wear a sexy garter along with my sexy stockings.

    (I don’t say this often, we are some highly ridonkulous people XD)

  144. 144
    Squigit

    Hi…

    My name is Mike

    Hello, Mike.

    Hey, I didn’t introduce myself either, just sorta weighed into one of the creationist jebus bots that offended my sense of what’s right some months ago.

    I’m pretty sure I just came stumbling into TET with some personal shit because I needed to vent and had been reading forever so I felt it would be ok (well, not “ok” but whatever…). I think a good bit of what my intro would consist of has come out in those and my few subsequent posts (but if anyone wants to know anything, just ask (not that I’m very interesting or anything)). :)

    I’ve learned a lot here, though. And thanks to TET, discovered Dr. Who (yes, I grew up in a bubble).

    I also discovered Sherlock yesterday on Netflix. I think I’m in love. :)

    Also: A mouse has invaded my room. :( How can I get rid of it without using poison or those little snappy mouse-trap thingies?

  145. 145
    Louis

    Ogvorbis, #141,

    You are more than welcome to apply for Inter-Queue Transfer. We are not discriminatory, all are welcomed.*

    Louis

    * Unless Welsh of course. There must be some standards….actually, Kathrerine Jenkins**…scratch that last comment. All welcome.

    ** OI BLOODY LOVES YOU! (Except during the rugby)

  146. 146
    Walton

    Way ahead of you. Teh Groop Secks can, if needs be, incorporate many acts of Gheyness.* This permits one to maximise the Destruction of the Catholic Church, Society and of course the Alarming of the Children and Ladies of Sensitive Breeding.

    I thought “destroying the Catholic Church” was the latest euphemism for firing the Surgeon General. (NSFW.) Or am I behind the curve?

    Is a lacy garter more or less naughty than one with a tiny frilly skirt around the edge?

    *giggles*

  147. 147
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    RahXephon, Giant Feminist Mecha Robot @138:

    It would be a total waste of a perfectly good queue. Perhaps they could still line up for a turn at the event. It would be ‘Teh Ghey Group Secks Fuque Queue.’

    No, never mind. It’s not cricket. Back into the original queue with everyone.

  148. 148
    Louis

    Oh and Welcome Mike!

    Yeah, I’m quick on the uptake.

    Louis

    P.S. Katherine, ridonkulous? Oh I assure you I am quite serious. I never joke about Teh Groop Secks and Teh Destruction of Society (etc). SRS BSNS. {Makes Important Face}

  149. 149
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Erm, I think you mean a foot race, not an arms race. Unless y’all wear your secks in odd places.

    Racing on your arms prevents unsightly pre-orgy chafing. Just make sure to wear pants if it’s windy, otherwise you’ll have to apply Chapstick to your various reproductive/recreational apparatus.

    Way ahead of you. Teh Groop Secks can, if needs be, incorporate many acts of Gheyness.

    The only way to Maximize the Destruction of the Church is with exclusive gheyness; they make the rules.

    Gheyness: the proton torpedo up the Pope Star’s exhaust port.

  150. 150
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    You are more than welcome to apply for Inter-Queue Transfer. We are not discriminatory, all are welcomed.*

    I just think it is unfair. After all, I have been in the Brownian Motion queueueueueue for an awful long time and, just as it looks like the line is going to move, everyone, INCLUDING BROWNIAN, ups and moves to your line. Where, if I join the queueueueue, I am, guess where? At the end. Again.

    So no, don’t do me no favours. I’ll just enjoy my stale Triscuit, while sitting in the dark on my Brillo Pad. No problem.

    (Damn. When did I start channeling my dead Polish grandmother?)

  151. 151
    Louis

    Walton, #146,

    I thought “destroying the Catholic Church” was the latest euphemism for firing the Surgeon General. (NSFW.) Or am I behind the curve?

    Oh it is, it is. But no one ever told us we couldn’t Destroy the Catholic Church together. In a big sweaty pile. With hundreds of other people. Performing acts that would blind an archbishop, or at least cause him to think very carefully about piston mechanics.

    I am strongly of the mind that Destroying The Catholic Church is an act that one performs within and en route to The Downfall Of Society,* and of course the Eventual Destruction Of All That Is Holy. If you’re lucky there may even be some Annihilation Of Moral Goodness too, but I make no promises.

    Louis

    * Sixdays The Banned informed us that oral sex did this.

  152. 152
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Fun fact: the word “queue” can be made as long as the number of people waiting that it describes. Ex.:”Mr. President, there are still people queueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueueing to see you.”

  153. 153
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Me @152

    Obviously the two-dimensional comment box is unable to fully perceive my extra-dimensional typing.

  154. 154
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Walton:

    Ehee. Oh yes that’s right. I have garter belts. They’re necessary for keeping stockings up.

    Goddamit stockings get annoying – some like to stay up no problem, but then there are those that if you move, or if you shift, or if you exhale, they sliiiide down your legs and bunch up around your knees and eventually ankles. They’re a pain in the arse. Stoopid stockings.

    @Louis:

    Oh no, I realize you’re completely serious :) We’re still ridonkulous people.

  155. 155
    Louis

    Ogvorbis,

    But look around, you are not at the end of the queue, your place was saved when you got bacon burgers earlier. They joy of Teh Groop Secks is the queue moves alarmingly fast, well there is no real queue if I’m honest, it’s more sort of a morass of writhing naked/semi-naked people doing wicked things to each other. If you are at the end of any queue, UR DOING IT RONG.

    I think it’s best to put the Triscuit to one side, use your Brillo pad appropriately and dive on in. Various contraceptives and barrier items are to your left. We encourage Safe Groop Secks (which is even more destructive).

    Louis

  156. 156
    Louis

    RahXephon, #149,

    I’m sorry but it simply isn’t true that Exclusive Gheyness is the be all and end all of Catholic Church Destruction. Even the Church themselves are aghast at the wanton sexual immorality of the modern world, and look at, for example their stance of women’s sexual freedom and contraception. Oh no no no. They want to control heterosexual parts as much as anyone’s homosexual parts. The homosexualists are just the easy target.

    Hence why I favour the method of destruction to be acts that can (and frequently do) include acts of Gheyness as well as other acts of Immorality and Contraception. Teh Groop Secks can be exclusively Ghey, or it can cause Destruction by attacking from various sides of the Wickedness issue.

    After all, what’s worse than two Gheys going at it? That’s right, three Gheys forming some sort of chain or Lucky Pierre scenario. And what’s worse than that? Four Gheys!*

    Louis

    * Four Gheys, ah ha haaaaa! Five Gheys, ah ha haaaaa! Six Gheys, ah haaaaa! Seven Gheys, Eight Gheys, Nine Gheys! Nine! I can count!

    {Today’s Deviancy has been brought to you be the number nine, and the letters O, M and G}

  157. 157
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    . . . it’s more sort of a morass of writhing naked/semi-naked people doing wicked things to each other.

    Ah. We’re back to Brownian Motion.

    So we could hook up a Bambleweenie 2000 to this and generate finite probability?

  158. 158
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Louis:

    Have you seen this video?

  159. 159
    Walton

    I am strongly of the mind that Destroying The Catholic Church is an act that one performs within and en route to The Downfall Of Society,* and of course the Eventual Destruction Of All That Is Holy. If you’re lucky there may even be some Annihilation Of Moral Goodness too, but I make no promises.

    I’m losing track of the euphemisms…

  160. 160
    Louis

    Ogvorbis, #157,

    Of course, you expect us to do less? We shall also be collecting the heat generated and using it to power ovens for post-orgy snacks.

    _____

    Katherine Lorraine, #158,

    I have now! Thanks! And LOL. I am so lucky I a) have my own office, b) am stuck doing procrastinating about job reviews for six people.

    _____

    Walton, #159,

    I’ll meet you in front of the Harvard Club in 5 minutes (+ travel time from the UK), I have the Updated Manual of Euphemisms and a series of {ahem} Documentary Videos to give you.

    Louis

  161. 161
    Ingdigo Jump

    Thanks to everyone for responding to my stupid grammar question. That was fun

    Reading this made me wonder how Hitchens would have ripped apart the thugs of the Republican party.

    Some of the praising of him post his death makes me wonder IF he would. It honestly has been/was the praising of him by skeptics post his death that made me chill to Hitchens.

    The argument goes something like “two dimensional beings can only perceive three dimensional beings in two dimensional terms so they can’t understand them, so since we’re three dimensional beings and God has more dimensions we can’t perceive all of God/any of God therefore faith therefore Jesus”.

    It’s begging the question. It’s circular. God can’t be concieved therefore we have Jesus which is God’s “foot print” that proves God…and since God cann’t be conceived we would expect soemthing like Jesus which proves Christianity.

    It introduces the concept of undemonstrated two dimensional beings, and asserts qualities about them to make it’s case. We cannot say whether two dimensional beings cannot understand a 3d being or not.

    Additionally, it ignores that we can KNOW some things about higher dimensional objects in theory. It would be as 3d objects but it would presumably leave an imprint that while interpreted as 3d would be inconsistent with 3d. If you’ve ever seen the show Threshold they had an example of it in the pilot. A multidimensional alien device appears to humans as a shape shifting piece of metal, because we can only observe some of it’s dimensions at once as it moves. Another example of imagining what 4d beings would be like was early portrayals of Q, where he is a super structure mesh in space that envelops the ship and the human form of him, along with any of the things he manifests, is simply his real body sticking a finger into our petry dish Jesus does not necessarily show any signs of being 4D, simply of being a superhuman 3d being.

    Further, Furthermore; the idea of God having more than 3 dimensions is only generated because traditional views of him do not fit into the 3d universe. It’s an ad hoc. Nothing in the original bible indicates he is not limited by time, indeed it portrays a god that acts linearly. If they want to propose a new God that is 4d they have to show the evidence for it, and adjusting a previous tradition and mythology because it no longer works with modern science is not sufficient.

    I have such incredible anger over the whole Hunger Games thing because, as an author myself, I’ve come up with all these characters who are not just black (one of the characters of my second novel) but also gay (two characters in the second novel,) disabled (a mute, somewhat cognitively impaired character in the first novel,) and older (one character in the first novel, the main characters in the third novel, main character in the fourth novel.)

    It’s frustrating to think people will like my stories less because I choose to put in non-stereotypical representations of the various minorities, and because they’re not only important characters, but they’re main characters in these stories.

    *sigh* I hate bigots.

    I’m lucky the people who I wind up telling stories to indulge my liberal indulgences. I imagine most D&D games wouldn’t be cool with a character’s love interest being transish (character was a shape shifter, but revealed that the original gender was male). One of the reasons I don’t think I can write is because I doubt a general audience would tolerate any of the ‘weird’ ideas.

  162. 162
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Thanks to everyone for responding to my stupid grammar question.

    Speaking of grammar questions, I’ve been wondering: what’s the difference in usage between nauseous and nauseated?

  163. 163
    Ingdigo Jump

    According to my S/W based highschool ed.

    nauseous I believe is a characteristic of an object that makes it cause nausea

    Nauseated is the state of having nausea

    A toxic gas is nauseous because it makes people nauseated.

    However
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nauseous

    It appears to be a common misconception

    Nauseous is in reality a term that could be synonymous to nauseated but has additional uses

  164. 164
    Ingdigo Jump

    So according to M/W a gas can be nauseous because it makes people nauseous which is the state of having nausea and makes you nauseated.

  165. 165
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    [Drops bag on the end table] For those of international origins and are inclined to power assisted groop secks please help yourself to the appropriate adaptor/ step-up, step-down, step-lively or step-to-the-right transformer. And for the love of Tesla please use the provided ground fault interrupts in any and all scenes that Involve bear fat, double cream, and/or Red Bull.

  166. 166
    A. R

    Mike: It’s not too bad, but it is interfering with my work. I’m thinking about making an appointment with my MD

    Nutmeg: Thanks for the brownies! I intend to spend some time outside today if it warms up.

  167. 167
    chigau (違う)

    Ogvorbis
    I started the Louis-line and I can’t tell my position in it.

  168. 168
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Ing:

    My stories have a lot of weirdness to them that are only implied through the backstory and the way the characters and races act with one another. There’s an entire race that was genetically manufactured as a slave race. Implied throughout the stories is a sense of “they’re lesser beings” and it shows in a few instances (the sem quarter being significantly more impoverished than and not as well guarded as the human quarters, for example.) Similarly there’s the black race, who have to work twice as hard as anyone else to be treated half as well. They tend to stick together in colonies so they don’t have to deal with the racism issue.

    Aside from those two glaring examples, the world is in general a lot more progressive. While they are currently led by kings, there have been powerful queens of the two monarchies in the past (and yes, Walton, I’ll get to the governments in a few more posts on my blog soon.) It’s very rare that “woman” equals “lesser” in the eyes of the people, those who think that are seen as backwards and foolish. Homosexuality and transgenderism (transsexuality is a different story) are common and natural. No one bats an eye if two men or women are together in a relationship, and no one cares if a man dresses and presents as a woman.

    All of this is so normal that the only way to draw attention to it is to point out how normal it is. The gay lovers I mentioned, for example, are HEAVILY implied to be in a relationship. No one calls them out on it, no one asks “hey, are you two gay?” They just treat them like a vital part of the crew.

  169. 169
    Ingdigo Jump

    My stories have a lot of weirdness to them that are only implied through the backstory and the way the characters and races act with one another. There’s an entire race that was genetically manufactured as a slave race. Implied throughout the stories is a sense of “they’re lesser beings” and it shows in a few instances (the sem quarter being significantly more impoverished than and not as well guarded as the human quarters, for example.)

    Oh awesome. That was the driving plot for my D&D game (they were an underground rail road). In the sci-fi setting I’m building for them one race of In-organics has a social stratification between those who are Built and those who are Produced.

    If you don’t mind the inconvenience, are you on google+ or anything and if so would you mind sanity checking some ideas for a setting?

  170. 170
    Louis

    Chigau,

    The only line should be for post orgy unisex showers. And since that will inevitably turn into a slightly moister orgy, the queue will turn into another pile.

    Basically, the orgy is going to be the longest free-standing Groop Secks event EVAR, as people continually join, leave, re-join etc. The idea is to achieve a critical mass of Perversion and Deviancy. That way a self-sustaining chain shag can occur which will not only power the facilities for the event, generate enough power to be exported (and thus help with funding) but also will set up a domino cascade of Wickedness that ultimately ends organised religion on the planet.

    I’m nothing if not ambitious.

    Louis

    P.S. And you’re always front of my queue. RAWR!

  171. 171
    David Marjanović

    No hope of catching up anytime soon. And you people just keep filling subthread after subthread both here and on TZT now!!!

    C-279, the transgender equal rights bill in Canada

    Yesterday I read Jadehawk’s twitter feed just soon enough to notice she was sending me to the protest aboutthis facecouching outrage. I’m glad I was only half an hour late… but I was one of only about 50 people. :-(

    Oh, facecouch.

    (I won’t link, so as to avoid going into moderation)

    The limit is six links. Unless your comment is somehow formatted in a way that makes the software think of spambots (naked lists of links are in danger).

    That way a self-sustaining chain shag can occur which will not only power the facilities for the event, generate enough power to be exported (and thus help with funding) but also will set up a domino cascade of Wickedness that ultimately ends organised religion on the planet.

    …by means of earthquakes, no doubt.

    + 1 for the capitalized Wickedness. :-)

  172. 172
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Ing:

    Sounds really cool. The race in my world kinda went crazy with… erm… reproductability. Since they’re based on a human platform (with animal characteristics) they have the ability to have children with humans, elves, and orcs (though the orcish hybrids are sterile.) What wasn’t expected by their creators was a) that the world would go kablooie, and b) that there would be humans who would find them attractive.

    Yea I am on Google+, and I’d be glad to sanity check.

  173. 173
    chigau (違う)

    Louis
    Aren’t you sweet!
    Perhaps we need to stop thinking of the Brownian/Louis queueuea as “lines” and start thinking in more dimensions.

  174. 174
    Ingdigo Jump

    @KAt

    Yeah in the Fantasy/Eastern D&D game the Kyff were basically homunculi originally grown in jars and then bread as live stock. They were forbidden from actually talking for a long time and the prevailing philosophy was that they lacked souls. After a the introduction of rescuing some from a noble who was letting a mindlfayer experiment on them the plot took off with the party protecting a child that had been born to human/kyff parents, as the kid would both act as a disproof of propaganda and a rallying symbol for the kyff. They were hunted by a team of modified kyff who were being manipulated by their master who promised he could use alchemy to turn them human.

  175. 175
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Ing:

    Ooh, that sounds like a really awesome story line. The best D+D storyline I came up with was that the PCs were in a crapsack world – tiny, poor crop sustainability, only the barest of essentials – which was actually a prison plane created some thousands of years before as punishment for a rebellion. The imprisonment was forgotten, and some of the names of the people became elevated to godhood. The PCs would have found this out when an NPC from the main world arrived to drag them out because of an evil force that required the unusual latent abilities of the original rebellion (magic) to defeat.

  176. 176
    Louis

    Chigau,

    Calibi-Yau shaped piles? Tensor orgy fields? N-dimensional hyper-Secks?

    I LIKE it!

    Louis

  177. 177
    chigau (違う)

    I googled Calibi-Yau and the first result was a link to ThinkGeek.
    See you later.

  178. 178
    David Marjanović

    Toothy bestness of the month.

    Greenhouse-gas crises and mass extinctions in the Permian and Triassic. Look for “Atmospheric CO2″ in the “Graphical Abstract”.

    The evolution of venom and its delivery in snakes and their relatives – monitors, Gila monsters, and many, many more!

    Extinction of megafauna in Australia last ice age: humans done it.

    What wasn’t expected by their creators

    “They were more trouble than they were worth.”

  179. 179
    Louis

    Good choice, Chigau, good choice.

    I have just looked at the “Can America get any more racist?” thread and my heart sunk so low in my chest that I don’t think a bona fide, genuine, real life, right this minute, proper sex (not just Secks) orgy would cheer me up.

    I would question the appropriateness of maintaining even a comedy “More Than A Stiff Upper Lip” (as per the video linked in Walton’s #127) after reading that thread. I know racist morons are out there, I know I have to combat/deal with them, I’m not trying to hide, but I really am going to go and read some chemistry/finish my paperwork. Crommunist’s post didn’t help either. That term “halfbreed” has particular personal resonance. Ahhhh fond childhood memories…

    Louis

  180. 180
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Greenhouse-gas crises and mass extinctions in the Permian and Triassic. Look for “Atmospheric CO2″ in the “Graphical Abstract”.

    I am somewhat obsessive compulsive. For instance, in my desire to understand the Mesozoic, I have been looking closely (and with a great deal of enjoyment) at the Triassic. Of course, to understand the Triassic, I need to understand the PT extinction. I have just finished When Life Nearly Died, by Michael Benton and Extinction by Douglas Erwin (and Gorgon should arrive soon (I love Amazon)). The discussions about where the CO2 came from is fascinating. Seems like every smoking gun points just a little off target.

    Looks like an interesting article.

  181. 181
    Psych-Oh

    I’m back from DC and the Reason Rally/AA Convention- and I am already missing talking to rational people. Oh, how I love living in “The South”*sigh*.

    Ogvorbis – those sound like great books. Which would you recommend reading first?

    Anyone know of a good book on the domestication of apples? Had an interesting conversation with some pharyngulites about the fact that apples as they are today did not even exist in “biblical times”, and about the evolution of the American apple and the grafting process. Liriodendrons would probably know where to lead me- or anyone else with interest or knowledge in botany?

  182. 182
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    There’s no chance I will ever keep up with you all, but this has been a great read as usual.

    I don’t think I ever introduced myself either, just jumped in once or twice with (what seemed to me later) really inane comments.

    I’m just heating up 2-day old coffee in the microwave before getting down to some writing/work.

    Good day to all!

  183. 183
    strange gods before me ॐ

    On transcranial magnetic stimulation, confabulation, automaticity, and more, Daniel M. Wegner has a review that may make these more coherent: The mind’s best trick: how we experience conscious will.

  184. 184
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Good day to you too, niftyatheist. :)

    +++++
    It’s been like four years at least, I never introduced myself, and I ain’t gonna. Hmph!

  185. 185
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I was playing this and I realized someone else here might find it fun, if you haven’t heard about it yet:
    Not Tetris 2

    Not Tetris 2 is the spiritual successor of the classic Tetris mixed with physics. The result is a fun spinoff in which blocks are no longer bound to the usual grid. Blocks can be rotated and placed at any angle, resulting in a complete mess if not careful.

  186. 186
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    Beatrice #185 wow I have a son who would just love that! I’m going to send it along to him, thanks!

  187. 187
    pentatomid

    The flat part?

    Well, if by the flat part you mean Flanders, then yeah, the flat part.

  188. 188
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Here is a hint for everyone. Linking to NOM’s blog will get your comment caught in the PZ’s filter. I will have to find an other site to link to and try again.

  189. 189
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Two posts on my non-nym blog:

    The Islands
    Essas and Daikteri

  190. 190
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Brian Brown of NOM is now trying to cover his ass by claiming that they share a bond with black and latino anti-LGBT activists.

    “The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) was formed in 2007 and has worked extensively with supporters of traditional marriage from every color, creed and background. We have worked with prominent African-American and Hispanic leaders, including Dr. Alveda C. King, Bishop George McKinney of the COGIC Church, Bishop Harry Jackson and the New York State Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz Sr., all of whom share our concern about protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

    “Gay marriage advocates have attempted to portray same-sex marriage as a civil right, but the voices of these and many other leaders have provided powerful witness that this claim is patently false. Gay marriage is not a civil right, and we will continue to point this out in written materials such as those released in Maine. We proudly bring together people of different races, creeds and colors to fight for our most fundamental institution: marriage.”

    This vile pile of shit have no proved a thing. Pointing minorities who also share a bigoted view does not provide a powerful witness that this claim is patently false. But it does show Brian Brown is willing to keep playing the same tactics that he has been shown to use.

  191. 191
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    That worked. The problem was linking to NOM’s blog.

  192. 192
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    Holy jumping jee bus this coffee is vile! I have to go make fresh (damn waste, I tell you!) and then get to work. You know, this crowd is too interesting. A person could spend all day just reading! :) Really going now, though!

  193. 193
    Inaji

    Theophontes, I didn’t get pix, sorry! I’ll try to get some.

    The bubble wrap arrived wrapped around a fragile glass item*. All bubble wrap either gets re-used, recycled or, as in this case, becomes a box liner for rats, who seem to *love* the sound it makes as they scamper across it.

    *I don’t do business with Amazon, but B&N has never, ever sent a book in bubble wrap.

  194. 194
    cicely

    From Cracked: 5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained To Hate Women
    -

    I totally read that as “creepy cuddliness.”

    Me, too. :D
    -
    Hi, michaelhopwood; welcome in! We have bacon!

    (But if you have any crawling peas or horses, leave ‘em at home.)
    (Or, for that matter, if you are crawling with peas or Horses, leave Them at home.)
    -
    And a belated “welcome in” to pentatomid. Also, to the Impudent & Shameless Catnip. And anyone else I’ve missed.
    -

    We now need more recipes for babies [...].

    1 sperm
    1 egg

    Add ingredients together. Bake in a warm uterus for approximately 9 months. You’ll know that the baby is done when it screams when smacked firmly on the tuchus.
    -

    Good old Roger the Bulls!

    FIFY
    -

    Erm, I think you mean a foot race, not an arms race. Unless y’all wear your secks in odd places.

    Or, indeed, your socks.
    -
    Waitwaitwait…I had understood that the Ghey Secks With Brownian™ line had entered into a relationship of some sort with the Group Secks With Louis™ line, such that to be in one was to simultaneously be in the other?

    For certain values of “be in”, that is.
    -

    -INTERMISSION-

  195. 195
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Psych-Oh: Wikipedia says this is the ancestor of domestic apples: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malus_sieversii

    I’m kinda disappointed, that thing looks pretty appealing and large.

    Still, the science of domestication always intrigues me and I’ll be following this line of discussion with interest.

  196. 196
    cicely

    Correction: that should have read, Groop Secks With Louis™.

    Hail Tpyos
    -

  197. 197
    David Marjanović

    I’m about to download this program for calculating the most parsimonious phylogenetic trees from a data matrix (a big table of species-or-so x characters). It’s free, as in “beer”, and…

    “None of the authors of TNT is responsible in any way for any problems the program causes to your computer, your data, your career, or your life.”

  198. 198
    pentatomid

    David,

    Oh, TNT, I’ve used that programme. That was a pretty long time ago. Still, the programme never caused any problems with my computer, as far as I remember. It did sometimes give strange results, though.

  199. 199
    Aratina Cage

    “blacks” and “gays” don’t overlap? –chigau #65

    That’s exactly what they (NOM/Maggie Gallagher et al) want people to think. Their strategy is as much about harming Black people as it about harming gay people, and they want gay Black people to be marginalized into nonexistence. It’s really depressing that this kind of contempt for one’s fellow humans, which NOM stands for alongside other hate groups, is still going strong.

  200. 200
    Ingdigo Jump

    Question for walton and SG and other legal nerds. The NYDP Arab Spotting: legal? Can a municiple PD extend such a wide profiling spying mission so far beyond their jurisdiction?

  201. 201
    carlie

    I keep forgetting to ask: do we have a screaming room in which one can go and yell variants of “fuck everything it all sucks” for awhile and then curl up in a ball and drink?

    Not that I’m needing one or anything. Just asking.

  202. 202
    cicely

    Ing, nice plot!
    -
    Guidraco venator looks ripe for statting up for D&D purposes.
    *bookmarks spot*

    Thanks, DM! And I’ll be sure to tell the players who they have to thank for this atrocity.
    :)
    -

  203. 203
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @carlie:

    It’s got padded pillows and everything. I had to go there a few minutes ago when I was yelling about someone more or less already having written a piece on my specific AoR at work here last year.

    I mean seriously, there’s thousands of topics out there – STOP TAKING MY AOR!

  204. 204
    David Marjanović

    From Cracked: 5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained To Hate Women

    Mixed bag.

    7 Popular ‘Chick Flicks’ That Secretly Hate Women

  205. 205
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Carlie, I do not know if this fits.

    When I was in college, I was involved with the radio station. (I am sure this comes as a shock to everybody.) I took on the job of organizing the music library after a few years of neglect.

    (As an aside, here is how back it was. This were piles of LPs that were set aside to be deposed of. The people who did this had little idea what they were doing. They were getting rid of albums like Wire’s Pink Flag.)

    Besides alphabetizing and arranging the the artists records according to year of release, there were hundreds, maybe thousands, of records from mostly religious groups; shows that were to be destroyed after a certain date. This has not been done in over a decade.

    Instead of just tossing the records out, the radio staff started to throw these records against wall, playing golf and baseball with them and finding other ways to destroy these things.

    After a particularly stressful week of finals and papers, I would grab dozens of these record and just start flinging them, one at a time, against a wall. Such mindless acts of destruction made me feel very good.

    I would just try to block out my sheepish feeling that came with cleaning my mess.

  206. 206
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    One part of the mainstream media has finally had a story about NOM’s papers about creating a divide between LGBT groups and other minority groups

    Yes, I do think this is hugh fucking news. It shows just how little groups like NOM cares about civil rights and tries to take cover in the works done by their ethical superiors.

  207. 207
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Someone pasted this link on IRC
    http://narf-archive.com/pix/702d69c83717511251e303a3552b641332ae42e2.jpg

    At first I thought it was just a picture from a satire site and laughed, but then I googled it and found this: The Conservative Teen

    The laughter died and Jaloviina ** tasted bitter in my mouth.

  208. 208
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Hi, Mike!

    Nutmeg: I definitely want to read Quiet as well. The excerpts I’ve seen in the NYT were excellent. I have to finish a few fantasy novels first, though, or I never well.

    RahXephon:

    The argument goes something like “two dimensional beings can only perceive three dimensional beings in two dimensional terms so they can’t understand them, so since we’re three dimensional beings and God has more dimensions we can’t perceive all of God/any of God therefore faith therefore Jesus”.

    That probably would make more sense if I were high.

    Janine, re NOM: Vile but utterly unsurprising. Dividere et vincere.

    Chigau, #65: Bigots’ brains explode when they’re forced to contemplate people along two or more axes of oppression. Such people are just abstractions to them, which is why you occasionally hear wingnuts jeer about “Panamanian-American lesbians in wheelchairs” or the like. The more such categories one falls into, the more one is considered improbable.

    CSMiller, #74: Ophelia Benson on B&W posts a lot about Julian Baggini. And ‘Tis, #108: Yes, I was wondering what the Asatru would think of atheists claiming the term “heathen.”

    Ogvorbis, #125:

    Good old Roger the Bull!

    I thought it was Roger the Cabin Boy. Who sailed alongside Seaman Staines.

    Ing, #161:

    One of the reasons I don’t think I can write is because I doubt a general audience would tolerate any of the ‘weird’ ideas.

    Those ideas are probably less weird than you think, at least in the realm of sf/f.

    David M., #204:

    Mixed bag.

    Indeed. “We feel helpless.” Boo hoo fucking hoo.

  209. 209
    David Marjanović

    9 Foreign Words the English Language Desperately Needs

    Warning: some of the given meanings are a bit off; read the comments.

  210. 210
    David Marjanović

    Indeed. “We feel helpless.” Boo hoo fucking hoo.

    Well, that’s probably the part that’s true for a lot of misogynists and other people in power who can’t stop saying “help, help, I’m being oppressed”. They do feel helpless for completely stupid reasons.

  211. 211
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    There’s a species of grasshopper or katydid in the dry areas here. It appears to be the largest grasshopper or similar insect in BC, and it is gray with long wings that are bright yellow when extended, and it makes a loud clicking sound in flight.

    Does anyone have any idea what it might possibly be? It’s extremely distinctive and being so big I always thought of it as a ‘locust’, but it’s apparently not even close.

  212. 212
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Ms. Daisy Cutter, when I first commented about the NOM papers last night, I said that I am not at all surprised. But it is so fucking convenient to be able to point at their little monument and say that we have proof of what they are doing and why.

    I want these people to have to deal with their hatreds and their denials. I fucking want them to gag on the poisons they are trying to spread. I want them to be laughed off the stage and discredited.

    (Yes, I am aware of the irony of wanting this when at this moment in time, allies of these creeps are not only taking away abortion rights in the US, they are attacking contraceptives.)

  213. 213
    Rutee Katreya

    The argument goes something like “two dimensional beings can only perceive three dimensional beings in two dimensional terms so they can’t understand them, so since we’re three dimensional beings and God has more dimensions we can’t perceive all of God/any of God therefore faith therefore Jesus”.

    Fascinating hypothesis. Do they know any actual two dimensional beings to question about it?

  214. 214
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Ogvorbis – those sound like great books. Which would you recommend reading first?

    I’d read Benton first, then Erwin. That is the order of publication and some of the organic CO2 origination ideas changed really fast between the two publications (or in the view of the authors).

    The flat part?

    Well, if by the flat part you mean Flanders, then yeah, the flat part.

    I was trying for irony.

    Given my military history education, I would have called Flanders flat and wet.

    *I don’t do business with Amazon, but B&N has never, ever sent a book in bubble wrap.

    The purchase was not fulfilled by Amazon; it was a used book store somewhere in Texas.

    Or, indeed, your socks.

    Failure to grok.

    Can a municiple PD extend such a wide profiling spying mission so far beyond their jurisdiction?

    I don’t see how they can do that even within their jurisdiction. For instance, how do they know who the Muslims are?

    Good old Roger the Bull!

    I thought it was Roger the Cabin Boy. Who sailed alongside Seaman Staines

    According to a book I have read on early colonial sex, marriage and patriarchy, Roger the Bull was a character in cartoons? fiction? (haven’t read the book in a while) and ‘rogering’ became a synonym for fucking. As in, “I rogered my wife well,” as an entry in a diary. This would be late 17th to mid 18th century.

  215. 215
    Owlmirror

    Anyone know of a good book on the domestication of apples?

    A few years back, I read Michael Pollan‘s book The Botany of Desire, which discusses apple domestication, among other plants, such as tulips (discussing the Tulip bubble of the Netherlands, for the economically interested), potatoes (and discusses genetic modification of said plant, for those interested in GM), and cannabis (I don’t suppose anyone is interested in whacky tobacco…).

    Here’s an old interview on his website about apples, and an essay about apples — with more references at the bottom.

    Pollan is perhaps more famous for The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

  216. 216
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Fascinating hypothesis. Do they know any actual two dimensional beings to question about it?

    GOP single-issue voters?

  217. 217
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    MPs try to overturn ‘God can heal’ ad ban

    Three Christian MPs are trying to overturn an advertising ban on claiming that ‘God can heal’.

    Gary Streeter (Con), Gavin Shuker (Lab) and Tim Farron (Lib Dem) say that they want the Advertising Standards Authority to produce “indisputable scientific evidence” to say that prayer does not work – otherwise they will raise the issue in Parliament.

    The MPs wrote to dispute the ruling after the outpouring of support and prayer for football star Fabrice Muamba. [snip]

  218. 218
    Ingdigo Jump

    @daisy

    People have trouble with a female or gay Shep….even in scifi stuff that challenges or curves away from standard gender and sex is either ooky or niche fetishism to people

  219. 219
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I need to get offline. I read female or gay Shep as female or gay Shemp and had to shudder.

  220. 220
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Ing, yeah, I forgot you meant “stories” in a game and not a book context. Sorry. The latter seems to have more diversity, though I’m aware that the readers in question can also be deemed “niche” (as in, a niche that takes the stories seriously, rather than a fetish niche).

  221. 221
    Ingdigo Jump

    Wootwootwwowooo

  222. 222
    Louis

    Ms Daisy Cutter, #217,

    Ahhhhhh yes. The smell of clueless MPs in the mor…evening. I can only apologise for my countrymen and my associates shall be shooting them in the kneecaps with a sawn off* and asking them to “pray that fucker off”.

    Louis

    * Obviously, it should go without saying, even to the most humourless of readers, that no associate of mine, will in fact be doing this. Nor will I. Nor do I endorse it. Shotgun ammunition is frightfully expensive here. We’ll use crowbars.**

    ** No we won’t. Come on, work with me here. This is an joke.

  223. 223
    Ingdigo Jump

    I meant both. If you have a gay protagonist in your novel its not fantasy or lit…its gay lit. Anything outside heteronormative even in speculative fiction is going to suffer from hatedom and limited fan base. And elements like that ar3e going to be degraded as fetish or author appeal or agenda.

  224. 224
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Ing:

    Yup. But I bet if I went ahead with my plans for another story (unlikely since it was extremely off the beaten path) people’d have no problems since the main character is a lesbian in an extremely heavily implied relationship with her feline sem roommate (several times waking up in bed with her, no hanky or panky written in the story though.)

  225. 225
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Fascinating hypothesis. Do they know any actual two dimensional beings to question about it?

    I’d go so far to say as we’ve all known and loved many two-dimensional beings in our youth (and in many cases, yes, adulthood.)

    Thing is, they’re called ‘cartoons’.

    Just what do ‘Toons think of the three dimensional dimwitted demigods who created them anyways?

    I tried interviewing the esteemed Bugs Bunny on the subject, but I don’t think he could hear me through the screen.

  226. 226
    cicely

    Erm, I think you mean a foot race, not an arms race. Unless y’all wear your secks in odd places.

    leading to my

    Or, indeed, your socks.

    leading to

    Failure to grok.

    Arms race to foot race; secks to socks. Only…ineptly. Apparently.
    :(
    -

  227. 227
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I read female or gay Shep as female or gay Shemp and had to shudder.

    I did the same thing. Especially with the new Three Stooges disaster movie coming out.

    Arms race to foot race; secks to socks. Only…ineptly. Apparently.

    Ah. All hail Tpyos, yadda, yadda, ydada.

  228. 228
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Ing:

    If you have a gay protagonist in your novel its not fantasy or lit…its gay lit.

    Sigh. I just realized I am extrapolating from my experiences in certain bookstores that don’t sort books along those lines when they already fall into other overarching categories such as sf/f. (Of which I’m seriously glad, because otherwise I’d have never have read this.)

    But chain bookstores and not a few independent ones would do so.

    And, gah, the haters. I can understand hating a writer like Orson Scott Card, or along similar lines books like the Twilight novels. The rabid fanboys and fangirls who thrive on hating works that are harmless at worst, amazing at best, because of gender nonconformity… I intellectually understand why they do so (threatened privilege), but I don’t get it at a visceral level. I don’t have enough time to read all the books I want to read.

  229. 229
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    This is the type of response to NOM that is needed. It is by Julian Bond.

    “NOM’s underhanded attempts to divide will not succeed if Black Americans remember their own history of discrimination. Pitting bigotry’s victims against other victims is reprehensible; the defenders of justice must stand together.”

    Julian Bond, Chairman Emeritus, NAACP

    I am hoping that there is a cavalcade of similar responses from other civil rights veterans.

  230. 230
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Hey everyone. 2-D Man messaged me back again. SPOILER ALERT: it’s a doozy.

    I figured I’d let you all have at it if you feel like, although it’s pretty Creationism 101 I-got-this-from-my-pastor.

    But Evolution is a contradiction to physics. Physics states that (basically) that things get worse over time. Order becomes disordered, substances decay, fuel burns, things die off and the complex become more simple. Evolution says that the simple single cell organism gradually evolved over time to more and more complex creatures that became more and more intelligent just through nature. But there is no evidence for such a radical growth in complexity in the observable world. There is change over time, horses can change into slightly different horses, but simple organisms can’t evolve into different, more complex organisms. Horses will always produce horses, cats will always produce cats, spiders will always produce spiders and humans will always produce humans. There are hybrids like mules or zonkeys but those aren’t better species that can produce more fit species. Hybrids are most often infertile and have a much higher tendency to die before adulthood. That’s not evolution.

    There is a physical observable third dimensional representation of God. His name is Jesus. He became man and was born to Mary and lived a sinless life, performed miracles, preached the word of God (literally), died on the cross for us to take away our sins, was buried in a tomb, and rose on the third day. After which He showed Himself to many people as a witness to His resurrection and then ascended into Heaven.

    I mean more along the lines of how the earth is just the right size for gravity to be favorable for life, the sun is just the right distance, there is just enough oxygen held by gravity, the earth spins and just the right speed, we have a moon at just the right size and distance to control the tides, etc. There are plenty of other planets and solar systems and galaxies for us to see that don’t have these conditions.

    So…thermodynamics fail, argument from incredulity/”I don’t see how it could happen so it didn’t happen”, answers my dimension question with Jesus and a mini-prosyletizing spiel, and the “ooh everything is so perfect for life” thing. Bleh.

  231. 231
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    RahXephon, creationists are so ignorant of basic sciences that most do not realize that the Earth is not a closed system. There is a continue replenishing of energy.

    That is a common trope. Stick around and you will see that used scores of times.

  232. 232
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    @Janine

    Oh, I know. That’s why my response was to recommend he go outside and look for the giant flaming ball of gas in the sky. Give it a good loooooooong look. Maybe it’ll burn the stupid out.

  233. 233
    Sili

    Almost 4 minutes for Set. Booh.

    –o–

    I fear NOM might succeed in the same way the Republan party has.

    Get the poor to support benefits for the rich with the promise that they too will be rich some day soon, and then they won’t wanna be taxed, themselves.

    Get minorities to hate on the gay, with the promise that now *they*, themselves, won’t be the hated minority. Secondly, now you’ve been oppressed and hated for so long, so look!, we’ve found someone *you too* can hate on, so you can feel like one of us privileged people.

  234. 234
    Pteryxx

    janine, thanks for staying on top of the NOM news here. I’ve passed it on to the Dallas Voice and the Stranger.

  235. 235
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Ing, I don’t think the matter of jurisdiction is going to matter much in court, for two reasons. First, by New York state law, all municipal police have jurisdiction throughout the whole state. So it’s only where they cross into New Jersey that it could matter. Second, it probably won’t matter outside the state unless they performed arrests there. As far as surveillance, police can go where the public can go.

    Also, racial and religious profiling is not unconstitutional unless it is the only reason why the police are watching. As long as they can concoct a second excuse, they’re in the clear. And you can be sure they’ll come up with one; here they’re going to claim that they were always following specific leads.

    What might be illegal is if the NYPD’s behavior had chilling effects on anyone’s religious participation. There are claims that some people stopped attending religious services because of police presence. This has a real possibility of constituting a First Amendment violation.

    An interesting thing here is the Handschu agreement. Because the NYPD are among the most totalitarian in the country, in the aftermath of a Black Panther case they were once slapped with this specific set of restrictions that other police departments don’t have to abide by. These were relaxed somewhat after 9/11, but not eliminated. This, plus charges of chilling effects, will probably be the focus of any investigations or lawsuits.

    But I don’t think I can predict what the outcome will be.

  236. 236
    Rey Fox

    The racist Hunger Games fans article had me depressed for another reason: it never occurred to me that Katniss might be non-white. I had to search for “olive” in my ebook, and there it was, in the half-sentence physical description of her in Chapter 1*, which I apparently forgot. Being that District 12 is in Appalachia, I just figured she was white. Jeez.

    * Which is thoughtfully repeated in Chapter 1 of the second book, which I haven’t read yet because I can’t download it until I get home.

    Hey also, did you know that Lara Croft was originally Laura Cruz?

    rogering our women

    That was indeed a humorous screed, Louis, but I’m afraid you let the mask slip a little with this phrase.

    (As was hashed out extensively in subsequent comments. I always figured “roger” had to be Cockney rhyming slang.)

    If gods are four dimensional beings intersecting our three dimensional environment, where are the measurable or observable phenomena showing that this is actually happening?

    Puppies and rainbows and such. Or, having checked comment #230, an Aryan dude born to a Semitic lady who needed to keep her reputation intact. And did magic tricks. And appeared to MANY PEOPLE (some of whom could possibly even write!)

    Fox with socks come!

    Um, could you maybe buy me a drink first?

    Is a lacy garter more or less naughty than one with a tiny frilly skirt around the edge?

    [Reverend Lovejoy monotone] Ohh, it’s all good.

    Goddamit stockings get annoying – some like to stay up no problem, but then there are those that if you move, or if you shift, or if you exhale, they sliiiide down your legs and bunch up around your knees and eventually ankles.

    I’m not a wearer of the full stockings, but I’ve purchased some lovely striped and argyle socks from SockDreams.com, and I wonder: Is there a rule that states that if one makes cool socks, they have to lack any elastic? Those things always slip down, so I either wear them over another pair of white socks if they’re thin enough, or secure them with a pair of sock garters (also purchased from that site, so I may have answered my own question).

    Thing is, I have another couple pairs of fashion socks that I bought from college merch shops that are sturdy and stay up just fine (those who know me on Facebook have seen my feet in my yellow and black argyle Missouri socks). So it’s not like it’s impossible.

    If you have a gay protagonist in your novel its not fantasy or lit…its gay lit.

    Amusingly, the first Clive Barker novel I read as a teenager was the one with a gay protagonist that I think must have been the first one he wrote after coming out. Even more amusingly, I first noticed it because of the fox on the cover.

  237. 237
    Owlmirror

    (Why? Because SIWOTI!!!!!)

    But Evolution is a contradiction to physics.

    Of course it isn’t.

    Physics states that (basically) that things get worse over time.

    Physics says nothing so pathetically simplistic.

    Here’s what physics states:

    Quantitative estimates of the entropy involved in biological evolution demonstrate that there is no conflict between evolution and the second law of thermodynamics.

    Styer DF (2008) Entropy and evolution. Am J Phys 76(11):1031-1033.
    (PDF)

    But there is no evidence for such a radical growth in complexity in the observable world.

    Sure there is. The fact that you don’t bother observing it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

    There is change over time, horses can change into slightly different horses, but simple organisms can’t evolve into different, more complex organisms.

    Your assertion is not a fact.

    Horses will always produce horses, cats will always produce cats, spiders will always produce spiders and humans will always produce humans.

    Oddly enough, Adolf Hitler said pretty much the the same thing.

    There are hybrids like mules or zonkeys but those aren’t better species that can produce more fit species.

    They are evidence that equids evolved from a common ancestor.

    There is a physical observable third dimensional representation of God. His name is Jesus.

    Please feel free to introduce Jesus to a camera, and capture an image of him transiting our dimension to his and back.

    He became man and was born to Mary and lived a sinless life

    What does “sin” even mean?

    performed miracles, preached the word of God

    Huh. So, the “word of God” includes hating your parents?

    was buried in a tomb, and rose on the third day.

    Sunday is the second day after Friday, not the third.

    After which He showed Himself to many people as a witness to His resurrection and then ascended into Heaven.

    If he ascended, he can come back and show himself again, and ascend again. Why am I supposed to believe a magic trick from word-of-mouth reports from a long-ago single performance?

    How gullible am I supposed to be?

    I mean more along the lines of how the earth is just the right size for gravity to be favorable for life, the sun is just the right distance, there is just enough oxygen held by gravity, the earth spins and just the right speed, we have a moon at just the right size and distance to control the tides, etc. There are plenty of other planets and solar systems and galaxies for us to see that don’t have these conditions.

    So what?

  238. 238
  239. 239
    ChasCPeterson

    There’s a species of grasshopper or katydid in the dry areas here….Does anyone have any idea what it might possibly be?

    Most probably some kind of Melanoplus.

  240. 240
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Chas: I’m not finding anything, though granted, most of the grasshopper species listed don’t have pages for them.

    None of the grasshopper species that do have their own page resemble this species at all.

  241. 241
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    I think I may have narrowed it down to the Carolina Grasshopper. Do they occur in BC, I wonder?

  242. 242
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    TLC:

    Does the page show females? Insect females are usually bigger and less colorful than males.

  243. 243
    pentatomid

    There’s a species of grasshopper or katydid in the dry areas here. It appears to be the largest grasshopper or similar insect in BC, and it is gray with long wings that are bright yellow when extended, and it makes a loud clicking sound in flight.

    Maybe a species of Arphia? Arphia granulata or Arphia xanthoptera.
    I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about non-european species and grasshoppers aren’t my area of expertise anyway, but I know these species are greyish with yellow wings, so if it helps…

  244. 244
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Katherine Lorraine: Wikipedia doesn’t appear to have a page for the species. But based on a google image search, Carolina Grasshopper shows enough color variation to easily be the critters I sometimes see.

    Furthermore, I’m seeing a description of a butterfly like flight pattern, and indeed I’ve seen people mistake them for butterflies in flight before. No mention of the clicking sounds they make in flight though.

  245. 245
    ChasCPeterson

    the Carolina Grasshopper. Do they occur in BC, I wonder?

    yes

    Here are pretty much all the possibilities.

  246. 246
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Morning, all. I’ve read partway through the Hunger Games now, and so far I would indeed recommend it. It’s well written; I find it very engaging.

    On the race question, it was extremely obvious to me that Rue and Thresh were black – they were described as having dark brown skin. It’s quite funny that people who claim to love the books totally missed that, and reconstructed them in their heads as white.

    Kathryn, that could happen to you! Default reading is white, straight, hetero – and that can override the author’s actual description for the dumber readers. Much like happened to the Wizard of Earthsea, and some other LeGuin works.

    Katniss, however, I read as white. She has grey eyes; her mother and sister both have light hair and blue eyes. Olive skin doesn’t say “non-white” to me – a lot of Welsh people are described as olive-skinned; I was myself when growing up. So are a lot of Mediterranean Europeans. Sure, a hispanic actor *could* have been cast, and the over-restrictive casting call totally sucked. But I see nothing wrong with actually casting her as white.

  247. 247
    A. R

    I submit the following amusing homeopathy video for the horde’s consideration. Linky.

  248. 248
    Ingdigo Jump

    There is change over time, horses can change into slightly different horses, but simple organisms can’t evolve into different, more complex organisms.

    What did the first horse look like? Show me what the quintessential forms of Horse kind are and what are the deviations of breed.

    simple organisms can’t evolve into different, more complex organisms.

    Amoebas have far larger genomes than humans. Many “simple” life forms have very complex genetic systems that make animal genetics look static and boring.

  249. 249
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    * Sorry, Katherine, not Kathryn. Oops.

  250. 250
    Ingdigo Jump

    Is a rat a modified mouse or is a mouse a modified rat?

    Seriously the people with this kind bullshit need to answer these questions. Show us the basal rodent template by which all rodents evolved from. Use the entire fossil record

  251. 251
    pentatomid

    Ah. Mitchell and Webb, genius as always.

  252. 252
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Alethea:

    Yea, that’s true. I do a pretty good job of describing most of the characters. While in my initial story the human main characters are all pretty much of the same European-style white-skin, with both dark and light hair depending on the character. The second book is the one with the black man, who’s described when he’s met as a dark-skinned Freeworlder.

  253. 253
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    rorschach:

    We have gone from 7 Pharyngula tables (of 10 people each) in 2010 to not one (7 people so far) this year, which is slightly disappointing.

    How many of the 70 from 2010 were from Australia? Could it be that traveling to the antipodes is a Once in a Lifetime Event™ (or, in my case, not even once) for most of those of us who hail from the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and the majority of the Horde has simply already used up their allotments?

  254. 254
    ChasCPeterson

    Is a rat a modified mouse or is a mouse a modified rat?

    If by a rat you mean Rattus and if my mouse you mean Mus and its diminutive relatives, then this phylogeny sez mice are modified rats.
    All bets are off in the New World.

  255. 255
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    “Gal, smiles are stellar ere crossword rows sorcerer Al lets era’s elim’s lag.”

    Explanation.

    “Degree? Beer, GED.”

  256. 256
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Fucking patriarchy is everywhere. Just downloaded a silly app called MyClinic, a little game about running an outpatient clinic.

    1. First character in tutorial-blonde hawt nurse with physically impossible tits and cleavage, standing on one hip and telling me she would be my guide to “riches.”

    2. Second character-stern-faced-but-hawt patient, also with ridiculous tits, whom I have to treat for a broken fingernail. She is described as thinking a broken nail is the worst thing in the world, even worse than a broken arm. The whole situation is “beneath her dignity.”

    3. Third character-Old Mrs. So and So, a “local gossip” who got an injury I need to treat during one of her eavesdropping sessions.

    Uninstalled.

    Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.

  257. 257
    A. R

    Josh: That’s like a misogyny machine gun.

  258. 258
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Oh, also Shame On You email sent to game developer with my real name.

  259. 259
    Rey Fox

    You mean “Official” isn’t your middle name?

  260. 260
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    :D @ Rey

  261. 261
    Ingdigo Jump

    If anyone wants a new chew toy we have a “The law is absolute and must be followed” libertarian twit on the screwed up country thread.

    I gave up after he insisted that the rule of law is absolute until changed and judges and legislators can’t change that!

  262. 262
    A. R

    “The law is absolute and must be followed” libertarian

    Doesn’t that make hir an authoritarian, not a libertarian?

  263. 263
    Ingdigo Jump

    There’s a difference?

  264. 264
    Walton

    If anyone wants a new chew toy we have a “The law is absolute and must be followed” libertarian twit on the screwed up country thread.

    Now that’s bizarre… in what way is it a libertarian position to advocate slavish adherence to the commands of the state? Of course, I’ve met self-proclaimed “libertarians” who support police brutality against Occupy protestors and the like, so I’m not unaware of the fact that many people simply have utterly incoherent views. But still. (I haven’t bothered to read the thread, admittedly, so I could be missing something.)

  265. 265
    Part-Time Insomniac

    Just checked out [i]Quiet[/i] on Amazon. It does look interesting. I certainly like how the author uses the example of a motivational speaker who prefers to recharge his batteries, figuratively, in quiet solitude. It’s something I’ve always done, although now I sometimes turn on music. Adding this to my wish list.

    Since we’re sharing book lists, here are the ones I picked up recently:

    The Art of Cycling (only one I actually paid for)

    Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assault Upon Our Language

    The Elegant Universe

    Essential Literary Terms

    The Midnight House

    Days of Magic, Nights of War

    The Last Colony

    I’m very curious about Days of Magic. I’ve never read anything from Clive Barker before. The brief skimming of Anguished English had me snickering on the bus. And now to make a list of books to be read, and of those to finish dammit!

  266. 266
    Walton

    Oh… having looked at the thread, I see it’s an argument about Heller and the Second Amendment, and the person in question is a Scalia fan. Now Ing’s statement makes more sense to me. (I should have actually read it before posting.)

    I am really not a fan of Scalia or of the constitutional originalist school of thought – I could spend all day listing the many opinions in which he’s displayed remarkable callousness towards racial minorities, immigrants, criminal defendants, LGBT people, and so forth – but I don’t have energy to get into that debate now.

  267. 267
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Walton, I wonder, any further comment on this?

  268. 268
    Rey Fox

    Scalia, and of course, Cheney, always make me think of this song.

  269. 269
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Most probably some kind of Melanoplus.

    So a small one would be a Melanominus?

    There is change over time, horses can change into slightly different horses, but simple organisms can’t evolve into different, more complex organisms.

    Ah, the intellectual poverty of those who cannot grok deep time. Give it enough time and a little bitty quadrapedal with four toes can become something big enough for Rush Limbaugh to ride.

    “Degree? Beer, GED.”

    My college’s motto was Ex umbris ad lucem. Which of course, got shortened to Ex Lucem ad Inebrium.

    We claimed that you graduated with a BA and an AA.

  270. 270
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    *interrupt*
    I found out today that I have been granted tenure. I am now uncannable. I have lectured wearing pants for the last time.

    All your bases are belong to me.
    *carry on*

  271. 271
    carlie

    YAY GLITTER PLUSHIE CHOCOLATE BACON PARADE FOR ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES!!!

    In other news, Can we please get churches shut down now? Or at the very least unable to have anything to do with minors? Headline: Pennsylvania Church Kidnaps Teens, Holds Them At Gunpoint, For ‘Learning Exercise’

  272. 272
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Glad to hear it, AE. Now I can suggest a further refinement to your in-class policy debates. Have the students pick their side, come to class with several arguments one of which they believe is unusual, and then fight to the death.

  273. 273
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    SGBM…I regard it as a great shame that I don’t know you in RL.

  274. 274
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    *interrupt*
    I found out today that I have been granted tenure. I am now uncannable. I have lectured wearing pants for the last time.

    All your bases are belong to me.
    *carry on*

    Congrats.

    Last semester, I was dropping Girl off downtown for a history class. I saw a really scary looking guy (beret, beard, worn t-shirt, leather vest, bell-bottom jeans, approaching my daughter. He walked up to her and started gesticulating wildly and talking to her. I pulled over, jumped out, and, seeing Girl give me the look, jumped back in and drove away. It was the chair of the history department. On a good day.

    In other news, Can we please get churches shut down now? Or at the very least unable to have anything to do with minors? Headline: Pennsylvania Church Kidnaps Teens, Holds Them At Gunpoint, For ‘Learning Exercise’

    When I read that, I thought they church had an exorcism because the kids had learned something.

    This is much more frightening.

  275. 275
    carlie

    I should have added the HT – that article about the church was from Ophelia Benson.

  276. 276
    Rey Fox

    Congratulations on joining the Godless Liberal Elite, Antiochus. Be sure to corrupt a great many fragile young minds.

  277. 277
    strange gods before me ॐ

    AE, you’ve got the best side of me already. This way you don’t have to try to act polite while I ramble, and I can’t take up residence on your couch or vomit on your ceiling.

  278. 278
    Walton

    Walton, I wonder, any further comment on this?

    Not really my area of expertise, unfortunately. I’ll try to research it later when I have a chance.

  279. 279
    AJ Milne

    … I have lectured wearing pants for the last time.

    Wait. I find many ambiguities, here.

    … as in: sure, we can now assume that if/when you next lecture, you will not be wearing pants…

    … it also seems to imply pretty strongly that, at some point in the past, you have lectured wearing pants…

    … it does not make it clear how frequent/common was the latter occurrence. In either element. As in: lectures and lectures in which you wore pants.

    … nor a third element: where/on which body part you wore the pants, if indeed you were lecturing regularly, and regularly wearing them.

    Just wondering. Been out of academia a while, see.

    (/Seriously: congratulations.)

  280. 280
    cicely

    I found out today that I have been granted tenure. I am now uncannable. I have lectured wearing pants for the last time.

    *confetti* and *champagne*

    All your bases are belong to me.

    Lucky escape for Son, then. Somebody is going to have to divert a river through that garage someday, and I don’t think he fancies the job at all.
    -

  281. 281
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Katherine:

    I’ve come up with all these characters who are not just black [but, but, but,] and older

    *grrrrr*

    Flounces out, impetuously tossing grey-streaked mane. :)

    Fook! 01:45! Time for bed.

    Except: Did I mention, the place of work unblocked the whole of FTB, except for Pharyngula, which is still “Alternative Religion/Mysticism”. (Ph appears, however, to have lost “Political Activism”. What happened?)

  282. 282
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Thanks everybody. Imma celebrate with a few high-lifes while I catch up with Walking Dead.

  283. 283
    chigau (違う)

    Congratulations Antiochus Epiphanes!
    —-
    My new fridge was just delivered.
    Surely almost as exciting!

  284. 284
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Afternoon all. (It took me all morning to catch up!)
    @Echidna #112

    meeting up Sounds good. I’ll be in that (if I can work it into my schedule :-/)

    Way ahead of you. Teh Groop Secks can, if needs be, incorporate many acts of Gheyness.* This permits one to maximise the Destruction of the Catholic Church, Society and of course the Alarming of the Children and Ladies of Sensitive Breeding.

    For maximum Catholic destruction, shouldn’t teh ghey groop secks include massturbayshun?

    * Sixdays The Banned informed us that oral sex did this.

    and in so doing inspired not only my, but also Ogvorbis’ nym changes

    Roll on the Oral Sex Inspired End of Days(tm)

    If you are at the end of any queue, UR DOING IT RONG.

    The booty of any sort of grooooop secks, is that there need not be a queueueueueueue. Just dive in!

    {Today’s Deviancy has been brought to you be the number nine, and the letters O, M and G}

    Although the letter G may, (or may not be), imaginary

    Ogvorbis
    I started the Louis-line and I can’t tell my position in it.

    That makes you the Louis-line Groop ghey secks nucleation point. We should (in future generations) be able to trace the ghey secks record through all the layers (ahem), until we arrive at the singularity of what we perhaps will call “the Big Bang” (ahem)

    Basically, the orgy is going to be the longest free-standing Groop Secks event EVAR, as people continually join, leave, re-join etc

    And will we get a group of astrophysicist, & aerodynamics engineers to make it fly?

    Hi Cicely!

    Waitwaitwait…I had understood that the Ghey Secks With Brownian™ line had entered into a relationship of some sort with the Group Secks With Louis™ line, such that to be in one was to simultaneously be in the other?

    Are they quantum entangled?

    They do feel helpless for completely stupid reasons.

    Yeah, they can’t have everybody behave in the way that they want.

    Fascinating hypothesis. Do they know any actual two dimensional beings to question about it?

    Other christians?

    I mean more along the lines of how the earth is just the right size for gravity to be favorable for life, the sun is just the right distance, there is just enough oxygen held by gravity, the earth spins and just the right speed, we have a moon at just the right size and distance to control the tides, etc. There are plenty of other planets and solar systems and galaxies for us to see that don’t have these conditions.

    Ahhhhhh, the ol’ weak anthropomorphic argument. Same bloke, different haircut.

    Now for some work (Oh *sigh*)

  285. 285
    Rey Fox

    Ahhhhhh, the ol’ weak anthropomorphic argument.

    Anthropic. And I think that’s more like the strong anthropic principle rather than the weak one.

  286. 286
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    My new fridge was just delivered.
    Surely almost as exciting!

    Cool!

  287. 287
  288. 288
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Sometimes my reduced participation in these threads is good. I missed PZ and Jen having the spat over her poll. Probably wouldn’t have voted anyway, but I’m glad I didn’t even get the chance.

    But I smell a creobot somewhere, and my fang itches.

  289. 289
    chigau (違う)

    Ms. Daisy
    How DO you find these things?

  290. 290
    chigau (違う)

    Nerd

    But I smell a creobot somewhere, and my fang itches.

    Where? Where? *wields vorpal blade*
    Wait “fang”?
    Singular?

  291. 291
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    In other news, I saw MissRepresentation tonight. I have my qualms about it — treatment of liberal and conservative female politicians as equally credible; nonsense about “spiritual” matters; idiotic “women are better than men and can solve all the world’s problems” gender essentialism — but, on the whole, it’s quite good and worth watching.

  292. 292
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Chigau: They find ME!

  293. 293
    Owlmirror
    But I smell a creobot somewhere, and my fang itches.

    Where? Where? *wields vorpal blade*

    There was one over at Sb Pharyngula. And PZ closed the thread! And it was less than a year old! There were fewer than 150 comments on it! It died (or re-died) too young!

    Maybe the creobot will reappear on TZT, though. Gnarrrrggh!

  294. 294
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Ahhhhhh, the ol’ weak strong anthropomorphic argument.

    Thanks Rey. You’re right & that’ll teach me to bash out fast responses without checking facts

  295. 295
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Woohoo! Conga-Rats to Antiochus Epiphanes!

  296. 296
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    My titanium post/porcelain fang. No live nerves under it, but it still “itches”.

    PZ killed another Zombie thread on SciBlogs, and I’ve seen a couple of responses over on this side (by Owlmirror for one).

    But bedtime for Nerd approaches. Early to bed, and early to rise (and to work), allows for visits to the Redhead during the week.

  297. 297
    rorschach

    SGBM…I regard it as a great shame that I don’t know you in RL.

    Ditto.

  298. 298
    Nutmeg

    AE: Congrats! Here’s a cake for you!

    Ogvorbis:

    It was the chair of the history department. On a good day.

    A few months ago, I came home from school and my mom started telling me about the strange man she met in the grocery store line and the odd things he was buying. I interrupted her halfway through to tell her that she was describing the assistant head of the biology department. Within the department, he’s well-liked, respected, and better-adjusted than many others. In the real world, he’s apparently mildly frightening.

  299. 299
    Rey Fox

    Wait “fang”?
    Singular?

    He’s got a fang. He’s got. A fang.

  300. 300
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    cr and lilapwl (and by extension, Mike):

    I meant to reply to y’all (hopefully briefly, but we know how that goes) earlier this evening, but instead I ended up watching TV with my Lovely Bride®. It’s probably just as well: lilapwl’s links to earlier versions of this conversation served to remind me how precisely this is just another trip around the same merry-go-round for me.

    Anyway, I didn’t want anyone to think the effort and thought that went into the replies was unappreciated: I did read all of them carefully.

    I think I’ll leave it at that.

  301. 301
    chigau (違う)


    You may take up residence on my couch anytime.
    If you can find it.
    It’s over there, under that … stuff.
    I must insist, however, that you vomit into the toilet.
    or in the compost.

  302. 302
    Nutmeg

    Oh, and here’s some awesomeness on the Internet for those who supplied me with cheerful links a few days ago.

    I don’t even like babies (unless they’re barbecued) and I found this cute. Of course, it was mostly because of the Golden Retrievers, but still.

  303. 303
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    chigau, hooray for the new fridge!

    Antiochus Epiphanes
    27 March 2012 at 7:16 pm
    *interrupt*
    I found out today that I have been granted tenure. I am now uncannable. I have lectured wearing pants for the last time.

    All your bases are belong to me.
    *carry on*

    What wonderful news! Congratulations, Antiochus Epiphanes!!

  304. 304
    strange gods before me ॐ

    rorshach and chigau, y’all are sweet. :) Thanks.

    +++++
    Bill, no problem.

  305. 305
    chigau (違う)

    Nutmeg
    Most of the dogs a checking to see if the babies are good to eat.
    (and vice versa)

  306. 306
    rorschach

    Hm, has PZ removed the “Crash this survey” thread ?

  307. 307
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Hm, has PZ removed the “Crash this survey” thread ?

    Looks like it.

  308. 308
    PZ Myers

    Jen wanted it gone, wanted it to have never existed. So it’s gone.

  309. 309
    strange gods before me ॐ

    http://psp.sagepub.com/content/28/6/724.short

    «Does distraction or rumination work better to diffuse anger? Catharsis theory predicts that rumination works best, but empirical evidence is lacking. In this study, angered participants hit a punching bag and thought about the person who had angered them (rumination group) or thought about becoming physically fit (distraction group). After hitting the punching bag, they reported how angry they felt. Next, they were given the chance to administer loud blasts of noise to the person who had angered them. There also was a no punching bag control group. People in the rumination group felt angrier than did people in the distraction or control groups. People in the rumination group were also most aggressive, followed respectively by people in the distraction and control groups. Rumination increased rather than decreased anger and aggression. Doing nothing at all was more effective than venting anger. These results directly contradict catharsis theory.»

  310. 310
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Heh, pitbull, I got told that ages ago in a depression group therapy thing at a local hospital. Like, 2005 or 2006, maybe? Speaking of depression, though, I am feeling pretty bloody down right now. And also cross.

    It started nicely… last night a woman phoned me to say she’d found my ginger cat. It turned out that she was literally just across the road, so he’d have needed no help getting home. But sweet of her, anyway, so I popped out to say thanks. Well, I walk down the driveway, across the road, and the equivalent of another driveway length (suburban, not country) in the parking lot across the road, pick up the cat, go home. Less than 500m gentle stroll, and I’m fucking well puffing and panting from it. AAARGH. I have my 6 month followup chest CT scan tomorrow and respiratory specialist appointment next week, and I’m supposed to be all better by now damnit! WTF IS THIS SHIT? AAARRGGGHH. fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

  311. 311
    A. R

    Ok, so horde, I need advice. I’ve been debating focusing on a PhD or going MD/PhD. Advice? (My field is vaccines and antiviral agents targeting filoivirus and arenavirus hemorrhagic fevers)

  312. 312
    rorschach

    I find this unbelievable :

    Apple offers refunds for new iPad in Australia over 4G

  313. 313
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Good morning
    I still hate DST
    Kill it with fire

    Antiochus Epiphanes
    Wow, yay, congarats!

  314. 314
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Congrats, AE!

  315. 315
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Great. I think I’ve developed Raynaud’s Disease, a condition where the extremities (in my case, random toes, sometimes one, sometimes four or five) have arterial spasming-down such that they get cold, blanched white, and numb. Having arteriosclerosis and being on beta blockers (blood pressure medicine), I am apparently quite a nice candidate for it.

    Christ. 37 years old and I’m Professor Farnsworth. Off to the doctor I go.

  316. 316
    chigau (違う)

    Josh
    *hugs*
    and every virtual bad-comfort-thing.
    bacon smokes booze

  317. 317
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Thanks chigau. My USB port is all greazey now, OM NOM NOM NOM!

  318. 318
    echidna

    PZ:

    Jen wanted it gone, wanted it to have never existed. So it’s gone.

    I don’t recall PZ pulling any other post. Is this a first?

  319. 319
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Oh, and Nerd, I may have missed it but is there a more comprehensive update on the Redhead? When does she get to go home? How’s her speech/motor coordination, etc? How’s your blood pressure?

    Don’t mean to be nosy, just more concerned. :)

  320. 320
    echidna

    Josh,
    *hugs* from me too. and virtual spaetzle (imagine mac-and-cheese, only the real thing, using a many-centuries-old recipe from scratch).

  321. 321
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    virtual spaetzle (imagine mac-and-cheese, only the real thing, using a many-centuries-old recipe from scratch).

    How funny that you should mention that! I made old-timey chicken and dumplings tonight from the carcass of a bird I roasted. I like to make the dumplings that are like farm-style noodles rather than the puffy biscuity things. Basically a pie-crust-type dough rolled out, cut into strips and squares and dropped in the simmering stew.

    Mmm, mmm.

  322. 322
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    cicely, Shameful & Imprudent @194

    Waitwaitwait…I had understood that the Ghey Secks With Brownian™ line had entered into a relationship of some sort with the Group Secks With Louis™ line, such that to be in one was to simultaneously be in the other?

    Being in two places at once until someone looks at you? That sounds more like Teh Ghey Secks Wthi Heisenberg. Unless you’re an under-age Russian, then it’s Heisenberg Heisenberg.

    Owlmirror:

    Oddly enough, Adolf Hitler said pretty much the the same thing.

    …daubs the ‘Thread Godwinned’ square…
    It still counts for the Bingo even if it’s justified, ne?

    Carlie @271

    In other news, Can we please get churches shut down now? Or at the very least unable to have anything to do with minors? Headline: Pennsylvania Church Kidnaps Teens, Holds Them At Gunpoint, For ‘Learning Exercise’

    Wasn’t it Louis, upthread, that said it was an inevitability that things get worse? It got fucking worse without even hitting the next century of TeT posts. Can’t the Crasstians just lay off teh stoopid enough so that we only need to bug our eyes in incredulity once per TeT episode?

    We need a thread statistician to see if the incidents of idiocy reported in thread are increasing or decreasing with time. Sometimes it feels like it’s increasing exponentially, which makes me feel like pouring a whole bag of dark chocolate chips and whole bottle of Kahlua down my throat and pretend I didn’t see anything.

  323. 323
    echidna

    Rorschach, have you news of Bride of Shrek? It’s been so long since I have heard anything.

  324. 324
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Josh

    Off to the doctor I go.

    I hope it all goes well. *hugs* as required.

  325. 325
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Oh, and AE: jealous as hell but also happy as hell for you. Enjoy the professional pantsectomy.

  326. 326
    echidna

    Josh:

    I like to make the dumplings that are like farm-style noodles rather than the puffy biscuity things. Basically a pie-crust-type dough rolled out, cut into strips and squares and dropped in the simmering stew.

    Just the ticket.

  327. 327
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Echidna, how do you make your spaetzle? And what do you put it in?

    With the chicken stew I add a fucktonne of thyme, pepper, and salt, and use a moderate amount of cold butter as the fat I cut into the flour before kneading.

  328. 328
    echidna

    Echidna, how do you make your spaetzle?

    I usually make a kaese-spaetzle, but you know already that these are the traditional things that go in goulash (batter dropped in by the spoonful) or chicken soup.
    I make up a batter similar to a pancake batter, only thicker, with about 5 eggs and three cups of flour and milk, nutmeg, salt and ground black pepper. I put the mixture through a spaetzle maker (a bit of metal with holes in it) into boiling salted water), which makes noodles/dumplings that look a little like the droppings of sparrows (I understand that’s what the name spaetzle refers to, rather than the sanitized translation of sparrow). My mum used a spoon, as she was cut off from Austrian kitchen things in Australia; the other option would be to make a thicker dough and chop/scrape the dough into shape.

    Scoop the spaetzle out as they rise to the top of the water. Having already lightly fried up some onion in a frying pan, add the spaetlzle with a heap of cheese (emmenthaler if you can get it, anything melty and tasty if you can’t) and heat through until the cheese is melted. Goes well with bacon.

    I’m making it tonight. Because the recipe is so old, it’s not really dependent on the high protein content of modern wheat, and I can make it gluten-free without losing too much of the character (that’s why there are 5 eggs rather than 2 or 3. Still, my great-grand-mother would have used 5 or 6 eggs. I have her handwritten recipe book. )

  329. 329
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @cm:

    Ehe, I meant no disrespect of course. It was just the quickest and easiest way to mention that I have three main characters in two novels who aren’t your typical 20-something hero. One is in his late 40s, the other two are mid-50. And the mid-50 characters get engaged in the beginning of the book. So not only do I have older main characters, but they’ve actually got a love life! They probably even have sex! (not in the book of course)

  330. 330
    opposablethumbs

    Congratulations Antiochus. (So what will you wear?)

    Josh, wishing you lots of health (or possibly lots of French nano-sized cops in the bloodstream going “circulez! circulez!” to the corpuscles)

  331. 331
    rorschach

    What the hell just happened to the site theme ?

    have you news of Bride of Shrek

    Not a word for more than a year. What is presumably her ex tried to contact me via linkedin, but I didnt reply, since I dont know the guy.

  332. 332
    rorschach

    Scoop the spaetzle out as they rise to the top of the water. Having already lightly fried up some onion in a frying pan, add the spaetlzle with a heap of cheese (emmenthaler if you can get it, anything melty and tasty if you can’t) and heat through until the cheese is melted. Goes well with bacon.

    If you don’t have a special tool, you can just scrape them from the dough into the water off a wooden board, for example with a knife or fork. As to the Kaesespaetzle, it is important that there is plenty of onion, that they are glazed not fried, and you never, never add the cheese just like that. The art with this dish is to serve it in layers, and with those layers still intact when served on a plate. Spaetzle, onion, cheese, spaetzle, onion, cheese. You do not mix them during preparation !

  333. 333
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Just watched 30(ish) same sex couples get married on state sponsored TV. I love Australia.

  334. 334
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Of course there’s still a ways to go as same sex marriage still isn’t legal. That said, I can’t see this happening in North America.

  335. 335
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    CongaRats to AE for tenure.

    Yikes Josh.

    Oh, and Nerd, I may have missed it but is there a more comprehensive update on the Redhead? When does she get to go home? How’s her speech/motor coordination, etc? How’s your blood pressure?

    No big update. She’s still in rehab, “walking” with full assistance, but not on her own. No release date on the horizon. Her speech wasn’t effected except it became monotone. Right side fine. My BP has stabilized at an acceptable with meds. Just did my first mail order from my drug insurance plan yesterday for a continuing supply.

  336. 336
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Hi there

    Spaetzle
    First it’s important to notice that, although Austrians practically own most combinations of milk/eggs/flour, Spätzle come from Schwaben in the south of Germany.

    I use (per person):
    100g of flour
    1 egg
    bit of milk (about 200ml for 5 eggs)
    salt
    nutmeg

    The dough mustn’t be too runny. Whether it is more or less runny decides if you have Spätzle (longish) or Knöpfle (short and round)

    What’s also nice is if you finely mix some herbs and add them. I especially love bear’s garlic and will make them come Friday.

    For making I own one of these, but I doubt that Tupperware has them in Australia. It’s a really great tool that makes Spätzle the easiest food ever.
    If it’s not avaible a colander with rather big holes does the job as well, scraping them off the board is considered the high art of schwäbische Hausfrauenschule ;)
    And as rorschach mentioned, don’t mix before serving!

  337. 337
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    On a cheery note, I also just watched that same very cool mass TV gay wedding ceremony. And one of the grooms is an occasional Pharyngulite who I met at the previous GAC! A reader rather than commenter, afaik. Congrats to MB & GS.

  338. 338
    rorschach

    scraping them off the board is considered the high art of schwäbische Hausfrauenschule ;)

    I know, I lived there for 25 years.

  339. 339
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    I want an American president to go Germany and announce “Ich bin ein Spätzle!”

    If Kennedy could be a ‘fuckin’ donut,’ someone else should be brave enough to be a noodle.

  340. 340
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    ‘…to go TO Germany…’

    I hate it when the iPod eetz mai wurdz.

  341. 341
    Louis

    I’m putting this here because I need a rant, and I cannot be fucking bothered to put it on a relevant thread and argue the toss with people who cannot see past their trigger fingers. I also don’t want another gun derail on a thread to do with racism. Forgive me and indulge me this once please.

    Scroll past if disinterested.

    [RANT] [Possibly Derailing] [Long, probably best ignored]

    At the risk of exciting the gun enthusiasts, libertarians and sundry 2nd Amendment fans, this does look utterly ludicrous from the outside.

    Of course there are racist elements at play in the Martin case, of course this is a case which highlights the horrors of racism in American society, from the individuals involved, to the institutional racism of the police, to the social racism of the commenting media. Nowhere on earth escapes that racism. We all have it, America is not unique here. The USA might be slightly worse in one direction or another than another nation, or slightly better in a different one, but in the end this is a red herring. To deny the racist elements of the Martin case is to deny the nose on your face. Funny, but ultimately fucking stupid.

    The problem I see here is “theology”. It’s arguing about how many angels are dancing on the head of a pin. Fun, perhaps even nice, but only relevant within the system, within an environment that grants certain priors.

    Caveat 1: Now it’s abundantly obvious to even the meanest intellect that the Magic Gun Evaporating Wand is never coming to fruition, so of course this “theology” I have just described is partially useful. It has practical implications, if only “how the hell do we get from this social situation to that one?”. I mention this to forestall the inevitable. Obviously the required alterations to American society have to come from the inside. Unless you’re interested in regime change*… ;-)

    Caveat 2: Other nations have guns too, and with varying degrees of freedom, but the Western world outside the USA enjoys a relatively lower proportion of gun crime and violence in general. This is indisputable. Various gun freedoms are not the only correlation with gun crime, as agreed elsewhere, but they are an important factor.

    I presume most people here are atheists. I presume most people here have had some conversation with a theist of some description where the theist presents some convoluted piece of theology or faith based “reasoning” and the atheist’s reply is “Well that’s nice but you haven’t demonstrated that anyone should take your deity seriously. You need to demonstrate that exists first.”.

    The analogous situation applies here. We have racist murders in the UK, we have horrible crimes, some even involving guns. We have institutionalised racism, racist media, we have racists. But we very, very rarely carry guns. And to forestall another red herring, the carrying of guns from A to B is irrelevant. Responsible gun owners/hunters/hobbyists can carry their guns to the range/woods/whatever the world over. We all do that. *I’ve* done that. It is unobjectionable. Zimmerman was not transporting a gun, he was SPORTING a gun. Carrying a gun in public for the purpose of self defence or…well…what other purpose we can only imagine.

    This is the equivalent “existence of god moment”. Everything downstream from this logically is something likely to be shared by almost every civilised nation on the planet (and quite a few uncivilised ones!). Racists are everywhere. Armed, entitled racists with confused/spurious legal backing (or at least a lack of obvious legal condemnation)? They are not everywhere. Like it or not, everything funnels down to the bedrock fact that Zimmerman was carrying a gun. A gun he felt entitled to use to blow away another human being. That just does not happen to anything like the same degree in other nations, and I’m sorry to keep coming back to it because it’s Excuse Number One for the Derail Apologists for Racism.

    But don’t you want to scream “But where is the fucking evidence for your god?” “But he was carrying a fucking gun in the street like it was a necessary thing to do!”?

    We can argue the toss about whether or not gun ownership is more beneficial to relatively privileged folks, or whether or not this specific thing or that specific thing is racist, or the best means to engage in self defence and so on and so forth. But to ignore the elephant in the room is unforgivable. Zimmerman was wandering around his every day business FUCKING ARMED WITH A FUCKING GUN. And millions of every day Americans do the same thing. No gun, the chances are that Martin would be alive today. Sure people get stabbed and beaten to death, but it’s a fuck sight harder to do than shoot someone. It happens less.

    I’ve met people. I know people. I wouldn’t trust most people to sit the right way round on a toilet. Hell, I get that wrong four times out of ten. I wouldn’t trust most people with a remote control. Guns? Fuck off. Too many morons. How many people have to die to prove this to you? How many people have to lie bleeding in a gutter before you get the idea that “Herp Derp, arming something with the brain of a chimp, sat on the brain of a rat, sat on the brain of a lizard is a bad idea!”?**** When the fuck does this sink in? When we’re socially evolved enough to cope with watching sports properly, then we get guns. Until then….

    {Takes rolled up newspaper, applies it to humanity’s nose with some force}

    No! Bad species! No! Naughty! Put that down!

    Louis

    * I have a couple of Iranian friends who are very concerned about the USA. They think you have weapons of mass destruction and are preparing to attack/invade their nation. They think it might be a good idea if they pre-emptively invaded the USA in a peaceful fashion to install a democracy. And to secure the oil fields, just in case of environmental disaster. Not only that but apparently they have some concerns about how you treat women.**

    ** It should be extremely clear that, yes, whilst I do have Iranian friends,*** this is a joke. Given a choice between America and Iran, I know which we’d pick. Hint: it doesn’t begin with an “I”.

    *** ZOMG TERRORIST. Reincarnating Senator McCarthy, Reincarnating Senator McCarthy. Senator McCarthy to the Office of UnAmerican Activities please.

    **** If you are a gun owner who carries their gun around with them, i.e. not for transport or other already mentioned red herrings, then yes, I mean you. You’re offended? Good. That was my intention you fucking violent mouth breathing moron. If you’re sufficiently terrified of the world around you to need a gun then you shouldn’t be allowed one. And don’t give me the “I’m a big responsible adult” line. I’m a responsible adult who, unless you work in a nuclear physics lab, works with most of the nastiest items and substances it is physically possible for a human to get their hands on. I know responsible. It’s not an act of responsibility to wander the streets with a lethal weapon even, and I want to make this abundantly clear, if you’ve somehow managed to do the world the massive favour of not killing anyone yet, you knuckle-dragging fucksponge. Don’t give me the “24: TERRORIST ON EVERY CORNER ZOMG BOMB PLOT WE BETTER TORTURE” line either. The majority of the western world deals with every single threat the USA deals with. From arson to zoophilia. We have stalkers and monsters and scumbags, and we still don’t carry guns. AND WE’RE LESS VIOLENT THAN YOU BY AND LARGE. Think about that. Just fucking think about it.

    GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

    [/RANT]

  342. 342
    Louis

    Antiochus Epiphanes, re: Tenure,

    AWESOME! Well done you. Hearty congratulations.

    Louis

  343. 343
    rorschach

    Now the ultimate Spaetzle recipe is to do them with lentils. Dont worry about Kaesespaetzle, but trust me when I say that you haven’t lived if you havent had Spaetzle with lentils. In Germany, you can buy a kind of lentil soup or stew readily made up, but if you can’t, you’ll just have to find a recipe online. Spaetzle and lentils is the perfect comfort food.

    Now back to Louis’s rant. Maybe have some Spaetzle with lentils, mate.

  344. 344
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Good morning, threadizens. A glorious Thursday, is it not?

    A night with no dreams, no nightmares, not olfactory hallucinations, no panic attack, no waking-up-at-three-in-the-morning-trying-to-squeeze-a-pillow-into-something-the-size-of-a-soup-can, no nothing. Just sleep.

    What a glorious day.

    I don’t even like babies (unless they’re barbecued)

    Wife pointed this out this morning as I was feeding the beasts vicious carnivores housecats: “Foetus, feed us. Do you think that’s a conincidence?”

    Congratulations Antiochus. (So what will you wear?)

    I have this weird vision of a professor wearing a kilt and ranting incoherently with a thick Scots accent. Which describes an English lit professor who was at my junior college when I was a freshman.

    =====

    Good news for you, Nerd. I hope the Redhead’s rehab goes well.

  345. 345
    Louis

    Josh, Official SpokesGay, Virtual-Husband, Perpetrator of Acts, Enjoyer of the Befurtlement, All-Round Nice Chap, What!

    I shall provide you with specialised toaster ovens for your extremities. They come in three types: Toe, Finger, and {Ahem}. It’s bad enough that toes and fingers get cold, but a gentleman does not want his {Ahem} getting cold.

    The {Ahem} model comes with a special Engorgement Prevention Attachment to prevent Inopportune Engorgements, which of course can cause great embarrassment to a Gentleman.

    Louis

  346. 346
    NuMad

    Ing,

    Amoebas have far larger genomes than humans. Many “simple” life forms have very complex genetic systems that make animal genetics look static and boring.

    And that’s why the Final Boss in EVO was an amoeba.

  347. 347
    Louis

    Rorschach, #343,

    I am currently smoking weed,* drinking camomile tea,** and having an intimate personal act performed upon my person by a lady of stunning beauty.***

    My heart rate has dipped below “Lots” and my blood pressure is now insufficient to power a turbine.

    Louis

    * Sadly not.

    ** Sadly am.

    *** At work? Are you kidding me? I hate personnel evaluations, as my posting record over the last few days has shown. Procrastination! Yay!

  348. 348
    rorschach

    and having an intimate personal act performed upon my person by a lady of stunning beauty.***

    I’m due for that tomorrow. For now I’ll strum “Dirty Old Town” and drink cheap red.

  349. 349
    echidna

    Ha, spaetzle wars!

    I have to admit, mine are not optimal or even entirely traditional, as I am skirting a few food intolerances in my family, onion and gluten among them. I honestly think that the provenance is ancient and unknown, but I won’t deny Schwabia the title.

    That said, I’ve yet to meet a Spaetzle variation that I haven’t liked.

    Also, I need to get my paws on the tupperware beast.

  350. 350
    Louis

    Rorschach, #348,

    For now I’ll strum “Dirty Old Town” and drink cheap red.

    Do you find that works?

    The temptation to smash the guitar in rage is high. Or were you talking about an {ahem} “guitar”. If so, congratulations on getting a tune out of it. You need to go on the X-Factor with material like that. It’ll be better than 99% of the horseshit on their.

    Louis

  351. 351
    Louis

    On “their”. THEIR!? THEIRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!

    MOTHERFUCKER!

    Someone needs to die. I’m worried it might be me.

    Louis

  352. 352
    rorschach

    The temptation to smash the guitar in rage is high.

    I will claim to take advice on that matter from SGBM’s ever so slightly untimely post @ 309. I’m such a distractor really.

  353. 353
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Huge post on my non-nym blog:

    Enjoy!

  354. 354
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Louis.

    Like your rant.

    What’s the other apologist argument? Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, to which I say: then let’s not let people gratuitously carry any fucking guns!

    [Subject shift]

    Went to the first performance of the Melbourne Comedy Festival tonight. Wil Anderson. Damned good laugh!

    Ogvorbis. Have you got a time machine? You seem to have skipped a day.

  355. 355
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    And yes, Walton, this is the post that describes the government of Tavsere.

  356. 356
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Ogvorbis. Have you got a time machine? You seem to have skipped a day.

    Will the oppression of the calendarnormals never cease? Calendarnormals, those who utilize Calendarist oppression to, er, oppress those who are not calendarnormative are oppressing me. I’m being oppressed! I’m being oppressed!

  357. 357
    carlie

    Kilt-wearing dude appealed to the school board, got turned down again. He was told by the superintendent that “It’s not what we call normal wear”. If that’s not an argument from close-mindedness, I don’t know what is.
    What I don’t understand is why he asked for permission in the first place; I guess he didn’t want to get kicked out of prom once he showed up. I really hope this blows up in all of their faces, I seriously do. This is the same school that, until very recently, didn’t even let students buy single prom tickets; either you had a date, or you didn’t get to go (and you had to register your names when buying the tickets to ensure that you had a proper opposite-sex “real” date).

  358. 358
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    Good Morning, All! (Happy Thursday to you, Ogvorbis! Glad you had a restorative good night’s sleep!).

    Mr. Nifty was up and out the door before 6AM for a meeting 3 hours away, and in spite of just 4 hours sleep myself, I hopped up to watch the sunrise. Usually, I chuckle at him cruelly and roll over for another hour or two. ;-)

    Put on a pot of ?? (will I ever learn how to make good coffee? My 16 year old brews a deliciously aromatic cup of liquid glory, but his mom always produces vile, bitter swill), and started laundry before the sky had lightened.

    This up before dawn thing is great!

    Josh – I’ve had reynaud’s since my late teens. I think it can run in families (my mother had it too and my 24 year old daughter has developed it). I believe it is generally a benign (though annoying) condition. I don’t have any of the other issues you mention, though. I hope your doctor visit goes well and there is nothing serious going on.

    The chicken and dumplings sounded delicious! As did the spaetzle (argh! Can’t spell it!

    Nerd, glad to hear that your Redhead is continuing to progress.

    Louis, #341. That was a rant worth reading. You make the point I keep trying to press home when discussing racism (and other ‘isms”) with people – it is everywhere. These are human problems, not problems specific to certain cultures. Your points about gun access and carrying are right bloody on.

  359. 359
    carlie

    Hugs and foot rubs and a mug of hot chocolate to you, Josh. A friend of mine’s daughter has Reynauld’s; it’s a pain, but can be managed once you learn just what your tolerance level is and how to cope with it. Could it be transient in your case since it started as a side effect, or is it the kind of thing that will stay once it’s there?

  360. 360
    Louis

    Ogvorbis,

    I feel that way around the middle of the week too. It’s okay. I’ve noticed your tendency to be Differently Calendared and I for one support you utterly. For example, today is feeling a bit TuesThurdayish. I am spread out over at least three days at the moment. It’s probably quantum.

    Fight on, comrade. Together we will fight the Calendarist Hegemony.

    Louis

  361. 361
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce
    Ogvorbis. Have you got a time machine? You seem to have skipped a day.

    Will the oppression of the calendarnormals never cease? Calendarnormals, those who utilize Calendarist oppression to, er, oppress those who are not calendarnormative are oppressing me. I’m being oppressed! I’m being oppressed!

    Sigh! I was hoping that future physicists had cracked that problem & come back in time to share the technology with you. I was hoping for a ride.

    Oh well *resigns to taking the long way round*

  362. 362
    rorschach

    Josh – I’ve had reynaud’s since my late teens. I think it can run in families (my mother had it too and my 24 year old daughter has developed it). I believe it is generally a benign (though annoying) condition.

    What you are talking about is primary Raynaud’s. Yes it’s annoying, but no harm usually comes from it. From what I can tell, Josh may have secondary Raynaud’s, caused by a combination of poor peripheral perfusion from arteriosclerosis, and taking betablockers. This is more serious. And from what I deduce from Josh posting recipes here, his diet is not helping, even if he has managed to get rid of the smokes.

    Josh, may I suggest that you talk to your doctor to change to a different betablocker, one called Carvedilol. That will be 160 dollars, cash or cheque.

  363. 363
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    *remembers that I have two days extra off*

    Never mind the time machine! I’ll catch up with you in 10 minutes anyway

  364. 364
    carlie

    Oh, as long as we’re on health, sort of update – Spouse’s doctor now has the working hypothesis that the problems of the last two weeks were possibly pancreatitis, compounded by an anxiety attack brought on by the pain (*hands a gold star sticker to Richard Austin*). He’s on high-dose cholesterol meds for the moment with a recheck in8 weeks or so.

  365. 365
    Walton

    And yes, Walton, this is the post that describes the government of Tavsere.

    Yay! *is excited* *reads*

  366. 366
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    rorschach #362, Good point, thanks. I was thinking after that Josh’s might be different from what I’ve experienced. That’s why I qualified in my comment that I don’t have his other history. Which means my comment was pretty useless! Sorry, Josh! Just wanted to express sympathy, really.

  367. 367
    Louis

    Rorschach, #362,

    Not bisoprolol?

    {I’m cheap, $50 will do} ;-)

    Louis

  368. 368
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Hah! Caught up with you now Ogvobis! Now, we’ll be having that Thursday back that you seem to have appropriated

  369. 369
    rorschach

    Not bisoprolol?

    That works too, I just dont like its potential effect on the kidneys compared to Carvedilol. Might be just me, and that I’ve never seen any kidney problems with Carvedilol. But hey, I know you’re just pulling my leg anyway…

  370. 370
    Louis

    I’m not entirely pulling your leg. Okay so I’m not an MD, so I have to be leg pulling to some degree, but I’ve read a book on medicine, can’t be that hard can it? ;-)

    The vaguely serious part was that bisoprolol is a bit more beta-1 selective than beta blockers in general (IIRC), which knocks back some of the side effects. It’s been a few years since I worked on anything to do with hearts, so the med part of the med chem for that area has partially fallen out of my brain. It’s all been brains lately! Mmmmm functional drugs that pass the blood/brain barrier….{drool}.

    Louis

  371. 371
    rorschach

    I’m off to bed. It’s just 2 weeks and a bit now that we will have the GAC here, it’s been almost 2 years that I met Mary, and almost one year that I was in Dublin with PZ on that now somewhat infamous elevatorgate conference. I’m looking forward to seeing you both in Melbourne soon, guys. We must have dinner.

  372. 372
    opposablethumbs

    This is the same school that, until very recently, didn’t even let students buy single prom tickets; either you had a date, or you didn’t get to go (and you had to register your names when buying the tickets to ensure that you had a proper opposite-sex “real” date).

    What a bunch of narrow-minded killjoys. If there happened to be a couple of same-sex couples who all wanted to go, they’d have to register their names in the form of cross-couple couples and all arrive at the same time and then they could be with their real dates once they were inside/past the heteronormative border police. Of course that would probably only work in a feelgood movie; in reality they probably have heteronormative wardens patrolling inside too, just waiting to ruin someone’s evening.

    Actually it sounds like an event well worth boycotting, if only enough of the students saw how disgustingly intrusive these rules are. Sadly I expect there are plenty of students who are quite happy with them.

  373. 373
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Walton:

    There’s five major nations I’m going to go into detail about, and each of them has a different kind of government – Tavsere’s nested representative monarchy, Moore’s pure monarchy, Seiis’s representative literal theocracy, Wivverin’s representative democracy, and Sedurka’s meritocracy. The other minor nations all revolve around, generally, pure democracy or representative democracy. Orcs and Mesan have a kind of “head of the family knows what’s best” with orcs with a (sometimes) triumvirate patriach, matriach, and shaman and Mesan with a referral to the chieftains.

  374. 374
    RichardAustin

    carlie:

    Oh, as long as we’re on health, sort of update – Spouse’s doctor now has the working hypothesis that the problems of the last two weeks were possibly pancreatitis, compounded by an anxiety attack brought on by the pain

    Huh. I always thought pancreatitis was a days-long, hospitalization kind of thing rather than on-and-gone in a few minutes (the description sounds more like gallstones, but what do I know – a computer doesn’t have a pancreas). Still, good to have a course of treatment, even if it’s only exploratory at this point.

    (*hands a gold star sticker to Richard Austin*)

    Totally undeserved. But I’m stealing it anyway! *runs away with gold star stuck to his chest*

  375. 375
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    In the mood for some Polly Jean.

    O Stella

    Rub ‘Til It Bleeds

    Reeling

    Meet Ze Monsta

  376. 376
  377. 377
    Nutmeg

    Louis: Good rant. I’m one of those terrible carnivorous rednecks who hunt for their meat occasionally, and I agree with you. Carrying deadly weapons around for no reason is a bad idea. Of course, I’m Canadian, so I haven’t been taught to feel like less of a person if I’m not carrying my gun at all times.

    Ogvorbis: Yay for sleep!

    carlie: Yay for a working hypothesis!

    This is the same school that, until very recently, didn’t even let students buy single prom tickets; either you had a date, or you didn’t get to go (and you had to register your names when buying the tickets to ensure that you had a proper opposite-sex “real” date)

    Even without the discrimination against same-sex couples, that’s outrageous. Shouldn’t single kids be allowed to have fun? I went to our grad dinner and dance with a group and shared a table with my best friend. Most people did the same. I thought all high schools had switched to this model sometime in the 90s.

  378. 378
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    What the fuck is going on? Somehow linking to four more songs has triggered the filter. All PJ Harvey. There were Taut, The Sky Lit Up, Big Exit and Pocket Knife. All were YouTube links.

    What is the fucking problem?

  379. 379
    Aratina Cage

    Jen acknowledges that PZ wasn’t trying to be malicious.

    Whew! Glad that’s over.

  380. 380
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    Antiochus Epiphanes congrats on your tenure.

    I recently achieved what they call a continuing contract here which may be similar, but I don’t think is exactly the same, but has now resulted in the amusing situation that after having worked here for >10 years (enough to get long service leave) on various 1, 2, and 3 year contracts, I am now, for the first time that I am aware of, officially on probation. I’m informed that the easiest way to get rid of that is actually to apply for promotion. Thinking about it.

    Louis, nice rant. And various other posts, some of which really did make me laugh out loud.

    And rude words thought at the anti-kilt school from a Scot by birth and raising.

  381. 381
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Cue the Nelson Muntz laugh.

    HA! HA!

    It seems that Maggie Gallagher was scheduled to appear on MSNBC this morning.

    She bailed out.

    “This empty studio chair was supposed to hold Maggie Gallagher, former president and co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage. But as you can see she is missing in action, although we did confirm an hour ago that she would be in that studio. I would say, ‘Hello Maggie,” but you’re not there.”

    I wonder if this is an example of teh gayz getting all hateful and persecuty of the christian?

    (Yes. I did spell it that way on purpose.)

  382. 382
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Anyone with just a passing knowledge of the Vietnam War knows that North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos received more tonnage of bombs than Germany did during the course of WWII.

    But did you know that just one more bomb run would had made the Viet Cong surrender? Just ask David Barton.

    If only the US military were more godly and shown more resolve.

    Know what, I think the US was stabbed in the back!

    (Yes, I did Godwin here.)

  383. 383
    Ingdigo Jump

    If only we were more godly and ignored the mass ethical crisis of faith the blood shed of the war caused?

  384. 384
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Ing:

    Crisis of faith? What crisis of faith? We were bombing heathenous… buddhists(?)… to the ground? Why should a good, upstanding Christian nation give a rat’s ass about the goddamn (I know there’s a really bad term for Vietnamese people, so insert it here.)

    (/asshole)

  385. 385
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    A song for Antiochus. Also a replacement earworm for anyone in need of such.

    Josh, that sucks. The page you linked to indicates it can be lived with, but going by Rorschach’s comment I am gathering that you probably have the more serious kind of Reynaud’s… Good luck at the doctor’s.

    Nerd, glad the Redhead is doing better these days.

    Janine, looks like Gallagher was in the wrong studio, from Joe’s update. Oh, well.

  386. 386
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    It is a wonder that the Viet Cong just did not follow the troops home.

  387. 387
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Checks.

    Wrong studio.

    Damn!

    Either way, she is a blunt weapon of hatred.

  388. 388
    Walton

    janine: Of course! Because bombing and slaughtering foreign people for no reason is just what Jesus would have done. And the Founding Fathers. I can’t face watching the actual video, but if Barton follows his usual modus operandi, he’ll invent a fictitious Jefferson quote or two at this point.

    I’m not at all surprised, given Barton’s history of being a racist moron. (This is a man who apparently seriously believes that national borders were drawn by God, and that open-borders immigration is sinful. I am not kidding. I wish I were.)

  389. 389
    Ingdigo Jump

    I’m reminded of the NYPD’s botched Muslim Spying operation. They were caught in NJ because, and I laughed when I read this in the paper, the landlord of the place they were using as HQ for their spying saw all the equipment and their suspicious actions and reported them as possible terrorists.

  390. 390
    pentatomid

    The Pirates! Band of Misfits just came out here in Belgium and it came out under this title, that is the American title… Noooooo! I thought the british title (The Pirates! In an adventure with scientists) sounded way more awesome. Damn you, America!
    Still, I really want to go see it. Seriously, it has David Tennant as Charles Darwin! And pirates!

  391. 391
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Oh hey, Walton.

    Have you ever heard of Sealand? The linked pdf on that page is really fascinating lawyery stuff.

  392. 392
    Ingdigo Jump

    wrong thread o-O

  393. 393
  394. 394
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    No, Walton, there was not an invented quote from Jefferson. Just unnamed papers that claims that North Vietnam was just one month from surrendering when the US withdrew from Saigon. Therefore, one more bomb run would have won.

    The video is from 2007. In context, I am assuming that he was building a case for US forces to stay in Iraq and Afghanistan. Because the US was so close to winning and Al Qaeda would follow the troops back to the US.

  395. 395
    Lynna, OM

    In comment #582 in the previous chapter of The Endless Thread, Bill Dauphin wrote:

    I find myself wondering whether that might not be the outcome if Obama doesn’t win. I try hard to leave my tinfoil hat in the cupboard and not indulge in conspiracy theories, but… then I look around at right-wing voter suppression efforts in the states. If the Rs get power this time (i.e., WH + both houses of Congress), can we really count on getting a fair chance to reverse that outcome later?

    Bill was responding to my post #511 in which I pasted the latest chain email batshittery I received from the mormon email tree mailings.

    Rachel Maddow addressed Bill’s point very well last night. And, as usual, she added historical perspective, while updating us on voter suppression that is current news. One of many point that Maddow made was that Rock the Vote campaigns are not being carried out in Florida. Why? An all-Republican state government has made voter registration almost impossible — illegal in many circumstances, and associated with huge fines in other circumstances.

    For all of their repetition of patriotic slogans, Republicans are revealing themselves to be against the democratic principles of present-day USA. If someone managed to restrict voter registration, and actual voting, the way the Republican Party has, surely Republicans would cry foul. It’s only okay if they do it, and if they benefit.

  396. 396
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Ing, that was from that new Conservative Teen magazine.

    Funny how the first black president signed a sundown contract for one of the homes he bought in California.

  397. 397
    Ingdigo Jump

    I know where I’m wondering WHY

    I also can’t figure out from the examples given if the magazine is a parody or not. It feels just like fake stuff the Daily Show would put in a book. (such as their rating of Most Reganesq Presidents which put Ronald Regan in third place)

  398. 398
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Lynna, you are ignoring the fact that in many parts of what became the US, the tradition was not at all democratic. Only the right sort of people should be allowed to run the government and only the right sort of people should be allowed to vote.

    One should not talk of “American” traditions, there is not any. One should talk of traditions of regions within the US. And the south was never a hotbed of democratic ideals.

    (Just want to point out that there are southern people who stand for these ideals. But they have always been disenfranchised.)

  399. 399
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Ing, that was not a parody.

  400. 400
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Rorschach- thanks!

    FYI, my diet is actually really healthful. I only post the occasional “treat” dishes I make. Everyday eating is much lower fat, high in veggies, etc.

  401. 401
    Ingdigo Jump

    I just learned that apparently that secular pro-life group that was given a table by AA at convention and has caused all the stir, is in fact likely led by a Christian.

  402. 402
    Ingdigo Jump

    SecularProLife.org isn’t about Christian-bashing or arguing over church and state issues. We count many Christians among our membership, including me.

    Kelsey Hazzard, founder and president of SecularProLife.org

    Yeah, back on topic about how the Rationalist Conventions should have some standards.

  403. 403
    cicely
    Waitwaitwait…I had understood that the Ghey Secks With Brownian™ line had entered into a relationship of some sort with the Group Secks With Louis™ line, such that to be in one was to simultaneously be in the other?

    Are they quantum entangled?

    Uncertainly, Catnip.
    :)
    -
    Josh, *hugs/chocolates/bacons/boozes/books/cookies/cheeses*.

    Some days are neither diamonds nor pearls.
    -
    Ogvorbis, congratulations on successfully getting a decent night’s sleep.
    -

  404. 404
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    I have a fever of 102.2! I had to miss an exam this morning because I’m so sick. The doctor says it’s something viral. The good news is that I just took flu medicine, so I’ll be unconscious.

  405. 405
    Rey Fox

    I really hope this blows up in all of their faces, I seriously do.

    It’s sort of the gay minister dilemma again. I want people to be able to do what they want, but at the same time I wonder why the hell they try so hard to participate in these ossified and hateful institutions. As far as I can tell, the influence of traditional high school culture things like football and proms and pep rallies and what have ya have been steadily decreasing over the years, and it seems to me like the exodus should just continue until only the school administrators and the total lame-os still make anything out of them.

    When my brother went to his girlfriend’s prom, they wore each other’s clothing, and apparently lots of other students did too. This was the downtown high school that has, over the years, become something of an academic magnet. Of course, this being my brother, they both only stayed long enough to get their portrait taken and them headed off to the Melvins concert.

  406. 406
    Lynna, OM

    Janine:

    Lynna, you are ignoring the fact that in many parts of what became the US, the tradition was not at all democratic. Only the right sort of people should be allowed to run the government and only the right sort of people should be allowed to vote.

    You are right, of course, about traditions in the USA that were not democratic.

    That’s why I inserted “present-day” in the phrase “democratic principles of present-day USA.”

    Maybe we should call the Republican Party the “Regressive” party more often. As far as they are concerned, Republicans are the only “right sort of people” who should be allowed to vote.

    We’ve come a long way from the women-can’t-vote, only-property-owners-can-vote, and black-men-are-3/5-of-a-person era. We should hang onto that progress.

    Republicans think that students, poor people, and people who don’t have a drivers license should not be allowed to vote. They revel in reducing the number of polling places and the hours during which polling places are open in minority neighborhoods. They revel in making it more difficult to register first-time voters. According to present-day standards, the Republican Party is an-American.

  407. 407
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Prom and the Melvins?

    Just what is that creepy smell?

  408. 408
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Oh my god I’m arguing with the “Intent is magic” crowd on Jen’s blog.

  409. 409
    Lynna, OM

    One should not talk of “American” traditions, there is not any. One should talk of traditions of regions within the US. And the south was never a hotbed of democratic ideals.

    Janine, you are right to point this out. The south, especially the southeastern part of the USA has been generally brought kicking and screaming into line. And they are always looking for a sneaky way around the rules, for a way to subvert social justice.

    However, in 2008, highly successful voter registration drives took place in Florida, in all the southern states for that matter. Obama garnered about 65% of the votes cast by newly-registered voters.

    The 2008 voter registration drives pumped up the bile content in plans hatched by Karl Rove and the Koch brothers. They had been working against anything that encouraged typically Democratic Party voters to register (and to vote) for years, but 2008 really caused them to focus on what for them is a big problem.

    We now have not just anti-democratic traditions in the southern states, we have anti-democratic laws.

  410. 410
    Walton

    Oh hey, Walton.

    Have you ever heard of Sealand? The linked pdf on that page is really fascinating lawyery stuff.

    Oh, I’ve long been familiar with the Principality of Sealand. (Which, excitingly, is a monarchy!)

    Unfortunately, its claim to be a sovereign state in international law is not strong. There’s considerable dispute among international legal scholars over what, precisely, are the criteria of statehood, and there are many entities whose claim to statehood is disputed (Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Somaliland and so on). In the absence of diplomatic recognition, it’s often not clear whether an entity is a state or not. But no state has thus far granted Sealand diplomatic recognition as a state, and I’m not aware of any international legal scholar who argues that Sealand is a state.

    Although it’s controversial, there are four criteria of statehood, taken from the Montevideo Convention of 1933, which are widely regarded as being part of customary international law: a state must have (a) a defined territory, (b) a permanent population, (c) government, and (d) the capacity to enter into relations with other states. The biggest problem for Sealand is point (a), since it’s not clear that an artificial platform counts as “territory”. It’s also not the case that meeting the Montevideo criteria automatically leads to recognition as a state; as I mentioned above, there are many statelike entities which appear to meet those criteria but whose claim to statehood is disputed.

    The Bates family typically claim that a 1968 court decision, in which charges against Michael Bates were dismissed by a court in Chelmsford on the ground that Sealand was outside British territorial waters and thus out of the court’s jurisdiction, amounts to recognition of Sealand’s “sovereignty”. However, as far as I can tell, this seems to me to be a misunderstanding on Bates’ part (though I haven’t been able to find a report of the judgment anywhere online, so I might be wrong). At the time, the UK’s territorial waters extended three miles from the coast, and thus excluded Roughs Tower, which is seven miles from shore (though, since 1987, the territorial waters now extend twelve miles from the coast, and thus Sealand is now in British territorial waters). A court finding that Roughs Tower was outside Britain’s territorial waters, and thus outside its jurisdiction, doesn’t imply that the court thought Sealand was a sovereign state; it means only that Roughs Tower was, at the time, on the high seas rather than in British territory.

  411. 411
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Walton:

    Yup. Really interesting stuff there. It kind of seems, to me, like a kind of “well, they’re not really doing any harm” sort of issue than anything else. Aside from a bit of overzealousness at protecting the waters around the tower and some perhaps partially greyish legality with passports, there’s really nothing that’s particularly bad about it.

  412. 412
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    But did you know that just one more bomb run would had made the Viet Cong surrender? Just ask David Barton.

    If only the US military were more godly and shown more resolve.

    Know what, I think the US was stabbed in the back!

    This has been an article of faith among the extreme right in the US since at least the mid to late 1970s. ‘If those pussy politicians had just let us fight, we’d've won that thare civil war.” Oddly, it seems to be strongest among the Chicken Hawks (Cheney, Limbaugh, etc.)

    Only the right sort of people should be allowed to run the government and only the right sort of people should be allowed to vote.

    Which is why the United States government is not a direct democracy, it is democratically-elected representative republic. The founding fathers (many of them quite rich) were desperately afraid of what the poor might do with real political power. (no, I cannot cite a source on that right now, that is from a college history course). The GOP desperately wants to go back to the days when the vote belonged only to white male property owners.

    Ogvorbis, congratulations on successfully getting a decent night’s sleep.

    Thanks to you and others. It was rather refreshing.

  413. 413
    Gyeong Hwa

    Chigau

    *Waves* to Gyeong Hwa.
    How’s things?

    Aside from that weird onset of breathing problems last night and that I don’t have enough money in the bank, things are actually quite well. I’m becoming a good baker and cook. :D

    Bill

    Gyeong Hwa:

    Has it been a while since you’ve been ’round, or have I just not been reading the right threads?

    I haven’t really been around. I look at certain threads from time to time. I’m active on the Facebook group, though.

  414. 414
    Walton

    Oh my god I’m arguing with the “Intent is magic” crowd on Jen’s blog.

    Argh. Yeah, I just saw that thread. A few people trotted out the old ridiculous “well, it’s not transphobic if they didn’t mean to be transphobic” canard. I also spotted another familiar fallacy, along the lines of “you can’t criticize the sign, you’re suppressing freedom of speech!!!” I don’t know why it’s apparently so hard for some people to understand that freedom of speech does not mean immunity from criticism, and that criticizing someone is not the same thing as censoring or silencing them.

    The sign was patently transphobic, hurtful, and extremely stupid. I can remember seeing it from a distance while waiting in the refreshment queue, and I remember being disgusted at the time.

  415. 415
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Types of extremists

  416. 416
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Come on, Walton, next you’ll tell me that I can’t use fag, cunt or nigger. After all I’m well-meaning and totally not a homophobe, misogynist or racist.
    I would only use them for the right people after all!

  417. 417
    Lynna, OM

    A minor invasion of BBC headquarters by mormon PR flacks has caused a flurry of controversy.
    As the Guardian reports:

    …The member of staff is understood to have allowed two representatives from the PR and lobbying firm APCO Worldwide, which represents the Mormon church into the BBC Media Centre at White City. One of the PRs was said to be James Acheson-Gray, APCO’s managing director.

    They approached Lucy Hetherington, the series editor of the BBC2 This World current affairs documentary strand, and took the unusual step of delivered a letter in person complaining about The Mormon Candidate, made by reporter John Sweeney, which is to be broadcast on Tuesday evening.

    Sweeney’s hour-long documentary is understood to make a series of claims about the Mormons, including suggestions that some members of the church have been brainwashed.

    He interviewed a number of ex-Mormons who claim the church is a cult. One of the people interviewed is the cousin of US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, Park Romney, who says the church engages in “brainwashing”.

    The letter complained about an interview which Sweeney conducted with Mormon apostle Elder Jeffrey Holland, which the church claims was “an ambush” according to a BBC source.

    Bullshit. You can watch the whole program and see that accusation that the reporter ambushed Elder Holland is not tru;, or you can watch a YouTube excerpt, which also belies the “ambush” charge.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9v2GxDs4To
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01f87w2/This_World_The_Mormon_Candidate/

    USA residents can watch BBC programmes by going here first:
    http://www.tunnelbear.com/
    You download an application that lets you watch videos restricted to the United Kingdom (or restricted to other countries).

    Sweeney, who once had a very public spat with the Church of Scientology over two Panorama programmes he has made , disputes these claims, insisting that Elder Holland was fully briefed about who he was and what he wanted to talk about.

    Sweeney, who was out of the country when the incident occurred, told MediaGuardian: “I was flabbergasted that the PR operation for the Mormon church found it necessary to invade our office. Even Scientology didn’t invade the offices of the BBC and people say they can walk through walls.”

    A BBC insider said many within the corporation were furious that the PRs were granted access.

  418. 418
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    I am definitely stealing the Regressive party and Chicken Hawks (thank you Lynna and Ogvorbis). How could I not have heard Chicken Hawks before? It’s perfect!

  419. 419
    Louis

    Nutmeg, all the way back at #377,

    Personally, I’ve got no problem with legitimate uses of guns like hunting and various other rural management type activities (and appropriate transport of said guns etc). If people want to shoot skeet/clay pigeons/targets for sport as well, go to it with my blessing. I used to do all of the above as a younger guy when I lived in the countryside here in the UK. Okay so the wildlife was less of a problem than you North Americans get. You have wolves, bears and cougars. We have a badger with toothache and an otter with a mean streak called Cyril, who only comes out of his burrow on Thursdays to smoke crack and impregnate the teenagers. Still, a wood pigeon can give you a nasty peck.

    But carrying a gun to go to the shops? “Excuse me dear, I’m just nipping to Tescos, can I get you anything?” “Tescos, dear? Yes I need some Earl Grey, some Marmite and a dead ethnic minority. Better take the .44. Shoot anything a bit tanned and in a hoody would you?”.

    Or perhaps “Excuse me dear, I’m just nipping to Tescos, can I get you anything?” “Tescos, dear? Yes I need some Earl Grey, some Marmite and a pack of three ‘Ribbed for Her Pleasure’. Better take the .44, the Crips and Bloods are patrolling the vegetable aisle and are going to pop a cap in the ass of anyone who looks crosswise at an iceberg lettuce.”

    It’s just fucking utterly…..I have no words that would not make me pissed off with myself for associating utterly fucking stupid behaviour with insanity. It’s not good though. Not even a little bit.

    Double GAH with extra GAH sauce and a side order of GAHHHHH!

    Louis

  420. 420
    Louis

    Giliell, #416,

    Oh indeed, indeed.

    {Strokes beard in serious manner}

    Why I was saying to the Prime Minister only the other day “Cuntycuntyfagnigger” and he said “Don’t you think that’s a bit prejudiced, old chap?” to which I replied by shooting him in the face. Can’t have the Prime Minister being some sort of girl, or poofter or sensitive like those bloody foreigners, can we?

    In my defence, he was wearing a hoody. I did him a favour.

    Louis

  421. 421
    slignot

    Spouse and I have a new dog! He’s a corgi/cattle dog mix and we’ve named him Atrus.

    We rescued him this weekend from the county animal shelter, and I’m so glad we did. He’s working out as a very sweet dog and he and Midna have found each other good playmates.

    Now that he’s a little more settled, I’m starting to see a behavioral issue I’m not thrilled about, but that I can work with: fear biting/biting to get his way. It’s incredibly gentle (which is really weird), but it’s still an aggressive response to try to get out of being brushed, for example. But if that’s his only baggage, I’m happy. We don’t have kids, and our yard is very securely fenced, so I’m not worried on that score. It’ll just take a little time.

  422. 422
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    How could I not have heard Chicken Hawks before?

    It dates at least back to the ‘Nam war. Started with the pro-war politicians who used their political savvy to keep their offspring from being drafted, usually by getting them into closed (not taking new recruits) National Guard units.

  423. 423
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    How could I not have heard Chicken Hawks before?

    Nerd hit it right on the head.

    The best description I have ever heard is a Tom Paxton song called, Draft Dodger Rag.

    And now, I am off to the hospital. A folding chair weld failed, dumping me onto the floor, on my hip and my bad knee.

    Just as soon as the email comes with my claim identifier.

  424. 424
    Louis

    Ogvorbis,

    OUCH. I hope you’re all right, that sound fucking painful. Good luck at the doc’s.

    Louis

  425. 425
    Patricia, OM

    Oh can you get an arguement started double quick by using the phrase chicken hawk in a veterans office!

  426. 426
    Walton

    Why I was saying to the Prime Minister only the other day “Cuntycuntyfagnigger” and he said “Don’t you think that’s a bit prejudiced, old chap?” to which I replied by shooting him in the face.

    *sings* And when it’s late at night, we’ll go back to my place
    So he can tap my phone and shoot me in the face

  427. 427
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    This cartoon, from a WaPo cartoon feature about Trayvon Martin, is possibly the most moving I’ve seen on the topic.

    StarStuff, I hope you feel better soon.

    Slignot: PUPPY!!! EEEEEEEEEE!!!!

    Kitty/Walton: I’m over there too now. Jesus, this condescending asshole. Perfect response, Kitty. Tesseraktik can fuck right off too.

    Ogvorbis: Christ. Hope you didn’t do any damage and you get some good pain meds, if you find pain meds helpful. I really hope your spring gets better from here on out.

  428. 428
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    slignot
    Squeeeeeee!
    I still have a little sad that the only ways for me to get a dog are a divorce or turning blind.
    Unfortunately Mr. doesn’t like animals that are closer than 2m to him and is really a no-pets person. He will pat people’s dogs because he recognizes that their owners are sometimes upset if you don’t.

  429. 429
    cicely

    Get better soon, StarSuff. We’ve got something viral making the rounds here, too. My own bout with it ran concurrently with the most recent Completely Unnecessary MRSA Drama, so I don’t know whether that counts as lucky (in that I got the virus over without wasting more time on feeling wretched/retched), or unlucky (in that I got to be more miserable than either would have been on its own).
    -
    *wince*
    Ogvorbis, my knees send their deepest sympathies to yours.
    -

  430. 430
    Louis

    Starstuff,

    {Salutes}

    Get well soon!

    Louis

  431. 431
    Louis

    Walton,

    Good choice of music. And we are tapping phones over here at the moment. Well, tapping, hacking, spies, the press, your word, my word, toMAYto, toMAHto, let’s call the whole thing off.

    Surely under the Glorious ConDemNation we will soon have to justify our existence to the government to get access to the privatised air providers at some point. Ah joy of joys!

    {Sings}

    They’re selling off the roads,
    They’re selling off the health,
    They’re trying to sell off everything,
    If only by stealth…

    Louis

  432. 432
    Sili

    Is that oniongirl at no. 2?

  433. 433
    Cipher

    Here I aaaaaaaaaaam!
    I’m sitting outside my friend’s gender class in Salt Lake City. Nervous nervous nervous. But I like them because they are saying lots of interesting things. Yay. But I have been warned that when class actually starts, things may get “kinda crazy.” And we’re talking about toxic masculinity and rape. Lovely. I sent my friend Jade Hawk’s blog! He hasn’t read it yet, though, because I am being too distracting and high-maintenance. :)

  434. 434
    Cipher

    Also, I saw the Hunger Games movie! They made exactly one upsetting misstep. (I am a little bit forgiving them for casting Jennifer Lawrence, because she’s freaking amazing in that movie.) Other than that, it was way better than I expected. YAY. But the people who complained about the camera work are completely right. I was dizzy for a lot of the movie and we sat pretty far back.

  435. 435
    Sili

    Ing

    I just learned that apparently that secular pro-life group that was given a table by AA at convention and has caused all the stir, is in fact likely led by a Christian.

    Le Gasp!

    Say it ain’t so!

  436. 436
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Hey, dykes, fags and other queers; remember, the next time someone is berating and beating you up,it is a good thing. It is the sign of a religious revival. David Barton, eminent historian, says so.

  437. 437
    Sili

    janine

    It is a wonder that the Viet Cong just did not follow the troops home.

    Did you forget about Phred?

  438. 438
    slignot

    Thanks for the eeees!, Daisy Cutter. I’m super excited and happy to have two bouncing active puppies skittering around my house.

    Giliell, so sorry about the spouse-related no pets thing. I love my critters, and couldn’t go without some sort of companion, although they are sometimes frustrating work. For example, my morning began with a small amount of dog vomit; dogs have refused to cooperate with transitioning food gradually, and I’m pretty sure this was to blame.

  439. 439
    Muse

    No Sili – it’s not.

    KAt – I weighed in as well since I was the one who spoke to the guy with the sign.

  440. 440
    slignot

    Unfortunately Mr. doesn’t like animals that are closer than 2m to him and is really a no-pets person.

    Come to think of it, Giliell, you could try a bird. Given the whole primarily living a cage aspect, that might fulfill the 2 meter rule. Not all hookbills are super loud; some are more or less bearable around your ears. (Mine is not, but I love him anyway.)

  441. 441
    Sili

    Thanks, Muse.

    I’m terrible with faces …

    I hope I can keep people straight come October …

  442. 442
    chigau (違う)

    Hugs and Drugs for all in need.
    (catching up)

  443. 443
    echidna

    I’m a little late, but Congrats Antiochus!

  444. 444
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    slignot
    I used to have a cockerel as a child/teen and I’m not happy to keep birds in a cage. If I had space enough to build them a big one where they can fly I’d go for it, but space is a rare comodity here.
    This flat is absolutely pet-unfriendly anyway. A cat would work, but I’m allergic to them. :(
    I really can’t understand him in that respect. When I see the kids’ rabbits it’s all I can do to let the kids pet them, too. I find it irresistible to carress them, hold them and dig my nose deep into their soft fur, to watch them, sit with them and enjoy their quiet playfullness.
    I’d sooooo love to have a dog one day, but if I have to decide between dog and him it’s him.
    Even better: donkey!
    Well, should my parents try to blackmail me with the rabbits they’ll move to our balcony. Mr. isn’t happy about the prospect but he agrees that I mustn’t let them blackmail me any longer

  445. 445
    Walton

    Surely under the Glorious ConDemNation we will soon have to justify our existence to the government to get access to the privatised air providers at some point.

    I’m still waiting for the day when I wake up and discover that Britain’s air supply has been sold to Serco. After all, they’re running pretty much everything else. And that those who forget to pay their monthly air bill will be arrested and jailed (in, naturally, private prisons which are also run by Serco).

    David Cameron will no doubt call it “an efficient market-based solution to the problem of breathing”, with an irritatingly smug smile on his face. And Ed Miliband will criticize the decision, despite the fact that he would have done exactly the same thing.

  446. 446
    slignot

    Giliell, at least you can play with the bunnies, but I understand the reasons you choose Mr. over other pets.

    As for caging birds, in and of itself, caging birds isn’t a bad thing. If you have some space, birds are fine, but too many people don’t 1. buy a large enough/appropriate cage (no cylanders, for example) or 2. fail to give the birds enough to climb on and play with. Even for cockatiels and budgies, you have to give them a large enough cage; cages are not just for safety, they also give a bird a safe place that belongs just to them. Even if I had a flighted bird who was out most of the time, I’d still have a cage.

  447. 447
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    Nerd #422 (and Ogvorbis #423) that explains it, then. I was in university in eastern Canada back in the 70s…didn’t have much exposure to the American zeitgeist back then (did not even have cable tv LOL). Not to mention, I am not the sharpest quill in the inkwell, sadly.

    Ogvorbis, ugh I hope you haven’t injured yourself badly.

    starstuff, hope you feel better soon!

    slignot, congrats on the new dog!

    What a tiring day! I can’t think why! Oh wait – up before the sun and undrinkable coffee – it’s all coming back now unfortunately.

  448. 448
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    slignot
    Oh, I don’t mean that I wouldn’t have a cage, but I would not be happy to have them in the cage all the time. And letting them out in this flat is not an option.
    Well, there’s always the plushies.
    Who are calling me.
    Good night

  449. 449
    David Marjanović

    Should have run away already. Link dump:

    龙之爱 – the love of dragons! Two complete Psittacosaurus skeletons.

    The places with the feathered dinosaurs aren’t the only ones where fossils are being faked by commercial dealers.

    German article about the US Right trying to… to… denigrate Trayvon Martin.

    Very short German article about two transwomen in China who are identical twins. They’re 25 years old and currently working extra hard for the money they need to pay for the surgery, because China does not have socialist health insurance.

    Looking for how to name your babies and for how not to name them? An attempt at an answer!

    *meep meep*

    <roadrunner escape>

  450. 450
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Ogvobis: ouch! Hope not too much damage.

    Giliell, I feel for you. In my case a lack of cats for the last 14 years has been the result of asthmatic significant others. Compounded in the last 9 by an eczematic son. Enjoy the plushies

  451. 451
    slignot

    Thanks, niftyatheist!

    So since I’m not going to have this job in a few months, I may be delaying my big camping trip. I’m sad because I got all that good advice from Lynna and bought myself a nice road atlas of Nevada. (I’m a sucker for awesome maps and have been the default navigator on every driving trip I’ve taken since I was perhaps 12-13.) Maps made it feel real and now I’m back to working as many hours as I can to scrimp. Well, at least after I get laid off I can take a nice long trip, although it may be too hot for the Nevada trip until later.

  452. 452
    chigau (違う)

    David Marjanović
    Psittacosaurus link: aaaaww!

  453. 453
    Cipher

    I very nearly exploding during that class. Holy fucking shit. Aaa.

  454. 454
    Cipher

    I even lost some English skills there

  455. 455
    Lynna, OM

    The BBC show The Mormon Candidate is now available in its entirety on YouTube.

    Here’s a link to the first part:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EVtPkafbcQ

    There are 6 parts.

  456. 456
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    @SallyStrange: request withdrawn. Situation (hopefully) under control.

  457. 457
    Owlmirror

    Titanoboa!

    Not the Pharyngula thread — the actual boine boid. That big fucken snake itself, in all its (reconstructed) glory. There’s even a TV show!

    Pictures!

  458. 458
    Ingdigo Jump

    I know I shouldn’t be surprised at Xians posing as atheists…but this is in person and at an atheist convention. The convention organizers have to be aware that apparently they’re ‘in’ enough to attract ‘infiltration’.

  459. 459
    chigau (違う)

    Imma go put for sushi :) :)

  460. 460
    Sili

    Titanoboa!

    Does that mean we can finally close this godforsaken monstrosity and let Sven loose from counting duty?

  461. 461
    Lynna, OM

    Mitt Romney’s cousin clearly states that the mormon church is a fraud:

  462. 462
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I was in university in eastern Canada back in the 70s…

    I was up and close and personal with the draft back then. The draft was one of the problems of the ‘Nam war. I had respect for those who where pro-war, and either volunteered or were drafted. I had respect for the conscientious objectors, who did their alternative service, or served as non-combatants if drafted. I did not have any respect for folks like Dan Quayle, who slipped into a headquarters Indiana National Guard unit that was closed just before it looked like he might get drafted, even though he and a his political family were pro-war. I’ve detested such hypocrisy since.

    And for those curious about my draft status, I was in the draft pool for a few months, but my number wasn’t called.

  463. 463
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    I forgot to say earlier, Louis:

    Why I was saying to the Prime Minister only the other day “Cuntycuntyfagnigger” and he said “Don’t you think that’s a bit prejudiced, old chap?” to which I replied by shooting him in the face.

    I’m glad I have mastered the art of suppressing laughter at work.

  464. 464
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    I’m glad I have the day off, so I could laugh out loud

  465. 465
    Lynna, OM

    Apologies for post #461. I accidentally included the video instead of just a link to the video.

  466. 466
    The Sailor

    It took me so long to ketchup that I feel behind, or like a behind. I have a defense! I was busy slapping down folks who think Zimmerman was justified in shooting Martin.
    +++++++++++++++
    Kat, I’m a big fan of stockings, nylon is such an improvement over silk. I may have bought more stockings for my SO’s over the years than I have socks for myself. I’ve never worn garters, but I have bought a few. (They last much longer than the stockings;-)
    And frankly, I tend to ignore the frilly encumbrances whilst I go ‘hummana, hummana’ [/Ralph Cramden] over the ‘show casing’ of teh naughty bits. But that’s just me.

    ++++++++++++++++
    On a different note: I had an idea the other day about retinal imaging that seemed so obvious I couldn’t believe others hadn’t thought of it first. There is nothing in the literature.

    So I told a colleague. He couldn’t come up with a “no, because …” argument, so I told my boss. She questioned it, I defended it, and her final say was “but that’s not what we do.”

    So I told another Prof and he thought it was exciting, but it’s not what his grants do, so he turned me on to a couple of other folks who might be interested. So Friday I have a meeting with another Prof.

    There may be a reason that it’s totally unworkable, but it’s not like scientists I work with would humor me, and they wouldn’t suggest I make a fool of myself in front of other scientists.

  467. 467
    John Morales

    For Walton: Crisis? There is no crisis. Just stop talking about the boats.

    (Reminded me of you)

  468. 468
    Walton

    John, that’s a great article.

    On a closely related note: can anyone help convince one or more of the Canadian FtB bloggers to write something about C-31? The Canadian government is about to institute mandatory detention for asylum-seekers and to deny them a fair hearing; there needs to be some outrage, and an active campaign against it. Yet it seems like it’s largely flown under the radar.

    I’m upset and frustrated by this legislation, and, not being Canadian or in Canada, the most I can do is try to draw other people’s attention to it. If you’re Canadian, please write to your MP. And it would be really, really helpful if some bloggers would take up the cause.

  469. 469
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Fucking hipster assholes. (If heroin use is a trigger for you, don’t click through.)

    I’m all for harm reduction, and a website critiquing the quality of baggie contents in circulation isn’t a bad idea on the face of it. That said, harm reduction is obviously an afterthought for the idiot in the Vice interview, who looks at a substance that fucks people up and kills them and enthuses about “branding.” Perfect metaphor for the marketing and advertising industries, however.

  470. 470
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    Nerd, that had to be an uneasy period. I do remember being aware that there was a draft in the USA, but it wasn’t very real to the small world teenaged me back then. 25 years later after I moved to the USA and got to know a few veterans, one a marine with a purple heart among other decorations, another a survivor of a disastrous maneuver which I was assumed to have known about, but unfortunately did not. :(
    I share your respect for the decisions of individuals according to their own conscience . There was a great deal of bravery shown during that era- both in war and in standing up for unpopular principles.

  471. 471
    The Sailor

    Ogvorbis. Have you got a time machine? You seem to have skipped a day.

    Umm, I finally caught up and then in the 20 minutes it took to reload there were >200 posts.

    Something odd is going on around here, and it ain’t just me.

  472. 472
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Walton,

    I also spotted another familiar fallacy, along the lines of “you can’t criticize the sign, you’re suppressing freedom of speech!!!” I don’t know why it’s apparently so hard for some people to understand that freedom of speech does not mean immunity from criticism, and that criticizing someone is not the same thing as censoring or silencing them.

    Well, it’s probably psychological reactance (fascinating article; I recommend at least skimming each section). And if it’s formulated like “don’t do that” then it’s even more likely to result in reactance, although evidently any kind of criticism has some potential to cause it.

    I think that criticism, to a lot of people, feels like it’s already mild punishment. Alternatively, such reactance to mere criticism may be a learned association from childhood, when being told “don’t do that” very often did accompany coercion.

    On the Hong Reactance Scale, libertarians score “slightly higher than liberals and moderately higher than conservatives”; Iyer et al say “[r]eactance may function as a moral emotion that draws individuals toward the ideal of negative liberty.”

  473. 473
    strange gods before me ॐ

    When I was looking up that psychology of libertarians link again, I came across this. It’s a libertarian writing to other libertarians about how they can bring more people to the cult. It starts out:

    We can win elections as Libertarians.
    We can make significant and cumulative strides in social change.
    We can grow our party.

    But,

    We have some significant social barriers to success in the Party that I think that we would benefit from addressing. I have no right to demand agreement from anyone, so take all of this as a helpful suggestion based on experience and success.

    Obviously the words of someone who’s long accustomed to dealing with reactance.

  474. 474
    Walton

    [I]f it’s formulated like “don’t do that” then it’s even more likely to result in reactance, although evidently any kind of criticism has some potential to cause it.

    I think that criticism, to a lot of people, feels like it’s already mild punishment.

    True. I’m used to drawing a bright line between coercion on the one hand, which is backed by force or the threat of force in some way, and mere exhortation or condemnation on the other, which is not. But of course there is such a thing as soft coercion; social acceptance is a valuable benefit to most people, and so social pressure, and the threat of ostracism and disapproval, can shape people’s reactions in and of themselves.

    But, of course, the law can’t realistically deal in those nuances. Freedom of speech, qua legal right and qua concept in political theory, generally only extends as far as protecting people’s right to speak without being silenced by force. And it’s thus annoying when people conflate freedom of speech, in the commonly-understood technical sense, with the quite different idea that one should be able to speak one’s mind without criticism or social disapproval.

    On the Hong Reactance Scale, libertarians score “slightly higher than liberals and moderately higher than conservatives”; Iyer et al say “[r]eactance may function as a moral emotion that draws individuals toward the ideal of negative liberty.”

    That’s interesting. Anecdotally, I experience a lot of psychological reactance, though I didn’t know until now that it had a name. Rules, impositions and restrictions instinctively make me want to rebel and refuse; I’ve had this tendency since early in childhood. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a link between this and anti-authoritarian politics in general.

  475. 475
    Walton

    Anecdotally, I experience a lot of psychological reactance, though I didn’t know until now that it had a name. Rules, impositions and restrictions instinctively make me want to rebel and refuse; I’ve had this tendency since early in childhood. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a link between this and anti-authoritarian politics in general.

    (Not that this makes anti-authoritarian politics unjustified. Quite the opposite: I’m happy to be anti-authoritarian. And I guess comparable observations could be and have been made about the way that authoritarianism as a personality trait, from childhood onwards, shapes people’s authoritarian politics; I haven’t read Bob Altemeyer’s book, but I gather that it’s about something of the kind.

    But I know nothing much about political psychology, so I’m purely speculating out loud.)

  476. 476
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Thought of the evening, from HappiestSadist:

    “I like to think that if reincarnation were true, all MRAs would come back as male anglerfish.”

  477. 477
    Walton

    Bleh. I’m now making no sense. In my defence, it’s been a long day.

    (I spent most of it contacting five different university offices, and being told different and increasingly-confusing things by each one, regarding whether I’m supposed to have received a tax reporting form from the university. I have no idea how USians manage to figure out all this tax return stuff. It’s a mess.)

  478. 478
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a link between this and anti-authoritarian politics in general.

    It’s not a terribly strong link. See Figure 13 of the Iyer study.

  479. 479
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    “Today, nearly 500,000 children as young as six harvest 25 percent of our crops.” Nothing seems to have changed in the half-century since Harvest of Shame.

    Woman dies after being dragged from hospital. Trigger warning for racism and brutality toward a deathly ill woman. With Change.org petition and Facebook group links.

    A school in Houston has banned a 5-year-old girl from using her walker on school property. The girl has been using that walker for three years. Her mother taped a meeting with the district’s special-ed teacher, who claims that the walker is being banned for reasons of “safety.” She then uploaded part of the tape to YouTube. Again, there is a petition link, as well as other links.

    On a happier note, a sepia octopus illustration from the New York Public Library.

  480. 480
    Stacy

    Adrienne Rich died yesterday.

    Any poetry lovers here–if you haven’t read her, you should. Especially the collections Diving Into the Wreck and The Dream of a Common Language

    A lefty, feminist, lesbian, and a great American poet.

    I want to leave one of her poems here in tribute.

    I apologize for the length. The thing is, every single link I’ve tried leads to a flattened-out version–they all leave the italics out, or something. So if you hate poetry (or long comments by people new to TET), please just skip over the Phantasia.

  481. 481
    Stacy

    Phantasia for Elvira Shatayev

    (leader of a women’s climbing team, all of whom died in a storm on Lenin Peak, August 1974. Later, Shatayev’s husband found and buried the bodies.)

    The cold felt cold until our blood
    grew colder then the wind
    died down and we slept

    If in this sleep I speak
    it’s with a voice no longer personal
    (I want to say with voices)
    When the wind tore our breath from us at last
    we had no need of words
    For months for years each one of us
    had felt her own yes growing in her
    slowly forming as she stood at windows waited
    for trains mended her rucksack combed her hair
    What we were to learn was simply what we had
    up here as out of all words that yes gathered
    its forces fused itself and only just in time
    to meet a No of no degrees
    the black hole sucking the world in

    I feel you climbing toward me
    your cleated bootsoles leaving their geometric bite
    colossally embossed on microscopic crystals
    as when I trailed you in the Caucasus
    Now I am further
    ahead than either of us dreamed anyone would be
    I have become
    the white snow packed like asphalt by the wind
    the women I love lightly flung against the mountain
    that blue sky
    our frozen eyes unribboned through the storm
    we could have stitched that blueness together like a quilt

    You come (I know this) with your love your loss
    strapped to your body with your tape recorder camera
    ice-pick against advisement
    to give us burial in the snow and in your mind
    While my body lies out here
    flashing like a prism into your eyes
    how could you sleep you climbed here for yourself
    we climbed for ourselves

    When you have buried us told your story
    ours does not end we stream
    into the unfinished the unbegun
    the possible
    Every cell’s core of heat pulsed out of us
    into the thin air of the universe
    the armature of rock beneath these snows
    this mountain which has taken the imprint of our minds
    through changes elemental and minute
    as those we underwent
    to bring each other here
    choosing ourselves each other and this life
    whose every breath and grasp and further foothold
    is somewhere still enacted and continuing

    In the diary I wrote: Now we are ready
    and each of us knows it I have never loved
    like this I have never seen
    my own forces so taken up and shared
    and given back
    After the long training the early seiges
    we are moving almost effortlessly in our love

    In the diary as the wind began to tear
    at the tents over us I wrote:
    We know now we have always been in danger
    down there in our separateness
    and now up here together but till now
    we had not touched our strength

    In the diary torn from my fingers I had written:
    What does love mean
    what does it mean “to survive”
    A cable of blue fire ropes our bodies
    burning together in the snow We will not live
    to settle for less We have dreamed of this
    all of our lives

    -Adrienne Rich (May 16, 1929 – March 27, 2012)
    from The Dream of a Common Language

  482. 482
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    David Marjanović @449:

    *meep meep*

    (roadrunner escape)

    Kudos for using sound effects I actually heard.

    Stacy @480:

    No worries on the poem length. It was as long as Louis’ rant earlier on and equally as eloquent.

  483. 483
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    I shall sit here for a while – Teh Zombie Thread has been irradiated.

    {starts snacking on burnt popcorn}

    So,… wazzuuup?

  484. 484
    rorschach

    I actually have 2 zombie threads going at the moment, the SCOAN one and the Christians and their crucifixes one. Regular influx from religious nutters who defend their scamming holy man in the former.
    Off for massage, bbl.

  485. 485
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ rorschach

    SCOAN

    Eeeuw!

    (Are they not somehow criminally liable for the deaths they are helped cause?)

  486. 486
    birgerjohansson

    Some background news items:
    Study: Conservatives’ trust in science has fallen dramatically since mid-1970s http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-science-fallen-mid-1970s.html
    .
    Related: Interrogational torture: Effective or purely sadistic? http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-interrogational-torture-effective-purely-sadistic.html “under realistic circumstances interrogational torture is far more likely to produce ambiguous and false, rather than clear and reliable, information.”
    .
    David Frum: George and Mitt Romney & the Death of Moderate GOP http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/03/18/david-frum-george-and-mitt-romney-the-death-of-moderate-gop.html
    .
    Beyond GDP: Experts preview ‘Inclusive Wealth’ index http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-gdp-experts-preview-inclusive-wealth.html “Brazil and India pay a high price for rapid economic growth”
    .
    Good news! Scientists clone ‘survivor’ elm trees http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-scientists-clone-survivor-elm-trees.html
    .
    Amazon CEO plans to raise sunken Apollo 11 engines http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-amazon-ceo-sunken-apollo.html (F-1 engines of the first stage)
    .
    Global sea level likely to rise as much as 70 feet for future generations http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-global-sea-feet-future.html#firstCmt
    .
    Cool: Swedish House Mafia http://www.thelocal.se/followsweden/article/Swedish-House-Mafia–what-a-party/

  487. 487
    rorschach

    Note to self : Don’t have massages by gorgeous blond women. I’m so in lust, it’s not funny.

    Are they not somehow criminally liable for the deaths they are helped cause?

    They are a charity in the UK. To my knowledge no charges have been laid, but I might be wrong.

  488. 488
    Louis

    McCthulu, #482,

    I object!

    There is no way I am ever that eloquent! And I use far more naughty words, worse grammar, and moar spellung mostaks.

    Although most of that is on purpose. Especially the grammar. The naughty words are just compulsion. I swear therefore I am. I defy anyone to look at the world for more than a brief second and not be inspired, by either awe, wonder or horror, into shouting “FUUUUUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUUUUUUUCK!”.

    Louis

  489. 489
    Louis

    Rorschach,

    Note to self : Don’t have massages by gorgeous blond women. I’m so in lust, it’s not funny.

    Eyebrows are being raised.*

    Louis

    * Mind you I don’t find receiving massages particularly erotic. They don’t ever really do it for me, they’re functional. Too many sports injuries over the years I guess. Even gorgeous blonde women have failed to alter the simple fact that massages do very little for me in the trouser department, I just tune out. Ahhh the world would be an odd place if we were all the same. Now your beach volleyball…I’m banned from watching that. My wife can’t take the crying and howling at the television. Especially since I’m doing it from the garden and it upsets the neighbours.

  490. 490
    rorschach

    Even gorgeous blonde women have failed to alter the simple fact that massages do very little for me in the trouser department

    Yeah, but that one was British, and she talked a lot. And she got to my shoulders right when England lost the Test match, too. The perfect storm.

  491. 491
    Louis

    England never lose a Test match. Surely I have explained this? Since we invented the important sports, rugby, cricket, and I suppose I have to include football, a Test match is not simply a test of sporting prowess, but of manners. If England win then that is by divine right and superiority of prowess, naturally. If England do not win (we do not use the word “lose”) then they have won the moral victory because their opponents have only “won” by dint of being oafish foreigners/Colonials and having inferior manners. By definition, England cannot lose at a sport England created, ergo if they do lose, it’s because the opposition cheated in some underhanded, ungentlemanly manner.

    Clear?

    Louis

    P.S. Although I can understand how, for an Australian, such an event might be arousing.

  492. 492
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Louis, have you forgotten Jonny Wilkinson?

  493. 493
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    At my non-nym blog:

    Another looong post about one of the nations in my story world. And Walton, this one is the pure monarchy.

    I’ll eventually be writing a brief description of the War of Seven Thrones mentioned a few times in that post – might write a book about it so it won’t go into deep detail. It’s really not all that interesting itself – more of a political war than a military one – but some of the characters are interesting.

  494. 494
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Yay, from now on, my car is truely my car, my car, my car. My name on the documents.

    Louis
    Did I ever tell you that you make my days a litle bit brighter?

  495. 495
    Louis

    Catnip, #491,

    We never forget Our Lord Jonny Wilkinson (Blessed Be His Boots). He who doth put his body on the line in stalwart defence. He of the Drop Goal of Yore.

    I was watching the RWC final in 2003 at home (unfortunately), and my doorbell rang at 79 minutes of normal time (i.e. before we went into the extra time that eventually decided the match THE RIGHT WAY. If refs could ref scrums properly it would have happened much earlier grumble moan complain). It was the Jehovah’s Witnesses. No kidding.

    I only know this because I ever so politely asked my wife to get the door as it was physically impossible for me to remove my gaze from the screen. I was slightly tense. The words apparently appeared from between clenched teeth. My wife answered the door, gave a nervous titter (unusual for her) and calmly (wincingly) informed me it was the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I normally let them in, have a good old chat and a bit of a mock if I have time, give them a cup of tea and let them go. They usually flee to be honest. I may have failed in my ambassadorial duties this one time.

    “DO THESE FUCKING RELIGIOUS ZEALOTS HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TIME IT IS? WHAT IS CURRENTLY OCCURRING?” I yelled mildly.

    “HAVE THEY NO FUCKING CLUE IT IS THE LAST FUCKING MINUTE OF THE FUCKING RUGBY FUCKING WORLD FUCKING CUP?” I queried.

    My wife politely informed them I was slightly busy, and they were welcome to come back later if convenient.

    “NO THEY FUCKING CAN’T! POINTLESS HUMAN EXCRESCENCES. THEY CAN FUCK DIRECTLY OFF. IT’S THE FUCKING WORLD CUP. I KNOW THEY’RE STUPID. I DIDN’T KNOW THEY WERE *THAT* FUCKING STUPID. TELL THEM TO SLING THEIR HOOK BEFORE THEY FIND MY SIZE THIRTEEN BOOT UP THEIR ARSE!”

    My wife delicately informed them that now was not the best time. They legged it, apparently with some alacrity.

    I should point out that the house we were living in at the time was arranged in such a way that the sitting room door was ~ 1 metre from the front door. The television was at that end of the room too. I was perhaps 150 cm from the ears of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The door was open. I was mildly annoyed and slightly voluble. There is no way they didn’t catch every nuance. The only part of my anatomy that moved during this period were those parts involved in speech. I never wavered in my televisual observance.

    Still. I never had to put up with them visiting again.

    Louis

  496. 496
    Louis

    Katherine Lorraine, #492,

    Nice work! I read your writing with regularity now. I’m kind of a sucker for the fantasy genre. It’s one of my many many weaknesses. ;-)

    Although, if we have to class Pratchett as fantasy rather than political satire, I will refuse to think of that as any form of vice. It should be mandatory.

    Louis

  497. 497
    Louis

    Giliell, #493,

    Thank you. {blush}

    It seems my mission here on earth has been successful. I shall now return to the mother ship. Don’t worry, we still have broadband. How else can we access your Porn and your LOLcats?

    {Teleporter noise}

    Louis

    P.S. Tips hat, glad to be of service, Ma’am. ;-)

  498. 498
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Ah! There was much gnashing of teeth over that there drop goal. We didn’t know whether to hate Jonny, or draft him into the AFL. At least we didn’t have the JW knocking that day, although in hind site, it might have been better to have had one to rip apart. There, that day, we would have had our evidence for no god, or at least a really bloody nasty one.

    Oh, hang on……

  499. 499
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I have taken the day off from work. As it is worker’s comp, I don’t even have to take leave. When sitting, the pain is about 2 out of 10. When standing (no weight bearing) it is about 6 out of 10. And that is with pain pills. And this is the same knee that has had four open and five a-scope surgeries.

    OUCH. I hope you’re all right, that sound fucking painful. Good luck at the doc’s.

    Currently have a knee immobilizer on my knee to immobilize my knee. I will see the orhopaedic surgeon in about 10 days when the swelling has gone down. Hopefully there will be no pain by that point. If there is still pain, I may have lost my acl or relost my mcl.

    Hope you didn’t do any damage and you get some good pain meds, if you find pain meds helpful.

    Hydrocodone works. Quite well.

    I really hope your spring gets better from here on out.

    Par of me wants to write, “Well, it can’t get any worse,” but I know that, if I do write that, it will.

    Ogvorbis, my knees send their deepest sympathies to yours.

    Best argument against intelligent design ever. Pedestal on pedestal, held together with rubber bands.

    Hey, dykes, fags and other queers; remember, the next time someone is berating and beating you up,it is a good thing. It is the sign of a religious revival. David Barton, eminent historian, says so.

    David Barton = Rush Limbaugh without the hype.

    Did you forget about Phred?

    That’s only because he became the UN ambassador from Vietnam.

    Ogvorbis, ugh I hope you haven’t injured yourself badly.

    Me too. Me too.

    The places with the feathered dinosaurs aren’t the only ones where fossils are being faked by commercial dealers.

    And then there was the Spinosaurid from South America upon which the dealers glued extra horns. Ended up being named Irritator because the skull gave the palaeontologists who finally got hold of it fits.

    Something odd is going on around here, and it ain’t just me.

    Sailor, I hate to break this to you. It is you. You really are something odd.

    Then again, so am I.

    I have no idea how USians manage to figure out all this tax return stuff. It’s a mess.

    We pay companies to do them for us. In return, they use some of the profits to lobby to keep the tax code confusing and ever changing. Think of it as the cycle of life. Death. Taxes.

    Still. I never had to put up with them visiting again.

    Louis:

    +12 for your reaction. I love it.

    -4,143,983.8 for watching rugby. Are you nuts?

    And, I wish to add, your comments take on a little something extra when I am under the influence of hydrocodone.

  500. 500
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Louis:

    Thanks! I’m still working on finishing a book. That blog is sort of a mind experiment to keep me fresh.

    I don’t know what to define Prachett as… It’s very clearly fantasy, but it’s also a satire of everything so it’s also comedic. While being hilarious, it’s also quite good. I’m completely into the books, and I’m able to both laugh and cry at the stories.

    (Also, Granny Weatherwax is awesome.)

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