A little victory against a wingnut »« I’m ready for my close-up

[Lounge #356]

This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. Today we’re contemplating adorable little ratlets.

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread

Comments

  1. David Marjanović says

    O hai! Have you had enough creationists lately? If not, come here and watch an epic takedown from comment 15 onwards.

    Also, purple > red* as a hair color.

    * Actual red.

  2. says

    Also, it’s not even “racial profiling.” It’s just out-and-out racism. Unless you really think that young black men wearing backwards baseball caps are going to hijack planes.

    Well since blacks are descended from slaves and thus had selection pressure towards those most able to escape they naturally have genetic traits that make them excel at hijacking planes.

  3. says

    Oh my brain. It does not want to work. At all. Still getting intermittent bouts of nausea and vomiting, medical peoples say that might happen for a little while yet. Oh yay. That doesn’t bother me as much as not being able to think. Concussion bad. And annoying.

  4. Mattir says

    Hello, Horde – I’m back from Boy Scout camp, have spent the last 2 days having a cold and doing nothing but sleeping and wiping my nose, and have to pull myself together for my last week of leading summer camp, starting tomorrow. I will have spent FIVE WEEKS leading youth camps this summer, which is, frankly, quite enough for one middle aged woman. Both Spawns are back from their various summer activities, and we’re going to start getting geared up for yet another homeschool year. Maybe this is the year when I will finally get totally organized…

    A funny Boy Scout camp story, cross posted from the introductions thread – DaughterSpawn worked as an instructor at a BSA camp for 8 weeks this summer. One of the newer staff, a somewhat skeezy boy, noticed that she was reading one of Greta Christina’s fashion posts. She closed the window, but the boy went and googled Greta’s blog, and was (to put it mildly) astonished. Even more astonished when I was volunteering at the same camp for a couple weeks and he thought to embarrass DaughterSpawn by mentioning Greta Christina in front of me, but ended up wordless when I said “Oh yeah, she’s a great writer – we’ve met her a couple of times at conferences and she’s really nice. Her wife, Ingrid, is great too.” Kid was literally goggle-eyed at the sheer audacity of a chubby middle aged mom admitting to knowing an atheist sex blogger… This would never have happened were it not for Pharyngula.

  5. opposablethumbs says

    Mattir, so very very cool! You and your Spawn are all pretty damn awesome, you really are. And who knows, it might even have the bonus side effect wrt this particular kid of getting one more human being to open his eyes and ears and actually start reading and thinking … well, maybe, one day!

    My Spawn#1 has reported back a few times that friends have been surprised to hear what kinds of topics are perfectly fine for discussion here. We’re totally bog-standard ordinary run-of-the-mill in pretty much every way I can think of, so I can only assume this means there are lots of things regarded as Not For Discussion in their homes, which is a shame.

  6. ImaginesABeach says

    Caine – If you have any virtual ratlets left, GirlChild and I would love to share one. She’s actually been trying to convince me to hop in the car and drive to North Dakota to ratnap a bunch of them, but we’ve decided to hold off on the life of crime.

  7. cicely says

    I have a confession. I don’t like beer, in general.

    Me, too. Either. Whichever.
    -
    Rey, *hugs* and *boozes* are on offer. Help yerself.

    Also, *bacon*.
    -
    *basking in the glow of chigau’s contentment*
    Perfect days are few and fleeting. Thanks for sharing yours!
    -
    Yes, and I’ll take some of FossilFishy’s fizzy optimism, too.
    :)
    -
    I remember when my best friend and I went to see Alien—not her usual kind of film at all, and I don’t remember how she came to be up for it. Anyways, I had just finished whispering to her, “I’ll bet it’s gestating in there!”, when we hit the chest-bursting scene. She screamed, and levitated a good coupla feet outta her seat.
    :D
    -

  8. Beatrice says

    I only just watched the new Batman movie tonight. Awesome!

    /very late to this particular party

  9. Pteryxx says

    Chrome has a halfway decent adblocker too, it just requires a script to be imported.

  10. Nutmeg says

    Howdy, all. I just got back from a couple of days of fishing, and I’m not caught up at all. So here’s some *chocolate* as a general offering, and I hope you’re all well.

    Now for supper, and maybe some catching up later.

  11. hotshoe says

    Here’s another happy song – or tune, that is, with no words:

    We Hide and Seek, Jerry Douglas, youtube

    I don’t have the musicians for that track listed, but I know that Stuart Duncan was the fiddle player for Jerry’s band that year; Mark Schatz, bass. Either Scott Nygard, or more likely, Russ Barenberg, guitar. Sam Bush, I think, on mandolin.

    And of course, Jerry Douglas, dobro.

    Twenty years later, he still does this tune live at festivals, but the studio version may be better because it’s a little more controlled. De goose on de bus …

  12. says

    ImaginesABeach:

    Caine – If you have any virtual ratlets left, GirlChild and I would love to share one. She’s actually been trying to convince me to hop in the car and drive to North Dakota to ratnap a bunch of them, but we’ve decided to hold off on the life of crime.

    Hahahahaha. Are you sure you don’t want to criminals? I wouldn’t press charges, promise. There are plenty left! Pick out any you like, I’m fairly good at figuring out who is who from the earlier ratlet pics. Almost everyone is goofy over Giles, who is beginning to look like a cross between a Siamese cat and a bear, but there are many to choose from.

  13. PatrickG says

    Also, *bacon*.

    Bacon is a sin. And I say that as an atheist. I’m not sure what people who eat bacon are sinning against, but there is definitely a Pig God out there who condemns you.

    Bacon is nasty. ‘Nuff said.

  14. mythbri says

    Hey, PatrickG, I’m willing to talk Pandagon here if you are. As I said, Jesse has been able to write more since the move to Raw Story, and I like that because he’s hilarious.

  15. PatrickG says

    @ mythbri:

    I read Pandagon for almost 9 months before I realized Jesse was the founder, and not Amanda. I am glad to see him posting more, but the Madmen stuff and whatnot… it’s picked up recently, but it seems to be winding down a bit. I dunno, just a random impression.

    Now, I don’t know if you read the comments section back in this specific day, but I was the person posting as Signals & Systems* who incited a riot (well, maybe giving myself too much credit for incitement there) on a police-related thread (I saw a “Fuck the police” post and responded very vociferously… That experience definitely inhibited me when it comes to commenting on blogs.

    But then, I’ve learned more and developed more leathery skin, so … eh. It’s fun being beat up here. :)

    *How the fuck I ended up with an SS pseudonym I just don’t know. Was totally unaware when I picked it, an Electrical Engineering textbook was just sitting right next to me when I created an account. :)

  16. mythbri says

    @PatrickG

    I don’t recognize the ‘nym or recall the thread. When it comes to Second Amendment rights I’m firmly in the “enforce the rules we have, close the loopholes we haven’t” camp, but when it comes to posts about the police I stay pretty quiet. I’m in a privileged position regarding law enforcement, as I’m confident that I’ll be taken relatively seriously (except in the case of sexual assault) and left unmolested because of my privilege.

    There are many places, and many people, who can’t make those claims.

  17. PatrickG says

    @ Mythbri

    It was back during the time when Marcotte was really focusing on police brutality (then, it was shootings, we hadn’t quite gotten to the Taser portion). Someone showed up with a simple comment of “Fuck the police.”

    It was the first time I’d commented on the blog, but as a person in Berkeley who served as a House Manager in a student co-op (then the USCA, now the BSC), I was beyond pissed. I met a lot of cops in some very difficult circumstances (a suicide, and a mental health issue, google 5150 if you’re curious), and I responded with a “Fuck you, you ignorant shit” type comment. Though a bit more polite.

    I got a LOT of flak (in most part deserved: I’d sort of ignored the point and derailed the conversation), and I probably showed the same level of restraint (sober) that I did in the ‘Dome just a little bit ago (drunk). But then, I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now.

  18. mythbri says

    @PatrickG

    I’m of the opinion (because I have no direct experience) that being part of a police or military force erodes a person’s individuality, and in some cases, their humanity. They have a rough job and they become hardened, or they break. Sometimes both.

    That doesn’t excuse the abuses they inflict on civilians and within their own, however.

  19. PatrickG says

    @Mythbri

    Oh, no disagreement there. I think the influx of military personnel and hardware/training to civilian policing is a really disturbing trend.

    The distinction I was trying to make in that Pandagon thread* (that you didn’t see, so I’ll drop it after this, because ‘meh’) was that a complete indictment of any police officer anywhere was unwarranted. Some police officers are everything we want them to be.

    *One of the comments was “Police are nothing but an organized gang.” I took exception to that, having worked with some damn fine policepeople who actually DID protect and serve. Though I won’t defend my responses afterward in that thread, should someone dig ‘em up.

  20. Pteryxx says

    mythbri and PatrickG: There’s also evidence that corrupt police and military forces select for colleagues who will at least keep quiet about routine abuses, if not outright join in. It’s not necessarily inherent to the job (though I don’t want to argue that it’s not, either.)

  21. PatrickG says

    @ Pteryxx

    A very good point. That was part of what I was trying to (badly) get at w.r.t. militarization of forces. The cultivation of a police-vs-civilian mentality has definitely resulted in an increased breach of trust between protected and “those supposed to protect.”

    Hell, I’m a white cis- male, age 18-35. And I get scared by cops sometimes, simply because they have such increased legal… what, amplitude?

    I can’t even imagine what it’s like for people outside my privilege set. The CNN anchor who got pulled over… his livetweeting was really instructive for me.

  22. mythbri says

    @Pteryxx

    I know – I think the structure is flawed. I don’t like the idea of people having to sacrifice their humanity to protect other people. It seems that it’s only a matter of time before it’s self-defeating, and they destroy their humanity along with those they’re supposed to protect.

    The structure makes a group of humans something more and less than human, and it will, consciously or not, seek those that fit well within it. I’m not trying to sound like a tinfoil-hat person by any means. I’m just making a sociological observation from a perspective with no formal training in it.

  23. says

    Argh. Dear good friend, if you are cheating on your SO, do not instruct me to lie to them if they call asking me where you are and tell them you were up here and have left. Your SO has called me three times in the last two hours. I’m not picking up the phone, even if they’re worried sick about you, because I don’t want to be in the middle of that fucking drama storm. You’re a grown-ass adult; act like it, please.

  24. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I’ve known good cops. That doesn’t stop me from recognizing that all police organizations are dens of gangsters.

    +++++

    Is there some quasi-religious reason, perhaps, that ‘Merkins cannot be self-critical and question deeply flawed ideas,

    Why expect there needs to be anything quasi-religious about inertia cultural supremacism?

    When I read about laïcité I thought it was awesome. King, priest, entrails, you know. Years later, someone here explained to me that it was legitimate and very important to keep Muslim women out of public spaces, because laïcité. I imagine no one would claim that laïcité is quasi-religious, but several French commenters seemed unable to view its application critically.

    Hell, the whole bloody US constitution is deeply flawed

    There are numerous ways it could be improved. Furreners, though, rarely seem to have any well-informed suggestions.*

    *Exception — of one furrener here who’s been living in the USA for many years — noted.

  25. PatrickG says

    That doesn’t stop me from recognizing that all police organizations are dens of gangsters.

    I’d agree with that, except for the fact that dens of gangsters don’t derive their authority from legal means.

    To call modern police gangsters isn’t entirely inaccurate, but they’re LEGAL gangsters. Kind of like bankers aren’t committing crimes because they rewrote the law.

    The LEGAL part is the problem. Not really sure where I’m going with this, but the “dens of gangsters” thing sent me back to Pandagon ca. 2005.

  26. mythbri says

    @PatrickG

    There are rules and checks in place ostensibly to keep the police from abusing their authority. They break the law when they do this, and they break the spirit of their service when they do the things that aren’t quite against the law.

    Legal doesn’t mean right. Right doesn’t mean legal. Gangster-like behavior is still gangster-like behavior.

  27. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I don’t agree that gangsters who make the laws get to be called not-gangsters just because they define themselves as such.

    We are not obliged to let our rulers decide what words mean.

  28. broboxley OT says

    Beans were excellent, only 3 servings left over to be used for lunch this week. Methane production moderate.

    Police organizations by nature are ingroup/outgroup cliques. They associate with each other with little external input because of the nature of the job. Good departments recognize this and try to train around it. Bad departments encourage such activity.

  29. says

    Argh, let me rephrase that. A kleptocracy could certainly exist by Patrick’s logic if the kleptocrats just ignored the law. However, if they rewrote the laws to legalize their draining of public coffers into their own pockets, they’d no longer be a “government of thieves,” because thieves are criminals and the kleptocrats would not be lawbreakers.

  30. broboxley OT says

    38 Ms Daisy Cutter,
    reminds me of a repo pol in alaska who was approached by a lobbyist and was asked how much cash he wanted. The pol responds, cant do that but cut a check for 100k to the wife and I will get the bill passed. He did. He then had the state pay for a labor day conference(yeah right) so he could jolly a new internet friend he wanted to schtup. After being caught out he heads for the nearest evangelical pitstop, does a crying mea culpa just in time to get re-elected in November.

  31. PatrickG says

    PatrickG, by your logic, a kleptocracy couldn’t exist, because the kleptocrats at the helm could rewrite the laws to their own benefit.

    Legal doesn’t mean right. Right doesn’t mean legal. Gangster-like behavior is still gangster-like behavior.

    No offense, but I read these with some incredulity. In what way did I possibly imply that a kleptocracy with legal backing was somehow A-OK?

    Maybe I didn’t express myself clearly enough, but my point was simply that gangs are defined by law to be ipso facto outside the law. If you’re a legal gang you’re not defined as a gang, legally. If you’re a legal kleptocracy then of course you’re rewriting the laws to favor yourself.

    I made no comments about whether it’s “right” (or moral, FSM forbid). I made comments about how it’s legal.

    I thought I made a fairly innocuous remark about how people doing bad things often redefine law to make what they’re doing legal. Bit surprised at responses, apparently I was unclear.

  32. strange gods before me ॐ says

    my point was simply that gangs are defined by law to be ipso facto outside the law.

    I hope it’s been obvious that I understand your point.

    I don’t accept the premise that we should use words the way Minitrue prefers.

    Except for TZT’s Minitrue, of course. All glory to the hypnotardigrade.

  33. broboxley OT says

    Doubt that this will affect anyone else here but me
    http://juggalosfightback.com/
    When I am bored I take the pickup out for a drive. It is a 1985 f150 turd brown in color with some decent speakers and a couple of hatchetman stickers in the back window. All of the local newby cops get an erectile response when they see this rusty bucket of crap go by. It is highly amusing to watch their tumescence fade when they confront the old whiteguy behind the wheel. It deflates even further when their Sargent comes by and we chat. I always insist on a thorough search and helpfully point out spots that they missed. Entertaining.

  34. says

    Oh my brain. It does not want to work. At all. Still getting intermittent bouts of nausea and vomiting, medical peoples say that might happen for a little while yet. Oh yay. That doesn’t bother me as much as not being able to think. Concussion bad.

    Give your brain time to settle. Dont expect it to be working normally for up to 6 weeks, be prepared for lapses in concentration, dizziness, memory problems etc. My advice for concussed people is usually to avoid concentrating, reading, computer games etc for a few days entirely.

  35. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Ms Daisy:

    I don’t want to be in the middle of that fucking drama storm. You’re a grown-ass adult; act like it, please.

    I agree with you. Friends don’t drag friends in the middle of domestic squabbles.
    ****

    Could someone explain this to me:

    The Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud have praised Ryan as well. Both groups represent LGBT individuals in the Republican Party.

    The Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud noted that Ryan voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in 2007, which if passed would have outlawed workplace discrimination against LGBT employees.

    “The selection of Paul Ryan is a bold and inspired pick,” said Jimmy LaSalvia, Executive Director of GOProud. “Paul Ryan has been the architect of policies that would benefit all Americans, especially gay Americans.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/12/anti-gay-group-praises-paul-ryans-pro-marriage-stance/

    [emphasis mine]
    It’s still mind boggling to me that people can’t see that legalization of gay marriage is a stop (granted a major stop) in the journey to equality. I’ve talked with gay people before and they don’t care about the gay marriage subject. Some have said “we’re never getting married, so it doesn’t matter”. They’re all missing the point, that this is a necessary step along the path of full equality. Trying to fathom the mind of Log Cabin Republicans makes me wonder if they view gay marriage the same way (not that important, so they don’t care what legislation is passed).

    ****
    How often do completely new skin conditions seemingly pop up out of nowhere? My heart goes out to this young woman.

    A rare skin condition is causing one 28-year-old woman hair to grow human nails instead of hair.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/09/shanya-isom-grows-nails-head-hair_n_1760293.html

  36. says

    I’m waiting for the mobile radio mechanic to arrive to install my digital car radio. And then I really need to go to the next medical centre to get some drugs, my back is not good at all.

    A rare skin condition is causing one 28-year-old woman hair to grow human nails instead of hair.

    Interesting! Some epigenetic knob turned the wrong way, maybe?

  37. broboxley OT says

    46 rorschach, is it a muscle strain or a nerve pinch? Proxicam for the former quackopractor for the latter. (I know but still) I have dodgy joints and for some, a spine manipulator gets it done. For others drugs. My doc understands when I come in whining for opiates, that is not always the best solution. lectures me as to why and she is right all of the time. And she has small hands, a gift!

  38. says

    Rorschach:

    Give your brain time to settle. Dont expect it to be working normally for up to 6 weeks, be prepared for lapses in concentration, dizziness, memory problems etc. My advice for concussed people is usually to avoid concentrating, reading, computer games etc for a few days entirely.

    Okay, Doctor. I’ll take your advice, as thinking is definitely not an easy task right now, nor is typing. Also, the dizziness was bad today, I can’t seem to take any level of excitement or activity at all well. So, off to bed with me.

    I hope you get some relief for your back right away. You rest too!

  39. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    So, on a related note, I got pizza with my daughter yesterday and the TV happened to be on to the Discovery channel, which was rerunning that execrable “Mermaids: The Body Found” mockumentary. They mentioned the “aquatic ape hypothesis” as support at one point, and remembering how badly I’d seen it demolished, I got online later that day and started browsing through Jim Moore’s site again.

    And in several places, he notes that while AAH proponents like to claim that DHA and other fatty acids important to brain development could only have come from eating seafood, Moore notes that one obvious alternative mechanism is eating the brains of hunted or scavenged animal carcasses.

    In other words, rather than an aquatic phase in our evolution, anthropologists propose that we went through a zombie phase.

    Anyone think we’ll see documentaries about the “zombie ape hypothesis” any time soon?

  40. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    …oh, crap, I assumed that the “on a related note” would be obviously out of place. x.x

  41. blf says

    It was Havelock who is responsible for my concussion.

    You’ve been warned! Vetinari is a trained assassin. They don’t accidentally miss…

  42. says

    blf:

    You’ve been warned! Vetinari is a trained assassin. They don’t accidentally miss…

    Oh shit, I’m in trouble, aren’t I? I wonder if I dare try to sleep again…

  43. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    Lame. In the continuing theme of ‘religion poisons everything’ I have been put into a situation that made me a hypocrite.

    We look after my nephews during the day. They make good playmates for my little girl and they can keep each-other occupied. We went for a little hike and the older nephew starts asking questions. He saw the dog’s scrotum and asked what they were. I told him they hold sperm and are used to make babies. He is endlessly curious and asked a bunch of questions and I tried to keep it simple, but honest. He then asked if there was such a thing as god and I said I don’t know. He then asked if there were such a thing as Hell. Fuck.

    A week ago I complained about some asshat leaving religious literature around the swings and slides at the playground. I collected it all, shredded it and tossed it in the garbage, complaining vociferously about people not respecting a parent’s rights to teach his own kid about the world’s philosophies.

    I have also read every one of the ‘Why I’m An Atheist’ posts. The Catholics (and my nephews have Catholic parents) seem to universally say the thing that they despised the most was the sense of feeling ashamed to be human and worries about not being good enough and going to Hell. It has always seemed like child abuse to me.

    I felt painted into a corner. I didn’t want to be a child abuser. He asked if there was a Hell. I said no, there wasn’t. It was a place grown ups make up to make kids behave. My wife tells me today that the parents asked what we were talking about and why I didn’t just say ‘Just ask your parents.’ I didn’t want to appear a waffling idiot. That confuses kids – ‘Why don’t adults know the answer right away?’. I don’t want to be a liar. I usually want to respect other’s rights. I didn’t want to be responsible for this kid having nightmares and groundless fears. Now I’m a hypocrite and it’s because of a cruel and demented religion. If I just mumble ‘go ask your parents’ I feel like I’m enabling child cruelty. What would you do?

  44. strange gods before me ॐ says

    The kid asked you. It’s not like leaving pamphlets for people who aren’t asking you. What you did isn’t hypocritical.

    +++++
    (What would I do? When kids in my family mention god, or ghosts or magic, I tell them that stuff doesn’t exist.

    And nobody has the right to teach anyone that hell exists — teaching kids that hell exists is absolutely morally wrong and it’s not a parental prerogative. Yes it is child abuse, even if the parents don’t understand what they’re doing wrong.

    God is an only slightly more morally ambiguous issue than hell, but I still don’t want anyone in my family being taken advantage of by a religious organization. There were atheists in my family the whole time I was growing up and I resent them for never even trying to tell me that God doesn’t exist. They listened to me preach and didn’t even try to argue with me. I believed in that shit until my twenties, and it fucked my life right up in numerous ways.

    So, personally, I’m totally in favor of pamphleting atheism at the playground, but I’m too lazy.)

  45. says

    So I went to see this GP today. It was really weird, I’m sure the guy hated me.

    Me: So, I’d like some Prednisolone.
    GP: Let’s discuss it. I gave someone bone necrosis once with the stuff.
    Me: I’d still like the script, thanks.
    GP: Your blood pressure is high, when did you last have it checked?
    Me: When I was 19?
    GP: Do you smoke?
    Me: Of course not!
    GP: How often do you drink alcohol?
    Me: Maybe once a month? (my nose didn’t grow, phew)
    GP: And how much do you drink when you drink?
    Me: Err, a couple beers?
    GP: Ah, that’s no problem then.

    I could totally play that GP game. And in that whole waiting room, there wasn’t a single sick person. I’ll be enrolling next year.(no, seriously, need to get off night shifts)

  46. blf says

    Saudi Arabia plans new city for women workers only:

    Businesswomen behind 5,000-job scheme designed to give women greater independence while maintaining segregation

    A women-only industrial city dedicated to female workers is to be constructed in Saudi Arabia to provide a working environment that is in line with the kingdom’s strict customs.

    The city, to be built in the Eastern Province city of Hofuf, is set to be the first of several planned for the Gulf kingdom. The aim is to allow more women to work and achieve greater financial independence, but to maintain the gender segregation, according to reports.

    The proposals follow government instructions to create more job openings for women to enable them to have a more important role in the country’s development.

    “I’m sure that women can demonstrate their efficiency in many aspects and clarify the industries that best suit their interests, nature and ability,” said Modon’s deputy director general, Saleh al-Rasheed.

    The Hofuf development is expected to create about 5,000 jobs in textiles, pharmaceuticals and food-processing industries, with women-run firms and production lines. Modon said the Hofuf industrial site was a suitable location given its “proximity to residential neighbourhoods to facilitate the movement of women to and from the workplace”.

    In January the government enforced a law allowing Saudi women to be employed in lingerie and cosmetic shops, following a campaign by the women’s rights activist Reem Asaad. Previously women had to purchase underwear from male shop assistants. The plan is that by the end of this year women will replace men in stores selling abayas, the traditional black cloak worn by women.

    Last month a poll of working women in Saudi Arabia by YouGov and Bayt.com found 65% wanted to achieve greater financial independence through their careers. Those under 25 also wanted to make use of their educational qualifications.

    On how many levels is this plan missing the point?

  47. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Hah. I don’t mean like Marjoe stuff in church. But yeah. Witnessing. I’ve saved a few souls — at least one of whom is still annoyingly intractable today.

  48. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    blf @59. I’ll be having a laugh when the city of women starts kicking the men’s arses in productivity and cash flow. I wonder how long it will be allowed to last after that.

  49. Amblebury says

    I think I recall woodsmanone. Came undone rather rapidly, if I remember rightly.

    I’m tired. Hello and good night.

  50. Amblebury says

    Oh, and thanks everyone for the reassurances with regard to getting out of the bad employment situation.

    I’m so, so tired. I think it’s catching up with me. I hadn’t realised/acknowledged how much of a toll four years of kidding myself things “really weren’t that bad” took.

  51. blf says

    From The Planetary Society:

    [Curosity's] landing was near-perfect. It was so perfect, in fact, that it puts the EDL [entry, descent and landing] team in the awkward position of having to explain why they landed a mere two-and-a-half kilometers from their target, narrowly missing a bulls-eye. …

    Here’s a handful of other EDL facts that were kicked around during the press conference, further showing us just how nominal the landing was:

     ●  Curiosity hit the atmosphere only about a kilometer and a half from its intended target.
     ●  The parachute was scheduled to deploy between 241 and 263 seconds after entry interface. It deployed at 259 seconds.

     ●  The rate of rotation under parachute varied around one to two degrees per second, which was lower than anticipated. During the MARDI thumbnail video, the rover makes a full rotation.
     ●  Curiosity’s heat shield was ideally supposed to be fifteen meters away within five seconds upon release, giving the radar a good view of the landing site. It cleared that distance in just three seconds.
     ●  Trajectory specialist Jody Davis said Curiosity was able to lock onto the landing site a kilometer and a half higher than expected.

    No word if they spotted the squashed cat under the wheel yet.

  52. ImaginesABeach says

    Caine – GirlChild says that ANY ratlet is good, but Zoe is seriously cute. She’s hoping that you will take a picture and give us permission to print it.

  53. birgerjohansson says

    Blf, et al,
    “StarTram” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Tram

    Note that Star Tram 1.5 might use Mount Mc.Kinley or maybe some of the volcanoes in Peru as support for the “business end” with a MHD field at the opening to prevent the vacuum from being compromised.

    Cost for the more modest variants are significantly lower than the cost for the ISS construction.

    Also, note the possibility of building a version 1.0 in the Antarctic at an altitude of 3 km.

    None of the technologies require “unobtanium” :-)

  54. says

    It was so perfect, in fact, that it puts the EDL [entry, descent and landing] team in the awkward position of having to explain why they landed a mere two-and-a-half kilometers from their target, narrowly missing a bulls-eye. …

    Are you saying that Adam is less than perfect? Because clearly that’s some fucked-up shit, everyone knows that Adam is god.Him and Asian engineer chick. And the guy who did the broadcasting.

  55. birgerjohansson says

    McC2lhu:
    “I’ll be having a laugh when the city of women starts kicking the men’s arses in productivity and cash flow. I wonder how long it will be allowed to last after that”
    .
    Yes: I don’t think I am being racist if I claim that the male Saudi workers have a very serious entitlement problem, on a par with the brats of the Bush clan.

    Even though the majority of Saudis are not rich, they regard “work” as a sinecure, the real work is done by immigrant labour. Even the army is staffed by Pakistanis (with more or less competent members of the royal family in the top positions).

    And they treat the immigrants like crap. Before you accuse me of Saudiphobia; My brother worked there as an engineer building infrastructure of various kinds. He is no xenophobe -it would no be possible in his job- but he and his European colleagues gave up trying to interact with their Saudi colleagues at a social level. I am told the other Gulf kingdoms are almost as bad.
    At least Oman (not technically a Gulf kingdom) has done some good things for the ordinary people.
    — — — — — — — — — —
    The feudal oil tyrannies seem to be buying off the people (or at least the clans they build their power base on) with money while keeping the most repressive aspects of their societies.
    Shiite people can be harassed with impunity. Same with the immigrant labour.
    We don’t call them out on it because of $$$.

  56. John Morales says

    birgerjohansson, there are wars to be fought and golf courses to be built; why would humanity want to waste resources on opening up new frontiers and securing its future?

    <snark>

  57. birgerjohansson says

    “I still don’t want anyone in my family being taken advantage of by a religious organization”

    For a televangelist from hell, see Charles Stross’ “The Apocalypse Codex” :-)

    The One True Religion involves cold, alien intellignces bleeding through the walls of the dimensions (see CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN).

  58. birgerjohansson says

    John Morales, I think the current political class in ‘Merca can be compared with the late Roman elite: No more new philosophy, new theater and other brainy stuff, just luxury palaces, forts and infrastructure to keep the existing system going (the aqueducts were beneficial for commoners, but still fit into that picture).

  59. blf says

    Are you saying that Adam is less than perfect?

    Well, I’ve much bothered with him — or Eve — in the paintings I’ve seen. I’m more curious about just how the leaves and things wind up covering various bodily parts. Michelangelo’s David, for instance, hasn’t got that problem.

  60. says

    Well, I’ve much bothered with him — or Eve — in the paintings I’ve seen

    Jebus man. Adam Stelzner! Boss man of the EDL mission. Our hero.

  61. lexie says

    Caine, I’m just curious but I saw you mention over in the cat thread that you were going to get your rats speyed. I’m curious to know if there are many vets in America who are confident with rats. Friends I have here (Australia) with pocket pets stuggle with finding vets who know a lot about them and I can’t think of anyone who would perform rat speys. I am also partly curious as I am a vet student considering specialisation in later life and the residencies are better overseas (particularly US) and I’m curious to know of things that aren’t covered in detail here (we don’t do a lot with pocket pets) that are elsewhere.

  62. birgerjohansson says

    Adam….
    Big problem for old artits: depicting Adam & Eve with or without belly buttons?
    Implying they were born rather than created could get you in big trouble.

  63. dianne says

    Gmail is clever. I have a bad habit of writing emails that are supposed to have attachments and forgetting to add the attachment. When I did that this time the program warned me that I wrote “attached” in the email but failed to attach anything. now as long as it sticks to the google motto everything should be fine…

  64. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    I hope you feel better soon Caine!

    *Chocolate, Beer(Or Cider Or Wine) and Hugs for everyone* Sorry I’m not caught up, again. I think being threadrupt is just going to be a permanent state for me. =(

    Count me in as another person who is no fan of beer. I couldn’t stand the one wine I’ve ever tasted either. Cider though I love.

    I keep looking to pick out a virtual rattie for me an the Little One but they are all so cute and I can’t remember who picked what rat. I’ve accidentally picked Carrot like 5 times only to remember that That’s Carrot and is taken.

    Little One’s mind is made up, she just wants them all.

    The second week of school is about to start. Must be getting her up to get ready and go soon. We had our first homework, got new shoes, book bag and school supplies over the weekend. I’m still exhausted. She’s in that in between sizes stage currently. Kids size 13 gives barely any wiggle or growth room, Girls size 1 is like 3 inches too big. First homework ever was writing her name. She did well, was resistant to writing lower case letters though because upper case A looks fancier. She also just wanted to draw shapes. So we talked about what shapes the letters looked like to get her into it.


    McC2lhu-

    If I just mumble ‘go ask your parents’ I feel like I’m enabling child cruelty. What would you do?

    Been there. It’s uncomfortable to say the least. I’ve told them the truth, no hell and that some people believe in a lot of different god. Of course, parent’s will usually give you more leeway on denying hell by claiming to be a wishy washy liberal Christian, saying no god gets you and your child shunned quick. At least here in AZ in my experience. I really dislike weasel answers like “go ask your parents” and not answering. It just grates me how so many people don’t answer kids when they ask questions. How are kids suppose to learn if you don’t answer their questions?

  65. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Gmail is clever. I have a bad habit of writing emails that are supposed to have attachments and forgetting to add the attachment. When I did that this time the program warned me that I wrote “attached” in the email but failed to attach anything. now as long as it sticks to the google motto everything should be fine…

    They’ve done that for awhile now. I fucking love it. Saved me so many times when sending out my resume. One of the best features, I think.

  66. blf says

    No I dont get wound up by trolls trolling, really. Why do it though?

    Why do trolls troll — I assume we’re not talking here about the sort that lurk under bridges and have a thing with billygoats — is not a question I can recall ever seeing answered satisfactorily. But I’ve ever looked either, so that’s not too surprising.

    A few minutes at The U. of Google finds an interesting summary, Academics on Why Trolls Troll. A troll is defined as:

    [Someone] who constructs the identity of sincerely wishing to be part of the group in question, including professing or conveying pseudo-sincere intentions, but whose real intention(s) is/are to cause disruption and/or to trigger or exacerbate conflict for the purposes of their own amusement

    Seems like a reasonable definition to me.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t found a working hyperlink to the actual paper (albeit I admit to not trying too hard). Whilst the study is mentioned all over the place (e.g., in The Grauniad), none of the summaries I’ve looked at have been very detailed.

  67. says

    McCthulhu:

    What would you do?

    Told the kid the truth – no such thing as hell, it’s nasty crap invented by adults to make people behave. I grew up old school catholic and the fear of hell is what took me the longest to shake, it was actually physical, that fear. Even after I realized, when I was a Jesus Freak™ that fear of going to hell was *lousy* reason to believe in a god, it took ages to shake.

    It is a socially acceptable thing to do which is abuse, full stop. It’s a terrible thing to do to anyone, let alone a young child. You did the right thing.

    ImaginesABeach, eeeee, Zoe is a favourite of mine. Like her sib Carrot, she is much tinier than the other ratlets, I think they lost out on nipple wars most of the time. She is keeping her belly stuffed and growing though. She has a wonderfully sweet nature and is happily adventurous. She’s named after Zoë Alleyne Washburne (Firefly). If you go to my blog, in the most recent post, Zoe is the first rat painted on a trading card. Here are two photos (click to enlarge) for GirlChild and you, which you are free to publish: Zoe drinking some yummy chocolate Ensure and Zoe checking out some corn. She has Mama Rubin’s lovely long nose. :D

  68. dianne says

    I grew up old school catholic and the fear of hell is what took me the longest to shake, it was actually physical, that fear.

    I got off much easier since my parents weren’t pushing hell and I went to public then non-religious private schools, but I remember as a moderately young kid having a panic attack after listening to the folk song “This train”. If gambling or lying were things that could make people unqualified for heaven, I reasoned, I wasn’t nearly good enough.

    Being only 7 or 8, I wasn’t able to articulate what had upset me. So my father just sort of picked me up and distracted me by talking about chemistry and physics. I felt better pretty quickly. Total honesty I couldn’t do, thought experiments about what would happen to two hydrogen atoms in a vacuum, I could.

    Just a little anecdote for when someone says that religion is important because it comforts people and science is cold and inhumane.

  69. says

    Lexie:

    Caine, I’m just curious but I saw you mention over in the cat thread that you were going to get your rats speyed. I’m curious to know if there are many vets in America who are confident with rats.

    Oh, what a question. A lot depends on where you live, I think. In cities, I expect most vet practices would have at least one pocket pet specialist and most of the vets would have general experience with them.

    I’m in North Dakota, where rats aren’t particularly beloved, to say the least, however, there are a minority of people who keep them. The rural vets are pretty much useless, they prefer limiting their practice to large animals and basically don’t know shit about pocket pets. The ethical ones will refuse to even see them, due to their lack of knowledge. Our vet clinic is in Bismarck and we are fortunate to have two pocket pet specialists, both women. One of them specialized in rats and she’s our go to doctor for them.

  70. KG says

    birgirjohannson,

    The StarTram looks interesting for freight launches, but I don’t like the idea of putting it in Antarctica at all: what sort of damage would building and operating it wreak? I find it hard to credit the passenger version. In any case, I view human spaceflight as a distraction: why send fragile, squashy bipeds with inherently messy metabolic requirements up, rather than machines (or biomachines) designed for the environment?

    On the Roman Empire, I don’t think your parallel holds. The late Roman elite really did face threats of external invasion – as demonstrated by the fact that the western half of the empire was overrun in the 5th century: so the forts etc. served a real function, unlike most of the USA’s huge military expenditure. The closest parallel is probably in the declining technological lead over neighbouring societies (all societies are neighbouring in our time) which, as in the Roman case, is probably inevitable. Peter Heather, in The Fall of the Roman Empire and Empires and Barbarians, argues that all empires generate the external forces that eventually overthrow them. Although, in the American case as previously in the Dutch and the British, that “overthrowing” is likely to be economic and relative rather than military and absolute – setting aside the likelihood that both the empire and its rivals will collapse as a result of environmental catastrophe.

  71. says

    JAL:

    I keep looking to pick out a virtual rattie for me an the Little One but they are all so cute and I can’t remember who picked what rat. I’ve accidentally picked Carrot like 5 times only to remember that That’s Carrot and is taken.

    If you want one with a blaze, might I suggest Chas? He’s a complete smart-ass and much too bright for his own britches. Gets away with murder ’cause he has a serious case of Teh Cyoot. :D

  72. lexie says

    Thanks Caine. Sounds like there are more pocket pets vets over there, we don’t really learn a lot about them at uni here so I was just curious if other places did a better job. Oh and btw your rats and ratlets are so cute, I love all your gorgeous pics of them.

  73. Louis says

    Caine,

    Can I virtually adopt a black ratlet of your choosing please? The blacker the better! I have no preference about sex. Do I get naming privileges or are they all named?

    Louis

    P.S. I am repeating this somewhere relevant!

  74. Louis says

    Myself, #93,

    I have no preference about sex.

    Taken out of context this statement is untrue.

    NO JOKES!!!!

    Louis

  75. says

    Also, Lexie, I can’t express enough just how much pocket pet vets are appreciated, if you can manage pocket pets, you’ll have clients who are fiercely loyal to you and your practice.

  76. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    If you want one with a blaze, might I suggest Chas? He’s a complete smart-ass and much too bright for his own britches. Gets away with murder ’cause he has a serious case of Teh Cyoot. :D

    Sounds just like my Little One! Perfect match and because it’s virtual I don’t have to chase them both around. Best solution ever.

    I’ll let the Little One know when she gets home. I can see Chas scheming in that photo too. Or is that a “touch my food and die” look?

  77. lexie says

    Thanks for the tip, I’ll try harder to get some experience with them. I actually like pocket pets, I just wish we leant more about them because at this rate I definitely wouldn’t be qualified to work with them. Also so often they are just relegated to lab animal medicine, which despite being the same species I find to be a whole different kettle of fish to pet rats/rabbits.

  78. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Roomie agrees Chas is perfect for the Little One just by looking at the photo. The only difference between them is that Chas likes eating veggies. XD

  79. says

    Louis:

    Can I virtually adopt a black ratlet of your choosing please? The blacker the better! I have no preference about sex. Do I get naming privileges or are they all named?

    They are all named. The one you want is Vasco. If there’s a name you’re fond of, I’d be happy to give him a middle name. Photos (click to enlarge): Vasco 1 and Vasco 2.

    He’s a sweetie, right down to his toes, but if he was a human, he’d be one of those world wrestling federation types. :D

  80. says

    A Moment of Mormon Madness that began in 1977-78, but is still in force. This information comes from ex-mormon “xyz” and was posted in response to a question about Brigham Young University (BYU) security forces harassing and spying on people, even in off-campus situations.

    During its 1977-78 interim the Transportation and Public Safety Study Committee headed by Public Safety Commissioner Larry Lunnen made a study to re-define the authority of various law enforcement agencies throughout the state, including BYU Security.

    As a result of the study the Legislature passed House Bill 80 giving BYU Security officers 24 hour jurisdiction throughout the state.

    In addition to that, the bill read ambiguously, “Members of the police and security department of any college or university shall also have the power to enforce all rules and regulations promulgated by the governing board of such an institution.”

    Gays have in the past complained of harassment from BYU Security in Salt Lake City and even in areas as far away as St. George. Mike, a gay returned missionary said, “I’ve seen BYU Security officers in Salt Lake City at the cruise areas driving past lines of cars leaning out the window taking pictures of not only the license and cars, but of the passengers inside of them also.”

    http://www.affirmation.org/history/homosexuality_at_byu_2.shtml

  81. ImaginesABeach says

    I’m not sure that most vet practices in cities have a pocket pet person. I live in the St. Paul / Minneapolis metropolitan area, and despite several vet practices in my suburb, the ones I have called refer out to a vet in a different suburb. It’s still only around 15 or 20 miles away but I’m used to having everything I need within 5 miles.

  82. Pteryxx says

    lexie, seconding what Caine says for love of pocket pet vets. I think pocket pet care is neglected because they’re so short-lived and cheap to replace (and cheap to care for, compared to larger mammals) that many vets just have this attitude of ‘euthanize and get a new one’. But that just doesn’t make sense for routine infection, disease and wound care, tumor removal, or maintenance such as spaying; or management of common diseases such as mycoplasmosis that *also* can be problems in a research setting.

    Back in my rat-keeping days, THE go-to rodent care vet in our area actually was a lab animal veterinarian who split her time between research support and running her own veterinary practice, specializing in pocket pets and training the local vets and vet techs to pass on her knowledge. She also gave free services and support to the local rat rescue organization, which gained a wonderful reputation as a result. Eventually she retired from research and ran her pocket pet practice right up until her death. She’s one of my heroes, and if I ever have the money to go to vet school, that’s what I’d aspire to be.

  83. Louis says

    Caine,

    OH IT IS AN CYOOOT!

    Please please please PLEASE can I virtually adopt Vasco? I like the name, he needs no middle name…I may have to write Vasco-as-human fan fic…I’m thinking something in the Conan type genre…oh dear, I’ve gone again…

    Louis

  84. blf says

    Re@59: Woman-only cities in Saudia Arabia

    Homa Khaleeli at The Grauniad now has an comment piece up, Saudi Arabia’s women-only cities are no blueprint for liberation, pointing out:

    The country’s segregation is so extreme the plans [for woman-only cities] bring to mind the US’s racial divide under the Jim Crow laws, ensuring “separate but equal” institutions for black and white people. And like the legalised discrimination in the US, “equal” in this context means no such thing. The female half of the adult population of Saudi Arabia is considered unfit to control their own lives. Women cannot decide whether to leave the house, whether or who to marry, whether to work or study, whether to travel, what to wear, or even whether to have major surgery – without the consent of a male guardian.

    And:

    Clerics will say that Islam does not allow women and men to mix at work, while the rulers explain that segregation is part of Saudi culture. Yet Islamic feminists have pointed out time and time again, that the prophet Muhammad himself was married to a businesswoman – with no need to hide in an all-women city.

  85. says

    Another Moment of Mormon Madness. This one has international scope. It was a mormon, Jay Bybee, who wrote the memo making a legal case for waterboarding and other forms of “enhance interrogation.” Mr. Bybee was a star at BYU, graduating with honors in 1977 with a degree in economics and going on to earn his Juris Doctor cum laude from BYU. Bybee is currently a federal judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

    During Jay Bybee’s tenure at the OLC, the CIA acting General Counsel John A. Rizzo requested legal advice on detainee interrogation. That request was routed to the OLC by then White House General Counsel Alberto Gonzalez who desired the “ability to quickly obtain information from captured terrorists and their sponsors.” The CIA inquired whether, after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it could aggressively interrogate suspected high-ranking Al-Qaeda members captured outside the United States in ways many regard as torture. In effect, the CIA was asking for an interpretation of the statutory term of “torture” as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2340. That section implements, in part, the obligations of the United States under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

    Bybee signed that legal memorandum which defined “enhanced interrogation techniques” in ways that are regarded as torture by the Justice Department, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, some medical experts in the treatment of torture victims, some intelligence officials, and American allies. This memo has been the source of controversy and calls for his impeachment. Bybee is currently the subject of a war crimes investigation in Spain.

    A recently declassified memo indicates that some in the Bush State Department believed that the methods were illegal under domestic and international law, and constituted war crimes.

    Secretary of State Colin Powell strongly opposed the invalidation of the Geneva Conventions,
    while U.S. Navy general counsel Alberto Mora campaigned internally against what he saw as the “catastrophically poor legal reasoning” of the memo. Philip D. Zelikow, former State Department adviser to Condoleezza Rice, testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee, “It seemed to me that the OLC interpretation of U.S. Constitutional Law in this area was strained and indefensible. I could not imagine any federal court in America agreeing that the entire CIA program could be conducted and it would not violate the American Constitution.” Zelikow also alleged that Bush administration officials not only ignored his memos, but attempted to destroy them.

  86. Pteryxx says

    also, my experience has been that cities will have *a vet practice* that specializes in pocket pets rather than most practices having their own specialist, and most of the other vet practices (if they’re decent people) will refer pocket pet owners to the vets who care for “exotics”. Quite a few vets in cities are dog-and-cat-only practices, with limited experience or knowledge of birds, reptiles, rodents and such. (That doesn’t always stop them trying.)

  87. says

    ImaginesABeach:

    I’m not sure that most vet practices in cities have a pocket pet person.

    I wasn’t sure about this, I haven’t been a city dweller for a very long time, so I’m glad you and Pteryxx are chiming in about this.

  88. says

    About damned time. Presidential debate moderators will include two women.

    The Commission on Presidential Debates has picked its three moderators for each of the presidential debates in October as well as a moderator for the vice presidential debate, according to Politico. Among the moderators is CNN’s Candy Crowley, who will be the first woman to moderate a presidential debate since 1992. The commission has not yet confirmed the picks.

    PBS’s Jim Lehrer will host the first presidential debate on October 3 in Denver, Colo. CNN’s Candy Crowley will host the second, town-hall debate on October 16 in Hempstead, New York. CBS’s Bob Schieffer will host the third debate on October 22 in Boca Raton, Fla.

    ABC’s Martha Raddatz will host the vice presidential debate on October 11 in Danville, Kentucky.

    Talking Points Memo link.

  89. Nutmeg says

    As far as I’m aware, my city has one veterinary clinic that’s good with pocket pets and exotics. That’s out of somewhere between 10 and 20 small-animal clinics. My friend has guinea pigs, and she was very glad to find a vet there. Apparently guinea pigs are tricky.

  90. Pteryxx says

    Caine: I don’t feel right about trying to claim a ratlet as mine and nobody else’s, but can I sort of be godparent to one of the browny brown brown wildtype ones? (…Is there a better godless term for it than that? Eww.)

  91. Pteryxx says

    yah, guinea pigs have weird physiology, from the fully-furred galloping newborns to the dependence on dietary vitamin C. They’re exceptions to a lot of medication regimens, and that’s about all I remember atm…

  92. Louis says

    Caine,

    THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!!!!!!

    Not only do I have a Virtual Set of Sister Wives (May They Forever Have The Precise Number Of Ridiculous Orgasms They Desire At Any One Time) and a Virtual Husband (Of Much Gorgeousness, May His Needs Always Be Sated In Depraved Manners) I now have a Virtual Rat!

    This can only be a Good Thing.

    I have bookmarked the pics for the showing off!

    Thanks!

    Louis

  93. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    High Caliber Douchebaggery:

    I’ve been called a bully for exposing gay evangelical Jonathan Merritt. Was I right?
    Ever since I outed an up-and-coming evangelical leader named Jonathan Merritt on my blog on July 23, one sentence has been running through my mind: I might have destroyed his life.
    [...]
    I was tired of the lies. I was tired of hearing Jonathan say that being gay is not “God’s best.” Meanwhile he enjoys the company of men. Jonathan’s approach to LGBT people and issues may be less extreme than that of the late Jerry Falwell, but in the end the results and message are the same: Your sexual orientation is a sin and you need to change with God’s help. It’s all lies — and the conversation not only needs to change but the leaders as well.

    I’m tired of my humanity as a gay man being invalidated by hypocritical leaders like Jonathan, who then expect my support in return.

    But I do feel conflict. I do feel a sense of guilt. And that’s because I do have one regret, which is not discussing it with Jonathan first. That was wrong of me. If I had to do this all over again, I would have contacted him first and then decided how to handle the situation from there based on his reaction.
    http://www.alternet.org/gender/i-hooked-gay-evangelical-christian-heres-why-i-outed-him?page=0%2C2&paging=off

    [emphasis mine]
    I get where he’s coming from. Hypocritical religious people are a pain in the ass. They create hell for the lives of many queers.
    But privileged douchebag Azariah Southworth can just trot the fuck right off.
    This is spiteful. “You caused me pain. Here, let me return the favor.” The author tries to hide behind the vague idea that “the truth will set you free”. Ass! What gives you the right to reveal extremely personal information about someone else? Queers in the closet are in there for a variety of reasons. Being ripped out of the closet can ruin their lives. It should be the decision of the individual in question.
    The decision should *NOT* be made by anyone else.
    Southworth doesn’t seem to find anything wrong with outing someone, which makes me wonder if-when he came out-the process was easy peasy. Did he not stress? Did everyone accept him? Did they throw a party in his name? Did his mother and father continue to love and accept him?
    If so, fantastic.
    That’s not how life goes for many queers. Virtually the opposite happens so often.
    If someone had outed M years ago, I shudder to think of his father following through on his promise to kill any of his children if they “become” gay.
    That would be one of the consequences of outing someone that Southworth clearly hasn’t considered (or doesn’t seem to think is important).
    Can we get a *middle finger* icon?

  94. says

    Pteryxx:

    I don’t feel right about trying to claim a ratlet as mine and nobody else’s, but can I sort of be godparent to one of the browny brown brown wildtype ones? (…Is there a better godless term for it than that? Eww.)

    Nothing wrong with a virtual rattie. :D The wildtypes, well, Giles is the palest of those, but darkening up as he gets older. Then there’s Oliver, Theo, Chester & Neville (Only one pic, because they are identical.) (Chester isn’t up for virtual adoption, he’s mine, that one – my absolute favourite.)

    Giles is the closest to Esme’s colour.

  95. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    May I just say, hearing the phrase ‘pocket pet’ makes me giggle. I keep having images of the movie Beastmaster, and Dar with those adorable ferrets in his pocket.

  96. Beatrice says

    She feels as if someone has died?! Because her son got a tattoo?!
    There are not enough !??!?!.

  97. Pteryxx says

    Caine: eee that second wildtype pic! Something in my mind says THAT is what a ‘real’ rat should look like, even down to the little white feet. (I bet they’re not THAT identical – the spats might differ, and their personalities; and somehow I developed the ability to tell otherwise identical lab rodents apart without being consciously aware of it.)

  98. says

    From Daisy’s link:

    He says, “I’m still the same person.”

    I look at him, sitting there, my 21-year-old son. I feel I’m being interviewed for a job I don’t even want. I say, “But you’re not. You’re different. I will never look at you in the same way again. It’s a visceral feeling. Maybe because I’m your mother. All those years of looking after your body – taking you to the dentist and making you drink milk and worrying about green leafy vegetables and sunscreen and cancer from mobile phones. And then you let some stranger inject ink under your skin. To me, it seems like self-mutilation. If you’d lost your arm in a car accident, I would have understood. I would have done everything to make you feel better. But this – this is desecration. And I hate it.”

    [...]

    The stars are not wanted now: put out every one; pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.

    I am redundant. And that’s a legitimate cause for grief, I think.

    Oh for fuck’s sake. Someone yank this woman’s mom license before I die of a fatal eyeroll.

  99. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    No, Tony, I’m sorry. You lose the right to make the decision to stay closeted when you actively work toward the harm of other queer people in a position of leadership. One may not actively contribute to the oppression and harm of many other people while enjoying the privilege of being seen as virtuous. Outing a leader who works toward the oppression of LGBT people is not just acceptable, it’s a moral obligation.

    Why? Not petty revenge. It stops them doing some of their damage to other people. It robs them immediately of their privileged soapbox and credibility. It stops them being able to foment hate and bigotry against weaker people who don’t have their privileged position.

    You can be a fundie asshole homophobe with a public megaphone all you like. But if I catch you feeling up my ass in a bar I’m going to call the New York Times. Yeah. Really.

  100. Beatrice says

    Loved this comment on the tattoo article:

    Okay, so which Guardian reader wants to tell Tess her son is also probably a self abuser who engages in lustful and lascivious thought ?

  101. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Lynna @101:
    (from your quote)

    “I’ve seen BYU Security officers in Salt Lake City at the cruise areas driving past lines of cars leaning out the window taking pictures of not only the license and cars, but of the passengers inside of them also.”

    I can’t imagine how many peoples’ lives were ruined when they returned home from a weekend vacation of wild sexual exploits to find that their wild sexual exploits had been documented and forced them out of the closet.
    Lynna, am I correct in guessing you’ve read more than a few stories of outed gay Mormons?

    ****

    Pteryxx:

    Chrome has a halfway decent adblocker too, it just requires a script to be imported.

    I could certainly use a decent adblocker. I’ve got this annoying dating app that pops up every time I log onto FtB. I wish something worked with Facebook too, b/c my laptop get sluggish when signing on there. Damn ads all over the place. None of which I’m interested in.

    ****
    PatrickG:

    Bacon is a sin. And I say that as an atheist. I’m not sure what people who eat bacon are sinning against, but there is definitely a Pig God out there who condemns you.

    Bacon is nasty. ‘Nuff said.

    Tell you what, give me all your bacon, and you can have all my peas :)

    ****

  102. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    It’s easy to make the mistake of seeing an outed person through the lens of one’s own personal situation. How horrible it would have been for a scared, closeted queer kid to be outed to his parents! But that’s extending empathy a little too far and in inappropriate ways. Neither Tony nor I (nor anyone I know) held a position of public leadership that enabled us oppress other queer people. We were notsimilarly situated to this evangelical hypocrite.

    That power differential is essential and it’s why it’s a moral necessity to stop the behavior. The wider world of disempowered queers is more important than the comfortable hypocrisy of a publicly homophobic closeted evangelical. If someone has to lose privilege or power in this equation, it should be him, notthe rest of the queer world that doesn’t have his protected status.

    Stripping such assholes of their ability to do harm also chips away at the public acceptability of proud homophobia.

  103. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Josh:
    Perhaps you’re right.
    I was thinking about the situation in terms of two people with equivalent social status and privilege. Not with one having significantly more power.

  104. PatrickG says

    @ Caine (from the Intro thread):

    I bury them in a large pot outside and let nature take its course for a year, then dig them up so I can keep their skulls.

    Oh please, please, please, can we haz pics of your skull shrine? This sounds too awesome for words. I’m sure nothing you’ve done will possibly meet the image I have in my mind, which involves candles and some sort of mythical rat god, with organ music playing softly in the background.

    On the pocket pet situation… several years ago my partner and I went through horrible anguish at the thought of losing our beloved chinchilla. Then we went online and found out they generally lived for 10-15 years. What a relief and also sort of a “wtf immortal rodent” moment. She’s still kicking at ~11 years, but has more trouble jumping to high places now. Can definitely tell she’s getting older, but that lil ball of fluff can still suddenly run 30 feet in under 0.1s (or so it seems!).

  105. Arkady says

    Feck. Flatmate’s minimum-wage retail job is going part-time in 3 months, with ‘encouraging’ hints to find another job and leave entirely. He went on holiday for 2 weeks and his bosses (who own the shop and a bar) decided they could manage without him. First proper holiday he’s had in years and it loses him his job. Lovely

    At least our rent isn’t too high (I know of fellow grad students in my lab who spend more on rent for posher 1-beds than we pay jointly for our 2 bed, so I can cover more of the rent if I have to), and being over 25 he’s eligible to claim housing benefit if it comes to it…

  106. TheFormerAstronomer says

    I have a knitting-related question for Caine (I think! Feel free to ignore this if I’ve totally misremembered)

    A few weeks ago in TET you linked to a particularly beautiful baby blanket pattern (it may have been Lithuanian?), but I have lost the linky and the posts rotate so quickly that I can’t find it again :-(. Do you still have the link to hand? A friend of mine is expecting her first child later in the year and I would like to make her something.

    (Still finding my way around the new layout – hope this is the right place for this)

  107. Rey Fox says

    I keep thinking of his skin, his precious skin, inked like a pig carcass.

    Hellooooo hangups.

    Nearly half of them had been inked between the ages of 18 and 25, and nearly a third of them regretted it.

    Wow! Possibly (but not necessarily) over 30 percent! The mind boggles!

    My personal favorite comment: “Maybe he just wanted a tattoo.” But I’m a sucker for understatement.

    Close second place: “Your son sounds like he got a great deal out of his tattoo an image and something he enjoys plus 3 days of what I imagine was blissful silence.”

  108. Richard Austin says

    For the record, I agree with Josh. In fact, his use of the phrase “power differential” mirrors an argument I used elsewhere.

    Quoting myself:

    The Latin root of “privilege” is “private law”, and that is exactly what is being done in such situations: the creation of a private set of laws or rules, legal or social, where those with power are allowed to do what they themselves deny (or seek to deny) to those without power. In those situations, and those situations alone, I think the hypocrisy needs to be addressed even if it means outing said individuals.

  109. says

    TheFormerAstronomer:

    I have a knitting-related question for Caine (I think! Feel free to ignore this if I’ve totally misremembered)

    A few weeks ago in TET you linked to a particularly beautiful baby blanket pattern (it may have been Lithuanian?), but I have lost the linky and the posts rotate so quickly that I can’t find it again :-(. Do you still have the link to hand? A friend of mine is expecting her first child later in the year and I would like to make her something.

    You’re in the right place, wrong person! It’s Esteleth you’re looking for.

    If anyone on PET has seen Esteleth, can you give a shout she’s needed in the lounge?

  110. says

    No, Tony, I’m sorry. You lose the right to make the decision to stay closeted when you actively work toward the harm of other queer people in a position of leadership.

    I agree with Josh on this. Yes, it is really harsh, really hurtful. But true.

  111. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Caine, TheFormerAstronomer:

    The call has been sent out to Esteleth :)

  112. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Lynna:
    that article is horrifying. I still can’t comprehend attacking someone for something you’re not affected by.

  113. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    *is dragged in*

    Oh, the knitting pattern? I’m making it for the DarkFetus. It is called “Lullaby,” and I have completely forgotten where I found it online. So, uh, here:

    CO 176. Repeat 14 times these 16 rows:
    1. sl 1, k6, k2tog, p2, yo, k1, repeat (p2, k3, k2tog, p2, yo, k1) until 4 st remain, k4.
    2 and all even rows. sl 1, k3, p168, p4.
    3. sl 1, k5, k2tog, p2, yo, k2, repeat (p2, k2, k2tog, p2, yo, k2) until 4 remain, k4.
    5. sl 1, k4, k2tog, p2, yo, k3, repeat (p2, k1, k2tog, p2, yo, k3) until 4 reamin, k4.
    7. sl 1, k3, k2tog, p2, yo, k4, repeat (p2, k2tog, p2, yo, k4) until 4 remain, k4.
    9. sl 1, k4, yo, p2, k3, k2tog, repeat (p2, k1, yo, p2, k3, k2tog) until 4 remain, k4.
    11. sl 1, k5, yo, p2, k2tog, repeat (p2, k2, yo, p2, k2, k2tog) until 4 remain, k4.
    13. sl 1, k6, yo, p2, k1, k2tog, repeat (p2, k3, yo, p2, k1, k2tog) until 4 remain, k4.
    15. sl 1, k7, yo, p2, k2tog, repeat (p2, k4, yo, p2, k2tog) until 4 remain, k4.

    Then:
    1. sl 1, k to end.
    2. sl 1, k87, yo, k88.
    3, 4, 5, 6: sl 1, k to end.
    7. sl 1, k3, k2tog, repeat (k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, sk2p) until 11 remain, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, ssk, k4.
    8, 10, 12, 14, 16. sl 1, k3, p until 4 remain, k4.
    9. sl 1, k3, k2tog, repeat (k1, yo, k3, yo, k1, sk2p) until 11 remain, k1, yo, k3, yo, k1, ssk, k4.
    11. sl 1, k3, k2tog, repeat (yo, k5, yo, sk2p) until 11 remain, yo, k5, yo, ssk, k4.
    13, 15, 17. sl 1, k3, k2tog, repeat (k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, sk2p) until 11 remain, k2, yo, k1, k2, ssk, k4.
    18-21. sl1 k to end.
    BO.

    Go back to other end, pick up 172 from leading edge. Repeat second section once, BO.

    Use Sport or DK weight and 4 mm needles (US 6).

  114. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    I hope that gibberish was intelligible to at least one other person here.

    I’m somewhat in panic mode at the moment. My dad is in emergency surgery for an inflamed appendix. Last I heard, it had not burst.

  115. says

    Reuters is outing Mormon Moments of Money Madness.

    Excerpts below:

    If the Mormon church were a business, wealthy adherents like Mitt Romney would count as its dominant revenue stream.

    Its investment strategy would be viewed as risk-averse.

    It would also likely attract corporate gadflies protesting a lack of transparency. They would call for less spending on real estate and more on charitable causes to improve membership growth – the Mormons’ return on investment.

    Those are a few of the conclusions that can be drawn from an analysis of the church’s finances by Reuters and University of Tampa sociologist Ryan Cragun.

    Relying heavily on church records in countries that require far more disclosure than the United States, Cragun and Reuters estimate that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brings in some $7 billion annually in tithes and other donations.

    It owns about $35 billion worth of temples and meeting houses around the world, and controls farms, ranches, shopping malls and other commercial ventures worth many billions more….

    The church has plowed resources into a multi-billion-dollar global network of for-profit enterprises: it is the largest rancher in the United States, a church official told Nebraska’s Lincoln Journal Star in 2004, with other ranches and farms in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and Great Britain, according to financial documents reviewed by Reuters….

    It also has a small media empire, an investment fund, and is developing a mall across from its Salt Lake City headquarters…

  116. TheFormerAstronomer says

    Esteleth, you are wonderful. Thanks so much!

    *googles*

    Ah-ha! Estonian! That’s why I couldn’t find it anywhere – wrong Baltic state :-/

  117. says

    Josh:
    Perhaps you’re right.
    I was thinking about the situation in terms of two people with equivalent social status and privilege. Not with one having significantly more power.

    Ted Haggard. Outed him removed one homophobe with a private line to Prez Bush from power

  118. PatrickG says

    Thanks for the dead animal porn, Caine. One day perhaps you’ll share what, exactly, you do with those skulls. I really hope it in no way involves bacon.

    (And @ Esteleth, best wishes for your dad!)

  119. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    *idly wonders what Vehemently Christian dad would think of a stack of well-wishes from a bunch of Godless Atheists*

    …probably more than what Fundie mom would.

    *sigh*

  120. Socio-gen (the former BCPA_Lady) says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter @ 120:

    She grieved because he got a tattoo and felt his being permanently maimed would have been better?! I just…I don’t….what the hell?

    I wasn’t thrilled when my daughter got her tongue pierced but that’s because I have germ and needle issues (not quite phobias) and think the tongue is a terrible place to put a puncture wound. But it was her tongue and she was over 18, so my reaction was mostly a shrug. Obviously, I should have done some wailing and gnashing of teeth…or something.

  121. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    …and my mother just texted me. My dad is out of surgery. Appendix removed unburst. Surgeon describes surgery as “uneventful.” <- quite the term there.

  122. Happiestsadist says

    Socio-Gen: The tongue is actually a great place to get (professionally) pierced. It’s in a spot that heals very quickly, has a lot more germ-killing stuff going on than, say, an earlobe, and is relatively painless.

    /former piercer.

    Esteleth: I love and am creeped out by that pic so much.

  123. says

    Socio-gen:

    Obviously, I should have done some wailing and gnashing of teeth…or something.

    Oh, I expect you should have written a drama filled piece of glurge for a local newspaper, calling down the universe itself in light of your terrible grief. Yep.

  124. PatrickG says

    Glad to hear it Esteleth! The “uneventful” thing does remind me of the whole “only in medicine is something coming back negative cause for rejoicing” thing.

  125. says

    @McC2lhu
    I have no hesitation telling my ‘niece’ (child of a close friend) that Hell and God are just silly stories. She hears about them from her grandparents, and her mom is pretty wishy-washy and semi woo peddling, so she’s not willing to be as firm as we are. I have no hesitation in condemning people for pushing bullshit beliefs and ‘philosophies’ on children (or in general, frankly). Pushing bullshit and teaching facts are in no way morally equivalent.

    @Esteleth
    Hope your father recovers fully and quickly.

    @outing powerful homophobes
    I’m definitely w/ Josh et al on this one. If that blogger had stayed quietly in the closet and done something innocuous with his life, then outing him would be wrong, but not in this instance.
    @all
    What might the PET be? I keep seeing references to it.

  126. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    Dalillama, PET is the Facebook Pharyngula group.

    Thanks for the well-wishes everyone. *exhales* They’re not planning on keeping him overnight – just for a few hours observation. Given that he’s otherwise healthy and not too old (54), they aren’t worried overmuch about complications.

  127. dianne says

    Surgeon describes surgery as “uneventful.”

    Boring is good in medicine. The last thing you want is to be described as an interesting case. Congratulations to your dad on his uneventful surgery.

  128. carlie says

    Esteleth,
    I HAVE SEEN THAT PHOTO AND I WILL NOT GAZE ON IT AGAIN. You can’t make me.

  129. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    Carlie, c’mon! Once upon a time, your head looked like that.

    So did ALL of your spawn.

    Amusing: I showed that to people at work. Some went EWWW. Others, however, went, “oh, neat. You can see where the canines are poking through, and how the molars are forming.”

  130. cicely says

    My dad is out of surgery. Appendix removed unburst. Surgeon describes surgery as “uneventful.”

    And the crowd goes wild!
    :)
    -

  131. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Esteleth—hooray for your dad!

    Boo to that pic. It is a frightmare.

  132. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Does anyone need rain? I will be happy to send it your way. I’ve lived in Pensacola 9 years and its never rained as much as it has in the last two months. Yesterday was the first day without rain in a looooong time.

  133. Beatrice says

    Random words;
    Random “quotes”
    and random Capitalization
    with an added bonus of,
    random punctuation

    I think they have taken imitation of religion too far.

  134. carlie says

    I was looking for information on the Texas shooting, and went to CNN. Top story with photo says “Risk of death at every turn”, followed by “A young man waits, then dashes across the street as a sniper’s shot rings out. Just another part of daily life”

    I honestly thought it was about the shooting until the next words:

    “in Aleppo, Syria,”

    We’re not that much different these days, are we?

  135. Socio-gen (the former BCPA_Lady) says

    Happiestsadist: I can’t wait to tell my daughter that — for my 40th birthday, I got three new piercings in both ears. She’ll be quite happy to know I was the one more at risk of the ickies. (I’m glad I didn’t know until now. It required more than a little “celebrating” to get them at all.)

    Caine: Indeed. The horror of one’s adult child not considering your feelings even once before making permanent, decorative changes to their body…the world must be told!

    Esteleth: Hope your dad’s recovery is quick and without incident!

  136. carlie says

    Esteleth – my younger son had an extra tooth right front and center, so his would have been EVEN WORSE.

  137. carlie says

    I do agree with Josh re: outing people who have decided to make themselves public figures who are actively, loudly trying to suppress gay rights, but do think that it would be good to notify them first in such a situation. Give them one chance: you either out yourself or you step down from all of what you’re doing immediately, or I out you. But then again, I’m a pushover.

  138. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Caine:

    I’m having bacon for brunch. Just bacon.

    NOM NOM!
    Bacon makes everything better.
    This may seem odd, but I like my bacon quite crispy. Not burnt, but a little shy of it. I *hate* it when bacon still has that icky fat that’s all chewy and yucky.
    I also like my popcorn to have a char to it (grey-ish in color, but not black and burnt). It’s really hard to cook popcorn in the microwave for the right length of time to get that char. Seconds can literally be the difference between my preference and “smoke out the kitchen with burnt popcorn”.

    ****
    cicely:

    @Tony: Rain? Yes, please! Just maybe not all at once.

    If Cindy Jacobs can raise the dead, then surely I can wiggle my nose and send you some rain (staggered over the course of a week). If not, then a Day of Prayer for rain might do the trick.

  139. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Esteleth – my younger son had an extra tooth

    Which, of course, I read as an extra “foot,” and immediately wondered what you had done with it.

  140. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I like my bacon not crispy.

    I like it just done but the fat still being fatty. Especially if it is good bacon of if its the bacon I make.

    Bacon.

  141. Happiestsadist says

    Socio-Gen: That’s one of the interesting things about piercings, the scaryweird mucus membrane ones are less painful and safer as a rule if done professionally (As in, with a needle, in a piercing studio, by a trained professional.) Don’t even get me started on navel nightmares. If you’re not willing to take obsessive care, you’ll likely enjoy a truly revolting infection. Hers likely healed a lot faster than your ears did, for example. Congrats, though, on the new shinies.

  142. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    On the subject of bacon:
    How do you all prepare yours?
    When I was younger, I used to have problems cooking it right, whether it was in the microwave, stove or oven.
    These days, I put the bacon in the skillet, *then* turn the stove on.

  143. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Tony, I cook mine that way too (when I cook it, which is rare these days). Or in the oven on a cookie sheet. Starting with a cold pan helps prevent excessive curling and uneven cooking. Also, low heat.

    I like mine soft-n-fatty.

  144. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    I use a cast-iron skillet. I put the bacon in the skillet while it is somewhat warm, then turn the heat on medium and let it cook relatively slowly, so that it cooks evenly throughout.

  145. cicely says

    I like my bacon criiiiisp. Unfortunately, I fail at execution. I’ll have to try the cold skillet approach.
    -

  146. Happiestsadist says

    I like my bacon… in the past? I’ve been veggie for fiveish years now. I do like my halloum fried crisp, though. Fuck fake soy bacon substitutes, they all suck. Halloum is where it is at for veggie peoples who still do dairy.

    I used to like mine crispier than soft, but not quite fully crisp. Which was hard to get. I also take my fried eggs over medium with sriracha.

  147. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Another request for a monitor‘s attention.

    firstnamelastname / woodsmanone is now evading his automoderation as advancedpser

  148. says

    HI there
    Last day at the beach today. Holidays always pass so quickly :(
    Dreading to go home, actually, updates from my sister say that my mum spent the most part of the time drunk in bed :(

    Dialogues I love:
    Bathing in the sea…
    #1: I’m cold, I want to get out.
    Dad: OK, we’re out *leaves*
    Me to the little one: Aren’t you cold, too?
    Little one: No, I’m not!
    Me: But you’re shivering!
    Little one: NO, I’m just wiggling!

  149. says

    I don’t see any problem with that skull pic. It’s just a skull. We all have one. Though it’s giving me sympathy dental pains…

    I like my bacon somewhat crispy, but not charred. It shouldn’t turn to dust in my mouth. In cool weather, I bake it in the oven on a baking sheet, but when it’s hot out I use a skillet, and I follow Tony’s advice at #196.

    Happiestsadist just sent this to me: The downside of crowdsourcing. BWAHAHAHA.

  150. says

    Caine

    Aaaaw. Lately, I’ve been handing out virtual ratlets. Beatrice is Beatrice’s virtual rattie and Agnes is Amblebury’s virtual rattie and Carrot is Tethys’s virtual rattie. You want a virtual rattie?

    I wasn’t asked, but, can I haz one?
    I has been a good girl *nod nod*

  151. says

    OK, what did I miss today? Completely out of order?

    Bacon: Just shy of crispy please, I like to know I’m chewing on a piece of meat.

    Holiday/vacation: My wife is plotting our next vacation. Back to Puerto Rico, same hotel as last time and maybe even the same room. We don’t like change!

    Mutated butterflies in Japan: MOTHRA LIVES!!!

    Esteleth’s dad: Yay! Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

    Outing closeted anti-gay people: I totally want to see Josh on TV with Rick Warren’s hand on his ass.

  152. AndrewD says

    Strange Gods @ 203 (and Carlie) It appears from the Dungeon that Firstnamelastname(etc) has had a meeting with a banhammer

  153. carlie says

    AndrewD – I just saw when I got over to the thread that all “advancedpser” comments had already been deleted.

    *wanders off dejectedly, dragging billy club on the ground behind*

  154. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Speaking of cooking:
    I work the AM bar shift on Sundays, which is often very slow (until football season; this is a sports bar). Such was the case yesterday. Sometimes I enjoy slow shifts because I get to engage the guests a bit more. This nice couple came in yesterday and we got on the discussion of various religions (she brought it up and I didn’t give my opinion on much of anything; boy was that hard). Apparently this woman had taken an Introduction to Religion course in college and boy she was shocked by how much she learned. She said she realized there was a wealth of material that she *didn’t* know. At no point did she have any criticisms about other religions (she didn’t reveal hers, and of course I didn’t ask). In fact, she seemed like she wanted to learn more. I even mentioned women being equal to a number of foreskins (I couldn’t remember the chapter/verse), which really intrigued her.
    After that conversation, we somehow started talking about food (from foreskin to food, ick). She mentioned that she cooks her chili with unsweetened chocolate, which perked me right up.
    I *love* chili. Especially spicy chili. Initially I thought it would be odd to add chocolate, whether sweetened or not. Then I started realizing that the sweetness might be a nice balance to the heat of the chili. Of course using unsweetned or semisweet chocolate wouldn’t really make the chili sweeter, but the richness and depth of flavor might well shine. I can’t wait to try the recipe.

  155. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I totally want to see Josh on TV with Rick Warren’s hand on his ass.

    Total boner-killer. I may never have sex again.

  156. Louis says

    Estelth/Carlie re: extra teeth.

    Apparently one supernumerary tooth is relatively rare, but the conical one between the two front teeth is the most common form.

    I had two conical supernumerary teeth, you guessed it, in the traditional “vampire” position as a set of teeth between my deciduous and permanent teeth.* When I was ~5 years old I wanted to be a werewolf when I grew up because of this.

    By the time I was 7 I’d grown up a lot, and had the teeth removed, I wanted to be a research scientist.

    Which I am. YAY!**

    Louis

    * The orthodontist and my mummy told me this made me Special. My friends have since told me this is bullshit and apparently I am not the messiah, just a very naughty boy. And it’s my round at the bar, so stop trying to walk on the spilled pints and get the beers in.

    ** Seriously. Some fucking bunch of idiots pay me to play with a large, expensive chemistry set containing all the chemicals I want. My inner 7 year old is properly proud of me. Although I do associate with too many girls for his taste and he is not impressed I live with a girl. Apparently one can get germs from girls, I have been reliably informed of this fact by him. The inner 7 year old views my wife with suspicion but is significantly impressed by boobs. The inner 7 year old is very confused.

  157. Louis says

    {Steps in front of..or behind…whichever…Josh}

    You keep that fundamentalist fuckwit away from my Virtual Husband’s arse or you’ll have me to deal with.

    And by me, I mean my wife. Who is terrifying. And if you’re really unlucky, we’ll sick the Sister Wives on you.

    And there will be a wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    Louis

  158. Louis says

    Esteleth,

    DAD RECOVERY FOR THE WIN!

    (You may couple this with belated commiserations and sympathy followed by much rejoicing. Speedy recovery for the fella!)

    Louis

  159. carlie says

    but the conical one between the two front teeth is the most common form.

    That was the one. Did you need braces after all of your travails? Ours had the extra tooth removed when he was 3, but is just now at 12 getting the braces to deal with all the shifting of the permanent teeth the little bugger caused.

  160. says

    Sorry Josh, didn’t mean to ruin sex forever for you. I’m sure that “forever” will last at least 20 minutes, for which I’ll be eternally sorry for a similar length of time.

  161. Louis says

    Carlie,

    Yeah I had top and bottom train tracks from ~13 to 15 ish. Somewhere in there I think, maybe earlier.

    Louis

  162. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Audley:

    Okay, mostly [Lounge]rupt, but I has a sad for Josh’s boner*.

    Quick! Someone find pictures of mohawk man! We’ll get Josh fixed up in no time.

  163. Louis says

    Audley,

    Ouch, that’s a bastard!

    Mind you, IIRC and IANTKOD*, but isn’t hypo/hyperglycemia relatively common in Ladies of the Preggerness?

    Either way, good luck, you’ll be golden, don’t worry.

    Louis

    * I am not that kind of doctor.

  164. Louis says

    Tony,

    Quick! Someone find pictures of mohawk man! We’ll get Josh fixed up in no time.

    GET THIS GAY SOME COCK SHOTS, STAT!

    {Sound of urgent mutterings in Louis’ ear}

    What do you mean that’s a rather unfortunate stereotype and not representative? Everyone loves a cock shot!

    {Sound of more urgent mutterings in Louis’ ear}

    {Sound of Louis getting smacked upside the head}

    It’s not? Well if it’s not all about the cock what’s it all about then?

    {Sound of urgent clue-by-four being applied to Louis}

    Ohhhhhhhhhhh.

    Really?

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    Fuck…erm…sorry!

    Louis

  165. says

    The tongue is actually a great place to get (professionally) pierced. It’s in a spot that heals very quickly, has a lot more germ-killing stuff going on than, say, an earlobe, and is relatively painless.

    But you want a piercer who really knows their placement, because you can break teeth on those fuckers.

    I have a lip piercing* that was deliberately really well placed and sized to never touch my teeth, but it’s amazing how many dentists have thought it was a lucky coincidence how my horrible awful oral piercing didn’t wreck my enamel. Eyeroll.

    *technically a labret, but I do not call it that because a) most people want to “correct” me that that’s not where a labret goes and b) they also want to “correct” me that it’s pronounced labray.

  166. says

    Louis:

    Mind you, IIRC and IANTKOD*, but isn’t hypo/hyperglycemia relatively common in Ladies of the Preggerness?

    Yes. The best explanation I’ve heard so far is that a pregnant lady’s pancreas basically says LOLWTFBBQ and then you’ve got the ‘betes.

    My docs are hopeful ‘cos my glucose level was right on the cusp of being too high. But, if I do have gestational diabetes, I should be able to control it with diet.

  167. Louis says

    Audley,

    {Strokes chin thoughtfully, puffs on pipe seriously}

    Ah yes LOLWTFBBQ Pancreas Syndrome, myes, myes, myes.

    I understand from my colleague Dr Lolrus that one can control Teh Diabeetus with BACON and WHISKEY.

    Apparently you should knock the whiskey off if Up The Stick.

    Profound medical opinion is profound.

    Louis

  168. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Quick! Someone find pictures of mohawk man! We’ll get Josh fixed up in no time.

    It’s Adam I want. Dreamy, dreamy Adam Steltzner (sings “Johnny Angel” to self). Mokawk Guy is Jadehawk’s. I gaveded him to her on Twitter last night.

    Thank you all for your condolences about my boner. There will be calling hours and a viewing in my living room.

  169. Louis says

    YOU HAVE MET THE SPOKEGAY!?!!??!?!?!

    I has an envy and a jealous.

    I profoundly wish to meet the Spokesgay and bask in his radiance.*

    Louis

    * NOT a euphemism. Get your minds out of the gutter.**

    ** Okay, maybe a teeeeeeeeeeeeeensey bit euphemistic. But not, like, in a creepy way or anything. More like a consensual euphemism, carefully approached over drinks one night, but if it never makes it to full blown entendre, then that’s cool, that’s cool. No pressure.

  170. Louis says

    Josh,

    Thank you all for your condolences about my boner. There will be calling hours and a viewing in my living room.

    {DOUBLE ROTATING SPIT-TAKE WITH BACK FLIP AND PIKE}

    {Cartoon-esque extending eyes}

    AWOOOGA!

    {Gathers self together}

    Ahem. As one of the world’s foremost bonerologists, I’ve had a few myself you know, I’d very much like to have a look at that. If any of the ladies would like me to give them a quick once over as well I can always be relied upon to num the area.*

    Louis

    *Numnumnumnumnumnumnumnumnumnumnumnum

    {Sorry….easy….couldn’t resist}

  171. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Josh:

    It’s Adam I want.

    Oops, got my hot men mixed up.
    Semi-nude pics of Adam coming right up…from somewhere. Photoshop anyone?

  172. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Louis:

    As one of the world’s foremost bonerologists, I’ve had a few myself you know, I’d very much like to have a look at that.

    You get those across the pond? I thought American exceptionalism meant only us macho male ‘Mericans got them. I’ve *got* to stop reading those Christian Nation flyers. They’ll rot my brain with LIES.

  173. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    Ah, I love a mature conversation right after I get home from work.

    So, ladies. The dudes are talking about their peckers. Anyone up for talking about their tits?

  174. jefrir says

    Caine, has Artemis been claimed as a virtual rat yet? Because he is quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen.

  175. says

    Jefrir:

    Caine, has Artemis been claimed as a virtual rat yet? Because he is quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen.

    Nope, she’s all yours. :D

    Giliell, of course you can have a virtual rattie! Pick one out.

  176. says

    Louis:

    YOU HAVE MET THE SPOKEGAY!?!!??!?!?!

    More than once, even. He’s made dinner for me!

    Josh:

    Thank you all for your condolences about my boner. There will be calling hours and a viewing in my living room.

    Nothing to add– I just want to bask in the glory of this statement.

    E,

    Anyone up for talking about their tits?

    Ugh. Does complaining count?

  177. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Esteleth:
    Oh we aren’t discussing *our* penii. Just Josh’s.

  178. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Does anyone know if you need to have an account with a financial institute to redeem a savings bond?

  179. Socio-gen (the former BCPA_Lady) says

    Happiestsadist: I was happy that she did her research and went with a professional shop that had a bit higher prices, but was almost obsessive (in her words) about cleanliness and sterile techniques.

    Tony: I like mine chewy so I cook on medium until it just begins to crisp.

    Audley: Yuck and ewwww and sympathies. I have a fasting glucose test yearly, to make sure my body hasn’t decided to switch from hypoglycemic to diabetic. (I have Addison’s disease, so the possibility exists that this could happen.) I dread it more than anything else — and I have blood work done every three months.

    One of the biggest problems caused by moving far far from home has been having to educate the local lab techs on my little quirks. Like, I will faint if you show me the vials of my blood and ask if that is my name, and I will throw up immediately upon swallowing that nasty cup of goo, so plan accordingly.

  180. Socio-gen (the former BCPA_Lady) says

    Esteleth:

    Anyone up for talking about their tits?

    Eh. Mine aren’t bad for a 43yo with three kids who never had much to begin with. I appreciate being an A-cup nowadays, since gravity has had less effect on them than on many of my better-endowed classmates.

  181. Richard Austin says

    Tony:

    Does anyone know if you need to have an account with a financial institute to redeem a savings bond?

    (Assuming it’s a Federal Savings Bond)

    It helps, but it’s not required. You can go to a branch of the Federal Reserve Bank, or even just mail it in to be redeemed. However, simply walking into any back might get it redeemed for you; they just pass it on to the Fed. You’ll need some specific identification.

    Instructions from the Treasury

  182. says

    Socio-gen:
    Thanks.

    Yuck and ewwww and sympathies. I have a fasting glucose test yearly, to make sure my body hasn’t decided to switch from hypoglycemic to diabetic.

    Ack! That sounds horrible!

    I will faint if you show me the vials of my blood and ask if that is my name, and I will throw up immediately upon swallowing that nasty cup of goo, so plan accordingly.

    Oof. I’m fine with blood draws– I’ve been a blood donor for years– and I can swallow just about anything (*ahem*), I’m just not thrilled about the prospect of having this test done. *sigh* Oh well.

  183. Nutmeg says

    Esteleth:

    GREATEST. PHOTOGRAPH. EVER.

    So cool! That picture made me realize that I had no idea where teeth come from, so I looked it up. I think my brain exploded with the awesomeness of it all.

    Anyone up for talking about their tits?

    My boobs are pretty low maintenance (read: small), but today I bought some cheap shapewear for my lower half (not so small). I have a tight dress to wear to my cousin’s wedding this weekend, and I need something that won’t leave lines. We’ll see if this works.

    Tony:

    This may seem odd, but I like my bacon quite crispy. Not burnt, but a little shy of it. I *hate* it when bacon still has that icky fat that’s all chewy and yucky.

    Yes. Bacon with fat that is still chewy is an abomination.

    I didn’t know about the cold skillet method of cooking bacon. I’ll have to try that.

    ***

    Eeee! I just got a message from a cute girl on OkCupid. And she’s actually in the age range that I would consider dating! I’ve gotten a couple of messages from women who were theoretically great matches for me but in their mid-thirties, and that age gap is too much for me at this point in my life.

    I looked through this girl’s profile, and we may or may not be a good match, but still – Eeee!