Pity and pitilessness »« What have I been doing this weekend?

[Introductions]

This is another of those social, community threads. Introduce yourself, say what your interests are, what brings you here, whatever you feel like. No arguments, no wrangly discussions, no debate, no crankiness allowed. Consider this a chance for newbies to say something where they won’t get pounced on, and for the regulars to leave a calling card.

Status: Heavily Moderated

Comments

  1. says

    Hi, Xanthë here, this comment will probably either round out the first page of Introduction or initiate the second page.

    So, I’m a genderqueer Aussie, under my birth name (and the odd pseud) I’ve been a mercurial poster here from 2008 onward until recently, having found Pharyngula prior to Expelled owing to Richard Dawkins’ praise (in The God Delusion) of this blog on account of PZ’s “trenchant good sense”. Having met PZ again and Mary on their recent Antipodean trip, I was able to profess my agreement with his writing continuing to meet that standard.

    Once upon a time I was inspired by Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and Arthur C. Clarke’s science fiction, so when I went to Uni I did physics and maths at the undergraduate level (but got derailed slightly) so didn’t go on to the post-grad. I worked in IT for years while doing all sorts of semi-pro./amateur classical musical stuff on the side (singing, composing, conducting, editing, etc) but my career has been interrupted several times by prolonged depression.

    Last year was sort of a watershed for me as my involvement in E-gate drove me to a greater study of feminism, and was possibly one of a number of catalysts that resulted in me coming out as trans* – when I was younger my gender expression was unacceptably feminine for me to cope with the intense negative peer pressure that resulted. I’d repressed myself for many years and am now at the age where I don’t care nearly so much about anyone else’s bad opinion of me! So I’m currently transitioning and writing up my experiences at my blog, Creating anXiety. I’m sort of a bit gender-fluid, somewhere between androgyny and being a trans woman but I’m not exactly sure where; Zinnia Jones, funnily enough, was more of an inspiration for me to come out, which preceded me becoming aware of Natalie Reed when she started blogging on Skepchick, briefly late last year.

    I’m also a sometime poster on Blag Hag, Almost Diamonds, Lousy Canuck, and Richard Carrier’s blog; I also enjoy reading (not so much posting) Crommunist, Ashley Miller, Black Skeptics, Dana Hunter, Greta, PhysioProffe, etc. By any token, definitely one of the FTB hive mind.

  2. Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here says

    Hi all!

    I’m Loud, long time reader, occasional commenter. I’m 34 and from the UK.

    When I started reading Pharyngula, over two years ago, I self identified purely as an athiest. Now, that doesn’t really cut it anymore. Atheism is merely a small part of who I am, and I’m so much more, largely in part to this blog, the commentariat, and the great work it does.

    So thanks! And hi :)

  3. dicerosbicornis says

    Surely I’m not the only one to read this entire thread? Cuz it’s fascinating.

    I read this blog and a number of other excellent Freethought blogs and their comment threads regularly – but posting comments from a mobile device is beyond frustrating. (There are times I wish I could jump into an interesting convo…but I suppose not being able to comment is also an effective way to not engage stupid trolls.)

    I’ve been lurking since I found Pharyngula via a link from the now-extinct SuperFrenchie blog. (Salut aux frenchies ici…)

    This was a just a few years after my sister and brother-in-law, who used to be pretty much a-religious, decided that they needed to join a church “for the sake of the children.” While the church they are now deeply involved in isn’t toooo out there, it pisses me off that they are raising my nieces in a church that doesn’t allow women to be “elders.” (WTF!)

    Being an outspoken atheist where I live is not too challenging as I’m in a majority where I live. However, my “thing” is that I’m always on the lookout for ways to be sure those girls, who don’t live in a place where it’s ok not to believe in god, know that there are alternatives to religious belief without being too direct about it and freaking out their parents, who might then limit my interactions with them. Luckily they are both smart kids who cottoned to the Santa Claus thing early on, and they have plenty of sports and other things (and people) in their lives beside the churchy stuff. So I’m hopeful.

    Any suggestions from Pharyngulites about how to be a positive influence on the sprogs (who live on a different continent from me, and therefore don’t get to see me regularly) is appreciated. They are reading at a young adult level. Book recommendations are good.

  4. David Marjanović says

    Then I lurked here for years. I finally came to atheism while reading Carl Sagan in a bubble bath.

    …That’s… awesome. :-)

    I love the English language and I have a tendency to be a grammar cop. […] so thank you to whomever did that.

    No, thanks to {whoever did that}. No -m- in there.

    My native language is German. Trust me on this. :-)

    the Pharyngula commentariat is comprised largely (not entirely) of curious, intelligent people who had “could do better if wanted to…” written on every report card since kindergarten.

    6th- or 7th-year math teacher to me, after giving me a B: “It corresponds to what you do. Not what you can, but what you do.”

    Currently trying to get my thesis published (found out quite recently that peer review can be quite tough!) and have sent on a proposal to do a Phd in Vienna.

    Huh. Palaeobiology of teleosts in Vienna? I know the material is there (lots of “Monte Bolca” stuff in the museum, for instance), but who would…

    Oh. Jürgen Kriwet. :-) :-) :-) Best of luck to you!!!

    (Disclaimer: Kriwet was on my thesis committee.)

    consciousness can’t be reduced into information, it can’t be finessed into non-existence.

    But it’s not a thing – it’s an activity. It’s something the brain does.

    Hi. Ava is not my real name, bui it does mean “birds,”

    In what language???

    about me: […] scholar of burusyaski

    !!!
    !!!
    !!!

    Oh, and I want to be Sastra when I grow up.

    Who doesn’t.

    A singles thread? Yeesh. I was just going to do a Rev Sun Myung Moon and pick out a bunch of you and do a mass wedding ceremony.

    FTW!

    I cannot wait until Rhinebeck! As I said, I’m a bit intimidated by The Horde and will probably be a bit shy, but I’m also really excited. David Marjanović: I’m really looking forward to meeting you! I just checked the Rhinebeck post and saw your message (I missed it the first time around). Thank you; you totally brightened my evening! :)

    :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) It’s mutual :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

    the reason Germany lost World War II is named Adolf Hitler

    Agreed.

    Louis can also Do Things With Chemicals quite well.

    Entertain us! Are there Things You Won’t Work With?

    All you Syracuse-ish people should come to Rhinebeck! Even if the whole weekend is too much of a commitment, it’s not that far of a drive for a day trip for the saturday part only. It will be fun…

    Don’t leave too early, though! I’ll only arrive on Saturday evening! Late afternoon at the most optimistic! And I want to meet you all!!!

    I know this will strike some people as odd (or possibly scary), but when our rats die, 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.

    You’re in good company, you know.

    Tetrapod Zoology: How to rot down dead bodies

    Haha! Clearly I am going to have to be more careful with my metaphors if I don’t want to risk churlishly dissing any passing orangutans. You people have high standards. I like it here already.

    ^_^

    a protein (as I recall) shaped like a cross

    Laminin! :-)

    Surely I’m not the only one to read this entire thread?

    Of course not.

  5. Jimmy Boy says

    Hi – I’m a lurker of some time, very occasional poster, though not very eloquent and more than a tad sensitive so… Very happy to see some ‘safer’ places to post on Pharyngula. It’s a daily read for me – love it – following difficult deconversion from a not too funny RC upbringing – lasting to early 30’s. Now hard core angry atheist, feminist (though a bit ignorant perhaps) and serially intolerant pub ranter.

    Britski, live in Jersey, Channel Islands where I seem to be the only atheist in the village. Would love to see a local Skeptics in the Pub, but think I’d be the only member/attendee.

  6. teslaturing says

    Hello
    Found this blog 4 years ago through RDF. I come here several times a day for a dose of atheism, humor, and education. I have only commented once and prefer to lurk and learn. I would like to thank Dr. Myers for his passionate commitment to science,education,and atheism.
    A special thanks to Reverend Big Dumb Chimp for making me LOL
    Josh, Official SpokesGay @1 for holding the door open and welcoming us to come out.
    And Caine, Fleur du mal for “cupcake”

  7. catlover says

    Josh (#348):
    thanks! I am considering it.

    leebrimmicombe-wood (#352):
    Ahhh…another railfan! :) :)

    mikecline (#416)
    Yup — fascism is happening here in the US right now — and is getting worse, and is being pushed by some very nasty and powerful forces to turn the US into a theocracy. Yikes!

    sidneyschwab (#437):
    As a US citizen, I am deeply ashamed and offended by the stupidity of many in my country. You are quite correct about the direction in which the lunatic right is pushing this poor suffering country. We may be in for some very bad times, if the wackos on the right are not stopped — and soon.
    I read some of your blog posts, courtesy of the links supplied by Pteryx (Thanks, Pteryx!). You write beautifully. Should I ever need surgery, I very much hope that my surgeon is as caring and skilled as you are. And is able to, and does use the old techniques, if appropriate and possible.

    I have not yet quite finished reading all the replies — but I am working on it. I have enjoyed what I have read. It’s wonderful to have this chance to share a bit about ourselves, and to get to know other members of The Horde.

  8. rq says

    I’ve been reading all the comments and I can’t remember who said it anymore, but it really does feel like everyone’s setting up to go for beers afterwards. That being said:

    Caine, Fleur du mal – you wouldn’t happen to have a link to that list of science-y books for kids that you mention waaaay back in the beginning, would you?

    carlie – Consider The Husband and me as virtual Rhinebeck guests. I know it would be the perfect venue to introduce him to this whole environment and to de-lurk physically myself, since he has very serious intentions of taking up sheep-farming. Alas, we are not in the country. :(

    carlie and Sisu – I envy your familial set-ups, mostly because The Husband would be more than willing to have the same set-up in our household (and I would more than support that myself, I would probably be too excited for words) but the economic dynamics here are currently against us. SO think of me as a supporter who will not give you strange looks but would rather high-five.

    I will also take several people’s recommendations into account and try to comment more often, but due to time constraints, I doubt I’d be able to fully participate in any discussion; more like throw in random comments here and there.

  9. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    I said it! I said beers! That’s why I never get to go for beers. Sigh. Doomed to perpetually be ‘…that guy that said that thing we should totally do! Who was it? I dunno, but let’s go do it anyway!’

    Maybe that’s why I became more of a hard cider afficionado?

    I’m just kidding…

    I got to go for beer once.

  10. rq says

    You can come for beers with me and whoever else. Whenever that happens. And I’ll credit you with the idea, if you like. :) Just to get you off the cider.

  11. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    *sniffle*… ‘k. :(

    Will I get to take a dump in Thunderfoot’s shoes too?

  12. says

    Hello. I am a devout lurker from the DC area. I have been reading this site since SciBlogs days.

    After I read The God Delusion, I decided to look for an atheist group near me, instead of just being godless all by myself. That Meet-up group had a website with a bunch of different links to different websites and videos of debates, etc. One of the links was to Pharyngula.

    That group is now defunct, but I stayed here because of all the knitted squids and the science and the flaying of idiocy. I have learned tons from you all.

    I studied Zoology in college- was planning on becoming the next Jane Goodall- but discovered that I kinda sucked at school, was too much of a home-body to travel much , and couldn’t figure out what I wanted to study. So, I became a technician wandering from lab to lab collecting insect specimens, raising other insects, and doing lots of other things involving insects. Then I did some time in Biotech. Now I work in an academic library taking care of old Japanese documents.

    I was going to write about my de-conversion from Catholicism, but decided to save it for if/when I finally decide to send it in for the ‘Why I’m an Atheist’ series.

    That’s probably enough from me. I have enjoyed this thread a lot and hopefully nobody will read this. This was just to test my login and to see what my avatar looks like.

  13. ogremeister says

    Waffler, of the Waffler Institute:

    I make extraordinarily delicious Belgian Waffles

    Evidence required.

    You can send samples via international post, if necessary. However, if you happen to be in the USofA, I hear Jimmy Johns will deliver fast very fast. The fresher the sample, the more generous the judgement.

  14. QueQuoi, traded in her jackboots for jillstilettos says

    Hi All.
    I chose my nym as something to use on YouTube a couple of years ago when I decided I wanted to start commenting on the more awful videos that can be found in that cesspit. QueQuoi seemed apropos, since my usual reaction was, what? what?

    The descriptor is from a bit of fun I had with Josh, Official Spokesgay during the glorious #FTBullies twitter battle of July 3-5, which I had a ton of fun in. Thanks, Josh! *waves*

    I’ve been a (mostly) lurker here on Pharyngula for about a year now, but I am on reading most days.

    I am a life-long non-believer, feminist, progressive liberal, and an ex-pastry chef.

    Thanks to PZ and the Horde for helping me to hone a more vociferous and articulate voice to fight all of this bullshit that we have to wade through for equality for all. My fangs get sninier just reading here.

  15. StevoR says

    Who am I?

    I’m StevoR.

    Otherwise good question.

    Yet everyone is keen enough to tell me.

    I’m half asleep, half awake. Often drunk and tired.

    I’m human with physical location nerves, body and brain.

    I’m a South Australian who loves to look at the sky and can name most of the stars.

    I’ flippin’ crazy, try to be good and kind and wish I understood since there’s so much I don’t understand.

    My body temperature is 37 degrees or thereabouts. Bit like everyone else.

    I’m unique. Uniquely messed up like I guess we all are.

    I’m the sum of my memories, sensations and emotiions and nerve impules. Or am I?

    I’m online, in print and in person.

    I write , I walk my dog, I read, icomment here sometiems when I probably shouldn’t.

    I sleep. I dream, I hope and far, guess I’m like y’all and differnt too as is ubiquitously the case.

  16. StevoR says

    I suck at typing.

    far = fear.

    I don’t know.

    I know I don’t know yet there’s lots I know.

    I am human.

    Give me three wishes & I’d wish for an FTL capable starship, the knowledge and ability tofly it towherever I want when iwant to and someone to share the journey with who I love and who loves me.

    Favourite author Isaac Asimov.

    Favourite colour red.

    Favourite star name Arkushanangarushashutui otherwise known as Delta Cancris

  17. StevoR says

    Typo – that’s : Arkushanangarushashutu

    Without the ‘i.’

    That’s a Bablyonian positional star name – the longest of all – meaning ‘the southeast star in the Crab.’ Also known as Asellus Australis, an orange giant star at thepalindrmic distance of 131 light years away.

    See : http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/asellusaus.html

    Source : Allen, Richard Hinckley, ‘Star Names; Their Lore and Meaning’, Dover, 1963.

  18. Mahoe says

    I live in a lovely city, Dunedin, in the south of New Zealand. Dunedin is quite dominated by the University of Otago, the location next month of the annual conference of NZ Skeptics of which I am a member.
    I sail, I kayak, with some friends I make short movies, with other friends I like to run around with no clothes on – my personal path to spiritual enligtenment.
    I work a lot of night shift and am fortunate to be able to read the blogs at work, just a lurker mainly but have commented on other ft blogs.

  19. Amblebury says

    Hi Mahoe! You’re a tree! A very nice tree, too!

    I’m down in Otepoti this week, just for 1 night, then getting a car and heading to Wanaka for a few days. Not to ski. I’m not that way inclined, (that’s kind of a pun!)

  20. says

    I always seem to be late for the party. Well, I might as well have a go at it…

    Ok, so, I found Pharyngula shortly before the move to FtB. I started reading more and commenting during Elevatorgate (because, seriously, wtf people). I have periods where I comment a lot, followed by periods where I don’t comment at all. I usually stick to the Lounge (formerly TET), where I post about Doctor Who, crocheting, and other nonsense. Sometimes I go to other threads if a troll is present. I have a knack for anti-trolling; basically, I can really piss a troll off. (Just ask the one who threatened to throw acid in my face! Oh, wait, he got banned.) I met some of the Horde once at the Reason Rally (I was late to that too).

    Anyway, I’m an atheist, feminist, humanist, and skeptic. I’m currently a biology undergrad at a university in Florida. I’m a leader in way, way too many groups IRL, including Secular Woman. When classes start again, you probably won’t see me around here (until I have something to procrastinate about).

  21. alektorophile says

    Late to the party as well, as usual. Just came back from a vacation (with self-imposed internet abstinence) and only now saw this most interesting thread. Very occasional commenter, but I nonetheless feel I should add my own introduction, for what it’s worth, to the pile.

    As for myself, my field is archaeology, and although born and raised in Europe I have also lived and worked for a long time in the US, and only relatively recently moved back to Europe. Albeit currently underemployed in my own field, and in dire need of more publications, I don’t have much free time on my hands, my life monopolized as it is by my very own diapered tyrant, aka The Toddler. But I really feel lucky to have the privilege of being an almost full-time stay-at-home dad.

    As for atheism, I was brought up in a watered-down, softie version of Catholicism. I nonetheless remember the first stirrings of rebellion at age 7 or 8, displeased as I was by my local parish priest being unhappy about my carefully crafted nativity scene, which admittedly mostly featured smurfs and dinosaurs (Mary was a Stegosaurus). The later shock of spending time with my fundie in-laws in MT and WY was a revelation, and the God Delusion was the beginning of my road to Damascus.

    As for this blog, I like science in all its forms, I like being confronted with new facts and new ideas, and I like meeting interesting people. It sometimes challenges my opinions and it often makes me think, and that is always a good thing.

    Hobbies were mentioned by some, so perhaps I should explain that my nym refers to chickens, and half a dozen different kinds of poultry and fowl roam our garden. I also just started growing hops and homebrewing, I was missing US-style beers too much. Perhaps one day I’ll open a brewery, and maybe I’ll add an emu farm, just for the heck of it. I like emus. Oh, and write a children’s novel full of science and ideas for my toddler to enjoy when he is older.

    Cheers.

  22. says

    Another latecomer to the thread.

    I came to Pharyngula via Skepchick, I think, back in the days of SciBlogs, but before crackergate. I mostly lurk, enjoying the conversations, learning lots in the process. The troll bashing is fun too (and can be very educational in its own way).

    I have a PhD in chemistry, although I’ve now left the lab and am embarking on career as science writer and editor.

  23. says

    Hi again (from #477). So I’ve finally read through this whole thread. I noticed a lot of people mentioned having clinical depression, and I’d be really interested in discussing that with you all. My significant other is also depressed, on meds, and kind of resistant to therapy. He’s occasionally suicidal too. I would like to know how you guys deal with it and make the bad thoughts go away. So he feels like he is a waste of space, leeching off of me, and that life is boring (even though he hasn’t experienced much of it, he’s also 26 like me) so he should just die. I believe it *is* his life and he should do what he wants with it. I don’t want him to kill himself, but I can find no way to justify to him that he shouldn’t kill himself. I am often at a loss for words.

    I also should mention that I have a blog, kind of. It’s a tumblr that I use to bookmark the interesting things I find online. It’s mostly a bunch of reblogs and some original posts. Still I feel that it will give you a better picture of me than a couple of posts in a super long thread. Of course I should just comment more, but having just started a teaching program while also working full-time is going to get in the way of that.
    Anyway, I just added it to my “website” in my profile page, so I’m not sure yet if it shows up linked in my name, but here it is in case it doesn’t work: http://jayggurl.tumblr.com/post/18796839590/facesofatheists-my-name-is-jamie-and-im-25-i

    I think I shall also dive into the Lounge and cross-post there.

  24. opposablethumbs says

    We have another visitor from the slimepit? Or is it a noob scrabbling about in the attempt to get a slimepit stamp.

  25. opposablethumbs says

    Oh shit, I’ve only just realised that I posted my #24 IN THE WRONG THREAD. Fuck. And then I wondered where it had got to ….

    Shit shit shit that comment was supposed to go in the Thunderdome, emphatically not here. This is about the wrongest possible thread I could have posted it in. Thank goodness the introductions thread was (I hope) pretty much complete well before I screwed up so royally. headdesk hedaddesk headdesk

  26. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    Opposablethumbs @25:

    Hey, no problem. We will just add it to your introduction that you have an admitted problem with thread management…and are an avid headbanger! ;)

  27. Jina Langu says

    Hola. I’m not sure anyone’s still reading this thread, but I thought I’d stop in and introduce myself. I’ve been lurking on Pharyngula and other Freethought Blogs for a loooong time (about 8 years) but I’ve never registered to post comments, and maybe now that I’m older, wiser (?), and a little more experienced, I can hold my own here.

    I’m a clinical laboratory science intern in the real world, and I love biology. Also dogs. And kitties. Really, anything that is fuzzy and has paws. I was raised in the Church of Christ and got out when I was fifteen. I’m a die-hard atheist and feminist for life now.

    *waves* Hello everybody.

  28. vaiyt says

    Well, I suppose this wouldn’t hurt.

    I found this blog (back in the SciBlogs era) through a chain of links, following my interests on science and social justice. Eventually, I settled here, and the first thing that caught my attention was the tone. For the first time, I saw a place where being intolerant of bullshit was not only permitted, but encouraged. It was like something finally snapped into place in my mind. Suddenly I could see what exactly was wrong with all the straw Vulcans I found over the internet. After that, I started commenting for a bit, then stopped when the move happened because I was having some difficulties with the posting process.

  29. mildlymagnificent says

    OK. Not really a newbie but people might want to know. I’m a very part-time tutor in South Australia. One year ago we moved to the south of the city having lived east for mumble years.

    Very part-time because I retired from our tuition business – which we only started after 30ish years in public service. Which means I’m now well old enough to be a grandmother- the southern suburbs were a semi-forced choice by a daughter who already lives around here because of anticipated granny duties. But no nappies to change or baby to change them for yet.

    Not super healthy. Haven’t been for a very long time. But it’s mainly lifestyle threatening rather than life-threatening. Pain is a real pain sometimes – you sort of get used to it. The worst thing is when it lets up for a noticeable period. You feel so let down the next day when you’ve had a comfortable afternoon-evening the previous day.

    I’m generally around on climate or education sites (another nym). Coming here is a nice change.