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[Lounge #359]

This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. The puppy would like a snuggle.

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread

Comments

  1. Beatrice says

    Alethea,

    I think that at least a part of what SGBM is arguing is that we have been doing a good job of appropriating atheism for some time now. A lot of problems in the atheist movement have been brought to the open and that is a part of us winning. Making up some new atheism is actually ceding territory we already have.

    Or that is my interpretation. SGBM will correct me.

  2. John Morales says

    ॐ,

    Chas rorschach, there are atheists who believe in reincarnation. There are lots of incoherent atheists.

    So what?

    You’re conflating atheists with a-supernaturalists (naturalism); deity-level beings are only a subdomain of the supernatural.

    ChasNevertheless, reincarnation is incoherent.

    So what?

    You’re conflating atheists with empirical rationalists.

    Since I’m saying women’s equality does follow logically and empirically from atheism, do you want me to answer this?

    By redefining the term via another yet conflation and hidden premises, similar but worse to the above-mentioned.

    (bah)

  3. says

    This turned into a massive tl;dr. *sigh* Sorry.

    ———

    Azkyroth,

    Wow…where the fuck were you back in April? ;/

    Flailing miserably at my own attempts at educational advancement. Still am, actually. :/

    Eh, I was already thinking about it, but I was kinda thrilled at getting an A in the last math course I took (Advanced Mathematics for Science and Engineering II) and had some LA exposure in a couple engineering classes as well as the first semester of the above. I’m pessimistic about the chances of that at the community college level, just based on history.

    On the other hand, the last time I took a math course at the community college level I was married to a raging alcoholic…so it might make a difference. >.>

    Do it. Dooo iiit! You know you want to. But okay, in all seriousness, the actual linear algebra class I took once upon a time was also, now that I think about it, boring as all get-out, just as ibyea complained earlier. It’s much more fun if, once you get the basics down, you start to have real applications to play with. It might be worth seeking out an elementary class in one of the areas I mentioned above, or one that’s designed for people who might not have a lot of math background, so that they’ll teach the linear algebra as you go along and you’ll have something fun to do with it at the same time.

    ———

    Alukonis,

    I think it’s safer to say I know nothing about Fourier transforms except that I do FTIR a lot.

    If you do FTIR, you should know the important thing about Fourier transforms, at any rate. It’s basically what ibyea said. Any signal in the time domain can be represented as a superposition of sinusoids. If you measure the amplitude of each of those sinusoids and graph that vs. frequency, then you get a representation of the signal in the frequency domain. In particular, you might know that if you have a delta function pulse (a single infinitely thin spike at one particular time), that can be represented as a sum of equal-amplitude signals across all possible frequencies.

    Position/momentum representation in quantum mechanics is similar, and it’s the source of all that particle/wave duality that people make such a big mystery out of. In this analogy, position plays the same role as time above, while momentum plays the same role as frequency. (This is because momentum in quantum mechanics turns out to be proportional to wavenumber, which is the spatial analogue of frequency.) If you know the position of a particular photon to infinite precision, then in the spatial domain its wavefunction is a delta function — an infinitely thin spike exactly at that position. So then when you do your little Fourier-like transform to the momentum domain, what you discover is that this delta function spike is in fact a uniform superposition of signals of every possible momentum. In other words, if you know exactly *where* thephoton is, you have absolutely no information about what its momentum is, because all possible momenta are equally represented in the wavefunction. And, since Fourier transforms are mathematically symmetric, the reverse is also true — if you know exactly what the momentum of your photon is, you have no idea where it is, because a delta function in momentum space is a uniform superposition of all possible position eigenfunctions.

    So, provided you can grok the math, thinking of Fourier transforms makes the wave/particle duality seem a hell of a lot less mysterious and counterintuitive than all the mystics want to make it out to be.

    Most of the matrices I use are for group theory (symmetry operators FTW!) so I’m mostly used to spatial transformations.

    Good, good. When you get to dealing with rotation, angular momentum, and spin, this will serve you well.

    ———

    ibyea,

    What’s the advantage of the matrix version of QM over the PDE version of QM?

    There aren’t really multiple versions. The PDEs and the matrices often appear side by side, and which particular type of mathematical manipulation you end up dealing with depends on exactly what kind of problem you’re trying to solve. For example, if I want to draw pictures of all those pretty electron orbitals that you see in chemistry textbooks, I need to know how an electron’s wavefunction near an atomic nucleus depends on its position relative to the nucleus. So I’ll write down the Schroedinger equation for the electrical field due to a point charge, which is a PDE containing derivatives with respect to position. When I apply the appropriate boundary conditions, I discover that the equation is only solvable if the total system energy has one of a particular discrete set of values. Each of these possible values for the energy gives me a few different solutions to the equation, and these solutions are the eigenstates of the system as functions of position. What I’ll see when I look at these eigenstates is that there’s a set of three integers (n,l,m) that I can use to completely specify which eigenstate I want to talk about. These are called the quantum numbers of the system. One gives information about the radial dependence of the eigenfunction (n), and the other two give information about its angular dependence (l and m).

    So now let’s say I have an electron in orbit about a hydrogen nucleus, and I shoot a photon at it and I want to know what states the electron can jump to upon absorption of the photon, and what states it can fall to afterwards by emitting a photon. The answer to this question turns out to depend entirely on n, l, and m. So in this case, I have no interest at all in how to represent the electron’s state as a function of its position, and thus all my pretty little PDE solutions from above are mostly useless. All I care about is how that state can be represented in terms of the three quantum numbers n, l, and m. So I represent the electron’s state as a column vector psi in which each component tells me the contribution to the electron’s state from a particular combination of (n,l,m). The interaction with the photon is represented as a matrix A in which the (a,b) element tells me about the probability that the interaction will cause the electron to transition from state a to state b. Operating on the state vector with this matrix (matrix multiplying A * psi) tells me the new state of the electron after the interaction.

    So basically, generally you use PDEs when you’re dealing with a continuous variable and matrices when you’re dealing with a discrete variable. But if you squint at these two different operations in the right way, you’ll see that they’re actually analogous, such that they can both be represented in a unified way by the bra-ket notation. The notion is that if you have a wavefunction in a continuous space (e.g. you have a psi(x) that’s a solution of the Schroedinger equation as above), then you can think of it as an infinite-dimensional vector which has a single component corresponding to its value at each point in space (so psi(3) is a component, as is psi(3.1), as is psi(3.01), and…). Operators then correspond to infinite-dimensional matrices, and so forth, and at about this point your head may start to spin. But the result of this is that you can represent it all with bras and kets, just as you can in the discrete case. The benefit is that the bra-ket representation often cleans up the notation a lot and reveals shortcuts you might not see if you’re always down in the weeds of functions and integration. You also can sometimes see useful analogies and distinctions between continuous and discrete systems. Of course, you can’t completely escape the PDE notation either, because that’s how you’ll get your actual hard results for continuous systems. It’s just that it’s useful to be able to occasionally transcend it.

  4. strange gods before me ॐ says

    It just depends on who you ask.

    Some of whom must be wrong, since not everyone can be right.

    +++++

    Strange gods, please do not suggest that I’m misrepresenting you.

    Yikes! I checked the dictionary now just to be sure: to represent incorrectly, improperly, or falsely; to represent in an unsatisfactory manner. You are doing those things. I didn’t claim you were being dishonest. You are certainly putting words in my mouth, though I have no reason to think you’re doing so deliberately.

    So please don’t suggest that I’m starting a fight with you, when I’m not.

    If you think that I have mistaken something, please explain how politely.

    I carefully explained exactly what you were mistaken about. Mostly, you were implying that I’m saying a bunch of things I’m clearly not saying. If you don’t understand what I’m saying, maybe you could ask politely instead of putting words in my mouth.

    I argue that whether it is true or not that “atheism implies equality” does not matter.

    But of course it does matter, since if we let people get away with saying “atheism does not imply equality” then that influences the way people think.

    If we argue that people who don’t stand for progressive values are bad atheists, then at a minimum that helps keep them on the defensive. They don’t get to have their most precious identity unchallenged.

    However, its truth is not relevant to the argument that A+ is a valuable concept.

    It is relevant, because A+ implicitly grants regressives the claim that certain values do not follow from atheism, rather that they have to be added. The plus is an addition.

    That is what I take the actual topic of the discussion to be.

    The actual topic of the discussion is whatever people actually discuss. If you don’t like the discussion I’m having with others, you aren’t required to participate in it.

    In my discussion, A+ acts as the flag.

    Obviously it can do that. Obviously there could be other flags. Some non-verbal flags would not have this rhetorical vulnerability.

    If the flag is absent, then all those things that I DO NOT WANT become requirements for me to join an “atheism” group.

    I didn’t say you shouldn’t have a flag. I explicitly said you should. Numerous times now. Please stop misrepresenting me.

    So I probably won’t. Nor will very many women or minorities. (Also I didn’t say that you wanted me to. I present this as a logical consequence of your position, whether you want it or not.)

    It’s certainly not a logical consequence of my position, since I haven’t said you shouldn’t have a flag.

    If you wish to appropriate plain vanilla unflagged atheism to become the default for people who care about social justice, then you need to go and have that fight in the places where it isn’t. You have to wrest it away from them. Unfortunately for you, that fight is located in the slymepit and among their fans and fellow travellers.

    Wrong. Actually the fight is wherever new and naive atheists show up. Going into the depths of the already ruined would be a waste of time. Naive people don’t easily find that place — one has to have a lot of bitter disagreements to learn about it.

    I think that A+ does a nice run around them, leaving them behind to sputter futilely in their own obsolescence.

    I hope you’re right. Note I also said that I think A+ is a clever thing, and I like it besides this particular rhetorical vulnerability.

  5. KG says

    SGBM,

    Would you be able and willing to link to the place where you’ve advanced your claim that many things, and specifically anti-sexism, anti-racism, and all the other antis most of the regulars here agree on, follow from atheism, in the form that you are most satisfied with? Or alternatively, restate that claim here?

  6. Beatrice says

    It’s much more fun if, once you get the basics down, you start to have real applications to play with.

    Oh yes. I found my first class in Linear Algebra boring too, but once you get to some more advanced classes and actually see all the uses… Lovely.

  7. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I think that at least a part of what SGBM is arguing is that we have been doing a good job of appropriating atheism for some time now.

    Jen said this too: “we’re already winning.”

    And she approvingly quotes another commenter, danielmchugh, who says: “I can’t help but see social justice as a logical consequence of atheism.”

    Even the trolls are saying we’re winning! :)

    +++++

    You’re conflating atheists with a-supernaturalists (naturalism); deity-level beings are only a subdomain of the supernatural.

    Not conflating. The claim is that people who believe in reincarnation are not coherent with observed reality. Thus anyone who believes in reincarnation is incoherent. Thus an atheist who believes in reincarnation is an incoherent atheist.

    You’re conflating atheists with empirical rationalists.

    Not conflating. Everyone who believes in reincarnation is incoherent.

    By redefining the term via another yet conflation and hidden premises, similar but worse to the above-mentioned.

    The proposal is only that atheism should be understood to include the consequences of a lack of gods. This is a very small leap.

    +++++
    KG, discussion is going on here. I made a bit of a misstep, which consciousness razor has helpfully fixed up.

  8. John Morales says

    ॐ:

    The claim is that people who believe in reincarnation are not coherent with observed reality. Thus anyone who believes in reincarnation is incoherent. Thus an atheist who believes in reincarnation is an incoherent atheist.

    <sigh>

    And what does this have to do with theism or atheism?

    (Do you imagine all possible reincarnation beliefs require a god to make such happen?)

  9. John Morales says

    ॐ:

    The proposal is only that atheism should be understood to include the consequences of a lack of gods. This is a very small leap.

    How exactly does a lack of gods entail a lack of reincarnation?

  10. dianne says

    Horde poll, for anyone willing to respond: In your experience does the average American (whoever she may be) a) know that the lack of universal health insurance is killing people in the US and b) care one way or another about the issue? I have a semi-urgent secondary motivation for asking this, involving speed at which I press for a particular article to go out…

  11. John Morales says

    dianne, I’d be willing to respond, except I know no Americans.

    (My average American is non-existent!)

  12. Louis says

    Sorry, sorry, I know it’s a serious issue but this:

    “You are doing a procedure on someone who cannot make a decision for himself – it’s a difficult choice for both parents and physicians,” says Dr Marvin Wang, co-director of the Newborn Nurseries at Massachusetts General Hospital, who has conducted hundreds of circumcisions.

    Should not be allowed. Nominative determinism at that comedy level is destructive and dangerous. I actually inhaled coffee and have had my consideration of a genuinely serious issue dangerously corrupted by comedy.* There should at least be warnings for the comedically sensitive.

    No. Just no.

    From here.

    Louis

    * Comedy can be useful in illustrating serious issues, this is not one of those instances. I’m not going for full on disapproval, far from it, it’s just a thought-derailing experience.

  13. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    [Atheism+]

    I should point out that SG’s argument lies orthogonal to the atheist+ debate. Of course we can set up whatever we want. But we also need to retain the term atheist in its unadulterated form. It belongs to us. And a coherent atheism is certainly free of bigotry. A+ = A. Geddit?

    (orthogonal —> vectors & matrices reference for the maths boffins)

  14. strange gods before me ॐ says

    And what does this have to do with theism or atheism?

    It has to do with atheism in that an atheist who believes in reincarnation is an incoherent atheist.

    (Do you imagine all possible reincarnation beliefs require a god to make such happen?)

    No, and I didn’t indicate otherwise. The claim is that people who believe in reincarnation are not coherent with observed reality.

    How exactly does a lack of gods entail a lack of reincarnation?

    Observed reality does not allow for reincarnation. There are no observed super-realities. And an atheist cannot call upon a god to provide reincarnation.

    (If a god did exist, many ideas about reincarnation would be more plausible.)

    +++++

    I should point out that SG’s argument lies orthogonal to the atheist+ debate.

    Well, I don’t think it is orthogonal, but if it is orthogonal, then at least you’re still right about this:

    Of course we can set up whatever we want. But we also need to retain the term atheist in its unadulterated form. It belongs to us. And a coherent atheism is certainly free of bigotry.

    Actually you’re right about that bit whether or not I’m right about the rhetorical weakness of “A+”.

  15. Beatrice says

    Cuttlefish says:

    In part, it may be the time because atheism plus is not supposed to be a change to the whole of atheism. It is a subcategory, and is explicitly so.

    You know that weakness of A+ that has been mentioned? Yeah.

    (Hint: I want the change of the whole of atheism.)

  16. carlie says

    In your experience does the average American (whoever she may be) a) know that the lack of universal health insurance is killing people in the US and b) care one way or another about the issue?

    I would say no and no. If you told them they’d say it’s a shame, but that’s just how life is. That’s if you asked one of them who does have health insurance, that is.

    What baffles me is that I constantly see local advertisements for fund-raisers for people who have some kind of major medical trauma or disease, and never in any of that is there any discussion of the fact that if we had decent health care to start with, they wouldn’t need to raise money for people who have been socked with huge medical bills. Yet somehow it’s preferable to beg for money from the community individually with tip jars at every restaurant than to have the community put the same money in a larger pot that gets distributed by the state.

  17. John Morales says

    theophontes:

    And a coherent atheism is certainly free of bigotry. A+ = A. Geddit?

    No incoherent beliefs if one is an atheist. Got it.

    (If you’re an incoherent atheist, you’re… um, not an atheist?!)

    ॐ:

    It has to do with atheism in that an atheist who believes in reincarnation is an incoherent atheist.

    When did an incoherent atheist stop being an atheist?

    The claim is that people who believe in reincarnation are not coherent with observed reality.

    When did a non-empiricist atheist stop being an atheist?

    Observed reality does not allow for reincarnation.

    Even there, but did it matter one whit by this point, I would note you’re stating that flatly, as if it were true of all conceptions of what reincarnation entails. And I very much doubt the truth of your assertion.

  18. says

    A+ = A

    So you’re saying atheism is a Hermitian operator? I guess that’s good, as it does seem to represent a real observable quantity.

    Or are we going with the + representing a pseudoinverse, in which case you appear to be claiming that atheism is the identity operator? Perhaps this is a version of the notion that we’re all born atheists?

  19. says

    Good morning

    I have a magical uterus which predicts that come the next blood-test in September I’ll be put on a higher thyroxin dossage. Back to three weeks *yuck*

    rorschach

    I was thinking of explaining to him what those words mean and why they are rude language, but not sure how to go about explaining to a 5-yo what a bitch is, or what fucking entails. Any tips?

    We thankfully only had to deal with “asshole” and “idiot” so far.
    We didn’t go much for semantics but more for effect. That if she called her dad an asshole what she was really saying that he was a very bad person.
    I’m generally more relaxed with swearing. Given how “fucking” is used nowadays as a general intensifier I’m not sure if it’s necessary to really explain the sexual meaning yet. I mean, I don’t explain what “damn” actually means either (and I’m kind of looking forward to the “who’s that god guy in “oh god”)

  20. strange gods before me ॐ says

    When did an incoherent atheist stop being an atheist?

    When did I claim that they did? If I’m saying they’re an incoherent atheist, I’m saying they’re an incoherent atheist.

    So it has to do with atheism in that an atheist who believes in reincarnation is an incoherent atheist.

    When did a non-empiricist atheist stop being an atheist?

    When did I claim that they did? If I’m saying they’re an incoherent atheist, I’m saying they’re an incoherent atheist.

    The claim is that people who believe in reincarnation are not coherent with observed reality.

    Even there, but did it matter one whit by this point, I would note you’re stating that flatly, as if it were true of all conceptions of what reincarnation entails. And I very much doubt the truth of your assertion.

    Heh.

    Does John Morales believe in reincarnation?

  21. dianne says

    Carlie: Worse than that, it’s money already being spent. Inefficiently. The US spends more public money on health care than any other country except possibly Switzerland (ambiguous data on that comparison): Yet results are poorer. At least partly because ICU care is “free” (i.e. can’t be refused) but care that would keep people out of the ICU is routinely refused to people without insurance.

  22. says

    Oh, and dianne, for what little it’s worth, poll-wise, I think I mostly agree with carlie. Most people don’t even seem to connect the dots evidence-wise, and even many of the ones who do don’t connect the dots empathy-wise. This is often even the case with people who themselves have harder lives because our system is insufficiently socialist. The feeling seems to be, “My life is hard enough as it is, and you’re telling me now I’ll have to pay even *higher* taxes for those lazy welfare queens to have more crack babies? Hell no.” Or for the ones who managed to claw their way out of that state there’s, “I worked damn hard to get where I am today, and I deserve to enjoy what I earn without having the government take my money to subsidize a bunch of leeches.”

    I think that a lot of it may be just that people are overwhelmed with their own day-to-day struggles or, in the cases of the successful ones, they’re very focused on doing the things that brought them success. So they just don’t have the time and energy to focus on understanding these issues deeply, and they just latch onto a response that lets them dismiss the issue as quickly as possible so they can go on to other things. The question here, as it is for pretty much every other bit of social activism, is how to break past that, and I don’t think I really have any good answer.

  23. John Morales says

    ॐ (his own emphasis)

    I’m saying they’re an incoherent atheist

    Well, then.

    Those other qualities are obviously not necessary just to be an atheist — that takes an atheist ‘plus': empirical, holds coherent beliefs, is egalitarian and indeed ethical as an imperative (etc.). Right.

    (Nothing to do with the dialectic, nosiree!)

  24. John Morales says

    ॐ:

    Does John Morales believe in reincarnation?

    That’s supposed to be dry humour, right?

  25. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Those other qualities are obviously not necessary just to be an atheist

    I never claimed otherwise — you’ve been trivially misunderstanding me this whole time.

    that takes an atheist ‘plus’: empirical, holds coherent beliefs, is egalitarian and indeed ethical as an imperative

    No, not plus. These other things follow from atheism. They are, as Jen and danielmchugh agree, logical consequences of atheism.

    They don’t need to be added to atheism. They come from atheism.

  26. John Morales says

    ॐ:

    I never claimed otherwise — you’ve been trivially misunderstanding me this whole time.

    I’ve been stating the obvious: you speak not of atheism, but atheism plus — but you don’t orthographically render this semantic shift.

    These other things follow from atheism.

    Rather, they are not ruled out by atheism — but you’re just admitted atheists for whom such doesn’t follow exist, so (empirically) they it’s the case that those other things don’t necessarily follow.

    (Why the reluctance to denote your variant terminology?)

  27. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I’ve been stating the obvious: you speak not of atheism,

    I speak of atheism and its consequences, which can be understood as of a piece with atheism.

    (Not of atheism and its discontents.)

    Rather, they are not ruled out by atheism

    Rather, they follow from atheism.

    but you’re just admitted atheists for whom such doesn’t follow exist, so (empirically) they it’s the case that those other things don’t necessarily follow.

    They do follow.

    Some people get modus tollens wrong too. Pointing to someone who thinks P is still true — even though they agree P implies Q, and that Q is false — does not empirically demonstrate that it doesn’t necessarily follow that P is false.

    (Why the reluctance to denote your variant terminology?)

    I quote: “As atheism used to refer to the affirmative belief that there’s no gods, and now also refers to a lack of belief in gods, I see potential for it to further refer to the implications of a lack of gods.”

    By the way, I get the feeling we’re making too many comments too fast for the Lounge here. Would you be willing to move it over to the Thunderdome?

  28. ImaginesABeach says

    In your experience does the average American (whoever she may be) a) know that the lack of universal health insurance is killing people in the US and b) care one way or another about the issue

    Access to healthcare is a particular interest of mine. I think that many Americans with health insurance believe that 1) it’s mostly “those people” who don’t have health insurance (how they define those people varies but it’s never a group they value); 2) some people choose not to have health insurance and it’s their choice to make because 3) there are no consequences to the individual or society when those people choose not to have health insurance.

    I even have a story I tell people to demonstrate the consequences of the current situation. I have a girl in my Girl Scout troop. Her parents both worked full time for a company that did not offer insurance for its employees. The father had a heart attack a couple of years earlier, and had high on-going health needs, so insurance was a must for him. And they loved their daughter and made sure she had insurance so they never had to think about whether they could afford to take her to the doctor. Of course, with a pre-existing condition, dad had to buy insurance through the high risk pool, which was really expensive and still carried a high deductible and co-pays. In the fall of 2008, dad had a stroke. His insurance helped, but there were still a lot of bills and it took a while before he was well enough to go back to work. In the summer of 2009, mom wasn’t feeling well. She went to a sliding scale clinic, and they said it was probably a virus, come back if you don’t feel better. She didn’t get better, but didn’t go to the doctor because the family just couldn’t afford the medical bills. In August, she got so winded walking a few blocks that she was not able to participate in activities with her daughter but she still didn’t go to the doctor. In September, it was necessary for the family to call an ambulance and she was taken to the hospital. Where she died. Leaving behind a medically fragile husband, a 4th grade daughter and a mountain of bills. Dad and daughter lost their home to foreclosure and had to move in with his parents.

    When I tell this story, people think it’s sad, but a totally unique event. They say “Well, sure, but she could have been hit by lightening and died” or “She didn’t die because she did’t have insurance, she died because she didn’t go to the doctor.”

  29. says

    At least partly because ICU care is “free” (i.e. can’t be refused) but care that would keep people out of the ICU is routinely refused to people without insurance.

    I remember the story which PZ featured of the boy who ended up in intensive care with severe pneumonia where the dad wrote a really detailed account of the whole thing, from a first day when he came home sick from preschool, and a day on the couch, and all these thoughts so familiar to parents of “well, it’s just a cold, no need to call the doctor”.
    I mean, I do that, too. But then there’s the point where you’re not sure anymore whether it will still be alright or whether there needs to be some serious treatment.
    I get that, too, and then I take them to the doc. Most of the times she looks at them, asks what I’m already doing, says “carry on, do you have enough cough potion or should I write down some more”, or makes other suggestions. Basically we wasted everybody’s time because it’s not like she actually “helped them”. But sometimes there’s the “uhm, no, this is getting out of hands, let’s do this, this and this”.
    Only that I couldn’t know before whether they’d be OK again in a few days or needed treatment.
    These parents simply had to put off the point of seeing a doctor far more than I have to, because while I might only be wasting my time, they would be wasting their money and they couldn’t afford it. And especially with children, the point where a layperson can definetly tell that this isn’t going to go away by itself and the point where the situation has become critical can happen very, very fast.
    I doubt that all my trips to the doc where I came home with a prescription for cough potion (kids medication is free of copay, so technically I don’t need the prescription but it saves me money) and a “carry on” cost more than one ICU stay.

  30. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Rather, they follow from atheism.

    Do they follow from atheism or just from rational thought and observation, from which atheism also follows?

  31. blf says

    This is a test comment. Do not adjust your gunkenputer. Any resemblance to reality is accidental. Normal snark will be resumed after the conclusion of this test.

    Just finished(?) upgrading the workstation’s software, now checking out various things…

  32. dianne says

    . In August, she got so winded walking a few blocks that she was not able to participate in activities with her daughter but she still didn’t go to the doctor. In September, it was necessary for the family to call an ambulance and she was taken to the hospital. Where she died

    Viral cardiomyopathy?

    When I tell this story, people think it’s sad, but a totally unique event.

    Not even close.

    Ok, if compassion and fiscal responsibility won’t motivate people, how about some competition? Outcomes in two areas which I swear I will be more specific about when I get permission*, are better in Europe than in the US. Do you want to stand by and get beaten by a bunch of old Europeans?

    *Probably days to weeks for one, weeks to months for the other. Hopefully before November for both.

  33. Beatrice says

    I’m off to do something fun. Giliell, if you’ll keep talking to Timon, good luck with that.

    And sorry for falling for his bait to derail. That’s a troll if I’ve ever seen one.

  34. carlie says

    The feeling seems to be, “My life is hard enough as it is, and you’re telling me now I’ll have to pay even *higher* taxes for those lazy welfare queens to have more crack babies? Hell no.” Or for the ones who managed to claw their way out of that state there’s, “I worked damn hard to get where I am today, and I deserve to enjoy what I earn without having the government take my money to subsidize a bunch of leeches.”

    I wish the People In Charge of the Debate would reframe it as paying a tiny bit extra as insurance in case you yourself need it later. “Wouldn’t you like to be able to start your own business without worrying about where your health care is coming from?” “Do you hate your job, but stay only for the health benefits?” “If you get laid off, this will ensure you stay healthy”, etc. I think that would go a lot further, since people are basically selfish, than saying how other people are basically dying in the streets.

    Rorschach – could you get away with saying it’s only for grown-ups? Like driving and voting and etc?

  35. echidna says

    Is anyone still reading our Cuttlefish’s poems?

    Sure. Wouldn’t miss them for the world.

  36. Pteryxx says

    Hello y’all, a couple of useful resources via FeministWhore in Jen’s comments.

    First off, an analysis of how voter ID laws also disenfranchise thousands of transgender voters:

    http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Herman-Voter-ID-Apr-2012.pdf

    According to the NTDS, 40 percent of transgender citizens who have transitioned to live full-time in a gender different from the gender assigned at birth reported not having an updated driver’s license and 74 percent did not have an updated U.S. passport. If these rates hold true for the current U.S. population, about 183,000 transgender citizens who have transitioned are without updated driver’s licenses and 338,000 are without updated U.S. passports.
     Twenty-seven percent of transgender citizens who have transitioned reported that they had no identification documents or records that list their correct gender. If that rate holds true for the current U.S. population, about 124,000 transgender citizens who have transitioned have no updated identification or records.
     Transgender people of color, youth, students, those with low incomes, and those with disabilities were more likely than the average respondent to have no updated identification documents or records.
     When presenting identification that didn’t accurately reflect their gender, many transgender respondents reported being harassed (41%), being asked to leave the venue where they presented the identification (15%), and being assaulted or attacked (3%).

    and this essay analyzing several books that start to tackle racism built right into healthcare.

    http://kalamu.posterous.com/review-essay-anne-fausto-sterling-bodies-with

    Race is engrained in American medical practice. Sometimes beliefs about racial difference are even wired into medical diagnostic machines. For example, you can’t get a bone scan evaluated without designating a race, because the formulae programmed into bone densitometers use different standards for assessing bone thinning in white, Asian, Hispanic, and African American women. The evidence supporting different standards is rarely questioned and certainly unknown to the technicians who operate the machines. Often even the radiologists who evaluate the results don’t know much about the differing standards.

    Or consider spirometers, which measure lung function. The normal functioning of black people’s lungs is typically presumed to be 10–15 percent below that of white people’s. As Lundy Braun, who studies the intersection of race and medical science and technology, has shown, the presumption stems from a poorly supported idea that blacks inherently have lesser lung capacities than whites. Yet spirometers are calibrated to account for this difference. Some machines actually have a “race” switch built into them, which technicians flip depending on what race they believe the patient to be. Pegging the lung function of blacks at a lower level means, among other things, that they have to be sicker than whites in order to qualify for worker’s compensation or other insurance for lung-related illness.

  37. Louis says

    I leave this with no further comment.

    Well, no further comment other than “better living through chemistry?”.

    Louis

  38. says

    Rev. BigDumbChimp,

    I just love those aggressive 2nd Amendment assholes trying to bait people into reacting negatively to them, and the cops sort of ruining their fun by not rising to the bait.

  39. Louis says

    Rev BDC,

    Sure, but I maintain a little scepticism for example. I think these pictures were done after a day or so on the respective drugs, and some of those CNS drugs take weeks to have a noticeable/useful effect. So I suspect Uncle Placebo and Aunt Nocebo are visiting.

    Louis

  40. chigau (違う) says

    Rev
    I’ve been on Baffin Island.
    I’m currently near the border with NWT doing [redacted] for a [redacted] company.
    [I signed a non-disclosure agreement ;)]

  41. cicely says

    Since we have so many cooks here… does anyone have a recipe for yellow (straightneck) squash?

    Cover in concrete and toss into the deepest part of the ocean. Then prepare something edible.

    I’m cicely, and I approve of this message.

    Horde poll, for anyone willing to respond: In your experience does the average American (whoever she may be) a) know that the lack of universal health insurance is killing people in the US and b) care one way or another about the issue? I have a semi-urgent secondary motivation for asking this, involving speed at which I press for a particular article to go out…

    a) No.
    b) Well, there’s a certain (large) serving of “I’ve got mine; fuck everyone else!”, but people I’ve talked to who have problems with universal health insurance chiefly cite the expense, and cannot be convinced that it would save money. The way they (seem to, to my observations) see it, people will still have to go to emergency rooms, hospitals, etc., and a certain proportion of those people will still not be able to pay, so everyone else’s bills will still be padded to cover those “mal-patients”—plus doctors’ office visits, prophylaxis of any kind, etc., will only be added on top of that previous amount. For which taxes will have to be increased to cover. Which they violently oppose; it’s always phrased as “Why should I have to pay for their medical care?!?”, never “I’d be paying mostly for my own coverage”.

    Yet somehow it’s preferable to beg for money from the community individually with tip jars at every restaurant than to have the community put the same money in a larger pot that gets distributed by the state.

    <cynicism> That’s because the state-distribution approach denies the giver the “warm fuzzies” of being “charitable”. </cynicism>
    -

  42. David Marjanović says

    Jadehawk, at least one of the organizers (onion girl) practically never reads Pharyngula; in case you haven’t already, PM them on Facebook.

    We, like other news organisations today, rely on our writers to submit factually accurate material/ — Newsweek spokesman Andrew Kirk

    Wow. That should be come famous like “not intended to be a factual statement”.

    So, what separates Newsweek from being a printed out collection of random blog posts? Nothing, it seems.

    Professional typesetting?

    Bingo.

    It annoys me that there is no Recent Comments side bar anymore (at least I can’t see it). It’s bad enough there isn’t one on Tet Zoo, but on Pharyngula? How I’m supposed to know when an interesting discussion pops up in an old thread I’m no longer checking? Gah.

    <HULK>

    You’re not supposed to have a discussion at all. You’re only supposed to write “great post, keep up the good work”, leave, and come back when the next post is up.

    Seriously, that’s the only way I can explain such things, especially the lack of <blockquote> in Scientific American Blogs: the morons who wrote the interface have no fucking idea what a blog fucking is. They obviously don’t read any blogs themselves!

    </HULK>

    *pant*

    *pant*

    Had dinner at my sister-in-law’s home. Her mother-in-law said she was voting against Obama because the country can’t survive another 4 years of him, and ObamaCare is evil and destroying Medicare and what we really need is a good Christian man as president. I left the room.

    I’d have explained in long, insulting detail how Obama is a much better Christian than Rmoney… by the criteria I was taught when I was little, as carefully cherry-picked from the Bible as any others.

    Poll to possibly Pharyngulate here :

    http://ninemsn.com.au/?ocid=iefvrt

    Yes: 27360; no: 40146.

    Plus another poll here :

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/20/1121963/-Why-Climate-Literacy-Matters

    WTF. I’m only the 70th vote?!?

    An initiative to substantially increase society’s climate and energy literacy should be a national priority
    Absolutely! Should be major priority
    85% 60 votes
    Couldn’t hurt, but not top of my list
    8% 6 votes
    Meh- lukewarm at best on the idea
    0% 0 votes
    Not sure it would make any difference, so why bother?
    0% 0 votes
    A real waste of time
    5% 4 votes

  43. says

    We frequently highlight Moments of Mormon Madness here. In case you know someone who wants to leave the madness, here are complete instructions for name removal (resignation) from the mormon church:

    http://www.exmormon.org/remove.htm

    And here’s our Moment of Mormon Madness for today. Each mormon ward now has a “calling” that Bishops can assign to members: Public Relations. The poor saps called by the mormon god through the pressure tactics of their Bishop to the PR calling are supposed to travel to Washington D.C. to meet with a General Authority (old white geezer who survived and lied long enough to move up the mormon ladder) for “tutoring on how to handle questions about the church.”

    Some wards have had PR flacks since the 1980s, for others this is a new calling. The news was posted on ex-mormon forums today.

    Each larger grouping of Wards, each Stake, also has a PR chairperson that works under the supervision of the Stake President (Stake President is the highest level at which Mitt Romney served).

    There is also and inter-faith relations calling.

    Ex-mormons have confirmed that both groups have “talking points.” I think the main skill required is the ability to talk while saying nothing. No amount of training can completely conceal the madness at the center of mormonism.

    In other news, the current Prophet, Seer and Revelator, Thomas S. Monson, has diabetes and is rumored to be suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. At his recent birthday party, his “thank you” remarks were prerecorded. Even though the dude was present, he did not speak. Boyd K. Packer is next in line for the throne.

  44. Richard Austin says

    SGBM:
    Reading your arguments, I seem to be interpreting this as implying that “atheist = rational” – your specific argument that could be distilled to “if god doesn’t exist, there’s no rational reason to be anti-gay” (probably oversimplification) relies on a rational perspective and approach.

    Nothing about atheism implies rationality. A person can be an atheist and also be a sociopath who simply likes to be an asshole to people.

    Or a person could be an atheist who has developed a complex evo devo logic for counting gays as genetically inferior.

    Or a person could simply be an atheist who dislikes gay people, with no justification or excuses.

    Am I missing something? Or are you assuming that atheism and rationality have to go hand-in-hand? I agree that no one can be rational without also being an atheist, but I can’t see a causal path that leads from being an atheist to automatically being rational.

    And if we can’t assume rationality, I don’t see how any of your other logic applies.

  45. David Marjanović says

    Der Spiegel: The EU Commissioner for Education, Jan Figel, appears to have done his doctorate by copying a few sources together and calling that a thesis.

    The thesis is going to be checked; if it’s found to be a plagiate, the private university in question could lose the right to award doctorates.

    Plagiarism and other forms of corruption appear to be a system-wide thing in Slovakia. Right now, the minister for agriculture is alleged to have become a professor without fulfilling the criteria; and the vice president of the parliament is said to have copied whole chapters from parliament papers in her doctoral thesis without saying so. Plus, students at the police academy passed the entrance exam by bribery – the president and the students in question have been removed.

    Figel was already Commissioner when he “did” his doctorate, so he didn’t have time to do the required seminars. Being famous, he was declared some kind of assistant professor and gave talks that were apparently counted as fulfilling the requirements. The president of the university has flat-out said that it’s always good for a university to have famous students and alumni – especially a private university like his, it needs to be added, that is dependent on the fees the students pay and therefore needs advertisement.

    It’s furthermore mysterious how Figel was allowed to do a thesis in “social work” when his Master’s, completed in 1983, was in electrical engineering. Oh, and, the thesis is almost entirely about politics; only four pages are about social issues.

  46. David Marjanović says

    the current Prophet, Seer and Revelator, Thomas S. Monson, […] is rumored to be suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease

    I suppose that’s what passes for humor among gods.

  47. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Rev
    I’ve been on Baffin Island.

    Yeah we want to do a couple weeks in Auyuittuq National Park.

    Unforgettably with the melting due to AGW, looks like a lot of the river crossings in the park are extremely dangerous now.

  48. says

    the current Prophet, Seer and Revelator, Thomas S. Monson, […] is rumored to be suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease

    I suppose that’s what passes for humor among gods.

    Ex-mormons are joking that the main problem is that you can’t tell the difference between the Prophet pre-Alzheimer’s and post-Alzheimer’s.

  49. raven says

    the current Prophet, Seer and Revelator, Thomas S. Monson, […] is rumored to be suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease

    Wouldn’t be surprising.

    The LDS is a true gerontocracy and this has happened before.

    One of the old ones, Kimball was out of it for his last years. IIRC, Ezra Taft “John Bircher” Benson was also out of it.

    Hi Lynna,

    How was rock season this year?

  50. raven says

    Boyd K. Packer is next in line for the throne.

    Oh my Cthulhu.

    IIRC, Packer is one of the more wild eyed haters of the bunch. He is also in poor health and not thought to last much longer.

    Oh well, with a gerontacracy, they are used to it. Probably they have a trained cadre of handlers of very old and dubiously mentally competent white guys, another “calling” of the LDS church.

  51. says

    Paul Krugman calls it like it is in An Unserious Man.

    Excerpts:

    Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate led to a wave of pundit accolades. Now, declared writer after writer, we’re going to have a real debate about the nation’s fiscal future. This was predictable: never mind the Tea Party, Mr. Ryan’s true constituency is the commentariat, which years ago decided that he was the Honest, Serious Conservative, whose proposals deserve respect even if you don’t like him….

    On the tax side, Mr. Ryan proposes big cuts in tax rates on top income brackets and corporations. He has tried to dodge the normal process in which tax proposals are “scored” by independent auditors, but the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math, and the revenue loss from these cuts comes to $4.3 trillion over the next decade.

    On the spending side, Mr. Ryan proposes huge cuts in Medicaid, turning it over to the states while sharply reducing funding relative to projections under current policy. That saves around $800 billion. He proposes similar harsh cuts in food stamps, saving a further $130 billion or so, plus a grab-bag of other cuts, such as reduced aid to college students. Let’s be generous and say that all these cuts would save $1 trillion.

    On top of this, Mr. Ryan includes the $716 billion in Medicare savings that are part of Obamacare, even though he wants to scrap everything else in that act….

    So if we add up Mr. Ryan’s specific proposals, we have $4.3 trillion in tax cuts, partially offset by around $1.7 trillion in spending cuts — with the tax cuts, surprise, disproportionately benefiting the top 1 percent, while the spending cuts would primarily come at the expense of low-income families. Over all, the effect would be to increase the deficit by around two and a half trillion dollars….

    Which deductions would he eliminate? He refuses to say — and realistically, revenue gain on the scale he claims would be virtually impossible.

    At the same time, he asserts that he would make huge further cuts in spending. What would he cut? He refuses to say….

    So will the choice of Mr. Ryan mean a serious campaign? No, because Mr. Ryan isn’t a serious man — he just plays one on TV.

  52. says

    Good afternoon, all! Totally [Lounge]rupt. *distributes hugs and chocolate cake*

    This morning I took it upon myself to do some maintenance on our fleet vehicles and discovered that 1) it’s not easy working around this large and tight belly and 2) whatever crud that has collected under the hoods of our diesel vehicles has given me a gnarly rash (I was wearing gloves, but I got schmutz on my forearms). I’ve never had this problem before.

  53. says

    One of the old ones, Kimball was out of it for his last years. IIRC, Ezra Taft “John Bircher” Benson was also out of it.

    Hi Lynna,

    How was rock season this year?

    Yes, Prophet Benson was “handled” in his final years. His grandson documented how bad/deceptive this handling of the prophet was. http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon090.htm

    Excerpts:

    By 1993, my grandfather was on his last mental and physical legs, being in full decline on both counts.

    He exhibited only brief moments of awareness of his surroundings and was unable to carry on meaningful conversations, including with members of his own family.

    I personally witnessed his condition deteroriate to this state over the course of several years.

    By 1993, he had had a suffered from series of significant health setbacks, including blood clots on the brain, a stroke and a heart attack, all of which had been downplayed to one degree or another by the Church….

    I encountered Don LeFevre of the Church PR Department and asked him why he was releasing statements about the health of my grandfather that were clearly not true. …

    It is a matter of public record (thanks to the reporting of the Salt Lake Tribune) that–in direct contravention of established protocol for the transfer of power in the event that the Church president should die OR become incapacitated–Hinckely and Monson had the power of attorney over LDS corporate affairs shifted to them in the Church’s incorporation documents a few years before my grandfather’s death (see Talmadge’s treatment of Church governance procedures in Articles of Faith).

    Instead of having the First Presidency dissolved and an acting president installed to administer the affairs of the Church in a situation when the sitting president was unable to perform his duties, Hinckely and Monson had legal authority to run the Mormon empire transferred directly to them by the highly unusual method of employing my grandfather’s autopen signature machine on Church incorporation documents (see an account of this episode in Quinn’s Extensions of Power).

    It’s rotten, folks–to the core.

    As for rocks, I am suffering from withdrawal. I’ve only been out to work at the mine once so far this year. I’m still working on recovery from a stroke in April. I might be able to go on an expedition this fall, but it’s most likely that work with rocks will have to wait until next spring.

  54. says

    Giliell:
    Makes sense. My seasonal allergies were off the freaking charts this past spring, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the skin irritation.

    I did wash with soap and warm water and rinsed really well. I don’t itch or anything, my skin’s just all red and bumpy.

  55. says

    This is bad news. If you’re worried about billionaires buying the presidency for Mitt Romney, worry some more.

    Romney has a cash advantage so far.

    The president and the Democratic National Committee raised $75 million in July, significantly less than the $91 million it spent and also significantly less than the $101 million his challenger, Mitt Romney, and the Republican National Committee raised in the same month, according to campaign finance filings released Monday. Even worse for Obama: the RNC reported having some $62 million more in the bank, with $186 million cash on hand compared with $124 million for the Democrats. But it turns out Romney isn’t completely silent on the Chick-fil-A controversy: according to the campaign filings, his team spent $500 at a Chick-fil-A in Atlanta last month.

  56. says

    Alright, I think I’m caught up, and am responding belatedly to some things, as usual.

    Jadehawk

    I do think that people who hand over control of their fertility to someone else are literally not careful, AKA careless.

    Well, call my SO careless then. He knows me well enough to know how terrified I am of childbirth. And I’m not sure he’d be totally upset with an oops. Not that this anecdote defeats your point, but I think it’s unfair to say no one anywhere should trust anyone on the subject. I mean, there’s often quite a bit of trust involved in such a relationship anyway… /fwiw

    Lyn M

    you end up with the “agreement” the state wrote for you.

    You took the words out of my fingertips. I tell clients that everybody has a will, some people’s are just written by the state.

    Josh

    1. Bar associations are never officially regulatory bodies. They are trade associations for lawyers. They may sometimes have referral services.
    2. State-based regulatory boards for lawyers usually never make referrals.

    Truth.

    Fuck them then. Bye.

    Hear, hear!

    Katherine:

    *sigh* I can’t bring myself to be all ‘yaaay, squeee, baby’ with her, cause I just want to shout at her about how big an idiot she was.

    I can absolutely relate to that, re: family members who really aren’t doing anyone any favors with becoming parents. It’s really hard when you’re expected to have the “normal” reaction. I felt that way about a marriage or two as well, but managed to keep my mouth shut.

    rorschach

    a gutless little twerp

    Ha!

    Giliell

    Do I make dinner?
    A) It’s freaking hot
    B) The kids are snacking fruits and toast all the time
    C) If I don’t get a solid meal I‘ll be snacking stuff all the time, too…

    I vote for handing out popsicles.

    TRIGGER WARNING – RAPE
    The Onion does it again: a very effective rape culture joke.

  57. says

    As an aside, I literally got goosebumps when I heard Obama’s response to Akin’s comments. I thought: “It’s like he’s defending me.” I had a moment.

  58. says

    Journalist Michael Tomasky documents the lies and gross distortions of the truth employed by the Romney/Ryan campaign.

    Excerpts:

    …The distinguishing fact of the Romney-Ryan campaign thus far is the extent to which it is built on outright lies…

    The most blatant lie about Obama concerns the welfare rule change, which the Romney campaign is still pushing in a new ad. The Romney ad campaign says exactly the opposite of what the new rule stipulates…But now here they come with a second ad saying that Obama “ended the work requirement.”…

    This is not normal. Normal is to stretch the truth. The Obama campaign stretches the truth in trying to connect Romney more directly than it should to Bain-related layoffs … But the Romney welfare ads have no grain of truth at all.

    …it is in terms of past and future positions that what Romney-Ryan are doing really plows new and dishonorable earth. What’s happened on Medicare in the last week is just jaw-dropping….

    They know that the truth would crush them electorally. And so it follows that they know they must lie. They must lie about their Medicare plans. They must lie about the effects of their tax plans on average people and rich people. And they must tell a number of lies about Obama, all the better if they involve race, as the welfare lie does…..

    Let’s expose this parade of lies. I sent my pitiful Democratic financial mite to Obama. I’m sure he has people to count the pennies.

  59. raven says

    Lynna:

    As for rocks, I am suffering from withdrawal. I’ve only been out to work at the mine once so far this year. I’m still working on recovery from a stroke in April. I might be able to go on an expedition this fall, but it’s most likely that work with rocks will have to wait until next spring.

    Oh.

    Sorry to hear that.

    Hope you can get out and digging up rocks ASAP.

  60. says

    Oh hey, as long as we’re talking about Akin, has anyone posted Rep Steve King’s latest nonsense?

    King supports the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” It would ban Federal funding of abortions except in cases of forcible rape. Right now, Medicaid also covers abortions for victims of statutory rape or incest – for example, a 12 year old who gets pregnant.

    Congressman King says he’s not aware of any young victims like that.

    “Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way, and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter,” he said.

    This from the dude that said it’s legal to abduct and rape a young teenage girl, take her across state lines for abortion and “drop her off at the swingset” when all is said and done. *headdesk headdesk HEADDESK!*

    I like Wonkette’s take (let’s face it I often do):

    This is dangerous because fucking idiots who didn’t understand sex ed are possibly going to be making laws and regulations that will govern the lives and health of half of America for decades to come. AND THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND SPERM AND EGGS AND JESUS H. LOVING MERCIFUL CHRIST I AM GOING TO JUST PUNCH THINGS NOW.

    http://wonkette.com/481613/rep-steve-king-i-have-never-heard-of-teenagers-getting-pregnant-except-the-ones-i-described#more-481613

  61. says

    Piling on the bad news: the latest Monmouth University Poll shows Obama leading Romney far too narrowly for comfort. Obama leads by one point, not even statistically significant. It’s Obama 46% to Romney’s 45%.

    Add this to the fact that Obama trails Romney in cash on hand: $123.7 million to $185.9 million.

    So, you’ve got Sheldon Adelson’s promise to spend $100 million for Romney, and the Koch brothers kicking in $44 million that we know about (and more secretly).

    Add in some nifty voter suppression of predominately Democratic Party voters …

    Jeez, I don’t want those smarmy liars who are incapable of vetting their sources around — I don’t want them running the country.

    I posted several comments on the newly minted Republican platform in an older thread this morning. Comments start here:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/08/20/i-guess-you-shouldnt-always-trust-your-doctor/comment-page-1/#comment-437106

  62. says

    “Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way, and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter,” he said.

    I just…I just can’t. As I was reading Audley’s comment, a friend posted it on my fb wall with this: “well i have ya fucking douchbag. Come be a social worker for a week get your fucking eyes opened to reality. fucking ass hat.”

    So, the silver lining is righteous anger from affected people? I don’t have many words for this kind of assholery.

    It’s Obama 46% to Romney’s 45%.

    *whimper* make it stop. Just somebody fix it please. Rachel Maddow somehow delivers horrible news on this sort of front all the time, yet I don’t feel bad afterwards, I feel somehow invigorated. How does she do that?

  63. says

    Severe constipation, possible colon problem.

    Oh no! I hope she comes through it all right. :( At least no more ratlets though.

  64. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Hey Lounge parents, does anyone have any bright ideas of how to discourage a 5-year old from using swear words? Anything from “fucking” to “son of a bitch” can be found in my son’s(and apparently any other kindergarden kid’s) vernacular, and I’m not amused. Ex has chosen the strategy of threatening him with calling Santa, which is not very successful, to put it mildly. I was thinking of explaining to him what those words mean and why they are rude language, but not sure how to go about explaining to a 5-yo what a bitch is, or what fucking entails. Any tips?

    I’ve gotten incredibly good mileage out of explaining that when there’s a reason to say those words, adults will have already said them, so kids don’t need to say them at all.

  65. Amphiox says

    I don’t think the actual meaning of “bitch” is something beyond a 5 year old’s understanding. Tell him it means a female dog and that when you call a girl that you are saying she’s a dog and not a person, or that someone’s mother is not a person, and that that is a very mean thing to say.

    As for “fuck”, that’s tougher, as the social stigma against it among adults is irrational to begin with, but again I think you can tell him that it is a word adults say when they are angry or want to be mean to someone, so when he says it to or about someone it is being very mean to that person.

    If your child is old enough to understand sex and rape, you can tell them that when used at a person, it means you are wishing for them to be raped (which is true for maybe half the time, the other half being mostly an invitation to masturbate, about which again the stigma among adults is rather irrational), and that of course is a very cruel thing to wish for.

  66. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Josh @ 427, broboxley @ 455, Lyn M @ 457:
    Thanks for the recipes! I have no idea yet which will win out for tonight’s dinner (I’m one of those “stare into the fridge and cupboards ’til inspiration strikes” cooks) but they all look yummy.

    Lyn M: No worries about lateness! It’s for tonight’s “really, truly, I’m honestly leaving this time, I swear” farewell dinner.

    Alethea @ 443:

    It’s the social glue factor. It’s not quite a guaranteed creep-free space, not much can be, but at least it would be a creep-not-encouraged space.

    Agreed. The bar for expected behavior would be set (so) much higher, so many of the “what ifs” that plague me in the face of new social situations would be eliminated.

    blf @ 488, cicely @ 548: Heretics! Zucchini, I could understand (except for zucchini bread) but the yummy yellow squash? No no no.

    rorschach @ 495:
    Oh the joys of parenting… I think a kid’s main goal — from ages 1 to…oh, death? — is to freak you the fuck out. So, the bigger reaction they get, the more likely they are to keep doing whatever caused it. (Because it’s FUN watching parents turn purple and become incoherent babbling wrecks.)

    Since he’s only 5, I would just explain that there are words that hurt or upset people and, because we want to be good neighbors and not hurt other people, we don’t use those words. No need for explanations of what they mean that he probably won’t care about anyway. Then, let him know what your expected response will be. For example, taking a favorite toy or activity away for a specific period of time.

    If he does use those words, he needs an immediate action. (Not to criticize your ex, but kids that age don’t have any real grasp of time and Santa is too far in the future for him to be really scared.) Instead, calmly repeat that “Remember, there are words we don’t use?” and follow through on the punishment you laid out for him earlier. He’ll quickly get that saying “bad word X, Y, and/or Z” means his toy has to spend the night in “toy jail” or that he has to miss his favorite show — or whatever punishments you (and the ex) deem appropriate.

    Hope this helps.

    dianne: In my experience in rural Pennsylvania: a) no, and b) no, unless they or someone they care about is the one denied a treatment/care by the insurance company or has no insurance, is unable to go to the doctor, puts off treatment, has to put up collection jars in every convenience store in town, etc.

    There is this rationalization that they are not like “those other people” (read: poor, people of color, unemployed, welfare bums) being denied care, etc. They have done everything “right” and are being punished, while “those other people” are just lazy and chose not to have insurance, and are getting what they deserve.

    As carlie said, they’re selfish.

  67. says

    Rachel Maddow somehow delivers horrible news on this sort of front all the time, yet I don’t feel bad afterwards, I feel somehow invigorated. How does she do that?

    Maddow never skimps on context. She always vets her sources. If she makes a mistake, she apologizes on camera and explains the error. She has the best bullshit detector I’ve ever seen. She connects U.S. trends to global trends, and she provides enough perspective that you can see the consequences. She is a better historian than many professional historians. She puts subtext on display, puts it front and center so that it is inescapable.

    Maddow is an artist. And really fine art, no matter the subject, is invigorating.

    Maddow gives me hope for humankind. And for that smaller subset of humankind, professional journalists.

    Did I mention that I like her? I even like her hair, which apparently troubles a lot of right wingers.

    She’s not perfect, and she knows it.

  68. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Did I mention that I like her? I even like her hair, which apparently troubles a lot of right wingers.

    They also do not like her suits. Or make up. Or partner.

    I could go on.

  69. says

    They also do not like her suits. Or make up. Or partner.

    True. But mostly they do not like that she far and away more intelligent than any of them.

    How dare she?

  70. Beatrice says

    I even like her hair, which apparently troubles a lot of right wingers.

    I’m now irrationally proud that I have a very similar haircut.

  71. says

    She’s not perfect, and she knows it.

    This is one of my favorite things about her. She is so frank about her mistakes, and never hides from inaccuracies. When she has a guest on and has contextualized the interview prior to introducing them, the first thing she always says is “What did I get wrong? You know way more about this than I do.” Which is ridiculously refreshing.

    Re: Artistry. You have expressed exactly what she does, far better than I could have articulated it. I was so happy when I found her show as a podcast, as I don’t have cable.

    I also relish how disliked she is by regressives. Let them stew in their willful ignorance, while she shines a light on their sliminess.

  72. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Going off about a high school photo, a time period when most people are going to give in to pressures about gender norms. Hell, was Rachel Maddow even out in high school.

    Perhaps this is because I am queer but I think her short brown hair fits her face better than did the long blond hair.

    And will double down on Rachel Maddow being much more intelligent than the people calling out out on not being a real woman™.

    There is a reason why Charlie Pierce calls her Professor Maddow. And he is not being snarky.

  73. says

    Socio-gen:

    They have done everything right…

    Holy fuck socks, this. I worked with a guy* who would spout the most ridiculous livin’ free or dyin’ bullshit imaginable (no shit, he complained about the National Labor Relations Act poster that’s hanging in my office because the government’s trying to force us to unionize!!), while at the same time sucking on the government teat. I know that he received home heating assistance from the state, has high speed internet because of a New York State program that subsidizes internet access for people who live in rural/under served areas, etc. But all of this is okay for him, ‘cos he’s not some welfare queen.

    Interestingly enough, this guy had no health insurance and has tens of thousands of dollars in medical debt but still opposees the ACA (and any mention of a single payer program) because “socialism” will take away all of our “freedoms”. Besides the freedom to die in a ditch, I’m not sure what freedoms he was referring to, exactly.

    *Dude I fired a couple of weeeks back, actually.

  74. Amphiox says

    What they hate about Maddow is that when she criticizes them, the critiques are so intelligent, thorough, and well researched, that they never have any defense.

    Since the message is untouchable, all they have left is to attack the messenger.

  75. Beatrice says

    Today’s story about children and teaching gender:

    Met up with a friend. She had bought a gift for her two-year old nephew and we met up in the store while she was choosing papers for the wrapping. Most were crap, but I found a sweet one with teddy bears. She didn’t want it because the background was purple and therefore too “girly”.

    The boy’s two. She’d bought him a toy train. His dick won’t fall off if he gets it wrapped in a paper with a bit of purple.

  76. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Nightjar@ 410:

    It annoys me that there is no Recent Comments side bar anymore (at least I can’t see it).

    You may not be scrolling down far enough. The Recent Comments side bar is under all the convention advertisements.

    ****
    Socio-gen:

    Since we have so many cooks here… does anyone have a recipe for yellow (straightneck) squash? I usually just slice, baste with olive oil, sprinkle with herbs and a dash of salt, and grill or bake. I’ve done that a little too often lately, so something new (and quick) to do with the last two would be much appreciated.

    Roasted the squash with some red peppers. Chop and toss into a food processor with honey and olive oil (save some of the diced squash for later). Ladle a pool of the mixture onto a plate. Place your protein of choice (I used roasted swordfish, but anything would work) atop the sauce. Roasted new potatoes, wild rice, quinoa, tabouleh or brown rice make wonderful side dishes. Garnish the fish with the remainder of the diced squash (or add to your side dish for great added texture and flavor).

    ****
    thunk:

    Day well spent. Just 9 more months of this.

    Congratulations.
    If I may ask, are you almost done with high school (I can’t remember if you said you’re a junior or senior)?

    ****

    Ah, date #4 just ended. I’m seeing real chemistry in our interactions. A natural ebb and flow to conversations, subtle and/or non verbal communication picked up on, paying attention to what the other is saying and picking up on it again when relevant. There’s a lot of stuff I’ve learned that I *don’t* want in a relationship. Though I still have some quibbles about some of his remarks, overall I’m quite happy.
    Which will make it frustrating next month when he goes onboard a Norweigan Crusie Ship to work for four months :(
    (and why are people surprised when I mention that we’ve not had sex yet? Is there some expectation that people are *supposed* to have sex by a certain time?)

  77. says

    Amphiox-

    Since the message is untouchable, all they have left is to attack the messenger.

    That explains why I was told to “have a nice life” by a devoutly Jewish “friend” after criticizing the victim-must-marry-her-rapist verse.

    /implicit comparisons to Professor Maddow’s artful takedowns not intended.

  78. Beatrice says

    His dick won’t fall off if he gets it wrapped in a paper with a bit of purple.

    The train, not his penis. Otherwise, there goes my “won’t fall off” point.

  79. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    She didn’t want it because the background was purple and therefore too “girly”.

    It was not too “girly” for the Romans.

    What complete and utter bullshit.

  80. Beatrice says

    I’m seeing real chemistry in our interactions. A natural ebb and flow to conversations, subtle and/or non verbal communication picked up on, paying attention to what the other is saying and picking up on it again when relevant.

    Yay!
    :)

  81. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Yeah, but we feminists are trying to deny him his penis.

  82. opposablethumbs says

    Caine, good that she’s not pregnant but I do hope Zoe is OK.

    I feel like looking after one pet is a handful; hat off to you for managing with a householdful!

  83. Beatrice says

    I’m now laughing about the stupid mistake with “it” in the first sentence and then again being wrong while explaining that sentence.

    Ok, I’ve had three or four chocolates with liquor filling, I’m afraid it’s not enough to blame for the silliness.

  84. Richard Austin says

    Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.

    The official platform of the Republican National Convention. Notice there’s no exceptions.

  85. says

    Oh, lookee what just popped in my facebook feed– you’ll never guess which political party wants to enshrine fetal personhood in the Constitution!

    “Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,” the draft platform declares. “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/08/21/as-romney-and-ryan-dissemble-rnc-prepares-deeply-anti-choice-platform-promoting-0

    I had a thought the other day (I know, right?): If fetuses are asmore important than pregnant women, does this mean that I’m committing a crime every time I have sex or masturbate?

    Should I just shut my pie hole now before I give the anti choice doucheholes more ammunition?

  86. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Yet again, one wonders why the nattering Republican heads were yelling about Todd Akin when they did not disagree with him.

  87. carlie says

    I read on Twitter that the RNC official platform had a reference to Czechoslovakia that just barely got caught before going to press.

  88. Nightjar says

    Tony,

    You may not be scrolling down far enough. The Recent Comments side bar is under all the convention advertisements.

    I’m talking about Sb Pharyngula. The Recent Comments sidebar recently went from being frozen to not being there at all, instead of being fixed like it should have been.

  89. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    One, one person involved who is aware that Czechoslovakia no longer exists.

    What do they think of Yugoslavia?

  90. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Lynna:

    True. But mostly they do not like that she far and away more intelligent than any of them.

    How dare she?

    They’re mad that she makes them look stupid?

    ****

    Caine:
    I hope all goes well with Zoe. With luck, we’ll all be able to say “thankfully it was constipation, not pregnancy”.

  91. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Looking at my last statement.

    *facepalm*

    I have not even started drinking yet.

  92. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Audley:

    If fetuses are asmore important than pregnant women, does this mean that I’m committing a crime every time I have sex or masturbate?

    Whoa. I have to sit down.
    Women masturbate??!!

    :)

    (where do you grow hair at?)

  93. says

    I was so happy when I found her show as a podcast, as I don’t have cable.

    Here’s Rachel Maddow on the innertubes:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/

    Just to keep you all up to date: Todd Akin is staying in the race.

    Note, the Republican congressman doesn’t seem to think his remarks were too big a deal, arguing he “misspoke one word, in one sentence, in one day.” Akin is, in other words, oblivious to the larger significance, and he went so far as to say the outrage seems like “a little bit of an overreaction.”

    Quote is from The Maddow Blog.
    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/08/21/13397694-akin-thumbs-his-nose-at-gop-stays-in-senate-race

    Previous thread containing lots of Akin info, plus Republican platform info at end of thread:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/08/20/i-guess-you-shouldnt-always-trust-your-doctor/

  94. says

    Janine:
    For the life of me, I can’t figue that out. My best guess is how Akin said it, not what he said.

    I also can’t wrap my head around RMoney saying that he wouldn’t limit abortion access to rape victims, while on the other hand his party is putting out this shitty platform.

  95. says

    Here’s Rachel Maddow on the innertubes:

    Thanks!! I often miss something because she shows a graphic or video clip. And then there’s her hair, how I miss her hair. /intellectualcrush.

  96. Beatrice says

    Happy B-day Joe

    I never know these things.

    Switching player from Manu Chao to The Clash now (wow, that’s a change).

  97. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    ::headdesk so bad I have 2 concussions::

    “Throughout our history, whether it’s been our position on birth control, abortion, or equal pay for equal work, Republicans have always stood together with women, listening to their needs and fighting for issues that are are important to them. That is why we were stunned that someone from our own party could have made such insensitive remarks or expressed such uninformed opinions about women,” http://www.theonion.com/articles/republicans-condemn-akins-comments-as-blemish-on-p,29259/

  98. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Chimpy, I doubt it would surprise you that I had London Calling in my personal heavy rotation for years.

  99. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Huh, I just realized I haven’t read any stories from the Onion before. Having looked them up, I see they’re quite good at satire. Of course, the scary thing is, I can actually see Republican leaders saying that shit.

  100. says

    I also can’t wrap my head around RMoney saying that he wouldn’t limit abortion access to rape victims, while on the other hand his party is putting out this shitty platform.

    RMoney has carefully separated Akin’s talk of rape from abortion in his heavily compartmentalized and fortified brain. This leaves him free to say that, yes, he would vote for a “personhood” bill that would effectively criminalize all abortion, including abortions following rape or incest. “Absolutely,” says the Mittster.

    RMoney does not approve of rape and he wants you to know it.

    RMoney does not — ever — consider the consequences of his support for personhood bills, defunding Planned Parenthood, etc., and he doesn’t want you to consider the consequences either. That would be mean. RMoney does not approve of meanness.

    Rachel Maddow calls out Mitt Romney for his vague stance on abortion:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#48409172

  101. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Caine:
    Hope Zoe comes through this okay!

    Love Rachel Maddow! And the fact that she causes little wingnut heads to explode makes her even more awesome.

    Audley:
    Yep. They get LIHEAP and free weatherization, they get CHIP and Free/Reduced Lunch for their kids, they get farm subsidies, they got FEMA aid after the flooding last Sept. but that’s different. They “really” need them. Unlike “those people.”

    It’s the same attitude with women who protest abortion clinics and then show up to get one of their own. They aren’t Slutty McSluttersons like those other women; they just made a mistake and can’t have a baby right now.

    Tony:
    I’d have to nix the red peppers (they and my stomach have a hate-hate relationship) but otherwise it sounds lovely. Hmmm…and there’s a pork roast just waiting for something to do…

    Yay on things going well! Boo-hiss on the upcoming 4-month separation!

  102. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Janine:
    No worries about NSFW.

    Still out of work.
    Interview tomorrow though.

    That site is amusing.
    (I find some of the toys to be rather appealing)

  103. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Socio-gen:

    Hmmm…and there’s a pork roast just waiting for something to do…

    Hmmm, that gives me an idea. I don’t have the most experience cooking pork roasts, but I wonder if there’s a way to cook it maybe 3/4 of the way and then inject it with the squash puree…? Or maybe it would just be easier to baste it with the puree towards the end of the cooking (or even taking it out of the oven and then basting; the carry over cooking should be more than enough to help soak in the flavor).

  104. says

    Here’s the other thing that’s bothering me about the Republican party platform:
    According to the articles I’ve read, these asswipes think that the 14th Amendment should apply at conception, but it wasn’t that long ago that these fucking dumbasses were trying to get rid of the 14th because of “anchor babies”.

    WHICH IS IT, REPUBLICANS? Make up your damn minds!

  105. Paul says

    Wait, misspoke one word? What does he think we’re all talking about?

    According to a comment on Zingularity, apparently on Huckabee’s show he amended “legitimate rape” to be “forcible rape” instead and called it a day. This would imply that he thinks the problem is with the word “legitimate”, not with the pseudoscience he was trying to use to claim that rape victims can’t get pregnant (and therefore if you are pregnant, you weren’t raped — although now, it just means you weren’t “forcibly” raped, by which I suspect he means violently, which is no less wrong of course).

  106. says

    Ex-mormons discuss attitudes toward rape within mormon communities:

    http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon422.htm

    Apostle Richard G. Scott:

    The victim must do all in his or her power to stop the abuse. Most often, the victim is innocent because of being disabled by fear or the power or authority of the offender. At some point in time, however, the Lord may prompt a victim to recognize a degree of responsibility for abuse. Your priesthood leader will help assess your responsibility so that, if needed, it can be addressed. Otherwise the seeds of guilt will remain and sprout into bitter fruit. Yet no matter what degree of responsibility, from absolutely none to increasing consent, the healing power of the atonement of Jesus Christ can provide a complete cure. (See D&C 138:1-4.) Forgiveness can be obtained for all involved in abuse. (See A of F 1:3.) Then comes a restoration of self-respect, self-worth, and a renewal of life. (Richard G. Scott, Healing the Tragic Scars of Abuse, Ensign, May 1992, 31)

    Original and official LDS source:
    http://www.lds.org/general-conference/1992/04/healing-the-tragic-scars-of-abuse?lang=eng

    Excerpt:

    Talk to your bishop in confidence. His calling allows him to act as an instrument of the Lord in your behalf. He can provide a doctrinal foundation to guide you to recovery. An understanding and application of eternal law will provide the healing you require. He has the right to be inspired of the Lord in your behalf. He can use the priesthood to bless you….

    As a victim, do not waste effort in revenge or retribution against your aggressor. Focus on your responsibility to do what is in your power to correct. Leave the handling of the offender to civil and Church authorities. Whatever they do, eventually the guilty will face the Perfect Judge. Ultimately the unrepentant abuser will be punished by a just God….

    Begin by withholding judgment. You don’t know what abusers may have suffered as victims when innocent. The way to repentance must be kept open for them. Leave the handling of aggressors to others….

  107. sisu says

    Delurking to ask…

    So Kylie’s not with us. No surprise there.

    For those of us hanging around the periphery… what’s the story here? I read her post where she says she hasn’t read Jen’s OP (or any of the followups, except for Richard Carrier’s) but knows enough from the backchannel to know she wants nothing to do with A+. I don’t read her blog – I’m not a podcaster or much of a video watcher so I don’t ‘know’ her the way I do those I read, but I had the impression that she pretty much stayed out of the social justice dustups. Not true?

  108. says

    amphiox

    If your child is old enough to understand sex and rape, you can tell them that when used at a person, it means you are wishing for them to be raped

    Do you think that’s an honest explenation? Does “fuck you” say “I want you to be raped?”

    Socio-Gen

    I think a kid’s main goal — from ages 1 to…oh, death? — is to freak you the fuck out. So, the bigger reaction they get, the more likely they are to keep doing whatever caused it.

    Not necesarily.
    If it’s attention they’re after, then they want to freak you (generic you) out. It’s kind of like with trolls: People will say “just ignore them, all they want to get is a reaction”, but that’s actually not true in many cases with trolls and it’s not true with children either. Sometimes they use a swear word because they want to get a reaction, sometimes they use one because they are really, really upset and want to hurt you as much as they can and if you just ignore that you’re ignoring that something serious has just happened.

    He’ll quickly get that saying “bad word X, Y, and/or Z” means his toy has to spend the night in “toy jail” or that he has to miss his favorite show — or whatever punishments you (and the ex) deem appropriate.

    Please no punishments. Consequences. Although I admit that they actually often look similar. But the toy has nothing to do with the “bad word”, it’s just dealing out hurt.

    And will double down on Rachel Maddow being much more intelligent than the people calling out out on not being a real woman™.

    Yes, being a man or a woman is apparently either about what’s between your legs, nor what’s between your ears, but about what you wear and how you cut your hair.

    beatrice
    The thing is, they really, really have to drill that into children. Because in fact, if you forget to do their hair right, and put the appropriate clothes on, and hand them the right toys it’s actually hard to tell if they’re boy or girl.
    I noticed it again on the holidays. I bought the little one new swimming trunks, and because I just couldn’t bring myself to buy pink frilly hearts, I bought the boys model which was basic red with a bit of blue and short legs.
    Let her run around in them alone: Cute boy
    Put a neckerchief on her head: Cute girl
    Afterwards I really tried to imagine the other kids with the opposite attire and the results were stunning.

    The train, not his penis. Otherwise, there goes my “won’t fall off” point.

    I suppose it wouldn’t fall off if it were wrapped in the paper either.

    Caine
    Best wishes for Zoe

    Janine

    What do they think of Yugoslavia?

    They do have an heir to the throne…

    Tony
    Fingers crossed and meh for ship work

  109. Beatrice says

    suppose it wouldn’t fall off if it were wrapped in the paper either.

    Since I made it sound like it was wrapped in paper instead of the train, it suggested it was wrapped separated. At least to my warped brain.

  110. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Giliell:

    Do you think that’s an honest explenation? Does “fuck you” say “I want you to be raped?”

    Oh hell no.
    To me, “fuck you” is another way of saying “go to hell”. Or a harsher way of saying “get out of my face/shut up”. I don’t see it remotely relating to any actual sex act.

  111. says

    I just had to break somebody’s heart in the course of my employment duties. It sucks :( I think I’ll go do some Rachel Maddow appreciation reading to comfort myself.

  112. says

    Totally threadrupt.

    *scrolls up a little bit*

    I’m on board with those who say it’s ridiculous to tell a child that “Fuck you” is a rape wish. Etymology is not definition. I’m not going to stop using “sucks” to mean “is bad,” either.

    Sisu, Kylie is a Chill Girl.

    Some links…

    Ladybits according to the GOP.

    Joss Whedon: What an awesome feminist! /sarcasm

    Gotta wonder if this screed (site has NSFW artwork) is even minimally based in truth, or is just more MRA fappery. This sentence says it all:

    Let me be clear: there is nothing, besides the promise of regular, enjoyable sex, that I ever wanted from you…that would ever have made me consider committing to you for the rest of my life.

  113. KG says

    One, one person involved who is aware that Czechoslovakia no longer exists.

    What do they think of Yugoslavia? – Janine

    They’re worried that when Marshall Tito dies, it will revert to a being a Soviet satellite state.

  114. says

    Re kids swearing: I like Azkyroth’s take a lot. My kids are “allowed” to swear because I realized when my first child was very small that I am not going to stop swearing and that trying to convince him not to copy my foulmouthed ways would be a joke.

    Instead I tried very hard to teach him that just like other words sometimes swearing was not appropriate. It’s not appropriate when it “makes other people uncomfortable” (now that he’s older we’ve gone into more nuance regarding when people can damn well get over being made uncomfortable) and that sometimes there are rules that are not ours (if you swear loudly at the store they will ask you to leave. And Nana doesn’t like to hear swears so we don’t swear at her house, because her house = her rules about language).

    Numerous people gave me very dim predictions about a small child’s ability to internalize this web of situational requirements but I think both my kids did really well with it. I did end up with a 5th grader who thought he had a “free speech” right to swear at school, but we had a talk about how free speech does not mean freedom from consequences and if he was caught swearing at school I wasn’t going to save his bacon, and that was pretty much the end of that nonsense.

    One plus is that swearing has no shock value for them so they don’t, well, swear for shock value. Not even at the toddler and preschooler ages when chanting forbidden words is a favorite pastime.

  115. says

    kristinc

    My kids are “allowed” to swear because I realized when my first child was very small that I am not going to stop swearing and that trying to convince him not to copy my foulmouthed ways would be a joke.

    There’s something about an almost three year old letting out a heartfelt “damn” when the tip of the pencil breaks off.
    What I did was that I stopped swearing while driving. That used to be my venting place. I would call people very bad names for trivial offenses just because I could and it didn’t hurt anybody.
    I stopped that as soon as sombody was listening on the back seat.
    But I eternally disappointed my FIL when he tried to provoke me by saying “shit” in front of the kids.
    Really, “shit”? I’m supposed to worry about them picking up “shit” (ehm, figuratively, not literally)? I fail to see the damage of swearing (as opposed to name-calling). Seriously, if it hurts somebody’s fee-fee’s too much to hear the word godsdamnshit, they need to go somewhere else.

  116. says

    My sister’s two-year-old was not happy about naptime, so after being put down to sleep, he stuck his head out the bedroom door and declared: “This is bullshit, Mama.” She had a good behind-the-hand laugh.

    At his age, her strategy is to repeatedly say another funny-sounding word until he thinks that’s more fun that whatever profanity he has picked up. (e.g. “booty”) She reports success with this method.

  117. says

    My son must have been about 4 when he had a tricycle with a bell, which he was riding around ringing repeatedly. I finally said “Knock it off! You’re driving me bugshit!”

    At which he continued to ride around and ring, extremely pleased with himself, this time gleefully announcing: “Driving Mommy bugshit! I’m driving Mommy bugshit!”

  118. says

    There’s a chance that Republicans might get a global warming lesson at the convention in Tampa. Barring that, they may just get doused.

    Oh no, a hurricane might strike the Republican National Convention in Tampa!

    Weather scientists say a little “tropical system” in the Atlantic could head up to Tampa this weekend and become a hurricane named Isaac. Also, fun fact: Tampa is terribly vulnerable to hurricanes. Vast numbers of Tampa residents live in areas that would be overrun in the event of a major storm surge. The city is more vulnerable every year, since sea levels are rising due to global warming God loving the Earth so much that he’s hugging it real close and accidentally melting the ice caps.

    According to Climate Central’s research, sea level rise is escalating the threat of damaging storm surge flooding in the Tampa area. The odds that a flood exceeding 6.5 feet would occur in Tampa before 2030 are about 14 percent without global warming, but these odds increase to 20 percent with the effects of global warming-related sea level rise factored in.

    A “worst-case Category 4 hurricane in the Tampa Bay region” would put the Tampa Bay convention center under 20 feet of water, “and St. Petersburg would become an island, as occurred during the 1848 hurricane.”

    Also (and I haven’t confirmed this with any scientists but it seems likely) a hurricane during the convention would likely cover much of Tampa in tarballs and toxic dispersant-mixed oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill. And perhaps mutant crabs. Obviously I’m not hoping for this to happen (because I will be there, in Tampa), but if it does happen the oil-soaked Republican convention-goers can’t say they weren’t warned….

    http://www.salon.com/2012/08/21/hurricane_might_hit_tampa/

    Republicans should build an ark in Tampa. I want to see them doing some real work.

  119. Amphiox says

    Don’t know if this is related to what Tony experienced, but for me, sometimes the recent comment section just vanishes, *poof*. And then if I go away and come back to Pharyngula later, it’s back….

  120. says

    It’s not super PACs that are spending the most money on TV ads touting presidential candidates. Super PACs are outspent by “social welfare” 501(c)(4)s. The stats so far: $71 million for social welfare non-profits, and $56 million for super PACs.

    Here’s an example of just why this secretive campaign money is working so well for the Koch brothers and others:

    Matt Brooks describes the mission of the Republican Jewish Coalition as educating the Jewish community about critical domestic and foreign policy issues.

    But the well-dressed crowd that gathered in May for a luncheon on the 24th floor of a New York law firm easily could have figured that the group had a different purpose: Helping Mitt Romney win the presidency.

    Brooks, the group’s executive director, showed the 100 or so attendees two coalition-funded ads taking aim at President Barack Obama. Then Brooks made a pitch for a $6.5 million plan to help Romney in battleground states, reminding guests that their donations would not be publicly disclosed by the tax-exempt group.

    “Contributions to the RJC are not reported,” Brooks told the people sitting around a horseshoe-shaped table. “We don’t make our donors’ names available. We can take corporate money, personal money, cash, shekels, whatever you got.”

    The Republican Jewish Coalition and similar organizations enjoy tax-exempt status in exchange for promoting social welfare. In this election, the most expensive in U.S. history, they also have emerged as the primary conduit for anonymous big-money contributions….

    http://www.propublica.org/article/how-nonprofits-spend-millions-on-elections-and-call-it-public-welfare

  121. says

    More on so-called “social welfare” groups and campaign money. This is from ProPublica:

    An investigation by ProPublica, drawing on documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Election Commission, offers the most detailed picture to date of how 501(c)(4) groups have used their tax status for purposes likely never intended.

    Our examination shows that dozens of these groups do little or nothing to justify the subsidies they receive from taxpayers. Instead, they are pouring much of their resources, directly or indirectly, into political races at the local, state and federal level.

    The 2010 election functioned, effectively, as a dry run, providing a blueprint for what social welfare groups are doing on a larger scale today. Records on what is happening in the 2012 campaign will not be available until well after the election.

    For this story, ProPublica reviewed thousands of pages of filings for 106 nonprofits active during the 2010 election cycle, tracking what portion of their funds went into politics. We watched TV ads bought by these groups, looked at documents from other nonprofits that gave them money, and interviewed dozens of campaign finance experts and political strategists.

    We found that some groups said they would not engage in politics when they applied for IRS recognition of their tax-exempt status. But later filings showed they spent millions on just such activities….

    …the two leading conservative 501(c)(4)s, Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity, founded by conservative billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, had spent about $60 million.

    A lot more detail is available at the ProPublica site.

    http://www.propublica.org/article/how-nonprofits-spend-millions-on-elections-and-call-it-public-welfare

  122. PatrickG says

    Apologies if (1) this is viewed as a derail, and (2) if someone has mentioned this before, but I just saw a commercial for a new game show:

    The American Bible Challenge

    My head hurts. I just slammed it into a wall repeatedly.

    On the plus side, I bet this crowd could win a whole lot of money for the charity of their choice.

  123. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Apologies if (1) this is viewed as a derail, and (2) if someone has mentioned this before, but I just saw a commercial for a new game show:

    The American Bible Challenge

    My head hurts. I just slammed it into a wall repeatedly.

    On the plus side, I bet this crowd could win a whole lot of money for the charity of their choice.

    I’ve been seeing the commercial for that show. Yesterday was the first day it aired, I believe. I saw it come on the game show channel and fled from it.

    I’m sure someone around here has the studies that atheist know more about the bible than theists but it depends on how the show works I think. Like how much it panders and bend overs for the average ignorant theist. So I’m doubtful how well an atheist would do. I don’t know the format of the show or anything.

  124. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Patrick:
    No derails here. Everything is on topic.
    I first heard about “The American Bible Challenge” a few weeks ago while working out at the YMCA (no irony there).
    My hope is that they’ll use obscure bits of the Bible to challenge people with, since theists aren’t terribly knowledgeable about it, but I doubt that’s going to happen.

  125. says

    Well, call my SO careless then. He knows me well enough to know how terrified I am of childbirth. And I’m not sure he’d be totally upset with an oops. Not that this anecdote defeats your point, but I think it’s unfair to say no one anywhere should trust anyone on the subject.

    I did call your SO, and most men in relationships for that matter, careless. That was the point of my comment. And I didn’t say no one ever should trust anyone ever; I said that when you do, you’re no longer being careful.

    I have not much of a problem with people choosing to be careless. Their life, their risk-benefit analysis. What I have a very large problem with is bullshit about whether something is or isn’t careless, and getting pissy at people who advise general carefulness on that issue. And handing control over your fertility to someone else is absolutely careless. Doesn’t matter how much you feel you trust that person. Unless you’re a mind-reader or can control other people’s minds, YOU ARE BEING CARELESS when you leave control over your fertility to someone else.

  126. PatrickG says

    @Tony •King of the Hellmouth•

    Everything may be on topic, but some things are more on topic than others. :)

    The fact that the show is even going on just makes me slightly sick. Most of that reaction is the commercial I saw, which was all about how people who love Jesus were going to use their Jesus-love to love Jesus (the featured team was donating all their money to their church for a construction project). It was moderately disgusting.

    Back to cook dinner, with a foul taste in my mouth. :)

  127. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Well, today officially blows. Just found out Monday is picture day and we don’t have money for the pictures. =(

    I can also see on the form that we can upgrade to basic retouching or for $12 go up to premium retouching. Basic removes blemishes and premium retouching whitens teeth, evens skin tone, removes blemishes, scars and flyaway hair. Both examples of retouches are middle school girls. *sigh*

  128. says

    I didn’t say no one ever should trust anyone ever; I said that when you do, you’re no longer being careful.

    I think this really gets to the crux of your point. I disagree with that premise. Sometimes, trust is a careful calculation. It really can be. But, there’s nothing empirical on either side, I don’t think. It seems to me like we’re arguing over a favorite color, rather than whether, say, the Garden of Eden was a real place. It’s just that, trusting someone is a demonstration of carefulness, for certain values of careful. I’m totally open to persuasion on that point, though. This has been an interesting discussion, and reading the back-and-forth that preceded my comment on the matter has given me a lot to think about. So thank you, all of you who participated.

  129. Paul says

    You know your political party is in trouble when you’re reduced to arguing with an anthropomorphic uterus.

    I wouldn’t say that. We’ve had to argue with dicks for decades.

  130. says

    Okay, we’re back home and have just finished reading our homework. Unfortunately, the news isn’t fabulous. Both Zoe and Carrot have Genetic aganglionic megacolon. Both of their lives will be considerably shortened and we will have to be prepared to euthanize at any given point.

    Right now, Zoe and Carrot are both home and looking considerably thinner. Zoe needed to be sedated, Carrot didn’t. There is a medication which can help, but Zoe and Carrot are so tiny the proper amount of it can’t even be calculated at this point, same with a laxative, so for now, those options are off the table. Both of them will now have to have a special diet and yes, it looks the occasional dreaded enema will also have to take place. We brought home a special enema syringe. Yes, such things exist. For those who are curious, there are images on how to go about administering an enema to a rat on the link I included. What fun! Now I have a shit filled carrier to clean out. *sigh*

  131. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Okay, we’re back home and have just finished reading our homework. Unfortunately, the news isn’t fabulous. Both Zoe and Carrot have Genetic aganglionic megacolon. Both of their lives will be considerably shortened and we will have to be prepared to euthanize at any given point.

    Oh, no! I’m so sorry Caine. That’s terrible. =(

    Poor little ratlets and that’s got to suck for you and mister dealing with it. Hugs for you guys and scratches for the ratlets.

  132. Pteryxx says

    Aw, sorry for you and Zoe and Carrot, Caine. At least you caught it and can still give them good lives for a while. (which kinda is the point anyway…)

  133. cicely says

    @Caine: Oh, no! I’m so sorry about Zoe and Carrot. *hugs* for you, and *scritches* for the poor ratlets.
    -

  134. says

    Thank you all. ♥ I feel absolutely terrible for ImaginesABeach, her GirlChild and Tethys. I hate being the bearer of bad news, but we will do our absolute best to see that they can have happy lives which last as long as possible. I will take many more pictures and paint many portraits.

  135. thunk, sour grape says

    JAL:

    Well, today officially blows. Just found out Monday is picture day and we don’t have money for the pictures. =(

    I can also see on the form that we can upgrade to basic retouching or for $12 go up to premium retouching. Basic removes blemishes and premium retouching whitens teeth, evens skin tone, removes blemishes, scars and flyaway hair. Both examples of retouches are middle school girls. *sigh*

    Yes, that’s horrible. I’m so used to never thinking about these sorts of things, and you always pop my privilege bubble. My sympathies.

  136. says

    Oh no! Poor Zoe and Carrot! I am glad they will have you looking out for their little hind ends. I’ve helped to manage cats with megacolon. It’s… not glamorous, but it’s the sort of thing you don’t mind doing for those you love.

    Scritch their front ends for me?
    And whisker tickles to Percival.

  137. Rey Fox says

    Audley:

    *Dude I fired a couple of weeeks back, actually.

    :D

    Hey hey! My rash is already fading!

    Lucky you. I have bedbug bites from three months ago that are still visible.

    Pteryxx:

    Chainsaw-wielding topless woman cuts down a crucifix in Kiev

    I think those are the ten most awesome words I have ever read. Also, I think I have a new crush now.

     

    Although that is…kinda dangerous. At least she had safety goggles on.

  138. says

    It’s just that, trusting someone is a demonstration of carefulness

    to be perfectly honest, I don’t understand how that even makes sense. either you’re being careful, or you’re choosing to trust someone. I suppose you can be careful about whom you choose to trust, but almost by definition, trust is letting yourself be less careful.

  139. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Oh, Caine, so sorry about the ratlets. You’re an unbelievably dedicated RatMommy.

  140. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Tony:

    Or maybe it would just be easier to baste it with the puree towards the end of the cooking …

    This is what I went with. I used the small squash for the puree (used 3-4 cloves of garlic instead of the red pepper) and basted the roast a couple times during the last half-hour or so, and then once more right before pulling it out of the oven. Used the larger one with potatoes and onion to make mini-fritters from Josh’s recipe to serve with the pork slices. Added to family contributions of garden salad, wild rice pilaf, 5-cheese macaroni, and cranberry-orange relish, it went over very well and I got quite a few compliments. Many thanks!

    Now, to finish the laundry and get some packing done. Just over 24 hours until I’m outta here.

    Giliell:

    Please no punishments. Consequences.

    The word bugged me when I wrote it because of the connotations, but I couldn’t get the right one to come to the forefront and finally gave up. Consequences is indeed what I meant.

    Caine:
    I’m so sorry about Zoe and Carrot, but glad they have you to care for them.

  141. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’d like a Horde-pinion from Android phone users. I’m bouts to get my first smart phone and ditch the land line. Went browsing at the Verizon store today. For the money, and for my use, I’m debating between the Galaxy Nexus and the Droid Razr. I liked the feel and layout of the Nexus just a bit better.

    Both are going for $100 right now. I’m open to other suggestions too.

    I won’t be doing much video on the phone. Mainly txting, email, Twitter, and surfing. Also, I’d only be using it when I weren’t at home or work. . . both have WiFi and I have a tablet. So, traveling, yeah, I’ll do some txting and checking mail, but I’m not gonna be on the phone every bloody minute.

    Thanks in advance.

  142. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Socio-gen, that sounds like a great meal!

    Veggie fritters are highly adaptable and good to have in your repertoire. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been able to clean out the odds and ends from the vegetable drawer in the fridge with this technique. And they always taste good.

  143. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Josh:

    Does destructibility of the phone factor into your decision to speak of? If so, I highly recommend the Casio GZone Commando.

    Otherwise, I have no particular preference for or familiarity with either of those options.

  144. insipidmoniker says

    Josh,

    I have a slight personal preference for the Razr Maxx (awful name) due to much better battery life and water resistance. Not sure how much those matter to you.

  145. says

    Caine, I’m so sorry to hear about Zoe and Carrot.

    PatrickG:

    The American Bible Challenge

    How challenging it is to wipe yourself with one depends on the absorbency and thickness of the pages. Get one of those onionskin jobs and you can find yourself in, uh, deep shit.

    Pteryxx, the Avenging Uterus’s pic reminds me of this icon belonging to a friend of mine who deals frequently with menstrual pain.

    Paul:

    We’ve had to argue with dicks for decades.

    Gendered slur or no, that reminds me of Molly Ivins reporting that, after the homophobes in the Texas “Lege” were backslapping and high-fiving each other in the wake of “anti-sodomy” legislation being passed, the bailiff immediately slapped the cuffs on them because “it’s now illegal in this state for a prick to touch an asshole.”

  146. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    Caine, I’m so sorry to hear about the ratlets. headscritches for them.

    Josh, I have a Motarola Bravo, and I’m liking it. Does everything that I want with minimal problems.

  147. ImaginesABeach says

    Caine – I’m sorry about Zoe and Carrot. GirlChild and I shared a few tears – is it weird that we are so sad about a rat we’ve never actually met?

  148. lexie says

    Oh no :(. Caine I’m so sorry about Zoe and Carrot. Hopefully you can manage their condition. You are an awesome pet owner though.

    Beatrice, my two nephews love the colour pink, needless to say when they started going to school they got teased about it and now pretend not to like it in public, stupid societal conventions they should be able to like which ever colours they want.

  149. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Between the AvengingUterus, topless crucifix chain sawing Russians and the questionable lab decisions with free roaming primates, Mrs. BDC just told me to take an Ativan.

  150. says

    ImaginesABeach:

    GirlChild and I shared a few tears – is it weird that we are so sad about a rat we’ve never actually met?

    No, it’s not weird at all. Please tell GirlChild how very sorry I am. I’ll do right by Zoe, always. I’ll get on that portrait this weekend, too. I have a very cool set-up for it, I’ll send pics via email once it’s done. ♥

    Thank you all, so very much. ♥ ♥ ♥

    Zoe & Carrot both ate peas tonight and drank well, so they are doing good. Zoe is still, um, quite leaky, which is good! So all is well for now.

  151. broboxley OT says

    oh noes! the local store has 50mm bushmills on sale at 99 cents!
    second day on new job. neat stuff, neat people,

    Caine sorry about the ratlings. My girls (cant call them R_A_T_S because of a blind boston bulldog who thinks that word evokes hysterical attempts to get new food supply) dont like spaghetti, WTF I thought it would be a natural for them. Weird because the albino giant blind rat loved the spag

    I has a question, they sell stuff hereabouts something called deer corn. Ingredients say dried corn at $8 for a 20lb bag and girl food is about $3 a pound. To me that is a natural food supplemented with white bread(they dont like wheat) and rice (we eat rice daily) and veggies left over. They do like corn and love dried corn stalks. Is that an okay diet?

  152. Oenotrian says

    I’m so sorry, Caine. :-(

    Josh, we picked up a Samsung Galaxy Nexus from Verizon that was free with a new contract. It seems like a really nice phone. (I’m not using it, but the family member who is has had no complaints.)

  153. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    Things I have actually said (on FB) today: “In other news, pi equals 3, the world is flat, and five is purple.”

    *nods sagely*

  154. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    Fuckital, being short on sleep (and not being allowed to go to bed) plus reading TVTropes produces feelings of drunkenness.

  155. says

    I have a Samsung Galaxy II. I find the fact that you need to swipe your finger across the screen to answer a phone call clumsy, and it will not for the love of god connect to my work’s wireless network, when my laptop and tablet do so without any issue. Also, when you make a call and have to dial additional numbers from a menu, the screen goes dark all the time, and the keypad is not by default active, you need to click another icon to bring it up.

  156. PatrickG says

    @ Ms Daisy Cutter: Ha! Well played, well played. Though, really, can’t we raise funds for a CampQuest type thing by going on that show? We’d need some sort of dummy corporation (I suggest People for Actual Christian Values), but people here know the bible front to back, left to right, and upside down. There’s money in it! ;)

    Six years of Catholic school better get me something!

    @ Caine: I refuse to think about your rats*, because I’m currently an absentia parent to my chinchilla. Moving a rodent from California to Kentucky seemed much ruder than leaving him with her grandparents (who spoil her ridiculously).

    * That said…. :(

  157. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Esteleth

    “In other news, pi equals 3, the world is flat, and five is purple.”

    *nods sagely*

    Maybe I’m reading too much Pratchett lately but I totally read that by the witches. First, Granny, then Nanny and finally Agnes(& Perdita) all said it very sarcastically in different ways. Magrat was left out unfortunately.

    In related news, I just finished reading Carpe Jugulum.

  158. says

    almost by definition, trust is letting yourself be less careful.

    I totally see where you’re coming from, in that they’re called “trust falls” for a reason. But that “almost” in there is really where we have room for disagreement. And this is coming from someone with huge trust-caution; I feel somebody out for quite a while before I trust them. So maybe that’s coloring my idea of what “trusting” is.

    Josh, re: phones. I haven’t used either of those models, but I do like the android system generally. I have a Droid 2 and it has survived much physical abuse and has several nifty functions. Do get google voice if you get a phone that is compatible.

  159. ibyea says

    @Anne
    I wish my modern physics class could have taught me the matrix method of QM, instead of just the PDE.

  160. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I have an Android tablet, so I’m familiar and conversant with the operating system. As soon as I get my phone Ima get rid of the bullshit on it and get real apps.

    Lest anyone think I’m being extravagant (which would tarnish my frugal Yankee image), the phone is a combination work/personal phone. And, both models are on sale for $100 US. My work has provided me a cell phone all along to answer work calls and for travel. But I end up using it far more than my land line, which is now getting ditched. So the phone’s going over into my name and work will pay me a pro-rated amount toward work-related use. I’ll pay the rest. In the end both work and I will come out even or a few dollars cheaper, and I’ll have access to necessary emails and such much quicker on work trips.

  161. PatrickG says

    @ Josh: My Droid2 has suffered the worst possible abuse, and despite the fact that I can no longer read the screen without squinting (due to the abuse… don’t ask), it works like a charm.

    Can’t speak to the choice you’re making re: models, but … damn, this phone has taken a flushin’.

  162. says

    ibyea,

    Sadly I think any class which calls itself “modern physics” is probably too broad in scope to really do quantum mechanics right, unless it’s a full-year course with at least one semester devoted to QM. You really need a good bit of time with QM to get a decent feel for it, because your everyday intuition needs to be reshaped substantially. A lot of physics is like that, which is why people who aren’t physicists get so mystical about it. But if you are able to put in the time to get comfortable with it, it is totally worth it. It completely reshapes the way you look at the world.

  163. says

    Broboxley:

    They do like corn and love dried corn stalks. Is that an okay diet?

    No, it isn’t. Actually, you should limit the amount of corn your girls eat, they’ll get much too fat on it and it doesn’t provide all the nutrition they need. I recommend Reggie Rat Food. It’s expensive, but it’s an excellent mix. Any dry food mix should be supplemented with fresh salad greens, various vegetables (peas, carrots, sweet potato, etc.) and fresh fruit.

    Lab blocks are often recommended, but I’ve never had a rat who would eat the things, so I avoid those. You can do some reading on a good rat diet here: http://ratguide.com/care/nutrition/diet.php

  164. says

    My fire department got a new quint (I’m a volunteer) and I climbed to the top of the fully extended ladder tonight. I managed not to throw up. It was so cool.

    Thunk:

    Martian triangle.

    Somehow, my knowledge that you’re a Chicagoan made me read that as Viagra triangle.

  165. ibyea says

    @Anne
    Well, most of the modern physics stuff, I knew, so reshaping my intuition wasn’t that hard. It was the mathematics that I didn’t know, which I learned. But yeah, it was broad. It was special relativity+QM. But what I did learn was amazing. Especially solving the Schrodinger PDE for hydrogen, due to its connection to chemistry and at the cleverness of the people who solved it.

  166. says

    @Dianne #34
    Outcomes in a lot of areas are better in Europe than the U.S., which I can ascertain from publiclay available records. I’m assuming that you have more detailed and specific analyses, but I don’t know if they’ll be that much more convincing to the people who are ideologically opposed to single payer. AFAICT, it is an entirely ideological position, as well. The Americans I know who don’t have an ideological opposition to it do understand that it produces better outcomes for less money, and would like to see it implemented here. The others hate the idea because of some combination of ‘gubmint is evil,’ ‘I don’t want brown people getting healthcare on my dime’ and ‘but then the government is put in the position of GOD, and we can’t have that’. I have never has a productive discussion with anyone who brings up one of t hese tacks in discussion. When I point out that Europe gets better outcomes for less money, I get either a ringing silence after which they’ll repeat the same lies about the evils of socialized medicine elsewhere, or else a claim that it only works there because of the ‘ethnic homogeneity’ of the European countries. (seriously, people say that).

  167. Lyn M: Necrodunker of death, nothing but net says

    @Josh

    I’d like a Horde-pinion from Android phone users.

    Jumps up and down waving a hand. Pick me!

    I’ve had an Android phone for the past 3 years, and a Razr before that. I think the Nexis is probably going to give you a better Android experience. It’s already on Jelly Bean, for example, whereas my HTC One X is still on Ice Cream Sandwich. (Up-grade due soon, I read.)

    For what you want, the Nexis sounds fine. I like Motorola quite a bit, but other Android phones are ripping past them right now. As Google gets into the mix more, that should change. Nexis is it, I think.

    I really like the hardware on the HTC One X, quad core, 1 GB ram, only 32 GB memory, but I pay more attention to what I slap onto it now. Last phone had 64 GB and I never filled it even half way, so it’s not a big deal. I think 32 GB is OK, unless you want to watch movies on the phone. Each to his own.

    I also find some of the apps to be super useful. I really recommend Kingsoft Office. You can actually compose documents on the phone and then email them. You can edit docs, too. It’s free and should run on any Android phone that’s Gingerbread and later.

    If I could be of help in terms of identifying great free apps, let me know. I can even email them to you if you have any trouble finding them on the Google Play Store. I really like Android and would enjoy being of assistance if you wanted. lyn.m.of.death at gmail.

  168. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Thanks Lyn! The votes from people I trust are in favor of the Nexus. Whoo-hoo!

  169. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Tonight’s menu (you know I cook to soothe myself the way some people play cards or do needle point):

    Scratch-made pasta from white whole wheat flour. Cut into spaghettini and fettucine, with lots left over to freeze.

    Asian-ish cold noodles with:
    Mock duck (seitan) hot-fried in an iron skillet ’til crisp
    sesame oil
    cayenne pepper
    fish sauce
    rice wine vinegar
    cilantro
    shoyu
    a Shit Ton™ of garlic and spring onions
    a Shit Ton™ of dark, leafy greens briefly sauteed with the mock duck
    toasted sesame seeds

    Served with:

    a bowl and chop sticks.

  170. Lyn M: Necrodunker of death, nothing but net says

    Josh

    Sounds a lot like the duck noodle pot served here. You take much the same ingredients, but they use actual roasted duck, added on top of the green vegetables (baby bok choy, spinach, shredded carrots, mushrooms) with the noodles on the bottom. The broth is duck soup. You heat the whole thing up in a chafing dish and when the soup is piping hot, you eat it.

    Duck fat is omega three type, so it should be OK for you Josh. The spices are to be found in tiny little teapots filled with various things including red coloured hot sauce, chilies or finely minced garlic. It was pretty damned good. Your recipe reminds me of it.

  171. StevoR says

    @ theophontes (坏蛋)or at least I’m pretty sure it was – the person who recomended I read ‘iran* Empire of the mind’ by Michael Axworthy on another old thread – may be interested to know that I visited my local library today and have actually been able to borrow a copy. I’ll start reading it later tonight / this morning. May take me a while to get through it, will depend on how much reading time I can find.

    Y’all may also be interested to know that whilst I was there I’ve also borrowed Robert Baer’s ‘The Devil We Know : Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower’ (Scribe, 2009) and Benazhir Butto’s Reconcilaition, Islam, Democracy and the West’ written by that former Pakistani PM and apparently finished just days before her assassination. Hopefully I’ll get enough time to read those too.

    * Non-capitalised that way on the cover, I kid you not.

  172. Beatrice says

    Good morning everyone.

    JAL:

    Well, today officially blows. Just found out Monday is picture day and we don’t have money for the pictures. =(

    I’m sorry. :(

    I can also see on the form that we can upgrade to basic retouching or for $12 go up to premium retouching. Basic removes blemishes and premium retouching whitens teeth, evens skin tone, removes blemishes, scars and flyaway hair. Both examples of retouches are middle school girls. *sigh*

    … this completely blows my mind.

    ————

    Caine,

    That sucks for you and the ratlets. I’m sorry.

    ———–

  173. blf says

    Quotemining portia:

    I’m a volunteer… I climbed to the top of the fully extended ladder tonight. I managed not to [be thrown off].

    Groovy! When will you be the sacrifice? Are you thrown into anything special, like a volcano or a braying horde of republicans?

  174. says

    ibyea, yeah, even getting a shorter taste of QM is worthwhile, and I’m glad they at least had you work with the Schroedinger equation somewhat. That’s well beyond the scope of your average “modern physics” class, in my experience. The ones I’ve seen tend to assume that students have very limited mathematical capabilities, and so they’re so handwavy as to be almost useless. So it’s good to know that more useful courses can fall under that heading too.

  175. KG says

    Y’all may also be interested to know that whilst I was there I’ve also borrowed Robert Baer’s ‘The Devil We Know : Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower’ (Scribe, 2009) – StevoR

    Well even the title gives reason to think this book is a load of crap, because by no possible criterion is Iran a superpower, nor will it be one in the forseeable future.

  176. Louis says

    Caine,

    Och, sorry to read that about Zoe and Carrot. That’s a bit of a nightmare. If Vasco needs to step up to Double Virtual Ownership at any point, I am sure he can cope with it. I have decided he is a rat with very broad shoulders.

    Louis

  177. says

    HI there
    Fuck
    The only thing worse than waking up with a throbbing headache?
    To notice when the flashes in front of your eyes vanish and your vision comes back that you forgot to set your alarm clock. And your organic alarm clocks have slept a generous two hours longer than usually because it was the first bearable night in days. And of course this does not happen any ordinary day when all she’d miss in kindergarten is breakfast, no, this happens when they want to visit the zoo and has to be there early.
    I think I set a new record: opening eyes to arival: 25 minutes.

    Caine
    Oh no, I’m so sorry. You’re really incredibly dedicated and I’m sure that Zoe and Carrot couldn’t be in better hands.

    Jadehawk
    I think part of the disagreement comes from the word careless and its common implications and connotations: People who are careless have nobody else to blame if bad things happen to them. They totally deserve what happens to them.
    That’s not the same as running a higher risk. Yes, if you run a higher risk you’re not as safe as somebody who runs a lower risk. But that doesn’t mean you are at fault if somebody decides to abuse your “safety hole” or an accident happens.
    And yes, you can be careful in where and when to place your trust.

    JAL
    Uhm, that’s so sad, I know how precious those memories are. And the retouching is just sick.

  178. Louis says

    Josh,

    That sounds delicious. I has an envy.

    I’m on Kitchen Duty tonight when I get home (erm…that would be like every night!) but I’m doing a cook off to make stuff for the week. I’m making a Moroccan Lamb dish (like a tagine, but with a personal twist), fasolia (a Cypriot bean dish, very healthy and filling, I’ll post a recipe later for you if you like), pollock and haddock fish cakes with home made tartare sauce (The Boy needs some fish in him) and boring old tuna pasta bake (easy, cheap, fast). That should keep everyone healthy for a few days!

    Louis

  179. Louis says

    Aside:

    Ibyea and Anne C. Hanna, I am loving the conversation about QM. Takes me back to my undergrad days. Even though I’m a chemist we got a thorough grounding in QM as one of our senior profs was a big name in phys chem/chem phys QM. He retired just after he taught us final year (UK) QM, so we got lucky!

    Buggered if I could do the maths nowadays without a two week run up though!

    Louis

  180. Louis says

    JAL,

    Quite apart from the money worries you have, which you know you have my unending sympathy for, retouching school photos? That’s…

    …not very nice now is it?*

    Louis

    * This understatement has been brought to you by Understatements R Us. The number 69 and the letter Q.

  181. birgerjohansson says

    I need a Horde-pinion on Hotmail borking. When I logged in on my account I found I couldn’t delete posts. When I logged out and logged in again nothing works, I just see the hourglass working.
    Has anyone else had similar Hotmail experiences?
    — — — — —
    The Onion: Arizona Heatwave Forces Temporary Suspension Of Racial Profiling http://www.theonion.com/video/onion-weather-center-arizona-heatwave-forces-tempo,29247/
    — — — — —
    Alzheimer’s cure may be a matter of size http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-08-alzheimer-size.html
    — — — — —
    Would-Be Heroes Restrain Victim, Let Female Robber Get Away http://www.newser.com/story/152530/would-be-heroes-restrain-victim.html
    — — — — —
    Georgia Prisons ‘Out of Control’ With Inmate Killings, Guard Brutality, Rights Group Says http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/georgia-prisons-guard-brutality-killings_n_1820145.html
    — — — — —
    Tragic End For Nurse Who Helped After Aurora Shooting http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/20/jennifer-gallagher-aurora-nurse-dies-iowa_n_1813256.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

  182. says

    When I logged in on my account I found I couldn’t delete posts. When I logged out and logged in again nothing works, I just see the hourglass working.
    Has anyone else had similar Hotmail experiences?

    Hotmail is being phased out currently. It will be succeeded by Microsoft Outlook. I’ve already secured a couple of vital email addy’s with .outlook.com instead of .hotmail.com endings, because there will be no automatic transition.
    Not saying that’s what caused your problem.

  183. birgerjohansson says

    Thank you Rorschach
    — — — —
    Aggressive carnivores terrorizing the southern provinces of Sweden: http://www.thelocal.se/42684/20120817/
    -Here in the north, it is mostly bears rather than canids.
    — — — — —
    New hope for trauma sufferers with addictions http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-08-trauma-addictions.html
    — — — — —
    Continuous oral contraceptive pills offer women earlier pain relief http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-08-oral-contraceptive-pills-women-earlier.html
    — — — — —
    Deep brain stimulation powerful in treating Tourette’s http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-08-deep-brain-powerful-tourette.html

  184. opposablethumbs says

    Oww, Caine! So … no additional ratlets, but lots of additional care for poor Zoe and Carrot. They’re lucky to have such a wonderful rat-carer. I’m so sorry to hear it, though:(

    And I forgot to congratulate Esteleth on coming up to the 5-year mark! Argh, how could I? HUGE congratulations and confetti to Esteleth!!!!!

    Christ. I’m 38 years old. That’s it. Night.

    Josh, my memory is for shit so I am rubbish at keeping track of anything – but did you just say you completed another circumnavigation of the local star? If so, plz to accept this champagne and large bunch of flowers via USB. If I misunderstood, plz to accept this opportunity to quirk a smile at my confusion (you can keep the flowers anyway, if you like).

    JAL, that’s shitty about the photos. I always kind of resent the school photo thing because they mostly make the kids look … less than their usual selves, AND there’s a lot of pressure on you to come up with the money. A retouching service on kids school photos is, well it’s gross.

  185. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    Arglebarglebargleybargle.

    I have always wondered why when you’re tired you get that itchy feeling behind your eyes?

    Or is that just me?

    In any case, I was in the lab at 1 am, back at 7 am. Will be at work until (best case scenario) 10 pm.

    And now, the first of two back-to-back staff meetings. \o/

  186. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    topless crucifix chain sawing Russians Ukranians

    pretty sure Kiev hasn’t been part of Russia for a long while

    better?

  187. blf says

    topless crucifix chain sawing Ukranians


    better?

    What is topless cruifix? And why is it chainsawing some people?

    A rather confused remake of a notorious slasher movie (The Ukranian Chain Saw Stripper)?

  188. Louis says

    My lunchtime reading reveals that naked photos of Prince Harry in Las Vegas have been published. It’s on the BBC website, it’s not like I have a google alert for naked royal gingers or anything.

    Now I am not typing the relevant search terms into google to sate my incredibly sceptical doubts about a member of the royal family even being capable of actual nudity, let alone nudity in the presence of a camera, but if true I have but one thing to say:

    Good on you, Your Highness. Bless you and all who sail in you. Hurrah and give them one from me!

    Louis

  189. birgerjohansson says

    These are the worst threats you have to worry about if you are living in Northern/Western Europe (unless you live in Ireland or Britain, in which case you might be eaten by other starving homeless people)
    .
    You keep killing them, but they just keep coming! The mollusc analogue to zombies coming for your gardens: http://www.thelocal.se/gallery/2546/1/
    -Small, badass motherfucker! http://www.thelocal.se/gallery/2546/7/
    Hairier Peter Griffin: Dumb, but mostly harmless: http://www.thelocal.se/gallery/2546/9/
    King of the forest! http://www.thelocal.se/gallery/2546/10/

  190. blf says

    I just had what, empirically, looks like an surprising example of Benford’s law. It was surprising because I didn’t think the law would apply as the data was not base-10 (it was hexadecimal (base-16), albeit all the other criteria when it typically applies is true (as far as I know). Apparently, there is a generalization of the law for non–base-10 numbers.

    I don’t know if the (generalized) law really applies or not because the data-set I was using was too small, but in the small sample, it was obvious there was a profound tendency for the leading digit to be distributed in a manner which suggests the law does apply.

    The data-set was nothing more than SHA-1 hash values.

    SHA-1 is a checksum algorithm which was designed to be, and used to considered, cryptographically robust. Weaknesses are now suspected, and hence it’s being obsoleted in applications which need to be cryptographically-strong. It has not(?) yet been broken in any practical sense. It is still used (and will probably continue to be) for a variety of non-cryptographic purposes, including the data I was working with.

    I’m not sure if I’m surprised or not Benford’s Law may apply to what was considered a cryptographically robust algorithm?

  191. says

    Journalist Jackie Calmes, writing in The New York Times, takes a look a Romney’s puzzling approach to the Medicare issue. We all know Romney is vowing to restore the $716 billion he claims Obama “robbed” from Medicare. He even wrote it down on a white board.

    The fact that there was no “robbing” done, and the fact that Romney’s repeal of the Obama savings would actually cost seniors money — well, somehow RMoney, famous business man, just doesn’t get it.

    …Henry J. Aaron, an economist and a longtime health policy analyst at the Brookings Institution and the Institute of Medicine, called Mr. Romney’s vow to repeal the savings “both puzzling and bogus at the same time.”

    Marilyn Moon, vice president and director of the health program at the American Institutes for Research, calculated that restoring the $716 billion in Medicare savings would increase premiums and co-payments for beneficiaries by $342 a year on average over the next decade; in 2022, the average increase would be $577.

    Beneficiaries, through their premiums and co-payments, share the cost of Medicare with the government. If Medicare’s costs increase — for instance, by raising payments to health care providers — so, too, do beneficiaries’ contributions.

    And those costs would be on top of the costs involved with a full repeal of the health care law, which would eliminate expanded coverage of prescription drugs, free wellness care and preventive checkups.

    “One can only wonder what’s going on inside their headquarters in Boston and among their policy people,” said John McDonough, the director of the Center for Public Health Leadership at Harvard. “But there are only two explanations: Either they don’t understand how the program works, which is hard to imagine, or there is some deliberate misrepresentation here because they know how politically potent this charge is.” [My vote is for both.]

    “The idea that restoring funding to Medicare could somehow hasten its bankruptcy is on its face absurd,” said Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for the Romney campaign. She added, “Governor Romney’s plan is to repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered reforms that control cost throughout the health care system and extend the solvency of Medicare.” [See, total lack of understanding, plus meaningless meme.]

    What Mr. Romney proposes to restore to Medicare, however, is not money but additional costs, for higher payments to hospitals, insurers and other care providers. Lobbying groups representing some care providers accepted those reductions during the health care debate, and in exchange they got the law’s mandate for nearly all individuals to have insurance, which meant that providers and insurers would have millions of new paying patients and policyholders….

    There’s additional info on page two of the article pertaining to Medicare Advantage. This was a “let’s introduce competition in the private market to reduce costs” scheme. It failed. There are some systems, (education, prisons, healthcare), where this marketplace competition model simply fails.

    Medicare Advantage …, has consistently cost more than standard Medicare — costs that Medicare beneficiaries must help subsidize through their premiums.

    “The bottom line,” said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee, which Mr. Ryan leads, “is that Romney is proposing to take more money from seniors in higher premiums and co-pays and hand it over to private insurance companies and other providers in the Medicare system.”

    Romneyhood.

  192. dianne says

    it’s not like I have a google alert for naked royal gingers or anything.

    Of course not.

  193. says

    There are now five Romney-approved ads telling his welfare lie. Obama did not gut the work requirements in the welfare-reform measure. Several Governors, mostly Republicans, requested some flexibility in administering welfare programs and Obama complied, specifying that the work requirement must not be weakened. States have to actually prove that their modified approach(es) puts more people back into the work force, not less.

    “I’ve been looking for a week-and-a-half to try to figure out the basis of this welfare reform ad,” [Joe] Scarborough said, concluding that that the attack is “just completely false, and I’m pretty stunned.” [See “morning joe” show]

    The Associated Press this morning ran a news piece on the racially-charged smear, calling the attack “factually inaccurate,” noting the campaign can’t “back up” the attack, and explaining that Romney is “distorting the facts.”

    But Romney just doesn’t give a damn. He’s put out five videos repeating the attack — three for broadcast, two for the web — in just two weeks, and his campaign repeated the same obvious falsehood again this morning, effectively taunting reality. “Yep, I’m deliberately and repeatedly lying to the public,” Romney seems to be saying . “What are you going to do about it?”

    As we discussed yesterday, Romney is testing American politics, pushing past boundaries and traditional norms, raising uncomfortable questions about just what kind of man he really is.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/08/22/13413612-its-just-completely-false-and-im-pretty-stunned

  194. says

    E,
    Ugh, I hate the itchy behind the eyes feeling. I’ve got it right now, but it’s only my left eye. :-/

    I got four hours of sleep last night. The only reason why I showed up to work this morning is ‘cos I’ve gotta train two guys and I had a fleet vehicle that had a brake pad fall out yesterday afternoon. In other words, I’ve gotta get some shit done. I am so out of here at 1 o’clock.

  195. says

    So, from Bryan Fischer’s point of view, Todd Akin is the victim of rape.

    Bryan Fischer, a conservative radio host and an official with the American Family Association, compared Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), to a rape victim Tuesday, after Akin’s controversial comments about “legitimate rape” prompted a wave of outrage toward the Missouri Senate candidate.

    “You talk about a forcible situation, you talk about somebody being a victim of forcible assault, that would be Todd Akin,” Fischer said.

    video and story

  196. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    Audley:

    I am so out of here at 1 o’clock.

    I’m working a 15 hour day today. >:(

  197. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    If fucking Todd Fucking Akin is a motherfucking rape victim, the meaning of rape is fucking meaningless.

    Which is what those inhumane shitstains want.

  198. says

    To add to the charming tales of toddlers cussin’ and swearin’ — my precocious girl child was also very polite as a toddler. She would say, “Thank you,” at every opportunity. Trouble was, she could not produce the “th” sound. Every “thank you” came out sounding like “fuck you.”

  199. blf says

    [[T]he meaning of rape is fucking meaningless] is what those inhumane shitstains want.

    Unless, of course, someone else does it to the barefoot baby-making unit kept in the kitchen.

  200. says

    OMFG, Republicans are doubling down on their misrepresentation (otherwise known as a “lie”) of Obama’s “you didn’t build that” quote.

    Steve Benen, writing for The Maddow Blog has a great take on this.

    I wish reasonable people, regardless of their ideology or partisan affiliations, could agree that building a campaign around a misleading, out-of-context quote is just sad.

    [quoting from The Hill, Blog Briefing Room] Republican organizers have announced “We Built It” as the theme for the second day of the party’s national convention, hoping to capitalize on a controversial remark by President Obama about the role he feels government has in helping businesses succeed.

    Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in a statement the convention proceedings on Aug. 28 “will honor the fact that it is the drive, determination and sacrifice of America’s job creators and millions of hard-working American men and women who made the United States the exceptional nation it is.”

    Instead of pointing out, once again, that the president didn’t say what he’s accused of saying, let’s consider a slightly different angle.

    Republicans will celebrate “We Built It” at next week’s convention at a lovely arena called the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Who built that? Well, as it turns out, the facility cost $139 million, 62% of which was financed by taxpayers. A Marquette University study found that the facility “was financed by $66.8 million in revenue bonds from the stadium authority [and] $28.8 million in revenue bonds from the state,” while private sources funded roughly a third of the costs.

    In other words, Republicans hope to embarrass President Obama, who said public institutions and government investments help create a society in which the private sector thrives, and they’ll prove their point by exclaiming “We Built It” in an arena largely financed by taxpayers.

  201. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Just under 10 hours until I’m westward bound. YAY! I still have a few things left to pack, snacks to pick up, and some goodbye rounds to make, and then a 2-hr trip to meet the train.

    Josh: It was fantastic! I almost wish people hadn’t enjoyed dinner as much as they did because I had no leftovers to snack on. :)

    portia:
    Congrats to the fire department on its new piece of apparatus, and congrats to you for making the climb successfully!

    Louis:
    There are worse royals who could have been running around Vegas naked.

    Beatrice:
    Good luck staying cool!

    Lynna:
    I hatehatehate these people. They truly have not a single molecule of compassion or decency or even humanity.

  202. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Sorry, E. I gotta admit that one of the fringe benefits to being preggers is being able to say “I gotta go” and no one questions you.

    Does that work for leaving work or going to the bathroom?

  203. says

    National Review on why women should vote for Mittens: evo-psych!

    A deputy editor for the conservative National Review magazine has come to the sexist conclusion that “Mitt Romney should get 100 percent of the female vote” because his wealth makes him superior to Barack Obama, “[f]rom an evolutionary point of view.”

    “The conventional biological wisdom is that men select mates for fertility, while women select for status — thus the commonness of younger women’s pairing with well-established older men but the rarity of the converse,” Kevin Williamson wrote in the Aug. 27 issue of the magazine. “Age is cruel to women, and subordination is cruel to men.”

    “You want off-the-charts status? Check out the curriculum vitae of one Willard M. Romney: $200 million in the bank (and a hell of a lot more if he didn’t give so much away), apex alpha executive, CEO, chairman of the board, governor, bishop, boss of everything he’s ever touched,” he continued, noting that “high-status animals” like Romney tend to have more male offspring.

    “Professor Obama? Two daughters. May as well give the guy a cardigan. And fallopian tubes,” Williamson asserted.

  204. cicely says

    I have always wondered why when you’re tired you get that itchy feeling behind your eyes?
    Or is that just me?

    Nope. In fact, mine are doing that right now.
    *yaaaaaaaawn*
    -

  205. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    From the same scum who saw star-bursts when Palin “winked” at them.

    *vomit*

  206. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Yes, it’s my birfday. I’m taking the day off work. I think I’ll eat something prepared by someone else in exchange for money.

  207. Nakkustoppeli says

    Caine, I’m sorry about Zoe and Carrot. All the strength to You and the ratties! You opened my eyes to rats!

    This “You didn’t build that!” and “We built it!” thing gets this song playing in my head:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eih67rlGNhU

    It’s fucking wrong that the song is still relevant today.

  208. Beatrice says

    commondescentsee mentioned an article in Nature titled Sometimes science must give way to religion.

    I’m not done reading it, but I had to interrupt the reading to blabber about it. Here’s the article: link

  209. says

    Louis:

    If Vasco needs to step up to Double Virtual Ownership at any point, I am sure he can cope with it. I have decided he is a rat with very broad shoulders.

    That’s very sweet of you and you aren’t wrong about Vasco. He does have broad shoulders. And Big Balls! that he is determined to use. He’s one horny dude, keeps trying to fuck Auntie Rubin and keeps getting beaten up.

    Giliell:

    Oh no, I’m so sorry. You’re really incredibly dedicated and I’m sure that Zoe and Carrot couldn’t be in better hands.

    Thank you, Giliell and thanks to everyone else. ♥

    We’ll be off to town again in a little while, this time to shop for special diet stuff, things like baby food, baby cereal, soy milk, special veg (Zoe & Carrot will need cooked carrots, sweet potatoes and extra-buttery mashed potatoes every day), fruits, etc.

    Josh, Happy Birthday! Christ, I’m 54 years old with less than 4 months to go to 55!

  210. Beatrice says

    That article I mentioned in #290 has an astounding amount of bullshit per paragraph.

    I hope PZ makes a post out of tearing it apart. That should be fun.

  211. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter, I know. I should have made clear that the scum is the National Review.

  212. Louis says

    Caine,

    And Big Balls! that he is determined to use. He’s one horny dude, keeps trying to fuck Auntie Rubin and keeps getting beaten up.

    Ok, now I’m confused. Is this the rat or me we are talking about? I am having a rat/Louis mindmeld life overlap swimmy feeling of deja vu type thing.

    For values of “Auntie Rubin” that include objects both animate and inanimate depending on state of intoxication.

    Louis

    P.S. One of my wife’s cousins in India had a dog called Blackie (it was a black dog…hopefully obviously) that had the biggest set of balls I have ever seen on a mammal. They were unfeasibly large for such a relatively medium sized dog. He was also the top dog of the area, semi-rabid horse sized mastiff type semi-feral dogs used to encroach on his territory and he would never have to fight them. He would briefly wake from an enormous testicle induced slumber, move in the general direction of the other dog, back into mid air in a sort of vague way, kind of nearish the other dog, then wander off showing his massive knackers to the dog and promptly fall back asleep.

    The aforementioned cousin once chided me (in an Indian language because she didn’t speak English) informing me that the dog’s name was “Blackie” and not “Bigballs”. He used to come when I called him though…

    Yet another cousin nearly killed me when, aged seven, he came up to his father and I and innocently asked “Daddy, why is Blackie licking his balls?”. His dad collapsed onto the floor red faced, I followed suit but just managed to gasp out the standard answer: Because he can.

  213. Louis says

    Josh,

    Happy birthday!

    Eat something prepared by someone else in exchange for money? That is a BRILLIANT idea. I reckon you could make money out of that. Patent it immediately. I expect eventually every country will have one of these businesses in them.

    Louis

  214. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    The dermatologist’s office (where I got a script for a WAY expensive cream and no call back when I asked for an older, more affordable drug) that I’ve been to once in my life just texted me. Apparently they “love having me as a patient!!!!” and wish me the bestest birfday evah.

    Inappropriate Faux Personal Friendship-don’t do it.

  215. Pteryxx says

    (Zoe & Carrot will need cooked carrots, sweet potatoes and extra-buttery mashed potatoes every day),

    … and innocently asked “Daddy, why is Blackie licking his balls?”. His dad collapsed onto the floor red faced, I followed suit but just managed to gasp out the standard answer: Because he can.

    …Now I want potatoes. <_<

  216. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    Grumble. Why is it that the Au Bon Pain in the building sells overpriced soup that is so damn tasty?

  217. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    I am so sorry to have led you on…

    I can be a tease sometimes.

  218. says

    Jesus, good news bad news… bad news is, can’t get a title loan on car, with have to try to sell it in the next two weeks to pay the rent I guess. I’m pretty much all out of ideas here.

    Good news is that my wife’s new job starts on September 4th, and they are paying most of the up-front costs(plane ticket, hotel, car) rather than making her pay it and then file for reimbursement later.

  219. opposablethumbs says

    So it is your birthday – I did wonder if I had understood!

    In that case plz definitely keep the champagne and flowers, and there should be some ice-cream cake coming through any moment.

    In other (non)news, I feel less able than usual to cope with shitty news and people spouting misogynist etc. crap today. Think maybe I won’t read ’till tomorrow. :(

  220. says

    ooooohhhhhh

    They’re putting my wife up in a Marriott Residence Inn. Fully equipped kitchen, wifi, free breakfast, someone will clean up after her every day… it will be almost like home!

  221. David Marjanović says

    Not caught up.

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

    Happy birthday, Josh!!!

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

    Don’t click on this link if you’re arachnophobic. Hint: you are arachnophobic; you may just not have known that you were. The thing in the photo is not a spider, it’s not even a solifugid… it’s worse. And in particular, if you’re arachnophobic, don’t read the comments!!!

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

    Evolutionary novelty in a rat with no molars

    Abstract:
    “Rodents are important ecological components of virtually every terrestrial ecosystem. Their success is a result of their gnawing incisors, battery of grinding molars and diastema [ = empty space] that spatially and functionally separates the incisors from the molars. Until now these traits defined [no, diagnosed] all rodents. Here, we describe a new species and genus of shrew-rat from Sulawesi Island, Indonesia[,] that is distinguished from all other rodents by the absence of cheek teeth. Moreover, rather than gnawing incisors, this animal has bicuspid upper incisors, also unique among the more than 2200 species of rodents. Stomach contents from a single specimen suggest that the species consumes only earthworms. We posit that by specializing on soft-bodied prey, this species has had no need to process food by chewing, allowing its dentition to evolve for the sole purpose of procuring food. Thus, the removal of functional constraints, often considered a source of evolutionary innovations, may also lead to the loss of the very same traits that fuelled evolutionary diversification in the past.”

    Later in the paper:

    (i) Ecology The stomach of MZB 35001 was distended by segments of earthworms, each 5–10 mm long. No other contents were found. Paucidentomys probably eats only soft animal tissues and perhaps only earthworms. The incisors probably serve to cut or tear earthworms into segments before they are swallowed. Paucidentomys is probably a terrestrial (i.e. not scansorial or arboreal) earthworm specialist restricted to moist forests above ca 1500 m.”

    Hard to imagine, eh? There’s a great photo of a skull here.

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

    What do they think of Yugoslavia?

    They do have an heir to the throne…

    Oh yes.

    @Caine: Oh, no! I’m so sorry about Zoe and Carrot. *hugs* for you, and *scritches* for the poor ratlets.

    All seconded. ♥ Extra-buttery mashed potatoes for everyone.

    I have always wondered why when you’re tired you get that itchy feeling behind your eyes?

    Behind the eyes??? All I get is my eyes drying out (on the front side of course) from keeping them open without blinking for too long. That can happen when I read from a screen.

    noting that ““high-status animals”” like Romney tend to have more male offspring

    WTF. Bullshitting as they go along. I have no more words.

  222. says

    Good evening

    Josh
    Happy birthday!
    Tell us, is this your Republican-approved birthday-birthday when an import person placed his semen, or just your ordinary birthday when you left the vessel?
    Hope you have a great birthday-dinner

    Joe
    Hmmm, can you talk to your landlord about the rent?
    I mean, no landlord can be interested in evicting a good renter who has troubles paying ONE monthly rent on time.
    Unless they want you out anyway, of course.

    Spent the afternoon at my friend’s. Guess I’m lucky that it’s only my mum who is drinking and not my husband, and that my kid acts out her frustration at this by wetting her bed and not by hitting her sibling in the face with a bicycle…

  223. says

    Drolfe,

    First world problems. We have two cars, and my wife is working out of town for the next 3-6 months, so selling my 11-year old Toyota sucks but it isn’t exactly the end of the world. Our other car is a Mustang, but we can’t do anything with it because we don’t have clear title yet. Two more payments left.

  224. says

    It isn’t just the Ted Nugents and fringe RWA bloggers that are intimating bloodshed.

    Judge Tom Head, a county judge in Lubbock, Texas, announced on a local television station that he would personally join the resistance against a United Nations’ takeover of American sovereignty, which he says will occur if Obama is reelected:

    “[Obama] is going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the UN. Okay, what’s going to happen when that happens? I’m thinking worst case scenario here. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. We’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations. We’re talking Lexington-Concord take up arms and get rid of the guy.
    Now what’s going to happen if we do that, if the public decides to do that? He’s going to send in U.N. troops — with the little blue beanies. I don’t want ‘em in Lubbock County. Okay. So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say ‘you’re not coming in here’. “And the sheriff, I’ve already asked him, I said ‘you gonna back me’ he said, ‘yeah, I’ll back you.’”

    It isn’t the instances of this kind of thing, or even the frequency, that has me convinced we are headed for prolific violence. It is how little outrage that follows.

  225. says

    Audley Z. Darkheart, the joke killer,

    Oh, no, that’s clearly implied in there.

    The only way a Negriod Kenyan Muslim can also be a secularist atheist, who is a socialist marxist communist nazi homosexual while gathering the strength of the U.N. to take over the U.S. is… Jew Magic.

    I thought that was pretty obvious.

    How else do you reasonably think he could do it?

    That you didn’t know this makes me suspect you may be an online payed shill for the Anti-Christ Zionist New World Order against Guns n’ America n’ Freedom n’ God (ACZNWOGNAF for short).

  226. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    That’s some mighty fine herpaderp there tkreacher. I am impressed.

  227. says

    Audley,

    Lizard people?! LOL

    Like God would ever create such an abomination. You atheists and your silly beliefs.

    ****

    Ok, I’ve got to slip out of this role lest I suffer a brain version of “your face might get stuck like that”.

  228. Beatrice says

    I don’t like the look of that bread. I like my bacon accompanied with something worthy of its magnificence.

  229. cicely says

    Beatrice, I agree. That looks like the kind of bread I think of as “aerated wheat paste”.
    -

  230. says

    Socio-gen

    Congrats to the fire department on its new piece of apparatus, and congrats to you for making the climb successfully!

    Thanks! It was pretty fun.

    Louis

    My lunchtime reading reveals that naked photos of Prince Harry in Las Vegas have been published.

    Sorry, Harry, we lied. What happens there goes wherever TeeEmZed takes it.

    Ms. Daisy Cutter

    National Review on why women should vote for Mittens

    I…what? You would think they would have at least included the fact that RMoney has two Harvard degrees to Obama’s one. I mean, if we’re talking status. /gag.

    Beatrice:

    I like my bacon accompanied with something worthy of its magnificence.

    I concur. I usually go with chocolate, given the option. Last Christmas I went on a baking binge to make edible gifts, and I concocted a recipe for Bacon Fudge. I could hardly bear to give it away…

    Happy Birthday, Josh!!

  231. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Louis:

    My lunchtime reading reveals that naked photos of Prince Harry in Las Vegas have been published.

    I learned about this today, driving T to work. According to her, on the sexuality spectrum, she’s 90-95% lesbian so I don’t remember that sometimes she does find men sexually desirable. Case in point: she got excited to learn that nude photos of Prince Harry were published.
    I was driving.
    My first and immediately second impulses:
    -um, no thank you. Prince Harry does nothing for me.
    -WTF?? Followed by a double take. Its jarring to hear her talk about men, because it’s so rare.

  232. says

    No biggie portia. We’ll make it through.

    In the meanwhile, my GREAT GUITAR SELECTION THINGY 2012 is withering on the fucking vine! Get over to my blog, all of you idjits and gits, and vote for your favorite Official SpokeGuitar!

    There will be punch and pie, and prizes too!

  233. Beatrice says

    Giliell,

    I know, but for some reason Firefox decided to delete the previous session quite thoroughly and permanently

  234. says

    portia, part 3 is up now! The rest of you, over to my blog dammit! You don’t have to know anything about guitars, you just have to say “Ooooh, pretty!” and leave a comment!

    Giliell, crowdsourcing guitar shopping is illegal?

  235. says

    Joe
    Ehm no, 175% interest rates

    beatrice
    In that case: Fuck you, FF

    +++++
    I have a question to the biologists:
    I learned that red-green colourblindness is one of those X-chromosomal recessive diseases that men inherit from their phenotypal healthy mothers? Did I miss something, is it just one of those simplified “lies to children”?

  236. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    To my knowledge, that is largely true, Gilliel: most cases of red-green colorblindness have that as a cause.

  237. says

    It’s almost impossible to get budget/financial plan details from Mitt Romeny, but he has spilled a few small beans:

    “So first there are programs I would eliminate. Obamacare being one of them but also various subsidy programs — the Amtrak subsidy, the PBS subsidy, the subsidy for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

    Romney is planning to end subsidies to PBS? He thinks PBS should be a for-profit private entity. Yeah, that’ll work. Cutting it does nothing for the budget.

    PBS chief Paula Kerger:
    “Federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget. Elimination of funding would have almost no impact on the nation’s debt. Yet the loss to the American public would be devastating.”