Comments

  1. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    The reason I am not surprised about the Amherst story?

    Like I said, I went to a college very similar to Amherst that is only a few miles away.

    [TRIGGER WARNING!]

    And that college’s attitude to students with mental illness is to punish them. Flat-out. If there was any sort of mental illness, and it was not controlled to the college’s satisfaction (in practice, this meant that the fact that you had a mental illness was undetectable), you were forbidden from participating in activities, unilaterally banned from certain areas of campus, harassed by the administration, placed on leave, or dismissed. Seriously, my junior year there was an incident where a student became suicidal and climbed on a roof. She was talked down and taken to the hospital. While she was inpatient, the college started proceedings against her for her to be dismissed from the college. On the grounds that she had violated the Honor Code for tampering with and damaging college property.

    Basically, they were accusing her of theft and vandalism for picking the lock on the door to the roof. In the meantime, the student body was deliberately kept in the dark (except for the “climbed on a roof and yelled obscenities at passerby” part, which was gleefully reported in the student paper), laying the groundwork for people to think she was being disciplined for pulling a prank and for her to be mocked.

  2. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Just to make sure everyone knows:
    Along with peas, Coconut is EEEEEEEEEEEEEEVILLLLL!!!! Ha!

    (this comment was not inspired in any way by anyone I know on Facebook)

  3. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Oh, Jebus, I should have put a trigger warning on that. I’m very sorry.

    PZ, if you see this, could I ask you to edit that comment?

    I shall also email him straightaway.

  4. says

    trinioler
    That’s disgusting.
    I think the most fucked up and disgusting is the way her college treated her, from their constant denial of what happened, their refusal to do even the slightest thing for her (you can’t tell me it wasn’t possible to switch her to another dorm at the beginning of a new semester) and them constantly telling her what’s up with her.
    That’s not mental healthcare.
    The commitment seems to have been triggered by a remark about suicide. I guess that is somewhat standard. But who the fuck just hands out meds without a thorough evaluation of the patient?
    As for commiting people in general. Well, I’ve seen the other side. Like searching for somebody with psychosis in the whole town because the “half-open” psychiatric ward couldn’t be arsed to actually follow their own rules*. And of course not doing much when somebody who is a firm believer in god one day and god himself another day, who tried to kill himself and then tried to kill his dad is wandering through town.
    *Actually the nurse on the late shift was talking to a friend on the phone the whole time. For hours. we couldn’t even get feedback whether he showed up again in the meantime or not because the line was occupied…

  5. dianne says

    The good thing about uterine cancer, if anything about a cancer can be described as “good” is that it often produces symptom-non-menstrual bleeding-early on in the course of the disease. So it’s often picked up early and treated quickly and without need for much beyond surgery. Guess why people sometimes let it go longer, even though they’re perfectly aware that they’re bleeding despite being 5 or 10 years post-menopause. Go ahead, guess. Not applicable in first worldish countries other than the US.

  6. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Thanks, Janine. You can contact me using my nym at google’s email thingie.

    (I have emailed PZ about the trigger warning in my @501. Hopefully, he’ll get to it soon.)

  7. says

    Guess why people sometimes let it go longer, even though they’re perfectly aware that they’re bleeding despite being 5 or 10 years post-menopause. Go ahead, guess. Not applicable in first worldish countries other than the US.

    A) No health insurance
    B) God’s working a miracle
    C) They think it’s rust from their IUD?

    +++
    College and mental health
    OK, this seems to be really typical American college-campus-culture big fuck-up. My university does absolutely not know anything about my mental health issues although I get treatment via the university. My data is private. Really, it’s the last thing my dean is supposed to know about. I guess we’re really more treated like adults who get an education than kids in a boarding school.

  8. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Gilliel, I think this is more of “Student with [mental health issue] approaches college through proper channels and asks for assistance” matter. HIPAA prohibits the college from poking through their medical records – this is a matter of how students who reveal that they have a mental illness are treated.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    About cancer:
    The university in my town has found a link between the bacteria that causes acne and prostate cancer. It induces inflammation in the skin, but also in the prostate gland, and inflammation is correlated with cancer.
    The discovery was serendipitous, they just happened to find this bacteria in a lot of prostate cancer patients. Another example of how the unexpected can be more interesting than what you are lookingfor.
    — — — — — —
    A college in a place named after a guy who killed off indians by giving them blankets belonging to smallpox patients gets in the news for treating people badly? They are historically consistent, at least. Bastards.

  10. strange gods before me ॐ says

    For those who enjoy online polls:

    http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_21792069/controversial-american-border-patrol-president-speaks-at-conference

    Currently:

    Do you think the American Border Patrol, classified as a “hate group” by some, should have been allowed to present at an El Paso border technology conference?
    Total Votes = 640

    Yes, I don’t see a problem with it.
    63.12 %

    No, the group should not have been allowed to present.
    31.56 %

    I’m not sure.
    5.312 %

  11. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Birger, to add to the “hilarity” of that, the school song of Amherst is a sarcastic (very sarcastic) retelling of the story of Jeffrey Amherst and the smallpox blankets.

    OTOH, Jeffrey Amherst is not only the namesake of the school, he’s also the mascot (the “Lord Jeffs” and the “Lady Jeffs”).

  12. says

    Esteleth
    But, you know, that’s exactly the thing I’m doing, too.
    I went to the University counselling service, I’m getting my help and my treatment there. And what happens in the University counselling service stays there as long as I want it. They are not telling the college administration or heavens forbid my department that I’m receiving treatment there.

  13. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Gilliel, my point is that the problem is two-fold:
    (1) The college’s setting-up and administration of the counseling services sucks, and
    (2) The college’s handling of mental-health issues that extend beyond what is said in counseling services sucks.

  14. says

    Does anyone have a link handy for an explanation of why “don’t feed the trolls” is ineffective?

    The long and short of it is that the logic runs on behaviorism, ie that feeding is positive reinforcement. It doesn’t take into account that the reinforcement comes elsewhere regardless of feeding AND that the pathology of trolls is more like vandalism or hunting than throwing a temper tantrum for attention. They don’t seek attention exactly, they seek a fell of potency by getting a reaction from their actions.

  15. says

    Esteleth
    Yes, I totally agree. And it is really apalling to me as somebody who has actual experience with how this thing can work.
    Fortunately I can’t tell how this would go if my problem was being a rape survivor, but reading that story for me there are a brazillion wtf how can that even happen? How can the dean just decide whether she’s allowed to do study abroad or what classes she can take based on their interpretation of her mental health as if she were a 3 year old kid?

  16. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Tony,

    This is the usual thing: http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2012/02/28/dont-feed-the-trolls-is-bad-science/

    There’s this too: http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2012/07/13/jay-smooth-on-feeding-trolls/

    More: http://google.com/search?q=feed+trolls+site%3Afreethoughtblogs.com

    But I don’t consider it a one size fits all thing. As Stephanie points out, much depends on control of the environment.

    I advise bloggers (since they can control what shows up in their comments section) to at least feel comfortable using the RBI strategy if they want to, because can be effective, and it controls the environment: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Revert,_block,_ignore

    PZ’s shutting down of YouTube comments is a halfway measure. Trolls too lazy to register for FtB will not be fed. Those with enough motivation will be fed here on FtB, where they can be overwhelmed, or banned and disemvoweled (much like RBI) if they’re just terrible people.

  17. dianne says

    C) They think it’s rust from their IUD?

    I love this answer. But IUDs (at least some IUDs) are copper. So this explanation would only work if the patient were a vulcan (the star trek race, not eine Vulkan).

  18. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    From the article Menyambal linked to:

    In 1972, a local Scouting executive beseeched national headquarters to drop the case against a suspected abuser because he was undergoing professional treatment and was personally taking steps to solve his problem. “If it don’t stink, don’t stir it,” the local executive wrote.

    But it did stink you sanctimonious assholes!

    Scouting executive wrote to national headquarters. “We are indeed sorry that Scouting was involved.”

    Because none of us mattered, only protecting scouting.

    I feel sick.

  19. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    The time has come to kick a famous man while he is down.

    Distort D’Newsia has resigned as president of King’s College.

    Newt Gingrich still has a lucrative career even if he is really not taken seriously by most people any more. But there are enough fools for him to fleece. I am sure that Dinesh D’Soua can live a simular kind of live.

    His fiancee is perfect for this kind of bullshit life.

    Here is an example of her work. Meet the new Callista.

  20. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    How does one respond to this?

    reliwhat:

    2. So, let’s say we push the issue to the extremes. If the “some people have it worse” point is completely irrelevant, then, i supposed it would be ok to use all of the world’s charity money to get rid of dandruff forever.

    Did someone open up the singularity and not tell me?
    Is xe from the same parallel universe as Walternate?

    (btw, does anyone watch Fringe?)

  21. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Oggie:
    I’m sorry my friend.
    A virtual bottle of your favorite scotch is being beamed over as we speak.

  22. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    SGBM:

    I’m in awe of how much info you have at your fingertips. Much thanks.

  23. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Tony, I think that reliwhat is a slimy asshole who is out to pester. He just does not like being called out on his shit.

    Yeah, I really do not like that example of humanity.

  24. says

    Because none of us mattered, only protecting scouting.

    I feel sick.

    This must be painful for you. :(

    ***

    Here is an example of her work.

    Couldn’t finish it. Read enough.

    …In the 1960s and 1970s, feminists and liberals of other stripes started pointing out the hypocrisies of what they termed “patriarchy.” Time and again, they urged us to recognize human’s natural “animal instincts” in relation to traditional morality and therefore, to reject traditional institutions such as marriage as outdated because now these intellectual elites had things like biology and sociology,* things like women’s studies, gender studies, and critical race theory, to back them up. They pointed to infidelity or infamous sexual desire surveys (conducted by homosexuals)[vi] among traditionally married couples to “prove” their theses. Limb by limb, they tore the traditional family to shreds until they reduced us to the shining bastion of zoological (but even animals aren’t this bad and do not depend on the state to care for them) cesspool equality** that we have now in every American ghetto and which is seeping out into the middle and upper classes in less animated ways.

    *Hey, Chas! We share an agenda!

    **I want to start a blog called Zoological Cesspool Equality now.

  25. Tethys says

    Reading Janine’s links. They are extremely headdesk inducing.

    I am puzzled by one of her listed “hot, homicidal hatred toward” categories. “multiculturalism when it upsets the melting pot”

    But since she also lists as a favorite activity “the american west” I don’t think logic and reality have much influence on her bizarre world view.

    Also apparently Keesha’s father should have beat her more as a child, and women (especially single mothers) are destroying society.

  26. Amblebury says

    That’s good to hear Ing.

    I’m sorry for your Gram. Sometimes, (oftentimes) there’s not enough humane in humanity.

  27. Tethys says

    Og

    Gah, sorry that more shit is hitting you. USB scotch and cigar should be arriving shortly.

  28. ChasCPeterson says

    things like biology and sociology, things like women’s studies, gender studies, and critical race theory

  29. says

    Does anyone here have seasonal affective disorder? The past couple weeks, just as the weather turns more fall-ish and darker, I’ve been exhausted. Not depressed (believe me I know what depression is like) but like I cannot possibly get enough sleep. I could sleep 12-14 hours a day. It’s like I’m hibernating.

    Maybe I should just order one of those lights.

  30. Portia says

    I thought I could finally replace my junker car and get one that will…work. And maybe even be less embarrassing. But no, I had to discover that I have to start paying on a student loan next month.* In the amount I was going to target for a monthly car payment. *pout* Plus, a friend cosigned for the loan thinking I could release him with consolidation, but the loan is ineligible. So he can’t get as big a house loan as he’d like. *weep* I feel like a terrible, moocher friend.
     
    *I just realized that it’s much much better that I discovered it now, instead of after taking out a car loan. Venting that was actually productive!

  31. Portia says

    And…I just realized how privileged it sounds that he can’t get as big a loan as he wants…but still, I am responsible for negatively impacting his life, and that sucks.

  32. cicely says

    athyco, sounds like you need to find the nearest branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism and ask for whoever sets up their tourneys. I sat through a class on it, once. It made my brainz hurt.

    Thanks, Giliell! And congrats on being in college.
    :)

    *waves* at rorschach. That pen doesn’t hide you for spit, dude.

    Thank you, Portia! And Good Morning *glancing at clock that clearly indicates that it is 5:36. P.M*.

    (I maintain that “morning” is a state of mind.

    A sucky, sucky state of mind.)

    (I won’t get to hold DarkInfant right away– I’ve gotta wait ’til they sew me up. *pout!*).

    When Son’s arrival was imminent, I made double sure that the doctor knew that they were not allowed to put that slimy thing on my then-emptied belly! Wash it, first!

    See, there was this pre-natal movie….

    Esteleth and David M are planning to stop by Sunday evening.

    I haz an envy.

    …now I’m trying to think of an actual redeeming quality of American football. I mean, in some situations, it provides educational funding, right?

    The high school and college games provide the bands with the opportunity to march.

    “BEAUTIFULLY UNIQUE SPARKLEPONY”.
    *re-snortling*
    “UNFORTUNATELY PHALLIC HEDGE SCULPTURE”.
    *collapses, giggling uncontrollably*

    *waves* at pentatomid.

    *hugs&butterflies&kittens&squidlings* for Ogvorbis.
    -

  33. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    cicely:

    A sucky, sucky state of mind.)

    I agree.
    It could be worse though.
    Peas and eggplant for breakfast, right after you wake up. ‘Nuff said.

  34. broboxley OT says

    The high school and college games provide the bands with the opportunity to march.

    no, they provide a practice venue with spectators to get ready for Band Competitions

  35. Amblebury says

    kristinc Try a vit.D3 supplement. I lived in Scandanavia for a few years. The light box had little effect, but the D3 worked wonders for me,

  36. carlie says

    Does anyone here have seasonal affective disorder? The past couple weeks, just as the weather turns more fall-ish and darker, I’ve been exhausted. Not depressed (believe me I know what depression is like) but like I cannot possibly get enough sleep

    I think I do, although it may be more winter than it is light. The problem is that I’m not the worst in Nov-Dec when there’s literally less light, it’s the worst in Feb-March after there hasn’t been light for SO LONG, even though there’s more per day by then, so I’m not entirely sure that’s what it is. I’ll second the vitamin d recommendation; it seems to help a little, although that may be entirely placebo (although I think the light boxes may be as well).

  37. carlie says

    Peas and eggplant for breakfast, right after you wake up. ‘Nuff said.

    Dang, that sounds good.

  38. says

    Cross-posting this from the Romney Lied thread because this is one helluva an effective segment from Rachel Maddow.

    Rachel Maddow explored the source of Romney’s lies last night:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#49456831

    This video features the news that Romney has added Jerome Corsi of World Net Nut Daily to his ride-on-my-plane entourage. Yes, that’s right, Jerome Corsi, seller of “Where’s the Real Birth Certificate” yard signs, writer of the book Where’s the Birth Certificate (now 78 cents on Amazon), and purveyor of the new conspiracy theory that President Obama is secretly gay. Make that: secretly gay and secretly gay married and secretly a murderer of a bunch of his gay spouses.

    This is where Romney gets information, support, and campaign plane companionship.

  39. Nutmeg says

    kristinc:

    Does anyone here have seasonal affective disorder?

    Sub-clinical winter blues here. I haven’t tried the SAD lights, because the only ones Amazon sells in Canada are pretty expensive. I haven’t tried vitamin D or melatonin either. The things that work for me are:

    1. Exercise! At least 4 or 5 days a week, and preferably the kind of exercise that keeps my pulse between 140 and 160 for ~45 minutes. Without exercise, I would be non-functional in the winter. For some reason, swimming is the most helpful. Maybe because the pool has lots of windows.
    2. Keeping busy, especially in the evenings. During the winter, I make sure I always have a book to read.
    3. Some kind of project. Last winter I re-did my room and did a lot of online dating.
    4. Having realistic expectations. During winter, I am probably going to sleep in a bit more and eat more chocolate. This is not a disaster.
    5. Giving myself things to look forward to, even if it’s just a new book or going to see a movie.
    6. Remembering that it will go away.

    I usually start to feel my energy levels change as daylight decreases in September, but I don’t feel depressed until January. Mid-January to mid-February is the worst, and I generally feel pretty much like myself again by the end of March.

    (Tangent related to mental health discussion above: My winter blues were a lot worse when I was a teenager, but I never sought treatment. Too much family history of depression, and I didn’t want to be mis-diagnosed because no one would listen to me.)

  40. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Seasonal Affective Disorder

    I have Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder. As the days shorten and become colder, I get happier, better-feeling in general, and less grouchy.

  41. broboxley OT says

    Lynna OM #47 old news, please look at the date on this article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/18/obama-accuser-larry-sincl_n_107900.html this info was pushed behind the scenes by the clintons camp prior to that. Corsi didnt invent this by himself. Also note the birther stuff started with the Clinton campaign and gleefully taken up by the republicans after the Clintons lost the nomination

    I agree with you, I wouldnt want to share a plane seat with corsi but I wouldnt mind having a book on sale at amazon for 78 cents either

  42. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    I am so fucking livid right now.
    In Greta’s time of need, Wooly Bumblebee decides to be nice and call a cease fire of hostilities (so grand of her) and actually displayed some humanity by donating money to help her out.
    Now because people (read: Ophelia and Stephanie) said bad things about her, she’s decided not to make a video asking her viewers to assist Greta.
    Yeah, that’s right. She no longer wants to help Greta because of something that is completely unrelated to her situation.
    I thought some of the shit heads we’ve seen in the last year were bad.

    I abhore this vile shitstain.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/10/its-all-trolling-when-you-come-right-down-to-it/#comment-313966

  43. says

    Hello all. I apologize in advance for being entirely off-topic.

    Today my friend and I went to a poetry reading held by the creative writing department. We were waiting for the reading to start when a professor whom I’d had a previous class with walked up to me and asked me what my plans were. I told him I was going to be graduating this spring and then applying to grad school in literature. He then asked me if I needed a recommendation, and when I said yes he told me he would be more than happy to give me one. Then he looked at my friend and said, “She’s a real Brainiac, this one, she’s very smart,” and walked off.
    So that definitely made my night.

    Also, I’ve been reading Joyce’s Ulysses lately, and I just came across the word “biscuitfully.” I’m pretty sure that is the only time I will ever see biscuit used as an adverb. I’m taking a class on Joyce right now and really loving it.

    Early voting started here in NC today. The boyfriend and I are heading to the polls tomorrow. We’re voting early because the early voting place is literally across the street from our house. I have to say that I’m very excited to be voting in a swing state like NC. I’ve been doing research on local candidates for the past few days, and I’m proud to be going into the election knowing exactly who I’m going to vote for in every race. So, just as a PSA, remember to look up your local candidates. (Not that I need to tell any of you that, really.)

    kristinc: I know a lot of people have already answered you, but I thought I’d throw in my two cents. My mom has had a lot of trouble with SAD (my parents live in Fairbanks, AK) and vitamin D is one of the things her doctor prescribed for it. Maybe give that a shot?

    Which reminds me, for the past few nights my parents have been taking some awesome pictures of the northern lights, and it’s making me really jealous. They’ve also had some snow recently, and they’ve been posting adorable pictures of my little sister and the dog outside playing in the snow. Today it was 10 degrees F there, and they don’t expect it to get above freezing again until around May. I’ll be visiting them for the holiday break, and I’m really looking forward to it. The subzero temperatures are quite an awesome experience, and a great excuse to drink hot chocolate to boot.

  44. broboxley OT says

    Tony,
    you are a bartender so must have observed the rich and famous in their natural habitat.
    Our hero’s(ines) pick their noses, fart at the dinner table and sneer inappropriately while adjusting their underclothing or worse like a beer league fastball player. Don’t take the self designated hoity toities seriously it will drive you nuts. Now you see said shitstain’s true colors. Don’t abjure just take note.

  45. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Ok, my last two attempts to comment have been eaten by the system.
    Will this work?

  46. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    broboxely:
    Wooly Bumblebee is not my hero.
    She’s a horrible human being that’s holding a cancer victim hostage.

  47. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    She’s a horrible human being that’s holding a cancer victim hostage.

    She’s a disconnected* narcissist who imagines she’s holding a cancer victim hostage. That’s more pathetic, but less evil consequentially. It’s like she’s sold her soul for a candy bar and then found it donated to a thrift store a week later.

    *not “delusional”

  48. broboxley OT says

    Tony, I was referring to most bloggers being giants in their own minds. Wooly Bumblebee isn’t holding anyone hostage, she is playing the room for hir own amusement and personal ends with the solid intention of leveraging Greta’s ailment to hir own amusement. Just be happy that your see thru the bullshit.

  49. broboxley OT says

    food porn? last night we had deep fried corn on the cob as a dinner side from a bbq joint. Appetizer was breaded deep fried kosher pickles. SUFFER LESSER BEINGS!

  50. broboxley OT says

    It’s like she’s sold her soul for a candy bar and then found it donated to a thrift store a week later.

    I am so stealing that

  51. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    broboxley:

    Tony, I was referring to most bloggers being giants in their own minds. Wooly Bumblebee isn’t holding anyone hostage, she is playing the room for hir own amusement and personal ends with the solid intention of leveraging Greta’s ailment to hir own amusement. Just be happy that your see thru the bullshit.

    Sorry, I don’t agree with that assessment at all.

    There are certain character traits I find abhorrent and as I get older, I have less and less patience for people who display those traits. It’s not just bullshit.
    If I had just lost my father, and then were diagnosed with cancer, it would be a tremendous blow to my emotional state to have someone offer to help… to even offer to make a video to get readers to help me out… and then, because back out of assisting me because people said mean things about that person? That’s just cruel.

  52. Portia says

    Then he looked at my friend and said, “She’s a real Brainiac, this one, she’s very smart,” and walked off.
    So that definitely made my night.

    Very cool, good for you.

  53. broboxley OT says

    ok Tony, I can sympathize with that.

    With me I have to have an emotional connection to the person offering help. Anyone outside of that circle who offers assistance and doesn’t I just shrug it off and put it down to self aggrandizement gone bad. If I have an emotional connection to the person who offers help and doesnt, I remove any emotional connection to that person. Fuckem

  54. says

    Thanks for the comments re SAD.

    Amblebury, carlie, blogofmyself I’ve been taking D3 for two-three months now because I religiously wear high octane sunscreen/avoid direct sunlight as much as possible (in the summer) and I thought it would be nice to be on the safe side. I will consult Generalissimo Google as to the dosages usually advised for SAD, and see if maybe I’m not taking enough.

    Nutmeg, I walk a mile 5 days a week (to pick my kid up from school). I try to make it as brisk as possible while having an 8-year-old bop and wander around after me. Exercise that raises my heart rate for prolonged periods has not historically been something I’ve responded well to, I suspect a touch of orthostatic difficulty. I’m also “supposed” to be doing yoga every morning, something I haven’t actually been keeping up with because I’m sleeping too long to have time for it.

  55. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    A virtual bottle of your favorite scotch is being beamed over as we speak.

    Thanks. Though I think I’ll pass on the alcohol until I’m not so scared.

    This must be painful for you. :(

    I read through the cases listed in the article with a feeling of absolute dread. What if my scout leader was mentioned? What if that particular cub scout pack was one of the cases? Then again, if it were listed, that would meant that one of us had the courage to say something to someone. But if it isn’t in the pervert files that means all of us were too scared. No win.

    Gah, sorry that more shit is hitting you. USB scotch and cigar should be arriving shortly.

    I’m glad this shit is finally hitting the fan, though. Maybe scouting will lose it’s privileged position which allows it to get away with bigotry and still get government help. Probably not, but I can hope, right?

    I really do not want to go to bed tonight. I’m thinking of taking a big dose of sleeping pills to kill any chance of a dream. But sleep aids tend to give me vibrant, real, and totally surreal dreams so that won’t work. So I’ll probably stay up as late as I can reading (currently reading A href=”http://www.amazon.com/The-Spanish-Holocaust-Extermination-Twentieth-Century/dp/039306476X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350614639&sr=8-1&keywords=the+spanish+holocaust”>The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth Century Spain). A very scary book — the way the right treated workers in Spain before the Civil War sounds like a GOP dream.

  56. Portia says

    SO just signed up Littlest for Boy Scouts. It makes me sad. But then I repeat to myself “They’re not my kids, it’s not my call.”

  57. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Ogvorbis:
    I really hope you don’t take a big dose of any kind of pills. I know you just want to sleep without the dreams, but it feels uncomfortable hearing anyone talk about ingesting large amounts of any medication.

  58. Portia says

    Ogvorbis, I hope you get some peaceful rest soon. *snuggly cuddly blanket* since you are avoiding alcohol.

  59. says

    Thanks re truffles, Portia, blogomyself.

    And Og, you’re shaming me. I was eyeing a stiff belt of Bushmills myself, just now.

    … oh, I had a reason. Still do. But yours sounds like trump, and I guess if you’re passing, I am.

    Enjoy the book. If that, y’know, fits, for that book, exactly.

    Hot tea, for me, then, I guess. Mebbe some honey.

    (/And, okay, a thimble of Bushmills. Makes it a toddy, see. Night, all.)

  60. cicely says

    It could be worse though.
    Peas and eggplant for breakfast, right after you wake up. ‘Nuff said.

    …in a frost-bitten pasture. In winter. With Horses.
    *shudder*

    Sweet potato is the candy of root vegetables.

    Well…okay. If you add enough brown sugar and pecans.

    *droooool*
    Coffee truffles….
    -

  61. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    cicely:
    Not a fan of horses?
    Or winter?
    Or frost bitten pastures?

    I’m trying to piece together a nightmarish scenario for you.
    So far I have you on a ranch in Montana, waking up at 6 am to eat 3 cups of peas and half an eggplant and then venturing outside across the frost bitten pasture in the middle of December with snow gently falling so that you can go horseback riding…

  62. Portia says

    Well…okay. If you add enough brown sugar and pecans.

    I went with butter and salt and cheese. But your way is good, too. :)

    Just got an email from my mom:
    “Watched a movie tonight. The movie was about a girl who was crazy about her mom and so good and reminded me of you and me,
    except I didn’t know how to embessle money and steal credit and murder my husband and turn into a lesbian

     
    but it was still a good movie and reminded me of you”

    I llol’d. (We email all the time, so some of it gets wacky).

  63. Portia says

    eat 3 cups of peas and half an an extra large eggplant

    so that you can go horseback riding… run screaming from a stampede of horses

    …too much?

  64. Rawnaeris, FREEZE PEACHES says

    I am far too easily amused when insomnia hits.

    But I get to fly home tomorrow, so I can sleep all weekend. Oh, and New England is too cold already for me.

    /end random thoughts

  65. Portia says

    I am far too easily amused when insomnia hits.

    Thank you for the well-timed explanation for my descent into inanity.

  66. cicely says

    Tony: you seem to have left off the part where I would have to be dragged kicking and screaming in an attempt to force me against my will to ride one of Satan’s Minions. ‘Cause I can guarantee you that I would not be willing to blow off any of my valuable and limited knee-time to get to this rendezvous.

    run screaming from a stampede of horses

    …too much?

    Not so much “too much”, as “not possible”. Oh, I can cover the screaming part just dandy, but I’m gonna hafta outsource the running.

    But I appreciate the thought.
    :P
    -

  67. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    but cicely horses are such lovely, intelligent, wonderful, affectionate well mannered creatures…
    …um if you’ve had a bad experience with horses, I apologize.

  68. Rawnaeris, FREEZE PEACHES says

    Portia, you’re welcome.

    I really should try to sleep. I do have to be functional at work tomorrow after all. *sigh*

  69. cicely says

    Nonono, Portia; for a nightmare (ha!), that was pretty good! And no apology needed; I know what my knees are—namely, a 60/40 blend of Suck and FAIL; I learned to laugh at them long ago. No harm done.
    :)

    but Tony, Horses are the epitome of Evil. Superficially-lovely, sinisterly-intelligent, mendaciously-affectionate Eeeeeeevil.

    Evil.
    -

  70. Portia says

    Phew, I’m glad I didn’t offend.

    *whisper* I really like horses.

    But having been injured by enough of them I do understand a healthy aversion to them.

    Wait, I’m not doing this right, am I?

    The Legions of Horse-lovers will be victorious against the puny pilfering impugners of All That is Horse!

  71. Portia says

    I do have to be functional at work tomorrow after all.

    Would minimally functional cut it, though? I advocate not wasting time in futile effort trying to sleep when you could be enjoying internetz in that time. This is not rationalization for my poor sleeping habits, no, not at all. Don’t look at me like that.

  72. Rawnaeris, FREEZE PEACHES says

    See that’s the thing. I’m a rep, of sorts. So minimally functional is minimally functional, at someone else’s work establishment. Which is just awkward.

    And then I get to take a 4 ish hour flight home.

  73. Portia says

    cicely…are you channeling Robert Redford? What’s going on? Where am I?
     
    Rawnaeris…that does present a problem with my strategy. I’m self-employed and have a home office. Don’t listen to me. :) Hope your flight doesn’t suck too much.

  74. cicely says

    Portia…nah; RR is blonder than I am. ;)

    Why would I be suspected of channeling him? Who are you? Who am I? And where did this frying pan come from????
    -

  75. Portia says

    Well…you were whispering…in a way that suggested you were talking to a horse. Or I missed something. I’m clearly becoming delirious. I thought the frying pan was a saddle.

  76. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I am far too easily amused when insomnia hits.

    Thank you for the well-timed explanation for my descent into inanity.

    So you’re suffering from sleep “depravation?” :)

  77. cicely says

    I would not whisper to a Horse, except with a frying pan…

    …which explains the frying pan. All is now made less murky!

    :D
    -

  78. Portia says

    I’m glad we resolved this, cicely. On that note, I’m going to try to sleep. it’s been fun :)

  79. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Portia:

    Well…you were whispering…in a way that suggested you were talking to a horse. Or I missed something.

    Nope. You didn’t miss a thing.
    A horse is a horse, of course of course.

  80. mildlymagnificent says

    What temp for the coconut loaf?

    You lot still measure things funny, don’t you. I do it at 180C, which would be 170C fan-forced.

    In old money that would be 350F, *mumble* less for fan-forced.

  81. says

    Good morning

    AJ Milne
    nomnomnom

    +++
    BTW, which of you bastards linked to the brown-eyed-baker?
    That stuff, it’s just too good to be true.

    +++
    If decency was currency, Wooly Bumblebee couldn’t invest her life-time saving into a bubblegum.

    +++
    kristinc
    Can you get your thyroid levels checked?
    Maybe autumn is just a coincidence?

    blogofmyself
    Cool stuff. Congratulations to having your ability recognized by people who count.

    Ogvorbis
    Hugs and puppies

    +++
    Horses are just stupid donkeys.
    But donkeys are cool so some of it rubs off.

  82. says

    Fuck big pharma
    There’s ashortage, especially of cancer drugs in Germany right now.
    Why?
    Because pharmaceutical companies took cheaper drugs off the market so they can sell more of the higher price stuff and, well, get even higher prices for that, too.

  83. mildlymagnificent says

    Coffee truffles?

    Oh dear. I probably drink more coffee than the rest of my street put together. But I simply cannot abide, tolerate, get my mouth anywhere near anything flavoured with coffee. Took me years even to like iced coffee. Still don’t like coffee milkshakes (though that may be because they’re made with that not-really-a-food, flavoured syrup stuff).

    Truffles, tiramisu, frosting or filling – even on chocolate cake. Nuh.

  84. McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there. says

    I’m going to jump on Giliell’s bandwagon of fucking things…

    FUCK the USA! (times ~.5) The polling numbers on realclearpolitics.com are showing today that the electoral college numbers are 205 to 201 in favor or Rmoney. It was 269 to 181 for Obama just before the first debate.

    I never in my wildest nightmares and most cynical moments would have ever thought there could be so many fucking stupid people in the USA that they could completely forget all the bullshit from the GOP candidate debates, 47%, egregious lying by Ryan at the convention, etc. and get all excited because asshole smiled and lied so coolly on television. These have to be the stupidest and least informed people in the history of elections to fly all over the map that quickly and easily, and to candidates that I consider some of the most evil in my time on this planet. Hell is real, and we’re in it, apparently.

  85. mildlymagnificent says

    There’s a shortage, especially of cancer drugs in Germany right now.
    Why?

    My memory’s probably playing up, but wasn’t there a fire in a major drug factory a month or so ago? The memory’s telling me I read something – but it was about the folly of out-sourcing and/or centralising manufacture of certain drugs. Whether it was about an actual fire/explosion or the problems should there be one is where the fabric starts to fray.

    Perhaps the google genie would help me if I rubbed its tummy nicely.

  86. McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there. says

    Apologies for the non-fluffy animal post, but I know many don’t like to cruise the Thunderdome city limits and I thought my previous outburst newsworthy enough to merit a moment of unfluffiness.

    Please accept a zen mantra (how about ‘Om!’? to stabilize and some fuzzy husky pups as reparation for this moment’s discomfort.

  87. mildlymagnificent says

    Those pups are nice, but I might have to cuddle my real cat for a while after that election ‘news’.

    As for the drugs, there’s this http://www.fiercepharmamanufacturing.com/story/fire-sandoz-plant-complicates-drug-shortages/2012-03-13 but that doesn’t ring any bells for me.

    I might add there were lots and lots and *lots* of stories about drug shortages. USA, Canada, EU – all blamed on various manufacturers for an assortment of reasons as well as different regulation issues in scattered jurisdictions.

  88. blf says

    Peas and eggplant for breakfast, right after you wake up. ‘Nuff said.

    It’s way tooooo early in the morning to deal with multidimensional assaults. Could you please postpone the invasion of the universe until after I’ve had adequate amounts of cafe?

     ────────────────────────────

    What’s with all the coconut-hate? Admittedly they aren’t much use against peas (no idea if they are effective against eggplant or squash), but that’s quite a waste of a very tasty cheese.

    (They must be a species of cheese — The mildly deranged penguin likes ‘em. Well, I suppose they could be a type of MUSHROOMS! or perhaps some sort of a hybrid?)

     ────────────────────────────

    horses are such lovely, intelligent, wonderful, affectionate well mannered creatures

    What colour is the sky on your planet?
    How many legs do your horses have?

  89. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Giliell:

    If decency was currency, Wooly Bumblebee couldn’t invest her life-time saving into a bubblegum

    Ha ha ha!
    Oh that was sweet.
    Thank you for that laugh!

    ****

    Paul Fidalgo at Friendly Atheist shares results of a new study on anti-atheist discrimination
    Excerpt:

    The five forms [of discrimination] most frequently reported were: witnessing anti-atheist comments in newspapers or on television (94.7%), being expected to participate in religious prayers against one’s will (79.1%), being told one’s atheism is sinful, wrong, or immoral (75.2%), being asked to attend religious services or participate in religious activities against one’s will (74.4%), and being treated differently because of one’s atheism (67.5%).

    The full study is available as a PDF file.

  90. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    blf:

    What colour is the sky on your planet?
    How many legs do your horses have?

    Pretty rainbows fill the skies of my world.
    Horses have 5 1/2 legs and one stubby horn on my world. We don’t call them horses though. They’re called Trojans.

    Any other questions?

  91. says

    mildlymagnificent
    The fact that for some things there’s a valid reason for shortage doesn’t explain the high number.
    This shortage has been an ongoing problem for the last 12 months, so it can’t have been triggered by a fire a month ago.
    That one if the best medications is currently unavaible because they have problems with manufacturing is also a point of “shit, shit, shit”. It doesn’t explain though why hospitals can’t get alternatives anymore they used to have a year or so ago.

  92. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    I see the mildly deranged penguin is making with the funny :)

  93. John Morales says

    McC2lhu,

    FUCK the USA! (times ~.5) The polling numbers on realclearpolitics.com are showing today that the electoral college numbers are 205 to 201 in favor or Rmoney. It was 269 to 181 for Obama just before the first debate.

    269 to 181 = 450
    205 to 201 = 406

    (?)

  94. John Morales says

    In the news: Gillard praises Rudd over UN seat win

    Australia received 140 votes in the first round of the ballot at UN headquarters in New York overnight, giving it a comfortable win over competitors Luxembourg and Finland.

    […]

    Four other countries were elected with Australia to join the Security Council – Argentina, Rwanda, Luxembourg and South Korea.

  95. blf says

    269 to 181 = 450
    205 to 201 = 406
    (?)

    Apparently a couple of States have moved into the “up for grabs” (undecided) territory.

  96. blf says

    Just spotted at Bad Science is a fascinating blog post about the Dunning-Kruger effect, what the Dunning-Kruger effect is and isn’t (emphasis in original):

    What should we conclude from these (and other) studies? I think the jury’s still out to some extent, but at minimum, I think it’s clear that much of the Dunning-Kruger effect reflects either statistical artifact (regression to the mean), or much more general cognitive biases (the tendency to self-enhance and/or to use one’s subjective experience as a guide to one’s standing in relation to others). This doesn’t mean that the meta-cognitive explanation preferred by Dunning, Kruger and colleagues can’t hold in some situations; it very well may be that in some cases, and to some extent, people’s lack of skill is really what prevents them from accurately determining their standing in relation to others. But I think our default position should be to prefer the alternative explanations [discussed], because they’re (a) simpler, (b) more general (they explain lots of other phenomena), and (c) necessary (frankly, it’d be amazing if regression to the mean didn’t explain at least part of the effect!).

    We should also try to be aware of another very powerful cognitive bias whenever we use the Dunning-Kruger effect to explain the people or situations around us–namely, confirmation bias. If you believe that incompetent people don’t know enough to know they’re incompetent, it’s not hard to find anecdotal evidence for that; after all, we all know people who are both arrogant and not very good at what they do. But if you stop to look for it, it’s probably also not hard to find disconfirming evidence. After all, there are clearly plenty of people who are good at what they do, but not nearly as good as they think they are (i.e., they’re above average, and still totally miscalibrated in the positive direction). Just like there are plenty of people who are lousy at what they do and recognize their limitations (e.g., I don’t need to be a great runner in order to be able to tell that I’m not a great runner–I’m perfectly well aware that I have terrible endurance, precisely because I can’t finish runs that most other runners find trivial!). But the plural of anecdote is not data, and the data appear to be equivocal. Next time you’re inclined to chalk your obnoxious co-worker’s delusions of grandeur down to the Dunning-Kruger effect, consider the possibility that your co-worker’s simply a jerk–no meta-cognitive incompetence necessary.

  97. strange gods before me ॐ says

    RealClearPolitics?

    Intrade has Obama winning, barely.

    Nate Silver has Obama winning, barely.

    Sam Wang has Obama winning, barely.

    The Iowa Electronic Market has Obama winning, barely.

    16 different bookies have Obama winning, barely. None have Romney winning.

    But it’s close. Anybody who can volunteer, should. I understand that no matter what state someone lives in, they can make calls through BarackObama.com

  98. blf says

    And on the fruitcake front in the UK, Nick Griffin posts address of B&B case gay couple online (Griffin is the leader of one of the British nazi parties):

    BNP leader uses Twitter to say ‘A British Justice team will come … & give you a bit of drama … Say No to heterophobia!’

    Police in Cambridgeshire have said they are investigating complaints made after the leader of the far-right British National party, Nick Griffin, posted the address of a gay couple on the internet and appeared to urge his supporters to demonstrate outside their home.

    [Michael Black and John Morgan] had found out earlier on Thursday that they had won their highly-publicised civil case against a Christian bed and breakfast owner who had told them they could not stay in one of her double rooms due to her religious convictions.

    Griffin then wrote: “Why don’t left & gay activists confront Muslims instead of picking on meek & forgiving Christians? Bullies are always cowards!”

    [The B&B owners] say they have received two years of abuse for the decision, which enraged gay rights campaigners but gave succour to some Christians’ claims of persecution.

    … “People’s beliefs about marriage are coming under increasing attack, and I am concerned about people’s freedom to speak and act upon these beliefs. I am a Christian, not just on a Sunday in church, but in every area of my life — as Jesus expects from his followers.

    “That’s all I was trying to do and I think it’s quite wrong to punish me for that, especially after enduring over two years of vile abuse and threats. We find this a strange justice in a society that aspires to be increasingly tolerant.”

    How these bigoted nutters no sense of irony?

  99. birgerjohansson says

    “horses are such lovely, intelligent, wonderful, affectionate well mannered creatures”

    Garrett, P.I. does not agree with you. And in his narrative universe, he has experience of thunder lizards, carnivorous unicorns, vampires and other critters who would normally endear someone to an animal that enables you to escape quickly.

  100. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    So, “sixth former” is Britainese for “high school senior?” – Azkyroth

    Yes, but not in Scotland. Here, it’s sixth year. Unlike the two-year sixth form in England (and Wales and Northern Ireland I think), sixth year here lasts only one year.

  101. blf says

    Garrett, P.I. does not agree with you.

    Oh woman/penguin/FSM/…, I really really need to read some more Garrett stories… I’ve read them all (multiple times) up to Angry Lead Skies, and see from the Pffft of All Knowledge there’s been three more since then…

  102. blf says

    Oh for feck’s sake… Mitt Romney’s advice to business leaders on employee voting — it’s legal:

    A freshly aired audio recording in which Mitt Romney asks business owners to talk with employees about the upcoming election sounds at first like a throwback to the bad old days of voter clientelism. That’s the term academics use for the time-honored American practice of trading something nice for political support.

    Voters used to be able to get a shot of whiskey or a pair of boots. Now, in the era of expanding corporate rights, you might just get a half-promise not to be fired — as long as you vote the right way.

    Romney was speaking on a conference call that was sponsored by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, as part of a series that had previously featured Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. … [H]e encouraged employers to “make it very clear to your employees” how they feel about the presidential race:

    I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections. …

    I assume the thugs will soon concoct a reason to scrap the secret ballot. Scrapping the ballot will take longer, they may just go for sham elections (110% of the votes…).

  103. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    sigh

    I was just behind a pickup truck with infowars.com spray-paint stenciled on the back of the bed gate.

    Might as well spray paint “Look at the gullible dumbfuck” on the back of it.

  104. blf says

    I had to look up WTF infowars.com was… But as soon as I found out a notorious wingnut conspiracy kook (Alex Jones) is behind it, I grokked the Look at the gullible dumbfuck description.

  105. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Rev, it will disturb but probably not surprise you to know that I respected Alex, years ago.

    It was always cause for much excitement when he would interview Ron Paul.

  106. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Brings back memories. I once took seriously the idea of moving to Texas so as to secure an allodial title.

  107. broboxley OT says

    blf corporate overlords have the right to tell their employees how they want them to vote and invite candidates to speak with them. This isnt a theocracy ya know

  108. blf says

    This sounds interesting, anyone ever seen his guy? Dara Ó Briain — review:

    [Dara Ó Briain] has a future as a James Randi-style debunker of supernatural gibberish. The best sections of this enjoyable but overlong show see him take aim at our weakness for superstition. But fear not, the credulous! — for in one fine, second-half riff, he shows how rational technophilia can be built on magical thinking, too.

    These are classy routines, that assume the audience’s intelligence and condescend to no one. Ó Briain uses neatly twisting logic to argue that “racism is way better than astrology” — both being arbitrary ways to subdivide and classify humanity. … But the standout skit skewers not religion but poorly understood science, as Ó Briain imagines himself an ambassador to Renaissance Italy, charged with explaining the technology of the future. How does the computer work? It plugs into the wall. And what’s in the wall? Er …

    He’s doing shows in London right now, and then will be turing the UK.

  109. broboxley OT says

    #135 sgbm Okay I had to look that one up. Closest thing to that is a mining claim with water rights. Escapes most eminent domain and real estate taxes

  110. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Hey broboxley. I know all kinds of great secrets. Send me $200 and I will teach you how to become a sovereign citizen and stop paying income taxes.

  111. blf says

    I hax battr secetrs! seNdz me 500€ & ill mak u a absoloot ruller ,, . pepole paye u titsh & taxx!!11!1.

  112. broboxley OT says

    #140 SGBM I will keep my $200 and offer to introduce you to many of the people that wrote those screeds. Dont forget small town alaska is too small to support a conspiracy based heavily armed nutjob, so we had to take turns

  113. dianne says

    There’s ashortage, especially of cancer drugs in Germany right now.

    You’re behind the times. In the US there’s been a drug shortage, especially of cancer drugs, for a good decade now. Yes, for the same reason. Some of the medical associations are going pit bull on the FDA and the drug companies to try to get them to deal with the shortage, with some success (fewer shortages, but not an end to the shortages). I hope the EHA, etc will get into this as well. In fact, I think I’ll go tell them that now. (I’m a member of the EHA so have some right to tell them what to lobby about, even though I’m not actually a European.)

  114. opposablethumbs says

    Re Dara Ó Briain – highly recommended; very funny, genuinely pro-science (he has a science undergraduate degree iirc and is married to a doctor), very anti-clerical, very anti-stoopid of all flavours. Has been seen too much in the company of “laddish” (read bog-standard background-level “ordinary” sexism) comedians for my personal taste but I don’t remember seeing him pulling any of that shit himself. Co-presented astronomy show with Brian Cox.

    I’d see him if I could.

  115. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Exciting news! I woke up this morning, sniffed the air, and dove for the phone.

    Now that both the FD and the gas company have left, I need:
    1. To have someone come and do some work on my hot water heater, and
    2. To have someone come and do some work on my stove.

    Gas company dude says that in his experience, I’m going to have to replace the stove.

    *flail*

  116. blf says

    Yeah! Malala Yousafzai can make smooth recovery, doctors say:

    Taliban bullet grazed Pakistani girl’s brain but doctors say she is writing, has memory and has expressed gratitude for support

    Malala Yousafzai, the teenage girl flown to Britain for treatment after being shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in Pakistan, has the potential to make “pretty much a full recovery”, her doctors have said.

    She is able to stand with help and is writing notes, and although the bullet grazed her brain she has not shown “any deficit in terms of function”, doctors at Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham said on Friday.

    Initially treated by neurosurgeons at a Pakistani military hospital before being flown to the UK on Monday, she awoke from a medically induced coma on Tuesday afternoon and reportedly asked: “Which country am I in?”

    [Dr Dave Rosser (medical director of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS foundation trust)] said Malala was aware of her surroundings, and though she couldn’t talk because she had a tracheotomy tube, she had given permission for medical details to be revealed, and wanted to thank everyone for their support.

    She was still showing some signs of infection, related to the bullet track, but “she was standing with some help for the first time this morning. She is communicating very freely. She is writing. She has a tracheotomy tube because her airway was swollen by the passing of the bullet, so she is not able to talk, though we have no reason to believe she won’t be able to talk once this tube is out, which may be in the next few days.”

    Sounds very promising…!

  117. carlie says

    Esteleth – oh, ouch. Is the stove part of what you’re renting? In that case, it’s the landlord who will have to replace the stove.

  118. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Carlie,
    Yeah, the landlord will take care of it. I called him right after I called the gas company, and he came right over and was here when the inspection was happening. As soon as the gas company inspector said that the stove was leaking, he immediately said that it would be replaced ASAP. He also called the plumber before he left to schedule an appointment for the water heaters to be dealt with.

    He’s grumpy about this (don’t blame him), but it will be taken care of.

  119. Matt Penfold says

    I’ve never seen “School of Hard Sums”, can we presume it’s as good as the rest of his work?

    I’ve seen it, and it is pretty good. It also has Marcus De Sautoy in it, and he is always good value.

  120. blf says

    Five days ’til DarkFetus!

    Huh? Isn’t that when the skies cloud over, it rains and thunders for weeks on end, great rifts open in the Earth, the dolphins and mice leave, the seas boil, there’s a run on flaming swords, wizards finally figure out what the knob on the end is for, and the Moon finally hatches?

    Or have I got my scheduled events mixed up again?

  121. Portia says

    Woooo! Five days!! :D

    Good news, cicely, no horse dreams.

    …the POTUS misused “beg the question”…the pedant/philosophy major in me died a little. (See: remarks at the Al Smith dinner).

  122. Rey Fox says

    Maybe it marks me as a failure as a prescriptivist, but I think the classic definition of “beg the question” needs to be retired.

  123. badgersdaughter says

    Hello, all. Infrequent poster these days…

    I just wanted to call attention to something I just saw on Taslima Nasreen’s blog. I left a gentle comment there, but it is under moderation.

    In her post “Men kill women for dowry and sons in India”, she writes, “Female feticide, domestic violence, bride burning, dowry death are often occurred by the rich and educated living in posh urban areas.” Um, “female feticide”? I know what she means, and she knows what she means, but “feticide”? I just pointed out that it might better be stated “violence against a pregnant woman because of the likelihood her fetus is female” or something to that effect. The distinction between the fetus and the PERSON suffering the violence is vital here. Perhaps others could also ask Taslima, in the friendliest way, to please be a little more careful how she refers to such potentially inflammatory issues.

  124. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    badgersdaughter, what Talisma was probably referring to is the (documented) pattern of a pregnant woman going in for a healthy-pregnancy test, having the a sonogram, and then aborting a female fetus. It is in fact a problem, emblematic of the devaluing of women. Nowadays, female infanticide rates have fallen somewhat, which seems like a good thing until the ratio of male to female babies at birth is compared – female babies aren’t being killed after being born because they were never born in the first place.
    This situation is in fact not summarizable as ““violence against a pregnant woman because of the likelihood her fetus is female.”
    This is one of the reasons why in some Indian states it is illegal to reveal the sex of a fetus.

  125. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    And the situation is also not really fixable using choice-style rhetoric about abortion – because most of the women would vehemently insist that they are choosing, and they choose to not have a daughter. Much of this, of course, is due to their knowledge of them (mother or daughter) being punished for the “crime.”

    The solution, of course, is to raise the status of girls and women such that daughters are no longer undesirable.

  126. Portia says

    You make excellent points, Esteleth. I agree completely with your analysis. (Researched it a lot during my last semester of school). Nevertheless, I think the term “sex selective abortion” is better suited to describe the phenomenon. “Feticide” sounds like something anti-choice people in the States would say. (And they do use the pattern in other countries to try to justify limiting abortion rights in the US).

  127. badgersdaughter says

    Esteleth, thanks for the clarification and the bit of education. I’m surprised I did not think of that myself. Appreciate that. Will raise a glass of Glen Garioch to you a bit later :)

  128. blf says

    More thugs hating cooties, Crazy Joe Walsh rides to Obama’s rescue:

    [Congresscritter (thugs) Joe] Walsh said he was against abortion “without exception,” including rape, incest and in cases in which the life or health of the mother was in jeopardy.

    Asked by reporters after the debate if he was saying that it’s never medically necessary to conduct an abortion to save the life of a mother, Walsh responded, “Absolutely. With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance,” he said. … There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing.”

  129. Portia says

    the classic definition of “beg the question” needs to be retired.

    I could see a strong argument for this. As it stands though, there are lots of other ways to say what people mean when they misuse the phrase, and only one way to succinctly say what people mean when they’re talking about the logical fallacy. (As far as I know). *shrug*

  130. says

    Giliell, my thyroid function is, as cicely describes, “a 60/40 blend of Suck and FAIL”. I’ve been on synthroid for a couple years now. I suppose I should take an extra careful look to make sure I haven’t started doing anything that would block my body from using the synthroid, but since my medication/supplement/diet habits haven’t changed for quite a while it’s unlikely. (And I’m working on the same batch of synthroid I’ve been using for a couple months, the same brand from the same supplier as always.)

  131. says

    blf @168, I saw that series of comments by Joe Walsh. His opponent, Tammy Duckworth, should be able to take advantage of that. By flunking Biology 101, Republicans have given an edge to Democratic candidates in several races.

    I think PZ could put together a new talk based entirely on “Republicans Flunk Biology.”

    There’s Todd “legitimate rape” Akin.

    Joe Walsh: “There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing…”

    Just a BTW for Walsh: Pregnancy-related deaths have increased in the US, climbing to a rate of 15.1 deaths for every 100,00 live births.

    Rush Limbaugh, in a tragic-comedic, rant put forth the idea that young women like Sandra Fluke have to take a birth control pill before they have sex, that the amount of sex they have determines the number of pills they need to take.

    Republican Representative Steve King of Iowa said he hadn’t heard of instances in which young victims of statutory rape or incest become pregnant.

  132. says

    Throwing away the registration forms of Democratic voters:

    A man who was being paid to register voters by the Republican Party of Virginia was arrested Thursday after he was seen dumping eight registration forms into a dumpster.

    Link.

    The firm this man worked for has as its registered address the same address as Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS.

    Here’s the micreants LinkedIn account: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/colin-small/31/8b1/a98

    The dude is also an Eagle Scout.

  133. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Lynna:

    Please note how effectively the GOP and the radical right have innoculated themselves against just this sort of thing. They have spent the last ten or more years having screaming meltdowns over the idea that liberal groups were not turning in GOP voter registrations. Never mind that the ones not being turned in were Mickey Mouse, or Joe Blow, or other extremely suspicious names, they were all conservatives being denied their chance to vote. So now, when GOP operatives are caught doing the same thing, they will, without a doubt, point to liberal groups (who were usually operating independently of the Democratic Party anyway) and claim, “They did it too! They did it first!”

    Has a very Pravdaesque feel to it.

  134. Portia says

    Here’s the micreants LinkedIn account

    Oh, FSM, four years ago I was doing that guy’s job. In Iowa.
    *hangs head in shame*

  135. says

    Mitt and Ann Romney made about $15.3 million off the Obama bailout of the auto industry.
    http://www.thenation.com/article/170644/mitt-romneys-bailout-bonanza#

    As an aside, I’m getting pretty damned tired of Romney claiming that Obama did what Romney had suggested in taking the auto companies through bankruptcy. Romney did that again in Tuesday’s debate.

    Well, the president took Detroit bankrupt. You took General Motors bankrupt. You took Chrysler bankrupt. So when you say that I wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did. And I think it’s important to know that that was a process that was necessary to get those companies back on their feet, so they could start hiring more people. That was precisely what I recommended and ultimately what happened.

    No, Mr. Romney, your suggestion is worlds away from Obama’s. The President used federal funds as a stop-gap measure to shore up the automobile industry. They could not have gone through restructuring and survived without the federal dollars. Not to mention that, at the time, no one, not even Bain Capital, was willing to pony up the moola for a managed bankruptcy. The Romney way would have been a bankruptcy-bust-flush operation. Romney, and a whole mob of Republicans and Tea Party dunderheads, vehemently, rabidly opposed what they saw as government intervention in private industry. None of their dire predictions came true.

  136. birgerjohansson says

    “Five days ’til DarkFetus!”

    The gargoyles on the old church broke free and ran off sometime last night. Now I know why.
    — — — — — — — — — —
    “that the amount of sex they have determines the number of pills they need to take”

    It should be easy to trick that ignorant creature to take a really big dose of drugs, saying the number of pills correlate exactly to the desired effect. “You want to sleep twice as long? Take twice as many sleeping pills”.
    Unfortunately, my conscience gets in the way.

  137. erikthebassist says

    kristinc @ 170

    My GF has recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. She went on Synthroid but felt it was effecting her emotional state in a negative way, so she went back to the Dr who sent her to his supplement store the next office over and advised to buy “GTA Forte” at $40 a bottle.

    I tried doing some research but couldn’t find much. The premise of consuming ground up pig thyroid to promote normal thyroid function seems implausible to me, and I’ve advised her that she may be getting sold snake oil.

    As (presumably) a scientific thinker who’s been dealing with it for a couple years, do you have any thoughts on supplements like these or any advice? research you could point me to?

  138. says

    broboxley @50

    Lynna OM #47 old news, please look at the date on this article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/18/obama-accuser-larry-sincl_n_107900.html this info was pushed behind the scenes by the clintons camp prior to that. Corsi didnt invent this by himself. Also note the birther stuff started with the Clinton campaign and gleefully taken up by the republicans after the Clintons lost the nomination…

    I know that Corsi, birtherism and World Nut Daily are old news. But the fact that Corsi has been invited by the Romney campaign to accompany Romney on his plane is new news.

    Did you even read what I wrote?

  139. says

    A correction to my post at 178: those are not Warren Jeff’s actual binders full of women featured in the video to which I linked. The binders are a facsimile of Jeff’s binders, used during an episode of Big Love. Still, an accurate reference to the real thing.

  140. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    As it stands though, there are lots of other ways to say what people mean when they misuse the phrase

    None of which have anywhere near the verbal impact, except perhaps “demands the question.” “Raises the question” and “suggests the question” just sound tepid. I assume this, as well as straightforward English semantics, feed the “misuse.”

  141. says

    kristinc
    Since my thyroid is slowly eating up itself, my levels need to be adjusted regularly, so what you describe sounds pretty much like what I experienced some weeks back when my medication became inadequate.
    What’s a reliable indicator for me is when my reproductive system starts to act up as well.

    +++
    Hmmm, tomorrow I’ll buy the whisky I won betting against Mr.
    Yes, call it a silly game about who gets to decide the next whisky.

  142. broboxley OT says

    Lynna #181 this is what I read

    and purveyor of the NEW conspiracy theory that President Obama is secretly gay.

    so you can see where I had thought that this was the first that you have heard of it. My mistake.

    so lets see, did Romney invite the man along to advise the campaign?
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2012/10/onboard-the-romney-plane-jerome-corsi-138800.html

    Jerome Corsi, the political writer and conspiracy theorist, is traveling with the Mitt Romney press corps today.

    Im not sure if back in the day you were covering the 1968 election but trumpeting

    This video features the news that Nixon has added Hunter S. Thompson Rolling Stone reporter and conspiracy theorist to his ride-on-my-plane entourage

    it would have been considered stretching a point into a helix. Press Corps covers elections, they always have.

    Now I know Rachel Maddow has to make a living by entertaining the left much in the manner that Rush vomits his perceived truths to the great unwashed but news it isn’t.

    On a different point, many of the things you post do have great relevance and I find very informative. Just pointing out where I see a factual issue.

  143. Portia says

    None of which have anywhere near the verbal impact

    Doesn’t it borrow the impact from the original usage though? Its power is, in some respect, in its wrongness. Because if you think about it, divorced from the original use, “begs” is a pretty weak-sounding verb. But maybe that’s what you meant by semantics.

    How about “The obvious question is…” ?

  144. Rey Fox says

    As it stands though, there are lots of other ways to say what people mean when they misuse the phrase, and only one way to succinctly say what people mean when they’re talking about the logical fallacy.

    “Assuming the premise” seems to work well enough for me.

  145. says

    As (presumably) a scientific thinker who’s been dealing with it for a couple years, do you have any thoughts on supplements like these or any advice? research you could point me to?

    I don’t know anything about GTA Forte specifically, but apparently natural porcine thyroid as a supplement is A Real Thing. In my experience it’s slightly more expensive than synthroid, but it seems to me (in my half ass research Googling) that it may be more effective for some people because the specific thyroid hormones it supplements/triggers are different? At one time all this crap was fresh in my mind, I swear, and I could have told you more.

    Anyway, I stick to synthroid because it works really well for me, and from what I understand the most effective way to take natural thyroid pills is to chew them up because they don’t get absorbed the same as synthroid. I couldn’t do that — I have an overactive gag reflex and I had to struggle every day not to just hurl the stuff right back up. (It tastes about like you’d expect, too.)

    I wish I could be more help but probably if you/your gf determine what the actual content of porcine thyroid is in that specific brand of supplement then you can research it to find out if it’s an effective amount or if the pills are half woo-herbs (and if you can get porcine thyroid cheaper elsewhere).

  146. nms says

    As it stands though, there are lots of other ways to say what people mean when they misuse the phrase, and only one way to succinctly say what people mean when they’re talking about the logical fallacy.

    The answer to this (and indeed all) linguistic disputes is of course to turn to the linguae ambitiosiori.

  147. erikthebassist says

    thanks kristinc, I (we) will definitely take that underadvisement. I appreciate the response.

  148. says

    and purveyor of the NEW conspiracy theory that President Obama is secretly gay.

    Ah, yes. That part of “new” was a mistake on my part. Apologies. I meant to indicate that it was the new tact being taken by Corsi, now that the response to his birtherism schtick has slacked off. Obama-as-gay may not originate with Corsi, but his emphasis on that theory via the platform of World Nut Daily has increased of late.

    Jerome Corsi is not a reputable journalist, not by even the lax standards of the Romney campaign — or at least he wasn’t before. Seats on the plane for the press corps are limited. Corsi should not be there. The Romney campaign “credentialed Corsi as a member of the press corps,” so yes, they did have to actually do something to put him on that plane.

    They are sealing the right wing echo chamber by offering press corps credentials to the likes of Corsi. The point is that Romney uses the right wing echo chamber as legit sources of information.

    I don’t compare Rush Limbaugh to Rachel Maddow, as you do.

  149. Patricia, OM says

    Janine @24 – Oh thanks for the link to D’nesh /sarcasm. I just about choked to death on my cheerio’s laughing about the motel room, etc. It’s really a shame Hitchens died before this happened.

  150. broboxley OT says

    #191 Lynna,
    thanks for expanding on the new portion of your statement. That makes sense

    Well the Nixon Campaign gave Hunter S. Thompson press credentials back in the day so standards have never been that high over the years :-)

    As far as comparing Rush to Maddow, that’s fine, just pointing out that her show is not exactly news (to me)

  151. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Lynna:

    I don’t compare Rush Limbaugh to Rachel Maddow, as you do

    This does make me wonder. I’ve heard people make the comparison between the two before (not here). Why do people do that?
    Is there anything Rachel Maddow has done or said that is remotely comparable to Rush? From all I’ve seen, she reports on facts and figures. The criticism she gives are based on the actual comments made by politicians. She’s not a sensationalist shock jock who tells lies and doesn’t source the information she receives. She leans heavily progressive, sure. But that’s a good thing.

  152. Portia says

    “Assuming the premise” seems to work well enough for me.

    Do you mean “assuming the conclusion”?

    Tony:
    Exactly. If you cite Rachel Maddow in an argument, there are hard facts there. If you cite Rush Limbaugh in an argument, you get looked at sideways. I’d say the comparison is preposterous.

  153. Patricia, OM says

    Took Tony’s linky and went off to read what heddle was spouting this fucking time…more of the same inerrecy bullshit. Read it, and didn’t call him any names, didn’t quote two dozen bible verses, just shashayed back here, after a huge *SNORT*.

    This is serious, I’ve got some illness when I’ve lost my game so deeply that I don’t even give a shit about heddles fuckwitted stupidity. Somebody take my innertubes pulse and see if I’m still alive.

  154. broboxley OT says

    Tony,
    Okay Madow does not bloviate and blather like Rush. She does cherry pick, take out of context and spin regularly. Maybe more like fox news than rush.

    I watched her a few times long ago and was not impressed with the facts as presented. Over the years I found nothing to indicate that she was reporting news, just her edited viewpoint superimposed over a few news bites.

    Lynna’s earlier post about Corsi sounded more like they courted him on bended knee to join their press folks. More likely he scammed his way aboard using backdoor connections and contacts. He is not sitting next to the candidate eating canape’s drinking scotch and discussing tax write offs the way Maddow was spinning the story.

    You want real news watch or read Al Jazera, Montreal Gazette, some of the english language asian publications balanced with the bbc and angency France presse

  155. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Portia:

    This is serious, I’ve got some illness when I’ve lost my game so deeply that I don’t even give a shit about heddles fuckwitted stupidity. Somebody take my innertubes pulse and see if I’m still alive.

    Pshaw!
    Lost your game my left buttcheek.
    You’re been at this a while and have encountered (and likely *countered*) Heddle’s bullshit before. It’s more or less new to me (when I first started at FtB, I read some of the deeply dumb things he said, but was still lurking). I don’t know enough of the Bible to counter the shit he says (plus I’m not as good with arguing as many others are) so I like to sit back and watch as others verbally eviscerate him.

  156. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    broboxley:

    Okay Madow does not bloviate and blather like Rush. She does cherry pick, take out of context and spin regularly. Maybe more like fox news than rush.

    Uh, I’d really like to know how you came to this conclusion. Perhaps it isn’t a good fit for The Lounge though. I’m just curious to see what drove you to this conclusion and I can see how theoretically it would be more appropriate in The Thunderdome. Can we move this conversation over there?

  157. says

    Republican nasty tricks when it comes to discouraging or misinforming voters are multiplying.

    Link.
    A small Florida-based Tea Party group, Lee912, is urging Republicans to sabotage a key Obama campaign organizing tool, an online feature that allows supporters to access a list of phone numbers and place calls on behalf of the campaign from home.

    Posting on the website, Meetup.com, the group’s founder … asked Lee912 members Thursday to use the Obama phone list to campaign for Romney.

    Magnant suggests callers make the case directly for the Romney-Ryan ticket or just mark the voter as “already called” (“This will remove them from their call list,” Magnant explains).

    On the message board, Magnant lays out his plan, in all caps, as follows:

    If you don’t feel comfortable knocking on doors, making phone calls or volunteering at a specific time or location then this might be just down your alley. You can from the comfort of your home on your computer use Obama’s own call tool to fill out responses of folks on their call list without even having to talk with them. This will remove them from their call list. This is not being dishonest. You can answer neutral to the questions posed. Just get them off their call list and reduce the pool of eligible voters for them to contact. The alternative is to make the phone call and ask the question as a ‘volunteer’ not an Obama volunteer and make the case for a Romney/Ryan vote.

    Ethics fail.

  158. says

    … I can see how … it would be more appropriate in The Thunderdome. Can we move this conversation over there?

    Tony, you and broboxley can move the conversation to the Thunderdome if you like.

    I am not going to argue the merits and differences of Maddow vs. Limbaugh any further.

  159. Patricia, OM says

    Thanks Tony – but this is such an odd feeling…*nothing*, I just don’t give a damn about heddles crap.

    Maybe I should call my therapist…wonders off mumbling…

  160. says

    A Moment of Mormon Madness related to water boarding and other techniques of torture:
    Mormon church appointee aided CIA on terror.

    By “appointee,” they mean Bishop.


    Bruce Jessen was proposed by Spokane Stake President James Lee, or “called” in the terminology of the Mormon faith, to be the bishop of Spokane’s 6th Ward, approved by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hierarchy in Salt Lake City…

    The appointment surprised some groups who have denounced Jessen and his then-partner James Mitchell for techniques they helped develop for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to interrogate suspected terrorists after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Among those techniques were sleep deprivation and waterboarding, according to a 2009 U.S. Senate committee report.

    “I can think of no one less qualified for a position of moral and spiritual leadership,” Shahid Battar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee…

    Contacted by telephone for a comment for this article, Jessen said, “I don’t have anything to say to you,” and hung up the phone….

    Jessen served as bishop of a congregation in another city in the 1980s… Mormons believe their bishops are called by God…

    More coverage here: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2019468677_bishop19.html

    Ex-mormons are having good time with this story, asking if water boarding counts as baptism if done by a mormon bishop, and wondering about the methods this bishop will use during tithing settlement meetings.

  161. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Because if you think about it, divorced from the original use, “begs” is a pretty weak-sounding verb. But maybe that’s what you meant by semantics.

    It has connotations of *insistent* imploring, and also a cultural history (at least for English speakers) of being said memorably indignantly in the form of “I beg your pardon?!” I suspect its “impact” has something to do with the rhythm of the phrase, too. “BEGS the QUESTion” and “deMANDS the QUESTion” have a sort of natural emphasis, the other forms not so much.

  162. says

    …. this is such an odd feeling…*nothing*, I just don’t give a damn about heddles crap.

    We all have our limits, Patricia.

    You could try:
    1. polishing your brass bustier
    2. exposing your ample bosoms to the sun
    3. assume your sub-conscious mind has come to the conclusion that heddle is not worth an ounce of your time
    4. do all of the above and then have a glass of wine

  163. says

    Oh, it does turn out though that the therapeutic dose of D3 for SAD is quite a bit higher than the dose I’ve been taking, so thanks to the people who suggested looking into that.

    So, for now the plan is melatonin at bedtime to tell my body IT IS NIGHT NOW and a massive dose of D3 in the morning to tell my body IT IS DAY NOW, and trying to stay awake (even if I am not very functional) in the morning and afternoon.

  164. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    kristinc: like how big, for the Vitamin D? I’m starting to wonder if I have mild SAD-like symptoms.

  165. trinioler says

    I wonder if there is a link between the way colleges treat rape survivors and sexism in academia…

  166. says

    Azkyroth: OK, the one study I found used 100,000u daily. That kind of scares me? So I’m starting at the upper end of what more anecdotal doses are, namely 10,000u daily. Maybe that’s not actually massive, it seems massive to me. Of course I researched the counterindications and I don’t have any, and I’m keeping a sharp eye out for anything that could indicate an OD, just in case. It seems like overdose from oral vitamin D is pretty rare.

  167. chigau (棒や石) says

    blogofmyself #213
    Only if you close your eyes, cover your ears and say “lalala” for the next couple of weeks.
    /(-_-)\
    lalalala

  168. Rawnaeris, FREEZE PEACHES says

    Airports are boring. And there aren’t enough wall plugs.

    /wanders off grumbling, looking for a place to set up the laptop and play Borderlands 2