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[Lounge #379]

This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. Aaaaaaaaaardvaaaaaark!

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread

Comments

  1. broboxley OT says

    porticullused
    Esteleth email me at williamoxley netscape dot net with a howto for donates

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

    cicely:

    And when the Horses come a-callin’, you just say “Neigh!”

    ‘Cause that’s the only language they understand.

    Uh uh…
    They’re also psychic, dontcha know? So they can understand your thoughts.
    Pet psychic horses are all the rage these days.

  3. rq says

    Sorry, had to jump back in on that one. The psychic horse bit.
    Apparently, it’s true – they can read your miiiiinnnnd (so next time, cicely , you’re near a horse – beeeeee caaaareful!).
    Apparently, also, homeopathy works because it works on horses, and placebo effect couldn’t possibly work on them, because they’re horses, not humans. True story. :P

  4. ImaginesABeach says

    porticullused

    cicely – I will be your minion (provided it doesn’t take too much time or too much energy).

    *raises hand a little and gives a feeble wave toward cicely*

  5. cicely says

    They’re also psychic, dontcha know? So they can understand your thoughts.
    Pet psychic horses are all the rage these days.

    and

    The psychic horse bit.
    Apparently, it’s true – they can read your miiiiinnnnd (so next time, cicely , you’re near a horse – beeeeee caaaareful!).
    Apparently, also, homeopathy works because it works on horses, and placebo effect couldn’t possibly work on them, because they’re horses, not humans. True story. :P

    Tony and rq, I’m prepared to accept the existence of equine psychic powers—after all, mind control, duh!—but these pale in comparison to the equine psychotic powers. ‘Rage’ is the least of it.

    And anyone who thinks that ‘their’ Horse is a pet is certainly a victim of equine mind control.

    They can read my mind, but They cannot have a piece of it; that’s miiiiiiiiine.

    You can’t usefully dilute Horses, so anyone who speaks of homeopathic Horses is full of Horse-shit. Also, placebo can work on Horses, if they read the mind of a believing human, and are convinced that the placebo is ‘real’. Foalie à deux.
    -

  6. rq says

    ImaginesABeach

    That requires you to destroy horses – one at a time, or many at a time… This will in turn destroy your soul. Or whatever you have of it left to destroy.

    +++

    RIght – this time for real, going to bed. Good night all!

  7. cicely says

    *waves back at ImaginesABeach*
    I’m not really in the market for minions, truth to tell; the upkeep and replacement costs, you know; and I am trying to get the Hoverchair 10000 Project up and flying. I wouldn’t say no to a co-conspiratorship, though, and would be pleased and proud to have you conniving at my side. Equal shares of the swag. Can’t say fairer than that!
    -

  8. ednaz says

    FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος’s spellchecker) @ 406

    Thanks for the info!

    Input! Innnnnpuuuut!! : D : D : D : D

  9. says

    I swear to Me, you could dress up a baby aardvark as a triceratops for Halloween… which is what I totally thought that was in a moment of joy/horror.

    Had fun last night watching Rachel Maddow trot out a compilation of clips of various and sundry idiots predicting a Romney win over Obama, sometimes by a landslide!

    I get my packing boxes TOMORROW! WOO! Packing party at my house, you bring the beer and a bowl for soup, and I’ll make the soup! I only have two bowls left, which is making me question whether or not to pack this current set of dishes, or buy a new set on the other side when my wife’s relocation money comes in.

    I needs to get to the heavy drinking, but where’s my motivation? I’ve got a bottle of Scotch here… just sitting here, with my name on it. Not literally my name, mind you. It would be exactly my cheesy sense of humor to say that if my first name was “Glen”

  10. ImaginesABeach says

    rq – Given that I live in a city, finding horses, let alone damaging them, would take both time and effort. I was thinking more along the lines of NOT purchasing peas…

    Yay! for moving boxes for Joe!

  11. John Morales says

    Finally!

    Government abandons plans for internet filter

    The Federal Government has abandoned its controversial plan for a mandatory internet filter, five years after it was first promised.

    Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says internet services providers (ISPs) have instead been issued with orders to block websites listed on Interpol’s ‘worst of’ database.

    [...]

    The internet filter had been strongly opposed by the online community because of censorship concerns, but it had the backing of the Australian Christian Lobby.

  12. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Cut ‘n pasting Esteleth’s #430 from the previous lounge just in case she’s busy.

    Update on the Get-JAL-Outta-Dodge Fund: It looks like JAL has found a place – a furnished place at that. She needs $1200 for first month rent and deposit, plus a TBD pet deposit (let’s say $250 for the sake of argument). Also, ~$300 for getting from where she is now to where she needs to go.
    Donations have been trickling in steadily, and as of right now there is about $700 in the fund. Which means that there needs to be another $1050 for all this to work. Once there’s $1200 (i.e. another $500), she can rent the apartment and work on getting there. As of right now, I have 3 or 4 people who have said that they will be sending money on payday or that there are checks in the mail. Based on what I’ve already gotten, I’m going to assume that this is going to add up to somewhere in the neighborhood of $400.
    So! Things are looking pretty good. At the risk of sounding like an NPR pledge drive, can I ask if people could help push this the rest of the way? :D

    Context for the threadrupt found here.

    Previously Esteleth has said that donations can be made through her Paypal which is her nym at the g00glymailinator.

  13. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    During a conversation while heating water for hot chocolate with marshmallows:

    Me: Why does Boy’s marshmallow have butthole?

    Wife: Because I poked it onto the penguin. Duh.

  14. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Thanks, fossilfishy!

    The balance on my PayPal keeps creeping up. I’m having so much fun refreshing the page.

    Seriously, everyone, this is amazing. :D :D

  15. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    It’s such a world in which we live, such an gobsmaking, headspinning, fucking beautiful world.

    It’s a world in which you can listen to Dr. Karl and Dr. Brian Cox answer really, and I mean REALLY, smart questions from the general public*. A world in which there are people who not only know the answers to those questions, who not only understand how those answers were obtained, but are willing to give that knowledge away free, free for fuck’s sake, to all who choose to hear.

    Fuck the fundies, fuck the deniers, fuck all those who choose dogma, deceit and desperate ignorance to maintain a worldview that denies observable reality. This is our world and It. Is. BEAUTIFUL.

    *With one exception that led to interesting facts despite its intent.

  16. birgerjohansson says

    Uwingu; An initiative for providind funding for, among other things, planetary science by creating a “baby name book” for exoplanets.
    http://betaclone.uwingu.com/

    The idea is to create a “baby name book” for exoplanets, suggesting names for the billions of planets who await discovery (as an alternative to the sterile catalogue designations). The initiative has no official power but I think it is a charming way of providing funds.
    .
    Nominating a name costs 0.99 USD, and voting for a favourite name costs the same.
    I have so far voted for “Solaris” successfully, but a bug* prevents me from nominating any new name.
    Other favourites of mine are “Sagan”, “Darwin” and “Trantor”.

    I certainly want them to get higher up the list than “Rand Paul” :-)
    .
    *This is a beta version of the site. I have tried my office and home computers, neither works for nominations.

  17. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Awesome realization of the day:
    One of my student loans has a monthly minimum payment amount that is smaller than the monthly accrued interest. I am going to have to pay closer attention to this.

  18. birgerjohansson says

    More nominated planet names: Beeblebrox, Holly (the computer of Red Dwarf), Steven Colbert.

  19. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    How long until someone nominates ‘Planet Reagan’? Part of the deification process?

  20. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    You’re suggesting that the Reagan-lovers give a damn about frozen space rocks, Oggie?

  21. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    You’re suggesting that the Reagan-lovers give a damn about frozen space rocks, Oggie?

    No, I’m suggesting that the radical right is so scared that we ‘mercuns will forget Saint Ronald that they want to slap his name on just about anything.

  22. ednaz says

    Joe – I am cheering you on!

    I hope to be packing our place up this spring (summer is o.k., too.) : )

  23. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    I’m suggesting that the radical right is so scared that we ‘mercuns will forget Saint Ronald that they want to slap his name on just about anything.

    …okay. Yes. True.

  24. says

    Thanks ednaz, I’m cheering for me too. I’m trying to see it as an adventure. Not an adventure in crystal meth, like in that TV show set in New Mexico. Just an adventure in packing and driving and then things being pretty awesome.

  25. Amphiox says

    Wandered over to Nate Silver’s blog today. After his tremendous triumph, in the first post after the election, he discusses something his model got wrong*.

    And THAT is how science is done.

    *turns out the tipping point state that have Obama the win was not Ohio, but Colorado. Without Virginia, Ohio or Florida, Colorado gave Obama 272 electoral college votes. And what that means is that almost none of the really close swing states even mattered. Obama had Colorado by 5 points and therefore won the election going away.

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

    How about Asteroid R-51gan (note, I have no idea how or if asteroids are named, but Reagan obviously deserves one in his name)

  27. ImaginesABeach says

    The Keep-JAL-Warm-Out-of-Dodge effort is going well – the family is set for gloves, hats, scarves, we have snowpants for Little One, coats for Little One, 2 adult coats, and sweaters. If the “out-of-dodge” plan stops being north, someone please let me know.

  28. says

    Dammit, I miss having vision insurance. I’ve been waiting so so SO long to get new glasses, because my vision is so bad I was barely able to get a DL with the prescription I have now. I was hoping to get prescription lenses for a pair of sunglasses at some point, for driving.

  29. says

    No, I’m suggesting that the radical right is so scared that we ‘mercuns will forget Saint Ronald that they want to slap his name on just about anything.

    There’s actually an organization devoted to having something dedicated to Reagan in every county in the U.S.

  30. ImaginesABeach says

    Joe – I buy my prescription eyeglasses online from ZenniOptical.com. You need your prescription and your pupillary distance, but you can get a pair of prescription glasses for under $10 if your prescription isn’t so strong that you need high index lenses. I get high index and they usually run around $50 online.

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

    Why does Ronald Reagan excite conservatives so much? I was born in ’75, so I dont know much about him, save trickle down economics.

  32. says

    ImaginesABeach, the problem is that my old prescription is useless, and when I can afford an exam I’ll have an insurance plan that will give me free lenses. My current glasses are Oakley frames, and I’m going to keep putting free lenses in them until they wear out in 6-7 years.

  33. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Huh, here it’s the other way around for most folks. The eye exam is free from the national heathcare service (Socialism! Boogah, boogah!) but you have to pay for the glasses yourself.

    I’m running Oakley frames too and they’re on their third set of lenses. Mind you, I had them replaced once because I got too close to a fire and bubbled the plastic lenses.

    This particular new set of glasses also featured a spanky, properly prescribed set of reading glasses! You know you’re getting old when reading glasses make you do the happy dance.

  34. says

    Tony,

    Reagan was the first Moral Majority president, the first real post-Vietnam Republican president, the one that they thought would lead them to a century of rule over America. The fact that they have to lie about almost every single thing he ever said or did? Makes a good case for the mythic nature of Jesus, since in 10 more years the Republicans will claim that Reagan was Rambo and rescued all the POWs, and in 20 years Reagan will have ended the cold war by physically tearing down the Berlin Wall with his bear hands.

    Not a typo, BTW. I mean “bear hands” because in 30 years the Republicans will claim that the typo was divinely inspired and Reagan actually transformed into a massive American bear that drove the Russian bear to its knees.

  35. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Er, that’d be healthcare. Heathcare is a whole ‘nother kettle of biodiversity.

  36. cicely says

    *jaw-dropped, gob-smacked astonishment*
    I will be go to hell….

    One of my SCA friends, who I had always thought of as “reasonably intelligent”, has just posted a comment on FB that “Ken Ham is a scientist who explains things so I can understand them”.
    *shaking head dazedly*
    -
    Tony, the main thing you need to know is that Reagan has been raised to Republican sainthood (if not out-right deified) for his feel-good, gosh-wow, folksy-seeming PR face.
    -

  37. says

    FossilFishy,

    I’ve tried the cheaper frames that the insurance will pay 100% for, but I usually break those long before the next time he insurance will spring for new frames. In the long run, I think I’m going to come out pretty far ahead, based on the Sam Vimes Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness. I’m supposed to get new lenses every year, so a year from my next lenses I’m going to finally get the tinted ones for another pair of Oakleys I have.

  38. ImaginesABeach says

    My insurance pays for the eye exam (which I could probably afford) but not the glasses. Because of the strength of my prescription, purchasing glasses at a brick and mortor place costs several hundred dollars, even with the cheapest frames. Buying online, if they only last 6 months, I still come out ahead.

  39. says

    ImaginesABeach, that sucks pretty hard. I’m lucky that I’ve always had vision insurance that springs for yearly lenses, and a reasonable exam copay, plus the first $100-125 towards the frames every two years.

  40. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    cicely:

    I am trying to get the Hoverchair 10000 Project up and flying.

    Yay! Also *pouncehug*

  41. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    I just emailed Esteleth. My mom had a bad fall earlier. She’s in the hospital. She’s had 3 surgeries on her back and spine as it is and walks with a cane. She’s not going anywhere this year and I have to stay with her. My step-dad can’t do it and Little One is an absolute wreck. I just can’t move in December unless she does really well and we’re still going to have to live together. Which puts the place we were looking at right now out of the question anyways. I’m sorry it’s just not going to work as quickly as we want it to.

    If you guys need refunds for the holidays or whatever, we can make that happen I’m sure. I told Esteleth to hold on to the money til we can move. We have to move with Grandma to take care of her and Little One hates me right now and doesn’t even want to be near me, she just wants to be with Grandma and is so worried and blames herself for what happened.

  42. ibyea says

    When I look back on history, I see Reagan as way overrated and Carter underrated. How was the 70s fuel shortage Carter’s fault anyways?

  43. ibyea says

    @Improbable Joe
    I watched the first season of Person of Interest and it is fantastic. I really recommend it.

  44. Ichthyic says

    One of my student loans has a monthly minimum payment amount that is smaller than the monthly accrued interest. I am going to have to pay closer attention to this.

    oh yes, student loan agencies will indeed let you pay less than the monthly interest amount.

    why in hells wouldn’t they?

    I’m sure they justify it by saying that some people just can’t make full payments on their loans, and at least this minimum payment keeps them from going into default…

    in the meantime, the loan is actually getting bigger, and bigger…

    and of course, student loans are like taxes… there is no escape. You can’t go chapter 13, 11, or any other bankruptcy to get rid of them, you can’t bargain the amount down…

  45. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    If you guys need refunds for the holidays or whatever.

    I certainly don’t. Either my current donation can be kept until needed or be released now as an early Christmas present, because unless my world collapses between now and the time you can move I would be happy to donate more at a later date.

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

    Joe:
    I’m intrigued by your comments @ “Person of Interest”. I may have to try it out. Can you describe more about the show (yeah, I could Google that, but I rather like getting an individual perspective).

    ****

    Neil Gaiman will write another episode of Doctor Who. I know many of you are Who fans. There’s a slight spoiler at the link (who fights who type spoiler).

    ****
    PZ and all: (of possible interest, just because it sees a popular agnostic/atheist scientist bringing real science to comic books):
    Neil deGrasse Tyson locates Superman’s homeworld:

    In this week’s “Action Comics” #14, world renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson pinpointed Krypton, Superman’s home planet, within the universe. And we’re not just talking about the fictional DCU: We’re talking the actual known universe.

    The red dwarf star designated for having the ability to support a Krypton-like planet is located in the constellation Corvus, which is 27.1 light years from Earth. The star, designated LHS 2520, possesses a red, highly turbulent surface, somewhat cooler and smaller than the Sun. For amateur astronomers, the exact coordinates are:

    J2000
    Right Ascension: 12 hours 10 minutes 5.77 seconds
    Declination: -15 degrees 4 minutes 17.9 seconds
    Proper Motion: 0.76 arcseconds per year, along 172.94 degrees from due north

  47. says

    Tony & ibyea,

    I don’t want to spoil the show, because it is an example of the sort of slow-burn long-game build-up other-hyphenated awesome that you very rarely see in TV. It feels more like a comic book that after two years decides to flip the script and let you know that everything you’ve seen isn’t the story, it is only window dressing for the REAL story.

    Tony, the basic plot of the show is that there’s a man with a “particular set of skills” who is paired with a “man who knows things” and they defend the innocent and punish the guilty. They are aided by a cop who has her own history of violence in the military and a dirty cop who would love to be made clean. Also, the “person of interest” each week is chosen by a computer program designed by the “man who knows things.”

    It is police procedural, combined with a “Quantum Leap” sort of righting wrongs, combined with the mysterious pasts of the main characters, plus a tech-based thriller almost in the vein of the Ben Affleck movie “Paycheck”, and some “Bourne Identity” fight scenes in most episodes… and that’s all BEFORE the big twist in the last episode of the first season and first two episodes of the second, that sort of turn the whole entire show into an entirely different show while being 100% true to everything that has happened before.

    You could watch an episode, and be entertained because it is competent and well-acted like an especially-good episode of “Law & Order”… but if you watch it all in order, it builds up to something that it almost sort of amazing when you stop to think about what they did, and how they did it, and how they were sneaky enough to tell this sort of story on network television through the back door.

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

    Hekuni Cat @55:

    cicely:

    I am trying to get the Hoverchair 10000 Project up and flying.

    Yay! Also *pouncehug*

    Isn’t the Hoverchair meant for one? If there’s two on there, won’t it, oh I dunno, fall down go boom? Perhaps instead of a *pouncehug*, you should merely kneel before the Almighty cicely (you know, in the same way that believers think happens in Heaven; you die, meet God, kneel before his golden chair…)

    ****

    Re: Person of Interest
    I did some wiki fu and read up on it. I see a mild science fiction angle, but from the description it seems more rooted in the crime drama/forensics stuff [surprised the stuff is still popular; I'm a closet CSI: Miami fan] on tv. That said, this *is* JJ Abrams. I think the only show he didn’t do any major twists involving science fiction was on Felicity.
    I just realized, I must be a *huge* fan of JJ Abrams.
    I have fond memories of Felicity.
    I *fucking* LOVE Alias [Sidney Bristow, you rock].
    I watched Lost for the first few season but my interest waned.
    I quite liked Cloverfield.
    And of course, I cannot forget Fringe. Love me some Olivia Dunham.

    JJ Abrams knows how to create well rounded female characters. I imagine many of his shows should pass the Bechdel Test (although, does that apply to ongoing tv shows, or just movies?).

  49. says

    Wow… that went on for a long time, didn’t it?

    TL;DR version: imagine a TV show that looks like “guy in a cubicle who likes computers” for 20 episodes, and then in the last few episodes of the season becomes The Matrix. It isn’t that twist, that would be a spoiler, but the twist is almost that radical.

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

    Well Joe’s post above sold me. I want to watch the show now. There are definitely benefits to asking someone about a topic versus searching for information on it.

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

    Actually Joe, I didn’t think it was TL;DR. You gave enough details to intrigue me, and a rough idea of what the series is about. You sold the show to me in a way similar to how creators sell a tv show to a network (or how I imagine it would be).

  52. John Morales says

    All I can say is that some people’s idea of what constitutes science fiction is different to mine.

  53. says

    Tony,

    Professional descriptions of the show are going to leave out all of the good stuff, aren’t they? :)

    Hell, anything with Michael Emerson involved is going to be watchable if it is even remotely well-written. And there are lots of interesting women on the show, including the police officer caught up in events plus lots of supporting characters who are at least as bad-ass as the main characters.

    It isn’t a show like “Bones” or “Criminal Minds” that are just rip-offs of the police procedural formula. This is a show that is using the foundation and a springboard, a way to tell a more interesting story that is built on a formula that people understand. There’s some of the basic stuff you expect going on, but every episode adds just a hair of something else and something deeper, and then there’s the big reveal where we see that the whole show is about something HUGE, something almost no TV show has ever tackled, and ever fewer have handled with any skill at all.

  54. thunk, Blob Alert! says

    Hia all.

    As for me, all I can say is that apathy has set in. Most of the time, I can’t bear to do anything except lounge around. I’ve reverted back to mostly lurking *sniff*.

    How’s it, everyone? Nothing majourly bad? Everything aight then?

  55. says

    thunk!

    What’s up! Are YOU ok? Because most of the rest of us seem to be coping at the minimum, although things could be better. Well enough to chat science fiction, more or less.

  56. thunk, Blob Alert! says

    Improbable Joe:

    Are YOU ok?

    Yes, though I admit the difficult work at school has distracted me from many of my hobbies. I’m not up on my science fiction though.

  57. says

    thunk,

    Work at school is understandable. I hope you’re making time enough for at least one or two hobbies. Work stress without stress relief is a recipe for disaster.

  58. says

    Hi again, Thunk.

    I hope you’re making time enough for at least one or two hobbies. Work stress without stress relief is a recipe for disaster.

    That’s for damn sure. For me it’s not been so much a case of time as the fact that the groups I game with haven’t been available for quite a while, and most of my meatspace friends live too far away for me to get together with them.

  59. Rob says

    @#78. Yes, of a type. If you squint really hard and ignore the muppets and the furry characters there is some implied science. It’s certainly fiction so it falls in the spectrum. :-)

  60. says

    ibyea,

    Yeah, Jonathan Nolan… the unsung Nolan brother, right? His brother gets all the credit for directing, but it really feels to me like Jonathan Nolan is really responsible for best parts of his brother’s movies. My guess is that his brother’s credits on the screenplays are more about Christopher tweaking things to fit his visual ideas rather than much to do with the plot.

  61. Rob says

    Improbable Joe I see your point but even the fuzziest of definitions have edge. The CSI’s etc all fall into crime for me. As in crimes against…

    Ian M Banks
    Peter F Hamilton
    Sheri S Tepper
    Alistair Reynolds
    Kim Stanley Robinson
    Stephen Donaldson
    Orson Scott Card

    Would be examples of authors producing what I would describe as SF (certainly not an exclusive list I’ve forgotten waaaaaay more authors than I can remember after a few beers). Happy to swap recommendations!

  62. chigau (棒や石) says

    I enjoy this time of night and this state of inebriation.
    I have just reduced my bookmark list to [Lounge] and [Thunderdome].

  63. Rey Fox says

    I watched the first couple seasons of Red Dwarf, and maybe this is blasphemous, but Holly might be the only part I really liked. “Emergency. There’s an emergency going on.”

  64. chigau (棒や石) says

    Joe
    I post this one from the patio (I must smoke) whilst shielding the netbook from the snow.
    What does that tell you?

  65. says

    Rob,

    I haven’t read every author on your list… but of the ones I have read, I don’t see how Person of Interest doesn’t qualify as science fiction. Maybe because you’re in the wrong sub-section of the genre?

    I don’t want to get to spoilery on anything, but for instance Stephen R. Donaldson’s Gap series uses a bare minimum of science fiction conceits in order to advance a story that is really based on interpersonal relationships. More importantly, the earlier books are based on the differences between how outsiders view events and how the insiders experience them, and how a writer can shift POVs to make you see the same events in different lights.

    Orson Scott Card often does the same thing. He uses the trappings of science fiction, but he is telling very personal stories that could work in other settings as well.

    The sort of author you should be looking to when thinking about Person of Interest is William Gibson, or one of the other cyberpunk authors. This is a story of culture, modern culture plus a few steps, modern culture plus a single piece of tech that changes everything, although it is hard to see the big changes until you stack a TV season’s worth of small changes against each other.

  66. chigau (棒や石) says

    I lost interest in the ‘debate’ about ‘hard’ vs ‘soft’ vs ‘science fiction’ vs ‘speculative fiction’ on the day that Harlan Ellison yelled at us (audience at a small ‘SciFi’ conference at the University of Calgary in 1970something).
    Read the story.
    Do you like it?
    Good.
    Do you dislike it?
    Good.

  67. says

    chigau,

    Harlan Ellison has a magical way of making things more awesome and completely worthless all at the same time, doesn’t he? And we can blame him for me being a “hard” atheist rather than the more casual type, BTW.

    And clearly I have a more open definition of science fiction than most, because my definition is simply “use science as a starting point to tell a story.” In which oddly Star Wars doesn’t really qualify, and Person of Interest is a fair example… for me. And you draw your own lines, because fuck it and your lines don’t hurt my lines.

    Yeah… I just typed a long drunken speech here. I’ll keep it to myself. :)

  68. Rob says

    Tony, the soft-scifi link still points to hard but I think I get the idea. Short answer. I swing both ways. I’ve read lots of both. More hard-sf when I was younger as that was more in vogue then. Writing style, story integrity, novelty, level of immersion I can achieve are all more important than strict category. As an example I like Bank’s Culture novels a great deal but refuse to acknowledge that many call them Space Opera. For some reason I detest the very phrase. Possibly because I read and hated EE Doc Smith when I was a youngster.

    I’m off to spend the evening with my loved one now. Catch you later.

  69. Rob says

    Joe – just saw yours at 91 &95 when I pressed submit. Will give it some thought. Yes definitions are very personal. Of the episodes of POI I’ve seen here so far it’s just been a crime/thriller and there’s a big NSA computer sitting in the background they’ve hacked… Maybe I need to watch more/later episodes. Night all.

  70. chigau (棒や石) says

    Joe
    If you haven’t read this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Flying_Sorcerers
    put it on your list.
    Most of the ‘references’ are now dated but it’s still a good story.
    and
    While I ♥ you forever for

    Harlan Ellison has a magical way of making things more awesome and completely worthless all at the same time, doesn’t he?

    I think that Little Harley would hunt you down.

  71. says

    Good morning

    JAL
    Oh no, I’m so sorry for your mum. I hope she gets better soon and you can make your escape. Hugs to you and the little one. Why does she think it’s her fault?
    Hold on to the money, you might still need to get out there in a hurry.

    Joe
    Good luck packing

    glasses
    ’round here the exam is covered but glasses aren’t unless you’re a kid and I tell you that they can get fucking expensive if you want something good. I kkno because I’m married to somebody with eyes like and eagle or how do you call that little blyk creature that lives under the earth?

  72. says

    chigau,

    I assume you meant “I think that Little HARLAN would hunt you down.”… which is adorable and all, but sort of like saying you’re going to sic the Muppet Babies on me. :)

  73. says

    JAL:
    That sucks intensely. Hopefully things look up soon.

    And clearly I have a more open definition of science fiction than most, because my definition is simply “use science as a starting point to tell a story.”

    That actually leaves out a whole lot of what’s usually considered science fiction, I think, although it may depend on what you mean by ‘use science as a starting point.’ e.g. Star Trek uses handwavium as a starting point, but it has the trappings of science (computers, flashing lights, rivets etc.) instead of the trappings of magic (Robes, cauldrons, wands etc.). This gets it classified as science fiction instead of fantasy, but if you made the Enterprise a galleon, Spock an elf and swapped wizards for engineers, you could tell virtually the same stories as they sailed around the fringes of some great fantasy ocean.

  74. chigau (棒や石) says

    Joe
    “Little Harley” was a way of referring to and annoying Harlan Ellison.
    lo those many years agobeforeb4 the interwebtubes.
    It took months.
    The fanzines went by snailmail.

  75. says

    chigau,

    I’m going to have to bow out now, because I was playing Google-Fu and was trying to track down my first exposures to Harlan Ellison, which I was thinking had to be a box of Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction issues I came across in the 1980s. I know I had the issues with “Jeffty Is Five” in it… which brings up that “Jeffty” is partially based on Andrew Koenig (Walter “Pavel Chekov” Koenig’s son), who died two years ago.

  76. chigau (棒や石) says

    Joe
    I’m to bed also.
    Jeffty Is Five is a good story.
    (No. It’s a fucking good story.)

  77. StevoR says

    I have been falsely accused of supposed “racism” and slandered here once again and I am so fucking sick of it.

    There are bullying fucking douchecanoes here who have slandered and lied about me and owe me an apology.

    I request that PZ Myers kindly insists they do so or face the banhammer.

    Anyone disagree with this self-evident truth?

    Well, show me one post, just one fucking post, where I have said anything that is actually racist. Or anti-Semitic.

    Note that being against fucking terrorist Jihadists who wish to murder us all and have extremist, murderous, misogynist, homophobic values that are ultra right beyond pretty much anything else on the planet doesn’t count.

    Please note for the fucking zillionth time that Islam is NOT a race & I don’t give a shit about skin colour. I don’t care whether an Al Quaida or Taliban or Hamas terrorist is white, black, brown, red or yellow – I don’t want them trying to destroy our way of life and comitt atrocities against innocent people (whatever their skin colours) and I fully support the Jewish people and their right to exist in their traditional historical, actual fucking homeland in fucking peace. As should be fucking axiomatic to all decent human beings.

    Go on bullies and Islamic Jihadist sympathisers. One post. Just one.

    You cannot do it.

    Now apologise, admit you were wrong and stop fucking lying about me.

    ‘K.

    Right fucking now.

  78. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Goddamn it I can’t sleep. This sucks so much. Just laying her holding Little One while she sleeps. I got the landlord to open their apartment and brought the pets over here to take care of them. That helped Little One to be with them but at the same time the pets live at Grandma’s and if they are here something is terribly wrong. Which something is terribly wrong. *sigh*

    One week ago my life was okay. Struggling and all that but okay. Then the ex pops up and everything goes to shit.

    Why does she think it’s her fault?

    Because it happened as we were crossing the street to go to the grocery store. She was pulling or tugging or hugging Grandma while we were going up the curb. I think it was just a terrible combination of her, Grandma balancing with her cane, wet pavement (it actually sprinkled today go figure) and shit timing. All Little One knows is one second she was holding Grandma, the next Grandma was sprawled on her back across the curb with her head hitting the street landing at a terrible angle and knocked out. Cars were passing by since the light changed for them to go. It was awful. We were all freaked out and only Step-dad could go to the hospital. She hasn’t spoken or seen Grandma since. We spoken to Step Dad but that’s it. I tried calling a bit ago on their home phone since my Safelink phone is officially out of minutes. Step dad didn’t have any news but she did wake up but is sleeping. Still a lot of pain but they are medicating her. Apparently she’s so bruised and messed up they worried she got hit by a car.

    It’s one big cluster fuck and I’m honestly scared. Her regular doctors have been treating her and trying to make it so she didn’t have to have another surgery on her back. They have been talking about it but not wanting to go there yet because it would be on her lower back. Her spine is so, so messed up already. I hope she’s okay. I hope it’s not the worst case scenario. We need a break. You guys have been so awesome but we just need a fucking break. How much worse can it get? No wait, don’t answer that I don’t want to think about it.

  79. Beatrice says

    JAL,

    I’m so sorry that your mother got injured on top of all the other problems your family currently has. I hope that she recovers quickly.

  80. StevoR says

    Postscript :

    And no, I’m not going to take this to the “Thunderdome” (a.k.a. no rules and bullying bullshit) thread because y’know I’ve been bullied more than enough here and in life already, okay.

    If certain abusive bullies (yes Ing, that includes you) cannot contain yourselves enough to hold a civilised moderated discussion within a handful of basic moderated rules then that says something really bad about you and you might want to think about that a bit.

    I have been very badly wronged here.

    I like this blog, I try to make positive contributions and I’m sick to the gills with being so badly abused and mistreated and lied about.

  81. says

    JAL
    That is so…
    My heart tears for you and your family. Your kid is really a wonderful person, caring about her grandma so much and worrying about whether she did anything wrong. I hope she comes to understand that sadly, shit happens.
    All the best to your mum.
    (((hugs)))

    StevoR
    I think you took the wrong door.

  82. chigau (棒や石) says

    StevoR
    Take it to [Thunderdome] or go away.
    This is not the place for your complaint.

  83. StevoR says

    And I have been very kind and patient here given the provocation, insults and lies told about me.

  84. rq says

    Good morning to all!

    cicely way up @9
    Have you ever even tried to dilute a horse? Probably not. So, we can’t be sure that they don’t dilute well. (I admit, I have not tried myself, but I’m thinking of going to see that horse-keeping friend of mine for horse mind-reading lessons, and will check back in once I know more.)

    Yay for Improbable Joe , because boxes + packing becomes an exercise in 3D geometry. And THAT can be made into a drinking game (although I suppose better not, considering you don’t want to lose anything during the move…).

    Esteleth

    Can you please email me re: sending money? I did some math with money and I think I can spare a little bit, but I have to send it by mail. taarpinsh at hotmail dot com

    FossilFishy @23
    That is a great link, and a great conversation! Thank you for that! A very impressive level of scientific literacy.

    birgerjohansson
    I think ‘Pea’ should be a planet name, too.

    Improbable Joe
    Person of Interest sounds like a good show to look into, from all you’ve said about it. That being said, I was disappointed with the direction Battlestar Galactica went after about, oh, season 2, and I’m glad they didn’t go beyond season 4. The ending didn’t surprise me, and I thought it silly in a way (though I can’t be sure I can pinpoint exactly how), and while there were great moments leading up to everything, I lost all sense of believability when Colonel Tigh became a Cylon.

    JAL
    I hope your mother gets well very soon, very quickly, for all of your sakes!! Fingers crossed and good thoughts.

    +++

  85. says

    StevoR

    And I have been very kind and patient here given the provocation, insults and lies told about me.

    No, you haven’t. And you have violated the Rules of the Lounge by actually refusing to stop it here and take it to the Thunderdome. People put up with your presence here because of the rules of the Lounge but you cannot make us discuss what you want on your terms.
    I’m sure that strange gods will be delighted to evidence each and every one of his claims. Have fun.

  86. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    I like this blog, I try to make positive contributions and I’m sick to the gills with being so badly abused and mistreated and lied about. – StevoR

    You are not mistreated or lied about, but if you think you are, you are free to stop posting here: a win all round.

  87. Beatrice says

    John Morales,

    I have only ever heard Kumbaya in terrible cheesy American movies, usually sung around a camp fire, before now. I guess what has been done to it counts as “crimes of white people against music”. I liked this version.

  88. rq says

    Also, I hate time zones. Turns out I missed a conversation about science fiction and which kind is the most awesome and what else is worth reading.
    I have to admit, out of Rob‘s list @84, I have read 5 of those authors, and of those five, I think I liked 2 (Tepper and Robinson), but they all seem to write incredibly long novels. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but while what they write is interesting, sometimes I find it gets tedious (see previous comments about book series etc.) and I lose interest. Well, I’m mostly a short-story kind of person, anyway – I like snapshots, good snapshots, of situations or people.
    BASICALLY I don’t think I’ve ever divided my sci-fi into ‘hard’ or ‘soft’, just author styles that I like or don’t like. Current and past favourites include Neil Gaiman, Ronald Wright (I think he only has the one nominally sc-fi book but boy was it good), CJ Cherryh, William Gibson, Stanislaw Lem, Mervyn Peake, Greg Bear, Iain Banks, Sheri S Tepper, Anne McCaffrey (I did say ‘past’)…

    +++

    re: glasses
    Haven’t had a new pair in ages, but here, I have to pay my own way. At least I have a friend-optometrist, so I can get my prescription free, but I still have to pay for the glasses + lenses myself. Even though I work for the government (technically), I don’t have much of a health insurance plan.

  89. StevoR says

    @121. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) :

    You are not mistreated or lied about, but if you think you are, you are free to stop posting here: a win all round.

    Or a loss.

    And I have indeed been badly mistreated and lied about here by a few douchecanoes including you.

    Including your comment right there which is a lie.

    You disagree?

    Then prove it.

    Note here that Thunderdome is apparently a venue for (even more!) unrestrained,unmoderated bullying and abuse in a blog that whilst great in many ways already has far too much of that and, y’know what, I don’t want, need or care to be on that.

  90. StevoR says

    Note here that Thunderdome is apparently a venue for (even more!) unrestrained,unmoderated bullying and abuse in a blog that whilst great in many ways already has far too much of that and, y’know what, I don’t want, need or care to be on that.

    For claity – Thunderdome is whatI meant at the end of #125 there. This Pharnygula blog has its good and bad aspects as with pretty much everything in life.

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

    SteveoR:
    I wish you’d stop flagrantly violating the rules of The Lounge. Please go away.

  92. rq says

    StevoR

    You’re not helping yourself. The reason I’m here and not the Thunderdome is for exactly this reason – nobody’s trying to provoke anyone into anything, and is perfectly willing to let well enough alone, rather than insisting on some sort of… Well, I’m not entirely sure what you’re after.
    Needless to say, if you want to be contentious, go take it elsewhere. The only thing we are currently disagreeing about here is Horses, but I doubt that will interest you, since it’s not a unified smackdown of anyone’s views, hence – not an example of bullying.
    Please shut it or go away. I’m asking politely.
    (And, oh wait, since you seem to be breaking the rules, I forgot – what happens to people who break the rules in the Lounge?)

  93. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    As a monitor, I’m reporting what I judge to be StevoR’s misuse of the Lounge to PZ.

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

    thunk:
    good to hear from you.
    I’ve been meaning to ask: was there anything that sparked your interest in meteorology?

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

    ibelieveindog:
    I tried to listen to that video, but it’s really hard for me to understand what he’s saying.

  96. says

    Fuck you mum! (Ignore if you’re sick and tired of Giliell’s mum, part #264784125, I know I am)
    Remember when I ranted on Monday that she simply bypassed my by promising the kids to come to the lantern festival tonight? Well, guess who just called and told me that she’s “too sick” to come? Now cue in two sad and disappointed kids. “But she promised” Explain to a 5 yo that her grandma’s promises aren’t worth the air she used for making them.
    Yes, I know, I recently argued that this is part and parcel of alcoholism. I never arged you’re not allowed to be fucking hurt and angry. She’s hurting my kids now and I can’t forgive her that.

    Nick
    Thanks

  97. rq says

    Giliell

    :( Hugs and sympathies. Especially for/concerning the disappointed kids.

    And yes, thanks, Nick.

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

    rq:
    That reminds me. I turn 37 in just over a month.
    I don’t wanna turn 37.

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

    JAL:
    I am so sorry to hear about your mother. I hope she-and the rest of your family-will be all right.
    Best wishes.

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

    Joe @82:
    I recall reading something somewhere stating that due to the advanced tech used on CSI, it could be classified as science fiction (probably extreeeeeeemely Soft Sci Fi).

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

    John, Giliell:

    Nope.
    Drawing a line in the sand.
    Here I stand. Never again shall I advance in age.
    (we all have to have our delusions, right?)

  102. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    JAL I’m so sorry about your mum and the pain and confusion the situation has caused in your little one. Sometimes the world sucks, and that suckage is never fairly distributed. If it were, you would have a life free from this shit because you are one of the good ones. Hang in there and know that all over the world you have people who care.

    Gilell I’m right there with you, I can accept the casual harm that comes from a disease like alcoholism. I can accept it because I’m an adult and I know how to cope. However I cannot accept it when it falls upon those too young to understand. I was that child once and I flat out refuse to be reasonable about it. But then that is my privilege in not having any such person in my life. I’m so sorry you and the bubs have to deal with that shit.

    ibelieveindog Wow, that track takes me back. The Avalon tour was my very first big stadium show. Back in the day I never considered that the lyrics might be atheist. Interesting.

  103. says

    Tony
    I remember that when me and my former classmates turned 30 over a couple of months, many of them freaked out. I though that if I started freaking out over my age at 30, what would I do at age 60?
    BTW, 34 in 2 months.

    Fossil Fishy
    Thanks. Maybe my sister can show up* and take a saussage and a Martinsbrezel back gran. Since I have to buy the vouchers beforehand I’m now stuck with 6 hotdogs, 6 normal German Brezeln and 5 sweet Martinsbrezeln…
    For two adults and two kids…

    *She needs to find a way to keep her jaw warm. She used to gnash her teeth during sleep and got one of those plastic-thingies to protect the teeth. Well, now apparently the power that damaged her teeth has gone to the jaw and she has an inflamation of the jaw-hinge.

    At least this episode helped me immensely in my decision-making about christmas-eve.

    +++
    Good news: my boss just asked me if I wanted to do a beginners class next (people’s university) semester.
    Bad new: I don’t think I can do it :(

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

    Quick, someone tell Charlie Brown that THIS is a great pumpkin. This guy created a fully functioned tetris game inside a pumpkin! That’s sweet!

  105. Beatrice says

    Good news: my boss just asked me if I wanted to do a beginners class next (people’s university) semester.
    Bad new: I don’t think I can do it :(

    Can’t because of time constraints or can’t as in “not capable of doing it successfully”?

    If it’s the second, I doubt your boss would have asked you to do this in the first place if they didn’t think you can do it.

  106. says

    beatrice
    Time problems, unless I kick out my very nice group who is taking private classes. I have to think about it, but at the moment I’m running on a tight schedule anyway. On the other hand lots of it would be done while college is still on holiday….

  107. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    On my thirtieth birthday I got a tattoo and cut off all my hair. My reasoning was that my hair line had begun to recede and it was beginning to look like I was wearing a wig that was sliding back on my scalp. So off it went. The tattoo was a fuck- you to genetics and ageing. If they were going to take away my hair I was going to add something that I would take to my grave. Though I have to admit that the fact that one of my band mates had a girlfriend who had started tattooing for a living and was willing to give me a deal was a part of that decision.

    I find I get less and less fussed by birthdays as I grow older. Ageing, just like everything else, gets easier with practice.

  108. rq says

    Tony

    37 shouldn’t be the problem. Apparently hitting the decades is REALLY depressing. Anyway, you could just celebrate being 36 in perpetuity.
    And, if travelling at lightspeed, you’ll be a ripe old nearly-90 by the time you get to the New Earth. The perfect age to enjoy what remains of your retirement!

    Giliell

    I love your grandma’s philosophy.
    Also, I hope you figure out a way to do the class – without having to sacrifice the teaching. :( Choices sometimes suck.

    +++

    DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT WHYYYY does everything have to break all at once??? I needed another 2-3 months worth of mileage out of that stroller, but now… DAMMIT. And there’s not much point in buying another one, either, not at this point in time. It’s just frustrating because it puts a bit of a damper on my ability to go places with the little one. DAMMIT.

    +++

    When I turn a nice round number, I’m going to celebrate by not having anymore kids for the rest of my life. Trying to figure out how to do that without having my womanhood handed to me on a platter by the powers that rule over all medical decisions in this country. (Because apparently having 3 kids before 30 doesn’t qualify you for voluntary non-fertility, in case you ‘might want more later’.)

  109. blf says

    BTW, 34 in 2 months.

    That’s an extremely rapid rate of aging.

     ───────────────────────────────

    (This probably belongs in Thunderdome and hence will be my only comment on the subject…)
    Here’s an example quote from the guy who isn’t a bigot (spellings, &tc, as in original):

    Ask yourself -would ourather, on average be living in a Werstern land or a non-Westernesp. islamic one?

    Definitely not a bigot. In the same way the mildly deranged penguin never eats cheese.

  110. davem says

    the problem is that my old prescription is useless, and when I can afford an exam I’ll have an insurance plan that will give me free lenses.

    I’m curious about how much lenses cost in the States, that they’d need an insurance plan. Surely, any insurance plan has to be more expensive long term, than buying glasses?

    In the UK, we get charged 12 pounds for an exam (I guess that that’s subsidised by the NHS). Over 60s get it for free. My glasses, with best type varifocal lenses cost 200 pounds, which included an additional pair of sunglasses to same specification. Would have been £75 with plain lenses, although you can buy glasses for less than £10 in some places. Oddly enough, last time I went, it was cheaper to have a new set of frames (identical to the old) and lenses than replace the lenses. Something stinks in the optical trade. Looks like it’s even worse in the US.

  111. rq says

    blf

    What do you mean, the mildly deranged penguin never eats cheese??? WHAT HAVE I DONE?
    Oh, wait.
    I see now what you did there.

  112. says

    rq

    Also, I hope you figure out a way to do the class – without having to sacrifice the teaching. :( Choices sometimes suck.

    Sorry about the confusion. Both of those are teaching. I teach at what is called “people’s university”, which is a public institution in Germany where adults can learn new stuff for cheap money (if you compare it with private instruction). Classes range from painting and cooking to languages and belly-dance. I’ve been teaching Spanish (and sometimes English) there for over 6 years now. The catch is that a class needs to have 10 paying students at least and there’s one I’ve been teaching for a long time who are only 5 people left, so we moved to the basement of one student’s house. But that “timeslot” is the only one I could use for a class at the people’s university. Well, I’ll see.

    Can you perhaps get a used stroller? Ours broke in summer but that was OK because it was kind of a “natural end” of strollertime.

  113. rq says

    Giliell

    Ah, ok, that makes some sense now, but it’s still a crappy choice. Sounded like he was offering you some extra education, which would also be cool. :)
    We’re going to have to look into getting a new used stroller (although even those cost a bit… about 20% of what I make in a month, relatively speaking), probably, or we could just do the switch-over a bit faster than planned. (We already have the older-age stroller, and that one (thank thoughtful relatives) was gifted brand new for #3, since the first two drove the older-age stroller right into the ground.)
    The crappy part is I was still counting on this stroller throughout the winter/lesser mobility for #3 (not yet crawling) in order to continue with my choir, which is my once-a-week chance to get out of the apartment and away from (most) of the other crapload of stuff at home.
    Because I can stick the car seat on it, and then take jsut the car seat up the very steep stairs to the practice room. If I switch over, I can’t take the car-seat with (also sucks because usually I could find someone to give me a ride home, as opposed to taking public transportation home as well), and also have to hold the little one the whole practice time – wet floors in winter and all that. If he was crawling, I wouldn’t mind so much, because I could let him explore under the piano and it would be great, but he gets frustrated quickly if he’s on his back, and fussy baby at choir rehearsal = not very much actual productive singing done. *sigh* Sorry, rambling again, but it’s just so frustrating for it to happen NOW.
    Because I also had to take the fall-winter coat in for repairs today, because I can’t afford a new one this year (even though it’s about the 3rd time it’s being fixed), and that just depressed the hell out of me.
    Among other things, but… :)

  114. Beatrice says

    Giliell,

    Any chances of finding a different time when your students could meet? Since these students have been with you for a while, I’m sure they’ll try to adjust to you if they can.

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

    blf @154:
    Thank you for that link. It proved illustrative.

  116. says

    I’ve been playing Dead Island with my colleagues (a zombie game) and I’m starting to get frustrated with all the aside comments about religion. “It’s the end of days” kind of stuff is fine, but the last quest I did, Mother Helen (a nun, clearly) decided to snipe off with a “those bad raskols don’t share our religion, and so they’re bad.”

    Seriously? The bad guys are atheists?

  117. mildlymagnificent says

    Getting past those “decade” birthdays.

    One card the magnificent mr got for his 40th or 50th read … “Over the hill … and picking up speed!!”

    And it really is fun for us. The main thing is to keep living well without necessarily doing the same things you’ve always done. Mr went back to uni for physics and yet another maths subject for the first half of this year – and turned 70 in the middle of it.

  118. says

    rq
    How old is your #3 again? I was thinking he was somewhere in toddler range, but I suppose I mixed him up with #2. If the stroller was new, maybe there’s warranty on it?
    Maybe something like this might be an alternative. Ours was relatively cheap and lasted for 2 kids (with heavy use).

    beatrice
    Yes, that’s what I’ve been thinking, too, but it will only work for the college break. On Monday evenings, my friends come. That is sacred, at least until I have to take that fucking class on Monday nights. On Tuesdays I work. Currently I teach that group outside the University at six and one group within the University at half seven. Currently I’m teaching another group privately every other week on Wednesday at six. They would move to half seven, no problem. But I already know that when the next semester starts I will have classes on Wednesday night. No teaching then. On Thursdays it’s #1′s ballet class and honestly, I can’t just take them from kindergarten to gran to bed 3 days a week in a row, especially not when it means that they’re staying up past their bedtime anyway. Friday night Mr. is home and I refuse to go out to work then.

  119. rq says

    Giliell

    #3 is just past 5 months, #2 is two and a half (#1 being five and some).
    And the broken stroller was also bought used already, but it lasted through most of two children (and some very heavy use, considering the sidewalks don’t get cleaned in the winter here, or paved in better weather – every outing is like off-roading). So in a way, it did well. But needed to do just that much better.
    We have one similar to the one in your link, which we were planning on taking out a bit later, but it’s the one with the no-car-seat option. I guess I’ll just have to bear it for a while. When #3 gets off the boob a bit more and is eating solids, I can leave him at home with the rest of them and wander off to choir on my own again, but again, there’s just a few more weeks until that can happen. :( Ah well, that’s my first-world-issue of the day.

    That is one full schedule that you run. Wow! I’m impressed with how you manage all that, and still made Halloween costumes. I don’t suppose working during the day (lunch hours?) at all is an option for the one class? Or is day-time all school-time?

  120. rq says

    Giliell

    I thought about the wearing, which seems to be the most viable option at the moment.
    The only problem is hands – his hands, to be exact – but that’s a battle I’ve fought and won before (baby hands on sheet music = bad news for the sheet music, especially if extra drool is involved :D). I have until next week to think it through, hopefully something will occur. Thanks for the suggestions, though.

    May I ask why the mister can’t be home in the evenings? (I’m getting the impression that he works elsewhere during the week and is home on weekends…?)
    Hats off to you, though, seriously, because I know I sometimes think I have a tough time of it, with 3 kids (one in kindergarten), but you’re doing a lot of stuff alone (that’s the imprssion anyway). And seeing the mister on weekends, which must be difficult in a whole different way. Again I say wow, I am very impressed with your handling of things. All things. :)

  121. says

    rq
    Yes, Mr. works and lives in a different town during the week, so I’m a part time single mum. He can and will come home for an evening if I ask him to (it’s a bit more than 100 km one way), but that means that he’ll spend about as much as I earn on fuel and the car and especially in winter I really don’t like the idea of him driving to work a 5:30.

    +++
    How come that nowadays it takes you 30 minutes to design the cover-sheet of a presentation?

  122. blf says

    WHAT HAVE I DONE?

    There are not enough electrons in the InterTubes to provide a complete list.

  123. broboxley OT says

    Living in Muslim Countries.
    Parts of Malay are quite nice. Brunei or Java is decent. Micronesia and parts of Indonesia would be on the list. Puntland would be great if I had the money. Perfect government for me.
    All of those countries would beat Belize as a western, democratic somewhat christian nation.

  124. says

    StevOr: Stop now. This is not the place for those kinds of complaints. If someone is abusing you here in the Lounge, justified or not, write to me with specifics and I’ll shut them down. But do not use this thread to tell other people how awful they are (again, no matter whether it’s true or not) or you’ll be the target of my moderation.

  125. Beatrice says

    Giliell,

    Oh, that’s a complicated situation. I hope it somehow works out for you.


    Since we’re talking teaching, I just got an email.

    I’m not suited for teaching. I haven’t even finished any classes for math teachers. But, as I did finish math, I can apply for jobs in teaching, and if no candidate who is actually a teacher applies, I could the job. When I was applying at the unemployment services, I said I would work anywhere I can, including schools. My “adviser” has ignored my for two months, but now she started sending me adverts for schools where I now have to apply in order not to get kicked off the services.

    And I know it’s terribly ungrateful that I don’t want to apply to some jobs, but I’m really really not suited for teaching. Those children are going to eat me alive if I ever have to go to a classroom. I know nothing about teaching. Or keeping discipline. Or what the hell children learn in which year.

    Sooner or later, some desperate school will take me and then we’ll all be fucked. Mostly me.

  126. blf says

    I want to have my husband at home in the evening!

    Hammer & nails (probably works better if you have a wooden floor).

  127. rq says

    broboxley @170

    We have a carrier, the problem with that is it strains my back a lot. It is an option, though, but the stroller makes all kinds of things a lot easier (including bending over to help the slightly older one, not to mention just plain picking him up, if needed).
    Impressed, though – carriers only for 5 kids? Nice.

    re: Muslim countries
    One of my uncles lives (lived?) in Indonesia for quite some time, and is (was?) quite pleased with the experience.

  128. rq says

    Beatrice @174

    I know how you feel. I’ve been asked to try teaching a few times, because there’s a shortage of science teachers, and basically, it’s the same as for you – at the moment, anyone with a higher-than-high-school level of science can get a job as a science teacher, but even those people don’t want to teach (they have humanities and arts students teaching science, quite often)… I’ve considered it as a back-up plan, though, mostly because the lab job pays crap – except for the part where teachers get paid even less, it wouldn’t be a bad idea.
    But I prefer teaching one-on-one or in small groups (also, as contradictory as it sounds, not a big fan of children as a concept). Large classroom? I’d probably be that really strict teacher, whose class nobody ever wants to go to, but must, or I’ll fail them.
    Either way, if you get a job as a teacher, you might find you don’t do so badly. :) Experience is a great teacher. (I used to be crap at the one-on-one teaching, too.)

  129. Beatrice says

    rq,

    I did some tutoring during uni, for some extra money so one-on-one teaching isn’t a problem (both elementary school and high school). I don’t even consider that teaching. I got a kid in front of me and we practiced whatever was a problem together, with me explaining things they didn’t get.

    A full classroom? The idea gives me nightmares. If I even go to sleep. The last time I sent an application, I didn’t sleep most of the night after that because I was imagining all the terrible scenarios if they employ me.

    But I don’t have a choice either way. I have to apply to every job my adviser sends my way. Of course, she hasn’t sent any offers I’m actually qualified for.

  130. Beatrice says

    I don’t think there’s really a shortage of science teachers in the capital, where I live. There’s always plenty of applicants in half-decent schools. But no one wants to work in shitholes where teachers have nervous breakdowns on regular basis, so people like me get jobs there. And of course, in smaller towns that people want to escape rather than getting stuck there (we’re too centralized).

  131. Beatrice says

    Or in short, it’s not really teaching that is the problem, it’s the fact that children are EVIL when they come in a group larger than one.

    (children of all parents who are present excluded, I’m sure yours are lovely ;)

  132. rq says

    Beatrice

    This country is centralized in the same way, I think. Working out at a rural school pays less, and the situation is a lot harsher, too – family abuse, alcoholism, kids who don’t want to be at school, poverty. It’s a lot to deal with, but there’s quite a few openings in schools like that.
    The capital, of course, is chock-full of wonderful schools, and a few of the larger cities are making some very decent efforts at hiring better-qualified teachers and maintaining a better standard of education (a lot of them applying for EU grants, actually).
    I think the country is also short on math teachers; teaching programs seem to get most of the humanities and arts students. Especially outside of the capital. What doesn’t help (in the case of science) is the extremely poor situation of pretty much all rural schools – very bad lab conditions, lack of funds for experiment material (incl. computers), sometimes no lab at all. The children learn science theory only, which, to my mind, is the best way to kill any sort of interest in the sciences.
    The Husband does not remember ANY of his elementary-level science education, and his own mother was the chemistry/biology teacher at their little local school. And even knowing she was a science teacher, I couldn’t ever find any kind of a common ground with her. It made me wonder seriously about the qualifications of other science teachers out there, and their ability to inspire. I remember all the fun stuff I got to do in science class, but that was Canada. Best teachers ever.

    There’s now a program that’s trying to recruit young people (mid20s to mid30s) who are unhappy with their own jobs, but enjoy thinking outside of the box, to re-qualify as teachers and teach in schools with more inspiring methods than the Old Guard. Still a lack of science people making the switch, though, but I think that’s mostly because science has been discredited in the country as a whole, and applicants to science programs in university are remarkably few.
    (The jobs after graduation are few and far between and often poorly paid; plus, science isn’t ‘cool’, not like if you were (another) lawyer or economist – the trend is slowly changing, more towards engineering and maths, but those subjects are still considered ‘difficult’ by girls and boys; much easier to just get a humanities degree and start making the big bucks. :P)
    What’s it like where you are?

  133. rq says

    Beatrice @181

    Actually, I agree, for the most part. All children in groups larger than 1 are a terror, except mine. But they do push the limits a lot. :) My limits, that is. For all of the glory involved in raising and educating children, I just don’t think I was cut out for it (which isn’t to say that I’m not doing my best).
    Don’t even get me started on children not in my direct genetic pool. *shudder*

  134. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Happy Friday, everyone!

    Calendarist oppressor! ‘Tis Wednesday in the Ogvorbisverse!

    How is the DarkInfant doing?

  135. rq says

    Hello Audley and happy Friday to you, too! I hope DarkInfant is doing well, and that you are also recovering nicely!

  136. blf says

    Happy Friday

    What is it you’re drinking / snorting / whatevering? I couldn’t possibly handle something that strong and hallucinogenic.

  137. says

    So, now we have evidence that Romney, and his campaign staff, were not just pretending to be clueless so as to appear confident. They actually were clueless. Clueless to an astounding degree.

    After most presidential campaigns, advisors and strategists for the losing team routinely start reflecting on what transpired, and start acknowledging doubts they couldn’t share before Election Day. They put on a brave face and sounded confident notes beforehand, and couldn’t share suspicions they’d come up short, but they weren’t oblivious to the likely outcome.

    Team Romney, however, claims to have been oblivious to the likely outcome.

    Mitt Romney’s campaign got its first hint something was wrong on the afternoon of Election Day, when state campaign workers on the ground began reporting huge turnout in areas favorable to President Obama: northeastern Ohio, northern Virginia, central Florida and Miami-Dade. Then came the early exit polls that also were favorable to the president.

    But it wasn’t until the polls closed that concern turned into alarm. They expected North Carolina to be called early. It wasn’t. They expected Pennsylvania to be up in the air all night; it went early for the President. After Ohio went for Mr. Obama, it was over, but senior advisers say no one could process it.

    “We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory,” said one senior adviser. “I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming.”

    This really is remarkable. When I heard the bravado from the candidate and his aides going into Tuesday, I assumed it was just the usual p.r. palaver. But it appears they weren’t spinning, hoping to sell talking points they didn’t themselves believe; they were actually, genuinely clueless. Romney himself, one advisor told CBS, “was shellshocked.”

    Putting aside every other consideration, the question Republicans should be asking this week is how the campaign could be this incompetent. It’s one thing to have a couple of blind optimists in the inner circle, confident in the face of contrary evidence; it’s another to have everyone in the inner circle be so blind.

    And how, exactly, did the entire campaign operation fool themselves into believing victory was inevitable? How is this dynamic even possible in an environment in which experienced, well-paid, professional operatives have access to quantifiable evidence?

    According to the CBS report, Team Romney was swayed by, among other things, “huge and enthusiastic crowds,” which they took as evidence of national enthusiasm.

    Oh my.

    And what about the polls? The campaign assumed they were “skewed” by Democratic oversamples….

    Man did this country dodge a bullet. It’s one thing to disagree over policies, (or myths in place of policies), but to have come even sorta kinda close to electing such a clueless doofus is really scary. He and his advisors would have been clueless on every issue. And they would have acted on their skewed versions of reality, in much the same way that Romney acted on his cluelessness about his chances of being elected by having a nice fireworks display all staged and ready to go.

    Link.

  138. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Lynna:

    Believing one’s own propaganda is a sure way to join the dustbin of history. Unfortunately (actually, this is more of a fortunately), the GOP’s view is that Romney was not conservative enough to energize the base and they just didn’t believe hard enough to affect reality (remember during the W administration the bit about conservative ideas creating reality? that hasn’t stopped.). I predict a double down for the next two election cycles by the GOP. And it should be both scary and amusing. How many more Akins and Mourdocks are out there to run on the TeaBagger/NeoNazi ticket?

  139. Beatrice says

    rq,

    The situation is similar here. A lot of people who started general math course with me were there just because they didn’t manage to get into economy (and our entry test was ridiculously easy). Many of them soon found general math difficult, and started over in the teaching course. That already tells you how enthusiastic about math, let alone teaching, they were.

    Humanities are very popular here too, there are tons of people lingering at our Faculty of Philosophy for years and years because that’s the “cool” and “alternative” place. I think we currently have a surplus of a couple of hundred English teachers. I have no idea what all those people are supposed to do. There is a language school on every corner, but still.

    Some goes for economists. To every job in a bank that I apply to, there are a hundred or three economists applying for the same position.

    People from all over the country study math, so those people usually end up in home town school. The shame is that most of those don’t finish for teachers, but one of the other courses. I have a statistician friend who’s currently stuck in her home town, teaching kids. I know at least three other people in the same situation. While they know math, they aren’t qualified to teach. Not really. They might “get it” with experience, but not one of them wants that experience. All they want is get back to the capital and get a “real job”.

  140. says

    Good morning all! I was awakened from my drunken slumber by a dog who really really really really needed to go outside, which is always fun and reminds me what a good girl she is that she always manages to get outside rather than poop or pee in the house no matter how late I sleep in.

    My wife hits the road in about 2 hours for our new home town, which is about a 10-hour drive but at least she gets to do it without a pile of pets in the car. Off to live in another hotel for who knows how long, until she manages to find a house to move into and the money to pay for it. We’re crossing our fingers that she gets her relocation money by the end of the month so we can move in by the first of December… especially since our stuff will be arriving around the same time.

    Don’t panic, friends… the guitars will be in the car with me the whole time. :)

  141. broboxley OT says

    A better idea would be to build distribution points and convert cars (rather cheaply) to burn natural gas directly
    http://www.adn.com/2012/10/28/2675063/shale-becomes-2-diesel-using-gas.html#storylink=omni_popular#wgt=pop

    Oxford Catalysts can produce a barrel of premium diesel for $66, or $1.57 a gallon, using gas at $4 per thousand standard cubic feet ($3.89 per mmBtu) at plants with a capacity of just 1,500 barrels a day. The technology developer said a plant that size can be built for about $150 million and would last for 20 years.

    It costs about $124 a barrel, or $2.95 a gallon, to make premium diesel from oil, the company estimated. The U.S. average price for diesel at the pump is about $4.12 a gallon.

    Oxford Catalysts is planning a factory in Pennsylvania, near the Marcellus Shale, that may go into production by the end of 2014, using a process known as Fischer-Tropsch after the German scientists who developed it in the 1920s. Germany commercialized the process in the 1930s to manufacture liquid fuel from domestic coal amid oil shortages before and during World War II.

  142. blf says

    Hilarious, Top 25 Nate Silver Facts:

    Nate Silver doesn’t call the wrong number. You answer the wrong phone.

    Nate Silver can speak French… In Russian.

    When a zombie apocalypses starts, Nate Silver doesn’t try to survive. The zombies do.

  143. broboxley OT says

    Better motor
    http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2012/ph241/durkin1/

    private companies have created small thorium reactors, which are designed to be more compact than conventional thermal nuclear power plants. In these thorium reactors, an accelerator-driven system produces a proton beam using a particle accelerator. The proton beam produces excess neutrons when aimed at thorium and the thorium nuclei and neutrons result in uranium-233, an isotope that releases energy in fission. [10] General Electric released its Cadillac World Thorium Fuel Concept at the 2011 Chicago Auto show, which included a theoretical a thorium-powered engine from Laser Power Systems. [11] Using atomic energy indirectly, such as powering a electric vehicle using the electricity generated in nuclear fission, also remains a possibility.

  144. blf says

    Aw, this is baaaaaad:

    One of the targets for conservative ire was George W Bush’s former strategist, Karl Rove, co-founder of Crossroads, one of the biggest Super Pacs that raised hundreds of millions for the campaign, much of it from rich donors.

    The Huffington Post quoted a Republican saying: “The billionaire donors I hear are livid. There is some holy hell to pay. Karl Rove has a lot of explaining to do … I don’t know how you tell your donors that we spent $390m and got nothing.”

    That nice scumbug might, just might, have his arse handed to him in a paper bag.

  145. says

    Ogvorbis @190:

    Believing one’s own propaganda is a sure way to join the dustbin of history. … I predict a double down for the next two election cycles by the GOP. And it should be both scary and amusing….

    Quite true. Nevertheless, they are doubling down. In every way.

    You mentioned that this doubling down might be amusing, and it is. Also appalling. Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin managed to combine his doubling down with some awesome mansplaining. First there’s the usual cluelessness and total lack of self-awareness, then comes the mansplaining.

    …Americans just aren’t sharp enough to appreciate the far-right message….

    “If you aren’t properly informed, if you don’t understand the problems facing this nation, you are that much more prone to falling prey to demagoguing solutions. And the problem with demagoguing solutions is they don’t work,” Johnson said.

    For the record, Ron Johnson believes affordable contraception is easily distributed over the Internet, thinks “sunspot activity” is responsible for global warming, believes the Great Recession ended before President Obama took office; and sees public investment in alternative energy as roughly the same thing as “the Soviet Union.” …

    Also yesterday, Johnson felt comfortable taking a rather condescending attitude towards his new home-state colleague, Sen.-elect Tammy Baldwin. The far-right senator said, “Hopefully I can sit down and lay out for her my best understanding of the federal budget because they’re simply the facts.”

    It’s worth noting that Baldwin, who has a degree in mathematics, has been in public office for two decades, including having been in Congress since 1999. …

    Link.

  146. blf says

    I say this in the dead-tree edition of The Grauniad last night, Corrections and clarifications:

    A Diary item said the Labour MP Denis MacShane was famously sacked from the BBC after he accused the Conservative politician Reginald Maudling of being a cook. Crook was the word he used…

    And in the Diary (the same day as the above):

    Finally, many a reader gets in touch to ask: is it true, as you asserted yesterday, that Denis MacShane was sacked from the BBC in the 70s for calling Reginald Maudling a cook? The answer is no. The now disgraced MP lost his job after implying that the former Tory chancellor was a crook. There is a difference. It isn’t yet defamatory to compare an honourable member with the likes of Gordon Ramsay. But case law is developing all the time.

    I spilled my beer, I was giggling so much.

  147. says

    blf @199, Thanks. Excellent example of dry British humor. Understated. [still smiling]

    On another subject, namely being cheap to the point of absurdity: fiscal conservatives are cheap bastards, pinching pennies from poor children. Cheaper still? A mormon fiscal conservative.

    The next time you have the misfortune of hearing a Wall Street titan or other one-percenter whine about how their trickle-down contributions are not appreciated by the masses remember this tidbit, courtesy of Garrett Haake at NBC:

    From the moment Mitt Romney stepped off stage Tuesday night, having just delivered a brief concession speech he wrote only that evening, the massive infrastructure surrounding his campaign quickly began to disassemble itself.

    Aides taking cabs home late that night got rude awakenings when they found the credit cards linked to the campaign no longer worked.

    In case you are wondering, this did not have to happen. The Mitt Romney for President entity does not end with Romney’s Tuesday night loss. There are papers to be filed with various federal commissions and bills to be paid ….

    Forbes link.

  148. says

    One more example of Republicans thinking that they do not need to change their policies, they just need to speak more “delicately” about them — especially if they concern women. Math failure thrown in for good measure:

    Conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer realizes that some Republicans may be tempted to change course in the wake of another electoral defeat, but he counsels his party: “No reinvention when none is needed. Do conservatism but do it better.” He said calls for moderation are “nonsense.”

    The country doesn’t need two liberal parties. Yes, Republicans need to weed out candidates who talk like morons about rape. But this doesn’t mean the country needs two pro-choice parties either. In fact, more women are pro-life than are pro-choice. The problem here for Republicans is not policy but delicacy — speaking about culturally sensitive and philosophically complex issues with reflection and prudence.

    Now, as far as polls are concerned, the notion that more American women oppose reproductive rights than support them is extremely dubious. Indeed, it’s also worth noting that in this week’s exit polls, pro-choice voters were a clear majority.

    But even putting that aside, I’m fascinated by this notion that Republicans would be fine if only they could present their far-right views on women’s health and reproductive rights with “delicacy.” In Krauthammer’s mind, his party’s difficulties — the gender gap crushed GOP candidates this year — are really just a matter of spin. Women would be far more inclined to support the right-wing agenda, the argument goes, if only Republicans explained it better.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Krauthammer has no idea what he’s talking about. …

    Link.

  149. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Women would be far more inclined to support the right-wing agenda, the argument goes, if only Republicans explained it better.

    Exact same argument used by libertarians (if you only truly understood libertarianism you’d be a libertarian), flat taxers, anti-tax zealots, and others who seek to give more money to the obscenely rich.

  150. broboxley OT says

    Aides taking cabs home late that night got rude awakenings when they found the credit cards linked to the campaign no longer worked.

    better than having a bunch of dejected newly out of work aids in a bar with a campaign credit card. Just a thought

  151. says

    Exact same argument used by libertarians (if you only truly understood libertarianism you’d be a libertarian), flat taxers, anti-tax zealots, and others who seek to give more money to the obscenely rich.

    Yep, same argument. And having it delivered by Republican women, by a Marco Rubio type, or by New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez does not improve the message.

    Republicans believe in the power of window dressing. I mean, look at the empty suit and perfect hair they ran as a candidate.

  152. says

    better than having a bunch of dejected newly out of work aids in a bar with a campaign credit card. Just a thought

    Bullshit. It was just a Scrooge-like move. No redeeming factors.

    Besides, many of the aides were mormon — non-drinkers.

  153. rq says

    Ogvorbis

    What gets me with that argument is the belief that they are doing a poor job of explaining (just the fact that they see a need to explain ‘more clearly’ to women – well, that’s already a bit of a warning sign to me). I mean, it’s their own fault for not explaining well enough? I don’t get it.
    They sounded pretty clear to me, and made me ever-so-glad I don’t live in the US.

  154. thunk, Blob Alert! says

    Hi again.

    The problem for me is not time; I have plenty of it. It’s that the hobbies I currently have I have lost interest in, and no new ones are in the pipeline. (kinda like drug-resistant antibiotics).

    Any tips?

    Teaching:
    They’re all qualified where I go to school; I don’t know about elsewhere though.

    Election:

    I am currently represented by Joe Walsh. Glad he’s out of here!
    My town is full of teabaggers.

  155. Matt Penfold says

    I mean, it’s their own fault for not explaining well enough? I don’t get it.

    “Not explaining well enough” is code for not hiding their true intentional well enough.

  156. rq says

    @208

    And in a way I understand that… But I’m wondering, are they really so thick that they think the regular person listening to them doesn’t already understand the horrible-ness of what they’re saying – and won’t understand their true intentions, either? And won’t understand the code behind which they hide it?
    Do they really think people are that stupid (that a little bit of window-dressing will suddenly convince everyone of the beauty of their intentions)?

  157. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    A Diary item said the Labour MP Denis MacShane was famously sacked from the BBC after he accused the Conservative politician Reginald Maudling of being a cook. Crook was the word he used…

    Well Maudling was cooking the books. (Or is that a Britism?)

  158. Beatrice says

    rq,

    Considering the rather large segment of population supporting them, it looks like they are already succeeding.

    Conclusion: Yes, people are that stupid.

  159. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I finished an E&M exam twenty minutes ago.

    The rest of the class, minus two students who had a special invitation to a Sigma Pi Sigma event in Florida and took it Monday, are still taking it, even though the class period is over.

    I probably am smart enough, but don’t feel nearly prepared enough to be at all comfortable with this. Especially since something like this happened last exam, although this time I double-fucking-checked that everything I was assuming constant actually was….

    This pales in comparison to some of the other problems here, granted, but the suspense is giving me palpitations. :(

  160. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    ….holy shit she grades fast.

    27/30 + 5 points extra credit.

    How the hell did that happen? O.O

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

    blf @195:
    Seems like Nate Silver is almost as powerful as Rebecca Watson.

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

    Lynna @201:
    Would that be Conservative Mansplainin’ 2.0?
    Conservative Mansplainin’+ (cultural sensitivity)?<—-oxymoron?

  163. cicely says

    Hekuni Cat:

    *pouncehugback*

    Unfortunately, I can see that I’m going to have to forgo the Sharklauncher™ for the Hoverchair 10000, and the Megadeth Lazers are looking tentative. Stoopid energy and plausibility requirements!
    -
    JAL, I’m sorry to hear about your mother…and sorry to hear that you can’t relocate in the near-term.

    I worry, I do.
    -

    When I look back on history, I see Reagan as way overrated and Carter underrated. How was the 70s fuel shortage Carter’s fault anyways?

    Pretty much; and…scapegoating. Plus, there was a lot of PR spinning at the time of the approaching elections about the Hostage Crisis, and how Reagan would have, somehow, got our people out, pronto…but Carter preferred to spend his time pruning the White House rose bushes. IOW, the Reps successfully spun Carter as “weak” on Iran…and notice how some things haven’t changed?
    -

    [...]you should merely kneel before the Almighty cicely[...]

    Tony, if I were “Almighty”, I would already have my damned Hoverchair…with Sharklauncher™ and Megadeth Lazers, as well as an impenetrable forcefield, self-contained environmental support system, and hyperdrive capability. And it would damned well be able to carry as many people as I wanted it to!

    But no Pony.

    I Do Not Want a Pony.

    They are the narrow edge of the Horses’ Wedge Strategy for World Domination.
    -
    *hugging thunk vigorously*
    -

    Have you ever even tried to dilute a horse? Probably not.

    rq, I have seen it tried; when it settles down for a good, hard rain in NE OK, it does not fuck around. The Horse in question remained in one, solid, undiluted lump in the pasture, and was neither more nor less potent than it was before the Deluge started.

    Also, the point about Horse mind-reading powers is that the Horse will mind-read you, while downloading Its propaganda into your unsuspecting, defenseless brainmeats, thereby subtly recruiting you to Its agenda.
    -
    *hugs* for Giliell. It’s a sad thing, but eventually your kids will learn that grandma’s credibility = zero, and to take everything she says with a block of salt.
    -
    Audley!
    *pouncehug*
    -
    I think the reasons for the Repubs’ post-election shell-shock were 1) believing their own propaganda (there may have been Horses involved), and 2) they were sure that if they threw enough money at it, they could buy the election, if not the hearts&minds of the People.
    -
    “When a zombie apocalypses starts, Nate Silver doesn’t try to survive. The zombies do.”
    Because of his tassssty braaaaiiinz.
    -

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

    rq @209:
    Two words: Fox News.
    Seriously. Living in NW FLorida for the past decade, I’ve had the pleasure of working at places overwhelmingly right wing. Prior to President Obama winning the ’08 election, I heard such gems as “If Obama wins it will mean the downfall of democracy.” At my current job, I had people-in the weeks prior to the election who wanted to watch Fox News. I don’t know *why* they wanted to watch that channel, but I can speculate. The resort I’m working at has a lot of well to do/rich people living there. A lot of them have expressed a dislike of Obama and a preference for Romney.

    ****
    It looks like Giliell is going to boldly go where few have gone before…

  165. David Marjanović says

    Hello, cicely! *pounce* *hug* *squeeze* I don’t know if you’ve been told yet: I’m not coming to Skepticon. Mattir wanted to drive her family and me there, but then she got the flu. Unless you manage to work your way farther east, we can only meet next year. :-( :-( :-( :-( :-(

  166. David Marjanović says

    I don’t know *why* they wanted to watch that channel, but I can speculate.

    “Is that just math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better, or is it real?”

  167. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    How is your day?

    You do not want to know. Trust me on this one.

    But enjoy your chocolate. Why adulterate with peanut butter, though? I mean, PB is fine, in a sandwich. But in candy? That is anathema to Nuggan!

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

    cicely:

    “When a zombie apocalypses starts, Nate Silver doesn’t try to survive. The zombies do.”
    Because of his tassssty braaaaiiinz.
    -

    Hmmm, this gives me an idea for a nice zombie twist (one I’ve never seen, which of course doesn’t mean no one has already explored it)-what if zombies were able to acquire bits of personality or intelligence when they consumed brains? Or as they consume more brains, zombie groupings begin to develop a language (IIRC, George Romero did have his zombies seem to develop rudimentary awareness in Land of the Dead).

  169. cicely says

    Hello, cicely! *pounce* *hug* *squeeze* I don’t know if you’ve been told yet: I’m not coming to Skepticon. Mattir wanted to drive her family and me there, but then she got the flu. Unless you manage to work your way farther east, we can only meet next year. :-( :-( :-( :-( :-(

    *pouncehugsqueezeback*, with added *chocolate*.

    When Mattir mentioned that she wasn’t coming because of the flu, I inferred that you weren’t going to be coming, either, which gave me a massive sad. Unfortunately, eastward travel (any trip longer than maybe 100 miles) isn’t in the cards any sooner than July-ish at the earliest; that’s when we will once again own my ass free and clear, and can turn that $$$$ to other things…like house repairs! Fun!(sarcasm)

    Ah, well…hopefully next year.
    -

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

    kristinc:
    How’s that 50 Shades of STFU book coming along :)

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

    Ed Brayton discusses one of the worst reactions to Obama’s re-election: a libertarian who’s going to stop affiliating with Democrats. This guy is bonkers. He’s going to stop talking to family members, defriending people on Facebook, avoiding talking to Dems, etc. I’m not sure how he’s going to make it through life constantly trying to avoid Democrats. I do think his friends and family should be *happy* to have McDouchey out of their lives.

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

    kristinc:
    it is if you throw Democrats, President Obama, liberals, and atheists in there somewhere. Then sell it on Fox News.

  173. rq says

    Tony @225

    That’s part of what mystifies me – the whole Fox ‘News’ thing. At least in Canada they had the sense not to let them in; apparently, if you call yourself (something) News, the information you present must be factual, by law. Encouraging (although who knows how long that will hold out).
    Still. I honestly don’t understand how people believe it. Like creationists and all the rest. I just don’t understand. How you can delude yourself like that.
    Utterly mystified, here.
    Unless money somehow rots your brain (which, judging from the rich segment of society here, and our dear President’s recent statements that ‘poverty can’t really be a problem in the country, because his pension is so large’**, must be true).

    **This guy (our present President) is nuts. His pension is LARGER than the president’s salary ordinarily would be; he has declined compensation for being president simply because his pension is about 5 times larger and better… To put that into perspective, the national average is about 10x less than an ordinary president salary. And apparently a few sampled interviewed poor people aren’t indicative of the income-divide in the country (‘Each case should be observed on an individual basis.’), because people aren’t leaving the country in droves to work menial jobs in the UK with better salaries than ‘exclusive’ positions here.
    Sometimes I wonder why I’m still here.

  174. ImaginesABeach says

    thunk – for hobbies, have you considered knitting? I can’t knit, but a significant part of the Horde knits. If you are looking for something less likely to cause your peers to pummel you, you could consider working on plans for cicely’s Hoverchair 10000.

  175. rq says

    Tony

    And he is that. In so many different ways.
    The previous guy was a bit clueless, but in the end he grew a bit of a backbone. The guys who put him in power (the Parliament/Senate elects the President, not the people themselves) were sure surprised when he chucked the current government out on its ass a couple years ago. Too bad most of them made it back in, in the following emergency election (right after which they selected a brand new president, the one currently pontificating from the heights), which just means that people here are just as susceptible to marketing and propaganda campaigns as anywhere else. :(
    Municipal elections are coming up next year. Should be a blast.

  176. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Er, doesn’t skeleton require some kind of a hill? I thought Latvia was flat.

  177. rq says

    Ogvorbis

    Not flat. Our top peak comes in at a resounding 312m. ;) Now THAT’S a view.
    And for skeleton, all you need is a bit of a height and a track.
    We also have top 10 bobsleddists and lugists year-to-year.

    Tony

    Ah, that one. Dunno about you, but I like her singing. Quite a lot of it. Have a good evening/night!

  178. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    rq:

    Wait. Lemme think. 312 metres. Er, carry the three, 3.68, erm. Oh-kay. About a thousand feet? That’s almost a hill.

  179. says

    Azkyroth
    Congratulations. It’s always nerve wracking when you finish the test that much earlier than everyone else.

    rq
    #240
    I am entirely in agreement with you. It mystifies me even more when the facts are so easy to find.

  180. dianne says

    Hello, thread. I’d like to get something off my chest. I had part of an argument about taxes and NIH funding with a colleague. It went like this:

    Him: We’ll never have good NIH funding because it would require higher taxes.
    Me: So why not raise taxes?
    Him: What taxes do you want?
    Me: 70% top bracket like in the 1970s.
    Him: That’s impossible.

    At that point the fire alarm went off and we had other things to worry about. So I never got to the answer which would have been: “No, going faster than the speed of light is impossible. Higher taxes just requires that people acknowledge reality and not be stupid about it.” Probably just as well that I didn’t say it.

  181. Beatrice says

    Speaking part of the IELTS exam tomorrow morning and I’ve been coughing my non-existing soul out most of the day.
    I’m sure to leave an impression tomorrow.

    *sigh*

    Good night all.

  182. rq says

    Ogvorbis

    It’s been called the World’s Largest Speed Bump in travel brochures. Not kidding.
    Good night to you, as well!

    +++

    Cheers once again all. Not coming back until it’s Saturday. :)

  183. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Beatrice:

    Good luck. Feel better. I have had good luck with some of the various mucinex brands (my doc told me about the stuff when I had pnemonia). Works for ~12 hours. For real.

  184. rq says

    PS Beatrice I hope the health improves drastically – one might say miraculously – overnight!

  185. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    G’night, rq.

    I wonder if it is a drumlin? Or a large esker? Right area for one. Hmm.

  186. rq says

    Ogvorbis I’ll look into it for you, but I think one of those is right. Glacial plain here, all over, lots of erratics (‘holy sites of sacrifice’, if you like). If I don’t, remind me. I’ll be glad to research it (if you ARE interested).

  187. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    rq:

    Always interested in geology. And palaeontology. And history. And archaeology.

    Get a good night’s sleep, tho. Must be late there.

  188. rq says

    Ogvorbis
    On my way, but it’s not too bad. However, certain members of the family still require some attention. :) Cheers!

  189. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    META:

    I hate it when I start closing some of the windows and I find a really good comment I wrote on a thread I don’t remember still sitting in the notebook.

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

    rq:
    I should have mentioned that I *like* Sarah McLachlan. The earworm was annoying because I don’t know all the lyrics to Fallen so I kept repeating the same verses, over and over.

    ****

    [meta] I’m still not accustomed to the differing time zones everyone is in. When I look outside and it’s a sunny day and 3:25 pm, I’m jolted back to reality when I see comments about going to bed. It’s a frequent reminder-and a welcome one-that the whole world matters, not just this little segment.

  191. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    And in other news, Allen West is still fighting. Apparently, there are tens of thousands of uncounted absentee ballots that will put him over the top.

  192. Richard Austin says

    Tony:

    meta] I’m still not accustomed to the differing time zones everyone is in. When I look outside and it’s a sunny day and 3:25 pm, I’m jolted back to reality when I see comments about going to bed. It’s a frequent reminder-and a welcome one-that the whole world matters, not just this little segment.

    R. Buckminster Fuller used to talk about wearing three watches while he traveled: one with the time where he was leaving, one with the time where he was arriving, and one with the time of either wherever he was at the moment or some random time in the world. Supposedly it helped him to keep from getting too attached to any specific viewpoint.

  193. says

    Beatrice
    Best of luck on your exams, hopefully you’re done coughing tomorrow.

    Dianne
    I think the answer I’d have given would have been something like. “High enough to fund the things that need funding.” See if you can get him to agree to that, then point out where it would need to be. It probably wouldn’t help, though. I’d like to know why he says it’s impossible, though. I mean, it’s been done before, so clearly it’s possible. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, he may have meant, ‘impossible in today’s political climate, which he may be right about. There is unfortunately a severe lack of elected officials willing to legislate based on reality, and until we get a few more, raising taxes to reasonable levels is pretty much impossible. That said, we could pay for quite a surprising amount of nice stuff (NIH, NASA, Social safety nets) could be paid for without new taxes if we cut our military spending down to what China spends on theirs (the second largest military budget).

  194. David Marjanović says

    *pile of chocolate-spiced hugs on floor for JAL, Giliell, rq, Beatrice, and all the spawn to wriggle in*

    Uwingu; An initiative for providind funding for, among other things, planetary science by creating a “baby name book” for exoplanets.
    http://betaclone.uwingu.com/

    One name is “Obama”.

    Reagan was the first Moral Majority president, the first real post-Vietnam Republican president, the one that they thought would lead them to a century of rule over America. The fact that they have to lie about almost every single thing he ever said or did? Makes a good case for the mythic nature of Jesus, since in 10 more years the Republicans will claim that Reagan was Rambo and rescued all the POWs, and in 20 years Reagan will have ended the cold war by physically tearing down the Berlin Wall with his bear hands.

    Not a typo, BTW. I mean “bear hands” because in 30 years the Republicans will claim that the typo was divinely inspired and Reagan actually transformed into a massive American bear that drove the Russian bear to its knees.

    This is flat-out awesome, and, I have to say, extremely plausible. I’ll actually bookmark this so I can nominate it for Molly.

    Tony, the main thing you need to know is that Reagan has been raised to Republican sainthood (if not out-right deified) for his feel-good, gosh-wow, folksy-seeming PR face.

    Another reason may actually be the whole Raygun thing. You know, Star Wars. St. Ronnie protecting us from nukes – not with his bear hands this time, but with weapons from the future (…or the movies he was in…)? How cool is that? :-)

    how do you call that little blyk creature that lives under the earth?

    Mole.

    And I have been very kind and patient here given the provocation, insults and lies told about me.

    …except for that whole thing of calling people jihadist-sympathizers. That was a provocation, an insult, and a lie.

    Have you ever even tried to dilute a horse? Probably not. So, we can’t be sure that they don’t dilute well.

    Pretty much everything dilutes well in a solution of sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS). For the rest, carefully add dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO).

    I teach at what is called “people’s university”

    Community college, pretty much.

    So, now we have evidence that Romney, and his campaign staff, were not just pretending to be clueless so as to appear confident. They actually were clueless. Clueless to an astounding degree.

    [...]

    *picking up jaw from floor*

    When it came out that Mitt (R-Money) hadn’t written a concession speech, I wondered if he really believed in the White Horse prophecy and was religiously certain he was going to win. I guess here’s one more data point while I extract my head from the desk.

    I predict a double down for the next two election cycles by the GOP. And it should be both scary and amusing.

    I agree. If current trends continue, the Reptilians will get less than 100 electoral votes in 2020. Maybe the Democrats will already have split by then and formed a new two-party system all on their own!

    General Electric released its Cadillac World Thorium Fuel Concept at the 2011 Chicago Auto show, which included a theoretical a thorium-powered engine from Laser Power Systems.

    This was hilarious in the 1960s, and it still is now.

    Can you imagine a car crash with fissile material?

    A dirty bomb is the fucking best-case scenario!!! A small one, but still. Dolts, every one of them. :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Seems like Nate Silver is almost as powerful as Rebecca Watson.

    + 1

    *high five* for Azkyroth.

    Seconded!

    Do they really think people are that stupid (that a little bit of window-dressing will suddenly convince everyone of the beauty of their intentions)?

    They themselves are so stupid that they believe in the beauty of their intentions; from this they logically follow that if other people have failed to see this beauty, there must be a failure of communication.

    The idea that they could be more stupid, or just less well informed, than their intended audience doesn’t even cross their minds. Dr Dunning, I’m sure you’ve heard of Dr Kruger.

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

    all right David, that’s enough chocolate for you. Hand it over, or else I’ll Romnify you with my Trickle Down Blaster.

    ****

    So I found this site (courtesy of Dana Hunter), and I’m awestruck at the images. My favorite is the Halls Falls. It was a tough call, but the waterfall and the landscape just appealed to me. Many of the other pictures were stunning as well. I got goosebumps just looking at many of them. I’d be curious to know any of you have favorites among the images.

  196. Portia says

    Tony

    This is the worst response to Obama’s re-election.

    That turns my stomach. I can’t get people. I just can’t.

    JAL

    I’m really sorry your plans were upset and that your mom’s in such a terrible state. Sending *hugs* your way.

    Giliell

    Explaining that sort of thing to kids is a whole world of suck. I’m so sorry.

    Thunk
    Hi!

    Audley

    The image of DarkInfant sleeping on you while you sip tea is very sweet (though I may have combined two separate recountings…)

    -===-

    [string of non-sequitors]

    It has been a great week for me, with the exception of the killer migraine and the elderly client who called me 23 times yesterday. No, that’s not hyperbole. I have 23 messages to show for it. In the space of three hours.

    I’m using my bread machine again, hoping for success this time.

    The sun is setting over the river outside my door, and it’s lovely.

    I’m going to start displaying my artwork soon, for sale in a little shop run by a very cool hippy.

    I miss my nieces and nephew very much. My brother called me yesterday to wish me happy birthday. I told him the late wishes just make me feel special for longer. His 2 and a half year old mischief-maker insisted on talking to Auntie in her chirpy little voice. Makes me ache to go for a visit, hopefully soon I’ll have the spare cash.

    I cleaned my house up today and I feel much much better now.

    [/string of non-sequitors]

    -===-

    Hope everyone else is doing well.

  197. says

    I have just filled out a FAFSA — I’ve paid for the last two quarters of school out of pocket but at over $500/quarter, that’s going to drain our savings completely dry in no time.

    Does anyone know if there’s even such a thing as gummint financial assistance for students who aren’t full time? there is NO WAY that I could carry a full time credit load right now. My school’s financial aid office has been stunningly unhelpful.

    And although the school is constantly begging people to check out the available scholarships and saying that scholarships go unclaimed every quarter, when i did check there were exactly 3 available and I qualified for none of them. :/

    OK done whining.

    I think I will take Art History next quarter.

  198. says

    kristinc #273
    I heart this comment so much. I’m at work right now and can’t find the link, but for our anniversary my husband got me a tshirt that says “There’s work to be done, but all I really want to do is read.”

  199. dianne says

    In a fight between Nate Silver and Chuck Norris…the facts win.

    Does anyone know if Nate Silver even has a political position? The Repubs are all saying he’s got a liberal bias, but as far as I can tell, he just has a fact reporting bias. He could have voted for Romney for all I know.

  200. Portia says

    My school’s financial aid office has been stunningly unhelpful.

    I can sympathize with this so hard. I hope you find some funding. I had many a panic attack over it during my academic career.

    Joe
    what’s yer pleasure? Yesterday was Stout Day. So…leftover stout?

  201. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Thanks everyone.

    And now, finally something I can help with!

    Does anyone know if there’s even such a thing as gummint financial assistance for students who aren’t full time?

    Yes, both types of student loans are available as long as you take 6 credits. The Pell grant is available down to 3 credits, with less money offered obviously. Most scholarships at our community college dealt with part time, i.e 6 credits or more.

    The amounts get updated every year. I haven’t kept up as much as when I was working. I can go to the site and poke around. I used to have a handy dandy charts for all of the amounts.

    Do you know your number from the FAFSA? The number they give you at the end is the number used to calculate what you’re eligable for. If you don’t want to post the number here (it means nothing to most people since the calculations by the government to get the number is so convoluted and difficult), I can give you an estimate based on previous years.

    If the information I have holds true still, the number needs to be 2040 or lower to qualify for Pell grant. If you don’t qualify, you can still get loans. There are two types of loans, subsidized and unsubsidized. The sub is much more preferable with lower rates and all that. Unsub you can still get no matter what your number usually and even with 50,000+ in loans taken out. The sub does have some qualifications but most people that I’ve worked with at least qualify for it.

  202. thunk, Blob Alert! says

    Imaginesabeach:

    for hobbies, have you considered knitting? I can’t knit, but a significant part of the Horde knits. If you are looking for something less likely to cause your peers to pummel you, you could consider working on plans for cicely’s Hoverchair 10000.

    I’d try to, but my femmephobia gets in the way. Bah. I already turned into a nervous wreck watching MLP.

    …why not try it anyway then?

    Portia, and others:

    Hi back. Nice to see ya again.

    Less work; more quizbowl. The latter is the one of the few things I am interested in.

  203. dianne says

    I think the answer I’d have given would have been something like. “High enough to fund the things that need funding.”

    IMHO, that’s not high enough. The tax rate for 1% and especially 0.0001%ers should be high enough to remove money from their unproductive hands and get it back into circulation where it might do some good. Right now, the rich are just holding onto their money and doing nothing worthwhile with it. If nothing else, at least Romney’s campaign got some of that money back into circulation. Romney’s contribution to economic stimulus, despite himself, I suppose.

  204. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Crap, I didn’t qualify my statement correctly. Pell grant can be given below 6 credits, depending on your pell number. With numbers closer to 2000, below 6 becomes unavailable.

    The Sub loan is need based, which is why I said there are qualification for it. I didn’t mean qualifications like credit or anything.

    The Unsub loan is far more lenient and usually available to everyone. They do have higher interest rates than the sub.

    FYI: I’m just talking general information here. The problem with talking about it is often there are little things in each person’s application that changes what they are eligible for. It’s happened plenty of times before talking with a student telling them general things and then it comes back they don’t qualify. Trying to explain why to students who expect and demand money isn’t…fun. So while your pell number may qualify you there maybe other factors as well. Lots of things are taken into consideration usually. Which is why we were always told to stay in general statements and qualify them correctly (something I’ve fallen out of practice of after 2 years sadly) until you actually get to go through their file to determine eligibility.

  205. John Morales says

    dianne,

    Does anyone know if Nate Silver even has a political position? The Repubs are all saying he’s got a liberal bias, but as far as I can tell, [1] he just has a fact reporting bias. [2] He could have voted for Romney for all I know.

    Given 1, how could 2 follow unless he was perverse? :)

  206. John Morales says

    Interesting claim: Scientists unlock nature’s hydrogen secrets

    Two Canberra scientists believe they have made a major breakthrough in how to best produce hydrogen which can be used as a clean and renewable energy source.

    Professors Rob Stranger and Ron Pace from the Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University (ANU) have used computer modelling to reveal the molecular structure of the photosynthesis reaction site in plants.

    [...]

    The next step for the two scientists is to publish their findings before handing it over to a laboratory to try and mimic the process of photosynthesis, something they believe will be a reality within five years.

    But Professor Pace is quick to ease thoughts the future will involve leaving a car in the sun and fuelling it up with a garden hose.

    “If I was a shonk I’d tell you yes,” he said.

    “But in fact that’s not the way I see it sensibly happening.”

  207. cm's changeable moniker says

    Midwesterners? Scott Sumner (increasingly-fashionable economist and blogger) needs your help:

    There’s a big blob of counties where Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois come together, which are solid blue. Why is that? These are counties with farms and small towns, there are basically no cities of any size. [...] Everywhere else in the Midwest the farm areas went for the GOP, except that strange blob that overlays parts of 4 states.

    [...]

    Why did farmers who settled hilly areas become more liberal than farmers who settled flat parts of eastern Wisconsin?

    Involves geology.

    Feel free to help him out if you know … :-)

  208. says

    Hey JAL, thanks! I don’t have my FAFSA number yet … I literally just filled out the form today.

    I’m taking 5 credits at a time right now. I think the way my school arranges credits would mean that there aren’t any 1-credit classes to just tack on, although there may be 3-credit classes … don’t know yet if I can do that. Our income is below the poverty level, I believe, so there shouldn’t be any trouble about qualifying on that.

    My FIL is a tax preparer and I’m going to ask him about the Lifetime Learning Credit which I just found out about when I was Googling for more info on Pell grants. The money in our savings account (that has been coming out for the past 2 quarters to pay tuition) is from our tax return in the first place.

  209. Portia says

    I’m trying to figure out if the jewelry he plugs at the end is joking in the description:

    I will tune into your energy and pick out the perfect one for you. Then I will fill it with loving energy for you… Let me know if you have a request like Abundance of love or money, good health, protection whatever! If you don’t specify, I will choose and let you know the energy I felt that you need.

    Erm. Wut?

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/68676953/antique-vintage-wire-wrapped-marble

  210. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Have been experimenting in the kitchen. Have made lemon cake. Have also made a horrid mess.

    If it is good, will post the recipe later.

  211. John Morales says

    kristinc,

    If I’m not mistaken, they still allow psychic readings as legitimate “handmade items” for sale.

    Well, aren’t they?

    (Tales personalised and told are surely a form of art, if more transient than most)

  212. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Pffft. Digging into my old job, apparently I got it wrong again.

    The pell number is more commonly referred to as the EFC.

    2000 isn’t the highest limit. It was 4617 in 2009/2010. That number usually doesn’t change much. I got confused because when calculating how much a student can receive, half of your EFC and it’s split across your semesters.

    For example, say your EFC is 4617. For spring and fall semesters, that’s 2308. So we would look at the chart to see how much you are eligible for in the spring semester depending on how many credits you are taking. If you didn’t receive financial aid in the fall, that changes things. If you didn’t use it in the Fall semester than that money is just gone. You can’t use all your funds for Fall/Spring in just the Spring semester and get the full amount. Otherwise people wouldn’t do Fall so they could get 4k for just doing Spring classes. I’ve had students ask that question a lot before. It doesn’t work that way. Your amount for Spring is still available though.

    It’s all starting to come back to me. I haven’t kept up with this as much as I should have. I liked working in Financial Aid and while by my posts here it doesn’t look good for me, but I was really good at my job. It’s just slipped away bit by bit since I wasn’t doing this 5 (sometimes 6) days a week.

  213. birgerjohansson says

    We are even more f*cked than we thought. Thank the idiots and their delaying tactics.

    “Future warming likely to be on high side of climate projections, research finds” http://phys.org/news/2012-11-future-high-side-climate.html
    — — — — — —
    “One name is “Obama”.

    I am skeptical about naming stuff after living politicians, since we do not know yet what their heritage will be, but feel free to go to the site and vote for him.
    — — — —
    Portia
    I hope your migraine will go away.

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

    kristinc:
    Speaking of woo, have you (or anyone) ever contacted a psychic? Or gone in for a tarot card reading? I’ve called a psychic hotline (years ago, before I became an atheist), and boy was it…interesting. I was told that within six months to a year I would be married to a tall, blonde female.
    I’ve never been married to anyone, man or woman.
    In the years since, while I’ve rejected woo, I still find the idea of having my palm read to be light entertainment, similar to gambling (though even *less* effective–at least with gambling, you stand some chance of coming out a winner).

  215. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Oops. Sorry, didn’t see your post while I was writing up my last one.

    Hey JAL, thanks! I don’t have my FAFSA number yet … I literally just filled out the form today.

    In person or Online? I though they gave the EFC at the end of that after you go over the form and submit. Then there’s the page with a little box and your EFC is in bold. Most students just exited out and didn’t pay attention to it. I haven’t hear of it taking longer than minutes online. Filling out the paper form though is another story, that takes weeks. If it’s online you should be able to go back into the site to find it.

    I’m taking 5 credits at a time right now. I think the way my school arranges credits would mean that there aren’t any 1-credit classes to just tack on, although there may be 3-credit classes … don’t know yet if I can do that. Our income is below the poverty level, I believe, so there shouldn’t be any trouble about qualifying on that.

    At the lowest EFC numbers below 6 credits is looking most likely (can’t guarantee it) like $700 in pell. No loans are available under 6. It’s a shitty situation because literally one more credit would most likely get double the pell and make you eligible for loans. At our school we had a couple one credit classes and students picked those up. We weren’t allowed to suggest that but we were allowed to inform them that if they take more credits there’s more funds.

    I’m sorry =(

    If 8 credits is too much, is there a way to arrange just two 3 credit classes? Those 4 credit and 2 credit classes always made juggling everything difficult for our students.

  216. says

    IMHO, that’s not high enough. The tax rate for 1% and especially 0.0001%ers should be high enough to remove money from their unproductive hands and get it back into circulation where it might do some good.

    That’s where the trap comes in. *grin* There’s a lot more that needs paying for than just the NIH, and given the current wealth distribution, the only place those taxes can come from are wealthy individuals and corporations. The recirculating money is a side benefit.

    Speaking of woo, have you (or anyone) ever contacted a psychic?

    I worked as one for a while. Very depressing job.

  217. Nutmeg says

    Dalillama:

    Speaking of woo, have you (or anyone) ever contacted a psychic?

    I worked as one for a while. Very depressing job.

    If you feel like telling us more about how you ended up in that job or what it was like, I’d be fascinated.

  218. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Focusing on something other than my problems and talking about something besides it helped a lot. My news is just usually so depressing and I hate just dumping all of that here. It feels like I contribute nothing besides that.

    My mother is doing better. She’s not cleared yet since they are doing all sorts of tests and then her doctors are conferring with the hospital doctors. She actually has two teams of doctors working with her before this, one wanted surgery and the other didn’t. My mom didn’t want surgery either. So it’s going to get interesting on how it goes. She has so many different medical problems. She’s better though. Out of it a bit, weak and really banged up. We went to see her and that made Little One feel better a lot. They read a book and talked and hugged. It was heartbreaking and beautiful. I’ve taken their cell phone to keep in touch for now since she’s not being released soon. Step dad is just going to use the hospital phone.

  219. Nutmeg says

    BTW, Tony, I loved the landscape photos you linked to above. It’s hard to pick a favourite, though. I’m used to seeing more “Canadian” landscapes, lakes and trees and wheatfields and so on, so it was interesting to see photos from around the world.

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

    Nutmeg asked my question in a far more thoughtful manner.

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

    Nutmeg @304:
    I know what you mean. I haven’t travelled much, and certainly haven’t seen a variety of locales. Getting the chance to see more of the world is exciting. Even if only in photos.

  222. chigau (棒や石) says

    David Marjanović
    Nice to read you again, I hope you’re back.
    —–
    Joe
    Keep on packing
    Keep on packing
    (sung to the tune of ‘keep on swimming’ from Finding Nemo
    —–
    I am happy to report that my current earworm is Time Warp from Rocky Horror.
    —–
    Still catching up.

  223. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    The $700 figure for the pell grant with a 0 EFC is just an estimate. It does vary depending on cost of attendance. Cost of attendance is a figure that the financial aid calculates. So without that information it’s a guess really. However, without a high cost of attendance (around 4,000) the pell probably isn’t going to go above the $1000 mark. If you can, once your school gets your paperwork I’d suggest asking for the cost of attendance. With that number I can give a better estimate.

    Congress has dictated the general formula for figuring the COA. For just about all students, it usually includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses. (Some state colleges differentiate costs for state residents vs. nonresidents.) Colleges usually adjust the cost of attendance each year to reflect changes in the cost of living and changes in tuition and fees.

    At the community college I worked at there were never personal expenses, room or board factored in. It was tuition and then a flat rate for books and supplies depending on how many credits. So this COA is a big factor on aid and the reason why it’s so different across schools and hard to give general information.

    Sorry, I’ve been doing posts in chunks sporadically. I’m updating you as I dig further into the information and remembering more.

  224. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    I hope that all makes sense and is useful. I’m admittedly off my game and didn’t write it all out in a nice, neat kind of way that would have been better.

  225. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Does anyone know if Nate Silver even has a political position?

    On Charlie Rose’s show, Silver described himself as libertarian-liberal, and indicated he was deciding between voting for Gary Johnson or Mitt Romney.

    So he’s a callous, moronic jackass who can do statistics.

  226. Amphiox says

    This was hilarious in the 1960s, and it still is now.

    Can you imagine a car crash with fissile material?

    A dirty bomb is the fucking best-case scenario!!! A small one, but still. Dolts, every one of them. :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Well, at least it was a thorium reactor and not an uranium one!

  227. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    What happens when everyone gets off all the lawns?

    No more room on the sidewalks. Hey you kids! Outta my way…

  228. says

    If you feel like telling us more about how you ended up in that job or what it was like, I’d be fascinated.

    The short version is that I applied at a psychic hotline because I needed the paycheck. I quit when I decided I didn’t need the paycheck that badly. The slightly longer form is that listening to people pissing money they clearly couldn’t afford away calling me for the illusion of help when I couldn’t really help them and/or false hope in a catastrophe. Either way, I just couldn’t cope emotionally with it. One takeaway: Virtually any query that starts with ‘My boyfriend…’ can be adequately answered with, in Dan Savage’s words, Dump The Motherfucker Already.

  229. says

    On Charlie Rose’s show, Silver described himself as libertarian-liberal, and indicated he was deciding between voting for Gary Johnson or Mitt Romney.

    So he’s a callous, moronic jackass who can do statistics.

    Ever notice how even ‘liberal’ libertarians always seem to favor the right wing candidates? It’s almost as though they’re full of shit when they talk about how much they care about civil liberties.

  230. says

    I’m not going to keep on packing OR just keep packing tonight… :)

    I’ve filled a total of 8 boxes tonight, which is enough to put me on a schedule to have all of the books AND all of the clothes packed by the end of the weekend. I’m going to schedule a crew of movers for the 27th of this month, so that leaves me plenty of time to pack everything and clean the place up with lots of time to spare.

    And jeez, I wish everyone would get off of MY lawn at least. It is sort of a bit of a high traffic area sometimes, and landmines aren’t legal for personal use yet.

  231. John Morales says

    Dalillama,

    One takeaway: Virtually any query that starts with ‘My boyfriend…’ can be adequately answered with, in Dan Savage’s words, Dump The Motherfucker Already.

    Take-away duly consumed, and yes, it’s foul-tasting. :|

  232. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Dianne:

    Estheleth, you should have email. Please let me know if it worked.

    There is no email. But if you stuck that extra “h” in there, that may be why.

  233. consciousness razor says

    On Charlie Rose’s show, Nate Silver described himself as libertarian-liberal, and indicated he was deciding between voting for Gary Johnson or Mitt Romney.

    So he’s a callous, moronic jackass who can do statistics.

    He also said (I don’t remember when) that he didn’t intend to vote. For what that’s worth.

  234. John Morales says

    Improbable Joe,

    And jeez, I wish everyone would get off of MY lawn at least. It is sort of a bit of a high traffic area sometimes, and landmines aren’t legal for personal use yet.

    Aren’t you moving shortly, and don’t you have at least one dog?

    (Lawnmines)

  235. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    So!

    I aimed for cake and got custard-y pudding.

    Protip: do not ice the cake prior to baking. It doesn’t really work.

  236. Portia says

    kristinc

    If I’m not mistaken, they still allow psychic readings as legitimate “handmade items” for sale.

    Wow. I seem to remember something about ebay banning that.

    Esteleth

    If it is good, will post the recipe later.

    *waits in anticipation*

    Joe

    I actually wound up packing five boxes full of books, another 6-7 boxes and all the books will be done.

    Whew. Books are nice to pack because of their geometric qualities, but not so nice to load because of their density. Good luck, have another USBstout or two.

    birgerjohansson

    I hope your migraine will go away.

    Thank you. It had the courtesy to recede.

    JAL

    My news is just usually so depressing and I hate just dumping all of that here. It feels like I contribute nothing besides that.

    Everyone goes through cycles, I think. Sometimes you need to lean on your friends for a while, and other times you can be the leaned-upon. Don’t feel guilty for leaning when you need to.

    We went to see her and that made Little One feel better a lot.

    I’m so glad they are both doing better, which I’m sure makes you better.

    strange gods

    On Charlie Rose’s show, Silver described himself as libertarian-liberal, and indicated he was deciding between voting for Gary Johnson or Mitt Romney.

    My mind. Is blown.

    thunk

    I don’t have much work this weekend. *does happy dance*

    Woot! *joins happy dance* maybe you can give some new interests a shot? I know men who knit : ) And it’s a fun mindless activity for doing while watching tv or something.

    Esteleth

    I aimed for cake and got custard-y pudding.

    Was it tasty anyway?

  237. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    I aimed for cake and got custard-y pudding.

    Protip: do not ice the cake prior to baking. It doesn’t really work.

    Heh. Cake is just a delivery vehicle for icing sugar anyway. Nom, nom, nom…

  238. Portia says

    Hit submit too soon. Just popped in to drop those thoughts, and now I’m getting back to my rare quiet evening with SO. Night all!

  239. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Custard-y cake-y pudding that is quite good, in a delightfully what-the-fuck kind of way:

    Sift together:
    3 cups flour
    2 tsp salt
    1.5 tablespoons baking powder, set aside.

    Melt 1 cup butter, beat in:
    2 cups sugar
    4 eggs (room temperature)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup whole milk
    4 teaspoons lemon juice.

    Fold butter mixture into flour, beat well. Pour into greased pan. Set aside.

    Whip until stiff:
    2 cups heavy cream
    3/4 cup sugar
    1.5 teaspoon cornstarch
    1.5 teaspoons lemon juice

    Scoop icing onto cake, put in oven.

    Bake 375 F for 15 minutes, then drop temperature to 350 and bake another 15.

    Result: one oozy, sticky mess that really doesn’t taste much of lemons.

  240. StevoR says

    @135.Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze–

    Forgive me if it’s been mentioned, but I found this exciting : Astronomers have uncovered evidence for a super Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a star 42 light-years away in the southern-hemisphere constellation Pictor.

    The Bad Astronomy blog has more on that here :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/11/08/getting-closer-super-earth-found-in-a-stars-habitable-zone/

    Quite a few caveats to note incl. that the exoplanet has yet to be properly confirmed and a seven times Earth’s mass it could well be more of a gas dwarf or hot ice mini-Neptune than a “SuperEarth” but still a fascinating find.

  241. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Threadrupt, but:

    Karl Rove has a lot of explaining to do … I don’t know how you tell your donors that we spent $390m and got nothing.”

    “These monsters eat their wounded!”

  242. cicely says

    Definitely not going to Skepticon.
    -
    The thing about Faux News is that it tells its target demographic what they desperately want to hear. It confirms the hell out of their biases.
    -

    Have you ever even tried to dilute a horse? Probably not. So, we can’t be sure that they don’t dilute well.

    Pretty much everything dilutes well in a solution of sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS). For the rest, carefully add dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO).

    Yes, but we were talking about Horses with an eye to homeopathic dosages thereof. For that, the dilution must be water. Them’s Teh Roolz.

    Can you imagine a car crash with fissile material?

    Vividly.
    -

  243. John Morales says

    Tony, that was a light-drawing (aka ‘photo-graph’), not just a drawing.

    (Loading your set atm)

  244. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    “Rest in Peas”. Ha! Over my dead body!

    I see what you did there.

  245. ibyea says

    @Tony
    I guess that animation represents one of the fan made impossibly difficult hacks, since Mario died after beating the level. ^_^

  246. thunk, Blob Alert! says

    Meh. I’m okay with peas. But my mashed potatoes will not have garlic in them. Or peels. Never.

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

    thunk:
    You still have time. You don’t need to choose which side of the great debate to make your stand. Just know that when you reach 21, you’ll be called to pick a side. Make sure you pick the correct one.
    (hint: it’s the side without the peas, but with lots of horses…heh heh).

  248. rq says

    Good morning! And hopefully a partly sunny one, here.

    Tony @264, 270, 298

    I’ve enjoyed Sarah McLachlan for years, but I admit that a few of her songs kept me going (in a mellow, depressing kind of way) throughout my first winter here (one of them being, of course, ‘Winter’).
    And a ‘win’ for 344.

    John Morales @296

    That is one incredible photo.

    +++

    Anyone out there who is/knows a good travel agent? Or someone who knows a lot about group flights from Europe to Canada? Just need some reference numbers to do some future planning and to convince a whole lot of people that going to Canada is a good thing. (No, we’re not planning a Great Escape.)

    +++

    Happy slaughter-a-rooster day. Yes, it’s Saint Martin’s again. The year goes by so quick!

  249. says

    Good morning

    JAL
    *hugs*
    Glad your mum is doing better and the little one got to see her.

    Somebody should hire you as student counsellor.

    David
    The mole was a joke ;)

    But isn’t a community college more like a “real” college, I thought? German Volkshochschule is more like just for the fun of it. Although you could take an exam for the European language certificate, I’ve never had anybody do it.

    +++
    Esteleth
    How about adding grated lemon cest?

    +++
    Talking ’bout colleges and credits, how many credits does a degree usually have? Although we switched to credits recently I think the systems are still not comparable. The most advanced class I’m taking this semester alone has 10 credits…

  250. rq says

    Tony
    I also love those drawings at 337. They remind me of this , which are done by one of my favourite dark artists. I had the alphabet up on my wall for a long time.

  251. Beatrice says

    ECTS scores/credits were introduced a year before I started in the uni. I think the biggest credit a class could have was 8, with the thesis having 10 credits.
    Each semester usually has 30 credits, and you can take additional 5. For more than that you have to get a special permission. That’s 180ECTS for the Bachelor’s degree + 120 for Master’s.

  252. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Somebody should hire you as student counsellor.

    I would seriously love to do that again.

    Talking ’bout colleges and credits, how many credits does a degree usually have? Although we switched to credits recently I think the systems are still not comparable. The most advanced class I’m taking this semester alone has 10 credits…

    It varies a lot from college to college and program to program.

    With Associates degrees it’s usually 60-90, Bachelors usually 120-180.

    It causes a lot of confusion and it’s usually a pain transferring credits between institutes.

    The only time I’ve heard of a 10 credit course is in the Nursing program, which is huge blocks of time for clinical and in-depth classes. Of course, I’m used to a community college. We had a nursing program and programs for heating cooling/cars/piping/plumbing in a separate institute, which is set up completely differently. They are the only place that AZ that uses their hour based system. It’s wildly complicated and a right pain to do financial aid with.

  253. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Each semester usually has 30 credits, and you can take additional 5.

    To help illustrate the sharp difference regarding credits and instituations, where I was at 12 credits was full time with 15 being high and 19 the highest I’ve ever seen. (It unfortunately did not end well for that ambitious 19 credit in one semester student). Most classes were 3 credits, with certain classes like Human Anatomy & Physiology being 4 credits. Then there were the few 1 & 2 credit fluff classes.

  254. mildlymagnificent says

    Esteleth

    one oozy, sticky mess that really doesn’t taste much of lemons.

    The best citrus cake we’ve ever made is an orange cake. Mainly because it’s desperately easy. We’ve made it half and half orange and lemon. Always intended to do wholly lemon but can’t remember actually carrying through.

    Get a large orange and boil it whole on top of stove for 5 minutes. Cool.
    Grease and line 18cm cake pan.
    Preheat oven @ 180C (170 fan forced) (moderate, 350F in old money)
    Other ingredients
    185 gms melted butter
    3 eggs
    1 cup caster sugar
    1&1/2 cups self-raising flour

    Method
    Chop orange, blitz thoroughly in food processor.(I check for seeds as I put pieces in).
    Throw in everything else and mix well.
    Pour into greased, lined pan.
    Bake 50 mins.

    I don’t like icing. Either sprinkle with icing sugar or make up cream cheese topping with lemon juice.

    This is really nice made with a small orange and a large lemon boiled together, cooled and blitzed. 2 lemons worth trying, we might even have tried it but don’t remember.

    If the cake you’ve just made isn’t lemony enough, add in a couple of teaspoons of finely grated lemon peel if you’re willing to give it another try.

  255. rq says

    Esteleth and mildlymagnificent
    I am quietly drooling over all the lemoncake currently on this page. Also, I’ve never tried icing the cake before putting it in – I always assumed it was best done afterward! ;)

  256. mildlymagnificent says

    rq
    I’ve seen lots of recipes for pre-iced biscuits (cookies) but never for a cake. Presumably the 15-20 minutes or less for small biccies works OK. Not so sure about 45+ minutes for a full sized cake.

  257. rq says

    mildlymagnificent

    That probably explains it. I’ve never tried pre-iced cookies, though, because it seems so wrong…

  258. says

    credits
    My course, which is a “Staatsexamen”, which is somewhere between a bachelor and a master has 300 CP, with 115 for each subject, in my case English and Spanish, 48 for pedagogy and 22 for the thesis. A BA has 2 times 93 CP.
    So, while the systems sound alike, doesn’t look like they are.

  259. says

    *sigh*
    I’m suffering from an accute case of nostalgia.
    Friends of ours are spawning for the first time so they’re getting our baby stuff. And since they’re spawning the boy-variety, I have to sort out the dresses and more obviously girl-coded stuff. And handling the whole stuff makes me Bambi-eyed. Not because I want another baby, heavens forbod, I freaked out because my period came on time and not 3 days early, but remembering when the girls wore the stuff, or who gave it to them, things we did then…
    I hope that somebody is going to spawn the girl variety some time soon, I’m only keeping the very first item I bought each of them which they’ll get if they spawn themselves or are suffciently grown otherwise, together with their hospital wristlets and the cards people sent.

  260. opposablethumbs says

    Mostly threadrupt, partially caught up.

    Good luck with the packing, Improbable Joe (heh, almost called you “Improbably Joe” instead by mistake)

    Anti-migraine wishes to Portia (long after the event) and indeed to all those susceptible. They can be so bloody awful ::shudders::

    Hope you get your learning and your teaching times to work, Giliell (have I said how much I hate all the Horders writing in English as a second (or third etc. language? If I really really really had to I could just about do this in another language, but I’d never have a fraction of the fluency and idiomatic wealth some of you have. Grr. I hates you, I does).

    JAL, I hope your mother is OK and recovers well. That must have been horrible. It’s so fucking unfair that you should have this happen on top of everything else – and poor Little One, she must have gone through the most awful shock – I hope she feels better now she’s seen her gran again.

    I feel like a shit for not being able to send anything. I haven’t mentioned it before, but we’re low-income and partly dependent on benefits (which mostly stop when SonSpawn finishes school) – all the brilliant music stuff he gets to do is possible mainly because there are still a couple of free workshops in existence despite the cuts (though who knows for how much longer!) and on the paid ones – which are usually expensive – there are a tiny handful of free places available for “scholarship” kids whose family income is below a threshold. And students here can get the government student loan, which is the one and only debt I think it’s actually wise to get into if you have to, and of course we have the NHS, thank FSM. I still feel like a shit, though, because we’re so incredibly lucky in so many ways and JAL and Little One really need the help right now.
    JAL with your attitude and knowledge you would be a totally awesome student counsellor. I am just longing for the day when I’ll be reading a little while into the future from now, when you have a new, safe place and Little One has a school where she’s happy, and you are maybe a student counsellor or similar.

    Eh, I’m having porridge for breakfast today. I’m just sending some through if anyone wants a bit.

  261. rq says

    opposablethumbs
    What kind of porridge? Just spent an hour and a half out in the chill air, and porridge sounds wonderful…
    My favourite cold-weather porridge is barley porridge in milk with bacon-fat-fried-onions on top, well-salted. MMMMMmmmmm……… Too bad we’re out of bacon. :( I just made myself hungry.

    Giliell
    Even now, with #3 still so small, I look at the first little clothes (the monthly sorting event), and I think to myself, NO WAY were they EVER that small.
    Yet I have photos that prove it.

  262. Beatrice says

    Do the British actually use “cheerio” often?

    I heard it from my examiner today (exam went well, I have to wait 10 days for the results) and it sounds so… cheery.
    I like it.

  263. rq says

    MY GOODNESS I could eat re-heated home-made pumpkin muffins with walnuts lots of butter all day long…

  264. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Aaargh.

    Shitty dreams last night.

    Boy went out to a bar and got to be a witness to a shooting.

    And now I have to put up with some militaristic right wingers today. I was just told that, because Obama called a submarine a ship during one of the debates, he should be disqualified from being the commander in chief because of his military ignorance.

    Has any one else noticed that, when a GOP politician makes an absurd and/or hateful statement about women or gays or Latinos or African Americans the right tries to blow it off as a misstatement that was taken out of context and that’s not really what he meant anyway and the media is blowing it out of proportion? But if a Democratic politician makes a misstatement that is harmless (calling a submarine a ship rather than a boat, for instance), this is proof that they are disrespecting the Navy, are unfit to command the armed forces, and that he has intentionally insulted anyone who ever served (and besides that, how can a non-veteran possibly be allowed to command the US military)?

  265. rq says

    Ogvorbis

    Hugs and sympathies and whatever else would make you feel marginally better at the moment (hot chocolate?). :(
    And yes, I had noticed that. But I think it goes with the territory, because their (the GOP’s) guy always knows what he’s talking about, then obviously any wrong statements are simply a matter of context (or the right one). But the other guy – weeeeelllll, who knows what he’s thinking behind that education and liberal-minded thinking… Because being liberal also applies to definitions in the English language.
    Because a ship is different from a boat, and the difference matters, don’t you see?

    PS Looking into some of the Latvian geology. Can’t promise any information will be out soon, though, I have about an hour of quiet naptime for peaceful researching left. ;)

  266. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    I’m sorry you had a bad night again, Ogvorbis.

    No new shit in the dreams, so it wasn’t that bad.

    How is your son coping?

    I think he’s doing okay. He talked with the police for quite a while, even went down to the station to give a statement on the record and identify the suspect, so I’m hoping that helped put things in perspective (or prevented same). Luckily, the shooting was not fatal, but it still scared him.

    Hugs and sympathies and whatever else would make you feel marginally better at the moment (hot chocolate?). :(

    I’m thinking some Scotch Whisky tonight. Can’t do it at work.

    Because a ship is different from a boat, and the difference matters, don’t you see?

    There is a long tradition in the US Navy that all submarines, no matter how big, are boats, not ships. And unless one has close associations with the navy, or is into military history, is one of those tidbits that most people do not know. I wonder if Mitt even knew the proper terminology?

    Looking into some of the Latvian geology. Can’t promise any information will be out soon, though,

    Not to worry. My question about the hill was just idle speculation (me Dad got his geology degree at Tufts University — The College on the Hill (though the geology students called it ‘The College on the Drumlin) so I tend to wonder about things like that. an entire childhood of geology warped my mind. or maybe metamorphosed it.).

  267. rq says

    Ogvorbis
    Don’t talk like that (idle speculation?) or you’ll kill my motivation. :P I’m all set to do some stuff that will help me feel educated and worthwhile. :) For someone. Because I can read about for myself later; but if I read it for someone, I’ll actually read it (as opposed to forget about it).
    Also most of the stuff needs some decent translating, being mostly in Latvian, which means that, even if you wanted to, you couldn’t read it. :)
    I just discovered there’s a Museum of Geology in the country, too.

    Thanks for the random military fact. :) Did not know that.

  268. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Sorry, rq.

    Your assignment: a complete geological history of Latvia with special attention to the correlation of the fossil record with the type horizons of each era and the geologic and archaologic history of the ice ages for the same area. Better?

  269. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    rq:

    I, occasionally, give myself an assignment like that. Treat it as an undergrad term paper. I never actually write it, but I do the research and the outline with the sources I’m using. It helps me to form my own opinion especially in cases (such as the PT extinction event(s)) where the experts still can’t agree (they know it happened, but the sequence of events, and the exact causes, are still being argued). Gets my head straight.

    Yes, I am that weird.

  270. says

    Oggie:
    First of all, *hugs* to you and your son. Poor kid*.

    Second: Re: the navy: Speaking of the Republican “love” for the military, look at the shit that was slung at Tammy Duckworth. Republicans can’t even pretend to respect our veterans any more, ‘cos it’s too important to demonize Dems no matter what. I just wish more people were willing to call them out on their obvious pandering bullshit. They don’t love the troops, they love handing billions of dollars to defense contractors.

    *Yes, I know he’s an adult, but dammit, someone in their early 20s is so young!

  271. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Audley:

    Yeah. Scary. Talking with him when he got home last night he sounded okay. He even said that being able to talk with the police, and processing the event in a somewhat clinical manner so quickly, helped him calm down and relax. We’ll see what happens.

  272. says

    I see that Steve R linked to a Bad Astronomer post honoring Carl Sagan’s birthday. Nice.

    Here’s another post in Sagan’s honor:
    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/11/09/15054721-the-week-in-geek-returneth-carl-sagan-birthday-edition

    Excerpts:

    Today is Carl Sagan’s birthday; he would have been 78. Sagan found magic in every aspect of the Universe.

    “It is sometimes said that scientists are unromantic, that their passion to figure out robs the world of beauty and mystery. But is it not stirring to understand how the world actually works…?” — Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

    In honor of Sagan, and of that notion, here are some amazing ways we are discovering how the world works.

    The story of the world in one minute. [VIDEO]

    It’s official, ladybugs should be reclassified as transformers. [VIDEO]

    Even gorillas are fascinated by the life around them. [VIDEO]

    Lot’s more at the first link, including why children cover their eyes to hide, how sensitive an alligator’s face it, bat embryos, etc.

  273. rq says

    Ogvorbis

    Sounds like something I should start doing for myself (the assignment part). Probably leads to a lot of interesting discoveries, and I can see how it would help settle your own opinion – plus, any kind of educational stimulation = excellent thing. I just find it helps me to have an outside entity also interested in the result, because doing things only for myself sometimes falls into the ‘but I can do it anytime’ trap. Or the ‘later, of course I’ll remember’.

    Also, re: your son – I hope he’s ok, youth being resilient and all that. Being indirectly involved in a crime (by that I mean not as a victim or a perpetrator) isn’t always easy, but processing it and being asked to think about it logically right from the get-go is actually a very good way of dealing with it.

  274. rq says

    ** Feel free to take the above comment with as many grains/blocks of salt as you need, since I only speak from my personal experience as a person who works on the investigating end of crimes.

  275. strange gods before me ॐ says

    consciousness razor,

    [Nate Silver] also said (I don’t remember when) that he didn’t intend to vote.

    Ah. I can’t watch the Charlie Rose video right now, but that’s consistent with the transcriptions I’m finding; he apparently said if he were to vote then his decision would be between Johnson and Romney.

    He’s also a sucker on global warming:

    «Nate devotes far too much space to the highly questionable claims of a University of Pennsylvania marketing Professor named J. Scott Armstrong. Armstrong made a name for himself in denialist circles back in 2007 by denouncing climate models as having no predictive value at all. Armstrong’s arguments were fundamentally flawed, belied by a large body of primary scientific literature — with which Armstrong was apparently unfamiliar — demonstrating that climate model projections clearly do in fact out-perform naive predictions which ignore the effect of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. As discussed in detail by my RealClimate.org co-founder, NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt, Armstrong simply didn’t understand the science well enough to properly interpret, let alone, assess, the predictive skill of climate model predictions. [...]

    Nate Silver was trained in the Chicago school of Economics, famously characterized by its philosophy of free market fundamentalism. [...]

    Unlike Levitt, Nate did talk to the scientists (I know. I’m one of them!). But he didn’t listen quite as carefully as he should have. When it came to areas like climate change well outside his own expertise, he to some extent fell into the same “one trick pony” trap that was the downfall of Levitt (and arguably others like Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point). That is, he repeatedly invokes the alluring, but fundamentally unsound, principle that simple ideas about forecasting and prediction from one field, like economics, can readily be appropriated and applied to completely different fields, without a solid grounding in the principles, assumptions, and methods of those fields. It just doesn’t work that way (though Nate, to his credit, does at least allude to that in his discussion of Armstrong’s evaluation of climate forecasts).

    As a result, Nate’s chapter on climate change (Chapter 12: “A Climate of Healthy Skepticism”) is marred by straw man claims that don’t stand up to scrutiny. These include the assertion that (a) climate scientist James Hansen’s famous 1988 predictions overestimated global warming (they didn’t), that (b) “the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) settles on just one forecast that is endorsed by the entire group” (pure nonsense — even the most casual reading of the IPCC reports reveals that great care taken to emphasize the non-trivial spread among model predictions, and to denote regions where there is substantial disagreement between the projections from different models) and that (c) “relatively little is understood” about the El Nino cycle (here I imagine that Nate might have misinterpreted our own discussion about the matter; I explained in our discussion that there are still open questions about how climate change will influence the El Nino phenomenon — but that hardly means that we know “relatively little” about the phenomenon itself! In fact, we know quite a bit about it). Finally, and perhaps most troubling (d) while Nate’s chapter title explicitly acknowledges the importance of distinguishing “signal” from “noise”, and Nate does gives this topic some lip service, he repeatedly falls victim to the fallacy that tracking year-to-year fluctuations in temperature (the noise) can tell us something about predictions of global warming trends (the signal). [...]

    Nate’s view of uncertainty, and its implications for climate model predictions, is particularly misguided. He asserts that the projections of the IPCC forecasts have been “too aggressive”, but that is simply wrong. It neglects that in many cases, e.g. as regards the alarming rate of Arctic sea ice decline (we saw a new record low set just weeks ago), the climate models have been far too cautious; We are decades ahead of schedule relative to what the models predicted. Uncertainty cuts both ways, and in many respects — be it the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice, or the melting of the ice sheets — it is cutting against us. Uncertainty, as many economists recognize, is thus a reason for action, not inaction! I’m surprised someone as sharp as Nate just doesn’t appear to get that.

    Nate also takes some unnecessary cheap shots. In what has now become a rite of passage for those looking to establish their “honest broker” bona fides in the climate change debate, Nate makes the requisite “punch the hippie” accusation that Al Gore exaggerated the science of climate change in An Inconvenient Truth (a team of climate scientists reviewed the movie for accuracy and found that by-and-large Gore got the science right). He characterizes climate scientist Gavin Schmidt as a “sarcastic” individual who is unwilling to put his money where his mouth is by betting his personal savings on his climate model predictions (this felt to me reminiscent of Mitt Romney’s widely mocked $10,000 bet challenge to Rick Perry). And while I do appreciate some of the nice things Nate says in the book about me personally (e.g. “Mann is exceptionally thoughtful about the science behind global warming”), he at the same time deeply misrepresents our discussion on several counts. [...]

    Nate cherry-picks a single sound bite (“our statements [should not be] so laden in uncertainty that no one even listens.”) to once again reinforce the false narrative that scientists are understating uncertainty. The point I was actually making was that we cannot spend so much time talking about what we don’t know, that we don’t end up telling the public what we do know. That, as Nate correctly quotes me, “would be irresponsible”. Nate states that “the more dramatic [climate scientists'] claims, the more likely they [are] be quoted…”, seemingly implying that scientists have a motivation to overstate the science. He ignores the fact that those scientists willing to feed the false “scientists are exaggerating” narrative are the true darlings of the “balance” over “objectivity” school of news reporting — a school of thought that Nate sadly seems to have subscribed to.

    Most disappointing to me of all was the false equivalence that Nate draws between the scientific community’s efforts to fight back against intentional distortions and attacks by an industry-funded attack machine, and the efforts of that attack machine itself. He characterizes this simply as a battle between “consensus” scientists and “skeptical” individuals, as if we’re talking about two worthy adversaries in a battle. This framing is flawed on multiple levels, not the least of which is that those he calls “skeptics” are in fact typically no such thing. There is a difference between honest skepticism — something that is not only valuable but necessary for the progress of science — and pseudo-skepticism, i.e. denialism posing as “skepticism” for the sake of obscuring, rather than clarifying, what is known.»

    And so on. I cut some details and links.

  276. says

    Strange gods:
    Random formatting question that I’ve been meaning to ask for a while: why do you choose to use angled quotation marks instead of, er, “regular” quotation marks/blockquoting? I don’t think I’ve really seen them used outside of Spanish writing (and the Pffft! leads me to believe that French and Greek writers use them as well).

  277. says

    Mormon Moment of Maybe Madness: A graduate of Brigham Young University built a hobbit house completely out of balloons. The story on Yahoo News doesn’t identify him as a mormon, but he pinged the mormon radar of ex-mormons and, lo, the true mormon nature of his oddities was revealed.

    …Jeremy Telford, a balloon artist from Pleasant Grove, Utah. Telford is a superfan of the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien, and he used 2,600 balloons to re-create Bag End, the home of Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit….

    Jeremy Telford has been running his business, Balloon Guy Entertainment, since 2003 and has performed at hundreds of events and parties. He has created over 250 designs, including a life-sized Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a degree in Recreation Management and Youth Leadership. He lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah. [from http://utahfestivalofbooks.com/authors/ and courtesy of Tyson Dunn]

  278. Portia says

    Thanks, FossilFishy and thunk . It was nice and relaxing.

    Just met with a couple clients early on a Saturday. Which really doesn’t bother me because …new client, yay! They’re nice people, too. Wanting to patronize a new business in this small town.

    At 2 a.m. this morning I woke to BANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANG on my door. I can see the back porch from my bedroom, and could see bright flashlights probing the windows and door. It took my brain a moment to wake up and register *zomg cops*. I went out, half asleep, worried they had come for information about a client or something. They were looking for a man who used to live my house but now lives in the one next door. With a handy little tile on his porch bearing his last name.

    It took me so long to simmer back down afterwards I didn’t sleep for over an hour. Harumph.

    -===-

    I’m looking forward to trying these citrus cakes, perhaps for the holidays.

    -===-

    Ogvorbis
    I’m sorry you had a rough night.
    Also sorry your son had to go through that. Very scary indeed.
    Glad he found a way to calm his nerves about it.

    -===-

    opposablethumbs

    Anti-migraine wishes to Portia (long after the event)

    Many thanks : ) I’ll store them for future use. (And they will certainly be needed at some point, unfortunately).

    -===-

    In other awesome news, the client who called wanting a will is the business editor of the local paper, and wanted me to know they do profiles on new businesses for no charge, and that I should get the form to her asap and she’ll get it in there. Hooray free marketing!

    -===-

    Happy Saturday, all! (If it’s still Saturday where you are, I’m bad with time zones).

  279. Nutmeg says

    Ogvorbis: *hugs* to your son, and to you.

    Witnessing something can be very hard to deal with. And teens and young adults sometimes try to protect their parents by not letting them see that they’re having a hard time. I know you’ll be keeping a close eye on your son, but I can’t help worrying about him a little. Hopefully he’ll recover quickly and be fine, and I’m just projecting my own experiences onto yours.

    *more hugs*

  280. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Audley,

    I don’t like to nest double quotes immediately inside of double quotes, blockquote html tags makes big texts vertically longer on-screen, and the laziest solution is to use a third type of quotation mark that is rarely seen in my language. Also I like the look of ‘em.

    (They’re &laquo; and &raquo; if anybody else likes.)

  281. Matt Penfold says

    In other news, Pat Robertson, finds porn boring. He’s also shocked, shocked I tell you, that women also watch porn.

    It seems that for once Robertson is right about something. Most porn IS boring.

  282. birgerjohansson says

    Had a nightmare about nanotech baddies self-assembling. Weird.
    — — — — — — —
    About the Uwingu planet naming site:
    Someone nominated the name “Vetinari”.
    Well done, fellow Pratchett enthusiasts.
    .
    BTW I think the buggy beta site software has someting against letting Europeans nominate planet names.
    Mericans seem to have no problems.

    — — — — — —
    “Scientists discover possible building blocks of ancient genetic systems” http://phys.org/news/2012-11-scientists-blocks-ancient-genetic.html ”AEG” molecule.
    “Compound in grapes, red wine could be key to fighting prostate cancer” http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-11-compound-grapes-red-wine-key.html Let’s make GM oranges or potatoes that churn out this compound!
    .
    “Study ties obesity-related gene to weaker memory” http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-11-ties-obesity-related-gene-weaker-memory.html

  283. Matt Penfold says

    Don’t forget cannabis legalization.

    I had forgotten, if I ever knew in the first place, so thanks for reminding me.

    Change that to “This is one of those rare occasions Robertson is right about something”.

  284. Portia says

    Depends on the type of porn, I suppose, but I think most mainstream porn is boring after 30 seconds.

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

    Pat Robertson find porn boring?
    Who cares about his opinion?
    Given his reprehensible views on darn near everything, I’m surprised he’s ever gotten laid…and now I wish I hadn’t just typed that sentence.

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

    Portia:
    New client? Yah!

    ****
    Audley:
    BYU-alma mater of Pennywise?

  287. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    I was reading yesterday that all porn gets boring after a while, and regular watchers need to find weirder and weirder stuff. That writer was saying that the easy availability of internet freakishness has led to 20-somethings regarding erectile dysfunction as normal.

    I recall someone once saying that after 15 minutes of watching porn, she wanted to run out and have sex with the first person she saw, and after 30 minutes of watching porn, she wanted to go home and never have sex again.

  288. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    can any of you explain to me why some writers refer to Lenin as Nikolai Lenin?

    Sheer ignorance. I recall Reagan doing it, but whether it started with him, I don’t know.

  289. strange gods before me ॐ says

    It might be a “Barry” thing. Wikipedia says his pseudonym for a time was Nikolai Petrovich. I suppose he liked it because his grandfather’s name was Nikolai (and thus his father’s middle name was Nikolayevich).

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

    strange gods:
    I’ve been meaning to ask-what’s that character at the end of your nym?

  291. says

    Good evening.
    We went to the dinosaur indoor-playground (nasty, nasty NOvember weather) and I was mightily surprised when suddenly my godson stood before me :)
    Ohhh, and they have a real Argentinosaurus skeleton (the playground belongs to a dinosaur exhibition), very impressive.

    Ogvorbis
    Hugs for you and boy

    Portia
    Ahhh yeah, cops and doorsigns. I remember arguing for 5 min with a cop that neither me nor my flatmate was Ms. Black, who lived on the floor below us *rolleyes*

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

    Giliell:
    oooh a dinosaur playground.

    I want to go. Channelling my inner child here-I used to *love* dinosaurs. Heck, I still do. I really enjoyed Walking With Dinosaurs.

  293. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Tony, it is my OM.

    +++++
    Jadehawk, a fairly well-informed Yahoo questioner asks the same thing, gets shitty answers as is typical of Yahoo, and then tries to educate his respondents. He finds this pdf: footnote 8 on page 9 (page 3 of the pdf) attempts an explanation. I’m not sure if it can account for usages like Bryant’s, but maybe so, if she used it tongue-in-cheek or just ignorantly.

    +++++
    From that Yahoo question, I find this gem: How did Martin Luther King Jr become president of the United States back in those days, when black people were not allowed to do things?

  294. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Eh, I suppose that pdf doesn’t have much of an explanation, just a handwave — it’s presumably derived from the nym “N. Lenin” which he apparently did use.

    I don’t know if that explains Bryant, and I haven’t the patience to figure if “Nikolai Petrovich” was really used by him.

  295. rq says

    Giliell
    A dinosaur playground??? If only they knew, there would be a whole lot of jealous of you at this end of Europe! Sounds fantastic.

    And yes, Tony, that’s an om. One of the few things I remember from World Religion classes in grade 11.
    Your article? Yeah. Read it. I’m not quite sure what to think. Have to digest some of that information.

    As for Lenin, well, people can call him what they like. I have something close to something like a personal issue with him. Call it historical angst. :P

  296. says

    huh. so Lenin for a short period did write as “N. Lenin”, and that stuck over his actual name? how fucking weird. but then, right-wingers really like using the wrong names for people, I guess…

    From that Yahoo question, I find this gem: How did Martin Luther King Jr become president of the United States back in those days, when black people were not allowed to do things?

    that made my morning

  297. strange gods before me ॐ says

    It is possible the questioner is not mistaken, and due to IPv4 addressing collisions, Yahoo is receiving questions from other universes, including one where MLK was eventually elected president. :)

  298. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    PZ needs a set of ~a href=”http://fab.com/sale/9355/product/255851/?usid=6″>these

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

    Scientists say boiled, fried, poached or scrambled, eggs keep people fuller for longer compared with other common breakfast foods.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/Eat-eggs-for-breakfast-to-fight-flab/articleshow/14713732.cms
    ____

    I have long argued that Arabs and Muslims were the weak link in America’s civil liberty chain. When the rights of vulnerable minority groups are threatened, we must demand a halt to abuse. It is worrisome that in the post-9/11 era the challenge to constitutional rights has often been met with silence — because it was Arabs and Muslims who were the targets. What we have failed to recognize is that if the rights to assemble, to speak freely, to be secure from unwarranted search, and to be guaranteed due process are put at risk for any group, then these rights may ultimately be threatened for all Americans.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-zogby/arab-americans-and-law-en_b_2109335.html

  300. Beatrice says

    Scientists say boiled, fried, poached or scrambled, eggs keep people fuller for longer compared with other common breakfast foods.

    Since I usually eat a lot of bread with eggs, and usually make scrambled eggs with bacon, sure they do. That’s why I usually eat eggs for breakfast when I know I won’t have a chance to eat any time soon. I somehow doubt that does me much good in the health department, though.

  301. Portia says

    How did Martin Luther King Jr become president of the United States back in those days, when black people were not allowed to do things?

    That’s a pretty sad level of ignorance.

    -===-

    I have an ambitious list of outdoor home maintenance chores to take advantage of this lovely lovely weather. Here I go! (Inconveniently, the guy the cops were looking for last night is the one who does some groundskeeping for our mutual landlord.)

  302. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    How did Martin Luther King Jr become president of the United States back in those days, when black people were not allowed to do things?

    Well, obviously, he was a Republican, and Republicans can get away with anything, right?

  303. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Portia:
    What’s on this ambitious list of chores?

    While I can’t speak for Portia, on my list is the close examination of the back of my eyelids while undergoing rhythmic breathing.

  304. Portia says

    *adjusts glasses*
    freeze apple cider (that is, rearrange freezer to make room for cider)
    repaint front door
    put newly refinished chairs on craigslist
    pull out large sapling from front flower bed
    attempt to remove poison ivy from outside of (brick) house
    scrape thick white paint off lovely glass tiles surrounding front door
    put up mailbox
    wash glass front door
    clean out car
    paint “OPEN” sign
    Sand down new set of chairs for refinishing
    Paint chairs as time allows
    Forgive self for not finishing list
     
    Most of this is for the purpose of making the front of my house/office look presentable and businesslike.
     
    Our Midwestern weather today is positively Floridian. :)
     
    What’s your day hold, Tony?

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

    Portia:
    my day’s list-which should have something constructive on it-is empty.
    Methinks I should fix that, given that the weather is fantastic today.

    ****
    Ultimate Trampoline Dodgeball, anyone?

    Rick Platt is the creator of Ultimate Trampoline Dodgeball, a variation of the sport where the players play on indoor courts where the floors and walls are covered with, yes, trampolines.

    This sounds like so much fun it’s scary!

  306. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    So that’s where “Nikolai” Lenin comes from? My high school history teacher (when he wasn’t telling gleeful stories about “going after Charlie” in the 60s) referred to him thusly.

    I once called him on it, pointing out that his name was Vladimir Ilych. And if you didn’t want to use “Lenin,” “Ulyanov” might work instead.

    Teacher informed me that in Russia in those days all Russians of Lenin’s social class had to be named for either the Tsar or the Tsarina, and the Tsar was named Nikolai, so there you go.

    So I looked it up. Lenin was born in 1870, when the Tsar was…Alexander II. Also, the “Russians are named for the Tsar” thing is bullshit.

  307. says

    Well… packing is fun. Learned some things:

    *They don’t seem to sell an “extra-long katana” box most places.

    *That missing thing you’re looking for doesn’t become easier to find if you stopped cleaning a week ago because you knew you were going to start packing soon. That “thing” in this case being the Allen wrench I need to tune my guitar.

    *Green tea and a Slim Jim is not a healthy lunch to work on.

    *Sorting through books Hoarders-style leaves me as frozen as the people on the show, so I decided not to bother. I’m just packing everything and I’ll sort it out when I get where I’m going.

    *Sorting through clothing is easier. 90% of what was stashed in the guest bedroom closet can go, plus all of my wife’s old scrubs, which leaves me basically finished with the clothing packing.

    *The shipping boxes that the packing boxes turn out to be the perfect size for larger pictures and mirrors, one less thing to buy.

  308. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Rick Platt is the creator of Ultimate Trampoline Dodgeball, a variation of the sport where the players play on indoor courts where the floors and walls are covered with, yes, trampolines.

    I played that when I was young. We had a trampoline (which meant that our house was always very popular with other kids) and one of the games we played was trampoline dodge ball. One (or two) were on the trampoline and the rest of the kids were in two groups, one at each end of the trampoline. We used an old, and very soft (even when fully inflated) volleyball and took turns throwing it at the people on the trampoline. The rules included: the ball must bounce once on the trampoline before hitting the bouncer; whoever catches the ball at the other end gets to throw it; when your throw hit a bouncer, you took their place on the trampoline. One of the effective ways to defend yourself was to try to time your landing for the same time the ball hit the trampoline bed and you could launch the ball with your rebound.

  309. Beatrice says

    Joe,

    For someone who was worried about not being able to force himself to pack on a schedule, you seem to be doing quite well. It sounds like you’ll be lounging on the sofa surrounded by full boxes and an otherwise empty house in a day or two tops.

  310. Beatrice says

    When I was a kid, I was afraid of the ball. So, I was really good at dodging it, but whenever I was left the last on the field during (some version of) dodgeball… it could last and then people would get annoyed that I don’t want to catch it.

    Yes, I couldn’t catch a ball. I’m the worst stereotype of a nerdy kid being totally absolutely incompetent in gym class.

  311. Portia says

    Whew. 45 minutes and I got about 3 1/2 tiles out of 20 cleared of paint. I’m now picking paint chips out of my teeth. Trying to think of any high schoolers I know who might want a little cash. Because I think my patience with the task is evaporated. Onto the damn poison ivy.

  312. says

    Beatrice,

    Reporting my progress here and snapping pics for Twitter are ways for me to create accountability for myself. The job still feels insanely enormous though. I’ve got to take apart the glass TV stand and pack it so that it doesn’t break, I have to repair my wife’s hope chest, kitchen stuff, and disassemble beds and all sorts of things. Gotta get as far into the packing as I can as far out from the deadline as possible, because there’s a lot of things that I’m really not going to want to do and if I can leave one day for each of them I might get it all done.

    Or, you know… panic? Panic could be good. :)

  313. Beatrice says

    Joe,

    Don’t panic, did I make you think about panicking? I have to stop mentioning panic. Shit. I mentioned panic again.
    … Joking for a bit. But it really does sound like things are going well. It’s a good plan, to finish the easy stuff fast and then have enough time to deal with the tricky, breakable bits.

  314. Nutmeg says

    Beatrice:

    I’m the worst stereotype of a nerdy kid being totally absolutely incompetent in gym class.

    We could have a competition! When I was in seventh grade, while the whole class, the gym teacher, and the vice principal were watching, some very foolish person attempted to pass the basketball to me. Under the pressure of all that scrutiny, I ducked, crouched down, and covered my head with my hands. Judging from the laughter, that wasn’t how I was supposed to respond.

  315. says

    so, i’ve made a bit of a self-assesment recently, noticing the following:
    -completely lost interest in “hobbies”
    -inability to “work” (both in terms of making money and in terms of school work)
    -excessibe amounts of mental and physical exhaustion
    -anxiety about pretty much anything that even remotely falls in the “have to do it” category

    conclusion: my depression has evidently slipped below the “manageable” line, so I should probably make an appointment with the councelling folks on campus.
    complication: see above mentioned inability to get shit done due to listlessness + anxiety

    brilliant.

    *sigh*

  316. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Nutmeg and Beatrice:

    I was okay playing baseball, but I was much better at any sport that involved running people over — football (real football, not that soccer stuff), lacrosse, that sort of thing.

    Jadehawk:

    Been there. Take the plunge and make the call. Be safe and take care of you.

  317. says

    Take the plunge and make the call

    well, that’s the problem. i can’t. as in, i currently lack the ability to go through the steps required to do so (regular, non-depression-related hatred of and anxiety about phone conversations isn’t helping here, either. why can’t i make an appointment by e-mail!?).

  318. says

    Beatrice,

    Panic is OK two weeks out, it will save me the real panic the weekend before the movers show up. Did I mention I have movers showing up? I’m going to reserve a team on Monday to work two hours loading everything. The goal is to have my things staged so I don’t need them a minute longer than two hours,and I can get the trailer picked up the same day.

    Actually, I made the command decision to abandon most of the breakable stuff and buy replacements when my wife gets her relocation bonus. The dishes are pretty much toast anyway, so they get left behind. How many mugs do two people need?

  319. says

    Jadehawk,

    Can you do one step at a time, and put absolutely no pressure on yourself to do the next step? Maybe look up the number you need now, and maybe tomorrow you put it in your phone, and then sort of carry the phone around and if you get any 5-minute burst of ability to act, you can impulsively make the call for help? Or ask a friend to deal with the arrangements?

  320. Beatrice says

    Nutmeg,

    Ouch. Thankfully, I was never on such display. I can’t say for sure that my reaction wouldn’t have been similar to yours. I have been known to throw my hands in front of my face when I saw the ball coming.

    Another unfortunate circumstance that didn’t exactly help with my fear was that if there was a ball someone lost control off, it was sure to come flying at me. I got hit in the chest with a football once (kicked with considerable force, I would say). That fucking hurt. Basketball to the head, volleyball… If there is someone handling a ball anywhere near me, I’m still extra vigilant. Those things have something against me.

  321. says

    well, I don’t actually have a phone, i use my bf’s phone when i need to use phones with assorted primitive institutions that won’t let me use e-mail instead. which adds a difficulty, and another complication in that i am uncomfortable making phone-calls in the presence of other people

    in fact, ive been thinking for months now about biting the bullet and getting some crappy, cheap phone for emergency-purposes. but for reasons mentioned above, that never happened, either.

  322. Beatrice says

    Joe,

    Probably a good idea about breakables. Dishes are something that seems to breed, especially those ugly pieces that you hope to break but never do (the favorite cup would shatter to pieces, of course).


    Jadehawk,

    I think that I know how you feel, at least partly. The only thing I recently had interest for was the English test. Now that that is done, I’m completely aimless and not feeling up to starting anything. I’m anxious about pretty much everything in my life. Sorry that I can’t help, but I do offer sympathy and *hugs* if you want them. I hope that you will manage to contact the counseling people.

  323. Portia says

    Jadehawk, that sucks, I’m sorry. Anything productive I would have to offer has been mentioned already so, just USBchocolate?

  324. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Or maybe you could go to the counseling office in person to make an appointment, and avoid the phone altogether.

  325. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    why can’t i make an appointment by e-mail!?

    Can you? If your counseling centre is at the school, they should have email. You may be able to find the email address online? The other possibility is to go there in person to make the appointment?

    I’m a shitty one to be giving advice on this. My depression comes in short enough spurts that I’m back out long before I reach the point of making a call but I am so terrified of making that call, of actually talking to someone in meatspace about this, that there is no way I could actually make the call even though if I don’t, at some point, I’m going to break down again, so I understand.

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

    Portia:
    You inspired me to do something useful with today. Thanks :)

  327. Beatrice says

    Ogvorbis,

    I am so terrified of making that call, of actually talking to someone in meatspace about this [depression], that there is no way I could actually make the call even though if I don’t, at some point, I’m going to break down again

    Yeah, sounds familiar. :/

  328. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    can’t make e-mail appointment because blah blah can’t guarantee privacy blah blah impersonal blah blah

    For an appointment? Weird. I can email my doctor’s office to schedule an appointment, to refill my meds, even with a health question.

    In person may be your best choice. But, like I said, I’m procrastinating and negotiating the hell out of the same thing so If I won’t listen to me . . . y’know? Can your bf make the appointment for you? I know that I can make an appointment for Wife or vice versa, but then, we’re married so that has legal standing so never mind.

    Sorry. Hugs via USB to you?

  329. says

    For an appointment? Weird.

    well, in general. as in, they discourage people e-mailing them in general, because if you say something private in that e-mail, they can’t guarantee privacy about it.

    and they’re taking these privacy concerns so seriously, I’ve so far not even been able to find their e-mail address in order to completely ignore their warnings and discouragements.

    what sort of fucked up counseling center makes it more difficult for people with mental health issues like depression and anxiety to reach them?

    idiots.

  330. says

    Jadehawk,

    In person appointment-making sounds like a good plan, maybe enlist friend/boyfriend to take you there like it or not. I struggle with depression too, and anxiety, and occasional rage. You see me here talking about my packing, and a lot of it is trying to stave off the sort of anxiety and depression that will make me incapable of finishing the job and letting my wife down. Really all I want to do is sleep until noon, play Assassin’s Creed 3 and drink until I can’t handle the controller anymore, and then surf the Internet and drink until I pass out, and then do it all over again the next day.

  331. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    what sort of fucked up counseling center makes it more difficult for people with mental health issues like depression and anxiety to reach them?

    One more concerned with efficiency and not-being-sued than they are with actually helping people? Or was that rhetorical?

  332. Portia says

    Sorry, popped in with levity where it may not have been appropriate.

    Wishing Joe and Jadehawk all the success with those obstacles.

  333. says

    alright, found a thingy where you fill out a “is stress or depression affecting your life”* questionnaire anonymously that a counselor is supposed to evaluate and give you suggestions via that web-page for further action, and then allowing for “anonymous communication” including making an appointment with them. so i filled out their questionnaire (apparently moving so quietly people don’t notice you is a sign of something?), and we’ll see what happens.

    evidently, telling y’all that i can’t do something works rather well in making me able to do it :-p

    - – - – - – -
    *no, i’m just browsing the depression part of the counseling website for shits and giggles. [/sarc]

  334. Portia says

    Joe:

    I’ve never been one for hoppy beers, but I think I’ll crack open a cold BerryWeiss when I’m all done. :) Thanks for the thought.

    It sounds like you are pushing forward with packing, too. I know how hard it is to force yourself to do that in a timely way.

    Jadehawk:
    Glad to hear you found a solution. Sort of a weird system they’ve got there.

  335. strange gods before me ॐ says

    apparently moving so quietly people don’t notice you is a sign of something?

    Self-esteem thing. It’s on the other end of, say, claiming space in the room by spreading out where you sit. Shouldn’t be worried about in isolation as a single criterion, of course, but it can be an indicator among others.

  336. says

    Jadehawk,

    Cool beans! Yeah, sometimes just talking makes action a little bit more possible. Especially if said thing can be arranged online, since you’re sitting in front of a screen anyways.

  337. rq says

    Beatrice @445

    That was me, too. Couldn’t catch, couldn’t throw.
    Then in grade 9 I discovered that I could play volleyball. :) Directionlessly.

    Portia

    My sympathies to the poison ivy, but then – who needs it, anyway? Score 1 for Portia!

    Yay Improbable Joe for packing on schedule! I’m glad things are moving forward!

    Giliell
    Did I read the map right? Dinoworld is in… Gondwana?? If so, that is awesome.

    Ogvorbis, Jadehawk, anyone else in need – hugs and warm cookies.
    Unfortunately it’s late and I can’t stay for the conversation, but a lovely Saturday to all of you!

    Good night.

  338. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    [psa]
    For those either in wheelchairs or with close friends/relatives in wheel chairs: getting a back pillow (for reading in bed or watching TV on the floor) with short arm supports and using small bungy cords to attach it it to the wheel chair handles is a nice way to allow those confined to wheelchairs to be able to lean back against a wall/corner and be comfortable to rest/nap and still move around. Redhead tested.
    [/psa]

  339. says

    Portia,

    Really? I’m having a Lemon Berry Shandy. :)

    I tend to feel a lot of guilt along with my depression. Why didn’t I do more, why aren’t I a better person, how dare I escape my pain by drinking and sleeping? Who the fuck am I?

    I answer that by “earning” the right to drink and then sleep in, by working my ass off for a few hours. I’ve got a bottle of Scotch on my desk, and 36 35 beers in the fridge… and who am I to enjoy it? I’m the guy who packed all of the books, three closets, and the armoire, that’s who! Tomorrow I’ll “lounge around” by which I mean I’m going to wash and pack all the bedding and pillows and shit, and break down these cheap DIY bookshelves to toss out with the trash.

  340. Portia says

    rq
    Don’t feel too bad for it, it was practically a tree attached to the front of my house! : )

    Joe
    That’s awesome. I’m so glad you’ve got a system. Rewarding myself usually works really well for me, too.

    Re: beer, yep, I have one BerryWeiss left then I’ll probably switch to pumpkin wheat.
     
    And just so no one thinks I’m too full of get-up-n-go, here’s the end result of that ambitious list:

    freeze apple cider (that is, rearrange freezer to make room for cider)
    repaint front door (will do tomorrow, since the door swings in and it can be done during the coming rainstorm)
    put newly refinished chairs on craigslist
    pull out large sapling from front flower bed
    attempt to remove poison ivy from outside of (brick) house
    scrape thick white paint off lovely glass tiles surrounding front door
    put up mailbox
    wash glass front door
    clean out car
    paint “OPEN” sign
    Sand down new set of chairs for refinishing
    Paint chairs as time allows
    Forgive self for not finishing list

    Now for that beer, and then to SO’s for an evening with him and Littlest. (Littlest’s Sister is at a Girl Scouts overnight. Which reminds me, she got to take that cooking class she really wanted to take, though she’s still in the “Eating for Beauty” badge or program, or whatever. I’m not sure if Abuelita paid for the class, or what, but I’m glad).

  341. Portia says

    Joe:

    Your “who am I” formulation will actually be helpful to me, I think. As in, it will remind me I’ll feel much better indulging in netflix (or whatever) if I have done something constructive. So thanks for that.

  342. says

    Portia,

    I’m glad that helps! A lot of times I don’t feel like I deserve much, but if I can do enough then maybe I deserve something at least for right now.

  343. Portia says

    Sidenote, I had prepared spaghetti noodles, cream cheese, mashed sweet potatoes, and sharp cheddar cheese. Mixing them all together turned out deliciously.

  344. opposablethumbs says

    Beatrice (from way upthread):

    Do the British actually use “cheerio” often?

    In my experience only very VERY very rarely (or possibly never).

    Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze–

    Walking with Dinosaurs was a massive favourite here too :) The kids loved it so much we still have the videos even now we no longer have a VCR …

    Good going on the packing front, Joe!

    Jadehawk I’m really sorry. But go you for working on it, and for maybe finding a workaround for the no-emails rule too. For want of anything more helpful :( I’d like to at least send you a Nice Cup of Tea to go with the warm cookies I believe you were sent earlier.

  345. says

    Jadehawk
    USBHugs from me as well. I’ve been there, and it sucks. Hopefully the questionnaire will get them to contact you so you can get some help.
    Beatrice, Ogvorbis, Joe, and anyone whose name I’ve missed, Hugs and sympathies as well. I wish I could do more, but I’m in a similar boat. L hasn’t made any sales this month, and our roommate left without paying into this month’s rent like he promised he would (and also made off with several books I’d been loaning him and a bunch of my backup files), I’m pretty stressed about finances, especially since we can’t really afford this place without him. On top of that, he was one of my few meatspace friends I regularly saw, until he moved out, left us in the lurch and hasn’t returned my communications. So, right there with y’all in anxiety and depression city.

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

    Portia:
    I wound up doing yardwork (which I *thoroughly* hate doing) mixed in with playing with the dogs. Also got up off my lazy butt and cooked a decent dinner (oven roasted chicken with wild rice and baked potatoes-two starches, I know, but I ate broccoli earlier for lunch and I’m probably going to munch on some later).

  347. Portia says

    Dalillama
    I’m so sorry to hear that. I’m closer to the edge than I’m comfortable being for the same reason as you. Is finding a more affordable place an option? Is the shirker on the lease?

    Tony
    Good for you! Playing with the dogs had to make the experience less painful : ) As for dinner, that sounds delicious. I am not one to judge starches, see above re: noodles with sweet potatoes, ha. Plus a side of homemade bread. mmmm starch.

    Joe
    My BerryWeiss, it turns out, was unrefridgerated. So I came to SO’s and am having one of his Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzens. Pretty delicious.

    -===-

    Our plans this evening were changed because his ex (the kids’ mom) wanted to go out with some friends, so she asked if he would have them a day early (they share custody equally, week on, week off). Sundays are their normal switch day. I wish I had a better attitude about it, because it makes him happy to have the kids for more time. I guess that’s just a personal goal to work on.

  348. says

    I’m so sorry to hear that. I’m closer to the edge than I’m comfortable being for the same reason as you. Is finding a more affordable place an option?

    Not really. We can’t afford the application fees, let alone the security deposit and/or last month’s rent.

    Is the shirker on the lease?

    No, and that’s another thing. When we moved in here, the only reason he was able to get in at all was because of us. His last living situation had ended with him owing the landlord a lot of money (due mostly to his roommmates, but they were all on the lease), and it was L and my good rental history that got us all in, with the agreement that he’d be able to sign onto the lease after 6 months of regular payments on the debt to the last landlord. He never got around to filling in the paperwork, though, but now he’s paid it down enough that he could sign a lease somewhere else, and did.

  349. mildlymagnificent says

    Joe the Packer Guy,

    If you still have breakables that need packing you have a couple of options.

    1. “Double” packing. Mirrors and pictures snuggled into a lavish wrapping of bath towels or other linens. It does mean you can’t quickly pull out a towel if you’re in a rush, but it’s good protection for the glass stuff.

    2. Office supplies store. Get a roll of plastic popping stuff. Big advantage. Wrap generously and when you unpack you have a nice long piece – which you can lay along the floor and dance on to celebrate finishing a box of tedious, careful work (the stuff inside is still breakable, remember).

    It’s soft underfoot and the popping noises are very satisfying.

  350. says

    mildlymagnificent,

    I haz bubble wrap! 300ft of it, I ordered it along with the boxes! :):):) And excellent news, the boxes that they packed the flat boxes in? Perfect size for me to pack my pictures and mirrors in. And there’s even a couple that I can combine in order to put my disassembled glass TV stand in… bubble-wrapped, of course.

    Also packing peanuts. Don’t know what I’ll use them for, but a bag was $5 and I was already ordering $250 worth of crap.

  351. says

    Oh, and BTW… TOTALLY building a giant Kitty City out of these boxes when I get unpacked on the other end. I’ve got 55 boxes, that’s 55 ways to make my kids happy.

  352. chigau (棒や石) says

    mildlymagnificent

    …you have a nice long piece – which you can lay along the floor and dance on to celebrate…

    Awesome!
    Let’s all do that!
    Who needs a reason?
    also
    Joe
    Packing peanuts are fabulous cat-toys.
    (as long as the kittehs don’t eat them)

  353. says

    chigau,

    I have a cat who eats the little plastic wrapping bits that seal bottles of sauces, and another who chews on tape. Foam peanuts would likely become food really fast among my furry family. Lovely children, not bright in all the necessary ways.

  354. dianne says

    Well, that was an embarrassing fail in computer usage. Esteleth with one “h”, did that work any better?

  355. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Joe: Drop one of those packing peanuts in some water. It might be made out of cornstarch in which case it will dissolve. I don’t think cornstarch is too harmful for kitties but of course IANAV.

  356. ImaginesABeach says

    Jadehawk – if you don’t hear back from them in a timely manner, you can go to the “our staff” page, and at the bottom is the name of the administrative secretary. You could e-mail her directly.

  357. says

    FossilFishy,

    Yeah! These are the starch ones, and according to Dr. Google they aren’t harmful to pets. They are basically Cheez Doodles minus the flavor and nutrients, and can’t do any real harm besides being more fiber than your dog or cat really needs.