Comments

  1. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Query for the Horde:

    Do you think our Squidly Overlord would appreciate a holiday-esque gift-y type thing?

    I mean, there is always this thing.

  2. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Broboxley:

    Holy shit. I really hope that one of the things she does is contact a legal aid agency that exists for just this sort of purpose. That’s insane. I’m sure that clause exists to give the management action against drug dealers, et al. I can’t believe they exercised it in that case.

    Esteleth:

    No link?

  3. says

    Yay for opposablethumbs! Support and a cold beverage for Oggie and Tony! Absolutely no babies for Joe and BossNurse!

    A quick note about joking with friends across the color line where it may seem racist. It can be done and not be racist, but generally it has to be done in private for it to be in a non-racist context. Once you take it out of the context of personal friendship and share it with the whole world, it picks up all the societal baggage whether you intend it to or not. For example… I’m not going to give any specific examples, because you lack to context to see it properly. See how that works? :)

  4. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    SGBM I’m not really sure how to take that that cartoon reminds you of me.

    I mean I do like puppies.

  5. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    We could also go the mature-and-grownup route. Are there any good eating places in/around Morris? Would he and the TW enjoy a nice dinner out?

  6. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Chimpy, I have linked to that video twice this week.

    Remember, Lucy Van Pelt IS HR. And Snoopy IS Dr Know.

  7. says

    broboxley:
    Yikes, that’s absolutely awful. I hope that they can get some legal help. :/

    Esteleth:
    You know, if there were ever any chance of PZ liking a cat, it might be that one. Just look at its cute fearsome little tentacles.
    But in all seriousness, I bet a dinner out would be appreciated.

    I just finished my last exam of the semester (ASL 4). That means I’m done until January. Yay! On Thursday I’m going to be flying out to Fairbanks to visit my parents for Christmas / New Years. I’m really looking forward to it, even if it means I’ll have to put up with religious stuff for a while. They just got some fresh snow, so everything should look all pretty when I get there. My mom says that there is a flock of snow buntings that has been hanging out near their house recently, so I’m hoping to see them and maybe the local moose. Also, my little brother and I have plans to go see The Hobbit on opening night and to play a Halo marathon, so it should be a fun trip.

  8. strange gods before me ॐ rational skeptic seeking truth for friendship, possibly more says

    SGBM I’m not really sure how to take that

    Good, good.

    Something about the look on the dog’s face, I think, reminded me of yours.

  9. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Chimpy, I have linked to that video twice this week.

    Very busy. Not able to read all the lounge.

  10. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Good, good.

    Something about the look on the dog’s face, I think, reminded me of yours.

    SGBM I’m not really sure how to take that

  11. strange gods before me ॐ rational skeptic seeking truth for friendship, possibly more says

    hehe

    Now my stupid grin and I are going to go have lunch.

  12. nooneinparticular says

    Does PZ read this thread?

    If so I (and I am sure many others) would like to hear his take on Paul Nelson’s romp into Jerry Coyne’s blog. http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/a-marshall-mcluhan-moment-with-creationist-paul-nelson/

    Dr. Coyne took delight in exposing Nelson’s perfidy using email responses from the people he (Nelson) lied about.

    Nelson showed up in the comment section and, predictably, made an ass of himself. Included in the comments was this;

    Mutations that disrupt body plan formation are inevitably deleterious. (There’s only one class of exceptions; see below.) This is the main signal emerging from over 100 years of mutagenesis in Drosophila.

    Text from one of my Saddleback slides:

    1. Animal body plans are built in each generation by a stepwise process, from the fertilized egg to the many cells of the adult. The earliest stages in this process determine what follows.

    2. Thus, to change — that is, to evolve — any body plan, mutations expressed early in development must occur, be viable, and be stably transmitted to offspring.

    3. But such early-acting mutations of global effect are those least likely to be tolerated by the embryo.

    Losses of structures are the only exception to this otherwise universal generalization about animal development and evolution. Many species will tolerate phenotypic losses if their local (environmental) circumstances are favorable. Hence island or cave fauna often lose (for instance) wings or eyes.”

    Immediately after that another commentator lamented that PZ was not there to give Nelson a lesson. Maybe, PZ, you could make a comment or two? I know it’s a dead horse, but still.

  13. broboxley OT says

    #7 Esteleth
    De Toy’s Family Restaurant is pretty decent (was the last time I ate there a few years ago)

  14. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Random: Last night at a Christmas party, someone mentioned fancy cars in conversation. He said “Porsche” several times and I had to work hard to keep a straight face. (And to stay interested in car talk…)

  15. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    hahahahhaaha rq Cars talk is a different matter than car talk! Littlest loves Cars, so I have to love it a little myself. And alter ego and all that. :D

  16. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, Portia, Joe and rq. Much appreciated!

    I’m just so grateful, not only to have access to dental care but not to have to worry about paying for it. I used to (unconsciously) take that pretty much for granted, but since I started hanging around here I don’t any more – I’m keenly aware of how lucky I am in this respect.

  17. Beatrice says

    Another job application where I wasn’t even called for testing even though I satisfy all the general conditions. *sigh*

    That’s the third one I found out about… today.

  18. says

    Good evening
    So, I’m waiting for the guy in Sofia to finish whatever he’s doing so we can have that chat. And I can’t have dinner before we finish, so I’m eating chocolate…

    Yay Opposablethumbs


    re: literacy privilege
    It also fit in nicely with the topic I’ve been dealing with in Linguistics recently:
    English-speaking superiority and the permanent inferiority of the non-native speaker. It can be a powerful tool to shut up people: After they did all that running up to the starting line where the native speaker has been waiting all the time, they get laughed at for being a bit sweaty.
    There is some sense in saying: Listen, I can’t understand what you mean, this is futile. But seriously, unless you claim to have difficulties understanding “alot”, just get over yourself.

  19. Sili says

    Finally heard the tune of Ah! Ca ira, ca ira, ca ira (on BBC Radio 3 of all places) the other day.

    I like it!

    (Pardon the lack of cedilles.)

  20. Sili says

    English-speaking superiority and the permanent inferiority of the non-native speaker.

    I’m exceedingly privileged in that I learnt to speak passable English past my secondary education. My privilege shows in that by now I rather want the natives to correct my pronunciation (and grammar), but my English is good enough that most people just brush off my errors and move on.

  21. Beatrice says

    snowball launcher

    I need that. I make horrible snowballs. Snowlumps. Whatever. And I can’t throw for shit.

  22. rq says

    Beatrice
    Things will start looking up soon!! In the meantime, have some *hugs* and the last piece of chocolate cake. (Remember, I have all those thumbs being held for you!)

  23. says

    Giliell:

    But seriously, unless you claim to have difficulties understanding “alot”, just get over yourself.

    ‘Alot’ tends to annoy people in particular because it’s not a word, while allot is a word.

  24. Sili says

    Remember, Lucy Van Pelt IS HR. And Snoopy IS Dr Know.

    There are few people that I hate like Lucy (a close second might be the guy who sold me these crappy earphones at EWR). I don’t really understand Snoopy either. There are days when I fear that my favourite Peanut is Linus.

    Then I drink …

  25. Beatrice says

    Sili,

    My privilege shows in that by now I rather want the natives to correct my pronunciation (and grammar), but my English is good enough that most people just brush off my errors and move on.

    Yes, I would like to be corrected too.


    rq,

    Thanks for the cake!
    I just know that if I also get a rejection from that place I had my hopes set on… that will be really bad.

  26. Pteryxx says

    (random venting) …sooo pissed off right now.

    The local cheap-and-ethnic grocery store got bought by some chain I’ve never heard of, de-cheapened, de-ethnicized, and of course they fired *all* the trained, experienced staff and hired new folks. Prices on everything went up by a third across the board – which means I got to decide which third of my grocery list could be skipped this week. I’ll manage, but they just screwed over all the poor folks in the surrounding apartments and old houses whose kids go to the school next door and who walk or drive their wheelchairs over the patchy, cracked sidewalks to the only grocery store for ten-plus miles in any direction. *raaaaaage*

  27. John Morales says

    rq in the previous thread:

    Something worth reading. Thoughts, anyone?

    Thoughts?

    Sure: Chandra is, to put it bluntly, really, really annoying.

  28. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Pteryxx:
    Sorry to hear that.
    Did the shop sell a wide range of ethnic food?

  29. silomowbray says

    Pteryxx: Ouch. :-(

    I’m involved in a similar struggle. It involves sidestepping the big agri-food complex where possible. I volunteer at a local non-profit community farm engaged in poverty response, so I’m often face-to-face with the outcomes of food insecurity in my community. There is very little that is worse than seeing hungry children in a rich, Western nation. I vacillate between anger and sadness, and on my worst days I understand why people climb inside a bottle. I don’t seem prone to addiction though, so I have that to be thankful for. And also that I can actually feed my family.

  30. Pteryxx says

    Tony: There’s only one shelf row of ethnic foods now instead of three, the local baked goods section is gone (which used to be locally made breads and pastries with Spanish names) and the produce section’s been stripped of cactus leaves and similar, and white-people stuff like salads and herbs has appeared and been pushed to the forefront. I’m not sure what all’s *missing* but I didn’t see anything I couldn’t name, and I don’t like it – I LIKE looking at unfamiliar vegetables and resolving to learn them someday. And that’s just *my* POV – I assume a lot of families just lost access to many of their staple ingredients, while I only had to pay more for mine.

  31. says

    Three different FtB bloggers have written today about that terrible Sociological Images “balanced” view on FGM, which was mostly just a lazy-freshman-worthy paraphrasing of the Hastings Center report. I’m glad to see it getting torn down, since it somehow managed to completely and utterly sidestep the very basic issue of consent.

    As an aside, I really, really wish Preview was working properly with links.

  32. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says


    After reading #674:

    I’m not sure what to tell you. Are you equating everyone who isn’t literate and well read with your bullies? In that case, you have really misread the post. It suggests that we don’t immediately get judgmental just because someone doesn’t write well. If I remember correctly, Ing is dyslexic (or is it some other regular?) and do we mock Ing (or that other regular) when they fuck up words?

    Having had either 1 or 2 exams to not fixate on it, I suppose I’m reacting at an emotional level to the questionable but intuitive parsing that considering literacy valuable is oppressive, having experienced oppression (in the dictionary, not the nebulous-term-of-art, sense) from people holding, and on the basis of, the opposite view – I suppose it has a bit of a “BUT WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ” sort of feel to me.

    That said…

    I have a friend whose parents moved back to the country when she was starting high school. She had some trouble adjusting in school. Her Croatian teacher was an asshole, gave her bad grades and no help. My friend still writes horribly, she mangles grammar beyond recognition. She also speaks two other languages and is really smart. So yeah, I actually feel even worse now that I thought of her.

    …I probably am overgeneralizing from my experience. This suggests there might be more in common with my experience with undiagnosable* motor dysgraphia.

    *Insurance-compatible shrink: “it’s your school’s job to diagnose this.” School disability office: “it’s a psychiatrist’s job.” Non-insurance-compatible shrink: “it’s $150/hr for 3 hours.” >.>

  33. Pteryxx says

    Oh, and the Dallas transit system just increased fares by 25 percent on December 3rd. I got to hear from someone in line about how the bus trip to *buy* groceries cost her family upwards of twenty bucks.

  34. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    A quick note about joking with friends across the color line where it may seem racist. It can be done and not be racist, but generally it has to be done in private for it to be in a non-racist context. Once you take it out of the context of personal friendship and share it with the whole world, it picks up all the societal baggage whether you intend it to or not.

    *lightbulb* O.o

    Thanks.

  35. says

    ‘Alot’ tends to annoy people in particular because it’s not a word, while allot is a word.

    Yeah, but communication isn’t breaking down and it’s not like there’s much risk of confusing the two.
    Many people treat language like people who don’t understand evolution treat nature: They think that it’s a race to an objective “top” and that breaking the current conventions will make the whole thing crumble down, cats and dogs living together 11!!!
    Aglutination is a common phenomenon, there’s nothing outrageous about it, people don’t get upset about “a nickname” either, which is pretty much the same thing.
    It has always been a means to put people into their place, especially working class people who had non-standard varieties.

    Also: I’m very, very hungry now

  36. John Morales says

    Caerie,

    As an aside, I really, really wish Preview was working properly with links.

    It was, before the change.

    (I wish it still were!)

     

    <ducks>

  37. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Re: literacy privilege. My vocabulary and grammar have gotten me teased or harangued in the past. (Including one time when I was shouted at for using the word “relevant.”) But that is vastly outweighed and outnumbered by the amount of times I’ve had a distinct advantage because of my ability to sound “proper.” There’s also a race element to the whole discussion. AAVE, for instance, is really unfairly derided.
     
    Speaking of a race element to the ability to speak “proper” English, I had a moment last night that I didn’t know how to respond to. An acquaintance’s husband said something casually derisive about the housekeeping staff’s ability to speak English at a hotel they stayed at last week. All I could think to do was bring up that SO’s mother is Colombian, and that he speaks fluent Spanish. (He was sitting next to me). And that I am terrible at Spanish, and really admire people who attempt to learn a second language. My only other option was “You sound kind of racist right now.”
     

    …apparently I’m in a race dialogue kind of mindset today.

  38. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Oh, and I realized I misremembered the details of Sarah Baartman’s (aka Hottentot Venus) life. She was not, according to wikipedia, exhibited in the nude. Mea culpa.

  39. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Beatrice, did you do anything interesting with all the contents of those orange peels? I am not sure I can eat as many oranges as I want the peels from.

  40. says

    Azkyroth, and anyone else interested in the whole “making fun of Serena Williams in a racist way” from the last Lounge… I think it is interesting to note that people are calling Caroline Wozniacki “white” when in fact she’s Danish by nationality and of Polish ancestry. The multinational/multicultural nature of tennis players, their relative youth and inexperience with social issues, plus the reality of seeing 15-20 different countries in a year and the only people you know mostly being your fellow players and trainers and such… I’ll bet they start to feel a little like family, and family can say things to each other that outsiders can’t.

  41. opposablethumbs says

    Once you take it out of the context of personal friendship and share it with the whole world, it picks up all the societal baggage whether you intend it to or not.

    Good point Joe, I should have said before. Speaks to all the times some arsehole says “yeah but I say that to my girlfriend/my black friend/my gay friend all the time, and we have a good laugh about it therefore you’re making a fuss about nothing.”

    Also, hey Giliell – thank you :)

  42. rq says

    Improbable Joe @51
    Yes, but publicly?
    I’ll grant you possible immaturity, which means this was meant as a private joke shown publicly, but still…

  43. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Darkinfant cuteness, yay!!!

    …in other news, add “sewing machine” to the list of supposedly useful objects that have outsmarted me. sigh

  44. says

    rq:

    I mentioned the problematic nature of making private talk into public display in the last iteration of the Lounge. Once it goes public it picks up social context whether that was intended or not. I have no doubt that they make fun of each others accents in the locker room too.

  45. rq says

    You know that problem when the only reason you’re not in bed is that you’re too tired to get up and go there?
    Yeah, good night

    Ditto.

  46. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    Yeah, I remember… but still. At any rate, your last perspective was definitely something to consider in this case, thank you for the different point of view.
    Ugh, I’m not sure if I’m making sense anymore.
    Ah well, as I mentioned, good night. :)

  47. Nepenthe says

    Pharygulites, may I ask a favor?

    If you see me posting here in the next 6 hours, please use these: *hands over a spray bottle of very dilute vinegar and a soda can with 10 pennies inside*

    The technique is shake first, then squirt if necessary.

  48. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Beatrice, did you do anything interesting with all the contents of those orange peels? I am not sure I can eat as many oranges as I want the peels from.

    Freeze them with the peaches?

  49. cm's changeable moniker says

    Is this an appropriate Pharyngulite gift …. ? :)

    This has been tonight’s edition of “Questions to which the answer is ‘no’.”.

    Look, the hub version has–what?–28 tentacles?! (I assume there’s another 8 usb ports on the back. Who knows what lies beneath.)

    You want that near you? Your computer??

  50. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    I just had three fingers of Jack Daniels. Straight. Quite god.

    So I am heading for bed.

    And I splurged on myself today. I ordered a sampler pack of 16 different Gurkha cigars.

  51. Rawnaeris, FREEZE PEACHES says

    Petryxx, I heard about the Dart going up. It’s, what, two years early too? And that’s the only way around Dallas if you don’t have a car.

    The Metroplex is hell to get around if you don’t have a car.

    —–
    Anyone have a good recommendation for a beginners book about Oracle and SQL coding?

  52. Pteryxx says

    kinda random and not fun, but more of that history that goes unsaid.

    following links from that lithograph of the execution of 38 Dakota (150 years ago; 26 December 1862) led to an episode of This American Life broadcast on Nov 23, about the history of betrayal and hatred surrounding the US-Dakota War, and how that major part of the state’s history’s almost unknown (though silently present) in Minnesota.

    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/479/transcript

    John Biewen:

    The country’s leaders, going back to the founders, talked bluntly about prying land out of Indian hands. I had never realized just how bluntly until talking to Ben. On the wall of the museum is a blown-up text from a letter I’d never seen. Thomas Jefferson wrote it in 1803.

    Ben Leonard: Jefferson basically says, look, we want Indian land. But they’re not just going to give it to us. So we have to motivate them to sign treaties. And the way that we do that is going to be to get them into debt.

    John Biewen: All right. How did Jefferson really say that?

    Ben Leonard: He said right here, the quote is here, “To promote the disposition to exchange lands, we shall push our trading houses and be glad to see the good and influential individuals among them run in debt. Because we observe that when these debts get beyond what individuals can pay, they’re willing to lop them off by the cession of lands.” So that’s fairly matter of fact.

    John Biewen: Yeah. That’s pretty straightforward. That’s what he said. Wow.

  53. Pteryxx says

    Rawnaeris:

    http://transportationblog.dallasnews.com/2012/04/dart-fares-going-up-again-this.html/

    DART policy anticipated fare increases every five years. They were increased in 2008. But financial worries, and a dip in sales tax revenue, prompted the agency to increase fares in 2010, too. The monthly pass went from $50 to $65, and other changes were phased in over 2010 and 2011.

    With 2013′s fiscal year set to begin this fall, DART wants to be ready to impose its every-five-year increase once again.

  54. Pteryxx says

    I’m still processing it… I could have pulled any of a score of quotes that would be mind-blowing.

    The treaty did provide $305,000 in cash right away, most of it so the Dakota could, quote unquote, “settle their affairs.” After the signing of the treaty, Sibley’s allies took the chiefs aside to sign a second document. The chiefs later said they thought it was just another copy of the treaty.

    But in fact, they were agreeing to hand over most of that $305,000 to the traders, all but $60,000, to settle their debts. So the traders got their money. Sibley himself walked away with $66,000, more cash than the Dakota people got.

    what.

    Or this one:

    John Biewen: And it was right down here on this sandy river bank that my family used to build a fire and roast hot dogs and marshmallows and sit out here at night and have just a lovely time on a fall night like this.

    Gwen Westerman: We should have brought hot dogs.

    […]

    John Biewen: Sibley’s court condemned 303 Dakota men. A report was sent to President Lincoln on the plan to hang all of them. The president, fresh off the bloodiest day in American history at Antietam, was stunned by the long list. He ordered the Minnesotans to hold off on the hangings until his office could review the trial transcripts. So they waited right here. They called it Camp Lincoln.

  55. broboxley OT says

    we all know the batshit crazoid hateful evangelicals, here is another view. xposted from my niece on facebook

    This evening my partner and I have been to Chichester Christian Spiritualist Church,in South Shields for their memorial/remembrance service,my partner and I had a wonderful evening,and I would like to thank the churches president James,and the Minister of the church Cathie for inviting me to stand on the roster along with some other mediums,Stephen and Ray ,to work through spirit ,it was a great honor to do so, I thoroughly enjoyed being apart of the service,and being able to successfully give off some messages.I would also like to thank the congregation for sending out their love to us all,which made it nice for us all to work.

    now many of you are atheists, I know but I would think you might enjoy a different view of religion than the usual Hamm n eggers we see here in the US

  56. broboxley OT says

    #75 John Morales
    they don’t sound quite as ready to hang, burn, beat, jail non believers as the local usian evangelicals

  57. John Morales says

    broboxley, hm.

    I can assure you I don’t think all religionists are people who are “ready to hang, burn, beat, jail non believers”, and I suspect neither do most atheists.

    Seems like you’re now claiming that you imagine most atheists here (i.e. the majority of the commentariat) consider US evangelicals as as the canonical example of religionists — if so, I think you might do well to reconsider that.

  58. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Seems like you’re now claiming that you imagine most atheists here (i.e. the majority of the commentariat) consider US evangelicals as as the canonical example of religionists — if so, I think you might do well to reconsider that.

    They’re merely the CANNONical example.

  59. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Re previous thread: Thanks rq you kind magical comments are much appreciated. :)

    And beatrice? That right there is a fabulous idea! It hadn’t occurred to me that I could monetize it by promoting the Ghost Train House ™ to the suckers sensitive folk. It would be so easy, prime ‘em by taking them to the rail trail that points directly at our house and then let the low frequency noise from the adjacent highway do the rest…..

    Sometimes I hate the fact that I’m an ethical human being.

    A betterpicture from the end of day one of the construction. That;’s the existing slab from a long dismantled shed. We’re using it to cheaply add to the thermal mass of the floor. In a classic housebuilding turn of events we’ve had one day of construction and they are now one day behind because the first excavator they hired broke down.

    I hope that no one is offended/annoyed by my posting this stuff. My intent is to share my joy at the progress we’re finally making, and not to flaunt our privilege in being able to afford to build a house. I fully understand how lucky we are to be in this position.

  60. broboxley OT says

    Seems like you’re now claiming that you imagine most atheists here

    etc I don’t recall claiming anything of the sort. Showing an example of something different. A simile would be pointing to a quote from a Sufi as opposed to a takfiri to show differences within a larger umbrella group.

  61. broboxley OT says

    FossilFishy everytime I see a slab like that, the polebarn builder comes out in me :-) it’s a start and the pics are welcome

  62. carlie says

    On the Serena Williams thing, Andrew Ti from Yo, is this Racist? says:

    Dear Tennis Assholes: if it isn’t already fucking patently clear that you shouldn’t make fun of the bodies of black women, if your sport is already 99.999% white athletes, maybe hold off on doing shit that singles out the few people who aren’t white in your fucking racist-ass sport? I don’t know, just a thought here.

  63. says

    carlie,

    I have a problem with “whiteness” in regards to international issues including sports that Americans tend to get wrong on a remarkably consistent basis.

  64. John Morales says

    broboxley,

    I don’t recall claiming anything of the sort.

    You claimed it was a different view of religion that many of us atheists here would enjoy, and you expressed that difference as it not being part of a particular subset as if we imagined that subset was normative — if you did not imagine that, whence your presentation of typical religionist crap as being a different view we might enjoy?

  65. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    I got SO this shirt for Christmas. But now I’m thinking one that said “Bowties are cool” would be neat too…next holiday. Or maybe next “no reason present”

  66. cicely (Chaotic Neutral Half-Elf Fighter/Magic-User/Cleric) says

    *hugs* for Tony. Very happy that you aren’t planning suicide! The [Lounge] would have a Tony-sized hole in it. Unacceptable.

    Brains are fuckin’ weird.

    Word.


    opposablethumbs: Glad to hear that your tooth pain woes are over.
    :)

    *hugs* for Beatrice. And *chocolate*

    Pteryxx: :( :( :(

    Well, DarkInfant certainly looks bright-eyed and bushy-haired!
    :)
    -

  67. carlie says

    I have a problem with “whiteness” in regards to international issues including sports that Americans tend to get wrong on a remarkably consistent basis.

    The tennis player in question is Danish, right? They don’t have such a great record with regard to how they treat nonwhite people; I don’t think there’s much argument that she’s going to be less racist because she’s not American, if that’s what you’re saying.

  68. says

    carlie,

    I think this is maybe getting a bit too heated for the Lounge, but I would just note that “white” is an even more artificial designation than national identity. Do you think a Danish person wouldn’t face racism in Germany, and vice-versa, even though they are both “white”?

  69. says

    Pteryxx @70:

    That piece on This American Life was expanded into an hour long documentary that aired on Minnesota Public Radio today. You can listen to it, or read it, and a lot more here (I hope the link works).

    I grew up in St. Paul, and went to college at the U of M at Morris, (long before PZ’s time). Morris is not far from where the ‘war’ took place. I’ve seen most of the marked sites of the various battles. I went to grad school in Mankato in the early 90s, and found the marker at the site of the hanging. It was not a big marker, and was not well cared for. I already knew about the basics of the ‘Sioux Uprising’ (as I was taught to call it), but what I learned in elementary school was very much like the third grade teacher in the documentary is still teaching today: the only way the natives knew how to solve problems was by fighting, so they decided to fight, and the settlers had no choice but to defend themselves. That really made me cringe when I heard it today, and I wonder what that teacher has heard since this aired.

    I learned a more realistic version in high school, when I took an elective class called ‘Frontier and Indians’. It was a great class, taught by a teacher who really helped me on my road to trying to see injustice and BS, and doing something about it.

  70. ImaginesABeach says

    Pteryxx – I learned about the “Souix Uprising of 1862″ some 30 years ago, and what we learned was NOTHING like the This American Life piece. BoyChild is in 6th grade, and his social studies class is “Minnesota Studies”. What he has been taught about the US-Dakota War of 1862 was pretty close to the TAL piece. He can tell you about the use of credit to steal land, and about the government agent who said “Let them eat grass.”

  71. says

    All this talk about the abuses towards Native Americans in American history makes me think of all the totally “racist when out of context” thing I used to say to a fellow Marine in the long ago and far away. Weird how the conversations link together.

  72. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    358 days later, the scarf I started knitting is finished. SO’s neck will freeze no more!

  73. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    There, done with last homework assignment for semester. Uncollected, but…

    …bleh.

    Have another final tomorrow. Do not want. :(

  74. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Is it weird that I love spending time at bookstores reading the synopses of various books? I especially like reading sci fi and fantasy synopses. Some of the scenarios sound incredibly interesting.

  75. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    I don’t think I have ever worn a scarf. I don’t think I could pull one off. Just like suspenders, or certain types of hats.
    Ass-less chaps OTOH…

  76. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Tony: Nope that isn’t weird at all. I managed a used book store for almost 20 years and lots of people like doing that.

    If you want weird try this: the horror section in my store was always a mess. It had been going on for months and I was getting frustrated. I couldn’t figure out why the staff were doing such a bad job keeping it sorted. Of course they denied any sort of laziness or neglect, and for the most part I believed them because the rest of the store was fine.

    Then one day I was walking through the store and I noticed someone standing in the horror section. Something about them was just a little off, I’m not sure what. I stopped and watched them for a few minutes. They were staring at the titles very intently without picking anything up. After a minute they grabbed a book and moved it three rows to the left. Another minute of staring and they moved another book.

    I watched for maybe 15 minutes, I was trying to figure out what their system was. It was clear that they were deliberately rearranging the titles to some internal order. I thought maybe that it was by cover art, skeletal babies next to each other and separate from the smoking devils, but no, that wasn’t it.

    I finally asked them what they were doing.

    “I’m looking for a book.”

    “No you’re not, you’re rearranging them. I’m not mad, I was just wondering how you’re doing it?”

    They dropped the book they were holding and walked out never to be seen again. I’ve wondered to this day just what that system was and I’m a little sad that I’ll never know.

  77. chigau (test) says

    Tony
    It’s -15°C (5°F) here.
    Whether you could ‘pull it off’ or not, if you were here, I bet you’d be wearing a scarf. And a toque.
    And long underwear under your ass-less chaps ;)

  78. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    +32.5c here right now. Would you believe me if I told you I missed -15c and it’s ilk chigau?

  79. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Mind you, even at that temperature I can’t pull off assless chaps.

  80. chigau (test) says

    FossilFishy
    Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.
    I miss being able to tolerate temperatures below -10°.

  81. says

    Kinda half caught up.

    Tony, sorry to hear of your bad day. I hope you don’t have more of them.

    Joe, no, in my experience of Europe, Denmark and Germany are close enough so that you would not get racism between them. Now Turkey and Germany are another story. Also people from Poland and various Russian & Slavic nations might get treated with racism in Germany or the UK, even those who may be lily-white and blond. It’s complicated, and largely to do with economics and poverty IMO.

  82. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Suspenders, Tony? I am wearing suspenders right now. Of course, I’m wearing them because I find a belt around my waist to be uncomfortable. I am told I carry them off well.

    Mind you, there’s a range of styles in suspenders. Oh, and in some places they are called braces—places where suspenders are old-fashioned women’s undergarments.

  83. carlie says

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SALLYSTRANGE!

    I have an 8am final, but it’s one I’m giving. Then I have to grade them. And I’m sick. And awake. Which sucks. Blech. I feel all the sorrys for myself.

  84. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    chigau: Fair enough. My nostalgia is a result of having lived in homes that had central heating and insulation in those temperatures and now living in a home that doesn’t have air-conditioning or insulation. After I leave work I’m going to be sweaty, fatigued and grouchy until it cools off later tonight, assuming that it does that is. /whinging

  85. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Congrats on one more spin around the sun SallyStrange! Side effects of such may include dizziness, nausea and denial. In some very rare cases it’s possible to even see increased wisdom. Caution using heavy equipment is advised.

  86. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    SallyStrange:
    Happy birthday to you!
    I hope your dinner was enjoyable.
    ****

    Menyambal:
    Suspenders used to be womens undergarments? Never knew that.
    ****
    chigau:
    I think I will need more than a scarf and ass less chaps to stay warm where you are. Any full body parkas available?

  87. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Also, I find it strange that bookstores carry music, movies, and even tee shirts. I like the idea ofBooks A Million or Barnes & Noble being a one stop entertainment shop, but it’s still odd.

  88. says

    Good morning
    Happy Birthday Sally Strange
    Did you know that you share a birthday with my grandma who turns 91 today?

    Joe

    Do you think a Danish person wouldn’t face racism in Germany, and vice-versa, even though they are both “white”?

    What Alethea said. The lines here are a lot more subtle.
    So, many of my neighbours face racism because they’re from Russia though they’re technically white. I get full German-German privilege even though my grandma is Russian because nobody knows. Racism against Italians, which was still pretty common during my childhood has practically ceased. But racism against white Danish people? Nope.
    And a black American would have a totally different status than a black person from Africa

  89. mildlymagnificent says

    Happy birthday, Sally. Ribbons, sparkles, confetti ….. everywhere.

    Fossilfishy, you’re in Vic aren’t you?

    Hate to tell you this but it was over 38 in Adelaide today and it’s still 37+ at almost 6 pm here in the southern suburbs. More of the same tomorrow for us. So you may want to stock up on ice.

  90. Beatrice says

    Portia,

    re: oranges

    I made a small batch, with peel of just 3 oranges, so I ate them all. It was a bit a much and the last got a bit dry by the time I could finish it. Yay, oranges for lunch?

    I will probably make a double batch next time, now that I know that the result really is delicious. I have no idea what to do. Maybe freeze two and make jaffa cake the next day (I grate a whole orange, but I could change it into two without peel)?

    —-
    SallyStrange,

    Happy birthday!

    —-
    Happy birthday to Giliell’s grandma!

  91. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Apologies if this was already mentioned:

    http://fuckyeahscifiwomenofcolour.tumblr.com/post/37413846476/author-scott-lynch-responds-to-a-critic-of-the

    Why shouldn’t middle-aged mothers get a wish-fulfillment character, you sad little bigot? Everyone else does. H.L. Mencken once wrote that “Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” I can’t think of anyone to whom that applies more than my own mom, and the mothers on my friends list, with the incredible demands on time and spirit they face in their efforts to raise their kids, preserve their families, and save their own identity/sanity into the bargain.

    Shit yes, Zamira Drakasha, leaping across the gap between burning ships with twin sabers in hand to kick in some fucking heads and sail off into the sunset with her toddlers in her arms and a hold full of plundered goods, is a wish-fulfillment fantasy from hell.

  92. rq says

    Good morning!

    SallyStrange
    Happy Birthday! I’m sorry I ate all the cake yesterday, but it sounds like you’ve been taken care of food-wise. :)

    Tony
    Reading the backs of books in a bookstore? Noooo. Never done that, not for hours on end, just because…
    I love reading the backs, because they make the actual story sound a lot more exciting than it probably is. Rare was the book where the inside matched up to the outside, even in sci-fi/fantasy sections, where the story-lines were already quite a bit out-there.

    re: winter clothes (toques, scarves…)
    At some point, it don’t matter anymore whether you can pull them off looks-wise; you put them ALL on because it’s just so damn cold! (Assless chaps? Hmmm… Gift ideas…)

    FossilFishy
    I’m glad the house is making progress. The view is quite lovely, and I’m sure it’s stunning in person.
    It’s also bringing out the (friendly-type) envy in me, because we’ve been trying to figure out the best way to go for us – build our own, or buy a livable house. Both options seem fairly limiting (funds-wise), and there are benefits to both routes to house-dom. Recently we more or less decided to go the buy-ready way, because if we build, it’ll be another year (the foundation needs to be poured before winter, and building can occur the following spring), and a huge hassle, what with the bureaucracy of architect – engineer – builder, and then baby-sitting the actual process to make sure nobody’s cutting any corners. Then again, it would probably be worth it in the end…
    You can let me know once yours is up and running livable. :)

    +++

    -4°C today, a bit warmer than yesterday, and still snowing. Love it.

  93. opposablethumbs says

    Happy Birthday SallyStrange!!!! May the best circumnavigation of the sun you’ve ever seen be the worst you’ll ever see, as they say in Scotland.

    Thank you cicely, I’m still euphoric about being toothache-free :-D

    Nice link to Scott Lynch, Tony :) The only thing he missed was reference to the fact that there have been some known women pirates in reality.

  94. says

    Opposablethumbs
    Including at least two, Ching Shih and Gráinne Ní Mháille, who were not only pirates but the leaders of entire pirate fleets. Ching Shih had 1800 ships under her command, with upwards 80,000 crew aboard. She successfully held off not only the Qing dynasty that ran China at the time but also the British and Portugeuse Navy, and eventually retired wealthy to run a casino. Gráinne Ní Mháille had a smaller fleet, but also led the capture and/or defence of a number of castles, and negotiated as an equal with Queen Elizabeth (She also had three sons along the way, h/t to Lynch).

  95. says

    So, I’m back from the dentist.
    And since we had to do some work on my front teeth I now have a numb nose which is the strangest feeling ever.

    Nice link to Scott Lynch, Tony :) The only thing he missed was reference to the fact that there have been some known women pirates in reality.

    There were more know female pirates (I guess it’s safe to assume that quite a lot also went undercover) in history than in all current pirate toysets combined.
    There’s also the interesting case of Catalina de Erauso.

  96. says

    Shit yes, Zamira Drakasha, leaping across the gap between burning ships with twin sabers in hand to kick in some fucking heads and sail off into the sunset with her toddlers in her arms and a hold full of plundered goods, is a wish-fulfillment fantasy from hell.

    Hell, that’s kinda my fantasy. Except that my kids are no longer toddlers…

    Come to think of it, my kids might want in on the leaping/swinging across and wielding of cutlass stuff, too… And I’m not ruling it out…

    ‘Your homework’s done? ‘Kay, you can come. But no bogarting the booty!’

    In other news, re unbelievers’ views of certain sects and styles of religious practice, sometimes, I find the raving fundies slightly less annoying than more mainstream types…

    I mean, a fundie, sure, they’ll tell you straight out you’re going to hell if you’re not right with their invisible friend, and seem on occasion distinctly to find imagining such a thing strangely pleasing…

    But in their favour, they won’t say out one side of their mouth they’re philosophically just fine with everything you’re saying, hey, maybe they even almost agree…

    …and then say: just don’t say anything about this stuff in public. See, we still prefer our unbelievers conveniently invisible. No offense or nothin.. just an aesthetic preference of ours… Also, don’t go actually saying anyone’s religious ideas, however horrifically nasty, and whatever their real world consequences, are actually wrong… This simply isn’t done, dahlink…

    And in still other news, nice, FossilFishy, and get well, Carlie.

  97. rq says

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind being a pirate for a day or a decade. Some throat-cutting might be just what I need. Now to find a baby-carrier that I can wear while swinging across from ship to ship…
    Also, I believe some Lynch reading is in order, after that glowing appraisal from his all-knowing, well-read critic.

    AJ Milne
    I get what you mean about fundies vs. mainstream (dare I say) ‘moderates’. I had a run-in with one of the latter, and it was about the biggest shock of my life, considering the situation. And it was such a strange feeling of disconnect, that this friend, with whom I had had several wonderful conversations about all kinds of philosophical things, would come right out and tell me I was going to hell because I forgot to get married before giving birth. Was not expecting that at all.
    At least, when facing fundamentalists, you can be psychologically prepared.

  98. rq says

    Vaccuuming. Decided to move the couch, because since we got rid of the old one and moved the (formerly) spare one into the living room, it is easy to do (different couch types).
    Well, turns out that three (or more) sizes up from a dust-bunny is Alot of Dust.

  99. Beatrice says

    rq,

    I hope you resisted the urge to cuddle your alot. That could be detrimental to your lungs and his constitution.


    I found mint aroma in a store. That means I will be able to make mint chocolate cookies next week.

  100. george3 says

    PIRATES
    The Armchair Pirate.

    The meeker the man, the more pirate he
    Snug in his armchair, far from the sea,
    And reason commends his position:
    He has all of the fun and none of the woes,
    Masters the ladies and scuttles his foes,
    And cheats both the noose and perdition!
    ANON

    From R K O movie “Blackbeard, The Pirate”
    Staring Robert Newton, Linda Darnell, William Bendix, Keith Andes, and Directed by the great Raoul Walsh.
    Fun movie.
    G.

  101. rq says

    Beatrice
    Don’t worry, I let the vaccuum cleaner perform all necessary displays of affection. :)

  102. Beatrice says

    GOOD NEWS

    I got a job. That one I had high hopes for after the interview.

    It’s not a job for realz because it’s part of that measure I was already complaining about several times: sort of training that your employer doesn’t pay you, but you get a pittance (about $280 when converted to $) from the unemployment services.

    It has become nearly impossible for a person with no experience to find a real job instead of that training, so I’m happy that I even managed to get the training position.

    I am so relieved. I am also really lucky that my parents can support me financially.

  103. george3 says

    I think it is Robert Newton who unwittingly provided the generic “pirate” voice used by everyone on Talk Like a Pirate Day. G.

  104. rq says

    YAY BEATRICE!!! *sparkles and confetti*
    Congratulations on getting a foot in the door!! May it lead to great things.

  105. Beatrice says

    rq,

    Thanks!

    I was getting really really desperate. Like, slept very little last night because I was alternating between crying and being anxious after getting a ton of rejections yesterday.

    This came as a welcome relief.

  106. rq says

    Beatrice
    Hey, doing something rather than nothing, even if it is for free, is awesome. Now I’ll keep some thumbs on hold for you for them to start paying you soon. Because that helps even more!
    Here’s a selection of sparkling wines to celebrate!

  107. John Morales says

    Beatrice, it’s good. You get work experience and it goes in your résumé, making you more likely to get a job later on.

  108. Beatrice says

    rq,

    Nah, they won’t. But at least I’ll get something from the unemployment services, enough to make me feel a bit less like a total burden.

    Sparkly wines! Sweet.

  109. opposablethumbs says

    Happy Birthday SallyStrange!!!! May the best circumnavigation of the sun you’ve ever seen be the worst you’ll ever see, as they say in Scotland.

    Thank you cicely, I’m still euphoric about being toothache-free :-D My salutations on your survival of the dental experience, Giliell! Hope you feel OK, either already or as soon as possible (and yes, a numb nose does sound a bit strange).

    Re your point about the toy sets – absolutely. While women pirates may have been a minority in reality, they are airbrushed almost right out of existence in things like toys and “the popular imagination” and mainstream fiction (please nobody mention the insipid Elisabeth Swann character in PotC. Sea goddesses don’t count either. The nearest that series came was one fleeting (and I think practically non-speaking) appearance by one pirate captain probably supposed to be Chinese).

    Yay for visible progress, FossilFishy! As for the day behind … oy. Deep breath in, breathe out … zen …

  110. opposablethumbs says

    Yay training position, Beatrice!!! (missed your news until I refreshed just now) – that’s great, both mentally and practically – helps you re-charge your batteries, I hope, and gives you a reference/experience for the CV and maybe some useful info or helpful people to know – I really hope it goes well for you! And go you! When do you start?

  111. Beatrice says

    opposablethumbs,

    I don’t know when I’m gong to start. There is a ton of paperwork involved, but I’m hoping for (beginning of) January.

    Another woman from my uni got a job in another department, so I’m even going to have someone I sort of barely know there (we looked familiar to each other at the interview and started talking, and then accidentally started chatting on the same jobs forum today before realizing who the other one was).

    Ogvorbis,

    Thank you. :)

    *shares chocolate with everyone*

  112. broboxley OT says

    Morales, I doubt you can read this from your fucking high horse you are on but

    we all know the batshit crazoid hateful evangelicals, here is another view. xposted

    we(inclusive) know of one sort
    quote
    followed by

    now many of you are atheists, I know but I would think you might enjoy a different view of religion than the usual Hamm n eggers we see here in the US

    comparing quote with the Hamm(poor play on words refering to Ken Hamm) n eggers (a phrase made famous to some by Bobby Heenan) in no way in those words are any assumptions stated, made, insinuated or hinted that the athiests around here see all religion the same as the evangelicals or any other fucking thing. Since this is the lounge I will stop here.

  113. says

    Morales, I doubt you can read this from your

    How I hate it when people address those they disagree with or want to show dislike for by using the surname. It’s disrespectful. It’s what ‘pitters and creationists do too. Disagree all you like, but can’t you give the basic courtesy and address someone you have known for years with their first name?

    Since this is the lounge I will stop here ;)

  114. jose says

    A favor! Can anybody watch this video? Youtube says the author has blocked it in my country, so I’m trying to find which countries are allowed to use the appropriate proxy. Thanks!

  115. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Dec 16th, Mormon feminists are declaring a wear pants to church day

    A group of Mormon feminists has declared Sunday, Dec. 16, as “Wear Pants to Church Day” and is calling on sister Saints across the globe to join the effort.
    Female Mormon missionaries are not allowed to wear pants, except on their days off. Some LDS women do wear dressy pants to church, but social convention dictates that most Mormon women don dresses or skirts to their weekly services.

    “Attending church is about worship and learning to be followers of Jesus Christ,” LDS spokesman Scott Trotter said Tuesday in a statement. “Generally church members are encouraged to wear their best clothing as a sign of respect for the Savior, but we don’t counsel people beyond that.”
    The Wear Pants Day is the first act of All Enlist, a group dedicated to gender equality in the LDS Church, according to its Facebook page describing it.
    “We do not seek to eradicate the differences between women and men, but we do want the LDS Church to acknowledge the similarities,” the group’s mission statement says. “We believe that much of the cultural, structural, and even doctrinal inequality that persists in the LDS Church today stems from the church’s reliance on — and enforcement of — rigid gender roles that bear no relationship to reality.”

  116. rq says

    Just had a sudden flash to this, but with the lyrics Can’t watch this…

    +++

    By the way, speaking of the new arrangement here and on FtB, where can I find links to new posts by authors other than the one I’m currently on? Do I have to click through each blogger individually? Previously, there was a list of about 5 – 7 new posts from other authors on the right. Currently, all I see are new/latest posts only from the author I’m currently reading (more or less across the board). That feature was very useful to me, because it sometimes featured articles from bloggers I would not otherwise read. :(

  117. rq says

    mildlymagnificent
    Is ‘toddleresque excitement’ similar to the full-body-flail, as performed by joyous infants? :)

  118. chigau (test) says

    rq #163
    There is a “FTB Recent” tab on the sidebar in the same frame as “FTB Active”.

  119. dianne says

    Today is 12/12/12. I simply must find something to sign at 12:12.

    More importantly, happy birthday, Sally.

  120. rq says

    Is there? Thanks, chigau. Apparently my eye-sight isn’t what it once was. :P (I’ve been looking for that button since the new version came out.)

  121. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Good morning. I overslept. And I can’t seem to wake up.

    Joe

    Portia,
    Can you knit me a free scarf? I’d like it in time for my 50th birthday. No rush, you’ve got 11 years and change… :)

    I should be able to have something quite nice put together by then : )

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SALLYSTRANGE!!!

    Menyambal

    Oh, and in some places they are called braces—places where suspenders are old-fashioned women’s undergarments.

    I had a friend in law school who emphatically corrected everyone who called his accessories “suspenders.”

    Beatrice
    Oranges: I’ve eaten three, and as with last year, I’m putting the peels in a ziplock baggie in the fridge I candy them. It worked before. I’m just hoping the peels aren’t a little dry by the time I eat ten oranges : )

    I got a job. That one I had high hopes for after the interview.

    Congrats! Even if it’s not ideal, it sounds like it’s a damn helpful step forward.

    carlie
    sending you USBtea and soup.

  122. says

    I’m very disappointed with the international reaction to the North Korea missile launch. They don’t seem to get it. The Kims have brainwashed their populace into believing that the world revolves around North Korea, that they are the cleanest race and the pinnacle of human evolution, led by the Supreme Leader Kim XY. They NEED the confrontation with the outside world to maintain their power. The worst thing for the Kims would be if they would receive Western aid and enter into peace talks. The cleanest race does not do that!

  123. Beatrice says

    Thanks for all the congrats!
    I’m still occasionally doing the happy dance. “Toddleresque” is one possible description.


    Portia,

    Hah, I wanted to make candied peel right away, but next time I will probably also save the peel over a couple of days and then candy it.

    I have no problem eating two large oranges a day, so it shouldn’t stand in the fridge for long.


    I left dough rising and now it’s trying to escape from the bowl. Dough on a rampage! I should really take care of that.

  124. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    Saw a depressing bumper sticker on a car this morning. It was on a Hummer H2. Along with Palin, Bachmann, Romney, Santorum and Fox News bumper stickers was this one: “American Men: The Real Endangered Species”.

    Horrible dreams last night. Apparently, the whiskey didn’t help. Or made things worse. The second adult man showed up in the dream again. No idea who he is or what he did. Or even if he existed. Note to subconscious: Just drop the other boot already!

  125. rq says

    Beatrice, the Eater of Oranges and Wrangler of Dough (Dough-Wrangler?). I think I have an online persona in mind for you. :)

  126. rq says

    Ogvorbis
    In my (admittedly more limited) experience, hard alcohol actually increases weirdness of dreams. A lot (alot?). I’d say try beer and drink lots of it, but that turns out into a very restless night, indeed.
    But these are all extremely short-term solutions. :/ You should try talking to someone; it might encourage your subconscious either to throw you the other boot (as opposed to drop) or get back in line and let you sleep.
    In the meantime, lots of *hugs* and good wishes for your sleep.

    Oh, kids watched some Tintin the other day, and I thought of you. :) Ruminants and all that. :)

  127. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    I left dough rising and now it’s trying to escape from the bowl. Dough on a rampage! I should really take care of that.

    I have this vision of Roy Schieder chumming sugar into a bowl of yeast, water, salt and flour. The dough comes raging out of the bowl. He turns to the captain and say, “I think we’re going to need a bigger bowl.”

  128. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    hard alcohol actually increases weirdness of dreams.

    It wasn’t even hard alcohol. It was Jack Daniels.

    You should try talking to someone; it might encourage your subconscious either to throw you the other boot (as opposed to drop) or get back in line and let you sleep.

    My experience over the past 18 or so months is that this will go for about two weeks and then I’ll have a few months of restful sleep. If this is still going in January, I’m gonna call my shrink.

  129. dianne says

    rq: I won $200 on a lottery ticket once. Therefore, I can’t buy any more if I want to maintain my lifetime net gain from gambling.

  130. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Hooray for the cessation of dental painfulness!
    Hooray for the step forward in the employment of gainfulness!
    Thanks for the kind wishes for the house build of smoothfulness!
    Here’s hoping that we all get what we need with maximum soonfulness!

    Err…yes I can’t sleep because of this stupid cold….why do you ask?

    Day two of the housebuild brings our merry band of roguish naifs a scene appearing thusly. Much work has been done but alas, the option to abandon the present grandiose plans for a much simpler pole barn has passed us by*. Damn how I would have loved to have an oldie fashioned skeptic barn raising!

    We had the front gate to the block almost bent double when the builder hooked his trailer on it. We also were informed that the planed upon termite-proofing was almost double the cost of the initial estimate. A new gate is apparently on its way and a cheaper cellulose lovin’ hive-mind deterrent has been proposed and accepted.

    Plans for Ghost Train Villa ™ monatization proceed apace with other attractions being added willy-nilly and with malice a forethought. The trebuchet again makes a strong appearance in future plans, but without the dedicated mounting point atop the house-to-be, a feature nixed early on in the design process, I still don’t see how any reasonable payload will clear the highway. Will be pushing for the belfry to house the bats to be added before the framing gets underway. Structural integrity be damned, Ghost Train Villa ™ must have bats dammit, and plenty of them.

    I shall now resist the temptation to further self-medicate this rhinovirus of phlemyness and return to my bed of wakefulness. Cheers all.

    PS: Thanks for that mildlymagnificent, thanks so much. Us Canadian ex-pats just love the hot weather, oh yes indeedy. ;)

    PPS rq I shall endeavour to make this build as harrowing and fraught as possible in order to allay your friendly jealousy. No, no, don’t thank me, ’tis the least I can do!

    *The option to move in under the bridge just 100meters away still remains viable and likely. It spans the Happy Valley Creek, so how bad could living there be? We’re all happy here in Happy Valley….

  131. rq says

    dianne
    Dammit. And a retrospective congrats, I suppose. :)
    I’ve never done better than the price of the ticket itself. :( In November I tried buying a lot of books in order to participate in a lottery for a trip to Germany the bookstore was having.
    Didn’t win. Oh well.

  132. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Beatrice:
    Congrats on the [sorta] new job. Here’s hoping it turns into a bona fide one in the near future.
    ****

    Audley:
    Ah, did not knkw that about chaps. What about crotchless chaps…any special name for them?

  133. rq says

    FossilFishy
    Next time I have a cold, I’m calling you to see what you’ve been using. It sounds delightful.
    I’ll be expecting daily updates fraught with harrowing escapes and hair-raising mistakes (much like the gate-crashing already occurring).
    And damn those termites. Making life more expensive yet again.

  134. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    What about crotchless chaps…any special name for them?

    Ken Dolls?

  135. dianne says

    rq: Thanks! The odder part of the story is that I bought the ticket because I was trying to convince a relative that the lottery was a voluntary tax and that one should expect to lose money on it. I’ve had this superstitious belief ever since that if I bought another ticket in the true and pure belief that I was just throwing the government a little extra money I would win again, but I’ll never again achieve that perfect innocence so it’s hopeless.

  136. dianne says

    rorschah @171: I kept thinking while reading your post “sort of like the US Republican party”. I know that the Repubs aren’t really anything close to Kim either in evil or in disconnect with reality, but some of the same tendencies, i.e. ignoring reality, maintaining that their country (and “their people” within that country) are the best, and needing to keep people anxious to maintain power are similar in type, if very different in magnitude.

  137. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    I’m getting an eye-twitch listening to the host of a public radio news commentary program give a total regressive yahoo a platform for his insanity. I don’t know how many have heard (Rachel Maddow has been talking about it a lot), but Michigan passed a “Right to Work” law. This program has allowed this fuckface a place to say that they are “proudly hostile to unions” in North Carolina. He boasted that law enforcement goes out and “beats off” union organizers. I can’t even get in the headspace of such an asswipe.

  138. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    stalking is ~*t r u e r o m a n c e*~
    SOULMATES BECAUSE REASONS
    “world-building”??
    L O L PREJUDICE!!!1!!1 AGAINST VAMPIRES!!!! SO BAD OH NO
    ~everyone is straight~
    practice black magic you can’t sit with us
    can’t use actual legends bc then nobody will be pretty
    “urban”??? HAHAHA PLS
    everyone must be beautiful
    pssh why would the government care about magic
    the apocalypse is coming … eventually
    no we swear it is
    see it happened the power went out how traumatic
    mental illness = EVIL WRETCHED MONSTER OUT DAMNED SPOT

    http://shadesoffantasy.tumblr.com/post/37245832453/here-is-some-things-i-need-urban-fantasy-to-stop-asap

    I found this list quite hilarious. (Why is the link centered?)

  139. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Portia:
    Listening to the governor of Michigan explain why he signed that bill was painful. “Uh, yeah people were talking about it, the issue is divisive, this is good for workers…”. Gah…what a moron.
    ____
    I’m starting to become annoyed with Chris Matthews (Hardball). Why ask someone to be interviewed if you are going to repeatedly interrupt them? I also think he is a bit too gruff. He could stand to be more affable.
    Rachel Maddow, OTOH gives her guests room to talk. She is warm, friendly, knowlegeable and entertaining. Plus she knows her shit. I’ve yet to hear serious criticisms of her beyond “I don’t like her.”

  140. rq says

    Dalillama
    Tintin on video? Or in books (I thought you got the books…?)?
    If you want the Tintin animated series, let me know and I’ll set up a pick-up location for all 21 videos (but it will probably have to be in several parts this time).

  141. mythbri says

    Threadrupt here:

    I’d like to get some input on a feminist discussion I was having on Facebook yesterday. I started a discussion about the article Ophelia linked to in this post about Female Genital Mutilation:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/12/a-balanced-look-at-female-genital-mutilation/

    I started by saying that I found it hard to believe that Lisa Wade was actually a feminist, based on the way she framed the discussion about FGM in her article, and the way that she put “mutilation” in quotation marks in the title.

    I also mentioned that the very first response to Wade’s article was a feminist from Pakistan, who angrily accused her of disappearing the voices of women who were actually in those regions, fighting against the practice.

    There was one participant in the discussion who responded by saying that my posting about this was ethnocentric, and that I was being judgmental and “othering” different cultures. She said that me talking about FGM implied that I thought that cultures that practiced it were barbaric and inferior.

    I responded that “othering” different cultures wasn’t the issue here – the issue is bodily autonomy. There are issues of respecting bodily autonomy in many cultures – I would say, in every culture, in fact – and that this was no different. Bodily autonomy is a basic human right, and therefore trumps all cultural considerations (this informs my position on MGM too, by the way).

    She and I didn’t disagree on the things that need to be done here – education of women, elevating their social status and political power, etc. She did feel that I was talking over other feminists, however, particularly women of color (just not in the same way that Lisa Wade was).

    So what do you all think? This is a smart and diverse group of people. Can a “western” feminist argue against the practice of FGM from a position of absolute bodily autonomy without it coming across as “othering” or condemning other cultures as “barbaric”? Or is a “western” feminist commenting on this issue “othering” by definition?

  142. Nancy New, Queen of your Regulatory Nightmare says

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/12/seeing-god-in-the-third-millenium/266134/

    Oliver Sacks discusses his take on Eben Alexander’s book Proof of Heaven… here’s the closing paragraph.

    “Hallucinations, whether revelatory or banal, are not of supernatural origin; they are part of the normal range of human consciousness and experience. This is not to say that they cannot play a part in the spiritual life, or have great meaning for an individual. Yet while it is understandable that one might attribute value, ground beliefs, or construct narratives from them, hallucinations cannot provide evidence for the existence of any metaphysical beings or places. They provide evidence only of the brain’s power to create them.”

  143. rq says

    mythbri
    Honestly, I think yes. If someone is being bullied, do you stand by and watch because you don’t share their background?
    A lot of care is needed, of course. Not to overstep that “othering” line. But I agree, bodily autonomy is something that transcends culture – it’s a basic human right and dignity, and women should be given a choice (a real choice) about whether they want to participate in any kind of cultural practice. That’s a bit of an idealistic situation, but… See, if FGM is a cultural thing, sure, why not? But wait until the girl is old enough to choose for herself – then it becomes a whole Informed Consent thing, and it can be a neat and tidy surgery in a professional, sterile environment (not ashamed to admit I read this bit on Avicenna’s blog, same issue).
    The problem is that cultural environments are often oppressive, so what may seem like a choice is actually an implicit and unconscious pressure to conform to society’s cultural standards. But that’s a whole other matter.
    But yes. It should be possible to discuss bodily autonomy from any perspective without coming across as “othering”. Condemning, I would say yes, especially if the culture refuses to grant half (or so) of its population bodily autonomy – I would definitely condemn that, possibly call them “barbaric”, since that kind of attitude (no bodily autonomy for women!) should be a thing of the past. But in that case, the lack of bodily autonomy is barbaric, not the culture itself (which might have a lot of positive things in it).
    But that’s my opinion. I have been known to overstep the mark initially when forming an opinion, and I admit I haven’t thought it over all that much, being on a time constraint at the moment. :) (I hope to accept criticism with grace and panache.)

  144. says

    rq
    I haven’t actually gotten around to downloading the books, I lost track of doing that, but I meant the video. I would be very grateful if you would set up a download(s) for those.

    Re:Michigan anti worker bill
    Words cannot express my rage at this bill. Seriously, I can’t conceive of how these jackasses keep getting votes.

    mythbri

    Can a “western” feminist argue against the practice of FGM from a position of absolute bodily autonomy without it coming across as “othering” or condemning other cultures as “barbaric”?

    I have no problem defining specific cultural practices as barbaric, certainly. There are a number of cultural practices here in the States that I consider entirely barbaric. This is similar to saying “That action is racist” vs “You’re a racist” in dialogue about race issues.

    Or is a “western” feminist commenting on this issue “othering” by definition?

    Well, by that standard, no one can comment on any issue affecting a culture they weren’t raised in, so fuck that noise.

  145. rq says

    Dalillama
    If it’s any easier, I can email you all the links instead of posting them here (I lost track of potentially interesting things all the time).
    But yes, I’ll set them up. :) And here‘s the old Tintin link (click green arrow in centre, wait for download :) ).

  146. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Mythbri
    I think that as a white, Western feminist, I’m definitionally unqualified to be any kind of authority on this. Listening to women in areas affected by the mindsets that perpetuate the practice is really important. I think that letting feminists from that part of world take the lead is definitely important. That doesn’t mean we can’t cite to their writings or promote their views about it. I do think it’s really important to be aware of what we’re saying and the unintended implications and effects of it. It’s just like any other discussion where privilege comes into play. It pays to be cautious and careful that you’re not stomping around in a blind spot you haven’t found yet. (Not that I think you were). But as I said earlier in another discussion, you can’t remove the context. Important here is the context of cultural dominance by “the West.” It’s an inextricable part of the discussion. Not that “It’s their culture!” is any kind of good reason to excuse the horrible practice. It’s just…I hate to see women who are actually from those areas shouted over by people with a White Savior Complex. (Again, not saying this is you. Just that it can easily happen in these sorts of discussions).

    I apologize for the unorganized nature of these thoughts, they are just my first reaction. I have a lot of uncertainty about these sorts of issues, too. It’s an area where I go back and forth. For instance, I’m a pretty sex-positive person, but then I read something by a sex-negative feminist and I just get it. I don’t know. I think the most important thing is to keep thinking about it, and being respectful of the people most affected by the problems.

  147. rq says

    General language question (brain taking coffee break or something): what do you call a smaller city near a large city, which is generally used by people working in the larger city as a residential area (instead of living AND working in the smaller city)? The term has something to do with sleeping or bedrooms, but I can’t remember the specific wording… (Need for translation.)

  148. Beatrice says

    I’m not gay, so when I discuss homophobia or equal marriage rights or something in that vein, I am careful not to start straightsplaining or taking the focus of the conversation off gay people and onto my own opinions. I look at the situation mythbri is in similarly. Contribute to the discussion, do your best, just be careful not to talk over those feminists from the country that is the topic. They are fighting for their families and friends, and they know more about their own culture than you do, so they should be given the most prominent voices. Or if you are discussing this with your friends, none of them being of the background you are discussing, maybe try to dig up information about that country’s feminists and be a proxy for their voices.

  149. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    The Michigan anti-union bill: I actually have a childhood friend who’s a state legislator in Michigan. He’s GOP. Would that I could influence him in any way. I don’t understand how the GOP rank and file can delude themselves to think that the corporations lobbying to bust the unions up are actually acting on ideological bases. Republicans (the peons of the party, that is) really think that it’s not about money. They think it’s about freedom. For real.

    One commentator earlier on Michigan Public Radio pointed out that this is government intervention in the relationship between workers and employers. Don’t Rethugs claim to HATE gubmint control? Isn’t this law just micromanaging workplace relations?

    meta: Interesting, the comic sans function just inserts quotation marks.

  150. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    rq I think you’re thinking suburb? That’s the only term I know for that.

  151. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Or if you are discussing this with your friends, none of them being of the background you are discussing, maybe try to dig up information about that country’s feminists and be a proxy for their voices.

    I like this idea, very much.

  152. mythbri says

    @ Portia, #204

    you can’t remove the context. Important here is the context of cultural dominance by “the West.” It’s an inextricable part of the discussion. Not that “It’s their culture!” is any kind of good reason to excuse the horrible practice. It’s just…I hate to see women who are actually from those areas shouted over by people with a White Savior Complex.

    This is exactly the conflict, I think. I do believe that Lisa Wade was speaking from a position of cultural dominance, even though she was relativistic about the harm that FGM can and does cause. I thought this was particularly apparent because of the first response to her article, by the Pakistani feminist.

    I had a rude internal awakening some months ago when I was forced to question my assumption that the best thing to do to help Islamic feminists would be to dismantle their religion – I was coming at it from a western atheist perspective. I familiarized myself with the work of actual Islamic feminists, and it was a humbling experience. So I’ve tried to re-frame my perspective on these kinds of issues as one of support and promotion, following others’ lead.

    But I truly do believe that bodily autonomy, being a basic, fundamental human right, is exempt from all cultural considerations. Consent is key, and bodily autonomy may not be infringed without it.

  153. rq says

    Thanks, all! Memory has been jogged with all of your assistance. :) Cookies, anyone?

    And I agree, Portia, well-said.

    Dalillama
    Ok, I can always do both. Just to be sure.

  154. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    So…
    My postdoctoral appointment runs January 1 – December 31. Okay, great.

    I arrived, was given an account code for my supplies budget.

    Come to find out (YESTERDAY) when I was planning out the experiments that I’ll be doing in January that my supplies budget runs MAY 1 – APRIL 30.

    So I was expected to stretch a year’s supplies budget eighteen months. And I was told this twelve months in.

    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

    Fortunately, a fix (well, a Band-Aid) was found. Still. *frustration*

  155. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Mythbri
    It sounds like we agree. Except, when you say:

    Consent is key, and bodily autonomy may not be infringed without it.

    Do you mean, bodily integrity? Because obtaining consent is necessarily an act of respecting autonomy.
     
     

    (Thanks, rq. Cookies, yes please!)

  156. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    pet peeve of the day

    While this 12-12-12 thing might seem cool to everyone I am coming into contact with today:

    1. it’s just another day
    2. it’s no sign of anything special or cosmic out side a nice neat pattern on your calendar or clock or watch etc..
    3. it’s not the day of the supposed end of the world. that’s 9 days from today.

  157. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    I went to Aldi yesterday for fudge ingredients. I’m excited to make some yummy treats. I also unintentionally stole an old man’s cane, as he left it in the cart he passed to me as he left the store. Poor old guy (said he was almost 90) hobbled all over the store trying to find me, as I hadn’t realized the cane was in there.
     
    Sidenote, I ♥ Aldi. Such great prices, and really yummy stuff. I only bought so many oranges because they were $3 a bag. (As opposed to >$5 at other stores).

  158. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    *sends Beatrice oranges*

    …hm, the wires look a little lumpy now…

  159. Beatrice says

    :)

    There are discounts everywhere in these weeks before Christmas, so I’ll probably have no problem finding some nice cheap oranges, but thanks for trying, Portia!

  160. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Good, I hope you can get as many as you like. What area are your oranges imported from in that area of the world? They’re not premium here this time of year, but they’re passable. I think I’ll add to my peel collection right now, in fact…

  161. Beatrice says

    A lot are from Spain and those are very good. In large chain supermarkets, information is usually not even available. Usually, if I can pick, I take the Spanish ones.

    An older woman in my building has family on the coast and they give her the best kind of oranges, very sour and fresh-tasting, but I didn’t have a chance to eat them this year.

  162. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Rev. BDC@219,

    Surely if enough people think 12-12-12 is special, then that makes it special?

  163. Beatrice says

    rq,

    You are very generous with those cookies today. Thanks!
    Want some tangerines? They’re small, they should fit through the tubes.

  164. rq says

    Beatrice
    I’m feeling generous today.
    Also, I’m stalling. I have a voluminous translation to work on, and I’m a bit behind my schedule due to being away on the weekend, but I’m stalling. Also a little one for tomorrow to do, but it’s one of those boring financial ones (about banks and credit and loans and stuff), so I’m just plain avoiding it. :P Yeah, I’m a motivated worker, alright.

  165. Beatrice says

    I’m not a germaphobe, but it would be so nice if my father took more care when he has a cold. Washing hands and not touching everything right after blowing his nose kind of thing.

    geeeerms eeeeeverywhere

  166. says

    Good evening

    oranges
    One of my dad in law’s colleagues inherited an orange plantage in Sicily. Those were the best oranges ever. Sadly my dad in law retired…

    +++
    Hmmm, what does it say that I realized that it’s 12-12, of course, but missed the last 12?

    +++

    So what do you all think? This is a smart and diverse group of people. Can a “western” feminist argue against the practice of FGM from a position of absolute bodily autonomy without it coming across as “othering” or condemning other cultures as “barbaric”? Or is a “western” feminist commenting on this issue “othering” by definition?

    Well, I guess I’m more inclined towards cultural relativism than most people here. Having said that: Chopping off bits of children (without medical indication) is 100% inacceptable FULL STOP
    And we’Re not only talking about hurting them, about limiting their sexuality, we’re talking about something that in many cases actually endangers teir lives, not only because of the procedure but also because childbirth becomes even more dangerous.
    But I also think that the best way to stop it isn’t to yell at them. One of the most successful initiatives I know of uses a very broad approach, together with more liberal muslim scholars, includes the husbands, the fathers and widowers and, very important the women who do the FGM. They offer them training and benefits so they can make a living as midwives and nurses and they offer the families benefits if they don’t circumcise their children. Win-win situations all around in which nobody is shamed or othered.

  167. rq says

    Dalillama
    It’s in four parts.
    Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV.
    You’ll want to click on the blue words on the right-hand side, before the list of individual episodes, that says “Lejupielādēt visus”. It should download everything in each link as a .rar file.

    +++

    Language quirk: Latvian says ‘lejupielādēt’ or ‘lejuplādēt’ for ‘downloading’ (which is, in fact, about as clumsy as it looks), because the more convenient ‘nolādēt’ (from ‘no-‘, traditional prefix signifying ‘down’ and ‘lādēt’, ‘to load’) is an old word meaning ‘to curse’ (as in, ‘to put a curse on someone or something’). I prefer saying ‘nolādēt’ because sometimes downloading is a curse, but it’s just an amusing little language quirk. /random information

  168. strange gods before me ॐ rational skeptic seeking truth for friendship, possibly more says

    At PharynguWiki ( http://tinyurl.com/f76cy9r ) there are now scripts which change the default tab in the right sidebar — so for instance you can make FTB Recent your default, or Comments and FTB Recent.

    Inspired by requests by Crip Dyke, SC, Pteryxx and brucegee1962, so I’m mentioning them in the hope that they’ll notice and find what they’re looking for.

    By the way, you can get (imho) better results by using NoScript and telling it to forbid FtB from running its own scripts. This makes both FTB Active and FTB Recent appear at once, one below the other. (NoScript does not override Greasemonkey, so you’ll still have hushfile.)

  169. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Surely if enough people think 12-12-12 is special, then that makes it special?

    Humm. Ok. My wording was poor (shocking I know).

    What’s the word for special for extremely trivial reasons?

  170. cicely (Possibly Too-Easily Amused) says

    And long underwear under your ass-less chaps

    And what an interesting visual that is!
    :D

    Aren’t “braces” what dentists use to correct your overbite?

    Happy birthday, SallyStrange!
    *cake&ice cream*

    *hugs* for carlie.

    There has to be a better word for the specific kind of bigotry described as ‘racism’ within the usually-understood definition of a race. But “ethnicism” seems to mean something completely else. ‘Ethnism’???

    [Pet peeve]
    Chaps by definition are ass-less.
    [/pet peeve]

    *looking furtively over shoulder*
    <whispering>Me too, Audley.</whispering>

    Beatrice: Huzzah!

    *moar hugs* for Ogvorbis, and a wish for dreamless sleep.

    The trebuchet again makes a strong appearance in future plans, but without the dedicated mounting point atop the house-to-be, a feature nixed early on in the design process, I still don’t see how any reasonable payload will clear the highway.

    This is a problem?
    :p

    What about crotchless chaps…any special name for them?

    Ken Dolls?

    Or Oscars?
    -

  171. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    And to be accurate I said

    it’s no sign of anything special

    Meaning it’s not some sign of cosmic alignment or message from God or kick start of the Morlock invasion. It’s a nice neat pattern on a calendar.

  172. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Can a “western” feminist argue against the practice of FGM from a position of absolute bodily autonomy without it coming across as “othering” or condemning other cultures as “barbaric”? Or is a “western” feminist commenting on this issue “othering” by definition?

    Sounds like a silencing tactic. Is it any different from the Chill Girls who complain about “feminists telling me what I’m supposed to think about men and how I’m supposed to dress?”

  173. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I should amend that. As a blanket statement, it sounds like a silencing tactic. It’s certainly possible to comment on FGM in ways that are “othering,” granted, even from a more-or-less “feminist” perspective…but it isn’t a one to one correspondance and there’s no reason to think it’s anything close.

  174. rq says

    Dalillama
    Excellent. :) Happy watching!

    Giliell
    I like the way you said that. Also, the all-over-educational approach sounds like a really good strategy for getting past the whole ‘othering’ issue.

    +++

    Going off-topic, but here’s a question – why, on all those end-of-the-world survivalist shows, the people shown preparing for the end of the world are always middle-aged or older, and white? (By ‘always’ I mean ‘every time I have accidentally caught one of those shows from the corner of my eye’.) I mean, they all have canned goods, and Eisenhower dollars, and they go around foraging and buying guns. It just seems so… odd. Especially the guy with home-made arrowheads with which he can trade once his money runs out. Like… what?

  175. says

    rq
    Except I have no storage space… *whine* Trying L’s computer.

    on all those end-of-the-world survivalist shows, the people shown preparing for the end of the world are always middle-aged or older, and white?

    Because that’s who does that kind of shit, basically. The vast, vast majority of survivalists are white, and there’s a strong bias towards men, with many of the women involved doing so largely because they are involved with controlling men who are survivalists. There are exceptions, of course, but that really is the survivalist demographic.

  176. says

    … re survivalist older white males:

    … because most of the rest of the world is too busy trying to survive as far as the apocalypse?

  177. says

    Posted too soon:
    If you want my half-formed speculation on why it is that that’s who does the survivalist thing, I think it has a lot to do with the ‘rugged individualist’ myth, one that’s always most popular with people who started out ahead and think they got there on their own, combined with the terror of loss of privilege that seems to obsess people who deny they have any. See, in post-apocalypse land, they’ll have the guns to defend themselves from the hordes of brown people (and in some cases the ‘wrong kind’ of whites) who will inevitably try to steal their stuff when there aren’t any police to intimidate them into compliance. Then they’ll show all of us weak liberals how real men live, in the ‘state of nature’ where it’s ‘dog eat dog’ and ‘kill or be killed.’ Meanwhile, the people who realize that if you cooperate and work together you can get a lot more done will be busy rebuilding society elsewhere, and occasionally having to band together to suppress heavily armed survivalist bandits. The novel version of The Postman explores this mindset and the ramifications of it quite well.

  178. Beatrice says

    AJ Milne took the words off my keyboard. I wanted to write: “Because they are the ones with enough money to waste time with that kind of shit”

    Preparing for the apocalypse: Unless it’s the kind of apocalypse that destroys the nature as we know it instead of just must of the human part of it, get yourself a farm. Better than gold. You can have a yard full of buried gold and you’d still be fucked when there’s no bread (or flour or running water).

  179. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Can I haz halp installing the scripts? I run Chrome on my Mac. I download them, but it will not let me install them. :( :(

    I want my killfile and gumby!

  180. Beatrice says

    cicely,

    have some of your own (when it comes to citruses, there’s always some in the house)

    *stuffs tangerines into the USB port*

  181. rq says

    cicely
    I got mine from Beatrice, but sure… you can have ONE. This one, that’s very small and a funny-looking green colour.

    AJ Milne
    Or, alternatively, because the rest of the world has better things to do…

    Dalillama
    That’s the impression I get… Are they all libertarians, too? Because my Friend the Libertarian would definitely fit in with them (even though I’m pretty sure he’d call them crazy – EVEN THOUGH he’s stockpiling gold, just in case…). So basically kind of like old, American sci-fi, with Lone Hero saving the Entire World because he was Smart Enough to have a gun. I think I recently read an Algis Budrys novel along those lines – and was shocked by its assumed, unquestioning patriarchy/misogyny.
    I liked The Postman, the novel. Wasn’t too hot on the movie, though – I’d been expecting the slower, more philosophical approach of the book, rather than the packed action of Kevin Costner.

  182. Beatrice says

    Dalillama,

    Hmmm. Makes sense. I haven’t seen many survivalist shows, but ‘rugged individualist’ would definitely describe those I have well.

  183. rq says

    Beatrice
    Which is exactly why, even though I don’t always like it there, I’m extremely grateful for Husband’s family farm – because, if absolutely necessary, it can be converted into a serious source of sustenance for quite a few people. (Like, if we both lose our jobs and can’t pay the bills in the city or something.)

  184. Beatrice says

    he’s stockpiling gold, just in case…

    See? See?

    I don’t understand why people do that, relating to apocalypse (well, as much as preparing for the apocalypse makes sense ever). Sure, it will help for a bit. But prices of gold will fall quickly and soon he’ll be selling his grandmother’s earrings for a piece of bread. If he even finds someone to buy. I know people are greedy and some will buy gold for some future times when civilization recuperates, but what if it’s some seriously bad shit that struck us? You gold might be worthless for decades.

  185. cicely (Possibly Too-Easily Amused) says

    *catching tangerineS tumbling from USB*
    Thanks, Beatrice!
    *ignoring puny, lone tangerinE*
    It’s okay, rq; Beatrice was very generous with her tangerines, none of which bore a more-than-suspicious resemblence to a pea. I can tell the difference, you know!

    (I’ll bet you let Horses slobber all over it, too!)

    You gold might be worthless for decades.

    But it’s so yellow! And shiny!
    -

  186. says

    The whole survivalist/apocalypse thing is really a colonialist fantasy when you get right down to it.

    A man who would have been otherwise ordinary and unremarkable in his normal life is transported to a situation where he can shoot people with impunity. The majority of the people he’s in competition with have already died somehow, usually by disease or by a metaphorical disease (such as, say, zombies). Now he can take the stuff of the dead and kill the living who get in his way, which is something he wouldn’t be able to do in his ordinary life, since ordinarily he’d have to treat people like human beings instead of obstacles to survival. Now he has an excuse to dehumanize and plunder at will.

    No real surprise that survivalist fantasies are so popular with white men, really.

  187. says

    rq,Beatrice
    They’re not all Libertarians, but a lot of them are various flavors of that. There’s also various flavors of outright white supremacist, although there’s a lot of overlap in practical terms. Most of them share the Libertarian reverence for gold as the One True Currency and repository of Genuine Value. I think this has something to do with a pathological fear that inflation=Weimar Germany, and therefore we need a totally non-inflationary currency (which gold isn’t necessarily, but they don’t seem to realize that). You are quite correct, of course, that after the apocalypse food, seed, tools, etc. would be literally worth more than all the gold on earth in any meaningful sense of worth, which is why people who stockpile that sort of thing would be either better off or easy prey for survivalists who stockpiled guns instead, depending. You do find people who stockpile heirloom seeds, keep urban livestock, and move out to farms to live ‘off the grid’ or talk longingly about same but those are mostly ‘back to the land’ hippie types, who would usually react to questions about ‘after the apocalypse’ with some flavor of ‘we’re in the apocalypse, hadn’t you noticed?’ (in reference to climate change, pollution, rampant corporate power etc). Granted, they’re also usually white, but the gender balance is much better, and they’re usually not actively bigoted.

  188. Beatrice says

    You do find people who stockpile heirloom seeds, keep urban livestock, and move out to farms to live ‘off the grid’ or talk longingly about same but those are mostly ‘back to the land’ hippie types, who would usually react to questions about ‘after the apocalypse’ with some flavor of ‘we’re in the apocalypse, hadn’t you noticed?’ (in reference to climate change, pollution, rampant corporate power etc). Granted, they’re also usually white, but the gender balance is much better, and they’re usually not actively bigoted.

    *dreams of that Pharyngula commune*

    We would even have a pretty good stand on inclusiveness and anti-bigotry.

  189. dianne says

    Probably best to start stocking up on print reference books as well. Never know whether the internet will survive or not, although it is designed to survive a nuclear war. Nonetheless, if I’m going to move onto the Pharyngula commune to fight zombies I’d like to have some reference materials that tell me how to purify penicillin from mold, digitalis from foxglove, etc. I wonder if SC will object to using pigs and cattle for insulin sources or if we should include an incubator for growing insulin producing bacteria as part of the survival equipment. Also, does anyone actually know how to farm? I understand that moving onto “the land” with a plan to farm with no idea of how to farm is a quick way to starve to death…

  190. rq says

    Beatrice, Dalillama, Caerie
    I’ve always been confused about stockpiling gold for the apocalypse, because as (I believe) Pocahontas once said, you can’t eat it. As you said, Dalillama, I’m pretty sure it would lose value rather quickly, for much more useful items.
    It all makes sense if you look at it as a survivalist fantasy. Including all the killing and stealing and general ignorance of the rules of polite society.

    Incidentally, my Friend the Libertarian isn’t stockpiling gold for the apocalypse; he’s stockpiling it for the return to the gold standard. Also, he has recently turned to the paleo diet as a source of health and vitality, so we told him that when we buy a large property, he can come live in a cave and fish in the pond (only with teeth or home-made hooks/spears) and we’ll charge people money to come see the live caveman in action. I doubt his gold will do much good in that situation, but it’s an amusing thought.

    And yes, a Pharyngula commune would be one to out-commune them all, I think. And what with the diverse types of professions, educations, abilities and general knowledge, I’m pretty sure it would out-last them all, too. Out-smart – definitely.

    cicely
    I did not let Horse slobber all over it. I’m insulted you would think so.
    I merely rubbed it up against its fuzzy wittw nose.

  191. Beatrice says

    dianne,

    Surely someone here knows how to farm. Right?

    I can find my way around a vegetable garden. I could probably deal with fruit trees too.
    Better make sure we have reference books on all these things too!

  192. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    I know a little about farming. Not all of my knowledge is super vegan-friendly, though : /

  193. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    Surely someone here knows how to farm. Right?

    MEAT WARNING!

    I can slaughter pigs and make scrapple. And I have helped make bladder sausage, pork sausage, blood sausage, blood pudding, and cured ham.

  194. says

    … also re survivalist white males:

    There’s a section in Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature where he describes the US as essentially two or more nations, the notion being that many of the white settlers who settled the south and west of the US as being from a different cultural background than those in the northeast, more from rural areas of western Europe–and many of the emigrants the elements of that culture least accustomed to/comfortable with urbanization/less violent styles of living–his whole thesis being in the urban areas, longer habits of urban living had established more cooperative/communal, less violent/individualist ways of thinking and living…

    … all this being very high-level, and talking half out of my butt because it’s half-remembered, tho’ I do intend eventually to read it through again and think it through a bit more…

    … but I would say at least: the observation that started this off (in this thread) does seem to say there’s something outlier about that culture (or cultures), here, too, and which broadly fits that whole ‘me ‘n my guns against the world’ attitude. And that he’s at least noticing the same thing, whether or not his notion as to why really holds up.

    Oh, also: for what it’s worth, I’m probably at least half from that culture, too, depending a bit on where you draw the lines, and grew up in a place–rural white Ontario–where probably most people were. And I do kinda like post-apocalyptic fiction. That whole fantasy of somehow you’ll wind up the one with the shotgun standing off the ravening horde of zombies, it does have this strange appeal. Or did in my adolescence, at least. And running around in the forests with homemade bows ‘n arrows and so on was also kinda standard, for my onetime peer group.

    Disclaimer: this anecdote does not constitute data. And geez, did I mention I should be working?

    (/Slaps own hand.)

  195. rq says

    dianne
    I have a rough idea of how to farm (better than none?). I know how to plant potatoes, at any rate. And Husband knows how to kill a pig (for all you meat-eaters). And I can grow tomatoes, but at this latitude, that’s a bit of a hit-or-miss without a greenhouse. Here’s the thing, though – print reference books, definitely. But what about e-readers? Technically, if you have a solar battery/figure out how to make one, you can keep small technologies alive… No? (This is something I’ve thought about, when people say all society will fall apart due to lack of an electrical grid blablabla.)
    Also, I know how to keep chickens and (a bit) about how to train horses (just in case). We’re worse off when it comes to fixing things or building things.

  196. rq says

    Oh, fruit trees. I can do fruit trees. And preserves (pickles of various kinds (tomatoes, onions, etc.)). And berries. But NO MUSHROOMS. I’m scared of mushrooms, all except chanterelles. So someone else needs to get on that.
    I can shoot, too (did in university).

  197. says

    I don’t do traditional farming, since that isn’t terribly practical when you only have a small piece of land you’re developing. We practice biointensive agriculture to provide enough produce for ourselves and improve the soil.

    We sort of already are a commune here.

  198. rq says

    I should be working more, too. I’m way behind. That’s what weekends are for, right?

    For what it’s worth, though, if preserves, then – how to get vinegar/salt/sugar? Rather key ingredients.
    I remember having a bow and arrows when I was little, too. It was a lot of fun. Did better with the slingshot, though – my older brother had figured out this triple-brown-elastic way with a denim cup (?) that had amazing range. Just a warning, though, for all the practice, I have terrible, terrible aim. My shooting should only be used as a way to scare others off, rather than actual food acquisition. AJ, go back to work. :P

  199. dianne says

    I have a general idea of how to repair damage done by farm implements and/or animals. Especially if the right reference books are available. That’ll have to be my contribution to the commune. Farming…um…well, I have a couple of broccoli plants in the back yard that aren’t dead yet. Does that count as experience?

  200. says

    For what it’s worth, though, if preserves, then – how to get vinegar/salt/sugar?

    Sugar would be time and resource intensive, but not impossible to produce yourself. Honey would be a much more straightforward sweetener to produce.

    Salt, obviously, is trickier. That’s going to depend heavily on where in the world you are, if it’s just plain impossible to get anything you didn’t make yourself.

    Vinegar is the easiest one of all. Give us something to ferment and we can make vinegar in no time.

  201. Beatrice says

    Oh yeah, I have this year’s apple vinegar in the kitchen corner right now. It’s best after two years.

  202. Beatrice says

    Of my father’s making, not mine. But I would have no problem repeating the process; as Caerie says, it’s really easy.

  203. says

    The self-sufficient life and how to live it is a wonderful general primer on that sort of thing, and contains a bibliograhy as well, for more recommended reading. Also biointensive agriculture, as someone above pointed out. There are some low-tech aquaponic techniques, and others that we can use now but might not be able to maintain after the apocalypse. For sugar, sugar beets can be grown in most climates that are even semi-temperate, but salt is an issue. So’s iodine, come to think.

  204. Beatrice says

    Are we affirming some sort of stereotype right now?
    Men can kill stuff, and we are talking about preserves and how to feed everyone.

  205. dianne says

    So the Pharyngula commune should be some place close to a coast, for salt and iodine. Fortunately, as the polar ice caps melt, that shouldn’t be a problem.

  206. says

    ARRGHHHHHHH

    DSHS’ latest tactic is to “make an appointment” for us via telepathy. Now that we have failed to make said appointment, due to NOT BEING PSYCHIC, they’re threatening to cut off our foodstamps.

    I really want to call and explain sweetly that their owl must have gotten lost on the way to our cottage.

    Asshats.

  207. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    I think confirmation and affirmation. I’ll deal with the mammoth and the sabretooth tiger. You go collect some PINK mushrooms! And make me a sammich. And why are you out of the kitchen and wearing shoes?

    [I know my humour can be weird. Be assured, this is meant as humour on multiple levels. Including mocking the pop EvoPsych extant nonsense.]

  208. rq says

    Affirming? Oh ok, you corrected. :) B
    Well, I did mention I can shoot, too. Just have really bad aim. I’m ok with raw meat and raw fish, though. I have a photo of myself standing in a pile of freshly caught Australian salmon and my bachelor’s thesis required three decomposed pigs, so I’m not particularly squeamish. :) I’m ok with an axe and firewood and starting fires, too.
    Sugar-beets used to be an industry in Latvia until re-nationalization killed it. I’m pretty sure I could look into that (honey, though, is a lot easier).
    Also, linen and wool (clothing, anyone?): my mum can work a loom and I can always learn, but I’m ok with manual weaving (wide traditional belts and the like). Can’t knit worth crap, though. Crocheting, while a budding hobby, seems to be marginally better. But I know we have knitters/crocheters among us. Making yarn would be a bit more problematic.
    Anyone know how to weave rope?

  209. rq says

    It’s ok, Ogvorbis, I got it. I want to be Rebellious Snarky Woman who puts on shoes and traps a rabbit.
    And for the record, most PINK mushrooms are poisonous… So here you go, almighty patriarchal male overlord.

  210. Beatrice says

    Ogvorbis,

    Now I’m imagining pink mushrooms. And then, for the lack of pink mushrooms, bringing home red mushrooms. The kind with white spots.
    That would turn out fun

  211. rq says

    kristinc
    I hope the situation is resolved to your benefit. :( Holding thumbs.
    (The signal may have gotten lost due to them forgetting to remove their tinfoil cap before sending. :P)

  212. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I have had some moderate success with growing a few different kinds of vegetables, and can direct/assist the building of Things, maybe. O.o

  213. Beatrice says

    *reads funkadelic thread*
    Really, rq? So that’s why you would pick those red mushrooms. Ccc.

  214. rq says

    Beatrice
    Not so much eating raw meat and fish (although heavily salted salmon is delicious), more handling it to prepare it for cooking. Raw meat? Only if we’re living on an ice-cap. And isn’t global warming supposed to go the other way…?

  215. says

    AJ, go back to work. :P

    Umm… totally… I was… I just… umm… looked in here because I left my… umm… coffee mug, right here.

    (/And there it is. I’ll just take that and go, then.)

  216. dianne says

    If honey (and therefore bee hives) are under consideration, we’d better have some means of producing epinephrine. Maybe the manly men can bring me the adrenal glands of the mammoths they’ve killed. Ok, fine, I’ll extract it myself. (Goes off mumbling about men and their squeamishness.)

    Also, does anyone know how to build and/or maintain a wind or water mill? We’ll need it for electricity and grinding grain…

  217. Beatrice says

    rq,

    Oh, I misunderstood that. Yeah, I’m ok with handling raw meat and wish too. I’m usually the one to do the fish and squid cleaning because mum finds it icky.

  218. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    I shake my fist for you, kristinc. : (

     

    I can also shoot things. I will leave the dealing with said shot things to rq.

  219. rq says

    Beatrive
    *blush*
    It’s just something I read somewhere once, and for all I know, they may have been referring to a completely different mushroom. Either way, the point is, don’t go mushroom picking with me.

  220. Beatrice says

    rq,

    I don’t have to worry, but I’m not sure about any male company. ;)

    (Just teasing a bit, tell me if you mind and I’ll stop)

  221. says

    Also, does anyone know how to build and/or maintain a wind or water mill? We’ll need it for electricity and grinding grain…

    Sadly, I do not. But once we manage to actually grind the grain, I have sourdough cultures to keep us in fresh bread just fine. And we can’t forget the brewing either, of course.

  222. Beatrice says

    Portia,

    Maybe just rq after all. I haven’t exactly had a chance to deal with a freshly killed animal. It usually passes at least some cleaning process before it comes to me.

  223. rq says

    Beatrice
    I read that as you ‘wish to deal with raw meat’. A weird pre-dilection, but whatever floats your boat.

    Here’s a mushroom for cicely.

    dianne
    That’s a good point. What about insulin for diabetics?

    +++

    Speaking of water mills and boats. Anyone know how to build a boat? I have a rough idea, but it’s so rough, it wouldn’t build a boat. And no, I don’t know how to build a water/wind mill, but could probably maintain one, if given a chance. (There’s an ethnographic open-air museum nearby, and I could go study the mechanism. I think the principle isn’t all that complicated.)

  224. Beatrice says

    rq,

    I read that as you ‘wish to deal with raw meat’. A weird pre-dilection, but whatever floats your boat.

    I should really go to bed if my sentences are starting to gain that sort of weird meanings.

  225. carlie says

    I live near brine aquifers, and I’ve read Mark Kurlansky’s Salt. Just tell me when to start building the mine shafts and evaporation troughs.

    My finals are all graded! *happy dance* I stumbled through my last one this morning after a whole 2 hours of sleep, did a couple of errands, came home and slept a couple of hours, then finished the grading. There are still some assignments outstanding until tomorrow and then all the after-grading work to assign final grades, but there’s an end in sight.

  226. rq says

    Beatrice
    The teasing is ok. You better ask if the male company minds jokes like that. :P
    And yeah, I should be ok with fresh kills.

    Brewing! Yes. Very good. The apocalypse is starting to look better and better. *rubbing hands together* When can we get started?

  227. rq says

    Yay for carlie! The light is visible, and we have salt. Hooray!

    Beatrice
    Well, maybe if I’m reading sentences that way, I should go to bed, too. Too bad, translation. :P

  228. Beatrice says

    rq,

    The apocalypse is starting to look better and better. *rubbing hands together* When can we get started?

    It’s all around you, man. Didn’t you notice? *puffs on something hand-rolled and blows a smoke ring*

  229. says

    I can build a wind or water mill… in a pinch, I can build damn near anything. And I’m not just saying that because I’ll never be called upon to prove it. :) I could probably make a canoe.

    If someone has the forethought to stockpile books, I can follow directions really well.

  230. Beatrice says

    We can start any time you wish, rq. I wouldn’t mind a Pharyngula commune, as long as I can occasionally wander off without anyone bothering me.

  231. rq says

    Beatrice
    If it’s all around us, WHY NO COMMUNE? :(

    Improbable Joe
    What about directions being given from memory (as in, Well, there was this thing that looks like this, and it went kind of liiiike this and connected to that bit right there – no, not that one, that one – and then…)? Because if no books, then that’s all that’s left.
    Alternatively, I could just start stockpiling books of all kinds…

  232. rq says

    Beatrice
    I have a feeling that a lot of us would be wandering off randomly with nary an explanation. I don’t know if that’s a good way to build a community (did Beatrice go for a walk, or was she eaten by a bear?), but I’m definitely with you there. We’d be a new type of commune – the rarely-together, scattered commune for individualists.

  233. carlie says

    I just discovered a lovely little tea store in town (that’s been there for 3 years! I have been missing out for 3 years!) so I can start stockpiling on the tea too. They have fantastic house blends.

  234. says

    rq,

    If you can explain the principle involved, I can probably work out the details. For instance, wouldn’t a water-powered mill be a water wheel with a geared end on the axle, that turns a stone against another stone to grind stuff? Because me and a small team of folks could probably build a very basic one over a long weekend, especially if we have salvaged materials to start with.

  235. opposablethumbs says

    mythbri, I just read some of the discussion at Ophelia’s and saw that response to Wade’s post. I think one of Urooj Zia’s first points was the crucial one – by going all “oh it’s their culture we must respect it” we westerners are effectively saying that the authentic voice of culture X is that of the patriarchs in that cultures and by implication that the voices of feminists (and children) in that culture are not authentic/valueless.
    .
    Which is basically to say that I agree with you and with Beatrice that probably the best thing outsiders can do is to listen to what the feminists and advocates for children (or children themselves if they get any chance to speak uncoerced) within culture X are saying and point to them as our example and boost their signal inasmuch as we can.

  236. Beatrice says

    This is a lovely conversation, but I’m tired. Good night, folks. Don’t let the bear eat anyone.

  237. says

    I know in principle how to build wind and water mills. Solar powered stirling engines too. And if you’ve got any of those, automated looms, spindles, knitting machines, and sewing machines are all perfectly doable. I don’t want a commune, though. It’s thinking to small. I want the Pharyngula ARCOLOGY!!!!

  238. says

    Night Beatrice!

    opposablethumbs:

    …the best thing outsiders can do is to listen to what the feminists and advocates for children (or children themselves if they get any chance to speak uncoerced) within culture X are saying and point to them as our example and boost their signal inasmuch as we can.

    Hell yes. When people want to know what can be done, they should look to what people like Sister Fa are doing and give support and visibility there. The voices of women who have been cut and are trying to change their own cultures are so much more important than anything an uninvolved Westerner could say.

  239. opposablethumbs says

    Oh, damn and I posted without refreshing so forgot that the conversation would have moved waaaaaaaaay further on in the meantime … Oh well, I was referring to mythbri’s comments up the page a ways, eh.

  240. rq says

    Good night, Beatrice!!

    Improbable Joe
    That would probably work, and yes, the principle isn’t all that difficult (as far as I know). Materials would be more of an issue (how much wood, proportions/size, stones), so a lot would probably have to be scavenged.
    Mill-stones might be tough. Don’t know about where you are, but they make them pretty massive here, and there aren’t too many left in the country-side. Used to be a mill in every country/parish, but those have long since gone to ruin, and rocks have been scavenged for decorative purposes.
    A steady stream of water would be more of an issue, I think – to avoid spring flooding and to have a regular, even flow would be key.

    Dalillama
    With that kind of thinking, Pharyngulites will be ruling the world in no time after the apocalypse. Looking forward to it already!

  241. rq says

    Improbable Joe re: fences
    For me, it’s not so much the privacy/always separate issue, but more of a chance just to wander off and not feel fenced in (haha). And return at my own leisure. I do like my privacy, though, but too many fences is inhibiting (to me). As predator deterrent – definitely.

    +++

    Anyway I’m going to call it a night, too. Going to finish up tomorrow.
    Good night, all!

  242. says

    Oh, something fun just came up on my Facebook feed. I literally chuckled aloud when I read it:

    Why do women wear skirts?
    The female energy is a “drawing-in” energy, also known as centripetal force.
    This centripetal female energy is irresistible. This energy is so strong that most people in the house will want to be around the person with the most centripetal force, usually the mother, and will be acutely aware when she is gone.
    Michio Kushi points out that the earth’s centripetal force coming up through the feet is present in men as well as women, just as heaven’s force, coming downward from the sky through the head and the body (centrifugal force) is present in women as well as men. What differs is the degree to which each energy is present. Women, in general, experience more of earth’s energy “moving up”. This is one reason why many cultures encourage women to wear skirts, so that they can access the earth’s energy more easily.
    Centripetal force is the grounding force. Women tend to be the centers of the their homes. Therefore when a woman changes her life for the better, her family benefits. She sets the tone.
    The health of her family is directly linked to her own personal health, therefore we owe it to ourselves to take the time, energy, and resources we need to be healthy.

  243. carlie says

    Oh wait, given all the Brownian (YOU WILL ALWAYS BE BROWNIAN TO ME) and Louis queues and writhing masses and Parlors and such, who’s in charge of getting all the birth control? Or since it’s all teh ebil ghey, are we good?

  244. opposablethumbs says

    Oh, and for the Pharyngula commune I’ll see if I can get one of my brothers to come who keeps (or has sometimes kept) bees, and he and his partner both know plants. One’s a fixer-of-almost-anything, and another knows pharmacology and another knows renewable energy tech. Me I got nothing much, but I’m going to see if you let me in anyway. And hey, the kids are decent musicians, they can join the Amazing Pharyngula Ensemble ’cause music will be important too to help keep us all sane (ish).

    Good night Horde.

  245. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Did I miss something? Did Brownian’s nym actually change?

  246. carlie says

    Portia – I had to search for it; it’s in the last Thunderdome. Not surprisingly, it’s because of an asshole in the pit.

  247. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Oh, thanks you two. Good to know who this Anthony fellow is.

  248. carlie says

    I think Brownian just changed his ‘nym because the line is getting too long, and he wants to fool anyone else trying to queue up by putting them in some knock-off Anthony line that doesn’t actually lead anywhere.

  249. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    (snickering at your first comment, not the second, Tony)
     
    Our resident archivist, SGBM, pointed me to the series of comments connecting it to the pitters.

  250. mildlymagnificent says

    Oggie, while you’re waiting for this bad dream season to end or to find a decent therapist if it doesn’t, you could always invite your own personal ideal therapist/defender/champion/comforter into your head ready to deal with the remembered dreams when you wake. Possibly someone you know, but fictional characters are better because you can choose their personalities for them.

    Do it right, and they might even get into the dreams for themselves. Bad dream starts, Gandalf turns up and vanquishes the baddies or a Judi Dench bossy, no nonsense, style schoolmarm arrives and marches you off out of harm’s way, with a withering glare over her shoulder and a hissing, ladylike but scathing reprimand for the bad guy. Or you find yourself gathered up by an idealised grandpa/uncle figure who soothes your childish fears/ comforts your grown-up concerns with his Morgan Freeman/ Richard Burton kind of melted chocolate voice.

    Your favourite comic book character might be your preference. Whatever. What matters is that whether it’s when you wake or during the dreams themselves, there is someone powerful and safe on your side. Whether that’s for the scared little boy or the distressed adult – doesn’t matter.

  251. says

    Non html since I’m on my phone. Also pardon spelling, grammar. @
    @kristinc
    DHS sucks here too. Theyrenow making L and I apply jointly, because in this instance only, the Feds rcognize our relationship.
    @commune
    Insulin can be refined from sheep, and I think epinephrine frompigs. For both, though, I’m pretty sure that there are bacterial cultures that grow kem these days; we should see about getting some. For b/c, there’s always good old fashioned sheepgut condomawes.

  252. Matt Penfold says

    Insulin can be refined from sheep, and I think epinephrine frompigs.

    Historically insulin was produced from cattle and pigs, but these the overwhelming majority of insulin is synthetic human insulin. There is still a small amount of bovine and porcine insulin produced, but human insulin is the norm.

  253. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Tony:

    blockquoting to escape the bad preview! genius!

    and that link is good news : ) I can’t stand how Boy Scouts are regarded as such a Great Thing™ around here.

  254. John Morales says

    mildlymagnificent, you do have a point.

    I think most people can train themselves to sometimes recognise when they are dreaming, and knowing it’s a dream can be helpful in coping with nightmares.

    (It’s an effort, but it has no downside and ‘any port in a storm’, no?)

    I can do that maybe 1 in 20 dreams or so, but when I do, it’s liberating.

    My main “tells” are:
    * Moving as if through treacle — i.e. expending much effort but not achieving much in terms of progress, as when running;
    * Reading something, looking away and reading again but it’s something different;
    * Interacting with people with whom I know I couldn’t possibly be interacting.

  255. dianne says

    who’s in charge of getting all the birth control?

    Well, if there are sheep, we can make sheep intestine condoms and I’m pretty sure I could purify estrogen and progesterone given the right reference materials. And can probably do a safe surgical abortion. Especially if we’ve got a still to produce some reasonable quality alcohol for sterilization of the instruments. Also, vasectomies aren’t too hard to do. Reversals now, reversals could be a problem…

  256. dianne says

    Of course, that’s assuming that the people in charge of farming are producing enough food so that we’re not all infertile from starvation anyway.

  257. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Portia:
    Thanks.
    Let’s play with the tags…

    Ok, that’s [i].

    Now I want to play with the tags…

    And that’s with [cite]…

    And this annoying one is with blockquote & cite

    Egads. My ghast has been flabbered!

  258. Rey Fox says

    I’m an almost-graduate of wildlife biology (nongame), who sometimes draws and takes photos. I’m going to be pretty much useless when the shit hits the fan.

  259. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    carlie:

    WHOA!

    This shoop enjoys being around you all, but will not consent to giving up any intestines…
    (strong/cite)

  260. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Tony, my gob has been smacked.

     

    …that sounds dirty.

    More fun with tags.
    I didn’t know cite did this.

  261. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Also, does anyone know how to build and/or maintain a wind or water mill? We’ll need it for electricity and grinding grain…

    I can *design* one. Borrow a carpenter and we’re all set :D

  262. says

    I, for one, do NOT welcome our new pescine overlords.

    I think it was in Adams’ Last Chance to See, around the bit about the Komodo dragons, where he does this thing on relatively-close-versus-not-so-closely-related-vertebrate solidarity, and how there was something especially disturbing about seeing a reptile taking out a fellow mammal.

    I think I felt a bit of that, hearing this story, earlier.

    Notwithstanding, I guess, that birds and me really aren’t so close, either…

    Still, coming from a catfish, it just seems so… uppity. Or somethin’.

  263. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    dianne, I’m very glad that you are on the birth control issue. Count me in for the hormonal stuff.
     
    I’ve been trying to think of what skills I have, but if the judicial system has collapsed in our scenario, then my profession is moot. So, my hobbies: painting…not so helpful. Candymaking…less than useful. Wittling? Maybe? I have always been a decent shot with a firearm or bow though, so there’s that. I can keep the horses away from cicely. And eat all the peas to spare the pea-haters. Oh, and I’m ok with cooking over a fire if need be.

  264. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    I need to bake or something. My sewing machine is non-functional, I’m out of canvases to paint, and I’m being totally useless. Gah.

  265. carlie says

    SyFy needs to be all over this one. Next movie: UltraMegaCatfish, starring Susanna Hoffs and Toni Basil.

  266. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    still don’t know what the [abbr title] and the [acroynym title] tags are for… or why we have [strong] when we have [b]

  267. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    I can’t format it correctly, but abbr title give the hover-over text.

    Laws! I love writing laws! I studied government and legislation throughout my academic career, so I’m your gal for that. Thanks for making me feel useful : )

  268. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Dalillama:
    We can use Libertarian laws, no?
    ::ducks::

    ****

    Portia:

    I’ve been trying to think of what skills I have, but if the judicial system has collapsed in our scenario, then my profession is moot.

    We still need someone to mediate disputes.

  269. dianne says

    Hmm…if we’re doing hormonal birth control, better get the instructions for making heparin from pig guts too. Just in case. Also we’ll need to be some place where we can grow willows because aspirin is a good all purpose drug to have around.

  270. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Portia:
    As long as you write the laws in pink ink.
    B/c pink is for girls…

  271. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    1. Nope, can’t do the abbr text properly.
    2. Yes, I’ll need lots and lots of Bics for Chicks :D

  272. says

    Hrm…

    Someone really should do a post-apocalyptic skills survey questionnaire thingy…

    And, obviously, provide hard copy printouts. Since you’ll need the results in some relatively low-tech medium, after the collapse of the electrical grid…

    Me, I’m afraid most of my active skillset is pretty dependent on having a functional electrical grid. And working semiconductor fabs…

    Also decent espresso bars, honestly.

    I dunno. I just can’t think of a lot of apocalyptic scenarios in which the primary challenge to the few, desperate survivors somehow turns out mostly to be algorithmic analysis… But if that happens, and I’m still alive and not buried beneath too much rubble at the outset, I guess you probably want to try to dig me out.

  273. dianne says

    Pink? Everything will be written in pink at the Pharyngula Post-Apocalypse Commune? Not brown…as in written in the dried blood of our enemies? Just as well. AR would have a fit at the biohazard anyway.

  274. John Morales says

    Tony, it’s nothing major.

    Abbr is meant for abbreviations (i.e. to allow one to use such and to clarify to what they refer).

    Acronym is redundant and functions exactly the same for human readers, but provides additional meta-information to robots.

    The strong and em tags are rendered as bold and italics here, but could be rendered differently in future or in other platforms, and are more general versions of the b and i tags — a type of future-proofing.

  275. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    dianne:
    Yes. All shall be in pink.
    If you have a problem with pink, you can write in OFFpink.

  276. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    See also: LIGHTpink, SOFTpink, BRIGHTpink, DULLpink and everyone’s favorite: POOPYHEADpink.

  277. John Morales says

    Portia, @370 you put the hover text there, but didn’t tag anything to which to apply it — you just closed the tag as soon as you opened it.

    (The title is a parameter to the tag)

    This is what you put in: Ok testing <abbr title="the hover text"></abbr>.

    Try it thus: Ok testing <abbr title="the hover text">the visible text</abbr>

  278. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    I dunno, dried blood has a dull red to it that could be a vaguely pink color.

  279. cicely (Possibly Too-Easily Amused) says

    Now that we have failed to make said appointment, due to NOT BEING PSYCHIC, they’re threatening to cut off our foodstamps.

    :( :( :(

    Or…hmm….

    You could maybe tell them that you did telepathically make your appointment, but it is no fault of yours if their psychic abilities are too feeble/unreliable to have received it.

    Anyone know how to weave rope?

    I can, if pressed, spin with a drop spindle. The Husband is a damned good drop-spinner, has house-building experience (formerly was a house-builder), at one time had done the research into how to make a Gutenberg style printing press, and is just generally handy.

    I also card-weave, and have a Big Booke of Looms around here, somewhere. I’m reasonably sure that I could, at least, set up a warp weighted loom (since I looked into it for SCA purposes), though I no longer have the ability to stand in front of it to use it. If I re-apply myself to it, I’m sure I can get my hand back in with the net-making.

    And I’m a fair hand at making liqueurs.

    Oh, yes, and we own a goodish-sized number and variety of leather-working tools.

    Here’s a mushroom for cicely.

    “Much prized by farmers and gypsies for generations, the horse mushroom is regarded as one of the most delicious edible fungi, although the fruitbodies of this and other yellow-staining Agaricus species often have a build-up of heavy metals, such as cadmium and copper.”
    And also, obviously, Horse venom.
    -

  280. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Aha! Thanks, John. This is why I like getting the subscription emails. I managed to decipher the formula from your above comment to Tony. Now, can you explain what the Gumby is that everyone was missing after the formatting change?

  281. dianne says

    So…we got time to pick out a site, get all the necessary reference materials and/or startup materials together, and meet at the designated place before the end of the world, which, IIRC, is scheduled for 9 days from now?

    I suggest coastal Maine as our site for the last outpost of civilization. Not too crowded, near to a source of salt and fish (most of which won’t be competing with us for pigeons, and blueberries in the summer.

  282. Lofty says

    Portia: If you are good at painting, find a cave or something and leave educational paintings on the rocks for your descendants to see when written language has disappeared. This is a traditional and useful activity as practiced by our species since a long time ago.
    As for the apocalypse, if I survive it I want to do metal smelting. Although recycled metal just lying around should outlast a whole bunch of lifetimes.

  283. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    John:

    :)

    Lofty:

    Metalworking! I can do metalworking. Thanks for reminding me. I will definitely sign up for cave painting, as well.

  284. John Morales says

    Portia, Gumby is the image PZ cribbed from Monty Python and which he applies when quoting creationists via a CSS class (image + comic sans text); it needs tweaking either on his end or on the readers’ end to see.

    Refer to ॐ’s comment at Thunderdome if you want to see more about it.

  285. mildlymagnificent says

    Depends what kind of apocalypse we’re hiding from. I’ve always wanted one of those nifty ‘self-fertilising’ hydroponics combinations of fish farm and veg growing. The water from the fish containers circulates through the veg/ strawberry/ small fruit containers. The veg waste feeds the fish – and the fish tanks also grow water chestnuts and other desirables.

    Only needs a smallish solar panel to drive the pumps. Though if we had no power to spare, we could have one of those super-duper water trickle distribution systems from an 18th century Italian aristocrat garden. Fish in the pool at the bottom of series of veg beds. Have to fancify up some kind of water flow/agitation to get the water up to the top again through a water ram.

  286. says

    mildlymagnificent
    That’s what I meant by aquaponics, yeah. For that matter, it should be possible to rig a windmill and a flywheel to maintain the trickle, so you don’t need electricity.

  287. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Abbr is meant for abbreviations (i.e. to allow one to use such and to clarify to what they refer).

    …in other words, its existence is coupled to the expectation that someone will type an HTML tag, the longhand version, the shorthand version, and a closing tag, rather than just using the longhand in the first place.

    ….nice. >.>

  288. ImaginesABeach says

    I’m a bureaucrat by profession. Which means that I’m pretty well useless for the PharynguCommune. Unless we need forms created?

  289. dianne says

    Imagines, of course you have useful skills. Bureaucrats are good at organizing people. We’ll need organization to make sure Portia’s laws get implemented properly and justly.

  290. Lofty says

    Imagines:
    Tthe first sign of civilisation is bureaucracy. Tally the sheep! Weigh the crops! Keep the library list in order! Yup, you’ll be welcome at the commune.
    Alethea:
    Yeah, under the impactor is a good place to be at the end of the world, much less effort and heartache that way. But I would be cursed with the bad luck to survive. I might as well make myself useful.

  291. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Threadrupt but weighing in to say that I have customer/friend who has built his own microhydro station and his own three wheeled electric vehicle and is presently converting a car to electric drive. I might not have any real skills* for the Pharyngula Apocalypse compound but I know people….

    *Okay, I’m really good at repairing bicycles but that’s about it.

  292. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    FossilFishy:
    maybe by your observations you’ll know something about constructing dwellings :)

    oh wait, apocalypse in nine days. nevermind.

  293. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Portia, Portia, Portia:
    Noah only needed 7 days.
    FossilFishy probably needs 7 hours…and no divine help. Maybe some Horde assistance.

  294. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    But wait, are you saying his hired builders are equally as awesome as FossilFishy himself? hm. This is my skeptical face.

  295. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Then again, they are Jevhovah’s Witnesses, so maybe they can conjure an End Times™ miracle to complete the house super fast?

    /stream of consciousness comments

  296. John Morales says

    Azkyroth:

    …in other words, its existence is coupled to the expectation that someone will type an HTML tag, the longhand version, the shorthand version, and a closing tag, rather than just using the longhand in the first place.

    Precisely so, and it is nice; markup is supposed to make it easier on the viewer, not on the content provider — a reasonable proposition given that it is a one-to-many relationship.

    I note in passing there’s a longstanding convention when writing papers/reports that the first time an acronym (or abbreviation) is used, it should be spelled out in full with a parenthetical, so that it can then be further used in the document.

    (e.g. The ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) is one of my favourite news sources, which I regularly peruse. Many times have I cited an ABC story here on Pharyngula)

  297. says

    … so, seeing as it’s 2012, and all of you have already seen it, there’s really no point to posting this link, but…

    … but dammit, if we’re working out roles for the post-apocalypse, the Rum and Monkey standard is pretty much obligatory.

    (/So. Have you ever obliterated a village?)

  298. John Morales says

    Geez I’m careless at times! :|

    My parenthetical should have been “(e.g. The Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) is one of my favourite news sources, which I regularly peruse. Many times have I cited an ABC story here on Pharyngula)”.

  299. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    John,

    You are so often correct that my tired brain assumed I must have been misremembering the proper way to introduce an acronym. :)

  300. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Uhm, er, did you folk get into my cough medicine?

    My knowledge of building practice begins and ends at choosing a good spouse for such things. Three cheers and a pip pip for Mrs. Fishy the Engineer!

    My Jevhovah’s are not yer garden variety ones. They appear to be some kind of nurturing/sustaining Gog’s creation types. Tis strange indeed.

  301. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Nah, I’m just sleepy and a little…off today. So, it sounds like you’re definitely going to draft Mrs. Fishy into the commune, right? : )

  302. mildlymagnificent says

    The magnificent mr once upon a time worked as a miner. So I think I know who to bring along for the build-a-food-storage-cellar-in-the-side-of-this-hill type activities. He’ll need something to do to overcome his depression at not having several thousand books handy for various purposes I’ve never really discerned. (Apart from ooohing and aaahing over the art books.)

  303. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Oh yes, of course she’s in. Once again, it’s not what you know but who you know. Besides, between the two of us we sum out to a fully functioning adult.

    True story:

    I’m in the lounge room perusing the stellar offerings of the nationalised television station when suddenly I hear: “DAAAAD! DAAAD!” The small fry is using her this-is-real-I’m-scared voice.

    “Come quick!” Mrs. Fishy’s voice is also displaying something quite unlike her usual laconic Aussie tones.

    I rush into the kitchen to find a pot ablaze upon the stove.

    I sprint out of the room to fetch the fire extinguisher, and realise that it’s not where I thought it was. Meanwhile Mrs. Fishy has acquired the extinguisher but is fumbling to get the pin out. I arrive back in the kitchen, she hands it to me I pull the pin and put out the fire.

    Much like everything else in life between the two of us we got ‘er done.

  304. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    I’ve several skills that would be useful at a commune, due to growing up as a poor rural person. None of my siblings are living in a way to use those skills these days, though.

    One sister solemnly swore that she’d never kill and clean another chicken in her life, and kept that promise for many years. Then she wound up leading a bunch of modern city-raised young Americans on a visit to an African village. The local people welcomed the group with the traditional chicken dinner. Sis looked at her urbanites, smiled at her hosts, and graciously accepted the chicken. Some of the kids did try to watch and learn as she killed and cleaned the bird, but they took away the impression that the process requires swearing bitterly and hacking angrily.

    A few years later, someone from that part of Africa came to visit our family. They were welcomed with a chicken, which then lived in the back bathroom for longer than anyone wants to recall.

  305. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Dammit Tony, get out of there this instant! I needs my medicine I does. My dreamy, dreamy….er, what was I saying?

  306. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    mildlymagnificent: Fear not! I can help the Mr. out as I have an extensive collection of books that I’ve already shipped half way round the world. Something as trivial as an apocalypse will not stop me from bringing my collection to the commune.

    The sad thing about this particular doomsday survival scenario is that my back up plan will not work. If I lose or break my glasses I’m fucked for any kind of practical living off the land tasks. Should that occur my plan was to set up as a shaman and scam earn my keep through cold reading and basic theater skills.

  307. rq says

    Good morning!
    re: commune

    We have forgotten one VITAL thing: children’s education. Every story has children losing their parents’ knowledge within a generation or two, and turning it all into unbelievable myths and stories. We need a good, solid children’s education, to teach them straight away about good, rational, critical and skeptical thinking values, and leave religion/gods out of it completely.
    Of course, if our commune is an open commune, we’ll be letting in some religious types, but I say we not permit them to evanglize and Spread the Word and figure a way to control that shit (don’t really want to go for segregation because it has worked poorly in the past, but something must be done).

    FossilFishy
    I believe I told you yesterday there was something wrong with your cough medicine. Turns out it was Tony. I didn’t know it was that bad…

    Menyambal
    The swearing was probably assumed to be some strange ritual chant to help the feathers drop off faster. Caustic words and all that. /snark

    +++

    Oooh boy it’s early for me to be here.

  308. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Well rq, you were right, but I have to say that it’s certainly a very tasty elixir. ;)

  309. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    I have built a few buildings. Only a few, though.

    When I was working with a churchly organization, we got asked to help a building group set up their exhibit for some mission gathering. They had some new design of cement blocks with an alignment rib-and-notch feature that was supposed to make assembly easier (they had decided to name the blocks “McRibs”, which was just begging for the lawsuit they got). So we stacked the blocks up into a little house—the notches worked a treat, by the way—and stuck a two-by-four and tin roof on the top. It was easy enough, and could have been made permanent with some more work, so yay for block houses.

    Someone decided the block house needed a typical third-world slum shack next to it, just for contrast and as an example of what would be replaced. They asked us if we could build something, so we spit on our hands and got creative. Building that shack was fun. We dug it into the side of the hill, and made a sleeping platform, and a porch. We somehow had sheet metal that had been cut out of the side of panel vans when adding picture windows, so there was some color and shape there. Railroad ties were in there somewhere, I think, and two colors of tarp.

    So everyone loved our shack, and thought the block house was boring as hell.

  310. chigau (test) says

    Pharyngula Post-apocalypse Commune
    I always carry a SwissArmyKnifeCamper so I can open the wine.
    and saw down small trees so the helicopter pilot can land.

    We™ have cast-iron utensils in most shapes.
    We™ have hand-cranked grinders for meat and for grain.
    We™ have a treadle sewing machine.
    I can knit anything.
    The SO has built a boat. (and he is the best at splitting wood that I have ever seen).
    We™ also do fire-making.
    and abunch of other stuff

    I don’t know how to transmit any of that by USB.

  311. rq says

    FossilFishy
    We need a glass grinder and someone who knows how to make glass – then you (and I) could at least have a monocle. Think of how distinguished you would look, in the wake of the crash of civilization, with a monocle

    Menyambal
    That sounds like a fun shack! Colours and creativity are definitely a must, of course – time, materials and energy-permitting.

    mildlymagnificent
    Don’t need to automate bringing water to the top of the hill. Find minions to carry buckets back up to the top – have never-ending string on minions, and voila! – a working stepped hydroponic fish pond.

  312. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    If we’re going to be even semi-serious about this I’ve:

    Renovated all the things at least once.
    -removed walls
    -built walls
    -moved walls
    -installed wiring
    -installed phones
    -insulated
    -stripped off old roofing
    -installed new asphalt shingles and flashings.
    -installed windows
    -installed doors
    -hung drywall including on the ceiling
    -taped, plastered and painted drywall

    Actually the only renovating I haven’t done is moving major plumbing fixtures.

    I also have a basic grasp of sheep husbandry. I spent nearly a year helping out on my in-laws sheep farm. Mind you, only a pretty full on end ‘o the world would get me to do that work again. Not fun.

  313. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    OOOH a monocle! Hell yes. Bring on the end of the world I say, if it means that I can have a monocle. So, anyone in the horde up for a little glass work?

  314. John Morales says

    Trying to think of what skills I could bring to bear…

    Ah! I can be an ambassador, what with my diplomatic skills!

  315. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Oh and I should point out that I’m not particularly good at any of those tasks, just that I’ve done them.

  316. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    I also once built a Theremin along with other sundry electronic musical gizmos. Of course I don’t understand how they work exactly, I just got the circuit diagram and parts list and went from there. It’s more cookbook construction than any deep knowledge of electronics.

  317. rq says

    John Morales
    You can be a conflict mediator, because we’re going to be the only major commune (or arcology, according to some) so we won’t need much diplomacy – unless you want to have diplomatic dealings with all of the post-apocalyptic religious fringe groups wandering around.

    FossilFishy
    By your standards, I should be ‘good‘ with installing drywall and wooden floors, since I once held a lot of pieces and tools during some renovations. Oh and I put in a screw or two on the balcony. :) Qualified experts, all-round! :)
    Cookbook construction is good, as long as someone knows the knowledge/principles and can explain them, because we don’t want children to grow up thinking it’s magic.

  318. mildlymagnificent says

    Never mind about teaching the kids. The magnificent tuition service could set up shop again. This time we won’t have to pay landlords or other bloodsuckers I’d hope. Teaching kids to make their own fraction “kits” and science observations/experiments should be a cinch. Learning to make ink and writing tools would be good practical work.

    We may not get a comprehensive set of classic children’s literature – but a few writers could hone their skills – but only with strong, strong editorial oversight from a few people with super sensitive antennae for unsuitable stuff. At least living such a life there’d be less resistance to writing kids’ books with a strong factual basis. Not nearly enough of that sort of thing when we went looking for it.

  319. rq says

    mildlymagnificent
    What counts as unsuitable?
    And maybe some of the unsuitable stuff can be written into entertainment from all the adults… Would save us from long nights of charades and the like. :)

  320. mildlymagnificent says

    Oh and we should quickly pick up the skills for making/finding suitable items to use as magnifying glasses. No matter how good the initial supply of specs or contact lenses is, we’ll run out eventually. And magnifying glasses are useful for gardening and farming and crafts and all sorts of other things as well as teaching botany and entomology and the like.

  321. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Oh, yeah, my plumbing skills include turning PVC pipe into didgeridoos.

  322. says

    Good morning

    re: commune
    I can build a wall with very basic tools, I haz ideas, oh, and I can do that education thingy. I know some things about gardening/farming and I very much suggest that we stock up on jeans and warm clothes/blankets as long as they exist. Because making cloth from scratch is hard and time consuming. We’ll eventually have to do it but I guess we’ll have a lot more things to do during the first years.

  323. mildlymagnificent says

    rq
    Oh, I was thinking, well remembering my overwhelming irritation really, about books written ostensibly for introducing novices to reading, spelling, handwriting, where the writers were apparently completely oblivious to the kinds of problems that littlies can have. I’ll admit we were dealing with children with learning issues of various kinds. Most of those issues would have been avoided in the first place with better teaching and better reading materials – and some very simple vision and hearing tests to identify glaringly obvious problems. The sooner they’re dealt with, the more a child can learn, the more they’ll be willing to try to learn.

  324. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    FossilFishy, rq:
    Hee hee…you two are a riot. Now I know who is going to entertain us in the commune. Hmmm, my contributions..? Do we have wine? Liquor? I know we are going to have cider. I’m pretty good at troubleshooting, spell checking, and organization. I’m also good at being put in charge of a group of people to ensure a task is done. What can be done with that?

  325. Lofty says

    I am versed in the arcane art of straightening bent nails. I have six kinds of hammer. Screws are a species of nail, with extra grip. I can identify (blindfolded) what my hammer has hit, just by the feel of the thumb I’ve impacted. Ow. The house I built 20 years ago is still standing despite the fact I promptly sold it. The neighbours were disgusting.
    See, I am multiskill’d enough to join a commune.

  326. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    FossilFishy:
    Can your skill at sheep husbandry allow you to find this shoop a husband?

  327. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    If we are hanging on to pre apocalyptic stereotypes, with the Gay Hordesmen (I really like that term), we can decorate some interiors. We will make the commune FAB!
    ****
    rq:
    Separation of church and state. People can still believe what they want, but those beliefs should not be used as the foundation for moral, ethical or social laws. Also, no childhood indoctrination.

  328. says

    Oh, I’m not actually any good at any of the things I’ve talked about. I just know they can be done. That said, AFAICT, if you’ve got a lens grinder, there’s no reason you can’t make spectacles instead of a monocle. They seem to have been mostly a fashion thing.
    rq

    Don’t need to automate bringing water to the top of the hill. Find minions to carry buckets back up to the top – have never-ending string on minions, and voila! – a working stepped hydroponic fish pond.

    A little less funny when you think about, say, the literally generations of slaves who toiled their short and miserable lives away walking a treadmill day in and day out to water the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Much better to do it with mechanical tricks.

  329. mildlymagnificent says

    Because making cloth from scratch is hard and time consuming.

    The skills of darning and quilting to use, reuse and eke out existing fabric sound good. Along with remaking hand-me-downs. My grandmother hardly ever had a ‘new’ dress growing up – she was the third of four daughters – but her mother made sure that her clothes were ‘new’ for her. Remade to fit properly with new trim, no collar/new collar, new buttons, whatever, so it didn’t look the same as it had when the two older sisters had worn ‘it’.

  330. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Dalillama:
    You are with me on decoration duty.
    ****
    What role does PZ play in this?
    Spiritual advisor?
    Sage wisdom guy?
    All knowing vizier?
    Papa Smurf?

  331. rq says

    Tony
    I’m only good at entertainment online. When it comes to doing it front of a live audience, I come off as snarky and uncomfortably annoying. I think. To be honest, never tried. :)
    You seem to be fishing for a management position. Can’t have that. Better stick to what gays are good at:
    you guys can totally do the decorating. All the gals can ask you for ideas while FossilFishy finds you a husband via the sheep… Wait… Something’s not right with that.

    mildlymagnificent
    Ah, now I’m clear on the teaching children part. Sound sensible, teaching them these skills in a way they can actually learn them rather than just have them sort of on stand-by.

    Dalillama
    Oh, I know that technically, spectacles are as easy as a monocle (they all need a frame anyway) but a monocle just sounds so much more fun.

    Lofty
    Straightening nails and screws? We’ll find people to bend them into knots for you (shouldn’t be hard, considering all of us amateurs out trying to build something) and you’ll be busy until the next apocalypse. :) (Everyone’s useful in a commune… Isn’t that the point? Even that lazy person lying around doing nothing. I’m sure xe has a function.

    Giliell
    I’m with you on the clothes. By the time we use up the ones we have, we should hav ea fabric-making method figured out. I know a bit about linen (as in, I know it’s a time-consuming and labour-intensive process with soaking and softening of fibres), but any practical application is well beyond me. I’m sure there will be time to learn!

    re: PZ
    Sage papa vizier. That should be his title. I’m not sure about function, though. Perhaps he can be that guy lazing around with a non-descript function. :P (Might be better to give him something to do, like the dishes, otherwise he’ll go around looking for cephalopod armies to recruit and overthrow our friendly commune.)

  332. rq says

    Dalillama
    Yes, my comment about carrying water, in that respect, is a lot less funny. Mechanization is best for everyone, as long as someone always knows how to fix/maintain it. Sorry.

  333. chigau (test) says

    John Morales

    Ah! I can be an ambassador, what with my diplomatic skills!

    Later, after I regained consciousness, I voted YEA.

  334. Beatrice says

    When we get to that commune, can I have someone to yell at me “Stop being so anxious about everything, it’s going to be fine!” and smack me upside the head when I get the worried look?
    Thanks.

  335. rq says

    Beatrice
    I’ll arrange it. Perhaps PZ himself. But is violence really necessary?
    I think we should just sing happy commune songs all together, that should take care of all of your worried looks. :) (And besides, sometimes, worry is a good thing – to make sure we don’t all start resting on our laurels too early.)

  336. Beatrice says

    rq,

    I’ll arrange it. Perhaps PZ himself.

    It would be an honor to be smacked upside the head by chief poopyhead himself.

    If I were forced to sing happy commune songs together to make me feel better, there would be violence committed by me.

  337. rq says

    On second thought, I don’t think PZ would engage in such violent activity at all.
    I can gently yell at you, but I won’t smack you. Would that do?

  338. A. Noyd says

    Well, look at that, it worked. FtB just hates my other internet connection for I don’t know what reason.

  339. Lofty says

    PZ is a teacher. How could you not have him there teaching the kiddies all about the effin birds and bees?

  340. Lofty says

    A.Noyd, FTB only needs to be a.noyd at your other ISP. Someone there been spammin the blog lately?

  341. birgerjohansson says

    Researchers propose new (informational) way to look at the dawn of life http://phys.org/news/2012-12-dawn-life.html
    — — — — — — — —
    The best way to coordinate a lot of bipedal sub-units in the commune is to plug their brains into a group mind. You will be assimilated.
    — — — — — — — — — — —
    ” Tally the sheep! Weigh the crops! Keep the library list in order!”
    And we need a fiscal policy. The green thingies that grow on trees are pre-adapted as currency.

  342. says

    Surely someone here knows how to farm. Right?

    I killed a lime tree once, does that count?

    FtB just hates my other internet connection for I don’t know what reason.

    I suspect PZ banned someone with a similar-ish IP address, ie from the same subnet.

  343. A. Noyd says

    I don’t know whether it’s the subnet or what, but I don’t know what PZ could have done ban-wise to keep my posts from showing up on all of FtB. When I try to post, I get a comment URL, but nothing is displayed in the comment thread itself. Same thing happens over at B&W and the other blogs that I tried.

  344. John Morales says

    birgerjohansson @362, that’s Paul Davies to whom you refer, a Templeton Prize winner.

    From your link:

    “To a physicist or chemist life seems like ‘magic matter,'” Davies explained. “It behaves in extraordinary ways that are unmatched in any other complex physical or chemical system. Such lifelike properties include autonomy, adaptability and goal-oriented behavior – the ability to harness chemical reactions to enact a pre-programmed agenda, rather than being a slave to those reactions.”

    (He was respectable, once)

  345. Lofty says

    Paul Davies was respectable once, now in his wacky old age he has found his way to the greatest host of expat Aussie nutjobs, the USA.. (I liked his About Time)

  346. A. Noyd says

    Sorry, I mean nothing that I submit through my other connection is displayed in the comments. Everyone else’s comments show up fine. If it were my ISP blacklisting anything, I doubt I could see the site at all. My point was that commenting works so far as to give me a comment URL (ie. what you get when you click “Link to this comment”). But no one, myself included, can see the comment.

  347. says

    Sorry, I mean nothing that I submit through my other connection is displayed in the comments. Everyone else’s comments show up fine.

    *mumbles incomprehensible stuff about form submission and ISP data handling and recedes into confused silence*

  348. says

    So, since #1 was feeling a little bit under the weather yesterday I brought her to grandma this morning (the healthy one) so she could slow down for a day and get well again since we’re planning something for tomorrow.
    When it came to the point she was utterly heartbroken about being seperated from her sister.
    So bittersweet.

    +++
    mildlymagnificent

    The skills of darning and quilting to use, reuse and eke out existing fabric sound good. Along with remaking hand-me-downs. My grandmother hardly ever had a ‘new’ dress growing up – she was the third of four daughters – but her mother made sure that her clothes were ‘new’ for her. Remade to fit properly with new trim, no collar/new collar, new buttons, whatever, so it didn’t look the same as it had when the two older sisters had worn ‘it’.

    Totally and absolutely.
    Little one gets many hand me downs and stuff that is worn out but not all the fabric is bad goes into my fabric stash, like old jeans where the fabric is torn in some places but hardly used in others.

    +++
    I have a bad feeling that in case of an actual apocalypse many of our skills at cooking and building and farming might be useless because they rely on a lot of industrially produced goods.
    So, while I know how to make jams and preserves and even pickles, they all rely on a supermarket that sells sugar and vinegar….

  349. rq says

    Giliell
    We discussed sugar and vinegar (vinegar easier than sugar), but I worry about glass jars. Clay would work, if there’s a way to seal them off really well.

    re: separating kids
    Yeah, when it comes to visiting relatives on their own, mine much rather do it together, as well. When they’re together, there’s no issue at all.
    I hope she’s feeling better!!

  350. Lofty says

    rq:
    Glazed pottery and beeswax as a seal. I’ll invite my sister-in-law along, she’s a higly competent potter.

  351. opposablethumbs says

    So looking forward to DaughterSpawn coming for the holiday break. She gets here this weekend. I am looking forward to going for walks with her and will even put up with one shopping trip (I loathe shopping).

    So not looking forward to xmas itself, which is always fraught, but it will be good to see her again.
    .
    Right, off to the neighbour’s for them to show us where everything is to meet their cat’s requirements for a couple of days while they are away.
    .
    And will be waiting tonight to get news of a friend’s surgery, which is scheduled for this morning and for all I know may have happened/be happening now. Cancer begone, plz.

  352. rq says

    opposablethumbs
    I hope DaughterSpawn’s visit is a delight (the shopping, too, for what it’s worth)!
    I hope they don’t keep catfood in hard to reach (for humans) places!
    I hope the surgery was a roaring success!!

  353. carlie says

    Do we have someone with a still yet? Straight-up alcohol is a fantastic preservative for jams and jellies and such.

  354. Beatrice says

    If y’all (did I write that right?) come to Europe for that commune, my grandfather used to and my father is still making our own rakia (schnapps) so I guess that apparatus is what you people call a “still”.

  355. carlie says

    Ok, this is pretty cool: interactive map, showing where any given produce is coming from in the world at any one time period: here

  356. rq says

    carlie
    Don’t have, but Husband can build. He learned from his grandfather.

    OH and I’ll have to bring my older brother along. He has a forge in his basement and he’s been trying to figure out how to make Damascus steel (also competent with other forms of metalwork). Also, this man. Then we can build giant things that will make our great-grandchildren wonder if we were aliens.
    Younger brother #1 an architect. That might come in handy, too…

  357. says

    So, this is taking shape!
    I’m going to bring Mr. He can do chemistry and he’s quite good at being a hand.
    And grandpa’s tools. I’m sorry I can’t bring grandpa on accounts of him being dead. That man could make everything.

    And I have a big, fat headache. I will bring lots of Paracetamol to the commune…

  358. rq says

    Giliell
    Perhaps your Mr. can figure out how to make Paracetamol. I support the endeavour. And I also hope your headache goes away quick. :(

    Somebody needs to start writing all of this down…

  359. puppygod says

    @463 rorschach

    Surely someone here knows how to farm. Right?

    I killed a lime tree once, does that count?

    Depends. Was it in self-defence?

  360. Beatrice says

    Well, it seems that “I saw a tree once” counts as farming. In that case, I’m a farming expert, actually working a garden occasionally and all.

  361. rq says

    In which case, I am also a forestry and lumber expert, seeing as I live next to a forest and can see many of the trees from my apartment… Also a certified mechanic, since there’s a racetrack in the forest… :)

  362. says

    Depends. Was it in self-defence?

    Look. I loved it, and I wanted only the best for it. I may have watered it a bit too eagerly, sure, but then, how do you know when to stop watering, or whether you should water it more? It’s not like it’s going to tell you.

  363. rq says

    rorschach
    You mean you don’t talk to your plants??? The shame.
    If you’d only listen, you’d know its needs.

  364. dianne says

    Does anyone know how to make nitroglycerin? I do, but only starting with purified ingredients. If we want to keep the chief poopyhead around, we’ll need some NTG for cardiac issues and it would probably be useful for blowing the occasional thing up too.

  365. dianne says

    When it withdraws into itself and turns brown, it wants more water.

    …Oh. I thought that meant it wanted a little “alone time”.

  366. Beatrice says

    dianne,

    MacGyver uses nitrate from fertilizer, cellulose from plant bark, and a drip or two of acid to make nitromannite (it is a little more sensitive than nitroglycerin) in order to make a bomb to blow up a dam.

    I doubt that could help with heart issues, though.

  367. mildlymagnificent says

    What a shame. We kept a lot of my dad’s tools – but the cobbler’s last is long gone. Easy enough to knock up a substitute by carving some *very* hard wood, I suppose. One thing everybody needs to remember when running from the universal calamity that our outstanding virtues will help us escape, pop scissors in one pocket and secateurs in the other. They won’t last forever but proper care should keep them going for a good long while.

  368. dianne says

    No, no, no. We want to dilate PZ’s blood vessels when he gets restricted flow, not blow him up!

  369. rq says

    mildlymagnificent
    I’d never heard pruning shears called ‘secateurs’ before… Anyway, little ones can be pocketed, but the large ones will probably be useful in cutting the limbs off of any random zombies. (I’m thinking of the giant ones we used to prune the apple trees…) Also, sharpening, if have whetstone, not a problem.

    dianne
    Hrrrmmmm yeeesss, that is a bit of an issue. Can’t help with that one. :/ :)

  370. rq says

    Limited supplies, Beatrice. Also, everyone will be looting pharmacies, so it’s a pretty dangerous location to be in. I read it in a book once.